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.