Oh, my goodness! It’s been over a week since I posted a blog entry. I could blame the fact that I’ve been preoccupied with work and other stuff, but that’s really too obvious of a target. So, I’ll blame something much more obvious: Having to buy a new computer.
My previous post, which you can read here, had me talking about a place of higher learning not too far from my old neck of the (literal) woods establishing a LGBT resource and support center. After I added it to this blog, I couldn’t help but think about it further…
First off, I can’t say enough how great it is for the University of Wisconsin—Marinette to establish a LGBT center. I’m happy, of course, that it’s happening in the area where I spent the later years of my adolescence. More than that, though, I’m happy for those in Marinette and vicinity who identify as part of the LGBT spectrum or are LGBT allies, for they finally — finally! — have somewhere where they can find resources; obtain information on healthcare, transitioning, support, etc.; or just find a safe, welcoming place where they will not be judged for who they identify as or who they may be attracted to.
Today (March 31) is the International Transgender Day of Visibility, which is a day meant to celebrate those who identify as transgender and to help raise awareness of discrimination faced by trans people everywhere. (It should not be conflated with the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which occurs in November.)
I won’t get too much into the ins and outs of TDoV in this post, though I do recommend you learn more about the day (here is a good starting point). What I do want to do is dedicate a few lines of prose (and passing references towards David Bowie and J. Geils Band) to this day and to trans people of all stripes, especially those who, by circumstance or choice, may not live out and proud. While this prose may not be perfect, know that the words are meant to communicate my appreciation for you, whatever you may identify as.
“I See You”
I see you over there
Sitting all alone and scared
You’re not sure if you’re a boy or a girl
And it’s got your mother in a whirl
The world wants to put you down
And make you frown
They’re misguided for insisting you’re one thing
When you know you’re not what they’re saying
They want you to wear one set of clothes
A set in which you’ll never grow
For that, they think you’re an abomination
But, really, you’re an amazing creation
I know, they want to put you down
To keep you from wiping off your frown
You know you’re one thing
When everyone says you’re another
But to me, you’re more than a sister or a brother
No, really, you’re beautiful
Just the way you are
So don’t be afraid
Shine your own kind of light
Fight their darkness with your personality bright
Oh, I’m sorry
You don’t want to come out?
You do want to be the person you are
But you don’t want to scream or shout?
It’s okay, I understand
I have my own four-walled Neverland
Where I can feel free
And be who I know I be
Which is whatever gender I can be
But you want to be quiet about it
And, really, that’s okay
For it’s good, even better
To be more than whatever gender
But I do wish you can be free
You deserve to be who you know you be
Free from prying eyes
Free from disdaining eyes
Wait… Please, wait…
Yes, I see you
And I do accept you
For you being you
No, it doesn’t matter to me
What gender you may be
Male or female
Maybe both, maybe neither
Know, though, that I admire you
And I will stand by you and with you
And help protect you
And keep the wolves at bay
No matter what the world may say
I’ll have your back until my last day
Fully displayed or in the closet
Know that you’re living honest
But if you’re not out now, don’t worry
For if the time comes when
You show the world who you are
There will be those who will call you friend
There will be those just like you
Or supportive and accepting of you
Who will have your back if you fall
And help you stand up and stand tall
I will be there with you
For today, I see you
And I love and respect you
Because no matter who you are
And no matter what others will say of you
You are living your life… amazingly
Just by being… you
I usually save any “Throwback Thursday” posts for the actual date, Thursday. But even though it’s Tuesday, I don’t want to wait until Thursday, even though the subject in question is, sadly, not going anywhere. Back in October, I talked up in this post Mallatt’s Pharmacy, which has… er, rather, had two locations here in Madison, the older west side location on Monroe Street and a more generally recent east side location on Williamson Street. Mallatt’s had a couple of locations outside the Madison city limits, but they were no national chain, that’s for sure. Since it was established in 1926, Mallatt’s had been a nice, convenient corner pharmacy, one who’s much more intimate than those national chains (like, say, Walgreens) whose stores are sterile, antiseptic clones of each other.
It’s Friday evening as I write this; I’m here at home; and I’m really, really, wishing I was out of the house. And I was planning to be out of the house tonight. That was until this slight stuffiness and sore throat I woke up with this morning became much nastier as the day wore on. Now, my nostrils are even stuffier, my throat feels even more irritated, and I ache all over. Yeah, suddenly being struck by a cold during the first week of spring is no fun. And it’s even less fun when you were feeling fine literally 24 hours earlier.
As I write this, it’s March 21… or as is also known on the 2017 calendar, the 2nd day of spring! Yeah, I’m a bit excited about it. Well, more reserved than excited. I mean, it’s great that the days are getting longer, which really perks up a person. But since I live in Wisconsin, my enthusiasm has to be tempered a little bit, since winter has a tendency to reel right back and bite us in the *ahem* backside when we least expect it, even if winter can be as relatively tame as the now concluded winter was here in Wisconsin. Today was a reminder that spring takes its time pushing winter to the past: Sure, it was mostly bright and sunny, but the wind was brisk and the chill was present. I’m not one to regularly check the thermometer, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the temperature didn’t rise above 45 degrees.
An open letter to my supervisor at work (I know who they are, and by the end of this post, you, in a way, will know her as well):
First off, thank you for the annual bonus. I know everyone in our company receives one every year, and I know the money will give my bank account a boost. But this letter isn’t about that. I should advise you that though I will be at work tomorrow (March 8), my mind won’t be. Why, you ask?
That’s right, I’m sure you’ve heard about A Day Without a Woman by now. I’m sure, too, you’ve heard about that big march that happened back in January, not only here in Madison but in Washington and around the world. Continue reading
If you are a crossdresser like me, or are at the very least familiar with the transgender community, you are probably familiar with, or at least heard a little bit about, the name I included in this post’s title:
Yep, Miss Vera. As in Miss Vera’s Finishing School For Boys Who Want To Be Girls, which bills itself as “the world’s first crossdressing academy.” Since the early 1990s, Miss Vera (and, yes, she does have a first name, Veronica, though the title “Miss Vera” gives her so much class) has opened the doors of her New York City apartment to any man who wants to become better at being a female. Whether someone just wants to look a little more feminine or wants to be all-out perfect, Miss Vera and her faculty have been there to instruct and guide any student who’s a crossdresser, transgender, or even cis-gender female into being the best woman they can be through instructions on makeup, hair, clothing, voice, mannerisms, and general feminine comportment. And, yes, it’s all done in a supportive, compassionate environment.
Oh, yeah, the Academy Awards were handed out Sunday night. That most glamorous of awards shows! Hollywood’s biggest night! Or whatever hyperbolic term you may apply to it (with or without an exclamation point).
It’s been two days since the Oscars ceremony, so I’m sure all of you have had the chance to digest what went down. The biggest news of the night was Moonlight winning Best Picture, literally taking the gold statuette from the hands of La La Land. Since I’m an early-to-rise type of person, I turned in early Sunday night not realizing what happened. And when I checked out my Twitter feed Monday morning, I thought folks were joking when tweeting/discussing/whatever about that envelope snafu because… well, it’s Twitter.
You may have noticed I’ve set the words “winter” in quotes in this post’s title. Yes, it’s technically been winter in the Northern Hemisphere since December and not just one month (this past warm week in Wisconsin notwithstanding). But I think we all know the “winter” I’m talking about:
As I write this (February 25), it’s been a month and a few days since You Know Who became You Know What. And while there are some who, unfortunately, are enjoying what has transpired over this time (including one fellow Wisconsinite I heard on NPR this week who almost made me want to reach into the radio and whoop them upside the head over their glee), there are countless others like me — you know, the ones who were in the real majority last November — who are so diametrically opposite of You Know Who who have been upset to their core, along with (hopefully) those who are having a bit of buyer’s remorse.