Next Month's Meeting
For next monthís meeting Adrianne has invited Luann ("a different one"), a friend from her church, to speak about and demonstrate self-defense techniques. This will be a hands-on, active demonstration. If you wish to participate, please dress appropriately (sweats, sneakers, etc.). Participation is, of course, optional.
From the President
A TIME OF REBIRTH AND RENEWAL
Of all the seasons, I enjoy spring the most. The earth is warming and awakening from its winter sleep. It is such a time of beauty. I marvel at the way nature renews itself. I have ornamental cherry trees and apple trees in my yard and it is such a pleasure to watch them blossom and produce their fruit. I find this time of year very uplifting as I now have an incentive to renew and refresh my personal commitment to myself. It is so wonderful for me to awaken in the morning and hear the birds chirping and see the multitude of life that has become active.
I have been window shopping and drooling for some time now, over the new spring fashions. There are several pastel, print dresses that I know are going to end up in my closet. I am soooo looking forward to being outside, seeing, touching and being one with all the positive changes that are taking place. I can see these changes happening within the Crystal Club also. I have received private emails from three girls who were at the last meeting. They all said pretty much the same thing, that they enjoyed the meeting, especially the extra socializing time and are looking forward to next month. I feel we owe a lot of credit to those who brought food and refreshments and especially to Latoya, who did the organizing and coordination. There were two new girls there and I think they had a wonderful time too!
I just found out from LuAnn that the church is not going to continue with it's disco on Saturday nights, so we will not have to be in any rush to find a new meeting place. We are still looking, however, at another church on the east side, mostly because of the parking situation. LuAnn will keep me advised of
their decision. By the way, I would like to thank LuAnn for the time she has put in lining up the events at our meeting and the time she spends on the unseen, necessary work to keep the club interesting.
Remember that we will have a self-defense demonstration at the April meeting and if you want to participate you can bring something casual, although I
don't see anything wrong with learning to defend yourself while in heels and a dress. I'm not sure what I'll be wearing; I still have some of my equipment from my two years of martial arts training. Maybe it's time to dust it off.
I hope to see as many of you there as possible.
By Kelly Davidson
A Team effort
As editor of the Crystal Chronicle I face many long hours of putting together the monthly newsletter. But contrary to what some of you may believe, the Chronicle is not a result of my actions alone; itís a team effort. For instance, many of the articles you see today are from other members in our club who
took the time to get them to me. For some it took less then 10 minutes to forward the article, yet it saved me hours trying to find them myself.
True, it does take hours to put the Chronicle together. This monthís newsletter was a result of 12 long hours of work, most spent reading articles I received and editing the newsletter. But if it were not for the efforts of these members, the time for completing this newsletter would have been longer.
As a way of saying "Thanks" to these individuals, in this monthís newsletter I am include the name of the member who sent me the article first (some of the articles I received were forwarded to me from several members) as well as the person who wrote it (if applicable). I feel that credit is due to these people and everyone needs to be aware of it.
Another member who deserves credit in this newsletter is our club secretary, Jannie. Recently she agreed to start proofreading the newsletter (this month my better half did it) for errors as well as writing up the minutes and keeping everyone informed on what will be happening at the next meeting. These two jobs take a tremendous burden off my shoulders.
Then there are ladies at the business meeting, like Stephanie, Carey, Dianna, Jannie (again) Lotoya,
Kelly (another) and many other members whose names I canít remember . These ladies are responsible for folding the newsletter, stuffing them in envelopes, putting on the addresses labels and stamps and making sure they are sealed properly. Last month (due to an illness) I had to do this all by myself. It took almost 2 hours to complete the task and I ended up with a sore back. These ladies can complete the job for me in less then 30 minutes.
Being the editor of the Chronicle is definitely one of the most time consuming club jobs there is. Yet itís also the only job in the club where so many other members help out and only one person gets the credit for it. But this month I want the credit to go to those who deserve it as well. For these members and those who help me out in the future, this month I "tip my wig" to you...and give you my deepest "thanks."
Check your labels
I received a rather nasty note from an ex-member who wanted to know why I hadnít sent her a newsletter for March. It turns out, this person had let her subscription expire and wasnít aware of it. Fortunately, there is an easy way to avoid this type of misunderstanding in the future.
On your address labels you will see a number next to your name. This represents the month and year that you will be receiving your last newsletter.
An example would be.
Kelly Davidson 06/98
118 my street
Anywhere, OH 45555
The 06/98 tells me that my membership expires in June of 1998 and unless renewed, this would be the last month I would receive a newsletter.
Iíve talked it over with our president and we agreed that sending out one more newsletter, even to those whoís membership is now expired, would be a good idea so we could explain how this system works.
Anyone with a subscription date of 04/98 or lower
will not be receiving a newsletter after Aprilís issue.
If you feel the subscription date is incorrect or would like to resubscribe, please contact our Treasurer, Dianna. I hope to see you for the coming year.
Postman, not allowed shorts, dons skirt
Received from Mary Ann Harris
ASBURY PARK, N.J., March 29 (UPI) -- Asbury Park, N.J., postman Scott
Shortreed decided that if the postal service wouldn't let him wear shorts in 80-degree weather until April, he'd wear the next best thing --a skirt.
Shortreed told the Asbury Park Press today that women have a choice between pants and a skirt all year long, so he asked supervisor Vincent Daniels if he could exercise the same option.
Daniels sarcastically said yes and that was enough for Shortreed, who then asked fellow postal worker Marise Galgano for help in coming up with a skirt that would fit him.
She took a pair of his banned-till-April postal shorts, altered the crotch, and turned them into a below-the-knee skirt, which Shortreed wore on his route Saturday.
Daniels characterized Shortreed as a malcontent who wanted to make him look bad. Galgano said she was just concerned with how Shortreed looked and would have tailored the skirt to show a little more leg if he'd modeled them for her.
Itís Time, America
Received from Sarah
An earlier story, "TRANSGENDERED POLITICAL GROUP ANNOUNCES ITS OPPOSITION TO GAY-SPONSORED CIVIL RIGHTS BILL IN MARYLAND," contained an error.
The story stated "What's the point of supporting a bill that simply won't be effective?" stated Gary Bowen, Coordinator-in-Chief of the American Boyz, the largest organization for FTM transgendered persons in the United States and another leader of It's Time, Maryland!
The story should have stated "'grassroots' f2m and soffa organization!" FtM International still outnumbers American Boyz in sheer numbers. The American Boyz is not only the largest "grassroots" FtM organization in the United States; it's the only one.
Transvestite Thai Kickboxer Debuts
Itís time, America
Received from Sarah
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - Some fighters are known for their right cross, but kickboxer Pirinya Kaibusaba is known for cross-dressing.
A sellout crowd of 10,000 spectators was expected tonight to witness Pirinyaís debut at Bangkok's Lumpini Stadium, the nation's mecca of Muay Thai, or Thai kickboxing. The draw? The 15-year-old native of Lamphun, 350 miles north of Bangkok, is the first known transvestite to try his hand - and legs - at the martial sport.
And though he powders his nose during training, the 140-pound Pirinya is no powder-puff in the ring. The young welterweight with red-tinted brown hair has already compiled a professional record of 20 wins, 2 losses and 17 knockouts in a sport where brutal kicks and elbows to the head are common.
Yet the prospect of a broken nose, cut eye or cauliflower ear doesn't faze Pirinya.
``If I was afraid about my face, I wouldn't fight,'' said Pirinya, who wore makeup and pink nail polish at today's weigh-in.
It was the weigh-in that presented Pirinya with his toughest test so far as a fighter. Boxing officials at Lumpini insist combatants be completely nude when
they step onto the scale.
When ordered to strip in front of a phalanx of reporters and cameramen, Pirinya broke down in tears. Lumpini officials, who are all members of the Thai military, eventually allowed him to keep on his black jockey shorts.
Although Thai boxers are generally tattooed tough guys from poor farming areas or Bangkok slums, many readily accept Pirinya.
``I thought it was strange when I heard there was a transvestite boxer, but I like to see people who like boxing - I don't care who they are,'' said Pong Sudsaeng, another fighter.
Most Thais, in fact, accept transvestites. Locally they are called ``katoeys'' and are regarded as a third sex.
Pirinya is only 15, but that's not unusual for a Thai boxer. Many start when they are 10 or 12, and some headliners at Lumpini are only 16. Most fight until their late-20s.
Advocates for children's rights decry the violence of kickboxing, but Thai officials already have their hands full fighting rampant child labor and trying to free the 300,000 children the United Nations estimates are prisoners in Thai brothels.
Pirinya says he isn't dreaming of championships or fame - he just likes the feeling of being in the ring.
``I don't think I'm fighting to be famous. I'd rather have a quiet life,'' he said. ``I'll fight until I get bored with it.''
Editorís notes: Pirinya ended up winning the kickboxing competition.
Too much of a Good Thing
By Vanessa Kaye
Received from Dianna Mills
I believe that it was Mae West who said, "Too much of a good thing is wonderful". I quite understand what she was saying: yet there are some exceptions.
Linda and I are regularly corresponding with couples. Usually, these exchanges are initiated by the spouses or partners of crossdressers who have just recently discovered, by one means or another , that their male partner is a crossdresser. We do our best to explain this phenomenon and how this need can successfully be incorporated in a relationship. Providing that the existing relationship is a good one, this generally works just fine.
The problem comes after the wife or partner has come to terms with this and accepted the other woman into the relationship. The crossdresser seems to feel that they now have carte blanche to do whatever they wish in order to further their realization of complete transformation into the feminine self.
They tend to make unilateral decisions without consulting their partners and go at "light speed" to immerse themselves in their new found freedom.
What's wrong with this picture'? It's obvious to us, and to the spouse or partner. Unfortunately, the crossdresser can't seem to grasp the idea that there are two people involved in this journey, not just one. From the initial contact, up through the first "meeting" of the now femme partner, all steps were taken gradually, and together.
Once the crossdresser believes that she is free to express her inner self she takes off and tries to make up for a good deal of lost time.
lt is at this point that the damage is done. lf you are a crossdresser with a spouse or partner, you need to realize that they are trying their very best to cope with this new idea. Often, it is quite difficult for them to understand that you "need" to wear female clothing and fantasize about being a woman.
Generally, in order to save the relationship, they try their very best and make some great steps towards
accepting this "femme" self of yours.
It is important to go slowly. Simply because your wife or partner has said, "Okay, why don't you go upstairs, shave, put on your makeup and dress. I'll be up in a little while to see how you look." does not mean, "Dress and prance about as often as you like." Nor does it mean, "Okay, let's go out shopping as girls tomorrow." It means exactly what is said: "Let's try it tonight and see how it goes."
I have a little maxim that I share with others. It is what I refer to as The Law of Diminishing Returns." In short, this means that the more you experience, the more you will want to do in order to have the same feelings of' transformation. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to explore more of your feminine self and develop her, this needs to be done in accordance with your partnerís ability to cope with
and share in your journey.
This journey of' femininity should be a shared one. If you go at a pace that your partner is comfortable with, there will be fun, instead of stress. Talk with one another, discuss what the next steps will be and clearly define the current boundaries. Don't exceed the limits of your partners comfort zone without asking.
All the while that you are exploring your feature self, remember that your spouse or partner cannot feel what you feel. They cannot understand the burning desire that pushes you ever forward.
Communication is the way to relate these needs and feelings. It is essential that you share as much of your
journey as possible. If you do this, chances are that your relationship will be better than ever and that the two of you will be closer than you imagined possible.
Remember, too much of a good thing, can be bad. Make sure it doesn't happen to you.
Joke - School trouble?
The mother of a teenage boy was asked by his headmaster to call in at his office to discuss a serious matter. When she arrived, the headmaster said, "I'm sorry to have to tell you that your son came to school yesterday wearing a print dress, high-heeled court shoes and lipstick!"
"Darn it!" said the boy's mother, "I've told him a hundred times not to wear his father's clothes!"
It's Time, Ohio! new phone number
Received from Mary Ann Harris
It's Time, Ohio! now has a voice mail phone number. To reach it call (614) 470 4245. All messages are checked at least once a week
Interesting Web Page
I thought everyone might be interested in this web page: http://www.halyava.ru/elena/index.html#eng
It is written by a TS from the Ukraine and describes the conditions there for TSs. Interesting and sad.
Rons Rhinestones which sells primarily to the TG community. They recently added a large size collection especially for TG clients.
How the perceived White House scandal affects gender benders
by Carrie Drake
Received from Sarah
Immediately after the news broke about Clinton's alleged affair with White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, the picture that the world got from the media was of a crisis unfolding in the most powerful office in the world. After Clinton's highly symbolic State of the Union Address on Tuesday, January 27th, his public approval ratings began to climb to an all-time high, prompting liberals to declare that the ability of the public to judge Clinton by his job performance and not by his libido is a sign that the nation is maturing on sexual matters. The reaction
judged from the poll results seemed to affirm a public trend towards viewing government as something that should be run like a corporation rather than as a podium of moral leadership with a eye on long term
concerns for the future of humanity.
The news of the latest example of Clinton's resilience appears as good news for humanity from the perspective of the gender bender community, however, aside from the obvious emotional relief that it provides as bait for those with heaviest emotional investment in bending beliefs about sex and gender, there are still enormous risks to individual rights in biting on such powerful emotional bait. The greatest risks are the risks in deepening the paralysis in our ability to prepare the next generations to adequately face the complicated choices they must make in adolescence concerning the many contradictions in the messages they get from society about the meaning of "growing up," the meaning of "maturing," and the meaning of being an "adult" that go beyond adulthood being a license to view X-rated sexual material. And most of all, these recent events in the White House put young people at risk of reinforcing socially dangerous gender stereotypes that reduce men and women to
"raging hormones" rather than agents of human conscience with a broad, long term vision of the benefits of individual conscience and independent thought.
So, rather than the recent White House events being a signal to those of us who have used hormones and labels to redefine who we are to relax, it is a signal to re-evaluate the particular demands that we are making on society and to examine antiquated stereotypes from the perspective of our unique experience with the use of hormones to transform who we are, physically. Instead, our focus as gender benders tends to be on defending the rigidity of the new sexual orthodoxies. In the course of the sexual revolution, which has allowed thousands of people to break the gender barrier, our society has lost all sense of the meaning of the conscience of the women's movement as well as the anti-war movement of
the Vietnam War era just for the sake of spite against religious fundamentalism. As an atheist, I am very sympathetic to the struggle against influences of religious fundamentalism, yet I am also sensitive to other, more subtle forms of religious symbolism and global ideologies which control us in hidden ways.
In the gender bender community's rush to judgment against the stereotypes promoted by conservatives, we have unwittingly become the new vehicles for the sexism and bigotry which stigmatize human pain and
suffering as being a product of mental defects rather than as a product of the pathologies of society to the extent that gender benders unwittingly provide ammunition to the message that the status quo must
be strengthened with more sexism rather than genuinely changed. The message behind Clinton's fast recovery from the initial news of his affair with Levinsky is not a sign of departure from the old sexism, but a deepening of the sort of stereotypes that lead far too many people to bring many risks and self-sacrifices upon themselves and their families by making the decision to change their gender in order to adjust to the ability of cultural eliteís to disguise sexism and polarize society based on what a "true man" and a "true woman" are.
There are still many of us who vividly recall the kind of painful re-evaluations of gender identity we did during the Cold War years in which the military was pushed on young men as a way to toughen themselves up and prove their virility. I had enlisted in the army to become a paratrooper for that reason in 1966. In Berlin, I began to question the kind of brainwashing that I saw being used in the military and whether "real men" allowed themselves to be brainwashed into being able to kill other human beings for dogmas based on duty to God and country, right or wrong, that still survive from the Dark Ages. And I
also began to question whether the willingness to go out seeking prostitutes and pornography and engaging in drunken brawls was a sign of being a "real man."
It was the fact that I had developed an independent way of thinking with my military experience that had gotten me into trouble in Berlin.
Even though I had felt that I had handled it honorably, my betrayal of "manhood" had eventually backlashed and led into a kind of entrapment and psychological blackmail for which I had no convenient words to find my way out of when I found myself trailed by the FBI for no legitimate reasons, then interrogated by psychiatrists after my criticisms of the U.S. military. Many men who opposed the Vietnam War and U.S. imperialism all over the world still had to struggle with the psychological conditions of being pacifists and feminist sympathizers in a larger culture that identifies compassion and empathy with "sissy"
or "feminine" traits, as the stereotypes go. It is astonishing that sexist stereotypes are so pervasive that they appear even in the gender bender community among those who believe that Jesus was "gay" on grounds that his sense of compassion was a product of the "feminine" elements in his character.
While we as gender benders who fashion ourselves as human rights advocates reject the notion that "reparative therapy" can work, we neglect the need to focus on ways to prevent the physical and financial
hardships that we are all too familiar with in the transition process.
Though "reparative therapy" might be a cruel joke to impose on individuals, we can't rule out the possibility that "reparative therapy" can benefit our society in order to prevent the kind of ordeals that are caused when the emotional center of the nation comes under symbolic attack. In view of the upheavals that are generated when symbols of power are attacked, reparative therapy for society might be more individual initiative which focuses on the substance of issues of power, sex and gender rather than symbolism, and that allows greater flexibility for action and reason by individuals rather than reaction.
Discomfort with gender stereotypes and roles is not really sufficient reason to change one's gender, but it requires a lot more courage by individuals to bring the needed changes to society to put an end to sexism in all of its disguises.
Each of us has a different story about the transition that hormones bring in our lives, yet the current symbolism of sexual orthodoxy attempts to reduce the transition to a set of collective issues that distract from the specific circumstances of each separate individual who has gone through the transition. Despite what is preached about democracy, political democracy is undermined by investments in symbolism which keep power emotionally centralized in a geopolitical center. True democracy must come from inside out, rather than outside in.
I won't say any more here, but if you are interested in an alternative perspective to the current gender bender orthodoxyís which does focus on substance rather than symbol and image, I have added further notes and photographs on the aspects of my experience with the transition that have forced me to take a more sobering look at the ideological and symbolic undercurrents of the sexual theories that have shaped psychology in the Twentieth Century.
The link below contains information about
Carrie Drakeís Book.
Other Upcoming Events
Received from Dianna Mills
17 - 19, Dogwood Weekend, Holiday Inn Central, 418 Armour Drive, Atlanta, GA. Send check or money order for $20 registration to AGE, P.O. Box 77562, Atlanta, GA 30357. For further information, call 770-517-0265 (evenings) or send e-mail to email@example.com.
17 - 19, Out and Equal Conference, Hyatt Regency in Rochester, NY. This national conference on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workplace issues draws several hundred participants and is being
held in the Eastern United States for the first time.
24 - 26, Midwest Trans Institute, Social, Political, and Educational Hobnobbing for Gender Transgressors and Our Friends. Contact: MWTRANS, P.O. Box 2104 Loop Station, Minneapolis, MN 55402-0104. 612-362-3581 (voice/tty) 612-871-2650 (FAX). MWTRANS@aol.com.
30 - 5/3, Cal Dreamin' 1998, Golden Gateway Holiday Inn, San Francisco, Calif Contact PPOC, PO Box 1088, Yorba Linda, CA 92686, or ETVC, PO Box 426486, San Francisco, 94142-6486.
7 - 10, Gender Mosaic 10th Anniversary Party. For those of you who have been looking for an excuse for a three day outing, this would be the time. Ottawa is one of the most Transgender Friendly places you are likely to find. There is a lot to do and see here.
20 - 24, 9th Annual Esprit, Port Angeles, Washington. Contact Esprit, PO Box 1101, Renton, WA 98057.
28 - 31, TCNE Spring Fling, in Provincetown, Mass. Contact Tiffany Club of New England, Inc., PO Box 2283, Woburn, 01888-0483. Phone: (617) 891-9325 (answered live Tuesdays 7 - 10 PM Eastern Time).
President - Stephanie
Vice President - Carey
Treasurer - Dianna
Secretary - Jannie
Newsletter Editor - Kelly
Assistant Editor - Jannie
Meeting Coordinator - Latoya
Screening Officer - Dea
The Crystal Chronicle is the official newsletter of the Crystal Club. The Chronicle is published and mailed a week prior to the regularly scheduled meeting.
Complementary copies of the Chronicle may be obtained by contacting a club officer or any club member.
News items for the Chronicle should be mailed to Kelly Davidson before the end of each month.. Her E-mail address is:
Please specify in the subject field that this is an article for the newsletter.
Reported by Jannie Abeille
Attendees for the meeting were
Stephanie, Luann, Carey, Kristen & Judy (first time in a year), Latoya, Jannie, Pam (first time in a long while), Adrianne, Diana Brit, Hilary & Dea, Dawn, Anne & Renee, Holly, Polly (first time), Diana (first time, a third one!), Rikki, Dominique (first time), Julie & Cheri, Sylvia, Anne, Mark.
Food for the meeting was
provided by: Julie & Cheri
(sloppy joe's), Latoya (pop and chips), Anne & Renee (candy) Thank you for providing the food.
Greeters: None for this meeting
1) Statement of club purpose, and introductions.
2) Mention of officers not in attendance (Kelly and Dianna Mills)
3) discussion of new meeting place: Luann has a couple of ideas but nothing definite yet. Unless we have further notice, next month's meetings will be at the same place.
4)This month's presentation: Ken and Jennifer of Ken's Pacemont Salon spoke about their services. They specialize in hair care (natural, wig and replacement techniques), and can also provide make-up, manicures, waxing and other services. They have several transgendered clients, and they emphasized that they are very T friendly. They can provide a private room, and all of their staff is sensitive to the privacy issues of our community. Their address is: 16 W. Pacemont, Columbus, OH. Phone: (614) 267-1322
5) Social Time: Members spent time chatting with each other and with Ken and Jennifer (and enjoying the company of Christian, Ken's baby son!)
Later, about 20 members met at The Grapevine to celebrate the good news of a couple of members. Even later still, about eight members met at Wall Street for dancing (and a bit of flirting!)
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.