I may not be in the "in transgender crowd," or liked by Human Rights Campaign or other transgender supportive organizations and I may be ignored and ostracized by them, but I am is an unsung pioneer of my community whether they like it or want to acknowledge it or not. Below is an email I sent to a Biden staffer last year recalling my encounter with the former Vice President on the Rope line.
I'm not interested in winning a popularity contest, but I was one of those who struggled with this 20 or 30 years before many of today's trans woman advocates were born.
I believe that #BlackLivesMatter. I've heard it said by white people that "All lives Matter." All lives cannot matter until Black one's do. That's true.
To my fellow white people. The time has come to put up or shut up. The old days are gone. Racism & Bigotry are not a right. In my book, we can't agree to disagree in this one. We're past that. White privilege is real and disgraceful. The Good Ole' Boy network is crashing down before us like the Confederate Statues, that we never should have erected in the first place. It ends here it ends today.
My family raised my siblings and I to be like the Kennedy's, but there's a lot I have to learn and I won't say I'm perfect but I'm willing to learn and grow. I also know that members of the Black community are being killed and murdered by white police officers and it has to stop now. Officers need to be held to account for it. Now. Not tomorrow, not in a couple of years or a few weeks....Now.
My parents rejected segregation and worked with local Black colleges like Bennett and NC A&T University and Saint Pius Catholic church to fight racism. As prominent business owners in Greensboro, they hired Black workers when no one else would. Despite this, my previous ancestors were not so inclined.
This next part I write with deep anger, regret and guilt at myself and my Irish ancestors. On my Grandmothers' side, my ancestors owned slaves. She was a First Family Virginian and swore that General Lee signed the surrender because they got him drunk. Looking back on it today, I realize that's not funny. The rape. murder, torture of human beings is deplorable, despicable and evil. My ancestors should have been put in jail or sent to death row for it. I'm ashamed to be associated with them.
But now's the time to grow, to change, to love, to understand. #Blacklivesmatter. #Blacktranslivesmatter.
I saw a post on my Facebook page. Someone saying "Happy Mothers Day to "wanna be" Mothers. To a trans woman that means that "You aint one and you're never gonna be one."
I raised my son. Full stop. My son lived with me in the early years. I took him to school, I made sure he had his homework done, I made sure he had lunch money, I protected him from bully's at a certain school for the blind.
I spent holidays alone so that he could spend time with his Disney parent and other family members because my family were uncomfortable around me and did not accept me full stop. But somehow, because (as scientists have proven) I happened to have been assigned male at birth, yet I have a female brain, that makes me a "wanna be" mom?
I've earned the title of mom, despite what's in between my legs. I cannot control what my siblings say or do, but what I can do is move on with my life without them. They will never accept me as their sister, aunt, mom. The best thing to do is wish them well, pray that they receive every blessing God can give them, and drift away.
To all trans woman who it applies to, Happy Mothers Day my friend.
Yesterday I uploaded the pilot of Notts' Journey which was once called I'm Your Mum on Vimeo. It's been a long road but getting there. I'm hoping to get some new actors for the series and a production company. I so can't wait until I do. I also want to up my game with my Urban Exploration videos. Maybe even getting into being a detectorist. But all that takes money and crowdfunding is the best way to go.
I'm looking for funding for my long awaited film Sins of Ashe County. I haven't been able to get it off the ground but I'm sure it will. No matter what your dreams please don't ever give up. The right time, actors and necessary team will come together and it will happen.
I've vlogged about this moment before but nobody seemed to believe me. The Biden campaign sent me this photograph of my encounter with Joe Biden in Durham NC in 2019. I blogged about how I thanked Joe Biden for his work on the Affordable Care Act, because it saved my life and allowed me to have gender affirming surgery 51 years after first identifying as transgender in 1969.
For many of us in those days you could get arrested for wearing woman's' clothes or makeup in public. Most families in the South slapped the shite out of you or worse if you told your parents you where a girl. I remember telling my mom at 4 years old and her going ballistic. In my case I was bullied into being a boy. My older brothers called me F*ggot or F*g, for acting feminine or talking like a girl growing up. So I was basically scared into living as the gender assigned at birth, not the one my brain identified with.
The main reason surgery wasn't covered was because it was considered a pre - existing condition. Gender affirming surgery was 20k to 30k and doctors wanted money up front. With my station in life, that seemed impossible. With additional protections for trans patients, the Affordable Care Act saved my life. With the ACA and inheritance from my father (which my older siblings tried to keep me from receiving) I was able to pay 20% while ACA picked up 80%.
I wanted to thank the former Vice President. I did so in tears, because it saved my life and the emotion of that moment will stay with me forever. I'm a congruent female now and I feel like a new person. I'm free because I made it to the other side. The side of internal peace and unity. Joe Biden and my father gave me peace of mind.
When Joe Biden saw me, he could have just shook my hand and said "you’re welcome kid," then moved on; however, like any father would their child, he reached out to comfort me. It was like my own father (who passed away in 2015) hugging me and letting me know everything was going to be alright.
My dad didn't understand me being trans, but he loved me no matter what and never abandoned me. We did have fights about it later in his life, but we always worked them out.
The last time I saw him before he died, he gave me a big ole' hug and said "I love you sweetheart." He never said that before. We agreed that he would call me his child not son; however, the last time I saw him he called me "sweetheart." It was like he knew his time on this earth wasn't long and he wanted to let me know that in that moment he understood my struggles growing up. He understood what being trans was all about. It was his way of accepting me as his baby girl, not his son. My dad was the greatest man to walk this earth and I'd like to think that he and my mom are proud of me; looking down on me from heaven.
I think that's what makes Joe Biden such a great human being and it's what will make him a great President. He's empathetic, compassionate, tough yet kind. He doesn't judge people and he will bring all communities of Americans' together. No other candidate comes close. Go get em' Joe!
Since writing this blog Joe Biden has become our Democratic Nominee and I'm so pleased.
I'm the first of two transwoman to have an adult legal name change twice in North Carolina. It was a precedent setting case and I was the first. The case was also written about in the online Advocate Magazine and it was unprecedented.
In my blogs and vlogs I speak for myself and I want to share some information with you in order for you to get to know the real me.
I believe that there are three types of trans woman. Post-op (congruent female) Pre-op (in-congruent female) Non-op (no surgery). All three are of equal value and importance in the trans community. In other words there's no "one size fits all" approach to being trans or the way one transitions. We all matter and we all count equally.
In my gender journey (which is not the same as others' journey) I'm thankful I was able to have the medically necessary surgery to become a congruent female. Once again that's not everybody's desired path and it doesn't make them any more or less trans or female. I believe that your gender is determined by what's in between your ears not your legs. Science has proven this as well in research studies.
I also feel like my hormone replacement and Gender Reassignment Surgery should have been done decades earlier, but we lived in a very different time 55 years ago. We had different struggles and bitter disappointments, which damaged us immensely and created problems in our lives which led us in directions we may not have otherwise gone.
My generation paved the way for the current generation, just as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera did for me and mine. So I know of which I speak, as do many others in my generation who were (and are) damaged goods. They (we) were unable to transition at an earlier age because it was unaccepted and unheard of in those days. A transwoman could get arrested for wearing woman's clothes or makeup.
We know what it's like not to have protections, especially in school. When we were trying to express ourselves we were spit on and laughed at. We were often times beat up, killed and arrested more often then today. "Conversion Therapy" and "Trans-Panic" defense was used to protect defendants and not the victims. No wonder my parents said "hell know" when I told them I wanted to be a girl in 1969. That's why I'm determined more than ever to protect what laws and protections we currently have for the younger generation.
I've been criticized for my blogs on this subject but I want to make one thing clear. Being trans is not a new thing and my generation is being forgotten and left behind by media outlets and social media. There's no gratitude for people like me who've been struggling way before parents of current trans youth were born. In many cases we're old enough to be their grandparents and parents.
One thing I have a problem with is being "muzzled" or told what transgender talking points I'm supposed to ignore or repeat in public and on social media. I'm told I can't celebrate or tell people that I'm post op transsexual or congruent female. I'm not supposed to share that? Those people can bugger off because I waited 51 years to reach my goal and achieve my happiness and I'll be dang if I'm going to keep it to myself. If you don't want surgery or take hormones that doesn't make you any less female; however, don't tell me what I can or cannot say in public. If I chose to publicly disclose information that's not harmful to anyone else, than mind your own dang business. I will shout it from the roof tops if I so choose. That doesn't make me a troublemaker or a gatekeeper it just makes me a maverick.
I want to talk about "Gate-keeping." My concern as an elder trans woman is that if we don't have some kind of checks and balances we run the risk of "De-transitioning." I was diagnosed by four different licensed transgender therapists for different reasons throughout both my transitions and everyone agreed that I had Gender Identity Dysphoria.
The Harry Benjamin and WPATH Standards of Care are there for a reason. It's to protect trans youth and their families, not hurt or discourage them. The one thing we cannot do is ignore trans youth and we need to encourage them and support them. Something I didn't get when I was their age(s).
My message is clear. Trans youth need our support. Gate-keeping can be a good thing as long as it's done with compassion and love. De-transitioning is a bunch of malarkey, because I believe once you're diagnosed as trans, you're trans for life. I de-transitioned in the mid 1990's in an attempt to purge the GID from me. It never leaves you no matter how hard you try. In my case I went through a self imposed Conversion Therapy due to pressure from my family and friends; however, I knew I wasn't being true to myself, so I re-transitioned ten years later and I never looked back.
How you choose to transition or not is yours to make. There is no one size fits all transition process and everybody's gender journey is uniquely their own. So say it loud and proud and stay in the game. Be who you are with confidence and conviction because you matter and you count. You mean something to somebody and your dreams of an authentic life (whatever that might be) will be yours. We have science on our side.
What does this photo tell you? To me is describes the prison cell I was in for several decades. Part of it was my own fault and partly my parents. Either way it is what it is.
So many trans youth have been put in their own "prison" like this one and the same types of people who tried to keep me in mine in 1969, are at it again. Being Trans is nothing new. It's not some new fad. It's real, and our trans youth are suffering because of ignorance and ignorant people. Parents who say, "not my kid," "not in my house," need to remember that one day your transgender child is going to decide what nursing home you go to so you might want to rethink that.
They will also hate you. You won't be young forever. You will get older and more frail and you will need help getting around. Who's going to be there for you if you were not there for your trans child?
The science is in and you can't "beat it out," of them. You can't "conversion therapy" them. Once your diagnosed as trans you are that. Forever. There is no "de-transitioning." It never goes away. So embrace your trans child and love them. Your trans child is a gift sent to you by God. Honor this gift and celebrate your trans child. God don't make junk. Don't keep your trans child locked up in this prison (see photo above). The damage is long lasting. I'm living proof! I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt.
This video was taken in April before Trump won the nomination of his party. This also took place in 2016 and I used the last name I chose when I had my first transition and name change. It was O'Malley. Let it be known that I voted for Hillary Clinton not Donald Trump. At the time Trump was against Hb2.
It was protests like this, the NCAA and ACC, who helped get former governor Pat McCrory Booted out of office.
I'm a Biden supporter, and if he does not get the nomination, I will support the eventual nominee. I'll vote Blue no matter what or who's we choose.
We also need to cut out the nasty language when we describe each other and other Democratic candidates.
November 9th was a great day for me. Three years ago I became a congruent female. To some of you it may be a shock, some of you won't care, and some of you refuse to accept it. My father gave me life twice. He will forever be in my heart. Thank you to all people who rallied around and offered a like or a love or a message on my post. My friends from Fuquay (they know who they are) by far have out friended anyone on my page. They, my brother, my son and my niece and her husband where either there at the hospital (as they wheeled me into the operating room) visited to make sure I was OK, or gave me a place to recover. Providing round the clock care to make sure I was well looked after.
It was an honor to be interviewed for this article in which I said my peace about Joe Biden. Now it seems that other candidates are taking swipes at him. My interest is for the trans & two spirit community. The only candidate that will represent us well is Joe Biden. The other candidates pay lip service to trans community but they're insincere. To all trans community we need leadership from day one. No on the job training. I will not accept Medicare for All because it will tear down the protections the ACA has for my community. Stay away from my ACA Bernie and Liz.
Article below written by Alex Seitz-Wald. This is screenshot copy.
In the context of being trans or gender non binary.
People who misgender you don't like themselves so they have to tear you down by doing so. We have two roads we can go by when misgendered. Offense or gratitude. Accept that others may dislike you, but do not allow them to disrespect you. Don't give credit to haters. Their importance in your live should be diminished not increased. They're not worth your anger. As long as they don't pay your bills or sleep in your bed, then their opinion of you doesn't matter. Ignore them let them go. They hate themselves more than they hate you. Being offended is a waste of time. Being grateful for who you are and that science in on our side, should give you confidence.
Within the trans community there's some internal challenges we face. I get that gender is not determined by what's in between a person's legs, but what's in between a person's ears. I believe that not choosing Hormone Replacement Treatment and even Sexual Reassignment Surgery doesn't make a person any less trans. All of us transition in different ways and we should celebrate each other’s victories and break troughs.
I also believe that as someone who fought decades to have gender affirming surgery and who is now a congruent female, I should have the right to tell others about it and celebrate it as a victory. I make no apologies for it because I am a woman. So don't get angry with me for celebrating what I consider achieving a positive milestone and accomplishment in my life. Frankly, it should have been done decades earlier but society wasn't ready for it. It's not so much wanting to be the opposite gender assigned at birth, it's knowing that I effing am that gives me the most comfort.
I'm not worried about politicians putting down gender identity, because I (we) have science on our side as well as public support. I'm 55 years old and lived through the worst of it. It's gotten better, but we have a long way to go. Keep the people on our side & we win the war.
I'm not worried about Evangelicals trashing us for the same reasons. We need stay focused on our cause and reach out to the mainstream public to plead our case. The evangelicals are not going to listen, and we need to focus on the majority of Americans who support us instead. Instances of diarrhea of the mouth from the religious right, should be addressed earnestly and not obsessed over.
I also refuse to live defeated and offended in the context of relating to the cisgender community as a member of the trans community. It's hard to do sometimes, but we must do so in order to survive.
I think we need to do a lot more "bless your hearting," than condemning. Some people are not worth it. Sometimes you have to let these zealots make your point for you when they show their arse with propaganda and talking points instead of facts.
I noticed a post from a Twitter account which said Thanksgiving to us was genocide and a hostile takeover of the Native Tribes in the United States. It just got me thinking more and more that maybe Thanksgiving in the context of what it means to the average American, is not a good thing.
Maybe being thankful for the many blessings we have is, but with a piece of humble pie, instead of apple. After all, we stole it. We occupy it with large diverse groups of people. Although we can't change the past, we sure as heck can try to make it better. Maybe we never will, but once again, we can try.
Maybe we should be mindful that the Native Americans once owned this land. They had to survive the elements, respect the land and give back to it, (the earth) what they took from it. They celebrated life from the cradle to the grave. Indigenous people in this country knew they had a responsibility to pass on the legacy of taking care of the earth to future generations, or perish.
Then we, the Europeans came along. We shamefully wrested the land from Native Americans. We set up our own government and broke every treaty we signed with them and imposed our values on them. They recognized at least 5 genders and we said heck no. There's only two. They worshiped the land, the sun, moon and stars. We said awe heck no. You gotta believe in Jesus Christ and you must be a Christian. If not we're going to kill every dang one of you. That's called genocide last time I checked.
You're also going to dress like we do and do what we tell you. We're going to impose martial law on your people until you succumb to our way of living, breathing, thinking, living and dying. You got that? Now to my military friends who love to argue with me about this, how would we like it if a country took over and there wasn't an effing thing we could do about it?
So when we move on from this Thanksgiving, let's be mindful of our own vulnerabilities in the coming year. Let's focus on trying to undo the wrong we have done to other marginalized communities. Let's honor the treaties our forefathers ignored with the Native American community. Let's be more compassionate with the least or most vulnerable among us. Let's be a nation of lifting others up not tearing them down.
That doesn't mean we allow travesties of justice to go unpunished or reckoned with. It means we hold people accountable. We can’t leave it to someone else to do the work, thinking that the job will get done. We all have to do our part to make this ship sail smoothly to distant lands and shores of progress.
For so long I said to myself (as a congruent female)
"Oh, someone else can stand up for trans youth in schools." "Someone else can fight for their (our) rights.”Besides, I have too much to lose if I'm transparent and come out."
I realized that there was too much to lose if I didn't. I could have lost my self-respect, my honor and my dignity as a human being.
I don't want God (my creator) to meet me at the pearly gates and show me images of trans children dying, crying and suffering and God saying,
"Síle, I gave you life so that others may live." "Behold the suffering I sent you to heal which wasn't healed because you were selfish, boastful and overly proud." "Your life was hard for a reason.' It was to forge your mind, body, spirit and will power to serve others not yourself."
I'm most grateful for forgiveness. To be given and received. Forgiveness doesn't necessarily mean forgetting. It hopefully means starting over on a good note. A good foot. Taking steps together to improve justice, integrity and mutual respect. That's something we can all be thankful for.
This weekend is a celebration of a new lease on life which began for me three years ago, November 9, 2016. It took decades to become congruent, when it should have been sooner. My hope is that future generations of in-congruent people won't have to wait as long for medical surgery and treatment as I did. In addition, that insurance companies and government officials (including presidential candidates) will recognize this and make it common practice to serve said population, by providing medically necessary care, making it consistent and effective for all trans patients. In other words, that they will provide insurance that will cover Gender Affirming Surgery, Hormone treatment, and surgery aftercare in line with guidelines set out by WPATH, formerly known as Harry Benjamin Standards of Care.
I will be celebrating with the online release of my web-series Notts' Journey, which has been in the works since 2015. At the time it was called I'm Your Mum. Changes were made based on feedback, some kind and some not so kind. It's a labor of love and I honor my fur-babies who were in the production as well. Some have passed on and some are still here. I would like to also mention Kindsey. Rest in piece my furry friends.
Joe Biden is wrapping the Democratic nomination up in a nice diversity driven package. He can unite all Americans and doesn't need on the job training. He's also progressive enough not to scare off independents and never Trumpers. I predict we're looking at a Biden/Harris ticket.
Mom, Actress, Activist, Amateur Painter / Artist