The ache in my jaw told me they were coming. It always cramps when BIG tears are threatening. People walked to and fro outside of my office door, so I had to hold the body-wracking sobs at bay. My jaw ached more. My throat tightened. I used the pain to focus and push through what I needed to do. Kids are counting on me and I was just reminded that I’ve failed another.

I made it two more hours, working to ensure that LGBTQ students feel safe in schools. (And let’s be real, hoping to change society at the same time.) Then I posted the following to FaceBook before leaving my office for home:

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I know a lot of people are choosing a single word this year to focus their 2018 goals. I have a friend who’s chosen “simplify” and several others who’ve chosen “intentional” for their words. For them, this single word will become a mantra, a guide, to lead them through the year that they want to have.

As I ruminated on what word I would choose if I chose only one, the word “abundance” came into my brain space and wouldn’t leave. I could SEE and FEEL the abundance of positive energy the Universe contains that I want to tap into, like a Jedi learning to use the Force. Read More →

Trigger Warning: homophobia/transphobia

“I am proud to know you. Seeing you stand down hate with courage and resolve inspires me. XO”

A friend sent these words to me along with some pics she snapped on Friday after I spoke at the local Trans Day of Visibility rally and then engaged some protesters in conversation. She wanted me to see how she saw me, which was nice, because I mostly just see myself as a special kind of crazy. Read More →

Originally published August 9th, 2013.

Society can break people. On the day I realized this, I was in a 6th grade classroom in Manhattan, Ks. It would be my first opportunity in life to look someone in the eyes and try to help them heal. I was a sparkly-eyed bilingual elementary education student teacher with dreams of changing the world, in what I considered at the time to be a diverse school. That’s when a 6th grade student, Francisco*, broke my heart.

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