Will Ivanka read this? I hope so.
I know the family of the writer of this letter, Isabel Rose. Her family is one of the most prominent and philanthropic families in New York City. The Rose family endowed major gifts to the New York Public Library, the Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum, and many other major cultural institutions.
She wrote a public letter to Ivanka Trump, from one mother to another. She wrote about her child, who is transgender. It was incredibly brave of her to tell her story in public. The letter is beautifully written, sincere, and heartfelt.
I hope Ivanka reads it.
I am posting only a portion. I hope you will read it in its entirety.
My name is Isabel Rose and I bet if we played a quick game of Six Degrees of Separation we would discover many mutual acquaintances. This shouldn’t come as a…
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Her white hair is wreathed in words. They surround her work space even now, and accompany her at day’s end.
She can still feel the thrill that shot through her four-year old body the day she discovered the word for “the day before today.” That must have also marked her discovery of “the day after today.”
Sometimes she made mistakes. In the second grade she was singing along with “Or would you rather be a mule,” when she changed it to “rather be a queer.” She sang it in front of her teacher, who assured others that she didn’t know what the word meant. She didn’t.
Expanding her vocabulary sometimes led to embarrassment, as in the fourth grade when she proudly announced that Francis Scott Key was her fiancée (not ancestor).
She still had things to learn after high school graduation, when she sent The Little Boy with a Dog’s Tail off to a children’s poetry magazine. A kindly editor returned it to her, advising that little boys have something known as castration anxiety and would get nervous about a tail falling off.
It was probably inevitable that she taught Sallie, her firstborn, to read at two. Years later a neighbor confessed to having secretly put Sallie to the test, which she passed. There was insufficient time for the education of the next three babies. Sallie does not appear to have been harmed by the experience.
When I was a very small child I saw two young gymnast working out. Dressed in white, they gleamed in the sunlight. Their bodies were clean, pure and strong. I witnessed beauty for the first time and it stunned me.
At the age of 57 I have decided to build a physique that embraces that admiration. This has been a lifetime dream. In the age of instagram and selfies, that shouldn’t be a remarkable proclamation. But for me it defies a life of shame and self loathing. What does bodybuilding have to do with childhood sexual abuse? For me everything. The first assault exiled me from my body, my masculine body in particular.
My story is complicated. I ask for your patience as I attempt to examine my experience with sexual abuse. The more I write, the more I share, the more details I uncover. This blog is first and foremost for me to just be free, to break the silence, to reveal the secrets. I also hope it can inspire others to find a way out of whatever life has dealt them. Never give up on the you you’ve wanted to be.
The picture is from the mid-late 80’s. One of the few I’ve always liked, maybe because it is out of focus.
Arrrrrggghh! I see I’ve already posted this. Don’t know what to do about it but try harder next time to pay attention to what I’m doing…
On my bookshelf you can see
my inner self revealed to thee.
Maybe Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes
won’t go far to show you me,
but Frames of Mind should give a hint
of where my time is largely spent.
Crack in the Cosmic Egg is from
an elderly college alum
who still values Games People Play
and Alan Watts any old day.a
User Illusion blew my mind
also Denial of Death in its kind,
and I include for brilliance
the author of Concilience.
Sheldon Kopp told me what to do
if Buddha I should run into,
while The Dream and the Underworld
gave me frights, sanity a whirl.
And here’s an old one we all knew
none other than Miss Nancy Drew.
So now you know me stem to stern.
What can I expect from you in turn?
Respect for all life.
Support, support, support!
I knew it was coming, but it still broke my heart to see the news yesterday. Our federal government has officially turned its back on one of the most vulnerable groups in our society: Transgender children like mine.
Here in my dark blue state, my kiddo is pretty insulated (for now – more trouble is brewing), but I shudder to think what’s in store for the kids everywhere else. They are now at the mercy of whatever misinformed, bigoted policies their local governments and schools districts choose to cook up.
Debi Jackson: Mom. Warrior. Hero.
It’s a coincidence that I just happened to finish this podcast episode. It’s about a woman with a child like mine who lives in one of the many states where I wouldn’t dream of living, now that it’s open season on trans kids. Listen to Red State Mama. This mama will rock your…
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FAST DESCENT 4-25-75
Hurtling through the mirror maze
young-old embryo. Contorted, misshapen,
falling back one eye. Cry “Please!” Cyclops crazy
beady, heavy. Where am I?
Brown, old contankerous brazen
witch bitch delirious. Stop! Simple smirky
purple prude. I am the glamorous sham.
Staccato waltz, loping trot, forget-me-not, do.
Who is that spinning, passing prisms
fancifully, fragmented to pieces. Vertigo.
Butch fem all of them am I–Please, no.
Red. Gaping maws dirty paws
shiny smelly ripened belly.
Yes, no, true. My God
I’ve sure had my share of experiences in my life, and pets. No “visions,” or other spiritual dramas. Almost three years ago I began this blog because someone told me that was the way to get folks to know about and buy my books. Far as I know not one has been sold that way. I’m really not an example of how an incest survivor can morph into a successful, healthy, peppy, loving and undepressed woman, wife and mother. I’m still afraid of men, at the gut level. Not all my children are satisfied with me. I have been plagued with impulsivity. I loathe to read posts expressing discontent with oneself and life. Well, why am I writing this? I’m bored and a teeny bit depressed, I guess. I won’t stay away from sweets, and am extremely touchy when discounted. There are things about me I wouldn’t even tell you, and that’s saying a lot. A positive item is that years ago I made the decision never to kill myself (and that includes anyone else), but I did euthanize an old cat and dog, to my subsequent regret. I am excited to read that fish and trees are smarter than we know. I guess that will make me feel guilty about the few fish I have caught, but I have always loved and cherished trees. If there’s anything in this post that you feel like laughing at, go ahead. I’m happy for you.