Columbus, OH http://www.gender.org/cc Vol. 11, No. 1 - January 1999
President - Stephanie
Vice President - Carey
Treasurer - Dianna
Secretary - Jannie
Newsletter Editor - Kelly & Jannie
Meeting Coordinator - Latoya
Screening Officer - Dea
The Crystal Chronicle is the official newsletter of the Crystal Club. The Chronicle is published and mailed a week prior to the regularly scheduled meeting.
Complementary copies of the Chronicle may be obtained by contacting a club officer or any club member.
News items for the Chronicle should be mailed to Kelly Davidson before the end of each month. Her E-mail address is:
Please specify in the subject field that this is an article for the newsletter.
Logos from the Past
By Kelly Davidson
This logo first came out on the January 1994 newsletter and was used up to the August 1995 issue. Perhaps one of the most flashiest logos to date, it was created by out newsletter editor at the time, Karen, Adrienneís significan other. Thank you, Karen!
From the President
The Good, the Bad and itís Getting Ugly!
I hope everyone had a joyous and happy holiday season. On the personal side my Christmas was wonderful.
For the first time in my life I really enjoyed decorating the tree, buying gifts and sending out cards. I even bought the dog a present and wrapped it (am I nuts or what). I actually had everything finished a week before Christmas. It's amazing what you can do when you feel right about your life.
The best part, however, was the fact that I got to see all five of my grandchildren. My daughter invited me up Christmas morning so I drove to Crestline and arrived around 7:30am, just in time to see them open the presents from Santa. I still have to "dress- down" and become as "generic" as possible around them, but that is not much different than I usually look sans make-up and earrings.
I was able to see my other two grandkids Christmas Eve. I stopped over at my ex-daughter- in-law's after work to drop off the presents and she invited me in, so both of her children, 8 & 5, got to see Stephanie. It went very well.
The bad part of the holidays was the fact that I work at the airport, in the baggage office none-the less. It's been pretty rough. A lot of canceled flights due to the weather and other factors, so I've been putting in a lot of time just trying to keep my head above water.
Today, it turned ugly. We finally had flights arriving after two days of cancellations and there are bags without people and people without bags everywhere. Some of these travelers have been stranded for days in Detroit and are less than sociable by the time they get to me.
It has been "Stephanieís" first real test under such stressful conditions, where tempers can flare and emotions can overflow, including those within myself. But I survived and made it through an
extended shift without reverting to that "monster" who occasionally wanted to jump out and devour someone. Actually, I was still smiling a little when I finally left for home. I reflected on the day and realized that another bridge has been crossed.
CAN I RETIRE YET ?
Stephanie (the tired)
Well, I think it is safe to say that the Holiday Party was an absolute hit! I know I had a great time. The party was well attended, with lots of people helping out to make it a success. Thanks to everyone who attended, and especially to the helpers!
For those who missed the Holiday Party, you will have another opportunity in early spring. The Crystal Club will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary! Read Kellyís article for more details. Let me just add that we want the attendance of this party to be HUGE! If youíve ever been associated with the club, or simply wanted some additional encouragement, please consider attending this event. We want all of our friends there, old and new.
For January, our regular meeting will be held on the 23rd at the same location. This will be an important meeting, as we will be discussing the candidates for the February elections. If you have an opinion that needs to be expressed , this is your chance to get in the discussion early.
Finally, please remember that with the new year, Membership Fees Are Due in January. Our treasurer, Dianna, is a great gal, so letís try our best to keep her happy!
Wishing all of you a great new year,
Sisters, Brothers, Friends,
Almost 10 years ago, a group of transgender
people got together to discuss a dream. That dream was to form a support club here in Columbus, Ohio where people, both TS and TV's, could come together for fellowship, information and support. From that tiny meeting, the foundation for the Crystal Club was born. It started with a handful of people, but soon the membership grew, and in less then three months the club had outgrown it's first meeting place. Along the way we have sometimes struggled. but in the end, the basic reason for our beginnings has prevailed and allowed us to thrive. In 1998, we saw a sharp increase in growth with new members and the return of some old faces as well. It has been great to see and be a part of this past year. But I'm getting off track here.
To celebrate our 10 years of serving our area, we are planning an anniversary party and everyone is invited. There are still a few details to be worked out, but here is what we do know. The date of the party will be April 24th and it will be a formal affair. Dinner will be provided and the meeting fee for attending will be around $20-25 per person. The exact cost, location, time and agenda is still being worked out but will be posted once it becomes available.
We are also looking for and are encouraging past Crystal Club members to attend this event. If you are a past member or know of someone who is, please pass this information on to them. We would love to see everyone there.
If you have any questions, please let me know. I hope you can come and help us celebrate ten wonderful years of friendship, love and support. See
Hugs and Peace
Editor, Crystal Chronicle
It's Time for Us!
Coming out at Work
by Mary Ann Horton
We all know the truth. If you're transgendered, you'd better keep it a secret. You don't dare come out at work, or you'd be fired for sure. Right?
Well, maybe not. The times are changing. Transsexuals are starting to transition on the job, keeping their same job in their new role! Our own dear Stephanie transitioned on the job, even travelling as I write this, on her employer's airline, to her final surgery.
But that's just for transsexuals. Crossdressers better stay in the closet. After all, transsexuals have made the commitment. Crossdressers only crossdress recreationally. We can't defend who we are. If we come out, we're on the unemployment line. Much safer to stay in the closet and pretend to be an ordinary man. The absolute best you could hope for is not to be fired if they find out your crossdress off the job. Right?
Well, maybe not. Some companies value their employees, and the politically correct concept of diversity, enough to be willing to treat all employees with respect.
I am fortunate enough to work for such a company, Lucent Technologies. An opportunity was dropped in my lap when I discovered that our Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual employee diversity group had changed its mission to be a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender group. After asking myself "What would Jesus do?" I thought I could do the world more good by going for it. I hope the result will benefit us all.
The EQUAL! at Lucent Technologies chapter in Columbus advertised their weekly meeting, for GLBT employees, and I decided to get involved. Within weeks, I was on signed up to attend EQUAL!'s annual conference in Denver, as Mary Ann, and found myself on two committees putting on next year's conference here in Columbus.
It wasn't long until I had met many of the key shakers and movers in EQUAL!, offered to get involved, and to make sure the language "and Transgendered" has meat behind it, not just fluff. By being visible within EQUAL!, I found myself able to address transgender questions and concerns. And I asked for some things.
I wanted a mailing list for people interested in transgender issues. That included a few transgendered Lucent employees I met, and also many supportive gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and allies. I wanted a subdirectory on the company's web page, where I could put up TG content.
And most importantly, I wanted the Lucent Equal Opportunity policy, which has protected "sexual orientation" for over two decades, to protect transgendered employees as well. I asked, through EQUAL! channels, what it would take to get it changed. After some consultation to determine the "most inclusive possible" language ("gender identity, characteristics, or expression") I found that the wonderful HR people of Lucent were willing to "take a risk." The policy was passed in October of 1997.
So now that I'm safe, what do I do? Well, I needed to be visible to ordinary employees, so that transgendered employees could find me. I needed to come out. I started with my boss, in Chicago, and
my dotted-line boss in Columbus. The conversations made me nervous, but our corporate culture won out. In Lucent, only people who support diversity are promoted to management. Both managers asked their first question: "what can I do to support you?" If you come out to your boss, be prepared to answer that question.
I've also come out to the people I work directly with, both in my group, and my sister group. I was amazed that everyone was respectful and supportive. At least to my face...
Most of my group is in Chicago. I wanted to come out face to face, but I rarely see the group. We have an annual two day in-person meeting, and biweekly group meetings by telephone. I waited for the annual meeting, this June, and requested a half hour on the agenda at the end of the first day. My boss, being supportive, urged people to go to a GLBT sensitivity training workshop the previous week. When I came out, they were all very supportive.
I came prepared for them to meet Mary Ann, if they wanted to. I suggested that I could come to the group dinner that night, or to work the next day, as Mary Ann. I figured dinner was safer. I was surprised to find they felt work the next day was safer. At dinner, they invited me to bring Mary Ann to the second day of the meeting. (They didn't have to ask twice!)
The next day, I went to work as Mary Ann. Dressed appropriately for the job in stirrup pants and a tunic, I was well accepted. After a near wreck, people commented "Mary Ann is a really bad driver!"
I had to deal with issues like "who gets the action item?" for things I volunteered for (Mark or Mary Ann?) People made it a point to get the pronouns right, to call me Mary Ann.
On that day, my boss had scheduled a tour of some of the facilities. We went by their old offices, then by a machine room to see some computers we've been working with. Then Chuck wanted to go say 'Hi" to Sherrie and Mary, two people we've worked with extensively over the phone. The next thing I knew, we were all trooping to their office for a brief hello. That put me in an awkward position, as I hadn't had a chance to come out to them. When I come out, I usually allow an hour to explain myself and answer questions. I decided to wait down the hallway, because there just wasn't enough time to do it properly.
The next week, I got e-mail from Sherrie. She'd seen me leaving in the hallway, figured out who I was, and been hurt that I hadn't told her. Eventually we had an hour-long heartfelt phone call, and I realized I had made a mistake. Leaving her hanging with no explanation was much worse than coming out while I was there in person.
When I got back, I asked my boss what the group's reaction was. He summed it up as "so what's the big deal?" That was the reaction I'd hoped for.
We had scheduled a transgender noon-hour talk that Friday in the Columbus auditorium. I was scheduled to introduce Meral Crane, and I hadn't been sure who I should present as. The positive experience gave me the courage to come as Mary Ann! I stood in front of 75 people in the auditorium, gave my name as Mary Ann Horton, said that I'm transgender, and introduced Meral. It was another huge milestone.
But I wasn't ready to walk down the hall to my office to meet my Columbus coworkers as Mary Ann. I hadn't come out to all of them, yet. So I went straight home from the presentation. One thing I've learned about coming out is that you're only out to some people, there are always new people you aren't out to yet. You have to decide whether to come out to every person you happen to meet. It's a never ending process.
A few weeks later, I made it a point to take a few minutes privately with each of the people I work with, to come out to them. I explained to them that I am transgender (a term less threatening than many others) and that I respect them enough to want them to hear it directly from me. I explain that there will be occasions when I need to be in the building as Mary Ann, for training workshops and EQUAL! events. I
show them a photo of Beth and Mary Ann. I offer to answer any questions. The whole thing is done with emphasis on my respect for them, but with a clear self confidence showing that I am doing what I have to do and this is not negotiable.
So, now I'm as "out" as I can be without hunting down 170,000 Lucent employees around the world and telling them each personally. It feels good. I'm no longer in fear of being discovered. Have I lost anything? Well, not that I can tell, at least not yet. The people who work with me still work with me. I still get the lunch invitations. But I've telecommuted for a few years now, and I work pretty independently, so it may be hard to tell the difference. I feel I'm doing the right thing.
My Day with the Local Police
This is a true story. I know, because I am the one it is about.
I am waiting at my friend's house for him to come home. He is my pharmacist who fills my prescriptions. Well, I got there thinking someone would be home but no one was there so I had to wait on him to arrive. To keep myself occupied, I did some driving in the area. I decided at about 8:45 to park at his home and wait for him to come home. In the street next to his house is where I parked and waited on him, knowing he would be there by 9:30 or so.
When it got near 9:30 the local police came by. They had a call about a suspicious car sitting in the street. A female cop asks me why I am there and
requested identification. I handed her my driverís license which has my name, Holly, on it. I had just had a legal name change at the beginning of November.
I had my 16 year old son with me, so she asks who is with me. I say, "He is my son." She then asks me to get out of the vehicle and go back to her cruiser. In the mean time the male cop talks to my son. He asks if we are related to each other and how. He further asks how long his "dad" has dressed like that, as if that matters in all of this.
Well, the female cop I am talking to asks what I am, as in what sex. I never thought I would have to prove I was male; thank God I had the "M" for male on my license. Somehow or another the female cop thought I said that I was the mother of my son and made a threat to arrest me. I told her I never said I was his mother but only that he is my son. So, they do what all cops do (I know, I used to be a base cop for 16 years) and run my social security number. The female dispatcher responded to the female cop with, "she lives at" and says my home address. Great, I think, now they are going to say we thought you said you were male yet the dispatcher says "she." Well, that never happened.
The male cop wanted to know what I was wanting from the guy I was waiting on. I tell him my prescription drugs. He wanted to know what the drugs were, so I told him a skin medication and my female hormones. He says, that is illegal for the pharmacist to do that out of his home. I tell him I would have no clue as I am not a pharmacist, but just a customer.
Then the questions get more personal. The male cop asks what my relationship is with this pharmacist. I tell him I have known him for a year. That is not good enough, he says, so I tell him, we are not lovers. He says, "We, referring to the police, do not care what your personal business is." So I tell him that there used to be another transsexual living there before and I met her and that is how I know the pharmacist. This is what the cop wanted to know.
So, I did not get a ticket for my back wheel being up on the curb. Although I was parked on a strong curve, I had not realized that the wheel was up the curb. They hand me back my driverís license and tell me to next time park in front of the pharmacistís house instead of next door, as if the street is owned my the local residents. They talked to my pharmacist; he told them he is licensed and that it is o.k. for him to bring the prescriptions home and for me to pick them up there.
I could understand why they stopped me and checked my ID. What upset me was her saying I lied about saying I was my son's mother. I also did not appreciate the male cop asking my son how long I have been dressing as the female I am. Even though my son told him I have been dressing as a female for over 7 years, when in fact, I have been a full-time female only 4Ĺ years. So, as you can see, even though you might be out as a female there is no law stopping you from being who you are, just be honest and straight forward with the police.
Looking Back with Kelly Davidson
This is a true and humorous story that happened to me when I was about 20 years old. My current girlfriend had no idea I crossdressed, so when this happened, it was a big surprise to me. In some ways, it is every crossdresserís fantasy. Here is what happened.
I had just picked up my friend and we were driving over to my girlfriendís house to get ready for a Halloween party (being held by our local church).
For the past two weeks, my girlfriend had been trying to get me to decide on a costume to wear to the party. I, on the other hand, just kept blowing it off. Finally, in a fit of anger over my disinterest, she said that she was going to pick out a costume for me to wear to the party and if I didn't like it, then that was just too bad. I didn't pay much attention to her threat, I was just glad I wasn't involved in getting a costume ready.
Well, when we got to her house I was a little curious as to what she was going as and also, what she had picked out for me. My friend was going as an Indian (he was 1/8 Cherokee) which consisted of throwing a old blanket around his shoulders and putting on some war-paint. My girlfriend announces that she is going as a witch which consists of a black dress, a pointed black hat, a broom, and a mask. Naturally, I figured my costume would be something that matched hers. Wrong!!!
When I asked her what was I going as, she smiled (one of those, "I'm going to make you pay for making me pick out your costume" looks), and led me downstairs to her bedroom. "There is your costume," she replied, "Itís on the bed." When I saw it, I began to realize the nightmare (or so she thought anyway) that she had prepared for me. Lying on the bed was a blue and white flower skirt, a matching shoulder shawl, a lacy white blouse, some assorted undergarments (need I say more), a dark, brown wig and a pair of white high heel shoes.
First, I argued with her, (hey, I wanted to keep up the appearance I wasn't a crossdresser) saying that there was no way I was dressing up like a woman. She put an end to that by saying, "It was your decision to let me decided on what you were going to wear, and this is what I have decided on." I then told her I would go out and buy a costume but she told me "No, that we had to be at the party in one hour and that this is what I was going to wear." In the end she won out and I changed (So sue me, I loved the girl and was in the, "I'm wrapped around your finger" stage. The things men do for love! And of course, it was a dream come true. She is making me do this, I didn't want to do this.) She helped me with my makeup and after hearing the comments of, "How good I looked." from her parents, we left for the party.
I don't remember much about the party. The only thing I do recall is that as the party went on, my girlfriend got madder at me. The reason, I had several guys come up and ask me to dance while no one asked her. Another reason was that while people commented on how good I looked (after we told them who I was), nobody said anything to her on how she looked. She had wanted me to be in the spotlight, but in a different way.
After the party, we decided to get something to eat (I was thinking we would all still be in costume). We stopped at a Denny's restaurant where a friend of ours worked and asked to be seated in her section. However, before going in, both my friend and girlfriend had taken off their costumes. So he was going in wearing jeans and a shirt and she was going in wearing a black dress. I didn't have that option and was given a choice to go in and eat or walk home (in high heels, ouch).
We went in, waited to be seated and then ordered. My friend (who seated us) recognized my friend and girlfriend but not me (she told us later that she thought my friend had found a nice girl to date). When we finally told her who I was, she proceeded to tell the other workers that there was a man sitting at her table dressed as a women. After a while, it became obvious (by the way they were looking at us) that her co-workers thought my girlfriend was that guy (no, she was not ugly, just a plain Jane). This was proven to be true when she was stopped while trying to enter the lady's bathroom. A waitress told her that it was against the law for a man to enter the lady's restroom no matter how he was dressed. She was going to have to use the MENíS room. The manager showed up to agree.
Now this is the wrong thing to say to a real women, especially my girlfriend who was always trying to look as feminine as possible (and had a temper for those who disagree with her). All of the sudden, I heard the distinct sound of my girlfriend yelling, "What do you mean I have to use the men's room? DON'T YOU KNOW A REAL WOMAN YOU SEE ONE." As I rush up to see what the problem was, people in the restaurant began to take notice.
When I got up there, the first thing the manager ask me was, "Miss, are you with him"? My girlfriend, who was just about ready to slug the guy, turned as red as a beet. "NO", she screams, "He is with me. I am the real women here. Can't you tell"? The manager didn't look too convinced. He was beginning to think that this was some sort of Halloween prank being played out on him. Meanwhile, everyone waiting in line for a table was getting quite a show, especially a group of teen-age girls.
In a manly voice, (as manly as I could make it in a dress, anyway ) I try explaining to the manager that we had just come from a Halloween party. He looked at me and then at my girlfriend, who, at this time was having a conniption fit. Finally he asks, "Okay Miss (he still hadn't figured it out), why are you the only one with a costume on (something which I was wondering myself)"?
I was trying to come up with an answer, when my girlfriend decided that she had had enough of my help. She yells at the manager, "I will prove to you that she is my boyfriend". She then looked at me and commanded, "Take off your wig so this jerk can see what you really are."
Now this was the last thing I wanted to do because at this point it seemed as if everyone in the restaurant was now looking at us. If I had my choice between dressing up like a women the rest of my life or pulling my wig off, there would have been no contest. However, I didn't have that choice, not with my girlfriend. So I lifted it off part way to convince him. This really got the group of teenage girls laughing.
Wanting to get in the last shot, my girlfriend yelled out, "Would you now like him to drop his skirt too, or would this confuse YOU MORE"? With that, she pushed the manager aside and rushed into the bathroom. The manager and waitress both continue to stand there looking at me, trying to decide what to do next. It was at this time my waitress friend came over to see what the problem was. Talk about the Calvary coming over the hill after the battle.
I asked the manager if there was anything else and he muttered no. As I was walking away, I could hear the manager say something about "my girlfriend" and "this explains why I wear the skirts in our relationship." I wanted to go back and say something to him but good sense won out.
On my way back to the table, one the teenage girls (from the group) stopped me to ask some stupid question. All of the sudden, I began to feel a draft coming from below. One of the other girls in this group was lifting up my skirt for the rest to see. Fortunately, my girlfriend had made me wear one of her lacy blue half-slips or it could have been worse.
However, this still set off a round of whistles and comments from them like, "nice legs baby" and "love your underwear honey" (those were the nice comments). I was finally able to pull my skirt back down and get back to the table with some dignity left.
At this point, I was too embarrassed to get mad. All I wanted to do was just leave, which, what a surprise, was the last thing my girlfriend wanted to do. Somehow, by staying there longer, we were going to teach this manager a lesson (I have no idea what that lesson was). After about a half-hour, she decided it was time to go. I just about screamed when I went up to pay the check and the waitress (who had stopped my girlfriend from going into the restroom) ask, "Was everything alright?"
Now, here is where the fun begins. My girlfriend is real mad by this time and needs to take it out on someone. Who might that be? Why me of course. So after we drop off my friend, she starts yelling at me because I look better in a dress then she does. And of course, I wore it just to make her look bad. When I try to interject facts into this argument, (like she made me wear it, I didn't want to do it, etc.) this only makes her madder. Now I'm blaming her for everything that happen (To this day, I still don't understand what she thought I was blaming her for).
By the time we got to her house, she has reached level 12 on a 10 point anger scale. As she goes inside goes inside she tells me that since I like dressing up like a girl so much, I can drive home like one too. The last words she utter to me before slamming the door are unprintable, but believe me, they weren't nice.
Of course, I'm upset by this time, as I leave in my car. I'm also a teenager who thinks he will live forever so I'm not paying attention to my driving, which does catch the attention of a local police officer. The next thing I know, a blue and red light is flashing in my mirror. Now, I began to panic.
I pulled into a parking lot and watch the policewomen (an attractive, southern blonde) get out of her car and start walking towards mine. When she got to my window, she asked, "Miss, do you know you were doing 39 in a 25 MPH zone"?
"I'm sorry officer", I replied in a low voice. I was so scared I don't think that I could have raised my voice if my life depended on it. Visions of being locked away in a jail cell danced in my head. I started shaking and hyperventilating.
The policewomen must have picked up on that I was scared. Her tone became a lot more sympathetic and soothing as she tried to calm me down. "What is you name Miss?", she asked me sweetly. This is where I made one of the 5 stupidest mistakes of my life. "Cindy" I lied (all I could think about was the little girl from the Brady Bunch on TV).
Maybe it was the change in her attitude and the fact that I was just scared. But for some reason, and I know it sounds stupid, I thought that if she believed I was just a scared teenage girl, she would just let me go (without checking to see who I was, of course). Looking back on it, I don't know how I could have believed this since it goes against the police standard procedure. But logic wasn't playing into my thinking that night.
"Okay, Cindy, the first thing I want you to do is calm down some and take some deep breaths. This isn't the end of the world" she said. After taking a few deep breaths, she smiled and asked if I felt better. "A little" I replied. "Good" she said. "Just sit there and relax". Then she said the words that I had been dreading. "Now Cindy, I need to see your driverís license". "My, my license?" I stuttered. "Oh SH**", I though. Now I'm really in trouble.
"Yes, your driverís license. You do have one, don't you?" she asked with a little concern in her voice. I thought about telling her I had left it at home but I knew that I had already screwed up and lying at this time was only going to make it worse. "I have one," I squealed, "Somewhere." My mind went blank, I didn't know what to do. The policewomen stood there smiling at me for a moment and then said, "Perhaps you should check your purse to see if its in there dear." I looked over and saw that she had her flashlight shinning on it.
"Yes, sure", I somehow muttered. I reached into the purse and took out my wallet. Next, I pulled out my drivers license and handed it to her. She stared at it for a moment and then said, "Cindy, I need your drivers license. You gave me someone elseís."
"Would you believe that is my driverís license?" I sputtered out. The policewomen pointed her flashlight at me and then at my license again.
"I'm going to have to ask you to step to the front of the car sir," she informed me, her tone now less understanding. At this time, another police car pulled up and two more officers got out. As I walked up to the front of the car, the three officers became engaged in a conversation. Then they approached me and took up their positions. On my left was a new policewoman. By the look on her face it was obvious that she was amused at the situation. In fact, I was surprised she didn't burst out laughing. The policeman on my left had a different attitude, he glared at me like I was Charles Manson. I was sure he was going to throw me down to the ground any second and put handcuffs on me. The original policewomen took up a position in front of me.
"Now son, I need to know the truth. What is going on?" she demanded. I proceeded to tell her about the party, the restaurant, and the fight with my girlfriend. By this time, I was close to tears (guess my other half had completely taken over). The policewomen looked at me for a moment and smiled. "Sounds like you had a pretty bad night", she said. "But why did you lie to me? Do you know how much trouble that can cause?." I explained that when she pulled me over, I panicked over the prospect of going to jail because of the way I was dressed (I didn't know if I could be arrested for dressing as a women). "You still may." the glaring policeman said. Another wave of panic griped me.
Maybe she figured I had gone through enough. She could have made it worse for me. Instead she replied, "Now, Bill, you know we can't put anyone
as pretty as this in jail." Her comment caused the officer to laugh and allowed me to relax a little. Turning back to me she said, "Stay here "Cindy" and I will be right back with you." She then walked back to her car to write up a warning citation.
The stone faced policeman (and the other policewoman) turned out to be a real nice person. He kept making comments like, "I bet this is a night you will never forget" and "your girlfriend must be one tough lady," to cheer me up (only some police officers are A**-holes). When the blonde-hair policewoman returned, she handed me a warning ticket and told me to watch my driving.
Then she got a big smile on her face and said, "You know, you really do look cute. I know some men in Georgia who would love to meet you, well, someone who looks like you. You had me going there for a while". The other policewoman added, "I just wanted to say that I love your outfit. Can you tell me where you picked it up because I would like to go shopping there". After telling them where my girlfriend shopped, I crawled back into my car.
Itís hard to describe the emotions that were going on inside me. Fear, relief, anger, shame, I was a complete wreak. It took me 10 minutes to collect my feelings before I could drive off. All I could think about was what a perfect ending to a bad night.
But wait, itís not over. Once I got home, I had to wait until everyone was asleep before I could sneak into the house. If my parents ever saw me, they would kill me (and they would have). But my luck stayed with me till the end. On the way in, I ran into my sister. How would I like to do her dishes for the next month? Like I'm in a position to bargain with her.
Well, my girlfriend stayed mad at me for about two days and then we made up. A year later we went to the Halloween party again, but this time, I had learned my lesson. I picked out my costume and we went as Mr. and Mrs. Count Dracula. I looked real good, or should I say bad. I had my face painted white and had blood and scars all over it. People loved my outfit and told me so several times. So what happens? That's right, she gets mad at me again, this time because I looked worse than her. Another argument and another door slammed in my face.
So letís see, if I look better than her, she gets mad. And when I look worse than her, she gets mad. Is it any wonder men (at least me) can't understand how women think. Of course, my wife tells me the same thing (that she can't understand me).
So what did I learn from this night?
1. Never let your girlfriend pick out what you are going to wear for Halloween.
2. Don't lie to a police officer, it will only get you in trouble.
3. Don't judge the opposite sex unless you have walked a mile in their shoes. And if you try, don't wear 2" heels (or better). My feet were sore for about a week and they still hurt every time I think about it (how can ladies stand to wear high heels every day?)
4. And a new respect for women (not that I was disrespectful to them to begin with). Itís a whole different world for them.
BTW, my wife is not the same lady mentioned above. After about 5 years of being with this woman, I left her for my first love: Trains! At least I can understand them.
Toledo Passes Human Rights Ordinance
Permission is granted to repost, as long as headers are retained with author and publication credits and copyright notice. For permission to reprint, contact managing editor Doreen Cudnik at the addresses below.
copyright Gay People's Chronicle
P.O. Box 5426, Cleveland, Ohio 44101
216-631-8646 Fax 216-631-1052
December 11, 1998
Toledo passes GLBT civil rights ordinance.
Measure is one of a few in the nation to include 'gender identity'
by Dawn E. Leach
Toledo-City council members on December 8 unanimously passed one of the most comprehensive lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights laws in Ohio. The ordinance bans discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public accommodations, and also creates stiffer penalties for anti-gay hate crimes. Sexual orientation is defined for the purposes of the ordinance as "real or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or gender identity, by orientation or practice." Mayor Carleton Finkbeiner is expected to sign the measure.
Openly gay council member Louis Escobar introduced the ordinance November 10, and nine of twelve members co-sponsored it. After a unanimous role-call vote December 8, council members congratulated Escobar and members of Gays and Lesbians United, which organized efforts to garner support for the measure.
"I'm so excited," a breathless Dan Fields said moments after the vote. Fields is a member of GLU's human rights ordinance committee. Fields estimated that 140 people attended a December 7 hearing which the council's Law and Justice committee held to discuss the human rights ordinance. Committee members heard over two hours of testimony before sending the bill to the full council for final passage.
Among those who testified in favor of the ordinance were State Rep. Jack Ford, Toledo police chief Mike Navarre, Toledo fire chief Mike Bell, attorneys Mark Prajsner and Cindy Voller, three clergy members, and four GLU members.
GLU planned a victory party for the day after the vote so that everyone who worked for the measure could celebrate the fruits of their efforts. Toledo is now the eleventh city in Ohio to include sexual orientation in its civil rights ordinances. The others are Columbus, Cleveland, Youngstown, Yellow Springs, Athens, Oberlin, and the Cleveland suburbs of Lakewood, Westlake, North Olmsted and Cleveland Heights. Dayton and Cuyahoga County have measures covering city or county employees only.
[GLU web site at http://www.fripro.com/TOLEDOGLU.htm ,
Full text of ordinance at http://www.ci.toledo.oh.us/council/ord1183.HTML]
Jury Awards $2.8 Million in Damages for Death of Tyra Hunter
WASHINGTON, DC. The jury returned its verdict this afternoon (December 11, 1998) in Margie Hunter's wrongful death civil suit against the Government of the District of Columbia. The jury found for the plaintiff and awarded Mrs. Hunter $2.8 million in damages for negligence and malpractice in the death of her child, Tyra (Tyrone) Hunter. Diminished by illness, the jury of 2 men and 6 women took three days to deliver its verdict, after hearing a month of testimony. Attorney Rick Silber and Margie Hunter emerged from the courtroom exhausted but pleased with the results.
Tyra Hunter was critically injured in an automobile accident on August 7, 1995. Due to the jury's findings, her death may now be attributed to negligence on the part of the DC Fire Department and
medical malpractice by the staff of DC General Hospital, most notably Dr. Joseph Bastian, the ER physician responsible for treating Hunter's injuries.
Dee Curry, Co-founder of Transgenders Against Discrimination and Defamation (TADD), said "The District of Columbia must now take notice and assure that it's employees will treat all of its citizens fairly and equally. There can be no dress code for human rights in this city." TADD Co-founder and Transgender Nation spokesperson Jessica Xavier said,
"I am pleased for Mrs. Hunter that the jury decided to hold the city accountable for the actions of its employees. The jury members obviously believed the material facts that were carefully presented in attorney
Rick Silber's case. Moreover, I think they came to see Tyra as an ordinary human being, just trying to make her life work, when it was taken from her by the proven negligence of city health care professionals whose duty it was to treat her. This is a victory for transpeople everywhere."
Columbus Becomes First City In Ohio to Offer Domestic Partner Benefits
On December 15, 1998, the Columbus City Council unanimously passed legislation that will provide domestic partners of unmarried city employees with health-care benefits. Columbus becomes the first city in Ohio to offer these benefits to unmarried domestic partners, including same-sex and opposite-sex couples.
After extensive research and investigation by city officials and community leaders, the legislation had the support of the entire City Council as well as Mayor Greg Lashutka, and the Police, Fire and AFL-CIO Unions. Research on businesses and cities offering such benefits showed that an estimated 1.5% of the 7,800 city employees will enroll for the benefits. The legislation is expected to cost the city $550,000 in health-care benefits next year.
Many in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community of Columbus are celebrating the decision. Columbus has recently been named to several top-ten lists of cities to live in and be gay/lesbian. Council member Matt Habash, who stressed that this is a "health-care issue" and an effort not to discriminate against any full-time employee introduced the legislation. Columbus is one of eleven cities in Ohio which include sexual orientation in city ethnic intimidation policies.
The decision was not met with favor by everyone in the central Ohio. Early reports are that city officials have had many calls from those who oppose it and the feedback is very homophobic. While the GLBT community needs to support this decision, so do the ally community and the non-married heterosexual community. Letters are encouraged and should be sent to:
Columbus City Council
(Attn. Matt Habash or Michael Coleman)
90 West Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215-9015
Project to Study Gendered
The James H. Quillen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Johnson City, Tennessee has launched a research project designed to examine the voice characteristics of women with low register voices and men with high register voices which can result in a misidentification of gender by the listener. Male-to-female (M2F) transgendered persons are included as research subjects. Many in this group can successfully alter their voice to make it compatible with their preferred gender presentation resulting in a desired misidentification of biological gender. M2F individuals with voices which are not or are marginally passable are seen in order to identify the acoustic elements or markers in those voices which result in the perception of a male voice in spite of their best attempts to produce a feminine vocal and speech pattern. The data from this study are being used to improve treatment methods for M2F transgendered persons who desire to feminize the voice. Currently, the vocal or acoustic cues which influence the perception of maleness or femaleness of the voice are not fully understood. This pilot study is expected to collect additional data in regard to how specific voice and speech markers function and interact in gender differentiation.
According to Dr. George Brown, Chief of Psychiatry at the James H. Quillen DVA Medical Center and member of the HBIGDA, the number of transgendered veterans is much larger than the medical community is aware of. Dr. Brown, who is serving as co-investigator on this project, is known by many in and outside the transgender community as being a distinguished researcher and health care provider. All transgendered veterans, including those who are female-to-male, are invited to participate. Each transgendered subject will see Dr. Brown in addition to receiving a comprehensive voice assessment at the Speech Pathology Clinic. Treatment, which is optional, can be provided for up to three days to veterans who are not currently receiving services at the James H. Quillen DVA medical center. Most choose to receive treatment immediately following the assessment. There is no charge for these services. However, participants will be responsible for their travel expenses unless a DVA hospital in the participant's district agrees to have the travel funded under 'fee basis'. Research participants can stay at a "Hoptel" on the VA grounds at no charge. Free meal tickets are included.
For additional information regarding this "cutting edge" project write to:
Robert King, M.A., CCC;
Audiology and Speech Pathology Service;
James H. Wuillen DVA Medical Center;
Mountain Home, TN 37684.
You may also contact Mr. King by e-mail at KING.ROBERT@MTN-HOME.VA.GOV.
Paris Santas Face Drag Charges
Regardless of gender, red suit and white beard is cross-dressing on the Left Bank - and the fines are nothing to "Ho Ho Ho" about!
Santa Claus is not ala mode this year on the chic Left Bank of Paris, and the fashion gendarmes are zapping St. Nick with laws targeting cross-dressers. Just "appearing in disguise on a public thoroughfare"
is a violation except for designated carnival days (Advent not included), and there's an even bigger fine for "taking photographs without permission on a public road in the company of a transvestite."
Actually the word is "transvesti," which usually refers to a cross-dresser but can also be taken as simply a person in "fancy dress."
It's no laughing matter for those trying to make a franc at Yuletide by snapping pictures of kiddies with the white-bearded one -- the photos go for 50 francs, and the fines can run over 135 francs each. If the photographer shoots without permission, that's another violation that can run up to 1,200 francs in the city where Diana, Princess of Wales died fleeing paparazzi. Worse yet, cynical French children are no longer buying into the myth of the North Pole benefactor, so much so that several major stores no longer bother with Santas of their own, leaving slim pickings for the freelance so-called "impersonators."
For the Web version of this article, go to: http://www.planetout.com/newsplanet/article.html?1998/12/22/5
I, My Sister -- Beginnings
by Kelly Davidson
The following story is based on another story called, "I, my sister" that was written by Diana Christy. Her story can be found in the fiction section on Michelle's Home page (www.dragscape.com). This story takes place before Diana's does. However, it is recommended that you read her story also to understand some of the "gaps" that I have left out in my story. I hope you enjoy it.
Chapter 1 - Prelude to a Disaster
"Ten thousand dollars," said the fat, bald man.
Al Parker was shocked at the offer. He had heard Klien Walker was a cheap SOB but this was an insult. He pushed back his anger and calmly replied, "You have to be kidding Mr. Walker. You want me to break into a very secure research lab and steal information that you will turn around and make millions off of. We are talking about real jail time here if I get caught."
"If you're as good as you claim you are then that isn't a concern, now, is it." Mr. Walker sarcastically snapped back. "I could find a dozen other people to do this job."
"Yes, that is true, but your chance of success is much lower, isn't it?" Al replied back. "The last thing you need is to send someone who most likely will get caught and then tell the police who sent them." Al stopped talking for a moment to let that sink in. Mr. Walker may be cheap, but he wasn't a fool.
"I know this security system like the back of my hand. Hell, I used to work with the company bigwigs while in the army, trying to find ways around their system. I know all of it's weaknesses and secrets and I can get in and out without anyone knowing I was there. And if I do get caught, it will appear as if I was there for other reasons."
"How?" Mr. Walker demanded.
"That is my concern." replied Al. "But for me to take this job it's going to cost you $150,000 in cash".
"THAT'S OUTRAGEOUS!" Mr. Walker shouted, trying to bully AL into a lower bid. "I'll give you $20,000, take it or leave it."
The pair continued to haggle for another five minutes before they agreed on $50,000. Not as much as Al wanted but he could live with it.
"Here are the plans for the house and the other information you asked for." said Mr. Walker as he handed Al a large envelope. "The lady will be leaving for Washington later this evening and won't be back until Friday night. Her bodyguard is almost never there when she is gone, we checked. When will you be leaving?"
"Tonight." Al replied. "With luck you will have the information in your hands no later than Saturday. In the meantime I'm going to need an advance to handle my travel expenses, say $5,000?"
"One thousand and not a penny more until I see the disk." Mr. Walker told him. "Here, all 20's." He handed Al the stack of bills. "See you in a few days, then." It was Mr. Walkers polite way of dismissing Al.
"In a few days." Al replied back. He didn't bother trying to shake Mr. Walkerís hand as he left. Al may be working for him but that didn't mean he had to like him.
Outside his mind was in deep thought. There were a number of things he had to do before leaving tonight and with just under a week before Christmas it would take even longer since he had to fight the crowds. It wasn't until Al heard his name for the third time that he realized someone was calling for him.
"Hey, Al, wait up."
Al turned to see his friend, Jim Baker, come running up to him. "Hey, what planet were you on? I've been yelling your name for over a minute."
"Sorry about that." Al said sheepishly. "I have a lot of my mind." He decided to spill the beans. "I'm on my way to the jewelry store to buy Sally an engagement ring. I already have one picked out, I just needed the money to pay for it."
"Hey, congratulations buddy. When do you plan to ask her?"
"Christmas Eve." Al replied happily.
"Great, great. So what the hell were doing in Walker's Enterprise? Don't tell me you work there now."
"Sort of. He has a job for me. I'm leaving tonight but should be back by Saturday."
"Tom doesn't know about this, does he?" Jim asked. Tom was Al's partner and the closest thing to family that Al had. Tom also knew, like half of the Seattle police force, that Klien Walker was a career criminal who had always managed to stay one step ahead of the law. Tom's one mission in life was to put Klien Walker away for good. If he found out that Al was actually doing a job for him, well, the shit would hit the fan.
"No, he doesn't, Jim and I would like to keep it that way. If you see him don't say anything, okay?"
"Hey man, no problem. I won't be around for the next 6 weeks or so, anyway. The army has a mission for me and I'm shipping out tomorrow. Sorry Al, but I can't tell you were I'm going. You understand."
Al nodded his head, "I understand. But just before Christmas? That was just one of the reasons why I left. Hey, give me a call when you get back and we'll meet for dinner or something."
"Sounds great, buddy, talk to you when I get back."
Al shook Jim's hand and watched him walk away. The army had treated Al well, but unlike Jim, he had been ready to leave after four years. But not Jim, he was going to be a lifer. Al thought this was a mistake, Jim was bright and could get a good paying job almost any place. Well, it didn't matter. Jim was happy and how many guys could say that about their job. Anyway, Al had his own life to run and right now he didn't have a lot of time before he left. There would be a train leaving sometime tonight for Salt Lake and he needed to be on it. Al started walking towards the mall.
Sarah stretched far back in her chair. She felt stiff from sitting for so long and being in this windowless office didn't help matters. It would have been nice to have included at least one window when they were setting this room up, but her bosses wouldn't hear of it. Oh well, it wasn't too high of a price to pay for working at home. She decided to take a break and get a cup of coffee.
Leaving her office, she closed the door and heard it lock automatically behind her. Another price for working at home. The security agents had insisted the door to her office remained shut and locked anytime she was away. At least she didn't have to use a key to get back in, the door was equipped with a palm reader, the newest thing in security systems. And then there was Gerald, the security agent assigned by the government to watch over her and the lab/office. He was the biggest price she had to pay for working at home. Still, it wasn't that bad. At times she was glad he was there to help her out. Today however, was not one of those days.
Gerald was sitting at the kitchen table reading the newspaper when Sarah walked in. "Good afternoon doctor, how is it going?"
"Fine I guess. I still have a lot of work to take care of before I leave tonight." She spotted the dirty dishes Gerald had piled up in the sink right next to the dishwasher. "Why didn't you put these dishes in the dishwasher? It's only three feet away."
"Hey doctor, it's not my job. I'm only here to protect you and keep an eye on the lab, not play maid. But leave it there, I'll get to it later."
Sarah knew he wouldn't, they had been down this road before. She also knew that he knew it would bug her until it got done and she would do it for him. Sarah was a very neat and orderly person who insisted on a tidy house. It wasn't in her nature to leave a mess laying around for very long.
"So when do we get a new maid?" she asked grabbing for a dirty plate. It had been over a month since the last one quit and she was getting tired
of doing her research, the housework and picking up after Gerald.
"I don't know yet, doctor. The last two didn't check out. There are a couple of more I plan to look at next week but you know how careful we have to be with the work that you do."
As if that had anything to do with it, Sarah thought to herself. What it really came down to was how willing the new maid would be to go to bed with him. In the past 2 years they had hired six different maids, the oldest being 23. They would work for a few months while being Gerald's girlfriend and then he would get tired of them. Once the romance faded these women usually didn't want to be around him so they quit. It was the same story every time. Gerald may be charming and good looking but underneath all that he was still a chauvinistic pig.
"We need to get a new maid SOON! It's affecting the research I'm working on and we don't want that to happen, do we? I don't care if the new maid is 80 years old, I don't care if it's a male. I want a new maid by the end of the year, understand!" Sarah snapped back. She was under too much stress and really needed a vacation. New Years eve couldn't come soon enough for her.
"Okay doctor, calm down. Once you get back from Washington we'll take care of the matter."
Gerald tried to change the subject. "Speaking of which, do you want me to drive you to the airport tonight? It would give you a chance to relax before the flight and you wouldn't have to leave the car in the airport garage."
"No, I'll drive myself. Thanks anyway." Sarah answered back. The last time she left her car with Gerald he had driven it the entire week and had given it back to her with an empty gas tank and two long ugly scratches on the driverís door. "Not this time buddy." Sarah said to herself as she left the kitchen and headed back to her office. There was still an hour or so of work left to do before she would start packing.
January 23: Crystal Club regular meeting
February 12: Crystal Club business meeting
STANDING UNITED - IFGE Annual Convention
Held in Louisville, Kentucky.
IFGE Convention Ď99
PO Box 61
Easton PA 18044-0061
April 24: Crystal Club Anniversary Party
The Crystal Club is a non-profit social and support group for transvestites, cross dressers, transsexuals, and other transgendered individuals. Spouses and significant others are welcome and encouraged to participate. Both male-to-female and female-to-male individuals are welcome. Also, members from related organizations, helpful professionals and approved guests are welcome when cleared through a Crystal Club officer.
What to Expect at a Meeting
Except for being transgendered, participants in the club are just like other people. We dress pretty much like average people, and meet only to socialize and participate in club functions. We range in age from our 20ís to our 60ís, and come from a wide range of professions. Most of us are cross dressers, although several of us are transsexuals. Most of us are married and have kids, and often our spouses attend the meetings, too. Nothing of a sexual nature is permitted at any of the meetings.
You will not be criticized for how well you dress or pass. The club isnít a beauty contest. We range from hardly convincing to completely passing. Some of us dress up, some dress down. Come however you are comfortable. Our regular meetings will have a private changing room, so you may bring a change of clothing with you.
We do insist, however, that you dress either completely male or completely female. Gender-blending attire is normally not an option. We also insist that everyone behaves as ladies and gentlemen (which is more polite than simply "women and men"). Overtly sexual or obnoxious behavior is unwelcome; we donít need to exasperate the feelings of people who are already nervous!
You will not be required to reveal your legal name, or any other personal information. You can be as open or anonymous as you wish. We ALL have been newcomers and have had similar feelings. We can (and will) sympathize completely!
One year membership, includes newsletter $42
Newsletter subscription only $18
Meeting Fees: First Timer Free
Member (of any T group) $10
Member and Partner $15
Your membership renewal date is shown after your name on the mailing label. Membership fees paid on months other than January are prorated to January.
The Crystal Club
PO Box 287
Reynoldsburg OH 43068-0287
Screening Officer / Telephone Answering Machine:
World Wide Web Page:
All calls are kept strictly confidential. We do not use caller ID and will return your call only at your request. If you are still concerned about caller ID, you can block this function by pressing *67 (or dialing 1167 for rotary/pulse) before the phone number. All written inquiries are kept confidential. The newsletter is mailed in a plain, white envelope, bearing only the return PO box and no markings pertaining to the Crystal Club. The meeting location is never published, and is only disclosed after a prospective attendee has been interviewed by the screening officer.
Meeting Dates and Times
Regular meetings are held the fourth Saturday of the month, except for November and December. The doors open at about 6:30 p.m. (for those wishing to change). The meeting begins at 8:00 p.m. Refreshments are normally provided, and activities usually center around a presenter or selected topic. Several members may go to an accepting dance club or restaurant after the meeting (of course, this is optional).
A business meeting is held on the second Friday of the month The doors open at 7:30 p.m. After the clubís business is addressed, this meeting is more of a relaxed and personal discussion time than the regular meeting - a great time to get support for "real world" issues!
During the month of December, and at various other times, we will hold special activities (such as a holiday party). These will be announced in the newsletter.