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Autumn Sandeen: Binding Up Our Wounds

A woman chained herself to the White House fence today. When she did it, she had nothing to gain for herself and everything to lose. She made a heroic stand and performed a selfless gesture. By all standards of human behaviour, her conduct is “Exemplary” and “Laudable,”  When released from prison, she ought to be hoisted high upon the shoulders of a crowd of cheering LGBT's

That woman is Autumn Sandeen.

She is protesting the oppression of gays and Lesbians in the armed forces under DADT, an issue with at best only tangential relevance to trans people, as they are summarily excluded from service. Yet, there she is, risking dangers and discrimination in DC jails, ridicule by the religious right, particularly that twisted and porn obsessed official(SPLC listed) hate monger Mr LaBarbera. Why is she doing it?

For us. For all of us, everywhere, every letter and combination of letters in the LGBT community.

At a time when people are openly discussing again the “dropping of the T” and highlighting lack of cohesion in amongst us, at a time when many T people held off from the marriage fights after the fiasco of ENDA 07, and while many point the finger back and forth highlighting dissent, Autumn Sandeen offers up her reputation, her safety and her freedom to pinion herself in unity with the rest of the LGBT represented on the White House Fence, offering herself up in a pose not unlike the crucified Christ on behalf of all of us and as a gesture of healing, and if you will, a “forgiveness of sins.” In this case, the sins of our schismatic quarrelling and holding on to old hates, hurts and fears.

Autumn, a trans woman, put herself on the line for every gay, bisexual and Lesbian.  Retired, nothing to gain, freedom and a pension to lose, she made an offering of herself on our behalf.

Autumn, a trans woman, made a show and gesture of unity, saying our issues remain the issues of the trans community.

Autumn, a trans woman, also speaks to the trans community in the action, saying that these are your brothers and sisters, the gays and Lesbians.

My woman of the year, my hero of the moment, my conscience nagging in my ear to keep me honest in my activism, shall be Autumn Sandeen for some time to come. If we all let her be ours, perhaps and finally we can bind up our wounds, pull together, and march forth to seize the rights and feedoms that are ours.


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1 Comment

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