About Me

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It's not. About me, I mean. Really!
I avoid labels when possible, but here goes: SWF, 40'ish, 20 year Navy veteran. I have an inner ham and her name is Ms. Piggy.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Just sharing

The following was my reply in a transgender persons support group to the question, "What was your first time out in public?" :
It's hard for me to nail that one down for sure, but I think the following story was likely my first time:
I was still in the military at the time, and committed to finishing my 20 years; being caught out dressing would have been a huge disaster. At least I thought so at the time, now I'm not so sure about that, but I digress.

My car at the time was a loud, souped-up hot rod that I had built and I used to drag race with. No pun intended! Not exactly the best vehicle to be inconspicuous in, but it was all I had besides my motorcycle.

The best idea for an outing that I could drum up the courage for, was a trip through a fast food drive-through. I still have no idea whether it was my appearance, the car, or maybe the terror in my voice; maybe it wasn't what I thought at all? Whatever it was, I was certain the guy at the drive-through window had clocked me instantly and that's what I could see he was telling his coworker about after he closed the window to go put my order together.

I think my heart was broken, and I remember the hot sting of tears in my eyes.

He finally finished my order and brought it to the window, and I handed him my money. I have never wanted to be invisible so much as I did right at that moment, and I was desperate to get out of there as soon as possible.

After what seemed like an eternity, he finally brought back my change and what he said still seems so hugely inexplicable and filled with portent. Nonetheless, it was without any detectable trace of sarcasm that he simply handed me my change and said, "Thank you miss, have a nice night."

It's really been a lot of years since then, but I have always done my best to remember my feelings from that night and from all the other trials I have been through. I keep them in my heart for every other person I encounter who is going through what I did, whatever that might be in pursuit of.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

RE: The Baltimore McDonalds incident.

In viewing the horrific video showing a vicious attack upon a transgender woman in a Baltimore Maryland McDonalds, I cannot help thinking of a similarly senseless incident at yet another McDonalds'; the San Ysidro massacre of July 18, 1984. I was in my second year of U.S. Navy enlistment, stationed in San Diego at the time, so the incident is still well established in my memory.

I am also reminded of the experiences of another young transperson, Zikerria Bellamy, who was 17 on July 10, 2009 when she applied for a job at a Florida McDonalds. You can see the TLDEF response to this incident here:


Corporately, McDonalds has seemingly maintained a campaign of purposeful ignorance towards transpeople's plight in their restaurants as both employees and customers for a very long time. I have not done my homework on the outcome of Zikerria Bellamy's case, but I do know that it seemingly vanished from the radar very quickly.

There are a lot of questions in the Baltimore incident yet to be answered, but for once I think McDonalds corporate is finally getting a wakeup call. Certainly, nothing here is meant to say anyone should stop the pressure being put upon them.

Many people right now are suggesting angry boycotts, and even legal actions against McDonalds. Certainly, the employees who sat around watching and filming the incident without helping should be found culpable, and the animals who attacked her should face prosecution. But in attacking and demanding legal suits against McDonald's corporate, I would suggest one look at the legal results of the San Ysidro incident, here:


With McDonalds as defendant, they were absolved of responsibility because "(1) they had no duty of care to protect patrons from an unforeseeable assault by a murderous madman; and (2) plaintiffs could not prove causation because the standard reasonable measures normally used by restaurants to deter criminals", "could not possibly have deterred a madman who did not care about his own survival. "

The corporate identity that is McDonalds is not ignorant to social needs that further it's bottom line. Keeping in mind the WIIFM concept (What's In It For Me), McDonalds has indeed responded to racism and prejudice in the past with affirmative actions programs that have helped minorities acquire franchise and management opportunities, while also changing their advertising, slogans, and promotions to reflect both their customer base and their appreciation for diversity.

Rather than shaking our fists and demanding angry but temporary concessions from McDonald's corporate that will eventually fade away and be forgotten, lets instead take better advantage of this brief moment their corporate focus is paying us attention. Let's provide McDonalds with a more positive opportunity to promote their attention to diversity, and work with them for things that will make for a more lasting sea-change in their (and their customer's) attitude towards transgender folk, while enhancing their bottom line.

I can think of no better result from this incident than the assault victim receiving every reasonable opportunity to become a franchisee themselves, while McDonalds also categorically integrates transgender persons specifically into their affirmative action programs.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

More Jerry-pandering

The subject of today's diatribe is none other than the person I consider the biggest anal wart on the body human today, Jerry Springer.

OK, so that statement sets me up with holding any of a number of positions right off the bat, any one of which for many a reader probably causes immediate shutdown. Herein follows the pointless bitchy rant of yet another oversensitive tranny, or the local equivalent; there goes Marie again.

Perhaps it's pointless to bitch about Jerry Springer; I'd hope that anybody with a lick of sense knows he's a slime ball. It's sort of like complaining that sewage stinks. I think what bothers me most is what it says about people and the hopes transpeople have of ever getting a fair shake; because despite the right or wrong of it his brand of hate/shame-pedaling still sells. And all too often it's at the expense of transpeople in general. Whatever, take it for what you think it's worth, half of you will consider it TLDR fodder anyhow; I needed to get this off my chest.

Have you seen his new show, 'Baggage'? It's a smutty, perverted version of 'The Dating Game'. A courtesan is presented, followed by 3 suitors. Instead of cute smarmy questions, the vehicle is 3 of each person's dirty secrets. In a cheesy rip-off of 'Deal Or No Deal', each suitor stands next to 3 suitcases of increasing size, each containing increasingly lurid examples of each suitors' ugliest, most embarrassing secrets. Through the course of events they each open from the smallest to the largest case, and the courtesan gets to pick the suitor with the lesser of the evils they have exposed about themselves. Eventually the process of elimination means the least despicable candidate gets a chance to decide which of 3 appropriately lurid details, one of which actually applies to the courtesan, that they couldn't live with. The courtesan eventually must come clean as to whether the detail the suitor picked applies to them or not.

As an aside, I don't watch television at home myself. I'll grant that my general lousy attitude towards television fare generously colors this note. Jerry Springer is IMO the poster child for what is worst about television. Whatever, I sacrificed 20 years of my life helping protect everyone's freedom to make asses of themselves on public television, or to marinade their brain cells in this sewage. I'm generally equally free to disregard it.

I unfortunately find myself a captive audience to television from time to time. To be honest, I try to enjoy it for what it is as a guilty pleasure; secure in the knowledge I can just go home and take a shower afterwards. In this case I was at a local nail salon with a Hawaiian Princess, who had offered a starving computer geek a free fill on her acrylics. We were in company with 5-6 other women there enjoying light banter over our pedicures and nail treatments. When Jerry came on I was interested in whether or not a new show might mean he was getting away from his typical offering of raw slime shakes. No such luck.

On this show, our courtesan was a woman being wooed by 3 male suitors. Round One had our suitors open their suitcases to expose their first dirty secret. Mr. A admitted he was bad in bed. Mr. B admitted he had slept with Anna Nicole Smith. Mr. C admitted he has never driven a car. Ohh, but yes, he does have a day pass for the bus.

From these revelations, one could make any number of suppositions about the men themselves. Nonetheless, accompanied by Jerry's snide comments at her side, our courtesan was then required to choose amongst the 3 and eliminate one; all without any input from the suitors. I got the impression that the show's structure is such that the suitors are required to submit a large roster of their faults, and they have no input on which ones the show uses. Mr. A was her choice as the worst of the 3 evils and he was removed from the show; not without a chance to further embarrass himself backstage with some justification for his shortcoming.

Mr. B and Mr. C were left, and they each had their opportunity to explain their 'faults' from Round One. Why was Mr. B's admission a fault? Was it even true, or just a brag? Who knows, on to Round Two! Havin' fun yet?

Mr. C's next admission was that he had chronic halitosis. Mr. B revealed that he was $500,000 in debt. In this round, the suitors then had a chance to sit together with the courtesan (and Jerry, of course), and explain their faults, as well as declare why it was that their courtesan should choose them over their competitor. Ensuing competitive posturing and banter between the suitors. Yadda, yadda.

Now before Round Three we get the chance to hear 3 juicy revelations, one of which applies to the courtesan. She gets three suitcases to represent them too, all shiny lacquered red vice the stainless ones the suitors got.

So far, the show fit's in with the mold of daytime tripe with people exposing embarrassing things about themselves, of varying severity. It's what drives these shows and provides the entertainment for those who watch it. Whether it's what I want to watch or not is irrelevant. The people exposing sordid details about themselves generally harm no one but themselves, and I'll assume they get paid a sufficient amount to justify it for themselves. If it had been my television, the channel would have been changed the moment Jerry showed his true colors. And ya know, if you watch these shows yourself, I'll apologize for my tone so far, maybe what happened next will tell you why I really wish you didn't support this stuff. At any rate, I didn't say anything about the show and I joined in with the rest of the ladies there, making jokes about the whole thing.

Ready or not, here comes round 3; the supposed worst thing these men want to reveal about themselves. Mr. C now admits that he has 3 children from (his description) two unwed baby mommies. It's your best guess how they get to soccer practice, apparently he doesn't take them.

Mr. B (of course they saved him til last) now admits that his worst secret is that he dated a transsexual for two months.

So much for Jerry somehow reclaiming some shred of human decency for himself. Ensuing gasps from the crowd, the typical questions; "Did you know"? "Were you intimate"? All accompanied by Jerry's smug looks as he gleefully spread what was obviously supposed to be filthy across everybody's bread.

I pretty much zoned out and collapsed inside myself, unable to speak or respond. As I tuned out any of the rest of the show, all I was left that I could hear was a dull roar in my head. I looked around at the other ladies in the salon and saw their mouths forming words soundlessly. What if it was you lady, 50 pounds overweight? Or you, young Latina woman? How about you, Ms. Octogenarian?

I concentrated on looking down at my hands, far too masculine for my own taste; reminders of why who I am should be somebody's worst secret because they showed interest in me. And why that shame should be perfectly obvious to everyone in the national television audience. But there the salon person was, filing and trimming them anyway; oblivious to the torment in my head.

When the roaring subsided, I calmly and politely asked my manicurist to please change the channel. Apparently no one in the shop realized it was my request when they finally did change it, a few of them wondered out loud why they changed the channel before they had the chance to catch the exciting final bit of sewage. I spoke up then and stated; "He panders in people's shame and I can't stand to watch the man any longer".

I don't know how to feel about myself in the matter. Proud to have kept some grace and made my point without causing a scene? Or embarrassed because I couldn't pull it together enough to loudly proclaim I'm a transwoman and I'm tired of this man trying to tell people I should be ashamed of who I am?

Some people look at me weird when they learn I don't watch television.

Friday, July 31, 2009

My pool (or Friends, Love, and Life)

When you come to my pool, I'm just happy you are here. You won't find that I ask much more of you than your company and kindness. I like you just as you are, please feel free to be yourself.

When people leave my pool, even if it's to go be in someone else's pool; it doesn't bother me. You don't take anything from my pool but the experience, and having shared the experience I lose nothing.

Yeah ok, people actually take some of what's in the pool with you when you go. I hope it lasts and keeps you feeling good. I hope you'll come back for more. I'll never forget you were here, and I'll treasure the experience. But more of what my pool needs always comes back. I think the people I know in heaven send it; as it seems to fall from the skies like rain.

My pool is big. Really big! Some people can get in my pool from England.

My pool has a deep end and a shallow end. Some people stay in the shallow end, but we still have a lot of fun.

Some people sit at the edge and that's really great too. Some cannot have the chemicals from the pool on them right now, some are afraid of the water. I don't see them as much, but I'm still glad they are there.

I know I have a nice pool. But I'm still just as insecure as anyone so I'm not always sure anyone wants to enjoy it. I really don't like being alone in my pool though sometimes it's dirty and I need to be alone to clean it; but I know it's safe and somebody will come eventually.

When I need help with my pool, I will be the first to ask you. Help being pushed upon me without my asking isn't help, you are butting in uninvited. I'm working on it, but I'm not often nice about this.

I don't know how deep my pool is. No one has reached bottom yet.

There are lot's of things we can do in my pool. Most everyone can swim, but some of you just like to be there and not do anything. That's cool.

Some people want to be the only person in my pool. It makes me very sad that they feel they have to leave when someone else comes in, but they will be welcome back when they know they can share. There are some people who I cry about because they may never learn this and I won't see them again. It sure was nice when they were here……

Sometimes it's really hot and I swim naked. I like playing then too, with as many as care to do so. As long as you are clean, I don't care too much what you look like or what you wear. If everyone is having fun and nobody is getting hurt, whether it's volleyball or playing catch; it's all good. Just don't get mad because I play on both teams. Sometimes we need special equipment. Sometimes I can just referee or take pictures!

I'd like to find somebody who can live with all of the above and still want to stay in my pool and get pruney with me. I'll do my best to adore you.

Every pool has them. I wish I didn't need any.

1. Don't lie. Ever. Lying by omission is still lying.
2. It's perfectly okay if you play in other's pools, I will. Just stay clean. See #1.
3. If you are married and want to play alone in my pool with me, please tell me you are married; I will want to SEE you both before we do. No notes from mommy. See #1.
4. Be nice, don't be mean or nasty and pee in my pool. I know accidents happen though. The third time is no accident.
5. Please respect my pool and all the 'things' around it. I worked hard for them and I like to keep them nice.
6. Don't try to change my pool. Kindly put suggestions or insights are always appreciated though.
7. Don't try to own my pool. It's being open is part of it's beauty. If you can appreciate that, it will always be open to you.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The night I saw sound.

Some of us on FB were speaking about lightning bugs, and it made me think of something else pretty wondrous I've seen I thought I'd share.

I've deduced that the conditions required for this are pretty rare, related to things like the time of year, time of day, the lack of a moon, and thermal gradients in the ocean. I only saw it once, and in 20 years I never heard of another sonar person relating this either.

One night underway in the Indian Ocean as lead sonar technician on watch, I was conducting testing and maintenance on our very high powered sonar. We were actively pinging at full blast into the water and there's something in the order of 300 kilowatts of sound energy being pumped out with every series of pings. These are sent out first as three sequential directed pings of 30 degrees each, left center and right to cover 90 degrees. These are followed by a single 360 degree ping.

At some point I was called to the bridge by the OOD (Officer of the Deck). Once I reported to him, he asked me to look out in front of the ship and tell him what I made of what was going on. It took a few moments for my eyes to finish acclimating to the utterly black night, but I'll never forget what I saw.

Out in the water, like Neptune himself with a huge flashlight; our sonar pings were lighting up the ocean! 3 bright sequential flashes, blue-greenish and perfectly in synch with our pings, each lighting up the water in beams; followed by one dimmer 360 degree flash in synch with the last ping. While I was astounded, I immediately and almost nonchalantly deduced the cause and relayed same to the OOD; can you guess what it was?

After talking to the OOD, I went down to the sonar shack and directed the maintenance team to take a break and meet me on the ships bow, leaving the sonar engaged. Although they are typically our nemesis on a ship, I had friends in engineering so I also called down to the plant and let them know they needed to come see this. Each department's watch team took turns to allow the operators a turn on deck, though I don't think everyone got a chance to see before the phenomenon ended.

Some of us tried to take pictures, but cameras failed to capture it at all. Apparently meant to only be kept in our minds, I think Goddess was trying to show us the wonders she could let us share with our technology were no match for her own.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Ballad of Trannie Chicken

Why can't you just be
The rooster we deem?
Oh what will you do, what can you be?
None knows the hen that you are
'Cuz even with eyes, nobody see's

From a dusty little coop
In the sands of the Mohave
Came a chicken with a heart
And a comb you could see
Still this hen she called herself Marie


Her hatching a mystery, comb heavy to bear
This pullet's heart had told her
A rooster wasn't what she'd be
Then from the miracle of the internet
She heard of chicken GID!


This hen had found online
Pure chicken friends to be
Then she got the scoop
And flew the coop to Tucson
For a conference called IFGE


Lori, Tiana, Nichole and Marie
We laughed and we cried
Each for ourselves, and for the three
Forged a friendship to last
We all know now as the chickens-T


The roosters are gone
For these chickens and me
Our true selves as hens
Is all most anyone sees
I'm proud of them all, and they of me
Though flung far and wide
True T-chicken friends we'll always be.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Scoobie doobie

A woman decides she wants larger breasts, so she goes to see her physician, Doctor Paul.

He tells her, "Every morning when you are in the shower, massage your breasts and say "Scoobie, doobie, doobies; I want bigger boobies!"

She doesn't really believe this will work but she religiously follows his advice, and sure enough, in a few months she has a beautiful pair of 'D' cups!

One day, she's late for work and skips her shower to catch the bus. On the bus, she realizes she's missed her morning ritual! Not wanting anything to happen to her lovely chest, standing right there on the bus she says out loud to herself, "Scoobie, doobie, doobies; I want bigger boobies!"

A man sitting close by hears her and asks, "I couldn't help overhearing you, are you perhaps a patient of Dr. Pauls"?

She says, "Why yes I am, how did you know"?

With a knowing wink he replies, "Hickory, dickory, dock...."