Danica Roem is the first openly transgender state legislator in the USA. Not the first. Althea Garrison was the first transgender state state legislator in 1992.
It’s important to celebrate firsts. They show progress to, hopefully, a better country. I was going to say world but I think many places have beat the USA to many of the “firsts” we celebrate. By saying “this is the first time this has happened” we plant a flag in history but the USA has a bad history with planting flags where they don’t belong.
The new news article is the headline. Whole stories are condensed into a single sentence. Then as often happens with online media someone writes a new article off of the first. They can’t use the exact same headline so they change it. “First Openly Transgender State Legislator” becomes “First Transgender State Legislator” becomes “First Trans Person Elected Ever”.
It’s a game of telephone played by “journalists” and bloggers for sensational news. I see it happen every time a “First” is announced. “The First” is a story but maybe it shouldn’t be. Firsts are great but they aren’t and shouldn’t be the start and end of a story.
“Trans Woman Elected to State Legislator” is a rare enough event that it doesn’t need to be the first. This is news. This is history. This is what should be reported. Clear factual articles. Remember headlines are the new news articles.
“Firsts” are flag waving and we’ve had enough flag waving in the past year.
They threw slurs and bottles at us.
They beat and burned us.
They hung and dismembered us.
They said heaven was closed to sinners like us.
So, we sought succor and aid from demons and devils.
Burnt twisted bodies approached us.
They saw our love and wept for us.
Voices silent for a millennia cried out for us.
They turned to our tormentors with hungry smiles.
“We’ll see you soon.”
Author’s Note: This was loosely inspired by the following image of demons presiding over a couple of gay weddings.
Dreadnought by April Daniels is awesome. It’s about a trans girl superhero and it’s written by a trans woman.
The first chapter and a few others made me cry; it hits on a lot of things I felt as a closeted trans teenager. April Daniels does not pull any punches about what it would be like to live with an abusive transphobic father. I didn’t have to deal with that myself because I came out a little later in life but some things still ring true. Like the way he says “son” and “boy” when we meetup. The quiet wishing that he would just accept me for who I am.
The superhero part of the story is funny and action packed but also real about how messed up being a superhero would be. It reminds me somewhat of “Soon I Will Be Invincible” by Austin Grossman on that front.
It’s a good book that hit me hard in the emotions. Be warned that it doesn’t shy away from the trauma trans girls live with. Goddess, I want this to be a movie just to hear Danielle’s last line said out loud, “I’m transgender, and a lesbian, and I’m not ashamed of that.”
The sequel just came out today so I have another book to read right now. Both books are available on Amazon in paperback and kindle formats.