I skimmed through all the posts and once again saw pretty Gwen and as always it tugged at my heart and a tear to my eye. Maybe her story has always affected me so because it occurred at the time I was beginning transition and really hit home, so sad, so senseless. As you all know the insanity continues. As some of you may not know once again this past July yet another young woman was murdered by a lover who found it too much to deal with his own hate when he found she was transsexual.
Allen Ray Andrade, 32, is currently charged with second-degree murder in the death of Angie Zapata. They had met and she invited him over. She did what a lot of us do and I don't want to hear any discussion of whether she should of told him first, I don't believe you should have to. She let him stay the night on the couch. The next day while she was out he started snooping around and saw some pics that made him wonder. When she got home he confronted her and grabbed her crotch. He then proceeded to beat her and grabbed a fire extinguisher to club her with. As she lay dying he left and stole her car to drive away. Her family found her dead. When apprehended Allen exclaimed: "I killed it".
As a kid I found something in a Playboy of all things LOL that let me know there were people like me, that were male but knew they were really female. Not crossdressers, not drag queens, but women. When I first started transition years ago there was still little in the way of resources. But I did find a book that I still will say today is bar none the best book for transsexuals. It is titled: In Search of Eve, by Anne Bolin. 1988. She is an Anthropologist who took an anthropologists approach to studying a group of transsexuals. The book goes into all aspects of transition including hormone regimes, surgeries, etc. It isn't watered down like so many of the books I have read seem to be for me. If you are a woman that is transsexual at any stage of transition I would highly recommend it.
I have been all over the country. I am not going to pull any punches here. I will be frank with you. When I transitioned I went from a highly respected engineer to sleeping on a friends floor in a crack infested neighborhood in downtown Minneapolis. If it wouldn't of been for people like Morgan O'sullivan and Jendeen Forberg and a couple lesbian friends I probably wouldn't be here right now. (I know that you know them Bruce
) My immediate family, God blesses them. My saving grace though came when I met my best friend, Danielle. Her and I have carried each other many a time over the years.
And do I still have my faith? Yes, most importantly I believe God has been there when I have really needed that intervention. I don't think God just manipulates each move but certainly has a plan for each person. God gives us free will and shit happens. But when things really get overwhelming, he may intervene. I believe he brought Danielle and I together, it is rare to have such a friend. Find yourselves a friend people, it's important!!
It takes a lot of hard work to succeed at this and a lot of us do things we have to to survive. Whether that is sex work, taking menial jobs or just relying on others to help us through it all is survival. I think the most important thing is to find a friend you can count on. And trannys are a shady bunch so good luck. So I don't judge anyone for what they have to do to survive and succeed, I have been there. And there is precious little good advice for transitioning. Allanah Starr said something once that has stuck with me throughout the years: "I didn't want to wind up busted lookin, livin under a bridge somewhere and workin at McDonalds the rest of my life." Well, neither did I, so I didn't.
I am now doing more, am more successful than I ever was before and have found out that all things are possible. Yet every day I face those same demons: did they clock me? am I going to be fired for being TS? can I ever really find love? And so with that I know that I must still push on as an activist, a voice and work with others to help overcome this huge thing out there called prejudice, homophobia, transphobia. Because even if it isn't currently affecting me as much as it once did it certainly is affecting a lot of other GLBT people. And it definitely has adversely affected the families of: Gwen, Angie, Tracy, Brenda, Brandon Teena and a lot of others.
Peace and Love