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& MARTIN’S COOKOUT
(a NON-DRESSED UP
When: SUNDAY, AUGUST 19, 2001
RAIN OR SHINE
You can show up any time after 1:00 p.m.
Food will be served about 4:00 p.m.
Where Our home. Contact Kathy
me for directions, if needed.
What to bring: If you have a favorite beverage, bring that — nothing more
needed other than you being with us.
Italian sausage with peppers & onions
Two pasta salads
Pour bean salad
Baked beans (including vegetarian)
Chips, pretzels, etc
Coffee, tea, punch, some soft drinks
Applesauce cake, strawberry cake, fruit apple crisp, pineapple upside down
Volleyball, horse shoes, lawn darts board games etc.
Please, come and enjoy the hospitality of our home. This is a great time to
get together separate from a meeting and have some fun It is also a good
time to meet the guy behind the gal, for us and for our partners I am a very
firm believer in getting to know the whole person.
This will be, I believe, the seventh cook out that Kathy and I have done. We
do it because it's a way to have our friends share a part of our life with
us, in what is our daily lives.
Other than bringing your own favorite beverage, should you choose to, there
is nothing for you to do but come and enjoy yours self. It doe sn't cost a
dime — just your time.
Please try to let Kathy and I know if you plan to attend.
Martin (Gloria) andKathy
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All things change in order to
survive. So is Tri-Ess. Within the last couple of years, we've
seen the National Board add new members and old members leave. Carol
Beecroft and Virginia Prince have gone emeritus. Dana, Cheryl Seymour,
Geri Buchanon, Kim Nolen, Doug Murray were added. Mel and Peggy Rudd
resigned active positions to go on the Advisory Staff. Thus has the
Board Membership changed.
Even the Departments have changed. The Department of Spouses and
Partners is no more. Instead we have expanded into the Department of
Family Support. Within this Department are currently two Divisions -
Division of Children's Support (headed by Ari Seymour) and the Division of
Spouses and Partners. A third Division is in the plans. This
Division will handle the needs of parents and siblings. The focus of
each Division will be support and education for those that come in its
domain. Included in this will be such programs as Crisis Intervention,
Online Forums, and SPICE.
We are working on databases that will include not only internet resources
but local resources also. Databases have been set up for speakers, for
Caring Friends, and for the CDSO. A Department Financial System has
been put together and first used on SPICE 2001. A new membership
packet is being put together that will include basic resources such as lists
of recommended books, articles, websites, forums, etc.
Although SPICE is a very important part of Tri-Ess, it is ONLY four days out
of 365. Those of us in the Department of Family Support are cognizant
of that fact and are striving to bring to SO's and families help for those
Inclusive of these Divisions are the Program Coordinators:
Program coordinator (Catherine) handles such details as working with
the hotel for SPICE and for making travel arrangements for those attending.
She will work with the hosting chapter on the program and will maintain the
The Outreach Coordinator will handle mailings to helping professionals and
Crisis Hotlines. She'll recruit helping professionals and maintain
their database. She will also network with chapters on department
activities and promote Family Support activities such as SPICE at major
The Cyberspace Coordinator (Mary Frances) maintains all Family
Support-related websites and forums.
Correspondence Coordinator (Evelyn Kirkland) handles the Hotlines,
corresponds with new Tri-Ess Partners and previous SPICE attendees.
Chapter Coordinator (Kim Nolan) works with the host chapter on the
Hospitality Room, Wednesday night reception, evening entertainment,
excursions and meal planning.
Publicity Coordinator handles all publicity for SPICE (brochures, flyers,
registration forms and schedule of events. She gets these materials
out to chapters, helping professionals, etc.
Finance Coordinator maintains the budget, works with the Tri-Ess Fundraising
Team to procure grants, encourages fundraisers in the chapters, and oversees
SPICE bear raffles.
Leslie as Editor of the Sweetheart Connection publishes our quarterly
newsletter. Containing articles written by many of our wives and
partners, it has become a wealth of information.
Finally, Doug Murray - our Tri-Ess Liaison. Doug attends the Family
Support Board meetings so that he can provide insight on pertinent Tri-Ess
issues and communication between the Board and Tri-Ess.
This is the new Department of Family Support!
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MY SUMMERTIME HURRAH!
By Miss Sally Stone
I love summertime but unfortunately, the summer months tend to impede upon my crossdressing activities. For one thing, the kids are out of school, and because they don't know about my crossdressing behavior, I have to cool it. Additionally, the high heat and high humidity wreak havoc with a
crossdresser. A wig and a girdle can help to rush the onset of heatstroke, and unfortunately, I need those things to help enhance my feminine image. Moreover, if you've ever tried to crossdress when the thermometer is hovering around 90 degrees, you know that the life expectancy of full coverage foundation makeup can be measured with an egg timer.
Consequently, this summer I rang out the crossdressing season with an adventurous outing. My wife and the children were visiting family in another state, and this gave me the opportunity to do the town one last time.
Because of the timing, I had to plan my outing for a Sunday. I generally avoid the weekends because of the crowds, but unfortunately, I had no choice this time. I rose early, shaved and showered, and then I did my makeup. I chose a new red suit and matching pumps for my outfit. Given the fact that it was Sunday, I felt I could easily get away with overdressing. My guess was that I would easily blend in with the after church crowd. I coifed my long blonde wig, applied a set of long red acrylic nails, and checked my purse for the proper items. When I left the house, the sun was shining brightly, but the temperature was still a reasonable 75 degrees.
When I hit the highway, it was just nine am. I drove to a nearby Target because even on Sundays, it opens at 8. I shopped for some makeup, and then I looked through their book section. The store wasn't very crowded at all, and I moved around comfortably. When I did finally check out, the cashier, a nice young lady, never showed a hint of discomfort by my presence.
My next stop was Barnes and Noble Bookstore. It had just opened when I arrived and once again, there wasn't much of a crowd. By the time I took my book purchase to the counter however, things had hanged decidedly. As I stood in line waiting my turn for a cashier, a man to my right was eyeing me intently. I tried my best to ignore his stares but he was beginning to make me uncomfortable. I was happy when I finally made it to the cashier. The young man was very polite and even addressed me as ma'am. I don't think he realized that he made my day. As I headed for the door the staring gentleman was still staring. I wonder if he was reading me and wondering why I would dress this way in public, or was he infatuated with me? Since I didn't know for sure, I assumed the latter.
My last stop was the coffee shop across the street from the bookstore. I pulled into the parking lot and scoped out the place for crowds. Business was certainly picking up and I nearly talked myself out of going in. Setting aside my nerves however, I grabbed my purse and headed for the front door. Just as I reached the door, the manager opened it and greeted me warmly. I felt a little uncomfortable because I positively towered over this guy.
Never the less, he was extremely friendly. I stepped to the counter to order coffee and a cinnamon scone. two young ladies waited on me, and one of them initially did a double take when she first saw me. After that however, they both were
extremely polite and relatively nonplussed. As I drank my coffee heading towards home, I was
thrilled that my last hurrah for the crossdressing season had been such a wonderful experience. Every person I had the
pleasure of meeting was friendly and polite and again, I was amazed (happily so) that most people didn't seem to be freaked out or particularly bothered by a crossdresser in public. I can't wait until the weather grows cooler and the kids are back in school. Until then, however, I have a fond memory of a wonderful day to tide me over.
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Would A Man Wear A Dress?
by Lucy Stone
Probably the first question everyone, both CDs and spouses ask is, "Why
would a man want to cross- dress?" I know that is the first question
that I asked myself when I first became aware of my desire to cross-dress.
Being a Scientist. I immediately looked for the root cause and quickly
learned d that while there are many theories, the cause is not known
However, the fact remains, I have a strong desire to wear women's clothes
and have had it from my first recollections as a small child. This is not
something I wanted and like most of us, it is something I would not have
chosen. But having accepted myself I very much enjoy the bright colors,
varieties of fabrics and jewelry that afford me the freedom of expression
and pure defight that I get from my Lucy clothes. Is this really much
different than much of the enjoyment that genetic females get?
Some of you may reply that one of the major reasons that genetic females
wear attractive clothes is to app e al to men. T rue that is not one of my
reasons. I am very much a hetero sexual male, and I have never wanted
anything but my Don clothes when I wanted to be s sexually attractive.
However, none of us, either men or women, want to spend all of our time
attracting the other sex. As we get older, we spend more time pursuing other
goals, but more and more as time goes by, we want to wear clothes that
appeal to us. I am not satisfied with the limitations deemed appropriate for
my sex any more than most women would be if they were limited to wearing
dresses all of the time, as they were during the first part of the last
Perhaps you may be thinking that society says it is all right for women to
wear bright colors, but men are supposed to dress in keeping with their
supposedly stoic nature. However, this certainly is not the desire of many
men. Various studies have shown that a large number of cross-dressers exist
worldwide. Estimates have ranged from three to eight percent of males in
developed countries, and some therapists say that in particular groups such
as retired upper middle class males, the percentage maybe much higher. No
one knows how many of us there are because many cross—dressers stay in the
closet. If less inhibited perhaps many more males would enjoy and wear many
of the garments they now shun publicly
Even though I was wrapped in a blue blanket and conditioned from birth to
"be a man", I and many others still enjoy women's clothes not only
when they are being wom by the fairer sex but when I am wearing them. So
what could I do once I realized that this desire wasn't going away? My first
problem was to accept myself and to be honest with my spouse. This is the
hardest thing that I have ever had to do. Fortunately, I told my wife as
soon as I realized this was part of me. However, I felt a deep guilt for
years, and periodically purged everything The result, each time, was that I
became withdrawn, harder to live with and both Joan's blood pressure and
mine would go up.
Fortunately, Joan did not give up on me, and
we both tried to understand and work through the problem. We came to
realize that, while we were conditioned by society for our reproductive
roles, we each had a broader range of interests and needs. And many of our
desires were not that much different from each other. We both dearly
love our roles as lovers, parents and grandparents. We love romantic
evenings together, and we love to do most of the things most couples do.
We both love wearing pretty dresses, and we both spend the majority of our
time in casual shirts and pants. And we both love pretty jewelry.
Are either of us basically really that much different from each other?
Because we are now retired, we have the good fortune of spending much of our
time together. True, I often accompany Joan as Lucy, but more often I
accompany Joan as Don. My mode of dress is conditioned by what we are
going to do, and each day we decide together how we are going to dress.
It is important to me to pass when I am cross-dressed, not because I want to
be a woman. Rather, when I am dressed in my favorite clothing, my Lucy mode,
everyone including Joan and me are more comfortable that I am being perceive
as a woman. This permits us to go about our business without spending
all of our time explaining cross-dressing, and I get to wear the clothing
and jewelry that is most desirable to me.
But wait you say, what is in it for Joan? I am certain she will tell
you that she has a husband who is most appreciative for her love and tries
to reciprocate by being attentive to her needs. And she has a husband
who loves to be with her, and do things with her. We have lots of fun
together, and it is not dependent on how I am dressed. Joan remarked
recently that she sometimes has to turn and look at me to see how I am
dressed before she addresses me by name, either Don or Lucy. Other
wise, as she pointed out, I am the same person. We have found
the silver lining in the cloud that once cast a long shadow over our lives,
but we both wish only that we had found it sooner.
Note from Joan: I agree with what Lucy has said. However, I would like
to add, that many of you will remember the difficult time women had in
fighting for the right to wear slacks and many of the articles of men's
clothing we take for granted today. Not only did we have to
fight the men, but there were many women who did not feel we should be doing
this. The advertising community, in order to sell more clothing, has
really done a number on all of us. Some of you younger ladies will
probably not remember the bra burnings and other arguments for the right to
dress as we please. It was a tumultuous time, but we made it through
and things have evened out. Hopefully our husbands will also be able
to have some of the feminine clothing without having to go to the public
forum to fight openly for them.
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Crane- Group Therapy in Columbus
By Diane Sofia Frank
Alpha Omega can’t address every issue in your life.
There may be aspects to your crossdressing, sexuality and/or life experience
that need more help than your sisters can give. That’s the point where you
might want to consider professional advice. We’ve got a selection of
counselors familiar with gender identity and sexuality issues listed in our
web site. But if you’re even more nervous about seeing a
"shrink" than coming to an Alpha Omega meeting, the following
should set you mind at ease.
I met Merâl at a Transfamily presentation she did with
several other therapists. We had a very pleasant chat, and during the course
of her editing the blurb I wrote about her (this is available on the website
but never appeared in the newsletter), she suggested that I drop in on one
of her monthly group sessions. She had two reasons for this. First she
thought I’d like to see what went on and write about it, and second she
thought one of her clients would like to meet me. Being interested and
flattered, of course I accepted.
Snuggled in the spacious basement den of an inconspicuous
suburban Columbus home, Some 25+ people arrived during the course of the
evening. People introduced themselves around the room, and there were no
demurrers when I explained that I was there to write about the meeting, but
I’d participate as if I was a regular. The session seemed to have two
parts to it, one a discussion of the external details of a transgendered
existence, and given the composition of the group it was mostly focused on
issues of transitioning. Documents, name changes, licenses, identification
and so forth were discussed. Of more interest later were the issues of
personal perception, self-confidence, and how the world looks to you on any
given day. Relating your problem and hearing how other people have dealt
with similar issues can be reassuring and save you some work.
Regretfully, I had to leave the meeting to spend time with
the person who Merâl wanted me to meet and I missed most of that
discussion. But Merâl graciously allowed me to come back to a second
session, to hear more about problems. Although crossdressers and
transsexuals come from rather different places, some of the issues are
common. Divorce, unfortunately is one of them. Those CD’s who choose to
venture out in public share the same concern as transsexuals about
"passing" and acceptance, albeit transsexuals must deal with the
issue on a 24/7 basis.
What struck me most about these discussions was in fact
how ordinary they were. From my perspective, being a guest, what was
extraordinary was Merâl’s ability to facilitate the discussion. The kind
of psychotherapy that she practices demands this skill. "Reality"
or "Cognitive" therapy have as their premise that much of our
difficulty in life lies not in what happens to us (reality), but the stories
(cognition) we make up about the things that happen to us. We tend to over
interpret and over process, seeing things as better or worse than they
really are, and often making problems worse by our reactions. People tend to
cling to the stories, to be invested in their interpretations of the events
in their lives. Because of this, a therapist needs the insight to tease
apart the events from the person’s story about the events and then a
tactful but persistent approach to engage the person in seeing other
possible interpretations of events. An example of this was her gentle
suggestion to a person who seemed to be having difficulty planning, but
rejected the idea of engaging an objective outside financial analyst on the
grounds of great prior management consulting experience…"remember its
the cobbler’s children who go without shoes".
Strongly emotional issues such as divorce are apt to
engage a great deal of interpretation and misinterpretation of experience.
An outside perspective can help tell fact from fiction. Similarly, the
intense self doubts about passing and concern for other people’s
perceptions can generate stories that differ from the truth. An example of
the passing issue occurred to me on the way home from the group therapy
I stopped at K-mart pick up some makeup, knowing from past
experience that at 2 in the morning you can walk in the store naked and the
employees are too zonked to care. Two rather short guys caught sight of me,
and sidled up behind me for a few minutes in the check out line. Since I’m
6’2"+ in stocking feet, their curiosity could simply have
been because I was tall. Being tall I’m always interested in tall people
in general and will close the distance to get a better look. So one story I
could make up is that they were checking out the tall, good-looking lady.
The other, of course, is that I was "clocked". I don’t know the
truth. But consider that it would feel rather nice to be admired for being
tall and good looking, and feel terrible to be clocked and laughed at. The
story I make up, rather than the unknown facts of the matter could have a
great deal to do with how I felt both at the time, and afterwards.
I took home a number of messages from this group. First,
as one of the members emphasized, this is PG rated stuff. Second, there is
nothing particularly remarkable or different about a group therapy session
for T* issues than for other issues, in fact ‘other’ issues predominate.
Third, even if you’re just there as an observer, you can benefit from the
session even if you didn’t expect it. Finally, if you have doubts or
concerns about seeking help that you need, you can put them aside. Help is
there and there doesn’t appear to be any downside to getting it.
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