Cali: Fairytales and Make Believe

I am wondering. Did Cinderella actually dance in those glass slippers? Or is the glass slipper really a metaphor for the endless possibilities in life if you just believe it in your heart? I have been living this fairytale of sorts for the past 2 years now. But the fairytale is real. I never thought the glass slipper would fit but it does and I am dancing my life into each new day.

As many of my friends know by now. I am moving back to the land of make believe. California. Where we have a govenator instead of a governor. Where we pretend the state’s financial crisis will one day be resolved. Where Boys will be boys and girls. Where  H8 is legalized thought out of state religious contributions. Where us white folks are not the majority. And where the potential for fire and earthquakes so powerful is so great Arizona will one day be waterfront property. Yes my beloved, fake as a silicone boob, tree-hugging wannabe state where the cost of a living is so high fairytales turn tricks too make a living. God I love California. I lived there for the last 10 years after having moved out there sight unseen. I said I would never leave. But I did.

I left California for several personal reasons. And I traveled all of 5 hours east to stay with some wonderful friends, Michael and Lillian, who welcomed me into their home while I took care of business. Well that much needed time of reflection and metamorphosis has come to an end. I did what I had come here to do. Though I though I might stay longer, the freaks and geeks of my land of plenty beckon. Neptune has managed to hurl his overcompensating dinner fork against the brutal Santa Anna winds and struck me in the heart yet again. I am a Pisces and therefore unable to hide form my master’s reach.

I must be near the ocean. I will sacrifice unimaginable amounts of income and broken heels too walk along the Pacific shores at will. I will brave the innumerable great restaurants and state parks to satisfy my soul. But I will not do it without loss. I will leave behind a wonderful group of friends as I did when I left San Diego in September last year. Trish who I have gotten to know so well over mass texting and one night of sushi. Angel who I met online and then several times for dinner and nights out at local lesbian clubs. Both women I will miss. Both are beautiful souls who I hope will stay friends for ever.  And all my other friends here who I should have driven to visit but never seemed to find the time. I hate that about myself. But will always be your friend. Alyssa I never got to jam with you. And Joseph I hope I can one day visit you in Sedona. A beautiful place of enormous, natural healing energy.

I am very grateful for all the love and support I have received here in my temporary home in Arizona. I have a special thanks for Addy Jensen. If you had not invited me to the 4th of July party last year none of this might have ever happened. Whether you realize it or not you opened a huge door in y life that when I walked through set in motion so many things I am to thankful for.

In one week I pack some of what I own and will travel nearly 12 hours north to Sacramento to stay with my sexy wonderful friend Rebecca in Sacramento while I look for a job in San Francisco and the surrounding area. I look forward to spending more time with my Becca. 😉 I look forward to exploring more of NorCal. I will be closer to to some good friends. And I will certainly make more as I settle in my new life in Northern California. I will make it work. And I will be more fabulouser. I love California despite ll the craziness. Maybe that is why I love it. There is an energy there that owns my heart and soul like no other place I have ever been. It feels like home.

So onward Cinderella. Follow your heart and follow your dreams back to the land of make believe and all the crazy wonderful things the come with being a California Girl.

Totally!

Gender Identity in the Gay and Lesbian Community

I am so glad to see a video like this done by a lesbian couple on a mainstream LGBT web site like AfterEllen. I think this is a very important topic even outside of the transgender community. Please watch it and see the comments being posted on the website. My comment is also posted after the video.
Lesbian Love: Gender Identity (Episode 12)
by Trish Bendix
This week, Lacey and Jessica discuss how we as women choose to define ourselves within the LGBT community and to the wider world — and whether it is a desirable thing to do.

Lesbian Love ep 112 Gender Identity from lacey stone on Vimeo.

This is really a great video for a several reasons. As a femme lesbian I find it frustrating and a challenge at times that people automatically assume I a straight. I don’t fit the stereotypes. I like to be a tomboy some days. I like to be very feminine on other days. It just depends on my mood and if I have not done laundry in a week. I am an amazon, tall and strong but gentle when I want to be. I like motorcycles and fast cars. I also love to get all dressed up in heels and a slinky dress and be pampered at the spa.

Stereotypes really do more harm than good in the entire LGBT community. Gender identity is especially difficult because our society has done everything possible to enforce a gender binary. The rules are changing but in general you are either a boy or a girl and there can be no middle ground. I think this not only applies to the transgender community and the struggles they face, but it also greatly affects the gay and lesbian community just as harshly.

Gender and gender identity is very fluid. And sexuality has nothing to do with your gender identity. The stereotypical butch lesbian fitting in all the male roles. They hyper-femme gay man fitting in to more female stereotypes. Throw in the transsexual male or female and you quickly see all these gender and sexual stereotypes vaporize. Yes a more femme woman can be a lesbian. And they do “fit” into society more because you cannot look at her and say oh she is a lesbian. She is not testing the boundaries of typically conservative society and the stereotypes we have all been taught all our lives as she appears to fit a certain gender binary.

The underlying point your video makes on purpose or not is that many of the stereotypical ideas society has tried to enforce about gender, being masculine or feminine are simply not valid. they are not valid in nature so why should humankind be exempt? There is a spectrum of being masculine or feminine that goes way beyond what society has taught us in the past.  Men do like sports and fast cars and drinking beer with their buds. So do women. This dose not make them gay. And Men love fashion and art and pretty things. But this does not make them gay. A transsexual woman may be very femme and pass through society unquestioned. But this does not mean she likes men. The same is true for TransMen. Stereotypes just do not fit in the LGBT community and in the rest of society to many degrees.

We are all beautifully unique and it is OK to be different. It is OK to live outside the box. Yeah that little tiny colorless box that some people try to fit all of humanity into. You know the one where there is only man and woman and they can only love each other and act like a man or a woman and only do the things that a man or a woman “should” do. It’s all so preposterous.

I live outside that box in a life of full color. And I am very happy to do so. Exploring and evolving your gender or even sexual identity is natural. It is a good and healthy thing. As we mature we hold on to bits a pieces of what we learn and like about being male or female or any number of infinite pieces of both. It is what makes us who we are and makes us such amazing creatures.

The Blue Fairy

The greatest powers in the universe cannot hold back tears that need to flow free. Mine had been building for a few weeks. I did not cry long or particularly hard. This time I had my mother their to catch me. So many times I have cried in the last 2 years that I wished mom was there. Today she was because I am home for the first time in many years. Today I cried and All I needed was a catalyst.

The Blue Fairy pried the memories from my mind and the tears soon followed. As I watched the movie AI with mom, I realized I had forgotten about the Blue Fairy. The Blue Fairy was to grant David is sole wish in life; to made into a real boy so that he could return home so his mother would love him always. Towards the end of the movie the key to my tears would soon appear. As David steers the craft too the bottom of the ocean where what seems a blue fair stands silently in the ruins of humanity, he finds her and asks her “Blue Fairy, can you make me a real boy?”

The darkened cell in which a certain memory lay captive, silent and seemingly dormant was released. And David became trapped in a prison forever just out of reach of the Blue Fairy to perpetually pray to her to make him real and to be loved.

I too had my Blue Fairy as a child. Endlessly praying to release me from my own prison and to make me “real” too. For me what seems a lifetime, over 30 years, since then my wish was finally granted. But it was not the Blue Fairy to release me from my struggle to “become real.” David’s wish too was granted in a way after 2000 years. And like me the Blue Fairy was not the one to satisfy his dream.

In the end it is not important how each of our wishes came true. It is only fair to say that they did in our own important way. Not the exact way each of us had hoped and dreamed for so so very long. But in others equally as beautiful.

I am not a robot. I have always been real. Just not as real as I was meant to be, but I am now. I have also known unwavering love from my mother. In the end David did too even as she passed in her sleep as he held her hand. The strange irony of standing in the doorway of my bathroom as the tears came before heading off to bed, my head on my mother’s shoulder, struck me even as I cried and told her briefly of my Blue Fairy.

That Which is Important

Pronunciation: \im-?p?r-t?ntespecially Southern & New England -t?nt, -d?nt\


Function: adjective

Etymology: Middle English importante, from Medieval Latin important-, importans, present participle of importare to signify

Marked by or indicative of significant worth or consequence : valuable in content or relationship

As a child growing up in a series of affluent neighborhoods, I learned only some of things I needed to live a happy and fulfilled life. I developed a sense of self and thought I knew what made me happy. As the years peel away so dose the ever evolving sense of self and what is important in life. Values change. Desires change. People change.
The things that are important change with the fulfillment of the basic needs to survive or lack there of. Money, children, careers, hobbies, friends and family are just some of the more important things which mold or chisel away at the concept of importance. Emotions and your sense sense of self evolve and fluctuate with your environment. Sometimes these fluctuations are a daily or even an hourly dance to a new tune.
You really have to just weed through the fickleness of the frequent fluctuations. After that you are left with the more important things in life that really do make a difference. As my mind has cleared over the past couple months, clarity has become an increasingly welcome part of my life.
Family and friends are at the top of my list of the most important parts of my life. I have an amazingly wonderful relationship with my family. In particular my mother. I will likely never have a daughter of my own and I will certainly never be able to have children of my own even if I wanted any. But this is as much a choice I made years ago as it is fate. The importance of not having a child over these past many years will forever be my secret shared with very few.
Love.
I usually save the biggest topics for last or even dedicate an entire blog to them. But I think I just want to get this one out of the way. I do want to fall in love again. Love is an amazing thing and it is a deeply important part of living a meaningful existence for all humans. Despite what some may say. I have been in love before. Deeply in love. The pain of having that ripped away is devastating but it is not the end of life. I have made my peace for now with lost love. This is the only way we can open our hearts again to loving and being loved.
The Ocean
This may seem and odd thing to say is of top importance. Well I know for me it is. I am Pisces and I really do need to be near the waters from which we all came. I am drawn to the sea by an invisible yet palatable force. I will return to the ocean soon. I realize the importance of the beach and the salinity in my life and it must be fulfilled to allow other parts of my self to grow and mature.
What I am trying to say here is, everyone needs an ocean. Not everyone likes the beach or even being in the water. Your ocean may be the desert, the mountains or the island of Manhattan. It is a place in your heart that is bigger than you. It is a place where you feel most at home. You draw comfort and strength by close proximity. Healing your soul with it’s greater majesty is and familiarness goes a surprisingly long way towards happiness. Think about where is important to you as much as what or who.
Self Worth.
Yes, yes, yes. Value yourself. If you cannot do this you will never be happy. Of all things, being at peace with yourself, loving yourself and liking who you are is of utmost importance. How can you value others or even life itself if you do not value your own existence? I think a lot of hate and intolerance in this world is the direct of personal dissatisfaction. Humans by nature seem to think that by displacing their own self loathing or personal dislikes on to others is going to heal what is wrong with themselves. That is simply not going to happen. There can be no hate in healing.
Self Expression
I am not a philosopher. I am not highly educated. I failed miserably in school with one exception. Art. I excelled. My muse comes and goes. My art goes into remission and returns now and then these days. But one thing that is almost as as important to me in life as the air I breath is art and music. These are the tools my inner most demons use to communicate with the outside world. They are the healing and nurturing pieces of my life that help keep my blood flowing. The single most pervasive constants throughout my life have always been art and music. I play guitar and piano and draw and create things with my hands.
My gifts to the world is not the websites I create, the goodness I spread, nor the charity I give but the the words I write, the art I create and the music I play. These are a part of me. Real and tangible pieces of the deepest parts of me. Theses are the expressions of who I am and what is important to me in abstract or concrete form. Of the most important things to me and in my life I have neglected this this most. Only finding solace over the past couple decades in consuming the self expression of others. And this is something I must change to survive and continue to evolve as a passionate, caring woman.
Everyone needs to express themselves in some way to release or feed what is inside your heart, mind and body. The soul remains unfulfilled when it cannot show the world, a friend or lover what lurks inside. It’s not always understood nor appreciated, but you cannot store everything inside. Somethings must be allowed to flow from you. Some things just need to be let free no matter how much they may hurt.
Self expression through whatever means is communication. This is what we really need to understand. This is an art in and of itself through words or actions. So many people today have lost the ability to really communicate. There is too much hostility and rejection. Too many people do not take the time to appreciate or even try to understand what is being expressed by others. Not just words coming from your mouth or words texted in a phone message, but the overall body of work we all create. Cryptic I know. But think about it.
The Basics
I suppose there are so many more things that are important. And what is important to me is not necessarily important to you. Like my cultish love of Sushi or progressive metal or even the beach. But there are some basic importances in everyones life that are common to all. We know what they are. Food, water, shelter, security and even love.
By satisfying theses basic needs you can successfully navigate what is really important in your life. But this statement comes with a warning. There is a catch 22 at work here. Without knowing what is important or satisfying what you feel to be important in your life you may not be able to satisfy the most basic and the most important things in all of our lives.  Kind or a conundrum huh?
Example: If your life sucks and you are not happy with who you are as a person. Maybe you really do not like yourself or there is a nagging deficiency with who you are. Maybe you are gay and still in the closet and it is killing you living a life of lies hiding from everyone you know. Maybe you did something in your past so terrible it eats you from the inside. Maybe you just really hate where you live or your job for what ever silly reason or not. Maybe you have succumb to depression or substance abuse. Maybe all of the above is true….
Sink or Swim and Even Fly.
For what ever reason you are not happy or unchallenged or seemingly unloved. If you allow it to, the important things in your life will become less so. They may even seem unattainable goals or pipe dreams of a grass is greener existence. When you let go and stop working towards attaining the important things in your life, the basic things you need to exist may soon follow and often do.
You cannot let one or even a few crappy things in your life destroy all the other important things in your life. Too many people have become comfortable with giving up and just saying I can’t. I know I have been there myself. It is easy to say I can’t and be miserable that it is to take on the challenges before you and fight to survive and even thrive.
Take this into consideration though. Humanity is still here. We persist and often thrive despite our indifferences and willingness to destroy our planet and each other. Why is this? Because within each of us is the ability to overcome insurmountable odds to become who we are, to become amazing, beautiful creatures of immense compassion and good.

Caring.

It is important to me to care for and about others, this planet and all creatures that inhabit this world and other worlds physical or ethereal. Caring can bring great satisfaction to you and others. Caring can lead to many other wonderful things. All that I have mentioned so far is attainable because I genuinely do care about myself, my friends and family and this world. I’m not saying we all have to love each other. We all don’t even have to be friends. But if we can all take the time to care for each other even just a little bit, all those things, all those important things will become a satisfying part of your life and mine.
The more importance we place on caring the less importance we place on hate. And on that note we conclude. I have a few important things I must do.

To Be. Or Not to Be… In Love

“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.” – H.H. The Dalai Lama

“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring.” – Oscar Wilde

Love is a condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” – Robert Heinlein

What is it I miss most about being in love?
What is it I miss about loving another and having that love returned?
What is it that is missing from my life?

I consider myself a very fortunate woman. I have at various points in my life had everything I would ever need in this lifetime. I have had money, privilege, family, friends, happiness, health and so much more. Complaining about my life would be a lie for the most part. I have had a pretty good life despite a few tests of my soul and my character and my strength of will to live.

I have been talking with a friend lately. Someone I like. Someone with whom I have found similar thoughts and feelings as I. The intimate conversations mostly only women can have. Generally because women feel and experience life in a way that is deeper and more colorful of emotion. Tis a generalization that largely but not always holds true throughout the human condition.

We have been discussing the things we as single women miss about being in a relationship with someone we really care about. The simple things are never lost over time. They dance around us like moon fairies on the water at night. Seen, adored and always out of reach. The soft kisses early in the morning as you wake. The supportive embrace upon returning home from a bad day at work. Holding hands on the beach as the sun sets over the ocean. Reaching across the table at a cafe gently placing a hand on a cheek to feel the warmth of love radiating into your hand. Lasting gazes across the room at a party where the conversations turn to a melody of sounds without words. Spooning, cuddling and just being together.

I have had all these things in my life at one point. Now that they are gone I realize how important and wonderful they are. I am confident I will have them again. I am a woman of deep emotion, intense passion and devoted love. But all this means nothing with no one to share it with.

Some of us by nature are better when committed. We are complete and fulfilled by the presence of another in our lives. Loneliness is not a pleasant situation. It affords us too much time too think about what it is we are missing. I am also a Pisces which compounds the ache of an empty spot in my heart.

Not only do I miss the gift of love and a partner’s caring touch. I miss giving of myself. Feeling complete is not all about filling your vessel. It is as much about filling the vessel of another with your heart and soul. This world would benefit from more giving like this. I know because I have been there. The feeling of confidence, power and love that comes with giving unconditionally of yourself to another and not only seeing the light brighten in your partner but feeling the warmth of their inner light radiating back into your soul.

The secret to happiness is knowing what to feed your heart and how to nurture its growth. There are no things of man that can provide this most basic of needs. It is love. The only true fuel to ignite the fires within yourself and others is love. Without it loneliness serves only to cool and smother the fire within.

Talking about this with my friend has really opened many windows into my past. Not so much the woman I was once in love with but what we had for a time. When that dies something dies inside of us. But the memory of it does not fade like other memories do. I think this is because when something touches the deepest part of your being as love can do, it engraves a permanent mark on your being, your sense of self. Take it away and part of you is gone. The parts that remain are what your partner gave you that cannot be returned. Of all those things the feeling of life in a state of utter completeness and the memory of love.

In a way I am not a whole person. My other half is out there. When we do come together, magic will restore the imbalance in my heart. I used to believe in soul mates. Maybe I still do. I do still believe in love. I do believe there is more than one person in this world with a matching love of life and compatible soul where giving our selves too each other will ignite a blaze lying dormant within.

It seems we are rolling into a season where giving should hold more meaning and purpose. In these very difficult times we are now enduring, love is more important than ever. For some it is all they have left. For some it is all they would need to get them through another day. For some it is the breath of life.

I may find someone to share my life with again soon. I may not. The same is true for everyone. But one thing I do have is the ability love many people on many different levels. And I give it freely. That does not fulfill the same giving as giving to a partner. But it still feels good.

I wish you all love and happiness.

Being a Queer Woman

Meh. Where to start?

A new blog. A new life. A new… well pretty much EVERY fricking thing in my life is new since I came out to the world in May 2008. Who, What May 2008? Are you kidding me? What are you 12? What took you so damn long?

Hmm… good question.

When I was in collage way back in the 80s and early 90s. I remember distinctly telling several of my girlfriends I was a lesbian. They always laughed and said “No you aren’t. You can’t be a lesbian.” I always retorted with why the hell not? Needless to say my queerness never really came to life living in the conservative bible belt. In fact I only knew one gay person  in collage. Seems the rest of us were in hiding or Drama Majors. I being the fine arts major could be a little odd but it was still not safe too be gay even in a school of over 16,000 students. In fact I don’t think the school even had any queer resources at the time.

Flash forward to May 2008. I came out to EVERYONE and I was open about it. Basically I could no longer live with myself or rather my other self. The closet was too damn small and maid service was not included.  Forget the very long term relationship that had just ended. I don’t want to get into it because it will just complicate matters now.  Let’s just say I thought we were in love and I am pretty sure we were. But my X being the cold heart person they turned out to be decided otherwise. Love knows no boundaries does it? Apparently it does and I am a single woman for the first time in 20 years.

What is done is done. We move on because we cannot change nor get those years back.

The aftermath of my big coming out was actually pretty amazing. My family was in shock obviously, and I was prepared for rejection. Or at least I think I was. But that is not what happened. In fact quite the opposite. I love my mom and dad so much. My entire family has been a blessing. In fact all my friends are still my friends with exception of a small group of mutual friend I had with my X. People who are willing to lie to your face about things are not your friends.

My life is about truth. Sometimes is is brutal and hard to digest but lies and living with the rotting skeletons in the closet are not what I call living. How can you be happy with all that kind of baggage weighing you down.

So I am a queer woman.

I am in fact very proud of this fact and I am very open about it. I really love woman. All women. Some more than others, yes. But there is something in a woman’s heart and soul that no man can come close too. I’m still trying to figure out what that it is but if I never do I am fine with that. I just feel it and I see it. In fact my mom has it. If mom was gay she would be one of the most sought after gay women on earth I think.

The sorority of women can be an amazing place too be. The way two woman can love each other without being gay is a thing of beauty. The deepness of friendships and the freedom to be whomever you want is something of a wonder in this world. Not all women find that freedom of course and many live in fear of who they are queer or not. But when a woman is free within herself and her world anything is possible. And her beauty shines like the brightest of stars.

Now I am no Elle MacPherson nor Gabrielle Reece. But I am a strong attractive woman. FYI: I will have Gabrielle’s body by next year. I will be 44 years old next year too and damn sure as the sun rises and sets I am going to finally have the bod I have always desired. See all those year in the closet are not healthy. The can make you feel and even look unattractive and the results can be, well, less than desirable on your real body. This cougar will get what she wants.

But as I was saying, I may not be the poster child of femininity and beauty but I think what I have inside more than makes up for that. And I know it radiates out. My inner shine is getting brighter without the burdens of my past containing it. I just need to learn to let myself shine more freely.

The thing that is still  a bit of a mystery to me is how do other women pick up on that inner glow of mine? I mean how do you be a lesbian and set off the almighty gaydar for other woman to scan? Most people think I am straight. I am not going to slap a sign in my forehead to solve this little puzzle either.

I was reading earlier today on a women’s site about Lesbian Fashion. How funny is that? Lesbians have fashion sense?! Of course they do. I have my own look and it is ever evolving, but I can comfortably say it is not the typical lesbo-chic the media seems to portray gay women wearing. Yes I have my typical sterotypesd les fashion  days but not every day. I am probably best described as tomboy-femme most of the time, but I do love to get all dolled up too.

I care what I look like and I am sucker for media driven high fashion. I can’t afford it, but if I could I would strut around in a pair of Christian Louboutin pumps or those to die for boots every day just about. I love my sort skirts and sexy tops. I have a nice rack and I paid damn good money for them so I sure as heck gonna show them off a bit. Slutty teenager I am not but I do have a sexy little tease side of me. But does that mask out the gaydar registration potential?

Good question. How do the lipstick lesbians set off that magical radar? More mysteries for me to uncover in my new life. Maybe I don’t exactly set off the dar yet or fit the typical lesbo jello-mold but I’m gonna work on that just by being myself. I refuse to try and “look” queer just so I can be queer. I think a lot of the younger women do fall into that trap.

So being a very tall, queer Amazon is not a bad thing as I use to imagine. I was always so hung up about being such a tall woman. It really made me very self conscious. I am not any more. It makes me more unique. Shopping for cloths and shoes is a PIA, but I seem to manage that OK. With all the women out there that where shoes larger than size 10, I just don’t understand why there are not more cute shoes in my size. It really chaps my ass sometimes. Clothing is easier and when I get that body I always wanted I will have no problems in the clothing department.

In the end all this stuff adds up to one thing. CONFIDENCE. That is what it is all about anyway. By freeing myself from the closet and accepting who I am as a woman, a tall person and out lesbian, I have given myself something many people seem to lack. The ability too exist peacefully within my own skin and live happily outside of the box. Besides who wants to be “normal” anyway.

I am not normal. I am proud of that. I am comfortable with that. And I am happy with that. I am a queer woman and it is OK.

Normal is an evolutionary dead end. Diversity rules.