Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Today's picture is shortly after sunrise this morning, taken from my bedroom window.  I had a squirrel sitting on the branch just out the window who startled me - I don't know who jumped first, him or me.

It's a unique perspective.  Now that I'm on the 3rd floor the view out my back windows roofs, smokestacks, treetops, and sky.  It's actually very nice, especially with a window open and the cool morning breeze  blowing through. 

My front view overlooks one of the historic Charleston downtown streets.  The height offers a whole new perspective.

Speaking of perspective, I'm going to share some thoughts on a couple of recent news items.  I saw an article about a Stonewall Dem event honoring Barney Frank (read it here).  Now that he's retiring people are singing his praises from throughout his long tenure in Congress.  From my perspective - big deal.  His legacy will simply be as the guy who threw "people of transgender" (his words, not mine) under the proverbial ENDA bus.  He may have actually done us a favor, but that was unintentional.

There's an article about a trans woman in Dallas who received a ticket for using the women's bathroom at a hospital there (see story).  TX is one of those states where you can't change the gender marker on your driver's license until after surgery, and she had the appropriate letter from her doctor indicating that she is transitioning.  Furthermore, she was cited for "Disorderly Conduct", which is defined in TX as "intentionally or knowingly for a lewd or unlawful purpose".

This is just plain wrong, and although the Hospital says it is investigating it seems to me that the place where the training needs to happen is with the police. 

It's funny, but my past is usually forgotten in my day-to-day life.  This is my life now.  It has been this way for a long time .  It feels right, and natural, and easy.  The constant lump in my throat is long gone, as is the tightening grip on the soul that being trapped in a life that you know is wrong can create.

I do still pinch myself from time to time to remind myself how dreams really can and do come true.  But by and large, it's such a non "thing" it only comes up in email, on FB, and in other aspects of my life directly connected to it. 

The reason I mention that is that I talked about it twice yesterday, with two different people.  Everything seems cool, but that's nearly the total number of times I've had that conversation since I moved here.  It doesn't bother me, since I'm really not embarassed or ashamed about it.  The thing that concerns me from past history, though, is that relationships can change because of it and what was comfortable one moment becomes awkward and odd the next. 

I've come to peace with the fact that there are things I can control to some extent, and things I can't.  How others react about anything is one of those things that I can't.  So I don't dwell on it.  But I've seen more than one relationship fall off the map after that chat.

At the same time, though, I've also seen relationships blossom afterwards.  Sometimes there is an appreciation for the gift and the trust involved in sharing something that's deeply personal, which opens the door to opportunities for deeper sharing.  So the end result is not a foregone conclusion by any means.  But I always go back to the guiding principal of only having the discussion when needed or when approached. 

Back to my downtown place....I've only been there a couple of nights and I haven't had a single minute to unpack anything yet but it already feels good.  My social life soars downtown at the expense of my sleep.  That's already true again.  :)


Donna said...

Donna, Many of us Texans have changed gender marker on driver's license prior to surgery. If you have a decent lawyer get your name and gender change done right, it makes all the difference when you bring the court order into the DMV, the SS office, or wherever.

Donna said...

Hey Donna: It has been a long time since we've talked!! I remember you from the early days. I hope you're well.

I lived in TX for 4 years and know many people there who have been able to change their gender marker. But unlike states where a process is actually recognized, in TX it requires both money and knowledge of how the backdoors work. Not everyone has those things. Regardless, Paula cannot be faulted here. She did nothing wrong. I predict that all the visibility will result in an apology and a review of procedures.