Category Archives: rage

A Modesty Proposal

imagesNorth Carolina now requires schools and public agencies to have gender-segregated bathrooms. Importantly, the state is requiring said agencies to police their own potties to prevent people from visiting bathrooms that do not correspond to their biological sex. This presents a few problems:

  • Will people with gonadal mosaicism have to report to the supervisor at the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles to ask which potty to use?
  • What happens to desperate women at crowded Tar Heels games? (Admit it, you’ve thought about it, even if you haven’t done it.)
  • What about Dads whose daughters really need to go pee-pee while they are waiting in line at the Department of Revenue – and there is no family loo?
  • What about small state offices that have only one restroom, where employees have managed for years to go about their business without getting in each other’s business?

Besides being yet another GOP-run state that seems to believe the concept of “Small Government” is one that is defined as being small enough to fit in your bedroom and my vagina, North Carolina is just plain mean. Let’s be honest: This law targets transgender people for no other reason than the fact that they were born differently from what certain North Carolinian legislators (and their out-of-state legislation sponsors) believe is normal. A couple hundred years ago, these same legislators likely would have burned disabled people at the stake for witchcraft or tried to exorcise their epilepsy. Oh wait, they still do that.

Many thoughtful corporate leaders and elected officials – shout-out to PayPal and the state of New York – are leading economic protests to punish North Carolina for its transgender toileting transgressions. Money talks, assholes walk.

I believe we private citizens can also let our voices be heard through peaceful protest:

A Modest(y) Proposal: The Shit-In

  1. Eat a hearty meal of broccoli, bananas, sugar free Jelly Bellies (don’t ask how I know this), prunes, more bananas, bran, rice, pinto beans and oranges. Wash down with a hot tankard of coffee.
  2. Fill up on gas (the kind you put in your car).
  3. Drive to the North Carolina Legislative Building from Virginia (~90 miles via South Hill), South Carolina (~120 miles via Cheraw) or Georgia (You’re gonna need a hybrid vehicle and extra cans of gas ~340 miles via Lavonia – and you may want to stop for your pre-game meal in South Carolina) but not do not drive from Tennessee: They are considering a similar bill. Remember, you do not want to leave any economic residue in North Carolina, only organic material.
  4. Go to your non-biologically assigned toilet. Enter a stall. Do that thing that you doo-doo so well. Wipe. FLUSH. (Remember, we are punishing the legislature, not the innocent janitors who probably don’t earn a living wage – keep it tidy)
  5. Wash your hands.
  6. Snap a selfie outside the non-biologically assigned bathroom. Post to the social media account of your choosing. #shitin #modestyproposal #giveashit
  7. Drive back to your state of origin.
  8. Feel happy (and 10 pounds lighter) because you have taken a nonviolent stand, or in this case, sit, against hate, intolerance and intrusive legislators inflicting their own small-minded personal beliefs on science. You have given a shit about your fellow transman/transwoman/transgender person.
  9. Oh, and to the assholes at Alliance for Defending Freedom who craft this “model” legislation and shop it to small-minded elected officials near you: If you really believe in small government, stay out of my bathroom and I’ll stay out of yours.

Now pardon me, I gotta go eat some kale.

This Broke My Heart

“Do you want to play our science game?”

The girl, maybe about 8 or 9, wandered up to my table at the Arizona Science Center. I volunteered to help out at Bioscience Day on behalf of my employer. I’m the marketing director, which uniquely qualifies me to guide a lesson designed for grade-schoolers.

“I … I don’t know … much about science.” She eyed the colored marbles, gathered in the baggies, arrayed across the table.

“It’s a game. You have to figure out which one is different,” I offered, hoping to overcome her shyness. A woman loomed behind her, encouraging her to go on and play.

“I don’t know anything,” the girl said. “I’m not smart.”

The Science Center education manager dove in where my words failed: “We can figure it out together. This is a puzzle, and I know you can do it. I’ll help you.”

Four Ziploc bags, each filled with colored marbles representing different things we’d find in your blood stream: Red for oxygen-delivering red blood cells. White for infection-fighting white blood cells. Blue for C-Reactive Protein (It’s what makes you feel sleepy when you’re sick – I learned something new!) Green for a mysterious biomarker.

Bag 3 had an overabundance of white and blue marbles, with fewer red ones, along with a handful of greens. Bags 1, 2 and 4 had similar numbers of white and red marbles with fewer blues and no greens. Guess which one was sick?

“I can’t do it. I don’t know anything.”

“We’re doing it together. Let’s count the marbles together in each bag.”

The education manager’s white lab coat doubled as a super hero cape. She guided the girl through counting the marbles in each bag.

“Now which one is different than the others?” The girl pointed to Bag 3.

“Why is it different?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know anything.”

“You said it was different, and something about it made you think that. What was it?”

She pointed to the green marbles.

“Good job! Is there anything else that’s different about this bag?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know much.”

“But you figured out the right answer,” we said in unison. “You can figure this out.”

She looked at the bag. She looked at the woman behind her. She looked at the floor. She pointed to the white marbles.

“Good job! You did it!”

I stamped the little girl’s Bioscience passport and handed it to her with a smile. I mentioned we also had a painting project and asked if she liked art.

“I don’t know. I’m not good. I don’t know anything.”

“Well, you can try – just like you did here. Have fun today.”

The woman led her into the bowels of the Center – literally the bowels, they have a giant crawl-through colon – and left me to stew in my thoughts: Be careful what you say to kids.

I suspect the woman who brought her to the Science Center was not the person who told her she didn’t know anything. She tried to encourage the girl, best she could. At 8 years old, if you don’t believe you know anything, where are you at 18, at 28, at 38?

Be careful what you say to kids.

SNAP Judgment – Week in Review

Peanut butter foldover. Banana. Boiled egg. It's what's for dinner... and lunch... and breakfast.
Peanut butter foldover. Banana. Boiled egg. It’s what’s for dinner… and lunch… and breakfast… and snacks.

On Sunday, October 12, my SNAP Challenge came to an end. For the folks scoring at home, I had $27 to feed myself for the entire week: The same amount a single adult receives for a weekly food budget on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as food stamps). That’s about $1.28 per cibum or $3.86 per diem.

Continue reading SNAP Judgment – Week in Review

The Lonely Donor, Part IV: That’s Why They Call Me Fed-Ex

When it absolutely, positively has to get there overnight.
When it absolutely, positively has to get there overnight.

When you’re carrying a box labeled “HUMAN SPECIMEN,” people get out of your way. Sure, you may have to stand in line at the FedEx office, but I can assure you that no one will crowd your personal space.

I came to this discovery when I called Be The Match to alert my donation coordinator of some travel plans. Three weeks out from my postponed peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation, I’d agreed to give them a heads-up on geographic changes to my whereabouts – a medical tether, if you will.

“Hi Chi, it’s Stacy. I’m headed to California on Thursday, back on Sunday. I know you said it could be five weeks or more before we rescheduled the donation. Any word on the patient?”

“We have not heard anything regarding the patient’s status. We do not contact them. I’ll let you know as soon as I hear anything. Just go and have a nice time on your trip.”

Don’t call them. They’ll call us: Welcome to my life in sales.

15 minutes later, Chi’s caller-ID popped up on my mobile. I rolled my eyes, assuming she probably forgot to check my pregnancy status again or see if I’d shared any unclean needles with the prison population.

“Hi Stacy, it’s Chi. You won’t believe this, but as soon as I hung up the phone with you, the patient’s coordinator called. Are you available on [ REDACTED ] for the peripheral blood stem-cell transplant?”

Continue reading The Lonely Donor, Part IV: That’s Why They Call Me Fed-Ex

The Lonely Donor, Part II: In Case You Were Wondering, I’m Not Pregnant

If any of these pregnancy tests come back positive, we have a problem, Houston.
If any of these pregnancy tests come back positive, we have a problem, Houston.

“Hi Stacy, it’s Chi from the National Marrow Donor Program. I have a question about your pregnancy test.”

Pardon me, I just lost bowel control.

One doesn’t have questions about a pregnancy test. It’s pretty much a binary, foregone conclusion: Yes / No. On / Off.  + / . You either are or you aren’t.

Given that my husband has had a vasectomy, and that I have had a uterine ablation which rendered my insides a rocky place where a super-seed escapee from a statistically improbable, failed vasectomy could find no purchase, Chi’s question about my pregnancy test means we have bigger problems than my making a bone-marrow stem-cell donation for an anonymous cancer patient:

Baby Jesus is second-coming out of my vagina. Prepare for the Apocalypse… NOW!

Continue reading The Lonely Donor, Part II: In Case You Were Wondering, I’m Not Pregnant