It’s Friday as I write this, and I have the entire day off. A good thing, yes, since it gives me a three-day weekend. But it’s an even better thing for me since it’s been a major bummer of a week, thanks to taking my (supposedly) sweet little car into the shop not once but twice. The first, unplanned visit was because of a flat tire. On my drive into work on Monday, I had to dodge a little yet quite noticeable something that the construction site across from my place of employment did not sweep up. However, I heard a little “pop” in the back of my car. While I had dodged what I had to dodge, I wasn’t expecting something else in the road — a nail, which I didn’t realize I had run over until my work day ended and I came back to my car. The good news is that there was a tire place literally two doors down from my place of employment, and they were able to replace my tires and get me back on the road that night. (I say “tires” because they got me with the up-sell thing and replaced both of my rear tires, since they didn’t have a single tire in stock that matched the size of the good rear tire.)
Okay, I must apologize at the outset, because I’m going to get politically serious on this post. So with that being said, brace yourselves:
For those of whatever persuasion who are big on anniversaries, you probably are aware of the chilling anniversary being marked this week: One year ago, a man who is vain, egotistical, lewd, misogynistic, hateful, womanizing, racist, and chauvinistic was elected President of the United States. It was an election outcome not very many at the time expected would happen, but happen it did.
Time to add another post to not one but two of this blog’s recurring categories, the one where I clear some of the many multitude of pages bookmarked to my web browser that I’ve been meaning to share with all of you…
“You mean ‘Allison Empties Out Her Bookmarks’?”
Yes, and the one where I go back and forth with some disembodied voice…
“Hey, that’s me!”
…yes, with you, about a certain word. This is indeed another edition of “Allison’s Word,” and let’s see here… oh, this is going to be a good topic, I do believe. Who is the subject of this post. Continue reading
While there have been two good things that occurred in my personal life this August (my high school class reunion, my marching in the pride parade), there was one situation that really bummed me out. Now that I’m slowly putting it behind me, I will start my explanation of said situation by highlighting a change you may have noticed this month: My Gravatar profile description. You know, the one listed under my smiling face you see on the right of your compute screen. (Uh, you are reading this on a computer screen, right?) Here is how that profile previously read:
Take note of the first three sentences in that description: “Full-time middle-aged male. Long-time overworked office drone. Part-time female fashion plate.” A witty and rather innocuous way to describe myself… or so I thought. The thoughts of those three sentences, or at least how a very important gatekeeper interpreted them, prevented me from taking part in the perfect venue to showcase my poetry skills (such as they are).
When reading this blog, you may have noticed I’m a budding poetry writer (well, I consider myself budding), and that just a couple of weeks ago, I took the leap of presenting some of my poetry as Allison in front of an intimate live audience. That night was a real confidence builder not only for presenting my female side but also my writing abilities.
I do, however, consider my current poetry writing abilities as being at a less-than-perfect point. So far, with one or two exceptions, most of my poetry subjects have been about LGBT themes and trying to meet eye-to-eye with someone who’s not necessarily part of our community, meaning subject outside those realms can be hard for me to interpret into prose. As well, I’m one who wants to write, rewrite, and re-rewrite poetry (and some other blog posts) over time, doing so until it feels to me to be as perfect as possible.
For most of this week so far, I’ve been trying to write an epic post inspired by a certain site’s writing prompt. I’ve had a hard time trying to formulate a response to that post, in part because I’m taking a look at the subject with a far-too-broad scope. So, to keep my writing spirits up, I’ll fall back on another subject I’ve had percolating. Take a look at the following quote I came across a while back from the famous actress Marlene Dietrich:
“I am at heart a gentleman.”
Ms. Dietrich was a woman known for defying sexual and gender roles. I mean, she looked just as glamorous in a top hat and tails as she did in a cocktail dress, not to mention having dalliances with both men and women. You could consider that quote a summary of Marlene blurring those gender and sexual lines.
Reading her quote, I took it to heart in a somewhat similar way, in that beneath all the wigs, blouses, skirts, dresses, pantyhose, and heels I may wear is a gentleman. No, I’m don’t mean the “bro” type of gentleman who would drive a truck, down a beer or two (or several), root for the home team at the top of their lungs, and treat women as some sex object. Au contraire, mes amis (or should I say, Im Gegenteil, meine Freunde to acknowledge Ms. Dietrich’s German background), for I try to emphasize the “gentle” in “gentleman.”
I consider myself the type who treats women of all stripes — young and old; black, white, or other; cis-gender or trans — with respect and dignity. I feel it comes from the strong women I’ve encountered throughout my life, from those in my family to those in my places of employment. I’d dare say some of it comes from dressing up as a woman, too. While I may sometimes dress in an alluring and eye-catching way, I do it with the intention of presenting my feminine side in a respective way.
So, if you were to come across me somewhere (online, in person, however), know that while I may present myself as female, know that I am, at heart, a true gentleman.
It’s the last day of June as I write this, meaning I won’t be able to respond to every “June Jour Challenge” prompt sent out by one of my WordPress peeps, The Finicky Cynic. That’s okay, though. I knew I wouldn’t respond to or even get to think about every prompt before the last of June. F.C. sent out quite a few “deep thought” prompts this June, meaning I’ll spend some extra time thinking about profound responses.
However, on this last day of June, with F.C. usually using her last “June Jour” prompt to solicit thoughts on her challenges, I don’t want to fail to highlight how inspiring and thought-provoking her prompts are. I’ve been working on a still-incomplete response about one of those deep topics; I won’t say which one, suffice it to say that it’s brought to the top of my mind one or two pivotal moments in my life that stayed in the far recesses of my mind… so much so that it led me to search for information on the person involved in that moment (no results came up, unfortunately).
One other thing I can’t fail to mention is that at least this year, F.C. didn’t just send out prompts. Rather, she provided further inspiration for them. I invite you to take a look at her “June Jour” prompts at this tag page on her site. And when you do, don’t just click on one link and add a comment or response. Hit the “previous post” link at the bottom, where this year she offered inspiration on the topics she invited her readers to respond to. Actually, even beyond June, her posts can provide a writing inspiration to those who can’t think of something to write, but these past 30 days they’ve served as real writing invitations.
So, please give F.C. some love and read her “June Jour” prompts. And while you’re at it, read the rest of her site as well; it’s awesome and inspiring (and awesomely inspiring) in June, July, or any other month.
Time to get caught up with another of F.C.’s “June Jour” suggestions. This one asks flat-out, “What does the word ‘pride’ mean to you?” Hmmm…
As you can guess from the end of that last paragraph, I have to scratch my head sometimes to come up of a time when I’ve experienced a sense of pride (what F.C. also asks in that prompt). Perhaps the times when I’ve felt the most proud of myself have been when I made a significant accomplishment. Graduating from high school so many years ago is the most obvious moment of pride in my life… although that was tempered a bit by the future that would await me. Oh, I knew what my post-high school plans were; it’s just that I was scared to death of it (the less I have to think about what awaited me, the better). Then there’s the times when I worked toward gainful employment, especially the moment when I was offered the job that led me to moving to Madison, this after several months being jobless.
I made passing mention in my last blog post about this, but it’s time to finally give it the spotlight here: Last Thursday morning (June 1), three members of the Wisconsin State Legislature introduced to assembled media and the public a new piece of legislation currently seeking co-sponsorship from fellow legislators. The proposal, as with any piece of legislation (federal, state, or otherwise), has a grand name: The Privacy Protection and Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act. And a press release announcing the proposal succinctly sums up the bill’s importance:
“A bill that would add protections to Wisconsin statutes against discrimination based on a person’s gender identity or gender expression.”