The roads in Atlanta are weird. I'm trying to write this blog post, but that's all I can think about. So weird. Driving was awful, the traffic was so intense and all the streets wind and curve and randomly turn into off ramps. Lexie and I have seriously taken for granted how logical the driving in Colorado is. We drove into the heart of the city and the cold wind definitely kept us wanting to stay inside. Our first interview happened to be in a library, where a very nice maintenance worker offered to turn the fans off so our sound would be better. It was such a nice gesture, although the nearby book club of 60+ year old women definitely gave us some interesting background chatter. Atlanta was beautiful, however. We met some really cool people who really kicked gender stereotypes in the ass. Something that can not be considered easy while living in Georgia. Connor was so flexible in hanging out in finding the library with us and Al was so sweet to invite us into his home and introduce us to all of his pets. This trip is full of people that are showing us how brave it is just to live as your authentic self. Lexie and I like to think that we're doing this project to help others learn, but we're learning so much ourselves.
After spending the night in Georgia, we drove up to Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. A close friend of ours, Max, also from SDLC (big surprise), offered to let us stay in his dorm room and even let us drop in on a SAGA meeting (Sexuality and Gender Alliance). Special thanks to him and his roommates for letting us completely invade their space with camera equipment. Max definitely gave us one of the best interviews we've had. We set up all of our stuff, lights, microphones, and tripods included, in the three feet of space we had between the bed and the door. Max sat comfortably on the bed and Lexie and I nestled ourselves right between the cameras so she could film and I could ask questions while barely out of shot. Compared to the distance thats typically between me and the person I'm interviewing, this felt very cozy to say the least. In this current political climate, being transgender in North Carolina is not exactly something small, but Max talked about it with ease. For him and so many other people, constant consideration of safety is a reality every time you walk out the door. Many people don't realize that that's what's at stake every time they discuss legislation.
We only spent one night in NC, which I can't say we regret. We passed a lot of confederate flags on our way through there. I have to say that despite some of the discrimination the south holds, the people that can be themselves while living there are braver and more interesting than a lot of people I've met. We also met some amazing pet cats, which was very needed.
Even though it's getting colder, we're so glad to be finally reaching the east coast.