Friday, April 29, 2011

Good Care at VA Medical Center

The staff at the Va Medical Center in Gainesville is very professional indeed. Yesterday, I returned to be fitted with my new hearing aids, and so as I was called back to the room, the staff person, called for a Mr. Smith, and I replied, do you mean Sarah? No problem, we sat down and we chatted as he adjusted the new aids. These are one's you can adjust for echos and other sounds, as each has a volume control I can increase or decrease the volume. He mentioned that my significant would appreciate me wearing my new devices, I said yes and then he asked if he could call me Sarah.

Actually I have never had anyone express disapproval for being trans by anyone at the Medical Center. Just once, the clerk who checking me out for payment looked at my old Military ID twice and made a stupid comment, like really?

These new hearing aides are so much better that the first ones I got 4 years ago, I can actually hear the floor boards creak under my feet and the small bell I hung of the door knob for our small dog.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Men in Bathrooms with Our Mothers, Daughters... Grandmothers?

The ChristianHeadlines read

Will CT Allow Men in Bathrooms with Our Mothers, Daughters... Grandmothers?

"Unlike homosexuals, many transgendered men are sexually attracted to women. They express their gender identity in a skirt while, at the same time, they are attracted to, date and marry women. Though definitions are fluid, the transgender community commonly refers to these men as "male lesbians."

"One expression is a heterosexual man who chooses to dress as a woman or as a woman and a man at the same time -- not temporarily or as part of a transitional period, but as a permanent expression of self. This expression can include cashmere and chest hair or breasts with a beard. Unfortunately labeled by transgender activists as "gender*cking" (they substitute * for "u"), this type of expression is included under the umbrella of transgender and would be protected by the proposed law."

Really, cashmere sweater and chest hair and/or breasts with a beard; is that your idea of a trans woman. Oh, but that’s “transgender(ed) (adjective) men, oh is that a woman who presents as a man; (that the definition that I was given) not!! But then they describe a heterosexual man who chooses to dress as a woman, (Ok I get that), but then they describe him as a woman and a man AT THE SAME TIME! OH My, goodness, lets see, a person who splits himself down the middle wearing on the left side, (left being the insidious side of man) long hair, makeup (on that side) 1/2 a dress, stockings and a high heel. The right side mans haircut, 1/2 of a mustache, tie, jacket, trousers and oxford with elevated heel to match the other heel. Get the picture, I did sound like a old Carnival side show.

He could get the feminine side drunk and take her home to have his way with her, or she with him. Talk about a cheap drunk!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Inspiring days of 'Holy Week"

Our lesson learned this past week is when you pray for something from the heart for long enough it might come to pass. But more important is when you pray don't be specific, just pray; because what you can get is something that you never imagined would happen in a lifetime. We have had reservation about 'holy week' as that was the time when some people really tried to push us into a corner and make us invisible as members of our church, so we really haven't been too visible.

Our 'Holy Week' began with us being part of a information training panel that was to create 'safe spaces' for lgbt student on campus. As leaders of the local chapter of PFLAG, we were just one of the many groups who explained their purpose for protecting and supporting gay and lesbian students.

As I am the strong voice in the choir, we are a integral part of the whole thursday service with the foot washing ritual. So I was a little surprised when our Vicar specifically asked to wash my feet and say that she wanted to talk to me after service. It has become part of the service for the choir director and I to sing this duet from John Stainer's composition, "The Crucifixion" and he was in such good voice this week it was a powerful experience for me.

On Friday Kay and I were scheduled to speak to a graduate level class for Sociology, which by class time had been combined with another class so instead of 25, there were now about 45 student in the room. It was suppose to be a 'smart' classroom with all the electronic goodies, which failed to work, but we dove into the class discussion despite the technical problems.

We had mentioned to my daughter that we would be speaking to this class and because her degree is in Sociology, she was interested in hearing us. She was a few minutes late and so she sat in the back next to the professor who knew she wasn't one of his students and encouraged her to join us at the front. As we have talked to several college classes before, our lecture topics has become refined, but as the questions differ we jump around some issues and experiences, which we don't mean to do, but there is a time constraint and we encourage question and hope we answer. But having my daughter there, she was able to give her perspective on how she dealt and felt about my transitioning. That class got big bonus points listening to a child, a daughter and her anger and thoughts on before and now several year later, having the change to internalize her emotions and feelings about the family, her father and person she now calls Sarah.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Getting the Message

The PFLAG group of Valdosta have been on the march to find ways to get the good word about PFLAG and how it can help those who are having difficulties. So we were surprised to learn that the PFLAG chapter of Tallahassee has posted several videos which everyone can use and learn from. Thank you Susan Gage and Tallahassee chargin PFLAG; well done, good and faithful servant, well done.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Crew

Referring to the previous post, we had a great time with the grandkids Nick and James at you know where in Florida. We had 4 day tickets to be used within 13 days, probably will not be able to get back down to use again. But we are gonna try.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Life's Box of Chocolates Pushed Buttons

Sometimes our lives is like a box of chocolates, we never know what the coming week will show us until we tuck ourselves into our own beds on Saturday night. And this week has been a doosey of a week, if you haven't read about our two day of adventures with our grandkids at Universal. They were truly delightful for the both of us. Not counting losing our car for a little while on Wednesday evening and Kay's run-in with a parking spot stealer as we drove back on Thursday.

On Friday we were off to Thomasville, two towns west of us for a Convention of Church Women for Southern Georgia. As Kay was the coordinator between a certain church and the rest of the Diocese, she didn't not get the help that she expected and wound up doing most of the leg work, with getting room at a local hotel and what the church said they would do. Registration was suppose to close two weeks ago and surprising no one from the sponsoring church had registered for the convention. I was given a list of registered women and made and printed name tags, and sent out invitation for members of the board and past presidents for their luncheon. So it was no surprise that several women were at the meeting, without paying and not officially registered. We just wish that they had taken the time to actually register. So luckily I had printed several blank name tags which we had to use by the end of Friday's registration.

Just before we broke for the final service, a woman approached me and re-introduced herself to me as she recognized me from an Integrity Meeting 5 years ago (Integrity is the LGBT group for the Episcopal Church). She broke into a warm smile as she told me how she recognized me from so many years ago; and how she is so pleased to see me so active with church functions. She remembers that I was still cautious and beginning to believe in myself at that meeting those many years ago and was thrilled to see just how far I had come.

The Church we were meeting is a holdover of the Anglican style service of 1928 prayerbook and practice. The practice of not recognizing the role of women, keeping and continuing the practice of the alter against the back wall, making the Celebrant stand with his back to the members of the congregation; and certainly not considering LGBT members. With the new Bishop, he has allow this church to continue but he was certainly pushing all the buttons for the service today. His assistant on the alter was a woman, the Deacon was a woman, and to push harder I was asked to read the Old Testament Scripture. Me an out lesbian and trans woman standing before the lectern and the gathering of Church woman reading scripture in a church who's philosophy still holds on the Patriarchal way of dominance of his Church, (only 2 of these church's remains in the Diocese).

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Policeman on a Bicycle

What I was thinking was that it was an odd coincidence that just after Kay had spit the deed, who should arrive but a policeman on a bicycle. I was trying to get her excited about him but she was too tickled and he rode on toward another parking lot. So there was never in any chance of being ticketed.

Just saying! I never knew that she could spit like that. Maybe I should sign up for a seed spittin contest this year.

Father Forgive Her Because She Knew EXACTLY What She Was Doing

As Sarah has posted previously, we had a wonderful time with grand kids for the past two days. The first day was spent in Islands of Adventure and the second in Universal Studios. Dad, boys and Sarah liked the rides. Colleen, Trinity and I liked the shows, the slower moving things (not so much up and down, round and round) and play areas for Trinity. We had time just talk and meander. It was good time.

It is about 3.5 hour drive down to Orlando from where we live. Add that to two days in amusement parks with ladies of ummmmmmmm a certain age and you have a little fatigue going on. Also, added to the mix was the coordinating a ladies church meeting that I had not planned to do got dumped on me and they had been calling and irritating me while I was on vacation. All was good UNTIL..........we started to the music store just before we left to pick up a keyboard we had purchased. I was driving. As usual, Sarah starts telling me how to drive and where to go. Most days I would just ignore her but ................well today the fatigue kinda clouded my mind so I "stop telling me what to do!" She didn't. So things were a little tense for a few minutes. We both know this is just the difference in our personalities so we got back our more pleasant moods, got the keyboard and got on the road.

Sarah wanted to stop in Gainesville at the VA Hospital because they have ordered new hearing aids for her (I am so happy because she really has some deafness). So I turn off the correct exit and drive to the VA Hospital. The parking lot is full!! We are driving around and see a car pulling out of a parking space. I put my blinkers on and wait for the man to back out the parking place. A car comes from behind me, starts to go around as the man is backing out of his place. I thought the guy pulling around us was in a hurry. He was!! He was in a hurry to get the parking space I was waiting for! Well, that just pissed me off! I didn't stop and yell at him because there are so many crazy, mean people in the world today and losing my life over a parking place is not the way I want to go out. I just ranted and raved about "white male privilege" as we walked into the hospital. I was REALLY irritated now.

Sarah was able to only schedule an appointment to get her hearing aids so we were in and out of the hospital in 5 minutes. As we walked out into the parking lot, I was pretty sure the parking space stealing guy's car was still going to be in the parking lot. A lot of options went through my mind about what I could do to get him back. No, I was not going to damage his car but...........if I could just think of something. I looked around for some boards that I could put behind his tires so he couldn't back up easily but, of course, there are no boards. Then a solution came into my mind. I began preparing. Just as we got to the back of the guys car, I had worked up a really big mouth full of spit. I spit at his car. I really didn't think it would actually hit his car BUT..............not only did the spit hit his car but it hit in EXACTLY the middle of his back window.............he was going to have to look through my spit to get out of his parking place!

Sarah was HORRIFIED. She looked back and said, "there is a cop on a bicycle that just pulled out as you did that." I said I didn't care. Sarah says, "what will you do if he comes and says something to you?" The ridiculousness of the situation was beginning to get to me. I began laughing. I mean really belly laughing! I said, "I will tell the policeman that I sneezed." Sarah just looked more horrified.

Sarah decides that it is her turn to drive now. We get in the car and decide where we are going to eat. As we are driving along, the ridiculousness of what I had done really gets me to laughing again. Sarah is still concerned about the policeman. I can't quit laughing. Finally, Sarah gets tickled. We got to one of our favorite restaurants had a delicious meal. Then went to a little shop, bought our daughter a gift and came home.

Oh, God. I hope that church ladies meeting goes good tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

2nd good day at Park

Had a second great day at Universal Studios with our extended family grandkids. Spent the day at the other side of the park with E.T. and Terminator and Twisters, Oh My!! Watching both boys experience the rides and shows is a treat in itself with their dad. We haven't been at one of these attractions with kids in a long time. Heard some good bands during the day, danced with the kids, did the hand jive song with the band that played the oldies at Mel's Diner. Saw Lucy and Ricky and Marilyn walking down the street, saw Scooby, Curious George and Woody and Dora the Explorer. Saw a lot more people than yesterday as it was sunny.

Ever notice when you are in a large crowd like they have at Universal that the Europeans seem to be more pushy when it comes to lines.

Our grandkids were getting tired so we said goodbye as they left us to have more fun; trouble was we were about done ourselves as so we stopped and ate a cinnamon bun as our final treat to ourselves and headed back to the hotel. Trouble again, we almost forgot where we parked the car and spent 20 looking for it on level 3 when it was on level 2. Thank goodness Kay had the clicker and we could set the horn and lights off and eventually figured out we were in the right section, but one level above the car. And now after today's adventure we are just chillin and tending to our sore bodies.

And it's home tomorrow for a busy weekend; no rest for the weary. But we wouldn't have it any other way after spending time with the grandkids. Thanks daughter and family.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day with the GrandKids

Just spent a wonderful day with the grandchildren at Universal Studios and Harry Potter's World. Just as we parked the car and started for the park, the bottom fell out and there was heavy rain for most of the morning. We finally met up with them at the wand shop and began the day doing everything. Little Trinity was a trooper for the whole day, slept with short naps and was happy and a real good baby. Getting to experience all the rides, shows, the people and watching the boys having fun is the best part of us getting to be the grandparents with them on this trip.

The rides at the park are so much better than in years, (that's many years) past. Galen and I took the boys on Harry's broom ride and on Spiderman's ride. Both were terrific, fast and lots of fun; so much so that I believe I laughed through most of both rides. Oh and the butterbeer, is good too.

Walking around the park for the whole day is not the problem, it's the sitting and then walking some more. We left them eating supper in Dr. Seuss land.

So we are having supper with Laura and her wife in a few minutes and then tomorrow we get to spend the day at the other park.