It was my first Boxing Day in retail. There I was, sitting at the returns desk at Classics Books in Midtown Manhattan, 1980. A woman in a mink coat angrily dropped a volume upon my desk: “Mommy Dearest,” by Christina Crawford.
“I’m returning this — this piece of trash!” she said.
“Was there something wrong with the book?” I asked. She’d received it just the day before.
Her eyes narrowed. “Joan Crawford,” she said, “was a wonderful mother!”
The day after Christmas is a hard day to work in retail, what with all the returns and exchanges. At least Black Friday is just about sales.… Seguir leyendo »
Sé que te preguntas qué demonios ha provocado la ola de incendios forestales en 2018, un año en el que se han roto récords no solo en California (que tuvo el incendio más grande jamás registrado), sino también en Escandinavia, donde en julio por primera vez hubo un incendio al norte del círculo polar ártico.
El presidente Trump visitó California después de esta mortífera temporada de incendios y no ofreció consuelo ni empatía, mucho menos algún rastro de conciencia sobre el rol que podría haber jugado en ellos el cambio climático. En lugar de eso, dijo que uno de los errores de California era no “rastrillar la tierra del bosque”.… Seguir leyendo »
“What do you think?” I asked my wife, as I looked in the mirror. We were on our way to the Vatican. “Does this outfit make the right statement?”
I was wearing white jeans and a sleeveless silk top. “What statement is that?” Deedie asked.
“You know,” I said. “The perfect balance between reverence and contempt.”
We were in Italy to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary — 12 years as husband and wife and, after my coming out as trans in 2000, 18 as wife and wife. Over the course of two weeks, we had hiked the Cinque Terre, taken a boat to Portofino and swum in the Mediterranean off a crag in the harbor of Santa Margherita Ligure.… Seguir leyendo »
They’d gathered for supper one night in July, at the summer camp at the Kfar Silver school, in Ashkelon, Israel. For the last couple of weeks this group of kids — some from Israel, some from Palestine — had been trying to learn something about conflict resolution, by playing Ultimate Frisbee. Some of them had become friends.
That was when the air raid siren went off.
The rockets came from Gaza, part of the ongoing clash between Hamas and the Israel Defense Forces. The missiles didn’t land in Ashkelon. But they did score a direct hit on the hopes of some of the people who had looked to the camp as an oasis of peace.… Seguir leyendo »
Hold on to your crown jewels, members of Parliament: Caitlyn Jenner will address the House of Commons on Wednesday.
The talk is part of a series of lectures on the importance of diversity; other speeches have come from the British actors Riz Ahmed and Idris Elba. Ms. Jenner, the former Olympic athlete and reality show star, will be speaking in Westminster about the issue of gender identity and the heavy burdens carried by trans people worldwide.
You could reasonably ask whether Caitlyn Jenner is the right person to address Parliament on this issue, and many advocates are doing just that; she was, after all, an early enthusiast of Donald Trump, the biggest disaster for trans people in decades.… Seguir leyendo »
What was the book that changed your life? How old were you when you read it?
Sometimes I wonder how many great books — even those I have since come to revere — were wasted on my younger self. And not because I wasn’t a devoted reader then (I was), but because sometimes what books have to say can’t get through to us until we are considerably more venerable.
It is one thing to read “The Old Man and the Sea,” for instance, when you are 15 and the world lies ahead of you in all its endless possibility. It is another to read it in middle age, when a few big dreams may have died, and by “a few dreams” I don’t just mean catching a big honking marlin off the coast of Cuba, although sure: that too.… Seguir leyendo »
I once had a friend with a boomerang. One day we took it to the Jersey Shore and I watched as he whupped it around. It was beautiful: the young man and the boomerang, the bright sun and the water. Then, late in the day, he tossed it out over the ocean, and the boomerang didn’t come back. For a while we stood together, looking out, wondering whether we might just have lost sight of it. We glanced around nervously, on the off chance that it might yet clock us on the head, returning from a direction we had not anticipated.… Seguir leyendo »
As many Americans know, last week Gov. John Baldacci of Maine signed a law that made this state the fifth in the nation to legalize gay marriage. It’s worth pointing out, however, that there were some legal same-sex marriages in Maine already, just as there probably are in all 50 states. These are marriages in which at least one member of the couple has changed genders since the wedding.
I’m in such a marriage myself and, quite frankly, my spouse and I forget most of the time that there is anything particularly unique about our family, even if we are — what is the phrase?… Seguir leyendo »
In the 1936 Olympic Games, the sprinter Stella Walsh — running for Poland and known as the fastest woman in the world — was beaten by Helen Stephens of St. Louis, who set a world record by running 100 meters in 11.4 seconds. After the race, a Polish journalist protested that Stephens must be a man. After all, no woman in the world could run that fast.
Olympic officials performed a “sex test” on Stephens, who was found, in fact, to be female, proving once and for all that a person could be incredibly fast and female at the same time.… Seguir leyendo »