Yet more letters I wanted to share. Sara-Jane writes from San Francisco:
I loved your cartoon 'Shallow Grave' on GWEN ARAUJO. I am a pre-operative transsexual living in San Francisco. I want to have my reassignment operation within the next few years. I am going to get my masters in social work at San Francisco State next year. I want to work as a social worker in our communities. I too am very very very ANNOYED with the mainstream media's incorrect misuse of pronouns! They are mere pawns of the corporate whore monsters who pull their strings! Gwen was a beautiful young transsexual woman, who wanted to make our world a prettier place by becoming a makeup artist. She deserved to be treated better by the media. Why she is not with us anymore, makes me cry soooo much. I can go to sleep and know there will be a tomorrow, sadly she can no longer do this. THIS PISSES ME OFF!!! Those who took her young life deserve to face KARMA to it's fullest. I must say I do not feel I am a vengeful person, however in this case I make an exception! Once again peace and love to you, and thank you for doing this for Gwen. When it is my turn to leave this earth, I know I will see her spirit and soul. I did not know you Gwen, but I love you and miss your presence here with us.
Phoebe is from Boston:
I also just wanted to say "thank you" for your cartoon "shallow grave" about the horrible death of Gwen Araujo. Her death hits close to home because I am also a younger M2F Transsexual and I face possible violence and harassment as a part of my day-to-day life, even though I "pass" very well. I hope that through efforts like yours we can educate the public and get people to understand that we're people... not things, and our lives are painful enough trying to correct the mistake nature made (being born the wrong gender) without others hating us simply for existing.
The following letter comes from a transsexual woman who is also a mother (i.e. she has had custody of her son throughout her transition from male to female):
Honestly, my greatest fear is not the very real possibility of being murdered, but that i will become an issue for others... like, focus on the family and gay lesbian task force will someday collide over me, and every detail of my life (and my son's life) will be bandied about on morning radio and trash tv...
Finally, I got a letter from another cartoonist, self-described "fabulous transgender gal" Gina Kamentsky. Gina does a lovely biweekly autobiographical strip "T-Gina" (soon available in print under the tongue-in-cheek title "Gratuitous Hot Shemale Action"). You can start reading with "Coffee, 'T', or Me?", "T-Gina Gets Real" or "The Innocent Have Been Changed to Protect the Names".