Five Questions With… Loree Cook Daniels

Another interview with one of the partners whose narrative is in Transgress Press’ Love, Always. Loree Cook Daniel’s is the “partner’s partner” and has been working on SOFFA support and inclusion in the trans community for 20 years. She works primarily with FORGE, the awesome trans advocacy group out of Milwaukee.


1. What didn’t you write about in your narrative but wish you had?
I’ve been partnered with a trans person for a total of 32 years now; there is a LOT that wasn’t covered!

2.  What is the biggest misunderstanding you confront as a partner to a trans person?
The thing that most irritates me is when someone tells me that because “I’m cis” I don’t get it.  First of all, I don’t identify as cis. But secondly, I’ve been working on trans issues for more than 20 years, and from the beginning I have had a really strong commitment to understanding and representing the tremendous diversity there is in the trans community. It ticks me off when someone who came out last year or the year before that says that because of their experience, they know more about being trans than I do. Kinda like the heart patient who says she knows more about heart attacks than her heart surgeon: if you had a heart problem, which one would you rather get advice from? I’ve had people who said they didn’t want me to train them because they wanted to hear from a “real” trans person.

3. Where do you get your support?
When my first partner first transitioned, I was active on a lot of the partner’s listservs. But those didn’t always feel supportive to me, because Marcelle and I were not comfortable with a lot of the group norms, some of which involved being a “good (silent, nonequal) partner.”  So it seemed like I was either involved in a conflict or just giving advice from what I’d gathered in working with so many people; I didn’t get support for myself. I think this is still true.  I still have trouble finding/feeling support for me and my issues. Except, of course, that both of my partners have been *extremely* supportive of me. I just don’t feel much support from “out there.”

Continue reading “Five Questions With… Loree Cook Daniels”

Help Nick Move!

A trans guy in IL is in an unsafe living situation and wants to move to Madison. He’s only seeking $500 for moving costs. Donate if you can.

Five Questions With… Dan

In honor of the publication of Transgress Press’ Love, Always: Partners of Trans People on Intimacy, Challenge, & Resistance, I’ve done a few interviews with partners whose words appear in this book.

The first of these is with Dan, whose wife transitioned to male.


 

1.What didn’t you write about in your narrative but wish you had?

I didn’t write about sex. Make that S-E-X sex. It is a hard subject for me and for most people, I suppose. I have learned that, despite the widely held view that transgender people are, by and large, some sort of sex pervert, it seems that transitioning and post-transition folks are often asexual. It is understandable in that for many trans people, their sex organs–and in the case of trans men, their breasts–are hated reminders of their lifelong “wrong body” predicament. Still, I was not at all prepared for my partner to tell me, shortly after beginning transition, that he had lost interest in sex.

I am 69 years old as of this writing and Rob is 13 years behind me. We’ve been together, sexually, for about 35 years. We had always had a very satisfying love life, and the loss-of-interest announcement came so closely on the heels of transition that I naturally think of the two incidents as being related. Rob had been peri-menopausal for a few years before starting on “T,” and that immediately cut off the supply of estrogen and brought on full-scale menopause. It is not unusual for women to find their sex drive diminishing with menopause, but this was an abrupt and dramatic change.

For the first few years I struggled hard with this. We didn’t talk much about it, partly because I didn’t want him to feel guilty or pressured or any such thing, but I am a sexual guy. I thought about raising the possibility of opening our relationship, but discarded that idea quickly. Early in our marriage we had some experiences with sharing a third-party lover, but we gave that up as something that was simply not our style. Of course, I considered the possibility of an affair, but we have a trust-based, monogamous relationship and I would never jeopardize that, nor do I think for a moment that Rob would ever tolerate that. Neither could I, for that matter.

A couple years ago, Rob indicated that he was interested in re-establishing our sex life, but by that time we also found that he had developed one of those other post-menopausal bugbears: dryness and some pretty serious pain with intercourse. At the same time, whatever prowess I might once of had was mostly in my memories. I had hip replacement surgery when I was 60 and again three years later. The pain and mobility problems leading up to and recovering from those certainly reduced my skills and stamina for being a very energetic lover. These days I think Robin is more ready and willing to get it on than I am, not because I don’t want to or don’t find him attractive, but largely because we’re just way out of practice and, truth be told, we’re just not as young as we were when this all started.

Continue reading “Five Questions With… Dan”

PFLAG & Me: Wednesday 2/18

fixsociety

I’ll be speaking about trans lives, and specifically about supporting trans youth, this Wednesday at Lawrence. 6:30, Steitz 102, open to the public.

Happy Valentine’s Day

queer valentine's day

(finally tracked down the source – one Stefanie F Gray on Twitter, and here’s her website.)

Orwell on Writing

“If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.”

“You still have your boxes.”

The always elegant Janet Mock talks to Bill Maher. They cover a few things – Tambour & Transparent, Jenner’s possible transness, etc. – but the very last bit is his question about why Facebook now has 56 genders. She points out that Tumblr has 1000. He is, as are many people, baffled by the possibilities.

She clarifies:

“Those options don’t effect your options. How I identify, whatever box I check, doesn’t effect your boxes. You still have your boxes.”

 

I’ve read in a few pieces about poly that people often think of love the way they think of money, as a limited resource, when love is nothing like that – you have as much as you want or need. Same as with gender, no?

Missing OH Teen Found Safe

Such a relief. No statement yet (that I’ve seen) from the family, so there’s no point in guessing until or unless we hear from them what happened.

Either way, the rarest of rare things: a missing trans person is found safe & sound.

OH: Missing Trans Youth

ashley

MISSING TRANS YOUTH — LAST SEEN IN COLUMBUS — GOES BY ASHLEY

15 YRS OLD

Magenta colored hair

Brown Eyes

Slender built
6ft tall

Ashley was in Columbus with Mom for Ohayocon at the Columbus Convention Center. Ashley also goes by the name Ray and is gender fluid.

If you have any information on Ashley’s whereabouts, please contact the Columbus Police Department at 614-645-4545 or TransOhio at 614-441-8167.

Please share widely.

(via TransOhio)