The Eagles: The Reincarnation of Rocky

I know this really isn’t a sports blogging site but excuse me for writing about it for a moment. I like sports. It’s entertaining and a very good time. It was an exiting NFL post season this year.

Let me recap the playoff teams that didn’t make it to the Super Bowl. The Rams imitated Arsenal, good but choke in bigs games. The Chiefs just choked. The Bills were hopelessly inept. The Panthers lost a game where it was sad someone had to lose. The Titans were beaten by the better team. The Falcons couldn’t gameplan. The Steelers hubris got in their way. The Saints got karma returned to them. The Jaguars got scared and abandoned their gameplan. The Vikings couldn’t get over their emotional hangover and disappeared. That leaves us with the Eagles and the Patriots going into Super Bowl 52.  The last time these two teams met, it was during Super Bowl 39, the Eagles lost by 3 points to the defending champions New England Patriots in a game that could have gone either way. This is where Rocky Balboa comes in as he did lose by a split decision to Apollo Creed in a match that could have gone either way. Rocky went into retirement and likewise, the following 11 seasons by the Eagles were mediocrity or poor class and taste by head coach Chip Kelly.  I’m glad he got exposed in San Francisco.

So begins the narrative of Rocky II, I mean the 2017 NFL season. Two years ago they hired a literal clone of their former head coach in Doug Pederson, the only difference was that he doesn’t choke like Andy Reid. And in the quarterback position, they had Carson Wentz, who had as many good performances as fingers on a hand, and Nick Foles, who lost his touch and motivation and fell off a cliff performance wise. Underachieving was the narrative going into the 2017 season. Expectations were low. All this past season the Eagles were written off as underdogs. However, during that season, Wentz leads the offense from underachieving to tearing apart the best defenses in the league and the defense gelled together to be one of the most aggressive in the league. Wentz got injured in week 14 of the regular season and Foles’ play did not inspire confidence. However, by that time they were already guaranteed a playoff spot and skated by the last 3 weeks of play. They were written off in the postseason as outclassed in talent by both the Falcons and Vikings.  I won’t go into more detail about their postseason but really good coaching and game planning by the coaching staff led them to win their games and rematch with the Patriots in Super Bowl 52. Just like Rocky and Apollo before them in the final round of Rocky II traded punches back and forth, both teams kept running the score on each other. Someone had to falter eventually. That, someone, was Tom Brady and his Patriots. who interestingly enough was the last backup quarterback to reach and win the Super Bowl. I’m sure as the whole world knows by now that the Eagles won. I don’t want to seem like a cliche machine but it’s never over until the fat lady sings. In short, all this season the Eagles did not quit in the face of adversity. And that to me is a Studdette quality. To me, the Eagles organization are honorary Studs and Studettes.

And here’s a video about the Eagles that aged well. Comments about Chip Kelly and the fanbase still apply.

Seven Deadly Words

To whom it may concern.

I was a fetus.

I am transgender.

I am giving up male entitlement and privilege to be happy.

I am the most vulnerable to religious bigots.

I form opinions based on a diversity of views, and not just the ones you call fake.

I support science and evidence-based research.

Studettes all over the world are watching and waiting for your downfall in 2020.

There is no escape.

 

Ingress: The Greatest Support Group I Know

For the past 5 years, I have been playing Ingress. Think of Ingress as a sci-fi version of Pokemon GO. To play the game you travel. I spend most of my time traveling locally or going downtown to Fremont St. or even to the local park. From time to time Niantic Labs sets aside a city for a big Ingress battle called anomalies. I like to go to anomalies often. Every anomaly I go to from my first in my backyard of Vegas to my most recent in just a short hop away in San Fransico is an opportunity to kick ass, take names, explore new places, and make new friends.

Something bothered me during most of my first anomalies. I was hiding my true self. I wasn’t being genuine. At best I was just another Ingress agent playing. I was hiding trying to fit in and it hurt me. The reason I was hiding was in my experience with other video games that communities won’t accept you for being “inexperienced” making “mistakes or just not being one of them. Those experiences had tainted my first few years of playing Ingress. Anomalies are addicting. I kept going back for more. After making many observations, I noticed a few things. Ingress has a more accepting and forgiving community. People of all skill levels are welcomed, most mistakes are forgiven and Ingress is played by a bunch of misfits. It was sometime before I realized that I just could be myself and nobody would make a big bigoted hoopla about who I was. The only thing frowned upon is being a jackass that cries and tries to ruin other peoples lives just because.

Agent to agent, I told the community about who I was and how I felt. In fact, the first Ingress I told was thestudette herself. My honesty with her is the reason I get to post to this very website, but I digress. With each experience of coming out to the various agents that I have befriended over the years, I gain more confidence. Every anomaly I am surrounded by the best teammates that I could ask for and the “enemy”, all of whom just want me to be happy.  Everyone has told me that I am welcome to be me. I have felt love and support wherever I go and whoever I turn to that is far greater than I have ever felt in my local community. I can tell by the smiles and hugs that go my way how proud the Ingress community is proud of me. I have no reason to hide. I have people I can turn to. I can just be myself in public. Ask any Ingress agent that knows me before and after I came out, and they can attest to the amount of confidence and happiness that I gained and they would concur that the Ingress community is probably the best group of friends that they have made too. So come join us in the world of Ingress and hopefully you’ll get to experience the loving community that I know.

Emmy goes to Las Vegas Pride Parade.

Emmy here.

Sorry for being absent from this blog. Between the Ren Fair, Pride Parade and Harvest Festival, I’m having a blast.

Pride Parade was fun and everyone had very expressive outfits. I didn’t really go all out. My outfit was relatively simple. I wore a pair of jeans and a tee shirt. I did do anything outrageous like wear sparkles or wear a flag. I didn’t do much makeup, just the basics. I’m not much of a fan for screaming to cheer on the parade either. I had this internal fear of not looking like I fit in. I didn’t. I arrived uncomfortable. Everywhere I looked, I just didn’t fit in.

It didn’t matter. Everywhere I looked, it was all smiles and love. It was a celebration of people being true to themselves. Everyone was smiling and accepting. It didn’t matter that I didn’t look the part. I was automatically accepted for who I was. I felt those warm fuzzy feelings inside. It was fantastic. Love made me smile and made me fit in. I was jumping up and down more towards the end. I got in the spirit. I found my home.

P.S. All that love drowned out and kept the radically religious. I got to fight them with their own scripture. I also fought a TERF with her own logic. It was fabulous. I’ll be back next year.

It’s National Coming Out Day

Today is the day we celebrate all the coming out stories.  I have my own.

First time out was kinda accidental. It was in a chat room full of PoGo players. That night the group talked about the LBGT community in chat. I pulled someone aside who I had the gut feeling of trusting and asked if there were resources in town without being specific. Without me knowing, I came out to a fellow trans woman that night.

Time past and I went out on the town with her and some friends. I built up more confidence to dress up and even personally use female pronouns out in public.

I think the biggest moment was in Ann Arbor when I traveled to visit friends. I knew that WAR, DR, and GCR were great trusting communities based on all the chatter before I came. I packed my clothes and makeup and went. I was free and realized that the ingress community has my back. I felt comfortable enough to tell the world of ingress.

Scratch that. My biggest moment was going to school and realizing that there were people who supported me in school. I didn’t have to hide my private life at school. I talked to my professors and they had my back. I made sure and made a statement by walking in class presenting as the confident girl that I am. It went well and my productivity shot up. I was on top of the world.

Only one obstacle is left. My own family doesn’t know. I asked my own parents to read this blog and they haven’t yet. I even asked to talk. They haven’t gotten back to me yet. I fear for the worst honestly. However, I have faith that if they loved me up to this point. They will still love me afterward. If not, I have faith that time will heal up the self-inflicted family wounds.

It’s tough, I have to admit that much. I did, however, learn things when coming out and I want to share them with you in celebration of mine and many others’ stories.

First off come out in your own time. It took years for me to admit who I am. For others, it may take a just a few moments. You have all the time in the world to figure out who you are. No need to rush. Just don’t lie and you’ll find your true self. Even if it is national coming out day, don’t feel pressured into doing so. Plenty of people come out on a daily basis. You make the day for yourself. Remember this is just a day for celebrating all the coming out stories as a whole.

Do so when you are comfortable with the person you are going to tell. My rule is if your gut doesn’t feel comfortable, don’t.

Questions will be asked. Just be honest.

Some people will leave and abandon you for being yourself. If you think about it, you didn’t change in that moment, they did. They probably weren’t your friends anyway.

Some people need time to accept it. Give them time. Time makes everything better. Time is good for sorting things out really.

Don’t be afraid.

To those who are on the receiving end of this.

Don’t ask “Are you sure?” Yes, they are sure. I can assure you that by that time they figured out who they are. That person is comfortable with telling you.

You might not fully understand and that’s okay. You can ask questions but listen to what they have to say. Don’t interject. You will have your turn to say something. It’s a dialogue.

If you think someone is coming out just to make your life difficult, remember that coming out is for them not you. This is someone you cared about up until this point. Why stop now? Don’t be the person that abandons your friend or family member. You may need them someday.

 

Dear Mom

Dear Mom

Thanks for raising me to be the incredible woman that I am. Your influence on me has been fantastic and every lesson I will take with me. Your encouragement has made me strive to be my very best self.

That’s right. I said woman.

The hints were there. You saw my interest in makeup and offered to buy it for me. You let me play dress up. I bought my own clothes, makeup, and shoes. You seen them around the house. You seen me at my most confident presenting as a woman. I even look more to the women in my life.

Mom, I just don’t know how to talk to you about this. You’ve been a brick wall since dad left and I have to tell you eventually. So maybe this letter to you will make you wake up. You have an amazing daughter and she wants to talk to you. I can’t wait for that day.

Love,

Emmy.

Observations from a Las Vegan

Sorry for being gone. If you have been living under a rock, a terrorist attack happened across here in Las Vegas. Ever since Sunday night, everyone in town needed a bit of time off. I honestly don’t blame anyone for doing that. I need a break from this blog too.

Now I’m not going to disguise the fact that many residents of Las Vegas, myself included, are transplants from somewhere else. We all came here to pursue a better life. We all live together in this hot hellhole where a city isn’t supposed to exist. We come together and support our neighbors for the simple reason we have to depend on one another or all our goods and services. If we don’t support each other the city dies.

This same level of service extends to every single guest that comes into town. The service industry is the very heart of our town. It is selfless and caring. We will treat you like a king or queen when you visit. We will have a smile on our faces and wave hello. We do all this even if you’re the most ungrateful person in the world. If we don’t make you feel welcome, this town would lose all its meaning and we would all pack up and move back to where we come from.

I know terrorism is making us fearful. I get it. I’m scared too. I see grown men who try to be strong crying. I see little kids lose their innocence. I see people trying to play the blame game out of fear. I see people try to profit and push agendas out of greed. (That’s for another blog post.) It hurts more seeing this act of terror in my home town.  This kind of fear is what terrorists want. They want disrupt the lives we love so much.

However, Las Vegas carries on as normal. No amount of time will make this baggage disappear, but we will make it small and carry it. In the midst of donating goods and blood, paying or respects, and comforting those in need we go to work, we serve visitors whether grateful or not, we complain about project neon. All this is part of a normal day in Las Vegas. In the face of tragedy we stand strong. In doing so we lead the fight and win against terrorism.

On the Catholic faith and being trans.

I was baptized in the Catholic Church. I grew up and still am a member of the Catholic Church. My faith is strong. I pray. I go to mass on Sunday. I even help kids prepare for first holy communion.

I do have to ask something.

Why did God make me this way? Why does He put me through this pain? I’m born a boy but I have the feeling of a girl inside. The cynical side of me says this is a cruel joke. Is there something bigger that God has for me by being trans? Is this all part of His big plan? He could’ve just made me female in the first place. Why didn’t He?

The more I tried to pray and embrace the boy I was born as the more it’s revealed the woman inside me. Crazy, right? My prayers get answered by female empowerment advertisements or powerful women in pop culture like Wonder Woman. It seems like every time I try to deny who I am I, there’s a sign pointing to who I really am like the pretty dress or the toys in the store.

I have to ask why?

After thinking about it and a bit of prayer. I think I have an answer.

If I was born a girl or God made someone like me without being trans, it wouldn’t be me. He created me, not someone else. Being around pleases him. I am a unique person in this world and nobody can be me.

Perhaps scripture has the answer.

The first takeaway is that He made me in his own image.

Genesis 1:27

God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Secondly, I am perfect and He makes no mistakes.

1 Timothy 4:4

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected when received with thanksgiving,

The next is that I am a child of God and he loves me.

1 John 3:1

]See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

The next is that even if I am marginalized for being trans, Jesus would still hang out with me. He hung out with all kinds of people that were marginalized and worked his ministry through them. From the tax collector to the prostitute, he would never reject anyone, because there is no us or them, only us. The us that was placed on this planet to live, learn and help each other. (Unless you are a hypocrite like the Pharisee who worship publicly and not live a Christ-like life outside of the church.) You can read all about it in the Gospels.

The final takeaway is that God made me this way to prepare me for the world and make me a better person.

John 9:1-7

1 [a]As he passed by he saw a man blind from birth. 2 [b]His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. 4 We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes,7 and said to him, “Go wash[c] in the Pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

I honestly believe that God has put me through this pain to help me understand other people and their pain and suffering. To know how pain and suffering work affects people is sometimes the best thing to have when helping others. I can have empathy, love, understanding, and compassion because God through his work has shown me all this. When people who are broken come to me I understand and help them with all my heart and soul. Each day passes when I continue to heal myself and I am better equipped to help others heal too. Perhaps, this is my answer. That these trials are there to prepare me to heal the world and make it a better place. And I am glad to take on this challenge.

 

I never listened.

Growing up a boy I had to adhere to certain standards of masculinity.

I never listened.

Don’t show weakness.

Looking back on my weakest moments has made me a better person.

Don’t show sadness or grief and get on with life.

I stopped and grieved and made sure my baggage got lighter.

Don’t show fear.

I showed fear and did awesome things. I gained courage.

Fight through the pain. Go beyond when your body tells you no.

I went up to my body saying no. I let my body heal. Unlike the other boys who listened I don’t have lifelong aches and pains.

Don’t accept defeat.

I accept defeat, cut my losses and move on.

As a child, I’m expected to take abuse from my elders because it’s not too bad they say.

I stayed away from abuse and walked away. I protested my abuse and insisted on the respect I deserve.

As an adult, I’m supposed to fight back.

I don’t fight battles not worth my time

Compete for everything, don’t cooperate.

Cooperation has led to my greatest moments and accomplishments.

Don’t ask for help.

I ask for help. Without help, I would not have found the paths that lead me to the accomplishments in my life.

Win all the time.

I don’t win all the time. I take solace that I did better than last time. It’s okay to be last in high-level competition, so long as you improve.

Go after all the women. Be a sex machine. Don’t go after a specific woman.

I value sex, yes, but I also value a meaningful and nurturing relationship. I value being intimate and sharing myself even if it is only one person.

Be ready for violence at any time. Punch first, ask questions later.

I resort to violence after diplomacy has failed. Nobody gets hurt and integrity is maintained if diplomacy comes first.

Be independent all the time.

Sometimes being dependent has made me get back on my feet and independent.

Don’t show love, care, and kindness.

I show love, care, and kindness and I receive it back.

Chase high standards at your own expense.

I do chase high standards, but step back when I see myself hurting emotionally, physically or financially. I go and mend my wounds.

Be strong. Look down on the weak. Women are weak. Despise weakness. Be aggressive when frustrated with weakness.

I have shown weakness and have been lifted back up by some of the strongest women in my life.

It’s okay to show emotion. It’s okay to show empathy. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to freely express yourself. It’s okay to show defeat. Just look at me. I’m one amazing human being all because I did all that.

 

 

 

The NFL, Free Speech, and You.

It’s safe to say the entire world of the NFL went nuts with players protesting police violence by taking a knee. It’s also safe to say that the alt-right has used this as an opportunity to turn it into their own political agenda.

It’s safe to say “stick to sports” and I understand as sports is a get away from the real world. The world that does include politics. Fans just want athletes to get on with it and entertain the masses.

The truth is politics is in our sports culture every day.

Jessie Owens used his 4 gold medals to break the myth of German superiority in the face of Hitler.

Babe Didrikson Zaharias was the first break the gender barrier in the PGA and constantly faced misogynistic criticism because it’s not “feminine to play sports” She played on.

Muhammed Ali missed out on boxing for 3 years for being a contentious objector during Vietnam.

“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No, I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom, and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”

Jackie Robinson who was a veteran did stand but stood silent and did not salute the flag.

As I write this twenty years later, I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag; I know I am a black man in a white world. — Jackie Robinson

Carlos Delgado did not stand for “God Bless America” in protest of the Iraq war.
Need I go on?
“But I’m a fan. Politics and sports don’t affect me.” Think again.
Who builds for a new stadium when a new team comes to town? The debate of taxpayer vs privately funded is political.
We the fans also like to politicise the race, gender, and sexual identity the athlete. The very existence of athletes that are not straight, white, cis, or male is politically debated every day.
“You spit in the face of vets when you kneel”
During world war II our veterans fought against the Fascist states of Germany, Japan, and Italy. In these states, political opposition was silenced. No individual was allowed to protest. The media was silenced through censorship. Information is limited. Most importantly, the people were brainwashed by the government to believe that the state is above all else. Worship and saluting of the state and its symbols was a requirement.
We see this now in our nation with the administration pushing such agenda. Only certain forms of protests that worships the racist heritage of the state are allowed. Where the political opposition is ridiculed and not respected. The media is actively under attack for not agreeing with the administration. And people are morally required to stand for the flag of the United States. It’s quite disturbing how we are embracing the morals of the very countries that threaten our very freedom and our way of life during the 1930s and 40s.
The beauty of the American culture is that it is set up to allow protest in a peaceful manner. From the taxation protests of the Crown, the Civil Rights Movement to The recent Kneeling of NFL players during national anthems. Peaceful protest has been the way forward. The guiding principal founding fathers put to build “A More Perfect Union” It is set forth in our bill of rights as our first amendment.

 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

 

The first amendment is in a list of ideals our country set forth to achieve in our constitution. It is broad for a reason. So long as we don’t endanger the safety and security of others we may protest in any way we see fit.
Our founding fathers realized that our allegiance to a man or political party is a dangerous path.Today we see examples of this in dictatorships around the world where freedom is non-existent. That is why our armed forces defend the constitution instead and the principals set forth in it instead.
Free speech also gives the administration the right to have an opinion. For an administration oppress whoever speaks out against them, however, is to become the very thing that our country fought against when our nation was under threat during the revolution and the second world war.  To voice the opinion that anyone should be morally oppressed for simply kneeling is to show gross incompetence.
In my opinion, the right wing of America needs to take a knee and have a good long look in the mirror. To get this far where denying peaceful protest is the norm is to take the constitution and rip it up metaphorically. Pride for a nation can be healthy. However, it is our duty to stand up for all of American values including that “All men are created equal”. To stand up takes sometimes it takes a statement of science and keeling. The “this doesn’t pertain to me” attitude needs to stop now because it affects all of us.  Let me be clear here, by creating a further divide in our nation, America will turn on itself and quickly become non-existent.
P.S. Those who now have joined the Dallas Cowboys bandwagon have entered into a hell hole of mediocre football. You may support the strongest team in your division but your offense is like Jekel and Hyde and your defense is pedestrian at best. Can’t wait for the playoff choke.