In all the years that I've been writing online, this is the very first time in my life. I have ever done, what I'm about to do. Now I have done this in person all my life. I've never done so, here in any journal or any online writing I've ever done.
I realize that when people read my writing a lot of times they probably think that I'm just some really angry Asshole. But I'm not. And I'm equally sure that a lot of people think that I don't even have any gratitude for the kindness I have been shown throughout this country and throughout my life. That's not true.
To begin with. The wonderful people of Tucson Arizona, where I went to school at southern Arizona school and high school. To all of you in Tucson. I don't ever want you to think I have ever forgotten those years were any of you. My memory has been rather severely interrupted as a result of my having this nervous breakdown, which I had in 1989.
So, I may not remember your name. I've met so many people in this country the trying to remember names of everyone I have met is practically impossible. And just because we happen to possibly disagree on some things politically. I have never looked of disagreement as a negative. Because disagreement brings debate. And today brings the potentiality for compromise. That is how I have always looked at things.
But I want to say thank you. To each and every one of you wonderful people in Tucson line new war met or was associated with them anyway during although his years I went to southern Arizona school, which basically was from 1966 until 1971. To my dying breath, I will be grateful to all of the wonderful people in Tucson Arizona, Sedona Arizona, no Gallas Mexico. Phoenix Arizona. Flagstaff Arizona.
I realize that you are really on the front line of what is happening right now. As far as immigration. And with all the rather unsavory aspects of immigration that is taking place on our borders is extremely understandable why so many of you are taking the positions you are taking. Please know that. You will always be in my heart and my prayers.
To the wonderful people of Boston Massachusetts. I hardly ever mention my time in your wonderful city. Because it brings back one of the most difficult times in my life professionally. And one of the most painful emotional times. But that's no excuse for not saying thank you. I really enjoyed your city. So tremendously. I really did. The very first time I drove by Boston Commons. I actually pulled my car up and just sat there for a moment. Because I couldn't believe I was actually right there. Where are young boys of 13 and 14 and old man were standing in a line. They were holding muskets. And directly opposite from them were trained, professional soldiers. And the young boys and old men stood there, because they believed in each other. And in this new idea. A free nation.
When I was in my car looking at the Boston Commons. I could actually almost see them standing there. And maybe it's because I'm just such a kind of romantic soul. But I actually got tears in my eyes thinking of the tremendous courage and bravery that those young boys and old men had to have. Not knowing that they would even survive the day.
Boston is a lot of things to a lot of people. To me he was Boston Commons. It was Plymouth Rock. To meet Boston was the very first place, where we as a group of people, pioneers. Stood together and decided that we wanted something better.
Don't ever think I'm not grateful. I am, and forever shall be grateful. Thank you. Thank you for being so kind and so charitable. And so open-minded. Thank you for being with I always was hoping people would be in this nation.
To this very day when I think about every time I would go by Boston Commons. Or when I would walk onto Boston Commons. I would actually feel chills going up my spine, because I knew I was walking on the exact same ground that those young boys and old men with muskets believed in the in each other and in his extremely amazing idea that we would be a free nation. To this day, it brings tears to my eyes thinking of that kind of courage.
To the people of Houston Texas. I'm not going to deny that I was really tortured while I was living in your city, because I was. I'm not going to deny that I met a lot of people who really weren't very nice. Because that's true. But I also met a lot of people who were amazing. People who were incredibly kind. People who were incredibly open-minded. And I have some of the most amazing years in my life are wonderful city.
I survived three different major floods, while I was living in Houston. To where I actually had to swim for my life. It was also the city where I actually finally decided to come out. To be honest about my Transgenderism. And of course that really didn't go very well. At least down there. A lot of people misunderstood me. And I'm sorry.
I remember the very first time I saw the ship channel. People in the north really don't have any idea unless they have actually been to Houston how large the ship channel really is. It's gigantic. It's beyond anything you would ever imagine. It's huge. But that's the one thing about Texas. Everything is big in Texas.
For anyone in Texas to think that I hate everyone from Texas. Even though I may have said so. That would be a mistake, because I don't hate everyone in Texas I don't hate anyone. I don't hate any human being is behavior I take exception to. Not our humanity.
And the people I met in Houston actually really did save my life a number of times. But that was true pretty much wherever I went. Either I was helping them to save lives or someone was helping to save mine. It's just the way life works.
So I don't want any of you in Houston or Dallas or Fort Worth to think that I hate you because I don't. As a human rights advocate, I am required to never look at anything that we're doing well and say that we are doing a good job. That's not what I am required to do. As a human rights advocate, I am required to look at those aspects of ourselves where we are actually falling down or are failing. And then I am required to be relentless. I am required to do everything I possibly can, never to give up never to take anything less than forward movement. Meaning world. Meaning expansion. Meaning enlightenment.
I would much rather be writing stories about my darling Aileen and possibly even sharing sort of an autobiographical history of my journeys in all the stories I heard in the stories of my life. But the times in the world are really very difficult right now. And extremism is basically destroying our world regardless of where that extremism is taking place. So I don't really get the opportunity to do what I'm doing right now. To say thank you.
To the people of Durango Colorado. I don't even know where to begin. Before I ever got to your amazing state of highest mountains I had ever seen were the Catalina Mountains just north of Tucson Arizona. Those mountains actually are right behind southern Arizona school, where I was going to high school. So when I got to Durango Colorado. It was an entirely new experience. It was something I had never seen in my entire life.
In the people of Durango Colorado are a very unique kind of people. There's not many places in this entire country like Durango Colorado. It sits approximately 8000 feet above sea level. And it is actually one of the most amazing cities. I ever experienced in my entire life.
Had I not had a miniature nervous breakdown in 1973. I probably would have finished going to college at Fort Lewis college. I probably would have cemented a lot of the friendships I made at Fort Lewis. But I was tortured. I was dealing with emotions and pain that I couldn't even express. No matter how hard I tried. I don't want any of you in Durango to ever think for even a second that I have allowed any day to go by without starting that day thinking about all of you. To this very day on every weather program I use, whether it is on my phone or the computer. Your city is right there. I don't begin my day without checking your weather.
I don't begin my day without always. Saying. Thank you. I just don't write it down. Very often. Please don't ever think I have forgotten any of you. My memory is very damaged in certain areas, where I have told we call. I've also lost a certain number of years as a result of this rather unfortunate major nervous breakdown I had in 1989. So I've lost some of my memories from Durango, but I haven't lost them all.
In all the places I have ever lived. I never found anyone is amazingly kind as to people in Durango. And all through Colorado. Someone once asked me when I came back to Cleveland in 1984. They asked me how high the Rocky Mountains were. So I took them outside and I had them look straight up. And while they were looking up. I told them to let me know when they thought they could see 1 miles straight up. And after almost the minute they said they thought they could see just about a mile. And I said, that is how high the Rocky Mountains are above wherever you were standing in Colorado.
Needless to say when I said that the typical response from people back here in Cleveland. Was that their mouths would literally drop open. Because they had no idea. They had no concept of being able to look straight up for 1 mile and seen nothing but mountain. My greatest experiences in my life were in Arizona and New Mexico and Colorado. Some of the most amazing experiences I ever had in my entire life. Some of the most unbelievably kind and supremely intelligent and wonderful people. People I can't even explain. I can tell stories about them, but to truly know how amazing the are and were you have to actually meet them.
Thank you. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for tolerating me and supporting me. Thank you so very much for allowing me to be part of your wonderful town.
And to Denver Colorado. The same is true, as with Durango. Not a day goes by without me. Checking your weather. Just like I do with Houston. Just like I do with Tucson. Just like I do with Boston. The Denver. I thought my time in Durango had been really incredible. It was nothing compared to my time in Denver Colorado. The people who were working in the financial district in Denver Colorado. In the very early 1980s, when I was a hotdog vendor. They were absolutely some of the kindest and most amazing people I have ever met. At that point in my life, ever. And what's even remarkable is that a lot of you were and still are Christian conservatives. And yet we always got along. We liked each other. There were those of you in the financial district, who actually saved my life one day. You know who you are and you know what happened. I've never forgotten that day. I was nowhere near as tortured. They are as when I was in Houston. Because when I was in Tucson in Durango in Denver. I actually felt comfortable enough with myself to celebrate my life. But it was in Denver that I actually began to take pride in my life. Although that pride began in Durango. And it was of course interrupted in 1973 when I had a minor break, where I had to come home to Cleveland.
But in Denver, as I said, every single morning, the very first thing I do is I checked the weather. Cleveland of course is the first city I checked because I live here. But then I go right around the country. I go to Tucson and then I go to Durango. Then I go to Boston and then I go to Houston. And then I go to Denver. I retrace my life every morning. And I do so, partially to recover her lost memories impossible. But I also do so, to always say thank you, every single morning and I have done that. Ever since I left Denver in 1984.
There are a number of other places I have been in this country that are equally as amazing. Where people were so kind and so considerate. And so compassionate and tolerant. I've met so many people. I can't even remember how many people I've met. So sometimes when someone does actually respond to me. I might take 20 minutes or even 30 minutes looking over their name trying to remember. Because I'm just not sure. Did I know them? Did they know me? My mind because of this hysterical amnesia I have doesn't really give me any answers. So try as I might I can't remember. And I think about that too much. I probably will end up in tears. So I don't do that.
In Denver, there were actually three or four different times when different individuals in the city actually saved my life. The circumstances were absolutely incredible. Eventually I will tell those stories. No names. That's not the purpose. The purpose is to share the amazing beauty of what we human beings have the potential of being. The beauty of us simply being ourselves. Caring for each other, believing and not in each other and this nation to stand by each other no matter what. I've always believed that even though I have been really clumsy in a lot of ways trying to talk about things. I don't ever want any of you think I'm not grateful. Because I am. I always have been and I always will be.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart to my dying breath. I thank all of you. I wish I could remember your names. I can see your faces. I can remember different situations and circumstances in the different cities. I just can't remember your names.
To everyone I met in all the different states I have gone through, and where I have traveled. Mississippi, Alabama away sienna, Georgia, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, Massachusetts and Maine and Vermont New Hampshire. I've been in every single state in this country. For any of you think I'm not grateful would mean that I haven't been doing that part of the job of my life as well as I would have hoped. That's why I'm taking a moment to simply say. Thank you. I would have never survived under a lot of circumstances without your help. That's the heart of the matter. So if you are reading my writing. Please try and understand. It's not what I want to do. It's not the kind of writing I enjoy doing. But as a pacifist is my job.
I tried four different times to get into the military. So that I can go over and serve in Vietnam. I had met so many amazing veterans during the Vietnam War years, who were returning home. Many who were disabled and extremely damaged. And I've met other amazing that this from the Vietnam War era. All of them have been somebody most amazing people I whatever want to know in my entire life.
But no matter how many times I would try to get into the military I was always refused. And reason being, of course is because of my spine. But I wanted to serve. Not to serve and carry a gun, but I wanted to go in as a medic. I wanted to go in to try and help to protect and defend this country. But to do so as a medic. Because I'm a pacifist. And of course I never got in. But I have no greater admiration and respect for anyone in this world, I think of the then perhaps my birth mother and my darling Aileen and a few others. Then I do for our veterans.
Men and women who every single day make that choice of being willing to die in order to protect all of us making that kind of choice is so far beyond incredible that words just fail.
To our veterans, past and present and future and all wonderful men and women in the military wherever you were serving. Thank you so much thank you so much for putting aside all of the political rhetoric and all of the junk we are fighting about in this country. So that you can focus on that one choice you made and that you make every day, to put your life on the line, because you love this country enough and love all of us on the to be willing to die at any given second.
Thank you with all that I have been or ever will be. Thank you so very much