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Gwen’s Little Spot

The mental scribblings and daily doings of one transgender woman, writer, and activist, with content somehow deemed good enough to win a 2004 “Queery“ award.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Posted: 12:00:00 PM
Heaven holds a place for those who prey

I just have to share this photo.

Preying Mantis

I took this one a few minutes ago, when I noticed this female mantid hanging out on the gate. She was kind enough to pose for me, and I was able to get this rather nice shot.

For the photo geeks out there, this was shot with a Canon PowerShot A60, using both portrait mode and macro mode. No flash. Colour adjusted in Photoshop 7.

Oh, and for the curious: that particular insect is about 6" long.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 11:41:00 AM
Friday fun

Oh look, Friday already!

It’s a pretty good helping again this week — but bearing in mind that I’ll be in Iowa next week and there won’t be a Friday links, well, be sure to save yourself a few!

Anyway, asshat. It’s a twofer, all in one article! I particularly love the first story, about the woman who is suing her neighbor — for leaving their trash cans out front. Seems as if she managed to fall into the receptacle while moving them. I suspect I know where this lawsuit is likely to end up, too.

Now then, the other stuff.

Wow. Just go to this one: it’ll move you.
Pets + Military uniforms = words that shouldn’t be put together.
Mime + Ministry = Two more words like the above.
Goatse + cookies = WTF?
Electric + ...oh never mind, just remember the magic.
Your hot line to the almighty?
Dean Martin arrests “Frank Sinatra” for DUI!
Rock, paper, scissors... and now nuke, cockroach... alien?
I bet these folks will really clean up!
Because you never know when you might need an exploding squirrel.
Has William Bennett seen this yet?
There’s gotta be a million ways to be cruel! (QuickTime required)
That Jesus... He’s such a prankster!
I’m a penis! (Flash required)
Ultimate evil meets interlocking blocks.
Now that’s some bum wine!
A car that’s rarer than any Rambler.
Why anime isn’t reality.
They really need a OS X version of this.
Now that’s a pisser. (NSFW)
Incentivize interactive vortals.
Find the brownie!
Hey sorry... but I gotta go...

And yes, at the end as always, the link I always ask you to click! Have a good weekend, ya’ll!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Posted: 2:06:00 PM
The reluctant media whore

Over the last couple days I’ve been interviewed and such by The Advocate, for a piece on anti-transgender violence. Apparently they are intending to use much of what I had to say, so much so that they are going to send a photographer to shoot me.

I got a review copy of Citizen Lobbyist in the mail today. Unlike many trans documentaries — especially ones where I appear — I opted to sit down and watch it.

It wasn’t bad, a bit rough in places, somewhat unfocused — but not bad. It definitely caught some good stuff, including plenty of footage of the “closed door” meeting at the HRC offices. It also has something that no documentary film has in it: shots of me smiling and laughing. This is, from a personal standpoint, a good thing.

I still have two others to watch, including Beautiful Daughters. This was one that was shot around V-Day in 2004, and which at one time included me as a primary. From all indications, I am absent from said film. That’s actually fine by me, disappointing, yes — but fine.

That might surprise some, given the amount of media I am involved with, including writing my own darned column. I suspect that I’m a hard transperson to not find in print.

That said, I really don’t enjoy seeing myself in the media. I have a very difficult time, for example, listening to radio or television interviews of myself. I am always somewhat embarrassed by it all.

This might beg the question, of course, as to why I bother to do it at all. I guess it’s out of obligation, or because I feel that I have to for whatever reason. If one is asking about anti-transgender violence, then it would be logical for me to be interviewed — and in order to keep the topic in people’s minds, I need to avail myself of this.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Posted: 12:27:00 PM
Hey everybody, it’s music (quiz) time!

This was originally in the “quiz and meme” LiveJournal of mine, but I decided it was at least quasi worth putting in the real one. I had to do some quick updating, though, as I added a tune or two.

I only have about ten hours of music in the library. It’s not due to a lack of music to put in there: it’s just that I tend to be old-fashioned, and tend to just stick a music CD into the combo Drive and play my tunes that way. Still, there are some things (many of which will leave many of my friends list scratching their heads) that are in there. Perhaps this says something about me, perhaps it doesn’t.

How many songs?
178

Sort by song title:
First: A Shot in the Dark — Boardwalkers
Last: Young Hearts Run Free — Candi Staton

Sort by time:
First: A’Capella Ditty — Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo (0:52)
Last: Jesus of Suburbia — Green Day (9:34)

Sort by artist:
First: 5.6.7.8’s
Last: Zombies

Sort by album:
First: 90215 — Yes
Last: Young Hearts Run Free — Candi Staton

Earliest Added:
Yip Roc Heresy — Slim Gaillard (2005/08/13)

Last Added:
Candy-O — The Cars (2005/09/27)

Top Five Most Played Songs:
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite — The Beatles
Bossa Nova USA — Dave Brubeck
Blue Canary — Frank Chickens
Good Morning Girl — Journey
Chicken Kona Kai — Paul Page with his Island-Aires

First song that comes up on Shuffle:
Those Were The Days — Sandie Shaw

Find “sex.” How many songs come up?
0

Find “death.” How many songs come up?
0

Find “love.” How many songs come up?
5

Last song in “Purchased Music”:
Through The Iris — The Autumn Effect (it was free in the iTunes store last week)

Artist with Most Albums:
The Beatles (4)

Cheers,
Gwen

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Monday, September 26, 2005

Posted: 5:02:00 PM

Sylvia Snippets

• Well, we’ve lost Bob Denver and Don Adams within the last couple weeks. At this rate, will Larry Storch be far behind? Seems like this has been the year for a lot of vocal talent and TV sitcom stars — particularly from the 1960s.

• With the rest of our mail today was a flyer for “Bible Man Live.” I’m not sure if I want to laugh of cry over that. Has religion actually been dumbed down this far? No, don’t tell me... I already know. I can tell from the flyer.

Incidentially, did I mention that Bible Man is protrayed by Willie Aames? Ya, that one. I guess he got "zapped." Still, I wonder if Bible man will fight Mark Hamill as the Cocknocker? I can only hope.

• In only a week I’ll be in Iowa, giving the latest revision of my presentation on anti-transgender violence, and performing my duties as Matron of Honor at my Friends’ commitment ceremony.

It’ll be nice to have Bon with me this time: normally, she’s unable to make it on the various trips and treks I make, so it’ll be dandy to have her with me.

Oh, and the ceremony will be at the same time as that Bible Man show. I guess I’ll have to miss the pyrotechnics, laser light show, and battle between good and evil planned for Pittsburg, CA. Aw, shucks.

• Also upcoming on the social calendar will be the “Hallowe’en Fiesta” at Copia (which apparently stands for the American Center for Wine Food, and the Arts) in Napa. That’s on October 28th, at 8:00 p.m.

So what is a “Hallowe’en Fiesta?” It’s an event put on by Thrilleville, featuring a screening of the 1963 horror/lucha libre classic, “Santo vs. the Vampire Women,” and also including a set by Pollo Del Mar, a psychedelic surf band — and for only a mere six bucks.

• New Brini Maxwell episodes are about a month away! Callooh! Callay!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Posted: 12:56:00 PM
A quick update

I had a headache creep up on me last evening, and it is still hanging around today. Not fun. It made it a challenge to sleep, too.

Of course, yesterday was the usual provision run, which this time included a stop by a local farmer’s stand. That’s one of the benefits of living on the edges of farm country, after all.

So it was off to Smith Family Farm (no relation), which usually has a fine crop of tomatoes, peppers, squash, and other good things. Yesterday was no exception, with a beautiful crop of peppers at our disposal. Here’s a couple shots I took, just to share the bounty.

Peppers

We also tried out one of the new restaurants that’s cropped up in the neighborhood. L & L Hawaiian Barbecue. It opened in the last couple weeks. Sadly, even though the place seems to do okay for itself, it just didn’t set well with Bon or I. Maybe we just ordered the wrong stuff, I dunno.

Anyway, today will be mostly work. I’ve got a few things to accomplish, including my next column and such. More later.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Friday, September 23, 2005

Posted: 9:10:00 AM
Super Mega Friday Links!

Here’s those Friday links — and this time, it’s a doozie!

First off, the lone asshat! The lesson to take is this one: when looking for accomplices for a robbery, don’t advertise on a job posting site.

Now then, here’s a whole mess of fun links!

“I fingered myself, am I gay?” (Possibly NSFW)
Okay, this iPod thing has gone way too far.
Quite geeky, a bit obsessive... but still kinda cool.
Can you feel the love? (MP3 player required)
The intelligent design crowd will love it. (Flash required)
Behold, the men of the Internet!
I think I’ve been through that neighborhood.
Little Golden Books embrace their dark side.
Gastropods Gone Wild! (Possibly NSFW)
Velvety goodness? (Some NSFW)
This’ll make you all weepy-like.
Uuume Mecyakucya ni shite! (NSFW)
It’s gotta be the WTF link of the week.
Ya, it’s clearly a parody site.
Don’t forget to wear your rubbers! (Possibly NSFW)
Who knew that speech bubbles could be so entertaining?
Heavy-duty mash-up goodness! (MP3 player required)
Hire Hello Kitty as your therapist! (Flash required)
I THINK THIS IS A FUNY LINK!111 WTF LOL
People for the Ethical Treatment of... Aliens?
This shouldn’t be as funny as it is. (Flash required)

If you’ve made it this far, or even if you gave up ten links ago, then why not click just one more wafer-thin link, for old time’s sake? I’d appreciate it.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Posted: 1:53:00 PM
Star-Bellied Sneeches

So I was bouncing around something the other night, only partially (but certainly inspired in some way by) because of that recent ‘blog entry.

This is actually something I’ve been bouncing around for some time, since a friend of mine pointed out that every transgender autobiography makes a point somewhere in the text that the author is not like others of their ilk.

It seems as if the one commonality amongst all transgender people is that each will tell you that they are not like all the other transgender people.

I’m not just talking “out” versus “stealth,” or even “cross-dresser” versus “transsexual,” mind you. It is as if every shade of nuance is heightened just that extra little bit.

“We’re nothing alike; you are kelly green, while I am spring green.”

This is what makes it do difficult to do coalition building within the community. Most other community groups know how to et aside their differences for a common good.

(...and here, everyone thought I just talked about my car ‘round these parts.)

Edit: I decided I wasn’t clear when I first put this out there. Lemme add just a touch more.

I am, in no way, saying that people need to sublimate their individuality. Far from it: I happen to enjoy being an individual, and know that I too fit just fine into the stuff I’m talking about. I’m pointing out out, but I’m not excluding myself in the process.

One of the great things about humans in general is our differences, it’s also one of the things I love about transfolks in general.

The difficulty is, however, that our individuality can also stand in the way of working together. I’m not talking a borg-like hive here, but just being able to work towards common goals, as well as supporting each other when those goals are not all that common.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Posted: 6:37:00 PM
In other news...

Now that I’ve got that all off my chest, I should also add that this scary-ass transwoman is working with another writer/photographer, on a book exploring transwomen and notions of femininity. She’s done some dandy work on transmen, so I’m happy to assist on the new one.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 5:00:00 PM
Don’t get saucy with me, Béarnaise...

The uncertainty of the weather outside if a good indication of where my mind is today.

With the trial over, I can finally get back into a routine. Unfortunately, the trial pretty much wiped out whatever routine I used to have. Hence, I’m kinda in a “floating” place right now. It’s weird.

But I didn’t start this post to talk about that. I started it because I wanted to have myself a good old fashioned rant.

Ya know, I spent a bit of time pondering the previously-mentioned ‘blog entry. If anything, I found out that the reaction I have to it is probably most in line with indignation. That I could be chosen as the cause of this transwoman’s failings just makes me more than a little peevish.

I also know that she’s not the only one with this sort of view, though yes, it’s the first time yours truly has been in this mix. I’ve heard some MTFs gripe for years about how “activists” make their lives hard for them.

Her point, of course, is that us out trannies make it hard for her stealth tranny butt to not get read by ol’ Joe Schmoe. A point that, well, I have to call bullsh!t. I’m not stopping anyone from having the life they want — now stop feeling that you have to condemn my life in order to have yours.

Of course, I also realise — particularly from the way the original post was written — that she’s not so much griping about me, but about some concept/construct that she’s just so happened to label with my name (and, yes, Anne Lawrence’s).

As such, it’s not what we do, but what we’re perceived as. We’re a “thing,” of sorts, and as I already know from the Remembering Our Dead work, “things” can be treated a lot different from living flesh. That said, I remain a human being, not a construct. I’ve got enough issues with that whole thing aside from anything I’m writing in this post.

I’m not the model for male to female transsexuals in the world, and no-one is gonna look at you and say, “oh look, it’s one of dem freaks just like that Gwen Smith person.” 99.44% of the world doesn’t even know, much less care, who Gwen Smith is. Frankly, I doubt that most who even have clue #1 of my existence would use me as the template for just what a transgender person is. There’s plenty of other examples out there which are far, far more a part of the cultural consciousness than me, and most of those are probably far more “damaging” to Miss Thing’s ability to avoid getting read.

I am, at best, a big fish in a small pond. There are very, very few times when I’ve ended up somewhere beyond that pool — The O’Reilly appearance would be one — but by and large I’m not known outside of the community itself.

It ain’t me whose to blame for anyone’s problems. I can’t shoulder anyone’s damned cross, ya know — I’ve got my own. If you have an issue out there in the big world, honey, it ain’t because of anything I’ve done — it’s all yours. If you are worried about what some person on the other side of the country has supposedly done to make your life difficult, then maybe you’ve got bigger issues in your life to fret about.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Posted: 8:49:00 PM
The whole world is a tuxedo and you are a pair of brown shoes.

So Google has a blog search thing now. It doesn’t yet pick up this particular feed, however, probably due to the permissions I had on the page (I’ve fixed that). Naturally, in order to find that out, I had to do a vanity search. One can discover the most interesting things this way.

For one, a lot of the posts were about the Araujo trial, including a lot of reprints of things I’ve written on it, or quotes from the various articles that have been out there. Of note was this person, who seems to think I deserve a medal for being at the trial. I don’t, really, but I appreciate the thought.

Of course, not everyone is so magnanimous: consider this individual, for whom I seem to have personally ruined the life of. Hey, sorry about that, but it is what us “scary-ass transwomen” do with our time, after all. If anything, I’m glad the next post after was a discussion of her getting help with her shame issues (which are, y’know, kinda probably what some people might’ve meant when they said “internalised transphobia,” I think). Did I hafta be lumped in with Anne Lawrence, though?

At any rate, I hope this little tool does indeed eventually pick up this little ‘blog: a search function for such would save a lot of time, especially when I’m trying to find stuff I’ve blathered on about before.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Friday, September 16, 2005

Posted: 9:27:00 PM
Wind up your radio...

A quick programming note: I’ll be on GenderTalk tomorrow night around 9:20 p.m. EDT. I suspect that it’ll be available on their site at some point after this.

Also, TransFM will be having me on this Sunday, at 9:00 p.m. EDT. Not surprisingly, it'll be the same general topic.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 9:09:00 AM
Friday link goodness!

Hey look, it’s finally Friday — and time for those Friday links!

Of course, it’s time for a little asshat. This time, it’s this unhappy consumer: seems as if she was upset at the hitman she hired for not getting the job done. So what did she do? Why call the cops, of course!

Also, here’s a handful of New Orleans based puckered porkpies, in this fine collection of quotations about Katrina. Let me also add this: “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job... cleaning out your desk.”

Now then, onto the fun stuff!

Flying Spaghetti Monster: the game! (Flash required)
Finally, a good use for clip art.
An iPod I can actually afford!
One way to flip people off. (Possibly NSFW)
This just seems all so very wrong.
The fun you can have with Altoids tins nowadays.
I guess he’s just not my type. (Flash required)
Lists like this are so clichéd.
Could this be called a period picture? (MPEG Player required)
Party like Degas and Poe!
Rock, paper, scissors... lightning, dragon, sponge... etc.?
I love my Macintosh, but not this way! (NSFW)

Finally, yes, how about a clickie or two on the ol’ Freedom Forum. I’d appreciate it!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Posted: 7:36:00 PM
Quiz me, Amadeus!

Tagged by satoribee. I’ll skip on tagging anyone else just now, but all are invited to play along if ya feel like it.

List ten songs that you are currently digging. It doesn’t matter what genre they are from, whether they have words, or even if they’re no good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying right now. Post these instructions, the artists, and the ten songs in your blog. Then tag five other people to see what they’re listening to.

In no particular order.

1. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) - Nancy Sinatra
As opposed to the Cher version, which is nice but not as haunting at this one. Ya, so it’s from the Kill Bill soundtrack, too, which you know I’ve been grooving on quite a bit lately.

2. Orbit In Space - Bill Gibbs
Very hard to find, very funky/goovy. I downloaded this one a while back, but only have been able to get into it with the new computer.

3. The 3rd Man Theme - My Three Suns
I love to the original zither version, but this brings together a “surf” guitar, an organ, and an accordion. How can ya beat that? This one is available currently at Planet Extabay.

4. Wraith Pinned To The Mist (and other games) - Of Montreal
This is a frightfully catchy tune. I linked to the video a while back, and had to grab the song (it’s on their website).

5. Sakura - Rene Paulo
A nice piano version of this traditional Japanese song. I always liked the tune, but this one is just so dramatic.

6. Bells For Her - Tori Amos
A friend of mine got me back into Into The Pink after many years, and this particular disc was a regular pick for going to the court in Hayward. This has long been my favourite song on the album, ‘cuz I love the discordance to the music.

7. Tell Me Why - The Beatles
It’s in my current playlist, and is one I always find myself having to sing along with. So fabulously peppy.

8. Feel Good Inc. - Gorillaz
Groovy stuff, what more can I say?

9. Lady Stardust - David Bowie
Actually, it’s hard to narrow it down to one from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. I’ve been spinning the album a bit as of late. This is one of many (including “Five Years” and “Rock and Roll Suicide”) that I’ve been grooving on lately.

10. Twisted Nerve - Bernard Hermann
More from Kill Bill. Infinitely whistlable, especially given the song is mostly whistled. You too can pretend you are Elle Driver (eyepatch not included).

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 6:48:00 PM
Queen of All Media?

Did you ever have one of those weeks when you felt you were all over the place?

I already mentioned all the articles that quoted me the other night. One of those, of course, was from the Associated Press, and ended up all over the freakin’ place. Seems like everyone picked that one up. The San Francisco Chronicle also had a follow-up piece today, focusing on the other Bay Area cases which, yes, quotes me and uses materials (with permission) from the Remembering Our Dead Project.

The GLBT papers came out today, which means yes, more quoting. Of note was a piece by Zak Szymanski in the Bay Area Reporter, as well as a much smaller mention in a piece by Joe Dignan in the Gay City News.

This is also the same week as my Transmissions column on the case hit the papers (well, some of them: Between The Lines still seems to be two weeks behind, and published the previous column). Oh, and if I’ve not already said enough, yet another piece of mine on the case, over on PlanetOut, just hit their site.

I’m everywhere, I tells ya!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Posted: 5:56:00 PM
The Iron Snippets

• This has been a long week, and it’s only Wednesday. Then again, when I was coming home on Monday night, I was glad it was Friday. My, are my days screwy.

• This morning I had to get up a little early, as I’ve been informed of the likely vote on the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (a very lengthy name which I think I’ll just call a “hate crimes bill”) in the United States House of Representatives. My job was to get folks to call their representative. A small cog in a rather large wheel, but I’m pleased to note that the bill did pass.

I don’t expect it to go much further, though. I definitely don’t expect to see this thing become law under this administration. Still, its passage is key: it’s the first time a trans-inclusive bill has been voted on, and the first time such has passed. Key, given the number of times we’ve been told that congress “isn’t ready” to pass anything with the word “transgender” in it.

• My next next column will probably be on that bill. My next column comes out tomorrow and is, not surprisingly, on the Gwen Araujo murder case. This is the one I had to revise once the verdict came in.

• I got a nice note from Imelda Guerrero, Gwen Araujo’s aunt. I’ll excerpt from it here, as it did go out on a semi-public mailing list.

Gwen, I believe there is a reason for everything, our Gwen is the reason you came into our lives. I believe if she was still alive, we would have met you eventually. It is honor to have you in our lives, and we all love and appreciate you very much: words will never be enough for the things that you do for this community. I want you to know that myself and my family will always be there for anything and everything that you may ever need from us.

I’m not even going to try and tell you how touched I am by that. It also vastly offsets some of the weird mail I got after all the media coverage, informing me about how Gwen “deceived” her killers, and should have known what she was getting into. Missing, of course, the most important detail: no one deserves to be murdered.

• Misti ([info]misti_de_novo), I get to keep my shiny nickel. That link we discussed was posted at the beginning of July.

• I got a “care package” from my mom today. She found a couple goodies for me, and also found some of my old stuff sitting around. Well, some of it was my stuff, as she also sent at least one thing I recognize as my sisters, and a couple of other items that most definitely weren’t anything I ever had much of an interest in. Still, I appreciate, and I’ll find a place for the stuff I want/need.

• I also got a nice padded envelope from my best friend from high school/college, containing a plethora of handy-dandy music. Mostly English Folk, with one “mix disk” in the batch. I will have to reciprocate.

• Finally, after more than a year of downtime, I’ve got a home for the WAV files on my old “Sounds of Disneyland” website. Some day I’ll have to do some serious work with that rather dusty HTML, still, at least now the site is usable, and I can stop getting note from people who wonder where the files are.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Posted: 1:34:00 PM
More words on the Araujo trial

I suspect there may be many who’ve wondered when I might mention the Araujo verdict in my blog. I am, admittedly, only now getting to the point where I can. Not because I have had any real problem assimilating it, but because I’ve been solidly busy. Well, aside from some sleep last night — which, yes, included dreams about dealing with the media around this trial.

I also find I’m not sure what else to say. In the local newspapers today — the San Francisco Chronicle, the ANG newspapers, the San Jose Mercury News, and the Associated Press — you’ll see me quoted from the press conferences and the sidebar interviews I did last evening in both Hayward and San Francisco.

I’ve also done my share of writing on the subject over the last few hours. My Transmissions column I wrote on Sunday, about waiting for the verdict, was rewritten last night. I also wrote a small amount of trial notes, which went up on LiveJournal and some of the trans mailing lists I’m on. Finally, just a few minutes ago, I finished a piece for PlanetOut on the verdict.

Add all that with, well, everything else I’ve written on the trial over the last three years and, well, it hard to pen more. I went to give a touch more here, and a couple photos I shot yesterday.

First off, I cannot say enough about the family. These are some of the most loving, most caring, most compassionate folks I’ve met. They’re also a lot of fun to hang out with.

I’ve gotten to know them well in the last three years, and am a member of their chosen family at this point. That still amazes me at times, knowing that I fully expected me to be the last person they’d want in there life: a transwoman named Gwen, who discusses murder.

Nevertheless, I’ve been with them for a couple years, taking part in public spectacle and private moments. I waited with them outside the courtroom, held their babies, got gently razzed a time or two, razzed right back, and generally felt like one of them.

I was, of course, there yesterday, and waited with the family over lunch and outside the courtroom. It was out there that I caught this moment between Sylvia, Gwen’s mom, and Pearl, Gwen’s sister. See? Sylvia is an amazingly strong woman, supporting her adult daughter on her lap!

Pearl and Sylvia

Yesterday, in an echo of the beginning of opening statements in the trial — so long ago now — David Guerrero stepped out of a packed courtroom that was awaiting the verdict. There were two seats available in the room, and he pointed at me and another family friend amongst the throng outside (you can see some of that below), and made sure we were in that room. As has been the case, I sat in the courtroom alongside the family.

After the verdict was read I, along with the rest of the family and a handful of others who have become part of the family, were shunted off into a private chamber in the D.A.’s office. We talked about the trial there, we discussed the future with D.D.A. Lamerio, and we recouped and regrouped for the media circus that awaited us outside. I felt a touch conspicuous at this as well, being a member of the very thing we were all steeling ourselves to face outside the doors.

Press Conference

The family took center stage outside, and I demurred to them, taking some of the photos on this page. Shots of the family, the D.D.A., and the family’s lawyer, Gloria Allred, speaking to the media — or yes, and pictures of the media shooting them.

The circus came to town

The level of media coverage was insane. In a couple of cases, the family had to push through the cameramen and reporters to get to where they needed to be. I was also swarmed again, a couple of times, once the “official” part of the press conference at the courthouse was completed.

Things were much the same at the LGBT center in San Francisco, though less intense. It’s from both of those that all those quotes came from.

So, for now, it’s over. I’ve got some more paperwork to get through, including a press release or two. Past that, I’m going to take things easy for a day or two. There is still a lot to do, even on this case.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Saturday, September 10, 2005

Posted: 2:28:00 PM
Moments in farce that don’t involve raw chicken.

The other day, while looking through photos on the computer, I came across a few of me from a couple years back. Specifically, I noted the blouse I was wearing, one I’ve not worn for, well, a couple years.

So I opted to pull it out and give it a whirl. It seemed to fit okay, but being a stretch fabric, I was unsure. So, after putting it on, I walked into the computer room and asked Bon about it — giving the immortal line, “does this top make me look fat?”

Bon turned from her computer to look at me, with a somewhat horrified look on her face, and said, “this is a trick question, isn’t it?”

Cheers,
Gwen

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Friday, September 09, 2005

Posted: 10:24:00 PM
More on the Araujo trial

I wrote this for distribution on a few news lists, and decided to put it here. Not included in the below is some of the great conversations I had all day with Gwen’s family, let alone some of the discussions with other members of the media and Gloria Allred. I also will pass on getting into how good The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars and Under The Pink sounded today on the way to and from the court. Anyway...

Verdicts remained sealed on two of the three defendants, and the jury has continued deliberations on the third. We do not know who is who.

Yesterday afternoon there were some raised voices reported from the jury deliberation chamber, nothing was overheard, just “raised voices.” It was also towards the end of the day that the jury asked the judge if a deadlock on the hate crimes enhancement would affect the already sealed verdicts. It would not.

This morning, early in the day, the jurors asked the judge if a deadlock on the third defendant would affect the already sealed verdicts. Again, the judge indicated that it would not.

After this point, the jury continued in deliberation, having lunch brought in and working until 4:00 p.m. There were no further reports of any raised voices or such, and the jurors appeared to be serious, but not visibly angry/upset/etc.

Deliberations -- and waiting -- continue on Monday at 9:00 a.m. Yes, I intend to be there.

Now then, some analysis from a non-legal mind.

It would make sense that, if they are pondering the hate crime enhancement (given the letter to the judge) that the sealed verdicts are guilty verdicts. To what level, of course, we do not know -- but definitely guilty. You cannot, of course, “enhance” a not guilty verdict.

Common wisdom is that one of the two sealed verdicts has Michael Magidson’s name on it. It is unclear which one they are stuck on, but there is much speculation that it is Jose Merel they are currently unsure on.

The questions regarding deadlocking were, of course, disheartening. This said, they did work diligently throughout the day, and did not just go home after tossing up their hands. Hence, they are taking things seriously, not just taking the easy way out.

Onward to next week.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Thursday, September 08, 2005

Posted: 10:14:00 PM
Fun Stuff!

It’s a bit early, but as I’ll be out tomorrow (and you’ve gotten these late a couple times lately), here’s the Friday, er, Thursday links!

First off, no asshats this week. I think we’ve seen enough asshattery lately, with the stuff on the Gulf Coast and up in Sacramento to last for a while. Instead, let’s plow right into the fun stuff!

It’s knit! It’s wire! Why, it’s both!
Put them internets in their place!
Cats, in sinks. La la la la la la la...
Geeky Trek goodness! (Window Media required)
That’s one F**k of a list! (NSFW)
Aaaahhhh! Make it stop!
This goes a long way towards explaining why I still have Gort.
Not for the easily offended.
I swear, you can do anything with duct tape.
The coolest movie I’ve seen in a long time! (QuickTime required)

There ya go! If you like ‘em, or even if you don’t, why not give a clickie or two over to the ol’ Freedom Forum? I’d muchly appreciate!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 7:08:00 PM
The light at the end of the tunnel may be you.

Today, the jury reached two verdicts in the Gwen Araujo murder trial. Of course, they are sealed until the third verdict is in, but that could come soon — probably tomorrow. At least that is what many suspect.

I’ll be down at the court tomorrow, just waiting. I won’t be alone, as many of the family will also be there, just waiting. That’s been the mantra this week.

I mentioned writing something about the pending veto of the gender-neutral marriage bill. I’m disappointed in the Governor, but I’m not at all surprised. The guy has something like a 36% approval rating, his special election is in shambles, and he’s therefore gotta play to his base.

There is something else I thought of, though. If/when he does veto this, it could — if people play it right — take some of the steam out of the fight to amend the California constitution.

Think of the fact that the argument they’ve put forth is that Proposition 22 didn’t go far enough, and they need stronger protections. Now, basically, Schwarzenegger is saying that he won’t sign because of Proposition 22, well, that’s gotta help defeat their argument, no?

Eh, I’m clutching at straws, trying to find a silver liming on a very gray storm cloud. I just hope that somewhere down the line people can stop playing Ping-Pong with my marriage rights.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Posted: 12:30:00 PM
Photographs and memories

I couldn’t sleep last night, as a result, I’m tired and out of sorts today.

I’m still waiting. I hate to wait. Then again, I would rather have a thorough jury than a slip-shod one.

Yesterday they re-examined the rope that was used to bind and strangle Gwen Araujo. Friday, they had a re-read of some of Jason Cazares testimony. If anything, they seem to be asking for more than the last jury. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but I think it’s a bit better.

One of the things I’ve been doing — mainly because it really doesn’t require a lot of brain power or such — is working on the address book on this drive, as well as go through all the old digital photos on the drive. Specifically, all the shots folks have sent me, so I can include their photo in the address book.

Aside: I love how clear Photoshop preview icons are in OS X, particularly at their full size. Works like an image browser, which is very handy.

At any rate, what I’m discovering is how few folks I used to be in contact with regularly have slipped away. There are people who I have photos of who, for the life of me, I can’t recall why they sent ‘em to me. Likewise, there are folks who were imported into the new address book that I can’t place.

Some of these folks I knew back in my days as a chat hostess on America Online, and when I was off of there, well, so was that connection. Yet the e-mail and IM connection works both ways, and I clearly haven’t kept in as good contact with folks either.

This is something I’ve gotta work on. I’ve already started sending notes to some of the folks I have contact addresses for, trying to at least do my best to say “howdy” every so often.

Of course, given all that’s been happening in the world at large, maybe it’s a good idea to keep up with folks.

Meanwhile... I’m still waiting. More soon, possibly including something on the gender-neutral marriage bill.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 11:25:00 AM
Rashomon for dummies

I find it interesting to look at the various takes on the recent house party, from those on LiveJournal and such. Here they are:

• gwenners: Party Time! Excellent!

• jaquiregina: End Of A Weekend

• mcbrennan: Dispatches from the road, 3:45 am edition

• misti_de_novo: Thank you Gwen and Bonk!

• satoribee: Anyone got a spare half mil?

If anything, everyone made the same ol’ oral joke as I, and the astro weenie ball was a hit.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Posted: 4:03:00 PM
Another quiz, some more answers

So Emily ([info]emilydm) tagged me. Hence, my response.

Write 20 random facts about yourself then tag the same number of people as minutes it takes you to write the facts.

1. I was born on the cusp between Cancer and Leo
2. I have an “L” shaped scar on my left foot, courtesy of an accident with a broken curtain rod.
3. The first time I appeared on radio was when I was 6 years old; my first time on television was at age 13 or so.
4. My favourite Power Puff Girl is Buttercup.
5. Apart from Idgie, I have had two cats: T.B. and Ebony: this doesn’t include all the other cats that our family had when I was growing up.
6. While in the office, an inflatable flying toaster hangs over my head. No sword of Damocles for me.
7. I prefer Autumn to any other season.
8. My first “action” as an activist was in my Senior year of high school.
9. I memorised Hamlet’s soliloquy in high school; I still remember most of it.
10. I tend to stack the dishes chromatically.
11. Nude photos of me are touring South America, and are currently on the way to Buenos Aires.
12. I almost lost my left eye when I was a kid.
13. I wrote for my high school paper, and still have copies of a couple of my pieces.
14. I grew up roughly three blocks from where they made “Press On” nails.
15. One of my all-time favourite arcade video games is Stun Runner.
16. My dream car, when I was growing up, was not a Rambler, but a 1966 Ford Mustang.
17. When I was a kid, I wore a fairly accurate ST:TOS admiral’s costume for halloween. Complete with a toy Type II Phaser.
18. My all-time favourite colour is green.
19. I have played in a hand-bell choir.
20. I never tag other people to do these quizzes, no matter what the instructions say.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Monday, September 05, 2005

Posted: 3:09:00 PM
Plum goodness!

Well, now I have an outfit for the upcoming commitment ceremony.

The brides to be are going to be somewhat informal, and neither is going to be wearing a bridal gown. Likewise, much of the details of what to wear were left us to those of us in the party. I was told that plum was the colour to shoot for, but that “any fall colours will do.”

Unfortunately, I was raised by a family that earned its living off of weddings, with my dad running a photography studio that shot a lot of marriage ceremonies, and a mom who ran a business specializing in wedding supplies. At one point, they also owned a bridal salon together.

Today, I actually found something I could live with, that would fit the informal nature of the event’s attire while remaining dressy enough for such a ceremony.

I found a pair of pants, as well as this beautiful, lined, knit blouse. Both in plum, as expected. To top it off, I found a pair of faux suede granny boots, black, with a decorative lacing on the side.

The only down side is that I have to learn to walk in heels again; it’s been ages since I wore anything with a real heel, and these boots have about a 2" on ‘em. I guess I'll be wearin' them around the house for a while.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Friday, September 02, 2005

Posted: 6:51:00 PM
It’s like three, three, three ’blog entries in one!

Part One: I should have been from Missouri

So ya, I’ve been watching a whole lot of hurricane aftermath coverage. Our roomie is a bit of a news junkie and, to be honest, I also get sucked into it.

At this stage of the game, though, there is nothing new to report. It’s all over but the shouting, as they say — though, to be honest, it’s finger-pointing that’s going on.

It probably also doesn’t help that we don’t have news reporters on so many of these stations. We have pundits and commentators. That’s their job. Hence they are not “set up” for just reporting the facts without some sort of “spin” on the story.

The thing to me is this: ya, there were some pretty serious issues with funding before hand, and poor contingency planning, and lacklustre emergency response, and all of that. This has laid bare any number of issues, and there is blame to go around.

The thing is, I don’t care who did what to whom in the face of a crises. Just get these people some help. That is all that really, truly matters.

I’ve always been one who holds actions higher than words. This is why I’ve long held HRC accountable on their lack of response to trans needs, no matter how many times they talk about all they intend to do for the community.

At least there aren’t any New Orleans ribbon magnets or fancy silicone wrist bands.

Edit: I spoke too damned soon.

Part One: Maybe they’re getting coffee at the Space Needle?

So I’m trying to track down some information: does anyone know what happened to the Ingersoll Center in Washington? They seem to still be around, but don’t seem to be answering phone or e-mail. Does anyone have a direct method of getting ahold of anyone over there, if they do indeed still exist?

Barring them, does anyone know of what other resources (particularly support groups and therapists) are currently available in the Evergreen State?

Edit: looks like they are still around, as I finally rattled enough cages to get a response. Yay!

Part One: Wedding belles

So it looks like I will indeed be traveling to Iowa in a month or so, and doing my duty as a matron of honor in a commitment ceremony of an old friend of mine and her partner. I’m actually rather jazzed about it, not only because I’m happy for the brides, but because I’m going to be a part of it all.

In my day I’ve been at hundreds of weddings. It helps when ones father does photography. My mom also did some wedding coordination work, and helped my dad on wedding shoots.

This is almost like batting for the cycle, or something. I’ve also served as both an usher and a best ::koff:: man before — as well as actually getting married. I also witnessed for a couple friends when they got married.

My next trick is gonna be finding a plum outfit for this shin-dig. Preferably one that doesn’t make me look like an eggplant.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 9:46:00 AM
Here’s the Friday links!

Before I jump fully into it this week, here’s a special trio of links. All theories about Hurricane Katrina.

There are those who want to say that it had to do with abortion clinics, er, “child murder centers,” even though they focus more on the mild damage in Florida rather than the real hit near New Orleans and into Mississippi. Of course, many other want to point at their usual scapegoat, da gays. Finally, there are those who will draw from any number of sources, including the Israeli pullout of Gaza — just to tell you how New Orleans was spared from devastation.

Me? I’m sticking with the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Now then, time for asshat. Don’t forget, a healthy helping of butt bonnet is a part of a good breakfast! Take for example this bright fellow, who assumed — when he saw lights in the sky — that the second coming was upon him.

More? Okay then, let’s go back to good ol’ Wal-Mart, and do a web search for casino chips. I’m sure they’ll send me right to them — or maybe not.

Finally — and to pull away from a rather religious group this week — it’s gotta be the dad of the year, who deserves his hiney headgear for sending a 13-year-old girl into a bank with a note, as a “practical joke.” What did the note say? Why, “Give me all of your money, this is a stick up.”

Now then, some fun stuff.

Three words that go well together: Tiki Bar TV! (QuickTime required)
This has got to be the most offensive album cover of all time.
With so many uses, Seven-Up must be a wonder drink!
All 404 pages should be this entertaining. (Flash required)
If I wore that, I’d be suicidal!
The dude abides — and he’s quotable.
Ah, the fun stuff you can overhear.
A very different kind of Katrina. (NSFW)
What surprises me is how many of these have gone since I’ve been here.
So-so remixes of a great album. (MP3 player required)
Better living with... radioactive dishes!
Hooray for Bollywood (Music)! (MP3 player required)
Ah, the sweet memory of system 6.
He’s a rocker. He rocks out. (Windows Media required)

Finally, and as always, how about a clickie or two at the Freedom Forum — I’d appreciate it — and have a good weekend!

Cheers,
Gwen

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