Monday, August 31, 2009

Back in 2007, failed Dancing With the Stars hoofer and talking head Tucker Carlson boasted of his handling of a misdirected pickup:
"Having sex in a public men's room is outrageous. It's also really common. I've been bothered in men's rooms." Carlson continued, "I've been bothered in Georgetown Park," in Washington, D.C., "when I was in high school." When Abrams asked how Carlson responded to being "bothered," Carlson asserted, "I went back with someone I knew and grabbed the guy by the -- you know, and grabbed him, and ... hit him against the stall with his head, actually."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Digging their windnut graves

Congresswoman Maxine Water's might have the right approach to counter accusations from the extreme voices...let them define themselves and their estranged views on the President and Health Care reforms.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Contralto Trans Voice

An excellent evening for PFLAG Valdosta, at last count, we had 25 people join us in celebrating our 1st Anniversary; 4 more people that we had at our first meeting. After a short business meeting, there were several lively comments with discussion. Several members were excited at they described their emotions as they were dressed for the first time for the Savannah Pride. Another member described how he felt after receiving a supporting decision after someone complained about his wearing a PRIDE armband during his work shift. We commented on some of the negative decision that affected the glbt community and praised the decision of the Lutheran and Episcopal Churches to allow gays to answer God’s call to the ministry.

One young man and I recognized each other as members of the community chorus. He commented to me that before he knew, I was one of the few women who could sing lower than him and he couldn’t understand why. Now he knows why! He sat next to me once a week for 15 weeks and saw me as a woman who had a great contralto voice; according to him and some of the other young women in the group. I was quite flattered at 1) not being clocked, 2) seeing me as just another woman in the group and 3) hearing the quality of my voice as being a contralto. We sat next to each other I had often thought about inviting him to a PFLAG meeting; but I didn’t want to come out and question his orientation.

I have been singing with the group for the last 5 years as Sarah and just assumed that everyone knew my history, some do; but to them that’s old news and it just doesn’t matter anymore.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

PFLAG 1 year Anniversary

Tonight we are celebrating the 1 year anniversary of PFLAG-Valdosta!! Can't believe we are still here supporting the glbt cause in our community. We have had some wonderful people come through our mist and tell us their stories, some drifting in and out for various reasons but always being welcomed. We are having a quick business meeting at 6:30 and a support gathering; finishing up with cake to celebrate. Please come join us tonight, see you there!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Party's Over

I can't believe that we have performed 'South Pacific' for the last time. I will so miss the wonderful people, the long nights of rehearsals, the laughter and antics from various cast members. We did 10 shows in three weeks after what, 9 weeks of rehearsals. I was totally expecting someone to throw a fit over my being in the show; or at least stand up and declare my story or something dramatic. But nothing, which I really am glad didn't happen. For me this has been best experience of me being on stage, anywhere; period. Even with my musical performances, with community groups and being cast as a village person in "The Merry Wives of Winsor" or getting to perform the trans monologue two years ago in the Universities production of "The Vagina Monologues" and again last year. Being in this show as Sarah is the ultimate confirmation that I am just another woman and boosts my ego so much.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

3 left

This still is from the sailors and nurses final number, where we are singing "honey bun" for the second time just before the final scene.

Well, this weekend is the last 3 performances of our production of South Pacific. There has consistently been large crowds for all 7 performances so far; and I have really enjoyed getting to know the rest of the cast members. I know that I will miss not being at the theatre and around everyone. I really have no idea of who knows and who doesn't know about my past, and it really doesn't matter now. I have a strong pull to tell a few, just to make sure they know because it's important for me. I feel that with establishing a good friendship as Sarah that if they have never met a trans person before and would have negative feelings about us, that having known me they would look another trans person as a possible friend and not something suspicious. I also realize that once someone knows of our trans status the relationship between us shifts and the other person begins to separate themselves from us.

I have had a great 3 weeks of doing the show and am looking forward to my next big adventure in theatre!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Marriage Equality

When Sarah and I go out or are seen together frequently, many people assume that we are sisters or friends. Very few people who do not know us do not assume we are a couple and even fewer assume we are a legally married couple.

After Sarah's Saturday performance in South Pacific, the cast, spouses and significant others were invited to one of the cast members home. The couple is a very charming same sex couple. The food was great and the company delightful.

Sarah and I had spent the two previous nights either sitting at the table with or talking with one of the men in the play. He tends to be a little loud and overly positive that he is always right. I bumped into him and his girl friend at the Saturday night party. He turned to his gf and said, "this is Kay, Sarah's mother." I said, mmmmmmmmm, no." He then said, "this is Sarah's sister." I said, "mmmmmmmm, NO. Actually, I am Sarah's wife." His gf said, "Good For You!" About the time she had gotten this out of her mouth, he said, "no, her partner." Me, "no, I'm her wife, we are legally married." Then he asked, "where did you get married?" I told him "our back yard." I think he expected me to say one of the states that allows same sex marriage.

I turned to the gf and asked if she knew our history. I knew that she must because she belongs to one of the other episcopal churches in town. She said "sort of." So I told that Sarah was transgender and before Sarah made any legal changes to her name or gender status we had gotten married and were very happy. She said, "I had known part of your story but didn't know all of it. I am very happy for the two of you." A very gracious lady..............I hope she finds a better boyfriend.

The next day after the matinee play some of the group wanted to go out to eat again. Sarah and I really enjoy this group so we joined them again. There are a large number of LGBT's in this group. Sarah told them about my encouter with Mr. Know It All the night before. They just shook their heads but it opened the door to a discussion of same sex marriage. Several of the men who are gay said that they had been married to women in past. One of the guys said that he had been married before and I didn't really understand what he said. I asked, "you" and he said, "yes." He went to say that at that time that is what you did. He seems to be somewhere around my age and he was right. What other choice was there. People were not allowed to exhibit any kind of behavior that might make people think they were gay. I felt very sad, not only for the man who talking but all the other people who were trapped into limited choices.

I hope we continue to move forward with Marriage Equality so that everyone has the choice to be in a relationship with someone who is their true heart's desire.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Passable or Recognizable

There have been comments of other people's blog about one's ability to 'Pass'; to not be clocked or perceived as 'transgender'. Those of us who have been at this process of transitioning for a while, hope that how we incorporate gestures, or the walk, or the voice, or our ability to accessorize our outfits will help us in creating a person who is recognized as female. Some of us girls have to do more that others; in my case, I have female friends who say my face is the typical female shape. I have a trachea that is not very noticeable; hardly noticeable at all and the tambre of my voice is within the typical female range with similar inflections.

Now that I have let my hair grow longer, as thin as it is, and now have rather perky breasts since the implants; I would say that overall, I have become me; female, and look like my sisters. Kay says that I look better then my sisters; I still have some of my natural color as well as wonderful streaks of gray in various hues. All of my sisters have solid white or grayish hair.

I have stood next to people that I had known for many years in my other life and they didn't give any hints or clues that suggested they recognized the person they once knew standing next to them. So, yesterday when I attended a church service in a town up the road from us and recognized the choir director as someone who I worked closely with for 5 or 6 years I wondered if I should reintroduce myself to him. Yes he lived in a different town, but we spent many hours working together, chatting together as people who worked for the same music company, selling musical instruments. After the service I missed the chance to have a one on one talk with him so I figured I wouldn't say anything to him. There was a room full of his friends and choir members and church members, but the parish hall was very crowded and noisy. As it happened, I was throwing my dish away and getting more punch, when he came out of the kitchen and bumped into me as he mingled with the people. When he bumped me, he turned facing me, paused a few seconds looking me face to face and said, "excuse me Ma'am!" Ok, I didn't say anything to him or give him any clues as to who I was; but we stood face to face and he didn't see the old friend in my face. Granted, he wasn't expecting to bump into me at his church 50 miles from where we worked together for so many years, those many years ago. I didn't know he was a member of that church since I had been to other services or functions in that same church over the years. I know that people see what they expect to see and if all the clues we present are female then people will see a woman if they do not see other conflicting clues.

As trans women, we internalize our own preconceived ideas of what women, females should look like and we sometimes over compensate with clothing, and jewelry and make up that might be over the top; because our mothers never sat us down and shared her beauty secrets with us as her son. We learned by expensive trial and errors and if we are truly lucky, we have a woman friend who is compassionate and will help us and show us her secrets.

Forgive this diversion, but they say music soothes the savage beast!!!

Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters: When it comes to gays and lesbians, children understand more than you think

Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters: When it comes to gays and lesbians, children understand more than you think

Sunday, August 9, 2009

South Pacific WOW

Today is the last performance for the first weekend, we have two 6 more show to do and I am having a blast. As I promised, here are a few pictures. The top picture is the "gonna wash that man" number and the first song the nurses sing, I am holding the letter.

The second number and picture is of the Thanksgiving show and the nurses dance routine. Again I am in the peach colored top with grass skirt

The third picture is the final number, Honey Bun; that's me in the shorter uniform.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Opening Night In the Books

Opening night was a huge success for us, everyone stepped up and did a wonderful performances, all the sailors and nurses. Daniel and Rachael both turned in terriffic performances. They are promising pictures and as soon as I get my copy I will post some here. The people were extremely pleased with our show and some were visibly moved by their own memories of those years, seeing the movie when it first showed on the big screen. I was greeted by a good many people as the cast stood outside to say hello to everyone who came to the show.
There was one slight snub from my son's mother-in-law; she walked by me to hug another member of the cast. She didn't even look my way, it's a shame they ignored the whole message of the play.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Opening Night

All the dress rehearsals are behind us now. All the group costume changes, I have three by the way, seem to be going without incidents, except for the occasional opening of the doors. Of the 3 costume changes for us, the last is in the white nurses uniforms with the caps that Kay made is the best of the show. Kay copied the caps from the cap she wore during her student nurse days at Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta, which is now Georgia Medical Center.

Everyone seems ok with changing together, but of course it is theatre and all. We have managed to condense the original show down to about 2 hrs and 40 min with a 15 min intermission, while keeping some parts of the good songs from the original.

I am really excited and now I am having fun with my small part; I am still having trouble with the lyrics of "Honey Bun" for some reason. I will try to get it all together for opening night tomorrow. Break A Leg, as they say in show biz.....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Another Opening, Another Show

Opening night is just 2 days away; 2 more dress rehearsals and then we are on stage. I must say that the set looks great; like a jungle, large backdrop of the mysterious 'Bali Hi", palm trees, and bamboo stalks. But so far, the first dress rehearsal with costume changes went well. Everyone changing as quickly as possible, the real slow down is putting on the white tights that go with the nurses uniforms. No one freaked out with me changing with them. The female lead has the most costume changes. Kay made 9 copies of her nurse's cap for everyone and has gotten good feedback. All the nurses look good in their whites; and so do the sailors in their navy uniforms or close facsimile.

It seems that when everyone is in costume we are more serious and helps us to focus on what we have to do.
Break a Leg as they say in show biz.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Passing or Blending or Mixing

Some times it’s a little perplexing for me, as I am sitting around waiting for my next stage entrance. Currently I am in the local production of South Pacific, wonderfully this is my first acting role, as small as it is, as a woman; I was for the last two years a member of the Universities Women’s Gender Studies Program of the Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler. Three years ago, I would have never attempted something like this for myself; as I would never be comfortable around a group of men. But here I am chatting with the other cast members, making small talk and having fun and we get to know each other.

Because it is so hot down our way, it’s ridiculous to try and wear make up hardly ever when I go out, for the fact that I perspire so much and it get washed away before noon. Plus, I haven’t been able to afford to pay for electrolysis, so I am still shaving. If I shave in the early or mid afternoon, even Kay doesn’t notice the subtle stubble I do grow in the evening. I have become more comfortable being out and about town with only lipstick on. And that doesn’t stay on very long The only time I did wear make up for the show was for them to take my picture which they posted outside the theatre. It has dawned on me that another subtle shift has taken place, I am very at ease with my female body and how it morphed from the old to the new. I am not aware that now I am not very much different looking that any other woman who is out in public and dressed down and without any make up; lesbian, gender questioning or straight. The young girls don’t even stare and make comment that I can hear.

As one who can feel comfortable among a group of people, while wearing no make up, I feel at ease as I am mixing it up with the other cast members. Several cast members know about me and my past, but have been very respectful by not really talking about my prior life as male. For the scene we sing, ‘I’m Gonna wash that Man right out of My Hair’, we use towels as props and I was told that we were to wrap them on our heads when we come out a second time. Now I have problems with the towel wrapping thing and had to have someone help me with wrapping that night; (I have practice more since), she ask me why I had not wrapped my hair more often. You don’t just blurt out that one always wore their hair short because they grew up male in a crowd where you are looked upon as another woman. When growing up male, my trans sisters and I, didn’t get the beauty tips and female coaching do’s and don’ts, from our mothers that she bestowed upon our sisters. Because I always wore my hair short, never even long enough to pin a curler into to it, I never had any reason to wrap my head or hair into a town while I finished getting dressed; I remember my sister not using a towel in that way that very much.

Today, my hair is the longest it’s ever been, and I could use the towel twisting thingy, but I have never though about letting my hair dry that way. Today I am very at ease with my female body in the way it has changed, being able to have silicone implants really give my confidence as huge boost.

I will suggest that I am blending or mixing very well within the community as I go about my every day life as Sarah.