Notes from the Lavender Table: TRANSforming ourselves

I can't stop shaking, both from all the support I've been receiving from friends and family and from the comments from those many who just don't get it. I am so lucky to have surrounded myself with people that, even if they don't understand, try. Liquid courage and social media definitely are a perfect combination for a trans man like myself--what better way to tell the world you're transgender than to tell nearly a thousand people at once, on Facebook. 

I woke up this morning, dreading the replies from my family--my brother, my sister, my cousins, aunts, uncles, and father. I start feeling nauseous thinking about how they might react. Luckily, I woke up to over 150 likes and 15 comments, all mostly positive and encouraging.

I walked into the kitchen to my mother's happiness, "Well, good morning, you beautiful woman! There's some strong coffee in there for ya!" I felt like I was walking back in time, to the Old World from the New World. Realization: She was the only person I hadn't told yet. I want to tell her about how I would much rather her call me a handsome man than a beautiful woman, and, of course, that I love how she makes the coffee stronger just for me. I want her to have seen how, over the many many years, I've been struggling with depression and anxiety and gender dysphoria (widely described as experiencing distress and discomfort with one's own assigned sex). I hope she knows how I am so ready for this next step in my life. 

After SIX cups of coffee, I finally muster up the courage to say, "Mama, can I talk to you about something?" "Of course, come sit over here," she says. I move to her new husband's recliner. "You know how Charlie is transgender? Well, I am too." "Oh yeah? Well, I knew that. JoBeth told me." She laughed, imitating my sister, "Oh noooo! Our family is not dysfunctional. My sister wants to be a man! My brother committed adultery! My mother is bipolar! We're both drug dealers! My dad is dating a lesbian, and I have a felony!" I finally stop shaking and crying. "Oh good!!" 

After a while, we talk about transitioning and what that means and what it will mean to me. She tells me, "Oh, just don't do any of that surgery and stuff." I explain that I will soon go on testosterone and have top surgery. 

Later, I overheard her in the other room saying: "Oh, and she's going to change her name. She wants to be called Jordan. That's just the way it is. She was crying when she told me. She's going to take hormone shots... I can't be upset. I love her, and I always will."  

My father called and told me: "I love you, honey, but I hope you know I am going to call you Caitlin until the day I die." Though that breaks my heart, I don't doubt it. He thinks that 23 is too young to make this decision, that being "zealous" will get me in trouble. He says, "Just wait until you're out of school… Just wait until you're in the real world before you do all these…. radical... things." He acts as if I don't believe or understand what I'm saying. I want him to understand that I may not even be around, if I were to wait. "If you're not in your face about it, it might be okay to work at Boy Scout camp. It won't be me telling you 'no', but we do live in the conservative Bible Belt, you know."

Sorry, Papa, I'm not much for saving face. Being in the Bible Belt is no excuse for being transphobic, homophobic, biphobic, racist, sexist, or any other form of bigotry. I'm going to be me, no matter the 'consequences'. 

All went better than expected, really. I will always ALWAYS create a family of people, wherever I go. I don't know if you can really understand that, unless you're at least a little bit queer. It's not the University setting that creates that, unlike my father thinks. It's the way many minorities, at least from my perspective, cope. It's the way we survive. We will always have that, no matter where we go or what we're doing. Sometimes we'll be shaken into a harsh reality--we'll realize we aren't always going to be as strong as we wish we were. We'll be slurred at. Violence will pervade our lives. Some of us will commit suicide, be killed, and be broken-hearted. But we'll still be here. Our energy won't go away just because of people's hate and misunderstanding. If you call me by the gender or name assigned to me at birth, that won't change who I am. Slowly but surely, we're changing minds and hearts. 

My mother said it best. "This is going to be a very, very long journey". I hope some of you all will join me for the ride. This is the rollercoaster of life, baby, get used to it. 

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

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Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

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Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

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