Friday, December 9, 2005

Katharine Hepburn was the Antichrist

Katharine Hepburn will long be remembered as Hollywood’s greatest actress. Although many people will not remember she led a rich and interesting life. She was an immensely complicated, intelligent, and driven individual. Additionally, she was the Antichrist.

The daughter of her urologist doctor father Thomas Norval Hepburn and suffragette namesake mother Katharine Houghton, Katharine was an athletic tomboy as a child, and was very shy around girls her age. She was largely schooled at home. She did attend Bryn Mawr College, however, and it was here that she decided to become an actress, appearing in many of their productions. After graduating, she went on to perform in several plays on and off Broadway. She finally broke into stardom with the lead role of the Amazon princess Antiope in "A Warrior's Husband" (1932). Film offers followed. RKO signed her to a contract. She made five films between 1932 and 1934. For her third, Morning Glory (1933) she won her first Academy Award. Her fourth, Little Women (1933) was the most successful picture of its day.

However, stories of her refusal to play the Hollywood Game, always wearing slacks and no makeup, never posing for pictures or giving interviews, soon leaked out. There was even a largely held rumor that she walked around the studio in her underwear in the early 1930s when the costume department stole her slacks from her dressing room. She refused to put anything else on until they were returned.

Many audiences turned their backs on such behavior and accordingly, so did Hollywood. A brief stint back on Broadway, followed by several lackluster films and she was soon labeled “box-office poison”. It was then that she made a pivotal change in her life. Instead of compromising her principles, she took the lead in “The Philadelphia Story” (1938) on Broadway. It was a smash hit. She quickly purchased the film rights and negotiated her way back into the Old Boy’s Network which was Hollywood in the 30s and 40s. It was on her terms. She was her own woman.

The suffragette upbringing in a liberal family environment forged a set of values and standards she lived her life by. When one is asked what memorable qualities of hers they are familiar with, her accent and mannerisms will be high on the list. Yet secondarily, almost no one will forget her crossdressing. Sure, her wearing of slacks in an age when it was not fashionable is hardly crossdressing. However, if her reasons for wearing pants are explored, you will find it stems from a desire of gender equality. Her love of all sports from tennis to archery to golf and skiing, proved to the world, she was comfortable in a man’s woman. For her, equality was genderless.

As the twentieth century’s leading gender bender, Katharine Hepburn is the Antichrist. Hyperbole as it may be, she set the tone for a movement in American culture, aided by Rosie the Riveter in WWII, and the auspicious Gloria Steinem in the 60’s and 70’s. Today’s feminism movement can trace its roots in celluloid back to The Great Kate. Modern lesbians owe a large portion of their acceptance in society to Katharine of Arrogance. Ironically, she accomplished this without destroying the paradigm society’s perception of women. Women were still allowed to be the fairer sex. Soft, warm, loving and nurturing, the female role model was not destroyed, yet remarkably enhanced. It is because life imitates art in our society that Ms Hepburn will always be a hero to me. Her decision to live her life, according to her rules was the true catalyst to today’s current gender expression.

You may feel my labeling of Katharine Hepburn as the Antichrist is a poke at the religious right. This is not quite the case, although no one is safe from lampooning. Her values and positions on gender equality are, by today’s standards, moderate to somewhat conservative. She will live on forever through the little screens of American Movie Classics (AMC) and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Yet for some of us, her pioneering spirit, grit and perseverance needs no electronic reminders. The “mark of this beast” is on the labels hanging in my closet.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Am I Destined to Be Alone Forever?

Every now and then I ponder the meaning of my existence. Now, this sounds all philosophical and heady, yet it’s simple nothing more than, "Will I spend the rest of my live alone?"
I tell myself "I don't want to live by myself!" and until last night, I was looking at it the wrong way. For you see, what I was saying to myself was, “I don't want to live with YOU", meaning ME! And if this was actually true, then, did I need fixing'? I mean, can I be ready for someone else if I'm not ready for me?

The last 8-10 months of my sentence on this planet have involved some pretty in-depth examinations of my past, my present, and my future. Though these "probes" to the center of my soul have been ongoing for several years, before now they were very superficial. Never before had I "taken a hard look in the mirror". Like most crossdressers, it’s a quick passing glance on my way somewhere or just a reflection in another object. This is all about to change.

For longer than I care to remember, I've been a crossdresser, a transgenderist and a bigendered individual. This fact has caused me considerable pain in my life. My earliest memories include the fear of discovery. It is that fear that ruled my life until a short 2 years ago. Although the effects of fear on my psyche cannot be dismissed overnight, the mere fact that the fear is gone is akin to the breathing of fresh air right after a sauna. Cool, deep fulfilling breaths providing reassurance are contrasted to the short, hurried, shallow pants one finds in a fog of steam, while never knowing if the next is your last.

My life is starting to develop meaning. I have rediscovered personal traits that were quite dusty! Yet why did I still question my relationship status? Was it because I seemed to pick the "winners"? The one that if I walked into a room of 1,000 women, I'd walk out with a "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree", the sickliest one of the bunch! This could not be coincidence. It has to be more than mere happenstance. It's ME! I've set standards and conditions in my partners that compliment my failings.

Like the drug addict or alcoholic finding the 12 steps of recovery, I've recently found my "12 steps" to spirituality! That balance I've been seeking. This is not to say I've arrived at my spiritual zenith. I've just started taking the first steps of that 1,000 mile journey. A lot of personal inventory taking and making amend with those I've wronged. I can humbly accept myself as the loving person I am. I can display compassion with reckless abandon. I can wake up in the morning and know I'm one day closer to my center.

In retrospect, I'm not so much concerned with being alone. I rather like myself and am content to take my time, and find the RIGHT woman for me. She'll be the woman professing that I'm the right MAN for her! And do you know something? I just might be.....

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Roll Call


The time has come for us to open the closet doors, turn on the lights, dust off the old handbags and stand up and be counted. As our society has come, albeit kicking and screaming, to accept certain alternative lifestyles, it has generally ignored the most inane and loving one. I'm talking about us, The Gender Expressionist.

We have all, including myself, sat back and watched Hollywood and the mainstream media, both of which claim diversity, malign us by portraying us a sexual deviants. All one has to do is sit through "Psycho", "Silence of the Lambs" , or "Dressed to Kill" to see the villian is a crazed TG.

Uhm, can I get a head count here? How many of you have your mother on ice in the basement? Are building a body suit from girls"roomy thru the hips"? Or in your part-time position as a therapist plan on attacking your patients? I suspect none.

What is at the very core of our Gender Expression? It's a desire to display our warmth, love and compassion for others. Under societies current guidelines, who "owns" those traits? Women. Exactly. Yet is it conceivable that men can also be those items? Of course.

What is at issue is our right as men, to express these traits without ridicule. And far be it that we do so in a manor that even further "shocks" society. Crossdressing. How many of us are approached by members of the "mainstream" and asked, "Why do you do this?" I for one relish at the opportunity to explain. Yet, should we be forced to "fight" this battle over ignorance one "combatant" at a time? No. Pure attrition will not not only take forever, it will not send the message of unity and solidarity we need.

"So, Jenna?" you ask. "What can I truly do about this?" This is a reasonable and logical question to be asking. My answer is as follows.

GET INVOLVED. In countless cities across this country there are support groups, Yikes, I said those words. "Support groups". I HATE those words, in that it implies a room full of "broken " indiviuals looking to their therapist of guidence. Your local TG group does provide support, yet not in the clinical fashion. It's the sisterhood. The solidarity of members uniting, marching in step, on the same sheet of music to each other. Are we a "rag-tag" group of gals at times? Of course that can be the case, at times. Yet the majority of the time are we strong, proud, and confident? You betcha!If the movement is to go forward, it needs participation. If "being out" is not your thing, and you want to support the cause, you have options. Try to attend a meeting locally, and if not, the next town over. This way you are away from prying eyes. Almost all groups have a secure meeting place with changing facilities. Check with the ones in your area.

GO ONLINE. Not comfortable in being out AT ALL? Go cyber. AND I DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT MEAN "Trolling for Tgirls." The absolutely LAST thing we need in bringing acceptence to our cause is the SEXUAL overtones, that societies tries to label us with. Are we human and thereby sexual beings? Of course. Yet isn't every other human being out there? And this does not define us. Many of us do not even bring our gender expression physically into our sex lifes. We do of course add love, warmth and compassion to "our game" and most of our partners truly appreciate that! So go online. Chat with your fellow TGilrl. Not about "hooking up" yet about the common problems we all endure. Offer your life experiences and mistakes, so that another may not follow in those mistakes.

The time has come, it's D-Day, H-hour. Time to storm the beaches, fight for liberty, all in the name of others, so that future generations may exist in peace, free from tyranny.(As the Battle Hymn of the Republic plays on with the unfurling of the American Flag!) LOL

Uncle Samantha Wants You!!!!!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Gender Euphoria

Hello Ladies,

I had the pleasure hanging out with a friend of mine, Christina*(name has been changed to protect the beautiful) this weekend. Usually we meet up at a local club with other friends. Unfortunately, its always noisy and its not a great place to hold a conversation.

Tina attends a local support group TGEA . This weekend they were manning a booth at the Arlington County Fair in Arlington VA. She invited my to hang out with her at the fair and afterwards go shopping. While the fair okay, the booth was fully covered with members, so we did like any self respecting girls would do, we went SHOPPING. This is where my post begins.

Tina has been out for a year now. She is married and recently experienced the bliss of child-birth with her first child, a son. Tina and I had several hours to bond and share personal experiences. She shared one item of importance with me. Her wife picks a fight everytime before she goes out. Tina says that when she comes home, everything is okay with her wife. Now in fairness to her wife, I am not "in" their relationship, so I played "Devil's Advocate". Each time we disscussed an issue, I would "inquisitively" take the other side. My reasoning was to provoke her thoughts and reasoning on her points. I came up with a single deduction.

Tina is experiencing Gender Euphoria.

I myself went though this with a former girlfriend. It lead to our breakup. Although if not the gender euphoria, something else would have broke us up. She had taken the position that my gender personality and all of the factors of it was incomprehensible. I was not to "reeled" in during this phase. I had denied myself for so long that no one could make demands upon me!
Is this fair?

Do we have that right?

Are our vows of matrimony a shield for us?( In sickness and in health? til death do you part? )

Gender euphoria can be compared to the stages of development young women go through in their adolescent years. As a point, most crossdressers even dress like teenaged girls during this stage.(Deliver us from ourselves!) Is this a "healthy" period for us and our mates?

Do we need "parental" supervision to help guild us in the correct direction?

Oh so many questions, oh so many correct answers.

What do YOU think?


Sunday, July 24, 2005

What's the End Game?

Hello Ladies,

I recently arrived home this evening, or should I say this morning from a "night out on the town". Now, since I was driving, there was no alcohol involved it the evening. So I won't receive a BWI(blogging while intoxicated) . Yet my soberity has left me with one nagging question.

What's the "end game"?

As I look forward to an evening out en femme, with friends I am usually excited. The chance to let loose with my feminine fancies in full regalia is intoxicating . Yet at the end of the night, I'm faced with the evening's epilogue. The regretful return to regular me. Removing makeup, nail polish and, oh those wonderful clothes is got to be the biggest let down in the world. I can feel the pain of the crew for Ringling Brothers on the last night of a sucessful campaign in any particular city.

I usually prepare for the evening out several days in advance. I know if I'm going out, say over the weekend, I'll keep my nails long, paint the toenails and shave myself. This way on the evening of my en femme episodes, I can reshave without rushing or nicking and just paint my fingernails. Careful planning and stratigic maneuvering highlight my week. I can live with this. I mean, the buildup is well worth it. It just the decompression that "kills" me.

I want it all( who doesn't). I love my male self. I love my female self. It's just that I believe I compromise my male side too much in order to fullfill my female side. I'm no spring chicken and like to think Mrs Right is out there. I'm not looking for Mrs. Right-Now. So there is some sense of urgency. I mean I want to share all the love I possess with someone other that my friends and family." Can't have it , all by yourself." is a catchy line from a country song. Yet I know this androgynous persona I've become is not appealing to the fairer sex. At the end of it all, I'm sliding more into the female realm and further and further from my male self. I'm not too sure I like this.

Maybe I should be posting this at "The Diary of a Mad Transgendered Woman " blog. Yet from the roster of girls assembled here, I know some wise and caring input will be received.

Looking for that magic pill,
Jenna Taylor