Keith on Christmas morning

Keith on a Christmas morning, near the hobby horse I picked up used from the classified section and stayed up all night Christmas Eve repainting it with little tiny brushes. It was, just barely, ready, dry, and by the tree when the kids woke up to open their presents.

The Subversive | Volume 15

THE SUBVERSIVE

Volume 15

“Where Dreams are the stuff Reality is made of”

DECLARATION OF PURPOSE

“This journal exists to promote the concept that each human is a unique individual, intrinsically entitled with an equal right to pursue her own destiny as far as it does not inhibit others in that same right. The Subversive shall serve as a ready forum for the free expression and exchange of ideas that do not violate this mandate, in the belief that tolerance grows from a familiarity with variety.”

–signed,
Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor

WHERE TO GET THE SUBVERSIVE:

The Subversive is available FREE as a download on America Online, Compuserve, Genie, Feminet, several servers on the Internet, and various BBS around the world!

EDITOR’S NOTE: It is my desire to make this publication available free online to all who wish to read it. However, due to copyright laws, any overall license would allow unscrupulous individuals to excerpt portions and use it for their own personal gain. Therefore, should you wish to upload this publication on your BBS or simply generate hardcopies for support groups and friends, please write me about a free specific license for your purpose.


EXPLORATIONS

by
Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor

“Skeletons In The Closet You Came Out Of”

I’ve never danced before. Oh, sure, a little disco but nothing organized. Well, I take that back… I did TRY dancing once: country line dancing with my writing partner Chris. He is an excellent dancer and invited me along one evening to join him. I was awful. No two ways about it, I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other to music.

This isn’t a new thing with me – I’ve ALWAYS been an awful dancer. I’m not uncoordinated, mind you, and manage all kinds of complex physical maneuvers that don’t occur to music (no nookie jokes, please!) However, slap the label “dance” on it and suddenly I go into disjointed spasms. Obviously its not a lack of ability, but some kind of anxiety at work here.

The first time I can recall feeling this way was in elementary school when we had to learn those stupid little, cute little Spring Dance routines. We would practice every day for several minutes. I WAS TERRIFIED!!! Why? Because I already felt rejected for who I was inside (a little girl) and was struggling so hard to fit in as a little boy. I studied all their moves in kickball, conversation, even just walking around. I mean here’s this little kid maybe seven years old trying to copy the other little boys so that “he” won’t be rejected anymore.

Trying to dance was the worst of it. It wasn’t just the steps, but the cocky lean that the other boys put into it. Inside, I actually liked dancing, but if I let myself go I acted like a girl and got ridiculed. So not only were there all these steps to learn, but I had to try to hide my natural reaction to the music and copy and fake what the other boys were doing all at the same time. It wasn’t long before I was petrified to be a part of this devastating web of self-created responsibilities.

The most hated of all dances was The Square Dance (note the capital letters!) To me, this was the epitome of challenge from which failure was a higher fall. This was due to the distinct separation between male and female roles of participation. Boys did THIS and girls did THAT. So, I was really on the spot. I would be compared DIRECTLY to the other boys even while being exiled from the role I truly wanted.

All this left its mark. I avoided dancing all of my male years, being forced into it only at my senior prom and my wedding reception. In contrast, my Life Partner, Mary, LOVED square dancing and needled me for years to go with her to try it out. I adamantly refused, and in fact, never went with her at all.

Here is where it might have remained had not Mary decided a couple months ago to join a square dance class on her own. (Although anchored together, being a family of two women has nudged us into exploring some activities as solo acts, rather than as a couple.) After two weeks, she utterly surprised me by asking if I would like to join her in the next class.

Now this was strange enough, as one of her original reasons for going was to meet guys, and my presence would be an odd addition to that effort. But even more strange, I was amazed to discover that I actually wanted to go. Somehow, having lived on this side of the fence for a while, my desire to dance was beginning to return.

So, I joined Mary and was pleased to find that not only did I enjoy the class, but was not half bad at it either! In fact, square dancing is quite fun. (Boy, when they swing you around with a courtesy turn and your skirt takes to the wind with their hand firmly guiding you on the small of your back… Ooo La LA! – oops, wrong dance… but the feeling’s the same!)

Anyway, all this that I have told you is my meandering way of setting the stage for the real heart of this little essay. (I originally was going to call it, “Back to Square One”, but then I would have had to end the story around here somewhere, and that not what I really wanted to talk about!)

Okay, so you sit there in class and the guys come over to you and ask if they can have the next “tip” (or dance). Often, you get booked up early with guys asking at the beginning of the evening for the 3rd tip or the 5th. After a while the same guys kinda gravitate toward you so you spend more time with the same partners.

Mary and I pass ourselves off as room mates. She takes the kids (in explaining our history) and I am a bachelorette. We use different last names. This works fine most of the time, but we do have to watch what we say.

Of course, Mary and I are both cruising for guys as well, so sometimes it gets interesting when the same guy is interested in both of us and we have to fight over him. Nothing nasty mind you, just trying to out flirt the other one – a friendly rivalry.

Well, even that was okay because it was just during the dancing. But in the last two weeks some of the guys have figured they have known us long enough and are starting to move in. Now, let me explain something about the guys who come to square dances. Most of them are either 80 years old, or fat or ugly or slouched over or obnoxious. One or two are okay. There’s nobody there to die for. Still, an okay guy is better than no guy, so that direction of thinking does have fodder for the heart.

One of the guys who came on to me reminds me of Segourney Weaver’s tax consultant neighbor in ghost busters. He just comes on strong, monopolizes the conversation and sort of buzzes around you like a lecherous humming bird. Last week it took me five minutes to break away from his conversation so I could go home.

But the good news is, a really nice guy showed up two weeks ago for the first time. He is an experienced dancer, just coming to brush up a bit. I won’t say too much about him that might identify him, so as not to violate his privacy to others. What I CAN say is that he can turn you in a spin like NOBODY can! I had trouble with the spins until him…. not anymore!

Anyway, we talked a lot that night and struck it off well. We had a lot in common, including his being a writer. So, I gave him my business card and invited him to call me about Dramatica (the writer’s software program I am co-developing). A few days later, he DID call. This was a real kick! I’ve spent time with a number of guys, but none who were unaware of my past. This nice guy just knew me as Melanie the story theorist and liked me for that alone.

(Now you see how we are working up to Skeletons In The Closet You Came Out Of, eh what?) So, we talked and had a good conversation. I helped keep it going because I wanted to have this thing progress a bit. Well, it did. A couple days later, I got a two page handwritten letter from him, telling me a bit about himself, his work, and his interests.

One might think that I would be overjoyed at this. I tried to be, I really did… but I began to get depressed instead. This is a NICE guy – a guy who is a gentleman, who lives alone, who has got to be lonely and is attracted to me. When I tell him about my past, he’s going to be hurt. No doubt about it. So, what do I do? Never date guys who don’t know? Hope that my notoriety from the Dramatica Program precedes me to the point that I become a celebrity transsexual so EVERYONE knows and I don’t have to worry about it?

You see, I just don’t want to hurt him or anybody else. But I don’t want to only date people from the gender community either. The way I figure it, if I had divorced Mary and moved out, I could claim that whole previous life was behind me. I could even deny it if I wanted (though that is not my way). Still, when I told him, there would be no visible evidence of my past, no lingering remnants – just the new Melanie that he is attracted to. Then, I could deal with telling him and know that it wouldn’t hurt him as much, since it is all in the past.

But by staying with my family, my past is carried over into the present. I sleep in the same bed with Mary, we co-own the home, we have a family here! Sounds like I should just settle down and not date, right? But how in blazes can I have gone through all the pains of transition and not seek its ultimate rewards. When I am in the arms of a man, well, that’s heaven. But I love Mary too!

So, as you can see, I got depressed, chasing my mental tail. And then, I had an inspiration… Why not ask a GUY!!! Chris was in Paris on vacation, so I tracked down his VERY male brother (Otter) who also works at the company. He and I share problems from time to time, so I hit him with this one. He said that there definitely WAS something I could do to limit how much hurt my fellow would feel and would still allow me to date.

Otter said that a guy just needs to know there is danger lurking so he can be ready when it comes. He said that one my first date, if it looks like things will continue, I should tell any guy that I have a few skeletons in my closet that I don’t want to talk about now, but just wanted him to know so that he won’t be hurt later. He said that guys will hold back a bit of their heart when they hear this. They will either demand to be told right then and there or no more momentum, or they will keep a little wall around their heart until they find out later. If they need to know right now, I can tell them and take my chances or I can decline and not continue the relationship, depending on if I want them blabbing it all around or not. Well, with Mary and myself in the class for the next five months, I don’t want anything blabbed that would ruin it for the two of us, so I will decline. However, I think it is only moral (to me) to tell the guy the whole truth BEFORE you become intimate. Anything less than honesty at that time would (for me) be crossing the line.

But, I wasn’t completely convinced (never having thought like a man and therefore unable to judge the accuracy of Otter’s statement as a truism for all or most men. So, I went home and asked my 14 year old son, Keith (who is all full of hormones these days) if what Otter said was true. He told me that ABSOLUTELY it was true! He said, “Let me give you an analogy” and explained that if a guy is walking down the street and gets jumped, he is really injured because he didn’t see it coming. But if a guy goes down the street KNOWING someone is going to jump him, he can be prepared. Even though he’ll get beat up some, at least he was ready for it, and that’s all a guy really wants.

Well, I’ve never felt like that. I don’t know if its me, or if its just a difference between men and women. But I do believe that it works for guys. So, I sat down and wrote out a friendly one page letter to my new friend on pretty stationery and dropped in the mail two days ago. Tomorrow is the next class. He said in his letter he would be there. I fully expect him to ask me out sometime during the evening, and I will say yes. And when we are on our first date, if it is going well, I will find the moment to tell him I have a skeleton in my closet. And if he can wait to find out what it is, and we approach intimacy, I will tell him that it is the closet I came out of and hope for the best.

Copyright 1993 Melanie Anne Phillips


UPDATES:

GENDER FORUM

Although we share much common ground, there are also different areas of emphasis between crossdressers and transsexuals. A primary divergence is in the relationship to the gay/lesbian community. For the transsexual, slipping from one sex to the other almost requires re-evaluating one’s sexual preference, sometimes realigning it, and therefore nests nicely in compatibility with the gay/lesbian folk. But for the crossdresser it is a different story. Better than 95% of all crossdressers are believed to be heterosexual. Most are married family men. Discovery in the so-called “straight” community can be devastating to their families and careers. So, association with the gay/lesbian community (although useful in political clout) works against their self image and the image they wish to portray.

Being transsexual myself, I eagerly accepted the invitation by the America Online Gay/Lesbian Community Forum to center out America Online Gender Group in the GLCF area. We went under their wing and gained resources and clout and even “official” status on America Online. What we lost was a separation from the straight world that many crossdressers prefer to keep. Still, we had a home while we grew from 30 members to over 300 at the present time.

Now, however, we account for 10% of the GLCF population, and are growing at a faster rate. As a result, we are big enough to have a little area of our own. Moving out of the GLCF is really not an option. We cannot at this time get direct recognition and computer space from AOL. However, we CAN perhaps carve out an area in the GLCF that is connected but separate. This month I am proposing a plan to the GLCF sysops to create a separate Gender Forum. Initially, we would require no more computer space than we currently have. Rather, all our various resources which are currently scattered throughout the GLCF would be grouped together in one place. This will make it much easier to find and use the Gender Group services.

One way to arrive at this new area would be through a button in the GLCF menu. But I am also proposing a new America Online keyword, “gender” that would zip anyone directly to the Gender Forum from anywhere on AOL without having to go through the GLCF to get there. This plan allows for maintaining our political protection and adding to the clout of our hosts at the GLCF by still being part of their area, but being able to enter the Gender Forum with no reference to the GLCF for those who prefer that route. Once in the Gender Forum it would be all gender issues and this again should help those who are troubled by too close an association.

As we continue to grow, we can add new features such as a bulletin board and conversation area. And someday, if we grow large enough, we perhaps shall have an area truly all our own. In the meantime, I will work for these immediate enhancements and continue to thank the GLCF for all their support over the years.

WOMEN’S FORUM

For the last three months, I have been in contact with the person in charge of the various forums on America online. As they have asked me not to reveal their name, for they do not have time to answer any additional Email, I will refer to them only as N. I have been trying to push forward on the Women’s Forum idea for three months now. Recently, I sent another letter to N stressing again my desire to do whatever preliminary work I can to facilitate the eventual addition of a Women’s Forum to America Online. This is the response.

Subj: Re: Women’s Forum
From: Name Withheld
To: Melanie XX

Hi Melanie,

Right now we must first complete our existing projects before embarking on new ones. There is another person who is the primary candidate for hosting a Women’s Forum (the same person that I previously mentioned) but would be very interested in having you also participate in this forum. At this time however, no additional work has been done on this proposed area but will keep you posted. As you know we get hundreds of suggestions for new forums and it takes a long time to complete our existing projects, build a new area and launch a new service.

Thanks for everything that you have done to stir up interest in a Women’s Forum—really appreciate it. Keep in touch —new services take a long time so it won’t be any time soon due to our heavy work load but I do feel this is a very important forum and would like to see one started.

All the best,
N

I may be biased, but it seems to me that there is little support being offered by America Online for a Women’s Forum. I’m sure it will come to be eventually, but it is my intent to make that sooner than later. I have a number activities I hope to employ in speeding the process. I’ll detail these in future issues as they become implemented.

DRAMATICA

Dramatica (the software program based on a whole new theory of story developed by Chris Huntley and myself) is expected to hit the market in February of ’94. However, word of its revolutionary perspective and the things it can do for writers that have never been done before is spreading. We have been recently written up in the Hollywood Reporter and Variety.

As luck would have it, one of these articles was seen by a BBC producer for a television series in England called Moving Pictures. They are doing an episode on new writing software and contacted our company president. As a result, they came out to Screenplay Systems about a month ago with a crew of six to tape a segment on us and our new theory.

Again, as luck would have it, they liked talking to me and asked if I would do the whole interview. So, they set up the camera, lit me to look pretty and put the interviewer to work. At first they only wanted to do a little bit, but as I explained something of our theory and what it can do they became increasingly interested. In the end, they shot over 30 minutes of tape and we expecting to feature us in a much larger segment of the show.

That’s great for Dramatica, and when I eventually share my past with the public, will be good for our community. But the best part of the interview was when the cameraman was setting up the lights. He looked at my image in the monitor and said, “She’s a babe!” I said, “I think I’m about twenty years too old to be a babe!” He then looked up directly into my eyes and said with a half smile, “Not for me….” Too bad they couldn’t stay a couple of days!

Also, about a week ago, a reporter from U.S. News and World Report came out and interviewed me four a couple of hours. This was a preliminary interview, they will be coming back to do more in depth as they build their story.

MENTAL RELATIVITY

The new psychology of Mental Relativity that Chris and I developed is what is really behind Dramatica. It is what drives “the Dramatica Engine” in the program. But as a psychology, it also has many practical everyday applications and understandings. Part of my job at Screenplay is to write essays explaining aspects of the theory. I will reprint some of the more interesting or useful ones here.

“Doping the Brain”

From the moment of conception the cells that are to become the human brain function chaotically. There is no order nor sequence to their firings and no self-awareness can form. This is much like the gaseous clouds from which our solar system was spawned. In order for consciousness to take hold, there must be a force that focuses the mind, pulling it into a single perspective.

This force comes into being at the twelfth to fourteen week of pregnancy when a flush of testosterone or estrogen washes over the largely developed brain, doping it with one of two essential biases. Either bias serves as a sun at the center of the mental solar system, calibrating the mind with a different weight with which all subsequent experience will be measured.

A testosterone wash biases the mind toward a Spatial Brain Operating System, an Estrogen wash biases the mind toward a Temporal Brain Operating System. All minds sense both time and space, but the bias determines which is favored and which gets second-hand information.

As a result, men and women perceive the same sensory input in different ways, creating both a commonality in what they are looking at and a divergence into what it means to them.

After several days, the brain has established patterns of data organization under the influence of the hormonal bias that act as planets in orbit around the sun. Once these patterns are established, the hormonal flush recedes as if the sun disappeared from the center of the solar system. Why do not the planets fly off into space? Because they have formed a dynamic stability where each mental item is counterbalanced by another item on the opposite side of thought – two equally massive planets in the same orbit 180 degrees out of phase.

Of course, the mental solar system has many more than two items of mind (points of view) and therefore the entire framework is constructed from a multitude of balanced items creating a structure built of dynamics rather than objects: stable only because of its inertia. In a sense, the hormonal bias provides a coriolis effect, putting the solar system either into a clockwise or counter clockwise spin. One it recedes, like a wave from the shore, it leaves patterns behind in the mental sand as a record of its currents and eddies.

When one looks for the physical seat of consciousness, it cannot be found for it does not exist in the fabric of the brain itself but in tendencies established in mental processes that are no longer sustained by the bias which is no longer present. The chaotic nature of sensory perception might creates fractal patterns in electrical functioning in the structure of the brain, but the temporal record of the interaction of the senses and the mind can only be seen in frictal patterns in the self-awareness in the dynamics of the mind.

Copyright 1993 Melanie Anne Phillips & Chris Huntley

HEART CORPS

Heart Corps is a company I have formed to distribute the profits from Dramatica where they can help those in need. This month, Heart Corps contributed to Frontline (an organization that serves meals to the homeless on skid row, The Burbank Temporary Aid Society which provides food for those down on their luck, Food For All, and American Way. We are also helping to support people working on expanding the usefulness and accessibility of Mental Relativity.


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

First Mammography
From: DeneseAnne

Ladies:

You all have no idea for the treat you are in for. They had a sign hanging on the wall that said, ‘WE COMPRESS BECAUSE WE CARE”. Well they must care a whole lot. I did not think that you could squash them so thin. I mean I know how a grilled cheese sandwich feels when they are put into one of those sandwich machines.

Because this is the first one and there seems to be a lot of what looks like new breast tissue, blush, and because of the amount of hormones that I am on they have requested a second mammography in 5 to 6 months so that they have something to compare with.

This truly makes you feel like a woman, even though she picked it up and flopped it on the x-ray table like it you might flop a hamburger on a grill.

Seriously, this is important. Each one of us on hormones needs to take the time to do a monthly breast exam, get a yearly physicians exam and mammograms as required or recommended. IT IS BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY.

E-mail me with any questions or ask them on-line next Sunday. This concludes the latest update on my journey to SRS.


Subj: Clinton Health Plan
From: Chrissy J
To: Melanie XX

…From an article in The Washington Times 11/15/93 titled
“HEALTH PLAN CARRIES LEGAL TIME BOMBS”

… “Among items for which payment is banned in the bill are
dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses or contact lenses
for adults, in-vitro fertilization, SEX-CHANGE SURGERY
AND ‘RELATED SERVICES’…..” (emphasis added)

You may want to pass this on to others in the gender conference.


From: JENG3
Subj: thanks
To: Marsha J (Gender Forum Secretary)

a few years ago, back when all you girls had was a private room i found out that a very dear friend of mine was thinking of a sex change operation. i like most people could not understand this. about the same time i ran into someone named donnah. she told me that not only could i ask her anything i wanted and get straight answers that there was also a room i could go to and learn.

i came into your room for a long time, in fact until you moved into this one and could not find it lol. but with the help of Mel’s subversive and the logs that you have been sending me. i have been able to help my friend. while she is not online she wishes me to say thank you for the help she has gotten via me. i also wish to thank you all for not only letting me ask my questions but for helping me to understand that we are all human and with knowledge we can all get along.
Marsha i do not know if this really makes any sense i have been up for about 18 hours and really do not make all that much sense at the best of times. hope this gives you some idea of what you have done for me and my friend. oh she did have the operation and is very happy.

thanks
jen


From: Amante2020
To: Melanie XX

Melanie,

Saw your pictures, I can only sum it up by saying STUNNING!!!!
You took my breath away! If I weren’t married I consider moving to California! I have a Mac and you will be my start up picture so I can see your loveliness everyday at the office.

Best of luck on all your future plans, again STRIKING & STUNNING, you can send me your GIF’s anytime.

Enjoy life and much success to you!

Sincerely,

Amante2020


Due to popular request, here is where you can find downloadable pictures (GIFS) of our members and also Melanie (that’s me folks!) On America Online, use Keyword GLCF. From this menu there are three places you can find different GIFS. One, select Gender Issues folder. Scattered throughout this folder are sever of my pix. Two, from the GLCF menu select New Files. Here you will find the most recent uploads. Three, from the GLCF menu select “more….” then select Family Album. Way the heck down in the list are some others. A final way to find some photos of ol’ Mel is to use keyword “Software”. From the menu, select graphic files. On this search screen, just type the word Melanie in the dialog box and in a matter of seconds you will be presented with all the uploaded files of me in the main software library. Right now there are only two in this area. I was surprised, however. I uploaded the first one and in one day there were over 500 downloads! A week later there were over a thousand! This is a very popular area and you can find everything from programs to games to all kinds of GIFS there. One interesting note: I HAVE gotten some rather INTERESTING mail as a result of uploading my pictures there…!

Now, for those of you who just can’t stand not knowing, but are not on America Online (or if you are really into icon worship and self abuse!) just send me a SASE and a quarter and I’ll bop you off a 3 by 5 signed glossy of (who else) myself! Now is that self serving or what!!!! Anyway, since its only a quarter, I guess that makes me a two bit whore, right! 🙂


And now for the next installment in the serialization of the book, Raised by Wolves: A Transsexual Diary.

PRELUDE

The pages beneath, chronicle my 30 month journey from a life as an apparently normal husband and father to that of an apparently normal woman. In the hope of capturing the immediacy of this emotional trip into the unknown, I shunned the retrospective approach, opting instead for a daily Diary.

Each entry was made on the day the events actually happened, expect as noted. And each is filled with the raw and unpolished thoughts and feelings that held me at that moment.

Of course, this leads to a somewhat meandering story, as well as contradictions in my point-of-view and personal emotional outbursts that I’m sure will make me squirm once this is published. But anything less would be less than truthful. And if this document is to serve any purpose as either a tool for tolerance and understanding or as an inspiration to those contemplating any major life-change, then it must be completely honest.

NOTE: Starting with September, 1990, my schedule became so tight while I was editing the feature film, Social Suicide, that I could no longer take the time to make my diary entries directly onto the computer. The only way not to lose the emotion of the moment was to record my thoughts onto a microcassette recorder. Obviously the results are not as polished, nonetheless, I include them here as they are the only record of this portion of my transition.


RAISED BY WOLVES:
A TRANSSEXUAL DIARY

by
Melanie Anne Phillips

December 1, 1990

I remember last December, my grandmother’s health was failing and we thought we were going to have to move out of the house. I was just winding up my relationship with Andy. Things looked like they were pretty much close to being on the rocks with Mary. Our Christmas shopping was done in the vein of “This is our last Christmas together, so let’s buy some special things for the kids”. Overall, everything looked bleak beyond belief. There seemed to be no way out.

This Christmas things have changed so dramatically. As of THIS December 1st, Mary and I are closer than we have ever been. I’m not planning any relationships with anyone else. That one was enough to tell me what I needed to know. Even though that kind of relationship was fulfilling: being protected and cared for – to have someone else take care of the real world needs – I find enough of that now in my day to day life in terms of relationships in business and with friends. The hugs from Mary are just as comforting as the hugs from anyone else – more so by virtue of a history we have together, the love we share together, the bonding that comes through. It could never be duplicated by anyone else because Mary and I have shared so many “firsts”.

The financial situation is much better. Within a month, the inheritance escrow should come through and I’ll have title to the house. Even though by California law property you inherit does not automatically become community property, I am having Mary’s name put on the deed as co-owner. She earned this house as much as I did by her support of me throughout the years.

The feature film project I have been editing is just about complete. So many things on the horizon for the future. There is so much comfort and inner peace with myself. Yes, there are bad days. Yes, there are downers and depressions. But at this point they are no more than anyone else might suffer just from the way things normally go. And so, I face December on a very positive note.

Today is a special day for me. I’ll be seeing my Dad who lives in San Diego for the first time in fourteen months. Last time I saw him was when I told him about what I was contemplating doing. This time I am halfway fulfilled on that contemplation. I’ll be going as Dave, but so much of how I act and look has changed. I know he wants to be supportive, but I also know he’s uneasy with this. So today it will be interesting to see what someone who has been close to me throughout the years but has not seen me in over a year notices in the way of changes that have occurred in me.

My dad and I have always shared a special relationship although he is a very non-emotional person. He concentrates on intellectualism and the world of reason, both in his career as a civilian engineering project manager for the Navy and in his personal life. And yet, I never felt unwanted or uncared for. During my entire childhood, even though he was divorced from my mother when I was one year old, he came every week to visit me until I was twelve. Then he came every two weeks until I was sixteen and then once a month until I was eighteen. Then he told me it was my job to come visit him every other time, which eventually worked out to every six months or so.

The first time I brought Mary down to meet him fifteen years ago was the first time I ever told him I loved him. I was very nervous but had to say it. He told me he loved me as well. That was very special coming from someone as undemonstrative as him.

And so, today I go into unknown territory.

Last night I spent so much time trying to figure out what to wear. Do I wear what makes me most comfortable, or something that would make Mary more comfortable? And what about my means of speaking? At home I use a different voice than I use at the office when I am Melanie. I’ve found of late that my feminine voice at the office is having an effect on my voice at home. Which one do I use in presenting myself to my dad?

I was worrying about these things as we went to bed, and Mary reached over and held me tight. I slept fitfully, but whenever I awoke I would find her arms around me. I then knew what my decision must be. Because of the way her love reaches out to me, I will dress in a way that is comfortable to her. She deserves this for the love that she gives.

December 2, 1990

Yesterday with my dad was very interesting. I think that even though he did not want to reject me, he rejected the motivations behind was I was doing. There was a definite tension when we arrived. The first thing that happened was a neighbor locked themselves out of their house and needed to use the phone. I ended up hiding in the living room because I knew my dad would not want to introduce me as his son because I have become so feminine, even when dressed as a man.

After the neighbor left, I had a few moments to say something to him and his wife about how I felt. They were not convinced. When I have visited my dad in the past, we always go on some sort of outing. This time we went out to a ship that served as a maritime museum. Whenever the kids saw something of interest, they would call me, “Daddy”, from across the ship. I would come, but each time it happened it cut me like a knife. I don’t want to stunt their development or alter their opinion of me. If they are calling me Daddy its because they need that. I feel a great sense of responsibility to provide that to them.

By the end of the day when we returned to have dinner at the house, I went into some dissertations about how I felt better and more actively handle career issues, and how I was finally sane. My dad, at that point, began to realize, I think, that as much as he disagreed with them, my motivations were real and not fantasies gone wild.

Nothing was really resolved, but I think everyone fully stated their position.


When we came home I decided to go to my monthly support group meeting. I was still dressed the same as I was with my dad when I presented myself as Dave – wearing blue jeans, a loose sweater, light foundation make-up and an almost invisible pink lipstick – more like a lip gloss. From the very first time I had always gone to my support group meeting fully made up in Melanie Mode. But this time I thought, “If you can’t go to your support group meeting as you really are, where CAN you go?” So I just grabbed my keys and went out the door.

I had a wonderful time, actually. During my time to talk, I “did Dave” for about fifteen seconds, using my male voice. By opening up like that, which I had never really done there, I found that my peers appreciated me more. Even my former psychologist, who I hadn’t seen in eight months, came over to give me a hug. A lot of people came over to chat. All in all, it was a wonderful evening.


This morning, I felt rather playful. So I decided to wear the mini skirt I hadn’t worn since my early outing days. Larry (the director of the feature) hasn’t come into the office yet, but as I make this entry I’m wearing that 18″ mini skirt with a braless top. I’ve put on eyeliner, which I haven’t worn in maybe six months and I’m feeling incredibly playful. I’m not doing it to be erotic. I’m just doing it because that’s the way I feel today. If I’m to be accepted as a woman, I have to be able to let loose and dress as I feel. Tomorrow maybe I’ll be back in blue jeans and a T-shirt. What’s nice is, NOW I have the option.


I’m back home, still wearing my mini skirt, and just about to read a story to my kids. But before I do (and they didn’t know I was going to do this) I thought it might be interesting to have you kids say something about how you feel about your Daddy and the way your Daddy looks at the moment.

MELANIE: We’re going to start off with the oldest, Keith. He’s eleven years old, he’s into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Nintendo games and… what else?

KEITH: Ummmm… snakes!

MELANIE: Snakes! Okay. And how do you feel about what your Daddy is doing?

KEITH: The only thing I care about is his sense of humor. If he loses that, I’ll kill myself!

MELANIE: (Laugh) Well, apparently you haven’t lost yours! Anything else? I mean, is it causing you any problems or anything? I mean, honest now… we really haven’t talked about this.

KEITH: No, not at all. I’m used to saying, “Melanie”, when I call and ask for you.

MELANIE: How about your friends?

KEITH: I didn’t tell them yet.

MELANIE: How about the ones you’ve had over when I’ve looked a little… odd?

KEITH: They didn’t say anything.

MELANIE: They didn’t say anything?

KEITH: No. I told a few friends about it and they didn’t care that much.

MELANIE: Okay, now here’s the youngest, Mindi. She’s seven years old, and she’s into (of all things) carpentry. She’s also into artistic things. She enjoys “My Little Pony”, also likes the Ninja Turtles and she has some things to say too! Go ahead….

MINDI: I’m also into hamsters and I’ve got three boyfriends.

MELANIE: Okay. Now, what about what I’m doing. What do you think?

MINDI: Well, I think its kinda odd, ’cause sometimes I bump into your you-know-whats. (laugh) What I say to my friends is, “Guess what! My dad’s turning into a woman!” And they say “WHAT?!?” And then they start laughing.

MELANIE: You really told your friends about this?

MINDI: Uh, huh.

MELANIE: I’ll be darned. Well, that’s interesting. So, do any of them believe you, or do they think you’re just pulling their leg?

MINDI: They think I’m just pulling their leg.

MELANIE: Okay, so now were going to read a story. We’re all together – I have a kid under each arm. What are we going to read today Mindi?

MINDI: CINDERELLA!!!!

MELANIE: Okay, bye for now, because I’ve got to do my FATHERLY duty here and read a story.

December 4, 1990

Yesterday I was back at Universal Studios again, working on the post production for “Social Suicide”. I decided that this time I wanted to wear something a little bit sexy, so I put on my favorite brown skirt, a little western blouse with a white fringe, did my hair up and put on a little extra make-up and went to the studio. Its getting pretty incredible. Nobody gave me even a sideways glance as far as reading me.

I went to the dubbing stage (where we record replacement dialog) and a lot of the actors from the film were there and things were already going when I got there. I joined some of them for some coffee. I had a pretty good time.

Larry called on me to do some of the female voice-overs for the film. Although most of it was as part of a group doing “ummms” and “errrrs”, but if you look at the “fart scene” and a lady in the audience gags because the stink bomb is working, I did the gagging on that. Those sounds, by the way, were modeled after my grandmother when she had a stroke. Everytime she got phlegm caught in her throat she made this sound. So, my grandmother’s “stroke gasping sound” is now memorialized on film.

I was a little scared to go out into the sunlight to the commissary because I still have a lot of bumpiness from electrolysis and harsh light shows up the shadows. I just didn’t want to be given away in the middle of such a wonderful day. So, I just remained on the stage, and Larry’s mother shared with me some fruit she had brought.

The male lead came in and gave me a big hug when he saw me. Later in the day the guy who plays the assistant villain came by and leaned down to me with a hug and I gave him a kiss on the cheek. That’s what I call a good day.

There was an actor in the film who was there who is also (by coincidence) in the gender support group I go to. He has told me before that he had some sexual interest in me. He sat next to me for most of the day and reached over three or four times to pat me on the knee. He told me he thought I had sexy legs. Now that’s half repulsive because he was taking advantage and half enjoyable that he was turned on by me.

Later on, Larry, his wife Victoria, a female friend of theirs, the actor who was interested in me, and myself went to dinner. I had told Larry about this fellow’s interest and said I was worried he would corner me after dinner. Larry said he would try to detain him in conversation. So, after the dinner broke up, Larry began to talk to him and I tried to make a quick get-away.

I went to the back of the restaurant, walking to my car as quickly as I could without looking like I was running. I heard his footsteps coming up behind me as I walked. I almost made it when I heard him call my name from behind. I turned around and there he was.

Here I was, alone with him in the alley. He started a conversation, we started to talk and he began to ask me a lot of personal questions. I answered as honestly as I could, without getting into areas I would rather not. Then he asked how I felt about men. I told him that he already knew from the support group that I enjoyed my relationship with Andy, but now I want to concentrate on Mary and the kids. I told him that the only way I would have another relationship would be if I had surgery and Mary couldn’t deal with it and I was on my own.

I was trying to let him down easy, telling him that I did find him attractive and he had a lot going for him, but I just couldn’t get involved at this time. I said I couldn’t allow myself to be tempted by other relationships because I might not be able to hold back if I opened up even a little bit. He took that as a cue, stepped forward, gave me a hug which I read as a goodbye hug, but he turned it into a groping session.

He copped his feel of my breasts and pulled my ass toward him and basically tried to stick his tongue in my mouth. I held my lips as tight as I could, but was afraid to be too aggressive to make him release his grip because of what I feared he might do. Suddenly I began to realize what the fear is that haunts a woman. I was afraid that if I struggled too hard in my attempt to get away that he would become so aggressive that I would be in danger. Perhaps I would even get physically hurt.

I don’t hold any belief that he would ever do such things, but that was my fear. I couldn’t understand his mentality. When I was going out with girls, I could not bring myself to put my hand on their shoulder without great hesitation and incredible feelings of violating their personal space. I did not want to violate their personal space. And yet here was this individual moving in on mine, touching parts of my body and trying to stick his tongue in my mouth when I was clearly not interested. I couldn’t understand this. I just do not understand men. I lived in their world, but I feel like I’ve been a spy in their midst.

Ultimately, we split apart when someone came into the alley. I went over to my car at that time, finding it an excuse to get over there. I said goodbye and got in. Those people left, and he stood in front of the open door so I couldn’t close it. He leaned down, fondled my breasts again, touched me on the lips and tried to put his tongue in my mouth again.

Just then, someone came into the alley walking their dogs, he stood up, I used the opportunity to close the door. I rolled up the window, he turned back to the car and knocked on the window. I opened it just a crack, said “Goodbye” and rolled it back up. I started the car and left.

On the way home, there were some headlights behind me, one of which was a car that was getting very close. I don’t know if he was following me or not, but I wasn’t going to take any chances. I made a quick turn down an alley, darted in and out of a few places and then went home, so he would not know where I lived. The whole way home I kept spitting into a cup I had in the car, just in case any of those germs got in my mouth. When I got home, I gargled with several glasses of salt water.

When I talked to Mary about it, she laughed. And then she said it probably wasn’t all his fault, because even though I was saying no, I was probably sending out all kinds of signals a mile wide saying yes! She is probably right. I could’ve left several times during the conversation, but I wanted to explain myself so that he wouldn’t feel badly about it. Actually, I was probably hoping he would do something anyway, and he did. I just didn’t want it to go that far.

I mentioned it to Chris this morning and said I would have to find a way to flirt without encouraging men to put me in that kind of position. And he said, “Can’t be done.” He understands what males go through. I obviously don’t.

I guess I’m in the same boat with the rest of the women of the world, who just can’t understand the aggressive animal. Many women want to feel pretty, she wants to feel attractive, but she doesn’t want to be glommed on against her will. She wants to be courted, she wants to be romanced. She seeks an emotional bond. He who provides it becomes physically attractive to her because the woman perceives in him protection from the other hungry animals she sees out there. Maybe its unfair to see men in that light, but it is accurate to the way many women think.

Men are aggressive – much more aggressive than women, in general. As a result, they jump all over women in many, many ways. I have been fortunate insofar as the people I am working with know where I came from and therefore do not jump on me with the same intensity. However, with those who have not known me, I have experienced a great degree of second class status. I have been talked right over when I had already begun to speak at crew meetings. I have been ignored in a conversation after saying something as if I were completely invisible.

I had heard women talk about this and thought it was exaggerated. It is not. Lately, I have been receiving a lot of comments while working like “Klutz” and “Bozo”, being treated pretty much like other women in similar situations. At first, it was rather amusing to be classed with them. But then I began to realize I really was being demoted to second class along with them. That was not quite so amusing at all.

It turns out that those comments continually put one (in their minds) in a second class position. It ostensibly elevates those making the comments to a higher status. In jest, women are made to become more subservient and put the man more in control. It is an unequal world. It is still going on. And women, as aware as they have become, have no conception of the magnitude of what’s going on unless they really dig into it, because they have been living with it all their lives.

Being pretty, and being feminine, and kind and nurturing does not have a damn thing to do with being inferior or second class to male aggression. The approach of women is different and is much more successful at providing emotional situations of growth and stability. Without this secure base of operations, everything would be in shambles.

If women built the world, it would be around the rocks and streams and trees, not over them. However, not nearly as much in an aggressive sense would have been accomplished. Men do things because they can. Every ability that is learned or developed must be used.

Therefore, a lot of harm befalls the world in terms of war, and territoriality and oppression. A common catch phrase states, “All wars were started by testosterone.” Women have only started wars when they became leaders in a male designed hierarchy and assumed the role of a man.

Without men, progress would have been severely limited. We might have ended up still living in the caves. But without women, mankind would have destroyed itself eons ago, and there would be no present, much less a future. We need each other. But we are both equally necessary parts. Only with each other as equal partners can we succeed in building a future.

Now, back to practicalities. I must learn that if I am to live the life of a woman, I too must assume that mantle of fear that every time I walk out on the street, some man can reach out and grab me and thrust himself upon me because he is driven by urges over which he has no control.

Having had that physical equipment and hormonal makeup, I understand those urges. My saving grace has been that I did not have the mentality for it. Therefore, although the physical functioning existed, the motivation to use it did not.

However, I can see from my experience in the parking lot, that men who have both the mentality and the physical urge are very dangerous.

December 9, 1990

Yesterday I went with my family to Disneyland – the first time in three years. I was really depressed that morning as I got dressed, because I felt I had lost Melanie somewhere. I felt uncomfortable because I (I discovered) I was becoming a different person, not just a different persona. I spent the morning trying to throw myself hard into macho mode. And for maybe an hour there I was successful. But there was something missing. I managed to make it through the whole day without ruining it for my family. I didn’t have and blow-ups, no emotional problems.

Lot’s of people stared at me. I’m not paranoid about this. Everytime I’d get in one of those zig-zag lines waiting for a ride, people would be looking me over. I took a look in a mirror and I looked awful. I wasn’t male; I wasn’t female. I looked like some weird amalgam of both and uglier than sin. I knew I looked (at the least) peculiar.

Occasionally, I’d get read as female. I know because every once in a while one of the kids would call me Daddy and I would respond with the voice that I use for Dave, and it would cause some heads to turn. But — I got through the day okay. It seems I have learned to play by my own rules and others can take me or leave me.

As a trial experiment to see how I feel about that, I went into 7-11 this morning, knowing that I’d probably get read because I haven’t slipped completely back into Melanie. And sure enough, I was immediately read by the man at the counter. And on my way out I know I was read by the woman coming up to the counter. As I went back to my car, she and he were laughing and staring, I mean, literally. You can imagine the stereotypical paranoid fear as I looked up through my windshield and they were both looking directly at me and laughing their hearts out. I was something to be fully enjoyed as ridiculous and funny. And you know… it didn’t bother me at all.

I simply smiled back and started my car. I had no need to rush and get the hell out of there. I took my time and let them laugh all they wanted, because I was right inside. If you’re right inside, it doesn’t matter how things are on the outside.

(Copyright 1993, Melanie Anne Phillips)

(The Transsexual Diary series will continue in the next edition of The Subversive)

I urge you all to keep a diary of YOUR personal journey, whether it be through transition or not. The attitudes and even the order of events becomes cloudy through time, and I am continually amazed to re-read things that memory would have me believe had happened differently. If nothing else, it is a good way to see long-term patterns in yourself that you cannot see except in retrospect. That objective view alone is worth the inconvenience of keeping a journal.


FEATURES

A PHYSICAL DISABILITY AND THE TRANSSEXUAL

By Denise Anne Fell
(DeneseAnne on AOL)

Two subjects that currently are considered hot on the talk show circuit are disabilities and transsexuals or gender issues in general. Yet these are two subjects that are considered different and separate.

Take into consideration a disabled transsexual. Is there any reason that a disabled person should not be allowed to have their dreams of becoming the person they were meant to be. What comes first? The disability or transsexualism. Interesting question. It is my intention to show that a physical disability should not deter one from reaching out and grabbing their dreams. I am such a person. I am bilateral amputee. To say the least this has made my transition to date most interesting.

My background is no different from any of the older transsexuals on this board. I dreamed of being a woman from early childhood. I experimented with dressing whenever I could and being the oldest and assigned baby sitting duties I was afforded the opportunity on occasion.

I grew up in the 50’s and early 60’s. However, during this time this was not a subject for discussion. It might have been discussed behind closed doors, but as I grew up I felt that I was the only person in the world that felt this way. I honestly believed that if I told anyone of this desire I would be locked up for the rest of my life. It was a very frightening and confusing time of my life.

I grew up doing what society expected me to do. I was a male and to my knowledge at that time there was absolutely nothing that I could do about that. I dropped out of high school at the young and tender age of 18 and joined the U.S. Navy and went off to boot camp. I had my GED Equivalency Diploma months before my class graduated and I eventually ended up on submarines. This is something that had always fascinated me. The Silent Service. The exploits of some of the World War II submarines and submarine commanders were legendary. I felt that I had found my notch in life.

One day while visiting a local bookstore I found the book that I was looking for (“The Man With The Golden Gun”) and on the next rack a book that caught my eye and forever changed my life. I found Christine Jorgensen’s autobiography. The cover caught my eye and I read and re read this book. The relief to find that I was not alone.

My years in the Navy continued and I received a medical discharge on October 1, 1975. The doctors had diagnosed me with a bilateral knee disorder because I had pain in my knees and I was falling down. This was the beginning of a long road of self-discovery, not only to find out what the physical problem was, but finding out who I was.

My marriage ended. I lost my children and I was miserable. My first attempt of discovering who I was failed. My parents totally rejected the person known as Theresa. This was the first name that I chose.

The condition kept getting worse. I had more episodes of falling down and was eventually put into leg braces and crutches to get around. At that point the crutches were more for balance than anything else.

I began to have other physical problems. I began to lose bladder and bowel control. It became more and more difficult for me to get around on braces and crutches and I began to get painful spasms that would cause me to wake up at night screaming in pure agony.

The doctors tried all the medications (beta blockers) on the market for blocking spasms originating in the spinal cord. I had adverse reactions to all of them. I was at convinced that I was going to spend the rest of my life in pain or zonked out on prescription pain relievers. I was taking large doses of Tylox or Percocet just to get by.

I was then told about a procedure that could help stop the spasms. This is called a rhizomoty. This is where the nerves in the spinal cord are burned with radio waves and it is used to help control severe spasms. The only problem being that the nerves can regenerate if they are not burned completely through. I had two such procedures. The procedure is extremely painful and in my case did not last.

About 18 months after the second rhizomoty the spasms returned and the pain was even worse as the nerve impulses were traveling through damaged nerves. I was tired of the pain and I was tired of no help from the Veterans Administration. I went to a private neurosurgeon with my health insurance and after consulting with him I was given two choices. They were a cordectomy or amputation of the lower legs.

Not an easy decision to say the least. Two things helped me make up my mind. Keep in mind at the time I was living as a male, trying to be the person that society wanted me to be. I was not happy, but everyone else was. From my experience in playing wheelchair basketball I knew that people with a complete spinal cord lesion had some very bad problems. The worst being loss of sensation and the pressure sores that were caused by this. Also, I would have lost the ability to have sex. Not a real important issue, but still something to be considered. I opted for amputation.

On September 6, 1990 my legs were amputated through the knees. The amputation is called knee disarticulation and I went home from the hospital 4 days later. I was sore, but I was healing.

I went to some physical therapy and learned to walk on prosthesis, but they proved to be cumbersome and not practical as they were so heavy. I opted for using a wheelchair. I was far more mobile and it really gave me greater freedom.

My life really turned to the pits and I began to realize that the only thing that was going to make me happy was to be me. It took quite a while, but in early May 1992 I wrote the doctor that had interviewed me and accepted me for SRS years before and told him that I was ready to get on with the program.

I received my hormones and gave myself the first injection on May 20, 1992 with the second on June 6, 1992. The injections then followed every other week to this date. After the first couple of injections I really began to feel a sense of well being. I also began to experience the first mood swings. Nothing bad, just wanting to cry for no reason, etc. Life was certainly getting interesting. I also had a lot of tenderness around the nipples and was getting some slight swelling.

In less than 4 months I had so much swelling that it became obvious that something was happening to me. I was letting my hair grow and people began pointing fingers and whispering. I knew that it was time to do something so I went to mid-level management and told my story. In short, I was told that I could begin my transition on my job and that I would not be harassed. My co- workers were told and a tentative date was set for me to begin my Real Life Test. I actually began 4 days earlier than originally planned.

I can honestly say that one of the hardest things that I have ever done was go through the back door of the Federal Building on November 12, 1992. This is the day that Denise made her debut to the world. I went straight from work to the mall and rolled up and down several times. It was a Thursday afternoon and the mall was basically empty. I watched and I noticed nobody staring or giggling. It gave me a wonderful self confidence boost.

I have lived for almost one year as a disabled female. My outlook on life is great. I am accepted as a woman. My greatest pleasure comes when I am addressed as Miss Fell.

I will admit that there are things that I cannot do. I cannot walk in high heels and I can’t walk and watch my breasts bounce, and they are large enough to bounce. I can’t change my own light bulbs, but I could not do that before I went full time. My point is that I honestly believe that a disability should not prevent a person working towards their goal. It does not matter if it something simple or something as complex as being accepted for SRS.

In my situation, I knew who I wanted to be, I became disabled and now I am on the verge of achieving this life long dream. A disability can come into someone’s life unexpectedly anywhere along the way. I sometimes refer to able bodied people as TABs (Temporally Able Bodied) because you never know when you will take a fall, be hit by a drunk driver or be struck by a disease that can change your life forever.

The experience that I have gained has given me great insight. I look at life and I have come to some conclusions regarding the gender issues. I speak from experience. Although a transsexual does in fact diagnosis their own disorder, it should never be done without guidance from a trained professional. No matter what your background is. If you are a doctor, nurse, lawyer, psychologist, etc. You should seek guidance from an outside source. There could be far more involved than just gender issues. Also, one should never experiment with hormones without medical guidance. Hormones are a very dangerous drug and they are nothing to be played around with. You can kill yourself or cause great bodily harm. I know a PhD that is writing a book on hormones and the transsexual. In cases where excessive hormones are taken, taking female hormones can actually work the opposite and masculinize your body, doing more harm than good. This is just a word of caution.

In closing I would like to say that a physical disability or even your physical appearance should not deter you from reaching your goals. There are lots of disabled and quite homely generic females out there. Seek professional help with your hair, your makeup, etc. Most of this help is free of charge. All you have to do is be honest with the sales person and ask. You will be surprised on how helpful sales people can be. Remember, you may have to work a little harder to reach your goal, but it makes it all the sweeter when you reach it.

 

Six Days – A Journal of Holiday En Femme 1993

by
Gwendolyn Ann Smith

Day 1 – November 9th, 1993

Actually, the convention won’t start until tomorrow, but things are happening today. Picked up Stephanie (Stephanie2) from the airport today. It can be very interesting looking for someone when you have no idea what they look like. I just kept looking at every single male coming off the plane that could be a crossdresser, until I saw the auburn-headed person with stubble, dangling earrings, and a white-and-polka-dot sun hat. We got her luggage and headed home, and awaited the arrival of the next straggler, Breanne (BreanneC), who showed up just before I had to leave for work.

Later that evening, my wife and the two of them headed off to my work, Stephanie Crossdressed, and Breanne did not. Breanne, I may add, had never been -out yet, having been only a -closet dresser to this point.

Once I made it home, we stayed up until around 3:00 in the morning, just chatting, and doing our best, obviously, to save $3.50 an hour in AOL connect charges.

Day 2 – November 10th, 1993

A whirlwind day, this one. After getting up early in the morning, we hit the mall to collect some outfits for Breanne (who only had a formal for the banquet to her name). Needless to say, each and all of us came back with a bag or two. Breanne, who is known online for her -Clam Smileys+ (example: (:) ) fell in love with a toy in one store, a clam hand puppet. unknown to her, it was bought. We also, of course, found plenty around the specialty shop that we would have been more than happy to have bought – if we had unlimited funds, of course. Then it was off to the Target cosmetic department to fill Bree+s make-up case.

That evening was the first night of the convention. An informal dinner was held, and we found ourself, again, chatting through the hours. We also, once here, caught up with Danita (Danita TS, who was, I should add, dressed as outrageous as you would expect) and Rhonda (Rhonda tv). Also, everyone was able to see and meet some of the -movers of the Tri-Ess and Holiday En Femme – Virginia Prince, Christine Hochberg, Kymberleigh Richards, Kathy Helms, and others.

Day 3 – November 11th, 1993

This morning I absolutely panicked, due to a late start, I had to rush to get my morning shave and make-up done so as to allow myself on to the train up to Santa Barbara for lunch and shopping. We made it, and just in time. Thankfully Breanne picked up our registration badges, else we would have never made it. Breanne chose not to dress this day, as she didn’t have any flats to wear for the event.

Once on our way, we finally met Peggy (KosmicKat). I should add, by the way, that she is a -genetic female (I can’t stand terms) who just so happens to like crossdressers. Also on the way up my wife, Bonnie, and I talked and took photos for a pair of reporters for the Los Angeles Times.

After lunch, our little group headed uptown to shop, the opposite way of the main body. We had fun, though Steph did run into some minor trouble on her way to the bank. Seems one of the male population didn’t think that Steph+s attire was becoming…

On the way back from Santa Barbara, again on the Amtrak, we spotted a whale in the Pacific Ocean, another first for many of us.

We also hit the vendor room, and Bree found a wig she was happy with, while Stephanie found a white gown she could not live without, but did.

In the evening was a dinner, which went well, with only a minor glitch. This was Breanne+s first out, this night. She was a little nervous, but was doing well. Unfortunately, one thing happened. A friend of mine from the local chapter of Tri-Ess, Teri Lynn, came over to chat, and gave what would amount to a newcomers speech, dealing primarily with the crossdresser, their guilt, and the wife not accepting. The one bit of information not given was that Breanne had separated from her wife three days before heading down for the convention. Her and Peggy went careening off, and we then told Teri Lynn what had happened, much to her dismay. Eventually, Breanne calmed down, and we again finished off the night with a rousing session of conversation, this time until around 3:00 a.m.

Day 4 – November 12th, 1993

Decided to forgo the trip to NBC Studios, the Walk of Fame, and the Universal City Walk, and rest up. This morning, though, we received a rap on the door from Danita, telling us that Rachel Ann (another local friend) had seen us in the paper. We got ahold of a copy (or five) and, sure enough, on full color, we were on the front of the San Fernando Valley section of the Times!

Shortly thereafter, we again hit the vendor room. This time, Steph had to try on the dress. Down there were two sets of reporters, both for local stations (channel 9 and 13).Bon and I talked with the reporters, and Steph -vamped+ for the cameras in the rush she was experiencing. Needless to say, the gown was bought, and it was decided to become the attire for the trip to a local play house for a Cole Porter review.

While waiting for that trip, disaster again struck, much the same as before, Teri Lynn came over to smooth things out and apologize, and Breanne again rushed to her room. We all decided to miss the show and try to give our sister a helping hand.

After several hours of chatting, two pizzas, and several cokes later, all was well, and Breanne had discovered the joy of dangling earrings. Steph had a powerbook, so we stopped online, and had received mail from Melanie Phillips (Melanie XX) in reply to our own mail asking to meet her while we were in her town. She had left us her phone number, and, even though it was late, we called, and decided to go over just then!

Melanie was a gracious hostess, and we chatted until almost daybreak. I am glad that Melanie only makes it online during the gender forum, and not for the occasional -TV Chat+ room, for she has a wit that is at least as sharp as each of ours. We even ended up having toast, pancakes, and bacon – which lead to an infamous take off on the voice tape, her -new cooking video,+ known as -Makin+ Bacon with Melanie.+

Late that evening was my turn to break up. Those of you that donut known what Melanie looks like, let me assure you, she is a knockout. I am on a similar road to hers, though where she has now traveled several miles down the road of femininity (she is a post-op TS), I have only recently made my way to the path of transgenderism. I looked through her -transition book+ (a collection of photos of both Dave and Melanie), and began to reflect upon myself, and just how long it will be until I get my own transition book to that point. I cannot thank my wife for her support that night.

Day 5 – November 13th, 1993

Today, once we finally rolled out of bed, missing both the breakfast and lunch gatherings, and the couples events. We grouped and began to prepare for the events of the day. Breanne had decided last evening to sign up for a facial that day, and, once done, she was an absolute knockout – this also did something else for her – gave her an incredible dose of confidence.

Also while down in the vendor area, we discovered that the tape that was shot was -shared,+ and that it had been distributed to channel 4, channel 7, and to CNN – which, I may add, alarmed us all, though Stephanie was especially bothered, as this was not something she was ready to broadcast so far. She eventually saw the broadcast, and she, or us, did not appear in it.

We then headed over to the local mall, looking for the studio that was to do a glamour photo of yours truly and her wife – but they weren’t there! After a phone call or two, we discovered the problem – we were at the wrong mall! Steph, Peggy, and Breanne stayed behind while the two of us and Danita headed to the studio several miles away in a tiny, crowded mall. We made it, and it was truly a wish fulfilled. You see, my father is a photographer, and I would love to have him do such a set of photos, but I have not told him, and, if I did, I doubt he would be happy. Actually posing for the camera that afternoon was one of the most enjoyable things I did all week, and I hope that some of the photos are not marred by my tear-filled eyes.

The lateness of all this, though, meant that we arrived late for the formal banquet. Stephanie was a basket-case, having already imagined all sorts of horrible consequences to our trip over to the studio. Bonnie and I made it to our room, tossed on our gowns, and headed down.

The banquet was fine, though made quite long with speeches, awards, and the occasional amount of posturing. High point for all of us was Stephanie accepting an award for her chapter of Tri-Ess, Beta Gamma in Minnesota (which, I may add, we are still wondering if it is a state : ). After the dinner wound down, we tried to get a room to view a videotape of the media+s coverage of the event, to see if we appeared. No one could find a VCR, however, so we scratched those plans and went to bed. Well, some of us, as Breanne was not at all ready to undo that makeover, and she made a few trips around the block.

Day 6 – November 14th, 1993

Well, this is it. After a brunch, where we saw Rhonda in male drab for the first time (and, I may add, what a change), some goodbyes, and re-packing for the journey out, we headed for our home, including Breanne, Peggy, Danita, and Stephanie. I think both Stephanie and I were doing our best not to lose it, though we were fighting fatigue as well as our emotions, and had a hard time letting go of Bree and Peggy when they started out together towards their individual homes, and keeping our emotions in check again as Steph gave out gifts of jewelry to us all (and thank you Steph for the earrings, they will be the first I wear after the studs).

Eventually, though, it was time to go to the airport to send Steph off, and we headed on our way. The trip there was subdued, to say the least, and we held together well until in the terminal awaiting boarding. That is when Bonnie and I presented Steph with our gifts – an origami figure (Bonnie is quite accomplished at that art) and an earring and necklace set in gold with -diamonds+ and -emeralds,+ in the shape of a heart. I had seen that set before con, and had thought about getting it then, but bought it that day for someone who has the perfect white gown for it.

That was all we could take, and our emotions took us there. If I could have held her a little tighter, maybe she wouldn’t have been able to board, and we could’ve taken her back for good. I do know it has been a long time since I have cried that hard in an airport and watched that plane take her away.

On the side of the little 737 she boarded was a red heart – a symbol of love. I wish that all my friends at Holiday En Femme could have seen it too, because it was my heart too, on its way with Steph, that is, the parts that already hadn’t gone with all the others. It will take a long time before I can’t remember that heart, and all that it meant for me.


“Based On A True Story”

excerpts from the transition diary of Katherine Collins

Introductory note * November 15, 1993

Somehow Melanie Phillips and I cooked up the idea that I would make submissions to The Subversive, which addressed -the spiritual side of transsexualism+. Ever since we agreed to that, I have been wondering what form to give it. It is not that I have nothing to say on that subject, but rather, far too much.

Several times a week, I write a few thousand words in my -transition diary+, detailing thoughts or feelings or events. I have been doing it regularly for almost two years now. This writing is amazing to look back on. Every phase is so distinct, every step forward so tentative and yet momentous, and then so quickly left behind and forgotten as new developments overwhelm the old. Inevitably, I hope to have the resultant bulky tome published at some point – heavily edited, one hopes, perhaps with garden shears.

The -spiritual side+ of the transition is proving to be the most important part of it, but also the most elusive. I am not forming precepts or coming to definite conclusions. My spiritual growth is a blind grope down a path I have never imagined; and so what I want to do is share with the readers of The Subversive some of the stages of that journey as I have experienced them. In this and future issues, I propose to publish some edited excerpts from my diary – not the whole diary, as Melanie is doing, but in my case only those bits which bear upon spiritual matters. So you will be spared a lot of my personal agonies over my appearance and my relationships and my work and finances, although all of that, too, is of course part of the larger story of any transsexual+s life.

I started seriously working toward my transition in April 1992, first by just -dressing+ part time in public, and, luckily, finding a partner (now an +ex+) who was able to help me explore my female sexual side. I spent over a year working on my appearance, in order to make -full time+ possible, and now, since July 1993, am -living full time+, taking hormones, and day by day altering my social persona in the eyes of all who know me.

These first two excerpts are from September and November of 1992, when I had just recently started therapy and electrolysis, and the whole process was still all new.

Excerpt One: -Splinters of the Infinite+ * Sept. 1, 1992

It never ends now. This transition is on my mind nearly all the time. It takes a lot of my energy, just thinking about it; and more energy, doing anything about it.

Day by day I see the new self emerging – sometimes summoned forth through applications of makeup and through careful dressing – and sometimes simply there, by surprise, staring me in the face from the mirror.

I am getting used to it, but it is also an astonishing situation. Sometimes it feels as if I have fallen into a dream, as if everything I am saying is the fantastic prattle of dreams, and that I shall awaken and shake myself and say, how incredible.

I look at myself in the mirror and realize how deeply into this dream I have fallen. It is infinite, like the reflected galleries of a hall of mirrors – the reality of my profound changes reverberates through my personal time and space, altering my relationship with the world, and with the cosmos. The dream is deep and multi-layered, and new meanings flash as one rounds every corner. And the infinite speaks back, and like the mirror, affirms what I know is there. It says, -Yes, I know.+ And it says, -Yes+.

I had two visions – splinters of the infinite, sent my way, and through me. They are among the more palpable of the affirmations I have been receiving.

Both came to me in the same evening, several hours apart. Both came while I was being held by Carol.

The first: suddenly I was present in another time and place, in another body, in another life, in almost another world. It was the early days of civilisation, in Mesopotamia or Sumeria. We were thin brown people, Carol and I, poor, in a hot dry land. This harshness was to us simply the human condition, and our comfort was that my scrawny female body was being held by my husband, who was also small and thin and who loved me and wanted to make love with me.

And peculiar words came to me – -At last my bones are wanted upon this earth.+

I don+t think I have ever felt before that my body, and my self, as one, were welcomed and desired. I have been ill at ease on earth, like an unwanted guest. Inhabiting that brown body, so nearly nothing but bones, and its bones so nearly just another bit of brittle debris in a dry landscape, paradoxically made me feel more desired, and more at home in the world as a woman, than if I had suddenly been transformed into a buoyant pin-up queen. I was desired from the bones outward. My husband+s arms around the frail package which held my soul gave me a sense of completeness, which echoed through to today, from the life of that person I perhaps once was, to the life of the person I am becoming.

Later – much later – lost in the wilds and visions of sexual energy, I felt strength and power running through me. My articulate imagination labelled it for me, with symbols I already knew. I knew them, but had never felt them within me before.

It was the female energy which in Puritan times was labelled as witchcraft. It is that energy which women today are reclaiming, and dedicating to the Goddess, and channeling through themselves once again. The symbols were of the supernatural: of spirits and fairies and magic, of demons, and of the dead and the living. They came from somewhere on or near the earth, and arched their way, through me, toward the sky. The dead yawned toward the heavens, and the living were rooted in the earth, and all the spirits between were in a twisting cycle, with energy far beyond my control.

I have no rational understanding of what I felt, of what came through me. It was a gift, for a moment, which I hope I will receive again.

I think there is no turning back in this process; it+s far too late for that and I am far too certain of my direction. So whether it is all a dream, or stark reality, I am living it now.

Excerpt Two: -Ghosts In The Hall+ * November 20, 1992

I feel a marked dissonance with my own body. Saying that, I realise it is almost the textbook definition of what being trans-gendered is all about. Still, it is currently disturbing me more than it has in quite a while. I catch sight of myself in the mirror – in either women+s or men+s clothes – and I am shaken. The appearance is so far from what I feel I am, that it is discouraging and depressing.

Despite the success of my hair additions, which give me a full, bushy head of long hair, when I look at my face in the mirror I see behind that to the greying, balding, middle-aged man which is my natural appearance. This dissonance is repeated when I survey my entire body, and see the portly stomach of the middle-aged man.

Then the dissonance rises to a din, when I hear the voices of those girls and women I might have been, but have never been, and will never be.

They are like ghosts running through the halls of my apartment. They surround me and follow me. Sometimes they follow faithfully like a shadow but of a different shape, and sometimes they run off in some other direction. At times I can follow – but other times I definitely cannot.

I have written before, at least briefly, about the feeling of having missed out on the childhood, the girlhood, that I wish I had had – and the adolescence, and the young womanhood. Instead I had some other life – not quite somebody else+s, exactly, as I certainly lived it and made it mine. And it made me its own, to some extent. But it was not the life that I should have had, and it detracted from connection with a great many parts of myself.

It is, to say the least, challenging to develop as a middle-aged woman without having been a girl and a young woman. One of the missed connections was with my own sexuality. And now, only recently, one major way that I have been thrown face-to-face with my -lost selves+, with the girls and women I -should have been+, has been through sexuality. Its sly budding, that I missed having as a girl and a woman, I seem now to be having. And through it, I can experience and express the many unfulfilled young personae that I find in myself. I can live them out to some extent.

Even the fears help. Like any young girl, I feel a tremulous fear of the power of sex; but also a reluctance to turn away from it. I feel small and powerless before it, and yet it is coming from me, or through me. It is especially bewildering that my sexuality has the ability to affect others. My fears, my hesitation, my clumsy lack of experience, my confusion and embarrassment, are all conspiring to locate me, psychologically, in the mind of a young girl.

No part of this -transformation+ process has been anything I have expected in advance, or could have predicted. I certainly did not imagine this – the inhabiting of myself by a young girl+s undeveloped self. This can be wonderful, and I’m sure it is -healthy+, but it is also adding to the uncomfortable dissonance between my inner self-image and my outer appearance. It is not my aim, as a middle-aged transsexual, to generally try to live in the world as a teenage girl. This would add infinitely greater absurdity to a social persona which is already going to be hard enough to integrate into the larger society.

The everyday self wants to continue as an adult being, able to handle the rigours of career and social relationships, and of intellectual perception. But the inner self is hungering for experiences – social, not just sexual – which I have not had. I want to get the affirmations I never had as a young person: to be seen and perceived and related to as a tender, budding young woman; to have my sweetness and romanticism, and desire to be pretty and have innocent fun, be perceived as part of a young female personality.

Every experience of maturation that I have had, I had as a -young man+. To actually have those experiences again, this time as a young woman, is of course impossible. But as a replacement, now a powerful magnet exists in anything that is able to tell me, intellectually or intuitively, what it has been like for others and therefore what it might have been like for me.

In part, I am absorbing other people+s memories, in order to have a past. I sometimes feel like the character of Rachel, in the movie -Blade Runner+. She was a manufactured being, a pseudo-human, who was given someone else+s memories so that she would believe she is -real+. For years I have been reading fiction and memoirs by women, at first quite unconsciously choosing it, and have been gaining at least a bit of fellow-feeling with adult women.

Recently, the experiences of younger girls have become more vital to me. In a period of a couple of days, I saw a movie (-The Lover+) about a 15-year-old girl+s sexual and romantic awakening, and then began reading a memoir of the Beat Generation, in which Joyce Johnson vividly recalls her 13-year-old self, uncertainly exploring the world of artists and bohemians.

I sat in bed and read it, captured, as page by page she grows older and her experiences broaden, and I got further inside the details of the life of a girl in New York in the fifties. A spell deepened, which I did not want to disturb, either by stopping reading or by stopping to think too closely. I felt that the hall of my apartment was full of ghosts, moving back and forth. They were an almost overwhelming crowd. The spirits of girls and women had come forth and were a discourse, a traffic, a colloquium and communion of women, oblivious to me specifically, but connected to me, available to me, open to me as one of them. Were they archetypal people, or other people, or fragments of people? Or were they ages and aspects of myself, persons for all the days of my life in which my female self lived silent and dormant?

I have no answer, but that day I was immersed in them, in a warm sea, and they seemed to be passing through my skin, imbuing me with their life.

Perhaps a lot of fragments of people, of personae, are slowly accumulating – all of those things which I might have been, all those experiences I might have had, all adding up. Will they make a whole person whom I can understand some day? Can I ever catch up on all that lost time? Can I, if not re-make my past, at least have a coherent sense of what it might have been, who I might have been, and therefore who I am now?

I need, if not to have a female past, then at least to have gone through layers of growth that can get me to a place of being female as an adult. I cannot leap from male to female, full-grown.

This process does not solve the problem of the physical dissonance, and may in fact make it worse. But I cannot deny the vividness with which I am absorbing new realities, through other people as well as through my own experiences. I know of the ghosts in the hall, in the room, all around me at times, inside me at times.

_ 1993 Katherine Collins


MELANIE’S WORDS OF THE MONTH

“Thought – The killer of Knowledge”


AMERICA ONLINE GENDER GROUP STATISTICS

Contributed by Marsha J, Gender Room Secretary

Member by State as of October 1993

AK. 1 AL. 1 AZ. 1 BC. 2
CA. 29 CO. 1 CT. 7 DC. 1
DE. 2 FL. 19 GA. 2 IA. 1
IL. 21 IN. 4 KY. 3 LA. 3
MA. 9 MB. 2 MD. 4 ME. 2
MI. 10 MN. 4 MO. 7 MS. 3
NC. 7 NH. 2 NJ. 7 NM. 5
NV. 2 NY. 8 OH. 9 OK. 1
ON. 1 OR. 5 PA. 7 QU. 1
RI. 1 SC. 1 TX. 14 UT. 1
VA. 6 WA. 5 WI. 4 WV. 2
WY. 1 unknown 75

304 attendees on list

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR 304 MEMBERS FOR HELPING TO CREATE A SAFE HAVEN OF SUPPORT FOR EVERYONE CONCERNED WITH GENDER ISSUES!!!

GENDER CONFERENCE

Don’t forget to attend the Gender Room Meeting on the America Online BBS in the Community Room at 9pm ET every Sunday evening. Use Keyword, GLCF, then select Lambda Lounge or Community Room depending on your version of the software. For specific information, directions, or to order back logs of the chats, Email Marsha J, the Gender Room secretary.

GENDER ISSUES FOLDER

Also, when on America Online, stop by the new Gender Issues folder. This folder contains an ever-growing library of downloadable files ranging from lists of support groups to medical information to pictures of members to back issues of The Subversive. Use Keyword, GLCF, then select Resource Files, then double click on Gender Issues in the list. Upload YOUR files in Resource Files under New Files and Free Uploading.


AFTERGLOW

I don’t know why, but this is the second issue in which I am including some of the “downer” pieces I have written. Maybe I’ve just used up all the happy stuff first? Well, anyway, here is another depressing little poem I wrote about a year ago during some hard times.

My name is Anne,
and I have many friends,
but I wish somebody was proud of me.

So I do what I can,
but the work never ends,
just so someone will be proud of me.

I try to be pure,
I try to be good.
Macho or demure,
I do what I should,
all because I was sure,
that somebody would,
be proud of me.

My mother suffered.
an unfulfilled pride,
not her own, but from others,
and often she cried,
that she hoped she would hear,
in the moment she died,
“Well done!”,
from the One,
who was proud of her.

Now, I know that I suffer,
a similar fate,
and though I am tired,
and though it is late,
these words will not keep,
these thoughts will not wait,
in the hope that somebody is proud of me.

So I fill all their needs,
but no pat on the head,
and I solve all their problems,
in life or in bed,
like my mother,
another,
who soon will be dead,
with no one to say they are proud of her.

It’s too late for me,
but I leave you this charge:
that I’m not alone,
in the world at large.
Their needs are like mine,
and it just takes a word,
but their hearts remain empty,
until it is heard.

We each have the power,
to bring them some peace,
to quiet their fears,
to make their tears cease.
So whenever you see them,
in bar or in pew,
let them know that you’re proud,
and I’ll be proud of you..

Ah, now don’t cry! Its just a poem and I’m all better now! See… 🙂


“May you never find occasion to say, ‘If only…..'”

SUBVERSIVE PUBLICATIONS

BEST SELLING NEW VIDEO RELEASE!!!!

Copies sold from California to Maine, Chicago to Finland!

“MELANIE SPEAKS!” In this new video, Melanie Anne Phillips explains how she achieved a new voice for her new role. The program provides exercises in Pitch, Resonance, Dynamic Range, Annunciation, Body English, Vocabulary, and Grammar in a step by step fashion that makes it easy for you to develop your own unique feminine voice and vocal patterns. The “secret” is a special exercise that let’s you develop a truly female resonance that you can turn on or off at the drop of a hat. If you have ever been embarrassed by your voice or have contemplated vocal surgery, see this tape first!!!

Subj: Melanie Speaks
From: JaniceTV
To: Melanie XX

Yesterday I received my tape. How wonderful. You can’t believe how much that it has helped. I’ve been practicing, and on the phone already I can make myself female. The insights on what is Feminine are worth just as much as the voice info. I’m sure that you have noticed more than most of us the great differences between male and female. It really is quite thought provoking. I have noticed especially the power words that I and other males use. Equally I have noticed the submissiveness of most females. Once you start to notice, its hard to believe that you never heard or saw it before. After seeing your tape and how far that you have come, it makes me wish more and more to be female. However, I have a better understanding of what that means!! I would be hard for me now, and in some ways I like it both ways. The main thing in life is to understand yourself and to be happy. With your help and of others, that is happening for me.

Love,
Janice


EDITOR’S NOTE: It is my desire to make this publication available free online to all who wish to read it. However, due to copyright laws, any overall license would allow unscrupulous individuals to excerpt portions and use it for their own personal gain. Therefore, should you wish to upload this publication on your BBS or simply generate hardcopies for support groups and friends, please write me about a free license for your specific purpose.

THE SUBVERSIVE

Number 15
November 1993

Copyright 1993 – Melanie Anne Phillips – All rights reserved

The Subversive | Volume Fourteen

Another issue of the online magazine I published in the early 1990s

THE SUBVERSIVE

Number 14

“Where Dreams are the stuff Reality is made of”

DECLARATION OF PURPOSE

“This journal exists to promote the concept that each human is a unique individual, intrinsically entitled with an equal right to pursue her own destiny as far as it does not inhibit others in that same right. The Subversive shall serve as a ready forum for the free expression and exchange of ideas that do not violate this mandate, in the belief that tolerance grows from a familiarity with variety.”

–signed,
Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor

WHERE TO GET THE SUBVERSIVE:

The Subversive is available FREE as a download on America Online, Compuserve, Genie, several servers on the Internet, and various BBS around the world.


For those who wish to contribute articles, stories, personal experiences, information, jokes, or whatever Email melaniexx@aol.com, or write:

Melanie Anne Phillips
150 East Olive Avenue
Suite 203
Burbank, California 91502

Only original material will be accepted unless quoted in the context of an original work or submitted with credit to the original author along with permission to reprint the material.

Submission of original material for publication in The Subversive constitutes a non-exclusive license to Melanie Anne Phillips by the author/copyright holder to reproduce all or part of the material in any media.

EDITOR’S NOTE: It is my desire to make this publication available free online to all who wish to read it. However, due to copyright laws, any overall license would allow unscrupulous individuals to excerpt portions and use it for their own personal gain. Therefore, should you wish to upload this publication on your BBS or simply generate hardcopies for support groups and friends, please write me about a free specific license for your purpose.


EXPLORATIONS

by
Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor

This month I forego an editorial so that I might bring you some updates about several issues important to me.

UPDATES:

GENDER FORUM

Initial requests have now been made to create a separate Gender Forum within the GLCF. This would be a one-stop, single button access area containing folders of downloadable information for TV, TS, and their SOs on medical, social, legal and relationship issues. There would be a bulletin board area where members can post messages on various topics or start their own. We plan a conversation area specifically dedicated to gender folk and direct access to the GLCF conference room by button from the Gender Forum. Also, hopefully, we can obtain access to the Gender Forum through use of the keyword, Gender.

Now all this is just in the planning stage and has no official response from anyone at AOL. But the initial proposals have been made, and future postings here will inform you of any progress made.

WOMEN’S FORUM

Recently I was appalled by the lack of a Women’s Forum on AOL. When I wanted information on career, child-rearing, the latest medical news, or political decisions affecting women I had to jump all over the place and hunt it up myself. As a result, I recently proposed a full-fledged Women’s Forum to the powers that be in the Lifestyles and Interests area. I was told they are very much in favor of such a forum, but are backlogged with other projects that will put off any planning of that nature until perhaps November at the earliest. I was invited to continue keeping the lines of communication open to them and intend to do so.

Again, and progress made will be updated here in future issues.

DRAMATICA

As many of you know, for the last three and a half years I have been working with my writing partner on the development of a new theory of story called Dramatica. This work has been done for Screenplay Systems in Burbank at a cost of over half a million dollars in research and development of a new software program implementing the theory. The program has been shown publicly and used by academy award winning screenwriters who are astonished at its capabilities. Dramatica will be on sale nationally beginning in January 1994.

I mention this here because the theory we developed discovered that stories are actually analogies to the problem-solving processes of the human mind. Characters, Themes, Plot, Acts, Scenes…. all represent perspectives of a mind as it deals with inequities and tries to work them out. In fact, the entire story represents a mind that we call the Story Mind.

The workings of this story mind (and hence, the theory and software) function as fractal dimensions manipulated through non-linear and relativistic equations. A complete model of the mind exists within the software.

As we began to explore this model, we worked out a new psychology based on the relationships between fractals, chaos theory and other aspects too numerous to go into here. But the end result was, we had created a Predictive model of the mind using a psychology we call Mental Relativity.

The software can actually be used to get a better perspective on personal problems, just by casting yourself in the role of the Main Character in the Story Of Your Life. Many insights can be gained to the issues that trouble us all, and decisions can be clearly defined. More on this in future issues.

MENTAL RELATIVITY

Mental Relativity as a model of the mind finds a difference between female and male brains at the biologic level in terms of the way they handle Time and Space. The relationship between biology, biochemistry, conditioning and free will is completely laid out. The most incredible find for me was an understanding of how the female and male brains both contain blind spots where then cannot see.

In a sense, to be self aware, you must put your sense of self in one part of your mind to look at the other parts. You can see most of it in one take this way, but you cannot see it all at once. In order to see where you are standing, you must move and look back where you were. But, of course, things change while you are moving, AND the act of observing the parts you can see changes where you are standing before you can turn around and look at it. SO, there is an area of inaccurarcy you aren’t even aware of, and this is the blind spot.

But, because of the different way male and female brains handle Time and Space, the blind spots are in different places. Because males brains are more externally oriented, the language, culture, laws, religion, educational system: all contain the male blind spot as it was men who mostly created them. We women then are “double whammied” because we must use that language and learn in that educational system not only suffering our own blind spot but the male one as well.

The findings of Mental Relativity range into all aspects of the mind and interpersonal relationships. Until now, I was requested to keep our findings under wraps until Dramatica could be developed, in exchange for the massive outlay of capital Screenplay Systems has expended on this project. Now, however, for the first time I am free to begin sharing what we have discovered. More on this in future issues.

HEART CORPS

As you may well imagine, Dramatica and future programs based on Mental Relativity are expected to bring many millions of dollars to Screenplay Systems and perhaps to me personally as well. However, I for one feel it is obscene that any one person should horde such wealth while there are hungry and neglected people in the world.

Rather than getting used to great wealth and becoming swayed and jaded by it, I have this month established an organization I call Heart Corps. I intend to take a small portion of the profits from Dramatica for myself to allow me to continue working in these areas, then place the bulk of it in Heart Corps.

Rather than just being an organization that throws money at problems, Heart Corps’ mandate is to support those who would support others if only they had a roof over their head or a car or more education.

It is my belief that there is a world full of people who want to help and would spend all day every day assisting the homeless and the helpless if they just didn’t have to pay the rent. Heart Corps will pay the rent for them.

Of course, right now I don’t have all that funding yet. So my contributions must be more modest until the profits roll in. Still, I couldn’t wait to get started, so this month Heart Corps contributed to Food for All, MDA, the AIDS walk LA, Food for Skid Row, and the Disabled America Veterans.

Sharing hope with Mental Relativity and sharing help with Heart Corps is the focus of my future. More on this in future issues.

— Copyright 1993, Melanie Anne Phillips


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

From: CRISSYK
To: Melanie XX

Dear Melanie,

I am just writing to thank you for having the courage to speak about your transition. I have known ever since I can remember that I was meant to be a woman, but I have never had the courage to do anything about it. I have allowed others to run my life, and that has only lead to heartache and suffering. Now with the help and support of you, your story and the other girls on AOL I have finally made the first step towards my own liberation from the prison I am in.

I attended the gender forum on Sunday the 3rd and heard for the first time on a personal level, that I am not alone, that there is an answer to my lifelong struggle. I have felt like I was on the verge of suicide for the last several months and with thoughts of self mutilation becoming more acceptable every day. I then stumbled upon your story in the “subversive” and read the entire text through the 13th issue. I probably shed more tears as read than I have allowed myself in my entire life. But this time they were tears of empathy and joy. When I read about your search for your grandfather’s shotgun, a loaded 9mm was sitting next to my computer. This may sound corny or cliche’, but you literally saved my life as I had decided that I had no right to live as I am.

I won’t bore you with the details of my experiences as I know you said you felt less and less connection with the gender community. (Sorry for the poor paraphrase) As much as I would be willing to beg you to stay on as host of the Gender Forum, I think I understand. You have been through hell and back over the past few years and deserve time for yourself and your family. And your family deserves to have you in their lives. Besides you spent the majority of your life dreaming of being a woman, not an ex-man!

I finally took the step and called for an appointment with a psychologist in the local area who counseled a MTF I read about in the paper. Since I made the appointment I haven’t had one thought of suicide and I have never felt so at ease. While I know it is going to be a long journey beset with trials and tribulations I know, at least that I am finally on the right path. Don’t get me wrong I am terrified at the thought of almost every step along the way. I feel like I am blindfolded, walking towards the edge of a cliff never knowing if the next step will be the one that hurtles me over the edge and out of control. But now I have many guides to hold my hand along the path they have already traveled and my mind is filled with comfort.

Thank you once again Melanie, for your courage, your compassion, and your tolerance. Your work is not in vain!

Love,
Crissy

P.S.
I saw your before and
after and you are lovely!
You really give a girl hope!


From: Dee tv
To: Melanie XX

Hi Mel,

I just read your last issue of the Subversive (#13) and was taken by surprise by the letter written by dawnSEL. The gender chats and the files listed in the gender area have been very helpful to me. Through the chats, I have met wonderfully supportive people who have been very helpful in answering my occasional dumb questions and in helping me to figure myself out.

Before joining AOL and the TV/TS family online, I was totally confused as to what my feelings meant. I know now that I am not crazy or abnormal. I am simply a heterosexual (possibly bisexual) male who enjoys dressing and acting female. Although a lot of the persons who attend the chats are TS, I have never felt any discomfort during the chats, other than my own nervousness the first couple of times. Generally, I have appreciated both the candor and comradeship that has been offered, including the occasional ribbing from some of the characters that inhabit this window-on-the-world.

Please don’t let letters like dawn’s discourage you. I can assure you that most of us feel exactly the opposite. You can feel free to publish this if you wish.

Thanks for your time,
Luv, Dee


From: RuiS
To: Melanie XX

I downloaded The Subversive#12 the other day, and from what I have been able to read so far, I think it’s great. It’s a great service to all of us.
All the best to you,
Rui


From: Kool Darr
To: Melanie XX

Hi Melanie!

I just finished reading your latest Subversive Magazine (number 13) and found it very interesting. I really enjoyed the section called “Cinderella Liberties” I guess most men do come on too strong when they see a target they feel they have got to have. I hope I am not that way. I do try hard not to hurt anybody’s feelings and respect their wishes. Did you ever or are you going to go back to that 7-11?

With every issue I really look forward to the section on your life story (Raised by Wolves). I find it fascinating how you and others like you go through changes in your lives. I hope you do get a publisher for your book. When that happens I will buy the book and read about you again.

I look forward to the next issue of The Subversive. I will always download when I see it in the library. Also, I must mention again, I think that recent GIF you put in the library was very beautiful. I can see why a lot of guys try to make passes at you. I hope we will see another GIF of yourself soon in the library. I will be the first to download it. Well that is all for now. Hope to hear from you soon.

See ya!

Kool Darr


From: Melanie XX
Reply To: Kool Darr

Actually, I have only been back to that 7-11 when the guy was not on shift, and I didn’t go alone! I don’t like being “locked out” of the convenience of that store’s location, but the alternative is a scene I don’t want to have to get in. If I tell the guy to back off, that emotional cloud will hover over me everytime I go in and see him there. So, you see, that is the position he has put me in: I cannot win! THAT is the complaint women have about this sort of thing. Still, I can see that if I had complained at first, it wouldn’t have gotten this bad. Yet, women assign feelings to every object and location around them. That is how we identify things, not by their shape but by their feel. Just being approached in the first place gave me two choices: accept and attach a bad feeling to the location or hope he gave up when I didn’t respond and the feeling would only be transient. Then I could classify the store back in its original pleasant feelings. But, alas, he did not give up and it grew to the point that no matter what I do, the pleasant feelings attached to that store cannot return until he is gone from the place. Either way, he’s made me lose on this one unless I want to intimidate HIM by my presence. But I would know that I was making him uncomfortable and that would make me aggressively mean toward him which is against MY self image. So, unless I want to be toward him as he was toward me by making him uncomfortable and thereby change my character against my nature, I must then lose.

If you ever wanted some insight into the way a woman evaluates a situation, this was it!

Melanie


Subj: TOS Update!
From: QUIRK

Please Note: While I’m aware that the TOS Advisors and the manager of the Guide program have been notified, this information may not have yet trickled down to individual Guides as yet. (please be patient with them until that time! 😉 Two Parts:

_ While In Chat Rooms_
The following words are now acceptable in a positive context while chatting in a public room: “queer,” “dyke,” “transexual & transgender,” and “transvestite.”

However, if any of the above words are used as harassment in any way, there will be a warn.

_Public Room Names
The above words will NOT be allowed in the names of public rooms. The reason is that they become beacons for bashers, and on this point I really have to agree with AOL’s reasoning: The aim is to reduce the potential for harassment, while still encouraging free expression.

So that’s where we stand at the moment. Thanks to all of you for public & private input. And thanks to AOL for considering & implementing our proposal to change the TOS policy! 😉

QUIRK
GLCF Forum Host.


From: DevonAlexC
To: Melanie XX

Melanie:

On the 17th, TOS shut down the TV Chat room again. But THIS ISN’T ANOTHER COMPLAINT against that. I and a few others thought that perhaps TOS Advisor wasn’t reacting so much to the room’s content as to the name of the room in context with its content, location, and potential audience: ABOUT transgenders, but located in a PUBLIC area where literally anybody online could wander into it, thinking we were talking about the much more common TV, television.

It is my own opinion that this is a little irresponsible; I know for a fact that there are those who don’t want to think about TGs, don’t want to see any, and certainly don’t want to be in the same room with one, let alone with several comparing lingerie. I also know for a fact that people have wandered in thinking we were talking about television. We (or they, since I can’t be here tonight) will suggest to the general membership that we start naming this room something a little less ambiguous (since it is created by us nightly), and I thought the following post I found in the News area of this board might illuminate things, too. Renaming the room won’t hurt, might keep those unsuspecting (and who might be offended) away from our door, and might also build some goodwill with AOL. It’s certainly a lot more constructive than constantly railing at TOS!

I’m also asking you, if you would, to introduce the topic of changing the room name (assuming the others don’t), or at least to lend your support to the suggestion. You’re rather the voice of authority around here, and well-respected, and if the suggestion were to come from you as well as us, I think there’d be much less resistance to the idea. I’m afraid, from what I’ve heard in the past, that those who’ve actually had the experience of having the room “shut down” on them might be so caught up in their “fight against censorship” that they may not be willing to meet AOL partway in this matter. And any knowledge you have of the way AOL acts in these matters would help, too. Thanks a lot for your time and your help!

Devon Carter

Subj: I urge you all…
From: CDee

Everyone:

Please consider taking a moment and writing TOSAdvisor, Steve Case, and the CS Manager in order to attempt change. Recently AOL seems to be cracking down on the online Transgendered community – now even the room “TV Chat” is automatically and routinely shut down. Normally I can sit back and not deal with such things, but not this time. Please tell them how you feel about discrimation.

Thank you for letting me rant in your mailbox,

Gwendolyn Ann Smith
AOL: CDee


From: CDee
To: TOSAdvisor

Folks in charge around here!

This may sound like an angry letter, and to some extent, it is. I would like to know why member rooms called “Hail Satan,” “Do A Cow,” “M 4 F 4 Pvt,” and so forth are just fine by the Terms of Service, but anything mentioning crossdressing and transsexualism are strictly forbidden. I haven’t been here that long, but I do remember at one time having no problems name wise, then being stuck with TV Chat (I was in a room once when TOS recommended that over whatever name was on the room), now even TV Chat gets us stuck as a private room. I am in that or a similar room every night, and see the room get up to about 9-15 members each time – and yes, each of these people is either a crossdresser, transsexual, or someone who enjoys their company. I will admit that sometimes members of the latter group do cause problems, but we in the room also usually tell them how much we really appreciate their advances – which, again, in most cases, is nil.

I am also curious that in a time when there are currently 20 other BBS services that cater to the transgendered community, and Compuserve allows full discussion of crossdressing and Transsexualism in HSX 200 (Genderline), that America Online is so dead set against access for this group of individuals. Allowing one weekly forum on Sunday night, and a folder in the Gay and Lesbian forum just doesn’t quite seem fair. Especially since a lot of us are not gay. I know that a lot of us here enjoy each other’s company, and are usually here for a couple of hours each night. It would be rather unfortunate if we all had to switch over to another system just so that we could connect with each other. But should this situation continue, and we continue to be ignored and pushed aside, so be it.

Thank you for taking the time, at least, to read this,

Gwendolyn Ann Smith
AOL: CDee


Subj: Name change for TV Chat?
From: DevonAlexC

Well, by now just about everyone who uses TV Chat regularly has been in the room when it’s been made Private by the powers that be. Most of us tend to yell “Foul!” (at best!), but I think the problem (and the solution) are simpler than that.

Most people have no knowledge of the transgendered culture, it’s nicknames, acronyms or abbreviations. Most people, on seeing the initials “TV” automatically think television, not transvestite. So when someone sees these initials, this is what they expect, not a discussion of lacy underwear or bra sizes or what to do with one’s penis while wearing Lycra. This would seem, on the surface, to be a pretty clear violation of TOS, BY MOST PEOPLE’S STANDARDS. They have no way of knowing TV means transvestite, and TOS Advisor doesn’t stop to ask questions. That’s not his job. His job is to protect AOL at large from anything potentially offensive, which, with a clearly ambiguous room name, we are.

So how about changing the name of the room? Gender Chat should fit. It would certainly be a show of faith, and would prevent the odd unintentional visitor (of which we’ve had many!). It’s no trouble on our part, and might keep us online as a member room for an entire night!

Devon

From: DevonAlexC

Here’s the response I got…any comments?

From: TOSAdvisor
To: DevonAlexC

Dear Member:

The room “TV Chat” is removed from public areas because of it’s content. Transgender/transsexual topics may be discussed in private areas, or in areas of the GLCF, but are not acceptable on the public member rooms list.

Please write again if you have further questions or comments.

Regards
Terms of Service Staff
America Online, Inc.


From: KosmicKat
To: TOSAdvisor
CC: Steve Case, CS Manager

To Whom It May Concern:

I have been a member of AOL sine the end of May. Through AOL I have met some of the nicest people you can imagine. I met these people via the Chat Room called TV Chat. I have been on-line in this room for at least a little while almost every night since starting my membership. There have only been several occasions where someone gets a little out of hand. At least during the time that I have been on-line, there is no more “offensive” chat then the chat of the other rooms contain on a regular basis.

Now it seems like the name “TV Chat” has become offensive to AOL. True, there are some people who enter the room expecting to find discussion regarding television. I have never, repeat NEVER, seen anyone in the chat room inform these people in anything other than a polite and respectful manner that TV is the abbreviation for Transvestite. 99.9% of the people that visit this room on a regular basis are nice friendly folks who are well aware of AOL’s Terms of Service and obey them at all times.

If the name TV Chat is so horribly offensive to AOL, then it is up to AOL to let us know what would be acceptable. Gender Chat? Don’t just continually shut our room down or make us private. Tell us what room name is acceptable. It should be one that AOL can live with and one that would also let transvestites, transsexuals and their friends know that this is an area they are welcome and can chat with others — just like all the other members of AOL. Gays and Lesbians have their own rooms, why not Transgendered people?

You make us feel like we are somewhat less than desirable members of AOL. I am not a transvestite or transsexual, but many of my friends are. Why is it that rooms called “Do a Cow”, “I Am All Wett” and “I Hate Barney” are accepted by AOL, but TV Chat is not. I feel I need not remind you that there are other on-line services out there. I have not tried any others because up until now I have greatly enjoyed AOL. However, if this harassment and discrimination continues, I am sure a large number of us will have no choice but to take our business and our dollars elsewhere.

I would appreciate your views on this matter.

AOL: KosmicKat


From: Stephanie2

Gender Chat sounds like a great idea. If that offends them then its a bias that we can deal with.

Steph


From: Raven33

It sounds like a good idea to me too! And even AOL must understand that we all have “gender”, even if it is flexible :).

Smiles,
Beth


From: KatieRC

Hi – a quick note here –

I agree with your suggestion, with the possible exception of the idea that we may want to include the word “support” in the name, to make it even MORE explicit for the random wandering doughheads who want to give is trouble. So “Gender Support Line” or something like that might be it – or maybe the even clumsier Gender Support Chat Line”. I also like the idea of not having it called just a “TV” room, since we have a lot of TSs, including me.

So  please pass my endorsement along to anyone you want.
Let us know what happens!

 Cheers! -- Katherine Collins (KatieRC)

From: CherylL325
To: TOS Advisor

I read with dismay your recent consideration of a ban of transsexual/transgendered issues within the public rooms. I am a transsexual woman, and find it disheartening that you might choose to sweep aside important medical and ethical considerations of gender for whatever reasons. I have been in therapy and under a doctor’s care for several years in preparation for sexual reassignment to my true gender. This condition is recognized in medical research as being probably biological in origin, and recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as a true dysfunction. I have suffered this all my life, and am well aware that people with this condition need treatment and compassion rather than censure.

I see quite frequently gay and lesbian issues addressed in open rooms, as well as other topics which may be of a controversial nature to some. Perhaps you are unaware of the high suicide rate of individuals left to suffer from this dysfunction, unable to find the help and treatment they so desperately need.

I feel that your decision does a grave disservice to these individuals, fostering the belief that this is somehow a moral defect, rather than a very serious condition.

I am not privy to what reasons you may have had for making your decision. If there have been excesses and abuses, I’m sure that there are available means to correct them. However, to condemn an entire group of people for the actions of a misrepresentative few seems rather draconian.

I would ask you to reconsider your decision in the light of compassion for the suffering of lost and misunderstood individuals. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Cheryl Lynette Mullen


From: Melanie XX
To: CDee, TOSAdvisor

Thank you for your open letter to the TOSAdvisor. Our community has grown from just a few, to an organization of 264 (editor’s update: 304 members!!!) active members with our own OFFICIAL weekly conference AND an officially sanctioned folder for Gender Issues. But, as you say, we are tucked away in a corner. I appreciate the hand of friendship from the GLCF in making a place for us. But, again, as you say, we truly share little with that community other than being targets of oppression.

I support your effort, and as Conference host for the last two years for the Gender Forum, I strongly add my voice in a request to re-evaluate the uneven standards that reflect more of an unsupportable bias by America Online than any real values.

With your permission, I shall reprint your letter (and any replies from the TOS or lack thereof) in our national electronic newsletter, which originates here and is uploaded each month to Compuserve, Genie, and three major servers on the Internet. Our readership is approximately 10,000 per issue. Perhaps they will have some thoughts about this inequity as well.

Thanks again for your comments, and I join in urging those in control to re-consider TOS “policies and practices” regarding our community on AOL.

Melanie Anne Phillips


And now for the next installment in the serialization of the book:

RAISED BY WOLVES:
A TRANSSEXUAL DIARY

by

Melanie Anne Phillips

PRELUDE

The pages beneath, chronicle my 30 month journey from a life as an apparently normal husband and father to that of an apparently normal woman. In the hope of capturing the immediacy of this emotional trip into the unknown, I shunned the retrospective approach, opting instead for a daily Diary.

Each entry was made on the day the events actually happened, expect as noted. And each is filled with the raw and unpolished thoughts and feelings that held me at that moment.

Of course, this leads to a somewhat meandering story, as well as contradictions in my point-of-view and personal emotional outbursts that I’m sure will make me squirm once this is published. But anything less would be less than truthful. And if this document is to serve any purpose as either a tool for tolerance and understanding or as an inspiration to those contemplating any major life-change, then it must be completely honest.

NOTE: Starting with September, 1990, my schedule became so tight while I was editing the feature film, Social Suicide, that I could no longer take the time to make my diary entries directly onto the computer. The only way not to lose the emotion of the moment was to record my thoughts onto a microcassette recorder. Obviously the results are not as polished, nonetheless, I include them here as they are the only record of this portion of my transition.


November 1, 1993

Today, Larry (the Director of the feature film I am editing) and I came to an agreement about my future hours for the rest of the project. I have agreed to work 12 hours a day still, but only for five days a week. I get both days of the weekend off!


Yesterday was Halloween. I took the kids out for trick or treat wearing a hobo mask that came down below the nose. My long hair hung out the back, and I didn’t want to walk like Dave, but the kids kept calling me “dad”. The other day I couldn’t remember how I used to walk, but last night I found a way that I could. In fact, I guess this is how all men walk. You just tighten up your ass and make sure nothing moves. Just like the old days.


Everyone else has gone home. I’ve got to work another couple of hours until 10pm. Even though the weather outside is cold, the air conditioning shuts off in the building in the evening, so it is pretty hot in here. I decided the only way to ease the heat was to take off my blouse. So if you ever see the movie, “Social Suicide”, and come to the scene about 3/4 of the way through where the dog comes out of the elevator, you’ll know that the final decisions were made on that sequence when the editor was topless.

November 2, 1990

I just finished dropping Mindi off at school and realized I forgot to bring my lunch. But, since the make-up looks good today and the Electrolysis worn off a bit, I think I’m going to take my new checkbook and my new driver’s license and go down and buy some food at the store. That’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Since I’m still Dave at home, I haven’t had to go to the store as Melanie yet. The last time I went to the store as a woman was before transition when I was wearing a wig and padding. I wasn’t afraid then, because it was play. I AM afraid now, because if it doesn’t work and this is really me, its not going to work at all.

But I’m not really worried, because today is the first real day of fall we’ve had. Its clear and crisp and the leaves are blowing across the blue sky. And I’m dressed the way I always wanted to be, in a pull-over elastic top and blue jeans. This is THE perfect weather, THE perfect clothes, and hopefully it will be The perfect shopping experience.


Well, I’m back in the car after my first successful shopping trip – and it was great! I walked up and down the aisles the way I wanted to walk; looked at what I wanted to look at. I stopped by the cosmetics. It was heaven. I wonder if you can imagine what it would be like to spend a whole year of your life afraid to walk into a supermarket. I didn’t work for that long as a male, and I was completely usure to try it as a female. Its terrifying. I don’t want to be embarrassed. I just want to be me.

So, today I spent my first check on my new account at Lucky’s. And even though my voice froze up a bit when I went up to the checkout counter, the checker didn’t think anything of it. She didn’t bat an eye. I was pretty much ignored. To go into the supermarket and be ignored may be the most thrilling experience I’ve ever had! Now, I know I’m going to make it.

November 5, 1990

I’ve just had my first weekend off with both days in a row in about four months and I feel wonderful! There was a surprise birthday party for Larry on Friday. I decided that going to his party would help put some of the bad feelings behind us. So I went to K-mart and bought a whole new outfit off the clearance rack. I found a green, flowered jacket with a cream blouse and a cocoa brown skirt. This was the first time I’ve worn a skirt in public since transition. I used to wear one every time I went out when it was just a game, but when it was real, I didn’t feel qualified to wear one: kinda like I hadn’t paid my dues and it would be play-acting.

But that Friday, I wore my skirt, and as I drove to the restaurant where the party was, I felt so free! Larry arrived and was very surprised. He was also very surprised to find me there on my first real day off in weeks. He gave me a warm hug. Larry’s lawyer was also there and brought his two children as well. I had brought the party game winner’s presents. The lawyer’s daughter won one of the games and came to pick out her prize. She looked them over, but couldn’t decide which of two to take. I said, “Why don’t you take both?” She said, “Really?”, her eyes going wide. I replied, “Sure, go ahead.”, and handed them two her. She just turned spontaneously and gave me a hug. Suddenly, there I was, Auntie Melanie. I can’t tell you the depth of fulfillment I felt when that little child hugged and accepted me as her friend.

When I came home, Mary said hi, but didn’t look up because she didn’t want to see me dressed in a skirt. I changed my clothes, but this time I changed into something more androgynous: a pull-over sweater, blue jeans, and foundation make-up only. I looked completely female, but not overtly female. And that’s the way we went out to the Galeria shopping mall. We took the kids along.

I didn’t change my movements, I didn’t change my voice, even when I talked to clerks. I was just myself the whole time. Mary didn’t have a problem with it. The kids didn’t have a problem with it. I was so elated I stayed that way all weekend.

We had a wonderful time around the house together; cleaning up, doing chores. Sunday we went to the park. There were other families there with Dads and moms. Because I was androgynous, Mary could still see me the way she wanted, even while everyone else saw me as female. I haven’t dropped out of being Melanie since a week ago, and I guess I never will again.

November 6, 1990

If I hurry, I can finish up the last reel of conforming (the worktape) today, in this nightmare of hours and commitment and deadlines and pressure. Last night and this morning, I used the same voice at home as I use at work. It’s quite wonderful not to have to shift back and forth.

November 7, 1990

I’m on the road, heading down Hollywood Way, because today I get to work at Universal Studios! We’re having our first day of recording on the Universal sound stage. This will only be my fourth or fifth trip to a studio, but never before to work. Today we are going to record a mariachi band for the soundtrack. After all my years in the business, this is finally like being on the inside.

This is only the second time I’ve worn a skirt since I began working as Melanie. I’m ready to go into the studio and make my debut among the professional people – not just in Larry’s little office (my womb with a view) where I have been safe. I understand my name has been left at the gate…


I’m just about to turn on to Cahuenga, that borders Universal Studios. Last night (election night here in California) there was a tremendous fire on the Universal lot. For a time we feared that we would be unable to begin today. But, in fact, only one structure was seriously damaged, so things are supposed to be back to normal. Okay… here’s the studio. I’m going to drive up and confront the guard and see what happens.


NOTE: What follows on the tape is an uneventful conversation with the guard, who found my name on the list, gave me directions to the stage I was interested in and sent me on my way. I was thrilled to pass so easily, especially past a gate that I had dreamed of crossing as a professional for so long. After that, the tape contains a full hour of technical conversation over the background of some rather out of tune mariachi music. Obviously, that is both difficult to transcribe (how you you transcribe music in text?) and boring as well. So, suffice it to say that as boring and ordinary as the day was, that is exactly what made it special. For I was simply working as a professional on a feature film, no regard or questioning of my sexual identity.

November 14, 1990

This Thanksgiving and the day after, I’ll be director of photography on a video shoot with Larry directing. This is a different project than the feature, and it will be my debut as Melanie in that position – my first production job in the new role.

It’s funny how comfortable it has become to wear a skirt. I was at a rental place earlier today, checking out some video gear and I sat down to look over the catalog. I felt this draft and suddenly I realized, “Wait a minute! I’m sitting here in a place of business, asking technical questions about video gear in a skirt!” Pretty darned amazing.

I get used to the role to where I don’t even think about it, and then something comes up and whips me back to reality and I find myself saying, “I’m not fantasizing this, I’m really doing this – really living this life.” Blows me away completely. I guess another year of this and there won’t be any novelty to it anymore at all.


I’m really looking forward to this upcoming shoot. I’ll be working with a full crew, telling them where to set the lights, working out the camera angles and operating it. There will be a number of featured players and thirty extras. I wonder what it will be like to be “crew captain” in my new lifestyle? It will be interesting to see what parts of my technique as director of photography remain the same and which ones change, now that I have altered my outlook.

November 16, 1990

Mary called up from work yesterday to tell me they were having a rummage sale there. She asked, “Does Mel like jewelry?” Of course I replied in the affirmative. She asked what kind I liked, and I told her I was kinda into bracelets. She said, “That’s good to know!” When she came home that night, she gave me a silver twisted bracelet.

She told me that the one friend at work she has confided in asked her how she could possibly contribute to my transition like that. She replied that even though she still thought of me as David, David liked bracelets and she wanted to make me happy.

November 20, 1990

Last night the make-up/hairdresser friend of the Victoria, the producer gave me the free haircut I received as part of the deal to be director of photography on a video shoot for Larry. Now, I spent fourteen months growing my hair from a short male style down to barely touching my shoulders. I was very proud of this. In the last few weeks it finally reached the point where I can walk into stores or meet people for business with no one questioning that I was female. The style worked, the length worked: everything was working very well. Then, I got the haircut….

Now imagine, I had gone into my doctor’s office who told me how good I was looking. I stopped to talk to his post-op nurse who’s hair was the same length as mine. I came into the office wearing one of my favorite skirts, chatted with an intern from Canada who did not read me at all and then about 9:30 in the evening went in to have my hair cut.

I sat down, so thrilled, looking forward to this: my first female haircut in thirty years of wanting one. Thirty minutes later I looked in the mirror to see that my hair barely came down to the bottoms of my ears.

I came home thinking all the time, “Oh, it doesn’t matter… My femininity doesn’t come from the length of my hair – I’m not Samsonette, after all!” I kept thinking, “Well, its a feminine haircut. I love the style because its so soft and curvy. I don’t think it makes me look older even though the lady next store is about my age, has a similar haircut and it makes her look fifty!”

I came home. I looked in the mirror: the mirror in which I had seen the image of an undeniable female in the morning. Now I saw the undeniable image of a 5’10” man in drag. Suddenly, every bone in my body looked larger. Suddenly the musculature of my arms seems to protrude, like the Hulk taking shape beneath my blouse. Suddenly the beard stubble stood out and flashed in neon colors. Suddenly I realized I had been butched!

So, I cried and I screamed and I yelled and I cursed. And at the end of it all, I went in and woke up Mary and cried and screamed and cursed. Finally she woke up and began to comfort me, which was just what I wanted so I could push her away and wallow in my misery. Which I did until I fell asleep.

This morning I woke up realizing the damage had been done and I couldn’t undo it. It will just take six more months to grow it back to where it was. Six more months of the hell of being laughed at, stared at ridiculed and feeling completely unconfident.

I would say, this was just about the most perfect experience of my life.


This morning, my daughter upon hearing that I was not pleased with the length of my haircut said to me, “Daddy, I know why they cut your hair so short!” I said, “Why, honey?” She said, “Did you go as a woman?” Thanks, kid!


Its funny, I have been looking for signs all day that people are reading me, but no one seems to be. I go in the store and I didn’t really say anybody who paid me the slightest attention. A little boy in the store said, “Hi!” I said hi back and his mom didn’t read me at all. I went through the checkout counter with no problem. I went to the gas station, came up to pay and a lady in the mini-store tapped me on the shoulder and asked me how to get to an address. No recognition.

I still feel I’m readable as hell, but on the other hand, that may not be the case. Maybe it wasn’t the hair that was making me passable but my own confidence in adapting to the role.


Well, I’m here at the office and I’m still trying to be miserable, but its very hard. Maybe part of it is that the hair I had as a male was still the part on the outside before the haircut. I still had that stigma attached by its black little roots. Now, all the hair that was there when I was Dave is gone: on the floor and in the trash and out of my life. What’s here now is all the stuff that’s grown in since I’ve been Melanie. Its all Melanie hair. Its all me hair.

Even if my hair is short, even if my face is bumpy from electrolysis: those aren’t the things that make me female. I’m female because of the way I am inside. And even if people don’t treat me the way I want to be treated, its not going to stop me from acting the way I want to act.

Its November 21, 1990

I went into the video equipment rental company to get checked out on the broadcast camera I’ll be using on the project I’m DPing. The technician is a former chef and we talked about favorite recipes and Thanksgiving dinners while we worked. He never read me.

I went down to the bank to get my ATM card activated on my new account. I was helped by one of the women who helped set up my account and saw all my Dave ID at that time. She and I talked as she explained the procedure and SHE DIDN’T RECOGNIZE ME! I don’t know. Its scary. I figure that as soon as I get used to the fact that I’m not going to be read by anybody, everybody’s going to read me.

Thanksgiving and the day after, 1990

These were the two days I was Director of Photography. I had a crew of six people and was responsible both for operation of the camera and lighting of two adjoining conference rooms about fifty feet long. We had forty extras and several principal actors and support personnel as well.

Talk about being high profile! Half of the people I knew going into the shoot knew I had been Dave and the other half didn’t, so it was a strange feeling being in front of them all and so many new faces as well.

I don’t believe anybody read me, although I believe I heard someone ask another person if the DP was male or female. But that’s okay: its not the same thing as being read when they can take you either way. Also the one being asked responded “female” and that apparently settled the question. There were no raised eyebrows when I used the ladies room.

Later, when I was setting up a shot, I heard two other people talking about how female DPs were getting more accepted in the industry. I thought, “how interesting to be representing the feminist front.”

None of the crew members knew about my past, so it was a lot of fun when I would step in authoritatively to adjust a light and they would kid me saying, “Oh, I just LOVE dominant women!” Another one piped in saying, “Yes, I really enjoy being order around.” To which I replied, “Oh, too bad! I left my black leather at home!”

It was the most fulfilling production experience I’ve had. As Dave I would have felt self-consciousness to the point I would undermine my craft. But this time I felt none of that: I was completely secure. More than I had ever been in production before. So, I was able to devote myself to the creative decisions required and truly enjoy plying my craft.

It was interesting to work in front of perhaps 55 people, who all perceived me as Melanie. It became apparent once again that the choice I’ve made is about I how wish to express myself, and that the choice was a very good one.

As a side note: this is easily the most complex work I’ve done as a director of photography. We are running extensive dolly shots, crane shots, trucking in and out: a lot of complex moves and set-ups. But no problems! Total confidence on my part both as an artist and as a woman.

An odd thought: I truly feel that I could go back to the old role of Dave in a pinch. But I would still act as Melanie. I wonder if that would be accepted or not? Once you find yourself, you act as yourself. Its just that sometimes you don’t fit in where you are placed.

As a side note: yesterday I measure my bustline for the first time in six or seven months. Strange, how I never had the desire to keep track of measurements. However, this time I found I had finally achieved a full “A” cup, which I guess was kind of a rite of passage for me, although it holds no special significance. My femininity does not spring from the size of my breasts, nor from what’s between my legs, nor the length of my hair nor anything else. It simple springs from the fact that I am a feminine person, and that is its own justification.

I’ll be glad when this book is over because these entries constantly put me in the position of re-evaluating things I really have no need to anymore. I’m really getting tired of soul-searching, because there’s very little left to search at this point. Sure, there’s more physical stuff to go through with the surgery if I elect to go with that. I feel no pressure to move in that direction at the moment.

And so, when this book concludes, I will be glad to see it go. Not because I haven’t enjoyed sharing the process but that the time for dwelling on this aspect of my life is rapidly passing. Its time to move in new directions.

Now that this problem is winding down, my interest in the humanities and the environment has skyrocketed. That’s why when I put this most personal document to rest, it will be with a sense that the time to move on has come.

November 28, 1990

Mary and I have decided we don’t plan on being intimate in the future. We’re still keeping it open, its not like a wall between us. We just realized we hadn’t been intimate in a long time, and it wasn’t anything major. We still cuddle up, watch TV and cuddle under the covers on cold nights. We still wake up with our arms around each other, and we’re very close physically. But as far as sexual intimacy: that’s something I don’t think either one of us wants to address at this time. We’re much more content to enjoy our companionship and be in Mary’s words, “Good friends.”

I’m pretty much amazed that it doesn’t hurt as much as I thought it would. I believe that is because over the last fourteen years, physical intimacy is not where our hearts were. We were more concerned with the loving and caring and being close physically, not in consummating the act of love making.


And I’m growing close to other people as well. Every morning my writing partner, Chris, shows up and listens to my tales of woe over coffee and then helps me see clearly. I told him today that I had looked over something he had written and that I used to think I was a better writer than he, but not any more. I told him that particular piece was absolutely brilliant – it had so many things in it I never would have thought of. He said, “That’s why we’re partners.”

I realized that statement was weighted with the message that we would continue working together into the future. That, to me, was quite an exceptional bonding.

I have even experienced some bonding with Larry at the office. He has been hard on all of us, but always harder on himself. He has everything risked on this project and today the pressure got to him. He was at Victoria and she was at him. It looked like Universal Studios would not prepare the soundtracks to the level he desired and they were basically refusing to look at the list he had prepared of what he wanted.

In the midst of all this tension, my own problems often boil over. Last week I broke down several times and cried. Larry was always there to put his arm around my shoulder. I don’t know if he did it to spur me into a sense of loyalty so I would put more effort into the project or how much of it might actually be caring for me and reaching out to someone in need.

Today, I think I understand a little better. When Larry was at the end of his rope, he came into the office and told he was really down, and I suggested a way he could get around the Universal limitations using his own gear here for virtually no money. Suddenly he had a way out of his dilemma. The film could turn out the way he wanted and it didn’t have to crumble around him.

Later, he came in filled with sorrow at his harsh words earlier to Victoria, his wife and producer. He was crestfallen. Silently, he reached out to me and I hugged him. Then I looked in his eyes and I felt such a maternal instinct. He was a lost little child. He was no longer the oppressive slave driver, he was no longer the big business man, he was no longer the experienced director with seven feature films to his credit: suddenly he was just a little boy who needed comforting. I reached out again and we hugged, as a mother would do to a small child who is afraid of the dark.

After, his eyes were strong again. Somehow from my femininity, he received strength of a masculine nature: to once again do battle with the dragons that were plaguing him. I realized then the power of the relationship between men and women – mother and child, man and wife, brother and sister. Each needs their strength replenished, but cannot replenish it from the substance of which they are made. Only through each other can we find our strength.

(Copyright 1993, Melanie Anne Phillips)

(The Transsexual Diary series will continue in the next edition of The Subversive)

I urge you all to keep a diary of YOUR personal journey, whether it be through transition or not. The attitudes and even the order of events becomes cloudy through time, and I am continually amazed to re-read things that memory would have me believe had happened differently. If nothing else, it is a good way to see long-term patterns in yourself that you cannot see except in retrospect. That objective view alone is worth the inconvenience of keeping a journal.


FEATURES

“Welcome Home”

by
ElizabthTS

    I began my personal journey on July 12, 1993, after "enduring" 47 years as a man. I can't begin to describe the feelings of  contentment and inner peace of mind I feel at letting Elizabeth  finally come out, and begin to experience the joy and happiness of  her new life. 

    She has always been here, sometimes scampering out to go  shopping with girlfriends -- and at other times living only in my  mind's eye but she was always there -- a blonde hair, blue-eyed  beauty, who loves deeply and cannot wait to experience all that life  has to offer as a woman. She laughs and dances and likes to be the  life of the party. Like other women, she is active, hates to exercise  and reveals in intimacy. I have felt her when I was depressed and  when I was on top of the world. She comforted me when I was sad  (which was most of the time), put a smile on my face when she was  happy and never once let me down because she knew she would  emerge someday and live the rest of her life -- free.  

    I am a bright and intelligent woman, and I know better than to  think my journey will be a "walk in the park." There is so much I do  not know about "feeling" like a woman but I will never forget the  pain and agony of being a man. I was frustrated, quick to anger,  disappointed with life in general, and more than anything else, sad.  The sadness was for myself and my inability or perhaps,  unwillingness to choose what was best of me in terms of personal  happiness and satisfaction. You know what they say... sometimes it  is more "comfortable" to stay stuck than to move on and create one's  own personal happiness. I lived that scenario for too many years.

    Many of my former years were spent compiling to the wishes of  others whether they were parents, siblings, or society and its'  bigotry. I did not readily accept their demands -- only compiled with  them. I wondered what was wrong with me? Didn't I have a mind of  my own? Oh, most definitely, I did but the feelings I expressed were  not in ways that, how shall we say, won friends and influenced  people. 

    Like so many other transgendered people, I became aware of my  feminine self at a young age. 10-years in my case. It was at that  time in my life when I first discovered the "perfume sanctuary" of  my mother's dressing room. It was also the first time I experienced  scares and confusion I had never felt before. I dressed almost every  day after school when nobody was home. I had plenty of time because  my mother had her usual bridge clubs and social events which kept  her away from home most afternoons. My father worked until 5 and  my brothers, both older, had activities which kept them busy after  school. I had no sisters. It was a blissful and exciting time for me,  and in between feeling scared (that I would be discovered), I loved  wearing her clothes and make-up, and parading around the house. All  that changed on one fateful weekend in August, 1957. But what  transpired then and for years afterwards maybe the subject for  another issue.

    While driving home yesterday, I heard a love song playing on the  radio. Suddenly I felt a wave of sadness come over me as I listened to  the words and tears came to my eyes. I couldn't shake the feeling  that I felt a great amount of love for somebody. But whom? It wasn't  until I begun to sing the words that I realized who that person was.  The one who had always been there for me... protected me... stood by  me... nurtured me. He showed me his compassionate and loved me  enough to set me free. And for that, I will always love him.

My love to each of you,
ElizabthTS


HORMONES

by
CherylL325

I took my first Premarin in June of 1992, two weeks after going fulltime. I had planned it all six months earlier. After finishing up a computer contract in Baton Rouge, I went to the Be All in Detroit. It had been building for a while, to where I couldn’t stand not being Cheryl for more than three or four days. I knew quite a few people in the midwest, from the gender groups and BBSs. The Be All was my first convention, though. I had a great time, and met a number of people who were living fulltime, both pre- and post-op. I knew this was very much what I wanted, more than anything.

Two weeks later, I met a friend who I had been talking to online for quite a while. She gave me a hundred 1.25 mg Premarin that she had from Mexico. We stopped at a restaurant, and she gave me a long lecture on hormones. She told me to use what she had given me to take to a doctor to show that I could get them. I sort of half agreed. Ten minutes after leaving her, greedy little me took her first Premarin tablet. About an hour later, driving home, I took another one. It was wonderous, this was something my body had been missing all my life.

Two weeks later, I met a friend who I had been talking to online for quite a while. She gave me a hundred 1.25 mg Premarin that she had from Mexico. We stopped at a restaurant, and she gave me a long lecture on hormones. She told me to use what she had given me to take to a doctor to show that I could get them. I sort of half agreed. Ten minutes after leaving her, greedy little me took her first Premarin tablet. About an hour later, driving home, I took another one. It was wonderous, this was something my body had been missing all my life.

Eventually my friend Janice called. She wondered why no one had heard from me. I poured my heart out to her. I hated my life, and if I had to live as a male, I’d sooner die. She talked me into coming to Chicago and seeing her. Janice is very motherly, a sweet person. I feel like I owe her my life. She and another girl set me up to see a doctor to get a prescription. I got my first real prescription, for Premarin and provera. I also got a shot from the doctor. I don’t know how much was physical and how much psychological, but after getting the injection, I felt the weight of the world lift from me. For the first time in nearly two months, I could see daylight again.

I wasn’t over my depression yet, but I was much better. What brought me around was a spiritual experience. I had been trying to transition using male thinking. I was doing it with my head rather than my heart, and it wasn’t working. I came to the point where I had to give up the male completely. It was a submission, that I knew I had no control over this thing, and gave up completely, turning it over to the Feminine inside me. At the same time I came to an acceptance that this was me, the male had to die so that the woman could live. A wondrous thing happened. I felt a suffusion of feminine strength, rather weak at first but growing stronger over time, like a seed sprouting from the earth. I felt a love, a nurturing and connection, that I’d all but forgotten from childhood. At the time I started reading Marion Woodman on the Feminine, and felt an instant empathy with what she was describing. Marion describes the Feminine as, not a Goddess exactly, but a connection with the universe, a way of seeing. The Feminine is bountiful, but has her terrible aspect too if shunted aside and ignored. This made perfect sense to me.

For the next several months, I did everything I could to nurture this new wonderful freedom. Old habits die hard, though, and I tried to control things again. I have a strange dominance/submissive streak in me. While sexually I’m submissive, sometimes a strong independent dominance comes through in non-sexual situations. I think it may have been a cover to hide from myself that I really am a submissive.

Anyway, I decided that I was going to take control again, I knew what I was doing. I doubled my Premarin dose, added spironolactone, and over the next six months began taking extremely high and dangerous dosages. At one point, I was taking 7.5 mg of Premarin, 0.5 mg of Estinyl, 3 mg of Estrace, a day, along with wearing the Estraderm patch and taking provera and spironolactone, and getting my weekly shot. I had confused 0.05 mg of Estinyl with 0.5 mg, which is only given to males with prostate cancer. It was an enormous dosage, more than 10 times what is commonly considered a safe regimen.

Needless to say, I got to be a sick little kitty. Severe headaches, wild and terrible mood swings, physical nausea, my body was rebelling. I blamed it all on the Provera, so I stopped taking that. (g) On top of that, I had several ounces of simsellian pot that a boyfriend had given me, which made me feel better, I thought.

I had an almost unlimited source of hormones, but even I recognized it was much too much. I was going crazy. I’m generally a pretty mellow, thoughtful person, but I turned into superbitch. It was like having incredibly bad PMS all the time. My whole system was completely out of whack, and I started going into suicidal depressions again. My boyfriend of the time said I was going to blow out my liver.

Gradually, over several months, I started cycling down, to where I was taking about 5 mg a day of Premarin, which was much better. Instead of leaving it at that, though, I started doing my own injections of estradiol valerate and progesterone. Not knowing what I was doing, I overdosed on that. My hands and arms broke out in sores. At first I thought I might have AIDS. I’ve engaged in unprotected anal sex on a number of occasions in the past, and there was a time when I would go to bed with just about any man who would be nice to me and appreciate me as a woman, it was the only way I knew to validate my identity. I was so scared, I was afraid to go to have it checked for a week. Finally I went to the clinic. As it turned out, I was HIV negative, and it was probably due to progesterone poisoning.

When I had my testosterone checked, there was hardly any to measure, I was way below a nontranssexual woman’s level. Over this period of six months or so, I’d gone first sterile, then impotent. Which was fine by me, except that I knew I needed to retain the ability to orgasm. Only now, four months later, is that coming back a little bit.

I’ve been following the doctor’s regimen now, and while I still have PMS and mood swings, it’s nowhere near as severe. I don’t consider suicide an option anymore. I’m going to pull through this, and I’m going to get back to that happy state I’ve experienced before in transition.

What did I get out of all the overdosing? Well, maybe my breasts grew a little faster than they might have otherwise, but I risked my life for a few months development. Mainly, though, what I got was expensive piss. The body can absorb only so much, and the rest is excreted, putting an extra strain on the liver.

So to any sister contemplating upping the dosage, I say don’t. It’s not worth the risks. We’re in this for the long haul, and nature can’t be hurried along that quickly. I know I don’t want to die a male, and it would be ironic to kill myself with estrogen overdosage, not that I’d appreciate the irony. The steady course is the safe one.

Love,
Cheryl


MELANIE’S WORDS OF THE MONTH

“Therapist” is actually two words:

           The Rapist

AMERICA ONLINE GENDER GROUP STATISTICS

Contributed by Marsha J, Gender Room Secretary

Member by State as of October 1993

AK. 1 AL. 1 AZ. 1 BC. 2
CA. 29 CO. 1 CT. 7 DC. 1
DE. 2 FL. 19 GA. 2 IA. 1
IL. 21 IN. 4 KY. 3 LA. 3
MA. 9 MB. 2 MD. 4 ME. 2
MI. 10 MN. 4 MO. 7 MS. 3
NC. 7 NH. 2 NJ. 7 NM. 5
NV. 2 NY. 8 OH. 9 OK. 1
ON. 1 OR. 5 PA. 7 QU. 1
RI. 1 SC. 1 TX. 14 UT. 1
VA. 6 WA. 5 WI. 4 WV. 2
WY. 1 unknown 75

304 attendees on list

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR 304 MEMBERS FOR HELPING TO CREATE A SAFE HAVEN OF SUPPORT FOR EVERYONE CONCERNED WITH GENDER ISSUES!!!

GENDER CONFERENCE

Don’t forget to attend the Gender Room Meeting on the America Online BBS in the Community Room at 9pm ET every Sunday evening. Use Keyword, GLCF, then select Lambda Lounge or Community Room depending on your version of the software. For specific information, directions, or to order back logs of the chats, Email Marsha J, the Gender Room secretary.

GENDER ISSUES FOLDER

Also, when on America Online, stop by the new Gender Issues folder. This folder contains an ever-growing library of downloadable files ranging from lists of support groups to medical information to pictures of members to back issues of The Subversive. Use Keyword, GLCF, then select Resource Files, then double click on Gender Issues in the list. Upload YOUR files in Resource Files under New Files and Free Uploading.


AFTERGLOW

Here’s a depressing little piece I wrote when I was about 16 or 18:

“AND ALL OF THIS IS MINE”

So here I sit. All that’s left of what was hopeful. Flashing eyes and inner heaven of green trees and blue skies. Long years spent in developing a world within. Something above the feeble glow that passes for reality. Always entertaining thoughts obviously less than sane, and always leaving them for something more substantial. But every rock-hard and solid tangible I grasp for evaporates into senseless wisps at my touch. Having an image but no reality to match it.

And just when I think I’ve finally found her whom I met in reverie, a flaw materializes and whips up, screaming tauntingly like a quick scythe, shattering the polished teeth of a forced smile.

And all of this is mine. The legacy of an innocence long since dead and rotting in the forgotten smears of yesterthought. I always have hope, which brands me as a fool before I have a chance to enjoy those things obtained while becoming a fool.

So, dashed and splattered are the vile thoughts of peace and love, and just an empty scar that doubles as a sneer is left to frown and brood.

And I try, I really do. And I fail, boy do I fail. Yet, inside, the green trees and blue skies go on, a little murkier perhaps, but on. And once again I drag my sliced and battered “I” up on its weary stubs and funnel into my heart all that comes my way, which usually happens to be rejection.

But there’s a new day coming. And its always darkest before the dawn. And life goes on….


I couldn’t know it then, but there WAS a dawn ahead – the dawn that I now live every day. So, hold on. None of us can tell the future. If we could there would be no free will, as all would be predestined to us. Chaos is chaos because it can’t be predicted. When times are bleak, chaos is a friend, not a foe. As all of us who have made life transitions can attest: the impossible is only that which you refuse to believe.


“May you never find occasion to say, ‘If only…..'”

SUBVERSIVE PUBLICATIONS

BEST SELLING NEW VIDEO RELEASE!!!!

Copies sold from California to Maine, Chicago to Finland!

“MELANIE SPEAKS!” In this new video, Melanie Anne Phillips explains how she achieved a new voice for her new role. The program provides exercises in Pitch, Resonance, Dynamic Range, Annunciation, Body English, Vocabulary, and Grammar in a step by step fashion that makes it easy for you to develop your own unique feminine voice and vocal patterns. The “secret” is a special exercise that let’s you develop a truly female resonance that you can turn on or off at the drop of a hat. If you have ever been embarrassed by your voice or have contemplated vocal surgery, see this tape first!!!

Subj: Melanie Speaks
From: JaniceTV
To: Melanie XX

Yesterday I received my tape. How wonderful. You can’t believe how much that it has helped. I’ve been practicing, and on the phone already I can make myself female. The insights on what is Feminine are worth just as much as the voice info. I’m sure that you have noticed more than most of us the great differences between male and female. It really is quite thought provoking. I have noticed especially the power words that I and other males use. Equally I have noticed the submissiveness of most females. Once you start to notice, its hard to believe that you never heard or saw it before. After seeing your tape and how far that you have come, it makes me wish more and more to be female. However, I have a better understanding of what that means!! I would be hard for me now, and in some ways I like it both ways. The main thing in life is to understand yourself and to be happy. With your help and of others, that is happening for me.

Love,
Janice

Melanie Speaks! – 49 minute educational video …………… $20.00

Raised by Wolves – A Transsexual Diary
Part One: A Spy In Their Midst………………………………….. $10.00 ($5 by Email)

The entire trilogy is a day by day chronicle of the two and a half year transformation from an outwardly normal husband and father to a complete woman. Part one covers the first day of hormone therapy to the first day of fulltime. Part two begins with fulltime and ends as the last year before surgery begins. Part three counts down to surgery, ending as the train back from surgery pulls into the station. Parts two and three are being edited and will be available soon.

Poems by Melanie Anne………………………………………………$10.00 ($5 by Email)

A collection of poetry and lyrics exploring society and self. Includes all the poems published in The Subversive and many more.

Dry Spell………………………………………………………………….. $10.00

An original sci-fi/thriller screenplay by Melanie Anne, following a woman archaeologist as she struggles to destroy a deadly organism discovered while documenting Native American ruins.

Snowstorm……………………………………………………………….. $10.00

An action/adventure screenplay by Melanie Anne, that crosses the paths of a teenage boy entered in a dangerous cross-country snowmobile race and the ruthless destruction of an entire town by a druglord.

The Day After Christmas……………………………………………… $5.00

A fully illustrated, satire on the threat of nuclear war that follows the destructive activities of “Saint Nuke” on The Day After Christmas.

Dichotomy……………………..30 Minutes, Cassette Album…….. $5.00

12 Original songs by David Michael Phillips, multitrack: keyboard, guitar, vocals.

Tarnished Karma………………..30 Minutes, Cassette Album….. $5.00

10 Original songs by David Michael Phillips, just before embarking on transition. Many of the lyrics pertain to the inner conflicts of gender dysphoria in a disguised manner, as this decision was not public at the time. Multitrack: keyboard, guitar, vocals.

Special offer: Double Album of Dichotomy
and Tarnished Karma on one cassette ……………………………… $7.50


EDITOR’S NOTE: It is my desire to make this publication available free online to all who wish to read it. However, due to copyright laws, any overall license would allow unscrupulous individuals to excerpt portions and use it for their own personal gain. Therefore, should you wish to upload this publication on your BBS or simply generate hardcopies for support groups and friends, please write me about a free license for your specific purpose.

THE SUBVERSIVE

Number 14
September 1993

Copyright 1993 – Melanie Anne Phillips – All rights reserved

The Subversive | Volume Thirteen

Another issue of the online magazine I published in the early 1990s

THE SUBVERSIVE

Number 13

“Where Dreams are the stuff Reality is made of”

DECLARATION OF PURPOSE

“This journal exists to promote the concept that each human is a unique individual, intrinsically entitled with an equal right to pursue her own destiny as far as it does not inhibit others in that same right. The Subversive shall serve as a ready forum for the free expression and exchange of ideas that do not violate this mandate, in the belief that tolerance grows from a familiarity with variety.”

–signed,
Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor

WHERE TO GET THE SUBVERSIVE:

The Subversive is available FREE as a download on America Online, Compuserve, Genie, several servers on the Internet, and various BBS around the world.

For those who wish to Subscribe, contribute articles, stories, personal experiences, information, jokes, or whatever Email melaniexx@aol.com, or write to:

Melanie Anne Phillips
150 East Olive Avenue
Suite 203
Burbank, California 91502

Only original material will be accepted unless quoted in the context of an original work or submitted with credit to the original author along with permission to reprint the material.

Submission of original material for publication in The Subversive constitutes a non-exclusive license to Melanie Anne Phillips by the author/copyright holder to reproduce all or part of the material in any media.

EDITOR’S NOTE: It is my desire to make this publication available free online to all who wish to read it. However, due to copyright laws, any overall license would allow unscrupulous individuals to excerpt portions and use it for their own personal gain. Therefore, should you wish to upload this publication on your BBS or simply generate hardcopies for support groups and friends, please write me about a free specific license for your purpose.


EXPLORATIONS

by
Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor

“Cinderella Liberties”

Every transsexual gets caught up in the “Cinderella Syndrome”, picturing a prince on a white steed sweeping her off her feet. Unfortunately, fantasies don’t happen as often as realities, so it is always a thrill when a guy comes onto you, especially the first few times. The problem is, you have the body of a woman and the experience level of a little girl. It doesn’t matter how sophisticated you were in the old role, none of that applies now. So as a new woman you are extremely vulnerable to male attentions.

My first encounter with a pick-up artist was before surgery as I was shopping in the shoe department at K-Mart. I was wholly focused on which heels to wear with my new white dress for my 20th High School Reunion, when an accented voice broke my concentration.
“Too many different styles”, the voice said.

I looked up to meet the eyes of a rather handsome man of middle-eastern decent, his thick mustache curled up in a smile.

“I know”, I replied. “It makes it too hard to choose.” I smiled back.

Now if I had any sense at all, I would have realized that this fellow was not hanging around the women’s shoe department looking for a pair of penny loafers. But, no, innocent me just appreciated the attention.

I was nervous, to be sure, as I was still not confident in my presentation, but he picked up the thread of conversation, and before I knew it, we were talking as we walked through the store.
I headed toward the checkout line with two pairs of shoes, wondering what was going to happen next. While we stood in line, he asked if he could buy me a cup of coffee. I figured, what the heck, and agreed cheerfully (it was GREAT to get this kind of attention! I had never experienced anything like this before.)

As we waited for those ahead of us, he asked how much the shoes were. Being cheap (after all, this WAS K-Mart!) I had purchased inexpensive shoes at $10 a pair, and told him so. He offered to buy them for me. Well…. I may be naive, but I’m not stupid. I respectfully declined, saying I didn’t want to impose, but in fact did not want to be obligated in any way – this guy was moving fast!

Eventually, I got through the checkout line (although not without being thoroughly checked out by this guy) and – as I had truly enjoyed his once over – I asked him where he wanted to get coffee. Actually, I was kind of looking forward to having coffee bought for me. Somehow it made me feel like I had some value. But he had other plans.

“It’s too crowded in a coffee shop to get to know each other”, he began. How about if we just sit in m car for a while and talk?”

Well, even I could see where this was leading, but still I felt flattered by the attention, reasoned I could get out of the car if I needed to, and as long as I did not let him drive me anywhere I would be okay.

“Okay”, I said.

He had a middle-of-the-road car: no great shakes, but quickly explained, “My car is in the shop… this is a loaner.” Then, he riveted those steely black eyes on mine, never looking away from my face, and began to tell me how he had been so attracted to me in the store that he just had to spend some time with me. He told me I was sexy and began to stroke my shoulder. Moving his hand slowly toward my breast, he described how “men are not like women: They first get the physical attraction, then they fall in love.”

Of course, I knew this was all bull, even though I had never tried such a thing as a male. Yet, the attention was so intoxicating, his hand massaging my nipple, so heady. If I had not been male, he would have had me right then and there! But I had been male, and so could call up just enough objectivity not to succumb.

He told me that he wanted to make love to me and that we should go to a motel right then and there. I kept hedging, trying to get as much of this as I could without going any farther. He kissed me and said we should go. Still, I did not give in. He said, “Are you worried about getting pregnant?” I replied, “I don’t think I have to worry about that.”

Finally, I told him I would not go to a motel right then, because I had to think about it with a clear head. He asked for my number; I refused. I said he should give me his number and I would call if I decided to go. That’s when he got really nervous, but seeing that the fish was about to steal the bait and run, he went ahead and gave me his number. But it came with the instructions: “Don’t call except on Tuesday or Wednesday nights, and if a woman answers, say you are a customer at my upholstery business.” Right.

Well, I escaped with my virginity that time, though if I had been post-op at the time, I rather think I wouldn’t have. But did I learn how to stave off male attention? NOT!
Some months later, I was working as editor of a feature film. One of the actors came in to see the dailies. Later, he found a moment with me alone and told me he recognized me from my support group meeting. I had not recognized him, as he was not there very often, and was not transgendered, but a “TS Shark” – one of those guys who has a special place in his for people in or after transition.

He wanted to have lunch, and I thought, “Okay, it’ll be fun to have a guy buy me lunch.” That went fine, and he was very gentlemanly. However, each time he came in after that, he got more and more “friendly”, eventually telling me he wanted to start a relationship with me.

I was (and am) still married, but at the time, did not want to jeopardize my marriage, so I thanked him for the flattering offer, but declined. Several days later, we were recording sound at Universal Studios, and he came in to loop his lines. He sat next to me and kept putting his hand on my knee. That evening, the director, the producer, a friend of theirs and myself went to dinner near the studio. The fellow in question approached the director and invited himself along.

I realized he just wanted to close in on me and so I found a moment to tell the director what the problem was and that I would appreciate it if after dinner he would keep the guy busy while I went to my car. He agreed.

Sure enough, after dinner, I left in a hurry, and he was going to follow, but the director snared him. That didn’t work for long, however, as I had not quite gotten to my car when he caught up to me anyway. It was in a dark alley behind the restaurant, and there were no other people in sight.

We started talking and he made a number of suggestions about how we might be involved. After several minutes he began to come on to me very strongly. He gripped my derriere tightly and pulled me to him. He tried to put his tongue in my mouth.

Now, I know what you are thinking: why didn’t I just tell him to bug off? Well, part of the whole thing was my fault. The ol’ Cinderella Syndrome kicked in and made me feel special that he was interested. I didn’t want it to go any farther than talk, but I didn’t want it to stop completely either. I liked where it was. Problem is: guys just can’t leave it at that. I now know that they just keep charging ahead until they get resistance and even then they keep trying until they are sure the resistance can’t be broken down.

Well, I was standing there clamping my lips together but even still, his slimy little tongue kept weaseling in and lapping up against mine. Why didn’t I just push him away? For the same reason women everywhere are afraid to fight back: they are afraid if they resist they will get beaten up. Suddenly I understood the nature of female fear. Here I was in a dark alley, alone with a determined horny admirer whom I was sure was a lot stronger than I was. I just held out and didn’t respond until some people finally came by and I had the opportunity to break away and tell him I had to run.

I shakily opened my car door, got inside, and was just about to close the door when he stepped in front of it, blocking it open. He told me he wanted me to know how much he was excited by me, took my hand and placed it against the bulge in his pants. I replied, yes, I could see he was interested. I can still feel him running his fingers across my lips when another group of people came by. I used the opportunity to close the door, waved good-bye and took off into the night.
Now, I’m sure he remembers it a different way. I’m sure he was convinced I wanted him as much as he wanted me. But that is because men and women don’t evaluate things the same way. This kind of miscommunication is just what we have to learn to avoid as new women.

As a final example, there are two 7-11 stores equidistant from my home. One to the East, the other to the West. When I go to work in the morning, the West one is right on the way. I like to stop there for coffee on my way in from time to time. At least I used to until the counter guy got the hots for me.

The first time I met him, he riveted his eyes on me and started a conversation. The next couple of times he would always hold my hand when giving me my change. Finally, I went in and while getting my coffee was startled to feel an arm go around my waist. I looked up to see him smiling and asking me how my day was. I just rolled with the situation and said it was just fine, thanks and then paid and left. I could feel his eyes on me all the way to the car.

All the way to work I hated the way he had taken liberties and loved the way he found me attractive. Nonetheless, I determined not to go back for awhile so things would cool down. A couple weeks later, I went back and didn’t even get to the coffee before his arm was around me. This time I was really beginning to feel harassed.

Still, the fantasy of having some guy so turned on by you that he makes those kinds of advances was narcotic. But I kept from swooning with it, paid my bill and left. I vowed never to return again.
Several weeks passed and I had occasion to stop home for lunch. Afterward I decided to buy a candy bar at the other 7-11 which I had gone to exclusively since the last incident. This time, however, I was running late and knew I had to stop at the trouble spot or go without a candy bar.
Suddenly I got enraged. How DARE he make me feel ill at ease in going into the most convenient store. How DARE he encroach upon my freedom like that!!! So, I girded what loins I have left and pulled into the parking lot. I looked through the window and was relieved to see that there was someone new at the counter: maybe he quit!

I went inside, feeling comfortable there for the first time in months, and looked over the candy bars. No sooner had I picked one, but the guy at the counter yells to someone I couldn’t see, “Okay then, I’ll see you later!” He walks out of the store and MY guy takes his place!!! I couldn’t believe the luck!

Of course he saw me immediately, riveted in on his prey and kept me in his sights as I came to the counter. My skin crawled in anticipation of what might come next. But he surprised me. He just made pleasant conversation! Things are looking up, I thought. He’s gotten the message! After he gave me my change, he even offered me his hand to shake. Well, I thought, he’s a gentleman after all!

I reached out and took his hand… and he grabbed mine and pulled me across the counter and into a kiss! And then another one! Right there in the damned 7-11!!!

He released his grip, I smiled and left and haven’t been back since.

Now, why did these things happen to me? Because I didn’t understand men, that’s why! Men are more aggressive than women. To them, the only time to quit is when they are convinced they can’t make any progress at all. But I don’t like to offend. And by nature am flattered by attention. As a transsexual, the whole concept of being desirable is better than sex – maybe even preferable to sex!

The combination of the two different points of view led to me being “violated” by these three men in ways I preferred not to be. But even as I was being kissed between the Lotto tickets and the $1.99 roses, I had the strongest surge of sexual desire I’ve ever experienced without foreplay! Even while I was being violated, I was being turned on!

What does all this mean? That when fantasy and reality collide, its easy to be of two minds. I know I am. And until I make up my mind, this sort of thing is likely to happen again.

Cinderella Liberties aren’t just taken by the man, but are also given by the woman. We are both participants in the act. Until you can sort out how you really feel and learn how to communicate if your shiny new baubles are for touching or just for looking its a good idea to err on the side of caution. It’s the best way to make sure you live happily ever after.

— Copyright 1993, Melanie Anne Phillips


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Subj: TV/TS
From: BillB18853
To: Melanie XX

I have read your letters and articles in Subversive. I am not TV/TS, but have a couple of friends who are. I have never understood why they felt as they did until now. My hat is off to you for putting into words what my friends have not been able to do. While I may not choose to live as they do, I now respect their feelings and have a different perspective on their lives. Thank you for helping me understand a different circumstance that I personally could not place myself in a position to see or understand. It is a shame that TV/TS is so misunderstood in the American public. I have no qualms about being in public with these friends and am personally amused when they are approached by other men. Do I feel embarrassed? Not really. It is really a unique feeling when you are accompanied by a couple of damn good looking women (and they ARE good looking).

Thanks again

Bill


Subj: TV_OR_TS
From: Geri VH
To: Melanie XX

Just A note to say I really enjoyed reading your article ((TV or TS – How to tell)). I have struggled long and hard , and find solace in your writing. Because of cultural influences I am having a hard time with self acceptance as I travel toward surgery. Knowing there are others who are happy such as yourself gives me a little more confidence.

Thank You,
Geri VH.


Reply to Geri VH

Thanks for the kind note, Geri. I’ve enjoyed discovering that sharing my thoughts brings some joy to others. It’s always fulfilling to hear from someone who tuned in to what was being said and found common meaning. Society is so cut and dried that it leaves no room for those who wish no definitions or do not fall into existing categories. Unfortunately, most of humanity would be found to be outside society’s categories if they were not afraid to speak up. So, the myths are perpetuated and we all suffer under them. Yet, there is the hope that if a few brave people speak up, their voices will blend together and become big enough to be heard and listened to.

Keep that positive attitude. We cannot control the unexpected turns our life will take, but we can start each day choosing for ourselves the direction we will go from here.

Take care and keep in touch,
Melanie Anne


From: DawnSEL
To: Marsha J
CC: Melanie XX

Marsha, with thanks for your great and gracious efforts, I think it’s best to drop me from the ASCII logs mailing. Though I’m active online, I don’t feel comfortable in the Gender chats, and do not download your logs.

I’m very comfortable as a TV/CD, and have been so for many years.

My concerns with the gender chat are two-fold:

  • I do not accept Melanie’s view that I must declare myself to be TS before I can feel, be considered, or enjoy being feminine. While it would be quite easy to make that declaration in order to be accepted, neither vagina nor penis are that critical to me.
  • I cannot accept or in any way support the AOL mandatory characterization of what we loosely call the ‘gender community’ as Gay/Lesbian/Homosexual. Whatever my own sexual orientation may be, I cannot and will not allow AOL to rule that I MUST be G/L/H if I am TV/CD. I commented long ago, and repeat now, that the urgency of our crusade for a forum had us put expediency before principle. [Please note that I said AOL, not GLCF.]

I will, as I have always done, encourage others to stop in for your Sunday night chats so that they may have the privilege of choosing for themselves.

Two thoughts in closing … Please do not read anything into this note beyond what I have openly said and very carefully phrased. … Also please feel free to share the note – or its thoughts – with others if you wish.

  • Dawn
    “male by chance, feminine by choice”

Reply to: DawnSel
From: MelanieXX

Hi Dawn! Sorry you feel as you do. However, you have misquoted me completely. I don’t think one has to be a woman to be feminine. Some of the most feminine people I know are men. Feminine and Masculine have NOTHING to do with sex but alot to do with gender. Gender is grown into and not dictated by any accident of birth. I don’t know how you could have so misunderstood me. In fact, my entire crusade has been to separate the sexual issues from the gender issues. Gender has nothing to do with sexual preference. It has nothing to do with anatomical sex. Anyone has a right to be, and should be encouraged to be, whatever gender they want.

I concentrate mostly on TS issues, because I am TS. I cannot speak for TVs or CDs because I have not experienced what they have. That is why the forum has always been open to everyone and why I have sought to never impose any of my personal views on anyone else.

If you were to read The Subversive, which I have published for over a year, you would find many articles written for and about the TV/CD community. And, if you had been reading the logs, rather than choosing NOT TO KNOW, you would see that most of the chat revolves around gender issues in general and then splits about 50/50 between TV and TS issues.

Its truly a shame that your preconceptions about what I mean and what the Gender Forum is all about have prevented you from actually finding out. As for the Gay/Lesbian community, some of my best friends are gay. Some of my best friends are TV. ALL of my best friends are human beings. I do not feel that I have to fear the embarrassment of associating with “their kind”, as you seem to worry about.

Finally, AOL never offered us anyplace to be. In fact, the only way we have been able to get an authorized place to meet that is not just a public or private room is because the GLCF OFFERED the room to us, without even being asked. They offered the hand of friendship, not to say we are gay – they KNOW we are not! – but to help another minority that is oppressed by traditional societal roles. I, for one, welcome the opportunity to join with others against the common oppressor, for in unity there is strength.

In any event, it is a shame to lose the keen mind and clever conversation that you possess to misconceptions and biases. I hope some day you open up a bit to include more people into your group than those exactly like yourself.

Sorry for the intensity of emotion on my part, but you have been sniping at my heels for two years now, only because my efforts did not completely cater to your needs. Still, I care for you and for all who can drop their attitudes of division, and look forward with hope to the day you may choose to join us again in a common effort so we can all reap the benefits of companionship.

Melanie Anne


Subj: Mel’s response to the Logs.
From: Stephanie2
To: Melanie XX

Thanks Mel, you voice my opinions exactly. I can understand the over whelming feeling of “TS” part of the Gender Forum, but I have never felt shut out by you or anyone else for that matter. It is exactly the opposite, the warmth, love, and closeness of the Community is exactly what draws me to the Forum on a weekly basis.

Thanks – Steph


AolMail
Subj: Fairness
To: Stephanie2, Marsha J

The main point is, we must always be on guard against becoming so sure that we are fair that we stop checking to find out. It doesn’t matter how noble your heart is, fairness can never be determined from only one side of a communication. All parties to an interaction need to be polled. Still, unfairness does not exist just because someone calls “foul”. If any individual or group feels put upon, it is their duty to stand up for themselves and say so. But they should not just decry a nebulous injustice, but point out specific instances or examples of attitudes that are not fair. What would be even better are suggestions for improvement that can be acted upon to correct the inequity.

The logs hold a record of all the give and take of the Gender Conference. If one has a feeling of unfairness, one should cull the logs and point it out, rather than closing one’s eyes.

I think it is important that each of us, as individuals take an active interest in the direction of the social groups of which we are a part. In truth, as misdirected as I believe DawnSel’s comments to be, I find them much more valuable to maintaining a fair forum than the lack of input by those who remain silent.

To quote myself from The Subversive,

“Speak up and be heard,
or shut up and be herd.”

map


Subj: AOL
From: DenisePete
To: Melanie XX

Hi Melanie, I recently signed on AOL (again) mainly because Marsha J. is here and its the only way I can get her to talk..(In person shes real quiet)..(Grin)

Any way I am currently writing an article for my VP’s column of the Chicago Gender Society newsletter which will focus on BBS’s for TS/TV’s

My observations, at this time, have led me to believe that AOL is sadly lacking in the area of TV/TS support. I Do not feel that being stuck in an unlisted area of the GLCF is exactly promoting our cause. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against G & L but I believe AOL should have something more directed in our direction….

At CI$ there are the Human Sexuality Sections which have general areas and closed areas. I can find no such area on AOL, perhaps I have over looked it?

CI$ just got over some flack regarding its required labels for TS/TV/TG people….They required us to label ourselves, a requirement not required of any other member of CI$. The main thing was that we were using female names but were male. However they even required Post OP TS’s to use the suffix TS or TG, until it was made quite clear that Postops are female (or male as the case may be) and they then offered to remove the suffix upon receipt of a Doctors letter….
any way, enough already… you probably know all this already.

I will probably be leaving AOL since at this time the 2400 baud limit is very restricting for d/l’s and until such time as AOL Recognizes our community I can see no reason to be here. There is no TV/TS message base available and I think this would be a good place to start.
Sorry for bending your ear, hope to hear from you..
Denise Peters


Subj: Gender on AOL
To: DenisePete

Hi Denise! Thanks for your well-considered comments. You are painfully right about AOL’s lack of support of the TV/TS/TG community. However, you are also just as right about the lack of support for blacks, women, and minorities of all sorts. Its not so much that minorities are discriminated against, I think, but that AOL is still suffering growing pains and trying to provide services to the majority of its users first, and fill in the rest when they can. As a result, “special interest” users have found various niches in established areas, used that as a base to grow, and when they are a large enough force online have lobbied AOL for a home of their own with good results. One of the best examples of this is the Gay/Lesbian Community Forum, which boasts 2600 members! I began the America Online Gender Group just over two years ago in a public room called Gender. We began with three members. Now we have 264. Over a year ago, the GLCF, seeing our efforts and also recognizing a growing force that could join with them in lobbying AOL, offered the use of their official conference room to our Gender Group. With these facilities, we were able to gather up to 48 individuals at a time in full interactive communications – much better than the 24 member limit in the earlier room. The logs of our meetings are emailed each week to all 264 members by our secretary, Marsha J. Also, I began an online gender newsletter about a year ago called The Subversive which is now distributed on Feminet, Compuserve, Fidonet, The Corner, RGA, and three different gender servers on Internet. Most recently, we lobbied AOL and received a Gender Issues folder in the GLCF Resource Library. We have scores of files listing support groups, medical information, personal stories, etc. This folder is one of the most popular in the GLCF and is growing every week with new uploads. Crossdressers also have a special folder in the heart to heart section of the GLCF. Now, I admit there are many more services that need to be offered to our users. And certainly there must come a time to have a forum of our own. So, with our history of growth on AOL as a community, it seems the best way to accomplish this is to keep adding services for our increasing membership until we, too, are a force big enough to be recognized. Its a frustrating job at times, but the rewards are the letters I receive from mainstream people with gender problems who make their first contact with others like them here on a family oriented board. And perhaps that is both the strength and weakness of AOL at this time. More than Compuserve, AOL seems to appeal to middle America. As a result, it seems much more accessible to the novice user. Those who have suffered for years kind of stumble across us by going to the GLCF to see what resources might be available. However, because it is a family board, we have a lot of resistance to “coming out” of our section. Nonetheless, we continue to grow each month at a rate of 15 to 20 new members. I’d like to urge everyone in the gender community to spend at least some of their online time here, thereby contributing to our political clout and ultimately to a forum of our own.

Thanks again for your thoughts, and I hope to see you around. 🙂

Melanie Anne


Subj: : )
From: CDee
To: Melanie XX

Melanie,

Thank you for suggesting that people keep a journal/diary. I have started to. Not only does it give one something to look back on, but it also gives you a chance to work out some of your own problems on paper.

Also, I have sent for your voice tape today, so you’ve gained another customer…as everybody keeps raving.

Take Care,
Gwendolyn Ann Smith


Subj: Re: : )
To: CDee

Hi, Gwen! That’s the fun part about diaries: later when you read them, you can’t imagine you ever thought like that. In my diary in The Subversive, each month I transcribe material I recorded three years ago. I listen to myself and the points of view I had and whistle to myself in amazement. We change all the time, but never see it unless we leave place markers and take notes.

Love,
Melanie Anne


And now for the next installment in the serialization of the book:

RAISED BY WOLVES:
A TRANSSEXUAL DIARY

by

Melanie Anne Phillips

PRELUDE

The pages beneath, chronicle my 30 month journey from a life as an apparently normal husband and father to that of an apparently normal woman. In the hope of capturing the immediacy of this emotional trip into the unknown, I shunned the retrospective approach, opting instead for a daily Diary.

Each entry was made on the day the events actually happened, expect as noted. And each is filled with the raw and unpolished thoughts and feelings that held me at that moment.

Of course, this leads to a somewhat meandering story, as well as contradictions in my point-of-view and personal emotional outbursts that I’m sure will make me squirm once this is published. But anything less would be less than truthful. And if this document is to serve any purpose as either a tool for tolerance and understanding or as an inspiration to those contemplating any major life-change, then it must be completely honest.

NOTE: Starting with September, 1990, my schedule became so tight while I was editing the feature film, Social Suicide, that I could no longer take the time to make my diary entries directly onto the computer. The only way not to lose the emotion of the moment was to record my thoughts onto a microcassette recorder. Obviously the results are not as polished, nonetheless, I include them here as they are the only record of this portion of my transition.


October 2, 1990

I’m standing in the ladies room in the Equitable Building at Hollywood and Vine where the worst thing just happened. Dorit, the intern I work with on the film, walked in on me when I had my make-up half on and half off. We both pretended nothing was unusual… bad scene….


Today, Dorit was civil enough, but there was a strange tension between us. I was acting strangely because she was acting strangely. But maybe she was acting strangely because I was acting strangely. I don’t know which one of us was freaking the other out more. She didn’t say anything about the incident, but later in the day Victoria (the producer) said, “I hear Dorit walked in on you when you were doing your makeup in the ladies room. Did she say anything to you about it?” I said no, and that was the end of the conversation.

Dorit will be at the DGA (Director’s Guild of America) screening tomorrow. So, in my “debut” in the film industry as an editor in front of people who can make or break your career, I now have Dorit to wonder about.


Yesterday, my face was all bumpy and lumpy from plucking out my beard the night before. I had only three hours sleep. I was three days off hormones. I was right in the middle of some serious PMS. My daughter’s hamster had died two nights before. She called me up and asked me to comfort her, which I did in Dave mode because when Daddy is needed, Daddy will be there. Anyway, when I got home late that night I had to stay up until 4:30 in the morning to get the plucking all done. I sat there thinking about the hamster and my mother and my grandmother and my grandfather – all dead. And then I thought about Mary and the kids and dying… and by the the time I woke up in the morning with only three hours sleep I was in pretty bad shape.

We had a little funeral for the hamster. We all went out at 7:30 in the morning and buried it in a Kleenex box in the front yard. I dug the hole on my hands and knees in the wet grass and laid the poor little furry creature down to rest. Keith had made a plaque to be put with it, and Mindi set up four birthday candles that we lit in remembrance. One of the candles lit the plaque on fire and Keith had to wave it all around to get the flames out. So, Gene was gone and we promised to get a new hamster later in the day.

That day, yesterday, was a long day. We worked until three in the morning. It was the latest night I spent working with Larry (the director) so far. I was willing to put in the time though, because we are struggling to get ready for the DGA screening of the movie. We don’t have all the sound effects we need for this rough screening, so we have to create them live to a playback of the video tape. So here’s Larry and Victoria and me on the floor of the office at three in the morning with pots and pans, yelling and shouting, rattling plates and sloshing water to make it sound like a bull is crashing through a ballroom and people are getting squirted with guacamole. It’s certainly an image I’m unlikely to forget.

Today is THE day at the DGA. After only three hours sleep again I’m back at the office getting ready for the big screening.


Its about one in the morning. We had our screening at the Director’s Guild. It was most exciting. The building is beautiful – cylindrical, with lot’s of glass, lot’s of light: very prestigious. The Sony screening room there seats 43, and we were able to project a video of our workprint on the big screen. It was quite wonderful to see the picture that large, even with the poor quality of the worktape.

The picture was fairly well received, but it still needs a lot of work. Still and all, it was a lot of fun to watch people watch the movie and see them react to things I had done editorially.

I felt pretty comfortable. I don’t know if I was being read or not. I really couldn’t tell. So, I just proceeded as if no one suspected and enjoyed my moment in the spotlight.

October 3, 1990

It’s the morning after our DGA screening. I know we’ve crossed the hump on Larry’s project now. We still have changes to make and then we have to lock the picture and conform the negative. After that, my obligation to the picture drops significantly. I’ll mostly be supervising sound effects and perhaps working on trailers with Larry, but all at much more normal hours. I’ll be glad when I have a little more time because I have to begin working on the psychology book with Chris (my writing partner) and start work on the film treatment for Sid (a producer I occasionally wrote for) because both of those guys are hot and heavy to go with those projects, which could have great future potential. But due to Larry’s project, there’s just been no time at all.

I might direct again some day, but I don’t think I’ll ever edit again. You spend all your time making someone else’s work look good. Even though you might get praised in the editing community, its still not my idea of a good time.


I’m just driving back from Fotokem where we viewed a workprint of some opticals we are having done. That was a most enjoyable experience because I was definitely getting some looks – not stares of “what is it?!”, but looks from the guys. They were really paying some attention. Considering I’m almost 38, that was pretty gratifying.

It was interesting going to get coffee there. I went to the lounge, but didn’t know where the coffee was and asked about it, and the guy was real solicitous. It was just great! Later, Larry and I had lunch at some tables they have outside. Another guy sat down at our table and paid some good attention to me, and boy, I tell ya, I really enjoy all the male attention.

When its working, its better than anything else in the world, but when it doesn’t work its worse.

October 4, 1990

I woke up this morning feeling very much unwanting to be Melanie today. But the time I had showered and gotten dressed, it vanished. This is my first day off in 10 days. I put in 150 hours in the last 10 days on Larry’s film. At one point there I got 7 hours sleep in 66 hours. Its been very, very difficult, but it was a commitment.

However, today, on my day off, I can think of nothing I’d rather do than clean house. It’s now about 4 in the afternoon. Earlier today, I found a use for the last two pairs of boy pants I have. There was a pool table in the back room where Mary and I have one bed and Keith sleeps in another. The house is so messed up because I’ve been away working for so long that the pool table just takes up too much room. So, I asked my dad to help me move it out to the garage. But since I don’t have the muscles I used to, I needed to get more resourceful – and that’s where the boy pants came in. I layed them on the ground and skidded the table across them to the garage.

With that out of the way, the bedroom, which has traditionally been knee-deep in junk, is spacious. I’m getting it all cleaned up as a surprise for Mary tonight.

I told Mary on the phone that I didn’t want to stop being Melanie tonight. But rather than make a little room for myself in the double garage, I think I may just stay out here in the back room. Hopefully, Mary will either get lonely enough for me or just tired of coming all the way to the back room to talk to me that she will invite me into the living room again, but this time as Melanie. She’s due home in about 90 minutes.


When Keith comes home from school each day, I always try to have a surprise snack waiting for him if I’m home. Today I had a pizza waiting. I had decided to stay in Melanie mode, even after he came home. I do that from time to time with Mindi in the morning, but not alot because I still speak as Daddy until its time for her to go to school, and then as I step out the door to take her I switch over to Melanie Mode. With Keith, I decided it was time to see if he could get along with it. So, when he came home, I just stayed as Melanie. And he didn’t have a problem with it. It was wonderful. He still calls me “dad”, which is fine by me because I want to be his dad, but I want to be his dad as a woman.

He just enjoyed the fact that his room had been cleaned up. He enjoyed the snack I made. I helped him with his homework. Later, Charlie, a friend of Keith’s came to the door and I stepped out of the room. Keith told him that he had to finish his homework before he could play. Any minute now, his friend is going to come back… as a matter of fact, he just came to the door right now as I am speaking.

I have told Keith that if he tells Charlie who will be going to Keith’s school next year, at that time everybody at his school will find out about me. I told him there is also a possibility that once Charlie goes home and tells his parents, they may not want him to play with Keith anymore. Even though I told him that it may cost him his friend, Keith has decided to invite Charlie in with me as Melanie.

So here he is…. I won’t make a point of confronting him, but I’ll be around.


Here we go… Charlie’s in the house now, and I’m coming out as Melanie….


Okay, the first time Charlie saw me, Keith introduced me as Dad. Charlie looked like he thought Keith had just has a slip of the tongue. But the next time Keith called me Dad, Charlie said, “Dad?” I confirmed it saying, “That’s right, I’m Keith’s dad”. I explained briefly about what sex change was and why I was doing it. I told him if his parents had any questions about this, I’d be happy to talk to them. Keith was totally nonchalant about it. He was completely unconcerned.

Still, my big concern now it how will it effect the kids? What’s going to happen to them? No matter how much I explain myself, I know there are those out there who will ridicule my children or tell their children not to play with mine, just because of what I am doing personally. I can’t understand that mentality, but no matter…. I guess the cat is out of the bag now.


An additional note. Keith and Charlie were out playing basketball and Keith asked me if I wanted to join them. I thought, “When was the last time my son asked me to play with him and his friend while I was dressed as Melanie?” So, we had a few good games of Horse, and I had a wonderful time playing ball with my son. This was perhaps one of the finest days I’ve ever had.

Later, when Mary came home, I just told her, “I’m spending the evening as Melanie.” And she said, “I don’t want you to do it out here.” So I said, “fine”, and went back to the newly cleaned back bedroom and enjoyed myself immeasurably. Mostly because the kids came back to visit me and we played Monopoly and had some popcorn and had a wonderful time.

About 10 pm after the kids had gone to bed, I realized I had charged myself up enough that I threw on a T-shirt and came out and visited Mary in the living room. I assumed the role of Dave again for a couple of hours. It wasn’t too uncomfortable. But its beginning to seem that at this point in my life, playing the role of Dave is something I’m only comfortable doing for a couple hours at a time.

I was worried about Mary and me splitting up. All through this commentary it has been my greatest fear. Yet, after all the risks of losing my family, my friends, and my career, I’ve come to realize that I will never go back no matter what the cost. Still, even though Mary cried earlier because I preferred to be alone as Melanie instead of being with her as Dave, when I did come out and do my Dave act, she was so pleased that she gave me a big hug and a big kiss. We shared a very pleasant evening.

I need her. I need her support. I need her love. Yet, I know now that I have the courage (or perhaps the insensitivity) to walk away from her if I need to to be me. However, perhaps that attitude is justified, for if I were to give up being Melanie and go back to being Dave, I know I would be so miserable and so tense that I would be no kind of parent and certainly no kind of a husband.

October 5, 1990

This evening, I went to get a smog check on my car. When I arrived it was almost closing time. I was wearing a tank top braless. I KNEW that was the right thing to wear to get a smog check! They said they were about to close, but I asked if they could do one more. The guy gave me the once over, then said he’d talk to his supervisor. His supervised looked me up and down, smiled and said, “Sure, bring it in.” An interesting experience having my boobs determine if I am served or not.

During the service, I happened to be in front of a drawer they needed to get a tool from. Suddenly I feel an arm around me, and I turn to the guy who says, “Excuse me, honey…” and moves me over to the side. Slowly, a few guys start drifting in from around in front until there are four guys standing around watching me get my car smogged!

When they ran the results, it didn’t pass. So, they did a little something back by the muffler to rig the results so that it did pass. And all because I wore the right blouse yesterday!

October 6, 1990

I remember a picture in a Sears catalog from about four years ago of a woman in her mid-thirities, long hair, wearing a cable knit sweater and a pair of blue jeans, sitting on the beach. I remember thinking that would be the perfect image of who I am. Today, at this moment, as I stand in the office waiting for Larry to arrive, I look in the mirror and I am that woman.

October 9, 1990

I just dropped Mary off at work today, about a block from her office. This was the first time we have gone anywhere together with me fully as Melanie. Her car needed some repairs today and I had already dressed, so I followed her over to Pep Boys, then drove her to work. I used Melanie voice the whole way there.

When I dropped her off, she put her fingers to my cheek as she said goodbye.

October 13, 1990

I had an idea for a statement against child abuse… You create a doll designed to be beaten. You can slap it, kick it, burn it, but when you are finished, it always says, “I love you.” This could be a public service television commercial, except I fear some people would just think it was funny.


Okay, here I am outside of K-mart. I look like shit today. I put my make-up on and off about a hundred times before I got it right, but that just dried it out so much it looks all wrinkled and unnatural. I don’t think I’m passable at all. I’ve been avoiding going anywhere alone as Melanie, but its time for me to make my stand and get into the real world one way or another. I’m either going to do it, or I’m going to hide for the rest of my life. So here I go.


I’m back here in the parking lot about half an hour later. It wasn’t half bad! Even though my make-up looked awful, that wasn’t really a problem. From a distance it looked okay, and up close most people won’t look you in the face because their afraid of eye contact. Instead, they just size you up by peripheral vision, and by that standard, I’m fine.

A couple of the shoppers in the women’s clothing section looked at me a little oddly from the corner of their eye, but they didn’t do or say anything. They just maybe moved a little bit out of the way, but most of them didn’t even notice. I went up to the counter and was read as at least being a little unusual by the checkout clerk, but again, no problem. Having developed a feminine voice really helps alot, as it confuses the issue.

So, the trip was a success. I bought some new clothes, bought some sandwiches for my lunch and know now that I can go out and move in society. The more I can do to improve my look, the easier it will be, but I know I have the fortitude even when I’m looking pretty shitty, to go out and present myself as a female. At this point in my transition, I’m more comfortable presenting myself as a woman and being read that trying to present myself as a man.


I’m making this entry from the ladies room in the Equitable Building, just across the hall from the office where I work. Roberta from Universal Studios is coming over to view the worktape and discuss creation of the sound effects. I’ve spoken with her on the phone a few times, but we’ve never met in person. This should be interesting since, as I said, I look awful today – all covered in lumpy bumpies.


It’s now about 2:40 in the morning. I’m still at the office. We had a great meeting with Roberta. We spent about six or seven hours looking over the film and came up with a number of creative ideas to enhance its comedic value using sound effects. Roberta and I got along well. Again, I don’t know if she read me or not. Maybe she didn’t or maybe I was close enough to the role that it didn’t matter that much. I’ll have to ask her someday. But I’ll tell you… at 20 minutes to three in the morning, whether or not someone read me as female has very little import.

Roberta said that the worktape we had was too degraded to use for the sound effects editing. The reason is that when you edit on tape, you simply make a copy from the original using only the parts you want. But when you need to make changes, rather than go back and redo everything, you just copy all the good edit parts and only go back to the original for changes. As a result, some parts of the worktape end up six or seven generations away from the original. They are muddy and unclear, and don’t hold sync.

The solution is to take the numbers that the computer stored with every edit, clean up the math so they represent the final version and then create a fresh copy direct from the originals, but with all the final edits. In our film we have over 3,000 edits! Which means that suddenly there is a whole lot of extra work to be done, and guess who Larry wants to do it!

Now, I’ve been working seven days a week, 12 hours a day, and he wants me to continue. Problem is, my contract for the film was for only $10,000 to edit AND work on the sound effects. This extra work was never part of that deal. What’s worse it, when I signed the contract I expected 40 hour weeks, and now its up to 84!! But even worse than that, the way the money was doled out started at $500 a week, but then as the project dragged on, Larry cut it back to $500 every TWO weeks, so I would still have incentive to continue. So here I am working 84 hours a week for $250 dollars!!! That’s less than minimum wage! I’m trapped here is something akin to slave labor in order to meet my obligations.

I’m getting so tired that the numbers on the screen are blurring out in front of me. I just want to get out of this project. God, I don’t know how I got into this situation. I suppose if I were single, it wouldn’t be so bad. And if I weren’t going through transition I could just sleep on the floor and let the old beard grow. But when I have to go in and out of this place at late hours all by myself down Hollywood Boulevard, it makes me very nervous. And if I sleep here, by the time I go out when people are arriving for work, I end up looking like a push-me/pull-you with beard stubble all over my face. The worst part is that people who only see me as Melanie suddenly realize Melanie has a beard.

It’s a little bit difficult right now. And yet I feel light hearted. Why? Because it can’t get any worse!

October 16, 1990

God, I hate it when the batteries run down on my microcassette recorder… it makes me sound like a man.


All my friends have been treating me with kid gloves. This they do because they liked Dave. I never realized how MUCH they liked Dave until I stopped being Dave. They cared enough for him that they want to be supportive of him, even when something is not working. So they don’t give me a real world picture as feedback. They tell me that I look good all the time. Or they don’t say anything when I know I’m wearing something stupid or mannish. But I have no way of finding out. They want to be so gentle that they don’t tell me the truth.

In the early days, I wanted it that way. I didn’t want anybody to be telling me how terrible I looked. I already KNEW I looked terrible! I knew there was a long way to go, and this was a way of bolstering myself psychologically. They could read that. But the situation has changed over the course of my transition to the point that I would really value accurate comments. They don’t want to say anything negative, but its the negative that I can work on and turn it into something positive.


I just found out that the lady who did the make-up on our Palm Springs shoot read me as a transsexual. However, the reason she did was that one day her husband had come to her one day and said, “I’m going to leave you to become a woman.” He divorced her and went off and became female. During the shoot, she had been very friendly to me. I am amazed, knowing what she went through that she would be kind.

In fact, this lady had volunteered to Victoria (the producer) that if I ever wanted my hair done, shoe would do it. As it turns out, this same make-up lady will be working on a side project I am doing for Larry where I will be director of photography. Victoria is going to get her hair cut during the production and said she would arrange it so that I could get mine cut as well. So, I’m not to touch my hair now. It’s been growing for over a year, is down past my shoulders and getting pretty frizzy, but I’m told to wait for a month until production so I can have a haircut from a professional motion picture make-up artist. What a wonderful perk!

October 21, 1990

I’ve been “spotting” music for the last few days with Larry and Roget Belon, the French composer of “Waxworks”, “The Unholy” and a six hour mini-series on Valentino. Roget did not quite know what to make of me. Although he did not remember it, we had actually met at my office about two years ago for about five minutes when he dropped off a video tape of his music for duplication.

Finally, one morning when we were alone, I breached the subject and told him what my situation was. Afterwards, he was fine. I guess he just needed to be sure. The problem is, he calls me “Melanie”, but uses the pronoun “he”. So I’m sitting there with Larry and Victoria calling me “she” and “her” and he’s calling me “he” and “his”. He means no ill intent, but can’t seem to break the habit. Still, he is a lot of fun, and we share a lot of secret smiles regarding some of the artistic considerations of the picture.


I’ve been working now for two weeks straight without a day off. Most days have been at least 12 hours. Last night was a 14 hour day.

October 25, 1990

The best way to get over the fear of discovery is to assume that everybody already knows.


I had been told that women had a thin layer of fat over the body that men did not have. I really didn’t know what that meant until I went on this new dosage of hormones. Before where there used to only be muscle under the skin, now there is this very narrow insulation just below the skin. Instead of feeling hard, now I feel kind of spongy all over.

It definitely takes the edge off the angularlity. When I look in the mirror these days I can actually see that my features have softened.


I tried a little experiment today. I put on the most masculine expression I could muster. I put my voice back into Dave mode. I marched up to the full-length mirror and spoke as if I was talking to somebody. It doesn’t work anymore! It’s not just growing boobs. There’s a lot more to it than that.

October 26, 1990

I have an appointment this morning with the State Board of Equalization regarding back sales tax for my video duplication business. I have spoken with the fellow several times over the last two weeks, but always as Dave, since that is the name on the license. Today, he expects to be meeting with Dave, but Melanie is going to show up.


When I arrived at the state board, I almost slipped into my standard defense mechanism of telling people I’m transsexual right off the bat. This way, I don’t get embarrassed if they figure me out part way through a conversation, and I don’t have to worry about appearing foolish acting like a woman when they read me as a man in drag. If they know I’m transsexual, then they know I’m in transition, but just not there yet. They cut me a little slack because I’m still in training. (I guess that’s why I’m more nervous on the street or in a store than one on one with people: out in the open, if I’m read, there’s no way to explain I’m TS.) When it comes to face to face contact, don’t worry about being read, worry about being sincere. Because TV or TS, if you are sincere, people in general will accept you.

This time, however, I did not use my security blanket. I felt very sure of myself and said, “What the hay,” and just walked in as Melanie. I went up to the receptionist and gave my name and who I was to see. She called him on the phone saying, “Miss Phillips is here to see you,” never seeing me in any other way. I thought, “Hey, today I’m really making it!”

I went in and met the man: spoke with him for fifteen minutes. He never suspected anything. I told him I was there on behalf of Dave, and managed to evade any clear answers as to my relationship to Dave. It was weird speaking of Dave in the third person: “Dave wasn’t able to fill out these forms earlier because he’s involved in editing a major feature film.” It sort of disassociated that old persona from myself, which made it strange to think of Dave and the fellow in front of me as “him” and me not. Eventually, I needed to fill in a form, and he needed to know if I was Dave’s wife. I said no. He asked if I was related to Dave. I said yes. He asked if I was Dave’s sister, and I replied I was not. Finally he demanded to know what relationship I was to Dave, and would not go any farther until I told him. So, I kinda had to spill the beans.

I told him Dave and I were the same person. Well, it took him nearly 30 seconds to figure it out. When things are working right for me, people just can’t conceive of what I’m telling them. Once he found out, he just opened up with all these personal questions. I guess transsexuals are achieving something of a celebrity status: a rare and unusual breed. People are fascinated by why we do what we do. As a result of being topical and few, people ask you all kinds of personal questions they would never ask anyone else under any other circumstances.

So, I answered his questions. But, as I have learned, people don’t want you to tell them what you want them to know, they just want you to answer the questions that are special to them. You’re probably the only transsexual they will ever meet in their lives, so they want to get those questions in there, even if it embarrasses them to heck. They can find out straight from the horse’s mouth what its like to grow a pair of boobs, what its like to walk around in society as a woman when you are still underneath a man. When they find out I’m married, they’re really curious about that. “How can you possibly stay married?” “How can she possibly stay married to you.” “What effect does it have on the kids?” Everybody is curious.

Well, anyway, the fellow told me that normally, when a business falls behind in their sales tax payments like I have a $1200 deposit is required. However, he said with all the personal things I was going through, he would waive that deposit and let me continue as is. I don’t know if this was due to his normal good nature or as some kind of special dispensation due to my transsexualism. I don’t care: I’ll take it.

October 29, 1990

I’m here at the office alone and I’m going to try to run a little test. Lately I’ve been wondering if I could summon up my old persona. Not so much the way I used to feel, but the way I used to act. I’ve been so engrossed in trying to be Melanie, I haven’t paid attention to what’s left of Dave. So, I’m going to take a few steps here and try to walk like Dave used to…. This is amazing! The most amazing thing! I’ve forgotten how to walk like a man! I’ve actually forgotten! This is… I… I’m.. uh, dumbfounded. I don’t know what to say… I don’t know how to walk like a man anymore… My, God! I’ve forgotten!

Let me see… okay, I’m going to stand here. This is the outer office. I’m going to take one step forward… (laugh) I can’t do it! Oh, man! Okay, how did I walk as Dave… How does a man walk? I can’t do it… I can’t do it! (laugh) I keep swinging my hips and I can’t figure out how to walk without doing it. I’m blown away. I thought for a long time I could go back and forth, but that’s not true: you have to give up one to be the other.


A phrase just came to mind that I thought I’d better record so I don’t forget it. It said, “Give up, you’ve won.”

October 30. 1990

It’s about 7:30 in the evening. I’m here alone at the office. I’ve finally regained my composure. We had a major blow-up here today. Because Larry has cut costs so deeply, using the least expensive editing equipment available, the precision of the machines is sometimes one frame off on an edit. However, Larry determined that one frame off was not good enough. Which means that its going to take 2 or 3 times as long to conform each of reels of the picture. During these three weeks of seven day a week, twelve hour days we had agreed that after the conform was done, I could go on a regular 40 hour week. And then he comes up with something that will delay completion of the conform for another two weeks perhaps.

Still, I was thinking I would do that to honor my commitment to the project when the negative cutter called to say we had used the same shot in two different places in the tape. The first one was already cut in, so there was nothing to put in for the second one. Unfortunately, the second one was the important one. As a result we needed to completely recut the second sequence, which could not work the same way without that shot.

Well, Larry was very mad because he wants everything perfect. The first thing he did was call up the negative cutting place and told them to stop cutting until we checked all the numbers. In order to do that, he would get a computer program that would organize the data, but he wanted me to be the person to type all the data in by hand, thousands and thousands of numbers. Already for the conform I’ve had to put in 200,000 keystrokes and this would add another 100,000 to that.

I couldn’t see myself doing all this extra work when I was about ready to fall apart. So I finally put my foot down and told him, “Look Larry, before you call them, I’m not going past this weekend with these hours. I’m taking Saturday AND Sunday off, and starting Monday I’m going on that 40 hour week.”

Well, he got mad and slammed his fist into the door and made a big dent in it. I just sat there and he stormed off. Then Victoria came in and told me I didn’t have enough commitment to the film. I’m only an editor and get no profit participation in the project. I’ve put in all this time and all these late hours. I’ve let this picture take me away from home in the middle of my transition when my relationship is in jeopardy. I haven’t even taken my kids to the park for six months. Keith became too old for bedtime stories while I was tied up working late evenings. I’ve missed all of this in my commitment to their film.

I never signed on for 80 hour weeks. And yet, I am accused of not being dedicated. I was told I was thinking only of myself, that I kept changing my story of how much I would do. I told them I would do whatever it takes, but then that became cart blanche for them to take whatever I could do. So the hours go up, the effort goes up, and then when one thing goes wrong, I get blamed, even though we have all seen that shot in that place every time we run the picture.

So, I had had enough. I couldn’t take anymore and I lost it. I turned around and slammed MY fist into the door, and with three slams broke a hole through the back side. I totally messed up my hand, which is all swollen right now, yet I am continuing on the editing.

After about half an hour, Larry’s friend came in playing good cop. He massaged me on the back and told me I just had to hold out a little longer. No, I told him, I had lost too much.

I cried then for half an hour, but continued to work through the tears, solving the problems as I could. Eventually, Larry came in and tried to make peace. He told me that after 2 1/2 years of working with this project, now it can never be perfect. I don’t understand his attitude. That’s the wrong attitude to have on a film. You should never be so in love with any aspect of a project that you can’t bring yourself to change it in light of practicality. Accept it and move on. No work should be that important. Relationships and people are what’s important. Who cares after you’re dead how long they’re going to remember you.

I just stared at him. I wasn’t going to argue. I simply told him, whatever you think you can try to do to force me to do this, bring it on. Go ahead and try. I don’t care anymore. All I want to do is finish the movie and get back to my family. I told him I would still do a good, honest job. I would still give him the best I had and be a true professional about it. But only under the conditions that I had outlined. I said, “If you want me to continue to work under those conditions, I will. If you don’t want me to come in, say so and I won’t. If you feel you have to do something to me because of this, then go ahead and bring it on.”

So here I am continuing to work on the conform, still trying to do the best job I can for Larry. I don’t know what might happen to, for, or against me. I don’t know what effect this will have on my career. But whatever it is, standing up for myself was worth it.

(Copyright 1993, Melanie Anne Phillips)

(The Transsexual Diary series will continue in the next edition of The Subversive)

I urge you all to keep a diary of YOUR personal journey, whether it be through transition or not. The attitudes and even the order of events becomes cloudy through time, and I am continually amazed to re-read things that memory would have me believe had happened differently. If nothing else, it is a good way to see long-term patterns in yourself that you cannot see except in retrospect. That objective view alone is worth the inconvenience of keeping a journal.


FEATURES

From Katherine Collins (KatieRC):

Hi Melanie,

On Sunday I said I wanted to send e-mail to you; and then on reflection I realized that what I was thinking about, and might have to say, is very likely not terribly interesting to you. This is because I have been reading your diary entries, as serialised in “The Subversive”, and I know you have said that it all seems very long ago now, as if a different person wrote them (which I can understand). I also began to think that my responses to what you wrote so long ago would seem to you like a one-sided conversation – a monologue – because you composed your side so long ago that it is hardly something you would still have in your mind.

So I don’t want to bore you with my largely personal ups-and-downs; and yet I have found so much of interest, use and relevance in your diary that I still want to make some response, if only to let you know what impact your writing can have on someone else. And perhaps it may interest you, a bit, to discover some of the things which I have found I have in common with your experience. That has certainly been for me one of the values, and in fact, reassuring factors, of reading your diary – the discoveries of some thoughts and feelings and experiences which we both have had. It makes me a little less prone to think I am off my rocker, to discover that someone else has had the same experiences. This is one area in which one hopes one is NOT unique.

I don’t know what, if any, the struggles are for you now, in continuing to assimilate the meaning and scope of the transsexual experience – I wonder, does the “adventure” of it go on, as years go by after the SRS, or does life start to present totally different realms to explore, and the gender business fades? If “the gender business” continues to be of interest, perhaps a few of my comments will be not totally irrelevant to you.

To remind you of my position: I am relatively early in the transition – just about to start hormones next week, in fact, and yet already living about 75% full time. The reasons for the “75%” aspect of the “living” are two: first, that on the days when I must grow my whiskers for electrolysis, I feel pretty silly trying to look feminine; and second, I live in rough-and-gritty Oakland, although when I go out I mostly go to San Francisco. So around my neighbourhood (grocery store, etc.) I “tone it down” a bit. But even my most “male” look is at best androgynous. So my 25% non-full-time is not much of a cover – it’s mostly a question of whether I wave that extra-red flag of a skirt instead of pants. But in San Francisco, I am totally out, and I will be moving over there in a few months. And to all but a last few people in my life, I am also totally out.

So it is becoming my real life, very rapidly – there is less “back-and-forth” between two outward identities than in your seemingly protracted see-saw between Dave and Melanie. I don’t need to tell you what a liberation it feels to “be Katherine”, after waiting so long for it to be possible. I was ready, internally, a long time before I had my “look” together – I’m sure you have read me, on AOL, bleating about my hair problems. So rather than back-and-forth like you, I have had a different frustration: many months of wanting to start my full-time life, and knowing that until the hair arrived, the best I could present would be “gender fuck” (charming term), which is not what my point is at all.

That wait was very frustrating, but at the same time, I continued to grow internally and have more and deeper revelations about the nature and specific character of the new persona growing within me – Katherine, as opposed to Arn, who I was as a male. I am amazed, in fact, when I realise that in the last 18 months I have come a long way toward understanding and becoming Katherine, and all without RLT or hormones – it has all been spiritual and intuitive. So now that I am entering the real, physical world of the transition, what further, even more dramatic changes will I experience? I doubt if I can even imagine.

All right – what things stick in my mind from your diaries? Actually, as I have been reading through, there have been dozens of things that leapt out at me, but a few are prominent in my memory now. One was something that I read, not too long ago, at just the right moment, when I was having a very hard time. It was the period in your transition when you were first trying to present yourself to the world, and specifically to various work colleagues, and were going in to work mostly as Melanie but still occasionally having to go as Dave. One day you remarked how much you felt like “Dave in drag” – that the inner feeling of Melanie was not there. It made you doubt yourself – you asked “is this all there is?”. You also wondered if it was “the sign” that it was all a mistake. You said: “Maybe it’s the fateful warning sign I have been awaiting for so long that asks, ‘What the hell do you think you’re doing?’ And it asks in a male voice.”

Well, my only point is that I read that just after I first got my “new hair”, and had been expecting to have a huge, instant, inner liberation, and that Katherine would be ready and fully able to take over this body and this life, as soon as “the look” was prepared. But it was not so! And I still (only a few weeks later) have days when I feel very divided, and like an impersonator. But because I know who you are NOW and some of what you feel about yourself, it was encouraging to know that you too went through that phase of grave self-doubt, and had that “male voice” admonishing you for your presumption.

You also noted, at one point, that your male clothes and persona felt like drag! I certainly know what you mean there. I don’t know if I could really pull off the totally male person any more (if I ever did). I’m afraid that I will have a chance to find out some time in the next few months, when I go to Canada to see my Dad. I don’t know what my ultimate decision will be as to how/what to tell, but I know I won’t tell much, if anything, this time out. Should be an interesting and creepy experience to be “Arn” again after being so much of Katherine.

You wrote: “For every day as my body changes, my mind is freed. And there will come a time when both are unified and my dream of walking through the High Sierra in blue jeans and tank top, slender, female, the wind tousling my hair, will be a reality, then a memory instead of a fantasy.” – and it brought to my mind some of the most important, fundamental experiences and realities about my transition. Basically, I have found that the deepest and truest confirmation of my femaleness comes from being in nature, usually alone; and I found it fascinating that your image, of the walk in nature, should be so central a one for you as well. I don’t know if you ever, in fact, had experiences that made that image be so important to you, or whether it was intuition on your part.

About 3-1/2 years ago, when I was living in England, I was just at the point of no longer being able to deny my need to deal with the TS issue. I was starting to explore it internally, and tell a few friends, seek out groups, and so on. I have always been an avid walker, and I went on 2 solo hiking trips, of 2 weeks each, one in the mountains of Portugal, the other in the Scottish highlands (ancestral territory). On both walks, I was alone about 23-1/2 hours a day – just me and nature (or me and sleep). It would take me longer here than you would want to read, to really describe the experience, but essentially, I did not have “society” constantly reflecting back to me that I was male. And the balance that settled within me, in my natural surroundings – and in relation to the essential forces of the universe – confirmed for me more deeply than anything ever has that my own being and essence is female. I felt, as I said in some writing about it, that “all of the female side of the universe was singing to me, calling out to me, and I was at home at last, welcomed and at rest”.

The temptation is great to go trying to describe that experience more fully, but you get the idea. So, if there is no other point here, let me encourage you to take that walk in the High Sierra, and experience the nature spirits reflecting back to you in all their infinity the enormity of the truth of your femininity.

One passage in your diary brought me great pain – not that it is your fault. I am at the moment very lonely. I work alone at home, day after day alone; my dearest friends are thousands of miles away, I have no “relationship”, and I am not only going through this fulfilling but frightening transition, but also I am taking some enormous career gambles (too detailed to explain here), with dwindling finances and no equity or security of any kind. It is a time of great fearfulness, as well as joy and fulfillment – in both work and “life”. And I have no one to really share it with. My most recent relationship, which ended earlier this year, wasted only 9 months, but brought to me, for the first time ever, the real enrichment and confirmation that a relationship between a man and a woman can bring. (With me being the woman, naturally – and, interestingly, the “man” being a FTM transsexual.)

I hope I do not intrude too much in the deeply personal parts of your diary; but the passage I am referring to is when you were first getting together with Alan. Here is what you wrote:

“I woke him, as I had to get home soon and pulled (Alan) to me. I felt so female, so wanted, so sensual. He rolled over on top of me, gently spreading my legs and pushed my knees up in classic missionary position. And then, with all our clothes on, made love to me, his woman.

“My responses were so natural, so uninvented. For the first time in my life, I knew how I should behave, not from the mind, but the heart. I have never enjoyed anything so much as being made love to in that manner, my head cradled in his hands, his strong yet gentle thrusts pushing undeniably against me. Even now, my insides go mushy just thinking about it.

“God, its always been so hard to be male, to try and figure out how I should act, what I should say. Every move second-guessed. But now, as Melanie deep inside, I act by instinct, without consideration or censorship. Moves I’ve never practiced are my true nature. And the future? Day at a time… just a day at a time.+

(End of excerpt)

Here is a portion of what I wrote in my own computer diary after reading that:

“I cannot avoid the searing pain which reading those words bring to me. I remember the feeling that Melanie talks about – the naturalness, the unstudied quality, the confirmation of my femaleness, which comes from letting the deep well-spring of female feeling loose, just standing back, letting it go. I remember because I had it for a brief period in my life, when things were good with Carol. I had never known that such a thing was possible, that such feelings existed. Sex to me had always been a trial, a study, a job – something to be feared and laboured at, a mystery as to why it was supposed to be so great when it patently was not great at all – the little physical pleasure of it in no way made up for the tremendous effort and embarrassment and confusion.

“But then it was easy – all I had to do was let it be. Carol remarked on my female nature, how genuine it was, how it flowed from me. I felt I could uncover my fears and vulnerability, that it was okay, I didn+t have to be strong and knowing and skillful. Melanie also writes about leaning on Alan+s chest and crying, and having him cradle her head and say ‘It’s all right… Let it out, babe…’

“Who will ever call me Babe? Who will ever let me cry? When will it not be an imposition on someone, when will my vulnerability be the other half of someone+s male nature? When can I stop having to be stoical and strong and get myself through every day, by myself? Someone has to be strong around here, and I+m the only one here, and so it+s always me. It is too much to bear forever.

“I have spent all of my life locked in the male cage, and I am out now, and my emotions are very raw and vulnerable. I think I should be allowed to cry. I think I should be allowed to not be strong sometimes. And I am angry. Angry that I still have to be alone, angry that I have had to be male. I am angry that no matter what I do in my life I seem condemned to be alone.”

(End of excerpt)

There is no reason for me to burden you with that particular confession and longing, and so I apologise if it seems gratuitous. But your writing sparked in me the memory of that deep feeling of being sexually female, which, along with the confirmation from the nature spirits, has been the deepest experience of my emerging femaleness. I had almost forgotten it until I read that passage of yours, which suddenly triggered the memory and the emotions. I had unconsciously tucked away that memory, because it brought me too much pain to remember – but I must remember, so as to be open to the experience again. I must let that sexual part of my femaleness be available. Life is too short to let that go on being denied.

As I said, I could go on with reactions to your writing. But that is probably enough for you for now. I hope it has been in some way interesting for you and not just a giant bore, to wade through my largely self-absorbed observations. For some reason, I felt that your generosity in sharing your diary merited this response, so I can only hope it seems to be some kind of reward and not a punishment.

See you on line – and there is a fair chance I will be in L.A. in September, so perhaps I could even see you then.

All the best –
Katherine Collins (KatieRC)


THIS MONTH IN THE PHILLIPS’ FAMILY

Mindi (my 10 year old) brought in a big brush and started brushing my back. She looked at the brush and said, “There’s skin all over it, you lousey lizard!” I left the room, she stayed behind and began to sing, “Ninety-nine brushes of skin on the wall, ninety-nine brushes of skin….” I groaned, “Oh, boy…” She poked her head around the corner and said, “Well, it’s YOUR fault… YOU “gened” me!”


My fourteen year old son was checking his face in the mirror, looking for signs of beard. My L.P., Mary was walking by (L.P. stands for Life Partner, appropriate to the term Long Playing). He told her, “I think I have a five o’clock shadow.” She gazed closely, then said, “I’ll give you 3:30 maybe, but not a minute more.”

Mindi asked what a five o’clock shadow was. Mary explained. Then I said, “Can you imagine what it was like at the beginning of transition when I was working at that job for twelve hours a day? For the last six hours I always had beard shadow sticking up out of my makeup. Can you imagine what that was like?” My son replied, “It’s you.”


Mindi philosophying on double standards between oneself and others:

“You know, the problem is: you don’t let other people get away with things, but you let yourself get away with things.”


Melanie to Keith about diets: My writing partner Chris once said about diets, ‘A waist is a terrible thing to mind.’

Keith: “It figures one of you would come up with something like that.”

Melanie: “That’s just because we’ve evolved.”

Keith: “Don’t you mean ‘mutated’?”


         MELANIE'S WISE WORDS OF THE MONTH

“Don’t look to others for answers;
Look to them for questions you have not thought to ask.”


AMERICA ONLINE GENDER GROUP STATISTICS

Contributed by Marsha J, Gender Room Secretary

Member by State as of August 1993

AK. 1 AZ. 2 BC. 2 CA. 31
CO. 1 CT. 7 DC. 1 DE. 2
FL. 17 GA. 2 IA. 1 IL. 13
IN. 3 KY. 3 LA. 3 MA. 7
MB. 2 MD. 4 ME. 1 MI. 9
MN. 4 MO. 7 MS. 3 NC. 6
NH. 3 NJ. 8 NM. 5 NV. 1
NY. 8 OH. 7 OK. 1 ON. 1
OR. 5 PA. 7 QU. 1 RI. 1
SC. 1 TN. 1 TX. 13 UT. 1
VA. 5 WA. 5 WI. 4 WV. 2
WY. 1 Unknown 49

262 Attendees on list

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR 262 MEMBERS FOR HELPING TO CREATE A SAFE HAVEN OF SUPPORT FOR EVERYONE CONCERNED WITH GENDER ISSUES!!!

                    GENDER CONFERENCE

Don’t forget to attend the Gender Room Meeting on the America Online BBS in the Community Room at 9pm ET every Sunday evening. Use Keyword, GLCF, then select Lambda Lounge or Community Room depending on your version of the software. For specific information, directions, or to order back logs of the chats, Email Marsha J, the Gender Room secretary.

                 GENDER ISSUES FOLDER

Also, when on America Online, stop by the new Gender Issues folder. This folder contains an ever-growing library of downloadable files ranging from lists of support groups to medical information to pictures of members to back issues of The Subversive. Use Keyword, GLCF, then select Resource Files, then double click on Gender Issues in the list. Upload YOUR files in Resource Files under New Files and Free Uploading.


AFTERGLOW

This issue, I offer a poem written by my daughter, Mindi, age 10

The Earthworm

by
Mindi Dawn

I had, I had an earthworm
To squirm, squirm, squirm
It was for my plant
It’s name was Ant
It dimmed the light
It died that night
It was doomed
There was a boom
It had nieces
We picked up the pieces
We put them in a box
We used a lot of locks
I had, I had an earthworm
To squirm, squirm, squirm


“May you never find occasion to say, ‘If only…..'”

SUBVERSIVE PUBLICATIONS

BEST SELLING NEW VIDEO RELEASE!!!!

Copies sold from California to Maine, Chicago to Finland!

“MELANIE SPEAKS!” In this new video, Melanie Anne Phillips explains how she achieved a new voice for her new role. The program provides exercises in Pitch, Resonance, Dynamic Range, Annunciation, Body English, Vocabulary, and Grammar in a step by step fashion that makes it easy for you to develop your own unique feminine voice and vocal patterns. The “secret” is a special exercise that let’s you develop a truly female resonance that you can turn on or off at the drop of a hat. If you have ever been embarrassed by your voice or have contemplated vocal surgery, see this tape first!!!

Subj: Melanie Speaks
From: JaniceTV
To: Melanie XX

Yesterday I received my tape. How wonderful. You can’t believe how much that it has helped. I’ve been practicing, and on the phone already I can make myself female. The insights on what is Feminine are worth just as much as the voice info. I’m sure that you have noticed more than most of us the great differences between male and female. It really is quite thought provoking. I have noticed especially the power words that I and other males use. Equally I have noticed the submissiveness of most females. Once you start to notice, its hard to believe that you never heard or saw it before. After seeing your tape and how far that you have come, it makes me wish more and more to be female. However, I have a better understanding of what that means!! I would be hard for me now, and in some ways I like it both ways. The main thing in life is to understand yourself and to be happy. With your help and of others, that is happening for me.

Love,
Janice

Melanie Speaks! – 49 minute educational video …………… $20.00

Raised by Wolves – A Transsexual Diary
Part One: A Spy In Their Midst………………………………….. $10.00

The entire trilogy is a day by day chronicle of the two and a half year transformation from an outwardly normal husband and father to a complete woman. Part one covers the first day of hormone therapy to the first day of fulltime. Part two begins with fulltime and ends as the last year before surgery begins. Part three counts down to surgery, ending as the train back from surgery pulls into the station. Parts two and three are being edited and will be available soon.

Poems by Melanie Anne………………………………………………$10.00

A collection of poetry and lyrics exploring society and self. Includes all the poems published in The Subversive and many more.

Dry Spell………………………………………………………………….. $10.00

An original sci-fi/thriller screenplay by Melanie Anne, following a woman archaeologist as she struggles to destroy a deadly organism discovered while documenting Native American ruins.

Snowstorm……………………………………………………………….. $10.00

An action/adventure screenplay by Melanie Anne, that crosses the paths of a teenage boy entered in a dangerous cross-country snowmobile race and the ruthless destruction of an entire town by a druglord.

The Day After Christmas……………………………………………… $5.00

A fully illustrated, satire on the threat of nuclear war that follows the destructive activities of “Saint Nuke” on The Day After Christmas.

Dichotomy……………………..30 Minutes, Cassette Album…….. $5.00

12 Original songs by David Michael Phillips, multitrack: keyboard, guitar, vocals.

Tarnished Karma………………..30 Minutes, Cassette Album….. $5.00

10 Original songs by David Michael Phillips, just before embarking on transition. Many of the lyrics pertain to the inner conflicts of gender dysphoria in a disguised manner, as this decision was not public at the time. Multitrack: keyboard, guitar, vocals.

Special offer: Double Album of Dichotomy
and Tarnished Karma on one cassette ……………………………… $7.50


EDITOR’S NOTE: It is my desire to make this publication available free online to all who wish to read it. However, due to copyright laws, any overall license would allow unscrupulous individuals to excerpt portions and use it for their own personal gain. Therefore, should you wish to upload this publication on your BBS or simply generate hardcopies for support groups and friends, please write me about a free license for your specific purpose.

THE SUBVERSIVE

Number 13
September 1993

Copyright 1993 – Melanie Anne Phillips – All rights reserved

The Subversive | Volume Twelve

Another issue of the online magazine I published in the early 1990s

THE SUBVERSIVE

Number 12

“Where Dreams are the stuff Reality is made of”

DECLARATION OF PURPOSE

“This journal exists to promote the concept that each human is a unique individual, intrinsically entitled with an equal right to pursue her own destiny as far as it does not inhibit others in that same right. The Subversive shall serve as a ready forum for the free expression and exchange of ideas that do not violate this mandate, in the belief that tolerance grows from a familiarity with variety.”

–signed,
Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor

WHERE TO FIND THE SUBVERSIVE:

The Subversive is available FREE as a download on America Online, Compuserve, Genie, several servers on the Internet, and various BBS around the world.

For those who wish to contribute articles, stories, personal experiences, information, jokes, or whatever Email melaniexx@aol.com, or write to:

Melanie Anne Phillips
150 East Olive Avenue
Suite 203
Burbank, California 91502

Only original material will be accepted unless quoted in the context of an original work or submitted with credit to the original author along with permission to reprint the material.

Submission of original material for publication in The Subversive constitutes a non-exclusive license to Melanie Anne Phillips by the author/copyright holder to reproduce all or part of the material in any media.

EDITOR’S NOTE: It is my desire to make this publication available free online to all who wish to read it. However, due to copyright laws, any overall license would allow unscrupulous individuals to excerpt portions and use it for their own personal gain. Therefore, should you wish to upload this publication on your BBS or simply generate hardcopies for support groups and friends, please write me about a free specific license for your purpose.


EXPLORATIONS

by
Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor

“Excuses, Excuses!”

When I was a child, I often got in trouble for trying to explain. It wasn’t that I was denying I had done wrong, but I just wanted whichever authority figure that was on my case to realize it was an honest mistake: that I had not transgressed intentionally.

This never worked for me. I would be confronted with, “Did you…?” to which I would reply, “Yes, but….” I was never allowed to go beyond that. “No excuses!”, I would be told with harsh and shameful voice, as if I was trying to get out of my impending punishment, or at least mitigate its severity. “But I just want to explain!”, I would plead, only to be slapped back with an even harsher rendition of “I said, No Excuses!!”, and, “Now go back to your [desk, or bed, or room or wherever I had been when the violation had been discovered]”.

Depending on who it was and what I was blamed for I would sulk or cry or throw my mental hands up to thought heaven in frustration, exasperation, sadness. I knew I had done wrong. I was more than willing to accept whatever penalty lay in store. But explaining why the evil deed had happened was very important to me; essentially important. I wanted the person in charge to know that I meant them no ill will; that I was their friend. I wanted them to know that I was wholly unaware I had done them harm, and would have spared no effort to correct the problem or compensate for it on my own, had I discovered it. In fact, that is what I often did. I would fess up to things no one could EVER discover and do so with an offer to make amends.

But the authority figures did not want to hear any of that. Their focus was on the negative addition to their life of which I had been the instrument of perpetration. Knowingly or unknowingly made no difference to them.

I learned, over the years, just to accept the retribution silently. To simply admit to the deed and accept the consequences. Still, I always felt that the authority figure was losing out on this deal: that they were only getting part of the story – a half truth, and would suffer from misconceptions.

Naturally, when I became involved in developing Mental Relativity, this decades-old inequity would resurface, begging an explanation. Fortunately, there is one. The discrepancy between my desire to explain myself and the wronged party’s desire to hear it stems (as a surprising number of things) from the essential differences between the way men and women think.

There are a plethora of aspects to that difference, so no one facet explains more than but a fraction of the effects. Nonetheless, for a given purpose, a specific facet can always be found that best explains it. In this case, the nature of the problem is the way men think vs. the way women think.

Men think primarily in a linear fashion. Linear is mistakenly equated with logic. This is not true. A random chain of thought is certainly linear, because it progresses in a sequence, but it is often far from logical, as one step is not inexorably bound to follow another. A non-causal linearity is not logical. However, assuming an unbroken chain, linear becomes the traditional concept of Deductive logic: the essence of “scientific” thinking.

In contrast, the primary manner of female thinking holism, which is held to be intuitive. This is how men think women think: that somehow all of the data is taken in at once, averaged out, and some cockamamie, unexpected summation pops out of the other end. If men give it any credence at all, it is to think of the process as the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. This is the area women are trained to think in (or, to do their best to accommodate linear logic, male fashion). In Mental Relativity, we call this kind of logic Reduction since it reduces multiple considerations into a single conclusion based on probability.

In between linear Deduction and holistic Reduction we find Induction. Induction determines possibilities and is at the heart of the developing science of Chaos theory which employs non-linear equations that change their function over time. Male science holds non-linear logic to be its favorite child of the moment, imagining it to provide answers to any remaining mysteries of physics, perhaps even psychology.

The problem is there is a FOURTH kind of thinking that is open only to women with any clarity, just as true linearity is open only to men. However, the world has been so trained to perceive things through male eyes that this fourth option has become completely invisible to men. Even women, as a result of being educated in a male-image school system where only linear logic is rewarded, have difficulty in seeing this fourth kind of thinking. Still, this other perspective is at the heart of women’s souls.

We call this fourth manner of logic Production (which determines potentialities) and the manner of thinking it engenders the Analogous mode. Unlike Holism, the Analogous mode examines or observes a situation, then seeks the best past experience that corresponds as a point by point analogy. It does not matter if the subject matter is the same, as long as the pattern of relationships is identical. That is to say, that if black and white are opposites, we might analogize that to apply to hot and cold. Certainly black and white have little or nothing intrinsically to do with hot and cold, yet the analogy works in comparing the relationship between the two.

When one employs the Analogous mode, one is trying to put things in context; trying to get a sense of the patterns at work so that pre-existing meaning might be applied to a new situation, clarifying what is really going on. That is about as far from causal linear logic as you can get. And that is why it is not taught, nor respected, nor even acknowledged.

“Women’s intuition”, they smile, and knowingly say, as if casting female thought patterns into the realm of magic denecessitates an effort to understand. What a bloody cop out! Rather than joining us in mapping out the fabric of our beings so that we too might seek greater fulfillment (as we have done for them for years) they either force us to accept their way, or cast ours into the ethereal plane.

Not intentionally, mind you. Its just because intrinsically, they cannot see it, so it has no value. But that’s an excuse, isn’t it? No, just like my feeble attempts to put things in context as a child, it is an explanation.

You see, only causal linearity can discover a breaking of the rules, mete out a punishment and leave it at that. But this kind of thinking is just what is responsible for overcrowded prisons, ghetto riots and eye for an eye wars.

Now, do you see what I did in that last paragraph? I took the concept of a linear vs. analogous approach in punishing children and JUMPED to the analogous mode of applying the same contextual relationships to crime, poverty, and military jihads. This is a clear example of how the analogous mode works, and why that argument would never be acceptable in a male-oriented culture.

We all have blind spots. At a biomental level, men have one, women have another. The problem is, men by nature are more externally motivated. As such, religion, education, science – the entire culture has been cast in their image incorporating their blind spot. We, as women, are brought up not only afflicted with our own built-in blind spot, but are fed flawed data that already incorporates theirs.

Obviously, if we are to see the world for what it is, thereby providing TWO points of view to the human species, we must build additions on the infrastructure of culture: additions of no value to men, but inherent value to women. Only then will our daughters be able to grow up with a fresh slate of information that doesn’t hobble their minds like ancient cultures hobbled their bodies.

Which brings us back to THIS child and her attempts to explain. If I had been born anatomically female, rather than just mentally female, I would not have gotten any farther in communicating to the male-image authority figures. But, at least they would nave had more tolerance for my approach, viewing it as “just one of those girl things” that had to be trained out of me. But as a little boy who thought like a girl, all they saw was another linear thinking delinquent, who was trying to weasel out of atonement.

I thank God, that I was born a transsexual. Because rather than succumbing to years of brainwashing that would have worked if they treated me like a girl, I was able to hold on to an awareness of the injustice of it all because they treated me like a boy. They used the wrong brainwashing tools and left this lucky mind a little bit freer to see what was really going on.

Granted, it took me 36 years to understand the truth before I knew who I was and why. But it has taken women 36 millennia to do the same. Women have had the right to vote for three quarters of a century, but we still do not have the right to think. As the Roman Empire discovered, the best way to overcome an enemy is to absorb them. The Primary Culture alters its nature but a little, as it is so comparatively large. But the subculture is lost entirely as its identity is absorbed. That’s what happened to the beatniks, the hippies, and the Native Americans. its what is happening now to the blacks, the Mexican Americans and the gays. It happened to women before recorded history, and now its time for a change.

— Copyright 1993, Melanie Anne Phillips


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Subj: Sharing my thoughts… 🙂
From: Robyn Joan
To: Melanie XX

I’ve recently realized that I am a transgendered person. It’s been a real discovery for me. I finally saw the rainbow that is the beauty of humanity, in all its forms. And saw that my happiness, here and now, has nothing whatsoever to how I’m doing financially or job-wise. It has to do with my tolerance for the Robyn side of me, and finally letting her free! You see, for a long time, I had tolerance on the outside, but almost no tolerance for what is inside of me. But that doesn’t work, especially for me. It’s just another way of denying the truth. Sometimes truth hurts, but it’s always better to go with truth than with falsehood. Everyone has to find their own truth; my truth won’t work for anyone else, though it has some similarities to others. I think I’ve found out why truth hurts so much. Because, (at least to me), truth is beauty, in its purest form. Something we’re not used to seeing that much these days. I don’t have any real answers after this revelation. Mostly just more questions. But finding the rainbow showed me so much. And as I proceed with negotiations with myself, so that both genders can be expressed in me, I hope that my thoughts will help others to find their own rainbows. For there is one for every one of us.. We just have to look for it.

Your Friend,
Robyn Joan Devlin

P.S. If there is space for this in the next Subversive, I would appreciate its inclusion there. Also, from this experience, I’ve come up with a term for those in the gender community, and those that care and support us all. RP. What does it stand for? Rainbow Person, or Rainbow People in the plural. Because, when you can see one rainbow, you can see them all… 🙂


Reply to Robyn Joan:

Thanks for your letter. I have placed it in Subversive #12, which will be uploaded to the New Files area of the GLCF about mid-month. The observations we can make along our personal journeys of self-discovery have meaning for others who are just a step behind. That’s why we need new voices every step of the way; so that as each individual advances, someone new steps into the place they vacated to carry on that voice. In this way, a chorus of understanding is created out of “musical chairs”: each individual voice adopting a new melody through growth while the harmony of the chorus never changes.

Thank you for your thoughts, and keep on singing!

Love,
Melanie Anne


And now for the next installment in the serialization of the book:

RAISED BY WOLVES:
A TRANSSEXUAL DIARY

by

Melanie Anne Phillips

PRELUDE

The pages beneath, chronicle my 30 month journey from a life as an apparently normal husband and father to that of an apparently normal woman. In the hope of capturing the immediacy of this emotional trip into the unknown, I shunned the retrospective approach, opting instead for a daily Diary.

Each entry was made on the day the events actually happened, expect as noted. And each is filled with the raw and unpolished thoughts and feelings that held me at that moment.

Of course, this leads to a somewhat meandering story, as well as contradictions in my point-of-view and personal emotional outbursts that I’m sure will make me squirm once this is published. But anything less would be less than truthful. And if this document is to serve any purpose as either a tool for tolerance and understanding or as an inspiration to those contemplating any major life-change, then it must be completely honest.

NOTE: Starting with September, 1990, my schedule became so tight while I was editing the feature film, Social Suicide, that I could no longer take the time to make my diary entries directly onto the computer. The only way not to lose the emotion of the moment was to record my thoughts onto a microcassette recorder. Obviously the results are not as polished, nonetheless, I include them here as they are the only record of this portion of my transition.


September 5, 1990

Okay, I’m on my way to work. I’m walking behind these five year old kids. ……

I’m crossing the street to the other side now because I have this terrible image of someone reading me and calling the cops and I get hauled away for stalking them or something, when in reality all I’m doing is trying to get to work. My driver’s license hasn’t come yet and I don’t have any I.D. It could be a real interesting situation.

Okay, I’m crossing the parking lot at the Pantages theatre where Shirley MacClaine is doing here one woman show. And down the street about a block is the Capitol Records building, the one you see collapsing in the movie, “Earthquake”.

I suppose I’ve finally made it, working on Hollywood and Vine. Its amazing what you have to do with your life to achieve celebrity status. Fortunately, the things I have to do are the same things I would do anyway just because they are important to me. I keep harping on this, but it’s something I’ve always wanted: being the center of attention. I’m not egotistic, just egocentric. I don’t mind the publicity, and I sure as hell don’t mind talking about myself! God, is this self-serving.


I just went to the restroom and suddenly I heard a voice, just like my mother calling me when I was a small boy. I was sure I heard her say, “David”. I started crying, and I felt so devastated and alone and guilty for having let her die and not be holding her hand when she did. I miss her so much. I want her touch and her hug. I want a different life.


I’m driving back home, past Warner Brothers again. It’s about 11 O’clock at night. Now that I am content with my decision to go all the way with this, I don’t feel I have to anymore. I’m actually looking forward to coming home and assuming the role of Dave tonight. And I think I’m going to enjoy it for the first time in a long time: to just going in and be the macho son-of-a-bitch; to play the protector for Mary, to giver her a hug and a squeeze and bluster around the house in a very male way.

There’s no way to predict the future. For all I know, after I have surgery, I may end up some day having a double mastectomy and taking male hormones toward being a man for the rest of my life. It almost doesn’t really matter. Even though I’m doing things to my body that can endanger my very life, the quality of that life is so much enhanced by being able to fully live one role or the other that I’m more than willing to put up with that risk – the same as I would if I were a mountain climber or a hang glider or anything else. The quality of my life, the degree to which it has improved by the activities that carry that risk far outweigh the risk for me.


I’m almost home and I just thought “Wait a minute! I don’t want to go in and bluster like I thought I did: I just want to go in and be me.”

September 6, 1990

I really don’t know what has happened here in terms of my feelings. I don’t feel any tension anymore. I was alone today on the one floating day off I get each week. I did all kinds of chores feeling halfway between Dave and Melanie. Basically, I went around today in boy jeans and a T-shirt, but dressed like that I still looked very feminine because of the hair going down to my shoulders and the cut, as well as the bustline. I answered the phone both ways today. I would answer as Melanie and then go off the line and come back on as Dave, if that was necessary. In the afternoon I was watering the lawn with beard stubble under my chin and a couple came by walking their dog. The man said, “How’s it going” and I answered in Melanie voice “Pretty good, thanks”. I don’t know what they thought of it. The neighbors gave me a lot of weird looks but the funny thing is there’s no tension in it.

I went out to the garage and looked at the little room my dad has cleared for me and felt no need to be away in it. The whole time I’ve been home with Mary this evening, I’ve felt no pressure in using Dave voice. I seem to have no trouble feeling Melanie either. I don’t know. Maybe I’ve finally reached that amalgamation I’ve been looking for.

It would’ve been nice if my life was such that I could switch over completely to being Melanie, and I still strive for that someday But it seems that the pain that it causes to try and go that far at this point with my needs at home is too great to make it that distance. I need a place to stop and rest. Right now, it’s comfortable here.

September 7, 1990

I’ve just discovered, due to a summer allergy, that one of the worst things in the world is a runny nose when you’re wearing makeup.


I had a really bad scene at the office today. Some equipment had to be repaired which would have prevented me from working in the morning tomorrow, so Larry asked if I could work half a day in the afternoon and then half a day on Sunday to make up for the lost time. At first I agreed, but then I started feeling really put out. I got very upset and went out to tell Larry I didn’t want to do it.

We got in a huge discussion about it and I started feeling like everything that was happening around the office was designed to make life miserable for me. I got so upset, I had to leave the room. I managed to get myself under control and came back to continue working.

But as soon as I started, Larry and I got in the same argument. I started shaking all over, and began to cry uncontrollably. I sobbed for several minutes. When it washed over me, it was like a fog lifted. Suddenly I clearly saw that I had been completely unreasonable. It wasn’t Larry that wasn’t making sense, it had been me!

That’s when I realized I was on an off-cycle of my new dosage of pills and this was taste of PMS. God! It was like a piece of my brain just shut off! And that’s pretty disturbing for someone who has always prided themselves on being a rational thinker, in charge of their emotions. In PMS you can’t trust your own thoughts. You might as well welcome me to the ranks, ’cause on this new dosage this is going to be a monthly event.

September 8, 1990

Thought for dialog in a screenplay: “This part of town gives you a real taste for the people… and if you’ve ever tasted people, you know they leave a ring in your mouth.”

September 9, 1990

It’s about 1:30 in the morning, maybe a quarter to two. I just got off work with Larry and I’m on my way home. I’m thinking that maybe the real reason I’m doing this is not because I want to be female, but because of the type of marriage I ended up with; the type of mate I ended up with. Perhaps this is a way of creating the mate I wanted.

I’m thinking, “God, I wouldn’t mind going out and being male as hell!” I wouldn’t mind throwing myself into a new relationship and being a lover, a husband, a companion. The thought of a good-looking woman in her early thirties, thin with a good bustline, red skin-tight dress… someone who’s not fake or phony, someone who I can talk to. To hold her…to put my hands on her without fear of rebuff, to know that she thinks of me as a provider and someone who can take care of her… Suddenly I begin to understand what Andy was going through… he has these drives to be female and yet at the same time there is still a very strong male side. Perhaps he’s feeling unfulfilled in both areas.

I have to figure out what is really best for me. But I do know that I’m recording this in female voice.


I just came back from my son’s Junior High: he’s just starting. Its the same one I went to as a boy. The shirt I usually wear to cover up my bustline was dirty, so I had to wear a long-sleeve flannel shirt, and the temperature today was 105! I don’t think Keith noticed, but a lot of people were staring at me. Even with my hair back in a ponytail, I’m sure they were wondering just what the hell I was.

I went out to the hardware store later, and even with one day’s beard growth, when I went up to ask a clerk about a price he said, “Just a minute, Ma’am.” It bothers me when this happens because I know it is just an initial reaction and they figure me out afterwards.

September 10, 1990

Today is the first day of school. And for my kids, since we have moved, this is the first day in a new school for each of them. Keith is going to the same Junior High I attended and Mindi is going to the same Elementary school. Seeing Keith go down the street on his own for the first time was a truly emotional moment. Mary and I both cried together as we let go just a bit to let him grow.


Last night we had Tom S. over for dinner. I started out in Dave mode, but decided to slowly shift into Melanie over the course of the evening to see how Mary would take it. By the end of the visit, I had shifted over almost to where I am when I normally present myself as Melanie. And Mary had not shown any difficulty with it. After Tom left, I asked her about it and she said she was surprised at herself. It was a little uncomfortable to her, but no where near as much as she had imagined it would be.

Later, I shaved my legs to get rid of stubble and just wore a T-shirt around the house. Previously, Mary insisted I wear long pants and long pajamas so that she would not have to see my smooth legs. But this night, she was not bothered by that either.

She only seems to get upset if I talk about it, but if I just do it, she’s okay.

September 10, 1990

I had a really bad day today, and I’m very tired of being Melanie. On the way to work, on the freeway, I cut off a car and nearly had an accident. Then, I got cut off by two other cars. When I pulled off the freeway, I got stuck behind a bus and had to wait there until he moved. When he did, I got a whole lungful of exhaust.

At work, I came in to find Bill repairing the gear. It took him until after lunch to finish. We started to work and realized it still wasn’t repaired. We had to call him back to fix it again.

Then we spent all day trying to make a scene work and never got it right. Finally, we started over from scratch and STILL had not made any progress by the time I left at 10pm.

Also this afternoon, I called Keith to see how he was doing this first week of school. He started out all excited, but I was using Melanie voice since I was at the office. Almost instantly he got very cold and I felt I had killed a wonderful childhood experience that this week would’ve been.

I want nothing more than to call him up and be Daddy. I want nothing more that to go to the County Fair this weekend without someone calling me Ma’am. But I can’t be Daddy and Melanie too. And here I am, still doing Melanie voice and I don’t know why.

September 12, 1990

At work tonight, I took a walk in the hall behind my office. We have the window open back there to let in a breeze. And after hours, when the offices across the way are dark, you can see your reflection in their windows. As I looked at my female reflection, I casually placed my hands on my hips. Instantly I remember a moment from my childhood when I had placed my hands on my hips and my step-father scolded me, saying it was not a masculine gesture and I should never do it again.


I’m driving home. A moment ago, it just hit me: I’ve been living as a woman for nine months. Nine months!!! I mean, my God! I’m still thinking of this as a fantasy that may someday happen. I’ve told all my friends; I’ve told all my relatives, I’m working this way, making a living this way and yet I’m still thinking, “Wouldn’t that be neat to do someday.” I can’t get it through my head that I AM doing it.

September 15, 1990

I’m about to go into the office. I did six hours of electrolysis last night and I’m so red I just have to ladle on the make-up. Even so, its bumpy on top and some of the red still shows through. I’ve got to meet Dorit, the intern, at the office and I’m going to look just like shit, and I hate that! Another wonderful day of pulling myself up by my bootstraps.


This is a very intriguing position to be in: I’m no longer a man. I mean, I may not be a woman, but I’m definitely no longer a man.

September 17, 1990

Yesterday we went out to the L.A. Country Fair. Its the first time I have gone out with the family in a long time where I didn’t fall apart psychologically. At one point, Mary and I were sitting watching Keith on a ride, and Mindi wanted to go on another ride. Mary took Mindi and I waited for Keith. Mary had not been gone for more than a minute when some drunken guy sits down next to me on he bench and puts his arm around me. I moved out of the way, but I could see from the corner of my eye that he stayed there the whole time I was waiting for Keith, eyeing me up one side and down the other. He was really interested and making a very overt play.

Finally, Keith got off and none too soon, believe me, especially since the guy was sitting upwind and his beer breath was all over me. I really got freaked out by that because I was in Dave mode, and even though he saw me as a woman, that’s not how I was presenting myself. I can’t deal with that kind of attention except in Melanie mode. As a male, it really disturbs me.

So I tracked down Mary and I said, “Hey, babe, I can’t deal with this… you stick close to me.” But she said, that fact that he came over should at least tell me that what I’m trying to do is working, even if she is still against it.


Another interesting incident happened here at work today. We had 3 by 5 cards all over the office floor to help edit a scene. I was crawling around on all fours, and Larry looked over and asked me to button my blouse one button higher as too much was showing.

September 19, 1990

Another good morning working with Chris on our story theory. Chris came up with a good personality question that reads “Are you happiest when you Can do what you Need to do or when you Want to do what you Should do?”


There’s only about two days of editing left to finish the first cut of the movie out of 30 hours of original material, but I’m going to be late because I’ve just turned around to go back home because I forgot my pills. Because of the work Chris and I have been doing on justification, I realize that my normal thinking is in the Want/Should line and Larry’s is inn the Can/Need line. I know I SHOULD go straight to work, but I WANT to go back and take my pills. But I can translate that to the CAN/NEED line to make an excuse to Larry that he will accept. I’ll tell him that since I feel such a psychological dependency on my pills, if I don’t take them, I won’t be able to concentrate on my work and we won’t get as much done. I’m actually telling him that my ABILITY to do what he NEEDS will suffer if I don’t do what I WANT. And that is the best argument a woman can make to a man.


Women appear greedy to men because they are more often focused on what they want. Men appear insensitive to women because they are more often focused on what they need.


Morality has no place in a masculine society.

September 20, 1993

I had a day of hugs. First, Michael/Nikki took me out to an early breakfast. Michael is a TV/TS who is sometimes on hormones and sometimes not. I had not seen him in over three months. He complimented me on how good I looked, then gave me a big hug and hinted he would like to take me out on a date sometime. As nice as Michael is, I can’t quite see that happening.

Later, at the office, Larry asked me to work six days this week instead of five, and the thought of going back to that schedule was so stressful I eventually sat down in my editing chair and cried. Larry came over and gave me a hug and said I didn’t have to if I didn’t want to, even though he was pressured on the deadline.

I’m getting treated a whole different way here. Even people who knew me as Dave are actually beginning to think of me as Melanie. Now, I’m 37, and I’ve been thinking maybe its too late to be doing this. Maybe I’m going to get old and wrinkled, and I can see the handwriting on the wall: If I do have any good years left, it can’t be that many.

But I also wonder what would’ve happened if I’d done this at age 18 – how attractive I might have been. And I wonder if I’m attractive now or not.


Nobody treats me like a man anymore. Even Mary has stopped treating me like a man. She doesn’t treat me like a woman but she doesn’t treat me like a man. My kids are the same way. I’m still Daddy and they still love me, but they don’t treat me quite like a man either. I don’t know if its the physical or the mental or both.

Its hard for the reality of this to sink in because this has been a fantasy of mine for at least 30 years.


Right now, I feel content. If you take happiness and separate it from contentment (which is being at peace), then now I am as content as I can be. Happy? Well, there are things that make me happy and things that make me down. But I’m always content.

I wonder if my journey will ever end. I wonder if my transition will ever be complete. I wonder if I will ever stop wondering? There might come a day when I pull it all together and have no more questions. Will that be a good day, or will it be the day I die?

September 21, 1993

Chris came over today and we talked about why men and women get married. Women get married to achieve security in the physical world, men get married to achieve security in the emotional world. At one point I broke down and sobbed as I thought of my mother who looked to me to provide security for her in the physical world because I was a man, even while all I wanted was that same security because inside I was a woman.

I cried, feeling that I had failed my mother.


Chris and I have begun to feel a little egotistic because if our theory of psychology is really what we think it is, we have solved questions about the human mind that people have sought answers to for ages. To think that we would be the first to discover the truth is too egotistic even for us. As Chris says, he keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop. But every time it does drop, it is the next step on the path. The theory doesn’t have to change, it just grows.

We also decided today that if this theory is what we think it is, we will maintain control of it to keep others from using it to bilk people out of their money or trying to turn it into a religion. If this is the secret of happiness, then we are going to make sure people have access to it for free because it belongs to everyone.

September 25, 1990

Today was the big event. I’m driving in the car about half a block from my daughter’s school. She had a schedule change, and since Mary goes into work early I’m the one who will be dropped Mindi off at school and I did it as Melanie.

This is a day I never thought would arrive: when I dropped my daughter off at school as a woman, just like any of the other women dropping their daughters off.


Late last night we finished the first cut of the movie. After six months of 12 hour days, six days a week, its good to have that behind me. The director was so pleased that he decided to move my editing credit up from the traditional fourth position to third, just behind his credit and the producer’s credit.

September 26, 1990

I’ve really been hiding the last few months. Since I am still Dave at home, I don’t go to the store as Melanie, I don’t meet any people as Melanie; I just sit in the office and hide. But today, I don’t want to hide. I’d much prefer to walk in to a store and have someone confront me about it and tell them the truth.


Why do I want to have surgery? Why? Because everything down there feels wrong.

September 28, 1990

Ideas for two bumper stickers: “Replace Lab Animals with Aborted Fetuses” and “Don’t tell me where it itches, ’cause I don’t wanna scratch.” Those should offend just about everybody.


The feeling of well-being I have been experiencing left me this morning. I tried something new with my make-up and my face wrinkled up like a prune.


I just heard from Larry that we have set our first official test screening of the picture, which will be at the Director’s Guild theatre. We’ll just be screening the workprint to get opinions as to what we might improve. But the most important thing is it will be my first public appearance as Melanie in front of important people in the film industry. Of course, the major question is: What the hell am I going to wear?!?


I just asked Larry if he thought that (aside from the physical) I had changed as a person since adopting a female role. He replied that I was definitely not the same person I was before. That’s very interesting because I feel so much like myself I can’t tell if I’ve changed or not.

September 29, 1990

People can deal with you as a woman and they can deal with you as a man, but they can’t deal with you if you are in between. Mindi is a good example of this. She’s okay when I drop her off to school as Melanie. And she is okay when I am Daddy around the house. But the other night I had gone to bed quickly and was wearing a tank top under my pajamas. When she saw this in the morning, she asked me to button up my pajamas so the tank top wouldn’t show.

Therein lies an interesting question: Can society accept someone who either straddles the line or flip-flops across it? That’s what I really want to bust: that you don’t have to be one thing or another; you can be part of each, because that’s what we really are. Perhaps people are so insecure that they cannot tolerate an individual that brings their insecurities into focus.

I asked Larry his opinion the other day, and he said the public was ready to accept a transsexual, but not someone who kept jumping all over the board. People aren’t ready for that. They can’t allow that because they would no longer know who they were themselves. To protect themselves from their own insecurities, they have allowed others to dictate how they can act.

But who are you going to allow to be in authority over you? The only person in authority over you is you. Its through your authority that you ALLOW others to have control over you. It’s not that they take it, but that you give it.

It’s common knowledge that you must conform in order to perform efficiently as part of the corporate whole, and thereby gain its benefits. Anyone who is not following rigid roles is rocking the boat for all of them. Such an individual must be snuffed out. But if you can prove that the corporate whole can function as a conglomeration rather than an amalgamation, then you have a situation in which the individual can flourish.

Still, from the individual’s point of view, it might seem you do not want to take an unpopular stand before you have succeeded in popularity, because then you will have many who will stand by you, knowing what you CAN achieve.


I asked Larry if I could get off an hour early today at 9 pm instead of 10 so I could take my family to the drive-in movie. We have not been able to go to a drive-in all summer because of my work. He agreed. I have kind of arranged the timing so that I won’t get home in time to change. I called Mary and told her to make some popcorn and be ready to come out with the kids when I honked. This will be the first time Mary goes anywhere with me as Melanie. I hope that if it goes well, it will be the first step to being able to be Melanie at home.

I’ve been a little worried lately that when the movie is over, I will lose the opportunity to spend so much of my time as Melanie and will backslide. Hopefully, tonight will work toward preventing that.

September 30, 1990

Last night, when Mary came out to the car, the first thing she did was ask if I had time to wash the make-up off my face. I said I had not, but it would be okay because it was dark. She agreed that was true and we took off. This was important because even though she could not see my makeup, conceptually, she knew it was there.

During the drive, I had been speaking as Dave, but as we pulled into the ticket booth I said, “I think I’d better do this as Mel.” And she said, “That’s probably a good idea – you sort of have to, don’t you? So, I did everything in Mel voice, then as we drove into the theatre I turned to her and said in Dave voice, “Piece of cake!” She said, “I’m just going to the movie with my friend and my two kids – that’s all, nothing unusual about that.”

Obviously, she was rationalizing it, but she was fine with that. As long as she thought of its just us two girls out on the town, it was fine. I slipped in and out of Melanie voice all evening when it was appropriate, testing the waters with her. No adverse reaction that I could see.

On the way back, we needed to get gas. She went in to pay and I pumped the gas. I think that made her a little bit uneasy for us both to be out of the car at the same time, but it was another step.


(Copyright 1993, Melanie Anne Phillips)

Remember: I AM looking for a publisher, so if you chance upon one, don’t keep it to yourself!

(The Transsexual Diary series will continue in the next edition of The Subversive)

I urge you all to keep a diary of YOUR personal journey, whether it be through transition or not. The attitudes and even the order of events becomes cloudy through time, and I am continually amazed to re-read things that memory would have me believe had happened differently. If nothing else, it is a good way to see long-term patterns in yourself that you cannot see except in retrospect. That objective view alone is worth the inconvenience of keeping a journal.


FEATURES

Sarah’s New Skates

The lights were low in the cavernous hall of Cub Luna as I came in. I was nervous, I know it’s not smart for a woman to go to a bar alone even in Santa Fe and I was definitely on my guard.

Cub Luna opened a few years ago in a building that was originally built for a movie theater. They built the bar on one side, the whole side, it’s about a hundred feet long. The place has a reputation for being packed and smoky, but this night there were maybe fifty people, it seemed almost empty. The act hadn’t started yet and I found a table near the stage just one row back from the dance floor.

I had heard this guy Tab Benwa was going to play. He had been interviewed on a local radio station today. He sang some old delta blues and sounded so good that I had to see the show. Well at least that was the excuse I used to convince myself that I needed to come even though all of my girlfriends were ether working or watching someone’s boring home movies of their honeymoon in Samatra.

I ordered a drink from the waitress and sat there listening to the old blues CD’s they were playing. The fact is I’ve been so lonely as of late that going to the show alone seemed to make since. Don’t get me wrong I know I have lots of friends that care about me, but after two years without any close loving body contact, I’m getting desperate. I was about to ravish the first unsuspecting guy that came within arms length.

Getting dressed tonight was tougher than usual, I just couldn’t decide. The dress code in Santa Fe is always casual with some really fancy thrown in just to mix things up. I wanted to look good but not like the horny sex starved wild woman I am. After trying on every thing I own and making a huge pile of unsuitable outfits on my bed I settled on a calf length rayon dress, mostly burgundy but with small flowers all over. It has short sleeves and it’s cut tight on top and very full and flowing on the bottom. It’s a magic dress, some how it makes me feel pretty even if I’m having my period (an interesting phenomenon that only a natural woman or any of us who might be on hormone therapy can relate to). I left one button loose on the top to give my inadequate but growing cleavage a fighting chance and unbuttoned five or six from the bottom so my bare legs could show when I cross them. For earrings I chose these long wide dangling silver things from Bali and I but on a string of tiny cobalt blue glass beads. Wonder of wonders I’m having a good hair day! Its blond by the way, shoulder length and curly. I brushed it out and it looked good, the first time! Wow!

Now, I’m like the rest of you, I love to wear high heels but I’m five foot ten and I don’t want to be any taller than that, so I put on my black cloth Chinese maryjanes. They’re great for dancing and that is just what I intend to do. I put on my eye make-up a little heavier than usual and I even brushed on some translucent powder (something I never do) and some blush. I feel like I look good, maybe too good, this is getting scary.

Well, I’ve been sitting here for about ten minutes before this good looking white guy with curly black hair comes out on stage. He is young and too nice looking for a blues singer but as he starts to play I feel my body start to dance right there in my chair. This guy plays like BB King. He’s up there with a base and a drummer and they are all really hot. A few people are getting up to dance, mostly women dancing in a group. Oh, I really want to dance! But even more I want to dance with a man.

The first song ends and Tab starts into another and I feel a gentle tap on my shoulder, there standing behind me is a bearded bear of a man. His words are drowned in the music but I think he wants to dance. Smiling he takes my hand and leads me on to the dance floor. This bear is quite handsome but it soon becomes clear that he’s so drunk that he isn’t dancing much. He’s just kind of wobbling and watching me with this silly smile. So I begin to dance enough for both of us, I love to dance, I feel so free and the music is carrying me, I couldn’t stop if I wanted to. The song ends and I thank the bear for the dance but decline his invitation to another and go back to my table .

Tab starts to sing about a silver moon, and another guy sneaks up behind me (whats with these guys, shy I guess). He’s kind of nurdy looking but nice and as we start to dance he is really getting into it. Kind of wild, not at all what I expected. I love it there’s so much room on the floor, I’m spinning and moving all over and he follows me with a big grin. The song is ending, he leads me off the floor and back to my table. I’m breathing hard and smiling as I thank him for the dance. He walks away and before I can catch my breath I feel another tap on my shoulder. I turn and a very handsome man, maybe fifties, tall, slim with an artistic look about him ask me to dance. I can’t seem to loose this silly smile on my face, this is fun. The cologne this man is wearing sort of puts me off, but he takes me by the hand to the dance floor and I begin to spin it’s really a sensual experience, as my dress catches the air I can feel it swirling up higher and higher. The cool air blowing around my panties thrills me as I spin. Oh, don’t ever let me stop!

The song ends but we stay for another and another. Finally we sit down and he asks if he can buy me a drink. He’s making for the bar across the room when this really tall, blond, wild looking man comes up and asks if I would like to dance, this one is cute, I would love to dance with him but the other guy has gone off to get me a drink. He smiles and asks if I think the other guy will beat him up just for one dance. Oh Goddess, my scruples are always getting in the way of fun. The man with the drinks comes back and as I sip he leans over and asks my name. It’s so loud he has to get right up to my ear. I like it, but it’s kind of scary. His name is Chuck. He tells me that Sarah was his mothers name (Oh come on, isn’t that about the moldiest line you ever heard?).

In case you didn’t know (as the old song says), “I have a brand new pair of roller skates” and I was really hoping some body would take me home tonight and try out his “key”. I know, I sound like a slut to me too. But I was ready, right up to when he said he had a room in the hotel across the street because his wife had kicked him out tonight. It seems she thought he had pushed his four year old daughter down and hurt her. He said it wasn’t true, he hadn’t pushed her and he began to tell me how they had been together ten years. He was getting closer and he put his arm around me, he was holding my hand and quietly coming on more and more. My body is going for it (slut), but my little hormone soaked brain says this guy’s no good. As horny as I am I can’t do this, I keep thinking about his wife and little girl and what kind of guy would sit here coming on to me after telling me all of that.

Some times it’s a curse having morals. My body would have a lot more fun if my mind would just stay out of it. As if from a distance I hear myself saying thanks for asking but no, not tonight. I should have known when I first smelled his cologne that I wasn’t going to let this guy take me home. First Impressions are usually the clearest.

It’s midnight and I have to work in the morning, I get up to leave and he walks me to my car. We hug and I kiss him on his cheek and tell him to go home and apologize to his family. Some how I can tell he respects me because I didn’t go for his proposition. That’s nice. But here I am, driving home alone to another night in that empty bed. What would I do without my vibrator.


“Class Act”

by
Melanie Anne Phillips

Last semester I returned to college for the first time in 15 years. I had two purposes in coming back after all these years. One, I wanted to take a psychology class to help me understand what the “scientific” community thought of transsexualism and the differences in brain sex. Two, I wanted to “undo” my bad memories of college as a man and replace them with a college experience as a woman.

I did not know how my age might affect my social status, nor was I really sure how to be “one of the girls” in an educational setting. As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about. College these days is filled with people seeking second careers as the job market shrivels, so I was not alone in my bracket. Besides, I’m rather with it for a 40 year old chick (except I keep using dated phrases like “with it”).

Anyway, I felt so much more comfortable this time around than I had before. One girl came over and introduced herself on the first day and we decided to be study partners. She was the first close girlfriend I ever had who did not know my past. We went several places together over the course of the semester: breakfast at IHOP, study sessions, shopping for bras, etc. That’s why it was a tough decision to tell her about my past.

About this time in class, we were studying the nature of relationships. We learned that there is a significant difference between the factors that make a good short term relationship and what is needed to create a long term relationship. In the short term, first impressions are VERY important and very hard to overcome. However, in the long run, a relationship can only survive if the parties make “self disclosure” about all the things, good and bad, that surround their lives. If one wants to take a friendship from casual to close, one must disclose.

I fretted over the decision for weeks, knowing that I would not feel honest and could not let the friendship grow without coming clean. Yet, I did not want to jeapordize my relationship with the first woman to accept me as an equal. Close to the end of the semester, honesty won out. I waited until an appropriate moment, then told her as we walked back to my car, as I was taking her home that day. The way I filled her in was by letting her read two of my psychology assignments in which I had referred to my transition.

For the briefest of moments she was taken aback, but after just a few minutes, it was like I had told her something that brought us even closer. She saw none of the old me and simply felt honored that I had chosen to share with her.

Bolstered by this, I decided to take a chance and share with the entire class – partly for honesty, partly for curiosity, partly to get ready for the expected scrutiny of the press I will experience as a result of the Dramatica software I co-designed, and partly to gather some data that might help others in similar situations.

I approached the teacher, who was also my counselor and therefore already new my past. He said I could have a full class period to lecture on transsexualism. On the appointed day, he began with a brief discussion of human sexuality, then said, “We are fortunate to have with us in this class someone who has gone through the transsexual experience.” Everyone looked around to see who it was. I got up and noted the surprised faces.

I gave a 40 minute presentation to good effect and received many words of praise for my courage, honesty, and success in transition. I had no negative effects after the class, and was involved in many more conversations, with both men and women that I had been for the previous part of the semester.

This experience alone is useful, but I realized at the time that hard data was even more important. So, before I started my presentation, I asked everyone in class to take out a sheet of paper and anonymously put down their feelings as I went through my lecture. At the end of the class, I collected their comments. I reprint here as a guide to what civilians think of transsexuals when forced to confront the issue in an unexpected moment.


“As a human to another human, I admire your openness. I think your intelligence helps carry across your story without shocking the listener. You carry yourself with such confidence that I feel comfortable asking you questions. As you noticed I used the word human. This is because I see you as a person, like me. Therefore your accomplishments mean more to me than your sexuality and I don’t believe you need to “out” yourself unless it makes you feel better”.


“I admire you for doing what you did because you really wanted to and you did! I don’t think any different about you, but its nice that you’re happy. Thank you, Melanie! You should be a guest speaker in many classes. I learned a lot.


“Damn”


“Surprised! NO WAY! I never knew anyone who was a transsexual. I’m glad you didn’t relate to little boys because they turn out (most of the ones I knew) to be jerks! Sorry about generalizing! Honestly, it was scary to hear about it at first. But if you’re happy, that’s great! I want to find out what your name was as a man. You seem so much happier as you talk about the change.”


“I never would have guessed it. It’s amazing how well you took your whole ordeal. You also seem to know so much about the subject of sexuality. Have you ever thought about teaching in a university?”


“There’s a million things going on in my mind, but I’m just completely shocked. I’ve never met anyone that was a transsexual. I don’t know what to say. I never thought that I could accept someone like you, but I do. I give you a lot of credit for doing what you did and what you are doing. Good luck with your life!”


“It’s your choice to do what ever you want, but I was always taught to live with what God gave you. After looking at your pictures, I really don’t believe everything that you are saying. But I wish you happiness and a long, good life.”


“I would never have known that you had gone through transsexual surgery. It is surprising, however, does not change the opinion I have of you from what I have seen. I can’t imagine how difficult this must have been for you. I find it very interesting the feelings you had throughout life. As I sit here and look at you I can’t believe you were a man. I would imagine it is interesting to see how people treated you as a man vs how you are now treated as a woman. I think it’s great that you are happy and feel comfortable sharing your experience with us.”


“I found the lecture very interesting. I find that you’re very comfortable with your new identity and I think that’s great.”


And the professor wrote:

“The students are RIVETED. Interested that you fantasized about being female at age 7. Your presentation is very matter-of-fact, so not so scary or sensationalized. “Picking the birth control pills out of the mayonnaise” really legitimizes your actions – that really shows me the depth. You will be interested in ‘cognitive style mapping’ which is a developing discipline within educational psychology.”


My conclusions, based both on what I learned in theory and what I experienced in fact, is that the more you are comfortable with yourself, the more others will be comfortable with you. As for telling vs. not telling, I think honesty will always win out on the average. As for when to tell, first impressions ARE very important. Don’t wear a sandwich board advertising your change. But when you have grown to know someone and feel the friendship might have long-term potential, then its time to tell. It may blow the whole thing out of the water, but better at the end of a short term relationship than in the middle of a long term one.

So, gather what you can from this experiment in disclosure, and please send in any experiences you have that can guide others to be more secure in their decisions.


Here are the two psych papers I let me friend read in order to share my past with her:

Synthesis Paper #1

As a transsexual, I needed to develop a whole new set of reactions and behaviors that were both socially appropriate to my new role and at the same time true to myself. I soon found that the difficult part was not in changing my actions, but changing the way I organized my thoughts from years of “training” as a male. I decided to employ a combination of Classical Conditioning and Cognitive Learning.

Unlike Pavlov, I could not directly stop the conditions stimulus that led to each conditioned mannish thought and wait for extinction, as I was not aware of the stimulus until after the thought occurred. But I could in each instance identify the stimulus and create a second order conditioned response of a new thought that I cognitively attached directly to the first order stimulus by connecting them together in an association. I would hold or repeat the new thought in contingency with the stimulus (essentially rehearsing the association) until I felt it had set into long-term memory.

Eventually, the new conditioned responses had been experienced more than the old in reference to the same stimuli, and slowly began to supplant them. Over a period of time, my mind adopted an entirely new wet of “appropriate” conditioned responses.

but a real surprise came when I read an article one day about the history of elementary school children visiting the old Griffith Park zoo. The article had pictures of several of the classes from my time in school. I began to look and see if I could find myself in one of the pictures, and then I stopped, amazed at myself. I suddenly realized I had been looking for a little girl.

Apparently, in the process of transferring the connection of stimuli from old Conditioned Responses to new Conditioned Responses, I had also diminished old memory cues and created new ones as well. From one pathway at least, I had experienced cue dependent forgetting in my long-term memory, but more startling than that, I had actually created a new cue pathway to the same memory that altered my understanding of reality. In a sense, I had rewritten my past.


Synthesis Paper #2

As a transsexual, deciding if and when to tell others about my past is an area of much concern. In my first job as a woman, I did not share my background with other employees. I was accepted, but I felt I was lying to them. So at my next job I was upfront with everyone, but they were cold and stilted. However, I could not tell if it was their rejection or my insecurity.

This was one of my major reasons for returning to college after a twenty year absence: to make some new friends as a woman. but just how much could I loosen up and still keep my secret? As I began to relax and be myself, due to the effects behind Skinner’s “Cyrano” study, any non-typical behavior was accepted as Opinion Molecules, and did not influence their assessment of my gender. Also, Solomon Asch’s study of conformity came into play as the tendency toward conformity in the social atmosphere made it unlikely that anyone would mention anything should they suspect. This was aided by the Fundamental Attribution Error, which led them to assign the causes of any oddness in my demeanor to my disposition, not my situation.

To test this, I intentionally lowered my voice farther each day over a one week period in Psychology. I finally saw some curious glances and backed off to my original level. I had reached a MUCH lower voice than I could have with people who did not know me. The Primacy Effect in conjunction with Conformance and Attribution gave me much greater leeway than I would have in a “cold” crowd. These factors all served to support Familiarity as the second most important factor in short term relationships, and allowed me to loosen up a bit in my demeanor.

But I still felt incomplete in that I could not share my first thirty-six years. I determined to discover how important First Impressions truly are by developing some “test” relationships. I began performing at a local coffee house some weeks ago until they got to know me. Last night I delivered a five minute stand-up comedy routine as the “world’s first transsexual comedienne.” The reaction was initially one of startled surprise, but then admiration and comraderie. Best of all, I could be myself and still be accepted. Apparently, the Primacy Effect makes it better to give people a chance to know you first. In addition, because I no longer look, sound, or act like a man, the Recency Effect is diminished when I finally do disclose, as the only Cognitive Dissonance is in their knowledge not their observations.

But what about long term relationships with people I want to have as close friends? By far, the most important factor in a long term relationship is Self Disclosure. This leads me to believe that eventually sharing my past will not only free me to express all that I am, but is a prerequisite to any meaningful relationships to come. Certainly there will be an attrition rate of those who cannot deal with it, but those who remain will truly be my friends.


MELANIE’S WISE WORDS OF THE MONTH

“Speak up an be heard,
or , Shut up and be herd.”
– Wilma Snakestare


USEFUL INFORMATION

Here is a copy of the letter Dr. Biber sends home explaining post-op care:

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Dilate five times a day, 15 to 20 minutes each time, utilizing the pair of rubber dilators provided and as instructed. Space the dilations over the 24 hour period as much as can possibly be done. it is very important to keep the depth in the vagina, especially the first two or three days after discharge. it is very important to utilize plenty of jelly and place the dilator in such a fashion down toward the rectum primarily for a small distance then directly inside into the vagina, without using a screwing motion, because when you use a screwing motion, the ribs on the dilator might harm the new baby skin that is healing in the vaginal cavity. Graduate to a longer dilator between the fourth and fifth week. The easiest place to get a firm dilator is to go down to any adult bookstore and get a plastic dildo, get it the same diameter as the large dilator provided. Approximately 4.5 to 5cm in diameter and get it two inches longer, which will make it about 8 inches in length. Utilize this in a similar fashion as the original dilators and continue the dilation for a period of six months, however when you get to the fifth, sixth month, and everything is staying wide open, you may, with common sense, decrease the number of dilations too. May begin intercourse about the sixth week period. You will be somewhat moist inside, however not moist enough for penetration so it is important in the pre-sexplay period to insert some K-Y jelly and be prepared for penetration. If you do not use the K-Y jelly, you are going to tear yourself up. When beginning intercourse for the first time, take it slow and easy to avoid any damage that difficult and forceful penetration may cause.

We will send you home on Estinyl and Provera. Take the Estinyl one a day and cycle the Provera so that you can take it one a day for one week, perhaps the last week of the month, along with the Estinyl. It will place you essentially in the feminine cycle. We will send you home on urinary and tissue antibiotics and utilize them for a period of ten days. But even more important than the antibiotics is to drink copious amounts of fluids, 10 to 12 glasses a day. You may also drink a couple glasses of cranberry juice a day, which will acidify the urine and take away some of the smell. You may also douche, even once or twice a day because the vagina will present some obnoxious material while healing. You may douche twice a day if you wish with a tablespoon of white vinegar to a quart of warm water, not dark vinegar, but white vinegar.

Do not do any heavy lifting for a period of six weeks. If you have any specific problems, call my office, the office personnel or myself will handle your telephone calls and should be able to answer all your pertinent question. If you have to see a doctor at home for any reason and he doesn’t understand what is going on, please have him call me.

Also, remember that you are specifically female now. You are subject to all female diseases. You can get Trichomonas infections, you can get Yeast infections, and these have to be treated just like any other natural female. It is conceivably possible now that you have a cervix, that you may develop cancer of that cervix, even though we have never seen this happen. However, it is probably very wise once every six months or once every year to get yourself a Pap Smear, to rule out this possibility. Remember you are subject to other diseases as well. Be very careful with your exposes, you can still pick up gonorrhea, you can pick up syphilis, and all the other exotic diseases that females are subject to.

Keep in touch with me, fill out the six month questionnaire in six months, and please send it back, so I can add to our statistical volume and utilize it in our presentations.

Any time you feel like writing, let me know your general status, i.e. financially, socially, what you think about your body image, and what adaption you are making to your new role. I’d be more than happy to hear from you. In other words, keep in touch. Do not let us lose your address. We want to follow you for a considerable period of time. For any other complications that may arise, please call and let us share them with you.

Stanley H. Biber, M.D.


AMERICA ONLINE GENDER GROUP STATISTICS

Contributed by Marsha J, Gender Room Secretary

Attendee Stats as of July 1993

State Listing

AK. 1 AZ. 2 BC. 2 CA. 28
CO. 1 CT. 7 DE. 2 FL. 15
GA. 2 IA. 1 IL. 14 IN. 3
KY. 3 LA. 3 MA. 7 MB. 2
MD. 4 ME. 1 MI. 8 MN. 4
MO. 5 MS. 4 NC. 6 NH. 3
NJ. 8 NM. 4 NV. 1 NY. 8
OH. 8 OK. 2 ON. 1 OR. 4
PA. 6 QU. 1 RI. 1 SC. 1
TN. 1 TX. 14 UT. 1 VA. 6
WA. 5 WI. 4 WV. 2 WY. 1
Not determined 29

236 Attendees total on mailing list

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR 236 MEMBERS FOR HELPING TO CREATE A SAFE HAVEN OF SUPPORT FOR EVERYONE CONCERNED WITH GENDER ISSUES!!!

                    GENDER CONFERENCE

Don’t forget to attend the Gender Room Meeting on the America Online BBS in the Community Room at 9pm ET every Sunday evening. Use Keyword, GLCF, then select Lambda Lounge or Community Room depending on your version of the software. For specific information, directions, or to order back logs of the chats, Email Marsha J, the Gender Room secretary.


AFTERGLOW

“We”

by
Melanie Anne Phillips

We are gay and bi and straight
and thin and fat and overweight
and sad and proud and smart and dumb:
with many faces do we come.

There is not “them” there is no “us”
Minus is not worse than plus.
Fences are a call to plunder;
Rainbows can’t be cast asunder.

Gender, skin, and Faith and Creed
are how we laugh, and love, and breed.
We are fit and sick in bed,
and we are hobbled, unborn, dead.

For death seeks uniformity
but life springs from diversity.
So mix and match and all be free,
as I am “you” and you are “we”.


“May you never find occasion to say, ‘If only…..'”

SUBVERSIVE PUBLICATIONS

BEST SELLING NEW VIDEO RELEASE!!!!

Copies sold from California to Maine, Chicago to Finland!

“MELANIE SPEAKS!” In this new video, Melanie Anne Phillips explains how she achieved a new voice for her new role. The program provides exercises in Pitch, Resonance, Dynamic Range, Annunciation, Body English, Vocabulary, and Grammar in a step by step fashion that makes it easy for you to develop your own unique feminine voice and vocal patterns. The “secret” is a special exercise that let’s you develop a truly female resonance that you can turn on or off at the drop of a hat. If you have ever been embarrassed by your voice or have contemplated vocal surgery, see this tape first!!!

Subj: Melanie Speaks
Date: 93-06-03 09:10:16 EDT
From: JaniceTV
To: Melanie XX

Yesterday I received my tape. How wonderful. You can’t believe how much that it has helped. I’ve been practicing, and on the phone already I can make myself female. The insights on what is Feminine are worth just as much as the voice info. I’m sure that you have noticed more than most of us the great differences between male and female. It really is quite thought provoking. I have noticed especially the power words that I and other males use. Equally I have noticed the submissiveness of most females. Once you start to notice, its hard to believe that you never heard or saw it before. After seeing your tape and how far that you have come, it makes me wish more and more to be female. However, I have a better understanding of what that means!! I would be hard for me now, and in some ways I like it both ways. The main thing in life is to understand yourself and to be happy. With your help and of others, that is happening for me.

Love,
Janice

Melanie Speaks! – 49 minute educational video ……….. $20.00

Raised by Wolves – A Transsexual Diary
Part One: A Spy In Their Midst………………………………….. $10.00

The entire trilogy is a day by day chronicle of the two and a half year transformation from an outwardly normal husband and father to a complete woman. Part one covers the first day of hormone therapy to the first day of fulltime. Part two begins with fulltime and ends as the last year before surgery begins. Part three counts down to surgery, ending as the train back from surgery pulls into the station. Parts two and three are being edited and will be available soon.

Poems by Melanie Anne………………………………………………$10.00

A collection of poetry and lyrics exploring society and self. Includes all the poems published in The Subversive and many more.

Dry Spell………………………………………………………………….. $10.00

An original sci-fi/thriller screenplay by Melanie Anne, following a woman archaeologist as she struggles to destroy a deadly organism discovered while documenting Native American ruins.

Snowstorm……………………………………………………………….. $10.00

An action/adventure screenplay by Melanie Anne, that crosses the paths of a teenage boy entered in a dangerous cross-country snowmobile race and the ruthless destruction of an entire town by a druglord.

The Day After Christmas……………………………………………… $5.00

A fully illustrated, satire on the threat of nuclear war that follows the destructive activities of “Saint Nuke” on The Day After Christmas.

Dichotomy……………………..30 Minutes, Cassette Album…….. $5.00

12 Original songs by David Michael Phillips, multitrack: keyboard, guitar, vocals.

Tarnished Karma………………..30 Minutes, Cassette Album….. $5.00

10 Original songs by David Michael Phillips, just before embarking on transition. Many of the lyrics pertain to the inner conflicts of gender dysphoria in a disguised manner, as this decision was not public at the time. Multitrack: keyboard, guitar, vocals.

Special offer: Double Album of Dichotomy
and Tarnished Karma on one cassette ……………………………… $7.50


EDITOR’S NOTE: It is my desire to make this publication available free online to all who wish to read it. However, due to copyright laws, any overall license would allow unscrupulous individuals to excerpt portions and use it for their own personal gain. Therefore, should you wish to upload this publication on your BBS or simply generate hardcopies for support groups and friends, please write me about a free license for your specific purpose.

THE SUBVERSIVE

Number 12
August 1993

The Subversive | Volume Eleven

Another issue of the online magazine I published in the early 1990s

THE SUBVERSIVE

Number 11

“Where Dreams are the stuff Reality is made of”

DECLARATION OF PURPOSE

“This journal exists to promote the concept that each human is a unique individual, intrinsically entitled with an equal right to pursue her own destiny as far as it does not inhibit others in that same right. The Subversive shall serve as a ready forum for the free expression and exchange of ideas that do not violate this mandate, in the belief that tolerance grows from a familiarity with variety.”

–signed,
Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor

WHERE TO FIND THE SUBVERSIVE:

The Subversive is available FREE as a download on America Online, Compuserve, Genie, several severs on the Internet, and various BBS around the world.

For those who wish to Subscribe, contribute articles, stories, personal experiences, information, jokes, or whatever Email Melanie XX on America Online BBS (MelanieXX@AOL.COM on Internet), VNSV96e on Prodigy, Melanie Phillips on Feminet, or write to:

Melanie Anne Phillips
150 East Olive Avenue
Suite 203
Burbank, California 91502

Only original material will be accepted unless quoted in the context of an original work or submitted with credit to the original author along with permission to reprint the material.

Submission of original material for publication in The Subversive constitutes a non-exclusive license to Melanie Anne Phillips by the author/copyright holder to reproduce all or part of the material in any media.

EDITOR’S NOTE: It is my desire to make this publication available free online to all who wish to read it. However, due to copyright laws, any overall license would allow unscrupulous individuals to excerpt portions and use it for their own personal gain. Therefore, should you wish to upload this publication on your BBS or simply generate hardcopies for support groups and friends, please write me about a free specific license for your purpose.


EXPLORATIONS

by Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor

“OPENING A CAN OF WORMS”

Last edition, I wrote an editorial about the “C” word: Censorship. In it, I introduced a sister publication to The Subversive to be called Can Of Worms. This month, the first issue of COW was published to very positive response. The thoughts I chose to address in my first editorial for Can Of Worms seem to me to be the best follow up for the Censorship editorial in the last Subversive. So, here are the concluding thoughts in the concepts begun last time in The Subversive.

From Can Of Worms:

“Chaos Realizes Synthesis”

DECLARATION OF PURPOSE

“Truth lies like the grain of sand at the heart of a pearl. It may not be elegant, it may not even be pretty, but it is the core of the sugar coating we call our lives. The more we protect our heart, the more it suffocates, locked in by the pressure of its own protection. Can Of Worms exists to crack through the lemming layers that insulate us from our own truth, binding our minds in a vice-grip of ignorance. What we find at the center may be red and raw, but it will respond. We may be enraged or hurt, but we will be aware. And through that awareness, we will grow again.”

ORDER AND CHAOS

I began the electronic magazine, “The Subversive” a year ago to foster insight. Today, I inaugurate a new publication, “Can Of Worms” to incite. Whereas The Subversive seeks order through understanding, Can Of Worms seeks motivation through chaos. All the understanding in the world is useless until it is applied. Yet all the effort in the world is useless until it is focused. The moment you arrive at an understanding and move on it, chaos ensues. Eisenhower once said (and I can’t believe I’m actually quoting Eisenhower!) “Planning is vital, plans are useless. And Ziggy expounded, “Every time I find out where its at, somebody moves it…”

Yet we have all had the experience of getting nowhere fast, or “the harder I work, the behinder I get” syndrome. This points up the other side of the equation: that motivation without focus is non-productive at best, counter-productive at worst. Clearly both understanding AND motivation are required to get anything worthwhile done. And that doesn’t just mean physical endeavors but mental as well.

The Subversive continues to be a forum of new perspectives that encourage synthesis. Yet it is not designed to enhance the “ooomph” factor to get things moving. That’s where Can Of Worms (COW) comes in. You may not find new meaning in what you see here, but you’ll more than likely be moved by it.

Let me tell you about the guidelines for submissions to Can Of Worms: there are none. That’s right, anything goes! Now this may mean that there will be anything from prejudicial slurs to gutter language to pornographic material. Certainly many of the articles to come will even offend me! But I’m not going to censor content. If its balance you want as a reader, its up to you to provide it.
Do you take exception to a point of view published here? Well then submit a rebuttal. Put in your own article to balance the one-sided nature of the other. As far as I’m concerned, the only sin in Can Of Worms is for a reader to sit there like a sponge and sop and squirt but not contribute.

Can Of Worms is an experiment in free speech. Traditionally, highly rhetorical incendiary editorials are found in publications biased to that point of view. I hope that we can set a new trend here, attracting hot-headed, biased diatribes from ALL sides of an issue. This will make Can Of Worms an equilibrium of balanced inequities, neutral not because of its blandness, but as a result of its spectrum of intensity.

So, I greet you all to the first edition with a hearty welcome and an open invitation to speak your mind.

— Copyright 1993, Melanie Anne Phillips


And now for the next installment in the serialization of the book:

RAISED BY WOLVES:
A TRANSSEXUAL DIARY

by

Melanie Anne Phillips

PRELUDE

The pages beneath, chronicle my 30 month journey from a life as an apparently normal husband and father to that of an apparently normal woman. In the hope of capturing the immediacy of this emotional trip into the unknown, I shunned the retrospective approach, opting instead for a daily Diary.

Each entry was made on the day the events actually happened, expect as noted. And each is filled with the raw and unpolished thoughts and feelings that held me at that moment.

Of course, this leads to a somewhat meandering story, as well as contradictions in my point-of-view and personal emotional outbursts that I’m sure will make me squirm once this is published. But anything less would be less than truthful. And if this document is to serve any purpose as either a tool for tolerance and understanding or as an inspiration to those contemplating any major life-change, then it must be completely honest.

NOTE: Starting with September, 1990, my schedule became so tight while I was editing the feature film, Social Suicide, that I could no longer take the time to make my diary entries directly onto the computer. The only way not to lose the emotion of the moment was to record my thoughts onto a microcassette recorder. Obviously the results are not as polished, nonetheless, I include them here as they are the only record of this portion of my transition.

September 2, 1990

“Things are getting a little difficult to put down on paper; I just don’t have the time. And I’m writing screenplays and working on books with people, and working on books of my own, and the only way to keep track of all these thoughts is to put them down all at once onto a microcassette recorder for later when I do have the time. Sometimes I’ll be doing Melanie voice and sometimes Dave voice. We’ll start with today.

“Today, I had another blow-up scene with Mary. Each of the last two weekends I’ve really fallen apart when I had to go out with the family. With the long fingernails and the hair and everything, it was very apparent that I wasn’t exactly a normal male. And if the bustline showed too much….

The weekends get really tough because I get into the mood of being Melanie all week long, and then I have to switch back and try and be Dave. But I don’t look like Dave anymore. Even though Mary doesn’t mind the stares, I do. I still care what people think. And when I know I can get by a lot better as Melanie without stares than I can as Dave, why should I force myself to appear and act as Dave, when I know I can’t pull it off? When I don’t WANT to act as Dave? Instead, it would be much better for me if I could just act as Melanie and not have anybody staring at me… or at least not as many. It’s very difficult… I’m only doing it for Mary. But the last two weekends have been hell to try and do it. And even though I love her very much, I’ve reached the point today where I just couldn’t do do it anymore.

“So I have a little room that we’re making in the back in the garage and I’ll be moving into there on a very temporary basis. Whenever I can’t take the strain of appearing as Dave anymore, I’ll be moving in there to get away where I can be myself. And I’ll probably be making a lot of journal entries there instead of doing them in the house.

“Also, I’m going to have to start moving toward being Melanie more, even though I’m going to continue to keep a foot in each camp, as it were, and have some people see me one way, and some see me another. And even though I’m able to get my friends used to seeing me as Dave again and then as Melanie the next day, just so we can have them over to visit and things and so Mary’s comfortable with it, that really can’t go on very long ’cause I don’t want to be that way forever.

So I have to take steps here, step at a time, one step at a time to change from any remnants of Dave all the way to Melanie one hundred percent.

“Last night, I went to my support group meeting, and it was kind of a small turn out, but the people that were there, a lot of them were in very much a similar situation as mine. Some were married, some were not, but all were going through transition at about the same phase. Most have not gone full time yet. There was a lot of comraderie. We went out for an early breakfast at two in the morning and stayed out ’til four, talking over our personal things and just having a good time in a regular restaurant.

“It was kind of interesting to me that this was a restaurant frequented by people of tanssexual and transvestite natures, and I’m really not one for involving myself in that group. I just go there to the support meetings to find out about how other people are dealing with situations and offer my experiences. I don’t really care to associate with that group as a group. People separately, each individual is someone worth getting to know. But the group itself, especially the night clubbers are just not my type.

“Anyway, at breakfast, it was intriguing because there were a number of groups of people in the transgendered community who had shown up there, most of whom, of course, I didn’t know, but there were also a number of straight people: the majority. I looked over and there was this one couple in their twenties, a guy and his girl. They looked over and they sort of fixated on me. And I thought, wow, am I THAT bad looking, you know, that I really stand out amongst THIS group? But it turns out that I overheard their conversation, and I was really tickled. They were trying to figure out if I was a real woman or just part of the group. So, I guess even sitting amongst people like that, I’ve finally reached the point where I’m starting to pass real well. So I tell people that I just don’t get ready anymore, anywhere I go. It’s just that sometimes I get mistaken for a man.

“One note for this morning: Since I was feeling so down, I started really getting upset. Last weekend I kicked out of the back door and bent the screen door and then went over and kicked the back gate off the hinges. It was a wooden gate, I split it in two and half is still on the hinges and half is leaning against the wall. I did that because I had friends coming over that evening and I was presenting myself as Dave because of my agreement with Mary who would only have people over if I was Dave. But it was really hard to be Dave with them again after I had struggled so hard to be accepted as Melanie. But we had a very good time that evening, everything was great.

“But this weekend, I was feeling down and depressed again this morning. And Mary and I started arguing. Just when we got our angriest and most hurt that we have been in this crisis, I went in to take a shower and Mary broke the tension by getting a bucket of freezing cold ice water, and throwing it over the top of the shower curtain all over me, to show me that she wasn’t going to take it so seriously and let it all fall apart. And also that I was to be punished for bringing this up so seriously to being with.

“That was okay… I laughed it off… But then she felt that wasn’t enough and came back and did it one… more… time…. One too many times for me! So I got out of the shower, filled the bucket with cold water from the sink, and ran, stark naked, into the living room chasing her, with the kids staring at everything. She bolted out the door, knowing I wouldn’t follow. I followed. I chased her into the front yard and all around , finally catching up with her and throwing the cold water all over her. So we had our recreation and the neighbors got a thrill.


“I can see myself looking a lot different, moment by moment. All of a sudden with the increased dosages of hormones, the new hair style I’ve adopted, with the redistribution of fat around the body, body English changing, gestures, muscle volume and tone, and electrolysis, things are shaping up to the point where it would probably be very difficult to pass as a male now.

September 4, 1990

“Here I am driving to work down Barham Boulevard on the way into Hollywood. I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but the other day, I was feeling really “Melanie”. And I was also a little bit klutzy, dropping everything I touched and pushing the wrong buttons, and a little bit giggly on top of it. So altogether I was feeling a bit like a bimbo, bubble-headed type character. Not intentionally, mind you; I think I was just in the middle of my off-cycle of hormones, and it was a getting a little rough to negotiate the mental twists and turns.

“So, it was getting really crazy, and Larry, the director of the picture, and I were laughing a lot. Toward the end of the evening I made some really stupid mistake, and Larry had the audacity to say to me, “If you keep on being naughty, I’m going to have to spank you”! I cannot believe he said that!


“Okay, I thought it would be interesting if I actually made a recording as I walked down the street….

Today is Labor Day, and there aren’t too many people around. I’m walking down a side street called Carlos, which is about two blocks from Hollywood and Vine, the corner where I work. I usually take this side street so I can avoid walking down the middle of Hollywood Boulevard where there are bigger crowds and a lot more people to look at me.

“I still am real self-conscious, so I have to grit my teeth and bear it every time I come into the office and walk that two blocks into work. The hardest part is going to be coming up, when I have to go onto Hollywood Boulevard and face all the traffic and all the people, passers by. One of the worst parts of it is that on Mondays, like today, after I’ve had a day off and I’ve had to slip back into Dave role, a lot of the body English doesn’t come naturally anymore. I have to do a kind of forced walk and remember where to put my hands and my arms and how to move my shoulders and my hips: a bunch of stuff that should come naturally, and does by the end of the day. But in the meantime, its highly embarrassing because I know I just don’t carry myself properly.

I’m crossing the parking lot, which is usually full, but being Labor Day, there’s nobody in this parking lot today. There are a few people on the street corner. There’s an old bag lady pulling some tin cans out of the trash to buy her breakfast, I guess. Usually, you see a lot of vagrants sleeping here on their bed rolls, curled up in little driveways and stair wells, and sometimes in the bus stops.

“One nice thing is that almost all the parking is metered around here and the free parking is about two blocks away so that in the morning, the sun is at my back, which keeps my face in shade and makes it a lot more difficult to see bad make-up or electrolysis.

“I’m now crossing the street onto Hollywood Boulevard and coming to Tod Browning’s star, whoever the hell that is! Red Foley… I know that name… Irene Rich… Eddie Arnold and Betty Davis. Here I am actually walking on top of Betty Davis and Arthur Godfrey… stepping on their likenesses, I guess, their Voodoo spirituality… whatever.


“I just passed a couple of women… I think one of them read me, I’m not sure. Now I’m passing a couple of guys and they don’t seem to be paying me any attention. I really can never tell these days if people are talking about me behind my back or not.

“Now I’m up to the Equitable Building where I’m working. The guard needs to let me in because its a holiday. The sound you did not just hear was the elevator repeatedly opening and closing because I forgot that I hadn’t pushed the button for the seventh floor so it didn’t know where I was going.


“Okay, I’m stepping out of the elevator and wondering if Larry got here early, but the outside lock is still on the door which means I’m here before he is so I’m not going to get into trouble for being late. Okay, the door is shut behind me and I’m safe inside. There’s nobody here which means if I’m quick, before Larry comes I can go into the other room and use the big, long mirrors behind his desk and check my makeup without looking like I’m looking through his private papers, which I have never done and never would, but even though he knows me, if he sees me standing there, he will wonder if I do.

“When we have the interns here working on the film, I always tried to sneak in before they got in so I could check the makeup because outside in the daylight its different than in the car, different in my house where I put it on, and different in the office where I spend my day. I have to put more coverage on the upper lip and red areas. God, I hope this electrolysis gets over with soon.

“Well, I went into Larry’s office and checked the mirror, and sure enough, that upper lips stands out. I really don’t know what to do. When I put on makeup here to make the coloration go away, if I go outside with it, it looks like I’ve got a big bright mustache of a lighter color in the daylight. Never knowing if I have to go outside for any reason, its kinda difficult to figure out exactly how much to put on. If there are interns here, I certainly put it on, but with Larry, of course, like I’m going to fool people who already knew me as Dave that I’m really Melanie? It won’t make any difference as long as they accept me and I’m not overtly stepping out of the role I’m stepping into, they will be able to continue to deal with me in that role. And even if they do see beard show through or discoloration or anything, they’re just going to know that is part of transition, and that I’m doing my best.

“Its the people that DON’T know that I get worried about, and I really should get over that. But it seems to me that all my life I’m going to care about what people think, though I try very hard not to. Everyone around me seems not to care. I’m the one who gets embarrassed by that. And yet, the embarrassment has never stopped me from doing anything. They don’t get embarrassed, but they wouldn’t do the things that I would do.

“The borders that I have to cross… the obstacles that I have to surmount, to them are insurmountable. They would never (they say) have to the courage to go out in public and do what I have done, and yet I, who feel embarrassed just by being looked at, somehow find the courage to go out and do the things that get me looked at whereas they would not be embarrassed by the looking at but embarrassed by the doing.

“I don’t understand that at all. Maybe since its that the need to be me, the need to be a woman, is so great that it overcomes even a greater degree of embarrassment and shyness than it would in someone who had no driving need like that.


“I enjoy coming in every day and checking the messages, and I also enjoy answering phones, especially when Larry is here with me alone, so there it nobody else to grab it and its either him or me. Because in answering it, its very secretarial, and I enjoy (I’m afraid) being in that position. Not being humiliated by doing the menial chore, but kind of pleased to be, how can I put it, supportive of HIS efforts, allowing him to make the decisions he has to make and be thinking about what he has to do, and be the one to support that effort. I kinda like that support position. God, I mean, that’s terrible! I’m going to get killed by the Women’s Libbers for that, but its really the way I feel – maybe only because I’ve never been forced into that position, but am now having the first opportunity to accept it when I choose willingly. But if I should choose not, I don’t have to worry about a weekly paycheck, not getting another job, kids to feed, relationships at work that would be broken – its just Vic and Larry and me doing this film. There’s an awful lot of people that would hire me. So maybe from that comes the freedom to allow oneself to be subordinated and enjoy being in a non-stress position, letting someone else make decisions, because you know you can walk away from that and pick up the reins whenever you want.


“Just a quick note: today is the last day before I go back on my cycle of pills, but the after affects of the dosage is such that my breasts are really tender and sore today – they really hurt! It’s very hard for me to get used to saying, “my” breasts, because I don’t psychologically feel like I have any. But when I look down and see the way things are going, indeed I do.


“One of the things I have to get over is that most of what I talk with people about is my transsexualism. I think the reason I’m doing this is that as long as I’m talking about it, I’m still keeping one foot in the male camp. I don’t know if this is a way of not making an ultimate decision that I’m going to stay as a woman forever or if its just a way of not having to judge myself on how well I’m doing. But I do know I’ve got to stop it, because people have got to be getting really bored with it. I can’t imagine why they still put up with me when that’s all I have to say these days.


“At this moment, I’m just living. I’m just moving through time and space. I’m not thinking about being female, I’m not thinking about having been female, I’m not thinking about what stage I’m in, I’m just living.

“I’m just being aware of myself as a human being. And this self-awareness is very comfortable when it comes. When I think of warm breezes and rainy nights. I think of hiking in the snow in the mountains and laying on the sand at the beach. I think of my children on Christmas morning and the pictures that they draw. I think about Mary and snuggling together in bed on a cold night. All these things become so non-gender oriented, yet the means of expression… to show how I feel… the gentleness, the softness that I can express as Melanie is so much easier and closer to the surface than it ever could be as Dave. Perhaps when all is said and done, I will find myself thinking not of male or female, man or woman, whether I’m read or not, I’ll just live.”

Copyright 1993, Melanie Anne Phillips)

(The Transsexual Diary series will continue in the next edition of The Subversive)

I urge you all to keep a diary of YOUR personal journey, whether it be through transition or not. The attitudes and even the order of events becomes cloudy through time, and I am continually amazed to re-read things that memory would have me believe had happened differently. If nothing else, it is a good way to see long-term patterns in yourself that you cannot see except in retrospect. That objective view alone is worth the inconvenience of keeping a journal.


FEATURES

“ARE GENDER SUPPORT GROUPS SELF DEFEATING?”

By Denise Anne Fell

As I write this, I freely admit that I have never had the so called benefit of a support group. From the observations that I have made, I feel that I am fortunate in that respect.

--The idea behind a support group for any reason is wonderful, especially in an area as touchy as gender problems, however, from things that I have seen and heard, I also believe that they can be
very damaging to individuals that attend the meetings.

--I believe that in order for a support group to work, there must be a leader. Not one of the girls, but someone who is far ahead of the others, or even better a member of the medical profession that has knowledge in the area of transsexualism. The second and perhaps the most important thing is total and complete honesty. Granted, the idea behind a support group is to offer support to each member, however, building false hopes and not being honest in order to make another person feel good at that particular moment can have far reaching consequences.

--It is one thing to leave your home or apartment in the dark and go to a meeting in a dimly lit room and tell each other how good everyone looks. When reality strikes and that individual has to go out and face the world in broad daylight it becomes another story.

--I wonder how many transsexuals, who are appearing in public for the first time will handle being laughed at by some little teenage girl. It happens and I can tell you from experience, it hurts. It can shatter your self confidence. It can make you doubt your ability and it can drive some that are close over the edge.

--In addition to the comradely from these meetings, a time should be set aside to discuss current problems and issues involving the members as a group or transsexuals in general. Members should set up times when guest speakers can attend. Get someone to come in and give makeup demonstrations. Mary Kay and Avon should be more than happy to send a representative to show proper techniques. Have someone knowledgeable in wig styles come in and explain how to properly choose a wig. One that will not only match your skin tone, but will enhance your facial features. Sometimes what we think looks best is actually the worst for our features. These people have the knowledge to help the entire group succeed in their goal of becoming a woman or man.

--One of the most important things that the members of a group can do is to learn to give and even more important accept constructive criticism. Above all be honest, it is better to hurt a members feelings in the security of a safe group than to fill that individual full of false hope only to have it broken into a million pieces when they first venture out into the world by themselves for the first time.


From: Stephanie2
To: Melanie XX, Marsha J, Chandle500
To: KixTV, Danita TS

Enclosed is the journal I kept during my trip to Chicago. I offer it pretty much as I wrote things down. I couldn’t have made this trip without all of the support and love received from this group which I have come to call the Electronic Gender Community.

Thanks for the support.

Stephanie

The following is a journal kept during the Be All You Can Be convention hosted by the Chi Chapter in Chicago, from June 8-12, 1993.

– Stephanie Julia Havens –

 “My Journey – Be All You Can Be – 1993”

 Day One – June 8, 1993.

 What a day.  When I awoke this morning I knew Steph was beginning a new adventure and my life would never be the same again.  I was very excited and terrified at the same time.  Chicago!

 I was up until 2 am packing a suitcase that contained enough cloths for two weeks.  Yet I knew the whole trip would last only 6 days.  I  will never bad mouth an over packed lady again.  Thank god I visited Joan and -borrowed+ a few things.  Stephen needs to take Stephanie shopping.

 Took long bath and SHAVED!  I+m read to go. Three quick stops; Post Office, Car Wash, Museum, then on the road.  It should take about nine hours to arrive in Chicago.  (Wrong – only 6)

 Funny thing happened outside of Rockford.  I decided to wear the forms under my white sweater.  I pulled over for gas and got out to fill the tank.  There was a gentleman filling his car just in front of mine.  As he looked over I realized what I had on and that without makeup I looked like a guy with a serious glandular problem.  Lost the forms before paying for gas.

 Arrived at the Ramada Inn, sit of -Be All+ by 3 pm.  Coincidentally the cab I followed into the parking lot contained my room mate Michelle from CT.  Inside the lobby I call for Naomi and make connections.

 Still in male mode, Michelle and I walk up to the counter and announce -Room for Stephanie and Michelle.+  I couldn+t believe it cam out of my mouth.  the clerk made me spell my name and she (Joan) found the slips and we signed in.

 Michelle and I hit it right off.  We exchanged herstories and firsts like old friends.  This was Michelle+s 5th Be All and while ironing clothes for the week she fills me in on what to expect.

 6pm we head to dinner and eat a wonder Italian meal at the hotel.  conversation was like that between old friends even though we had only met 4 hours earlier.  (Cool)

 Back up in the room Stephanie makes her first appearance.  (Joan you are right, plucking the eyebrows makes a huge difference.)  Michelle is working on her legs, arms, eyes.  I decide to give plucking shot.  WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!!

 Michelle gave me the most wonderful earrings.  They use converter so you can take studs and turn them into clip-ons. WOW!

 I decide to take a chance and leave the room for some soda.  The first attempt went down in flaming failure.  There were 3 men waiting at the elevator and I couldn+t get past.  I was frightened but I didn+t panic.  So I returned to the room with my tail dragging.

 Michelle told me not to panic and take my time.  Where have I heard that before.  Later I made it to the machine, what a feeling of freedom.  Still I am very self-conscious.

 As the day closes, I prepare for bed and think of what is yet to come.  What an adventure.

 Day Two – June 9, 1993.

 My first day out.  After the plucking of the eyebrows last night, the eye makeup looks much better.

 Registration begins at 10.  So Michelle and I head down the elevator.  Still very nervous I brace myself for sharing a ride with the other guests.  It is always worse in you fears than in real life.  A change begins to take place that is what I came here for.

 No one is in the registration room.  So Michelle and I go exploring the hotel.  The outdoor pool looks wonderful.  Maybe later in the week for a dip.  I begin to gain confidence as we walk and talk.  I get used to the stares and resolve that this is going to be a good week.

 By 11:30 Michelle and I have been sitting in the Registration room for 30 minutes.  We have met and chatted with Sandy and Karen..  They are a husband and wife couple from Canada.  Just another example of how open and accepting this community is.

 During registration met Vicki from IN.  She is a country western impersonator.  Rachel, Vicki, and Michelle and I chat, have lunch and can feel others watching.  It doesn+t matter.  (We are sharing the hotel with the Baptist General Conference [state] Convention).

 Some of the Vendors have arrived, and I strike up a conversation with Anne for Louisiana.  When I informed her that she might not have my shoe size, she starts looking.  (Size 9 1/2, she specialized on larger sizes)  She produced at least 5 pairs in my size.  There are two pair I immediately fall for, a pair of red flats and a black pair of 1 1/2+ pumps.  I can only afford the flats but I+ll have the pumps by Friday.

 Short nap & the White Welcome dinner time 6:30.  I became enthralled with all of the women who arrive.  Beginning to feel part of a sisterhood.  Politics is the conversation over dinner of salad, chicken (oriental) and almond Mousse.  Some average and some drop dead good looking women.

 Nature calls and another first, the women+s restroom.  (I+ve cleaned enough of them.)  It just didn+t feel right to go to the men+s room in a white sundress with pink turtleneck.  First time to adjust make up.

 Prior to the start of dinner we all stood and introduced ourselves and I found three other girls from MN; Roseville, St. Paul, and Duluth.  Cool.

 Heading off to the bar…

 Tomorrow brings a boar tour of Lake Michigan, and a make over lesson from the Mary Kay rep (Fay).  I know they may have been buttering me up, but I enjoyed the compliments just the same.  The agreed to teach me how to do my eyes, I can hardly wait.

 Everyone looked great.  A few people commented on how lovely the gold bracelet looked.  As well as the nicety of having a GG friend.  (THANKS JOAN)

 Today is the first time in my life I got my shot at being a girl, and I loved it.  Thanks

 Day Three – June 10, 1993.

 As the day begins, Stephanie becomes more real to me.  Today is for fun only.  A boat ride s schedule at 10am. I head down stairs to get into the vendors room to meet with Fay and set up an appointment.  On the books for 3 pm.

 I run into Sonya, a designer from In.  She is spending the day going into Chicago to meet with designers to sell her line of fashions.  Living out a dream.

 The bus ride over almost wipes out everyone.  They never should have used school buses.  The traffic due to construction is as bad as St. Paul was last year during the worst of it.  3x.

 On the boat I have a lovely chat with two of the ladies from MN.  They told me they brought NO male clothing along.  Whew.  The read of the boat ride I talked with Sandy & Karen.  Except for chat with woman from Mississippi.  We decide that if Stephanie make a public coming out, I+ll do it as the first Cross Dresser to canoe the Mississippi from end to end.

 3pm and even though I am exhausted and sun burned, I sit down and take the lesson from Fay.  She explains proper skin care and make up application.  $103 is the cost of all of the accessories to make the face beautiful.

 5:30 a new adventure begins.  Rachel, from Houston, introduces me to Amanda from IN/FL.  We decide not to take the bus to the dinner theater, but take Rachel+s rented Continental.

 When we got into her car and looked around, the busses have left without us.  Here we are three tourists with no idea of how to get to the theater.  We head south in hopes of catching the busses.  Amanda caught them moving down the free way parallel to the frontage road we are on.  Quick U-turn and we are on the same road, but no busses.

 We head south and go on for about 30 miles before pulling off at an oasis to call for directions.  My personal instincts cause me to volunteer to make the phone call.  So out of the car, not feeling particularly feminine I trudge into the Wendy+s and make connections with the Candlelight Dinner Theater.

 Back on the road we laugh about the whole incident and continue onto the most wonderful performance I have ever experienced.  First half of the play was a solo actress singing every word, the second was a dance troop of 12 dancing the same story.  AWESOME. (Andrew Lloyd Webers: Song & Dance)

 Back to the hotel by 11.  I talk Michelle into coming down to the bar to get a coke.  While there I spot a Baptist minister I met in the elevator the previous day.

 I went over to say hello and see how the conference was going.  This began a two hour Q&A session.  They put my faith to the test and wanted to beat me with scriptures, but failed.  Having a rock solid faith in Christ got me through the last 24 years, and didn+t leave me when I needed him most.  They also couldn+t shake my lifestyle choice.

 The women couldn+t truly accept Stephanie, but told me that I carried myself very well and by the end began to understand.  I also realized for the first time that Stephen was very firmly entrenched inside.  I was a whole person with an eclectic taste in clothing.  I was comfortable with who I was and had become for the first time in over 20 years.

 Exhausted I slip into bed a whole person.

 Day Four – June 11, 1993.

 Boot Camp!  The session spoke about how to carry oneself, comportment.  Most of this I learned a long time ago as an actor.  How to stand, sit, walk, and just present yourself in the best light.  The leader was a CD of many years who was pinch hitting for her wife who is a professional model.

 Fashion was the next topic.  Nothing that I hadn+t read about in the newspapers or seen on television.  I did learn how to use color to create the illusion of a waist line.

 The keynote luncheon speaker made a wonderful point…labels like CD,TV,TS are for the back of your shirts and dresses.

 After lunch Rachel full fills a dream…to go to the mall.  We talk Amanda into going with.  Amanda says she wouldn+t miss my first -mall crawl+ for the world.

 We head out to the Woodfield mall and head for a larger women+s store.  There is a freedom and nervousness that I feel until Rachel asks the head clerk, -how many cross dressers do you sell to?+  The ice broken the store clerks open up and all is normal.

 We had to talk Rachel into this beautiful dress and then into buying it.  I get talked into a wonderful black silk dress.  The hem stopped at the knees with a string fringe to below the calf.  It felt wonderful, but it was a size 22 and way to big for me.  I couldn+t afford it anyway; $195.00.

 Another dinner and I just couldn+t wear the same outfit one more time.  No matter how many scarves and accessories I tried, it was getting old.  So I headed down to the vendor area and put together a smashing outfit.  A blue sleeveless dress with white polka-dots from one vendor.  I found a perfect hat from Rachel+s Wigs, a red belt from Jim (makeover artist), the red shoes from Anne and a bracelet from Mary Kay.

 Met my one and only Jerk.  This guy was here on vacation with his wife and he just didn+t understand.  He wore a -stupid+ grin and had nothing but fear in his eyes.  Like what we were doing would somehow rub off and change him.  He oozed machismo.

 Later in the bar, I noticed that every time his wife would strike-up a conversation with anyone from our group, he would -reel+ her into his arms and hold her like a mother protecting a baby from the world.  It was the saddest behavior I have ever seen.

 1am – sleep.

 Day Five – June 12, 1993.

 Its Saturday.  The day begins as usual; shower, shave, makeup.  I+m off to a session about Balance.  even as the session begins I sit and workout yesterday in my journal.

 I+ve notice water goes through me a little faster…silly

 The panel talks about  adolescent & gender confusion.  I think of Anony1 from AOL and how these people could help.  I must get some names.  They also talk about finding a balance to Cross Dressing and the public life.

 Full time is not for everyone.  Left unchecked this could become as destructive as gambling or drinking.  Keep in sight who you are and why you do this.  Make time for this like any other hobby.

 Lunch is a fashion show.  Amanda is wearing an absolutely stunning black dress with gold beading.

 The big dinner is tonight, and I don+t know what I am going to wear.  I have one last outfit from Joan…but no blouse.  Just then Rachel comes along and invites my up to her room to try on a dress that was too small for her to wear.  After an initial goof, the dress looks and feels great.  I ask to borrow it for the night and she says OK.

 I run down and get the shoes to go with it, these black satin pumps with gold and silver accents.  Anne agrees to hold my check for two weeks so it won+t cause and overdraft charge.  What a community.

 Rachel (wigs) has agreed to work on my hair in exchange for back rubs previously given.  It is another first, my hair in a very feminine style, and I begin to feel beautiful.  She adds a black lace bow with rhinestones to complete the look.

 After meeting and a short prayer session with the ladies of the Baptist General Conference, I run into Rachel (Houston) and agree to help her put together a surprise for Amanda.  We pick up a few things at the gift shop and I get another Q&A from a stewardess.

 Up in Rachel+s room with Amanda, Rachel reads a couple of poems she has written for the occasion.  Tears and emotions swell as the words speak directly to my heart.

 Amanda has been mulling over the purchase of the dress she wore for the fashion show when Rachel hands her the present.  Inside is the dress.  She then looks at me and tells me she really met to buy the dress I had on for me anyway.  Amanda and I begin to cry again and I know what Anne means by -kindred spirits+

 The dinner party was a great success.  I looked and felt wonderful.  We all stood for a group picture, the wide shot type.  What a group of people.

 I spent the rest of the night trying to make it last.  Talking and joking with Barbara #1, and others until 3:30am.  I finally meet Marsha Jackson from AOL.  She came down just to meet me.  What a group.

 Day Six – June 13, 1993.

 Sunday 8:00 am…

 …tears…

 …good-byes…

 …tears…

 Promises of a future meetings.  The drive home had only one event.  I took off En Femme and almost burst trying to find a gas station.  The attendant pointed me to the Ladies room and after paying for my gas she said -have a nice day dear.+ 

 I almost killed myself when I saw Joan, slipped on the wet grass running up to her.  I wanted to tell her about the entire week and re-live it all.  We went out to dinner at Bakers Square me still in dress and I felt the best week of my life coming to a close.

 Short of my acceptance of Christ as my savior, this is the best I have ever felt.  It is great to be whole.  A new life/journey is ahead and I look forward to every minute.


Subj: My Coming Out
From: DanielleH
To: Melanie XX

Well, Mel, as I told you last Sunday at the forum, I was going to “do it” this Saturday. Guess what, despite literally sweating bullets at the eleventh hour, I DID IT!!!!

Since the Partytime Cafe, as it was called, was held in Boston, and I live in Maine, I checked into the hotel Friday. I dropped off my wig at a local beauty shop recommended by the local support group (Tiffany Club of New England), dropped my blouse and skirt off at the drycleaner, and made an appointment with the makeup artist at the beauty shop to do my makeup for me.

Normally, I do my own makeup, but this was to be a very special event in my life and I wanted to look perfect (now if that doesn’t sound female, I don’t know what does).

Saturday afternoon, I dressed in my tightest blue jeans and a peasant style denim top. Then, off to the drycleaner, and then to the beauty parlor. So far, I was not nervous….. until I got to the beauty parlor – then I began to sweat…bullets. I kept thinking to myself, “What if…” Finally, I reminded myself that my time had come and what I had wanted for the past 30+ years!

I walked in, spoke to the owner, and was directed to a private room where I could change clothes and get ready for the makeup and my newly styled wig. The sweat came again, heart quickened, I though, “My gawd, my wish is finally coming true!”

The makeup artist was really nice, asking me what colors I use and how, then instructing me on what I should use in the future and what best fits my features and complexion. It seemed like an eternity, but only 40 minutes later – Danielle was born! The makeup artist said that I looked beautiful and that anyone would certainly think I was female in appearance. When she turned me around to the mirror, tears formed in my eyes – Danielle was quite an attractive lady, if she says so herself. The makeup artist took a few pictures of me, some for me, some for her – she thought the before and after pictures were amazing. She even asked if she could introduce me to some of her TRULY female customers – of course, I said yes – my confidence was holding its own.

I drove back to the hotel to pick up a few things and felt quite confident walking through the lobby to the elevators and back. After all, I was a woman. One woman about 25 years old in the lobby, “checked me out” as I walked by and told her husband that I must “be a call-girl.” I smiled to myself and thought, “Alright! That’s exactly what I want to feel like – a desirable female!” After all, red pumps, pleated red miniskirt, white hose, red ruffled panties, sheer white blouse and long blonde well-teased hair sure do get attention!

The event was held at a Convention Center/Hotel about 20 minutes away from where I was staying. I drove alittle slower than normal to get there, just to see how many passing cars “checked me out” at the stop lights —– I loved it!

Once at the Convention Center, I met in-person the Tiffany Club members. I belong to their BBS, but have never met any of them. It was nice to talk all night about ourselves, each other, exchange thoughts/ideas about clothing and makeup…just being female. Of course, when Mother Nature called, I left the table and headed to the rest rooms. As I pushed open the door to the Men’s Room, I realized my predicament (????), excused myself, and entered the Ladies Room. My confidence surprised me, no nervousness or sweating as I went about my business there. In fact, while I was touching up my makeup, a girl in her early twenties asked who did my hair because it was so beautiful – I told her the salon’s name, and she was grateful. Ah, to be a woman.

When the party ended, I went over to the lounge with some other members. Several times men came up and asked me for a dance, but I declined – not quite ready for that…yet. I think I need alittle more walking before I decide to run! I did however enjoy the attention!

Well, I returned to my hotel. Walked through the lobby, past security and up to my room. I slept like a baby that night – and I know that can be taken literally, after all, Danielle was only born about 8 hours beforehand.

I am so pleased with my first time, that I know it will soon be “every time.” I am on the road to becoming the woman that somehow nature forgot. For those of you thinking about Coming Out, I can only say that it was a great moment for me and I intend to make those moments permanent.


“A Symbiotic Friendship”

by Karen Patrick

The words sear through softened layers of protective shell burning hollow my spirit. A simple sentence lay waste an evening of joy. In a fleeting moment a gender
confidant openly perceives me as man. “I see you as a supportive male”… her words
silence my self esteem wrenching open a lifetime wound. An hour later I lay on a bed
bursting tears from deep within.

It is not said in malice but the voice maintains its echo. My emotions are fragile and crumble in despair. Years of projected image designed for societal
survival remain etched on the surface. It has not yet faded enough. Perhaps a year
ago I could have disregarded my feelings…I no longer can.

Joining a gender support group has placed me on a winding path of discovery and destruction, friendship and pain. It is a delicate link to renewed hope of
fulfillment. It is a place which has allowed me to uncompress a feminine essence and
expose a vulnerable core. It has left me emotionally defenceless and in need of
reassurance.

That night I cried into the phone for an hour. The sympathetic person on the other end helped patch up my life. She has done it for me before and will again …
she is my best friend.

I first met Sharon at the group’s annual BBQ. We had few opportunities to talk amid the rumble of the day but we exchanged phone numbers and I hoped to talk to her
soon. That night I met my first encounter with the reality of open femininity.
Feeling unrestricted and emotional, I vented years of loneliness by falling into a
momentary interlude with the wrong member. By morning I was hurt and alone again. I
called Sharon’s number and for the first time in my life found true support and
compassion. We talked for two hours, then again the following night for four more.
Our phone calls have never stopped and we meet almost daily. She is my link to self-
understanding.

Through this friendship I am learning better how to touch my innercore. I have come to lean on her, her on me … we support each other in trouble and triumph.

Through this support group I am meeting a microcosm of the real world through the eyes of a woman. It is filled with a spectrum of pain and joy. There is only one
constant within, a friendship as deep as I have ever experienced with one who feels
what I feel and sees beneath the exterior layers.

So many fears have been overcome one tiny step at a time with her help. The origins of transition commence with release of the mind. I have someone now with whom
I can share this experience in kaleidoscopic detail. I have someone who shares with
me her innermost thoughts. She is both a guide and a dependent. It is a symbiotic
relationship in a rarefied culture.

I feel fortunate. I feel released. I am slowly becoming Karen and know I can not accomplish this journey alone. This group has opened a new pathway of hope, a new
honesty. It contains a precious friend who is helping me bond with others and
overcome adversity. I can no longer imagine how it was a year ago when I was truly
alone.


Letters FROM the editor!

This is a letter I wrote to the SO of someone considering SRS, who was worried about what the future might hold. I have removed the personal references to maintain anonymity and title the letter with a new term I coined to describe the mate of transsexual partners.

” SRSO”

As you know, every marriage, every relationship is unique in many ways. So the things I will be talking about may or may not apply to you. However, perhaps some will. So, I’ll share what I can about how Mary and I have dealt with transition through post-op.

Mary and I have been together 17 years. We have two children, a boy 14 and a girl 10. We both work, she at a job, me at a career in the movie biz. I started experimenting with hormones in 1987, but did not go on them regularly until August 1989. Our married life had been one of smooth sailing, but not much excitement at all. We were both virgins when we married. Our sex life was sparse, and only rarely was it anything to write home about. There was a lot of fear of rejection on my part, so I gave up a lot of pleasure like Beatles music because she didn’t like the Beatles (and so on with many other things).

My career was going nowhere, but only because I was self-defeating. I had a small business of my own doing video duplication and freelancing as a non-union writer director. Money started getting tight. We were heavily in debt. I got roped into some really bad deals and was forced to work 16 hours a day until 5 in the morning, and still we did not have enough to pay the bills.

I guess I had tried everything I could to find happiness OTHER than explore my gender feelings which I had surpressed completely for over 8 years. Finally, almost on a whim, I went out and bought a wig at Kmart. I liked the way I looked. I started taking little trips around the city and to local attractions in the summer of 1988, but did not tell anyone, especially Mary.

My mother died in January 1989, and that’s when the dam broke on my feelings. I realized I was a workaholic who had forced themself to fail because I knew what I really needed in my life. I decided I had to know who I really was and began dressing again, and finally told Mary that I had to explore this side of myself. Mary never loses her cool. She was unhappy, but did not fight with me. She said she would deal with it as long as she could, then would give me the option of stopping or leaving.

Each time I took a new step, she told me the next step would cost our marriage. But each time that next step came, she found she could accept it. That’s kind of what happened with relationships as well. She does not like it, but she has learned to accept it. The benefits for her are that MOST of my time I spend here with my family. And that I have made a commitment to her as my Life Partner, that she comes first and always will. But that commitment is not that she is my ONLY relationship, just my first and forever one.

Since she was the only relationship I ever had, I found it very hard to get involved with anyone else. I have had only one brief fling before surgery, and three in the year and a half since. Mary and I still sleep together and cuddle, but do not make love. We tried that after surgery, but it was even a little less fulfilling than sex had been previously. We may try again some day, who knows. (Editor’s NOTE: Since this letter was written, Mary and I are intimate partners on a regular basis again.) Still and all, sex does not have to be part of a Life Partnership. We share the house, the bed, the dreams, the future.

The hardest part for each of us was believing that we could have an open relationship without the risk of one of us leaving. We have no fear of that now. We share so much in our 17 years that no one could ever catch up to that for either of us. So, although she is lonely the nights I am gone, and I know I will suffer at first when she goes out with a guy and spends the night, we are ‘growing in our love and our commitment every day. And we are growing as human beings, learning not to be as possessive, and to become ever more confident in the special feelings we have for each other that no one can ever share.

That is the heart of our success: that we believe in each others commitment so strongly that we no longer fear someone else taking away our partner. It took nearly four years to arrive at this point, and it continues to progress. And there were many fights and devastating scenes along the way. But it is working now, and it is worth all the suffering and compromise to get here.

Well, I hope this helps a bit. Email any time you have a question, or just want to share!

Love,
Melanie


From: Melanie XX
To: Elaine P1, Marsha J, DeneseAnne

Just wanted you three to be the first to know that I will be stepping down as Gender Conference hostess as of January 1, 1994. There are a couple major reasons for this. One is that I am having more and more trouble relating emotionally to the rollercoaster ride of transition. Since it is a year and a half since surgery, I am so integrated that the actual emotional experience of getting here has faded. In fact, I feel like I was always here since birth. I truly feel that the best person to handle the hosting duties is someone just a few months ahead of the average attendee, and certainly someone who is no more than a year past surgery. The things I focus on, and the things I am interested in now, no longer have the same common thread of those who are struggling to achieve that which they have suffered for internally for so long. I might as well be a genetic female for all the good it does for me to speak of actually being female. Other than as a nebulous inspiration, I really can no longer conceive of what is the best advice and guidance to give – I’m too far away from the pain. That is reason one.

Reason two is that Dramatica and Mental Relativity are becoming so all consuming in my career that I find no more time to split with my duties in the room. If I continue to attend each meeting and participate fully in Email support, I end up with no time left for me or my family. I used to be a workaholic. Not any more. Now I am content to pursue my career during the weekdays and actually enjoy my family and even some free time to read or play games in the evenings and on the weekends. Now, this does not mean I will be dropping out completely. I’ll still bop by the room from time to time just to see how everything is going. I will also be putting some of this extra time into making The Subversive even better.

You know, its funny, but when I read my diary entries in The Subversive, the person who wrote them is completely foreign to me. I cannot fathom what was going on in his head and heart, yet I know I used to be that person. I am not anymore. My boyfriend, Andy, refers to that earlier incarnation as “your brother, Dave”, and in truth, that is how I feel about him. For a long time, I tried to deny him. Then I tried to ingrate him. But now, I have integrated all that is appropriate to me, and I am quickly forgetting that the rest even existed. Mental Relativity says you cannot become just by being the way someone is, but only by also NOT being the way they are not. Too often, we try to hold on to the past, to that which is no longer true, as if it were still a part of reality. That way can only lead to pain and discontentment. The time has come for me to take hold of the wonderful new life that stretches out before me. But I can only travel down that path, by locking the gate to where I have been, and throwing away the key.

I will continue to write articles, publish The Subversive, and answer any Email from those who need help. And for all my friends in the community, I hope to continue our correspondence and occasional meetings, as you are not my sisters only because of gender issues, but because we are all people who share a way of looking at the world. So, I’ll be around for about six more months, mostly here, but sometimes not, in order to smooth the transition to whoever might wish to fill the post. I also want to thank you, Marsha, and you Elaine, and you Denese for all the help you have given me and all the effort you have put into the Gender Conference to make it what it is today. It could not have happened, and I could not have survived it all if not for you all.

But now, my work is done here, and it is time to move on. I hope that whoever steps in to fill the job will also have the good sense to move on when they grow away from transition and into the full bloom of womanhood. Thanks again, and accept my hopes for each of you to reach the same fundamental peace and happiness that I have been fortunate enough to enjoy. Take care, and Godspeed.

Love,
Melanie Anne


MELANIE’S WISE WORDS OF THE MONTH

“Speak up an be heard,
or , Shut up and be herd.”
– Wilma Snakestare


USEFUL INFORMATION

CROSSDRESSER SERVICE

“Distinctly Different From The Rest”

Make-up, Dressing-Up, Shopping, Outings, Experience personalized, passable, feminine transformation by a professional, caring female in a clean, DISCREET, upscale home.
Largest wardrobe on the East Coast. Crossdresser novices warmly welcomed. Non-sexual service.

BY APPOINTMENT
(suburban Philadelphia)
(215) 635-TV58
(8858)

Works with clients on feminine look, walk, talk, and gestures (won’t get it all in first visit).

Fee Schedule:
Length of visit 1st Visit Follow-on Visit
3 Hrs $275 $210
3.5 Hrs $315 $235
4 Hrs $340 $260

Visits can last up to 15 hrs (usually a repeat customer) and can be tailored to suit the needs/desires of the client. Prices above are for basic visit. Additional activities such as shopping, outings, etc. will probably entail an additional charge. She only works with/on one client at a time.

First visit is normally 3.5 – 4 Hrs due to getting comfortable and starting to trust consultant.
Emphasized that this is not a sexual service. Also emphasized that this is not S/M, B/D, or any other kinky, humiliating, or degrading activity. Focus is on providing a safe, comfortable, discreet environment to explore and enjoy crossdressing.


Yes! There is something else in life BESIDES gender, believe it or not! And this issue, Carol G shares part of it with us by sending in two of her favorite recipes.

Subj: Recipes
From: CarolG

Cauliflower salad

take one head of cauliflower and cut the flowers into chunks(sizes to taste).

Add cut up pieces of celery, olives, cukes,Dill pickles,hot dill cauliflower, tomato wedges, green peppers, carrots, broccoli, and any other vegies you like. Then I marinate over night in Italian dressing with 1/2 cup of hot dill cauliflower juice and two table spoons of pickle juice.  Makes a whole meal for me.

                                                            CarolG.


Subj: Chicken On A Cloud
From: CarolG

Combine and coat one 2 1/2 to 3 pound chicken with a coating of

1/3 cup of flour
2 tea. salt
1 1/2 teas. ground sage
1/4 teas. pepper
Brown chicken in 1/4 inch cooking oil.

then place in 2 quart casserole dish.

Sift together 1 cup flour

                      1 teas. baking powder.

                      1 teas. salt

 Add to mixture three well beaten eggs, 1 1/2 cups milk, 1/4cup butter, 1/4cup chopped parsley. Stir till smooth and pour over chicken, and bake until tender. (about one hour) at 350 degrees.   Makes 4-5 servings.


AMERICA ONLINE GENDER GROUP STATISTICS

Contributed by Marsha J, Gender Room Secretary

Attendee Stats as of July 1993

State Listing

AK. 1 AZ. 2 BC. 2 CA. 28
CO. 1 CT. 7 DE. 2 FL. 15
GA. 2 IA. 1 IL. 14 IN. 3
KY. 3 LA. 3 MA. 7 MB. 2
MD. 4 ME. 1 MI. 8 MN. 4
MO. 5 MS. 4 NC. 6 NH. 3
NJ. 8 NM. 4 NV. 1 NY. 8
OH. 8 OK. 2 ON. 1 OR. 4
PA. 6 QU. 1 RI. 1 SC. 1
TN. 1 TX. 14 UT. 1 VA. 6
WA. 5 WI. 4 WV. 2 WY. 1
Not determined 29

236 Attendees total on mailing list

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR 236 MEMBERS FOR HELPING TO CREATE A SAFE HAVEN OF SUPPORT FOR EVERYONE CONCERNED WITH GENDER ISSUES!!!

                    GENDER CONFERENCE

Don’t forget to attend the Gender Room Meeting on the America Online BBS in the Community Room at 9pm ET every Sunday evening. Use Keyword, GLCF, then select Lambda Lounge or Community Room depending on your version of the software. For specific information, directions, or to order back logs of the chats, Email Marsha J, the Gender Room secretary.


AFTERGLOW

Usually, I write the Afterglow column, including some poem or brief article that seems like a closing thought. But this issue, I have received a short essay that is so warm and full of heart, I step aside (just once!) to present it here.

“Happy in a Hug”

by Karen Patrick
____

A warm light glows in growing intensity within the
core. It is surrounded by darkness stretching into a
seamless distance. There is no meaning to the void only the
essence of radiant desire. A simple caress could cause it to
illuminate the expanse bringing all into focus.

The need for companionship extends beyond mere
acceptance. It is the making of a human essence whole. The
touch of a friend is prized beyond conventional value. The
thought of love and being loved drifts within the twilight
of an emotional void.

I can not extinguish the flame. It resists logic and
rationale. This yearning for male compassion blossoms
within, yet it is incongruous with my physical being. I wish
for normalcy…a man and a woman bonded by love. But I am
not yet woman, still not man.

A happy night with friends mutates into emptiness. A
caring man is nearby but he is unreachable. Too unsure to
approach, afraid of being approached…it happens again and
again. These feelings torment the innerself and the spirit
dwells on ideal fantasy.

It is not for gratification but for emotional
assurance. A momentary transference of compassionate energy
to strengthen fragility, a dispersal of increasing
anxieties, a sharing of human warmth. A longing to simply be
held.

It feels beyond the realm of true potential but the
emotions glow with growing luminescence.

May you never find occasion to say, ‘If only…..'”

SUBVERSIVE PUBLICATIONS

BEST SELLING NEW VIDEO RELEASE!!!!

Copies sold from California to Maine, Chicago to Finland!

“MELANIE SPEAKS!” In this new video, Melanie Anne Phillips explains how she achieved a new voice for her new role. The program provides exercises in Pitch, Resonance, Dynamic Range, Annunciation, Body English, Vocabulary, and Grammar in a step by step fashion that makes it easy for you to develop your own unique feminine voice and vocal patterns. The “secret” is a special exercise that let’s you develop a truly female resonance that you can turn on or off at the drop of a hat. If you have ever been embarrassed by your voice or have contemplated vocal surgery, see this tape first!!!

Subj: Melanie Speaks
From: JaniceTV
To: Melanie XX

Yesterday I received my tape. How wonderful. You can’t believe how much that it has helped. I’ve been practicing, and on the phone already I can make myself female. The insights on what is Feminine are worth just as much as the voice info. I’m sure that you have noticed more than most of us the great differences between male and female. It really is quite thought provoking. I have noticed especially the power words that I and other males use. Equally I have noticed the submissiveness of most females. Once you start to notice, its hard to believe that you never heard or saw it before. After seeing your tape and how far that you have come, it makes me wish more and more to be female. However, I have a better understanding of what that means!! I would be hard for me now, and in some ways I like it both ways. The main thing in life is to understand yourself and to be happy. With your help and of others, that is happening for me.

Love,
Janice

Melanie Speaks! – 49 minute educational video …………… $20.00

Dry Spell……………………..110 pages, scriptbinding…………… $20.00

An original sci-fi/thriller screenplay by Melanie Anne, following a woman archaeologist as she struggles to destroy a deadly organism discovered while documenting Native American ruins.

Snowstorm……………………..102 pages, scriptbinding………… $20.00

An action/adventure screenplay by Melanie Anne, that crosses the paths of a teenage boy entered in a dangerous cross-country snowmobile race and the ruthless destruction of an entire town by a druglord.

The Day After Christmas………….50 pages, Softcover………… $5.00

A fully illustrated, satire on the threat of nuclear war that follows the destructive activities of “Saint Nuke” on The Day After Christmas.

Dichotomy……………………..30 Minutes, Cassette Album……. $10.00

12 Original songs by David Michael Phillips, multitrack: keyboard, guitar, vocals.

Tarnished Karma………………..30 Minutes, Cassette Album…. $10.00

10 Original songs by David Michael Phillips, just before embarking on transition. Many of the lyrics pertain to the inner conflicts of gender dysphoria in a disguised manner, as this decision was not public at the time. Multitrack: keyboard, guitar, vocals.


EDITOR’S NOTE: It is my desire to make this publication available free online to all who wish to read it. However, due to copyright laws, any overall license would allow unscrupulous individuals to excerpt portions and use it for their own personal gain. Therefore, should you wish to upload this publication on your BBS or simply generate hardcopies for support groups and friends, please write me about a free license for your specific purpose.

THE SUBVERSIVE

Number 11
July1993

Trudie (with an “ie”) – Mom’s Book | Chapter 1

All of my life my mother spoke of her desire to be a writer. And all of the years she was alive, she held hope of someday publishing “her book,” as we all called it. She prepared query letters to send to publishers, organized her material in dozens of folders, and even made several abortive efforts to pull it all together into a finished product she could submit.

Alas, it was one of those projects that is so personally important as to define one’s sense of self, and yet, as oft happens with such things, little progress was made over the passing years and mom’s book was not noticeably closer to completion when she died at 62 that it was when she started it before I was born.

After she died, I came across her box of folders and notes and determined that I would take it upon myself to complete mom’s book and fulfill her dream of publication posthumously. But as I leafed through the materials, I was surprised to find that it was more a collection of short pieces of her writings, notes, sketches, and so on, and nothing had really been done to compiled into a single tome – no connective tissue and scare any notion of how it out to flow.

Still, I was determined. But I was also desirous to be a writer and to direct movies, and to become a Titan of business. And so, my commitment languished until some ten years ago when I began to scan the contents of my mother’s folders and attempt to create some sort of linear flow that would come close to the feel of the book, as I had come to know it when my mother had spoken of it.

But now, at age 67 myself, and in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, I also wish to complete the the book and thereby fulfill my commitment.

Here, then, is the first of (what I hope to be) many sections – the dedication, exactly as my mother wrote it when I was very young, so many years ago.

Trudie (with an “ie”)

DEDICATIONS

Because I love him, I dedicate my book to my son, David, who (being 6 1/2 years old) would, I am sure, probably much prefer a magic touch enabling him to fly…and…to my wonderful mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. Frank J. LaBash, whoe lifelong dedication of themselves to me far surpasses the inadequate one appearing here.


OTHER DEDICATIONS

to– Jeanne Miller…(Wife of a Biology teacher. Thank you, Jeanne, for being a really true friend. Just think… we owe our friendship to a department store.)

To Jean, who said…”Why don’t you let him eat them without milk?; and…”why can’t it close like all the others?”————————-

— Martin F. Miller…(Biology teacher and friend.)

To Matt, who said…”But your noses aren’t shiny.”————————-

— Louise Yocum…(Famous choreographer for the Little Theatre.)

To Louise, who said…”Don’t give ME that stuff!”; and…”SURE you can!”; and…”O.K. then, give it to me and I’ll mail it.”————————-

— G. (heh-heh) Yvonne Rand…(An extrovert I know, whose favorite passtime is listening to records and tapes with the volume turned up as high as possible.)

To Yvonne, who said…”By now, I should have known what to expect.”; and…”Oh, no! You wouldn’t dare!”; then…”Oh, no! You did it!”————————-

— Huie Stone…(Girl traveler)…(A friend whose name is familiar, but I can’t quite place the face.)

To Hui, who said…”Gee, kiddo, we’ve just GOT to get together real soon!————————-

–Winifred de Young…(A pal from childhood days, to whom I owe a tour of Southern California.)

To Winnie, who said…”Here’s a copy of The Courier for you to keep. I’ve marked the place where your picture belongs.”————————-

— James E. Wallace…(Another childhood friend, who owes me a tour of South Chicago.)

To Jimmy, who said…”I’d like to take you out to lunch next Wednesday.”————————-

— William R. Skirnick…(An Illinois, California, Japan, California, Massachusettes, Florida, Illinois, Boy.)

To Bill, who said…”Merry Christmas,” at a time when an unexpected Christmas card from a pen-pal couldn’t have been more welcome.”————————-

— Ken Goodenday…(Bless his heart! A young man who never failed to check his watch as he entered the classroom.)

To Ken, who said…”Laidies and gentlemen! May I present Miss Lucy Glonkite…”————————-

— Donald M. McCall..(Who always listened, but never interrupted…)

Who said in essence – “Leave them with a lasting impression, but remembrance alone is not enough! They must be able to recall that picture of you framed with dignity.” (And, who always spoke softly, no matter what he said.)————————-

To the late Dr. Harold Turney, who said…
…”Three times, and you’re out!”
…”Ten minutes I could excuse, but forty minutes, no!”

(And, of most importance to me, he said…”Come back after Easter Vacation and we’ll start from scratch.”; …and, whose last words to me were…”That’s perfectly O.K., Phillips, you deserved it.”)********

And, of course, to Mrs. Harold Turney, whose charm made saying anything else unnecessary, in order to be remembered; yet, whose lovely voice I could never forget.————————-

And finally, to all my relatives, with deepest affection, none of whom would I trade, or change.

The Subversive | Volume Ten

Another issue of the online magazine I published in the early 1990s

THE SUBVERSIVE

Number 10

“Where Dreams are the stuff Reality is made of”

DECLARATION OF PURPOSE

“This journal exists to promote the concept that each human is a unique individual, intrinsically entitled with an equal right to pursue her own destiny as far as it does not inhibit others in that same right. The Subversive shall serve as a ready forum for the free expression and exchange of ideas that do not violate this mandate, in the belief that tolerance grows from a familiarity with variety.”

–signed,
Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor

WHERE TO FIND THE SUBVERSIVE:

The Subversive is available FREE as a download on America Online, Compuserve, Genie, several servers on the Internet, and various BBS around the world.

For those who wish to Subscribe, contribute articles, stories, personal experiences, information, jokes, or whatever Email Melanie XX on America Online BBS (MelanieXX@AOL.COM on Internet), VNSV96e on Prodigy, Melanie Phillips on Feminet, or write to:

Melanie Anne Phillips
150 East Olive Avenue
Suite 203
Burbank, California 91502

Only original material will be accepted unless quoted in the context of an original work or submitted with credit to the original author along with permission to reprint the material.

Submission of original material for publication in The Subversive constitutes a non-exclusive license to Melanie Anne Phillips by the author/copyright holder to reproduce all or part of the material in any media.

EDITOR’S NOTE: It is my desire to make this publication available free online to all who wish to read it. However, due to copyright laws, any overall license would allow unscrupulous individuals to excerpt portions and use it for their own personal gain. Therefore, should you wish to upload this publication on your BBS or simply generate hardcopies for support groups and friends, please write me about a free specific license for your purpose.


EXPLORATIONS

by Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor

“IDENTITY VS CENSORSHIP”

CENSORSHIP. There’s a word guaranteed to stir a reaction. If you’re not for it, you’re against it. It’s like abortion: there’s little middle ground. One camp says we must protect society from itself in order to promote social growth. The other camp says we have to fling the gates open to prevent social polarization. A fun argument to debate over coffee: plenty of enjoyment, I thought, until the issue came to rest at my own doorstep.

I’ve never been an editor before. So, I have no experience and learn as I go. But I always felt I had an open mind and a good heart and expected that would prevent the “C” word from ever becoming an issue. WRONG!!! Who defines an “open” mind? Who defines a “good” heart? Well, I do, of course. In fact, we all do. Which is just great if you are Jane Individual with responsibilities to your own opinions and none others. But the moment you hang out a shingle saying, “Editor”, you are really saying “Express your opinions through me.” And at that very moment, you become a censor.

Nonetheless, through almost a year of publication of The Subversive, I had never considered (nor had the need to consider) rejecting a submission or censoring a work. I figured my “good” heart would set the mood of the magazine and my “open” mind would keep me flexible enough to accept things that didn’t quite match it.

I’ve been a film editor for years, and though I sometimes had to lose an actor’s best “take” for the sake of the scene, there was not much of a thought to it. It was obvious to me that the good of the whole outweighed the good of the individual. Apply that to life, however, and you can’t believe your own mouth!

So here I am, professing an Open Forum for all points of view as long as THEY do not profess limiting someone else’s point of view. Here I am, patting myself on the back for being so “fashion forward” and wondering how the other poor dolts ever ran into trouble. Here I am, minding my own business and >PLOP<, the “C” word lands right in my lap.

I was never so shocked in all my life!

Apparently, a story written by one of our contributors that I had been serializing from issue to issue had gotten a bit too “hot” and the readers were getting restless. I got one “reference” to it (not strong enough to call a complaint), then another, and another. Of course my first reaction was to cry “Censorship!” and jab that word right back at those who had grumbled. “Where is your morality?”, I demanded. “What about Free Speech?!?” So self-righteous was I, so posturing, so binary.

Then, America Online refused to accept The Subversive in the downloadable archives if the story was included, and a deal to distribute The Subversive through a major gender organization was suspended. And the worst part of it was, the story did not reflect MY sensibilities as well!

Oh, it was VERY well-written, and VERY original. It just wasn’t MY personal cup of tea. But, Dammit (or should I say Darn it), this was America, after all. And people had a right to know (whether the wanted to or not!) It was my moral obligation to make sure EVERYONE got heard – not society’s obligation, not AOL, ME, just ME!!! (Darn it!.)

So, like a true supporter of the ACLU, like a true social minority, tilting at City Hall, I clenched my fist in tenacious indignation and stuck by my guns: I published another installment. Expecting the worst, I prepared for an onslot of hate mail. I battened the hatches, hunkered down and… nothing. NOT A DURN THING!!! Apparently, everybody who had something to say had already said it.

“Well”, thought I, “the storm has blown over… and little damage to boot!” Little damage, that is, except to my “open mind”. I smiled with satisfaction at the outcome for days, applauding myself for my willingness to go down in flames, rather than recant my dearly held philosophies. But the whole time, something deep inside keep smirking up at me: “Grin while you can you pompous, shallow, egocentric non-entity.”

“Non-entity!?!”, I gasped in outrage, “How DARE you, Suh! (And by the way, what exactly did you MEAN by that comment anyway?)” “I meant”, said self, “that your morality has no limits… your publication has no limits… YOU have no limits!!!” “Moi?” “Yes, Moi!”
Limits? What do limits have to do with Censorship? Well… I thought about it – the arbitrary line: what did it really mean? Who draws it? Does it have to be drawn at all? And after a while I came to realize, yes it does.

But why? I had successfully weathered the slings and arrows of limiting perspectives! Yes, all but my own. You see, by not drawing the line, by not setting limits, I had failed to define either the publication or myself.

Something can have an identity, a personality, as it were, only by knowing where it begins and where it ends: what its edges are – the extent of its domain. If something is unlimited, why then the something is EVERYthing, for it has no limits to define it. Limits are the membrane of any functional system. What’s inside the membrane is part of it, what’s outside is not. It is a subset of a greater whole, but not homogeneous with its parent set.

Sure, definitions are arbitrary: they segregate a portion from the whole and look toward its unique qualities that differentiate it from the whole. But without arbitrary definitions, there is nothing but the whole, the mean equilibrium as if there were no currents and eddies, no concentrations and rarifications in an even and balanced amalgam.

But the world is not a steady-state. It is not a bland sameness. Life, love and happiness could not exist without death, hate and sorrow. For every focus there is a blurriness, for every good a bad. All we can do is try to corral the positive things around people and leave the negative ones for the stones and the dirt. We can hope to group that which is good for humans with the humans, and take that which is bad for humans and shoot it into the sun.

THIS is what definitions are all about. To recognize that there are inequities, floating like little soft-edged islands in a sea of mediocrity. And we can daisy-chain these islands together to form a human continent in which to live.

Fine. What does all this have to do with The Subversive, Identities, OR Censorship?
I came to realize that as much as I wanted The Subversive to be all things to all people, it could not be without neutralizing itself. And as EDITOR, it was MY responsibility, my FAULT, for choosing an arbitrary identity for the publication.

I began the Gender conference two years ago as a “safe haven from sexual harassment.” It was intended to be the one place online that a body could go to discuss the gentle, peaceful, issues of self-discovery – not just another gathering place for self-gratification.

I caught a lot of flack in the beginning, from members of the fetish community that saw cross-dressing as primarily an erotic endeavor, existing only to satisfy animal instincts.

Well, I have nothing against that purpose. In fact, I engage in it myself from time to time. Truly, animal instinct can be a real day-trip! But there’s all kinds of places to go for that. Any public room on AOL, any adult book store in any city, any chat-line BBS in the country – LOTS of places. But how many safe havens?

The Subversive was intended to be the same concept in print. And it started out that way. But, as it grew and attracted more readers (I estimate over 1000 per issue as of this date) the more erotically oriented folk found a ready forum as well (due to my lack of limits). And as new material was included, the personality of the publication began to change. All the old parts were there, but the new ones were in the same membrane. THAT was what people were upset by: not that a certain story existed or was available, but that it moved into “their” house – in a sense, into their sanctuary.

Suddenly their safe-haven was safe no more. They could no longer open The Subversive KNOWING what they would find, and that it would be kind and gentle and peaceful. Now they had to raise their guard again, pre-censor what they were about to read, just as they would in any other forum. What made The Subversive special was dying.

But what to do? WHAT should I do? Start refusing submissions from diligent, talented people just because their ideas conflicted with mine? How could I possibly draw THAT THICK A LINE?

Oh, yes, there are great justifications: I’m not a medium, just a publication – they can send it out Email themselves. I’m not trying to actively suppress their publication everywhere, just choosing not to put it in here. But they are just that, justifications.

All right, once again, what to do? What to do to define the identity of The Subversive as I wanted it to be – as a force for change in the overall society, but at the same time keep an Open Forum for all who wished to be heard? How could I blend MY desires for making a statement with conflicting desires of others? How could I satisfy both my “Open” mind and my “good” heart?

By keeping them separate.

What a concept. Two publications: one, The Subversive to be the safe-haven it was intended to be – a publication for the heart. The other, “Can of Worms”, a bar room brawl of a magazine – no holds barred and anything goes – a publication for the mind.

This way, Can of Worms would simply reflect the turmoil of the world as seen through the eyes of talented and thinking writers. Their conflicting points of view would balance out, probably doing no good, but also doing no harm, yet engendering all to think, all to be aware, which keeps us all from being so naive that we are caught unawares. In contrast, The Subversive would offer a positive alternative to the brawl, a peaceful, loving and kind disposition that COULD do some real good and have little chance of doing much bad.

So, as of this issue, the racier material, the more intense fiction, will be published in Open Forum, the more romantic, personally fulfilling articles and stories will remain in The Subversive. The Subversive exists to bring insight, Can of Worms exists to incite.
I realize not all will want to get Open Forum, and so, it will be Emailed by request only. If you currently subscribe to The Subversive and would like also to receive Can of Worms, Email me and I will include you on the additional mailing list.

I hope this approach satisfies all of your hopes and needs as much as it satisfies mine. But remember… neither publication is anything without your contributions. These are YOUR publications – designed to reflect YOUR thoughts, YOUR feelings, YOUR desires. Without YOUR support, they cannot and will not continue to exist.

Thank you for your understanding as I learn and grow, and thank you for the trust you have given me to be your editor.

— Copyright 1993, Melanie Anne Phillips


And now for the next installment in the serialization of the book:

RAISED BY WOLVES:
A TRANSSEXUAL DIARY

by

Melanie Anne Phillips

PRELUDE

The pages beneath, chronicle my 30 month journey from a life as an apparently normal husband and father to that of an apparently normal woman. In the hope of capturing the immediacy of this emotional trip into the unknown, I shunned the retrospective approach, opting instead for a daily Diary.

Each entry was made on the day the events actually happened, expect as noted. And each is filled with the raw and unpolished thoughts and feelings that held me at that moment.

Of course, this leads to a somewhat meandering story, as well as contradictions in my point-of-view and personal emotional outbursts that I’m sure will make me squirm once this is published. But anything less would be less than truthful. And if this document is to serve any purpose as either a tool for tolerance and understanding or as an inspiration to those contemplating any major life-change, then it must be completely honest.

April 2, 1990

I spent the last two days seeing if I could dredge up the old feelings. I really needed to know if that part of me was closed off and no longer accessible or merely unused and falling into disrepair. It seems to be the later.

If I try hard enough, I can regress my thoughts to the point that it seems as if nothing at all has happened. The last year vanishes and I am back to square one. And, surprisingly, I find some comfort there. It is a familiar ground and I find in it no fear (or perhaps I should say uneasiness) especially in my dealings with Mary and the kids. I suppose I am projecting inward my certainty that they would be much more comfortable if I stopped right now and returned to those thrilling days of yesteryear. What’s scary is that this idea no longer frightens me.

At this juncture, neither lifestyle or mode of thought is significantly more appealing than the other. But let me break that down. My life as Melanie is incomplete. I must hide from Mary, the kids, and the neighbors. I have but a few short hours every morning to present myself in that manner. And comfortable access to the social world eludes me, due to my continuing self-consciousness brought on by fear of “ugly beard-shadow bleedthrough” (sounds like a detergent commercial?). Of course, as a male, none of that matters, and from both a relationship and physical perspective, the social grease is slicker.

So at this point, I cannot honestly say that I am wholly drawn to Yin or Yang. Now, question: will that change in the future? There is a lot in that question. A dual lifestyle is impossible to keep secret in a practical sense, but could be embarked upon if disregard for social acceptance is paramount. But at what cost to kids, marriage, career, self-esteem? But if a choice is made, losses could be incurred severely in either direction.

You know, the inner journey may be over (or maybe not) but the empirical solution races ahead of me at matching speed. The day or reckoning moves one day forward for every day lived, as if the moo were the Sword of Damocles, constantly hanging over my head yet never approachable.

I guess I just have to back off. I have to wait. I have to settle in and let things run their course. The answers I seek will come to me of their own good time, and hunting after them merely scatters the little buggers into the bushes where they lay low until the coast is clear. Damn little buggers!

April 24, 1990

Well, it’s been over three weeks since I last made an entry. Its not that things have slowed down or evened out (although to some extent that is true) but rather that each day brings a slight alteration in my emotional status and I have been waiting for the Big Picture to emerge. It still hasn’t.

Take everything I have been mulling over these last few months, temper it down to a manageable level of stress and mix it all up together. It now can be rationally (more or less) considered, but is still in such a state of flux and disarray that no permanent conclusions can be drawn.

There are days, especially when I am very tired, that I feel particularly masculine. But these are few and far between. And there are days, especially when I like what I see in the mirror, that I feel particularly feminine. These also are the exception. Mostly these days I just feel like me.

It becomes increasingly difficult to determine how much I need this lifestyle as I entrench myself more fully into it day by day. As the pain of my earlier suffering becomes nearly forgotten, the need for this transition becomes more obscure. And since I am so content with living this life, the drive toward surgery is hard to justify.

Last Friday, two film friends of mine began their documentary of my transition. We met at Mark and Juniko’s who joined me in a discussion of our perspectives on my situation over wine and cheese and in front of the camera. I realize that this much public disclosure is bound to have repercussions for the rest of my life, but I feel the benefits to my career this notoriety will bestow warrant the downside risk. I am most concerned, however, that my responses to questions on my relationship with Mary might hinder our relationship by their candor. Time will tell.

Saturday last, Mary and I went to a home show at the L.A. Convention Center. As we wandered wide-eyed through the hundreds of displays, we began to actually feel like homeowners – the consummation of our marriage – long dream. Sharing, laughing, munching snacks: we melted through each other as a single unit.

And Sunday brought shopping for garden tools, yardwork, and playing rented video games. Truly, these two days were our best in years. Mary told me that she felt guilty because she was so happy and (with regard to my situation) she shouldn’t be. I told her that meant she was content to enjoy what worked for her without regard to anyone else’s opinions or expectations. But our mutual fulfillment turned out to be simply lack of communication, as the next day would prove.

Monday, Mary called a bank about the loan we need to take on the house to clear the estate debts. She mentioned that she had told the clerk that the deed would be in both our names, in order that her income could help qualify us. Later, I reminded her that I would only add her name to the deed if she agreed that even if we separate, she will neither kick me out of the house, nor sell her half to anyone but me, to prevent another co-owner from deposing me. She did not want to make this commitment. Not because she planned on getting rid of me, but because she felt I should KNOW that she would never do such a thing.

In discussions of this with my friends, they have unanimously urged me to hold onto ownership completely to insure my protection. But, as usual, foolhardy me has decided to add her name and take my chances. After all, this home is not a bribe for loyalty to come, but a reward for loyalty already provided. In short, she has earned it.

This uncomfortable discussion blossomed into a truly painful near-argument. And here is where the misunderstandings of our new-found bliss emerged. Apparently, Mary had been feeling that we were so happy that I was content with the status quo and would not need to go for surgery. I, on the other hand, thought our happiness was due to Mary’s final acceptance of my decision to have surgery and to enjoy life with me anyway.

This communication progressed through our mutual declaration that our marriage was over and permanently dissolved at the moment the knife grazed my wee-wee. I packed a laundry basket with a pillow, bedspread, tooth brush and paste and hauled it out asking Mary if she agreed |I should just move out right now.

Finally, the tension lowered (as it always seems to do) when we realized that the advent of that precipitous moment was some six months in the future at the earliest. We agreed to disagree, each earnestly pursuing a change of heart in the half year remaining.

Today, Mary and I are great friends again on the phone. We laugh and kid and when I say, “I love you.”, she says, “I love you too!” I must admit here that I suppose if the choice was to have the operation and lose Mary, I would probably decline surgery. After all, life IS good as Melanie, but only with my loved ones near and dear. But my plan is to withhold this information from her unless backed into a corner. This way, she supposes that I would leave rather than accept a non-surgical alternative. And in this manner, I force her to try and reconcile her feelings and embrace tacit approval. Failing that, I guess for the near future, I would be doomed to the life of a push-me/pull-you as the price of an unbroken relationship.

P.S. Another quick note: As you have been made well aware, the one major area of self-consciousness about presenting myself as Melanie has been my beard. And with the cost of electrolysis out of the question for perhaps six months, and even then another two years of treatment… Well, I’ve been pretty depressed by the people who have lately jumped at a second glance at me as if struck by an electric cattle prod. That sort of encounter can ruin your whole day.

BUT! K-mart offers a home electrolysis kit for a mere thirty dollars. And once I got it home (to buy it was no choice at all!) I was pleased and amazed to discover that it actually works! Portable, with a nine volt battery (included) it has a comfort-level setting, computerized time, and feels just like the fifteen hours of “professional” service I have already endured. Albeit much less painful as well.

After a simple five-second treatment, the hair merely “slips” out, not tugging or pulling as with plucking: a simple indication that the root has been destroyed. I shan’t know for sure for five weeks or so if this tiny marvel can save me thousands of dollars and hours of pain, but at the rate I am able to use it, I will have cleared the entire face in one week instead of two years. Let’s keep our eyes crossed on this one!

(AUTHOR’S NOTE: At this point in my transition, I became very busy in my career, ultimately working as many as 24 straight 12 hour days without a day off. As a result, entries in my Diary became a more sporadic, hit and miss endeavor.)

Tuesday, June 5th, 1990

So much has happened since my last entry of six weeks ago that I have had no time in which to commit it to paper. But now, an hour (but a single hour!) has opened up and I am compelled to bring you up to date lest I lose continuity altogether.

As I pen these words I am sitting in my editing suite on the seventh floor of the Equitable Building” on the corner of Hollywood and Vine in downtown Hollywood. That’s right! I’m actually editing a FEATURE film on Hollywood and Vine! I guess I’ve finally made it to the Big Time!

And as I drink in the reality of my situation, I stand amazed that life has been so good to me. Scant weeks ago,The Director finally pulled his legal matters together and called to say he was ready for me to start editing his feature. This was incredible! After years of disappointments and frustration, hundreds of carrots dangled in front of me always to be snatched away, after 22 years of longing to work in feature films, the moment had actually arrived!

But how unprepared I was for the speed at which I was to be thrust into my lifestyle as Melanie in the fullest trial by fire! The first order of business was to purchase a video editing system to work on. (Many features today, although shot and released on film, are edited in video). To this end, I put the Director in contact with a video equipment company I had dealt with before.

Almost immediately he set up an appointment for me and his Producer/wife to inspect the gear. Now remember that up to this point I had been avoiding one on one personal contact as Melanie for fear of voice, beard, body language – in short, for fear of being “read”.

But here I was, thrust into the limelight and asked to evaluate the system and discuss it with the sales staff and engineers. Well, I just did it. I tried not to think about it, but concentrate on the task at hand. Now – I don’t know if they read me or not. Surely I must have at least appeared a strange woman. But the marvelous thing was, no one said anything and no one freaked! I was utterly amazed!

In the days that followed, we ventured into a number of companies as we gathered parts and information. I found that even if they looked at me weirdly, that if I made eye contact and cheerfully conducted business, their look would evaporate in moments, and we would be laughing and exchanging tech-talk in no time. My confidence expanded exponentially.

And a good thing too! For as soon as I settled into the office, the Director had me out running errands in downtown Hollywood ALONE!!!! What fear rolled over me that first trip out to buy video tape! But again, NO REACTION! Was I changing? And if so, inside or out? I still do not know.

The system finally arrived and the technician who installed it treated me with protective condescension – “Don’t you worry, I’ll have it up and running in no time!” Wow! Did he REALLY not question my womanhood?

So far, so good. Then the NEWS: “We are having some interns interview for a position as your assistant.” Oh, my God! But they came and they went and they didn’t bat an eye! What the hell is going on here?!?

To date, I have worked for two weeks now with Julie, an intern from Cal State Northridge. We work in the same room and frequently converse shoulder to shoulder. And she has not yet caught on! This is a college girl, mind you – an intelligent and discerning young woman, who sees me only as Melanie, the editor.

Now I am truly flabbergasted! Have I really come that far that there is no farther? I guess so! Two other interns accept me without question as well. And the handsome mid-twenties male lead came in the other day to see “dailies”. When he left, he gave my arm a squeeze and said, “Thanks for the extra effort.” The Producer says he called her and mentioned, “By the way, that woman who is editing for you, what was her name again? She was really nice.” No, Sir, YOU are nice!

These days I walk easily the two blocks down Hollywood Boulevard from the parking space. And I read the starts on the “Walk of Fame” wondering if someday one will read Melanie Anne Phillips”. Somehow, I think it just might!

P.S. Today is a primary election in California, and, for a lark, I showed up to vote dressed as Melanie with a Dave registration. The red, white, and blue fluttered proudly in the light breeze as I crossed the threshold of the polling place, feeling simultaneously that I was in some small way defiling the sanctity of the Altar of Democracy, even as I exercised the freedoms it secured.
I approached the inevitable little old lady and handed her my card, saying, “Don’t freak, but this is me.” She didn’t get it. She just looked at the LAST name, found it on her list and said, “Mary?”. I said, “No…” and pointed to “David”. She said, “What?” I said, “That’s my name.” She said, “What’s your name?” I said, “David”. She said, “Huh?”

Her husband, hearing the commotion, stepped forward asking, “What’s the problem?” I replied, “I’m in transition. I used to be this” (pointing to the name) “and I’m becoming this…” (pointing to myself). He still didn’t get it.

Finally, a girl in her late twenties looked over at the card, my Dave driver’s license and me. She said, “Remember me? I used to live across the street.” Taken aback, I recovered with, “Oh, yes… How are you doing?” “Fine”, she said, and, “My kids miss yours since we moved. Would it be okay if I brought them over to visit?” (This from a lady who up to this instant knew nothing of this side of my life?) “Sure!”, said I, amazed at her composure.

Well, she vouched for me and ramrodded the thing through, getting me a ballot. The old guy finally figured it out and stared at me on my way to the poll, as I deposited my ballot, and as I walked out the door. For all I know, he is staring still.

Mary (on the phone) asked, “Did you vote as your other self?” (She wouldn’t say the name.) I told her. She said, “When they asked for my I.D. and I saw that you had voted, I figured that’s what happened.”

“Amazing,” she mused, “that out of three poll attendants, one would be a neighbor! “How do you feel about that?”, I ventured, anticipating the day my predilection becomes common knowledge on the block. “I find it hysterical!” She giggled and continued to laugh! This woman astounds me!

Wednesday, June 6, 1990

THOUGHTS ON THE JOB:

2:40 pm – Asked by the Director’s Producer/wife to answer phones while she was tied up in meeting. Would nave resented as below my station as Editor. Now, no problem – enjoy helping out.

2:55 pm – Asked by the Director to make coffee for their guest. Felt honored to be the hostess. Made coffee, then asked how the guest wanted it, and served.

4:05 pm – told Sabina (another intern) that I had to rush home at five o’clock for my son’s Cub Scout meeting. She said it was time to call in Super Mom. I guess I really am Passing!

4:45 pm – Wen I went out for track in my last semester of High School, just so I could say I did it, I was on the borderline by weight between “Varsity” & “B” squads. I had a choice between being the worst Varsity member or the best “B”. I elected to join B squad. I just realized that as a man, I felt weak and helpless – the bottom of my squad. But now, I feel like one hell of a powerful woman. In fact, the intimidation I felt as a male (real or imagined) is gone. I have admitted all men are my superiors (apologies to women’s lib) but on the women’s team I’m at the top of the heap. So, not so oddly I suppose, my “masculine” self-confidence has increased tremendously, since becoming a woman.

(AUTHOR’S NOTE: I became so busy on the feature that I resorted briefly to jotting down a short note each day for several days, just to maintain a chronology. I include those here.)

WEDNESDAY: My feature film, The Strangeness, that I directed in 1980 was screened nationally on Movie Greats Network on ABC at 3AM!!!

THURSDAY: Julie bubbled into work and greeted me with, “Hey, woman!”

FRIDAY: Mindi was home sick. Mary couldn’t come home, so I had to. I stayed dressed in Melanie mode, though I had a jacket on, and she did not seem to notice a difference.

SATURDAY: I told the kids.

(AUTHOR’S NOTE: I’ll fill in a bit of what happened when I told the kids. Mary had agreed we should not tell them until they asked, sparing them as long as possible. This also turned out to be a good plan, as it gave the kids a long time to get used to the subtle changes in me so when we did tell them, it was not so much of a shock. At this time, I was still living at home as Dave and at work as Melanie, which pretty much tore me apart. But Melanie was creeping more and more into my Dave life, both physically and emotionally. Apparently, Keith and Mindi had begun to talk among themselves about the changes in Daddy, for on this day, they came to me together and said they had something to ask me.

I knew instantly to what they were referring, but asked what they wanted to know. They said that they had noticed some different things about me and wondered why. What things? Some of my clothes, my voice, my chest. I told them to wait a moment, told Mary, who was washing dishes that the time had come and asked if she wanted to join me just have me do it. She said she would prefer if I did.

I had already rehearsed what I would say when the moment arrived, so I sat down the kids and said very straight out, that the reason they had seen these changes was that all my life, since I was a child, I had always wanted to be a woman. I did not know if this was really for me, but I needed to find out.

Then I parallelled my story to that of The Little Mermaid, which they had recently seen. I explained how I always lived in one world and wanted to be part of the other world. But just like Ariel, I could not join that other world in my present form. I needed to make physical changes and also learn how to live the way of the other world.

I told them it was not certain I would go all the way through with the change, but did not want to live out my life always wondering what it would have been like. Then I reassured them that I was still Daddy, and would always be their Daddy.

I encouraged them to ask questions if they wanted, now or at any time of me or Mary, and to talk with each other if they felt like it. I told them they could keep it secret from their friends or tell whoever they liked, including teachers.

Finally, I made certain they understood that this was not caused by anything they did, but by something within me. Nothing they did or did not do could have prevented it. I also wanted them to know that I was not doing it TO them, but FOR me, and that my greatest concern was that it should not interfere with their happiness.

Then I gave them each a big hug, and reminded them not to keep their feelings trapped inside, but to share them and keep communication open. They were both smiling and happy at the end of the conversation.

SUNDAY: Keith saw some stocking of mine I had left in the car and asked if they were mind. I said yes. He replied, “Oh, Daddy hose!”

MONDAY : I began leaving the house in the morning openly dressed as Melanie for the first time.

TUESDAY: Rather than working late as usual, until 10:00 pm, the Director decided we should take a break and go to USC for a retrospective screening of Kubrik’s Clockwork Orange. I had not been to USC for years, still hurting from my self-consciousness when I attended. As soon as I stepped on the campus, I saw it for the first time: the trees, the building, the college experience I missed when there as Dave. After the screening, I cried with the joy of being freed of those hurtful ghosts all the way to the car. The Director took me out for Chinese food in China Town.

WEDNESDAY: Went on a location scouting trip to Watts and South Central L.A. Felt better because Don, the male intern was along with the Director and me. Got out on Broadway to take pictures, asked Don if he would stick close as I didn’t like being out there alone. He cheerfully escorted me.

THURSDAY: Location trip with the Director and Julie to Palm Springs. Wore shorts and Tank top. Got read a lot all day. Why? Julie never noticed.

FRIDAY: Location hunting with the Director at Malibu beach. Not read at all. Spent some time on the sand as a Malibu beach bunny, hair blowing in the wind. Came home in daylight for first time as Melanie in view of several neighbors. Keith said, “You look good! Sexy, today!” Mindi asked if she could feel my breasts. I said okay. She squeezed them then said, “They feel good!”

Sunday, July 8, 1990

At this very moment, I am sitting on the back of one of the equipment trucks on the first day of production. I can’t believe I am actually working on a feature film as a woman and getting away with it, stock free! No raised eyebrows, no sideways glances… I keep wondering: are these people blind, or what ?!?

Now, I KNOW they’re going to catch on. They HAVE to! It’s ridiculous to even imagine they won’t. But so far, the conversations are girl to girl, and the men have second-classed me already.
We are setting up in the scummiest part of downtown L.A., in a burned-out industrial section, next to a bridge where the homeless sleep. Toxic seepage stains the blackened sidewalk and smears beneath my feet. In contrast, I feel so comfortable, so fulfilled: this is how life was MEANT to be! Gone is the fear of discovery: my personality is being fully expressed and is so sincere and real, that even beard shadows cannot conjure up a male image. I feel that I am female with every fiber of my psyche, and if anyone DOES perceive the remaining maleness of my body, they will still think of me as a woman in the wrong body.

I am standing now under the bridge. Mattresses lay with surprising neatness and regularity, as if conforming to the master plan of a miniature city. The production cop speaks with the sole occupant at the moment of the village, who busies himself (by his own initiative) with sweeping his pavement floor, cleaning house for the movie crew.

The smell of fresh urine wafts from a nearby wall, but only from THAT wall. Again, crude, but organized by a code no less social and rigid than that mainstream mandate to which most of us adhere.

Later…

So we just got to this new location on Broadway, when I looked in the mirror and discovered that my make-up was melting off my face. Mortified, I realized I was starting to get a lot of stares, each a piercing tear in my female confidence. I rushed off to the car to fix what I could. And it worked! I’m back on the location, looking good and feeling even better. Lunch has just been called and none too soon! Did I mention that all the shots we have done today were designed by Yours Truly as visual consultant to the director?

Lunch is “et” and Mel is better! I only had 1 1/2 hours sleep last night because: The director had called me in unexpectedly to do design some final shots. Of course, the work ran over, so I was late in arriving at my support group meeting which just happened to be that night. This was to have been a special evening: my first time there in four months, now more feminine, voice better, hair longer, confidence high – my triumphant return!
But, as it got later and later at the office, my hopes of my “reward meeting” began to vaporize. Then, the investors arrived, we showed the first scenes I had edited and I was on the road at 10:45pm.

I arrived at the meeting and as I opened the door, I could see the impressed faces look me over. I was just dressed in office fare: blue jeans and a light demi-blouse, and that casual style combined with the confidence of six months full-time was pretty damned impressive! (Boy, I just LOVE to gloat!)

Anyway, the meeting lasted until 3:00 am! And it was all I had hoped for. Suddenly the lost soul novice had become the practiced and successful elder-stateswoman. Here I was, still frightened to death at times about discovery, acting as a shining representation of “The Dream” incarnate! (Is this self-serving, or what !?!)

I met a lot of new friends, gave advice, hobnobbed with old friends, and revelled in the reality of the transition, on the eve of my rebirth into the real world on day one of production.

Interestingly, I was approached by someone I had seen at the meetings four months ago, who introduced themselves as being involved in a major position on the movie I am editing. Wow! What a coincidence! There are only 25 people in this group, and two members were both involved in a big way in the same production! And even more odd, the meeting is held only one block away from the home of the director of the movie! (Although he doesn’t know it.)
But, I finally had to leave and managed to grab some quick shut-eye before getting up for production. Back to now… Our final shots were taken with one of those big camera cars, towing the “picture” car as we tooled around the streets of downtown L.A. with the help of a police escort to stop traffic.

I came home and retired happy, confused, fulfilled, and full of anticipation for tomorrow!

Monday, July 9, 1990

Today we shot in Malibu. Most of the material was from the camera car, doing “tow shots” of the Corvette. I had been worried about how the make-up would hold out on that windy stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway, but needlessly. Everything worked just fine. It was a real kick to saunter around in Malibu as just another California Girl, hoping that I attracted at least a little of the right kind of attention.

I spent more time working with the Script Continuity Supervisor, Toby, today. She is very friendly and I enjoy our little side conversations about work, the film-biz and life in general. I had never even seen a camera car until yesterday, but had designed all the shots it was to be used for, and now we are spending all day shooting from one. Incredible how my personal and professional lives are growing so quickly at the same time. I wonder if it is cause and effect or merely coincidence?

We have to make a company move to Palm Springs tonight, and Toby and I agreed to car pool in her nifty little sports car. First, we both had to stop home for supplies and to freshen up. Unfortunately, my battery was dead, as a sign had told me on the way to Malibu to turn on my headlights on a winding stretch of road, and I forgot to turn them on again. I got some jumper cables from one of the guys and the two female interns helped me get the car started.

Later…

When I arrived home, the kids were all over me, and Mary had a list a mile long of questions about finances. But I wanted to hurry before Toby picked me up, as I truly think she accepts me as Melanie without question, and I cannot bear to suffer the potential consequences of her meeting my wife!

This has been of concern to me lately: Before, I worried about how my old friends would react to the news about me. Those fears never materialized. But now that I am being accepted as Melanie, I worry that my new friends will feel tricked or betrayed when they ultimately learn about my past. In all honesty, I would never lead someone on just to put him or her in a foolish position. I am just being me, in my new life, and hope that as my new friends discover the old me, they will not turn their backs on the new one.

Toby arrived, and I carried out my sack of clothes goodies for the Palm Springs shoot. The drive was 2 1/2 hours, with one stop-over for burgers at a drive-through. I cannot express how fulfilling it is to engage in plain and simple girltalk in the manner I always dreamed of. At last I can converse on subjects that truly interest me: not sports and women, but careers and guys. Things can be “cute” or “sweet”, and my tendency to giggle is perfectly in vogue. Toby is a caring and sensitive person (don’t blush, Toby) and I value the time we spent together as travelling companions.

We arrived at the hotel at 11:30 pm, each going to respective rooms to prepare for tomorrow’s production.

Tuesday, July 10, 1990

The 5:30 alarm went off and jolted me directly from REM into Production Mode. I showered, shaved (barf!), and put on my make-up fourteen times. Then went outside to check the make-up in daylight, then put on my make-up fourteen MORE times!

Joined Toby and we drove to the location on North Palm Canyon Drive. Today was scheduled the most important scene from my perspective: I had co-written the scene with the Director from our joint concept, worked out most of the angles myself, and would be editing. All in all, this single two minute scene might stand alone as my sample reel, if things went well.

We were shooting in the window displays of an art gallery doubling as a tux and gown shop for our purposes. The scene involved the male lead playing both his character and his alter ego, as represented by a mannequin in the window that comes to life. To complicate matters, we were using a “double” for over-the-shoulder shots of our hero talking to himself. Plus, I had planned out dolly shots and angles utilizing reflections juxtaposed in the window.

Photography proceeded beautifully, but slowly, as the Director has a tendency to over-do retakes, trying to get the “perfect take” from every angle. This perfectionism weighs heavily on the crew. The temperature rose to about 110 degrees. This, combined with a lack of sleep from long production hours, drained the crew of energy. But to their credit, they hung in there, professionally, and without recrimination. And to their amazement and to the Director’s credit, he was harder on himself than on them, spending more time in the heat, more energy with his enthusiasm, than any two of the rest of us, combined.

In any event, by the end of the day, we had completed almost all of the scene, and were forced to call an end to the day, due to drooping crew and loss of light. That night, the Director was still wired, and he had me over for a script conference about the shooting tomorrow. By the time I finished, the crew had gathered in and around the hotel swimming pool to drink beer – LOTS of beer!

There were about six or seven guys (mostly “grip” types – huge, rednecked, beer-guzzling good ol’ boys: but you gotta love ’em!) and three of us girls. Now, I was the “old lady” of the group, all of 37, but Julie is in her early twenties and Dorit is only 19 (God! I’m almost TWICE as old as she! Damn!) So, of course, THEY were lusted after, but at least I was included in the ribald conversation. It was till about 85 degrees by the pool. And, since it was dark and I knew my hours old make-up could not be seen and the other girls were in swimsuits, I pulled off my tank top and lay on the lounge chair in bra and blue jeans. What a thrill THAT was! Just lazing by the pool, laughing and getting drunk, sharing private looks with the girls over the comments by the guys.

These days, on hormones, two beers make my lips numb. And by three, I start slurring and get tipsy when I walk. Well, I did three to the guys’ seven and figured that was enough. So, tank top dangling in my hand, I sashayed off to my room, thoroughly enjoying my first appearance in public in such skimpy attire.

(NOTE: Right after the Palm Springs shoot, my work situation began to deteriorate. The director turned out to be a real perfectionist. Unfortunately, he did not have the funds truly needs to support that approach. So he maneuvered, cajoled and even threatened the people who were working for him in order to get more out of them for the same money. He would not let the production be completed at the level he could afford: he wanted greatness. He was very good at playing on those who do not like conflict. He would wheedle away, getting a bit more from me everyday until I found myself exhausted and near nervous breakdown. I was forbidden to go out to lunch or dinner and had to take my meals at the editing console and work while I ate, usually with him sitting by my side. My days expanded to six per week. My hours expanded to 10 per day. Eventually, I worked one stretch of 24 straight 12 hour days without a day off. At times, I fell asleep at the editing console. He would wake me up and we would continue. Since I was paid flat rate, I made nothing extra for this. And since the project was already longer than I had expected, my money was very low. I was $30,000 in debt on credit cards and expecting bankruptcy at any time. I was adjusting hormone doses and PMS along with sleep deprivation and the tension had completely destroyed my health. Still and all, I had never walked away from something I promised to do, and continued to honor my commitment, even though the terms had been changed, and not by me. On some days I felt wonderful, but they grew fewer and fewer between. This is the reason I wrote less and less frequently – there was no more motivation in me. I just plodded through the days like a P.O.W., hoping for it to end. This was a mood I seldom spoke of in my entries, but is was behind everything I did and thought.

(Expanded notes from July)

July 23, 1990

Embarrassing day as I had done electrolysis the night before, expecting to be working alone, and equipment problems required working closely with a technician while my face was bright red and swollen. He said nothing.

July 24, 1990

Work has gotten very hard with longer hours and great tension. The director today demands that I do more work that I contracted for at no additional pay since he was out of money. I am already working more house per day and more days per week for a longer term than our verbal agreement called for. Work has become very oppressive at times. The director seems only concerned with completing the job with the best quality at the lowest cost no matter how much the rest of us suffer. The number of hours worked for a flat rate bring my hourly rate down to $2.50 per hour, but I need the credit and it is my ticket to make transition into society. Still, I am so worn down by the effort I can hardly go on. I refuse to do even more for the same money. He threatens me with a lawsuit, saying he would put a freeze on Mary’s wages and I wouldn’t have enough money to buy food for my kids. Eventually, we compromise.

July 26, 1990

Mary’s Birthday. No money to buy her a present because I am paid so little. My assistant, Don, takes a phone call from a friend who asks for “Dave… I mean Melanie” After the call, Don asks if Dave is my husband. I tell him the truth. He goes to the director to verify because he thinks I am putting him on. When he returns, I am in tears, never having told anyone about my past before. He is understanding and puts his arm around me. I laugh through the tears – we are still friends. Later that night, as we leave, he discovers his car is stolen. He cannot continue to work with us. I worry for a moment that it is just a lie to get away from me, but then accept it is just one of those things.

July 27, 1990

A distant relative shows up at the house looking for a place to stay and $10 for gas. I have to introduce myself as the new me. He seems okay with it, but I wonder if it is just because he needs ten bucks. Either way, word is now going to be spread to all the relatives in the clan.

Wednesday, August 1, 1990

An anniversary: one year ago today I started hormone therapy in the Hollywood doctor’s office. One YEAR! My God! As cliche as it be: “It seems like yesterday.” Can it truly be that nearly 3% of my life has now been spent under the influence of female hormones?

I leaf through the previous entries to this journal and pause, amazed that so much has happened in so little time. And, of course, anniversaries offer the irresistible invitation to speculate on the year to come.

From where I stand, the view is much less cloudy than a year before. My life is stable now: emotionally at peace, creatively fulfilled, monetarily improving. My marriage is secure. Perhaps is always was, but NOW I am confident in its strength. My children and I are as close as parents and offspring can become. In short: if I were to die tomorrow, it would be with a sense of satisfaction at having achieved (at least to some degree) everything I ever dreamed of. From here on out, “it’s all gravy”, or, “the sky’s the limit.” Which conjures up an image of beef broth rain dripping from mashed potato clouds.

But what about this year past? What about that fateful decision one turn around the sun ago? My entry of that day, the first entry of this journal, is right on target: “I looked out over the universe, waiting for that fateful sting that would propel me into a life I’d only dreamed of.”
And now, I lead that life, different than anything I had imagined and more satisfying than I could have conceived.

Many uncertainties await me in the future. That is true for all who have lived. But here and now, one year later, I’m really glad I came.

(Notes from August:)

Saturday, August 4th, 1990

Don, my former assistant on the film, came by my other office where I run my own company to do some editing. Even after having learned of my past, he acts no different. Nothing has changed in his attitude. What a guy!

Sunday, August 5th, 1990

PMS severe on new medication (Estinyl). I tell off my step-dad who lives with us. Tell him he was responsible for my mother’s death, that he is a bum for not helping around the house or with the finances by getting a job. No regrets, I really mean it. He is a born-again, so he just sits there until I am finished. Then says he is sorry I feel that way.

Tuesday, August 7th, 1990

I catch the director screening my calls unless it is an emergency without telling me, so that I will have more time to work. Over the last couple of days I have been playing with the new way to pitch my voice. Late this night at work I try it. It gets stuck there. When I come home I cannot bring it down. Mary gets mad as she does not want me to be Melanie around the house. Finally, after an hour, my voice relaxes back to its normal range. Neat trick, if I can master it.

Thursday, August 23rd, 1990

ALIVE! I’m Alive again! My first real day off in almost three months and the dead veil that clouded my life and smothered my thoughts has lifted like an ugly fog in the morning sun. And the words… my God, the WORDS! They’re back! I feel as if I’ve snuck up behind the muses and goosed them!

I had no idea I had fallen so far. Pushed by the director to one extreme after another, I slowly decended into a sort of freeze-dried hell, where the shape of things remains the same, but the substance is gone. Ask me if I believe in Zombies!

It is five minutes to eleven pm. And THAT, my dears, is the self-ordained cut-off point for this noble day. So my refound words must needs be brief.

Can you imagine the simple joy of reading a chapter in a book? Doing a load of laundry? Going to the restroom TWICE IN ONE HOUR? Today, I did ALL THAT and MORE!!! No, I really did!! Mundane to you, perhaps, but rare and glorious moments to me: deeply felt sensual experiences to be carefully preserved and savored again on rainy days in front of the fireplace.

Summer wanes, and fall prowls restlessly outside, but in a small house in California, Spring began today…

(Copyright 1993, Melanie Anne Phillips)

(The Transsexual Diary series will continue in the next edition of The Subversive)

I urge you all to keep a diary of YOUR personal journey, whether it be through transition or not. The attitudes and even the order of events becomes cloudy through time, and I am continually amazed to re-read things that memory would have me believe had happened differently. If nothing else, it is a good way to see long-term patterns in yourself that you cannot see except in retrospect. That objective view alone is worth the inconvenience of keeping a journal.


MENTAL RELATIVITY

Mental Relativity is a new theory of psychology developed by my good friend and associate, Chris Huntley, and myself over several years. Its impact is far ranging, offering insight in areas of justification, problem solving, and decision making.

Because it is a RELATIVITY, the theory offers no absolutes. Rather, it defines the relationship between the processes of the mind in such a way that one can objectively see what things subjectively look like from any point in the process. From time to time, this column will explore one of those points of view.

This month I am publishing two Mental Relativity articles. The first, “B.S. and the Sexes” explores the relationship between the minds of women and men. The second, “Mental Sex” is a reprint of an earlier article that defined the nature of the minds of women and men independent of each other. Since this is a reprint, I have placed it second, however, if you have not read Mental Sex, you might appreciate the first article more by reading the second article first.

“B.S. and the Sexes”

by
Melanie Anne Phillips

“B.S.” That’s what we see so often in the “other” sex, whichever that may be. “They” don’t see things the way “We” do. “Our” desires are different from “Theirs”. What makes sene to Us is gibberish to Them (and vice versa). B.S. – no matter which sex we are, we see it in the other one.

But B.S. is not what you think. It really stands for Blind Spot, and that is the reason we don’t agree. You see, men and women have different Blind Spots. We can’t see our own (that’s why it’s blind!) but we can quite easily see theirs.

What are these sex-specific blind spots? How did they come into being? From cultural indoctrination, perhaps? Some sort of learned behavior imposed upon the sexes by society? No, society ENHANCES the blind spots of each sex – the intrinsic dark void in each of our minds is placed there before birth. In fact, it is a pre-condition to the development of self-awarenes.

To Understand how these blind spots develop and why they are essential, despite their negative repercussions, we must look at how the mind is organized, and how that organization differs between males and females.

As a first step in this description of the mind, let’s define awareness. According to Mental Relativity, awareness describes a mind that is able to learn. (Actually, the technical definition is much more complex, but that is the gist.)

You see, a mind that cannot learn must merely respond to its environment. Whenever a non-aware organism, through its senses, perceives a stimulation by something in its surrounding, it responds to that. If food lands on one of its receptors, it will respond by pulling it into its digestive system. It does not, however, anticipate and will not sweep the area “looking” for food.

To be sure, a non-aware organism may appear to search for food, but that is a pattern dictated at the instinctual level, not through its learning. The proof of this would be to place the organism in a different environment that requires altering the search technique just slightly in order to obtain food. A non-aware organism would not adapt to the change, and would continue to employ the instinctual method until it died of starvation, even though a slight change in approach would yield all the food it needed.

To examine an organism that DOES learn, let’ take a look at good old Pavlov and hiss dogs. Pavlov set up an experiment in what came to be known as “Classical Conditioning”. In Classical Conditioning, a subject (in this case, a dog) has an existing “built-in” (or instinctual) response to a particular stimulation. In Pavlov’s dogs, the stimulus in question was a meat powder that he introduced into the mouth of the dog by means of a tube. As soon as the meat powder hit the dog’s tongue, the animal began to salivate. This was called an Un-Conditioned Response (or UCR) to an Un-Conditioned Stimulus (or UCS) because it occurred naturally.

Next, Pavlov began to ring a bell at the same time the meat powder was introduced. The bell began at the moment the powder was present, and ended at the moment it stopped. This is called a “Contingency” between the Un-conditioned stimulus or the meat powder and the Conditional Stimulus of the bell. In other words, the sounding of the bell was contingent on the stimulus of the meat powder.

After several feeding sessions were performed in this manner, Pavlov rang the bell without providing mat powder, yet the dog salivated nonetheless. It had become Conditioned to the stimulus of the bell, and reacted in the same way as if the meat powder had been present. The salivation, in this situation, is called a Conditioned Response, since it does not naturally occur when a bell is rung until the conditioning was imposed.

Now, this conditioning is exactly how we learn from experience in our own lives, and it is really very simple. When we see two things that always occur together, we begin to assume that if we see one, the other is somewhere around. We establish a contingent relationship between the two. Although Pavlov did not test for this, it is true that if (after conditioning) Pavlov had provided meat powder WITHOUT the bell, the dog would have expected the bell to ring at any moment. Why? Because the dog is not only aware, but SELF-aware. In other words, it can look to its own experience to ANTICIPATE a future occurrence.

This is a complex issue, so let’s spend a bit more time on it. When the dog responds to the Conditioned Stimulus as if it were the Un-conditioned stimulus, it has learned. But when the dog is presented with the Un-conditioned stimulus and expects the Conditioned stimulus, it is anticipating. The learned response defines awareness, the unlearned or anticipated response defines self-awarenesss.

So what is the difference in the operation of the mind between being aware or self-aware? In awareness, the mind merely responds to experience. The more it experiences something a certain way, the more likely it is to respond to it. In self-awareness, the mind is responding to what is NOT there that was there before. In other words, the mind is not merely comparing the environment to experience, but is also comparing experience to the environment.

What’s the difference? In Awareness, the mind never questions its experience. To be sure, conditioning can erode if not reinforced (called Extinction) but it is not questioned by the mind, just the experience begins to average out to another conclusion. But in Self-awareness, the mind doesn’t just go with what experience says, but tries to judge if experience is valid when there are factors that have not been experienced before.

Now pause for a moment, and examine the incredible ramifications of this notion. A self-aware mind, in the face of contradictory information, can still cling to its pre-conceptions! Take a new look at prejudice, teaching an old dog new tricks, stubbornness, and clinging to goals against strong opposition. Suddenly, the mechanism behind these (and many other) human attitudes and responses becomes much more clear.

But what of the differences between the blind spots of men and women? How does anticipation and self-awareness fit into that? To take the final step toward our understanding, we need to examine the mechanism of anticipation more closely.

When a mind is only aware, it is triggered by a pattern of conditions in the environment as an arrangement of items (contingency) or a progression of events (causality). Arrangements are experienced and learned as a spatial pattern, whereas sequences are experienced and learned as a temporal pattern. Space or time has no effect on the way AWARENESS operates. In fact, AWARENESS in both men and women operates with both.

The ability to anticipate, however, exists in a mind that compares its spatial experience to its temporal experience. Again, a big concept that needs fleshing out. The key here is that the mind is no longer just comparing its experience to the environment, now, triggered by a situation in the environment, it compares its spatial experience to its temporal experience. Rather than seeking relationships or associations from internal to external, SELF-awarenss seeks relationships that exist completely internally.

The process of self-awareness then, is all within the mind itself and not dependent upon direct external reference. So we describe a self-aware mind as having TWO kinds of experience, one based on space, the other on time.

So much has been written about the nature of the left brain versus the right brain. Volumes of research have been done to map and describe the spatial functioning of the left half of the brain and the temporal functioning of the right. In contrast, Mental Relativity is concerned with relationship BETWEEN the two sides of the brain.

Let’s pace an experienced mind in an environment. The environment has a spatial arrangement of things and a sequence in which things happen (or change). The mind has a set of experiences based on how things are arranged, and a set of experiences based on the sequence in which things happen. In order to anticipate, we need to see how the arrangement of things changes over time, or how the sequence of things changes in different situations. The first measure the changes in space against time, the second measures changes in time against space.

The two kinds of experiences build up until patterns (that are essentially averages of all that has been observed) are created. These averages do not give an absolute certainty that some things will go together or happen in a certain order, but provide a LIKELIHOOD or probability that things will progresss in time or arrange in space a certain way.

But when the probability indicates one future based on spatial experience and a different future based on temporal experience, the mind must decide which one to go with. It must “weigh” its experience of space against its experience of time. A MIND CANNOT CONSIDER BOTH AT THE SAME TIME.

This is the key concept to the understanding of Blind Spots and how they differ between men and women. When a mind is faced with a conflict between spatial and temporal conclusions, it would be hopelessly deadlocked. Both “sides” of the mind are giving conflicting information that leads to no clear-cut pattern of response. So although either set of experiences, temporal or spatial, if existing alone would have a precise guideline for the organism to follow, taken together, the organism cannot “decide” how to respond.

In terms of evolution, any organism that became “mind locked” would be easy prey, and not likely to continue its line. However, organisms that gave more credence to one set of experiences over the other in the event of a deadlock, although biased in its evaluations, would have a significantly greater chance or survival. And that is just what happened. All self-aware species weeded out the genes that lead to balance and favored those that led to a biased view. But WHICH biased view?

Objectively, both sets of experience are equal in their validity for survival. So, as one might assume, chaos being what it is, BOTH kinds of organisms evolved. We call them male and female.

Before there was such a thing as physical sex, before there was such a thing as humans, the earliest protozoa evolved into two distinct branches: the temporal-favoring line and the spatial-favoring line.

How does this “favoring” work, and which one is male and which female? A mind that favors one set of experiences over the other functions by giving consideration preference to space or time. In a favoring system, the mind processes an observations FIRST by one set of experiences, and only then by the other.

Imagine an incoming observation. It contains both an arrangement of things and the vectors of how things are changing. The mind searches the lower level of awareness and finds the two patterns in conflict. Temporary mind lock: what to do? Unable to respond immediately without thought, and rather than not react at all, the mind will hold that observation in short-term memory and examine it either with spatial experiences or with temporal ones. But whichever it uses first, the very act or examining the short-term memory, changes its nature.

We have all heard how the act of observation changes that which is observed. This is where it happens. By examining a “held” observation first by space, for example, the short-term memory itself is organized into a more spatial bias or pattern. Then, when the temporal experiences come into play, the temporal nature of the original observation has been polluted, diluted or filtered in such a way that the time sense is slightly hobbled.

This is not to say that the time sense gets nothing at all, or even that what it gets is greatly mangled. If the original observation, although deadlocked between time experience and space experience would have called for a very similar reaction in either case, then the alterations caused by space-first may be minimal, and time sense will get an almost faithful reproduction of the original observation to compare to. But if in a dead lock, space experience and time experience each call for widely divergent reactions, then the original observation is extensively deteriorated by the space-first processing, and the time sense gets an extremely inaccurate version to compare to.

This is the cradle of the conscious process of consideration, but again, that is beyond the scope of this article and will be reserved for future explorations.

The point here is that one kind of mind will favor space, the other time. The space-favoring mind will have an inaccurate temporal appreciation of observation, the time-favoring mind will have an inaccurate spatial appreciation of observation.

There is one last step. Let’s look OBJECTIVELY at space sense and time sense. From this perspective, space can see the arrangement of things directly in an observation. It does not even need to refer to short term memory or experience to locate areas of sensory stimulation. Surely to IDENTIFY an item would require experience, but to be affected by it does not. Time sense, on the other hand, cannot glean anything from observation without comparing one arrangement of thing to a later arrangement of things to see how they have changed.

In this respect, time sense is once removed from observation already, which makes it more fallible to inaccuracy. But in another respect, time sense contains one more dimension of information than space sense, because it is not only aware or two sequential arrangements of things (doing the job of space sense) but also compares them together to see how things are changing, a feat space sense cannot do.

So, each has a special ability and a special drawback that cancel out in the long run, making each as effective for survival as the other. But more importantly, we can see that space sense operates DIRECTLY on the observation and time sense operates on a STORED observation. That is how the sense of time is generated within us. And that is the last step:

A space-favoring mental systems focuses on the EXTERNAL world, a time-favoring mental system focuses on the INTERNAL world.

It’s no great leap to see how this figures into a concept of male and female minds an how one favors external things and the other internal. And it immediately adds clarity to our understanding of the relationship between spatial and temporal ability (accuracy) and the sexes.
Mental Relativity defines the framework of a mental systems as a BOS or Brain Operation System, since it dictates how the brain will operate. SBOS refers to a Space-favoring Brain Operating System and TBOS refers to a Time-favoring Brain Operating System.

Now, in terms of evolution, an organism with an SBOS would be aided by a external ability enhancing biology, and we see this clearly in the aggressive and muscle building effects of testosterone. A TBOS mind would be aided by an internal ability enhancing biology, and we see this in the pacifying and emotion building effects of estrogen.

Physical sexes did not evolve into male and female mind. Female and male minds evolved into physical sexes.

The biochemistry and the biology evolved to enhance the functionality of the two primary species of organisms that first evolved: male and female. The two primary species of male and female branched into all forms of animal life including humans. Symbiotically, parasitically, the two species grew along many parallel branches, in tandem, inseparable, intimately dependent upon each other for survival, similar physically due to their similar environments, but as different mentally as aliens from two different planets.

See the temporal (Emotional) Blind Spots that can occur in the male. See the spatial (Practical) Blind Spots that can occur in the female. Future articles will discuss common Blind Spots of each: how they occur and how to deal with them in ourselves and in our co-species.

As a final thought, born of my feminist leanings, consider that in a savage environment, males are best equipped to tame it. But as they do, they structure it according to their own spatial bias. This is not intentional, they simply operate that way. As the environment is controlled, language comes into being, science evolves, society and religion ore established. But These are all second generation from the natural environment itself, and begin to intrude upon the special temporal domain of females.

Eventually, humankind moves from a frontier society to an information society, and the immediate observation of the unaltered natural order of the environment becomes increasingly rare. When was the last time in our work-a-day world that we saw a tree that was not planted, but just grew there? Who planted it and where? When was the last time we saw more dirt than pavement on our way to the office? Who paved the streets? In what pattern, SBOS or TBOS? Who designed our educational system? Our communication system?

All that a woman sees, all that she learns from the moment of birth, is already biassed by a male point of view. Just as the mind suffers inaccuracy in one sense or the other based on bias, women are double-hobbled by having their very environment and education already reflect the way men see things. So a woman’s mind has no language, no logic, no religion all her own. She only has what she can make out of the male versions provided her.

This is the hear of my message and the thrust of my future career: to bring things back into balance.

In an information society, the focus of importance has shifted from the external world to the internal one. But women, who are best prepared to handle this new frontier do not even know what it is to think like a woman. To be sure, they think AS women, but have been trained to think LIKE men.

Women are realizing this more and more as their intrinsic value to the Inner Frontier is becoming more and more apparent. But in order to fully realize their potential as members of humanity and as individuals, they must develop their own language, their own culture, their own religion. Only when women can speak as women AND like women will they be able to tame the Inner Frontier with the same pioneer resolve of their male counterparts in the wilds of the old one.

But a warning: the real danger is that women will seek to make over their brothers and subjugate the, as Surely as males had done to them. Whether out of revenge or through ignorance, we might turn the tables on our brothers and force them into the mental prison from which we are just escaping.

“So what!”, a militant feminist might ask. So this: if we allow the pendulum to swing the other way, we will hobble our ability as a species to deal with a savage environment. Things that are intrinsically obvious to males would elude us, and the men we had cast in our image. The infrastructure would eventually crumble and we would fall with it, once more into the wild world we so recently anguished in. And then… when culture and science were gone, males would rise once more as the dominant species and force our great grand-daughters into slavery anew.

Just as with the mind, time sense must be built on space-sense, not replace it. We cannot take revenge, we cannot ignore the needs of ourselves nor our brothers. Yet, Equality is not the answer for we are not equal – we are different. The answer is Equity which will divide our resources and our power in ways EQUALLY BENEFICIAL to the special needs of the two species of humanity.

That is our calling, that is our change: to stop the pendulum once and for all and let each species prosper in its own way toward its own ends, recognizing our mutual dependency, revelling in the splendor of our differences, striving not against each other, but pioneering together, male and female, to the stars of the heavens and the stars in the mind.

Copyright 1993, Melanie Anne Phillips and Chris Huntley

“MENTAL SEX”

For most of us on the Exploration trail, trying to determine if we are Transvestite or Transsexual is of paramount importance. We wonder if we just happen to enjoy wearing women’s clothes or if perhaps there is something more innate: perhaps we really ARE women in man skin.

Naturally, the answer to this question is central to our choices for the rest of our lives. And yet, we cannot seem to get a grip on it. This is because it is an issue of feelings, not logic. But how are we to know if the way we “feel” is male or female? After all, we have nothing to compare with.

This issue troubled me throughout my life. I read what I could (always secretly), watched television programs, scoured the pulp magazines, and more than once suffered the depressions brought on by ripping my psyche up in search of the Truth. Even when I began living fulltime I had not achieved any certainty, and had to settle for saying, “Yes, I want to change my sex, but I don’t know if I am really a woman inside.” All my time with my therapist, all my meetings in a support group brought me no closer to satisfaction.

Then, about six months into fulltime, a friend I had known for 13 years asked me to breakfast. He reminded me of the theory of story structure we had toyed with while at the USC School of Film. In the past 10 years, he had (with his partner) built a million dollar a year business creating software for the entertainment industry. He asked me if I would like to work with him developing the theory into a software program for his company. I agreed, little knowing that I would spend the next three years developing a new psychology that would ultimately explain the REAL differences between men and women.

We began by hypothesizing that stories were not just about a bunch of different characters reacting like real people, but that each and every story was an analogy of a SINGLE MIND dealing with a problem. That meant that every character, plot point, thematic progression, Act break, scene structure, EVERYTHING IN A STORY, was part of the analogy of the mind: the STORY MIND.

The Story Mind was not intentionally created by authors but was a by-product of their effort to build successful story arguments by anticipating all the ways an audience might consider the story’s problem. Only by pre-including the audience in the story could the author be certain not to leave a “plot hole” of faulty logic or untrue feeling. Over generations, quite unaware of its significance, authors had created conventions of story structure and dynamics that actually represented the functioning of the human mind.

This concept has now been developed into a program at a cost of over a quarter of a million dollars in development expenses, and will be released along with a book on the Theory of Dramatica around the middle of this year. Certainly big rewards are to be had. But the REAL reward for me, is that in order to create the program, we had to map and understand the psychology of the Story Mind, which is an analogy to our own psychologies. In so doing, we developed the concept of Mental Relativity, that explicitly defines the manner in which the processes of the Mind relate, one to another. And the best part of all was that Mental Relativity not only explained, but REQUIRED there to be differences in the thought structures of men and women in order to work.

What does this mean? Simply that the minds of men and women work differently at a STRUCTURAL level. That is to say that the way data is received, stored, retrieved and processed is DIFFERENT between men and women at a BIOLOGIC level. This is not just a BIOCHEMICAL level, but in the Brain Operating System (or B.O.S.) that is hardwired before birth.

As we know, ALL fetuses start out in female form and then alter to the male blueprint if the child is destined to be a man. Different parts of the body’s development are triggered at different points in the pregnancy. Recent medical theories of transsexualism have it that at the 12th to 14th week of pregnancy, a developing male fetus must receive a flush of testosterone over the brain in order to trigger it to hardwire in the male pattern of data processing. If that hormonal flush does not happen, the body will develop male, but the brain will be irrevocably cast in a female pattern.

Such a child would be assumed to be male. But that is only the physical body. INSIDE, the child thinks as a female. And yet, even though this is an internal/external type of hermaphroditism, the inside cannot be seen, and the child has no other way of thinking to compare to. So, the child learns to think LIKE a man, even though it always thinks AS a woman. The Subconscious mind operates according to the FEMALE hardwiring, but the Conscious mind operates by training and choice.

If you look at the Mind, there are four parts: The Conscious, The Memory, The Subconscious, and the Pre-Conscious. “Pre-Conscious” is a term we coined in Mental Relativity to define the area of mental and physical response that occurs as a result of observation before the Conscious mind is even aware of stimuli: like pulling your hand away from a hot pot. Subconscious, in contrast, is biased by the biochemical stew (which includes, but is not limited to, the effects of hormones). The Subconscious fosters our predilections to one thing or another. Memory is structured by the cumulative impact of experience, and Conscious is the arbitrator that shifts the balance of credence between experience, observation, and predilection.

In essence, both Conscious and Memory are open to manipulation, by choice and experience respectively, as to the structural way in which they operate. Then, that structure is filled with data from observation and internal considerations. But the Subconscious and Pre-Conscious are not subject to direct manipulation of STRUCTURE. Rather, the Subconscious must defer to the biochemistry, and the Pre-Conscious is subservient to the hardwiring set before birth that determines the B.O.S. Male Hardwiring freezes Space to measure things through Time (causing a linear logic base to the Sub and Pre Consciouses. Female Hardwiring freezes Time to measure things in space (causing a non-linear logic based on proximity rather than order). Mental Relativity calls these two hardwired thinking patterns, Mental Sex.

These last, in concept, are not exclusive to Mental Relativity. For example, the January 20, 1992 issue of Time magazine ran a cover story on the differences of men and women in which eight pages were devoted to recent research about the hardwired differences between the sexes. In fact, they even report the 12th to 14th week hormone theory as the point at which the hardwiring sets in. Also, a new book, Brain Sex (which has also been produced as a three part television series) describes the biologic differences between male and female minds.

So is Mental Sex the answer to the gender question? No, it is only one fourth of the answer. The other three parts are Anatomical Sex, Sexual Preference, and Gender Identity. Let’s look at each one, and then how they work together.

Anatomical sex is simply that: male or female. Certainly everyone has some physical traits that are more associated with one sex or the other, but in the end all of us (except hermaphrodites) are clearly male or female.

Sexual Preference can be straight, gay, bi, or none. And this is true of men as well as women. So, just being a male or a female does not dictate one’s Sexual Preference. Already we can see the number of variations are possible just between Anatomical Sex and Sexual Preference.
Gender Identity is a SPECTRUM running from completely masculine to completely feminine and covering all the ground in between. Some straight men are very feminine, and some straight women are very masculine. So, once again, Gender Identity is not attached directly to either Sexual Preference or Anatomical Sex. Certainly, even an individual slides around a range on the Gender scale depending upon mood, present company, and task at hand.

Finally, we return to Mental Sex – the hardwiring of the brain. And this also is not absolutely tied to any of the other three. When you combine Gender outlook with Mental Sex Hardwiring, influenced by cultural pressures of role based on Anatomical Sex and Sexual Preference, THEN you end up with all the variations of human beings that we see in real life.

Now, I was a completely masculine man as Dave, but I could not relate to men on the most basic of levels because my data processing was not operating with the same system. Its kind of like trying to run MAC and IBM programs on each others machines without translation or some kind of shell. Well, that “shell” was the pseudo personality I developed as a child, based on rejecting my own operating system and adopting a functional but non-intrinsic system that ran other programs: thinking LIKE a man, even while thinking AS a woman.

Yet this does not make me any more “authorized” to be transsexual than anyone, regardless of hardwired Mental Sex. In fact, someone with a strong feminine Gender Identity, is equally justified in seeking surgery to allow for a SOCIAL role more compatible with their MANNER of approaching life.

None of these four aspects of Sexual Identity is more important than the others. It is the combination and interplay between them that determines the sort of sexual/gender animal you are. But knowing that there ARE four, and WHAT they are, has aided me in understanding why I have felt and feel as I do, and has made me comfortable in accepting that my personal decision to have surgery was not only right for me, but also the most efficient way to resolve many of the inequities in my life in one bold stroke.

The moment any of us realizes we have questions about our Gender selves, we have begun a journey of exploration. And we must see it as such. Answers are not obtained by snap decisions, but by gathering information and learning every step of the way. Just because we have made the decision to explore, does not mean we are obligated to go further than we really want, nor are we forbidden from realizing we have gone too far, and that our answers lie far closer to us than surgery.

So what is the difference between a Transvestite and a Transsexual? Ultimately the Transvestite is the person who enjoys a feminine side but really does not wish to have surgery, and the Transsexual is a person who has it. Trite? Not really. Happiness is an ethereal thing: hard to grasp and harder to define. But that is the real goal – to be happy, whether by accepting our desire to adopt the female role from time to time, or to embrace it permanently. If you do not have surgery and you are happy, you are a transvestite. If you have it and are happy, you are a transsexual – regardless of your hardwiring, upbringing, affectations or anything else.

So Mental Relativity holds some answers that may even ultimately determine absolutely the hardwiring of any individual. Yet, even if we knew for sure, in the end, each of us must find our own path to self-acceptance. Still it is better to search for our way in the bright light of knowledge than in the moonless night of ignorance. Shine a light and take a step.

Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor

(Copyright 1993 Melanie Anne Phillips)


         MELANIE'S WISE WORDS OF THE MONTH

                "Shout in whispers."
                              - Wilma Snakestare

AMERICA ONLINE GENDER GROUP STATISTICS

Contributed by Marsha J, Gender Room Secretary

Attendee Stats as of March 1993

State Distribution

AK. 1 AZ. 2 BC. 2 CA. 28
CO. 2 CT. 5 DE. 1 FL. 12
GA. 3 IA. 1 IL. 16 IN. 6
KY. 1 LA. 5 MA. 6 MD. 5
ME. 3 MI. 7 MN. 3 MO. 6
MS. 3 MT. 1 NC. 5 NH. 4
NJ. 7 NM. 4 NV. 1 NY. 11
OH. 9 OK. 2 ON. 3 OR. 3
PA. 4 RI. 1 TN. 1 TX. 10
UT. 1 VA. 6 VT. 1 WA. 4
WI. 4 WV. 2 WY. 1

                 224 Attendees

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR 224 MEMBERS FOR HELPING TO CREATE A SAFE HAVEN OF SUPPORT FOR EVERYONE CONCERNED WITH GENDER ISSUES!!!

GENDER CONFERENCE

Don’t forget to attend the Gender Room Meeting on the America Online BBS in the Community Room at 9pm ET every Sunday evening. Use Keyword, GLCF, then select Lambda Lounge or Community Room depending on your version of the software. For specific information, directions, or to order back logs of the chats, Email Marsha J, the Gender Room secretary.


AFTERGLOW

“The Paradox that Lurks the Locks”

by
Melanie Anne Phillips

Time will purge the ones who merge,
the words of “Time” and “Space”.
(They really aren’t connected),
‘cept by moments in one place.

But Space will out the ones who tout,
a link ‘twixt “Space” and “Time”.
They are not chained together,
by reason nor by rhyme.

Yet something stands between the sands,
dividing “Hour” from “Glass”:
The Paradox that spans the lochs?
(Not energy nor mass!)

Some enigmatic creature then,
that stretches ‘cross the span?
The paradox that lurks the lochs?
N’est monster, c’est man!


“May you never find occasion to say, ‘If only…..'”

SUBVERSIVE PUBLICATIONS

BEST SELLING NEW VIDEO RELEASE!!!!

Copies sold from California to Maine, Chicago to Finland!

“MELANIE SPEAKS!” In this new video, Melanie Anne Phillips explains how she achieved a new voice for her new role. The program provides exercises in Pitch, Resonance, Dynamic Range, Annunciation, Body English, Vocabulary, and Grammar in a step by step fashion that makes it easy for you to develop your own unique feminine voice and vocal patterns. The “secret” is a special exercise that let’s you develop a truly female resonance that you can turn on or off at the drop of a hat. If you have ever been embarrassed by your voice or have contemplated vocal surgery, see this tape first!!!

Melanie Speaks! – 49 minute educational video ………….. $20.00

Dry Spell……………………..110 pages, scriptbinding………….. $20.00

An original sci-fi/thriller screenplay by Melanie Anne, following a woman archaeologist as she struggles to destroy a deadly organism discovered while documenting Native American ruins.

Snowstorm……………………..102 pages, scriptbinding……….. $20.00

An action/adventure screenplay by Melanie Anne, that crosses the paths of a teenage boy entered in a dangerous cross-country snowmobile race and the ruthless destruction of an entire town by a druglord.

The Day After Christmas………….50 pages, Softcover……………. $5.00

A fully illustrated, satire on the threat of nuclear war that follows the destructive activities of “Saint Nuke” on The Day After Christmas.

Dichotomy……………………..30 Minutes, Cassette Album………. $10.00

12 Original songs by David Michael Phillips, multitrack: keyboard, guitar, vocals.

Tarnished Karma………………..30 Minutes, Cassette Album …….$10.00

10 Original songs by David Michael Phillips, just before embarking on transition. Many of the lyrics pertain to the inner conflicts of gender dysphoria in a disguised manner, as this decision was not public at the time. Multitrack: keyboard, guitar, vocals.

All prices are post-paid, U.S. mail. Send orders to:

Melanie Anne Phillips
150 East Olive Avenue,
Suite 203

Burbank, CA 91502

EDITOR’S NOTE: It is my desire to make this publication available free online to all who wish to read it. However, due to copyright laws, any overall license would allow unscrupulous individuals to excerpt portions and use it for their own personal gain. Therefore, should you wish to upload this publication on your BBS or simply generate hardcopies for support groups and friends, please write me about a free license for your specific purpose.

THE SUBVERSIVE

Number 10

April 1993

The Subversive | Volume Nine

Another issue of the online magazine I published in the early 1990s

THE SUBVERSIVE

Number 9

“Where Dreams are the stuff Reality is made of”

DECLARATION OF PURPOSE

“This journal exists to promote the concept that each human is a unique individual, intrinsically entitled with an equal right to pursue her own destiny as far as it does not inhibit others in that same right. The Subversive shall serve as a ready forum for the free expression and exchange of ideas that do not violate this mandate, in the belief that tolerance grows from a familiarity with variety.”

–signed,
Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor

WHERE TO FIND THE SUBVERSIVE

The Subversive is available FREE as a download on America Online, Compuserve, Genie, several servers on the Internet, and various BBS around the world.

For those who wish to Subscribe, contribute articles, stories, personal experiences, information, jokes, or whatever Email melaniexx@aol.com, or write to:

Melanie Anne Phillips
150 East Olive Avenue
Suite 203
Burbank, California 91502

Only original material will be accepted unless quoted in the context of an original work or submitted with credit to the original author along with permission to reprint the material.

Submission of original material for publication in The Subversive constitutes a non-exclusive license to Melanie Anne Phillips by the author/copyright holder to reproduce all or part of the material in any media.

EDITOR’S NOTE: It is my desire to make this publication available free online to all who wish to read it. However, due to copyright laws, any overall license would allow unscrupulous individuals to excerpt portions and use it for their own personal gain. Therefore, should you wish to upload this publication on your BBS or simply generate hardcopies for support groups and friends, please write me about a free specific license for your purpose.


EXPLORATIONS

by Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor

An excerpt from a letter I wrote to one of our readers:

When I started the Gender Conference on AOL, it was because at the time there were only erotic public rooms available to TG people. Now, I get as erotic as the next woman, but that is only a part of anyone’s life. Transition for the TS and coping for the TV are not erotic endeavors. They are serious, deep, and gentle emotional experiences that are so fragile they can break with the slightest crudity or lack of compassion.

It seemed to me that a safe haven was needed as a growth medium to nurture evolving personalities. That is what I have worked to develop in the Gender Conference. And more than that, through The Subversive and our Email network, a whole family of supporting friends is available.

As for me, I don’t go to my local support group meetings any more. I have not gotten anything from them in a long time, and can no longer offer much, since they might as well have a genetic female come in and talk to them about the good life. That is one reason I lurk in the shadows a bit more than I used to in the Gender Conference: the people who can best help each of us, are those who are just ahead of where we are in our own development. They are far enough ahead to offer guidance, but not so far away as to be unrelated.

So, I just fuel the infrastructure and keep the safe haven alive and well. The rest is up to our members themselves. And the only dues to be paid is that each of us who is benefiting from those a step ahead, should take the time to help those a step behind.

In the Subversive, my own interests are evolving more into a feminist mold. But that is in addition to all the fine contribution of our readers. You see, the point is not to change the nature of The Subversive by replacing old directions for new, but to add new natures to it, side by side with the old. So, this allows me to grow, while keeping the mechanism running to support even the novice who is starting out. The farther we range, the more people we can reach, the more we can support. And by increasing the spectrum of our members, we cannot help but foster understanding and tolerance across an ever-growing range of human souls.

— Copyright 1993, Melanie Anne Phillips


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Subj: What’s Up, This Is Me
From: Susan XO

I have been thinking for a long time I was overdue sending to all of you something about me. I think I know more of each of you then you know of me. This document should correct that and Melanie is welcome to include it in the Subversive.

I was born William Moody Daggett on September 2, 1945. This was the same day that Japan formally surrendered ending World War II. Until recently I have been engaged in my own world war with myself.

As early as I can remember (age 4?) I have felt feminine inside – in my head. I didn’t always express this way. Confused as to who I was might be better. When I was 3 I contracted Polio and spent my 3 birthday in an isolation ward in Wellington, New Zealand. My father was in the US Foreign Service.

I remember what I will describe for lack of any better way of describing it as an “out of body” experience being left by my parents in isolation. I remember this little boy on his father’s shoulder crying his heart out. I also remember a nurse telling me that “little boys don’t cry”, I guess because I had been doing so much of it. And I thought that if little boys can’t cry maybe I wasn’t a little boy, maybe I was a little girl?

I diagnosed myself as gender dysphoric long before anyone in my family or professionally learned of it when I reached age 42. But I couldn’t do anything about it until that later age. It doesn’t matter if I was gender dysphoric from the womb or developed it from what I consider a very grave mental experience when I was isolated and abandoned – it happened and I am happy now that I have put it all behind me and am Susan.

I named myself Susan Elizabeth Daggett the night several years ago now all my anguish and fear and shame magically disappeared finally and I accepted who I was and started my final preparation to be who I was. Susan was a code name my father used to call my mother person to person when she was pregnant. My father was in Washington, D.C. One day he called and my mother said Susan wasn’t here but William was. My mother died in 1965 and my father in May, 1991. We were very close for the last several years and he shared that neither of them had cared specifically for either a boy or a girl. They were happy with whatever happened.

Dad died almost 1 month following my SRS surgery with Dr. Biber. It is always to soon to be parentless. I would have clinged to him forever if I could. And since soon after my mothers death I have a wonderful stepmother.

I have worked the last 7 years at Hughes Aircraft Company, Space & Communications, in El Segundo, as a Product Assurance Engineer, and transitioned there from “Bill” to “Susan”. Most of my co-workers were really taken aback because I have never appeared in the slightest androgynous. In 1988 I started Electrolysis, in 1989 therapy and hormones, in 1990 living full time, and March 7, 1991 had my surgery – the icing on the cake.

I am unemployed now, don’t get enough exercise, have a right ankle that has seen to much stress and “kills” me sometimes when I walk on it. All I can say is I am glad I started all this in 1988 and not today!

And now for the future. Tomorrow I have minor surgery on two left foot toes, February 23rd I get my nose job and trachea shaved that I have been dreaming of, and March 8th I start an Electronic Technician program and a new career. I will never be in Quality at Hughes again but I might some day return as a technician!

The nose and trachea shave end the surgeries and physical changes that I anticipated needing in 1988. So far I have not added anything foreign to my transformation but have only changed what should have developed naturally so long ago. I have decided not to have the voice surgery because to date it appears unnecessary for me. Rather I need to work harder then ever at training my voice into what it should sound like.

I am happy to try and help anyone I can who feels gender dysphoric or is interested in any number of other hobbies such as computers (adventure games) and electronics, SCUBA diving, and US commemorative, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, or Palau stamps.

Best wishes and love,

Susan E. Daggett
1108 E. Imperial Av., Apt. B
El Segundo, CA 90245-2614
310-640-9194


From: CarynKR2
To: Melanie XX

Hi Melanie,
One of my bbs users has submitted the following for inclusion in the next issue of The Subversive.:

begin included message


 To: CARYN ROBERTS              Date: 03-10-93

From: DY S. PHORIA Time: 20:16
Subject: Thanx for the Subversive! Conf: Gender News (66)

I really appreciate and anxious await each month’s “episode” in the life of Melanie Phillips. She is an excellent role model and her thoughts are saturated with wit and intelligence.

So much of what she writes is universal truth and so very helpful in my day to day dealings with the stuff that life deals.
It’s great — keep ’em coming! Thanx, Melanie. I feel like I know you and love you from your writings. You have been an immense help to me.
Dy S. Phoria


Subj: Your Video
From: Marsha J
To: Melanie XX

I found out my mother watched the tape, she said she could learn a bunch of stuff from it also.

Marsha


And now for the next installment in the serialization of the book:

RAISED BY WOLVES:
A TRANSSEXUAL DIARY

by

Melanie Anne Phillips

PRELUDE

The pages beneath, chronicle my 30 month journey from a life as an apparently normal husband and father to that of an apparently normal woman. In the hope of capturing the immediacy of this emotional trip into the unknown, I shunned the retrospective approach, opting instead for a daily Diary.

Each entry was made on the day the events actually happened, expect as noted. And each is filled with the raw and unpolished thoughts and feelings that held me at that moment.

Of course, this leads to a somewhat meandering story, as well as contradictions in my point-of-view and personal emotional outbursts that I’m sure will make me squirm once this is published. But anything less would be less than truthful. And if this document is to serve any purpose as either a tool for tolerance and understanding or as an inspiration to those contemplating any major life-change, then it must be completely honest.

March 2, 1990

The USC mafia (my friends from film school) took me out to lunch today in honor of my birthday. I had been dreading my first appearance with Steve, who has always withheld any peer approval for my creative talents. “Why don’t you let me direct the feature and you just produce it. You don’t want to embarrass yourself.” Steve is an acid joker and blatant as hell about all things to do with sex. For example, when I first showed up at his office after he had heard about my plans, some three months ago, he pulled open my jacket to see if I had boobs yet! So I was expecting he might give me a vibrator or something equally gross. And of course, it would be in full public view and with a flourish! But instead, he gave me a funny card and a lot of support. In fact, after lunch, I mentioned it would take a long time to really fit it, but he shook his head and said, “You’re coming along…” Chris gave me a purse-size spray perfume – “Obsession” (the good stuff!). Tom had set the whole thing up, and they all chipped in to cover lunch. Thanks, guys. You make a girl feel wanted.

By the way, Steve’s card had a picture of a knock-out foxy babe on the front holding a dumbbell against her bare chest. The inscription read: “No more Ms. Nice Guy!” And Steve had added: “Dear Melanie, a lot of us have the fantasy of going to bed a man and waking up a woman. You just had the balls to do it!”

March 2, 1990 Evening

Just a brief note: On my way out to the car to pick up Mindi from school, I heard the next door neighbor and his teenage son, who was visiting, arguing in raised and heated voices whether I was a boy or a girl. I smiled to myself all the way to the school.

March 3, 1990

My first support group meeting since going fulltime. This entire evening was different than any other support meeting I had gone to, even beginning with getting ready. Instead of the nervousness and hassle of earlier trips, I spent the day working in the yard. When meeting time approached, I took a shower and got ready in a leisurely fashion that, even at that comfortable pace, took only a fraction of the prep time of my earlier visits. The practice of the last two months made everything routine. In face, it didn’t feel like “dressing” at all. Previously, this outing was an event: a rare occasion to venture out as a female, and one of the few times I could do so without fear of ridicule. But that is my everyday life now, and I just felt like I was getting ready to go see old friends..

When I arrived, there were more new faces than I had seen in a long time, engaged in the classroom section prior to the general meeting. As I walked to the kitchen to wait for the “rap” session, I could feel the eyes of many of them, not sure whether I was male or female. Again, that most exhilarating feeling of knowing that it didn’t really matter. I was just ME, and there my responsibility ends.

When my turn to speak finally arrived, I shared the events of the last two months. For the first time, I felt no need to impress my peer group. I truly wanted to share what had been a most fulfilling journey. But during my recitation, I noticed that several of the old-timers (regular attendees) were exchanging glances and smiling. I felt no nervousness, but wondered why. I finished and, as is custom, entertained questions and comments. Immediately, a retired MD, who attends with his wife, commented that never in the years he had been coming had he seen anything like it. He said he did not want to offend me, but until tonight, he could only describe me as “fragmented” personality. He said I was flip-flopping like a fish out of water. Manic, depressive, fickle like the wind. But tonight, suddenly I was together, calm and self-assured. He said he could hardly believe that I was the same person.

I was dumbstruck! I knew that I had felt a subtle yet powerful shift in my outlook over the last few weeks, but had no idea that this internal unification presented such obvious changes in my outward attitude. Others in the group joined in with similar comments. I felt as if I had come home to myself. I don’t know if this is the final stage in my quest or just another plateau on the way to the peak. I don’t even know if the peak can be reached, or for that matter, if it exists at all. But if this inner state serves as the base camp for future exploration, I know my pain will never return, for whatever storms I may encounter will roll over me, as the bedrock of this new “life foundation” anchors me and gives me shelter.

Classification is up to them. Half may see me as male and half as female at the same time, in the same room, but it doesn’t change my personality. I am myself and have no obligation to either conform to anyone else’s roles or off an explanation. Some will be my friends and some will turn their backs, but they won’t run away in droves. There are an astounding number of people – strangers, who not only accept me for what I want to be, but cheer me on as a champion of individuality.

Indeed, Chuck told me today that it would be easier for my friends to accept me as a weird male than the ultra female I had first attempted to be. And I know that in time the hormones and the practice will alter my physical presence in ways that will shift initial classification more and more frequently into the female sphere. Whether I will ever pass successfully is not only unknowable at this time, but unimportant as well. For I am simply being me. And if I am seen as gay, foppish, female or just plain strange, I no longer operate from a base of fear. I no longer have to cover up and pretend. My hiding days are over and all is right with the world.

Week of March 4th 1990

A slew of little things permeated the week like those little stones that get caught in your socks, and no matter how hard you shake and how sure you are they dropped out, when you put them on again the stones are still there. Actually, that doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense and really has nothing to do with what I want to write about. But it sure is a knockout opening line.

Since things have settled down to a routine, I will frequently condense great globs of time into a single entry, thereby avoiding something or other.

On Sunday, March 4th, I met with Fred and the representative of the Soviet Union about the production of Silent Night. Fred had asked me to “dress as a boy”, but he didn’t say anything about make-up! I gave the whole issue a lot of thought: Could I deal with backtracking after making so much headway? Sure, why not! ‘Cause in effect it’s not backtracking at all, but another rung of progress (“another rung of progress”? What the hell is THAT!) What I mean to say is, my acceptance of myself is so secure that I don’t need external triggers. But the, we’ve been over all of this too many times before.

So I wore a tight T shirt to show off my small but growing shape and used mild and neutral make-up: obvious, but not blatant. The meeting went well. I wowed them both with technical competence and an open and friendly manner. I neither tried to enhance nor disguise what I am and how I act. I simply was myself. The meeting went so well that another was scheduled the next day.

When I arrived, Fred told me he had explained about my situation to Leonid, who said it was no problem as long as I didn’t mind some jibes from the conservative Soviet people. I had prepared a four page dissertation on the technical needs of the production, thereby securing my position as Technical Director of this five million dollar feature and also weaseling into the position of Second Unit Director as well. Again, not bad for a transsexual from Burbank!

Diane, the Hollywood agent who recommended Fred to me for editing in the first place, a warm and caring lady if ever there was one, stopped by to join us for dinner. I had been wearing my hair down in an androgynous style, but during the conversation, found occasion to brush it back behind my ears in the feminine style I wear at work. Diane has known about me for some time, but we had not seen each other in months. So while Fred and Leonid went in for xerox copies, she and I sat in the car exchanging girl talk.

Fred took us to a coffee shop for dinner. He can accept what I am doing, but personally only wants to relate to me as Dave. With my new found inner peace, I found it amusing that every time he referred to me in male terms, several heads turned among the diners. Apparently he is more secure to be in the presence of an extremely feminine man than run the risk of misreading and discovery. But as I told him, “You can call me Peter the Great, just give me the Second Unit Directing job.!”

On Thursday, Mark and Juniko came over with some old film equipment and supplies to add to the collection I am trying to sell. Juniko also brought another huge load of clothing she recently weeded out of her closet. There were a number of great tops that really filled out my sparse wardrobe.

Later, we went out for dinner at a local restaurant. Juniko and I sat on one side of the table, Mark on the other. Just the reverse of how it used to be. Let me say now that I always have admired Juniko as one of my favorite people and Mark as incredibly empathetic. And those feeling have only been enhanced by their loyalty and friendship throughout my transition. But now, I feel a special comraderie with Juniko that I had not experienced before. We talk, we laugh, and frequently Mark (as the male of the trio) gets lampooned as Juniko and I discuss the ignorance of Women’s Issues of the Average White Male.

Poor Mark. He has such a big heart and his feelings runs so deep. He has said that he feels as if Melanie has murdered Dave. I’m sure he really wishes things were not as they are. But Mark, Dave is a part of Melanie. All that I was I still am. I am more, not less. And your friend is alive and well and honored to still be your friend.

The waiter took Juniko’s order, then asked me, “What will you have, Ma’am?” As we waited for the meal I offered to Mark that he could call me Dave, if it meant that much to him. I no longer needed outside triggers to get in touch with myself. But he felt confined, trapped. He said, “How can I call you Dave after the waiter called you Ma’am?”

I had no answer as to how to deal with that. Although I am no longer embarrassed or ashamed by any of this, many such as Fred and Mark, although supportive of me as a friend, are uncomfortable with the nomenclature. Tom B. and Chuck, my Boy Scout buddy, both cannot bring themselves to call me Melanie or refer to me as “she”. If they only knew the fulfillment that runs through me when I am accepted as I want to be… If they could only see into my soul and sense the rightness and necessity of this path… But no. I think the problem is not unacceptance of me, but unacceptance of how this path would apply to themselves. They ask themselves, “Why is he doing this?”, and find within themselves no answer. But that is as it should be, for this course is wrong for them.

I suspect that more than anything, these good friends want to protect me from myself. The frustrating fact is that they will never be able to fully appreciate the inevitability of my transition since they do not personally carry the seeds of it within. But PLEASE, guys! I am not you! And I never was you. And I never was your kind. I am a different animal altogether. But believe you me, these steps have not come lightly nor unconsidered, but have been taken at great risk to happiness, sanity, even life itself. And if I had discovered a viable alternative for myself, I would have taken it.

I have spent the last thirty years pondering this, daily, and have only recently settled into confident self knowledge. Let’s give the girl a break here and let her be what she wants to be, no regrets, no apologies.

I care for you all and take pride in the honor you bestow through your friendship. I hope someday you will come to understand that Dave would TRULY have been lost if he had tried to live in a way that was right for you. The greatest service you can offer him is to let him be her.

Friday, March 9th 1990

A small note: Larry called to fill me in on the mediation of his feature that I am editing. He took time to tell me that he enjoyed working with me, not just as an editor, but as a human being: someone with whom he could develop creative ideas and share pleasant conversation. You know, its the little moments that make it all worthwhile.

Sunday, March 11th, 1990

Mary and I shared a wonderful weekend of house redecorating. We have such a pleasant time together that I yearn for the day when I can truly feel secure that she will not find it necessary to leave me.

At the store today, we bumped into Jack and Louise, Mary’s only remaining close-blood relatives. We hardly ever see them, so we talked for some time, blocking the aisle and incurring the wrath of several itinerant shoppers.

It turned out that Jack had come to my office sever times last year and had Tom B. make video copies for him. As we parted, I mentioned to Mary that I didn’t know what to do if he should show up and see me as Melanie. She replied, “How often do I see them?”

I wish I could understand. Since the death of her mother and then father, she has had only me and my family as relatives. But with the instability of our situation in recent months, how can she banter her relationship with the last two of her clan with such nonchalance? Do I take this as a sign that in her own mind she has cast her lot with me for better or worse? I do not know. But I DO know that should such be the case, I will do my best to honor that commitment with respect for the magnitude of its meaning.

Monday, March 12, 1990

Juniko called today to ask some business oriented questions regarding a project she hopes to launch. I enjoy so much the openness and acceptance of her manner. In fact, I feel it goes beyond that. It is almost as if she had no knowledge of my former role and I was her female friend from day one. And lifted by that unbelievable openness, I shall strive to be the best female friend she has.

Tuesday, March 13, 1990

A day full of business as usual at the office. Except that “business as usual” is most unusual for me. Only last week I had barely begun to venture out of my hiding place when clients were around. And twice I had occasion to speak with two of them. But today, Tom had class, leaving me alone to watch the shop.

I was terrified.

Foisting yourself on friends is one thing, but what about strangers? I know (when I’m honest with myself) that at this point in my transition I am as readable as if I had a neon sign at any distance closer than ten feet. So, what would they do to me?

First was an editing session with a beautiful girl, an actress: blonde, sexy, earthy. And me, the guy in drag (shit!). She didn’t ask my name as we went to work, and I didn’t offer it. I knew she MUST have me pegged, GODDAMN – she HAD to have me figured out. And yet, my lack of embarrassment, my new inner peace, held strong. I acted as I chose, spoke as I wanted, gestured freely and without pretense. I was wearing a female blouse and full make-up, and I knew she had me figured out. But her manner was so open, her conversation so friendly, that I began to doubt my conclusion. Maybe she DIDN’T know… but then what was she – BLIND?

We laughed, we created, we enjoyed the session. In fact, I enjoyed the session more than any other of its nature that I had ever handled. What freedom! Tom returned about two hours later as we were finishing up and asked her about the session. She told him that HE (referring to me) had done a great job. Obviously, its safe to assume that she had me figured out! But, WOW! The inner peace was still there! And, if anything, I felt even freer to act as I chose, knowing there was no pretense to keep up.

Another order came in and I handled that without a thought about how I was perceived. I answered several phone calls, identifying myself as Melanie. ANOTHER order came in from one of the two clients I deal with last week. Again, not the bat of an eye!

Now in fairness, the women clients so far seem completely unaffected by this, and may even find it a natural desire (“Who’d want to be a man if you had a choice, anyway!”) But even the male clients are accepting. Now how do you figure that? All those years, all that suffering, and for what? I could have been me a long time ago and probably had MORE friends and a BIGGER career than I have now! Weird world we live in, ain’t it?

P.S. A Brief Note: I cracked some awful joke to Mindi this afternoon, while we were alone in the house. She raised her arms skyward, imploringly, and asked, “Does anyone here understand this man?” Indeed.

March 15, 1990

A letter to Tina, who I met through a gender community computer bulletin board:

Dear Tina,

Great to hear from you again! Sorry to be so late in responding, but I’m usually busier than I care to be and keep putting fun things off while my nose skins raw on the grindstone.

You mentioned about the “unstoppable force” pulling you in this direction. I’ve often considered whether another mate, a more successful career, or more monetary security would have altered the path I have chosen. To be hones, I just don’t know. When times have been good throughout my life, my TS tendencies have all but disappeared, only to resurface whenever the dark clouds rolled in. Each return was stronger than the last until after last year, the worst year of my life, there was no recession even when the weather cleared. I guess once the genie is out there is no, “back in the bottle with you!” Just be careful insofar as that the care and feeding of your “unstoppable force” will make it a stronger and more voracious animal!

Since I wrote last, a subtle shift has brought incredible peace to my life. After about six weeks of full time, suddenly one morning I woke up and realized I felt better about life than I had in years! I realized I had jumped into fulltime just to meet the requirements of surgery so I could have the “justification” to act as I wanted. I have always been a terribly insecure person and covered up for it by being the leader or center of attention. But the insecurity remained a painful cancer gnawing through me, ravaging my mind and soul. And “justification” was the key word of my existence.

If not for the requirement of fulltime I am convinced I could never have done it. But the need to have the “authorization” to act female by surgically obtaining the proper equipment was so strong that I just jumped in and did it. But, as I mentioned, at about six weeks I realized that I truly enjoyed this lifestyle. And over the three weeks since then, many other gossamer but powerful changes have moved through me. I realized that I no longer minded being read. It wasn’t like before when I just numbed myself against the embarrassment or thumbed my nose at society, picturing myself as some sort of rebel. No, it was just a lack of reaction to others attitudes toward me. I simply was ME. And THAT required no justification or explanation.

I have yet to suffer a bad reaction to this face to face. And as I have progressed, I only get read in close contact situations. Surprisingly, these close encounters are the most satisfying as since I am read as a male, I don’t have to worry about slipping up! I can just be as I am now, moving toward femininity but with a need for more “flight time” before I get my pilot’s license. I actually think people find it easier to deal with a weird male who doesn’t unrealistically pretend no one has read him, than with someone who bullheadedly maintains the sham. A close friend told me the other day that she most admired the fact that I had done all this “unapologetically”. Great word! It doesn’t mean being obnoxious or flaunting your decision but simply accepting it yourself. Then, others are not embarrassed and join in supporting you.

To this end, I have told my friends that I no longer “required” them to call me Melanie. I reaffirmed that I preferred that, but I count entertain any form of address they felt comfortable with. Strangely, one friend felt that I put it all on his shoulders! We were out to dinner and he said, “How can I call you Dave, when the waiter just called you Ma’am?” But also, it has allowed me to take the movie job. The executive producer insists on calling me Dave. But I come dressed in the same clothes with the same hairstyle and same make-up (minus lipstick) that I wear at work and look just as “Melanie” as I ever do. So we go to the restaurant, he calls me Dave and half the heads in the place turn. But THAT he can deal with. He’d rather be seen in the presence of a “weird male” than get caught contributing to a sham if I should get read.

Sometimes, I’ll be in a room with several people. Some know me as Dave who is becoming Melanie, some accept me in my new role, some actually think I am female, some read me as a male in female clothes, and others just see me as the male they’ve always known! The fun part is, that none of that changes ME! Inside, I am the same person, they just classify me differently. And that is neither my responsibility nor my job. I can and should just be myself and let others make their own decisions. They can accept me or go away. Not with vindictiveness on my part, but the simple knowledge that there are billions of people in the world, and if some choose not to associate with me (and I’ve not run into that yet) there are a lot more who will!

So all in all, the internal “shifting” that used to take up to six hours when changing roles, never occurs at all any more. Rather, I put on a different “persona” as my psychologist calls it. Just as if I would act differently in a suit and tie than blue jeans and T-shirt. The inner person does not change. He or she simple expresses himself in a different dialect, as it were. In that manner, I am fulltime even if called Dave, Daddy, Husband, Melanie, he she, or it. And a damn good feeling it is too!

Sorry to hear about the career setbacks you’ve suffered! That seems to be the norm for most everyone connected with the entertainment fields. I guess there are only a few truly good places to hang on the media tree, and none of the other monkeys want to get off!

I understand about feeling better for everything we’ve gone through! I hear some people say, “I wish I’d done this years ago!” Not true for me! If I had made this choice at any time earlier than I did, it would have torn me apart. It nearly did anyway, but at least I had the certain knowledge that I had done all I could in the male role. There simply were no other achievements that mattered: nothing left. But now… Ah, now! My interest in my career has rejuvenated with a vengeance! All the creative areas that had dulled and greyed are alive again in Ted Turner Technicolor! My interest has reawakened, rested and alert and ready to carry me through the second half of life. And my personal relationships have sparked anew! Stagnating friendships are growing once more! The time spent with my kids is ever more precious, and I truly believe that Mary and I are falling in love again! We spend so much quality time together these days; decorating our new house, going to buy plants for the yard, selling Girl Scout cookies for our daughter, even simply watching TV. Mary may never understand that as much as she is disturbed about my transition, without it our marriage was over. The inner turmoil was so great it would have shortly torn us apart. But I am well aware that only by ceasing to shackle great chunks of my personality in the dark recesses of my mind have I been freed to be hers, completely and honestly. And in the long run, that is the only kind of relationship that can last.

Finally, I am glad to hear about your girlfriend. I have learned that you can get through anything if you don’t have to do it alone!

Take care, think twice, but don’t hold back! Write soon!

Happiness,
Melanie

March 16, 1990

In spite of my growing confidence in social situations, I feel, with justification, that I have been hiding from real life encounters. I walk to work from the parking structure and deal with clients in the office. But when I interrelate with the public at large it is always in the company and protection of friends. I feel ill at ease in passing myself off as female when I am on my own. So I have avoided banking, shopping, xeroxing, ordering food and a myriad of other activities since going fulltime nine weeks ago.

But today, I broke that barrier. And, in typical Melanie fashion, I just jumped in and did it. It turned out that I had a number of chores that absolutely had to be done this morning before I picked up the kids. But I also had to go into the office for a couple of hours. My only options were going in as Melanie, then switching, or chowing up at the office as Dave. Or, just doing the chores as Melanie.

So, off to the insurance company I went. And then to the paint store. Bought invitations for Mindi’s birthday party and returned to the office. I passed without difficulty except to the clerk I was directly dealing with. And even then, I am not sure whether I was read as a male in drag or a woman with a complexion problem.

Part of the success was due, no doubt, to the obviously real bulges beneath my tank top. If the beard shadow made them think, the breasts made them think again. I suppose none of these people who were close enough to wonder ever did figure it out with certainty. And that is alright by me. For if I present myself as female, even these questioning individuals will play it safe and play along. Better to treat someone as they are advertising than to offend someone by making a mistake.

So, my confidence is at a new high. My estimation of ultimate success has risen . Even should things never get more passable than this, it is enough. Even now, it is enough.

March 17, 1990

We reached a new (not ANOTHER new!) agreement today, Mary and I. Actually, it refines an earlier agreement. Or should I say it redefines a previous… What the hell is she talking about! (You may well ask!) Mary and I decided that I would no longer attempt to second-guess what she would or would not feel comfortable with in terms of my dress and behavior around the house. Rather, I will try whatever feels good to me, and if it bothers her, she’ll say so. Makes it (believe you me) easier.

Tonight, we went to the supermarket. Every aisle, Mary would hold me or tickle me or say something to inform the shoppers of that corridor that I was a male. I do not know if this was intentional. And I do not know if it was to hold on to me, to set back the clock, to avoid embarrassment, or simply because she felt intimate the time. But I DID notice that it made ME uncomfortable. I kept feeling that the shoppers were perceiving me as a female and that they saw us as a couple of lesbians. Now why on earth I, a transsexual, should be embarrassed at being classified as a lesbian is beyond me. Perhaps I think of it as false advertising. Or perhaps it wakens other, even new and better and kinkier yearnings that I would rather not explore. In any event, that which I am most loathe to explore should be that I most fervently pursue – or some such nonsense!

March 20, 1990

Am I getting brassy or what? After all this time struggling to feel at ease in public, today I went out like a 50/50 bar. Half and half, Yin and Yang, alter and ego together again. Tight (but male) T-shirt, female everything else, hair styled, but no make-up. You see, I just got this but in my bonnet that I didn’t pass as male very well anymore. In fact, its beginning to embarrass me to try to pass myself off as a man! So I figured, okay then… And I went to the store as a push me/pull you.

Read as female all the way until I stood in line and they got a good look at me. But, I mean, like, wow! The femininity ripples outward from the inside and glows around you almost irrespective of one’s attire. (Almost, but not quite!) Anyway, I was a little nervous. Actually, kind of a little itsy bitsy bitty bit nervous. That is to say, half a tad. But not much. Not nearly so much as I used to be just presenting myself as a male when I thought I was one! So there, and so on, and shoobie doobie doo….

March 22, 1990

Now here was neat day! Juniko has been talking to me about the computer animation career she always wanted to have. And we have been discussing a partnership between the two of us to open a company for same. So, she called me up the other day and invited me along to a computer animation convention.

Now, this was great! What a fantastic way to overcome the final tendrils of my ever weakening fear of dealing with the public! I drove to Juniko’s and Mark’s apartment in Santa Monica. We had coffee, then Mark went off to work and the girls went off to the convention.
Juniko drove (she has the better car) and we chatted all the way of the hour trip. My what a wonderful person she is! As I have mentioned, she has always been one of my favorite people, but in my new position as equal member of the same peer group, I appreciate her even more. I have several incredibly strong friendships with the male friends made in my earlier persona, but it seems my closest friendships are to be with women.

We shared on equal footing, firm footing on common ground. Strange, how my insecurity stayed at home. I felt so good about myself that it hardly mattered if I was read or not. In fact, I began to wonder what being read really meant. Some time ago, Dr. Jayne had asked someone at my support group “What do you mean, “read?”” At the time, I thought it was the stupidest question I had ever encountered: a word game that had me wondering if I should change psychologists! But now, I asked the same question. And in actuality, being read consists of two parts: being identified as a male in women’s clothing, and feeling male because of it. And THAT, dear children, is what transitioning is all about.

You can’t get read if you don’t collaborate.

We strolled the aisles, two businesswomen on the prowl. You know, I gotta admit, life as a woman in our society (for me) is one hell of a lot better than life as a male. The food attendants are just a little bit friendlier, the salesmen just a little more gracious. And all this without second class status (thanks to the trickle down effect of women’s lib).

Now you women out there pull back your hackles! I am well aware there is a lot of downside to being female in America (or anywhere else for that matter!) But up to this point, I have not yet encountered it. So PLEASE, for the moment, let me revel in the upside until nature’s insatiable quest for equilibrium balances me out.

Side note: There were perhaps a thousand people traipsing the halls. And of those, only fifteen or twenty gave me the slightest sideways look all day. And of those, half were men checking out the bustline. Ah, what a great day!

And you know, it’s a different feeling ENJOYING passing, rather than CRAVING it. Mostly, I was able to put gender issues completely from my mind and enjoy the displays and demonstrations. I have begun on my new life of renewed interest in just about everything and waning concern for the gender matrix in which these things reside. But, God! What a feeling it is finally to be free!

March 23, 1990

I met with Brian and Time today to discuss their production of a documentary about me. Strange, how I felt no uneasiness at appearing as Melanie before Brian for the first time. I suppose that stems from the consistency of my inner feelings these days. I no longer “do” Melanie. I AM Melanie. All day, all night, waking or sleeping, I am as I am, who I am, and present myself as. So there is no routine to engage, no checklist to verify, no telemetry to monitor. There is just me and I no longer have trouble expressing that.

We went to Shakey’s Pizza for lunch and outlined our individual conceptions of how the project should proceed. It is my major concern that this piece present transition as only one aspect of a multi-interest life: a bump in the crossroads between an unsuccessful, unsatisfying existence and a fulfilling one. But I don’t have to tell YOU that! Not if you’ve read this far!

We considered the propriety of simultaneously releasing the documentary (an objective view) with this journal (a subjective treatise). In this manner, each would help promote the other as another aspect of the story and boost sales which I hope will propel my personal finances to the point that I need never work again and can fritter away the days engaged in self-serving, no-productive pandering. Doesn’t it thrill you that by purchasing this book, you have in some small way contributed to such a grand venture?

After lunch, I introduced the Filmmakers Two to Dr. Jayne, as I had a session scheduled and they wanted to secure her cooperation. Which they did. After conscientious examination of the project.

My session was most satisfying. The same peace that has lodged within me, filled my thoughts and reactions. No struggles, just surprises. And gratifying. Especially when Jayne changed the subject abruptly at one point and explained that she had been looking for stereotypical female gestures or use of voice and found none. I smiled. I guess it finally comes from the heart.

March 24, 1990

It started with the alarm clock, my Saturday did. Blasted out of bed at SEVEN (expletive deleted) O’CLOCK on a SATURDAY MORNING!!! Pranced through the shower, waved bacon and eggs over the fire, rousted my son and hunted my uniform. The day of the CUB SCOUT HIKE had arrived!

One by one, these eager future mountain men crossed my threshold and sat transfixed in front of the Nintendo, hoping the whole thing would be delayed until the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles destroyed the Technidrome.

But, alas, nature’s call could be heard even over the lawnmowers and traffic, and the Turtles were left to fend for themselves.

We arrived at Griffith Park. (For those of you unfamiliar with L.A., it is the West Coast equivalent of Central Park: A small island of semi-natural hill land besieged by the surrounding urban blight.) Fixing our basecamp in the parking lot at the Greek Theatre, we pressed on into the wild, encountering such fierce creatures as joggers, strolling families, and lizards.

It was a strenuous enough hike for a group of 4th and 5th graders, rising one thousand feet from the valley floor to the top of Mount Hollywood, elevation 1650 feet. We stood in the silence of the wind on the flat plateau at the summit and gazed into the haze, gulping the city-scarce rush of communion with nature.

I enjoy my contribution as a youth leader. I’ve done it for five years running. I hope that my personal solution will not prevent my future participation.

As soon as we arrived home, the Cubbies went home and Mary and the kids loaded into my puny Toyota and dashed down the freeway toward the L.A. County Fairgrounds where a pet show was being held. My guts twisted into familiar patterns as I found myself uncomfortably trying to play the role of male for kids who don’t know and wife who doesn’t want to see all the while aware that I was being mostly seen as female.

It was a fascinating pet show, but I myself felt animalistic, not sure whether I was a fish out of water or neither fish nor fowl. I spoke of this to Mary on the road home, and we agreed to talk later that night.

Instead of hiding from the discussion, this time she joined me in conversation without flinching. I explained that I felt like I was still hiding; that home was the only place I couldn’t be myself. She told me that she was SURE that we would make it. She was amazed at her own tolerance and at how her tolerances have broadened and grown so quickly. There was no doubt in her mind that everything would work out.

Later that evening, our daughter complained of a pain on the back of her neck. Mary pulled back her hair and discovered a tick, burrowed halfway into her scalp (Yeach!) We ended up taking her to the Urgent Care Center to have the pesky thing removed.

Then we went to bed.

March 25, 1990

Mindi’s seventh birthday. We ran around all morning gathering food and supplies for the party. Shortly after Grampa returned with the kids from church, Mindi’s friends began to arrive. Seven kids on Mindi’s seventh birthday, the first in this house – the same house in which I celebrated my seventh birthday, the last until I returned for my thirty-seventh. A lot of lucky numbers there.

I’m truly getting tired of covering up for myself to spare “the kids, who don’t know” (as I refer to them with people who will be calling me at home). But summer vacation is only ten weeks away, and both children will be switching schools due to the move. All new friends and a three month buffer period to get used to the New Improved Daddy. So, wait I must. But less cautiously, day by day.

This evening, I went to Larry and Victoria’s for dinner. We were planning a deal to merge my video duplication company with their production company, thereby injecting needed expansion funds into my company and assuring its continuance during my freelance absences.
I was tickled to be courted in this manner, and thrilled with the possibility of meeting new people at their company as Melanie: the start of a new social life. But when I returned, Mary objected strongly, feeling that the business should stay in the family. It was hard to temper my desire for an expanded social existence with prudent business sense, but eventually reason won over, and I agreed to kill the deal.

If not for her qualms, I am sure I would have concluded the arrangement, as I am sick of devoting my time to a technical, non-creative endeavor that runs me more than I run it. But I am actually, in some odd way, relieved that I will maintain complete control of the operation, good, bad, or indifferent.

March 31, 1990

At this moment, perhaps the most unnerving feeling I have ever experienced. For about half an hour now, I have sensed something different within myself, something unlike any previous sensation. And just moments ago, I verbalized this sub-cognizant rumbling to Mary. I told her I felt that I had become a different person.

Sure, I am aware of the purely physical changes. And I had been told that after some time on hormones my thought patterns would actually alter in deep, subtle and permanent ways. But I had assumed that my inner peace and self-acceptance were the shifts I had been warned about. I was wrong.

How can one quantify change except through comparison to things unaltered. Only in reference to the static can the motive be calibrated. My past is fixed. And my thought patterns – not first level logic-based attitudes or even amorphous emotions – but actual ROUTES OF THOUGHT remained nearly constant throughout my memory. If there had been any previous shifting, it was so slowly achieved that it went unnoticed from day to day, much as dust is never seen to fall until its presence is discovered by the casual stroke of fingertips across a tabletop.

But what I feel now is not gradual, nor is it lost in the background. What I feel is that I have become someone else. As I pen these words, the inspiration still comes from deep within, but it wells up from strange quarters. The currents and eddies of my mind spiral in patterns unfamiliar. My personality is not what it was. I have been lost in the process of becoming me.
The pictures of my past play against my memory retaining clarity of event. But the MOTIVATIONS, the driving force that compelled my actions has become obscure or indiscernible. I can understand, but no longer FEEL those attitudes and urges. It is as if someone had described them to me.

It is so odd to think that all the while I have been swirling in the vortex of change, I had not realized it had carried me downshore and deposited my SELF on a wholly different beach. And that is far more significant an alteration than any of the pronounced intrusions violently thrust upon my psyche.

How do I feel changed inside? What gives up the clue? What convinces me that I am not who I used to be? For one, my priorities have shifted. I still enjoy and am still drive toward the same things. But now their order of importance has been scrambled. My likes and dislikes are the same, but topsy turvey. If I had forged a weighted list of items dear, my list would surely now be greatly disarranged. And more: my philosophy, my code of ethics, my concept of the mind of God, have all been melted in odd distortions, each as valid as that which it replaced, but none resembling the roots from which it sprang.

No – even the roots are not common to both! It is almost as if my mind had been diced like so many cubes of Jell-o. And while I slept each night, some phantom chef replaced a few with an untried flavor. Now that the refrigerator door has finally been opened, the concoction itself bears no resemblance to that which preceded it. And the mold that grows in the cracks is of a wholly different kiln.

My metaphors grow weary in the frustrated attempt to convey the unexplainable. It FEELS DIFFERENT inside. I don’t think the same. I cannot even remember what it felt like to think as my former self. Dave is now as distant to me as if he had never been a part of me. His actions clear, his drive comprehensible, but I share no “oneness” with him. We have split and the line that might have been his to travel has been stunted and sealed forever.

Do you sense some anger at the loss of his future? Some emptiness from the pain of that which I have been denied? Tears fill my eyes as I type these words, as if I were grieving for a friend who has passed on.

Just days ago, I had reread my forward to this journal, “So Dave must die in order for Melanie to live.” And I laughed to myself at how wrong I had been. Now I cry at how right I was.

I am happy to be me. I am at peace; I am better off. But I grieve for Dave as I did my mother. In truth, he is no more. And I shall not meet him again in this life. And I want to hug him and see his smile and thank him for the ultimate sacrifice he made in giving me life. But there is only the air to hug. And the smile in the mirror is no longer his. So I must live now with not only the loss of someone closer to me than anyone else can ever be, but also with the knowledge that I am responsible for his death.

I miss him….

(Copyright 1992, Melanie Anne Phillips)

(The Transsexual Diary series will continue in the next edition of The Subversive)

I urge you all to keep a diary of YOUR personal journey, whether it be through transition or not. The attitudes and even the order of events becomes cloudy through time, and I am continually amazed to re-read things that memory would have me believe had happened differently. If nothing else, it is a good way to see long-term patterns in yourself that you cannot see except in retrospect. That objective view alone is worth the inconvenience of keeping a journal.


FEATURES

“SWEEPING BACK THE BEACH”

by
Juniko Moody

my body is losing cells at a faster rate
than it replaces them
this is called aging
my ‘beauty treatments’ are maintenance
it takes more time in the bathroom every year
just to be presentable
presentable means no flakes
i scrub and scrub
use loofas
emollients
astringents
facial soaps with grit
toothpaste with grit
or bleach
or microbeads
i soak
and steam
and mask with clays
then after all the dead cells are hopefully washed away
seal the skin with lotions and oils

would that i could be dipped in glycerin
like the moss used to make tiny trees
on model train sets
at the end of the ritual
then would i be perfectly preserved for all time?

there is perfume
so that when the flakes come back in the middle of the day
i will at least still smell clean

someday i’ll stop all this
i’ll let the flakes keep coming
and wait to see if there will ever be an end to them
at some point all my tissue should fall off and blow away
like leaves on a tree
and then i will know what is underneath
but i bet the cells will continue to shed
like an everlasting snowfall
and then it will occur to me that i must
be making more cells than i’m losing
because i never run out
this is called living

it makes no difference
try to stop cells from dying
try to rush the process to its inevitable conclusion
like sweeping back the beach
only sometimes sweeping towards the sea
and sometimes sweeping towards the shore
does it really matter to which side one sweeps?


“My Trip to Milwaukee”

by
Denise A. Fell

I left Jacksonville on February 10th. The plane was about 20 minutes late and when I arrived at Newark, I had like 4 minutes to get from one end of the airport to the other. Talk about a rush. I made the flight, and surprisingly enough, so did my luggage.My next stop was Cleveland. I was surprised. This was a very nice airport. It looked new and was very clean. I guess that I sort of expected a little shack or something.I arrived in Milwaukee at about 8:10 that evening.

To my surprise and happiness, it was snowing. I was thrilled. Also, it was cold. I do like winter time. I have a hard time dealing with hot and muggy. I know, I live in the wrong place, but what can I say.My rental car was ready and I went off to my motel. This was about 1 mile from the airport. They were very nice and helped me get my luggage in. I made a couple of phone calls, and then I went to bed early.

I had put in a call for 6:00 a.m. Thursday was a big day for me. I was going back to my old job site and have breakfast and lunch with the girls. The same as before, but this time I was truly one of the girls.I got on the road, and it all seemed to come back to me. I remembered what exits to take, where to make my turns, etc. Before long I was parked in the garage at the Federal Building. I got on the elevator and went up to the 7th Floor.I was slightly nervous. I had only been know as *** while I worked there, I mean I had written and sent a picture, but still, it was like the first day of RLT.

I went into the office and it was like old times. It was great and I don’t think that there was any awkwardness between Cathy, Mary Ann, Sharon, Kim and myself. It went well. I had one Appeals Officer that said it was a little strange, but he would get use to it.We had breakfast downstairs at Wendys and then it was off to the mall for me to do a little shopping or just look around. I came back to the office at 11:30 and then we went to the mall for lunch. They had a great food court there. I went to the place that I had lunch almost everyday for 14 months and ordered what I ate at least 3 times a week. The owner was there and never gave me a second look. It truly surprised me.

After lunch I went out to another mall and looked around. I also went by the local Sears and got on Prodigy to check for mail from Jenny Lynn (JenniLynnH on AOL).After leaving the mall, I went by the grocery store that I shopped at and picked up some Diet Coke and something to snack on. I headed back to the motel to think about dinner and Friday. Friday was the big day. Marsha was coming up from Chicago, We were going to meet Wendy for lunch and Jenny Lynn was also coming up from Chicago sometime Friday evening.

I pulled into the parking lot and after dropping things all over the place imagine my surprise when Marsha came up to me. She had arrived early. It was a great surprise. We went into my room and after getting settled had a great talk, well at least I talked. We went to dinner at a nice little restaurant next to the motel. This is where Marsha convinced me that calories do not count on vacation. She lied big time. We had a nice dinner and more talk back in the motel.While we were talking the guy that had helped me with my luggage came by. He was quite loaded. He came in and talked and all of the sudden he leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. I let him know real quick like that Denise did not play that game. I think he was offended, but anyway he left and we continued talking.

I got up on Friday, got dressed and Marsha got in my rental car with me and we drove off to the Grand Avenue Mall. Since my old office was open, We were able to leave our coats there and did not have to carry them around.We went through the mall and then at the appointed time we met Wendy at the food garden. We had a nice chat, then this is where Denise was a bad girl. I had gone back to the same place for lunch, got the same thing and still no recognition. I could not help it. The devil made me do it, but I went back to the owner and said, “You don’t remember me do you?” He said “No.” I said remember the guy that moved back to Florida? He came here almost everyday for lunch.” He said, “Sure, he went to Jacksonville.” I said “That’s me.” He looked and said no. I said yes it is. He looked again and said why are you dressed like that. So I told him. It took about 5 minutes.

I went back to the table and we finished our visit. I told them what I had done and they grinned. After lunch Marsha and myself went off to South Ridge Mall again and went shopping. I got a pink sweater and a dress that was on sale.Back to the motel, and then off to dinner at the same place. This time their was a waiter, who read me. I think he may have been gay, I don’t know. Anyway, that happens.

We got back to the motel and Jenny Lynn had arrived we had a long talk. The majority of the talk was about discovering who you are and accepting it. We all agreed after Marsha passed Melanie’s pictures around, that we hated her, (just kidding) and only wished that we could be so fortunate. We talked until late. Jenny had to get something to eat so we said good night and went to sleep.

Saturday, we went back to the Grand Avenue Mall and had lunch, picked up a few little odds and ends and then went back to South Ridge Mall. I wanted to check Prodigy for mail and see if I could find anything on sale that I wanted. We had something to eat and then came back to the motel. We had supper and a little time to talk as I packed to get ready for my return flight. We agreed to meet for breakfast in the morning. We went up the road to Dennys and then said our goodbyes. I was sad that I was leaving two friends, but it was Valentines Day and I had about a 4 hour layover in Newark, and Joanna was coming to spend it with me.

The flights to Newark went smoothly. I arrived in Newark, and as within a couple of minutes after getting off the plane, Joanna was in front of me. For those that do not know, Joanna is my S.O. She is the best friend that I have and she has stuck by my side through all of this. She is a wonderful person that I miss very much and will be glad when she finally moves down here or at least comes for a visit. It was wonderful to see her. It had been the first time that she had seen Denise except for a picture. It felt so good to talk to her face to face.

The time flew by and before I knew it, it was time to get on my plane to go home. I was on the verge of tears. I said I had wished that I had planned to stay in Newark for the night, but that was hindsight.I got back to Jacksonville and after some delay, I got my van loaded up and was on my way home. It felt good to get back into my own bed and I went to sleep thinking of the good friends that I had finally met and seeing the one special friend in my life.

As I drifted off to sleep, I knew that tomorrow I would go pick up Misty and my little one would be home with me and things would be back to normal. Misty is my puppy.It was a great trip. I have now met Melanie, Marsha, Wendy and Jenny Lynn. I hope the next trip is to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, where our resident Air Traffic Controller lives after that maybe a
little SCUBA Diving with Susan.


A Review of the Feminine Voice Training Video Program
“Melanie Speaks!”

by
Marsha J’s Mom!

” Melanie Speaks is a very good tape for helping anyone alter speech patterns which aren’t to ones liking. Particularly interesting are the sections on the flow of speech and rhythm patterns, and choice of vocabulary. Recognition of how one is perceived by the persons who are to meet ones needs in the item on “I want…” vs. “I would like…” is an eye-opener to those who grew up on the “I want” side. (Many genetic girls know this, and those who strive for the ‘power positions’ change their speech accordingly.)

Most people talk as they were taught as children, and there are many girls who want to speak in a more feminine way. Those for whom a different way of speaking might change their status in life can use much of the information in Melanie Speaks.

[Frank Perdue does a Spanish language radio commercial about his chickens, and there is no doubt that it is he speaking. The vocabulary is OK. If he learned the Spanish flow of speech and its rhythm , he could sound more like a native speaker, but that’s probably not his aim.]

Language student/teacher; singing range low alto/upper tenor
Tried to copy low voices like Tallulah Bankhead (tells my age, doesn’t it?). Later realized that smoking and drinking probably helped create that voice.”


MELANIE’S WISE WORDS OF THE MONTH

Never Count on Inertia;
Never Depend on Change.
– Wilma Snakestare


AMERICA ONLINE GENDER GROUP STATISTICS

Contributed by Marsha J, Gender Room Secretary

Attendee Stats as of March 1993

State Distribution

AK. 1 AZ. 2 BC. 2 CA. 28
CO. 2 CT. 5
DE. 1 FL. 12
GA. 3 IA. 1 IL. 16 IN. 6
KY. 1 LA. 5 MA. 6 MD. 5
ME. 3 MI. 7 MN. 3 MO. 6
MS. 3 MT. 1 NC. 5 NH. 4
NJ. 7 NM. 4 NV. 1 NY. 11
OH. 9 OK. 2 ON. 3 OR. 3
PA. 4 RI. 1 TN. 1 TX. 10
UT. 1 VA. 6 VT. 1 WA. 4
WI. 4 WV. 2 WY. 1

203 Attendees

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR 203 MEMBERS FOR HELPING TO CREATE A SAFE HAVEN OF SUPPORT FOR EVERYONE CONCERNED WITH GENDER ISSUES!!!

                    GENDER CONFERENCE

Don’t forget to attend the Gender Room Meeting on the America Online BBS in the Gay/Lesbian area in the Community Room at 9pm ET every Sunday evening. For specific information, directions, or to order back logs of the chats, Email Marsha J, the Gender Room secretary.

If you have a particular topic of interest and/or would like to host (or hostess) a Gender Room meeting specifically addressed to that topic, please send pertinent information and we will publish an announcement in the Gender News of the upcoming talk.


AFTERGLOW

The Paradox that Lurks the Locks

by
Melanie Anne Phillips

Time will purge the ones who merge,
the words of “Time” and “Space”.
(They really aren’t connected),
‘cept by moments in one place.

But Space will out the one who tout,
a link ‘twixt “Space” and “Time”.
They are not chained together,
by reason nor by rhyme.

Yet something stands between the sands,
dividing “Hour” from “Glass”:
The Paradox that spans the locks?
(Not energy nor mass!)

Some enigmatic creature then,
that stretches ‘cross the span?
The paradox that lurks the locks?
N’est monster, c’est man!


“May you never find occasion to say, ‘If only…..'”

SUBVERSIVE PUBLICATIONS

BEST SELLING NEW VIDEO RELEASE!!!!

Copies sold from California to Maine, Chicago to Finland!

“MELANIE SPEAKS!” In this new video, Melanie Anne Phillips explains how she achieved a new voice for her new role. The program provides exercises in Pitch, Resonance, Dynamic Range, Annunciation, Body English, Vocabulary, and Grammar in a step by step fashion that makes it easy for you to develop your own unique feminine voice and vocal patterns. The “secret” is a special exercise that let’s you develop a truly female resonance that you can turn on or off at the drop of a hat. If you have ever been embarrassed by your voice or have contemplated vocal surgery, see this tape first!!!

Melanie Speaks! – 49 minute educational video ……….. $20.00

Dry Spell……………………..110 pages, scriptbinding……….. $20.00

An original sci-fi/thriller screenplay by Melanie Anne, following a woman archaeologist as she struggles to destroy a deadly organism discovered while documenting Native American ruins.

Snowstorm……………………..102 pages, scriptbinding……… $20.00

An action/adventure screenplay by Melanie Anne, that crosses the paths of a teenage boy entered in a dangerous cross-country snowmobile race and the ruthless destruction of an entire town by a druglord.

The Day After Christmas………….50 pages, Softcover…………… $5.00

A fully illustrated, satire on the threat of nuclear war that follows the destructive activities of “Saint Nuke” on The Day After Christmas.

Dichotomy……………………..30 Minutes, Cassette Album ……….$10.00

12 Original songs by David Michael Phillips, multitrack: keyboard, guitar, vocals.

Tarnished Karma………………..30 Minutes, Cassette Album…… $10.00

10 Original songs by David Michael Phillips, just before embarking on transition. Many of the lyrics pertain to the inner conflicts of gender dysphoria in a disguised manner, as this decision was not public at the time. Multitrack: keyboard, guitar, vocals.


EDITOR’S NOTE: It is my desire to make this publication available free online to all who wish to read it. However, due to copyright laws, any overall license would allow unscrupulous individuals to excerpt portions and use it for their own personal gain. Therefore, should you wish to upload this publication on your BBS or simply generate hardcopies for support groups and friends, please write me about a free license for your specific purpose.

THE SUBVERSIVE

Number 9
March 1993

The Subversive | Volume Eight

Another issue of the online magazine I published in the early 1990s

THE SUBVERSIVE

Number 8

“Where Dreams are the stuff Reality is made of”

DECLARATION OF PURPOSE

“This journal exists to promote the concept that each human is a unique individual, intrinsically entitled with an equal right to pursue her own destiny as far as it does not inhibit others in that same right. The Subversive shall serve as a ready forum for the free expression and exchange of ideas that do not violate this mandate, in the belief that tolerance grows from a familiarity with variety.”

–signed,
Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor

WHERE TO FIND THE SUBVERSIVE:

The Subversive is available FREE as a download on America Online, Compuserve, Genie, several servers on the Internet, and various BBS around the world.

For those who wish to Subscribe, contribute articles, stories, personal experiences, information, jokes, or whatever Email melaniexx@aol.com, or write to:

Melanie Anne Phillips
150 East Olive Avenue
Suite 203
Burbank, California 91502

Only original material will be accepted unless quoted in the context of an original work or submitted with credit to the original author along with permission to reprint the material.

Submission of original material for publication in The Subversive constitutes a non-exclusive license to Melanie Anne Phillips by the author/copyright holder to reproduce all or part of the material in any media.

EDITOR’S NOTE: It is my desire to make this publication available free online to all who wish to read it. However, due to copyright laws, any overall license would allow unscrupulous individuals to excerpt portions and use it for their own personal gain. Therefore, should you wish to upload this publication on your BBS or simply generate hardcopies for support groups and friends, please write me about a free specific license for your purpose.


EXPLORATIONS

by Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor

“Homesteading”

Last month I talked about how my journey to be a woman had finally ended after a lifetime of yearning and five years of travel. But what happens AFTER the journey ends? Once you find yourself where you always wanted to be, what then? The quest to discover who you really are is not unlike many other epic adventures.

For a parallel, lets look to the pioneers of the American West. They, as we, had plenty to leave behind. Most were business people, family members, participants in organizations and clubs. For the most part, they had not ventured farther than the next county before in their lives. So what drove them to embark on a dangerous trip into the unknown, from which they might never return? What would move them to leave behind all that they had ever known, all the comforts of home and the relationships they cherished, just for the chance at a new life?

The question holds the answer: they left for a new life – a new beginning that might lead to something better than before. They did not hate what they were leaving; they simply saw the limitations of what they had and the potential of what the might find.

So, they packed their belongings and sold what they could not take. They said goodbye to loved ones they might never see again, turned to wilderness and stepped bravely into the unknown.

Bravery is not to act without fear, but to act in spite of it. Our pioneer ancestors were not fools. They did not make the decision to leave lightly, nor did they minimize the risks. But they felt that the potential rewards outweighed those risks. So they held their fears in abeyance and bravely let go of a normal life.

Yet the risks were very real, and many were lost along the way. There were those who had hardly just begun before they were stricken, and others who succumbed just as they glimpsed the Promised Land, never to set foot upon it. Even for those who arrived safely, the effort itself changed them forever.

Most of these pioneers only had a vague idea of where they were going: a state or a territory, no more specific than that. So, how did they know when they arrived? When they crossed one more range and saw below them a green valley, or a wooded plain, or a seashore, or hill. And something about that vision matched the picture they had in their minds when they started. They stood on the mountain crest, drank in the dream made real and said, “We have come home.”

You see, there really was no destination until it was found. And what defined the destination was their decision to stop there. For some, it was just what they had been hoping for. For others, it was the best they found before their motivation ran out. The longer the journey, the greater the toll.

This was my story last month as I had crossed a final divide, took a look around and said “I have come home”. But what now?

Once our pioneer ancestors arrived they didn’t just sit in their rocking chairs and watch the seasons change. No, the same motivation that lured them from the secure comforts of the old life, drove them to make something of the new.

These hardy individuals, men and women and children, did not pause to rest in the shade, but immediately began a new quest: to build a home in this new land – a home that would be all they had yearned for. Just arriving didn’t bring the reward of a better life than they had left, it just gave them the opportunity for one. But now the real work had to begin.

But it was a work of joy because they reaped the benefits of their own toil. This was a land in which one person could make a difference. A land of freedom and potential. But with that freedom came the threat of the wild. Seasons could be harsh, and wolves could kill. Yet through it all, the joy prevailed. They cleared, and built and planted and reaped. And there came a day when the harvest was in and there was more than they needed. This was the day they could pause in their labors and celebrate the bounty of the land. But then, it was back to work again, for one harvest never hold enough to carry until the next without continued effort.

In the end, their happiness was not measured so much by what they had, but by how they lived, and the times they shared with others.

We too are pioneers – Social Pioneers. And we leave behind all that we know and love, for all that we dream and yearn for. We face the dangers and some are lost along the way. Those who survive cross one last divide to find the place they will call home. Like our ancestors, we Social Pioneers have been changed by the experience, but have not lost our dreams. Still, those dreams are not fulfilled by ending one journey, but by beginning another. Now that we are here we have a frontier to tame: the New Frontier of the human spirit. It can be no less treacherous than the wilds of the continent, but its potential rewards are no less great.

So, I have set down stakes. I am clearing, building, and planting. God willing and the creek don’t rise, there’ll be fields in the Spring and a harvest in the fall. Perhaps one season there will be enough extra to pause awhile and celebrate. And if I am so blessed, I can think of no greater joy than to share that moment with you, my sister Social Pioneers of the New Frontier.

— Copyright 1993, Melanie Anne Phillips


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Last month I asked our Email subscribers if they would prefer The Subversive to be uploaded as usual, in straight ASCII, or if they would prefer a compressed format. The response was overwhelming! I received scores of letters requesting the “zipped” version. Still, most of our readers have decided to stick with the ol’ tried and true ASCII style for now. Here is a sampling of some of the requests for change to zip:

From: Karen Day

GREAT idea. I’ve found that 20 mins is a bit big for the budget, but LOVE the newsletter. Keep writing, Melanie!!
Love,
Karen.

From: Wavy36
Dear Melanie, Thanks for the consideration of compressing the file. This is a big advantage as I sometimes am not on long enough to download The Subversive at any given moment. Once again, keep up the good work and Happy New Year!

From: Melanie 337
Hi Melanie! Did you know that the AOL DOS software v1.5 will automagically uncompress ZIP files after downloading? So if you don’t have PkUnzip, but AOL 1.5, then you can still get ZIP (or ARC too!) files.

From: EtherNyet
(The Subversive) and the log, aren’t compatible with standard IBM PC text editors. The only editor I can use is the one on AOL. The files are missing the carriage return/line feed combo that makes them loadable into the standard DOSS editors. Is there any way to fix that too while we’re at it?
– Just curious –
Reply to EtherNyet:
I get very little feedback as to the technical quality of the downloads unless it just flat out wont work, so I don’t know if this is a common problem or not. Because of the way my system is configured, I find it easiest to prepare The Subversive on a PC in Word 5.0. Next, I copy it to GeoWrite, then save as a text file, which strips out all the stuff that is Word specific. This is the ASCII file I upload. Before using this system, I had several complaints that the file would not load at all into a number of different word processors, especially on MACs.
If anyone out there knows something about computers (I sure don’t!) perhaps you can suggest a better way?

Melanie


Letter in response to a reader who was uneasy with conflicting masculine and feminine feelings:

Hi, xxxxx. Actually, I wouldn’t worry about the conflicting feelings you have from time to time. After all, they only conflict in TIME. In space, they are all a part of you and exist in perfect harmony. It is when we lock ourselves in both time and space and say that we must only feel THIS way all the TIME, THEN we have problems.

Allow yourself to feel differently at different times. Allow yourself to be who you are not based on a single facet, but on the sum of all the facets that are naturally you. As long as it is honest, each little part is a part of you. And subjugating any of them just to be consistent is to deny a part of yourself. That is the greatest dishonesty of all.

For a TS, one of the hardest things to learn is that you are not a woman until you are unafraid to be masculine when you feel it. For a TV, this is no less true. Its really more a matter of degree: how much time do you want to spend in each role and to what degree do you wish to explore and express each? Since it is difficult to successfully portray oneself in both roles alternately, one must choose the role that provides the greatest latitude to one’s natural expressions.

It would be nice to think that we could have the courage to be all that we are in either role and not worry about the consequences. But the consequences are very real, and even if we ignore society, it won’t ignore us. But do we not need society to protect us as well? To guide us and provide us with a commonality and security? If we desire these benefits, we must pay the price of a certain level of conformity so that we are not shunning the very predictability we are asking to receive. That is why we choose the role that is best for us, yet do not deny the parts of ourselves that do not conform to that role. Certain facets are compatible with public presentation, others are not. That does not make the hidden sides immoral or wrong, but merely private and personal.

So, in response to your other question about how to tell your wife? Rather ask, do you really NEED to tell? For a TS, yes, there is no way around it. But for a crossdresser, it is not necessary at all, nor is it dishonest not to. The choice really depends on how much of your life you insist that she share for YOU to feel close to her. But if you DO decide to tell her, be sure you know exactly how YOU feel about YOURSELF first. Unless she is wholly bigoted against the concept, she will take her cues from you and how you see it. If you are ashamed or confused, so will she be also. If you are comfortable with yourself and understand your feelings, she will likely sense this is a fully integrated part of your personality and find nothing within herself but the desire to understand and accept if she can. So, first know yourself and accept yourself. Then share, if you must.

Hope this helps. Take care and,
Love,

Melanie Anne


And now for the next installment in the serialization of the book:

RAISED BY WOLVES:
A TRANSSEXUAL DIARY

by

Melanie Anne Phillips

PRELUDE

The pages beneath, chronicle my 30 month journey from a life as an apparently normal husband and father to that of an apparently normal woman. In the hope of capturing the immediacy of this emotional trip into the unknown, I shunned the retrospective approach, opting instead for a daily Diary.

Each entry was made on the day the events actually happened, expect as noted. And each is filled with the raw and unpolished thoughts and feelings that held me at that moment.

Of course, this leads to a somewhat meandering story, as well as contradictions in my point-of-view and personal emotional outbursts that I’m sure will make me squirm once this is published. But anything less would be less than truthful. And if this document is to serve any purpose as either a tool for tolerance and understanding or as an inspiration to those contemplating any major life-change, then it must be completely honest.

February 4, 1990

As I look back over my recent entries, it seems they grow farther apart. At first I hypothesized that I was losing interest in this journal, but it truly remains central to my motivations. In fact, I am merely beginning to settle into my new life and grand shifts occur with less frequency.

A genetic male or female would find little of interest to write about their lives if they confined their subject material to personal gender issues. So as I approach a stable lifestyle, the non-gender related events of my life far outnumber the others.

I suppose I could begin to interject material of a general nature, but that is not my purpose here. No, this treatise is commentary of a specific journey, and when read will flow in continuity and the gaps of time will be bridged by the printed word. Therefore, I shall speak when I have something to say. Which is not now.

February 13, 1990

I spent all last week in the office in Dave mode. It was hell. Mike has been throwing himself into saving my business and requested that I come in as Dave until things got back in order. After all the strain of working up to going in as Melanie, after all the fear I had to overcome, suddenly I was forced to backstep to the other side of that seemingly insurmountable obstacle and start all over again.

I made it, but barely. Every person who had seen me as Melanie and now saw me as Dave was like a stake through my heart. The tension wound tighter with each day. But in the end, I survived the week and lasted the weekend without once presenting myself as Melanie.
But now, as I look back, that week was truly useful to my understanding of the depth and subtlety of my feelings. There is no compulsion to present myself as a female in an overt sense. Rather, it is an almost subliminal background against which to play my personality. Dave format grates against my feelings, Melanie format enhances them.

Now that I have been back as Melanie for two days, I have relaxed and once again enjoy the inner peace that was so sorely lacking. But it did take the full two days to regain it. The first day, I was so awkward that everyone I passed, from the parking structure to the office, gave me a weird stare. But today, I encountered more people along that route than ever before, and not one paid the slightest heed. I don’t believe that has happened before in the three weeks I had previously enjoyed.

Is it my hair, make-up self-confidence or a combination of many things. I wish I knew, for blending in is a far more satisfying feeling than standing out.

The producer has offered me the opportunity to go to the Soviet Union to work on his movie. Again, it must be as Dave. I have told him I will accept, and yet I do not know if I can live with that decision. If only one week of returning to Dave has driven me to the brink of depression, what would twelve weeks do?

Even at home, I no longer play the role as I used to. I wear the same female jeans, pink sneakers, socks, and underwear I do as Melanie. Only the voice and lack of make-up are different, AND the body English, perhaps the most significant alteration. But even these are drifting farther away from what they were.

And I must be changing visibly. When I went to pick up Mindi at school the other day I was late and she was in the office. A girl sitting on the school steps asked her mom as I passed, “Is that a woman?” The mother said, “Yes.” And out with Mary two nights ago to the 7-Eleven: A beggar in front of the store accosted me as I stepped from the car, “Ma’am, can you spare some change?” “Sure,” I felt like saying, “I’ve got plenty of change.” When I Answered the phone today, a bill collector asked, “Mrs. Hillman?” So I said, “Yes.” and played along with it: had the entire conversation as Mrs. Hillman. And this with my kids in the room, who didn’t notice anything different about my voice.

Well, although I feel I’ve come a long way, I’m really at the start of my transformation. Two, maybe three years from now, I will probably not resemble much of what I am now, and certainly nothing of what I once was. But that is good. For every day as my body changes, my mind is freed. And there will come a time when both are unified and my dream of walking through the High Sierra in blue jeans and tank top, slender, female, the wind tousling my hair, will be a reality, then a memory instead of a fantasy.

February 15, 1990

I had a very frustrating phone call with Dr. Jayne today. To understand the situation, you will need to hear about a few events that occurred in the last few days.

I have always been easily embarrassed by thinking that I might appear out of place. In high school, if I was entering a long, empty corridor and someone came in from the other side walking toward me, I would be so nervous about what to do with my hands, where to look with my eyes (at their face, at the ground, where?) that I would either stop and pretend to be opening a locker that wasn’t mine until they passed, drop my books and be picking them up, or snap my fingers like I forgot something and turn back the other way.

As an adult, when crossing the street, I would never know what to do with my hands or arms. I was always afraid I would be laughed at for being skinny or not “male” enough. I would pretend to scratch and itch on my face so I could hold up my wedding ring as proof that someone thought I was worthwhile enough to marry.

I could never bring myself to return defective merchandise. I would always leave that to Mary. I have never really been able to pinpoint the roots of these feelings of insecurity, but I do know that many of them grow from feeling that I didn’t make the grade as a male. I never could relate to my male peers as a kid. They talked about different things than I was interested in. They saw the world with what seemed to me like “meanness” or at best callous disregard. All I ever wanted to do was be accepted and do things to help others and bring joy to them.

It may be hard to believe that anyone could be so, what should I say, “naive”… “untarnished”… “pure”… “foolish”? But indeed I was. I never killed an insect until my teens, and to this day find it repugnant. I never had a beer until I was 23 years old. I nave never smoked. I didn’t say my first swear word… I mean I NEVER said ANY swear word until I was twelve. What kind of kid lives like that?

Even as an adult, I only went out on two real dates before I met and married Mary. And the most I ever did on those dates was a little petting in the front seat with our clothes completely on. I was ashamed to consider that a girl would think I was forcing myself on her. I just wanted to be emotionally close, to laugh and cry and share together. How could anyone want to violate someone just for sex. I still can’t conceive of it.

It wasn’t until long after I was married that I allowed myself to look at a pretty girl while driving and not worry that others would see me look. Of course, I was only looking with envy, not lust, but I didn’t want anyone, even people I didn’t know, to think I was being lecherous.

But all that has left me in the last couple of months. Under the protection of Andy and Mike/Nikki, I felt free to express myself for myself. Their confidence and “devil-may-care” attitude was an umbrella for me, shielding me from the fear of what others thought.

But through this all has lingered the fear that when I have made the transition, I would still be readable as a male for the rest of my life. Now I know that at this point in my development I am ready to face even THAT and to be what I want and need to be, screw the world, full speed ahead. But with my history of self-consciousness, is it any wonder that blending in with society would be more comfortable than spurning it?

So in this vein, I have grimaced at the masculine cut of my face as I stared in the mirror over the past few weeks. It seems that I appeared more feminine when my hair was SHORTER! Perhaps it is just that the edge of it now accentuates the squareness of my jaw. I do not know. But on days when I look in the mirror and I appear to myself (from make-up and clothing) to be truly feminine, I am much more confident and content than those days when I appear to myself as Dave in Drag. Therefor, I hang on every indicator that society feeds back to me as a sign that something is working or not working in my goal to blend in.

Last night I happened to pull my hair back behind my ears and WOW!!!! Suddenly my whole face took on an INCREDIBLY feminine look. I have never looked so good, even at 18! I went into the office like that to do some work and Mike was AMAZED at the difference! Now, I don’t know if others will see any change at all. But the confidence and comfort that hairstyle gives me makes me feel so at ease, that I forget gender and just throw myself into my work, my career, my chores, as if I had been born female and nothing was going on here at all.

During the time I spend at home I still just keep my hair brushed into bangs. But even that seems to be changing to a more feminine look, as I have mentioned in the last entry where I am beginning to be read as female even when not making any overt attempt to create that impression.

So today, I had picked up Mindi at school and had to clear a parking ticket at the courthouse. As we walked down the street, I had the eerie feeling that I was being seen as a mother with her daughter. I can’t put my finger on it, but there was a subtle shift in the way people made eye contact with me. Perhaps it is just that so many people have stared at me lately that the lack of attention was tangible.

Indeed, they used to stare only when out as a woman. Then they started to stare when out as a man as well. But today, NO STARES!!! Well, we went into the courthouse and I approached the window. The female clerk smiled at the sight of Mindi by my side and gave me pleasant glance, which I returned. I put my tickets and my license on the counter and explained that I wanted to clear them. I did not use female voice. She jolted at the sound of my voice, looked at the license, then turned into the Ice Princess. I mean, her whole demeanor changed from warm and friendly to “kill you if you breathe”! Now, Dr. Jayne may say this means nothing, and Mike told me “what makes you think you can tell if you’ve been read?” Well, the hell with that! She read me as female and when she found out I wasn’t, She was very nearly rude.

Immediately afterward, we went to the market. Again, I had the uncanny feeling I was being read as female. I was just wearing a windbreaker, T-shirt and jeans, but somehow I must have projected that image. Again, no proof. But some guys pushing carts moved out of my way, and several women pushing carts challenged me for the right of way. Now this has only happened to me before when dressed as a female, so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about, but it never happened to me before when not going out of my way to appear female.

I was standing next to one woman, looking for sea shell noodles, when Mindi called me “Dad”. The lady jolted visibly as if hit by a brick, turned and quickly left the isle. At the check out stand I was nervous. If all in line and the checker as well were reading me female, what about when I spoke? But if I spoke female and they were reading me as male, what then? Besides, Mindi was there and Mary doesn’t want them to know, so I couldn’t do fem voice and on and on…

I got so nervous I could feel myself blush. The female clerk seemed to read me as female at first, but then, as I answered in androgynous mono syllables, started to wonder. I don’t know if she was ever really sure, but Mindi softly called me “Daddy” once, and I believe she may have heard. But the box boy hadn’t and as I left with my bags said, “Have a nice day, Ma’am!”

Now that may have been the most fulfilling thing anyone has ever said to me! I mean, my face broke into a grin that met in the back of my head.

I floated home, and actually jumped around the room before calling Mike to share this moment and then leaving a message for Dr. Jayne.

Now, I have been unable to pay $60.00 every two weeks to Dr. Jayne due to our overdue bills and my lack of work. So I have had to postpone my sessions until I can get some more funds. But I have tried to be a good client and keep in touch by phone messages so that she would not be rudely abused by my simply vanishing for a couple of months.

There have been days recently, when we had nothing to eat but rice and bread, due to lack of money, and I could not in good conscious lavish $30.00 a week on myself when I can’t even afford to buy lunches for my kids. I thought Dr. Jayne would appreciate my sacrifice, appreciate my concern for professional continuity, and be joyous for my recent experience at the store. But just the opposite was true!

She felt I was trying to get free therapy over the phone! I mean, not only had I not even considered it, but I was taken aback that she would think I would employ such a devious technique. I began to think that I had been too open, too truthful in my session. Many people had warned me to give the answers “THEY” wanted to hear, but I opted for total, and I mean TOTAL honesty.

I felt hurt, I felt slandered, I felt my trust had been violated. But beyond that, what hurt the most was that both she and Mike told me that I cared too much about what people think and that was no reason to make decisions.

God Damn! I have NEVER, I MEAN NEVER, made a decision on my transition based on what ANYBODY else thought. I made up my mind a long time ago that I am going to go all the way through with this and be what I have wanted to be from my earliest awareness that boys and girls were different. I am ME inside, not US. I am one human being who knows what she is, but SHE cannot legally or socially be graced with “correctness” until her physical nature is altered.

I love the changes that are occurring in my body. And I look forward with ecstasy to the day in which my physical alteration is complete. But I WILL do this even if I get read as a male in drag for the rest of my life.

That decision made and behind me, the next step is to limit my loses in achieving my goal. I try to keep Mary happy. I try to ease my kids into an awareness of what is happening. And I revel in feedback from society that I am truly blending in.

If I had a scarred face I could thumb my nose at the world and say, “What the hell…” and do as I damn well please. But if I could remove that scar, would I not? Should I not? And if I had been scarred all my life and never known the comfort of anonymity in a crowd, would I not wallow in euphoria for a while if the scar began to fade? Would I not latch on to every indicator that I was not drawing undue attention, that soon my ordeal would be over? Or should I be unaffected and unconcerned that for the first time in my life I could walk among others with confidence and calm, be myself and have people see and relate to ME, not to my scar?

I feel wronged in the greatest sense of the word, and hurt deeply. But I am not going to let THAT stand in my way, not after all I have already risked and gone through just to get where I am. No, I am going to thumb my nose at the naysayers and chart my own course as I have always done, with the force of will and determination that have always compensated for my self-consciousness and feelings of inadequacy.

I like being recognized and treated as a female in our society. For that I owe no one neither explanation nor apology. My only fear being that my enthusiasm and joy at finally being free of the outward image I had wrongly can in, will be misread by others and stand in the way of my journey to final completeness in the physical realm to match the completeness I have already achieved in the mental.

February 18, 1990

So I started thinking. That is, after all the flack I was getting, I figured I ought to re-evaluate. And the strangest thing happened. I realized I wanted to live as a woman for the rest of my life. Doesn’t sound different? Well, I didn’t say I wanted to BE a woman for the rest of my life, like I have before. I want to LIVE as a woman.

Small different you say? But wait! Nay, ’tis the grandest difference twixt heaven and earth. You see, I’ve been looking for justification, an EXCUSE to ALLOW me to act as a female, to express myself in the female role.

I realized that I have been pressing so hard toward surgery so that I would then have the RIGHT to act as a female. I did not want to go fulltime. The only reason I did was the growing feeling that I would never be recommended for surgery without meeting that condition. So I grit my teeth, swallowed my pride and jumped in feet first.

But the strangest thing happened on the way to the requirements: I found out I really wanted to LIVE as a woman. Now, up to this point I had considered that once surgery was behind me, I could go out as a female any time I chose with the confidence of knowing that I was justified in doing so. But I thought that I might even spend most of my time presenting myself as a male. This would help my career, my marriage, my respect in the community; in short, I wanted to PLAY the role, not identify with it.

But these last six weeks… Oh, these last six weeks! I have felt so free, so content, so energized to life! Suddenly my interest has re-awakened in my career, my business, my art! Even my relationship with my children and Mary has deepened and become more satisfying. I found myself spending all the time spent in the male role longing to get back to the preferred lifestyle the next day. And the embarrassment, insecurity and self-consciousness of both my male persona and the early days of my fulltime experience has melted away from me so completely that I hold my head high as I express myself as the woman I am.

NOW I realize the value of the fulltime experience. I had always assumed that it was an opportunity to bail out if it proved not to be what was expected. But for me, it showed me what I really wanted from life. Just weeks ago I had told others (and firmly believed) that if for some reason I could not obtain surgery, I would surely become severely depressed and would, without a doubt, end my own life. Now, I find that I enjoy my new lifestyle so completely that I intend to remain in it for the rest of my days. And the madcap frenetic drive to the operating table has calmed to modest proportions.

Yes, I still want the surgery; to make myself as physically complete as I can, to feel right about my body, to free me to enjoy all aspects of a female life. But now, I can wait. Because I AM ALREADY THERE! Post op, my lifestyle will not dramatically alter. And pre-op, there is little I cannot do. I am living as a woman and loving it. Surgery will be the icing on the cake, but the cake is mine now.

In this light, I find that I no longer think of myself as a man at all. The clothes don’t matter; it’s how I feel, not now I look. The voice is unimportant; it changes not my outlook. I am me wherever and whatever I am. I wear female clothes to clue the world as to how I expect to be treated. I practice voice to blend in with the crowd. I enjoy being appreciated for whatever beauty I may possess. For, after all, fitting in is much more comfortable than standing out. So THAT thought of my last entry remains valid for me.

But within me now is a different perspective. The roles of our society are subtle; no large differences have assaulted me. They are a background against which to play our personalities. My personality grates against the male role; against the female role it flows. I find that much of what I am cannot be expressed in traditional male terms: I feel confined and cut off. But the female role is larger than the range of my feelings and I find it a spacious stage upon which to strut.

So, perhaps my journey is ended here. With the knowledge that I not only want to BE female, I want to live AS a female and express myself in the female role. The story, of course, has many chapters left. For I may yet lose Mary, my children, and my career. Or I may retain them all and even deepen their significance. I do not yet know how it will all come down, but of this I am certain: I shall not go back to the role of a male. I shall live in the female role for the rest of my days.

February 20, 1990

My Thirty-seventh birthday. I picked up Mindi from school and went to renew my driver’s license, which expired today, last being renewed eight years ago. I pulled the dog-eared document from my wallet and gazed at the young, innocent face that stared up at me, our eyes meeting across a frozen moment in the void of time. I tried to remember what I felt in those days; my hopes, ambitions, dreams. I tried to remember what was the intensity of my need for transition. Did I think of it often? Did I think of it at all? But the smiling face stared back implacid, the expression impervious to my probe.

I worry sometimes that my current path is not the only one that would bring satisfaction, but the only one I have been aware of. Could I find happiness in another profession? With another mate? In another life? Am I doomed to discover, too late, that other avenues ran parallel to mine and could have taken me to greater heights in more conventional style? God, I hope not! It’s hard enough to deal with what might have beens, when there are no apparent options. But to have one’s cancerous eyes removed only to discover that a simple pill could have cured the disease and saved your sight…

But the trip was not depressing, truly. I had put on more than a hint of lipstick and fluffed my hair to its fullest look, anticipating the potential of a new photo I would have to live with until my I.D. changed. Those in the crowded office some distance from me read me as a mother out with her daughter. Those in mid-range kept checking me out. But the lady in front of me, who had the best view of the incongruities, struck up a conversation for the duration of our entire wait. She seemed not the least put out by me or those who were gawking at me. I began to feel as if I truly could be myself and it didn’t even matter if I fit into standard conventions or not.

When I stepped up to the photo counter, I handed the man my form. He read the name, looked up, then said, “Wait a minute! I think something’s gotten mixed up here!” I asked, “What?” He looked from me to the name and back again, trying to figure it out, then asked, “What’s your name?” I told him, “David”. He covered quickly saying, “Oh, it has the same birthday, I thought it was someone else’s”. Whatever THAT means. But when he asked me to step in front of the camera, he was genuinely friendly and almost jovial. “Big smile, David!”, he cheered, obviously deciding that if that was the way I wanted to look, he wanted me to look good!

So I guess at 37, I am finally learning that you can’t second-guess society. It’s not a nameless, faceless entity, but a continuing flow of individuals who traipse through your life. Some will lift you, some will try to destroy you, but each and every one has his own outlook as much as I have mine.

Perhaps the greatest mistake of my life was hiding what I labelled as my feminine side for fear of rejection that would never have come. I could have freed myself from the frustration and suffering of my inner torment if only I had given others half the chance I wanted them to give me. But, as my mother often said, better late than never.

February 25, 1990

I began editing the trailer for Larry’s feature today. This is the first time I have worked professionally in film since going public. Just three months ago, I finished my last editorial project as Dave, and could barely scrape through it from the boredom. For some time I had found myself increasingly disinterested in the media. Somehow, it all seemed trite and insignificant. But now, living life as I choose, the creative process is fulfilling once more, as I don’t have to censor my immediate instincts for telltale references to my feminine disposition.

February 28, 1990

I have been editing with Larry for three days now. Originally, he had asked me to be the Director of Photography of the feature, well before I went public. But his investors quaffed at the fact that this was not my primary area of employment in the industry and scuttled my participation in that mode. Therefore, I have taken several opportunities to make comments displaying my filmic prowess, thereby reaffirming my abilities have not gone to my tits, and also rubbing a little good-natured salt in the wound.

Surprisingly, today he asked me to “DP” the additional material needed for pick-ups. This will require several days with a full crew: my first production experience as Melanie – and as the key crew member next to the director. Not bad for a thirty-seven year old transsexual from Burbank!

(Copyright 1992, Melanie Anne Phillips)

(The Transsexual Diary series will continue in the next edition of The Subversive)

I urge you all to keep a diary of YOUR personal journey, whether it be through transition or not. The attitudes and even the order of events becomes cloudy through time, and I am continually amazed to re-read things that memory would have me believe had happened differently. If nothing else, it is a good way to see long-term patterns in yourself that you cannot see except in retrospect. That objective view alone is worth the inconvenience of keeping a journal.


FEATURE ARTICLES

Dear Melanie,

I am writing this story for possible publication in “The Subversive” (who came up with that title and why was it chosen?). I have enjoyed the conversations that we have in the conference room and always come away from them feeling better about myself knowing that there are other people like myself with questions and stories about their gender identity. I hope that the forum continues well into the future.

Love,
Stacy S6 (formerly S2 & S4)

P.S. I would love to give the girl who started the conference a big hug and kiss for giving me a place to chat or just listen to what other girls have to say.

“Stacy’s First Make Over”

by Stacy S6

I have been struggling with what to title this story. I have been throwing things around in my brain such as “Ronnie is finally Stacy” or “My first time as a girl”. I didn’t like either because whenever I’m in touch with my femme side I am (and always have been) Stacy, and at that point I am a girl. So I went with my current title because it says what I am trying to convey to the best of my ability.

For as long as I can remember I have been in touch with my feminine side. I have always enjoyed the wearing of women’s clothing and the way that doing that changes my emotions about myself and everything I am and do. I feel more gentle and easy with myself when I am dressed.

I have wanted to have myself made over by a professional artist for the longest time. I have always been to afraid to do this when I was single, and now that I am married (very happily, might I add) I have not been able to do it as long as my wife was around. She has joined the Army and is currently assigned in Indiana for training. So I figured while she was away I would get a make over to say to my inner- self that I did do it at least once in my life. So now all I had to do was figure out how I would go about it.

I am currently taking private pilot lessons and my instructor introduced me to a great weekly newspaper out of Atlanta called “Creative Loafing.” It has excellent articles about what to do in Hotlanta and also has a pretty progressive classified section. It advertises at least four different crossdressing/make over opportunities to be had in the area. All I had to do was to choose the one for me.

The first time I attempted to do a make over I chose a studio that does mostly stress reduction therapies. When I got to the studio I was very nervous and chickened out after I got there (and after a two hour drive to boot. 🙁 )

It was about a month later I once again had the courage to call another person to make an appointment to have the make over. The owner of the studio is named Cleo and just from talking to her on the phone I felt more at ease with the possibility of going through with it and not leaving again without doing what my heart says I must do. I scheduled the appointment for the following Saturday and resolved myself to go through with it if it killed me of embarrassment.

I counted the days, hours, minutes until the Day. I confirmed the appointment with Cleo in the morning and then left to make the time we both agreed upon.

When I got to where she lived I felt as though I was in the wrong place. She lives in the country with peacocks, emus, turkeys, and assorted other animals. But when I knocked on the door she greeted me and made me feel at home. She showed me her make up, dresses, and wigs and explained to me what she was going to do. There was no stopping me now, so I decided to go through with it or never attempt it again.

The first thing I did was to put on a black bra and hip hugger panties. Then Cleo put a black bustier with garter straps around my waist so I could have my unshaven chest hairs covered. (I wish I could shave the hair off my body but my job and the fact my wife really knows nothing about this prevent me from doing it.) Then she put black legging-like nylons on my legs to cover the hair on them. Next she applied the glue to my fingernails and put long red fake nails on me. That was the first time I had ever had them on, and God, did it make me feel good. It also took some time to get used to them, but with practice they were beginning to feel like my very own nails — remind me to get some on my next shopping spree.

Now for the fun stuff. She had me sit in front of her make up dresser and had me select the wig I liked best. She said it would determine the color of make up she would use. After about 6 or 7 different wigs I settled on the first one she had selected for me – a frosted brunette shoulder length wig that was very curly – I liked it a lot. Then she started the make over. She explained everything she was doing to me so I could maybe try it at home. She said make up was simply finding your color, applying it and blending it in sequence, and that after a couple of tries I’d have it down. It seamed easy enough. I must admit that after she was done I was very impressed with what Cleo had done. I wasn’t a model beauty but I was very definitely pretty. I couldn’t believe that I was actually looking at me – if I had seen this girl at a bar I would have asked her to dance with me. I have to admit I don’t think I have ever felt better about myself as I did the first time I saw myself as a “dolled-up” girl.

She took a couple of close ups of my face and a full length picture of me in the lingerie. Next she had me go into the bedroom to start the video tape portion of the shoot, trying on more lingerie and slips. By now I was in heaven. Then we went back to the make up room and started selecting my daywear shoot clothing. I selected a black mini skirt and white sweater. Cleo said I looked so cute in this outfit and I had to agree with her. We took most of the photos in this outfit and did a little act of a working girl coming home from work and relaxing at home for the video portion. I believe I did a good acting job for that part.

After that she had me select a evening/party dress to complete the shoot. I selected a black dress with silver polka dots on the skirt and a silver rose belt. It was a pretty good look and we completed the shoot, to include an out door sequence (God, I was nervous!). I didn’t want it to end, but all good things must come to an end. She removed the make up so I could return to my apartment in the male clothes I left in. She gave me the number to the person who runs the Tri-Ess chapter in the Atlanta Area and also the BBS number sponsored by the same person, and then we said our goodbyes.

I do not know why I waited as long as I did to do that (the Make Over). I am definitely planning for the next time I can visit Cleo’s Studio and do it again. Next time I’m going to be bringing one of my own outfits so I can experience the feminine side of me all dressed and made up for more than a two hour session. I really loved the feeling of being a woman for that time and look forward for the next time.

P.S. I’d like to say thank you to MelanieXX, Elaine P1, JeriTv, and all the others for giving me the help to get this done.

I love you all…. HEART Stacy S6


MENTAL RELATIVITY

Mental Relativity is a new theory of psychology developed by my good friend and associate Chris Huntley and myself over several years. Its impact is far ranging, offering insight in areas of justification, problem solving, and decision making.

Because it is a RELATIVITY, the theory offers no absolutes. Rather, it defines the relationship between the processes of the mind in such a way that one can objectively see what things subjectively look like from any point in the process.

Publishing the results of our work in The Subversive serves two purposes: One, it offers Chris and myself the opportunity to document our work publicly, and Two, it provides practical information that you, the readers, may find useful in exploring and understanding personal issues.

In this edition of The Subversive, I offer an article of moderate technical complexity describing the two kinds of hierarchies by which human minds can order information. Although gender considerations are outside the scope of this particular article, I am sure you will make your own discoveries as to relationship of type of hierarchy to specific Mental Sex. Future articles will draw more direct association.

HIERARCHIES: LINEAR AND RELATIVE

Linearities and Relativities are two methods of understanding the arrangement and/or functioning of a hierarchy. They are, however, mutually exclusive as to any given hierarchy.
Linearities require an appreciation in which “A” is related to “B” which in turn is related to “C”. But “A” is not related to “C” except by means of “B”. This is essential to a Linearity, as it is this exclusivity that orders the levels of the hierarchy.

Relativities require an appreciation in which “A” is related to “B” which in turn is related to “C”, however “A” is also directly related to “C” as well. This is essential to a Relativity, as it is this multiplicity that orders the levels of the hierarchy.

For complex systems (any system of more than one dimension) a Linearity will represent a hierarchy as a “branch tree”. There will b a single head which is expanded, level by level, into multiple units (or sub-divisions until the feet of the hierarchy reach the extent of the system. At this point, the linear relationships along the flow of the system have been fully described.

For complex systems a Relativity will represent a hierarchy as fractals, wherein a given matrix will serve to organize subsets of closely related elements, and more complex arrangements (equivalent to higher levels of a Linearity) will be represented as identical matrices that organize other matrices as if they were elements. When a given matrix contains all elements of a system, the relative relationships within the system have been fully described.

It is clear that in a closed complex system, a Linear Hierarchy would progress from the first unit in the chain to the last available unit in the system, at which point, the Linearity lacks an explanation for the generation of the initial unit. In fact, in a closed complex system, a Linearity doubles back on itself, inevitably reaching a paradox in which, to truly be closed, the initial unit must be equal to all the units of the final level combined.

One might try to overcome this limitation by proposing a two headed hierarchy that might b represented as two inverted pyramids, jointly sharing a common base (and overall appearing as a diamond). The apex of each triangle would be the same common point. The result would be a diamond that doubles back on itself to a single apex. This requires one more dimension than the system being represented. The hierarchy would now appear to flow in two directions from the common apex, but when arriving at the widest point, could go no further in that direction. In other word, an artificial wall of impassibility would have ben created in the model, separating half they system from the other half.

For this reason I propose the following principle:

PHILLIPS’ AXIOM: No closed system can be fully explained by a Linear Hierarchy.

In the case of an open system, a Linearity functions much better. An open system, by definition, can continue in either direction forever. The only way to understand and represent such a system is with a Linear Hierarchy. Here, the head of the hierarchy represents whatever arbitrary starting point is selected as the beginning of the system, and the feet of the hierarchy represent the arbitrary end. Whenever one needs to explain the creation of the head, one need simply move back one step and move each layer of the hierarchy down one level. Then the feet do not go far enough in detail, add another level of feet: a de facto extension of the size of the system being considered. It is this capacity to scale a system to the needs or precursors and detail that is the essence and strength of a Linear Hierarchy with regard to an open system.

This leads to my next principle:

COROLLARY TO PHILLIPS’ AXIOM: Any Linear Hierarchy that describes an open system has arbitrary head and feet that define the limits of the hierarchy.

Next we address the functionality of a Relativity. In a closed system, even one that appears to be linear and recursive, higher levels of understanding intrinsically exist when like progressions are compared. Like progressions MUST exist in order for the system to return to its starting point. When all like progressions have been ordered into fractal dimensions, no free units remain in a closed system. Hence:

PHILLIPS ASSERTION: Any Relative Hierarchy that describes a closed system will consist of fractal dimensions, containing like progressions, with no free units remaining.

Lastly, applying a Relativity to an open system, we can see that the head could never reunite with the feet, giving infinite resistance to any possibility of a relationship between all elements of the system. The paradox would exist that between the head and the feet there is no relationship at all, which violates the nature of a Relative Hierarchy.

Therefore, the remaining principle:

COROLLARY TO PHILLIPS’ ASSERTION: No open system can be fully described in terms of a Relative Hierarchy.

In Mental Relativity, we have discovered that for some purposes it is best to look at the mind as a closed system in order to understand its internal functioning. Other times, it is more fruitful to examine how the mind fits into the universe to show how we are influenced by our environment, thereby viewing the mind as an open system.

The Hierarchical matrix we employ in Mental Relativity is unique in that it allows for the same data to be organized in either a Linearity or a Relativity, depending upon the perspective of the observer. In this way, the system described is both open and closed at the same time, allowing for a unified and consistent view of its arrangement and operation, and moving the paradox back one fractal level of complexity, out of the model and into the mind of the Observer (where it belongs!)

(Copyright 1993 Melanie Anne Phillips & Chris Huntley)


MELANIE’S WISE WORDS OF THE MONTH

“To Be or to Do, THAT is the question!”
– Wilma Snakestare


IN OUR FAMILY….

My daughter, Mindi: You know, when you first started to change, it made me cry, but now I think it’s kinda sensible! I used to be sad because I got embarrassed, but now I think I’m special ’cause none of the other kids have a Dad like you. I’m lucky! (And also, before you changed, you used to get a lot MADDER than you do now).

                            *ALSO*

A couple of lines between Keith and Mindi that made me think of how we sometimes deny the gender we’re handed:

Keith: Here’s a rock, Mindi.
Mindi: Thank you, but I don’t want a rock.

                             *AND*

Mary to Mindi, when Mindi had called for me to come to her in the other room:
“Don’t bother your daddy, she’s doing her nails”.

                          *FINALLY*

Mary to me: You’re a real bitch!
Me to Mary: Thank you, I learned from the best.

And that’s enough from Our Family for this month!


AMERICA ONLINE GENDER GROUP STATISTICS

Contributed by Marsha J, Gender Room Secretary

Attendee Stats as of January 1993

State Distribution

AK. 1 AZ. 1 BC. 2 CA. 25
CO. 1 CT. 5 DE. 1 FL. 12
GA. 2 IL. 9 IN. 4 LA. 4
MA. 8 MD. 4 ME. 1 MI. 3
MN. 2 MO. 4 MS. 2 MT. 1
NC. 2 NH. 1 NJ. 7 NM. 2
NV. 1 NY. 7 OH. 5 OK. 2
ON. 3 OR. 1 PA. 5 TN. 1
TX. 8 UT. 1 VA. 5 VT. 1
WA. 4 WI. 3 WV. 2 WY. 1

179 Attendees

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR 179 MEMBERS FOR HELPING TO CREATE A SAFE HAVEN OF SUPPORT FOR EVERYONE CONCERNED WITH GENDER ISSUES!!!

GENDER CONFERENCE

Don’t forget to attend the Gender Room Meeting on the America Online BBS in the Gay/Lesbian area in the Community Room at 9pm ET every Sunday evening. For specific information, directions, or to order back logs of the chats, Email Marsha J, the Gender Room secretary.


AFTERGLOW

The Cosmic Flea
By Melanie Anne Phillips

Can you be, a cosmic flea,
‘twixt handle, crank and cog?
A particle that rides the waves,
upon the cosmic dog?

Or are you doomed to be marooned,
along that furry shore?
And strain against the handle,
’til crank turns cog no more?

When I first presented this poem to my peers, it became quickly obvious that I had made its allusions so obscure that all meaning had been lost somewhere between the author and her reader. So, I thought I might do something with this particular piece that an artist seldom does: explain her own work. In a sense then, the poem itself now becomes but a part of the work itself, and the explanation of the poem becomes included in the work. Go figger.

“Can you be, a Cosmic flea”

This first line sets the mood by comparing something “infinitely” large (the Cosmos) to something “infinitely” small (a flea). The coldness of the sterile, unknowning Cosmos is offset and contrasted by the organic muskiness of life. The choice of flea, however makes it (and us, by use of the word “you”) something of a Cosmic pest. The selection of “Can you be” rather that “Could you be” indicates that we are not yet Cosmic fleas, but might someday become them. And finally, the notion of a flea itself, especially one whose playground is the Cosmos, gives rise to speculations of the magnitude of its jumps, already legendary for ordinary fleas. Are we talking light-years here, or travel through time?

‘Twixt handle, crank and cog?”

The handle, crank and cog (in the context of the Cosmos) refer to Celestial Mechanics, in a sense to the laws of physics. In electrical terms, “handle” would be the resistance, “crank” the current, and “cog” the power (the ability to do work) produced at the end. But note that the Cosmic flea is “‘Twixt” (or between) all this. It is not actually a part of the laws of physics, but does its jumping BETWEEN the laws of physics, apparently unbound by them.

A particle that rides the waves,”

“Particle” and “Wave” both refer to light, the one universal constant, but also the key to Einstein’s Relativity. Light sometimes appears as one, sometimes as the other, but is always really both. Here, the Cosmic flea is cast as “a particle that rides the waves”, hinting that it might be seen as only half of the paradox, but intimately related to the other half. The Relativity concept further enhances the belief that our Cosmic flea can fold space and distend time. “Riding” the waves adds a touch of the California surfing culture to the activity, once again portraying the flea as a fun-loving free spirit, unbound by restrictions.

Upon the Cosmic dog?”

Here we limit the flea’s domain for the first time. It is apparently not given full range of the Cosmos, but merely the extent of the Cosmic Dog upon which it frolics. The Cosmic dog gives us our second allusion to an organic (or at least self-aware) being in the Cosmos. Note that the word “dog” spelled backward is “God”. In this line, God is cast as something less than universal in size, rather just another inhabitant of the Cosmos, along with the flea. But the differences in size are such that the Cosmic dog is completely unaware of the Cosmic flea (until it becomes a pest).

Or are you doomed to be marooned,”

The primary words “doomed” and “marooned” are both references to frequent biblical descriptors of the concept of hell; “doomed” referring to one’s personal death and “marooned” referring to an individual isolation. Note also that the term “are you” is used (in contrast to “can you” in the first line. This delineates the real question of the poem: we ARE now doomed, but CAN we be a Cosmic flea (and hence escape to eternal happiness)?

“Along that furry shore?”

Obviously returning to the concept of the Cosmic dog, which has now been changed in our appreciation from a foundation for freedom to a desert island in the Cosmic sea. And our poor, surfing flea shall surf no more, shorebound, grounded.

“And strain against the handle,”

Note that in the second line, Resistance, Current, and Power are described as Handle, Crank and Cog. But what of Potential? What turns the handle? Here we come ’round to realize that something MUST push the handle or Celestial Mechanics (the Cosmos itself) cannot function. The words “stain against”, especially in the context of the gear metaphor, conjures up images of an eighteenth century sweat shop, or perhaps Hamlet musing, “To grunt and sweat under a weary life”. It is we, ourselves, who must provide the motive force to keep the Cosmos working: a noble function attached to a dishonorable role. We are the Prime Movers of the Cosmos (not the Cosmic dog, who remains aloof) and yet we are but a pest, stripped of hope and bound by slavery to turn the handle round and round. What images does this conjure up of the servitude of our own poor and the starving populations of third world nations?

“‘Til crank turns cog no more?”

Easily the end of the universe; the collapse of everything into nothing. The laws of physics freeze, and the poor flea, after an eternity of service is given rest only when there is no time left to enjoy it. The concept of a reward is nowhere mentioned at all. Again, in a more immediate sense, what government and corporate goals chain us to the handle, sapping our strength and our happiness, rewarding us with death? And more: with what PERSONAL goals do we enslave ourselves? To what are we chaining ourselves?

A rather bleak end, to be sure. And yet, recall that this ultimate failure is not stated as the definite end of us all, but rather one of the two alternatives, the other being the carefree Cosmic flea of the first verse. And so, the poem is not intended to arrive at a conclusion, but only to pose the question for further argument.

I have often wondered how many things that an audience perceives in works of art were never seen nor intended by the author consciously. Perhaps an author’s “undermind” supports his work with patterns and comparisons of which he is not aware. So, in a sense, this has been an opportunity to find out. What I have described is what I saw in my own work. (And to be honest, only half of what I have described I saw at the time I wrote it). Yet, the “feelings” behind the creation of this poem contained the seeds of all these interpretations. But are there others? Did I put them there? Did YOU put them there? How much of the work is the author, how much the audience? You tell me.


“May you never find occasion to say, ‘If only…..'”

SUBVERSIVE PUBLICATIONS

NEW VIDEO RELEASE!!!!

“MELANIE SPEAKS!” In this new video, Melanie Anne Phillips explains how she achieved a new voice for her new role. The program provides exercises in Pitch, Timber, Dynamic Range, Affectation, Body English, Vocabulary, and Grammar in a step by step fashion that makes it easy for you to develop your own unique feminine voice and vocal patterns. If you have ever been embarrassed by your voice or have contemplated vocal surgery, see this tape first!!!

Melanie Speaks! – Thirty minute educational video ……….. $20.00

Dry Spell……………………..110 pages, scriptbinding…………. $20.00

An original sci-fi/thriller screenplay by Melanie Anne, following a woman archaeologist as she struggles to destroy a deadly organism discovered while documenting Native American ruins.

Snowstorm……………………..102 pages, scriptbinding……….. $20.00

An action/adventure screenplay by Melanie Anne, that crosses the paths of a teenage boy entered in a dangerous cross-country snowmobile race and the ruthless destruction of an entire town by a druglord.

The Day After Christmas………….50 pages, Softcover………… $5.00

A fully illustrated, satire on the threat of nuclear war that follows the destructive activities of “Saint Nuke” on The Day After Christmas.

Dichotomy……………………..30 Minutes, Cassette Album ……$10.00

12 Original songs by David Michael Phillips, multitrack: keyboard, guitar, vocals.

Tarnished Karma………………..30 Minutes, Cassette Album …$10.00

10 Original songs by David Michael Phillips, just before embarking on transition. Many of the lyrics pertain to the inner conflicts of gender dysphoria in a disguised manner, as this decision was not public at the time. Multitrack: keyboard, guitar, vocals.

All prices are post-paid, U.S. mail. Send orders to:

Melanie Anne Phillips
150 East Olive Avenue,
Suite 203
Burbank, CA 91502

EDITOR’S NOTE: It is my desire to make this publication available free online to all who wish to read it. However, due to copyright laws, any overall license would allow unscrupulous individuals to excerpt portions and use it for their own personal gain. Therefore, should you wish to upload this publication on your BBS or simply generate hardcopies for support groups and friends, please write me about a free license for your specific purpose.

THE SUBVERSIVE

Number 8
February 1993

(Copyright 1993 Melanie Anne Phillips)