Kim's Diary for 2008


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Diary Entries for 2008


November 22, 2008: On Society and Gender

So I succumbed to answering a question on Yahoo Answers about gender and society.

The question is/was: "What sort of society re: gender do you want? I am reading so much twisted bile directed at what you dont want - so what are your positive suggestions for your ideal society? What is it that you do want?"

My answer:

I would like to see a society where gender is recognized as a personal expression, sort of like clothing fashion or style. Gender not as some biologically-based thing that you're born with, but a societal construct and something available to be tailored to individual tastes.

It may be the case that sexuality is biologically-based. It is the case, broadly speaking, that 'sex' (chromosomes, genital characteristics) is biologically-based. Gender, however, is not biologically-based. Yes, some characteristics of behavior may come from biological triggers such as hormones, but to broadly say all men are aggressive or all women are emotional because of hormones is stereotyping and not helpful for either side.

So I want to see a society that lets people play with their gender. Would this make it harder for heterosexual or homosexual people to recognize and find mates? Yes, probably. However, it would force people to deal with the person in front of them, and evaluate them on who they are and what they think; not so much on how they look or what societal gender cues they give to their sexuality.

Love,
Kim


October 31, 2008: Halloween Debauchery, and Site Visit Count

I went out with my wonderful partner to the Portland Erotic Ball at the Crystal Ballroom. There are pictures of me on my miscellanous out-n-about page. I cannot yet post pictures of my partner, hot as she is, as we value our privacy too much at this point.

We splurged on the "VIP" tickets, which was supposed to have a private section, free drinks, and a private stage. Well, no one was policing the private area, so it was pretty overrun. In fact, it was insanely crowded, and we hardly felt like VIP's. More like Very Irritated (vs. Important) People. Yes, the drinks were free; but that was hardly worth the extra $40 or so. In fact, it simply meant that we sat (yes, we were lucky enough to find seats) in the balcony and watched the fun and debauchery going on, instead of participating in it much.

We did have some fun waiting in line for our drinks (which took about 30 minutes each time; my partner did much of the waiting for us). We met fun people in line, including 'Sgt. Sundae' and her pirate girlfriend. The Sgt. gave me a Marischino cherry and whipped cream treat; I approve. :) We also met Alice and the White Rabbit, and a few others. I may post pictures later.

At one point my keys became separated from my purse; I noticed about 10-15 minutes later. I found out someone had found them, and was asking around. However, I was too late; everyone I asked didn't know. So I went to the bars, starting to ask for lost-and-found. Well, some nice soul (probably the one who found them) turned them into the downstairs bar. Thank you, kind soul! I wasn't going to have any fun until I found those keys; it's a long walk home, and the keys had my car and house keys on them, so someone could have cause me a lot of grief. I'm really glad to know there are kind and honest people in the world still!

I do, of course, have a lot of pictures from the night... As I mentioned above, I have some posted on the out-n-about pages. Maybe I'll post some here too...

As for my yearly site visit count: I'm up to almost 197,000 visits (since I began my site about 12 years ago)! Thanks for visiting!

Love,
Kim


September 30, 2008: Friends

So this entry will be short. I had dinner this evening w/a new friend and had a really wonderful time. The conversation was pretty non-stop. My new friend (I'll call her D) is 'cisgendered' (or not trans) and had tons of questions about being trans, and gender, and a bunch of other things. It's really nice to see such curiosity and warm interest in the trans experience. Such open-minded approach to a subject that all too many people are either afraid to wade into, or have seen some negative stereotype on daytime TV.

Anyway, we chatted for almost 2 hours on gender, spirituality, art, family, technology, etc. In other words, on the stuff that friends tend to talk about. :) I'm really enjoying making new friends, and the process of discovery and sharing that comes with that.

The last Gender Queery meeting I went to, around the 17th I think, was also really good. Some wonderful conversation during the formal part of the evening, and then a smaller group of us hung out for another almost 2 hours simply chatting about whatever came into our heads. I think I've missed chatting like that some, and most definitely haven't had talks like that w/my friends for awhile. We're all walking our gender journey, and in the process of self-discovery. Some others perhaps more than me, and yet my journey continues too.

So having, and making, friends is a wonderful thing, and I'm going to try to keep it that way in my insanely busy life. Of course, now I need to make some time to say 'hi' to some friends I haven't talked with in awhile... Having 'too many' friends is a good problem to have.

Love,
Kim


September 27, 2008: Miscellany (Friends, Movies, Clothes, etc.)

So this entry is not about 'weighty' matters like my writings, my thoughts (on Gender, Sexuality, Relationships), nor even my Poetry. Nope. You can get that others places. Nor do I intend, as I start to write this, to talk of terribly weighty matters here in my blog, as you can sometimes find.

Tonight I saw The Secrets at the Portland Lesbian Gay Film Festival (PLGFF), w/my new friend that I met at 'Gender Queery' (GQ) at the Portland Q Center. The movie was really good; exploring themes of love, family, gender roles, sexuality, friendship, religion, etc. Apparently, in traditional Jewish religion (in the kabala), it's not forbidden for women to be sexual with each other; only men. It doesn't say anything specific about forbidding women, only men... this elicited a cheer from the 99% female (& mostly lesbian) audience. Of course, I think we all enjoyed the powerful acting, and the absolutely beautiful main characters. Here's the women who played Naomi and Michelle in the Secrets:

Naomi and Michelle from The Secrets Naomi and Michelle from The Secrets Naomi and Michelle from The Secrets
(These images were grabbed from the main The Secrets website referenced above)

I wasn't 'dressed' (en femme), so I was one of the few people that looked male in the crowd. That was a little unusual for me, and yet it was fine. Both times after I came out of a PLGFF movie this week, the next movie was Gay-oriented, so the line was almost exclusively male. I was surprised at how relatively segregated the 'gay' and 'lesbian' films were along gender/sexuality lines.

Anyway, it's nice making new friends. I haven't received permission from this person to use their name-- not that I need to, though it does seem polite-- so I'll use Y . So Y and I have gone bike riding together, and saw this movie and had some yummy Thai food at Vege Thai. So I had a nice time and nice evening. :)

I've also met some other folks at GQ, though I haven't had as much time or correspondence to get to know them as well. I'm emailing w/them to get to know them better, and hope to keep doing so. :)

I'm meeting a friend this coming Tuesday, downtown, to chat and get to know her better as well . We met through writing group, and I'm looking forward to developing more friendships.

I don't really have many trans friends, even fewer in the PDX area, and very very few (if any) that want to be 'out' about their gender. I suppose is many ways I don't want to be 'out' either; I do, in general, want to 'pass' as the gender I'm presenting. I am hoping to make more trans friends, that are OK w/my trans-ness, understand the trans experience, and can also be OK w/me 'en femme' (or not) as we do things. So I've really enjoyed meeting some people through GQ and the writing groups, and am hoping to develop friendships from those experiences.

As the Python Boys (good, upstanding crossdressers all) say... "And now for something completely different." I have a few pictures that I haven't posted up yet, and I figured this is a good place to do so. After all, maybe it will motivate the visually-oriented to look at (and maybe even read! ;-) my blog. So, without further ado:

Some pic's of me lately:
Kim before 'And We Flew' release party Kim before book release party #1 Kim on 9/14/08 Kim McNelis Right Foot in New Sexy High Heel Shoe

Red Dress PDX:
Kim at the Red Dress PDX party Storm Large at Red Dress PDX Party(This last one is Storm Large performing. :)

Okay, so that's it for now... :)

Love,
Kim


August 27, 2008: Write Around Release Party for And We Flew

Kim McNelis before her reading at Write Around Portland's release party for And We Flew

Tonight I went to the release party for the second anthology of work that I have been published in. Again, though, everyone who participated in the workshop had the opportunity to publish a work (and I think pretty much anyone who submits at least one of their pieces gets published). It's really a wonderful experience, and I was happy to be a part of it.

I enjoyed reading my piece, and I think I'm a relatively strong public speaker, as I once again received a warm reception for my piece from the crowd. I would hope that some of it is my actual piece and its message (I did have a gentleman come up after and indicate he liked the sentiment), and I think how I read the piece did have an impact on how it was received.

The piece I wrote is on my Writings Page; look for the Workshop #2 Release Party entry.

Love,
Kim


August 22, 2008: The Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Kim McNelis avatar in front of Big Ben (Houses of Parliament) & a Scotland flag

I was in the UK recently, and had the pleasure of attending the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I couldn't find an Edinburgh background for my avatar, so I picked London and Big Ben, and then to stand by the Scotland flag to show my presence in (and affinity for) Scotland.

I saw some wonderful shows while in Edinburgh. Mostly (or all?) from the Fringe instead of the Festival proper, and mostly comedy.

I saw a really funny, interesting, moving show by Bethany Black called "Beth becomes her." It's about her journey as an MTF transsexual, and her journey through life in general. If you get a chance to see it (which you probably won't, as she's local to the UK, is going to Ireland next, and is unlikely to visit the States), then I recommend going. It's not a show for the squeamish, and certainly not for the young, and it's definitely a good show.

My trip to the UK was really fun (though the weather in Scotland was crap), and I am really happy I got to go.

I hope your summer is going well,

Love,
Kim


August 2, 2008: Pregnancy

I know, I know, this is a really strange subject [for a trans woman, who cannot get pregnant] to talk about.

It started about... um... 8 years ago maybe. I was on the phone with my best friend, and was telling her that I maybe had some news. "I think I'm pregnant."

[Yes, I know, I know. You're like, "What?! OMG! she's whacked." Or, if you insist on being indelicate, he's whacked. Bear with me...]

You know how women, who think they might be pregnant are afraid to tell anyone else (except maybe the 'father') until the pregnancy reaches a certain point? How it's an unsure thing, or maybe a private thing, until the pregnancy reaches a certain point? Well, that was me, sort of...

[No, silly, of course I cannot get pregnant; I was born with male plumbing.]

I had been struggling with an important question: "Am I transsexual (TS)? Do I need to be (present as) a woman full-time/24-7 to be whom I am?" I believed I knew the answer, and it was time to announce it to others. To let the world know that I was 'pregnant' with this knowledge, with this decision.

[The word 'pregnant' can have many colloquial uses. A pregnant pause. Being pregnant with some idea; a fully-formed idea ready for delivery to the world. The dictionary might say "of great importance or potential; momentous"]

So there I was, in the parking lot at work, getting into my car, on my mobile phone, talking with my best friend. I was announcing to the world I did not need to be a woman to be who I am. I am not transsexual. I am not TS.

Now, if you've never struggled with this question of your gender, well... you probably can be both relieved and perplexed. Bemused at the very thought. If you have struggled with it (directly, or through connection to a loved one), then you know the enormous impact it can have on one's life.

To struggle with the question of being transsexual is even more profound in some ways than simply struggling with gender identity. It is to question your very social identity, your gender at its core. Should one take up a new gender, a new and fundamentally different presentation in the gender binary of the world, to be truly who they are? To pursue whom your heart and soul aches to be. To potentially undergo irreversible surgery to alter your body to look more like the 'sex' you are wanting to be. To match your genitals to your psyche. Okay, maybe all the questions other than that last one can exist if you're not TS. Surgery shouldn't be taken lightly; it's a one-way trip, and one that could kill you.

So it was with profound relief that I could announce "I'm pregnant." To let out the information that I had reached a conclusion. To tell someone near and dear to me that I'm not a transsexual, that path is not my path.

This decision made it easier for me in my life. I didn't have to worry so much about scaring away a mate; a woman who prefers men and doesn't want to be married to a woman later in life. I didn't have to worry that I would undertake one of the most difficult journeys a person can face. To potentially lose my friends, my family, my job, and other important aspects of my life. To face expensive electrolysis and surgery. To work my way through a new gender role, and potentially a new sexuality.

[On a tangent, I think that many of the TS women I know are bisexual to an extent. Otherwise, I think the assumption by some that sexuality is pre-programmed in (genetic predisposition) may be wrong, as I've known heterosexual 'men' who have become heterosexual women. They go from being attracted to women to being attracted to men. Is the gender binary and social acceptability so strong in these people that they assume a sexual role they are not pre-programmed to take? Or do they have a pre-programmed ability to be attracted to any sex (e.g. male or female, or potentially intersexed)? I am not sure I can answer this one, and at 1:30 AM on a Sunday I don't want to...]

So I'm pregnant. I have been for about 8 years or so. It's a long pregnancy; one that I hope lasts a lifetime. I don't want the upheaval and uncertainty that a change of mind (or a realization of fundamental identity) that realizing I'm TS would bring. I am happy to believe that I am not TS. This is not to say being TS is bad, it is not in my book. I have seen friends become more happy, more true to themselves and how they want to be in the word, by acknowledging they are TS and pursuing that path. Of course, I've seen people it doesn't help; whose lives become worse. People who assumed the surgery would be the magic cure-all to their existence and life, and they'd be happy after it. That's silly to think. There is no magic cure or pill to make it all better.

So why am I writing about this now? Well,... let's say it was on my mind.

Sometimes I wish I could truly be pregnant. I could connect with an experience that my body will never let me have.

An experience my body will never let me have. Never. That actually makes me a bit sad sometimes. I would like to be pregnant. Yes, I know about the bloating, cramping, painful kicking, sickness, etc. I know it can be a miserable experience, at least at times. I know the act of childbirth can be extremely painful. I know the loss of the baby or mother's life is possible. However, I will never know what it's like. Never have a life growing in me. I won't even get to go through sympathy pains with my partner. That part of her life is done, and thus I won't go through it.

So, if you are a woman capable of getting pregnant, please realize what a gift it is. If you have a child, please give it a loving home, free from fear, hate, hunger, anger, and all those other nasty things that too many children have to face.

Okay, so I'm sorry if I got 'preachy' or lectured there. I simply hope that if you can get pregnant, you recognize what a gift you were given. You can leave that gift unopened. An unwrapped and unexplored beautiful thing that you will never truly know. That is my life; an experiene I will have never known. You can, of course, unwrap the present and use it. You can uncork the bottle and let the Genie of new life out. Beware letting the Genie out of the bottle, it will profundly change your life, and is a responsibility that no one should take lightly.

Love,
Kim


June 11, 2008: Write Around Portland Workshop #2

Tonight I started another workshop held by Write Around Portland. I put myself on the waiting list, and they had room for me. I debated going, since I am likely to be gone on Wednesdays on travel, but maybe I'll be in town enough to make it. I will probably make it to the first 3 at least.

Anyway, I had a wonderful time! There are some really strong writers in the group, some funny and fun people, and some really supportive people too. So, it's so far so good for another wonderful experience with them. :)

Otherwise, life is as usual... busy, busy, busy. Work is keeping me busy at least 9 or 10 hours a day (well, at least 8 or 9 of those actually working ;-), and home life and family and friends fill the rest.

It's Pride (as in 'Gay Pride') this weekend... I'd forgotten.

So, anyway, as Pride approaches, I'm asking myself whether the T is really a supported part of Pride. I'm asking why the T and the B aren't a stronger part of the G and the L. At least it seems like that to me. In particular, the T sometimes seems stuck at the end of the alphabet soup.

While I am part of the T in TBLG (GLBT), I'm not sure the 'T' fits the other 3. After all, T is not a sexual orientation, it's a gender orientation. However, a lot of the G and L people that are discriminated against and in need of Pride and organizations like HRC are gender variant. Effeminate men and masculine women. Not fitting the gender normative behavior. So why can't some Lesbians or Gays recognize they're 'transgendered' because they are 'transgressing' gender normative behavior?

Why can't some Gays and Lesbians be more supportive of T people? Okay, I realize the same could be asked of Trans people; why can't some be more supportive of Gay & Lesbian people? Oh, and while the T is most definitely not silent there at the end of GLBT, it seems to me that the G, L, and often T would be happy to pretend that the B didn't exist. Which is too bad, as we're still talking about relationships between consenting and very often very loving adults.

I'm not sure I've blogged about this before (and I don't think I have here), but I am very disappointed at HRC for throwing T people under the bus when push came to shove about ENDA and protections under the law. I'm very disappointed that it came to a point where Donna Rose and other T representation apparently felt it necessary to resign from the board of HRC because of the apparent lip service (and no more) that HRC pays to the T folk.

In fact, based on HRC's Transgender Page saying

"The Human Rights Campaign is committed to educating 
the public on issues that affect transgender Americans. 
HRC will continue to work at the local, state and federal 
level in coalition with transgender organizations and 
transgender leaders to secure equal protection under 
the law for all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender 
Americans"
I would infer from this two things:

  1. HRC is committed to education about T issues, and
  2. HRC is not leading the charge for T issues, T organizations are. HRC will work 'in coalition' with those organizations.

What I, personally, infer from this is that HRC won't work very hard for T folk. Perhaps it is time for T folk to stand up for ourselves, with our own organizations. The fact is, though, we don't have the organization, the voice, the money that a group like HRC does. So the reality is that HRC could help the T cause, and vice-versa, if we could figure out a way to do so.

I return to a fundamental thought: Many Gay and Lesbian people are discriminated against because they are trangressing gender normative behavior or are Transgendered in the broadest sense of that term. So I would say to the HRC, NOW, and to T organizations, it's time to work for an end to discrimination based on gender and Gender Orientation for ALL people.

So, back to me personally. I'm done supporting HRC for now. Until HRC can truly learn to support the T, I'm not really inclined to support HRC. I can support what they're ostensibly fighting for. I believe in Committed (with a Capital 'C') Lesbian and Gay couples having the legal rights that married couples do. I'm committed to a lack of hate crimes for everyone. I'm committed to many things... HRC isn't one of them.

Thanks for 'listening' to my rant. Feel free to email me (see my contact page) if you can be constructive with your comments. :-}

Love,
Kim


May 28, 2008: Write Around Portland Anthology Release Party

Tonight I attended the release party for the Write Around Portland anthology titled a rare and necessary time. It was such a wonderful experience! There was some amazing writing, and some inspiring speakers... and the Write Around folks are simply wonderful. :)

As I suspected, some of the writing that came out of the women living with metastatic (terminal) cancer, and the people at the Dougy Center that are coping w/the grief from loss of loved ones, were absolutely moving. The were often poignant, insightful, and heart-wrenching. There were other wonderful, funny, insightful, gripping pieces. I can certainly recommend that you buy and read the anthology...

In fact, if you need extra encouragement, here's a quote on Write Around Portland's website from one of my all-time favorite writers, Ursula K. LeGuin (author of The Left Hand of Darkness and other great books):

"Write around Portland is an organization that makes me proud to be a Portlander. Their anthologies are amazing."
-- Ursula K. LeGuin

In fact, when I was young, The Left Hand of Darkness really inspired me and gave me new ways to think about Gender and myself. Together with her Earthsea trilogy of books (and others), I was profoundly impacted. I think that Ursula K. LeGuin is one of the best writers of all time. Then again, I'm a fan, so I'm biased. :)

Of course, in the interest of full disclosure, my piece is in a rare and necessary time. Anyone who takes the workshop has the opportunity to publish a piece, which is cool. :)

I did get to read my piece in front of the audience. That was a really wonderful experience! I received a really warm response from reading my piece; the lady after me even said "That's a hard act to follow" which was really very sweet. I'm honored by her compliment, and by others I received.

I will try, I think, to take more time to write; even if it's to blog. So maybe I won't write every day, and I'll certainly make an effort to express myself more through my writing. :)

For the visual among my readers, here's the obligatory crossdresser picture of herself (me) before the party ;-)

Kimberley McNelis before Write Around Portland Anthology Release Party

I have a picture of me and some of the writers from the workshop, but I haven't yet gotten permission to publish their pictures so you won't see it up here; at least not yet...

I hope your day is going as well as the last couple of mine have... :)

Love,
Kim


May 27, 2008: In the Media (I was on KBOO 'Out Loud' & In An Article)

Hi All! I was on KBOO Radio's (90.7 FM) 'Out Loud' program this evening, for an interview about the Write Around Portland workshop I attended. I was on the show with 2 other workshop participants, Jay and Jamila, and Dawn from Write Around Portland. It was a wonderful experience! Things went really smoothly, Barbara did a nice job of interviewing us, and I really appreciate the opportunity to share my experience and thoughts about the Write Around workshop. I got to read my piece 'You Want Me to Do What?' (that's on my Writings Page). I'll post up a link to the audio file when they do (if I remember ;-).

I was also interviewed by Jacob Anderson-Minshall for an article on Gay Wired called Writing Around Gender.

Jakes nice article was hacked down for the SF Bay Times, and I feel the piece lost its consistency and even some of its perspective in the process. In fact, I'd go as far as saying that, while I'm quoted, some of it is out of context, and represents my words in a different light than I meant them. However, that's always possible when the media has to take something complex and boil it down (sometimes too much) to fit in a nice tight space... So, anyway, I encourage you to read the GayWired article instead of the SF Bay Times one.

Love,
Kim


May 26, 2008: Avatars, Second Life (2L)

I've created a page where I've collected some of my avatars (e.g. from Yahoo or 2L that I waived off from). So this is really a silly page, and if you want substance, I suggest you read my Writings Page or more of this blog. However, at least having my avatars page means to me that the hours I spent playing w/Second Life (2L) to get my avatar to look more 'real life', only to give up before leaving 'Orientation Island' [since I barely have time for 1L, let alone a second life], maybe isn't totally wasted...


May 14, 2008: My Writings Page

I've updated my Writings Page. Will wonders never cease? ;-) [Those of you looking for pictures, a hint: new ones are either in my blog, in out-n-about, or in miscellaneous pictures.]


May 10, 2008: Shoes, Glorious Shoes!

First of all, see my prior entry if you want more serious topics, like my thoughts on why I think the 'transgender adults' writing workshop by Write Around Portland is a cool, and even necessary, thing. Okay, on with today's topic...

As Oliver might have said if he were a shoe-lover like me: Shoes, glorious shoes! I have about 100 pairs of shoes. Yes, 100. One hundred shoes is, I must say, too many to actually find and wear given our family size and the size of our house. Our house is average-sized (1800 square feet). Well, average sized 20 years ago, according to the U.S. Census statistics I found (opens a new window with a PDF format file).

So, at my partner's suggestion, I laid out all my shoes on the stairs. Okay, not all my shoes. All but about 40 of them for round 1. It was staggering, and a bit depressing, to see all the shoes I had. Why? I'd never worn some, I'd kept shoes that were no longer in style or no longer wearable. My eBay purchases that were never worn, not comfortable, and that I might have even paid a premium for. I mean, who cares if they're designer (e.g. DKNY, Yanko, Ferragamo, Hallston) if they're not something I'm ever going to wear?

So here's what they looked like, with all but about 40 pairs laid out:

Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair #1 Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair #1 Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair #2 & 3 Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair #4 & 5 Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair #6 & 7 Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair #8 & 9 Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair #10 & 11 Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair #12 & 13 Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair top landing #1 Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair top landing #2 (32 more pairs)

Here's the basket of shoes after I had thinned out; shoes to go to charity (or friends):

Kim McNelis Shoe Collection laundry basket of shoes to go to charity

Pretty... well,... overwhelming? Silly? Fun? Sad? I'm not sure what adjectives to ascribe to the fact that I own about 100 pairs of shoes. It will be less after I give the laundry basket full of shoes away... I haven't counted yet.

I realize that I'm very fortunate to be able to afford these shoes. That's why it's a bit painful to see how many I have; at least when I realize the number of them I've never worn, or have worn maybe once or twice. There are people that would be happy to have a few pairs of nice shoes, I think. In fact, there are people happy to have shoes, but I won't digress there too long...

I have a friend who spends on average about $500 or so per pair of shoes, maybe more. So she has 10-15 pairs she loves that she spent about $5000 buying. I have 100 pairs of shoes, of which I love 15-30 and spent $250-$500 on. Of course, I spent about $1500-$2000 for the 100 pairs of shoes, and could have spent quite a bit less if I only bought shoes I love and will get good use out of. I'm also probably underestimating my cost... This is an expensive 'hobby' that I have.

Okay, well now I'm feeling guilty writing (blogging) about something so frivolous as shoes. I mean, I love shoes and particularly cute, sexy, well-made, or even pratical shoes. I remember a "Sex and the City" episode titled "A woman's right to shoes" (vs. a woman's right to choose). It was about how Carrie had the right to her Manolo Blahnik's and her lifestyle. She wasn't spending money on children, and a hubby, and that life. She had a pair of shoes stolen at a party, and a friend blew it off as unimportant. So she decided to have a wedding-type ceremony, where people brought her gifts, I think. It was a long time ago that I saw the episode. It was kind of about the choices we make, and the right to have the lifestyle we choose; and to spend our money how we see fit. At least it was to me. :) My editorial would be that people, particularly Americans, need to start only spending the money they have, vs. the money they can borrow through credit cards. The only major debt one should have is a house; and maybe a car for a fraction of the time one owns it.

I will hasten to add that my thoughts above are on those that are making above the minimum wage. Perhaps more specifically, those in the middle class and above. I realize there are people that are struggling to make ends meet in our society, and are having to borrow sometimes to buy basic food and shelter.

I (we) give to various charities, including those who help feed people who don't have food. We give over 5% or so of our net income. Could we give more? Yes, probably. Will we? Perhaps.

So, anyway, I do have the money to spend on shoes, and that's sometimes how I choose to spend it. I don't go into debt doing so. I do feel bad that I've over-indulged sometimes, and I will certainly make my loss someone else's gain by giving away some shoes. Maybe not the kind of gain the original money could have had, and I'll continue to give money to charity on top of some new or very gently used shoes now and then.

Love,
Kim


May 09, 2008: Having fun, Guilt Free(?); and Labeled Writing

I have been instructed by my partner to have fun this evening, since she's out having fun w/her buddies. Have fun, guilt-free. Why does she need to tell me to have fun, guilt free? Because, well, I feel guilty sometimes when I sit at the computer all evening or simply relax, because I have so many things to do! Besides, I take vacations (like our recent trip overseas), and I get to relax then. Well, OK, I get to not work then. Relaxing is another matter...

So, anyway, I have the official OK & excuse to simply 'hang out' (guilt-free) this evening. Oh, whatever shall I do? What 'guilty' pleasures should I indulge in? Oh, wait... guilt-free means no guilty pleasures. ;-)

Okay, so how about vacuous pleasure? I checked my 'hot-or-not' rating. One profile has stayed at 7.6, with 3700 votes vs. 3500. Here's the 'badge' for that profile:

The other profile, where I was rated an 8.7, has slipped to an 8.6 with 2150 vs. 2000 votes... so apparently my appeal is slipping. However, I'm 'hotter' than 70-80% of the women on hotornot.com, so I suppose my vanity can stay intact for a little while longer...

Speaking of VANITY, I was once invited to join the Vanity Club. In fact, I probably wrote about it in one of my diary entries many moons ago, but I can't find any entries where I did. Anyway, I politely refused joining. I was flattered that someone thought I was pretty, and had asked me to join. The issue was that it is (or at least was) a club based on looks alone, and I would rather be judged on who I am as a whole. That, and it creates an 'us and them' mentality to some extent, and focuses more on 'passing' and looking pretty than on being a whole person. So perhaps I didn't do my popularity any favors. I did, however, keep my sense of self intact. :)

Okay, on to a more serious matter. I shared with some of my local trans friends information about another Write Around Portland workshop for transgendered adults that's happening this summer. One of my friends responded to my email by saying, essentially, 'Why would I attend a special workshop that brands me as something other than female?' [I did not quote her because I have not yet asked her permission to do so. I do feel okay paraphrasing her words though, particularly since I'm not saying who it is ;-)]

My response is as follows:

You have a point. At a minimum, you have every right to do, or not do, what you want-- as long as it doesn't hurt others, and your abstaining from this workshop doesn't hurt anyone. You also have a point about this workshop for Transgendered Adults causing the participants to be labeled as 'trans.' There could be negative things that come from that; a sense of stigma in being labeled. Attending the workshop will cause the attendee to be labeled as 'Transgendered' (TG), though primarily by oneself. Those that attend workshops like these then implicitly accept the label of TG. The fact is that some of us, including myself, can embrace being labeled TG as part of who we are.

I am not a transsexual woman, so it is different for me. I am not working to be accepted in the world by 'everyone' as simply a woman, vs. a TS woman. There are those that don't want to join a trans group because if they have to be labeled as anything, they simply want to be labeled as the women that they are. The fact is that you're a transsexual woman, but that fact isn't important for anyone except for you, and perhaps some of those you love, to know about. So while I suspected you wouldn't want to take this workshop, I figured I'd let you (and my other trans friends) know about it, in case you did want to. Knowing about it and deciding not to go is easy; not knowing about it, wanting to go, and finding out about it after the fact is harder.

Being transgendered is part of who I am. I am okay with being labeled TG. It is true, I am transgendered. In fact, it is a label like black, gay, woman, or a myriad of other terms that have needed legal protection because of the discrimination against those who are labeled as such. I do work to 'pass' as a woman to make my life easier; to avoid the harassment or assault that all too many in our community have suffered from. If I don't pass, though, I'm working on not caring about that as long as I'm safe from physical harm. I would point out that attending a workshop for Transgendered Adults is not likely to cause physical (or even emotional) harm.

A writing workshop for Transgendered Adults is a chance for trans people to connect to others in the trans community. It is also an opportunity to do a free writing workshop, one that provides motivation to write weekly. Perhaps more importantly, it is a chance to be in a supportive environment that can help focus one's time to writing. It's a chance to share that writing in a safer environment than a non-trans workshop, one where the other people know you're trans. I believe that writing about my trans experience, and sharing that with others and getting constructive criticism, happened more effectively in a a supportive environment; in a trans and trans-supportive community. A workshop with those that likely have similar experiences. Not that writing about being trans is the only thing I wrote about, nor is it the only thing I want to write about. I do have the freedom, though, to share my trans experiences with less worry, by sharing my writing with others in the trans community.

This workshop is also a chance for those, as the WAP website says, "...who may not have access to writing in community because of income, isolation or other barriers." The reality is that many trans people are living in isolation, or dealing with other barriers. I deal with barriers in my life because I am trans, and I experience a certain amount of isolation too. Perhaps small compared to some, but isolation regardless. So these reasons aren't relevant to you, as you clearly don't feel the desire for the workshop. They are the reasons that some of my trans friends, and certainly some of those in the broader trans community, may indeed have for attending this workshop.

If we connect in community, share our stories, see each others' talents, and are reminded of our diversity and common bond, perhaps we would be stronger as a community, and have a voice beyond the sensationalism of daytime talk shows. Yes, that is a broad hope, and is pinning a lot on a simple writing workshop. However, I believe every positive action helps. Every time we bond in community, we help grow understanding and respect.

Simply by participating in a WAP workshop I have also had the chance to connect to others in, and beyond, the trans community. So beyond what it has done for me personally, I certainly hope it has created some positive change in others too. In fact, I'm fairly certain it has, as I have received some nice compliments from those outside the trans community that I've interacted with as a result of this workshop.

As a result of this workshop, I will have the opportunity at a party to stand in front of a room of many other people and read one piece of my writing. That one piece is a hint, a facet, of what it's like to be trans. A lot of the people listening won't be trans. Fear of the unknown is a powerful thing. Understanding is also a powerful thing, and it comes with knowledge. Knowledge comes most powerfully with having first-hand experience of something. I will have a chance to show them I am a person, one that can hopefully write and express herself/himself well. I'll have a chance to show them that I'm perhaps not as strange or scary as some of the people who've been sensationalized by the talk shows, or not as scary as the people they've imagined. I may even be simply exposing them to a trans person for the first time, and I believe that I am enough like other people that seeing me won't scare them too much. :)

The party I mentioned is a book release party. I will have my work published in an anthology of the writing that came from many workshops that occurred during the same time. This gives my one piece the chance that more people than those who attend the book release party will read my writing. My one little piece will hopefully leave a positive impression about people who are trans. If there is even one more person in the world who comes away with a positive opinion of being trans, understands that trans people are more like them than unlike them, or even simply has a more open mind, then it is worth it.

I've been talking about the reasons why a trans person might want to attend a WAP workshop for trans people. However, the benefit I have gained from attending a workshop goes beyond those I've already mentioned. Not only will others' perspectives be broadened, mine will too. I will have the opportunity to hear others' writing, beyond those in the workshop I attended. I will have a chance to have my perspective broadened, and to understand the perspective of others who have participated in a different WAP workshop. While some of the pieces may have nothing to do with the label they accepted by attending the workshop-- "veterans, women with metastatic cancers, adults living with disabilities, at-risk youth,... and many others"-- their writing is undoubtedly influenced by their experiences. I look forward to hearing, and sharing in, their experiences and broadening my world.

Love,
Kim
(Kimberley Anne McNelis, Transgendered woman)


April 25, 2008: Ah, Venice!

In honor of my homme self in Venice, being fine with my femme self not being there, and yet honoring my femme self none-the-less, here's my Avatar in Venice:

Kim's Yahoo Avatar for this entry: Gondolier outfit, standing in front of a Venice canal.

Ah, Venice! What a wonderful, different, magical place! It's unlike any other place in the world, and one of the most unique experiences I've had. I think that's saying something, given the number of countries and states (in the USA) I've visited.

Of course, it's slowly dying; emptying of locals, being overrun by tourists, and in a slow and yet elegant state of decay. The cruise ships stop and vomit their 1000's of people. At night it's a different place; more relaxed, less touristy.

Anyway, if you've never been to Venice, I can heartily recommend it! However, I'd recommend that you stay in Venice at least a couple of days, and also that you go within the next few years, before it's changed forever.

Love,
Kim


April 20, 2008: All Paths...

In honor of my homme self in Rome, being fine with my femme self not being there, and yet honoring my femme self none-the-less, here's my Avatar in Roman attire:

Kim's Yahoo Avatar for this entry: Roman soldier outfit, standing in front of a the Colisseum in Rome.

Rome is amazing! An amazing amount of history, art, architecture, food, and so many other things. If you've never been, I can recommend it. If you want to know more, email me... :)

Love,
Kim


April 12, 2008: Red Dress PDX Party

My partner (wife) and I went to the Red Dress PDX Party 'Red Sea'. It was a blast! There was about 1,900 people who came and partied, and raised more than $35,000 for Estherís Pantry, SHARE, and Outside In!

Storm and the Balls were great!

I have never seen so many red dresses in one place! Wow... I had no idea that so many different types of red dresses existed! It was really cool seeing everyone... and I do mean everyone in a red dress. I would post some pics I took of the audience, but you can see plenty on the Red Dress PDX website.

Here's a picture of me at the party (I would post my partner's pic, but we both want our privacy):

Kim McNelis Red Dress PDX Party

Here's pictures of Storm onstage at the party... that woman moves! Always in motion, and always high energy. She and the band are wonderful!

Storm Large at Red Dress PDX Party 2008 Storm Large side shot at Red Dress PDX Party 2008 Storm Large in motion 1 at Red Dress PDX Party 2008 Storm Large in motion 2 at Red Dress PDX Party 2008 Storm Large in motion 3 at Red Dress PDX Party 2008 Storm Large quintessential pose at Red Dress PDX Party 2008Storm Large finishing the rockin' at Red Dress PDX Party 2008


March 14, 2008: Writing, Reading, and the Rest...

I've created a Writings Page based on a workshop I'm attending.

I've been attending a writing workshop for Transgender Adults, offered by Write Around Portland. They're a great organization, with some really awesome, friendly people! Anyway, I've decided to create a new page with the writings from that workshop, and perhaps other writings if I ever get to it. So please see My Writings Page for more.

I've also captured some pictures of how I've decided to dress for these events. The amazing thing is that I've been able to attend every single one dressed so far! Even though they happen shortly after work, and sometimes it's difficult to leave from my home dressed; at least every week. So, anyway, here's a sampling of pictures from the first 5 workshops:
Kim McNelis Red Sweater, Writing Workshop #1 (2/11/08) Kim McNelis Black Jacket & top, Writing Workshop #2 (2/18/08) Kim McNelis Tink T-Shirt, Writing Workshop #3 (2/25/08) Kim McNelis Pink Tink Sweater, Writing Workshop #4 (3/3/08) Kim McNelis Pink Washington, D.C. T-Shirt, Writing Workshop #5 (3/10/08)


March 03, 2008: I created a 'Glamazon' badge, and I voted myself into a "Miss Thing" badge too:

I've created my own badge on Your Vegas Is Showing:




February 21, 2008: Kung-Fu Ballet?

An entry from my Yahoo 360 page...

Kim's Yahoo Avatar for this entry. A Karate outfit (gi) in a ballet studio.

Okay, so I'm once again playing with my 'dress-up doll' avatar. This time, I'm a martial arts practitioner in a ballet studio. This really kind of fits me. I really do know Karate (Tae Kwon Do, actually), and I'm a blue belt (vs. black); which is what the picture above shows. I really would have loved to do ballet at some point in my life... now is probably too late, and I'm not in shape enough for it anyway.

I think it's also me because I am a mix of no-nonsense, tough-girl martial arts, and also a bit of a fru-fru girl at heart too. So doing my martial arts thing in a ballet studio simply seemed to make sense.

Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting... Fast as lightning...

So otherwise my life is "the same as it ever was (and the days go by)"... though I actually get to be home a little more than usual, which is nice.

I hope your day is wonderful! Stay balanced, stay whole...

Love,
Kim


February 14, 2008: Happy Valentines Day!

An entry from my Yahoo 360 page...

Kim's Yahoo Avatar for this entry. A pink dress, and Cupid's bow, with floating hearts in the background.

Happy Valentine's Day! Yes, you.

I mean, I can consider anyone who reads this a Valentine, because it's pretty much only my dear girlfriends that read my blog here anyway. So... A wish from me to you for a wonderful Valentine's day filled with love!

Love,
Kimberley

p.s.: A bit of Fluff, also from playing with my Avatar (dress-up dolls are so much fun! :)

Kim's Yahoo Avatar as a Cheerleader in Vegas.

A Cheerleader... In Vegas. Yeah, that's it. In fact...


January 31, 2008: My birthday!

I've turned... gasp!... 44. I spent part of my day en femme, and had a wonderful birthday! Here's what I look like now, at 44:
Kim on her 44th birthday


January 19, 2008: added a page on site statistics

The page on site statistics does a quick analysis of where (and inference of why) people visit on my site. So if you're curious to learn more details of where people visit on my site, and what I think about it, please see more on my Site Statistics page.


January 19, 2008: Is a woman in a tie crossdressing?

An entry from my Yahoo 360 page (If you're looking for some 'deeper' topics than this entry, see my prior entry for the 'fun' that happens sometimes going out in public, and thoughts on being oneself).

Kim's Yahoo Avatar for this entry, a boy shirt, tie, miniskirt, and red keds

So I decided to change my avatar again, and this time it's a boy-style shirt, with a striped tie... and a really, really short miniskirt. That and some cute sneakers (tennies, whatever). The Yahoo avatar outfit came complete, so I didn't pick this combination. What I want to know, is whether it's 'crossdressing' if a woman wears a tie and mens (or mens-style) shirt? What do you think?

Okay, now that you've thought, what's your answer? Yes or no?

Okay, now... is it crossdressing for a man to wear a woman-style blouse? Earrings? A skirt? Heels? What do you think?

Okay, now that you've thought, what's your answer? Yes or no?

...

Let me guess: no for a woman, and yes for a man. If that's the case, do you think that's fair? Or if you don't think it's fair, and maybe even don't think life is fair, then do you see any problem with a woman wearing a tie or a man wearing a blouse?

Now, for the record, you wouldn't catch me out in public in a miniskirt as short as the one my avatar is wearing. I mean, I think I have nice legs, and yet that skirt is short. Really short. So I'd wear jeans, or maybe a longer skirt, or something w/that outfit. So, yes, I think it's fine to wear something like that. Would I be crossdressing? Well, I guess that depends upon your view... :)

Whatever you wear,... I hope you enjoy wearing it, and have fun! :)

Love,
Kim


January 9, 2008: That's A Man! That's a F***ing Man!

I'm out, minorly 'outed,' and somewhere between sad, matter-of-fact, and mad...

So I went out to an appointment w/my therapist tonight. After my appointment, on the way to my car, going by the bus stop in the 1 block between his office and the parking garage, this 'man' (immature a** is more like it) yells "That's A Man! That's a F***ing Man!". Over and over again. As I'm walking away, he's still saying it, loudly... This did, of course, hurt my feelings and make me a bit sad...

Before I say more about this, let me set a little more context. I went to my therapist's appointment crossdressed. I wore a knee-length skirt, sweater, wig, breast forms, jacket, heels. All the 'at-a-glance' indicators should have said 'woman'. I didn't wear any foundation makeup, and my leg hair perhaps showed through my dark black hose, but it was dark outside and I doubt that was a major factor. I was, however, walking awkwardly in heels, as my new heels were too big for slick hose, and were popping off as I walked. So I was walking slowly, and somewhat awkwardly. This might have something to do with the person taking a second look, and then commenting.

To further set the stage, this person was smoking, not dressed particularly well, in an 'animated' discussion with the guy next to him, and overall not giving me the picture of refinement. [In other words, a relatively uncouth person. I could be stronger about my impression, but I won't... yet.]

Okay, soooo... That man, that person,... is correct. He 'read' me correctly. I am a man. An f-ing man, well, I could have done without the profanity & I only do the f-ing w/my wife, thank you. The fact is, though, I am a man. My body is that of a man. I am even presenting as a man 98% of the time. So, to be 'matter-of-fact' about it, he may have been rude, or even been an A**, but he wasn't incorrect [So I imagine A** begins to give you a feeling about how I feel about this rude person ;-)].

Now, I was concerned about my safety a little. Would this person come after me? Would he and his friend come after me? Would he be 'harmless' (loud and obnoxious, but 'sticks and stones...') and yet alert someone who would not be harmless to the fact that I was, in fact, a crossdressed man? This made me scared, but also mad. I didn't have too much of a reaction from the testosterone, but the 'fight' in 'fight or flight' was definitely triggered a little. I wanted to ask him, yell at him even: So I am. What does it matter to you? Why do you have to be so RUDE?! That, however, is likely to escalate into a worse situation, so I said nothing and kept walking; being ready for him to come after me and to run or fight if I had to.

As I said in my previous entry, I have been thinking about going to my appointment w/my counselor in Gender Queer (the other GQ! :) attire. In other words, in 'feminine' attire, but no breast forms & no wig. Not trying to look like a woman (and when I do try to look like a woman I apparently fail miserably & am relying on the kindness of strangers more often than I realize). Simply being me, in clothing that society does not deem appropriate for me. How do you think that would go? What do you think the person who 'outed' me tonight would do?

...
... (think about it)...
...

I may find out.

I am tired of living in fear of what society thinks. I may indeed start doing Gender Queer (and proud of it!) in my own city. I am concerned about my job, and my safety, and yet how long am I going to live in fear?

As far as my safety is concerned, I can run if I have to [In heels, even; when they fit ;-) Heck, I've danced and jumped in 6-inch platform heels. I can run in heels if I have to!] I have pepper spray, and am not afraid to use it. I have a mid-level belt in Karate, and am not afraid to use it (should running and/or pepper spray fail or not be good options).

As far as my job is concerned, well... perhaps concerns over my physical safety should give me more pause, but it's losing my job that's a bigger fear. As I said above, I think I can handle my personal safety (at 7 pm downtown Portland, Oregon, for 1 block, with people around). Losing my job; that would be a tougher thing to handle than some verbal harassment or the threat of (vs. actual) bodily harm.

As I understand it, as of January 1, 2008, in Oregon I cannot be fired because of my gender expression. This is because Oregon lawmakers have protected sexual orientation, and defined sexual orientation to include gender identity. I realize that people often take gender identity to equate to sexuality, for example assuming that an effeminate man is homosexual or a masculine (butch) woman is lesbian. However, as I've said in my Thoughts on Gender page, there are distinct dimensions of gender, sexuality, and biology. So it frustrates me that people's thinking is so muddled (or at least uneducated) on this topic, but then again I'll take what protections in the law I can get.

So, in the language of the official bill (at http://www.leg.state.or.us/07reg/measures/sb0001.dir/sb0002.a.html) [I've edited for readability; adding or subtracting language as indicated at the website above]:

SECTION 2. ORS 659A.003 is amended to read:
  659A.003. The purpose of this chapter is to encourage the
fullest utilization of the available workforce by removing
arbitrary standards of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, 
national origin, marital status, age or disability as a barrier to 
employment of the inhabitants of this state, and to ensure the human 
dignity of all people within this state and protect their health, 
safety and morals from the consequences of intergroup hostility, 
tensions and practices of discrimination of any kind...

Where sexual orientation is defined as:

'Sexual orientation' means an individual's actual or
perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality or gender
identity, regardless of whether the individual's gender identity,
appearance, expression or behavior differs from that
traditionally associated with the individual's sex at birth.

So, the issue is... will this really protect me (or you, if you live in Oregon and are transgendered)? I think the answer is 'maybe'. It may make an employer think twice about firing someone out of hand due to gender identity. It may, however, simply make them crafty about coming up with other charges... or simply using the tried-and-true method of making one's life on the job so miserable that they quit vs. get fired.

So I have some very real (I think) concerns about doing Gender Queer in my own town potentially putting my job at risk. Whether I decide the risk is worth the reward is something I can't answer yet.

So I remain a bit ambivalent about what form my gender expression can take to express who I really am; a man who has a desire to express feminine characteristics, perhaps wear feminine attire, and who is not homosexual (not that there's anything wrong w/homosexuality; it simply isn't the way that I identify). I also am still somewhere between sad, matter-of-fact, and mad about the rude person who felt it necessary to yell a fact that I clearly wasn't wanting yelled to the world: I am a man with an alternative gender expression; different than his, and most, men.

Love,
Kim


January 4, 2008: First Thursday. I went out for 1st Thursday.

Yes, this means I'm not in hibernation! Strange, huh? I also went to interview a new counselor; looks like he and I will be doing some work on my self-growth... :) Anyway, more details below in the entry for January 3...


January 3, 2008: First Thursday, Being Me

So I went out for First Thursday...

Actually, first I went to see a new counselor, to interview him and see if he and I 'click' well, and if I can really get down to some further self-growth (self-awareness, becoming myself). I believe that will be the case. I'll hold off on his name for now, for my privacy as much as anything else. Anyway, I have hopes that he can help me to answer some of the questions I have yet to answer...

I went to my appointment 'dressed'. En Femme. Looking like a woman (hopefully ;-). I had some inner turmoil over that. Do I meet this counselor for the first time en-femme (he's well-versed in trans issues)? Do I meet him en-homme, like I am probably 98% of my life? Or do I even come Gender Queer; dressed in 'feminine' clothes and even with makeup, but without wig and breast forms? To give you an idea of what that might look like, imagine the picture below with a bald me and no breasts (and maybe even some beard shadow):

Kim out-n-about January 2008 1st Thursday (sweater and smile)

Would be a strange, cognitively-dissonant sight, wouldn't it? That's sort of the point though. If I really simply want the freedom to wear what I want (as I've mused off-and-on here in my blog, I think), then that's how I'd look. Yes, I'd risk harassment (physical or psychological). I'd risk harm (bodily or otherwise). I'm not ready to do that full-time; and, in fact, even if I was, I'm not going to do that to my family at this time.

My son doesn't know about the dressing. It's private (vs. secret); we don't tell him because he doesn't need to know, and to protect him from both the confusion or pain it might cause him, and also from the harassment he (and we) would receive from relatives and others. Stinks, doesn't it? I can't tell my own family member for fear of it harming him or others. I think he'd probably be okay with it, and there are times where I'd rather not keep it private (particularly when I simply want to wear feminine clothes around home), and that is not yet to be my path. Perhaps later, when he's through adolescence and/or a legal adult and able to choose what he thinks of all this for himself.

Anyway, going en-femme, en-homme, or en-queer were my options. I opted for en-femme, and will probably most often do en-homme because I'll be coming from work. Work. There's another place where I must keep this part of me private. There are days I'd love to be able to go to work en-queer or even en-femme, but it wouldn't be productive. Quite the contrary, it would probably be disruptive to work, and most likely detrimental to my career. However, I'm not willing to find out what would happen. I'm still willing to enjoy my white male priveledge, and perhaps more importantly my non-queer priveledge that I can have when not dressed. Yes, there's a measure of cowardice in not being 'out' at work (or to some family members), and in 'cowaradice' is also sanity, prudence, and self-preservation. However, counter to all that, I'm willing to go out 'en femme' in my own city...

So I shopped in downtown Portland (Oregon) before my appointment; I went to the Ross (crossdress for less ;-) store downtown. I got some cute shoes; including some I plan on wearing en homme. I chatted with the cashier as I was checking out, enjoying myself and hopefully making her evening better too. It feels good to not be afraid to speak (for fear of 'outing' myself; my voice still needs work), not be afraid to be who I am...

After my appointment, I was walking downtown Portland (to Nordstrom Rack, to buy an umbrella since I left my other one somewhere and didn't enjoy getting rained on) and I was really enjoying myself. I had a little bit of euphoria, I guess. It felt so nice, and natural, to be en femme again. It had been 3 months, and I even had a lot of trepidation or even conflict about dressing again. After all, this is when I usually hibernate, and give my spouse a chance to see the beard and all. Anyway, the feeling of it being natural, OK, fun, nice, whatever was great! It was short, and sweet. I don't allow myself to get too comfortable out in public en femme, as I don't feel I 'pass' well enough to be totally oblivious to my safety. Even if I do pass, I was still a woman 'alone' (not walking w/someone else) downtown in the dark, so I needed to be a little extra aware. It sucks that women have to feel this way; that anyone has to feel afraid for their safety because of people who'd hurt them.

Anyway, after the umbrella, I drove over to the Pearl district for First Thursday; a monthly 'Gallery Walk' where the galleries stay open late. I saw some great art! Wonderful painting, sculpture, performance/experience pieces, etc. It would be so nice to be able to buy all the art I wanted, but I both don't have the room, and also don't really have the budget to buy all the art I want... :)

I must have walked and stood for about 3 hours and about 15-30 blocks in my very cute high-heeled boots, and my feet were letting me know. They were not happy; even though these are some of my more comfortable boots. So I was happy to be heading back home after a fun evening, and getting off my feet...

I had dinner at a Thai restaurant, Peem Kaew (at 323 NW Park Ave). I had the red curry with pumpkin, a special dish, and it was great! I like spice, and even at 2 stars it was plenty spicy. The flavors of the curry were good, and the tofu was fresh. The service was outstanding; very friendly people! They had no problem with my being all dressed up. :)

Well, I've rambled on awhile now and gotten into the mundane, haven't I? You know, it's nice to be able to ramble about mundane things I've done while crossdressed. It means that my life is sort of the same regardless of how I'm dressed. That's what I'd prefer; regardless of how I'm expressing myself, I am me, and I do the things I would 'normally' do. Like wander around First Thursday, have dinner, etc.

Of course, if I've gotten to the 'mundane' with my website, then why is it that the 2% of my life (my dressing) gets 90-95% of my attention for website updates, while the 98% gets maybe 5-10% of the attention? I think the 80-20 rule is a little out of whack for me there. I guess it's maybe because my dressing is, after all, still unusual. The vacation from the normal. I think that's part of what makes it different and fun. It's a chance to play dress-up; to play in makeup, to 'act' like a woman, even to express something inside me that cannot be so literally expressed otherwise. Thus it gets more time and attention for expression online, as the expression of myself "In Real Life" (IRL) is predominantly as a man.

Well, Happy New Year! I wish you and yours a year that's better than the last, and full of love and peace.

Love,
Kim



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