Happy Spring! Already the tree in my backyard is blooming, the flowers in the front garden are blooming, there is green everywhere, the temperatures are climbing into the 70s and soon it will be time to plant the vegetables in the back garden.
This has been an incredibly busy and exciting month. I got a new job, a new logo, witnessed history in the making, was broadsided on the way to a city council meeting, and connected with over 300 residents in Midvale. Meanwhile Top Golf's announcement that it is moving to Midvale is generating excitement.
A New Job
Back in January, practically everyone at my last company was laid off when the company failed its rebid with the Defense Logistics Agency by being underbid by IBM. Most of us finally landed a new position, and I found a 6-month to two year contract programming opportunity at a company called Unishippers in Murray, and a 7 minute drive from my home in Midvale. The good news is that I am contracting at a rate comparable to my old salary and am able to spend` more time focusing on service to the local community. My employer was kind enough to let me have some time off to be active up on the hill. After 6 weeks of unemployment, I'm drawing a paycheck again, even though I have to wait until May 1 for health insurance to kick in at the cost of just over $700 per month through my contract company, Kelly.Read more
January has been a month of change and increased activity, starting with elections on the Community Council, and interweaving in citizen activism for the 45 days that the legislature is in session. I am orders of magnitude more involved that I was this time last year.
The Community Council of Midvale elected their executive committee. I was invited to step outside my comfort zone by being nominated and unanimously elected to the post of Secretary. I am honored to serve in that capacity. Please join me in congratulating the rest of the 2015 executive committee:
- Floyd Tarbet, Chairperson
- Serafina Ochoa, First Vice Chair
- Larry Laxman, Second Vice Chair
- Bruce Boggess, Treasurer
Happy New Year! I hope you had merry holidays and were able to reconnect with the things of value in your life. For me, with the help of a new friend, the month began by reconnecting with myself, progressed through reconnecting with my spouse and the LGBT community, and finally making connections with the community of Midvale. This month has gone from respite to celebration to tragedy, with valuable lessons and commitments to take forward into the new year.
A Painting Lesson
Never before had I been to a Ladies Night Out Paint Lesson. Apparently they hold them every week in Salt Lake City, and I don't consider myself much of a painter. To get my mind off of politics and advocacy (which is no mean feat), Janet Rose took me out as a Christmas present to the Spaghetti Warehouse at Trolley Station after work in early December. I will be the first to admit that the only painting that I have done prior has been paint-by-number with oils, and that not very frequently or very recent. I tried sketching when I was younger, and I did okay with inanimate objects, but living things just refused to be captured by me when I set to put them on paper.
So this was an opportunity that took me outside of my comfort zone, and it was with acrylics around women who do this for a hobby. I followed the step-by-step instructions for creating the flower, which looked so real on the board, while chatting about things going on in our lives, which helped me to push down some of the anxiety. When I finally started getting comfortable, and seeing other people diverge on their creative path, I decided to make my slight detour and do my petals in purple instead of orange. Yes, it wound up looking a bit like a Van Gogh when I was done, but I have since learned that it's best to work with the expression that winds up being reflected than trying to force it into your original vision.Read more
Election day has come and gone. It's time to pull in those yard signs, and prepare for the winter. Whether the people you were rooting for won or lost, the important part is that you participated in the process. This year I participated more that I have in any other, and plan to participate more next year. In what way, you are just going to have to wait one more month while I prepare for my announcement and we start solidifying plans.
This year, I was responsible for hosting the Hospitality Suite for the Stonewall Democrats. It was set up as a comforting and welcoming space where people could just come and relax to get away from it all. While some of my favorites didn't win this year, I know they will be back, and I'll be ready to support them when the time comes.
During the speeches, I was approached by a young reporter who wanted to know who I was and why I looked familiar. A thousand reasons popped into my head, and before the short conversation was over, she said that she'd be keeping an eye out for me.
I just read in the news this morning that an LDS church was burglarized in Midvale, and the police investigating it are considering it a hate crime. One window was broken, and the couple arrested said they hated the church and wanted to destroy the building.
Please, people, we need to respect people's houses of worship, whether you agree with their religion being on your spiritual path or not. Any crime done against another simply because you do not like their values is a hate crime and needs to be treated as such, with stiffer penalties.
This reminds me of the Unitarian Church massacre in Texas, where a group of people were slain because the church supported same-sex marriage.
Contact: Sophia Hawes FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cell Phone: 502/821-3357
LOVE BECOMES LEGAL IN UTAH
Two Transgender Lesbian Women Become First Such Legally Recognized Union in Utah
On October 6, 2014 Danilynn Louise Tingey and Sophia Jean Hawes-Tingey became the first legally recognized trans-lesbian couple in the state of Utah!
Danielle Sainte-Marie, a local Utah Poetress, Author, and good friend of the Tingeys, writes,
“Today, the Supreme Court decided that the heartfelt love all gay, lesbian, and transgender people feel for someone special, is something worthy of recognition, celebration, and justice.
Last week, Cherilyn Eager made a lot of statements in an effort to damn the cause of marriage equality, claiming to be an expert because of "LGBT entertainer friends" that she worked with. In the process she said a lot of hurtful and spiteful things.
Cherilyn Eager neither knows nor understands her “LGBT entertainer friends.” She likely has none left after she proved that she is no friend to the LGBT community. Her attacks are strongly reminiscent of Anita Bryant’s rhetoric in the 1970s, are just as ignorant, steeped in misinformation, just as inflammatory, and just as dangerous. Anita Bryant’s rhetoric swept the nation, resulting in the repeal of LGBT protections, and led to violence and police brutality against many people who simply desired to be themselves.
Simon Bolivar Festival
We had a great time at the Simon Bolivar Festival, listening to the music sampling the food, and meeting the people. It was a pleasure talking to those of you who came up and asked who I was and what the meaning of 2016 was.
The Simon Bolivar festival is a celebration of the culture of five principle countries in South America. Simon Bolivar is recognized by those countries as the Great Liberator. Together with San Martin, he led Venezuela, Columbia (including Panama), Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia to independence from the Spanish Empire, laying the groundwork for democracy in Latin America. Born to a family that owned slaves, Simon was radical in his time by fighting for fairness for all. During my time in the US Navy, I visited both Panama and Ecuador, exchanging letters for a time with someone I had met in Quito, Ecuador.
Truth in TaxationRead more
Salt Lake Tribune Letter of the Week
This week I had the dubious distinction of penning the Salt Lake Tribune Letter of the Week. Titled Don’t forget transgender in marriage debate, I was inspired to write it after reading another article that referred to the Marriage Equality struggle as a gay and lesbian issue. Under that framing, I was feeling that my marriage and those of other transgender people were being left out of the equation. Marriage Equality benefits more than just the lesbian and gay community, and that's why so many people are fighting for it. It's a Human Rights issue which opens up the possibility of families redefining their marriages around love and commitment, instead of gender and procreation.
Meeting the Mayor of MidvaleRead more
As you are probably aware, I have created a website that hosts my blog entries, my calendar of upcoming events, and is also an ideal place to get involved should you desire to volunteer, donate, or spread the word.
Will you register your support today? Yes, I'd love to register.
Even though I was Out in Convention this year on my first bid, I am planning another run for the Utah legislature in 2016. Two years may seem like a long time, but it will be here before you know it.
Before I ran, despite being an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights, I didn't have a lot of the right connections. That is changing, and rapidly. Because I ran, I have drawn support and guidance from the following organizations and people:Read more