THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT

From the comments I see regarding this Blog, I have a nice representations of readers from both the Gender-Variant community and also my Sis-friends and acquaintances. All are welcome.

This one features some odds and ends –

Did you know that there is a fair size chunk of people (that’s a scientific term) that would deny Trans* people the simple right to use the bathroom? Yep…in 2014 that’s still an issue.

I came across an app on my I-Phone called “Pee in Peace.” It shows you on a map where a gender neutral or single stall bathroom is that is safe for you to use. (“Safe” being a relative term) Sadly – it’s only effective if you live in or near Ithaca, New York. So, me, being in Dallas – well that’s a bit of a hike, I don’t think I can hold it that long.

On one hand, what a cool app! There are many Trans* people who will just hold it until they get home rather than use a public restroom, so this app is a big help.

On the other hand – ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Why is something like this even necessary?? Isn’t taking a leak or growing a tail something that might fall under “Basic Human Rights?” Right up there with other body functions like, oh, I don’t know….BREATHING?

The right wing opposition to AB 1266 in California failed to get sufficient signatures on the ballot to repeal the “School Success and Opportunity Act” which permits Gender Non Conforming students to use the bathroom appropriate for their gender presentation. The opposition predicted a veritable wild-west litany of bad bathroom behavior from the free-for-all created by this bill. To date – the number of problems from actual students in bathrooms related to this bill: Zero.

It’s mildly frustrating to consistently see issues important to the Transgender community buried or ignored while same-sex marriage is front and center. That also is an important issue – but we’ve had our hand up for a while now – can we just use the bathroom?

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Speaking of the issue of marriage equality, it’s nice to see Judge Garcia in the 5th District strike down Texas’s constitutional ban on same sex marriage. Texas AG and candidate for Governor, Greg Abbott has vowed to take this to the US Supreme Court – so strongly does he wish for people he doesn’t know to not be able to get married thus not affecting his or my life one iota.

Like I said, I’m all for it – but it is just another example of the LGB……………(t) train leaving the little “t” at the station.

While marriage gets the front page news, Abbot & Rick Perry are fighting in court for a “once a male always a male” law. If successful, it would un-do the transition (in a legal sense) of every transgender person in the state and make it impossible for us to be identified in legal documents as the gender we identify with.  This is chilling. Anyone outside of the Trans* community heard about this?

#Crickets

LGB issues are not Trans* issues.

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There is a Lea Michele song called “If You Say So” it’s a sad song about it being 7 whole days since her last embrace – I know that feeling. It’s been 14 months since my ex left. I have good days and bad – am I completely over it? Nope.

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I had lunch with a girlfriend and we were talking about stuff that has changed – not the obvious – but some of the more subtle things like having doors opened for me (which is nice), I am now prepared for it thus avoiding the awkwardness. Also, when I leave a place to go to my car I ALWAYS have my keys in my hands and if it’s at night (and I’m alone) I try and get someone to walk me to my car.

Not so much paranoid as just careful. Things are different.

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Funny story – a couple of years before I actually said the words and finally began living my life as Leslie –  I was a radio program director in Northern California working for CBS and living in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I had been painting my nails for some time but if someone asked what was up, I kind of shrugged it off. I chopped wood and did guy stuff but still got ribbed by my neighbors that had likely never even heard the word “Transgender.” (It was a VERY “RED” neighborhood)

My wife and I were at the home of a friend of hers and I was offered a cup of coffee. I said “Thanks, I’d love one.” She pulled a cup from the cupboard and handed it to me. It was a Disney mug featuring “Tinkerbell” (My very favorite!!!) I said “Oooh Tinkerbell!!” and everyone laughed. She offered me a different cup and I said “No, I like this one.”

From that day on – though they had no idea of the changes to come, they teased me about “Tinkerbell.” I didn’t mind a bit.

Image

I actually went to the Disney Store and bought my own Tinkerbell mug. It’s one of my favorites.

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Great news out of Washington, DC – Healthcare providers in the District must provide care for Transgender individuals diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria! This is wonderful news and a step in the right direction. It will be a great day when it spreads outside isolated areas to the general market. Everyone should be able to participate in healthcare. (Too many providers specifically EXCLUDE Transgender care)

5 states currently mandate coverage for Transgender care: California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont and Connecticut.

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Maryland’s Senate is set to vote on a state version of “ENDA” for Transgender people. Yay for them! It’s shame the National ENDA while having passed by the Senate is being held up in the House by the Speaker. That is disgraceful.

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Finally – we need to find a more accurate term than “Homophobia” or “Transphobia.” I frankly don’t believe people who mean us harm are necessarily afraid of us. I don’t think my presence in a sundress and low heels strikes fear into anyone – but what is it?

Years ago on a radio morning show, we came up with a term that I think better describes what drives much of the discrimination – it was:

“Homo-ME-Phobia” which is the fear that by talking with, accepting, or otherwise approving someone who is homosexual that your friends would think that YOU are homosexual.

Thoughts? Comments? Angry letters? Offers of employment? Please feel free to avail yourself of the comment section and thanks for reading.

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5 Responses to THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT

  1. Barbara says:

    Obviously I don’t know how it feels being in your shoes (no doubt they are fabulous), But through your writings I can appreciate your difficulties dealing with one of nature’s little tricks. I feel your heart in your words. Your words also make me laugh my a** off. Any company that will not hire you because of who you are……does not deserve you.

  2. chrissyholm says:

    When I was “part time” I used the men’s room at a rest stop in FL and was it ever hilarious. I was presenting as androgynous with hair a bit longer than a typical male hair cut, a back pack style shoulder bag and long bell bottom jeans to disguise my 4″ chunky heels. As I exited I caught a glimpse of a man about to enter the men’s room and he stopped when he saw where I came from, backed up a few steps to re-read the sign and then he decided that he wasn’t about to enter the ladies’ room after all. Very funny then and still is now and I wish I had it on video. When I first started going “out” I quickly learned where the family and single stall restrooms were. However, with numerous comments I received from people saying they thought I was a GG and also the “invisibility” I experienced in the ladies’ room, I quit worrying having another woman screaming at the top of her lungs “There’s a pervert in the bathroom” or about being arrested for performing a bodily function. I would now be much more afraid of a negative experience if I were forced to use the men’s room even if I could manage to get the nerve to be in BRAB (Dressed As A Boy for those of you who haven’t heard the term).

  3. Michelle says:

    Leslie, I love reading your blog and it brings me strength. Thank you.

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