I was telling Valerie about my friend Gianna Israel tonight and found this that Max Valereo wrote the evening her hard fought battle was over and wanted to share it with you. She was such an inspiration and gave so much to our community!
"My dear friend, Gianna Israel, passed away tonight - around 8:00
PM, apparently, from what I know now.
Gianna was a counselor, writer, and irrepressible wit - she helped
many people in the transsexual and transgender community, and left a
legacy of hope, and an example of extreme resourcefulness and
Gianna was a real life JT Leroy. And, possibly, because she was the
real thing, she never played the victim. Gianna was proud, and set
out to prove herself - capable and whole. She helped others.
Kicked out of her house by her parents as a teenager because she was
transsexual, Gianna lived in the streets for a time and then,
became, through sheer will and intelligence, a counselor and writer - the
editor and author of the book _Transgender Care_ , a community
counselor who helped many of us (I got my letter from her in 1989)
probably hundreds when all is said and done-- and wrote a column
for "Transgender Tapestry". She set out to learn Chinese on her own,
and - violin. She was a paragon of someone - who challenged
themselves constantly -- to become more -
She did all of this without a high school degree, let alone a college degree.
We had a lot of fun together, she was a trickster -- a joker, a
sweetheart-- tons of fun to be around- generous -- and able to see
through pretense --
Remember her best by doing something someone told you that you could
NOT do -- because you were not educated enough, or smart enough, or
good enough somehow-- -- and -- pass that on -- that inspiration,
that limitless determination - that giant talent".
-- Max Wolf Valerio