Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Been Sick

Isn’t amazing? We tend to think we are the masters of the planet. Then, a debilitating illness hits and we become subservient cry-babies. Something crawled into me the other day. I’ve had it before but I don’t remember what I need to do to make it go away.

The truth is I’m scared. It started with a hacking cough that’s not a cold. Now I can’t get to the kitchen without angina like symptoms overtaking me. I can’t breathe, can’t sleep. Can’t do anything. You should see me walking into work from the parking lot. I have to stop and sit down three times.

Needless to say I don’t do anything. Getting dressed up to go out just isn’t in the plans. Have you ever noticed that being sick is a real challenge to be being in transition. A person reverts to the days of their youth and the hanging out comfort of doing nothing.

Its just one of those learned things, like what you do when after a shower. In transition, I follow a regiment of lotion and grooming and makeup, this morning, however, I didn’t feel like doing the regiment. I almost put on his boxer shorts. I need to learn how to be sick and still be a woman.

Does that sound crazy? Any of you have this trouble? I’m not sure what’s wrong and I try to avoid the possibilities. Yes I should go to the doctor, but I won’t have insurance until September.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Can you Rewrite History & Eliminate Hate?

I read about an attempt to remove another civil war memorial. I shook my head. It’s obviously an over-reaction to the recent attacks on churches. With that being said, there is another danger emerging in our country and I think its being propagated by those we would not suspect, but that’s another subject. Its too coincidental that race is becoming an issue, again. So are the attacks on historical symbols.

The Constitution of the United States guarantees a right to exercise beliefs. Even so, prejudice and hatred should never be tolerated. The law also states that the free exercise of beliefs shall not infringe upon the rights of another.

Oppression, no matter the cause, or the excuse, is a horrendous crime. If a person is forced into subjection because of the color of their skin, it’s an atrocity. If a person has to show their ID, or their genitals to use the restroom of their chosen gender, there is a problem.

When two people build a life together, purchase houses, and cars, even raise children, they should expect to inherit the benefits of that work when one of them dies. Lifestyle has nothing to do with it. That, my friends is what same sex marriage is about.

Anytime a person is forced out of job because of their sexual preference or their physical appearance we should be appalled. Age and weight discrimination should never happen in our country.

I could run the gambit with possibilities, but suffice it to say there will always be people who would trample on the rights of others. In a country, that overcame so much to exist, It should never be tolerated.

As I said, the crimes should not be permitted, but symbols, especially historical ones, do not commit crimes.

The Southern Cross was a battle flag of the troops of Northern Virginia during the War Between the States. It was not the Confederate States flag. It was the state flag of South Carolina until recently. No matter what you think of, when you see it, the symbol has instilled pride in many generations. It does not stand for slavery or discrimination.

Regardless of secession, brave Americans, on both sides, died in that war. The American civil war was fought in families. It was literally brother against brother. As President Lincoln said, Our house was divided. To erase one side of the conflict besmirches the memory of our family members. 

In every conflict, there are winners and losers. The sight of the rising sun on a flag brought anger into the hearts of many of the greatest generation. That generation is almost gone and any residual anger is learned. The attack on Pearl Harbor was a tragedy, but it was a victory beyond understanding for the other side. Brave people died on both sides.

Some hate groups use Nazi symbols from another generation to rally behind, it’s the hatred, not the symbol that causes the infringement on individuals. While growing up in the nineteen-sixties, I wore the peace symbol. The sight of it, brought anger against me, but it was a symbol of my beliefs. Now I wear a butterfly. That too, is a symbol.

Would you remove the Star of David from the necklace of every Jewish person and replace it with a cross? What about those who don’t like the cross? What about those who would burn the cross in a front yard? Should we get rid of the cross?

I cannot know what motivated the current attacks on certain churches in our country, but to insult a generation by removing their symbols is ludicrous. Symbols mean something to people, but just like we must respect the differences of individuals, it’s stupid to criminalize a symbol or a monument.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Finger Painting

Do you remember kindergarten, when the teacher taught you to paint? Everybody stood behind a big easel with a huge sheet of paper and we were taught how to use the paints without making a mess.

Later, a model of some kind was placed in the center and we were told to draw it with paints. During a timed session we were left to transfer what we saw onto the page. Wasn’t it interesting?

No matter what the teacher used as a model, every painting was different. Not only because of artistic ability, but interpretation as well. As in adult life, we focus on different aspects. With a bowl of fruit, some artists paint the bowl, others place the banana in front of the apple, obliterating evidence that the grapes ever existed.

This is a great representation of individuality. It proves that unless somebody gives specific instructions and watches the progress, the results can vary. It also proves that people will follow their own heart.

God, or Whoever you worship, in Their wisdom gave us a set of instructions and left us to follow our heart in fulfilling those directions. As we fulfill our destiny, we must allow others that freedom, too.

Just as there is no right or wrong way to draw the bowl of fruit, the final drawing is up to the individual. Therefore nobody has the right to criticize another person’s painting. Why do we think we are free to judge and direct another?

If somebody asks for an opinion, do you condemn? If somebody chooses to live their life differently than you, do you have a right to criticize? I was given cause to examine my beliefs the other day. I realized my righteous indignation had turned into reverse bigotry.

I wrote about tolerance, but I wasn’t aware that I’d grown intolerant toward the other side of the spectrum. Some kinds of prejudice must never be tolerated, but as I said, I must love all my fellow children.

Intolerance is expressed in many ways. Just as we must see good in the paintings of others, we must allow our fellow trans the freedom to be individual. Did you ever consider how futile it is to organize a group of trans under one banner? There are as many different expressions of gender dysphoria as there are artists. There are more, when you consider every person on the earth.

Along with unlearning prejudice, I’m learning that lesson this week. I hope we can all find joy in our expression. May we appreciate the feel of finger painting and forget about whether our picture actually looks like the bowl of fruit or not.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

In Between

When I announced my intention to re-launch his writing career, and bring it into my life as a woman, I discovered some interesting things.

As a male writer, I developed an image of a bearded, artistic, friendly guy. I wrote fiction in an exclusive market. Without too much success, I might add. Since beginning my transition, I’ve attended his writer’s events. I can’t grow the beard back, and I dress differently, so people noticed. Some of them stared, trying to figure out why I look familiar. The truth is I act differently, too.

I haven’t come out yet, but my network is wondering what happened to me. Before transition I wrote conservative stories that always end up in redemption. Now I write a different kind of fiction. I stared at his head shot the other day, trying to figure out who he was. I read his books and can’t imagine writing that stuff. It’s time for my career to transition but for now, I’m playing two roles.

As part of that role-playing game, I’m posting a daily blog here, keeping up with his three, and starting a new one for my writing career. In the interim, time is the enemy. My day job takes a lot, quality time as him, suffers. My authentic life does too.

Things will be different, when the world knows who I am, but I sat on the bed, the other day, wondering if I really had the energy for feminine expression. Until HRT, I have to work at presentation, and I was exhausted.

Then, on another day, during my writing time, I realized, In Transition posts had taken the whole session. I hadn’t worked on my current story for a week. Lately, I open my laptop to get back to my characters and it turns into a blog writing session. I need to take a vacation and do nothing but write fiction.

I once read an article about multitasking and the difference between men and women. The author claimed that women do it better. I never noticed one way or the other, but if it’s true, wouldn’t that be a good test for gender dysphoria?

So far, with only a few hiccups, I’ve been able to manage. A thought occurs, however. What would happen if I got mixed up, and posted about transgender on his blogs? Wouldn’t that be fun? It might be educational for his network, but I’m not ready for rejection from them.

By way of update, my new career is going well. I’m writing better than ever, and I have three books ready for editing. He has thirteen. Do any of you want to take a look and let me know what I need to fix?

Although I feel like a juggler who is about to fall off the stage, my act seems to be working. Still, I might loose my sanity, so pay attention. I don’t want to freak out twice.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A want to be

Recently, on her blog, Stanna, over at femmulate, wrote about how she’s always been a woman. She’s been feminine throughout her life. She went on to talk about the difference between women like her and those who want to be women.

At first, I wondered if her remarks were discriminatory because I’m a want to be. Then a larger picture began to paint itself in my mind.

Like Stanna, I was born feminine, and I took a lot of abuse from my brother. I really had no idea what the difference was. All I knew was, I’d done something wrong. I learned to hide. As I grew older, I discovered the atrocities committed toward feminine boys, While I remained safely hidden.

Many times, I stood by, grateful they weren’t picking on me. With all my heart, I wish it had been different. It took years of frustration and getting in touch with aggression, before I was able to stand up to them.

Later, being thrust into the gender role I was born with made me fear the persecution even more. I rebuked my body for acting anything, but masculine, even so, I fought my secret desires.

Now that I am old, I can see with the eyes retrospect. I realize that some of us learned to hide it better than others did. As I return to feminine roots, I am jealous of Stanna. I feel sorry for her at the same time. She must’ve suffered on the playground of childhood, but now she is reaping the blessing of being feminine. Many of us would kill to have not eliminated that from our lives. 

Stanna is able to put on the clothes and the makeup and be the woman she was born to be. The rest of us have to work at it. With tears in my eyes I wish I were her.

Friday, July 17, 2015

I Was Cool When . . .

It’s good to have our issues in the forefront, but it seems like everybody is trans these days. There was a time in my little part of the world when I could’ve been arrested for cross-dressing. Yes it was illegal. The law was hidden in wording like wearing a disguise in public. Still, I was afraid.

During that time, as I’ve mentioned before, like many others, I felt like a freak of some kind. GRS was possible, but we called it sex change, and it was so expensive. My only option as I saw it, was to live with the gender I was born with.

Now, gender dysphoria looks so prevalent, it almost seems popular. The numbers of young trans on Facebook staggers my imagination, and leads me to believe the condition has been more of an issue through history than anyone imagined.

Still, I can’t help feeling like the old house cat who gets to meet the new kitten. Curious, but resentful. Don’t get me wrong, I empathize with, love, and welcome every person who suffers from GD. Also, I realize I’m the new kitten to many pioneers who went before me.  

There was a song in the eighties, sung by Barbara Mandrell that, sort of, illustrates the point. I was going to turn the lyrics around but I couldn’t think of any two-syllable words that refer to trans. Click the link to hear the song. Use your imagination to substitute relevant words. Here are the original lyrics:

I remember wearin' straight leg Levis an' flannel shirts
Even when they weren't in style
I remember singin' with Roy Rogers at the movies
When the West was really wild

An' I was listenin' to the opry
When all of my friends were diggin' rock 'n' roll
An' rhythm 'n' blues
I was country, when country wasn't cool

I remember circlin' the drive-in, pullin' up
An' turnin' down George Jones
I remember when no one was lookin'
I was puttin' peanuts in my Coke

I took a lot of kiddin'
'Cause I never did fit in
Now look at everybody tryin' to be what I was then
I was country, when country wasn't cool

I was country, when country wasn't cool
I was country, from my hat down to my boots
I still act an' look the same
What you see ain't nothin' new
I was country, when country wasn't cool

They call us country bumpkins
For stickin' to our roots
I'm just glad we're in a country
Where we're all free to choose
I was country, when country wasn't cool

Yeah, I was country, country wasn't cool
Yeah an' I was country from my hat down to my boots

I still act an' look the same
What you see ain't nothin' new
'Cause I was country, when country wasn't cool
Yeah, I was country when country wasn't cool

Yeah, I was transgender, when it wasn’t cool.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

New Bling

While working as a cashier, I saw the hands of my customers when they gave me money. Some of the things I saw shocked me, but others made me jealous. I could never understand the need to get a tat on you hand. Some of them are interesting. Others worry me, like the letters on each finger spelling the word, H A T E.

There were many variations of nail art, including polish on macho fingers. The most interesting hands I saw, however, were the ones who wore rings. I was jealous. I wanted to wear some of that jewelry.

The concept of a thumb ring never occurred to me before my decision to transition. I had to get one. The other day, my wish was granted. With fingers a large as mine, it’s hard to find your size, but I did, in the mall. See the picture?

At first, like everything new in my transition, I hid it from my spouse. Finally, I realized my error, and brought it out in the open. She didn’t notice for a while, then she said something about how much I’ve changed and we dropped the subject.

Now, I wear it proudly. My bling is who I am, which is kind of surprising when you consider, twenty-years ago, I didn’t wear jewelry.