Editor’s Note: This is the latest installment of “The Transchick Chronicles,” an on-going series of essays written by out transgender journalist Stephanie Haskins, as she documents her transition. Scroll to the bottom for links to her previous entries.
BY STEPHANIE HASKINS
As I start to write this, in late November 2022, it’s the International Transgender Day of Remembrance. It’s also the day after five young and vibrant queer people were slaughtered at a gay club in Colorado Springs, Colorado—apparently one of the only places in that town where LGBTQIA+ people say they felt safe.
It was invaded by some little bug of humanity who sprayed the club and the dancing kids with bullets.
Another mass shooting in America. And no one is surprised.
These angels were blown away by a sick, right-wing fuck who decided it was HIS turn to be momentarily famous, by offing some gay kids he never knew, but always despised.
A loner. A freak.
How many more of us have to die at the hand of White, entitled, twisted monsters?
How many more massacres with guns meant for warfare must we endure?
And once again, as I sit in front of my big screen TV, watching the usual scenes of carnage, tears rolling down my face, I feel totally, absolutely, and completely useless and powerless.
This is NOT where I want to be right now. Emotionally or physically.
In recent months, I’ve fallen into a dark place. I’m not doing particularly well. My life as a newly minted transgender woman feels like it’s on stall for the time being. I’m neither here nor there. I’m stranded in an emotional desert. (more…)
BY KIM WHITING
In 2014, twenty years into my sobriety, I zipped up my judge’s robe and looked in the mirror. I smiled at myself, as broadly as my muscles would allow. There was something about my hairstyle that reminded me of my fifth grade picture. Instead of feeling the pain of my younger self, I could see her jumping up and down in excitement. I felt proud. I’d really done it. I’d overcome all of it. This is who I was meant to be.
–Mary Beth O’Connor in From Junkie to Judge: One Woman’s Triumph Over Trauma and Addiction
When she was 12-years-old, Mary Beth O’Connor took her first life-altering sip of strawberry wine. Trying to escape a childhood of abuse and neglect, she says she suddenly felt euphoric and relaxed, and she started to get drunk as often as possible.
Then came pot, followed by pills, and trips on acid. At 16, she found her eventual drug of choice–methamphetamine. With her first sniff, she claims she experienced true joy for the very first time. Soon, O’Connor went from snorting to needles, shooting up meth on a daily basis for more than 16 years.
Writer, Recovery Advocate, and Former Federal Judge Mary Beth O’Connor
Three decades later, in her new memoir From Junkie to Judge, O’Connor now gives a detailed account of her first intravenous use of methamphetamine, taking readers into the disturbing world of drug use and abuse. It’s astounding that this same woman, after many years of serious addiction, would later overcome it and eventually rise to prominence as a federal judge. (more…)