Austin College

Well, I made it Dallas after 22 hours on the train (highlights to come) and was brought to Sherman, TX, which is the home of Austin College. We’ll be speaking to two classes tomorrow and then to another couple on 11/1, and later in the day I’ll be doing a talk that is open to the general public, so if you’re in the area, please come: you can find the where & when info on the college’s calender.

& Yes, you read “we” right: Betty is on her way here even as I type. I miss her a lot, a lot, a lot.

Happy Halloween!

It’s the International Holiday for Crossdressers and Slutwear, no?

Have a blast, and please assign a designated driver.

Praise for She’s Not the Man I Married (#3)

“Written from the rare perspective of the spouse of a transgender person, Helen Boyd’s new book is a daring love letter for her partner, their relationship, and any couple who has dared to love outside of the traditional gender script. Part journal, part queer studies, part liberation manifesto, Boyd fearlessly surrenders her own comfort zone to illustrate how there is a cost for everyone — trans or non-trans — to function in our world constructed by engendered expectations.”

—Abigail Garner, author of Families Like Mine

Trans Partners Drop-in Group

I won’t be at the Trans Partners group at the Center tomorrow, since I’m away (on the train between Chicago and Sherman, TX at the moment.) But you can go. Do.

On the Train Again

I’m in the Chicago suburbs currently, staying with friends we met at the Be-All a couple of years ago, so while I’m somewhere with a computer, I thought I should say hi and update folks.

I had a great time speaking at Purdue, staying with Megan at a Best Western, and last night went to a Halloween party with my hosts. (It’s so lovely to be able to stay in someone’s home & not a motel room, let me tell you.) They even have a cat, a very very shy black cat, not quite two years old, named Ian. He apparently thinks I’m here to kill him, but he alternately lets me rub his belly. (Just going to show: all cats are crazy.)

I miss the boys, I miss cranky Aurora, and I miss Betty like crazy. I still won’t see her for another two days nearly – next I take the train (for 22 hours) to Dallas, and much, much later that night Betty will fly in so that we can speak to two classes at Austin College. The next day we speak to three more *and* I do a general talk for the college (& the public, who are free to come).

The train time has been great. Lots of staring out the window listening to music, and reading, and writing, and thinking in general. I’m looking forward to my sleeper car on the way to Dallas – more privacy, and a bed. Luckily, too, they announce stops that are long enough to go out on the platform for a cigarette (cigarettes are like $3/pack in Indiana!) but I’m not smoking much anyway. Which is good, & makes me wonder if I shouldn’t book two weeks or so on trains when I decide it IS time to quit.

Everything with me is otherwise well, and I do have a couple of new blurbs to post.

Ichthus Orangus (et amitae)

An action shot, of Emma (heading down) with the sharks exeunting tank right. Do note the gargoyle tank furniture.

Playing Bully

The folks who brought us Grand Theft Auto are at it again, bringing kids (& one has to assume, some adults) a game called Bully – where the point is to bully or be bullied.

There are those who think that a game that makes “play” out of bullying is despicable. But in fairness it should be pointed out that this is not a shoot ‘em up game, and there are no guns or blood. Some experts believe it can be a healthy outlet for kids to get these sorts of fantasies out of their systems on the screen and not in the real world. On the other hand, the game shows that to survive the bully culture you need to become one.

I’m going to guess there is no way to bring about a peaceful solution to being bullied.


Sometimes Aurora comes to visit me when I’m trying to work, and doesn’t seem to notice she’s called at a bad time.

The Tranny Train Tour

Today I start what I’m calling my Tranny Train Tour (even though it really isn’t so much of a tour, really). First I take the train* to Chicago, where by hook or by crook I end up in Hammond, Indiana so I can speak to the folks at Purdue University about transness and diversity on 10/27. Then – gulp! – I take the train from Chicago all the way to Dallas, TX, and wind up at Austin College in Sherman, TX where I talk to people and classes there about transness and self-determination on 11/1. Betty will be joining me there for a few days, flying in & out of Dallas.
Then I do the whole train trip in reverse: Dallas back to Chi back to NYC.

I’ll be back during the first days of November.

& For those of you anywhere near Purdue/Calumet or Austin College, do come and say hi.

Continue reading “The Tranny Train Tour”

More Fish

Alpha (or Omega?) with Miss Emma

Trans Partners Drop-in Group

I won’t be at the Trans Partners group at the Center tomorrow, since I’m away (on my way to Indiana & Purdue, actually). But you can still go – the other moderator is really very nice.

Helen Gets Cable, Pt. 3

Me watching HGTV is like an impotent man watching porn: pleasant, but ultimately a pipe dream.

In Better Days

< < Alpha and Omega, a/k/a The Cocteau Twins (we lost one of them this weekend to swim bladder disease)

Getting Ready

I’m somewhat anxiously but also excitedly getting ready to get on a train Wednesday in order to speak at a couple of colleges. Packing, getting books/work ready, all of that. & It’s a nutty process for someone who is somewhat of a homebody, and I can’t even begin to think about how much I’ll miss the cats.

& Yes, Betty too – of course I’m going to miss Betty – the difference is that I can tell Betty where I’m going and when I’ll be back (& that she’ll be flying to meet me in about five days) and the kittoi can’t know that.

So, back to list-making so I don’t forget anything when I start packing.

Word-a-Day Tarot

Sometimes I forget to pull off my Word-a-Day calendar pages as the days pass, & so I’m left with a stack of them when I finally catch up. I put them in my inbox and read through them at a later time; words I already know well & use regularly get thrown out, and ones I find interesting or useful and are less known to me I put back in the inbox so I can re-read them and re-read them until I use them in a sentence somewhere (usually only in my journal) and so learn to use a new word.

Writer’s habits 101.

But there was an odd little sequence when I pulled off a clump of pages recently.

On October 19th sansculotte showed up.
On October 18th, hirsute.
On the 17th, opusculum.
On the 16th, popinjay.
On the 15th, alterity.

To me it read like a Tarot reading. Had I asked the right questions as I pulled the pages off, of course.

What is my past?
The biggest hurdle of my past?
My probable reality?
My greatest fear of who I really am?
My truth?

I’m sure I could keep on doing this, since the 20th is mogul. (What is my most unrealistic wish?) I feel like I’ve invented a verbal I Ching.

Support for Same Sex Marriage Bans Eroding

& It’s about damn time.

Pollsters attribute the waning support for the bans to better organization and mobilization tactics on the part of lesbian and gay rights advocates, as well as a growing acceptance of homosexuality, according to USA Today.

Goodbye Alpha

Friday night Betty & I lost another of our beautiful fish; this time, it was one of our black and white sharks, half of the team we originally called The Cocteau Twins but who came to be known – because of the difference in their sizes early on – as Alpha and Omega.

At least we think it was Alpha who died; my guess is that he was actually a little older than Omega, since he did get bigger sooner. They did come to match, again, after a few years, where we couldn’t tell one from the other. They fought each other all the time – sharks will do that, they’re highly aggressive – so they both wound up with somewhat battered fins from their battles.

Alpha is somehat famous for being the fish that took the hugest dive out of a tank I’ve ever heard of. We were doing something – cleaning the tank, or feeding them – and they tended to get agitated with any change. One day Alpha manage to propel himself out of the 3″ opening at the top of the tank and propel himself clear out of the tank, up into the air about 2′ over the tank, and then landed – I kid you not – about 8′ away, onto our hardwood bedroom floor. It was one hell of an arc.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, we do have cats, too. So in a mad moment of complete chaos, Betty was standing there freaking out because this insane shark had leapt out of the tank, and my first thought was the boys – who, as these things go, had just come in to the bedroom to find out what all the ruckus was about. I hurried them back out of the room while Alpha flailed, and eventually, we got hold of his slippery, muscular self and put him back in the tank. He had unfortunately brained himself and so swam upside down for a couple of days until the huge concussion on his head healed.

& That wasn’t what he died of. He lived for several years after that, but died, like our poor Emma did, of upsidedown-y ness. I’ve decided that upside down disease (it’s actually called swim bladder disease) operates the way pneumonia does for older people – it’s a sign that the system, overall, isn’t working the way it should anymore.

We were thankful he didn’t have to struggle with trying to right himself for too long, and will bury him next to Emma.

It is sad to see our Omega, once one of three, swimming around aimlessly in his 40 gallon tank, no orange Emma to harass, no fellow shark to beat up (and to be beaten up by, in turn). We’re thinking we may get him some tiny, swift friends to occupy his time.

This Bitch Has a Name

An interesting essay in The Washington Post by Lonnae O’Neal Parker, about her experience as an African-American woman who once loved HipHop but doesn’t anymore – for the sake of her daughters.

My daughter can’t know that hip-hop and I have loved harder and fallen out further than I have with any man I’ve ever known.

That my decision to end our love affair had come only after years of disappointment and punishing abuse. After I could no longer nod my head to the misogyny or keep time to the vapid materialism of another rap song. After I could no longer sacrifice my self-esteem or that of my two daughters on an altar of dope beats and tight rhymes.

Proof Pages

Yesterday I received a small sample of the proof pages of the book so that I could see the layout, and I’m thrilled with how it looks. They’ve done some text formatting that is exactly what I like and that echoes my typing/handwriting in ways that are really groovy.

It’s an exciting thing to see, the first time the bookness of the book is really apparent to me, when it doesn’t look like a Word document anymore, but like the book it will become.