Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

"A Mother's Love"

Every Mother/parent who see their child as being odd or different, because they play with object that are intended for another sex should read Kim Pearson's article "A Mother's Love" An Interview With Kim Pearson, Executive Director Trans Youth Family Allies, Inc., by Jim Koury in "Diversity Rules". What a great example of loving one's child, regardless.

As our PFLAG membership and attendance has grown, we have had several young people come to the meetings who have identified as trans; it is hardest on the parents who are trying to make sense of what their child is going through. One of PFLAG's purpose's is to educate the public and advocate for understanding of the issues lgbt children, youth, adults must negotiate in their struggle to survive and just live the live's they see for themselves.

Which Rules to Follow

This past week Kay went with me to a doctors appointment in Atlanta, the reason for the appointment was to secure a letter stating that I had my completed gender reassignment operations and was living as a female, just as the Georgia's Rules and Regulations of the Department of Drivers License stated. In fact, we called Lambda Legal to get the correct wording for the letter; we had to wait until the next day so that the nurse could verify the wording for the letter. Since we were in Atlanta we took time to visit the Fernbank Museum, where they have a great exhibit on dinosaurs and other timely exhibits.
The next day we picked up the letter and spent a few hours at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and saw some of Monet's Water Lilies painting, quite exquisite and wonderful. We had lunch at Mary Mac's Tea Room, a wonderful Atlanta landmark, that has had quite a few visitors of the rich and famous; wonderful homemade cooking. The Tea Room is on Ponce de Leon Ave, you need to stop in whenever you get the chance. That was Kay's request as she has wanted to eat there for a long time.
I took my letter to the DDS the next day to change the gender on my drivers license and was immediatly questioned about what kind of surgery I had had and who did what. Then she shows me a page from her manuel of Law, Rules and Regulations for Transsexual Applicants and what wording should be in the letter, tell me that the wording is wrong in my letter because it did have the word 'surgical' and that they would not change my drivers license. I try to explain that my doctor use the text dictated by my lawyer from Lambda Legal but she refused to listen and check other resources.
I send lambda legal copies of the doctor's letter and the copy of the page from the manuel the supervisor used to deny my request and we called the doctor to get an ammended letter. So we will see what happens when I submit my new letter. Stay tuned folks.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Awkward Outing

After living as Sarah for more than 5 years one would think that it would be unnecessary to reveal one's past. Why is it that computer systems have longer memories than the people who control them. I guess these required revelations will always be necessary since Sarah decided to stay in the same town where she lived as that male person. Going to eye doctors, medical offices and any other place where "he" had an account has required me to give my past history so that they can access my Health providers information; it can be discouraging. Going to my Eye Doctor's office today was an identity reality check on cross referencing past medical history as written in their colored charts and in their computer files. Since I have a long history with my Eye Doctor; it was several years and a new identity between eye appointments and the fact that my military health plan was not one of the insurance companies that my doctor worked with; meaning that I had to pay out of pocket for my prior office visit. I was sure that I had worked patiently with the receptionist to quietly change all my personal information from my prior self to Sarah's information; the common link being my Social Security Number.
I really confused the receptionist this morning when I check-in and tried to verify my personal information. As she was using my SSN, I could tell she was very confused when my old name popped up in the computer and she was really confused when she asked me what my husband's work phone number was. I immediately realized that my SSN was still linked to my old name and with me trying to sign in as Sarah, she assumed that I was the wife. When trying to get authorization from Tricare, one has to be very accurate in the spelling of one's name. I did mentioned that the system might be using my old name but she didn't connect what I said to the problem she was creating as she used my SSN. Again, I had to quietly but patiently explain that the previous patient named "John" was indeed me, and that I now go by Sarah. I kept looking at her face to see some reaction, but she kept her cool and never broke her stride changing the information with my new name. She already had authorization from Tricare with the correct personal information but their patient sheet had Sarah listed as the spouse and "John" as the military sponsor.

Having a history of both identities with the same SSN around the town where one lives will always mean that some place, some where, I will have to "out" myself; again.

I just clipped this story from Pam's House Blend. This is the uncut version of the TV ad that they are running. This makes my blood boil to think that these advertising people think this is funny. This whole ad just explodes with vile references and innuendos that suggest trans women are deceptive and criminal when they find relationships. I think it also suggests that some men are dumb and shallow and too quick to jump into bed with anyone without thinking. This is a slam against the great work done in the movie "TranAmerica". This idea just make it harder for all of us who are working desperately to bring respect and some humanity to our lives.
I agree with Pam's comments:

No commentary saying trans people are horrible, deceptive people there, whose transitions are "not for better," eh? Nice. I get tired of constantly having to defend my humanity to people who don't perceive me as fully human. Well guess what? I am fully human, and this commercial angers me.

The Contact page links are to pages where you can send the dealerships' emails. If this kind of thinking pisses you off as much as it does me then lets tell them.

LA Car Guy Dealerships:
Lexus Santa Monica
Contact page
1501 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Sales: Sales 800-859-4081

Volkswagen Santa Monica
Contact page
2440 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404
New Car Sales: (888) 394-4903

Pacific Audi
Contact page
20550 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503
New Car Sales: (888) 212-1009

Pacific Volkswagen
Contact page
14900 Hindry Ave., Hawthorne, CA 90250
New Car Sales: (888) 267-0056

Pacific Porsche
Contact page
2900 Pacific Coast Highway, Torrance, CA 90505
New Car Sales: (888) 214-7874

Toyota Santa Monica
Contact page
801 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401
New Car Sales: (888) 565-1166

Scion Santa Monica
Contact page
888 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401
Contact Telephone: (888) 873-0431

Toyota of Hollywood
Contact page
6000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028
New Car Sales: (888) 245-2815

Scion of Hollywood
Contact page
6000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, California 90028
New Car Sales: (888) 627-3449

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Blocking for Play is Done

Well, we have completed the first week of rehearsals and have blocked all 24 scenes of South Pacific. The director is cutting some of the musical refrains and a few scenes to make the play shorter. The nurses, as well as the men are being used to reset the stage for many of the scene changes, as well as fill up for scene. We have learned the dance routine for scene 1 act 2 which is for the Thanksgiving show. I think we have two more routines to learn; this old girl is doing all right for herself out there on stage; a few sore muscles but nothing to hold us back. The director hasn't pulled me off the stage yet; but it is early in the rehearsal schedule.
It seems that people are having a good time with this and are beginning to build community.
The couple that is playing the two leads really do have good voices for theatre, and people will be very pleased. Will post pictures after next week!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Just Living Trans

The month of June is like an anniversary month for me; it was 5 years ago that I started my HRT schedule by taking the “T” blocker alone that month, then adding the estrogen the next. June is, if I remember right, the month that the company I had worked for was sold. Oh, we still had our jobs until November 15 of 05 when my job was dissolved and relocated. June ‘03 is about the time I really noticed Kay at church. I was still searching for who I was and was lucky enough to meet another trans woman, who sent me to my therapists and introduced me to a great group of lgbt folks in Tallahassee, Fl at the Family Tree Center. We would meet once a month and gather once a year in celebration of a member’s Gender Reassignment Surgery as her renewed birthday. In all of my 50 years living on this planet I had never met, much less socialized with other post op trans women; or been welcomed as a lesbian in that group.

A lot has happened in those intervening years. I have attended parties, bridal showers, girl’s only events. Which I can’t even begin to relate how it feels to attend a girl’s only party where most of the women do not know of my history and still they see as just another woman and accept me; include me without hesitation. My medical caregivers know my history; my urologist, both of my surgeons, my primary care physician, my doctors at the VA clinic, my eye doctor, my endocrinologist, their staff members, emergency room doctors and nurses of both hospitals in town. They all know of my history and it hasn’t made any difference as to the way they treat me.

I have performed with the Universities production of the Vagina Monologues for the past two years and have had a blast. Getting to know the young women in the shows have been very uplifting for me; as well as their getting to know me. Letting others get to know me first before I tell them my story makes it easier for them to positively change their opinion about LGB and Trans people.

Here I am 5 years after taking that first ‘pill’, a married woman, a woman who has fought breast cancer, has gone back to the Technical College for another program, has stepped into my church as Sarah and has never looked back. When I go shopping with Kay or go to the movies, or plays or concerts, people see me as just another female doing what she has to do.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Invoking Evil Upon Others said Baptist Preacher

im·pre·cate (mpr-kt)
tr.v. im·pre·cat·ed, im·pre·cat·ing, im·pre·cates
To invoke evil upon; curse.

[Latin imprecri, imprect- : in-, towards; see in-2 + precr, to pray, ask; see prek- in Indo-European roots.]

impre·cator n.
impre·ca·tory (-k-tôr, -tr) adj.

Former Southern Baptist Convention officer prays for Obama to die

by: Pam Spaulding

"So you're praying for the death of the president of the United States?"


..."You would like for the president of the United States to die?" Colmes asked once more.

"If he does not turn to God and does not turn his life around, I am asking God to enforce imprecatory prayers that are throughout the Scripture that would cause him death, that's correct."

I will say that I am not much of a Biblical Scholar, but being in a small Bible study group, we have read much of the New Testament and I can't recall Jesus calling for imprecatory prayers from his Apostles upon those who would seek his death, or hinder his ministry. People's calling upon God to invoke evil or a curse on any person seems to me to be against all the writing and stories that we can find within the New Testament of one's Bible. I know God is selective as to how s/he might grant people prayers and thoughts, but to claim that someone should be "taken out" by the God we pray to is way beyond my comprehension. Is it people with this much influence that is giving the 'green light' to those of questionable mental health problems to carry out this Preachers call to inflict evil upon someone who has not publicly be 'born again"? Wasn't Dr. George Tiller praying in his church, a Elder of his church? And what drove the white supremacist to enter the Holocaust Museum and begin shooting the Security Guard. I am quite befuddle by all the encouraged violence that is being inflicted upon humanity in the name of religion and fear of Government control.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

S.P. Rehearsal Notes

Well we have finished blocking all the scenes of the play and have had 1 musical rehearsal. It looks like I will be on stage for about half of the play, in addition to my one line, I have the 3 musical numbers, which might be a challenge for me because of the range; so we'll see how it goes. Other than that we will be on stage to move stage props on and off and to fill up the stage in some of the later scenes.
As I have mentioned earlier, I believe that only a few people know about my history, I started to tell the director 2 nights ago but hesitated; only because I don't want him to be blindsided if one of the big financial backers raises a stink. I did learn that when they performed "Sordid Lives", this same director stuck to his guns to produce the show; and as a result the president of the guild resigned over the decision. It is amazing to see just how far our part of South Georgia has grown up to be inclusive; I hope. The persons who plays Emile and Lt Cable seem to be very good singers and nice people.
Next week the real fun begins!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Shooting at the Holocaust Museum

I read where there has been a shooting at the Holocaust Museum. You can read about here. The shooting was reportedly done by an 88 year old white male supremacist. I always believed that as we get older we get more mellow, more accepting. Do we never get too old to hate?
June has officially been proclaimed as LGBT Pride Month by President Obama. Many of you may know that Obama's action/inaction on LGBT issues has been a growing dialogue within our community and beyond - whether or not you feel he's doing enough or has fallen short on promises, it's still exciting to have a President who has a good track record of acknowledging our issues


We must protect all of our children from any and all forms of bulling, hate and harassment as they live their lives. Changing the attitudes about respecting children who might me different is the only way to ensure that our schools and churches and other public places are places where there is no bulling or hate or hurt. When children learn to protect those who have been bullied then they are raising their own self worth.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Standing for Rights

Dear Sarah Riggle:

Message from Dan Humphries at Guitar Center:
Dear Sarah,

Thank you for your recent feedback in regards to our former support of that radio station. We do not share the views of that station, and do appreciate our customers, and concerned citizens informing us of this type of issue.

We appreciate you choosing GuitarCenter.com

Please feel free to contact us if you have any other questions or concerns.



Supervisor of Sales

There have been so many companies that have pulled their advertising from KRXQ radio station because people took the time to complain and do something to counteract the call for violent behavior toward our transgender children.

The above response is from an email that I had sent to the leadership at Guitar Center thanking them for pulling their money and advertisement from the KRXQ radio show. When I was working this music company was bought out by Guitar Center in June 2003 but for reasons I am not privy to, they closed our store and music repair shop on Nov 15, 2005. Only the June before I had disclosed to my Repair Supervisor that I was trans and would be changing from male to female. I was told that that would pose no problem; and I never had anyone say anything to be about being trans. Granted I was working in a warehouse/repair shop which happend to be located in a different location than the primary store so I was not waiting on any customers.
I am glad to now know that the company I worked for, has stepped up and condemed the violent behavior these radio people have condoned and spewed over the airwaves. That calling for abusive behavior toward your own children can not be tolerated.

Thank you Dan and all the Senior Management personnel for taking a collective stand.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My one Line

Tonight was the first full cast meeting for the local production of South Pacific; we were assigned our parts for the show. As I have been chosen to one of the Nurses, I have also been given a one liner in Act I, scene 7; just before the song "I'm gonna wash that man.." Hey, for being a newcomer to the Community Theatre, I am not complaining; I still get to sing all the women's song and dance a few step during the Thanksgiving number.
I think that this production will be very different to say the least. Emile, the French Planter, is being played by a man with a pony tail and a beard, Lt. Cable, is being played by an African American, a very talented young man back from New York. And then there is me, a trans woman who gets to be one of the nurses, and sings the woman's part and gets to dance and......... well you know. Just wait for the rest of the story as rehearsals really get underway.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Momuments and Rememberance

June 6, the Anniversary of "D" Day, when our nation lost so many young men during the greatest invasion force the world had ever seen. Let us give pause to those men who came from every state in the nation to begin the push towards Berlin in the Center of Germany. Let us remember the meaning of every national monument that our great nation has raised to give honor to Freedom.


Monuments erected by man
Ineptly depicting one moment in time
Giving historical facts and information
In concise prose.
Attempt to honor death by
Preserving blood stained ground.
Structures of metal, rock or stone
Brussels’ Lion standing watch over fields
Where Wellington gave Napoleon his Waterloo
America’s Tomb for the Unknown’s
Rises from the mists of the Nation’s Cemetery
London’s Trafalgar’s Square
Encroached by daily traffic
Berlin’s Brandenburg Gates and Paris’ Arc of Triumph
To the City and Glories past
Belgium’s roll call of power etched in time
Guarded by rusting relics of mechanized war
Monuments are sculptured material of man’s making
To glorify death, blood and of his heart’s breaking.

SJ Riggle
February 23, 2002

Thursday, June 4, 2009

South Pacific Rehearsal

Tonight members of the new cast met at the producers house as a get acquainted moment and to watch the original movie. There was quite a few people there tonight and lots of food and lots of chit-chat. However with a few people leaving before the end of the movie and some more people hanging out in other rooms did not make for a opportunity to get to know each other than a quick introduction. I met a few of the cast and made small talk.
We have a read through this Sunday night and begin rehearsal on Monday. Will keep posting frequent updates.

Letting Go

As the two aunties of the church, we are allowed to watch some of the children who are part of our small congregation. We have recently accompanied brother and sister to see Disney's Monsters and Aliens in 3D which is awesome in itself. Much better than the 3D of old. This week, we hosted a "girls" day out with two girls 4 & 5 years, as the youngest girls will be moving to later this month. After a lunch, we took the girls to see "UP", which I thought was a little 'dark' for smaller children and it almost brought me to tears; however the quality of the 3D was excellent. The youngest child climbed on Kay's lap 30 min. into the movie and later became frightened enough that they had to leave and wait in the lobby for us. As I am not allowed to see my grandchildren, I cherish these outings and visit that come to us as very special indeed.
It going to be especially hard to let our dear friend leave, after all, they do have our God Child! And I am really going to miss having the girls over for a special day. Last Tuesday after we had given them their baths, which they really needed after playing so hard making bubbles and stuff, we had turned on Sleeping Beauty for them to let them wind down before their parents came to pick them up and the 4yr old cuddled up next to me and give me the biggest hug and snuggle while she waited for her father to take her home. We had bought one of the flip cameras and let them take some pictures of each other, very interesting shots; hands, floor, something very blurry.
This is going to be an emotional period for me, to let a piece of your heart go with someone you love will be very hard, very hard indeed.