Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts

Saturday, September 5, 2015

What does it mean to be a HERO Caitlyn Jenner ?

Photo credit : Caitlyn Jenner

Ever since Caitlyn Jenner came out as Transgender on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine and received the prestigious Arthur Ashe Courage Award live at The Espy awards there is still an ongoing debate concerning what a " Hero" actually is. Amongst many people on social media this is still a hot topic with various memes and statuses arguing that Caitlyn Jenner should have not received this award and that she is not courageous, brave or a " Hero" for just deciding to live her life as a woman after 65 years. They go on to compare her to the men and woman injured while serving our country that still have the spirit to persevere and break records in sports as being the " real " heros. While I agree these individuals should be commended and are definitely courageous ...I am not so sure that I believe Caitlyn Jenner doesn't deserve the same title as well.

About the award as copied from  

" The Ashe Award is one of the most prestigious in sports. Recipients reflect the spirit of Arthur Ashe, possessing strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost. The award is inspired by the life that Ashe lived, using his fame and stature to advocate for human rights, although, at the time, those positions may have been unpopular and were often controversial. From speaking out against apartheid in South Africa to revealing to the world his struggle with AIDS, Ashe never backed away from a difficult issue, even though doing so would have been easier. Winners of the Ashe Award strive to carry on Ashe's legacy in their own lives - - inspired by those who do so each day."

In my opinion many people acting out were not even aware of the criteria that Mr.Ashe intended for the award recipient and we saw people jumping on a bandwagon mostly for a chance to be snarky about a still taboo topic ...transgenderism. On the scarier side Caitlyn received death threats and hate tweets.
Caitlyn Jenner has not just decided to become a woman overnight. This is something she has struggled with since she was a young child. Due to obvious pressures of society , on top of being a world renowned Olympian, Caitlyn stopped an earlier attempt at transitioning and further hid her true feelings with secrets and lies. Ultimately after much soul searching  Caitlyn decided she rather live as her authentic self than go on any further  and in doing so , being the public figure she is, faced a media firestorm where no one could have guessed the outcome. Many people were accepting however this is not the case for the average person who is transgendered out of the public's eye.

As seen in Caitlyn's new docu-series on Entertainment Television " I Am Cait" we see a woman willing to take on the burden for a life she is just becoming a part of ( not trying to be a martyr) and just beginning to understand. I Am Cait was filmed as she just transitioned and they even covered the ESPY award and Cait's now infamous acceptance speech. I see a Cait who is taking on the role of advocate and is trying her best to stay humble, aware of her privilege, while shedding a light on a topic that rarely gets the attention it needs and deserves. The facts are, whether you are aware or not, that people who are transgender have the highest murder/suicide rate in our world today all because they are trying to live their lives as who they really are. Just think about that for a moment.Really think about it as if it were as real to you as it is to them.How can anyone not think this needs to be addressed/stopped?!
Many people who are transgendered are homeless, can not find employment due to discrimination, can not find health care and often times are shunned by their families left to fend for themselves. In watching I Am Cait we are seeing ground breaking television spotlighting what it means to be transgendered and hopefully normalizing it as it should be and there is still a long way to go. Caitlyn has cleverly inserted many new friends who are transgendered so they may share their stories which are unique as they are...they themselves being skeptical of Caityln as their new spokesperson however you can see they are genuinely appreciative for the media attention and awareness that I Am Cait is bringing to the community. This no way negates all the pioneers that have come before, and there has been many...the best part is Cait knows this and makes us aware she is only a vessel. I am not sure what your definition of a " Hero" is but I do know the way I see it...Caitlyn Jenner is courageous, brave and a " Hero" for making an attempt to save lives while you sit on your couch and judge her.

For information on how you can help

Watch Caitlyn Jenner on " I Am Cait" Sunday's 8/7C on Entertainment Televsion 
Follow Caitlyn on Twitter @Caitlyn_Jenner

Follow the show @IAmCait

Follow me @BillyCharlesNY

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Story Of Tragedy, Fate , And Second Chances!

The victim of a drunk driver,  Ryan Joshua Campos

The story  you are about to read include true events shared with me by my friend Tiffenii Mumphrey. I urge you all to please take the time to read this blog and also support this wonderful non profit organization founded by Teresa Bullard and help make the memories of so many drunk driving  victims, like Ryan Josh Campos, not be one of sorrow but of hope of what we can achieve when we come together through tragedy to make a difference. Although living very different lives, Tiffenni and Teresa were destined to meet and forge a common bond while providing mutual support and comfort through similar shared experience. This is further proof that everything happens for a reason and there are no mistakes in the creator's plans for all of us. Thank you in advance for your support and I would like to take this time to extend my deepest condolences for anyone who has lost a loved one to the senseless act of drunk driving. Xx Billy Charles

Submitted to Billy Charles by Tiffenii Mumphrey:

If someone would have told Teresa Bullard a year ago, that one video would change two families’ lives forever, she would not be convinced at all. In the early morning hours of August 18, 2012, Tiffenii Mumphrey and her husband were driving back from Nacogdoches, Texas, when they saw a flurry of lights in the distance on the outskirts of Jacksonville Texas.
“As I looked at one of the policeman directing traffic, I told my husband that he looked as if he’d seen a ghost,” Tiffenii said.
It did not take long to figure out why. Turns out, carnage from a horrific wreck was right within eyesight in which two young men life less bodies could be seen. Instinctively, for reasons she still can’t explain, Tiffenii took out her cell phone and started videoing the scene. What she didn’t know was that split second decision would, turn lead to an unlikely friendship between Teresa and Tiffenii. One of the men killed in the accident, was Teresa’s son, 22 year-old Ryan Joshua Campos. He was a passenger in the car that was hit head on by a drunk driver.  
Tiffenii saved the video in her phone and would often search the internet for any new information on the details of the wreck, but couldn’t find anything. Then one day in October 2012, she was sitting in her office at the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MAAD) office in Tyler, when she overheard an obviously distraught woman complaining that the investigating officials are telling her there wasn’t a video or other information from the night that her son was killed in Jacksonville.
“Something told me to get up and go talk with this woman. I asked her when her son was killed and she told me August 18th. I also asked if there was another fatality in the accident and she said yes. By this time I had chills all over my body.”
Tiffenii went on to tell, who she now knew as Teresa Bullard that if this is the same accident, she was on the scene of the wreck and that she had a video of the event.
“I was stunned,” Teresa said. “My first thought was what are the odds?”
As it turns out, the video was indeed from her son’s tragic accident. The phone was immediately turned over to the proper authorities and given to the Cherokee County District Attorney.
The two remained in contact from that point on because sadly,Tiffenii’s oldest brother Clifton was killed in April 1988 by a drunk driver. She said because she knew from a sibling perspective the pain of losing a loved on to a drunk driver, they immediately bonded.
“Teresa was obviously hurt and still grieving. So when she called, I stopped whatever I was doing to talk to her. Sometimes, I didn’t say anything, I just listened. She was angry at the snail pace of the justice system and I could tell that her anger was consuming her. She was advised to turn her anger into being an advocate for her son.

Tiffeni Mumphry standing strong behind Teresa Bullard

Meanwhile, Tiffenii had since moved on to working for another nonprofit when she got a phone call from Teresa one Saturday in July 2013 and she simply said, ‘we need to talk.’
She said that she wanted to start a nonprofit on behalf of her son and she had seen the work I had done with other organizations and asked if I would serve as the Executive Director. Now it was Tiffenii’s turn to be stunned. She talked with my husband throughout the course of the weekend and they reflected on the timing of everything.
By Monday morning, Second Chance-Your Choice Incorporated was born. The mission of the organization is to provide individuals and families with services to empower them to make healthy lifestyle choices through education, prevention, intervention, mentoring and counseling.
Teresa said that she wants the organization to provide a sense of direction for those that want to turn their life around, but don’t know where to begin. The organization already has a licensed chemical dependency counselor (LCDC) on staff, and offers their services and curriculum at no charge to schools in four surrounding counties. While the two women readily admit, that the organization is taking off at lightning pace, they are more than ready for the tasks.

For more information on SCYC or how you can help to further their mission, please visit their website at

Follow Tiffenii Mumphrey on Twitter @Tiffenii 
Follow Second Chance Your Choice @SCYC2