They knew she would die a few days ago when her brain activity stopped, after being in a coma, after the heart attack brought on by asthma, four months after the birth of her son.
But after, more than anything else, the brutal murder of her father Eric Garner by the NYPD.
His death has been the hardest for me – maybe because NYC, maybe because he was the father of six like my dad was, maybe because there’s a million sweet men selling loosies or cutting some corners at a bodega; they’re the guys who keep NYC running, you know? All of those guys. The ones who let you hang out because you’ve gotten jumpy with some drunk mofo yelling shit at you on the street.
& Just fuck it all that she lost him, and that she lost him like that. No one has to wonder why she poured her heart into activism after that.
What do we do now? How do you respond to such a beautiful, loyal daughter’s call to arms? Maybe we can do something about the high mortality rate of black mothers. Maybe we keep calling for an end to the lawful murder of black people by those who are supposed to serve & protect.
Maybe we do something, dammit, something big and real and full of that heart of hers that felt so much and loved so much and hurt so much it broke.
Ben Barres was a personal hero of mine. He was the person who convinced me, by words and deeds, that trans people are an important tool in the feminist toolkit, precisely because they have lived aware of gender on both sides of the (binary) fence.
I added an article he wrote for Nature about the lack of diversity in the sciences to the Intro to Gender Studies class I teach at Lawrence. I’m glad to have introduced his work to many, many students over the years, and to have passed on his recommendations for how to be truly inclusive in the sciences.
He was the lead client in TLDEF’s amicus brief in support of Gavin Grimm’s suit, according to TLDEF’s ED Jillian Weiss.
He studied glial cells in a search for a cure – or more understanding – of diseases like Parkinson’s & Alzhimer’s. After being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer – which sadly & famously is a cruel & fast cancer – he made sure anyone who needed one got a letter of recommendation.
Standford’s tribute, and his friend Marc Tessier-Levigne’s tribute, tell you so much more about this brilliant, just man.
I never got to meet him and only admired him from a distance. Love to his family, friends, and colleagues.
Tiffany Edwards was the fourth trans woman of color killed this June. She was also the fourth trans woman murdered in Ohio in the past 16 months.
Her suspected killer, however, turned himself in this morning to police. His mom had prayed he would.
What’s astonishing about the news clip and brief interview with the suspect’s uncle is his idea that this was not a hate crime. The uncle refers to Tiffany as a gay boy (ugh), and from what he says, I’m not really convinced that he equates homo- and transphobia with hate at all.
Just as with other “diversity” issues out there, there is a frequent misunderstanding that hate can only be based on race or ethnicity or religion, and that sexual orientation and gender identity aren’t categories. Maybe it’s because we took so long to pass the Matthew Shepard Act; maybe it’s because these kinds of crimes, and this kind of hate, is so commonplace, and legitimized by panic defenses.
But either way, perhaps some justice for Tiffany Edwards will happen. None that will make any sense, though. She was beautiful and 28 and didn’t live to see the July after Pride month.
Love to her friends and family.
I just got the news from Max Wolf Valerio. Matt Kailey died over the weekend, on Saturday, in his sleep, of a heart attack or heart failure.
I met Matt at few years back when I spoke in Denver and have taught his book Just Add Hormones and regularly read Tranifesto, his blog, especially his Ask Matt series, which were direct answers to questions he’s been asked.
He was such a good guy, so sweet, so caring, and so not into the arguments and infighting and all the rest.
I have to say it’s almost too hard to believe right now, but Matt, we will miss your voice of reason and that kind, kind face of yours.
She did remarry after the case that made her famous, which was only recently overturned by the Nikki Araguz case.
Her case brought a public spotlight onto the injustice of judges ruling on gender transition and marriage rights.
I’m glad at least to know that she saw so much change before she died.
… I’d want to use it just like Pete Seeger used his. In response to questions from HUAC (The House Unamerican Activities Committee), he said this:
“I decline to discuss, under compulsion, where I have sung, and who has sung my songs, and who else has sung with me, and the people I have known. I love my country very dearly, and I greatly resent this implication that some of the places that I have sung and some of the people that I have known, and some of my opinions, whether they are religious or philosophical, or I might be a vegetarian, make me any less of an American. I will tell you about my songs, but I am not interested in telling you who wrote them, and I will tell you about my songs, and I am not interested in who listened to them.”
He didn’t even plead the 5th, which he had the legal right to do and which many did.
I’ve never been a fan of folk music – I’m just not. But I’m awed and inspired by the lives of some of the remarkable men and women like Seeger who didn’t just sing about it – they lived it.
As if another side of the universe is heard from: Islan Nettles, a 21 year old trans woman, died of wounds inflicted Saturday night. She died yesterday in Harlem hospital. She and her friends were attacked by a group of men after the men realized they were trans.
A man was arrested, at least.
Why aren’t Chelsea Manning jokes funny? This is why.
PJ Torokvei was the head writer for WKRP in Cincinnati and also co-wrote Real Genius. Sorry to see you go, PJ, and I’m sorry you didn’t get very much life in after transition. She died on July 3rd from liver failure about a decade after transitioning at 50.
Here’s a lovely photo of her from her FB page, but otherwise, she became reclusive — but not without, the story has it, selling off her new virginity:
We talked many times that year as PJ decided to retreat into the privacy of her home and then eventually move up to a farm in Victoria, a return to her native Canada. Most of the correspondences from that point were via e-mail, her rapier wit still ever-present, even as they became fewer and farther apart. There were rumors that her friend Martin Short had put together a collection to auction off her newfound virginity. That could have been an urban myth — perhaps even fostered by Ms. Torokvei.
It sounds like she had a sense of humor but there was a lot of sad there, too. A few friends stood by her:
While I could never hope to understand the pain and sadness PJ experienced, I learned that friendship can come in any shape, size or color. And that my friend PJ was no different than my friend Peter.
There is a part of me that wishes, very much so, to have heard her describe transition. It’s only the comedians, after all, who tell the whole truth.