12 Personally Pivotal Albums

n 1991 I went to Ada, Oklahoma to hang out in Ada, Oklahoma. I expected to have a bad time, and I almost did when a couple guys wanted to beat me up because I was elbowing their friend in the pit during Godflesh because the guy was trying to mosh during Godflesh but really just hurting people. I was cancelled and didn’t even realize they wanted to beat me up but my friend did and he got me out of there. Right after that I met someone who reminds me now of Blake Schwarzenbach but his name was Blake Pennington. We hit it off right away and as someone who find meeting interesting people to be their greatest joy in life, I ended up having a good night. As we were headed back to Norman, Blake ran out and handed me a copy of the Turn It Around! comp on a tape. It got me through high school and introduced me to some of my favorite bands. I lost the tape and when I was homeless a couple years later, I was at the Downtrodden house in Lawrence and one of them had the sevens. I was blown away! You can actually own the records? For a long time after I got off the streets I still didn’t believe I could own property of great or small value. When I was young, my dad repeatedly told me I couldn’t be anything if I wanted to be trans. He expressed often how I would be less than nothing and my life would be ruined. I gave up pretty quick on joining the workforce and society. I thought I would find my people and I would be able to feel safe and transitioning. Obviously I did eventually, or at least one person, my fiercely independent and beautiful wife. Much of the trauma is healed now. I’ve gone from being a punk rock non-entity to someone in a position to actually help other people. I got my own copy of the Turn It Around! compilation! Signed and sent by the coverboy himself, the inimitable Walter Glaser! To say I fell lucky is an understatement, I feel extremely lucky, but I’d be nothing without the love and help of so many people I will never have time to thank. Instead I’ll just say thanks, Walter, thanks everyone.

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