Category Archives: Family

When I Finally Understood That I have White Privilege

The moment I realized I had white privilege didn’t come until I started driving a BMW.

Let me first explain, I grew up poor. My friends were poor. We lived in poor neighborhoods and eventually moved up to a modest one.

Due to systemic racism, many people of color are poor. So growing up, I had friends of color. To me it didn’t mean anything. I was a child. They were children. We all wanted the same things but couldn’t afford it. We all played in the same parks. We all related to each other because we were poor.

That’s what bound us together.

So I didn’t grow up racist. People were people and they all had struggles. That’s what I saw.

As I got older I started to realize. We’d get in trouble and I was told to go on my way. I didn’t grow up thinking people of color were any different. I didn’t understand.

Then one day I was driving my BMW like greased lightning down the highway when after passing a beater of a car, I saw the cop on the side of the road radaring everyone.

Now I’m thinking, “Great. This is the last thing I need” as I see him hit the lights and come towards me in pursuit.

But he doesn’t pull me over.

He pulls over the beat up car with two Latinos inside.

You know, the car I went flying past?

That’s when it really hit me. I was doing 10 more than him easy but because of their race and the car they were driving, they were profiled.

That was the moment I first felt sick to my stomach because I was white. But not so much that as the fact that because of something completely outside of someone’s control, they were being oppressed and I was allowed to go.

I have a deep seeded sense of right and wrong. Of Justice.

I still think to myself, “You should have pulled over. You should have said something. But you didn’t.”

It’s going to take all white people to put back what we did wrong and the first step is just to admit it.

 – Charlize <3

Cover image credit: Unknown

The Story Behind Our Last Name and My Cover Photo

When Erin and I were getting married we came to the point about making a decision over our last names. We could leave them alone, we could hyphenate them, or… what? Chose one of the two names?

The whole concept of the name change originally was to instill a sense of family and unfortunately, ownership.

We could not agree with that ideal, so we were stumped.

Then the idea came to us.

Why not chose a new name? One that was just for us. Something to signify our union. We did like the notion of instilling family and what better way to represent our family?

We both love Latin, with Erin having studied it in high school.

We played around with words until we settled on something we could both believe in:

Truth

And so we chose Veritas.

Due to legalities, we’ve only managed to change my name so far and are going to have that retroactively changed on our marriage license, then see if we can use the law to allow her the standard marriage change over.

We’ll see how that pans out.

The picture was taken the day of our wedding. I wanted this shot from the beginning of our planning.

My cousin-in-law had to take it of course since I was in it and I’m ever so grateful and will be always.

Here we are tying the knot. Both figuratively and literally.

We took strips of purple ribbon and attached Velcro at the ends. Placing the ribbon through the rings, we hung them around our necks so that the rings would rest right on our hearts during the ceremony. Then when it came time to exchange the rings, we pulled the ribbon off our neck and let them fall into the other’s hand. We weren’t just exchanging rings or vows, we were exchanging hearts.

We were giving each other our Love.

 – Charlize <3

Cover image credit: Matt Segraves

Coming Out to Your Partner as Transgender – HuffPost Blog

This is my fourth post on the Huffington Post Blog and I wrote it to help illustrate the complexity of coming out as transgender to your partner so that our allies could better understand, but also to remind any transpeople still in the closet that they need to speak their truth. If you love your partner and more importantly yourself, there is no time like now to begin your future.

(Click here to be taken to the article on the Huffington Post Blog.)

I can’t tell you enough how special Erin is. No other partner of mine ever stood up to me and told me straight out, “No. You’re not leaving me.” When she said those words, it stopped me dead in my tracks.

I had never met anyone as stubborn as me or even capable of combating my stubbornness.  I was dumbfounded

I tried several times to break up with her but I couldn’t because truthfully I love her and you can’t hide from the truth.

We laugh about the moment when I finally told her on the bed.

She had been reading a book before we talked through everything till I was assured that she still loved me and would continue to. That’s when she asked if it was ok for her to go back to reading her book.

I, of course, had no objections. I was in my own world, flabbergasted. I kept asking her if this was real. It was hard for me to believe.

But she smiled and kept reading.

Of course it was way more complicated than that, but we like to joke that I told I was transgender and she basically said;

“That’s cool, mind if I go back to reading now?”

Yeah. She’s that awesome and I love her always.

 – Charlize <3

Cover image credit: Shutterstock