The B Word

For some strange reason I have been feeling pretty good lately. There isn’t one thing to pin the good vibes on to, but, things have been building up.

Two weeks ago the Pride Leadership program began with a two day retreat at a lodge in Newark, Ohio. Pride Leadership is being run by the United Way of Central Ohio. It’s the only such program in the country which selects applicants from the TLGB community to be educated on what it takes to be in a community leadership role, and/or a position on a not-for-profit Board. Needless to say, but I am the lone Trans person in the program that also includes 16 members of Project Diversity (men and women of (all) colors) making the total at the retreat 32. This is a win-win situation from a personal standpoint. For 8 months I will be trained twice a month in everything from cultural competence and resource development to parliamentary procedures, leading through conflict, racial disparities, and more. Seeing the various aspects of community service can only help make me a better, stronger person for others, and myself. Not to mention meeting 32 new people that have much better jobs than I do with degrees to spare. Good things happen when you meet good people. I am starting to really believe that.

Feeling good about the future can be a wonderful thing, and, that can lead to more potentially wonderful things. Being in TransOhio http://www.transohio.org/ has opened up the opportunity to take part in discussion panels at OSU’s main branch & the Newark campus for Gender & Sexuality courses, PFLAG meetings, and, even a group of 14-16 year old kids at a local college prep school to talk about what it’s like to be trans in today’s world. One point that’s important is to say that I only speak for me, as far as experience, and most trans individuals can, potentially, share an eerily similar story. The groups have all been great. Very receptive. So far it’s 5/5 with positive responses. mmmm, I’m feelin alright.

Not wanting to let a good thing go to waste I went out Saturday night to the http://urnotalone.com/  UR NotAlone T party. It’s a monthly thing. You may have one in your town, or close maybe. So, I put on my favorite jeans, a purple tank, and a sweet red leather jacket I got from a antique store for $12, and some heels. Ok, I’ll say it. I looked good (hah!). My hair, for a change, did exactly what I wanted it to which is always a plus. So, I get to the bar, grab a beer, and turn around right into a very drunk, and very gay man who greets me with an “oh, my god. you’re hot!”. He then went on, and on, to say that I looked like several different girls on tv that he couldn’t remember the names of. He then reached out to tug, allbeit gently, on my hair, and asked me if it was really mine. Ok, I’m now thinking about how annoying this guy truely is, and, the next thing I know I feel him squeezing my right breast (wtf?). My first reaction, thankfully, was to (smack him sober) simply tell him that he needs to ask before doing anything like that, and, that even if he did ask I would, of course, tell him “No. You cannot touch me like that”. His response to hearing this was “oh, I’m sorry. I’m just drunk”. I told him I was walking away, he needed to go home, and then told him goodbye. A not so great start to what would be a great night.

I found my friends Jan, Debi & Tammy, and challenged them to a game of pool. It was me & Tammy v/s Debi & Jan. Surpisingly, Debi & I won 2 in row, but, I then scratched on the 8-ball to end our run. We had a good run while it lasted, though. There always seems to be great conversation during a game of pool at these parties. All night friends were asking me if I had done something different with my hair or make-up, but, I couldn’t think of anything other than my hair being down for a change, and that I had got a little sun a few days before. A few told me they have noticed the changes in me over the last year and how I looked happy, and, full of life compared to a year ago when I first moved to Columbus. It’s so very humbling to hear such kind words from people you consider good friends, but not so much from drunk gay guys.

I was then introduced to a girl from Pa. who was dealing with a family who was telling her how terribly consumed by sin she was, and that she was worthless. An all too familiar story. This girl was gorgeous, and, just sweet as can be. We got to talking about life, and the struggle to feel proud of who you are when everyone around you is saying how sick and twisted you are. I did my best to remind her how she really is a good person, and that you can’t value your own worth by how other people view you. It can be a bottomless pit of guilty emotion that is awfully difficult to climb out of.

As the two of us continued to talk I felt a connection with her that I hadn’t felt in a long, long time. Because the bar was so loud (kareoke night) we were standing very close arm in arm while we spoke into each others ear. As we were yelling sweet things into each others ear (e-zone) I found myself attracted to her. A lot.

The night was winding down, and I was thumbing through the karaoke book just like I usually do after 2 beers. I then found my song, turned in the sheet, and waited my turn. A few songs later my new friend told me she had to get going. I asked her to stay to hear the song I wanted to dedicate to her. We shared another hug as my name was called to the stage. Though I had a bit of a cold I belted out “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera anyway, and made sure to look at the reason I was singing as I was singing. Much to my surprise my performance recieved thunderous drunken applause from the crowd. I acknowledged them with a couple of elegant bows and a girly jump off the stage into the arms of my new friend. She thanked me, and as we hugged again every part of my being was telling me to kiss her. Now, if the whole bar hadn’t been looking at us (least it felt that way) I, perhaps, would have. I am one who puts tremendous value in the power of a really good hug. I mean a really good hug. As we released our embrace my belly felt all weird as she looked into my eyes with her big baby blues and told me I was beautiful. (breathe, Karen)

It’s only 340 miles, or so, from here to Harrisburg, Pa.

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3 Responses

  1. Beautifully written, Karen. As I was reading it, I could feel exactly how good you were feeling. And it looks like you have every good reason to feel that way!

  2. That last part especially, was just breathtaking. Thank you for so eloquently sharing that special moment with us!

  3. I totally agree with the girls, that was a beautiful blog!! And I want to read the next chapter!!

    You said towards the beginning of the blog “Good things happen when you meet good people.” That is so true! I am just finishing a degree at university that I would never have dared to even think about if I hadn’t met good people.

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