Gender has always been on my mind -- or in my face -- whether I like it or not. As a budding feminist and then a young lesbian with short hair, I was called "Sir" on more than one occasion. I didn't like it, but was happy to have the privileges that being perceived as male brought. I am over six feet tall and trained as a martial artist.
Emma Lazarus, who's proud and shinning words stand indelibly inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, would weep in sorrow and shame if she were with us today as an ever increasing number of our political "leaders" and citizens call for the United States to extinguish the flame of liberty on Middle Eastern refugees of war.
Cuba has been on a lot of minds lately. Especially mine. I have frequented the island four times, and have seen the "stuck in time" tourism spiel and more importantly, the day to day life of Cubans. "No es facil." A phrase, I have heard on many lips on every trip. I have seen new interest catapulting many to the island, as well as old interests, re-imagined, with the relaxed U.S. restrictions.
On December 17, 2014, Presidents Obama and Castro publicly vowed to improve ties between our nations. Nevertheless, in the 50-plus-years that have passed without direct engagement between our nations, U.S. businesses have sprouted without permission to trade with a neighbor just 90 miles off our shores.
If there is probable cause to believe a detainee committed a crime, he should be sent to the United States for trial in federal court. The remaining detainees should be returned to their countries of origin or third countries if that is not feasible. After shuttering the prison camp, Obama should return Guantanamo Bay to Cuba, its rightful owner.
It turned out that my Spanish-speaking self was more seemingly diffident. In Spanish, I did not have the ability to pluck the perfect word out of the great web of semantics, and, therefore, I seemed less assertive when I spoke. In English, on the other hand, I was a feminist, a woman who knew exactly what she wanted, and knew how to communicate that with precision. It was depressing that men who knew this side of me didn't seem to like it.