While I wrack my brain over how to write my next big post (okay, it might not be that big), I want to make note of something that almost escaped my mind: Today is Spirit Day, which has been held the third Thursday of October every year since 2010. It’s a day set aside for LGBTQ awareness and support, and was initially created in the wake of bullying and suicide incidents among gay youth. Spirit Day is meant to honor the LGBT youth who, sadly, felt taking their own lives was the only option to end their hurt, and also to tell the LGBT youth of today who are bullied that there are those who are very supportive (the color purple is prominently used to deliver that message).
Just enough time this morning for me to say… wowzers! This September has certainly been a busy one for me so far! As previously noted, I had a busy Labor Day weekend (ironic, isn’t it?), with not only a visit with relatives but a unexpected fire alarm. Then last week, I was feted for my 15-year work anniversary at my place of employment.
But that’s not the end of it, not by any means. I’ve already attended a couple of support group meetings this month, the most recent of which saw us send off one of our group with well wishes (she’s moving to California). Then, Male Mode Me will have big volunteer opportunities coming up not only later this morning but also late next week. And on top of all that, my little sister is getting married at the very end of this month, meaning there’s another out-of-town trip awaiting me (I’ve already got the hotel room booked).
While all that is well and great (especially the support meetings), two really big things for my female side have been on my September schedule, one already occurred and one still awaiting me. I don’t know about the results of either event, meaning I must go into detail on them later. But I will describe them briefly here: This coming Saturday, I’m set to go to another poetry reading. It’s won’t be at Mother Fool’s, where I performed poetry as Allison for the first time, but rather at another coffee house I scoped out in male mode during the summer. That means this week, in addition to working for a living, I’ll be busy writing new poetry and/or deciding which of my previous works of poetry I should present to the audience. What’s more, I’m looking forward to seeing at least one familiar face in that crowd (they know who they are *grin*).
Perhaps more exciting than being behind a mic and in front of an audience, this past Sunday I had the privilege to be in front of the camera… with a real, true professional photographer behind it! Very late last week, I learned of a LGBTQ-oriented photo shoot event, and I knew I just had to take part, even if it meant skipping a necessary Sunday trip to the gym. So, I got all dolled up, went over to the east side of town, and joined several other folks from Madison’s LGBT+ community in getting our picture taken. I don’t know how my pictures turned out, as it will take a few weeks for the photographer to sort out everything. But it’s safe to say that I am anticipating seeing the results. When I do, I will further go into detail about my day on this blog.
So, yeah, it’s definitely been and will still be a busy September for me. Speaking of which, I gotta get going and head off to work. Speaking of work, I’ve been putting in some required overtime. Yeah, I’ve been one busy girl.
As you can tell from the starry pink banner and this post’s title, today (August 3) is my 48th birthday. As has been the case in most of my adulthood, this day will be your normal everyday kind of day: Work, work, work. Maybe a card or a text from family (I already received one from Mom earlier this week). Already a few birthday wishes added to my URNotAlone profile’s guestbook (a big “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” banner is added to members’ profiles when it’s their birthday). And perhaps a little bit of relaxation when I finally get home.
I say “when I finally get home” as I’ve been a rather busy girl of late, especially with putting my nose to the proverbial grindstone at work. And I’ll be pretty busy the rest of this month as well. Here in Madison, a small, trans-oriented art and performance exhibition is scheduled for the last weekend of this month. I’ve become so enamored of late by presenting my poetry and storytelling before live audiences (and doing so as Allison), which propelled me to submit my poems for consideration to this event. If they approve, I’ll get all dolled up and step up to the microphone before my fellow trans sisters and brothers for the first time (hope it won’t be a tough crowd).
A weekend before that, Madison will have its annual LGBT pride event. And the trans support group I’ve been attending will have an entry in the parade. All of our “T’s” and “I’s” need to be crossed and dotted yet, but I can’t wait for Madison to see us. What’s more, I’m hoping to march with my group as Allison for the very first time. I’m so excited.
And this very weekend will be the 30-year reunion of my high school graduating class. Am I nervous about it? A little bit, as I wonder how much time, adulthood, and our current society have changed my fellow Class of 1987 graduates. The reunion came, for me at least, on rather short notice, so I’m not sure how many of my class will be able to attend. Still, I’m actually looking forward to the event… even though I’ve never been the party girl-type, nor did I socialize very much in high school. Plus, it’ll be interesting to see how much our home town, a rather small Northern Wisconsin hamlet, has changed (for better and for worse) in the 5 years since our previous reunion.
So, yeah, not a lot of time for me to celebrate turning 48. But as I noted above, I’ve gotten used to the 3rd day of August feeling like any of the other 364 days of the year, and that’s okay. But know that if you wish me a happy birthday, I’ll send gratitude and thanks your way. Hope you have your own very nice day.
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.
I hope you won’t be bored with my sharing a couple of tidbits involving my family. We had our annual Easter get-together yesterday. Yes, Easter isn’t until next weekend, but our schedules (namely, my little sister’s and her weekend with her daughters) had priority over the dictate of the calendar on the wall. Anyway, we had our big to-do yesterday, and while it was enjoyable to see my family, it wasn’t as fun as in years past. The reason for that was my other sister and her two daughters were out sick. One of them, my niece and goddaughter, actually came down with Influenzavirus B late last week and has a 101 degree fever. Yikes!
Someone else in our family also has some health concerns: My mom, who has has had issues with her eyes over the past couple of years. Every 6 to 8 weeks, she needs to see an eye doctor to determine how the pressure and bleeding is fairing inside one of her eyes, and if necessary, receive an injection of medication. Yesterday, Mom let me know that she has cataracts that will need to be operated on. Luckily (sort of), her doctor says her eyes are in suitable enough of a condition that she can put off cataract surgery until next year. At least Mom is nowhere near the point where she’ll be losing her sight any time soon.
So, while the rest of us were enjoying our brunch and catching up on everything going on in our lives, I had fingers crossed in the back of my mind that my niece would get over the flu soon and that my mom’s eye condition would not get serious. Something tells me that with the strong-willed women in our family, both of them will pull through okay.
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.
As I write this, it is February 15, or as it is commonly known, the day after Valentine’s Day. You know, the day meant to be all about love, romance, and buying every single rose and “Be My Valentine” card in sight.
So, you’re asking, how did my Valentine’s Day go? I’ll get to that part in a second. But I will say that Valentine’s Day for the most of the rest of the people at my place of employment felt like another day at work. Oh, for sure, some folks got a bouquet of flowers, although very few in my department received any. And, for sure, department management tried to say “we love your work” by enticing us with bags of chips… which I politely declined, as I’ve been seriously watching my calorie intake. (And, really… the same chips you’d find in your nearest vending machine?! Come on now.) But generally speaking, it felt like another work day for most of the rest of the department.
So, where have I been, you ask? I admit I haven’t been on WordPress the past couple of days. Guess I haven’t had the writing bug of late. (*sigh*)
That’s not to say I haven’t been lolly-gagging around, as my mom would put it, since last Friday. I exercised (or tried to) at the gym on Sunday. I did some shopping for presents on Saturday. And on Friday, I got dolled up and recorded footage for a video I’m hoping to edit soon… although I’m wondering if I’ll need to do a re-shoot on one scene (I’m a perfectionist sometimes).
Geez, where did the summertime go? I look at my calendar today and it says it’s the first day of autumn. Rats! Mother Nature must hate the fact that summer is going away, too, as we’ve had a very wet week here in Madison. So, taking inspiration from the occurrence of the autumnal equinox as well as The Finicky Cynic’s own poem about autumn, I’ve written up this quick prose about the change from a season we’re going to miss so very much when winter’s chill has its way.
“Summer Must Go Away”
Summer has to leave today
It knows it has to leave today
But it doesn’t want to leave today
It wants to stick around
And stay just a little bit longer
And give us warm and sunny days
But there’s something else today
There’s rain today
Lots of rain today, and yesterday
Because Summer doesn’t want to go away?
But maybe, just maybe
Rain is Mother Nature wanting to say
“Please, Summer, don’t go away”
But Summer will have to go away today
And Mother Nature’s tears today
Are creating a river, flowing away
Past trees that will turn gold and red
Before Winter’s shades of gray
And its cold and frosty days
Summer must leave today
But we will never forget its long days
Its lovely days
Of greens and blues and sunny ways
That led us to adventures
In places near and far away
With new smiling faces to see
And starlit nights after great days
Of fun and enjoyment
That we had day after day
Summer must leave today
For Autumn it must make way
But it will come back another day
After Winter and Spring have had their day
Then we’ll reunite with Summer, that old friend
And we’ll enjoy those warm and sunny days again
Just a couple quick thoughts regarding my nieces. I’ll start with my oldest niece, the same one who had an all-too-brief trip to Alaska this summer. She got into a little bit of an accident Sunday night. From what her mother (my little sister) and our mom told me, Em had been going a little too fast down a narrow road. She tried to make room for an oncoming car, but got a little too close to the shoulder, hit the shoulder and then a tree.