LA FEMME SILHOUETTE - SEPTEMBER 1998
Alpha Omega Minutes - July 11, 1998
President Gloria Fenton called the meeting to order. Marla went around with the 50/50 tickets. Gloria read the question of the month.
TREASURERS REPORT: In the checking $2886.83. Petty cash $50 and $397.00 in the charity fund.
Gloria read a letter she wrote to the Trustees of the church. We would like to enclose a $250 donation to the church. There was an additional $20 donated. Diane Vernon suggested we add to the letter that we would like to hear from them as soon as possible. A motion was made to send the letter with the donation. Peggy seconded the motion and the motion was passed.
Last month Olena borrowed the movie Just Like A Woman. She watched it with her wife. She told us her wifes reaction to the movie. She told us it has made a difference. Peggy donated a book to the library entitled She [Understanding Feminine Psychology] by Robert A. Johnson.
After the meeting Marla will show us our Web page. Debbie has looked over the videos of the group we made a few years ago. She will show us what she has done.
A constitution review meeting will be a Peggys. Time and day will be announced.
Our next meeting will be the picnic at Gloria and Kathleens, Aug. 8th. This is a non-dressed affair. Come any time after 1:00. There will be a group committee meeting at 2:00.
Marla thanked everyone for coming and that we have 24 people here. She thanked Olena for the cold cut tray.
Lori announced that we have two new people here, Andrea and Lynette. Gloria mentioned that Fran and Gail are here and Tatiana and Joyce and Linda whom we havent seen in a while.
Cheryl made the motion we adjourn the meeting, Diane Vernon sec.
A LETTER FROM GLORIA
Back in those days of yesteryear, even ten years ago, one of the most common places for someone to try and find information regarding cross dressing groups were adult book stores. And, let's face it, not all the information (or whatever) you may find in adult book stores may be what you are really looking for, or really need.
Even the talk shows on television regarding cross dressing were few in number back then, and they were on during weekdays when someone like myself was working and couldn't watch them anyway. Ten years ago even VCR's were not all that common yet.
Not knowing, or being aware of any other sources of information, I summoned my courage one day and entered an adult book store. There was then, and in many cases, still is a social stigma attached to adult book stores. What little information I did know or had found about Transvestitism, for the most part, cast people like me as sexual deviates who basically lacked any socially redeeming qualities.
Very little information I had ever found or heard of in my 37 years of living, at that time, ten years ago, had any positive aspect for someone like me as a crossdresser. What time I had spent with a therapist and psychologist and psychiatrist had stressed that what I really needed was behavior modification and pills to "straighten" me out. Somehow I knew that wasn't what I needed.
In many ways my life was such a mess ten years ago that I had no idea what was going to happen to me, and I really questioned WHO and WHAT I was. Was I straight, or was I gay? Was I a transsexual? Was I a drag queen or female impersonator? Did I want to date and have sex with men? Was I a sexual pervert of some kind? Why was I different? Why couldn't I find peace in my heart, mind, and soul?
There was also a part deep inside me that kept hanging on and telling me that I wasn't a bad person, and I was not some oddity in a sideshow. I existed from day to day back then, and had been doing that for some time before that fateful day I entered the adult bookstore. Most of the magazines and such I found in the bookstore were sexually oriented and really not what I was looking for. I did, however, find Ladylike Magazine published by Joanne Roberts, and that magazine was not sexually explicit and did have addresses to contact for support groups.
I remember thinking to myself that maybe now I could contact someone and find some answers to the questions I had asked myself for so many years. Through Ladylike Magazine I found Alpha Omega, and in turn a new lease on, and understanding of my life. So much information I had come across was not right for me, but it could have been very easy to be influenced by it.
I was also fortunate that the people I met gave me time to learn who I was and what I needed to suit my life. Again I could have been very easily influenced. Today the Internet is perhaps the most significant way for people like I was ten years ago to get information, and there is a lot of information for very impressionable individuals to find.
With our web page we have a very powerful tool to help those seeking understanding. With that there is a responsibility to provide truthful, honest information about our community. There is also the opportunity to use this powerful resource for outreach and education so that others like us can find information more easily, Helping professionals can become more informed, and maybe even society itself can become more knowledgeable, understanding, or even tolerant of our community in part and as a whole.
I swore to myself ten years ago that I would do what I could to help others to find peace for themselves, and perhaps help change the world for the better. Outreach to others is something I am very serious about because I know there is a lot of misinformation and plain, pure, garbage out there for very impressionable people to find. And there always has been, is, and will be some people to try and take advantage of someone seeking help and understanding.
I really want to spend time to help develop and make happen an outreach program in the next few months and years to come. It is a calling that I feel within me. Join me in this quest. Together we can make wonderful things happen.
Respectfully Submitted,Gloria Sue Fenton
A LETTER FROM CHERYL
Yesterday was the typical A-O day. For weeks everyone had looked forward to the annual cookout at Marty and Kathleen's. This year was no different. Ive always looked forward to a day spent with my friends and the annual cookout is full of surprises and fun. This year was no exception. (smile) I suppose I should explain what led up to the events of the day. June 14 was the day our family selected to celebrate my youngest daughter's graduation. We held it at one of my other daughter's home. Late afternoon as my dad and I were walking towards my car, I suddenly fell flat onto my face. My glasses, which didn't break, dug into my nose, which also didn't break. However it also was left with no skin. Several days later a plastic surgeon stitched it back together with a tug here and a pull there. 30 stitches later I went home. Eight weeks later I finally am getting what appears to be a nose back. It is still swollen and sore, minimal scarring and sometimes I can even wear my glasses. Of course I have been the brunt of any jokes and the cookout was no exception. In a few weeks I will be celebrating yet another birthday. Marty and Kathleen along with the assistance of my devilish daughter Ari decided I should have my birthday present early. Since Marty does love making a spectacle out of all involved, I unsuspecting was called to the front of the group and treated to the most unusual gifts ever. The only thing missing was tips on how to cover the scars...
The first was a first aid kit for injured noses. Every household should have one of these. Sealed in a lock-tight hefty bag was a popsicle stick broken in half, 2 band aids, and band aid strips. The only thing that was missing was the pain killer. I guess Im supposed to supply my own little bottle of Baileys....
The second was very interesting. A chinet bowl complete with strings, eyeholes, nose and mouth holes. Around the rim was a collection of flowers for decoration. How clever. When worn with rim out, the rim would protect the wearers face in case of a fall. My only suggestion was that blush, mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow and lipstick would improve the look. Then it could be worn with any outfit.
The last was the best. Who else would have the nerve to take a bra and sew two neon orange slinkys to each cup. Yes, I said slinkys. Supposed to protect bouncing power in case of falls, I'm more concerned about tripping over hem. Also I have two basic problems with them. As a green Irish, I don't wear orange...and I seldom wear my bra on the outside.
I can hardly wait until next year. Maybe Dan will get a bee sting kit (He managed to get stung on the face) or Lori will get her version of a fall kit (Her chair went off the deck with her in it) or maybe I'll get roasted again. Whatever it is sure to be different and a lot of fun.
There will be a Constitutional Review meeting on Saturday, September 26, 1998 beginning at 2:00 p.m. at Peg's home for anyone interested. Directions will be available, if needed. There will be copies of the constitution for your review at the September meeting.
Kathy and I want to thank everyone who helped make this year's "Cookout" at our home a very wonderful time. We hope you enjoyed the food and the hospitality of our home and will look forward to next year.
Thank you, our friends, for being a part of our lives. You are all very special to us, and are welcome in our hearts and our home.
Kathy and Martin
Janet and Charlotte, two very dear friends of Alpha Omega, will be attending our September meeting. We were all saddened when this wonderful couple had to move from our area a couple years ago. So if you know Janet and Charlotte, look forward to seeing then again. If you don't know them, look forward to meeting two new friends.
See you all in September!
by Olena Maria
Well girls I finely got my hands on the information you requested regarding the great skin care treatment my wife has been using for the last three weeks with absolutely remarkable results.
I would not have recommended this treatment unless I saw the results with my own eyes. Believe me, it works.
The treatment is called "Glycolic Acid Treatment". The brochure states the following: "The latest fruit acid treatment for smoothing and refining the skin. Great for acne-prone and aging skin. 20 minute session.
The treatment center is called the "Westshore Skin Care Center, located at 29160 Center Ridge Rd. Suite F, Westlake, Ohio 44145. Phone number is (440-835-7229). The cost is 28 dollars per session. MC, Visa, Discover accepted.
My wife tells me that her schedule of sessions runs 7 weeks at once a week and then once a month afterwards. I guess it all depends on the results one is looking for.
But, believe me girls there are absolutely astounding results the very first day after the first session. Three weeks later it is absolutely unbelievable. My reactions are always prefaced by "you know dear, its not like you were not beautiful before (always a smart preface before you comment on a woman's looks) but now...WOW!" After the first session I thought she went for a makeover and complemented her on her choice of makeup. To my surprise she was not wearing any makeup.
There are also many other treatments available, but too many to mention here and I have no experience or knowledge of them so I cannot recommend or comment on these treatments. I will bring copies of the brochure to the next meeting for your information.
I should mention that I am currently taking a treatment for those awful bags I have under my eyes which at the end of the evening combined with makeup look like the dried, cracked and caked desert ground. The treatment, I am told, takes some time to correct the problem...approximately 3 to 6 months (shucks). I will keep you informed on how this treatment works for me.
Please feel free to contact the skin care center for further information. But please do not mention my name or my wife. They are not aware that I am a crossdresser.
Be-All 98 and a new look at the real me - WOW
Bless the internet and the information that it provides. When I decided in April to open the closet door and peek out, the web was there. It led me to Alpha Omega, just in time for the April meeting. It also showed me upcoming conventions; one begin in June and close bye in Pittsburgh.
In April I phoned in a reservation at the Holiday Inn in Pittsburgh and my deposit for the /Be-All Convention. Now the days of the calendar slowed down to a snails pace, workdays drew longer. My excitement for this planned experience could not have soured higher. The very thought, five days and four nights of only Susie - Wow!
Well May and early June did go bye, as did my budget - just one more wig, another gown, of course more silk blouses. When the same clerks at Dillard's start greeting you by name, and with a smile, you're spending too much.
The evening of the 4th came as did even a greater level of excitement. My neighbor came over and saw my gown (for Saturday night). She cursed me for not being a size eight so she could borrow it (in my wildest dreams).
Finally the next morning came and it was time to pack and load the car for my drive to Pittsburgh. I had told the Cleveland area sister, that was going to share my room, that I would be at the Hotel by 11:30am (ho, ho) I packed and repacked my three pink soft bags, my one large hanging teal bag and a wig box; /there just did not seem to be enough room. Finally about 10:15 I had eliminated enough to close the travel bags - especially the tan slacks and blouse oxford button-down, who needs that?
Loading the car provided some humor - "hi neighbors, like my colorful luggage?" With all my luggage, wig stands, camera gear, etc. in the car my attention turned to a shower, makeup and slipping into the new silk dress and silk jacket I had purchased for that moment. And away we go! As I cruised down I-76 toward Pennsylvania I beamed with joy, thinking about all that had transpired in just 60 days and all that was to be mine over the next several days. I had trouble finding the Holiday McNight, but with perseverance and directions I got there at 2:30PM.
As I checked in I was greeted by friends from the Cleveland area, including my roomy, who was also late. After unloading everything into our room, which now looked like a war zone, we went down and registered. The joy of walking through rooms of friendly sisters and brothers, meeting new friends, and then walking comfortably through groups of non transgendered people, well this was my coming out.
By now hunger was getting the best of me (missed lunch). I headed into the cocktail lounge since the restaurant was closed. Shortly I was joined by another hungry sister from Wilmington, Delaware. As we sat by ourselves near the entrance to the bar we were tickled by the line of senior men and women coming to the bar for drinks to take back to their meeting down the hall; we were tickled since the only place for them to order their drinks was up against my left shoulder - yes we might have gotten a look or two, in fact I would render a guess that we were read (ho ho).
A prim lady of about sixty years came back for her second drink and a better look at us. Hew curiosity was too great - "are you entertaining tonight?" We told her that we were attending a convention at the hotel. Her expression was too much for me, so I leaned closer to her and asked her if she was one of us. If I never had another laugh at the convention the look on her face paid the cost of the convention. She raised up on her toes ad exclaimed that she was insulted; not to be outdone I explained that she, in so stating, was insulting us. We both backed off and from that point we had a very nice conversation. We explained our being and further explained the diversity of persons within our transgendered family. She was a personnel manager with a Pittsburgh based corporation and was particularly interested in TS oriented remarks as she had hired a TS who was treated very poorly and had committed suicide at work. She was late to her meeting, but all three of us had expanded our understandings form our discussion. She left cordially thanking us.
As I headed for m room to change for the pool party (cancelled due to rain) I stepped into the elevator with three red-necked me - it was downright fun to try to draw them into s friendly conversation, yes two of them did lighten-up and joined in a laugh.
The convention was full of great fun and many laughs. On our way to a disco one night our brother (f/m cd) from Detroit leaped to the door of the limo-van and announced that we could safely depart in this rough neighborhood, he would protect us (all 5'2" and 102# of him) - the mascara flowed in the eyes of all sisters as we headed for a great time.
I had always dreamt of poking around and shopping at a major mall, well on Saturday I did. One of my sisters wanted to buy a new gown for the Saturday Party so three of us headed out to a nice tri-level mall in my car. We walked down through the mall and checked out the dress departments in two department stores. I resisted trying any thing on knowing that I would spend too much if I did, but I surely had fun browsing on my own while my sisters did try some things on. I had fun kidding with a 20ish clerk who was sulking over something her boss had done to her. Then came my greatest laugh of the convention - "miss, miss, miss", my lord she was beckoning me from a few feet away, "do you work here?" As I told her I was not a clerk, I heard a little six year old girl around the dress rack asking her mother - "Is that a boy?" To pass and be read within a few feet and with seconds was too much - my mascara flowed.
What did I get from the Be-All Convention? I make wonderful new friends that share my feelings and needs, friends from all over America, Canada, England, Switzerland, Jamaica and Netherlands; friends to correspond with and many to be seen at future conventions and as I travel. I have already had a sister from West Virginia visit - party, party.
The most noteworthy thing what the Be-All gave me -I really met someone special, me! I came feeling more comfortable with me, more self assured, and committed to an ongoing more open involvement with the transgendered community to which I belong.
Hoping to see all of us at the Be-All 99 in Cleveland from June 2nd to the 6th, 1999.
Luv, Susie Davis
Yep. . .Here's one we've all struggled with. . .especially when the image we've fantasized about does not materialize when we look in the mirror. It's about "Inner Beauty"... and we all know that beauty really begins within. This article excerpt from Shifting Times by Dr. Dorie McCubbrey really hit me between the (mascara-ed) eyes. Perhaps it'll do the same with you.
"Beauty truly is in the eyes of the beholder: You, the real keys to being beautiful are within you. You can receive millions of compliments from others but reject them all unless you feel good about yourself first and foremost. Learn how to look inside yourself and discover the true beauty that lies within. Self-acceptance means accepting your entire self: physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. Listen carefully to the messages that you send yourself, and realize that if you criticize any part of yourself, you criticize the whole.
"Self-acceptance begins today. . .not after you're thin enough. Find ways to make peace with all the parts of yourself, and see the difference this makes in your entire life.
"When you feel good about yourself, you will naturally take better care of yourself. When you take better care of yourself, your goals will begin to unfold on their own. When your goals begin to manifest, and you are healthy on purpose, you can give more to others. If we accepted ourselves, focused on true well-being, and gave fully to ourselves and others, wouldn't many of our external problems be solved?"
Our guest speaker will be Dr. Antone Feo. Dr. Feo has been a friend to Alpha Omega for a number of years. We are always delighted when he can be with us as a speaker as well as when he can join us as a guest. He will be presenting ideas on the topic of outreach.
OCTOBER: Naomi Owen of Chi Chapter will be our speaker for what has become a tradition of National Speaker's Month.
NOVEMBER: Bonnie has been rescheduled. She will be dealing with the spiritual side of expressing our feminine side.
DECEMBER: Our annual Christmas Party and Awards Ceremony. REMEMBER, the December meeting is the first Saturday in December.
FEBRUARY: Open. Nominations for officers for the coming year.
MARCH: Open. Final nominations and election of officers.
Brocures on these events are available at our meetings