Monthly Archives: April 2012

A2Z – Yon Zealots

blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - Yon Zealots

 

Okay, it’s obvious I’m reaching pretty far this time.  But it’s April 30th, the last day of the A to Z challenge, and I had to find a way to pull together a title with both a Y and a Z.  I thought about Yonder Zenith – but really, that’s just as far a reach.  😉

In any movement of importance, there are always zealots, and they never bring a level head or a spirit of cooperation with them.  So while our ideals may speak to equality and acceptance, we do need to keep an eye out and guard our hearts and minds against those who take these notions and force them upon people.  Because, in doing so, we’ve turned against equality and acceptance.

Do I advocate accepting a society that treats you as “less than”?  Definitely not.  But we do need to accept those who would try to force you into their mold of what a man or woman should be.  We don’t need to accept their condemnation or bow to their will, but in accepting them for what they are, we can move past them knowing that we don’t need them or their acceptance.  It can be a confusing idea.  But but ultimately, when we accept others for what they are, even if we don’t necessarily agree with them, we free ourselves of the constraints they’d harness us with.

So, my last message for you during this month of discovery on the topic of sexual and gender identity?  It goes back to the letter A, with the word acceptance.  Just as we can free ourselves of the restraints others would place on us by simply accepting them as they are (and thus not giving them power they don’t deserve), we can claim our own power by accepting ourselves as we are.

Accept yourself, and find the freedom and love you so rightly deserve!

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A2Z – X

blogging our way from a to z on sexual and gender identity - x

I’ll be honest.  I’m really not feeling up to blogging tonight, and I wasn’t last night either.  I didn’t blog last night, and now I’m one letter behind, so I figure I better do so tonight.

Yesterday was the AGM for the Green Party of Saskatchewan.  It was one I went into, and came out of, with mixed emotions.  It’s an odd thing to serve a group of people for so long and then to suddenly know that time is over.  I was president for four years, and while it is definitely time for me to take a year off from the board, it really does feel incredibly strange.  After I’ve had some time to process, I’ll come back to this topic another day.

Today the kid and I had appointments to see Curt, our dentist.  She had a check-up, I had a filling – my first since my baby teeth.  And now that the pain killers have worn off, my face and tooth hurt.  It’ll pass though.  It was a weird thing having to choose between two different types of filling, each with the potential to leak different harmful substances.  Not a pleasant thought.

After all that, we arrive at X.  I’ve had a few thoughts on words I could discuss.  Mikayla suggested xenophobia, which isn’t a bad one.  But while it can have a more broad meaning, it generally pertains to race relations…  and that’s not something I really feel like tackling.  Her idea brought me to xenodochy though, which is much more positive.  It’s about being hospitable and welcoming to strangers and those you don’t know.  And that would make a nice, happy, positive blog post…  but I don’t know.

Now I’m stuck on words that started with xeno.  Conjuring up xenoestrogen (environmental estrogens), xenogenesis (in relation to parents producing offspring with vastly differing traits than their own), xenopus (a type of aquatic frog), xenobiotic (a chemical found in an organic body where it doesn’t belong), xenophile (someone who is attracted to foreign people)…

Xeno…  It doesn’t help that I like the sound.  Heck, even my bird was named with the sound in mind.  Her name is Zenora.

So there you go.  On a day when I don’t feel like blogging, when I’m stuck with a letter that doesn’t lend itself well to anything besides pirates and chromosomes, that’s what you get.  A post with a few “xeno” words that are stuck in my head.

Night all!  Hopefully I’ll conjure up something a lot more impressive for tomorrow.  😉

A2Z – Wishing

blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - wishing

 

One thing I know with assurance is that wishing doesn’t change things.  But, those same wishes can inspire us to take action that does.  Change happens slowly, gradually, with these sudden AHA moments of hope that cause things to leap forward.  It’s not easy, it’s hard work, but it’s so worth doing.

I’ve said it many times before, but here it is again – just for clarity.  I know I’m not the one who will change the world, but maybe I’ll inspire those who will.  I know things can be better, heck, all I have to do is look at how far society has come just in the last twenty years.

The things members of the acronym community had to face when I was young, seem unspeakable and foreign to the youth of today.  The physical punishment and torment, while so fresh in my memory, is a lifetime away for those who are currently discovering their sexual identities.  Bullying is still alive and real – but it’s a very different type of attack.  And I have hope that it too will fade into a distant memory.

My wish is one for my daughter.  And it’s a wish that I hope will spur the action needed to see it come true.  I wish that by the time she is old enough to be discovering her sexual identity that it will no longer matter how she identifies.  She will be accepted as she is, for who she is, without question.  It’s a big wish.  But I know it can happen…  after all, look how far we’ve come in the last decade, given one more, just imagine where we could be!

 

 

A2Z – Victims

blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - victims

I had intended to write about something slightly different tonight…  but instead I’m delving off track a little.  I’m just feeling too hurt to write about anything else.  So, it is what it is.

A few months ago I wrote about how our bikes had all been stolen.  And how it broke my heart that someone would do something like that.  I could go into details now, but instead I’ll just refer you back to that first blog post:  https://td365.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/some-people-do-rotten-things/

Well, today is my mom’s 52nd birthday, and we spent the evening at my parent’s place helping to celebrate her special day.  We arrived home to discover that someone has now stolen our bike trailer (which also contained all of our helmets).

Seriously.  Because it wasn’t enough that someone already stole all of our bikes – which insurance won’t completely cover (it will only cover a portion of Damon’s and about half of mine).  So now someone felt the need to take the bike trailer that I use to pull my daughter.

We’ve lived in this house for almost nine years…  and these are really the only incidents we’ve ever had.  I suppose I should be grateful for that, but instead it just leaves me feeling like crap.  We love our little house in our lower income neighbourhood.  We feel at home here.  I know these thefts likely weren’t personal, but they sure feel that way.  We can’t afford to replace these things.  And it just breaks my heart that someone would take them from us.  Stealing something I share with my daughter…  It’s just wrong.  She’s now scared that someone is going to steal her new swingset (that we bought her for her fourth birthday).  😦  So not cool.

So yeah…  I’m bitching and moaning…  but our bikes really were how we got around 3/4 of the year, and we AREN’T going to be able to afford to replace them with anything even close to what we had, and now the trailer and helmets are gone too???  So not cool, and that’s another few hundred dollars that we don’t have available to replace something that held so much value for us.  I really am upset over this.  It’s just not cool.  Not in any way shape or form.  It hurts.

A2Z – Ubiquitous

bloging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - ubiquitous

 

So…  for the last week, whenever I’d think of the letter U, the word ubiquitous would pop into my head.  It’s one of the few cool U words that I actually know and use.  I kept putting it out of mind, but it kept popping back in like some annoying song that Barney the purple dinosaur would sing.  *shudders at the mere thought of Barney*  The kid knows zombies and lycanthropes, but we’ve banned Barney in this house.  Anyway…  The word just kept coming back to me.  And you know what?  I’m going to go with it.

Ubiquitous.  It basically means that something is everywhere, ever present but not omnipresent.  It’s just a fancy way of saying something is everywhere.  In the summer ants are ubiquitous.  Got it?  Or should I pull out and quote my dictionary?  Oh heck…  Okay, here’s the dictionary definition:

screen shot that includes my dictionary app and the definition of ubiquitous

My desktop and the dictionary app, complete with the definition of ubiquitous.

 

So there you have it!  “Present, appearing, or found everywhere”  I don’t know why I fought the word, it really is absolutely perfect.  Whether or not we are noticeable, there are members of the acronym community everywhere.  If there are people to be found, you’ll find members of the pride community.  We aren’t always “flamers”, though it can be delightfully fun to stand apart from the crowd.  Sometimes we blend in with everyone else, completely unnoticed.  Unnoticed but ubiquitous.  😉

Okay, I’m off for the night.  Clearly I’m in a rather goofy mood.  But I figured I’m allowed…  ’cause today?  Today is one of those barf rainbows and crap glitter kinda days.  LMAO  Yep, today you’d see me from a mile away.

President of the Green Party, No More.

Come Saturday afternoon, I’ll no longer be the president of the Green Party of Saskatchewan.  I’ve occupied the role for the last four years, since I was placed into the position by the board as the interim president in the Autumn of 2008, and was then elected and reelected by the party membership.  It may not sound like a long time, but it feels like it.  And come Saturday I’ll be stepping down not just from that particular role, but from the board in general.

I do have to admit, the decision has come with some mixed emotions…  and it really wasn’t much of a decision really.  The party has a requirement that members not serve on the board any longer than three years.  I stayed on longer as there was no-one to fill the role except for myself.  This year though, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to serve with Vicki Strelioff who was elected as my VP.  And after working with her all this past year, and seeing how wonderfully she has handled herself through what proved to be a rather difficult year for the board, I have EVERY confidence in her ability to serve the membership as party chair.

I now have to decide if I do my one last duty, or if I step aside and allow Vicki to chair our AGM.  It would seem an obvious decision.  I attend the AGM, and chair one final meeting.  The only reason it is a choice at all, and not just a given, is I know how difficult I will find it.

There is no glory in being the president of a political party.  You hold all the responsibility, for everything that happens within the party, yet hardly anyone even knows your name.  The leader – the figurehead – gets the all the prestige (and in some instances, without nearly the work).  But if something ever goes wrong, that shifts very quickly.  The president is the scapegoat, the one who’s head hits the chopping block in any scandal.  However, if you’ve done your job well?  Life continues on normally, no-one even realizing you are there – navigating the rough water, keeping an even keel.  Ensuring your ship and her crew are safe and at ease.  …it’s not a perfect metaphor, but it works.  😉

The GPS has been such a huge part of my daily life for the last half decade…  There is some relief at no longer having to shoulder the burden, but there is also a very large sense of loss.  I know myself, and know how prone to tears I can be.  I’m not sure I’d make it through that final meeting without coming apart – and that’s hardly befitting the chair of the board.  I don’t know.  I very honestly am not sure what I want to do.

At first it didn’t even enter into my mind that attending was a choice.  It’s part of the job description.  I call and chair all the meetings…  but the closer this meeting gets, the more I’m finding I’m dreading it.  I feel kind of silly over the whole thing, but part of me knows I’ll have to say good bye, and if I avoid the meeting, I can avoid doing so.

I guess we’ll see.  I don’t have long now, and one way or another I need to make the choice.  It really is the end of an era for me, and to be honest I’m torn over how I feel.  Relief and sadness…  they make for odd bedfellows.

I love Sundays!

So, because I’m a little ahead in the alphabet blog challenge, I figure I’m taking today to just blog the way I LOVE to blog…  about whatever strikes me as worth sharing.  🙂  And today?  Today, that’s how much I love Sundays.

Sundays are our family day.  It’s often just the three of us, but sometimes we head out with one of my siblings, and this particular Sunday we met up with my Sister-in-law and her daughter – our only niece.  We hit a big children’s consignment sale (where, because it was the last day, a lot of stuff was on for 50% off).  We totally scored, getting five paperback chapter books for a total of $1.50!  And a few cool new outfits for the kid, as well as a pair of adorable orange PJs.  They also had baked goods for sale, so we bought cake pops for all five of us.  😀  Super yummy treat!  Red velvet dipped in white chocolate.  MMMmmmmm….

Next we hit DQ to pick up some Strawberry Lemonade Chillers – one of my favourite drinks.  Frozen lemonade with great big strawberry hunks mixed in?  Sooo tasty!

Then it was off to the Forestry Farm Park and Zoo (but we hit the zoo, then the park).  LOL  Last month we were there almost every weekend, this month we didn’t make it there quite so often…  the lion cubs grow at such a fast rate, it’s been crazy watching them these last months.  I remember when they first brought their parents to the zoo – their daddy was too young to have a mane, and oh what a glorious one he has now.  😉  We got to watch them grow too (but not from quite so young).

The girl was thrilled that the chickens and roosters are now out and about on the grounds.  Of all the wild and amazing animals she can connect with up close and personal at the zoo, one of her favourites to interact with is always the poultry.  Though I can’t say I blame her.  I love them too.  If the city would allow it, we’d have a few hens ourselves – but alas, we aren’t as progressive here in Saskatoon as they are places like Toronto.

I took a short video of the girl checking out the “bock bocks”, along with her cousin (who was far less interested):

After the zoo we hit the playground for a half hour or so.  We then said bu bye to Tabs and Eliana before running to the co-op for some bbq worthy fare…  which Damon grilled up while the girl tore around the yard.

We were thrilled to find Damon had uploaded a copy of the royal wedding to our hard drive, so the girl and I watched it twice in a row before bed.  Oh!  You didn’t know there was a royal wedding recently?  Well jeepers, where have you been dahling?  It was the wedding of the century – Princess Cadence and Shining Armor!  And yes, it was on My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic.  It was a two parter that aired partly on my birthday.  We don’t watch TV on TV, we wait until we can stream it, download it, borrow it, or buy it…  so I’m thrilled we didn’t have to wait too terribly long for this one.  LOL  The girl and I love a pony-fix.  😉

As the second viewing came to an end, it was time for PJs and chapters.  And now my baby is fast asleep beside me.  The perfect way to end a lovely family day.  I really am a lucky mommy.  🙂

the wee girlie, fast asleep

sound asleep

 

And now, as we stand on the precipice of the most interesting leg of the A to Z April Blog Challenge, I have one thing to say:  HELP!

LOL  So yeah…  I could definitely use some title suggestions for U V W X Y Z.  I’ve got a couple ideas, but they’re looking… well…  more creative than I’d like.  If you’ve got something that might work, please let me know.  From here on out I can use all the suggestions I can get.  😉

Night everyone!  Hope your Sundays were as lovely as mine was.

A2Z – Tobi-Dawne is Turning Thirtyfive

Blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - Tobi-Dawne is Turning Thirtyfive

 

Today I celebrated my birthday, and like the title states, I’m now 35.  I got some lovely gifts (beautiful bedding from my parents, a very cool infusion mug and a bunch of loose leaf herbal fruit teas from my Auntie Risa, a lovely card and $25 to spoil myself with from my Grampa and Grandma Joan, and a stylin’ size Pinkie Pie from my baby girl and my man), but more important was the time spent with those I love.  My mom and dad bbq’d steaks – nice and dark the way I like ‘um – made salad, and baked potatoes…  and the girlie and my dad even baked me a birthday cake.  All in all it was a wonderful afternoon and evening.  🙂

And now for my gift to all of you!

To celebrate my birthday, I’ve arranged for discount codes from a few different artisans on Etsy.  YAY!

Earlier this week a couple of packages arrived from two different vendors – each containing beautiful, hand-made, pride flower pins.  The first to arrive was a pin from Dorothy.  It’s a beautiful canvas pin that I am currently wearing on my purse while I test drive it for durability.  And while I was concerned that it might be a little delicate to handle it, it survived being mauled by my daughter’s pre-k classmates as they all wanted to touch it’s petals and tell me which was their favourite colour.

pride flower by dorothydesigns on etsy

The flower, by dorothydesigns, on my purse.

I absolutely love this piece.  I know the white in the center won’t stand up to the rugged wear I tend to dish out, but it is beautiful and well-made, just the same.  Dorothy is offering all of you a coupon code worth 10% off anything in her etsy store.  The code is TD2012 and it expires May 15th.  You can find her lovely work at http://www.etsy.com/shop/dorothydesigns.  And if you’re looking for this pin?  You’ll find it listed as the Kanzashi Pride Boutonniere…  which is basically “Fancy Nancy” for fabric flower pin.  😉

The second package to arrive came with an extra surprise.  Peggie sent me TWO pins!  One of which is her take on a Kanzashi pin – which will make it’s debut in her etsy shop in the next few days:

Peggie's felt flower design

The first flower by PegPlush.

Peggie’s Kanzashi pride flower is a lot more heavy-duty and I know it could stand up to the rigors of daily wear on a backpack or diaper bag quite easily.  It’s made out of felt, and can take some serious damage while still looking great!  I love hand-made items, but it’s rare to find a piece that can take some punishment and come away looking just fine – and this one definitely can.  It’s awesome!  I’d have no problem popping this one on the kid’s bag and would trust it to last.  Heck, it survived some mauling itself – and even got doused in water… and came through looking like I’d just taken it out of the package!

The second flower by PegPlush.

The second flower Peggie sent me ended up being a little bigger than I first thought it would be – but that only makes it all the more fun and bold!  I love all the beading and hand-stitched accents too.  And while it’s also a pin?  I found myself clipping this one in my hair.  With my super short locks it made quite the statement.  😉

Peggie is also generously offering you all a 20% discount on anything in her store (which includes some awesome, kitchy, felt panty designs too).  Just use the code PEGPRIDE.  You can find her at http://www.etsy.com/shop/PegPlush.

The last coupon code comes from Trish (who is also celebrating her birthday today).  Now, I haven’t had a chance to handle her work myself, but based on her photographs I definitely like what I’ve seen.  She’s a stained glass artist!  Check out her work at http://www.etsy.com/shop/GlassMonkeyArts and enter the code TDBLOG15 to receive %15 off.

So…  I’m 35.  Everyone kinda made a fuss over the fact that I’m “old”…  but I laughed and told them that 35 is the new 25, just like 50 is the new 40.  Aging doesn’t scare me or bother me.  It’s just proof that I’ve done my fair share of living, and I’m looking forward to continuing doing just that.  😉

A2Z – Removing Stigma while Reintegrating Socially

Blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - Removing Stigma while Reintegrating Socially

So yeah…  it’s Friday, and here I am… blogging.  I know, I know.  I don’t blog on Fridays.  But I’m breaking my rule tonight with a double letter post.  That’s right, here we are with R and S…  and all so that T will fall on the 21st.  LMAO  Not sure why that’s important?  Well, just make sure you come back tomorrow.  😉  Now, onto Removing Stigma while Reintegrating Socially!

I’ll admit, I’ve never had to come out to my family and friends as being a different sex or gender than I was assigned with at birth.  For that?  I feel very blessed.  I can only imagine how difficult it would be, and how brave you would have to be.  Coming out to yourself, and finding who you are when it doesn’t match who you’ve been told you are takes courage, but then going even further and coming out to everyone who knew the OLD you?  That takes big freakin’ brass balls.  And I have SOOO much respect and admiration for all of my Trans brothers and sisters.  It’s hard enough to live authentically in our world, but to live authentically when you face that type of obstacle?  It takes someone who is amazing: amazing, incredible, and fierce!

After all that?  Well, the good news?  Stigma just falls away when you get to that point.  When you are ready to take your life back and live for YOURSELF?  Your TRUE self?  Then anyone who matters will be so in awe of everything you went through to get there that the only thing there will be LOADS of freakin’ respect.

No, that doesn’t mean it will be all roses.  There are going to be asses in your life that will make things hard, and they may even make you question everything you’ve lived through up until that point…  but cling to the fact that you are amazing, and that you DESERVE to be yourself.  You have a right to live the truth, to be who you are, and to do so surrounded by people who get just how long of a journey authenticity can be.  So forget the h8rs, you don’t need them, and be gentle with those who are trying (but may occasionally misuse a pronoun or old name) they’re worth the reminders.  It won’t be easy, but once you get there it is SOOO worth it.

Nothing but love!

And know you aren’t alone.  If you are in Saskatchewan, check out TransSask at http://www.transsask.org/ and if not, check out some of the resources listed in my A2Z Community post.  Building a community of people who love and support you is one of the best things you can do for yourself!

A2Z – Queens and the Glorious Art Form that is Drag

Blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - Queens and the Art of Drag

 

There is perhaps, no art form as secretly admired and misunderstood as the art that is drag.  And a glorious art form it is.  For those not familiar with the why’s, it is about celebrating all that is Woman.  It’s not about men becoming women, it is about glorifying all those things men (and women) admire in us (and ourselves).  So one might think the art of a drag king is about celebrating men… but nope.  Kings are about supporting Queens – it’s how some might say life SHOULD be.

One of my favourite movies, if for nothing else than the grand spectacle of it all, is Connie and Carla.  And yes, it’s one flick EVERYONE should watch at least once (but preferably at least once a month).  Many of the Queens in the cast are actually Drag Queens, cast in the roles to do as only they know how to do.  I recommend attending as many drag shows as one possibly can…  but if you are too nervous, or live in an area too remote or podunk, then Connie and Carla becomes even more of a necessity.  Don’t stream it, borrow it, or rent it…  BUY IT!

There really is no art I more admire than the art of drag, and here in Saskatoon we really are blessed with some amazing talent.  With the incredible Crystal Clear, Charity Luncheon, and China White here, what more could we possibly ask for?  And they really are only the tip of the iceberg – a beautiful, jaw-dropping, hilarious, absolutely fabulous iceberg.

The history of Drag in Saskatchewan is a long and proud one.  Yes, we may be a stick in the mud, Prairie Province…  sometimes poked fun of with that exact same stick for being all too podunk…  but we have a wonderfully rich drag history.  In fact, it goes all the way back to the 1920’s and the Empire Theatre’s vaudeville revues and continues today with the Imperial Court of the Golden Wheat Sheaf – Saskatchewan’s royal drag court, which is just one small part of the royal court of Canada.

For more on the history of Drag in Saskatchewan you can’t find a better resource than the Neil Richards collection at the U of S…  a small taste of which can be found online at http://scaa.usask.ca/gallery/allfrockedup/en_intro.shtml

I, for one, am thankful for the incredibly hard work of our many dedicated Queens.  They have paved the way for us in so many ways, and continue to do so with grace, confidence, kindness, and laughter.  Thank you!  For all you do!

The beautiful future of drag in our province... and me.

 

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