Saturday, June 5, 2010

Good Monthly Support Group Meeting

I walked into the conference room at the free clinic where our group meets tonight, and who should be the first to greet me, but our lovely group president, just back from the Papillon Center in Pennsylvania, where she had her GRS a month ago. We exchanged a warm hug, and I congratulated her on her triumph! She was looking absolutely radiant in her silky aqua print sundress and strappy white sandals, and seemed no less for the trauma she had just been though. She did say she was a bit low on energy, but you would never have guessed it, by the lively, just like old times way she took charge of the meeting! And to think this lovely confident woman, was the same timid creature, who refused to get out of the car a few years ago with her other TG girlfriends, when they stopped at a Sheetz, to relieve their bladders and get a bite to eat.

It seems that each time I go to a meeting, I meet new and interesting people. Tonight I met one of those girls who was with our president, the day she cowered in fear in the car. She lives out of state now, but is planning to move back, to join the staff of a local university. If I didn't know better, I never would have known she had a transgender past. She looked like a perfectly normal middle aged woman. She brought her husband with her. He has been a man all of his life, and he is the perfect gentleman. We had another around the room discussion, and when it was his turn to speak, he brought the house down, by introducing himself as a man, trapped in then body of a man! He then added that he was fascinated with all that he was hearing. Truly a nice guy! Why can't they all be like that?

Our mutual Blogger girlfriend, Sophie was there, and it was so nice to see her again. She is full time now, and has finally unloaded her house, and has purchased an RV, that she now has set up on a site in an RV Park. At close to 40' long, her new home on wheels is large enough to sport a master bedroom with a queen size bed! Far more roomier and luxurious accommodations, than she had aboard ships, during her career in the Navy.

Tonight I learned that our group has only been in existence, for a few years, 4-5 at the most. I have always considered Richmond to be somewhat of a backwater, but this information confirms it for me. It was twenty six years ago, that I sat crying my eyes out in a Richmond psychiatrist's office over my acceptance of who I was , after reading Jan Morris's book Conundrum. My shrink, as sympathetic as he was in confirming my transsexualism, could give me scant little advise as to where to find any kind of necessary transgender support. What a disgrace! This was 12 years after Jan Morris had her surgery, and fully three decades after Christine Jorgensen had her's! So many lives put on long term hold, or worse yet, terminally delayed because of an utter lack of societal awareness! And to think that there are still cities and towns all over America, that have absolutely no resources whatsoever, for their transgender citizens. By now, almost five decades after Christine Jorgensen had to go to Denmark to complete herself, full trandgender care should be an integral part of every medical and mental health facility in the country, and should be covered by every health care insurer.

Melissa XX


Halle said...

You are so right Melissa, it is an absolute crime how little things had changed until only a few years ago. It had to wait for the internet. That highly touted medium, television, with it's potential to change the world, quickly degenerated into a better way to sell product... "News" became sensationalized...I shouldn't get started. This is just a comment after all.

Maybe we will live to see a world with less fear, and more caring. We can hope.

Your experiences with support sound very hopeful for someone living in the backwoods. Thanks for sending it out for us!

Two Auntees said...

I know what you mean with small town not having support services. That's why Kay and I started a PFLAG group here for trans, but It seems to have a larger gay participation. Actually there is a Trans group that meets in Tallahassee as well as a new PFLAG group, who is celebrating their first anniversary.

Things are improving for all.

Calie said...

Sounds like you had a lovely time, Melissa. Isn't it nice to be around friends who understand each other?

Calie xxx

Anonymous said...

It really does sound like a lovely suppport group that you attend.
I am glad you enjoyed it.

VĂ©ronique said...

Your group president was there only a month after surgery! I'm impressed. And to think it was only a few years before that she was paralyzed with fear. Also impressive that she came so far so quickly!

One reason I am keeping my Second Life support group going is that there are trans people everywhere, not only in and near large cities. It would be better to have in-person groups. At least that's coming along slowly. We're still just at the beginning of an enlightenment when it comes to trans issues. I hope it doesn't take too much longer before more and better help is available to those who need it.

Very cool about that woman's husband. :)

Anne said...

Melissa, Veronique and Lisa.

As you have probably noticed, I have become a bit of a nudge around here offering unsolicited comments fast and loose. I guess that is just a characteristic of a kid with a new toy. As you are most likely now aware, I am very new to this "bloggosphere" but see it as a wondrous forum for the sharing of ideas and perspectives.
I have learned volumns in just a few months and still consider myself a total neophyte in many ways. I see tremendous wisdom and strength in your writings and hope to offer my own experiences for your benefit as well as learn from yours.

The point you have all made that has prompted my response is the lack of real UNBIASED information on this most complex collection of different yet seemingly related conditions. I remember when I first stepped into this "TG world", it took me months just to become familiar with the new "language", which is still being contentiously debated, even as we speak.

So, just wanted to say hello, intruduce myself a bit and ask for your continuing forbearance

Melissa said...

@ Anne

Hello Anne! Thanks for your comment, and welcome to Blogger! I would like to make a suggestion, if I may. Please make your profile visible to your readers. No offense dear, but it's hard to take comments of an anonymous poster seriously. You don't have to reveal any personal information, or even post a picture of yourself, but a little background information to give us some idea of who we are talking to, would be appreciated. :-)

Melissa XX

Anne said...

Well, OK. I am 62, transitioned w/srs in 1972. Married 1975, Divorced '83. Remarried '85, Div. 93. Married Again, 95. Div. '01. Have been living common law since '02 and will probably marry for the 4th and hopefully last time later this summer. I made sure to take this last one for a long term test ride before I committed to yet another marriage. The good news is that I am still best friends with my last two husbands and they are good friends with my soon to be fourth. There is a lot more to me than just that, but that should give you a bit of an idea.