Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The music plays, some balloons fall from the sky, and maybe, just maybe, you get kissed. All this build-up: everyone asks which parties you're going to, what you're wearing, spirits are poured liberally, there's a countdown, and then, nothing changes. Everything is as it was, except maybe you're a little drunker, and the calendar numbers are slightly different.
It might be easy to blame Y2K for high expectations on New Year's Eve, but this sense of disappointment haunted me long before people started stocking up with bottles of water and ammo for when the computers would crash.
No, I blame birthdays. Because there's the same sense of "oh, is that it already?"
When you're young, there is so much change on certain birthdays. You're able to see the changes. Each year, you get to stay up a little longer. When you go from 12 to 13, you're able to say "hey! I'm a teenager now!" Then at 15, you get a learner's permit. At 16, it's a driver's license. At 18, you can register to vote, and register for selective service. At 21, you've hit legal drinking age.
After the 21st, there's nothing really special about birthdays. Oh, sure, maybe your mom makes a big deal over you hitting 21. Your friends all tease you about reaching 40. And then someday, the AARP flyers come in the mail, and soon you're qualified for social security. From there, what is there to look forward to except retirement and death?
Nope. I can't get excited over New Year's Eve. 2009 will be much like 2008. Which wasn't all that different from 2007. (Well, except for the divorce.)
But that doesn't mean I won't be out tonight, rushing headlong towards liver disease.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
But then this jerk in a blue phone booth shows up and ruins the whole thing, claiming this was his hometown, and it was under his protection.
Damn you and your sonic screwdriver!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Let me get this straight: you let the kids open their presents on Christmas Eve, they play with their new toys for a little while, and then you send them to bed? What kind of torture is that? When they wake up the next morning, there's nothing to look forward to! The toys are already yesterday's news. The rest of the holiday is spent wishing you got something else.
No, presents should be opened on Christmas morning. It teaches kids patience. It gives them something to look forward to. And they have a whole day to play.
So, if you're among those who open on Christmas Eve, stop it. Show a little restraint this year. Wait until morning.
When I blogged at 360, I often decried the Christmas card thing. We sent out 30-40 every year, and got maybe 10 back. This year, I said screw it, I'm not sending any. I got two: one from the ex-, and one from her sister.
When we moved to Ohio, we were far and gone from family. So, we had to make our own holidays special. I tried to create a new tradition: finding a cheap Chinese buffet for dinner on Christmas Eve.
Okay, so maybe it's not the greatest tradition, but it's something. The ex- wasn't too keen on it either, but she humored me the last two years.
This year, she's gone, and I'm by myself, but I'm going to look for a cheap Chinese buffet on my way to work. Yeah, I volunteered for the overnight shift, so those with families could spend time with their loved ones. Noble, huh?
It's no big deal. I've worked plenty of overnights on Christmas in the past, driving 3-4 hours after my shift to get home for the family's event.
But, probably the worst Christmas I ever had, (and I don't tell you this to evoke sympathy, just to give Renee something to read.), was in 2000. I was working a temp job at the Post Office. Oh yeah, the USPS never sleeps. It sleepwalks sometimes, but never sleeps.
My shift ended at about midnight, and I went outside to find my car battery dead. (It was an ongoing problem, since I didn't have money to buy a new one.) I found someone to give me a jumpstart, drove home, left the engine running, as I went in to collect presents, and then hit the road for a 3-hour drive to see my parents and siblings.
I got there around 3:30 or so, hoping beyond hope that they would still be up, drinking, laughing and playing Trivial Pursuit. Nope. The house was dark. And as I crept in, my only wish was to take a quick shower before hitting the sack. But Mom heard me come in, and hustled me off to bed, not wanting me to wake any of the nephews. (And I was filthy. My job at the post office was not the cleanest. We basically loaded and unloaded semis filled with third class mail.)
Three and a half hours later, the kids were up, and so was everyone else. We did the presents thing, the dinner thing, I got a quick nap, and then, it was back to Omaha and work. (Yes, junk mail moves across the country, every day.)
Dad came out, and jumpstarted the car, and off I went.
As I'm flying down the Interstate at 80mph, in the left lane, some bozo decides to change lanes without looking. I slam on the brakes, and swerve a bit, and suddenly, I'm doing 360 degree turns. At 75mph. I did about two complete circles before going nosefirst into the snowcovered ditch.
And the bastard who cut me off? Didn't even stop.
Other people did. They helped push me out, gave me another jump start, and sent me on my way again. (Whereever you are, Colorado volunteer firefighters, thank you!)
So, I was only a hour late for a job I didn't really care for, and would lose a week later, once the holiday rush was over.
What did I get for Christmas that year? I think I got a sweater. I don't even remember.
So, what am I doing this year? Besides waiting to go to work: I cleaned house while listening to last week's show from The Artist D. If you'll check her schedule, you'll find she's got a whole slate of entertainment planned for the holiday. Tune in!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
"You don't have to see eye to eye to walk hand in hand," he said. Whatever that means.
While I understand the outrage over this selection, I'm not sure I can muster up similar feelings. It's probably a good thing that Obama is reaching across the aisle, and making an effort to make friends. Friends are more likely to listen to a differing point of view than an enemy. Few people were happy with Bush's partisan method of governing, and the whole Republican "mandate", so why is it bad when Obama tries to make a change in the way Washington operates?
Besides, as a non-believer, I view the whole religious thing as symbolic, unimportant tradition.
However, something else came out last week that got glossed over.
Really? The Obama camp believes education is the civil rights battle of the 21st century? Education? Seriously? Not the right to marry? Not protection from employment discrimination for GLBT Americans?
That statement shows a serious lack of commitment to a segment of the population that was counting on the new administration to make big changes.
Monday, December 15, 2008
And if you'd like to download my appearance on the Fabulous D Show, it is available right here.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The Artist D turns the tables and interviews the interviewer. Kinda like Frost/Nixon, except without the historical significance.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
There aren't. I don't have an answering machine. I don't even have a phone. But still I check.
It happens, but not very often. I have learned over time, that I can become attracted to a guy through his... get this... personality. Crazy, huh? Of course, the problem there is most guys I meet have the personality of a wooly mammoth. And yes, I know they're all dead. That's my point.
Women, however, catch my eye, all the time. And it's often their personality that locks an attraction in.
But there's a bigger hurdle here.
Woody Allen once said it was great to be a bisexual, because it doubled your chances of getting a date on Saturday night.
All fine and good, if you're a bisexual with some sort of consistancy. I ain't one of them. My attraction wavers from day to day. A week ago, I was feeling rather gay. It was 90% attracted to (the idea of) men, and 10% toward women. But a few days later, I was closer to 60/40. And for a few days after that, it was more like 10/90.
Today, however, it's moved back to about 55/45.
How could I ever enter into any kind of serious relationship with a roving identity like that? How could I ever tell someone, "sorry, I'm not in the mood for sex tonight, because you have the wrong genitals. Try again tomorrow." Am I the only one, or are other bisexuals like this as well?
Monday, December 8, 2008
As a result, my friend tends to shoulder much of the load. She's always volunteering for this and that, and often gets overwhelmed with work. And if it continues, she's going to burn out, and turn her back on something she loves.
I can relate.
But, unfortunately, that's the way people are. In any subculture, in any club, or special interest, there's going to be a small slice that is fired up and ready to go, while the majority simply wants to reap the benefits.
Most people have no interest in lobbying for this bill, or that ordinance. It's why we hire politicians to do it for us. Most people don't care about human rights if it doesn't hurt them. That's why hard news audiences are shrinking while entertainment shows flourish.
Before the election, Barack Obama spoke at the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium. If I remember correctly, there were about 35,000 there. All of them were enthused about changing the world. They cheered when Obama talked about equality for all. They all promised to vote, if they hadn't already.
That scene was repeated, over and over across the country.
Election day? Predictions for voter turnout were in the 80% range. What did we get? 61%
Less than two weeks after the election, the crowds protesting Prop 8, while still impressive, weren't anywhere near what was seen at the Obama rallies.
Again, a couple of weeks after the Prop 8 protest, the number of people coming out for a vigil to support marriage rights had dropped from the hundreds to the dozens.
(These are all local observations, but I'd be willing to bet that on average, they reflect what's happened across the country.)
People were excited about the election. But, they just can't maintain that enthusiasm. There's TV to be watched, video games to be played, music to be listened to.
My biggest fear during the election was that while everyone was calling for change, with an Obama victory, they'd assume the fight was over. They'd assume they don't have to do anything, because the President will take care of it for them. I was heartened by the attendance at the Prop 8 rally, but, I think we, as a nation, are slipping back into our complacency. We're all wondering what Britney is going to wear in her next video. We're looking at the pictures people post, and not reading what they have to say.
It's depressing, I know, but it's also the truth. Most people don't care. So, those that do just have to accept that, and keep pushing that boulder up the hill.
Well, apparently, the guy showed up, but didn't come over to talk to me. He sent me a message saying he saw me sing, I looked beautiful, and seemed to be having a good time with friends. (A group of very nice gay guys saw me sitting alone when I walked in and invited me to join them.) I answered my "date", and asked why he didn't say "hi", and he fed me some line about having to get up early to work the next day. Yeah. Uh-huh. You drove 30 miles, so you could look at me and leave. Kat was there, our friend Homer showed up, and we had a helluva time.
But back to the Thursday night event. I'm getting into this, what Donna Rose calls "New Activism". I admittedly haven't done much yet, just showed up at a Prop 8 protest, the TDOR vigil, and now this White Knot thing. But, my heart's been in it.
Up until now, my focus on improving conditions for TGs has been on coaxing others out of the closet. The idea was that if more of us come out, at least part-time, we'll start to feel safer, the general public will become more familiar with us, and maybe tomorrow, things will be better.
I don't know that it's worked a whole lot. And as they say, if you keep doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result, you're insane. And despite my "leading by example" efforts to demonstrate it's okay to leave the house, I'm not seeing a lot of transgendered people actually leaving their houses.
I don't think cultural acceptance, job protections and civil rights can be earned by a small number of people. Instead, any changes will have to come from a groundswell of grassroots efforts.
And since that groundswell has yet to materialize, I guess I'm going to have to get involved myself.
But, why attend events promoting same-sex marriage rights? Simple: Someday I may find a guy to settle down with. I'm keeping my options open. But then, why should any transgender person support a gay-rights cause, if they're not gay?
We need the GLB community. They're bigger, they're more organized, and they've already made huge strides in gaining that elusive public acceptance. HRC leadership aside, there are many groups who've already stuck their necks out for us closeted trannies and fully-out transsexuals. If nothing else, we owe them.
But more importantly than that, (I've said it before, I'll say it again, until I don't have to any more), transgender rights are human rights. Gay rights are human rights. We're all in this together. It's about freedom of expression, when you get down to it. The freedom to express your love for someone else. The freedom to express your gender identity.
As far as I could tell, I was the only trans-woman at the Prop 8 protest. I was also the only t-girl at White Knot. This neither surprised me, nor disappointed me. (Well, maybe a little on the latter.)
At TDOR-Cincinnati, trans-people were outnumbered by non-trans people, by probably 3 to 1.
That surprised me. Not the low number of T's, but the high percentage of non-T's. A few of them were obviously friends of trans-individuals, but most it seemed weren't. Why were they there? Did they lose someone they loved to violence? Were they just trying to escape the cold? Or, were they showing their support for a community that is still largely invisible?
Sunday, December 7, 2008
So much to talk about, and so little time. Got company coming over. Stayed up 'til 12:30 last night, and got up at 5am to go to work. No nap since then. So, this is the glamorous life, eh?
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Blogging doesn't count.
Wasn't sure what I could actually do, and then I see this story on the news. And voila! Something I can do, to show my support!
But, this is the first I'd heard of it. They didn't do a very good job of getting the word out. At least not toward some of the fringe people like me.
And I've already made plans. I agreed to meet a guy for drinks. Sure, I doubt he'll show up, but I will not be the person who agrees to a date, and then bails.
Maybe I can do both. The vigil is at 7. The date isn't until 10. Why not?
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
This only comes to mind because I've got an ad on an adult-themed dating site. And I find myself waffling.
I've had a handful of offers to go out, and even as I accept, I find myself not taking the guys too seriously. For instance, my profile states that I'm not looking for a hook-up, or a quickie, and hints that if you're just looking to meet in a cheap motel for sex while the wife isn't looking, fuggaboutit.
I say that I want a guy to actually take me to dinner. A real date. Maybe a movie. And so, I've had a few offers along those lines. And I try to call their bluffs, because I don't really believe they'll show up.
But then, someone will call my calling their bluff, and ask "where and when?" And again, I don't believe they'll show. I should just stick with a little rule I set for myself a while back, with closeted t-girls: "the next time I'm going out, I'll let you know, and you can meet me and my friends." Because I tend to doubt anyone online is actually going to follow through on a promise to meet in real time. And if I'm going to go through the trouble of getting made up, I'd rather not be sitting by myself in a parking lot, waiting for Godot. If I'm gonna get dressed, I might as well have friends around for entertainment when said "date" doesn't show.
But what if they do show? Am I actually ready to go out on a date with a man? It's kinda scary for me. Sure, when it's late at night, and I'm safely tucked in front of my computer, it's a nice idea. But the reality? I know how men are. I know what they think. And I know that any guy on an adult dating site is looking for one thing, and one thing only, no matter what his profile says. And I don't like the idea of leading a guy on, online, meeting him in person, finding him completely repulsive and leaving him high and dry. I wouldn't want that done to me.
I'm still iffy on the idea of men altogether. (More on that later.)
Maybe I'm not waffling at all. (Not to suggest women waffle.)
Or maybe I am saying that. Men tend to be singled minded. Or at least, that's how we see them. Women enjoy the perrogative of changing their minds dependent on their moods. Or at least, that's what they claim.
But the bigger picture: Yeah, I'm thinking I'm ready to date again. The separation was in March, the divorce finalized in June. And while I told myself I wouldn't date for an entire year, I'm getting, antsy. Lonely, perhaps.
And this is about the worst time of the year to start seeing anyone, anyway. But there, I said it. I threw my hat in the ring.
The idea of getting emotionally intimate, committed to someone is still scary. But the idea of being wanted, getting laid is pretty powerful too. It's tough. I want to "get some", but I don't want to just whore around. I've done that already, and am lucky not to come away with a parting gift, like a nice, bright, shiny STD. Not to mention the emotional hole one-night-stands leave.
And then there's the question of whom: I've all but lost interest in relations with women-born-women. I've never had a relationship with a man, even though I've had relations. And T's? Well, they're all bottoms, and to be frank, I need me a top.
So, who does that leave?
Back to the online porn, I guess.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Well, I got it on. It wasn't easy, but I managed. I was so happy with it, I decided to try on a dress I got recently, with the idea that it would look good once I was skinnier. I just wanted to see how it would look. Understandable.
Well, once it was on, I was pretty happy with the results, and thought I'd take a couple of pics with my new camera, just to try it out, and to make sure the mirror wasn't lying.
And again, I was happy with the result. Unfortunately, I had no makeup or hair on. So, I jerry-rigged this.
And while the corset helps, I mustn't slack off in the exercise and dieting. I was really skinny once, and I think I can be so again.
This is one of those non-quality, shit entries. (More practiced, but reprinted entries are earlier. I've gotten out of the habit, and as a jump start, reposted some crap from other places.)
I took a nap when I got home from work today. My last day off was last Friday, November 21st. My next day off isn't until Wednesday, gods willing. So, I'm a little tired.
I lay down for the nap, and almost instantly, I'm swooning into REM-land. And my lovely feline decides he's on the wrong side of me, so he walks across my stomach.
So, I turn over on my side, and drift off. About half an hour later, by the clock, and 3 days later by my head, I wake up. And my arm is asleep. And even better, I wake up just in time to see the cat throwing up at the foot of the bed.
What makes this scenario worse is the dream I awoke from. (I hate reading/hearing about other people's dreams, but since this is just a writing exercise, it's excusable.)
I was in my childhood home, only I was an adult. My parents were...who knows where. My sisters, now grown, were visiting. My little brother was still a child. And the house was a mess. There was a lawn mower in the kitchen for some reason. As I'm trying to clean up, a woman I knew and lusted after from college shows up.
She's blonde, blue eyed, and 6'2". A strikingly beautiful woman. She's also married now with an adopted daughter who has undergone numerous surgeries for a cleft palate.
Anyway, she's trying to flirt with me as I'm trying to clean house. And I'm getting angrier and angrier. I mean, she's married! And she's flirting with me? And the house is in serious disarray. As I hand my little brother, who is apparently perpetually stuck at age 5 in my mind, a broom and tell him to start pulling his weight, she starts kissing my ear.
And that's when I woke up, to watch the cat yodel groceries.
I hate naps.
Friday, November 28, 2008
It's a time that could be better used being productive.
I don't nap often. For one thing, the phone typically rings about 2 minutes after I doze off. Knowing it's going to ring makes it difficult to relax. And even if I turn the phone off, something else happens: a car alarm goes off, the cat howls, or an ambulance headed to an emergency crashes at 70mph into a school bus filled with orphans, and the additional firefighters and rescuers can't seem to turn the smashed ambulance's siren off. Beneath my window.
But sometimes, I have to ignore the cacophany and get a bit of shut-eye.
Like today. You'll recall I didn't get a lot of sleep on Thanksgiving morning, thanks to the "whoooo-people". I tried taking a nap after work, but it didn't take.
This morning, I got up early and went to work, and was home by 9, exhausted. So, I lay down for a nap. The sun was streaming through the window, so I was nice and warm. The cat curled up next to me. I didn't even care if the phone rang, because I was so tired, the nap was inevitable.
And I fell asleep. Only to have dreams that I wasn't asleep, only paralyzed. And they got weirder from there. I'll spare you the recap, but they were the kind of dreams that leave you cranky, discombobulated and out-of-sorts.
And that's where I am now. Especially because I have to tidy up the apartment; something I could have been doing earlier, except I was napping.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Generally, I like living downtown. Except on nights before I work early the next day. For you see, those nights are loud. Any other night of the week, downtown is nice and quiet. I can leave my windows open because all I'm going to hear is the passing traffic.
But if I have to get up early the next morning, the bar below me erupts. Pretty young people somehow know I'm trying to sleep, and stand outside yelling "whooooooooooo!!!!"
I work early Sunday morning, so I try to get to bed by midnight. The bar is quiet until then. Matter of fact, it's pretty quiet on Thursday and Friday night. But Saturday night, about bedtime, the hotchicks and the douchebags come outside to smoke, and to yell "whooooooooooo!!!!"
The bar hires an off-duty cop to stand outside, to deter fighting and whatnot. I can watch that cop pacing back and forth on the sidewalk, calculating how much they're making for the night at $30 an hour. I know the cop is doing this, because he/she isn't doing anything else. There's no "hey, kids, keep it down." whenever the kids come out of the bar to yell "whooooooooooo!!!!"
At least once a month, and only on Saturdays, there's a special DJ brought in for a special party night. This performer is hired to set up his speakers so they're pointed out the doors. And up towards my apartment. In one sense I guess it's good, because when the DJ is there, I can't always hear the "whoooooooooooo!!!"s over his "It's Britney's birthdaaaaaaay! Happy birthday, Britneeeeeeeeeey!"
I swear, one day, I'm going to get a 30-06 and just start picking them off as they stand outside, yelling. "Whooooo-BLAM!" "Whoooo-BLAM BLAM!"
When you read the headlines "Young, Pretty People Mowed Down" "When the Whooo-ing Stopped" "P&G Now Hiring to Replace Victims of Sidewalk Massacre", you'll know it was me.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
So, I'm drinking the Kool-Aid, (has that become cliche yet?) and joining e-blogger.
The other posts on here are from MySpace. I'll have some original thoughts soon. Seriously.
I've never been attacked, harassed, bullied, or even threatened. That's because most of my life has been lived from the safety of the closet. That, and I'm the size of a bull moose.
But in 1993, I was living in Lincoln, Nebraska. It's not far from where Brandon Teena was living. We never met, and as far as I can tell, our paths never crossed. And like most people, I'd never heard his name until it was too late.
I was devastated to hear about the murder, and wondered if there was something I could have done. Brandon associated with some bad people. But what if he didn't have to? What if others, like myself, had found Brandon, and taken him under our wings? Would he have turned away from that crowd? Would he be alive today?
It's too late for Brandon. For Brian McGlothin, for Angie Zapata, for Duanna Johnson, and for too many others.
But, it's not too late for everyone. For there are those among us who need help. Many put themselves in danger because they have nowhere else to go. We need to save the ones we can.
We need to find the transman contemplating suicide, because he's tired of the bullying. We need to find the transsexual who's streetwalking to earn money for surgery. We need to find the crossdresser who's hanging out at rest areas and parks, because she doesn't know where else to go.
We need to show them that it doesn't have to be like that. Look around you. We're all here tonight...we may not know each other, but in our own ways, we're family. We've saved ourselves, in some cases, we've saved others. We can be that beacon of hope for those still in the darkness.
I've been very fortunate along the way to find friends who were also positive role models. Smart, caring people who demonstrated that we weren't freaks or oddballs just by living proudly.
I've tried to thank them by paying it forward, by welcoming newcombers to the community, and talking with those still in the closet. I haven't always done a great job, but I've tried. And I hope you try too.
I hope you invite that person, trans or not, alone at the bar to join you. I hope you have something on the Internet that indicates you're willing to talk, and to listen.
We should remember the dead, but we would best serve their memories by saving their brothers and sisters.
But the real fallout may not come until tomorrow.
See, I bumped into a guy at the rally. And it didn't strike me until this morning. He looked really, really familiar. I just assumed I'd seen him at one of the clubs or something.
He's a coworker.
We don't know each other all that well, for sure, but we do know each other. Did he recognize me? Hard to say. My memory of the bumping-into seems to say he had a spark of possible recognition in his eyes, but I may be imaging things.
The odds are in my favor. I wasn't in a place where we'd normally cross paths. And if you're like me, if you meet someone out of context, it can be a bitch to remember who they are. And while my makeup wasn't all that good yesterday, I do have a tendency to affect different facial expressions when I'm dressed.
My eyebrows are almost always up, my eyes are wide, and I smile. I don't smile a lot in guy mode. So, while en femme, my face doesn't droop as much as it does when I'm not.
We'll see if we bump into each other tomorrow, or if coworkers start looking at me differently.
Of course, why worry, anyway? He was at a GLBT rally, so it's not like he's a rabid homophobe. But, will he have the discretion to keep things on the hush-hush, or will he assume I'm out and proud?
Oh, and if you think this is going to keep me from going to the National Transgender Day of Remembrance observances this week? You're wrong.
The protest was scheduled to begin at 1:30. At 12:50, I said to myself, "I need to do this."
I was dismayed when I heard that Prop 8 passed. What is probably the most liberal state in the country banned same sex marriages, at the same time they voted in Democrat Barack Obama to the White House. What's up with that?
Anyway. I'm for gay marriage. I'm for gay rights. Gay rights are human rights. I'm a human. It seems only logical.
Margaret Cho was there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wo8wPJ5AnWs
I made my own video at the protest too. And I ramble a bit at the end, but let me try to clarify my thoughts.
There are only a handful in the T-community who are activists. Only a few who go to the protests, lobby lawmakers, attend Pride festivals, and whatnot. That really, really, really needs to change. We need to start actively advocating our rights.
"Oh, but I'm in the closet, and I have so much to lose. And no-one likes us anyway."
Yeah, well, if we weren't in the closet, people would like us more, and losing things wouldn't be an issue.
Like him or not, there will soon be a President in office who has spoken the word transgendered. To my knowledge, no other Chief Executive has uttered the word publicly. Doesn't that say something to you? Doesn't that say things have changed and are going to change?
But, they'll only change if someone is willing to make a bit of an effort.
I dunno. Words are failing me. I'm frustrated by being in the closet myself, and by the majority of other t-girls there as well. We've made the closet very comfy, but it's time we at least crack the door open a bit more.
Diane Schroer, Isis on ANTM, Candace Cayne. They're all out there. They seem to be making it work.
I'll admit, I'm not going to be marching on Washington in heels any time soon myself. But, I've got to start doing something. And I hope I won't be alone.