Reflections

Personal stories about insight, wisdom, consciousness, and responses to the conditions of life.

Kurt

When I began transition, I was required to have a mental health therapist. I was given the name of Ralph Hyman in Little Rock, but he was booked up at the time, so he gave me the name of Kurt Wilhelm...although I began also attending a group therapy session with Ralph...because I would eventually have o have two therapists sign off on any surgery I might have.

I wrote the following remembrance of Kurt after he passed away.

The graphic is entitled Door.

Topic: 

3

Nothingness and Being

Sand photo sand2.jpgIn the wayback, when I first began transition in 1992, we had this newfangled email thing which I hd been using, but I was using it less than efficiently. My daughter's partner persuaded me to join the Sappho email list, claiming that might be helpful to stem the tide of isolation I was beginning to feel. Sappho was a list started by a straight woman for lesbians. Shortly after I joined that list, I learned about the Transgen email list for transgender people which had been established by Julie Waters, so I joined that as well.

And I got extremely busy on those lists. I used to check the site usage for the college and found that it was not unusual to have about three quarters of the incoming email for the site headed in my direction.

About three months after I transitioned, the Mosaic web browser was released. So One could go look at the webpages available...but they were pretty sparse. By 1995 a company called GeoCities was created which allowed users to build their own websites.

I was an early adopter. I homesteaded in the WestHollywood neighborhood (number 8440). I began publishing some of my writings there...Including the diary of my last month before surgery (blogging, as it were), which I had shared with members of the Owls (Older Wiser Lesbians) email list which had been spun off of Sappho in 1994 (I was a founding member).

The piece I am sharing today was created during that period. I've dusted the mold off of it and repaired a few rips here and there. Last weekend in my Spirituality diary I posted that I was searching for my list of Life Lessons.

Found them :-)

Topic: 

3

Inclusion

Once upon a time...

Okay, so I've already told most of the story about how I got to be where I am...and who I am. But there is more. There is always more. It would take another lifetime to include everything.

 photo pflag_logo_zpsh65qzwel.jpgAfter transitioning and surgery and all that, some of which has been told and some of which is coming soon, I failed in an attempt to move to Seattle during the last half of 1995. When I returned to Arkansas, I decided that if I couldn't choose where I lived, it was time to change the place that I lived. I got involved with PFLAG first since my daughter was a lesbian. Protecting the children should come first.

Later I became a member of the board of the Arkansas Gay and Lesbian Task Force. But first and foremost I considered myself as a PFLAG mom. Hell hath no fury life a PFLAG mom.

This was first presented at a PFLAG regional conference in Tulsa in 1998 and published shortly thereafter at my Geocities West Hollywood website. Looking around on the Google yesterday, I noticed that several people and organizations still link to it...even though I took down my site when Yahoo first claimed that my work was their intellectual property.

Topic: 

3

Gender Prison: Aint I a Human?

Outside the Box photo outsidethebox.jpgFrom time to time since I came out I have been asked to address various groups of people to justify our existence. At one and he same time I have agreed to do that while simultaneously asking myself, "By what right do I speak for any group of people?"

Today's chapter is one of those efforts. It is the introductory statement to students in a Psychology of Women class I was invited to address.

The Image to the left is entitled Outside the Box

Topic: 

Column: 

3

The Mountaintop, Revisited

I've been publishing version of this every Martin Luther King Day since I joined in 2005. It is especially apropos this year since it also represents part of my journey and so qualifies as a part of my autobiography.

If you haven't been following along, but would like to, I have links:

One or more starts

Chapter

Comings Out (Adding Context)

Character Development

A Winter

Hippie Memories

Where ragged people go

Seeking love, finding only beads

Layers of Why (time for some theory)

Ketchup Soup

Interlude<

A Gathering of Rainbows

Spirituality

Sappho Party, 1993 by Jade photo reserven.jpgI am an activist for my people. As I have grown older, I have more likely performed my activism with my words, which is the tool I have had at hand.

Sometimes I am repetitive. I am a teacher. Some lessons are hard. That's a clue to the fact that they are important. Important lessons need to be taught more than once, again and again, time and again, using different words, approaching the issue from different points of view. That's what I do. Some of you claim that I do it "ad nauseam." It's your nausea, not mine.

Many of you know me as the transsexual woman (or whatever you call me...I'm sure that it is not favorable in many instances). Some of you know me as an artist or a poet. Some of you see the teacher in me. Or the glbt activist and PFLAG parent. I am all of these. I am a human being.

I was born in a place and time. I have absorbed the life lessons presented to me since then. I am still learning.

I've tried to pass on what I have learned. I continue to make that effort, in whatever new venues are available, wherever I can find an opened eye or ear.

Topic: 

0

Spirituality

 

 

 photo truth2_zps8ed0fff7.jpg
 

 

Once upon a time, in a land far away, I participated in a writer's workshop.

We were given the first phrase of the beginning of a story and asked to finish that beginning. You are invited to do the same.

The first phrase:

 

We called you in here because...
 

 

This is what I came up with:

"We called you in here because we can't let you keep saying what you do," said the man at the Bureau of Religious Thought.

My mind reeled at his words. "Why not? I speak the truth."

"That doesn't matter," he said. "Your words, Truth™ or not, are dangerous."

"They are only dangerous to those who don't know the truth," I replied.

"You don't get it, do you? Truth™ is a commodity, packaged and sold in our churches, not something that just anyone can invent."

"I'm not inventing it," I said. "The truth is there for anyone to discover. It's free, though it does come with a cost."

"No. I'm sorry, but you are wrong. We own Truth™. You can check out our trademark registration. Whatever it is you wish to say, we don't really care. But you can't call it Truth™."

Topic: 

0

A Gathering of Rainbows

July 4th weekend, 1993

A little background: On Wednesday, June 30, one of my students (named Rachel) suggested that I might be interested in attending the Rainbow Gathering near Mount Victory, Kentucky. The Rainbow Family is a collection of assorted people, loosely categorized as "hippies" that have been meeting at a US national park for the last 22 years [+21--ed] in order to commune with nature, to seek self‑healing, and to try to join their energies in quest for world peace, social harmony, and ecological balance (and maybe get stoned a bit also :-) ).

This is a part of my auto-biographical thingy...

Topic: 

3

Interlude

If I have failed to convey that my life journey has been about finding a place where I belong, then I have managed to gloss over a large part of that which defines who I am. My adult life has been built around teaching, which to me is about helping others find a place where they belong, where they are valued. I've spent most of my life being told I should go away because I didn't fit in, that if I had any value, it lay elsewhere. Or at least that's the impression I received. As a kid. As a hippie, As a Christian. As a PFLAG parent. As an LGBT person. As a lesbian. As a transgender person. As a human being.

The next several chapters, starting with this one are going to relate my efforts to ameliorate those feelings, to open a few doors for myself, and by extension for other transgender people...to build some needed empathy. It is what I do. It is who I am.

Topic: 

3

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Reflections