June 1 is also the day that we Gulf Coast residents start paying close attention to our local weathercasters when their weather discussions turn to the topics of tropical thunderstorms or tropical waves forming up off the West African coast or in the Caribbean.
It’s the start of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season which lasts until November 30. We have already had two named storms in Alberto and Beryl, of which Beryl made landfall during Memorial Day weekend along the North Florida-Georgia coastline. .
Speaking of hurricane names, here they are for the 2012 season.
Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sandy, Tony, Valerie, William.
Note the hurricane name list has no Q, X, Y, U or Z names on it. If we have a year like 2005 in which we have a bunch of named storms that exhausts the list, they resort to the Greek alphabet to name them.
If you’re wondering why I’m talking about hurricanes on a trans blog, it’s because I’ve lived on the Gulf Coast for the majority of my life and frankly because the trans issue comes up even in ways you don’t traditionally associate it with like a hurricane evacuation.
We Houston area transpeeps had that lesson reinforced in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the evacuations from the city of New Orleans it triggered.
New Orleans is a mecca for transpeople, so logically some of the thousands of people evacuated from the city in the wake of the storm were trans.
We also heard some disturbing stories of trans and GLB evacuees who were housed in suburban and exurban evacuation centers that didn’t get the hospitality we Texans are world renowned for and were mistreated by transphobic and homophobic shelter workers.
It’s also a heightened concern of mine about how TBLG hurricane evacuees are treated because Sharli’e Dominique, one of those New Orleans trans evacuees who got grossly mistreated in 2005 shared my ethnic background.
Since some of us don’t have contact with our families or are estranged from them, we transpeeps may not have places to evacuate to when the call goes out to leave an area threated by an approaching Category 2, Cat 3, Cat 4 or Cat 5 hurricane.
It’s why the TFA here in Houston collects a list of names so that if that situation occurs again and we’re not in the bullseye of one like we were with Rita or Ike, we know who the TBLG peeps in the Houston metro area who have indicated their willingness to host a trans or GLB evacuee.
So yes, from now until November 30 we’ll be gathering supplies for our hurricane emergency kits at our local stores while casting nervous eyes out at the Gulf and satellite photos of circulating storms off the West African coast, in the mid Atlantic or the Caribbean..