Saturday, December 27, 2008


Those of us as transpeople who live open lives, risk being ignored, shunned, avoided or becoming victims of hate. People’s reactions as these, happen because others do not give us a chance, they don’t take the opportunity to get to know us; to sit down and ask the hard questions that separate fact from fiction. It’s very painful when you learn how your some of your family really feels about you in a very visible open social setting, as what happened to me during the reception at my nephews wedding, (See previous post).
But all those negative, repulsed feelings are just as quickly dissipated when surrounded by the people you have come to know and love. It’s the children who can get to the heart of the matter quickly; children who are not soured by hate and bigotry show their love for others in so many ways. Any pain inflicted upon me by those who won’t see or make an effort to get to know you as the changed person was quickly healed by spending a day with our good friends. As the children played and were taken to a playground, the three of us women continued working on a Christmas Quilt we had said we would do for someone who goes to church with us. Having made a pot of beef soup, we all gathered to eat and enjoy the day. The children decorated a gingerbread house that their mother had brought and we all ended the evening chasing the children around the house.
The week of joy and acceptance was topped off by the celebration of a wonderful Christmas Day dinner with this family who has chosen us. We worked our culinary arts for our guest during the morning before they arrived and since it was our friends who dined with us, the day was filled with laughter, eating and quiet time just talking and sewing on a quilt.
Watching the joy on the faces of two bright, pleasant children as they opened their Christmas gifts from us was happiness enough for me. Obviously we ‘chose well’ for the young man almost tore the box apart trying to get to the building set we gave him. You could see the delight and wheels turning as he began to think of the possibilities of different things he would build. Letting people and children get to know me because they want to is a great joy. Tears came to my eyes as I was given huge hugs from both of the children as they told me they loved me at the end of a great evening. We stood in the door way under the porch light as we always do, feeling happy, loved and joyful watching our dear friends drive away into the night.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wedding and Wondering no more

Preparations and anticipation can’t prepare one for the unknown; the weekend to celebrate a marriage between your nephew and his future bride. For all the agonizing we exerted Thursday night to get everything ready and packed; well we didn’t pack until the next morning. We spent all day Thursday running errands, running back to get the wedding gift after spending an hour in Toys-r-Us buying for others, (Can’t spoil Christmas can we?). Getting dinner and then running to various stores looking for stockings we thought we needed for this weekend, (didn’t even open package). We awoke early, at least for us, to have a nice leisurely drive down to Mexico Beach, Fl., the Christmas gift we bought for someone was picked up on time and we left about when we planned to leave.
Stopping in Tallahassee to look in the good book stores for a certain book for Kay we arrived at Mexico Beach at a decent time and spent a few minutes on the beach before we checked into our rooms on the Air Force Base. We had been given a time that the rehearsal dinner was suppose to start and since it only took 30 minutes or so to drive from the AF Base we left a hour early to get us there in plenty of time to mingle with the other guest before we sat down to eat. We arrived about 20 minutes before 7 pm and saw a room full of people eating already. After being seated by the Hostess, the waitress took our order for salads; they already had finished with pre stuff and had already given orders for the meals.
Being the last two seated, we took the two empty seats at the back table and had pleasant conversations with everyone. We were seated with the photographer, the Minister and his wife and the father of the Groom and his older brother. Quite and interesting evening followed, pleasant dinner talk with the father and had to listen to the photographer babble on about his camera and flash and how study on how to take good head shots, and so on and so on…. Kay told me later that he kept bumping her leg with his knee, not sure if he was flirting or what was going on; but his social skill were lacking a little bit………..
At the end of the dinner my youngest sister came over and sat down with us to chat for a little while asking about health, our families how we were doing. That was the first time I had seen or talked to my little sister since the family had gathered for my Mother’s birthday party, and I happened to still be ‘John’. My mother sat down with us and since the photographer had left earlier his dessert was sitting at his place; not remembering that she had eaten her dessert earlier she ate the one that was before her, but who cares.
The afternoon of the wedding we arrived about 15 min. early to chat and mingle with the other guests. When we arrived, mother and my sisters had seated themselves in the first row of chairs and sat there, never walking around and mixing with Nicole’s family or friends. Kay and I thought they looked like big birds sitting on a wire, all in a row not moving. The wedding was simple and Nicole was beautiful. During the picture taking, after all the required photos of the bride and grooms family, they wanted a group picture with William’s family; I hesitated but Nicole wave for me to join them. As I joined the group at the opposite end where the William’s mother stood, I detected a sneer and a look that would seriously hurt someone.
But the most blatant act of hate came when after sitting at another table and waiting to be asked to sit with my sisters and mother; we took our drinks and approached their table to sit with and across from my mother. Now there were two reserved tables seated for 10 to sit both families. The table for the brides table was full but the other table only had the 5 people with my family without Kay and I. As we approached the table, my sister very firmly and viciously said, “No thank you!!”, we were dumbstruck with her comment and after looking at each other, we went back to our table to sit with the Father of the groom and the photographer. Not at all what I expected but wasn’t surprised too much at her bad behavior toward us. It's sad to think that the table was only so empty and what kind of message that said about my sister and her relationships or lack of friends or family to those who came to celebrate Nicole and William's marriage. Kay had wanted to get to know my sister better and after this weekend she got a good idea of who she is. I had the feeling that she was controlling so much with who got close to my mother or sisters; or they were not will to put up a fight to do anything to upset her. It was sad to see my mother give pleading waves and glances our way as if to suggest she wanted to do anything that would free from the clutches of my sister.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Questions and seeking

This weekend, Kay and I will be traveling to Mexico Beach, Florida to attend my nephews wedding. This will be the first time that I as Sarah will mingle with possible large numbers of my extended family. We only know of one Aunt who is flying in from California and my youngest sister is coming from Houston, Texas. All the other family members should be surprised when they finally meet Sarah and Kay. Although Kay and I have met with two on my sisters, the rest of the family have never socialized with me as Sarah. I am excited and a full of expectation for what could happen this week. The groom’s brother and my sister have spent a little time with Kay and me as we have visited with my mother on several occasions. As I said before, we have been invited to the rehearsal dinner so that will be our first chance to meet everyone before the wedding the next day and the reception following.
Mexico Beach is very nice beach; at least it was when we were there during this past summer; not sure but expecting to have mild weather during the service. And with the Air Force Base being relatively close and we can stay at their guest quarters at a reasonable price; which makes the weekend at the beach even better cost wise.
I always love to make some time to spend on the seashore; with the rushing surf and the wind mixed with the salt water blowing across your face as we stroll down the beach mesmerized by the sound of the crashing waves. Any beach time seems to help wash away all the bad feelings and recharges my mind and soul for what’s to come.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Seasons Joys

Being transgendered gives me new insight into the joys of the seasons, the hope for changes in each one of us; the anticipation, the excitement, the discovery, the fulfillment. With each Christmas Season I find myself more comfortable, more free, more empowered to be the Sarah I have discovered.
This is a time that I use to sit back and examine the wonderful and exciting changes that I have watched happen with me and between Kay and me. We look forward to the coming year and the many occasions that seems appears before us, letting us tell our story to all who ask.
This being the Season of Advent, which is the beginning of a new Church year for us, it is a spiritual renewal as well as a new beginning for me on this path defining my transition and the person that faces new challenges and defining moments. This is my story which is similar but very different to every other Sister faced with the obstacle of whether to transition or remain as they are.
With the Advent season as a preparation time to bring one’s attention to the birth of Christ, it causes me to reflect on the period when I attempted to prepare myself, my ex and my family with what is essentially my new birth. I was struggling to emerge from my chrysalis of an unhappy life filled with conflict between myself and my ex over the secret I was trying so hard to keep. Over the arguments I created with my children to drive them out of the house. This renewing season of the Church year forces me to examine once more the numerous reasons for accepting my true self as Sarah; to recall all the good that is now in my life and be joyful.
As I happily anticipate this time and the celebration of the retelling of the Christmas Story, I contritely and humbly see my life as an object to reflect the light of understanding and hope into the darkness that will be placed before my journey’s path.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Who Knows Me

What about me and where I am, how I am so visible, so out there; I don’t have a clue just how many people in my community really know about my journey. Every week people speak to me because they somehow know me from somewhere, either they were the clerks behind the counter in the dress store, or shoe store, or make up store, or as waiters in restaurants around town. It’s like; “Oh, how are you doing, you used to come into my store.”, or I would wait on you; or some other connection in my past. What really makes me wonder is just how much and how many people really know about me; as happened last week at my elections poling place. For the past four year I have voted at the same place. The second year I voted, I presented myself as my female self with my driver’s license which carried my male name; for me no problem. The same staff people were there every election so they got to know me as Sarah; and when I changed the picture from the old self to Sarah, no problem. The third and forth years I had legally changed my name and the worker were so kind trying to help me change my name on the voters registration list; but when the voters list was purged and all the mix-matched names were dropped, my new identity as Sarah was dropped and my voter registration card reverted to my old name. So after a few weeks, I took a copy of the name change down to the voter’s registration office and together with one of the clerks we fill out a new name change with the court documents and that fixed the problem. Again, while casting my vote in the presidential elections, the staff manning the poling place very politely asked me how I was doing, asked about the singing group I was in and about that and that, and made sure that the voter roll had my correct female name in the system. I have never experienced anything but a friendly and helpful attitude from the voter registration staff, who went out of their way to ensure that my personal information be correct.
Kay and I have had several discussions about how everyone I have met treats me; about how they are quick to discuss how they know me. She and I both agree it might be my attitude and pleasant conversations with which I engage people I meet. That is something that my male personality would never have done; not so much. Looking back, I would say that all my efforts and energies were used to hide and shield my secret from others; I was hesitant in engaging people because I didn’t want them getting too close. I didn’t want them emotionally close because I was afraid they would ‘see’ what I was hiding. And now, with everything out in the open and no secrets, or fears; I can just live my life. Kay and I went to this year’s Southern Conference, which a lot of sister do; but these gatherings are the only few times they can be who they are without fear. These are their opportunities to eat out at restaurants, go shopping; just be out and about to socialize with other sisters and make new friends or to find support to venture out and about.
Everywhere I go with Kay it seems that we will meet someone who recognizes me from someplace else; what is strange is that I have never even once in the years since my divorce bumped into my ex; which is OK with me.