Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Christmas!

I hope everyone has a fabulous, fabulous, Christmas!

Wait, what do you mean, it's happened already? Damn...

Fine, hope you had a fabulous Christmas, and you have a great New Year. Okay?

*goes back to bed*

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Big D?

Someone asked on one of the LiveJournal communities I am a part of about moving to Dallas, and if anyone had any advice. Of course, I had to reply...

I moved to Dallas in August of '06 from the New Orleans area. I didn't know anyone here, knew very little about the city or the "trans community." I was moving because my spouse did know people here, could no longer live in New Orleans, and didn't like my suggestion about moving to Atlanta (which I think is far more transfriendly, but I digress).

I'll just hit the high and low points:

Dallas is a pretty "accepting" city. It's got a very large and public GLBT community, mostly centered around the Cedar Springs/Oak Lawn area. The Sheriff is a lesbian Latina, openly gay men have run for and won public offices in the DFW area. And in the last election, an openly gay city councilman nearly won the mayor's race. Recently, the Dallas Voice did an article on a post-transition Dallas Police officer who was not the first person to do so in the department.

Dallas has one of the largest populations of GLBT people per capita in the country. It also has the largest church with a predominantly GLBT congregation in the country, too. Go figure.

There are quite a few companies that have GLBT-affirmative policies regarding employment-including many Fortune 500 companies. If you are looking for a job in the financial, IT, healthcare or transportation fields, there are opportunities in the Dallas area.

The people here are actually very friendly and open. Neighbors tend to be helpful. There are some very nice neighborhoods in the city, and you can find someplace you'll feel comfortable in.

Contrary to rumor, you can get more than barbecue and Mexican food in Dallas. Though there is some great barbecue and Mexican food here. There's also incredible Latin, Asian, Indian, Mediterranean and African cuisines at reasonable prices.

And now, what sucks...

Traffic is hellish; the drivers morons. Really. My car insurance went up when I moved here. There are constant roadworks, accidents tie up major roads for hours, the junctions and intersections make no sense, and drivers simply refuse to allow you to merge or change lanes and insist on tailgating you everywhere. Expect any commute to take at least an hour, if you're lucky.

There's no income tax-but every other tax is bleeding. Wages are higher than most of the South, but so is the cost of living. Housing prices have yet to take much of a dive, too.

There is a definite class system in Dallas, based on where you live and how much you make. It helps if you live in the right part of town or the right suburb. Displays of wealth are common and expected. The first shopping mall was in Dallas; they never stopped building them. Think of any prestigious brand and they probably a boutique or store here.

The crime rate in Dallas is shocking, and it's been bad for years. "Hate crimes" are rare, but robberies and assaults are not uncommon.

And while Dallas may be pretty accepting, just a few miles away you're in redneck Texas. Plus, there are parts of Dallas I wouldn't dream of going into at any time of the day...

You may have noticed I have not talked a lot about the transgender community in Dallas. Because there isin't much of one. There are support groups, and some excellent therapists. But socially, simply making friends among the locals has been hard. The vast majority of transpeople are not out, or have managed to stealth themselves well enough they don't feel a need to make contact with others. The friends I have here I found through mutual friends in other places or by being lucky.

However, I will say that the friends I have here have been wonderful people who are generous to a fault and I am happy to know.

When Nicole Meadows said this place will eat your soul, she's not kidding. It's a hard place to live if you don't know people, and it's an easy place to feel lost in. I know I have...

Overall, if you're moving here for family or work, do it. If you are moving here for a social scene, there are better choices...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Project Runway-episode 4

The season 4 opening is, meh.

Chris-"Project Runway should have a perfume"

Heidi does the model cut; this week two go. Jack takes Ricky's model, the bitch.

In the workroom-it's Tim and Nina Garcia, who's never been there. Photos of fashion fugglies. Everyone has to select a trend before they find out what the challenge is. Oh no, TEAMS OF THREE and they have to create three looks incorporating all three fugglies, as a line, updated to today...

Now they have to chose teams and leaders:

Chris, Sweet P and Steven
Jillian, Rami and Kevin
Ricky, Victorya and Elysa
Kit, Christian, and Jack

Fabric shopping and the fights have started...

Ricky figures out he needs to talk to Elysa in her language-which is unknown to most mortals...

Commercial break. This week's challenge is, honestly, not impressing me. Yet.

Day two...Shiny, happy designers.

Stephen does a great Tim imitation.

Victorya is taking over Ricky's outfit, and he doesn't like it.

The models come in, and honestly, things are better than I expected. Well, almost. And the bitching has started. I see Victorya and Ricky having a catfight, soon...Like, now. She's ignoring Ricky, and he's fuming.

Jillian thinks Kevin is taking too long. So's Rami.

Tim arrives...Likes Kat's group, worried about Chris', picks a bit on Jillian, gives Ricky's team the "not well finished" which is deadly, and Victorya is acting like she's in charge.

Victorya is being a bitch. She wants to lead from the back, and let Ricky take the bullet.

Midnight comes, Jillian's unhappy because Kevin's shorts are not done. MORE Victorya vs. Ricky. Auff them both, at this point.

Commercial break. The producers are ramping up the Victoria/Ricky thing way too much.

Oh, great, a Top Chef holiday cook-off. Right...

Runway day! Elisa is the sane one between Victorya and Ricky. Scary. Which Victorya is redoing her outfit. Kevin's busting ass to finish.

Tim sends the models in. No major disasters. Yet.

Ricky and Victorya FINALLY agree on something. Gravity is repealed.

Kevin got the shorts done in the last minute, and they look good.

Another commercial break..Pet the kitty break!

Runway time! Special guest judge? Donna Karan.

Team Jillian first-Not bad, it looked like a collection
Team Chris-Not as cohesive a collection I think.
Team Christian-Maybe not so good
Team Ricky-Um...

They're doing the winner right off-Team Jillian. Which made sense. it WAS a collection.

Team Christian moves on to the next challenge.

Which leaves Ricky and Chris. Chris' collection gets taken apart. Steven and Chris get taken down, Sweet P gets props. Ricky's team gets nailed for construction, Elysa got props, Victorya actually gave Ricky props. Ricky got whacked for construction, again. And Victorya is shooting Ricky down, of course. When Heidi does the who would you auff question, Sweet P nearly has a heart attack and apologizes profusely to Steven...

So who should be auffed? Steven or Victorya, though Ricky dodged a bullet last challenge and when someone ends up back in the basement again, they usually don't get a third chance...(at 9:54 PM)

And who gets auffed? Chris. Damn! I am so mad right now...

I'll miss him.

Next week, BIG drama with Jack! I heard rumors, but I won't say anything until I know for sure...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Confession

I love Project Runway. It's been an obsession since last season, and anyone who's on my LiveJournal knows just how bad I am. I have been doing episode reviews this season, and I am going to start cross posting them here. Why? Because I can, kids...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Tomorrow is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. It is a day every year set aside to remember those transpeople who died this year, so far. Reading the list is sobering; reading the causes of death frightening.

The worst part? That we have to have a day like this, every year.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Connections

My friend Jenny posted this excerpt from her friend's Flickr profile:

I think that it is extremely important that we all, as representatives of the transgender community, present ourselves publicly with intelligence, dignity, empathy, beauty, grace & class., (and a bit of humor never hurts!)
What you do behind closed doors is all up to you, but pride in ourselves and our sisters I should think would be how you would like others to see you... ;))) Presentations which degrade the female being are reflections of thought patterning which sees GG's as something to objectify.. it's wrong in my book and it offends my inner female...If you truly are TG then you respect your inner true self and your sisters. Period. It's true that it's almost impossible for most of us to fool anyone, BUT if you can present yourselves with pride and confidence... it does, believe me, open many doors and minds.... and you will be able to step out into the world with confidence... ;D

I agree with some of her opinions. Like it or not, we are representatives of the "transgender community" every time we are out in public. I think it's more important to present yourself as a person, not a stereotype. What is intelligent, dignified, beautiful, graceful and classy is up to the individual. I know that the way I present myself may not the same way some others would, but I try to be someone who is not going to embarrass herself.

No, I don't think wearing a micro mini, your tightest spandex top, stockings with garters peeking out from under the skirt and five inch stilettos is the best thing to wear to Wal-Mart. But I also don't think you have to wear a tshirt, jeans, and flip-flops* either. There are other choices, you know?

I'd like to hear your opinions...


*The outfits that the majority of the GG's who shop at my local Wal-Mart seem to chose...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Well, that went well

My stepson is 18. I've known him for nine years, and he's grown into a very understanding, very smart kid. Someone who has accepted a lot of things in his life-good and bad. And tonight, I came out to him as a crossdresser. He never knew, but he took it very well. I don't think he wants details, but he's decided he can accept it.

Wow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Zelda and the therapist

So, anyway, Tuesday I have an appointment with my therapist. She's done some good, and I like her a lot. During one session, she asked me if I wanted to come en femme sometime. I said I'd think about it...

I'd thought about it, and decided that I was going to do it. I mentioned it to the spouse last week; she didn't seem to object. But by Tuesday, I was rethinking the idea, because I have a tendency to over think things. Which is part of why I'm in therapy.

I did decide it was time, and managed to get ready faster than I had in a long time. And I was ready just as I needed to walk out the door. Checking the look out in the mirror: purple knit top (a Target find from a couple of years ago), jean skirt (Torrid), black tights, and black boots. Just a little bit of jewelery, checked the hair, out to the car, and a half hour later I was at the therapist's office building. One last check, deep breath, cross the parking lot...

Walked into her office, and she gave me a big hug. She said I looked great. I thanked her, and I did think I looked pretty good. Not really flashy, but not too demure. It was a balance, and I thought it worked. She offered me a soda, and I sat down on the couch, crossing my legs under me. It's a little thing, but it's part of the subtle things you have to do as a girl. The session went well. I talked to her about some things my spouse and I had discussed, some things I'd talked to my friend Sabrina about, and my own feelings. I know I still have a lot of work to do on my issues.

One of the things we both agreed on is that, when I'm en femme, there are some differences in my personality. Zelda is a bit more self-assured, open, and doesn't agonize over decisions as much. It's those positives that I need to find in myself the rest of the time.

After the session, my therapist gave me a big hug and told me how happy she was I had come, and that if I wanted to do it again I was certainly welcome. I got back in the car, and since I had some time left until I had to be home, I did the logical thing.

I went to the mall.

Well, the closest mall I could get to in a short period of time, which was Irving Mall. I had never been there, and I thought I might as well...The mall was a bit dead, surprising on an early afternoon during the week I thought. The only thing I bought was a couple of pairs of cheap sunglasses (hey, girl's gotta have them). There were some shoes that I liked, but not in my size (of course), and Lane Bryant didn't have anything I lusted for.

For the most, it was positive, but then I do not usually worry about being out in public. I was not trying to attract attention, but when you are as tall as I am, and not the most feminine person out there, you do get noticed. Though most of the time, people don't really pay attention. If you're confident in yourself, if you don't act or feel like you do not belong there, things go a lot better.

One thing that did happen was I needed to go to the bathroom. I have gone to public restrooms before, and never had a problem. Yet. And my choices were limited. I didn't want to try going to the public bathroom in the mall; wanted a bit more privacy and less chance to run into someone. So I went to Macy's, found the ladies room that was off the beaten path, and ducked into the closest stall. Because there were a couple of women in the other stalls. Did what was necessary, waited until they'd left, then walked out. Just like any other woman...

I drove back to the house, changed, and thought about the day...I think things went well, I felt better about things, and Zelda got some time out.

All good things.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Why the T in LGBT is here to stay | Salon

Why the T in LGBT is here to stay | Salon

An excellent explanation why certain gay people need to get a clue when it comes to why transgendered people need to be part of ENDA...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Yes, I'm finally catching up with SCC, shut up already...

I'm going to try to do this chronologically, though we'll see how long that lasts...

Monday

I learned my lesson years ago-don't try to take the earliest flight, take the one you can wake up for. It was pouring rain, and I found out that parts of Loop 12 (the main road from my house to the airport) was flooding. Why major highways flood here, I don't understand...A quick Google Maps session found me an alternate route, and I got to the parking lot with no problems, in time to get to DFW and wait for the plane to get in. While some people hate DFW, it's not a bad airport. Though putting Starbucks on the other end of the terminal is a killer. AirTran is a pretty good airline, but the seats on their planes leave a lot to be desired... Forty-five minutes late taking off, we got to Atlanta with little drama.

By the time I got to the baggage claim, my bags were waiting. Off to Alamo to get car; their kiosk was actually easy to use, and the bus got us to the lot quickly. Where everyone waited while they sorted us all out; normally you just pick out a car in your class and go. Not today. Took far too long, but I got a Jeep Liberty out of it. A while back, my spouse had looked at one but didn't seem impressed. This was not an '08, which has supposedly been improved, but it was pretty new and in great shape. But it needed a bigger engine; too many downshifts from the automatic transmission for me.

Called Sabrina Pandora to warn her I was on the way. One of the people I had to see on this trip was Sabrina, and she graciously offered to chaperoned me around for the afternoon and take me to her favorite nail salon. See, for me, SCC really starts when I get my nails done, and ends when I take the polish off Saturday night/Sunday morning...

Found Sabrina's house, after making a big mistake. Met Max the Wonder Dog, saw the Sabrina Cave, and we were soon off to running the roads. Sabrina's a very comfortable person to be around; I haven't known her as long as some other people, but it's like we've known each other forever. We can be totally honest with each other, and though she thinks I don't listen sometimes, I really to take her advice.

By the end of the day, we were at Sabrina's nail place (which she needs to send me the name of, for future reference). I don't get acrylics or anything else, just get my natural nails polished. I'd been letting them grow out some, and with a beautiful OPI red polish (which I'll have to look at later for the color), I felt a lot better. Even if the rest of me was totally drab...

Dropped Sabrina off at her house, promising to drop in on her at work later in the week. After six years, SCC was moving from a downtown location (the Sheraton Colony Square is being converted into a W Hotel) to the Crowne Plaza Ravinia, out on the Perimeter (the I-285 loop) near GA400. This meant we were further from downtown and the airport, but we were across from Perimeter Mall. I had no idea what was in the vicinity, so I was going to have to relearn where things were...

The hotel is very pretty, with a huge indoor garden. I got checked in relatively quickly, but the hotel made a big misstep from the start. Normally, I use a debit card to pay for things. After having had problems with credit cards in the past, I don't use one except in very extreme circumstances (under pain of death by the spouse). I was informed at the desk that, because I was using a debit card, I had to prepay for the room. No problem; I'd planned on that, and having a small amount held in reserve to cover possible incidentals. However, I was then told that they were going to hold $50 a night to cover incidentals. Okay. And that it'd remain on hold for 14 days after I'd checked out. Um, no, no way. Every other hotel I'd stayed at released the hold at check out, or a day after. So I told them I would not have any incidentals, and would just pay for things as I needed.

I'd shipped a package to the hotel, and when I asked the bellman he had a time finding it. But I got my stuff up to the room (which didn't have a number on the door), and the room was actually pretty nice. Large enough for two beds and some space to move, but the dresser was tiny. And the bathroom lighting was terrible. Unlike the Sheraton, the bathroom lights were fluorescents and I couldn't just replace the bulbs to get more light. Oh, and the AC takes forever to cool the room (though it did manage to keep it relatively cool the rest of the week).

Got to bed at a decent time, which won't happen again the rest of the week...

Zelda wore: boring boy stuff (trust me, it gets better....)

Friday, August 31, 2007

Thought for the evening

Posted on the door of one of the (unisex) bathrooms at a coffee house:

"Traditional bathrooms sign would leave you to believe that there is a difference between a man and a woman in a skirt."

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Dallas Voice :: Casino denies access to Dallas trans woman

Dallas Voice :: Casino denies access to Dallas trans woman

A local transgender woman who recently was denied access to a Louisiana casino is claiming discrimination.

But representatives from the casino and the state’s Gaming Control Board said establishments can bar people from entering if photos on their identifications don’t match their appearances.

Jody Pleasant, 31, of Dallas has been living as a woman for five years. On June 3, Pleasant, her male lover and two gay male friends went to Boomtown Casino & Hotel in Bossier City, La.

However, because Pleasant’s ID indicates that she’s male, the man working the door wouldn’t let her in, she said.

“He said if you’re a man, then you have to look like a man to come into our casino,” Pleasant said. “We were just dismissed, totally. It was a blatant display of discrimination to me.”

Pleasant, as a female impersonator whose stage name is Kandy, is unable to get her ID changed because she has not undergone transition surgery and Texas has no gender-marker law. However, she said on the day in question, she was not dressed “provocatively” and looked similar to the photo on her ID.

To add insult to injury, Pleasant said, the man working the door required her to stand in front of his podium where she was mocked by other entering guests. She said she waited there for 10 minutes for a manager, who confirmed she would not be allowed in.

“They were all staring and pointing, and it was just a very demeaning situation to me,” Pleasant said.

Pleasant said it’s the first time she’s had an issue with her ID not matching her appearance, including at airports.

In response to the incident, Pleasant said she sent the casino a certified letter and called a another manager but received no apology. She said she also has contacted Lambda Legal. After being denied access to Boomtown, Pleasant and her friends went to another casino and were allowed in with no problem.

Max Mills, director of casino operations for Boomtown, indicated that the state’s gaming control act requires establishments to ensure that appearances match IDs to prevent access by people such as those who are underage.

“We have to be black and white, by the book. Either the person’s ID is representative of how they look or it isn’t,” Mills said. “We want everybody on the boat [casino], but then again if the gaming act says something, we have to follow it scrupulously.”

Mills denied that discrimination was behind the decision, adding that many LGBT people patronize the casino.

“I’m sure it was a very embarrassing situation, and I feel bad about that,” he said. “Hopefully our guys had tact and had a certain amount of good manners and appropriate language and so forth.”

A spokesman for the gaming commission, who asked not to be identified, was unable to cite a specific section of the lengthy act that could be interpreted to require that appearances match IDs. However, he also said the act gives casinos the leeway to set their own policies.

“Any business operator can exclude certain people based on their own judgments and rules,” the spokesman said.

Paul Scott, executive director of Equality Texas, said it’s unlikely Pleasant would be able to change the gender marker on her driver’s license until she has undergone transition surgery. Even then, she would have to take the matter to court, where the change may or may not be approved depending on the judge.

A comprehensive gender-marker bill was introduced in this year’s legislative session but failed to make it out of committee, Scott said. The bill would have allowed people to change their birth certificates, names and driver’s licenses with affidavits from doctors saying they are undergoing transition surgery.

“The Department Of Motor Vehicles, they want acceptable ID, so there’s not any opposition from the department itself. It’s more so just coming up with a set, definitive policy that’s covered by state law,” said Scott, adding that advocates have been working on the issue for roughly a decade. “It’s a matter of getting the Legislature educated.”
E-mail wright@dallasvoice.com



This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 3, 2007

© Copyright by DallasVoice.com

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Proof that I don't burn in the sunlight

Zelda at Throb's

This was the first time I was in Atlanta, in 2000. Yes, I was going to Southern Comfort, but first I was going to stay with friends who were taking me out shopping in Little Five Points. I'd flown in the day before and had spent the night at their house, which is when I found out that as nice as they were, I was really putting them out, so I was going to leave their place a day early and move into the hotel where SCC was being held at that year.

But before that, we were going out. And for me, it was a huge moment. Because up to that point, I had never been out during the daytime, or been out shopping as a girl. I threw on my best gothgrrl/alternachick look, and off we went.

And I had a fun day! A great lunch at the Vortex, shopping in the stores in the area. I found my favorite ring on this trip, too. Towards the end of the afternoon, I posed for one last picture, in front of Throb, which was a fetish/alternative clothing store. I spent five minutes posing, waiting for her to take the shot. Finally I just put my foot down, and that's the pose you see.

It's one of my favorites, because it reminds me how happy I was that day, and how I could be out in public and actually be accepted. For me, it was an important day-and one early step.

Now, what happened afterward...

I got directions to the hotel, in Buckhead, and left Stone Mountain for what should have been a short drive. Of course, I get lost. Badly. Eventually, I find the right exit, start driving down what I hope is the right road, see the hotel, and when I walk in the door I realize I'm in the right place.

The rest of that weekend? Fabulous! But that is another story...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I got an excuse from my mom...

I have not posted anything here recently. My job has been incredibly hectic and time-consuming, and having a nice bout of depression has not helped. When I am depressed, I do not feel like writing, which is counter to what others do. I know, I have to be different...

But now that I am getting closer to returning to a normal schedule at work, I will start working on my blogging again. And I have to start getting things sorted out for Southern Comfort as well. I took care of booking a room a long time ago, and by waiting got a much cheaper flight this week (on AirTran, and yes I see the irony there). Atlanta is one of my favorite cities, and some of my favorite people live there.

Thanks to everyone who has commented to my posts; I think a viewer mail post is in the future :)

Just take our little test...

You scored as Transgender, You seem to be transgendered.

Transgender


68%

Transsexual


43%

TS or TG?
created with QuizFarm.com


It's only twenty questions. I'm curious what results other people get, and do they think it comes even close to their own

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

This was a profile I wrote for an old Geocites page. It's a bit...fun...

She began in New Orleans and brings her erotic dominant stylings and dark Southern roots to Dallas. A new city, with new passions and pleasures.

She enjoys traveling throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. Her favorite cities are New Orleans, Atlanta, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and London. Ask about travel arraingements.

What interests her? Bondage, sexual torment, sensation control and enhancement, leather, PVC, latex, corsetry, gloves, dark Domination, Goth, feminization, maids who are into real service, the joys of being transgendered.

She will push your limits, because that is where we find who we truly are.

Her idea of a perfect moment would be cafe au lait served in a little coffee house in the French Quarter on a fall evening just after the rain . . .

She smokes dark clove cigarettes with an aloof attitude. It's an affectation, but she doesn't mind.

She is a lifestyle Domina and does not switch. No matter how nicely you ask.

What gets her attention? A well-written, thought-out profile. A photo; you can see what she looks like, then she should be able to see what you look like. Shared interests, of course. Sincerity, a sense of humor, intelligence, and an interest in what she wants and how you can make her happy. She considers your words carefully; you should too.


You want to know her; you will never know everything about her.


Monday, July 9, 2007

Every picture tells a story

First, look at the picture:

zero

Now, the story...

Saturday morning, in a room at the Sheraton Colony Square in Atlanta. I'm attending the Southern Comfort Conference, the 2004 edition. I had thought I knew what I was going to wear that morning. But then I looked at the leather corset in my suitcase. The one I had gotten a year, custom made by Paul C Leather. Paul had taken my measurements, crafted leather into beauty, charged me a fortune, and gave me something gorgeous. And even comfortable.

Who could resist? Even though I was at a tranny convention, more mainstream than fetish. Why not? My Smashing Pumpkins t-shirt, which is aways perfect with a corset. A long black broomstick skirt that I'd ordered from Australia years before; something long enough to reach my ankles but always looked nice and was comfy.

Out the door, into the world. And I looked good, felt good. Went to classes, lunch, ran into friends, got lots of compliments on how I looked.

By the late afternoon, it was time for the Southern Belles social. The Belles are a social group, with no dues or requirements other than to go out and meet others. I can get behind that...

Trannys and cameras are made for each other. More digital cameras are sold to transgirls for their own Flickr albums and MySpace profiles than any other reason. Combine cameras and social occasions, it's a perfect mix. After getting some snapshots, I wanted to get a few pictures of my outfit. Which is when I ran into Emma.

Emma is a friend, who I met online years ago on AOL and kept in touch with. She is one of the most creative people I know; artist, decorator, designer. She makes her own outfits. Oh, did I mention she's one of the nicest people I know?

I handed her my camera, she looked at it for a moment, then photographed me. Not snapshots, real photos. There's a difference. She knew how to bring out the best in me, and she took the photo you see here. One of the best ever taken of me.

Highlight of the day? Close to it. When I got to see the shot later, I smiled. Because that's Zelda you see there.

Is that a thousand words?

A few choice words (not mine)

My friend Sabrina Pandora, from her LiveJournal:

If something that I say or an opinion that I put forth or a feeling that I express offends you or hurts your feelings, then don't cry about it to anyone but me. Why? Because grown-ups do that. They communicate. If you are upset with me in some way and never communicate it to me in any form at all save second hand (ie through others) then quite frankly, I don't care. If it isn't important enough to say something about it to me, then obviously it wasn't that important. People who have known me for six months know that. I would expect those who have known me longer to know it that much better.

~~~~~

I lead a unique existence in many ways. No, I am not the only one of my kind in any way shape or form, but I'm certainly different than your average joe on the street. There are some suggested guidelines for my lifestyle as well as precedents for what has gone before. But I'm a
very big girl. I happen to think that I am capable of making my own decisions, and determining my own course in life. Yes, I do go through rough times, as do we all. Yes, I have made things harder on myself by embracing the lifestyle that I have. Yes, there are plenty of other ways to go about this life of mine. And no, I am not so egotistical as to think that I know better than everyone who has preceded me.

But this is my life. Mine. It is not the girl down the street, nor that guy over there, and their lives are different from mine. What is necessary for them may not be so for me, just as what is necessary for me may not be right for them. And in living it, I seek advice and counsel from many sources to make my own decisions. But they are my decisions to make, and mine to live with. No one else. There have been consequences for my actions as I have changed myself over the past few years, and I have paid them. Perhaps not without some lament nor complaint, but I'm no saint. I'm only human. How many of you can say that you have not done the same in your own lives, though the outward expression most likely was not nearly as drastic? Do you too not seek counsel from those near to you when considering possibilities or encountering hard times? And shall you too be judged for that?

~~~~~

In closing, I've a few words for my critics first. If you don't like the way I dress, the shoes I wear, the way I talk, the way I walk, the way I express myself, the way that I choose to cope with the attention that comes my way, both good and bad, the way I work, the way I play, the way I dance or the way I date... I have a very simple answer.


Don't watch or listen. Ignore me. That's the best way I know to show your disapproval of me and my choices. Just ignore me and to you I simply go away.

And to those of you who don't fall into the categories of those who disapprove, the same advice holds. If you want me in your life, then make an effort to be a part of mine. A friend I hadn't seen in a long time came to visit me, and we found that after all of these years, we are better friends than ever before, because of the people that we've become. And that's all it takes to be a part of my life- be a friend.

*****

I hope she doesn't mind that I quoted her. A lot. But I read this today, and it hit home, and says some things I have been feeling for a while but had never put into words.

I have some very smart friends.

Friday, July 6, 2007

The Space Between

I have not been posting much of anything lately. But I have a good excuse.

I had to have eye surgery recently. No, nothing to worry about, things went well but it takes time to adjust to things and my vision for reading has not been great.

Another thing has been a situation with my employment. That too will work out. Hopefully soon.

I got a wonderful compliment from Angie Demaskau while we were chatting on Yahoo IM today. She said she liked reading my blog. And I'm vain enough to like it when people tell me they like my writing.

She also said she thought I was accessible and balanced. I hope I'm accessible. As for being balanced, that might be a stretch...


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

SELF and self

Yes, it's been a while since I updated this blog. Health issues and some very bad head space combined to put the muse in a state of slumber.

I spent last weekend in Atlanta at the SouthEast Leatherfest. It's a leather/fetish/BDSM convention.

Did I forget to mention I am interested in these things? Oh, sorry...

Pervy folk are like any other social group, except we tell stranger jokes and dress better. And speaking of dressing, SELF was an excuse for me to enjoy some extended girl time. I had not been about to do that for a while.

Spending a weekend as a woman means:

  • Lots of shaving. And it takes a lot of time to shave this bod. Plus, shaving my face twice a day, since I have not started any serious hair removal techniques.
  • Going from worrying about getting my makeup perfect to trying to get it done quickly. Practice may not make perfect, but it makes it quicker.
  • Shopping is an art form, and having a friend like Sabrina Pandora who has a black belt in it and knows Little Five Points like a native. And I found the best pair of riding boots, ever. For $25. You may be jealous now...
  • Falling into all the little feminine ways, like walking and remembering to take your ear ring off when you answer the phone.
  • Getting your nails polished, hating the job the salon did, realizing that nobody else noticed the bad polish job.
  • You get far more wardrobe options. And changing close twice a day is not a sign of vanity.
Atlanta is a very cosmopolitan city. I've been there many times for Southern Comfort, and had very few problems as a woman on the town. Nobody really notices, or says anything. I do not feel like I am "passable," but I do feel I am acceptable. I am comfortable with myself, and feel very positive about going out anywhere. And this seems to help people accept me.

The people at SELF treated me like a woman. I got to spend lots of time with friends, make new ones, buy stuff, learn things, and even let the wicked side of me out for a few. By Sunday afternoon, eating hot dogs on a patio and feeling comfortable enough to wear a tank top and short cammo skirt in the summer, I just found myself wishing it would last longer. Because I was really, truly feeling like the person I think Zelda is.

Flying home the next day, I felt the sense of loss that post-convention time seems to bring. And wanting to capture the feeling again.

le sigh

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Wrong on so many levels

Sibohan Curran posts a very personal discussion:

(I wrote this about a month ago. It was supposed to be the first of a three-part discussion on some of the problems I have with transvestism, the issues I think it generates, and the effects it has on other people. I was going to wait until I'd written all three parts before I posted it, but I think if I stuck to that strategy, it'll never see the light of day.)

...

It would be ridiculous, I feel, for me to even hint at the notion that I think transvestism is A Bad Thing™. Not just ridiculous, ludicrous in fact. I mean, if I thought for one second that what I did day-in, day-out was in someway inherently wrong, well, I'd be a hippocrite of the highest order.

Perhaps.

But that doesn't stop me wondering about it, you know, in a "What if?" kinda way.

11/10/09-Sibohan closed her blog, so I removed the now useless link.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Sex change doctor guilty of misconduct | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

Sex change doctor guilty of misconduct | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

Sex change doctor guilty of misconduct
David Batty
Friday May 25 2007
The Guardian


The UK's best-known expert on transsexualism was today found guilty of serious professional misconduct for rushing five patients into sex-changing treatments, but avoided being struck off.

The General Medical Council ruled that Russell Reid, who retired last year, could only return to work under strict conditions imposed for the next 12 months that mean he can only work under strict supervision.

He must provide the GMC with a record of his treatments of any patients with gender identity disorders such as transsexualism every three months.

The disciplinary panel ruled that Dr Reid must no longer prescribe patients with sex-changing hormones at the first appointment, nor without a firm diagnosis that they are transsexual or a proper psychiatric assessment.

The panel determined that the consultant psychiatrist was too quick to provide patients with hormones and to refer them for genital surgery.

"The panel considers that the seriousness of your misconduct lies in your lack of caution in initiating hormonal and surgical gender reassignment treatment in these patients without more careful and through investigation and assessment," said John Shaw, the panel chairman.

"The panel therefore determined that your misconduct was serious, and that you are guilty of serious professional misconduct."

Mr Shaw said Patient D, who mistakenly believed she was transsexual as a result of suffering from manic depression, only narrowly avoid an "unnecessary mastectomy" as a result of Dr Reid ignoring the second opinion of another psychiatrist that treatment should proceed with caution.

The panel chairman added that Patient C, a convicted paedophile, was still uncertain about his gender identity after having a sex change. The male-to-female transsexual has returned to living as a man and wants surgery to try to reverse his gender reassignment.

Mr Shaw said that although patients B, E and F remained in their reassigned gender roles and appeared not to have suffered harm, Dr Reid's treatment of them "fell well short of the standard of care to which [they] were entitled."

But the panel decided against striking Dr Reid off or suspending him because it did not consider "it would be in the public interest to deprive the [transsexual community] of an experienced and otherwise well-respected doctor."

Mr Shaw said: "[The panel] determined that it would be proportionate and sufficient, in the public interest as well as your own interest if you were to return to practice under strict conditions."

Speaking afterwards, Dr James Barrett, one of four NHS psychiatrists who brought the complaints against Dr Reid, said: "I'm pleased that it was felt that it amounted to serious professional misconduct. And I'm pleased that conditions to his practice were imposed for a year that mean he will operate in line with good practice."

But a former patient of Dr Reid, not involved in the GMC case, said she was "disgusted" with the verdict.

Claudia, who regrets changing sex, is one of six former patients bringing a separate legal claim for damages against Dr Reid. She said the decision not to strike Dr Reid off was "absolutely scandalous".

"I'm deeply disappointed with the GMC ruling," she said. "If this had been about another group of people - not transsexuals - I think there would have been a much tougher sentence. Everything that has been taken from me - both physically and in the broadest human sense - can never be recovered."

However, Charles Kane, another former patient of Dr Reid, said he was glad the "kind-hearted" psychiatrist was not struck off.

Mr Kane, who complained to the GMC about Dr Reid but did not participate in the hearing, said: "I am happy with the verdict because with these conditions he cannot really treat anybody else the way he treated me."

Mr Kane had surgery to reverse his sex change in 2004. "I really believe that Dr Reid and the general public should view gender reassignment and sex change very seriously and this is a warning to doctors and patients not to rush into it," he said.

However, he added: "I think generally he [Dr Reid] is a kind-hearted doctor and he didn't really mean to be malicious to the patient. Most of the patients came here to support him because of this quality in him. He is a caring, almost father-figure."

The ruling came after a three-year investigation into Dr Reid, who the GMC earlier this week said had treated the five patients inappropriately, against their best interests and contrary to international guidelines on the treatment of transsexuals.

The disciplinary panel said he had provided the patients with hormones and referred them for genital surgery without an adequate assessment of their health or proof that they were transsexuals.

He was found to have repeatedly breached guidelines set by the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, regarded as the minimum standards for the treatment of transsexuals.

Despite the verdict, Dr Reid continues to command wide support in the transsexual community, many of whom regard him as their saviour. A blog set up by his supporters attracted more than 250 messages in his defence.

Copyright Guardian News and Media Limited

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Lavender Heart of Texas | TIME

The Lavender Heart of Texas | TIME

A wonderful article in this week's Time on how accepted gays are in Dallas. I've been amazed at just how accepting the city is, and how gays and lesbians are part of not just society but government as well.

If only the rest of the country was as accepting...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Quoted from another blogger

Yahoo! 360 - Renee's Blog: "“I think trying to find a cause of transgenderism or trying to find a cause of sexual orientation is really going down the wrong track,” Aronoff said. “It doesn’t really matter why people are who they are, it just matters that they are. And that they be treated with respect and are able to live to their full potential.”

-- Simon Aronoff, a female-to-male transgender activist"

11/10/09-Yahoo! 360 was shut down in mid-2009 so the link no longer worked.

More experimentation

|| Welcome to Southern Comfort ||

Trying the BlogThis! tool for Blogger. Yes, I'm risking my l33t status :P

Oh, you should check out the link to Southern Comfort if you are interested in the world's largest event for TG's. Last year's event drew nearly 800 people!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Just a little test.


I am still learning how to use Blogger, and thought I'd try adding a photo to see how that works...

This is one of my favorite photos, taken at the Southern Comfort Conference in 2004. It was taken by my friend, the fabulous Miss Emma M, in the Crown Room of Atlanta's Sheraton Colony Square hotel. It was during a social for the Southern Belle Society, and I had been messing around with my camera and Emma offered to take a photo for me...

Expect more photos and posts soon.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

How do people manage to post something every day?

It is hard enough for me to post something at all! I am kind of surprised that I did not get any comments on my last post.

Monday, May 14, 2007

That Newsweek article

By now you have probably read the cover story in Newsweek on gender. I was actually quite impressed with how well it's written, and that they chose to speak with a variety of people who have transitioned successfully.

Of course, there are a few things that irritated me...

Like, Dr. Renee Richards:

Richards and other pioneers reflect the huge cultural shift over a generation of gender change. Now 70, Richards rejects the term transgender along with all the fluidity it conveys. "God didn't put us on this earth to have gender diversity," she says. "I don't like the kids that are experimenting. I didn't want to be something in between. I didn't want to be trans anything. I wanted to be a man or a woman.

Well, that's you, Renee. Some people are still searching, others do not feel they need to be locked into one gender type. Maybe you ought to remember what it was like when you were trying to understand yourself?

Alexis Arquette:

I'll say it a million times—my documentary is a vain pursuit, and I can see why a lot of people could say gays are narcissistic, but it is just as important. Until all of us can feel we can walk down the street without ridicule, none of us really will ever be safe from Hitler's Gestapo.

A little paranoia, here? Yes, it is not exactly peachy if you are a transperson nowdays. There is still prejudice, still a real risk of losing jobs, friends, family, social standing, and being harmed in many ways. And as much as the present administration wants to turn us solidly into a right-wing state, I can't compare it to Nazi Germany. She may have been exaggerating for effect, but doing that often turns people away from our cause.

Where are the sidebars with transmen? And while the story is very positive, there should have been some mention of how hard it is for many people to transition, or even find the kind of help they need to understand what they are.

Okay, kudos for a link to the Southern Comfort Conference, which I support and am a part of. More on that particular subject in the future.

But mostly, seeing a major publication treat transgender as a real subject and not as a freak show? Wow.

11/10/09-Edited Newsweek link to point to new location of article.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Yes, I do read the comments...

Angie Demaskau posted a nice comment to my last entry:

I guess it comes as no surprise that I say, nah - not uncomfortable at all. I identify with the question you posed. Heck, I am sure most like us have pondered which of those labels best describes us. For some it may be easy and straight forward, but I am sure there are many who identify with aspects of two or more of those definitions. making the decision about which is more applicable can be the defining moment. This experience is such an individual thing, and for me, I don't try and use labels as a defining thing. If someone says to me "I am a .....", then it helps me understand where they see themselves, helping me identify with them in one way or another. Ultimately though, it is the quality of the person - their attributes, personality and values that truly defines who they are and whether they are someone I would like to know.

She makes a couple of very important points here. First, that the labels people use for themselves often define themselves to others. Which is why you need to chose labels carefully.

Second, that it is the quality of a person which matters. I know someone who, the first time I saw them, was dressed in the most provocative outfit you could imagine. She got looks and whispers behind her back, and even I thought she was being a bit tacky. When I ran into her later that night, sitting on a patio, I talked to her and found out she was a very intelligent, very interesting person.

Sometimes, you need to put away your preconceptions and accept the real person there.

Friday, May 11, 2007

It's all about something

This is a blog about me, Zelda Rose. I am...

What am I? A crossdresser? Genderbender? Transgendered? Transsexual? All? None??

I was once described as "a crossdresser with transsexual leanings." This is not a fetish to me, or a sexual turn-on. It's where I feel comfortable, where I feel like I find something I really need.

I hate labels. But some people need them.

If I make you uncomfortable, sorry. You have the option to leave. I'm not.

This is my girlspace.

My thanks to my friend Gjorgett for giving me the name for this blog. It happened over lunch one day while shopping (or at least heavy window shopping).

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A brief questionaire, if you please?

What is your female name? Zelda Belladonna Rose.
How long have you been Zelda? Since 1998.
What do you consider yourself? Transgendered? A crossdresser with transsexual tendencies? Who cares?
Sexual preference? Bi, with lesbian tendencies.
Do you consider yourself a male or female? Yes.
Do you cross-dress for a sexual thrill? Not anymore
Do you have other fetishes? This is not a fetish, and my fetishes are numerous.
Are you a closet CD or have you come out? Out, mostly. I am not out to my mother and a few other people. I do go out in public dressed, because the idea of just dressing up to sit around a hotel room is ridiculous.
Could you pass for a woman? I pass as Zelda, that is all that matters.
Favorite...
...article of women's clothing?
Stockings.
...purse? Either my Craig Morrison spikey latex heart-shaped backpack or my silver metal box purse.
...pair of women's shoes? Black patent mary jane flats from Hay-Way Shoes.
...kind of lingerie? Lacy.
...make-up? MAC, baby!
...drink? Cosmos or martinis
...food? Sushi!
...cities to visit? Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, NYC, London.
Panties or thongs? Panties.
Thigh highs, knee highs, stockings or pantyhose? Stockings.
Skirts or dresses? Dresses.
Bra or bustier? Bra.
Swimwear: bikini or 1-piece? Victorian bathing costume.
Night out with girl friends or CD friends? Either.