Cat’s In The Cradle – An Apology

I was listening to this song this morning. Both Cindy and I noted what a powerful message that it brought. I must have sung this song over a hundred times through the years, but it really sunk in, especially now with my kids grown.

My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talking ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew
He’d say, “I’m gonna be like you, dad
You know I’m gonna be like you.” – Harry Chapin, Cats in the Cradle

I have worked in the tech field as a systems engineer building out systems and networks since the 80’s. I even got my Red Hat Certified Engineer cert in 1999. I put it all into my career. As is the nature of the business, I was on call quite a lot. Since most of the time, I was the only one supporting a system or data center, I was on call all the time.

There were many times when I would have things planned with my kids and I would have to apologize to them and go to work. There was one time when we were on the way to a friends party in Rhode Island and I had to turn around because I got paged. I justified it by saying that this allowed me to make the decent money I did to give them the best I could. There was a time where we were rolling out new SCO Unix systems to plants across the country. I would work all day and come home, have a quick bite or eat at my desk in my office while I configured all the systems after the ground team got them deployed. I missed that whole part of their life. Of course it wasn’t always like this. I remember working for Georgia Pacific. I had a great boss at the time. He would come down the hall at 5p and say, “I quittin’ time!!!”. Heck, I was working a project that we needed to get done. I skipped my daughter’s recital to complete it. My boss reemed me. He told me that I should work under the premise, “Is anyone going to die? No, well then it is not that important!” He told me that he never wanted to hear me skipping out on one of my kid’s functions for the job ever again. Of course, as he climbed the ladder and became more corporatized, that changed. Soon, that attitude gave way to, I was to be on a plane every other week visiting plants. There were over forty and I had everything east of Waxahachie, Texas.

Those latter years with him, reshaped my view in that you had to sacrifice family for the job if you wanted to succeed. It is an ugly way of looking at life, but as more jobs went overseas, and fewer good paying jobs were at hand, you became more tied to your job. Of course, given my personal issues, I also had a negative image of self, so I felt that no one else would want me. I put up with a lot.

I will skip over my work history as it mostly was the same, I worked long hours and on call all the time. I often found myself going in during he middle of the night to solve outages, A/C issues, or networks down. More than once, I found myself on the roof in the middle of the night in all kinds of weather with the A/C tech. I couldn’t leave him up there alone. In one incident, we were on the roof during a winter storm that threw cold rain, snow, sleet and high winds. We got soaked through. While the tech could go home and get warmed up after, my job would just start as I had to bring all the systems back online. Of course, one refused to come up. I had to call HP support. Of course, they have four hours to respond. I am sitting around in wet clothes, cold and shivering. After doing the HP dance where they have you reseat everything, they finally said they would dispatch a tech. Um, they have four hours from dispatch. So a call at Midnight had me putting in a full day in soaking wet clothes. The response was that it was just the nature of the job.

I once got chewed out for not being on call when I wasn’t on call. I was told that I was always on call. I almost quit at that point, I was in the middle of the process and close to changing my name and all, so I was stuck. I will say that things have eased up a bit. I am back on normal call rotation, so every five weeks or so.

The point of this was to show how we can get so caught up in work that we soon forget what is important. I don’t know if work environments will ever get back to a place of work/life balance. Oh many companies talk the talk, but in practice, you are told that you need to be there no matter what. I would love to retire. I have heard of many people my age who got to retire. I have to go until I am 70, in order to maximize benefits. Hope I don’t drop before then.

All of this because I listened to a song and missed my kids. I thought back over all the opportunity that I had to spend time with them, but put the job first. Sometimes, you just have to turn off the phone. “live your life for what it’s worth, and live for every breath” (Black Sabbath, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath). Life is not work, life is living and sharing with those you love. Somehow, we have to change the paradigm that work is life. That becomes drudgery. While many of us enjoy our jobs, I think we would love more time with family. There truly has to be a work/life balance. By the way, whatever happened to that 35 hour work week we were all promised? Seems they all want 60 these days.

There is a lot that has gone on in my life. I really wish I had spent more time with my kids. I rarely see my son these days and if I do, it is just for short periods. My daughter touches base with me and we did have a great day going to get our nails done and lunch after. We have to do that again soon. You can’t get back what you lost, so take the time and spend it with your family.

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He’d grown up just like me
My boy was just like me – Harry Chapin, Cats in the Cradle

I hope that my boy doesn’t grow up just like me. I hope that when he has a family, he strives to put them first.

My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.

Emma Morgaine Croft

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Not A Life Choice – Medical Decisions

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I really enjoyed going to First Event this year. One of the things I wanted to do was to check into some of the medical procedures available. My plan was to give myself the full two years on HRT to allow the hormones to do their thing. After that, I would look at ways to fine tune my appearance and possibly put together a plan for full surgery.

One of the things that bothered me about the First Event workshops was the attitude of some of the doctors. I won’t get into specific doctors, that is up for those who are choosing to have surgery to investigate. I have a rule when I deal with most vendors. If you denounce a competitor and say their methods are bad, or how you have to fix other people’s work all the time, then it raises red flags with me. Tell me what you can do without resorting to telling me that this other doctor can’t do the job right and you have to fix their work. Whether there is truth in that or not, I feel it is unprofessional.

Let me take a brief sidetrack to note about doctors doing stuff like this. I was told that the Southern Transgender conference, Southern Comfort, ended up shut down. It appears that a couple of doctors were playing that game and found out about each other saying bad things about the other and sued. The problem was that they named the event as a co-defendant and the event ended up have to close down due to the lawsuit. We need more events, not less. There is a lot of good information and support that come out of these events that help people in the community. To think that we lost an event because of doctor’s egos is abhorrent.

That being said, back to my journey. One of the things that bothers me most, okay besides being an Amazon, is my voice. I decided to check out one doctor’s session on altering the voice. Of course, when he started bashing other doctors methods and saying his was best, oh and about $4000 more than the others, I got leery, but stayed to listen. I am trying to remember the exact costs, but I will ball park.  He said there were three methods in use today, the one he did was to remove the front of the voice box and shorten the vocal cords and shrink the voice box. All told about a $10,000 procedure. He said most doing the web procedure where they suture the bottom of the vocal cords together to shorten them. He said that doesn’t really work and his is the best. Of course, I was thinking to myself, then why are all the other doctors doing this procedure?

It is bad enough that until recently, most insurances didn’t cover any of this, but when you have doctors competing and saying this method is bad and their method is good, but then the other doctor saying just the opposite, it becomes frustrating. It is even more frustrating when you have to pay for all of this out of pocket.

Let me give you some sample costs that I found on the Internet to illustrate what we face:
Forehead/brow lift with brow bone reduction and hairline advance, approx $6200.
Thyroid cartilage reduction (Trachea Shave?), approx $3600
Upper Lip shortening (this brings the lip up and gives fuller lips), approx $4,400

Breast Augmentation, approx $8200
Buttock Augmentation (implants), approx $9500
Buttock Augmentation (fat transplant) approx $6500  (might be good to move that belly fat, LOL)
Calf Augmentation (implants), approx $6500

Orchiectomy (removal of testicles), approx $4600
Vaginoplasty (one-stage with penile inversion, clitoroplasty, and labiaplasty), approx $19750

As you can see all of these costs add up. While there are many in the community who are just satisfied with being able to live their lives as their true selves, there are many who find the “other” parts abhorrent and need to get their physical body in alignment. Our health insurance industry was allowed, until recently thanks to ACA, to discriminate and deny transgender care. Because of this and the costs involved to align our bodies with our minds, many transgender people were forced to turn to the sex trade. I am hoping that the new administration does not repeal ACA and leaves intact the obligation to cover transgender care. No one should have to sell their body to be who they are!!!!

The point of this whole series and why I am continuing it, is to bring education and awareness. It is hoped that the more people understand, the more people will care and will work to make all of this easier. There are too many transgender people committing suicide. With a rate over 45%, this has to stop. The part I don’t understand is why is it the religious right who push to deny the LGBT community their rights, deny transgender health care? If they were true Christians, their love would be for all people. They would be working to help, not destroy. Jesus embraced all who came to him. Maybe it is time for Christians to do the same.

My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.

Emma Morgaine Croft

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Great Weekend – First Event 2017!!

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This was my second year going. This year I decided to give back and hosted a workshop. It was based on my earlier blog called Own It. I was quite nervous going into it, but everyone is so wonderful, I soon settled in. The theme being, “Let’s Make A Difference” means a lot to me. All my life I have tried to make other people’s lives a bit easier. Whether it was as a Youth Minister, a counselor, or just being a friend, I tried to help people.

It was nice to get feedback from some of the people who came to the workshop. One transman told me that he really appreciated my talk and that it inspired him to help others. He was a lovely man who always had a big smile whenever I saw him. I had gotten to my workshop early and didn’t realize that the welcoming workshop was before mine. I sat in and soon found that one of the women there had requested a “big sister” to help her get around. I noted that I had signed up to be a “big sister”. Turns out the leader of the workshop was in charge of that, but due to some technical glitches couldn’t get things worked out. So she asked if I wouldn’t mind. Of course, I agreed. It was nice showing my new “little sister” around, but she soon didn’t need me and was off making new friends. We did touch base a few times and met for lunch. One of the people from my own group showed up and I took her under my wing also. We would talk and have lunch together. Once our other friend from our group was around, we were like the three musketeers.

I have a number of friends from Facebook land that I never get to see in real life. This was a great opportunity to see them and get to talk. While waiting on the banquet, I was sitting down to rest my feet, when another Facebook friend came up to me. She doesn’t post a lot so doesn’t show in my feed so it took me a bit to recognize her. It was nice to meet so many people who are all working to just be themselves. I was looking for some of my friends from last years event, but didn’t find them.

Last year, I stayed for the banquet, but not the fashion show. This year, I got to see the fashion show and loved the fashion and fun. A definite must do next year. Heck, I might even do the fashion show next year since I know what is involved now. The banquet was great, as was the keynote speaker.

I especially loved the new locale. While the Westin was a nice hotel, trying to get into the area on 128 at 9a in the morning, was horrid. It was much easier going straight up 495.  I am hoping they keep it in Marlboro again next year.

I truly do love this event and may even try to make Fantasia Faire this year on the Cape. Grace and her team do an amazing job of bringing this all together. There are many workshops covering such diverse topics ranging from legal issues facing the community, to hair removal and surgical options. I remember last year, I was overwhelmed with the amount of information available. This year, I took a more laid back approach and went to a few different workshops to either refresh my knowledge or to reinforce it. Picked up some new information and got to see surgery options. I can dream can’t I?

I love that this is available for those in the community. Grace and her team put together one heck of a get together. I highly recommend that anyone in the community or even those questioning, should try to make it next year. The love and support is overwhelming.

What I really would love to see is a world where events like these are no longer needed. Where people aren’t trying to put others down in order to lift themselves up, but allow people to just be. Just think, if the Republicans and Religious Right weren’t working so hard to bring hate and discrimination on anyone who was different, we might just make the need for functions like this obsolete. All I can do is to continue to try to educate others and bring awareness. I hope that one day it will just be accepted and people will be able to just go see their doctor and get the help they need.  I hope that one day people will just be able to live as who they are and not have to hide or live in fear because of ignorance and hatred.

Mostly I hope that my writing can bring education and awareness so that I can Make A Difference!
My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.

Emma Morgaine Croft

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When Women Are Forced to Live on Mars

John Gray wrote a book back in 1992, Men Are From Mars, Women Are from Venus. I was thinking about that in regards to my own situation. For most of my life I have lived in depression. It has taken a while for me not to look at the darkness without seeing the light. Though, I suppose that isn’t always quite true. While I have lived with depression most of my life, I grasped, though loosely, the fine threads of hope and light.

For those who have followed my story, you know that from a very early age, I knew I was a female. Science tells us that transgender brains are quite similar to the sex they identify with. In some cases, it is not completely identical, but close. There is still a great deal of research to be done. Unfortunately, the dearth of human brains of people who identify as transgender makes this type of study difficult. They have been using MRIs, in hopes of seeing the differences that way on living people, but the science is still working on those studies.

From an early age, I wanted to be with the girls. I wanted to do girly things. I soon learned, that to survive, I had best act in the manner that was expected. I soon learned that I had to emulate my brothers and cousins to learn how to act like a man. i tell you, it was not fun. I was not really into sports, though eventually I came to like football. As many Male-to-Female (MtF) transgender, we hyper-masculinize. Okay, maybe not so much in my case. I somehow found a line where I could do things girls usually did, but as a guy. Everyone loved my peanut butter cookies. Oh yeah, I learned how to cook early on. It was my grandfather who inspired me. That was also my first career path. I excelled at it. I even won the Rotarian Award in my Senior Year in High School for Outstanding Food Service. Okay, I tied with Dave Thompson. He got the Johnson & Wales scholarship and I got a set of Dexter knives. I had already enlisted in the Air Force so couldn’t really take the J&W scholarship. I still have the knives today.

I had a few friends growing up. I was always seen as weird and was beat up a lot. Some took that weirdness to be spiritual and I was kind of pushed into the Church. Oh I got caught up big time. I even did a stint as a Youth Minister for the Diocese of Providence. I so believed that this is what I was supposed to do, I even got as far as trying to get into the seminary. The funny thing about all of this is that while I was always seen as deeply spiritual, I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the Nicene Creed. I did eventually leave the Church for good after my second divorce. Of course, part of that was also due to my first attempt at transitioning back in the 90’s. When I went into counseling for five years, one of the things the psychologist and I went over was Who Am I?

Let me tell you, there are two things that really shook me up in life. The experience of going through counseling and finding out I really had no identity because it had been so scrubbed from me. The other being told to Remember. We’ll save that one for another blog.

Once my psychologist realized what had happened to me and that I was a true transgender,  she sought to help me find out who I really was. Let me tell you, that was an interesting journey in and of itself. I still have the transcript of the journal she had me keep that illustrated just how messed up I was. It was included in the manuscript that was to be my suicide note called, Emma: An Unlived Life. Fortunately, Cindy had other ideas and I am still here.

My psychologist would ask me each session what my thoughts were on this or that. I would always respond, “Well everyone says that I …”. She would stop me and tell me that she didn’t ask what everyone else thought, she wanted to know what I thought.  There was the crux of the problem. I was a women, or back then a girl, who was forced to live as a boy. I was from Venus, but had to act like I was from Mars. Talk about mindfu–s.

I have to give credit to Dr. Acksen. She really got me thinking about who I was and that my thoughts, my beliefs, were as valid as any. Oh, there are many who wish I would just tow the line and be what they want me to be, but those days are gone. Thanks to those sessions, I went on a journey of self discovery.  I do have to admit, that one thing that still is in my craw, my cousins telling me I couldn’t play Mystery Date with them because I was a boy. I WAS NOT A BOY!!!! Of course, my physical image was, so I can’t fault them. Do they even make Mystery Date anymore?

My journey of self-discovery not only freed me to be me, but also to look at my belief structure. I took at step away from the Church to see just what I truly believed. I still believe in the teachings of Jesus. Of course, not the warped, twisted teachings we hear, but the true teachings of love and Gnosticism. I am always learning knew things and trying to incorporate that light and wisdom in my dealings with others.

To get back on the point though, I had to live most of my life as I was expected to live. I observed guys in my life and saw how they acted. Sometimes a bit disgustingly, men are pigs. Okay, just kidding. Though not much. I had to try to emulate them, but most often fell short and would be ridiculed and bullied. There were some who even questioned if I was gay. I could only imagine if those people from my past had learned about me.

You know, there is always a point to my stories. So rather than ramble on, I will conclude. I am fearful for others who are transgender with this new administration coming in. Pence has used his bogus Christian ethics to attack gays. Republicans feel empowered to put in place bathroom bills to supposedly protect their womenfolk from predators. This despite all evidence to the contrary. Worse, they are backing a sexual predator for President, so they lose credibility there. There is so much going on, so I am continuing to tell my story. I want people to see the human side of all of this. Stop listening the faux religious garbage and listen to the science. The science tells us that being transgender is a real state. There is physical evidence to support this. There is nothing in the New Testament, ever preached by Jesus to support the hate against people like me. It is twisted minds that search for even the minutest bit of support in the Bible for their hate. Do not buy into it! Lives depend on it. I am public and I am loud because lives depend on it. Do not listen to crap that says that it is against Jesus’ teachings. Jesus had but one commandment. Love. Not love if, not love but, just love.  Stop buying into the hate the Republicans and religious right keep preaching. Embrace Love.

My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.

Emma

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Not A Life Choice – Just Let Us Be Who We Are!

irishwarrior

Probably one of the most frustrating things for a transgender person is when they finally hit that day when it is time to go full time. They face so much frustration between court approval for name change to Social Security, DMV/RMV, Birth Certificates, banks, credit card companies, etc. While getting one’s name changed is a fairly simple process, putting that new name into place can be frustrating.

For me, it started by submitting for my name change with the court back in May of 2016. For some, this involves having to actually appear in court. For me, it was just submitting documents, but it wasn’t cheap. I think the court submission was about $180, but then I had to have my name change posted in the local newspaper. Of course, that outed me to the two people who actually read the legal notices in the local paper. You then had to wait, I think it was four weeks to allow for anyone to oppose to approach the court. I was told this process was to prevent you from changing your name to get out of financial responsibilities. Though, I don’t think the larger companies I do business with actually read the local paper. I got word back that my name change was approved just before my trip to Austin, but it allowed me to approach work while there. HR was informed as was my boss, but I still had to go to Social Security before work could change things.

Here is where the first rub comes in, I could get my name changed with no problem with the court order, but in order to change the gender marker, my endocrinologist would need to provide a letter. More on this later, as this has not happened to a hold up I will explain later. With Social Security changed, I had to wait for my new Social Security card and send a copy to HR. The next stop was the DMV/RMV. I fortunately, hit there early enough, so there were little lines. Mind you, this was the early days of going full time so confidence was low. Yet, I pushed on. As it turned out, I had the court order for the name change so that sailed through with just my renewal fee. Ah, but a snag. When I got home, I took out my new license to check it out. Well, the name was changed but they didn’t change the marker even though I had checked that box. I did some digging and found there was yet another form and a letter from my psych/counselor to get that changed. I got the letter from my counselor and filled out the form. It cost yet another $25 and a short wait for the updated license, but the new license with the proper gender arrived. Phew.

I had taken the week off to get everything changed over. I had sent a letter out to work and offered for others that explained the change and included a Q&A. I had included that in an earlier post here. My credit union was really great and had my name changed before I knew it. She did advise that the new ATM cards with the chip had caused a backlog and it could be weeks. She advised that I just pull cash at an ATM rather than use it in stores so I don’t out myself. She advised that sometimes the terminals will show the name. So for a few weeks, I had to use ATMs to get cash and just pay cash for everything. My joint account went much faster and I had that card in hand first. Soon all my credit cards, ATM cards, and accounts were switched over. I did have to contact work to get my corporate card switched. I had tried to do that directly, but ran into difficulties until they explained that like my health insurance that information all came from the company. Just need to get the mortgage and deed updated.

So everything was going smoothly until I went to update my birth certificate. Soon frustration was high as I had to have yet another form done, but this one signed by my endocrinologist. Note, that this is the same person that has to sign for the gender marker change for Social Security, but they have to sign a form letter for that. Well, I submitted that to the doctor, but she referred it to their legal department where it has languished. Eventually GLAD got involved and their law office is trying to contact my doctor. I have to wait a week to give them time to reply to the lawyer’s request. Mind you, people in the community have been advised to get all this taken care of before the new administration takes office as it appears they are very anti-LGBT. So there is some trepidation on my part, but hanging in there. The birth certificate is in state, and being in Massachusetts we have laws protecting the LGBT community including recent legislation that protects transgender. Though, as we have seen in North Carolina, those protections could be overridden. (Charlotte had passed a law protecting transgender rights in the city, but the Republican governor pushed through an emergency bill that overrode those protections. See HB2)

As it stands, I need my birth certificate, marriage certificate, mortgage, deed, and Social Security gender marker changed. I am fighting to get my name and marker changed on my birth certificate at the moment. I don’t have a passport because I don’t leave the country, but I will need one at some point. The birth certificate and Social Security are dependent on my doctor signing the papers. I am a 58 year old woman who is being held hostage by a signature!

As I stated in an earlier posting, it is time to awaken my inner Boudica. I will fight for my right to exist, ON MY TERMS!! I will spend the week waiting for the doctor’s response to the GLAD lawyers putting together information and evidence to present to the Attorney General. At First Event last year, she said that should experience discrimination of any sort, to let her office know. I feel the hoops we have to go through just to be recognized officially as who we are, is discriminatory, especially if we have to have someone else okay our existence.

For my transgender friends, if you are in a doctor’s care and they have a patient portal that holds all your care, be sure to download everything. I have done so and that is the evidence as it has all the appointments, blood results, prescriptions, etc. I can prove I was under the doctors care. I will also contact my state Rep and Senator. The process needs to be looked at when there is such inconsistency. It was easier to get my ID changed than my birth certificate which no one looks at.

As I have stated in this series, why would anyone choose to be transgender? Everything is a struggle with numerous hoops to jump through. Is it any wonder that the suicide rate is over 45% when there is so much to face just to be you?

Let me leave this on a positive note. I have been on HRT for over a year now. I do hope to have surgery in another year or two, but that requires about two weeks out of work and a boat load of cash. However, I have been living full time since July thanks to the love and support of my wife Cindy. I grow stronger every day. I went shopping today at a market I don’t usually go to and bumped into some people I knew from before. They had joined my Facebook page and were aware and saw pictures of me. They were amazed and told me how great I looked and how the pics on Facebook just don’t do me justice. There were hugs all around. I was blown away.  It is those moments that keep me from receding back into the darkness when I face the obstacles that have been placed in our path. I am loved and that is the most powerful weapon of them all.

My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.

Emma

 

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Is It Time to Take the T Out of LGBT?

I read an article recently that sickened me.
https://rewire.news/article/2016/12/14/can-combat-legislation-taking-aim-transgender-people-around-country/
It got me to wondering if the LGBT community as a whole is not so supportive of the T in LGBT. It just seems it is way to easy to manipulate people into hating us for being different. The worst of it is that it is so blatant. As the article above talked about Anchorage, Alaska and its effort to shoot down a transgender equality bill, shows, ignorance prevails. In the article it tells how they showed a man with facial hair dressed as a woman trying to get a job at a child care facility. They then state that if he is applying for the job and the law passes and the facility doesn’t hire him they could be sued. Yet, if they hire him, they will lose customers. It is so easy to play on people’s fear and ignorance. The sad part is that people buy into this line of crap!

Look, transgender people are people. All we want to do is to be treated the same as anyone else. By some quirk of science, we were born with one body but the mind of another. It is scientific fact!!!! Go back to my previous articles and the first part of Not Quite a Life Choice. I am trying to educate here. I see crap like that and people buying into it and I have to wonder about the intelligence of people at large. Let me sum it up yet again.

Transgender people are not out to recruit people. Who the hell wants to go through all the crap we have to go through? Transgender people are not pretending so we can slink into the bathroom and molest people. It is quite the opposite. While there has never been a recorded incident of a transgender person attacking or molesting someone in a bathroom, the same cannot be said for the other way around. If anything it is the transgender people who are being attacked! Those are facts!!! Not that facts mean anything.

I could also get into a blog about why I could never become a Republican. I have Republican friends and I love them and I cage my words because of them. However, when I see bills like HB2 rammed through and the many bathroom bills foisted by Republicans to “protect our women and children from molesters”, I really get ticked. They push ignorance and hate and people eat it up. It must be the inherent need to put someone else down in order to feel better about yourself.

Look, let me tell you, when a transgender person goes into a bathroom, you know why they are there? To pee!!!! That is it, okay, maybe poop, or just fix their makeup, or any of the things other women do, because THEY ARE WOMEN!!! Sidebar: I know that there are transmen, but dudes, once you start growing a beard, would they really notice if you went into the mens room? To them, if you are in a stall, you are dropping a deuce and that is all they care to know. So apologies if I am leaving you out of this.

Let me sum it up for a moment. Transwomen go to the bathroom to go to the bathroom or fix their makeup. They go in and get out fast because of being afraid of everyone. The last thing they want is to get “read”. They don’t want conflict, they just want to pee.
Transpeople, in general, just want to live their lives. They want to be accepted for themselves, their talents and accomplishments, just as everyone else. They just want to be accepted for who they are, not what the world wants to push them to be. It is their frigging life!!! Let them live it!

You have to wonder if part of the reason for the push to create laws against transgender people is because people are just so unhappy with their own lives they have to make someone else miserable to feel better about themselves. That is the definition of psychosis.

Why can’t we just let people be who they are? Why can’t we do away with things like gender markers and women’s rooms and men’s rooms. Hell, the TV show Ally McBeal introduced the idea of generic bathrooms years ago, it just never caught on. Look, I get the need for separate bathrooms at times. I have been to Great Woods and seen guys pissing in the sink. I had to find a stall because I just couldn’t pee in public. Learned later there was actually a condition called bashful kidneys. Who would have thunk it? Frankly, as a woman, I hated having to go into the men’s room. Yet because of my external shell, that is where I had to go. It made me sick, but I had no choice. I soon quit drinking beer at venues because of it. Which brings another point, how many transgender people just start avoiding having anything to drink when they go out or just stop going out because of the bathroom issue.

These asshats that push these hateful bills do so because of ignorance and hate. Those who vote for it are being manipulated through ignorance. They don’t know or understand the transgender experience. Somehow, we have to find a way through this. We have to learn to accept people and just let people be themselves. I believe that if we can get to that point we may find ourselves in a richer and more accepting culture.

Thanks for bearing with me through yet another rant. I hope it has brought some more insight. Transgender people are not out to get you, they just want to be.

My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.

Emma

P.S. Some of my Facebook friends have taken to calling me Lady Emma. I kind of like that. I might adopt it, but I feel that someone in England might raise a fuss. You know, it is a privileged title. Though I am privileged to have many good friends and family. Peace and love.

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Not a Life Choice – Voice

One of the things we hear a lot about is how we sound. So many go crazy trying to learn how to sound more feminine. My endo told me, at our last visit, that maybe I should see a voice coach. Of course, this was because my voice was like gravel after having been on call and gotten about four hours sleep in the past two days.

One thing that I try to point out when people say this, is that even cis-gender women can have deep or gravelly voices. There have been so many famous women who have had deep voices, but yet were well received and famous. Who can forget the great Golden Girl, Bea Arthur?
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No one would ever question her femininity? She was well respected. So why should we have to present a false self and change how we sound just to make others feel better? I remember another great actress, Susan St. James who played in McMillan and Wife.
susanstjames

I loved that show. I admired her beauty and loved her “husky” voice. It is a voice that I see in a more modern actress, Angie Harmon.
angie-harmon_sc_768x1024Now this woman is drop dead gorgeous. Yet, she has that deep husky voice. Would anyone ever question her as a woman? Let me give yet one more example, Kathleen Turner.
kathleenturner3Many will remember her from the Romancing the Stone series. She had that husky voice and everyone loved her.

The point is that woman have many voice styles. Some are very feminine and sugar sweet. You can surely have that southern belle drawl, How Nice. Yet you also have the Angie Harmon, Bea Arthur, Kathleen Turner and Angie Harmon voices. There are a wide spectrum of voices and I think that too much emphasis is placed on how people sound. How about putting more emphasis in what they say.

Someone could have a gravelly sound due to being overtired. It could be due to whiskey and cigarettes. It could be simply because that is the way they were born. Do you think Angie Harmon is taking voice lessons to sound more feminine?

I think the point is, just be you. Maybe use that voice to your advantage. Ever think of singing Jazz? Maybe you could be the next Diana Krall. We need to stop letting others dictate to us who we are. We need to embrace ourselves and who we are and go with it. If you don’t care for your voice and want to get voice coaching, then do so. If you are only doing it because someone else says you should, then don’t. We were all created to bring a unique perspective to this world. I like my voice. It may not always sound feminine, especially over the phone, but it is mine. I own it! I am always tired, so my voice does take on a deeper more gravelly sound. It is my sound. I also have a great vocal range. That is the plus from singing most of my life. I may never be a soprano, but I can take it from baritone on up. I have a pretty good falsetto too thanks to the Bee Gees.

We need to feel comfortable with who we are. How we sound, well that is for others to deal with. Maybe one day we might not have to worry about things like this. All I can say is, just be you. If people love you, they will gravitate to you. If not, well then, it might just be well they were out of your lives. You don’t need people dictating who you are. So if you have that deeper, gravelly voice like mine, try singing some Diana Krall and see if that feel of a smoky jazz bar appeals to you.

My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.

Emma

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