Just a quick note to say that you can now find and follow a page for The Complicated Geography of Alice on Facebook. My intent is to share articles and information related to families like ours (trans issues, substance abuse and mental health, etc.) through the page. So please, LIKE Geography of Alice on Facebook and share the page with your friends.
I hoped that ALICE would soften hearts and open minds. But in the beginning, there’s a lot of preaching to the choir and you start to wonder if the only people who will ever read your book are the ones who already agree with you.
Then yesterday, I met an old friend for a walk through the gallery downstairs. We hadn’t seen each other since she read ALICE a couple of months ago and it was one of the first things she brought up.
I’ve gotten more accepting since I read your book, she said, and these friends of mine, posting things on Facebook about transgender people in bathrooms, I want to ask them “what if that was your child?”
She apologized for not having said this outright to her friends, but we both know it’s not a battle to be won by trying to shout over one another on Facebook.
It is won person by person; my retired lady friend reading a book she’d never have picked up if she didn’t know the author, then passing it on to her sister who never met a transgender person but would come to know a few through ALICE, and the sister loans it to another woman who sometimes clicks like on a post about protecting women in bathrooms because who wouldn’t want to protect women? but maybe she reads the book and realizes that protecting women means protecting trans women too …
Yes, we need the fierce advocates standing on the capitol steps, but we also need the gentle nudging around the edges, expanding the circle of acceptance and understanding, changing hearts and minds – one at a time.
I swear, the bagel obsession will simmer down soon. The rough draft of the e-book is complete and the photos are nearly done. This week's masterpiece is the Hummus Heaven Bagel Sandwich (Bagelwich), a plain bagel topped with homemade hummus, quinoa tabbouleh and crispy gyros strips.
Lebanon was in my head this week, after one of my co-workers shared a lovely quote from Kahlil Gilbran:
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.
A quick search of the poet's work (and Amazon purchase of his wildly popular book ) led me to the ruins of ancient Tyre and eventually, as it so often does, to perusing cookbooks of Lebanese cuisine.
I've been making hummus on a weekly basis for six months now. It's the perfect workday snack, and you can flavor it to suit your tastes. I usually take mine in the smoky paprika direction, but this batch was straightforward, just chickpeas, tahini, lemon, garlic, olive oil and salt. The quickie quinoa tabbouleh and gyros seemed like the perfect accompaniment. Once I got the Hummus Heaven Bagel assembled (and photographed, of course), I chowed down while digging in to Kahlil GIlbran's "The Prophet" and wondering where these two things had been all my life.
Seriously heavenly stuff.
Graffiti Jules – Rolling into San Francisco for Sunday brunch on my 47th birthday, I felt particularly welcome.
Admiring the big round letters, I couldn't help but think of the notebook covers I filled with that same scribble – big loopy J and swirling S – the name I swiped at 17 from a character in the first R-Rated movie I ever saw. A name that is now as much mine as the one my mother gave me, but also – clearly – belongs to someone else. Perhaps the graffiti Jules is a love letter, scattered about the city in bits and pieces, or an artist glorying in the name they've chosen to wear as I once did. But on this day, I perfer to imagine it as a celebratory welcome from the only city I have ever loved. Thank you San Francisco, for the graffiti Jules and everything else you've ever given me.