Transgender Visibility, and hope

I agree, again (you say things so much more eloquently than I ever could). Visibility is important. 🙂

kajeharper

NYC:  Mother holding a sign with her child at the 2014 Gay Pride Parade on Fifth Avenue (stock pic) NYC: Mother holding a sign with her child at the 2014 Gay Pride Parade on Fifth Avenue (stock pic) This is the decade in which, for many Americans, transgender people are moving from an unknown “T” in an alphabet-label, to real faces, real names, and real stories. As that happens, opinions, hearts, minds, and laws are changing. Visibility matters, just as it has for all of LGBTQ.

Consider Ireland in the spring of 2015, in the months before the vote on equal marriage for same-sex couples. Sure, there were many good public information campaigns. But in the end, it was everyone who came out, to family, friends, neighbors and co-workers, who made the difference. It was “my son who’s gay”, “my lesbian auntie”, “my bisexual cousin”, “my gay dentist” who turned the tide. Personal familiarity and family feeling brought victory to the Yes campaign.

Coming out as transgender can carry…

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International Transgender Day of Visibility March 31

I totally agree with all of this.

kajeharper

man-womanfaces One of the biggest threats to the LGBTQ community is the ignorance of those who are outside it. And even some within it.

Gender-spectum individuals – trans and genderfluid and agender and bigender and other non-cis folk – are at the highest risk. They are represented in the public mind by a very small number of individuals (and not always well-represented.)

I saw a post recently from a random guy who claimed that he only hung out with “real men” and was sure he didn’t know anyone trans. Well, perhaps he should read about Kristin Beck – a transwoman with a 20-year career as a Navy SEAL. While her teammembers were on active duty around the world with Senior Chief Beck, they probably would have claimed not to know any trans individuals either. (http://www.beck4congress.us/about.html)

So many people don’t see gender-spectum individuals as ordinary people living side by side with them…

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Review: Cut & Run 6: Stars & Stripes

Stars & Stripes

By Abigail Roux

 

Okay…so a lot of emotional stuff happened in this book.  Lots of injuries too (but that happened later).  We start off with a trip to Ty’s family homestead where Ty and Zane (sort of accidentally) come out to Ty’s family.   This event was very emotional for Ty as he had kept this secret from his parents for so long and their reaction was about what you might expect from the Grady’s.  Their upset had zero to do with his relationship with Zane and everything to do with keeping secrets and running from the family.  And really, that speaks more about the kind of family the Grady’s are than anything I could say.

In contrast, we finally meet Zane’s family.

After all of the goings on in Virginia, Zane gets a call and heads out to Texas.  I liked Zane’s father very much, and his sister, but his mother?  She’s a piece of work.  I kind of get it, though.  I don’t approve of her behavior or the way she wouldn’t bend in the slightest, and she doesn’t seem at all suited towards parenthood at all.  However, I kind of see the allusions that were being made about the kind of person Zane used to be.  Not just the drinking and the drugs, which we saw a little bit of in the beginning, or the prostitutes, he made mention of, or whatever shenanigans went on in Miami or other locales.  No, the implication here is that Zane was a different person before all that, not just *before Becky died* but when he was with her, he was a more closed off person.  And that right there says a lot, not only about his relationship with Ty but how they have affected each other.  Because it’s not just Zane who has changed in this last year.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a Cut & Run book without a little mystery, and this one has animals…

Ty’s weird aversion to horses is hysterical as is his understandable issue with large felines.  And the way, despite all that, he connects to a tiger anyway?  Adorable.

The ending was perfect, but I feel as though I’m waiting for something horrible to happen.  It’s all gone remarkable well so far.  But then, they still have to deal with work.  What will McCoy say when they return?  Clearly Ty lied, and what’s his excuse for that?

I guess there’s nothing for it but to listen to the next book.  What a hardship…

 

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Review: Cut & Run 5: Armed & Dangerous

Armed & Dangerous

By Abigail Roux

 

I really liked this one.  I read Warrior’s Cross recently, so I was familiar with Julian and Cameron and their story, but I have to say I enjoyed Julian a lot more here.  I’m not if that was from his snarky attitude (and his snarking with Ty) or just a byproduct of listening to the Audio (versus just reading).

This book has plenty of opportunities for everyone to show their badassery.  We’ve got what starts out as a simple retrieval assignment, then turns into Ty and Zane escorting Julian and Cameron to DC (with Julian trying to escape at every opportunity).  Julian and Ty pretty much hate each other on sight, which leave lots of room for amusement, just based on their personality traits alone.  Plus there’re the people trying to prevent them from making it to DC.

I absolutely *loved* the animal metaphors.  I want a t-shirt now that says “I’m an Elephant.”  Of course, no one would probably get the reference, but alas…

Along the way, they have need of an alternate route, and this brings Nick O’Flaherty into the picture.  This, as one could imagine, was a complicated little endeavor.  On the one hand, Nick is TY’s oldest friend, on the other Zane is still pretty pissed off about that little kiss that happened in the last book.

However, this new encounter with Nick allows Zane and Nick time to talk, without Ty, which I think is important.  It allows Nick to apologize, and for him to explain some things (both about his general history with Ty and about their shared history as POW’s).  This is an emotional bloodletting, mainly because Zane hates the idea of anything that cause hurt to tie, but it also gives us a new understanding of Nick.

I had gathered (just from what little had been said in the previous book) that their experience as POW’s and his sense of loss had affected his actions previously (as well as the alcohol), but this definitely explained it a lot more.  I still feel that his actions were highly disrespectful of Zane and the relationship Ty had with him (but since he really had no reason to respect Zane as a person, aside from as Ty’s partner), plus with the addition of the alcohol, he probably didn’t have as many inhibitions or control.  So, I’ll let it go.

The case is resolved, Julian and Cameron can go off and do whatever, though I’m a little bit sad at Preston’s outcome, though he didn’t seem too put out by it.

I was happy to see Ty and Zane make the decision to move in together, but I cautiously curious what this might mean for both their job’s and their families (well Ty’s anyway, as far as I can tell Zane doesn’t have much contact with anyone but his sister).

On to the next volume…

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Review: Cut & Run 4: Divide & Conquer

Divide & Conquer By

Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux

Well, this book sure was a teeny bit emotional. Not overly so, but a bit. We had Zane getting injured, Ty dealing with things the best way Ty can, plus a crazy teenager blowing things up.

I wasn’t as interested in the antagonist as I was in the repercussions of his actions, but that’s okay, because in the long run this is really about the continuing saga of Ty and Zane, so…

I was pleasantly surprised (and kind of proud) to see Zane so easily admit to Ryan that Ty was more than just his work partner. In that situation, he could have easily taken the simpler route and allowed Ryan to believe in the mistake. Especially considering Ryan isn’t anyone he works with or is friends with (not really). He doesn’t really give Ryan any thought at all (despite Ty’s obvious jealousy).

It was also interesting to meet Ty’s Recon team. I was a little leery of Nick, just because of his clear disdain for Zane. I mean, I get that they want someone partnered with Ty who can be trusted to watch his back, but they weren’t exactly catching him on his best day.

Then, of course, there’s that other *thing* however, that I get. Ty’s a force of nature, and Ty and Nick have known each other a long time and have some of the same experiences, etc… The thing about incident that was more annoying (and maybe it was more due to the alcohol) was it felt like (no matter how much Nick may have really felt for Ty and how much he wished he would have known about Ty’s bisexuality sooner) the fact Nick was making a move *now* when he knew Ty was not available, and that Ty was in love with Zane it felt like an extension of his dislike and disdain for Zane and disrespect for Ty-and-Zane and their relationship.

Having said that, I don’t dislike Nick (or any of the others–except Own, obviously). I hope we see them again in the future (which I’m assuming is the case).

Zane finally, *finally* managed to say those pesky little words….it’s kind of sad that it’s a panic-inducing thing, especially considering he feels it, he knows it, Ty knows it, but expressing it is such a trial.

I loved that Ty knows Zane so well, that he knows exactly what his process is like:

“Ty knew his partner had to take the issue from every angle, analyze it to death, resurrect it, and then study its dead, rotting body to see the results. Yeah, it might take Zane four months to decide if he loved someone, and then more to decide if that was a good idea.”

And the end? I get how Ty could feel that way, especially considering some of the confining spaces of late, but I can definitely see how devasting that might be to wake up to for Zane.

I’ll definitely have to be diving right into the next book.

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Review: Cut & Run 3: Fish & Chips

Fish & Chips By

Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux

 

This third novel in the Cut and Run series furthers the relationship variables between our two protagonists. Ty and Zane are back at work and are given an undercover assignment wherein they have to impersonate an out committed gay couple on a cruise. Doesn’t sound like it should be too difficult, right?

Regardless of what they have admitted to each other (or perhaps themselves), they are in fact committed, I think. And while I wouldn’t go so far as to say they are either out, nor ‘gay’ (both are clearly bisexual, if you have to slap a label on them), they also have significant undercover experience. This shouldn’t be a problem. Right.

The problem is, this assignment, is cutting it a little too close to home (or what they’d like to be home), despite the differences in the personalities of their fake identities and their real selves, there is enough of wishing to make for uncomfortable situations. Then, of course, there are the death threats. But what would a Cut and Run novel be without a little danger?

I understand how some people might be frustrated with the miscommunication going on between Ty and Zane in this book (in regards to their feelings for one another). In the previous book, while Ty has acknowledged, to himself, his feelings for Zane, the same cannot be said for Zane. For much of the previous story, Zane seemed to be denying or repressing the depth of his feelings. Yes, he would admit (inside his own head at least) that he feels strongly for Ty and that those feelings are probably permanent, he seems reluctant to put a name to them.

However despite all this I can totally understand this type of behavior. Here you have two guys, who for the most part have loved solitary, independent lives (at least in the recent past) and they aren’t used to laying their emotions bare or discussing things or putting themselves at risk (at least not on an emotional level). They aren’t sensitive guys who talk about their feelings anytime the mood strikes. They’d probably rather bury their head in the sand until the it goes away, or barring that, keeping their issues to themselves so they are the only ones to suffer.

That said, by the end of this novel, some of that miscommunication seem to be resolved, though what comes next is still up in the air. I guess I’ll have to see what happens next in Divide & Conquer.

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Review: Cut & Run 2: Sticks & Stones

Sticks & Stones By

Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux

 

So, Ty and Zane are officially FBI partners (which is where we ended Cut & Run) but things are a little more problematic on the personal front.  Neither of them is quite managing to handle the evals 100%, so Richard Burns has given them one more shot to get their heads on straight, and given them a vacation (where he has indicated quite insistently that Ty returns home to West Virginia).

This book was quite enjoyable for me because we get to meet Ty’s family.  His father, Earl; His mother, Mara;  His brother Deacon (better known as Deuce); His grandfather, Chester.  They are all present and accounted for, and they all have their own personalities.  We spend the most time with Earl and Deuce (due to the plot of an unfortunate hiking trip which ends in disaster,  which is typical for anything these boys can get up to when they to their own devices).  Despite some unpleasantness with some ill-thought words from Earl, I did like Ty’s father.  I especially liked Deuce, and I do hope we seem him again.  I am a bit concerned about Deuce’s continued warnings about Earl not finding out about Ty and Zane’s personal relationship, but I’m not sure if the caution is because at this point Ty and Zane are operating on a ‘casual’ or Partners-with-Benefits type of situation, and Deuce believe Earl wouldn’t approve of that, or if it is the whole same-sex, relationship-with-Zane thing, in general, he would approve of.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see about that.

This book reiterated how complex and layered these men are, and how they each have their own issues that they have to deal with, separate from whatever exciting adventure is going on (which in this case was some murderous treasure hunters up in the mountains and a hungry Cougar).

By the end of the book Ty has admitted (to himself, at least) that he is in love with Zane.  However, he knows  (or believes at least) that love cannot be returned.

I believe that Zane does love Ty (regardless of what he tells Deuce in chapter 7) he just doesn’t recognize it in himself.  I’m not sure if it’s a case of severe denial (he’s denying it because of what he felt for his Becky and he’s afraid to feel that way for anyone again), or if what he feels for Ty is fundamentally different than what he felt for Becky that he doesn’t recognize that they can both be love, just different.  Zane has a bit to go still before he reaches his own epiphany in this matter, and that’s okay.

Like I mentioned before, I liked this book a lot (more for the family and relationship stuff than the action/case stuff) but I look forward to book three.

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