Tuesday, March 24, 2015

M to F

"I want to be who I wish I want to be. I mean. Not wish I want to be; what I am." 

Dee-Vyne "Dee" Valentine, 12, is a male to female transgender. She left her former name, Dante, behind last school year and started the sixth grade in August 2014 with the name she feels represents who she is. Sensing the challenges that lie ahead, her mom, Christina Mays worried about the transition at first. But after educating herself on the high rate of suicides involving transgender people, she decided to do what she could to facilitate her daughter's wishes. 

On her 12th birthday, as her family reminded her to make a wish before blowing out her candles she repeated, "every day, my wises come true." 

Below are the pdfs of what the story looked like in print. A special thank you to the ever talented Kristine Gill for writing this story. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Laundry day

Jacqueline Chanquet props up her niece, Asani, 2, so she can get a better look out the window while doing laundry, earlier today. They live in low-income housing at George Washington Carver Apartments in a neighborhood called River Park. Chanquet's lived there for 25 years. 

In the 1960s, River Park was where the black population could buy property in Naples. Back then, it was on the outskirts of town. Now, River Park is in the center of the city, which means the property values have skyrocketed. A proposed sale of the apartments is a recurring issue. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

In the peppermint wind

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black//and the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow//we shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow
and watch where the chalk-white arrows go//to the place where the sidewalk ends.

From, Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.