Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dexter, Lithgow and the Low Spark

Watching Dexter last week I noticed that his boat, the one from which he dumps his dismembered victims into the gulf stream, is called the "Slice of Life". Ha Ha, slice of life referring to Dexter's MO for body disposal...

This season of Dexter is creeping me out for another reason that just its general creepiness. Actor John Lithgow, who plays this seasons mass murderer has given me my special flavor of the creeps for years. Let me explain. Years ago, when I first read Irving's The World According to Garp, I was shaken by the character in that book, Roberta Muldoon is an ex-NFL football player who also happens to be transsexual. Even though the character is fictional, my carefully constructed partitions have always been shaken when external references to transsexuality enter the picture. A few years later, in the movie, John Lithgow brought the role of Roberta to life (well, film life). Despite his wonderful acting skills, I have not been able to enjoy Lithgow's performances since.

Cultural reference to transsexualism have always made me uncomfortable and seemingly transparent. If watching such a references in a group, I have always felt like it immobilized my "shields", as if a big spotlight were pointed at me that said, "Look at her, she is in your midst!". The first instance of this "spotlight" effect I can recall was listening to Traffic's, Low Spark of High Heeled boys. For years, even hearing that as background muzak on an elevator made me suddenly "visible".

Of course, much has changed in my life. I am visible by definition. Mostly, the guilt and shame for being who I am have been vanquished. But I still can't completely enjoy Traffic or Lithgow!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hey Old Friends - READ THIS !

Somehow you found your way here. Who is this CiCi Eberle? Yea, I used to know someone with that last name, but he was, well, a he...he was an asshole/saint/regular guy (choose one). Anyway, to provide some background on my changes, here is a copy of a pseudo form letter that I tailored and sent to many people I know around town:

I wanted to let you know about big changes in my life and its impacts on L and the kids. I am a male to female transsexual and have recently transitioned to a full time presentation of my true, female identity. My name is now Celia Camille Eberle, though I go by "CiCi" day-in and day-out.

Let me apologize advance for how impersonal it is to send you this information by eMail, but since my year of work in Vancouver, WA it has been very difficult to stay in touch. Also, I hope this news precedes anything you may have heard as neighborhood scuttlebutt, but that is hard to predict. Though I'm out at work and to many immediate neighbors and friends, I am just starting notifying old work colleagues, neighbors and other Fort Collins friends. I certainly wanted to let you know before I re-introduced myself via a chance encounter.

Let me try and answer a few obvious questions, but so much has happened over the last four years that to really do the story justice requires several bottles of wine and a few margs to boot!

Question 1: What about L and the kids ?!?
L and I are still a couple. We are exploring where things go from here in an open, honest and loving way. I am living at a separate residence in Loveland, but we still spend most weekends together up in Fort Collins.
The kids are doing great. They have been in-the-know for a couple of years now. Kate is starting her Junior year of college in Tacoma, WA. Rick just started at the local university. It took a while for Rick to get comfortable, but finally I am out to his girlfriend and her parents, his long-time buddies and his new college dorm-mate.
Question 2: Is this a recent discovery?
This is a better question for margs, but, no, I have lived with this since I was a tot in elementary school. Why now?... if not now...when? My dual identity was not serving we well or those I love. My lifetime journey of self-actualization was hopelessly blocked. The decision to transition was a long and painful one, involving several counselors, support groups, etc. I have not done this lightly.

In other, less dramatic news, I am playing in a band! Starting last January, I have been playing with CYNOVA ( We gigged at Montana Pride in Kalispell and at a local fundraising event in Boulder. The other women in the band live in Lafayette and Louisville. We will be playing the Boulder Pride event, September 12 on the Pearl Street Mall. It should be a gas. Though primarily a folk rock group, they let me turn-it-up once in a while :)

Getting Out There

The world of social networking has made coming out quite a broad and interesting process. Between MySpace, FaceBook and LinkedIn, I have contact with cohorts from elementary school, high school, college(s), old workplaces(2), current workplace, current groups(CYNOVA, PFLAG, Lambda Center) and more.

I model coming out in terms of concentric rings. This process really started over 4 years ago. Here is a rough order of the circles from center to the outer rings:
1) Self, Partner, Kids, Parents, In-Laws, oldest/bestest friends
2) Workplace, organizations, in-town, local, old work colleagues, old neighbors, current neighbors
3) Geographically distant contacts: Classmates (K-12-Colleges), remote old work colleagues

I am finally updating all of my social networking sites and need a way share a communication with those people that I can't contact personally...Hence, I think I'll be posting a Hey, Old Friends blog here and directing them to it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Hey, did anyone see Weeds last night? There was a hilarious scene with Celia at the makeup sales meeting. The head seller insists on calling Celia, CiCi. Her pep-talk is along the lines of "CiCi is a winner and a closer and Celia is a loser." I guess it struck close to home because a month ago my name change, to Celia, went through! I'll have to admit, as a fan of the show, Celia has always been my favorite charater, even as rough as the last seasons have been on her!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Meet the Folkers

I just had to relate an experience I had yesterday. It's kind of along the fatherhood thread of discussion that's been going. My son is a graduating senior in high school this year. Last night, my partner and I went over to my son's girlfriends house to take the pre-prom pictures and meet her parents. My remaining male role in life is as public father to my son. He is fine with me, its just we haven't told his high school buddies. I will be coming out after this spring's graduation, so this is one of the last big, public rituals I need to do.

It was really weird. He is our youngest, so add to everything, the fact that this is the last time we will do this ritual before the nest is empty.

I felt like Nathan Lane in the Birdcage trying to act straight. From the manly handshake to mustering my best baritone to introduce myself by my old name, I've never felt so much like I was doing drag. I dressed as macho as I could muster, which isn't much. I did bind my breasts (if that isn't true love for my son, what is?) and wear a wool Pendleton lumberjack shirt. I took out my earrings and wore my highlighted hair in a pony tail...probably tied too high though, to contain my tapered bangs. Sitting (slouching?), legs, hand positioning, stifling the lift in my vocal expression all took conscious attention. My legs want to cross in a most unmanly way.

The upcoming graduation party itself should be interesting. My father will be here for my son's graduation. I'm out to dad but he hasn't met me, and, though I won't be wearing frocks, I won't be doing the drag king show I did last night. promises to be very interesting...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Trip to the Beep-Beep Store

Ever since our kids were small, they hated going to the hardware store, especially Home Depot. They were hyper-sensitive to the loud beep-beep-beeping of the reversing fork lifts. Hence, we have dubbed it the Beep-Beep store ever since. Last Sunday, my partner and I ventured to the Beep-Beep store to get spring fertilizer and other garden supplies. In particular, we are planning a small raised bed for the garden and wanted to get the appropriate landscape timbers and other stuff to bang it together. Plans? Who needs stink'in plans? There is nothing some BFN's, (Big frigg'n nails) can't build.

I was in my best macho presentation, in accordance with an agreement that my partner and I have made and I am doing my best to adhere to until later this spring when my son graduates from school. Thing is, short of gluing on a fake beard and taking some tips from the drag king world, I tend to be failing miserably at being taken for a guy. Without fail, every clerk in Home Depot went out of there way to say "Welcome Ladies" or ask "Is there anything you girls were looking for in particular?" Thankfully, my partner is a good sport about this, especially since full time is only a month or two away.

After lapping the store the requisite 6 times looking for things on our list, we found the landscape timbers and decided what size to make the raised garden. This was going to involve cutting some of the timbers in two places each to make the shorter pieces for the width of the box. We found the saw operator, and after complaining that anything more than one cut was a "project cut" and he would do it this time as a special favor. Condescending asshole! He further went on to explain that this was Home Depot policy in order to sell more power tools. This made me really pine for old-time hardware stores!

Next, as we were searching the nail section for 5" BFN's, a salesman approached us. Did you know that you can get 4" nails and 6" nails, but nothing in between? We asked him for alternative assembly methods and he went on to diagram a plan using Lincoln-log design, pinned together with re-bar. All we needed was a power drill, an 18" spade bit, a circular saw, a cutting disk, some 10' lengths of re-bar and a grinding bench to put a point on the re-bar spikes. (Not to mention the pickup truck to haul all of this stuff).

I explained that my tool of choice was a hammer. He looked at my partner and said that, "The ladies approach will work, but..." and went on to explain the 30 year life-span of his solution. We blew this guy off, talk about trying to sell tools! I bought some pre-cut wooden stakes. Good 'ol Dracula technology rides again!

I guess the point of this pointless post is how I felt treated as a woman at Home Depot. Everything was a big favor and everything needed more tools, whose use I really wouldn't understand. How hard is it to slap some landscape timbers together and fill the box with dirt? Apparently, according to Home Depot, it is a two-weekend, $300 project. We spent $22, it looks great...


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Law Enforcement Week!

I just got back from another visit with local law enforcement. Here in Colorado, you have to get fingerprint background checks from both the FBI and CBI and bring them to the name change hearing. To get the prints taken, you have to go to the county sheriff office. I went a few weeks ago, and the deputy sheriff/fingerprint technician was as nice and respectful as could be. Fully aware of why I was there and what my ID says, he seemed to take special care to get the pronouns right. When he took the prints on the machine (its all electronic these days), he pointed out lots of white lines running through them. "Are those the result of dry skin I asked?", after all, that is the bane of Colorado. His answer was a rather disheartening, "No, those are wrinkles".

Well, after mailing them in and waiting three weeks, that set of prints was rejected by the FBI as unreadable. Bad whorls and ridges or some such thing. (This check typically takes 8 - 12 weeks!). So today, I went back in. The same guy was much less respectful this time. I counted 6 "sirs" to only one "mam". I think he was out of joint because the precision of his work was called into question. A tech person was just finishing installing a brand-spanking new machine, so I was the first set of prints run on it. It didn't make me feel special though ...

So, off go the prints to Washington (Clarksburg, WV actually)...again.

This whole experience makes me ponder the invasiveness of the whole process. One doesn't have to visit the sheriff and have prints taken to come out gay. Well, at least they didn't insist on a retina scan. (that's retina, as in eyeball identification, not any other body part)

All inked up and nowhere to go...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Last weekend, between the blizzard, Colorado Gold Rush and Tami's visit is a big, pleasant blur right now. Many noteworthy things happened. Here is one I think is cool. It seems that whenever Tami and I go out to have fun, something happens. When we went to the Oregon coast, within the first hour I buried the front axle of my car in the sand on the beach!

Sunday, we took a scenic drive up the Big Thompson canyon to visit Rocky Mountain National Park and shop in the town of Estes Park. Sure enough, I get pulled over by the Colorado Highway Patrol on the drive up the canyon for slightly exceeding the speed limit. But really, since when is 53 in a 45 illegal?

Well, Tami and I were gabbing away and drinking coffee and I was in such a good mood I wasn't going to let the officer ruin our day. I was going to use plan A, be super nice...and plea "guilty as charged". Tami also volunteered that she was distracting me with idle conversation. The kind officer was really very polite, asked for license, proof of insurance and registration. I couldn't find my registration but he was OK to use the VIN number on the insurance card to verify that I was not a car thief. Of course, there is was that minor problem of the wrong name, picture and gender marker on the license. I told him I was a transsexual woman when I handed him the license and he didn't even blink an eye. Then he uttered those magic words, "sit tight while I take your documents back to the patrol car to write you a..."
WARNING! (for speeding and not having an update address on my license)

I finally, just looked at the warning today. I was endlessly pleased with the gender marker ;)
It seems when Tami is around, I am always getting into and out of trouble!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Do you Tweet?

Do you twitter? I got an eMail from work espousing the joys of twittering. For the life of me, I can't understand why anyone would interupt the flow of life several times a day to enter a quipy little message about their moods or status update on their digestive processes. As I do for all things technical, I checked with my teenage kids. They don't twitter, so that's good enough for me!

Of course, I have been MySpacing lately at cicishousered. Actually, I called it "MyFace" describing my posting to the kids. I couln't understand their uncontrolable laughter. They are big Facebooker's and assured me the Myspace is sooooo square. Well, I'm there for all of the cool music contacts anyway! I tried logging in and setting up camp on Facebook, but the registation question reminded me of a recent colonoscopy I had when I turned 50, they wanted way too much information!

For now I'm content posting here on this "MyBlog" account :)
Wow, I forgot I even set up an account here! I'll post something real when the blogg'n mood strikes!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009