A quick update on my last post, in which I talked about my mother’s bout with that godawful coronavirus: After I hit the “publish” button on that post, I did get in contact with my mom, who is recovering from a relatively (presumably) mild bout with the virus. Mom is doing better, she says, but she noted that after running errands for under an hour on Saturday afternoon, she came home exhausted. The nurse advised that that’s a common post-virus side effect. I personally recommended that Mom just keep taking it easy, and not go back to work if she’s not up to it (presumably, the nurse gave her the green light to do so). Hopefully, with new cases of this virus on a frightening rise in the county where she lives, her employers and colleagues will understand.
On this Sunday morning, the thoughts I communicate in this post are not so much on the disappointing political news of the week, the big sporting event that’s set to take place this evening, or even a big decision I made yesterday (a subject for a future post, I promise). Rather, it’s about other distressing news affecting the trans community.
Perhaps you’re well aware of the reality that myopic, unsympathetic state legislators (yep, from the right side of the aisle) are introducing bills designed to deny transition care to trans adolescents. Already in 2020 alone, as Vox.com reports, legislators in 8 states have introduced bills that would make it a crime for doctors to provide medically necessary care to children with gender dysphoria, with similar proposals about to surface in other conservative-leaning states.
Before I go any further, much of this post will be devoted to the dark past 7 days, and as a whole past 2½ years, that our country has gone through. I perfectly understand if you want to hit your browser’s back button and go somewhere more cheerful. Heck, right after I finish writing this I may very well join you.
If you’ve ever perused that feed to the right of your screen, you’ve discovered that I am indeed on Flickr. And once or twice on this blog, I’ve opined of how Flickr can be a nice avenue to show off one’s outer beauty.
At least a couple of times on here, I’ve described some of the crazy dreams I’ve had, not the “I wanna see my name in lights” kind of dream but rather the “deep in peaceful slumber” and “so lucid it felt as if it was real life” kind. I had one of those very lucid dreams last weekend… but with some news this week, I’m wondering if it wasn’t so much a dream as it was a forecast of what was to come.
As I’ve expressed before, I am in true admiration of the beautiful feminine image, whether it’s of a cis-gender woman or my fellow trans/CD sisters, and whether they’re dressing to the nines or posing in casual fare. I also admire our trans community’s collective efforts to enlighten the cis-gender community of the fact that we are wonderful human beings who should not be shunned out of fear.
Admittedly, I don’t fancy myself to be the most glamorous woman on the internet, and I don’t think I’m as articulate as most when it comes to standing up for trans rights. But at least I know I try to be beautiful, and I do make a stand for trans people. And I take pride in doing both while striving to be a positive representation of the CD/trans community. That means not presenting myself in a risque situation, i.e. no nudity and not showing the *ahem* junk that’s in my trunk.
One word that kept running through my mind when writing my last post was the thought of one’s character. Three definitions of the word “character” stood out to me:
- The total features or traits that form an individual’s being
- One’s integrity or moral & ethical quality
- One’s reputation
In this era where those who want to wish the LGBT+ community out of existence, or at least push us back into a dark corner, we need to construct our positive character to the world. In other words, put on display the good things that make us who we are and form our well being, and that will make a positive impression on the rest of the world. But that shouldn’t stop there, for we still need to call out those whose own dark character forms the broad brush that paints us in unflattering colors.
To borrow a line from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.” I’m embarrassed that I don’t always heed those words, sometimes going as dark and spiteful as those who hate our community. But when I take a stand against those who disdain us with scorn, it feels empowering.
Who I am everyday
I am someone normally button down
Ending workdays with a tired frown
Every now and again, I step right in
A garment and gender I’m not normally seen in
Yet they feel like a brand new skin
And brings out a new attitude from within
Why I do the things I do
Well, for one, I love to work
And with it, the earned financial perks
That keep me fed and sheltered
And, yes, clothed
But why two sets of clothes?
Well, to have you know
Dressing up, I feel an empowered aesthetic
Dressing up lets me become empathetic
And forms in me a positive ethic
That helps build a better world
That’s why I’m a guy… who’s also a girl
Well… who are you everyday?
I don’t need to ask it
Rather, I can see it:
You have your own jobs you go to
And your own homes to come to
There, you’re lord and master
Of your own personal castle
In a kingdom you want to expand
To points beyond everything you can see
Why do you do the things you do?
I don’t need to ask
For I can accurately guess:
The world doesn’t fit your narrow definition
Of the world sharing your morality
You’re mad that that number’s less than a plurality
And for that… you retaliate against all humanity?!
What makes us, us… and not like you
Yes, I know this will add to your petulance
But the whole world doesn’t share your stance
We admire others, near and far
And let them live freely
No matter who they love or what they are
We treat people with respect
And not try to mold them into an object
That came from an assembly line
What makes us all human beings
We’re born, we’ll die
And in between
We’ll live and breathe
And do our own things
If it’s not the same as your life
It doesn’t give you any right
To mold us into something you desire us to be
So don’t shun us, harm us, or taunt us
And with whitewash, don’t paint us
Your principles don’t make you our principal
So please let us live free
Because we’re all independent
Living with good intent
And if you take time to know us
You’ll recognize something in us
We are not strange and peculiar
Our character is what build our character
It’s not just who we are
It’s also how we live to be
No, this post isn’t about Playboy, though hopefully when you finish reading you’ll understand why I titled this post with that magazine’s former tagline. This is going to be a rant about a recent controversy a certain fashion retailer got into. That company is Victoria’s Secret, the (in)famous designer of lingerie and women’s wear that are nowhere near the dowdy floral gowns its founder frequently found on sales racks. It’s a safe bet that the mall near you has a Victoria’s Secret selling scantily designed undergarments and/or a PINK store selling sleepwear for the college-age set.
Before I get into the controversy in question, take a gander at this photo. (Gentlemen, don’t drool.)
What do you see in that photo? Obviously, you see a multitude of beautiful women. That photo is from last year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Every year since 1995, and every holiday season since 2001, Victoria’s Secret sets up a very glitzy show to showcase and promote its lingerie, sleepwear, or whatever else they’re selling. It’s not a sedate affair for sure: The setting is elaborately designed; the music is live and pulsating; the costumes are extravagant; and the star wattage is high, with A-list stars both strutting the catwalk and providing the music.
This is the Sunday morning of the OutReach Pride Parade/Rally here in Madison. Later this afternoon, members of the LGBT+ community will march proudly down State Street and celebrate our hard-fought freedom to live as our true selves.
But as you may have guessed from my previous two posts, this pride weekend in Madison isn’t quite the lovey dovey moment it should be. This year’s OutReach Pride theme is “Stand up! Speak out! Fight back!” However, it’s been an inward fight rather than an outward one against those who shun our community. And it’s clearly more than an issue of whether the cops can march in the parade or whether said cops are willing to listen. At the risk of airing out private conversations, there’s been a bit of resentment within the trans/CD support group I’m a part of. Well, at least there is an issue within the private Facebook page our group utilizes. The same people who raised valid issues about the police presence in the parade and how said police treat trans and queer persons of color are also challenging us to embrace that very same TQPOC community. And while it’s not like a civil war in our group, the boisterous comments in our Facebook page over the past week-plus — heck, within the past 24 hours — sure make it feel like one.
I’ve been away from WordPress for over a week and, boy oh boy, has a lot happened around here. For one, I am in the midst of new temporary employment, which I promise to expound on in a later post. But I want to devote this post to a little something… okay, a rather big something that’s been going on here in Madison, one that has plagued the biggest and most important event in Madison’s LGBT+ community.
I’ll cut to the chase and let you know of the outcome: There will be an OutReach Pride parade this coming Sunday afternoon, starting at the west end of State Street, circling once around Capitol Square, and ending with a rally. And baring anything unforeseen on my end, I will be there as Allison and marching with fellow members of our crossdressing/transgender support group.
You may be reading that and are thinking that there was a possibility that the parade and rally wouldn’t be taking place at all. On the contrary, the event is not in any danger of not taking place. However, it will be taking place without one prominent group of participants — law enforcement. Had they been part of the parade, there would have been another prominent group with real disdain for law enforcement who would have boycotted the event.