Alameda, CA 2018

I had to leave Georgia to understand Georgia. Twice. Once after high school and again after hospitalizations. I haven’t spoken with anyone there since fall 2019.

I remember genuinely trying to understand racism in the US south, and feeling so confused by the class discussion at Guilford of pulling down Confederate killers. Forsythe Park was “our” history, dad said about the big monument in Savannah’s main park. So much marching off little feet around. Bearing witness to an ongoing war against anyone or thing that defies White Hatred.

I’m still coming to terms with post 9-11 America. I’m still hurting about lies told around WWII. I don’t understand (I am learning more…) what happened in Korea. I believe my family-of-origin would have committed mass murder. They projected so much hate at Asia, and at Japan, especially my grandmother. Which is monstrous if you know the history. Reptiles have a habit of assigning guilt. Maybe I’m just shedding my own skin here, but it seems obvious to me that white supremacy runs on sublimating guilt. I tried to be the change in the world that I wanted to see, but didn’t think that anyone worth being with would have me. I do not blame ANYONE for fearing Mississippi and Georgia, or the USA. I did not try to be above board. I thought you dealt with liars by catching them. Or understanding deeper truths. Normal wasn’t the starting point for me. Unprofessional. I was looking for something explosive. And I found and lost and forgot it until June 2020. And there is still more to be published from the Bobs.

My feelings of toxicity and being more than a bit radioactive increased as I’ve found pieces of the story, ran from pieces of the story, tried to leverage parts of the story, lived under the weight of the story. I gave an interview in Pakistan that ended up on in Urdu on the nightly news, the only fucking statements in English were mine. I hoped that the entire country could tell I did not think that George W. Bush was trying to learn or care about them. My admission got censored out. Editing is a whiny bitch.

I was so sad when they threw OBL into the sea. It isn’t hard to understand why people hate crusaders. It isn’t hard to understand that trying to lose the thing you created in the world by throwing it into the ocean for the sharks simply won’t work. We’re all more complicated than even we understand. They killed that man with no trial. There was no examination of truth. I think that is WHY our country and I am at this point today. I need to share my truth before it is too late.

My family has cautioned me in no uncertain terms about how my father reacted to my birth. I was first born and an instant failure – a blistering disappointment by all reports – as I had no penis. I failed to escape in the first ten years, which formed the basis of my life.

I know my upbringing warped me: lessons on homophobia, lessons on racism and crusade cheers. Visibility was an unrecognized concept in our house.

I’ve felt I carried a shadow of danger, maybe just pain, and felt at times that it was very necessary to be solo. Most of the time I am just trying to figure out who was lying to me (no surprises there.)

I fear that I leak white supremacist vibes: these words from my family-of-origin that haunt me when I don’t fully understand their context, uses, and meaning. The horror is pure overwhelm. It lessened and lessens any value I might have for my own life. (I remember them trying to teach me their views. I don’t remember wining the fights, per se. Particularly in the moment. Being a weepy vacuum protesting unto oneself doesn’t stop the Flood from . But building policies that provide a ship do. BLACK LIVES are under ACTIVE attack.

I took risks without rewards. I was trying to find a button. I was fired as a secretary from the House Energy and Commerce committee. I worked for two different Republicans in the House. I saw a lot of things that made me feel really depressed (SAVE THE SALMON AND DAMN POLITICIANS), but I was slow and stupid in finding a way that seemed to head towards actual progress. I missed opportunities daily. Eventually, I gave up DC and lived on a bike. I thought maybe I could take my life and pour it into universal care advocacy. That I could understand people and myself better. Then I got sick. Then I got sick again. Then I’ve just tried to hang on. I know my life has been on overtime. And I agree, it is insanely unfair.

I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. As she said. LISTEN TO BLACK WOMEN. Trust Black Trans Women. Love Black Women. SUPPORT BLACK TRANS YOUTH. cops OUT of Schools.

I know my family-of-origin committed mass murder, rape, torture, and exploitation. They really should have more of a feature on Ancestry and Legacy for politics, assholes and SQIDS. Nuclear war. Black, Hispanic and Asian genocides. Simple online searches show the terrifying truth of “owning” slaves. I don’t know who I’m really related to, aside from everyone.

Everything about my existence makes me feel grandiose (Bride of Dr. Strangelove) and insignificant (and quite insane and untrustworthy.) I did a book report on Benedict Arnold in elementary school. I was irritated he didn’t cut a finer figure and seemed caught up in cash. I think I was looking for a Daniel Ellsberg, but that would take longer than ideal, too. I would not learn what the meaning of dog whistles were until way too late. I knew the concept but not the actual words…I doubt I begin to know them all now. It feels bottomless once you can see down into the pit.

I fiercely love the Black Panthers. I was told I was “crazy” for wearing a simple panther on a shirt. (I was threatened with institutionalization.) I would not hear about the Albany Movement or Freedom Singers until after leaving my private college prep high school in Albany. Their mascot was and is a crusader.

I didn’t fully realize what the city of Oakland had suffered for its existence because of systemic white racism and white supremacist ideology. That is was a symbol like Africatown of Black Power.

It’s taken until lockdown 2020 to begin to realize how completely stupid questions like, “Did you report it?!” to whatever nightmare experience that was endured by someone Black. To who? Who watches the watchers? Not the ALCU. Not national newspapers. Not anyone I grew up with.

I’ve never thought of Albany as my community, just a place I had to escape.

And that, frankly, I hoped *everyone* escaped and the town was raised. Only the local nazi bar and confederate statues remaining. I didn’t think anything could grow from such soil. I am, as I stated, an idiot and a racist by heritage. My therapist has noted I hate white people. I’m working on it. I do not expect forgiveness as how can the last 800+ years be reconciled? I don’t know. I’m still breathing. Won’t stop working the problem. Hoping to be a tiny mole something other than the “final” solution. (All I want is to scream and point towards the margins where everyone is waiting to be heard.)

While I got out of Albany, I left everyone else behind. I am very bad at community.

I feel like I’m trying to escape being a Vampire, and all I can do is walk out into the light. I hope my ashes are enough to choke a white supremacist on.

NO ONE CAN BREATHE.

And I can only express my sorrow to the living and dead for delayed justice. White Silence is Violence. I’ve been screaming for a lifetime but in the wrong directions. While I believe in grace, but I do not expect it from anyone. It’s again unfair, as Oakland has given me hope all along.

It was the first Universal Care programming I heard about in my country. Community health matters, which are glaringly and painfully obvious in a pandemic, were central instead of ignored for profit and punishment. The Panthers taught me the word “solidarity.” The Black Panthers fed children. They protected their community. They understood governance and representation at a level that the US Congress really needs to emulate. RIGHT NOW.

I was hospitalized in 2012 after a manic episode that left me homeless in Oakland that summer and inpatient in NYC that fall. I got out just in time for Super Storm Sandy. I had another NYC mania in 2014 that resulted in a second months long hospital stay. Both times that I was ill I interacted with police. I know that my white “blessing” is why I’m alive and everyone else was tortured, raped and murdered. Fed to alligators.

I was born in Atlanta. My mother tongue was Greek. I violently hate the language English. I find it smothering. My pronouns, just now, are they/them. Me, too.

They said I had a strange accent when I got to Albany as a child.

I took over breaking myself along the way.

I’ve survived to date due to epic levels of white privilege. My strategy to cope with my life was to hold my breath and survive to make a change. Someday is a word people use when they really mean never, but I thought someday I would be in a position to be a whistleblower. It’s a job I’ve always wanted.

My current plan centers on listening to Black Women. I love Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom X, Zora Neal Hurston and Fannie Lou Hamer.

Hippocratic Oath

I want to help salt the Police Station foundations and burn down white supremacy. All white supremacists in positions of authority must immediately resign. All public buildings and streets and monuments with names connected to white supremacist ideology must change their names. I hope the world is still turning in the New Year, and no one celebrates the white guy breaking into the chimney anymore. Change the names, change the cultures.

I’m the fourth generation Helen (and second Honey) in my family of origin. I have needed to legally change my gender and name my entire life, and have been circling the issue for too long. Actively grating my soul for the last two years every time I do anything from answer an email to use the bathroom.

I’ve used the name Cadence since 2010. I don’t mind what you call me now.

I have had a recurring dream of my parent’s home being made of corpses and, as I flee down the stairs, the structure collapses on top of me. And I can’t breathe. But first there is a sorceress beckoning me to jump and she looks like a failed state. I don’t jump. I run screaming. I haven’t seen the end, after everyone is piled over me. I hope that I just become a part of the others, as I have lived with lifelong sorrow that I haven’t know how to heal until now.

FUCK THE POLICE.

BELIEVE BLACK TRANS WOMEN.

LISTEN TO BLACK WOMEN.

SUPPORT BLACK TRANS YOUTH.

BLACK WOMEN DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER.