Tag Archives: true story

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

My Tolerance For Pain – From the Eyes of Another

I handle pain well. What most people would consider painful, I can bare, but just because I can does that mean I should? I still feel the same pain they do.

I think this does me a disservice. You see, I’m like the British in this manner, “Oh dear, it would appear my arm has been just been separated from my body. Well I must say, this certainly will make texting most rather difficult.”

Ok, I’m not to that level. Ask my wife. If I get a kidney stone, I’ll be screaming Bloody Mary.

But I feel like doctors see this nonchalance and brush me off. Recently in dealing with my teeth, the doctor gave me codeine when I asked for something stronger.

His response, “You appear to be handling the pain fine so that should do the trick.”

Now, I wanted to grab him by the arm, pull him in close to me and say softly, “Listen Doctor, I don’t care what you think you see. I’m in pain. Now I think it’s time you start taking my words seriously or we’re both going to be experiencing the same level of pain together, and I’m not sure you want that.”

I wanted to do that, but that would make me seem like a crazy person and certainly wouldn’t accomplish my goal. I’m working very hard not to come off as the crazy type, so these actions would be counter to my “Remain Sane” agenda. Therefore I chose a different route.

I smiled and agreed.

Then I began to realize something.

I never smile and agree.

What is this? As a male I demanded what was coming to me and the world be damned if I didn’t get it.

And I got it.

Now, I just don’t feel like my opinion is heard or matters.

Is this because I’m transitioning?

Is this the activation of preprogrammed behavior combined with the lack of competition creating testosterone, compounded by the preprogramming of the other individual now that they see me as female?

I thought females were the “weaker” sex. So give me my pills right?

That can’t be it.

Or could it?

I don’t know. Right now, I’m going to chalk it up to trying to be pleasant when I want to scream my head off. Next time, I’ll choose the latter. They usually just give me whatever to shut me up then.

And that’s fine with me.

 – Charlize <3

Cover image credit: Unknown