Friday, August 17, 2012

26 Role Models for 26 Years

In honor of my 26th year living on this Earth, I thought I would share 26 famous people who have inspired me, be they living, dead, real or fictional.  And in honor of this day also being my 4-year "tranniversary", 4 of them are trans women.  Enjoy and thanks for all the happy memories everyone!

Amanda Fucking Palmer - One of my favorite musicians of all time.  So many of her songs are about gender norms and the like that she was extremely helpful when I was coming to terms with the whole "I'm a girl" thing.

 Amanda Simpson - The first trans Presidential appointee (that we know of).  She was not appointed because she was "diverse" but because she had decades of experience in her field and was the most qualified.  Good on her.

Bill Nye - Inspired me and countless other children to understand the scientific method and gave us all a thirst for discovery, experimentation, and learning.  If we had more people like him, maybe our country wouldn't rank 48th in science education and more than half of our nation would understand how evolution works.

Carl Sagan - If Bill inspired me as a kid, then Carl inspired me as an adult.  His show Cosmos is still one of the best programs of its kind and fills you with true fascination with the sky above us.  To top it all off, he was a firm but gentle atheist and pointed out the destruction religion can have on human progress in a non-confrontational way.

Christopher Hitchens - There's really only one word to describe his writing: ruthless.  I was lucky enough to be at two of his last public appearances before his death.  The way he bravely confronted his mortality was almost as inspiring as his writing.  Whenever I write a particularly angry piece, I like to think I'm channeling his energy.

Commander Shepard - Whenever someone asks me how women should be portrayed in video games, I point them to Mass Effect.  Why?  Because she's incidentally female.  She doesn't wear sexy outfits, she wears full body armor, because she's a soldier.  She doesn't beat you over the head with the fact that she's a bad-ass woman, she just is a bad-ass woman.

Daria Morgendorffer - Pretty much me in high school, minus the skirt and long hair.  I can't tell you what a relief it was to know I wasn't the only one who questioned the "best years of our lives" prattle.  She was a smartass, a writer and spoke her mind freely.  Why wouldn't I love her?
Douglas Adams - No one captures the humor and absurdity of life, the universe, and everything quite like Douglas Adams.  If only he was the perception of what atheists are like we might not be the most distrusted group in America.

George Carlin - Dedicated his life to "detecting the bullshit" and making us all aware of it too.  Few comedians set out to change the world with their comedy, but George Carlin makes you look at the world, laugh at it with him and then want to change it once his routine is done.

Harvey Milk - The first openly gay elected politician in America.  A truly inspiring pioneer to keep in mind whenever we face adversity.  His "Give Them Hope" speech never fails to bring tears to my eyes and inspire me to fight the good fight.

Hedwig Schmidt Robinson - Strange as it may seem, this genderfuck punk-rock star was the first remotely positive transgender person I'd seen.  And the ultimate message of the musical, fuck what others think and be who you are, changed me for the bettter.

Hermione Granger - I love Hermione, because she has strong principles and stands for her beliefs even when they're not popular (S.P.E.W.), speaks her mind, never pretends to not know the answer and is one of the few teenage girls in literature who isn't "boy crazy".

Jadzia Dax - Whether you knew it or not, she's the transgender character of Star Trek.  She has such great lines as, "If it helps, think of me as a man.  I've been one several times."  She's fierce, smart, handy with a bat'leth and easy on the eyes.  What's not to like?

Jessica Ahlquist - Despite death threats and protests, she fought for the constitutional removal of a prayer banner at her public high school.  The case went to court and she was found to be in the right.  It takes real guts to face that kind of adversity and stick to your guns.

Katniss Everdeen - When I read The Hunger Games and she volunteers to take her little sister's place, I burst into tears while riding the bus because I would do the exact same thing for my sister.  Although I dislike the ending, (another blog for another time) I relate Katniss because she's independent, a survivor, and extremely protective of her family.

Lady Sovereign - One of my favorite hip-hop artists.  Not only is she British, white and female, but she's also a lesbian.  That's a lot of traits that go against the typical rap culture, but she's clever and has a great sense of humor in her music.

Lana Wachowski - Bet you didn't know the Wachowski Brothers are no longer brothers.  That's because their the Wachowski siblings now.  I love her and her brothers movies and I'm impressed she somehow managed to transition and not get caught up in a media circus about it.

Lara Croft - The first female video game character I ever played will always have a special place in my heart.  Even if she's been sexualized by every creepy fan-boy out there, that's not her fault.  She's just here to explore ruins and find treasure.

Leia Organa - The only princess I can really relate to, because she carries a gun and rescues herself and her man.  Her love interest was also my first crush growing up, probably for the best love line ever: "I love you!" "I know."

Lenore Gore - One of the first trans derby girls, who skates for the D.C. team Scare Force One.  She was also influential in changing WFTDA's gender rules to not exclude girls based on their surgery status. 

Lisa Simpson - Sure she's a know-it-all, a Buddhist atheist, a vegetarian, and a jazz musician, but don't hold that against her!  She may think she's the only sane one in her family (most of the time) but she loves her family all the same, warts and all.

Madalyn Murray O'Hair - The mother of the Atheist movement.  I love the "four horsemen" as much as the next godless heathen, but let's never forget it was a woman who started it all.  Despised for sticking up for her son's constitution rights and creating a community for atheists, she ultimately paid for it by being brutally murdered.  Never forget where we came from.

Michelle Dumaresq - A downhill bike racer and one of the first transgender athletes on an international level.  She had to put up with a lot of shit when she won her first race, but she kept her head high and blazed a trail for the rest of us.

Neil deGrasse Tyson - He's been called the next Carl Sagan, and he's even said to be hosting the upcoming revival of Cosmos.  He's another great scientist who makes science accessible to all and invites everyone to gaze up at the stars.

Sally Ride - The first American woman in space and the only lesbian (as far as we know).  Sadly she passed away recently and her partner will receive no benefits because the shitheel Republicans are worried that might encourage other lesbian astronauts.  Yet another reason we need to fight for human rights.  That way we can get to more important matters, like space exploration.

Selina Kyle - She's like Batman, but without the rigid morals and billion-dollars bank account.  While some may say she's a villain, she only robs from assholes who have it coming and donates the majority to worthwhile charities, keeping some for herself so she can keep doing what she does.  She's the gray-suited character in the black-and-white world of Gotham.

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