"You are Brazilian. What kind of cell would you be part of? A bikini wax cell?"
-- Lorrie Moore, A Gate at the Stairs
As I parked my car and looked at the map application, I noticed the address had appended Metropolitan Community Church to the name of the church, which meant that the address was a match on Google.
As I got out of my car, I asked a young man who had just parked in front of me, "Is there an MCC church around here somewhere?"
"It's that red brick building over there" he said pointing two houses behind me on the side on which I parked.
"Are you looking for the Chili Cookoff?" he asked me when I finished relaying my fears of being in the wrong place, walking around to my passenger door to take out the crock pot filled with Bean and Corn chili I had brought with me. I had spent two hours yesterday morning chopping the ingredients, frying the onions and filling the crock pot to let it simmer during the work day.
That afternoon after work, my neighbor Barb had walked with me to my apartment after I checked my mail, and we chatted while I washed dishes and changed into a nice green dress. After debating on several shoes, we decided on the patent leather high heels I bought in San Francisco three years ago--the same heels that were sinking into the soggy grass covered ground trying to remove the chili from the passenger side of my car.
Barb and I had talked about how I felt male when I was angry or frustrated. She blew me away when she said it was perfectly normal--that she, too, felt male under those circumstances. Today, when I was filling out the forms to transfer medical records from all my doctors, the receptionist also confirmed that those feelings are quite natural for women, and she is so incredibly feminine!
At the cook-off, I met Brandy, a transgender woman who is the church secretary, and many other, mostly young, mostly female-to-male, transgender people with whom I played Yahtzee, before we had a secret ballot on which of the four chilis we thought tasted the best. Mine tied for second, which actually means I didn't come in last. It was a tough vote, because all of the entries were delicious.
Before the night was over, Brandy invited me to attend service at her church, I was invited to a private wine-and-cheese this coming Tuesday and, immediately after being told I was cute, I was encouraged to come to all the TransAction meetings, which occur every Tuesday at 7 PM.
I'm looking forward to them.
Hugs and God Bless,