Showing posts with label Alzheimer's. transgender woman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alzheimer's. transgender woman. Show all posts

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Positive Out Reach

 


Today I am able to pursue one of my favorite past-times, explaining my main passion in life, which is trying to address problems with LGBTQ or primarily transgender folks facing problems with assisted living conditions. 

I am providing an interview for a publication here in Ohio called "The Buckeye Flame."  My input is a part of an overall effort by the Alzheimer's Association  to provide experiences from people affected by the extremely ugly and tragic disease.  As you may recall, my Dad passed away from Alzheimer's years ago and in his last days deteriorated so far he could only drink water. 

Personally, one of my biggest fears is being de-gendered in an as assisted living facility. Meaning, I will be forced back to my old unwanted male self. In many ways, it would be cruel and unusual punishment  to have come as far as I have come in life, then be forced back into my gender closet. 

Since I have been chosen to be part of several people speaking out about their experiences with the disease, I feel I need to take the opportunity to tell my story and for people to appreciate it. 

My opportunity to network my passion has come because I became part of the Greater Cincinnati Alzheimer's diversity committee. Since my representation as a transgender woman is so rare, opportunities to speak out have become more common. 

Sadly, my chances to interact with others in the LGBTQ Veterans community have lessened with the departure of my longtime therapist who served as group leader or facilitator for group meetings where I could share my passions. 

All in all, it will be interesting to see how far this can go towards meeting my goal of letting as many people know as I can of the bad possibilities we face as we age.  

Monday, July 3, 2023

Invited Diversity

Image from Danie Franco
on UnSplash

Recently I posted concerning my upcoming invitation to become apart of the Greater Cincinnati Alzheimer's Association as some sort of a LGBTQ volunteer. 

More precisely I wanted to become an advocate for anyone facing the terror of Alzheimer's or Dementia memory loss during their life. Much of my passion for advocating comes from my own Dad passing from a very sad and ugly case of Dementia years ago. I figured if I somehow could help one person cope in the future, my effort would be worth it.

As I suspected, since volunteers are becoming rarer and rarer to come by these days, I was received with open arms. In fact, the person I "interviewed" with said I was a "needle in a haystack". Meaning it was becoming so difficult to locate anyone willing to give anytime at all to give time to the Alzheimer's Association. The Association does have a diversity committee but it is down to only three members with one wanting to leave. Plus, there are no transgender or LGBTQ members on the committee. Regardless of my expertise I am rare and thus the proverbial needle in the haystack.

What I was very much pleased to learn was the Alzheimer's Association already has an outreach program for LGBTQ patients. However what we transgender women and trans men know, much of the outreach doesn't extend to the transgender community. As I pointed out to the woman who interviewed me, the biggest thing I was paranoid about is if or when I need assisted living care, my gender is effectively taken away from me. That was the point when the person I was talking to told me the association provides extra assistance. Not that I doubt that but I again would feel blessed if I can provide an example to an accepting transgender family struggling with the tragedy of memory loss.

My starting point will be an initial diversity committee meeting coming up later in July. It will be interesting to see how I am accepted by the remainder of the super small committee whose diversity consists of race or national backgrounds. So I will be the first LGBTQ member and even more important the first transgender member. 

So far, the process went fairly smooth with the interviewer. She only mis gendered me once after immediately asking for my preferred pronouns. Of course she quickly profusely apologized but the damage was already done. 

We went on, and I will go onto the committee to learn in my small way if I can make a difference with a huge tragic problem.        

Sink or Swim

Image from Trans Wellness Event.  Jessie Hart Archives.  Many times when I first entered the world as a new cross dresser or femininized mal...