Penny's Story

A cute little drummer living her dream.

Archive for June, 2009

I am Mad Proud

I went to my first Pride yesterday. That’s not entirely true, I suppose, as for the last two years I’ve drummed at the Cathedral‘s Blessing Ceremony which follows the Pride Parade. But for the first time I actually ~went~ to Pride; I wasn’t going just to perform, I was going specifically as a member of “the community.” And I even had the pleasure of bringing my boyfriend who crossdresses and for the day was my girlfriend, Molly. And even cooler, not only did we go to Pride, but we ~marched~ in the parade. We marched with the group from Mad Femme Pride. I mean, oh my god. I can’t believe we did that; I used to be so shy and scared and I used to hide in my bedroom all the time; now I’m marching in the GLBT Pride Parade chanting and interacting with the people along the parade route, and getting cheered and celebrated. Holy crap I love Boston!

All right, let me do a little rundown of the day.

Things have been a little strained with my boyfriend lately, as I’ve written about, but I told myself that I just wanted to enjoy the weekend; we have so damn much fun when we’re together that I figured that no matter what happens in the future I wanted to enjoy our time together. So, with that said…

We got up around 7:00 AM and took our time getting ready. We took the subway to the Cathedral so I could drop off my cymbal bag. We bumped into Rev. Steph and I introduced her to Molly (she’s already met Tim, but remember this point, it comes back later). After dumping the cymbals we hopped back on the subway to the place where our group was assembling. On our way Alana called me and engaged in her very specific brand of being a super-awesome-best-friend; she knew how stressed I had been all week so she told me just to breathe (she even left me a voice mail with instructions). We got to where Mad Femme Pride was gathering and I had my one pang of anxiety for the entire day. I’ve been to a couple Mad Femme Pride gatherings, but not for quite a while, and I’ve met some of the women in the group a couple times, but I don’t know any of them well (any that were at Pride, anyway). So Molly and I sort of hung out next to them for a while, and I finally worked up my courage and went up to them and said hi.

Mad Femme Pride’s theme for the Parade was “Subversive Beauty Pageant,” so we all got make sashes with whatever we wanted. Perhaps the most interesting was the girl who had a fake pregnant belly and a sash that proclaimed: “Miss Da Period.” Several of us had trouble finding the perfect slogan so we fell back on our names (I was “Miss Picky P” and Moll was “Miss Molly,” though on the back of her sash she wrote: “Don’t Back Up Severe Tire Damage” – she’s such a goofball). As we waited for the start of the parade the anxiety that I had felt completely disappeared. I was so excited and happy to be a part of this, and I’m really glad that we chose to march with Mad Femme Pride, they’re just such a positive group of friendly, groovy folks.

As we marched through the streets of Boston I felt absolutely amazing. I don’t care where I fall in the whole “queer pantheon,” nor where my relationship as woman of transsexual history dating a crossdressing man falls in the sphere of relationships. It was one of the most positive experiences of my life. Celebrating just the fact that I’m me was great, and having the whole city do it with me was beyond words. I think it was even more special for Molly than it was for me, which is saying something. There’s something very infectious about all of that love and positivity; it’s impossible not to get carried away with it. I handed out rings and Molly handed out business cards and carried a rainbow unbrealla. People cheered. Folks took our picture. I saw Alana and ran and gave her a hug and a ring. I carried the banner for a while. It was amazing. While I was marching I cried tears of joy and smiled my biggest smile. This was a special time.

I can’t finish without sharing our chant:
If you’re proud and you know it clap your hands; If you’re proud and you know it clap your hands; If you’re proud and you know it and you really want to show it clap your hands.
If you’re femme and you know it stamp your feet; If you’re femme and you know it stamp your feet; If you’re femme and you know it and you really want to show it stamp your feet.
If you’re queer and you know it shake your ass; If you’re queer and you know it shake your ass; If you’re queer and you know it and you really want to show it shake your ass.


After the parade we had to rush over to the Cathedral for the blessing service. I set up the drums and the service started soon after. We played “One Love” and “You’ve Got a Friend.” Molly and I went up to stand before Bishop Shaw so he could say a blessing for our relationship. Then I was back over to the drums and we played a few more songs before ending the service with “Yes We Can Can.”

After the service Molly was chatting with Rev. Steph and it became apparent that Rev. Steph had not realized that Molly is Tim most of the time – and hilarity ensued. 🙂 Seriously, I knew my girl looked good, but Rev. Steph knows that my boyfriend crossdresses; I’m amazed she didn’t put two and two together without being told. Life rules.

We took a few more pictures after the service, including a couple with me and Molly kissing, which I just think are all sorts of awesome.

So, ~*YAY*~; what an incredible day. My first Pride kicked ass! I will ~so~ do this again next year. Boston is my favorite place most of the time, but on Pride Day it becomes simply magical and warm and lovely.

Happy Pride! Yes We Can Can!

“That’s a lot of granulation tissue”

I just got back from a visit to see a local surgeon. Pretty much the only ongoing issue in my healing is a little flap of skin that’s hanging off and expresses a bit of puss-like stuff. I sent pictures to my surgeon in Colorado who performed my SRS. She said that it looked like granulation tissue and that I should be able to have it taken care of locally. It took me a little pressing, but I found a local surgeon that was willing to look at me.

I was a bit stressed out due to a very emotional conversation with my boyfriend last night, so my emotions were shot to start out. The fact that the surgeon I went to see is a urologist didn’t help. Though, the department lists “female urology” as a specialty, and my mom has been to see a urologist, and my therapist, who is female, has seen this exact doctor, so I’m just being silly.

My anxiety built as I entered the building and rode the elevator to the sixth floor. While I was waiting in line for registration one of the office assistants called me “sir” – not a good start. She never corrected herself, but she was fine besides that.

As I waited in the waiting room I was hardly the only woman there, which helped to put me at ease a little. But while I was waiting for the office assistant for the surgeon who was going to see me, I caught myself absent-mindedly scratching my hand. It’s been a very long time since my anxiety lead me to engage in any sort of self-harm (I used to pull my hair, poke myself with pins, and scratch myself as “coping” and distracting elements). I can’t remember the last time I was that anxious.

After about forty-five minutes in the waiting room I was called in to see the surgeon.

I got to take my first ride in stirrups – oh joy!

When the doctor was first examining me he turned me into an impromptu teaching-tool for the nurse in the room. He pointed out my clitoris to her and explained that it was formerly the head of my penis, and also pointed out my urethral opening and vaginal opening. It was definitely sort of weird. I guess my status as a post-operative transsexual makes me enough of an oddity that I get to be used as a lab rat anytime I’m around medical folks. It’s weird, because I don’t really mind helping to educate, but the way it was done felt fairly dehumanizing. Oh well.

The surgeon said that I have a lot of granulation tissue, and he was hesitant to take it off; he thought there might be a bit of pain. I said that I have a fairly high pain tolerance and I felt comfortable with him taking it off. He said that it was too much to do today, so I had to make another appointment. He also said that beyond the granulation tissue it looks like I still have some healing going on.

The surgeon was actually pretty cool, and by the end of the appointment I felt much calmer and more positive, even with the couple stressy issues that happened along the way. Also, his office assistant is awesome and lovely, which always helps.

So I still have my granulation tissue for another month. In the grand scheme of things it’s not a big deal, but I wanted it done with; I’m tired of wearing pads everyday.

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