Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Talkin' Bout a Revolution

Is this how it begins?

I was at work Sunday evening, and it was quiet enough at times that I could listen to the background music that was playing. I've talked at times about how mellow and downtempo the overnight mix is. The afternoon/evening mix is poppier, featuring a lot more mainstream pop music, and the songs are spread out further in time, with stuff from the Seventies and Eighties strung out amidst the more contemporary material. I was coming back to the desk from running some supplies to a guest, when I caught a snatch of Tracey Chapman's "Talkin' Bout a Revolution". There's a line that goes, "Finally the tables are starting to turn."

That brought tears to my eyes. I have tears in my eyes all the time now, and I don't know how to make them go away. It's not all internal. I'll try to explain.

There's an ongoing court case in Texas. Nikki Araguz, a widowed transwoman, is fighting to get her late husband's (a firefighter) suvivor benefits. Her in-laws are trying to get the money themselves, and they've hired attorneys to get the court to void the marriage by finding that Nikki isn't really a woman. This makes me angry to no end, but what can I do about it from here?

Over the weekend there was a political shindig in Las Vegas called Netroots Nation. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) participated in some sort of Q & A. She was pressed on the issue of getting Congress to act on ENDA. Her response was to say, "Make me." I know it wasn't intended as a taunt. Rather, she wants the LGBT community to make noise with their Congresspeople, to drum up the money and votes that'll be needed to pass the legislation. I tried that back in the spring. I sent an email to my new Floridian Congressman. It was a form email, because I couldn't muster the words to personalize the message. Naturally, his office sent back a form response.

From where I stand, the tables don't seem to be turning at all, and certainly not in our direction. I just don't know what to do about it. I barely have control of my own life, so how am I supposed to make the government do anything?

I keep hearing that Congress is more concerned with jobs and the economy. As I see it, ENDA is a jobs and economy issue. How many of us are in the closet because we know we can and will be fired if we make ourselves known? How many trans people are out in the world working shit jobs for little pay because of legally-sanctioned discrimination? If we could all get decent jobs and not worry about our job security, wouldn't we have more money, and funnel that money back into the economy?

Sometimes I feel like I don't have any recourse. I don't own a weapon, and I don't know that I'd do anything with one if I had it. I don't want to become a "Ticked Off Tranny" with a gun, but I'm tired of falling back.