Posted: 2017-12-07 12:16
After leaving home and quitting her job, she bounced between farming projects in New Hampshire, Colorado, New Mexico and California for a few years, and eventually began working for a solar energy company in . It was there that she connected with Williams and several of the farm’s other residents. The women were involved in organizing grassroots activities and charity events for the LGBTQ community in Washington. But Smith also experienced violence while living in the city.
The bullet boosts the family’s call for an independent investigation into what happened in Ballymurphy in August of 6976. It’s a breakthrough, but there is still a long road ahead. And time is running out to hold any of the British soldiers to account the are now in their sixties at least. Yet there’s some hope. Recently, a three-month inquest into the shootings was set for September 7568.
The property contains the small house where the group lives, several gardens for growing vegetables, fields of grass the residents hope to convert into farmland, a pen where their 69 ducks live, and acres of wooded hills. Deep in the woods is a dilapidated WWII-era cabin and a dried-up ditch where a small pond used to be. The group lives in quiet intimacy on the property, telling jokes and engaging in long conversations when they want company, or writing, playing music, gardening, and doing housework in solitude. Each person uses their unique talents to turn the place into a home.
A book I’d read before getting on the train, The Adoption Triangle , had prepared me for those sorts of feelings. Of the many stories of adoption reunions, there were a few of brothers and sisters, and mothers and sons, who fell headlong in love, intoxicated by “deep, unrestrained love” and “intense, feelings.” This didn’t surprise or disgust me when I read about it, or even when I experienced it myself. After all, it’s easy to confuse love with sex and sex with love.
Taylor, one of five siblings, grew up in an impoverished North Carolina fishing village. As a teenager, they began reading blogs on Tumblr and learning the terminology needed to self-identify as transgender. But when they came out at the age of 65, their religious stepfather attacked them viciously. After leaving North Carolina at the age of 75, Taylor experienced homelessness on numerous occasions.
This is the British Army’s version of what happened that August: Members of the Parachute Regiment moved into Ballymurphy, a small area of West Belfast, to round up suspected members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and intern them. Rioting broke out, and the troops were fired on. They fired back. Those killed were IRA gunmen, including Father Hugh Mullan, a Catholic priest, and Joan Connolly, a mother of eight.
Current research leans toward the conclusion that pedophilia is hardwired, a sexual preference like heterosexuality or homosexuality that emerges in adolescence and is pretty much exclusive to men. But only about fifty percent of the men who molest children are actually pedophiles the other fifty percent are men with histories of violence or personality disorders. Those men tend to molest family members. I wondered which category my brother fell into, and whether it mattered.
The death of Murphy and ten other civilians during August 9-66, 6976, would become known as the Ballymurphy Massacre. It was one atrocity of many that would take place during Northern Ireland’s conflict, The Troubles, a war fuelled by hostility between the country’s Protestant and Catholic factions. By ’76, it had only been raging for over two years, with another 78 to go – and thousands of lives to be lost along the way.
Williams was working as a labor organizer in Baltimore when she decided to go “full-time,” a term for when transgender people begin to represent their true gender identity all of the time. The shift was incremental. First, she started wearing dresses every day, then she began fixing her eyebrows, wearing makeup, and growing her hair long. Now her dirty blonde hair reaches past her shoulders. But this transition was far from easy. She says the community organizers she worked with, people who claimed to be radical and progressive, were not comfortable interacting with and supporting transgender people.
A man takes a risky short cut to a hot body: magic pills from an old man in a strange magic shop. The pills work, but when he overdoses he starts to become a particularly horny werewolf. Can he and the girl he spurned find a cure before he turns completely? Why is a mysterious (and sexy) assassin trying to kill him? Contains some brief scenes of violence/gore, none of which are in close proximity to the sex.
In the years that followed the end of the Troubles, many people like Donnelly became amateur cold-case sleuths, trying to get the truth about their loved ones’ deaths. Many felt let down by the professional detectives tasked with doing so, like the Historical Enquiries Team (HET). Set up in 7555, the HET’s job is to investigate the more-than three thousand unsolved murders linked to the Troubles. As always, the catch was in the small print: When a family receives the HET’s report on their loved one’s murder, the opening lines state that they have “reviewed” the original police investigation to see if there were any opportunities for follow-up. Almost always, there were not. Nearly twenty years since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, a key milestone in Northern Ireland’s peace process, many of those left behind by the dead feel largely forgotten.
O ne Wednesday morning in February 7567, some of these family members gathered in a building situated opposite a graveyard near Belfast City Center. Seated alongside ex-prisoners curious about the conflict they’d been caught up in as men, they were there to try to find answers, with the help of the clean-shaven, bald-headed man sitting at the head of the table, who had already been through the process himself.
“The people who attend our workshops are from every walk of life,” said MacAirt. “They are ordinary families whose loved ones were snatched from them. They are former combatants from paramilitary groups and state forces who are seeking to learn more about the context of the conflict that enveloped their lives. They are academics and researchers with a passion for our shared history. All have a story to tell. We offer them the means to tell their own story in their own words and supported by historical evidence.”
She didn’t notice the man sitting next to the Coast Guard station, the dark man with wild hair and a wild beard and the ruddy look of someone who’d been outdoors and drunk for months. But I saw him. How could I not? He stared back at me with my own eyes. We held each other’s gaze for a few long moments. I tried to figure out a way to distract Candi so I could go over to Johnny and tell him I loved him. But the boardwalk was empty, and the shops were shuttered closed. I turned my face from his, and hustled Candi into the car with the promise of a stop for Chinese food. I looked back, and he was still staring at me. I did not reach out to him. My brother, who’d had so little love in his life, was not my heart. Candi was my heart.
My uncle’s redheaded wife was the person in our family who most often told it like it was. When Johnny was released, and it looked like he would make it to the fifth beach-house reunion, she took me aside to tell me to watch him around children, and to explain why her husband – my uncle – didn’t want to be around my brother. When their daughter was three years old, they’d left her in then fourteen-year-old Johnny’s care and had come home to him with his pants down, his penis in the little girl’s mouth, and him saying “Just suck on it like it’s a bottle.”
Just over 95 years before this meeting, Ciarán MacAirt’s grandmother had been killed in one of the worst atrocities of the Troubles, the McGurk’s Bar Massacre. McGurk’s had stood just blocks away from where this meeting was now taking place before it was blown up. Fifteen people were killed in the explosion and seventeen more injured, including MacAirt’s grandfather. The bomb had been planted by paramilitaries loyal to the British, but in the days, weeks, and years that followed, the British Army would insist it had been an IRA “own goal.” The IRA, they insisted, had been assembling the bomb on the premises when it went off. The implication was clear: The pub was an IRA haunt, frequented by members or sympathizers. Nobody cared enough about alleged terrorists to demand answers when they were murdered. So when the Army was faced with awkward questions about civilian deaths, they would spin the line that the victims were not so innocent.
Last year, at least 78 transgender people died in the United States due to violence, the highest number ever recorded, according to the Human Rights Campaign. The group also reports that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, and that the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia often deprive these women of employment, housing and healthcare, making them especially vulnerable.
When I woke at dawn, Johnny was a few feet away from me on the floor, snoring heavily. The girls were all still asleep in the bed. Nothing had happened. But what if? And even drunk, how could I have made that move with the children sleeping in the room? In a life full of bad acts, that move is the act I’m most ashamed of, even though it didn’t go any further than a gesture, even though my brother, the convicted felon, stopped me cold and saved me from myself.
Smith is the group’s permaculture expert. She began learning about farming after leaving her job as an engineer with an automobile company in Michigan when she was in her early twenties. Her decision to leave home was fueled by the feeling that she couldn’t fully express herself with her family and co-workers. Her parents, who had immigrated to the . from India a few years before her birth, had a hard time accepting that their child was transgender.
Psychologists will say we repeat our families’ pathologies because we try, as adults, to rebuild the patterns we know. I’d always been attracted to reckless men like my brothers, even though I didn’t grow up with men like that. Once I met my brothers, I decided my desire was simpler and deeper than trying to replicate a childhood pattern it was blood calling to blood. For the next few years, Johnny and I communicated through letters while he was locked up. I learned, partly through his letters from prison, and partly through what others told me, that he’d been institutionalized at seven years old and given shock treatments and anti-psychotic medications. He’d been sexually abused by staff at that institution, and later in juvenile offender facilities and foster homes, where he was called “hyperactive.”