PUBLISHED IN JUNE 2020
It cost him nothing but it cost her everything.
Forest J. Handford
Born on a space station, Samir Zeka was raised Muslim, observes a Halal diet, fasts during Ramadan, and prays 5 times every day. An introvert, he mostly stuck to his work, his home, his family, and his church community, until the day he decided to push beyond his comfort zone and attend a party that would forever change his life. Intending to look his best for the party, Samir searched his neural link “mesh” for random looks until he came across one that suited him. After some fine-tuning, he “flipped” to the persona of Samantha, a late 30s East Asian, cat-eared woman with shoulder-length purple hair. At the party, Samantha meets Anna, someone who will change Samantha’s perceptions of herself and transform both of their lives.
Forest Handford is a fire artist from Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Forest is the founder of a non-profit organization called Employee Empowerment (www.EmpEmp.org), a non-profit organization that is working to end the wage gap. She publicly transitioned in March of 2019 on International Women’s Day. While not at work, or in a global pandemic, she brings her family to corn mazes, conventions, and Burning Man events. Her website is EastCoastGames.com where she publishes videos and writings about various topics. Forest can also be found on Twitter (@ForestJay).
Author’s Note: As we were finishing the work on Flipping, George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis. At times, I struggle to understand how much privilege I have because I was born with white skin. For the 40 years I portrayed myself as male in public, I didn’t know how much privilege that portrayal afforded me. The issues of sexism with which I tried to help before, I didn’t fully understand. I could sympathize but not empathize. Now, I can empathize. Now, I know what it’s like to be cat called. Now, I know what it’s like to be judged by my looks before anything else. Now, I know what it feels like to find a male presence physically intimidating. Now, I know what it’s like to be the only woman in a room of male technologists. But, I will never be able to empathize with non-white Americans: so, instead, I try to hear their words and learn from them. It’s my hope that George Floyd’s murder will be a catalyst for radical change. Nevertheless, I suspect that, like the civil war and integration, only some of the issues will be addressed, that we, white people, will pat ourselves on the back and say to ourselves, “Great job. We have equality now.” Still, there will always be work to do. Please, listen to what people of other races have to say. Be open to having them tell you brutally honest information. Give them an opportunity to speak. I personally recommend that Americans listen to Ashley C. Ford, Clint Smith, Wesley Lowery, and Alicia Garza. Black Lives Matter.
- Paperback: 136 pages ($16.95 USD $22.74 CAD)
- E-book File Size: 582 KB ($3.99 USD $5.35 CAD)
- Publisher: Stephanie Castle Publications (June 11, 2020)
- Language: English
- ISBN: 978-17772360-2-1 (paperback)
- ISBN: 978-17772360-3-8 (Kindle e-book)
- ISBN: 978-17772360-4-5 (Smashwords e-book)
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.3 ounces