Pride / Flanked by Two Generations of Writers

Hi Friends,

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth talking about in depth – I am part of a powerfully creative family. In fact, I’m flanked by two generations of writers; my mother, Charlotte, and my daughter, Ivy. Each of them uses words as their artistic expression. 

Writing serves as a profound vehicle for expressing complex emotions and personal experiences. During Pride Month, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have loved ones who embrace and celebrate their authentic selves. I beam with pride knowing that my mother was immediately accepting of my daughter Ivy's identity as a transgender woman. The journey has not been without its challenges, but their courage and our family's unwavering support have made the path that much brighter. I am truly lucky to have these remarkable individuals in my life. 

I’m proudly sharing each of them.


By Ivy Rockmore

The wind ruffled my newly blown-out curls as I stepped out of the Uber onto the cold, gray pavement. The muted glow of the Texas moon enveloped me. Gripping my hand was Carcyn, my partner-in-crime since the fifth grade, smelling of Dior Sauvage from the last guy she kissed. She’d just spent hours tending to my hair, straightening out the curls I so passionately hated. “You’re a real Texas Barbie,” she muttered with a hint of sarcasm. Under the heat radiating from her shitty Revlon, she straightened away my curly insecurities. I’d never felt prettier.

The pulsing strobes and divine promise of ‘Theory’ – Dallas’ only nightclub that didn’t care if you were 19 or 50 as long as you had a $10 bill to spare – called out to us. I was cocooned in a long black maxi dress from Zara, a slit traveling dangerously up my leg, with a deep neckline that hugged my newfound curves. My hands trembled as I smoothed invisible wrinkles from my dress, the silky fabric foreign yet intoxicating against my skin. I looked up at my reflection illuminated in Carcyn’s phone: Smokey eyeshadow fanning across silky lids, striking brown eyes and lips stained nude stared back at me. I was hardly recognizable. I took a shaky breath, both eager and anxious to see how I would be received under the haze. My heart threatened to burst through my chest with each click of my heels. “This is it, my debut performance into the realm of womanhood,” I thought to myself.

The bouncer glanced over me incredulously as he checked our IDs. Lingering eyes showed both his silent approvals and doubts. We pushed our way through the crowded entrance, and suddenly we were inside. Carcyn already had a vodka cran in hand, but I never quite saw where she got it. She danced and tripped and danced some more, shouting over the music with laughter. I trailed her shyly, taking in the scene. Soon, the beat started to take over and I let it. I even dared to feel beautiful.

Then came the first tap on my shoulder. I turned to find a tall figure in an SMU polo grinning down at me.

“Yoo, w-what’s your name?” he yelled over the noise of No Hands by Waka Flocka Flame, stumbling over his words before managing to offer me a drink.

I declined politely with a smirk, thanking him before turning away coyly. I glanced at the gleeful expression of Carcyn and knew I was passing. I was no longer just the wallflower in the corner, the burdened outsider looking in at womanhood. Here, in this seedy club cluttered with drunken boys I barely knew, I was actually one of the girls.

The rest of the night was a giddy blur. Dancing freely without thought, skin glowing under the lights. The shy glances I used to make across the room were now being returned - if only for an evening, it seemed I fit right in. For once I felt certain in putting on that dress, spending hours on my face and hair. Like it had all finally paid off.

I took a break from the dance floor, feet aching in Carcyn’s borrowed heels. Leaning against the wall, I allowed my mind to wander as I watched the mass of bodies pulsing along. For years, dysphoria had felt like grief with no one to mourn. Like a chill that clung no matter the warmth of company. It was the dread of an endless flight, never arriving home. Yet here, for a few glorious hours under tacky neon lights - that bone-deep loneliness had vanished. For once, I felt rooted in my body. Seen not only by my reflection but by the appreciative eyes of those surrounding me. Desired, even. The lights seemed brighter and the music sweeter. I had arrived.

Stepping outside at last call was stepping back into reality. The cool night air refreshing after the dense heat of mingling bodies. Yet I walked with lighter steps down the pavement. Carcyn chattered ecstatically about our triumph.

I smiled and let the words wash over me.



Breeses drifted … … drifting … sultry vapours  from the

sea … … … 

Drifting … … through windows, through curtains, through flowery papered bedrooms … Dehlia lay dreaming … …

Her face … white … … beatific …  almost Garboesque .…  as if in some kind of a movie … … … some black and white movie … … … in 1930.


As a dreamer of dreams … untamed imaginings, she’d dream of the pavilion. It’s white and pillered, palatial proportion … … the sweetness of jazz … …  blue velvet screams … … … … she’d dream of him, always him … …

She’d seen him leaning … into the fluted pillar, brooding … … his shoulders square, hunched, lighting his cigarettes orange … as if that ……  that was all that had mattered … … … 

Until he saw her undulating to the music. Her skittish, nervous way of dancing, her flimsy dress slipping …

… his cheek against her powdery face … … …

Dehlia loved him in 1930.

His drowning … flooding into her … … “Dehlia … Dehlia”

 … and what was she made for if not for him. … …

when she was young and wild … … … on Brighton Beach.



It was when he was lanky, tense … that time on the beach,

that time under patches of moonlight, he told her … …

His sharkskin suit folding … … he told her … … he had a wife .… … … …

Dehlia blanched … … … curled into the sand, a snarled and tangled knot … ran from his tantalizing face, his hands, his beautiful fingers … … ran …to her cheap and tawdry room.




She had seen them in Brighton … … his hair had silvered, their faces flushed … warmed by the sea, … … … … laughing in circles of smoke.

His stupid wife … … her silly hat tilted, her stupid dress dotted, her dull … … … and  stupid, face.

His panama hat, tipping to Dehlia … a memory tattooed … and stamped, seared in Dehlia’s brain … … …


Delia grew old, grieving … her quiet grieving, her longing thirst, she’d waited a lifetime … …  for his wife to pass … … 

Her burgeoning, swelling sense of loneliness … … … she’d step on the train … the galloping, hurtling, streak of the train, she’d see the old brownstone, stare through the windows, the long and noble windows … and he’d love her, he’d always loved her … … …


 The heavy brass knocker, face of a lion, knocked on the 

 door … … … she knew he’d remember … … he’d  




 He stood in the dark hallway, his hair white … against the  

 mellowed wood, the polished banister …. … his body    

 Stooped … hunched, leaning into the banister …. …    

 and he wept … … …


 wept for his wife … … only his wife … … as if that … …

 that … … was all that had mattered. 


  Dehlia drew back ... … …  … … … collapsed … 


  As if in some kind of a movie  … … …… some black and  

  white movie … …  some kind of a movie.


                                CHARLOTTE ROTHENBERG


Authors Note:

For me, I saw this as a movie, like she was in some kind of a movie, with her delusion  e.g. {“Sunset Boulevard”}

Or I kept thinking … this does happen.

Happy Pride! Love & Light,