Look around you.

Yee-haw! I live in cowboy kuntry, gun tott'n, right wing Texas. A place where everything is 'all good' as long as you are a straight white male. That's what most people think about Texas.

I understand this prejudice. Where I grew up there was a sign across the main road into town that read 'Welcome to Greenville, the Blackest Land, the Whitest People'. When I went to school, there were no gays, their existence was vehemently denied. Women were housewives, not police officers or firemen. Nurses, not Doctors. We had Hispanics, but you rarely saw them in public spaces.

Last night my wife, daughter, son-in-law and I went to a local English pub style bar. A popular night spot, it was full. I have been going here for years, a few months ago I introduced them to my female self. I'm always treated like gold and last night was no exception.

  Midway through the evening I took a long look around the room. There was at least one guy in a cowboy hat, a lesbian couple, a large hispanic family, an interracial couple, two tables of gay men, several mid-twenty girls dancing by the bar, and scattered couples of various ages.

So how had I gotten here? Star Trek transporter? Tear in the time space continuum? No, I was still in Texas, it's just that Texas is not THAT Texas anymore. At least not in cities like DFW or Austin.

Every day, small changes in society happen. Small enough we rarely notice. But when you go back and compare then to now, well Wow! Society has changed tremendously since I was a child, and I'm grateful.

Source: http://


 'You need an attitude adjustment, young man!' That's what my dad would say to me growing up.

At the time, I never really understood what he meant, now I do.

Fear of being exposed is something that every transgender experiences at some point. First we are scared of anybody finding out. we are afraid of what they will think of us. I think we don't yet know what to think of ourselves.

When I started going it was scary. I was still afraid of what people thought.

The first time I went through a fast food drive-through it was terrifying. First time to a store I almost turned around and left before entering.

But time passed, and so did my fear.

Today I went to the hospital for a X-ray. The admissions clerk looked at my paperwork, looked up at me and aid 'oh!' (All my legal docs are in my male name)

She was sweet and obviously a bit curious, so I offered to answer any questions. She was really happy and asked away.

Next I sat in the waiting room, waiting to be called in. Soon I see a technician, looking at her chart and scanning the waiting room. When I made eye contact, she mouthed my male name with a questioning look. I followed her and got the X-ray. She was pleasant and chatty.

Upon leaving the hospital, the admissions clerk, stood up and leaned out of her cubical and shouted 'Goodbye Jess!' , big smile on her face.

It's not these people that needed an attitude adjustment, I was me.

I the past, I would have been afraid of what they would think of me.

Now I view every encounter as just plain fun. I love the reactions I get and look forward to them.


There has been a lot of Caitlyn bashing of late. 

When she appeared at the Chicago House Speaker Series luncheon for the Chicago House, she was met by a group of angry protesters. The husband of slain police office returned her posthumous ‘Woman of the Year Award’ from Glamor magazine, because they awarded this year to Caitlyn. Rose McGowan has written and angry letter to her, saying she does not know what it’s like to be a woman.

First an Olympic hero, next the brow beaten husband of a reality show, then brave and courageous human, coming out as trans on national TV. Then she was the vivacious pinup cover of Vanity Fare, and star of her own reality show. Nowshe is the subject of public backlash.

Let’s look at this new turn of events. 

What were the protesters angry about? Caitlyn was not representative of Transgender people, she has too much money and her life is too easy. How about the Husband? He did not think Caitlyn was woman enough and tainted the award. And Rose McGowan, again Caitlyn is not woman enough for her definition.

So, according to the angry public at large, Caitlyn is both not trans enough and not woman enough. I have to ask what they want, for her to transition back and apologize for the whole thing?

Let’s start with the protesting trans. I’m sorry ladies, but your economic status is not a prerequisite to being transgender. I have trans friends that are poor, and have suffered. This is certainly a bad thing. I lead a comfortable life, does that preclude me from my feelings? Do I make too much money to be trans? Does my lack of suffering negate my lifelong desires? You are imposing an impossible set of standards and to be honest, just sound jealous. Get over it! Transgender is a non-discriminating condition. Anyone of any economic, religious or ethnic background can be trans. Stop the reverse discrimination, all of your lives would be worse without Caitlyn. She has dragged the public kicking and screaming into realization that we exist. And I am grateful.

James Smith, really? Glamor giving this award to Caitlyn has somehow changed the heroism of your wife? Did it change what she did on 9/11? Are you to judge the value of her honor on your opinion of every recipient in perpetuity? If next year it is awarded to someone you approve of, will you ask for it back? Your wife was a hero, you seem to be the kid that takes his ball home when things don’t go his way.

Finally Rose. Oh Rose, how I used to admire you. You were always my favorite in anything you appeared. But Really, Caitlyn does not know what it is like to be a woman? Of course not, but you have no idea what it’s like to be trans. To always look at women and wonder what the hell went wrong that stuck you on the wrong side of the gender fence. Watching others wear the things you longed to wear, doing the things you wanted to do. I would venture a guess that Caitlyn has spend far more time in her life contemplating what it means to be a woman than you ever have. She dreamed about all the things that you take for granted. 

Does Caitlyn have her flaws? Absolutely. 

'Let they without sin, be the first to cast stones. '

When is transgender not transgender?

Old news by now, I have always felt different, me and (at latest estimate) 1.35 million others in the United States alone.  knowing why I felt different was scary, but not life shattering. What bothered me the most was not my wanting to be female. It was not wanting to only be female.

Everything I read kept telling me that people like me were 'women trapped in a mans body' or the reverse if born with female genitals. The stories told of others, dying to become the opposite gender. They could barley stand to remain in the gender they were in. 

This actually made me feel more inadequate than feeling transgender. I could not even get a mental disorder right. I wanted the female gender, but I could not convince myself that I wanted to give up the male. I felt isolated, not really living in the non-trans world, not not really good enough for the trans world.

Now that transgender has sprung into the limelight, there are a few new voices in the noise. Voices that I recconigse, voices that sound like mine. Trans people, not happy with the binary definitions of the majority (the trans majority,the majority of a minority!)

We may be few, or many, but we are starting to be heard. We were never upset that we were not the opposite gender, we were upset because we had to be any single gender all the time. 

There is a time to wear fishing waders and a time for dress shoes, for me there is a time to be male and a time to be female. And I'm so glad to know that I'm not alone. 


15 minutes of fame

Yesterday was spent with my wonderful daughters, shopping and getting our nails done. The sales person at the jewelry store was pleasant and helpful. A team of smiling attendants cared for us at the spa. It was a wonderful experience and my toes have never looked better. We were joined by a friend for dinner and drinks and went to a restaurant where we are well known and always treated like royalty.

 I have come to expect excellent treatment when shopping or dining and  have yet to be disappointed. These are businesses, they are there to sell, and being nice to the customer is good for sales. 

After dinner one daughter and the friend decided to hit some night spots, they invited me to join. A fifty-something trans and two beautiful girls in their twenties out on the town. Quite a juxtaposition from my perspective.

We went to a couple of their favorite bars, which were not in an LGBT friendly neighborhood. The patrons of these bars were not used to seeing someone like me.

The mood of the crowd was positive, and I assumed the attention was due to the very pretty girls accompanying me. But people were taking an interest in me, directly, and in a good way.

These were not people wanting to sell us anything, nor was it the LGBT crowd. They were the average general public, and I had caught their eye.

Current media attention is focusing on the transgendered, stimulated by Bruce Jenner's very public announcement. I keep seeing the word 'trendy' appear when describing transgenders.

That was the difference last night, I was trendy. People have been reading about transgender and here was one in person. Like a designer purse, or expensive shoes, I was the trendy accessory of these two lovely young women. It was quite nice.

These things never last long, the public has a short attention span, so go out and enjoy your fame while it lasts.




How to treat a Lady

I heard from a friend about a campaign in her company to promote the treatment of their female employees. It's called 'He for She'. The company is looking to increase the ratio of female to male workers in managerial roles. 

Apparently it's based on HeforShe.org, self titled 'A Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality'. The company thinks it's stimulating their male managers to think of women as management material.

They have failed before they begin. 'He for She' is insulting, sending the message that men have to go out of their way to be accommodating to females. The implication is that the women need to be given a helping hand. What they need is simply not to be suppressed. They need to be treated as equals, not someone in need of a handout.

Men in general, and there are exceptions, tend to think of themselves as the top of the food chain. They are certain that without them, the world would stop turning. Giving them catch phrases like 'He for She' just reinforces their feelings of superiority. Since there is no need for a 'She for He' movement, men must be superior already.

When you treat anyone differently than you would treat yourself, you have failed. There should be no difference in how you speak to or about, a natural male, natural female, a transgender, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual... the list goes on. We as humans should consider only one thing in determining how to respect someone else: Are they human? Nothing else maters

What about trans people? We want to be treated as equals. When people label us, make special rules for us, create special bathrooms for us, etc.,  we are second-class citizens, or worse!


There is no 'I' in weekend

My wife and I went to the movies Saturday afternoon. Weekends are usually Jess time, so we were a pair of ladies.

In public I'm conscious of people’s reactions and saw no one paying particular attention to me. 

After the movie I noticed my wife was uncomfortable. She said she was apprehensive of the public's perception of us. She felt that many eyes were on her.

Experience has taught me that the general public is concerned mostly with themselves. There always will be a few that do notice, and I have learned how to deal with it.

I have only been concerned with reactions to me, but my wife is also breaking the normal gender rules. Being out with me, she appears lesbian, as we are obviously a couple. I never thought to ask if she was comfortable with this perception.

I have a long time friend who is hesitant to do anything in public with Jess, but at his home it’s just fine. I should have realized that he is worried about peoples perception of him.  I have just assumed that all attention, good or bad, would be on me. 

As transgenders, we think of ourselves and how we can get along in the world. When it comes to our family and friends, we seek their approval, but do we ever consider the position it places them?  By being who we are, we add our issues to their lives. 

We don’t travel in a bubble, our presence has an effect on everyone around us, Let’s try and be conscious of that fact.


Earlier I wrote a piece called ' Who's story is it anyway?'

I was upset by the portrayal of transgenders in the media. I was apprehensive of the (at the time) upcoming Bruce Jenner interview.

Fast forward to now and things are a bit better. ABC treated Bruce fairly, so you would think we were off to a good start. But media coverage, while increasing, has not changed it's stereotypical coverage. Today I read an op-ed in 'The Advocate.com' by Brynn Tannehill covering the same issues. His piece is well written and to the point.  

Here is a clip from it that really gets to the problem:

In short, people want what they expect, including transgender stereotypes. They want the clichés and the tearful stories. They want transgender people to expose the most intimate details of their lives for the supposed "education" of others. They want all the stuff that trans folks are so familiar with talking about in media that we've created a "transgender documentary drinking game," where you take a shot every time an interview features footage of a trans woman poignantly painting her face with makeup, pulling stockings up her legs, trying on high heels, or uncomfortably reflecting on the infamous "before" and "after" diptych. 

'The media is a business, and just like any other business it is about making money," Allyson Robinson rightly explained in a recent op-ed explaining why networks give cisgender [nontrans] audiences what they want in trans stories. "It has to show pictures of a trans woman putting on mascara or doing the laundry in a skirt and heels or dramatic 'before and after' shots, because society's desire to leer at those things is what gets eyeballs on the screen.' "

It's really the same old story of humanity. People want what they want, and there is always someone to give it to them, especially if a profit is to be made.

What can we do about this? Resist, of course, don't give them what they want. Present a strong, self-confident and non-threatening image. It's going to take a while to sink in, but eventually it will.

I read that the women's rights movement has been ongoing for over 150 years, lets hope we don't have to wait that long.