According to me…..

Posts tagged ‘death’

Life seems to have gone crazy…

Trigger warning:  I haven’t been here in a long time.  I’m still doing all I did before… Only two jobs and one volunteer.  The long distance relationship.. well, it’s busy and painful and beautiful.  It might not end well.   I do love him.  The police tell me they have arrested my dad… I guess he isn’t allowed to leave the country and has to go to court to set a date.  This will take a long time.  I wonder if he will live that long.  Thing is… if he just admitted it… I’d have closure.  I guess … him being charged again, same charge – is a bit of closure.  It’s the world saying ok, we know it happened and the process has begun to make amends.  But no one can make amends for what he did.  No one can fix it.  17 years of abuse… I’ve been living with / through… I kid myself if I think it hasn’t affected my world.  What do I want?  I never wanted jail time for him… just help.. but there is no help for that.  So I don’t know.

I’m living in a warehouse.  I’m probably going to be homeless at some point.  The city says we aren’t allowed to live here.. but I love it here.   My day consists of biking to an apartment to shower… handwashing dishes in cold water, carrying buckets of water up and down.  Of wondering when I’m going to be homeless .. and my cat too.  I wasn’t stable enough to have a pet.. but she was left to me, so I have her and love her.

I’m really shitty with money.  It’s not the end of the month yet and I’m broke. lol

I drink too much.  I think I have to quit.  I’m destroying myself.  I’m destroying my relationships.  I’ve decided to look up Al-anon meetings tomorrow… it’s my first step.  I should be in AA and IA… but one step at a time.

Basically I’m a mess and I don’t even know why I’m writing except to get it out.

It’s been a horrid week… I saw a dog get killed and my friend’s mom died on her birthday and all the rest. I don’t know.

That’s all for now.  Maybe later I can write something more important.

Gary Moore: April 4th 1952 – February 6th 2011

Former Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore has died at a Costa del Sol hotel.

The musician was found dead in his room at the luxury Kempinski Resort Hotel in Estepona in the early hours of this morning. A postmortem is due to carried out later today in the nearby city of Malaga.

Moore (58) from Belfast is understood to have been on holiday at the time of his death.

Click here to read more!

R.I.P. Gary Moore, the best guitar player ever to have blessed us with his music.

You’ll be missed by many.  Thoughts and prayers to your family.

Still Got the Blues

The Prophet

The Thrill is Gone with BB King


Latest Project – Transgender Day of Remembrance.

~Transgender Month of Remembrance~

I have the day off, I have the day off!    🙂

Well, sort of. lol  I don’t have to physically GO anywhere…. so that to me, is a day off.  🙂

My latest project.  This month, November, is Transgender Month of Remembrance.  The official day this year for the 12th Transgender DAY of Remembrance is November 20th.  It’s a month to think on and remember all those that have died brutally, cruelly because of something they have no control over.  No one would choose to be *the wrong sex*.  No one is born and thinks… *hey, I think I’d like to be the opposite sex than what I was born as, because I want to be ridiculed and beaten and murdered*.  It’s not about being gay, and it’s not about making the *wrong*  life choices, it’s about being born genetically one sex but really feeling you are the other.  Why is this so important to some folks on this planet, that they need to destroy lives, to squash people?  How does it affect their lives, and why does it?  Are they really so weak and easily threatened?  By what?  Another human simply wanting to feel right about themselves?  It’s disgusting that people have to go through this pain and degradation, murder, and that no one is screaming it from the rooftops… alerting the public, stopping it!

This last week I’ve been putting together a video / slide show.  We’ve gathered as many names as we could find, and trust me, there are too many.  In order to add each person to a slide, I did some extra research.  I’ve read about some of the most devastatingly nasty crimes that I’ve ever heard of.  In a world where so much horror is publicized daily…how did these things never make the papers?  The crimes I’ve read about are beyond comprehension.  People are being decapitated.  They are being dismembered.  They get tortured, and are held captive in horrid conditions for days sometimes before being killed in some unmentionable manner.   Gunned down in the streets, without a thought.  Burned, bruised, hurt.  Dumped, unceremoniously in ditches.

I’ve read about a 16 month old boy that was beaten to death by a 20 year old… The 20 year old said that he was trying to make the boy *act more like a boy, and not like a little girl*.

I’ve read about a woman that was held captive in a pit for two days, brutally beaten, abused, and murdered.

And so much more.  Too much more.  It makes me nauseous deep in my soul to be part of the human race, the part that is capable of such evil atrocities.

I had a friend.  Her name was Ericka Fenton.  She was so loved… generous to a fault, and fun.  She always appeared to be happy, even when she had no reason to be.  She was always ready for a dance, in for any party with her many friends…to go with Ericka for the night was to have a time to remember.  Everyone loved her.  But she didn’t know this… or she didn’t know it deeply enough.  She was very often beaten.  I can’t count how many times she was in hospital.  She was once taken down to the bluffs and held hostage.  Beaten and abused by a group of men.  She was pushed down stairs, run over by a bus, everyday was a struggle for her.  She wanted to create a website to try and raise money to get a sex change.  She was all woman, there was nothing male about her.  She struggled with depression and one day she had enough – her love of life was beaten out of her.  She jumped off a bridge and ended her life.  Many people miss her.  At her funeral I met some of her family and I met a whole group of people that were her friends that I’d never imagined or known about… we were her east end friends.  She also had a massive group of west end friends.  They were wonderful people and it was an honor to meet them all and share our love for Ericka.  We all knew that we suffered her loss because the world was harsh and mean to her.  Could we have helped?

This slide show I offered to create for our group, Queer Action Committee (QUAC) at South Riverdale Community Health Centre, was hard work.  It was gruelling and well worth the effort.  I cried many times during the making of this video.  I felt a deep respect for each person I read about, and felt their loss and pain.  I had started out with an 8 minute slide in my mind.  With all the information that was sent to me by the hard working group, the video grew to 200 slides, and it was 15 minutes long.  There were well over 200 people represented.  200 lost people.  200 humans that weren’t loved for who they were, because they were brave enough to try and live a life that made their hearts happy.  A life they were comfortable in.  I could have made the slide show much longer, there was no way to represent all of the people lost, to date.

Shame on us.  Shame on all the monsters that selfishly, cruelly, and callously take away these wonderful, precious people… and shame on the lack of protection from society for these brave and wonderful souls.

o yes, I’m happy to have a day off.  Would I trade the last week for a day off?  No… I have the luxury of having a day off and I can appreciate it, because I know I’m lucky, today.

~~Lost, but never ever forgotten.~~

Transgendered people have two symbols to choose from. The first and most obvious is a merging of the male and female symbols rather than interlocking. By putting both the cross and the arrow on the same ring, it symbolizes the male and female parts inherent in one person. This symbol is the most inclusive of the two and most recognizable. In the simplest sense, it indicates some level of androgyny.

Another symbol though, disregards the Mars and Venus symbols altogether and uses the Mercury symbol. In Greek mythology, Aphrodite (Venus) had a child with Mercury (Hermes). The child was named Hermaphroditus and possessed both male and female genitalia. Thus the origin of the word hermaphrodite. Since Hermaphroditus didn’t have a specific symbol, the symbol for Mercury was borrowed in this instance to represent a transgendered person. Mercury’s symbol has a cross extending down to represent femininity and a crescent moon at the top to represent masculinity. The two are placed at opposite ends of the circle to strike a balance between the male and female parts. This symbol seems to speak more to those trangendered persons who identify hermaphroditically or andgroynously.

This information was gathered from THIS SITE… with many thanks.

Prisoner Justice Day Followup

I don’t know where to start.  It’s overwhelming and I learned so much.

Ever attend an event or function and not completely know what it’s about or even if you fully agree with the issues?  lol  Yes, that’s what I did.  I knew that I didn’t like the deaths of inmates because emergency call buttons were not fixed.  I knew that what I had read so far was that people were dying in jails because of a lack of attention to medical aids.  This is the premise on which I attended this event.  There have been vigils every year for 35 years now because of this.  Deaths and suicides.  Unaccounted for and unexplained…well hidden.

There was also, in the back of my mind, the events of the G20.  1000 people thrown into makeshift jails.  Held in small cages with too many people so that sitting was not an option.  Hands tied with plastic pull ties.. bleeding wrists.  Lack of food, water, washrooms, dignity.  Guilty.  People passing out and revived only to be retied.  People having their prostheses taken away, and told to *hop*, by police… this all makes me furious… so I went.

These things I agreed with fighting against.

Domineering Don Jail

Don Jail

However, I get to the function and find it to be much, MUCH deeper than I expected / realized.  I waited to blog it because I wanted to get it all in some sort of order in my mind before just babbling… but it’s not happening, so I’m going to babble it out and then try to order it.

I’m going to start with the days’ events, I think… then move on to what I learned.  And what I learned is devoid of full facts and statistics because I don’t have them as of yet, but I will get them, I’ve already requested them.

We met at South Riverdale Community Health Centre and had an hour and a half meeting.  We were read facts, and statistics from current and past situations regarding jail time, prisoner age, sex, race, etc.  We were enlightened on what the government is doing, what laws it is trying to pass and has already passed.  Then people from the area who had experienced jail told us their stories.  It was heart wrenching.  Some chose humor to tell their tale…but you could hear the pain behind their words.   Humans being degraded in ways you cannot imagine.  One woman takes a painkiller every day for her pain and when she got to jail they offered her two Tylenols.   She quipped that if she had two broken legs, perhaps they’d have upped that to four.  Another told of rape and body searches.  Poor conditions, lack of food and being anemic, no contact with the outside world, the frustration.  And another told of how he was charged at an early age for a petty crime, and forever after harassed daily by police – to be charged over and over – as he lived on the system and could not afford food.  When you get out of jail you are usually homeless.  You get on the system and cannot eat.   He has two brothers…one he hasn’t seen since he was 12, as he is in the same cycle.  He just wants a family again.  Next we heard a native woman drumming an ancient ritual drum, singing a long known song to her peoples.  We lit candles and prayed for those who have died in prison, and those still incarcerated.  We got our black balloons, banners and signs and we marched on over to the Don Jail, in unison, in solidarity.

SCI Stats

SCI Stats

Once we arrived we had a tent set up and there were speakers.  We again heard of the statistics and horrendous numbers.  There were some speakers from the area…. and then we lit candles and marched in front of the jail.  It was peaceful, but painful to see.  The people who chose to speak of their experiences barely had to say a word, you could visually see what the system had done for them.  While we were there they had released (discarded) two prisoners… out onto the front steps with their belongings in see-through plastic bags, like so much rubbish… here the two changed back into their own clothing.  Another two people, homeless.  We gave them both a smoke.. they stayed to see what we were doing – they had nowhere else to be, they were in no rush to sleep on the streets.

So.  Here are some of the things I heard and learned.

If street sex and drugs were not deemed such a huge offense there would be less need for prison space.  If you make these things legal, you don’t need to jail folks.  If you feed them, they don’t need to steal food.  They don’t need to steal from stores in the area or homes, to get food, clothes, drug money.  If you supply them with food, and homes… and treat underlying issues – you have less folks in jail.  Now, out of the criminals in jail – you do have the real bad humans.  But the really bad humans make up only 1% of the whole population in jail!!!  So now, our government is looking at these extreme cases and it’s judging every *criminal* on the nature and severity of the crimes of these specific individuals.  It’s saying that because *so and so* is such a threat, we are going to change the rules so they can’t get out, or get out early.  They’ve already passed a law saying that you cannot be released early for time served.  So people who are in jail for smoking a joint are doing their full sentence now.  In jails that are already overstuffed, understaffed and unhealthy.  If a woman has a child and has to resort to street sex to feed her child because the system doesn’t see fit to provide enough money or services to help her… then she gets arrested… she must do her full term now.  They are working on taking away parole hearings.  They say that for some it’s better, it takes away the hopes and worries over repeated parole hearings.  Really?  Whatever time you get, you serve, end of sentence (so to speak).  Now we can all agree that for violent criminals this is perfectly fine… but what about all those folks who are charged with sleeping on the street?  With riding a bike on the sidewalk?  With needing the sex trades to get by?  With trying to survive?????  Why not legalize and make it safer for them.  Why not help???

All in all crime has gone down in Canada…yes, it’s true.  But the costs and building of jails has gone up!!  Is it really that much easier to just throw so many people away?  Do you think they get rehabilitated in jail?  No… they learn more street skills and they soon lose the ability to get honest work.  They lose self confidence.  They may turn to drugs to cope, then more crime to support their new habits.  What are we doing?  It’s inhumane.  Caging humans is NOT an answer…not for all of them.  How can it be legal to smoke pot in one part of the world and yet in another they are locked up?  How about sex?  Some places have designated areas and high controls for health and safety.  How is it different, one woman asked, that I sucked a cock today to get food and I go to jail… and you can hear the unasked question… if I suck a cock tomorrow because I want to… I don’t go to jail!  Isn’t it a choice – albeit, a choice because you have no choice but to survive… and if this is the choice you make, rather than stealing or hurting others…why is it punishable?  If you panhandle… who are you hurting?  If someone doesn’t want to give, they can just keep walking.  People have to eat.  Would you rather they steal or become a hardened criminal?  No… but you will take them to your jail and strip search them and degrade them… make them sleep on a mattress on the floor because you have no room and deny them food and medication.  If you take methadone, they hold out on you… they use it as a tool.  Well, diabetics have their medication readily handy.  Methadone stops a lot of people from using hard drugs… as does smoking pot.  It’s used for medicinal purposes and for some people I know and have spoken to, to avoid hard core drugs or drinking.

I don’t smoke pot, but I’m for it being legal, with the same rules as alcohol.  I don’t ever want to see someone driving after a toke. LOL  What is the worst that happens when people smoke pot?  They do a drive by pillow fight????  Seriously?  They are trying to pass a law that will mean hard jail time for anyone caught with drugs – no alternative.

The numbers are phenomenal.  Out of the whole population in jails, most are the poorest of the people.  The highest percentage are native men.  Women in jail has gone up by leaps and bounds.  Jails are stuffed to bursting… and most crimes are petty.  All the laws they are trying to pass right now ensure that no one gets out early or on good behaviour, or for time served.  They are transferring folks as they wish and handing out harder, longer jail times.  All this does is make longer jail sentences, more folks in jail for longer – higher costs to the city, to the tax payers, and a more judgmental, demeaning way of treating humans…. and they certainly are not coming out any the better for it.

Some folks are comparing jails with institutions for psychiatric prisoners.  They mutually reinforce the approach of state controlling humans.  Both are guilty of classism, racism, sexism, ageism, heterosexism, and albeism.  In both situations you have humans locked up against their will, denied access to information, services, visits, media, and the public, even sunshine.  People are dying in both – sometimes from drug overdoses and improper mixing of drugs – without informed and free consent.  There are no public investigations – hell, you hardly hear of them.  Both systems use solitary confinement, forced transfers, sensory deprivation as means to control.  Women in the system are subjected to extra oppression, and more electroshock, damaging drugs, and longer confinement.  The LGBT community are doubly oppressed.  These systems claim to benefit society while promoting hierarchy and oppression.  This is not helping any *prisoner*, it is punishing and controlling.

There are many ways to help someone in crisis… much more effective ways.  There can be healing,  and crisis centres, community justice circles, residential-therapeutic houses, supportive housing and decriminalization of petty crimes.

Why are we wasting money on jails instead of housing, schooling and food?  We need to start treating all humans as if they are indeed, humans.  With dignity and respect and perhaps a little care.

Don Jail

Don Jail

CLICK HERE to see more statistics on number of jails, and folks being sent there.  There are many and overwhelming.

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