Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express Syndrome

In the mid-2000s, Holiday Inn Express began producing humorous television commercials featuring "average Joes" performing extraordinary activities that only experts would know. The concept attributes these exaggerated abilities to the fact that they "stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night". The campaign reflects the brand's slogan "Stay Smart" which is still in use today.

The joke is ordinary people feel they are smart because they stayed at a Holiday Inn Express and it gives them special mental powers and can do complicated things like tinker with a deadly virus, fly a commercial airliner, and be smart about something even though you are really an idiot. All in all inside the US it is a very funny set of ads and has become a part of our culture not unlike the "where's the beef" commercials with the old lady. Well it has taken on overtones that are a little more sinister. Here is a quote from one of the people running  T-Central:

I want to start this off with a disclaimer: I have not begun to transition.  I have never been on hormones.  I rarely crossdress.  I'm transgender.

But I do know a lot of crossdressers and transsexuals and many of those have shared very intimate thoughts with me.
They should have started with;  I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express so I am qualified to write an article on transitioning smart.

Ok, let me get this straight. I do not want any errors here or any misconceptions. 

1. They have not begun transition.

2. They have never been on hormones.

3. They have rarely crossdressed.

4. They are transgendered. Well you might have that part right.

5. I know lots of crossdressers. What does this have to do with transition?

6. I know lots of transsexuals.  Really? SO your version of the Holiday Inn Express experience and JOKE is some of your so called pals on T-Central.

This is the ultimate act of hubris by someone that has not one single inkling about what it means to not only be transsexual but to live it and fight your way to get things correct. You KNOW nothing unless you have lived it. Just another example of a man thinking he can tell those born transsexual what it is all about.

You should ban yourself from T-Central you arrogant fool.

The worst part is you are not even close to the worst of your group.


Anne said...


It seem to me that you are making some seriously unkind and unwarranted assumptions and implied allegations. I do agree with much of what you have said in the past. However, in this case I think that you are seriously OFF BASE.

Respectfully Yours


Anne said...

Liz. You and I both transitioned roughly 40 years go. I know very little about your post-op life but from what you have written about your pre-op life, it was much different from mine.

One of the things that I am most grateful for is that since my relatively drama free transition, I have had an exceptionally "normal" life. Sure there have beem some "moments" and some less than pleasurable experiences, but all in all, I have few complaints.

The person that you are quoting in your latest post has not been so fortunate. This individual is the same age as we are and has spent the last 40 years in the body of a man. Think about that for a moment or two. You and I are EXTREMELY BLESSED.

Let us count our blessings and cut those less fortunate than us some slack....

"Forgive them. For they know not what they do." ~J.C.

Anonymous said...

I'm really glad someone has had the courage and forsight to raise this issue because frankly I too am tired of being told by crossdressers and gay doctors what being transsexual is like and what it really is. Especially when it is so painfully clear to me that they have not the least inkling of what it is like or what it means.

Well done Elizabeth.


Elizabeth said...


If this person is the same age we are that means they are in their 60's and I wish them no harm BUT they have absolutely no right to talk about any of the issues involved with being transsexual or transitioning. It is symptomatic of the transgender community and those so identified that men think they know what it means to be one of us. In this case it is the classic example of "he thinks he knows what it is like" so he is telling people how to "transition smart". Just how would he know that?

Simply admitting what he did and then claiming a knowledge base learned from friends on T-Central and NOT from personal experience disqualifies him immediately. This is the insanity you rail about on your blog.

I would be kind and understanding if this individual was asking for help transitioning but he has stood in judgement of others on transsexualism yet has NO life experience.

So if I am OFF BASE is it because I refuse to let some man profess knowledge not earned? Do you forget how easy it is to learn a narrative today? I bet I am also supposed to use she and her because this fool says I should.

Sorry Anne but you are OFF BASE here.

Anonymous said...

You KNOW nothing unless you have lived it.

Does that mean that Dr. Benjamin knew nothing about transsexualism?

Certainly the knowledge of living through being transsexual is different than the knowledge gained by observing and listening to those who live it. But that doesn't make the observational and listening knowledge less valid. Just different.

Elizabeth said...


Actually Harry often said he knew little of what the experience was actually like other than his clinical experience in dealing with us. He had a set of guidlines for transition based on his "learned" clinical experience treating us but they were fluid and not strict. Harry's knowledge was based on his medical knowledge.

This person is NOT Benjamin nor is this person even anecdotally knowledgeable enough to post "tips" on things they have not known or lived with. Being clinically involved does bring a depth of knowledge but claiming that hosting T-Central does is laughable.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, the person in question spoke of meeting many people personally and having intimate conversations with them. Nothing to do with being a T-Central administrator. The person is not a physician, just a listener. The caveats were stated up front.

Dawn1257 said...

It's a universal problem with the Internet. Anyone can say or be anything they want to be. The representation of what they write, at times bears negative on others for whom they profess to represent.

Making concerns about such drivel is hardly worth the time. Is it? Even with as valid a concept as you've explained. Whether or not this person is what or who they say they are is a really infinitesimally insignificant issue. At least to the transexual population as a whole in what issues are important to us.

Why not bring a higher focus on really important issues such as, how do we get the A.D.A. reestablished with transsexuality removed from the excluded conditions covered? And then there is still that DSM thing..........

Elizabeth said...


And that is why the post is titled "The I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express Syndrome".

That is the gist of it

Deena said...

OK so now we have the HIE syndrome. It seemed fairly accurate to me. Amen to Cassandraspeaks. Your next challenge Elizabeth is to provide a perspective on the Centerfold syndrome, also known as the YouTube syndrome and occasionally referred to as the CG/Revlon/Almay delusion.

In that one a man gets compulsive about posting videos or pictures after experimenting with makeup. Then others with zero integrity chime in complimenting him/her/whatever. Take it from there.

Deena said...

Correction. The full title would be "Is a Hie". "I stayed at Holiday Inn Express".

Anne said...


I hear what you are saying and I have to say that your point is well taken. The analogy would be like you or I tellng others how to "Act like a man". Despite having suffered through puberty with a male morphology, neither of us have a clue, what it really means to be a man.

Nevertheless, just like parents and grandparents have always done, we might easily be found telling our young to "Man up!" or "Act like a man!" I don't know. Perhaps that is a poor analogy, but I think that there might be some relavence.

While neither you nor I, nor any other woman would REALLY know what it IS, or FEELS like, to "BE A MAN", we do have SOME idea of what it MIGHT be like, or how, or in what ways, it IS, or could be, different than being a woman.

In truth it is not my place to speak for this person. It is clearly theirs if they so choose. However, I have always held the notion that if someone is willing to talk with a GENUINE DESIRE to participate in an INTELLIGENT, NON-DOGMATIC exchange of ideas, it is usually, NOT ALWAYS, worth the effort.

Perhaps this might be such an opportunity to do just that, rather than just toss hand grenades back and forth.

leigh said...


thats what happens when you say exactly whats on your mind and don't wrap it up in sugar ...

.. accusations of being insensitive..

Elizabeth said...


I make it a habit of mine not to look at youtube want-to-bes. I will leave that to you for discussion.

What hand grenades did I toss? It is the ultimate in hubris to do what this individual has done. the point is and was meant to be DO NOT GIVE advice on things you know jack shit about.

Elizabeth said...


I am insensitive.

Anonymous said...

Look, the issue I have with all of this (and it's going to get me into a LOT of trouble I am sure but hey nothing new for me) is that the main "pontificators" or the ones who really either do not "cut it" and live their lives not as women but somewhere in the middle. In other words they don't pass and live an existance that means they are effectively a third or middle sex (with apologies to the county in UK)

How do they have any clue from THAT position what it is like to be wholly female? They cannot have any full knowledge, all they know or have any real experience of is how to live in a third sex. Now that applies to the "pontificators" who have actually become post op, they are not too bad at least they do have that experience at least.
The worst and the ones that really get up my nose are the pre op or non op (even worse) who stay with Mrs Wife claim lesbian sexuality and proceed to tell everyone they are real transsexuals. They are emphatically not. Transgender certainly. Now I do not wish these people any harm I do not believe they should be subjected to any discrimination but I will never accept them as transsexuals.
In the UK we have the situation where couples have married pre op and if they want to avail themselves of the provisions of the GRA they complain bitterly because they have to dissolve marriages and if they want to remain a couple they must then enter a civil partnership. I mean really!! If you wanna be lesbian be the same as every other lesbian couple in the country do not claim "special" status.

Now maybe some people see that as off subject but it is really a part of the whole issue we are discussing here. The majority of transsexuals I know and consider sister do not seek any staus or circumstance not available to other men and women. The "pontificators" I have talked about seem to seek out some special status and from that position tell everyone how it must be for us too. It is this behaviour that gets me the most cross.

Calie said...

@Elizabeth - I'm going to leave one comment and don't intend to get into a war of words. Not my style.

Several wrote me about your post. It's difficult for me to get upset with you and that is simply because you don't know me as others do.

Regarding myself, I could sum it up by saying that I am very bitter that I was not able to transition in my teens...when I wanted to. I'm bitter that God gave me the body I have. If I were to have transitioned at any time after the age of 25, I would have hurt a lot of people. I also am very strong willed. I deal with it in my own way, and I have often blogged about that. In short, I live with it and I envy you for doing it when you did.

Regarding my experiences with TS's and CD's, well I do know of what I speak. Frankly, I'm surprised that you are not in agreement. My point was that there are some out there who don't think it out and end up somewhere in between male and female, freaks, or dead. I also indicated that the time to do this is late teens or early 20's, if you can afford it, and if your personal life is such that you won't hurt others by doing so.

Btw, you never replied to my email. Still waiting.

Deena said...

@ Elizabeth. Your response confused me. I did not accuse you of tossing hand grenades. That was some other poster.

Anonymous said...

@Callie, perhaps you are a caring listening person, perhaps.

However know next to nothing about being transsexual and it shows in every single sentence you have written on the subject that I have read. THAT is the point I and others here have made. Just the same as Liz I mean you no ill will but you simply display no real understanding of what transsexuality is or how it feels on a day to basis especially post transition.


Anonymous said...

Saying what is on your mind does come at a price, take it from someone who knows and is outspoken about Lifestyle Transvestites.

That is why the screenname "Not Your Friend" because if you are a lifestyle transvestite or a our loud and proud Tee-Gee, I am not your friend.

Anne said...

I agree that Calie does not have real life experience of transistion or real life post SRS, other than what might be gained from the experience of others. I also agree that no ones life experience is the same as another's. I agree that Calie has a great deal to learn.

However, despite having never jumped off a cliff, I would still strongly advise against it, considering the sudden stop at the end of those few precious seconds of "free flight".

Try to imagine what would have happened to us had we not been able to transition. I know what would have happened to me. I would not have survived. I suspect the same hold true for the rest you.

Calie, on the otherhand, seems to have somehow defied the odds and surviived. I suspect that there is something to be learned from just HOW that survival was managed.

Elizabeth said...


Why would you think I owe you a response to an unsolicited email? You are a self identified transgender man.

You have zero validity in claiming you understand anything about the process of transition. You have never transitioned. You manage a blog list primarily for transvestites, crossdreamers, and late transitioners. Good for you. You actually do not even know what it means to be either of them either.

People told you about it so you understand. That is even dumber than what you posted. You decided not to transition in your teens for whatever reason but now you totally understand transsexualism. How is that? Oh that is right you read a book at the Holiday Inn Express and got smart.

You have never lived the doubt, the pain, the worry, the weirdness, and everything else that goes with transitioning. You are a man in a heterosexual relationship with your wife and you have children and never will transition but you are a she or a her and truly understand what it means to be transsexual. If it bit you in your ass you would not recognize it. You would think Mr Martin of Nova Scotia was the perfect example of transsexualism.

Your friends on T-central are cross-dressers, transvestites, and all too often old fools playing tranny for the final fetish kick many transvestites desire but they have given you an understanding of it.

A little clue you neanderthal. Even I would not give advice on transition other than certain key items like electrolysis and be safe and I lived it.

I do not wish you any harm but lord get a life if you think you understand any of this because I can assure you of one thing. It is not the same fro anyone and there has never been a book written on it that has a clue.

Anne said...


I have met Calie 3D. Calie is neither a "lifstyle TV" nor an out, loud and proud, TG activist.

From what I know, this individual does not cross dress or "present" in anyway other than what would be expected of, and appropriate for a normal, married successful business man.

I do not believe that it is neccessary to "walk a mile, or a lifetime, in our shoes" to have a compassionate understanding of "transsexualism".
I am sure that Dr. B is not the only man or woman to have walked this Earth that possesses a heart and a soul.

Elizabeth said...


Okay so Calie has a kind and compassionate heart. That still does not give him the qualifications to write anything about transition, what it means to be a woman, and anything involving the everyday existence of active transsexuals.

Please do not use harry's name to reference someone like Calie. Benjamin was a research physician who clinically treated us and his knowledge, understanding, and caring came about from his everyday involvement with us in a personal setting where he treated us.

Claiming that one gets the same results by hosting transgender-central is dubious to its max.

The cliff analogy is silly at its best. I made my choice and everyone else made their choices. We live by those decisions whether they were good or bad decisions.

I would not be here if I had not gone my path. Calie or whatever his real name is is still here and made decisions to be a man and being a normal heterosexual man he odes not get the right to claim he is either an undercover woman nor the right to critque others who have walked this path nor give advice to those starting on this path. He has no expertise.

Anonymous said...


Then what is this person?

I had more to say but Blogger ate it.
I may post it later on.

Dawn1257 said...


Question. Do you consider yourself having made a "choice" to truly be who you are? Or, was it more of a 'no other alternative'? I hate that term, "choice". Because to me it implies that there was an alternative. I mean, I did make a choice to at least try to live as a male. I made a choice to be married. I made a choice to have kids. In all of those there were alternatives. But, when it came to finally letting me out, there was no choice except the 'final solution', and I'm not talking about my transition either. I'm sorry, I cannot consider that to be a "choice".

Sorry, it's just a term that really gets under my skin a bit. You cannot choose who you are. You simply are, or you are not.

Secondly. Maybe you could clear this up for me. By your last paragraph in your last comment, Elizabeth, you give the opinion that I perceive being; one has no 'authority' to even offer a supposed valid opinion on this subject unless they are and have lived the life being transsexual. Okay, so does by virtue of time in 'grade' give a better qualification on the subject? Somehow, I don't think so. As an analogy, I see an awful lot of politicians who I consider wrong simply by virtue of what they say. Yet, they are still politicians. I see people making bad decisions about their own personal lives (pick whatever topic you wish), but they are still people. Just because they are wrong on a subject doesn't make them less than what they are. They're just wrong.

However, there are also just plain and simple people who are not politicians, and who give opinions about politics in which they are more right than those professional politicians which are wrong. Likewise, I don't live the life of the person making bad decisions about what they are doing to their lives, but, I am right about what they are wrong about.

Still, I don't try to tell others that I feel are wrong, that they have no "right" to offer their own opinion. Or, in how to live their lives. In the long run, I still think this is much 'a do about nothing, really.

Now, I haven't read anything that Callie has written to date, though I doubt the concerns, 'advice' or opinions Callie is giving is doing much, if any harm to you, transsexuals, or anyone. But, he certainly does has the right to offer opinion. No? Should he be doing provable harm, then yes I would agree that giving advice to someone starting out on their life realization is definitely disqualifying and wrong. As such, he then would have no right to do so. But, can you prove he's doing harm? Is there something specific which he has said?

I'm just asking, okay? I'm not trying to make a 'statement', or to be argumentative. I simply would like to see a little clearer picture of how you qualify your own critique of him.

Anonymous said...


So you haven't transitioned why not?
I know a few late transitioners who didn't transition because of family pressures, they couldn't stuff it any longer and transitioned anyway. One was well over 40 and regrets not transitioning sooner however she and her parents worked everything out. Her siblings can't deal with it and she considers that a fair trade.

The other one was married and when she couldn't take it anymore and realized it came down to a bullet in the head or a divorce chose the divorce. She still talks to her spouse on a regular basis.

I have to be honest and tell you I am suspicious of your claim that you are TS. TS know it from their earliest moments of consistences and interactions with their mother and father.

People get over issues like this your wife and children will also. Besides if there is real love there they would understand after thinking things through.

So let me ask you,
Honestly where do you get off offering advice on something you don't practice.

Pardon me for saying this but it's a lot like the person who shows up at the Cat shows and claims to be a breeder but never shows her cats.
In the end she gets the credibility she deserves.

Anne said...

@Notyourfriend. First of all I am not qualified to "Label" anybody other than "human", and even THAT might be open to debate in the case of some individuals.

@2ndly: In the opening lines of Calie's post, "Transitioning Smart", the only label or "status" claimed that I saw, was transgender.

Stephanie said...

Elizabeth: Most transsexuals can't transition in their teens. You were very lucky to be able to. You were lucky because you didn't have to live 50+ years knowing who you are and not being able to get there. You know nothing of the pain and suffering that transsexuals who could not transition early in life go through. Claiming they are not "true transsexuals" is just plain wrong. You do too much beating of the chest (breast) for me to read your blog any more. You need to learn what compassion is.

Anonymous said...

@Stephanie, I think you are being a little disengenuous there. For one thing this particular post was not about those who transition later in life, this post was about individuals and an a particular individual who has not transitioned has never attempted transition claims not to crossdress even and from that position proceeds to argue most vehemently about the rights and wrongs of people who do and have transitioned.

Now since you raise the issue without wishing to attempt to speak for Elizabeth the point she and I continually make is that the condition transsexuality is defined by the strength of intensity to correct natures error. It may be influenced by circumstances for a short period of time but by it's very nature the person suffering the condition will be driven to corect by no later than their mid thirties. With a lesser intensity and therefore a slightly different condition or type sufferers may last longer, another ten years or so. However in these cases the intensity causes a great deal of mental anguish bordering on insanity to be frank. Where there is a less intense dysphoria the cause is motivated by quite different factors most usually founded in what may be described as "fetish" transvestism or perhaps autogynophelia. Now neither me nor Liz is attaching any hate or disparaging thoughts or attitudes to these individuals and neither are we expressing any views that their distress and conflict is not real, it's just different and therefore a different outcome can be expected. What we are saying it is quite different syndrome to one experienced to those whome Benjamin described as type VI.

Transitioning in your teens has nothing whatever to do with luck, privilage or class and status; it has to do with intensity, period. What has to stop is the crossdressers and those identifying as transgender claiming there is no difference between the conditions, that is all. I hope this may go some way to clariying the situation.


Elizabeth said...


Where have I ever once said one must transition in their teens? I actually have no issue with how long someone takes to transition if they are transsexual.

I never asked anyone to read this blog. If you do not want to read it please be my guest and do not read it.

You are correct in the assessment I do not know the pain and suffering those who must wait all those years go through and if you have read any of this blog, I doubt you have, you would know I have said many times I think it is toughest for them.

Anyone that has not transitioned has zero right to comment on the process. They should be "asking" questions and not "giving" advice and thus this sarcastic post.