New York Today: A Transgender Refugee’s Journey to Queens

Wednesday: The challenges of crossing a border as a transgender person, Opera around town, and an underground auction.

Comments: 20

  1. “If that’s what human rights are, apply it to me.”

    Yup, it feels like every time we try to apply what they taught in law school, to try to get people to use the law to stop people violating Human Rights, what we hear is “Why are you concentrating on the negative?” To me, part of having a hopeful, positive point of view is that when you encounter something like unlawful bias, unless you truly think it's hopeless, you work to change it. The people who defend a totally heartfelt “right” to be prejudiced of course behave as if the target who is trying to battle badness is being a "bully" against THEIR rights, as they somehow honestly feel they have a right to do what they do. Trying to get that law observed is a positive step, I was taught, though it necessarily means you are focused on the negative – but trying to change the negative, which you can’t do without focusing on it! It’s a Kvetch-22!

    Tune of “Taking A Chance on Love” (maybe the Ella Fitzgerald version?)

    (maybe imagine Jeff Sessions’ team singing this)

    Here we go again
    We’re spending piles of dough again
    To make our victims know again
    You get no chance for love

    Stop your Pride again
    We’re laughing 'cause you cried again
    Teary-eyed again
    You get no chance for love

    We’re praying for your salvation
    But block your support
    You kvetch of discrimination
    Hey come on, be a good sport

    Sure, we’re spending now
    Our budget's never-ending now
    We biased need defending now
    So you get no chance for love

  2. Perfect, Freddie. And in turning the meaning from positive to negative, almost unbearably sad.
    Why can't we simply see human beings without labels?

  3. I hope you haven't copyrighted "Kvetch-22" because I am stealing that phrase! It fits a myriad of situations.

    Seeing the very open and accepting attitudes of the millennial generation and Gen-Z gives me hope that the future will be better. Then again, boomers were pretty accepting in their younger "make love not war" days and turned into some of the most closed-minded bigoted people.

  4. This is a touchy subject. Ms. Ortega’s biggest gripe is that she wants to apply for jobs as a woman. It’s the classic sex identity vs. biological sex debate. I don’t think she should mark herself as Female when she’s biologically a Male—this would open up Pandora’s Box. It’s also deceiving for men and women that aren’t pansexuals and aren’t interested in a relationship with a woman/man identifying themselves as a man/woman.

    But maybe we can compromise. Give another option, such as “Fi” for ‘identifying as female.

    I hope Ms. Ortega finds peace in life.

  5. None of this comment makes any sense.

  6. I wonder if tax payers money was and is presently being used for her education. We already payed for her expenses while she spent months in detention.

  7. She didn't spend time in detention, it isn't vacation. She was detained for trying to not be murdered. And as a now legal resident of the US, the "we" who pay for her education includes herself.

  8. How does she pay if she can’t find work?

  9. I enjoyed the portion concerning the MTA auctioning items left on the subways and busses. Particularly how long they hold the items, waiting for them to be reclaimed.

    That is impressive-----caring for the owners by being fair concerning giving folks a chance to recover their goods. This is not the image that most folks have of the MTA. Bravo!

  10. Are you really going to ignore the comment I made several hours ago because I challenged Mr. Wolfe about calling this weather "gloomy" instead of cloudy?? ... Strange days, indeed.

  11. I love the NYT, have for decades. It's a NYC and national asset. But I wonder sometimes your subject choices and story placement priorities. When a large number of practical challenges afflict the city and nation and the vast majority of American people are concerned with X, Y and Z the first story I see opening your site today is a transgender refugee? If we try to solve every single problem worldwide we'll solve nothing. And the American people will wonder about "the mainstream media" priorities and agenda.

  12. I'm sure the good people at New York Today feel awful that they've offended your delicate sensibilities regarding this transgender immigrant

  13. I'm proud of her. I can't imagine how hard it must be to be a refugee in a country that openly hates transgender people, Mexicans, and refugees.

    America used to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. Now it's the land of hatred and guns.

  14. probably easier than in her previous country where the hatred of transgender people actually led to assault and death threats

  15. Tough choices here. If we want to be the most compassionate nation in the world, then we better figure out who’s going to pay for that compassion. Our infrastructure is crumbling, healthcare is rapidly becoming something only the rich can afford, increasing higher education costs make a college degree a luxury item, public education for the most part is a shambles, jobs are shipped out of the country while automation and AI displaces most workers, our government is corrupt and our POTUS leaves something to be desired. What are our priorities? Personally, I want to help everybody.
    Monetarily, I’m struggling myself. And to those who might ask “ it just about the money...?”
    Yes. It’s always about the money, this is the USA and capitalism reduces us to frenzied feeding rats. Even though we hope we’re more than that.

  16. I agree on your comment , I live check to check. Globalism helps only the few not the many

  17. Really ? This is why Republicans under the leadership of Trump will keep winning elections.

  18. You know, AMY, there has to be something in between Mr. Trump's imbecile pandering to our country's worst instincts and, say, Cynthia Nixon's inability to understand that not all poor people are victims of society.

    Those of us in the middle class have always kept our heads down, worked for intemperate idiots in order to pay the bills, and saved what we can -- and also written letters to politicians on behalf of our beliefs (for me, saving our environment and civil rights), given to charities that reflect our priorities, and marched and demonstrated when moved to.

    Keeping our heads down also means wearing the "uniform" of the company we work for. When they say we can wear khakis, fine. If they insist on more formal attire, fine.

    What responsible parents do for their kids is to teach them how to behave in various circumstances so that they can both be themselves and also moderate their language and behavior so that they can function in society.

    I am a firm believer in marriage equality. But men who dress as women too often take on stereotypes of make-up and dress that women of even moderate intelligence and taste eschewed long ago, and become only parodies of women.

    (Of course, females like Kim Kardashian also seem like parodies of women.)

    Better to keep the form you're born with. Inner peace takes a long time to achieve even for someone of the usual genders. Moderation in all things continues to be true -- for everyone.

    If only Ms. Kardashian thought so too.

  19. BTW, the Liberty are hosting the Las Vegas Aces tonight at 7 PM and that will be televised on both MSG + and ESPN 3.

  20. Proud to say that Ishalaa is my coworker. She is a tremendous asset to our organization and has a brilliant future ahead of her. I am appalled and saddened by some of the disgusting comments here - by my fellow New Yorkers, no less. I can't believe how easy it is for some of you to strip this woman of her humanity. Shame on you.