Tuesday, April 26, 2005

View from my backyard at sunrise... Posted by Hello

a little poem

My friend Jenny inspired me to (re)write this poem today (thanks babe!):

Backyard Dog Walker

armor-clad armies of cumbrous clouds

march across a horizon-hugging slice of sky
in gentle waves of military drill precision

I find peace in the soft-spoken spectacle
speed kills
I slow our breathy pace

count the sad stars

as they gaze down from atop
my fallow farm field of view

breath deep
continue on in this quest
of infinite wispy wonderment
and earthy urinal easements

Sunday, April 24, 2005

thoughts on doubt and regret

[this is a response I sent to a new online friend who is struggling with the meaning of her dressing desires and the decision to transition or not]

Just finished reading through your e-mail - thanks for sharing! I know it's not easy doing so; letting your guard down a bit. But none of us should have to go through these things alone and in a vacuum. While we all do have to make our own choices regarding our gender selves, that doesn't mean we can't share experiences so as to make better informed decisions. And I just realized today how much it has helped me clear some things in my own mind in chatting with you and sharing ideas and feelings. So thanks!

Anyways, as to what you talk and ask about (warning - my responses are long and opinionated and just that - my own opinions...lol!):

First the pics look great! Hon, believe me when I say you have nothing to worry about in the body department. I would kill to be as thin as you! And the make up and achieving a more natural look can only come with time - with experimenting with makeup and observing how other women do it and choosing your own look. Plus confidence, confidence, confidence!!! - nothing is better at projecting a femme look than being confident in yourself when dressed.

The bottom line is that all TS's, even the ones that transitioned before puberty, still get read sometimes. So what? You are on the right track in starting to not care about that. To me, when we worry and fret over how others perceive us, other people are more apt to sense that fear and to react accordingly. I have found that when I'm at my most confident mentally (in this respect, it matters little what I look like from a gender perspective as long as it looks like I am comfortable with myself), that is when people are able to look past how I look and get to see a glimpse of the real me and realize I'm a person with feelings and cares, joys and sorrows, just like them.

Stop looking to the past with regret about decisions made or not made - that path leads to depression (believe me when I say I've been down that road!), guaranteed - and that will only be an obstacle to getting what you desire. Some of us acted like girls when we were young, some of us didn't - we all expressed ourselves differently growing up - the important part is how you feel and express yourself today!

As far as the hormones and the decision to transition - that is something you need to decide for yourself. No one else can tell you how to live your life, period. If you're not fully confident that it's what you want, my advice is to keep searching, digging deeper until you do find what you want (just remember that while searching for this answer you can have fun and enjoy life along the way!); seek what will bring you happiness and peace in the here and now.

But also know that coming to terms with transitioning or not is not a panacea - it will most definitely not make all problems go away - people without this issue to deal with still have plenty of their own problems, right? - and it may create some new ones. Having the desire to dress in no way means you must or even should transition - they are 2 different things and we of the transgendered realms find happiness all along the continuum from admirer to occasional dresser to she-male to full blown transition. To me, the important part is that where we are in any moment is our own choice and not what we think others would want for us, etc.

Anyways, as you can see, I may have needed to vent a little and perhaps reinforce some of my own beliefs (venting in a self-reflective, inquisitive and positive way is good in my book!!!). Hope this helps just a little - and as always - feel free to ask me anything.



[ps: I owe a ton, as always, for some of the ideas above, to the acceptance, sage advice and positive outlook on life of my good friend Drew]

Friday, April 22, 2005

Hate Monger Watch List #1: Ann Coulter

There are certainly a whole bevy of people out there doing their best to spread the word of hate and bigotry. In today's current political climate, this movement of hate seems to be gathering both power and influence. This hopefully regular entry will highlight some of our contemporary "avatars of antipathy."

And of course, such a list wouldn't have any meaning without including at its very top, the current diva of derision and anti-diversty herself, Ann Coulter. This right-wing pundit/pseudo-celebrity/100% wacko has managed to finagle her way to popularity by deriding and demeaning every minority, religion (excepting the christians) and progressive or non-conservative movement out there. She even appears on the cover of the most recent issue of Time! She is the darling of the christian conservatives and has written many best-selling books and has a couple regular columns.

You can read some of her best literary and oral gems of bigotry here:

If you have a stronger stomach, you can also read a lot more from and about her, from left, right and center perspectives:

Thursday, April 21, 2005

jiggle, jiggle, little star...

On a pure physical-side vanity note, we have jiggling! Breast development is coming along nicely - I am certainly an AA cup and hopefully fast approaching and soon passing full A on my way to my natural B! It is entirely possible I am miscalculating my size since I'm looking at them from a completely different view (on my own chest!) than what I've been used to. I must get a training bra for jogging and workouts very soon!

And I love my new little jiggly glands! They have attained a relatively high state of sensitivity, but in a good way - I am easily turned on now if someone caresses them or kisses them gently. Of course hard, frantic and pinchy with the touching is never the way to go, regardless of the body part...

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Meika and I at Jacques - ain't she a cutie? Posted by Hello

Beantown - Day 2

I awoke Saturday bright and early at 7:30 am - fresh with almost 4 hours of sleep! Angela was still sound asleep and I let her slumber for a while longer. I needed to be down at Jon's place for our ModelTS photoshoot by 11:30, and Angela was going to tag along so we could get dinner and hit Jacques and then Manray again after that.

For the day, I decided on my cute little turquoise and red spaghetti strap dress - the same one I have on in the top left corner of this blog. Along with it I wore my semi-new brown with turquoise detail heels and my blondish straight wig. Ang settled on jeans and her funky red top and mary jane's. Upon arriving down at Jon and Vicky's and before we proceeded with the shoot, we needed to get my four lingerie outfits (and the best part: I got to keep the outfits!). To that effect Jon, Angela and I drove across town to a large mall and a large Victoria's Secret.

The mall was crowded but we only got one "hey are you a guy?" mini-shout, although I have no idea if he was referring to me or Angela or both of us - probably me since I stuck out a bit more in my flashy dress and high heels! I got plenty of other stares, none of which bothered me in the least - I looked good and was proud of it! In the store, which was indeed very large, we were immediately accosted by several sales women asking if they could help us. During out 30 min. stint in the store I think I was asked if I was finding what I needed more than a dozen times - talk about overkill...

With Jon's sage and experienced advice, I picked out 4 very sexy bra and panty sets (including one super-cute mini-corsellete and matching panty), along with a couple pairs of thigh high stockings to go along. Jon is such a great guy! He even offered to buy Angela the panties she found on sale and wanted. With purchases in hand we headed back to Jon's place to start the shoot. I'm not going to go into the details of the shoot, suffice it to say that you will need to subscribe to the ModelTS site to see the majority of the pics and videos. My shoot should show up on the site in about 3 months (there is a backlog of photo sessions - Jon likes to keep ahead of things). Overall, Jon and I both agreed that the pics looked great. The session was very grueling to say the least! You try posing and looking sexy and staying hard for 4 hours under hot, glaring lights!!!

After the shoot I donned my outfit for the night which consisted of my blue plaid miniskirt and my black satin corset with shoulder straps and garters, along with matching sheer black stockings and my leather boots on top of that. Angela changed into a black skirt and my little black scoop neck tank top. We met up with one of Jon's friends, Greg, a very nice and somewhat shy boy (actually a man - he's in his early thirties) who offered to take us to dinner.

We of course graciously accepted the kind offer and headed out the door into a markedly cooler night (and neither Angela nor myself with a jacket!). We decided on a place about 2 short blocks away, an Italian place I think. However, it was a saturday night in the Theater district and I was dressed a bit whorishly, so we were repelled by the hostess with the threat of a wait of more than an hour, despite the fact that there were open tables we could see out on the floor. Bitch! So we headed back the way we came and returned to our previous night's culinary destination, Deda's! We again had a bottle of very nice shiraz and I indulged in a massive plate of mussels with garlic-sprinkled fries on top. It was very good, although I had no chance of eating it all. After dinner (I had to run back there because I stupidly left my purse..lol), we headed back to Jacques.

It was a typical saturday night - with a show and lots of bachelorette groups on the far side and the regulars and working girls on the front side, where we were. I met a bunch a very nice gentlemen, including a sweet guy named Frank, who kept giving me compliments (between wise-cracks) all night - so I of course took a shining to him! We also met some great girls, including the lovely Barbara Palacious, who I have been a fan of for years, as well as the sexy, energetic and perhaps slighly mad Meika (who I had actually met briefly the night before). Meika is from Mexico originally and is super sexy - she pushed all the right buttons for me and it didn't hurt that she took a liking to me as well and proceeded to tease, kiss and dance/grind into me all night! Frank and Greg and the other boys seemed to like seeing that as well :-0

At the same time, Angela had met and had a long conversation with a cute boy named Andrew she had seen but not talked to the night before (I had gone up to him the night previous and said my friend thought he was cute, but he didn't do anything - shy I guess!). I was so proud of her for coming out of her shell a bit!

Towards midnight, the beautiful Irish goddess Michelle Morgan made an appearance. She speaks with a very, very heavy accent (and has a wonderfully femme voice that makes me very jealous) and I could barely understand a word she was saying, but we decided to head over to Manray together (her and her friend) in my car. Meika with her boi-toy was to meet us there. The ride over this time was far quicker!

This night at Manray was a little different. They had a drag show going on in the room that had goth before, and in the back room they had music and dancing similar to the night previous. Almost immediately on entering, I was surprised by my old drag friend Sasha Renee. She looked fab as always, and she had hooked up with the drag queen from the night previous (Nicole Renee?), who was now in full regalia as well. Unfortunately I didn't get much of a chance to talk or hang out with Sasha as she was watching the drag show and I wanted to dance.

Once again Meika arrived and things became immediately more lively! She dragged me to several different but always prominent dance locations, usually up on a platform of some kind. At one point she effortlessly hopped up on a raised dais but when I attempted to follow I didn't quite make it and had to be helped up clumsily...lol! After about an hour of frenetic, erotic dancing (I think everything Meika does is at a frenetic pace) my feet started hurting so I begged off and went and hung out near the bar with Michelle and her male friend (I forgot his name but he was cute). Angela was doing her usual solo thing - seeing if anyone struck her fancy. Just before closing, Sasha came and grabbed me and told me we had to do some pictures, which we had to do outside because they don't allow pics in the club.

Outside (it was a bit cold, but I was actually not feeling it) we managed to get a few pics in while other club goers looked on, sometimes teasing us or giving us compliments. Unfortunately, when Sasha and Nicole left, I was not able to get back in the club! This asshole manager-type was being a real jerk and being nasty to everyone, even though the guy working at the door wanted to let me back in to find Angela and Michelle! So I had to stand out there for only a few minutes luckily before the crew came out. We stood around a while (Meika was hitting on this cute Russian guy that had his girlfriend standing right next to him!) deciding what to do next. Meika of course wanted to do something else - food or an after-hours show, but she was busy talking to that guy so we headed for the warmth of the car and decided to call it a night. We dropped Michelle and her friend off back at Jacques and went back to the hotel. I was completely exhausted by this time and crashed out after having half a beer and some wheat thins...

That's it! Angela and I headed home the next morning, stopped and had an awesome, but fattening Chinese buffet near where we left her car and then I made it home. It was a fantastic trip - I can't wait to go back....

Monday, April 11, 2005

Beantown roadtrip - day 1

On friday I called in sick, dressed myself conservatively in jeans and a crocheted sweater and headed east to Boston. On the way I picked up the lovely and smart film student Angela. We stayed in a cheap but adequate hotel in Bedford, MA, about 15-20 min. outside the city. Mother earth was also smiling down on us as the weather was perfect for both traveling and for hanging out in an unfamiliar city - nothing but sun and mild temps!

As luck would have it, Angela and I wanted to do a little shopping beforehand and there just happened to be a shopping center right next door to our hotel! With me still dressed and she in drab we hit a mostly old people/tacky clothes store that contained only a few gems and a payless shoe store where each of us found a cheap pair of shoes. We waited out what seemed an inordinate period of time while the saleswoman unsuccessfully tried to fix her register, finally making us pay cash when no fix worked. Then we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the evening.

The plan was to get some dinner, head to Jacques and then possibly Manray after that. While getting ready, however, Jon of URNotAlone.com gave us a call and offered to take us out to dinner and then escort us out to Jacques. We quickly accepted his kind offer and headed downtown. If you've ever driven in Boston before and especially if you were just using a rather vague map to figure out where you were going, you know what inevitably happened to us. We completely passed the proper Turnpike exit and ended up in the Big Dig and then at the airport. Finally, after another frantic call to Jon for some direction as to the proper exit and then passing through way too many toll booths to justify the 4-5 miles we traversed, Angela managed to direct us into the city proper and weave our way down to the Theater District area, where Jacques is located and coincidently where Jon and the famous Vicky live as well.

For the night I was dressed in my maroon pleather pants and black sleeveless top with red and white flowers, along with my trusty black leather boots. Angela had decided on a black mini, a bell sleeve black and red goth top (which actually is mine, but she looked great in it) and her newly puchased little black mary jane's. We arrived at Jon and Vicky's very spacious and fashionable condo around 8:30 and quickly headed out to the restaurant. Coming along with us were a couple of Jon's very cool ts friends, the raven-haired Sara and the dirty blonde maned Sylvia. The restaurant, Deda's, which Jon frequents regularly, was only a half a block from the house and is tg friendly with an appealing mixture of post-modern and 30's style decor. It sits on the edge of the Theater district and is a bit of a culinary secret and so was not overly crowded. In between conversations about corvettes, lesbian bars and boob jobs (I couldn't help but admire Sara's nicely done work as she sat next to me too :-), we polished off a couple bottles of shiraz along with a fantastic meal. I had a very tasty and garlic-laden Ravioli dish with lobster pieces, and a couple bacon-wrapped scallops.

Next was the historic and famous Jacques! As is usually the case, it was smaller than I had imagined it, but that didn't take away from its charm one bit! Despite hearing more than a few negative reviews of the place from other girls, Jacques was very friendly and fun. There was a pageant going on on the far side of the club, but as we were hanging with Jon and the regular admirers and tgs who for the most part had seen all the girls many times before, I hardly managed more than a few furtive glances at the show. The girls hanging on our side of the club were all beautiful, some being "professional" and others not, but all nice. We also attracted a bit of attention from some solo admirers, including a very charming and handsome Delta pilot, and a visiting tall drag queen in drab. Our time at Jacques unfortunately went by too quickly because it closes at midnight.

Fortunately, with the surprising navigation skills of Angela, and with the drab drag queen in drag, we headed out to Cambridge to Boston's other tg-friendly nightclub, Manray. On this friday night they had a restrictive "black" dress code (excepting tgs of course) and half the club is dedicated to the goth scene. And when I say they were dressed in black, I mean it! There was very little else of the color spectrum in the whole place. Needless to say, I stuck out a bit in my non-black, but still goth-like maroon and flowery outfit! The other side was more poppy in atmo, but still a bit goth populated.

The goth side was almost all dance floor except for a long bar on the far side. It was also very dark and very loud. They were playing awesome music in there - a lot of very fast-paced goth/house/trance tunes, which is right up my alley. And I liked that it was dark - serving to mask my lack of dance skills! Unfortunately, all the bars in Boston close at 2 am, so we had to end the night somewhat early. In retrospect, given my long schedule the following day, this was probably a good thing!

I got to sleep around 3:30, nervous but eager for the shopping, photoshoot and clubbing activities planned for saturday...

Monday, April 04, 2005

crying and a rite of passage?

Two items to mention briefly today:
  • Last week I felt like I passed some kinda personal tg rite of passage when my mom gave me a bunch of her old, but still nice jewelry! I was really touched by the offer (she is simply the best - I am sooo lucky to have her and my dad!). And of course I gobbled the stuff up, since it would basically be my first items not bought at Target (excepting the wonderful hoop earrings my friend Bob got me). These new earrings, necklances and bracelets are also more subtle in look than what I have now, better for everyday wear, which I am sorely lacking.
  • Yesterday I was brought to sobbing, uncontrollable tears while watching "Man on Fire"...lol! I am such a sucker for a sappy ending... :-) And I am coming just now to realize the incredible cathartic, healing power of having a good long cry every once in a while. As a guy in the past, my reaction to such emotions was always a typically machismo one: "eh - it's just a deliberate tear-jerker movie, why the hell are you crying?!" Now I am embracing the feeling of a solid weep. I'm sure there's an element in that embrace that wants to be more feminine and so embraces it blindly, but I believe the majority of it is unconscious; a part of me that is wonderful, freeing, and still blooming...

Friday, April 01, 2005

great book about gender, sexuality and diversity

I just started reading this wonderful and informative book (loaned to me by my mom!) by an esteemed Stanford biologist (who also happens to be transgendered) concerning the scientific reality and evolutionary underpinnings of gender diversity and sexuality, and the origins of many of the popularly held misconceptions and outright discriminatory beliefs and practices of the traditional intellectual and social establishments on these topics.

And she does it with easy-to-read writing and solid scientific methods! This is information all supporters of the GLBT community, especially those of us within the often shortchanged transgender community, should have in our arsenal. In my view it is crucial that as many of us as possible have this kind of knowledge and reasoned arguments for equal rights against the still evident biases out there. If nothing else, borrow the book from your local library or look at it in your local bookstore and read the 13 page introduction, which does a great job of laying the information out.

The book is titled "Evolution's Rainbow" by Joan Roughgarden.

Also, when I checked earlier today, you can get used copies of this book on Amazon for as low as $3!!!

Joan also wrote a great article that exposes the outright bigotry of Northwestern psychologist Michael Bailey and his almost universally reviled and discredited (outside some conservative christian circles that is) book about transgenderism called "The Man who would be Queen."

Check 'em out!

-your friendly neighborhood librarian