You Don’t Have To Go Home, But You Can’t Stay Here

I USED to have a reputation as a party girl. and this fatbitch here lived up to it. i was pretty proud of it in fact. you could lay out four shots of ANYTHING on the bar, and girlfriend here would drink it. again, i’m actually proud of it. i had my very own custom drink at a bar and even would get the old “NORM!”-from-cheers-type of yell when i would walk into certain places. it was a very nice ego boost and helped my morbidly obese self esteem a lot. alcoholic-ally speaking, i realize that’s not really a good thing. eh. *shrugs* i had the reputation of being the first person on the dance floor and was going strong until the house lights came on and the dj tried shooing everyone away with Closing Time by Semisonic. i was a diva and people enjoyed it. i was a plus sized goddess and i had lots of followers (none of which were chubby chasers, thank you very much). i had a reputation. but in a very very positive way. people looked to me for a fun night of dancing and partying. i was everyone’s cruise director; friday night would roll around and i’d get a dozen texts of “what’s going on for tonite?” i was fun. and everyone had fun when they were with me. there was no shame in that. i was an inspiration to fat girls. they saw me dressing the way i wanted to, i got hit on, picked up, always had people buying me drinks, i always had dates, got hookups- you name it. anything us fat girls envied the skinny girls for- i did. and people noticed. it was fantastic. i was a chubby girl hero for fucksake.

now before you go and think i was some boozy slutbag (which in actuality, i was) i was also a good mom. i truly was. not in a Jerry Springer- “I GOT SIX BABY DADDY TO MY KEEDS, BUT I’M STILL A GOOD MOM”-defense-type of way- i really was. i was a proud mom. a boozy partier- mom. go ahead and judge all you want. my former marriage was rough and admittedly i married too young. so i got my second chance. and i didn’t waste a second.   but for as much as people loved the party girl part of me- they also loved how much i cherished my son.  i had a reputation for being an awesome mother.  IN YOUR FACE, NAYSAYERS!  i did it all!  true story!

but that was back in my hayday. i’m pretty much the same person as i ever was- but not really. i’m still a good mom and i still can do four shots without thinking, but i don’t go home with different people anymore. i volunteer a lot and spend more time in my jammies than i used to, but i still enjoy life. i don’t feel as inspiring to anyone anymore, especially fat girls, but, i hope that a younger version of me is out there somewhere, dancing with strangers, having all of her drinks bought for her and living life for all it’s worth.

but beyond good mom and a very active member of the Pittsburgh GLBT community, i don’t have much of a reputation anymore and i’m okay with that. i’m involved in a lot of things and do as much as i can, whenever i can, but don’t really mind blending in with the scenery. i still manage to stand out as i will never fit all of the way in because i’m am an obnoxious loud mouth with a hearty laugh- and that’s okay with me. if that is what i am known for, i’m absolutely okay with that.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/daily-prompt-you/#comments

My Name is Theresa. And I’m a Realist.

I realized something the other day when people were still throwing new year’s resolutions about, and i was steadfast in my resolution to not make any resolutions. i was sitting quietly in the car as we drove around Atlantic City listening to Christmas music. we were trying to get the last of the holiday spirit before it disappeared into the chaos of another three hundred-and-some days. i watched the blazing marquees blink and flash and i wondered what was in abandoned and broken down buildings. i watched the groups of casino-goers scuttle about and i saw lonely people trudging home from their late night jobs. i felt so small, like you do when you are disconnected from rushing crowds and noisy happenings. i wondered, as you do, what those people were celebrating, and felt lonely for not being a part of their fun. i was quiet and introspective, like you are when you miss your friends and wondering if they were missing you too.

there was talk about what we would do if we were to inherit a lot of money. my boyfriend and i were dreaming of owning a campground or a bed and breakfast, and building the house of our dreams and traveling. realistically unrealistic, but with the right circumstances, possibly attainable miles and miles in the future. we talked about the past, and things he used to do in his old neighborhood, and like i do, i listened, wondering what my childhood would have been like if i was in his shoes. talk of ‘the way it used to be’ was brief, if only because it’s just talk, and there’s no potential in dwelling on the past, so the conversation went back to buying a boat and a camper, specific kinds of dogs, special vacations, all excited with possibility. my life being what it is, however, full of so much missed opportunity, so much disappointment, i didn’t give myself the chance to get filled with dreams. or even hope. i’m a realist. and we realists know better. we live in the now. we only allow ourselves realistic thoughts. we don’t dream or make WISH BOOKS or say things like “someday i’d like to…”. we just can’t. we can talk about the future in the short term, on practical attainable goals like- “in six months after we pay off our credit cards-…”, or “after i lose ten pounds, i’d like to-…”, or “next week after i finish work for the week-…”. attainable. practical. realistic. i am a realist after all.

i wasted a lot of my life wondering about the ‘what if’s’, and crying over my problematic past. neglectful parents, correctable mistakes, broken promises. these are things i know. but these are also things that i can no longer do anything about. they are done. they are in the past. they are the past. thankfully.

the future? i want to believe, and dream and hope and wish. but i can’t allow that. i don’t want to say, “after i lose 100 pounds i’ll buy that bikini to wear on our caribbean cruise”– there is just SO MUCH WRONG with that. it’s almost laughable. i won’t say things like, “i would like to go back to school if-…” because, well, i just won’t.

i can however, let myself say, “after my car is paid off next summer, i’ll feel more relaxed” and “by next year, our credit cards will be paid off, and we’ll finally be able to breathe a little easier”. these are things i can say. these are things that will happen. these are things that i know (*knocks on wood*, barring some unforeseen disaster- that is NEVER out of the possibility). but MOSTLY, for the most part, BASICALLY, (probably) those are things i know.

now, having said all of that, i still WANT things to happen. like, winning the lottery, or getting a huge burst of creative energy and also a miracle publisher and get my books onto shelves. or losing 25 pounds. i can hope for a dream job for my boyfriend. i can dream that my son will find his way through life easier than i did. but will i wait for it? will i dream about these things? will i allow myself the luxury of HOPING for them? absolutely not. i’m a realist. and realists don’t do that.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/daily-prompt-forward/

Not So Much a Hero

Today i’m supposed to talk about a hero, eh?
well, i aint got one. nope. no way, no how. not wonder woman, not spiderman, not martha stewart or even any of the horrible disney princesses. i grew up with a mad crush on Michael Jackson and slept with a giant hard plastic King Kong bank—- does that count? i didn’t think so.

so. hero… hero… um. how about someone i admire?
because that’s an easy one. i admire my boyfriend. i admire his courage and strength. i admire his ability to ignore the assholes of the world. i admire him for having the guts to come out. my boyfriend, of nine years, came out to me this spring as male. let me back up and explain.

way back when, nearly a decade ago, i got a divorce and started what i liked to call, “guerrilla dating”.
being bisexual, i was happily dating both guys and girls, and one crazy night at a favorite club, i ran into the cutest person i can recall having met up until that point. very low-key, very casual, quite gender ambiguous and yes, quite drunk. i was hooked almost instantly. some heavy flirting and a bit of a ‘whirlwind romance’ later, we were in love and together ever since. that tale, however, is very long, and for another time.

through the nine years, i was labeled as ‘in a lesbian relationship’, and by default lumped into the ‘lesbian’ category, despite being bisexual and explaining constantly that one’s sexual identity or preference is NOT defined by their partner or relationship status. i held fast and true to my blatant bisexuality, all the while dispelling the myth that bisexuals are ‘greedy’, ‘confused’ and ‘cannot be monogamous’. i never cared about the gender of my partner. i just knew that i loved that person.

years and years after we met and fell in love, combined lives and built a home together, he bravely came out to me that he finally realized that he was a transgendered male, i.e., born with a female body, but inherently male. he risked me not accepting him, of me breaking up with him, of me not understanding or wanting to continue our life together; none of which happened, because i do accept him and want to continue our life together no matter what. and although i may not understand SPECIFICALLY what he is going through, i will support him every step of the way. so, since he came out to me and started his transition, things have been the same as ever; for me anyways. for him, unfortunately, coming out to me was just the beginning. next he had to tell our friends, which, although seemed easy, wasn’t. he still had to overcome the fear of being questioned, or not being taken seriously. everyone was supportive, however, and for them, as with me, it was all very easy-peasy. for my boyfriend, however, who hates any sort of attention, things weren’t as simple. he was having trouble fielding all of the questions and even responding to the overwhelming support, when he was still just feeling his way around this new step of his life. he had to learn to respond to his newly chosen name, and even remember to use the masculine pronoun when referring to himself. thirty-six years is a long time to just change something simple like your own name, especially when dealing with having to use your ‘birth name’ at work. there was so much stress from trying to decide how to come out at work, or even if he should, or even if he COULD and risk getting fired. it was so hard watching him struggle and be afraid of getting outed. he had to explain the situation to HR repeatedly, and unfortunately his company didn’t even know how to deal with the situation, which didn’t help ease his troubles. at every turn, there was a new scenario, a new situation to have to consider whether or not coming out as a trans-male was the best thing to do. he was under a microscope so often that i saw him crack occasionally, and those cracks lead to more stress. but he always managed to get his chin up and at least fake his way through it. he was so very brave then.

hardest of all, he had to eventually face his family and struggled with the whole situation for a long time. it is sadly a step in his journey that he will constantly have to revisit many more times to come, but at least, the initial conversations are over. i have always known my partner to be brave, but these things took the most courage of all. but even still, with what seemed the hardest part behind him, there were more steps, each more complicated, each another chance for exposure. he cannot hide, no matter how much he wants to. his whole life, he has always drawn attention, despite being quiet and withdrawn. every day he has to move forward, and every day is an introvert’s nightmare; stares and sideways glances; whispers of “is that a BOY or a GIRL?”, constant questions about whose credit card or license he has, and a never-ending stream of screwed up pronouns. waitresses usually seem to address him as ‘sir’ whereas blue collar workers call him ‘a lady’, and when people realize their mistake, it’s more exposure as they try to correct themselves, apologetically. and now, he has the added fear of the BATHROOM DILEMMA. he’s too boyish to use the ladies room, and men’s rooms aren’t usually fully equipped for his current ‘equipment’ and there’s always a fear of being called out, or openly questioned and embarrassed; not to mention the scariness of backwards people who don’t understand the world; people who can’t accept that how we are born isn’t always black, and white or male and female as the case may be.

even more, there’s always an underlying fear of what happened to Brandon Teena who was portrayed in the movie based on his true story in Boys Don’t Cry. i am admittedly nervous for my partner at times, a lot of times actually. there’s always the underlying fear of hate crimes. always. no matter how much i pretend, the fear still lingers, even if just in the cobwebbiest of corners. i want to protect him from everything- the stares, the snickers, the pronoun game, and hate crimes; mostly, i want him to be able to transition quickly, both with legality of paperwork and also physically with surgery. but the reality is, i am not always with him, i can’t always be there to be a buffer when he needs to use the bathroom at work, or when he needs to use his old driver’s license or credit card. i can’t always be there. and at these times, when i can’t be there for him, he has to put his bravest “i don’t give a fuck”- attitude forward, just to do things that we all take for granted. and he is brave. i love him for that. he may not be my ‘hero’, but i admire his courage to just be who he really is.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/daily-prompt-hero/