Another issue of the online magazine I published in the early 1990s
“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.”
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 email@example.com, or write:
Melanie Anne Phillips
150 East Olive Avenue
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.
Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor
This month I forego an editorial so that I might bring you some updates about several issues important to me.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
To: Melanie XX
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!
I saw your before and
after and you are lovely!
You really give a girl hope!
From: Dee tv
To: Melanie XX
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,
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,
From: Kool Darr
To: Melanie XX
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.
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!
Subj: TOS Update!
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! 😉
GLCF Forum Host.
To: Melanie XX
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!
Subj: I urge you all…
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
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
Subj: Name change for TV Chat?
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!
Here’s the response I got…any comments?
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.
Terms of Service Staff
America Online, Inc.
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.
Gender Chat sounds like a great idea. If that offends them then its a bias that we can deal with.
It sounds like a good idea to me too! And even AOL must understand that we all have “gender”, even if it is flexible :).
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)
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
Melanie Anne Phillips
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.
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,
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. For about two months, I was so happy to be living fulltime and having hormones. I didn't go to see a therapist or an endocrinologist, though. I was living in a small town, and didn't know where to go. Several weeks after running out of Premarin, I went into a severe mood depression. I hadn't known that stopping suddenly could cause that. When I described my symptoms to a woman friend, she said, it sounds like PMS to me. For about a month, I went into a deep withdrawal from everyone and everything. I stayed in the house most all of the time, only going out to get food, and didn't talk to anyone. The depression started over hormone withdrawal, but continued because I felt that I was dead in the water with my transition. It seemed like I would never succeed in transition. 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:
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!!!
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.
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…..'”
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
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.
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.
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.
Copyright 1993 – Melanie Anne Phillips – All rights reserved