Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Dream from the Other Night

Late last week, I had a Dream that stuck with me.

First a little background- as I've mentioned before, when I was in college I joined a fraternity. In May 1985, I joined Phi Kappa Sigma (Skull House)at Drexel University.  Then I transferred to Penn State, where, eventually, I lived in the fraternity house there.  How this came to be is a long and complex story, and truth to be told isn't the happiest tale.  That said, I wrote a book about it, which was never published.

Skull House, PSU 1987. I took this from the apartment building across the street.

Anyhow, I graduated from Penn State, but didn't really keep in close touch with too many of the brothers until Facialbook came along.  I visited as often as I could over the years, but the place I visit the House most is in my dreams.

Yes really.

Usually when I dream about the House, it is many times larger than it really is, with parts under construction and a massive three story foyer.  Its always like the House as viewed through a funhouse mirror.

I've only dreamed of myself as Sophie there a couple of times.  In any case, I'm always whatever my age is at the time, while the brothers are all exactly as they were all those years ago.

SO... This Dream.  It was Homecoming, and I went to the House for the alumni reception, not knowing what to expect.  I was wearing a black cocktail dress that showed just enough cleavage to be interesting, pumps, and modest jewelry.  In this dream, there were other people who in the dream I knew were fellow alumni, but who I don't know (random dream people generator at work again!)  In this dream, the active brothers are "current" meaning I don't know any of them.  A couple of them wonder who I am, and why is an unescorted woman wandering about the first floor of the House, having a drink.

These two guys, dressed in mismatched jackets and slacks, come over to me and ask me my business there, and I tell them that once upon a time, I was a Brother there.  They looked me up and down and started to laugh.  I then completed my part of the fraternity "challenge" (used to identify brothers from other chapters, alumni, etc) and they were stunned.

Word passed quickly that one of the alumni is transgender.  But no one else challenged me.  Or even spoke to me.  I stood looking at old composites and scrapbooks (one of which I worked on back in my day) sipping wine and tolerating the occasional stare or laugh in my direction.

The letters are the only set I have from then that still fits me

I walked  out onto the large porch, wine in hand.  It was night, and the spotlights shown up on the house like they always have.  I always thought that being on the front porch at night was like being on a giant stage with all of PSU as the audience.

So I was out on the porch and one of the actives approached me.  He was young and thin, almost gaunt, like I was during college.  He came over and said, "excuse me, are you him, I mean her?"

And I said "if you mean am I Sophie who was a brother here, yes, I am."  And I smiled.

He looked very shy and nervous.  "Um, so you're transgender?"

"Yes.  Why?"

"I was kinda wondering if I could ask you a few um questions."

"Sure," I said, "but it'll cost you a drink."  I held out my plastic cup.  "Cabernet please?"  And I smiled.

And it being a Dream, he went and got it with lightning speed, and he had one for himself as well.

We toasted to Phi Kappa Sigma, then I said "ask away."

"What is it like?  Being a woman?"  he said.

"It's wonderful.  I'm finally at peace."

He looked around to see if anyone was watching.  Then he said, quietly, "I think I'm like you, and I'm really scared."

I put my plastic cup of wine on the ground and hugged him.  "It's going to be ok" I said.

Then the alarm woke me up.

I really wish I could return to that dream.  I want to see how this person dealt with it all.  How did the fraternity react?  What did she do about it?

I guess I'll never know.  But I can hope that this person in my dreams had a happy ending.

*UPDATE*  There is a bit of a sequel HERE at TG Forum.


  1. Don't you just hate it when that alarm rings? (Or in some cases - love it...like me with the bad (awful) dream a few nights ago...waking up was a blessing.)

    Wonder what makes us (collectively) have dreams (good or bad)...guess I'll never be a psychologist.



  2. Hi Sophie, maybe that person is you?? If so, you already know how it turns out.