Thursday, July 20, 2017

My friend's Rainbow Journey

I recently met someone from Japan, one who I now consider to be my friend, who is traveling around the world talking to Transgender folk and sharing their stories on his blog. His name is Nao.  I want to share his blog with you because he just shared my story. It is written in Japanese and the automated translation doesn't work so well so I apologise if that doesn't work well for you either.

Lately I have been caregiving for my elderly mother and have been very scarce on line but I still get my hand in with occasional activist things here in Illinois. As I say this I can feel the backlog of all that has happened weighing me down. Realistically, I probably never will get caught up in here even though I keep thinking that I will try once I get past the inevitable with my mother, when that day arrives in a few weeks or months. You  know what "they" say about good intentions though...

Friday, July 24, 2015

My Ninth Anneversary

Today. July 24, is my ninth anniversary as Eva-Genevieve! It was exactly 9 years ago that I made the permanent switch from Evan to Eva, from male to female in my outward gender presentation. All told these have been the absolute best years of my life even with the occasional hiccups of the human condition, both mine and those of others. I am not ashamed of, nor have I any major regrets over the choices I have been making since that balmy July day in 2006. Even the ones that have turned out to be mistakes have contained disguised blessings because I have tried to walk humbly before my God. I am thankful to God that I am alive and have my health and even a few wits occasionally - none of these are things I have managed to obtain on my own nor deserved after the wreck I made of my life prior to transition. God is Great and now a chapter in my life closes and a new one begins. I'll be all right so long as I proceed in the light of God's magnificent grace. I will miss so many of you here in Southern California who have enriched my life in the most amazing ways and I will carry all of you in my heart as I go. Tuesday evening I get on the Southwest Chief heading East to make my home in Illinois. I will arrive (God and Amtrak willing) on July 30.

And so the story begins...

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Still I Rise – A message for Women’s History Month and Palm Sunday 2015

Eva-Genevieve! Scarborough – March 29, 2015

I am honored to be here today. I am always humbled when I am asked to speak, especially in Church because I know the depths to which I have sunk and from which I have been rescued and I embrace my humanity, but yet the Spirit of God lives within me and so, like the rocks, I must speak out.  Figuratively I’ve been asked to drive the car today but it is just as likely, or more, that in other circumstances I’ll be the one to jump out and push – either is an honor because both bring us closer to God, God who has made and molded us and given us purpose. I can only pray that my words here today glorify our God and are used to lift you up.

Normally I would read the passage first before speaking but since I’m already coming at this from a somewhat unexpected direction I’m putting the cart in front of the horse and I’m going to save the reading until I close.

I asked if there was to be a topic beyond being generally something suited to Women’s History month figuring that a Scripture passage would be forthcoming and I could talk, maybe about Ruth or another of the heroines of our faith, but no, that would have been easy.  I am familiar with Scripture… and Science-Fiction – I can talk your ear off about warp drives and scientific concepts, great Space Opera, and even great women sci-fi authors, but a poem by Maya Angelou? Not so much – I’ve never been much of a reader of poetry until very recent years – I suppose it wasn’t until I had accepted myself fully as God’s woman that poetry ever resonated in me because my spirit was not free and could not resonate in the ways it does now. What a difference it makes when one wholly accepts who and what God has created them to be. And if there is any one thing I would like to impart to every one of you is that you need to embrace yourself, nurture yourself, and love yourself because God has made you perfect! With God you can rise.  You can mount up with wings as an eagle! You can feel God’s loving embrace even when your world is being rocked and shaken all around you. Embrace God and then embrace yourself and then you will know what it means to be free, to rise!

Speaking of Maya Angelou on the occasion of her death, President Obama said she “had the ability to remind us that we are all God’s children, that we have something to offer.” And I believe that we all have that ability in us to rise! She found it and I have found it and many of you here today I know have found it.

Now I know from recent-past events that Maya was an amazing woman who from very humble, abused and troubled beginnings rose to great fame and could claim as friends Martin Luther King and Barack Obama. These are people who most certainly know what it means to “rise” in the sense of the poet. So the other day I read Maya’s poem “Still, I Rise” for the first time wondering what I would hear. I was blown away because here was that same message, the very same thing I have discovered through my painful and cathartic journey the long way around to being a woman and often spoken of, but here the poet has spoken so much more eloquently, so clearly, so brilliantly I can feel my spirit bearing witness with the Holy Spirit that herein is foundational truth. So this is why I must put my humble words first because hers shine like the sun! If I were to read her words first then there would be nothing left for me to say.

There is also some intersectionality here—a word my Pastor Jane Quandt has been using a lot of these days—some of which I have never spoken to publicly before and so I am stretched a bit today. Try being a Christian and an activist for Transgender and LGB equality, or any justice issue for that matter, and you will rapidly find opposition on both sides and you left in the middle feeling all alone, and in these past few weeks this is again stormy territory – friends have been divided and misunderstandings and angers have flared and I don’t know what too do and just like that, I feel alone and caught in the middle, but I’m in good company here. Because I know upon whose promises I stand I can say with Maya Angelou, “still, I rise”. I think I have the right sense of it, only I lack the eloquence, the depth and clarity of the poet.

And lest I put Maya on too high a pedestal and she become hard for any of us to relate to let me hasten to say that she had to pull herself up by her own boot laces and make something of her life. It was not particularly easy for her, she knew heartbreak, betrayals and the loss of friends, suffered much, yet she stood strong – an example for us all to follow. Anyone who has felt the stings of prejudice, bigotry, abuse, oppression and etc. can find comfort, strength and hope enough to hold out for rising time right here, right now! Have you been bent over and broken, stooped down before your oppressor weeping bitter tears and wanting only to die? I have, and yet my time for triumph over my enemies came. Though I came close to ending it just a moment before the miracle happened, I am so very glad that by God’s grace I stuck around – Still, I Rise!

And yes, even though we celebrate Women’s history this month, you men here can also find what it takes to “rise” and not as my partner Ken would have said, lose your “man-card”, though you may find yourself becoming a better and stronger man, father or husband in the process! Anyone who has been rejected or hurt, or anyone who has fallen short of the glory of God with just a glimpse of this truth can grab hold of Christ by faith and you can shout it to the heavens too… Still, I rise!

Galatians 3:28 says of those who believe,

 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Still, We Rise!

But I also see God’s fingerprints all over this because intersectionality is God’s special place in our lives and our world – it is where you’ll find God at work today. How else could any of us relate to Scripture at all? It spans thousands of years of written history and thousands more through oral tradition, some of it is told in great epic style, some as law with specific details for the priestly order and some in parables or even simple children’s tales and even some boring lists of genealogy. Yet when we read God’s word we understand it because it resonates with experiences or feelings we have had and so, whoever we are, we can come to believe and trust God – we may not be able to explain or define God but we feel God. And when we hear the words that resonate in the depths of our souls and spirits, as do many of Maya’s it is here at the crossroads where the supernatural intersects the natural; we know God is speaking to us, working in us and using us because it feels familiar. If we stand by faith and hold to the truth that resonates in our souls we can and will still rise.

And it is this sense of familiarity that I have found in Maya’s words that I would highlight briefly today. This is the intersection where God’s messengers are standing on the soapbox decrying the evils of the day. This is the intersection where Christ came to bear our sins on the Cross, to die for us and to give us new life, and when we internalize this and own Him then the Gospel becomes familiar to us and we begin to live it—
 not because of the law as many denominations say but because he first loved us we love Him, and Still, we Rise!!

Today is Palm Sunday and so I would like you to reflect on this just a bit over the next week as we approach Easter, and then remember not only that we shall rise with Christ in this newness of life but we can do it right here and right now! We don’t have to wait any longer!

Today all over the news and the Social media feeds we hear voices calling out “Black lives matter” or “Trans lives matter” and others holler back “All lives matter”. Which of these is right? Where in this gap would Jesus be standing? That conversation is still raging in our Nation today and we find some truth on all sides of it and we find humanity on all sides of it and we all have to stretch, we all have to broaden our horizons to see the diversity of the human race more clearly and become more inclusive in our way of thinking and living. We behold the light of Gods truth, which says it isn’t simply one of these but it is all of these yet we must stand together with the last and the least of these who have been trodden under foot , no matter the color of their skin or their gender or any other God given trait and when we do, Still WE rise!

And we will rise as we reach out, as Jesus has said, to lift up the downtrodden and care for the homeless and the elderly and the weak and sick and unwanted among us. We help those who have been cast down or kicked to the curb to stand again and find their self worth so that they also can rise. I think the solution comes down to each one of us being called to reach out to someone in need right where we are; we are to be instant (ready, prepared), in season and out to speak, preach, teach and most of all to help others rise. To my fellow transgender brothers and sisters I say just being ourselves openly can give someone else the courage to rise up. And to all I say none of us have to do great and powerful works but Jesus did say that we who believe would do greater things than what those in his day saw him do! We Should Rise!

So, finally, with these things in mind here is the reading for today’s message, Maya Angelou’s “Still, I Rise”…

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
   Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
   I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
   I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

   I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
   I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
   I rise
   I rise
   I rise.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas at First Congregational Church of Riverside CA

Basically this is just a link to my "4Shared" site where I have posted a bunch of Advent season photos...

...some of which I also shared on Facebook with this commentary "Christmas Eve at First Congregational Church of Riverside - I wanted to be sure and capture these events today since this may well be my last Christmas here in Riverside and I want to savor it all. First there were Christmas Carols on the front steps. Then Project Food served up a hot meal for anyone who came by - we do that every Wednesday from 5:30 to 6:30 PM - and then our Christmas Eve Songs and Lessons candlelight service. And then a quick stroll around downtown - The Mission Inn lights, the ice skating, City Hall all light up (Up there on the 7th floor where the tarps are stretched is where we held Royalty on the Roof in November). So there you have Christmas Eve in the heart of Riverside!"

Hugs, Blessings and wishes for a Happy New Year to you all,

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Regarding Riverside's proclamation - answering a comment

Comment regarding Riversides Proclamation (posted below) 

"I'm a cis- bi- ally of Trans folks. I'm wondering about the proclamation as the LGBTQ DOR rather than TDOR. Do you think adding the LGBQ diminishes the focus on Trans violence issues? Can you share any history as to how/why the city chose to proclaim it that way? I have some Trans friends who are, I think understandably, upset with it. Thank you--Joe Reilly"

No, actually I think expanding the scope supports these issues because it brings them out into the open where they ought to be – there is no diminishing of the real issues. Being a victim of violence, of bullying and other hate crimes is not something limited to Trans folks. These things happen to Gays, to Women, to people of color, to anyone seen as different and so even with statistics that are horrible with respect to Trans folks we can’t be exclusive. We don’t get to stand totally apart if we want to integrate back into society as equals. We have to reach out to others and support them if we want them to do the same for us.

Building community is what we are trying to accomplish here in Riverside and it must include everyone or it will fail. To be included means we have to learn to be inclusive and we Trans folks have to initiate it because right now we are seen as the bottom level of humanity by many. Maybe we will be the ones to start resolving it IF we don’t shut others out in the process, even if some of them have done it to us. Change can, must, start with us.  We have to learn to share our special days and work through our issues with others who have similar experiences. There are not enough days in the year to give every identity their own special day. What we need to be doing is merging together with others to put an end to the problem of bullying and hate crimes and violence at the level of it being a human problem rather than a Trans only issue.

Many cities have established LGBT centers with lots of services and groups and outreach to specific target groups like Trans and Homeless youth & etc., but Riverside has no such thing other than one privately funded shelter that serves LGBT youth under 17. The only sense of established “community” is a downtown coffee house and a couple gay bars.  If the facts I have been given by our Human Relations Commission are correct then this proclamation is the very first City acknowledgement of anyone in the LGBT spectrum and as such we—a diverse group of Trans and LGB activists and CIS allies—agreed that it would be counterproductive to take this first crumb from the City and assign it exclusively to just one segment of the spectrum when we have many Gay and Lesbian folk and others who have struggled for acknowledgement here for 30, 40 or more years. I have personally spent over 8 years working towards this end and have put out call after call in support groups, on-line forums and on Facebook for trans people to join me in this work but only a tiny handful have taken part, so out of necessity I turned to our long-time LGB and CIS allies and our progressive Churches. Without them we would not have held any of our 4 annual Trans Days of Remembrance, we would not have been able to host an entire week of Trans Awareness events Nov 17th -23rd here this year, and we would have no services at all here for trans folks so we must not and will not throw our allies under the bus now.

Were this LA or Palm Springs, San Diego, San Francisco or even San Luis Obispo there would already be an LGBT establishment such as these cities have and we would have been able to handle this proclamation differently. However because there is minimal LGBT establishment here we have to have something to build upon in order to establish it in a lasting way. Mostly the “community” here is just little splinter groups and factions in which everyone nitpicks each other when we try to work together. In fact every time one of these groups tries to get investors for a project or to establish an LGBT center here other factions start undermining the effort and being divisive, so no one invests in our “community”. Mark Takano our Congressman is openly gay but he has distanced himself from the LGBT community here because it is so unstable and immature. Therefore we asked that LGBT Day of Remembrance be proclaimed annually on Nov 21st because we still wish to honor and respect the Trans people of the world on the 20th and stand with them while trying to establish a sense of common ground for growth here. We see this as expanding rather than diminishing the impact of TDoR observances.

With this proclamation coming from the City it was our hope that it would be a foundation upon which to start uniting fragmentary groups back together without all the attendant sniping of the past, but already trans people who don’t seem to grasp the bigger situation are sniping and complaining and undermining the very historic significance of this accomplishment. So, no, I don’t think your trans friends’ upset is understandable at all. I’m sure I will get flak for saying this but I believe it is the ones complaining and grumbling who need to change, to stop being so exclusive of others in their thinking, to work with others instead of pushing their it’s-our-day-and-ours-only kind of agenda at the rest of us gender and sexually diverse folk. The Trans “community” will never come into its own until we accept being equal with others that are not Trans because otherwise we continue teaching people that some are special and others not, and that just happens to be the root of the entire problem! As humans we should be working to end the problems common to humans. Anything less is futile in my opinion.

This is the released version of the Proclamation with the corrected date. The first issue with the 20th on it was an error. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Transgender Day of Remembrance, Nov 20, 2014 at First Congregational Church of Riverside, Day 4 of Transgender Awareness Week

The video of Transgender Day of Remembrance, Nov 20, 2014 at First Congregational Church of Riverside, Day 4 of Transgender Awareness Week is finished...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Worthy of Celebration...

The LGBTQ... community in the City of Riverside were presented with this City Proclamation by Riverside's Human Relations Commission last night during our Transgender Awareness Week kickoff event. This is worthy of celebration!!! Many people have spent many long and hard years of advocacy and activism to make this possible. Thanks to every one of you!

Gabriel Maldonado, the Commission's LGBT Liaison did the presenting and I did the receiving. It was a great honor - this is yours now!

Hugs and Blessings,

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Riverside California's Week of Transgender Awareness

Here is the text content of the flier - can be copied and shared as text. Thanks EG!

Total Trans* immersion! See for updates and additions to this list.

Monday, Nov. 17th: LGBT and ally residents of Riverside are invited to be part of city's first Equality Alliance of Riverside meeting where you will hear from local LGBT leadership, our community's needs, and ways to help in creating an LGBT-friendly Riverside. Please RSVP by Nov 15 @ or text (951) 224-4798 for details.

Tuesday the 18th, Trans-Basics 6-9PM La Sierra High Auditorium 4145 La Sierra, Riverside w/Rev. Benita Ramsey, Kristie & Jaden Handzlik from Temecula PFLAG. Join a national call-in at 10amPST, please register to get the call information @ (Type link exactly as written or it will error! Also a TransLivesMatter event 3:00pm Vermont & Santa Monica in LA).

Wednesday the 19th, First Congregational Church will be a free screening of “Trans: The Movie” at 6:30PM followed by Q&A with Sarah Tyler, the mother of Danann, a trans child featured in the movie. Free admission.

Thursday the 20th: VA Loma Linda 11:30 AM till 1PM will hold its First Annual, open to the public, formal TDoR observance 11201 Benton St, Loma Linda, CA 92354 Contact Shelly Ann for more info 

Then at 7 PM First Congregational Church hosts their 4th annual, Transgender Day of Remembrance observance in Downtown Riverside with Rev. Rizi Xavier Timane, a transgender minister, an author, a recording artist, and an outspoken advocate for the LGBT community, Anna Tower who lost her trans-identified partner to suicide, and Jaden and Kristie Handzlik who also spoke at last year’s TDoR. Free admission. FCC is a Safe Space—come as you identify!

Friday the 21st at the Grier Pavilion 7th floor, Riverside City Hall from 7 to 9 PM is “Royalty on the Rooftop” a presentation of Inland Empire Drag Kings and Queens. Admission $7 for adults, $5 for students, free under 12.

Saturday morning the 22nd, In the morning at Riverside City College’s Cosmetology facility, on Olivewood Ave, from 9 AM to 1 PM the students there will host a free Makeover Day. Free haircut, style, mani/pedi, makeover, makeup help, or those interested in what it feels like to be made up as the opposite gender. Several trans individuals will be speaking during the event too — all are welcome. Come have some fun!

Saturday evening: VerbalEyze: Youth Open Mic & Arts Exhibit 6:00 Art Exhibition/7:00 Open Mic. The Unity Center 2025 Chicago Avenue, Suite A 20, Riverside 92507, Sponsors: Rainbow Pride Alliance, TruEvolution, PFLAG Temecula, in conjunction with CAGSI. To sign up for open mic contact us at

Sunday, the 23rd at First Congregational Church at 3:30 PM – an original one act play, "Now and Then Beyond the Glass" presented by Bent Not Broken Inspired and friends followed immediately by Riverside’s 4th annual TDoR Candlelight Memorial remembering Trans folks and others murdered for simply daring to be themselves and those who supported them. 

Followed at 5PM by the First Congregational Church’s afternoon “As You Are” service themed for Trans Day of Remembrance too—Eva-Genevieve! Scarborough will be speaking. FCC is a Safe Space—come as you identify, ALL are welcome as you are!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Things Happening in Riverside Calif. this November

Riverside Trans*Gender Awareness Coalition - RT*GA

We are looking for volunteers to help plan and staff several events in November from the 17th to 23rd. Transgender Awareness Week. On Thursday the 20th and the Sunday the 23rd we observe Transgender day Of Remembrance, Thursday with informative speakers and Sunday we host Riverside's 4th annual TDoR Candlelight Memorial, remembering those who have died simply because they dared to live an authentic life. Wednesday that week we will be screening "Trans; The Movie" and Sarah Tyler, who is one of the movie's featured parents of a trans child, will be there to speak and answer audience questions. Friday night is Royals on the Rooftop - a drag show at City Hall!! In the Grier Pavilion. Details will be forth coming soon so stay tuned...

Contact me for more info. of if you want to help.

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Surprisingly Good Breakfast

Recently I embarked on a rather lengthy journey across the country the main intent of which was to spend some time with my mom but also to see my 2 sons and then do some sightseeing in places I have not been. I stopped for 4 days in San Francisco first and then took Amtrak to Naperville, Illinois. I am about to conclude a two-month stay at my mom’s place and next weekend I will resume my travels. I will spend a couple of days in Chicago and then, also traveling by Amtrak, to Glacier National Park, Seattle, Portland before going to my favorite refresh myself spot on California’s Central Coast (San Luis Obispo) and then home to Riverside, Calif. 

 Eventually I will post a bunch of photos, or links to them and some more details but for now some can be seen on my Facebook page but for now I felt like posting here again to describe something nice that happened.

I rented a car and drove to the Cleveland Area to see my two sons. Yesterday morning (Aug 17, 2014) before heading back to Illinois with my boys so they can visit with my mom some I decided to go have a nice breakfast since, for some reason, I always get overly hungry when traveling. I wanted to be able to drive a good distance without stopping. In Middleburgh

Heights, Ohio, across the street from several motels, is a Perkins Restaurant. Over many years of visiting this area I have found it to be consistently good and this morning was no exception, in fact the food and service were excellent.

I was eating and, as usual, reading my Sci-Fi book and generally having a pleasant morning. Then my waiter informed me that someone had paid the bill for my breakfast. Yup, just like that – out of the blue!  But he did not say whom it was who paid so I sat there astounded, looking around to try and pick out the culprit. If this had happened at a bar with someone buying a drink for me I would expect to get hit on but nobody in the place seemed to be paying any attention to me after that fashion. A while later the restaurant host came by and told me the staff had decided to cover my bill. So what was an already excellent meal was made that much better and that really made my day. I feel very welcomed there, kind of like it has become a family place for me now. I feel sort of bad that I won’t be able to go back there until whatever next-time I have in the area where my sons reside.

 Since I can’t thank them for their random act of kindness by eating there often here’s a plug for their restaurant in Middleburgh Heights OH… You folks are awesome! Thanks.