Saturday, December 10, 2005

Adios, Mitch

“If I’m going to live in a Third-World country, I’m going where the weather is better.”

L.M. Powell

So spoke Mitch Powell immediately following the 2004 U.S. Presidential election. Mitch hails from Oaxaca, in a country where government corruption is accepted as an inescapable fact, like gravity.

And 17 different parties have candidates in the Presidential Election. Thus, if you get 23% of the vote, you’re kicking ass and you get to be the next president.

I met Mitch when he was Michelle. He is now a work-in-progress, a “transman.”

Hormones are changing his body; I teased him good-naturedly when his voice cracked during the early stages of his hormone therapy. He said, “It sucks that I’m 26 years old, and I have to go through puberty--again.”

When he came out to me about his decision to change his gender, the first thing I said was:

“So, does this mean you’ll be a lesbian trapped in a man’s body?”

In the beginning, it took some time to remember to switch pronouns when talking to him, but he took it in stride, constructing a little penalty box—if you messed up and used the wrong pronoun, you had to pay him a quarter. It kept him in Pop-Tarts for a month or two, until we got used to it.

Mitch and I went to the same art school here in Albuquerque; I graduated right before he started. I have seen his phenomenal talent exhibited in many different ways—cartoonist, illustrator, graphic designer, and webmaster of High Desert Web.

In addition, he has been very active in local and national GLBT causes, especially in youth programs, and volunteering time and talent to related activities.

Mitch, I send you nothing but good thoughts to you on both of your journeys, and I hope to someday drink a beer with you, enjoying the warm breezes of Oaxaca.

My country will be an emptier place without you.

©House of Mayhem 2005


At 3:28 PM, Blogger Leon Mitchell said...

Aw shucks, thanks dude. I will miss your picking at me, whether it's for my voice cracking, my hair style (or lack of it), or my matching shirts with Richard.


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