LBGT Rainbows

A Transgender’s Horrid High School Story

At the bottom of this page, you will find a link to a story about a transgender man names Casey Hoke, who went through some horrid harassment during his time at DuPont Manual High School, right here in the heart of Louisville Metro.

He was a senior back in 2015 when his principal, Jerry Mayes, saw him coming out of the men’s bathroom, confronted him, and began questioning him about things that were honestly none of the principals business!

The article is gut wrenching, if I do say so myself. I instantly became full of anger. First of all, if you see a ‘problem’ with a student, you take it up with the students parents, you don’t take matters into your own hands and begin questioning things in their personal life, I don’t care how old the student is.

But it doesn’t stop there. He did more than ask the student what procedures he’s had on his genitalia, — yeah you heard me correctly, he asked those kinds of questions— he also had multiple meetings with his teachers regarding the subject, even though they were already aware of Casey’s situation, due to the fact that an article about his story was posted in the school board a couple of years prior.

When asked by Casey, why any of this would concern him, all he was able to mumble out was “if I get into trouble because of you…”

excuse my French, but how fucking disgusting are we trying to be in the year 2017? Or even 2015??? Plus, if everyone literally knew about it since his freshman year and hasn’t complained, then where would the problem be? Besides in your own small minded brain? …

Anyways, In this article, you will also see that the principal also called teachers “cute” little pet names, even after they asked him not to, which made said teachers feel very uncomfortable. And let’s not even dig into the fact that he strongly opposed Manual’s Black Student Union & Gay Straight Transgender Alliance, but made sure to take full credit for.

If you ask me, I think this so called principal should be let go. He overstepped many boundaries within a single year of holding his position. He doesn’t deserve the title. He clearly has some issues he needs to work out before taking on such a big responsibility of making sure a building full of students and teachers are all well taken care of.

I’m very happy to help spread Casey’s word and to help bring light to the situations we face here in Louisville.

I had my own incidents in middle and high school, so I know it’s bigger than one school or one person. Time for Louisville to step into the new millennium.

http://dearjcps.com/manual-alumnus-using-my-voice-to-help-others/

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Personal

The Greyhound Experience

I would like to take some time out to talk about my experience riding the greyhound for the very first time.

My dad and I had to return to Jersey for a short time to get our place in order. We were going to fly, but due to the fact that it was last minute, our plane tickets would’ve ran us at $800+ a ticket, which was a definite no for us. We checked out the bus fare, and it was only $350 for both round trip tickets, way cheaper by all means, also, I love riding or cruising, because I love seeing the country for what it is, so we went with the obvious winner.

Now, the fun stuff. We left around 6pm on a Wednesday afternoon. Within 10 minutes of being in the Louisville station, this homeless man got up in these young girls’ faces and started screaming at them, begging for money because they didn’t understand full English. During this process, me and this random guy made eye contact, he stood up and took his shirt off while I grabbed my pepper spray… Yeah, we thought it was going to go down. The homeless guy began to back up, walked over to another guy, asked him for his soda, got rejected, and left the station.

We’re off to a good start, aren’t we?

Cut to our 12 hour bus ride to Cleveland, Ohio where we had to wait for 2 hours for our next bus that took us to Newark. Up to his point, I was sitting with my dad, so even though the bus is uncomfortable, it was a little more comfortable sitting with him. But when we had our transfer in Cleveland, we got separated due to being previously crowded. So I had to sit next to this guy, who constantly overtook his seat, as well as part of mine. I was NOT happy. But my dad was next to me, just across the aisle, so it wasn’t completely terrible. 8 hours later we finally made it to Newark, New Jersey. The bus ride there took 19 hours, mind you, by car, it only takes 12! I was tired as all get out!

But the real fun is all in our returning trip, so strap in, because here we go.

Our departing trip back to Louisville began at 6 pm as well. We departed from Pennsylvania Station, which we’ve never been in. We literally traveled up three flights of stairs with 5 things of luggage, walked through the entire station, before realizing that the area we needed was right where we entered the first time… Oh boy, perfect start yet again.

Thankfully, we were first in line for our bus, so we were able to sit together, which eased my anxiety. I will go ahead and mention now that we rode side by side during this entire trip back to Louisville.

Now, we were supposed to reach Cleveland at 4 am, with a two hour wait, meaning our next bus was departing at 6 am. But, the worst damn thing happened during our trip. We were literally in dead, stand still traffic on the Pennsylvania highway, for literally two damn hours. We didn’t reach Cleveland until 6:30 am. Yep, we missed our bus. The next bus to Louisville wasn’t due until 2:30 in the damn afternoon! I was so not happy. But my dad and I made the best of it, because we took the time to go and explore Cleveland, which is a very pretty and innovative city. But that will be in a YouTube video so I won’t disclose those details just yet. But the best part of Cleveland was, as soon as we landed, dad went in line to get our tickets revised, and during the time, my ass went outside to smoke. From the 5 seconds it took me to walk out those doors, 4 people walked up to me and asked for money. I’m not lying when I tell you all that two of them were hookers, and the man was just released from prison. I had no time or patience. But the ex-prisoner was very respectful, which was relieving.

Our bus finally arrived and we had a nice, chill ride to Cincinnati. Along the way, we met these lovely and hysterically funny New York women. We literally sat in front of them, so our time was smoothed out with great conversation.

When we got to Cincinnati, we had another 2 hour wait, which I was so not happy about because we got to Cincinnati at 7 pm, which is 6 hours later than the time we were originally supposed to be in Louisville – our original bus, that we missed due to Pennsylvania traffic, would’ve had us in Louisville at 1 pm, but the new bus was scheduled to have us there at 11 pm – but during our two hour wait, we had three more people come up and beg for money. I ignored every single one, because again, I was not in the mood. We stayed with the New York ladies because we all just clicked so well. We were filling each other in on our personal lives and what not, and I even know where they live in New York, so we plan on visiting when we return!

The time ticked away, and we finally got on our bus. I’m not sure how I feel about the bus driver… This older man, who was clearly special, in the most respectful way, was trying to get to his location, and the bus driver just kind of shunned him away. But our bus was indeed our bus. So when we took off, literally 2 minutes from the station, the older gentleman was telling the driver that his luggage isn’t on the bus. No joke, the driver pulled over, kicked the guy off the bus, and told him he couldn’t get back on. This literally tore my heart. The gentleman had to walk back to the compound in the dead of night.

I was giddy from here on out, because I know the route of Cincinnati to Louisville like the back of my hand. So I was able to reminisce during the final parts of our trip.

We hit Louisville a little after midnight, just 28 hours after we left Jersey, and I ran as fast as I could out of those Louisville station doors!

It’s safe to say that, I do not plan on returning to any greyhound station again.

News & Politics · Personal · Product Living

Thunder Over Louisville 2017

You all know this one is going to be special to me, because this is my hometown. 

Today marks the day of the yearly Thunder Over Louisville! I’m so sad that I Will be missing it two years in a row! The firework show turns 27 this year! 

Some of you all may be asking yourself “what the hell is thunder over Louisville?” Well, I have the answers to that! Thunder Over Louisville is an event that takes part in the Kentucky derby. It’s started at 2:30 this afternoon, and will end around 10 tonight. During the day you are deafened by fascinating air shows and at night, usually around 9-9:30, the city is lit up on the Ohio river due to amazing firework displays. There’s also great music, delicious “fair style” foods, beers, bands, rides, and literally thousands of people on both the Kentucky side and the Indiana side. It basically kicks off the start of the Derby, since it’s a two week celebration. This year marks the 143rd Derby, so it’s kind of a big deal! 😜😉

Celebrities even come to town to enjoy the festivities that the Kentucky Derby brings to the lovely city of Louisville. We have thunder Over Louisville, the Pegasus Parade, the Steamboat Race, the Balloon Glow and Balloon Race, along with the Derby itself, and so much more. It’s literally the most expensive and most extravagant festival we hold in Louisville. 

You definitely want to get your hands on a Pegasus pin, because that gets you into all of the event special locations with no charge. For example, with a Pegasus pin in hand, you gain access to the great lawn on the riverfront, which is one of the best places to be during the show. 

I’m going to compare Thunder Over Louisville to Mardu Gras, only for the fact that you have such a gargantuan crowd of drunk people trying to get around and enjoy themselves! 😂 

There are a couple of downfalls, first being the weather if you’re not prepared. It can be very chilly on the riverfront, so a jacket and blanket are always recommended. Secondly, the bathroom situation! We’ve all used porter potties before, but the line to get into one can be very annoying, especially if you need to go asap. You’d be better off renting a location in one of the skyscrapers for a more convenient bathroom situation if you’re one of the frequent “goers.” Thirdly, TRAFFIC! Oh my lanta! Traffic is one of the worst things to deal with during thunder. It usually takes all of 3 hours to get home, depending on where you’re staying. Lastly, reception. Don’t think you’re going to go down there and have signal to be all over social media and making phone calls, because you won’t. The crowd gets so big that the towers literally get over powered. So save those intense moments for when you have a bar or two, because I guarantee they won’t last long! 

It’s worth it though. It’s a beautiful experience that I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing with my family and friends over the years. There really is no other festival like it. 

Personal · Product Living

KY vs NJ Weather

I have lived in New Jersey for almost a year and a half now. I’m from the city of Louisville, located in Kentucky. So the weather changes are extreme!

Louisville is located in the Ohio Valley, so in the summer time, it gets really hot, and in the winter, it gets very cold. while living in Louisville, you also get to enjoy all four seasons. The night spring storms, to the beautiful change of the trees during the autumn season.

Despite of recent years, it’s usually a nice transition from season to season.

Sometimes, during the winter season, Louisville can see some drastic snow advisories. But a part from the blizzard in the 90’s, Louisville hasn’t really seen any drastic snow fall. I mean, we get some snow fall that will make it impossible to drive in, but even then it’s usually no more than a few inches. You can throw some snow on the road, heat up your car to melt the ice, and keep it moving. Louisville is good at preparing for and handling the snow, even if we don’t get it that much.

But let me tell you about New Jersey. Girl. I literally cannot with the North East weather.

I moved here in October of 2015, so this is my second round with the winter season. When we moved here, it was already cold, even though it was still autumn. There was no time to adjust, ha-ha. But, thankfully, we came up here in November of the previous year, and February of that year, so I already knew what to expect.

Well, the first snow experience I got, was quite amazing, I cannot lie. I was excited when I heard about the advisory, because again, coming from Kentucky, we didn’t see real snow all too often.

My first snow storm here accumulated 26 inches! Yes, you heard me correctly. Twenty. Six. Inches! But like i said, it was amazing. My father and I actually walked in it. Dude, it really was awesome. People were in the streets walking because the sidewalks were impassable, cars were completely buried, Manhattan was shut down, literally, if anyone was seen outside, they could face fines. We walked about a mile in the storm to get some food. I was happy, cold, wet and full.

So, there’s that. Then we jump into spring, or, should I just say, a milder winter. It literally stays cold until mid April, if not May! for example, jump to the present day, it’s just a few days until the first day of spring, and we just had another snow storm, which put out 24 inches of snow. Of course, we ventured out in this storm as well, because we’re, well, special.

It’s hard to say how people handle the storms up here. I mean, you will literally see the entire community out in the streets, helping everyone shovel the snow, but it’s out of making money, not so much a generosity thing. Yet, at the same time, when they get in their cars, they seems to lose common sense. For example, someone woke me up at 7 o’clock this morning, revving their engines to the high gods, trying to get their car out of a icy situation, instead of just getting out and shoveling the snow away from their car. Yes, I was very pissed.

But that’s just winter. At least the summer season is very nice, even though it seems to only last for about 4 months, then it gets cold again. You would think we live in Alaska, ha-ha. But at least during the summer, it gets hot! I mean, hot. Crazy hot. Which is weird for the cities I have lived in, because not a lot of buildings have central air. You have to provide it for yourself, meaning you have to buy AC units and fans. At least they provide heating though, you need that to survive up here.

I’m sure the northerners are used to it, but I cannot bare, ha-ha. I enjoy the warmer side of things, with a little bit of coolness. But all this outrageous wind and feet of snow, I cannot. Spring is literally 5 days away, I need mother nature to get it under control for the North East.

LBGT Rainbows · News & Politics

JCPS Justice Lawsuit

I’m from Louisville, Kentucky, so this touches me personally. My cousins go to JC public schools and deal with bullies. When I was a student, I was bullied at times. Nothing was being done about it back then by the school officials, and it seems as if they’re still not doing anything about it. So, six parents stepped up and filed a lawsuit against the school system! YAAAS!

It all started with the incident that took place at Crosby Middle School, when a student was repeatedly slapped in the face, while two staff members were present in the classroom. He was humiliated,. embarrassed, and intimidated. He begged, through up, cried and pleaded not to return to school.

Five parents and even a grandparent, say that the district continues to violate civil rights by not protecting kids while in the staff’s custody.

all six guardians gave the stories of what their children went through, during their time at Crosby Middle. Five of the six kids don’t even attend the school anymore, because the bullying got so bad.

“It got bad,” says Bethany Littlefield, a parent at Crosby Middle School. “In February of last year, he attempted to end his pain the only way he knew how – and I had to put him in Our Lady of Peace.”

Littlefield then went on to say that “this place is the survival of the fittest.”

That is no way that a public school in any state, should be defined. These are children, and I think the ones to blame are the ones they go home to. Start with the parents, then move to the school district, because the adults who watch the kids every day from 7 am to 3;45 pm, are also responsible. A school is not a place that should be considered or looked at as scary for kids, or make them feel like their lives are in danger, it should be looked at as a place of knowledge, to better ones’ life, and to see your friends.

JCPS will not release any comment regarding the case, since its still pending. I for one don’t blame them, because they know they’re wrong.

This is where my ‘Throwback Thursday’ comes in…

When I went to Waggener High School, I was in a few altercations, one in which one threatened to beat me up everyday, I reported the issue, as well as my mother, because my momma doesn’t play, and all the school did was “speak” to the aggressor. I was also in an altercation where there was a threatening letter in my English mailbox, I gave it to my teacher, she took me straight to the principal’s office, and the only thing principal Candice Conway did was shrug it off and say that there was nothing she could do, since there was no name on the paper… Really? Ok, cool. I am so pleased to announce that she did get fired the year after I graduated!

So now this has escalated to all of Jefferson County, because even though this incident is specific to Crosby Middle, it is not the only school in the district that has daily bully, unprotected, and violent issues regarding students.

I think its time we do some cleaning in the district buildings, and fire all of those who feel that they don’t get paid enough to deal with kids every day, and find more people who have a passion for kids and teaching.

 

 

Personal · Product Living

The Laughing Derby

If you’re ever in the Louisville area, specifically the Highlands, then be sure to check out this fabulous comedy club! It’s rated number 5 on the list of a good night out in Louisville!

My dear friend and I won a couple of tickets one day, so we decided to give it a try. We were not disappointed! I personally had one of the best times of my life, especially since we were in the second row. The comedians are very interactive with the crowd! I got called on at least 3 times. You will literally be on the edge of your seat, trying to fight back the tears from laughter.

Decent prices on food and beverages, which are both well worth it, in my opinion. Also, the tickets themselves are fairly cheap. Anywhere between 12-30 dollars and you’re guaranteed a spectacular time.

Another good thing about the Laughing Derby, is that it’s in the heart of the highlands. There’s plenty of bars, fine restaurants, and shopping outlets around every corner. There’s also a straight shot down bardstown road to get to downtown Louisville, where you will find the Hard Rock Café!

There really is nothing like my old Kentucky home, so when you visit, make sure you take full advantage of the beautiful metro area!