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La Femme Silhouette

August  2000

Masthead 2000

Table of Contents

Alpha Omega Minutes

President's Message

SPEAKING FROM THE HEART

NUPTIAL NEWS

Part 1

Part 2

Lisa

Ari

Holiday En Femme- Los Angeles 2000

A Note from a Sister

Let Me Help You "Out," Sister

Transgender Rights

FASHION NEWS


Alpha Omega Minutes July 8th, 2000

President Diane Brennan called the meeting to order. We received a thank you note from Joanne, Kristen’s wife for the donation we made in Kristen’s name. Abby introduced Cindy and James wife.

The results of the survey of meeting suggestions were printed in the newsletter.

Paula did the 50/50. Michelle won and donated it back to the chapter for a scholarship so someone can go to spice. Cheryl also donated her $50 for spice back so someone can go to spice next year.

The gift exchange for Christmas in July was held.

TREASURERS REPORT: Balance in the checkbook $2849.83. Of that $541.48 is outreach and $50 petty cash. Cheryl made the motion we adjourn the meeting, Lisa sec.

Lisa and Cheryls’ wedding was July 29th. It was a beautiful ceremony the Tri-Ess board seemed to have a good time. Debbie provided the sound system and Elaine’s Karaoke was a big hit. Olena showed us her talent. She has a lovely voice. Jane Ellen sang very well also. Paula served as deejay. Andrea wants to have a Karaoke night.

Balance in the treasury after the wedding is $2659.35. Outreach and petty cash remain the same.

Respectfully Submitted

Elaine Benton

Sec./Treas.

 

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President's Message

Congratulations to Lisa and Cheryl on their recent nuptials. Several people where instrumental in making the evening a great success. Particular thanks goes to Peggy for her delicious cuisine, Lori for her dedication to making sure that the everything inthe church was setup and then restored to its original condition, Debbie, Elaine, and Paula for providing the tunes, and Diane & Allie, Abby & Sherry and Cheryl for transporting the Triess Board of Directors. The board members seemed to really enjoy themselves, and thanks to all for making them feel at home.

The September meeting is the charity auction and rummage sale. All proceeds will go to a charity to be designated by the members in attendance that evening. Please be generous in your donations. Try to pick a special item to auction such as clothing, jewelry, wigs, or shoes. Any extra items in these catagories that you no longer use can be donated for the rummage sale.

If you agreed to bring anything for the September meal, please don't forget. Andrea and I will be bringing ribs and chicken. Anyone who can help with setup, please email me at dianeb3s@alltel.net

Looking forward to seeing you on the 9th.

Diane Brennan

 

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SPEAKING FROM THE HEART

"Speaking From The Heart" will have its first meeting on September 9th.

We will begin at 6:15 PM and conclude at 7:00 PM.

Below are some thoughts or guidelines for "Speaking From The Heart"

1. Welcome all new and existing members who are participating.

2. This is an opportunity for deeper expression beyond casual conversation.

The desire is for this to be a safe environment where one may feel free to share their heartfelt feelings on deeper issues, joys, and/or sorrows.

3. It is not a place to give or receive advice, but rather to give and receive each other's experiences, strengths and hopes.

We can all draw on the collective wisdom of our members.

4. No one should feel they have to share, and in fact some may choose to participate with compassionate listening.

5. Participants are encouraged to keep comments brief in order to give everyone an opportunity to share.

See you in September!!!!

Joyce and Linda
 

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NUPTIAL NEWS
(Points of View)

Cheryl

CINDERELLA AND CINDERELLA

Part 1………Date: July 29th, 2000

As I waited nervously, I watched two special bridesmaids walk down the aisle – Olena and Diane. The long months of planning had finally come down to this – the first of two ceremonies linking Lisa/Matt and I. We stood there waiting forever for Lisa to appear. And as I stood there in my rented tux, a thousand thoughts ran through my mind including were we doing the right thing? There was so much against us – age difference, crossdressing, grown kids vs a young son (did I really want to be involved in raising yet another child? – a really scary thought!) As the time went on and on while they tried to find the music, I began to panic inside……was it too late to run? I looked out through the audience and saw all the friends who had gathered to be with us……I remembered all the laughs we had all shared, all the tears we dried, all the memories gathered. Then through the door she came, a vision in white clutching her bouquet and I knew that we were right, we belonged together in spite of all the differences – actually because of them. So I watched her walk towards me and smiled. This was my Lisa.

As we said the vows we had selected, I thought about how right they were for us. It was indeed a special moment. Finally it was over, Lisa and I had made our commitment to each other. It was indeed a perfect night.

The "reception" had to have been a bride’s delight……

Chef Peggy had indeed outdone herself. The food was fantastic and of course, I ate too much.

We danced and sang to the music presented by our own special DJ – Paula. Kareoke seemed to be of particular favorite entertainment. Even the Chairperson of the Board, Jane Ellen Fairfax, sang a special song to us.

The cutting of the cake was a challenge. I had promised Lisa that we would keep it clean but I couldn’t resist – just a little dab on the tip of her nose……grin.

All too soon it was over…….sigh……and Cinderella had to put her gown away…….

"With an endless love

We’ll share

Our thoughts,

Our dreams,

Ourselves."
 
 
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Part 2………………….August 26, 2000

As two of my daughters and I waited in the bridal room for the ceremony to start, I thought over all the work that had been done, all the problems we had faced the last days and wondered if it was worth the trouble…….wouldn’t a JP have been a lot easier?

Several days before the wedding, we received a call from the church, Rev Nicole who was expecting a baby in five weeks just had a C-section. She obviously wasn’t going to be able to perform the ceremony. Luckily she planned ahead and arranged for another minister……whew!

Beth’s bridesmaid’s dress literally fell apart the day before……talk about a poor bridal shop and seamstress. She and her best friend almost totally remade the dress, staying up all night.

The flower girl was late. Would she make it?

My brother’s baby appeared to be sick…..Would he be able to stay for the whole thing?

When I went to change earrings, I tore my ear trying to remove it with these blasted acrylic nails (I never have nails…..geez). I was bleeding everywhere…….not on the dress!!!!!!!!! Please!!!!!!!!!

The church had hired a wedding coordinator. What a smart lady! She immediately saw the problem and came to my aid………two glasses of wine. It worked……I mellowed out……LOL.

It was time…..I took my brother’s arm and headed for the sanctuary. I watched first Ari and then Erin followed by Beth walk down the aisle and I realized how very lucky I was to have such a great family. Of course, I had my usual tears in the eyes. I get soggy at the drop of a hat. I was still a little nervous until I got a glimpse of Matt standing at the front of the church waiting for me. All doubts left and all that remained was a desire to run down the aisle and be with him. Needless to say, I didn’t run only because in that dress I could never have made it. With the sounds of the harp and flute swirling around us, we said our vows again making us one.

All the problems, all the doubts, all the mental stresses that took fifteen months to accumulate were over in just a few minutes. But the memories will live on……

Thank you so much, Gloria (en homme) and Kathleen, Diane (en homme) and Andrea for taking the time to share the day with us. It made it all the more special.

"Make of our hands, one hand,

Make of our hearts, One heart,……

Make of our lives, one life,……

Now it begins, Now we start…..

One hand, one heart"

Peace and joy to all,

Cheryl
 

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Lisa


A woman’s wedding day is a very special day in her life. In addition to being joined with her spouse and of the love and commitment that goes with that, she also get to dress in the most beautiful, the most feminine of outfits; The Bridal Gown.

Most, if not all, of us crossdressers have dreamed of the chance to wear one. Few of us ever get that chance. I can’t thank my lovely new bride enough for granting me the privilege to be a one time bride. It really made me feel very special. Kind of like Cinderella at the ball she has always dreamed of attending.

So I’d like to give a great big thank you to all of the guests who came to share in the special joy of this very special wedding ceremony. And to all of the people who volunteered their time and talent to make it happen in such a lovely way. Peggy, you have out done yourself on the food. And thanks to everyone who assisted her by bringing in dishes, appetizers and deserts. Debbie, the video was wonderful and I can’t wait to see the pictures. Paula and Debbie, you both did a wonderful job with the music. You really turned it into a party for us all. Karen, thanks you so much for helping with limo. It was great to be chauffeured around in style. And to The Board of Directors of Tri-Ess for attending too. It was great to have you all here to be a part of it. And a very special thanks to all the members of Alpha Omega as a whole for making it all possible.

Cheryl & I truly enjoyed the entire night and sincerely hope that all of you had just as much fan as we did?

Huggers

Lisa Ann

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Ari

After a hectic week of getting ready it was time to be pampered. Our first stop was to get our nails done. Mom and I had acrylics put on and we picked out an elegant airbrush design for her.

As the next couple days went by things got even more hectic and relaxing the day of the wedding just wasn’t going to happen. Early Saturday afternoon Mom and I went to Raun’s Hairdressers to have our hair and make-up done for the big event. First we settled into comfy chairs and had our hair put into rollers for our "new" look. By the time we were done we were planning on looking the best we have ever looked. Mom who was the nervous bride was excited to get a chance to relax and get pamper. For the record I think all the pampering spoiled her.

Soon it was time to load the car and go so Matt wouldn’t see his bride-to-be. Nothing seemed to go as smoothly as planned. The maid of honor had problems with her dress and we were afraid that she wouldn’t be able to wear it, but it worked out and she looked beautiful. It was time to get mom dressed. We had to have some fun and put body glitter on her to make her look even more beautiful then she already was. Soon enough it was time to walk down the isle.

Of course you would think we could get away with no glitches in the ceremony but this is us we are talking about here. The maid of honor realized once we were all standing up in front of everyone that she forgot the ring. Can you guess what happened next? Well I will tell you one thing..you aren’t gonna find out unless you ask at the meeting. I have to leave some suspense.

My heart felt congradulations to Mom, Matt, Lisa, etc on their weddings. Both were wonderful. Mom makes one beautfil bride.

Ari
 
 

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Holiday En Femme- Los Angeles 2000

Hi I'm Linda Wade President of Alpha Chapter Tri-Ess Los Angeles. The

Millennial Spectacular Tri-Ess Holiday En Femme 2000 (that's a mouthful) will be hosted by Alpha Chapter this next November. The next four months are going to go very fast. So please get out the word to your chapters and join the celebration!

We are busily working on the program and are excited about it. I will send you updates to let you know what super things are happening.

Our web site is: Not active- Link removed 10/2002

The Sportsman Lodge in Studio City, Ca was a real find, and I know you will find this a fantastic place to have our convention. Take care for now and email me or call me with any questions you may have.

Linda
 

A Note from a Sister

Opening up my heart... little by little

I'd like to begin by expressing my thanks to all who attended the July meeting, for the warm way you welcomed my wife Cindy, visiting for the first time. As we would all expect, it was difficult for her to come. I know that at least in some way, your kindness made the experience we all share seem a little more human and a little less bizarre. I especially thank Sherry, for sharing her experience with Cindy and Abby for the good advice she gave me during the brief time we talked.

I was very pleased when, at the June meeting, Linda and Joyce suggested the 'Sharing From the Heart' sessions. When I first joined A.O., I had hoped that, among other things, it would provide the opportunity to share with each other our deepest feelings regarding our cross dressing and maybe, at some point, share why each of us thinks we do it.

Actually, that is my suggestion for one of the session's topics. I would imagine that there are many in our group that don't really care and are happy simply to enjoy the experience. I, on the other hand, have been in counseling, on and off, for about 20 years, trying to understand and accept myself more. It wasn't until I decided to take the chance about 8 months ago to explore my need to cross dress (and in the process, 'come out'), that I really started to make some progress. I've begun a find a whole side of myself that I'd come to 'disown' over time. I'm still quite vague about it's origin. But in my case, I sense that it involves, at least to some degree, being a 'soft' child, being regarded a 'sissy' (including my father, God rest his soul), etc. I have an intuitive sense that these things are related.

Maybe I'm alone in my experiences and maybe I'm not. But I'm willing to take the chance to share myself if it can lead to myself and my sisters 'becoming whole'. But if this sharing is to have benefit, I have a feeling that I, personally, have to explore feelings and past experiences that I have, until now, hated and repressed.

During one of our 'smoke' breaks, I made the comment that I thought there might be times when I thought a 'Sharing From the Heart' session be open only to the cross dressers themselves. I certainly did not mean to offend the wives by my comment. We all DEEPLY appreciate their involvement and support in an area of our lives where support is SO hard to come by. I just know myself enough that, in my case at least, I need to explore parts of myself that I'm not comfortable with; feelings that I need to accept in myself before I can share them with the community-at-large. I know that the wives would benefit much from these sharings, but maybe in a later, separate session.

I apologize for anyone I offended, and if I'm making the potential of the 'Sharing From the Heart' group too heavy, ignore me, and I'll confine my explorations to my personal therapy sessions. But, if so, I'll miss having the benefit of all of your experiences and perspectives.

With much love for you ALL,

Jamie
 
 
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Let Me Help You "Out," Sister

By Jane Ellen Fairfax

"Tell someone I’m a crossdresser? What do you think I am? Crazy?

I could lose my job! My wife would divorce me! I’d have to leave town!

And as for joining a support group, how can I know whom to trust? For all I know, they could be looking for guys like me to blackmail!" Questions like these race through the minds of many crossdressers as they consider reaching out for information and support. When they discover Tri-Ess, and begin to consider joining, they wonder about the security of the mailing list. Concerned about the consequences of discovery to their livelihood, social standing, and family welfare, they may be apprehensive about leaving home in a dress. With time some become very open about their crossdressing, while others share it on a need-to-know basis and others remain home-dressers. Even after years of participation in Tri-Ess, however, most retain some security issues, and are unwilling to cross certain boundaries.

Now there are those in our community who believe that every crossdresser should be "out." They are quick to point out that the fear of exposure is often worse than the reality. According to them, most people mind their own business and avoid precipitating trouble. Even the crossdresser exposed at work, they argue, may land on his feet. In their minds, any crossdresser in secrecy is a voice lost in the struggle for human rights. The grand goal of an accepting society transcends the security needs of the individual. If the crossdresser will not emerge on his own, he should be forced "out."

While these people make some valid points, their thinking strikes me as short-sighted, inconsiderate, and just plain wrong.

Such end-justifies-the-means thinking ignores the varying realities crossdressers face. It’s much easier to be out and about in an enlightened city than in Redneck Ville. Local laws differ. While most jurisdictions have abolished laws against crossdressing, there are still places where public crossdressing can earn a stint as guest of the local sheriff. Working conditions vary. The crossdresser who works out of his home is probably less at risk than his counterpart who works for Bubba’s Haulers. Because of moral, religious and political values, some families are more tolerant than others. Even within a single family, attitudes vary. In the face of these widely-differing realities, imposing a rigid "everybody out" approach seems the height of folly.

Pushing a crossdresser out of secrecy may be self-defeating, even if the goal is raising social consciousness. Given support and nurturing, even the most closeted crossdresser may come to see that fear is his worst enemy. By taking ‘baby steps" he may extend the bounds of his comfort zone. In time he may feel ready to raise his voice on behalf of our community. If, on the other hand, a crossdresser is "outed" and has a bad experience, he may go right back into the closet, never to emerge again. As a community, we have lost his good will. What have we gained?

Be we community activists or home-dressers it behooves us all to protect the right of our peers to self-determination. This is the exact position Tri-Ess takes. We leave it up to the individual member to decide his own approach based on the realities he faces. Whether he wants to tell the world about his crossdressing or prefers a more private approach, we support him all the way. We accept his decision regardless of where he lives, where he works, or how many people he has told. Let me make myself clear. If a member has told ninety-nine percent of people about his crossdressing, the sister or brother who tells the other one percent has violated his security. Only by maintaining a non-threatening environment can we ensure our members the right to explore their crossgendered side and grow as whole people.

Maintaining Security - How You Can Help

1) Commit to the principle that every crossdresser has the right to determine whom to tell about his crossdressing. No grievance justifies "outing" a peer.

2) Never publish a brother or sister’s contact information, picture or article anywhere without permission.

3) Let your peers know whom to ask for when they call. When they tell you their own preference, honor it.

4) If you are not sure who has answered a call, ask, "Does the name

‘Tri-Ess’ mean anything to you?" If the answer is "Yes," proceed with your conversation.

5) Don’t assume that, because a colleague is relatively open about his crossdressing, the whole world knows. If in doubt, ask.

6) Always ask permission before photographing a brother or sister.

7) Chapters and members should ask how members want mailings addressed, and scrupulously honor instructions.

8) Speak out against the practice of "outing" wherever you encounter it.

9) Restrict access to chapter mailing lists to those who absolutely need them. Before releasing any contact information on a member, the officers should be sure it is OK with the member.

10) In working with the media, act in a way that insures the security of all. Tri-Ess will provide its media policy on request.

11) Curb the desire to gossip. Heed the wise words of Benjamin Franklin:

"Man’s tongue is soft and bone doth lack,
But a stroke thereof can break a man’s back."

12) When in doubt, let love be your guide. Treat others, as you would want them to treat you!
 
 
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Transgender Rights
New York Times Editorial

August 29, 2000

People who have had sex-change surgery, cross-dressers and others whose gender identity does not conform to societal norms are often targets of violence and bias that force them to live in fear for their safety or the loss of their jobs and shelter.  A bill now before the New York City Council would give this marginalized population basic protection against discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.   The city's human rights law has long barred discrimination based on gender. Since the 1980's, the law has also prohibited discrimination based on  "sexual orientation." But that provision focuses on issues of heterosexuality, homosexuality or
bisexuality. It does not protect those who identify themselves as transgender. The new legislation, which has 28 sponsors in the City Council, would broaden the definition of "gender" to include not only a person’s sex, but also a person's statement of gender identity, self-image and appearance.

 Similar anti-bias laws have been enacted in nearly two dozen cities, including Atlanta, San Francisco and Minneapolis. The proposed measure has strong support from civil rights groups and political leaders, including Public Advocate Mark Green and City Comptroller Alan Hevesi. Council Speaker Peter Vallone, however, has not taken a position on the measure. Mr. Vallone should move swiftly to get the bill passed, and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani should sign the measure.
 

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FASHION NEWS


Seeing Red

Ok girls hold on to your hats because something wonderful has happened. Red is here. Yep. That's right, red is here as the color of choice for summer and fall fashions. I am so very excited. I love red. It's my favorite color, and now it's in fashion.

Ok, actually red has always been in fashion. It tends to be a popular color for women's fashions, and you can always find something in red. Nothing; however, compares to the obsession the fashion world is experiencing with red this season. It seems as though red is fast becoming the new gray! Where gray was once the standard, now red is taking its place.

Everywhere you look, you see red. There are prints and solids, all applied to a variety of different fabrics. If it's short, long, or in between, you can find it in red. Have I mentioned how excited I am about the revolution in red? You can find pants, skirts, dresses, shoes, and accessories; each of them rendered splendidly in crimson and scarlet. The differing shades are as varied as the items of clothing and the fabrics to which they're applied.

Many designers have jumped onto the bandwagon, and are now incorporating red into their new designs. Asian prints are extremely popular, as are flowers and geometrics. The contrasting mix of red and black makes for a very dramatic effect. One of the sharpest looks I've seen is a black satin sheath dress with a red jacket of equal length. With a pair of red pumps and a matching handbag, the outfit would be dynamite.

The great thing about red is that it's not a difficult color to wear. Red tends to compliment anyone's complexion, and it can be accessorized with a host of different colors. Since boots will be in this fall, maybe a pair of red ones would be just the ticket to lift the spirits. Even furs, faux or genuine, are being offered in shades of red this season. It seems the possibilities are endless.

So girls, if like me, you're tired of those mundane blacks and grays, take a walk on the wild side and cover yourself in red. Go wild! Everyone else will be doing it, so you don't have to worry about standing out.

Hugs,

Miss Sally Stone

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