Thursday, February 26, 2015

A is for Alien

I wish I was writing about ET but I'm not.

I recently attended the Creating Change conference and sat in several sessions about federal detention centers that are packed with people who are undocumented. I was learning about the how transgender folks are treated, but learned so much.

I left each session horrified. And angry.

Regardless of how you feel about immigration, how we treat human beings in the federal detention centers is abhorrent.

First, when one is brought in they are given a nine-digit number. The number begins with an A, which is for Alien.


Alien 987654321 has a visitor.

Alien 123456789 is not breathing.

I also learned that on any given day there are 75 transgender folks in a federal detention center. Their gender identity is not honored and they are put with what to them are members of the opposite sex. Imagine a trans woman being put with men.

Yes, violence happens. And so does death.

I guess now is a good time to remind you that we are talking about human beings here. Just a few weeks before this conference I was telling readers about a Saudi blogger in jail and being beaten. Now I am asking you to consider what is happening right here.

I still have so much to learn.

I'll share what I learn with you. I hope you find this as interesting as I do and I hope it makes you as angry as it has made me. Then we can make change and be a voice for these voiceless brothers and sisters.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Speaking out

I have used my blog many times to urge people to vote and to become politically active.

So much is going on in our world, in our communities. So many battles going on to support causes we believe in or to fight against issues we believe are wrong.

I believe we have a better chance of being listened to when we get to know those who represent us. Whether it's our local city council member or school board member or those who represent us at our state capitol, we should get to know them.

It starts with a simple email.

"I live in your district and would like you to know that I think ______ ."

Or "I live in your district and would like you to vote yes on this bill."

You get the idea. I send notes to our state rep and state senator when our annual session begins in January. And I keep in touch with them throughout the session.

We can be a much stronger voice for the voiceless when those in political power know who we are.

Now it doesn't always help. Some of you live in areas where your representation is totally against most of what you believe in. I still say to connect with them and let them know how you feel.

Speak out to those in power.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 16, 2015

The killing of trans women of color

Note: I woke up this morning to the news that yet another trans woman has been murdered, this time in Ohio.

Last week I was one of about 4,000 LGBTQ activists gathered in Denver for the annual Creating Change conference.

I love this conference. This year I presented a session on fundraising and went hoping to meet activists outside of my circle who I could learn from.

Boy did I. I spent most of time in sessions learning about trans women of color in federal detention centers because they are undocumented as well as learning about the epidemic of violence against trans women in this country, focusing on violence against trans women of color.

I met many trans women and I listened to their stories. I spent a lot of time chatting with a group of trans Latina women and by the end of the conference had made a promise that I would help them and support them in any way I could. I promised to do all I could to make the world safer for them.

First things first. Taking a look at my own communities and making sure trans women are safe in the gay, vegan, animal rights, human rights, fitness and homeless communities.

Part of that is educating folks. I found this article and want to share it with all of you. It is a great account of what is happening in  our country and how dangerous it can be for trans women of color. Please read it. I would be grateful if you shared it:

Five transgender women murdered in past five weeks

One of the groups I have committed to supporting, and have already donated to is the Trans Latina Coalition. Here is a link to their website if you would like to learn more and/or donate:

Trans Latina Coalition

Thank you for reading and for the taking the time to learn about this tragic issue.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

What's in our fridge!

One of the many things I love about this blog is that every week I get to meet people who have decided to go vegan. It's wonderful being in touch with them and being able to support them and be a resource for them.

One of things that I have realized that seems to be common with people going vegan is that they are not used to buying a lot of vegetables. When I tell them what we typically buy they tend to be a little surprised.

So I decided to write this post and let you know what we typically have in our fridge. You will notice some items that tend to be considered healthy. I definitely do not consider myself an expert in nutrition but I do have links to nutrition experts on the main page.

Here we go:

Rice milk
Orange juice
Swiss Chard
Red peppers
Tofurky slices
Daiya shredded cheese
Vtopian cheese
Some vegan empanadas from Maria Empanada
Earth balance spread and sticks
Treeline cheese

We also have a lot of the compliments, too many to list.

I hope this is helpful to those of you who are new to being vegan, or even those who are looking for new food ideas. We really try to eat more fruits and veggies and less processed foods. We don't always succeed, but I definitely think we are on the right track.

Thanks for reading!