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Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Mama's irisLuisa
Just thinking of you and hoping you are well.

I’m flying straight and level – an old USAF term meaning nothing has changed since we last talked. Though my destination is still uncertain, at present I’m just looking out the window and trying to take things one day at a time.

And I’m not sure I thanked you for the Daily Devotions booklet you sent. I am reading it and the Bible almost every night, some nights though I fall asleep before I get very much read.  But I do try to get some quiet reflection time during each day as well. It helps me keep my eyes looking forward rather than back.

Cyndy sent a nice thank you note for the birthday card and gift I sent via Steph. (more…)

Thursday, July 02, 1998

pink n blue

Image by Vonderific

Something Bruce Jenner said during the interview on 20/20 Friday night resonated and brought me thinking back to a critical juncture in my own path to transition. “You can still call me Dad.”   (Note I hid in Tef’s carryon bag for her 1998 trip to Oz)

“Your children are not your children. They are sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you, For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows might go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, So He loves also the bow that is stable.” Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet” (more…)

Happy Birthday Tef!

Top GunThis week my daughter Stephanie has one of those birthdays and I have been thinking what to give her. She and my son-in-law are not into ‘things’ so I try to come up with something different. I’ve been writing things about my childhood and life as a way to communicate to my granddaughter Ellie sometime in the future, so I’ll just write one for Tef too. Back in the 70s and 80s, we made a lot of trips to Disney World, one when Tef was still an infant. But one trip that sticks out in my mind was in the late 80s; I want to say 1987 but it may have been 1989. (From my research, it seems that Pleasure Island opened in 1989, so it must have been 89). I’m thinking the former because that is when Top Gun came out and, of course, I just loved that movie. At the time I was working for an engineering firm in Mobile, BCM Engineers, and had just been promoted to Senior Vice President. One of the perks coming with that promotion was getting a new, and better company car. In Mobile, we always bought our cars from Joe Bullard, the Oldsmobile dealership. I had been driving an Olds 88 for some time and traded it for a brand new 98. The car was loaded (more…)

Carrying for Our Warriors

purple heartI am leery of most charities that advertise on TV – just too many horror stories about misuse of funds by the directors/founders and extremely high percentage of funds going to professional solicitors. In the last few years, I have become especially concerned about the rise of veteran-related charities.

First, I am ashamed that our country, given the billions of dollars that flow to the military contractors year after year, cannot find the will to properly care for our warriors, wounded or not. It sickens me to watch the Republican dominated Congress and Senate belittle the appropriateness of funding veteran services. Instead, they prefer to rely on the private sector and faith-based organizations to do the job our government should be doing. All the while funneling billions of dollars back to the military-industrial complex that pay huge portions of their election funding.

Why must our veterans rely on charity? (more…)

I just can’t do God any more.

There, I said it. Today when I was walking at the park, I thought a lot about writing this post. During the walk, my heart rate belt stopped working. And when I finished, my exercise tracker said I had burned 666 calories. 666 I wasn’t sure I would actually write this post. It likely will be unpopular with some of my friends. But I feel I must own my truth. After all, I did redo my website to better (more…)

A bit of trans-activism

In 1999, when I came out to my long-time boss and friend, Hap Myers, an Alabama State Senator and conservative Republican, he was, to say the least, shocked. And he was afraid, not just for the blowback on the company for which I had worked 25 years, but also for me and my family. Hap was a good man. But his final words to me still ring in my ear: “Don’t get in people’s faces like most gay people do.” I knew what he meant. The visible gay people pushing for equal rights in Mobile and Alabama were “in your face.” And I too sometimes wondered why they couldn’t just chill out and go with the flow of the times. They were making progress and it was just a matter of time, it seemed to me, until they would get most of what they wanted. I had been “asked” to leave the company when I came out to the powers, the owners of the company that had bought BCM. They did not think a “queer” should be in such a visible position as Executive Vice President, especially given that many of our offices were in what we now call red states. So with little real planning, I was cut loose from most of the things that had given me a measure of self-worth for most of my adult life. For the following two years, I struggled with the loss of my career, my family, my economic stability, my community, and with the critical decision of moving forward with transition or not. For almost a year, I did nothing toward moving into transition; I just tried to survive by focusing on building a new career. While with BCM, I had played the dominant role in getting the company on board with the power of the computer. When I was in my master’s program at Auburn in 1972 and even when I arrived at BCM in 1974, everyday engineering tasks at almost every engineering firm were still being done using slide rules and the occasional primitive calculator. When I left the firm in 1999, BCM was one of the leading engineering firms with respect to use of computers in everyday engineering problems. So it seemed natural that I would lean toward doing something with computers. And I did: I (more…)