Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Justifying Span Conflagurations

It's amazing how many topics I start that come from therapy.  Most of them I never put up because the writing sucks.

Unpardonable Sin.  ;)

I've burned some bridges in my time.

Shocking, I know.

But I was FAR worse when I was younger.  If you can believe it.

My therapist asked why I felt the need to "justify my existence."

And that's what it really comes down to, doesn't it?  Having to shout "I AM!" at the world.  Shouting at the top of my lungs that I have a voice, and I matter.

I've mentioned this before, I think.  I was born 19 months after my older brother.  I was not a planned child.  Both of my parents made this very clear to me as I was growing up.  "You were a mistake."  "We didn't want you."  So I felt I had to justify my existence to them.

Oh, and before the "Anti-Choice" brigade chimes in with "At least you weren't aborted," don't bother.  They didn't do me any favors, trust me.

Growing up in my neighborhood in a dying blue collar town, I was undersized and bad at sports.  See, back then we did this thing called "playing outside."  We went outside in all weather and amused ourselves.  I was the youngest guy on the street, but was still occasionally included in games like baseball (usually using a tennis ball and aluminum bat played in a church parking lot), football, Army (running around with sticks as guns), and some others.  I was always picked last, but I was included. As youngest on the street, my opinion meant nothing, and I was picked on a LOT.  Go figure, I learned to fight at an early age.  And  I learned to stand up for myself occasionally. 

Let's add the fact that I KNEW I was different from a very young age, and I was very shy around strangers and in school.  Yes, I know that's hard to believe, but stick with me on this.

I photoshopped this.

I came out of my shell after transferring to PSU.  I had joined a fraternity, but the guys at the new place didn't really like me as I was different from them.  How different they never knew!  in any case, at one point I decided that no matter what I did I was screwed, so I may as well stand up for myself.  After all, what was the worst that could happen?

And from there I learned more about public speaking (go figure- Education major.)  And by joining anti-Reagan protests, I found my voice.  By finding my voice,  I found like minds and encouragement.  I also got into many fights.  Also people started laughing at my jokes.  (So blame them!)

I also started bar tending, which requires interaction. 

Now almost thirty years later, I've tempered my fire a bit with wisdom.  In other words, sometimes I know when to keep my big mouth shut.  Sometimes.  I've even learned some tact along the way!

You can stop laughing now (that wasn't one of my jokes!)

But through all that time, I've felt I had to justify my existence- to my fraternity brothers, colleagues, women in whom I was interested... but most of all to myself.

That's where my big mouth hurts worst.  I am my own worst enemy.  I guess I internalized all that "You're useless," "you were a mistake," and "we didn't want you" I received when I was young.  It seems hard wired into me.  Ever try to rip THAT kind of programming out?  Over eleven years of therapy and it's still there.



There is a Bright Spot.

Yes, I feel the need to justify myself as a Woman.  Go figure.  Wonder why I'm so against the whole trans-mafia labeling thing?  (You know- "trannier than thou")

So the Battle rages onward.  Someday maybe I'll find Peace.

But battles have Casualties.  Usually innocent ones.  I've burned more bridges than the French Resistance

Do I have regrets?  Some. 

Bridge Burning Expert

But here's the point (you had to know I'd get to eventually, right?): How many bridges will I burn when I tell everyone the Truth?  How many friends will I lose?  Jobs?  Family? 

When these bridges burn, will there be any rebuilding, or will they smoulder for eternity?

I'm an old pro at the art of sauteing bridges, but am I ready for an inferno like this?

And will it all be worth the price?

Dear God, I hope so.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

"The Pain"

Humperdinck: First things first, to the death.
Westley: No. To the pain.
Humperdinck: I don't think I'm quite familiar with that phrase.
Westley: I'll explain, and I'll use small words so that you'll be sure to understand, you warthog-faced buffoon.
Humperdinck: That may be the first time in my life a man has dared insult me.
Westley: It won't be the last. "To the pain" means the first thing you lose will be your feet, below the ankles, then your hands at the wrists. Next, your nose.
Humperdinck: [losing his patience] And then my tongue, I suppose. I killed you too quickly the last time, a mistake I don't mean to duplicate tonight.
Westley: I wasn't finished! The next thing you lose will be your left eye, followed by your right
Humperdinck: [exasperated] And then my ears. I understand! Let's get on with it-
Westley: WRONG! Your ears you keep, and I'll tell you why: So that every shriek of every child at seeing your hideousness will be yours to cherish. Every babe that weeps at your approach, every woman who cries out, "Dear God, what is that thing?" will echo in your perfect ears. That is what "to the pain" means. It means I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish misery forever.
Humperdinck: [Cautious] I think you're bluffing.
Westley: It's possible, pig. I might be bluffing. It's conceivable, you miserable, vomitous mass, that I'm only lying here because I lack the strength to stand. But, then again... perhaps I have the strength after all.
[Westley slowly rises and points his sword directly at the prince]
Westley: Drop. Your. Sword.

Most film goers over a certain age recognize that exchange from The Princess Bride.

I have a different definition of "The Pain."

Long ago, perhaps it was even before this blog (back in the Myspace blog days), I defined the "Pink Hangover."

The Pink Hangover happens the days after a night out en femme.  It's a strong wish to still be dressed properly as a woman.  It's even worse than a hangover caused by alcohol, because while the alcohol hangover may crush the body, the Pink Hangover crushes the soul.

And so it was back in the days after I rediscovered myself.  I've heard and read that GID is a progressive thing, and it's true.  For so many years, I did my best to keep it in check by denial.  Now I realize who I truly am.

This, of course, bring a whole new set of issues. 

Now it's all consuming.  It consumes my every thought when I'm not concentrating on work or something else.  If I allow my mind to wander, I immediately think about how something's wrong.  Fundamentally wrong.  This causes me to ache inside, to pine for that which currently is not.  like a Tinnitus in the brain.

I will refer to this as "The Pain."

Totally Consumed

Why do I feel this Pain?  If you're reading this blog, you probably know the answer and understand the feeling, or know someone who does.  Unless you fell onto this entry by accident, so for those people, I will attempt to answer the question.

And that was the most awkward sentence I've ever written!  LOL

The Pain.  The closest feeling to which I can equate it is the feeling of loss after the end of a long relationship.  The Awful Aching Emptiness.  The knowledge that something is missing and the horrible pining and need for relief.  The desperate wish for a return to happier times.

So, take that feeling and ramp it up to 11.

So many of my Sisters know exactly what I'm saying.  Not all of us, to be sure, but most.  In fact, I envy those who DON'T feel this.

We rarely discuss it outside of therapy groups.  But it's there. 

My "Big Sis" shared with me that when she told her kids about being TG, she said "I can no longer be a man and remain sane."  That's the best description I've heard yet. 

And people wonder why 41% of Transgender people have attempted suicide?  (Including me)

Is there a cure for the Pain?  Well, for me, I get relief from going out as Myself, as Sophie.  Only then do I find peace from it.  Of course, that relief is temporary and is always followed by Pink Hangovers of increasing ferocity.

I've found that the HRT gives me SOME peace from it.  In fact, to date, that's the major effect of it so far- some peace. 

Of course, not everyone can do HRT.  Most Sisters, for whatever reason, can't.  I am VERY lucky that my wife agreed to it.

But, as I wrote previously, she needs to know soon how far I'm going. 

With all this Pain, and the fact that it's there all the time, it's no wonder so many of us have... issues.

Will transition solve all my problems?  Oh hell no!  In fact it will compound them.  It may even destroy me.  But everyone I've spoken to who HAS transitioned has said the same word to me:  "Peace."  They have found peace.

Peace instead of pain.

So, the question becomes, how far will I go, what am I prepared to do, to find Peace?

I know MY answer.  I will die a Woman. 

And I can be oh so stubborn when my mind is made up.  My wife would tell you this, if you asked her.

She has Pain as well, caused by her Stubborn Suffering husband.

But I'll leave guilt for an entry another day. 

Be well.


Monday, February 18, 2013

A Weekend of Twenty 9 and Buds

Another weekend has come and gone.  But this weekend was my weekend out.

Money has been tight lately.  I've been trying to save money for Keystone Conference and to restock my savings.  However, life keeps getting in the way- life and my own dumb mistakes.

In any case, Saturday was cloudy with flurries dancing about the windy sky. 

I couldn't really decide on an outfit.  I wasn't in the mood to wear red.  I hadn't worn my favorite purple sweater in forever, so I chose that.  I decided to wear jeggings with it.  What could be more common than a woman wearing jeans and a sweater on a cold night, right?  Exactly the point.

So I drove up to see Amanda Richards at True Colors.  She was booked solid all day.  I arrived a bit early and prepared.  Before changing, I took a couple of pictures of myself in drab. Then it was Sophie time! I couldn't choose between two pairs of jeggings, then when I settled on one, I had a little issue with something showing that I didn't want showing.

Once everything was where it needed to be, Amanda worked her magic.  Soon, I was looking in the mirror, brushing aside my long hair to put on my earrings.  I smiled at the woman in the mirror. I was Me again. 

Look Who it is!

While I was getting finished, Antoinette arrived for her appointment, followed quickly by Alexis.  I met Alexis the previous month, when she went out with her wife.  This time, she was going alone (and sharing my room at Motel 6) for the first time.  I gave her a packet of directions and her room key.

She needed directions as Laptop Lounge was going to be at a new place- the Twenty 9.  The building had been there for many many years.  When I was there last it was called the Boathouse, and it was known for its amazing wings.  And they WERE amazing! 

In any case, the last time I was there, I was working for a major investment firm.  My manager took the team out to lunch there- all eight of us.  She forgot to bring the company credit card, so I volunteered to put it on my credit card and fill out an expense report.  So they all went back to work while I paid the bill.  So I arrived back to work maybe five minutes late from lunch.  I was immediately called to the manager's cube, where she handed my a "written warning" for being late from lunch (first time ever) as well as various other unpardonable sins (including laughing too loud at the lunch that very day.)  Yes, she was that bad.  Eventually she went to Duke for her MBA. I could rant about her for hours.  Let's just say she was Romney in a skirt.

Anyway, it was my first time back since then. 

Before that, I stopped at Shangrila for a quick dinner.  I'd invited others to join me, but they couldn't.  So I went in alone and sat at the bar, had a screwdriver and Satay Chicken. When I was almost finished, a young family came in- dad, mom, infant- and sat at a table in the bar.  Dad went to the bar near me and asked the bartender to recommend an Asian beer.  Bartender couldn't as he only drinks sake.  I turned and (using my best feminine voice) recommended Tsing Tao.  The guy turned, looked at me and his face twisted in disgust.  Not at the beer.

That was the only strange look I received all night.


From there, I went to Renaissance, where we had several new people attend.  I'm always happy to see new people.  It means more people are coping with This.

Afterwards, I was off to Twenty 9.

If you'd told me that day that the next time I'd be in that building, I'd be dressed as a woman, I would've wondered what drugs you were on, and why you weren't sharing.  But there I was- and happy to be out as my true self.

The party was in the downstairs bar.  We had it to ourselves.  There was a dance floor, two pool tables, and a bar all for us.  Quite nice!  And there were several other new people in attendance as well. 

With Kristyn, president of Renaissance, at Twenty 9

As the night went on, I met some of the new people, and spoke to Alexia quite a bit.  She is quite nice!  My friend Jamie was also there.  She is very slim and so pretty.  Meow.  She normally stays in the Lehigh Valley area, so seeing her was a rare treat.  Oh, and she mentioned that she reads this blog.  Never said she had taste.  ;)

Eventually the night ended, and I headed back to Motel 6.  Jamie also shared the room that night, and she arrived a little after I did.  Too soon, I was back in drab. 

I carried my things to my car and decided to wait a little before heading out- just to be sure.  So back to the room for a quick nap.  Then home in the dead of night.

Monday arrived, and I went to therapy, as I had off of one of my jobs.  After that, I went to lunch with my "Big Sis" Mel.  As always, we discussed many things, including a brief review of the weekend activities as she couldn't make it to the party.

After a pleasant lunch, we were walking to our cars in the windy cold sunlight  She asked about how the hormones were affecting me, and if my skin had softened yet.  I said "no" to that, but I noticed pressure in my chest behind my nipples.  She said that I was "budding" and that was the beginning of breast growth.  She laughed.

"You can still stop taking them [the hormones] you know.  It isn't too late."

I smiled at her and said "No, I can't stop now.  I'm on my way."


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Lupercalia!

Yes, Lupercalia.

Ever hear of it?

Pagan Roman festival, possibly descended from a Greek tradition.  Probably the ancestor of St. Valentine's Day.

Many Christian holidays were placed at times of pagan festivals.  Why not?  People were used to celebrating then, so just change WHAT they were celebrating.  Examples include Christmas, New Year's,  Easter, and Halloween.

In any case, despite what some may think, it's not exactly a "Hallmark Holiday."  It's been around since recorded history.  It IS a "Hallmark Holiday" in that many people celebrate it and many don't. 

The original idea was that priests would take blood soaked goat skins and slap women (gently) with them to increase their "fertility" for the next year.  Also during this festival, eligible single women would be paired up at random with eligible men.  So the festival was more about sex than romance, really.

Sex and romance.  Sometimes they meet, usually not.  Don't confuse them.

Kind of like sexual preference and gender identity.  But I digress.

But now, in the 21st century, we have St. Valentine's Day (Vday).  For better or for worse.  Many people HATE the holiday.  In fact, there's a whole culture of haters out there.  Donna Rose mentions here opinion here.  What do most haters have in common?  That's easy. 

Their hearts have been crushed by someone.  Destroyed.  Ripped out their body

Maybe it starts in Elementary school.  A local radio show discussed this topic this morning.  In Elementary school, everyone has to give everyone a valentine.  Makes sense.  But by the time middle school hits, only the popular kids get them.  Non-popular kids?  Forget it.

So the resentment may start there.  For some, that resentment just grows.

Then there's the High School Valentine dances with the rejection and the wanting so much to be the one wearing that beautiful outfit and being asked to dance.  Didn't get better in college, with Valentine's formals and the gorgeous gowns and perfect hair...

Oh, just for some useless trivia.  Of course, the heart may be the symbol of the day, but the heart is not the center of emotion.  it's just a pump.  The emotion center of the brain is the Hypothalamus, which is located deep in the middle of the brain.  Fascinating thing, the Hypothalamus...

Sorry... back to the point.

I remember many VDays that I was absolutely in a black mood.  I almost always took off work when I was bartending, as I learned first of all that Vday in restaurants are "Amateur night in Dixie" where no one tips, and being in a bad mood wasn't going to help tips either.

(To my Southern friends, before you send me angry messages, it's a joke!)

The worst one was after my first fiancee cheated on me and left.  That was in October the year previous, but my heart was still very raw.  That day sucked so bad.  Even thinking about that VDay hurts to this very day- twenty two years later.

Wearing Red

I love telling the story of a VDay in college.  I asked out a girl in one of my writing classes.  made reservations at a nice restaurant in town that had just opened, borrowed money to pay for it, dressed in my best yuppie sweater look (it was the 80s), and brought a single red rose. 

I arrived at her door, knocked, and she answered.  She saw the rose and flipped.  "Just because you brought me a rose don't think you're going to get anything from me!" she shouted and slammed the door.  I stood there stunned.  Many of my fraternity brothers were hanging out at one of the bars that night, so I joined them for wings and shots.  Lots of shots.  I never saw this girl again, not even at class.

Many people in the TG community are alone.  As my therapist has said (she was quoting someone, I forget who) "Being Transgender is the ultimate solvent- it dissolves everything: jobs, relationships, everything."

Many of us are haunted by the memories of our lost loves during this holiday.  Nothing hurts worse.  Something tells me that this isn't news to anyone reading this.

I wish there was something I could say, some advice I could give, to help people feel better when it comes to heartbreak.  But the only thing I know that works is Time.  And sometimes it doesn't.  I suck at heartbreak recovery.

Well, be that as it may, none of us are truly alone on this day.  We have our sisters who understand us, even if no one else can.

At least someone does.

And on a day where women are wined, dined, romanced... or ignored... we at least have that.

May the day bring you Peace.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Graphic Graphic

One of the people who read this column (well, she admitted only that she read one entry) sent me a very nice email.

Yes, I read all correspondence as long as it doesn't start with "U look HOT let's sex." 

No, I DON'T "Sext"

Anyway, Allison Morris was kind enough to send me a VERY interesting graphic.  She said I could post it as long as I attribute it, both of which I'm happy to do.

So:  this graphic comes from

Yes, it's a bit small.  And I had to photoshop it to get it to THIS size!

Note:  This doesn''t mean I'm going to be a bulletin board for everyone's pet cause.  But Ms. Morris correctly deduced that I might be interested in this graphic.

Faithful readers of this blog know why.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Double Double

It's a cloudy, rainy Monday here in Philadelphia.

Last week, to the north of us the Great Storm Nemo dropped three feet of snow in New England.  We received maybe two inches, which is now icy slush.

Snowy Morning

I set out before dawn as I usually do, driving slowly through the rain as the sun rose somewhere behind the clouds.  My destination was different this time.  Instead of my usual shift at the retail store, I was headed into Philly for an appointment at the Mazzoni Center.

This was my first follow up appointment since starting hormones. 

And so, knowing there would be traffic, I left two hours early for what is normally a forty minute drive.

And due to the rain and several accidents, I sat in traffic.

And Sat.


And I was late. 

Fortunately, as I called ahead and told them, they managed to fit me in (being polite and calling ahead has its advantages!)  I arrived at 9:15, and was ushered in fairly quickly.  Weight, vitals, wait.
But not long.  The doctor arrived and asked many questions.

In the end, he said I needed a blood test (which was done before I left,) but he was increasing my levels.  Doubling them in fact.  So now, depending upon who you ask, I'm either at therapeutic level or below by just a little.

So from there, I sat in traffic and went straight to my therapy appointment.  And I was late for that too. 

I told my therapist, Dr. Osborne, most about what happened.  I didn't mention one thing the doctor said, as it slipped my mind.  I'll come back to that.

She asked if my wife agreed to the increase.  I said "yes" as she had.  Then she asked "Does she know the amount of the increase?"  I said "no."

After a minute or so of jousting, we came to the heart of the matter. 

I have said many times that "I will die a woman."  I have told my therapist this, I've written it here, etc.

Now, when I told my wife, she made it quite clear: if I have the operation, that's grounds for divorce.  Yet, as I noted, I insist I will die a woman. 

But I never told my wife that.

Dr. Osborne says that by NOT telling her, I'm deceiving her.  And she's absolutely Right.


I haven't taken my now doubled dose for the night yet.  I'm conflicted.  I NEED to be true to myself.  But I can't lie to my wife. 

So I told my therapist that I would discuss it with my wife... once my financial reserves are back to the point where I can sustain myself for a bit.  (The DUI drained them, big style)

We also discussed my depression.  I hope that the HRT will eliminate the need for depression meds, as I believe my depression is based upon my GID and it's ripple effect through my life.  Dr. Osborne isn't so sure about that.  Perhaps the depression is concurrent.  I guess time will tell.

But for now... tonight, I will take the new dose.  Another step toward becoming me.

But I'm not as happy about it as I was this morning. 

So, I'd mentioned that I neglected to mention to my therapist a little exchange between the doctor and myself. 

My Mazzoni Pic.  Also my FB pic, my TG Forum pic, etc

I told the doctor that I added my picture to my Mazzoni Center profile, which he had pulled up on his laptop. 

He said "I noticed.  You look very happy."

I said "I'm happy being me.  When I can be."

Without missing a beat, he said "You've always been you.  It's just now you're letting others see who you are."

The more I think about it, the Wiser those words become.   But I see them not just in that way, but also another:

I've always been me- I'm now learning to live with All that being me means.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Writer's Block

Guess what?  I write stuff.

Shocking, I know.

I have been writing as long as I can remember.  Sometimes, it's even good.  I wrote a book, which took seven years.  I haven't sold it yet, nor do I have an agent.  I kind of think I'll probably buy an ISBN and sell it electronically.  You know- Nook and Kindle. 

The book is a memoir of my college years, written in an effort to understand the emotions that still haunted me from that time.  I finished writing it, and a few months later I went out for Halloween dressed as a woman. That night, everything became clear, and I understood the source of the pain:  I am Transgendered. 

Source of Pain?  Or Relief?

Want to know the style of that book?  I used the exact same style in a short story.  What kind of story?

I also write TG fiction.  I've posted some stuff here and there, including four stories to Fictionmania.  The first was a story called "Crying for Ogre."  It's set at a Major University in the 1980s, and concerns brothers in a top fraternity at that school.  Just like my book.

Fraternity House, like in my story.  But not MY fraternity.

Since finishing the book, I've been tweaking and revising it.  I've been writing this blog and my column at TG Forum.  Oh, and writing the aforementioned short stories.  I've actually written a lot of them, but they mostly suck.  (Someday when I'm gone, my family will auction off my writing notebooks.  Maybe they'd make good kindling.) 

So I'm getting ready to write a new book, but I've encountered a problem.  I know where I want to set the story, and what sort of characters I want.  (Setting IS a major character, btw.  Think of it this way- how many shots of the Enterprise do you see in a given Star Trek episode/movie?  Lots.  The ship is a beloved character as well as a setting.)

Ok, so the problem?  I mean have a setting and characters... but no PLOT.  I know, who needs a plot, right? 

My idea is to have at least one TG character and to depict her as a real human being, not some kind of stereotype.  But, what to have her do?  Why would people care what happens?  Plot, dammit!

Maybe I could have a science fiction setting.  But what kind?  Sword and sorcery?  Counter-factual?

I know!  A transgender Time Lord!   Nah... been done.   

I know!  A hard boiled Noir mystery!

"Name's Sophie.  I work the streets, but not that way.  I find people.  Not too easy in this city.  Especially when the cops are involved.  They're as dirty as the alleys on trash day.  And they smell worse."

Hmmm.  Needs work.

"Chad pulled Penelope closer.  Their lips met as he tore at her bodice.  "But Chad," she said,  "you know I'm a transgender vampire and I'm only attracted to Scottish lords!"  Chad smiled in that easy, sexy way he had.  "Frankly, Penelope, I don't give a damn.  I'm a billionaire werewolf into bondage, and I want you!" 

Well, that sort of thing is popular now!

I am Sophie!  See me Sparkle!  Or not.

Or I could go lowbrow.

"I'm transgender and it's the socialist communist liberals fault!  Especially Hussein Obama's!  He put an Ethiopian Trans voodoo spell on me so I would look like Ann Coulter!  I heard it on Fox News so it must be true!"

*Shrugs*  Hell, that's more truthful than anything written by Dinesh D'Souza!  And it sells books!

"Sophie Lynne's Fat Burning TG Diet Plan!  Remove inches from your waist and add them to your bust!"

Ok, now I'm getting silly.

I'll keep you posted if I think of anything.



Tuesday, February 5, 2013


I'm going to go in a different direction this time. 

In the two plus years I've written this blog, I've revealed many things about myself that others may think "embarrassing."

I've revealed THIS and THIS.

Oh, and don't tell anybody, but... (whispering)  I'm TRANSGENDERED!    *horrors*


In any case, I reveal things about myself here.  Is it therapeutic?  Yes, a bit.  Does it help me organize my thoughts?  Maybe.  In any case, I feel a this blog SHOULD be about my thoughts, hopes, fears, opinions, beliefs, etc.

We all have different beliefs, some of which can't really be substantiated.  We believe things that others think silly.  It's part of what makes us human.

Here's some examples:

  • Believing "Trickle down" economics works despite overwhelming and catastrophic evidence to the contrary.  Corollary:  That global warming DOESN'T exist.
  • Believing that a person is inferior due to skin color, country/area of origin, gender, sexual preference, and/or religious or political beliefs.
  • Any Religion.  Yes, someone thinks yours is silly and/or wrong, trust me. 
  • That doing some personal ritual will influence the outcome of a sporting event/activity miles away.

You get the idea, I hope.

So.  Why do I bring this up?  Because I want to write about another "strange" belief of mine.

I believe in Ghosts.

Yes, really. 

*watches subscriber count drop faster than congress' approval ratings*

Stick with me on this one folks (especially Mel.)

I've always believed in Ghosts.  I don't know why I thought the house I grew up in was haunted, but I felt that it was.  It was an old house; built in 1845.  My fraternity house was haunted, but I'll get back to that.  I know many people who say their homes are haunted, etc.

Ghosts are kind of in fashion now.  In fact, my alma mater has a Ghost Hunting group with its own TV show!  There are thousands of ghost hunting groups across the US, and don't get me started with UK and the "Old World" or Japan!

Being me, I read books on the topic.  One of my favorites is an old book documenting "all known" ghosts in the UK.  Another is a book on the Borley Rectory.

So, how did I know my fraternity house was haunted?  Stories passed down by older brothers for one.  Also, one night a brother's girlfriend, who claimed to be psychic, claimed to be "trapped by spirits" in a second floor hallway.  Two BIG guys pulled hard on her arms, but it was like she held in place by an invisible wall.  She was very scared.  I was there.  I saw it.

A year after that, before dawn on a Sunday, I awoke to see someone floating directly above me by a foot.  My bed was in a loft, with maybe three feet of clearance between the bed and the ceiling.  I saw his face clearly, the rest of him was transparent and a bit "wispy."  He was in his early 20s, with sandy blond hair in an old style, and a moustache of the same color.  I couldn't tell what color his eyes were, despite the fact I could see them clearly.  I wasn't scared at all, in fact I felt at peace.  I knew that I had nothing to fear; that this person was just looking me over; "checking me out."  He smiled and disappeared.

For the record, that night there was a party and I was quite drunk.  So it may have been a hallucination or a dream.  It didn't feel like one though, and I remember it clearly.  As my fraternity brothers didn't really like me much already (I was a transfer student), I told no one.

A few days later, my girlfriend of the time stayed over.  She always claimed to be able to see ghosts.  We were studying in my room, when she stood and walked out the door.  I figured she had to use the ladies room.  She walked down the hallway a bit, and came back a couple of minutes later.  When she returned she sat on the couch next to me and said "Do you know this house is haunted?"

"What makes you say that?" I said.

"There are three ghosts.  Two are women and the other is a brother."  She went on to describe him and her description sounded exactly like what I saw.  She also said the women "are jealous and don't like girls in the house." 

I did research and found that a brother had been hit by a car and killed in front of the house back in the early 1930s.  The only picture I found of brothers of that time had someone in it who looked like the person I saw. Creepy.  I still have no idea who the women are, as the house was built on what was an open space in 1929, and I couldn't find anything about any women dying in the house.

To this day, I've told none of my Brothers that story.

Oh, and that girl "stuck" in the hallway?  Five feet from my door that semester.

I also saw poltergeist activity in Runkle Hall: a bed "breathing."  I was among maybe ten people watching after an RA finally opened her locked door.  I was visiting her neighbor, whom I used to date for a little bit while I was in school. That was freaky.  This was 1992.

Why do I drag this particular Skeleton out of the closet, so to speak?

Several reasons, but I think really it's because lately I've been noticing lots of Orbs in the pictures I (and others) take at TG events.

What's an Orb?  According to the link to the left:

"Orbs are believed (by many) to be ghosts in the form of balls of light. They are life forms that travel in groups and are believed to be the human soul or life force of those that once inhabited a physical body here on earth."

Are they really?  Well, maybe.  Let's look at just a couple of pictures.

ShangriLa, Jan 19, 2013   Photo Courtesy Angela's Laptop Lounge

Raven, January 12, 2013

See the orbs?

Was any photoshopping done on these pics?  Well, I can only speak for mine.  Yes, there was on mine.  My nipple was showing so I erased it.  But that's all.  I don't have enough photoshop  know-how to do orbs... yet.  ;)  And obviously, I photoshopped the yellow rings. 

Just for reference, here's a pic from Raven taken a few seconds after the picture above.

Smile!  :)

No orbs.

By now you're either saying "Wow!  This is cool!" or "This chick is nuts."  Or not.

So, assuming these orbs aren't dust, etc, why would they appear in pics of TG girls? 

I have no concrete scientific answer.  Just like I have no answer as to "Does God exist?"

But the romantic in me says this;  I've read many places that spirits that remain, stay for many reasons.  Some stay due to lives unlived or incomplete.  Others remain in places that brought them happiness in life. 

Who, if not the transgendered, live lives that can end "incomplete?"  Who, if not us, find comfort in the company of our Sisters? 

So the romantic in me says that these are the Spirits of our Sisters who find comfort and joy in our celebrations and company.  (or, in the case of the Raven, perhaps alternate lifestyle individuals for whom the Raven was a haven.)

I have no proof in this, as I said.  But something inside me derives some solace in that.

We as people are ALL haunted by Ghosts: Ghosts of our pasts; of those we loved and lost; of deeds and misdeeds; of what Could or Should have been.  We all acquire ghosts in our lives.  For some, the ghosts overwhelm us.  Others are able to rise above them.  Our ghosts give us wisdom and can give us strength. 

Ghosts mean that Life isn't absolutely finite- that we exist beyond our physical time on this planet.  They allow for the possibility of Heaven and an afterlife of some form.  We as people are Mortal- we die.  That's a fact.  But the idea that our spirit could live on? 

One can hope.

And being trans is ALL about Hope.