Just to Clarify

A recent communication from a good friend pointed out that a description of some people, in my last blog as “stupid” was probably not the best choice of words and as a result somewhat detracted from the point I was trying to make. In retrospect he was probably correct. I undoubtedly could have been a bit more, well considerably more, diplomatic.

When I was in early sobriety and learning to assess my previous behavior in an honest and forthright manner, I was told in confessing my transgressions that when I followed up my confession with, “but” such and such or so and so did such and such to cause my behavior that I totally negated my personal responsibility in the interaction. So, no “buts” here.

I am angry. And I feel justifiably so. I will apologize for using the term “stupid” but not for the assessments that followed the term. I know that I am only a single voice in the choir and that I have, in that respect, a total inability to carry a tune. But I will not let that keep me from singing as loudly as I can.

All that being said, I need to express an opinion regarding gender identity politics and what I see as a major flaw the thinking of many in our community. That flaw is the idea that everything we express must be expressed from the platform of our gender identity.

When I first became involved the activities of the world of the transgendered, I of course was primarily concerned with being an accepted part of the community. Having always been outspoken about my political views, which by the way included my religious views, I saw no reason to suppress those views just because I was wearing a wig and a dress. I immediately found that, for many in the organization, I was a heretic. After all, conservative religion and politics were joined hand in hand in the denunciation of the transgendered community.

While that was true to a certain degree it was definitely an overgeneralization of the situation. If you have followed my blog over time, you know that I certainly have not let the opinions of those I disagree with stifle the expression of my views. If I had a bigger following, I would probably be banned from Facebook and Twitter, but so far, I have not.

Enter stage right, Caitlyn Jenner.

She is the embodiment of what I have felt and expressed in the past. She is what the transgendered community needs badly because what she is saying, to me at any rate, is that gender identity is not going to keep her from expressing her conservative political opinions. To date I have not heard anything from her that reflects her gender identity. She has been strictly focused on issues that have nothing to do with gender; issues that affect average people in her state. If her gender identity is brought up it’s the interviewer who brings it up and not her. So, what if her transgendered status draws attention. It has nothing to do with what she feels the people of California need from the point of view of a very successful businessperson.

She should be an example to the transgendered community to put gender identity aside and be a contributing member of society … like any “normal” person would do without making gender the issue.

My parents never expressed an opinion of anyone based on issues they had no control over, ie … skin color, sex, physical handicaps. As a result, I learned to look at the character of people in my life. Did Caitlyn have a choice to visibly express her gender identity? Absolutely! But she had no choice as to the set of emotions she was born with and that is what she is expressing in her appearance … and to my way of thinking, an expression of her character.

In closing this blog entry what I want to say is, to our transgender community, stop with the gender identity excuses for not living up to your potential. Stop with the gender identity excuses for thinking you are a victim. Stop parroting the opinions of those who are telling you that you are a victim. There are no victims here, only people who have been convinced they are victims by those who need victims to support their own self-centered aims of controlling other’s lives … since most of them, from what I see, have had trouble controlling their own.

A Lack of Morals?

When I was much younger than I am today, I lived with the sense that even though I didn’t agree what many people felt or believed about what our government should or should not do for us, I felt the best interest of our country and the freedoms it represented were their primary intent. If I hadn’t been disabused of that naïve belief before, I certainly am now.

What is happening in our country, in our capitol, in the hands of our elected leaders, (and I’m not referring to the ones that fall on the “red” side of either branch of our government) is nothing short of the worst possible scenario any screen writer or novelist could conceivably come up with. When I listen to the promises and the proposals that are being foisted upon us with regularity, I can come to only one conclusion. There is now a total lack of morals in the democrat party, with damn few exceptions.

Why on earth would anyone with a conscience want to burden future generations with the astronomical debt that congress has now saddled the country with? Why? It certainly isn’t because they sincerely want a better life for future generations. It is economically impossible for this country continue to add to our debt load without totally destroying an economy that has, up until now been the envy of the world.

It has long been said that people vote with their pocketbooks in mind. Well, how stupid can people get? Do they really think that all that money is going buy them more than what they can by today? Apparently, they do. You would think that if the average citizen had even a modicum of understanding of principle of supply and demand that they would soon figure out that what makes a dollar worth more is not having more of it. It’s the exact opposite. The supply of any commodity, including the dollar directly affects its value.

The democrats know that and that, to my mind, makes them criminals. They don’t care about anyone or anything that detracts from their power to control the lives of anyone they consider less than themselves or their ability to enrich themselves at the expense of the very people they claim to represent. So, how is it that supposedly educated people fall for the obviously wrong-headed ideas?

They are in fact, obviously very uneducated. Sure, they have college degrees of every sort, but the degrees are absolutely worthless when it comes to an understanding of real economics. The result is voters who buy into the notion that free college education, free childcare, free everything is actually free. That is what our education system has given us … a country filled with educated stupid people. And the democrats know it.

The democrats know that and that is why they are getting away with things like “woke” culture, whatever the hell that is. It’s supposed to mean that “woke” people have “woke” up to the injustices of our culture and history. In my opinion, it primarily means that they have “woke” up to one simple fact. With control of the media, career government employees and now congress and the white house they have “woke” up to the fact that they can lie about history and get away with it. If that isn’t a lack of morals, I don’t know what is. There is absolutely no moral basis for anything “woke” culture has produced. “Woke” culture is totally and completely void of any moral compass.

So, what is the solution for those of us who still have a moral compass? Maybe we need to follow Maxine Waters advice and “get up in their face”. The conservative moment has been too complacent and tried too hard to maintain a sense of decorum. Look at what that has gotten us.

We as a free people are at a precipice in history and if we don’t step back and take a few pages from the play book used by the democrats and their socialistic progressive allies we will be beyond redemption and our grandchildren will never know the promise of the United State of America.

A lack of morals? Without a doubt.

Security vs Freedom

I recently referred to our not-over-yet election period as the silly season. It wasn’t silly at all. It was tragic. As a person with a gender identity at odds with much of society I am supposed to be a liberal democrat and I am supposed to stick to gender identity issues. I’m sorry but that’s just not me.

I have been berated and chastised by many in that group referred to as LGBT, and whatever other capitalized letter of the alphabet that people choose t0 attach to their personal identity. I suppose that would be appropriate if I chose to make my gender identity the major issue of my life, my interests and the north pole of my political beliefs. But I don’t. I am a human being first, a Christian second and a conservative third.

Regardless of whatever point in my life I have found myself at, I have always had very specific beliefs and understanding of what makes a society great or not so great. President Lyndon Johnson ushered in what was referred to as “The Great Society”. A society that was supposed to cure all the ills of our republic; eliminate poverty, equalize outcome regardless of effort or ability. In case you haven’t noticed, all the things that “The Great Society” was supposed to cure, have for the most part remained. Why, you ask, is that the reality of our nation?

The reality is, that whether or not the intention behind that effort was to actually improve lives it actually perpetuated the very ills that it purported to eliminate. So, how did that happen?

I am not an expert on the subject, but I am a keen observer. Part of what was included in the Great Society was a program championed by Johnson’s wife, Lady Bird. It was called “Headstart” and to my knowledge it persists today. The idea was to help the less fortunate children get a leg up on the rest of the education that lay ahead of them in the normal public education system. I can’t give you any statistics that support my theory, but from the current condition of the communities it was intended to help I would venture a guess that it has been a near total failure. Before you jump to point out some successes of the program, accept my acknowledgement there have certainly been some successes, albeit few and far between. Otherwise, the overall success would be shouted from the roof tops of Washington.

If one could point to any success in that program it would be the success of beginning the conditioning of young minds to accept whatever ideology was headed their way once they entered the remainder of their educational process. That primary ideology is what is on full display in the Democrat Party and the people who adhere to the principle that government is more suited to making decisions about the lives of the people it claims to care so much for.

The continuation of shaping the minds of the youth of this country is the sole aim of the National Education Association. And their goal is not the goal of teaching our youth to think for themselves. If it were, their contributions to political candidates would be evenly split, which they are not.

In the last twenty years, the NEA has donated in excess of $153,000,000 to political causes and candidates. Of the at amount 96.1% has gone to Democrat candidates and causes. A mere 3.9% has gone to Republican candidates and causes. Is it any wonder, then, that the vast majority of the marchers in last spring and summer’s demonstrations were, from casual observation, under the age of 30? Is it any wonder why the politicians from Democrat cities and states feel justified in enacting ordinances limiting the activities of the people they are supposed to present, but feeling above adherence to those same edicts?

Our education system, with the support of Democrat politicians, I believe, has intentionally dumbed down the last two generations in preparation for what our country is now facing in Georgia. The last two generations of voters don’t have a clue what Obama meant by “It’s time for a change”. I don’t have to be a mind reader to realize that what he meant was that it was time to change from a nation of self-sufficient freedom to a nation of people who want to live with their hands in the pockets of others.

There is no moral compass left in the hearts of Democrat leaders. The country I grew up in is no longer a place of opportunity for all. It’s become a place of equal outcome for all regardless of contribution or effort. The mere fact that Democrats, liberals and progressives are so close to destroying what so many have died for in the last two hundred forty-four years means that all of those lives will have been in vain. The country they sacrificed for will cease to exist. It is a hopeless feeling for those of us who love our heritage.

If there is any hope at this point it is that ordinary people who have a moral compass get involved, beginning with the school board, local city elections, county elections, state elections and finally national elections. We didn’t get here in one generation and we certainly won’t get back to our roots in one generation, but we have to start somewhere.

And when your children come home with some stupid pronunciation that socialism is better than capitalism do what my mother did when I came home with the stupid notion that communism was good for some countries, a statement from my history teacher. She set me straight immediately. We need more parents like her.

Dear Mom and Dad, P.S.

P.S.

A lot has changed since I last wrote to you … a lot! I hardly know where to start. But, I’m going to give it a try.

I’ll start with what’s happened in the nation in general. The panic over the nation of Islam and the terrorists it spawned has pretty much subsided. We endured eight years of a Democrat in the white house who was elected primarily because he’s African American on his father’s side. And then re-elected because the Republicans nominated a gutless wonder by the name of Romney.

The damage of that eight years was nearly irreparable, but one of the most unlikely people to be nominated by the Republicans and then elected president, Donald Trump began cleaning up the swamp. The only reason he doesn’t have a lock on election this time around is a Chinese originated virus that has killed over 150,000 people. The democrats and their willing accomplices in the press have done a pretty thorough job of blaming him even though he was the first president to stand up to the Chinese and begin the process of renegotiating all of the previous administrations’ bad trade deals. I can’t help but wonder if the Chinese didn’t deliberately spread the virus world-wide in order to derail those talks.

Now the democrats have swung so far to the left toward a near totally socialist agenda that even Granny would have to vote Republican, and you remember what die hard democrat she was. You should ask her about it. I’m sure she’s around up there somewhere.

So much for that. In my world, things have changed a lot too. After my letter to you was published with visions of royalties just pouring in and offers of a movie deal coming in by the day, I started working weekends at bar in Phoenix called The Cash Inn. And no, I didn’t start drinking again. I just liked being there and made a lot of friends there over the ensuing 5 or 6 years. The owners at the time Lisa and Adele, especially Lisa were some of my biggest supporters.

I got a considerable amount of support from others in the LGBT community. Keith, who I identified as “Keifer” hired me to help him re-model two houses. Unfortunately, he died suddenly one day owing me a substantial amount of money and his partner refused to pay me the balance.

Then I went to work doing remodel and repair work on another bar, Plazma in Phoenix. I got to know the owner Jim through my pastor, Jabowa Whitehead. We used to go over there after church on Sunday afternoon and spend time getting to know other people in the church. At one time Jim gave me an advance on work I hadn’t done yet so I could buy books to sell at a college in California. Which brings me to another person; someone who has become just about the best friend I’ve ever had, with one exception, that of course being The Blue Magnet.

I have to admit that I don’t remember exactly what year it was when Christine Curtain, The Little Green-Eyed Blonde introduced me to Jimmy Urbanovich, but it had to have been at least eleven or twelve years ago. Since that time, he and his wife Renee’ have become not only important supporters but have also become good friends. Jimmy has invited me back to speak at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa every year but this year and that being the result of Covid-19. Renee was instrumental in getting a promotional video produced by her son for me to use, in an effort to book speaking engagements, but before any could be arranged Covid-19 hit.

However, the really big, I mean REALLY big events of my life have been one event leading to another, leading to another.

Seven years ago, this last June my financial situation had become desperate. I had been applying everywhere for jobs; Circle K, Quick Stop, Walmart, Lowe’s and Home Depot just to mention a few. I was really desperate. The leasing agent I leased my townhouse from had given me notice that they would no longer accept post dated checks for half of my rent. It was either pay all by the third of each month or face eviction. I would have taken any job offered at that point.

The last Monday in June I received an e-mail from The Home Depot central hiring in Atlanta. It said they had attempted to call me for an interview the previous Friday, but I had not answered. Was I still interested in applying for a job there? I couldn’t dial the number fast enough. After an initial phone interview at that time an interview was scheduled for 8:00 AM the following Tuesday at Depot 469 in Mesa.

My interview with ASM Vicki went so well that she asked if I could possibly return for an interview with the Specialty ASM Jeremy the next day. I said “Of course.” Then she asked if I was willing to come back that afternoon. “Heck, I’ll wait if it’s this afternoon.”

She responded that Jeremy wouldn’t be in until 1:00 PM. So, the appointment was set for 2:30 that afternoon. Jeremy and I talked twenty minutes or so and then he took me out to the kitchen showroom and asked me to sell him every product they had. I honestly don’t think he believed that I had as much experience as I did. At any rate he said he would call me the next day. I thought, “Sure you will.” Several years before I had been told that by another Home Depot and never heard a word. But, he called me the next day and said I was hired.

My first official day was July 17, 2013. I anticipated a year or so at The Home Depot. But seven years later and I’m still there.

In the meantime, Mom passed away the last week of September 2014. After all was settled and her home sold, I was the recipient of a third of her remaining estate. On my way home from Utah after having emptied her home of seventy-five years of memorabilia, treasures and personal things of no value to anyone but family, I realized that something I had thought would never be possible, would be.

I had been living and working as Georgia for more than seven years even though the name change hadn’t been legally official until January 5, 2009. At the court hearing for the name change, when it was my turn to stand before the judge, he looked over the papers, and then looking at me said, “I think this is very appropriate. Petition granted.”

I had been on hormone therapy for almost as long and had become used to the idea that whatever was under my skirt wasn’t nearly as important as what was in my heart and head. So, with the realization that a complete transition was now possible, but also having witnessed the tragic result of hasty decisions in regard to Gender Reassignment Surgery I decided to take my time and be sure it was the right thing for me to do. So I waited and I considered all the implications of what I was contemplating.

The first person to learn of what I was considering was Christine. The first Thanksgiving after we met, I had spent with her and family and friends. After all the hoopla was over and everyone had departed and we were alone I had asked her if it would make any difference to her, regarding our relationship if I ever did take that step. Her reply was, “Of course not and she would go with me wherever I needed to go and hold my hand as long as necessary.”

I called her sometime in the middle of December and asked her if the promise was still good. She said, “Of course.” I told her I hadn’t made a firm decision but was thinking about it.

I waited until sometime in February to contact Dr. Marcy Bowers. Over time I had always known that if I ever took that step, she was the only surgeon I would consider. That was because she, herself was a transsexual and had taken over the practice of Dr. Stanley Bieber in Trinidad Colorado.

My first appointment with her was on March 30th, 2015. I still wasn’t sure that I wanted to go ahead and planned on waiting another couple of months before I made a final decision.

Naturally I gave her a copy of “Dear Mom and Dad” when she entered the examination room and after introductions she asked me if I had any questions for her and I said,

“Am I too old?”

“Why do you think you are too old?”

“I’m seventy years old.”

“You’re what?”

“I’m seventy years old.”

“When I first saw you, I assumed I was dealing with someone in their mid-fifties.”

I could have kissed her right then and there.

But to answer my question, she said that I wasn’t too old. She had performed the surgery on people in their eighties.

As the interview was winding down, she said that her good fortune was my misfortune because she was booked out for two and a half years. My heart sank. Then she added, “But for you, I will get you in within nine months if I have to work an extra day of the week.”

Before I left the office, I filled out the necessary paperwork and left a deposit.

About two weeks later I got a call from her practice manager, Robin. She was calling to verify my insurance information that Aetna was my primary through my employer and that Medicare was secondary. I told her yes but that I didn’t want Home Depot hassled about coverage; I had the money.

Robin said she didn’t know what I had heard but that they didn’t hassle the insurance company. All they did was send a letter asking if it was a covered procedure. I said that if that was all they did then fine, but the answer would be “no”. Then I went on with my life.

The last week in June, I was preparing to go on vacation in Monument Valley and Durango when I received a letter from Aetna. There’s my denial of coverage letter I thought. I opened it up and started reading. In the middle of the page was the following:

“Gender Reassignment Surgery: Covered procedure.

What? No! That can’t be right. I folded it up and put it back in the envelope. I waited a few minutes and took the letter out again and re-read it. Yup! That’s what it said. “Gender Reassignment Surgery: Covered Procedure”

I called Robin the next morning and told her about the letter and asked if she had been notified. She said no, but they usually didn’t hear until a week or so after the patient did. So, I went on vacation and returned to work on a Thursday in mid-July. The next day, Friday, Robins office was closed at noon, so I e-mailed her and asked if she had received confirmation of coverage.

Monday morning, about 10:00 my phone rang. It was Robin. She said yes, they had received a confirmation from Aetna and that all I owed was $4,000. Then she said,

“So, how about September 2nd?

“For what?”

“Your surgery.”

I was speechless. I couldn’t breathe. Finally, Robin said,

“Are you there?”

“Uh Yeah.”

“Do you want that date?”

It took a few seconds for it to sink in; that the final decision moment had arrived. I finally said, “Yes, I do.”

“Do you want Dr. Beck to do the breast implants at the same time?”

“If it’s going to happen that soon, yes I do.”

“Then the date is September 1st.”

It had been just five months since Dr. Bowers had said she would get me in in nine months if she had to work an extra day of the week. I called Christine and told her I was making plane reservations for August 31st.

The only other thing I’m going to add is this; I had not been anesthetized since I had my tonsils out when I was 5 years old. I had no idea what to expect. The anesthetist came in to pre-op and said he was going to give me something to relax me, then something to put me to sleep and then would use general anesthesia for the surgery which all together would last six to seven hours.

The next thing, I’m awake and wondering when are they going to get started? Then,

“Oh crap, it’s all done!”

Then, what I knew was possible but didn’t think would happen to me, happened.

“Oh my God, what have I done. I’ve made a horrible mistake.”

But there was no turning back now. I had crossed the Rubicon. I immediately went to work on my own emotions and within two hours I was okay and have never looked back since. It was the right thing for me … Georgia.

George? He’s still there … in my subconscious now just as I was in his for sixty plus years. And he gets in his two bits worth from time to time just like I did to him.

It was not quite a year later that the love of my life, Georgia’s life, entered my life and has made me happy beyond belief. The Blue Magnet makes every day memorable and generally fills it with laughter.

If you are new to my blog, you can read about her and our relationship in posts of February 21st, 2017 and again September 3, 2018.

And the last thing of importance, though tragic, has been the untimely death of my pastor, brother and friend, T.C. “Jabowa” Whitehead. A blog entry on June 2 of this year is a tribute to him. His importance in my life is one of the very last things I wrote about in “Dear Mom and Dad.”

Well, Mom and Dad, that’s pretty much all that’s happened in the last 8 years and not that I don’t look forward to seeing you, I’m just not ready to call it quits down here. I still have books to write and I haven’t had near enough time with The Blue Magnet yet.

Love,

Georgia

P.P.S. And oh yeah … I’ve been ordained an Elder in my church and have actually delivered 3 sermons in the last 2 months, not to mention a lot of introductory messages over the last 4 or 5 years. You can catch them on my Facebook page when you have time.

Jabowa

I don’t know quite where to start. So I will start with a passage from the next to last page of Dear Mom and Dad …

“Within minutes of walking in the door, I felt that I knew why God had closed the Healing Waters door. He’d been holding open the door of New Foundation Christian Fellowship for me all along. I was home at last. I sensed blessings of our maker in the face and presence of everyone, but most of all Pastor Jabowa Whitehead, in a way I’d never felt before in any church. The peace and sense of purpose we’d searched for all our combined life was finally ours.”

Yesterday evening June 1st 2020 at 5:33 and 59 seconds Thomas Cohen “Jabowa” Whitehead took his leave of this world and in so doing left in his wake a multitude of lives much better off for having known him and having been loved by him. And I say “loved” by him because he did love everyone who entered the sphere of his life.

I have met many people who claimed to love everyone, but there has always been a somewhat hollow tone to their claim. Not so with Jabowa. He did genuinely “love” everyone in his life. It was that quality that allowed him to change in some way every life he touched. When one loves as genuinely and completely as did Jabowa Whitehead one cannot help but leave a lasting mark on the lives one touches.

I will never forget the first moment I saw Jabowa. I had been talked into attending a church service for which I held no expectations or even hopes of some healing sense of what I would experience there. As I entered the “Upper Room” as I came to refer to the place on 16th Street and Osborne in Phoenix, he was busy at the front of the room but he glanced up and flashed that Jabowa smile at me. It was a brief but knowing smile that said, “I’ve been expecting you.”

Was our relationship flawless and without chuck holes? No, of course it wasn’t. In fact, at one point I walked away from New Foundation convinced that my time there was at an end and it was time to move on, so I did. But, true to his character, 4 months later I got a text from him. It said he would understand if I chose not to, but he wanted me to know that he would like it if I would worship with him the following Sunday. I responded that I would talk to Abba about it and if He said I should, I would. On Saturday I received another text from him asking what the answer was. I responded that Abba had been totally silent so I took that to mean that He was leaving it up to me so I would probably be there. And I was.

I have not looked back since then. A testament to what he had created was the reception I received when I entered the room, not from him, but from the “family” I found there overwhelmed me. It took awhile for the two of us to heal our relationship, but he had such a forgiving and loving heart that I had no choice but to forgive and heal.

It is important for people who read this to understand what Jabowa’s vision for New Foundation was, as he shared it with me.

It was first and foremost a place for everyone to worship. No formal membership required. And by “everyone” he sincerely meant “everyone”; the broken, the cast offs of society and organized, mainstream churches. As he frequently put it, “gay, straight, trans, bi, Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostal, or as he would phrase it, Methobapticostals; All had a home at New Foundation Christian Fellowship.

The second part of his vision was a fellowship in the form of what the early church was like before Emperor Constantine of Constantinople had his vision of the cross before his victorious final battle with Rome and attributed that victory to the God of the Christians. That vision led ultimately to the Holy Roman Catholic church and the endless requirements of organized Christianity today.

The Christ of Jabowa’s faith was a friend and a brother to be talked to and listened to on a nearly continuous basis. I wrote in Dear Mom and Dad that none of us is ever going to be completely privy to another’s relationship with our maker, and as open as Jabowa was with his faith and his prayer life his most intimate relationship with God is something none of us will ever know.

When I try, through the tears, to understand why he was called home so soon I can only think of it this way. In a forest there can grow a giant pine tree and over time it sheds many cones which lie dormant for years never giving rise to new trees. Only when a forest fire destroys that tree does the heat from that fire cause the many seeds the tree has shed over its lifetime, to break open and germinate. Only then does the promise of a future for other life to grow, uninhibited by the shadow of the giant tree.

The giant tree, in the person of Jabowa Whitehead, is no longer here among us, but we as the seeds of his love and acceptance must now germinate and give life to his vision. His vision must now be our vision. His mission must now be the mission of every life he ever touched.

A Memorable Memorial Day of Critical Thinking

It is Memorial Day 2020 and as with, I believe everyone, it is the most memorable in my life and probably the most memorable in our history. The networks are busy giving lip service to those who have sacrificed all for our country before they launch into a litany of reasons why Donald Trump has handled the Corona Virus pandemic worse than anyone else could have. They back up their opinions with interviews with carefully selected notables who share their narrow views, thus negating any effort they might have made at honoring the people who have giving their all so the very same pundits can spew whatever vitriolic blather they choose.

What I’m wondering, as I sit here, is how we reached this point. Was there a specific event in our history on which the mission of the Fourth Estate changed from reporting facts as they existed to reporting facts as they were desired to exist.

I am not naïve enough to be ignorant of the fact that there have always been divergent views of the facts in any reported situation. But wasn’t there a time when the facts were stated plainly and accurately first then followed by diverse opinions of people capable of critical thinking. I’m try desperately to remember a time in my adult life when I felt I could trust implicitly the facts being reported.

The closest I can come to setting a date or an event when that the seed of doubt was planted. It was sometime in the late ‘60s or early ‘70s. Try as I may, I cannot remember the exact details but two of the circumstances involved reporting programs like 60 Minutes and 2020. We were still on the farm and one such incident involved the efforts of Caesar Chavez’ to organize the lettuce workers in southern Colorado. The other circumstance involved the National Farm Organization and its efforts to unionize the farmers and ranchers. In both cases the facts that were reported about the situations were simply wrong and obviously wrong intentionally.

Why would they do that?

Even to my ill-informed mind the answer was obvious. The reporting was agenda driven; subtly driven, but just the same agenda driven. And that agenda was driven by the notion that the average person was not smart enough to think for themselves, and if they were, stating a lie as fact often enough would change enough of those minds to make a difference in any political outcome.

Over the intervening years I became more and more cynical about the news I heard and saw. It became an automatic response to doubt the veracity and integrity of each and every personality the major networks put before the camera. I am now at the point where I have begun to doubt that the average human being in our country is capable of actually thinking for themselves and arriving at well thought out beliefs in right and wrong.

A personal friend of mine, Professor Jimmy Urbanovich teaches a class at Crafton Hills College in southern California which I believe should be a requirement in every college curriculum at least, and in every high school curriculum at best. The class is titled “Critical Thinking through Argumentation and Debate.” Of course, it would “critical” for the class to always be taught and facilitated by a person, like Jimmy, who is eminently qualified by the very nature of their own ability to think and debate critically.

Alas, that I’m certain, is a pipe dream which will never see the light of day in this age of tunnel visioned Facebook, Google, Twitter controlled information.

Some Failure Are Just Too Obvious To Ignore

That’s right … some failures are just too obvious to ignore. I’m talking about the failure of our education system. The fact that there are so many people in this country who are totally incapable of rational, intelligent decisions about their own health care in the midst of the current pandemic crisis is making that painfully obvious.

I was taught from an early age to think for myself. Sometimes it was a painful exercise. One such exercise came about as a result of repeating to my mother a statement made by my history teacher. The comment he made was that communism was good for China. That brought about a swift and direct correction from Mom. I don’t remember the exact words she used but I do remember that I made a lasting decision to always question opinions made by educators and at times their facts.

Up to that point I had been taught to respect my teachers and their opinions. But that changed dramatically from that point on. The lesson I learned from my debate class experience and having to seriously defend both sides of an issue was that there could indeed be two sides to every issue. Where I ran into trouble and ultimately lost a given side on certain issues was the fact that I was arguing against my own sense of logic. The result was a half-hearted defense of that issue.

I remember hearing a missionary recently returned from southeast Asia talking about the potential influence Christianity could have in that part of the world simply by getting involved with educating the youth. I used that information in one of my negative arguments to the need for Federal aid to education in this country. The premise was that we should spend said money influencing the education systems of those countries since the danger communism posed in uneducated populations was more dangerous than any faced in this country. Needless to say, my partner and I didn’t win any debates with that argument either.

I was fortunate to have been guided in my youth by parents who insisted that I learn the difference between respecting authority and respecting the personal opinions of said authority. As I was to learn, entirely too many people didn’t understand that difference and some of those who did used that knowledge to manipulate others to the detriment of our society.

Over time I became more and more aware of the growing liberal influence of the National Education Association. If money could influence the education systems of southeast Asia it could certainly influence the education systems of this country. The current heath crisis in this country and the stark fear that has been fueled by ignorance of so much of our population is a prime example.

Over the last five or six decades we have been conditioned to rely on the opinions and knowledge of people who really don’t have our best interest in mind. The negative aspects of this pandemic have repeatedly been blamed on President Trump and his advisors for one reason and one reason only … political gain in the next election. Former White House chief of staff and close friend of former President Obama was the epitome of that attitude when he said, “never let a crisis go to waste.”

The opinions of the press are absorbed and repeated by a populace that has been cultivated to believe that if it is seen on national news networks it must be true. The NEA, in my opinion, is largely to blame for the success of the campaign of disinformation. They have created at least two generations of intitled citizens who are totally reliant on others to do their thinking for them without assuming responsibility for the condition of their own lives and/or predicaments.

Parents, who themselves are the product of that same education system, have been conditioned to turn over the education and nurturing of their children without ever stopping to examine the results.

Ronald Reagan had it right when he said, “The most dangerous words are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” So, in that light I would suggest that the second most dangerous words are, “We’re from the NEA and we’re here to teach your children.”

We are fortunate that we have a system of free enterprise and a president who recognized the importance of getting the government out of the way so that system could do its thing and come up with a vaccine as quickly as it appears to be doing.

If you have children at home, use the time to teach them to think for themselves and not to wait for a teacher, bureaucrat or journalist to do their thinking for them. So, in the current debate I think that I stand accused and guilty if I take the negative argument regarding the importance of federal aid, aka federal influence in education.

I’m in that age bracket that is most threatened by the virus, but in closing I will quote Patrick Henry in spite of it seeming a bit too extreme.

“Give me liberty or give me death”!

Twenty Years of Observations

Twenty years ago, I emerged from what the gender community refers to as a closet. In my case it was more of a cocoon. At the time, I was simply surprised at the varying degrees of “female expression” I encountered. Sadly, and to my discredit I think, I was embarrassed both for them and by many of them. I eventually arrived at a theory that what most of them were attempting to express was their own personal idea of femininity. Some may have derived that idea from their mothers’ expression. Others may have been expressing an appearance derived from their idea of “sexy”; perhaps what they wanted their wives or significant others to look like. And, I assume that I wasn’t the only one who was doing their best to look like someone who wouldn’t embarrass their wife in public.

Those were my initial impressions. And, they haven’t changed much in the lapse of time. What has changed is my understanding of consequences related to that expression.

The very first thing I address in my public speaking engagements is my threefold purpose for being there; to educate and broaden understanding of the phenomenon, to preserve families and to save lives.

On the issue of educating and broadening understanding, I never cease to be amazed at the response I get when I ask how many of the audience know anyone who is “transgendered”. It happens, but it’s rare, that more than 25% of those in the audience raise their hands. I generally follow that up with the results of a study of hospital emergency records in the mid-nineties which indicated that one in every twenty men admitted to an emergency room for a genuine emergency, (as in “didn’t have time to go home to change clothes first” emergency) was wearing some women’s clothing ranging from a pair of panties to fully dressed in women’s clothing. The public in general is still to this day essentially ignorant of the phenomenon.

On the issue of preserving families and lives I am passionate. After I got over the initial experience of the varying degrees of expression that I observed, I was surprised at the average age of the majority of “crossdressers.” The overwhelming number of them were in their very late forties to mid-sixties. Almost to a man, the common experience was one of having struggled with the emotions for most, if not all, of their lives. The solution was most often to get married thinking that would solve the problem. In Jenifer Boylan’s autobiography, “She’s Not There: A Life in Tw0 Genders ” she describes and incident when she was a teenager when she concluded that if she could just find love that would solve the problem. It did not. In her case, she fell in love with and married a woman who stuck with her through it all. That is indeed a rarity.

In most cases, like my own, my wife didn’t meet and fall in love with a “want to be” woman. My wife met and fell in love with a bearded cowboy. It took forever for me to realize that she was not in the least interested in competing with “that other woman.”

Like so many men, marriage didn’t solve the problem. In the group I aligned myself with I found varying degrees of acceptance by wives. There was a lesser degree of understanding, and more important, compassion that the “gender variant” individual had for what the spouse was going through.

It’s rare that a husband, me included at the time, has even a remote idea of how this issue affects a wife. The more intense the emotions experienced by the variant spouse the more likely a divorce is in the offing. What I observed that most disturbed me was the frequency with which a middle-aged man who was just coming to terms with his identity would abruptly end his marriage so he “could be who he was.” He would exhibit a degree of, in my opinion, selfishness that bordered on cruelty. Occasionally, I would encounter someone who did caringly consider the feelings of their spouse, but it was rare. The relationships that did thrive and grow were generally those where “her” or in some cases “his” existence was known early in the relationship.

The issue of saving lives is the most pressing in my opinion. Up to the time I became involved in gender identity issues I had personally known only one person who had taken the tragic step of self-murder. It was a friend from summer camp. He was only thirteen at the time and I just couldn’t wrap my mind around what might have driven him to such a final solution to whatever he was going through.

The only other suicide that even came close to having a personal affect on my life was when the husband of Dad’s secretary put the barrel of his hunting rifle in his mouth and pulled the trigger on Christmas Eve.

However, that sheltered experience ended abruptly within months of becoming involved in this new phase of my life. Within a year, three people I had come to know personally, had chosen that tragic solution to their problems. In one study I read, the rate of serious suicide attempts in the gender community was nearly eleven times that of the average population. Naturally, the question was, why?

Although I have no concrete proof as to why I believe it bears a strong resemblance to a phenomenon known to alcoholics as the “geographical.” It refers to a common occurrence among alcoholics when an alcoholic living in, say, New York thinks that if they just move far away like to Los Angeles, that they won’t need or want to drink anymore. That solution practically never work, simply because the problems which seemed to lead to drinking were never related to the location. They were mental and emotional. The reality was that they had figuratively packed up their problems along with their belongs and hauled them along on the trip.

I suspect that many people who are suffering from gender identity issues conclude that if they just make that leap, take that drastic step now, that the surgeon’s scalpel will cut out those problems or they will suddenly be manageable because now that they are their true selves things will be easier. Again, in a small percentage of cases that may happen, but most often those same problems are now magnified because society doesn’t accept them anymore now than before.

I will close with the admission that I am keenly aware of how fortunate I have been in the path I have chosen. I have the benefit of a body that even without the surgery allows me to “pass” as we say. So many individuals have a physic that is anything but feminine. I chose as my ideal women to emulate, two women I felt were ideal examples of a “lady.” My late wife Marilyn and Julie Andrews. Last, and most important, my Christian faith contributed enormously to the patience I had during my transition; taking one day at a time until the perfect opportunities presented themselves … the most important of which was the addition to my life of The Blue Magnet. If I could give any gift to others of the trans community it would be to find someone who is so totally accepting and loving of every single tidbit of their life and their personality as The Blue Magnet is of me.

Break’s over … Back to work

It’s been a long time since I posted anything here. The reasons are multiple … brain freeze, work, lack of inspiration; you get the idea. I have always been of a mind that if I don’t have anything relatively intelligent to say it’s better to not say anything at all. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not, but nevertheless it’s been my line of thinking.

The events that have taken place in my personal world and the world in general have evoked plenty of thoughts in the interim but none that I felt were worth sharing … until now.

The fact that I exist in a category of humankind that is, in many cases shunned at best, abhorred at worst or completely misunderstood, results in a peculiar kind of attitude about the things that should and should not concern me. For instance, there is a part of me that says I should concern myself only with issues involving gender identity, since that has been such a huge issue in my personal journey.

There is a second part of me that says I should concern myself only with the expression of my Christian faith and sharing how that has shaped and forged my day to day life. That part of me says that sharing my faith with the gender and sexual orientation community that I now find myself in should be my total focus; my mission, as if I was venturing into the jungle to devote my life to saving the souls of the lost.

A third part of me is extremely political. And that part has a tendency to generate some rather unpleasant reactions from the gender community, where it is generally assumed by the vocal majority that I should be worshiping at the altar of political correctness and liberal progressivism. That rankles me to the core.

The last part begs to just be left alone to live a relatively pressure free life, a relatively ordinary life of a kitchen designer at The Home Depot. Left alone to put in my 8 hours and come home, check my mostly junk e-mail, eat dinner and either putter around the house and yard or sit down and watch another rerun or two of Gray’s Anatomy. And that generates visions of coming face to face with God and hearing Him ask me what I have to show for the few talents He gave me.

I’ve been there, done that in each of the stated options. So, with each of those parts of me, each of the options stated, what future am I going to pursue?

All of the above.

I have finally realized that each of these parts is an integral part of who God created me to be. If my the experiences of my life are to be of value, if they are meant to be shared with a world that might not otherwise pay one lick of attention to what I have to say then maybe the reason God created me the way He did and led me through the myriad of experiences He has, to result in the package that is Georgia Lee McGowen, then I must integrate them all into who I am and have become.

The person I am and have become is a unique human being with a message. All of my beliefs and convictions stem from a life that, to say the least, has had more twists and turns, more false starts than most. I have occasionally thought of it in terms the method used by the teacher in The Karate Kid. Each of the processes, senseless as they seemed at the time were eventually revealed to be a learning exercise. Each of the apparent failures have led to a new experience. And the one thing I have learned from each was that I gave up too soon. I always realized later that my blueprint for a success had been correct. I just didn’t follow through. I may not have been intended to follow through and that was the lesson intended to be learned for the really important reason for my life as it is.

I am an unusual combination of male and female expression that has chosen to live my life in a surgically altered body and believes that I am exactly how God designed me to be. That fact means the world considers me a transsexual. So be it.

I am a dual gendered Christian transsexual who believes that God loves me this way and is going to use me in a way that he couldn’t use me otherwise.

I am a politically conservative Christian transsexual. And that alone makes me extremely unique. What better way to attract attention than that? Just makes perfect since.

So, in the future you can expect me to express opinions and beliefs that reflect all those parts. If any one or more of those offend you, for that I apologize in advance. Just don’t expect anything resembling political correctness.

Coincidence? I don’t think so!

Coincidences are for some people a progression of events that just happen on their own. No rhyme or reason for the way events unfold is evidence that what happens is just coincidence. I for one just don’t buy that explanation … not for a minute. That being said, neither do I always automatically assume that every single event in my life is preordained. And that is the way some choose to explain coincidence. There are those of us who happen to believe that there is something bigger and more deliberate at work.

If I chose to absolutely bore you to death, I could take you step-by-step through events that have been occurring in my personal life since puberty. Instead I’m going relate some facts about my life that, while seemingly insignificant, together or separately, have brought me to a recent point that demands consideration of the possibility of the existence of a source of intelligence bigger than anything imaginable by human logic. I choose to call that source God. And, I further choose to firmly believe in my own free will to accept or reject His chosen path for me.

For the sake of brevity, I will pick up the sequence that has unfolded in my life at a point marked by the date December 15th, 2006. On that date I was told that my services were no longer wanted at a job that was paying me rather well. As I related in Dear Mom and Dad, … the job I migrated to landed me a booth at the 2007 Phoenix Pride Festival and that led me to my favorite haunt, The Cash Inn on McDowell in Phoenix the Saturday night of the festival.

The place was packed, but as “luck”(?) would have it there was an empty stool next to some friends who invited me to join them. A few minutes after settling myself on the stool I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned, expecting to see a familiar face. Instead what I found myself looking at was the face of a person I have lovingly come to refer to as “The Green-eyed Blonde” aka one Christine Curtin of Burbank CA. Coincidence? You judge for yourself.

Over time Christine has become the dearest and closest friend I have, except for “The Blue Magnet” of course. As time and the relationship developed, albeit long distance, she became my biggest fan and supporter. One day she called to ask me if I would be interested in speaking at a college in Yucaipa, CA. That in turn, led to an introduction to a friend she had known years before in school and had recently re-connected with. I have been speaking at Crafton Hills College nearly every year since and in that time have gotten to know both Professor Jimmy Urbanovich and, his wife Rene.

I have generally been in the habit of going out a few days early each time to spend time with Christine before the presentation and then heading out afterwards for home. This last time Professor Jimmy invited The Blue Magnet and I to spend the night prior to my presentation with him and Rene at their second home near the college. Rene was the most gracious hostess imaginable and we spent a wonderful evening with them. Sometime in the course of the evening or the next morning Rene suggested having their son Jordan produce a promotional video for me to use in promoting myself as a guest speaker and author.

When we were back home, I sent Rene a text thanking her for her generous hospitality and encouragement. What ensued was a 5-month effort at bringing to fruition what Rene had instigated and I am forever in her debt for following through and urging me on.

Is all this simply a series of uncanny coincidences? I think not. One might be tempted to believe that because of the lapse of time from meeting Christine to the final version of the video that it must be simply coincidence, but my knowledge of history and the bible leads me to realize that God seldom gets in a hurry. As I said in the beginning of this piece, this is just an example of what I believe is the result of a wholehearted surrender of my will to His and He has rewarded me handsomely over the years.

Oh, so you want to see the finished product? The link to the video is below.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=GhWn6GrbiYM