queer of the year

yesterday i was named to the Windy City Times 30 Under 30. i actually found out about a month ago, they just waited until the day before the ceremony to announce it.

when i got the email, i was very surprised. i don’t know if someone i know nominated me, but as far as i can tell it was based off my windy city times interview, which i thought was quite unremarkable. hey, i’m trans, but that doesn’t change who i am, is what i said. at some level finding out i’m trans is like finding out i like hip hop. it’s just a thing about me. not to say being trans is a small thing, just that the only thing that’s changed is that you know i’m into dresses.

put it another way – i do cool stuff, but just because this thing is in my head, i get honored? peculiar. it’s like honoring me for wearing glasses sometimes. so brave.

i don’t know. i think what’s bothering me about it is that i probably should have made the list next year. i’m baffled at what they saw in me from my brief interview about how sometimes i cross-dress and no one gives a shit that i’m trans. they didn’t know about the mrda nondiscrimination policy or most of my activism and consulting work or my cool haircut or my work in mentorship (which really just came up in the last few weeks). they just know i’m a queer athlete who has had some success. maybe it was just that i’m normal-ish and successful-ish and trans. i just have so much more to do, and i don’t feel like i’ve done enough to earn the honor. and they’re putting me onstage with like 7 HIV activists for goodness sake. but most people didn’t know about my identity until the article came out and i haven’t exactly been keeping the windy city times abreast of my progress.

so i mean, it’s really awesome to get the award and i fully intend on exceeding expectations. i’m honored and humbled and flabbergasted and flattered and all that stuff, not as a point of irony or banality, but actual, legitimate humbling. i have so, so much to do.