My Dear Friend

My dear friend actress Erika Ervin stopped by to surprise me today.  It’s always a joy when people who don’t live close to me make time in their busy lives to stop and spend time.

She updated me on all of the fabulous new projects she’s working on.  We laughed, smiled and even got a little deep on a couple of subjects, which we have been known to do from time to time.  Most of all we just enjoyed each others company.

Friendship is a special gift – it doesn’t require daily conversation or togetherness.  Friendship is a relationship that lives in the heart.

Friends have conversations that never really end, they just take a pause until the next time we’re together.

I’m fortunate to several wonderful friends and while I don’t see them or talk to them all often.  I know in my heart, they are there for me and in return, they know I’m there for them.

We’ve seen each other on great days and not so good days.  We’ve felt each others failures and have celebrated each others success.

Friends are truly special people.  They makes us think and feel.  Friends make us better people.

Do something special for yourself today and say thanks to your friends.

It’s Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Mothers out there.

I’m fortunate to have my mother in my life.

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She has been a guide, supporter, teacher, and cheerleader.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our moments and disagreement, alright arguments

and I know she isn’t perfect, but I wouldn’t want her to be.

She has shown me what unconditional love looks and feels like.

She also gave me the best gift of all, Life!  Thanks, Mom, Love you

 

Targeting the Restroom

I’ve held off for as long as I could on the whole “bathroom” issue at Target.

I was reading an article, this morning that talked about the backlash Target is facing based on its in-store Restroom policy.

Target has said “We believe that everyone—every team member, every guest, and every community—deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally. Consistent with this belief, Target supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination.”  You can read their whole statement here.

The American Family Association, a conservative Christian advocacy group, calls for a boycott of Target stores, because of this policy.  There thinking is, Target’s policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims. You can read their statement here.

So here are a couple of thoughts, actually 10 of them.

1. Target’s restroom policy has been in place for years, they just reiterated it to team members.  It’s in the first line of the statement.

2, You’ll notice how silent Walmart is on this subject, but I bet their restroom policy is pretty close.  Remember, Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon was among a group of CEOs who last year opposed the so-called religious freedom laws that allow faith-based groups to deny services or jobs based on sexual orientation in Arkansas.

3. Why only boycott Target?  Wal-Mart has a strong commitment to diversity among their associates and against discrimination everywhere.  You can find their Complete Statement here, from when Same-Sex Marriage was the hot topic.

4.  Target’s policy does not say men can use the women’s room or that women can use the men’s room

5. Sexual predators have not been sitting around waiting for Target’s restroom policy was.   See #1.

6. Sexual predators are typically men, and all the focus has been on women and girls being sexually assaulted, what about the boys in the men’s room with the typical sexual predator, a male.   Examples One, Two and Three   (How ironic that the predator in example one is commenting on predator in example three)

7. A Transgender person and a sexual predator are not interchangeable – there are no common traits.

8. There is no record of anyone be assaulted in a restroom by someone Transgender.

9.  If you’ve used a public restroom in the last 30 years, chances are you’ve used one with a Transgender individual and by the way, you didn’t know it and you were not assaulted!

10. Finally, How often are these people actually going into the restroom at Target?  Are they holding it until your get to Target?  Most of these people probably haven’t even been in a Target restroom.  I don’t know anyone who gets excited about using public restrooms,  I’ve shopped at Target for years and I can count on one had how many times I’ve used the restrooms.

What’s your thought on policing bathrooms?

 

The Passing of an Icon

Most people who know me, know I’m not the biggest music fan.  Don’t get me wrong I love, music, I’m just not one of those people who always has music playing.  I don’t have a huge collection of albums or iTunes and, I definitely couldn’t not tell you what’s in the top five on any music chart.

Today is different, today I’m a huge music fan.  Today, Roger Nelson passed away.  You may not know him by his given name, but you might know him by his stage name – Prince.

Prince died today at the age of 57 at his home in Minnesota.

It’s wasn’t until I heard of his death today and started hearing all of the music tributes that I realized how much of an impact he had no my life.

The first song I remember from Prince was in 1979 when I was in high school  – “I want to be your lover”  A great song and great video. Then, of course, there was “Sexy Dancer”, “Do Me Baby”, “Uptown” and  one of my favorites “Controversy”

Then in 1982,  the year I graduated high school, we spent the summer grooming to the album  “1999”.  A classic to this day.  So many great songs came off that album, “1999”, ” Little Red Corvette”, “Delirious”

Then came college and in 1984, Prince and The Revolution took the world by storm with the album “Purple Rain”.  Every song on this album can carry me back to a specific place and time in College.

“Let’s go Crazy”, “Take Me with You”, “Darling Nikki”, “I would Die 4 U”,  “Baby I’m a Star” and of course “When Doves Cry” and “Purple Rain” – What an amazing album!

The music just kept on coming and making memories.

“Raspberry Beret” 1985, “Kiss” 1986,  “U Got the Look” 1987, “BatDance” 1989, “Thieves in the Temple” 1990, “Creme” 1991, “Sexy MF” 1992

I could go on, but I really just want to sit back and listen to a Music Icon – do what he does best – make me want to dance with a smile on my face!

Thank You, Prince for providing me with a lifetime of memories.

I would love to hear what’s your favorite Prince Song or Album?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to Diane!

Happy Birthday, Diane!

Diane is one of my members here at the club.

She just recently celebrated her 70th birthday and she’s making 70  look good.

She is long-time and faithful San Francisco Giants fan and  loves to wearJennifer Lopes

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Are you a member and celebrating something let us know!

Transgender Day of Visibility 2016

March 31, 2016, is Transgender Day of Visibility.  The annual event was created to celebrate Transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide.

This year’s Day of Visibility is even more important than ever.  Just last week the North Carolina Legislature and their anti-LGBTQ Governor signed HB2 into law.  This bill took less than 24 hours to become a law – that’s crazy!!

HB2 is the most restrictive and discriminatory law in the United States, it requires all North Carolina public schools, public college campuses and government agencies, including government-run hospitals, to maintain and guarantee bathrooms or locker rooms be designated for use only by people based on their biological sex.

The legislation went even further making it impossible for cities, towns and counties to pass anti-discrimination rules for their local jurisdiction, beyond the new state standard.

With HB2, there are no longer any discrimination protections for any member of the LGBT community regarding employment, housing or service.

There remain over 30 similar bills in state legislatures around the country to still waiting to be heard.  These bills, written by these legislators are nothing more than government condoned bullying.

The majority of these bills target the Transgender Community and the most vulnerable within the community our youth and teens. These young people need the adults in their lives, schools, communities and in their governments to understand that going to the bathroom is a human necessity.  Forcing someone with gender dysphoria to use the bathroom of your birth sex, as oppose to their gender identity is a terrifying experience.  Bathrooms are the scariest place on a school campus, just ahead of the locker room.

I can attest to these fears being real.Bathrooms and locker rooms were my largest source of anxiety, stress and fear when I was in high school. I would wait as long as possible during school, to the point of pain and discomfort, to use a bathroom.  On days when I need to go to the bathroom, I would attempt to use the nurse’s office, but if that wasn’t an option – the boy’s room was my last resort and the most dangerous place in school for me.

One door, in and out and no doors on the stalls.  All that needed to happen was to have one of my bullies walk in while I was there and yes I had bullies!   At best, I would be harassed, pushed, spit at or worst beaten up.  Fortunately, for me, verbal harassment and a couple of good shoves were worst things that ever happened to me, but others were not so lucky.

To this day, because of the bathroom anxiety I experienced in school, I constantly suffer.   In my mid-twenties, I was diagnosed with Diverticulosis, a condition not typically seen until the age of 50 plus, which I ‘ve spent years controlling sometimes better than others.  I have a difficulty fully voiding my bladder, leading to multiple trips to the bathroom a day.   Now, years after transitioning, the women’s restroom can be a place of anxiety, with long waiting lines, limited space and  single stall access.

So if you think this whole bathroom thing is a joke?  I’m here to tell you it’s not.  It has real emotional and physical consequences for these kids, not just today for years to come.

International Women’s Day 2016

Happy International Women’s Day 2016!   IWD was established to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.

Women’s issues have been at the forefront for many years,  but don’t believe the work is over. The progress that was moving so fluidly just a few years ago has slowed in many places across the world.

This year’s call to action is Gender Parity.   Actress Patricia Arquette said it perfectly at the 2015 Oscars, “It’s is our time to have wage equality once and for all” and Hollywood and the world are continuing the conversation.  But that’s not enough, we all need to make the pledge for Gender Parity.

How will you work, live and take action for Gender Parity?

Here is how one of my friends is speaking her truth

The simplest way is to acknowledge it’s real, your actions can do something about it and start the conversation today.

Health is my Mantra

yoga940A couple of weeks ago I talked about mantras and my personal mantra – “Health, Wealth and Happiness”

I’d like to take a few minutes and talk about why I chose those three words.

For me all three words mean multiple things, so let me start with Health.

The World Health Organization defines health in its broadest sense as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

So yes, health means thinking about my physical, emotional and social well-being.  I also think of health in connection with my personal relationships with my husband, family and friends.  Are we in a good place?   Feeling positive, negative, motivated or marginalized?   When these relationships are healthy and working on all cylinders, it’s next to impossible not to feel and see the glow with in.  However, when they are not healthy or working correctly, we must have strength and insight to understand how to manifest change for the better with those individuals.  This doesn’t mean finding perfection, this means finding a healthy place to coexist.

I also consider the health of my business and community, both the one I live in and the ones I’m a part of on a larger scale.  What can I do to make my business better?  This is not just about the bottom line, but how do I make my business healthier without affecting my personal health and well-being, my family, staff and clients.

How can I make my community a healthier place to live?   A healthier community makes for a safer, friendlier and more enjoyable place to live.  Who doesn’t want that right?

How can I improve and empower a more positive and healthy discussion within my personal communities?  I’ve been a part of the Transgender Community for well over 30 years from my surgery and I have seen, heard and read many different discussions; Everything from not being Trans enough to too assimilating too far.  There are discussions about the privilege of passing and the voices of oppressed minorities groups within the community looking to be seen and heard.  Many of these discussions are important and need to be had, but how do we keep them discussions with positive outcomes and not personal attacks to take someone down to build ourselves up.

We are a strong and powerful group of self-identified individuals. We need to have healthy discussions amongst ourselves and work to lift everyone up.  We are healthiest, when we as a community working together to involve, inform and inspire ourselves and those around us.

Now you know what Health in my mantra means to me.  What does Health mean in your life?