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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

KNEE DEEP IN THE HOOPLA


By now, many of you may know about my life going viral about a month ago. Wow! It sure was shocking to me. It took me by great surprise. I woke up. Got dressed, and headed out the door to prepare for a day on the campaign trail. I work for Oregon United for Marriage, and for the next year I will do everything I possibly can to ensure that all TLGB people have the right to love each other and to commit to each other, and to have the Public Government publicly declare and publicly recognize the relationship announced and wedded as a marriage.  Not 30 feet from my door, someone ran into me as I was crossing the street. I landed on the hood of a big white car, denting it in. OMGosh! I was nearly killed. This was a huge event. But it wouldn't last.

Just 20 minutes later, my best friend called me and asked me if I had heard about what was going on. It was Monday Morning, What could I have heard that would warrant such a call? My friend went on to explain to me that my post I had made the night before, about being so happy to be attending Church as myself, had somehow gone viral. What in the world? What was so special about me? About what I am doing. I've been attending Relief Society for 5 months, with great and fantastic support, and love, in fact, I was in the Relief Society Choir. Relief Society is a meeting for women only, in the mormon Church, during the hour the men attend Priesthood. So this Sunday I began to attend Priesthood as myself, with the close aid, advocacy, and assistance of my Branch President and Stake President, the 2 highest ranking local leaders responsible for my membership stewardship. The fact that my Stake President, who presides in leadership over 5 or 6 Wards, each of which consist of 400-600 members, had been attending the small downtown Portland Branch (not yet a Ward) each and every week since i started coming in the first of August....over 3 months straight. This SP (Stake President) had been aware of my situation since my best friend had made him aware the first of the year as I came out to my wife and daughters. We're talking an 11 month relationship. My SP contacted my then SP and Bishop in Akron, Ohio, to help and assist with certain matters. The First Presidency (Our President of the Church and his 2 counselors) has known about my situation for the same length of time. My SP stated that he had been in regular contact with them about me. This gave me great comfort, because as more time went by, that no proceedings of sanctioning or disfellowship, or even more dreadfully, excommunication, had been brought up, the more courage it gives me that they feel I am doing nothing wrong. You'd think that a lifelong devout Mormon Transsexual Woman who is attending Sacrament, Sunday School, and Relief Society, and full participation with talks, prayers, scripture reading, Family Home evening, Dinners, and activities, for 5 months, that nothing was amiss, and things would go on as is.

So getting this surprise call Monday Morning caught me flatfooted. Everyone was sprinting around me in some big media hoopla. I'm just a girl. A lonely, Mormon, woman, who is trying to make her way in a world that is just discovering her. I probably was not ready for Prime Time.....but oh crap!.....here it is! First it was CBS, then ABC, the news started contacting me, and the media frenzy had begun. there was a war between competing channels to be the first to air my story. The ABC station insisted on airing it that night, so there was no time to get to a studio for a face to face interview. It was by phone, and very awkward. Some photos were used without my permission. It was mostly done in good taste, but I think they made it seem like i chose to divorce and abandon my family in Ohio, which is not the case. i am not this kind of monster.

The next day, on Tuesday, the local Portland CBS affiliate, KATU Channel 2 invited me to the studio for an interview. My friend arranged for me to go shopping with some financial backing, and obtain an interview worthy, professional woman's attire. I was truly pampered. I went to the Macy's makeup counter for a makeover even. This outfit is what I'm wearing in last nights blog, attached to my poem, "I AM....For the Very First time". The news anchor that interviewed me for 90 minutes, on camera, has over 30 years experience, and told me I was a remarkable individual, with one of the most compelling stories he has ever seen. He said he would be greatly surprised if this doesn't go way bigger than this. The following is the link to what was aired as the lead story for the 6 O'Clock, and 11 O'Clock News.


http://www.katu.com/news/investigators/Transgender-Mormon-hopes-church-will-accept-her-230751331.html






You can pretty much just Google my name now and be led to myriad links to me being in the news and various publications. I can't even begin to keep up with it all. I started to read some of the comments, which much of it came from the Right Wing orthodox heartland (a religiosity that I never ever want to be part of, and a cliquish and clannish tribalistic brood that our former President of the Church, Gordon B. Hinlkley warned us against.), which just tore into me, and railed into me with such vile vitriol, and enmity, and diatribes that I couldn't even recognize the Faith experience they were coming from. We simply have no common frame of reference, thus we have nothing that we can talk about. I can help them to understand, but they have to be willing to hear me. I can explain to them about myself, and that I am a lifelong devout Mormon, who is worthy in every sense, including every single Temple Recommend Question., but again, they have to be willing to hear. If anyone is willing to hear, and want me to speak about something....please feel free to leave comments here, suggestions, anything....ask away. I would be very happy to enlighten you about what it's like to have lived in abject sinfulness for 46 years, and then return to arms of Jesus Christ, my true advocate and intercessor.

I am on my way to truth and light. I have a Talent, My Trans* Identity, and I'm not ashamed of it. No devil is inhabiting me making me do this. I'm letting my light so shine before the world, and spreading love, empathy, compassion, inclusion, service to others, happiness, joy, tender mercies, friendship, fellowship, brotherly and sisterly love, and vast amounts of Zion building benefiscience. I am filled with edification and lamp-oil filling opportunities all week long. Every week! I love people. No devil would allow this great love and expansion to exist on his behalf.

Today I had a real life learning experience. I had the great honor and pleasure to be in the company of what was the most beautiful woman with the sweetest countenance. She personified Christ. She lives her faith. She is a woman without guile. All the most wonderful accolades I could lay upon her with absolute truth. She has long golden curly locks of pristine hair, shimmering with refracted Portland Winter declianted sunshine. So gorgeous I doubt Miss America can hold a candle. Her eyes, oh my gosh, those beautiful green eyes staring deep into the tender mercies of her delicate and vulnerable heart and soul. Her nose, such a pefect button, showing a beauty mark of spectacular attraction. Her voice, an angels voice, with the intonations of celestial foundings. Each syllable sending my ears and heart into flushing billows of exuberance, joy and sweet happiness. Her vestments mocking me.....your not the girliest girl in the world....Ha-ha-ha-ha......She's so fine in her flowing long skirt, and pretty peacoat. Her ultra feminine, wintry princess look calls to me......you can't touch this! This is how Fem is done. Everything about her I loved. She is so very perfect.

We went for lunch together, and then she gave away a good amount to someone she thought could truly benefit. She is a God revering woman, who serves her fellow humanity. She loves others unconditionally. She acts every minute on her words and ideology. This woman is operating on a whole nutha level. She says, she's 5'1", but I think she's only 5 foot even. She says she's 95 pounds, but I think 85. She says her backpack is 40 pounds, I say 65. I loved her at first sight. Honestly. Every second I spent with her affirmed this. I had the most amazing day with her. Her story just grabs me heart. How could THIS woman possibly be homeless. You can forget everything you think you know about homeless people. It is all dead wrong....flat out. My friend has a story that just hurts my heart at it's inner emotional core. I cried all day in my heart for her. I hugged her, and smiled broadly for her. I wanted her to know I am her friend, and I am there for her. She says she hates her life, while I'm telling her I love mine for the first time in my life. i feel guilty. Guilty for thinking I have ever had even one iota of struggles or hardships. I know absolutely nothing. I ache for this woman that I just met a few hours ago. Where is she tonight? Is she safe? Are the marks on her beautiful face from abuse. I'm so worried for her. This place is full of these stories. Just open my eyes and look. I feel so blessed by this experience, living among 80 women. They are all wonderful people. They just need empowerment and enfranchisement. They just need the chance to thrive, and live their authentic lives.

I am so blessed for these two events that have left me knee deep in the hoopla. I am learning so much from being immersed in the spotlight, and being a homeless. I have no regrets at all about anything here. I have learned way too much, and met too many wonderful people to wish all that absent from my life. I have started to save from my job that is such a happy and exciting place to work, I still can't believe they pay me to do this stuff. I will be able to soon move into my own place. I will be so much stronger and wiser. I will be so much more of a complete human being. A completely Authentic Human Being. I ask myself every day, "Who in the world could possibly have it better than me?".....(my response is.)..."Nobody". Thinks march on time marches on.....into The Undiscovered Country. Things are getting better. Things are getting better every day......and I'm sitting here.....knee deep in the hoopla.

Your remarks, comments and questions are all greatly appreciated. I welcome them, and invite you to follow this blog, and participate. Friend me on facebook at:

:https://www.facebook.com/Leah.Loreli   


I welcome you to join my facebook forum and group Transgender Mormons and Allies, for all people to discuss mormon culture, the transgender and transsexual and greater TLGBQ communities, and all friends and allies.....you don't have to be Mormon or trans*. The link for it is:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/450454028337645/

Faithfully Yours,

Leah Isaak

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I AM....FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME: a Poem, July 2015 update


This is from a year and a half ago. I got to thinking about it today when I made a new friend/my new sister. She told me to take hold of the power of "I Am". Those 2 words hold the power of attraction. I believe it. I have always believed it. So I want to republish this poem I wrote, commemorating my belief that I truly am, I AM.



 I was walking around downtown today, which I shouldn't have been doing since I am really under the whether with a bad sore throat, and I had a most unusual thing happen to me. This is something that is commonplace for cis-women. I'm experiencing many things cis women have endured all their lives. I was always aware of them, but they were never targeted toward me, because of my guileful presentation. I was called "Babe" for the first time. My mind was blown. What the?

I began to think about all the sexist language in our culture. Sure some of it is innocent enough, but everyone can discern the intonations of the intended meaning of every word, when they are spoken. That is called being literate. This was a genuine inflective. He really intended to be nice to me. Part of me really enjoyed it, while the other half of me cringed. And some of me just thought, "do you see what I see?"

So I came home and it stirred in my mind a little bit, and some thoughts for a poem started popping into my head. It's only the 2nd or 3rd poem I've ever written, so don't expect anything great.




My mind engaged in spightly contemplations
Sundry impressions forming ideations
Machinations
Preperations
Knock down drag out
Frustrations

Heartsick for cherubic adaptations
Pretending, longing, only gets me futile fruitions
Lordbations
Destinations
Knock down drag out
Accumulations

Discovered futures without manifestations
Steering blindly towards dour depressions
Variations
Preperations
Knock down drag out
Transformations

Be veritable, be spurious, those are the elections
Nothing of this is from ones volitions
Liberations
Authentications
Knock down drag out
Congruation

And finally I realize, just who the hell I am
Here I am, I am what I am
The delighted one, exuberant for the UN-discovered country
I am, I am
Heavenly herald breaking down the barricades of guile, lies, and falsehoods
I am, I am
Loving, empathic, and compassionate, tools of an engineer
I am, I am

Singing exultations, gloria, gloria,
Singing exultations, glory, glory
Gloria
Recognitions I discern are for me
Here I am, I am who I am
I am myself...........................for the very first time!

(following is expanded edition)

I am enough
I am me
I am true
I am honest
I am me

I am enough
I AM ME
I am absent guile
I am not lying
I am me

I am enough
I am me
I am bearing true witness
I am true to God
I am me

I am enough
I am me
I am loving
I am sweet
I am kind
I am a flower
I am a bear
I am a bunny
I am a dragon
I am a mother of dragons
I am a delicate damsel
I am a warrior princess
I am an owl
I am a beaver
I am doing what is right
I am making a difference
I am happy
I am joyful
I am better than ever
I am enough

I AM ENOUGH
I AM ME

Monday, December 2, 2013

My Name is Leahnora (Leah) Laurelei Isaak








I can't believe it's been nearly 8 months since I last posted a blog. So much has happened to me. I have 50 or 100 separate blog posts in me to catch you all up on my blasting off of my new life. I think I can give you an overview on what has transpired during the past 8 months, so I won't be going into any comprehensive detail right now about what has gone on. Besides, some of it I have to save for my book, right?

So, my divorce became final at the end of May this year, ending a 24 1/2 year Temple Marriage. We separate from each other as friends, as far as I know. I can tell you, I still love her, and that will never change. I love my three daughters, and that will never change. They remain very cold to me, and we are not currently in contact, although I want to initiate some contact this Christmas. I hope they are happy, safe, and healthy and doing well. Let me be clear about this. I did not divorce my wife, she divorced me. I did not abandon my family, they gave up on me 18 years ago when I was banished to the basement to be lonely and spider bitten, for way too long.

Having attended the last of the Lawyer/Court proceedings that I needed to be in attendance for, I packed up and left Akron, Ohio, by Greyhound bus. The bus actually took me to Cleveland first, and then a four hour layover. Then 100 miles to the southwest, the bus broke down, about 20 miles West of Akron, and nearly 8 hours later, and I still wasn't even in Columbus yet. I was praying that this was not a harbinger of things to come, and that this would be the worst it ever got on my entire 'walkabout' journey. I was starting to freak out a little bit. I was still presenting as "Bob", because I chickened out on Transitioning to full time while in Akron, because it would entail having my wife and daughters see me, and i don't think they are ready for that yet.

In Columbus, a young woman sat next to me, and we chatted all the way to Chicago. We talked openly about being transgender and transsexual. She was unusually enlightened about these things. She was so easy to talk to, and a natural candidate for being a good friend. And so she did. Now this was a more accurate harbinger of things to come.....the wonderful myriad of beautiful things to come, that has continues unabated to this day.

The next day I arrived at my good friend, Lupe's place, in Kansas City. I was still presenting as Bob, and my last photos ever taken of me presenting as male were from K.C. I had a good visit, and it was quickly on to Salt Lake City. I arrived on the Morning of May 28, 2013, at the SLC Greyhound station. I was expecting to be greeted by my friend and dear little sister, Berta. I think she got lost, as she is so adorably prone to do. I was debating as to weather or not to just duck into the Women's Room, and transition to full time, right then and there. Berta finally came and we just hugged, and I was called "Leah" for the first time in my life. Someone that only knows me as Leah, and accepts and loves me no matter how I look or present. We went on to her friends place, where she has a downtown loft.

It was there, in that downtown, SLC loft, that I transitioned to full time as my true, and natural self. The person God had always intended me to be. I was no longer in violation of the 10 Commandments (which demand that all people live their best authentic lives), BY NOT BEING A LIAR! God saw fit to make authenticity and being genuine, a top 10...."THOU SHALT NOT LIE", how can anyone misunderstand that. Not being a fake human being, not living a guileful life, God saw fit to make top ten Commandment Demands of us. Nowhere in scripture or any doctrine does it ever say, "thou shalt not be LGBT, thou shalt not be transgender, lesbian, gay bisexual or any kind of Queer Person. Nowhere does it say, "Thou shalt exclude LGBTQ People from your lives, families, churches, and from full participation in the plan of happiness. Arguably, only 3 very vague anti LGBT verses are harped on as if they were 10,000 verses, and the #1 commandment. Sorry folks, your Transphobia, and Homophobia not only DID NOT make the top 10, it's not even in the top 100, or even 1000. In fact, the Commandment to FORBID NONE TO COME UNTO ME, and participate in the plan of Happiness, is very clear and unmistakable.

So, now I was smack dab in the middle of the PRIDE Week celebration, Parade and Festival. We picked up an amazingly beautiful Transgender Mormons and Allies banner, that I marched with, in the Trans March, with several local Transgender People. It was amazing. The next day I marched not once, but twice in the main Pride Parade. The first time, we were assigned #3 or 4, marching right at the front of the Parade, with several Trans Groups, one of them my very own Transgender Mormons and Allies. I made my own sign that read, "I am a Transsexual Mormon, and all I want to do is live and participate in the Plan of Happiness". I was crying immense tears of utter joy and exhuberence, for the large throngs of people lining the streets, heavy on both sides. People clapping, people cheering, people laughing joyfully, people crying with overwhelming joy, people signing love and happiness, people mouthing the words, while holding their hands together, "We Love You", and "Thank You". People yelling out, "we Love you", and "Thank You", and on and on.. The amount of love, empathy and compassion I received here, was the most i have ever gotten anywhere. Indeed, Salt Lake City is THE GAYEST CITY IN AMERICA, meaning it just may be the friendliest of all to the people of the TLGBQ Community. And yes, that's how I roll now.....putting the T, for Transgender First. I was able to finish the parade route before the latter parts of the parade even started. The LGBT Mormons Collective, with several groups under a collective umbrella had only barely started, and I nestled myself right in there again, marching up front, with the Transgender Mormons and Allies banner, right next to Berta. What a treat to get to march twice.The cheering was the same as when I went by as the lead of the Trans portion, I got separated, while my friend, Crystal, held the other side of my banner. so the crowd seemed to love us all equally.

Right after the PRIDE Celebration, Berta and I embarked on the most amazing backcountry backpacking adventure ever. I will go into further detail in a later post. I can tease you with, Puma, Bear, Sasquatch, Cartoon bumped shin, swimming in the Virgin, chasing through other worldly Spacescape pinnacles and hoodoos, and other close encounters. What amazing fun. My favorite places in the world, can you guess where these places are?

Then my friend, Lori, from Rigby, Idaho, came down to SLC, and she took me to the Cheescake Factory, where we celebrated my 50th Birthday. Then we met up with some friends of hers and we all went to the new Star Trek movie, where i cried because Kirk became the hero, this time, sacrificing his life, for the good of the many. That was so well done, I can't even tell you. And a Trans Woman is a Bridge Officer, with at least 13 speaking parts!!  Then we drove up to Rigby, where i stayed for a week, and had a speaking engagement at Ricks College, my alma matter, now going by BYU-Idaho, where my youngest daughter is a sophomore. Those young people just touched my heart, and changed my life. They gave me such inspiration and confidence. I'll have to find the recording of my 90 minute Talk, and share it with you. We also made trips to Mesa Falls, and Yellowstone National Park. Both so very beautiful.

I then got a ride from my friend and brother, Dave, in Idaho Falls, to Boise Pride. It was bright and sunny, and it was a great success. There was some tension I'll never understand, but it was a good day, and met a lot of beautiful, and wonderful people. This was one of 15 legs of my walkabout journey of self discovery. I was on vacation, for the first time in 20 years. I was enjoying myself, and I may have been aloof or oblivious to certain messages, hints, or directions. I want to let it be known that I am sorry. I apologize. My bad. Certain people I neglected to keep in contact with, regularly. I'm sorry and i apologize. In my defense, My phone was malfunctioning, and had no service, and I was without my laptop, (for about 5 months actually).

I then went back to Idaho Falls, and back to Salt Lake City, for another week. I visited more friends, got my ears pierced, was a model for eyelash extensions, and helped rebuild a house, and meeting some amazing trans women.

Next was a leg to Reno, to visit Teresa.  The DOMA and California Marriage Equality rulings from the Supreme court happened while I was here, and there was an impromptu PRIDE March through downtown, I marched with my banner, as well as Fancy Transgender Mormons and Allies Flag, just as I did in Boise. We climbed the 11,637 foot Mt. Rose, which was one of the most amazing hikes ever.

I then went straight to San Francisco, but Reno delayed my bus by 6 hours, so I totally missed the Trans March, which is the largest gathering of Trans* identified people in the world....at over 50,000. No matter, I went and marched with the Lesbians. The next day I went to march in San Francisco Pride with the Mormons for Equality entry, and I got to be my own contingent, Transgender Mormons and Allies. This is a whole nutha level. 2 1/2 Million people! I wore my Pink Prom Dress with Pink Go-Go Boots. Everyone loved me. I was interviewed right in the parade by one of the local TV stations. I was asked about how I felt as a member of the Mormon Church and being transgender. I said, I loved being me. I am commanded to be my best true self, and not to be a liar. I hope to be an activist, organizer, and advocate for the trans community, and the greater TLGBQ community and those in the LDS Church. So I went on to spend the entire month of July, visiting my wonderful friend, and sister, Christina, and later, Carly, who was the very first person I met at my arrival in San Francisco. So much to write about here....worth several posts alone.

I took a side trip to Los Angeles, and Long Beach, to see my friend Perri. I had a good time visiting and enjoyed a wonderful hike up a canyon. I then went back to San Francisco, and then on to points North.

I arrived in Portland on August 2, 2013. This is my new home. Some were disappointed I didn't keep in touch and made it known in forceful and bold ways. This was a blip on the radar. NO WORRIES! It's all good. I quickly started working hard at Oregon For Marriage Equality, and amazing things have continually happened ever since.

I must tell you, one of the most remarkable things of my entire life. It has been 6 months now, since i transitioned to living full time as the woman I have known myself to be since age 4.......that's a painful 46 years of directly disobeying the 10 Commandments, and being a guilful liar, and fake human being. I have so much to recompense for. I know It is my calling and my Talent to serve all of humanity, to spread love, empathy, compassion and inclusion.....I picked my name because that is what it means. I'm letting my light so shine before the world.....i shall never bury it, hide it, or run in shame from it. I am honored and proud of who I am. For the first time in my life, I love myself. For the fist time in my life i am happy. For the first time in my life I am absent of all willful hiding, lying and guile. For the first time in my life, my salvation is no longer in jeopardy.  For the first time in my life, I am making true friends, that know me and love me, and they are my sisters and brothers....and i love them with a;ll my heart. You have all saved my life.

I need to give a most special thanks to dear, Marni, my greatest and best friend in the whole world. She has saved my life at least twice, and she does countless other things that have made my life, the wonderful, successful and happy life, it is today. She took me in, when certain plans were altered. She got me to go to the courthouse to file for my name change, where they told me that just a day or two before, they started letting people file for a change of sex. YES.....THEY ASKED ME IF I WOULD LIKE TO ALSO FILE FOR A CHANGE OF SEX, AT THE SAME TIME AS NAME CHANGE. I said yes, of course I would. That was August, 6, and the court date was Friday, September 13, 2013. Are you kidding me. This was meant to be. I am a Triskadeckophile....I love the number 13, and it's repeating theme in my life. I deliberately chose, December 31, 2012, to come out to my wife and daughters, not only because it was my 14 sisters birthday, who committed suicide, and would have been 35, and i wanted to honor her, but because, then I would be finally a truthful, honest, genuine, authentic person for the entire year 2013.....which is also my 50th year on Mothers Day, May 13. So holy cow! My RE-BIRTHDAY is September 13, 2013. The judge signed the legal documents, with no other verification....no one had to vouch for my identity but myself. this is how it should be. Thank God for Oregon, and for Portland.

I used the legal documents, to begin changing over everything else, including my new Washington State Birth Certificate. I began seeing a medical doctor and having blood labs done to get baselines to begin taking hormones. How apro pose that I started taking my first dose of female hormones on October 13, 2013. My life is just so amazing now.  A surprising chain of events happened recently where my life went viral, only because i posted a happy post on facebook. I had ABC, NBC, and CBS News calling me directly. I was later interviewed by several stations, and went to a local Portland studio for an interview. Parts of the 90 minute interview have aired all over America, and you can now google my name, and find links to Transsexual mormon attends LDC Church, asking for her records to be changed. That's headline news.....who knew?

I need to wrap this post up, but I want to tell you, I'm glad to be back blogging. Please follow me. Share this blog with others. Friend me on facebook, and join my forum, Transgender Mormons and Allies. Thank you for bearing with me during my lengthy absence. You wont regret it. I love you all so very much.

My name is Leahnora (Leah) Laurelei Isaak......and I-AM-A-GO-AT-THROTTLE-UP!!!













































Saturday, April 13, 2013

IT IS FINISHED: No One Speaks My Language



I posted this as a status, but I feel I should have it on record here. I need to record more of my true feelings, and this bears some of them out. The picture is from last Sunday, after attending Church the first time as myself, part 1, at the UUC of Akron. Part 2 will be my first time at an LDS Ward. Part 3 will be my fist time at my new, forthcoming home Ward in Portland. Anyhoo, the wind is blowing up my skirt, and I feel so nice.

So, today is the 13th of April. In exactly one month I will be 50! But it will really be the First birthday I can celebrate as myself. I feel like I'm only 15, or 17, sometimes 13 or 19, but never 50, 40 or even 30. I know I'm really broken, and that I haven't lived as any human has lived for far too long.

I was upstairs today, to fix myself something to eat. I could hear my family watching Star Trek: The Next Generation in the living room. I popped in there, as I usually do, because i never ignore my family. I said, "Hello", and they were all stone faced on the couch. My soon to be "ex" wife, and 2 of my 3 daughters. They said nothing to me. They always pause the TV anytime I come around, like I am interrupting their lives, like a pest, a parasite, a huge bother. They said nothing back this time. Not even a peep! IT IS FINISHED!! I have no Family, and maybe never did. I tell you, no one should ever be made to feel as I did today.

I have been through the windshield of a car, and I would rather do that again, than experience such a repudiation from people I love and care about. It just really really hurts. My heart is dying because it has too much unused, and unshared love. I feel it rotting, and decaying my heart and soul. I'm forgetting how to love and how to be human. My facade is hiding such pain and sorrow, I can barely contain it.

Saturday evenings should be with family and friends. I haven't shared couples friendships for 20 years. I so miss the fun and games we had for the first 5 years of our marriage. Everyone knew to be our friends for the most enjoyable evenings, whether it was family and neighborhood street hockey tournaments (I have 40 sticks, and jerseys), hiking in the Cascades, pic-nicking on the Pacific Beaches, craming for a drive in movie, playing Monopoly or Risk or Take Off all night long, dinner parties....these are all things humans do. I have not had the life of a human for far too long.

Today I learned my Love Language is Touch and Quality Time, both the highest. This proves I have been unable to even speak my language to anybody on this Earth. I am a foreigner who cannot be understood by anyone. I am a freak, i am a creep, and i am alone. I've let 2 decades pass without Touch or Quality Time, or even Affirmation, my secondary language. Love, Empathy, Compassion, and understanding are my core values. Some of you have messaged me recently remarking how amazingly full of those things I am. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the kindness you show me. Without those kind affirmations in my life, I would truly be sinking into depression and despair. Just today, your words have saved my life. For if I didn't know it before, I know it now....It Is Finished. I have no family.

My Dear Best Friend and my Sister sent me a card yesterday. It says on the front..."Friends are family You Choose For Yourself". I am choosing very wisely, for my family that I now discern, I would not trade for anything in the world. You mean so much to me, I need to cry, for It makes me so happy to have you in my life. I hurt so bad, but feel so good. CONUNDRUM.

I am glad to have received those kind messages, and friendly chats. It put me in the mood I needed to be in to start my Fast, for my friend. I started a 50 Day Fast for her to get spinal surgery, and for her to recover from it. This will be Day 37, my 7th official day, and 10th overall. I have about 20 people helping me, and a growing group. It has spawned a real movement, FASTING FOR FRIENDS AND DIVINE PURPOSES, a facebook group and page and event. My Group TRANSGENDER MORMONS AND ALLIES has been growing and expanding too. I am so proud of what we are doing and of what we are capable of doing. I invite all of you to join me in both these forums.

I hope you are having a wonderful evening, and a fabulous weekend.

All My Love and Tenderness,

Leah





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https://www.facebook.com/groups/143551689156243/   FASTING FOR FRIENDS AND DIVINE PURPOSES , facebook group.

https://www.facebook.com/FastingForFriendsDivinePurposes  facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/events/545965422092906/  Continuous 50 Day Fast For Julia Taylor, EVENT

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/450454028337645/  TRANSGENDER MORMONS AND ALLIES, facebook Group.

Please consider this your invitation to join all of my groups. You don't have to be a Mormon, just a friend. In my Trans Group, I hope you would at a minimum, be an Ally to the Transgender/Transsexual community.

Between now and my Birthday, May 13, I will have begun my Walkabout: My Epic Journey of Self Discovery. I will have transitioned to Full Time as myself, and I will have begun meeting my friends, virtually all of you for the First time. Although we have not met, I know we are Family. I am very excited about my new life and all the possibilities.

I want to have most of my route planned out before I leave, so i can give everyone dates to plan for my arrival. If you want to see me, let me know please, because i definitely want to see you, and will make every effort to do so. Me tentative plan is to leave in Early May and head straight from Akron, to Kansas City. From there, possibly to Lawton, Oklahoma, or Colorado. From there to Utah in late May, and Pride. Leaving Utah in early June to SE Idaho, June 7-13, Boise, June 14-23, and Boise pride June 15, Northern California in late June and San Francisco Pride, and to Portland to settle by mid July. Everything is subject to change as my job situation in Oregon requires. If any of these places or my routes are going to take me anywhere near you, please let me know, as I will need rides to each place I am traveling, I may not be able to afford bus, unless i get an unlimited pass.

I have a site at GoFundMe, which is my fundraiser to help me go to these Conferences to educate myself about trans issues and LGBT issues so I Can work full time on LGBT Civil Rights, which I know is my calling. I need help going to these conferences and Pride Activities and to help me relocate to Oregon, and start my new life, for the First time as my Best True Self. Please consider helping me:

 http://www.gofundme.com/2jncmg   This is the link to my fundraiser for helping me out  with my Walkabout, Trans-Conferences, Pride, and relocation.

Thank you for your consideration, and even if you can't help me out today, just being my friend means a lot to me. I am so very grateful to have all of you in my life.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

POETRY SANS ONIONS: MY TRANNSEXUAL MORMON EXPERIENCE, Part 2 of 4, with Commentary and Update.







Life is moving incredibly fast these past few weeks. My dear friend is posting some of my latest "Life Events" from Facebook in her wonderful blog, Poetry San Onions, which I hope you will join and follow. I posted the link below, and I hope you will check out part 2 of my Easter Holiday Events.

Last week was my Church's Semi Annual World Conference, so I started a new tradition of attending other Churches on those days. I took up the offer of a friend I made while working on the campaign for President Barack Obama, on the Akron Strike Team. She attends the Akron Unitarian Universalist Church. She was delighted to follow through and take me. I have to say it was one of the single most memorable Church experiences I have ever had, not least of importance was that it was the first time attending Church as myself. I will blog about that day later. I also posted a "Life Event" for that experience and copied it as a status.

I have been hard at work trying to organize my basement, which I will be abandoning in about 3 short weeks forever. My days of only being myself when I'm in a hole, six feet under, are numbered, and the Final Countdown has begun. When I emerge, walk out that door, and board that bus, it will be as me, forever and always. No one will know me as "Bob". I will be free to be me. I will be the same person, sans the guileful fake human being. All the same experiences, all the same relationships....still a Father, still a ex-Husband, still a Soldier, still a former Brother, now a Sister, still a Priesthood holder, still a planter and steward of a 40 acre Forest (mailed back my Eagle Award, but proud of what I accomplished), still a Hockey Player and sports fan, still a lifelong Democrat and Political Campaigner, Organizer and Activist, still a lifelong member of NOW, and still a Board member on community boards.

I look forward to being everything I know I can be. I feel my life has yet to even really fully begin, having been permanently inhibited from fully blossoming...like killer frosts every Spring denying the beautiful flower from ever reaching her full potential. NOT THIS YEAR. This is really happening. There was no killer inhibiting frost this year. I am not snow bound. I am not stuck in ice. But even if I were....I would man-haul my transition sledge for as many miles as it took to do what I am doing. I have left my "Elephant Island", I have made it to my "South Georgia Island" crossed the mountain range and to the Whaling Station. I am on my way back to all those I left behind, so that I could become who I truly am. My Crew, My Cadre, My Family, I will be returning to you, I will be meeting you all in a matter of weeks. It will be a true beginning, it will be amazing, it will be Glorious....to meet each and every one of you. I love all of you so much, and I will not lose one of you.....FOR IT IS YOU, WHO HAVE RESCUED ME.

Click this link and read more about my latest experience:

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/PoetrySansOnions/~3/3S_ROkNtVxM/my-transsexual-mormon-experience-easter.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Poetry Sans Onions : My Transsexual Mormon Experience: Easter Week - Part 1 of 4

Happy Easter! I hope your Holiday is wonderful, and has been all you wish it to be in spirituality, family, and companionship.

I am including the link to my best friends blog, where she so kindly has chosen to feature me in the next few days as a guest author. I hope you like it, and show her some love and support with comments and joining and friending her blog. She is a most remarkable individual, and I hope you get to know her like I have. She is my family and my Sister.

Today I know is Easter, but it is also the Transgender Day of Visibility, so I honor and celebrate this day in harmony, with my new identity. Please click the link below:  



Poetry Sans Onions : My Transsexual Mormon Experience: Easter Week - Part 1 of 4

I hope you have a Happy Day, and remember to smile and be your best true self. With all my love and tenderness.

Leah

Saturday, March 16, 2013

OF RAPE CULTURE AND CONDITIONAL BIGOTRY: KILLING US SOFTLY



TRIGGER WARNING!!  THIS POST CONTAINS MY PERSONAL OPINIONS ABOUT RAPE AND BIGOTRY. Nothing is explicit. I have strong opinions and I do not wish to send anyone into a rish of anxiety or distress. I have not posted this to offend or disturb anyone, least of all, victims of rape, abuse, and bigotry. I have been raped. I don't go into details, but strong triggers may go off. I apologize profusely for not having this warning up right from the start. I want to make it clear that I in no way intend to diminish, belittle or discount anyone's experiences or life history. I do not in any way believe that death is better or would have been better than rape. We are all valid and worthy human beings of living a long productive and healthy life. My point is only to say, it that we are forever changes, and set on a different path than otherwise would be the case. I am so sorry to my friends, and one in particular, I am crushed to have offended. I am so so Sorry.

******************************************************************************

There are a couple of things in the news right now, particularly in my current State of residence, Ohio, that are really rubbing me wrong. The first is the Stuebenville gang rape of a teenage girl. I've been hearing all day long about today's testimony, centering on the girl having been flirting. What does flirting have anything to do with a crime of violence. When will our society get it through it's thick skull, that rape is a crime of barbarism and violence, and not of sex or sexuality. The perpetrators get to go ahead and "kill" their victim. And yes, I boldly use the word "kill" because that is exactly what they are doing. They are killing the innocence of their target. They are killing the hopes, wishes and dreams, killing a lifetime of thoughts and feelings, killing their heart and soul, and inflicting into their targets minds a lifetime of worry, fear, rage, hate, inhibition, impediment, regret and myriad sentiments and feelings that diminish the life of every human being targeted for rape. Simply put, to rape someone is to kill them. That person can never ever be the same person. They are dead and gone, and no longer alive as they once were

I speak from experience. In so many ways I was robbed, and killed, away, from the person and life I might have lived. Having been born with labia, that was later mutilated, and fused together, subjected to over seven years of poisonous testosterone to force a male puberty onto me, are just the tip of the ice burg. I too was raped. I was raped and abused over a more than two year period, by a neighbor that confronted me and my transgender identity. He comforted me, befriended me, showered me with girl clothes and pretty things, then used it all against me.

It all took a most horrible twist when he took me to see a matinee of Fantasia, while I was dressed en-femme. We strangely sat way over to the side of a very large, ornate theater. I don't remember if there was anyone else there, because my world was forever changed, and I can never watch Fantasia to this day. It was unspeakable horror, that I have only recently come to grips with. This man continued to have his way with me for two more years, until I had the ability to beat him off of me once and for all.

That wasn't the end of being "killed" though. I was violently raped by a man who by knife point, backed me back into the women's restroom at a park I was crossing at 4 am while doing my morning papers, dressed en-femme. I was 14, and I had just ended the other 2 year ordeal. I was 2 years into taking testosterone, but still had much of the natural female characteristics. I'm only now coming to grips with all of this, 35 years later. This happened because I am Transgender, and because I am female. These things never would have happened had those two things not been true. But I was so afraid of telling anyone because I would be discovered as a deviate, a freak. Most likely they'd lock *me* up and I'd be raped by numerous men there. Or beat up, or they'd tell me I was wrong to think of myself as a girl.

You see, I understand being raped. I lived it. No matter how generous and kindly it is, and how many gifts are given, and facilitating of ones true identity the perpetrator is, it is always a crime of violence. Each time it kills you, and continues to follow you and kill you all your life. To hear today, that the young girl here in Ohio, was "asking for it", that she flirted with them, and thus deserved what she had coming, is a sign that we are a very very sick society, that we would even entertain such ludicrous notions. Just because your "wild oats" are happening to you, does not give you license to kill. You never ever have licence to perpetrate, either sober or drunk or stoned. These jokers are admitting what they did, but they say, "she was flirting with us, so she wanted us to gang rape her and manipulate her lifeless body". On what planet are they from? No hominid can ever get away with such things.

We need to see these fowl representations of the human race go to prison for 40 years without the possibility of parole. There needs to be a message loud and clear, that this can never be tolerated. Men do these things, *kids* do these things because they know full well, that even if they are convicted, which is usually 90% unlikely because it is never even reported, that they may face 5 years, 1 or 2 with good behavior. The Commandment in scriptures is, "Thou Shalt not Kill". It is *not* "Thou Shalt not Murder". It is Killing people that is so much more meaningful. There are myriad ways to kill people that have nothing to do with turning a warm body, cold. It is foolish to think of a rape and our (America's) Rape Culture, as anything but a "Killing Culture of Violence against Women".

The other thing I wanted to get off my chest today was the change of heart of Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, and longtime anti LGBT Bigot. I'm hearing so much praise heaped on him, but I'm sorry, I'm just not feeling it. Being that I'm living the results of conditional love being inflicted upon me, I'm keenly aware of the notion of "Conditional Bigotry". Sen. Portman doesn't get to be a conditional bigot and not be called out on it. He has ruined the lives of thousands of LGBT people. His son coming out as Gay, doesn't get to wash away all the heartache and bullicide that has ocrured in a holocaustic genocide against LGBT people engenderd, fostered, coddled, aided and abetted, enfranchised, and empowered by codification efforts to put evango-nazi and Christo-fascist religioistic doctrine into American law.

First of all such efforts by the Radiacal Religios Right go against many Church's own doctrine, as it does mine. I am ashamed and embarrassed by the LDS Church's past efforts to dis-edify LGBT people. A most Un-Godly and decidedly anti-Christ act. No Jesus or God I know, or would ever care to know would sponsor or ever acquiesce to such efforts. We don't get to force everyone into "our" Church by virtue of forcing them to abide our Church Doctrine against their free will and agency. It is direct violation of the 11th article of faith and D&C 134. It also a direct violation of the Constitution, "equality under law", and "freedom of and from religion". What about the ever increasing number of religions that are LGBT welcoming and inclusive. We are in violation of their religious freedom.

So, I posit the theory of "Conditional Bigotry"...be it Religioistic, Ignorant, or malevolent...is all the same, and should always be called out and utterly opposed with all vigor as to wrestle the Earth From Fools and Make Heaven a Place on Earth for all mankind. Lets take Religious bigotry. If your religion espouses bigotry, that's fine, just keep it in your own Church. You have no right to perpetrate it, and no promise to flout it in the public square. Ignorant Bigotry, the kind some Homophobes, Transphobes and other LGBT people seem to wallow in and claim "I'm not a bigot, *but*"/ "Love the sinner, *but* hate the sin/ "just because I'm for traditional family values *doesn't make me a bigot"--DIATRIBES.  I want to make something very clear to these folks, the *effects* of the causes you are making *are* killing people...and killing them cold and six feet under....as in a holocaust, a genocide.

The targets of the 3 Bigotries (Religioistic/Ignorance/Malevolence) are not given the benefit of distinguishing between the styles. They, all LGBT people, only know we are hated, despised, denigrated, dis-edified, kept separate, inferior, alienated, otherized, dis-enfenchised, dis-empowered, and prevented from loving committed relationships. Being prevented from partaking in Love, Empathy and Compassion is incomprehensible. It doesn't matter what your lifestyle of bigotry that one engages in, it's effects are all the same. People to one degree, or another, are a diminished as a direct result of your actions or acquiescence's.  All three of these are lifestyle choices, unlike what being LGBT is. Claiming your religion asked you to be a bigot, or claiming ignorance of the end results of the effects your causes were and are making, does not and will never absolve anyone of the sins of being a bigot.

We all need to work on it. I am not perfect. I have to work on *Un-learning Bigotry* every single day of my life. Our society, our culture, does so much to foster tribalism, supremacism, and bigotry. It is the worst part of an otherwise wonderful world we live in. I actually thing things are pretty good, and getting better every day.

Senator Portman doesn't get to be a hero though. We need to thank him for joining the 20th Century, but we need to inculcate into him that it is well worth it to join us in the 21st century. You don't get to claim you were only engaging in conditional bigotry. Bigotry is bigotry--hate is hate--Love is Love....there are no conditions to any of it! I have never conditionally loved anyone. I loved my wife when we married, and despite what I'm going through I love my wife every bit as much. I lover the family members, in-laws, that ostracized me 18 years ago. I also am a *bigot*, and proudly so......I absolutely have unconditional bigotry for bigots. I will call it's wretched stink out every single time whenever, whatever, or however it rises up by Un-Christlike choices, or any kind of choices. I am duty bound to do so, *because* of my faith, my hope, may charity, and indeed my Love, Empathy, and Compassion....thus my name, Leanora(h). Those are my core principles and I'm sticking to them.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

HOME RULES: THE WRITING ON THE WALL

March 14, 2013,   Akron, Ohio (six feet under)

Sorry I haven't been blogging of late. I have been busy trying to organize my facebook  group, "Transgender Mormons and Allies". The group has been a wonderful godsend for me, as I have made so many great new friends, and all my best friends are there supporting and helping me. I have them to thank for the early success we have been able to achieve. I am beginning to have dreams about what kind of life is possible for me, and I am utterly amazed. If you are not already a member, I would urge you to go there and do so:https://www.facebook.com/groups/450454028337645/  Also, If you are not my friend on facebook yet, please friend me:    Here is the link for my page:https://www.facebook.com/Leah.Loreli

I have also had my families rejection of me weighing heavily on me. It just doesn't make any sense. It goes against everything I have ever been taught or learned my entire life. Nothing in my Religion or Church suggests that this is the way to treat people. Nothing about our ideology suggests this either. We are all devout Latter Day Saints (Mormons), and we are all Bleeding-Heart Pollyanna Liberals. My wife's folks divorced when they were young, but they always got along. Mine stayed together, but were highly disfunctional. Sure there were some not so great examples of how not to raise families, and not be a good spouse, but I truly thought we were avoiding those pitfalls. The more I think about this, the more i realize we never really had a marriage much past the first 4 years or so.

Foolish I was, to come out to my wife and daughters on New Years Eve thinking there would be any different result. It still doesn't explain the why. In our living room is hanging a large framed picture of our "HOME RULES". My wife has had it there for the past 15 years or so. Here is what it says:
1.  Always be honest. Proverbs 12:22
2.  Count your blessings. Psalms 34:1-5
3.  Bear each others burdens. Galations 6:2
4.  Forgive and forget. Micah 7:18
5.  Be kind and tender hearted. Ephesians 4:32
6.  Comfort one another.1 Thessalonians 4:18
7.  Keep your promises. Romans 4:21
8.  Be supportive of one another.  Acts 20:35
9.  Be True to each other.  Revelations 15:3
10. Look after each other.  Dueteronomy 15:11
11. Treat each other like you treat your friends. Matthew 7:12
12. But most important of all is, Love one another, deeply from the heart.  1 Peter 1:22

I love all of these Commandments. And lets face it, they are commandments that we as followers of Christ, must obey, if we expect to be called Saints to any degree whatsoever. The ice cold response I was given to my coming out was a direct violation of just about every one of these refrains.  I was duty bound to come out to them, and I'm duty bound to transition to my true self, anything less is dishonesty. Bearing each others burdens we both fall short on. an 18 year basement sequester will do this to you. Forgive and forget. I held my wife up as a perfect princess for at least 17 of those 18  years....ask my siblings about that one. They've been trying to get me to leave my wife for at least 16 years, to no avail. I actually have admitted that they were right.

Where was the kindness and tender heartedness? Never saw it. Where was the comfort? Never saw it. Where was the supportiveness? Never saw it. Being true to each other, I was in full violation, while pretending to be a man. 24 years of *my bad*. I was in full guile, my salvation was in jeopardy. No more! Did we look after each other? Not much. Did we treat each other like we treat our friends? Hardly. Did we love one another deeply from the heart? I thought so, at least for the first few years. Being rejected so instantaneously, and so matter-of-factly, I question if it was ever the case.

About a week ago I went upstairs for a late night snack, and while it was heating, I went into the living room.  I noticed a letter from my youngest daughter from BYU-Idaho. It was a month old, but I figured I would be finding some pleasant news about my thriving daughter. Instead my heart sank into deep dispair as I read the words (addressed to my wife), "I hope you have found the job in Ashland you wanted. You need to get out of Akron as soon as possible, like you want." Ashland is an hour south of here. My wife's sister lives there, and my oldest daughter wants to go to school there. So when was she going to tell me? Was she just going to move out while I'm away one weekend? Apparently, this is the end. This house is no longer my home. I have to pack up and I hate packing. I have way to many issues going on to deal with finding a place to store my stuff. I'm glad we have no assets to divy up, and we are renting, so no problem there.

I have decided that I cannot stay here in Akron and transition. I must move out of here and start new someplace else. I promise to fill you in on the details of some of my plans in my next post, in a day or two.

It is really hard for me. I never thought I would ever get divorced. I never wanted to think of myself as a quitter. I must rise above this and wish my wife well. I do love her, and wish all the best for her. She deserves a second chance to honor those "HOME RULES", with someone she can truly love. I make myself the promise that if I am ever so blessed to ever find love again, that I will, indeed honor the Home Rules that were so dishonored against me. And it will all be unconditional, for that is the only way I know how. Love is Love.

May you all love one another, and do so as your true selves. My name is Leah, and this is my wish for all of you. Thank you so much for supporting me, loving me and being my friend in this most difficult time in my life.




Sunday, February 10, 2013

MY BISHOP-GAUNTLET OR PARADIGM SHIFT

I HAD THE MOST INCREDIBLE DAY TODAY, AND I WANT TO TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT!

I really have been thinking about, dreaming about, and dreading this day all my life. I have thought for over 24 years that my wife would have outed me to my Bishop as a cross-dresser by now. Every day I went to church I expected to be called in and interrogated about my transgender identity, for which I thought my wife would label it cross-dressing, or transvestism, or something else I know she would liken unto a disgusting perversion. I've lived my life in fear of this. I let my wife have all the power. Mostly I didn't care. I'm an extreme feminist and I would never ever belittle, disenfranchise, denigrate or subjegate any woman, let alone my wife. I always let her control things, to my own detriment. I have lived a cuckolded-like life. Everything is exactly the same but the boyfriend living upstairs. Today, everything changes.

Being forced to be celibate for 18 years can really make a person resort to extremes to stay sane. I tried to make things work for me as pretending to be a man. Running Campaigns, working on campaigns, being an organizer and activist, being on 5 different Board of Directors, being a youth baseball, soccer, football, t-ball, and hockey coach. Being a wilderness guide for YMCA Adventures. Working in Factories, Natural Gas Pipelines, a painter, a roofer, a businessman, a hockey player, an Army Man, and myriad other things. Much of this was compensation, or over compensation, for who I knew I really was. I was ashamed of who I was. I tried always to hide it. I kept it to my hidden places......buried wardrobes in forests, and abandon places.
I would only dress up as myself in secret, with few exceptions. I had paper routes from 10 years old. They were afternoon papers, but on Saturday Mornings I would dress as myself in the wee hours of the morning and do my papers as the girl I was.

This guileful life continued until just recently. I would only go for my "me" walks at 2-4 am, when there is the fewest people awake, and least chance to be caught. I was caught a couple of times resulting in significant events I will explain in a different post someday. I want to keep this mostly upbeat.

Today was just always going to be a big day. I really was ready for anything. When I got home I was exhausted, because I must admit I didn't get any sleep last night, and only 2 hours the night before. I quickly got on facebook and posted a "Life Event" so I wouldn't have to type my experience over and over 50 times. I spent several hours answering the comments and being inundated with a dozen people chatting with me at the same time. I love my friends and they were really anticipating this day with me. I count myself as the most fortunate girl in the world with all the friendship, kindness, and compassion I am shown by my friends, and "squish's". (You all Rock!).


The following is the Life Event Post I made.....for those of you who were so kind to read and comment there already, feel free to skip ahead. I will make additional remarks about today, and my Bishop-Gauntlet afterward:


MY MORMON/LDS BISHOP ACCEPTS, LOVES, AND WELCOMES ME AS A TRANSsEXUAL WOMAN: First Interview with New Bishop (I Couldn't Have Hoped for a Better Outcome)
Today in Akron, Ohio (2 photos)
I have been contemplating this day all my life. There are myriad ways this meeting with the lay leader, (Bishop, like a Pastor) of my local Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or to others, the Mormon Church. I anticipated any outcome, but the most likely were mostly dis-edifying and punitive in nature. I could have been set on a course for a disciplinary council that would dole out a dis-fellowship status or an ex-communication. I was not anticipating what happened. 

A few days ago I was unexpectedly overcome with feelings of happiness, brought on by hearing the song, "Off the Wall", by Michael Jackson. In it I kept hearing the words, "life aint so bad". The last couple days, in addition to the happiness I had overwhelming feelings of comfort to go along with my happiness. I could feel the effects and the frequencies of the many prayers said for my benefit. Some of you have fasted for me, and others have done and expressed great efforts for me. Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother have received these supplications, and have made me aware of them, and have answered them with effects of edification for my behalf. Miracles are happening!

I was met at Church at 8:15 am, by my best friend at Church and the exec. Secretary with, "there is an unexpected Stake Audit, and the Bishop can't see you today." This was upsetting because my wife surprised me with, "I need you to ask the Bishop for Rent assistance this Month", while we were driving to Church. Wow, thanks for the heads up on that honey. A Brand new Bishop and I have to beg for money and tell him I'm not "a Man". No pressure! So I was like, "can you squeeze me in for something during Sunday School, so I can get help with rent at least. He's a friend, so he did what I asked. He came back with a 1pm slot for 10 minutes. I thought all through Church, "oh my gosh, another week of anxiety".

1pm came and I went in. I set up a plan to work it off, I already work at the Bishops Storehouse 10-15 hours per month, plus evidence of my 40 hours per month of charitable volunteering and other work. I got the Check, but he then said, "It's going to me 20 minutes before it's ready, so why not start talking about what we need to talk about." I said okay.

I asked to start with prayer, and I'm glad I did. He offered. I then asked him what the former Bishop had told him. He said that I had told him I had some gender issues and that "You thought you were a woman 'trapped' in a mans body". I told him that's not how I put it. He said he studied up on the issue. I explained to him about more than my Transgender identity, I told him I was a Transsexual Woman, and that I have known this since 4 years old. That I have been celibate for 18 years. He asked me if this was forced or by choice, I told him by force, and he was shocked. I explained my history, which I wont go into detail here, but I will later in a further status or my blog....this is too much to type up separately for all my friends for whom I have so much love.

Suffice to say this Bishop is all I could ever ask for any leader of any Church, local group. He had all my core values, of love, empathy and compassion. His love for me was so obvious, and he wanted me to know that our Heavenly Parents love me, and that Jesus loves me. He expressed that he too was more feminine than his wife and that the former Bishop teased him that if his favorite color was pink , that he was crossing a spiritual line. No wonder this former Bishop chastised me so disedifyingly last month. 

My Bishop said he saw no problems whatsover with me presenting as the woman that I am. At Church or otherwise. He was familiar with the Handbook, even more than the former Bishop who had 6 years to study it. My Bishop new more in 2 weeks! He went right to the exact passages and said I was in violation of none of it. It would even allow me to have surgery if I had okays from a counselor and a doctor, as my health would not make it an "elective" surgery. He was very concerned for my health and well being. He does not want me to be suicidal. 

My Bishop was very concerned for my well being at Church, especially our rich and snooty, snobby Ward. he said, "Our doctrine is accompanying of the real you, but our culture is not. Our Ward especially will be really mean to you. I am ashamed of that. LDS in general are a very mean culture, and we need to work hard to fight that" My Bishop seems to be quite enlightened, and I asked him about it. He said he has several family members that are LGBT, and some of his family has married LGBT and they thought they could change them, but this is your identity and you can't be changed. I was so overwhelmed with heavenly emotion I broke down and sobbed. He returned that emotion with a warm loving hug.

Finally, he asked me how I felt about my Priesthood. Now my Feminist Mormon, Leah, kicked in (He kept calling me Roberta, Lol). I explained to him how I feel that all LDS Women hold the Priesthood or Priestesshood already, and that I, as a woman, have utilized it righteously and successfully. He agreed that he thought that some future time will have a new revelation establishing more likely a Priestesshood. I was blown away. My heart was so full of love, empathy and compassion for him. He is a feminist/LGBT welcoming Mormon Bishop. Could it be I may be lead my someone who is nearly as liberal as me. He totally treated me like his peer, and not his inferior. I am so tahnful for him. God saw to it My Bishop was changed at exactly the right time. I know my former Bishop would not be half as accepting. I have never been so proud to be a Mormon. Now off to the Stake President, some time later, and another 1 or 2 hour meeting next week with this same Bishop. No, No, No....Life Aint So Bad at All. In Fact Life is Pretty Dang Good. ;) :D ♥

Okay, so here is what I want to add to what I said earlier on the Life event:   Some other points my Bishop made were as follows. He said that he had inquired of a gender specialist about my situation. He said he wanted to know my sex, and since I had children that I must be a male. When the point was made that I had three daughters, the "specialist" had a caveat that there may be extenuating circumstances for my sex, perhaps a chromosomal differentiation. He clearly believes, like I do, that sex is between the legs and gender is between the ears. He was quite okay with me attending the Ward as "Roberta" (I didn't divulge the name I am going by now), and wearing a dress and a wig. I was taken aback that he so freely admitted that our Church is full of a bunch of intolerant, small-minded, holier than thou's, and that they would be mean to anybody different than them. He said if it were up to him there isn't even an issue we me attending as a woman. None whatever. He told me he didn't care what others would think that my rights to be my true self outweigh the intolerant sensibilities of any ward 
members. His only concern was for my health and my well being. He was worried that I would have my feelings so deeply hurt that I may quit coming to Church. I assured him I was strong, and that I was capable of being my true self and holding my own. Anyhoo, pasting this post from facebook here has caused the formatting of this post to go crazy, and it is not letting me make paragraphs or change the columns. I will just say that today really changed my life....again. Something happened today that I never thought was possible in my lifetime. I owe the people that chose to install him as my Bishop a big favor, because I truly have found an advocate. It doesn't hurt that we are exactly the same age, and both are feminine. I wanted to hug him and he said he wanted to hug me too. No Bishop has ever hugged me so hard and so warmly as this Bishop. He is so kind and understanding and I am truly blessed to have him there for me. I hope he can hold his own in advocating for me with the Stake President. I don't relish going through the opposite emotions next week. I truly feel anything is possible. The heavens have opened up and I can see inside them, and they are wonderful. I feel like the Bruno Mars song "Locked Out of Heaven". Although, instead of sex taking me there, it is Liberality, one of the Heavenly Virtues.  I see the makings of a paradigm shift coming. It gives me such hope and optimism. I will see the whole Ward on Friday night at our annual Chile Cook-Off. And my Bishop, the cook that he is, has won it for 7 years running. I want to go early to be a judge. I will get to eat till my hearts content. Amazing that my Bishop unlocked my heart, imprisoned in this basement for so long, and he's going to serve me heaping amounts of his award winning chili. Of course, no one else in my family will go, they all hate chili. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

MY 'GO AT THROTTLE-UP YEAR', AS A PHOENIX, & Go 49ers!



So, it just occurred to me that it has been one month since I came out to my wife and daughters, on New Years Eve. So far, it has not been as freeing as I thought it would be. Probably because not much has changed. Their reactions to me were very cold, and unaccepting, and warrant me being low key and remaining cautious about any transitioning. This is with the understanding, by my wife's reaction, that I will be asked to move out immediately if I present to them as Leah. This is something I think I thought was going to happen, so I'm not so shocked about it anymore

Yesterday I saw some large envelopes in the trash, that had been opened. I picked them out to look at them and was startled to find out they were addressed to me, Leanorah-Laurelei Grace. Now they know my name for sure, but I have nothing to hide. If they want to check out all my online activity, I'm fine with that. I am kinda upset they found out like this, and even more so, that they didn't see fit to pass the mail off to me. I'm going to be careful not to sign any more petitions as Leah, at least for the time being. I'd also rather my friends address my mail as Bob, until I do move out. I enjoy actually receiving my mail, even more than the wonderful feeling of seeing my true name in print. It is so much fun receiving mail as Leah. I feel like a teenage pen pal, back in the day.

I've received some wonderful gifts in the mail I was actually able to intercept only because they were too large to fit through the slot, and they had to be brought to my side door, the one I access from my cold basement. Some beautiful prints which remind me everyday of my own beautiful soul, and my divine feminine. And, the cutest purple knit hat with a pink flower that everyone wants to kiss, and a matching scarf. I wore them to my University of Akron LGBT-Union meeting this week, and got a picture, which I made my new profile and cover photo here. I have also received the gift of some of the most wonderful phone calls from my facebook friends, whom I consider my sisters. I would be so lost without them. I know with certainty, if not for these four remarkable young women, I would have sunk into a deep despair and depression. I want to publicly acknowledge these women for the Angels and inspiration they are to me. Julia, Lori, Marni, and Bertita are awesome people that are a godsend to me. I want them to know that they mean more to me than they'll ever know. They will always be in my heart, and I am eternally grateful for them being in my life. I appreciate all my online friends. I love them all. It's the only place I actually ever get any love, so it's so easy to love them back.

So, here I am, my dishes are done. I'm embarrassed to say I let 3 weeks of dishes pile up, so it took me 3 hours to do them. I am a horrible housewife. And I'm not even working right now, so I have no excuse. I deserve some of the alienation my family gives me. But, for right now, the dishes and the housework is done, which is a great feeling. I always go for a celebratory walk after doing so much housework. I have pep and happy feet in my step. I'm smiling and happy, and I'd be pretty damn fun to hang around right now, if I had any friends. Anyway, I went out for a walk in 15 degrees with a zero wind chill. I have a nice San Francisco 49ers Starter pullover quilted winter jacket, that I am so proud to strut around in. Sure I wish it was all pink and girly, but Bob gets to have fun too. This is the first time I can smile ear to ear wearing this in 18 years! Its over 20 years old, and still in pristine condition (because I wear other 'Niner jackets when they aren't in the Super Bowl). It's a great contrast, this red jacket in the white winterscape of Northeast Ohio in mid-winter.

I was walking merrily along, and low and behold there were a group of boys throwing a football around. We're a hearty lot, us Buckeyes, and we'ff play football in any weather. I was coming toward them and started waving my arms, like my wide receiver/ tight end days, signaling I'm open for a pass. Sure enough, they obliged me, and let go a monster, hail-mary pass down the middle of the snowy street, right smack through the intersection, about 40 yards. What ensued happened all in slow motion for me. Bear in mind, I'm out of my blood pressure meds, and I need new eye glasses. It's a dark cloudy day, right near sunset, so most of the light was from the street lights. I lost the ball at its apex, and had to run up to get it, when i regained sight of it. No problem, I have an athletic resume, with 20 years of competitive ice hockey, baseball, football, soccer, lacross and baskeball. I slipped on some ice, but managed to stay upright, and 'bounce', thud-bang, the ball hit me square in the chest, deflecting straight up in the air. What followed, seemed like a clown juggling act at a circus. I danced around in the middle of an intersection trying like the dickens to haul this beautiful pass in. It was like my life depended on it. My team, the Forty-Niners will lose, if I cannot catch this pass. I must have batted the ball back up in the air half a dozen times. Then, elation! I did it! The ball was mine.

 I've never been so happy to catch a ball in all my life. Not only am I going to keep my warm body, but my team is going to win the Super Bowl, my life is going to turn around, I'm going to rise up out of this basement, like a phoenix, and I'm going to go all-in to my true self...blasting off...throttling-up, to break free of the enslaving gravitation pull of a guileful life of lies. This is my 50th Year. And it's going to be my best year ever

I face my new Bishop of my Church on the 10th. My appointment is for right after church at noon. He said to plan for at least an hour, maybe more. This is the beginning of my gauntlet I face for daring to be truthful about my identity. I plan on spending a great deal of the coming week, pouring through the science of transgender/ transsexual, and trying to put together a letter I want to read to him. I don't trust myself to get across what I want to get across, just from the top of my head, knowing I'll be emotional, and highly stressed. I would appreciate any suggestions or tips or guidance any of you would like to share with me in the comments below. I would very much appreciate your help.

I love my Church, and I want to make a difference from within the Church, as a member in good standing. I want to make it a safe place for all LGBTQIAA people. Many people may think I'm crazy for doing so, for wanting to stick around in such an unwelcoming place, when so many welcoming, loving alternative exist. Any of you who know me, know i never pick the easy way, I never go with the flow, I always "kick against the pricks". I'm a natural born outlier. In the half-full/ half-empty argument, my answer is "neither, you have the wrong size glass". Well, my Church has the wrong size policy. It's not even doctrine or dogma. It's changeable, and very doable, very actionable.

I've thought quite a lot about this in the last month. I feel a strong pull to seek full time employment in the area of LGBT and Feminist Civil Rights. I'm going to write a blog post about this, and talk about it in greater detail, but suffice to say here, my mind and heart are very much settling on this. I don't feel it is a passing phase. I have been a feminist and LGBT activist and advocate for free all my life. I doubled down last year on this, and now it's time I feel, to go All-In. *That* will be my "Go-At-Throttle-Up".

I can't wait for the big game on Sunday...Happy Days are Here Again, my friends....Go 'Niners!!

With All My Love,

Leah-Lori

Friday, January 25, 2013

INCLUDE TRANSGENDER WHEN MENTIONING GAY & LESBIAN




The following is a comment to a blog post on wordpress that I was denied from making. It is just one of many that have been denied. I am beginning to be quite frustrated with them. They just disappear what I write usually, but this time I was able to copy it before that happened. Maybe they think I'm too controversial, I just don't know. But I feel strongly about what I wrote, so I'll make it a personal post:



"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere", yes, I would even go further than just the notion of 'threat'. I say, There is no justice for anyone, when there exists injustice for anyone...for all privilege is sullied, and not justified.

You mention how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an advocate for equality far broader than just racially. True. He would be advocating for LGBTQIA and women's rights, because he would know that anti LGBTQIA bigotry and sexism bigotry is far worse than even racism. Was there any doubt that a Black man would be elected before a woman or an LGBTQIA person? Absolutely not, there wasn't.

I have been a gay rights advocate since helping my mom work for Jimmy Carter in 1975. I was 12. I knew I was a girl at 4, but I hid it for then next 45 years. But I always, especially in my adult life did all the Gay and Lesbian Rights activities, events, marches, and advocacy. I have been a high ranking Democratic official, fighting tooth and nail against fellow Dems in our Platform Convention on planks, that I won, and in the Rules Committee, that I won. I am very proud to have been doing this, happily, all this time. But, alas, I am growing increasingly distasteful and offended by my own specific community, transgender, being left out of everything. Marches, events, activities, Groups, Blogs, advocates, simple conversations...we are left out of everything. And people can't tell me the broader community is "implied", because *no* it is not. As a Platform Convention Vice Chair, I well know, that if we are not mentioned, we are not included. Period!

I am sorry I chose your post to vent on, virtually everyone is guilty of this. I'm assured by others that the more conservative members are more open to only these exclusive words. Seriously? I have to lobby for my rights dictated by how the bigots feel about me? Ignorant people are the ones whose minds need to be changed, and if they are not seeing our specific community included, if they are never informed about us, they will never change their minds about us. Gays and Lesbians do not have equal rights, but they are considered a human being in more places than people such as transgender folks are. Trans people are not even in the Human Rights Charter, except for Ontario, in all of North America. We are not even 3/5ths of a human. We are les than was a "slave" or a "savage".

So, yes, this MLK Day and week, it is nice to reflect on the greater need for inclusion for full equality. But hey, all I ask is that we, a community than has more inclusiveness, love, empathy, compassion, and tender loving kindness, than any community on Earth, *be fully inclusive of our own community*! Include transgender in every gay and lesbian thing we title, label and advocate for, in everything we do. Remember me. I am a human being. My name is Leah.

Monday, January 21, 2013

I BEHOLD A DREAM: FOR I BELIEVE IN HOPE (a poem)





I have been asked by several people to compose a poem. I have never really written one, and I don't have much of an understanding of how they are constructed, or what the ingredients of a good poem are. This is my first attempt, so be gentle with the criticism. I would appreciate further guidance or suggestions on how to improve. Maybe I will attempt another.

I was watching the Presidential Inauguration of our President, Barack H. Obama, today. Most of you know I worked for Organizing For America, and had the time of my life on the incredible campaign that most people thought we couldn't pull off. It took a lot of hard work by thousands of dedicated people with Liberal and Progressive values, of Collective Accountability and Responsibility. The President's speech today laid out a bold defense of Collective Activism, which is People and Government. The other side preached against Government, preached against Love, Empathy and Compassion, and openly and proudly with smirks, mocked these things as heresy.

Thank God we elected people in government that don't openly hate and mock government. Things are changing in America. There is more and more diversity, for which I am happy to see, and proud to openly affirm and celebrate. As a multi ethnic, bi-racial, transsexual lesbian, Mormon, I am loud and proud of my diversities. I am just getting to know myself, which is both exhilarating and scary. So today, we celebrate the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr's, Birthday, and I was contemplating his legacy, and all of his compelling words and speeches. I thought I would write a poem, and dedicate it to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and President Barack H. Obama.


                                I BEHOLD A DREAM:  HOPE OF LEANORAH

I behold a dream
Not a dream to hide, nor to shirk
But a dream to share and enlighten
For I believe in Hope.

I behold a dream
In my dream there is love
Oh, how there is love.
Love for all children
Love for all women
Love for all men
Love for all difference
Love for all similarities
Love for Unity
Love for Equality
Love for Love
Conditions, there are none
Oh, how there is love
For I believe in Hope.

I behold a dream
In my dream there is empathy
Oh, how there is empathy
Empathy for misfortune
Empathy for the crestfallen
Empathy for lives lived in guile
Empathy for the oppressed
Empathy for the denigrated
Empathy for those given trial
Empathy for courage
Empathy for empathy
Oh how there is empathy
For I believe in Hope

I behold a dream
In my dream there is compassion
Oh, how there is compassion
Compassion for kindness
Compassion for the priest
Compassion for the priestess
Compassion for the alienated
Compassion for the least
Compassion for the subjegated
Compassion for humanity
Compassion for people
Compassion for compassion
For I believe in Hope.

I behold a dream
In my dream there is affirmation and validity
Oh, how there is acceptance and celebration
Oh how there is tolerance, and empowerment
Oh how there is edification, and uplifting
Affirmation for lesbians
Affirmation for gays
Affirmation for bisexuals
Affirmation for transgenders
Affirmation for genderqueers
Affirmation for pansexuals
Affirmation for transsexuals
Affirmation for asexuals
Oh how there is celebration of Equality and human rights for all
For I believe in Hope.

I behold a dream
Not a dream to pride or smirk
But a dream to flare and  brighten
Not a dream to bury or shame
But a dream to care and righten
Not a dream to shelve with apathy
But a dream so bold as to fan a flame
A flame of valiance, a flame of courage
A flame of desire, a flame of endurance
To lite this fire, that is my dream
For I believe in Hope

I behold a dream
Where there is no inequality, there is no injustice
Where there is no stingy, there is no scrooge
Where there is no greedy, there is no needy
We work together for the further view
We work together for the undiscovered country
We work together, for there is no bordered country
We work together, not for the chosen few
We work together for the further view
We work together-overcome the fools
We work together-overcome the tools
We work together-faith in the new
We work together-charity in the service
We work together-for the hope of the one
Oh how there is working together
For I believe in Hope.

I do behold a dream
I do want to dream
I do want to build Zion
I do want to make the world a better place for all mankind
I do know I will have to overcome the Earth from the fools who negate
I do know we'll have to expend great and marvelous works
Works for transcending
Transcending the reprobate
Transcending the bully's
Transcending the selfish
Transcending the hateful
Transcending the bigots
Transcending the sully's, despoilers and spiteful
Transcending those who dream their stuff don't stink
Oh how I love being trans
In my dream, the world is pink
For I believe in Hope.

For I beheld this dream
I know we can make heaven a place on Earth 
My dream is asking us all to try
I want to do more than just cry
I submit this dream in earnest 
Let us not ask why, but let us ask how
Oh I have so much love-for I have my Hope
And I have my dream
This dream I do behold
The Dream of Leanorah