We're Back

Betty and I are back from our various travels – all of which were wonderful – and now figuring out life with three cats.
And catching up on email.
I’ll post more about our recent travels as soon as I’m not falling asleep on my keyboard.

Not a Record

(Oh, some of you are old enough to know what a record is, right?)
Happy Friday. We’re in Denver, and will be back lickety-split.
endymion vinyl

Dark Odyssey #3

We’re back from our 3rd Dark Odyssey and this one topped the previous two. We arrived Tuesday around 2pm, and left Monday around 2pm, which means we had six full days of nudity, sex, workshops, sex, pagan rituals, sex, naked volleyball, swimming, and yes, more sex. Driving down with Daddy David and his girl Kate was a great way to get ready for the six days, and to process them on the way back.
I am pretty sure I now know every conceivable way a person can be tied to a tree and flogged.
We met a bunch of new and interesting people: Maggie, a liberated ex-pat who was both beautiful and multi-lingual; Neil and linda, who gave us the low-down on Master/slave relationships; Captain Beatrice and B, who each came to one of my workshops; S. Bear Bergman, who reviewed my book not long ago; Lyndon, who was wearing that cool “question gender” shirt from TIC; Sir Andrew and Fyre, who we hit it off with immediately when we picked them up at the airport, and Maria, with whom I had some interesting conversations about being raised Catholic.
We saw a ton of old friends and familiar faces, like Opn and Toni (who once again provided us with excellent “fat girl taxi” service, Joe Samson (and his girlfriend), Citizen Rahne (and her girlfriend), Susan (who is scheming to get me invited to the Trans Health Conference that takes place in Philly every year), Julie, Becky, Barbara Carrellas (with whom Betty may be starting a “partners of writers” support group, as Barbara is the inestimable Kate Bornstein’s partner), and Raven Kaldera and his boy joshua, who put on an amazing re-enactment of the Sumerian myth of Innana. Michelle Zee taught me a new shoulder stretch, too. (It just occurred to me that nearly all these people are trans themselves or a partner of a transperson, which leads me to believe I’m slightly self-ghettoizing, but that’s not a huge shock, either.)
There were folks from the MHB Boards there, too, like Dawn, the cervix-bearing fantastic partner of Nicole (who regrettably had just broken her foot and couldn’t come), uber-lusty JessicaNYC and her MonkeyGirl, and of course the lovely Penny and Jayme, who were literally hiding in the corner when I first found them, right before the workshop on monogamy that I did Friday night. Then again, they told me later that night they’d already gone skinny dipping, so it obviously didn’t take them long to come out of the corner!
We also brought home a new member of the Boyd family: little Aurora, a tiny 5 lb. tabby cat who charmed everyone — and who was fending for herself on the campgrounds without claws. She’s sleeping in our bathtub for now, being forced to eat and drink, and getting crankier about it (which I consider a good sign, because she’s got enough energy to complain, and she didn’t before.)
If I could find the people who would leave a clawless cat to fend for herself, I might come up with a new way to tie a person to a tree and flog them.
We had a great time overall, and opened a few doors ourselves. I did finally manage — in a very safe workshop given by our friend SwitchMe — to get naked in front of other people. I’m not going to make a habit of it, but it was good to do, if only even for the ability to do so if and when I choose to.
Betty and I also, erm, opened a few doors together, in public and privately, but that’s all I’m saying. You’ll have to come yourself if you ever want to see us do anything sexual in a public space, and even then you’ll have to get lucky to be in the right place at the right time. (Several people were disappointed they hadn’t been, when they heard what we’d done!)
Betty was of course a lovely co-MC with Miss Tristan for the Wheel of Destiny, and a few people are starting to mumble about them co-hosting a cable access television talk show. I’m already imagining the guest list, but we’ll see.
The biggest surprise was enjoying watching Sir C beat the crap out of someone tied to a tree while reclining under a pine tree in the dappled sunlight. (Though we did have to pick ourselves free of pine tar afterwards.)
The workshops I conducted (on Monogamy, Uneven Libidos, and of course Trans sexuality) were a pleasure to run, especially since the people who came posed thoughtful questions and had insightful comments, though of course my workshops are certainly less arousing than the ones given by Nina and Felice! Betty said at one point that I provide all the “thinking” workshops, though the one I attended given by Citizen Rahne was really thoughtful and smart, too. I was especially pleased that the workshops I gave on non-trans subjects were a success, which got me thinking about what I want to be when I grow up.
What amazes me the most is that I could write another 10 pages and still never touch the sense of what DO is actually like. We definitely encourage other couples, genderqueers, trannies, and BDSM folks to come on down! Yes, the food is mediocre at best, but the meals are full of interesting folks and engaging conversations. I’m not sure anyone gets enough sleep, either. But the sense of camaraderie, the comfort with nudity, sex, and kink are inestimable — like nothing I’ve ever experienced anywhere else. Our thanks to Greg and Tristan for the effort to put on such a remarkable event, and to Colten and the staff for working their butts off.

Five Questions With… Brianna Austin

brianna austinBrianna Austin is a freelance writer for magazines such as Tgforum.com, Lady Like, Girl Talk, Girls Club Reporter, TG Crossroads, Jazz Review, and Music Press. She is about to co-launch a new website with Gina Lance called www.tglife.com. We first met her at the notorious Silver Swan, where she asked if we’d be in a documentary she was filming – but we declined, due to privacy. A couple of years later when I ran into her, I had to admit we were ready to do her documentary, but she’d abandoned the project, and was very amused at how fast we’d gone from terrified newbies to out out out. It was a pleasure to get to chat with her.
1. So what’s Brianna Austin been up to?
That’s a mouth full. I moved to Buenos Aires in the spring of 2004 and it has been an amazing experience. In addition to running my website, Girls Club Reporter, I did some writing for Lady Like, Jazz Review and other mags, and spent the end of last year finishing a book I co-wrote (it is not trans-related) entitled An Unscripted Life, … I’d Do It Again, which will be available in October. Most of 2005 I have been developing a new transgender web portal (www.TGLIFE.com) which will launch shortly. And lastly, I’ve been working on two new books that are both trans related, Candidly Transgender and A Changing Season. I’ll spend August-Oct in NYC and then return home to finish the books in the fall.
Continue reading “Five Questions With… Brianna Austin”

Five Questions With… Mona Rae Mason

mona rae masonMona Rae Mason is the Transgender Project‘s Field Coordinator and has been out and active in the TG community in NYC and Northeastern PA. for several years. As a former barmaid in a mid-town Manhattan cocktail lounge, she promoted and hosted several successful ‘trans’ fundraisers – one for The NYC Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, another for City Meals on Wheels. She has been active in arranging, promoting and hosting transgender specific parties and events, and also speaks at various Transgender support groups and organizations.
1) What is the Transgender Project and what is its goal?
The Transgender Project is a longitudinal study of the male to female Transgender community of the greater NY metro area. The goal of The Transgender Project is, quite simply, to learn! ” The more we learn of ourselves, the better we can teach others”–and that’s pretty much what all this is about. When all is said and done, we will be able to present to MD’s, therapists, and clinicians some powerful and important information about our communtiy. After all, we can’t really expect them to be able to help us if we don’t give them proper information. We need to help them to help us.
Continue reading “Five Questions With… Mona Rae Mason”

Interesting Survey

Here are the results of a survey that rates a state by its “pro choice” and “pro life” percentages (and which presidential candidate they voted for in the last election.)
Check out the weighted and unweighted averages at the end, especially.

Off to Dark Odyssey

Betty and I are going on two brief vacations in upcoming weeks:

  • to Dark Odyssey, starting tomorrow (9/13) until next Monday (9/19).
  • then, to a family reunion on Betty’s side, the long weekend (Thursday – Monday) after that.

If I don’t respond to an email, it’s precisely for that reason. Be well, and we’ll see you in a while.
(Via the magic of computers, new blog entries will be posted, however.)

Wish

renee french drawing
I started to write something this morning about the reading of names that took five hours today, and about trauma, and the Towers, and what that day was like in this small apartment that day. But words weren’t working, and I didn’t want to think myself out of simpler feelings.
So instead, I’m posting this drawing, which brought me some peace in the months after. It brought me release more than peace; I remember just weeping when I first turned the page of the volume it appears in.
It was drawn by Renee French. It doesn’t have a name, but I’ve always referred to it as Wish.