President - Stephanie
Vice President - Carey
Newsletter Editor - Kelly
Secretary - Jannie
Treasurer - Dianna
Meeting Coordinator - Latoya
Screening Officers - LuAnn, Sheri & Anne
Goodbye and Thank you.
With all of the changes that have happened in the past few months, we would like to take this moment to thank a couple of members who have volunteered so much of their time.
Cathy took over the position of President after our former President was unable to continue to serve for personal reasons. She took over this position despite being a new member herself and served it to the best of her abilities for over a year. We thank you Cathy for steping in as president when the club needed someone to.
For almost two years now Sarah has been the newsletter editor. This is perhaps the most time consuming and hardest position there is. It takes many hours to create, copy and mail out a club newsletter. At times it can seem like another full-time long job. We thank you Sarah for your hours of time and dedication on keep us (the members) informed with current events.
For those who donít know me, Iím Kelly Davidson. I am a 30ish, married TV with two kids. I am one of the founding mothers and have served as an officer in a number of positions for several years.
Last week Sarah approached me to see if I would be interested in doing the February Newsletter. I had been thinking about running for the position in February but I wasnít really prepared to start so soon. However, I knew Sarah needed me to start right a way and knowing all the time she had already spent getting out previous newsletters, I wanted to help her out anyway I could.
Sarah has done a fine job with the newsletter and has left some big shoes to fill. While I have learned a lot of things already, this is still going to be a learning experience. Because of this, you can expect to see some changes in how the newsletter is written. The biggest change will be the size, I donít plan on printing out any 20 page newsletters in the near future. Right now Iím shooting more towards 6 pages per issue.
I would also like to encorage other members to contribute articles to the newsletter. Remember, this is "YOUR" newsletter and your outlet to post stories, poems, personal experiences. I only ask that you keep it clean and non-offensive.
All articles can be e-mailed to me at HZ150@CLEVELAND.FREENET.EDU.
The deadline to get an article in the newsletter is always the end of the month.
Over the next few months I will be playing around with the format of the newsletter until I feel it is right. Until then, please excuse the mess.
From the President
I would like to thank everyone who attended the January meeting for their input and comments. We had a wonderful turnout and it did my heart good to see so many lovely faces, including four new ones. I know it takes a lot of courage for some to step through that door for the first time and I applaud
them for coming.
Nominations were made and it looks like all the positions will be filled. For those of you who were not there the nominations were as follows:
Jannie/Secretary, Kelly/Newsletter editor, Dianna/Treasurer, Latoya/Meeting- coordinator,
and Julie Anne and Sheri are working with LuAnn to take over the screening officer position. I feel we are off to a great start and feel confident these positions will be confirmed at next months elections. Again I would like to thank those who have been so generous with their time to keep the club active, namely Cathy and Sarah. They both put in much time and effort and deserve a huge hug of appreciation for all they have done.
As incoming president, I would like to introduce myself and make a few comments about how I feel the club should proceed. I have been associated with the Crystal Club since the 1980's. I was not one of the founders but joined shortly afterward. I have known people who have came and gone over the years and I was one of them who would disappear for awhile and then resurface.
This was mainly due to family matters and I know most of you can relate to that. I have had very mixed feelings about my gender for as far back as I can remember, and like most of you I had a hard time dealing these emotions and keeping my family intact. I took the slow road, progressing at almost a snails pace, and wondering if I would ever accomplish my dream. One thing I have learned is that slow, really is better. You must remember that you have family to consider and that although you have been dealing with these feelings all your life, it is totally new and frightening to those close to you. So, hold on to your dreams, for they are what makes life worthwhile but respect the feelings of others; put yourself in their place, and it will help you to understand their needs and you can work together. I am very happy with what I have achieved. My life is almost complete, my dreams almost realized, but it was not accomplished without many tears and much pain, so I can say to you don't be afraid to come and talk to me or any another club member with whom you feel comfortable . We have been there and can help.
So, that brings me to the purpose of the Crystal Club. It is my feeling that the main reason for its existence is to provide a safe place to seek help on understanding our gender issues. We are not a politically active group, but rather a help and support group for those who are "coming out" for the first
time. This is always the most difficult step in ones journey. We now provide "greeters", who's job is to welcome newcomers and make them feel comfortable.
To help them ease into the group. We have a very diverse group and it usually does not take long to find someone with whom you can feel comfortable.
Security and anonymity are our paramount concerns. Members names are never given out and are known only to a few select officers, so please feel that you can come to our meetings, feel secure, and only divulge as much as you want to about yourself.
Sorry to get so windy, but just one more point. This club is for you. Make your feelings known and don't be afraid to offer suggestions as to what you would like to see happen within our group.
I hope to see more new faces at the next meeting as well those I have come to know over the years.
Membership dues are due by the Feb. 27th meeting. I'd like to urge any member who has not yet paid their dues to please do so as soon as possible.
Big Thanks to Mary Ann Harris
The Crystal Club would like to thank Mary Ann for her generous contribution towards buying a new computer. As many of you may know, Mary Ann is one of the founding mothers of our club. She has put a lot of time and energy over the years to help the Crystal Club succeed. Mary Ann, thank you much for this very generous gift.
What the club plans to do is buy a new computer so it can be used by another member to help get out the newsletter each month. This will cut down on the amount of work one person (me) does each month and hopefully, allow us to trade off each month so each newsletter editor would only be responsible for getting a newsletter out every two months. We will keep you up to date on this if and when it happens.
The last meeting was January 24th and was held at our usual place. At the meeting was Jannie, Mary Ann, Renee, Jamie Elizabeth, Kate, Carey, Janice, Kikke, Stephanie, Dianna Brit, Joy, Jackie, Kelly, Sianna Mills, Sarah, Latoya, Cynthia, Sharon, Julie Ann, Holly, Hillary and Dea.
We also had some new members. They were Kate, Jackie, Cynthia and Hillary.
Special thanks to Jamie Elizabeth and Jannie for being greeters at the meeting. Also thanks to the person who brought the snacks to the meeting. Iím not sure who that was but thank you for bringing them.
At Februaryís meeting we will be hosting the elections for officers of the club. We will also be providing food. If memory serves me right, LuAnn will be bringing chili to the meeting and Dianna will be bringing cornbread. Please try to make it.
A fathers death -- Personal experience
Mary Ann and Sarah both sent me a copy of this. Itís about a transgender lady who just lost her father (for the second time). It was reprinted with her permission.
About my father's death:
I just got word today that my father died yesterday. I've called several aunts, uncles and cousins. They have counseled me as best as they could. During these calls, I have cried a lot.
I did not cry over his death, because he chose to "die to me" over twenty two years ago when I became Phyllis, and he refused to budge even though it meant the loss of his grandchild and his great-granddaughter. I have mourned this "death" for twenty-two years, and the announcement that he died found me mostly numb to it all. My tears were mostly for myself since I have feared that he would take his hatred of me with him to his grave -- and he did.
Feeling the strength of his hatred will be hard for me to carry for a long time to come. For those of you who saw the episode of "Ellen" several weeks ago about the death of her lover's father, that pretty much spelled it out.
I called my kids in Fort Worth. My son is working, and the baby is at day care. Daughter (we do NOT call her "-in-law") is scheduled to begin her new job in about ten more days. She was so good at consoling me as I lost it again and started crying. Such a good daughter. She will probably come to
San Antonio with me to the funeral.
My spouse, Trish, does not know at this writing. She will be home in about 90 minutes. I'm not sure what she will do since she has been angry over the way I've been abused by him for almost all of our married life.
I had a long chat (and another cry) with my closest cousin (from my mother's side). She said that over the last week lots of family were called so they
could make it in to the hospital and his bedside in time to say a good bye to Dad. But Mom and Don (my brother) and LaNell (my sister) did NOT call me, and
still have NOT called me, and damn it, I am crying
again Why our parents, sisters and brothers can hate us so much that they will take it to the grave is simply beyond me.
Day of the Funeral
Today is Monday, and I learned of my father's death last Friday. It is clear to me now that my tears on Friday were not for my father (I had mourned him many years ago after his disowned my in 1976) but were for my dealing with the hurt of him taking his hatred of me to his grave with no reconciliation.<
Several hours later on that same Friday evening I was told that the funeral was for Saturday morning. Trish and I left early and arrived about twenty minutes before the chapel service began. I will not go into the details herein, except to say that it was almost as mean spirited and cruel as were my worst fears. My mother disowned me in the aisleway as I went to view the open casket. My brother only glared and kept his family at least twenty feet away at all times. My sister had instructed the minister to leave me, my son and my granddaughter out of the listing of my father's family. With all of that, I decided not to sign the registry.
Although I cried several times, often with intensity at their deliberate meanness and cruelty, I must say that the entire affair gave me closure. I had always hoped that once released from my father's thumb, that my family would come around. Now I know that is never to be, and the finality does give
me ease at last on that issue.
The deliberate meanness and cruelty produced a side effect that I had not anticipated. Many cousins, aunts and uncles have been uncomfortably in the
middle for a number of years. Well, they saw it all in vivid and unmistakable display on Saturday morning. Many were so angered by the deliberate meanness and cruelty leveled at me that they refused to go on to the subsequent graveside service and instead took me and Trish to lunch for some love and healing.
I am okay now. As I said, I'd grieved for him over a decade ago. I am at home and the meanness is 200 miles away. Besides, in two weeks I will be fifty. We have a big party scheduled with our kids and grandchild, lots of friends and loved ones.
Gramma called it the bureau. Mom called it "Your dresser." I called it "the mirror." It did have storage drawers. It was a lovely birch veneer of a tender tint the same color as my hair.
I remember the year it became so meaningful to me. Not the Anno Domini but the Anno Keum, the year I looked in the mirror and saw a reflection that gave me deep, deep wonder. Parts of my flesh became strangely warm. New vistas in my mind opened to me like pictures at an exhibition. I felt like Alice in Wonderland.
I knocked gently on the glass and asked permission to step in and find out who was there. No Lewis Carroll figure greeted me, not even a C.S. Lewis fictional creature. I was interrupted. The family life of a young soul is not conducive to introspection at the point of a life-discovery. How sad.
I went back. Time and time again I looked and knocked and focused my mind on the feeling with its colors and mysteries. My pet miniature turtle lived in a bowl on the dresser. It looked at me and smiled and bashfully hid in its God-given shell. I did the same with my feeling.
Sickness came. Fierce fevers. Then days of recovery and physical and social growing. Dancing lessons, costume events, important people asking me' "What will You be when you grow up?"
"IíM going to be a "senorita" I boldly proclaimed to the whole family, using the correct Spanish my Grandpa taught our family from his Texas days. "A seeeen-your-eetah!"I even gestured with a whirl.
"You can't!" said my older brother and sister laughing. Mom was gasping. I was hurt. "You have to be a girl to be a senorita, " Mom said gently, but also grinning. "You are a boy. A boy is a senior." No more on the subject.
I went back to my mirror: "What are you, Mirror, Mirror on the wall? Tell me who I am out here!"
The mirror was as quiet as my turtle.
"I guess I have a lot to learn," I said.
Then "the voice of the turtle is heard ... Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away." (Song of Solomon 2:12-13)
by Jamie Elizabeth
Review Miss Vera's Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls, Veronica Vera, Doubleday, November 1997,
I found this book in Borders Book Shop opposite the Dayton Mall on January 4th, two months after it's publication date. There was the only paperback copy on the shelf which I purchased for $14.95. It is both serious and lighthearted, heavily loaded with double-entendres, many pictures, lots of good thinking, good philosophy and fun without ridicule. The author, who came of age in the 60's porno trade, is intelligent and cheerful. She fell into the business by someone else defaulting on a promise to help a client spend a weekend en-femme, and discovered a tremendous market largely unserved. She and her deans of the various feminine skills try to meet the students needs as they evolve and learn. She has discovered the power in helping men connect with their needs.
In the lst of 15 chapters she tells how the academy came to be and how it has affected her. "For a long time, I have lived my life as a student, taking in information. Now that I am the teacher, I find that I still learn from my students. One of the things they have taught me is an appreciation of the power and passion of the female. Miss Vera's Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls has also helped to balance my energies. Assuming my role of Dean of Students has given me more creative outlets, more assurance, more financial security than I have ever known. Putting men in dresses has enabled me to wear the pants in my own life."
I suspect the book is the work of a large pool of people, but with Miss Vera having veto power. She has tapped into her own personal power through meeting the needs of others. Her last two paragraphs at the end of the acknowledgments are:
"Right from the get-go, I believed this project would be a success. (My mantra is: "The book, the show, the movie, the homeshopping club.") I always felt the tremendous love and support of the crossdressers, from the very public ones to those who are very private, and that has made all the difference.
My family wished that I used my real name rather than my professional name on the cover, so for them I gratefully sign below.
M. V. Antonakos aka Veronica Vera
New York City, August 1997
Feb. 10: It's Time, Ohio! meeting, 6:30 PM, Stonewall Union (NE corner of 4th and High). Meetings will always be held on the 2nd Tues. of each month.
February 28: CC meeting - Elections, Bill Darling form heartline Lingerie will show his line of lingerie and breast forms.
March 28: CC meeting, Ken from Kenís Pacemont Beauty Salon will demonstrate hair and wig care.
April 25: LuAnn will demonstrate for us assorted self-defense technique
June 10 - 14: The "Be All is going to be held in Pittsburgh. More information should be available at our Feb. 27th meeting.
My Resignation as Editor
Six months ago, I announced my resignation, effective February 1998, as Editor in Chief of the Crystal Chronicle, and last night I had the sad experience of making it official. The Crystal Club is of no small importance in my life. If it weren't for the friends I've made here, I have little doubt I would have succumbed to the intense pressures of my personal life and killed myself long ago.
I took on the Editorship of the Chronicle in October 1996 when Adrianne was no longer able to continue the job, and I've taken great pride in the work I've done. It's been a lot of work, but it's
also been very rewarding. My final reward in this position, of course, came last night when all of you expressed such lovely sentiments about my contributions. I was touched more than you
I've gotten numerous comments from people, both in person and via email, telling me how much our newsletter has made a difference in their lives. We can be proud of the widespread influence our publication has had. We have established close editorial relations throughout the Midwest and even Texas, and our sphere of influence continues to grow. One of my articles is even being translated into German for submission to the Femme Transvestie newsletter in
Zurich. We have reached out to a global readership with our online access, having attracted members from as far away as California and Indonesia, and our membership continues to grow.
In October of 1996, we had only 19 members. Since then we've more than doubled our membership, and a large number of our new contacts have found us through our presence on the Web. The Crystal Chronicle will likely continue to be our most powerful tool for educational outreach and recruitment.
My Editorship has not been a walk in the garden. I have found myself in the middle of heated controversy on several occasions, and I've had to make my share of unpleasant decisions. I've always tried my best to approach each situation with an open mind and an eye towards for fairness. I hope I've succeeded. Still, being in the middle of controversy is very taxing emotionally, and more recent developments in my life have placed enormous demands on my time. I am long overdue for retirement from the Chronicle, and it is with no small sense of relief that I do so.
It is now my pleasure to leave the Crystal Chronicle in the very capable hands of our new Editor
in Chief, Kelly Davidson, also one of the Founding Mothers of the Crystal Club. She will be assisted by Mary Ann Harris, another of our Founding Mothers, who will maintain our Web site. I am quite pleased that Kelly has expressed her desire to preserve the present scope of the newsletter, maintaining a healthy balance between CD issues, TS issues, news, politics,
theoretical contributions, resources, and humor.
While not everyone appreciates our broad scope, it would of course be impossible to please everyone. The single most common comment we receive about our newsletter is that its breath is refreshing -- that it is not simply another little club flyer concerning who wore what dress to the last meeting.
The modest effort and expense involved in producing the Crystal Chronicle has given us national and international recognition, and that recognition has more than paid us back with increased membership.
Several of you have expressed that you will miss my writing, but rest assured I won't disappear. I'll probably take a break for a few months and then contribute occasional articles as time and motivation permit. I should take this opportunity to remind you that you all should contribute articles too. Few people seem to appreciate just how much work it takes to run a full-sized newsletter. I'm younger and healthier than Kelly, and the job of Editor has been overwhelming for me. She's going to need your help. I will continue to contribute to the Sarah's Quick Tips and Sarah's Shopping Basket from time to time, and as Communications Officer for It's Time, Ohio! I will contribute occasional items of news from the It's Time, America! system. Of course Sarah's Pink List should become Kelly's Pink List now.
I know that Kelly will do a fine job on the Crystal Chronicle, and I look forward with baited breath to reading her premier edition. Most of all, I look forward to her contributing a different perspective from mine. After all, a publication that does not move and row can only wither and die.
Final Thoughts and comments
As I said before, Sarah has left some big shoes to fill. Iím glad that she will be still be contributing articles to the newsletter and I encourage all members to do the same.
The Pink list and club information that was located on the back of each newsletter hopefully will be back starting next month. Right now Iím a little rush for time and couldnít get it typed in.
Again I wish to thank both Cathy and Sarah for being officers of the club and also to welcome in our new officers. If you havenít met these ladies before, try to make it to the February meeting. They, are special people. Hope to see you there. Kelly
Copyright 1998 by the Crystal Club. All rights reserved. Articles and information contained in The Crystal Chronicle may be reprinted by other non-profit organizations without advanced permission, provided the author and source is cited and a copy of the issue containing the reprinted material is sent to the Crystal Club within two months of publication. The opinions or statements contained in the Crystal Chronicle are those of the authors' intent retained or may be rejected, whether solicited or not. Absolutely no sexually explicit material will be accepted or printed. Contributions may be emailed directly to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to the postal address below. The Crystal Club is a non-profit support group for transvestites, crossdressers, transsexuals, female impersonators, and other transgendered individuals. Spouses and significant others are welcome and are encouraged to participate. Both male-to-female and female-to-male individuals are welcome. Also, members from related organizations, helpful professionals, and approved guests are welcome when cleared through a Crystal Club elected officer. Club policies, meeting dates, locations, and fees are available on request through our address below. We will exchange newsletters with any other similar group. Send all correspondence to: The Crystal Club, P.O. Box 287, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068-0287. (614) 294-9031.