Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia. June 1992.
This was my first pride event. I marched in the parade with Atlanta Gender Explorations, the local trans support group. It was thrilling to be surrounded by so many loving, supportive queer people.
If you are not a marginalized person, you will never understand how wonderful that feels. It's like the most glorious feeling of joy and freedom. Better than sex. Better than great sex.
I had lost so much when I came out just a few months earlier. My family, my friends, my marriage, my home, my job, and my church. But now I had new family, new friends, and a new home. And I was being reborn in the right kind of body.
It was a scary time because it was still a very dangerous time to be trans. I hadn't yet been able to change my name or gender marker on my driver's license. I still struggled to find work.
But there was also a lot of hope. The world was changing slowly for the better. And it did get better. A lot better. Until it didn't.
This year, if feels like we've gone from being hated to being hunted. The GOP is doing everything it can to eradicate the trans community, including banning gender-affirming care, not only for kids, but also for adults in some states.
They do this not to protect anyone, but to inflict suffering and death on an already brutalized community. Children aren't being molested at drag queen story hours. They're being molested by preachers.
Consider the sex abuse scandals in the Catholic, Baptist, Anglican, and Mormon churches. Tens of thousands of children molested for decades, with few perpetrators going to prison for their crimes. But do you see people trying to ban children from churches? No.
The number one cause of death among children by far is guns. But these MAGA fanatics won't lift a finger to stop the carnage. Because they don't care about protecting children. They care about hurting transgender and other queer people. The cruelty is the point.
The first "Pride parade" was a protest march on the anniversary of the Stonewall riots. And sadly, I think that's where we need to focus on energy. The party's over. It's time to protest and throw a brick. To fight back and say no more!
I write these books to entertain. But also to share what life is like from a transgender perspective.