THAT WAS FUN! 7 April 2018

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I went out to dinner with a friend last night at a winery. There was a marvelous jazz band. Loved it! Just loved it!

I was wearing what I think was a terrific little gray dress with pumps and some red jewelry. I think I looked pretty darned hot! My friend was in a suit and tie, which made us one of the better-dressed couples in the bistro.

Torn jeans and flip-flops in a classy winery/bistro? Seriously?

The jazz was mostly music from the 1930’s, 1940’s, and 1950’s. I understand that genre is called American Standard. The band had transcribed some big band stuff and made it suitable for a small combo. They were excellent!

I would have loved to dance, but it was a restaurant venue that wasn’t set up for that. I was having such a good time laughing with my companion and enjoying the music and the great food and wine–since this was a winery, I had one of my rare alcoholic drinks, a Cabernet Sauvignon produced locally, which was excellent!–that I didn’t much care since I was able to chair dance instead!

As a usually-non-drinker I really felt the wine!

Did people at other tables think the older blonde was too into the music? Making a fool of herself at her age? Maybe. Did they clock me? Maybe. Do I care? Absolutely not!

Going through transition I learned that there is no way to survive coming out as trans and those moments when you don’t pass unless you can get over being easily embarrassed.

The less you care about the opinion others have of you, the better your life will be.

Just a useful tip from your transgender neighbor!

Something else I have learned is that if there is joy available you had better grab it no matter what someone else thinks! Other people don’t get a vote. I appreciate and am grateful for every moment of happiness I am granted.

Buy the red pumps, wear the cute dress, eat the too-rich chocolate dessert, laugh and dance and be who you really are.

Why would you want to live in any other way?

 

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A Protest Song That Made Me Cry, March 2018

 

I went to a protest song sing-along yesterday. Most of the songs were from at least as far back as the Vietnam era, but this was written in response to the campaign of hatred the Christian right was and is conducting in North Carolina against transgender people. It made me cry.

Joni and I

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In my late teens and early twenties, along with classical music, I was obsessed with female singer-songwriters.

Not in an erotic way. I am certain that I never entertained the slightest sexual interest. I did not want to go to bed with them, I wanted to be  one of  them.

I was a closet transgender fan girl.

While I admired some of the other women, Joan Baez, for example, it was with Joni Mitchell that I felt the strongest connection.

Had anyone in my family been paying any attention at all–I think they found my feminine behavior so incomprehensible and embarrassing that they ignored me as much as possible–they might have thought my tastes were a bit odd, even worrying, considering that Joni’s songs had a strong feminine vibe, are often about romantic difficulties with men, and that many of her lyrics are about being a sad and lonely woman.

Goodness, I wonder why that resonated with me!

Until this afternoon, I don’t think I had listened to her album Blue all the way through since before I transitioned.

I was putting on music for a long afternoon at home giving my place a good Saturday housecleaning for the week, stripping my bed and washing my bedding, doing my laundry, sweeping and washing floors, wiping down surfaces, making candy as a gift for someone, and wrapping Christmas presents.

I started with Mitsuko Uchida playing Mozart–I own three of her albums–before I switched to a jazzy Caro Emerald album, then the original cast recording of  “The Room Where it Happens” from the musical Hamilton–yes, full disclosure, I like show tunes!and then I put on Blue. 

It was as good as I remembered. No, that isn’t true. It’s better than I remember because I understand what she was singing about much more because I understand myself so much better.

Thank you, Joni, for making a girl too terrified to show herself feel less alone.

 

 

 

 

Dancing Among Other Women

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Saturday evening I attended a Hanukkah party with a Jewish friend, who was kind enough to invite me. There was a klezmer band–most of them were women–that was simply marvelous!

I’ve always liked klezmer music from the first time I heard it. Something in it speaks to me of being joyful despite struggle and suffering. I can relate to that.

Once things really got going, some of the women left their seats to take part in some traditional women-only dancing. I was really into the music–I react quite strongly to music, moving and being moved by the good stuff and cringing at the bad–and my friend grinned at me and said,”Why don’t you join them? You know you want to!”

I did!

There were around 30 women dancing. Many of them, fortunately for me, didn’t know the steps either, but the dances weren’t terribly complicated, and there were a couple of women who were obviously very good dancers. The rest of us imitated what they were doing.

I  found that if I just went with the music, it danced through me.

The band played several dance tunes from both the Ashkenazic and Sephardic traditions.

It was joyous!

When the band finally took a break, I rejoined my friend. He was beaming. “It was so good to see you that happy!”

I thanked him profusely then, and later, again, in an email. I said, “Thank you so much for creating that situation. It’s what I’ve always wanted, you know, to be able to join the other girls. I can’t express how much that meant to me.”

He replied, “Your face expressed it all.”