Why I started fighting for the bees

By now everyone has probably heard something about the honey bees dying off around the world. I am not a scientist and I don’t pretend to understand the entire cause but when I read that they are important to our ecosystem and people keep killing them I think what can I do to help?

This isn’t a tutorial on what you can do to help. I am far from an expert. This is more a personal plea if you will, a call to action, buried beneath a few personal anecdotes. 

I remember when I was a young kid, maybe 5 or 6, I was running around barefoot in the back yard and stepped on a dandelion. In the process I was stung by a bee for the very first time. It was one of those instant pains I still remember vividly to this day. But you wanna know something, I wasn’t mad at the bee.

I went inside crying and hopping on one foot. My mom put me on the couch face first, took tweezers to the bottom of my barefoot and proceeded to inflict additional pain as she removed the poison-drenched stinger the critter left inside me. 

My parents showed me the stinger when it was all over. I am certain they meant well, I suppose as they tried to cheer me up saying the bee was probably dead. Dad explained how when a bee stings a person it kills the bee. I started crying all over again. Even if I hadn’t accidentally killed the bee just by, ya know, stepping on it, somehow knowing it died defending the flower it was protecting made my little heart break. I cried at the idea I killed the bee. Now I had stepped on countless ants in my life but I was still at an age where I thought killing a bug, intentionally, was wrong. 

At the time I felt bad because I knew the bee was just doing its job. Not long after this incident I started watching a cartoon on Nickelodeon called Maya the bee. It was funny because my sister used to make fun of me saying I had a crush on Maya and the like. I used to get so angry. I mean after all it was a cartoon bee. 

The truth is, she was wrong I didn’t have a crush on the bee but I did feel a kinship to bugs. Like a lot of kids from the country I played with bugs. In fact in 3rd grade I kept a pet spider. It wasn’t until 5th grade when a different spider bit me causing a serious bit that required more attention that I began to develop a fear of spiders. My appreciation for the insect world began to dwindle sometime around 9th grade. I still liked catching grasshoppers and keeping them as pets despite my parents being firmly against such endeavors. 

Even though I have always gone back and forth on whether or not it is okay to kill legit pests and dangerous critters, I have always felt it was wrong to murder the innocent bugs who were doing no harm. I know murder might be a strong word for some, I don’t know, but I still maintained my belief for the most part. 

A few years ago I was getting into my car on a hot summer day in northern Idaho. A bee had gotten into my car and I sat on it. It found its way inside my shirt and of course began to sting me. It was this time I realized, after several years of getting needles stuck in my arm no doubt, I discovered the be sting didn’t even hurt really. It was more like a pinch. Similar to getting blood drawn. So I began shifting away from killing all bees I saw– something I only began doing from my teen years on– to wanting to protect the bees I encountered. 

Then I watched a Doctor Who episode where he talked about the dying bees. Naturally I did a quick google search, followed by endless hours of watching bee videos on Youtube the following days and I came to realize I had to protect the buggers at all costs. 

My most recent attempt at doing something “for the bees” was simply buying a very expensive bottle of honey from a local bee farmer just to support their cause. It was a small gesture but it reminded me why my grandparents were so big on the farmers market and supporting local farmers. So combined with my growing disdain for our wealth-obsessed capitalist society and the need to preserve the bees for our own survival, I have begun looking for new was to do my part in helping save the planet by fighting to save the bees in any way I can. It’s a small gesture but one I will work towards growing into bigger actions as I go. I might not be a nature witch anymore but I still have a passion for nature and that includes a heart for the yellow flies that keep my beloved dandelions pollinated. 

It’s time for a refresh~

If you are reading this you may have noticed some changes to my website. I am done with the spiders lair branding and the retro witch persona. I decided part of being trans, part of finding my authentic self is getting to be the real me. This time I am removing all of the layers, the masks I wore, the identities I hid behind. 

What brought about this change you ask? Simple. A week ago I tried to take my life. Part of that was I felt like I still didn’t know who I was. I realized that was part of why people have had such a hard time getting to know me. I have been playing a character, a persona for so long I forgot how to turn it off. That is over. I am done worrying about if people will like the real me or not. Because the real me is a whole lot more vulnerable than the retro witch, or even the other guy before her, let on. 

The truth is I want to be me. This was started, always has been intended, to be a personal blog where I make sense of the world. I called it the spiders lair for reasons I don’t need anymore. 

I am an adult no. That means my content is going to change. My tastes have changed. My view on the world has changed. My purpose in this life has changed. I can no longer hid in my bedroom, in the dark, pretending like video games matter. I can no longer get angry over someone spouting misinformation in the ages old Nintendo vs. Sega bit wars. I am over it. I am a woman now. I am ready to write about issues that are more real to me. 

These past few months as I slowly became more and more open with who I was, I began writing more personal articles. But those clashed in tone with the theme I had built of this website. So, I had to force myself to take a darker tone at times writing about horror movies to uphold the image. I love horror movies but I also enjoy rom coms, fantasy films, super hero flicks and, occasionally, the Three Stooges. I was forcing myself into a box to maintain an image I no longer aspire to uphold. 

Obviously changing the name of the website will affect bookmarks. It will also afford me a better chance to target my true audience; other women, trans or otherwise. I don’t want to pretend to be a boy anymore. I might write about the toys that are important to me as I find the time and motivation. But I might also write about envious I am of cisgirls and their monthly cycles. I mean the life giving power of the female body is absolutely amazing and the best part of woman hood I can never achieve. 

Still, this website is going to go in a new direction now that I am fully shedding my past life. I year ago introduced the world to Stephanie Bri, a recently hatched Trans egg who was starting her baby trans journey alone with no idea what she was doing.

Now, a year later I am reintroducing the world to fully grown Stephanie Bri, a trans woman with a powerful family, strong support network, loving friends and above all, a purpose in this life. 

If you were a fan of THE RAT please go away, he was a myth and needs to be forgotten. If you were here for the Retro Witch, please stick around and see what I have in store as she was also a lie. I do hop everyone can understand how fragile I really was and forgive me for all the layers of deceit I had to employ in order to survive. It’s a cruel world out there, even more so for trans people. I had to make choices I am not proud of but do not regret. I did was was necessary. I am now revealing the real me. No more layers. No more masks. No more personas. 

The dark shadow that hangs over transgender heads: how I almost lost my fight

We live in a society that treats us not even as second, or third class citizens but as freaks of nature not even worthy of legal protections. Right now transgender people are under attack across this country. As one of the most marginalized social groups there are not a lot of people fighting for us right now. That leads many transgender people to walk a dark path in life.

Among the many hurdles we face can be discrimination and hardship in the workplace, difficulties applying for loans, housing and other legal documents, deciding which public restroom to utilize, whether or not we can play on a sports team with others who share our gender instead of forced into competition with those of the opposite sex or gender. While all of those are hard, not to mention the relentless attacks on us from the media, government agencies, public figures, celebrities and more, its no wonder so many of us turn to suicide. It’s a dark topic but many of us face it. In fact I’d venture to say nearly every single transperson deals with suicide either directly through their own contemplations or via someone they know who went through it or contemplated it.

I don’t need to bother citing statistics here, we all know the numbers. It’s bad. We’re more likely to end it when our struggles feel overwhelming.

This is where I was recently I am sad to say. Not to the point I was actually going to try anything but I was absolutely at a low enough point that it didn’t just cross my mind, I started to view it as my only way out.

What got me here?

I don’t wanna air my dirty laundry here. I will say that life has become a bit overwhelming for me in recent months. I went from being a hard-working, respected journalist in my community with a loving, supportive family and a home I owned; to an out-of-work “former” journalist living on a persons couch I had met barely 9 months ago, largely ostracized from said so-called family. Now not everything has been bad but let’s face it every day I have been reminded what I have been through. I am told by my adopted sister how strong I am and how much I have been through. My therapist who calls me a survivor. Even my close friends who reach out to me often pull back once they too become exhausted at trying to help me find some light. It’s getting harder to stay positive. It’s getting harder to keep up the fight.

Did I actually attempt to take my life Saturday? No. But I cam as close to it as I have in years. In fact I was close enough not only did I consider it, I was looking for ways to pull it off. Fortunately my loved ones, and not my blood relatives, reached out and helped talk me through my crisis.

But the damage has been done. I already left a perfectly good, albeit difficult, job. I already disappointed my sister who I have leaned on heavily these past few months. I have already blown out my self esteem not only as I deal with everything weighing me down but also the fact I was so weak, so low, so hurt I was considering it, the fact I got as close as I did, it made it all worse. I started to feel like a failure. A disappointment. A lost cause.

These feelings put me in a downward spiral I will admit I have yet to recover from. I am taking steps to get better. I am working with people close to me to step back from things I can no longer keep up and looking forward to things that I hope will bring me some joy in the near future.

The breaking point was a combination of going three days without taking my medications, everything finally weighing me down too much, I was tired, had a fight with someone I love and respect more than anyone on this planet and I sank. I hit rock bottom. Once I rolled over onto my back after falling flat on my ass metaphorically, I turned to drinking. I went to a dark place because as a transgender person that darkness is always there. That shadow is always looming over my head. The constant barrage of people telling me or others like me I am a freak or worse it gets to me. The shitty things some people in my family have done or said to or about me. It disgusts me. The way my own church turned on me. It’s been too much.

Fortunately I do have people who love me and care about me. That does make me feel somewhat better. But at the end of the day the reality remains, I lost my hope for a moment and came that close to throwing in the towel. The last time I was that close to ending it all was after was expelled from university.

I have no advice. I have no direction. I don’t know what the path to recovery looks like. I am trying to get back on my feet. I am trying to find enough light to shine through the shadow and brighten my days. I am trying to feel less beaten down.

As of the time of this writing I am not back yet. I don’t know how long it will be or what it will take. I know that it’s not gotten worse but it hasn’t improved enough for me to say I am in the clear. I doubt I will take my own life. I have too much to look forward to and I might still have some fight left in me. But I am probably going to slow down some, find ways to take care of myself outside Twitter and Facebook. Right now I am even scaling back my involvement in projects I am involved in, more on that to come.

I have cried so many tears I am damn near dehydrated. The tears won’t stop and that makes my heartache. Knowing people care enough to reach out and offer support helps, but right now even as grateful as I am for all of that, I need to fight this on my own in my own way. I have people I can lean on but I also have to figure things out myself. And the clock is ticking. I don’t know where to turn to find my inner strength right now. I have mustered enough energy to look forward to Pride this weekend and my nephews wedding next weekend. I am hopeful those will recharge my heart and give me some renewed joy. In the meantime please know I am not ignoring people intentionally I just need to take a break.

The Conjuring, Disney Princess dolls, Trading Card woes? Also PRIDE MONTH!


In this exciting episode, yes because I did something I’ve never done before, I recorded the podcast WHILE doing a livestream! Oh hell yeah this was cool. 

Alright what’s on the agenda? Well I talk about my journey changing my name and the hell that’s put me through for Pride Month.

I talk about why I need to get some Disney Princess dolls in my collection and where I’d like to start. 

I discuss the scariest fucking movie I’ve seen in ages, The Conjuring, and I also might have a couple surprises up my sleeve! Check it out I dare you! No I Double Dog Dare you~

Transposed 20-Double the fun of Episode ten plus Tananda stops by! REUPLOAD


The ladies invited a very special guest onto episode 20 to discuss a super important topic. All the way from the Transgressive Podcast, found here: https://transgressive.buzzsprout.com/ , Tananda transitioned at a much earlier time. She shares her story plus talks openly with the ladies about all the nasty bills and vile laws going around the country targeting transgender people right now. Be sure to give this one a listen, plus leave us a comment, like the episode and please share it with your friends, all that helps the show grow. 

What about the weekly top five? Oh well it’s something special so you have to listen to find out! Trust us this is one you don’t wanna miss!

Follow Tanada on Twitter @Tananda_D.





Transposed 20-Double the fun of Episode ten plus Tananda stops by!


The ladies invited a very special guest onto episode 20 to discuss a super important topic. All the way from the Transgressive Podcast, found here: https://transgressive.buzzsprout.com/ , Tananda transitioned at a much earlier time. She shares her story plus talks openly with the ladies about all the nasty bills and vile laws going around the country targeting transgender people right now. Be sure to give this one a listen, plus leave us a comment, like the episode and please share it with your friends, all that helps the show grow. 

What about the weekly top five? Oh well it’s something special so you have to listen to find out! Trust us this is one you don’t wanna miss!

Follow Tanada on Twitter @Tananda_D.