Dirty Diapers? … “Oh Poor Me. Ain’t it Awful!”

Okay so I’ve been thinking it over, you know all the things that have been going on in the last few days, and even though I’m still upset I think it’s time for me to state my case. But, let me review couple of things first. In my early childhood in Oklahoma, there was no such thing as integration; equal rights, integrated schools, and integrated neighborhoods. The schools I attended through the fourth grade were strictly segregated. From a child’s perspective that’s just the way things were …That’s the way things were always going to be.

I don’t recall thinking that anything was wrong with it any more than I thought anything strange about where different people went to church on Sunday. That’s just the way American society was … That is until “American Society” began to change to “The Great Society” as a result of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which by the way, would have never passed without a lot of Republican support since a lot of Democrats were dead set against it..

Up until that point in time, two parent homes were the norm. Divorce, though it happened wasn’t a common occurrence and to tell you the truth, I have no memory of any child I knew living in a single-parent home. Off hand, I don’t know the exact percentage of marriages which ended in divorce in what we call today, white households. There were very few families I knew in which the parents were in their second marriage.

The limited exposure that I had to black families, the story was pretty much the same. On one of the broadcasts of the recent week I heard one statistic quoted that said at about that same time 70% of black households were two-parent households. So what happened?

Today, fewer than 50% of marriages in general avoid divorce. The statistic quoted on black households does not address divorce. It simply states that fewer than 25% of those households are two-parent households. Again I ask so what happened?

I can tell you what I think happened, and it all started with the Great Society. The Great Society ushered in an era of over tolerance. In other words, while the Great Society did make society aware of past intolerances that were unacceptable, it opened the door to what my grandmother and mother would call “Oh poor me. Ain’t it awful!” That was her way of pointing out to us that we were feeling sorry for ourselves and not accepting responsibility for our own actions and situations.

What the great Society did was to institutionalize and legitimize “Oh poor me, ain’t it awful!” In other words, it became legitimate to feel sorry for yourself and not accept responsibility for your own situation. This was followed by a certain segment of our political society; liberal senators and congressmen specifically, and gutless Republicans in name only, (Rino Republicans), guaranteeing their own reelections with Great Society handouts.

So what we have now is a whole segment of our society that believes they are not responsible for their own situations. They are being told by the media and liberal politicians that it’s not their fault; that it’s society’s fault for not nursing them properly. To be blunt about it we have a whole segment of our society which is still in emotional diapers and they are waiting for the rest of us to change their dirty diapers.

And that brings me to the events of this past week. While I do believe that there are a small number of good honest people involved in the black lives matter movement, I am convinced that the vast majority of them are waiting for someone to change their dirty diapers. They accept no responsibility whatsoever for their situation. To make it even worse the liberal progressives in our country pander to them by telling them it’s not their fault, that the Republicans are supposed to be changing their diapers for them.

Something I learned from the late Dr. Wayne Dyer years ago, was that what ever situation I found myself in at any given point in time was that if I tracked my own actions back far enough I would eventually come to a situation where by my own free will action I was led to the current situation. In other words, whatever situation I find myself in I am ultimately the one responsible for being there and no one else.

While those same politicians, pundits, civil rights advocates are not specifically responsible for the deaths of the five policemen in Dallas they most certainly set the stage for it. How is that you say? When people feel absolutely no responsibility for their own actions they become terribly suggestible and prone to doing whatever their particular segment in society encourages them to do. The vast majority of our news media are the ones who are doing the encouraging by broadcasting every stupid and violent act committed in the name of civil rights while airing more “Oh poor me. Ain’t it awful!” interviews with protesters.

What it’s come down to is this; the lie begun in Ferguson, Missouri that a man was holding his hands up and pleading “Don’t Shoot!” has been perpetuated as a truth by both the media and liberal politicians alike, irrespective of the irrefutable evidence to the contrary. That lie has spawned the notion that black lives matter more so than other lives.

So now we have hundreds of angry people parading up and down streets demanding that their dirty diapers be changed. And five policemen who were out there protecting all those dirty diaper people are dead. And they are dead because the liberal press and liberal politicians have refused to condemn the people who won’t change their own dirty diapers.

In closing, I only ask the following question of the protesters, who in my opinion are indirectly responsible for the death of those policemen, because after all if you hadn’t been out there marching those men would still be alive and with their families today; is it really equality you want or payback? If it’s payback you want, exactly what coin do you want that payback in? If it’s equality you want why don’t you act like you deserve it? Maybe you would feel that you have achieved that equality if the 136 black people killed by police in recent history, compared to the 275 white people killed by police in the same time period, had been killed by black police officers. Which is it?

So back to my original point referring to the number of households with two parents back then, compared to the number of homes with single parents now. Just a question and a thought; what percentage of those people out there marching the other night do you think came from two-parent households that taught personal responsibility? It’s not such a great Society anymore is it? Don’t cry on my shoulder until you’ve walked a few miles in my high heels.

I’m done.

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It can wait …

In view of the tragic events in Dallas, Texas last night, I have elected not to post what I had in mind for this weekend’s post. It can wait. I need to digest all of the comments and news stories that I have been seeing. Look for a new, relevant post from me in a few days.

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The 4th of July … What it means to me!

Yes, it’s the 4th! The 4th of July! July 4th! July the 4th! Independence Day! For me it’s a day filled with memories and meanings. Great events have unfolded for me on July 4th. My most joyous and happiest 4th was the 4th of July 1952. I wrote about it in “Dear Mom and Dad.” That was the day that my old gray mare Ginger, presented me with a colt which I subsequently named Skyrocket. I think that from that day on I always expected great things to occur on July 4th. There were times when that did indeed happen.

In the early ‘50s do-gooders hadn’t yet stolen much of the excitement of American childhood by banning the stuff of a real 4th of July like real firecrackers, M-80’s, bottle rockets and the like. Of course that was supposed to protect the children, right? No, that was to absolve inattentive parents from the exercise of prudent judgement. But before that came to pass, there were battles along the shores of Kiddy Lake which involved small battlements of dirt and sand on which bottle necked bear cans were propped up. Then with the added assistance of small rocks and firecrackers those beer cans were converted to cannons. The battles would rage on for a couple of hours a day until that year’s supply of firecrackers was spent. From there we would move on to the latest model of sling shots or pea shooters.

The second greatest 4th of July event would of course happen 12 years later when I stopped for a midnight hamburger at the “Frostop” drive-in where I met the woman who would become the mother of my first 2 children. Although that memory does recall moments of joy it also recalls moments of hurt, betrayal and sadness.

Sadly, though the memories of 4ths of years past remain in vivid recall details, the meaning seems to have faded; not for me but for entirely too many of my fellow citizens. Without fail, there will be people like Jesse Watters of FOX news, interviewing what I can only classify as moronic products of an education system which has degenerated into a politically correct, though historically and educationally impotent production line which is aimed at determining time spent at a given level of education rather than lessons learned at a given level of education.

The question you might well be asking yourself is, why am I talking politics and education instead of gender identity issues? That’s a fair and reasonable question, especially on the subject of the 4th of July. I must admit that I think that answer should be fairly obvious. The independence declared on this date two hundred-forty years ago was a declaration of belief in the right of self-determination. Nowhere is the right of God given self-determination more infringed upon than the right of people like me, to determine to live lives that are congruent with our emotional and mental makeup as opposed to a life that is congruent with society’s norms based on the combination of 2 chromosomes.

Those 2 chromosomes are necessary for one simple reason … procreation. That’s it. They are not a determining factor in political outlook, who you love, where you live and who you associate with … and at the time the founding fathers stepped up to the plate and signed, what in many cases was the equivalent of their own death warrants, no one even knew how our anatomies would be determined. Furthermore, I don’t think they even cared. They simply wanted the freedom to determine the course of their own lives and the course of the lives of generations to follow.

The next question that’s asked of me is why would I choose to align myself with a political opinion which, on the surface is the very antithesis of the decision I’ve made about how to live my life? Another good question. The answer is just as good.

I’m not aligning myself with personalities. I’m aligning myself with a set of principles. It’s personalities not principles which condemn my choices. The principles of self-determination and personal freedom don’t give a damn what’s under my skirt. The principles of self-determination and freedom dictate that I make a careful examination of who in the government, established as a result of the declaration of July 4th, 1776 is going to best defend my right to self-determination and freedom.

It’s been my experience that while a certain segment of our political spectrum relies on a few biblical verses to restrict my freedoms, the other end of that spectrum demands laws which purport to defending me, i.e. hate crimes bills which are totally unnecessary if existing laws would just be enforced. In general, with each and every law passed another of the freedoms envisioned by the founding fathers all those years ago is eroded just a little bit further. And with each of those laws passed under the guise of helping the less fortunate, the people who are willing to work to achieve the results alluded to in “the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness”, another chunk of our freedoms is taken away.

For me … what I fear is that the same freedom eroding efforts of the people we elect to protect those freedoms; those efforts will eventually be turned against my community when our votes are no longer needed. Those same people who seem to not care what goes on in my bedroom want total control over everything that goes on in my life the minute I step out of my bedroom to, oh say to buy firecrackers, bottle rockets and M-80s. That is not what our founding fathers had in mind … at all.

What the 4th of July has come to represent for me is a time to re-commit to the principles which allow me the freedom to be … me.

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Do You Trust Me?

During my lifetime I have read quite a few books; not as many as some people, but more than most. The book shelves in my home contain a considerable number of books and I’m proud to say that with scant few exceptions I have read every single one of them at least once. Several of them I’ve read more than once and a few, many more times than once. The genre for most of those relate to history of people and/or events. And, there are novels on my book shelves as well.

I have a fairly complete collection of Steinbeck; the same for Michener and Agatha Christie. Michener is among my favorites because his writing is a wonderful blend of history and fiction which I find both entertaining and educational. But, the fact remains that my favorites all involve history.

I share in Dear Mom and Dad, my early childhood experience with the children’s library at the Methodist church in Okmulgee, Oklahoma and the wonderful collection of biographies of the founders of our country and others who were influential in our country’s history.

As I grew older I began to read more sophisticated biographies. Some of those were of the same people and some were of different people that I had no prior knowledge of. Obviously they all had different backgrounds and were influenced by a variety of events in their personal and public lives, but the thing that I was fascinated by was what made them rise above the crowds they were born into.

None of their births were heralded by heavenly hosts and the arrival of magi bearing gifts. They all began life in very ordinary circumstances in most cases. So what made them so different that people want to remember them and their contributions to our world and our country?

In the late ‘90s actor Jim Carrey narrated and briefly appeared in a movie titled “Simon Burch.” The title character, played by Ian Michael Smith, was a small physically handicapped, boy that refused to let his handicap deter him from diving into life with gusto. He stated frequently that he was born to “do something important.” He eventually did do something important and what he did ultimately led to his death. His selfless act was one that would go unnoticed by the world outside of his small town. But, for the lives he saved and their families his act was “something important.” The point here is that, even though the story is fictional, it shares a thread of purpose with all the real heroes of our world … an overriding sense of purpose.

In all of my reading, I don’t remember any discussions of a “sense of purpose.” Maybe that’s because a “sense of purpose” was just assumed. After all, isn’t purpose or a sense of purpose, generally behind all great accomplishments?

I don’t remember when I began to feel as though God had a specific purpose for my life; that I was supposed to become one of those people that others write about; that I was to “do something important. And, I don’t recall when I lost that sense of purpose, although I believe that it was lost along the alcoholic path of my misspent young adult years.

When I sobered up, my focus became one of attempting to make up for all my failures and prove to Marilyn that I could be the person she expected when she married me. When she died I felt that the only thing left for me in this life was to learn to live with the grief of losing her … and to learn why God took her away and left me all alone.

Reflecting back on my life at that time I concluded that it was doubtful that I would ever be one of those people whose life was worth writing about. So is was up to me to write about me.

It was cathartic to say the least, and I highly recommend writing about oneself with an eye toward others, who have been involved one’s life, reading what is written. It tends to force one to be brutally honest about circumstances, events and the causes and effects of events and acts.

The effect of Steps 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 in Alcoholic Anonymous was to force me to take that first hard look at my own biography. It was a bitter pill to swallow and one I resolved to take once and only once. I never want to go through that again. But to my original point … what was the difference in those people whose biographies I read as a child and me? I believe that most of them rose to the occasions in their lives in such a way as to inspire others to record their lives. As to whether or not they responded to guidance from God or not, I’m not certain. I do believe that the early founders did respond to what they felt was a mission from God. And, that required faith or to put it another way, “trust.”

For much of my life I have relied on the issue of faith to guide me; faith as defined by “trust.” However, I have never use the word “trust” to define faith … until recently. Last November, a friend from church handed me the latest novel by Wm. Paul Young titled, “Eve.” I confess that I wasn’t expecting much because my experience is that anything resembling a “sequel” has always been a disappointment. “Eve” was anything but a disappointment. By the time I finally placed it on the shelf next to “The Shack” I had read it at least six times. I read it repeatedly because, in addition to Young’s ability to fascinate me with his un-orthodox views of God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit and their relationship to us humans, I found myself totally consumed with one concept.

That concept was presented when Adonai asked Adam, and then Eve, not once but a number of times, “Do you trust Me?” That one question actually shook me to the core of my faith. I had never associated having faith in God with actually trusting God. The question was always in the context of trusting God to eventually grant Adam and then Eve, their heart’s desires within the context of their love of their Creator.

And that is the crux of what I have been struggling with in terms of my own desire to see my creation, Dear Mom and Dad, You Don’t Know Me, But … bear fruit. I’ve always believed that I’ve applied the talent God gave me to advance the mission I believe He gave me, but always with the mindset that my belief would be confirmed by the success of the book. To date that has not happened. So when I read the question posed to Adam and Eve, “Do you trust Me?” it took a few readings to realize that it was a question and not an order, “Trust Me.”

That’s a hard question to answer truthfully, but I am working on it and in the meantime I am writing and creating more of my own biography that I hope, for those affected will include “something important.”

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That One Moment In Time?

I’ve been asked if there is one moment, one passage in Dear Mom and Dad that, in my mind stands out. The answer to that is. ”Yes!” Absolutely. Here it is:

“George and Marilyn were having a romantic bath together in their big bathtub. They had poured a couple of drinks and probably had a couple of lines. Marilyn was shaving her legs … and that’s when it happened. She took a couple of playful swipes with the razor on George’s left thigh.

“Wanna shave, cowboy?”

In that one instant, with that one simple act, she unwittingly opened the door to that closet where I’d been hiding all the time. It was the beginning of his comprehending the emotions he’d been experiencing all his life, but not understanding. He thought he wanted to be like Marilyn; he didn’t know it was me, but then he still didn’t know I existed. The emotions he was experiencing for the first time were in reality the result of the emergence of my spirit. What he felt in that instant was a desire to shave his legs and put on Marilyn’s clothes. He thought he wanted to know what it was like to be her and before the night was over, like a newborn emerging for the first time, there I was. Understanding why I was there and in what capacity was just beginning.“

That was indeed the moment of moments. In the following years I have attempted to single out other moments, other points in time that have had such a remarkable and long lasting effect on me and the way I live my life but I have not been successful in that attempt.

There have of course been other moments and events that contributed, some more than others, to the direction and outcome of my life, but they somehow pale in comparison. What I write about at this point in my life is not so much about “How I Got This Way” as where life is going this way.

One evening last week I spent a couple of hours with my “brother” Pastor Jabowa Whitehead, whom I have in the recent past had some serious differences with. We have mended out relationship and at this point are moving on with our shared mission. We were discussing that mission last night and are in complete agreement that, regardless of our basic differences politically, we will work together to share with anyone who will listen our vision of what Christianity was meant to be, not what it has become … thank you Constantine.

Christ wasn’t about clothes. He wasn’t about bodies. He was about loving and using the gifts we were given to help others.

Without that one moment, shared above, I have my doubts that my life would have developed a purpose as important as the one I now work toward achieving. But who knows. Life may have just taken an even more circuitous route but ended up in the same place. I just know that in the process of writing Dear Mom and Dad, not only was I forced to a high level of honesty about myself and my actions in life, I also came to accept that another moment in my life may well have been the precursor to the bathtub incident. That moment occurred in the cafeteria of Colorado State University in the spring of 1964. That was the moment I accepted the invitation to turn my life over to Christ. Soon after that I began to pursue a course that was, in essence saying to Christ, “Okay, it’s your life now. If you want me to do anything with it, make me.”

When I finally achieved sobriety and was able for the first time to view the totality of my life through sober eyes I came face to face with the reality of my life. That reality was a belief that when I turned my life over to Christ, He wasn’t going to let me take it back. He did however let me go my own way, the way of failure through alcohol and to a lesser degree drugs, until those things left me with nowhere to turn but back to Him. And that I did. Not all at once mind you, but eventually, totally and completely.

The third step of Alcoholics Anonymous is: “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” No one had ever said anything to me about my will having anything to do with the course of my life. Of course I soon realized that, that was the root of my problem.

It is said that God never wastes anything … or anybody. We do that to ourselves, but He will use everything about us to accomplish what He wants to accomplish through us. I have used an analogy about my life and God that goes like this:

I was like a child who was given a present, a gift, a precious toy. Upon receiving the gift, I immediately tore open the package, removed the toy, and in my desire to proceed to play with the toy, I first ignored and  then finally lost track of the instruction manual that came with the toy. Eventually, as one might expect, the toy quit working the way it was intended to work, so I took it to Dad and asked him to fix it for me. He began making the necessary repairs but before he could complete the repair, I reached for the toy and said, “That’s good enough, I want it back now.” Dad of course obliged even though he knew what would happen.

Well, of course it was soon dysfunctional once again and the same scenario played out all over … and over … and over … and over, until at last I handed the dysfunctional, unusable and damaged toy to Dad and asked once more time if He would fix it for me. This time I didn’t interfere with the repairs. I waited until Dad came to me with the toy totally restored to full working order and gave it back to me. This time He also gave me the discarded instruction manual and said, “Here, child. Now read the instructions and follow them if you truly want the toy, the gift, to really work the way I intended when I gave it to you.”

I’ve learned much from my hours in meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.But there is a plaque hanging in one of the meeting places that reads as follows:

            ‘What we are is God’s gift to us. What we do with it is our gift to God.”

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The Orlando Alarm Clock

The one word that has consistently appeared on Facebook since the early hours of Sunday morning has been “LOVE”. It seems to have always been in the context of “Love your enemies” or most generally “Love, not hate, is the answer!” My question is: “The answer to what?” It certainly isn’t the answer for those families mourning the senseless loss their loved ones, now is it? Love was what they felt for those they lost in that horrible tragedy. I can assure you that Love is not what they feel for the hateful man who murdered their love ones. And I doubt seriously that Love is what they feel for Muslim terrorists either.

I can’t help but wonder if this will be a wake-up call for the collective community of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and the Transgendered. It should be!! Our community has been so invested in liberal/progressive ideology that any person wishing to take on the mantle of leadership in our country, and does so under that banner is automatically assumed to have our best interest at heart. Personally, I don’t think they do.

At this point in time, our country is under the leadership of people who refuse, absolutely refuse, to call a spade a spade, a Muslim terrorist a Muslim terrorist. When our leaders are more concerned with offending a religious group than they are with defending and protecting the very citizens they are sworn to defend and protect, we have a serious problem.

As a dual-gendered human being who is a part of the trans-gendered community I should be fearful for my own well-being, but I’m not. I’m angry. I’m angry at leadership that has created an atmosphere of official complacency and resignation to the inevitability of death and destruction at the hands of Muslim terrorists. It would be so much easier for me to be just as angry at people who continue to support out leadership, but I can’t. I can’t be as angry at them because, well because they are my friends and I love them.

I did say “I can’t be as angry …” But I can be somewhat angry because most of them are posting things on Facebook and Twitter that mention “Love” but the context of that “Love” is that l “Love” will solve the problem; that love will overcome the hatred that spawned the tragedy. It won’t, not ever. At least not in that context. Here’s how “Love” will solve the problem.

Pacifism which is kin to acquiescent love, has a limited place in this world. That place is not in the face of such hatred and violence producing ideology as that of Muslim extremism. Ask a parent if they think pacifism is the answer to defending their children against an ideology driven violence that would cast them off the roof of a tall building because of who they sleep with or because of the clothing they wear. I can assure you that the answer to that question will be an unequivocal, NO!

My grandmother, the oft mentioned “Granny,” was fond of saying that, “Charity begins at home.” Indeed, it does. In this case it begins with loving America, American values and Americans first. That means that our charity at home precludes placing the feelings of people who ascribe to a religious system which fosters such vicious hatred, as that seen in Orlando, ahead of the safety our own families and fellow citizens. So, how about replacing the word “Charity” in Granny’s phrase with Love. Let love begin at home and let that love express itself in taking the action necessary to eradicate the hateful ideology of radical Islam.

How do we eradicate that hateful ideology? I’ll take another of Granny’s methods for an example. When I was, probably less than 4 years old, my younger brother and I were with Granny at the camp in New Mexico and she had opened up the athletic supply shed for us to find things to keep us occupied. I selected a bow and arrow. I wasn’t strong enough to draw it back very far and the arrow was a blunt pointed target arrow. I chose my little brother as a target. The arrow struck him squarely in the middle of the chest and simply bounced off, leaving a little red mark.

Granny saw it all and I will never forget the sight of her charging across the yard with “discipline” on her mind. It’s a whipping I will never forget any more than I will forget being locked away in the supply shed for an extended period of time. My point? I never ever even considered pointing a weapon of any kind at my brother. I didn’t ever consider it because the reaction to my action was so severe as to eliminate the possibility of a repeat of the action.

We cannot simply Love our way to safety. We must discipline and act our way to safety. If we, as a nation, are to ever live in the peace that allows us to grow, prosper and achieve a harmony here at home, the threat that is Radical Islam, including the theological root from which it rose, must be totally and completely destroyed. Period!

Love is the answer, only if it is the kind of love that engenders the courage to act and stand up to the destructive nature of the hatred that cost the lives of all those people in Orlando, in the early morning hours of June 12, 2016. Ask the families of those people how that “Love thing” is working for them today.

Do you get my point? The safety of our LGB … T community lies not in the embrace of liberal progressivism which refuses to call a spade a spade. The safety of our LGB … T community lies in the embrace of those who recognize genuine active hatred for what it is and are willing to take the actions required to secure our freedoms … including the freedoms to show our love for those we love and visibly express who we are by the way we dress.

Wake up … The reality alarm clock is going off and the snooze button is broken.

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And, In other news …

And in other news … ? What other news? There really isn’t any other news today that doesn’t somehow relate to politics. It doesn’t seem to matter what you’re most interested in, it will somehow manage to find its way to a matter of politics. This presidential election year has become so contentious and so polarizing that everything has become an issue for the media to relate to politics. No matter what the issue is, it’s now a political issue. So far I’m amazed that the story of the three-year-old who fell into the gorilla habitat in a zoo, leading ultimately to the death of the gorilla, hasn’t been blamed on a politician or a political party. On the other hand, maybe it has and I just haven’t paid enough attention.

Politics even came up in the discussion I related in my last blog post with the author from Italy. I can’t even remember how it happened. I just know that she was appalled by the fact that I am a political conservative; a very politically conservative person. I have written on other occasions about why I am conservative but since I have attracted a new audience I’m going to explain it again … since it’s the only thing in the news and the only thing referenced in popular culture or social events these days.

To begin with, I am not necessarily a fan of Mr. Trump. He’s not conservative enough for my taste. To say that I’m conservative in LGBT circles can tend to attract a certain number of sneers and exclamations of disbelief. That’s okay because I really don’t much care if people disagree me, but I do care if they attempt to force their beliefs on me. It’s my experience that the practice of attempting to force beliefs on others, while certainly not limited to liberal progressives, is however far more common on that side of the political spectrum. And I’m asked … “How can you say that? Look at the North Carolina Bathroom Law.” Okay, let’s look at the law, but let’s look at what generated the law in the first place.

President Obama, by imperial decree decided that anyone and everyone should be able to use whatever bathroom they chose depending on their present and/or momentary gender identity. I’ve not had time, nor do I intend to take the time, to research his reasons for choosing this place in time to issue such a blatantly political decree. I really don’t care what his reason was, because whatever it was, it was just plain wrong. It is one of the big reasons that I think the “T” in LGB”T” and whatever other letters are tacked on, the “T” should extricate itself from that alphabet soup of identity.

LG and B are a matter of who you are attracted to sexually. T is not a matter of who you sleep with but rather a matter of who you sleep as.

In the last episode of “I am Cait” the collection of “tranies” that have attached their collective wagons to Caitlyn Jenner were all over her because she is, at least up to present, a Republican. Good for her. What the people around her don’t get is this. They have isolated themselves to the whole of our society. They take the minority of conservatism, and I do mean minority in every sense of the word, who are the hyper-conservative Christians and make them out to be, not just the majority of the conservative moment, but the totality of it. And it’s not. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

It’s been my experience that I can sit down and have a reasoned and intelligent conversation about my lifestyle with any conservative. They will listen and if they don’t understand, or even if they think I’m wrong in the way I’m making my way in the world, they will calmly and without rancor tell me how they feel and why. They may tell you that they know you are wrong and may well go to hell but … they will never, not in a million years tell you, with vitriolic rancor, that they hate you or attempt to physically harm you.

Frankly, with few exceptions, I’ve never been able to conduct a reasonable conversation about politics with a liberal progressive. I know that on occasion there have been some rude inappropriate actions on the part of some conservatives but I have never known of or seen a group of conservatives storm a gathering of liberal progressives in an attempt to silence their voices. Why is that? It’s a matter of respect for others and rights and freedom of others to express their opinions. Liberal progressives have no, absolutely no respect for the rights of anyone disagreeing with them.

President Obama’s decree has done more to harm the cause of equality and acceptance for the trans community than any recent action by any person in public life. If anything it has set our cause back years, even decades. While there are some activists in our community who make their mark by attempting to force acceptance on society, the vast majority of us in the trans/gender identity world, simply want to live our lives as who we are just like “normal” people want to live their lives without reference to what their chromosomal makeup is.

I said in the beginning of this piece that I didn’t care what Obama’s reason for issuing this decree was, but I will tell you what I think it was. I’ve seen nothing in his words or actions that gives me reason to believe that he isn’t the kind of man that cares one whit about anyone different from him. He knew that what he was doing would bring out the craziness on the extreme right; case in point North Carolina’s bathroom law; and that it would be picked up by the liberal press who would use it to smear all of us who fall into my mother’s description of Republicans: “Republicans believe that individuals are better suited to make the decisions that affect their own lives than bureaucrats and politicians.”

In closing … Liberal progressives, you don’t want people interfering with what goes on in your bedrooms … I don’t want you holding the door to my bathroom open for any confused/curious adolescent or pervert who wants to put on a bra and heels so they can take a walk on the wild side.

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Pitchfest Las Vegas 2016

It seems that for most of my life I have found it necessary to do a thing, anything, twice for me to either learn from it or genuinely appreciate whatever the “thing” was. This past weekend was no exception to that rule. Last fall, in mid-October I made the journey from Phoenix to The Big Apple for the purpose of “pitching” Dear Mom and Dad, You Don’t Know me, But … to a group of motion picture producers. The event was organized by Author Solutions, the parent company to my publisher, iUniverse Publishing.

I was schooled and prepped by the marketing consultant assigned to me by iUniverse, at times, daily so that I would be in top form. Jessie did an excellent job, because I received book requests from every producer that I presented to. I’m not certain, but it’s possible that I was the only person to that date who had achieved such a response. That in itself was amazing because I spent most of the trip engulfed by a flood of nerves.  But … my “accomplishments” are not what this is about.

This past weekend I repeated the experience in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace. I was immediately surprised to discover that I was once again a bundle of nerves.  But on reflection it may have been due to having set such a high bar the first time. However, I adapted quite well I think.

As I sat there in that opening night cocktail party and get together this time, I began remembering the myriad of emotions from the first time; not knowing what to expect, hoping against hope that I would at least get 3 or 4, maybe even 5 requests. I never dreamed that I would get requests from every one of the producers who heard my “pitch.” What  occurred to me this time was that maybe I could help some of the people I met this time with encouragement that I never received. And the amazing result was what I received in return.

I am probably the worst person in the world for remembering names. I like to think it’s most likely because I get so wrapped up in my conversations with them that it becomes a person and not a name that clings tenaciously in my mind.

The first people I met were a couple from San Antonio. The husband Christopher had written a book based on a little known crime that took place in Chicago as I recall. I know his adorable wife introduced herself but true to form I don’t remember her name. Shame on me. There were others at the table that first night but these two were the ones that took up residence in my heart.

The next person to enter my life was Rosemary Guanera. I met her on the elevator ride up to the 27th floor. By the time we exited the elevator we were already involved in conversation and the conversation continued down the hall toward our respective rooms. It took longer than it should have because we stopped frequently to exchange ideas and experiences. She was appalled to learn that I was a conservative Republican as well as … well shall I say Georgia and George. I of course pointed out that Caitlyn Jenner was also a conservative Republican to which she responded that, the people around her would eventually change her mind.

The last conversation I had with Rosemary was over salad and sandwiches after the closing meeting on Saturday night. She was on her way to her home in Cleveland to pack for her six month stay at her home in Rome. She was totally invested in trying to sort out how my life had evolved from living as George to living as Georgia. I’m not totally convinced that she really understood after more than an hour of questions and explanations. But … she certainly knew more than she had and, to her credit she had made a valiant effort to understand .

Her book was the result of a death bed request of a friend who had been a close confidant of Italian crime boss Valenti, that she should share with the world the secrets he shared with her. Her attitude about the results of Pitchfest was relaxed and assured that she had completed the task that had been given her.

I made the acquaintance of Spiro Pastos over lunch on Saturday. He had written a book on the dark side of Liberace which he had apparently researched quite extensively. When I told him that I had been a fan of Liberace as a child he insisted on exchanging contact information so that we might get together the next time I was in Los Angeles.

Last but not least was Sarita Sarna of New Delhi, India. She was there in support of her young son Armaan who had written a series of children’s books called the Mole Books. Both mother and son were warm and generous with their friendship. The last time I saw them was in the foyer of the hotel as I waited for the shuttle to the airport. I stressed to Armaan that if he didn’t succeed this time at Pitchfest that he should not give up. I felt he had a great future ahead of him especially when he had a mother so willing to go to any length to promote his talent.

So those are the people who touched my heart. There were many others that I associated with from time to time but these were the ones who shall forever stay in my heart. I pray that I was able to convey sufficient encouragement to each of these people to keep them on the road to success with their efforts.

Now we all await the outcome of Pitchfest Las Vegas 2016.

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Five Things I’ve Learned About Self-Publishing

What 5 things have I learned from Self-publishing?

Now that’s a question that could have a short answer and it could have a long answer. So, let’s see where this takes us.

The very first thing I learned was that I was in for a huge, I mean really huge disappointment, because I was terribly naïve, short-sighted and ill-prepared for what lay ahead of me. They don’t call it “The Vanity Press” for no reason. The fact that I was just plain lucky to have happened upon one of the premiere self-publishing companies in the world, did not mean that I had a clue about what needed to happen after I sent them my manuscript.

I have always been a dreamer. The one issue that came up repeatedly in the parent-teacher conferences of my youth was that I was a day-dreamer. The reality of school held no interest for me. Apparently, a certain dose of that has endured. I had visions of the first people to read my book spreading the word far and wide about what an amazing read Dear Mom and Dad, was.

Here was where I should have remembered a lesson I learned long ago. If something you do is good, if you do something worthy of notice, people will tell others, but only a few close acquaintances. On the other hand, if you screw up, make a fool of yourself, do something shameful the same people who were so careful to spread good news; those same people will tell everybody they come in contact with. Therefore, in this case, since it was rather good, very few people outside of my immediate circle of friends ever heard about it.

Lesson #1 then is be prepared for disappointments and criticism. They are inevitable but not insurmountable. You can’t be “thin skinned” as Granny used to say.

The manuscript isn’t the only thing that requires preparation. You need a plan and for that plan to work you need realistic assessments of what it’s going to take to make your baby a best-selling winner. You need to know where you are going with the effort and what you want readers to absorb and remember. When I started writing Dear Mom and Dad, I had no outline. I had an idea of what I wanted to accomplish and after one chapter I realized that I wasn’t accomplishing a thing. So I stopped writing and spent nearly a month creating an outline. This is something that any author needs to do but it’s really critical for a self-published author.

Lesson #2 was, have an outline. Know where, and why you are going with your book.

The next thing I learned is that I was not prepared for the investment I was going to have to make beyond getting my book published. The investment for that turned out to be a drop in the bucket. If I’m honest here I will tell you that I guess, I thought I was going to sell a million copies after a measly $2,100 investment. If I had really thought it through I would have researched what a major publisher invests in publicity when it takes on a new book project. With what I know now I imagine that an investment of that kind is far beyond what most self-publishing authors are prepared to spend.

Lesson #3 then is it takes more than a couple of thousand dollars to make a book a best seller.

The fourth thing I learned about self-publishing is that it takes perseverance. Even with a big investment it will take time for the seed money to germinate. The more specialized your subject matter is, the longer it will take. Self-publishing is another way of saying self-promotion. What I should have remembered was something I heard the late Dr. Wayne Dyer talk about what he had to do to get his first book on the book shelves and in the hands of buyers. He would go into a book store and ask if they had the book without telling them who he was. When they said, “No, they didn’t have it.” He would introduce himself and tell them he just happened to have a box of books in his car. Then he called the publisher to find out when the next printing was scheduled and they said it wasn’t, he asked why not, since they were sold out and he knew they were because he had bought them all himself.

Admittedly things are a bit different than they were in the early ‘60s but the principle remains.

Lesson #4? Hang in there Cupcake. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

There is never ever going to be a consistent substitute for hard work. Writing is hard work for most of us and the hardest part of it is actually sitting down to do it. And, once you do the next hardest thing is to stay on message. We all tend to think that what we have to say is so important that however long it takes is how long it’s going to take. When I was finished with the original draft of Dear Mom and Dad, it filled a 2-inch binder completely. Published in that form would have meant a 700-plus page book. Cutting into my baby was tough because, after all, what I had to say was important. Of course it was … Cupcake. However, brevity being the soul of wit is also the soul of making your point effective. I lost track of how many times I edited that original version to get it down to the 270 pages which eventually went to the printer.

If you are self-publishing and you really want a polished product a professional editor can be a big help when it comes to punctuation and style. But if you’re like me and working on a shoe string budget that may not be doable. If you have a good friend who happens to be a journalism/professional editor like I did, don’t hesitate to ask. For me it was a Godsend because Linda Talley-Branch was not only my friend but had been one of my late wife’s best friends and knew us and our relationship well enough to make some very important edits and suggestions.

Lesson #5 summarized: It’s hard work to edit/refine your own work, but staying on message is critical.

I learned a lot more than these five things but they are the most important … especially if one is writing about one’s self. So … don’t just read … WRITE!!!

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Another Afterword

My life has been a perpetual event; a perpetual moment of major effects.

I write in Dear Mom and Dad about various moments that have had a major effect on my understanding of what the heck was going on in the depths of my soul. Of all the moments of clarity the most significant, up to the point of publication, the three most significant were: the bathtub incident, the definition of a Wenkte and of course Genesis 1:26-27. But there have been more significant moments since that have further solidified my understanding of the dual nature of the soul God has blessed me with. But before I delve into the nature and in some cases the specifics of those incidents I need to backtrack a bit.

The first and most consistent issue that comes up is this. If I am truly dual-gendered then why am I living solely in Georgia’s world and not equally shared time with “George”? Good question. The answer to that question is rather simple. I was relegated to the shadows for years while George struggled to figure out a solution, and it was his solution to find. After all the body was his in all physical aspects.George is no more absent from my mind than I was from his. The only real difference in that respect is that I’m fully aware of where those “not so me” thoughts are coming from. For much of his life he didn’t.

Through the early years of my “coming out” I was terribly confused by the conflicting emotions. One minute it was me and then suddenly out of nowhere the emotions and the thought process was George. I realize that sounds schizophrenic but it wasn’t. In schizophrenia the person affected has practically no control over who puts in an appearance and literally takes over at any given moment. That’s not the way it was with me,,, us. I make the point in my public presentations that, short of serious mental illness like schizophrenia, we all have control over our actions, but not necessarily our emotions. When those conflicting emotions erupted I always had control over whether or not I responded to them and how I responded.

As I said, my life has been a perpetual event; a perpetual moment of major effects. However, if I had to pick one particular moment in time, that at the time was most significant, it would have to be that moment when I realized I was on the south bank of the Rubicon. I wonder if Caesar, when he stepped out of the water on the south bank headed for the Imperial City; if just for an instant, he didn’t think, “Oh shit, what the hell have I done? Why didn’t I just surrender command and control of my future to the status quo and let someone else remain in charge?” That would be my single most significant moment, because of all the moments, that was the one moment with no recourse, no re-do, no return.

But was it Georgia or George’s emotions serving up that tumultuous batch of thoughts? After the tempest settled down in my/our head I had to admit that it was George. And it was George who rather quickly said, “Okay, okay, I get it. It’s your turn to take full and complete charge, but I’m not going away, ever. I will always be here just as you have always been here.” And with that, I proceeded toward the Imperial City.

If there is one central message I want to convey in Dear Mom and Dad it would be that if …when one really wants to live their life joyfully, meaningfully and purposefully, take the time and the effort to get to know your Maker and let Him show you what all those likes, dislikes, passions, talents and ambitions were intended to be used for. All of those ingredients that are you, are the recipe that if followed will result in a life that is a veritable banquet. Will it be perfect? Of course not. It is life after all. But, it will be fulfilling and satisfying beyond imagination. There will be moments like the last sentence of Dear Mom and Dad, when I quote an old Dennis the Menace cartoon, “Wish I was three again … knowing what I know now.”

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