25 things that DEFINE me~

I have a hard time figuring out who I am, where I fit in in society. In recent years I began introducing my content with the tagline ” Welcome to the Spiders Lair, Where Chaos Resides.” It’s been a good way for me to describe what goes on in my mind. Recently I determined I am more devoted to being a Witch than I have been in a very long time. The reason for this is simple, I love chaos. Partially I am drawn to chaos because the universe itself is chaotic. For me the natural order is destruction, death and decay. For that reason I now know where I fit into this world. I am the one who spreads chaos to your lives. This is because I am not bound by a singular motivation. I do not have one hobby that eats up my time. I do not have a single cause I devote my life to. I do not have a focus. And that is okay. For me it is about exploring as much of the world as I care to without getting too bogged down by any one thing. 

Along the way I have discovered a few things that have stuck so here is a list of 25 things I discovered I am very much into even if it is different degrees. As with all lists I make this is not ranked. The numbers are merely so I can keep track. Enjoy. 

1.  Transformers

My first love is of course the Transformers. But it is not just Hasbro/Takara branded products. It includes nearly all transforming robot toys, and a few non robot toys like Popples. I happen to love all incarnation of the frachise including spin offs. I even enjoy the Gobots and Power Rangers. I say nearly all because I have a disdain for Macross/Robotech and Gundam style robots. Eh, it is what it is. 

2. Ghostbusters

This mostly includes the movie. But actually it also includes the video games and the toys to some extent. I could just say science fiction or even sci-fi/horror in general but this is a flagship property I am rather fond of to be quite honest. 

3. Rainbow Brite

I am a transgender woman. I grew up in a house surrounded by sisters. They played with many “girly” toys none I was more jealous of or coveted than Rainbow Brite. The day I finally broke down and bought a vintage doll off ebay was a very emotional day indeed for me. I love this character very much. 

4. TMNT

This is one of the reasons why I can’t say sci-fi in general. There are some franchises I elevate above others. While I can enjoy a Planet of the Apes film from time to time I am not that into that franchise. However I love me some Ninja Turtles. I even own an original vintage TMNT Technodrome playset and the Sewer Lair as well as dozens of figures and vehicles from old to new toylines. 

5. Hip Hop music

There are aspects of the hip hop culture I gravitated towards as a mask when I was still hiding in the closet. There are other facets I am drawn to because as an outcast I get it. Then there is some damn good beats. Some of my favorites are the Beastie Boys, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Snoop Doggy Dogg, MC Hammer, Arrested Development, Nas and Kris Kross.

6. Star Wars

I could slot this in pretty much anywhere but the reality is I LOVE Star Wars. In fact I am one of the rare super fans that love all the movies, shows, toys, video games, etc. If it comes from the Galaxy Far, far away I am in. I even read the books. I can’t get enough Star Wars. 

7. Horror movies

Specifically slashers, serial killers, vampires, werewolves, fantasy horror, sci fi horror, monster movies, shark films and well pretty much all of them for the most part. 

8. Techno/trance/disco/funk/dance

I am partial to dance music. I especially love techno music. I can and do listen to some other forms of electronic music but I loathe the term “house” and refuse to use it in my vocabulary. Don’t fight me on this just come over to the dark side and bask in the rightness of being wrong. 

9. Nintendo

I love video games but if I am being totally honest I love nothing in that world even a fraction as much as the Big N. I have owned every single home console and the vast majority of handhelds, accessories and add ons the company has made. IN fact it is rare for them to make a product I dislike. The most obvious is LABO but please don’t get me started on that. 

10. video production

I enjoy writing. I enjoy telling stories. I enjoy journalism. But none of them bring me as much pleasure as producing a video. I don’t care if it is a for hire project like a wedding, working for a commercial broadcast TV station, short indie films or random YouTube shit. I love producing videos. Hell I have even developed a fondness for the Live Stream on Facebook these days. 

11. Comic Books

This is where I often get into arguments. You see I am not just into the Big 2 (Marvel and DC) I enjoy indie comics. I also enjoy 3rd party comics like stuff from IDW, Dark Horse, Image and yes Archie. I also enjoy random one offs. The thing is I don’t just limit myself to horror or super hero comics either. I like some comedy stuff. I enjoy romance. I like fantasy and even detective stuff. Honestly I just love the medium in all its forms. 

12. Super heroes

OF course this is bigger than comics for me. You see while I do enjoy some super hero comics the truth is the majority of my super hero content is actually beyond the comics. In fact as far as comics go I tend to shy away from super hero stuff for the most part. I mostly reserve them for toys and video games, plus some movies and TV shows. Oh hell I love em all but I do prefer my superheroes to be animated or live action rather than in the pages of a comic for the most part 

13. Dungeons and Dragons

I know some people who are into Magic the Gathering. I know others who enjoy all forms of table top and RPG games. Not me. I am strictly and very firmly devoted to D&D. I don’t mind playing a table top, board game or even a card game on occasion but my heart belongs to the greatest fantasy game of all time. I prefer 3rd edition but also enjoy 1st and 2nd, can tolerate 4th and will play 5th edition. In fact I don’t care for rule sets just give me some dice and let me role play my heart out.

14. write

It should go without saying I love writing. Not nearly as much as making videos but again I enjoy telling stories whether it is in the written form, visual medium or audio only. I have written news articles, magazine articles, blog posts, academic papers, news casts for TV and even fiction. I love writing and I know I will never stop. 

15. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

I like all the giant zords but the first incarnation of the North American brand holds a special place in my heart. I love collecting the toys, watching the shows and even playing the retro video games. Go Go Power Rangers all day long I say. 

16. model trains

I like building models. I enjoy putting together puzzles. I am obsessively fascinated by model trains. I enjoy the railroad layouts. I enjoy building the terrain. I even enjoy piecing together little towns for my trains to occupy. It is one of my passions. 

17. Minecraft

This gets a category all its own as it very easily rises above ALL other video games. For me video games are a hobby. I enjoy playing games. I enjoy collecting games. I even enjoy discussing them. I LIVE for Minecraft. It is not a game, it is a way of life. 

18. Hot Wheels

This is a relatively new obsession. Alright I like cars. I discovered this when my dad used to teach me about them when he worked in a shop. Or when we would watch Mecum auctions on TV. Or when I would attend car shows with friends. Or watching my uncle participate in the demolition derby. I like cars. They are cool. 

19. Barbie

Much like Rainbow Brite I longed to have my own Barbie as a kid. In fact I mostly played with my boys toys action figures (Ninja Turtles, Transformers, He Man, etc.) as dolls. I played “house” or “office” instead of war or whatever you were supposed to do. Now as an adult I have a pretty decent Barbie collection that includes dolls, vehicles and playsets. 

20. Camping

I like fishing. I like hiking. I like biking but nothing gives me as much joy when it comes to outdoor activities as sleeping in a tent, roasting hot dogs on an open fire, telling ghost stories or swimming in the ice cold lake on a hot summer day. 

21. Movies

I collect movies on DVD, VHS, Betamax, LaserDisc, Blu Ray, HD DVD, Video 8, CED and so, so many more. I love watching movies. I love listening to the audio commentary. I even enjoy behind the scenes and making of documentaries on films. Given the choice between TV and films I mostly prefer movies. 

22. X-men

The SINGLE most important comic book/superhero franchise to me bar none. ‘Nuff Said.

23. Trading cards

Although I have an aversion of sorts to Magic the Gather, well as an organized tournament play anyways, I can’t get enough trading cards. I love collecting cards. Sorting them into binders. Trading them with friends. Reading the bios and info on the backs. Yup me equals obsessed. 

24. computers

I love computers. I love writing computer programs. I love typing words in a word document on a computer. I enjoy doodling in MS Paint on a computer. I also like playing computer games, editing video, producing music, recording podcasts, and the like. If it can be done on a computer then I want in. I love ALL computers. Windows. Linux. Apple. Atari. Dell. HP. Toshiba. Micron. IBM. Tablet. Laptop. Desktop. Watch. I. LOVE. COMPUTERS.

25. Music

Yes I mentioned hip hop. Yes I mentioned dance music. These are passions of mine. I also love making mix tapes. On Tape! I love making playlists on my iPod, Spotify and Amazon Music. I love buying CDs. I love burning my own playlists onto CD. I enjoy producing, writing, mixing and listening to my own music from my own brain. I love music. I even enjoy playing the drums, piano and guitar from time to time.

There you have it 25 things that define Stephanie Bri, also known as the Retro Witch. Stay Cool.

Reconsidering what it means to be a witch

Long before I bore the burden of identifying as a Christian in today’s society I donned the hat of witchcraft. During my teen years I remained devoted to the dark arts as well as favorable to things supernatural even as my experience with Christianity grew. I developed a duality not just in my person that became my transgender self hiding inside a face, a mask so to speak, that I wore. I also became a Christian Witch. An oxymoron in many ways to those uninitiated. A realization of the truth in others.

What does it mean to be a witch? For me it is about shunning societies rules. It is about being close to nature, to the spirit world and being more open to having a spiritual life. Christians refer to the spirit filled or spirit led life. They refer to the Holy Spirit in the Bible. The truth is over the years I have come to see the Bible in a different light the more I read it, study it from other perspectives and learn about it’s history. I have concluded that the Bible, while still absolutely being the Word of God to me, is complicated. Some Christians often spout “It’s in the Bible” without questioning what the words in the text mean.

I grew up having a very complicated relationship with religion. Like I said I was essentially pagan at first. I knew there was a god and I sometimes went to church but I also believed in spirits, ghosts, demons and nature. At my earliest stage when I began studying the various world religions and mythologies I dabbled in a devotion to Thor. I chose Thor because I had Germanic heritage. Also because I lived in Kansas so it made sense to devote oneself to the God of Thunder when thunderstorms were so common. My sister once told me thunder storms were when God and the Devil were fighting. She also is quite spiritual and does not fit into the box of traditional Christianity. Or at least in the modern sense.

I have come to learn a lot of the dogmas, the strict rules and code of ethics modern Christians, be it Catholic or Protestant, have little in common with the Jewish faith the religion sprang from nor even the earliest examples of Christians. There was a time when the beliefs were less a list of rules to live by and more a guide to being more spiritual and serving others. We have lost this in today’s modern Church. We focus more on attendance, as if the more people in the seats translates to more people in Heaven. We also focus too much time on money. We build elaborate church structures, donned with beautiful but expansive statues and we utilize the latest technology in our services. It’s far too commercialized for my liking. Throughout history Christians have shunned the established church structure and wandered into the wilderness to form spiritual families in monasteries or gone it alone in the wilderness as hermits. These people are very much Christian yet sometimes, due to their practices, way of living and devotion to nature in their worship of the Almighty, they have more in common with the witches their more organized bretheren would persecute throughout the ages. It is that persecution that leaves non Christian witches with a sour taste in regards to Christianity in all its forms. That some claim one cannot be devoted to nature and serve the Christian God equally.

I am not so sure.

First the sins of one do not taint the entire flock. Even if those sins run rampant they do not inherently define Christians. I pray to the God in the Bible, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I call to Mother Mary and ask for her prayers. I sometimes call out to another Saint in Heaven, as depicted in the Book of Revelation and taught to us in the Catholic-family of Christian churches. I also have been told one can call out to their own Guardian Angel. Now praying is not exactly the same as practicing witchcraft but it’s not far off. However the rituals we perform in the Mass, the Eucharist, and the way we set up our Alters to the Lord and pray. Our use of Holy Water. Our Christian Calendar and it’s many Feast Days and Holydays of Obligation. These do bear resemblance to older, pagan religions. So much so it causes many on the outside to accuse Christians of co-opting pagan practices and even some within to cause divisions in the Church over accusations of Pagan Christianity. This accusation is lobbed mostly at the Roman Catholic but also Anglican and Orthodox branches as well.

What does it mean to me to be a witch?

It is a part of my heritage. It is a part of who I am. For me it means I listen to the trees. I try to hear what the animals around me are saying in their eyes, with their actions. I feel connected to the insects chugging away beneath my feet feeling not superior to them but equal just serving a different purpose. If the critters in the dirt didn’t fertilize and soften the soil our crops couldn’t grow and our food supply would dry up. I don’t feel disconnected from the circle of life. Yes we Worship the creator but we can very much feel connected to ALL of Creation. We can feel a spiritual connection to the natural world. Those things God chose to place here for his purpose.

To some Witchcraft is forbidden. They say the Bible bans it. To this I say 1, even the Disciples performed great miracles and performed rituals. 2, the translation of the word is contested and many believe it refers to something else. 3. A lot of the Bible is allegory and not to be taken literally thus it cannot be taken at face value in all cases.

Yes DEVIL worship is forbidden. But Witches, even Pagans and Wiccans, do NOT worship the devil. Some devote themselves to certain spirits, parts of nature, or other causes. Devotion is not the same as worship. Christians devote themselves their spouses, those privileged enough to be granted the Sacrament of Matrimony that is, yet they do not worship their spouses. Devotion means you try to further ones cause and do their work. It does not mean you recognize them as God. Catholics often devote themselves to an individual Saint and follow in their footsteps. Even Evangelicals devote themselves to mimicking their favorite pastor, public speaker or some other fabled leader they admire. Devotion is not worship.

I choose to devote myself to the spirit world. I choose to reach out to all spirits who will listen and ask for immediate guidance. I never leave God out of the mix. I pray daily, directly to him. But I see nothing wrong with calling out to spirits, be it Angels, lost souls, or passed Saints, who are in closer proximity to myself who have less going on if it will provide the Lord the means to administer his Grace in more urgent manner.

Former me did fall into Necromancy. I had Ouija boards and other tools designed to facilitate talking to the dead. Parts of this is forbidden in the Bible. Although it is not entirely clear what exactly is forbidden. Some prefer to shy away from all forms of spirituality outside a simple 2-3 sentence quick prayer in the morning to start their day. I, however, find myself in near constant prayer to the Lord. Sometimes I am praying through one of his other servants. I have also lovingly discovered the power of grace which comes from reciting the Hail Mary or praying the Our Father. I also recite the Creed when I do attend mass. Mass itself is a very spiritual experience for me.

When I tell people I am a Christian Witch it doesn’t mean I serve to masters or that I summon Evil spirits. What it means to me is I try to feel as connected to all of the Natural and Supernatural world as I can. I do not seek personal power for my own ambition. Rather I am merely looking for ways to be a better servant to others. A better steward to the natural resources God has gifted me. A better friend to the animals, plants and insects that I interact with on a daily basis.

The other day I was sitting on the curb outside work for my afternoon break. I saw a roly-poly walking by minding his business. I sat there and felt like the two of us were in a shared space each doing our own part to better the world around us. The old me would have crushed a bug out of fear and disgust. The new me wants to welcome them into my life and assist them in their endeavors.

I have met other witches, the non Christian variety. We have another thing in common I will get into later. Our aversion or resistance to societal pressures. As a trans woman it is safe to say I resist social norms.

Finding my trans family

Hello friends, it has been a while since my last post. I am tempted to apologize for the delay but to be honest, life has been difficult for me for the last few months so I haven’t had a chance to actually sit down and compose my thoughts in a while.

This year is already off to a strange twist compared to last year. Ya know, 2020 the year we all wanted to erase. Yeah it was actually a pretty good year for me. Well, for the most part at least. Truth is this year has not been as great. I started it right off losing my job. Of course because of reasons I can’t share I am not allowed to talk about it. And frankly I have no desire to.

I found myself basically on the verge of being homeless during what Texans are calling the Snowpacolypse. I managed to survive but not on my own. It took a Robin taking me in under her wing to not only get me back on my feet, but also to help me turn my life around in a positive way.

That bond I am forming with my sister is very special to me and exactly why I wanted to talk about why trans people need each other in our lives. More often than not so many of us lose a lot of friends and family whenever we come out as trans. I began transitioning in July and by January I was unemployed. Again I can’t go into the details but they were very much intertwined. I was afraid of coming out because I thought if I did I’d end up losing my job.

In that time since I was shunned by my family, rejected by my church, disavowed by many of my friends, basically a posterchild for the trans experience in America. Then I found Robin.

At first it was a casual interaction we me online on a site devoted to trans people. We were both looking for the same thing, a friend who knew what we were going through. Someone to share in our experience. Robin immediately helped me get a photo shoot together so I could send out a Christmas card to my friends and family showing off how happy I was transitioning. While many in my family rejected the sentiment it began what I am hoping is an inseparable bond between two sisters.

Family, as any queer person will tell you, are the people who choose to have you in their life. They are not the blood relatives that wish you harm, or reject your happiness. They are not the ones who shun you or try to change you. Family are people we bond with over shared experiences. It’s deeper than friendship yet of course not quite romantic. Thankfully Robin is married so she has a rock to lean on. I am happy for her in that regard.

As for myself. Robin took me into her life. She moved me to the city to be closer to her and better opportunities. She helped m discover my fashion. She has even begun to introduce me to a circle of friends that have not only welcomed me but at least act like they enjoy having me around. For that and more I am eternally grateful the two of us found each other. As a trans person, again as most queer people are, it can be very lonely if you don’t have a support network that includes like-minded individuals who understand what you are going through with first hand experience.

It has been a blessing being close to someone who I can relate to. It has been a breath of fresh air having someone I can lean on. Someone I can turn to when I need a big sister to give me advice. She has been all of this and so much more. Of course I wouldn’t be doing myself, my readers or Robin any favors if I also didn’t talk about her lovely wife AJ. She has also been a rock solid supporter of Robin, myself and trans people in general. She has seen first hand what we struggle with and she has stood up for us when we needed her to and she has been a comfort to those around her.

When I began transitioning I cried many nights mourning the family that was pushing me away. Now I cry tears of joy over the new and improved family God has bestowed upon me. If you have a trans person in your life, even if they don’t show it, they are going through some shit and you need to be patient with them. Be kind to them. And above all else try to be respectful to their wishes. I would have never been able to make it this far if I hadn’t found this new family.

The biggest change in my transition yet

This has been an exceptional week across Texas. In addition to the severe weather that has turned the state upside down, I have also made some major changes in my own personal life.

Last week I officially cut ties with my previous life once and for all. In a way this was a long time coming. It was absolutely a necessity for my own well being on so many levels. That’s not to say it hasn’t been without some difficulties but that’s a part of life. In order to move forwards sometimes you have to learn to let go.

As someone who has moved more times in my life than I can even bother counting letting go is a skill I have sharpened quite a bit in my lifetime. That doesn’t mean it is always easy. This time was different though. I wasn’t just moving to a new town or state to start over. I was completely severing ties with the family I had come to rely on for so long. It was incredibly painful knowing I wasn’t going to be around my sister and her kids anytime soon, if ever again. But it was time. They have determined they were not willing to accept my becoming a woman and thus the friction boiled over to the point of no return. Unfortunately that meant selling my house and moving.

Fortunately, and I can’t stress this enough, I was taken in by people who love me for me and won’t judge me for being the real me. The bright side is going to have to keep me going. I ended up leaving a country living in a fairly rural area to living in a city. It’s not the first time I have lived in a city but it is by far the largest city I have ever lived in. That is okay because in a way I see it not only as a new chapter in life, nor just a new adventure, I see it as the opportunity for me to finally be the real me for the first time in my life. And the best part is I don’t have to hide who I am from anyone ever again. That alone is liberating in a way that outweighs the good times with those kids I am forfeiting for my own happiness. Even though I know they can’t quite understand it right now I knew it was time I did what was best for me for once in my life.

I am quite relieved to also be in a more populated area surrounded by a larger number of people who are friendlier to people like me than where I had been. It’s not to say I had encountered much in the way of negativity but I am enjoying the opportunities. Not to mention I am excited to get connected to a larger LGBT community here than where I had been.

Life has a way of throwing us curveballs when we least expect. In my experience usually when things look like they can’t get better is right about the time great things happen. I am beyond relieved, hopeful and relaxed for the first time in longer than I can remember.

I couldn’t be happier.

A collection of poems by Stephanie Bri

1

I rode a horse for the very first time yesterday

It showed me secrets about myself I couldn’t escape

The chilly wind blew a cloud across the sky until it darkened black as night

the steed turned to Bones beneath my Flesh as I sat upon its back

The devil is near it whispered into my ear before it began to cackle

I hopped down and turned around to see him stare at me

He asked if I had payment for my soul he did claim

I denied his claim but offered him something in exchange

You shall have instead my blackened heart if the pain you will vacate

He nodded in agreement with a smirk upon his evil face

His bony hands reached into my chest and wrapped around my heart

He said I shall take away your pain this day but it is only but a start

I shall return when time is up to take that which is mine

Until that day live free from all the burdens that tell your heart right now

The sky cleared up and then the sun returned as clear as it had been

Standing before me was the horse returned to its former glory

It said this is not where the story ends but where it just begins

~ The Retro Witch

2

I cast not a Spell on You here in time or space. Rather I reach Beyond this place and seek out answers from elsewhere from others. My particular brand of crazy dares not show its face. Just proof that I belong in the nuthouse with others like myself.
~The Retro Witch

3
With me there is not a duality of soul, rather a plurality. I am not legion, per se, but most certainly can relate. How? My heart is being torn assunder. I am being pulled in several different directions by different desires each one stronger than the other but all vying for control over my destiny. However shall I decide? I, us, we need time to think.
~The Retro Witch

4

I drank the sand to quench my thirst, it tasted like hope under my tongue

I heard a scratching behind my ear whispering to drink some more

The Sun burned bright and yet it felt so cold beneath my feet

I wondered how I got here I wondered where I should go

I checked my watch and saw that it was time for me to eat

I picked up a rock I took a lick and thought this’ll do

I imagined that it was a fresh tomato picked from the garden this

very morning

I took another sip of sand and let the wind blow across my face

There was no cloud in the sky to save me with its soothing shade

I even cursed the rain that never came to heal me from my pain

My heart beat ever slower as I pondered how this all came to be

I felt so hopeless and alone as I recalled the words she spoke to me that Dreadful morning

The scratching behind my ear told me the time was near so I closed my eyes

All I heard was Wailing of those I loved most as they closed the lid

I took another sip of sand before I fell asleep

5

When I was 2 I tried to learn how to tie my shoelace

I could not get it right

Instead I tripped and fell and busted up my face

When I was six I tried to learn to the play catch with the ball

I could not get it right

I missed the glove and hit myself when it bounced off the wall

When I was 10 I tried again to learn to make a friend

I could not get it right

I broke his favorite toy and he said to never speak to him again

When I was 12 I learned to tell a secret I would keep

I could not get it right

I wrote it in a diary that was found by kids who read it aloud that week

When I was a teen I tried to ask a girl out on a date

I could not get it right

Instead she laughed at me and said I filled her heart with hate

when I was grown I found myself looking for a job

I could not get it right

I was promptly fired when my boss said I was nothing but a slob

When I was old I found myself desperate and alone

I could not get it right

My One True Love came to me and said I was finally home

I tried to dry my tear stained eye when my lover left me

I could not get it right

I chose instead just to die my heart was far too heavy

6

I haven’t met you yet but my love for you is true.

I know I will make it right in everything I do.

I’ll take you to the park and push you on the swing.

And share a lullaby with you everyday I will sing.

I’ll be at the field to watch every sport you play.

Kiss you on the forehead say I love you everyday.

I’ll hold you when you’re sick and care for you when you cry

And when your heart is broken I’ll be there to wipe the tears from your eye

I’ll give you hugs and kisses everyday as I watch you grow.

I’ll even take you to the mountain to play in the winter snow.

I’ll cheer when you succeed and I’ll cry whenever you bleed

But I’ll be there everyday to meet your every need.

I’ll cherish every grade you get on the work you do at school.

I’ll even teach you how to swim when we go to the pool.

We’ll go fishing on the weekend and church every Sunday.

We’ll go camping in the summer and make everyday a fun day.

I’ll teach you how to tie your shoes how to jump rope at the park.

I’ll even get you your own night light if you’re scared of the dark.

I will never leave you I’ll be there every day that you need me.

I’ll forget about the sorrow from which you came and freed me.

I haven’t met you yet but I love you just the same.

My tears do drip down my cheek like a summer rain.

As I wait for you to come give meaning to my world.

I long for all the smiles that we’ll share as we grow old.

I haven’t met you yet so I wait for you to find me.

I’ll give you all my love I’m put my empty life behind me.

So I write this letter here one person to another.

Sealed with love my future kid from your future mother.

7.

I haven’t met you yet but my love for you is true.

I know I will make it right in everything I do.

I’ll take you to the park and push you on the swing.

And share a lullaby with you everyday I will sing.

I’ll be at the field to watch every sport you play.

Kiss you on the forehead say I love you everyday.

I’ll hold you when you’re sick and care for you when you cry

And when your heart is broken I’ll be there to wipe the tears from your eye

I’ll give you hugs and kisses everyday as I watch you grow.

I’ll even take you to the mountain to play in the winter snow.

I’ll cheer when you succeed and I’ll cry whenever you bleed

But I’ll be there everyday to meet your every need.

I’ll cherish every grade you get on the work you do at school.

I’ll even teach you how to swim when we go to the pool.

We’ll go fishing on the weekend and church every Sunday.

We’ll go camping in the summer and make everyday a fun day.

I’ll teach you how to tie your shoes how to jump rope at the park.

I’ll even get you your own night light if you’re scared of the dark.

I will never leave you I’ll be there every day that you need me.

I’ll forget about the sorrow from which you came and freed me.

I haven’t met you yet but I love you just the same.

My tears do drip down my cheek like a summer rain.

As I wait for you to come give meaning to my world.

I long for all the smiles that we’ll share as we grow old.

I haven’t met you yet so I wait for you to find me.

I’ll give you all my love I’m put my empty life behind me.

So I write this letter here one person to another.

Sealed with love my future kid from your future mother.

8

I wrote a poem just for you.
but I forgot to deliver it.
I also baked you a cake too.
but I forgot to leaven it.
I carved doll for you to have.
but I forgot to finish it.
I brewed a drink just for you
but I forgot to stiffen it.
I dreamt a dream all for you.
but you did not show up.
All there is left to do
is wave and say what’s up?

9
I drifted through the dessert so many years ago.
I had know clue where it was I was meant to go
I slept on rocks and ate the scraps others left behind
I woke up every day to learn the dessert was so unkind
I lost my way one dusty day and wandered into town
Once there this girl came and turned my world upside down
I asked the girl if she could show me to a place to rest
she said I would not do so well to find a place to nest
That night while I slept I drempt of the life I left
and it was then I noticed the wind begin to blow
the sand did move across the earth as soft as winter snow
once it settled I saw it there as clear as could be
the road I had been walking on beneath my tired feet
I turned towards the rising sun and said my goodbye

10

I saw a caterpillar climb up a tree. Once it got to the top it found an ear of corn to nibble on.
Before it realized its mistake the caterpillar discovered the tree was really a scarecrow.
But when the crow flew in to eat the worm it sprouted its own wings and turned into a butterfly.
The scarecrow watched as the bird gave chase.
After a few hours they both grew tired while on their flight.
The butterfly landed on a fence overlooking the cornfield.
The crow, equally exhausted asked the butterfly to sit and enjoy the sunset.
Meanwhile the scarecrow watched on basking in his victory as the corn continued to grow tall.

11
A song bird came and perched outside my window.
When she began to sing I turned off my Nintendo.
I sat and listened intently as the song filled the air.
Before too long I grabbed a tissue to wipe away the tear
her sent ripples through my heart deep into my soul
her magic song stitched my broken heart back into a whole
she stood perched on high as all the world looked on
but when she left, our hearts were filled with her lovely song
the remnants of what remained sustained us for years to come
all that remained was the beauty of the song she had sung

12

A song bird came and perched outside my window.
When she began to sing I turned off my Nintendo.
I sat and listened intently as the song filled the air.
Before too long I grabbed a tissue to wipe away the tear
her sent ripples through my heart deep into my soul
her magic song stitched my broken heart back into a whole
she stood perched on high as all the world looked on
but when she left, our hearts were filled with her lovely song
the remnants of what remained sustained us for years to come
all that remained was the beauty of the song she had sung

13

I cut my skin to let feeling in
I cut my heart to make it start
I cut my toe to make it slow
I cut my face to scar this place
I cut my eye to let it cry
I cut my wrist to bath in the mist
I cut my hair to show I care
I cut my tongue to shut it up
I cut my life to make it right

14

The clock ticks away the day. I check my watch.
Time stands still today. I check my watch.
The moon falls a sleep. I check my watch.
The day drags into a week. I check my watch.
The clouds fill the sky. I check my watch.
The wind whispers ‘why?’ I check my watch.
Winter breaks apart the world. I check my watch.
The swam breaks through the mold. I check my watch.
The ancient river runs dry. I check my watch.
The swarm covers the sky. I check my watch.
I wait for the day to begin. I check my watch.
Time has come to an end. My watch has stopped.

15

I fell into a deep sleep waiting for you to wake me up.
I dreamt dreams of us exploring the meaning of life together.
When I awoke I discovered you weren’t there.
I wandered into the wilderness alone.
Only to discover I wasn’t even real to begin with.
It was all just a dream.

16

I blink away the tears as you drink from my soul
I waste away my fears as you fail to make me whole
I cry in my sleep when you shove my face into your world
I drive into the deepest parts of the darkness you long to behold
I swim in the shallows of your mind barely able to leave a mark
I fade into the shadows as your unkind words sting me in the dark
I wrote you a letter saying you were my hope of eternal bliss
I somehow knew better than to let you steal away my wish
I sit here, frozen in time as you continue to pass me by
I sit here lost in my own mind losing my desire to try
I wrote your name in my heart and it burned a whole in me
I drove a stake through my heart to purge myself from misery
I wrote your name in my heart and you left a hole in my soul
I closed the door from the start before you could make me whole

17
I do not cry tears of sadness, nor tears of pain.
I cry tears of slumber as I wash my dreams down the drain.

Why the transposed podcast is so important to me now

I know I’ve lost a lot of my audience and readership because I stop talking about comic books and horror movies and shifted more of my focus towards transgender issues but there’s something you need to know. The reason why I was a recluse in the first place what drew me to the safety of comic books and video games in the was escapism from the harsh reality of being transgender in a world that hates trans people. And because I always used those things as a way to hide my transgenderness so yeah I’m going to talk more about what’s important to me.

A few weeks ago I started a new podcast what’s another trans woman name Robin Alura. And this podcast has given me a new purpose in life new meaning to what I do. It’s not to say I won’t continue doing the Spiders Lair, where I will still talk about those pop culture things that are important to me but obviously with a trans twist.

But the transposed podcast is so much more important to me and that’s where I want to focus my energies right now.

I rarely if ever take sides on political issues because professionally I’m a journalist. My livelihood has depended on me being an impartial journalist at various news outlets over the last half-decade. And while I won’t take a public stand on issues I’m sure as hell going to shine a light things that aren’t right. I’m going to share my experiences and observations while also learning about other people in the transgender community.

When I started originally my first podcast it was just noise a distraction something for me to do on my days off. After I made the decision to tell my audience I was trans and then to slowly start revealing the real me I watched my numbers plummet I went from getting two to three hundred listeners per episode te barely 20 to 30 that was a big drop and I’m sure some of it was because of transphobes who didn’t want to listen to me become something they hated. But I’m sure some of it was also you know I stopped talking about the things that they came there to hear about. So I rebranded a couple of times and now I’m back to talking about comic books and horror movies and bullshit but I’m still going to talk about trans related issues. But the transposed podcast that’s different.

I’m trying to build something new from the ground up. I know there’s a smaller audience for a podcast that talks about transgender issues but to be fair there’s hundreds of podcast talking about comic books and horror movies so if I reach a smaller audience I’ll be fine with that as long as they get something out of it as long as it means something to them.

I struggled with being transgender for 37 years of my life hiding in the closet. I’ve only been visible for about 8 months now and my life has been thrown upside down and turned inside out as a result. I knew the day I told my boss I was a trans woman and was going to begin transitioning it was the death march to the end of my job at that TV station. And I’m not going to say they were transphobes or bigots or that it was a direct result but I can honestly say everything changed everything around me changed and everybody around me changed the way they reacted to me and that made it difficult to go to work everyday.

So what I want to accomplish with this new podcast is basically I want to provide a safe space where trans people and trans allies can come together and learn about what we go through what we do as trans people learn about our struggles. Because I will tell you right now a good Ally is just as important as another trans sister or brother.

So I’m asking if you are a listener of the spider’s Lair podcast or if you read this blog I am begging you to check out transposed especially if you are trans yourself or lgbtq at all. You can find it by going to ww.w.Transposed.Podbean.com.

Why I use movies as an escape and what I’m a scaping from or what I’m escaping towards

Movies. Films. Cinema. It really doesn’t matter which word you use to describe the motion picture as a phenomenon I just want to talk about my love of movies.

Like most Americans I love television and one of the things I love watching on television are movies. I love movies. And even though I do tend to lean towards horror and Sci-Fi movies for the most part I have a broad range of experiences and tastes that I enjoy.

In fact while my top five favorite films of all time list is pretty heavily sci-fi / horror once you expand that out to my top 10 or top 20 it’s far more diverse. You start to see comedies, action movies, fantasy films even love stories in some cases. I just love movies I love everything about them.

Some of my favorite memories are of watching movies. Many of those memories are by myself going on a journey in my mind as I watch a movie Take Me Away to a Faraway place. But I also have several memories of movies that are associated with other people in one way or another. Watching a movie can be a social experience. The best part is it doesn’t have to be and that’s why I like movies it’s an activity you can enjoy on your own. I still feel like you’re a part of something bigger than you.

I watch a movie like Dumb and Dumber and I’m thoroughly amused by The Whimsy of it the innocence of those two idiots. I watch a movie like RoboCop and I’m taken to a dystopian place where crime is so bad the cops have to create an unkillable robot specifically to murder criminals just to survive. I can watch a movie like The Muppet Movie and just smile throughout as the puppets entertain me. I can dig into my childhood favorites and I can revisit Adventures of Pippi Longstocking and remember what it was like to see the world as a Fantastical Place full of wonder.

A lot of my favorite movies have one thing in common and that’s pretty much they present a world that is not completely compatible with reality or at least our perception of reality. And that’s what I love about movies each film is a story a self-contained alternate reality where the rules of time and physics and Society are altered ever-so-slightly to make that film possible. Whenever you watch The Three Stooges film short the first thing you have to accept is a bowling ball can land on a person’s head without crushing their skull. In real life that’s not at all possible but in the imaginary world of the Stooges it works.

Whenever I pick movies that I enjoy I usually find something that is either different enough from the world around me that I can experience something I’m not familiar with or it’s something that is familiar and believable but that I am not capable of experiencing myself for whatever reason.

Whenever I watch a superhero movie I get immersed in a world where people have magical powers fighting monsters who look like humans that have their own magical powers. Whenever I watch a Star Wars movie I’m absorbed in the concepts of this mystical energy field that has a light side and a dark side that is manipulating the events of people’s lives around it. I’m also fascinated by the intricacies of the political layers in the Star Wars universe.

Some of my favorite movies are abstract distractions. They might have a plot following certain characters but usually it’s the Fantastical elements that I’m drawn to not so much the human characters who are usually there to justify the existence of whatever fairy tale device it is that’s being used.

I’m also using movies as a way to feel things that I don’t get experience. Due to a variety of reasons including social anxiety, transgenderism, social awkwardness, and even a fear of rejection I live a fairly isolated and alone World a life all my own. So I use movies as a way to experience love and compassion and intimacy and all the human emotions that I don’t feel on a day-to-day basis.

I watch a movie like American Pie or Can’t Hardly Wait or even America’s Sweethearts so that I can put myself in the place of the hero on a quest to win the heart of a girl. Or I can reverse it watch a movie where the girl is chasing the guy and as a member of the lgbtq community I’m not opposed to watching a movie where it’s two people of that lifestyle finding love. It doesn’t matter to me what love looks like in the film just as long as it feels real and then I can share in that feeling as I experience the film.

While I do tend to lean toward horror movies and Sci-Fi movies for the most part that’s primarily because they offer me superficial Escape in other words there’s less appealing or less emotions in those movies it’s more like just an experience turning all feeling off and enjoying something that is complete escapism. That’s not to say only those types of movies offer escapism far from it.

I find that the only movies I often come across that I will say I didn’t enjoy are the ones that either didn’t make me feel good at the end of the day or they were done in a way that I couldn’t relate to. Whether it’s an obnoxious character that is too obnoxious or it’s an interpretation of a nerdy character that’s too offensive or it’s just really bad acting that I can’t get past but for the most part I’m fairly easy to please to be honest I enjoy most movies I watch.

But I guess to be fair that’s because I know what I don’t like and I avoid the movies that I know I won’t enjoy.

I’ve never been one to utter the phrase that’s 90 minutes of my life I’ll never get back after viewing an unsatisfying movie because for me every experience is worth having. As they say life is short. Pain makes us better it makes us stronger. So I watch a movie that I don’t enjoy it’s an opportunity for me to learn what not to do next. If it was the actor then I avoid movies with that actor.

Not ranking but just listing or even rambling some of my favorite movies of all time include: Star Wars, RoboCop, Weird Science, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, The Matrix, The Terminator, Dumb and Dumber, Austin Powers, American Pie, Caddyshack, Police Academy, Twister, Tremors, The Breakfast Club, X-Men, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Stephen King’s It, 10 Things I Hate About You, Can’t Hardly Wait, The Faculty, Last House on the Left, The NeverEnding Story, Who framed Roger Rabbit, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Home Alone, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, the Quick and the Dead, and so so many others.

Yeah my range of personal favorites is pretty broad even if there is a pretty heavy representation by sci-fi, fantasy and horror. I just love movies. I love watching movies that’s why I have over 800 movies on DVD. It’s why I subscribe to multiple streaming services. Hell it’s why I even own movies on VHS and LaserDisc.

Yes I use Cinema as escapism ironically I’m attempting to escape a lonely life and yet I enjoy watching movies while I’m isolated and alone.

Why you should just believe your kids especially if you truly love them

When I was in first grade I remember reading a book where the main character was female and it was written from first person perspective so you the reader we’re reading the book as if you were her and every time somebody reference the character that you were experiencing a book as with feminine pronouns I giggled inside. I was only seven years old and I knew in my mind it felt right to be considered a girl not a boy I couldn’t tell anyone because I didn’t have the words or I didn’t understand it.

I almost started publicly transitioning when I was 11. I was watching one of those daytime talk shows you you know Maury or Sally Jesse one of those and they had a bunch of transgender kids on there well they were calling them transvestites I guess back then and I saw that and I thought to myself that’s it that’s me that’s what I want to be and I figured it out at 11 years old. So I started exploring I took a bunch of clothes girl clothes out of the laundry room snuck into my bedroom and tried things on the instant I slipped a pair of pink panties on I knew I was right that felt more right than anything I have ever done I was only 11 years old and I knew I was a girl not a boy.

I used to sit in my room isolated alone with no friends I would open my bible and I would read the part where Jesus said ask me anything and I’ll give you whatever you want and I would close the book and I would pray with tears pouring down my cheeks God can I please be a girl God please make me a girl. It hurts so much even though I felt betrayed I felt like why would he make me a boy when he knew I should have been a girl they keep telling me God doesn’t make mistakes but that means he chose to make me wrong? Right I thought.

Well needless to say my dad and I love my dad so don’t take this the wrong way but he walked into my room when I was sleeping and discovered I was wearing a girl’s bra. He assumed one of my sisters did it to me as a prank I had three sisters so he went and yelled at them for it. There was a lot of confusion in my house that day as he was telling my sister’s how wrong that was he was threatening them. He didn’t want his son thinking he was a girl. I remember sitting outside the window of our trailer house listening to my parents fight over their son wearing girls clothes and I remember both of them I remember the conversation they were both concerned they wanted to get me therapy because they wanted me to be normal.

Hearing that my parents thought I was broken devastated me so I went into hiding I became stealth but I also became very aggressive and angry and defensive if anyone went into my bedroom I would blow up at them throw things at them scream at them even threatens them because I didn’t want people to go into my room and find all my girl clothes I was hiding in my closet or under my bed. I was terrified of being found out but I couldn’t stop literally from that night on until today to this very day I have worn women’s clothes to bed usually the nightgown and some underwear but occasionally I would you know where other things just because I could do it any other time I had to be Stephanie I had to be me and I would go to school all day long hating my life hating myself cuz I had to hide.

I couldn’t go to my parents and say Mom Dad you’re wrong I am a girl please let me be one. Because listening to what they said. Them tell me I couldn’t have a Rainbow Brite because that was a girl’s toy hearing them tell me to watch Ninja Turtles and He-Man because those are boys cartoons or dad trying to force me to play sports and me just rebelling because I hated playing with other boys.

Then there was the time my grandma came to town and she wanted to hang out with me and so she bought me a movie on VHS she asked me what movie I wanted and I picked up mrs. Doubtfire. It was obvious to me I needed to watch a movie where a man could dress up like a girl I needed to see that I needed to know why somebody else would consider doing that. My dad did not like that movie and he hated that I picked it out and so he made me get rid of it he made me take it back to the video store and told me I couldn’t have it. He brought home Lethal Weapon instead and had me sit down with him and watch that movie that opened up with a naked girl naked breast hanging out. My dad the ultra-conservative who couldn’t even watch PG-13 movies wanted me to sit there with him and watch Lethal Weapon I don’t know if it was just because of bonding experience or if he was trying to get me to see naked tits.

I know that there were a lot of things like that. There was also that time in third grade when one of my classmates who was the boy came to school dressed like a girl for Halloween and I asked my parents if it was okay if I did that because I wanted to be a witch and they said no. I turned the witch costume into a wizard costume and that was the best I could get.

All three of my sisters knew that they were Girls when they were born they were constantly told they were girls they felt like girls and they were allowed to act like girls. I was told the only reason why I thought I was a girl I wanted to be a girl or tried to act like a girl is because I had sisters. But I have a lot of friends and met a lot of people over the years who were the only so-called boy and a house for the girls and I met a lot of people who were trans who had no brothers or sisters and

I realized over the years but that didn’t shape me at all.

I knew in my mind and my heart that I should have been a girl as young as seven years old but I may have had it figure it out or had questioned it earlier than that.

The more people I talk to who are trans and the people I talked to her just queer who like to cross-dress & the straight guys I talk to you for like to cross-dress and then drag queens that I talk to you like to cross-dress I can assure you there’s a difference between a cross dresser and a tranny. It might not being politically correct to self-identify as tranny or say that word fuck it I know what I am I’m a transgender woman and I should have been treated like a girl when I was a kid.

and I know if my parents had allowed me to be who I was there would have saved me a lot of heartache over the years. And I know it would have saved me a lot of pain a lot of questioning things a lot of the mistakes I made trying to cover it up or hide it or figure out how to get there on my own and it wouldn’t have forced me to live alone I wouldn’t have been forced to live isolated and not have friends and and not learn how to associate or socialize with kids when I was being developed when I should have learned how to socialize with kids instead I had to disassociate and distance myself from kids because I wasn’t allowed to Mimi I wasn’t allowed to be who God Made Me for whatever reason chose to make me different and so I suffered mostly in silence.

But that’s it if your kid tells you they’re trans they’re fucking trans end of story. Help them figure it out and if they’re wrong if they are confused don’t be afraid to ask questions but let them figure it out and just support them because you’re only going to make it worse you’re only going to make their life more difficult than it has to be and if you’re concerned with how people are going to treat trans kids don’t tell people their trainer move to a different School change their name change their gender change their identity and let them live their authentic selves and don’t cry don’t succeed don’t try to force them into a box that’s going to make them depressed and hate themselves and live in isolated lonely life resentful and hating everything around them and hating everyone around them because they couldn’t be themselves.

You don’t question it if your cisgender kidsembrace the gender assigned them at birth don’t question it if you’re transgender kid questions theirs just support them. PERIOD!

The missing horror Story has finally been found?

When I went to college my goal was to become a filmmaker. It was a broad goal I wasn’t trying to become an Oscar winner or a celebrity even just a storyteller. I spent the last seven years of my life telling stories for a living. I’ve been a writer for newspapers and TV stations as well as my blog here that you are probably reading. That’s not to say I haven’t had greater ambitions I’ve always wanted to write horror stories either books, movies, short stories, or video games for that matter.

I recently as in last summer finished my first thriller novel. No not reading writing. I wrote a book called goldfish on the mountain. I’ve had other ideas in my mind and thought how I would love to write the script for low-budget slasher movie and then gather the resources to make that a reality.

Every time I find myself in a rut if you will I usually find myself in the most creative and most ambitious mode of my life it’s easy to be motivated when you have nothing going on at least for me.

I can’t say I’ve read a ton of horror books but I’ve read quite a few enough that I have an appreciation for the genre. But I’ve seen more than my fair share of horror movies and I’m even dabbled in video games primarily the Castlevania franchise also Resident Evil and a few others sprinkled throughout. But I always come back to movies.

One of the reasons why I started the spider’s Lair YouTube channel was so that I could talk about horror movies. But also as a way for me to showcase the short films that I make as an aspiring horror filmmaker. And so that’s my next project. I want to make a short movie probably no more than 20 minutes in length. A Horror Story a complete story start to finish. That’s what I want to work on.

I don’t know what the path looks like but it’s something I want to pursue.