The Empty Closet is New York State’s oldest “gay newspaper”. I prefer to think of it as an LGBTQ focused publication, which it very much is. It’s published monthly by the Gay Alliance in Rochester, NY. Don’t let the name “Gay Alliance” fool you, either. They’re tapped into the whole alphabet soup of the LGBTQIA… not just the “G”. In my opinion, it’s more about the “H” than anything. The H is for human being, which is what we ALL are, regardless of how many of the other letters apply (or don’t apply).
Editor and photographer Susan Jordan reached out and asked if I’d be interested in being featured in the “My Own Private Rochester” column for November, 2014. I was honored by the request and pushed the “let’s do this” button without hesitation.
Susan learned of me through my work with the Gay Alliance as an active member of their Speaker’s Bureau. To date (as of making this post), I’ve talked publicly about LGBTQ issues and realities on more than 30 occasions. This includes LGBTQ panels, SafeZone training, transgender-specific and general diversity presentations.
Continue reading An Interview with Yours Truly in “The Empty Closet” and Speaking Publicly About LGBTQ
On Saturday, I completed a 2-day SpeakOUT training workshop. SpeakOUT is a program offered by The Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley. Its purpose is to improve the skills of graduates so they may effectively educate about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their allies.
The need to “speak out” in outreach programs
The reason I chose to take this workshop is because I feel a calling to get out and educate people about the realities of being transgender. There are many complex issues to cover, but perhaps the most significant point is a very simple one – the fact that trans people are far more similar to cisgender (non-trans) people, than we are different.
The SpeakOUT workshop was just the first step in many training workshops and activities I will need to take part in before a final graduation of sorts. If/when I pass the requirements necessary, I may be deployed to various organizations, companies, medical training centers, schools, etc. to tell my personal story, educate about trans realities, and answer questions.
It’s hard to explain, but I almost have a need to get out there and educate about trans realities and issues. This has been brewing within me for quite some time – especially after certain personal realities were realized.
The desire to go full time
My life is very busy and often rather hectic. There are never enough hours in the day to manage everything I need to do, let alone things I want to do. Many interesting things have been playing out in my life that haven’t been shared here due to lack of time. One of which is the realization that I’m more of a trans-woman-in-progress, than a crossdresser. These days, I only feel like I’m “crossdressing” when I’m at work (or wherever) putting on my “man act” to appease a world that expects me to be “a man”. I posted a very brief update this past July, to one of my more rushed writing jobs, that offers a little insight: Crossdressing Myth #2. There’s much I could write about this, and why it took so long to figure out. If time allows, I will elaborate in future updates.
Continue reading Getting Out and Speaking Out
Happy New Year 2010! I hope everyone enjoyed a safe and festive evening full of fun and laughter, among good friends and family.
The Mrs. and I were pretty low-key last night. It was just the two of us with no real plans for the evening. We enjoyed some TV together (a bit of Dexter season 3 on DVD) and took it easy. The fabulous Mrs. H. wasn’t feeling so fabulous (due to a visit from her monthly friend) and fell asleep well before midnight. I woke her with a gentle kiss and wished her a happy new year just before calling it a night and joining her.
Following the long standing tradition, many people will make new year’s resolutions with good intent, only to give up after a short period of trying. There are some very important resolutions I made this year. I pray that I have the strength to follow through with them.
Continue reading Happy 2010 and New Year’s Resolutions
My reasons for being in therapy are not directly centered around being a crossdresser, although is often brought up as it ties into to many aspects of my life. If being a part time t-girl is not the main reason for being in therapy, then why go to my therapist en femme? The short answer is why not? I’ve been making a point to stretch my legs and get out in public as Gabrielle, and this seemed like another great opportunity to do so.
I’ve shown my therapist photos of Gabrielle a few times. In recent sessions, it’s felt like things may be winding down. I wanted him to meet Gabrielle in person before we parted ways. Without being asked to or making it known ahead of time, I decided to just show up as Gabrielle. This particular session took place a few weeks ago – I’m a little behind in my writing. Coincidentally, I have another session with him today, although I’ll be going as plain old Gabe and not Gabrielle.
Here we go again
So what happens in the reception area before even having a seat in the waiting room? I get laughed at… again. To date, my record is perfect – every time I’ve ventured out into public and interacted with people as Gabrielle, I’ve gotten laughed at. As it’s been mentioned before, I do not pass in person.
Continue reading Visiting My Therapist En Femme
This photo was taken just before leaving for my high school reunion, August 22, 2009. I snapped it in the bathroom, facing the big mirror where I apply my makeup - the lighting there always does my face justice. :)This is the third and final installment of attending my high school class reunion as Gabrielle. If you haven’t read part 1 and part 2 yet, I encourage you to do so before continuing.
A quick recap
Longing to get out in public and interact with people as Gabrielle, I attended my high class school reunion en femme. The photo to the right was taken just before leaving the house that evening. I was terribly nervous and it took me a while to find my stride, but eventually I hooked up with some old friends and wound up having a great time. I also found myself very much out of the closet to many more people than I was comfortable with.
In the days following the reunion, the realization of being “out” to so many people wreaked havoc on my emotional stability as I pondered all the terrible things that may come as a result. After some time, I realized that I was over-reacting and simply experienced some instability as a result of taking such big first steps out like that.
The experience changed me. Many fears were conquered that evening. The insecurities that followed have been properly dealt with and bother me no more. I’ve made some wonderful advances in my growth and evolution as a person. There were also some considerable failures on my part that evening – signs of how far I have yet to go.
Continue reading Class Reunion En Femme and Unprepared (part 3)
For the past six months, I’ve been unwisely burning the candle at both ends, spreading myself dangerously thin, and have little to show for all of the blood, sweat, and tears poured into my efforts. For me, this website isn’t a hobby, but rather an important platform in which to educate, entertain, communicate, and bring about positive change.
Between long hours at my day job, commute times, a strict daily exercise regimen, household chores and other responsibilities, there is little time left for much else. In order to maintain a frequent publishing schedule of quality content, I’ve been putting my personal life aside: neglecting responsibilities, sacrificing personal happiness, testing the strength of my marriage, and literally loosing sleep to keep up with it.
Unfortunately things haven’t panned out. My approach is flawed, and energy reserves dangerously low. I need to take a break, regroup and reevaluate.
Continue reading Taking a Much Needed Break & Assessing the Future