In Memoriam: Leslie Feinberg

On November 15th, we lost another pioneer. Leslie Feinberg, trans/activist, theorist, mass culture changer, gender explorer and warrior, died at the age of 65, succumbing to multiple tick-borne infections that zie’d been battling for years, and zie saw all too well how the healthcare system denies access to millions of people through institutionalized discrimination and bias. If you know Feinberg’s work and impact, that shouldn’t surprise you. If you don’t, zie was a rare visionary activist who drew on myriad threads from myriad approaches and contexts that continue to resonate.

Leslie Feinberg. Self-portrait in setting sun.
Leslie Feinberg. Self-portrait in setting sun.
From Autostraddlel
From Autostraddle

For those of us who came of age in the 1980s and 1990s, Feinberg was an integral part of the LGBT activist nexus, and a trailblazing pioneer in transactivism and radicalism. We were schooled by 1993’s Stone Butch Blues, which tells the story of a butch named Jess Goldberg who grows up prior to the Stonewall Riots. SBB entered the LGBT literary canon worldwide in several languages as a groundbreaking work on gender, and remains one of the best-known books in that canon. Hir theoretical approaches to gender — including the first Marxist analysis of transgender liberation — have been taught for decades. Hir work has impacted political organizing, academic research, and popular culture.

Feinberg’s 1996 pivotal Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman was one of those works. Laurie Miles at the Socialist Review noted the book’s profound effect on her, in that it adopted “an accessible international and class perspective on the universality of gender variant individuals, groups and roles. The book identified a defining moment in the drive for LGBT unity in the last decade of the 20th century. It became a rallying cry for transgender rights and for trans people to recognise and reclaim our history and understand the nature and causes of our oppression.” transgender warriors

Feinberg’s work and activism is best described in hir own words from the bio on hir website:

S/he is well-known in the U.S. and many other parts of the world as an activist who works to help forge a strong bond between the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities. As a trade unionist, anti-racist and socialist, Feinberg also organizes to build strong bonds of unity between these struggles and those of movements in defense of oppressed nationalities, women, disabled, and the working-class movement as a whole. Feinberg has worked for more than three decades in defense of the sovereignty, self-determination and treaty rights of Native nations and for freedom of political prisoners in the U.S. Ze is an internationalist and has been part of the anti-Pentagon movement since the U.S. war against Vietnam. Feinberg has toured the country, speaking at Pride rallies and protest marches, and at scores of colleges and universities.

Hir spouse, poet Minnie Bruce Pratt, includes more about Feinberg’s work in the obituary she wrote for the Advocate:

In her early twenties Feinberg met Workers World Party at a demonstration for Palestinian land rights and self-determination. She soon joined WWP through its founding Buffalo branch.

After moving to New York City, she participated in numerous mass organizing campaigns by the Party over the years, including many anti-war, pro-labor rallies. In 1983-1984 she embarked on a national tour about AIDS as a denied epidemic. She was a key organizer in the December 1974 March Against Racism in Boston, a campaign against white supremacist attacks on African-American adults and schoolchildren in the city. Feinberg led a group of ten lesbian-identified people, including several from South Boston, on an all-night “paste up” of South Boston, covering every visible racist epithet.

Feinberg was one of the organizers of the 1988 mobilization in Atlanta that re-routed the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan as they tried to march down Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave., on MLK Day. When anti-abortion groups descended on Buffalo in 1992 and again in 1998-1999 with the murder there of Dr. Barnard Slepian, Feinberg returned to work with Buffalo United for Choice and its Rainbow Peacekeepers, which organized community self-defense for local LGBTQ+ bars and clubs as well as the women’s clinic.

Zie was a transvisionary, as zie strove to forge links between communities facing oppressions in many manifestations, and zie was a throwback in some ways to the old-school labor rights activists of the 1930s and 40s, and that’s how I’ve always thought of hir: A beautiful and powerful melding of generations of thought and action — some from the past, and some that zie was pulling from the future. Feinberg never wanted to develop some kind of “umbrella” identity or term for everybody to get underneath. Rather, zie believed in the right of self-determination for oppressed communities, individuals, nations, and groups, and in coalitions between them.

Feinberg’s last words were, “Remember me as a revolutionary communist.”

I will. And as a warrior, philosopher, writer, and pathbreaker.

For more:
Leslie Feinberg’s website
National Center for Transgender Equality on Feinberg
HRC on Feinberg
Liberation News on Feinberg following hir death
The Atlantic
How Leslie Feinberg saved my life
Books on Amazon
1996 interview with Feinberg
Fall 1996 review of Transgender Warriors

NOTE: From Minnie Bruce Pratt’s obituary: “She preferred to use the pronouns she/zie and her/hir for herself, but also said: “I care which pronoun is used, but people have been disrespectful to me with the wrong pronoun and respectful with the right one. It matters whether someone is using the pronoun as a bigot, or if they are trying to demonstrate respect.”

In Memoriam: Cate Culpepper

I haven’t wanted to write this post, because I didn’t want to believe that Cate was no longer with us on this mortal coil as of October 25. But Cate herself let us all know, in her own “Cate-ness” way, that it’s true. Cate Culpepper

I was not so fortunate to have met her in person, but I corresponded a bit with her via email. We e-chatted a bit about writing and our shared love of New Mexico.

I was born in Albuquerque, just north of the state’s center. Cate was from southern New Mexico, the Las Cruces area. We talked a bit about the magic of “place” in those few emails and the people who come to populate it, whether literal or metaphorical. We talked about New Mexico folklore and how stories come and go, and the ways they settle in the psyche.

I remember even through email, she gave me a sly Nuevomexicana wink, because we both knew what it was to come from desert and to take it with us always, no matter where we ended up.

Cate left us a marvelous legacy in the books we will still read, in the memories we all have of her, and the work she did outside of writing: teaching, working with homeless, inspiring others to live to their fullest potential with grace, humor both ribald and gentle, her saucy irreverence, and neverending kindness.

Cate, I wish you could see the evidence of the lives you touched and continue to touch. Or perhaps you did know. I’d like to think you did. I’d like to think that maybe, in some way, you still do.

For those of you who would like to see some of that evidence for yourselves, take a few moments to read the shared remembrances below of others who knew and loved her personally and/or knew and loved her work.

Bold Strokes Books tributes
Lee Lynch, “Cheeseburgers in Paradise: Cate Culpepper, 1957-2014”
Victoria Brownworth at Lambda Literary
Jove Belle, “A Brief Ode to the Amazon Queen”
D. Jackson Leigh, “O Captain, My Captain”

She is deeply missed, but we will all carry her forward in some way. Vaya con dios, Cate. Viajes seguros.

Nancy Garden on my mind

Hi, all–

Sad news in the world of writing.

Acclaimed author Nancy Garden died yesterday at the age of 76. She was the author of Annie on My Mind, the 1982 novel in which a high school senior from an upscale neighborhood falls in love with another girl from a poorer neighborhood and from a very different family background. The two hit it off, but they have to contend with a few obstacles.


Many of you have no doubt read this now-classic young adult lesbian novel. If you read it when you were a teenager, no doubt it made you feel somehow better about being different. If you read it as an adult, it probably took you back to your teen years, when you were trying to figure out your feelings and who you might be. And might just have made you feel better about who you became.


Victoria Brownworth wrote this remembrance of Garden over at Lambda Literary. I don’t have the words in this instance, but fortunately, Victoria does:

Garden’s books were published by many of the top publishers — Knopf, Houghton-Mifflin, Holt, Harcourt, Lippincott, Scholastic, HarperCollins, Putnam, Random House, Dell, Farrar, Straus, Giroux and Bantam. But she was also published by smaller independent publishers including Bella Books.

She won dozens of awards, major and minor, and if the American Library Association (ALA), the New York Public Library and the Children’s Book Council each had a “watch for the latest from this children’s author” list, Garden would have been at the top–nearly all her books received awards and/or listing from all of them. Over a ten year span, Garden was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award every year.

Look again at that list of publishers and awards and remember that Garden was an out lesbian writing solely for the children’s market (her one adult romance novel was published by Bella in 2002). That made her an extraordinary, one-of-a-kind trailblazer for LGBT writing. From the time she published her first book in 1971 when she was 43, she wrote at least a book a year, but usually several. Her most recent book was published in 2012.

As Brownworth says, Nancy Garden was a rarity. “The consummate children’s book author.” She wrote dozens of books, Brownworth notes, “some gay-themed, some not, but it was this book, Annie on My Mind, which was a first of its kind, before Y/A was even a sub-genre within the catch-all children’s books genre, that was Garden’s best-known work. Farrar Straus Giroux had taken a chance on the novel and it paid off–the book has remained in print throughout the past three decades.”

But she wasn’t just an author. Garden was an avid though kind and respectful opponent of censorship (she ended up on banned books lists and her work was actually burned) who received the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award in 2000 in recognition of her work defending intellectual freedom for young readers. In an interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith that Garden did in 2001, Garden stated,

Nothing is served, I think, by demeaning those who truly believe that books should be banned, or by arguing against them in a hotheaded way.

Conversely, everything is served by reasonable dialogue when that’s possible, and by making the point that although parents have every right to control what their own children read, they have no right to control what other people’s children read.

Everything is also served, I think, by pointing out the importance of the First Amendment and the danger of eroding it. In a society without the protection the First Amendment gives us, sure, you’d be able to ban books that I like but you don’t — but there’d be nothing to stop me from turning around and banning the ones you like. It’s important to remember that, and also that one of the first steps toward Nazi control of Germany was book burning.

She told Leitich Smith that she wanted to write for LGBT youth because “When I was growing up as a young lesbian in the 50s, I looked in vain for books about my people. There were none for kids, and the few I knew about for adults were always out of the library, which I later realized was probably a subtle (maybe backhanded would be a better word!) form of censorship.”

I did not have the good fortune to meet Ms. Garden, though I might have had the chance. She was the recipient of the Lee Lynch Classic Book Award for Annie on My Mind through the Golden Crown Literary Society and as GCLS associate executive director Liz Gibson told Victoria Brownworth in a statement, Nancy hadn’t yet written her acceptance speech, but no doubt she would have been prepared by July 9th, which is when the GCLS conference is scheduled to kick off this year in Portland. The GCLS echoed the sentiments of so many upon news of Garden’s death: devastated. “The lesbian community,” the GCLS statement to Brownworth read, “has lost a valuable treasure, and our hearts and prayers go out to Nancy’s partner, Sandy.”

Yes, we have indeed lost a treasure. An indomitable spirit whose tireless advocacy in different quarters provided hope and guidance to so, so many. Small comfort in the midst of such a loss, but we can also take comfort in the legacy she left. Let us not forget, and let us honor her work and spirit by continuing to advocate for voices that lack a platform.

Victoria Brownworth’s remembrance
Cecelia Leitich Smith’s interview
Nancy Garden’s website

A dog’s life

Hi, all.

Today is the two-year anniversary of the death of my best canine buddy, Taylor.

taylor in the doorway

I grew up in a household where there were always dogs, and those dogs were always part of the family. They lived primarily indoors with us. I know there are people out there who just don’t “get” the animals in the house thing for whatever reasons. That’s fine. But I’m not one of those people. Taylor was my constant companion for over 14 years, and my guru in many ways. She was a rescue dog, but not from a shelter. I found her sitting on the side of a New Mexico highway one July day after I’d been camping at Mt. Taylor (hence her name).


I pulled over because most dogs out there — Rez dogs — tend to look like they know where they’re going and what they’re doing. And they’re certainly not sitting on the side of the road. I got out of my car and she watched me, but she didn’t bolt. I got within about twenty feet of her and I crouched down and said: “C’mere. Come on.” And I beckoned at myself with my hand. She got up and very slowly came toward me, kind of slinking, ears back (she had HUGE ears — they earned her the nickname “Batdog”) and tail between her legs. I held my hand out so she could sniff my fingers and she did. She sniffed for a few seconds and then decided I must’ve been okay, because she got closer and literally climbed up into my lap and licked my face.

I took her to the vet the next day for vaccinations. She was in bad shape. Twenty pounds underweight, tapeworm, and dull, icky fur. I told the vet I was hoping to find a home for her because I didn’t have a place where I could keep her. I was living in a second-floor apartment in a historic building in Albuquerque at the time. The vet looked at me and smiled. “She already found a home.” She told me that when Taylor had put on some weight, in a few weeks, to bring her back for checking. Damn that vet. She could tell that Taylor was already settling in.
T sleeping

And sure enough, at the end of the summer, I’d moved to a place where I could have Taylor. She’d put on weight (she was 55-60 pounds most of her life), we’d gotten rid of the tapeworm, and she was starting to be okay around me and other people. She and I spent most of the summer at a friend’s house, where there was a fenced yard, until I found another place. And that fall, we went to doggie training school. I worked with her every day on the things we learned in class. Taylor was part shepherd, and shepherds are working dogs. So she liked having tasks and things to do. After graduation (Taylor was summa cum laude), we spent another few weeks on “distraction training,” which involved large groups of people and dogs and putting your dog through his or her paces. The object was to get the dog used to being around groups like that and focused on you and you only.
t in the snow

I continued distraction training for weeks afterward. I’d take her to Albuquerque’s Old Town and put her through her paces amidst tourists. She went to work with me on campus several times, and would sprawl out and snooze under my desk. She’d also go with me late nights to the public radio station where I volunteered and hang out with me while I did a world music show. She went to the airport (this was before 9/11) to get used to escalators and a whole other slew of people. I traveled with her all the time in the car, and she was very good at that, too.

t on porch
And slowly, Taylor blossomed into her funny, wise, diva self. She was a joy to have around, and we got to know each other so well that all I had to do was look at her and raise an eyebrow and she knew it was time to go for a walk and she’d jump up and go to the door and wait. As she aged, she became more talkative (I think she had some husky in her) and would yowl and carry on to let me know when she was excited or pissed about something.

Other times if she was pissed at me, she’d give me doggie “stink eye” until I was appropriately contrite. Or, if she was REALLY pissed, she’d do what I call “stink back.” She would sit and make sure I was looking at her and then she would deliberately turn her back to me and ignore me for a few seconds. Then she’d look back over her shoulder to see if she had my attention. If I hadn’t asked for her forgiveness, she’d do more stink back. So I’d have to say, “Oh, T! I’m sorry!” And then she’d relent.

And she loved it when I noodled on my harmonica. When I got it out, she’d get excited and she’d sit up and stare and start “warming up.” Kind of a “rowr rowr rowr” thing. I’d play a few notes and she’d do some more “rowr rowr rowr” and then I’d start just playing whatever and she would burst into howls interspersed with “rowr rowr rowr.” It was hilarious.

She used her paws for attention, too. She’d come up and put her paw on your foot or, if you were sitting, your thigh, and she’d pull at you to pet her. She’d also put her paw right across a newspaper or magazine if you were sitting reading it. And she’d do a “Bambi eyes” expression so you couldn’t be mad at her. She was also a practical joker. Once, when we were hanging out with someone who had a shih tzu, Taylor figured out which toy was the other dog’s fave. It was this fuzzy squeaky toy that the dog carried everywhere. So Taylor waited until the dog went into the kitchen with the squeaky toy. Taylor followed. The other dog had put the toy down and was trying to convince its owner to give it a treat. The dog was not paying attention to the toy, and like a freaking fox pouncing on prey, Taylor jumped on the toy and raced out of the kitchen. The other dog just stared after her, stunned. I followed Taylor into the living room, and Taylor had hidden the toy behind a pillow on the couch. She looked at me and I kid you not, she SMILED. I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. Eventually, I gave the toy back to the other dog, when Taylor wasn’t looking.

I’ve been thinking about all of those things today. I still really miss her and no, another dog has not entered my life. I did become a regular donor to another no-kill animal shelter, and at a recent event in New Mexico, I donated all proceeds from sales of my books to a local no-kill shelter. I’m a believer in rescue animals, and in rescuing animals. So yeah, I’m a softie. But Taylor changed my life for the better, and I try to help other animals when and where I can. I don’t have any interest in bringing another dog into my life at the moment, but I suspect that eventually, Taylor will send a dog because I still have things to learn.

So to all of you who knew Taylor, I’m glad you got to meet her. For those who didn’t, I hope sharing these tidbits about a remarkable dog who gave me more than I ever thought possible lets you see a bit about who she was and why I miss her so much.
T in jail

Thanks for hanging out with me a bit today. Happy Saturday.

Newz n’ viewz

Hi, peeps–

Newsie bits for you and yours:

1) Yes, I’m still pimping the author gathering in NM a week from Saturday. Here are deets. Make a donation to me for one of my books on site, and that donation goes to Watermelon Mountain Ranch, New Mexico’s largest no-kill animal shelter. Please bring cash if you’d like to donate (and get a book in return :D).

2) I am rather pissed about what’s going on with the writer/artist team for Batwoman at DC Comics. I blogged that at Women and Words.


3) Storied LGBT bookstore Giovanni’s Room is up for sale. Owner Ed Hermance is retiring after 37 years bringing the luv through the store. Hopefully, somebody will step forward and purchase it. Mr. Hermance is offering a variety of purchase options. Here’s your chance…

4) Influential and award-winning sci fi author/literary agent/self-taught awesome science guy/WWII veteran Frederik Pohl died earlier this week. He was 93. And what a life he led. Editor, writer, and advocate. At Pohl’s urging, Bantam published Joanna Russ’s The Female Man and Samuel R. Delany’s Dhalgren, both groundbreaking works in the genre. He was also entirely self-taught in science, and was elected a fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1982. A tireless researcher, he traveled extensively to learn about science on the ground and when he made a scientific mistake in his work, he would correct it, often publicly. Pohl published over 65 novels and some 30 short story collections. His was a great mind, and he exemplified the true spirit of science and science fiction: Always seeking, always curious, always learning. Godspeed, sir. Thank you for the time you gave us and the legacy you left on this mortal coil.

5) Fantasy/sci-fi writer and co-founder/director of Writer Beware A.C. (Ann) Crispin died this week, as well, at the age of 63. She was diagnosed with cancer last year and underwent treatment, but the cancer spread. She left a goodbye message on her Facebook page Tuesday. Crispin was the acclaimed author of 24 novels, including the StarBridge series and bestselling books for the Star Trek and Star Wars publishing programs. She also novelized the miniseries V and created work around Alien and Pirates of the Caribbean universes. She was particularly known for creating back stories for characters in these series. In April of this year, she was named the 2013 Grand Master by the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. Crispin was also a tireless advocate for writers of all levels, which drove her to co-develop and direct Writer Beware, the “public face” of the Science Fiction Writers of America’s Committee on Writing Scams. All efforts behind Writer Beware are volunteer, and Crispin gave generously of her time and energy to SFWA (she had been a member since 1982) and WB. Godspeed to you, as well, ma’am. You will be missed. Thank you for your legacy.

And to all of you, may you find purpose and happiness in your own lives. Keep reading, keep writing. Happy Friday.

In Memoriam: Granite Mountain Hotshots

Hi, all. I was going to post a bit about the recent GCLS conference I attended in Dallas, but events over the weekend have taken precedence over that. I’ll do that later on.

I was traveling on Sunday, and didn’t find out about the tragedy that unfolded near Yarnell, Arizona, until early Monday morning. I heard “Hotshots” and “deaths” on NPR and rushed into the other room to listen to the whole story because like every westerner, fire season puts me on edge. When a firefighter is lost, we all grieve. Nineteen, said the NPR host. Nineteen firefighters dead, the most in a single event since 9/11. Find their names and a bit about them at the Washington Post.

Source: Granite Mountain Hotshots

The Granite Mountain Hotshots — like every Hotshot team — are an elite firefighting unit, trained to go in on foot and clear brush and create firebreaks. Hotshots are kind of like the SEALs of firefighting. They’re in top physical condition, able to carry up to 50 pounds of gear on their backs as they’re racing up and down mountainsides in temperatures often over a hundred degrees, digging, pulling, clearing. They are infantry forces, engaged in a battle against raging wildfires, humping their gear in and out, gauging the strategy of the opponent, creating defenses, surveilling, plotting retreat and advance lines. Until Sunday, the Granite Mountain Hotshots were a 20-member team.

Outside Magazine has a photo gallery of Hotshots in action, as well as other wildfire fighting tools. This is part of what Hotshots do, and it’s part of why they are so revered to westerners like me. In this high-tech world, these people go to battle with muscle, pickaxes, and shovels. They’re like archetypal Viking warriors or something, reeking of smoke, spattered with dirt, grime, soot, and sometimes blood. They embody the mythos of the West, the “hunker-down-and-get-‘er-done” pioneer spirit we all like to pretend we still have.

So when the Hotshots show up in town, it’s like the cavalry riding in. It’s like a military force arriving to help you out when you’re under attack. When you see the slurry bombers overhead, dropping their loads across smoking ridgelines, every westerner thinks about the Hotshots on the ground, carrying their gear, dressed in heavy, hot fire-retardant clothing, doing battle. And we all hope for the best for them, and we all hope they’ll come home safely. Logically, we can imagine the risks they’re taking, to battle those fires. Or rather, we think we can imagine. But we really can’t, unless we’ve been there. We can’t really imagine the heat, the flames, the dirt, the exhaustion, the aches and pains that come with brutally hard physical labor against a raging wildfire. So we try to imagine, and we hope that they’ll come home okay, that their friends and family will see them again, and that they’ll make it through this fire season for the next one.

When they don’t come home, we grieve. We mourn. We may not be immediate friends or family, but we are community, and every summer — every fire season — they become part of our community families. When they don’t come home, they become part of our community remembrance, and part of our collective history. They are dear to us, these Hotshots. They are everything we should aspire to be, in community service, hard work, and the sheer, fierce joy they take in this huge responsibility with which we’ve entrusted them.

To the Granite Mountain Hotshots, thank you for your service. You will be remembered. To their friends and families, our thoughts are with you, and your loved ones will not be forgotten.

And to all emergency service personnel, thank you for all you do.

To contribute to memorial funds for the Granite Mountain Hotshots, click here.

For more information about Hotshots and what they do, see the following links.

Kyle Dickman is a former Tahoe Hotshot who is now an associate editor at Outside Magazine. Here’s his recent story about spending some time with his old Hotshot crew, “In the Line of Wildfire.”

Here’s Dickman on the Yarnell Hill Fire, in which the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots died. “Examining the Arizona Wildfire Deaths.”

Here’s the link for the Granite Mountain Hotshots, based in Prescott, Arizona. You can get a sense of who they were and what they were looking for in team members.

And here’s a photo gallery from Outside Magazine. These photos were taken last year. These are members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. Some of the men pictured here died in Sunday’s fire.

Memorial Day

Hi, kids. I blogged some resources and organizations over at Women and Words to donate to on this Memorial Day. Find that here.

Commemorate those veterans who are lost, remember their families, and let’s also help our veterans still with us, and their families, as well.

The Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia ends today. Thanks to all who participated, and thanks to all the readers who came by. I’ll be picking a winner tonight and notifying said winner within 30 minutes of the 9 PM EST drawing and I’ll post that winner’s name (the handle he or she left on the comment) on the blog I did for the hop.

Hope everyone had a safe weekend, and to those of you who serve or have served, thank you. To those families who have lost someone in service in our armed forces, our thoughts are with you and many of us are trying to help organizations that help veterans and their families if we can’t help you directly.

Thanks, all, and I’ll catch you later this week.

Happy reading, happy writing.

Bleak Days

These have been terrible, bleak days for many, many people.

Like all of you, I’ve spent the weekend trying to make sense of senselessness. Our fellow Americans are hurting, once again, in the wake of horrific violence. Last Wednesday, a young man went to a mall in Portland, Oregon, and shot two people to death before he killed himself. On Thursday, a man walked into a federal courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama, and shot himself to death. And on Friday, another young man forced his way into an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut and killed 20 children aged 6-7, and 6 school staffers, including the principal, the psychologist, and 4 teachers. He then shot himself to death in a classroom. Later, it was revealed that he had also shot his mother to death at the home where they both lived.

For these events, I simply do not have the words to express what I know many of us are feeling. I can’t possibly begin to understand the level of grief that friends and families of those who died are experiencing and will continue to experience in the coming days. I have no answers, and can only offer what comfort I can, and try to help the various funds that have been set up.

Here’s HuffPo’s how to help link. And here’s another, through the Newtown Patch.

This is the Newtown Memorial Fund, to help cover the costs of funerals and, long-term, to help cover costs for a memorial. Newtown Youth and Family Services is available for emergency counseling, as well as to offer support services to local families. You can donate to them, as well. And here’s the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, through the United Way of western Connecticut.

But you can help in other ways, too.

Take care of each other. Tell your friends and family you love them. Be vigilant about the people around you, and if you think they’re having some kind of emotional or psychological issue, try to get help for them. Offer support to the families of those who deal with someone who is having those kinds of issues. Talk to each other. Build community and support it. Look out for each other. Participate. Endure. Love.

Peace and comfort to all of those affected by these awful events, and let us honor those who were torn from this life so violently by working together to prevent such from happening again.

We are all we have. Change starts with each of us.

In Memoriam: Sally Ride

I was one of thousands of Gen X girls who thought that Sally Ride hung the moon. Scientist, astronaut, professor, writer, and mentor/cheerleader to get young people and kids interested in science — especially girls — Ride was an inspiration to the adventurous spirit in all of us.

On June 18, 1983, she was granted the mantle of instant icon when she became the first American woman in space, aboard the shuttle Challenger (at 32, she was also the youngest American in space). Here’s a news report from June 24, the day Challenger landed in California (bad weather in Florida precluded it landing there).


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In Memoriam: Nora Ephron

Once again, I’m left trying to sum up in a few words the legacy a woman with great reach, humor, wisdom and talent has left.

Nora Ephron died this past week after a long battle with leukemia. She was 71, and had become “one of her era’s most successful screenwriters and filmmakers,” according to Charles McGrath, writing in the New York Times. McGrath notes that she was “a journalist, a blogger, an essayist, a novelist, a playwright, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and a movie director — a rarity in a film industry whose directorial ranks were and continue to be dominated by men.”

source: Huffington Post (re-sized here)


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