Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jaila Simms!!

Good morning all!! Just in case you missed it, Diddy (fka P Diddy, P, Puff Daddy, Sean John, etc) has a new reality show on the MTV network called "Making His Band". Unlike his previous series; "Making the Band" this show is requires Mr. Diddy creating his own back up band. Like all musical reality series, it starts with a hefty amount of contestants in a giant open audition. Some of the contestants are snooze-worthy, boring, even dull, however, one of these contestants is by far a superstar on the rise. Her name is Jaila Simms, she is a young transwoman from Chicago, IL and unlike many of the karaoke-superstars that appeared on the premier episode, this girl has some seriously trained pipes! Sadly, yet realistically, the judges on the show go in to some serious shock and awe and horrid pronoun misusage while discussing her identity during her audition (never, ever, ever use the term "it" when referring to us! when will the world learn? maybe when more phenoms like Jaila are live in the scene, in the flesh, and in your faces, ears, eyes, etc) Anyway, let us continue our celebration of another succesfull and talented sister in our community by watching the video of her audition!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

180 days, 180 degrees.

Well for starters I really don't know if it has been 180 days since my last post but if it was then the coincidence is awesome, and I apologize for my absence. As for the 180 degrees, let's put it like this; my name is Zoe Renee which translates "life reborn", which is exactly what I have gone through. Long story short, I am full speed ahead in transition, completely open about my gender identity (::gasps:: even to the other DJs!), and I did it all without the previous feel for need that I had to move far away to do so! Granted, I still have yet to take the extra large step and live full time, and truth be told I still have no desire to stay here in Cleveland but the weight of feeling that I need to "hide" myself from the world is diminished forever. My coming out, actually has gone quite well in terms of acceptance, and the joy I get for being able to express myself is second to none. As for a little insight on exactly how I did it, it wasn't a gigantic public spectacle, on my most active and used social network site I changed my profile picture to the transgender flag and enclosed a status message simply saying; "if you need to know, ask." I have gotten a small amount of fuss from some of my fellow transisters for being so 'public' and not 'stealth' about transitioning and abandoning my male side completely, yadda yadda yadda. Don't get me wrong, I understand the need for some people to do it like that, hell, I even felt that was the way I had to do it myself. In my lifetime, I have never denied being transgender but never before had I openly expressed being transgender, and this next comment is only meant as a personal reflection (so this is not intended to say anything about anyone else except me); I am not ashamed of who I am! I feel that as transpeople we are misrepresented, misunderstood, and underestimated, and whilst everything I do in my life hereon may not be in the name of 'fighting for the people' I am on the front lines making myself and making our voices clear. If there is one thing I have learned from my coming out experience is that good or bad, people need to be aware, it is the only way we will learn and it is the only way we will grow. I am blessed for the friends I have made through here as well as the friendships I am maintaining from my "present past life", I am even grateful for the friendships that were lost due to my coming out; with that in mind I close on a quote I came across on the awesome Monica Roberts blog;

“No person is your friend who demands your silence or denies your right to grow.” -Alice Walker

For once throughout this over 20 year journey, things are in the right place and I have never felt more confident in my life about anything.