Laptop Anthropologist

Transgender party

By Tara Murtha
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 6 | Posted Oct. 8, 2008

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Early on, her boyfriend didn't tell her about the dressing. When she got the sense that he was shooing her out of town, she worried he was having an affair. Then she found lingerie.

"I'm not a judgmental person but he didn't want to tell me. He only told me because I thought he was cheating. I freaked out and cried," she says, her eyes welling up. "But that was years ago. He's the sweetest person in the world and I love him."

Right then her boyfriend pops in to check on her because we've been talking a while. He looks like a Pagan in a Raquel Welch wig. Eyeing me suspiciously, he asks Tina if she's okay then heads back to the bar.

As soon as her boyfriend's gone, Tina asks me again not to use her real name.

I hand her my card and my cell phone number and say, "Here. You can hunt me down and stab me if I'm lying."

"No, I won't stab you. I'll just grab you by the throat and strangle you to death," she says, already worried she's said too much.

In an atmosphere where people are driven to protect a secret--a harmless secret--anxiety is a way of life. Sweet as honey just a few minutes ago, she swings the ladies' room door open as the last notes of "Funkytown" jangle on. "And you made me miss my fucking song," she says, as the door slams shut.

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1. Victoria said... on Oct 8, 2008 at 06:09PM

“Tara, Thank you for taking the time to write the article. I hope we see you at future parties. And I hope you continue to help illuminate others about our lives through more articles, that we are not all that different when it comes down to the real person inside. Most suffer in silence for most of our lives, and have a rebirth like a Phoenix from the ashes too late in life to make it really count. Please come to another party and hear the spectrum of stories, many start out as you have written and other progress over time to a much happier place, and these parties are moments when we can all feel ourselves without any fear of furtive glances or paranoia of having less than attractive comments being made by people under their breaths (this is a minority and don't want to make it seem like everyone). Actually most people don't care. Thank you again and please feel free to contact me via email if you want. Victoria”

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2. Sandy Matin Philly T girl said... on Oct 10, 2008 at 06:44PM

“Dear Tara , Thank you so nice for your story on us ladies in the Tri-State area. Haveing to been to Laptop on many a Saturday night and know the true names of theladie you were chatting with was enjoyable to read. My Name is Sandy Martin and I run Support Yahoo group for us ladies in the area . My mission with the help of my Partner Victoria is to help more girls like us to get out. and enjoy is life. The group has lot of information on it and it PG-13. and the girls connect though it. Hugs and Thank again and feel free to contact me . Sandy cphlslt@yahoo.com or cphlslt@aol.com Sandy Martin Philly T girl Yahoo Group”

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3. kristintoo said... on Oct 10, 2008 at 07:59PM

“hey Tara..."Madison" here. I thank you for coming to our little corner of the world, and for your kindness toward us. But as well written as your article was...I want to make sure people understand, that we are not a private little club. To the uninitiated...it sounds like we are hiding out in secret places, only to party privately, ashamed to be seen. On the contrary...we are GOING to the Main Line establishment...to be OUT with the general public, to show that we are not people to avoid, but people to embrace, for our uniqueness. The Resturant IS open during our party and we have many people that come week after week to hang with us, because we are a fun, interesting and engaging group of people! Being Trans is no different than being blue eyed, blond haired, tall or short. We are who we are and ask nothing more of society then to let us not be judged unfairly, as we are a unique and special group that can offer much to our society. Thanks again, Kristin Nichols”

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4. Tammyrae said... on Oct 11, 2008 at 09:47AM

“Hey Tara: Last night I was speaking with two dear friends and your article sparked a comment that I must simply bring to your attention. The Laptop may have several blue-collar type attendee but the crowd varies week to week and is truly a mixed grouping of people with background/careers that range from back-breaking laborers to CEOs. I would also like to mention the location is not City like but its also not the farmlands your words created in my head. The establishment we gather at is just off the Main Line amidst other businesses and dining establishments. Furthermore, the Laptop party is open to all, thus it is a public venue - not a big closet, Some people are secretive, but this generally comes out of fear created by a binary system imposed by controlling powers of our long ago past. Others are open and are willing to talk about virtually all aspects of our lives. That said we gather and support each other through idle conversation and bit of drink and dance. We commiserate and we celebrate, and most of all we relish in the fact that we are not alone in the world. Our variation from the binary gender system is not unique to ourselves, but is a true and natural occurrence that can be follow back through history. More importantly events like the Laptop and urban venues such as Monday Night Tgirls and the Friday Gathering down in Philadelphia help provide opportunities for those not ready to face the direct challenge of standing against the coveted binary system. For me, the Parties, which are more correctly social gatherings with music provide every attendee a brief respite from potential persecution and hopefully build a network of supportive friends.”

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5. terry said... on Sep 8, 2013 at 10:27PM

“willing to talk about virtually all aspects of our lives. That said we gather and support each other through idle conversation and bit of drink and dance. We commiserate and we celebrate, and most of all we relish in the fact that we are not alone in the world. Our variation from the binary gender system is not unique to ourselves, but is a true and natural occurrence that can be follow back through history. More importantly events like the Laptop and urban venues such as Monday Night Tgirls and the Friday Gathering down in Philadelphia help provide opportunities for those not ready to face the direct challenge of standing against the coveted binary system. For me, the Parties, which are more correctly social gatherings with music provide every attendee a brief respite from potential persecution and hopefully build a network of supportive friends.”
http://lucyyou.com/mat-kinh-hang-hieu

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6. huynhhai said... on Sep 8, 2013 at 10:30PM

“good !”

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