What a Difference a Year Makes

EdTux

I remember taking this picture at our old house in Lakeville. I was having issues then as the real me was once again trying to assert herself. I had done everything I could over the years to cement myself as a male in this world. I had even joined the Masons and buried myself so deeply that I was in line to be an officer in my blue lodge, made District Ambassador, joined York Rite where I would become High Priest in Chapter, Deputy Master in Council and Captain General in Commandery. Yes, I was a Knight Templar. As a rookie I won the rookie award, I started a fundraiser for the lodge called Make a Fool of Yourself Night. I would put on a full on pasta dinner arriving at the lodge at noon to start making the sauce from scratch. My son would help me set up for the karaoke show that followed. This was so successful that we continued it for five years. After that, I demitted from all bodies, yet the lodge asked that I come back and do it again. We had a sixth year and did fairly well. I didn’t have to do the food this time, but focused on the show. The funds raised went into the Masonic Charity Fund which helps many in need. That was the one thing that I loved most about the Masons was the devotion to charitable causes.

I remember the night at lodge when we were waiting for the Master, Bill Zablowsky to come. He was making dinner that night. As dinner time drew near and Bill did not arrive, the lodge became frantic. As it turned out, we had every right. That night, on his way to get the food. Bill had a heart attack at the wheel and crashed. Even now, I have a hard time relating this as tears keep welling up. I want to take a moment to state that I loved that man. He was an inspiration to us all. His dedication and love for everyone was overwhelming. Under his leadership a lot got done.

That would become a night that would change my life. After my disastrous coming out in the 90’s, I thought I had buried Emma for good. I went to Bill’s funeral and listened to so many people talk about how authentic he was, how real he was. I, on the other hand, lived a constant lie in order to garner love and acceptance from everyone. In truth, I was Emma, not Ed. It started to eat at me more and more and I sunk deeper and deeper into depression. Cindy and I had moved into this beautiful home in Rock Village. We had plans on starting an alpaca farm. Yet, here I was planning how I would dispatch myself without leaving a darkness on this beautiful place. I had decided that I would get some toxic mushrooms and go deep into the Fall River/Freetown State Forest and lean against a tree and ingest the mushrooms. I had written a story, Emma – An Unlived Life, which was to serve as my suicide note. I also left an In Case of Death (ICOD) note in my desk drawer. It was all planned out except for one minor detail, the love and caring of my wife Cindy. She pressed me on why I had gone to such darkness. I finally caved and tearfully told her everything. I had started to tell her when we were first to be married but she held me off and told me that had her now and all would be good. It was not just good, but great for all those years, but it all caught up to me.

It took Cindy a few days to digest what I shared. She then turned to me and told me that it is time to move forward and that this time, there was no turning back. Soon, I was in counseling and in November of 2015, I started Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Cindy came with me to one of my sessions, so that she could have questions she had, answered by my counselor. I had given her the permission to talk to Cindy at any time. We pressed on.

I developed a plan, and moved forward. With Cindy fully on board, it was full steam ahead. On Mother’s Day of 2016, Cindy told her family. Everyone was in tears and hugs all around. Her family has been absolutely awesome. We used to have a party in June as that was my daughter, Lindsey, Cindy’s, and Cindy’s Mom’s birthdays. So we decided to have one more Family Day and invited both families. As people were starting to leave, Cindy called them all together. She told them of the changes to come. My aunt let out a war hoop and said “About Time!”. She later would tell me that when I tried to come out in the 90’s and said I would be Emma, it intrigued her. When I came out this time, and still said I was Emma, she told me that it had been my Great Grandmother’s name.

While Cindy’s family was very supportive, my own appeared underwhelmed. They had been through this with me before. I was not accepted and beaten back. I reverted and soon everyone liked me again. Now I was to be Emma again. Cindy wanted it to come from her so that they would see she supported me. One by one, people came up to hug me. My brother told me, “Whatever you believe bro, we believe.” Um, okay.

Everyone cleared out and I was preparing for the backlash. I have to admit, it didn’t really come. I won’t say that I had support of my family, basically I did have the support of my sister Judy, my Mom, my nephew Cam, and my daughter Lindsey.  My son Sean, basically said I had supported him so he will support me but he didn’t agree with it. That hurts a bit, but he is a deep Catholic like his Mom.

So, with that all past, the transformation moved into hyperdrive. I was scheduled to go to Austin in July of 2016, so I put in the paperwork for my legal name change. I wanted to have that in hand when I went down there as I planned to meet with my HR rep and my boss. Unfortunately, I also had to post to the local paper an ad advising of the name change. (This would out me to two people who actually read the legal notices.) Anyway, I had to go to Austin for a week. I scheduled a meet with my boss and HR. I advised them of what was happening. (Mind you, in the back of my mind was the remembrance of coming out in the 90’s and losing my job over it.) I have to say that I was overwhelmed by the positive response. HR rep told me that she had a friend who was transgender. She told me that she couldn’t do anything until I updated Social Security. Of course, that requires the court ordered name change. I sat with my boss and he simply asked, “How can I help?”. He asked me if I wanted to tell the team or did he want me to do it. I told him I would. Unfortunately, things didn’t go smoothly with the data center move so I never got to have that meeting. I would tell the team later after I returned home during our daily standups. It was received well and one team member sent me a copy of a wonderful letter that was presented by someone who had transitioned from one of our business units. I modified it to fit me and answer questions that people had.

A few days after arriving home, the letter I was praying for arrived. I was now officially Emma Morgaine Croft. I took a day off so I could go to Social Security and get my name changed. Gender marker couldn’t be changed as I needed a doctor’s letter, birth certificate or passport. Getting my name changed at least allowed me to hit DMV next and get my license changed. As it turned out, I didn’t get my gender marker changed then either because there was another form nobody told me about. Ugh, letter from counselor and the form and back to get gender marker changed. I was finally officially Emma Morgaine Croft, Female!

A week later I got my new Social Security card and took a pic of that and my new license and sent to HR. They updated my records quickly. I was now Emma Morgaine Croft throughout the company. There is a side story to this that I may relate at another time.

I set up a checklist of everything that needed to be changed over. I still need to get some things done, but most of the important stuff is done. Probably the key was finally getting my birth certificate updated. I had submitted the request with the form to be filled out by my endocrinologist. She referred it to her legal who sat on it. I had to get the GLAD lawyers to apply pressure. Despite having submitted the request last year, I didn’t get the signed form until earlier this year. As soon as I had it in hand, I had sent out the request to the State to amend. Shortly after, I had the amended birth certificate. Emma Morgaine Croft was born to Alfred and Dorothy, female!

I got all my credit cards and bank accounts switched over. I have a few things left to get done. I do have to get my military records updated, but I have been distracted by some legal issues. These pertain to an ex and not my transition. That is the only negative in my life at the moment.

I have to admit, my job has shown me nothing but respect. I have been with the company almost fifteen years. Actually it will be fifteen next month. So there is the occasional misname or misgender, but for the most part, at work, I am Emma.

I do want to take a moment to thank all who have helped me on my journey. It feels good to be able to just be. I have come a long way from the picture of the person at the top of this page. I have more to go through. HRT was only the beginning as I will need Breast Augmentation and Gender Confirming Surgery or whatever they call it these days. I keep moving forward.

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My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit!

“Lady” Emma Croft

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The Death of Spirit

God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?

— Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Section 125, tr. Walter Kaufmann
I have struggled through the years with the idea of one God. That is not to say that I believe in a Pantheon, but rather that I sense something, but given all I have endured in my life, it is hard to believe in God, any God. Even as a child, raised to be a good Catholic, go to Church each Sunday and holy day of obligation, I questioned things. Probably the biggest sticking point for  me was the Nicene Creed.

The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

I think the biggest issue was with the Roman Catholic version which said; “I believe in one, holy Roman Catholic and apostolic Church”. I always seemed to gag on that line. Mind you, I embraced my life in the Catholic Church. I was in the children’s choir, an altar boy, sang in the adult choir and even sang solo. I was even a Youth Minister for the Diocese of Providence working at a center in Middletown, RI. I was even one step away from being a priest. Yet, most of this was due to the urging of others who saw I was a deeply spiritual person and being Catholic, put 2 and 2 together and got 5.

I spent a lot of time in the woods and would often talk to God. I didn’t like the idea of prayer. The Church kept trying to teach us that God was our Father, but that we needed to have a priest intercede for us and communicate to God. If we were all his children, why then couldn’t I just talk to him. I must admit that my belief in a Supreme Being was fortified by some things that happened in my life, but on the other hand, was it really the hand of God? Though, admittedly, there was one attempt at suicide that ended inexplicably. I was saved from killing myself by being tugged back just as I was stepping into oncoming traffic. There was no one there. That, and a few other things, helped to string me along in wanting to believe in a divine benefactor, yet, it is all the negative in my life that has finally driven me to believe that there probably isn’t a God.

I have been one who has dedicated my life to helping others. I have sometimes gone without so I could help another. I expected nothing in return. I just did it because that is who I am. Yet. one has to wonder, how a loving Father, a beneficial God, could subject a person to all I have gone through and still am. Of course, there are those who will say, well God gave us free will. Yes, but he also made me and many others transgender. He has subjected me to a lifetime of struggle, mentally, physically, and financially. Yet, through all of this, I still reach out to people. I had one nun turn to me after hearing some of my story and told me she thought I had the spirit of Job. I was constantly being tested to see the strength of my faith.

Faith, hmmm, that is something that is perpetually being tested, yet, those who look at me see a deeply spiritual person. During training for Youth Ministry at Mater Spei Day Camp in RI, I was sitting on my bunk crying. One of the other guys came up and asked what was up. I shared with him how I was struggling with all of this and how they seemed so pious and spiritual and seemed to “get it”. He broke down and cried with me and told me that they were looking to me as they saw me as a spiritual leader. That God has a warped sense of humour.

I ended up assigned to a Youth Center in Middletown, RI. In a weird twist, the sacristy of the chapel was turned into my bedroom. The closet the priests used to store their garments became my closets. One door, opened on the altar. I was off and isolated from the other Youth Ministers. Often I would find myself pacing the warped and cracking floors ranting to God as to why he had led me there and why I was there at all. Of course, no answer. Yet, I would find that my presence would late impact a few young lives. I later learned that one conversation I had stopped a young lady from taking her life. I would find this out later at a retreat. She was a team leader and scheduled to give a talk on friendship. I was in the back going over the menu for lunch and getting ready to go down and prepare it. I had half an ear listening to her. She talked about how people come into your life and bring significant changes. She went on to talk about how we sometimes take people for granted until that one day when they change your life. She then went on to talk about how she had planned to take her life and had come by the center to say goodbye to one of the other Youth Ministers. They weren’t there so they were invited to stay and have some tea and chat for a bit. She said how she soon opened up to this other person and they helped them to see life from a different perspective and made her change her mind about taking her life. She then turned to the back of the room and said that she wanted to thank me for being a friend and being there for her. The whole room stood and clapped To this day, the memory brings a tear. This and other events like it has been what has helped me to believe that there is a divine force guiding us.  But was it really a divine force, or just that I was empathetic and intuitive and just happened to be there.

We always hear the excuses for bad things happening to people. It is God’s will. God gave us free will. Yet, in the end, is it really God, or is it our own sense of right and wrong. I have always believed in doing the right thing. I try to be a good person, not based on a religious standard, but rather based on a human one. I believe the Wiccan koan, An it harm none do what ye will. I guess that is why I struggled with the Catholic religion as it claiming to be the one true religion. I found a great many teachers on many paths. Wisdom is wisdom.

When I first went into counseling, one of the first things my psychologist decided needed to be done, was to find out who I was and what I believed. I don’t know how many responses I made to her where I started with, well people say, or this person says, and she would stop me. She would tell me that she didn’t want to know what they believed, she wanted to know what I believed. That became an interesting point as I started to learn other paths. I learned about the Druids, hey I’m Irish. From there I learned about shaman and then Native American wisdom. I continued to learn and connect with these paths and teachings. I got the ideology behind the Lakota’s term, Mitakuye Oyasin, we are all related. I would also start learning about Quantum Physics and see the interconnection of all things on a scientific level.

Through all of this, I still wanted to believe in that one, all powerful deity who watched out for us. Yet, given the current state of things, I find it extremely difficult to believe in a beneficial deity who watches out for us. I have not abandoned my belief in the connectivity of all things. Yet, given what has happened to me throughout my life and especially what has happened recently, I cannot believe that a beneficent God would allow it.  So I think I have to walk away from that belief.

I won’t go to the extreme to say that I am now embracing the mantle of atheism. I do believe that there is a central energy. I kind of like the idea of the connectivity of the Force. I believe that we can draw on the energy that surrounds us to bring healing to others. So I am not walking away entirely, just releasing the idea that there is one omnipotent, omnipresent being watching over us.  I believe in the science that says we are all connected. I do believe that we are all connected and if we could all somehow get beyond our greed, ignorance, and hatred, we could make this a beautiful world for generations to come. That is what I will put out to the Universe.

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

“Lady” Emma

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Just One Kiss

The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions – the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment. – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

There are many things that a transperson has to overcome on their journey. It is great when you finally get there and start to see the legal documents change one by one. I think one of the greatest moments was when I got my new license with my new name and a big “F” on it. It culminated with my birth certificate finally being changed. Officially Emma Morgaine Croft, female!

Though I am now legally Emma and have been since last July, the transition never really stops. I still have military records to change over. I have the deed on the house and the mortgage, but most everything else is done. Probably the biggest thing now is the interactions with others. Most especially with my wife.

I love Cindy dearly for standing by and supporting me and loving me through all of this. She has been my strength and I love her immensely. Curiously, I noted something recently. When Cindy and I are out in public, I have started turning and giving that cheek kiss or side of lips. Weird. I brought this up in my recent group and I was told that many lesbians have the same issue. It is almost like you become hyper-sensitive to what others perceive when two women kiss. In giving thought to this, I find it sad. Is our society so against love unless it conforms to strict guidelines that people cannot express that love publicly? Now I am not talking about tongue to your belly kisses, I am talking about a simple kiss goodbye or see ya later.

Why is it that our society has created the paradigm that the only love is between a man and a woman. Though, I should say a man and a woman or a child as in some places a man can marry a child. Yet, for two women to share a loving kiss, is bad? I am really struggling with this whole paradigm. Though, at least two women kissing is more acceptable than two men. For some guys, they see two women kissing as kinky. Ugh.

I have harped and harped about how I feel that we need to get over all this labeling. We need to advance as a civilization to the point where we accept love as love without labels. I love Cindy and always will. She has my heart and soul. I am going to take note going forward whenever I feel reticent to show that love in public, to push through that. She deserves all my love and I need to show it no matter where we are.

As I have stated more than once, it should not matter who we love, only that we love.

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

Emma

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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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