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A Mother-Daughter Talk

A Mother-Daughter Talk

A year ago today, I told my mother the news. I came out to her as transgender. It wasn’t as easy as everyone else. For some reason, I just couldn’t seem to find my way to have this conversation. I had intended to tell her before Christmas…. and then before New Years… and well, it never happened. Not counting family events, I actually had to go to her house three times before I could get the words to come out.

She (and my step-father, via proxy) was the last of the family that I wanted to tell, face to face. I had worked my way through the other members, one-by-one, telling them the new reality of the boy/man/son they knew and loved. Thus far, it had gone pretty well. Everyone had been supportive. They even promised not to tell anyone else, until I had covered my bases. They couldn’t though…. because by the time I got to my mom, I think everyone on my dad’s side of the family knew. I started getting texts and FB messages from people who weren’t supposed to know.

I tried to prioritize the list of people I told, based on how I expected they’d react. I prepared for all of them to go poorly. The whole mantra of planning for the worst and hoping for the best. The majority were done in public places, like the mall or restaurants. All with a clear plan of how to get away if things did go poorly. I would make sure to have viable exit and a well thought out method of egress.

Throughout the process of working through this list, I would go to visit my mom and try to find my nerve. In the end, I’d sit and talk for a couple hours and then I would leave. Too scared to just say it. No longer afraid to be myself, but terrified of the reactions of those who I loved most. I had squarely placed my mom on the end of the spectrum of people that I couldn’t bare to lose.

As it so happened, I was to be off work on a Thursday. With all of the trans stuff and then the holidays compounded on top, I had become a little ball of stress. In December,  I had met a new friend, who happened to be a licensed massage technician. That Wednesday evening, I messaged her to see if she had any openings. She confirmed that she could get me in at 10:45. So, even though I was still presenting as male, I put on some yoga pants and a ladies t-shirt and I headed down to her office. For the next hours, I let her force out 34 years of pent up stress. I left there feeling very zen and centered. I decided that it was time to tell mom. Megan had said she would go with me to be my moral support, but she was at work and I was feeling like a million bucks.  I hopped in the truck and drove from the Highlands down to Bullitt County.

However, much like the other visits, this one pretty much played out like the others. I got nervous and I couldn’t get the conversation started. In fact, I had given up and was getting ready to leave. My mom had gone to her room to lay down and I got a brief moment of courage and I took a deep breath and decided I needed to tell her just one last thing.

I came in and I sat down on the bed and I told her that I needed to tell her something important. Immediately, she was sitting up and worried that I was dying of an incurable disease. Putting out that fire, I started in on the next. As was customary in my various coming out speeches, I led in with “So I’ve been seeing a therapist…. and I’ve been dealing with some issues, and well… I’m transgender” We talked for probably 30 or more minutes. I explained that this was something that I had always felt. I had never been truly comfortable in my own skin, etc, etc, etc…

Her response was that she had known since I was 3 or 4, but she always kind of just figured I would be gay. I said something like “Well if you had said something, maybe we could have saved a lot of time.” I explained to her the next steps. That I was seeing an endocrinologist in the coming weeks and hoping to start hormones as soon as possible. I told her about my upcoming laser hair removal. I answered all her questions, to the best of my ability.

Once we had come to a conclusion of the conversation, she went out to the living room with me and we sat down and had the same conversation with my step-father. Now, my step-father and I have always had a great relationship. They have been married for 30 years, and he’s been with me since I was 5. He’s as much my dad as my own biological father. In some ways, more so. So to say that his approval was important to me would be putting things extremely lightly.

If I had to explain his reaction in only one word, I would say that word would be “confused.” I had opened with the same bit about therapy, which I did to kind of offset the “are you sure” line of questioning. Even still, he asked “Did you get a second opinion?”

I considered how to answer that question and the best I could come up with was, “She was the second opinion.”

He thought about it some more and he said something along the lines of “It would be a lot easier if you were just gay.”  To which I agreed. However, I thought about that too and then I explained that I was a lesbian, so actually I was gay. I explained that I did not have any intentions of leaving Megan and that we were going to try and make this work.

At this point, I think his brain actually locked up and needed a reboot. He was having a really hard time separating gender from sexuality. He could comprehend a gay man, having them in the family. However, a guy who’s transitioning to a girl, who still likes girls? We might as well have been trying to divide by zero.

However, in the end he was accepting and we hugged and he kissed me on the cheek and I went on my way.

Once it was all said and done, my mom was upset with me. Not because I was trans. But because I had waited so long to tell her compared to other people. She was upset that my aunts and uncles knew before her, but to my credit…. they weren’t supposed to know.

With that out of the way, next came the letters and then the facebook dump. Which I refer to as the scorched earth approach. No one can turn around and tell someone else, I already told them. So there!

Coming out at work

Coming out at work

This conversation has come up a couple times here recently. I had intended to write it down anyway, just for the sake of posterity. I will admit, this feels very pieced together. I started this at 5am, to be a short little posts and it’s turned into a nearly 1800 word essay. I apologize in advance for my murder of the english language and my overuse of commas.

So, I had been out to family and friends for a while. I wasn’t out to everyone just yet, but I was trying to time everything just right so as to avoid as much overlap as possible. I wanted everyone to mostly hear it from the source.  I had been debating on when and how to approach the subject to management at work. I knew the company had a formal policy in place. I also know that in the corporate world, you don’t get fired for being gay or trans or black or pregnant. That’s discrimination. You get fired for breaking some obscure rule.

I built up the courage to just do it. It was the proverbial “FUCK IT.” I wish I had saved the original email that I sent out announcing my intention to transition at work. However, I didn’t. Sad. It was so short and direct. It was the kind of email you send out when you’re drunk and it’s 3AM.  It was something like:

“XXXXXX, This email is to inform you of my intent to transition from male to female. Here is the (company redacted) policy. (link) Please let me know what the next step is.”

I thought I had emailed the right person. I didn’t realize there was a difference between HR and the people who make sure we’re at work and such. So I had emailed a bombshell to my group time recorder. Who, understandably, was probably caught off guard by this email. She had forwarded my email on to one of the members of management.   My boss’s boss. (We’ll refer to her as Barbara.**) It died there for a while. I emailed again to the same person, who still didn’t reply. A few days later, I saw her in the center.

She stopped and said “I got your email and I forwarded it to the correct person.”

No mention of who/what/where. I assumed it went somewhere to the bowels of the company. At some point, I had gotten tired of waiting and did a little more research on my own. I found that we have what’s called a ERM, or employee resource manager, which is what everyone else in the world calls a HR rep. This person is, for reasons unknown, in another state. My first one was in Louisiana. My current ERM is in Boston. Who knows? So I had emailed this person, who wasn’t the best at communicating back to me what was actually going on.

Finally, I was pulled off the phone and asked to come to Barbara’s office. She apologized for the delay, my email lost in the hundreds of others received each day. She asked some basic questions and I tried to explain as best I knew. At the time, I feel like I was very knowledgeable but I’ve learned so much since then.  The basis of what I laid down was, I was switching teams. I would be changing my appearance, I was starting hormones, laser hair removal, name change, pronouns and finally surgery. I had originally intended to not start the social transition until after Hunter was born. This was something my wife had requested, and I had conceded to her. In the end, it didn’t work out that way. I explained that, of course, bathrooms were a concern.

She assured me that she would speak with HR to get their guidance on how to handle things and we’d talk soon. I assumed that I didn’t need to be specific, but in the end, my assumption was wrong. During this limbo period, the decision to wait until June was pretty much thrown out the window. Forced out, in femme, by my asshole of a doctor, I was a woman on the loose. As I had posted on reddit, it was kind of like trying to put biscuits back in the tube. Good luck with that. I went back to Barbara and I explained that the timeline was shifting and it was basically happening now, rather than months from now.

Again, days passed and I heard nothing. I emailed the ERM again. I spoke again with Barbara, who assumed that I would change into a woman and THEN use the ladies room. That is, she thought I didn’t want to use the correct restroom until after I had surgery. I explained, no that it was not the case.

Once again, HR and her talked, and eventually they came to the agreement that if I was presenting as a woman, I could use the women’s restroom. I was confused by this meeting, because I was already wearing a pair of yoga pants and a woman’s t-shirt. I got the email from HR, which read almost begrudgingly that since our building contains no single occupancy facilities, that I am permitted to use the women’s restroom.

Barbara confirmed the email but with a somewhat alarming side note. She said that instead of telling everyone, that she would deal with issues on a case by case basis, if they arose. I thought this was stupid and honestly, it went against the policy set forth by the company. It also didn’t address the name and pronoun situation. At the same time, I was trying to update my name with the company but they were refusing to do so until I had it legally changed. This is despite knowing other trans people within the company going by their new name without issue. I was waiting for my court order to come back to me, so I didn’t put a lot of energy into the issue as I knew it was self-correcting.  Also, enough time had passed that I was officially out to the rest of the world, so certain co-workers that I was friends with on facebook had read my letter and the gossip train at work was taking care of the notification process.

So, I went forth and into the women’s room. My very first visit to the ladies room, I decided to try and avoid people as best I could. I went to the fourth floor, which is largely vacant except for a handful of engineers that were all male, as far as I knew. They kept to themselves and rarely acknowledged that anyone else in the building actually existed.

So I walked up the steps from 2 to 4, took a deep breath and pushed the door open to find? A very startled older woman. The lights were low, so I just stepped aside, she went out, I went in. This game went on for exactly one week. Then I kind of got tired of trying to avoid people. My job requires us to adhere to a schedule without deviation. If we don’t adhere we can be written up. It’s a lot like high school, except high school is more flexible. So on the 7th day, I was on break, I didn’t have time to go to a different floor, I ducked into the women’s room on the first floor. When I came out, from across a dimly lit break room that’s the length of a football field, I’m spotted. Mind you, I’m wearing a dress, but still.

One of them yelled at me, “Did you just come out of the women’s room?”

I stopped, turned, looked at them and said, “Yeah?”

I could tell they were trying to decide what to do or say. They were not from my work center, but I assumed from the 5th floor, which is another self-contained call center with different management. I realized then that Barbara’s not telling anyone idea probably extended to the fifth floor.

I came back to my desk and I calmly typed out an email to the center director of the fifth floor that essentially said “Hi, I’m so and so, you don’t know me. I assume that no one has told you, but I’m transgender. The reason that I am telling you all this, is that I had a run-in with two of your employees who yelled at me when I came out of the women’s restroom. I am not trying to get them in trouble, but I do have HR’s permission, I’m working with XXXX, here’s a copy of the policy, etc etc etc.”

She emailed me back, thanked me for letting her know, because no one had told her. She called HR, HR called Barbara. At this point, they pulled me back out to a meeting with her and a couple other managers from my floor. Along with them, they had our union steward. They wanted to go over verbiage with me, as they were essentially holding huddles with small groups to cover everyone on the situation, and company policy. The union rep reaffirmed the union’s position that there was a non-discrimination policy and the union would not protect them if they attempted to grieve the issue. Management and the union in agreeance. Doesn’t happen often. In any event, feedback that I got was that there were a few people who thought my genital status precluded me from the ladies room, but they were told that they were free to find another bathroom elsewhere if they had such an issue with it.

From that point on, things got pretty easy. I only had one notable issue. I was standing in the lounge part of the bathroom, facing a mirror at a counter texting on my phone. The door opens, and I look up to the mirror to see a lady coming in. She sees me, stops and pivots on her heel and leaves.

Who knows, maybe she was uncomfortable with me. Maybe she was about to have blow out diarrhea and didn’t want me to hear. Who knows. At this point, I’ve been using the women’s room at work for 7 months. No one pays me any attention. I wouldn’t say that I’m accepted as one of the girls, but they tolerate me.

A couple weeks later, I finally got my legal name change. I was able to update my name with the company, get a new badge with 100% less facial hair. I have spent the last 6 months tracking down all the systems with my old name and getting them updated. But that’s a topic for another post.

** Not her real name.

The Pronoun Game

The Pronoun Game

Today marks seven months I’ve been on hormones.  Seven months full time. Six months since I got my license updated with my new name on it. A lot has happened then. I have slowly updated my name in so many places. Yet, I still come up on accounts that I’ve neglected. Things I forgot about. Then there were work systems, each seemingly unconnected to the other. Tracking down system administrators in far away places to get your name updated. A daunting and boring process.

Likewise, In real life, I’m still attempting to get everyone on board with the fact that I’m not he, nor sir, nor guy, man, dude, etc. I’m not that other name.. not matter how long you’ve known me, it’s not ok to refer to me by it. That includes when I can’t hear you, or if you know it won’t get back to me. That includes your cell phone.. if I’m in your phone and it’s not as Addison, then you’re not trying. No matter what you’re saying, that’s not trying.

For the first few months, I let everything slide. I made simple suggestions. I was trying to not be a pain in the ass. As of this writing, I’m still not trying to be a pain, but I’m also not letting anything slip at this point. If you call me HE, expect me to correct you. I’m not going to make a big deal of it, unless you decide to make it a big deal.

I’m not specifically calling anyone out, but if you think I’m talking about you… well, then I probably am. Just know, you’re not the only one but that doesn’t make it ok. I play a game anytime I’m around family and friends. I keep a mental count of how many times I’m misgendered and how many times I’m referred to by my dead name. Then I text those results, usually to my other trans friend. She’s always like “OMG” or “WTF” or “:(“.

Of course, in reality… I have it better than she. She’s been out twice as long, and by every measure that you can come up with, she’s better at this girl thing than I. However, to this day, her parents refuse to call her by her new (legal, might I add) name.. Nor do they respect her pronouns. This isn’t just a case of “oops, we slipped, we’ve known you for 30-something years as X”… No this is just out and out refusal to accept her gender identity as valid. Just a casual slip of the tongue can ruin the rest of my afternoon.. but the thought of just having someone just flat out refuse, that’s madness.  I feel so bad for her.

Usually, we’re made to feel like we’re putting people out. Like we’re just a huge inconvenience and using a different name and pronouns is taking up valuable brain cells they were going to use for something else. It becomes personal to them. Like I’m attacking them. I was at lunch a week or so ago with my whole family. A family member was speaking to someone else at the table of me, and I winced when she said “… and he …”

I quietly but frankly said “she.” Nothing else. This person looked at me with the type of stare that I give my dogs when they shit on the floor. I mean a piercing glare of (assumed) righteous indignation.  Not five minutes later, I got dead named by someone else.

Just remember, I’m not out here crying for attention. Misgendering me in public, aside from making me feel disrespected, invalidated, dismissed, alienated and dysphoric.. you know as if that wasn’t enough, is a safety concern for me. If I’m out in public, I’m all dressed up and you keep referring to me as “he.” What’s to stop someone in earshot from saying something, doing something or worse. What if they decide to follow me into the women’s restroom? That’s not going to end well and it won’t be you that gets hurt.

When I was a child, I was constantly reminded by some of these same people to think before I speak. So I would say to them, maybe that’s good advice for you too?

I know that it isn’t right…

I know that it isn’t right…

“When I was born, they looked at me and said
what a good boy, what a smart boy, what a strong boy.
And when you were born, they looked at you and said,
what a good girl, what a smart girl, what a pretty girl.”

Has it been nearly a month? Holy Moly. I have wanted to write so many things, but I just couldn’t seem to get it from brain to screen.  Before I get too far into it, I want to make a big shout-out to those of you that can’t follow the most basic of instructions. In my last post, I specifically asked for you to bring your criticism to me and not to Megan? So, did you do that? Nah… not so much. You guys are the best. By best I mean the worst. (Redacted). 👌

This last month has been a roller coaster. My transition is progressing as well as one might expect. My body continues to change. Everything is getting a little softer, a little curvier… My mind on the other hand is all over the place. I can’t seem to get a grip on what my mind is up to.

Since I returned from Ohio, I’ve been from the highest highs to the lowest lows. However, I’ve been primarily lower than I have been in many months. I’m happy with me, but I’m distressed over everything else in my life. Work, love, money, etc. Everything that’s not gender related in my life has gone through the floor and into the basement.   I have come to absolutely hate my job. Mostly because I am not as respected there as I thought I was. The constant misgendering and the fact that, even at the time of this writing, there’s at least one picture of me pre-transition on a wall. This is despite me speaking with HR and they assuring me that my concerns had been addressed.  On the plus side, this past week, I was able to make it 4 of 5 days without a single customer misgendering me. This is huge, considering I very rarely get misgendered in public because the visual cues are so strong at this point… but on the phone, you only have your voice. Addison is still somewhat of an androgynous name, and when people hear my native vocal range, they default to male pronouns.  Up until that point, I could average about 1-2 sir’s per day.. But none in 4 days is huge. Now if only I could convince myself to use that voice all the time. I hate the way it sounds, so as soon as I’m off the phone, away goes the fem voice. It’s a bad habit.

As for the rest of it? Well, I’m still struggling with my feelings for my friend in Ohio. Her and I spoke about it at length, yesterday. I already knew, but she confirmed that she just doesn’t have the same type of feelings for me. She also tried the common ploy of saying “You wouldn’t want me because xxxx” where xxxx are reasons. Does this ever work? Do people with crushes actually consider these issues?  Then they say “You know, you’re right, I’m going to go find someone else.” Does that happen? I doubt it. When you’re in love with someone, nothing they tell you will sway your opinion. Not this early in the affair. She could tell me she murdered 10 people and I would not be swayed.  I wrote elsewhere:

So she finally came around to the elephant in the room. She’s in love with someone she can’t have. I’m in love with her. There’s no happy ending for either of us in the end.

It sucks. I haven’t been this fucked up over anything in a long time. I had built this up in my head as the end all be all of human existence. Knowing full well that it was DoA. Just standing there holding that torch, hoping she’d find her way back to me.

I wish I could say that I’ve extinguished that flame, let the vigil go, but I’d be lying. It’s going to take a long time to put that one down. I will try. I will cry. Love is a weird thing.

I tried to be as honest as possible. I want her to understand where I am with this. I also have to consider if I can or should continue to try and keep a friendship going when my feelings are so strong. Just from a sense of self-preservation. Can I control my feelings and still having a meaningful friendship?  I think I can and I’m willing to find out. I would rather have her friendship than nothing at all.  And yes,  I am aware that I am having a one-sided emotional affair. I realize that I’m still married, if only by technicality. I fully admit and plead guilty to those charges.

I guess I will write about the other stuff later, because I’m physically and emotionally drained. I am starting to kind of doze off at the wheel.

Oh the places you’ll go!

Oh the places you’ll go!

Consider yourself forewarned. I know that members of my family read this. I know that they already have certain feelings about my activities, etc. This post will probably not redeem myself in their eyes.

When I asked Megan, “How much of this can I write?”, she wanted editorial control initially. When I expressed my disdain due to delays related to her being asleep as I type this, she just said use my best judgement. Since this is a trait that I’m not known well for, we’re going to see how it goes.

Megan’s concern was that people would say disparaging things about me to her. Most likely in an attempt to seem like an ally to her. However, she sees it as an attack on our relationship. As such, she feels compelled to argue my merit.

So my point is this. If you’re one of those people, maybe keep your commentary to yourself. Or share it with me, directly. I’ll be more than happy to engage you in discourse.


Read More Read More

We are never ever ever ever getting back together.

We are never ever ever ever getting back together.

Let’s talk for a minute about the shitstorm that is social media. It’s a wonderful awesome terrible thing. I’m going to let you in on a secret. It’s something that I had an inkling of for sometime, but it’s becoming more evident as time passes.

The big secret? You should not be “friends” with everyone you know. I’ll say that again. Just because you know a person, that does NOT MEAN YOU SHOULD BE FACEBOOK FRIENDS.

This is my life. I went to school with you 20 years ago. We ran into each other in Wal-Mart about 8 years ago. So now, I have to be your facebook friend for the rest of my natural life. Right? Wrong.

My wife has lately been the target of some people excluding her from activities because of me. Let me rephrase that…. because they think that I am the second coming of Satan herself, with better fashion sense and a much higher dose of estrogen, my wife can’t go to the movies with them. *AHEM*



So she found out that they were going to a movie and she wasn’t being invited. Why? Because I’m transgender, it might make this person uncomfortable because their religious beliefs conflict. Which of course, pissed me off. Not because they don’t support me being trans. But because they would exclude my wife from their reindeer games, only because I am transgender. Nothing changed about my wife, she’s still married. Still loves her kids, still loves her spouse. She’s just got a wife instead of a husband.  I mean, I can’t even picture this person. I’m sure I’ve met her, but I don’t know her. I wasn’t trying to get invited to go see Magic Mike with them. (There’s a certain amount of irony that being trans is a mortal sin, but lusting after men in a movie is ok. Hey, whatever fits your narrative.) However, this was someone that my wife has known since childhood and obviously their views as they’ve matured have grown apart.

Apparently, the person de-friended my wife on facebook, which initially made me mad. I said some choice words about the situation. But looking back? Good. My wife has been very vocal on FB about trans issues and LGBT stuff in general, since I came out. It’s an issue that is now important to her, due to our relationship. As I told her, “You post more about it than I do.”

She’s also fairly active in the church and it’s very apparent that some people there, including some people in her own family are not my strongest supporters. They do pray for her and the kids though. Which is sweet. I always laugh when someone posts that. They never pray for me. Which I am perfectly ok with. I don’t need nor want their prayers. Mostly, because I’m sure they’re praying for me to be a man and not forsake God’s great creation of my body. They’re praying for my mortal soul and my whatever. Again, pray for your own damn sins. I’m over here enjoying my life. I AIN’T GOT NO TIME FOR THAT!

But that’s the whole point, I’ve de-friended people for their extreme right wing posts, hate speech, etc. Why? Because I don’t carry those beliefs. Would I shun these acquaintances if I ran into them at a barbeque? Of course not. That’s how we became friends. Over a beer. That’s where it should have stayed. A funny guy at a barbeque that I met once that’s a friend of a friend. I don’t need to be his facebook friend.

So when you’re considering that you have nearly 1200 people that you’re “friends” with, you should consider that. Statistically, they’re not all going to share your views. They don’t have to.  I think you should surround yourself with people who support you. Which means thinning the herd.


Update – 7/19/2015

I need to take my own advice. I wake up and check my phone because, well, that’s what I do. What do I find?


I do have a sense of humor and I do enjoy laughing. However, do I need to be the punchline to every joke?  Of course, I replied to this person’s post. By the time I got to my computer to collect my thoughts, they had deleted the post.

26 comments, not one of which was corrective of this transphobic garbage.. just a lot of agreement that being trans isn’t brave. More of how Caitlyn stole the Arthur Ashe award from runner-up disabled veteran Noah Galloway. (Which of course, is patently false.) More of how she/he was running away from being a man and that there was no courage in that. And of course, me. The whole post deleted before anyone other than the original author saw it, read something along the lines of “Why not just refer to us transgender folks as IT, that might be easier for you.” That’s the gist. I feel like it had more zing to it, but who knows. It’s 5AM, after all.

I will say that my post originally had very little to do with being transgender. I used that as a jumping point to say that just because you know a person doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to be their facebook friend. The reason is pretty simple. At some point, they’re going to show you what’s really on their mind. That truth, it may not be what you think of that person. It’s similar to the old saying “Never meet your heros.”  That said, I guess that’s changed with this addendum.

Whether you want to admit it or not, transgender folks are brave. It’s a requirement to live this life. Unless you never admit to anyone that you are trans and you live a miserable life hiding yourself from the world. You can’t be openly transgender and not have some element of bravery and/or courage. Walking out of the house presenting in a gender other than the one you were assigned at birth is scary. The first time I left the house in a dress, I was terrified. Had it not been for a doctor that insinuated that I wasn’t female or trans enough, I wouldn’t have done it so soon. He, in his own shitty way, forced my hand. It’s the only good thing I can say about my experience with him. He pushed me out of my comfort zone. When I showed up in his office later that morning in my floral print dress and my leggings, he looked me up and down and said “Good for you.” Later that day, I walked into my first public women’s room at the mall. Not too long after that, I went to easter dinner and was misgendered and dead named repeatedly. No one corrected anyway.  I sat in the corner, considering the fact that this could be the rest of my life. Up

In the end, it’s all about keeping your head high — keeping forward movement and just doing what you need to do to survive. Anyone who thinks that doesn’t contain some element of bravery is an idiot, and frankly I haven’t got the time.

Gender Euphoria

Gender Euphoria

Ok, not really. But kinda.

I wanted to write this last night, but I was just too tired. I eluded to it on Twitter. I couldn’t fit one thought into 140 characters, because I’m at war with brevity. The dude would be so disappointed, man.

Anyway, the point is that I’ve been really happy with the way things are going right now. That’s not to say that every moment is the most awesome thing in the world, but that it’s a more realistic “life is good” place in life.

My wife and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary this week and into the weekend. We had a lovely time and stayed in the same room at the same bed and breakfast that we spent our first night as “man and wife” in… The irony is not lost on me. We even found in the drawer the guest diary that I wrote in, proclaiming that “time and tide wait for no man, Florida calls.”

We had a very fancy, very expensive, very lackluster dinner at Eddie Merlots and we enjoyed each others company.  All in all, a very good weekend. Megan also bought me a wedding band to replace my old one. This one much more well suited to my presentation.

Honestly, if it weren’t for work, I’d have very little to complain about. Which doesn’t make for very good blogging. You need some drama to keep the readers. Right? I don’t know.

I’m in a good place right now. Everyone is treating me well, I’m making progress. My boobs are growing. My hair is growing. My facial hair is almost gone. Things are good. Now if I could just get my voice tamed, I’d be in business. Even that is coming. I just need to be practicing. Which is hard when you talk on the phone for 8 hours a day. My vocal cords are basically shredded by the time I get off work.

Anyway, I’m exhausted. Time to decompress. Love you all. More later!

Laser Hair Removal

Laser Hair Removal

So I was discussing my experience with laser hair removal with a few different people today and I thought I would share a couple pictures to show where I was and where I’m at currently.

2015.01.18 - Baseline
2015.01.18 – Day before first session.

I started trying to eradicate my facial hair officially on January 19th of this year. I originally purchased six prepaid sessions from a provider on GroupOn. The company, Medshare, had a number of favorable reviews on GroupOn and other sites. The price was extremely affordable.

However, I noticed from the very first session a couple of things. One, their “Laser” wasn’t actually really a laser, but IPL or Intense Pulsed Light. After the first session, I checked it out on Wikipedia. Per the wiki, I thought IPL might still work for me.

First session did very little that I could tell. I would stand in front of the mirror and try and see if I could find any little indication of a change. This behavior continued for all the sessions with Medshare. My second session was two weeks later and then subsequent sessions were 4 weeks out.

By the time May had arrived, I had booked my six session, which was the last of my prepaid GroupOn purchase. I was discouraged to say the least. I started looking at other options like Electrolysis. The idea of having to do my whole face one hair at a time with electrolysis seemed miserable at best and incredibly time consuming. I follow another trans woman on Instagram. She has been documenting her process which is 100% electrolysis. To say that it is slow moving and very painful looking is an understatement. The benefit is that electro is the only method that is 100% permanent. Laser on the hand is advertised as “permanent hair reduction.” As I’ve learned in life, verbiage is everything.

Of course, at this point, I remembered that a local trans friend, Sarah had mentioned the big difference for her between IPL and actual laser. So I did a little research on different providers and I emailed Premier Laser for a consult. At the consult, she gave me a quote for 8-12 sessions, with a 2 year guarantee on re-growth. The price was higher than even I expected, but I was so frustrated with Medshare, I said “TAKE MY MONEY.” It was like an impulsive car deal. Emotion creates motion.

I called MedShare and canceled my last appointment with them. I never told them why, just that I couldn’t make it and I would call to reschedule.  I don’t really have an opinion on the place. I’m more upset with the loss of time rather than the money I spent there. I don’t know if the GroupOn deal is a scam to get you in and lead you on for as long as possible before turning the power up and actually showing some progress. “Power Level: GroupOn” one of my friends joked. However, since the IPL machine had no skin pre-cool, I can’t imagine too much more power from a pain perspective.

2001.06.27 - Pre
2015.06.27 – 36 hours since last shave. Regrowth markedly reduced

My first appointment with Premier was on May 27th. Actually the same day I was supposed  to be going to Medshare. Their machine is a real candela system. They do a pre-cooling spray right before each pulse of the laser. I suspect it’s CO2. It smells like the CO2 I used to use in BB guns as a kid. Even with that, it still is more uncomfortable than the IPL. Which I think speaks to the amount of energy is being dispersed into your follicles. With the IPL, I’d be red for an hour or two after the treatment. For this, I held an icepack to my face for an hour and I still looked like I had a bad case of sunburn for the next two days. Nothing changed for about a week as far as hair growth. I exfoliated with a scrub and by the end of the second week, I was seeing considerable less regrowth. I basically have a really goofy looking patch on my chin and some spotty growth on my upper lip. The rest is just spotty hairs here and there. So in my opinion, the results were pretty dramatic.

I just had my second session with Premier today, so I’m hoping for even more clearage in the next two weeks or so.  I’ll post an update on that later next month.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”1″ gal_title=”Laser Hair Removal”]

I couldn’t think of a witty title.

I couldn’t think of a witty title.

I admit, I never watched the last couple seasons of the The Office. However, I saw this quote was posted by someone else and it seemed relevant.

It took me so long to do so many important things. It’s just hard to accept that I spent so many years being less happy than I could have been.

Anyway, I guess the last post was a little dark. I apologize (for nothing.) I am guilty of editorializing my own story from time to time, mainly in order to highlight the good stuff and ignore the negatives. I think we all do that from time to time.

So this week has had a couple of interesting things happen.  I did see my therapist on Tuesday and I beat around the bush of telling her about my suicidal thoughts. I did tell her in the end. Just like writing about it here, only worse. Once you tell your doctor that, you can never take it back.  She needed to know though.

On Wednesday,  I had my first session at the new laser place. The experience compared to the previous provider was much different. The treatment itself was more intense, even with the cooling spray that comes with each pulse of the laser. Based on this, I would say it will be more effective than the old provider. If the discomfort was as bad with a cooling spray, I can assume it would have been unbearable without. Thus more power. If I learning nothing from Tim the Toolman Taylor, more power is always the answer.

In any event, I was mostly burnt up all day Wednesday. I used an ice pack. I moisturized. I drank a lot of water. I purposefully didn’t shave on Thursday, trying to give my skin the chance for recovery. Friday, I did attempt to shave. It was a failure. I’ll make another attempt today, because being a bad bitch with a beard is not my aesthetic.

The following might be TMI, but whatever.. In hormone related notes, my boobs might be growing. Hard to say. See the picture below. What I do know, my nipples are very sore. There’s some sort of growth going on directly behind the nipples. The nipples are growing too. Ahh puberty!



This next bit is definitely TMI, so you’ve been warned.

Likewise, on the other end, I’ve noticed my testicles have shrunken considerably. I don’t get erections anymore, although I suspect if I tried it might be possible. However, whereas I used to get “morning wood” and such.. that’s totally gone. Interesting, considering my former sex drive prior to the HRT.

Other than that, the only thing left to report is that I’m officially scheduled for genital reassignment surgery. The only bad part is the wait. My chosen surgeon is booked until 2017! My date as of today is February 8th, 2017.  I am on the cancellation list and am hoping to get a date sometime in the Summer of 2016. I hope I can get that, I don’t want to lose another year waiting.

I know it’s particularly difficult for some of my friends and family to understand (because they’ve told me), since I’ve already waited this long.. but it’s something that’s important to me. I would go right now, if not for health care regulations. I’m not going to get 12 months into this and change my mind. I don’t need a vagina to validate my existence as a woman. I know I’m a woman. However, it’s something I need to do for me.

Also, it’s the only way I can get my gender marker changed on my birth certificate and driver’s license. More to follow….




I write and I write and I never publish…

I write and I write and I never publish…

You should see my drafts folder. I have started so many entries and never finished them. Much like so many other things in my life.. I’m actually the worst at follow through and project completion.

Full Disclosure:  Between this paragraph and the last, I cleaned the fish tank, shaved my legs, picked out jamberry wraps with Megan and had a couple drinks.

Motivation is something that has been a recurring discussion with my therapist. That it.. I have none. I don’t know if there’s an answer to that, a solution to that problem? I’ve been doing it for all my life.

That said, there’s been a lot going on in my life in the last couple weeks. The largest and most important was the birth of my second child, Hunter. He was born on Tuesday the 19th of May at 13:37. Weighing in at 7lbs, 7oz with a height of 19 inches. He was born 3 weeks premature, but suffered no ill effects from this. Mom is doing well and is on the mend. Both are home, after a extended stay in the hospital.

Through the joy, I’ve also been wallowing in self-despair, self-loathing and general depression. The thought of how much I’m going to fuck these kids up over the years. The consideration that I will never be a real woman. Even in discussion with Megan, I referred to myself by the dirtiest of slurs in the transgender world.  Basically that I might never pass, I might always be the awkward shemale tranny weirdo.

I’ve cried more in the last 2 weeks than I have in the last 2 years and I think I can attribute most of that to the hormones. I’ve read about this side effect and I had sort of dismissed it because 2 months in, I had seen nothing of the sort. Of course, my first month was at a dosage so low, I could have gotten more estrogen drinking the tap water around these parts.. so I might just be seeing a slightly delayed reaction.

In any event, after that discussion with Megan, I slumped on the floor of Hunter’s bedroom and cried. Just worried that my children will be forever screwed up because their father is a woman. I really don’t want to admit this to anyone, but I think it’s important to put it out there. For a (very) brief moment, I thought being dead might be the better option. Suicidal ideation is not something foreign to me, I used to think about it all the time when I was a teenager. It’s something that crosses my mind from time to time over the years between puberty and now. I’ve never attempted suicide, nor have I ever planned any sort of elaborate plans. It typically goes something like this… “Hrmm, I’d probably be happier/better off dead. The world would be better without you” which is quickly followed by “You’re a god damned fucking idiot.”  So, I just sat on the floor, crying….

“He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.” — Dr. Johnson

Depression and everything else aside, I continue to push forward with my transition. I sent in my check for the deposit on my surgery with Dr. Marci Bowers. This should occur sometime summer or fall of 2016. We are hoping to get a summer date, so Megan can go with me to California for the procedure. It’s about a three and a half hour surgery, which will have me in the bay area for about 2 weeks. The recovery is something like 6-8 weeks beyond that. Having never had major surgery before, it’s kinda scary to think about. It’s also kinda weird to consider the changes… but something I’ve been researching and thinking about for over 20 years now.

I also changed providers for laser hair removal. My previous place wasn’t actually laser, but IPL which is short for “Intense Pulsed Light”. It’s supposed to work all the same, but it also assumes that the vendor is on the up and up and aren’t playing games with the power output in order to sell you more sessions. I came in so cheap on the initial place that I think I should have known better.  The new place is 10 times the cost, but they guarantee success and give a 2 year warranty on hair not growing back. I start Wednesday. They said a 20% reduction is typical within 2 weeks of the first treatment. We’ll see. I would love to not have to shave my face every day. If I could get away from that, I could probably go without makeup more often.

I guess there’s more to say, but it’s late and tomorrow is my first day back to work since Hunter was born. More later.