What I used to enjoy about Halloween was that people had a sense of play, of the power of the mask to both reveal and conceal.  Fun is fun, and fun is play.

Today, though, it seems more about buying some outfit and then trying to use it to get what you want; candy or later, sex.  The replacement of the handcrafted with the purchased seems to make even the wearing more commercial.

I miss the play that went on, but we seem to live in an age where people have been too terrorized to let down their guard, terrorized by the media and the government in so you can be controlled.

Scary is fun, but terror ain’t.

Mama TBB

TBB sat alone at the the Halloween Salsa Party, but a fella asked her to dance.  He was a beginner too and she helped him,  but after a few dances he stopped coming back.   It looked to TBB like someone had made it their mission to set him wise that he was dancing with a tranny, and so he would look like a fool to his friends if he came back.

It reminded me of a story my mother told of the biddies at at a local senior center who watched the men dancing with a woman they thought was “really a man,” and how angry they were at “him” for “fooling the men” (read “poaching the men.”)

Having not grown up as a girl, I know that one of the things I don’t have a lot of practice in is the way women “compete” (read “fight’).   Women have to know how to get what they want, and using social pressure is a key tool.   I suspect that the transwoman at the senior center didn’t feel the need to bond with the women, which is why she was both accessible & fun to the men, and outside the social pressure of the women.

Later in the evening she hooked up with friends from her class, who danced with her some, even though they were advanced and she was intermediate.

Things changed when she talked to a 26 year old gal dressed as Dorothy and asked why she wasn’t dating the 30 year old dressed as Indiana Jones.

The gal warmed.  “Well, he’s a friend, and I don’t want to. . .”

“Just do it,” said TBB.

It was a few minutes later that the younger woman announced that her Dorothy part was crooked, and asked TBB to help with her hair.

“She was comfortable with me, and assumed that I knew what to do,” TBB told me.  “That’s exactly the kind of simple intimacy with other women that I need, so I fixed her hair.”

“You are always better as Mama TBB,” I told her.  “People understand you when you care like a woman your age.”

“You’re right,” she told me, right before she signed off to take a call from her daughter who had to fix her own brake lights.

TBB and I aren’t in prime reproductive age anymore, which means we aren’t competing with other women for the hotties.  We are in the age of mothers, though without the skill set we would have if we went though our own hottie period.

But we both know that a key part of our identification as women is the identification as a mom.  Sure, maybe a drag mom or a grandmother, mothering the mothers, but a mom.

And that’s where much of our power lies.


Jacob, the good-looking and smart transman who works for ESPA, quickly understood who I was.

A wise and powerful queen, thank you very much.

Jacob understands the power of women, the beauty, the insight, the poetry, the knowledge. He gets it. It’s in his expectations, the same expectations as PowerFemme Nora, who thought I looked great, especially since the last time I saw her I had five months of beard. We femmebabbled for a while, easy and fast.

My mother, well, she got it a bit too.

“You look nice!” she said when I came through the door.

“Did you expect me not to look nice?”

“Well, I didn’t know,” she said.

My father, when he heard my voice, peered out from the kitchen.

He was freaked. He’s not really talking to me today. That’s hard for me.

My sister helped with comments. Apparently I don’t have to wear the jacket; my shoulders look better than one of her staff, who has had three babies. That was good.

I talked to TBB, who was heading to a Halloween salsa party, but passed on her four costumes; schoolgirl, french maid, cheerleader and leopard. Just the leopard ears and gloves over black pants and top.

Three reasons.

First, she wanted to have dinner with her teen son and didn’t want to freak him out. (His quote from this week when TBB showed at his track meet where his mother & boyfriend were: “Dad, next time you come, can you wear a bra?”

Second, the leopard outfit required constraints, corset & girdle and such, that would just impede good sweaty dancing. TBB was hoping there would be a tall guy who wanted to dance, that she could just move freely without all those hidden attempts to conceal parts of her.

Third, though, as a tranny, Halloween has stopped being fun. We think we are dressing as a punk rocker or cool witch, but others think we are dressing as a woman.


We are just showing the powerful queen we know ourselves to be.


As part of the coalition building exercise yesterday, we had to write our three disappointments about the process of trying to pass GENDA in NYS, and our three hopes for change.

The pols, of course, were focused on the details, like the Sean McKenna meeting where Sean McKenna from the Governor’s Office didn’t show up for the meeting, and the hope that Spitzer would issue an executive order banning discrimination against gender identity in NY state government hiring. Good stuff.

Me, being a process & marketing bitch, was on the second track, wanting to see the process get better.

My three disappointments were

  1. The passage of SONDA without trans inclusion
  2. The apathy & inaction amongst transpeople, explained by Melissa as people shedding or refusing to identify as trans
  3. Non-Story of Leadership, the fact that people who identify themselves as leaders don’t take the time and immersion to become fluent in the stories of others who have different experiences, don’t see through the eyes or walk in the shoes of the people they want to help

My three hopes were

  1. A sense of community, a sense of our connections and shared challenges that drive us to work together
  2. Leadership Development, people learning how to take their own power and support the power of others, even supporting others in choices they would never make for themselves. We have way too much “crabs in a barrel” syndrome, were anyone getting out and up needs to be pulled down and back into the internal battles.
  3. Beyond Broke, the hope that we can act not from the pain, hurt and stigma of a trans life, but from something higher and more graceful.

One thing I said to a NYSPA person is “You can never stroke a trans person too much.”  We are people who missed the stroking of our inner being as a kid, and people who walk in the world in armor.  We need to be assured and encouraged in our own beauty, our own power.

Leading volunteers is hard for people who thought they were hired to manage issues, because it takes a lot to bring out the possibilities, to encourage, challenge and teach people to do more of what you know them to be capable of.

But it’s only leadership that moves others forward, and for people shamed into silence, twisted into fear, well, that’s a way hard thing.


Melissa Sklarz — the hot chick in the party scene in TransAmerica — was one of the 10 or so trannys at the meeting today.

When she talked about her disappointments about GENDA, she talked about how disappointed she was with transpeople who “shed their trans identity.”

I understood this completely.    I mean, what the hell are the benefits of identifying as trans?  Do you get good jobs?  You do not. Do you get respect?  You do not.  Do you get lots of people wanting to sleep with you?  You do not.

Now, Melissa sees this mostly with transsexuals who have done the work and want to go into the woodwork, but for me, I also see it with crossdresser and drag queen types who don’t so much shed but refuse to take on a trans identity in the first place.  They are just normal guys who like to wear a dress once in a while.

In the end, it’s all the same thing.  We need transpeople to stand up so we can work together for rights, but many transpeople just want to sit down and blend in, as their issued gender or as the gender they have emerged into.

Is trans just a transitional identity we pass through on our way from here to there, from man to woman or woman to man, or even from man to woman to man on a Saturday night?

Or is being trans just something that we are, even if we are desperately trying to assimilate as just a crossdresser or a victim of Harry Benjamin Syndrome?

And if we always talk around issues in open questions, do we really end up sounding like Carrie Bradshaw?

To make progress happen in opening space for trans expression, transpeople have to stand up and take political power, opening hearts, minds and lawbooks to create new spaces for people like us.

How do we create that space, though, if we just see trans as something to be shed off of us ASAP?

The Rocket & The Valve

It seems to me that there are two basic kinds of tranny support organizations; the rocket and the valve.

The valve assumes tranny support as a kind of escape valve, a place to go and let off steam, release the pressure so you can go back to normal the next morning.

The rocket assumes that tranny support as a kind of booster, a place to go and become empowered, build the pressure so you can keep going and effecting change in your life and in the world.

The valve is for those who seek to maintain the status quo, while the booster is for those who want to become new.

Maybe all organizations have to include part of both, but the balance is what makes the difference.


I like to be balanced towards the booster.

Analogies To You

“You are so good with analogies,” Rachel (Ms. Rachelle) told me after laughing over the “they know we have a golden chainsaw, or we could have never gotten out of the box” concept.

Yeah.  I think that is my holy grail, my secret quest, the search to find just the right shared analogy that will open up a connection in understanding between myself and others, that will let them laugh and understand my experience of my life with depth and compassion.

I go through analogy after analogy, story after story to try and find one that resonates, one that conveys not just the intellectual experience of growing up trans but also the emotional experience of living as trans in this world.

As Miz Ruby said, this is my romantic notion, that someday, somehow, someone will see me, understand me, get me, value me, love me, not for how I do something they find valuable for them, but for who I am on a deep and essential level.

I am so good with analogies, as Rachel says, but somehow I doubt I will ever find the perfect one that opens the lock and makes the connection.


(notes for a speech)

Surely, I can’t be the only one whose college roomate kept a chainsaw in their dorm room, the better to terrorize people with during a night of drinking?

When I think of transgender, I think of that chainsaw, smelling of burnt oil, hanging on the wall.

Transgender is a chainsaw that lives within us. We try to live nice, normative and even boring lives, but from a very early age, that whirr, that scream, that thunder is always there, revving up and ready to tear down what we are trying to be, ready to rip through the facade we play, and ready to expose our tender, bleeding, beautiful heart.

That piston wants to pump, that chain wants to whirl, those saw teeth want to slice and open up the energy that throbs inside of is. One good spark and a little gas and we feel the pulsing, the pulsing that comes from deep inside, ready to pierce the expectations placed on our lives just as powerfully as my roommate’s chain saw splintered the door of a sleeping neighbor.

When I look around the room at Southern Comfort conference, I see people who already have taken ownership of that inner chainsaw, busting through history and assumptions to open a new path for themselves, and I see people who are are working very, very hard to keep their own chainsaw under wraps.


Gawd, I love the intense trannys who know how to handle a chainsaw with grace, elegance and power. Rip me baby, rip me down to the heart and soul, rip me open and exposed, rip me away from convention and into intensity.

Highly concentrated, reduced to essence, potent and piquant, intense.

If you are going to have to take all that crap to move beyond the normative assigned at birth, going gto have to get out the damn chainsaw to cut your way out and then always be feared as someone who has shown they can weild a chainsaw, then why, I ask you, why be boring?

Transgressivity in the name of freedom is no vice! I love Kiki DuRane!

= = = = =

Look, I know what you are going to say.

You didn’t break out of your shell to be seen as the one with the chainsaw.

In fact, all you want to do is to break through and then resume normativity. Go out and be a normal guy, a normal woman, a normal whatever the hell it is you are. GenderQueer just ain’t you.

Heck, even if I served my time as guy in a dress, genderqueer ain’t me either. Well, at least not gender queer as these young androgynous people do it. I like my maturity, I like my put-together, I like my well-worn and elegant.

I like style. Style is the evidence of a deep knowledge of self, of what works for you and what does not.

I am a process queen. Empowerment is my thing. I like working with people, not fighting them.

But no matter how much I paint it pink and encrust it with rhinestones, sitting in my cute little evening bag, now and forever is my chainsaw, the one I used to cut my way out of my coffin, to sever my shackles and break out of my cell.

I might try to hide it in my bag, or even in my closet, but once people know I broke out, they also know that anyone who can wield a chainsaw well enough to cut through the bonds of normative expectation, through stigma and threats of separation that hold us in place, well, that person has power.

Intense, acerbic, sharp and trenchant power. The power of the chainsaw.

= = = = = = =

There is only one force in the world that can power such a ripping tool.

Our chainsaws aren’t run by a refined petroleum derivative, no.

Our magical chainsaws are powered by love.

It’s the power of Eros, the power of knowing what we desire, the power of knowing what we need, the power of knowing what we love that revs up our inner chainsaw. We see what needs to be cleared to get to love, to let love grow, and when we need that love enough, we let her rip.

Love is the ultimate power that humans can wield. Love, duty and curiosity are the only powers that can overcome fear, and of all these three, love is the most potent.

When we are following what we love, we can break the bounds of convention, transcend the expectations, and just chainsaw through all the constraints that maintain the status quo.

Love, my pretties, is a chainsaw. It cuts and reshapes, releasing the forms hidden within, just as chainsaw sculptors release the inner eagle from an oak tree. It severs and disconnects, felling old timber to make room for new growth. It slices and saws, opening the canopy up to the sun, so light and warmth can again fall on fertile ground. A chainsaw is a tool of death that creates space for new life.

And as people shamed into the closet, the only way out is the chainsaw, the big chainsaw of love.

How can anyone know us and not know that we have at least had a moment when we kicked the starter and tore ourselves new space for new possibilities? How can they not wonder if their old wood, twisted and rotting, choking out blooms, would stand up to the power of our chainsaw?

We are big, we are beautiful, we are in possession of the chainsaw of love, the chainsaw of freedom.

And that is sexy and scary, all at the same time,

Way Out Quest

TBB bought peaches to take on the drive to SCC. (I was surprised that even the Wal-Mart in Macon and the Target in Atlanta had California peaches, but this country gets more homogeneous everyday)

Dr. J wanted to help, so she cut them up and put them in a plastic bag for the car.

I watched with interest. I know peaches; around here there has to always be fruit available, pears and peaches and grapes and bananas and grapefruit, lots of fruit.

Here, though, the most important thing about fruit is letting it ripen. Most fruit comes from the maxi-mart prepared for travel, not for eating. So that means you need, for example, four pears from each shopping trip, maybe 12 or 16 pears at different stages of ripeness.

When I saw that plastic bag of almost crunchy peaches, I understood that’s what I had been learning here: how to wait for peaches to ripen. That’s not something TBB or Dr. J have time for in their lives right now.

One thing I know is that if I have something to do, somewhere to be, I have less time to be conscious, specifically, less time to be self-conscious. It’s fun to have a bit of a quest, because that drive insulates you from being present in context.

Of course, though, the flip side of this is the challenge of life in an industrialized and hyper-speed world, a life where there is no time to consider, no time to let things ripen.

My favourite sermons are the ones that take a small choice and then go deep with that choice, digging down into the connections, ramifications and nuances of the choices we make. If we take the time to go deep when we are together, then we have more capacity to make informed choices in the heat of the moment.

Steven Covey reminds us that freedom only exists in the moment between stimulus and response, that moment when we can either react with habits or respond with consideration. It’s taking the time to rehearse and understand our options when the heat is not on that lets us get better and faster during hot times.

I cross the lines of fast & slow, of emotion & thought, by being both an analyst and a performer. I can observe and I can be in battle, all parts of me. My observations are better because I have the snap of a performer, and my performance is better because I have the consideration of an analyst.

Clearly, though, my next challenge is to be more out there, be more performative, find a quest. Heck, today I saw something I wanted but couldn’t afford and thought, “Heck, I’d go back to selling if I can do it like this,” pretty in my black tights and Folie eyeliner.

To do that, I have to do what TBB has been willing to do, that is to become the neighborhood tranny. I can give you lots of reasons why that should be safer in a beach community in the south, rather than a suburban tract in a conservative county of NY, but the point is that working it makes it work. It’s about following the quest and making relationships along the way, working with others and spreading the net of connection wider and deeper.

People don’t just come into your world in one leap, they need to discover it, to discover me, as Kate has said.

To be a woman, one is not only allowed to value different things, but encouraged to care about things such as matching sheet sets, floral room freshener and nail polish. It’s that externalization of care that shapes a life, that allows us to go after what we desire, in smart or simple ways.

Yes, it occurs to me that ripe peaches are one thing, but without enjoying them, juice dripping down your chin, without sharing them, feeding each other the sweetest morsels, well, they are just closer to rotting.

I need a quest, a search that might be my way out of here.

But now, I have to clean the house, make dinner, and get ready to do the suitcase full of pee-soaked laundry that I will carry in from the car.


Happy Transsexual, Happy Transsexual

[Candis] Cayne, a transsexual performer who plays the transsexual mistress of William Baldwin‘s politico character on ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money, revealed during her cabaret act on Saturday that she’s going to a guest on Barbara Walters’ chat show this Friday.
Cayne told the crowd at Eleven in West Hollywood she’ll do her best to zip it when she comes face-to-face with Ms. Hasselbeck, because her “first instinct” is to give the conservative cohost quite the tongue lashing.
Cayne has a special mantra to keep herself in check. “Happy transsexual, happy transsexual,” she announced to laughter and applause.

Planet Gossip

If Candis, as beautiful & sexy as she is, knows that she can’t just pass as female and needs to walk in the world as a transsexual — as a happy transsexual, to be sure — then why should any other tranny assume that they can hide?

Lets all chant: “Happy transsexual, happy transsexual, happy transsexual, happy transsexual, Yes!

Just Leave Them On The Porch.

I was peeved yesterday morning.  For some reason, the garbage men didn’t take the recycling I put out, though they took everyone else’s.

I dragged the blue bins back in.

Then, last night, my sister called from her printmaking course at Cripple U.  They need more old newspapers.


She didn’t want to see me, though, and asked if I could just put them on the porch.   She hasn’t seen me anytime during this break.

I did as she asked.

Divine Surprise

Dear Mother in the Moon
Dear Father in the Sun
Dear Child in the Stars
May you grant us this day
The divine gift of surprise
of seeing our world and our life
in a new and powerful way.

Open our eyes
Open our minds
Open our hearts
Open our lives
To the new that was always out there waiting for us,
To the present created for us,
To the growth we create with you.

We know that surprises will often delight us
when we let them in
But that other surprises may be difficult and heavy to accept.

To stay open to possibilities though
we know that we have to be open
to both the sweet and to the sour
knowing each has a place in our opening to you.

We are here to live and to grow
never being able to know what lies
around the next bend
but we do know
that with the help of you
and with the help of those around us
we can become new and better
from those surprising gifts.

The gift of life is the gift
of the divine surprise
moments that startle us,
moments that amuse us,
moments that delight us,
moments that open us up to the core.

These are the moments when we are aware
we are part of something bigger than us
a family, a community, a world, a universe
that holds more than we can imagine.

Dear Mother in the Moon
Dear Father in the Sun
Dear Child in the Stars
May you grant us this day
The divine gift of surprise
of seeing our world and our life
in a new and powerful way.

Open our eyes
Open our minds
Open our hearts
Open our lives
To the new that was always out there waiting for us
To the present created for us
To the growth we create with you.


Pastor Callie, Church Of The Divine Surprise 

Over The Din

I have been reading Gwyneth’s fine comment about how I speak from a place that isn’t the text, but is the meaning between, a place hard for others to go.

It reminds me of Kiki, who also lives between.

Sounds a little bit like white noise doesn’t it, ladies and gentlemen?

Fa La La La La La!

But you know, I feel like I was sent to this planet with a mission.

And my mission is to shout out above the din of the white noise.

And every every now and then, I feel this bright light comes down from the heavens; past my head, past my throat, past my bosoms, past my hips, past my knees, down to the tips of my finely polished toenails.

And then it begins to work its way out, ladies and gentlemen.

When that happens, I feel (cough) I have no, I feel I have no, I feel I have no (grunt), I just I have no choice, I just have to (grunt) let it out.

And I feel one of those moments coming upon me right noooooow, Nowwwww, nowwww

Don’t Get Too Comfortable!

Kiki DuRane (Justin Bond), “Why?”
Kiki & Herb Will Die For You At Carnegie Hall,

Kiki and Herb: The Second Coming

Somehow, that cacophony calms me down.


I have spread out in the past 10 days or so, looking hard for some kind of connection & failing to find it, but now I have to pack myself up again.

I’d like to figure out how to do it in a way that allows me breathing space, but that’s really hard to figure out on my own.

On my own.  That’s always been the theme here, as evidenced by the tagline this blog has had since the beginning, almost two years ago now:  The Loneliness of a Long Lost Tranny (TLoaLLT).

I know that I chose this lonely route, the journey inward to self, but for the last decade or so, I have been trying to find a way to do the third and last part of the hero’s journey, return with the gifts I have found.  Campbell makes clear that this is the hardest part, because if society wanted the gift, they would already have it.  They have lost it in order to maintain the status quo, to avoid the rebirth, the transformation that would be required to accept it.

It’s this loneliness that means I don’t get traction in the world.  I can’t simply buy into the worlds of others, and I know well that very few can even try to enter my world.  I know this because I have poured my heart out here, trying the best I can to reveal my experience of my life, and well, people mostly see reflections of their world.

No surprise there:

We don’t see things as they are,
we see them as we are.
Anaïs Nin

TBB would like to remind me how unique I am, how exceptional.   Lorraine Hansberry has another reminder:

The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all,
is inevitably that which must also make you lonely.
Lorraine Hansberry

My throat hurts, my energy is down, and I feel very sad.

That’s about me, not you.

Response to a CD

On a list, a woman whose husband now wants to dress like a woman asked for help from others like her.

I gave her the term SOFFA, the better to Google with, and directed her to Helen Boyd, who, being SOFFA*, probably has a handle on those resources.

Fine.  But one CD wanted to explain why she should lighten up, why dressing up was OK, why she should be sexy and play along.

That post creeped me out.    I felt the need to respond:

 It’s nostalgic to hear old arguments I used to hear from people like The Prince again.  “The Crossdresser And His Wife,” indeed.

I’m certainly not going to disagree that for many couples, gender play in the bedroom (or even outside of it) can be a fun part of their relationship.  I know it can.

But gosh, when I heard those people talk about a wife’s obligation to participate, it made me cringe.  And when those comments were bolstered by rationalizations about crossdressing, well, that just seemed twice odd.

Yes, men used to wear wigs and stockings, but that was what men wore when women wore panniers and corsets.   CDs don’t want more freedom in dressing like men — silk, fur, leather, whatever — they want to dress as women, from clothes to padding and even names.  Big difference.  Yes, today women wear pants, but they wear women’s pants, and don’t put false penises into their shorts.

In my experience, a wife acting more feminine and sexier has never, ever stopped any husband’s desire to express their own transgender impulses.   It may staunch the desire a bit, but in the end, the trans nature is the trans nature.   To suggest that wives being sexier is at all a solution to the husband’s issues just seems offensive to me.

Suggesting that a husband engage, explore and express his feelings, usually with the help of a therapist, is a much better suggestion, at least from what I have seen.  Men are used to having women process emotions, but they need to understand and own their own feelings to be able to make choices that balance the range of their desires, from the desire to be wild and sexy to the desire to be tame and embraced with a healthy family.

The only way a couple can create new possibilities and engage change in their relationship is if both partners come with maturity and openness.  Some find new ways to be together, with just some gender play, or some changes, and others find that they have lost what brought them together in the first place.

It’s your trans nature, it’s your desires, it’s your feelings; you have responsibility to own them and help bring them into balance in your life and in your relationship.  Sure, it takes two to tango, but the one who needs change brings a special responsibility to make the change gracious, fair and open.

I know this isn’t what The Prince said.  In his world, the wife had more responsibilities to be the dutiful servant to the altar of manhood.

It’s just that’s not a world I have seen many happy people in, and not a world I can imagine living in.  It doesn’t seem particularly fair and enjoyable for women.

A partner expressing trans doesn’t have to mean the end of a relationship, that’s true.

But the only way I have seen it work is when the trans-partner takes responsibility for their own life, their own desires and their own choices.


* SOFFA == Significant Others, Family, Friends & Allies

Banh Is The Name Of God

Banh is the name of God.

Well, one name, at least, thanks to her warm welcome to be at church this morning. She remembered my name as I came in.

Then after I sat, she came over to me, put her hand on my arm, and with a big smile, said she liked to see me here.

It was nice, simple and from the heart.

After church, I spoke to Laura, whose son lives in SF. She and her husband have rainbow “Celebrate Diversity” pins on their name badges.

She was sorry she wasn’t there last week to meet me, and understood the issues of educating & negotiating the fears of others. I gave her the address of this blog; Hi Laura!

The pastor, well, not so warm this week. No real engagement at all.

Could be that she was just busy, or maybe that I popped a circuit breaker somewhere. I have a history of doing that, even with people I care about very much.

But Banh, and Laura, thanks.

(not) Working It

There is a cost to hiding.

When I am wearing my pretty clothes, I need to figure out, for example, how to go out and grab the paper. Mowing the lawn, well, that takes going back into hiding.

And this isn’t just around the neighborhood. Too many employees around the women’s room in Wal-Mart? Look elsewhere.

No wonder I find it much easier to go around in the world in hiding. No wonder so damn many of us find it easier to go around the world in hiding, either as the gender assigned, or in an attempt to perfect presentation.

The cost of stigma is high. If a woman my age goes out in something less than flattering, something that doesn’t conceal her flaws, well, she just looks like a woman. If I go out in something less than flattering, well, then I can easily look like a man, and more, a man acting shamefully, a man acting out of control, a man who shouldn’t show that in public.

When you feel you are already living on the edge, it’s very tempting to play small, to try and minimize risk by hiding.

But that hiding has a price.

This week I have been reminded that one of those prices is the cost of not getting important work done, because you shrink from the engagement and conflict it takes to make it happen.

This was one lovely thing about SCC. You were just out, anyway, and that was OK, so you could concentrate on the work rather than on navigating the stigma.

Normative people don’t worry about this. A friend was concerned, worked hard to conceal the scar from her heart bypass surgery when she wore a dress. Another friend, born female, told her that she was silly to worry, and showed her scar where it lay in plain sight at her neckline. On the cover of Sick Girl, Amy Sliverstein shows her heart bypass scar proudly, and writes about all that scar signifies.

But we worry. We are trained to hide, and that hiding has a cost that cripples us.

I think this is what TBB recognized when she was in the front row at that concert last night. Sure she wanted to be pretty and sweet and normative appearing when she was with her galpals, but if she didn’t stand up and challenge that weatherman, who would?

You can’t both hide and work it proudly. Hiding has a cost.  And to overthinkers like me, who hold the gift of carrying history with us, that cost can be high.

And I, still hiding, am getting sick of it.

But as Rachel would happily remind me, being sick of sickness is never sick.

Bigger Is Always Better

TBB called.

The weatherman hosting the bike rally made a joke about a woman he met in Key West, who turned out to be a transvestite.   TBB didn’t think it was funny, so a discussion with the manager, and a note to the talent later, saying call me for education or I talk to management at your station, she moved on.

She was flirted with by a big biker, and then challenged by his friend, who looked askance and asked how tall she was.

“Five twelve,” TBB responded.

“Oh my God!  Six feet!” he said.

“Didn’t you hear me?” TBB asked.  “I said that I’m five foot twelve.”

He was discomforted, but TBB just hugged onto her biker pal and said, “We are just a couple of weirdos, right, gorgeous.”

He agreed, smiling and TBB moved on.

She wanted to tell me one thing:  Being big feels good to her, feels right. She gets it.

And I get that I need her to be big and brilliant, and that her strength is a gift to me, just as she sees my insight as a gift to her.

Bigger is always better.  It looks good on TBB.

And I hope, not withstanding the fact that the guy who sold me the wine tonight who wouldn’t meet my eyes, that it looks good on me too.

Vomited Up A Diamond

Just talking to TBB on the phone; she was waiting while her hair took color.

I was talking about how we hold onto the fear & anxiety in order to stay small, how we disempower ourselves by crippling ourselves, how fear becomes a deeply held habit which comforts us.

She was moved.

“Oh, girl,” she told me. “You have to put that in your blog. You really do have the understanding and the insight, and that is so very unique.

“I mean, look, you just vomited up a diamond there!”

I laughed.

“You have to promise to write that down, a pure TBBism. ” I said “‘Vomited Up A Diamond,’ indeed.”

She’s got the power that TBB, even if she, like I, want to duck it. It’s not easy to hold onto your status quo in the face of Hurricane TBB (who has cycle rallyes this weekend and next, the biker bitch.”

So I help her understand that people see her as powerful, not just blonde, and she reminds me of my power.

Together, we try.