Tag Archives: LGBT

Tennessee Failed Us

I really had no clue what to call this post. I don’t want to call it a rant. What i do have to call this particular discussion is one of the saddest things I’ve ever read. That part of my fate was decided for me before I was done. Ive spent the last few hours crying over it, but I shouldn’t get ahead of myself.

Some news spread amongst the local trans community that lifted me so high I could feel optimism pouring out of me. A new local bill passed making it super easy for local trans to change their gender marker on their birth certificate. A close friend sent this information to me by email. We were so happy. All day was a form of celebration locally by those who had been held in gridlock by the system.

By four this evening I was still brimming with happiness and excitement as i told my girlfriend. We were discussing getting the papers filed and getting this step that I have long needed in to place. Then I found the road block. I was born in Tennessee. I lived there only a few years. I have no memory of the state other than the relatives I had there.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-3-203(d) (2006) states the sex of an individual will not be changed on birth certificates even with sexual reassignment surgery. In essence. Because I was born their and my birth certificate is from there I will never get to change everything fully. I get to live with this shadow that has caused more stress and fear than any other issue in my life.

So what do I do? I would never go back to Tennessee. Last time I was there was probably in 1989 right after my grandmom passed. Thanks to one backwards state my life will always have this fear I thought would end. Ive spent the hours since this discovery trying to calm myself and think what can be done. Sadly I have no answers. I have a local therapist friend looking in to things for me.

My anger for this has been as great as my sadness. So much so I have decided I will never again declare that state as my state of birth. It is a blemish on my life that I will never shake the scars from. I don’t even know how to end this post. With everything we have read about trans rights over the last year the fact Tennessee has gone unchallenged with this rule is absurd.

I don’t expect this to do anything but I want to start a hashtag. Maybe see if we can get some light shed on this draconian rule that affects not just myself but others who have moved away from Tennessee and still feels the long arm of ignorance strangling them. I know others have to be out there.

No one should ever be forced to face the rules of a place they do not live.

#TennesseeFailedUs

If you wish please share this. I don’t want to see these kind of things hurt anyone else.

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A Return to Pushing Personal Boundaries

We all do this. Or at least we try to. I admit it is something I having done much of. After many issues with sexual assault and almost being abducted I withdrew from this idea. The last few months I have been more relaxed with what I like and for once in a log time allowed myself to explore.

The whole idea began with shopping for clothes. Ever since I transitioned I knew one thing was true about myself. I am not a big fan of pants. Sure they have a purpose at times but I much prefer wearing skirts or dresses. Flowing clothes have always been my favorite even when I was young. So it makes sense that sine I began my transition I would experiment with skirts and various other styles of clothes. I would even buy short skirts and mini skirts. Even though I was scared to wear them outside. I would still try them on and wear them around my place free of judgement.

When I started going to college full time I let my ambitions do what they will. Short skirts with and even without leggings. Off the shoulder tops. The stylistic world of clothing was my playground and I loved it. I would enjoy my walks to the bus feeling so free in the clothes I chose. My mp3 player on whatever album I decided to sing along to as I walked.

I would say I was naive to the truth of the worlds ability to react. In truth though I don’t think that was the problem. I like any other women on the planet when they develop their own sense of style wasn’t looking for the worlds reactions. I was looking at just being happy being myself.

As i became more relaxed and content with myself things began to happen. I wore a short sun dress one day to school and a guy pulled over at the bus stop. He asked if i wanted a ride. I smiled and kindly said no. He in turn gave me his business card with his personal number written on it and said i should all him some time. He left and I quickly ignored the exchange.

The next incident was more scary. I had just got off the bus near a department store and began walking towards it. I had needed a new pair of shoes for all the walks I did. No sooner did the bus leave a guy pulled up in the bus stop and honked his cars horn to get my attention. I looked back for a second as he waved me over to his car. This time I was not interested. He clearly was though. He drove his car in to the parking lot and proceeded to follow me up and down the isles trying to get me to listen. With a sigh of relief I finally made it in to a close store. He drove away the moment the glass door closed behind me.

There were worse incidents but I would rather not go in to the dark stuff. Needless to say I was left scared After all this I realized I was always harassed when I was showing more skin. I threw out all my short skirts and closeted all my short dresses. Even my tops became more conservative. I didn’t show any cleavage and walked around in sweaters and hoodies all the time.

What I am glad to say though is I have finally gotten past a lot of my hang ups and emotions about the past. I don’t know if it is because I am older now or maybe I have just let go of the hurt and fear that was once caused. Whatever it was a clearance rack of really cute skirts began my return to wearing more revealing clothing. How does one pass up adorable lace skirts for 2 dollars clearance? You just don’t. lol. I even wear them again. A lot of the short dresses have returned as well.

As I was saying earlier last weekend held something very special for me. I have worn some revealing clothing before. Nothing that showed a lot but just short clothes. Last weekend I took a plunge that terrified me. It shouldn’t have. I was going through my closet and happened across a really cute lavender top that had sequins covering the breasts. I looked at it a moment and asked why don’t I wear this more? Sure the neckline is kind of low but it is really pretty. I put it on and walked to the mirror.

My reflection took no time at all to show me why I had not worn the top before. Everything below the breasts and completely down the back was totally sheer. My belly and back were completely exposed. I could feel myself get a little embarrassed seeing my belly button through the stomach of the top. My hips were clear as day and the slight bulge of my stomach was there for the world to see. In a weird twist though I couldn’t decide if I looked really cute or if fear was going to make me rip it off.

After a few more moments of internal arguing I decided to wear it. After all either I start wearing it or get rid of it. Why own something you wont wear? I found a Basic flowy black skirt to go with it and put my make up on for the day. Deciding I wasn’t quite that ready for so much flesh to be shown I pulled a black lace wrap from my closet and put it on. It covered my back just enough so it wasn’t totally obvious. My stomach on the other hand was as clear as day.

As I locked my apartment I headed down the stars in the early noon sun. There was a bit of a breeze that loved playing with my skirt and top. They fluttered so gently and happily with the current. It felt so nice. I made my rounds for the day stopping at my usual weekend haunts. The day went on and I finally started my way home. Sitting in my car I realized I had forgotten I was wearing the sheer top. The day took me where it would and let me relax to the point it didn’t bother me.

There was no harassment like before. I didn’t feel scared or worried. I never felt that fear that used to urged me to cover up after I got hurt. Just a nice peaceful fall day. I got some smiles but nothing beyond that. I beamed the whole way home. I was so happy. I didn’t want to take the top off when I got home. Instead I just kicked the skirt off and left the top on to cover me. The little that it did.

Pain can be recovered from. I would like to say all scars heal but I know some are still there. That would be fooling myself, but last weekend helped me reclaim something i had lost almost a decade ago. Part of the freedom to be me. Since then my mind has raced with outfit ideas that I want to try. Something that hasn’t happened since i was first coming out. More to come. 🙂

Something bothering me about the Rocky Horror remake.

So this has been on my mind for a while. I’ve let it stew around till I could explain it properly. Hopefully i can express this properly. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t get the remake.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is about Brad and Janet as fate sends them in to a chance encounter with Dr Frankenfurter and his unusual crew. A solid enough premis for any film. Dr Frankenfurter is a transvestite. That is some one who dresses in the clothes designated for the opposite gender. The part was masterfully played by Tim Curry and has since gone on to live as big of a legend as he himself has become. 

Fast forward to this year. Next month the tv remake will air starring trans pop queen Laverne Cox as Dr Frankenfurter. I could pick many things about what I’ve seen in the remakes trailers to complain about but I want to focus on just one major flaw. Laverne Cox’s  Frankenfurter is not a transvestite. This literally breaks the character. 

What I mean is this. Laverne Cox may be a male to female transgender but that is not important. She is a woman. Which is fine for the character and a fun change up. The problem is fishnet stockings and lingerie are women’s clothing. How can she be a sweet transvestite if she’s just wearing women’s clothes? 

Frankenfurter also created Rocky. A mindless muscle man to be his sexual plaything. For the era it was quite outrageous for these things to be expressed in such a manner. I can’t help but ask what the new film is trying to portray? Frankenfurter is now a woman but Rocky is still a man. So is it a feminism thing? 

I really feel this is not only a bad representation of the character but also harmful to the trans comunity. This Frankenfurter should be wearing leather pants or some tightie whitie men’s underwear. Somthing to actually enforce the transvestite notion that is so re enforced through out the story. They could have played it up further and made Rocky a woman and made her Frankenfurter’s femme to her butch. Try and even out the dynamic. It would have been a fun twist to the classic Frankenfurter and Rocky. 

Instead we get what I think most will see. A woman who was a man playing a man who dresses in cross dresses for sexual pleasure. I hope I’m wrong about that but so many in this world are so ill  informed when it comes to the differences between tranvestites, crossdressers, drag queens, and transgenders. For all I know she is playing Frankenfurter as a woman through and through. This would be fantastic but leaves the plot hole of the whole tranvestite thing. So either she is playing a man who is a transvestite or a woman who doesn’t seem to understand it. This can get quite confusing. 

I don’t mind the remake. It will never take the place of the classic and I am sure it will have its own audience. I just feel this was poorly planned out by the people who created this version. After all a woman in thigh highs and a corsette is hardly a tranvestite. Lol. 

Forgive me for the choppy writing. Trying to get my thoughts across while typing on a phone is rather difficult. 

A question left to the bygone days of pop culture news coverage.

Life can be quite funny. Especially when you realize everything runs in trends. What will be relevant one moment and mean the world to some will fall silent as if time itself says you had enough. I have seen this happen many times to many different subjects over the decades. However, now we are left with a passed topic that was not only popular, but affects a small portion of the world, myself included.

If you haven’t figured it out yet I am talking about the great bathroom debate of 2016. What was once daily being spoken of from both sides and found its way in to many governing offices has now gone silent. Understandably so. With the riotous and extremely scary circus that has become our presidential debate how could the eyes of the populous not move to them.

Yet this time it has left a nagging issue for those of us who had our fates being determined by our precious political system. The basic right to use the restroom peacefully is still a question. Will we be arrested if we use the restroom? Will we face recourse from the public for simply answering natures call?

No answers. Just like before. Only this time legal actions have been taken in some places. So thanks to the popularity train no answers were widely reached. The country with the motto liberty and justice for all forgot to tell us that it only happens if the populous cares long enough to make a decision.

This is honestly both a good thing and a bad thing. At least from where I sit. On the positive side there are many states that didn’t bother with the popular debate. They sat quietly allowing people to deal with the issue as it arises. Essentially it is down to the people involved. That is if it even becomes an issue. In this thought alone I feel the loss of the countries eye has been a good thing, but to believe it would be this simple would lead to complete naivete on my own part.

For lack of better term they threw down the gauntlet then walked away. I can’t speak for other but this worries me. Probably more so than if they had actually won in the courts. They bullied Target in to taking back its own ruling. All because of the fear of rape from straight perverts. The opponents of our rights used straight rapists and our children to scare a world in to thinking basically we are dangerous.

What is more perplexing is what the country is also talking about right now. Elitists kids raping women and getting slaps on the wrists for it. I laughed at myself as I watched these events unfolding. All I could think was no wonder people fear the trans community. Rapists get nothing and the poor women who are assaulted are left to pick up the pieces. What kind of justice is that? It actually makes me understand the fear the country has created around people like myself.

After all any man can put on a dress and some make up, claim to be one of us and enter a restroom. Hell the idea of a man in the women’s restroom scares me as well. I understand the idea of safe space really well. There have been times I have found solace in a public restroom from not so lucky encounters.

Then comes the harder thoughts. I have been assaulted. I have had my clothes unwillingly ripped off my body. I have been raped. I went in to a lost state after I realized I could tell no one and trying to cope with my own physical and mental issues lead me to a very depressed state. I tried calling a rape crisis line. I was met with a CIS gender only policy. Family hadn’t been the most accepting of who I am so they were of no help.

So here in lies the problem as far as I can see it. My worth means nothing to this country because I am trans. I get no rights. Or maybe I should say I am not awarded the niceties of our culture because others have lumped trans people like me in with the worst of our species. I would say I get no justice but if CIS women can’t get the help they deserve then I know I am on my own. Even in my stealth a doctor will eventually discover what is underneath. Considering what I have dealt with in regards to this issue over the years staying silent is the only thing I could do. My physical pain healed years ago. I like to think I do pretty good mentally.

My apologies. I am a bit off topic. While it is relevant to my particular case, it doesn’t move the issue along. It is a battle cry I have said many times before. More so over the last year watching rape case after rape case where the attackers are set free. If you violate another human being then you don’t deserve these things. We need more harsh punishments for people (of all genders) who do such heinous acts to anyone. No one should have to go through that. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

So yeah. Bathrooms. My right to pee scares me because I don’t know what my rights are. As a born citizen of this country that scares the crap out of me. I essentially have no real secure rights or protections. Can’t go in women’s restrooms because if I am discovered they can fear I will rape them. Cant go in men’s restrooms because I fear rape myself. Never mind the fact I do not look like a man. Thanks to the attention span of the press and the modern culture trans lives across the country are now left in a heated climate to sort out for themselves what is safe and what isn’t. Kind of like before. But now there is severe animosity.

What I think is actually worse than the bathroom debate not being finished is the cold hard truth the recent news has shown us. Rapists will rape. Whether the world thinks they have access to bathrooms or not. If they want to they will. We are certainly seeing that. So what was really gained by all the fear-mongering over the bathroom debate?

I wish I could leave this post on a happier note. I wish I could say the lack of news or public eye makes it easier, it doesn’t. Keep our brothers and sisters in your thoughts when going in to a restroom. Remember the ease of which you can go freely. No recourse. No hassle. It is a natural right and freedom I don’t share.One that many like me will keep others from living their lives the way everyone else gets to.

Equality and Individualism

One would think a word as this would bring up images of people getting along or at the very least not hassling each other. Isn’t that the point of such an idea? That we are all equal and can live together despite our differences?

I would love to say this is the way the world has been nurturing for decades now. America has always been struggling and pushing towards its true ideals. Liberty and justice for all. Though this is something that has been fought hard to even get where it has gotten. Sadly (as often happens) those that have fought the hardest have become part of the problem.

I could go in to the problems with political correctness but I wont. Just as the idea of social justice warriors could be brought up. What I wish to point out is far beyond any such ideals or labels.

The right to individualism.

Simple words that our world has completely forgotten about. I’ve seen it a few times myself over the last few weeks. We are all individuals. No matter how many similarities we share this will never change. I will never be like any one else just as no one will ever be like me. For some reason though our world has decided it is ok to dictate how we should act around one another.Here is an example.

I was having an argument with a friend a few weeks ago on the topic of porn. While at a swap meet a friend found a lesbian porn dvd and held it up giggling. I just like her and another friend laughed. But there is always some one who finds such things wrong and rude. I was glad to see she held off making to much of a scene. Needless to say we had a talk after everyone went their own ways.

Thus began a conversation about how she was insulted and felt it is rude for anyone to pick something like that up and flash it about. To her I kindly responded I understand how you feel but this is how we have always been. It is quite humorous to us to know a swap meet is selling porn. You dont expect to find it there at all. Her response was a simple we need to be more respectful about how she feels.We were going against how she believes and how she wishes to live.

This is the point I let out a heavy sigh. This statement is very poisonous to me. It can be ok, but it is taken to far. Basically it tells the listener when I am around you must change who you are to fit how I live. I am not ok with this idea. I have spent to long of my life listening and agreeing with other people in regards to even how I should be.

As cold as this answer is I could only think if you do not like who we are then maybe we aren’t the best of company for you. We have every right to act and be who we are. Sure we are subject to being judged by others but that is how it works. If others do not like who we are then they look for people who are like them.

What makes her statement even more dangerous is the common issue when these types of things are brought up. It’s always about the individual. Again she has every right to be offended and feel how she does, but that doesnt mean the world has to cater to anyone. I have been with friends who have discussed many things i found uncomfortable and worse. I sit quietly and wait for a new topic to begin, or I can help start the new topic.

Now the friend who was uncomfortable felt it would be best if she informed everyone involved how things should be when she is around. When she said this all I could think was then don’t be around. Don’t change us to fit your world. I would never tell some one to not do something in front of me or to change who they are around me. To do so goes against our basic rights as living beings. We are individuals.

This girl and I are still ok friends. I wouldn’t break off the friendship over something like that. But just as she has her choices to make so do I. I will have to think a lot about having her along to do things in the future.

So all this brought me to the question why do we constantly try to tell everyone how to change for the better? It is none of our rights. I just don’t understand this overwhelming need for some to make the world work their way only. It is not a way of life I believe in. In this world of fear and anger we should be trying to build bridges to not only equality but individualism. You really cant have one without the other.

What does everyone think? Is it truly possible to know when in public we will be exposed to things we do not wish to, or does it make more sense to try and censor?

It’s been a while.

I have gone silent for a while. Something i wasn’t expecting on doing. As it turns out a fear swept over me. One I had not known since I first came out.

As I tried to figure out what exactly I wanted to do with this blog. I found myself reading articles on the world events involving trans people. Something that seemed to to spark a issue in myself. One i had to take time to work on. I became scared and fearful as I saw one negative article after another.

I had to stop reading articles on current trans events. I didn’t read them for a while. What it came down to was i have to watch myself when it comes to current events. Otherwise I will become a fearful mess again. Even as I write this I can think about the most recent news I read and shudder. News in this world is bad, but I became thinking that this was the wrong reason to care about this stuff.

I may go in to more of what has bothered me later. For now i just want to explain where i went and that I am returning. This time opting to avoid the delicate nature of the news. I want to focus more on what I intended to. My life and my views as seen from a trans woman who lives quietly in the shadows of those who live in the open. Stealth trans and her thoughts. 🙂

Is it ok to have friends from before you transitioned?

For those who have transitioned I think this is a question we all asked at one point or another. As one grows in to who they are born to be you learn more about those who have been there not only from the beginning, but possibly further back beyond that.

I remember when i started to live full time. Most of the people around me were new to my life and only really knew me as me. There were a few who had been around before. Coming out can harbor feelings on all sides of life. I remember one friend saying he missed the old me. I didn’t really understand this remark. I was still me. Same likes and same attitude. He just saw something I didn’t.

Probably the most eye opening came with my best friend during my coming out. She was a dear friend of mine and helped me overcome a lot of my fears. She was completely supportive. We would go to gay bars together and dance our nights away and have a great time. Something changes though over the few years since my coming out I did not expect.

I decided to go back to school so I enrolled in the local college. This was a pretty big step for me considering it was not only the first place no one would know my old self but it was the first real time I stepped out without my best friend.

The experience was so awakening. I made sure to protect my secret and be who i was at all times. It was probably the happiest I had been in years. I made many friends at school. We would hang out between classes or during assignments we had in common. No one questioned me. Everyone just saw me for who I was. At least it was this way at school.

My best friend on the other hand had become more estranged to me. I was happy to see her and go out like we used to but it had changed. I could see the difference in how she treated me while knowing everything as opposed to those at school who knew me as me. I could tell my best friend still held back with things and had even become condescending with me.

The longer I allowed myself to grow at school the more I realized how bad things were with my best friend. I could go in to various other reasons that things became bad but they aren’t part of this point. The realization she treated me like she did was very disappointing.

Due to many reasons along with this one we parted ways as friends. Something i have seen happen with a lot of those I knew before I transitioned. The ones I have left are probably the oldest of friends I have. One goes back to high school. One was even a girl who had a crush on me in first grade. Which also leads to another funny note.

I am friends with three of my exes from before I transitioned. Every one of them had the same thing to say when I came out to them. They all said I love you but I’m not in to that. Did they think it was supposed to be a way to endear myself to them? lol. I have no clue but it was pretty funny they felt they had to say it.

My answer to is it okay? Yes, I think it is just fine. You will get used to the two different ways people will treat you. There will always be a huge difference between those who knew you before and those who don’t. Much like with those who have to decide if they can take who we are. We will have to decide if how they treat us is good for us. I know this sounds like a bad Disney saying but if they are true then they will be there forever.

What makes terms like lifestyle good or bad?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a lifestyle as such.

:the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture

In its purest of forms this make people calling how LGBT people live a lifestyle correct. BUT, one thing they are forgetting is that we do not refer to the heterosexual way of life as a lifestyle. We do not refer to it as a choice. It is just what they do. This is why the word has garnered such a bad reputation among the LGBT population.

There are plenty of words that have been used to describe LGBT people. Most of which are no longer acceptable to say despite their more traditional meanings. Calling some one gay in a derogatory manner is frowned upon. Yet no one remembers what its original meaning is. The same is said for the word queer. The word simply meant happy. It still does. No one complained about the film Nightmare Before Christmas when Jack Skelington sang the words ‘how queer”.

The song described Jacks new experiences in Christmas town. Its use of the word queer came from the more traditional definition so the audience had very little to complain about. Now had he said it about another character in the film I am sure it would have taken on a completely different meaning.

On the opposite end of this is the Green Day song American Idiot where the song used the line “maybe I’m the faggot america”. This caused an uproar and forced the song to be censored without even knowing the meaning of the lyrics. The following line in the song is “I’m not a part of the redneck agenda”. A very provocative statement. Especially in this era where the conservative movement has pushed harder to deny LGBT rights.The use of the word was all anyone heard. It was enough for an uproar. At least for those who are incapable of looking at the bigger picture.

The worse use I can remember over the last decade has been in some of my favorite films. I love watching Kevin Smith films. From Clerks all the way to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. These are great classic comedies that talked a lot about the culture at the time and often poked fun at it. Jay and Silent Bob Strike back had one joke though that pointed out a very dark look at his films for me. In it a female bad guy does something that is considered weird or abnormal. Her friend turns to her and simply says “you are so gay”.

As funny as his films are they quite often have very derogatory views on the LGBT community. I do excuse Chasing Amy from this because of the many LGBT issues and messages it gets across, but this only furthers my confusion when I think about it. The earlier films were a voice of their time. The early 90s were full of this kind of talk. By the turn of the decade though things were not so crude. So it made the comment in Jay and Silent Bob very uncomfortable.

Another great point of how those who aren’t labeled by the terms is when actor John Barrowman defended his use of the term tranny. In his opinion the trangendered people of the world should quit whining and be okay with the term. Yet I can only imagine how angry he would feel if he was casually referred to as a faggot and told to accept it because that is what he is to some people. He of anyone should have known better. The power of labels can be hurtful.

So why do I bring all this up you ask? As much as I would like to say I have a simple point I do not.The use of the word lifestyle in our current culture carries one meaning when regarding the LGBT community. It is a way for those who don’t understand LGBT people to understand what they consider to be a choice. This is the only answer I can think of that makes sense and this answer makes the term very unhealthy.

This version of the word has been around for a while. It was further re enforced to me over the weekend when a family member was talking about how she knows gay people and a gay friend was offended when she referred his lifestyle. She felt he was being to sensitive. I even told her as an example what if he was to refer to your religious views as a lifestyle. Yet she pointed out how its not a lifestyle and kept on saying how people are too sensitive.

Like I said earlier. No one refers to heterosexuality as a choice. We don’t refer to being human as a choice. We don’t even refer to ones religion as a lifestyle choice even though people chose which religion they believe in. So why should we hear about our “lifestyle” when it is naturally who we are?

What I personally hear when I hear my life being referred to as a lifestyle is that I have chosen a fetish that I live unhealthily. When I came out my sisters response was “that’s fine just keep it in the bedroom”. Like it was some sort of turn on. This opens up to a much bigger conversation for a later time. For now I want to stick to the issue at hand.

If you feel I missed the mark or see things differently please feel free to comment. I would love to talk about this.

A voice in North Carolina

With one of the worst pieces of legislation passed in North Carolina many people have spoken out against its homophobic ramifications. Sure IBM and a few other companies have spoken out against the new law, but it is a trans man that makes me smile the most. He is doing something I think shines a perfect light on the situation that the officials in North Carolina don’t understand.

I wont show his face but i will mention that he has my support and my hopes are with him. With the new law in place, it is now unlawful to use the restroom that doesn’t correspond to your birth certificate. Charlie has posted online that he will adhere to the law as he doesn’t with to violate it. What this does mean is since he was born a woman he is now going to be using the women’s restroom.

What you cant see here is the fact Charlie has undergone hormone treatment for some time. Any idea that he passed as a woman is long gone. Even if he could I am pretty sure the tailored beard would not help anything. So thanks to a new law that was designed to “keep predators out of the bathrooms and make these areas secure” now enforces those who pass as their real gender use the restroom that doesn’t match them.

Charlie will be in the restroom just like any of us. Little girls will see him in there and be lost as to why he is there. what is amazing is what charlie has decided to do in case he is confronted by a woman. He has printed out a card that explains the situation and informs the person with the problem that if they have a problem with it to combat such a hateful law. He has even said he will not give argument to those who confront him. Just a simple handing of the card and off he will go.

This move is not only brilliant, but completely brave and in the face of those who didn’t understand what they were actually doing. If they wanted to protect from sexual predators then they could have found more appropriate ways of doing so. As it stands all they do is bully a group of people who have done nothing but try to live.

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I love what Charlie is doing so much I have begun wondering what I would do if the same type of law would attempt to be passed where I am. I was told before by my therapist that I am a great speaker and would greatly help. That however is not me. I can speak just fine but what does this do for my stealth ability? Is that something worth giving up?

My answer is actually a resounding yes. What better way to prove a point that by pointing out the fact no one has had issues with me and the only reason I would be out is to show that I was thrown in to a rule that shouldn’t even apply to me. I smile as I think of what Charlie is doing. Part of me cant help but smile when i remember when I first started passing. I didn’t realize it at first but it had become apparent pretty fast.

I was in the men’s bathroom at work washing up after a long 8 hours. As I washed my hands a customer opened the door to come in. I could see him stop in the mirror as he saw me. He leaned back and looked at the symbol on the door. He was clearly shocked by my being there. He even waited for me to leave before coming in.

It was actually that day I had to rethink the bathroom situation. So the question stands could I go back in to the men’s restroom. If this is what it came down to where I am then I would say yes. And I would document the whole thing. I even have more ideas. Hopefully I wont need them, but if I do then I can guarantee they will happen. Way to go Charlie. You are an inspiration to me and probably thousands of trans people across the country. It should be interesting to see what happens.

Traveling when Trans

With this mornings upsetting news about North Carolina. I want to share my thoughts on the subject of traveling while being transgender. I have traveled quite a bit as I have both transitioned and lived my life as the woman I always was. I don’t think this is a topic many people think about when stuff like Indiana and North Carolina happen. Before i start I want to include Georgia in the list of states that are making headlines for creating such oppressive laws.

I have traveled to many states over the last ten years. It is something that can be exhilarating and quite scary at the same time. Traveling while trans however makes what can already be a unsure situation absolutely scary.

I would like to start with a trip I took about seven years ago to Arizona. I was travelling with a friend to meet up with a friend of hers who had moved there a few years prior. The traveling wasn’t much of an issue. We did our usual routine of listening to music and talking about who knows what. The last thing on my mind at the time was what people might have thought about me. That is how it should be.

To say the least Arizona was a nightmare publicly. I have yet to be in another state that made me feel as awkward as that one. People there have no problem giving stares at anyone they don’t feel is right. After we met up with her friend we decided to go out for the night and enjoy ourselves. We stopped and grabbed some food first. They were busy catching up so it allowed me to eat and just kind of hang out. I would join the conversation if I had something to say but otherwise I left them to it.

After dinner we went from bar to bar trying to find anything going on. This is where things fell apart completely for me. When a bar is involved the standard needing proof of identification comes in to play. The dread was felt every place we went as I saw the unpleasant faces of those who would look at me and read my I.D.. The last bar was the worst. The bouncers were police officers. One would think this would be a good thing. I am sure they do a good job of making sure nothing happens at the clubs. The look on the cop at the doors face when he saw me said it all. I was not welcome there. They made sure I knew it as well.

As my friend and her friend went in in front of me I waited for the cop to check out my I.D.. With a scowl now on his face he silently handed me my card and waved me in. Had that been the end of it I could have dealt with the insecurity of it. A quick glance behind me revealed he had waved a second cop over and was talking about me. Both of them had their eyes glued to me as they spoke. They didn’t hide it in the least.

Quickly I caught up with my friend hoping I would be left alone with people around me. They asked if I wanted a drink. I graciously refused knowing that would inevitably lead to needing to use the restroom. If those cops were still watching me there was no way they would let me go to the bathroom peacefully.

A moment of curiosity washed over me as I was trying to be sure things were as they seemed. I excused myself from the table and tried to find a place to stand where I could see the live band playing from. Everywhere i went i could see the blue shadow of a uniformed officer. His uniform was almost black against the dimly lit club. The stage lights made him stand out. Realizing there was a upstairs with a balcony to see the stage from I went up the steps.

To do so I had to pass the main door again. the cop at the door watched as I passed. I could see him nod to my follower as he rounded the steps to proceed upstairs as well. My heart was pounding at this point. My friend hadn’t noticed a thing the whole time. I don’t think she even saw me go upstairs. If something happened then to her I would have just disappeared.

The upstairs balcony was pretty empty. I remember I started to panic at the lack of patrons up stairs. If the cop wanted he could have easily made my night a nightmare then and there. I walked up to the balcony overlooking the stage. In the weird design of the club I laughed realizing the band was so far back their heads were cut off by the front of the ceiling.

Even though I couldn’t see them properly I stood there a few moments. I could feel the cops eyes on me the whole time. After a few minutes I looked around the upstairs area. There were three people sitting at a table on the far side. Beyond them it was just the cop and I.

Terror was getting the better of me. Worse yet it was making me have to go to the bathroom. All that pressure on my bladder was having a very negative effect. Deciding I couldn’t take it anymore I came up with a plan to leave upstairs. It was probably more than I needed to do but I wanted the cop to realize I was aware he was following me.

I turned around and walked straight to him. The moment I faced him he tried to focus else ware but I knew better. I walked up to him and smiled as much as my terrified body could. I asked him if there was a proper place from where I could see the show. His look said it all once again. The fact I was even talking to him disgusted him. Without saying a word he shook his head no.

I smiled even wider and said thanks. I excused myself back down stairs as fast as I could without looking like I was trying to run. I made it back to my friend who was still chatting with her friend. He was waiting for something to catch me on. if i was lucky that was all he was doing. Even then I could imagine far worse things than a false arrest. I saw him come downstairs a few minutes after I did.

Needless to say I didn’t use the restroom till we got back to her friends house. By then the pain was unbearable. Every stabbing pain in my stomach reminded me of the fear that the night had given me. We couldn’t leave to go home fast enough. I never said a word though. I wasn’t about to ruin her trip because of this. I did tell her after we got back but that was it.

I share this memory as a look inside what it is like to travel as a trans person. To say the least I get nervous when the idea of traveling becomes an option. Thoughts of what the people are like, are they super judgmental? I do love to travel, but with the climate the way it is for LGBT people I cant see myself doing so that much. I am proud of the large companies who take stances against these barbaric laws. They have so far been the biggest road block for such bills.

All these fears happen every time I travel. I wish I had something more witty to end with but this cold hard truth is all I have. I may be brave and travel, but the truth is I am aware each state comes with its own set of rules and regulations for people like me. I can tell you this for sure. I have a list of states I will never set foot in again. At the top? Arizona.