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“Making a Fuss”

By Camden Ador This speech originally presented at Fight The Ban – New York City, April 13th, 2019 Good morning everyone, my name is Camden. I’m a transgender man, US Navy veteran, and visual artist. When I was asked if I wanted to speak today, my first thought was yes, this is amazing! But then my second and third thoughts were, is my voice too feminine and what if you can’t see me when I’m…

We Were Always Fit to Serve

I served from 92-96 on the United States Navy while presenting as female. While I was serving it was during my A School at the age of 18 that I was starting to discover my sexuality and come to the realization that I was a lesbian. There was a small group of us that hung out, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell had just been signed and was not yet implemented.

How Could I Leave Her?

I lost part of myself today. The biggest part, really, up until I became a mother. The part that defined me; before I was a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, a student, a person…I was a Soldier. It was the path I’d chosen for myself when I was just barely 17 and desperate to find something to be proud of and a place to call home. Whole parts of me were made in…

How Anthony Bourdain Got Me Through Post-War Depression

November is a month of mixed feelings. Like September, a month filled with melancholic memories of 9/11, the ominous uptick of pumpkin spice latte ads, Suicide Awareness Month, and my birthday, November provides a lens of reflection for Veterans Day. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t share how Anthony Bourdain’s suicide in June was so personally devastating – especially when he saved me from my own as an Iraq War Veteran. After I…

The Most Honorable Thankless Job

I am a Black Woman veteran that proudly served in the United States Army. I served as a leader of Soldiers, a person of integrity, and committed to accomplishing my mission in peacetime as well as in combat. Most importantly, I served the U.S. Army, my family and my country honorably. When I hear the words, “Thank you for your service”, it usually means more to me than the person offering them as a patriotic…

Ash Flakes

Uncountable drops clouding and squeezing me tight, as I ponder with wonder of the unknown above me and below and yet to come. Lonely sets in with uncomfortable ease as is the meek face of a new born wide eyed with astonishment and wanting of womb, with facial expression of fear from detachment of comfort and heart beat from its only known home. Below distant and loud as salty misty fog groups gather in clumps,…

Decolonize Love: Fighting Colonialism in the Age of Indigenous Renaissance

Decolonize Love: Fighting Colonialism in the Age of Indigenous Renaissance A look back on a 12-hour conversation where love was decolonized between two veterans. When I met Alessandro on our first date, he told me he was born in Genoa, the birthplace of Cristoforo Colombo, or Christopher Columbus as we know him in the United States. My heart sank for a moment, and as much as I tried to hide my disgust over hearing Columbus…

International Indigenous Peoples Day

Billy di waayu Met la kat la di wil’waatgu Ganhaada di p’deegu Seattle di wil dzogu Linda Booth na di wa noyu Violet Atkinson-Booth na di niyaayu Billy Booth na di nits’iit’s’u My name is Will I am from Metlakatla, BC/Alaska My crest is Raven Clan I live in Seattle, Washington My mother is Linda Booth, who has past-away My grandmother is Violet Atkinson-Booth, who has past away My grandfather is Billy Booth, who has…

Allegiance

I think about who we might have been if we weren’t colonized and enlisted into the machine. My mother’s birthday is October 12th, all my life it was on the calendar as Columbus day. My neighbor flies an American flag, his family has been in Oregon for five generations. His family came on the mayflower, that’s what he says when we first meet. Both my great grandfathers were murdered for their land in Mexico. They…

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