President - Stephanie
It’s hard for me to believe ten years have gone by. It seems like yesterday Mary Ann and I were checking out several places to find an appropriate meeting place for our new, yet unnamed, club. I remember that moment well. That day I was wearing a suit and tie so it would appear that I was a businessman to the people we were going to meet. I guess I wanted to impress on these people that while I may wear a dress from time to time, I’m still a normal guy with a regular job.
As we walked into the meeting room at the Knight’s Inn (where our meetings were first held), I was thinking, “What are we going to tell this manager about why we want to rent this room once a month?” Silly me, I had Mary Ann with me. No sooner than I walked into the room Mary Ann announced we were both crossdressers and were looking for a meeting place. I swear my jaw hit the floor. I didn’t say much after that, I just kind of smiled in a polite, embarrassed way. Looking back I realized it was the best way to handle the situation, but Mary Ann could have given me a little warning. 8^)
I remember the first official meeting well, also. We almost had as many people from other organizations, such as Alpha Omega Club, as regular members that night. Our first order was to figure out what in the heck we were going to call ourselves. A number of names were thrown out; sorority names (we debated on whether we wanted to be a part of Tri-Ess or some other large group), Mid-West Girls, Columbus Girls, Ladies of Columbus, even Men in Panties (ugh). In the end, it was a lady name Pat, from Alpha Omega, that came up with our name. It was a play on Christopher Columbus’s name (thus Crystal) which appealed to everyone there. And so, we toasted our new name, “The Crystal Club,” and a dream was born.
Now, it’s time to celebrate and feel good about what we have done. While there has been some ups and downs in our club, it had never wavered from it’s one principal; to provide a safe environment where TS’s, CD’s and the people who love us can come to gather, be themselves and get support for who they are. Over the years, countless friendships have been formed. How many of us would still be alone, trapped in our own guilt and wondering, “Are there others out there like me, and how can I meet them?” I wonder how many of us would have taken our own life?
The club has served it’s purpose and will continue to do so in the future. To everyone who has been a part of this, I say, “We’ve done good people. We’ve done good.” Let the celebration begin!!!
It's hard to believe the Crystal Club is ten years old this month. Although I was not one of the founders, I joined shortly afterward and have come to know many past and present members. A lot of friendships have developed and I am so thankful that a few people had the courage to start such an undertaking. I'm especially thankful to Rochelle who was the president then and took the time to respond to my inquiry with a wonderful letter full of encouragement. There was also Rebecca, who was the first TS I had ever met and was so kind and sweet. I talked to her often about her journey and it really helped me on mine. I would attend meetings and then disappear for a while as I tried to understand my feelings and make some sense of all the confusion going on in my head. During all this, the Crystal Club was always there. I had a safe place to let my true personality emerge and talk to others like myself, not realizing at the time that I would eventually be carrying on the tradition of helping others fulfill their dreams.
Thank you, Crystal Club, and everyone whom I have met, for being a part of my life and enriching it beyond my wildest dreams. May it continue on for many more years. With much affection, Stephanie
It is difficult for me to describe exactly what the Crystal Club has meant to me because it has meant so much and so many things. It is an incredibly special place, a place where I came to appreciate who I was for the very first time. I was "home," embraced by others who truly understood my deep-rooted feelings.
Next to shopping (that's an inside joke), my greatest joy is being with other members of the club, all of whom have given me in support far more than I can ever return to them individually. Perhaps when they read this they will know how much I appreciate their love and support. God bless us all!
I would just like to say that even though I never needed support from any group, I have found some very thoughtful and caring friends, the best girlfriends I could have ever found, and I am very thankful for that. Thank you all, my dear sister members. Love, Holly Suzanne J.
During the last 8 years I have been a club member, I have seen many changes in the club. Many of the old faces are gone and many new members have appeared. I have seen the club go from non-active politically to active and back to not quite so active.
Through the years, the club has in many ways helped me to become more comfortable with myself and with who I am. Today, I'm much more comfortable in my male roll while still being able to express myself as Dianna. This is a big change for me. When I arrived, I had a lot of confusion as to who and what I was. You, as a group, have made my life a lot clearer than it has been for a long time. For that, I'd like to thank all members, past and present.
The club has also opened many doors for me that I could never have opened alone. You have given me the opportunity to express and explore my identity. You have also, in most cases cleared up a lot of confusion in my life. I've also had the opportunity to meet many different people in many different places through other events in the TG community. I hope that many of you can become as comfortable with yourselves as I have. Thanks, Dianna
"Be yourself, but don't be stupid."
That was the message delivered at our March meeting by Dr. Keith Oliver, a Columbus psychologist, whose practice - Accretion Psychological Services -includes transgender issues.
It is important for those in the transgendered community to first do things that are healthy for themselves. "Try to focus on yourself and your own happiness first," he said, drawing the analogy to the directions regarding use of the oxygen mask by airline passengers traveling with children: Put on your own mask first, then place a mask on the child.
"By taking care of yourself first, you then can be there for others," he said, "and support is a big part of self-esteem."
Dr. Oliver, who has been in private practice since 1993, mentioned, too, the "shame and guilt" that often is associated with leading a double-life.
"Guilt can be carried too far," he said, "and some begin to beat up on themselves. Shame, on the other hand, often relates to a need to change for self-acceptance. Consequently, guilt and shame can be injurious to individual health.”
For a healthy lifestyle, "All of us should explore our sexual orientation and who we feel we are," he said, "as well as be aware of who we are."
The main discussion during the business meeting focused on the plans for the April 24th anniversary formal and dinner. Stephanie expects the caterer to provide a buffet dinner with two entrees, roast beef and chicken. Diana, Latoya and Kelly will work on the decorations for the banquet hall. Anne is providing the music and Trisha will provide the lighting and the dinner tables.
Twenty-three were in attendance at the meeting, including a visitor, Dianna. Members attending were: Stephanie, Jamie izabeth, Holly, Cathy, Judy, Kelly, Trisha, Dawn, Christine, Jannie, Latoya, Julie and Cheri, Renee and Anne, Tina, Vicky, Teresa, Angie, Cindy, Anne, and Diana.
By the time you read this, it will have already happened. The first meeting of a new support group in Dayton, OH calling themselves, “The Dayton’s Gems.” They plan to meet on the first Saturday of the month. We wish you ladies the best of luck!
We would like to welcome two more officers into our fold. First, Tina is to become our new Librarian. If you are interested in checking out a book or old newsletter or would like to donate something to us, please let us know.
Second, I would like to welcome the addition of another editor to the fold. Trisha will be helping Jannie and I with the newsletter as well as creating and sending one out every three months. Her first crack at the newsletter will be in June, when Jannie and I are busy. Welcome aboard you two. Thanks for helping!
We would like to thank Carey for serving as Vice President this past year. She was idea for the position and helped out with the club in a number of ways.
Unfortunately, work caused her to miss a number of meetings. Thanks for being there for us, Carey!
April 1989 was the first official meeting of the Crystal Club. A less informal meeting had taken place the month before in Mary Ann Horton’s house, in which about 8 people showed up. From that small meeting a dream was formed and one month later it was born. While the Crystal Club has grown and changed since those early days, one thing has remained the same: it is still a place where people can come to dress and socialize in a safe environment with other CD’s, TS’s, and GG’s.
About six months ago, Mary Ann mentioned to me that the club’s ten year anniversary was coming up, and it gave me an idea. Why not go through all the old newsletters and bring back some of our past. The problem was, I didn’t have any of the old newsletter. In stepped Mary Ann, who was kind enough to intrust me with all of her old newsletters. That’s when the real fun began. Re-reading these old newsletter brought back a lot fond memories, mostly of members who I knew personally which the club has lost contact with. So please sit back and enjoy as I take you on a trip down memory lane.
President: Mary Ann Horton (unofficial)
VP: Susan & Kelly Davidson (unofficial)
Meeting Coordinator: Kelly Davidson
Newsletter editor: Rochelle (Newsletter written and printed by Mary Ann. First newsletter was May ‘89.)
Treasurer: Gina Thompson (for only a few months, unsure who did it after that)
In the news:
Christine Jorgensen dies at age 62.
Yearly membership dues where $15 per member, $20 per couple but were dropped to $15 per couple. Meeting fees were $5 per member attending.
For the longest time, cross dressers living in central Ohio have had to travel to Cleveland or Cincinnati to visit with others like us. It meant driving all day, trying to grab a quick bite to eat, while dressed, along the way, and a late search for a motel room. A long drive the next day, and the whole weekend was consumed by the event.
This made it difficult for many of us to go. Planning ahead was not always easy. Some of us could only go once every several months. Some could not go at all.
At last, we have a local group. This means we can get together regularly, talk, help others, and plan the future of the group. It means many of us can afford to get together without spending a small fortune on gas, food, and a motel room. We don't have to shoot the whole weekend.
We're here to give our sisters a chance to meet each other. We can realize that we're not alone, that there really are others like us. We can talk about our feelings, or swap stories, or give each other tips on makeup, or good places to shop. We are here for each other.
I want to see this group grow and prosper. Columbus is the largest city in Ohio. We have Dayton, Springfield, Athens, and other sizable communities close by as well. There are bound to be hundreds, or even thousands, of cross dressers within an easy drive. We need to reach out to these ladies, invite them to join us, and make them feel welcome. Not everyone can make every meeting. But if we grow to 25 or 50, we'll have enough at every meeting that we can rent a nice place, offer good food and drink, and still charge a modest meeting fee. At our current size, we can offer a small conference room, changing room, snacks, and drinks, at $15 each. If we grow, we could afford a large conference room, changing room, kitchenette, a meal, drinks, and a speaker, for perhaps as little as $10. We especially want to invite spouses and significant others. These ladies are very special to us. They may be pretty nervous about this whole cross dressing deal. If they can meet some other wives and talk to them, perhaps they can be reassured. We're offering a special couple rate of $20 to help encourage couples to come. I hope to see you all at the next meeting!
I think I'll take some time today
The time has come for you, my friend
I'll tell you of the ups and downs
I'll try to make you understand
And now you look at me with doubt
So please don't shake your head and sigh
Editor’s notes: I was hoping to run across this poem. For years I could only remember bits and pieces of it, like a favorite forgotten song that tormented me. I’m glad, after so many years, I was able to find it, so it could be reprinted for your enjoyment.
President: Rochelle Richards
Treasurer: Stephanie Hall
Meeting Coordinator: Linda
Newsletter Editor: Mary Ann and Lana
Screening Officer: Susan
Pubic Relations: Stephanie Leigh
GG Outreach: Beth and Jennifer
In the news:
First club elections held in February.
Rochelle, Susan, Mary Ann, Linda, and Stephanie appear in an article in the Columbus Dispatch on Feb. 20, 1990, which was doing a story about the Crystal Club.
Meeting dues are raised from $5 to $10. Yearly dues climb to $15 per member, $20 per year for couples.
Trans-west Virginia, a support group located in Charleston, is formed.
They love women.
They are sexually attracted to them. They may marry them and have children with them. They even dress like them. They are the heterosexual male cross-dressers who go to the office every day wearing ties, sweaters, pants, suits and sometimes women's underwear.
They are construction workers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, the men-next-door who happen, secretly, to call themselves Rochelle, Mary Anne, Susan, Linda or Stephanie.
In Columbus, they began dealing with their complicated world a year ago by forming a support group called the Crystal Club. Those who are married take their wives, and they socialize and have speakers, including psychologists.
When dressed as women, they take on a female identity, said Susan, a skilled tradesman.
Meral Crane, a family and sex therapist, said why some men cross-dress "is not absolutely known." There is a theory that during their fetal development some alteration in brain structure may create a predisposition to crossdressing, she said.
"Three-fourths of the men are straight, not gay. The people who do this aren't poor or uneducated." Crane said there are degrees of cross-dressing. Some live for Halloween so they can dress up. Others become secretly enamored of one item, such as pantyhose, silk panties, bras or high heels.
”The public will have to think of this as a fetish. These men want female partners. They adore women. There is an addictive quality to it. but I do not think of it as an addiction," Crane said.
"As a therapist, my goal is to take the power of it out of their lives. They can still do it, but my goal is to remove it as the center of their lives."
When Mary Anne, a 35-year old professional man, was 10, he noticed his mother's "pretty clothes."
"For me, makeup and wigs are only a necessary evil. If I could just wear women's clothing and be as I am without makeup or wigs, I would do so," he said.
Linda, an engineer in his 40s, was dressed conservatively in a black skirt and emerald green jacket. If he could, Linda would dress as a woman all the time.
"My wife is supportive. She knew it before we were married," Linda said.
Like some cross-dressers, Linda has had electrolysis. His facial hair has been removed, and he no longer has to shave. This makes it easier to put on makeup and softens his skin.
"I like a lot of activities you don't associate with women. I ride a motorcycle, do white-water canoeing. My sex life is perfectly normal. I am not attracted to men," Linda said.
Stephanie, a professional man in his 30s, said his sex life improved after he began cross-dressing. "It has not hurt it at all. It has enhanced it immensely. My wife is very understanding. I wouldn't want to have electrolysis or change my male body."
The men are quick to distinguish between themselves and drag queens. "A drag queen is a male homosexual who dresses up like a woman to attract people of the same sex," Susan said. "They tend to be more flashy. The heterosexual cross-dresser dresses conservatively and in good taste."
Most of the cross-dressers are not transsexuals, those who want sex change operations, although some eventually decide on surgery.
“I did not choose this,” Linda said. "It is a lot of fun, but it complicates your life immensely."
Several Crystal Club members were divorced by wives who didn't understand. And buying clothes can be a problem. Some pretend they are buying for their wives.
Linda, dressed as a man on a business trip, entered a discount shoe store, intending to slip his foot quickly into a woman's shoe to get the right size without attracting attention.
"There was this farmer in bib overalls who was hanging around the shoes. I waited for him to leave. I waited and I waited. Finally I gave up, and I was going out, and I turned around and saw him trying on a shoe just like I wanted to," Linda said.
Viewers who enjoyed or missed seeing Quantum Leap’s Scott Bakula in a dress earlier this season, when he played a sexy young secretary, will get another chance in an upcoming episode of the NBC time-travel series. [The episode aired 1/10/90; both will no doubt be in reruns.] This time Bakula's character, Sam Beckett, enters the body of a harried single mother. Instead of a form-fitting décolletage and spike heels, think "free-flowing long skirts and boots."
"It's interesting the second time around, reports Bakula. "The first time I got so much grief from the crew. They were doing catcalls and whistles, calling me 'madam' and opening doors for me. There was a definite change in attitude toward me. Now it's basically, 'Oh, there goes Scott in a dress again',"
The actor says playing women has been "very wonderful for me. I learned the difficulty of just wearing women's clothes; literally, how painful they are.
“My wife had a ball. Every time I came home complaining how cold I was on the set, freezing in stockings and a skirt, she'd say, 'See.'” Bakula also says he got his comeuppance when he had to come in extra early for makeup with the rest of the women on the show. "Looking at everything from a woman’s standpoint," he says, "how you're treated, how people hit on you, how uncomfortable it made me feel, even though I'm an actor playing a part, even though I'm a man, maybe because I am a man being hit on by other men, the reality is this is not pleasant. It's irritating."
Kelly's notes: I haven’t thought about this show in years, but I used to watch it all the time. I still have the episode where he competed in a beauty pageant. Great stuff! I wish they were doing reruns of this show now. It kind of disappeared off the TV.
President: Rochelle Richards
VP: Cindy (Lana served as acting VP)
Meeting Coordinator: Kathy
Newsletter Editor: Lana
Screening Officer: LuAnn & Carol
Pubic Relations: Rochelle Richards
GG Outreach: Debbie L.
In the news:
The Crystal Club begins hosting Ladies Night Out once a month.
First elections to have two people running for President and VP.
Yearly dues remain $15 per member, $20 per couple but meeting dues are raised as follows, $15 per member, $20 per couple, $20 for non-member and $25 for non-member couples.
Marilyn’s Miscellaneous, sort of a gossip/opinion column done by Marilyn, begins showing up each month in the newsletter. It was a very enjoyable feature. Marilyn, where are you?
Last week I had the enlightening opportunity to visit my son, who is recovering from the combat wounds he suffered in Panama, a year ago Christmas. He was at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, along with other young men, who had already been injured in the War In The Gulf. One boy had one leg and an arm blown off and the other leg shattered. I thought as I talked to his smiling face: My problem with gender confusion is only the most insignificant of human problems, when compared to what adjustment this boy is going to have for the rest of his life. He will never again be accepted as a complete man. Sound familiar? He'll try as hard as he can to live with what he now is, but he'll always be wondering how things would have been if he hadn't acquired this disability. He'll constantly fantasize about being normal or being accepted for what he is, but he'll always know that neither will happen. No normal woman will marry him or stay married to him. His mind will ever be altered, too.
These words are not to bid us to feel sorry for our own situation, but rather to have us notice just how lucky we have it. We can differ our exhibition of our disability until it is convenient to display it in friendly company. He will carry his disfigurement for all to see where ever he goes. So what? We don't have it so bad after all. If we really want to give our “hobby” up, we could. It would still be in our minds, just like the alcoholics constant desire to take a drink, even in recovery. But we could just say no. Think about this, when you feel compelled beyond control to dress, when it is inappropriate. Think about the fact that we have full control over what we do ... especially when it comes to the avoiding of hurting a loved one.
I don't believe that crossdressing or even living in the gender or sex into which you were not born is a wrong or immoral thing to do. It is in my mind simply doing what is necessary to minimize the effects of a disability, which was not consciously chosen. We all became disabled with this gender dysphoria at an early age for some unidentifiable reason. But to deal with it in a way that hurts other people can be morally incorrect. We all have to be the judge of our own actions, according to our own needs and our own moral definitions. We can just say go or just say no. Think about it. Muster up the courage and then do the thing that is right for you. May God be with you.
Here are a few sister laws to Murphy's Law (Anything that can go wrong will go wrong).
1) No matter how many times you relieve your bladder before you get dressed, you will always have to go to the bathroom after the last finishing touch is made.
2) No matter how quiet your neighborhood or apartment building is when you are getting dressed, it will look like Grand Central Station the moment you choose to leave.
3) Whenever you are getting out of your car (even at 3:00 AM on a cold winter night), there will be a guy walking his dog past you at the exact moment you choose to leave your car.
4) Just as you are almost finished getting dressed, a cousin, friend, or Jehovah's Witness will unexpectedly ring your doorbell.
5) The cable television will always go out just as Gerardo is about to introduce his first “Trapped In-Between the Sexes” guest.
6) That bottle of perfume will always decide to burst while in your favorite and most expensive handbag.
7) Although you have a history of passing police radar patrol cars doing 75 MPH and not getting caught, you will be pulled over while in drag and driving at 57 MPH in a 55 MPH zone.
8) No matter how hard you try, the next car over (the one loaded with curious, drunk teenagers) will always find a way to line itself up with your car at a red light.
9) The weather will always be unbearably hot. cold, windy, rainy, etc., on the night you choose to go out.
10) If you think that there is a chance that an acquaintance or friend (who doesn't know about your crossdressing) will be at a place where you will be in drag, he or she WILL be there.
11) It will always work out that you have ten nails and only nine press-on tabs.
President: Adrianne Walker
Meeting Coordinator: Kelly Davidson & Dianna
Newsletter Editor: Karen Walker
Screening Officer: LuAnn & Carol
Events Coordinator: LuAnn
Pubic Relations: Carol
Librarian: Kelly Davidson
In the news:
Two members run for President and VP. Elections turn ugly.
Figures for the year of 1992. Total income: $3,399.36, total expenses: $2,907.66. Beginning balance for the beginning of 1993 was $531.79, up from $40.09 at the start of 1992. Cost for the newsletter in 1992 was $664.81 or 19.6% of total expenses.
Yearly dues are raised to $40 per member, $60 per couple. Meeting dues are changed as follows, $10 per member, $15 per couple, $20 for non-member and $30 for non-member couples.
While putting this newsletter together with the focus being on looking back at events that made the Crystal Club, I kept asking myself , should I even bring up this very ugly incident? The answer I came up with was “Yes” (obviously, otherwise you would not be reading this). This led to my next question, should I be the one to write something about it? You see, more than seven years have passed, but the events and ill feelings of watching two close friends get raked over the coals are still fresh in my mind. So, I had to question if I could write a neutral article that could explain what happened that night while not letting my personal feelings get in the way. The answer I kept coming up with was, NO.
Then I realized, it wasn’t what happened that bothered me so much, it’s what didn’t happen afterwards that has left such a bitter tasted in my mouth all these years. In a nut shell, two members, Lana and Jennifer, were put into a situation that no member should ever have been put through, and as a result, the club lost two good volunteering members. I found myself asking, ‘How would I have felt if put in the same situation?’ and ‘How fair was it to treat these ladies this way in a club where support is supposed to be the number one priority?’
I did try to do something about it. After the elections, I pleaded my case to some of you that an apology should be printed in the newsletter regarding the treatment that Jennifer and Lana received that cold, February night. I felt it was not only owed to these two ladies, but it would benefit other members as well. By printing an apology, it would then let everyone know that this type of treatment would not be acceptable in the future. It never happened...until now that is.
Jennifer, on behalf of the club, I wish to apologize for the questioning and treatment you received that night. You of all people (a volunteering member) should not have had to go through what you did. Your time and efforts were, and are, appreciated. Lana, on behalf of the club, I wish to apologize for the questions and treatment you received that night. Your hard work, time and dedication in regards to the newsletter (back in the old days before the Internet, when everything had to be typed in) was, and is, appreciated. Thank you both
I realize some of you may be angry at me for brining up such a dark page in our bright history. Sometimes it is better to forget an event and move on. In my defense, I am reminded of a quote which goes: Those who don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it. This has been a sore spot on me for almost seven years. At last the monkey is off my back.
Those of you who know me, are well aware that I am an avid runner and cyclist (have to keep that waistline in shape) and that I participate in numerous races. This past weekend I had an opportunity to participate in a new and different event, a "Summer Biathlon." This event combines a cross-country run with marksmanship. You run 1500 meters, shoot five shots from the prone position, run 2000 meters, shoot five standing, and finish with another 1500 meters. Final results are computed by subtracting time credits for every target hit from your overall time. This becomes a very physical and mental test, almost metaphysical.
After elevating your heart rate you must will your body to lower it to a point that you can hold a rifle still, concentrate so intensely that you are oblivious to your surroundings, and your eyes, mind, rifle and target are for an instant “one.” After firing the five shots, you then re-engage your body and drag race back to full speed.
So what does this have to do with cross dressing, you ask? Question yourself, is that an activity with too much machismo for a real girl to be doing?
This particular day was even more challenging, as there were plenty of intermittent showers that stirred up some wonderful mud. I am proud to report that I placed 5th out of 129, and first in my age group. Who would guess who won this event, a man or a woman? She was a nice looking girl, with curves, shoulder length hair, about 25 years old, and hit 8 out of 10 targets! There was also another woman, over age 40, who knocked down 7 of 10 (I only managed three).
My point is, that maybe we should be careful as to what kinds of activities and behaviors we stereotype as masculine and feminine. Think about that for our August gathering. Also, does anyone know where I can find a buckskin jacket and skirt with fringe, and a nice pair of boots?
Maybe some day we'll just have clothes rather than men's clothes and women's clothes. I feel sorry my Dad. He always complains about the heat but won't wear Bermuda shorts because he thinks his legs are ugly. It's too bad he can't wear a skirt. It could be long enough to hide his legs and airy enough to be cool.
I should show him a picture I saw in National Geographic. A rough, dirty Australian farmer was sitting on a combine harvesting wheat. From the waist down he was wearing a full frilly white petticoat! Presumably, it kept the chaff off his legs. In this country, he would have to get fully dressed as a woman and probably join a support group just to wear the petticoat. My Dad is a farmer too, but he has a cab on his combine. It's too bad he spent all that extra money for the cab when an inexpensive petticoat would have accomplished the same thing. I wonder how the Australian farmer intended to cope with chaff going down his shirt?
I read an article about several young boys at some fancy private school who made an issue of joining the field hockey team. The field hockey team was for girls and they wore plaid skirts as their uniform (T-shirts too). School officials finally said the boys could join but they would have to wear the uniforms. These intrepid, courageous, insightful young men called the bluff and said "OK." There was a picture of them wearing the skirts. Unfortunately, there was no address as I had wanted to send them a note of thanks and encouragement. These are the Bi-genderists of tomorrow!
Kelly’s notes: I always enjoy getting the newsletter each month and reading what Marilyn had to say. She is one of these fine members who I miss so dearly. Marilyn, if you see this note and have a desire to writing again, drop me a line. There will always space in this newsletter for your articles.
President: Adrianne Walker
Treasurer: Cindy Traum
Meeting Coordinator: Dianna & Sonya
Newsletter Editor: Karen Walker
Screening Officer: Olivia
Events Coordinator: LuAnn
In the news:
The movie, Mrs. Doubtfire, staring Robin Williams, opens.
Figures for the year of 1993: total income: $3,596.97, total expenses: $3,701.77. Beginning balance for the beginning of 1994 was $426.99, down from $531.79 at the start of 1993. Cost for the newsletter in 1993 was $783.46 or 25.7% of total expenses.
I could find no information on yearly and meeting dues in the newsletter. I believe dues remained the same amount as in they were in 1992.
The resurgence of girdles, pushup bras, merry widows and other vanities that bind is a revolution of the fashion cycle, but manipulation of the human form stretches as far back as recorded history.
On the island of Crete in the years before Greek civilization, for instance, "men's and women's waists were bound with metal and leather corsets," said Jack Handford, a retired professor of costume history at the Otis Parsons Institute of design.
"It misshapes organs, but it wasn't fatal if it was done at an early age. Then it has its effect on the body. But nobody lived very long anyway."
Women's clothing continued to integrate all manner of stiff structures to change the silhouette of clothing, including whalebones in corsets, wooden hoops in skirts and metal stays in bras. (Thank you Lycra and Spandex)
Stiff chest plates called "stomachers" were popular for men and women for nearly 200 years, starting in the late 1500s (note the inclusion of men).
"I'm convinced that Elizabeth was known as theVirgin Queen because she wore a wooden stomacher - a board pressing down on her waist - and hoops to hold out her skirt. No one could get close to her," Hanford said.
Even when the women's liberation movement began, progress was mixed. The movement started in the 1920s with the flapper dress, which supposedly got rid of the corset. But then women, in an attempt to look more like boys, bound their breasts. A French designer in the second decade of this century, Paul Poiret, is given credit for getting women out of corsets. As this was done, he put them into bobble skirts - so called because they were so tight about the knees that you couldn't walk in them.
But perhaps the most significant modem era corsetry was the late 1800s. From then until the 1960s, women were slavish followers of fashion. It was then that women and the clothing they wore became men's status symbols, because men’s wear had turned so somber.
History of men's clothing deserves a long article in the future. At one time men used to wear silk stockings and sweet perfumes!
AIDS. This word has struck terror in the lives of men and women for the past ten years. It is a 100% fatal disease. It is a disease that never needs to happen. It does not respect age, gender, or sexual preference. If you have had unprotected sex, even once in the past ten years, you could have AIDS. You can be HIV Positive for many years without knowing it. During that time, you can give AIDS to people who share any body fluids with you. AIDS is the biggest cause of death in white men between 25 and 44 in FRANKLIN COUNTY! Not in California! Right here! AIDS started in the population of gay men and people who shared needles. These people are dying. The greatest percentage of new cases is in teenage girls. Given a five year incubation period, by the time they find out they have the disease, they will be young mothers just starting their adult lives.
If you have had unprotected sex or have shared a needle with anyone in the past ten years, GET TESTED. The health department does anonymous testing. It is free (they ask for a donation). They do not want your name, but will ask you about your sexual practices. They will provide counseling and support if you need it. DO NOT get tested in your family doctor’s office. Everyone who works there will know the results. The fact that you were tested could be determined by your insurance company and cause them to question your insurability. Anyone who has ever worked in the medical field knows there is no such thing as a confidential record.
Talk to your children. Teach them to use condoms. If they have put themselves at risk, get them tested so they will not contribute to the spread of the disease. Birth control pills are not the answer. If you are not comfortable talking to your children, then get them to someone who is comfortable with the subject People do not have to get AIDS. Behavior can change. You can't tell if someone is HIV Positive by looking. Avoid using alcohol and other mind altering drugs. They cause carelessness and unsafe sex may result. Use condoms or avoid sex completely. If you think you may be at risk, get tested. AIDS kills, but it doesn't have to. Don't be stupid - Protect Yourself!
Kelly's Notes: This warning still holds true today and I felt was worth re-printing. Know the facts, protect you and your love ones.
VP: Jamie Elizabeth
Treasurer: Cindy Traum (Kori took over after Cindy became ill.)
Secretary: Diane Mills
Meeting Coordinator: Sonya & Joan
Newsletter Editor: Adrianne Walker
Screening Officer: Olivia
Events Coordinator: LuAnn
Partners Representative: Myrna
In the news:
“Monthly Musings,” a column thatreplaced “Marilyn’s Miscellaneous” starts up this year.
First business and Social meetings are held at the church as an alternative to meeting in a motel room each month. Low attendance at meetings causes a great deal of concern among the officers (one meeting only had 7 people show up).
Yearly dues were $40 per member/couple, $18 for newsletter only. Meeting dues were $10 per member, $15 per couple, $10 for member of other CD group, $20 for non-member.
Playing cards is a pastime that my family has done for years. I actually have fond memories of stinky old cigar smoke, shot glasses on the dinning room table, and the sounds of cards snapping while the men grunted and cajoled each other while playing pinochle in my grand parents’ house during holiday gatherings. Three weeks ago, the time came to clear some air and show the hand that life had dealt me to my sister.
Several months ago, I began trying to entice her into talking with me without revealing there was going to be a secret undressed. I upped the ante from meeting her for lunch, to meeting with her at dinner. Each time, something else took precedent. I finally phoned her to let her know a letter was on its way for her eyes only, initially at least. This was a big, gamble, because for every card of logic I play, she can probably find another (from her view of logic) to counter. My real hope was that I hold the final "trump" card, that is the love between us. She could just fold, leave the game, and I would be gone from the family. Funny thing happened: she was already in the game and I didn't know it!
Two days after mailing the letter, I was so nervous that my hands were shaking at work all afternoon. The next morning I called. She didn't hang up and we talked for almost an hour. She told me that she knew I was trying to tell her something and that for several months it had become obvious to her that there was something really different about me. But I was very subtle and she was unable to determine what it was. Apparently, the interaction between Karen and myself is more than most “normal” couples. I have known this but recently it has been pointed out to Karen by other people. We behave like girlfriends, whispering, touching, each playing hostess, all a bit obscure when I am not en femme. My sister's initial thought was that I was gay, but had trouble with the "happily married" part. I don' think being transgendered instead offered much relief. The idea of my feminine image is very hard to form. Sending a photo or going in person was not appropriate, in my opinion, without her request.
I have subsequently mailed her an additional 10 pages, to go with the first three, providing a rudimentary introduction to her new sister and the mystical, magical world of CD-TG-TS. The reason I am relating this portion of my epic is that several of my friends have been opening up to their families recently and I feel that our means of doing so, along with the results, can be instructive. I know that most of us consider telling those who are close to us at one time or another, but beware, it is a gamble! This disclosure must be done with a lot of thought and preparation, both in the telling and in the assessment of who to tell. Remember, this information will not be a secret. I know my sister will tell her husband (less odds in my favor with him). I told her this is very personal, and to just be careful who she tells what. Having the family know about Adrianne has become a real need to me. It may not be that way with you, but in time "she" is who they may call and visit.
Personally, I feel that this sub rosa information is best delivered in person, however that is not always feasible, as was for me this time. I am not comfortable over the phone with major, in depth news, and in any case I recommend following up with a letter. Writing provides information in a permanent form that can be reviewed in it's entirety or in segments. There is no "right" method to unfold your life to another, but some are definitely wrong and if you are subconsciously dropping hints, like not quite cleaning all your makeup off, the time may be a hand to uncloak.
The cards have been shown to my sister. I am not sure if I should "call" and lay them face up for the rest of my family yet; that may be a few hands away.
The six most important words: I admit that I was wrong.
The five most important words: You did a great job.
The four most important words: What do you think?
The three most important words: Could you please.
The two most important words: Thank you.
The most important word: We
The least most important Word: I
Kelly’s notes: There were many good articles I would have like to included, but space didn’t allow. Hopefully, they can be re-printed in the future.
President: Olivia (until June?) Sonya (July only?) (Laura Walker serves as facilitator after that)
VP: Sonya (until June?)
Treasurer: Cindy Traum (Kori assumes position in October ?)
Secretary: Dianne Mills
Meeting Coordinator: Kori & Jannie
Newsletter Editor: Adrianne
Screening Officer: LuAnn
Events Coordinator: Jamie Elizabeth
In the news:
Cindy Traum loses her battle with cancer.
First weekend at Dear Creek State Park.
Low attendance at meetings continues to be a problem.
In September, members vote to suspend current executive board and start experimenting with a linear committee system and a facilitator after the resignation of several officers.
This past Monday morning, May 15, our sister and past treasurer, Cindy Traum, passed away. She had been a member of the Crystal Club since January 1992. Many of the newer members may not know her, as she had been suffering from cancer for nearly a year and a half, and had only made it to one meeting since January 1994. Today, for those of us who were close to her, we silently said our last farewell.
We have missed her presence at our meetings and the Crystal Club has lost a generous supporter. She did many things and provided extra financial support, always anonymously, that only one or two of us knew about. Until the end of February, I would speak with her about once a week for the past two and a half years. I miss that "Hi, it's me" greeting on the phone. She (as he) was my escort on several of my "first" experiences, which included flying to Chicago in June 1993. I was also with her on several of her explorations of Cindy, including that trip to Chicago, her first Be All. She was also part of our Christmas Eve celebrations the past three years.
Cindy is the first of my sisters to die. She was also the first person, with any closeness to me, to have to deal with cancer and for me in turn, to have face her reality. In my work, I deal with that event weekly or more often, but never so personally. I had to face my short comings and also recognize that how I say I would respond in a like situation, was not her way. We have to play out our own lives. I was heartened by the support she received from the friendships formed through the Crystal Club. Several members made sure that they visited her, made meals, transported her to chemotherapy, and just let her know she was loved. Those members did so much more than I was able to do. The most touching statement I have ever been told, was relayed to me by Donna after Cindy's final visit to her doctor, when she said to tell us, "Thank you for Cindy."
Kelly's notes: I came across a picture of her recently and it caused me to think about the short time I knew her. Although we only met a few times, I remember Cindy as being a very quiet, shy and nice person with a lot of good ideas. It saddens me that we lost such a gentle soul as hers who was still so young in life. We miss you, Cindy!!!!
Well, a little over three years ago, when I nervously joined the Crystal Club, I wasn't sure that I would ever go out in public dressed as a woman. I had fantasized about going out many times. I never had the nerve to do anything but on rare occasions go out in my car and at the most go for a short ride. I was always nervously glancing around, because I knew that the police or someone would be sure to see me, or some other major disaster would occur.
After going to the Riverside weekend twice and building up my confidence over the last several years, I was recently able to go to lunch and to the Fashion Bug store in Cincinnati while attending the Be All. For me that was quite a step, but I still felt that I was in a semi-protected environment. Even though I went to both places alone, they were near the Holiday Inn where the Be All was held and I felt that I wasn't the first cross-dresser they had seen, and that they were probably aware that we were in the area. Both the lunch and shopping there went well. The gals at Fashion Bug were super and didn't seem to mind when I went back to try on the dress that I wanted to purchase. I had a great time and didn't seem to notice any strange looks and didn't see anyone rolling on the floor laughing, as the way I guess I expected. This gave me a little more confidence and led to a recent shopping trip.
My wife and I went to the VF Factory outlet mall in Carrollton, Ky. We had been there before during recent trips to General Butler State Park and found the prices to be pretty good. We wanted to go down and get some clothes for the grandkids, because school was starting soon and we often buy the kids quite a bit around this time of the year. I asked my wife what she thought about Dianna going along. She said it was fine with her, so we decided to make a trip of it. We got a room for two nights at the Super 8 motel, as the park was booked for the weekend. Thursday, after we had checked in, Dianna got to do her nails, shower and get ready for the big day. Friday morning, after getting dressed, I went down to the front of the motel and got both of us coffee and a doughnut that the motel provides. I was wearing a slip dress and "T" that I recently purchased and flats that I thought were good for the occasion.
They were having a tent sale, and as Peg looked through the kids stuff, I looked around and couldn't find much I was interested in. I helped fund some things for the grandkids and we checked out, put the things in the car and went to the mall. Peg needed to use the rest room, so I went into the Bon Worth outlet and brought a nice pair of slacks and matching blouse that were on clearance. The gal in there was pleasant and didn’t seem to notice or mind, whichever the case was, so I went over to the VF store to see what they had and to meet Peg. The rest of the time we pretty much looked for kids clothes, but I did manage to find a pair of jeans in my size on sale. After a total of two and a half hours and some $600 later, we thought we were about done. It took us quite a while to check out, because the cart was overflowing when we got there. As we neared the bottom of the cart, a women came over and asked if she could have our cart as the store was filling up and no more carts were available. I said sure and when our cart was empty she thanked me and left. As we were finishing up getting our bags from the cashier, another gal came over and offered us her cart to take our things to the car. As we were loading the cart, one of the clerks came and offered to help us out to the car with our things. We politely declined and went out to the car.
I guess that several things really surprised me. First, that I didn’t see any unusual looks or notice any unusual reposes from anyone. I even asked Peg to look around and watch the other people around me when I was a little further away and she didn’t notice anything either. I also agree with a recent statement that Kori made, in that I think I was treated more politely by the clerks and we were certainly offered more assistance then we would have received had I been there as Peg’s husband.
After shopping, we went through the drive through at the local Arby’s and took our lunch over to the state park for a picnic. We looked around the park for a while and returned to the motel. Overall, it was a great trip and I’m sure looking forward to doing more things as Dianna. I have begun to believe that most of us are too critical of our appearance. I know that I seem ready to jump at any flaw that I see. Most people around us certainly don’t look at us as critically. In fact, unless we are completely out of place with our mode of dress, hardly notice that we’re there. I guess that if anyone wore a formal to a tractor pull they would be looked at because they would be out of place. I’ll let you know of any further adventures in the coming out of Dianna.
Kelly’s notes: Dianna is a dear friend of mine who knows how to blend in with the crowd. She promised to take me on one of her adventures some day.
President: Adrianne Walker (until August; Cathy takes over in Oct.)
VP: Sarah (takes over position in Oct.)
Meeting Coordinator: Jannie
Newsletter Editor: Adrianne Walker (until August, Sarah takes over in Oct.)
Screening Officer: LuAnn
In the news:
Starting in January, meetings are held back the motel.
Club attends a concert by the Columbus Gay Men’s Choirs.
Adrianne, Jamie Elizabeth, and Mark/Marcy are featured in the Columbus Dispatch.
Crystal Club gets a web page.
Christmas party held at Cooker.
I have always been alone when it comes to my femme adventures.
My spouse still doesn't know how to take it and I don't want to burden her with something she doesn't understand: I don't understand. All I know is, I like passing as a pretty, slender lady and feel more at ease in a nice dress and heels than I ever have in men's jeans and sneakers. There is something totally special about trying on a new shade of lipstick, browsing the ladies’ jewelry counter, or modeling a flirty dress in front of a mirror in the ladies department without feeling out of place.
To any passerby, you are just another lady, shopping and doing the things society dictates ' that you, as a woman, can and should be doing. That in itself, is truly wonderful. Most of us don't have someone we can share our new experiences with. Which brings me to this story.
"It was six thirty on the last Saturday of the month. I had spent the last hour in the bathroom preparing to go out. I had shaved the stubble from my legs and underarms, and trimmed my brows into nice, thin, feminine arches. A little eye shadow, liner, mascara, rouge and lipstick, and you couldn't tell through my meek smile, I had ever been a man. I was feeling a little nervous as I adjusted the skirt of my navy blue suit. Everything had to be just right. The tailored jacket, slim skirt, and sheer nylon-clad legs made me look frail.
Tonight I was going to a support group meeting of the Crystal Club, something I had never done before. (Discovered through a posting on the World Wide Web). I had reached Luann through some phone calls and had never spoken openly to anyone about my dressing, but her matter-of-fact air put me at ease. After a short informal conversation, she informed me of the time and place of the club's next meeting.
Sure, I had been out and dressed in public before, but this was different. In public, I could avoid physical contact and conversation. Speaking was always kept to a minimum. If things ever really got sticky, I could retreat to my minivan and switch to my male persona within minutes. I always had a safety net. This time I wouldn't. If things went wrong, I would be trapped... Vulnerable... as a woman, with no place to go. I would have to handle it as a woman. A vision of being riddled with questions by strangers kept playing over in my mind, like a scratched record. It terrified me, but I was determined to see it through! After all, I had made a commitment to be there.
The night was cold and the wind gusted. Admiration for what women go through crossed my mind.
To be a woman and have your car break down along the interstate on a night like this, while wearing a skirt and three inch heels, would not be cool. I found the hotel for the meeting without much ado. My heart pounded as I walked towards the designated conference room. The door was bolted. Twice I knocked without a response. The cold night wind lifted and tugged at my skin as if to say, "C'mon! Let's go. Now is your chance to cut and run." I walked down the sidewalk, heels clicking loudly in the night. As I passed a second conference room door, I remembered Luann telling me how the club reserves three adjoining rooms. I paused and knocked. The thought crossed my mind, "What if this is the wrong room? A girl could get raped this way!" The vision of a large, burley man pulling me helplessly into his darkened room, a sweaty hand covering my scream, flashed before my eyes. A shiver rippled down my spine. Then the door swung open and a bright light from within the room brought me back to my senses. The smile of a thirty-something lady met my gaze.
"Hi! I'm looking for the Crystal club," squeaked from my lips. And you're. . ." asked the lady.
"Brittany' " I repeated, "Brittany Chambers. I spoke to LuAnn about..."
"Oh, that's right she mentioned you might come." Stepping into the room, I glanced around and saw about a dozen others gathered about in small social groups. A slim, graceful lady named Kori Lynn greeted me with a big smile a moment later. She gave me a short orientation of the club and introduced me to a few others who were chatting close by. Additional girls introduced themselves as the evening wore on. Everyone was friendly and cordial, creating a relaxed atmosphere. Later in the evening everyone gathered to commence club business. Some of the girls planned to go out after the meeting and invited me to tag along, but I had to decline as I had already made other plans. By the end of the evening, I felt at ease. Most of my fears had been dispersed. It was reassuring to be socializing with others whom shared similar interests and weresecure in their feminine roles. When it came time for me to leave, Kori showed me to the door. I explained how I would like to come again, but hadn't made up my mind to join the group, officially. She assured me that was not a problem and thanked me for being there.
Others wished me a pleasant evening as I stepped out into the cold night air. Again, admiration for ladies crossed my mind as stifling gusts of wind tugged and threatened to lift the hem of my skirt up around my waist. As I clicked across the dimly lit parking lot, a thought occurred to me: I was glad I mustered the courage to attend the meeting and a little disappointed the evening was over. Not only had I met new friends who were like me, but I found I was looking forward to a time when I would share a night out with them.
Kelly's Note: This article was picked up off the Internet and forwarded to me. Brittany was reporting her experience to the cyber- pace world, and I think her statements speak well for the group, and our responses when someone new enters through our door. This is the reason the Crystal Club exists. Give yourself a big hug!
You might want to call this the Walker Water Weight Watcher Wonderegime: Drink two gallons of pure, clear water every week and keep the rest of your diet exactly the same and you will lose at least a pound a week ... that's 50 to 70 pounds before the next Be-All convention in Chicago, next June.
How does it work? Simple! The energy it takes to raise the temperature of water from room temperature (70F or 22c) to body temperature (98F or 37C) is one calorie per cubic centimeter of water multiplied by each centigrade degree to which it is raised. So, 15C times one calorie, times the 29.5 cubic centimeters in one fluid ounce of water consumed burns up 29.5 calories. That is, an eight ounce glass of water not only washes out the digestive system, but it also burns up 236 calories.
It seems perfectly obvious now, but to have it become apparent to me, I had to read it in a college textbook as I was writing the curriculum for a physics experiment. The key to this plan is that the water consumed must be clear, natural and have no calories to keep it from being self defeating. The water must also be in addition to the normal water, which is consumed in a consistent, healthy diet. All diets will emphasize drinking water, usually eight, 8-ounce glasses per day, which is roughly double the four to five glasses we normally consume.
An additional gallon of water will help us take off roughly one pound of weight through this technique. About one and a half additional gallons is about all I can take per week. I already drink at least two gallons of spring water during those seven days. But, since I have started this regimen, I have also diminished my between meal snacks and lessened my consumption of non- iet soda. (if you drink diet soda, be aware that artificial sweetener is made of wood alcohol, a known brain and memory debilitator.)
I have only been using this method for the first three weeks of June so far, but I have already taken off four pounds. And ... it has also helped me to get back in the mood to do my exercycle and small weight lifting routine. (When you increase muscle by the way, that additional muscle burns more calories of both fat and carbohydrates...even when you sleep ... and since muscle is more compact than fat it makes the same weight body smaller and more shapely.) Let me see ... a pound a week from now until the Christmas party would be over 20 pounds. That's at lease two dress sizes. And ... what If I drink ice water? Even more!!! And what if I do light exercise and muscle building in the right places? Then my waist and face and flabby arms and back start looking like those of a lithe high school girl, with the shape I always deserved. I'm already started ... how about you?
Kelly’s Notes: It is recommended that you see a doctor before starting any diet, especially if you haven’t exercised in a while. Remember, 1-2 pounds per week (4-8 pounds a month) should be your goal, not 5-7 per wk (20-30 in a month). While this may not seem like a lot, in one year’s time you will lose 50-70 and more important, you will find it easier to keep off. The key is a good diet (eating right) and a steady exercise program of 3 times per week, 30 minutes in length.
I hear you! What kind of a title is that? Read on, and you will see that miracles do happen to French maids at salad bars. Before I describe the miracle at the salad bar, I would like to briefly give you some background leading up to this wonderful miracle.
I am a 52 years young, 5'10", 145 LB, professional, heterosexual, divorced male with three grown children (youngest is 28), and, yes, I am a crossdresser. I suspect I am typical in that I have had these feelings all of my life, but I did not start to accept who I really am until 1992. I was 48 years old when I first saw a show on crossdressing. IT CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER! It opened the door for my now present future. I will not bore you with the details of the divorce, except to say it was very vicious, and all of the things I feared for many years came true and then some. My ex wrote letters to my employer, told her relatives and friends, and also outed me to our three children without my permission. It was two years of tension and stress like I had never experienced, BUT I survived. I am still employed and have a good relationship with two of my three children.
My first wife did know of my crossdressing throughout our entire marriage of 30 years, but my venturing out to the support groups was too much for her. As painful as it was, it was a blessing in disguise. It was not a good marriage. I stayed in it for fear of her exposing my crossdressing. I have been divorced for over two years now. It was quite an adjustment. Slowly, I discovered yoga and ballroom dancing, and I met a lot of wonderful people. I originally started the yoga for the flexibility it offers, but I soon came to enjoy many more rich features it gave me. I found a calmness I liked. I began to accept myself as I am. I feel very fortunate to have found the yoga at that time in my life. I also began taking ballroom dancing lessons, which improved my self-esteem and was a good way to meet very nice people. I did not know at the time that the yoga and dancing were getting me ready for the salad bar encounter.
It was late October, and the Crystal Club was spending the weekend at Deer Creek State Park. It was a beautiful place with a lodge, indoor pool, and cabins. There were about a dozen or so of us eating at the restaurant at the lodge. There were many others there also, just spending a relaxing weekend. I wonder if they found it strange that all the men in the group decided to dress as ladies for Halloween. We were having a good time, and as I approached the salad bar in my French maid's dress, I heard this voice say to me, "Miss, there is no more soup." A lady with this great smile thought I was a lady employee dressed for Halloween. When I replied that I did not work there but was also trying to fill up my salad plate, she stepped back and broke out in a kind laugh. She knew I was not a real lady. We began to talk while waiting for them to fill up the salad bar, and we talked quite a bit about how we each enjoyed dancing. Her name was Linda, and she was there with her boyfriend for the weekend, who had already returned to their table.
For what reason I am not sure, Linda asked me to pull a prank on her boyfriend. She asked whether I would come over to her table in about ten minutes and pretend I had not seen her in 15 years and give her a big hug, acting like she was an old friend from long ago. You know how we crossdressers like to show off. I said, "no problem" and even had another crossdresser take a picture of the encounter. As I proceeded to greet Linda, her boyfriend's eyes got very big. I could sense he did not find much humor in her practical joke. After some polite conversation, I returned to finish my meal.
Even though her boyfriend would not come over to our table, Linda came over to say thanks, and for some reason, I said, "If you write your name and address on this napkin, I will send you pictures of the practical joke." I put her address in my purse. Two weeks later, I sent Linda pictures of the salad bar encounter, a picture of my male self, and a somewhat bold letter (out of character for me). There was no response, and I had forgotten about this until the day before Christmas, when I received a card from Linda with a lengthy letter inside. I must admit I jumped quite high in anticipation that I might see her again. We lived about 240 miles apart, but we began writing letters to each other. In one of her letters, she asked if I was gay, bisexual, or a transvestite. In my next letter, I explained that I was not gay or bisexual but purposefully did not say anything about being a transvestite.
In the middle of January, we met in Columbus for dinner and dancing. Our first date lasted 12 hours. We dined, talked, and danced until 3:00 AM. During this time, I did share with Linda my need to crossdress, etc. She has told me many times that she really liked the fact that I was up front and honest about who I really am. She too has been through a lot in her life and had gone through a lot of self growth and self acceptance. We often remark that fate prepared us to meet each other at the salad bar. We visited each other every weekend for about five months and continued to write letters during this time. We have a very open and honest relationship with each other. She knows everything about me, as I have answered all her questions honestly. It was not always easy, but it felt good to do so. We accept both ourselves and each other for who we are. I feel that this is the first time in my life that I have found intimacy. Linda has not found the crossdressing to be a problem. She says she loves all of me, including the crossdressing. We have been to support group meetings, the 1996 Be-All in Detroit, and dancing. This week,we are headed to Spice in Philadelphia.
Oh-YES! Miracles do happen to French maids at salad bars! We were married Sunday August 4, 1996. We will be back to Deer Creek this Halloween to celebrate where our love began. To all our friends, old and new, thank you!
President: Cathy (until Oct., Stephanie takes over in November)
Treasurer: Kori (Dianna Mills took over ???)
Secretary: Dianna Mills
Meeting Coordinator: Jannie
Newsletter Editor: Adrianne
Screening Officer: LuAnn
In the news:
Sarah’s quick tips and Sarah’s Pink list is a regular feature.
Ladies night’s out starts back up again.
A support group in Lexington, KY called the Bluegrass Belles is started.
Newsletters goes from 8 pages to 15-20 pages.
Toilet debate is hot topic near the end of the year.
In June, “It’s Time, Ohio!” a chapter of “It’s Time! America!” and “It’s Time! Columbus!“ are formed.
Membership doubles in size due largely to the web page created at the end of last year.
If 1992 was the year of the bad elections then 1997 should be known as the great toilet debate. While I’m not going to rehash the events (and put this newsletter in the crapper <grin>) I would like to say a few words. Some people got hurt over this issue, and to be honest, I was one of them. But, I was also partially responsible for some of the events that happened (Please note, I said partially, I won’t take the blame for starting it).
There are many things I still disagree with, like how some people felt this issue should be handled after an agreement with the lodge was made. However, when you let anger speak for you (as in my case) instead of good judgement, it breeds more anger. I can make the argument that I was answering an angry letter but...but...I should have let good judgement speak first. For that reason, I regret and am very sorry for many of the things I said.
Have we learned anything from this? Well, I think it’s safe to assume that the next time we go out in public, the bathroom issue will be kicked around before the event and not during or afterwards. Let’s hope good judgement shows up as well.
With the new faces I see at our meetings, I feel the time has come to revisit some old information and add some new that may be helpful to those who step out into the real world in their alternate gender. The suggestions presented here came from my travels in the last two months.
When traveling longer distances, you will eventually need to find restrooms. I’ve found that medium sized office/commercial buildings (2 - 4 stories) usually are not heavily trafficked, are without security guards and gates, and usually have restrooms near their entrances or stairways.
Larger motels that include a restaurant and an indoor pool also usually have larger lobby areas with restrooms close by. Any business travelers know what I mean. Check some motels out when you go places as your normal self, and you will get a feel for the type of place I’m describing.
Finally, gas station/convenience stores usually have single stall restrooms, often with doors opening to the back or side of the buildings. Many have just one restroom to be used by both sexes, so once you're in, you're safe. Also, some of the smaller fast food restaurants will have single stall restrooms. By the way, the time of day you stop can make a lot of difference in your comfort level. Finding restrooms seems to work best from 9:30 - 11:15 AM and then from 1:30 - 4:00 PM.
Whether you're traveling as a driver or a passenger, if you are wearing a skirt or a dress, truckers will honk! Whether they see your face seems to make little difference. It’s the legs showing that count. This attention is not always offensive. Plenty of truckers will behave as “knights of the road” and look out for women driving. Just be careful of your response. A friendly wave is OK, but don't hike your skirt, point, or play tag. We don't know the signals of the road and can get into undesirable situations really fast. There are signals that say, "I want to be picked up."
Dining on the road is much the same as in your usual haunts. If you want more than drive-through, you can find informative dinning guides and ads in alternative newspapers (like The Other Paper) in most large cities. Also, the chain restaurants tend to have the same policies everywhere, so you can expect the same hospitality from Cooker, for instance, wherever you go. The further up-scale you go, normally the less chance of a hassle. Also, plan your meals at off-peak times, and everything will go smoother for you.
Motels are a hit or miss proposition, like restaurants. The higher upscale you go, the less confrontation, but your budget can be a real problem. Personal comfort will determine how you handle this. Of course, you can always wipe off your face and quick- hange in the car or have your travel companion go in and register.
Anyone who has been involved in a child custody case will tell you that it is probably the most emotionally charged issue they have ever been in. Other things being equal, most will agree that the mother generally enjoys a certain advantage, but if the father is a crossdresser, his chances are worsened still.
Time and time again I have heard stories from crossdressing fathers that were blackmailed into giving up their parental rights because of the threats of exposure and ridicule. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY! I have recently been involved in just such a case and won. My ex-wife and her attorney did their best to portray me as some sort of “crazed transvestite” and unfit to have primary care, custody, and control of my six year old son, but we went in very well prepared and overcame. Here is how we did it.
Be comfortable and confident in yourself and your transgendered nature. The fact that you are a crossdresser doesn’t keep you from being a good parent. It is just another part of the person you are. Most of the crossdressers that I know are much more nurturing and caring than more traditional males. You must believe in yourself if you expect others to.
Start by looking for the right attorney, one who is experienced and successful representing fathers. Be honest and up front about your crossdressing. He/she needs to know all the issues. If you sense he/she is uncomfortable representing you, keep looking. It is imperative that he/she believe in you if he/she is to do his/her best. My attorney not only had the best record in the state at representing fathers but quickly adopted an attitude that my dressing is a form of freedom of expression and did not make me a bad father. It was great seeing him get fired up when we started discussing the issues.
Be prepared. Knowing they would try to portray me as some sort of psychological pervert, I went through a whole battery of psychological tests so that we could show that nothing could be farther from the truth. Armed with the new DSM IV and having educated one of the best known local counselors, we took the issue head on and presented it exactly as it is.
Remain calm. The opposing attorney will undoubtedly try to get to you. Your confidence and belief in yourself needs to be very apparent without being arrogant. Looking back, it certainly wasn’t a pleasant or easy experience, but very well worth it. If you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t let them blackmail you. Stand up for yourself. Please, don’t hesitate to contact me is I can be of any help or support.
Treasurer: Diana Mills
Meeting Coordinator: Latoya
Newsletter Editor: Kelly Davidson (takes over as editor in January),
Asst. Editor: Jannie (becomes co-editor in June and creates the August newsletter)
Screening Officer: Dea
In the news:
The Equal Conference, held in Columbus, is a big hit.
Mary Ann donates money to the CC to buy a computer.
Membership continues to grow due to the web page.
Mary Ann is elected chairperson of ITO!
LuAnn, who served as screening officer for many years, moves to another state.
Tranny Night at the Grapevine is started.
Matthew Shepard, a gay student at UW student, is tied to a fence and beaten into a coma causing outrage among the gay and straight community over this hate crime. Matthew Shepard died 5 days later (Oct. 12) due to the injuries he received from his beatings.
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- nline 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 is at least more tactful. It also allows you the time to re-open the letter after thinking about it 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.
For many months now, a certain newsletter editor has been suggesting that I should write something for the newsletter. I have tried to explain to her that I live a very dull life with nothing to write about. For the past several months now, I have been living my new life as the girl next door. My new neighbors seem to accept me as such, which is what most transsexuals I know desire out of life, unless of course they are female to male. Basically, one could say that I have crawled back into the wood work of society. For the most part, all I have been doing is enjoying my many friendships. In the Greater Columbus area, I would conservatively say that I have met at least fifty transsexuals, female to male, male to female, pre- and post-op. Combine this with a similar number of crossdressers of all types, I feel to be a part of a very good Transgendered Community. Even though I am a part of this community, I can speak for no one other than myself. I am certain, that in some part, many of you will relate to what I am about to say.
Several days ago, Monday I believe, I was at work. It was about 6:00 in the morning. A radio had been left on all night and since it was a quiet morning, I was listening to the two men and a woman that were hosting the show. They began to talk about a survey that someone had done about how women really feel about their breast including one response from a transsexual. Well, needless to say, this really got my attention. The three of them, rather playfully, bantered around the results of this survey. As they were concluding, one of them said "and the transsexual resounded that she\he, (slight pause) no, he\she, (longer pause) no, it said...." Well my mind screamed "IT"! An "IT", am I am "IT"? Have I sacrificed so much to be an "IT"? Have I lost my spouse that I love so dearly to be an "IT"? Have I lost most of my family and life long friends to be an "IT"? Have I spent thousands of dollars to become an "IT"?
The answer to this question in my mind is, obviously not. I did all that, simply to be the girl next door. The real question here is, how long will this type of ignorance go on? How much longer are we, the Transgendered Community, going to sit back and allow the world to regard us in such a manner. How long will it be until we realize that, not the woodwork of society that we crawl into, nor the closets the we hide in, afford us any lasting comfort or security. How long will it be until the tens of millions of us stand up face the world and say, “Hey, I am a person just like you?”
Now normally, I am a light hearted, fun loving lady. Had these words been said to me privately from people that know what I am all about, I probably would have laughed. But they weren't said privately, they were broadcasted. These words were heard by probably thousands of listeners that are just as ignorant to transgendered issues. I may be guilty of taking things a little too seriously, but I believe that attitudes like this do nothing more but fan the flames of hatred.
Long before most of us knew who Matthew Shepard was, Tom, a dear friend of mine told me something. He said "I am still romantic enough to believe that discrimination against anyone is discrimination against me...." I know that he really believes this and that is one of many reasons he is such a dear friend. The question here is, do we believe it?
My best wishes to all,
Carey - "IT"
Kelly's Notes: I couldn’t resist the opportunity to re-print our former VP’s only article to the newsletter. Carey, thanks again for sharing with us. I hope we don’t have to wait ten more years for you grace us with another article again. 8^)
I hope you have enjoyed reading this special newsletter as much as I have enjoyed working on it. It took roughly 30 hours to research and put this all together. While I’m sure I may have missed someone who have served as an officer, I’m confident this is a pretty complete list. But, if you know of someone who should get credit, or notice any errors I made, please let me know so we can make a correction in an upcoming newsletter. One word about the articles I selected. Due to space I was forced to eliminate some of the better, but much longer articles. However, I hope this newsletter brings back some happy memories for you, too.
To all of you, I THANK YOU for contributing ten years worth of fine articles to the newsletter and hope the next ten years are just as fruitful. And, a big thank you, again, to Mary Ann for giving me the tools to do this special newsletter. It’s been fun re- living the memories from the past 10 years.
Here’s to ten more!! Kelly Davidson
Copyright (C) 1999 by the Crystal Club, Kelly Davidson, Editor. 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’ and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or the Crystal Club. Furthermore, neither the Crystal Club nor the Crystal Chronicle editor assume responsibility for any consequences resulting either directly or indirectly either from advice or from any of the material contained in this newsletter. Contributions of articles are encouraged but may be altered with the author’s intent retained or may be rejected, whether solicited or not. Absolutely no sexually explicit material will be accepted or printed. Contributions may be electronically mailed directly to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org, or sent to the postal address above.