Monday, November 30, 2015


 VANIQA® is an FDA-approved prescription cream clinically proven to reduce the growth of unwanted facial hair in women. VANIQA® has only been studied on the face and adjacent involved areas under the chin of affected individuals. Usage should be limited to these areas of involvement.
This is not a complete endorsement but something if you can afford, try. Yes - The simple answer to does it work.  It works slowly.  I have been using the cream for over a year and see a significant decrease in beard grown in the a treated area.  Here are my advantages and disadvantages found over the last year.

I have always had a very heavy beard and found being out more than 8 hour was problematic. Imagine Homer Simpson 5 O’clock shadow occurring mid-day.   I had some laser work about 15 years ago, that resulted in some reduction of black hairs only.  At the time I was about 50/50 white/ black.  The pain was incredible so only had several treatments with results that did not justify the pain level.   So then back to shaving twice, if all day as Rhonda was required.

Today with VANIQA, I do not shave the area above my lip or area below, almost down to the chin.  The beard is not completely gone, but the
noticeable black tough hairs are and what is left is white and wispy - easily plucked twice a week.  Here are my results and suggestions – you mileage may vary.

  • Progress is slow requiring a twice a day application.
  • It has taken me one year to see meaningful results. 
  • The product is expensive - $146.00 from Walgreens for a 45 gram tube.  There is a $35.00 rebate available.
  • If you follow the directions a tube it will not last long, although I have manage to use only enough to cover the area I wanted to treat and have made a tube last one year.  Maybe had I used more I could have receive faster results but my aim was to get results at a cost justifiable pace. 
  • I am at a point now where I use it once a day, before bed. 
  • My application routine is to wash the area first and then expholiate the area.  I then apply a very small amount, just enough to cover the area with a thin layer, rub in  and let dry. There is a very slight burning/warm sensation that goes away quickly.  Important -Then wash you hand.  I did major damage to a finger nail tip by not washing it off. 
  • Not a permanent solution.  The instruction state - "Clinical studies show if you stop using VANIQA, in about 8 weeks hair will return to the same condition as before beginning treatment."  This I cannot verify because I have been using it regularly for one year.  
  • The other disadvantage is it prescription cream and can be only gotten from a dermatologist or facial medical doctor.  It is not over the counter. Over the counter product are not proven to work.  I have seen VANIQA at online (out of the country) pharmacies - A little cost savings but not much.
  • I did have some acne and in-grown hair side effects at first, but my exfoliating routine bough this under control. 
  • The biggest disadvantage is cost.  In my case prohibitive for the whole, face but I did treat my most offensive area, with acceptable and justifiable results. 

Please write or comment if there are questions. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday Funnies 11/29


The funnies were my favorite section of the Sunday paper when I was growing up. I will make an effort to make this a regular Sunday feature.  Enjoy!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

I am out of town with my family for a few days and will post again on Sunday.  

Everyone have a wonderful holiday! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Last evening I had an interesting experience.  I attended the monthly cocktail reception for my Business Group.  I have been a member there for about 5 years and I am well known to the group of about 75.  I have written about the group in the post “Chief Operating Officer - COO”.  Attending last evening was the State Representative for my district.

I decided to discuss with him the bathroom bill that came up in the Florida legislature and other state
legislatures this past year.  It meant revealing myself as transgender.  So here is how it went:

I ask to have a minute and stated I wanted to discuss an important issue.  I showed him my driver's  license and stated I was transgender. My concern was that the bathroom bill was going to be reintroduced in the upcoming legislative session.  It took him a while to see the "M" on my license.  He kind of shuttered and then mumbled, it would likely go nowhere as it had the previous year.

I brought up Houston and stated that there was much prejudice in the wind and the bathroom issue had actually been the impetus for repealing an important ordnance granting basic human rights to many.  He stated he understood and would do what he could.  I ended the conversation stating that using a public bathroom is a basic human right. “Please understand that.”

Doing this was way outside my comfort zone.  I seldom announce my nature and just let people believe what they may.  I felt this was important. 


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Girl Crush

Little Big Town - Concert Portland 11/14

I have a "Girl Crush" - Yes the CMA song of the year.   Wow do I love that song.  While in Portland, just by chance, the county group "Little Big Town was playing the Keller Auditorium - The "Pain Killer" tour.  It was one of the best concerts I have attended in years.  Completely sold out, loud music, soulful music and fantastic staging. What a great time and like being a teen again.  It is never too late for a happy childhood.   

There is much controversy about this song and the official narrative seems to describe something that is not "totally obvious".  After a few listening, it is plausible.   But Rhonda likes to fantasize.  

Monday, November 23, 2015

52 Years

The Strong Kennedy Family
A very interesting photo - I am not sure if these were the actual colors. 
Most of the photos showing this event are black and white. 

52 years ago, yesterday the unthinkable happened.  It you were of age then, the memory is forever there.  I was in high school, walking up stairs to my 6th period class and heard some shout “Kennedy has been shot”.  Shortly after the start of 6th period, an announcement was made over the PA.  We did not do anything else that day but talk as we were all in shock.  The news of his death came later.  

In my area or Virginia, Kennedy had not been the candidate of choice, being Catholic.  However, I believe that the young president and gorgeous first lady had won a large measure of belated respect.  I remember well his handling of the Cuban missile crisis and how it almost took us into nuclear war with Khrushchev.  

All of the events of that day and the events of the days that followed shocked and saddened a nation.  I remember how if effected the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.  I guess there are enough of us left to still remember that day and the only other time of such collective sadness was 9/11.  

Where were you that day 52 years ago? 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday Funnies 11/22


The funnies were my favorite section of the Sunday paper when I was growing up. I will make an effort to make this a regular Sunday feature.  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Friend's Friday 11/19

Over twenty years ago I started a support group in Tampa Florida called "Starburst".  At that time I met a person called Anne Marie.  A few weeks ago a friend here in Florida suggested I connect up with a someone she knew in Portland as long as I was going to be there.  Amazing enough the same person. We had much catching up to do and Anne Marie volunteer to show me some of the Portland and the Oregon sites.  What a beautiful place. We did a play, concert, as well sight seeing.   I had a wonderful time and thank you so much Anne Marie.   

I will write more on this trip during the upcoming weeks.  Photos from the concert, a play comment, and more Oregon photos.             


Friend's Friday

  Therefore, I would like to dedicate Fridays to you,your post and photos. 
It is not that I have run out of things to write about, but I want to make this "our place". Please feel free to comment on something I said - did not say.  if you e-mail me your post I will queue then up and post on Fridays.  Tell me about your trips.  I know you take dress-up clothes.  So what did you do?


Rhonda  - RhondaWilliams at Bellsouth.net

Friday, November 20, 2015

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today is about honoring the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

Being united.

Working to keep anti-transgender violence from ever happening again. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

What Features Make a Face Truly Feminine?

When you ask people about femininity, many people cannot really describe the features that create a feminine appearance. However, if you ask a plastic surgeon, the answers are quite astonishing. Here are some of the facial features that make people appear feminine.

A Softer Look

If you compare a traditionally male face with a traditionally feminine one, the first thing you are likely to notice is the difference in contours. Whereas a man typically has a sharper, more defined bone structure, women have rounder edges in their cheeks, their jawlines, and even their chins. When we look at a face to determine whether or not it is feminine, these are often the characteristics we notice – even if we cannot readily describe them.

Well-Lit Eyes and Mouth

By nature, women have larger (and somewhat higher) cheekbones than their male counterparts. The larger cheekbones reflect more light, which in turn makes the eyes appear lighter and brighter. What’s more, women’s brow ridges are generally much smaller than those of their male counterparts, so unlike men, they do not have a built-in “solar visor” of sorts to prevent light from reaching their cheekbones. As for their mouths, women tend to have shorter upper lips, so more light can reflect from their teeth and truly light up their smiles. Men, on the other hand, tend to have longer upper lips and get less reflection.

Creating a Feminine Face in Surgery

Thanks to pioneers in the plastic surgery industry, there are now several techniques that surgeons use to create a more feminine face. For the most part, they focus on reshaping and contouring the face in such a way that it changes the way light reflects on the upper cheeks and lips. Surgeons will usually raise the eyebrows, plump the cheeks, reduce the chin, and reduce the size of the Adam’s apple to provide a more feminine appearance. In some cases, surgeons will also reduce the size of the nose to help light reach the upper lip area, which is crucial for femininity.

Less-Invasive Procedures

Those who are interested in feminization can try on a new look without painful invasive surgery, too. In fact, facial fillers delivered via injection can offer something of a preview for those who are still considering a full feminization surgery. There are several fillers approved for filling in the cheek area via injection, and many of these same fillers can also plump up the lips and provide the illusion of a shortened upper lip area. Although the results are mild at best when compared to those that surgeons can obtain through actual surgery, and the results are far from permanent, they do provide some insight to patients on how they will look following their surgeries.

By taking the time to understand the features that make a face look feminine, it is easier to understand how plastic surgeons can create more feminine features on the operating table. Although it takes skill, precision, and experience, it is possible to sculpt femininity from masculinity. 


Note: Vartan is my doctor, business associate, and friend.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pink Pinkies

Saturday with Jenna - J Crew advertisement April 2011

A J.Crew Ad Showing Boy With Pink Nail Polish Sparks Debate on Gender Identity - This was a headline for April 11, 2011 – FOX News.   The article went on:

This J.Crew ad that shows a top designer painting her young son’s toenails neon pink has some parents and doctors seeing red.  The image appeared in a feature called “Saturday with Jenna”  which was emailed to customers last week and highlights a few of J.Crew president and creative director Jenna Lyons’ favorite products -- including the hot pink Essie nail polish seen on her son, Beckett.

The caption below the picture reads, “Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”

But not everyone sees fun in the ad.  “This is a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity,” psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow wrote in a FoxNews.com Health column about the ad.

But Jo B. Paoletti, author of “Pink and Blue: Telling the Girls From the Boys in America” told FoxNews.com she believes critics are overreacting. 

“Lots of kids, say 7 and under, might ask their parents for something that would seem to be cross gender, and I think most parents, especially in the privacy of their own home might think, what’s the big deal?" Paoletti said.

“What line would that be? Not forcing your child to like a color just because gender stereotypes say they should?” one commenter wrote.


I had this saved from several years ago.  It fits with the two transgender children's books I featured a few months back.  I found the discussion and photo fascinating.  I hope you do to?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Dear Abby

As a follow-up to yesterday's "Family Restrooms" I received the above.  The amazing part, it is from May 1970. Simplistic thinking is better. 

I don't have a name but thank you so much for sharing. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Family Restrooms

Family restrooms are lifesavers. They are becoming more prominent especially in larger airports.  I snapped this photo last week in the Detroit Airport.  I am traveling more in not exactly girl mode, not exactly guy mode; Thus I have been getting strange stares in the men’s room.  But the women’s room might be even more problematic.

I carry a large Talbots beach bag as my carry-on that fits under the seat.  This is certainly not male but serves to hold my, very female, drawstring purse, electronics (tablet, phone, and headphones), jewelry, identification documents and wallet.  These are all items I am not comfortable checking.  I think the bag is the tipping point.  In Atlanta airport a few week ago, in very male mode
(long travel day) but with my beach bag, a man stopped dead in his tracks going into the restroom thinking he was in the wrong place. I got a hard look.  Out of his sight, I did get a good laugh at his over-reaction.

It was then that I started looking to Family Restrooms.  I do hesitate taking us space a handicapped or mother may need to change her baby, but I do not stay long.  With all the hysterics about restroom, I feel this is my best option when traveling.  In complete girl mode, out to restaurants, stores,hotels and meetings, I do not hesitate to the use the appropriate restroom.  

This madness needs to get worked out – All I want to do is pee. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday Funnies 11/15


The funnies were my favorite section of the Sunday paper when I was growing up. I will make an effort to make this a regular Sunday feature. Enjoy!

Friday, November 13, 2015

NY Times

I saw that the NY Times, on-line edition opinion section, was collecting transgender stories.  The many stories and photos that had been collected were outstanding.  There should be no question that we have come a long way when the NY Times is willing to publish our stories about who we are, our accomplishments and recognize us as prominent  contributors to society.  Thank you, New York Times.

Friends Friday - The 13th

Dinner in Portland Oregon this past Wednesday. 

  I would like to dedicate Fridays to my friends - your post and photos. 
It is not that I have run out of things to write about, but I want to make this "our place". Please feel free to contribute or comment on something I said - did not say.  if you e-mail me your post I will queue then up and post on Fridays.  Tell me about your trips. 

Rant about something I said.  This week did I hit a nerve?  Let's hope. Something you want said or just tell us about a fun experience.  Photos please.  (The “G” and “PG” versions).  


Rhonda  - RhondaWilliams at Bellsouth.net

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Nike Approach

I stopped wearing a wig about 6 years ago. Up until then, hair was just part of the getting dresses process.  Also removing the hair was the point that broke the image – the tipping point between male and female.  This was about the time that I started volunteering as Rhonda and full time work came shortly thereafter.  Wearing the wig every day and in the almost year round heat of Florida, drove me to rethink my options.  

Up to that point, I had never given much thought to my hair.  It started graying at 20, and it had consistently stayed thick.  I just expected it to thin or fall out like most of my male friends, but it never did either. Blessed with good genes I guess.  During a regular haircut my hairdresser noticed that the wig was starting to do, not so nice things to my real hair.  Her suggestion “let’s see what we can do". 

After much study on Google image, and looking at magazines we found a style I could work both ways.  Since starting the process, whatever dark I had left, naturally disappeared. I am about 100% white today and utilize special shampoos and rinse to enhance the white.  

What a difference.  As Rhonda, women come up to me in the mall to talk about hair.  Do you know you look like _______? (fill in the blank) I have been hit on and chatted up more since my bold move than I ever was before.  I told my hairdresser this and we wondered why?  This is some of the reasons we came up with:

I stand out;

I am bold;

I exude confidence;

I am being (more) honest;

I look like fun and laugh a lot;

Sometimes it is disconcerting to catch men and women staring at me! 

And because I can no longer go out to just blend in, I make more of an effort to look my best and smile.  

I use my smile to say, I have nothing to hide!  Well almost nothing. I am completely convinced that it is 75% attitude 25% look.  Give it a try.

 Nike said it best!


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Critical Mass

Phil Donahue Show 

“Critical Mass” Is the minimum amount of fissile material needed to maintain a nuclear chain reaction.  This is not a physics lesson but the dynamics described below are similar.  Critical mass controlled, generates heat – uncontrolled, an explosion of massive magnitude.

Critical mass of sorts occurs when our unsuspecting spouses finds out about our gender non-conformity.  If you are among the few who told all and owned up to our activities before a committed relationships occurred or marriage, then as they say “god bless”.  You did the right thing.  In hindsight, I should have. It cost me the many years of trust I had built.  

We are very good at hiding and withholding.  I learned very young that when I took out my mother’s dress to play, I had to remember where it was hung, how it was hung and which buttons were open and which were closed.  Details so I would not be caught.  As the outfits became more elaborate so did the amount of details to remember.  To my knowledge I was not caught nor ever questioned on my activities. 

We carry that level of hiding forward into our adult lives by keeping our female wardrobe at storage facilities or locked in the attic/basement.  We are good at hiding but know that being caught is likely and over time, inevitable.  I kept it hidden for almost 20 years. Did I inadvertently leave hints and make mistakes?  Yes, we all do.  

I had been out of town and just by chance watched a
Phil Donahue show that had a discussion on crossdressing.   They were all well put together girls and several wives.  One of which was JoAnn Roberts who was an excellent champion for us.  I watched and wished that my wife could be as understanding as the spouses on stage. 

I returned home that very day.  After dinner and kids all in bed, my spouse and sat on the sofa to just get caught up on the week/days.  One of the things that came up was she also had seen the Phil Donahew show.  “Oh boy here it comes” – I listen quietly.  She told me about heterosexual men that dressed up.  How good they looked and how their wives accepted them.  Some were professionals and lead otherwise normal lives.  She also told me that in the group, there was one and his wife did not know.  He kept it hidden.

Here was the best opportunity ever to come clean – tell all.  I took a deep breath and started.  “You know many spouses know everything, but many times choose to ignore the obvious.”  Another deep breath – slight pause to let that sink in.  Before I could start back, she quickly changes the subject.  The moment had escaped me.  I did not have the courage to start again. 

Several years later critical mass occurred and there was no denying the obvious.  I had missed a detail and was caught.  I was relieved – she was not.  I expected her to understand something, in one hour, that I had spent some 40+ years trying to understand.  This critical mass was not of the controlled type. 

My relationship did not come to an end that evening but it was damaged.  Note to younger self:  You will eventually be caught. Do have the courage to tell, before being caught. 

For me this was hard to write - How did your critical mass occur? What outcome?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Much has been written last week's on the "Houston - We have a problem" issue.  This comment you may not have seen.  Worth the read.  Let's do what we can to make this happen.  

Pelosi: Despite Houston vote, transgender rights 'inevitable'

 From:The Hill Blog  November 05, 2015

Houston's rejection Tuesday of a broad anti-discrimination measure is "disappointing" but won't undermine the "inevitable" expansion of gay and transgender rights, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday.

"It's disappointing. But we just have to think of it as a bump in the road," Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol.

"It's inevitable it will happen. Maybe inconceivable to some; it's inevitable to us," she added.  "We have to shorten the distance, as I always say, between the inevitable and the inconceivable. And we will prevail, but it was disappointing."

Dubbed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, or HERO, the ordinance would have explicitly prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity — protections adopted by a few hundred cities around the country.

Houston's city council approved the new protections last year, but opponents were able to put the question before voters in the form of Tuesday's referendum. It was rejected by a lopsided tally of 61 percent to 39 percent.

Proponents of the measure — including Houston Mayor Annise Parker, a lesbian — said the change is needed to ensure basic human rights in the absence of a federal statute protecting gays and transgender people.

Critics hammered the ordinance as threat to women, saying the change would empower cross-dressing men to attack women in public restrooms.

“It was about protecting our grandmoms, and our mothers, and our wives, and our sisters, and our daughters and our granddaughters,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), a leading critic, said after Tuesday's vote.  Pelosi, a decades-long champion of gay and transgender rights, said she was in Texas in the days leading up to the vote to speak at a Points of Light conference at the invitation of the Bush family. ("It was glorious," she said.)

Pelosi didn't have the same praise for the ads surrounding the anti-discrimination measure.  “Seeing the ads on TV ... was heartbreaking," she said. "It was really heartbreaking because some significant money came in [and] really mischaracterized what the initiative did. And I think the size of the defeat — not only that it lost ... but the size of the defeat was stunning."

Still, Pelosi said the Democrats will continue their fight against discrimination on all fronts. She highlighted the hate crimes bill passed when the Democrats controlled the lower chamber, noting its inclusiveness. 

"At the time ... they told me, 'If you take transgender out, you can pass this bill in a minute.' And I said, 'If we take transgender out, we're not passing it in a hundred million years, because we're not doing that,' " Pelosi said.

She also praised President Obama for repealing the Pentagon's long-standing "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. And she noted that the Supreme Court had provided advocates with an enormous victory this year by legalizing gay marriage.

"So we're making great progress, and the momentum is on the side of ending discrimination," Pelosi said. "This [Houston vote] we consider an episode and not a trend."

Monday, November 9, 2015

Chief Operating Office (COO)

How I became Chief Operating Office (COO)

During my employment at an international science institute one of my responsibilities was to coordinate guest speakers coming to the US for fund raising presentations.  Along with its beautiful beaches, Palm Beach does have a very active scientific community and biotech presence.  To facilitate meeting I became a member of the Palm Beach Business Guild.  Along with monthly business presentations, we have an active venture capital forum - “shark tank or angel forum” type presentations.

It was there I met a brilliant inventor/architect that had a design to generate 250-500 mega-watt of electric power utilizing stacked horizontal wind turbines along a vertical rotational axis. Yes Mega-Watt.  These could be built in an urban environment and are as unobtrusive as any typical 20 story office building.  No noise, no pollution and power generated without the distribution losses.  A housing project, business park, warehouse distribution center, Olympic Village, or remote village could have its own source of power - off-grid or no grid needed.

We also devised a unique way of still meeting load demand even when there is no wind or too much wind.  The bottom line revenue potential on one (1) 500 Megawatt power plant, selling to the grid at wholesale KWH rates is in the area of $15,000 per hour.  The source of the energy is free – wind.    

My brilliant inventor needed a business plan, business support, and a right hand “gal” to help with the startup.  Most needed was start-up funding.  I had some experience in all of the above, so volunteered to help, thus the self appointed title "Chief Operating Office" (COO). 

Most interesting to this blog was “The Presentation”.  Once a year the Business Guild has a technology summit at the Palm Beach Breakers Hotel.  With about 200 in attendance, Rhonda presented our business concept and engineering marvel.  My theme was "Back to the Future" as in power generation the way Thomas Edison envisioned it over 100 year ago.  Localized generation - Localized utilization.  It went well with many follow-up meeting and one-on-one presentations.

So today, where do we stand? This is still a volunteer job for Rhonda.  We are currently seeking first round funding to build a working prototype and move forward.  Patents have been secured (applied and granted).  I have a meeting about every two weeks and still feel the upside potential is huge.  I will keep you posted with photos.  If you would like more information just use the contact section on the blog.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sunday Fummies 11/15

Sunday Funnies 11/8


The funnies were my favorite section of the Sunday paper when I was growing up. I will make an effort to make this a regular Sunday feature. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Real World or Halloween

I have mixed feeling about going out “dressed” on Halloween. As a kid, I remember my Davey Crockett outfit - coonskin hat included and old sheets with holes cut for eyes. The rest unmemorable.  Did I want to be a princess, a ballerina – sure, but fear of being caught either looking too good or enjoying it too much prevented me from even asking for that costume.  “I must keep my secret – I know it will go away”. 

Halloween is the patron holiday of drag.  I use drag in this context, because everyone knows you are a guy wearing a dress;  performance. A cross-gendered costume is about looking like a parody of someone of the other gender and is the opposite of trying to pass.  “What an attention-grabbing witch costume – OMG – you are a guy, how bold you are”.  

So, when a woman gets dress every day to go to work in her power suit and another wears a beautiful sundress to have lunch with her girlfriends is she putting on a costume?  I say no because both are expressing their personality, her style and choices.  In the same context, we as transgender individuals, express our real self, personality, style and personal choices.  We are not putting on a costume. 

There are many times when an outfit/style does express a real self.  Just like the cowboy who wears his hat, jeans and boots to the airport, he is saying to the world, "These clothes reflect who I am, a culture that I belong to, a philosophy that I adhere too, and a vocation that I perform." 

Therefore, when I go to my closet to choose what I will be wearing to a dinner with girlfriends tonight, I am not choosing a costume.  I am expressing my sense of style.  Some will call it true self.  I want to look nice, feminine and well put together.  Some may recognize that I may not be 100% what I represent, but will still see a person - Not a parody. 

Delia Melody over at Huffpost described Halloween this way: 

It's easy to say it's "just a costume," and at the end of the night, take it off.  But we can't take off our transness.

All of us have taken advantage of Halloween to prefect our look, get help with makeup, and extend our world past the closet.  But, do not let Halloween be your only excursion into the real world and there is no need to wait for another year to get out again and be yourself.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Traveling to the North West

I have a business trip coming up next week to Oregon.  I know it is going to be cool for a Florida girl so have been trying to put together somethings that will work.

The stripe top I purchase at Talbots in Ohio last week on sale. (Stripe Zip-Sleeve Tee, Envelope Neck) Jeans are my every day Lee Curvy Fit, and the shoes were purchase this week at OnlineShoes.com.  (Pikolinos Connelly Bootie) The booties I really love and can't wait to wear.  Maybe on the airplane?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Follow-Up - A Lost Art

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s Ambassador discussion (rant), but looking from the opposite prospective.  There are times when something happens above expectations.  Typically restaurant service is: take the order, throw the plate on the table, maybe a refill, and tell you how much to tip.  I wish poor service was the exception, but as I travel there is universally less customer appreciation; the airlines being the biggest offender.  

Last year I had a week long business engagement in Salt Lake City and another the following week in Los Angeles.  Flying back to Florida, and then back out west, expense and time wise, made no sense.  For the weekend I flew into LAX, rented a car and then drove up to Santa Barbara, and the Southern California wine country, Solvang. Think the movie "SideWays".  I had a wonderful time being totally Rhonda the whole time.  What I did not anticipate was a long, heavy traffic drive back to LA Sunday afternoon.  I finally arrive at my LA Hotel and had an above average greeting and check-in.  The hotel was the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Los Angeles – Commerce.  The total experience just got better, from room quality, staff hospitality, and restaurant meals. 

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Los Angeles – Commerce.
Upon my return home, I did something that has become a lost art.  I wrote a thank-you to the hotel manager.  As ambassadors for the transgender community, we need to let managers know that their staff treated us well and with respect.  Maybe the staff had sensitivity training or someone transgender works/transition there or maybe there is just a great manager.  Let them know the effort, kindness and training worked.  Many times especially, in the hospitality business, complaints are many and praise is limited.  Take opportunities to leave lasting “GOOD” impressions. 

My note and the response back:

Tell me about your positive experiences and what you did. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


The second definition for Ambassador applies to us: “A person who acts as a representative or promoter of a specified activity”.  Every time we step out, like it or not, we represent the transgender community and by extension the LGBT community.  There are those that like nothing better than to portray a trans women as male predators; Thus the absurd “bathroom bills” of the last state legislative sessions.  

Let's understand that gay marriage occurred because the general population move past negative thinking.  Celebrities like Ellen Degeneres, Lauren Cox, TV shows like Modern Family, Will and Grace, all contributed to positive images.  Every day people like Stana over at the Femulate blog describe going to work as female, shopping and interacting - all positive experiences.  Culture changed can occur.  

We have come a long way as we go into the post Caitlyn Jenner era.  However, as fences come down we need to do our part to make sure that we do not reinforce prejudices.  I was attending a transgender convention early this year and decided not to attend one of the event dinners, opting for a quiet meal in the hotel restaurant.  Also in the restaurant that evening, was a large table of other event attenders that had decided the same.  Luckily, the restaurant was not over crowded because that table, all very well dressed as females, proceeded to act out in what can only be described as the poorest of male behavior.  A loud football argument occurred between several.  One decided to take out her newly acquired breast forms and pass them around for comments.  Loud conversations punctuated with much drinking. 

I watched as several non-event diners, quickly ate and left.  It was not long before the restaurant had emptied out. From that point, they only embarrassed themselves.  

I hesitate to bring this up and there are times when we do not want to represent any cause.  We want to be ourselves, have fun and kick-up-our-heels.  There are times and places to do that. But remember when in public we are ambassadors – like it or not.  

Monday, November 2, 2015

Everyday is Halloween

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 "(everyday Is) Halloween" is track #3 on the album Twelve Inch Singles (1981-1984). It was written by Al Jourgensen.

 (everyday Is) Halloween Lyrics:

Well I live with snakes and lizards
and other things that go bump in the night
'Cuz to me everyday is Halloween
I have given up hiding and started to fight
I have started to fight
Well any time, any place, anywhere that I go
all the people seem to stop and stare
they say 'Why are you dressed like it's Halloween?
you look so absurd, you look so obscene'
Oh, why can't I live a life for me?
why should I take the abuse that's served?
why can't they see they're just like me
it's the same, it's the same in the whole wide world
well I let their teeny minds think
that they're dealing with someone who is over the brink
and I dress this way just to keep them at bay
'Cuz Halloween is everyday
it's everyday
Oh, why can't I live a life for me?
why should I take the abuse that's served?
why can't they see they're just like me
it's the same, it's the same in the whole wide world
Oh, why can't I live a life for me?
why should I take the abuse that's served?
why can't they see they're just like me
i'm not the one that's so absurd
why hide it?
why fight it?
hurt feelings
best to stop feeling hurt
from denials, reprisals
it's the same it's the same in the whole wide world

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sunday Funnies - 11/1

 I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween.


The funnies were my favorite section of the Sunday paper when I was growing up. I will make an effort to make this a regular Sunday feature.