Category Archives: Rosebuds-Guest Columns

A Big Decision by Christine Hochberg

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California. I was active and kept busy all the time.

As I grew older I needed to know where were other people like me. They were far between, but I found it with some difficulty.

My local groups were fun and re-warding at the time. I could write for the news letter, and take an active role.

I truly enjoyed the groups in Southern California. Something was missing and I could not figure it out.

Then I learned and heard about the Convention Circuit. This would give me an opportunity I would enjoy. I could go to places I had only seen pictures of. One of the initial choices was coming to Boston and First Event. The big decision was the right one as far as I am concerned.

First Event and Tiffany Club are always on my plate for January. I have never minded the cold or snow that you live with in the winter.

Throughout the fall and winter I always check the weather reports for New England. In 2012 I am returning for the 18th time.The friendships are great and really I enjoy your company.  It is a pleasure to travel from my home to your home. One thing is certain, I will bring a hat and smile to all.

After Boston in January, Denise from IFGE has asked me to assist at the Gold Rush / IFGE conference in Denver. In will be there to do whatever is necessary to make it better.

Life is far too short not to have fun. I hope my enthusiasm shows when I arrive.

Buying A Dress by Debra Kelly

I see why when men get dragged to the mall by the girlfriend or wife when they are buying a dress is considered agony.

I had the day off for a doctor’s appt which i almost forgot about, but i found the appt card and all turned out well.

I went home and changed and went to the Natick Collections. I had on Debra classic business attire which is a black knee length skirt, and hose along with a nice pressed long sleeve red top and of course a lacy black full slip on underneath.

I poked around in Macy’s and Penny’s and did not see much that got my interest.

I went to Lord and Taylor. I saw a blue dress that interested me which had about 10 buttons. I went to the changing room and discovered one must be an acrobat to put the thing on. You would also over time develop carpel tunnel. Imagine if you hurt you’re self, putting this thing on and said to the doctor, “well i thru my back put on a dress.”

I then saw a charcoal color sweater dress. It had long sleeves and a belt, i tried it on, but a tad on the tight side, this is the type of dress you need a slip for since it would cling in the wrong or right places depending on who saw you and it would not fall right. However, since I always wear a slip, not a problem. I then went to the next bigger size and it fit much better, but the belt did not fit as nice as the size below it.

I left Lord and Taylor, I first went to Penny’s and see if they had one of those wide stretchy belts that give you the appearance of a waist, the ones they had were too tight. Macy had one, but it had no price tag.

I thought then, why don’t i go back and try the dresses on again, and switch the belts and buy it and make sure it looks good.

I went back and did that and tried them on, but my conscience got the better of me and the thought of credit card balance also convinced me.

I think I took off my clothing more today than a stripper ever does.

While dressed as Debra; i enjoy it, as Paul, what a drudge.

Special People Meet at First Event by Christine Hochberg

Every time I travel across the country, I always wonder who will be there?

First Event is no exception to the rule. What gives me a high is one word,

We are all very diverse and unique. The backgrounds and personalities all seem
to be positive. This is what gives me the desire to be a part of you in January.

For several years I had an internal debate of should I attend something so far

From day one I found all of you to be dynamic. Everyone made me feel right at
home in your home. I was thrilled to know we could get together.

Love was in the air for the people. By nature I am out-going, and this had to
make things easier.

Last spring I attended the IFGE convention in Washington D.C. This is a
different opportunity to get involved. It is more political than social.

I feel very fortunate to return every January.

Keep your heads up high and realize you are in the company of special people at
the First Event.

In-depth interview with well-known transgender advocates Helen Boyd and Betty Crow from GenderVision

An extended, in-depth interview with well-known transgender advocates Helen Boyd and Betty Crow. Helen is the author of the book “My Husband Betty“, which explores the relationships of crossdressing men and their female partners, as well as a follow-up, “She’s Not the Man I Married“, a more serious and expansive examination of gender roles in relationships. Betty Crow is a professional actor who has appeared on daytime TV in “All My Children” as a transgender woman, who also works as a web designer and 3D animator.   Part 1 and Part 2 are 30 minutes in length each.  Videos and interview courtesy of Gender Vision Helen also has a blog, enGENDER.

Both videos should start when you press the start arrow on the left hand side of each screen. If they don’t after a minute or so, you can see the videos at GenderVision’s site by clicking to, “Trans Partner: Gender and Relationships

GenderVision Helen Boyd and Betty Crow Interview Part 1

GenderVision Helen Boyd and Betty Crow Interview Part 2

Our Transgender Family

At California Dreaming Transgender Conference, in 1999, Melanie Yarborough and Lucy Silvay MFCC gave a keynote speech: Entitled, “Our Transgender Family”. The original text may be found here: California Dreamin’ ’99 Keynote but is reprinted here with permission.

I’d like to talk about something we’ve all experienced in our lives, in one way or another: FAMILY.

Like a family, we’ve all had similar experiences. We all know what it feels like to go into our mother’s or sister’s closets, and try on their clothes. We all know that distant sense of hope on seeing someone famous who’s just like us: either Christine Jorgenson or Corporal Klinger or Ru Paul. And we’ve all felt that terror and joy of opening up to another person and saying for the first time “I’m a crossdresser” or “I’m a transsexual”. We can be out and free to each other, in a way we can never be in the straight world.

In all these ways we’re very much a family. But we need to ask “What kind of family are we?”

Continue reading

The Importance Of a Big Sister by Christine Hochberg

At every conference I attend the best part is seeing new sisters and brothers.

You can tell who they are, because everyone has the biggest eyes. I remember one of the first time I went to an event. Yes, I was scared and really had no direction except my own.

Here I am, away from home for the first time in my female persona. I get greeted with a hug and handshake from people like me. Then two nice ladies step up to greet me. Joann Roberts and Sheila Kirk guide me along for the next few days.


My voice shook and I got emotional. They were polite, and I will never forget how they turned on to this journey. For the last 20 years I offer to be a Big Sister. The rewards are awesome, and I love to do it.

A few years ago at First Event, I will tell you about Debbie. She had no place to change and sleep. My heart went out to get her a key to my room. This had to be done! Two years ago I got a tap on my hat. Debbie gives me a hug of thanks for giving her a chance.

I look forward to seeing you all at First Event in Peabody!

Bug Smash a Fag

(ed. – The following Rosebuds-Guest Columnist article, from Candice St. James, tells a story that sometimes the bravest choice we can make is to be ourselves. At First Event, we hope everyone takes a step to come out and be yourself )

Bug smash a fag.

I awoke without an alarm. It was 3:44 AM. In a quarter of an hour I will need to get up. Have a plane to catch. I’m tired.

I laid back down for a moment and thought of it again. Bug smash a fag. I sat up. Bug smash a fag. It was startling. “Bug smash a fag,” the words ran over my lips. I couldn’t believe I had just said it. Bug smash a fag.

It was a line from a movie I had seen the night before. The words were calloused and filled with hate. Words used by a killer who had murdered Fred Martinez, a transgendered young person of Navaho descent. The movie was titled Two Spirits: Gender, Sexuality and the Murder of Fred Martinez.

In the movie we learn about Fred through his mother and friends. Fred was an openly gay transgendered person, whom by most accounts had learned to be happy in his life. This happiness did not come without its travails but Fred persevered. Fred was a very brave and courageous young person.

Continue reading

Mona Rae Mason Fantasia Fair 2009 Keynote: “The Coming Out Party is Over. Where Do We Go From Here”

Mona Rae Mason
Keynote Address
Fantasia Fair
October 24, 2009
Provincetown, MA

For Loubriella

Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Mona Rae Mason. Just so you have an idea of my background, I’m from New York City, where I recently completed work on an NIH funded study of the male to female population in the NY Metro area. It was a 5 year, longitudinal study, with almost 600 volunteer transgender participants. That’s a huge number for this type of study, and The Transgender Project to date stands as the most in-depth and complex study of it’s kind.

Continue reading

How to Amend Your Tax Return for Medical Care Deductions in light of the O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner Decision by Edward F. Connelly, CPA

I agree with the Tax Court.  They got it right, mostly! Hi, I’m a licensed CPA in Massachusetts and this article explains how to amend a tax return and what “medical care” deductions may be appropriate in light of the recent Tax Court ruling re: O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner, 134 T.C. No. 4 (Feb. 2, 2010).

Revising your tax return is done by filing an amended tax return (1040X).  Amended tax returns have to be filed on paper, and they can take 60 to 180 days for the IRS to process. So, be patient.

Continue reading

How to apply eye shadow makeup from Makeup Geek TV

In this informative 10 minute video, Marlena of Makeup Geek TV teaches you a great way to put on your eye shadow to give you the best and most gorgeous coverage you can get: How To Apply Eye Shadow