Who I am in Brief
A widow, wife of Joseph F. Ware, Jr. (“Joe Ware“), the last of three. First we met and airshowed together, then lived together, then married each other 17 times (each anniversary) until his passing in 2012. If there is anything that indicates my character, it is that he loved me, and I loved him. Still do.
Co-founder Joseph F. Ware, Jr. Advanced Engineering Laboratory, Vrginia Tech.
MSW, LCSW, was a forensic psychiatric social worker working with the criminally insane and sex offenders in the role of a psychotherapist with the goal of predicting when re-offense may occur, to protect the community.
General aviation pilot, mostly antique taildraggers, rag wings and spam cans, most things at an airport at one time or another, also checking out in and flying a T-28 (a lot), and a C-46. ATP S&M / CFI. I say “double ATP,” because as transsexual someone may take “S&M” as leather and chains. I never flew for any company; just for Joe and I, cross-country lower troposphere, rather as Jennifer Livingston Seagull. I commune with Joe and God when I fly.
I am a bat mitzvah. If our goal is to make life better for each other, for humanity, then we must be willing to grow and change. For me, that means to share with society the importance of being ourselves, seeing the value in each other, in diversity—which must also include people who are about things benign yet unpopular, unwanted minorities, such as myself. No one has all the answers, but my Rabbi taught that the best path is the struggle to find that best path, that we may angle back and forth in society yet it is best with intended betterment. Seek, find, learn, question. Look at things from different angles…and see if a path really makes life better for everyone, or if it just seems so to a majority.
I enjoy greeting people in about 37 languages, their language of heritage, easily demonstrable—not the whole language, just greetings, and not always something like a “Hello,” as many nations or languages greet with a different word or phrase. It’s a hobby because I enjoy people of different cultures, started when Joe and I used to travel. People usually feel valued, appreciate the respect and consideration.
I enjoy teasing people or telling a joke if I can get a smile: dry wit or bawdy banter. I feel rewarded when I get a smile.
Because this is for posterity, I’ll share my IQ was tested at 138. My feeling about that: If I’d given the test any import while taking it, I might have done better, but it doesn’t really matter. It seems to me, as with most people, I have talents in some areas, where in other areas I’m lacking, and the score doesn’t relate that. Because my background was in psych, with an interest in neurology, I get a sense of where other people are in relation to me by how quickly they process data, grasp concepts. Joe was definitely brighter, likely about 150-160. He was amazing. Regarding a group as is on the Big Bang Theory—Joe got his Masters in Engineering at Caltech, and we used to go there a lot—I would have been a production assistant, and Joe could have easily been someone like a Leonard Hofstadter-type character—the rational one, humble, smart—only Joe had more flash about him as well, back in the day.
U.S. Navy, NSA, and Transition
For my personal history, in the latter 1970s, Cold War, I was in U.S. Naval Intelligence, NSA, NSOC, NavSecGruAct (NSGA), Meade, MD, got out, switched. I’ve been in the past employed as a forensic psychiatric social worker (MSW, LCSW) working with felons, and I have spoken in universities, counseled trans populations on social and familial integration, stealth living, employment discrimination, surprise violence, assault, rape and suicidality.
Marriage to Joseph F. Ware, Jr.
In 1989, I met a man who changed my life. It was an unlikely love: He was a conservative Christian Republican, Caltech Master, aerospace engineering icon, 40 years older; and I was a liberal Democrat Jewish transsexual who had gone to Caltech years before to buy a T-shirt. But respect with difference was natural to us both, and we were both pilots, so…we were glued together from the first, fell in love, lived together, then married.
It’s been suggested to me several times that all that is false, but it’s true. Some people seem predisposed to prejudice, intolerance of or anger at difference—while other people seem to be absent those primitive qualities, don’t see difference as a violation of humanity but instead see the value of the person inside, regardless of difference, or even see the value of diversity, itself, as interpersonal depth, cultural richness, and a source for problem solving.
Neither Joe nor I really understood why anyone would hate someone else because of their race, religion, sex/gender, or who they love. We accepted diversity.
Just for fun, these are two videos of me playing on a simplistic version of a Lockheed F-35 simulator, Officer’s Club, MCAS Miramar, while I was there showing my airplane for the airshow. In this one, my intent was to buzz the aircraft carrier inverted, and I did. But on the way to the Carrier, I dipped into the ocean, so I asked the instructor standing beside me if I hit the water. He said, “Yeah, you ‘cleaned the plane.'” 🙂 Inverted, the controls need to be worked backward, so it was lots of fun. While its systems are complex, the F-35 is very easy to fly.
This one is me flying through a hangar bay in an aircraft carrier at about 620 knots.
This is me flying a CSA SportCruiser around Camarillo, Lake Casitas, and Ventura Harbor, California, to demonstrate stability.
The word out so far in the 21st century is that gender transition is mostly about a change in gender role and brings completeness to transgender people, needed for mental health—and it can, for them. But that word hides there are people like me who identify as sexually opposite and just how vital that is. A narrative for people like me is lost. START HERE.
Neither transgenders nor society at large know the intensity of pain someone like me can feel with brain / body sexual discordance, being of one sex and needing to be the other actual sex. Neither of them feels the need. Most people who change gender role do not also want to be the other sex, and society’s insistence on grouping us together while minimizing or omitting critical sexual needs compounds the problem of not being able to be myself. Most of the time, I feel like what I am is distinctly unwanted, wrong, something that should not even be spoken as offensive.
For me, the seven months after my gender transition and before my sexual transition, 1981, were the most horrible months of my life, months that seemed like years. I was in a daily nightmare. My disgustingly wrong sex was more obvious to me than ever, something I could not block out even for a while. It was with me everywhere I went, in my sleep, at work, in class, walking, talking (I hate to mention, but also showering).
Where a gender transition makes transgenders happy, it sent me to hell. I was thankful for progress, and I tried so hard to stroke my doctors with that, but I also begged for SRS. Begged and pleaded. There were days and nights of crying to God for help, and I hate to tell you what else ran through my mind. I was desperate. I could not tolerate that nightmare. My heart knew no way to handle the putrid disgust, the hatred I had for my so terribly wrong sex that blocked me from my own self—not just genitalia that covered what I should have had, but also something much deeper, to the core of my soul. It was do or die. I could never have lived transgender.
Keep that in mind. It is relevant to everything here.
For the first 27 years pursuing this, since 1977, I learned I was / am transsexual. It was what doctors knew, staff at universities, lawyers, people at large, family, and me. But since about 2004, I was told to drop my offensive need to be the other sex, accept reference about gender role. I was told I could revel in “acceptance” if I would stop trying to be myself and just be like others wanted me to be. The social narrative changed. Since then, ideology has been pushed with intent to affect science, research, education, public opinion, and law.
This, being pressured to lock my needs into a closet, has become the bane of my existence, a hurt inside that carries every day. For that, I can point to such as the American Psychological Association, Virginia Tech, GLAAD, the HRC, and many other places who push the sex-negative transgender paradigm. I’ve had people wrinkle their nose up at me, argue that I’m supposed to be something else, even threaten me. I’m being erased. People are even less willing than ever to understand my narrative because they think I’m “transgender” no matter what I say. T sexuality doesn’t exist? Now it’s gender + surgery. The other-binary-need message of transsexualism is lost.
I no longer even get to be a noun in a sentence; I’m supposed to be an adjective, because “transsexual” as a noun is also offensive. I can be a Jew, a pilot, a wife, a student, a teacher…but I am told I can’t be a transsexual.
Most of what you hear on TV or other media is a false perspective on what is really going on—even within transgenderism—because they’re hiding sex issues which are very real, present and important. Yet most of what I am about, as transsexual, if you read these pages, is the opposite of what is popularized.
As such, please do not apply the narrative of the transgender social movement to me. It is deeply offensive to indicate my issues should not be spoken or included. Please do not refer to me as “transgender,” a need to be another gender. You will cause hurt, and God knows I don’t need more of that. Please accept me as a transsexual, the need to be the other sex, which I can say as a noun. Admit that what I am, my neurological needs I’ve had since birth, are okay to say, okay to be.
Stealth Mode Living
In my 20s, after having trouble in life for years with rejections and discriminations, I went “stealth,” as it were, refusing to let transsexualism be a social issue for me. It was nobody’s business, I felt. It made sense, in my mind, as it does for most trans people with similar concerns—people hurt me when they know, so except for those close to me, I shut it down.
Yet after 31 years in stealth mode, through much worse hell than before, I learned stealth is exactly the wrong thing to do.
Now I try to share my mistakes, and the mistakes of others in a general sense, to help people see the pitfalls of not owning our sexuality.
My Better Story: On this Website and in My Book
I share myself here and in Shadow Life as an example of
- how a conservative like Joe can love someone like me,
- how we hurt ourselves by hiding our sexuality, and
- how we can eventually learn to embrace ourselves.