My wife, Giselle Donnelly, writes about why conservatives should support open transgender military service. Please read and share!
My wife, Giselle Donnelly, writes about why conservatives should support open transgender military service. Please read and share!
Question: Beth, my good friend, Jane, just confided in me that her college-age son, “John” (that’s the name I know him by), just came out to her as being a trans-woman and planning to transition. I’m close to “John” as well. How I can I support my friend and her child?
(Question adapted from recent conversations with clients and friends)
Answer: Dear Ally-in-Training, I’m so excited that you are supporting your friend and her child. I don’t have all the answers by any means, but here are some things to think about to help you support both of your friends.
First, I suggest talking to Jane and John (if you are friends with both) to find out what John’s preferred name and pronouns are. Your friend may not have realized to ask this question or may not have shared this level of detail with you yet.
Here are some possible scenarios:
By asking John directly what is preferred, you can then use John’s preferred name and pronouns in context and thus show support. Also, you can avoid outing John unintentionally by finding out John’s preferences.
Second, I suggest building your knowledge and your own support team as needed. Read up on the transgender experience so you can better understand what John may be going through. You can find a basic overview of transgender people at the Human Rights Campaign website including how to support them. PFLAG has an extensive primer called “Our Trans Loved Ones: Questions and Answers for Parents, Families, and Friends of People who are Transgender or Gender Expansive.” As you learn more from John and Jane, you can fine tune your research and reading.
You and Jane may benefit from a local support network for friends and family members of LGBTQ+ people. PFLAG has over 400 chapters across nearly all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. You can find a local chapter here. Read about why PFLAG exists and how society’s attitudes towards LGBTQ+ people have changed since 1973 when PFLAG began its work.
Ask John directly what kind of support is desired. Perhaps John wants to go shopping with you or Jane for gender-affirming clothes, hair, makeup, etc. or maybe John wants to this alone or with friends of college age. Each person is different in their journey and how they like to be supported.
Third, I suggest that you or Jane look into resources for John, who may already be well-connected or may have no clue about where to start. Or encourage John to do this kind of search. Your local LGBT Center and LGBT Medical/Health Center can be key to finding what you need.
In conclusion, listen to John and how they want to be supported. Be affirming with your use of John’s preferred name(s)/pronouns. Learn about the transgender community on your own so you have a framework of understanding when John describes experiences and feelings to you. Learn about resources for Jane and John so you can point them in the right direction(s) when they are ready. Encourage Jane to work through these steps too. This is not an exhaustive list of resources on how to be a good ally, but it should get you started in a positive direction.
Good luck and much happiness to you all on the journey ahead!
Elizabeth Taylor (Beth)
Phone: 202-803-3231 (voice only)
I thought you might want to use a short testimonial (below). I have been privileged and blessed to have been involved some really cool events, and it occurred to me that in every photo, I am wearing makeup I bought from you that you taught me how to apply.
I wanted to say thank you for all the help you have given me and so many others along the way.
In each of these photos, I am wearing Younique cosmetics I purchased from Beth Taylor. Beth not only represents a great brand of high quality products, but I learned how to properly apply them and look my best at her makeup parties. She is also an exceptionally talented makeup artist and photographer, who makes each of her clients feel special and pampered.
When I needed to look my absolute best for a speech for an audience of about 1,000 people, including the governor of Virginia (top photo, second column from left), I of course turned to Beth to make sure my makeup was flawless.
She is a great friend and ally of the transgender community, and I am a huge fan of hers.
Question: Beth, I’ve done several makeovers with you and absolutely love them. I feel beautiful and myself when I’m dressed and when I see my photos. But I’ve been nervous about really unleashing my feminine side and letting her go nuts. I’m sometimes afraid she’ll take over, and I don’t know how to feel about that. How do I know if this is just a part-time thing for me or if I should go full-time? How do I know whether I’m transgender? How do I figure out what to do with what I discover?
(Question adapted from conversations with many of my friends and clients over the past five years.)
Answer: Dear Conflicted, It sounds like you’ve got a lot to think about and process about who you are and where you want to go. A talented LGBTQ-friendly therapist can help you explore your gender identity and all the related feelings and decisions.
I have several therapists listed on my website under my links including Falls Church Counseling (John Thomas), Shawn Rubin, Laurice Counseling Services (Shervon Laurice), and Jacqueline Lubovich. I’ve met each of these therapists, and they each have shown their long-term dedication to the LGBTQ community including people exploring their gender identity.
You may also benefit by discussing your feelings with peers in a support group setting. Several transgender support groups meet regularly in the DC area including MAGIC in Falls Church and Second Friday in Fairfax at MCC NOVA.
Best of luck on journey, and let me know how I can help!
Giselle and I would LOVE for you to join us for a cocktail party, film screening, discussion, and fundraiser for our filmmakers and dear friends, Jane Pittman and Sarah Park. Over the past three years, Jane and Sarah have documented how Giselle and I have evolved — “been transformed,” so to speak — and grown together. The result, entitled “The Makeover,” is all but complete and ready for the upcoming film festival circuit. After the screening, Jane, Sarah, Giselle, and I will talk about the making of the film. Of course, we will provide plenty of delicious wine and some finger foods since this is a cocktail party after all. 🙂
We’re very proud of the film, not just because it captures our experience but because we think our love may resonate with many across our community, including our families and friends. We look forward to sharing our story with you, and hope you’ll help Jane and Sarah put the finishing touches on a wonderful documentary.
Event link on Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/DC-TransLadies-Community/events/246851242/
Event link on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/154018035254035/
When & Where: Saturday, January 27 from 6-11 p.m. at my studio in Cabin John, MD inside the I-495 beltway near Washington, DC
RSVP at either event link or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
“The Makeover” is a distinctly traditional love story set in a decidedly non-traditional milieu of BDSM and shifting gender. Tom is an aging conservative policy wonk, in private known as Giselle. He meets Elizabeth Taylor, once a nuclear power instructor with the US Navy but now a photographer and make-up artist who sees hundreds of trans clients per year. Together this unlikely couple transform one another into what they most want to be.
Jane and Sarah will be accepting cash donations, checks (perfect if you’d like a tax-deductible gift to charity), and GoFundMe for credit cards. They will use the funds to complete the film music scoring, final editing, and film marketing and distribution. Donate Anytime at GoFundMe
We love our lives! To being fabulous, everyone!
Elizabeth Taylor & Giselle Frances Donnelly
By Ann M.
I knew that if I didn’t take this opportunity, I would regret it for a long time.
I was in a training session with about 30 diversity and equal opportunity practitioners representing agencies from across the Federal government. I knew I had a unique opportunity to influence a key group to consider transgender people as they learn how to make their organizations more inclusive. After talking it over with the course developer, I decided to share my story as a transgender woman.
I am not yet out in most areas of my life, including at work. I knew that coming out would pose a risk of being outed before I am ready, however, I knew it would be worth the risk. The second to last day of the class, the instructor lead into my talk with a video and introduced me. I told the class a little about my struggles with gender dysphoria and the impact it has had on my life and on the lives of others and their families. Because of the focus of the class, I described some of the ways that I had held back in my career for fear of being outed, and the toxic effects of shame over my condition and fear of rejection and ridicule.
I received a standing ovation, and then hugs from literally everyone in the class. I knew I had reached them. The last day of class, I had announced, I would show up as Ann.
Since I might well be the first trans person some of the participants have met (at least knowingly), it was extremely important to me to make the best impression possible. I wanted to put everyone at ease that I am just another professional. Plus, we were going to be conducting some briefs to OPM executives, so I wanted to look sharp for that.
Fortunately, earlier in the week I had attended one of Beth’s makeup parties. She helped me find great colors for me, and I learned a lot of techniques and tips. She had a lot of products I needed in stock, and some I would need to order. She gave me a slip with everything marked off for easy ordering. Oh, and I had a lot of fun at the party and at one point was laughing so hard I thought I might sprain something.
I wasn’t going to be able to receive the products I had ordered online in time for my class, so I put in a frantic call to Beth. She happily provided me enough eye shadow, blush and bronzer to tide me over, and enthusiastically encouraged me to be fabulous.
I did my nails the night before, picked out a nice pink/purple tweed suit with a skirt, and selected my jewelry and accessories. As I began to get ready, I could hear Beth’s voice in my head guiding me through my makeup application. It was such a pleasure to be using high quality Younique products. Everything went on easily and looked great. It was so much faster than the cheap make up I had been using, because I didn’t have to spend a lot of time getting it to look right. The 3D mascara was amazing as I watched thick, full lashes materialize seemingly by magic. The Younique cream foundation evened everything out nicely without looking cakey and a finish with matching pressed powder gave my face a nice matte look.
After getting dressed and gathering everything I would need for my class, I drove into the city.
My classmates were stunned by my appearance. I received a multitude of compliments on how I looked, and one woman had even crocheted a scarf for me! I received several compliments specifically on my eye shadow and lipstick. I owe that to Beth’s expertise, as I would not have thought to choose the colors without her guidance.
Our briefing went well, and many people told me that my example inspired them. I received comments about how I seemed much more alive, happy and seemed like I had better energy, now that I was not hiding who I really am. I reveled in just being me and felt like I was floating on a cloud.
After the class concluded, I received many emails expressing appreciation for trusting the group and taking the risk of coming out to them. I have offered to serve as a resource for members of the class who might have questions regarding transgender inclusiveness, and I’m confident they will go back to their agencies with a much deeper appreciation of the strength of transgender people and some of the challenges we face.
Thank you Beth, for giving me the confidence boost I needed to take the risk.
DC photographer, Cassidy DuHon, is shooting a photo series to highlight the importance of open inclusion of transgender service members in the US military. Under current regulations, Active Duty and Reserve military personnel can lose their jobs simply for identifying as transgender. Cassidy wants to help change that. His series will feature the contrast between trans people in their service uniforms and the attire they feel most comfortable in. The series will highlight and humanize the political and social issues faced by the trans community.
After hearing rave reviews from friends and clients whom he photographed, I finally met Cassidy last week and had the pleasure to watch him shoot one of my clients after her makeup makeover. I was impressed with his knowledge of the trans community, his desire to make a difference, and how he put my client at ease. He agreed to share a sneak peek of his photo series in the below gallery.
I’m interested in trans models of any gender who are willing to be photographed in a dressed up or “evening” look, as well as photographed in the military uniform, medals, or insignia of their choice. Styling is up to you. A standard photo release is required. All shoots need to take place on the same roof in Shaw, DC to give the photos a consistent look. While the photos will feature your identity visually, no personal information will be attached to the photos. The shoot only takes an hour or two.”
Contact Cassidy directly via e-mail at email@example.com
If you wish to book makeup and styling with me before your shoot with Cassidy, please book online at http://makeoverswithelizabethtaylor.fullslate.com
Kimberly Moore is The Frock Chick in this month’s Frock Magazine! Read her article discussing her journey at http://frockmagazine.com/frock-chick-kimberley-moore/
Makeup and Photography by Elizabeth Anne Taylor (me)!
Karen Kendra Holmes leads a busy life so I was thrilled she could squeeze in time for a photo-shoot with me for The Platform Magazine, which will be featuring her in an upcoming issue dedicated to women. In addition to her work as a full-time federal employee, Karen serves as a soldier in the Maryland Defense Force and started her own business Safety First DMV, which provides CPR and first-aid training throughout the DC Metro Area. Dedicated to LGBT equality, she serves as a board member for PFLAG DC Metro and served on the board of Equality Maryland. Karen’s fun-loving spirit and positive outlook on life came through in her photo-shoot where we took head-shots for the magazine and some fun photos just because we could.