365 days Friday, Jan 1 2016 

  • For the first time since 2000, I didn’t go to the Southern Comfort Conference. And when the time came, I wasn’t totally broken up about it. I did miss seeing friends, interacting with people as who I wish to be rather than who I have to, and spending time in Atlanta. But not going didn’t tear me apart like I thought it would.
  • I did go to Houston for a long weekend instead, and found out that it’s a nicer place than I expected. It’s far more open than maybe I thought it would be, got to see some great people, and even managed to find a pair of boots I love. I want to visit again, but with the present attitude regarding LGBT rights I don’t see it happening anytime soon.
  • We finally moved my mom up to Dallas, where we could keep an eye on her. She’s got her own apartment in a senior citizen’s complex, is making friends slowly, and I see her far more than I used to. The downside was the move, which came together very fast, getting her settled, and seeing far more of her than I used to. I should appreciate her, but we’ve gotten along better when there was some time and distance between us.
  • (And no, she doesn’t know. And at 81, I don’t know how she’d handle such a revelation.)
  • I wonder sometimes how I’ve made it this far. My own mental stresses and physical issues push me into my own abyss, but I have yet to decide to end it. So I guess I’ll be around for a while.
  • Let’s not talk about my gender issues. Because it’s still this huge mass that every time I want to approach it, something pulls me back. A crisis, someone else’s needs, etc. I do know that I need to get out more, but it’s hard to find people who just want to go shopping or to lunch as opposed to clubs or other nightlife.
  • At least I know I’m loved. That makes up for a lot.

I’d say overall 2015 is better off gone, and hopefully 2016 will be better.

Life in wartime Friday, Aug 14 2015 

Another dead transperson. There will posts about misgendering the victim, how brutally they died, the memorial for them. We’ll use #blacktranslives matter and #translivesmatter and then get into arguments over appropriation and racism because we use the wrong hashtag. Someone will be arrested, maybe. And a body will be laid to rest, possibly in their chosen gender or violated by family members who’d rather whitewash their lives than remember who they really were.

And life will go on, until the next dead tranny shows up. And it all starts again.

For all the steps forward in LGBT rights, we see steps back. The Supreme Court recognizes marriage equality; Houston is forced to rescind the HERO ordinance.  People like Laverne Cox and Caitlin Jenner are openly transsexual and publicly lauded; fourteen people are murdered for being transgender. And if it seems like this year has been particularly brutal, it has been. We’ve already set a record for deaths and the year is not over yet.

Is it a backlash because we’re coming out and being accepted? Yes. When you have people who call us perverts and pedophiles, demand that we be arrested for daring to use the restroom, use their political power to subvert civil rights, and tell others it’s fine do to so, what should we expect? The first thing oppressors do is to turn their victims into ciphers-things, not people. It’s easier to destroy something than someone.

What can be do? Protect ourselves. Don’t be a victim. Learn how to behave in public, minimize your chances of being attacked. Demand that authorities do their jobs. When someone is rude to you, call them on it. Be polite, but firm. Teach those who will learn. Develop a thick skin. And if you are physically in danger, escape or use whatever you have to save yourself and inflict the maximum damage on your opponent.

I was fortunate to have attended the New Orleans Finishing School for Transladies. It involved years of contact with wonderful locals, indifferent people, tourists who lost their manners, and all sorts of mouth breathers and arseholes. You either developed an awareness of self and place and a toughened exterior or you went back to your closed and curled up in the fetal position. I learned from a lot of people-trans and not-how to be who I am. Going to Southern Comfort gave me the knowledge base of hundreds of others who I learned from and found my niche. Not being afraid to go out alone on the streets of Atlanta, NYC, Chicago, Dallas, etc. made me stronger and yes, a more positive person.

So, don’t live in fear-live strong.

And what did you do today? Saturday, Nov 9 2013 

Well, let’s see. I had tea with some lovely ladies at a little place in Hurst. Now, you wouldn’t think me a tea kinda person, but it’s nice to do something different. Plus the food was good!

Afterward I drove to the wilds of Frisco to Stonebriar Centre Mall. It’s not an exceptional mall, but it’s got a good vibe to it, an attached Barnes & Noble, and some decent shopping. When the spouse told me I should forage for dinner (she was running late), I went to the Galleria and tried a little sushi place by Macy’s.

Little Katana is a satellite of the main restaurant on Knox, with a limited but decent menu. Their miso soup lacks, but the rolls were good, and a cold Sapporo helped.  Afterward, a stop at Sephora to blow a discount coupon (I’m sad, I know), stop for Starbucks and on the way home. After getting through a huge jam on the Tollway due to a wreck; Dallas has real problems with traffic control after accidents.

I was out for about ten hours today. My makeup was starting to get a little rough (though the make up artist at Sephora I was chatting with said I was holding up really well), my feet hurt, and I feel great. I went to two large malls on a Saturday afternoon/evening, walked among large crowds, shopped, interacted with people. And got no negative reactions. No odd looks, nobody doing double takes. Nothing out of the ordinary.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the most “passable” person. Not that that matters to me. I believe you can only be the best you you are. But I dressed nicely, acted like an adult, was confident in who I was and that I belonged there. And I was treated like just another woman.

When I hear someone tell me how they wish they could go out, I remember how I used to be. Intensely scared. Nervous. Anxious that someone would out me. And it never happened. Yes, I had some negative reactions, but as I became more comfortable going out those disappeared.

You can do this.

Things go around Tuesday, Nov 27 2012 

About six years ago I met an artist online named Lady Arrakis, who asked if she could do a portrait of me. I sent her a few photos and this was the result:

That she gave it to me as a gift meant a lot. And it’s still one of my favorite things. Recently, I saw she’d uploaded a copy to her Deviantart page. That it still gets compliments is a credit to its creator. And I’ll take some credit as her muse :)

Thank you, m’lady.

 

Just a test Friday, Nov 9 2012 

Testing the crossposting function of WordPress; don’t mind me.

It’s okay Thursday, Jul 26 2012 

It's okay

Jessica Who tells you “It’s Okay” to be who you are. No matter what. And she’s right.

Not fun Tuesday, May 22 2012 

Don’t ask how things are going…

Gloria Allen, a transgender woman, teaches charm to LGBT youth – chicagotribune.com Monday, Apr 16 2012 

Gloria Allen, a transgender woman, teaches charm to LGBT youth – chicagotribune.com.

Learning to fly Wednesday, Jun 29 2011 

This is going to be a series of posts about what I think are important things for transpeople to think about. These are the lessons I had to learn, the things that let me be who I am now. If you find them useful, please let me know.


From a post about SCC 2007:

One of the more remarkable moments of the trip was a small one. One of the DC Posse wanted to go to the mall across the street, but didn’t’ want to go alone, so of course I generously volunteered to join her. Yes, I’m so selfless…Did some shopping, we tried on hats (she wanted a ball cap, which she kept putting on sideways), got coffee. On the way back out, she asked me how I could stand people staring at me. 

I said, “What people?” I had not noticed anyone staring. I really don’t worry about what other people think when I’m out, unless they are openly hostile. It’s not like I think I won’t be noticed-I’m tall, big, and not exactly a shrinking violet in public. To learn how to be comfortable with yourself and not panic when you are “clocked” are two important social skills any transperson has to develop, quickly. Unless you want to remain in your closet forever…

This is a story I tell often. I use it to illustrate how your attitude matters so much in how accepted you are in public. But there’s a bit more to it than what I wrote…

SCC moved to the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in 2007 from their old Midtown Atlanta location. The hotel we used was being renovated to become a W Hotel, and we ended up in NorthAtlanta, in the Dunwoody/Sandy Springs area. We were getting used to a new venue, which was far from our old grounds. But one nice thing was there was a mall across the road from the hotel. Perimeter Mall is an upscale mall, with the only standalone MAC Cosmetics store in Atlanta. Anchored by Dillard’s, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom, it has a wonderful selection of stores.

Unlike Midtown, Bucktown or Little Five Points, you’re in the ‘burbs here. So the attitudes aren’t always as liberal. And it was a Saturday afternoon, so there were a lot of people there. And I can just hear some of you say “I could never go out to a mall on a Saturday afternoon! I might run into someone I know, or I won’t be passable enough, or people will point at me and say bad things or…”

Well, you’re right, you might run into someone you know. But if you’re in a different city, who are you going to run into? Or, if you’re in your own, do you realize that you probably look a lot different en femme than you do en homme*? I know I do, and I’ve had people I know walk past me multiple times and not even recognize me.

Being “passable,” what does that mean? Most would say it means being able to pass as a cisgendered woman in most situations; that nobody would think you were not TG. And that is something that very rarely happens. Most of us have something that is going to be incongruous. Hands that are too big, an Adam’s apple that shows up, shoulders a bit too broad…So no, you’re probably not going to pass. But you probably do look very feminine at a glance, and even beautiful. People give you the respect they give most women, because you present enough clues to trigger that response. It’s something I believe we all have, and it works most of the time.

In a public place, people tend to not want to attract attention to themselves. Plus, society frowns on open displays of hostility or aggression. We may thing negatively about someone due to a prejudice-and we all have them-but we don’t act on them. Have I had people openly stare at me? Yes. Have I heard comments and remarks made behind my back? Yes. I have walked down a street and had young men yell “It’s a dude!” at me. Of course, that was in the French Quarter on a weekend night when the tourists are the most chemically lubricated…The number of times I have been confronted in person by someone I can count on one hand-and those were more the “stupid remark, let’s watch the tranny piss herself” type. When I failed to run off in fear or embarrassment  they would walk off wondering what went wrong. What went wrong was that I didn’t care what they said. Not giving them the power to fuck up my life? That’s what mattered.

And I’ll pick this up later.

* I am being MTF-centric here because I am more familiar with that situation.

Another test Sunday, Jun 26 2011 

Again, just ignore this

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