Having seen the recent news about events in Baltimore, last year in Ferguson and in other areas across the United States, this song keeps popping into my head.
People say that rioting doesn’t solve anything, but perhaps this is the only way people feel they can be heard at the moment. The American Civil Rights movement didn’t end in the 1960s and 70s, it’s ongoing, as are the struggles for LGBTQ people and other minority groups who are marginalised and sidelined and are refused equal rights.
This song comes from ‘Hairspray’ the musical, this version was performed in Glee to support a character who was transitioning from female to male.
At 8 o’clock this morning I sat bleary eyed in the waiting room for the InterCity bus station in Auckland. I’d left at ten to seven to catch two buses in and I was sipping on a mocha frappachino in an attempt to wake myself with caffeine. It wasn’t working in the slightest. My massive headphones were on and a McFly selection was playing. A lady with long blonde hair walked into the room and started chatting and laughing with the ladies behind the desk. They started comparing hairstyles and I closed my eyes and listened to the music.
Waiting by the bus to load on the backpack I watched the other passengers, trying to work out who was due to be travelling and who was there to see them off. I guessed correctly for the most part – there’s a weary resignation for those due on a 5 and a half hour bus trip. There were some wry smiles and sniggers as our driver came up to open up the bus – it was the same blonde lady from the waiting room.
She put the bags in the hold, checked our names and destinations off her list and we boarded the bus.
After leaving Auckland the driver introduced herself as Rachael and explained the rules of the bus and that she would be giving us an occasional commentary as we drove along. She told us that she wanted to clear up the misconception that many people have about bus drivers being moody and miserable. It’s more a case of being efficient and assertive, because there are working time regulations that they have to follow and being prompt is an important part of that. She said that she’s a little different but no-one in the world is the same, even identical twins are different so it’s actually normal to be different.
A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. Maya Angelou
The 23rd of May would have been Dad’s 65th birthday. I’ve talked a lot about him being ill, his death and how that’s affected me but there’s a big section of his life I’ve not mentioned on this blog until now. Not because I’ve been embarrassed or ashamed by it, I’ll talk at length with people in person, but because it is something that a large section of the population can’t understand and I didn’t want to have to put up with negative comments that are inevitably on their way whilst coming to terms with a death.
But since it’s been over 6 months since he died and I seem to be doing better, talking about it seemed like a good birthday present.
For the last 4 years Dad has been known not as Donald, but as Dawn. It’s going to get confusing writing about it because when we found out we asked him what he wanted us to call him and he said that only 5 people in the world could call him ‘Dad’ so we should stick with that. But with ‘Dad’ comes ‘he’, ‘him’ and ‘his’. Whenever I talked about him with others I still used male pronouns, but if we were out in public together I did make an effort to use ‘she’ and ‘her’. But I’m getting ahead of myself…