Looking Back at 10 Years of My Life After Dawn
Republicans and the president have a new drop-dead date to reach a debt ceiling deal. Plus: Writers are on strike. Why Apple AirTags are the new LoJack. And: Today is my coming out anniversary!
Thanks for reading this very personal edition of my newsletter. It’s Tuesday, May 2, 2023, and on this date in 2013, I came out as transgender. I was working at ABC News, and unbeknownst to me at that time, I made history as the first out trans journalist in U.S. television network news.
The first few days were euphoric and affirming! And then the New York Post told my story. That gossipy, largely fictionalized account of my coming out sparked worldwide interest. Frankly, a smooth gender transition is hard enough; doing it under the bright, hot media spotlight is next to impossible.
I wasn’t prepared to be hounded by radio shock jocks, paparazzi and tabloid writers hiding in my shrubs, ambushing my kids on their way home from school, knocking on my neighbors’ doors — “Hey, do you know the tranny who lives next door?” And who could have foreseen my face plastered on the front page of the Post? Trust me: That is never, ever a good thing.
I’ll have more to say about all this deeper in today’s newsletter, but first, today is also the day we remember far more significant historical events, from the first sighting of the Loch Ness monster to the monster mastermind of 9/11, Osama bin Laden, killed by U.S. Navy Seals on this day in 2011. Click here to read those stories and more.
Now: let’s get down to business.
Here Now the News:
BREAKING: BIDEN SENDING ACTIVE DUTY TROOPS TO SOUTHERN BORDER: CBS News
WRITERS ON STRIKE: No, New York Times and NBC News, it’s not just “Hollywood writers,” but members of both the Writers Guild of America, East and West, who will be walking the picket lines across the country.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU? Late night shows will go into reruns, production on movies and TV shows is on hold, and that could mean no new episodes of your favorite shows for awhile. The last strike 15 years ago lasted three months.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR ME? I am a proud member of the WGAE, and together with the WGAW we have 11,500 writers on strike since 3 a.m. EDT. This follows weeks of bitter negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers — representing both the old guard of movie and TV companies like Paramount and Universal as well as the newbies Netflix, Amazon and Apple, among others. This newsletter and my work at CT Voice Magazine, the Los Angeles Blade and The Daily Beast will be unaffected since they are not union jobs.
JUNE 1 IS WASHINGTON’S NEW DROP-DEAD DATE: In a letter to Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen revised the date the U.S. government will be in default unless he and his fellow Republicans resolve the debt ceiling standoff with President Biden, and time is short. —The Hill
MILLIONS OF AMERICANS COULD SUFFER IF FEDERAL GOVT. DEFAULTS: Imagine a meltdown like in 2008, with benefits not being paid to veterans and senior citizens, and halts to military funding and vital government programs.—CNN
McCARTHY TO SIT DOWN WITH BIDEN NEXT MONDAY, MAY 8
BANKING CRISIS, THE SEQUEL: How did J.P. Morgan Chase wind-up in control of First Republic Bank? It was messy. NYT
“OTHER PROBLEMS MAY BE LURKING”: CNBC
FDIC WANTS TO RAISE DEPOSIT GUARANTEE ABOVE $250K: CNN
VICE IS HEADED TO BANKRUPTCY: NYT
TEXAS GUNMAN STILL ON THE LOOSE, GOV. ABBOTT WALKS BACK “ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS” STATEMENT: The Independent
FAMILY SAYS THEY REPEATEDLY CALLED 911 FOR HELP: Washington Post
DEADLY DUST STORM IN ILLINOIS KILLS SIX: NYT
INVESTIGATORS IN OKLAHOMA FIND SEVEN BODIES ON RURAL PROPERTY, INCLUDING THAT OF TWO MISSING TEEN GIRLS: KWTV
NYC NONPROFIT GIVING AWAY 500 APPLE AIRTAGS TO HELP NYPD CATCH CAR THIEVES: CNBC
NEW OPPONENT FOR SEN. TED CRUZ: Former NFL player turned civil rights attorney and current Democratic Rep. Colin Allred is planning to announce his bid to try to do what Beto O’Rourke could not. —Politico
TRUMP TO TAKE PART IN NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN HALL: On CNN!
THE TUCKER CARLSON TAPES: Media Matters reveals what the former Fox News anchor said behind the scenes, and it’s juicy.
DeSANTIS BOARD SUING DISNEY, WHICH IS SUING DeSANTIS: CNN
FEDERALIST SOCIETY SCANDAL: Politico scooped that Leonard Leo — the conservative advisor who helped President Trump choose right wing judiciary nominees — received a $1.6 BILLION gift through an association with the Federalist Society, which describes itself as a nonpartisan educational organization. The group is forbidden from doing political activism because of its tax status. The gift is believed to be the largest political donation ever.
FORMER CT POLITICAL CANDIDATE ADMITS DEFACING CAPITOL: CT Insider
VIOLENT MAY DAY DEMONSTRATIONS IN FRANCE: They’re still pissed over the raising of the retirement age from 62 to 64. NBC News
RUSSIAN INVASION HAS KILLED OR WOUNDED 100,000 SOLDIERS: Washington Post
WHY DID THE MURDOCHS CALL PRESIDENT ZELENSKYY? Semafor
PALESTINIAN HUNGER STRIKER DIES IN ISRAELI CUSTODY: Associated Press
GAZA FIRES ROCKETS, ISRAEL RESPONDS: Al Jazeera
CAT FIGHT AT THE MET GALA: Cinemablend reports on Jared Leto, Lil Nas X and Doja Cat’s apparel paying tribute to Karl Lagerfeld and his cat.
SEE THE OTHER WOW GOWNS AND GET-UPS: Washington Post
SERENA WILLIAMS ANNOUNCES PREGNANCY AT GALA: The Guardian
WHY THE FUCK DID RESEARCHERS BORG-IFY A GOLDFISH?!? —NYT
OUT TRANS MONTANA STATE REP. AND ACLU SUE OVER LAWMAKER’S EXCLUSION: Washington Blade
“PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS:” 50% OF TRANS AND NONBINARY YOUTH SERIOUSLY CONSIDER SUICIDE: My story for the Los Angeles Blade
NATIONAL SURVEY REVEALS THIS UPWARD TREND: The Trevor Project
HOW MANY LGBTQ+ YOUTH ARE THERE IN U.S.? The CDC says +25% of high school students identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or something else under the rainbow. —Los Angeles Blade
WHAT ARE TRANS PEOPLE DOING TO OBTAIN GENDER-AFFIRMING CARE IN STATES WHERE IT’S NOW BANNED? Associated Press
MISSOURI RABBI SAYS ANTI-TRANS POLICIES THREATEN HIS CHILDREN: Washington Blade
FUNNY BRITISH ACTOR JOHN CLEESE IS STILL A TRANSPHOBE: Fox News
THE MUST-READ OP-ED BY SCHOLAR AND AUTHOR JENNIFER FINNEY BOYLAN: 7.1K comments so far, the most she’s ever seen on an article she’s written, says JFB — and she’s written quite a few! Boylan asks the question, “What is a biological male, or female? What determines this supposedly simple truth?” —Washington Post
BOYLAN TO BE HONORED AT ALMA MATER: Wesleyan University will confer an honorary degree upon Jenny and a few others on May 28. I am proud to call her my friend and mentor.
THE STORY OF MY LIFEAFTERDAWN: It’s because of Jenny, my BFF Melody Maia Monet and my three children that I am here. [CW: attempted suicide]
About a year after I came out, ABC News fired me, for “performance issues.” The Daily News reported I “got a pink slip to go with [my] pink slip.” Ha.
I had lost my job, my marriage, I was exiled from my home and had bleak prospects for the future.
I applied for a job at NBC News, where I had worked before, and mentioned this to a few friends and former colleagues, including then-national correspondent Kerry Sanders. I wasn’t asking for a reference, just good wishes. Unfortunately, that’s not what I got from Sanders. Just the opposite.
Here’s the email exchange we had, in which he inadvertently emailed me his disapproval, apparently intending to send it to someone at the network.
Sanders apologized, but I knew that if push came to shove, NBC brass would choose their talented, legendary correspondent, who recently retired, and not me. So I forwarded his email to the hiring manager who interviewed me and withdrew my candidacy.
I considered ending my life. My late wife told me I was worth more to her dead than alive, thanks to our life insurance policy.
I tried twice: Once on the New Jersey Turnpike, and another time on a set of railroad tracks. I phoned Maia to say “Goodbye,” leaving her a voicemail. And she called me back and told me, “Stop! Get off the tracks! NOW!” [That’s not verbatim, but you get the idea].
So, I did. She reached out to Jenny, who told me to not “do something stupid.” I wound up at Bellevue for 24 hours, and with help from mental health professionals, I found my way. They also helped me through a mental health crisis and detransition a few months after I came out, set off by all the media attention.
And my old blog has a lot of the stories, too, at lifeafterdawn.com
Star Trek Corner
NEW VIDEO FROM PARAMOUNT+ ABOUT RECREATING THE ENTERPRISE! —YouTube
WHEN SCIFI WORLDS COLLIDE! Picard showrunner Terry Matalas exchanges compliments with Doctor Who’s Russell T. Davies. —Cinemablend
HOW TO VIEW THE ENTIRE SEASON OF STAR TREK PICARD AND OTHER STAR TREK EPISODES: Click here to subscribe to Paramount+
DID YOU MISS OUR CONVERSATION WITH MATALAS LAST WEEK? Watch it here on YouTube (00:43 minutes in!)
That’s all for today! I’ll be back tomorrow with more news to help you rise up and start your day. Until then… May your news be good news!
© 2023 EnniBuddy Productions - All Rights Reserved