Tuesday, August 7, 2012

It's not all glory

In preparation for our annual house inspection at the firehouse, we are stripping and waxing the floors. I am reminded of a day over three decades ago: I was a very young produce clerk at Kroger. My father comes in to buy groceries for fire station #14 just down the street where he is assigned.
I am so proud to see him in his uniform and for him to see me working my first "real" job, but a little embarrassed that he happens in while I am mopping the floor.
"Ah, nothin' wrong with that," he tells me, "It's part of my job too. I've been mopping floors everyday at the firehouse for over 30 years!"
..and now, so have I.
My son wants to follow our family tradition and be a firefighter too. He'll be fourth generation, maybe I should warn him? ;)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Today I Pray

In remembrance to all those who have lost their lives simply for being who they were, I pray for them, and for those who are still with us, yet being harassed and tormented for being who they are, that God will hold them in his loving light and they feel the sense of peace that others take for granted.

I pray for those who are lost, for those souls who have have given in to fear which has led to a
nger. That God will shine his healing touch upon them in order that they may find the self-respect and courage it takes to open their hearts and minds in ways that lead to harmony over hate. On this day I say a prayer for all of us, that we learn to cherish every moment and every person we encounter as we are all children of God and divine gifts to one another. On this transgender day of remembrance, I pray.

Monday, November 7, 2011

21st Anniversary

Originally posted on Thursday, May 8, 2008

oday is our Wedding Anniversary. I had a dozen red roses waiting for her on the kitchen table with a card. I can't remember word for word, but the card came with a very lovely inscription about having a history together, through thick and thin and wanting to be in love forever. It made me cry when I read it in the store (I seem to cry a lot these days, and I must admit, it feels good to express emotion that way after so many years of keeping it all inside).

Two days ago, I was thinking about our upcoming anniversary and a very old song came on the radio while I was driving. It was Gladys Knight singing "You're the Best Thing (that ever happened to me)" and again, I cried as I listened to the words.

This is a song I remember hearing as a young teen. I especially remember them playing it at the skating rink whenever the lights went low for a couples skate. I used to go skating every Wednesday and Friday. Ironically, years later after comparing notes, it seems that she was there at the same skating rink all those years ago. I wonder if we ever skated together? Probably not, I was usually too shy, I always waited to be asked, which didn't happen very often. Funny how a song like that can hold such memories, and then years later the words seem to come into focus and mean so much more. Back then, I thought there were people who were "the best thing" but now after all these years, I really do have someone who is the best thing that ever happened to me. Someone who has shared my ups & downs. Someone who has eased my pain and brought me glory. And when times were hard, always somehow I made through, because for each moment spent hurting, there was a moment spent just loving her.

So, as corny as it was (I'm such a geek) , I wrote the words of the song on the inside of the card. I wish now that I had written something more like the paragraph above. Regardless, she seemed to like it and she loved the roses. She's off to work now and I have the day off. It's raining outside. Next to my laptop, I found a card from her and a beautiful silver butterfly ring. She knows that I like butterflies, as a lot of us do because of the whole metaphor of transformation. It's beautiful and it has a purple gemstone in it. Purple has always been one of my favorite colors. The card has a lovely verse on the cover:

bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.

never ends.


Inside she wrote a personal note remembering our second date and how we both knew that we had something so very special. Again.... I cry, the future seems so bitter sweet.


Originally posted on
Tuesday, November 27, 2007

As I make my way down my path I often get anxious. I can get depressed if It seems like I am at a standstill. I feel like I must always be advancing. I've waited so long and now that I finally know where I'm headed, I don't want to rush it, but I certainly don't want to waste any precious time either.

There are so many physical changes that we must go through in order to transition. It is easy to see how one can get all caught up in measuring their progress by physical benchmarks. Since I am currently doing HRT, extensive exercising, and laser hair removal, I couldn't think of much else to work on at the present. I did start to look into voice training and the local program for that will be starting just after the first of the year.

I started thinking about my spirituality and how it is being effected.

I'm not a particularly religious person, but I like to think I'm spiritually
healthy. I do pray, the prayer of serenity being one of my favorites (a topic
for another day). I am active at my local Presbyterian church, but lately, I
feel myself drifting away from participation. I think maybe it's because I'm
starting to wonder just how "real" it all is for me. Am I being hypocritical?
How will my brethren in the congregation feel about me once they know who I
really am? I had been assuming that at some point I would need to stop
attending... run and hide, maybe find a "T-friendly" church.

As I thought more about that, it really started to bother me. After all, the
main reason I am following a path of transition is to stop hiding. Its really
not fair of me to assume the worst in all my friends that I have worshiped with
for so many years. I should give them the benefit of the doubt... shouldn't I at
least give them a chance to be accepting? By running away, was I taking the easy
way out? I don't even know what the Presbyterian stance is on transgendered
people. I decided to do a little research to find out.

One of my first clicks after googling "Presbyterian transgender" landed me on a
very eloquent writing by a transgendered Presbyterian minister named Erin K.
Swenson. (Read it here).

I really liked what she had to say concerning her situation. Isn't it amazing how similar all our "stories" are? Our thoughts, dreams, and anguish all mirrored in one another even as most of us grew up feeling so alone, like we were "the only one." Her piece here really helped me feel better about my situation with the church and gave me some hope that maybe I will not have to run away. Aside from that, there was a really intriguing anecdotal portion, that I think everyone (not just those searching for spiritual answers) might find interesting:

"Today, two millennia hence, we still struggle
with patriarchy. In spite of ourselves, probably all of us continue to
hold the status of men above the status of women. I experience this as
mostly an unconscious thing, one that has been illuminated by my
transitioning from having the social role of male to female. For about
the first two months after I began living full time in the female role I
was having a problem bumping into people. At first I thought it was
simply a kind of emotional dizziness that had come from allowing myself
full expression of myself for the first time in a long life. But as I
went along I began to notice that my collisions were almost exclusively
with men. It took much self-analysis before I realized that men and
women navigate differently in public space. Men tend to walk directly
toward their destination, and women tend toward the more circuitous
route. I realized suddenly one day after another such collision, again
with a man, that what happens is that men take precedence over woman in
public space. Even the men who would hold open doors for me or allow me
to enter the elevator first would also walk right into me. I realized
that men have the right of way! And having navigated most of my life as
a man, I simply was navigating like a man in public while men were
expecting me to navigate like a woman. Hence we collided!"

My searching also turned up what looks to me to be a fine little booklet called: "In God's Image." It appears to be a very thoughtful resource for dialogue about the Church and Gender Differences, by Ann Thompson Cook. This could come in very handy for when I am coming out to friends and family. I think I will order some of these.(more)

Current mood:peaceful
Current music:Eagles, Long Road Out of Eden

Monday, October 24, 2011

What I think the brave New York City firefighters of 9/11 would want to tell us.. if they were here today.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I have been with the Columbus Division of Fire for 30 years. During

those years I have had the opportunity to work in or spend some time in

each of the Division's 32 fire stations. I have had occasions to meet

and work with firefighters from other departments and other cities. I

can tell you that from engine house to engine house the faces and the

names may change, but one thing remains consistent, and that is the

closeness of the men and women who staff them.

We live in those fire stations together like a family. You see, there is a sister and

brotherhood amongst all firefighters and a common bond that we share,

not just in our community, but from coast to coast across this great

land. It is not uncommon for a firefighter to visit a fire station far

from home in another city and be warmly accepted as one of the "family."

I never actually met any of the 343 firefighters whom we honor here

today. Like many of you, I have gotten to know some of them during the

past ten years, through various news accounts and documentaries.

Some stories entail a family tradition involving fathers, sons, brothers, and uncles;

while others tell of an individual with a passion to help others.

Their stories are familiar to those of us in the fire service.

I didn’t know these men personally, but I know them just the same.

It is from this standpoint, as a sister firefighter, that I would like

to talk to you about what these brave men would want us to know. I do

not presume to speak directly for them, rather I would like to address,

in general terms, what I think they might convey to us if they were

right here with us, in this room today.

First, they would, most likely, wonder what all the fuss was about and

humbly reject the hero status that we have placed upon them. After all,

it is routine for firefighters to run into a hazardous situation when

everyone else is running the other direction. "It's what we are trained

to do, the citizens should expect no less." they might add. They would

claim that they were merely performing their job and pass along a quote

from a long-ago chief, a quote they all learned back in the training


"A firefighter performs one single act of bravery during their entire

career, and that's when he or she takes the oath to serve and protect, after

that, everything else is in the line of duty."

They would tell us that, given the chance, they would do it all over

again without any regrets, save for one, and that is that their rescue

efforts were cut short by the untimely collapses and they were unable to

rescue each and every person trapped in the towers. However they would

display great pride at the success they did have in helping so many to

safety and the thousands of lives that they did manage to save in such a

short period of time. All of whom are now living legacies to those

firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Lastly, they would offer much gratitude to the countless citizens that

rushed to the aid of their broken families that they were forced to

leave behind. People showed up from all walks of life to help. Some were

doctors, nurses, clergymen, social workers, engineers, steel workers,

the list goes on and on. Some were volunteers who simply showed up to

help in absolutely anyway they could. The fallen firefighters would want

you to know that they thank you.

You see, it's the citizen's that we are sworn to protect that are often

times our heroes. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. They don't need a

badge or a uniform. Sometimes they show up at the most unlikely of times

or places. They are all around us if you take the time to notice them...

That is what I think the brave New York City firefighters of 9/11 would

want to tell us.. if they were here today.

n closing, I want you all to know that the tragedy that we all endured ten

years ago has not weakened our determination as emergency first

responders to serve and protect you. Rather, it has strengthened our

resolve. We are committed to preserving our freedom and our way of life.

Rest assured that when the next emergency call comes in, no matter how big or how small,

we will be ready and we will respond, without hesitation, not just

in this community, but from every community across the United States.

That is our duty, that is our bond, that is our honor.

About the author: Captain Lana Moore is a 30-year veteran of The Columbus Division of Fire. Her current assignment is Northmoor Engine House #19 located in the neighborhood known as Clintonville in Columbus, Ohio. She originally wrote and delivered this speech on the first anniversary of 9-11 at Central College Presbyterian Church. Now, nine years later on the tenth anniversary, with a few minor updates, she shared her speech at North Congregational Church of Christ where she is a member and serves as Moderator. She lives in Westerville, Ohio and has two children, Lauren & Nicholas.


Bee the Change
Monday, April 18, 2011

Currently there seems to be quite a lot of negative energy bouncing around the “trans blogosphere.” I’ve been watching and reading with much sadness and disappointment. People seem to have lost their inhibitions to spew into the public arena any old thought that happens to enter their minds. What happened to mature social interaction? Is this how people behave face to face? Of course not, because in an actual encounter, we make eye contact, we collect all the facial expressions and emotion that another radiates to us. So, on line, with the perceived protection of time, distance, and shielding it would seem that essential tenets of human courtesy are missing.

What bothers me most, I think, is when I have friends on each side of some of these ad hominem attacks and I know both of these fine people to be mature, caring, and intelligent individuals who have apparently gotten lost in the passion of their debate. I feel as though I must suddenly choose which one to side with. Ultimately, I choose not to take the cheese, lest I get drawn into this lose-lose conundrum. After all, which is more important—being right, or getting it right?

We owe it to the ones who have blazed the trails ahead of us as well as to those who will follow in our paths to listen and dialogue with the level of mutual respect that all human beings deserve. Never before was the axiom “United We Stand, Divided We Fall” more poignant. Look, if we can’t even seem to agree—or at least be civil in our disagreements—how can we ever expect to make any inroads with regards to changing the hearts and minds of the “mainstream?”

Another phenomenon I am also seeing is something a friend recently described to me as “Crab Mentality.” This describes a way of thinking best described by the phrase "if I can't have it, neither should you." The metaphor refers to a pot of crabs, individually the crabs could escape from the pot, but instead, they grab at each other in a useless "king of the hill" competition (or sabotage) which prevents any from escaping and ensures their collective demise.

The analogy in human behavior is that of a group that will attempt to "pull down" (negate or diminish the importance of) any member who achieves success beyond the others, out of jealousy, conspiracy or competitive feelings.

This term is associated with short-sighted, non-constructive thinking rather than a unified, long-term, constructive mentality. It is also used colloquially in reference to individuals or communities attempting to "escape" a so-called "underprivileged life", but kept from doing so by others attempting to ride upon their coat-tails or those who simply resent their success."

My partner, Chloe has become a lightening rod for much of the blog negativity. I lost count of the commenters who start by admitting their prejudice, stating that they did not or “could not” even watch her ABC television show and then comes the big BUT, as they go on to ignorantly rip the show and her personally. There is a difference between--an informed questioning and commentary of a person’s perceived motives and/or judgment--and outright pillorying them.

And then there is the whole “Bee Sting” fiasco. It doesn’t help that it has been mischaracterized, or at least presented it in a way that was easily misunderstood, but Chloe has explained it clearly and concisely, more than once. Obviously the bee sting did not “turn her into a woman” but, like Al Gore’s “I invented the internet” misnomer, this is just too irresistible for the “crabs in the pot” to let go of. This has actually become amusing for us to watch as it takes on a life of its own.

Chloe understands this and she knows all too well that this sort of thing goes with the territory when one puts themselves “out there” the way she has. She can take it. I can say with first hand experience because I know her personally--and obviously I am biased so you may take this for what it is worth--that Chloe is one of the most caring and genuine people I have ever met. She is strong and principled, yet kind and caring. She stands up for what she believes, but will readily admit when she is wrong. Above all, she is human, like you and me, which takes me back to my broader points at the beginning of this piece. Let us not forget our humanity as we navigate and interact within the cold digital social matrix of the internet blogoshpere.

I am also happy to report that for every public harsh negative criticism launched at Chloe, there are probably one hundred messages of gratitude and encouragement received “behind the scenes.” So, it is like I have been telling my children, don’t get sucked into the negativity, sometimes you gotta do what you know is right for you, no matter what others will think or say. Follow what is in your heart because acquiescing to the bullies, only validates their angry cause. Words will only get you so far, it takes action. You must set the example, you must Be The Change you want to see.

We welcome you... IF you change your mind.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I just had a nice little visit from two gentleman knocking on my door. They were Jehovah Witnesses welcoming me to their church.

"Me?" I asked a bit surprised, "..are you open and affirming?"

"Sure!" they answered. Upon further discussion it was apparent they had no idea what that meant. You should've seen their eyes widen when I told them that I was born with a male body. They still maintained I was welcome to come and be "changed." No thanks I answered politely, I've done enough changing for now!

I've never been a big fan of someone coming to my home uninvited and unannounced to speak to me about something as personal as my faith. It just seems presumptions and discourteous to me. In the past I used to get angry and rude about it and I feel bad and somewhat ashamed about acting that way. These days, I am much more kind and polite. I used this opportunity to share with them some of my story (the Reader's Digest version of course). I told them how I have had several people approach me, hug me, and share with me their own stories of self-reflection and how my situation, which bothered them at first, ultimately inspired them to look inward to examine some tough questions about themselves.

I invited these gentlemen to open thier own hearts and minds towards accepting all of God's children as he created them--and not just when it is easy. They both smiled and nodded nervously, "Yeah, but...." as they returned to their canned presentation. It was obviouse that they did not come to my doorstep to have real dialouge, to which I was not surprised at all. It's what I expected, but I only hope that I gave them just a little something to consider.