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Image: A rocky desert under a clear blue sky.

I wish I hadn’t told them. But I did. I lied from the start and all the way up to the point where there was nothing left but lies and ruin for both of us.

The lies that I told made it impossible for me to be someone who could be trusted to tell you the truth about anything. I, a proven liar, became your enduring, foundational example of people like me. A final image that you would carry into your own future.

And it wasn’t just one lie. Or a short period of lying. I lied to you for the entire time you knew me. Fifteen years. I allowed you to believe that I considered myself a man and to enter into a relationship with me on that assumption. You gave me opportunity after opportunity, from the very beginning, to tell you the truth. I didn’t. …

i was twenty when i had this dream, so strong that it is now a real memory
the details crisp like the early morning air
the broken corn stalks
crunching under our shoes in the windy field
my ancient red chevy van parked nearby,
my twin and i
the same crooked, gap-toothed smile
the same hair — lengthy, noncommittal blonde
eyes of worried hazel
frowns lining even our joys

in this field we flew kites
in all the springs of our childhoods
the closest thing to a point of origin i can identify for anything

we brought a kite
the cheap plastic kind that always breaks
a static charge all around
a storm as yet unknowable and delayed
for the…

On April 13, 2019, I spoke at the annual dinner for a local chapter of the ACLU. The topic was the deep inter-connectivity of our civil rights work, and how no issue can be viewed in isolation from any other. Here’s what I said.

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[Image of crowds protesting the Muslim ban at Indianapolis International Airport — Photo: Al Jazeera]

When I began this work, I had no experience as a community organizer. I was a former high school teacher. With nothing more than a lay person’s understanding of the issues and the fact that I was trans to go on. The job seemed simple. Organize trans people and get us in the fight. I threw myself into it. …

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Image: A dark and mysterious closet door.

It first happened with my partner. That was slow. Years of hints and sly jokes and feeling around the shape of something terrifying that we both saw. Experiments. A kind of admission. I was 38.

This brought a period of active peace. Learning how to get around. Sneaking out together to drive into the city for the evening. Safe gay bars, shopping malls, and music festivals. Far from the people we knew in our daily lives. Protected by anonymity. Seeking.

It was thrilling. Dangerous. Like a game of chicken I was playing with the slumbering world. The reward was a few hours of not faking it. …

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(Image description: Photo of a blue, feminine eye.)

She wants a pathetic victim to love. Victims are easy. They can’t issue demands.

She wants me to overcome all obstacles but also wants me to need her help.

She wants me to have had surgery. She is very interested in surgery. She would like to hear more about my surgery.

She wants me to care about belonging with her. She really means “to her.”

She wants my story, but only if she edits and tells it. And only if it’s easy.

She wants to tell me that she believes me over and over because she feels guilty that she doesn’t. …

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Image: Archie Bunker lookin’ pretty shady

The Gays of Our Lives” is an Indy-based webcast that seeks to “bridge the gap between the older LGBTQ community and everyone fucking else.”

Who is “everyone fucking else?” That’s left for the viewer, but presumably they are talking about all these newfangled queer folk with names like “asexual,” “non-binary,” or “pansexual.” This mission statement, tellingly, assumes that none of these people are older and that none are already part of the LGBTQ community.

Production values are low. Think “Between Two Ferns” without a whiff of irony. There is no editing, the conversations are presented just as they happen.

Our host, Lissa, is an older, cisgender lesbian. The show’s conceit is that Lissa is terribly confused by this new queer “alphabet soup,” so she’s invited her younger, hipper, and queerer sidekick Avery along to interview … you know … those weird queers. …

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Image: An ocean at sunset

I first noticed it in the ocean. The way my body floated in the salt water. The way I was so easily rocked and buoyed by gentle waves, lapping all around me. That was the beginning. In an endless expanse of liquid. More than a year after I took that first blue pill.

The changes were subtle like that. Slow. Measured in years.

I noticed that I felt the cold more. I needed blankets and warm socks and sweaters. The seat of my jeans clung to me when I walked. The third button down on my shirt wouldn’t close. My skin softened. Scratched and scraped more easily. …

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While Prides around the country are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, I hope that we also take a moment to critically engage the role of cop violence and the state-sanctioned oppression of queer and trans people as it looked then and as it continues today.

Cop oppression of trans people is still a reality. It is present in racial biases in enforcement. It is present in anti-sex work bias. It is present in the unjust prison system that cop violence bolsters and supports. It is present in the widespread use of solitary confinement (torture) to house trans prisoners. It is present in the way we are subjected to increased surveillance in public places of business. It is present in the way cops profile and target trans women — particularly black and latinx trans women. …


Kit Malone

Advocate at ACLU of Indiana - she/hers - Opinions are my own and not my employer's.

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