One side of the mushroom will make you larger…but which side?
It is a parlor game. If you could swallow a pill that would change your body shape into whatever form you wished, what would you wish for and would you swallow the pill?
My first reaction is I’d like to be a few inches taller (5’7 instead of 5’4) and have a masculinized chest (i.e. top surgery). My second reaction is whoa slow down and think this through. I’m good at procrastinating. I can wait until I am clear about what I want to do, or until I have no choice but to take action. I promised Donna that I if I was going to have top surgery, I would wait until she was ready. I am still waiting; neither of us is ready.
When I first started to think about what it meant to be transgender, I was both intrigued by and repelled by top surgery. I am still ambivalent. I’ve tried to write posts before about top surgery, but they have not felt right. This is yet another attempt. If the thought of a butch (or me in particular) considering top surgery creeps you out, stop here and read another post. Otherwise, continue down into the rabbit hole. Continue reading →
Superman on Central Park West; Popeye in the distance.
When I was a kid, Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday. Not because of the food, but because my brother and I got to go with my dad to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We called it “The Parade.” It is huge. Hours of gigantic balloons and marching bands, platoons of police horses and clowns. It ends with Santa Claus on a sleigh, followed by the Sanitation Department crew. Besides the balloons, our favorite part was watching the marching bands and majorettes tiptoe in formation through what the police horses left behind.
It finally dropped below freezing in New York. That means layers. And flannel. I love winter. It takes the edge off my dysphoria.
The official start of my flannel season is the weekend after Labor Day. I take stock of my shirts. Which one needs a button, which ones are so scruffy that they should only be worn for chores, and which ones should go into the rag box. One of the sad things about flannel is that it doesn’t last forever. Continue reading →
“I’m not misogynist, I love women.” As soon as the words came out of my mouth I regretted saying them. I was trying to convince Donna that there was nothing inherently misogynist or sexist about being either butch or transgender. That being masculine did not mean hating or objectifying women. Or did it?
This is not about ogling women on the street or tallying sexual conquests. It is about the insidious microaggressions in everyday life that I am guilty of. I am impatient. I get annoyed. I do not like to consider the possibility that I might be wrong about anything. Including being misogynist. Continue reading →
It started when I ran out of shampoo. I walked over to Molton Brown to get a new bottle. Molton Brown makes liquid soap, shampoo, and body wash products. They are all scented. Very British. I used to shop for personal care products in the health food store. I got turned on to Molton Brown in a bed and breakfast we stayed at in Bath, England, in 2002. Donna could not get me out of the shower because I was sudsing up with the comps. I got hooked.
I like Brooklyn Brewery beer, but I don’t want to wear it.
I hadn’t used strongly scented products before. My Dad smelled of Brylcreem, Dutch Masters cigars, and Miller High Life. I didn’t want to smell like him. I wanted to smell good, but I didn’t know how. Continue reading →
Randy Sides passed away on September 23, 2013. His memorial service was last week. I cried all the way through it. Randy had a long battle with cancer; he struggled to stay alive. He did not want to abandon his wife, Tracey, or their dogs (Butch, Dolce, and Mickey – “the boys”). He was only 58. He should have had more time.
I met Randy and Tracey in 1993 or 1994, after I got my first dog, Lena. We ran our dogs on the broken down piers off the West Side Highway. It was illegal. It was unsafe. Dogs ran onto the highway, there was broken glass on the pier, there was always garbage that the dogs wanted to get into. Randy and Tracey worked with the authorities for years to establish a community dog run (The West Village Dog Run). They wanted to provide a protected and clean space for the dogs. The run is my haven. Continue reading →
October 19, 2013 was the first anniversary of my legal name change. It is the best thing I ever did for myself.
I first thought about changing my name in my early twenties. A lot of butch women (wimmin, womyn, or w/o men) did. They chose names like Willow, Blue, Shad, Birch, and Sky. They used their initials like JP and DJ. They took nicknames; Barbara became Bobby, Andrea became Andy. They did not take names like Michael, David, James, or Robert (the top four boy’s names the year I was born). I told Donna that I was going to take an urban name like Concrete, Asphalt, or Fire Hydrant. She did not take me seriously. Continue reading →