Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones.... And I will try to fix you.
- Coldplay

2010.  What to say?  Wow, I've done a lot of "fixing me" this year.  I remember back in the springtime, I was emailing with my sister... we're both big Coldplay fans, and she mentioned "Fix You."  Not in a trans context, but in a "this is a great song" context.  I hadn't listened to it in a while, so I went and watched the YouTube video.  When it got to the part where the guitars kick in and Chris Martin starts running, the emotions overcame me and I watched the video over and over and over, tears streaming down my face, as the song lyrics go.  I still can't watch that video without getting emotional, which is how I like it.

On BT, my triathlon website, my NYE blog ended with this: "I think that 2010 will also be a good year, and I think it might end up being one of the most important years of my life."  Pretty accurate, no?  There are times when I look back at what I've accomplished over the past 365 days, and it's hard to believe.  It's hard to believe that I've actually done this after so many years of wishing that I could, or would.  This morning, I mostly feel proud.  There are lots of things I'm proud of this morning, so pardon me while I gratuitously pat myself on the back for a moment.  :)

I'm proud...

  • that I've stood up for myself in the way that I have.
  • that I'm a great parent.
  • that, when dealing with others, I've managed to balance respectfulness of others' feelings with assertiveness of my own.
  • of my family and friends, for being the loving and accepting people that they are.
  • that I am gaining respect in the community through this blog, and my position as an administrator on PE.
  • that I've kept virtually all of my old friends, and made many new ones.
  • that I'm now in a position to help others who might be where I was a year or more ago.
  • that I've given myself a fighting chance at happiness.
My first introduction to Blogistan was a blog that I found when Googling "Electrology 3000."  I was led to this one particular blog.  I read the electrolysis stuff... then kept on reading, eagerly digesting every word about her transition.  I related to so much of it.  Hmm, maybe I can actually *do* this.  Perhaps it is possible.  I noted that she lived in my area and thought, "huh, you never know, maybe we'll cross paths someday.  That would be cool."  As it turns out, tonight I'm celebrating New Year's Eve by going over to her place and watching her and her partner be married.  There's something very synergistic about that.

To be certain, there is still lots of "fixing" ahead in 2011.  I need to take care of myself better from a physical standpoint. There are surgeries ahead.  My voice is abominable.  I'd like to start doing some volunteering and/or find ways to help other transsexual people.  There are some steps I need to take at work to further my career.  And of course the mental transition will continue long after the last hair has been zapped from my face.

But today is a day to take it all in, look back with wonder on all that 2010 has brought, and look forward to the future.  Happy New Year, Blogistan!!  :)

Round 2 of insomnia + wine this week... I've been trying to figure out the source of my recent angst, and I have yet another theory, yet another "main thing that is consuming my thoughts."  For the past year, life has been about transition.  When one is transitioning, it is virtually impossible for her life to be about anything but transition.  It's about going to therapy appointments, writing and re-writing coming-out letters, visualizing, going to electrolysis appointments, laser appointments, doing voice exercises, writing blog entry after blog entry about my metamorphosis, getting a new wardrobe, going on PE and chatting or reading threads, researching surgeons, attending support group meetings, learning how to live the way I've always wanted to live.

At some point, probably sooner than I thought it might be, the physical transition will be over, and a good deal of the mental transition will have taken place.  In under a year, I will have had surgery.  There will be no more hairs left on my face to zap.  I won't have to go to therapy to fulfill the SOC.  My voice will sound the way I want it to.  My body will be as it was supposed to be.  I won't need to go to a support group.  I'm in this protective cocoon right now, as I expressed to a friend, where I can make excuses for not completely living because "I am in the midst of all this."  For example, dating.  I have released myself from the pressures of dating until this is "over," whatever that means.  There are other pressures that I have released for now, while I cope with transition.

When all this is over, then what?  Then I just need to live.  Which ought to be very appealing, but the thing is, I don't know how to just live.  To just be.  To just be content.  Because in 39 years, I never have been.  What does one do when she is content?  What motivates and inspires her?  What is her point?  Concerning dating, how the heck do I date people as a woman?  I guess it will come naturally.  Everything else has.

I keep thinking about this character from The Shawshank Redemption.  Brooks was a convict who had spent almost all of his life in Shawshank Prison.  When he was released, he had no idea how to cope with life on the outside; he couldn't handle it.  He ended up hanging himself; he carved "Brooks was here" above his noose.  He had become institutionalized.  I feel at times as if I have been in prison for my whole life, that I have become institutionalized.  Will I know how to handle life on the outside?  I hope so.  When my time at Shawshank is up, I think that I will do a better job of handling it than Brooks.  It's a little intimidating at times, though.  I won't carve my name anywhere unless my boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/husband/wife carves his or hers as well, on some picnic table somewhere, where we can come back 10 years later and find it.

The prospect of post-transition life, while exciting and what I want, is also somewhat scary.  What I try to fall back on, and what I am trying to fall back on now and tell myself, is that so far, this has come naturally for me.  Things I feared, I did not need to fear.   Pieces of me that I thought I'd need to really work at, required no work at all.  They were always within me; they just needed to be released from the institution.

I've been trying to get to sleep for close to 4 hours now.  After I got out of grad school, around the time that the shit really started hitting the fan gender-wise, I started having severe insomnia.  It used to be so bad that sometimes I'd just give up and go into work at 4 AM.  I've not slept well for years.  20 years.  Late to bed, early to rise.  I started doing better the past 4-5 months or so... I was actually getting close to 8 hours' sleep, which for me, was awesome.  A real and true accomplishment.  When you're used to four or five hours a night, getting eight is a blessing.

I don't know what's going on lately.  I wish it would go away.  As the lives of people just starting their first year full-time go, life is good.  But I've been letting lots of things go lately... I've put on 6 pounds this month, I haven't been doing a good job of eating or drinking lots of water, or exercising, or taking care of my skin, etc.  I just haven't been taking care of myself like I should.  For me, the "holidays" end with Xmas, as I will not be doing anything on NYE.  I have this big list of things I need to start doing a better job at after I get back from Xmas.  It's a rather ambitious list, but I've certainly proven to myself in 2010 that I can accomplish more than I ever thought possible  in just one year.  So I am looking forward to 2011.

For tonight, though, I don't know what's up with this insomnia.  It's likely just a series of things, life situations, building up.  My grandmother is doing better, but she's been moved to a nursing home.  So I think about her lots.  I think the main one insofar as "stress," as I have mentioned before, the fact that I am now serious about surgery and starting the planning stages for it.  I won't reiterate everything I wrote in my second-guessing blog, but I do keep thinking "what if I'm wrong?"  Hmm, on second thought, the main one is, I'm also a little stressed about visiting the family solo, i.e., without my children.  Having them there was a bit of a buffer.  Actually, I think the main one is that I am really missing the person my ex-wife used to be, and I am pining a bit for those days.  Ok, I need to shut up now, before I come up with ten "main things."

I am going to have another glass of wine (this is only 2, so no worries), watch this YouTube fireplace video, and hopefully go to sleep.  Ciao.

I've tried to write about this before, and usually it ends up being a rambling mess. So here's my apology for the rambling mess which is certain to follow.

I have moments where I feel very disconnected from myself. Like I am stepping back and watching with morbid fascination as someone else goes through this process. At times this all feels surreal... am I really *doing* this? As if at some point I am going to wake up and this phase-I'm-going-through will be over. Of course, it's not a phase, and it won't be over.

My friend Suzanne captured this feeling much better than I could have in her blog...

"Once in a while, though, I get a sudden feeling like I'm being yanked out of a dream. What the hell am I doing? I actually changed my name... legally... to "Suzanne". What are you doing? You hate surgery. You're terrified of surgery. And you're going to voluntarily have very painful surgery... on your genitals? Seriously, what the fuck? Wake up, Scott. Get a grip on yourself.

I don't like that feeling at all. I strongly prefer the dream, if that's even what it is. It only feels like a dream when I snap out of it. But it's not a dream and I think everyone has these feelings sometimes. I don't think your life ever really feels like it's completely real or your own if you look at it from a distance. Sometimes you're going to take a step back and things about it will seem strange and disconnected from what you thought it would be, even if you're following your heart. Whatever choices you made along the way, sometimes you're going to doubt those decisions, even if they were the right choice."

I know that I making the right decisions, if in fact they are decisions, but I do question them sometimes. I looked at myself in the mirror the other day, and saw a cute woman looking back at me. I wondered what her life would be like in 10 or 20 years. I wondered if she would look back and think, "What was I thinking?" As I continued looking in the mirror, it occurred to me that her concerns were the same concerns of any female middle-aged divorced parent... would her kids be OK? would she be alone? happy in her career? respected? have lots of friends? None of my concerns or worries are specific to being transsexual. Sure, perhaps they might be exacerbated, but at the end of the day, I'm not all that different from anyone else.

I continue to have moments where I will temporarily get down on myself for stupid things. And at first, I'll think they're about being transsexual, but they're not. For example, it is freaking cold here right now. And I don't have too many warm clothes. So I went shopping last night. Lately, shopping is an absolute exercise in frustration. I have no idea what I am doing; in fact, I feel like I have less of a clue now than I did a few months ago. I tried things on in 5 stores, and bought nothing. I tried a friend's trick of going and finding everything that's on the mannequin and trying that on. But guess what? I'm not the mannequin! :) I don't think that anyone is the mannequin. Then I got home and made the egregious mistake of weighing myself, and I have gained 6 pounds. Wah wah wah. Put head in hands, sulk, pout, have glass of wine. Again, none of that is specific to being transsexual. It's fair to say that it's a little more difficult to find clothes that work, but these are the same problems as any other woman who feels clueless and intimidated by the perfect and unrealistic images of women in the media. And the mannequins. :P

So what I should be saying, is, yay! Look at you, girl! You have the same perceived problems that any other woman does! Welcome to the sisterhood, you've arrived! This is what you signed up for! Back to the point of the post... the self-questioning... my truth is that facing the issues that women face, however frustrating they can be, feels right for me. One person tried to dissuade me from transitioning by pointing out how much more difficult life will be, as men have it so much easier. Well, sure they do, but it doesn't matter. If you understand what it means to be transsexual, none of that matters. I really need to cease and desist with the second-guessing. Seriously. Enough is enough. Stop it. I'm tiring of it.

I'm going to write this blog entry once and not edit, tweak, and/or save it as a draft multiple times.  I'm going to write it once, make sure there isn't any complete mangling of the English language, and publish it.  I drive myself crazy with the endless tweaking.

Still feeling stressed about a bunch of things... only going into the two "biggest" here... my 91-year old grandmother had a heart attack and fell a couple days ago, and while it doesn't look like she's in immediate danger, the doctors are not able to operate on her due to her age.  I spoke with my Dad tonight and he said that hopefully at Xmas we'd see her and do what we usually do.  So that is obviously weighing on me.  My kids and I were able to spend some quality time with her at Thanksgiving, which I cherish.

I've also been spending a lot of brainpower on GCS.  I have two consultations scheduled for February, and there is a part of me that feels like I am rushing it.  The time it took from my first therapy appointment to full-time was just over a year, which in transition terms is pretty fast.  But I never felt like I was rushing it, or going too fast.  With this, I kind of do feel that way.  There's lots to think about...

  • Picking a surgeon isn't easy, as the three I am considering, McGinn, Leis, and Brassard, are all good, well-recommended, and have similar cost.  I wish that one was head and shoulders above the others.
  • I've also been putting off hair removal "down there," and I don't have anything else to say about that, other than it's going to freaking hurt.
  • Cost... the surgery will be paid for out of my rollover IRA.  Which sucks.  But at least I have the means.  Fortunately, the IRS ruled it is a deductible medical expense, so I won't incur the 10% penalty for early withdrawal.
  • I've also stressed myself out reading about some of the complications one can have... granular tissue, fistulas, but I guess that comes with surgery.
  • Mostly, though, I worry about making sure I'm getting this decision right, given the finality of it.  I talked about it some at therapy last week, and given my history and how seamless and easy my transition has been, how natural it feels, this has to be the right decision.
I can only make the best decision given the information I have, and everything points to this being my future.  I can't imagine walking around for the rest of my life with this thing.  So why wait, right?  But I still kind of feel like I'm rushing it, though.  It'd be around 2 years from first therapy session to surgery.  That's fast.  Too fast? Maybe.  I dunno.

I've been feeling very unsettled or stressed lately.  Not sure why.  This morning, I sat down and started writing yet another post which would have ended up tagged with either "HTFU" or "pointless rambling."  Didn't have time to finish it, so I saved it as a draft.

This afternoon, I took my kids to the Gaylord National hotel, where they have all sorts of Christmas things going on.  It's a wild scene.  We've been looking forward to it for a couple months now.  It was crowded.  It was very expensive.  Before we got there, I was a nervous wreck knowing that my kids were apt to wander off at any moment, seeing some ice sculpture that intrigued them, or a decorated tree, and I'd then have to raise my voice.  Speaking loudly isn't something I'm able to do in my pseudo-girl voice.  We had to wait over an hour in line to get in to the ICE thing.  To the parent of a 5 and 3-year old, it was one big clusterfuck.

As we walked back to our car, I was choosing to fixate on all of the above in my mind.  As well as calculate their projected bedtime and how overtired they'd be tomorrow, due to the lateness of said projected bedtime.  My kids, on the other hand. were excitedly talking about how cool and great the day had been, and how they couldn't wait to come back next year.  And how cool the inside snowfall was, and how big the ice Grinch was, and how they got to go down the ice slide twice, and how high the fountains shot up, and how fast the lights flashed during the musical light show.  As we drove home, the two of them made a list and counted all the good things that we had done today, all the good things about the day.  They came up with 22 things.

I shook my head at myself, and decided to make it 23.  There's a neighborhood nearby where every house is a Chuck Griswold house.  I've always wanted to take them to drive down it.  Another 20-30 minutes isn't going to matter.  So we drove down it and we had to drive back and forth 6 times past one house, until my daughter (the 5-year old) was satisfied that her brother had seen the Thomas the Train with Santa hat.  As I was tucking her into bed, I told her that sometimes mommies and daddies learn things from their children.  I explained that sometimes adults think too much about the not-so-good things, and that she and her brother reminded me to think about the good things.  Her reply was that "adults are crazy sometimes."

So true, huh?

It's 3 AM, and as I sit here writing, my ex-wife is here in my home, upstairs talking to my children in their room.

Tonight was my night to have the kids... I put them to bed, puttered around, and went to sleep myself.  Nights when I have them, I need to get up extra early in the morning to get myself ready for work so we can be out the door by 7 AM.  So I bring my cell phone up and set an extra alarm on it.  Around 1 AM, the phone rings.  It was H.  Her cat, Amos, was having heart failure and she was calling from the vet.  He's 14.  She's had him since he was a kitten.  We were trying to decide what to do about the kids... have them come say good-bye first, or let Amos go, as he didn't have much time.  H. wanted to come over, wake them up, and take them to the vet so they could say good-bye to their pet one last time.  Totally fine, of course, with me, but I did say that I wanted to wake them up so they weren't completely confused.  She didn't seem too happy with that, but I was firm.  Kind, but firm.  Anyway, H. came over around 2 AM, declined my offer of tea, called the vet, and after the call sat on the floor, head down, legs crossed, crying.  I came and sat next to her and put my arm around her.  I didn't say anything.  We sat there for a few minutes.  Without saying anything else or looking at me, she got up and asked to go upstairs and sit in their room to gather herself.   After a little bit, I came up and brought her tea, and asked her to let me know when she wanted me to wake up the kids.

She was up there for about 10 minutes or so.  Came downstairs again without looking at me, and asked to use the computer.  She looked up some Bible verses, then said, "ok," and looked expectantly towards the stairs.  I first woke S., our 5-year old, and told her that Mommy was here and wanted to talk to her and her brother.  H. came in and sat on the bed with S. while I attempted to rouse G., our 3-year old.  It's not easy to wake a 3-year old from a dead sleep.  I left while H. talked with them.  They came downstairs and S. explained that the only reason that she was out of bed was because Amos was going to heaven (now I am crying as I type this) and they were going to go say good-bye to him.  I cannot describe the look on her face.  A look of sadness and bravery with maturity that I might not expect a 5-year old to be capable of.  S. is a extraordinary child.  She was trying so hard, so hard, to be brave, for her pet, and for her mother.  My son, 3 year olds being who they are, was more matter-of-fact about it... in his first breath, telling me that Amos was going to heaven and in the second, talking excitedly about our weekend plans to go to the "ICE place."

The jackets H. had sent them over with weren't warm enough for a 3 AM December excursion to the vet, so I got them something a little warmer, and hats.  I hugged S. and whispered to her that Mommy was going to be very sad for the next couple of days, and to take really good care of her.  I helped buckle the kids in the car and asked them all to take care of each other, and to call me if they needed anything.  I kissed both kids and squeezed my wife's ex-wife's hand, to which she said, "thanks..." and off they drove.  It felt wrong not coming, and H. would never ask.  She doesn't ask for my help with things.  I called her a couple minutes later and asked if she wanted me to come, if she needed support, but she said she didn't, that she would be OK.  It's hard when someone you care about is in pain, and they will not allow you to help.

I remember when her father gave her away at the altar, he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "Take care of her."  I'm still trying to.  Perhaps that's not realistic anymore.  I'm going back to bed now.  I'll bring my cell phone with me, just in case.

My transition is going well, yada yada yada, blah blah blah.  That said... lately, I'm pretty freaking lonely.  I think it is more situational than anything... being separated for close to three years, followed by transition, doesn't lend itself well to relationships.  Or even dates.  There's been none of that, by my choice.  It's not all just about romance, however.  What I really yearn for, what would be more meaningful to me than a relationship, is that *one* special friend, just one... a best friend.  Finding a best friend is no different than finding a partner... it isn't something you can force, or make happen.  In either context, when you meet someone, you meet someone.  I've written words to this effect before.  There's a woman with whom I've really hit it off the past couple of weeks... we've been Skyping a lot, which is nice.  But, we won't be calling each other to come over and watch a movie anytime soon, as she's a couple of time zones away.  It's nice to have someone to talk to, though.  I find myself missing her this evening, purely as a friend.

I've previously mentioned how I've been feeling softer towards my ex-wife, H.  I suspect this whole loneliness thing exacerbates the feeling.  Anyway, this past Sunday, I was in the parking lot at a toy store, getting ready to finish my Christmas shopping.  The phone rang and it was H.  She had just finished going to church and said she thought of me when she heard the sermon.  She asked me if I would come.  If you've followed along here, you know that I am not religious.  I'm an agnostic.  Deep down, I knew that the reason H. was asking me to this was because she holds out this hope that I'll be "saved" or "see the light."  What I hoped, but knew wasn't true, was that she wanted me there just because she wanted me there.  So against my better judgment, off I went to meet my ex-wife at church.  The transsexual and the born-again.  We are both hoping for some "magical moment," she hoping that I will find God and abandon transition, me hoping that she wants me there just so I'm there.  It can still be difficult for me to say "no" to her.

No magical moments were to come, of course.  The service finished.  We talked for about five minutes and we went our separate ways, me going back to finishing Christmas shopping for our children, she to the kids' room to get our children.  She needs to let go of this ridiculous hope that I will "come to God" as she puts it, and I need to let go of this ridiculous hope that she would want to spend time with me, just because it's me.  It was nice to just stand there with her for an hour.  I did feel pretty damn empty afterwards, though.  I don't think I'll do it again.  It is very hard to let go, to let that last semblance of hope die.

I've been staying awake later the past couple of weeks.  My bedtime was holding steady at around 10 PM for a while there, which was great... now we're up until midnight, 1 AM again.  At least I don't wake at 5 like I used to.  Maybe I don't like to go to bed.  There are always people to chat with and interact with online, but there's no one upstairs.  In years past, I never liked to have anything touch me when I went to sleep.  I would cover my midsection with a blanket and that was it.  A sheet touching the edge of my toe would bother me.  These days, I sleep on my side, under my sheet and comforter, one arm hugging the pillows under my head, the other arm hugging another pillow, a fourth pillow between my legs.  A poor substitute, but this is where I am for now.

None of this is intended to be self-pitying or complaining... it's just a statement of how things at the moment.  So for now, I'll sit here writing, drinking my sugar cookie flavored hot tea with my Christmas lights on, listening to Lorena McKennitt, thinking about my kids being here tomorrow night and this weekend and I'll go to sleep surrounded by pillows.  That's all (somewhat) comforting.  It's a lonely time.  It's not called "transition" for nothing.  It'll be different someday.

I'm stressed about a lot of things, so I am going to rant about them here.  Perhaps it will help.  I don't know if it is the holidays, or one particular member of ma famille, or the fact that I am transgender on my mind every single second of every fucking day, or finances, or all of the above, or what.

The past couple days, I've been in one of those "what the fuck am I doing with my life?" stages.  I'm 39, I make a lot of money, yet am in debt up to my eyeballs because I've been supporting two households for three years, well, that, and transition.  I am either going to borrow against or liquidate my 401(k) so I can get through the next 9 months.  This isn't intended to be self-pitying... I made my bed, as they say, but I'm just frustrated.  I have the rest of my life to fix all this, but at the moment, it sucks.

A couple conversations I had with my mother this weekend are also weighing on me... two things she said that just don't give me warm fuzzies... a) "you know, of course, that I will NEVER think of you the way I think of your sister," and b) "when you have surgery, I don't even want to know about it."  Thanks, Mom.  "Is this Mrs. K******?  We're calling to tell you that your child didn't make it out of anesthesia.  What's that?  You didn't realize she was having surgery?  Whoops."  And as for point a), yeah, I'm aware.  Although I don't know what you think you are accomplishing by telling me that.  And the ironic part is, she is actually trying.  The problem is that she doesn't want to hear a peep about anything transgender or transition-related, but she purportedly wants a relationship with me.  It's early yet in the big scheme of things, but that isn't going to work long-term, you know?  So that's on my mind.

And then there's my ex-wife.  I go through periods when I feel softer towards her.  She was very upset when I picked the kids up for our Thanksgiving trip.  I felt awful and I wished things were different.  I've been thinking about her more than usual the past couple of days, and today I Googled her.  I do that once in a while.  There was some review she wrote of this fitness class she's taking.  She sounded so much like the person I fell in love with... so alive and full of energy.  I've not seen that side of her in years.  Made me wistful.  Today when she dropped the kids off for the evening, she looked beautiful, and I watched her walk away.  I thought about what it will be like for me when she is dating; what it will feel like if I ever see when I see her with someone else.  The thought is very upsetting.  I actually started crying.  I will likely always have some degree of love for her.  Of course, I need to remember the seashell.

Fortuitously, I have therapy tomorrow.  I am going to try and get my shit together this weekend, as well as some Xmas shopping done.  (ack!!  more to be stressed about)

I did have a nice moment today.  End on a positive note, right?  This morning I went to the Social Security Administration to do my name change, and an older woman, maybe 55 or so, sat down next to me and started chatting me up.  When I said I was there for a name change, she asked if I just got married.  I told her that no, I was transgender, and she got this really surprised look on her face and told me how attractive I was, and continued chatting.  So that was nice.

I know that in the larger context, I have tons to be glad about and thankful for.  I will recover financially.  My relationship with my mom will be what it will be.  My ex-wife and I will, at worst, have a cooperative relationship.  However, at the moment, I'm choosing to look at the trees, not the forest.  I'll get over it.

This Thanksgiving was the first holiday that I spent as myself. It's also the first time any of my family members have seen me as myself. I was a little nervous about how the weekend was going to go. So on Tuesday I schlepped the kids up to Albany. The visit started inauspiciously... my mom and I didn't get off to a great start... she said something that was very hurtful, and I told her so. She wasn't trying to hurt my feelings... she just doesn't quite understand where I am coming from. We talked about for a couple minutes, and moved on. I know that my mom is trying. She tries to use my name on the phone, and used it in person as well.  We had a couple other good talks over the rest of the trip.  I think we'll get through all this.  I think.

Fortunately, the above was the low point of the weekend. The rest of the weekend was pretty good. I took the kids Wednesday morning to visit with my 91-year old grandmother. She was just thrilled that we came to visit. She was as loving as always, and my kids love "Gigi," as they call her. Gigi suggested that we all go out to lunch, which was nice. She doesn't judge or care... she just loves people. The visit with her alone made the whole trip worthwhile. Go out in public, to a place she's a regular at? Sure, who cares? It was me, my kids, and her. Some of the least judgmental people in my life. A 91-year old, a 3-year old, and a 5-year old. Not surprising, I suppose.

Thanksgiving was fun... my mom had 17 people for dinner.  I had dressy pants on at first and felt uncomfortable, like the classic overdressed transgender stereotype.  So I changed into jeans.  Much better.  The holiday didn't feel any different to me than any of my previous 38 Thanksgivings.  I wasn't treated differently. People tried to use my name and a couple apologized when they didn't. I told them that I was glad that they were trying.  I didn't hold back much with my appearance... I visited this summer and was very androgynous-looking.  This trip, I made sure to say "girl" with my presentation. My daughter took this picture of me. Pretty good for a 5-year old. It took a couple tries, but we got a good shot.  Friday we went over to my Dad's (parents are divorced) and spent time with his side of the family.  My Dad, as many fathers do, didn't have much to say/ask about my transition, etc.  Not because he is avoiding it... that's just him.  We've never talked much.  I got pretty much exactly what I expected I would from both of my parents.

Got home today, dropped the kids off, went out to the store and got something for dinner.  I couldn't help but notice how alone I felt.  It was a little depressing at first... being around so many people all weekend, then dropping off the kids and coming back to such quiet.  The first two or three hours after getting back from a trip with them (the kids), I just want to relax.  Then I start missing them.  My son and I slept in the same room this week, he on a little cot, me in the bed.  When he woke up, he'd come over to me, wake me up with a kiss, and cuddle with me.  As a parent, you treasure those moments.  Even if you wish they were at 7 AM, instead of 5:30.  I got 8½ hours sleep last night for the first time all week, but I'd trade it for 6 and a wake-up from my 3-year old.

I noticed the monotone voice I used in my head above when I wrote about this holiday not feeling any different.  I had this same tone in my head when I wrote about work not feeling any different.  On the surface, this seems like a good thing.  But I didn't like how things felt for the past 30 years.  A topic for another day.  For a first visit with family, things were alright.

For Thanksgiving, I'm taking my kids up NY to visit family. This will be the first time that they will be seeing the real me. I visited in August with the kids and presented androgynously. Not this time. I'm not sure how I feel about this trip. I'm looking forward to spending the time with my kids but the whole family thing I view with trepidation. I suspect my family feels similar. I felt like the trip was going to be OK, but there have been a couple things that I'm not going to go into here that have set me back a little bit. Thank God my kids are coming.

My family is trying but at times things are said to me that shows me that the speaker Just.Doesn't.Get.It. For example, with respect to the preschool thing, one comment I got from a family member was "I can see where she's coming from." I've been told it is strange that I have donated my old male clothing. I could go on and on with this, but I will stop. Won't do me any good. Instead, I shall think about family members who do get it.

I am supposed to go up there for Xmas, without the kids, and I am trying hard to not think about it. I'm trying hard to wait and see how this trip goes before making self-fulfilling prophecies about how the next trip will go. I say self-fulfilling prophecies because I believe that the more of an issue people make about my trans-ness, the more of an issue it will be. I've said that to people. I am trying hard to follow my own advice. The more I build up in my head and/or write about how stressful these trips are going to be, the more stressful they will be. *I* need to make this a good trip. It is under my control. I shall stop writing now.

The following is a compendium of questions I've been asked, advice I've been given, and things that have been said to me by well-intentioned or otherwise friends, family, and strangers. None of it is made up or embellished.

Enjoy and/or cringe. :)

This post came about after reading Gin's post on the "T-Word." I started leaving a comment on her blog and it started getting a little wordy. So rather than hijack her blog, I'll turn my comment into a blog post.

For those of you who don't know, the "T-Word" is a word that is a not-so-nice "nickname" for transsexual... it's a word that mechanics use to talk about transmissions. To a transsexual, it is a pejorative, and it is offensive. It is somewhat equivalent to the N-word, although it's not quite so hateful. I've always hated this word. I don't like hearing people use it, and I certainly never liked it when trans people used it jokingly about themselves. A friend of mine had a mindspring question site called, "Ask A T****y." I didn't get that. Was never able to understand when I'd hear African-Americans use the N-word. As if it was OK for them to use it, but not others. I always found that somewhat hypocritical.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I was talking with a couple friends. We were discussing how all these people were coming out of the woodwork for lunch dates with me, happy hours, etc. I jokingly and lightheartedly rolled my eyes and said, "yeah, you know, they all want to meet the t****y," and I laughed.

Whoa. Did I just say that? What's up with that? I hate that word. I thought about it some later, and what I figured out, was that I'm past the point of allowing myself to be hurt by a word that someone else uses to describe me. Call me whatever term you like... it doesn't matter. No one has the power to hurt me with a word. I do not grant you that power. If I were to be called that by someone who meant it in a degrading sense, I'd end up rolling my eyes at them... whatever. But, I get that others in our community don't feel that way. I was there. I still am there in a group sense... I don't like it when the word is used to refer to trans people as a group. Not so much because of the word itself, but because of the intention behind the word. The T-word doesn't hurt my feelings on a personal level, but I know it does others. Gin pointed out that groups such as trans people can try to take the word back and wash them clean, but such words will always have some stigma attached to them... and she's right.

So what does that make me, for using it? I guess it makes me a bit of a hypocrite. It's great that I've attained a level of self-acceptance where a mere word cannot not hurt me. However, that doesn't make it OK for me to use it. It's not acceptable or fair of me to use terms about myself that I would chastise others for using.

I'm not going to use it again. With or without asterisks.

I've been putting too much pressure on myself to write thoughtful posts lately. It gets exhausting. I get tired of thinking so much! This post is just going to be about what's going on. Things are pretty good, the whole preschool thing excepted. Work is going very well... it feels like nothing at all has changed. Part of that is because I'm on this project with 4 guys, none of whom are social. They all treat me exactly the same as they did before. Which is good, I suppose. I wish I worked with some women. I had lunch with our HR director, whom I refer to as "my HR angel," the other day. Was great to see her... we have a great relationship and talked about a lot of non-work stuff. Very cool.

My voice is really bothering me. I've neglected it and it shows. It is nowhere near where it should be and I have no one to blame but myself. I got sirred twice today. At least I think I got sirred. One had a thick Vietnamese accent, the other Middle Eastern, but I'm pretty sure I heard a "sir" in there. One of the sirrings was after the guy called me "ma'am," and then I spoke. Seriously? Even if my voice sounds like crap, why would you call someone that is obviously trying to present female, "sir?" Ugh. I really need to work on it. Can't explain why I haven't. I worked on it for about a month a little while back, but lost my voice mojo. So that's something I need to get moving on.

Hmmm, what else. I need to get started on hair removal "down there." I am absolutely dreading it. I think I will probably end up having surgery with McGinn or Leis. They both work out of Philly and I have a few friends in that area who could help with rides and dilation and such. Haha!! Kidding about the dilation, of course. Hopefully as close to a year from now as possible. Now that I am full-time, it bothers me a lot more than it has in the past. Without it, whoa, too many pronouns there... I mean without having had surgery, I feel like somewhat of an impostor, or that I am less of a woman. I wonder how I will feel afterwards. Anyway, I am starting that process... the research, consultations, figuring out how I am going to pay for it, assuming I am unable to get my company to uncheck the "Discriminate against transgender people?" box on our health insurance policy.

My daughter's school has what they call Parentgarten next week... the kids "teach" the parents. S. asked me if I was going to go. I didn't know what to say. I'd love to go, but it is in the middle of the work day and I am a little gun-shy after this whole preschool thing. I'd be lying if I didn't say that it has shaken me up a little bit. I'm stumbling around in the dark a bit right now with respect to school and the kids. I don't feel that I have anyone I can talk to about it who is truly impartial. How involved to be? I didn't cry when she asked me about it, but I know she sensed that I was a little upset. After we talked about it, she came over and "gave me love," her sweet way of saying cuddles and hugs and kisses. I got very teary-eyed at that point, but she wasn't aware, I don't think.

I've been on hormones for almost 9 months now. The past month or two, it feels like things are stagnating. I've not been as emotional and am very dissatisfied with the growth of the girls. I'm on Premarin and it seems like everyone else is on estradiol. And my "drive" is returning, which I don't like. It is returning slowly and is nowhere even remotely near where it used to be, but I don't really like it. I'll see my endo in March and we'll talk about estradiol then.

Overall, things are good. I will be glad when the "major" transitioning things are done and I've figured out how to best handle this with my children and school.

Dear Shar,

May I call you Shar?  I feel like we're old friends, after all we've been through together, without even meeting in person. "Ms. Lander" seems somewhat formal, and I fear that I would misspell "Sharlene," as you misspelled my name on your first email to me.  Really, Shar.  "Teigan?"  Tut, tut. I hope you don't teach spelling at school, Shar. My little joke!! Anyway, Shar, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your most recent email, where you banned me from the school premises. Despite that, you showed your kindhearted nature by allowing me to drop my son off at car line. Always the practical one, Shar.  I promise not to so much as poke my head out of the window, for fear of creating "an environment contrary to the expectations of the majority of the parent community."

I'm very glad, Shar, that you hope you have not offended me. That warms my little perverted transsexual heart. I feel much better now about your statement that the other parents likely have different values than I do. And infinitely much better about you referring to me as a "transsexual male," or referring to my situation as being based in "gender-sexuality" (???). I understand and appreciate, Shar, that in the past, "there have been occasions where the children’s daily routine has been disrupted due to behavior issues associated with their parents." Rest assured, Shar, that the children will not have to be subjected with the behavior associated with transsexualism. I must admit that I don't quite understand what the "behavior" is, but between friends, we'll let that one slide. We are friends, right, Shar?

I also appreciate your admission of the fact that you "do not pretend to know the difficulties that you may face or the challenges that lay ahead" with our alternative family situation. Your concern means so so much to me, Shar. As your friend, I would love to educate you. One big reason we face challenges, the biggest, in fact, is because there are a lot of ignorant bigots like you out there... whoopsie!!! My bad. Between friends, why don't you let that one slide as well. "I hope I have not offended you." ;)

Allow me to rephrase, mon amie. Children are the most accepting creatures on the planet. This acceptance begins to erode when adults, who are threatened by things they do not understand, and worse yet, make no effort to understand, make value judgments about people they've never met and know next to nothing about. It is at that point that parental and/or school influence take over, the children grow up, and the cycle continues. I would have thought as the vastly-experienced preschool administrator you are, that you would understand this, Shar.

Of course... as a vastly-experienced preschool administrator, you also realize that some parents would call the school, and demand the removal of the offending parent, or her student. Taking a stand against this would cause the school to lose money, wouldn't it, Shar? Those conservative Republican parents, living in of one of the richest locales in the country, probably wouldn't understand it, Shar. They'd be threatened by me, Shar. And you know that. This is much easier. Your school is a private, for-profit enterprise, and that must be protected. You're a great businesswoman, Shar.

I promise to do my part to protect your business, my dear friend. When people ask, I promise to evangelize on your behalf, Shar. I will tell any and all who ask that this school is a place where your children will be safe from the different values that I possess, values that will surely corrupt them. I will be certain to tell them that your school in no way teaches children that differences are OK; that the students will be protected from such dangerous thoughts. And should they ask for proof, I will simply show them your emails. I cherish the emails you have sent me, Shar. With my help, you may even be able to raise tuition, Shar! Indeed, you *are* a great businesswoman. I think it will warm prospective parents' hearts to read this letter and hope that someday they too, will share the congenial relationship that you and I are blessed with.

Finally, Shar, even if I did have a choice in the matter, I'd never pull my son from your school! What better place for my son. What better place than the loving, caring, supportive-of-those-who-are-similar environment that you foster, as the head of the school.


P.S. Let's do lunch soon, girlfriend!! I bet you're very curious about what kind of food transsexuals eat.

So, let's see... my first week at work. This really won't be all that interesting. It was a decidedly unspectacular week. Which is a good thing!

The first morning, I went out to breakfast with a group of local triathlon friends; it was nice to see everyone, and it was a great way to start off the "first day of work." I went to work, and it was really just another day. We mostly sit in our cubes and write software all day, with the occasional meeting. Monday, I sat in my cube and wrote software all day, and we had a meeting. I didn't perceive that anyone treated me any differently than any other day, save for one of the guys on the team holding the door for me after we had our team meeting. The one thing that *was* palpable to me, was the lack of interaction with other people. It bugged me. I never minded that before. What will be interesting to see, is if it bugged me because it was my first day, and I was seeking interaction to validate things, or, if I my mindset has changed. I seriously believe it is the second. I want to be more social than I've been.

The rest of the week was similar. On Wednesday, we had a meeting with the other three developers, and things felt the same.  I was still the funny one on the team, they still laughed quite a bit at my nonsense, and I contributed to the meeting just as always.  By the end of that day, things felt completely normal to me. Unfortunately, "normal" in the context of my project means we pretty much talk only when necessary... it's a bunch of techie guys.  All good, kind people, just not very chatty.  I wish there was another woman on my team. Speaking of other women, with respect to the other women in the office, before last week, I would pass one in the hall, or the kitchen, and they wouldn't say hello, smile, etc. Which makes sense... one doesn't walk around smiling and greeting every guy (that you don't know) that she sees. This week, it was different. Smiles and hellos galore from the other women on the floor. Got a couple compliments on my hair.  I can't imagine that they're not aware that I am the transgender person on the floor, but I don't really care.  I think I'd rather that people just knew.  At any rate, hopefully I can make friends with some of the other women and have someone to go to lunch with.

After my first day at work, I went to Trader Joe's, came home, made cookies for the kids, and went to bed. It was nice to be able to go straight to the store without having to go home and change clothes first. It was nice not to have to leave my purse in the car when I got to work. It was very nice to take off that $%(*?&@! bra when I got home, and exponentially nicer not to have to use the men's room anymore.  It's nice to be myself all the time.

In my last blog entry, I wrote something like "I don't think it is going to be anything spectacular..." and it wasn't. Of course, and I hadn't thought of this when I used the word "spectacular", was that a few months back, I wrote an entry titled "mundane = spectacular."

Hmmm... I guess it was a pretty spectacular week after all!!!

There was this guy who had a lot going for him.  Handsome, funny, intelligent... never had much of a problem dating anyone he wanted.  Concertmaster of the orchestra in high school, lots of friends, starting point guard on the basketball team, got mostly A's with a few B's. Got the highest GRE scores in the history of his college, then a Masters' degree.  Performed very well at work... both there and at school, was always considered one of the "stars."  He earned well into the 6 figures as a technology consultant.  Married an intelligent, beautiful woman, bought a house in the burbs, had two children.  He got into triathlon and made a large group of friends there.  Clearly, here was someone who had it all.

Although... his humor could get a little sarcastic and biting at times. Too biting.  Come to think of it, he performed well enough at work when it came to sitting in front of a computer, but he could never quite get that whole "people" thing down.  And furthermore, it's true that he did have friends, but whenever he moved on in life, be it from a school, or a job, or a situation, that was the end of those friendships.  He just let them go.  Friends and family noted a simmering anger about him; they'd sometimes remark that he was hard to get to know, a bit of an enigma. Maybe there was more here than meets the eye.

Keep peeling back layers, and things got worse.  Once or twice a week, he'd leave work, stop at the local convenience store, get a 12-pack, polish off 10 of them by 9 PM, and pass out.  He'd wake up in the middle of the night and aimlessly drive around wearing some article of clothing that he dared not be seen in come daylight.  Fall back asleep for maybe an hour, and come into work bleary-eyed and exhausted. He ran up tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt, buying and throwing away clothes, repeating the cycle, each time swearing never to do it again. He has a 2-inch scar on his hip from cutting himself, and multiple scars on his stomach and worse places from burning himself with cigarettes, almost 20 years ago. He used to catch himself in a good mood, and think, "Why are you in a good mood? You have nothing to be in a good mood about. Stop it." He realized that he had little self-worth, but never understood why. Clearly, here was someone who had very little.

If you had told him that someday he'd be describing this in a forum that his real-life friends and many others read, he'd have told you that you were crazy.  He would have been right.  He would never have written this.

*I* am, though.

Why?  Why on earth would I make public these intensely private things, which I went to great lengths to hide for years?  It's a virtual certainty that there is someone out there reading this, going through similar angst as I did.  This is for you. I know, it seems pretty hopeless at times.  Looking in the mirror and finding it impossible to see anything remotely feminine or masculine about one's self. Hiding a secret that is far too embarrassing to confide to anyone. Get some help.  There are more resources available to help you than ever. More and more of us are emerging out of shameful closets and into society's consciousness. You can do this.  Just one short year ago, living the rest of my life as my true self was an unreachable pipe dream.  The unreachable pipe dream is now my reality. It can be yours as well.

I'm going to work tomorrow, for the first time.  I don't think it is going to be anything spectacular.  It's merely the first day of many to follow, where I live my life as the person I've always wanted to be... myself, nothing more.  Life will be much better as myself. That said, I am not one of those transitioners who hates the person she used to be, ceremoniously burning old photos, yearbooks, clothes and such.  I've learned a lot from that guy.  He had many good qualities.  I've read about the experiences of others who have gone before me, expressing sentiments such as the old them is dying, etc. I do feel a little solemn, but I don't feel like any part of me is dying, or dead. The experiences of the past 39 years have forged the person I am today, and I've learned a ton from them. I'll carry forward the good stuff and never forget the bad.

Often I read that the first year of transition is the most stressful.  I dunno.  I'm adding in going to work. Life will be as stressful as I allow it to be.  I'm sure at times it will be a bit of a whirlwind. There will be days when I am exhausted, and there will be low points where I will feel like giving up (on transition, not life).  In those moments, I will remember that guy.  I will remember the dysphoria, and life will go on.  I will turn 40, then 50, then 60, and then be a "little old lady."  What will *that* be like?  Will I be happy?  Will I be alone?  Maybe, but it's pointless to wring my hands about such things now.  One step at a time. I'm taking a big one tomorrow morning.

Bye, Tim. <3

Last year, when my daughter was in preschool, I came in a couple times and read a book to the class. I loved reading to them and S. really enjoyed having me there. What kid doesn't, right? My son has started this year at the same preschool. Last week, an email went out to all the parents in G's class asking for volunteers to come in and read. I thought about it a lot, talked with my sister, who is a 1st-grade teacher and has a 5 and 2-year old, my therapist, and decided to volunteer. Got an email back from her teacher... "THANKS!!"

Great, huh? Well, think again. Today I got a phone call from Sharlene, the principal or head administrator of the school. It's a private school, in an upper-class, conservative area. I could tell the tone of the voice mail. She said something to the effect of, "I just wanted to talk or meet with you to see how we could come to a mutual understanding of..." or some bullshit like that. I didn't really pay attention to the rest of her message. I knew damn well what the reason for the phone call was.

So I called her back. My suspicions were confirmed when pretty much the first question she asked me was, "well, why do you want to come in and read a book to the class?" Um, because my son is in the class. That's how it works. I asked her if she called all the other parents, asking for their motivations for reading to their children. We trans people... we're awful, you know. If a trans person wants to read a book to her child's class, it simply *must* be for some other reason than simply wanting to be an involved parent.

In an incredibly circuitous, passive-aggressive, and disingenuous way, she insinuated that I shouldn't come read to the class because it would confuse the children. And the children would have questions. And the parents wouldn't want to answer them. And she'd get phone calls and/or emails from the parents. And she didn't want to deal with it. That was the essence of what it took this woman 20 minutes to say. At one point, I just asked her to say whatever it was she was trying to say. I mean, seriously. Out with it. But she wouldn't. She wanted me to voluntarily say, "oh, ok, I won't come in." Fuck that. There was no way I was going to say that. I basically told her that I saw this as a learning opportunity for the kids. People are all afraid or us, or threatened, or whatever, because they don't understand. Yes, the kids are young, and cannot understand gender identity, but 3-year olds don't need to. I think it would have been OK. I think the kids would have had the same "meh" reaction that my kids have had, or my at-the-time 4-year old nephew had when my sister showed him a picture of me... he said, "Wow!" and then asked for some cookies.

Anyway, I repeatedly expressed that in a respectful manner to her, and she eventually said, "It would affect G's enrollment here." I thought it best for me to not say anything stupid or in the heat of the moment, so I told her that I didn't have anything else to say and that I was ending the call. This woman is afraid of getting phone calls from parents. She's afraid. She didn't even have the guts on the call to just come out and say what she wanted. Even at the end, all she said was, "This would effect his enrollment." She never said what would effect it, she didn't have the courage to. Pathetic and spineless. Or, she's just an ignorant, closed-minded person. Or both. I have zero respect for her. On the call, I asked her what research she had done to prepare herself for the call, knowing full well she'd done nothing of the sort. You can imagine that she didn't have much of an answer.

That said, this is not a battle that I could win, and even if it were, the potential harm it would cause my son far outweighs the good I could do by coming in and reading a book to his class. Moving him to another school also would not be a good thing for him. This is about my son, not my rights as a parent. So, I will live to fight another day. This is the first post tagged with "discrimination." It likely won't be the last, sadly. I'd love to name the school here and SEO this page so that when people Googled this school, this post would come up. But, I won't. That wouldn't help G., either. I'm angry, very angry about this... but I need to take it lying down this time, unfortunately. I'm not going to use my son to prove a political point with school administration. It's frustrating, because I am not the type to tolerate this sort of bigoted crap.

I am my child's parent. Part of that, especially when you are transgender, is absorbing stuff like this, for their sake.

On BT, each member has her or his own training log, visible to other members. Mostly, people record and discuss their training in their logs, and some people (like me) talk about life stuff. You can leave a member what is called an "inspire," a little message to them, a comment on their training, etc. We also have a "friends list," people on the site who mean something to you, in one way or another. Around a year and a half ago, there was a rather beloved member of the site, Bunnyrunner, who was in the last stages of battling with cancer, a fight that had gone on for years. Her husband Klondike was helping with log updates to let our community know how she was doing, and reading her inspires to her. I hadn't interacted with her or him too much prior, but had kept a watchful eye on her log.

One day, when the end was imminent, I came to her log to leave an inspire. I felt small... what could I possibly say that might give them some comfort? I couldn't comprehend what they were going through; any words of mine seemed woefully inadequate and insignificant. Bunnyrunner and Klondike had recently married... I remembered being inspired by their optimism and hope, marrying when they likely had so little time together. I left a succinct inspire expressing my admiration for their love. A couple days later, after she had lost her battle, I came back to her log. I saw that I had been added to her friends list. I smiled through a tear. Not because I was on someone else's friends list; rather, because perhaps my words had given them some small measure of comfort, at a time when it was needed most.

I've been in a not-so-great mental place the last few days. I'll essentially be full-time after work today and while it's not sad, I feel incredibly emotional. My kids will be seeing me in male clothes for the last time this morning, when I drop them at school. This afternoon, I'll have a meeting with my project team to tell them that I am transgender, and that I'll be taking Thursday and Friday off, and coming to work as myself on Monday. I'm not nervous or scared about work. It's more the enormity of the rest of my life laid out before me. It's the impact that this change has on my children, and all my relationships. It's the somewhat audacious idea that I'm going to live the rest of my life as a female. The rest of my life. It's been a lot to take in. My last couple log entries have been somewhat "down." But then....

... yesterday, a friend reminded me of Terri. Terri fought valiantly. She faced her struggles with optimism and a smile. She signed up for races and lived her life on her terms as best she could. I thought of her, and went back over her log. I read lots of it... and was reminded that just as she did, I need to live *my* life on *my* terms, and fight. So now, at a time when *I* need it most, once again she makes me smile through a tear. A tear which evaporates, and a smile which transforms to a look of firm resolve. She reminds me to face my future with optimism... to fight!!, in those moments when it would be all too easy to cower in fear of the challenges of the future and lament the losses of the past.

The hell with that. I have a life to live. So watch out, rest of my life. Grrrrrrrr!!! Here I come. Deal with it.

Thank you, Terri. You continue to inspire and you always will.

Everything *seems* to be going well, at least on a superficial level... but is it, really?

My family... I dunno. My mom is making an effort, she's trying to use my name and all, but we don't talk too often. Maybe once a week. My dad... I don't really hear much from him. But, that's nothing new. Hasn't changed much from what things were like before my announcement. My sister... she's regressed, I think. We don't talk as often as we used to.  She's busy, and sometimes just doesn't want to hear about it, or deal with it, or something like that. It's hard because they live far away, and don't see me very often. So my changes are not gradual to them. There will be a point in the future where it's not OK for them to say things like "I don't want to deal with this," anymore. I'm not there yet, but I feel closer than ever to this point. This is who I am, and this is the biggest and best thing that has ever happened to me. And if one doesn't want to deal with it, she doesn't want to deal with me. I'm not going to have superficial phone calls with people with all this stuff in the background. What if someone had some other medical condition, like, say they were recovering from cancer? Can you imagine telling someone you didn't want to hear about it? "Ugh, you know, I really don't want to hear about this stupid cancer recovery you keep talking about. I'm done with it." This shouldn't be any different.

Friends... they're supportive in the sense of commenting on my Facebook statuses or clicking "Like" and meeting up for a drink (when I invite), but no one has proactively asked me to do anything or get together, in literally months. It's always me asking. I've gone out with people very often. Which is nice, but it would also be nice if someone asked me to do something once in a while. I'd talked about getting together with a couple people and they said, "send me some dates!!" so I sent a list of dates. Annnnnd, I've not heard back. I had planned this thing at my place, invited a bunch of people, and ended up canceling it after 3 no's, 4 maybe's, 1 yes, and 18 no responses. It was just stressing me out. I don't need that.  I've been invited to come visit people (long-distance) for the weekend, which is awesome. I have a couple trips planned. I've invited people to my place for a weekend, and I get a series of we'll sees or we're very busies, etc. I'm so tired of being the one to reach out. So, I'm not going to anymore, for a while.  It's exhausting, especially with everything else going on.

There's a pattern here. I don't know if the pattern is more about me as a person, or people are just busy, or lazy, or noncommittal, or what. But for the rest of my life, when these sorts of things go on, I'll always wonder if it's because I am trans. Kinda sucks.

And this trans support site I am on... it gets tiresome. The titles of the last few posts...

  • Speedbump
  • Grey Inside My Soul
  • Things I Don't Like About Myself
  • A thought that bothers me
  • Be careful what you wish for
  • Another disappointing day
  • Pieces Left Behind
  • A sad day
All negative.  The drum of constant negativity gets to me at times.  There was even a post by one of the site admins titled "No Spiking The Ball!"  meaning, if good things happen to you in your transition, it might be insensitive to write about them, as it's not going like that for everyone.  Whatever.  Only on a transgender site would there be a post by an admin, warning people against being too positive.

I'm tired of reaching out.  I'm tired of reaching out to people and having it not reciprocated.  I'm tired of the constant negativity of the transgender world.  I came out to a few thousand people on my other site this week, and while the response was great, the act of coming out like that, is tiring.  I'm tired of being the standard-bearer for transgender people in my little circle, if it is even a circle. I'm tired of these constant mental ups and downs, case in point, this post, juxtaposed with my last one, about "fun." I try my best to stay positive.  But at times, this all gets to me, and I just want to hide for a while.  Like, now.  So, no worries, site admin.  I won't spike the ball for a while.

It's a busy time right now. I'm tired of writing deep, meaningful posts. My brain is maxed out at the moment, so this one might be a bit "newsy." I don't really like newsy posts. I can never think of a good title. Whatever.

I went to visit a dear friend last weekend... flew out to Chicago, first time as myself. Last year, I visited this same friend, before any of this. I knew her through my triathlon site, and flew out for a swim race. Last year when I was out there, she, I, and her future husband boyfriend were talking about how it was kind of funny that she invited some random Internet guy out to her place for the weekend. She said that she'd had a bunch of girls to visit, but never a guy. Haha. Little did we know. After I came out to her, we realized that even back then, we were becoming girlfriends. She's someone you just can't help but love. I'm very fortunate to have her as a friend.

Anyway... my driver's license picture is old. Like, three years old. Looks nothing like me. So armed with my carry letter (a letter written by a professional, explaining what is going on), I headed to the airport. Just a little bit of a hassle at Dulles... the TSA people were professional, but I had to talk with 3 people (!!) before they let me through. The second guy I talked to said that he'd never had this situation before. Oh well. Hopefully it will be easier for the next trans person that he sees. They did keep using "he" and "him," which was a little irritating. They weren't being intentionally obtuse, I don't think... this is just new to them. I will probably write the TSA a letter saying that while the agents were professional, perhaps a little education is in order.

The weekend itself, was a lot lot lot of fun. I need CLOTHES. Lots of them. So we shopped. Lots of shopping. Between Express, Ann Taylor, NY & Company, DSW, Gap, and Old Navy, I purchased around 20 tops and one pair of boots. I also ended up with a few more hand-me-down tops, and a dress. And flip-flops. And a scarf that I will use as a belt with jeans. I have no idea how I got this all in my single carry-on, which was fairly full to begin with. We shopped, we chatted (a lot!), we drank wine, we went out to dinner with her future husband boyfriend. I had no problems getting back through security at O'Hare, and made it home. Fun girls' weekend. The kind of weekend that cisgender women have likely had hundreds of. This was my first.

Now I have a few tops. I only have two pairs of pants, though. I still need skirts, pants, jeans, maybe a dress or two, and more shooz. And belts. Scarves. Unmentionables. Socks. Cheap jewelry. On and on and on. It will be fun to go shopping for it all, but it's a little overwhelming. My goal is to have enough for two weeks. Oh, and outerwear. I have no outerwear.

Hmmm, what else. I came out on my triathlon site. I've been on the site for over 4 years, am a moderator, and pretty well-known, so it was kind of a big deal. Really good response there, so far the post has close to 2300 views, and 65 or so comments, 100% supportive. Now, I'm not so naive as to think all the people who read my thread are supportive, but it went really well. I got a few kind private messages from people I've never before interacted with on the site, but knew me from my OCD copious postings over the years, and that was very cool. I also think that there must be other trans people on this site. And perhaps seeing how people responded to me, will help them.

As far as the actual work stuff goes, it's all good. My first day is October 25. I'm helping our HR department write gender transition guidelines, you know, because I have so much experience. Ha! Seriously, it is *very* cool that my transition has spurred this. The Monday morning that I go to work, am taking some friends out for breakfast. That'll be fun. A couple weeks after that, I invited a bunch of people over for dessert and drinks. That will also be fun. If anyone decides to RSVP. What is so difficult about RSVPing to something? You compare the dates on your calendar that you have stuff going on, with the dates on the invitation. If they overlap, you RSVP "no." If not, and you'd like to go, you RSVP "yes." If you don't want to go, you RSVP "no." It's not rocket science, people. People don't like to commit to things. That doesn't go over well with someone who has committed to changing her physical gender.

Hmm, the word "fun" or variants of it appear 8 times in this blog. Ok, that will be the title for this post. Usually I cannot deal with repetitiveness in my writing, which this particular blog entry is likely rife with. Like, "RSVP" above. It appears five times in one paragraph. And it jumps out at me because it is in CAPS. That's weak. I should change it. But I'm not going to. I'm too tired, and too happy. It's fine. :)

P.S. With this post, the labels "friends" and "happy" are now tied with "hair removal" for my most-used labels. I like this. :)

10 or so years ago, I was reading about this topic which intrigued me, about people who emerged from the womb as male, but underwent all sorts of painful/stressful/life-altering procedures to, as I put it at the time, "become" women.

"That's not me, I'm not like that..." I remember thinking. "I could never go through all that. I'm OK the way I am." Now, I've been on hormones for 6 months and I have a couple hours of electrolysis a week.

I met a group of transgender women for the first time, about a year ago. I remember being surprised that they (mostly people who had transitioned) didn't wear all that much makeup, and wore clothes that weren't all that feminine.

"Oh, that's not me. I'm not like that," I thought, as I sat there in my overly-feminine getup and foundation, blush, eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow, and lipstick. I mean, what's the point of doing all this, if you can't girl it up, right? Now, here is my current Facebook profile picture.

Three or four months into therapy, my therapist asked me if I ran upstairs and changed out of my male clothes after getting home from work each day.

"No, that's not me, I'm not like that," I replied. "Male clothes don't bother me. I can wear whatever. It doesn't matter." Now, the second I leave work, I feel a weight lifted. I cannot wait to get home and change. And the shoes. Don't even get me stared on the heavy, ugly, clunky shoes I have to wear.

I've met many full-timers who haven't done much with their voice. Their voice sounds male. They look great, but their voice is a dead giveaway. How could they go through life sounding as they do? Don't they care about getting read as transgender?

"Hmmph. That's not me, I'm not like *that*," I scoffed. Now, I'm going full-time in three weeks and my voice isn't anywhere close to sounding feminine. When I speak to people, I have no idea if they realize I'm trans, or not, and I don't really care.

So many times I've read that in the days and weeks preceding going full-time, many transgender women feel a real sense of loss, mourning their old selves. They seemed incredibly stressed, referring to their old selves "dying," stuff like that.

"Well, that's certainly not me. I'm not like that," I thought. "I mean, going full-time is a *good* thing! And the old you isn't dying. That person is still around, it's just a little different. And besides, all you're doing is adding in work. No biggie."

Now, for the past week, I've been waking up around 3:30 in the morning, each morning, and I can't get back to sleep. This morning, I started thinking about what it's going to be like three weeks from now... my first day as myself at work, and I felt a palpable sense of loss. I sometimes wish I wasn't like this. I wish that I had been born with the sense of congruency for which I am striving. I feel overwhelmed and stressed about all that I have to get done over the next three weeks. Which includes quit smoking. Yeah, I smoke. Don't tell my endocrinologist... I don't want to hear it. For years, I've been around a pack a day. In the past 6 months, I am up to 2. 2 packs a day. I have no idea how or why this happened. It really concerns me; no, it rings alarm bells in my head, is what it does. I have to somehow manage to quit smoking, at what is perhaps the most stressful time of my life. Good luck with that.

Anyway, I'm sure that I seem like someone who really has her shit together. I'm confident, self-assured, I've accepted myself, so far I've kept my family and friends, life is good, blah blah blah. That's all true, but it doesn't mean that I don't have my moments where I feel very uncertain about what's going to become of me. I don't have a choice but to do this; there is no wavering on my part. The reality, however, is that I don't know what it will be like. I don't know that it'll be all that different. Which I don't think of as a good thing.

I read stories about some post-transition women, who are struggling mightily... they're congruent, but lonely. They've not been able to find a relationship, and/or once they've finished the "transitioning" part of this and over the initial euphoria of finding one's self, that life as a transgender woman is pretty damn difficult. They went into transition with unrealistic expectations and were completely knocked on their asses when it was less than what they expected.

That's not me... I'm not like that.

Really, I'm not. You'll see.


Before I began this process, I read time and time again that I should be ready to be ostracized, lose my family, my children, my friends, be fired, and/or be homeless or end up having to live with 4 other transgender people in a one-bedroom apartment. It can scare the absolute crap out of you if you allow it to.

I am here to tell you, that it doesn't need to be that way.

I came out to company management a couple of days ago. The night before, I wasn't able to fall asleep until 11:30 PM. I woke up at 3 AM and didn't go back to sleep. I drank 4 cappuccinos (!!!) at home and stressed until it was time to go to work. My meeting was at 11 AM, and around 10, I felt the emotions coming. I called a very close friend and let it out to her... through my tears I told her how at no time, in this process, was I ever scared, until now. And I was. I was scared. I didn't have any doubt about what I had to do, but I was scared. Letting that emotion out on the phone really helped.  I needed to get it out before the meeting.  We don't need a drama queen in the office.  Anyway, I felt much better, and didn't feel scared anymore.  I just needed to get it out.

I met with our HR director, and long story short, I had absolutely nothing to worry about. She had already guessed this about me... the first words out of her mouth after I told her what she already knew, were "we are here to support you and make this as smooth a process as possible." (!!!)  I'm the first person that has transitioned at my medium-size company of around 400 people.  Since this was new to her, she took it upon herself to do quite a bit of proactive learning/research before our meeting. I can't say enough about that, or the manner in which handled the meeting itself. I explained what was going on with me, my plan, and a rough timeline. We met for about 90 minutes. The whole thing was collaborative, cooperative, and it could not have gone any better. I left our meeting an ecstatic and optimistic. I emailed her with a thank-you and some documents I promised her (Standards of Care, etc.) afterwards, and this was part of her response:

"I’m glad you felt good coming out of our meeting yesterday, so did I! I think you are doing a great job communicating what you need, and I really appreciate you being reasonable. So many employees – regardless of what they are asking about – are just not reasonable, and it makes it so much more difficult. I’m excited to be partnering with you as we work through this process."


We agreed that she would spread the word up the food chain, and I told her I'd meet with my project managers and inform them.  Emails from our CEO, company legal counsel, and others quickly followed, expressing their support. I spoke with my project managers today and one of them had already guessed... he told me that he thought to himself when he met me about 4 months ago, "this person is not a male." (!!!) I've been overwhelmed by the level of support and understanding from the people I've communicated with on this after only one day. We are all working on a plan together to pick a date that I will come to work as myself. It will probably be sometime in the next 3 or 4 weeks.

So, I'm out to everyone. There will be an email sent to certain folks at work about me, and I will have a meeting with my project team before I come to work as me, but that's pretty much it as far as the coming-out process goes. I can't wait for the first day that I come to work as myself.... although I took a gander in my closet this weekend and I have two tops and one pair of pants that I could wear to work. (!!!)  I have quite a bit of shopping ahead of me.

I read this over, and it sounded very low-key.  I need some exclamation points in here or something... after all, this is a flipping BIG DEAL!!  So, anywhere above you see (!!!), they were gratuitously added afterwards.

P.S.  Oh, and the project manager I mentioned above... the one who "knew," during our meeting, after I came out, he was referring to me, and said "she."  He paused, and said, "Wow.  That came out totally naturally.  I didn't even think about it."  Who knows, maybe he's been thinking of me as a girl the whole time.

P.S.S.  I think the gratuitous exclamation points work. They're gratuitous, but they fit.  :)

For some reason, I had always wanted pierced ears.

One year ago to the minute of this post, I sat on the table at Exposed Temptations in Manassas a fairly unhappy and somewhat confused individual. I remember thinking as I drove out there, "Am I really doing this?" A thought I'd have many times over the next year. Inexplicably, I hadn't connected this with my lifelong gender issues. At the time, I just knew I wanted my ears pierced. Why, I couldn't tell you... I just wanted 'em pierced. So I got them done. I went to Starbucks afterwards and was surprised that no one gave me a second look... a harbinger of non-reactions to come.

I got home from the piercing shop and returned a phone call from my wife, from whom I had been separated for two years. I told her that I wanted to make things final. It just kind of came out... just happened. In the moment, I didn't realize why I chose this particular time to tell her. Looking back, I now know that there was no way I could have discovered who I really was, while this should-I-stay-or-should-I-go hung over my head. A week later, I finally followed up on an email with a gender therapist after a month of hemming and hawing, and met with her that evening. The first laser appointment followed shortly thereafter.  I didn't realize it in the moment, but piercing my ears was a trigger... my first act of transition.  It unleashed everything that has taken place since then.

I wonder why piercing my ears was my first step. Most people I know who have transitioned didn't pierce ears until they are much further along in the process. I, on the other hand, unwittingly started with piercing my ears. It's an outward, visible thing that you can't hide. You have no choice but to leave them in for a couple months. You can't take them out when it's convenient. Aaaaaaand... it's permanent. It doesn't matter why I did this first, but perhaps there was a reason that the first step I took, was a permanent, visible one.

The changes this year has seen that are the most meaningful and life-altering, are the mental ones. Far and away, I've learned more this year than any other.  One very, very cool thing about transitioning, is that it affords you the opportunity requires you to examine literally everything about yourself.  You spend your entire life wondering why you are compelled to do these strange and sometimes harmful things... why you are so angry all the time and Just. Cannot. Be. Content.  Then one day, all the crap from your past adds up and everything clicks.  And you're able to let go of many of the things that you never understood why you couldn't get past, even though you always wanted badly to get past them. There was a month a while back when it seemed like I had one "aha!" moment after another. It was kind of remarkable, actually. I am closer than ever to truly understanding myself.

Of course, this isn't just about introspection.  An important part of the past year has been the physical metamorphosis.  It's very en vogue for trans people to disavow that fact. As time goes on, it takes on less importance, but still. If you had told me a year ago, that in a year's time, that I would look in the mirror and see a cute woman, I'd have asked you to stop getting my hopes up.  Although seeing beauty in one's self is as much mental as it is physical. Anyway, I'm happy with how I look.

Deep down, I knew I'd end up here from the moment that I stepped into Martha's office, although perhaps not quite this soon.  When I was driving back from that first laser appointment, I remember a tearful car ride home... knowing that something was forever changing.  Clearly, part of me  knew where this was going.  The rest of me caught up quickly. I don't doubt that I need to walk this path. Nevertheless, there are still times when I allow fear to creep in. For example, this disclosure meeting with HR that I have in 5 days. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little apprehensive and/or scared about it. I still have those surreal "WTF am I doing??" moments. I work through them by remembering that things which used to seem impossible have become my reality.

Gender congruency is not a panacea for life's ills.  There are certainly many unhappy cisgender people out there. After transition, I won't be anyone special... just another middle-aged divorced woman with 2 kids.  *That's* a challenge in and of itself, let alone throwing the transgender thing into the mix.  Transitioning is not a guarantee of happiness.  However, indefinitely treading water would have guaranteed the opposite. We'll see.

When I finally accepted myself, I set a goal of full-time in the winter of 2011. And I said that was "optimistic." Heh. It's looking now like I'll be full-time in a month or two... yikes!! It'll be interesting to see what life is like, after another 525,600 minutes have passed.

I scheduled a meeting with HR a week from this coming Monday, to tell them what's going on with me, to begin planning my work transition.  The past month or two, I am getting increasingly withdrawn at work. Each week I get a little more depressed putting on those male clothes and those ugly ugly shoes... I feel like it is as the point where it is affecting things both inside and outside of work.  I talked it over with my therapist and we decided that it's time.  I'm not nervous about disclosing, or afraid, but I am stressed.  Exactly what it is that I am stressed about, I can't tell you.. but it's palpable.  I've felt a little on edge the past couple days.  Friday was awful.  I was depressed all day, left the office, and cried all the way to my ex-wife's house to pick the kids up for the weekend.

The reason I am stressed, is not because of anything going on in my life, or any real evidence that going full-time isn't the right thing for me, or that I think anything bad is going to happen.  I don't.  I think it is going to be justfinethankyou.  I am stressed because I spend too much time reading from others how much of a paradigm shift going full-time is.   How things will get so different, and how you cannot comprehend how different it will be.  I remember reading a blog on PE where a full timer wrote about some issue she was facing.  In it, there was this gem: "YOU CANNOT COMPREHEND THIS SO IF YOU ARE NOT FULL-TIME JUST SHUT UP DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME??"  Sheesh.  

Anyway, I started overdoing it in my thoughts... I had all these visions of writing an overly-dramatic "Tomorrow, I go full-time." post, with a hand over my heart, my eyes gazing towards the heavens, as tears streamed down my face. I've read how TG women lament the death of their old selves, and I let all that get to me.  That's ridiculous.  Not their feelings... but the fact that I let their feelings impact how I feel about myself.  Get a grip, indeed.  Stop reading so much, and live.

So far, everything has come easily.  I don't have any real reason to expect otherwise, just because I am adding going to work as myself.  My electrologist asked me this past week, "do you really think things will be much different?"  and I answered, "no, I don't really feel that way."  I have stressed and agonized about each step in this process... and each step in this process has ended up being much more of a non-event than I thought.  Not the cause for concern that I thought it was.  There is so much emphasis in the TG world put on going "full-time."  You get to change your status on your PE profile.  You're in a new circle.  You can change your name, legally.  The clock starts ticking for GRS.  You are allowed to respond to that all-caps thread I mentioned above ;).  So much fanfare accompanies this blessed event.  Perhaps that shouldn't be the case.  It's just another step in a process, really.  Granted, a big step, but if you are where I am, full-time everywhere else, maybe it isn't *that* huge.

Perhaps I need not be so stressed about it.  After all, this is what I've always wanted.  I need to learn from my past experience and remember that 99% 100% of the things I have worried about so far, weren't worthy of said worrying.  I'm going full-time soon.  I'm very excited and happy about it.  I am going to do my best to let the stress go.  I recall a comment on a blog entry on accepting myself; a comment which stood out in my mind.  From a post-op woman who, IMHO, has and had the right attitude about all this.  The comment was something like, "good for you!  you'll do fine."  It stuck in my mind because of its' simplicity.  I'm a big fan of Occam's Razor, and there was some synergy there, another reason I liked the comment.

So, good for me!  I'll do fine!


P.S.: There is one other reason I am grumpy.  I had laser on my upper lip on Thursday, and usually for 4 days after laser, I can't get a good shave.  So I have noticeable hair on my upper lip that I can't get off.  Hate that!!

Note: I originally posted this on PinkEssence, as a response to a thread where a few women were talking about their collective misery when occasions like weddings, prom, etc. came up.  One of them even left her own sister's wedding her out of self-pity.  That's not my thing.  I hate it.  I hate it because I engaged in it for a while, back in the day.  Anyway, the post was very... umm, let's go with, "popular," generated almost an unprecedented amount of comment, and was reposted on Facebook by the owner of PE.  I think the advice in it applies to a lot wider circle of people than transgender people...

I didn't want to hijack the weddings/prom thread. I doubt this blog is going to be very popular around here, but I really don't care...

Get over yourselves.

Yes, it sucks that we weren't born female. It's not fair that we haven't gotten the experience of being a bride, or going to that high school prom. But, that's not the fault, or problem, of the women who do have those experiences. The answer to our dilemma is not sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves, is not leaving halfway through our own sister's wedding, not feeling sad everytime we are asked to share in someone else's happiness.

And them in the next breath, we lament "why, oh why, can't they accept me and just be happy for me?" It is not reasonable, or fair, on our parts, to expect people who we seemingly can't be happy for, to be happy for us. Often, I've heard people outside the trans community refer to transgender people as selfish, narcissistic, self-centered, etc. I'm sorry, but stuff like this perpetuates that stereotype.

I've been jealous, sometimes angrily jealous, of women, for my entire life. It affected my relationships with my mother, my sister, and my friends. That is not their fault. It is mine, and mine alone. I've learned to let that go and allow myself to be happy for others, and all the aforementioned relationships are better for it. The point where this gets to be a problem IMO, is when it starts affecting those around you. People are bound to see your unhappiness at these sorts of events. Who wants to be around someone like that? There were times when I had that attitude, and people didn't want to be around me, and I don't blame them. When I came out as trans to my mother, she had somewhat of a come-to-Jesus talk with me about these very issues. She was a bit harsh, but she forced me to think, and come to the conclusion that I would get a lot more back from people, if I was truly and sincerely able to give, for no other reason, than to give. It was tremendously helpful.

You'll get a lot more back, if you give. Food for thought.

So yesterday I fretted and hemmed and hawed all day about how I was going to present at back-to-school night.  Had myself so worked up and panicky about it, that I was in tears a couple of times.  In the end, I decided that since there's a good chance I'll be full-time by the end of the school year, I need to present as female... I don't need S's teachers wondering if a woman or a female crossdresser will show up.  (haha!)

So I got home from work and shaved, dressed, put on just a touch of makeup, played around with my hair a bit... and I looked like total crap.  My hair hasn't been cut in a year (we are taking care of that in 8 days), my skin, while hair-free, is bumpy from all the hair that used to be there, and I had these big old dark circles under my eyes, presumably from not sleeping much the night before, worrying about this.  And I was sweating bullets, since it was in the high 90s today, and I have the air conditioner off during the day.  Quite the hot mess, was I.  Decided to make a couple stops before school, to see if I got read.  A warm-up, if you will.  Stopped at Starbucks... kind of a side story here.  I stop at this Starbucks fairly regularly.  The woman working there saw me and smiled and asked me how I had been, since it had been a while since I was in there last.  The funny thing is, that I've never presented as female there before.  She recognized me and didn't show the slightest hint of surprise or "omg!" or anything.  I thought that was interesting.  But I digress.

Pulled into the parking lot at the school, and felt very nervous.... this is where things start getting real.  I've spent hundreds of nights alone at home, shamefully dressing, and now, I am about to walk into a public school, sporting a purse, boobs, etc.  Crazy, when I think about it in those terms.  I walked into an auditorium full of parents... I held my hand out and it was shaking badly.  I found a spot with open seats on either side and sat down, wondering when I was going to get that look of shocked, wide-eyed recognition from some parent, wondering what this freak was doing at her child's school, because, you know, we are all just a bunch of perverts.  A woman sat down next to me.  And got right back up.  Crap.  Oh, wait.  She is squinting and we are quite a few rows back.  Ok, ok, chill out... calm down.  Another woman came and sat next to me, and smiled at me.  Ok, maybe you are passing.  I started feeling more comfortable and allowed myself a small  smile.

The principal gave her spiel, and dismissed us (yes, she actually said "Parents, you are dismissed") to the classrooms.  I went over and introduced myself... we had spoken on the phone a week prior, to make her and S's teachers aware of our alternate situation.  She was friendly.  I got to S's classroom and we all had to sit around little tables.  I sat at a table with three other Moms... they just gave me a typical smile that women give to each other.  Felt much, much better.  I introduced myself to S's teachers, got her little packet, teachers were totally normal and friendly.  If they realized I was the TG parent, they didn't let on.  Mrs. Z gave her talk, and that was it.  I didn't get looks from anyone.  Not even from this couple who is good friends with my ex-wife.  The wife looked right at me and did not recognize me.

You would think... that by this point, I would stop panicking about these situations.  Literally 100% of the time so far, when I've panicked about something like this, it was unwarranted.  This was a bit different, though.  I've been in this protective bubble of friends, family, and strangers that I don't need to be concerned about seeing again.  Presenting at school as me is different, for obvious reasons.  It's a big step.  This school year, while I am part-time, I am going to keep a low profile at school.  Once I am full-time, though, that will change.  I am going to be an involved parent.  Of course, there is worry-wart potential, when other parents actually realize that one of the kindergarten parents is transgender.  I am going to try not to worry too much about that.  I cannot control how people react, or what preconceptions or prejudices they have.  What I can do, is live an upstanding life and be a great parent.  That's the sort of thing that helps erase such prejudices.  I intend to do my best to erase them, and show people that don't understand us, that we are not much different.


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When I transitioned, there just weren't too many blogs out there written by straight, transitioned women. Well, here's one.

I can be reached via email at this address.

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