EmmaSweet

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About EmmaSweet

  • Rank
    Senior Moderator
  • Birthday May 12

Profile Information

  • Gender Transgender
  • Location SF Bay Area
  • Interests Bicycling, learning new things, reading, playing fingerstyle guitar, camping, cooking, Petite Syrah, sharing experiences with friends.

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EmmaSweet's Activity

  1. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry: A year on update!   

    Sounds great, Faith! Don't be such a stranger; we'd love to hear more from you.
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  2. EmmaSweet added a post in a topic: Transgender Christians   

    Here's an interesting addition to this thread: an article in Good Housekeeping no less!
    I Had 4 Boys — Until One of Them Told Me She Was Really a Girl
    "As early as 18 months old, Kimberly Shappley's son started showing signs he identified as female. Now, the Christian mom shares how she learned to embrace Kai's transition — for her child's happiness and safety."
    In fact, after reading that article I found almost 10 more there. Simply amazing. 
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  3. EmmaSweet added a post in a topic: Transgender Christians   

    I hadn't thought of that and I see your point. Perhaps what they are referring to is at least in part their practice of trying to convert ("save" in their language) others to Christianity. I also don't agree with that. However in this case they are trying - I believe - to redeem their own religious culture to understand, accept, and validate diversity. Nothing wrong with that.
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  4. EmmaSweet added a blog entry in Emma Sweet's Blog   

    One Door Closes, Another Door Opens
    Today is – quite literally – the first full day of the rest of my life. Yesterday (on Easter Sunday) I left my wife (now, ex, which is hard to fathom), home (now hers), friends, and family, to venture out on a Hero’s Journey (if I do say so myself) to see what I find in my gender, life, and home. I woke this morning in my Minnie Winnie near Healdsburg, California at a KOA campground, figured out how to hook up the water and sewage to the coach, and cooked eggs and coffee for breakfast. 
    The last couple of months have been very challenging and exhausting for both my wife and myself. I returned from my camping trip in early February to find that my wife had decided that we should divorce. She said that the reason is that while we are together it will be unforgivably impossible for me to truly discover and be myself, whether I need to transition, live publicly as a woman, or whatever. That, and for reasons she doesn’t understand herself (and feels guilty about) there is something about my being transgender that she finds very hard to accept.  
    At first there was some anger and hurt feelings between us. She asked when I might leave (the earlier the better), we both worried about how we would settle our affairs, and I could not wait to simply drive away and move on. We found a divorce mediator, I created a spreadsheet that helped us try out different asset division models, we started to trust each other, and finally came to an agreement. She got a bit more than I did but that's the way it needed to be for her to keep the house. But I got my freedom in an enviable way that I have often dreamed of my entire life.  
    Once that was worked out the rest of our time was mostly spend packing and provisioning my Winnie, unwinding our family finances, pushing through the myriad forms needed to file for divorce. We worked hand in hand still wearing our wedding rings. Our mediator and attorneys were amazed that a couple as caring of each other as us would even consider getting divorced. I’m deeply saddened now as I write this. I know she is too; we talked last night on the phone for 45 minutes.
    When I arrived at the campground yesterday I unpacked my Emma clothes into my closet and drawers; they’d been in boxes that my wife really prefers not to open. And now I consider what I want to do in the coming months.
    My plan is to head slowly north, through Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, to Alaska, for the summer, and then return south in time to miss the winter snow and rain, through Iowa (or Idaho, not sure), Utah, and Colorado. In each location I want to see what feels right and wrong about the place, and experience what’s available for trans people like me. For example, in Portland (Tigard, actually) and Seattle, are what I call “training wheel” services that provide help with dressing, make-up, and the rest, and opportunities to get out and feel what it’s like to be as female as I can be. I hope that through that and more I’ll learn more about where under the TG umbrella I’d like to be. 
    But it’s not all about being transgender. I have my acoustic guitar, camera, bicycle, books, hiking boots, and paints. I want to exercise, eat well, and meditate on staying in the present, while pushing against my fears and boundaries that I have allowed to control me for the past six decades. 
    And who knows, I might meet the next love of my life. I’m not looking but I’m open to it so long as it doesn’t happen too soon. And, my ex and I plan to stay in touch, and she may visit me in Seattle, Alaska, or both. We might even decide to get back together if I truly find that I don’t need to transition and she becomes comfortable with my true self, whatever that is.  
    That’s about it for now. Stay tuned, there will be more!
    Love,
    Emma
     

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  5. EmmaSweet added a post in a topic: Transgender Christians   

    Last night I happened across several remarkable videos from an organization called "Qideas.org" which is described on their website as:
    Q was birthed out of Gabe Lyons’ vision to see Christians, especially leaders, recover a vision for their historic responsibility to renew and restore cultures. Inspired by Chuck Colson’s statement, “Christians are called to redeem entire cultures, not just individuals,” Gabe set out to reintroduce Christians to what had seemed missing in recent decades from an American expression of Christian faithfulness; valuing both personal and cultural renewal, not one over the other. Re-educating Christians to this orthodox and unifying concept has become central to the vision of Q.
    The videos (available here and on YouTube) were recorded at a TED-like seminar for Christian leadership, and made some very important points:
    The first one features Dr. Mark Yarhouse, who is a psychologist and holds an MA in Christianity. He very articulating explains the transgender umbrella, gender dysphoria, and especially, how people (particularly Christians) may view trans people through different "lenses" that, unless recognized and understood, make it difficult to communicate. I do take an issue with one statistic he mentioned, that 3/4 of gender variant children desist as they grow and become adults. That said, he recommended that parents and others treat them with a wait and see approach: don't try to force anything upon them.
    The second video features a gender fluid woman (Melinda Semlys) who describes her real-life experiences, how pregnancies affected her gender dysphoria, and now that she's past that (with seven children!) she's learned that her GD is real, and how she is living her life.
    The last video is a Q&A with Mark and Melinda answering audience questions. One that came up asked what the scripture teaches regarding crossdressing and/or transgender people. Here again, Mark knowledgeably challenges the "wisdom" of the religious right saying that although there are some Old Testament mentions, that they are far out of context and don't mean anything substantial or negative about transgender people. 
     
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  6. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry: Not sure if I should be here anymore   

    Hi Jay,
    You raise a number of important points that I'd like to respond to.  First and most important, that you're being self-indulgent if you post on your blog here. I disagree completely. To me a main purpose of a blog is to provide a supportive and kind place to write about your life, and given what's going on in yours you have a lot to write about. Sure, sometimes you won't receive much feedback. Sometimes I'm more lazy than other times, that's for sure. But please rest assured that you're not being self-centered or indulgent by participating at TGG. I'd add to that that you are likely feeling at least some level of depression which is indicated to me by your self-deprecating way of writing this post. So you need us at least as much now as you did before. 
    Safety in posting: Yes, we're all a little paranoid about Trump et al, the CIA, NSA, and FBI. But frankly, we're not talking about anything seriously interesting to them. Given that there are 300+ million people in the US alone I highly doubt that anything here even appears on their radar screen. And if it did? I guess I'd love to have the opportunity to expose their activities, which I think would raise an ire among the public at a level to which we saw recently in the Survivor episode where the trans player was outed.
    Reduced number of people and posts here at TGG: I agree, it's disconcerting, and I don't know why. I miss the days when we had a variety of 15-20 people always coming and going. I've talked to Mike about it who reassured me that this is a pattern he's seen before and expects the traffic to pick up before we know it. In the meantime it's up to folks like us to keep the home fires burning.
    On testosterone (or not): sounds to me like you need a new GP, or maybe file a complaint somewhere? Or, what exactly are her concerns and reasons for dragging her feet? That's probably the best way to approach her, like a scientist. Given that you have the independent professional assessment that taking testosterone is the proper course of action for her, what's holding her back? It might come down to her own beliefs and trans phobias, who knows. But if it does then that's good to know sooner than later because in fact you'll need to find another GP.
    "I hope your journeys progress the way you want them to." In fact, yesterday I drove 100 miles north, away from my wife (now ex, which pains me to write), life, and friends, on a journey that has no definite schedule or end. I'm so fortunate and grateful to be able to do this, and am looking forward to what I will find. But I'm also anxious: do I really have this in me? I guess I do, and here's another reason for you to keep writing. When I joined TGG about 2 1/2 years ago I was terribly depressed, often thinking of suicide, and about a year ago making a serious attempt at it. Now I'm freer of my depression (knock on wood) than I have ever been in my life. Man, it took a lot to get here but TGGuide was a huge help to me, and I hope and predict it will be for you, too.
    Love,
    Emma
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  7. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry: Is There A Place For Short-Term Relationships?   

    I really like Bree's feedback. Very valuable advice in my opinion. 
    And, as I re-read Monica's post, I am kind of saddened to read "Reasons I Should Live Alone". It's as if she's rationalizing why, all in all, she should give up on finding friendship and partnership. Yes, she has some valid considerations relating to her disability and all but as Bree said so well, all of us are gassy at times (I know this about myself in particular) and all have other issues that we bring to the party. But those are not reasons to sell ourselves short.
    So maybe to answer Monica's question about selling herself short, I worry that she is in some ways especially in her list about living alone. 
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  8. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry: Is There A Place For Short-Term Relationships?   

    Hi Monica,
    No, you're not selling yourself short at all. I do think realistic expectations are best and it's good to know what you want and need. So certainly, be open to short term relationships. Nothing wrong with that. As you said, they might grow into longer term, or "just" friendships, or people you socialize with that introduce you to others. All is good, all is available to you.
    I do think, though, that looking for love or friendship, either short or long term, sets us up for anxieties and problems. Get out, socialize however you want and can, and see who you meet and enjoy talking to. If it's fun, have a coffee or lunch, that sort of thing. 
    Good for you to know yourself so well. I know you've been exploring all you can to try to meet people in on-line and other relationship services. Maybe you had to do that in order to learn and be where you are now. You're much wiser as a result and can talk knowledgeably if that subject comes up!
    Hugs,
    Emma
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  9. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry: First Migraine After A While   

    Hey Michele,
    Best wishes on overcoming your migraines. My ex-wife had them and they are truly debilitating. I think it's nice to hear about your stress response changing from wanting to physically do things to tears. I often wish I could cry more easily as it's such a huge relief. But as you say it's still good to tackle things and get them handled. We all know that procrastination doesn't bring satisfaction just more stress.
    Take care,
    Emma
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  10. EmmaSweet added a post in a topic: NYT: "‘He,’ ‘She,’ ‘They’ and Us"   

    I think we'd all agree that news coverage of transgender people and issues is at an all time high, and that benefits us a lot. Nothing breaks down stereotypes and misconceptions than familiarity, knowledge, and conversation. So I was delighted this morning to find this article in The Times: 
    ‘He,’ ‘She,’ ‘They’ and Us
    I hope everyone here will be able to access it. It's in an NYT section they call "The Times Insider" which may only be available to subscribers. In case you're not able to read it, here's the closing paragraph:
    "The power of language cannot be overstated. It can legitimize or it can dismiss. For instance, those who opposed the student’s access to the locker room deliberately referred to her with male pronouns in interviews, and court documents systematically refer to her as “he.” That discomfort, Ms. Hartocollis suggested, may be a symptom of a larger issue. The question of which pronoun to use “has many different layers,” she said. “They have to do with your inner self and the way society perceives you and your social status.”
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  11. EmmaSweet added a post in a topic: Dress size???   

    I'm 5' 9", 162 pounds but looking forward to 155 again pretty soon!  My dress size is about a 12. 
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  12. EmmaSweet added a post in a topic: North Carolina lawmakers say they’ve agreed on a deal to repeal the bathroom bill   

    Yes, but...
    "...gay rights advocates raised objections, arguing that the compromise would continue to allow discrimination."
    "Gay rights advocates were harshly critical of the bill. Cathryn Oakley, senior legislative counsel for the Human Rights Campaign, said that the compromise would leave lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people with no statewide anti-discrimination ordinance and no ability to seek such protections from local government for a number of years.

    “What that means for the L.G.B.T. community is that we continue to be boxed out of nondiscrimination protections,” she said.
    Chris Sgro, executive director of the gay rights group Equality North Carolina, said that the proposal “keeps North Carolina as the only state in the country obsessed with where trans people use the restroom through law.”
     
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  13. EmmaSweet added a post in a topic: Joe Biden Blasts Trump Administration For Rolling Back Trans Protections   

    ​I hear you and have thought of that, too. But I worry about what damage he will cause to LGBT, the US and world economies, global warming, and world wars, in those four rather long years. I'm also deeply concerned about Mike Pence coming in his stead but overall I hope he would be less of a threat overall.
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  14. EmmaSweet added a post in a topic: Transgender Activists Attack Pro-Family Campaign Bus With Hammer, Paint   

    I noticed this too, and kind of rejoiced when I saw it. But overall, we know from
    history that violence just escalates. I don't support or recommend it. 
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  15. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry: Post Operation Thrills   

    Hey Michele,
    I'm honored and happy to be the first here to congratulate you! You go, girl, stay the course. And keep us up to date on all that's going on for you. It sounds wonderful.
    Warm hugs,
    Emma
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