On March 16, 2004, The Los Angeles Times published an article (which I still have) about school trustees who complained about a law regarding gender identity.
According to The Times article, “The law requires schools’ anti-discrimination complaint procedures to reflect the state’s definition of “sex” as male or female, and gender as a “person’s actual sex or perceived sex and includes a person’s perceived identity, appearance or behavior”.
The term “perceived identity” grabbed me. Somehow, I knew that years later there would be more happening in the name of “perceived identity” that had not been anticipated in 2004. And, as it says in the Bible, “It came to pass.”
Bruce Jenner has become Caitlyn Jenner. He has said, in effect, “I perceive that I am a woman and by golly, I will become a woman. I want to live as I perceive myself.” And it came to pass –legally.
That’s what Caitlyn and I have in common. We are “sincere perceivers.”
Thanks to the determination of Ms. Jenner, I now have the courage to come out of my “Perceived Age Closet” and publicly declare what I really am.
You see, being 87 as I am is a social handicap so I perceive myself to be 50 Forever. Actually, I have perceived myself to be 50 for the past 37 years and will probably continue to do so for the next 50 years.
I want “50 Forever” to be legal for every woman who sincerely perceives herself to be “50 Forever”. It doesn’t have to be “50 Forever” — it can be any age a woman perceives she is. That’s my mission.
It is a movement waiting to happen and I am ready to turn up the heat.
I think I have a good chance of making it happen. Lindsay Miller, a Lowell, Massachusetts resident and a pasta worshiping Pastafarian, recently won a legal battle to allow her to wear the traditional Pastafarian colander head covering in her driver’s license photo.
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles typically doesn’t allow people to wear hats or head coverings in their license photos, but the American Humanist Association filed an appeal on Miller’s behalf and won.
That, as well as Ms. Jenner’s transformation has set an encouraging precedent that anything is possible.
I wonder if I could get the Humanists to file an appeal on my behalf that would allow me to legally be 50 Forever. What a relief that would be! What a burden would have been lifted!
I should have publicly announced my perceived age (as if anyone cared) long ago before an article in the local newspaper about one of my books revealed my actual chronological age. With that cataclysmic revelation, things changed at the pharmacy where I worked, rather dramatically. I’ll give just two examples:
A male customer (much younger than I) came into the pharmacy a couple of times a week to chat. The pharmacy was busy and I didn’t have a lot of time to socialize. If I saw him coming I’d find something to do that was out of sight. He clearly liked me. What was I supposed to do? Married at the time, I made certain he noticed my wedding ring but he was not deterred.
Then there was that fateful day the article appeared, which my admirer must have seen because . . . The next time he came to the pharmacy, he marched up to the prescription counter like a man on a mission, glared at me. his eyes narrowed, and said, “I would NEVER have guessed you are as old as you are.” To say he appeared angry is an understatement. He quickly departed never to be seen again. He even transferred his prescriptions to another pharmacy. Oh, the power of perception!
Next example: Before my age became public knowledge, when I worked a late shift at the pharmacy the younger guys volunteered to walk me to my car. After my age revelation, that courtesy quickly disappeared. I was even avoided because according to employee gossip, the “deceived victims” were saying “You mean she’s THAT old”? They certainly didn’t want to be seen in the presence of a woman THAT old!
So you can see why I want to LEGALLY declare myself 50 Forever. I don’t want to continue to unintentionally deceive or upset any more delicate male psyches. I want to legally be able to say “I’m 50 forever” and not fear being called out as a deceiver.
Remember, sincerely perceiving yourself to be 50 Forever has nothing to do with appearance. It’s about feeling and legal recognition for women who sincerely perceive themselves to be 50 Forever or some other age of their choosing.
If I can’t get the Humanists to help me, is there a lawyer out there willing to take my case? Winning should be a piece of cake. It’s no more far-fetched than Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner legally becoming a woman, or a pasta worshiper legally having a driver’s license photo with a pasta strainer on her head.
I want to make clear that that everyone is invited to join in my quest for legal status for women who sincerely perceive they are 50 Forever. I want to be totally inclusive. I don’t care if your religion is Pastafarian, Rastafarian, Unicornarian, or if politically you are a Trumpster, Cruzer, Bernie Babe or a Hillary Hellcat. There are no dues. The only requirement is that you are a sincere perceiver.
Girlfriends, will you volunteer to fight and protest with me? Let’s make it legal!
February 15, 2016 at 5:10 am
Great article.The like the idea of being ’50 Forever’. My Mum is 86 and is in good shape. I have noticed too that as we age the younger generation seem to think that we have all lost our mental capacity. We don’t all end up in a nursing home. I may have physically slowed down to what I used to be able to do but I find I am learning more now that I am in my 60’s than for many years.