Monday, December 28, 2015

Interesting Conversation

I went to visit my sister on Christmas Day. We enjoyed a chicken and rib dinner and conversed. The topic of Caitlyn Jenner came up. In my sister's opinion, other people have done more to deserve woman of the year. She also mentioned to me that when she worked a person on her job had transitioned years before. Sis also said that she had no problem with it.

I've shared more about myself with her. Her response has given me the confidence that I will come out to her soon. A year ago I had no desire to share my transgender status with. Now a year later I feel that things have opened up. She's has been dealing with health issues and I've been handling some of her personal affairs. We've talked quite a bit about a lot of things. Now I believe the climate has thawed.      

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas


Wishing you a wonderful holiday season.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Caitlyn Still Has A Lot To Learn



I have followed Caitlyn Jenner's journey since she came out back in March. Being a latecomer she is learning what it is to be transgender. Being a latecomer myself I can identify with that. I said that when Ms. Jenner first came out that she now has to live in the new gender, something that is not always easy. There would be missteps, mistakes, doubts, and fears. With what happened in Houston recently, I conclude that  Ms. Jenner still has a long way to go.

I do believe that Ms. Jenner is trying. However I believe that she needs to widened her circle. She needs to communicate with black and Latino and Asian transgender people and learn from their experiences. She needs to understand that her reality is much different that of many transgender women and men. Ms. Jenner also needs to connect with people who had been on the battle lines for equality rights for years. I think of Monica Roberts and Miss Major, two African- American trans women who talk the talk and walk the walk. If Ms. Jenner had met with trans activists of color in Houston I'm sure that she would have been really educated on what is really happening in the trans world.

Ms. Jenner also needs to acknowledge that she has a couple of things going against her. The first is people's disdain for her being related to the Kardashian sisters. The second is her conservative politics. Ms. Jenner is begrudged because of her privilege. I don't begrudge her privilege or her politics. the latter is her own.  

The point is that Ms. Jenner needs to know that the trans community is much more diverse than, maybe, she has experienced. I see that she still has a long way to go. Where Ms. Jenner learns and makes inroads as a spokesperson only time will tell. The time may be running out.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Knights Reign!


The Marian University (IN) Knights avenged last year's loss in the championship game with a resounding victory over defending champions Southern Oregon Raiders, 34-14.

  

CONGRATULATIONS, KNIGHTS!
2015 NAIA FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS!

NCAA Division II Football Champions

Congratulations to the Bearcats!


Northwest Missouri State-34
Shepherd University-7

Friday, December 18, 2015

Mount Union Division III NCAA Football Champs



Congratulations to the Mount Union College Purple Raiders in winning the 2015 NCAA Division III Football championship defeating the University of St. Thomas, 49-35. 

Genevieve's Gems

To have faith is to trust yourself to the waters. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.


~Alan Watts, Philosopher (1915-1973)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Affordable Housing

One of the issues we are dealing with in neighborhood is affordable housing. With gentrification creeping into the neighborhood, rents have gone up. Many mom and pop stores have closed. Now the mayor wants to bring luxury housing to Washington Heights and Inwood. This Saturday I will be attending an emergency meeting to plan a course of action. How this affects the LGBTQI will be something I'll keep in mind.  

Saturday, December 12, 2015

NCAA FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP-DIVISION III

                                                                               vs.


The last two teams will do battle next Saturday December 18th to decide the NCAA football champions in division III. The top ranked Purple Raiders of the College of Mount Union (Ohio) reached the championship by defeating the defending division III champions and long time nemesis University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 36-6. Their opponent will be the Tommies of the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. They soundly defeated Oregon's Linfield College, 38-17 to reach the title game. 

Footnote: All four teams in the semi finals wear purple.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Genevieve's Gems

Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies.

~Robert Kennedy

Thursday, December 10, 2015

2015-A Year For and About Transgender People

2015 has been quite a year for transgender people, good and bad. Many municipalities, schools, and organization are changing their policies regarding transgender people. To hear them even being discussed is something that couldn't have been fathomed 30 years ago. We have become more visible

The bad is that more transgender people have been killed than in previous years. We are still vilified by politicians, anti-lgbt groups, some churches and the criminal industrial complex. Yet, we still move forward. For a long time transgender were confined to the very margins of society. No more!

We are intelligent, hard working, parents, and grandparents. We pay taxes, vote, contribute to various causes, and voice our opinions. We desire life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Anyone or group who tells us that we don't deserve any of these has a MAJOR problem with me. Never dreamed that I would be this heavily involved in all this but I have no choice.  

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Holly Woodlawn


With the passing of transgender icon Holly Woodlawn (1946-2015 this past Sunday, numerous memories were conjured up. I saw Holly star in her first Trash in 1971. It was a quirky film and it introduced me to someone who had an influence on my transition.

Holly 's life wasn't always easy but she was an original. She was authentic in a time when it was very difficult for any gender non-conforming person to be. She disappeared from the public view in the late 1970s having failed to get into mainstream work. Holly had a modest comeback in the 1990s performing in cabarets, acting and theater work.

I knew nothing about transgender back then. Holly was one of those people you seem to never forget. When I did transition in 2005 I knew that I was part of a group maligned by society. Holly lived life on her terms. Her authenticity was what I aspired to be. Thank you, Holly. You were a true original.

R.I.P. 
 

Friday, December 04, 2015

Genevieve's Gems

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.


~Albert Einstein, (1879-1955)

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Flu Bug

I went to emergency today and was diagnosed with the flu. I'll be laid up for a few days but I'll post  if there's something interesting.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Post-Thanksgiving Thoughts

I trust that your Thanksgiving holiday was a joyous affair. Mine was a quiet one spent with my wife and son. Didn't overdo it with the turkey but enjoyed it nevertheless. Hard to believe that tomorrow will be December 1st.

This is also a time of reflection for me personally. I'm thankful for many things; family, friends, God, and the history that transgender people are making. There's been some harsh backlash but we keep moving forward and I'm happy to see that.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Genevieve's Gems

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by the spark of another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.

~Albert Schweitzer, Theologian (1875-1965)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!



Happy Thanksgiving! Be thankful for all the good things that has happened. Be thankful that you are here today.  If you know someone who will be alone invite them over to share in the Thanksgiving festivities.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Hospitality

Earlier today my wife and I helped serve Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless at church. This is an annual event in our community. It's been tough for some folks who are struggling just to survive.

Recently, I heard some politicians and others blame the homeless and poor for their conditions. These are some of the same people who profit from the war machine, real estate speculation, and the prison industrial complex. These are the same folks who bash and vilify TGLBQI folks. These are the same folks who don't give a damn about anyone except their own financial and political gain.

Next time these people open their mouths, I would challenge them to spend a day with homeless and poor folks at a soup kitchen or a church out of the glare of the cameras and dine with people who are not looking for a handout or are lazy. If they have solutions to the problems then I wish they would express it instead of following the party or religious line.

Real Christian hospitality is having compassion on those less fortunate.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

TDOR

The Transgender Day Of Remembrance vigil at SAGE Center was good. There were about 50 or so folks in attendance. I attended TDOR at the Gay Center in past years but I decided to go to Sage this time. I'm happy that I did.

The names of the trans people killed this year were read. I read the name of India Clarke, a 25 year old trans woman murdered in Tampa, Florida. Many people were struck by how young many of them were. A couple of people shared their thought on people they knew who have died. I knew someone who came to our trans women meetings who passed in may from a heart attack.

It's sad at the level of violence against transgender men and women but I'm hopeful that our lives will get better.

 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

TDOR-VIctors


Tomorrow is Transgender Day Of Remembrance. We honor those sisters and brothers lost to violence by others or by their own hand. This year has been a tough year with at least 22 transgender reported  murders here in the US. It's much worse in Brazil and Mexico. Some day I hope that we never have to have TDOR. 

In the meantime, we should celebrate the living. Many of us who are older have been through the wars and have come through. I see us as victors. Yes, there's still much more work to be done but we can celebrate that we have come this far. 






Monday, November 16, 2015

Busy Week

This will be a busy week for me, concluding with Transgender Day Of Remembrance. I'm trying to think of what to say at TDOR if the opportunity comes. It's been a tough year for transgender women, especially women of color. With the increased visibility of trans people, I'm not all surprised by the backlash. What happened in Houston with HERO being shot down is a shame. Amazing how gullible some people are.

 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Photos From The 2015 Veteran's Day Parade













Genevieve's Gems

True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to to serve others at whatever cost.
~Arthur Ashe, Athlete (1943-1993) 


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Veteran's Day



Be sure to remember all of our veterans on Veteran's Day.

TDOR at Sage

This year there will a Transgender Day of  Remembrance at the Sage Center here in New York for the first. I like the idea because it gives those of us who are seniors an opportunity to share our thoughts and remembrances of those we have lost. Final preparations are being made regarding the program. I'm looking forward to this event.

An Opportunity

Seems like my story is getting around. A friend of mine at church shared my story with a gay-straight alliance group. There's the chance that I may have the opportunity to speak to the group. I hope the opportunity will come to fruition. 


Friday, November 06, 2015

Genevieve's Gems

From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own.

~Carl Schurz, Public Servant (1829-1906)

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Contentment

The feeling of contentment being transgender has been really strong the past couple of weeks. Can't say why I feel this way but I'm enjoying it. I don't believe that it's another gender shift but I feel that something is in store.

In the beginning, gender fluidity was strong perhaps because it was new to me. While not as intense as those early days, it still has an impact on me. What has helped me through the years is embracing what comes my way. I don't believe that I missed any lesson I needed to learn at a particular time. Now is another one of those times that I'm embracing my inner contentment. I' m living in the moment. That's all anyone can do.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Genevieve's Gems

In my deepest, darkest moments, what really got me through was a prayer. Sometimes my prayer was 'Help me.' Sometimes a prayer was 'Thank you.' What I've discovered is that intimate connection and communication with my creator will always get me through because I know my support, my help, is just a prayer away.

~Iyanla Vanzant, Author (b.1953)








Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Never Felt That Way

I've never felt that I was born in the wrong body. Yes, I did feel different but not to the point that it troubled me 24/7.

I never had an inkling that I wasn't masculine nor were any thoughts of anything feminine in my life.  I was your typical male doing things attributed to males. When I began to have these questions in the early 2Ks, I was confused. I never had such thoughts before in my life. Gradually those thoughts grew stronger. Even when it was pointed out to me that I was a cross dresser, I could wrap my mind around the idea that I had feminine thoughts and tendencies. I knew about transsexuals but never even considered going that route.

In the month that I came out as a cross dresser and discovered that I was transgender, the thought of being in the wrong body never crossed my mind. It was time for the feminine side of me to be presented to the world. In the ten plus years since then I've haven't looked back. 

I believe that I'm not completely masculine or feminine. I never hated being male, I just prefer being a woman. I have been blessed many lovely trans-women and trans-men on my journey.I have never been happier in my life. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Genevieve's Gems

Everybody has a gift; it's to you to discover what it is.

~Genevieve

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Newfest Film Festival Coming Up



A reminder that New York's LGBT Film Festival (Newfest) will begin this Thursday, October 22nd. 


Go to www.newfest.org for additional information.




Friday, October 16, 2015

Critical Times

I just started reading Janet Mock's book Redefining Realness. I can't comment on the book yet but will when done. I thought about how this year has probably been the most eventful one for transgender people. It's also one I believe where we are focusing on the critical issues that affect us as a group.

In a couple of weeks I should have more information as to what the social justice ministry has in mind. Same goes for the glbtq ministry. With the election coming up next year, it's crucial that we all fight for the things we have gained.

Genevieve's Gems

We do not remember days, we remember moments.


~Cesare Pavese, Italian Poet (1908-1950)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Hispanic/Indigenous Heritage Day

Today we celebrated Hispanic/Indigenous Heritage Day at church. Rich traditions and food were part of the celebration. Indigenous people are all over the world and have been for centuries. Places like Mexico, central and South America , Australia and North America have a rich indigenous heritage. I have indigenous blood in my ancestry (Choctaw).  

There was a spiritual ceremony of prayer, incense offerings, sage, and a reminder of what we must do for future generations. Land is the most valuable item for indigenous people and when it was stolen from us it affected many. What I see is a lack of respect and honor for a different culture. Many tribes are trying to hold onto whatever culture and customs they may have left. Sadly, other cultures have totally disappeared. Much of this was done in the name of progress.

I am mindful of the fact that my being transgender, or two-spirit if you will, has caused me to reflect on the journey I am on. It may not be easy but it's one that I must continue. To my Hispanic and Indigenous brothers and sisters, keep moving forward. 

Friday, October 09, 2015

Genevieve's Gems

Every human has four endowments- self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom...  The power to choose, to respond, to change.

~Stephen Covey 



Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Sick

I was sick for a few days with sinuses. Feeling better today.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Genevieve's Gems

A smile is happiness you'll find right under your nose.


~Tom Wilson, Cartoonist (1931-2011)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Gender Reassignment Surgery

A trans woman I know will have Gender Reassignment Surgery in October. Naturally, she was nervous but me and others reassured her that everything will be okay and that she has our support. 

As I thought about this I see how important GRS is for some. To me anything that will improve one's quality of life is a step in the right direction. Not all trans women have the full surgery or, in my case, will not have the surgery. I doesn't mean that I'm not transgender. Each person is different. I'm not of the school that in order to be a 'true transsexual' one must have the complete surgery. That line of thinking is erroneous and in some cases dangerous. 

The transgender community is not a homogeneous community. There is much diversity in expression and identity, something that I witnessed during my questioning phase.  This was very instrumental in my progression to where I am now.  

To those men and women who are transitioning, I wish you the best and pray that all will go well. You are on your way to being the person that you truly are. You have my support.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Film Festival


I've attended Newfest in the past and find it very enjoyable. The films are excellent and very professionally done. To get tickets and the schedule, go to: 

www.newfest.org  

Genevieve's Gems

So I say to you, ask and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will open to you.


~Jesus Christ

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Most Active Year Coming Up

It look s like this will be the most active year of my life as a transgender person. The LGBTQI ministry at church is going and planning what we'll do this year. I also signed up for the Social Justice ministry. I'm already involved with a few other activities. 

This year I want to see things DONE! There's too much at stake for trans people and I can't sit idly by and watch all that we've accomplished taken away. Making sure that our trans history is not erased is near and dear to my heart. 

There's a few more activities I'm interested in but I don't want to spread myself too thin. It's funny but since I'm retired I'm busier now than when I was working. 

Book Club



This is the book I'm reading right now. There is a Transgender Literary Book Club at the Sage center of which me and another trans woman  will be a part of. I remember seeing this book during my early days of comig out. It was published in 2000, five years before I introduced Genevieve to the world. I just found the book today (the book club is on Thursday) so I'll read as much as I can. At least I can discuss something about the book. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Genevieve's Gems

Your big opportunity may be right where you are now.


~Napolean Hill

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Bittersweet Few Weeks

The past few weeks have been bittersweet for me. I'm still smarting from the Tamara Dominguez death in Kansas City a few weeks ago. Any death of transgender people is sad but the Dominguez murder really hit me. It was inhuman and criminal. 

A friend of my sister passed also at only forty-eight years young. My sister's health aide's brother passed away at twenty. It's been a weird time to say the least. For a trans woman personal safety is an issue with the increased visibility we face. We talked about this in our discussion group last night.


All wasn't sad though. On Saturday I attended a wedding were two lesbians friends of mine married. It was a wonderful occasion for everyone. Both women had large families in attendance.  This ended the week on a positive note. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

9/11



Hard to believe it's been fourteen years.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Genevieve's Gems

The greatest trap in our lives is not success, popularly or power, but self-rejection. 


~Henri Nouwen, Clergyman (1932-1996) 

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Thinking Out Loud

I know it's a good two plus months away from Transgender Day Of Remembrance ceremonies but already I'm considering how to participate this year. It's more emotional for me because of all the transgender women murdered this year, at least the ones that have been reported.

I haven't felt this way since the second year I participated. At that time, I was wondering if I could handle it emotionally. Then I came to the conclusion that I needed to go. Of course I will attend TDOR this year. There's still three months left in 2015. How many more transgender women will be killed? 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Beyond Labels.

Yesterday the LGBTQI ministry, Beyond Labels, at church met to discuss the upcoming year. Last year the ministry branched out to the community and it has been very good. Two areas I'm interested in is social justice and education. I mentioned that I am interested sharing about transgender topics and what it is to e transgender. 

There is an LGBTQI population in my neighborhood. I have seen a few transgender folk, thought they are not always visible. We want them to know that there's a church which is open and affirming if they want to find a spiritual home. There's a another meeting coming up in few weeks so I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Candy Darling


Last night my wife and I watched the documentary Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Andy Warhol "Superstar". It was an interesting look at Candy Darling, a transsexual woman who was part of Warhol's Factory, a collection of artists he filmed. Candy, born James Slattery, was born in 1944. I read her biography.

 My wife said that Candy reminded her of Marilyn Monroe. I saw here as a cross between '30s vixen Jean Harlow and Monroe, blonde siren of the 1950s and early 1960s. Candy believed that she could be a star and she did achieve that in some respects. When the 1970s rolled in Candy was tossed aside along with cohorts Jackie Curtis and Holly Woodlawn.  

I liked hearing Candy in her own voice in some of the scenes. I was in the service in the early seventies. Candy died March 21, 1974, two weeks after I got out of the army.  Her good friend Jeremiah Newton was executor of her belongings after Candy's death. Jeremiah was indeed a true friend. 

Beautiful Darling is a good documentary about the times and creative energy of the 1960s and early 1970s and the people who made it happen. Candy certainly did.






Friday, August 28, 2015

Genevieve's Gems

The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.


~Carl Rogers, Psychologist (1902-1987)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Companionship

Mature love is composed and sustaining; a celebration of commitment, companionship, and trust.

~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


The subject of companionship came up at my discussion group this past Monday. I'm fortunate that my spouse stayed together after coming out a decade ago. Sadly, this is not true for many transgender women. Dating can be difficult. Would a man want to date a transgender woman? Would she be asked on a second date if she revealed that she is trans? Is the transgender woman resigned to a life of loneliness?

I thought about this over the past couple of days and concluded that no one is resigned to a life of loneliness. I also believe men should NOT be ashamed of dating a transgender woman. We want a mate who will love and respect us as we are. We want to go to a movie, party, or just enjoy a quiet night watching TV. We want to enjoy and live our lives like everyone.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Poem

Abeyance

Rebecca Foust

                               letter to my transgender daughter
I made soup tonight, with cabbage, chard
and thyme picked outside our back door.
For this moment the room is warm and light,
and I can presume you safe somewhere.
I know the night lives inside you. I know grave,
sad errors were made, dividing you, and hiding
you from you inside. I know a girl like you
was knifed last week, another set aflame.
I know I lack the words, or all the words I say
are wrong. I know I’ll call and you won’t answer,
and still I’ll call. I want to tell you
you were loved with all I had, recklessly,
and with abandon, loved the way the cabbage
in my garden near-inverts itself, splayed
to catch each last ray of sun. And how
the feeling furling-in only makes the heart
more dense and green. Tonight it seems like
something one could bear.
Guess what, Dad and I finally figured out Pandora,
and after all those years of silence, our old music
fills the air. It fills the air, and somehow, here,
at this instant and for this instant only
—perhaps three bars—what I recall
equals all I feel, and I remember all the words.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Many Differing Viewpoints

As a transgender person the view of the world is much different. I see it from the male viewpoint having been born and socialized as a male. I now see life as it from a woman's point of view. The being hit on, the suggestive comments, and how women are viewed in a patriarchal society.

I also see society's viewpoints about transgender people with a more critical eye. Much of society's views from a lack of knowledge, ignorance, hated, and now having to deal with a topic that was once considered taboo in some circles. As a Christian I understand some of the views the church has and why it has them. Is this confusing? I don't believe so.

I feel that I can discuss this with many differing groups; fundamentalists, confused parents, school officials, lawmakers, colleges, civic groups and other groups. Being prepared for such events is very important. I spoke to an adult education class at church a couple of years back about what it is to be transgender. A young woman who had transitioned also spoke (I have not had GRS). Many eyes were opened and minds made clear.

Having several view points allows me to have empathy for those are fearful and afraid. I can also be an encouragement to my trans brothers and sisters because I have face some of the same things they have or are facing. As trans people we have the advantage of helping those who don't understand. We are people people who want the same things everyone has. This is not special rights this is humanity.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Genevieve's Gems

First keep peace with yourself, then you can also bring peace to others.

~Thomas a Kempis

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Be Safe



Last Saturday morning, Tamara Dominguez was killed and run over several times by her assailant. Ms. Dominguez, 36, makes it the seventeenth  transgender woman murdered this year and there's still 3 1/2 months left in the year. I mentioned that I'm not afraid but am concerned. I know a number of transgender women and am concerned about their safety,  

I encourage everyone to be careful where you go and let someone where you are going. Go in pairs  and avoid unnecessary confrontations. There are people out there who just want to start trouble. Have fun and be safe.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Transgender Women Being Murdered

Three transgender women of color were murdered last week. Sixteen transgender women have been killed in 2015 -those that have been reported. Only fourteen were killed all of 20l4. With the increased visibility of transgender people, especially people of color, all the haters were bound to come out. We were alleged reigning on their parade. Well, the time has come for us.

When I will look at the Transgender Day of Remembrance list of transgender women murdered this November, the vast majority of them will be black and Latina. What get me sometimes is the lack of response from some of the major LGBT organizations.  What concerns me even more is the attempted erasure of our contributions to the gay liberation movement some thing that is on record as happening. 

I live in New York City which is tolerant of LGBT people. I haven't had any trouble personally but I'm wary. I am aware of certain situations and what is going around me. I'm not fearful because I refuse to live in fear. I have every right to enjoy all things that everyone else enjoys. In the meantime I will work to improve the lives of all transgender people.  

Friday, August 14, 2015

Genevieve's Gems

Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud. 

~Maya Angelou, Author (1928-2014)



A Nun Helping Transgender People

I read this article today.


http://www.huffingto...4b0f73b20bad786

Monday, August 10, 2015

Thinking Out Loud

I was browsing over a list of transgender people who have lived across the ages. The list is quite extensive. It goes throughout all cultures, races, religions, and timelines. Here i the United States the transgender issue has come to the fore of numerous conversations in recent years. 

I've taken a keen interest in the Stonewall Riots of 1969 in New York City to make sure that it is historically accurate. Those who are trying to erase the transgender people's participation is something I cannot let happen.  I've read about Christine Jorgenson, Magnus Hirschfeld, Sylvia Rivera, Miss Major, Marsha P. Johnson, the Dewey Lunch Counter Sit-in of 1965 in Philadelphia, Cathay Williams, Janet Mock, Keith Cylar and many other people and events. What this tells me is that we have a very rich history.

When I was in grade school I absolutely HATED history. When I was 35 I had changed my whole view of history. Now that I'm transgender, I find it vitally important, something not to be taken for granted. Seems that I have become a historian not because I wanted to but because I needed to.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Genevieve's Gems

Experience is the teacher of all things.

~Julius Caesar

Demise of the Michigan's Womyn's Music Festival-Self-Inflicted

The final Michigan Womyn's Music Festival began on August 2nd and concludes o Sunday August 9th. From all accounts it was a successful venture. Unfortunately, it will always be remembered for the exclusion of transgender women. It's a shame because leadership had a chance to show the world that they are an inclusion and affirming venue for all TGLBQ folks.

I have always maintained that when an organization is struggling or going down the tubes you have to point to those running the organization. Lisa Vogel and her clan still lived the 1970s and refused to evolve. They consider trans women to be men which, in my ind is an insult to these women. If trans women did go to the festival they could tell anyone that were trans. This point alone would have kept me from ever attending because I absolutely refuse to go in the closet for anyone. 

As the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival winds down those who will blame trans women for ending this 40 year event are barking up the wrong tree. Look at Lisa Vogel and your cronies who still think this is 1978. They refused to evolve. As a result the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival will become a footnote in history. It's a shame because it could have turned out different.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Contentment

About this time nine years ago, an event happened that progressed toward becoming the person that I am today. It was strolling along the Hudson river boardwalk being Gennee. It was a warm late afternoon. A feeling of contentment and peace washed through me. For the first time I felt comfortable in my own skin. 

I never sought it or thought about it much before.When it actually happened, it moved me past the barriers of self-doubt and uncertainty. There would be other barriers that I would come to. Feeling comfortable in own skin allowed me to be who I really was. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Genevieve's Gems

People do not lack strength, they lack will.

~Proverb

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

True Selves



This is the book I am currently reading. This book I have seen since I came out but I never had the chance to read it. I've read only thirty pages thus far and am impressed. This book was first published in 1996.  


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ageism

There are many isms (too many) which affect us personally or other people. One ism that is sometimes overlooked is ageism. It has affected me (I'm 66) and many others. It affects a number of areas in people's lives; employment, dating, available resources (unlike young people who have many resources) to name a few.

For transgender people this can be a double whammy. I think about this on occasion, especially concerning medical care. What would happen if I collapsed on the street and am taken to a hospital and the medical staff refuse to treat me because I'm trans. I haven't faced this situation (thankfully)but it is a thought.  

Ageism is a problem that needs to be dealt with. As a transgender person we need to not let it affect how we live. I absolutely refuse to live in fear. Do whatever we can to make our feelings felt. When you get senior citizens united for a cause, they are a tough and resilient group who will not back down.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Christopher Street Pier




The Christopher Street Pier is actually a group of piers where people of all stripes hang out during the summer months. It is also an oasis for LGBTQ people, most youth of color. I've been coming here for a decade and I love it. There are families, seniors, joggers, sunbathers, a restaurant, and a bike path. 

Thirty years ago the pier was a dilapidated dump with rotting piers and buildings falling down. Gay people came here to 'cruise' and congregate. It could be dangerous at night with drugs, prostitution and crime a problem.



LGBTQ people flocked here because it was one of the few places where they could be themselves. At night time it was dangerous at night but they still came because of the freedom they had. It was also here at Stonewall veteran Marsha P. Johnson was found floating near the pier a short time after the pride parade in 1992.     
Yes, the piers have been repaired and modernized.It's also part of LGBT history of New York. There are some who wished we would be invisible and go away but we not going anywhere.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tenth Anniversary This Coming Sunday

This coming Sunday, July 26th, will be the tenth anniversary of my coming out. It was such a liberating experience which has dramatically changed my life. 

There's so many places I could start. For one thing it ended the feeling of difference I had about myself, yet never knowing why I felt that way. It was on a day when home alone I decided to try on my spouse's skirt. I thought the urge would go away. Wow, was I wrong! The wheels were set in motion of which I couldn't stop. After some counseling and a period of denial, I came out to myself as a cross dresser. It was a few weeks later that realized my feelings ran much deeper. When did further research, I saw the word transgender for the first time. Right there it connected with me.


Today, I am a happy and content transgender woman. I've coming out to my immediate family and to my church congregation. That was truly a dream come true coming out to my spiritual family. I have met a group of people that I otherwise would have never come in contact with. 


I'm liberated and complete!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Trans Rights and Religious Freedom

One question I've had in my mind when the religious freedom debate started was How does transgender rights (TGLBQ rights for that matter) infringe on someone else's religious freedom? 

I am a bible believing child of God who happens to be transgender. Jesus died for my sins just like he did for everyone else. My package is different from the norm just God loves me just the same. I have heard if transgender rights become the law of the land that it's the end of civilization as we know it. Really? Since when?  I don't keep anyone from practicing their faith. I never rip apart someone's character if our views are different. Everyone entitled to their own opinions and beliefs. I love my conservative Christian brothers and sisters in Christ. I just have a different viewpoint abut TGLBQ topics. 

How can anyone expect to uphold some tradition that not a part of my makeup. I never sought out to be transgender. I was created this way. My gay and lesbian and queer brothers and sisters were created the way they are. To say that they are less than deserving of the benefits and privileges of others is not only wrong but very unchristian like.  Are my opponents demonstrating Christian love by the hateful vitriol spewed in our direction?  May it never be.

Some people believe that we want to wreck society but that is NOT the case. We just want to live our lives. People will still get married and the institution is fine. I am happily married and am a parent and grandparent. Just because I'm transgender doesn't mean I'm evil-I'am just different. I embrace the difference. God is a God of diversity and he has a plan for each individual-gay, straight, lesbian, queer, transgender, black, white, male and female.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

VF



Hey, why not?

Not Any Easy Answers

After pride month, I ask the the question 'What's next?' An easy question which can have an easy answer. Somehow, the answers may not come so easy. 

For the past several months I have dressed every day. I have mulled over the idea of changing my male name to female on all my documents. There are some personal challenges that need to be dealt with. Yes, there are numerous issues for transgender people that will need to be resolved. With that there will need to be some changes of the heart. 

This next year or so will be pivotal for transgender people as the presidential election will be coming up. Some wish to take away all the gains we've made. Others want to erase us from the TGLBTQ mosaic. This is something I am NOT going to let happen. Seems that I become a historian of sorts. I have learned in life that once you cross a certain line, I have to continue going ahead. Perhaps I'm just discovering things in me I never knew were there. 

Here I am nearly 67 years young and I want to take to the streets;to the battle lines. I want to be a vehicle for change. Reflecting on the past year, this is what I must do.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Post Pride

We are in the second half of 2015. The June pride events here in New York are over. Now the work continues. ENDA and GENDA (here in New York state) both need to be passed. I'm taking a more active approach in the latter because GENDA is long overdue.  

I'm happy that marriage equality became the law of the land but in San Francisco it overshadowed the trans pride march. It reminded me of shortly after the Stonewall Riots in 1969, when transgender and gender-variant people (especially people of color) were shut out of the decision making process. Seems that I'm leaning toward being a historian because transgender people are being whitewashed from TGLG history. We helped shape many of the social movements throughout history. I refuse to see our influence pushed aside for assimilation and political correctness.

Plans are pride 2016 are being made now. I pray that ENDA and GENDA will be passed by next pride. I was encouraged by the large number of young people in the parade. I pray that this will lead into more grassroots activism. 

Friday, July 03, 2015

Happy Independence Day


Pink Hat


Whenever I wear my pink hat I get a compliment. Today a woman took a picture my wife and me. Maybe we're the seventh wonder of New York City (lol).  

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

State Senate Fails To Pass GENDA Again

For the eighth time at least, the New YORK state senate has failed to pass GENDA (Gender Employment Non-Discrimination Act) after the state assembly passed the measure. It means that transgender NewYorkers can still be fired from their jobs because they are transgender. This latest defeat is very disappointing.

I'm not giving up! I have to see what I and others can do to change this. GENDA, formerly known as SONYA, has been on the docket for about 15 years now. When marriage equality was passed in 2010 ,GENDA  was on the same platform but was overlooked in the hoopla of the passage of marriage equality. I have a couple of my own theories about this but that's for another day. In t he meantime, I will become involved  more with this until GENDA is passed.

NYC Pride Parade

The pride parade here in New York City was great. My wife, a friend and I helped serve water to the marchers. They thanked us like people happy to see an oasis in the desert. This pride parade was extra special because marriage equality for LGBTQ people is now the law of the land. 

While serving cups of water I was marveling at the many floats and creative costumes. Some of them took much work, I'm sure. I said to myself people are having fun and celebrating who they are. That's the idea of the parade. There were a number of churches who marched in the parade and that was great to see.

My only lament is that with corporations participating (and more money of course), the political and radical element is not present like it was in earlier days. I believe that this needs to brought back because there are still many, many issues that need to be tackled. All in all the parade was fun  and my friend really loved participating in it.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Genevieve's Gems

Disappointment will happen; it's how we handle that disappointment.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

My Lovely Trans Ladies

I meet with a group of trans women twice a month. We meet at the local Sage Center and discuss a particular topic on that night. We all 60 years or older. We discussed topics like health care, loss dating, how we chose our names, etc. I truly LOVE these ladies. 

Later we hit a local restaurant where we talk about other things. These are some really creative, talented, and smart ladies! What's is important is that we are free to be ourselves. One woman says it's a breath of fresh air. I have to agree. There's no victim mentality here. Just love and support and encouragement.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Success

Yesterday, during Sunday service,I shared a pride moment. I shared my transgender experience of coming out to the congregation three years earlier. I shared that God created us as we are and that He loves unconditionally. 

After service, many folks came to me saying how encouraged and point on I was. I love sharing my experiences to anyone who will listen. I pray that someone's heart was touched.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Living And Loving Life

A question was posed to me on one of my forums a few weeks back; How important is passing? I always try to look presentable as to put transgender people in a positive light. Fashion, dressing, and coordinating colors is second nature to me.

To me being able to live life as who I really am is most important. Once I discovered cross dressing and later being transgender it was a turning point in my life. When I went in public alone for the first time, that was it. I was going to live openly and without fear or shame. As time has passed, it is a normal part of me. I gone to restaurants, parties, movies, and plays. I've read poetry in public, acted, been interviewed, made a few speeches, and now writing plays. This coming Sunday I will speak to my church's congregation about my transgender experience.    

I enjoy each day and look forward to new and challenging adventures. I enjoy walking on the streets of Greenwich Village and East Village .  My spouse and I will go out coffee or dinner or an event. Living and enjoying life is truly a blessing.

Genevieve's Gems

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.


~William Arthur Ward, Writer (1921-1994)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sharing Transgender Experience At Church

This Sunday, June 21st, I will share my testimonial at the morning service about being transgender and Christian. I was approached about this several weeks ago and gladly accepted the invitation. I'm preparing a speech o what I want to say. It's suppose to be 2-3 minutes. I'll see how that works out.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Brooklyn Pride

I attended Brooklyn Pride this past Saturday. It was a picture perfect day and many folks came. Below are some of the pictures I took.