Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Items That Have Been 'Foster'ing

About three years ago, I was contacted by the Boston office of GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders). They had become aware of my existence when I spoke at the NH House Judiciary hearing in April 2009. They asked if they could use a me as a reference and resource in the future. I was only to honored and gladly accepted. I knew I wanted to pay my good fortune forward, but I really like educating the general public more the mentoring. 

Within a week or two, I was contacted and did a twenty to thirty minute phone interview. Basically covering my life, work, hobbies, transition and friends.

I hadn't heard  much from GLAD since, only when they were having transgender vigils, usually in November. A vigil is not my thing, especially since they were always in conjunction with a church, definitely took my participation out of the picture. but the night before my birthday I was contacted again. they were putting together a booklet of transgender people for the New Hampshire Coalition for Transgender Equality, and would I be willing to share my story again. This booklet is being targeted for politicians, lawmakers and business people for education purposes. I gladly accepted.

They were going to use the basics from my previous interview, which I was able to make some minor alterations to, like removing Newbury Comics, as I was no longer working part time there. We trade e-mails until we found mutually agreeable photos to accompany the article. Much to my chagrin, they preferred a photo from when I worked with NEMA (North Eastern Midget Association). Though I admit it is one of my favorite photos of me and is one of the two I have on file at Dr Brassard's office in Montreal.

I didn't hear from them for a few weeks but then I received notice that the online version was up and a week later I received the print version.

In that time, NEMA was coming to Star Speedway, and I had a free night. I had alternative plans, but a friend, Terri,  that I met on FaceBook via other friends, asked if I was going to Star that Saturday. We had been talking for over a year but had never met face to face. But I felt like I had known her for years. We have a lot in common and she actually enjoys my offbeat humor.

In turn, we have a mutual friend. This friend, Debbie Dore, is the mom of one of the Douglas #23 modified competitors and another really great lady. So I changed my plans and I'm so glad I did. I didn't even want anyone from NEMA to know I was on the premises, excluding Deb Marvuglio, whom I didn't even notify in advance. Upon my arrival I immediately bumped into Debbie Dore and we chatted for a bit and I was offered to sit with her and Terri.

I must say, it was one of the best times I have had at a race track in years. we talked, laughed, watched the races and just plain got to relax and have good time. No working on running to the pit area. It was everything I imagined your typical non-racing work involved female fans do at the track. Had fun. Actually it was even better than I imagined. Debbie and Terri both made me really happy that night and other than my giving some of my old racing official stories, my past was never an issue. Debbie and Terri are both wonderful and keepers. I hope I'm friends with them forever.

But it was the next day that one key thing hit me. This was the first time since my surgery that I was involved with a "Girls Night Out" type event, excluding dinners with Karyn & Diane, that involved absolutely no one that knew John personally, only that he existed. And it was never an issue. I was made to feel exactly like any other girl in the group would have felt, which is nothing. Simply 'one of us". Which is godsend  and in hindsight, on top of gaining two new friends, all I ever wanted. To be me and to belong, without the baggage of the past.

Thank you Debbie & Terri.

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