I’ve added a phrase to the main title of my blog. Veronica Vera–Now & Then describes the schedule and the content of my posts. So far, I’ve published infrequently, i.e. “now and then.” I hope the more definitive “Now & Then” will stimulate me into publishing “more and more.”
“Thens” are treasures from my days as a high-heeled journalist when Times Square was my beat. Archival stories date from “my formative years” in the 1980’s when I wrote a column in Adam, a skin magazine published in California. I had met Adam’s editor, Jared Rutter, in New York at a birthday party for a kinky bodybuilder. Though he helmed magazine for straight guys, Jared was gay (something not unusual for the adult entertainment business at that time). Jared was shy and soft-spoken, and I enjoyed regaling him with stories of my exploits as a budding porn star. He was so impressed that he wrote a cover story –“Veronica Vera Hottest Woman in New York“ — about moi! I seized the moment and convinced him that Adam needed an East Coast correspondent.
I came to New York to be a writer. It wasn’t making hardcore movies that interested me; throughout my brilliant career I have performed in only a few skin flicks. But fate intervened when I sold my very first story to Variations, an erotic journal published by Penthouse. That sale introduced me to a vibrant and varied New York City porn community with whom I bonded. I had grown up a good Catholic girl, sexually repressed and uninformed. My new friends were outlaws on a mission to continue the 60’s liberation movement. Not only did I fill in the gaps to my education, I found plenty of stories.
In my Adam column “Veronica Vera’s New York,” Jared gave me free rein to choose my topics. I covered the sex life of the City every month for a dozen years. For that I’m forever grateful and for our friendship that endures to this day. Crazy as it sounds, that column became a sort of personal diary. Far from secret, it was a book of revelations born of sometimes exhaustive (though always pleasurable) research. The average piece was approximately 2500 words, ten pages long, and usually written under a looming deadline. I was living in the moment and I related each encounter with a person, place or event in linear fashion just as it happened. Each experience was a world unto itself, the opening of a new door. What I discovered while exploring my own sexuality and that of everyone else imbued me with confidence and understanding. I decided there was much I could share that would be helpful to others.
In 1989 I began a memoir about what I learned through my own sexual evolution. Coincidentally, I had the opportunity to help those raised as men get in touch with the woman they felt themselves to be. When I recognized a great need to take their desires seriously, I created the world’s first transgender academy: Miss Vera’s Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls. My school took off and that memoir went on the back burner. It’s been nearly 30 years of educating adult students from across the country and around the world, and shedding much-needed light on crossdressing and its place in the vast transgender community.
I work with a faculty of experts. These Academy deans have changed a bit over the years, but usually after each has achieved tenure and earned the gratitude and admiration of the students. I’ve written three books based on my school, and I am so proud of our pioneering efforts. We’ve helped shape a movement.
At the start of 2020, the deans and I met to discuss moving the Academy online. Covid-19 has given us more incentive to create internet lessons. As we continue to work in that direction, I also feel the need to focus on my writing. What better impetus to finish life projects than a plague? It’s time to get back to that memoir–better yet, make it an autobiography, and stake my claim to history.
Which brings us to the “Now.”
“Nows” are my current thoughts. I have packed so much experience under my garter belt that writing is now much more challenging. Each new essay is the entrance to a maze. Memories take twists and turns. No character exists without another demanding to be acknowledged. If I am going to write about B, you need to know about A’s influence, or so my mind tells me. Many have called this “The Wisdom of Age,” but I find it to be a pain in the ass.
I am wrestling with words, tangled in a shibari of sentences. You see, I’ve always been a creature who loves instant gratification. That’s why being a porn star was such fun! I don’t like to work too hard. However, I do have plenty to say and you are here to help. This blog and you the reader support my goal to write every day. You are my workout and I’m pumping prose. The “now” which I offer you will be short thoughts, even sound bytes…at least that’s where I will start. Who knows what will happen from there. Sometimes the Nows and Thens will complement each other–sometimes, not. They won’t necessarily be published together. The goal is the journey, and I hope you stay on it with me.
Here are some ideas that I could expand. I’d love to know your preference from the following teasers:
See you, now and then,
* Shibari = Japanese word for rope bondage.