"GETTING BACK TO ME" BOOK RELEASE TOUR AND SIGNING EVENT - BLOG - THROUGH THE EYES OF THOSE WHO SUPPORTED US.
Below are the accounts of the very special people who gave their skills (through photography or logistics to making our release tour a success. Most accounts were the first time long time friends encountered Scottie as she took her steps into a brave new world.
Week Four - Stop 2. The California Leg of the Tour wraps with holiday flair at Tom Franco's Firehouse Art Collective
Scottie's Tournal - BERKELEY FIREHOUSE ART COLLECTIVE -
A DIFFERENT VIEW OF SELF:
I love this time of the year – that ultra chill time between “The Empress of Holidays” & The New Year – Sanskrit has a word for it – Mudya. This is the name for the space between your inhale and your exhale. And it’s here that we can find the divine. I always use this time of the year to allow myself to feel the tumultuous rush of silence that comes from the glow of love.
I’m writing this entry into my journal, sitting next to the tree that my brothers-in-law (all of the McVickar boys – it’s a hat trick!) cut in this northern Cal forest and dragged thru new fallen snow. Our fantasy Christmas that only took off from there – those of you who read my book won’t be surprised that I made last Christmas (as monumental as it was) proud that we were able to take everything up many notches…
But what I’m blown away by, now that the leftovers all are there is (trust me - my favorite part of Christmas!) is the year that brought us to here.
As I’ve written, I think God gave me a chew toy that was so intense, so as to distract me while She was busy shifting my planet’s orbital spin. This was the Cali Leg of the tour – the logistics of which would have made me fire myself. BUT it was without reservation or regret, perfect in EVERYDAY.
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... The day of the event started off with my dear big sister Melissa doing my make-up and hair, I have since kidnapped her and will be taking her with me – trust me girls, this is not a luxury but a necessity! It was an amazing feeling to have this flavor of love hovering over me.
The finale was The Firehouse Art Gallery in Berkeley CA. And this event was another family affair. It truly was "old home week" as Marcy and I were welcomed into the loving arms of dear friends and family at Tom Franco's Firehouse Art Gallery. Kerry Kehoe our favorite "Still girl" caught it all on film, er, card. (Card, I said card.)
It was especially sweet to feature the amazing original oil painting "Endless Raspberry Queen" used to create the cover for "Getting Back To Me." Sally Park Rubin was on hand to discuss the story behind the painting. But here’s where I need to revel in the mudya again. As much as I should’ve been ready – indeed I’ve been dealing with the digital file of the image since I first got the idea for the cover image. I’d been sent pictures of the various stages of Sally Joy’s progress. BUT I was truly not prepared for my reaction to the actual painting. There’s something about the magnificence of a real oil paining that we have yet to translate into ones and zeros. News flash I burst into tears – seeing it in the humble setting of Sally & Ed’s living room leaning against the wall as Ed feverishly hurried to get the temporary frame on in time for the event. The lighting wasn’t great at all, the easel and other furniture littered the foreground, but there… I was. I was as if I was seeing myself for the first time.
Back to the event – Over 35 braved the rain to celebrate Marcy & my love story with some very revealing moments - For our dear friends who've been unable to attend (we've seen your well wishes) the event was live streamed, (this being 2015 and all) by our dear big brothers Ed and Rick Butler and is currently available on the web. Rick, Ed and I have been working together for over twenty years. But this was the first time I was out from behind the camera with them both. And the “firsts” continued to roll…
I say “firsts” because, tho’ this was as much our home turf as LA LA Land, it was the first time dear friends had seen Marcy and I since life changed for us last December. Also many people who we were only aware of, but never really knew, came out and introduced themselves. It was amazing, touching and nurturing.
And, it seemed to touch something deeper in us all – Sally Joy’s honesty that her painting was her way of understanding my decision to step forward in life as I am. She, like many people closest to Marcy & me, really had a tough time getting her head to follow her heart. She loved me enough in my former skin) to ask us to be Sam’s Godparents, and held me in high regard as a husband. And what was so inspiring to me was that rather than throw up her hands and say it’s too complicated, she actively worked it thru her very own way until her head could hear her heart. Love is love. And the painting shows it!
I read from Chapter 22 “Too Late To Go Back To Sleep” which describes my process of using concentric circles that represent the spheres that emanate from my heart that represent Marcy, my family, and my friends. After I had had “the chat” with circles I let the rest of the world know in a more quiet and dignified fashion. I would simply, without announcement or fanfare merely change my facebook profile picture and that pesky gender marker to it’s true F for female. Those of you who have read the book will know that… well, it was a good plan on paper anyway. But it was also how Sally Joy would see my face for the very first time after hearing my news and how it became the subject for her painting.
The Q&A was different this time as Marcy & I started off side by side rather than have me go at it solo. And the most satisfying response for me came when one man said that my book made him look to his own life to see what armor he had created to cover his true self to the world. I love when our story transcends the subject or issue and rises to the universal!
Sally & Ed’s son (and my & Marcy's godson) Sam sent everyone home with his a'capella rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Afterward I signed books and Marcy & I mingled as Sally Joy passed around her Granny's coveted shortbread (secret recipe - I'll never tell) and Lisa made a special Christmas Chai! - we can't thank you ladies enough - thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!
Our intention behind this leg of the tour was to create as much buzz with personal events with our family & friends to spread the word that we had written a book. In each stop we asked everyone to post pictures and comments on their FB pages and twitter feeds, etc. so that each person that attended would be a connection point to their spheres of influence. We see traffic to our website after each event thanks to you all (please don’t stop!) and great reviews on amazon when the books are bought and read. The goal being that our story could help others, but people have to know it’s there for the getting!
We tried everything we could think of in this short period of time from the day the book was released (Nov.10th 2015) until the New Year, from a neighborhood cookie party to a formal presentation at one of the largest and most influential corporations on the planet. We held an event in the classic old school style of a library book signing to an charity fundraising for LGBTQ teens, from restaurants to a winery to a live stream.
In the end, we can say we made a good start. In each location we had dear amazing guardian angels who gave up their time Merrie-Lynn in Sherman Oaks, Michelle in Hillcrest, Monica at Google, Mary Anne in Del Mar, Laurie in SJ, Cassie with the Youthspace, Jack & Ruthie in Woodland Hills and Sally Joy & Tom in Berkeley, for their love, logistical support and personal contacts… and in some cases a spare bedroom!
Marcy and my story is now your stories. And all of our love is yours.
Our journey is only now beginning. 2016 is going to be amazing! We’ll see you there!
Click here for their side of the story... Melissa Missy-Mac Macwilliams
I got to know Scottie over the past 15+ years as Marcy’s husband, the guy I saw at events behind the camera, or telling the guy behind the camera what to do. Over the past 4 or 5 years, Marcy and I worked closely together, albeit via long distance, and I got to see Scottie through Marcy’s eyes as her great love, husband, and friend. During that time I also had the chance to hang out with Scottie when she was in town two or three times a year; we developed a routine centered around coffee, of which I always had the best available in my office, all the better to lure a sleep-deprived show-runner for a chat.
Like everyone who’s known the Maddens over the years, I saw their relationship as a model for how a couple should treat each other.
Then one day last year, I was visiting Marcy in LA—Scottie was in Denver working on Dude—and the conversation turned to relationships. Once again, I was going on about how if I were ever to be in a romantic one again, of course it would have to be with someone as thoughtful, fun, and devoted as her love. There was a pause, and Marcy said, “Well, I have something to tell you.”
My heart stopped. I was horrified that she was about to tell me they were splitting up. This was unthinkable, but at the same time I had known it to happen to the seemingly most solid of marriages, so I tried to prepare myself for what I might be about to hear.
When Marcy told me what was going on with Scott/Scottie, my heart started up again, but for a moment I was speechless all the same. It took a few moments to wrap my brain around what she was saying. It was, after all, a very big deal. Surprisingly though, it didn’t take long to process the news, and my first words were, “Thank God! I thought you were going to tell me you guys were getting a divorce!”
Marcy giggled; she may have been as relieved as I was, having told me this huge secret that I now know she had been carrying for years. Since that day I have been loving getting to know Scottie—the rest of her, her true self—and watching Marcy and Scottie’s relationship as it continues to unfold.
Week Four, Stop One. (Or six over all… I know, I know, this whole week thingy is a… well, gotta see it thru, right?) WOODLAND HILLS – BOOK SIGNING AND CHRISTMAS COOKIE EXCHANGE!
It’s… well, the next morning and I couldn’t sleep – I am still buzzing from the love in my own backyard (literally) and no, it ain’t the sugar! (Tho’ it could by all rights be – it was a MOUNTAIN of sugar! I am moving the Cookie Exchange idea into heavy rotation!)
I started the evening downstairs – thinking in a quiet space of what I wanted to say to the guests taking time to make merry. I could hear the delightful din start to grow upstairs. Suddenly a woman walked down the spiral stair case and two women who knew each other well were meeting each for the first time. My “Nanners” and I had gone to San Diego State together and each had pursued her career in this wacky world of TV… but sadly we confessed to each other that we had absolutely no excuse for each having lived in the valley for almost 20 years and neither had known… thank you FB!
Se let me collect the rest of thoughts scattered about like legos on a Christmas morning – there would be time to have our real reunion later… finally I couldn’t stand my solitude anymore – the joyful noise of the party upstairs beckoned.
It was amazing to see guests all deck in the holiday attire, everything a little bit more sparkly and bright! Smiles, eyes, hearts… nothing beats the sight of someone settling into a nice happy chat with a Santa mug full of hot cider… yes, Charlie Brown… Christmas time is HERE!
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But really, I feel like I’m training for the Olympics of Love – such an out-pouring of support from my Angels of LA. As we discussed before, in this town, nothing says true love like, “I’ll drive thru HOLIDAY traffic for you!” But also tonight has an added bonus – my neighbors could walk! Audrey, PJ & Beast (and don’t forget Preston!) Steve & Sue, Danielle and Jo & Gizzy thanks you for representin’… Girard Tract in the House!
And what a house it was -
It was SRO in the beautiful living room- made-auditorium, with the love and cheer of Jack & Ruthie Hayback. I am so grateful for these amazing friends – Jack is a professional audio engineer, and producer who knows how to turn an event into a great show, and Ruthie is the world class hostess, gracious and truly caring. That they opened their hearts and their home for Mylove and me, in their jam-packed work & holiday schedule is humbling to say the least. But they made this a truly memorable experience for everyone, in a seemingly effortless way – (but don’t worry Marcy and I weren’t fooled – we know the superhuman effort required to be calm in the chaos – kindred spirits!)
The crowd was our most eclectic yet, as Jack & Ruthie’s friends and colleagues mixed with some of my friends from college, KM and Chris, Nancy, professional colleagues Diana & Todd, and neighbors who walk the same trails in the hills of “Dirt Mulholland,” some, who were never aware of what really had happened to Marcy’s husband, (and I was to learn really had been talking amongst themselves) and of course my new BFFs – who braved the 405 AND the 101 to “represent” Marjorie, Christine, Siyah & Frannie, sisters & dear friends made in the last year. And once again… my journey was going public.
I wanted to have this event under the Christmas tree – it’s really only been since last Christmas that I gave myself the present of myself. My journey’s latest chapter really did start here at the season of peppermint and light and red & green and all that sparkles. And so I took Jack’s warm and loving guidance as we gathered our thoughts in his kitchen and then… Jack welcomed everyone and gave a heart felt request that everyone share everything that is about to happen with their friends on social media, set the stage and introduced me.
So many familiar faces and a few that were new – over 30 in all, my breath caught in my throat. And then I began, after explaining some context, I read from Chapter 13, “(Finally) Home for Christmas.” And indeed, I was.
The Q&A has been the most hopeful to date – most questions stemmed from the desire to understand how I had been able to document my going from girl to boy to woman; how I survived and thrived for as long as I could, by trying to surrender to the worlds’ expectations.
BUT – the bright Christmas star of hope shone when Mac, Jack’s friend, shared that one day, she picked-up her eight-year-old granddaughter from school as she was saying goodbye to her friend. When asked who her friend was, she replied Zach. Odd name for a girl, said Grandma, but her granddaughter explained that her friend was “a girl with boy parts.” What blew Grandma’s mind (and all of us in the room) was the way she declared this as the God’s honest truth that it is; with no judgment, no confusion and no conflict whatsoever. Just a girl.
There is hope for us all.
Jack took the mic and bowled me over as he said what Marcy and I hope is the one take away from our story – Love Actually is the most powerful force in the universe. Love does dispel the darkness of fear, ignorance and want. He thanked us for giving him the opportunity to experience that.
As we continued the evening signing books and munching Christmas cookies, I floated on that night timey, silent, profound and wondrously buoyant cloud of energy we all know as the Spirit of Christmas… my big brother Chris made sure I knew that my father would have loved his oldest daughter (me) with such pride. He would’ve loved knowing that he had all girls. Chris had met my father many times and he said this to me with with such confidence and urgency that I could feel my father’s powerful love suddenly embrace me. It was almost overwhelming. It’s truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
Marcy and I want to thank all who came out to our neighborhood in the oaks! Books were bought as wonderful Christmas presents (an even better way to spread the word!) And I know one book was bound for New York – exciting! I still have to pick-up the Christmas mugs and leftover cookies from Jack & Ruthies (I swear she wouldn’t let us help clean up!) as we prepare for the finale of the 2015 California leg of my Book Signing Party Tour - this Sunday, Dec. 20th As 2:00 pm at the Adeline Firehouse gallery. And for those of you outside of the Bay area… here’s a little secret… it will be live streamed via our website Zuzubean.com
See you ALL there!
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From Diana Weynand -
Scottie, Since I've known you for over 30 years, hearing you speak at the book signing in Woodland Hills started me thinking a lot about our early relationship. About how you must have felt not being able to be yourself. How much did you hold back? How much of yourself you were able to be with me? How much of Scottie Jeanette did I know back then? I’m curious if it was different for different people. It must have been. I always liked what you shared. I liked you. (Still do! ;-) It just has me looking at things from inside out, upside down, back to front, etc. It’s interesting, yet I don’t want it to distract me too much. It’s not what’s important. What’s important is that you are finding your way today to being who you are in your soul. And that makes me very very happy. And if you were happy being with me way back when, then I’m honored that you felt that level of comfort with me. True friends - forever!
*since Diana posed a question - Scottie responded:
"Diana - This is why we're so special - woman to woman we never held anything back. You asked how much of Scottie Jeanette did you know back then. Well, everything... to a point. I tried to build a courtyard in my heart that would give everyone a controlled and defended place to visit - I could let everyone all the way in to feel my complete love, but I could make sure that you stayed in the courtyard basking in my sun… you didn’t need to know how dark and cold the corridors were behind the courtyard’s walls. So, you knew all the best things that were me, that was Scottie Jeanette. You taught me that you could be tough and strong without sacrificing love and kindness. You showed me a long time ago that strong, smart, intelligent (which is a lot more differenter than many think) funny, creative and logistical, as you are, are feminine traits, So OF COURSE I was comfortable, And now, you are able to see why we were able to be so... close."
Week Three, Stop Two (or for those of you doing new math, stop number 5) Fundraiser @Savana-Channelle Winery, Saratoga CA with the LGBTQ Youthspace
Okay, I’m starting out now with straight-up telling you, I am blessed. By now, you know how I have the unbelievable support of Mylove (as many are saying the star of my book, and rightly so!). But I have also had more than my share of guardian angels on this tour and this stop, I was… well, all of the hyperbole that comes to mind still doesn’t do justice to shower of magick and love that poured down on me from my bestest big sister, Laurie. She single-handedly created out of whole-cloth a memorable event at this incredible location in the Santa Cruz Mountains, complete with a silent auction, (which included a private tour of the winery for 10 people that is valued at over $300.00) and three raffles of baskets of high-end gourmet food with all of the proceeds going to The LGBTQ YouthSpace of Silicon Valley. Laurie put on a spread of hors d'oeuvres and refreshments and the guest sipped the winery’s finest as Christmas lights glowed. I can’t thank this magical woman enough for her love support and sisterhood… and her beau Karl WithaK was a constant loving attentive man, that took care of every little need. Missy Polk, our dear friend (and part of my original review team) braved Bay area traffic to pitch-in! Thanks my dear!
The evening started with Laurie welcoming her friends and book lovers from the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, and then turned it over to Mylove to set the stage - tonight was a little bit different than past stops on the tour – we had a partner. Cassie Blume, the director of programs for the YouthSpace told everyone of the mission of this great organization -- founded in 2008, the LGBTQ Youth Space is...
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... a drop in center and counseling program for LGBTQ youth and young adults ages 13-25, serving more than 400 youth and, through outreach and education activities, more than 5,000 community members annually to educate and empower young people across Santa Clara County. Beyond mental health and wellness, the program serves as the primary resource for LGBTQ youth and young adults seeking community, peer support, leadership development opportunities, and a safe, supportive space to hang out.
Cassie introduced two great individuals who are living breathing success stories of the YouthSpace’s great work - Erika Cisneros the current LGBTQ Youth Space Outreach Worker and Intake Coordinator, who’s involvement began at the age of 24 when she attended the Youth Space Summer Leadership Camp, as well as receiving counseling services. She later became a consumer intern, and then an outreach worker. And Frank Pena, a Chicano-Transgender man has been coming to the LGBT Youth Space since he was 14 years old. He quickly got involved and shortly after coming out, became an active member in the Speakers Bureau. Frank later became an intern and now works full time as the Outreach Worker and Volunteer Coordinator. He also is one of the facilitators of our Trans* Group.
Then Scottie began to read the chapter that cut to the heart of her connection with the special guests – Chapter 3 “It’s Like Déjà vu all over again.” Where Scottie describes candidly and emotionally the point in her journey where professional therapy changed her and Marcy’s life forever. This set the stage for a lively Q&A that has to be the most amazing yet. Several members of this astute and literary audience, were also involved in or had been involved in long term marriages – and they wanted to know how in God’s name did Marcy plow thru her own fears and confusion to keep love and marriage first. Scottie was able to give a first hand account of love and faith and then Marcy gave her side. (for the step-by-step process, you’ll just have to read the book!)
Suffice to say – book sales were great! And after another half-hour of lively discussion and laughter, the evening continued as Scottie signed books giving her a chance for one-on-one chats - the highlight was the confession by one man who had simply been told by his wife that he was going to a book signing, (without being told the subject matter) when he read the poster at the entrance he prepared himself for a wasted hour of his life. BUT he found the writing of my book and the honesty, clarity and humor by which it was shared fascinating and he thanked me for opening his mind. Now that’s worth all the effort!
Once again, my dear friend and SJ native shutterbug Nancy captured it all and we are so grateful! To everyone who braved the mountain pass (and the return after a few glasses of incredible wine) thank you!
Next stop we’re home in LA, literally – Marcy and I can actually walk to this one – In our own neighborhood here, in Woodland Hills as the home of good friends and party/event masters Jack & Ruthie Samonte-Hayback. Please come all my Angelenos – it’s a book signing AND a Christmas Cookie Exchange as I put my cookies where your mouth is… or something like that – Wednesday, December 16th at 7:00 pm
But for now, I gotta go -- got cookies to bake!
Click here for their side of the story - Laurie Kehl
From Laurie Kehl -
"I am a fairly classic California hippy chick. I work in the natural foods industry and so the operative word here is "natural." When I saw my friend Scott in December of 2014 wearing hoop earrings, a stylish pantsuit, hair and makeup subtle yet clearly feminine I though, "Okay. Look at that. She looks natural."
In the food industry, it's a hard won battle to receive your FDA organic certification. it takes years of work caring for the field, removing layers of what man has poured into it in order to yield what looks like a perfect product. The would be organic farmer must strip down the field to its original, natural state which is a painstaking labor of love that can then yield the most delightful gifts as nature intended. Scottie has received her organic certification.
Fast forward and Scottie has written a book, and folks, we now have a book tour! Scottie and Marcy came to stay with my boyfriend Karl and I for the Nor Cal visits and before their arrival, I took a good look at my heart. Any judgements, thoughts, weirdness lurking? Anything? Honestly, seeing Scottie back in December really just seemed so natural. So much so that I have to remind myself that these two are going through a life changing, life altering, mind blowing event! I want to respect that and yet, it all seems so easeful.
Because Scottie and Marcy have spent years, lifetimes really, working that field, honing wisdom and unconditional love within themselves as human beings, they are beautiful reminders not just for the LGBTQQ(D) community, but for all of us. While this life changing, life altering, mind blowing process is in full swing, life continues to be a celebration of triumph and tragedy and love, love is the body we all wear. Love transcends any label we wish to attach to our human race and the story's we live. So naturally It seems to me, the real message is just that."
Click here for their side of the story - Frank & Erika of lgbtq YouthSpace
(a collaboration with Frank and Erika)
"As a wine connoisseur, I was ecstatic to try new wine and most importantly I was excited to hear the story behind writing a book that is full of so much raw emotion. The wine tasting room, nestled in the Saratoga hills was warm and inviting and full of Christmas spirit. We as Youth Space staff have spoken in many environments but never to such a warm crowd in a picturesque setting.
We were a little nervous, and one of our two cars got lost on the way, but once we were all settled in the wine tasting room Scottie was able to lead a group check in and review the way in which we are all going to speak. After our check in and once people were able to roam snack, drink and explore a bit, everyone settled into their seats and the event ensued.
With Scottie's direction and her wife’s help, the transition into the event went very smoothly. The crowd was welcoming and listened intently. While we spoke about our experience within our program I noticed the crowds heads nodded softly, almost rhythmically. After the formal part of the event had ended and we were once again left to socialize, I noticed that many people from the crowd approached us and thanked us or asked us questions about the program or our experiences. Many of those who approached us also asked for specific outreach materials for their own kids or their children’s friends.
With donations from that evening the Youth Space was able to arrange an ice skating field trip as well as purchase paint and clay for our art group. Thank you Scottie; for travelling to share your story, shining insight into your life and personal experiences, and for connecting with us and helping to make a change."
Week Three, Stop One (okay, actually 4th in the overall series, but who’s countin’?) DEL MAR PUBLIC LIBRARY
The Prodigal Daughter returns (again).
This was truly a family affair – Mylove had to sit this one out, so, my sister Kimm and my lovely niece Hana picked up the slack. I was very well taken care of! And family runs deep in the city of my birth – Bud & Mary Ann, Kimm’s parents-in-law, graciously hooked me up with Polly Cipparrone, the librarian for Del Mar, which set the stage for an amazing event.
My fabulous nephew Dane heard that I needed a photog and produced one out of thin air (maybe aerial is more accurate), Blake, is a north county pro who is known morefor his skateboard work, but was a silent ninja shooter, moving effortlessly during the proceedings. He produced the wonderful shots you see here. Thanks Blake!
The day started out with driving thru three counties of traffic, going down THE 405, to THE 805, to THE 52… (yes, darn it we LOVE our freeways with articles!) to see my dear friend, first writing partner and fellow tv freak Mitchell and his ever divine wife Karen. They were gracious and feed me a light lunch, gave me a sound system that I wouldn’t need, okay, so I panic’d -my bad!) and sent me on my way.
My beautiful niece Hana helped me avoid a huge fashion catastrophe and then we set up the room at the library, as we awaited the guest to appear. I greeted some of the early arrivals when my mind was suddenly blown…
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my dear friend Patricia had just won the “traveled the farthest contest” – ALBUQUERQUE NEW MEXICO? I couldn’t believe my eyes! A huge hug from an amazing woman that I hadn’t seen in twenty years! What a rockstar! But I had to calm down and get my head together – so much to say to everyone, and so much on the line…
So I found a quiet place to look over what I planned to read… and it hit me, libraries have always been worlds of wonder as I grew up – canyons that open into new universes with every turn of a page. I don’t get to them now as an adult, and for the life of me, as I smell the paper and settle into that wondrous hush, I can’t come up with good reason why…
But a tap on my shoulder pulls me from my reverie. And then Polly is graciously introducing me to a room that is 90% family, and friends who are or should be family, and as I scan the faces, those who actually play a role factor in the book.
But, in actual fact, really only a few (who had already read my journey) knew what I was about to reveal, I mean really reveal. A pivotal moment of my childhood that would actually haunt me as recently as last year, which I wrote had happened while I was hosting my sister Kimm’s birthday… chapter 5 “What nothing sounds like.”
But as usual, the best part was the question and answer portion of our show. Cuz this time, we had another rock star – June, a grandmother and guest of Bud & Mary Ann, who has grandson, who’s gay and grand daughter who works with LGBTQ community. And she had the best questions, truly trying to understand the journey with an open mind and heart! What a great example. What a great lady!
We talked of many things, about gender roles and challenges for women in the workplace, once again, my sister Kimm brought down the house (for those of you reading the book – she and Mylove have all of the best lines) when I was asked if as a woman, I have always been this communicative or did this come as a result of the changes in my recent life. Kimm rolled her eyes, no, she’s been this way FOREVER!
After I signed books we had a little after party where I was able to catch-up with my dear friends and family. In a night of highlights, spending time with Darrce, who’s Marcy’s namesake, and I’ve watched blossom into an amazing woman. We could speak (finally) freely as two women who’ve watched each other grow and I could meet her love Will, an equally wonderful man.
So… tour stop 4 ended with me and amazing sister Kimm curled up on her couch... reliving our favorite moments… and… growing as sisters should: with love, laughter and that deep, “knowing” of who each really is. And that’s one of my greatest treasures.
Next stop is… HOLY MOLY, Saturday? It’s back to Silicon Valley for a book signing fundraising event at the Savana Channelle Winery in the Santa Cruz Mts… see you there!
Okay… I’ve been keeping a secret. No, not THAT secret – that’s not a secret anymore anyway, silly! A secret secret, all because, I didn’t want anything to scare it away. But it happened!
I was asked by Google to participate in their “Author’s Presentations” last week. Last Friday, I read from my book to a crowd of 20 or so employees in their auditorium, while over 100 watched the live stream on their in-house system! So, 2015…. So… well, Google! (The video is available in the videos section of this site.)
I have to start by saying that my dear generous and completely supportive big brother and friend Bradley opened his arms and Google’s doors to welcome me. His Chief of Staff, Monica, also a dear, dear friend was the Guardian Angel, coordinating and instructing me on Google’s ways and means on Bradley’s behalf. But both Bradley and Monica had only heard of my, ahem, life changes, so this was more than just a professional presentation at one of the world’s foremost and influential corporations on the planet… it was also a, homecoming of sorts.
Like all of my book signings have been revealed to be. I can say that I didn’t plan on that being the case when I conceived of this signing tour… and for those of you who’ve started to read my book… it should be no surprise. But there it is. A joyful, heartwarming life-affirming little ol presentation inside the magic kingdom of hope known as a Google...
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My dear friends Rick & and Nancy documenting on video and photo the highlights, of which there were many – Google, I realized as I walked to podium after a warm and funny introduction by Bradley, is truly a place that changes the world a little bit each day. In quiet, smooth and respectful ways, so gracefully that we may not even know the change has occurred… we’re just doing things better than we did the day before… and there was my point of connection for my author’s presentation. By being so open about my journey and the love that has supported me along the way, Mylove & I are an example of the small, graceful and loving change that this world is capable of. Love does conquer even our deepest fears.
To bring that point around, full circle, I knew that large number of those attending on the live stream (and in the room) were from the LGBTQ community, and those that weren’t had family or friends who were, (called Gayglers by the Googlers, which are members of the Google culture/workforce). So I read from Chapter Five – “What Nothing Sounds Like” which describes being caught as a child by my father for trying to be the girl that I am. It is a poignant example of the misunderstanding between parents and a transgender or different child that can lead to the lifetime of… well needing to reconcile an identity. Something that Gayglers, we all could relate to, but also as those who are reading my book are discovering... something we all go thru, gay or straight, cis or trans, queer, questioning and ALL variations in between. In short... my book is for everyone!
After the reading Bradley lead the Q&A sessions and I was asked who had inspired me to finally “come out” and finally live my life as a woman. I think I surprised everyone by saying, my wife, Marcy. She inspires me everyday to be the best me I can, and her example to face even her deepest fears of losing her knight, her king, her romance with love and strength and compassion. Bradley brought Mylove up to the podium so everyone could meet this amazing woman.
After a few more questions the session conclude with me signing more books. And then Monica gave the entire entourage a tour of the sprawling campus. This is where the giants of the computer industry have forged a new American and International business paradigm and culture that not only breaks down the barriers of ignorance and arrogance of the traditional corporate cultures, it doesn’t even acknowledge their existence. While the business world was stepping over dollars to pick up pennies, Google was creating a reality out of a dream. And we were witnessing it first hand.
We came on the giant letters “and proud” in the colors of the rainbow flag still standing on the campus as a monument to the Supreme Courts decision on same-sex marriage. It was the perfect place for a photo-op and tho’ I still need some media training (like what to do with one’s purse when you’re trying to “look cool” whatever that is) it was fun playful and… historic!
The video link of my talk will be available this week so stay tuned! This is a HUGE week for us, with our next stop the Del Mar Library on Wednesday, December 9th, and then next Saturday we’re back in Silicon Valley for the second even sponsored by Google (I know, right? How generous can they be?) at the Savana-Channelle Winery. This event will be our first fund-raiser! We’re proud to announce that proceeds from on-site book sales and the silent auction will go to benefit the LGBTQ Youthspace of San Jose. So… stay tuned!
I’m still buzzing from last night’s affair. I don’t think, no, I know I didn’t really think this all the way thru when we first conceived of this tour thingy… it’s far and away better than I ever dreamed. Over 50 odd people (okay some of them , not so odd, but the others...?) came – some we were meeting for the very first time (word is spreading!) and most were old friends who represented the three pillars (or tribes) on which our life is built. All came to support us and have their copies of “Getting Back To Me” signed. Chad at the Uptown Tavern and his staff we’re super welcoming and warm. And under the barrage of the videos screens that lined the walls, guests entered to highlights of “Dude, You’re Screwed!” the show Scottie produced for the Discovery channel, which set the stage for Scottie’s journey.
Many hadn’t seen or heard from the prodigal daughter since… well, since the Madden’s flew north for the bright lights of Hollywood. This is the city of Scottie’s birth, she went to SDSU and started her career, fell in love with Marcy and began their 26 and going marriage & love affair. So…
” it seems an understatement to say that this was an epic reunion of souls under the guise of a simple book signing party. The highlights were many, including the joyful hug when Scottie’s high school mate Mark Vidano shared that he came to say thank you to Scottie for a simple kind act of strength & support done 35 years ago in the school halls of their youth. All of this was captured by the photographer extraordinaire, TJ Devadatta Best. (Truly, Scottie has never looked like this!) TJ has been a long-time friend and creative colleague and we have always been in awe of his “light inspired art.” We were so blessed to have his lens capturing the moments. Note to self – never travel anywhere without your own magnificent make-up artist, and photographer! Also Scottie’s big brothers Derek & Mitch made sure she didn’t have shout over the din by providing sound amplification – Thanks brothers dear!
Several “rockstars” mentioned in Scottie’s book came to show their love – her big brothers, Biglsy, Shredder, Brendo and KR who had been beside her since college, and the tears and hugs flowed at concert hall pitch! (As do most things that the infamous Tag-Team does… we’re not a … quite riot.) Also, Scottie’s Guardian Angel Cat and her wonderful hubby, Craig generously hosted the Madden’s and made sure they got to the Tavern on time, and Kalika McClure helped canvass the neighborhoods with old school flyers to spread the word.
The formal evening once again concluded with a Q&A which is becoming Scottie’s favorite segment of the party – and issues of gender discrimination, shifting roles and hope on the horizon are discussed in a support, tho’ raucus air. And many who commented later said it was an inspiring and heart opening event, that they were grateful to have been able to participate in.
To all of Scottie & Marcy’s friends who came last night – we cherish you all and are deeply grateful for your love, your light and your laughter.
CLICK HERE FOR THEIR SIDE OF THE STORY... CAT STEWART
If was wonderful to see such a great turnout. It spoke of love and respect, encouragement and acceptance and the greatness of the human heart. I felt a renewed sense of hope for humanity witnessing how many terrific people Scottie has drawn into and from all areas of her life - past and present, spiritual and worldly - each one caring enough to be there and visibly demonstrate their support. It extended Scottie's story from herself, to her couple, to her family and outwards to friends and then strangers. This evening was a tribute to the power of love to create revolutionary, meaningful change in this world.
For me, Scottie's journey, and this event in particular, highlighted the area of my life - and I believe, everyone's life - where I unwittingly conceal certain parts of myself, not only from those around me, but even to myself. I refer to this as 'the Unspoken Conversation'. It comes first as a revelation or awakening to something I haven't been able to admit or even be aware of, and then what follows is a conversation with myself about who I believe I am and how that effects my value or even my right to live or love.
This evening with Scottie started a whole new series of these kinds of conversations. It illumined dark corners of my sense of self-worth and how others might view me. It insighted a riot of feelings, internal arguments, fueling an inferno of inspiration and yearning to somehow break free of my own internal constraints. Voices of dissension and fear were faced, embraced and released - and continue to be. All I can say is that having Scottie as a friend and watching her throughout the years become more and more of who she truly is, has given me permission to do the same. As Scottie has struggled and owned her right to be true to herself and shine in all her brilliance, I have felt it mirrored in myself. I believe this is an integral component of being human and as we all step into the light of our own brilliance, this world will reflect a greater sense of unity and mutual respect. Scottie's courage and vitality has ignited the same in me and for that, dear one, I am tremendously grateful.
Catherine Nitya (aka 'Cat')
click here for biglsy's side of the story...
The world is complicated. How can we expect our children to navigate this chaos without telling them the truth? How can we enlighten ignorant, narrow-minded adults? Honesty. Humility. Knowing Scottie since college made it awkward to learn of her true gender. Knowing Scottie made it easy to accept the truth. Reading her book made it easier to explain - and I find myself doing so on a regular basis. Some just don't get it (or refuse to), so there is confusion about who is confused. I am certain it is not Scottie. This woman is breaking down walls and her story will help countless people. I am thrilled for you my friend; that is why I cried the last time I hugged you.
We have lift-off!”
Last night was an amazing, giddy, affair… old friends that we hadn’t seen in years came with a mere hour’s notice (thank you Sara & Sean!) to join friends that have been with us thru the entire writing process (Macky, Kunti, Bhanu, Don & Vanita, Marie & Mike) and meet new ones (Todd – who saw a post on my dear friend’s Diana’s FB post about the event and decided to check us out! – and Ashley, my new BFF -- hey this SM thingy is working!)
Thirty in all came to hear Mylove & I thank the “midwives” who helped deliver our baby: Valerie, Merrie-lynn & Adam. Despite having to project over clanging dishes and a lively birthday party,
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many commented on Scottie’s reading of chapter 1 of her book. The Q&A session was very lively, and “went there” in a loving and relevatory (what? it's a word, look it up!) manner, as Lourdes Colon shared traveler's tales of her & my experiences as women in Hollywood. But Mylove brought the house down describing the unexpected benefits of our new life.
Books were bought and signed by Scottie in a casual & relaxed manner , in what was for this girl, an unexpectedly rich experience (I know, you’ll say “Duh,” when you hear it, but for those of us used to steering for the stars, we seldom allow ourselves to be blinded by the suns) and that was – After pouring my heart and soul into words on paper, then distilling a lighting bolt of love into a handwritten inscription, I close the book and hand it to The Reader, that until this point has been a faceless listener to my deepest hearts’ murmur… and our eyes meet.
Thank you again everyone for coming and for posting and tweeting and spreading the word about “Getting Back To Me”- Thanks to Chris (my big bro) for the photos! Next stop: San Diego: The Uptown Tavern Uptown Tavern 1236 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103 Saturday, Nov. 21st at 5:00 pm –
as the Prodigal Daughter returns…