Can We Build a Less Prejudiced TG Sense of Community?

Whether you prefer to be called a Transsexual, Transvestite, Drag Queen, Cross Dresser or one of the other numerous labels we may choose from. As a group of avererage thinking to more intellectual minds who sign on and read and post in this cyber community, I would really like to know if you feel we could FOSTER GENUINE SUPPORT for ANY PERSON has had been made to feel different or ashamed or scared about who they are in terms of gender. I am not an activist for TG rights and make no claims to be. I do know however, my best girlfriends encompass realms of genetic, pre-op, post-op, no -op, hetero- cross dressing, gay/fem experiences of "womanhood". I am constantly told however that we as a whole community DO NOT MIX. Are we as a band of sisters evolving away from this ignorant and alienating view of ourselves? I really don't know. I only know what my insulated core group of friends are, and I think a positive union is just around the corner. I would love to hear other gyrls points of view from all different aspects of"womanhood". THIS IS A DISCUSSION HOWEVER, NOT A TRIAL, NOR A WHIPPING POST.

[This message was edited by daddy on 06-05-02 at 03:48 PM.]
Original Post
In the immortal words of The Lady bunny ( with falsetto voice) " I'm a man. "

So where does THAT leave us?

Turn the Paige and try not to be Miss Understood,

A dress alone, nor hair nor added breasts
can really make the woman who she is.

It starts in the soul and slowly
reveals it's own idenity.

As for me?
" I'm a man."
Myself I don't care for labels since they suggest a digital (e.g. binary!) world. Humans are so analog (continuous and varying).

"I would really like to know if you feel we could FOSTER GENUINE SUPPORT for ANY PERSON has had been made to feel different or ashamed or scared about who they are in terms of gender. "

After reading the whipping post in the tea room targeted towards Gloria Wholesome I have my doubts. In fact I have received the most support from Gloria! She has been an advocate of TG support groups, which I have found very helpful, as well as someone that has been willing to listen. In general, I have found many supportive sisters and I am very grateful for that. I suspect that when there is discord between TG's of different shades of gray that it is internal insecurities that fuel the discord. Over-coming these insecurities is no easy task given that the world we live in does not readily accept our gender expression. I can only suggest that we first, feel good about ourselves while ignoring the negativity that may surround us, second, accept people for who they are (forget about labels) and try to focus on their positive qualities, and third, be pro-active in supporting others!. Although these suggestions may sound a bit clich̩ I feel this is true for all differences between people, whether it be religious, ethnic or otherwise. Ok РI'm off the bully-pulpit!

Peace
Hey Bobby

Didn't I see a picture of you naked in a large wig, hiding your man meat and pushing your pecs togehter to form clevage? And didn't I hear an autobiographical poem you wrote boast of living full time as a woman for an extended period. So where do your frequent masculine assertions come from? Do you not consider at least part of yourself gender variant?

Having been a CD or a Drag Queen or however you thought of yourself and declaring (or taking back as the case may be) your manhood, as appears to be your wont, might make for an interesting and popular new topic!

Actually Drag Queens who insist on their non-identification with the Trans-community would make an excellent and apparently badly needed topic, a good forum to vent masculinity, and a means to distance politically from those of us who identify as (a catch-all term) transgendered!

Otherwise there is no need to post here, for you are truly in the wrong Forum, dude!

[This message was edited by Rose Royalle on 05-31-02 at 03:37 AM.]
a rose by any other name...
follow your heart...
be all that you can be..
I am what I am.

I didn't know that there were so many rules, I thought we could all just live as we please
and be who we wanna be.

And even during the years with tits and make up
and long waistlength hair..

I always had the meat.
But meat alone does not make the man I guess.
Sweetie - I love you - you always say the darndest things and I often find myself nodding 'uh-huh' with my mouth open. You also wouldnt be the first to wonder why 'we' cant find some common ground to stand on - at least one or two nights of the week anyway. Rose - that was a caustic little note - but I agree with the spirit, if not the letter of it - No one likes a hint of Male Privilidge - like "Liz is back in Bloomingdales" musking up the TG landscape. HOWever - as a 'transgendered' person - I find common ground with Bobby on a lot of levels and identify to some degree with his story (what little I know of it).

I think its also worth mentioning that gender is largely what 'other' people perceive - Regardless of how we might perceive or present ourselves - others will always have perspectives we can neither control nor anticipate. I have one rotten client - lets call her Cleopatra - who doesnt think Im gay much less a big queen, and Im comfortable leaving it that way. Keep in mind it was never my intention to mislead her - she is just very stupid. In her mind, Im a wholesome country 'boy' from god knows where who's kind of 'eccentric' -- teaching her kid how to use photoshop better. If she wants to see me as a man, fine - I'll admit, I play it - now that I know what the audience wants - I can even fancy myself 'that way' sometimes, although I start morphing all over the place with every step away from her townhouse. Also, many 'girls' can falsetto themselves hoarse and it wont make anyone think of them as feminine or female in the slightest - no matter how much they might wish to be perceived.

No one really likes to be taken for something they are not - which is why its necessary to say -"I am this" or "I am a man" or wahtever. I think many of us are always revisiting what is to be a "man" - through dress, behaviour, again -whatever. Afterall, these are the issues of our time. I fortunately have some pretty awesome male relatives who have led the 'man' thing by example and fit the bill in some pretty authentic ways - so Im not really hung up about it that much - but I also dont appreciate when someone labels me one way or another.

dont get me started wink
I love it! I love it! I find this all so very fascinating. I loved April's post, especially her views on "gender expression". And on some weird level Bobby's need to assert his manhood in this room was just as valid. I have heard Bobby speak briefly about his time on hormones, and find it mind boggling that he always percieved himself as POSITIVELY male. I guess I can only speak from my experience. And thinking back when I felt my first pangs of womanhood, I certainly would not have classified myself as a Drag Queen. I guess I was a pre-adolescent, closeted, semi-female identified queer. I can honestly say however, how I started percieving the world and my reactions to things were different than my stright male siblings, diferent than my burgeoning gay friends, and much more similar to the straight girls who I mingled with, dated, had sex, and looked to for answers. From that very early age, i had a very real identification with the female spirit. Not to go unsaid, I also had a good understanding and communication with my maleness. But at a very early age I learned to own my femaleness. I have never truly wanted a vagina, thats not MY NEED. I do however, whole heartedly celebrate the duality of my spirit. The grey area in gender is soooo fierce.

I think one good lesson is not everyone of transgender experience necessarily needs a cosmetic vagina to feel whole. So many degrees my dears. A fascinating suject!!!!
Lemme start over as it were..

I am a man. I have lived as a "woman". I have been on hormones and have had breasts. I always had a dick ( my own I mean) I have had moments when I felt like a "woman" but I knew I was not. People have a right to believe anything they like about themselves as far as I'm concerned and anyone who doesn't like it can kiss the proverbial ass ( Jim Fouratt).

However I think that many people are confused about their gender even if they are born with one particular set of genitals. Which brings up the question of what exactly decides ones gender.
Are we the gender we choose to be, in which case
I guess I could just choose to be pamela Lee Anderson, get myself some big titties and I'm in business or am I defined by nature and what the Goddess gave me at birth. I bet there are numorous exceptions to all these rules. No wonder it's so cornfusing to so many folks.

In the meantime. I have decided at this junction in life that I am definately a man.
But I'm not throwing out the drag bag just yet dears.
As a genetic New York Jewish girl, I want to say that I love this community. I've only recently discovered it--thank heaven you all exist!!! I've been to Cheez Whiz a couple of times and think it is the coolest, most welcoming spot in NYC. Thank you Sweetie! I met my girlfriend on 'altmatch' and she is the most beautiful, sweetiest tgirl in the world (I could go on and on, but it gets very mushy). The bad thing is that she lives in Chicago and I live here, but hopefully we can live together in the future. So I just want to thank you all for being so fabulous, sexy and welcoming.

Karen
Wow, what a great experience to share. I do hope you check out the Cheez Whiz forum in NYC CLUBS and EVENTS. Love is one of those things we all are sooooo worthy of, and for you to have found it in such an exciting way is really way beyond cool.
I would certainly hope the next time you are at The Whiz you would say hi and remind me our connection on the boards.
When the umbrella term "transgender" started to encompass everyone on the Benjamin scale, from 1 to 6, I welcomed it. I remember how the NYC Drag Queens fought to not be included under that term at Stonewall 25, in order to have a separate marching contingent from Transgender. I was saddened by that at the time, but now have more understanding. There is really very little that an active transsexual (I make that distinction as I have encountered so many on the net that call themselves "transsexuals" but only because they say that one day they will make the transformation in their lives) has in common with say a Transvestite or Cross-Dresser, who otherwise expresses themself as a male in every way, but has a compunction to "dress" occasionally. The worst case example would be members of a national organization of Crossdressers called Tri-ess (the Society for the Second Self) who are notorious butch "Men in Dresses" with a rabid anti gay or bi code in their rules and bylaws. As far as commonalities between the various shades of transgender, I have found far more to relate to among Drag Queens than Cross-dressers.
I do however love to be among mixed peoples rather than all of the same type. I have always thought that to be a big plus with the Mother Parties in the past. I particularly used to love Click and Drag because it had such a wonderful mix of peoples (gay, straight, trans, Drag, Goth, Vampire, Rocker, leather, what have you?) But when we speak in terms of "community" I also have that knee-jerk response of "we don't mix." But in what sense are we speaking of community here? I applaud you Sweetie for saying that there is a comon ground of a need for support among anyone who is discriminated against or bashed in any way for simply expressing shades of gender variation. In that way, I certainly have much sympathy for anyone else who is ridiculed or discriminated against by members of society for being different in any way. Certainly one would think that there would be much common ground
among all those discriminated against for their gender expression. But Crossdressers are only public when they go to parties, so how much can they really know about this?
Speaking as one who live her life in a transformed body and personna that is different than my societal birth role, I also get tired of having TG thrown in my face. It's not my handle, but it is what I am. It must be like being black and having those around one and those who one encounters day to day, incessantly reminding one that they are black. For those who lead two lives, there is a great hunger and thrist for this TG identity when they come out to play, or perhaps even when they are sitting at home in their closets, but when it's your full-time life, you like to give it a rest.
But still, support is vital. I have used what support exists for me more than once (The LGBT Anti-Violence Project, The Gender Identity Project, and others). Support and Counsel are both important, but the scale of how important is going to vary as much as the transgender scale varys, from perhaps the guy who might dress up once in a while for "kicks" to the high intensity True Transsexual who will commit suicide if their genital conversion surgery is too long delayed, and all who fall in between. Perhaps I am being pessimistic.
thoughtfully put Stacy

Im going to add that politically it might be easier to define "transgendered behavior", as opposed to a "transgendered" group of people. Everyone has a different personal identity, and I don't think its necessary to catagorize - especially for legal reasons.

"Thou shalt not discriminate on the basis of varied gender expression." Now there's a law for ya! Afterall, its the expressing of gender variation that "invites" trouble from the ignorant, small-minded and wicked. We could argue about who dresses when or how people express themselves or what label they want to use - but it bothers me that fighting to put "TG" in laws designed to protect people is a foregone conclusion.

I think there is a smarter strategy. I would advocate (instead of inclusion of TG in a list of groups) for laws prohibiting discrimination (in housing, employment, etc) based on acts of "varied gender expression".

Legally, "Transgender" would seem to imply a "group" of people all marching under the same banner. I think it is a mistake to focus on a "group". For example, once "varied gender behavior" is specifically, legally recognized as arousing widespread discrimination in our country (like freedom of speech, or freedom of religion) services for "transgendered people" (a necessary social grouping) could begin to blossom with state and federal approval (this is OUR country too, afterall!). Also, once Varied Gender Expression (lets call it VGE shall we?) is legally recognized to arouse bigotry, intolerance and violence - it could be more easily dealt with on the streets and in the courts. This way, any person (you might say, a 'transgendered' person) can express "transgendered behavior" with access to services and with recourse to the criminal justice system - in other words, without fear.

I think if you care about TG expression and/or the freedom to be yourself in whatever form, you have to be prepared to rethink the strategy. The humans who attack because you don't fit their idea of gender WHATEVER don't ask what the fuck you call yourself before they punch you in the face or verbally assault you. They only see your gender variation, your "act" of deviancy - and they hate it.

[This message was edited by Jade on 06-03-02 at 02:21 AM.]
I've always just felt, hmm, I guess you can call it "socially androgynous."

While growing up I was very uncomfortable with the expectations of the male gender role. Still, I didn't drop the toy trucks and run for the Barbies. I preferred Legos and crayons.

"Gender" can refer to biology or it can refer to social roles. Personally, I think that while male and female personalities probably have some natural genetic differences, our culture tends to exaggerate those differences to bizarre proportions.

While I'm not interested in fulfilling the "male" cultural role, I don't necessarily feel I need to be female either. Instead of rejecting "maleness" I'd rather just redefine it on my own terms.

n
I think so much of the discussion above really has to do more with grades of comfortability within oneself. Stacy you made a re-mark I found intresting about cross dressers only risking discrimination when they are dressed and in public. A good girlfriend of mine (str8 cross dresser) has shared with me the CONSTANT axe that hangs over her head in terms of family members and a wife finding out about this "double life" It is fear that keeps alot of these people so stuffed in there psychological closet, the thought of being totally open is too much for them to even comprehend. As a Drag Queen I can say everytime I leave my house whether in full drag or clean faced with shaved eyebrows, diamond studs and a gorgeous red pedicure I somehow become "political". I am just going to a deli or for a drink and all of a sudden I see Mr. I would fuck you if you were in a dress but now all I see is a faggot clock my toenails and threaten to rip my head from my body. As per Miss Understood, I don't necessarily feel female, this is actually my "butch" look. (seriously) In fantasy I am sure being a completely passable TS would be an unbelieveable ride, HOWEVER, how many TS women do we actually see that are UNSPOOKABLE. The courage these women have, the committment, the responsibility to themslves is unfathomable to me. I have no real point, only responses to what I have read. I love the different points of view by people who live very different lives, YET WE ARE ALL LUMPED INTO THE TRANSGENDERD LABEL. Interesting to say the least.
Hi all...... I have lurked here for a bit and thought this discussion valuable and oh so interesting, time to jump in I guess. Sweetie's comments regarding comfortability within one's self seem especially important. Regardless of the range of ones feelings and behaviors I think integration into one's being is paramount in terms of ones abilties to deal with the complexities that life throws at us.
Stacey made some interesting observations about crossdressers. Most of the crossdressers I have encountered are men who, by day, rigidly comply with their ""male role." I think that they fetishize their "female' side because to them it is forbidden.

I guess, living in my little "bohemian" bubble just places me outside of that. I have no fear of wearing bright colors, giggling, gossiping, or discussing personal issues when I'm not in drag. I don't really acknowledge a "masculine" and a "feminine" si de. I just do whatever.

I guess my point is that I don't relate to the crossdresser thing one bit. Don't get me wrong, I'm not down on crossdressers. I think it's gorgeous that they're doing their thing. I certainly appreciate anyone that shakes u p the status quo! I just think that we do what we do for VERY different reasons.

I have no "day job" no "wife and kids" and no conservative social circle to hide from. Drag is simply my idea of gorgeousness. It's not a release of my hidden self. I wo n der, very often, when I talk to people who are frustrated with their conventional lives, what it is that keeps them there at all. I guess it depends upon choices made early on. I suppose if I had become a lawyer or something I would have to be more c oncerned about impressing certain kinds of people. Somewhere along the line something clicked and I knew I didn't want to take any conventional routes. I guess for me, my freedom to live as I please was a higher priority than it is for some. Owning a b usiness suit would probably make me suicidal.a
All I can do is nod in agreement and say "so well stated." I think I know what you mean, Sweetie, about not having a focused point, but I think that there is one there somewhere. This is a difficult topic to really tie together for some reason. I obviously have a lot of mixed feelings about it. Perhaps it's a flaw of character on my part, but I still haven't much sympathy or patience for anyone who is scared to death to show their colors in this world. Maybe that's where support is sorely needed. I think that those of us that are totally out and proud today may be lending courage and strength to some that will eventually build enough strength to come out into the world and live their lives as they truely wish to. I know that there wasn't much support or many transsexual role models for me when I was growing up, and I was beaten back into the closet each time I tried to assert my life, in high school and after. It took me a while to gain the strength to be true to myself and just go for it.

It's been all gaining more and more momentum each decade. There really wasn't anyone before Christine Jorgenson and Renee Richards in te 1950's. But who were they? I really couldn't relate much to either other than what they had done for themselves. Strange as it may seem, other transsexuals weren't real people to me until the 1980s, when there suddenly was a lot of transsexual porn, and people like Sulka or Shalimar bacame seedy starlets. I suddenly could relate to them.

When I finally found myself transitioning my life and personna as well as my body in the early 90s, I found peer pressure in TS support groups in NJ and NYC to be extremely set on ones being "legitimate" only if one has had SRS (genital conversion surgery)or had set a date for it. I think that this caused too may that should not have had that surgery to have it performed, only to regret it afterwards. Unfortunately, this pressure is strengthened by the medical-psychiatric community as well as the legal and law enforcement communities. Police are of the mind set that if you have "the Plumbing" then you are to be treated like a man.

I must say though that acceptance for non-genital op transsexuals is growing. The Gender Identity Project has even been recognizing "Phallic Women" as a valid identity for at least 5 years now. So things are definetly changing.

Maybe visibility is support in some sense. I hope that in that way, courage can be contagious. Yet I have to admit that I haven't much respect or sympathy that I can feel for someone who abandons themself to their fear of being discovered to be a crossdresser or whatever, without any plan to get themselves out of that life-damning panic and dread. Yet I would feel wonderful to know that I might have helped someone out of that hellish nowhere.
When I was around the age of 25 I had two things that I wanted to do with my life. To be on Broadway are Drive race cars. I had done alot of theater at this point and the racing that I had done was pretty good and most poeple thought that I could go along way in racing. I decided to stay in NY and continue acting. The point to this little story is that in the time that I was thinking about racing fulltime I allways had this little dream in my head about how I could go aroung the country hauling my race car from town to town and every night that I spent in a hotel I would kick off my shoes take a hot bath put on my nighty and dream about the day that I would become a woman!

Drag Queen, Transexual, Crossdresser, I don't fucking care what you call me we are all in this together and we need each other more than we know!
" I guess for me, my freedom to live as I please was a higher priority than it is for some. " That may be it in a nutshell, Miss Understood. Sometimes the desire may be growing and latent and its a matter of timing. I remember what a quiet, shy kid I was until in 8th grade, the boy behind me in class would not leave me alone. He was always whispering funny things to me and singing songs to me really low until he finally won me over and in a big way. Suddenly I was transformed, which really scared my parents and the nuns in that Catholic School. That boy and I suddenly started wearing more and more feminine atire, and doing our own thing, and admitted to each other how we both wished that we could be real women and go fuck Jimi Hendrix (our Love God). I know I'm really giving away my age here. We were married in a small ceremony behind the church one day during recess. We had a flower girl, and a very small group attending (all girls). My point is how that strong character was the catalyst of change for me.

Suddenly there was way too much passion for living our own way, than to care about the older boys terrorizing us afterschool, or having to run away from them etc. or all of the things we heard people yell at us for the way we were dressing. That was back in the Hippie days (1969) but still, as androgynous as those days were (for awhile) we were still crossing the line. The following year I was expelled from Boys Catholic High school for a number of reasons, including getting caught by the Principle (Brother Steven Martin) after changing into my sisters clothes in the boys room. I just couldn't stand to walk the streets in that horendous white-shirt and tie school uniform.

I couldn't stand not to be me, from those early days in my life. But I have to say that I wouldn't have done it without my best friend and love a that time. Tragically, he was killed by a drunk driver who went through a red light, a few years later, and I was on my own again. I grew up not far from NYC, near Elizabeth NJ, and there was absolutely no support there. Ironically, it could have been 1000 miles from NYC rather than 30. for the mentality there, and I returned to my shell and closet once again. For me the 70s were a very depressing time. If there had been some form of TG community support then, I wouldn't have lived dormant until the 90s. I have often wondered in recent years why I lacked te courage to just go to the city and live my life. I guess I had to learn to be more confident, and looking back, I have always gained strength and confidence when there was support from another sympathetic person.

I guess I believe that support by example is the most compelling form of learning that leads to personal transformation.
This topic is really buzzing tonight. Way cool.

I was a closeted CD for some years and I had to recently admit to myself that I wasn't a straight male either. Since expressing myself in a more constructive way I have found that I love it and am considering a 24/7 lifestyle. It is so very hard to explain why, but it just seems to feel right. Although I have had lots of encouragement it was also helpful to hear in a TG support group that I attend that "it's ok to step back". I know that once I decide to do it I will - even at the loss of my day job. What concerns me the most is the effect it can have on the people who love and depend on me.

I have a daughter and she, being a bright young teenager, has noticed some slight changes in my appearance and it has invoked a strong emotional response from her (even over such trivial things as hair and nails). I recently shared with a friend my self expression and she freaked. I really didn't expect that! Having lost dear friends before I know I can bear it, even when it is very painful, but I could not bear the loss of my daughter. If that happened I would also feel that I let her down. These are important years for her and (I hope) she needs my support. It's a tough call as I don't want a dual life either (way too much to manage). I have a lot of respect for those who are or have transitioned as it takes a lot of courage and the possible loss of your family and friends. Thankfully as Stacy has pointed out there are more role models now (my favorite: www.lynnconway.com) support groups and forums like this to share experiences while on this incredible journey.

[This message was edited by April on 06-05-02 at 12:43 AM.]

[This message was edited by April on 06-05-02 at 01:05 AM.]
I can't easily jump in (being the world's ugliest gender-variant "thing" to come down the pike as most of you know) but this discussion is so smart & riviting.

I've been around the drag world for years. It started at G.G. Barnum's in Times Square where I was a go go dancer. One day I got caught in the G.G. dressing room. The "girls" asked Miss Peter- The Sweetie of her day, "Can we keep him, Can we keep him Miss Peter?"
They did.
Never a tranny or a chaser I always appreciated "the show". Then came The Pyramid Club, Boy Bar, Susanne Bartsch Parties, Ball Houses (I'm an Xtravaganza), Jackie 60 etc. etc. etc. I just love my girls! I know some people wonder why I started QUEENMOTHER.TV and these QM FORUMS... I'm not "trans" anything... but somehow it just seemed natural. Reading this topic makes me feel like it's all worth it. Thanks, and please, carry on ladies!
(and yes, I know I'm a little "drag" orientated but I'm a LEO and have always been "show people")


My two faves...

APRIL:
quote:
Myself I don't care for labels since they suggest a digital (e.g. binary!) world. Humans are so analog (continuous and varying).

Brilliant April... Humans are so analog!

MISS UNDERSTOOD:
quote:
While I'm not interested in fulfilling the "male" cultural role, I don't necessarily feel I need to be female either. Instead of rejecting "maleness" I'd rather just redefine it on my own terms.

I agree... You really do!

[This message was edited by daddy on 06-05-02 at 01:51 AM.]
Speaking as a butch queen (I paint with that term more broadly than most, clearly smile I think there are obviously lines where we dont intersect with one another - lines that must be recognized and respected (which btw is part of the reason why the term "transgender" is of limited usefulness, except as a description of behavior).

So, I for one can only imagine the magic a full-time shemale must have to conjure to get through the day! The stories Stacy tells me about her walks home or her trips on the subway would break your heart (if it hasnt already been broken a hundred times from personal experience, that is). Ive heard it so much now Im sadly desensitized to it - I understand it feels like your very existence is up for debate, and I can only imagine - because my street experience happens on a much subtler level.

But we are bonded by strategy, baby - As people who feel free enough to exhibit "transgendered" behavior in its myriad forms - you have to be: more careful, more alert, more charming, more disarming, more thick-skinned and more fabulous because your behavior (whether you're a shemale or a day queen) marks you for discrimination - and that's something we all have in common.


Sorry I clicked the wrong button - haven't touched your post--Rose

[This message was edited by Rose Royalle on 06-05-02 at 07:31 AM.]
Well, my mind expanding Sweetie, this drop the bomb topic has been running around my already busy brain for days. I'm very happy to see people expressing themselves and shedding their experiences. (Stacy, welcome home honey, I've often wondered how you were doing.)

A Transgendered Woman Is
A Transgendered Woman Is
A Transgendered Woman!

A transgendered woman is not a man!
A transgendered woman is not a woman!
(Repeat chorus)

Bobby Miller and I are friends. I love him as a human being and as an artist. I want to live long enough to celebrate his 80th birthday. Whichever and however he chooses to define himself now or at any other time won't change any of that. Whew!
(I only ask that if he decides to purge his wardrobe he purge my way!)

My only little, and last comment on this subject is that, (God I hope I'm not becoming the Bella Abzug of the Boards!) with due respect to everyone involved in this topic, I feel that reclaiming manhood as valid as it is, really doesn't relate to the matter at hand which is "creating a less predujiced community." On some level it seperates us.

Mightn't I say that (gender variant) persons who identify as gay men, or just plain effiminate (gay) men for that matter, have unfortunately been politicized as being seperate from the tg community (prehaps for their own shame-based social-psychological reasons). It would be important for these men to know that they need the protections of pending gender variant civil rights legislative acts more than a passable transsexual does because they will be discriminated on the basis of how they are perceived by the sick hate mongers who want us all dead! HELLO!!!

Just look at what's going on with SONDA to see the rift in gay and lesbian rights vs TG rights. (Do some research--I've written about this stuff adinfititum in this Forum!)

Jade, I couldn't believe that the last time I saw you, your comment about tg activists was "they never get anything done." This was after Mayor Blumberg had recently signed legislation which protects the entire spectrum of gender variants in NYC from discrimination! This was accomplished by a long difficult effort by transgendered women and men who worked through NYAGRA and the NYTGCoalition!

While I love and appreciate personal stories about our experiences (not that anyone could or should take these away) I worry that this becomes psycho-babble on some level unless we know the issues that face our community today, and are willing to do some work to make our freedoms a reality. Work means contributing some of our time to do tasks like showing up (creating larger numbers) to make politicians take notice so they will support our inclusion in SONDA (Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act that the G&L community has not had the decency to include us in!!) While we have some protections in the city thanks to the hard work of the tg activist community--SONDA would make tg discrimination against the law--statewide!!

It bugs me endlessly that during the entire effort to get the City Bill (Intro 24) passed, demonstrations and trips to Albany (to get us on that freedom train to which we have been denied) I only saw one person from the drag performance community show up!!!
I stand corrected--a few others did but only when it involved high visibility events. (Appearing for photo ops for fame and glamour, and shedding a tear at Sylvia's funeral don't cut it!!!)

Some of our own Motherboard folks did come to a few meetings, etc and thank you Helin, Minerva, Goddess Diana, Sabrina and Curtis. Forgive me if I forgot anyone.

The Radical Faeries, at least on an organizational level should be commended as gay identified gender variant men for lending their support, as did the Motherboards, and many other mostly activist and union organizations but still, that kind of name lending alone is insufficient. Hell, we have the Catholic Church to fight, the recent scandals will surely hold up SONDA with or without trans-inclusion since they are villifying the LGBT community again!.

Maybe we need a georgous poster person to attract more participation--it probably wouldn't hurt--but some ofus still have to do the footwork--that's where we fall short. This kind of participation could create a closer community!!

I work in a Restaurant as some of you might know on weekends. The girls employed there are some of the most flambouyant Drag Queens you'll ever see, gorgy TG's (some on hormones with tits as big as watermelons), some post-op transsexuals and gender situatons that happily defy definition. We all get along like sisters--in fact we all love each other. It don't matter squat about anyone's genital arrangement, sexual orientation or who you think your husband is -- we're all "Queens." If anyone ever fucked with any one of my girls (OK I'm the Mother) they'd better stay clear of me and I know everyone else feels the same way, 'cause as someone posted earlier in this topic "we're in the same boat"!! There's no "I'm more transgendered than thou" 'tude here.

Are there any clubs or parties where we could socialize in an atmosphere of sisterhood and fun? Sadly not to my knowledge. We tend to be in seperate groups-different shades of gender variant usually don't bother to mix.

One example of cooperation that I can think of was the NYAGRA benefit at Cheez Whiz. We raised money for advocacy and enjoyed an atmophere of warmth and merry. Some of the Faeries attended and made contributions. A few drag performers showed up and donated their talents and there was transsexual activitst entertainment on stage as well!

Can't we have more of this??? Can't we all feel comfortable under the same roof?? Isn't this the issue really??

So I've said my peace and anyone who doesn't like it can Kish Mir Tuccas in Macy's window! Don't even, cause I'm not coming back to this topic anytime soon.

Rose

...a little progress to cheer about...

The Heritage of Pride (HOP) Board who organize the G & L Pride Parade have elected to change the name to the LGBT Pride Parade on their stationary and all official advertising-- We can march a little prouder this year!!
It felt really good to be on a small NYTGCoalition committee headed by Melissa Sklarz, which made this happen-
I recommend tg advocacy participation- it has it's rewards!

--BTW..if you see me in the supermarket and I'm in my old grubby boy rags, showing stubble and my nails look like shit---I'm still Rose, in fact I'm Miss Rose to you! You know who you are!!

[This message was edited by Rose Royalle on 06-05-02 at 08:10 AM.]
Rose,
I understand why you get upset. You are an extremely hard worker and have written volumes on These boards. I'm sure you must feel like the girl who knows that the Martians are planning to take over the Earth but can't get anyone to listen. Don't give up. And BTW I think you are our Bella Abzug, just not as pretty.
Just kidding!
I support ANYONE who wants to be ANYTHING and as far as I am concerned EVERYONE has a right to express their sexuality in ANY role or gender that suits their needs. I only wish we could all learn to have a better sense of humor about ourselves. I realize that life is a serious thing for some people and that life is hard and challenging. I don't think by my owning my own sexuality and gender that it should in any way detract from others and their choices.
And I never meant in any way to offend or belittle anyone or their gender choices.

Somebody say love.
I never said activists never get anything done. Even if I thought that, why would I say that to you? What I said was I had been reading your NYAGRA pages and, because of all the drama and shakeups, was surprised anything got done at all. What pissed you off I think was that I said a lot of those girls in some of those meetings need to get a life - unfortunately we were standing on the dance floor at Don Hills - so I could not elaborate. I was speaking about my own experiences with others at gender meetings at the center back in 94-95. And, in retrospect, my comment wasn't fair - because we really don't know each other that well - and I certainly could have spoken more sensitively.

It is also true I could be better informed, and thats my mission right now. So I want you to know that I appreciate your hard work and the information you tirelessly share - We all have to find our own battles, and frankly, I think TG strategies could be directed in more focussed and creative ways. So that's what Im working on - even if I dont physically show my support.

[This message was edited by Jade on 06-05-02 at 12:45 PM.]
I have been out in the world as Lisa for about two years now but only a few times have I stepped into daylight. I know that the courage to do this will have to come from myself just like the courage it will take for the trans communite to be a real part of the world will have to come from the trans persons themselves. I am still alittle scared to get involved with a TG support group becuase that just puts me one step closer to my truth and that can be scarry, but I need that support and I need those freinds, becuase gay men and women can only help so much. We have to depend on each other.
The recent diologue in this topic has absolutely blown my mind. The selfless sharing of tg experience and history (good or bad) is exactly what ALL OF US of all gender variants need to read and understand. How can we let go of some of our prejudice disposition if we don't "know" the person we canott identify with. Stacy I found your comments and sharing so on the money. I hope you do know that some lurking, frightend, alienated person, trapped in their own skin might read your post and take that first step out their door into the world. My mom always told me to "LEAD BY EXAMPLE" , GODDAMMNIT GIRL, lEAD THE WAY!!!!! I for one have the Pollyanna outlook on the community, that because we are (here goes) more evolved spiritually, people of TG experience can change things, can change attitudes, prejudices. It takes courage. So many different layers of "femaleness" and points of view literally bubbling up and bursting onto these pages. And for the most part the negativity is at an all time low. YEAH!!!! Sisters this is a fierce support group in itself. It is also a great learning tool for people who have not had experiences with different TG "Herstories" I have cried over the last half hour reading the posts. Very moving, very inspirational. My only concern is right now I feel like this topic is about US coming together as a group, a core, a band of sisters. I don't want to get too mired down in political reference and law jargon. We need to take baby steps. (this topic is what I am referring to) These boards are used by the brightest, most illuminated souls, I can easliy touch within a hundred block radius. Write on ladies.....and God Bless
I have been reading everyones posts with such enthusiasm and interest. I would like to share a few things with several of you:
April: I know something of the feelings that you are going through about family and transitioning. I remember how much angst and fear that caused me. Once I knew there was no turning back for me any longer, I actually remember having thoughts of wishing my family dead so that I would be able to live. As insane as that sounds (and is) that's a good example of the level of torment that this can cause one to experience. Sure enough though, they all disowned me, but that has changed over time. Now my mother and I are closer than ever, and when I visit her, she introduces me to people in her building as her "daughter Stacy." I'm back in touch again with my sisters and brothers and some cousins and aunts. They now view my life as a success for they can see how happy I am, as well as being an actual person and personable.

When people who love you see you changing toward something thy fear and don't understand, they are going to understandably not approve and with much feeling and dissent or even disg ust. It is up to the individual, I believe, to show them, through their own confidence and successful living that they have made the right choice, if not the only choice.

I'm thrilled that even Daddy has come here and joined in.

Jade, I'm touched by yo ur open sympathy and care. Actually though, my life gets easier and easier as I proceed. Most of the people I encounter from day to day are very nice. So many here in Jersey City, both men and women have been friendly and accepting, as well as respectf ul. The other type of reaction is happily the exception, and sometimes,they are so extraordinary in their behavior that by their intensity, they can overshadow all of the wonderful warm people that are the majority. As you well know, I believe that the world is our mirror. I have found that the more inwardly serene and soft I am, and to the world, the more the world mirrors that. Anger and fear cause us to be harsh and eventually hard inside and out. When I encounter threatening and even violent reactions, it is to themselves,of corse that they are in reality reacting to. I can only keep my distance and not add anything more to that vicious cycle of anger and violence, and hopefully allow them, or one of them room in their minds and hearts to grow. Hopefully with the help of the Great Mother, I can have a nurturing effect rather than keeping that energy alive and growing by feeding into it.

Rose: I am happy to have come "home" too. I especially love that poem or song "A Transgendered Woman."

Sweetie Your post has touched me alot and has given me more strength. How unsure of myself sometimes. I was thinking earlier today that I might be rambling on too much on these boards. You have helped me to see that it's worth it. I also believe , like you, that we are spiritually special people. The American Indians as well as most so-called "Primitive" cultures around the world recognized, accepted, and revered us, placing us in special roles such as shaman and healers, leaders of ceremonies and dances. I was thrilled to read that the great Sioux Chief Crazy Horse had 6 wives, one of them being a Berdache, what we woud call transgendered.


To quote Hello Kitty: Me Happy to Be Here.
Goddess Bless Us All

[This message was edited by Stacy Amber on 06-06-02 at 12:16 AM.]
Hi girls,

Jade, I didn't mean to be harsh, it's just that I'm an old control freak who, and as Daddy suggested get frustrated when I fear that no one is taking my input seriously. (Need that validation!) I'm very happy that you are rediscovering your activist side and will keep you posted of activities coming up. In my experience it is empowering to take actions of my own behalf. Not only does it keep me from validating my victimhood but also builds self esteem through esteemabe acts. Prehaps we can hook up. Having said all that I also agree with you that working in groups can be trying and I quote from an annonymous source, "Leading trannys is like trying to herd cats. You get nowhere and just annoy the cats."

Stacy, you've reminded me what a beautiful soul you are and I'm grateful that you are coming out on the Boards. You've got so much to contribute to our "culture".

April- Like you I worked for Glorya. She took me under her wing like a sister and generously shared her experiences (and some wigs) with me. I have deliberately stayed away from commenting on the fueds that have come up regarding her and Gill on the Motherboards, but I will say in the context of this topic as I understand it-- Sweetie has offered several olive branches, opportunities to iron things out and they completely shut down communications.

Glorya and Gill's party promotions on the Boards never really bothered me enough to start a brouhaha because after all..don't all the promoters shamelessly plug themselves?--it appears to come with the territory! BUT--I do declare sis... if you're going to advertise here at least partake in the dialogues that go on. Linking us back to your site won't do and can even be taken by some as presumptuous and rude...Give us the dignity of a personal response at least and give back a little something!

Wouldn't it be totally powerful if Sweetie and Glorya, two titanic leaders joined forces for the betterment of the community! Stranger things have happened.

I respect and have good memories and feelings for the time I worked for Glorya-- anyone who starts bandying around with all the shade about trade and commerce needs to take a good look in the mirror!!! There's narry a one of us that ain't a whore in one way or another! Talk about intolorance!!! Check out Rosalynne Blumenstien's testimony at City Hall about the t-girls who were not born with one leg up like so many of us who are fortunate enough to know how to get by because we've had some education and can make our talents marketable. I've had a glimpse of the huge homeless transgendered population who are mercifully helped to some extent by Housing Works, an organization which could use our support in terms of volunteer work and benefit events. Many of these girls are tormented by their own people, kicked out of their homes and wind up, by default, working the streets. They are denied accomodations, jobs, and are driven out of shelters. Many contract HIV/AIDS and are then denied health services because of who they are. So what does Glorya offer those girls--think about it before you start giving out the hypocritical shade I've seen too many times.

My Mom, Sabrina in a rare lucid moment suggested.."why don't the pharmaceutical cos. that profit from the widespread use of hormones, pay to educate the public about the tg community!" Pretty good idea, Mom!

I should know by now that anything Sweetie touches inspires people and becomes popular just as this topic has. Forgive me, my friend, for getting carried away--there are, God knows, enough topics to rant on about advocacy and certainly the outpouring of personal testimony here is valuable and desperately needed in many ways. Thank you for this wonderful topic and please don't let an old whore like me intimidate anyone from anything they need to express!!

[This message was edited by Rose Royalle on 06-07-02 at 05:24 AM.]
Great post Ms Royale!!! So many great points so well tended to. I really must say however......
I really do not see myself as a "Leader". I am a damn good entertainer, a big mouth, a passionate soul, a lot of things, but I do not pretend to be a leader, I am simply finding my way with the rest of the flock. Mine and Glorya's bad blood stems back as far as I can recall to stupidly enough a club pass promoting QUEEN BEE. It then involved me supposedly trying to lure a dj of hers away (a friend whom I was simply inviting to my B'day party) I am not telling anything except what I know as the truth. Those who are not ABSOLUTELY with Glorya are ABSOLUTELY against her. There is no common ground. Two people can throw a similar based party YET attract two very different clienteles. My venues have always sustained because of the "SHOW". I am old show trash and thats where I am my best. I am also believe it or not a real lover of people. I think there is common ground for almost anybody. Without any negativity coming from my direction, I was informed that I had become the puchline to many sophomoric jokes in Glorya's act. Why I really could not say except I had a drag night. Our familiarity with each other is minimal, so I had not done anything to provoke such unkindness. I am human however and when pushed can be a viscious old queen.....and I was pushed too far. Her passive aggressive behavior in the past should have warned me, but I was trusting. She tried on the occasion with Raymond the DJ to humiliate me with a group of Girls backing her up. Very tacky to say the least. I can honestly say my distaste has been absolutely provoked. Anyone can read into this what they like. From MY experience, Glorya has an extremely unhealthy approach to communication. I am not bashing her, I am speaking from experience. I could never have any modicum of trust in her, relying on her track record with me in the past. Her public attacks on me, her "husband"s public attacks. I have heard great things about the both of them. That there is a real generosity there. I have never felt it personally. I am speaking from MY experience. This all said, I do not think the pairing of Glorya and myself would be beneficial on any level. HOWEVER I do think the two of us can co-exist without public catfights, pointing fingers, and sharp tongues.
Against some of my better judgement, I'm going to throw this out about part of my experience(s) with Glorya, though I restrained myself from getting involved in the mudslinging in another forum (despite wanting very much to join in). The first time I worked for Glorya was at one of her Pyramid Club Parties back in 1995. I danced on the bar in heels, panties and bustier all night long. At the end of the night, she said that the party didn't make enough money and none of the dancers would get paid, but I asked her to at least cover my cabfare, and she did. That wasn't so bad I guess.

In the summer of 98, I read Tarot at her Tranny Chaser party when it was at Nanny's. The third time I did it, I walked out and went home, as I couldn't stand the totally obnoxious, creepy clientele another minute. She began bad-mouthing me all over, including leaving a tirade on a friends message machine tearing me apart. I know because my friend saved it to play it back for me so I would know what Glorya was saying about me.

She does seem to have a very disproportionate sense of justice or fairness. I have to feel sorry for someone that makes so many enemies unnecessarily. Communication does seem to be a keyword here. I had nothing against Glorya before that. When I saw her for the first time after I walked out, she didn't care about anything I had to say about it, and acted as if I had committed an irrevokable heinous act that could never be rectified. It was as if she were damning me from her realm, in her mind. When I realized where she was coming from, I just basically said, well, have a good life, and backed away. A few weeks later, I learned about the messages she was leaving etc. Like I said before, she's to be pitied for not having an ability to forgive, let alone exagerating crimes against her to such an extent.

That's all I'm going to say, as we all have our faults, as I certainly do too. I guess I just wanted to share or air my Glorya story, and let you know that I too understand what you are saying. If Glorya were to want to let bygones be bygones, I would be open to that. I believe that she creates some of these betrayals in her mind, and blows them all out of proportion.
So how about this. I see these two girls almost everyday on my St. we live on the same St. I know that they are 24/7 trannies and they know that I am a crossdresser, but we never speak. I feel that if I speak to them as Steve they might think that I want a trick(they are working girls) and if I speak to them as Lisa I will blow thier cover. My point is how can I open that door with them that is about freinship and common ground without all the other shit getting in the way,are am I just dealing with my own shit. I hope this makes sence?
Lisa,
Juicy and I would never act shady for saying hello. LOL!!! Seriously, I think if you approached them as "Steve" with a Lisa Jackson flyer, like you would almost anyone on the street, and mentioned to them that you had seen them out, thought they seemed interesting and wanted them to hear your music, that you thought it might "speak" to them. It might all fit together. I do think however you being afraid of BLOWING someone elses cover is silly. Thats a real Cinderella complex. Big tits, hormones or not, you are all just girls, right???
I have often wanted to do that with alot of trannies that I see out and about. I guess I really should try to get them to hear my songs, after all it's about them. And as far as you and Juicy are concered I don't look at you in the same light. I really don't want to look at you in any light!!

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