Author's posts

When Chapters Collide: a mash-up

What would happen if two of my selected writings collided?

I thought I might as well see.  One of the pieces (Of the Greataway) is from a story I had been working on roughly called The Weavemothers. The other (On the Thickness of Skin) was an entry in my now defunct feature called Café Discovery that once appeared on Sundays at Docudharma.  

Jump Shift?

Star Womb photo egg21.gifFrom late January of 2008, I bring another of the conjunctive pieces I shall include in my book.  It was originally published at Docudharma.

This graphic is named Star Womb

Phase in.  Phase out.  Out of Phase.

Phase shift.  

Some people shift paradigms.  I shift points of view.  Sometimes I have felt forced to do so.  Sometimes I choose to do so intentionally.  Sometimes I have taken a chance at shifting willingly.

I’ve come to the fork in the road, so to speak.  (Insert Slauson Cutoff joke here)  Do I step on the transporter or not?  Do I scatter my atoms across the universe?

Mitosis?  Cytokinesis?  Meiosis?  

Will these metaphors never cease?

An Unsustainable Life

This was written in 2010.  I’ve decided it belongs in the autobiography, alongside The Task at Hand.

The graphic is entitled Fire.


Twelve days ago, I encountered the following comment by a well-known member of Daily Kos.

What exactly is the medical condition that is treated by transgender surgery? Is it vanity? Something is not right about drastic alteration of a healthy body. I feel the same way about plastic surgery, by the way.

Transgender is an acquired condition, a choice, unlike homosexuality, and I don’t think it deserves the same protections.

I’ve let it steep and marinate, trying to come up with a way to address the comment.  And during that time, I’ve wondered how many people of like mind inhabit DK.  Given the number of anti-trans bigots that respond to general news story blogs in regards to stories about people who are trans, I’m willing to bet the commenter who made that comment is not flying solo.

So how should I approach it?  I decided that a trip back in time might fit the bill.


All the other times I began writing my autobiography (which supplied some of the chapters I have already shared) in the end suffered the same fate:  I couldn’t figure out how it was going to end.  After all I wasn’t dead yet.

But perhaps this will be the terminal chapter in my book.  I’ll have to think seriously about that.

I sometimes (partially facetiously) refer to myself as “immortal until proven otherwise.”  This is different than I have felt about the subject in the past (witness four suicide attempts).  But I am a survivor and see no reason for that to change.  Sure, my body might wear out and no longer function well enough to support keeping my being in contact with the world of our outward shared reality (or is that our shared hallucination?), but I cannot believe that my body is the sum total of who I am (for one thing, there’s just not enough room in there to hold all that is me).  

Our culture (is there really such a general concept?) has always seemed to me to place too much emphasis on death, about how we must “prepare” for it (some people spend way too much energy doing so, in my opinion) and how we must live our lives so that some unknown Good Thing will happen when we die.  The truth of the matter (well, it’s my truth) is that we don’t really know what will happen to us when our bodies no longer function.  All is speculation or hope…faith, if you will.  Someday my heart will stop beating.  What will happen at that moment is anybody’s guess.  Think of it as passing through a door that only permits one-way travel.  

I think the worst that can happen is that there will be nothingness, that the “me” that is connected to my physical form would cease to be.  What a waste of lessons learned that would be!  


Hollow 3

Each day I can watch him trudging home from wherever he has been.  Fortunately it is downhill from the bus stop to where he lives.  He never smiles, eyes focused on the ground a few feet in front of his pace.

Beaten down.

The world so heavy that he can’t even look up.

Shoulders sagging under the weight of the last straw, and the last straw before that… and the one before that.  A succession of so many minor beatings to the ego that he flinches reflexively at anything, everything, expecting the worst

Back bent from too many sorrows.

And you want him to rise up?

The Mountaintop, Revisited

I’ve been publishing  version of this every Martin Luther King Day since I joined in 2005.  It is especially apropos this year since it also represents part of my journey and so qualifies as a part of my autobiography.

If you haven’t been following along, but would like to, I have links:

One or more starts


Comings Out (Adding Context)

Character Development

A Winter

Hippie Memories

Where ragged people go

Seeking love, finding only beads

Layers of Why (time for some theory)

Ketchup Soup


A Gathering of Rainbows


Sappho Party, 1993 by Jade photo reserven.jpgI am an activist for my people.  As I have grown older, I have more likely performed my activism with my words, which is the tool I have had at hand.

Sometimes I am repetitive.  I am a teacher.  Some lessons are hard.  That’s a clue to the fact that they are important.  Important lessons need to be taught more than once, again and again, time and again, using different words, approaching the issue from different points of view.  That’s what I do.  Some of you claim that I do it “ad nauseam.”  It’s your nausea, not mine.

Many of you know me as the transsexual woman (or whatever you call me…I’m sure that it is not favorable in many instances).  Some of you know me as an artist or a poet.  Some of you see the teacher in me.  Or the glbt activist and PFLAG parent.  I am all of these.  I am a human being.

I was born in a place and time.  I have absorbed the life lessons presented to me since then.  I am still learning.

I’ve tried to pass on what I have learned.  I continue to make that effort, in whatever new venues are available, wherever I can find an opened eye or ear.

A Gathering of Rainbows

July 4th weekend, 1993

A little background:  On Wednesday, June 30, one of my students (named Rachel) suggested that I might be interested in attending the Rainbow Gathering near Mount Victory, Kentucky.  The Rainbow Family is a collection of assorted people, loosely categorized as “hippies” that have been meeting at a US national park for the last 22 years [+21–ed] in order to commune with nature, to seek self‑healing, and to try to join their energies in quest for world peace, social harmony, and ecological balance (and maybe get stoned a bit also 🙂 ).  

This is a part of my auto-biographical thingy…


If I have failed to convey that my life journey has been about finding a place where I belong, then I have managed to gloss over a large part of that which defines who I am.   My adult life has been built around teaching, which to me is about helping others find a place where they belong, where they are valued.  I’ve spent most of my life being told I should go away because I didn’t fit in, that if I had any value, it lay elsewhere.  Or at least that’s the impression I received.  As a kid.  As a hippie, As a Christian. As a PFLAG parent. As an LGBT person. As a lesbian. As a transgender person.  As a human being.

The next several chapters, starting with this one are going to relate my efforts to ameliorate those feelings, to open a few doors for myself, and by extension for other transgender people…to build some needed empathy.  It is what I do.  It is who I am.


At my Office, 1996 photo Office96.jpgIt was late Spring of 1992 when I first recollect being the me who I am now.  It came as a result of my fifth life crisis.  I was alone in our house, precisely halfway between Central Baptist College and the First Baptist Church in Conway, AR.

At the time there was the previous me, trying to make a go of life and an unformed thought of the me of now, both inhabiting the same biological structure.

Previous Me was undergoing his fifth nearly terminal event.  He wasn’t prepared.  He’d thought that since it had been 17 years since the last event, he was safe.  Maybe he would have been, but stuff happens.

As in Crisis 4, the “stuff” concerned The Woman who had rescued him from Crisis 3, The Woman whom he had married and who had conceived his daughter.  But she was trouble, that one.  This time she had been arrested for embezzling from the university which employed them both.  As had been the case much too often in his life, he had felt obligated to pay for her transgression.  And she had repaid him by obtaining a boyfriend.  

So he was feeling cold and lonely in their house and it felt like the walls were closing in.  Too much damn pressure.  He’d tried to release at least some of it by Dancing to the Oldies with Richard Simmons, and had seen his weight retreat to its 1976 level of 155 on his 6’3″ frame, what he had weighed when he was rowing lightweight crew at Penn.  But it wasn’t really working anymore.  The walls still seemed to want to crush him.  He felt as if he could stand in the center of the living room and spread his arms to touch both of he walls.  

Mortality among transgender folk

Conservative forces are concerned that the National Institutes of Health have awarded $189,186 to Emory University to study transgender mortality (project information).

PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The purpose of this study is to determine whether transgender persons defined as those who medically change the gender assigned to them at birth (male to female or female to male) have higher or lower risk of death and certain diseases than men and women that do not consider themselves transgender.  Participants will be selected from medical records of two large health care systems – the Veterans Affairs Administration and the Kaiser Permanente. Transgender persons will also be asked to join focus group discussions and share their views about factors that may motivate or preclude their participation in research.

Members of the transgender community and health care providers caring for transgender individuals express concerns about mental and physical health problems in this population; however longitudinal studies of transgender populations in the US have not been conducted.

CNS (which is Cybercast News Service, even though many think of it as Christian News Service) felt it necessary to inquire as to whether this was an “effective use of taxpayer funds.”

The NIH funded project began in August, 2013 and runs through May 2015

Wrapping up one year and unwrapping the next

A warm case, a cold case, and the end of a long battle against cancer are the focus of this New Year’s Day post that wishes for better days ahead.

An arrest has been made in the October 2nd East Hollywood shooting death of Aniya Knee Parker.  Los Angeles police are seeking two more suspects.

Los Angeles News  Video

 photo parkeraniya_zps938e8e3a.jpgParker was confronted by three Latino men as she walked down a sidewalk.  Apparently the men determined she was trans and punched her.  As she turned to flee, one of the men pulled out a pistol and shot her once in the head.  Parker managed to make it across the street before collapsing.  She died in surgery.  Police referred to the incident as “an attempted robbery gone wrong.”

The suspect in custody is said to be a minor, so his name has not been released, but reports are that he will be charged as an adult.

A Little Child Shall Lead Them: Compassion Revisited

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.

–Isaiah 11:6

With all the hacking attacks recently, it was bound to happen that someone would try to hack Santa’s mail and share it with the world.

 photo o-SANTA-LETTER-570_zps1330ddbb.jpg

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