Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Learning to swim

This was a reply to someone on the SCCLounge about their difficulties meeting people at the convention. I think it also applies to people getting out in general...


I'm not a "Big Sister," though I do seem to find the newbies and point them in the right directions all the time. Not just at SCC, but in my own city. And this is going to sound harsh, but I mean it in the most sincere, most caring way...


If you're upset about not making connections, it's your fault. You're at the largest gathering of transpeople in the world, surrounded by hundreds of people like yourself. The most understanding group you'll ever meet, because they know exactly how you feel.

Did you go to any of the meals? You could have talked to the people you were sitting with. Did you go to any of the seminars? You had lots of opportunities to ask questions or talk to someone. What about just going to the lobby or the bar? 

Need a topic? I tell people I love what they're wearing-that's how I found one of by best friends! Trust me, we all love a compliment and say they like our style. Or, if I'm in a seminar and someone asks a good question, I tell them afterward. I've met people over dinner, listening to their conversations and asking questions. 

Okay, yes, I'm THAT Zelda so people are always walking up to me. But I wasn't so well known when I first came to SCC. What I was was a shy, insecure girl. I could have stayed in my room, but I didn't. Because I would rather get out there and fail than die by inches alone...

And yes, I really am shy. Horribly so. I am insecure about how I look, I worry about that I'll say something stupid, or I'll have someone scream "It's a dude!" at me from across a room. 

But I eventually look at myself in the mirror and I'm the best looking Zelda I can be. I'll say stupid things, then laugh at myself and people think it's just me being me. And people don't scream at you, unless they're drunk and on Bourbon Street. 

I guess what I'm trying to tell you is, you have to do it. You have to look at yourself and love yourself and realize that you're the person who has to push you out there. You have to push yourself, because this is important. Every one of us faced what you did-feeling alone and unwanted. But we also decided that we weren't going to stay that way.

Courtney, I do wish I'd seen you at SCC. Because I'd have told you to step up to the diving board, and jump. 

Because you can swim, dear. And you'll swim just fine. 

xoxo

Zelda Rose

Thursday, September 29, 2011

SCC-Yes, I didn't keep up with my posts

I did so well last year, and this time? Not so good. I'll post my usual braindump of things that happened over the weekend. I had the best time in a long time, and some new ideas came to mind...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Catching up at SCC

It's been a very good convention. Nice tribute to Ann at lunch yesterday. Seen people who haven't been here in ages. More later because updating on my phone sucks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

SCC 2011-Day 1

Up early, lots of rushing about, kiss the family, pet the cat. Got to the airport early enough to get coffee and pastry. The flight was crowded-the man I sat next to seemed totally uncomfortable with my being near him. Fly first class, bitch.

Got through Atlanta's airport quickly-even had time for lunch. Took MARTA to the hotel, saw a few people in the lobby. Went to the room-very nice, but the AC is lacking as always. Got cleaned up and dressed to meet the world as Zelda. A quick trip to the mall for a mani pedi and brow wax-OPI's Lincoln Park After Dark the proper shade. Back to the hotel, again seeing people and having overpriced dinner. An early night, mostly because I want to actually catch a seminar before noon...

51lbs?

But I've still got space in by suitcase! Taking stuff out, moving stuff around, I hate flying...If everything goes well, I'll be on a plane by 11 AM and in Atlanta in a few hours. Where it's raining. And my leg is bothering me again. Where's my Aleve...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Two days

It's two days until I board a flight to Atlanta for the Southern Comfort Conference. I've actually been far more organized this year than normal. Shipped a box of stuff to the hotel so I won't have to deal with two bags on MARTA, and the cost was equal to what I'd pay AirTran for an extra bag. Tentatively, I leave here about 8 AM and skirt the traffic to DFW, park and catch my flight. I should be in Atlanta by 2PM their time, and hopefully to the hotel by 4. Check in, girl up and either get a ride to my favorite nail salon or go to the mall and use the one there, get a mani pedi done and back to the hotel. See people, get something to eat, and get ready for the rest of the convention.

At least, that's the plan :P

Friday, September 9, 2011

The SCC Survival Guide, 2011 Edition

The 2011 Southern Comfort Conference Survival Guide

Thanks to everyone who has posted suggestions and comments over the years. And please, if you come up with an idea or suggestion or correction, send an email to me (my email address is at the end of this document) and I'll add it next time.

The Most Important Thing You Need To Do:

Write the words "Have fun" on a Post-It note and stick it to the mirror that you use the most in your room. These are the most important two words to remember when you attend SCC. It is acceptable for you to enjoy yourself this week! I give you permission, okay?

Getting There/Getting Around:

-Give yourself some extra time traveling. If you're flying, there will be something to slow things down at the airport. If you are driving, traffic will be terrible and construction will make you crazy. The Crowne Plaza is located near I-285-aka “The Perimeter”-and Atlanta's rush hour traffic is legendary. Rush hour never really ends in Atlanta. Leave an hour early; if you get there early, more time to relax. And don't forget that GA-400 is a toll road; bring change. 

-If you're driving in Atlanta, get a good map. It is not a joke that half the streets are named "Peachtree!" Street names change from one block to the next, and it's not all in a nice grid pattern. Then add in road construction on both surface streets and highways . . . Go online to Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, MapQuest, or your favorite mapping site and do some trip planning. Or invest in a GPS.

-MARTA is Atlanta's mass transit system; their website is www.itsmarta.com. There is a MARTA station at Dunwoody Plaza, on the western side of the mall. The hotel offers shuttle service to and from the station. I have heard both positive and negative things about MARTA. Some locals feel it's not a good thing to be on if you're in girl mode; others say it's fine. I have only used MARTA in drab, and it was a pretty good option. The North-South Line will take you from the airport to the Dunwoody Station, which is the closest to the hotel. The airport station is right off the baggage claim. 

-I'm sure there are taxis in Atlanta, but you don't see them very often. Ask the concierge for recommendations, and make sure you get the company's phone number so you can have a cab pick you up when you are finished. Pricewise, they’re about the same as most other major cities. 

-You can never bring too much with you. At least that's my excuse. But airlines restrict the number of bags you can check, and sometimes there are things you would rather not trust to them. Now they are using baggage as a profit center. Most airlines charge for one or more bags, and the fees vary. Before you book your tickets, check the airline’s website for fees. If you are using Kayak to compare ticket prices, you can also check these fees there as well. 

UPS and FedEx have been promoting using their services to ship your luggage to your destination. You can box them up (or take them to a UPS Store or FedEx Office location and let them do it), and ship them to the hotel. Make sure you put "Hold for guest (your name), Arriving (your arrival date)" on the label. Let the hotel know you are shipping a package so they will hold it for you. On arrival, ask the desk to have the package brought up to your room. And, if you're smart, you'll get a return label to ship it all back home! I have used UPS for years and it’s been a very convenient, hassle-free method. My only problem was in 2010, when the hotel had failed to have the package picked up after I left (which is why you keep your tracking numbers; I found out on the UPS website it hadn’t been picked up and called the hotel to find out why).

-Atlanta's Hartsfield/Jackson Airport is the major transit hub in the South. There's an old joke that when you die, to get to Heaven you have to transfer through Hartsfield. There is some truth to this . . . Atlanta is the hub for Delta Air Lines and for AirTran (and the irony is never lost on me). Before you go to the airport, check their website (http://www.atlanta-airport.com/) and find out what terminal you’ll be flying out of. It is actually a nice airport, just incredibly busy. 

-While flying has gotten more expensive, it is still possible to find good flights for less. Bing Travel (http://www.bing.com/travel) uses Farecast's fare forecasting algorithm to predict if and when prices will change. I use this in conjunction with Kayak (http://kayak.com), which searches airline websites and the online travel sites to find the best prices. Kayak, like all other sites can't get prices from Southwest or JetBlue, but since neither flies to Atlanta this is not really an issue. Kayak also has an option to show you how much a flight is with baggage fees included-which can make a huge difference in the cost. 

-When should you start looking for flights? As soon as possible. The best day to shop is Tuesday afternoons, when airlines post sales and other airlines try to compete.

The Hotel and What to Know:

The 2011 Southern Comfort Conference will be held at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta-Ravinia, which is near Perimeter Mall. The hotel is near the intersection of GA400 and I-285. There are also a number of places to eat and shop within a short distance.

-This is our fifth year at the Crowne Plaza. The hotel staff now knows what dealing with an SCC crowd is like. But we still overtax the staff, and your drink and food orders take a bit longer than normal. Please be patient?

-ALL Hotels have bad lighting in the bathroom. Saves energy, makes doing your makeup or shaving harder. Bring a lighted make-up mirror.

-The City of Atlanta and Fulton County have a non-smoking ordinance, so if you have to indulge you can't do it in the bar or the lobby. You'll have to go outside the hotel.

-The hotel charges $9.95 a day for internet service throughout the hotel. Panera Bread, 4531 Perimeter Way, and Caribou Coffee, 123 Perimeter Center West, offer free Wi-Fi and are near the mall. Starbucks will give you free Wi-Fi as well; there’s one in Perimeter Mall, and the closest standalone stores are at 1155 Mt. Vernon Parkway and 5561 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd.

-Most hotels charge a fortune for outgoing calls-local or other. Bring a cell phone or a calling card and use the payphones in the meeting room areas.

-Yes it's been mentioned before, but please, be a lady in the restroom. Or a gentleman. It is a public area, and you need to behave like you belong there! Girls, do NOT STAND UP TO PEE. And it's not a dressing room. Go to your room if you have major work to be done, okay? The hotel WILL ask you to leave.

-Parking is free at the Crowne Plaza, unless you use the valet service. The parking garage is behind the hotel. Follow the signs, and park in the guest spaces. And the hotel does not hold spaces for guests, so it does fill up.

Things You Might Want To Bring:

-Calling cards. You may think they are silly, but when you are writing your contact information multiple times and looking for scraps of paper, you'll wish you had some. You can use Microsoft Word to create a card, and Avery (avery.com) has templates on their website. Print them out on your inkjet on good paper, and presto! Another option is VistaPrint (www.vistaprint.com),which will let you create cards online and sends you nice, professionally printed ones in a very short time.

-A small survival kit, with safety pins, a sewing kit, batteries, first aid supplies, meds, a small flashlight, etc. A Swiss Army knife is useful; a multitool is even better. If you are flying, make sure you pack the knife in your checked luggage! And pack a few zip top bags; they come in handy.

-Pack at least one pair of comfortable shoes. You may love your heels, and can walk all day in them, but at least once you'll wish you had some flats or tennis shoes. And how many times have you worn a new pair of shoes all day and your feet were in pain afterward?

-Snack bars or something similar, for those mornings when you don't have time to get breakfast. If you are me, that is pretty much every morning...There is a Starbucks nook in the lobby, for emergency caffeine (stories of my need for lattes are not exaggerated).

-A small notebook. I prefer the Moleskine books that you can pick up at Borders or Barnes and Noble or any good stationary store. Small enough to carry in your pocket or purse, they have a small pocket in the back to store cards and notes, built-in bookmarks and a good elastic band to keep them closed. But any notebook you can fit into a purse, bag, case, etc. will do. I never go to a convention without one, usually filled with notes on places I want to go, directions, things to do, and note from seminars.

-A camera. Even if you don't think you will take one shot, trust me, you'll want to carry one around. And make sure you have a large enough memory card that you do not need to download shots constantly. Of course if your phone takes high quality shots, you can use that for quick photos. A tripod would be nice to have, even if it is a tabletop one. If you are doing self-portraits, it makes things a lot easier. Oh, don't forget extra batteries or a charger! 

Please remember to ask permission before taking photos of other people and to make sure that you are not catching someone in the background who might not want their picture taken. If you don't get permission, don't take the shot!

-Makeup wipes. Those disposable, moist towelettes you can use to remove your makeup. Use them to remove most of your makeup, then a good cleansing-which will leave no makeup on the towels. The housekeepers will appreciate it. I prefer Neutrogena's, but Ponds or Boots (from Target) work as well.

-A towel. Preferably a dark one, which you can use to wipe your face while you’re cleaning off makeup. This keeps you from making a mess of one of the hotel’s towels, and if you have to go interstellar hitchhiking…

-If you bring your laptop, remember the cables for your charger, camera, iPhone, and whatever other devices you connect to it. It's not fun when you are far from home and you can't download your shots, charge the iPhone or the laptop...Many devices use the same kind of cables. And do not forget the charger for your cellphone and other electronic devices.

-A shoe shine kit. You'll want to put a nice shine on your shoes before going out, and you might find someone who needs a good shoe shine or boot blacking...

-A swimsuit. There is a pool party on Saturday afternoon, but the pool is available during the day and evenings. Work on your tan, unless you're me :P

-If you use injectable medications (hormones, insulin, etc.), bring a sharps container. The hotel does not have these in the rooms, which is not unusual. However, you do not want to dispose of needles, lancets, or other sharps in the regular hotel trash. In a pinch, you can use an empty soda bottle or can. Tape the opening shut before you throw it out to protect hotel employees from accidental sticks.

The Conference and Things to Know:

-Remember, you need to use the name you registered with on the SCC website when picking up your packet. The registration people will appreciate it. Check your packet BEFORE you leave the desk; if something is wrong, let the registration people know.

-Print out a copy of the schedule before you go and make a rough plan of what events and classes you want to go to. You will find conflicts-with so much going on you can't do it all! It is easier to plan ahead.

-Don't try to plan the entire convention! Leave time for the unexpected and the last minute adventure. I have SO violated this one too many times-made too many plans and ended up miserable for a day. Learn from my failures, okay?

-If you have the opportunity, go out and explore the city. Atlanta's one of the most LGBT-friendly cities I know, and there's lots of places to see and do. Again, it's up to your comfort level but I will say Atlanta expanded my horizons...

-If you have questions, ask! SCC staff members and volunteers are always there to help, and no question is stupid. I know we've been asked EVERYTHING!

-Keep your name tag on you. Not only will this identify you, it lets people know who you are. How often do you realize that the person you just saw is someone you've talked to online for years? It's happened to me many times. You will need your name tag to enter the seminar areas, events, and it is also your meal ticket for the lunches and dinners (if you ordered them). And when you leave the hotel, take your name tag off or you look like a tourist...

And Finally:

Again...have fun!


7/6/2011 v.1.2
Created, compiled and edited by Zelda Rose (divamissz@gmail.com)
You may reprint this if you keep the attribution. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Choice


A depressed actress battling suicidal thoughts is visited by choice incarnate and given a simple yet timeless ultimatum, live or die. "Choice" is an inspirational film meant to remind people that even though there are no guarantees in life, its still worth the risk.
We all have choices. If you feel like you have none, talk to someone, get help. Live.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Makeup!


If you're a CD, I'm guessing you are looking for something that will cover up things like beard shadow. Depending on how dark it is, you will probably need a creme or panstick concealer and/or foundation.
  • Max Factor Panstick used to be the favorite of drag queens and crossdressers everywhere. A panstick is a creme foundation that comes in what looks like a large lipstick-type container. It's a heavy cover foundation, and it would hide nearly anything. But Max Factor no longer sells in the States, though you can find it through the secondary market but there are alternatives.
  • MAC Full Coverage Foundation is a favorite, but it's a MAC PRO store only item now. But MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer is essentially Full Coverage with SPF protection in a lot smaller container, and is available at all MAC counters. This is a creme foundation that you can apply with a brush or sponge, covers extremely well. But if you have very dry skin, it's not for you.
  • Kryolan TV Paint Stick is a panstick foundation made for theater/film/television use. It's as heavy a coverage as Max Factor Panstick, but less greasy. You'll have to go to a theatrical supply house for it, but most cities have one.
  • Dermablend, which is a corrective makeup. It's made to cover scars and blemishes, and you can find it at ULTA, Dillard's or JCPenny. It's expensive, you have to learn the right way to use it, and be patient with it. I find it works better on some people than others; you need to try it before you buy it.
  • Translucent loose powders will set your foundation/concealer, keeping it from rubbing off too easily and a smoother look. MAC, Make Up Forever, Ben Nye, etc. all make great powders. If you're using Dermablend, you need their setting powder because that seems to work the best for their formulation. Powder puffs work the best-you can "press" the powder into your foundation, then brush off the excess. This makes it stick to your foundation better.
Depending on your skin condition and what kind of look you want, you can either use any one of these as your concealer and foundation all over, or use them as a concealer and then apply a liquid foundation over it. Revlon's Colorstay is a great liquid foundation, with great coverage and shades. Make Up Forever's HD foundation is incredible, but it's also expensive and if you're not doing makeup daily might be a bad investment.
My recommended application technique:
  • After shaving, moisturizing (if needed) and/or primer, apply concealer to the beard areas. Use either a foundation brush or a damp sponge, pat it on first, then blend it out. Start with a little, then build it up. You can't remove too much foundation! You want the shadow to just disappear.
  • Next, use a translucent powder with a powder puff to "set" the concealer. This keeps it in place while you apply your foundation over it.
  • Apply your foundation over your face. If you're using a liquid, either use a stippling brush or sponge, and avoid streaking. If you're using a creme or panstick, use a far smaller amount than you did as concealer, lightly apply all over to achieve a uniform shade all over your face.
  • Apply a translucent powder over your foundation with a powder puff, let it set, then gently brush any excess off with a large, soft brush.
If you're going for a "natural" look, a concealer/liquid combo is good. If you want a very flawless, very matte finish (for performing or photography or because you want a classic look), creme/panstick all over will do it. But you need to experiment-you may find that you can work panstick for daytime look, or liquid for photos, etc.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Nevermind

I will be at SCC, after all. Things just worked out; thank whomever you wish. I so look forward to seeing my friends!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse 1983-2011

She had an incredible voice, but was beset by her own demons of self-destruction. Like too many talented people, she fell to them and was lost too soon.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Learning to fly

This is going to be a series of posts about what I think are important things for transpeople to think about. These are the lessons I had to learn, the things that let me be who I am now. If you find them useful, please let me know.


From a post about SCC 2007:
One of the more remarkable moments of the trip was a small one. One of the DC Posse wanted to go to the mall across the street, but didn't' want to go alone, so of course I generously volunteered to join her. Yes, I'm so selfless...Did some shopping, we tried on hats (she wanted a ball cap, which she kept putting on sideways), got coffee. On the way back out, she asked me how I could stand people staring at me. 

I said, "What people?" I had not noticed anyone staring. I really don't worry about what other people think when I'm out, unless they are openly hostile. It's not like I think I won't be noticed-I'm tall, big, and not exactly a shrinking violet in public. To learn how to be comfortable with yourself and not panic when you are "clocked" are two important social skills any transperson has to develop, quickly. Unless you want to remain in your closet forever...
This is a story I tell often. I use it to illustrate how your attitude matters so much in how accepted you are in public. But there's a bit more to it than what I wrote...

SCC moved to the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in 2007 from their old Midtown Atlanta location. The hotel we used was being renovated to become a W Hotel, and we ended up in NorthAtlanta, in the Dunwoody/Sandy Springs area. We were getting used to a new venue, which was far from our old grounds. But one nice thing was there was a mall across the road from the hotel. Perimeter Mall is an upscale mall, with the only standalone MAC Cosmetics store in Atlanta. Anchored by Dillard's, Macy's, Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom, it has a wonderful selection of stores.

Unlike Midtown, Bucktown or Little Five Points, you're in the 'burbs here. So the attitudes aren't always as liberal. And it was a Saturday afternoon, so there were a lot of people there. And I can just hear some of you say "I could never go out to a mall on a Saturday afternoon! I might run into someone I know, or I won't be passable enough, or people will point at me and say bad things or..."

Well, you're right, you might run into someone you know. But if you're in a different city, who are you going to run into? Or, if you're in your own, do you realize that you probably look a lot different en femme than you do en homme*? I know I do, and I've had people I know walk past me multiple times and not even recognize me.

Being "passable," what does that mean? Most would say it means being able to pass as a cisgendered woman in most situations; that nobody would think you were not TG. And that is something that very rarely happens. Most of us have something that is going to be incongruous. Hands that are too big, an Adam's apple that shows up, shoulders a bit too broad...So no, you're probably not going to pass. But you probably do look very feminine at a glance, and even beautiful. People give you the respect they give most women, because you present enough clues to trigger that response. It's something I believe we all have, and it works most of the time.

In a public place, people tend to not want to attract attention to themselves. Plus, society frowns on open displays of hostility or aggression. We may thing negatively about someone due to a prejudice-and we all have them-but we don't act on them. Have I had people openly stare at me? Yes. Have I heard comments and remarks made behind my back? Yes. I have walked down a street and had young men yell "It's a dude!" at me. Of course, that was in the French Quarter on a weekend night when the tourists are the most chemically lubricated...The number of times I have been confronted in person by someone I can count on one hand-and those were more the "stupid remark, let's watch the tranny piss herself" type. When I failed to run off in fear or embarrassment  they would walk off wondering what went wrong. What went wrong was that I didn't care what they said. Not giving them the power to fuck up my life? That's what mattered.

And I'll pick this up later.

* I am being MTF-centric here because I am more familiar with that situation.

Friday, June 24, 2011

This is a test

Trying to get my Facebook to pick up posts from my blog, just ignore this, okay?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Requiem for a friend, and an announcement.

When I took my first steps into discovering who I was, I looked for a local TG support group. Through AOL's Transgender Community Forum (in '97, this was the best resource I had) I discovered Gulf Gender Alliance in New Orleans. Sending their contact a message, she told me I'd need to be screened before I went to a meeting, and she knew someone in Lafayette who she could send me to. And so, one afternoon, I went to a warehouse off Ambassador Caffery to meet the woman who would be the first person I had ever come out to face to face.

Ann ran a business selling shoes to women with large feet, and was approached by crossdressers and transsexuals looking for shoes that would fit. She became part of the community. When I met her, she talked to me with kindness and caring, and I felt comfortable. She introduced me to Crystal Little and Cissy Conley, who would become so important to my growth over the years. I met other CD's through her. And I spent hours talking to her, becoming friends. When I needed a place to store my things, she offered to let me use her warehouse.

Later, when I moved to New Orleans, I went to my first Southern Comfort in Atlanta. And the second person I saw when I walked into the hotel was Ann. From then on, we'd see each other every year at Southern Comfort, catching up. We remained friends, and I looked forward to seeing her each year.

I had known she had been ill last year, but did not know the extent. On June 5, Ann passed away. I found out yesterday, and I am still numb.

If not for Ann, I don't know how my life would have changed. She was a friend when I needed one, gave me advice when it was useful, told me the truth when I needed that, and I can never thank her enough for what she did. I will truly miss her.

~~~~~~~~~~

I will not be at Southern Comfort this year. The short reason is that I can't afford it right now. Also, I just don't feel the same need to go that I have in the past. The last couple of years I've felt like this, but I managed to turn it around. Maybe a year away will give me the desire again?

I will miss my friends, and having a week being Zelda full-time. Please raise a glass for me, and have a ball. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Going to The Church

The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend I finally got out to The Church-first time since November. Because The Church is only on Thursday and Sunday nights, it's hard to find people to go out with me. But since it was a Monday holiday...

It took me longer than normal to get ready-I just couldn't find the right outfit. I got dressed, and within ten minutes I hated what I was wearing. So I had to get dressed all over again, and barely made it out of the house in time. I decided on something Gothy but basic-sheer black t-shirt that I got off eBay years ago, black cami underneath, my red and black leopard print corset from Timeless Trends, the black lace covered mini from Torrid, fishnets (of course!) and my black patent lace-up knee boots from Electrique Boutique.

Got to The Church and started finding people I knew. We'd posted a note to the Dallas Feminine Expressions Meetup group, but knowing that this is not everyone's cup of tea, I didn't expect many to show up. We had about eight people, which was better than I'd expected, and everyone loved the place. Plus, I got to meet some fun people, got compliments on my outfit, gave compliments, danced my ass off, and had a great time. A lot better than I've had in years.

Part of that was being in a place that I like. I "grew up" in the goth scene, and I still fondly remember going to The Blue Crystal/Whirling Dervish in New Orleans, and other places in Atlanta and Chicago. Dancing to music that feels right to me? Fabulous!

But also I've been seeing a doctor about some issues. I've been diagnosed with thyroid problems, and being treated for it. I've also started antidepressants, because I can't live the way I have been for so long. Hopefully both will get me back to a place where I'll feel better. Not totally, but more than I have been.

This coming weekend is A-Kon, a huge anime/manga/cosplay/etc. convention here in Dallas. I've volunteered/been volunteered to judge a maid's contest again. Unlike All-Con I'm not going to try to cram everything into one day; I'll hit the vendor's up on Friday, do the judging and walkabout Saturday. Now to find some things to wear...

Call to arms-DSM-5 revisions and their negative impact on the TG/TS community

This is from the Pink Essence group, but it's something we should all be concerned with. 
By Kelley Winters, PhD 
May 28, 2011

On May 5, the American Psychiatric Association released a second round of proposed diagnostic criteria for the 5th Edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). These include two categories that impact the trans community: Gender Dysphoria (formerly Gender Identity Disorder) and Transvestic Disorder (formerly Transvestic Fetishism).

While GID has received a great deal of attention in the press and from GLBTQ advocates, the second transvestic category is too often overlooked. This is unfortunate, because a diagnosis of Transvestic Disorder is designed to punish social and sexual gender nonconformity and to enforce binary stereotypes of assigned birth sex. It plays no role in enabling access to medical transition care for those who need it, and it is frequently cited when care is denied. http://www.gidreform.org/blog2010Oct15.html

I urge all trans community members, friends, care providers, and allies to call for the removal of this punitive and scientifically unfounded diagnosis from the DSM-5.
The current period for public comment to the APA ends June 15.

The entry in the current DSM on Transvestic Disorder, like the former entry on Transvestic Fetishism, is authored by Dr. Ray Blanchard of the Toronto Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (formerly known as the Clarke Institute). Blanchard has drawn outrage from the transcommunity for his defamatory theory of autogynephilia,
http://www.gidreform.org/blog2008Nov10.html
asserting that all transsexual women who are not exclusively attracted to males are motivated to transition by self-obsessed sexual fetishism.

He is canonizing this harmful stereotype of transsexual women in the DSM-5 by adding an autogynephilia specifier to the Transvestic Disorder diagnosis.
http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevision/Pages/proposedrevision.aspx?ri...

Worse yet, Blanchard has broadly expanded the diagnosis to implicate gender-nonconforming people of all sexes and all sexual orientations,
even inventing an autoandrophilia specifier to smear transsexual men.
Most recently, he has added an "In Remission" specifier to preclude the possibility of exit from diagnosis.
Like a roach motel, there may be no way out of the Transvestic Disorder diagnosis once ensnared.

What You Can Do Now

1. Go to the http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevision/Pages/proposedrevision.aspx?ri...
APA DSM-5 website, click on "Register Now," create a user account, and enter your statement in the box.
The deadline for this second period of public comment is June 15.

[NOTE: Safari may not load that web page. Use Firefox or another Browser instead]

2. Sign the Petition to Remove Transvestic Disorder from the DSM-5,
sponsored by the International Foundation for Gender Education.
http://dsm.ifge.org/petition/

3. Demand that your local, national, and international GLBTQ nonprofit organizations
issue public statements calling for the removal of this defamatory Transvestic Disorder category from the DSM-5.
So far, very few have.

4. Spread the word to your networks, friends, and allies.

http://www.gidreform.org/blog2010Oct15.html for More Information

Cross-posted with additional comments at the
http://gidreform.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/transvestic-disorder-the-...
GID Reform Advocates Blog.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Con Game

Went to All-Con last weekend, which is an anime/sci-fi/fantasy/etc. convention in Addison. An anime con is sort of like going to SCC-lots of people with a common interest that the general public don't really understand, dressing in outfits that range from beautiful to "What were you thinking?" with seminars and events. Though that's probably not a great analogy...

I went for the Saturday session; I was invited to be a judge an Anime Maid Competition. No, I didn't know what that entailed, either. Going to a con, you dress for comfort or you cosplay your heart out. I went for comfort-black pullover 3/4 sleeve top, black knee-length skirt with tulle trim, black knee-high combat-style boots (which I haven't worn in ages, dammit!) over black and white striped socks. Oh, and a red leopard-print corset from Timeless Trends. Yes, at this place it's casual and I just got it and wanted to wear it out, okay?

The contest was actually a lot of fun to watch and judge. There were two contests, actually. The first part was a look/portrayal contest, where you were supposed to look and act like an anime character. The second part involved hiding a table setting around the room and having to find it and put things back in place. That part was hilarious!

Afterward, I and a couple of friends went out to lunch and catch up. I then got to see a friend's apartment that she's using for her dressing/makeover business. I have to say it's a great place, and I wish her the best. Back to the hotel to hit the vendor's room; got a t-shirt and that's all this time. I didn't stay too late, wanted to get home and get dinner for everyone.

This was the first time I'd been out in the daylight since SCC. And I miss getting out and going to the shops or lunch or just doing stuff. I think I need to start getting back into practice. Also, my birthday was Monday; lots of good wishes and greetings, which were nice.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Filling in the gaps

It's been a while since I caught up, but I can't say it's been exciting. I have been out a few times, but it's been dinner at The Bronx and go to S4 afterward. Sometimes there's lots of girls, other times just a few. I wouldn't go to S4 it I wasn't meeting people, though. Although, I have met some new people there, even given them the address to the Dallas Feminine Expressions Meetup webpage. It's probably the best way to find out who is going out and what events are happening. With Metroplex CD Group now dead, and GEAR* no longer doing monthly regularly-scheduled meetings, I don't know how someone who was new to the area would find people. There is a Tri-Ess group in Ft. Worth, but since I'm not a hetrosexual crossdresser I'm not really their kind of girl...

Coming up? There's an anime convention in a couple of weeks that I've been invited to go to; will say more about this later. I do want to get back out to the goth clubs again. There's Panopticon on Fridays, and The Church on Thursdays and Sundays. I've got a few people interested in doing a Sunday night on a Monday holiday weekend; I'm not so picky.

*The Resource Center Dallas has not updated the GEAR page recently; it still lists the mixer.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Catching up

I went out twice in December, and both started as trans group related things. Early in the month I met a few people at Borders on McKinney for coffee before dinner; six of us showed up on a cold night. I wore a black Z. Cavaricci jacket over a pink tank top, Torrid black lace covered skirt, pink tights under crochet-finished tights and boots. We walked over to Hook, Line and Sinker for dinner. It's a very casual fish shack-fried and grilled fish, shrimp, etc. I had the fried shrimp (fresh and tasty), hush puppies (not so great) and fries (good). Talking to people over dinner, being social, is always a good thing. 

Afterward, went to Station 4 to meet up with people. S4 is kind of the gathering place for tgirls in town. It's a gay bar that's transgender friendly with a big dance floor, chill out room upstairs and drag shows in the Rose Room. I did run into some people I have not seen in a while, and that's always good. One funny thing was I went to the ladies room and ended up talking to women for at least twenty minutes about outfits and makeup and shoes. Just like normal girls do :)

The other outing was for the GEAR Christmas Party. Grey turtleneck sweater from Ashley Stewart, black skirt from Torrid, patterned tights over colored ones (I like the way it looks, and get lots of compliments), and boots. The party was nice, caught up with a couple of people I have not seen in a while. Then out to S4 which was actually a bit boring-just couldn't get into things that night I suppose. 

Packed things away for my mom's visit over the holidays. She doesn't know about Zelda, and at her age I don't see a reason why she needs to. Things went very well; everyone was happy, people were in a great mood and got some nice presents. I have to drive mom back and forth, which is not fun but she hates flying and I don't want her driving herself. 

Moved the girl stuff back last week, missed going out last Friday but went Saturday to S4. Went a bit gothy/wild with a black corset from Marvelous Mayhem, over a sheer top with a short petticoat I got off eBay years ago. Pink fishnet tights, black patent boots from Electrique Boutique, and the Z. Cavaricci jacket. A fun outfit, but didn't get many comments which I thought was surprising. Guess I need to try harder :P

This has been a very cold week so far-at least there is no snow. I don't mind the cold but not when it snows!