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Josie Beth

What I’m learning about the community in my location

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Josie Beth

So, as many of you know already I got the nerve to go to a transgender group on Sunday and I enjoyed the experience. What I didn’t know is that the transgender community here is much larger than I thought. A couple of years ago there was a new city ordinance passed that protected transgender people from discrimination, however a local ultra conservative church rallied the conservative population and repealed the ordinance by a very slim margin. The response to that was several businesses rallying behind the transgender community and deciding to adopt policies that protect transgender people in spite of the repeal. So this mega church is probably absolutely upset about it, which I find rather funny. However it did a lot of damage that we can’t see, because many transgender people have gone stealth if they can, or they are afraid of working somewhere and getting fired so they do sex work, or they left town. I’m not even able to be stealth as a girl. I wish I could, but I have far to go. That’s not exactly a huge issue. But what saddens me a little is that because the trans women here are less visible it’s a little discouraging. I’m barely scratching the surface. I really want local friends around my general age group from late 20’s to early 40’s that are transgender women. Maybe I need to get back into Facebook eventually. I’m not on it right now because they keep locking my account so I’ve neglected to even try for almost 2 years. I can’t rely on dating apps for friends. 

 

Anyway, although I learned a lot about the services available and resources, it’s not going to be useful for a while. I’m struggling with employment. I was temporarily layed off for much of the holidays and I’m worried about getting back to work soon. I’m taking a huge gamble by having to trust this placement agency because they have not been very helpful or forthcoming lately, but I have to because any other job would mean I’m late on rent and I’m so at risk right now I’m scared. Only Two days of work in two weeks has burned a hole in my savings and the next time I pay weekly rent I will be broke. This worry and stress is not helping me apply what I’ve learned and another setback to my hopes to finally be back on HRT. The shelters here are all religious based and don’t even try to accommodate transgender people. I’m not sure what to do. It’s because of setbacks like this every holiday season that I absolutely hate the holidays. Every time I’m evicted or moving or broke and it’s never from buying gifts, it’s always because of work shortages. 

 

Anyway, it seems like the little bit of hope I had from Sunday is being dashed to pieces and I can’t do anything about it. I’m even considering breaking my long standing rule of no sex work just to get by. 

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Charlize

Josie i don't know if this will help too much but i've found i can make each day as it comes to me.  I'm old and fairly secure today but now face the other end of life.  If i dwell on the end i forget today's blessings.  The next move will come to you despite what may seem impossible.  Perhaps one of the blessings of this site is that i know i'm not alone.  Others here get through hard times and perhaps by sharing our experiences we can help others.  I hope the new year will bring peace and positive resolutions of the issues you are facing.  

 

Big Hugs,

 

Charlize

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Josie Beth

I hope so too it’s just so hard to see when nobody who can do something really gives a <r@p about it. I was told the day before I was scheduled to go back to work that sorry but you’re not needed til maybe after New Years. Not you can come back for sure but maybe. Then they failed to notify the main office and I could not get through to actually talk to someone because they don’t actually care. So Monday I find out that the coordinator didn’t contact the main office at all which wasted a lot of critical time and then when I was told to call him to ask why he didn’t notify anyone, big surprise, everything that was discussed went in one ear and out the other so he never really listened to my concerns at all. So I called the main office again and told them he completed my assignment with no penalty and guess what, now they are playing ignorant again at the main office, because they don’t have any work til maybe tomorrow. I’m trying to keep my head up but all these vague answers are not exactly helpful. For once I want them to say yes or no instead of stringing me along. I’ve done everything they asked me to by the book and it has no bearing on how well they treat me. They still treat me like a nuisance when I didn’t ask for these setbacks, they are actually more responsible for it than me. Why can’t people just be honest and stop trying to pass the buck? 

 

Maybe its easier to see things on the other side but it’s not easy at all when your life is in the balance. I don’t have the luxury to think of time as a relative thing. I’m sorry but it’s the truth. I’m just really tired of living on a thread and being seen as a burden or someone to treat bad. It’s too much too often. I’m trying to do something to change things but it always seems like too little too late. Like I’m always missing the proverbial bus. I’d be happy if I could at least catch the short bus and get somewhere. 

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Jani

Josie, take solace that you are making an effort and not sitting back and thinking "whoa is me."   Keep looking and keep your spirits up.  Even though it may provide seemingly easy money I would avoid sex work as unsafe, illegal and from what I've read it can weigh negatively on your mind and self confidence.  

 

I find it hard to comprehend a "religious" organization that is not accepting of all, but what do I know... 

 

Understanding what your primary goal is, finding stable work, may mean putting other goals on the back burner.  To maintain the best opportunity to find employment this may need to include transition related goals.  You are young so don't fret, you have plenty of time.  

 

Are there other agencies in the area you could sign up with?  When my spouse was unemployed at various times she always connected with several temp agencies in order to stay busy, even if for just a few days at a time on short term projects.  Remember that quite often, lucky breaks aren't so lucky at all, but they happen because we position ourselves to succeed when the time is right.  By saving and being prudent with your resources you are doing this.  It will come.  Keep scratching!   And remember we're here for you. 

 

Jani

 

 

 

 

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Josie Beth

Thanks, I feel a little better about things. Maybe I’m just freaking out for no reason. I will take your advice but I’m not holding my breath in anticipation. The application I filled out yesterday because my neighbor suggested I do so hasn’t yielded anything in spite of him saying I was a shoe in. I was supposed to find out if I get interviewed today and in a way it might be better that I don’t right away. I’m going to try shaking the tree at the agency tomorrow morning but if they can’t give me a straight answer then I’m going to have a panic moment and probably start grasping straws in a ridiculous fashion. I’ve not been to any other agencies yet because this one was pretty reliable until recently. Going elsewhere will take time I don’t have much of and usually it means I’m still not going to get work immediately. That’s a problem. I’m going to try not to let my panic get the better of me but I’m really not in any position to be late on rent or move. I’m trying to make friends but from past experience dropping a bombshell like potential homelessness on people is bound to create problems later or base the friendship on a weird power dynamic that has one person lording over the other and I’m not going to repeat that. Being independent is so critical to my self esteem that if I were to lose that, It would probably kill me. It’s no way to live. I’ve already been homeless 4 times in my life and statistically that puts me at higher risk for death if it happens again. I can’t do that anymore. I might look young but I’m 46 and starting to show signs of wear because of the stress of the last 15 years. I’ve also had my life threatened directly,as in people literally tried to kill me 4 times in the past 3 years. 4 different people. That plays havoc on the psyche. Yes I made it this far but there’s no guarantee I will get further unless something positive happens for once. So if I have to do something desperate for independence sake and survival in the short term it’s not because I want to or would make a habit of it, but it’s out of necessity so I’m not at risk of being on the streets again. I really don’t want to and hopefully I won’t need to, but being honest about it makes it less likely. I’m a scardey cat so I would have done it already if I really wanted to. Heaven knows I have had several opportunities just today but turned them down because I don’t think I can do that. I’m shifting between struggling and ignoring things by distractions. Sometimes I think about just hooking up to take my mind off of my problems but that’s not going to change reality either. 

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Josie Beth

This morning I woke up and listened to some relaxing music to get my mind at ease and then I decided to take a look online for gender therapy. To my surprise I found a place called the transgender institute in Kansas City that has a comprehensive program for transgender people who are in need of therapy, community, and classes on how to present including mannerisms, walking and voice lessons! I’m so thrilled about it because it’s a huge need for me. I made a few friends on grinder that encouraged me to visit Kansas City and possibly hang out but one of the ladies actually had her testimonial on the website and I was encouraged even more. I’m going to get ready to go visit the placement agency this morning and see if they can put me back to work. 

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Cyndee

Good for you Josie reaching out to others, and best of luck with the extra employment searches.

 

C -

 

 

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Josie Beth

Well good news! I’m going to start training tomorrow for the same place I just completed the assignment for but I’m a different location. Assembly of some parts. So hopefully there’s more women there and even some transgender people. I’m not sure how long it will last but it’ll keep me working while I look for other opportunities.  I’m also supposed to get a call today from another job I applied for so I’m going to have to explain my needs to them about waiting a little bit before starting because of finances. Hopefully they understand and I don’t miss out but either way I’m not going to worry about it. I’m just glad I don’t need to do anything desperate. It’s a huge relief. Plus I’m just a little annoyed with the guys on grinder because they are mostly rude and demanding. I’m using the block button a lot. I’m only finding pleasant conversation with transgender people. Well I guess it’s one way to find new sisters.

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Jani

Wonderful News!  Hang in there and keep looking forward.   You go girl!

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Josie Beth

I’m finding more and more trans women on grinder looking for a stable support group. It’s hard to know what to tell them because of my experience in this town. I’m referring some of them here even though it’s not an exact substitute for an actual support group. Since the facilitator never showed and it seems they had a meeting about someone disruptive they might have canceled until further notice but failed to tell anyone about it. I’m going to see if any other support groups exist on college campuses because support groups need to be consistent. 

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Josie Beth

So, today I had to go get some work pants and shoes because of uniform requirements, and I got done just in time to make the bus so I could go to group. The bus was running 15 minutes late and I thought maybe I was going to walk in on the rest of the group and pick up where we all left off. To my dismay, once again the closed sign was up and nobody was inside even though there was an SUV parked there and they had the lights on inside. So I’m looking through the glass to see if maybe someone is in back in the kitchen and not a soul. I’m starting to think I’m being ignored because of the person who made everyone uncomfortable. I’m seriously thinking about starting a group of my own because there’s plenty of girls who really need a support group and want that to not feel alone. I’m tempted to reach out to the local gay bar because they specialize in drag shows and it would be the perfect venue for makeup days and daytime socializing. I’m not sure how the community will receive that idea or if anyone would be willing to allow us to use the space because it’s going to be in competition with an established LGBTQ organization with a nonexistent support group but I’m ambitious. I see a need that is being neglected. It’s a shame really because I really had hopes. The other issue is because the bar is downtown, the local conservatives might put up a stink about transgender people being visible in the daytime. They look at the bar as a novelty of nightlife but may not appreciate people being around there in daylight. It’s starting to feel very oppressive around the city. I’m not the only one that is noticing this. Maybe in a few months when I can somewhat pass better then someone will take me seriously.

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Jani
3 hours ago, Josie Beth said:

I’m starting to think I’m being ignored because of the person who made everyone uncomfortable.

Don't think that.  Its most likely nothing that nefarious.  

 

3 hours ago, Josie Beth said:

I’m seriously thinking about starting a group of my own because there’s plenty of girls who really need a support group and want that to not feel alone.

This is good but make sure you have a safe place to meet in prior to inviting people.  You don't want to draw unwanted attention and endanger yourself and others.  

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Josie Beth

I’m going to really do some research before even trying to plan a meeting. It’s not going to be on a whim. Maybe that’s why the group meetings have stopped because of negative attention. I noticed the last couple of times I went nobody showed up but people driving by laugh and honk their horns. It’s like a big joke to them. I’m not trying to make anyone uncomfortable so they are too embarrassed to attend. Finding a safe space is important. Another possible option is the same church where PFLAG meets or even somewhere at the local university. It’s not as centrally located but could be a lot safer. I’m still curious about coordinating a makeup day at Martha’s though. Just seems like it would be a good match and help their business too.

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Cyndee
6 hours ago, Josie Beth said:

I noticed the last couple of times I went nobody showed up but people driving by laugh and honk their horns. It’s like a big joke to them.

 

This is kinda of disturbing to read this above, makes my imagination run a little, what if, there were threats made to the group that perhaps you did not get wind of ? You show up and nobody is there, and the hooligans are circling. I hope I'm wrong Josie.

 

I recall one time at a support group meeting in Tacoma a few years ago, a seemingly homeless man wandered into the Rainbow center off the street, he seemed to be high on something, it was a bit of a problem getting him to leave, and he was abusive to many, after that event the group had to lock the front door, and you were only allowed to come in if you were recognized, sigh...

 

Hugs

 

C -

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Josie Beth

I’m not sure if people are threatening the group or not. The disruptive person could have been a scout who was trying to test the vulnerability of the group or find out who attended so they could follow them home. When I realized that the group was not going to happen yesterday I walked to the bus stop and had to wait for 15 minutes and a strange character across the street with a bandanna on their face stopped right across from me like they were trying to decide whether or not to approach me. I glared at them and then some cars went by so they walked away quickly. They were giving off very dark vibes. Then once they moved on, a caravan of monster trucks with red necks pulled from the side road into the Main Street and they all kind of stared at me as they drove past and honked. I stepped back because I didn’t want to get splashed with icy cold water. Thankfully the bus showed up soon after because that stop is in a very dicey neighborhood. I’m not going to be going back to that stop again. I’m probably not going back to group for quite a while either. I’ll have to find a different way to confide in other transgender women. I didn’t feel completely comfortable there anyway because it was a mixed group and so I didn’t feel like I could really open up. I think maybe many of us girls just need to be in a girls only group without the trans men present.

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Jani

Please be careful when you are out, especially at night.

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DeeDee
36 minutes ago, Josie Beth said:

I’m not sure if people are threatening the group or not. The disruptive person could have been a scout who was trying to test the vulnerability of the group or find out who attended so they could follow them home.

They could also have just been someone caught up with their own health issues, best not to speculate. Simply look out for yourself, stay safe and look for another way to meet up with the girls you want to chat with. 🤗 Nothing about that post made me feel comfortable and I wasn't there! 

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Josie Beth

Like I said I’m not sure about the disruptive person. I saw them yesterday but they had sunglasses on and didn’t even say hi but that was nowhere near the group meeting place. So I think the sponsor postponed the meeting until further notice. I’m just really concerned that they don’t even attempt to maintain communication about what is going on. They might be re-evaluating the meeting time. I talked to a new friend today about it and she was concerned and glad she didn’t go because she lives 30 miles away. She told me that the local gay bar is funding the building and meetings so they would probably not host an alternative meeting at the bar. For now I’m just going to keep in touch with the new friends I made and keep working towards my first therapy session. That’s probably going to be more important and fruitful than the group right now. On the plus side my new friends are wanting to hang out eventually and hopefully by then we can get together dressed and do some girl things. The closest new friend was surprisingly nice. I was caught off guard because she’s prettier than me. 

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DeeDee
Just now, Josie Beth said:

For now I’m just going to keep in touch with the new friends I made and keep working towards my first therapy session. That’s probably going to be more important and fruitful than the group right now. On the plus side my new friends are wanting to hang out eventually and hopefully by then we can get together dressed and do some girl things.

That all sounds really positive Josie, I'm glad some good things seem to be heading your way. x

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Josie Beth

The therapist I found plainly stated in their bio that they would not try to fix me but listen and go through all the emotions with me. Since she specializes in LGBTQ therapy and I need her endorsement for several reasons including hormones, that takes priority over everything else. The office is small but cozy and comfortable looking. It’s not sterile or stuffy but floral and not in a distracting way. It’s close enough that a short bus ride is well worth it. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to drive there too. Driving again will open up a lot of doors for transitioning. 

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DeeDee
Just now, Josie Beth said:

they would not try to fix me but listen and go through all the emotions with me

That is so important, its what I like about mine, at the start of each session she just briefly recaps what we talked about last time and asks what I want to talk about now. Ocasionally bringing something else up or pointing something I might want or need to focus on. Nothing wrong with catching buses, but stick to your goals there is a lot of freedom that offsets the hassles of driving!

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Jani

I agree.  This therapist seems to be on the right track as far as what her job is when you are speaking.

 

 

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Josie Beth

Well I just found out more about the AIDS project of the Ozarks and I learned that they have transgender therapists, doctors and a pharmacy all in one building! That went clear over my head at group. So I might have to start therapy there if it’s more affordable but if not then I know where to go for the healthcare part. I’m such an airhead.

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Jani

Good news.  Sometimes the things right in front of us escape us.   They become apparent in their time. 

 

Hugs, Jani

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