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Long Time, No Update...

Wow, long time no update.

As you can see, my plans for reviewing lit-ter-ah-chyoor were quickly abandoned...I have read a lot of great books recently, though, so if you wanna know...ask!

I was planning on spending the evening writing fiction but I wrote this instead. It's a letter to my state rep about the vote on tomorrow's bill to include "gender identity and expression" in the hate crimes legislation. I really hope it passes for many reasons...(A) it's the right thing to do, (B) hopefully that will get us kick-started on the gay marriage issue, and (c) IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO!

Cheers folks...



Dear ----------,
 
My name is --------- and I work and live in Rhode Island. I am a fairly recent Rhody transplant, having moved here for work four years ago. I have very much enjoyed getting to know the area and the folks that live here. My partner of nearly five years and I enjoy exploring the beaches and state parks on the weekends.
 
I appreciate the work that you have done to make Rhode Island a safer place from sexual predators and drunk drivers. Sexual predators and drunk drivers act without regard for the well-being of others. I would ask that during tomorrow's vote on RI-H5432, "An Act Related to State Affairs and Government - State Police," you again consider voting to protect innocent people from being harmed by those that would act without regard for the well-being of others. 
 
RI-H5432 acts to codify tolerance and ensure that Rhode Island continues to be a beacon of hope for all Americans, including transgender people. People can be incredibly unkind to those that do not conform to societal ideals of "masculine" and feminine." Folks that do not fit the currently acceptable ideals of "masculine" and "feminine" face the heartbreaking choice between making oneself happy through honest self-expression and making oneself safe by conforming to societal norms. There are many stories of transfolks out there that have been beaten, raped, and/or murdered because they chose not to deny their true selves - for their courage, they were rewarded with hate. I can understand that some folks may not understand what it means to be transgender, but no one should have the right to injure or kill someone because they don't agree with that person's gender identity or expression.
 
The past fifty to one hundred years have seen gradual changes in gender roles and "acceptable" behaviors. In the not-so-distant past, many women did not work outside of their homes or even wear pants in public. Many men would never have dreamed of being a stay at home dad or envision themselves cheering on their daughters as well as their sons in after-school sports games. There are many, many other examples of shifts in gender roles throughout history, both modern and ancient. These shifts occur when small groups of pioneers fight each sterotype, and these pioneers bear the brunt of society's antagonism until the paradigm shift occurs. Transgender persons are pioneers for the right to express themselves as they truly are, and a simple Google search will reveal just how many have paid the ultimate price from bearing the brunt of society's antagonism. Protection under the hate crimes law may not deter these horrible crimes, but it will help provide justice to those Americans that refuse to pretend to be something they're not.  
 
My father always told me that if you couldn't make someone's day better, then you at least shouldn't try to make it worse. Protecting Rhode Islanders' right to express themselves as they truly are harms no one and protects many - it would give many people a better day. I would ask your help in protecting all Rhode Islanders from the vicious effects of hate.
 
I appreciate your time and I wish you a happy Spring. Thank you for your hard work.

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