See those categories over there in the sidebar? From time to time, I'll look at them... over a given period of time, you can kind of see what you're up to, see what you're focused on during that period of time. For example, early in my transition, there were quite a few posts tagged with "hair removal." There was a period where the majority of posts were about my kids. I was looking at tags last night and realized that I hadn't tagged a post with "happy" in quite a while. Life's been a little rough lately. I've been a little down at times. I hoped that it would change soon.

Well, today I got my new passport in the mail. It has an "F" on it. This makes me happy.

That's all.

I'm in a pissy mood. Over time, you get tired of these reminders of the fact that you weren't born the way that you would have liked to. I've had too many of these reminders recently.

One of them occurred the other night. I was out with a friend, a married friend. We were talking about her husband. I asked her if he at all had an issue with us hanging out. She said that he had a bit of an issue, but he was "working on it and trying," and then she went on to say (I think hypothetically speaking) that if he did come to her and say that she and I couldn't hang out, since he was her husband, she'd have to tell me we couldn't hang out. I asked her if it would be different for a friend who wasn't trans; would she tell him "no" if this was a cisgender friend?

She answered that she probably would tell him "no." I just kind of gave her this blank look and changed the subject. Not exactly the spot on the totem pole that I hoped that I had. At least she was honest, I guess. On the other hand, it saddens me to hear her acknowledgement of the fact that she would, and probably does, treat me differently than others, because I am a transsexual. And sadly, this is the person with whom I'm closest at the moment. The only person that I spend much meaningful time these days. I'm trying not to let it color the friendship; she's reached out to me multiple times, been supportive, but it's hard to put this out of my head. I feel a little differently after hearing that.

I suppose it's not so much an indictment of her as a person as it is an indictment of the fact that for people who knew you before, or who just know, you're treated differently and there's no getting around it. It's another one of those things that makes one want to start over. I'm aware of at least one other person with whom I spend very little time. At least part of the reason is because her husband has "issues" with us hanging out.

I think these men need to get over their freaking insecurities.

I'm getting pretty PO'ed at men lately. At times I wish I weren't straight. One of them just told his wife of a few years that he didn't realize the commitment he was getting into. I'm not sure what he thought the whole marriage thing was... I mean, I'm divorced, but at least when we divorced I was honest about the reasons for it. This guy controlled his wife, restricted the money, held her back from a career perspective, and then when he found someone better, started removing his wife's things from their home. I've nothing but disdain for this guy.

I don't know what the point of this post is. I guess to rant.


Throughout the course of one's transition, it is inevitable that she will encounter people, well-intentioned or otherwise, who do and/or say things that consistently make her feel like crap about herself.  In those cases, it's best just to let the person go.  There is one person, however, whom I will never be able to let go; who will always be a part of my life.  And of course she's the only person who I allow to make me feel badly about myself.

Dropped my kids off at my ex-spouses' the other day and she wasn't home yet.  There's a public playground behind her townhouse, so the kids and I went back there while we waited for my tardy ex.  We were probably back there for all of 10 minutes.  A couple hours later, I received an enraged phone call.  She was enraged that I took the kids to the playground before dinner.  Enraged that I had the audacity to not hide in the car.  Enraged that a little girl also playing on the playground saw me and looked quizzically at me when my daughter referred to me as "Daddy."  The phone call went from bad to worse.  By the end of it, I had been told, among other things, that:

  • I stick out like a sore thumb.
  • The little girl's mother called her away from the playground because of me.
  • I shouldn't talk about playing basketball in high school because it is "reliving my old life."
  • The other night at the preschool thing, people were pointing at me and whispering.
  • If I wanted to be treated like anyone else, I had to respect their feelings and not be "so in people's faces."
  • I am transitioning because I'm trying to fill a void that ought to be filled with God.
If being in people's faces means attending school events and pushing my son on the swing, I suppose I'm guilty as charged.

With anyone else, I let these things bounce off.  But with my ex, it's not so easy.  I realize that I ought to take her comments with a grain of salt, um, no, make that a salt lick, but they hurt.  I hung up the phone and wondered how people *really* saw me.  Do I see only what I want?  I never see people pointing or get funny looks, except when the kids call me Daddy.  If I stuck out like a sore thumb, I doubt random women would strike up conversations with me in the ladies' room.  Yet, I allowed these negative thoughts to insidiously worm their way into my brain.  I went to bed and had insomnia for the first time in I don't know how long.

I woke up and got ready for work.  I looked at my frizzy hair, the dark circles under my eyes, the shirt sleeves which are just-a-little-too-short.  I felt like I stuck out like sore thumb; like a joke.  I started shaking and trembling as I looked in the mirror, thinking about all the people who are paying lip service to my face while gossiping and snickering behind my back.  I didn't want to cry, but it was coming.  Went downstairs and looked at all the pictures drawn by my kids on the wall.  I thought about how they didn't deserve to have a parent who is a laughingstock.  My head fell to my lap and I collapsed in the chair in which I was sitting... remained there for about 30 minutes.  Went back upstairs and tried to put my face back on.  Still felt as if I looked ridiculous.  I didn't want to go to work.  I just wanted to hide.  I did, of course, go to work and was pretty shaky all day.

Later in the evening, I got another phone call from the X, telling me that the 26 hours of sleep that I managed to get my son this past weekend, between naps and nighttime, wasn't enough.  That a 6 PM bedtime is too late.  That I need to be a better parent and make dinners ahead of time like she does, so I can have him in bed at 5:30.  That I shouldn't be reading him a book at bedtime.  What the hell?  Who puts their 3-year old to bed at 5:30?  You cannot force a child to go to sleep.  More criticism, just on a different topic.  I didn't budge an inch (good for me!) and called my Mom afterwards to vent.

We talked about my history of constantly giving in to her, trying to please her, allowing her to subjugate me. It has to stop... now.  Stop taking this abuse.  It's abuse.  And I am freaking allowing it.  Stop giving her details like bedtimes, what they had for dinner, stop allowing her to make me feel like I am a bad person and/or a bad parent.  Stop giving her this power over me.  I'll never be completely whole; will never be completely independent, until I do this. I have to stop being afraid of her.

My friends Diana and Natasha have written posts in the past couple of days about the need to be one's self when transitioning.  Natasha talked about the notion of "pinkness" and the very valid idea that one shouldn't be thought of as less of a woman if she eschews those things which are typically associated with women and womenhood.  Diana wrote about women who compare themselves to other women in an effort to ensure they fit in.  Underlying both posts is the concept that transition is all about self-discovery and self-acceptance.  I concept that I agree with 100%.

That said, there's another side to this, one which you don't see talked about quite as often.  I think that at times, some don't want to appear too feminine, too interested in things which are traditionally the realm of women.  For if you do, you'll be labeled by some as something other than a woman.  If you read blogs around T-Central, you won't find too many transsexuals who talk about things like clothes, who talk about things like shopping.  Why is that?  Is that because they're truly not interested in such things?  For some, probably.  For some, it's also probably because they fear being viewed as something other than a transsexual, or that they'll be accused of buying into the "Pink Fog."  That's equally as bad as someone being accused of being male because they exhibit stereotypically male behavior.

I don't know about you, but for over 30 years, I felt wistful every time I was in the mall, every time I was at event where women dressed up, every time.  It's been a part of my transition, and I have and will write about it.  You better believe that I rock some pink from time to time.  In fact, today I have a cute pink lacy camisole on.  It's very... *gasp*.... feminine.  Am I allowed to say that?  :)  It's a color.  If people want to ascribe meaning to it, great!  Knock yourself out.  To be certain, "pinkness," as Natasha puts it, isn't the most important part of transition... it's the least.  For some, it's not part at all.  But I suspect there are those out there withholding the stereotypically feminine elements of their lives out of fear that they won't be taken seriously.  No one specific, but I'm sure they're out there.

I find this all very ironic.  Behave too much like a stereotypical woman, and you'll be accused of being a man.  Behave too little like a stereotypical woman, and you'll be accused of being a man.

The larger point of this post is exactly the same as Diana's and Natasha's... be yourself.  Whether that's a feminine woman, a not-so-feminine woman, or something in between.

I've never been much for parades.  Never quite saw the point of sitting outside all day to watch old men in Shriners' hats drive by on ride-on lawn mowers, or a bunch of Girl Scouts walk by, waving, or floats adorned with bizarre-looking faces, or the Mounties ride by on horses.  Kind of boring for me.

Ashley Love posed a question on her Facebook page asking what people thought about T inclusion in Pride fests and the like. There was a lot of comment, and here is a bit of it...

I blurred my own last name and not Ashley's and Christine's because they're public figures, and I am not. Christine, in fact, is an author and appears to have her own little publishing company. Her latest book cover has a picture of her dressed as a prostitute, right next to the word "Transsexual." And pictures of herself on her Facebook profile holding a gun and wearing lingerie, along with a few pictures that show a little too much of her ass.

Here's the thing.  If you want to attend Pride parades and march, march, march, that's fine.  I'm all about expressing yourself in the manner that feels right to you.  But...

Christine, I don't want to "go have my little own parade."  The rights that I seek are simply those that any woman in society has, and I seek to achieve those rights as a woman, not as a trans-anything.  March all you want.  But don't "take exception" to me not wanting to be a part of it.  I'm not trying to burn your bridge down, Christine.  Don't get all upset because I choose not to walk across it.  Respect my right not to march in the parade if you expect the same respect from me.  Just because something got screwed up in the womb before I popped out, don't assume that I relate to cross dressers, drag queens, or genderqueers.  Don't assume that I want to be grouped with those folks.  However they want to live is fine and dandy with me.  But that is not how *I* live.

I don't know why that is so difficult for some to understand.  If you run that image search that I included in my comment, you'll see mostly drag queens.  I don't relate to drag queens any more than any other woman does.   I'm not pretending I'm a woman.  I don't display the exaggerated femininity that drag queens do when they present their caricatures of women.  Part of the reason that I printed out photos of myself to bring into my coming-out meeting at work was to combat the stereotypes that some have.  By and large, pride parades do not represent the interests of many heterosexual transsexual women.  T inclusion in the parades... sure, knock yourselves out.  That's not the issue, really.  The issue is T inclusion in T.  T as in Faline, T as in LGBT.

I have a couple very well-intentioned friends who, on varying occasions, asked me if I wanted to go to one of those drag bunches, or drag bingo... they thought it would be "my thing."  To quote myself, "Ugh.  Ugh ugh ugh."  No, it's not my thing.  But...

You know how I'll know when I am completely comfortable and accepting of myself?  When a friend asks me to go to a drag brunch and my response is simply, "Yeah, that'd be fun."  When I fly out West to visit a friend and go to Pride with her and her friends, and I'm attending as a woman, and not as a transsexual woman.  When I feel that people wouldn't be looking at me and associating me with the fabulous queens.  Clearly, I'm not there yet.  But that's where I'd like to be and that is where I will be.  Otherwise, my transition will have been an abject failure.

I went to an event at G's preschool tonight, "Spring Sing." I wrote previously about how I was banned from the school, and subsequently got the ban lifted. So it was nice to finally attend something. The kids' performance was cute, of course, and of course G. was the best one out there. (I'm serious! It's not just because I'm his parent, really it's not. :P)

I have to say that while I was very happy to be there for my son and loved watching him sing and dance, the little ham, when we first got there, it was pretty emotional for me, and not in a good way. Spring Sing is at the local high school, and their 300-400 seat auditorium pretty much fills up. I sat with my ex and S., and S. climbed out of her seat and sat in H's lap, leaving an empty seat in the middle, in which we put the coats. The woman on my right was talking with another woman to my left and in the row in front of us, so she was kind of talking across me, if that makes sense. I looked around at all the families, looked across the empty seat in between myself and my daughter and X, and started getting choked up. I was frustrated because I put so much mental energy into being there and now that I was there, I felt like this invisible person. I think I allowed myself to feel that way. I could have introduced myself to the woman next to me. I could have moved the coats and sat next to H. and S. Turns out that H. was wondering why I didn't.

I was a little concerned about how she (H) was doing, too. This was the first time for her that she was out in public with me, where there were people who knew her. My transition isn't something she's been jumping up and down to tell people about... she seemed relaxed and natural enough. I hope she was. I'm sure we'll talk about it over the next couple of days.

After the first couple songs, S. climbed across the seat and into my lap, and remained there for the rest of the show. When it was G's class' turn to sing, we all went down front and sat on the floor in front of the stage, so he could see us. Any bad feelings I had were wiped away when I saw that precocious 3-year old boy in his chef hat (his class was singing about cupcakes) smile, wave at us, and yell, "Hey guys!!! What's up?? Why are you on the floor??" To which there was quite a chuckle from the crowd. All the angst and tears and swallowing pride back from when they booted me from the school was worth it, for him to see the three of us, his family, front and center, to be proud of and watch him. He was so good and excited and proud to be up on the stage in front of all those people. :)

Afterwards, everyone goes into the cafeteria for cookies. I met G's teacher and a couple of the other teachers, and even Sharlene, my nemesis-turned-ally (kind of), stopped over to say hello. It was a little odd for me sitting there given the past troubles, not knowing the teachers, kind of being on the outside looking in again, but nonetheless, it was a good first foray back into this part of parenting. G. was so funny. At one point, I started getting uncomfortable again, and I told him that I might be leaving in a couple minutes. He looks up at me with his cookie crumb-covered face, chef's hat adorned with cupcake stickers, and his hand-painted chef's apron on, and says to me, "When we go, you go." So I stayed, of course.

And the most important part; really, the only important part, is that I was there with my kids, supporting them and cheering for them. Just like any other parent.

It's been a pretty good weekend. I don't write too many "So This Is What I Did This Weekend" posts, but I am writing one today. Had a nice phone call with a dear friend on Saturday, a friend who unfortunately lives in Montana. I think if we lived closer, we'd be like sisters. After that, I caught up with another friend for about an hour, and we resolved to try and talk a little more often.

Then I had 8 people over for dinner... 6 of my triathlon friends, and my friend Gail and her husband. 'Twas a great evening... the food turned out to be very yummy, there was a lot of laughing all night, just a really good group of people. I was fairly quiet; I was happy just puttering back and forth between the kitchen and the living room, being the hostess. There were a couple pronoun slipups here and there, but it didn't bother me too much. When you tell someone when your surgery date is, and the first thing she does is email her scheduler and tell said scheduler not to put anything on the calendar that week, the last thing you're going to do is fret about a pronoun. :)

Today I needed to do some clothes shopping... Lord and Taylor was having a sale, and I had a coupon, so I went there to find a spring jacket. There's no "jacket section," they're just strewn about the store. So I enlisted the help of the nearest saleslady. We're walking along and she asks me, "Are you a weightlifter?" Now, in the past, this would have instantly freaked me out... I probably would have blurted out that I was trans. But, I'm getting more comfortable with myself. I smiled and told her that I used to swim a lot for triathlon, which is true. She seemed admiring of my stature. I smiled and stood up just a little bit straighter.

She showed me 7 or 8 jackets, and there was a Michael Kors one that jumped out at me... exactly what I was looking for... lightweight, off-white, embellished but not *too* embellished, cinched waist, hoodie, very cute. She went and helped someone else while I kept looking. The Kors one ended up being the winner. We were chatting about Project Runway (the whole Kors association) while I was paying. Afterwards, she told me that I ought to be the one modelling. It blows my mind when someone tells me something like that. Blows. My. Mind. I guess it's because I'm tall?

Heidi Klum and company need not worry, though. If I was a model, here is what would ensue...


Last week I had a thing at work that involved mingling and smalltalk in a roomful of around 200 people. Not my forte. Long story short, it was a tough night for me and I stayed just long enough so the higher-ups knew I was there, and I bolted as soon as I could. I tried to be confident and friendly and all that, but it's not easy being the open transsexual in a roomful of co-workers.

Today I get this invitation in the mail. My company is having an evening out at the annex of the Air and Space Museum. Cocktails, appetizers, and dinner, I think. Myself and a guest are invited. Cocktail attire required. I looked at my calendar and it's not a kids' weekend. Crap. I told HR that once I transitioned that I thought I'd be more visible and happier at work. That's been true and I've been doing great at it, but I need to keep the petal to the metal, so to speak; I feel that now more than ever, I'm expected to be at these sorts of things. They do a formal one like this twice a year. I have been with the company for about 3 1/2 and this would be my first one.

I don't own any "cocktail attire." I don't have a guest to bring.

The thing is, events like these are part of the reason my company is a great one to work for. And I am scared to go to them. If I go buy a dress, go to this thing, and panic again, wandering around, trying to find someone to talk to, that won't be good. Yet, I need to try and force myself to go... suck it up, face your fears, get a positive attitude and perhaps if I do that, it will be OK. Dimes to dollars I end up going. I have until May 11th to decide.

I have no idea why I am even writing this year. Maybe in the hopes that I'll get a date. :(

I posed a question to the cisgender readers of this blog a while back, and I thought it turned out to be a pretty good discussion. I had a follow-up question, which I never asked. Ariel's blog on birth certificates and the accompanying comments reminded me of it. How do you feel about someone with male equipment, and moreover, being OK with having said equipment, having an "F" on their driver's license? Good/bad/indifferent? What about on their birth certificate? How would you feel about someone like me, a woman who has not had surgery yet, using the women's changing room at the gym? What about a man dressed as a woman?

I hear trans people talking about these issues on a daily basis, but I'm curious what others think.

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine, a couple months before her surgery. She's a swimmer. She indicated to me that she used the women's changing room at the pool. A pool which had a "family" changing area, with separate areas to change in. Yet, she used the women's changing room. I dunno. I would never consider using the women's room at the pool until after surgery. I don't know how to explain it other than right now, it would not feel right to me, and I feel it'd be disrespectful to the other women. It's interesting... I met her out one night for drinks, a couple months after her surgery, and she seemed depressed. I recall her saying something like, "I'm not even sure what the point of doing this (having surgery) was... it's not like my life is any different now." Kind of a stunning thing to say so shortly after this procedure. To say I'm concerned about her is an understatement.

With respect to legal documents such as passports, for example, I have an analogous line of thinking. The laws have changed here such that you can get the gender marker changed on your passport without having had surgery. A letter from a medical doctor stating that you've had "appropriate clinical treatment for transition to the new gender" suffices. I don't have a passport, and I need one to go to Montreal in November, so I applied to have the gender marker changed, since I might as well get it all done in one fell swoop. I feel a tad hypocritical. It will say "F" on my passport, but until I'm off that operating table, I won't *feel* completely female. Surgery is important. To someone like me, it's very important. A requirement.

Speaking of requirements, you might think I agree with those who say it ought to be a requirement for changing one's gender marker. The problem with this is that there are transsexual women who are not able to attain SRS. There are not many people who are truly not able to have surgery, but they exist. If you require SRS for a gender marker change, you eliminate any possibility of those transsexual women getting that "F" on their driver's license. Otherwise, yeah, I believe you ought to have had surgery. If anyone can codify that, let me know. :)

Anyway, enough of my prattling. So, what do you all think? I'm not going to out-and-out request that trans people refrain from commenting this time... BUT... if I see anything that even shows a hint of the TS/IS vs. TG wars, I will delete it. We've all seen it.

I've had a little malaise as of late.  I decided that perhaps refreshing the look of my blog might refresh my outlook on life.  So I sat and thought, what is transition really about?  I mean, this blog is supposedly about transition.  So the template needs to fit that!  But more importantly, it needs to fit me!!!  Well, for one thing, I smile more.  It's about smiling.  And PINK!!!  Now I can wear pink whenever I like.  And puppies.  I need puppies.  And sparkly things.  I'm much more sparkly than I used to be.  And it's about little puffy white pom-pom things that you can hang around your neck if you like.  These are the things that transition is really about.  Smiles and pink and puppies and sparkles and pom-poms.  I'm all about pom-poms and puppies.

So I spent a couple days working on a new template.  What do you think?!?!!?  I dunno, looking at it just puts a smile on my face.  It also gives me seizures, but it's worth it.

edited to add: I restored the original template, of course.  Well, kind of.  I tried putting the old one back and got some Blogger error message, so this will have to do.  There are a lot of things that are bugging me, like all the whitespace.  I'll work on it. A screenshot of the April Fools' blog is preserved for posterity... the cool part was that the lights went in little circles around the pink "Have A Nice Day" smiley faces, and there were little trails of hearts that followed your mouse pointer...


My photo

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.

Here is my comment policy.



counter customizable