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The news, when I got up today, left me feeling pretty depressed about the human race, and about this country in particular. But I'm feeling better now.

You see, a friend of mine has a kid in grade school, and the school also has a small transgender child. To help the students understand that child's transition, the school planned to have a reading of I Am Jazz, a book by a transgender child, Jazz Jennings, and co-author Jessica Herthel. Then a Florida-based hate group threatened to sue the Wisconsin school district and the event was cancelled. So far, there's nothing in my story to speak of rekindled hope. But the local high school discussed the issue, and some of those students decided to hold a public reading of the book at their flagpole at 7:30 a.m. I heard that over two hundred people attended that reading, despite the dreadfully early hour and Wisconsin-in-December weather.

I wasn't there, of course. But in addition to that event, parents of students actually attending the school in question arranged for a public reading at the local library in the evening. My Angel and I decided to go. We really didn't know what to expect, but we've both dealt with protesters in the past and we figured if there was unpleasantness, a tall obviously transgender woman with practice dealing with that kind of stuff would be a better foil for protesters than small kids or the parents whose first job is to protect said kids.

We drove from Milwaukee to attend, a drive of about two hours, extended a bit by rush hour and by some traffic incidents. The library was totally packed by the time we arrived. The street leading up to the library was lined with cars parked bumper-to-bumper. A tall, gangly police woman gave us a startled look and then a smile as we walked in.

Jazz' co-author had flown in with only a single day's notice to do the reading herself, and both the reading and the brief talk afterward were well received. There was a community room for people to make "Jazz hands" and glue them to posters to voice their support for the child making the transition, and there were copies of the book to be given to anyone there who wanted to get a signed copy. There were cookies--though the organizers admitted they had underestimated how many people would attend. Based on the number of chairs and the additional number of people packed into the various areas around the seating, my friend guessed they had over 500 people in that little library.

There was not even a single protester inside or outside. There were no ugly chants, no one interrupted the presenters, everyone was polite, and there were a lot of smiles. There were people of all ages, and lots of little kids. There were smiles and people holding kids' homemade construction paper signs of support for the little transgender child in their community. And not a single person gave My Angel a judgmental look or word.

Not one.

Wow.

There's a lot in this world that needs to be changed. There's still a lot of prejudice and hatred. But we can make meaningful and substantive changes for the better. This evening was just a little bit of the proof of that.



Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
queenoftheskies
Dec. 3rd, 2015 04:46 pm (UTC)
That is so wonderful to hear. It gives one hope in a world where we need lots of hope. :)
wyld_dandelyon
Dec. 3rd, 2015 09:10 pm (UTC)
Yes, exactly. In the wake of yesterdays multiple mass shootings, I really needed that hope. We can figure out what factors are leading to all these mass shootings and make those things better too. (Or we can keep ignoring it, but in my opinion, that's not an option.)
lb_lee
Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:04 pm (UTC)
Aw. That makes me feel pretty good, especially since we waited til adulthood to come out as trans and feel it was by far the best decision.

--Rogan
wyld_dandelyon
Dec. 3rd, 2015 09:07 pm (UTC)
The world is changing. We have given our QUILTBAG kids a better world than we had, growing up. It's not perfect, by far, and in many communities the event wouldn't have gone as splendidly, but still, when I was a kid, I doubt there were any communities that would have even held one reading (if a book like this existed then, which it did not).
kelkyag
Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:10 pm (UTC)
<warm fuzzies>
wyld_dandelyon
Dec. 3rd, 2015 09:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah.

And I really needed the warm fuzzies yesterday.
beige_alert
Dec. 4th, 2015 03:12 am (UTC)
Awesome! Love you both!
wyld_dandelyon
Dec. 4th, 2015 07:16 am (UTC)
Hey there, Not-So-Beige-Anymore! You too.
cflute
Dec. 8th, 2015 03:05 am (UTC)
So glad things went the way they did! Thanks for sharing a heartwarming slice-of-life moment.
wyld_dandelyon
Dec. 8th, 2015 04:30 am (UTC)
You're welcome.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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