I know I’ve been writing about my past and how it’s affected who I am today, but tonight I would like to take a break from that to talk about something that happened to me today. First, some background.
About a week ago, the same night that Bruce Jenner came out as transgender, a TV interview that I had with a local news anchor aired. I talked about my past and my struggle and the hopes that I have for the future. I had been expecting harsh cold words from people that refuse to take the time to get to know me, and I have been cursed, preached at an called “Pat”. I ignored this though because I have so many wonderful people around me that know me, that love me, and I refuse to let their ignorance touch me. However, what happened today I was completely unprepared for. (If you would like to see the interview and article you can find it here .
Today, for the first time since that interview I went into my local town (Amelia Court House) to go to the store for groceries. When I came out of the store and pulled out of my parking spot I got the shock of my life.
While I was inside the store, someone had removed all the lug nuts from my rear driver’s side tire. The whole rear end of my truck dropped and my axle was saved from landing on the ground by the fact that it landed on the inside of the tire’s rim. The studs for the tire bent and were stripped out in the process.
My wife went back into the store and talked to the shift leader who called the county sheriff. We talked to the sheriff, who took down my information and started to ask around to see if anyone had surveillance cameras or had seen something. When my wife told him that I had been on TV and came out publicly as being transgender, he told her that this was most likely a hate crime.
I was able to get my tire back on my truck, with the aid of my best friend who brought me another jack and tire tool. I had to beat the lug studs back into place the best I could and crank down the nuts enough to limp my truck to the house, but now I need five new studs, nuts and possibly a new rim for my truck.
The sheriff said that he would be in contact with me in a few days, hopefully with an update on the case.
It was shocking for me that someone in my community, where I moved just a little over a year ago, could behave in such a manner. I’ve never met anyone here that was outright hateful or rude to me, so this was like a slap in the face, especially so because my two children were in the truck.
If my tire had come off later rather than sooner it could have caused a major accident, and ended very badly.
So, right now I’m in a holding pattern.
Even though this has happened, I refuse to be afraid. I will continue to speak out; I will continue to work for equality here in Virginia. I will stand up and be counted. I will be an advocate for my fellow transgender brothers and sisters. I will not be silenced.