Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

While reading around the web tonight, I came across this story coming to us from Augusta Maine.  And at first was like ho-hum the fear of the transwoman in the bathroom boogy man yet again....and then?  Ok, here is the main thrust of the story.
Fredette, a former member of the Maine Human Rights Commission who was elected for the House of Representatives in November, seeks to overturn a 2010 commission decision regarding transgender students in public schools. In September the commission opted to work with the Department of Education after the gubernatorial election to develop guidelines for how to accommodate transgender students’ use of bathroom and locker room facilities. That process has yet to unfold.
So, once again, people are fighting over letting transpeople use the correct gender bathrooms.  If we have read this once, we have read this what, a million times?  This Mr. Fredette who should know better, gets it ever so wrong.....
 The bill would add a paragraph to the Maine Human Rights Act that would make it legal to designate a bathroom or shower facility “to the use of members of the designated physiological sex, regardless of sexual orientation,” according to a draft provided by Fredette.

Sexual orientation?  Umm, what?  Does this mean that their are lesbians wanting to use the men's rooms?  Or gays who want to use the ladies?  Being transgender is not an orientation!  Sigh....

Reading into this matter futher, following the articles back into the dim reaches of the past, the next one was from eons ago... 16th of February, 2010 and this little tidbit caught my eye.
For some, including the Christian Civic League of Maine, the commission’s guidelines are “the latest outrage by radical homosexual activists” which constitute “an impossible absurdity,” according to a press release.

Cool! There are now radical homosexual activists who want to help transpeople be able to use the correct bathroom! Yippee!  It won't be long now until this entire bathroom waterloo is over!  Oh...wait.... radical homosexual activists are like the easter bunny and santa claus, right?  Well shoot!  Here I was hoping that we had some muscle in the fight, because having a RADICAL activist sounds just so awesome!

Continuing on with that same article, again our jolly little rainbow colored car runs up against the barrier of the same old argument of GLBTA wanting "special rights" that is seemingly always trotted out against any and all requests for civil rights or for protection against discrimination.
“That schools should take all reasonable measures against harassment is something the MSMA (Maine School Management Association ) supports and believes in,” he said. “What [the commission has] done is go beyond the issue of ‘you shall not discriminate’ to say [transgender students] will be given certain specific accommodations. Our sense is that this goes well beyond what the statute says. This is a specific policy issue that should go before the Legislature or at least through the administrative rule-making process.”

The last time I looked in a school, there were "specific accommodations" made for children who use wheelchairs, children who require steadying bars in the bathroom stalls, and for children who are special needs.  What about the specific accommodations given to school athletes?  Schools build sports fields, locker rooms, sheds for and filled with equipment, and hire coaches and the very affluent schools even have physical trainers. All of these sports "accommodations" are only used by a small percentage of the student body.  For a group of"specific" students. 

But you ask for a safe and secure place for a transgender child to use the bathroom or locker room, and suddenly all hellz breaks out.  What do they expect these children to do?  Continue using the wrong bathroom?  Oh...wait, yeah I know now, facepalm!  They want to "fix" these confused transgender students, just like they want to fix the gay and lesbian ones.  All they need to is receive Je-bus into their hearts and they will be healed from their confusion placed there by our old friend, Ol' Scratch himself!

Call me naive, but I really don't understand the worry that christians seem to have with transgender humans.  Except for the admonishment about wearing incorrect gendered clothing, I'm not aware of any biblical verse that is against transgender people, and I suspect neither do they.  That's why they fall back upon the worn out "Oh! Won't you please, think of the children!"  Except this time we are thinking about the children, trans children.

*the A at the end of GLBTA is for asexuals, they too deserve a place at our table.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pork, Eggs, and Milk

I have this idea percolating, and I wonder if it could work.  Here's what I'm a thinking.  Remember when pork, eggs and milk were considered to be non-healthy food choices?  Even after eggs were clearly shown to have no effect on blood stream cholesterol, doctors were still wary about endorsing the eating of eggs.  What to do, what to do?  Brilliant ad-men came up with the idea of blitzing our media sources with campaigns showing us rank and files that eggs, pork and milk were all good for us!  Everyone remembers these tag lines: "The incredible, edible egg",  "Got milk?", and of course, "Pork, the other white meat."  

Now its a true hard case, that isnt moved by the sight of a pretty child.  Most all humans love children, and watching them at play, laughing, sleeping will bring a smile to the face of even the most hardened of hearts.  And I think that's the place that GLBT need to strike, with the face of children.  Read my idea for an ad campaign.  This campaign would run with separate ads for boys and girls.

You were there when he was born.

His first tooth.

That first step.

The tear laden first day of kindergarten. 

You've been there through nightmares and skinned knees,

fights with friends, sleepless "sleep overs"

and countless days of laughter and hugs.

Won't you be there for him now, when he comes to you with the scariest thing in his young life?  
This isn't something he "chose", in fact he would do anything for this not to be happening to him.  He's your son, and he's gay.  Now show him the depth of your love for him, and accept him as he is. Now more than ever, he needs you.   Don't let you son become a statistic.  If you need help in how to talk to him about being a gay teenager, please call xxx-xxx-xxxx or visit our website,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I hate to admit it, but TH (the husband) is right.  About what you ask?  I am changing, slowly evolving into  a different person.  I didn't realize it until my cell rang the other day, and when asked who this was, without any thought at all, I responded, Bob*.  No hesitation whatsoever.  It's the first time that I didn't say Bobbie. The first time I didn't waver around on if I wanted to say Bob, or Bobbie.

Clicking the box for female is becoming something I have to stop and think about now.  My first instinct is to mark the male box.

A blogger friend Peter, was trying to help me find something to wear to the wedding, sent me some links of possible looks for me.  Sweet guy that he is.  The first two were of nice outfits featuring trousers and jackets, but in a relaxed style.  However.....the second two were skirt outfits.  Seeing those two pictures of very feminine outfits caused a physical reaction.  I wanted to vomit.  I got shaky, and had to close those two tabs on my browser.  I'm not real sure why the outfits had that effect on me.  But since then, I've on purpose looked at skirts and dresses, with the express desire to see if the same thing would happen.  And if I'm just looking at clothing, im fine.  However, if I ask myself, could you wear this?  I get that dark pit feeling in the bottom of my stomach.  The day of wearing skirts or dresses is over for me.

As I slowly unfurl, I wonder, where this is going to end?  Will I end up under the surgeons knife with a blood stream full of testosterone transforming myself into my inner self?  Or will I be happy living a twilight existence, only being seen by people who actually know me?

I missed the last Pflag meeting, due to still being ill.  I wrote and told Pete, the president of our local Pflag, why I wasn't able to attend, and mentioned going to Boston to the transgender conference.  And some how he took a leap, and decided that I meant I wanted to talk about it to the next meeting.  So..... yeah.  The one meeting I've managed to attend, only Pete knew that I was trans.  The ladies there assumed that I'm lesbian, and keep inviting me to their dances.  So, since I'm being forced out into the open, I'm going to tell the nice ladies who keep inviting me, about my status.  If they still want me to come and help out with the snacks or whatever, I'm cool with that.  But I feel that I really should be truthful to them about why I keep turning them down.

As I expand into my true self, peeling off each layer of not me, I quake with fear.  I fear that my growth will push me from TH's arms and love.

and so it goes........

*of course Bob, Bobbie isn't my real name, but it works as a non de plume

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I'm in a real quandry about what to wear for Third Son's wedding in July.  This has been bothering me for a quite while now.  Why?  Well, I dont want to cause any hurt feelings by not dressing appropriately.  I dont want attention drawn to myself by my clothing, as the attention should be fully on the bride and groom, not some weirdly dressed mom of the groom.

I've looked at pant suits for women, and ok they are very "stuffy" and would look out of place in our fairly casual Alaskan world.  I've looked at ethnic clothing, thinking a long tunic and pants would fit the bill.  However, it all depends upon the fabric/color choice on if its seen as an outfit or as a costume.  Outfit ok, costume, so not ok.

I wore a dress to Eldest Son's wedding, in fact it was the only dress in my closet when I ditched all my girl clothing.  Third Son is very easily hurt, he really is a marshmallow of a boy.  And part of  me worries that if I dont come in a dress, his feelings might be hurt.  With all of the upheaval in our family of late, we don't need any more drama period.

And if you are wondering, no things are no better with Eldest Son and his family.  We have seen him and the Grand just once since Christmas, at his house, wife gone, but constantly texting him to see if we were gone yet.  The visit was by invitation, and both TH and I were on edge the entire time. 

Looking in my closet its bare of anything that even comes close to dressy attire.  All I own is long sleeved, primarily black long sleeved thermal shirts, and two hoodies.  The newest one  is mega funny to me, as I drink very little, usually never more than a beer with supper.

I've been going to websites featuring woman's clothing, looking for articles of clothing that straddles the crack between what I would feel comfortable wearing and what is appropriate for a beloved son's wedding.  Clicking on the pages featuring dresses, skirts and feminine tops, causes my stomach to curl up, my chest to constrict.  No matter how hard I try, I just can't see me in any of these dresses.  In my mind I'm ok with the "idea" of wearing a dress, but faced with choosing one, feels me full of dread and grief.  The idea of seeing me dressed as a female is very upsetting to me.  It's hard enough living within a feminine body, without wearing full force fem clothing.

Attempting to look androgynous, has helped me deal somewhat with finishing out my life as a woman.  But the veneer is oh so very thin, and easily cracked and broken by the most innocuous occurrences.  Pulling me under, bashing me along the rocks of what I want, and what I need, and what I'm not willing to give up, let go of.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tiny wee devils

Both TH (the husband) and I have managed to both come down with a great whopping case of pneumonia!  Yeah. At. The. Same. Damned. Time.

See ya later bloggers!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

We need a new bracelet

We have all seen those bracelets with the letters WWJD (what would Jesus do) upon them.  I think its time for a new bracelet.  From what I can see, what Jesus would do is to deny a place at his table for a sizable portion of humanity.  Religion seems to be more exclusionary than inclusiveness, pushing many people out of the reach of God and churches.  Why else would pastors, ministers, and priests rail against so many humans from their sermons each week?  Gays are evil!  Trans people are an abomination!  They are ensnared by the devil's net, and do the devils work, bringing our country to its knees by their evil deeds.

A country who used to pride themselves on a firm and clear division between religion and government has inexplicably become the religious rights submissive slave, being increasingly shackled by the "word of God".  Which version of God are we supposed to believe in, there are many to choose from.  I feel that we are on a balance point, and life could go either way.  The scales could tip and slide us into a fundamentalist  country on par with many of the middle eastern countries, or it could slide us into a more secular form of society.

The last 50 years has seen a slow erosion away from many Americans belonging to, and regularly attending churches.  And I think that's whats behind much of the noise and fury of many religious leaders.  They know their realm of influence is waning, and they are making us believe their are devils behind every door, under every bed, and evil agendas from the downtrodden portion of society.  Fifty years ago, all of this hatred was heaped upon black americans, arguing that if they could vote, attend the same school, drink from the same water fountain, or marry someone out of their race our country would suffer the wrath of God.  After a few federal rulings, blacks were finally granted their long over due civil rights.  And then the hunt was on to find the new evil, and for a while it was women, but its hard to hate women.  Everyone loves a woman at some point in their lives, mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters, cousins, girl friends, and as friends.  So, cue the next boogie man, and he is LGBT.

Now I'm a huge history nerd, and have been reading a book about Abraham Lincoln and the possibility that he might have been gay.  I'm almost finished with the book, and yeah I'm convinced he was.  But thats not why I'm bringing him up.  He was a brilliant man thrust into a horrid period of our history, but he was without doubt the right man for that job, anyone else would have messed it up.

I can't help but to make comparisons between Lincoln believing that all Americans should be free and able to enjoy the same civil rights, and his efforts to free the slaves, and our current struggle for civil rights across the whole of LGBT.  At a time when most of our countrymen were of a more religious bent, Lincoln was not.  If you read his speeches he never once invokes Jesus, or rarely God, but talks about man as something stronger, and greater than we know.

While Lincoln was president, many religious leaders would come to him, "that Lincoln might improve himself and  / or his administration in the eyes of God by citing this or that expression of the divine will."  And he stood firm against them by saying, "I hope it will not be irreverent for me to say that if it is probable that God would reveal his will to others, on a point so connected with my duty, it might be supposed he would reveal it directly to me."

So, I'm proposing a new bracelet, one that reads WWLD (what would Lincoln do).  We know that Lincoln forced Northern generals to fight against the southern armies, and those that wouldnt fight, were removed from their positions.  Many historians believe that the reason Lincoln was shot was his desire to see blacks have the ability to vote, as he wanted complete and total freedom for all americans.

What we need is our own Lincoln. One who doesnt kowtow to the religious leaders, one who isnt afraid to stand up and point out the travesty of a country who prides itself on freedom for all, creating a second class of citizens through laws and statues.  If you read my post on my second blog, you know the plight of transgender americans.  By not allowing gays and lesbians and some transpeople to marry, what you are doing is codifying bigotry and violence, which kills our most vulnerable members, teens and transwomen of color.  Each suicide, each gay/lesbian/trans bashing that leads to a death can be directly correlated to the laws restricting our freedoms and impeding us from our civil rights.  And since most of these laws flow from religious groups, each death needs to be placed on their bloody bloody door step.

It's time to stop sitting in the back of the bus.  It's way past time for us to stop squabbling with each other and start to fight with one voice, one purpose freedom for all LGBT and hopefully a kinder more gentler nation.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

5 on the Fifth

The suggested theme this month was Reflections from Stephens blog.  

The turbulent sky reflected in a small lake near Anchorage.

The sky, yet again reflected in a fountain in Scottsdale.

 The late evening sun bouncing off the trees in our back yard.

A reflection of my greed.  I. So. Want. This. Car!

A reflection of our past.  Mud bogging has to be the best thing ever!  The smell of mud on a hot exaust manifold is.........ahhh.....perfect.  I love the sound of the clumps of mud hitting the windshield, how the truck bucks and jerks, and of the crazy conversations we had.  Man do I miss this truck and the times we had in it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The long and winding road

Thursday night TH (the husband), and if you are wondering, I do call him that in real life, something that New Leaf got a huge kick out of, asked what we had planned for Friday.  Planned?  Me?  I rarely, if ever intentionally plan anything, as I enjoy just taking each day as it comes.  But I married a type A, Class 1, Gold Star plated planner.  At times, I actually think he would be happiest if everyday for the rest of his hopefully long long life was planned out, and marked down in some giant tome.

It turned out that TH had the itch to go....someplace.  He wanted to go to Tok, its a nice long drive, read about 5 hours or more one way.  Never having been to Tok before, I wanted to wait until summer, more daylight ya know?  After kicking places around for a while, we decided to head up the Steese, to at the very least Central.   Friday we were up and out of the house before daylight, now before any of you get all excited that vampire me, was up at a ridiculous time, we left the house at 9 am.  The sun came up, well UP is a relative term in the winter, as the sun has a low horizon in the winter.  So, as we wove between mountains we were alternately bathed in sunlight, and then around the next corner doused in twilight.

I had packed sandwiches and drinks into our cooler, added a roll of t.p. and headed out.  We ended up at Circle City.

And while I know its hard to believe, while in the one store in Circle, asking to use their restroom, found out that the owners and TH had friends in common!  Yeah, thats what's it like traveling around with TH.  The kids and I all swear that if he has enough time when he meets a fellow Alaskan, he will somehow have some connection with them, especially with long time Alaskans, sourdoughs if you will.  The bathroom turned out to be in the "washateria" across the street, which is very common in small Alaskan communities.  It had 3 washers, 4 driers, and two bathrooms complete with showers with coin operated hot water.  Many Alaskans live without running water, and depend upon washateria's for clean water both for bathing and for hauling home for cooking and drinking.

For whatever reason, I love caribou, and yeah they are mightily fine eating as well.  My eyes were peeled hoping to see some along the way, and luck was with us, as we most likely saw close to 100!  

It was nice chatting along, enjoying the rare sunlight, the companionship, and doing some decision making about what we have planned for the coming year, I told you he loves to have life planned out!

We talked about his fears about me attending the conference in Boston, he was sure I would come home ready to begin the transition process as soon as Son  #3's wedding is over.  My ability to keep my girl suit, he has grave doubts and doesn't trust me to keep my promise, his lack of confidence in me has thrown me into a spiral of depression again.  Leaving me once again to find my way back out of this dark place.  But, I've done it before, and I'll do it again.  When I asked a good friend a while back, how he manages to stay mortal, he answered, "Sheer bloody mindedness".  I liked his answer and have stolen that idea from him, it's just one more twisting turn on my long and winding road.