Showing posts with label Alzheimer's Association. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alzheimer's Association. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Live Action Week

 

Alzheimer's LGBTQ Shirt 

For some unknown reason, I have had several scheduled and unscheduled appointments come up this week. One on top of each other. 

One of the scheduled appointments was today when my wife Liz and I had our yearly maintenance taken care of on our fairly new heat pump and hot water tank. Since the equipment is new and the work is already paid for in our contract, we did not expect many worries/.Which is exactly what happened. What I did not expect was the work which showed up without notice in our front yard this morning. It turns out, our internet provider picked today to replace service on our street which is all underground. 

To prepare to face all these expected and unexpected workers in our world this morning, I went ahead and shaved closely last night. The only other thing I was going to do was tie my hair back and try my best to be out of the way the best I could. It worked fairly well, since the two workers who needed to come in the house were courteous and did not mis-gender me one way or another.

Coming up in a couple of days, I will have the opposite happen to me when I need to go to my local Veterans Administration clinic to have my hearing checked. For the visit I plan to try out the new makeup I just purchased and do the best I can to present well as a transgender woman. Since I have had no real problems at the clinic recently, I don't expect any this time either. It will still be interesting since I need to interact closer with a receptionist to make another appointment with my primary provider, which is what the VA calls my family doctor. I have blood work to request for my endocrinologist and another nurse practitioner who monitors my psych medications. It seems like every six months or so everyone wants a shot of my blood to examine so I might as well get a head start on the process. 

Finally, for this month I have another Alzheimer's diversity committee meeting coming up and for the time being, it will be another virtual get together which is much easier for me. As always, I urge you to contact your local chapter if your are having potential or current dementia problems in your family. I have found the Cincinnati/Dayton groups to be very pro-LGBTQ+ friendly in their approach to me. 

I am sure I will have more to add to this post after my upcoming visit to the VA but for now, I hear the equipment working in the front yard so I don't have much faith in the internet staying on. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Writing Euphoria

Image from the Jessie Hart
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Every now and then I receive a comment which brings all the effort I put into writing a daily transgender blog into focus. 

When I started writing this blog over ten years ago, I set out to hopefully help anyone else with gender issues similar to mine. Back in those days, when I revisited my old blog posts, I mainly see an over riding interest with my feminine appearance and not much else. Of course when I transitioned into a fulltime life as a transgender woman, I discovered all the other challenges I was going to face. It was all much different than my life as a casual cross dresser. 

This is where the writer's euphoria comes in. I recently received this comment from Jennifer " Thank you for publishing your thoughts and experiences. I am an older, but not that wiser, transgender woman just starting out on the road to femininity. Your blog helps me much to understand the hurtles I am about to encounter. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and opening up to your experiences.

Thank you, Jennifer" You are welcome Jennifer and thanks for sharing such a wonderful comment. 

Somehow, along the way, the blog made it's own transition into looking at my life as a senior transgender woman. I found, being "more mature" in many ways had it's advantages. Primarily when it came to beginning gender affirming hormones. Because at my age, my testosterone level was already in a decline, the rush of new estrogen in my system seemed to be more natural. On the other hand of course, I needed to go through the medical screening process to determine if I was healthy enough to proceed on the program I was prescribed

As far as being "older but not wiser", I think I faced that aspect of my life also more than I could ever write about. For better or for worse, I had already went past and missed my formative feminine years and needed to master the mysteries of makeup and fashion on my own. There were no teen girls to critique my look and for me to return the favor. Plus, I spent way to much time alone with no girlfriends to shop at the mall with. 

I discovered too, there was a small niche of older transgender women who had lived through the dark and lonely pre-internet years. I am amazed how many readers still remember fondly the "Transvestia" publication along with Virginia Prince. But then again, it was all we had to provide any sort of light in our gender closets. 

These days, I am still committed to attempting to provide any guidance I can to anyone like Jennifer who needs it. After all, our gender journeys through life on one hand are so similar but on the other not so much. Each of us needs to navigate how we are going to shed a life of living male and begin all over again. And just when we think we have it made, we need to face the reality of being trans in retirement communities and/or assisted living. Regardless of all the negative publicity we receive from politicians, I still believe more people such as the "Alzheimer's Association" are researching ways to be more inclusive to the LGBTQ community. So, there is hope. 

Thanks again Jennifer, Jen (another reader) and all the others of you who join in with me here on the blog. You give me writers euphoria and improve my mental health.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Fear of Gender

New Alzheimer's Pride Shirt

I have always thought those who protest too strenuously over the LGBTQ community as a whole or the transgender community in particular are very afraid of their own gender feelings or sexuality.

The whole reality of gender bigots coming out of their shells in public has happened because they have been emboldened by a certain former president and his party supporters. While, at the same time wealthy MAGA financers have made it possible for them to pursue their bigoted goals at the state political levels. My native state of Ohio is a prime example. A fundamentalist Baptist preacher has been leading the charge to erase all transgender care in the state. In response, the state legislature has already passed bills restricting any care for transgender youth under the age of eighteen. To make matters worse, they have plans to try again to expand the bill to all transgender women and men in the state in the future. So far they have failed and the ACLU has promised to take the state to court over it's bills. 

As I put my anger aside for a moment, I paused and wondered what skeletons the Baptist turned politician had against me. Similar to all of the other transgender people I know, we are just trying to lead a quiet life. The better we are at staying out of the public eye, the better. Plus, don't get me started on what I feel about churches who do more than dabble in partisan politics. 

I shouldn't be surprised with a Baptist preacher leading the anti-trans charge here in Ohio since my brother's in laws are all fundamentalist Baptists and he chose them over me when I came out to him. As much as it hurt, I got over it and we have not communicated in over a decade.

All ranting aside, I am a firm believer in the power of gender to transcend and take over any other paranoia a human may have. From birth we largely have our gender chosen for us. Like it or not, using me as an example, I was obviously born a boy or male but I grew up to be a transgender woman. Not completing the gender journey I was assigned would have led me to an early death. It is my opinion, the most oppressive of the gender bigots have a fear of their true selves. They protest too much as many are clutching their crosses while they are doing it. It is tragic when people hate so much. I don't expect the public to understand me  but I don't expect hate either.

I am lucky to live in a fairly liberal part of Ohio, far away from the area where the ultra anti transgender preacher lives. So my activism comes primarily from my writings, my out-reach attempts with groups such as the Alzheimer's Association and participating in Veterans LGBTQ groups. It is essential for me to let them know how urgent the anti-transgender situation is in Ohio. Sadly I can only do a very little to financially support candidates I knew will help our cause. 

I don't suppose I will ever understand why anyone who wants to harm a person in the LGBTQ community because if you are gay and or lesbian you can't think eventually the gender bigots won't come for your rights also. They are using the weaker transgender community as a starting point. Even if you are a cross dresser deep into your closet, you need to consider your gender future and vote accordingly. 

We all need you!

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Loose Ends

 

Image from the Jessie Hart
Archives

With this post, I have several loose ends to tie up and move on from...for awhile.

Perhaps the most important is my health. I finally received the information from my Veteran's Administration doctors from my recent colonoscopy. Fortunately, everything they removed turned out to be non-cancerous and I was cleared to not return for three years. A real improvement over the last time I went through the procedure only a year ago. I was paranoid I would have to do it again so soon, or worse they would find signs of cancer. As I always like to say, without my health I am nothing. 

Another loose end was a recent meet and greet I went to with a group of diverse friends I am part of. The morning started out with the knowledge my wife Liz, who wasn't feeling good would not be going with me to the brunch which was going to be held at a close by upscale brew pub. Liz and I are normally inseparable, so I knew I would miss her. For the occasion, I wore my new boots, favorite cream colored sweater and dark leggings, Light makeup and what passed for a quick brushing of my hair and I actually felt pretty good about myself. What could go wrong? A heavy cold rain which ruined my hair on the way in because I forgot an umbrella was the first thing which went wrong. Of course I survived a little rain, didn't melt and headed in to the crowded venue  As it turned out my group was clear across the room and I received little or no extra attention as I made my way back to them. So again, I was feeling good about myself. 

All was good until the server came back to take our orders. Out of the clear blue sky (which was cloudy) when it was my turn to order she turned to me and said, can I help you "Sir". The one little word, completely ruined my mood as I told her I wasn't a "Sir." She apologized twice but the damage was already done and it took me awhile to restore my confidence as a transgender woman. The damage went so far to me that I felt sorry for my friend who was sitting next to me and heard what the server said and I think felt my shock. Other than the shaky beginnings, the rest of the meet and greet went well and I headed off to do other errands and be home so I could watch the football playoffs. 

Another loose end I have been waiting to hear about is the outreach idea I had from the Alzheimer's Association diversity group I am a part of. They were/are trying to set me up to do an interview for a statewide Ohio publication called the "Buckeye Flame." Recently I talked virtually to one of the women who was responsible for setting up the interview and she told me she would talk to the person who would be doing it for a time. Since it has been a very difficult time in Ohio for all transgender women and trans men, due to all the anti transgender laws being passed in the legislature, I am sure the publication has bigger fish to fry than talking to me. One way or another, I am sure I will find out more at a upcoming diversity council meeting I will be attending virtually soon. 

For now, that is all the loose ends of my life which need to be tied up. Hopefully, there will be more outreach coming up soon to write about. 

Workplace Issues

Image from Gabrielle Henderson  on UnSplash. Sadly, many transgender women and trans men still get discriminated against when they seek out ...