The trench was a horrible sight. The dead were stretched out on one side, one on top of each other six feet high.

“I thought at the time I should never get the peculiar disgusting smell of the vapour of warm human blood heated by the sun out of my nostrils. I would rather have smelt gas a hundred times. I can never describe that faint sickening, horrible smell which several times nearly knocked me up altogether.” — British Captain Leeham, talking about the first day of the Battle of the Somme, in ‘Tommy Goes to War’

By Blue Bronc, a Trail Mix Contributor

What does it mean to be Lesbian or Gay or Bisexual or Transgender, or any other person than white male in the missionary position today?

What is your feeling of safety? Of security in this world?

2007, I was discussing my first campaign with the chief of police.  There was great concern that my running would be accompanied by protests and violence.  We were over concerned, nothing did happen.  While discussing FBI statistics regarding issues the talk came to me.  “What are the odds I would be killed?”  A very real question.  At the time we in the LGBT community knew the number at 25% greater that a transwoman would be murdered over a male walking down the street.  The chief, a friend now, thought a little and admitted that odds of me being killed were off the chart.

LAorlandoHow often are any gay or transwomen assaulted and killed?  Many police fail to even report assaults and deaths may be suicide or OD.  The numbers are unknown, but are better than ever, at least a few more honest reports are filed. How many sex workers just disappear?

The other day a coworker asked me what my greatest fear is as a transwoman.  Easily it is walking down the street alone.  It struck her hard.  Very hard.  The reality is any woman walking alone anywhere is a target.  Being a transwoman I know the current odds of being attacked and killed walking down the street.  According to the FBI it is 100% greater than a male walking down the street.

I cry for those killed and wounded this morning.  The sadness will not go away.  The constant concern that some idiot, pumped up with the hate from Republicans, from far right wing idiots, from the “christians” (they are not Christian in any manner) and from other religions, will declare they are freeing the world of the  gays and will kill us does not go away.  Will this concern end?  I do not believe it ever will.

LA_PRIDE_PARADE_061216bl_006How do we administer revenge?  We are but a small percentage of the peoples of this community, this country, this world.  We are not in a position to stop the attacks alone.  Our lives depend on allies.  Many allies from so many different communities.  Allies from all religions too.

Do I feel scared?  No.  I and many others will not be scared.  We will not be frightened back into the closet.

Well not much happened during the campaigns.  I did get a few death threats, but not serious.  Those were sent to my post office box.  It was the one under the windshield wiper blade that got my attention.

More Posts by Blue Bronc


Orlando Strong

I don’t want to make this about me, but simply stress how this craziness can hit any of us close to home.

From age 3 to high school, when we moved further out, I grew up in a house exactly 2.5 miles from the site of this massacre. Our dog’s veterinarian and kennel was almost literally across the street. The modest restaurants nearby were some of our favorites, for everything from fried catfish to Cuban food.

In those days it was a typically American middle class neighborhood where we didn’t just watch “Leave It To Beaver” – it was our way of life.

As a grown-up gay man many years later, and long ago, I went to Pulse a few times with friends. It was a fun and welcoming place for an evolving neighborhood that came to fully accept such diversity without complaint.

My heart aches for my hometown I love so much. Since Disney World transformed us in the early 1970’s from a place only known for orange trees, cows and mosquitoes it became our nation’s most visited tourist destination – more than 60 million a year, besting New York City, Vegas and all the rest.

I always feared we could be a target. And now it has happened.

Hopefully the nation will now see that Orlando is so much more than theme parks. It is little known what more we are, from our hundreds of gorgeous lakes, laid-back and fun people, an amazingly advanced center for state-of-the-art health care (the best doctors flock there for the golf courses) — and, thanks to the entertainment Goliath Orlando is, a huge, vibrant and yet very tightly-knit gay community that I know will rise above this with dignity.


Eleven and Counting: Another Trail Mix Birth Month

Trail Mixers,

I almost forgot. This month marks 11 years since we launched our little corner of the Internets. So many iterations over the years I’ve lost track which one this is, but we’re still here and so many of you have been here since the beginning.

11_year_olds_rockWhat to say? For starters, I’m amazed. Even after I took a year off to play politics, when our previous installment was shut down by despicable unknown unfriendlies, you all came back and picked up right where we left off.

Like I never have had, no idea what makes this work, but I do know it’s all about you.



Clinton Super Pac Attacks Trump Mocking Disabled

In a new wave of TV ad attacks Hillary Clinton’s Super Pac focuses on Donald Trump’s mocking of a disabled reporter. This one will run in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Nevada, Iowa, New Hampshire and Colorado. Before the GOP convention in Cleveland starts in six weeks, Priorities USA says will have spent $26 million on ads attacking Trump’s character.

Take that, Harry and Louise.