To The Editor #102

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #102, Summer 2003.

I just received my Special Nostalgia Issue of Transgender Tapestry. Having recently resubscribed, I thought it a nice welcome back. I found it to be very interesting. I?m looking forward to my next issue.
--Savina A S

Several folks in the community have wondered why or been upset because they didn?t see themselves or their own personal inspirations in the nostalgia issue. We were concentrating on those who caught the popular eye, the darlings of the media. Perhaps, in a future issue, we?ll take a look at some of the worker bees. No doubt there will be folks who will feel left out there, also. ?Ed.


Linda F

I got out of bed at eight o?clock this morning, same as every other morning. I put on my panties and my bra and a cotton sweatsuit. Since my retirement a few years ago, sweatsuits have been my favorite choice of outerwear. Now, I don?t give a second thought to the panties--they being just another form of shorts--but the bra does invoke thoughts. I know that after the first few minutes and except for an occasional adjustment now and again, I may not think about it for the rest of the day. Why, then, do I want to wear it?

Basically, when it comes to my crossdressing, I?m not far from where I?ve always been. The main change is that since it?s just my wife and myself at home, I get to dress more than ever. I now put myself in the category of recreational crossdresser. However, given the free choice every morning, I probably would enjoy dressing en femme more than in my male role. Unfortunately, with male facial features and a large body, it?s difficult to pass unnoticed. I?m not always ready and willing to defend my presentation. Then there?s the discomfort of my loved ones with my presentation not being generally acceptable for our social environment. I?m not yet ready to sacrifice their comfort for my own.

Now, as I enter my senior years, knowing there are a great many others like myself out there, I?ve seeking them out to learn how and if their feelings are changing. My curiosity has been aroused as to how others in my age category are managing whatever gender-variant feelings they may still have. I?m looking for as many older people as I can find, because there?s comfort in knowing I?m not out there alone.


Lisa A E

I am a pre-op male-to-female transsexual, and also a veteran. Through trial and error and guts, I applied for and was able to obtain benefits from the Veterans Administration.

Upon arrival at the VA facility in La Jolla, I was told to report to member
services and there filled out papers. They asked for two important documents: discharge papers and the paper that changed my name from male to female. In California, this is possible, as documents are filed in the court system. After an interview, I was given a card with my picture on it. All visits are free. All medications are free, and all other services are free.

I put the card to a test on Thanksgiving Day, as I was sick and couldn?t talk. Visiting Urgent Care, I saw a nurse and then a doctor, who prescribed the proper medication. It was, as noted, free! I had been spending up to $75 a month on medication and $15 co-pay for each doctor visit.


Anna C

I?m a male-to-female pre-op transsexual prisoner in Florida. For two years now, I?ve been trying to receive medical care from the Florida Department of Corrections for being gender dysphoric.

In 1994 I was diagnosed by the Gender Identity Association in Jacksonville and started my hormone therapy. I lived and worked as a female for five years, had my name legally changed on my birth certificate, and had my name and sex changed on my driver?s license and social security card. It was the first time in my life without inner conflict of who I am; I was finally becoming a whole person in mind and body.

In 1999 I was arrested and my hormone treatments were stopped. I was locked in a cell by myself and denied any medical or psychological care. I attempted suicide by hanging and was in a coma for three days.
My doctor had sent the jail the appropriate documentation for them to restart my hormone therapy, but it was still denied.

In November 2000, I was transferred to the Florida Department of Corrections. By this time my body was regressing. I was having psychological problems from the loss of my feminine characteristics and pains in my breasts and genitals, but I couldn?t get medical or psychological care, even though I once again submitted documentation from my physician. In January 2003, I filed a civil suit against the F.D.O.C. because they have not and will not follow the Federal Bureau of Prisons? policy regarding transsexual inmates.

I?ve written lots of letters to try to find the transgender community. I had no luck. Then one day someone gave the prison a copy of the Summer 2002 Tapestry, and it made its way to me. I read it cover to cover without putting it down.

I loved reading your magazine. I?m so sorry I wasn?t into transgender rights when I was on the outside making money. Maybe if I had been I wouldn?t be having such a hard time now.

Anna C. 0-R22180

Zephyrhills Correctional Institute

2738 Gall Blvd

Zephyrhills, FL 33541

Anna asked for the postal address of the Transgender Law and Policy Roundtable. Unfortunately, their
website gives only e-mail contact information. Perhaps one of the principals will see Anna?s letter and send her an old-fashioned letter. ?Ed.