Well, here comes my next step, ready or not — help!

The exit off 84 in Waterbury that will get me home.

This is something I just posted on my Facebook wall …

Monday, July 2, 2012, 3:30 a.m. PDT

Well, friends, friendly faces and kinfolk …

I don’t know how I’m gonna do this, but just past halftime of 2012 — this year of great change — great change is finally hitting me. And, ready or not, I have no choice.

I’ve pondered this the last two days — told my mother and a handful of friends — and up until this past evening, I wasn’t 100 percent sure. And even now, as I polish and finish this letter I started two days ago, it feels somewhat surreal. But after recording my lead vocals last night for “Out of Step” with The Backstabbers for the forthcoming Reducers tribute album, I feel I’ve done the last thing I’ve needed to finish here in Fresno.

Drazzle drazzle, drazzle drone — time for this one to come home.


I was talking with my boss, Kris, in her office after my shift at The Fresno Bee Friday night. She told me that one of the copy edtors, who’s been on leave since the winter, is coming back July 23. Three weeks from today. Between that and the ongoing cuts in hours and corners and staff and everything, it means that my hours will be cut to nothing again. And, the way the newspaper business is slowly being destroyed, I can’t assume I’ll be called back again this time.

I was lucky enough that Kris thought enough of me to call me last September and bring me back aboard after 2 1/2 years out of work and more than 300 dispiriting resumes’ worth of nothing. But the job yo-yo started after Christmas — out of work most of a month or so, then back to decent hours again, then cut to nothing after Easter for nearly a month, then unsteady hours since. And no benefits. And whatever hours I have are now gonna go bye-bye, and I really can’t go through this again, financially or emotionally.

The universe is telling me, in its usual unique unspoken but blunt way, that it’s time.

There’s no reason for me to be here anymore. There are no jobs to be had in Fresno — where, in one of the areas of the country hardest hit by this depression, jobs are scarce even in good times, and official unemployment has been in double-digits for 30 years. L.A. is out of the question; I never did like it much. And the Bay Area, while beautiful, is not a good fit for me in the long run. It can be a really small, lonely place sometimes — and while I have excellent friends there, I can flat-out tell you I’ve gotten so much more support in general in red-state Fresno living as an out and full-time transwoman than I ever have from any formal or informal LGB/T “community” in supposedly liberal San Francisco.

And besides, while I’ve always hated winters in the Northeast, you know I’m an East Coaster at heart. Being born in Brooklyn and having lived within two hours of Manhattan my whole life until 2004 truly has corrupted me. The music I love is there (and it’s killed me to have missed so many great shows back home, most recently the Steve Kaika memorial benefits). The plethora of culture. The proximity to NYC, the center of the universe. WPKN, the radio station of which I’ve been a part since 1991. The pizza (though I certainly don’t need it these days). The friends I’ve known much of my life who, like my friends in Fresno, have been totally down with Frannie 2.0.

There are a lot more jobs up my alley along the Metro-North New Haven Line — websites, magazines, nonprofits, PR/ad firms that can use my very easily transferable skills and talents — and I think I have a much better shot at landing a job if the address on my resume says CT instead of CA.

And, as some of you know, maybe the biggest reason I want to go home is to be close to my parents while they’re still here. It’s a fact — people get a lot older in eight years. And while they’re still relatively healthy and very independent, I want to be close by just in case.

Well, the universe now seems to be forcing my hand. I’ve been pretty chill about it the last two days because I pretty much knew it was coming sooner or later. I can panic and be anxious later.

But I need some help. And help is something I’ve always had the hardest time asking for — especially since everyone’s going through some sort of weirdness or another these days. This isn’t the way I envisioned I’d be able to go home. I thought I’d be in a much better place. I thought I could return a conquering heroine — really starting Frannie 2.0 in grand style, with a great new job and all that. Then again, this is Fresno, not Hollywood.

I want to be back home in Connecticut by early August. I need to raise some money quickly to rent a truck to haul home a house full of things and have gas/toll money on hand to get me across the country and at least pay for a month of credit cards (I’ve been paying them all along) and maybe a month of storage. Short of prostitution or hitting the lottery or the best poker day of my life, I’m not quite sure how I’m gonna do that.

So here’s what I’m looking for, if you’re in any position to lend a hand:

  • If you have any money to kick in on the front end, I’ll get you on the back end as soon as I get on my feet. I don’t mean huge amounts — I’m talking tens, twenties, etc., which are much easier and a lot less daunting to pay back and much less of a burden on anyone. At the end of each of my blog posts on Franorama World, including this one, I have a “PayPal Donate” button. You can always send it to me through there, if that’s easy for you.
  • I need someone who knows someone who can hire me when I get home so I can at least get going and get back on my feet financially. I have a couple of resumes I’ve sent east in the last two weeks, but, as I said, I think I have a better chance at a job if I go home and they see a Connecticut address. I’m looking for work anywhere between NYC and New Haven — again, websites, magazines, nonprofits, PR or ad firms, even something unusual that might be interesting and rewarding. I have loads of supervisory and creative experience, and you might be pleasantly surprised if you look at my resume. I just need to make a decent wage and benefits, just something to help me get re-established at home and pay down the bills. If you want to see my resume to pass on, message me with an email address and I’ll send it asap.

Anyway, that’s my story. I’m feeling strangely calm (calm before the storm?) about all this at the moment, as if somehow, in some weird way, this is all gonna work out. Don’t ask me how; I really don’t know. This is purely blind faith on my part, and don’t think I haven’t had “What if things don’t turn out back home?” on my mind.

But it’s time. I need to let go of the trapeze bar, and I hope to whatever God is that there’s another bar swinging in my direction. Because I don’t see a net below.

Anyway, I figured if you can help me get back across the country and situated and plugged back in at home, that’s wonderful. If not, that’s okay, too. It will all work out. Or not. Thanks for all you’ve done already, and thanks again for all the wonderful support you’ve shown me throughout my weird and wild and rewarding and frustrating past 4 1/2 years. Be well.



Okay. Now do I send this? There’s no turning back once I hit the “Publish” button …


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3 Responses to “Well, here comes my next step, ready or not — help!”

  1. Barbara Kagan Says:

    FF: Donation donated. And don’t think about paying me back. I will not hear of it. If karma really exists, I will reap the rewards in my next life. In the meantime, I hope that this little bit of xtra cash comes in handy. And I will certainly keep you in mind for any potential employment situation. Oh, and welcome home! BK

  2. wiesej Says:

    Fran, I am so happy you’re finally moving to where you belong – finding your place – and while it’s a kind of harrowing ordeal in these times, to take this leap – the universe has you cradled in it’s arms. You’ll be transported in the palms of “helping Fran angels” and will do wonderfully well. I’m sending a donation, and won’t hear of any payback. I was in the same position a few years ago. I’m excited for your journey and look forward to hearing about it along the way. If you stop in Manhattan, you’ve got to visit my niece, Abigail Jones, who said Katie Holms has just moved a half block from her!! And get your pic taken by my friend, Morgan Shortell, an amazing photographer. Big hugs!! ~ Tiger Wiese Jones

  3. Nichole Says:

    You have just inspired me Fran<3 I can definitely help out a little ill send something your way tomorrow 😉 Good luck on your journey Darlin!

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