Bittersweet

IMGP4334.JPGFirst off, Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s out there. It is great that a day is set aside to celebrate the Mother’s in our lives.

Mother’s Day has always been kind of bittersweet for me. I usually just suck it up and put on a smile for everyone. Deep down, the pain has always sat there. In some cruel joke, God or whatever malevolent force decided to put me in the wrong body. Oh I joke about it, how I missed maiden and mother and went straight to crone Yet, there is pain there as I can never be called Mother. My kids have a Mother and I’m not her. I have never had the experience of holding a life within me for nine months. Oh, I was given the brain for it, but deprived of the body. I think I would have made a great Mom. It wasn’t to be.

So what did that leave me? Oh yeah, I had Father’s Day. This was basically a non-event, if remembered at all. Most of the time, as the kids grew, I had to spend it at the ball field. I once mentioned that I would prefer to be able to take my kids somewhere and do something together, but instead I had to hang at the ball field. Mind you, I am not a big sports fan. I do like football and follow the Patriots. I also play golf, though haven’t been in a few years. I joke with people I used to play and tell them that now I can hit from the women’s tee. Of course, after I met Cindy, we usually had the family event on Father’s Day weekend. My daughter, wife, and mother-in-law all had birthdays around that date. So their birthdays were celebrated with little mention of Father’s Day other than maybe a card or such.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not bitter about not having the celebration of being a Father as Mother’s Day is elevated. I am just making a note of how Mother’s Day, the focus is on Mom. Father’s Day is secondary to baseball, softball, or other things. Frankly, like my birthday, I really don’t care much one way or another.

As a transgender person, Mother’s Day reminds me of what never was and what could never be. It also is a reminder that despite transitioning and getting my body to be in agreement with my mind, I can never, ever, take on that mantle. Hell, we struggle even defining who I am to others.

I went with my daughter to pick up her motorcycle. She just has a permit and would have to travel the highway back on a bike she was unfamiliar with. I went with her and rode it back to my house for her. On the way out there, we had the discussion about how to introduce me. Dad, would have outed me. I couldn’t be Mom because she has a Mom. So we settled on just Emma. This dance also gets played out with the whole idea of what to call a spouse. I think I touched on that issue before, so we will let it lie for now.

I have hope for the future generations. I have heard that a European hospital had done a successful uterine transplant. This was done on a cisgender woman and I believe she was even able to have a baby. It brings hope to others, that one day a transwoman will be able to have a transplant and actually be able to give birth and know the wonder of bringing a life into this world. For me, it reminds me that I am always a day late and a dollar short.  I am too old now to have babies anyway, but it is good to know that others may one day.

So I give thanks to all the Mothers out there and hope you will enjoy your day. I know it can be a struggle to raise kids sometimes, but hopefully they brought you joy too. I love my kids and hope the best for them. I may never be able to be called their Mom, but I will always love them as fervently as any mother can.

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

“Lady” Emma Morgaine Croft

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Politics Aside

Every now and then I like to take one of those assessment quizzes on Facebook. I took one recently to see how they saw me aligning with the various political factions. My result was:

Left Libertarian

You’re on the left and libertarian spectrum of the political compass! You question authority and are deeply distrustful of hierarchy. You believe strongly in personal liberty and individual freedoms. You firmly believe in a self-governed and non-hierarchical society with maximum individual freedoms for all. You support women’s rights, gay rights, and liberal attitudes on sex. You, however, favor collectively owned property and an economy that guarantees equality and opportunity. You believe in strong communities and favor a cooperative economy over dog eat dog capitalism. You’re a lefty, but you hate big government just as much as the next libertarian! What do you think? Do you agree?

I was assessed when I was in college by one of my instructors. He labeled me a Democratic Socialist. I think that is more a fitting label for me. I am not so much against “Big Government” as I am against government intrusion into personal lives. I think the government has a function to provide a level playing field for all, i.e. Civil Rights and Equality laws, rules, and regulations. This does not mean that we simply give things away, but that everyone has equal opportunity and that there is equal pay for equal work. I get so ticked off when I hear people go on about how a person working for a fast food joint or at Walmart should not get a decent standard of pay that would at least provide for their family when they are putting in forty or more hours a week.

So the line, “You firmly believe in a self-governed and non-hierarchical society with maximum individual freedoms for all.”, is questionable. I think that we do need a central government. I believe that it should be facilitating services and removing the profit margin out of such things as health care. No one should go broke for getting sick. This is especially so, when the government has not done its job in stopping pollution and keeping our food supply clean. Of course, this new administration doesn’t care about that as it has decided it will kill off the EPA at the end of 2018. How long before we are wearing masks to go outside as they have to do in China? How long before all our water is like Flint’s?  We need that central government to regulate companies to keep them from polluting our environment. We need that central government to reign in costs for medications, especially with some of these companies who have jacked up price of needed drugs.

Mostly we need that central government to ensure that everyone is treated fairly. One religion should not be placed over another, that is enshrined in the Constitution, but we have many who wish to push their version of religion on others. Note I do not use the word Christian or Christianity because these people are not Christians as they do not follow Jesus’ teachings but rather pick and choose from the old testament to enforce their religion of hate. That is a whole other topic though. The hypocrisy of it all is that they are the one denouncing Sharia law and claiming the Muslims want to push that on us all. Meantime, they are pushing their twisted version of Christianity on everyone and expecting that their religion should be enforced. Of course, this then causes issues with the LGBT community as they condemn them in their own ignorance.

Which brings me back to the idea of government stepping in to ensure that all of its citizens are treated with equality. Unfortunately, we have an administration that is anti-LGBT and have rescinded many of the protections put in place by the previous administration. Probably the most ignorant aspect of it all is that they want to push Religious Freedom laws that will basically allow discrimination based on these faux Christian religions. Any religion that preaches hate and discrimination is not Christian. Jesus took all unto him. I know I am straying off topic, but hey, that is my style.

Look, I think we need a strong government to step in and protect the citizens. That protection could be in the form of anti-discrimination laws. It could be by strengthening, not tearing apart the EPA, so we have clean air, water, and uncontaminated land. It means beefing up the FDA and USDA to ensure that our drugs and food are good for us to eat and not laden with toxins that are slowly poisoning us. It should also be stepping in and making sure that people aren’t bankrupted by medical bills. Sane countries have health care systems that take care of their populace. Hell, I have a friend living in Sweden, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I believe she said it cost her $35 for treatment. Really? Something like that would put most people in the poor house in the United States. Our for-profit system is just not functioning. Everyone needs a chunk of the pie. We really do need to take the profit out of the health care system. These are things the government should be doing.

So yeah, you can consider me a Democratic Socialist. I do believe that some things do need to be socialized, but for many things, the voice of the people should be heard. Unfortunately, we are seeing a government that is snubbing its nose at the people. They think they know what is best, but who is it best for?

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

Emma

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To Pee or Not To Pee That is the Question

NoHate

Let’s be blunt. Bathroom bills have nothing to do with protecting people and everything to do with hate and ignorance and using the law to bully a select group of people. This is no different than the laws against blacks back in the 50’s and 60’s. The dangers to your loved ones is a complete fabrication by those who wish to impose hate and ignorance on everyone.

Police Departments Across the Country Agree: There’s been no increase in public safety incidents in cities and states with nondiscrimination laws

You can read the full text here, http://www.transequality.org/police-departments but as the The Cambridge (Massachusetts) Police Superintendent said “there have been no incidents of men dressing up as women to commit crimes in female bathrooms and using the city ordinance as a defense.”

There is just no evidence to support the claims by Republicans wishing to impose their will on the populace. It is simple fear-mongering. This is a common tactic. Make up some wild scenario and get everyone worked up so that you can impose your version of the world on others. Democrats are just as guilty on this, though, Dems have usually come around and actually put forth legislation to protect LGBT people from ignorance, hate, and intolerance. Most of these so-called bathroom bills have been put forth by Republicans. Though there are some Republicans who see these for what they are like Texas House Speaker, Joe Straus.

“I oppose it … I’d never even heard about [this issue] until a year or two ago … Count me as a no,” Straus said during a sit-down at the University of Texas at Austin with Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at UT.

I was talking with some friends on this and how it affects our community. As one put it, we are pretty lucky to be living in Massachusetts and not places like North Carolina or Texas. Massachusetts did pass a law to protect transgender rights and allow transgender people to use the bathroom they prefer. Stay tuned, as the legions of hate managed to get enough signatures to get it put on the ballot in 2018 to repeal those protections. One has to hope that, just like with gay marriage, we will see that all the hate talk never came to fruition so people will just vote to shut down the initiative. We can’t rely on that happening, so we have to make sure to turn out en force to make sure the measure never passes.

Another point was brought up that I found quite interesting. If they are so concerned about your loved ones not getting attacked in public bathrooms, why has not one of them put forth a bill to make it illegal for sex offenders to use public bathrooms. Sex offenders have actually committed crimes. Transgender people just want to go to the bathroom and get the heck out. Yet, there seems to be an odd lack of concern with a sex offender sharing the bathroom with your loved one. Think about that next time you hear one of these people going on about how transgender people are out to get you!

I am going to let you in on a little secret. Transgender people just want to get in, do their business and get out, without attracting any attention to themselves. A transwoman does not want to have to share a bathroom with a man. Despite what ignorant people push out, transwomen are women!! We think just like any other woman. Of course, the focus is always on transwomen. Little is said of transmen. Yet, these laws affect them also. Most state that you can only use the bathroom that matches your sex on your birth certificate. So basically a transman, legally has to use the women’s bathroom. Have you seen some of these transmen? How the hell can these laws be enforced without having genitalia inspection to go into the bathroom? Even then, there are those that have had surgery, yet their birth certificate may not be updated, either due to the person not getting it updated, or as in some states, laws stating you cannot change it. So basically, a transman has to use the woman’s room in those state that impose these stupid laws.

So that brings up another thing to ponder on all of this. I know a lot of transgender people. There are many of my transwomen friends who are drop dead gorgeous. Ladies, do you really want her to have to go in the bathroom with your significant other? Conversely, guys, there are a lot of transmen who could be models, do you want your significant other in the bathroom with them? Of course, who is the gate keeper in all of this? One again, does it come down to genital inspection? What of intersexed people. These are people who are born with the genitalia of both sexes? Often times, the doctor, with or without the parent’s knowledge, would choose the sex of an intersexed person. The old belief was that nurture not nature decided who you were. That belief has been found wrong as there have been cases where the person was assigned sex at birth by the doctor, but later transitioned to the sex they should have been. In one case, the person wanted to kill the doctor that had done this to them.

Of course, all of this hate is based in twisted version of religion. Jesus gave but one commandment, Love. Not love if, not love but, just love. Yet, those who propose to condemn those in the LGBT community dig back deep in the Bible, not to the teachings of Jesus, but to ancient Hebrew text in Deuteronomy, Kings and Leviticus. Jesus walked with all who would come unto him, sinners and saints. He love all, yet these supposed Christians dig back into the Bible and use it as a weapon of hate. These are not Christians. They do not follow the teachings of Christ. Rather they choose ancient texts that even Jesus said were irrelevant. Of course, as they choose passages like, Leviticus 20:13: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Of course, they say this passage no longer is in effect because it affects them, ““You may eat everything that lives in the sea or in a river that has fins and scales. 10-11 But you must not eat anything that lives in the sea or in a river and does not have fins and scales. Just the thought of eating such a creature should make you sick. This will never change. So don’t ever eat meat from anything like that. Don’t even touch its dead body!” So that Shrimp Scampi you ate, you are an abomination!!! We won’t even get into that pork chop or that bacon you had with breakfast!

The point is that even on religious grounds, these bathroom bills have nothing to do with protecting people. The evidence just isn’t there to show that a transgender person has ever attacked someone in a bathroom. If anything, quite the opposite is true. There is nothing in the Bible to condemn a transgender person, though many of the passages used against gays have been used against transgender also. Problem is, that gender is not sexuality. The T in LGBT is there to be inclusive and to work towards ending discrimination against all people.

Those who support and promote these bathroom bills are bullies, plain and simple. They don’t like anyone who doesn’t conform to their standards, so they attack them. Since many are lawmakers, they are in a place of power. Until true Christians take a stand and call these people out for the hate mongers and bullies they truly are, we will never see a change. It takes courage to stand up to bullies. That is why I have put myself out here on the front. I am a transwoman. I am strong and proud.

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

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Celestine Observation

The Celestine Prophecy by [Redfield, James]The Celestine Prophecy

I have felt besieged of late. I was all but ready to give up and take my life. Fortunately, I have a wonderful loving wife. I could never do that to her. I wanted to protect her from this other person as the court action brought against me, could have a negative affect on her. This is what was tearing me up the most. As I spiraled down, my thoughts became ever darker. I started to think that the only way to kill a parasite is to kill the parasite or kill the host. Since I don’t seem to have the capacity to take a life, that left my own.

I won’t go into the details of what is going on. Let us just say that someone from my past feels they are in the right to take from me. Originally, the court agreed with me that she was not, but she appealed to the Supreme Court of the State and they said she was based on some obscure decision that had no semblance to my own case. So it was sent back down and is in discovery. I had a taste of what it would be like to have the free cash to treat my wife to things like buying her dinner or a nice necklace or even flowers. Now all of that is in jeopardy as I may end up back living paycheck to paycheck while someone else enjoys the benefit of the long hours I work.

This, of course, also affects my ability to get the help, treatments, and surgery needed to complete my transition. I was on a high before and for the first time in my life feeling what great joy was like. When the news came that she prevailed at the Supreme Court it was like a sucker punch to the groin that took me to my knees. I had planned to wait until November and my two year anniversary on HRT before drawing up my plan for surgery and other treatments. Now it is all up in the air and may not be able to happen. This is punitive to me, for a crime I didn’t commit. I spiraled down.

My wife finally convinced me that it was time to return to counseling. I had “graduated”. I was done with counseling as I was doing so well, but continued in group to help and inspire others. Now I found myself back in the counselors office. I ran things down for her and she sat and listened. She acknowledged that what was happening to me was devastating and unfair. Then she blind-sided me. She asked me, what would a shaman do? Huh, what? It caught me off guard and got me thinking in other directions. The direction of the wounded healer. Though, when I first responded, I said wounded warrior instead of healer. She smiled and reminded me it was wounded healer. I should say that she knows of my shamanic studies and I had gifted her a copy of Sandra Ingerman and Hank Wesselman’s, Awakening to the Spirit World. She went on to tell me how the one thing she admired the most in me was through all the adversity and beat downs I have had in life, I have risen from them higher and stronger. I used that to help others. I embraced the ideal of the wounded healer. I must admit that is why I decided to be very public with my transition. That is also why my Cherokee friends named me Unega Waya, White Wolf. In their tradition, the wolf is a pathfinder and teacher. I have embraced that spirit. So as I crawl back out of the darkness, let me share with you some observations.

In the movie, Celestine Prophesy, the characters learn that through their love and sharing they grow stronger and empower each other. The greatest power is love. I have to chuckle as I am always the last to get things. I am thick. In high school, I excelled in Algebra and Mr. C kept telling me I should be a mathematician. I saw no purpose for algebra so I couldn’t embrace that. It wasn’t until later years when I took up programming and learned that it is all based on algorithms. Algebra. I can say the same about reading Celestine Prophesy and watching the movie. I embraced the ideology of Mitakuye Oyasin, we are all related. I just never internalized it. I am a deeply spiritual person but there is always that seed of doubt within me. I can intellectualize spirituality. I can teach spirituality, but I never really internalized it. Though, it home with these recent events.

I fell in deep despair and decided to post a white flag on my page on Facebook and tell people that I was giving up and walking away. What happened next was mind-blowing. Post after post of support came in from all over the world. I was told that I would be missed and how much people loved me. The flame that had sunk into a glowing ember, now sparked. I read more and more. All the love and support pouring in and with each post, I could feel my strength and hope rising. Since many thought that this was because I was transgender, I felt I needed to clarify that this had to do with something other than who I was. In who I am, I have been strong. That has not faltered. It was the fear that I could not finish my transition. It was the fear that the venom of this other person could touch my wife; that her demands could affect our farm and our happiness.

As in the movie. as I read the posts of love and support and slowly the spark of life started to grow. The power of love is infinite. As I continued to read messages of love and support and how my words have had positive impact on others lives, I started to release the mantel of darkness. I think what really got me was when one of my Cherokee friends had posted about a confrontation that she had with some hateful bigot. He told her, “You Mexicans should go back to where you belong!” Oh, he picked the wrong one. She went back at him and told him that she was Native American, Native Californian and Native Mexican. She told him to get back on his boat and go back to Europe where he belongs. When I read one of the comments afterwards that said that people are horrible and that is why she avoids them. It struck me that is the wrong answer. I replied to her that she should not avoid them but bring her light into the world. The problem is that those kind of people bully people until they extinguish all the light and we are left with a world of darkness. We need to learn the lessons of the Celestine Prophesy and push love and light into this world. We should not retreat be more like Momma Bear and push back .

In my case, I thought about this a while and remembered the adage, what does it profit a man to gain the world, but lose their soul. I will not hate the person that is doing this to me. Rather I have come to understand that as she alienates more and more people, it will come to pass that one day she will be alone. In the meantime, I will continue to embrace love and give it freely. I may end up poorer in the end, but I will be richer in spirit and soul. We must all shine our lights and bring hope into this world. Love conquers all. I get it now.

When I say, my heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit, please know these is not a shallow platitude. I truly mean this from my heart. Be a light in the world, shine bright my little fireflies!

firefly

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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

nurse-symbol-clip-art-logo-rainbow-clip-art-hss0po-clipart

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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