Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Nature

What is the Nature of this Pain?

Why do I feel this way?  It is a familiar feeling- I've felt it many times before.

I knew long ago that by following my Truth, that there would be Sacrifices.  I knew what I was surrendering by following this path.

What I Need is so far away- a distant Light in the Darkness.  I know I will never reach it.  Not in this life anyway.

I haven't walked alone- no far from it.  So many friends- so many dear ones.  All prodding me along- some gently, some not so.  There are many who would lift me to the light ahead- and many who say I should turn away.


I reach and I reach.  I stretch and strain.  But that goal is beyond my reach.  Too distant.

I feel an old familiar Pain.  I want what I cannot have.  I can't even speak of it, because to do so would cause even more Pain.  I know what I have lost- I know what I've given up.  I will never have that which I desire.  Who.  Why.

The Light is so far away.

So. I've felt this before.  I will do what I have before.  Deny myself.  Isolate.  Curl up in a ball and let the Pain wash over and through me.  As it will.  Does that work?  Yes.  I've done it many times- and it's the only way I know.

But it leaves Scars.  There are always Scars.

My entire soul is a Scar.  Deep.  Unending.

Scars to outnumber the stars on a clear desert night.  Deeper than the night sky.


Scars.  Stars.

So many.  The Light of the distant stars is no comfort.  My goal seems far more distant than any of them.

And so I curl up, so I can't see them.  I can't see the Stars.  All I see are the Scars.

In the Darkness, I wait for the Pain to subside.

Monday, February 20, 2017


A few weeks back I wrote about auditioning for a play: the Vagina Monologues.

Monday, February 13, 2017 was the day.  I was to be there by 3 pm for a run through, etc.  I took my time getting ready.  I had to do so quietly, as Linda, my roomie and bestie, was asleep.  She had worked very early that morning, and needed it.

I wish I could've afforded the time and money to go see Amanda Richards for a proper makeup job.  Or that Linda wasn't so bone tired, so she could do it (she is a Hollywood trained makeup artist,) but wishes are Lies, and I had to do it myself.

I put on my red polka dotted dress, my only pair of hose that fit, and red pumps.  I felt ready.  I felt VERY good about my hair.  Sophie's Luck:  Perfect hair... on a day with High winds.

Behind the seats before the show.

I got into my car and noticed that the hose had a major run in them.  DAMMIT!  So off they came.  They later came to rest in a dumpster near the theater.

The ride was around 45 minutes, during which I listened to the Grateful Dead to put me in a better mood.

I parked two blocks from the theater in the only free parking I could find.  It was a cold walk to the theater, and the door was locked.  I could see no one inside.  I looked for shelter from the freezing wind, then someone else walked up to the door, and they were let in.  I ran over as fast as I could in three inch heels and also went in.

I was met by one of the director/producers, Bethany.  She led me through the theater to the dressing room.  It was small and cramped.  I'd never been backstage at a theater before.  I was nervous.  Excited.  I walked around the stage area and began meeting other actresses.  Ebony, the other producer/director, and the one with whom I worked on my original piece, appeared later.

Most of them were younger than me, and most of them had acting experience.  Lots.  It seemed that most of them knew each other.  Yet, I didn't feel like an outsider.  I was there as part of something bigger.

Ebony (producer/director), some fat chick, "Messie", Kira, Tatiana, Bethany (producer/director), Jennifer.

Soon enough, my dear friend Kira arrived.  After auditions, I was asked if I knew transwomen who would be interested in joining the cast.  I thought about it, and asked two of my dear friends.  One couldn't make it due to a conflict, but the other- Kira- auditioned and won a part.  I was so happy she would be there with me.  And, in fact, during our group part, she would be standing next to me.  She is a pillar of strength and calm.

We were then given the structure of the show, and our places (stools).

View of the stage in the main theater

We then ran through the show once to iron out details.  Everyone was so wonderful at their parts!  The show was not filmed, but Kira was kind enough to record my final rehearsal.  Find that HERE.  (The first line was cut off.  It was "I am a woman.")

After that, the directors provided some food trays as well as some drinks.  We all ate, and while doing so I fell into conversation with several different people.  They were from all walks of life.

It's important to note, we were reading off cards.  No memorization.  Supposedly.

At 6 PM, the pre-show started in the "inner lobby."  You see, the show sold out completely, so chairs were set up in the inner lobby for 100 more people to see the show (at a discounted price.)  So the plan was that we do our bit in the main theater, then head out to the lobby to do the show again for that crowd.  There we would sit on the stools out there until the end of the show.

Backstage Waiting

Except for myself and a few others.  We would speak again later during the "Testimonials" part.  I would be the first of those.  So after my group part, I would then go back into the theater and wait backstage until my turn again.

In the crowd out in lobby, I spotted my roomie and bestie Linda, as well as my dear friend Lilia.  They had come to support me.  I knew that my friend Elizabeth was also there with two people, but I didn't see her.

Pre-show lobby crowd.

At around 6:30, we were told "doors are open," so all of us huddled in the cramped dressing room.  The people who knew each other chatted and joked.  I pretty much moved around silently.

Soon enough we lines up in the darkened backstage area, lit only by blue track lighting.  We waited through the introductions of the show's beneficiaries (it was a benefit.)  One of the rambled on and on, until someone said "Sister, this is a long show, and we still have one other person to speak to."  A laugh.  The second person spoke briefly.  And then, we filed out onto the stage to applause.  And the show began.

Backstage where we waited for our cue.

My first part, the group part with Kira and three others was early in the show.  It wasn't recorded, but there are youtube videos of the piece being performed by other groups.  Then, we filed off to applause, and went to the other room and did it again.

I watched for a little bit, then sneaked backstage.  There I took some pictures and waited.  Eventually i was told to take a seat out on the stools between speakers.  Then, when the time came for my "Testimony" piece, I was ready.

I gave my piece.  It was just me on the stage of a theater- 150 eyes and ears on me.  I did my piece, but one of the cards was missing.  Fortunately I had rehearsed it enough that I knew the missing part and plowed through it.  When I finished, I strutted off the stage defiantly, shoulders back.  I felt it fit the ending.  Applause!

For me!

I quickly went back to the dressing room and found the missing card, then waited to do my bit on the second stage.  Then, I was ON!

As I performed the second time, there were maybe 100 people.  But it was different this time.  The audience was more... responsive.  There were at least two African American women saying "Mmmhmm!!" and "that's right, sister!"  and "You tell' em!"  I felt wonderful!

Again I finished.  More applause.  I was floating on air.

A bit later, we took our group bows, both the outside stage and in the theater.

It sounded louder in the theater.  As we all bowed and curtsied (three or four times) the crowd stood and gave us a standing ovation.  I could see Linda and Lilia and Elizabeth (my three friends who attended) standing and applauding.  And smiling!

Oh God, it was wonderful!

After the Show, I was in Heaven

Then... it was over.  The theater emptied.  I spoke briefly to Linda and Lilia, then Elizabeth and her group.  I stopped back in the dressing room to drop off my cards.  Then, out to the lobby where everyone was crowding around.

So many people I didn't know came up and hugged me.  They thanked me.  They told me how courageous I was.  I thanked them all- I didn't know what else to say.  Soon, I had wine (in a plastic cup) in my hand.  I was numb- in a good way.  I felt like I was dreaming and I didn't want to wake up.

A very tall and strongly built African American man came up to me.  He was dressed in a way that a Republican would judge him as a "thug."  I'd seen him in the audience in the lobby part, and met his gaze once while performing.  He came up and gave me a gentle hug saying, in a voice soft as a memory, that he really enjoyed my piece- that he never understood what it meant to be Trans, but now he did.  I thanked him as well- tears forming in my eye.

I stayed close to people I knew mostly.  Linda and Lilia left quickly, as Linda had to get up early for work.  However I did meet new people as well.

I started speaking to a couple of women.  They were out and proud lesbians who were taking pictures of each other next to a huge chalk art vagina in the outer lobby.  I offered to take  pictures of them both, which I did.  We then started chatting.

Tart and Art

They had the usual questions.  Then one asked why a Man would CHOOSE to become a woman.

"Oh, like you chose your sexuality?" I replied.

I saw the light bulb come on.  They Understood now.  I felt wonderful.  I wonder how many minds and hearts were changed that night as well.

Soon the crowd thinned down.  Elizabeth drove me to my car, and I drove home.  Again, I listened to the Grateful Dead.  I couldn't stop smiling.

I woke the next morning in a Wonderful mood!  Best I'd felt in Years!  Decades! As I prepared for work, I thought about how great the day would be- how many customers I could turn on to new books and such.

Then I arrived at work...

And everything went straight to Hell.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Day After Play

I can't give all the details, but here's what I can say.

So, I went into work feeling wonderful.  It was Valentine's Day. I was still feeling great from the play the night before.

I clocked in, and went to my station at the cash registers.  A cashier was there already.  I'll just say she put a damper on my mood by complaining constantly and repeating herself.

Later in the shift, we were busy.  It was lunch time and many people were in the store buying Valentine's Day gifts.  My fellow cashier was with a mother and daughter, and was taking her sweet old time.  There was a line.  Three people back in that line was a woman approximately my age (50s).  She kept looking at her watch, sighing loudly, and looked VERY impatient.  (I'll call her Impatient.)

I did my best to serve the customers in line, but it seemed like people were in slow motion.  Everyone had to grope around their purses for exact change, or write a check.  Impatient was loudly saying things like "come on!" and sighing loudly.  My fellow cashier was STILL on those two.  I finish my last person before Impatient, when the other cashier calls me over.  She needs to start over, so I aborted her transaction.  I then called Impatient to my register.

"Thank you for your patience," I said, while I started ringing up her three books.

"It's about time!  Some of us have REAL jobs, you know."  Full of attitude.

"I'm sorry, I can only move as quickly as the people in front of me."

She grumbled something, and I said "I'm sorry, ma'am, if you wish to speak to a manager, I can get one."

"You've already wasted enough of my time," she snapped.  I completed the transaction, and wished her a good day.  She snatched the bag from my hand, and as she walked away said "Fucking tranny!"

I was stunned.  And Furious.  At this point, my colleague finished with the mother/daughter.  I called for help, and as the three of us quickly reduced the line.  As we finished I heard an announcement:

"Sophie, please call [manager's office extension.]"

Within an hour, I left the bookstore crying and believing that my employment was over.

That is all I can say about that day at work right now.

I went home, sobbing.

Just After Work: the "fucking tranny"

I called a couple of friends and listened to what they had to say.  I then decided to remove myself from the company facialbook pages, one of which (LGBT and allies page) that I started.

I went to bed, crying quietly as my roomie and bestie Linda was asleep (she worked very early in the morning.)

She woke up and asked why I was there.  I told her.  I couldn't stop crying.

I was going to disengage my facialbook page completely, but I decided that I needed support.  I needed my friends.

The Darkness had me.

I called the Transgender suicide hotline.  Twice.  Both times I got "No one is available to take your call.  Please try again later."

I couldn't sleep.  I took melatonin as well as a muscle relaxant, and tried working on my blog.  What I wrote was all too dark, and I scrapped it.

I leaned HARD on my friends online.  And, after dropping out of the work facialbook groups, I suddenly received many messages of support and friend requests from employees of the bookstore across the country.

Thank you to everyone for your support.  And to my friends who I leaned on, I love you all.

So, I started the day at an amazing high and ended deeply low.

So, was that happiness a Lie?  Is any happiness in my life a Lie?  Yes.  And I HATE lies.  I hate lies, and I'm so good at lying.  I lied to myself and the world for decades.

That's where I am right now.  I'm typing this while watching the Katie Couric special on Gender.  I'm watching Dr. Marci Bowers discussing people getting GCS.

And tears are in my eyes.  Because I will never be able to get this done.

Happiness is a Lie.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Note:  I dictated this on Sunday morning.  A lot has changed since then.  Not for the good.  But here it is anyway.

Oh, and that day I was misgendered three times.


It is a rainy winter Sunday morning.  I woke up with my alarm.  I will have to go to work today.

However, as usual, after the alarm goes off,  I'm staring at the ceiling- wondering why why why should I even keep going?  The Darkness has me firmly,  and perhaps, if I hadn't gotten rid of the method, this entry would not be taking place.

But the fact of the matter is that I did get rid of the method, and this conversation is taking place, as are the feelings.  I considered going onto facial book and expressing how I feel; to get some support from my sisters  and from my friends.  But I decided against it. I don't want to be perceived as even more of a whiner than I am.  I don't want to be that person who's always looking for sympathy. I've gone through my entire life fending for myself, and perhaps I've been spoiled by the amazing support of the community.

Do I share too much?  That is the question.

This Blog has been going on for over eight years, and in it I have bared my soul.  I can't say that it's not without repercussions.  It's this blog that my mother-in-law found that caused her to throw me out.  This blog that has caused the company I work for  "concern." And yet I to continue I post some things that are happy some things that are fiction; some things that are political; however, for the most part I just post what I feel like.  I post how I feel like because to me that's what this blog is about. Maybe that's why I don't have that many readers.

Well that's fine.  In a way I do write it for readers.  I'd like to have my voice heard.  I like to think I make a difference, and, every once in a while, I hear that I do.  So that keeps me going, but it still doesn't answer the question: do I share too much?  Should I just shut up, man up, and keep rolling?

The male part of me is gone. It's dead- except for some loose ends that still need to be tied up, but probably never will be.  I am legally female.  My name is legally changed.  Both of these procedures took a long time.  Both these procedures are in danger of being lost.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared.  As I said before somewhere, I like to think I am past that or at least I'd like to think I am. I don't know, part of me still wants to curl up in a ball.  A bigger part of me just wants it to be over with to meet Lisa in the Light, but not today.

Gratuitous Sophie Pic

So I threw my legs over the side of the bed, stood up, heard my knees crack as they always do, and shuffled over to the bathroom to get a shower; to slap on my face; and to go to work-  because not only is that what's expected of me: it's required lest I lose the apartment. If I lose the apartment, myself and Linda are homeless. In the end, I absolutely do not care what happens to me, but I don't want Linda to be affected by it. I don't want my daughter to be.

Maybe that's why I'm still here and still breathing and wondering if I share too much.

So it is still a rainy winter Sunday morning.  It's gray; it's glum; and gloomy.  It is a typical Southeast Pennsylvania winter day, except that it is not snowing. As I go to work, I think about what will happen today.  How will I make a difference?

Yesterday, I was misgendered twice, so today I am wearing something that shows just a little more cleavage.  I did my makeup with just a little more care because the misgendering stabs me in the heart.  Every single time.  Still, every time, it hurts.

I know: "get over it."  But I can't help that part- I can't help my heart. I can't help myself. I can't help the way my brain was built. I can't help the Darkness.  All I can do is fight, fight, fight, and I am so tired of fighting.

But that's what they're counting on- those in power today.  That after so many atrocities, we as a nation will grow tired of fighting, and just let them have their way.  People keep saying that they know how this movie ends- that we will win, and I wish I could believe that.

But I don't.

I really don't.

Evil will have its way.  It did in Germany, and it took millions of brave lives to fix it. I wonder how many millions of lives it will take to fix this one.  Perhaps even billions.

Because it WILL happen.  It's already started.  The roundups have begun.  First they came for the Muslims... and they have Quotas to meet!  Because Evil is Evil, and now Evil is in charge.

Some people may disagree- that's your prerogative, but this is my blog and this is what I'm sharing for today.

Be well.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Book Review: "Tr**ny" by Laura Jane Grace

Veteran readers of this blog know that occasionally I do book reviews.  I don't review EVERY trans-related book I read, but some of them scream to be discussed.

One such book is Tr**ny by Laura Jane Grace.  Ms. Grace is the lead singer of the punk group Against Me.  She came out as Transgender in May 2012 in a VERY public way- on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.  And unlike a certain trans celebrity, she has been an amazing positive voice for the Trans community.

A little background may be in order.  I was introduced to Punk music in the 80s.  Sex Pistols, Black Flag, Ramones, Misfits... that sort of thing.  In the short time I attended Drexel University, I went to South Street many times, as back then it was punk heaven, with stores such as "Zipperhead," "Trash and Vaudeville," and "Philadelphia Record Exchange."  I even managed to get into JC Dobbs once in a while.  This was back when the Music mattered- and all that mattered was the Music.

Oh, and I worked at something called a "Record Store."  If you don't know what that is, ask your parents.

Punk appeals to the Anger in me- the sense of Outrage.  At the inequity of the world.  At Injustice.  But mostly at the fact that I was born- and that I was born Different.  It was cathartic.  I still listen to Punk- the Punk I know anyway.

In the early to mid 90s, the music started leaving me behind.  It all started sounding the same.  The Revolution started by the grunge bands was sanitized, especially by Stone Temple Pilots.  (Nirvana is popular?  STP sounded like them.  Pearl Jam is hot right now?  STP sounds just like them.  Ad nauseum.)  The last "new" music I picked up was Green Day Dookie.  Yeah, really.

Fast forward to 2012.  Ms Grace came out Very publicly.  By that time, my True self had reawakened and I was on the road to transition, even if I dared not admit it.  I'd never heard of Against Me.  But I was so glad for Ms Grace.  Even a little jealous.  After all, she was living her Truth, and, as a "rock star," could easily afford to transition.  Or so I thought.

Laura Jane Grace
Photo credit:

Fast forward again to Now.  Laura Jane Grace released her book.  Even the title is controversial.  Let's face it- the title is a slur.  She said "It's almost mentally taxing to look at my book in ways, but it captures a lot of what the book is about. And a lot of what the book is about is internalized transphobia and self-hate and that's an experience that I had and I went through."

Right.  I saw the book when it came in, and bought it with my next pay check.

Ok, so the review.

I read a LOT of music memoirs, biographies, etc.  Some are the same old sex and drugs and rock and roll.  Some rise above that to become something Special.  Three come to mind immediately:  Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, and Bruce Springsteen.  Make that Four.  Really.

Does Tr*nny have sex, drugs, and rock and roll?  Yes, of course.  And it has the requisite "struggling band lives in a van/bus/car" as well.  What makes this different- what sets this apart?  History.  Ms. Grace has kept journals for many years, and in those journals, she has been brutally honest.

And, I'm sure her words echoed in the minds of SO many of us.


I tell myself every time that it's the last time.  I swear, just this one last time and then never again.

Cross-dressing feels like
I can never be anything more than a pervert dressed up in women's clothes.
So sick, sick, sick.
I want to black it all out.
I do not care if i am alive or dead.

Where are you supposed to go when you no longer feel welcome in the places you turned to because you didn't feel welcome anywhere else?

All of these, and many like them, hit me like a shot to the heart.  I felt physically hurt.  I KNOW those feelings.  I've lived them.  So many of us have.

However, a little later in the book, Ms. Grace completely tore out my heart.

I've had that conversation with my daughter.  And every year for Christmas, she asks Santa "I want my daddy to come home."

There is no Pain like it in the world- the pain of a child who just wants her world not to change.  All she wants is her daddy- and you can't give that to her.  Because daddy is dead.  Daddy was a shell- a poison killing the Soul.

Ms. Grace dealt with Pain through substance abuse and through her music.  And one day, when her male world was disintegrating around her, she finally made the only choice that she could make if she wanted to survive- to Transition.

But it is never easy- her band was all but gone.  She kept touring as her only form of income, but the cost of transition was far out of reach.  She did it anyway.  I understand completely.

The book tore my soul to pieces.  And, 3/4 through it, I wondered- here I was exploring the intense Pain of this woman's psyche, and I didn't know her music.  I knew what drove it- I knew its Source.  I felt like I was not getting the whole story.  So, I saved my pennies and bought Against Me's Transgender Dysphoria Blues.  

That was a month ago.  It has lived in my car's CD player since.

THIS... THIS...  This is what the Music used to mean to me.  Raw.  Powerful.  The Howl of a Soul who wanted- Needed to be heard.  Songs that spoke to not just my mind, but to my heart and hips.  THIS is the Punk rock I remember from that long ago day when I first heard the opening chords of Never Mind the Bollocks by the Sex Pistols.  When I heard Joey Ramone's sneering voice.  Patti Smith half speaking "Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine."

The Music of my Anger- of the Pain I felt from being born Wrong.  The Outrage of a Life that should have been.

You want them to notice,
The ragged ends of your summer dress.
You want them to see you
Like they see every other girl.
They just see a faggot.
They'll hold their breath not to catch the sick.

But even if your love was unconditional
It still wouldn't be enough to save me

NOW I understood the book in a new way- a more complete way.

So.  Obviously, I loved this book.  It is not for the Timid.  Ms. Grace's prose writing style is as raw as her music.  An exposed nerve.

For my cisgender readers, if you want to know what being Trans does to a person's soul- especially when one has to deny it for so long- then THIS is the book you need.

For my Trans readers- get past the title, and read this.  Share in our sister's Pain and Triumph.  Because that's what this book (and CD) is: a Triumph.

I'm going to save my pennies and buy more of her music.  She has restored my faith in it.

Against Me is currently on tour.  The closest they will come to me in Philly is Washington DC.  Maybe next time.  My dear friend Amanda Farren saw them, and even met Ms. Grace.  She said they are amazing in concert- and she is a woman whose opinion I trust.

Ms. Grace- Thank you for your music, your writing, and for being You.

Seriously.  Thank you.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Proceedings: January 2017

A few major things happened this month, but I haven't written about them.  Why?  Well, lots of reasons.

First was the end of the United States of America.  It ended January 20 when a fascist was elevated to leader.  I don't think I need to say any more there.  LGBT, especially transpeople, are in BIG trouble.  As I've written before- I sincerely do not believe I will live to see the end of his reign- and it will not end peacefully.

I was going to ditch the blog and concentrate on writing letters and emails to government officials to fight this evil.  However, recently I decided I can do both.  After all- one of Pennsylvania's senators, Toomey, has shut down all ways for constituents to reach him.  Our voices do not matter to the GOP.

Millions took to the streets to protest Cheeto Mussolini and his Legion of Doom.  I was not among them.  I was with Wife as she was buying a new car. It took so long, I had to call out of work. I was there because I had to sign off on the trade-in as my dead name was on the registration of the old one.  The guy at the car dealership purposefully misgendered me, AFTER being told I'm trans.

At the dealership.


On Sunday January 22, it was a rainy, cold and miserable day.  I drove into the city to audition for a play:  The Vagina Monologues.  I saw that a dear friend of mine, Isabelle Nicole Herman, was doing it up in Bethlehem.  And i thought about how i would LOVE to have that courage.  So I googled Vagina Monologues Philadelphia, and found that there was an upcoming production which was having try outs... and they wanted people with no stage experience.  Well, I've spoken to large groups of people (and sung to small groups) but I'd never been in a play.  So it was that on this miserable day, I drove into Philly- to the Sedgwick Theater.  I'd written a piece on the topic of "Violence in the Workplace," had help from friends (especially Jennell Jaquays- THANK YOU!), and rehearsed it many times, much to my roomie and bestie Linda's dismay.

I managed to find the theater and park nearby.  (A miracle!)  I was the first supplicant to arrive.  There was a small table there, and two women (one of whom unlocked the door to let me in out of the rain.)  I never had done this before, so I didn't know if I had to wait for everyone else to arrive, if we'd be doing this in the theater proper, or what.  I had to use the restroom BADLY, but I was asked to perform immediately.  So, I did.  I read my piece exactly as it was, with four part harmony and full orchestration and all the phenomena...  sorry.  Got carried away.

High Hair in the wind after Audition

I was asked if I would want to also perform a part written for transwomen.  I said "sure."  But I wondered if that meant my piece was rejected.  No- I'd do both.  Eventually, other women arrived, including two other transwomen.  Long story short (too late) I was in.  I will be on stage.  A few days later, I recruited my dear friend Kara to the play.  She will outshine me big time- she is just that good at everything- and that's fine by me.

I made a video of my audition piece.  Find it HERE.

If you want to see me make an utter fool of myself, buy tickets HERE.  But be quick- it's a small theater and WILL sell out fast (if it hasn't already.)


The following Sunday was sunny and cold.  I'd signed off, as there was a convention I wanted to attend.  It was a benefit for an old friend: Hugh Casey.

I first met Hugh in May 1993.  We'd both answered an ad for a Dungeons and Dragons group.  That day I met several people with whom would become very dear friends:  Hugh, Mari, and Deb (who I used to refer to in this blog as "A.")  Also that day, I met Big Al, gone these five years.  Hugh became a fixture at my games until I moved to Baltimore in November 2004.

While I lived in Baltimore, Hugh started running Philcon, which is a large science fiction convention.  He brought happiness and fun to many people.

After I returned from Baltimore in September 2003, I eventually got a job with Vanguard.  Hugh worked there as well, but in a different division.  We were in the same building though, so I saw him regularly.  We'd spoken of getting a new gaming group together, but it never happened.  Still hasn't.

In any case, Hugh has cancer.  And he's unemployed with no insurance.  So this convention was a fund raiser for Hugh, put on by his friends, especially the gorgeous Avi..  Did I mention how many lives Hugh has touched?  Many.

Ready to beam up!

So I said I'd donate a few pieces to a silent auction.  That morning, I dressed in my Star Trek uniform, and drove into Philly to the University of Pennsylvania campus.  There, in a building called the Rotunda, was HughCon.

I donated a VERY rare game, a rare Star Wars toy, and a one of a kind piece I made in 2002.  It was in White Dwarf magazine, Troll magazine and all.  I built it, wrote the scenario (which appeared in the book Warhammer Skirmish: "The Lost Tomb of Hamon Ra", and hand-painted the walls.

Page from White Dwarf

I KNOW the game sold.  The other stuff, I don't know.  I put together a flickr page with pictures of the Tomb, if you're interested.

When I arrived, I unloaded the car.  I quickly saw Avi; her mother the amazing Lorraine Anderson (of Occasional Woman); the Man of the Hour: Hugh... and no one else I knew.  Everyone was busy setting up (as I arrived early to deliver the pieces) so I did my best to stay out of the way.

I met some wonderful people there.  This was my kind of crowd:  Geeks.  Sci-fi, gaming, Trek... I was in my element.  I had a discussion with a young woman about what would happen if you put a Bag of Holding into a Portable Hole while inside a Tardis.  We concluded that if an answer were to be had to that dimensional quandary, this crowd would be the place to find it.

So, if I was in my element... why did I feel so alone?

Most of the time, I stood near walls, just watching.  The people I knew were busy, and Hugh was constantly surrounded by friends.  Eventually, another old friend, Mike, arrived, and we talked a little.   I didn't want to be a bother.  Everyone knew each other, except me.  Or so it seemed.  I met SOME people, yes.  But I just... I don't know.  Something inside me held me back.

With Hugh and Avi

There were three women I clocked as trans, but I didn't want to "out" them, so I only spoke to one.  She had to know I was trans as well.  I saw a transman as well- same thing.  I REALLY wanted to connect with them- I mean, they were Trans geeks, as am I.  Or I was.  I've been out of the scene for so many years.

And maybe that was it- I felt disconnected from it all.  Like I didn't belong.

Familiar territory.

And it made me retreat into my cocoon.

I left early.  I wanted to get home, and I knew it would take a LONG time with traffic (and it did.)


On Tuesday, January 31, I had some things to do.  On the way back, I went to Baltimore.  Why?  Well, one of my dearest friends, Major Kimberly Moore, was there.  We met for lunch at Red Brick Station, one of my old haunts.  It's always wonderful to see her.  She recently was forced from her home for being Trans.  However, she is Strong.  She'll be full time soon.  And, she'll be far more successful at it than I am.

She is simply amazing.

Fat chick with a True Heroine

While in Baltimore, I stopped at the spot where Lisa died.  I also made some inquiries about getting certain paperwork for the book I'm writing about her.  While at her spot, I had another one-sided conversation with her.  As always, I cried.  I miss her so much.


I guess in the end, the reason I didn't write was Me.  I spent a lot of the month fighting the Darkness.  I just went through the motions.  At work.  Home.  I go to work.  Come back to the apartment.  Watch a movie and eat dinner with Linda.  Go to bed early.  Rinse.  Repeat.

I've been having nightmares every night- there are things I have to do, and I continually am lost in a labyrinthine nightmare parody of places I know.  I'm always late- always lost.  And recently, I was even burned at the stake for being "different" by people I care about.

Writing in the Darkness is very difficult anymore.  I'm just so tired.

So.  There you have the events of January 2017.  Faithfully submitted, Sophie Lynne.  Sergeant at arms.

Be well.