Friday, October 1, 2010

The first morning...

It was an education last night trying to be comfortable and sleep. I am using my new Big Agnus Lost Ranger sleeping bag. I bought it because it was supposed to be more roomy for a big person like me and give me the coverage and still allow me to sleep on my side. I figured it out and did ok. Should use my regular pillow though. My right shoulder got all achy during the night. I am not sure if that's because of the cold or the work I'd been doing with it or it just decided to be a pain. I need to get some ibuprofen before tonight.

When I got out of the sack [literally] this morning it was COLD! Going to the outhouse, Xena came with me. I was standing outside waiting with some of the school kids to use a toilet, and Xena did fher number one. I remarked, "It must be nice to not need a toilet to relieve yourself." I was really envying her. I hate doing the, "I've got to pee! I've got to pee!' dance.

The kids are packing up and heading out today so I will probably move my campsite to one of the ones vacated by the school. I am going into town to catch a breakfast and see if I can find some wifi. [which I obviously did]

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The drive...

It's a long drive to Winthrop! And for someone trying to keep an eye open for things to take pictures of, going up through the mountains on US20 is an exciting, as in life-threatening, experience. The very scenic road twists and turns and presents all manner of beautiful opportunities to drive off the edge of the mountains! Obviously I didn't do that but I also didn't get any pictures either. There were some places I thought I might stop at on the way back. It also didn't help that I was not sure when I would be able to set up camp and I wanted to do it before sundown. And as my son knows,"It gets dark in the mountains real quick."

I checked out the campground at Early Winters. It was very disappointing. Only 20 or 30 yards from the highway and really sparse. I went back up the highway and went to the Klipchuk campground. Much quieter and suits my tastes better. There is a middle/high school group here on a trip. It will be kinda nice to not be totally alone in the campground. Odd how that makes a difference now that I'm out as a woman :-/ .
Xena was her champ best on the drive. And she wasn't too much of a "help" when I was trying to get the tent set up. The kids all love her when I take her around the campgrounds. And, as usual, she loves them all right back!

Getaway Day

I have told anyone with ears that I was going to get back into camping. I have spent a fair chunk of change and tons of time trying to be prepared to leave on a whim. I am not leaving on a whim. and I'm not going to be getting onto the road as soon as I had dreamed. I have a few things to take care of this morning before I can leave. Not the least of which is laundry. But I have thought things out reasonably well and I am comfortable with my planning.

I am planning to drive over the North Cascades Highway [US20] and camp somewhere in the Methow [MET-how] valley up stream from Winthrop, Washington. If Early Winters is still open? that will be my first choice of campgrounds. Wherever I end up, I will go into Winthrop and contact my friends so that they know where I am for their own peace of mind and know where to start looking if I don't contact them.
I plan to do some fall photography and the valley will probably be better for that than up toward the pass. But I will be taking pictures everywhere. I am hoping that I can get some fishing done, too, but that is a secondary goal. [somehow the concept of "goal" seems blasphemous for the kind of trip I have in mind.]

Monday, September 20, 2010

This place I have come to ...

I have been aware of wanting to be a girl most of my life.  And most of my life I believed wanting to be a girl was a bad thing. So for most of my life I have wanted Poppa to take me home.  I have asked Him and pleaded with Him that if it was not His will and His plan to cure me, to take away this need to be a girl, couldn’t He please, Please, PLEASE?!? take me home?  I didn’t want to deal with the shame.  I didn’t want the ones I love to deal with my perverted, unclean needs.  I wanted to go Home!  Now!
I was never actively suicidal. I wanted Poppa to call me home.
I was subtly suicidal, though.  Like many people who have suffered chronic pain, particularly emotional pain, I found a way to numb myself.  But my self-medicating was slowly killing me emotionally and spiritually.  And I didn’t hate what I was doing enough to stop.  I was dying by my own hands.  I would tell myself I only had to live as long as my mom did [She died at 63] or I only had to make it to 70 [Because Jesus said that it was good for man to live 3 score and ten years.]  And those dates could not come soon enough.
A year ago, I came to a lonely and terrible place where I had to tell those I love [And I do still love them all … dearly!] that I had to live a different life; I could not continue to live trying to be someone I was not.
It has been, and still is and always will be, a process, a journey to try to live a life true to who I am.  And in this last year, I have still asked Poppa to take me home.  But it is not constant and is happening less and less frequently.  What I have found is I no longer think of how long must I wait to be “three score and ten.”  I no longer count the years to the age my mom died at.
For the first time in my life, I am not in a hurry to die.

Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah

My cousin sent me a link to an Italian "Free Hugs" video on youtube today.  It made me cry.  Alot.  And the music, the song, Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, moved me hard.  I looked it up again and listened to k.d.langs version.  I cried a good deal more.  I looked up the lyrics so I got it right .  I read someone's comments somewhere that Bon Jovi's version was their favorite, so I went there, too.  While I was listening and crying to Bon Jovi, I read these lyrics and my ex-wife came to mind.  And then the rivers flowed from my eyes.

And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I wasn't very truthful about my gender and there were a lot of lies from there.  But I always told the truth about loving her.  And when I stand before my Poppa, there will be nothing on my tongue for her but Halleluja.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Defending God's Calling

As a parent with grown children that choose not to tell me even rudiments of what is going on with their lives, I read their blogs. My son is a poet while studying to be a pastor. He posts his poetry frequently on his poetry blog. His poetry and his blog don't really tell me much of what's going in his head or heart. He will answer email I send him, but it's standard male one-word grunt-speak. That's ok. I used to be fluent in male one-word grunt-speak. Fluency fades quickly if you don't use the language much. Thank God for small miracles :-).

My daughter, my beloved daughter... My daughter does not email with me and only rarely talks to me on the phone because she wants, "to hear my Dad's voice." So read her blog and the churches website to glean what little I can about what is going on in her life.

My daughter is called by God to be a pastor, and called to be a church planter. In 2000, she began college as a Theology major at a local Christian University. From the beginning, she has had to answer the question of what she, as a woman, thought she was doing on a Divinity path. She graduated in Theology, very near the top of her class. She went to a conservative Christian graduate school in Boston to get her Masters of Divinity. She was not well treated there. She left early with a Masters in Christian Education. She finally received her MDiv, but not without challenges to her calling.

About 2 years ago, she was called by a denomination to plant a church. It took some time and a great deal of effort and God's own support, but her little congregation is beginning to fly with wings of angels. Thinking of how Poppa has blessed her ... somehow my darn glasses have gotten wet and I can't see my keyboard. Must be the rain... Anyway, the little church God has given her to shepherd makes an impact all out of proportion to the size of the congregation.

She is new to the denomination which has called her. She is taking advantage of some classes in this denomination's Theology. The other day the question posed to the students was, basically, "How do you address the protest of people in the congregation who believe that women cannot be spiritual leaders." Her initial response to the question is that it needs to be asked, but her heart, I can feel it being twisted and wrung dry, is just breaking that she has to write the same paper she has been writing for 10 years. She laments,

"how deeply i long to never again defend the calling God has placed on my life...and how deeply i know this probably will never end.

i will be writing the same paper as long as God continues to call me to this life."

My heart just breaks for her.

As I thought about her writings, the parallel between my beloved daughter having to defend the Calling on her life to be a woman and a pastor and the Father creating me to be transgender and called to be His servant to the people of His flock. Jesus, the One Who Loves Me, responds to the questions of sin in the life of the man born blind [or born transgender] in John 9:3, Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.(ESV)" I pray that Poppa uses me for His Glory. Like my daughter, I know I will be defending God's calling on my life to be transgender and to be a part of His loving arms reaching out to the ones he loves.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Of what use is it to line all your ducks up into a nice neat row meeting all *available* information about what ducks you need and how they are to be presented, when there's a document that says one of your ducks needs to be thus and so and you've never seen or heard of it???

I took pains to make certain that my name and gender change documents for my birth certificate were appropriate and correct. This includes a letter from my Doctor saying I'm receiving "appropriate
*medical* care." And this bureaucrat says her guidelines [which I could NOT google or bing anything about even from her own website] require the letter state "appropriate *clinical* care."

Now, from the online Merriam-Webster definitions of clinical and medical, I read them as implying medical is a higher form of care because it implies a doctor is involved where as clinical is only something done at a clinic and doesn't require a doctor.

I'm not happy!

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Sword for the Lord

A Sword for the Lord's Truth
Is forged, strengthened in fire and
Sharpened over time
How do I be a
Sword of Love?
In Love I am to fight the Enemy
And in Love I am to cut the chains
Of Hate and Untruth

Monday, January 18, 2010

To be an activist

A couple weeks ago at group [this has been percolating for a while in what passes for my thot processes] we got on the subject of demonstrations and, peripherally, activism. I had to put my 2 cents [tho with inflation it might be worth less or even worthless] in on the topic. In responding, I realized I had to be careful how I expressed myself because I was making my first ever statement claiming to be an Activist and I knew at the time I am going to be responsible for my words.

Before, I supported the civil rights of all people and conservation. Skin color, religious practice, sexual orientation, or gender presentation. Well, I gotta be honest, I have discriminated against New York Yankee fans. Or maybe it's just the Steinbrenners. I will also confess to gritting my teeth while muttering, "Christian Right Republicans have civil rights, too." And while I always voted my beliefs, that was the extent my support. I never called, wrote, emailed any of my elected officials. I have not written any "letters to the editor," or called a radio talk show to make my support or opinions clear. I have only reacted to statements of discrimination in conversations around me. I have never been particularly proactive or even active in civil rights or conservation issues.

Since I started to live a more authentic life last summer, I have been physically and emotionally involved in the Equality March in Seattle and the Transgender Remember Our Dead event at the University of Washington. In those cases, I was a part of a group that was making a civil rights statement. I was an activist, but I wouldn't say I was conscious in my everyday life of being active in statements about civil rights or ecological issues.

That Wednesday night, I found myself making a statement of my manner of carrying into action the activism I am called to. And I know I am called. It starts with being as "out" as I can be. I am not in your face, but I will not hide. I shall live my life as honestly and as openly, as authentically as I can. I will answer all serious questions and many rhetorical questions to the best of my ability. In public, I am trying to live my life as the woman, actually the lesbian, next door. I am being an activist by being myself where people can see me and interact with me. I am trying to be myself, an example of a normal human being. I am hoping that people who see me, when in a conversation about gays, lesbians, bi and transgendered people, will say, "Well, I know this transgendered woman, she's a lesbian, and she's really nice." And that is the response I have gotten from people at the Tully's I visit for my wifi. I did not tell any one but the baristas know and so do several of the regular customers who come in. They have learned that I am nothing and nobody to be afraid of. When I find work again, I will be just as out, I will have no secrets from the people I work with.

This is a small and inauspicious start as an activist, but I'd like to think that Martin Luther King and Mohandas Gandhi would smile and nod their heads at my becoming more intentional as an everyday activist.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The time is a quarter to numb...

How things are for me??? Today my divorce is final. I get my name change... Later this week I'll start chasing all the places I need to change my name. I'll send the paperwork and the money to the state to change my birth certificate and then prolly change my driver's license. Today I'm just a couple of shades shy of being numb. I prolly wont stop at the liquor store but it crosses my mind.