Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sometimes, He Nails It

Bob Thaves has been writing Frank and Ernest for a long time.  Sometimes they're dumb.  Sometimes, like the first one, they're great.  Once they inspired me to write to the cartoonist.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

That's What MY Mom Said!

I love Heart.  She's the girly-girl I could never be when I was her age.

Friday, March 29, 2013


(Does anyone play Ruzzle?  I play as megabuttons if anyone wants to challenge.  I have to warn you ~ I think I'm good. :D )

Some clubs and bars have ladies' nights, where women drink free or at a reduced price.  I guess you could make a case that men are being discriminated against because they have to pay full price.

But I went to an event where transgirls had to pay $10 to enter but women could come in for free.  Even a born-male who was now female had to pay.

I mentioned my outrage to the hostess but she just made it worse by trying to defend it as similar to the free drinks for women.

Since there were no attendees who were neither women nor trans, I don't know if men had to pay that $10.

And if I didn't have such a fantastic time at Christine's soirees, I'd probably not go back for a third!

(Hi Christine and Pamela.  Just kidding.  I love you both!  :D )

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Girls Do It (But I Don't) ~ It's Becoming A Series

Last week, I wrote about perfume as a Girls Do It (but I don't).

It's not the only one.  There are many, and I have a partial list and I've sort of sorted them into why I'll pass on these particular experiences.  I know, it sounds unfair.  I mean, women don't get that choice, really.  But girls definitely have more freedoms than guys do, and I have other impediments to getting to the girl baseline.  I think it all averages out.

I'm Not Interested In Guys

I wrote about this quite a while ago.

I might like to try a 'date:' go out to dinner and a movie perhaps with an attentive male companion.  Be with someone who'll treat me like a woman from start to finish.  But there are problems.

There are also 'admirers,' guys who'd like to go out with a girl like me (us).  But like any girl going on a date with a stranger, there are dangers.  And they might be multiplied for someone like us ~ if your date gets out-of-hand or downright nasty, are you really going to go to the police to report what happened?  Almost definitely not, and your date knows that.  And if you did report it, the police might look at it as "he tried to deceive the other guy by wearing a dress and boobs ~ he's probably lying about what happened."

And it might not even be as overt as a sexual assault ~ it might be inappropriate touch or good night hug that becomes a kiss or good night peck on the cheek that becomes a more intimate kiss.  And I don't think we have as much experience at saying 'no' as born women do.  And, as mentioned above, the power differential is clearly there.

Alternatively, perhaps a friend says "I know you like the girl role.  How about I take you out on a 'date?'" there are still problems.  Conversation will probably be awkward, because your date will be unsure of what is expected.  He might not be as comfortable as he thinks, and feel odd, say, holding hands (if that's where you want to go) or just being in close proximity ~ I think I have a tendency to invade personal space more as Meg then when in drab, where I notice if others invade my space.  I think girls do that in general.  Notice the way that pointing a camera at two women makes their heads tilt towards each other.  Men, not so much.

He also might be unsure all evening as to where the boundaries are.  There will be ones he might be uncomfortable with, but push himself because he thinks you expect it.  And then he might second-guess himself and think "but 'she' wouldn't expect me to do that because 'she' knows me and it might make 'her' uncomfortable if I do that."

Even if you decide ahead of time what the parameters are and write them down and agree to them (take arm ~ OK.  hold hands ~ not OK.  hand on arm ~ OK.  hand on thigh ~ not OK) things might change and it's kind of a mood- and scene-breaker to say "I know we agreed that eating from each other's plate is out-of-bounds, but I'd like to grab a forkful of your fish ~ it looks yummy and I think that's what your date might do.  It seems like a cute and feminine thing.  How about it?"

Also, there are two ways people might say your name: one flows, and the other you can hear the quotes.  There's a world of difference between "you look lovely, Meg" and "you look lovely 'Meg'".  (Actual dialogue is fictitious.)  One is not-so-nice.  The other is, well, lovely.

So dressing up nice for a date with someone who will hold doors and pick up the cheque and compliment your looks and try to impress you over dinner would be an interesting experience, but... it has to stay in the realm of play-acting.  I'm not into guys.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Simple Pleasure ~ Just Wondering

I'm a crossdresser with kids.  So am I transparent?

If I dress as a nun, am I a transistor?

If I dress as a (female) flower, am I a transplant?

If I play a female part on stage am I a transactor?

If I put on a gown and copy documents, am I a transcribe?

Is my journey towards all things feminine my transmission?

If I dress and take a ship to France, is that transatlantic?  And do I dock at a transport?

If a male dog starts acting like a female dog after getting neutered, has be been transfixed?

If I keep you waiting because I had to do my makeup, have I translated?

If I disguise myself to join a women's softball team do I wear a transmit?

Oddly enough, I was just going to write that first line but I got carried away.  Before you write, I apologise and I won't do it again.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

This Page Intentionally Left Blank

Before leaving for New York with my son for a little Passover break, I tried to get ahead on my posts.  If I was successful, you'd be reading one of my brilliant (HA!) pieces of prose right now.  The fact that you're wasting your time on this dribble means I was busy wasting my time with life, taxes, work, and taxes.  Each year I swear I'll be organised, and I'll keep track of my expenditures as they come in and taxes will be a breeze.  Every year I disappoint myself.  Ah well.

This is another NO! trip, probably just for me and my son.  My wife went from "maybe we can drive up together" to "I'm only staying one night" to "I'm not going ~ you can take your son" over about a four-hour period.  I've learned no decision is final until the event occurs, so all I can say is, my (youngest) son and I are probably enjoying NYC today.  When I wrote this, my plan was to thumb a ride with my sister.  I really don't need a car in NYC.

Happy Passover, or Happy almost Easter (holy week?  I'm not sure what the greeting is for this), or Happy Just Have A Great Day, No Reason Necessary.

Monday, March 25, 2013

TransLAW Celebration

TransLAW provides legal support for the transgendered community.  Last Tuesday, they had a reception, celebrating their first year anniversary.  Being on a Tuesday, down in DC, I wasn't planning on going.  And I was far from ready.

The combination of not being out for the past couple of weeks, and busy time at home meant I had not kept up my personal grooming (read: hair removal) as much as I should have.  That meant a longer-than-usual getting ready time, but it wasn't important ~ I wasn't planning on going.

But Tuesday morning, I starting to mentally go through the Meg checklist for getting ready and clothing options and I thought, if I can get out early, I could go.  I'll catch up on my must-do-at-home before I go to New York.

I could do this.  I had to get out early and maybe miss dinner, but I could do this.

I did get out early.

As I rode the elevator up to my apartment my phone rang.  It was my youngest.

He needed help with his programming class.  Could I come by?

He also needed to go a couple of miles down the street to meet someone to sell his old iPhone to and his mother didn't want to take him.  Could I do that too?

I asked when.  He said 6:30, which Just Happened to be when the TransLAW reception started.

The good news: he called before I started putting on makeup.

Since it was for 6:30, we agreed I'd take him to sell the phone and then we'd sit down to do the computer work.  In the next couple of hours, his mom changed her mind and would take him to sell the phone.  So I'd come over at 7.  Then she decided dinner would be after the sale, so I'd come over at 7:30.  Then she decided she was running late and I'd come over at 8.

We spent a couple of hours doing Java and I got home pretty much in time for bed.

Not as unique as TransLAW, but a good way to spend my evening.  But now the itch is there and it needed to be scratched.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

More Duplex

And there's even a tiny bit of a gender joke.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

So It's NOT Just Me

I've commented before that if I went 24x7 I'd never get to work.  I'd be trying to figure out the perfect outfit every single day, and I'd keep changing until I decided on that skirt and top... the mid-length skirt and v-neck sweater.  No, the matching blouse.  No, I think a dress would be good today.  Wait... there's the staff meeting today.  The blue suit is what I want.  No, the pink suit.  No, the pink sleeveless dress and jacket.  Yes, the pink and the black patent pumps.  No, the black boots.  No, the grey boots. I think I should just go with the mid-length skirt and v-neck sweater.  No....

Friday, March 22, 2013

Girls Do It (But I Don't)

(Heather ~ drop me a note! )

One of my readers asked if I had a "fragrance."  I know many women (at least women my age) have a perfume that is theirs ~ they'll add a spritz as part of getting dressed UP.  They might add it for work, or for daily wear ~ it depends on what they consider dressed UP.  I don't know if teens and twenties do the same these days.

I have had a serious adverse reaction to some perfumes.  I first noticed it when I was at a play and had to leave in the middle of the first act because I could NOT breathe.  I felt better while in the lobby, but they wouldn't let me back in until the end of the act.  When I sat back down, I felt ill again and realised it was my wife's perfume.  I leaned as far from her as I could and didn't really enjoy a very good local production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

I have since walked out or changed seats when at events (including religious services) where I noticed the nearby perfume was bothering me ~ at least now I'm aware of it and I act quickly and as stealthily as possible.  Sometimes, I get trapped in an elevator with a woman who wears so much perfume that when she stands still she leaves a puddle.  I try to escape before I need to inhale and take the stairs the rest of the way.  So maybe perfume is good as an exercise stimulant. :)

I doubt it's all perfumes.  I think there's something in some fragrances that bother me.  But it may bother me after longer exposure, and if I wear a perfume that does trigger a bad reaction, it's kind of hard for me to change seats to get away from myself.

Yes, I could sit with an open bottle of a possible fragrance on my desk while I'm working.  Or spray a bit on my shirt collar or something else that I can remove in case of emergency.

 I guess, right now, it's not that important to me.

So, no perfume.  I'll start my Girls Do It (But I Don't) list with that.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Keystone, Or Lack Thereof

It's not Eden in my new digs ~ not by a long shot.  There are other reasons, but I'm going to ignore them to focus on money.  Financially, it's tight.  I'm paying two rents and one mortgage and bills for two of those places.  The rents are shared by roommates, but the DC vicinity is never cheap.  Rent for a year on an apartment will buy a house in many parts of the country.

Last week was the Keystone conference.  Keystone is a multi-day trans event.  There are seminars, things to do, things to buy, people to meet.  I know the local trans groups were planning to get together there each day.  There has been a lot of traffic on those groups relating to who's going when.

There are several trans conferences on the east coast, one in Provincetown MA (the Fantasia Fair), the Southern Comfort Conference in Atlanta.  Keystone is clearly the closest.

Maybe I can convince one (or more) of the local girls to write a review for this blog.  Maybe I can go to one of the other conferences later this year, and write a review for the girls who did Keystone but not SCC.

I'm not sure Meg is ready for a multi-day event.  Maybe I'll try it locally first.

But remember how I started this post: financially, it's tight.  Money is one of the reasons I had to skip Keystone.  I don't know if it's THE reason ~ I don't know if I would have said "I don't know if I'm ready, but I'm going" if I had a few dollars in the bank, but money can sure be a showstopper.

It's time to start saving my shekels.  SCC is in early September; Fantasia Fair is in late October.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Simple Pleasure ~ Did You Notice?

Did you happen to notice what else was on my dresser in my "Two Heads Are Better" post a couple of Simple Pleasures ago?  The picture was wider than the page so you might not have noticed what was on the right side.  I reversed the picture so it's easier to see:

The bear was given to my oldest.  Fifteen or so years ago, the only way to get one was from the UK.

When he left for college he wanted to toss it so I took it.  I bet most of you can identify the source of the bear.  He's leaning against a purse so he doesn't fall over.  He's pretty floppy.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Friday Mar 8 through Sunday Mar 10

NO heels, skirts, dresses, makeup, earrings

NO camis, tights, lacy undies, nighties, nighttime eye routine

Not even lip gloss.  My toenails are bare for the first time in months.

It was painful to pack white socks and white cotton undies, even if they are women's, but I have to be 100% passable as a male for those three days/two nights.

It was chess weekend and I was in Farmville, sharing a room with my youngest.

It was painful decision, but an easy one.

I did take the day off and go shopping before picking up my son.  I bought some Clinique face wash at Macy's, because I've been using Charity's.  I bought Urban Decay eye primer at Sephora, because Meg uses it every time she goes out.  The woman at the Sephora checkout offered me free samples.  "I have some for you, or for whoever you're buying the primer."  I didn't correct her use of "whoever" but I did say "it's for me."

And this Sunday, I head up to New York with my son for the holiday ~ another NO weekend.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Understanding Transgender ~ Lazy Monday

The church posted a page and video from the Understanding Transgender discussion.  You can find it here.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Funnies

Top o' the morning to you!  I'm sitting on a mountain of Irish jokes, but although this is the time it's not the place for them.  Except for this one:

Q: What's the name of the Irishman who stays out all night, every night?
A: Paddy O'Furniture.

Don't go away.  It gets better.

Here are some random single panel cartoons that made me literally LOL.  Sharing your Sunday morning are Rubes, Loose Parts, Herman, and a couple of Speedbumps.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Typical Civilian Reaction

He wants to, but he has to get over that hump first.

It's the slippery (HA!) slope problem

Friday, March 15, 2013

Understanding Transgender, Part III

After the event, I spoke with a couple of the speakers.  I know they have a hard job ~ it's hard to imagine what it really feels like to be trans.  The talks were geared towards what they called "gender variant" youth, and if they made parents of such children feel better or at least not alone, then they did a service.

I also chatted with Donna and Diane and Steve.  I didn't mingle a lot, because I'm not much of a mingler.  It's part of my coping strategy that resulted in my putting that asterisk on the "recognise anyone" comment.  In hindsight, I should have said hi to more people.  Civilians and trans alike.

Now, I've mentioned "prosopagnosia" on more than one occasion.  I thought I went into a bit of detail, but I was looking back through posts and don't believe I ever did.

On the scale of "I know I've never seen you before" to "I bumped into you at O'Hare airport eighteen years ago.  You dropped your bag on my toe," I'm at "are you sure you're my mother?"

I don't recognise faces.  For the job I had when I started this blog, I travelled to many cities for a day or a week that would start with a requirements meeting.  I would scribble notes on the participants on the corner of the front sheet.  (Actually, I always left the front sheet blank, and started on the second sheet for two reasons: one, the material was sometimes classified, and two, I didn't want people to see my people notes.)  I'd scan the table and write down a name, what the person's role is, and a visual clue: "short brown hair," "tall, black frame glasses," "beard," "woman."  Stuff like that.  If it was a one-day affair I'd just make notes on what they wore.

I love the soirees ~ Christine hands out name tags.

I once went to a friend's house and walked into an adjacent room while my wife stayed behind to speak with the host.  There was a couple there.  We spoke briefly and I introduced myself.  He introduced himself and I felt like an idiot ~ I had met them at least a half-dozen times, spoken with them at length.

It gets worse.

Once when I was a kid, I was walking down a street near my home (Flushing, NY).  A woman I just passed calls out and says "you just walk past me?" and it took me a moment to realise that she was my mother.  No, I wasn't exaggerating earlier in this post.

Old radio shows never had solo characters because they'd end up talking the whole time to describe the action and scene.  They always worked in pairs (at least) so they could sort of describe the action and scene to each other (while we eavesdrop).  I rely on others to help me out.  Suppose I'm with Charity.  If someone starts to talk to me, I will come off as rude or inconsiderate or lost because I won't introduce her.  Instead, she knows if she doesn't get an introduction quickly she says "hi, I'm Charity" and the other person says "hi, I'm Barack" and I know who I'm talking to.  Or she'll softly say, as we approach someone "that's your kid."  Or she'll say to her, "hi, Madonna!  How are you?"

For the record, I haven't not identified my kid yet.  I have not recognised my wife on at least one occasion.

And I do remember some people, but I don't know why.  And it's also what I call "positional:"  I'll recognise my manager in the office but if I see him in the cafeteria... who knows.  I've had people chat with me in the supermarket and I have no idea who they are.

I'll leave this topic with one other story: I brought my youngest to a Tai Kwan Do place where we were supposed to meet a friend of his.  A very pretty woman came up to me and started talking.  After a couple of minute she said "you have no idea who I am, do you?"  I said "sure I do."  She said "where do you know me from?"  Well, lots of kids there, so I bluffed: "my kid's school."

No.  We worked together, in daily contact, for several years.  Until just a couple of years earlier.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Understanding Transgender, Part II

(happy pi day everyone!)

I wasn't late, but the room was pretty full.  As I scanned the room, looking for familiar (ha!*) faces, I saw someone in front standing and waving.  I didn't think he was shouting for me until I heard "Meg!"

When I walked to the front I saw an open seat, a couple I did remember from the soirees (Donna and Diane), and the person who waved to me.  He said "you don't recognise me, do you?" and he pulled out his phone to show me a picture I had seen before.  It was one of the women I met at the soiree, but she was dressed as a male today.  She sang in a choir earlier that day and had no time to get her girl on.

As with everything about us, I know women who span the spectrum, from ones who are comfortable being in a group as either their male or female persona, to ones who will NEVER let you meet their male image if you've met their female one.  I've met all of the permutations I can think of: friends know Sam and Sally, but t-friends only know Sally.  Only Sam leaves the house, and she becomes Sally far from the eyes of prying neighbors.  Sam won't acknowledge the existence of Sally; Sally won't acknowledge Sam.

"Steve," as she called herself, was forthright about who she really was and we had a nice chat.  Diane, the t-partner, changed seats with Donna so she could get in on the conversation... that was nice of her.  It made me feel almost interesting. :)  I was fortunate enough to chat with Donna after the discussion.

"Steve" and I got some coffee before the panel started, and while the discussion was underway, I had to avail myself of the little girl's room (which was fortunately empty).  I saw Christine sitting near the back and looked forward to chatting a bit afterwards.  Alas, she had other appointments and couldn't stay.  It was nice to at least see her ~ she looked lovely as always.

I suppose the panel was supposed to be enlightening, but they fell short.  I was going to ask that they define terms at the start, but didn't want to risk starting a general shout-out.  The first speaker, who does some gender information/outreach to churches, showed slides of various men and women and wanted the audience to decide if each was assigned male or female at birth.  I really wanted to say "who cares?  It's completely irrelevant" but I generally have my rude setting turned way down and I said nothing, either in front of the group or in private.  She did define some terms, but not once I would consider important ~ such as "transgender."  She defined things like "gender presentation" which, to me, are secondary.  I'm still not sure the audience knew what the overall topic was, or if the panel members agreed on what it was.

The second speaker was a doctor and she gave a more clinical look at What Gender Means but it was so general as to be sort of useless.  In fact, after the speakers were done, one of the first questions reflected audience confusion as to what they were talking about ~ and it sounded like he thought it all applied to People With Gender Reassignment Surgery.

One speaker was a transgendered youth ~ a fourteen year old boy, identified as a girl at birth.  I'm far from expert, but he sounded like he had no doubt that the physical characteristics were wrong and should be corrected.  The teen was an articulate speaker, and more informative and persuasive than the other, IMO.

There was also a mother of a transgendered son, although not the other speaker's mother.  His mother was in the audience and she made a comment during the Q&A which followed the panel.

During the Q&A it became clear that there were several transgendered audience members and they were not afraid to speak out about who they are and who they were and who they hope to be.  I was kind of surprised, and definitely pleased.  We do need to be more honest, if we're going to gain the respect we deserve.  I wonder if some of the speakers are church members who might be coming out to their home congregation.

I did want to speak to the adult members of the panel after they responded to one particular question: someone said they work with a transgendered individual and wanted to know "how sensitive" she should be to their situation.  The adults replied with the obvious chorus of "very sensitive," but I think many of us would prefer a dialogue than silence.  I know I'd prefer questions to ignoring the elephant in the room (I have GOT to lose some weight!).  Especially if there's something that makes the other person uncomfortable... I want that addressed and quashed as soon as possible!

* I'll explain this tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Simple Pleasure ~ Meg Gets Ink

(Everybody panic!  Friday the thirteenth falls on a Wednesday this month!)

The Washington Post of Saturday March 9 had a letter on the bottom of page A12.  The letter was written by one Meg Winters.

My male name has been in every section of the local newspaper ~ news, local, business, style (entertainment).  One exception: I've never been in the sports section.  I figure I could get my name in there simply by, say, punching Mike Tyson in the face.  But the story might just read Local Man Torn Into Bite Size Pieces By Mike Tyson and they won't be able to identify the remains.

Both my first and last name are spelled oddly.  I met a local Post columnist once ~ he came to a neighborhood meeting to give a talk.  I went up to him and told him my name and he responded by spelling both names back at me.  I can be a bit of a pest. :)

But now that name won't appear in the Post anymore.  The newspaper does not like pseudonyms or pen names.  They don't like the same person to appear in the letters section more than roughly twice a year.  If I wrote using my male name, I'd be cheating.  I wrote under Meg's name because the newspaper subscription is under Meg's name.

What's the simple pleasure?  Seeing Meg's name in print.  Making Meg a bit more real.  It doesn't happen every day, but sometimes she gets a bit further from just being a spectre.

Someday, perhaps I'll abandon the male name completely.  Who knows?   After all, it's just a label, after all.  Like
My letter can be found here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Understanding Transgender

Christine found out about a transgender event at a local church and alerted the group.  There was going to be a panel discussing transgender issues, oriented towards the congregation at large ~ but it was open to the general public.  It was on a Sunday afternoon, and I planned to go.

Since it was a Sunday church event, I figured dressing up a bit would be OK.  A bit.  I had a new dress that I paid practically nothing for at Ross.  I thought that would be ideal for the occasion.  I'm not sure when I decided that a dress was, well, dressier than a nice blouse and skirt.  I do have some nice blouses and I generally wear knit tops so they're in the waiting-for-an-occasion part of the closet.  And I have some skirts that I pull out and put away because they're too dressy.  Maybe when I have a bit of time I'll pair up some blouses and skirts so I'll be ready for my next dress up occasion.

I matched the outfit with a sparkly bracelet, black necklace, gold-and-black earrings, and a nice pair of patent pumps.

I was afraid I was going to be late.   It was a bit chilly and the church was NOT where I expected it to be.  Google maps pointed me to the wrong street (same name, different town) and I expected the drive to take less time.  And then there was parking.

I had to park a couple of blocks away.  If there was a parking lot I didn't find it.  There were a lot of cars parked on the street, and some people clearly in church clothes heading toward cars so I guessed the street was the place.  I parked and walked towards the church.  I saw a couple of people walking into a building but it looked like a side door so I walked around that building and towards what looked like the real entrance.  As I got closer, a woman asked if I was looking for the "Understanding Transgender" program.  I said I was and she pointed me towards a building on the far side of a lawn.  When I asked for further instruction, she happily led me closer to where I could see which door I was supposed to go through.  I was told someone else would be there to guide me the rest of the way.

There was.  He showed me where the talk would be held and I went into the large, crowded room.

Monday, March 11, 2013

All About Christine

A little over a year ago, Christine started a meetup group.  It was called the DC TransLadies Soiree

The first Soiree was last February and Christine's description was This event is limited to Male to Female cross dressers - transgendered ladies and their spouse or significant other.  It is also open to those who have a personal interest in exploring their feminine life.

I was told about the group by one of the charter members.  I joined a few weeks after the first Soiree.
Throughout the spring, Christine and Pamela (her OH) opened their home to anywhere from a dozen to two dozen girls.  She organised a couple of get-togethers outside of her home which weren't well attended and she focussed on the Soirees instead.  Caveat: even though it would be incredibly easy for me to sit down with Christine and learn what I don't know, much of this is conjecture on my part.

I wasn't one of them.  As you know, I needed that "perfect storm" to get out.  It didn't happen.

Christine took a break over the summer, and hosted Soirees every couple of months throughout the fall and into the winter.

Charity and I made it to her seventh Soiree.  It was wonderful.  I wrote about it back in January.

It was pretty much everything I avoid in male mode: meeting a group of people I didn't know, dressing up, noshing....  It's not what I like to do.

When I left, I felt like I had just eaten something wonderful I had never had before ~ I knew I'd have it going forward, but lamented all of those years I never enjoyed it.

Shortly before Soiree 8, Christine announced that the Soiree group was going away.  There are a few trans groups in the Washington area, with varying focus but members in common.  They also had varying success, as far as membership and activities and participation.

Christine decided that perhaps the best way forward would be to be a central point for the local groups.  She noted that that's the way it was done in other cities and it seemed to work well.

The group is now called the DC TransLadies Community.

This is new, but so far she arranged an outing to Freddie's Beach Bar, a local gay/trans friendly club, to hear one of the group members sing (I couldn't attend) and to a local church where there was an "understanding transgender" presentation (I could attend ~ report coming up).

Going forward, instead of a Soiree a few weeks in the future, she has seven meetups scheduled or publicised through her group: a dinner with another group, meeting at Keystone, a TransLAW event, and more.

She set up and populated a discussion board.  She also has almost 200 followers ~ almost 50 joined just this year.  At my request, she added a new forum which I hope will be used to brainstorm how to get trans people accepted by civilians.  My personal goal is to get rid of the need to separate trans and civilians ~ pretty much the same goal as any human rights group.

Christine has a lot of energy and is very dedicated to the community. I'm pretty excited about the future of this group and I'm proud to be a part of it.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Nerd Humour

This is a test.  There are only two questions.  But if you get them, you're a math nerd.  If you don't get them, don't worry ~ there are lots of other entries to nerddom that don't require math.

First cartoon is Frazz, the second is SMBC.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Gender Differences

Looking at the male half, I'm guessing by "body" he means "head."  I'd like a body with hair, and hair with body.  In that order.

Tightie-Whities?  Really?

Friday, March 8, 2013

My Second Soiree, Part III ~ Photos

I plan to head to Farmville, VA, later today and I won't be back until late Sunday.  So I may be a bit slow in posting comments.

Every picture tells a story.  Every girl has a story.  I'd love to hear them all and relate them all to you.  Hmmm....  I feel a book coming on. :)

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here is today's 6000 word post. :)

What makes women lean into each other for a picture?

Doesn't Kelly look fabulous?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My Second Soiree, Part II

First a correction.  Tuesday I wrote:

I've been here for five months and, other than Charity, I've never had a visitor. 

I should have written

Charity and I have been here for four months and, we've never had a visitor.

Star, Charity, Sharon, Andrea and I squeeeezed into my Prius and we drove the eight or so miles to Christine's.  Driving in heels is different, not difficult.  I was more concerned about where to put my purse in that overpacked car than where to put my toes!

We arrived near the starting time, but the house was fairly full already.  I saw and spoke to some old friends.  I was thrilled to have a couple of ladies come up to me and reference my blog!  I spoke to ladies I had never met before.  I know I sometimes can't tell the difference, but one tall beauty said she had never been out before.  So definitely someone new.  One woman was wearing outrageous (in a good way) earrings ~ one popped off her ear and she spilled a bit of her drink on my leg trying to catch it.  It wasn't until later that I realised that was Cindy, queen of the Classy DC Sisters, and I said hi.  To be fair to me, she had changed her hair colour since I last saw her.  To be honest to my readers, I didn't remember what her hair colour was last time I saw her.

I saw some ladies and then didn't have a chance to speak with them (looking at you, Rhonda!), but I expect to have a chance next time.

There's something special about the soirees.  I'm not sure what it is that makes it difference from other get-togethers.  There's that lack of cliques I referred to the other day, but there's more.  I think there's a lack of awkwardness that we might encounter at other (civilian) events.

Christine and Pamela, our lovely hostesses
Most people are composed enough to treat us as ladies when they meet us.  We're a small part of the population but people in general behave as if we're nothing unique.  Sometimes, I get the feeling that the person I'm talking to wants to ask questions ~ but she never does.  I'd be happy to explain and enlighten, but I think the person I'm speaking to thinks any question would be taken as if she'd asked "so what's it like having only one arm?"  And I think they take a bit of pride in thinking "I was so well behaved!  I didn't start at his deformity or anything!"

Conjecture on my part, of course.  I can't ask "do you have any questions?" because there's the unwritten undercurrent: she, of course, doesn't know I'm not a she, so I can't say anything.

In the past, I've said things like "can I ask you a question?  When did you know?" but I get "know what?" or something similar ~ they probably think they're being nice, but I'd really like to know.  The superpower I want is to be able to read the minds of people observing me, just until I'm "made".

And I'm not off-topic.  What did we talk about?  Mostly about Things We Don't Speak About With Civilians (see above paragraph).  We speak of our experiences, our current status.  We speak about our partners and where they are on the accept/don't accept scale.  We speak of what we're going to do next, the next female barrier we plan to break.

Imagine your second-strongest passion (I probably know what the first one is).  Your favourite sports team, your love of cars, boats, Magic: The Gathering, spelunking, shopping, the Grateful Dead, whatever.  If you're in a group of people with similar passions, there's a competition.  Who went into the deeper cave, drove the faster car, knows more about the Packers, who saw the most shows, and so on.

At the soiree, there's a lack of competition.  There's a bit of jealousy on my part ~ some of the ladies are stunning ~ but there's no "my dress is more expensive than yours" or "I go to work dressed" or "these boobs are REAL!"  It's more like comparing notes and learning.  I'm thrilled to meet women I can look up to.  A chess master I know pointed out that you don't learn by winning.  You learn by losing.  There's no winning or losing here, but there sure is learning.

We sometimes think our way is THE way, but at the soiree you can see that there are dozens of different ways.  I say "dozens" and not "hundreds" or "thousands" because there were dozens of women there.  If I made a list of trans milestones and said "write down the ones you've reached and the date" they'd not only come back in different orders with different first-to-last times, there'd be items I never thought of thrown in there as well.

It's fascinating.  I had a wonderful time.  I look forward to the next one.

So now, Cindy changed everything, and the "DC TransLadies Soiree" group is no more.  I'll write about that Monday.  Tomorrow, some pictures from the soiree.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Simple Pleasure ~ Two Heads Are Better

I might be snowed in today.  If your comments don't get published, it means VA Power is up to their old tricks.  And happy birthday, Michelangelo.

My wigs sat in plastic bags for a long long time.  I have two "levels" of wigs ~ four "A" wigs, and several "B" wigs.  There is one I prefer but if it caught fire I'd be OK with number two, or three, or four.  Space doesn't allow for me to keep all of my wigs out, but I picked up two wig forms for numbers one and two.

I bought them at a wig store.  They're pretty inexpensive. 

I mean, you can't even go to a movie for $4 a head. :)

The top of my bedroom dresser

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Second Soiree, Part I

A month or so ago, I finally managed to get out to one of Christine's lovely soirees.

I had limited experience flocking with birds of my particular feather, and didn't quite know what to expect.  It was like an all-girl cocktail hour before a wedding or other catered affair.  What was missing was the cliques.  I've been to many events: weddings, funerals, bnai mitzvahs, business seminars or conferences that have a pre-event shmooze.  They all have something in common: groups that move together.  They might be family or friends or people who are at their ninth user conference and they find familiar faces and they hang together.  Sometimes, I'm the only lone person at an event, or I'm part of a pair that I'm reluctant to let go of.  I'm not anxious to cast off in a gale, so I stay tied to the dock.

There is some anxiety tied to this.  Sometimes, there is a lot of anxiety.  At least once, I fled a "happy hour."  At least once, I skipped the main event in order to escape and calm down.

Most of the girls knew each other.  Some did not.  But random girls came up to me and chatted.  I went up to random girls and did the same.

No sign of cliques.

As I said, I had a good time.  I was looking forward to my second soiree.

"Casual elegance" read the invitation.  If you're like me, you choose clothing differently whether you're going in drab or dressed.  If you're invited to something you're going to attend as a male and you don't know what to wear, you start at the bottom and work up: will a t-shirt and jeans work?  Should I "up" to a polo shirt?  Button down shirt?  Maybe go to khakis?  Are tennis shoes OK?  Maybe work boots or boat shoes.

But I work from the bottom, and suspect most males do the same.

If I'm invited to something as my female self, I work from the top.  I think many of us do the same: can I wear a cocktail dress and my pearls and platform pumps?  Maybe not.  Maybe a party dress and pendant and chandelier earrings, but I can still work those pumps.  Probably too overdressed ~ maybe a sheath and open-toed sandals and that jewelry will still work.

And down to overdressed but not too much.

But girls together are going to dress UP.  I saw everything from minis to gowns.

I don't have a gown I would wear, and I still don't want to be too overdressed.  I have some dresses I would call "party" dresses and I wore one last time.  I wore a different one this time.  This was a new dress, expensive (for me) but it had the price beat out of it at Nordstrom's Rack.

It was cold and I was going to wear tights but Charity talked me into wearing my new patterned hose.  I think it was a good call.  They are pretty.  I had new blue patterned platform pumps that I bought pretty much to wear with this dress, but they didn't fit right and I decided to pass and save them in the hopes I can get them stretched a bit.  Or my feet will shrink a bit.  You never know.

This soiree's first: Andrea and Star and Sharon were going to meet at the apartment and we'd all go together.

I've been here for five months and, other than Charity, I've never had a visitor.  We cleaned the heck out of the place and we were so excited to have guests that we didn't even remember to give a little tour (how long can it take?) and get a picture of the five of us.  Ah well.

More tomorrow.  Here are pictures of the five of us ~ Sharon at the party; the rest pre-party.

Star and Andrea

A rare photo of Charity on her phone!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Rant

Today was going to be a review of Christine's soiree.  The newspaper made me bump it by one day.

A long time ago, the trans community pressed the LGB community into joining forces.  By trans-sisterising the LGB name, they get a larger slice of the planet on their side.  This means their numbers are suddenly larger, which translates to more influence.  The trans community gets on the radar.

It seems like a win-win.

At the time, I was concerned that we're contributing numbers but we wouldn't get anything in return.  I know many trans people who are not only in favour of marriage equality for gays, but who are actively working for it.  I know fewer gay/lesbian people, but I know none who care at all about gender rights.

But it's worse.  What happened is, gender identity and sexual orientation are conflated in the minds of the general public.  The media do not help.

I cannot count the number of articles I've read that refer to LGBT in the title but if "transgender" is mentioned, it's merely to explain what LGBT means.

The most recent example I came across was in yesterday's Washington Post:

Broader LGBT data poised to emerge

No.  It's.  Not.

LG data, yes.  LGBT data, no.

The only mention of "transgender" in the article was:

As many as 6 million Americans, roughly 2 percent of the population, have a parent who is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).

That's it.  The rest is about gay Americans.

I don't have a problem with that, but adding T to that statistic is as useful as offering the number of Americans who have a parent who is lesbian, gay, bisexual or taller than 6 foot 4 (LGBT6-4).

News organisations often have different headlines for print and on-line versions of the same story.  The print headlines are often clever or informative but necessarily brief.  The on-line headlines are geared towards search engines.  So the on-line headline was more honest: Demographic research on lesbians and gays emerges from shadows.

I don't care.  It still prompted a letter to the editor.

This is why a child or adult comes out to a parent or SO and is immediately asked "are you gay?"

A mistake was made and it needs to be corrected!

rant off

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Funnies ~ This 'n' That

I'm working on getting that organisation thing under control.  In the meantime, here are a few recent comics I enjoyed.  Aside: Meg will be out today.

No Comment!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

I Am Disorganised

I plot and plan different ways to organise myself.  I follow through ~ briefly ~ and then go back to my old ways.

When I started posting cartoons, I started putting each into folders as I used them, so I wouldn't use them more than once.

It never worked as well as I hoped.  Something like Picasa probably would help.  I really want to sort the pictures in at least two ways.  I put them into folders by strip, and then I put the ones underneath each strip in a "used" album.  But once I was "too busy"* to put them in the appropriate folder, everything fell apart.

I should have the cartoons in one big folder and flag them by strip, by whether they're CD  (or CD-ish like this one), and whether they've appeared in the blog.  I could probably come up with another half-dozen tags that would help me sort them for the blog, or my own enjoyment.

It's going to take some time to organise.  I have roughly 3000 cartoons right now, and perhaps another thousand in print that I've cut out of various sources over the years.  At least I know the printed ones were never in the blog.
As for the strip today: I need to pay attention next time Charity does my mascara.  Do I open my mouth?  Does she?  Or do both of us?

* "too busy": there's never time to do it right.  There's always time to do it over.

Click to enlarge

Friday, March 1, 2013

Not Dressed Up and Somewhere To Go, Part II

When I showed up in male mode I encountered Star and her partner (also presenting as male) separately.  Each did an excellent 'take' when they realised who I was (not hard: guy with Charity).  Star made a point of mentioning to others who had met Meg that they had met "me."

We had two tables near the back of the restuarant.  Each table held eight or ten people.  There were three kids at the other table, and several people from the previous game party.  Dim Sum, I learned, is a shared meal.  They bring over carts with various small meals and you choose what you like.  The food goes on the lazy susan which makes up a large part of each table and as it rotates you choose what you want.

The food was good.  I sat next to Amanda and within earshot of others I had met the week before so I could join in conversation somewhat ~ they all knew each other from way back, so there was a bit of "outsider" there, but there was enough common experience that it made for a pleasant meal.

About halfway through, I looked up and saw, a few tables away, a familiar-looking man.

As I've said, I have a problem with faces.  I thought this was the father of someone who used to be a good friend of my oldest when he was my only, but I wasn't sure.  If I saw him in the neighborhood I'd be sure, but, well, this was out-of-context.  But next to him was the wife I would expect to see with him and the combination was enough for me.  So I went over and said hi and caught up a bit.

And if I was Meg that day, I would have said "I don't care" and done the same.  I might have tried to have a bit of fun with it, asking him about his job or hobbies and how his son was doing, without letting him know who I was ~ see if he could figure it out.  For even more fun, I could have ignored his wife and acted like she was a new acquaintance if he introduced me.  Perhaps I would have said "I live down the street... *'s dad" if he said "where do I know you from?"

But it's probably a good thing that that scenario was left unplayed.  I think I shouldn't not care quite enough to do that.  But on the spur of the moment, I think I would have done it.

Thank you, Thalia.