- no longer bow to the pressures of trying to live up to the unfair expectations of "Merry" this or "Happy" that. If I want to be totally neutral or even mildly dislike the whole damn over-celebrated thing - more power to me!
- never again drink copious amounts of alcohol at high altitude followed the next brain-pounding day by eating a greasy reuben sandwich with a side of fries...
- never again buy flavored tootsie rolls in bulk on the web
- take part in at least one totally new and challenging social activity every month ("socially challenging" for me pretty much includes everything that involves interacting with other humans)
- finally make this the year I get overseas!
Friday, December 30, 2005
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
I experienced just a flash of free-fall sensation until I managed to instinctively wedge my thighs into the sides of the toilet. My bare butt hung a few meager centimeters from the toilet's natural sea-level! I had barely escaped disaster! A split-second of rage ran through me and I cursed all men and their inconsiderate use of common restroom facilities. Afterall, if we women leave the seat down, the worst that happens to men who use the facilities after us is they miss the target and create a mess on said seat that they can pretend they never saw and leave to the next user. When men leave the seat up, women are in constant danger of drowning our bottoms in the bacteria- strewn swill that infects most bathroom fixtures. Yet another subtle form of male-domination?...
But then reason took hold and I remembered all the times in my younger days when my mom or a girlfriend would sternly chastise me for undertaking just such an inconsiderately male action. It's a rather distant memory to be honest (not due strictly to the relative short passage of time, but to my own perception of the distance of my current self from that time), but I seem to recall that when I lived a masculine life, it was rare that I thought of anything beyond my aim and avoiding any golden splash-back shrapnel, followed by a perfunctory flush and handwash afterwards.
Traditionally, the bathroom is a major gender-role divided environment; in some ways how the other gender inhabits their version of that environment is a dark taboo and I've always wondered why. They certainly seemed to be ok with a blending of those worlds in "Ally McBeal", didn't they? Hahaha - I promise - that will be the very last reference to that awful show you will ever see emerge from my fingers or mouth!
Until next time gentle reader, keep your fanny warm and dry and aware of its surroundings at all times before you take that toilet plunge!
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
We all know GW and most of the conservatives don't give a flying fuck about this planet we live on, right? To them it's only a cauldron of sin and a fleeting and soon to be destroyed, god-imposed limbo. These wackos believe the "2nd coming" is right around the bend and some of them are even doing everything in their power to hasten its arrival!
Besides pushing the Israelis to take a hard line against allowing any sort of Palestinian state, and dismantling most of our system of checks and balances as well as the foundations of American civil liberties (besides those that protect gun and property owners), they are also working hard to divvy up and consume the last remnants of natural resources left in the world.
Fact: "In the first quarter [of 2005] alone, the four biggest companies--ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch/Shell, BP, and Chevron-Texaco--earned $97 billion in profits combined. Yet the House rewarded energy companies with at least $12 billion in tax breaks and subsidies."
[the nature of the Energy bill, still not passed, may have changed since I wrote this draft]. In addition to the blatant money issue, the Republican-controlled Congress is also pushing through a new Energy bill in Congress. Among a long list of things this atrocity of a bill does (see article link at top) to gut existing environmental regulations, here are just a couple of the biggest doosies:
- allows corporations drilling for oil on public land to skip paying cash royalties to taxpayers - they get to feed freely and profit at the tit of scarce and fragile publicly owned natural resources.
- allows energy companies to be reimbursed by taxpayers for part of the costs of complying with federal environmental laws
- caps the liability of nuclear energy companies should a major disaster occur. Do ya think this will make them more or less safety-conscious?
- allows energy companies to ignore some parts of the 1969 National environmental Policy Act, which requires environmental impact studies and public comment periods for all major projects on federal land (for example, oil and gas drilling and exploration). In other words, these corporations will be able to go onto some federal areas and start digging and drilling and disposing of waste products, etc. without any oversight or study of the possible impact on the surrounding environment/ecology. Know of any federal lands near you? How about near nearby national parks? The answer for most is probably yes.
The only way, obviously, to put a stop to this gutting of our planet and our collective pocketbooks, is to vote these bozos out of office. Add this to the list of reasons (and arguments used to convince friends) for making sure your vote counts.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
She also, in my mind at least, has achieved some amazing things in her life:
- married for 37 years and maintained, at least from my perspective, a healthy balance between her independence and her dedication to my father
- raised 2 kids, worked part-time and put herself through graduate school (while my dad worked very, very hard to support her and us) in the late 70's all at the same time (she has a Master's in Biochemistry)
- despite almost dying as a child and as a young mother losing a kidney, she still works out on a regular basis and keeps herself in top shape
- working in conjunction with my dad, instilled her 2 children with a sense of wonder at the world, open-mindedness, and with a workable set of organized-religion-free ethics that has enabled both of us to find our own way in the world.
For these things and much, much more I am eternally grateful that she (and my dad) is in my life, although I must admit to having some silly, vestigial (and I think quickly fading) "male" misgivings about actually telling her all this...
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
-from Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, signed at Tripoli November 4, 1796 and ratified without debate by the U.S. Senate June 10, 1797.
Full treaty text: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/diplomacy/barbary/bar1796t.htm#art11
The authorship of this text is often ascribed to either George Washington or John Adams by history, law or philosophy scholars. Example and bibliography: http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/quotes_founders.html
Read a concise, masterful dissection of this debate and the place of this document in it in the December 2005 issue of Mother Jones:
Finally, in the holiday spirit, think about buying a super-bargain ($10!!!) subscription to this awesome publication for a friend or family member (disclaimer: I have no ties whatsoever, financial or otherwise - except as a loyal subscriber - to Mother Jones): http://www.motherjones.com/subscribe/
May truth find you ever hungry for more,
Sunday, November 27, 2005
In that spirit, I pose a (rather lengthy - sorry!) philosophical question for whoever out there might like to discuss/comment:
As I (and I imagine each of us) deal with my own personal version of trangenderism in my own way, is it possible to peacefully mix past and present? In my case, I am struggling with what parts of my old self to discard or place distance between, and what parts to hold onto. I mostly have made choices so far by instinct; by what feels right and what doesn't, but I am unsure if those judgments have been tainted by my desire to fit in more - to be more of what is stereotypically considered a woman.
I do find the idea of severing many of the ties to my male past appealing; enabling me to more cleanly create myself anew and escape the labels of gender bigots. On the other hand, I don't want to act or think a certain way simply because of a desire to more closely adhere to some archaic set of socially conditioned beliefs about gender roles. I find these choices facing me every day - many are no brainers, but others pose murkier conundrums.
As a lesser example, I have been thinking lately about my relationship to sports. It's self-evident to me that for some sports that I did previously maintain some lesser interest in (golf, basketball, hockey), I no longer feel that interest. For others (baseball and football primarily), the (often testosterone-based) pleasure I gain from them is still strong. What I wonder mostly is if over time even my interest in baseball and football will fade, and if so whether this is a choice that is pure reason-based or influenced by hormones and or pervasive gender role stereotypes. And in the end if I do shed most of these past enjoyments, will there still be a kernel left over of the person that started this journey?
I am, of course, a strong proponent of free thought and making decisions as distanced from social pressures and fears as possible. So I find myself brought back to relying on instinct and an examination of my feelings when partaking and having no clearer understanding of why I make some of my choices. I realize much of this is pure speculative and unproductive overthinking, however, anyone have thoughts they want to share on this?
Friday, November 25, 2005
Time for a Whitley CD jam session tonight...
Peace and harmony,
Thursday, November 24, 2005
2. You cannot attend a "town hall" meeting with our democratically elected president if you hold a belief that is opposed to any held by that man's administration:
...and the reason that the majority of we ordinary citizens will never have a chance to meet our democratically elected national representative is that he refuses to let anyone with an open mind or a dissenting view within about 37,000 feet of his "royal" presence...
What's next - must all drop to their knees, head to the ground whenever this emperor's motorcade passes by or when Air Force One passes overhead?
But complaining about these abuses of power will not resolve them - instead we must engage our neighbors, co-workers and family members in civil, informed discussions of these issues and promote the basic need of any democracy - open government by and for the people. We must write letters to our local political and religious representatives and letters to the editors of local and national news organizations that question the actions of our representatives. We must take to the streets in non-violent protest, despite the fact that the fundamental freedom to gather and address grievances to our government has been strictly curtailed by that same government...
All hail King George! Seriously, our government is looking more and more like a haughty monarchy ruling over the cowering peasant masses every day. Their most powerful weapon in this power struggle - religion.
Same way the kings and emperors of old used religion, piety and ignorance to instill fealty in their overworked and underpaid countrymen: playing to their dual fears of being ostracized socially and financially, of being labeled a heretic, heathen, socialist, terrorist, atheist, liberal - take your pick.
Future generations will come to their senses though, and perhaps look upon this period in history as the "Second Dark Age" - even though it must be pointed out that in many, many aspects (excepting the parallel climates of heightened fear, religious radicalism and death in religion's name) neither this nor the first dark age were universally dark... :-)
ps: happy turkey day - go Cowboys!!!
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
The battle: gentle, sensuous, slow, intimate and sweet vs. rough [and no I don't (necessarily) mean physical harm as much as driven by a powerful, often intense but short-lived lust], impersonal but passionate, needy, kinky, hormonal and guttural. The rub is that what really gets me off emotionally is the former. And this type of sexual contact definitely feeds into pleasurable physical stimuli because the last two times I had an orgasm it was mostly slow and gentle touching that set it off and it didn't involve penetration. Plus these last few instances blew away in intensity and length any orgasm I ever experienced as a boy. But it seems that not having had penetrative sex in a very long time is wearing me down on some level, despite the fact that I can't get a functional erection, do not really like anal and have little if any desire to have random sexual encounters. Still, I sometimes find myself craving a more, how shall I say, experimental? instinctual? animal-like encounter. I just have no idea how that might happen, what form it would take and most importantly for my instant-gratification-addled mind - when!.
Can I remain a neutral, mediating figure in this epic siege for my body and soul? I think so. I certainly hope so. Until then I remain holed up (in self-exile?) in my remote castle, behind thick battlements and with attackers (or suitors?) harrying me from all sides, but stocked and ready for the long haul if that is what is needed to stay alive and win this war of pleasure-attrition.
I just realized in reading what I wrote that I used far too many military analogies for someone who abhors violence. Guess it's my old medieval history background rearing its oft-neglected head. But then again, all life is shackled to the cycles of destruction in order to thrive and procreate and I'm no different in my own way, so fuck it, right?
From the front lines of a for the moment idle battlefield I will bid you, my faithful reader, adieu (wow - I'm laying on the affected 19th century wordiness fucking heavy now! :-)
In peace and pleasure,
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Now, there is certainly nothing wrong with being skeptical - in fact that trait is essential for maintaining a rigorous scientific method able to get at the most plausible explanation of the world around us; the statistically most probable unadorned physical truth given the results of repeated and repeated again objective scientific observation and experimentation. Does that mean that bias does not enter into science? Hell no - just the fact that we're observing something with a purpose or hypothesis in mind changes what is being observed in often unknown ways. It is also basic human nature to apply our own beliefs towards our work ethic. But probable, plausible and physical are the key terms here I think.
Science at its most basic is defined as: "the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding...knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena" [from: Merrian-Webster Online Dictionary]. In other words it is the goal of science to understand the physical processes that make us and the universe around us work. This includes the mental processes that form the structure for our thoughts. It does not generally include ideas based purely on myth, philosophy or religious belief, such as the existence of the soul, life after death, moral systems, etc. (except, I suppose, how physical systems might effect those beliefs).
And hence, that is why I do not think any incarnation of "intelligent design" should be included in the "science" curriculum. Does that mean it should be excluded from education altogether? Not at all. It should be discussed in detail in religion and social studies and perhaps modern history. But intelligent design, at its core is an idea based on a religious belief (that there is an unknowable intelligent agent behind the order-chaos of our 'verse).
But back to the original purpose of this entry: uncovering the seedy side backgrounds and corporate/political/religious associations of the tiny minority of scientists who are the nay-sayers in crucial social debates that have an overwhelming scientific basis and agreement among the vast majority of experts, like evolution, global warming, environmental health, logging and forest stewardship, contraception and reproductive rights and many more. In short - many (not all) of these skeptics have dubious scientific credentials and or close relationships with conservative religious and corporate organizations that are opposed to these scientific findings. There is also usually a compelling financial component; these people are paid well for their services in the art of what I call "bizarro-world scientific method." Here's one recent example in all it's sleaziness:
Finally, if you want to see detailed outlines of specifically how the Bush administration and his conservative-minded scientific hacks have distorted science in the name of capitalism, religion, and or politics, check this out from the prestigious Union of Concerned Scientists:
Specific Examples of the Abuse of Science:
Now go enlighten yourself and then your neighbors and colleagues about this stuff!
Hopefully in truth and peace,
Friday, November 11, 2005
- I wanted to do it for various, and I would assume typical in this situation, reasons. Not least among them being the wad of cash being thrown my way to do it.
- Hey - I missed the first 30 years of being a girl and most of the rites of female passage and so while my relative youth and decent looks still allows, I decided to revel briefly in my femininity.
- I was also interested in the adventure of it; 0f testing my sexual limitations and exploring a realm for which I only have a very, very distant and thin, theoretical understanding. Although to be honest, the porn adventure, while certainly for the most part fun and exciting, didn't really give me much insight into the "industry" and thats fine with me.
- Jon, the photographer and site owner, is an awesome person and a total professional and made me feel totally at ease prior to and while doing the shoot. Plus I got to tour a bit of Boston and check out legendary clubs Jacques and Manray.
- I'm still trying to figure out my sexuality (just a friendly reminder - gender and sexuality are completely separate issues) and so exposing myself and using a large dildo on myself on camera (that happened to have a heavy real doll attached to it..lol) was not a big deal. My face is already plastered all over the net, so a couple more, just more revealing, images, doesn't make a difference to me.
- As you might have surmised from the general tone of my blog, I am anti-authoritarian. My natural instinct; my default reflex, is to give the bird to any moral convention or social mores that I can (and that I myself am comfortable dissing), primarily just so I can stick it to those that wish to impose their close-minded belief systems on the rest of us.
- This is reaching, I know: diversity and freedom of expression are the core values of any open and free society...
Hmmm...reading back what I just wrote I highly doubt I have assuaged the curiosity, indignation and or consternation of some of my gentle readers regarding pornography, eroticism and my tiny imprint on its vast, mostly underground existence. To be honest, I'm sort of ambivalent about the whole thing; neither elated nor ashamed of the final product. It was a chance at a new experience; a new sensation. And I took it and do not regret it at all.
Monday, November 07, 2005
In response to a question about his administration's drive to stop congress from outlawing torture, "Our country is at war and our government has the obligation to protect the American people," Bush said. "Any activity we conduct is within the law. .." [http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/11/07/bush.torture.ap/index.html]
"God loves you, and I love you. And you can count on both of us as a powerful message that people who wonder about their future can hear."—Los Angeles, Calif., March 3, 2004 [http://www.slate.com/id/76886/]
He thinks he's on a par with his god and he thinks his word is law in wartime (a war that if Bush has his way will never end!)...?
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Monday, October 31, 2005
This is about a 1/3 of the 180 degree view from the hill about 3 miles behind my house that I jog to a few times a week. My house is somewhere amongst the trees at the far, far left. A simple, but sublime sensory experience contemplating that at the brief, pinnacled respite of a hardy run...
Friday, October 28, 2005
Markie has a very cozy, chic apartment, with absolutely the best taste in decor I've seen in a while (for however much that's worth coming from a girl with all garage-sale-quality furniture and wall hangings). Not exactly sure how things got started, but a lethal mix of alcohol, ambiance and tres cool company seemed to have set the flirt level to high. I was probably one of the major instigators in the whole thing (although I point some of the blame to that wild vixen Breanna as well), and I take full responsibility for what I can only imagine was an unexpected but perhaps strangely sensual spectacle looking in from the outside. What can I say? - I was drifting in the go-with-the-flow moment (as were several others I might add). Regardless, from my perspective, a not totally wholesome, but still mostly non-XXX fun time was had by all and at no point did I hear anyone shouting for a stoppage in the action... 'nuff said, ok? Hehe :-)
The next day Meli and I hung out with our gracious hostess Tori and mostly relaxed with a combination of football and comedy channel. That night Markie was DJ'ing an 80's party at another club, this one called Tracks. I liked this club even more and it was big too (almost comparable to Manray [RIP] in Boston) - with a section devoted to poppy music (Markie's 80's party) and the other dedicated to rave/techno stuff.
The 80s side was an in-your-face lesson on 80's kitsch. The walls were adorned with pop band posters like Bon Jovi and Flock of Seagulls (ever hear of Babylon A.D.? Hahaha - I had their CD from years ago via my glam metal days!). In addition there was a big screen that continuously played music and documentary video footage of the king of 80's pop, Michael Jackson. Markie spun some mean tunes and most of the night was spent either on the dancefloor or watching a couple of the more entertaining dance participants (I say that making no judgment of quality except that they brought a smile to my face, since I am quite dance-impaired myself). The place was packed by midnight and the 80's side turned into all dance floor quickly. Towards the end of the night Markie EmC'd a little costume contest. The winner, by a wide margin was a drop-dead look alike of Prince ala his "Purple Rain" era.
Once again closing time arrived too soon and unwelcome. After a quick stop at McDonald's we headed back to Markie's, although the energy level was a lot lower this time (you might be a little tired too after 2 long nights of partying!) and things petered out rather quickly. The rest of my vacation was pure relaxation with the family, which luckily allowed me to mostly recover before the flight back east! Before concluding this epic tale of torrid, tantalizing, titillating, tornado-speed t-girl adventures, I will just mention that, in addition to meeting up with all the awesomely cool girls of Denver, I also met someone with whom I was able to share a little more of myself. That part of the trip is going to remain private (she knows who she is), but I am so glad I went and was able to meet this wonderful person, who I now consider a close friend.
These mile high adventures couldn't have happened without the enthusiasm and organizational skills of three fantastic ladies: Tori, Raven and Markie - you guys fucking rock the Queen City of the Plains and I can't wait to get back out that way and do it all over again (if you'll have me, that is)!
Monday, October 17, 2005
This was to be a major milestone for me from it's very beginning: passing through airport security and flying as a woman. The security thingy was the major concern since as I mentioned in a prior post, I had purchased my ticket under my old name several months ago (at the time I didn't realize how quickly the change over would happen). Luckily, my brand-spanking new driver's license, WITH the sex field clearly marked "F" had arrived in the mail only days before. I had also gotten a new social security card, work ID and credit card (yay for me!). I also brought along my old license and a certified copy of my legal name change order. For this occasion I had donned my new zebra-patterned tunic over my maroon hip-hugger pants, along with my biker boots and a light make-up job. I was fully prepared to parry any bureaucratic, legalistic or chauvanistic attacks the Man could throw at me!
That's certainly not to say I wasn't sweating a bit as I approached the ticket counter to get my boarding pass and check my luggage. After fumbling and mumbling my way to trying to explain my name change to the poor airline person and finally just shoving both my photo ID's into her lap, she gave me my ticket and sent me on my way with no hassle whatsoever. Next was security. Being the quick learner I am, at this point, with ticket already in hand, I decided to take the easy way out and show the guard my old ID. Worked like a charm - no problems! Being so early, it was also dead at the security gate and so I breezed by quickly. Whew!!!
Half a day later, but in human time, only a couple hours later, I arrived in Denver (via Chicago) to see my smiling sister-in-law and her snoozing daughter awaiting me. My huge suitcase (a girl has GOT to have outfit options you know!) even arrived after only about 5 minutes and we set off into the environs of the strange and flat uniformity of residential and strip mall architecture that so dominates the western suburbs of Denver.
On to my niece! What a total sweety, outfitted with an innocent, dimpled smile like her mom and a sometimes blank stare of absent wonderment like her dad when I start talking politics to him. And as would be expected of a two+ month old, she's as light and tiny as a mini-schnauzer-sized, heroin-addicted Lara Flynn Boyle, complete with a wispy mane of rust red hair and a body covered in wrinkles. Needless to say, I fell in love on the spot. I am an aunt! Can't wait to start buying her little outfits. That will have to be later though because through gifts and loans, they already have a full closet's worth. Not gonna bore you with the details on my stay with my family - suffice to say it was thoroughly relaxing and enjoyable and oh so needed! Lots of good eats, home-brewed beer, baseball and discovery channel and a good dose of low-key outdoors as well. My kinda vacation...
This life of ease, however, was scheduled to be interrupted for a couple days over the weekend as Tori and her merry gang of buxom babes was to have a 2 day party and club extravaganza, sort of in my honor I guess, although I get the distinct impression these girls do so on a regular basis with or without me, hehe. Anyways, back to the adventure:
On Friday evening my brother was kind enough to drop me off downtown at Tori and Cassandra's apartment (they are engaged to be married btw - congrats you two!!!) where I could get all vamped up for the evening's festivities. The plan was to have our own "school girls' night" at a club called LaRumba, called LipGloss on Fridays.
So Tori and I donned our plaid skirts and headed over to Markie's place to meet up with the rest of the gang for some pre-club drinks (Cassandra was working but would join us out later). By the way, if you've never had Fat Tire beer - check it out - local microbrew that tastes fantastic. I made Tori stop on the way and picked up a twelver and a small bottle of vodka for Markie. A few beers later (mixed drinks for everyone else) and a few girls larger, we piled into two cars and headed for LaRumba just down the street...
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Monday, October 03, 2005
Talk to y'all late next week! Peace and safe travel to all,
ps: for any cool girls in the Denver area: I'll probably be hitting Lipgloss/LaRumba friday night. Some fun Denver girls I know plan on a "school girls" night out, so it should be fun...
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
In a word: fuck satellite! Can you tell I haven't had a connection in 3 days now and have spent almost 2 hours with very polite and professional technical support personnel in India the past couple days, just so they could finally tell me I had to wait an additional 3-4 days for a service technician company to contact me to look at the dish in person....?
Ahhhhh.....doesn't technology make life soooooo much easier....
As a result of this and my upcoming trip to Denver to visit my newly born niece, postings may be light for a little while.
Truth and tranquility to all!
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
From: The Believer, September 2005, by Jessica Lamb-Shapiro
"We need heart-touching, soul-penetrating stories!: are self-help books moronic and doomed, or can they deliver us to our better selves?"
When asked about his university's decision to build some single person bathrooms to accomodate the transgendered and "otherwise ambiguously self-identified persons",
"a doctoral student at the University of Chicago Divinity School...reports: "The University of Chicago has just supplied us with a number of bathrooms for those 'uncomfortable' about classifying themselves within the hegemonic taxonomies of bourgeois heteronormativity."
[wtf did he just say? lol!]
quote from: First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, May 2005 i153 p67(1).
Monday, September 19, 2005
Ah, but to love is always a choice; the most instinctual choice there ever was.
eat of spitted gender expectations.
chew on the charred flesh of masculinity.
swallow the pride of shallow belonging.
choke on the brittle bones of imbalance.
but we still chase away the ghosts of battle with sad camp songs.
Labels and neatly pressed uniformities still adorn, still leash our budding selves. There can be a sort of peace in little captured vanities, in taking another shallow breath. Salvation only for those who sacrifice of self; can there be an I in the blind bliss of conformity?
And we wonder why we bicker so much harder and higher when the stakes have been pulled and the tents are stowed and the warmth of loosely tethered embers has been doused by the pissings of slovenly drunken louts. It's simple really for all self; no doubt, and endless love for each little moment spent enjoying the always present.
Friday, September 16, 2005
- my name change is official!!! Dana Harmony lives and breathes...
- put in the form to change the name associated with my ss#. Tried to sneak the F gender past the clerk but she caught it and good-naturedly changed it to M for me. Next is the license, which I will definately change the gender on - just got the letter from my therapist in support of it. Hope I can get that crap done before I fly out to Denver to see my brand new niece in a few weeks!
- been presenting as more and more femme at work lately (to go along with the name change). Even wore women's slacks and button blouse the other day with earrings (small ones). Middle of next month is the last big plunge into FT (I need work outfits badly!!)....
Sadly I say goodbye to a relaxing summer season. Wish it lasted a bit longer, but then again we will soon be awash in the awe-inspiring colors of fall...Peace out!
I was wandering a barren, flat, dry, featureless (and orange?) land. I was wearing some kind of form fitting, light blue latex top and a frumpy, long swirly patterned skirt, with bare feet. And my hair was down past my shoulders; sweaty, dark and curly. I remember being unsure what I was doing. I was searching for something, but on the brink of hopelessness because I couldn't figure out what. It was like something important, essential on the very tip of my tongue, but stuck there permanently. Oh ya, and I had some kind of small gun clutched in my hand. But I couldn't stop moving, that I was sure of so, I kept on. Then on the horizon was a sort of oasis, made of thick, tall bamboo trees - smooth, tan trunks and lush green leaves above, and little wooden cabins, most no bigger than an outhouse. In the middle of this was a pool of something, definately not water tho. It had an airy, sparkly, dusty appearance to it.
I reached this oasis almost instantaneously I guess and then started running amongst the trees and cabins. I would grab a tree trunk and swing myself around and around in clumsy figure eights, several times almost bashing myself against a cabin. But then my twirling landed me in front of one cabin, which now was made of blood red mud bricks and a straw roof that looked like shattered bone fragments. So I crept inside on my knees, into the darkness, gun held alertly in front of me. Still nothing, nobody. There were cold, hard but nebulous shapes in there that I could touch, but not understand or get my arms around. And this seemed to go on for a while until I could no longer find my way out; until my knees started to bleed.
I cried in that darkness and contemplated shooting myself but did not know how to work the gun. So I cried some more and the wetness from the tears started to glow on my sleeves. It was weird because the tears were pitch black, but they somehow also glowed. This glowing showed me a small hole just in front of me, no bigger than my fist. My hand slipped easily into it's cold airiness and back again. So I stood shakily and stomped on the edges of that hole frantically. Suddenly I was falling awkwardly. It only lasted a couple seconds, but I screamed mightily, half in fear and half in anger.
I landed hard and into a muddy substance, exhausted and unable or perhaps unwilling to move. I remember not caring and even thinking for a moment that it was a dream. But then something grabbed me and pulled me down. It was a delicate, ivory hand. And when I emerged (not rightside up?) the hand was attached to a beautiful girl. She was somewhat tall with soft elven facial features, straight jet black hair and glittering brownish grey eyes. She wore a simple but snug tank top and corduroy jeans. The movements of a graceful gazelle is the best I can describe it as she lifted me out of the muck and set me gently on the shore, all the while staring intently into my eyes. There was also a mischievous twinkle in those eyes and a slight upturn to her small mouth. It was then I noticed that she was bleeding from several deep cuts on her legs, chest and side.
So I reached out to her, to touch these wounds, to try and staunch the bleeding. And all this time I was sobbing uncontrollably, my tears still black. It was then that she reached out and held my chin in her hands for a moment and lowered her face to mine. We kissed for what seemed like forever and all my sadness flooded out, replaced by an overwhelming sense of relief and joy and, to be honest, horniness. So we mingled our bodies, our blood, our tears, and our clothes seemed to melt away between us almost as if they were never there. Suddenly we were both knee deep in the pool in the middle of the oasis. I remember looking up and seeing the gentle swaying of the bamboo trees above us; backdropped against a pure blue sky and felt our bodies align ourselves to that swaying and my desire for sex was forgotten. The chaff we were wading in felt like pillowy moon dust. We eased ourselves horizontally into this pool, all the while never letting go of each other, and cuddled, on the brink of falling asleep. The last thing I remember is trying to speak, to ask her name, and not being able to find the words, but knowing that was ok...
Thursday, September 15, 2005
But I do know it is hard, especially for older generations, to accept change or to free themselves from the social fears of being seen as different, since in times past to be different was to be automatically ostracized and isolated by a close-knit local community. Unlike so many other girls like myself, I know I have been truly blessed to have understanding and love-me-no-matter-what parents. However, the pervasiveness of this reality for all of us hit me in the face about a week ago when I was out at a restaurant with my parents and grandmother (on my mom's birthday no less) and an acquaintance of my dad, a bigwig in the community I guess, stopped by our table. My dad then proceeded to identify his "wife," "mother-in-law" and then just froze and didn't identify my relation to him; just said, "and this is...Dana." I was silently crushed for a while by that probably instinctual reaction on his part, especially since for the most part he has been more open and loving with me since I have been "Dana" around him. And perhaps that episode played a small part in my recent mild depression, I don't know. Upon reflection though, I think he probably regretted it and it was an involuntary reaction on his part; a socially conditioned defense mechanism.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that each parent of children like us (or for that matter any child unjustly deemed as "abnormal'' by the community) must come to grips with these things in their own terms; on their own timetable. In general, they have more deeply ingrained social conditionings to deal with than we of the younger generations. While events do sometimes require us to forcibly bring these issues to the surface of a smothering environment of denial, in the long run I believe the best strategy may be to meet that resistance with patient, steady, firm, positive, and personal love in return. Some may consider that idea utopian or naive, I know, but I believe that may be the only way to truly fight against the insidious power of social conformity and bigotry that we're all, unfortunately, born into...
Sunday, September 11, 2005
I haven't been sleeping well at all lately for various reasons, so when I got home around 2 am I smoked a bowl and played a little solo pool and then watched Matrix Reloaded. Didn't get to sleep until about 5am....
Luckily, I didn't have anywhere to be on Sat. so I had a rare morning where I slept in; until 10:30! Anyways, on Friday I had e-mailed my friend Kelly, who I knew had at least heard of them, about one of my fav bands coming to town, Clutch. She was hesitant at first, but I convinced her to come out with me and so we met down in Clifton Park and headed over to the show. I put together a simple, unassuming, but punk-ish ensemble; jeans and a sleeveless white top and my biker boots. The place, Saratoga Winners, which is basically just a glorified barn, was fairly crowded but most people were hanging by the bar in the back so Kelly and I went up front so we could watch. A live show is sooo much more enjoyable to me when I can see the bands playing up close and so this show ended up being awesome - we were about 10-15 feet from the stage...
Opening for Clutch was a three piece instrumental band from Philly called Stinking Lizaveta. The guitarist looked like a shirtless and very hairy Charles Manson and the drummer was a really cute girl. They freakin rocked! All great musicians with great grooves and riffs. I was tempted to buy their CD but really wanted a cute brown Clutch T they had there and didn't have enough $ for both.
Anyways, Clutch came on for 2 full sets and as always (this was my 4th time seeing them) they were fucking awesome; crisp, groovy, heavy...The only bad thing was, since they played 2 sets, they didn't do an encore (nor did they do Kelly's fav song, "Careful with that Mic"). Oh well, still kicked ass.
After the show Kelly and I headed down to Albany, to Waterworks, a semi-gay dance club; in reality the only decent club in the city. There was a good crowd there and we danced for a while and then played a couple games of pool. Got home about 4 am...
Damn, recounting all that has made me tired...late nights have caught up; bye for now!
Friday, September 02, 2005
- View the Bush admin's effort to gut the United Nations and stomp on most international treaties:
- How Bush slashed the New Orleans Corp of Engineers budget by 44% and is indirectly responsible for the extent of devastation there now:
- An assessment of prospects in Iraq and the sham constitutional process:
Get informed people and then inform your neighbor and then vote accordingly - it may be the only way to save our nation from going the way of the Roman Empire...
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
- Dresden Dolls
- Spoon - Gimme Fiction
- Clutch - Blast Tyrant
- Fugazi - In on the Kill Taker
- The Decemberists - Picaresque
Friday, August 19, 2005
grasp at emotion with a flair for dead-pan, can-do derring do
this right-spinning spinal drain; taxing the constitution
so we run in wrong-handed circle jerk mood swings
drawn and quartered in an arc of angels and wet dreams
sotted and soiled in the sweat of others' angers
fuck! people suck, rape and pillage all
for black-gold tears of senseless self-absorption
sop the last muther-fucking croc-droplet, consume it
the well is being stingy with her juices
in these danse macabre-drenched days
Attended a peace vigil and then dropped $35+ on a tank of gas the other day and so I wrote this little ode to King George and his Knights of the Square-Peg-in-a-Round Hole Table, and their quest for oil-world dominance...
Monday, August 15, 2005
I'm now an aunt (Sierra Grace is the beauty's name); been to Montreal with my double-A homey-beotches, Angela and Antonia; told my grandmother about transitioning (now everyone in my life knows!); survived a battery of surprisingly insightful boy-girl questions and demands for piggy-back rides from my visiting pre-teen young cousins; and put in my petition for a name change.
I'm a bit discombobulated 'cause things seem to be looking up and down and sideways all at the same time...
Friday, August 05, 2005
no offense m'friend, but if your attitude is "just sit back and abide" then you're no more free than the Iraqis were under Saddam. To not question the actions of OUR elected government, especially when they increasingly surround their actions and policies in a cloak of secrecy and "national security," is to allow the ruination of our free and open way of life. Hopefully one day you and other good hearted citizens out there will wake up and realize that such a hands-off philosophy is little more than building a jail for yourself to live in, and in the end being a self-centered slave to authority and fear. Authority is, by it's very nature, anti-freedom.
I'm not suggesting chaos - I believe in the rule of law - but only when strongly checked by underlying and unmovable freedoms and protections for ALL individuals and groups and freedom of expression and ideas. Our ancestors (and also our current soldiers) fought and died for these freedoms. If we choose safety at the expense of freedom (and there can never be absolute safety if we are to enjoy any modicum of freedom), we are belittling the unlimate sacrifice our fellow citizens have and continue to make for us.
Do you really think that, no matter how much money we spend, we will ever be able to prevent all acts of terrorism? The idea that these terrorists simplisticly "hate America" or "hate freedom" is absolutely absurd. They hate our government and the foreign policy actions of our government. So perhaps we should be examining how as a nation we might treat our fellow humans and nations better rather than viewing everyone as a potential terrorist.
In my view it comes down to the issue of trust. We can live our lives in fear and stress and distrust (and inevitably mass-scale violence and suppression of diversity), or we can open our eyes and live life in peace, always striving for openness, truth, harmony, inclusiveness and a shared humanity, and with a basic trust in the goodness of the majority of our fellow homo sapiens. And in the end, it's up to each individual to make their own choice in this. Regardless of anyone else, I choose freedom, truth, trust, peace and harmony...
1. If you live in northern NY you have probably heard about the constant roadside checkpoints the state police have set up on the northway about an hour south of the Canadian border (despite the fact that such checkpoints are illegal - I think they get around this by shutting then down briefly on occasion). Evidently, we are fast approaching a time when you will need all your identification documents just to travel within your own country. This Chinese born citizen and his wife, both legally in and working in the US were just making a trip up to Plattsburgh. However, they were stopped by the checkpoint and not allowed to pass because they did not have all their papers with them. So they were forced to go back home, get their papers and return. And this was all to travel within the same damn state!
2. An african born naturalized citizen and his wife (who is a legal alien) were travelling to Canada so he could present a research paper at a conference. At the border, they were stopped and poked and prodded and they simply would not let this guy's wife over the border, despite the fact that she had all her papers with her. Now I'm not sure what the rules are for legal aliens as far as travel, but this guy had to drive all the way back home, drop off his wife and then go back!
Police states are not only ruled by violence and suppression of dissent, but by fear and fanatical patriotism (or more accurately, nationalism). Which then leads to the subtle erosion of civil liberties and privacy and the loss of a presumption of citizen innocence. Here are some news items to illustrate these points:
- Police handcuff unruly kindergartner (11 year old girl) in the classroom! http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/08/04/handcuffed.girl.ap/index.html
- 11 year old girl prosecuted for defending herself against unruly boys: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4689459.stm
- Law Enforecement agencies spying on innocent civilians: http://www.projectcensored.org/publications/2005/16.html
- Torturing of US citizens and the abuse of "national security": http://babelogue.citypages.com:8080/ecassel/2005/03/14
- CA National Guard spies on peace protesters: http://progressive.org/?q=mag_mc070905&PHPSESSID=07e26fe22544eef9b11bb741e1ea88da
- Public fenced out of public spaces: http://babelogue.citypages.com:8080/ecassel/2005/07/04
- US Military to increase domestic surveillance: http://www.christiansciencemonitor.com/2005/0804/dailyUpdate.html
- Secret jails and renditions: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/08/03/world/main713863.shtml?CMP=OTC-RSSFeed&source=RSS&attr=World_713863
- Beatings and other torture by US gov't personnel: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/080305I.shtml
- Support for open racial profiling is alive and breeding fast: http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=10059
So to sum up: our country is getting more and more f*cked up by the day. We're losing ourselves in fear and are fast slipping into a new, mass-media-controlled form of fascism. 'nuff said? Ok - then write letters to the editors of your fav newspapers or mags, open-mindedly discuss these things in earnest with your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues; compile your own research on this stuff - do something!
b/c any little effort to speak up for all our rights is better than nothing...
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Monday, July 25, 2005
Couple events/milestones worth mentioning (or not):
- Met up with my old softball squad at the usual thursday night after-game meeting place; a small-town drinking hole named "Good Times." And when I say old squad, I don't just mean I no longer play for them - these guys are all old geezers (but very cool, very fun ones) - besides my friend Drew who has me by only a few months in our early 30's, the rest of the team are all in their 50's and above! They knew about my transition, but hadn't seen me yet. So I headed over and met up with them. They bought me drinks, hugged me and were generally super-nice. That felt really, really good! They even tried to get me to play again - evidently my replacement in right-center isn't quite as good a fielder as me...heehee
- My parents, now that they're primarily seeing me as a woman, are coming around with the use of my proper name, pronouns, etc. It will still take time - longer than I would wish for, I know, but they're getting there. But my mom and I got in a little fight yesterday on the beach when she started commenting on the way I dress. She said I didn't dress appropriately for my age - to which I replied: "So fucking what?" So I like short skirts and like to wear a bikini at the beach! No one cares.
- Anyways, my aunt and uncle and their three kids are coming up in a couple weeks and she was worried that my dressing style might put them off a little since they only have known me as a boy. I know she loves me and could see her point to a degree, but we just disagree on this in principle. I took it (albeit I was a bit moody that afternoon) as an affront to my whole being and sense of style (and in effect telling me how I should or should not express myself) that she would criticize me like that. Now feeling self-conscious for no real reason, and after promising I would tone things down when my relatives arrived, I left in a bit of a snit and cried for a while in the car ride home. I know - such a minor thing to get upset about - but at the time (I've gotten over it) I took it hard because it was the first time my mom had openly criticized me like that.
I will keep trying to put stuff in here, but entries may be a little lighter than usual for the next month or so - lots of things happening! So get out there and enjoy nature and all her sublime diversity!!!
Sunday, July 10, 2005
[massive props to my friend Toni for the loan of the axe!!!]
Friday, July 08, 2005
The final piece of the "climbing-out-of-the-closet" puzzle will come very soon - telling my grandmother. We're moving her into an assisted-living place this weekend as she can't walk anymore and also broke her shoulder. Hopefully, after she's settled in, me and my mom can sit down with her and explain things.
It will be so fucking amazing to dress how and when I want. Of course, I'm still not dressing fully at work until like December (need time to get more laser and work on my figure anyways and I will start mixing in more subtley femme items soon), but in the meantime I can dress freely any other time!
Even though I knew this would happen: the funny thing is I don't feel as much a desire to vamp things up anymore. I guess I've outgrown that stage in my development or something. More and more, I am changing my wardrobe to everyday (but still hopefully cute and sexy) clothes. I will never be a drab dresser, I can assure you of that, but the super-flambouyant, super high-heel, over-the-top look for me is dying a welcome death...
In other news...this past weekend my fave girlfriends Angela and Toni came to visit again. We enjoyed lots of beer, sun, swimming, good food (Toni made her delish eggplant veggie lasagna), jello shots, campfire songs, and even some skinny dipping! The fireworks over Sacandaga Lake near my camp however, sucked. I think because people were saving their big stuff for Monday. I also drunkenly took a hard spill on the shore rocks that night and put a gash on my leg about 8 inches long. But I spent the entire weekend dressed, got a light bikini tan, and my camp neighbors were super supportive when they saw me! Overall - an awesome weekend....
'til next time, keep your eyes thinking and your mind seeing!
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
I’m writing this because my life has undergone some radical and wonderful changes recently that may effect how you and others within the college interact with and view me and I want to make sure these changes go as smoothly for all of us as possible. The goal here is to get this unusual circumstance out of the way so that we can all go back to doing our jobs. I don't want to make a bigger deal of this than is necessary, but I felt the best way to approach it is by being upfront and honest with everyone. What I’m about to tell you is something I hope will not make you uncomfortable in any way or disrupt the working relationships I have with all of you. I consider everyone here a gifted and open-minded colleague and hope you can accept this “new me.” The bottom line is that I am still the same hard working librarian you know, except a lot happier and comfortable with myself. In fact, I feel the most content and confident I have ever felt in my life!
Deep breath…ok…here it is: I am what is commonly termed a "male-to-female transsexual." In other words, I was born into the wrong physical body and it is my intention to correct this and finally bring my physical self into balance with my mental self. This will be done through hormone therapy (which I've already begun) and, eventually, surgery, so that I can express my proper gendered self and live in a way that makes me comfortable.
While this is something I have struggled with my entire life, it was only in the last 2 years that I have been able to come to peaceful terms with it. I have dreamed of being a woman for as long as I can remember, before I even had a name for how I felt or realized there were many others like me out there. However, these feelings were something I learned at an early age were frowned upon and so I fought hard to suppress and keep that part of me far away from others. Needless to say, that path was so pervasively and negatively affecting every part of my personal and professional life that I made the conscious decision a couple years ago to face my fears and embrace this central part of myself. I haven't looked back nor had an ounce of regret since.
Where am I now?
I have essentially been living as a woman most of the time at home for a couple months now. I have been taking hormones to change my physiology for about 6 months and I plan to start living and working 24/7 as a woman by the end of the year.
Believe me when I say I have not taken any of these decisions lightly and have done tons of reading, research and talking to doctors, therapists, and others who have gone through the process; weighing options and paths and considerations about what is possible and what will make me happy. But the truth is that I have never been so sure and confident of my path. And to be honest, it is a necessary step for me. My family and friends all know and support my choice in this and it is my hope you can find it in your heart to do so as well. I am not bringing this issue out into the open looking for pity or anything like that, but I am hoping for tolerance, if not friendly acceptance. If you feel otherwise or are uncomfortable with this I will completely understand and will not blame you for that in any way, but I hope we can continue to work together effectively and harmoniously.
Bathrooms: I'll be using the unisex, single-person bathrooms on the 2nd or 3rd floors exclusively (in fact I have been doing so for the last month or 2)
Name and gender pronouns: I intend to legally change my first name to "Dana" in the next couple months. I know from experience that changing the way you instinctually think about and refer to someone's gender is not easy to do and I assure you I will not be picky or overly sensitive about the use of my new name or gender pronouns. What I do ask is that as the end of the year approaches and I start coming to work as a female, that you make an effort to refer to me as "Dana" and use "she" and "her" when referencing me. Until then, use whatever you're comfortable with, but as the end of the year gets closer (and past), I will gently remind people of my proper gender.
You may have other questions about this and to me that is a good thing. I also know most of you have never encountered anything like this and might not know what to ask in the first place. However, if you have questions, I encourage you to ASK ME ANYTHING anytime – I am happy to answer all questions to the best of my ability, whether in person, e-mail, in private, or in a group setting such as this. I have included below a few links to some web sites that, if you are interested, can give some general insight into what a “transsexual” is and is not, current understandings of causes (which is basically unknown), etc.
So that's it! Again, my main concern here is making this as comfortable and smooth a transition for everyone as possible (including me :-).
For more information:
-coming out of the closet (reasons for it): http://transsexual.org/Out.html
-Primer on Transsexuality (in straightforward language): http://transsexual.org/aprimer.html
Sunday, June 26, 2005
- had my second laser session last wednesday. the effect when these hairs fall out in the next few days will be really good I think - just can't look decent until then...
- one and half weeks until I completely come out at work. my department boss and the college admin already know and are going to help me tell everyone the wednesday after next at a big meeting. i'm putting together an outline of what I'll say along with a letter/FAQ with more details for those interested...last real goal to dressing how and when I want is now telling my grandma...breathe, Dana, breathe....
- been running about 4-5 miles a day (6 days a week) and loving it. i got new running shoes and a sports bra (compliments of a gift certificate from a good friend) that i'm gonna try out next week up at the camp, july 4th weekend.
- with no one around yesterday (saturday) up at the lake, i donned my little bandeau bikini and did some sun bathing and some swimming! it felt awesome to swim in that outfit - way, way, way more comfy that the usual baggy shorts i use.
- my eating habits and barely shrinking beer belly continue to haunt me - wish i didn't love good food so much (and that i wasn't such a damn good cook :-). but i have a purpose, am focused and have no doubt i'll get there, just more slowly than i'd originally hoped!
- night sights behind my place have been spectacular - must be firefly mating season because all the 250+ acres of fields have been lit up with millions and millions of twinkling little faerie lights for the last week or so - a truly awe inspiring thing to see each night before sleep!
- this coming weekend its back up to the lake for fireworks shows over the water and all the usual daytime water activities that i truly enjoy. my fav being a respite from the heat in the form of lounging in an inner tube bobbing gently amongst the undulating waves with a beer in hand...
- think i've come up with my new middle name: Harmony - i've always like that name.
la pace, i miei amici (per favore scusarme per macellare la lingua!)
Saturday, June 25, 2005
The missmanagement of Danamage, Inc. wish to apologize for the aforesaid words. Our editor was otherwise occupied, wink-wink, and steadfastly stuck to a self-imposed strict headline-deadline, so said possible "incitement to riot" rant resulted...A statement has been released to the media stating succinctly that said rant in no way reflects the opinions of the spineless, ethic-challenged officers of Danamage, Inc. No really! We mean it. Just because we're heartless corporate managers armed to the teeth with multi-million dollar homes, good 'ol boy ivy league legal educations and bottles of expensive single malt scotch hidden in our otherwise empty desks doesn't mean we don't care...
i think I figured something out just now shooting pool - in trying to understand my sexuality I was foolishly trying to fit my rotund self into a square social peghole. "Do I like women? Do I like men?" I had been wracking my brain and succumbing to shallow outside pressures attempting to define myself using a limited vocabulary (as all vocabularies that are defined are). 'Gender is totally separate from sex, remember dummy?' I said to myself when that dim bulb sparked in my brainpan as I banked the six ball in the left side pocket. I know it's impossible to remove gender considerations entirely from the equation, believe me - it's like trying to imagine a society without money - idyllic perhaps, but unknowable!.
So I think closer to the smaller things that matter to me; the way someone's electrons dance around their proton-soul and my impression of the inner-balance of aggression/ambition/directed energy against patience/empathy/conservation of energy. One or the other one way or the other doesn't matter but together I weigh, I choose.
I find myself drawn, conceding that we are sometimes forced to use incomplete definitions, more towards a feminine mate. Biological gender aside - I want someone who I instinctually sense as a woman by current collective american ideals, but with some buried tint of machismo in there. Male or female parts don't matter, but I suppose a more masculine girl or a more feminine man might be a base to build on. Or is this simply a reflection of who I want to be and not necessarily who I want to be with?
hahahahahahaha! I'm no closer to my prey than before...
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Don't let these fake-patriotic conservative republican maneuvers come to pass!
Go out onto your own yard this July 4th and declare to all that fear will never conquer us and that patriotism is having the will to do whatever it takes to maintain the freedoms and equality for ALL that are the essential core ingredients to our democracy!!!
To ban ANY expressions of freedom or protest (as long as those expressions do not harm anyone) is to abandon those core beliefs and is the very definition of unpatriotic...
[to read more about this isue and proposed legislation: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/062305F.shtml and http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/06/22/congress.flagburning.ap/index.html]
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
in a billowy sheen of white burst-blinks
flash floods and thunder crash in on the counties to my north
just beyond the hilltop horizon
but here only crickets and an occasional bird song
along with the spectacular light show, of course
i giggle like the amused, amazed child i am in this moment
eyes open for a blink into the essence of truth
a few tics of time that will last an eternity
as electro-embedded pathway-memories
a labyrinth of perception and ego-awarelessness
this is the moment, this is the now
all in endless loops of discovery
the only goal to giggle again
when the next clash of nature
and perception arrive
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Anyways, my brother had already told me he had shared my dressing issues with a couple of his friends when they asked about my appearance the last time I saw them around x-mas, which I was totally cool with and my brother said there were no problems there. As we were playing golf (and I was playing horribly btw - I may just give that sport up!), playing with the two guys that knew about my dressing and another that didn't, I was wracking my brain for how to bring the subject up. Finally, after about 5-6 beers in the searing sun, I came up with a (in retrospect probably foolish, half-assed) plan. In between holes I just blurted out, "Hey - wanna see something weird?" and then I lifted up my Hawaiian shirt and flashed them! Needless to say, they were a bit stunned. The two in the other cart didn't say much, but my cart mate asked me about it and I gave him the 2 minute version of my story and plans, which I hoped he might share with the others if asked. The rest of the weekend went by uneventful except for the tons of food, drinking, swimming, tubing, sun, cards, horseshoes and lounging that typically goes on at our Adirondack lake camp when there are guests.
On a slightly different note, I also met again with the diversity officer at work (a local college) and she told me of her efforts and education since I had shared my plans with her a few weeks ago. Things are looking awesome on that front, albeit, they will be happening faster than I first anticipated. She assured me that she had spoken to the college president and senior administration about me and that they were behind me completely and were also going to make an effort to amend college policies to include gender as an explicit legal protection from discrimination (because there is no such protection in NYS law). However, she also confirmed my own research in that there have already been several state agency precedents for gender-expression protection as well as state court interpretations to include gender in the already existing "sexual orientation" protections. I was never that worried about those aspects of things, since I think I'm pretty good at my job and valued there, but it was still good to hear all this.
We also worked out a rough schedule to share things with the wider college. Short version: I'll be having several meetings with my immediate library co-workers, and department and building colleagues in July or August to reveal all. I am still sticking to my plan to start living 24/7 around the start of the new year, but we both felt it would be better to reveal things sooner than that and to give people (and me) time to adjust to, ask questions, and voice concerns about the realities of working together before I start showing up in skirts and heels!
And while the heat and humidity has been very oppressive around here lately and I feel a little stress with changes happening so fast, I still feel all smiley and light and free because everyone so far has been so amazingly awesome and supportive with all this. And most importantly, I am moving closer to realizing the real me! As always, there are still lots of barriers to cross, but every moment I'm getting closer to realizing the biggest goal I have ever had in my life - and enjoying the ride as well...