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Dec. 3, 2012

December 4, 2012

Mara and I sing in a holiday choir each year that goes to various places like the Veteran’s Administration hospital, the L.A. Mission, Children’s Hospital and Juvenile Hall. A marathon rehearsal to brush up on Christmas carols (and a few Hanukkah songs) takes place the first Sunday of December. That was yesterday. Until this year, Mara presented as male for the choir and sung in the baritone section. But this time she presented as female. The two women who direct the choir already know about Mara; we came out to them awhile ago. A few other people in the choir, with whom we are friends, also know. But for most of the choir members, this was what we call a “guerilla coming out.”

We didn’t make a big announcement; we just got there and started mingling. Several people caught on, and every one of them was very accepting and supportive. One guy, who has a holiday party each year that choir members are invited to, asked Mara if we were coming this year, just as if the was nothing different about her appearance. Another guy, whose CD Mara (as a male) played harmonica on, talked to her for awhile not knowing who she was. Later, he went back to her and said something like, “It took me awhile, but I got it.” One guy was there with his daughter (a young adult), and when I told them about Mara, they were super supportive. The daughter especially thought it was very cool. And one guy talked to us for awhile after a gig that followed the rehearsal and was bowled over. He was very impressed at our courage. And one guy, a comedian who teaches stand-up, started thinking of routines we could do as a trans couple. When Mara told him she’s really a musician, not and actor or comedian, he mentioned that he has another student who is a trans woman, who might be interested in working with me on a routine. I could just see the wheels turning in his head. And I would love to explore that idea.

I’m talking mainly about the guys, because the women take it in stride. Both of the women who direct the choir had never met Mara, although we had come out to them, and they were happy to finally meet her. A few people either didn’t notice, were wondering who the new girl was, wondered where my husband was, or figured it out and were too afraid to say anything.

Needless to say, Mara doesn’t sing in the baritone section anymore. She sings tenor now (she’s really a tenor-baritone). There are a couple of other women in the tenor section, so it’s not out of the ordinary.

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