The Crystal Cronicle


Vol 10 No 5, May 1998, Copyright © 1998 by The Crystal Club, Columbus, OH

Current Officers

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:

HZ150@cleveland.freenet.edu.

Please specify in the subject field that this is an article for the newsletter.

Last Meeting

Reported by Jannie Abeille

 

Secretary's Report

April 1998 Regular Meeting

Attendees: Stephanie, Dawn, Holly, Latoya, Diana Mills, Diana Brit, Jennifer (first timer), Kelly (first time), Julie & Cheri, Jannie, Terrie & Marie, Kelly, Anne, Anne & Renee, Jamie Elizabeth, Luann, Kristen & Judy, Rikki, Trisha (another first timer) and Sylvia.

Who brought food:

Luann brought spaghetti

Meeting Schedule:

1) Statement of club purpose, and introductions.

 

2) Discussion of new meeting place: Luann said that a Lutheran church is being considered, but that their leaders have said "We're not ready for your group yet." An educational presentation is going to be given in the future. For the time being, meetings will be held at the same location.

3) The issue of attending Deer Creek was again raised. Last year, there was some heated discussion about the use of restrooms, and there were not enough attendees to cover the reservation costs. There was an agreement that we would need to have a firm commitment of about 8 to 10 people much earlier than before. As an option, we discussed the possibility of having a Halloween party at someone's house.

 

4) Social Time: Members spent time chatting with each other, then about 15 members met at Wall Street for dancing.

Change of date for Mayís Meeting

 

Normally we always meet on the 4th Saturday of the month. However, the 4th Saturday for the month of May (May 23) is Memorial day weekend. To avoid conflicts with family our May meeting will be held on the 5th Saturday of the Month or May 30th. Hope to see you there.

Next Monthís Meeting

We will have a lawyer come and speak about transgender legal issues. The attorney is Scott Dewhirst. Remember this meeting will be held on May 30th.

From the President

From Stephanie

Our President was away this month (visiting her children) and was unable to send anything to the newsletter. We look forward to hearing how things went with her visit.

Editors Notes

By Kelly Davidson

Hospitals, Deer Creek and bathrooms

For those who have been keeping track of me (and those who have not) May has been a month of hospital visits. Iíve been in the hospital 3 times so far due to problems with my gallbladder. As I write this, Iím still real sore and bruised from the operation that removed my gallbladder last weekend.

My operation was also the same weekend I was hoping to get the newsletter finished and in the mail to you. Well, we know the old saying about the best made plans of men and newsletter editors. Iíve been scrambling to get caught up as there was a flood of articles sent to me (Thanks everyone.) about the same time my gallbladder was flaring up. I hope that if you sent me something it made it into the newsletter but if not, please send me a message to remind me and I will try to get it into Juneís newsletter.

At this time I want to talk about are October meeting at Deer Creek. I had the pleasure of spending Saturday and Sunday at Deer Creek last year. If you havenít been there yet you need to make plans to do so. Itís a lot of fun not only because of the Mall that is close by or the Craft show going on but also because you get to spend an entire weekend with your sisters. In many ways itís like a family reunion.

To cover our expenses, we need to have at

least 8 members pay for the entire weekend. The deadline to get your deposits in to Dianna Mills is June 27. The cost is $65 per person, much cheaper then a weekend for some other function like this.

As for the bathroom issue, we discussed the issue with the Deer Creek management and they are going to provide an escort to the bathroom if it is necessary. It would be preferable if no one needed to use the rest room while dining at the lodge but in an emergency they will allow us to use them as long as we go with the escort provided. This is more for our safety then any other reasons.

This is a non-debatable agreement ladies between us and the Deer Creek management so if you canít agree to it you shouldnít be there. We canít ruin *all the fun* that comes out of a weekend like this by debating this issue to death. If you donít like the agreement, donít go. Itís that simple. This is the last time you will hear about this issue in the newsletter as long as Iím editor. Promise.

Thatís it for this month. Hope to see you at the May meeting which again will be held on the 5th weekend this month. And please, keep sending me your articles. It makes my job much easier. Kelly

Make your reservations for our annual Weekend at Deer Creek Park

October 23rd & 24th, 1998

The Crystal Club has reserved 2 cabins for the weekend at Deer Creek State Park. We will have the cabins from 4:00 PM Friday until Noon Sunday.

This will be our fourth year at the park, and we have found the Staff to be very pleasant. None of the members in the past have had any problems with the staff or other guests at the park.

On Saturday, there will be shopping available at the Jeffersonville outlet mall for any who wish to go. Some of our members have gone each of the last 3 years and had a good time shopping for bargains.

Food will be pot luck, so bring something along if you chose to come. Saturday evening we will be eating at the lodge and all are invited. This will replace our regular meeting for October. For those not spending the weekend, the regular meeting fees will apply.

The cost for the weekend will be $65 per person, this includes the meeting fees. This will cover the cabin rental if we have 4 people in each cabin. Reservations and a deposit of $30 must be in

by the June meeting. Please give your deposit to Dianna Mills at the next meeting. If there is not enough interest in this outing, all deposits will be returned.

Leadership change for Itís Time, Ohio!

Mary Ann Harris was elected interim Chair of

ITO! at the April meeting. Mary Ann is no stranger to this role. It was her leadership which founded the Crystal Club and nine years later we are going strong. We wish her the best of luck as she leads the group until it grows further.

Mary Ann steps in for Cathy who resigned earlier last month

Ten Years coming up!

At the last business meeting, Mary Ann reminded us that the club is coming up on a ten year anniversary. Well, itís actually almost a year from now but it set my mind in motion. I would like to make the April 1999 newsletter special and to do this Iím asking for your stories, suggestion and any other great ideaís you may have. I would encourage those who have been with the club for a while to write about

something they remember when the club was still young.

I know a year seems like a long time but I would like to get started on it now before time creeps up on us. So send me your idea on how to make this newsletter special. Thanks. Kelly

A Wonder of Technology

By Dianna Mills

I think E-mail is a wonderful means of communication. It gets to where it's going very quickly. It also allows us to send information in the

form of pictures, files, data bases and others quickly and easily.

In most cases it's a form of communication that allows quick and accurate communication of information. I'm sure it is a blessing to our newsletter

editor and others. CC-Online is a great way to communicate with other members of the group who are online.

However, it also has some drawbacks that I would like our members and others to keep in mind when using this wonder of technology. E-Mail is received by your computer via modem and puts you in position to respond quickly to the received message. Unfortunately this creates a situation where it is very easy to respond very quickly in a negative or less than tactful fashion. Sometimes a very "cute" reply can be taken as an attack on the other person's character. In the case of cc-online, it is also sent to other members who can often misinterpret the message and also join in the fray.

I'd like to compare this with the regular mail service. With regular mail, there is the time it takes to open and read the message. You then have to take the time to get out the supplies, sit down and write the letter and then take it to the post office for mailing. I think this better allows you to take your time in writing your response and wording it in a fashion that at least is more tactful. It also allows you the time to re-open the letter after taking some time to think and possibly cool off a little bit.

I think many of us need to keep this in mind when using cc-online and when answering other e mail we receive. I would like the members of the club to also consider that basically we're all on the same side when it comes to facing society. Certainly we have our differences and we all can't always agree on everything. Communication is certainly the key to the matter, but please try to keep in mind that while communication can allow another to know how you feel, it doesn't necessarily mean they will agree with you. We should also remember the disagreement does not necessarily mean the other person is your enemy.

Addition to the Pink list Captain Betty's

By Sarah

Every week for many months now, I had been driving past Captain Betty's, a little shop that looked very promising, but I never took a peek inside until last Thursday. As soon as I walked through the door, I knew this was a must-visit business for any transperson.

Captain Betty's is a sleepy little vintage clothing and jewelry store run by Betty Greene, a very sweet and vivacious lady. Betty has a lot of sales savvy, showering me with compliments just as soon as I entered the store. I suspect she knew what I was just as soon as I opened my mouth, but she was extremely cheerful and matter-of-fact. Apparently she has had extensive connections with the transgender community and has a few transgendered "regulars." Her bubbly demeanor would put even the most nervous crossdresser fully at ease.

Betty's shop looks small, but it's really quite large. It has several rooms, all stuffed to the gills with beautiful and fun clothing. Any one room can be closed off as needed and used for a dressing room. Her regulars each seem to have their favorite rooms.

Her merchandise is quite varied, and one can find almost anything there, including a line of frilly skirts made from old blue jeans (very, very cute!), stylish dresses, hats, gloves, rhinestone jewelry, and even wedding gowns.

Captain Betty's is located at 79 N. Sandusky St. (downtown on the corner of Sandusky and Central), Delaware, OH 43015. The phone number there is

614-363-6739. Yes, it's a bit of a drive from Columbus, but it's well worth the trip. Tell Betty that Sarah sent you.

CT SCHOOL BOY WEARING DRESS SUSPENDED

From Gender Advocacy Internet News(GAIN)

[Middletown, CT] BRYAN GILES, 17, a junior at Middletown High, wore a dress to school last week and was suspended because of it. "I feel comfortable wearing a dress," he said. "It's just something I like to do. I make sure it isn't trashy and looks cool."

"We don't want a carnival-like atmosphere in our school," said Superintendent David Larson, who handed down the 3 day suspension, citing Giles with creating a disturbance by wearing a purple and yellow peasant dress with a plunging neckline.

Giles returned from his suspension wearing a denim skirt. At least 8 other boys supported him by wearing dresses and skirts. A dozen girls wore business suits and ties. The boys who refused to change clothes were suspended for 3 days, Giles for 5 days.

The suspensions caused an outcry in the city of 44,000 just south of Hartford. In response, school officials cut short the suspensions. Civil libertarians hailed the students' return to school as a small victory for freedom of expression.

Those friends of Giles who wore dresses in his support do not see it as a new fashion craze. Said one boy, "I'm not going to wear it again, but a lot of girls told me I looked really good in it.

Reversing Transition

by Gianna E. Israel

There are a number of transgender persons who after deciding to permanently transition, live in role for a short period of time, and then reverse back to their original gender. Reversing transition is a subject that people prefer to avoid discussing. However, it bears scrutiny. Particularly for people who are planning a transition, as well as those who are considering a return to their original gender. This article probes common reasons behind gender reversals.

The action of reversing a transition is similar to purging, but considerably more far-reaching as it often effects most facets of a personís life. Purging, or throwing away oneís clothes and disavowing ones identity as a crossdresser, is common among crossdressers who have not come to terms with their need to crossdress. They most frequently do so because of guilt, fear and insecurity.

In reversing a gender transition, the individual may do so for a variety of reasons, and must actually undo steps and go through a re-orientation process

so as to once again feel comfortable in their old gender identity. Many who do so find that things never really become as they had been before transition.

Transgenderists, those who live part or full-time in role as a member of the opposite gender, and transsexuals, those who permanently seek a new gender and genital reassignment, are both types of individuals who may consider reversing the steps of a permanent gender transition. Those that do often have to counter the effects of hormone usage, new physical developments, voice training, and a restructured social system. After announcing intentions to change, and then reverse, they must also prepare themselves for the possibility others will view them as unstable. Once again, they may find their social support systems significantly altered, particularly within employment and relationships.

The most common reason individuals reverse a transition is economic. This is true with any group, although there is a tendency for young adults to give up on transition once the harsh realities of cost and discrimination set in.

Generally what happens, is the individual starts out with sincere hopes of finding a job in their new identity, but quickly finds themselves unemployable and unacceptable to society. Without experience surviving as an adult, the pressure becomes too much and they reverse their transition.

For any age group finding employment can be extremely difficult for the newly transitioned person. So difficult in fact a transitioning person should anticipate being unemployed for two to three times longer than non-transgendered persons. This is because a new gendered person is required to learn the unspoken customs of what is expected from a male or female employee and coworker. Lack of knowledge of how men and women interact professionally can seriously hamper job-seeking efforts. Add to gender issues the traditional difficulties persons have finding work, and the challenge of landing a job can at times be almost impossible. Traditional difficulties include lack of work experience, lack of job hunting skills, lack of jobs available on the market.

There are also other factors which make securing employment difficult. For the person making a transition, gaining a new position or transitioning on the job also requires a sophistication in dressing skills or presentation. Most importantly, the person needs an ability to negotiate their needs without alienating others. These factors represent why it is so important an individual have experiencing socializing as well as transacting business in their new gender role before carrying gender issues into the workplace. I encourage my counseling clients to ask questions about these processes. How does your new wardrobe compare with other same gendered persons of similar

position? How do your physical mannerisms and gestures appear to others? Is your appearance consistent? What do you intend to do about the bathroom issue? How will you handle it if a co-worker or customer harasses you? Transgender persons would be well-served in observing how other transgender men and women maintain employment in their location. This can vary greatly depending on location. Generally speaking, if there is a wide variety of cultural diversity in an area, people are going to be more accepting of you. Cultural diversity can include sexual orientation, race, and so forth. I also strongly advise all transgender persons in the course of transition, to seek gender specialized counseling prior to seeking work or making an on-the-job transition. Support groups are also an excellent source of information, as you can hear about the success and difficulties others have faced. The more information and resources a person has available, the higher the chances they will secure employment and successfully integrate their needs into the workplace without affecting work performance.

Age is another major reason behind why individuals often reverse a transition. I have found this to be true for young persons (ages 16 - 30) and for maturing persons (50+). With younger persons, economics play a large role in this. However, of equal importance is the fact that young persons lack experience coping with a serious and dangerous world. Todayís young person is typically under extreme survival pressure. This can be particularly true if a person is disowned by their immediate family. As a new adult, it may often take up to a decade for people to develop the communication skills, education

and life experiences needed to successfully navigate relationships and other social structures. Consequently, this explains why the preponderance of transitioning persons are typically over age 30. Once a personís life is in place as an adult, their unresolved gender issues come to the surface because they have no other major unresolved developmental challenges.

For persons over age 50. The underlying reason for reversing a transition typically comes as a result of inflexibility. Simply stated, after living in one gender for over 50 years, it is easier to let things rest. Some wonder why they should give up all the security they have built during the course of a lifetime. Others, more gender dysphoric, find they are psychologically forced to pursue transition. Finally, all too often, maturing persons who are not familiar with the gender community, will believe they are too old to transition. Within my practice I have worked with a variety of people within the 50 - 70 age group. The majority of these individuals have transitioned successfully. They found that what they have lost in youth was compensated in a lifetime of experiences. These experiences frequently helped them adjust quicker to transition, and gave them a new lease on life.

Whatever a personís reasons may be for reversing a transition, this is an important step. It is no less important than a person who decides to begin a transition. I strongly encourage people who are considering a reversal to contact a gender specialist, even for short term consultation, so as to gain information about the reversal process. If they do not do so, they may once again find themselves longing to transition--particularly if they reversed a transition due to short-term difficulties. Finally, it is important to

understand that reversing a transition is also a personal decision. While considering this option, it is best to not listen to the advise of anyone who is pushy, demanding, condescending or portrays the reversal as an act of betrayal of the gender community.

G I A N N A E. I S R A E L provides nationwide telephone consultation, individual & relationship counseling, evaluations and referrals. She is principal author of the Transgender Care (Temple University / in press 1997). She also writes Transgender Tapestry's "Ask Gianna" column; is an AEGIS board

member and HBIGDA member. She can be contacted at (415) 558-8058, at P.O. Box 424447 San Francisco, CA 94142, or via e-mail at Gianna@counselsuite.com.

Are Computers Male or Female? Both perspectives

By DIANNA

As you are aware, ships have long been characterized as being female (e.g., "Steady as she goes" or "She's listing to starboard, Captain!") Recently, a group of computer scientists (all males) announced that computers should also be referred to as being female.

Their reasons for drawing this conclusion follow:

Five reasons to believe computers are female:

1. No one but the Creator understands their internal logic.

2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.

3. The message "Bad command or file name" is about as informative as, "If you don't know why I'm mad at you, then I'm certainly not going to tell you."

4. Even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval.

5. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

However, another group of computer scientists (all female) think that computers should be referred to as if they were male. Their reasons

follow:

Five reasons to believe computers are male:

1. They have a lot of data, but are still clueless.

2. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem.

3. As soon as you commit to one you realize that, if you had waited a little longer, you could have obtained a better model.

4. In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on.

5. Big power surges knock them out for the rest of the night.

The Virtuous Spouse

by Mavis

It was a new day in our lives. We had just

moved to this mid-western state and settled into a

new career opportunity. We were approaching 40,

discovering new aspects of life as we found new

friends.

My spouse was delighted with the large country house and barn where the children could keep a horse or two someday. That day I was relaxing, doing odd jobs, dressed in comfortable khaki work clothes. "We are having a party Saturday. I have something for you to wear," she said to me.

"Whose party?" I asked.

"Barb and Bob and us and the Newcomers bunch from church... like we did last month. Here, try it on. I want you to be comfortable."

"Isn't that what I am wearing already. They're khaki, aren't they?"

"Here...hold them up and see if they fit your waist. I had to guess your size."

"It's a khaki skirt!" I smile, "What is going on?"

"You always said you'd like to wear a kilt like your grandfather's. This is just like one. Barb and I decided we'd have a costume party this month. Bob and you will wear these. Now go and change into the skirt. " I return carrying my pants.

"It is just the right size." I put my hands in the side seam pockets. "Nice pockets, too. Real cool!"

"Here, I'11 take the pants. That is what Barb and I are wearing, so we'll match, like couples should. You go on and wear your 'kilt.' Get used to it. You'll like it."

"It is comfortable." I turned to swish it. "What will people say?"

"It's a party, dearie, Bob will be there, too. You get used to wearing it and they will say you

look real nice."

I began to feel good with it. Very happy, in fact, as if some deep desire was being fulfilled. "Thanks. It will take some getting used to..what are

you doing now?"

"I'm putting your wallet and stuff in the hand bag.. It matches your skirt. All this stuff won't look nice in skirt pockets. Even your Scots grandfathers carried a bag with their kilt." She gives me the hand bag.

I put the bag over my shoulder and opened it. "Thatís real nice. Matches the color, too." I see a compact and such in the handbag. ''What is this

all about?"

"That goes with your purse. We want you

and Bob to play the role of the virtuous spouse for

the party. There is more to come. You'll get used

to it and everyone will appreciate their spouse

better. Who knows, maybe you'll want to wear it

all the time. Just make yourself comfortable."

*** Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. Proverbs 31:10

Note from Mavis: This is not fantasy or fiction.

This is a memory from about 24 years ago. The

party was a success and the costume idea was repeated as the couples discovered it did, indeed,

create mutual appreciation and wholesome self

expression of inner feelings as well as tons of

laughter.

Nurture open expression of your inner

selves with those you trust. Let the gladness

proclaim you can each be a virtuous spouse in

this way. Tell us about it.

1998 Equal Conference a hit!

by Mary Ann Harris

The 1998 Equal! at Lucent Technologies annual Professional Development Conference was held in Columbus, Ohio. This year, we had a big transgender presence, with 18 members of the community participating. We had a wonderful time, and made a big impact on the conference. The conference ran from Thursday night, April 30, through Saturday night May 2.

Lucent Technologies is a large manufacturer of telephone and communications equipment, spun off from AT&T in 1996. AT&T and Lucent have always been very supportive of Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity, and Diversity. Recently, Lucent's diversity group for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual employees, Equal! at Lucent Technologies, added "Transgendered" to its charter. (Thanks to Nancy Nangeroni for making this happen while she was a contractor at Lucent.) This year, we've made history by adding Transgender to our Equal Opportunity employment policy.

Equal! has had annual national conferences since 1992, where 100 to 300 employees gather to learn about GLBT issues, hear inspirational plenary speeches from top Lucent management and major GLBT groups, attend workshops, and meet others. Supportive heterosexual allies and managers are encouraged to attend, and a special Management Track of workshops is available for them. I attended last year's conference in Denver, along with one other transgendered Lucent employee. There was one workshop about transgenderism, presented by Dianna Cicotello. The Gender Identity Center of Colorado had a table in the vendor area.

Because Opportunity knocked by having this year's conference in Columbus, I knew there was a chance to do something wonderful. I got involved on the Agenda and Registration committees, and quickly found myself the unofficial T-coordinator as well. The Agenda committee proved to be a key role. It also gave me an opportunity to help in many other ways, not just for transgendered issues. I asked for a Transgendered plenary talk (one of seven plenaries at the conference) and two TG workshops. The agenda committee graciously agreed, and something wonderful happened.

This year, I've been seeking out other transgendered Lucent employees, and building an e-mail list. We've had an opportunity to encourage our TG employees to attend the conference. This year, four transgendered employees attended. We met Kaila, a recently transitioned TS from Oklahoma City, Jamie, a well-established TS from Denver, Sandy, a CD from New Jersey who attended last year's conference, and myself. Bonnie, a TS from Texas, nearly attended but had to cancel due to a death in her family. Several of Kaila's friends and supporters were

there, going out of their way to help. Beth, my spouse and wonderfully supportive partner of nearly seven years, was there to support me as well. So many other great people: Equal! members, managers,

supportive allies, and presenters, were there too. It was wonderful to meet and talk with so many great people!

This conference was a personal milestone for me, a coming out. Until now, I've been out only to Equal! members (having attended as both Mark and Mary Ann in Denver) and a few select co-workers. This conference, being in Columbus, attracted many straight Columbus Lucent employees and managers. Mark spent two nervous days, worrying about the reaction of these Columbus employees, and the effect on his career. Thursday morning, as Mary Ann, I was calm and excited about the conference. (Interestingly, Mark caught a cold the day before the conference. Mary Ann felt fine all weekend.) As it turned out, I met and talked to only a few people I knew from Columbus. They were supportive and courteous. Most of the people I was concerned about seemed to not even notice me.

Tash de la Cruz and Jane Icenogle graciously let us have two tables in the vendor room for the Crystal Club and It's Time, Ohio! The people of these two great organizations came through, and we had two people there all three days. LuAnn outdid herself, making beautiful displays for both groups with fabric, flowers, and posters, and staffing the tables for two full days. Jamie Elizabeth took two days of vacation

and pitched in all three days of the conference. After a morning hair styling appointment at Ken Goodnight's, Anne took her first steps out, setting up the tables and staffing it Thursday. Sarah created some outstanding art designs, with "TransSister" stickers that were the hit of the conference, and T shirts with the same great design. Sarah's design includes "Lucent Technologies: First with the TransSister", a reference to Bell Labs invention of the transistor, and to Lucent's being first to protect transgendered employees with EO language; the electrical symbol for a transistor inside the IFGE symbol for transgender, all on a rainbow background. LaToya and Dianna put in a full day on Saturday, and participated in many of the great events.

Carly Fiorina, Lucent's president of the Global Service Provider Business Group, gave the Friday morning plenary talk. In a quote of great inspiration to me, she said "Lucent values your contributions, when you bring your whole self to work." Each and every one of us has to be able to give the utmost in order to bring the corporation where it can go. The meaning to me, as a crossdresser, was profound. I have been leaving my femme self at home, a true loss at times.

Over the past year, Lucent has added "gender identity, characteristics, or expression" to its nondiscrimination language in the EO policy. (An

even bigger accomplishment, adding Domestic Partner Benefits, highlighted our year.) During lunch on Friday, Rick Kirkham and Kathleen Dermody, the co-presidents of Equal!, gave a summary of what

has been accomplished this year. Rick gave a beautiful description of the gender-inclusive EO policy. He highlighted how the policy benefits not only transgendered people, but others who have gender-variant presentations, such as masculine women and feminine men. (Rick has his own wonderful and nontraditional presentation, with body language, voice, and dual earrings that make a positive and diverse statement. He really helped illustrate the point.) Rick graciously gave me the credit for making it happen. He credited "Mary Ann Harris", and Kathleen immediately corrected him "Horton". This led to many jokes about my maiden name!

In reality, Dennis J Parker, Ralph Combs, Ethyl Batten, and many other supporters did most of the work and took most of the risks. All I did was ask and provide the content. What a wonderful environment with great people! The feeling during the applause and ovation were indescribable - I cried tears of joy.

In the afternoon, Vickie Riggs gave a panel workshop on parenting when the parents are Les/Bi/Gay/Tran. She invited me to be on the panel, as well as a lesbian couple and a gay friend of mine whose children are in the same school as mine. The themes seemed in common: there is nothing per se wrong with a GLBT parent, but society is out to get us. An interesting note is that, while there are groups for GLB parents, there is no information or literature or research about transgendered parents. This is a clear gap that should be addressed. GLB groups GLPIC and COLAGE were cited.

Saturday morning began our big day. James Green, the president of FTM International, was our morning plenary speaker. He and his daughter,

Morgan, flew in Friday night and joined us for the dinner banquet and entertainment. Kaila joined us as well, and gave me a tape of her musical performances - some excellent heavy metal music!

James' plenary talk had the rapt attention of 300 conference attendees and the entire transgender contingent. It started on a humorous note, with Rick relating when James' 5-year-old daughter, in a McDonalds, loudly asked James, "Daddy, do you have a penis yet?" An E.F. Hutton moment! James gave some poignant commentary on trans-inclusion in the

workplace, and then opened the floor to questions. The audience responded enthusiastically, with many lighthearted and serious moments. The session ended with a thunderous standing ovation, and presentation of an Equal! hat and mug to James. He stayed around all day, attending Meral Crane's workshops and chiming in at useful times.

After a break, we started Meral's workshop on crossdressers. We had a packed room of 70 people, needing extra chairs to seat everyone. Meral gave some introductory background, using Sheila's beautiful flower picture for opening imagery. LuAnn then talked about the people who call the Crystal Club's hot line, and her own experiences with Carol. Jamie Elizabeth talked about her experience, and I told my story. Then we had a Q&A with the panel. We could have used more time, as it felt like we were just scratching the surface.

After a superb lunch (where we were fortunate enough to have lunch tickets for everyone, including the ladies at the vendor table) we started into the main reason we were there, the transsexuals. Meral invited four panelists: Cait, James (a young F2M), Erin, and Chase. Jennifer also came, intending to sit quietly in the audience. Most of the rest of us were there in the audience as well. The group was spellbound, and the stories told captivated us. Jennifer sat up front at the beginning, and grew from a scared, closeted post-op to an outgoing and open panelist before our eyes. We were so taken with the seminar that many people stayed around for nearly two hours to talk. I missed the entire closing ceremony and Ultra Chocolate Break to chat with people.

Afterwards, a steady stream of people came up to me (and to Meral's afternoon group, who were chatting in the lobby) telling us how great the sessions were. They said they really needed to hear this, and they wanted to see expanded transgender information next year. The warmth and joy of so many people left us with an emotional high. I don't think my feet will touch the ground for a week!

The next day was Aids Walk 98. The event had been heavily promoted at the conference, even though it is a local Columbus event. Lucent participated in force, with a big team of walkers and tens of thousands of dollars raised for AIDS research. Rich Kaffenbarger, a member of Equal! and conference participant, ran the Lucent part of the walk, and was busy keeping it all going. I walked as Mark. I wore Sarah's TransSister T shirt, and spoke to people about it before and after the march. I had a constructive dialog with Jeffrey Furr, a candidate for County Commissioner.

Today, Monday, I can't count how many people sent me wonderful, positive feedback about the conference. All the people I've known for a year or more are telling me how meaningful it was and appreciating our efforts. People who were not so involved were blown away - one middle manager, in

a conservatively written trip report, wrote that "This year [transgender] was the area of the most learning for me personally." I have not heard one negative comment. I want to thank each and every person who was involved in this fabulous conference. You all did a wonderful job, and make the event the success that it was.

Next year's Equal! conference will be in New York City. I have already signed up to be on the Agenda committee. I hope to get more of Lucent's wonderful transgendered people involved, so we can do something even better in Manhattan! (Let me know if you want to be involved in next year's conference.)

EITHER WAY

by Hilary Louise Foster

Dedicated To: Dea Juliana

You start your day by shaving

your legs.

Then you pull on your hose

And slip on your dress.

Finally you get your hair and

make-up done.

When you enter the room

I'm just stunned.

Your so beautiful.

In so many ways.

I look into your deep brown eyes

And I can see the love in your

heart and the light into your soul

Youíre passionate and caring

Yet strong and protective.

Youíre a Father yet a Mother

And most of all

Youíre my Friend, lover and my life

So do what you need too

And wear what you choose

Just remember no matter what

gender you portray,

I love you either way.

07/27/97

 

 

 

 

Merger talks

From IXE in Indianapolis

The Boards of Directors of two national transgender organizations, the American Educational Gender Information Service, Inc. (AEGIS) and It's Time, America! (ITA) are pleased to announce that they have initiated serious discussions in pursuit of a merger of the two groups, with the intention of creating a new organization designed to meet the changing educational and advocacy needs of the transsexual, transgender, and other gende-different

communities. The boards recently approved mission and values statements and are working to develop goals and projects to meet the community's needs. To better deter-Merger Negotiations mine these needs, AEGIS and ITA have developed a survey form which solicits input from all interested persons and care providers. The respective boards hope to reach agreement on this merger in the near future, but in the interim, the independent operations of both organizations will continue. The American Educational Gender Information Service has provided a variety of educational resources for professionals, transsexuals, and other persons since 1990. It's Time, America! has advocated on behalf of transgendered and other gender-variant persons through state-level chapters since 1994.

Book Review: Mom, I need to be a girl.

by Phyllis Randolph Frye

I wish I'd had this book to give to my parents and siblings and other relatives in 1976, the year that I transitioned. Or maybe even before. I don't know if it would have made a difference with some, but I think it would have helped with most, and it would have made my life a lot easier for sure.

"Mom, I Need To Be a Girl" , is written by a the parent of a teenaged son who soon became a teenaged daughter. The author, Just Evelyn, is a friend that I met at the second International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy in 1993. Evelyn had called me several months prior, seeking legal advice for dealing with her teenaged transgendered. As I told her then, she was welcome to the conference, but at that time we were timid about dealing with anyone under eighteen. You just never knew what the fanatic, religious right, conservatives would do, so we mostly told them to call us back when they became eighteen years old. That was 1993.

Evelyn's book, just released this month, will certainly be a good guide for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings and cousins who love and recognize that their family member has been socially trapped in the wrong gender role regardless how young they are. There is a lot of love in this book. And there is a lot of searching and soul searching as well. I do not understand why family members feel guilty when they learn of a loved one being transgendered, but they often do, and this book will certainly help in that area as well.

One of the things that I admire so about Evelyn is that she is not afraid to sound-off at those in the so-called "helping professional" area who do not

really help, but charge a fee to transgender clients who then educate those professionals or serve as research data and are provided little actual help. Evelyn blasts several. She also takes the reader step by step through all of the challenges, including school, restrooms and gym class. She also has a good list of references in the back.

The last time I visited with Evelyn was while I was in San Diego for a conference. Just because Evelyn's daughter has grown up and gone on into the world of adulthood, does not mean that Evelyn has forgotten how to care. She still reaches out to assist community members who are deeply closeted and need someone to talk to who is safe (from police and the toughs who might assault them). She shares an extensive video library of talk shows and others

where the TG issue has been expressed. She even has my appearance on the "Phil Donahue Show" from 1991.

To purchase her book send $10 (inclusive of tax and s/h):

Just Evelyn

3707 Fifth Ave #413,

San Diego, CA 92103, 1-800-666-8158, www.justevelyn.com.

UpComing Events

May 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).

June 98

7th, 6th Annual Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride

and Street Festival, Jackson Hts, NY. Contact Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Comniittee, PO Box 580445, Flushing NY 11358. Phone: 718-997-6778

or email to johnqlgpc@aol.com.

10-14, 16th Annual Be All You Want to Be Weekend , Pittsburgh, PA.

Hosted by Transpitt, P.O. Box 15408, Pittsburgh PA 15237, Phone: 412-242-5902.

20, Pittsburgh PrideFest '98, Pittsburgh, Pa. Festival in Mellon Park. Contact Three Rivers Pride, PO Box 81207, Pbgh, PA 15217. Phone: 412-422-3060.

28, 29th Annual New York City Pride March, New York City, NY. Phone: 212-80-PRIDE.

July 98

15-19, S.P.I.C.E.: Spouse/Partners International Conference for Education in Atlanta, GA. For info call 510-235-7450 Pacific Time; 918-343-1953 Central Time; 215-860-9271 Eastern Time or email to: melpeg@phoenix.net.


Barb'n'Lisa Approved

1997 GLBTDVA AWARD

FOR WEB EXCELLENCE!

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 ccnl@stargate.com 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.