Thursday, September 30, 2010

Peeling Layers Away

It has been said that to become the authentic person we know we are, we must first peel back layers of our existence. Much like the preverbal caterpillar that must spin its chrysalis that become its chamber of change, we decide what we must let go to become the female image we see in our minds.

As we find ourselves moving along our self appointed path, discarding bits of our male persona, we watch with wonder and joy to see our feminine selves emerge. We joyously toss the male behaviors, the gestures, the drab male clothing that was responsible for our old person being recognized as part of the male society. And we do everything to create the female person based on our experiences with women I believe some of us do. As I was trying to reshape my behaviors and hand gestures to more appropriate ones, I was building my wardrobe and accessories.

I realized that my idea or image of myself as a woman was based on my Mother, and how I saw her dressed every time she went out with my dad. I was 15 in 1960 and I would say that my Mother was a very fashion conscious woman of her day, wearing jewelry, and heels always with dresses or skirts. I believe that she also wore the required slip, hose and undergarments that women of her age wore. So of course, as I transitioned when I was older it meant that I still passed through some puberty stage of female development. Which meant that the dresses and skirts were above the knee, the heels had to be 3 inches or higher; I thought that I need to wear bracelets, earrings (clip-ons), pantyhose and foundation garments with full makeup, always. One had to dress appropriately, modestly, but fashionably.

I learned to quickly assimilate a feminine walk, gesturing and movements which I thought helped me pass as a women. It took a few years to realize that just as I peeled back my male persona, layer by layer, I could let go of my stylized image. The first change was realizing that I could wear dresses with no sleeves, as I had thought my arms were too big. Also the length of my clothes dropped to my calfs or floor length. Gone was the foundation garments and slips, gone was the higher heels, (sigh). I needed some jewelry, just not Everything I wore before. Maintaining my own sense of style and dress standards, of course was very important to blending in with the female population. Realized that after an especially hot summer, that I didn’t need to wear pantyhose and that was a big relief.

I peeled off my male persona and after some years living comfortable as Sarah, I began to peel away those mental ideas of what and who I thought a woman should aspire to and soon knew that I could present myself without long sleeves, wear lower heel or flats, no hose, even going out with no makeup.

So, life is more simpler with the layers peeled away and our existence free and transparent.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Caroline Gonzmart Courageous reporter for GLBT truth

This is not the best picture of me, but considering that I had been working all morning with the Pride Festival not bad. We arrived around 9:30 to setup all the tables and tents; we were grouping PFLAG, Integrity and for St Barnabas Episcopal Church together. These were the three groups that Kay and I are involved with.

The day was long, and we had warm weather with lots of clouds, a steady stream of people during the day, but not overcrowding.

As the previous post had the news clip from the local CBS station, it turns out that that reporter got exclusive of the day events. Our local newspaper failed to run a story the next day or on Monday, they chose to ignore all the great and combined efforts of the Pride organizers and GLBT supporters from the community to create a conversation about discrimination issues the GLBT community faces on a daily basis.

Regardless, if the other media which serves this community wanted to shut out and ignore the events that were happening at J.W. Sanders Park that day, they were left behind by one courageous reporter by the name of Caroline Gonzmart of the CBS affiliated station, and by her courage and compassionate report her name and face is being seen all over the internet as someone with enough moral strength to show truth of Valdosta, GA.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

South Georgia Pride TV Coverage

Posted by: brenda jonessarah wiggle---yea that is what we need in america. out with the bible in with the freaks and perverts. cherie-----yea another great day in america. SOMETHING TO BE PROUD OF. WHAT IS NEXT?
Posted by: Cherie Location: Valdosta on Sep 18, 2010 at 09:38 PM
Actually, there was no disaster. It was a great day.
Posted by: The Original Bob Location: Perry on Sep 18, 2010 at 08:31 PM
Isaiah 3:9 "The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves."
These were some of the comments posted to the video about South GA Pride. The phrase is PRIDE, pride in who we are, where we have to push next, pride in telling the America that our struggle is to be recognized as human being equal among nations.
I want to thank "The Original Bob" for again finding those scripture and words of my Lord, that some use as weapons of mass intimidation and hate. Hate is not a Christian Value. Love your neighbor, is Christ's second Commandment. Why does he not look for the love verses in the Bible, and "Bob" there are plenty of verses of scripture that preach love and acceptance. Please notice that his moral convictions are so weak that he will not use his real name, as we do. And "Original Bob" never comes close to having an Original thought, he just spews hate and ignorance that others have pounded into his scull of mush brains. I ask all of you to pray for people like "Original Bob" because they have lost the True Message of the Bible.
And to address Brenda, thank you for giving us a name, it might not be your real name, but you tried. If Brenda would have joined us yesterday at the park, she would have noticed that we were supported by one of the Episcopal Church's and the Unitarian Church. She would have noticed that we haven't thrown away our Bibles that yesterday was a day of Family Love and Acceptance. We use Our Bibles to show us that the God we follow is a loving and accepting god and is probable the same God that you look to for your Blessings and Love.
And you ask what next, well we shall see, we shall see. But for now, know that we will return next year for an even bigger Pride. And you are most welcomed to come join us, protest if you must and we encourage you to, but buy some food and help others create a new home for the homeless veterans in our area, oh yea hear the great music from Mercury Heat and Kym Berry; and Be the Christians helping to create positive changes in our community.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Southern Comfort

Just going to post a few pictures here, needless to say, we had a great time. I even did Karaoke for the first time, and the second song went very well.

Everyone, the dress I was wearing in the third picture was the one I made for myself.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Southern Comfort

Since last Wednesday, Kay and I have been here in Atlanta attending the Southern Comfort Convention, which is an amazing week of party, fun, intense group session about almost everything political and helpful to those of us who are trans.

I have met Chaz Bono, Pam of Pam's house blend, Jennifer Boylen, Allison Robertson, Autumn Sandeen, Mira Keesling, and many other people who are hard at work pushing for change for the lgbt community.

Here we are sitting at the faux news desk as we were taking the tour through CNN studios. I am always amazed at the sheer number of first timers who are attending this years convention. There is a greater number of younger people in attendance with each year; although this is only our second convention there were a great many first timers.

We were able to spend time with Laura and her wife A., a lovely couple who have learned how to work together and to keep the family together. It was a joy to spend time with the two of them for the day or so we had.

There is just so much to do when one is here that it sometimes can be overwhelming. But we have learn some great stuff to take back and tell our stories.
I will have other thoughts at a later time.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Changing Attitudes

This was written over several days but I feel it is still important to tell.

There seems to have been a small jump in acceptance for glbt folks around town. Like last week our PFLAG group set up a table during the local University's "Happening" event, where the college students are exposed to local companies and civic groups. We were at our booth for about 4 hours in the afternoon and watched a couple of thousand students walk by. Quite a number actually stopped and asked for information and some just to talk. This is the third year we have participated in this community and University event and every year I hear someone’s heartbreaking story of non acceptance and discrimination.

A young woman stopped at the table and began to talk about her cousin who has just ‘came out’ and members of his church have been harassing him, telling him that he is going to hell and so on, and so on. She was asking for information, any information that she could give her cousin which would show him that being ‘gay’ is not a ticket to hell. That, in fact, she wanted him to know that some churches welcome and seek out members of the gay community. We suggested to her that her cousin might want to find a more accepting church.

Again, one of the Universities Resident Assistants (RA) stopped by the table to get information, seem there is several RA’s who is determined to set up ‘safe’ rooms where glbt people go to be safe, to get more information. I thought it is great for people from university housing to be concerned for the safety of all glbt students. Now if we can only get the university to amend it’s discrimination policy to include sexual and gender identity clauses.

Having heard these particular two stories, it makes the whole day of sitting under a canopy sweating my a** off, worthwhile. Worthwhile to know that we might have helped one or two people fight bigotry and discrimination.