Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tully's Albertsons Girl

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Moon Transition

So my wife and I went and saw "New Moon" in the theater this afternoon. In the movie, Bella, the main character, wants Edward, her vampire boyfriend, to "tun her into" a vampire so she can be with him forever. He is hesitant because he doesn't think he (or any other vampire) has a soul and he wants her to live, die of old age, and go to heaven (essentially).

I was taken aback at the parallel between this and my transition. I have been longing to transition to womanhood for a while now and I've had nothing but constant bombardment from family, some friends, church, and wife telling me why they won't "let me" do it or why I shouldn't do it because I will go to hell.

In Bella's case, (Spoiler alert) they are forced to commit to changing her at some point in the future and she is of course glad of this because she did not have the power to do it on her own. In my case, it was me taking ahold and saying "Look, I need to do this." for once in my life.

And it's a good feeling.

Painful Parting

We've both known this was coming
for a while now
You silently hoped it wouldn't
while I pushed you forward.
As much as I know it's for the best
my heart knows it's breaking
apart from you.
The shell of being strong
I've built up all my life
develops cracks
bittersweet revelation
comes forth in new life.
Each tear splashing down
represents a happy memory
of us
ignorance is truly bliss.
So here we are
on the brink of goodbye
I'll hold you for a moment
one last time
already missing your soft embrace.
I will always love you, Baybo.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Conglomerate Update

Well there isn't any one big thing going on that I thought I'd write about lately so I'll just write up an update post of all the little things that are going on.

1. I start hormones next week! During my last session, my counselor let me know that she was ready to give me a referral letter to begin Hormone Replacement Therapy and that she'd have the letter ready for me this Wednesday (the 25th). I was ecstatic! I had been more than ready to begin at the beginning of the month but my counselor had wanted to let some time go by first and I begrudgingly went along with it. But now the waiting is almost up and I can really begin to look and feel like I should and that's more than exciting, it's wonderful. Friday, I met with a doctor in Seattle and this morning I went in for some blood test labs. My next appointment with the doctor is on Tuesday, December 1st and he will go over the recommended options for me and then (hopefully) prescription! Thus will begin the biological portion of my transition.

2. I went in for my 2nd laser treatment today for my face. I came prepared this time, I used the EMLA cream my doctor prescribed an hour beforehand and pressed saran wrap up to my face for that hour to keep in the numbing agent. The results....well it still hurt but it was definitely not as bad as the 1st session. Although I speculate that the reason behind this is based more on the fact that I have less hair to kill than the fact that I used the EMLA cream hah. I also decided to switch my brazilian package over to chest/armpits as they are a more immediate need. Later in the future I will have to look into the brazilian package again depending on which surgeon I end up picking for my SRS....and that's still a ways away. 1st appointment for chest/armpits is next Monday and then the next appt for Face, chest, and armpits will be on January 4th.

3. This last Saturday, I had the help of some friends to get a bunch of furniture and lots of bins of packed stuff into a 10x10 rented storage unit. The house is looking much more roomier now and we still have a few more things to send off to storage and the good will but then we need to jump into "cleaning mode" and get the carpets cleaned and fix up things around the house so we can get the house on the market during the month of December.

4. Once the house goes on the market, my wife is going to stay with some friends from her church for a while as a first go of separation. She has also said she'll be writing up a proposal for how we should divide finances and such for our impending divorce. I'm sure it won't be the final draft but hopefully we can come to an agreement without involving lawyers on either side.

5. The holidays are coming up and I'm not invited to thanksgiving at my parents' house. So I've been invited to 2 different dinners, one at my friend, Sophia's house and another at my friend Nate and Ria's house. I'm going to try to make both of them as they are offset each other but we will see. I hope that Christmas brings different results as my aunt, uncle, and grandfather are coming up but who knows what my parents will do at this point. Hopefully by now they realize that rejecting me will not deter me from my transition.

6. It gets harder every Monday morning to goto work as someone else after spending the whole weekend as myself. At this point in time, I still think that I need to let the hormones take effect before worrying about how to "come out" to work but I do think that I will be writing up a letter for them within the next month or two and begin trying to organize telling the Ceo and HR manager about it a few months ahead of when I would finally go full time. Patience is a virtue here...in the meantime, I need to keep working hard.

7. Finances are a bit crazy even without a mortgage payment. We are trying to rein in our spending habits and I am trying to pace out transition costs as well. Meanwhile we're also spending a good amount of money on the house, we probably spent a few hundred dollars on plastic bins to pack things in alone, we didn't want to shell out for cardboard boxes that we wouldn't ever use again. I also had to pay to get new brakes and calipers on the Avenger so that was a huge unexpected cost this month....and of course Christmas is coming up so buying presents for everyone weights on the thoughts as well.

All in all, things are going very well.

Monday, November 16, 2009

2 airports, 1 bathing suit, and a funeral

So it's been a while since I've been online, let alone having time to write a new blog post. As I said in my last blog post, my grandmother died last week...actually it's almost 2 weeks ago now. I was planning on going to the funeral and going as Debra.

My wife had suggested that I "buck up" and go as J***** but I just felt like that did not feel right to me. In talking about my transition, I had tended to talking about it like it hadn't started yet. I'd say to myself "I'll start my transition when I begin hormones" or "I'll start transition when I'm full time including at work". It hit me the other day that the truth is I have already begun transition...and it really started when I finally accepted the fact that this is who I am and that it's ok.

With that in mind, I've currently been living full time as Debra except at work. That means if I have to run an errand on the way home from work, I go home FIRST and go run the errand as Debra. Even stupid simple things, it just feels like what I need to be doing and it feels quite awkward to think of doing anything as J*****....it is still hard enough to be at work like this.

So the thought of going to the funeral as J***** was actually quite terrifying....it just felt so WRONG and foreign.

Although there are other logical reasons, such as the thought that if I showed my family that I could go places as J***** as I so chose (or as they needed me to be to be comfortable) then they would expect that all the time...not to mention, not take my transition seriously. My mother already feels like I'm just "dressing up" to get her attention. She still thinks it's a phase.

And of course going to the funeral itself was not the goal...the goal was to live authentically all the time...this included flying on the plane as Debra too. I had emailed my counselor asking if she would write a letter that I could use if I was questioned while passing through security at the airport. The letter simply explained that I was diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder and that was why I was dressed the way I was and why my driver's license picture did not match with this attire.

When I met with my counselor to pick up the letter, she hadn't written it. She had called the TSA up and asked them about the exact procedures and the lady on the other end had informed her that if the picture did not match the person , they would most likely take me aside for questioning and possibly not let me on the plane at all. My counselor assumed that this would deter me and when she told me about her conversation, my heart fell. The thought of being forced to fly as J***** was overwhelmingly depressing and saddening. But I looked her in the eye and said I was still going to go as Debra so if she could write me the letter anyway, that'd be appreciated.

As with most round trip flights, I had the pleasure of passing through security twice. Both times, the man checking my license simply looked twice and let me pass, no extra questions. I didn't even have to use my letter! I was pleasantly surprised after having nightmares of being forced to remove my wig so they could see the picture matched or some sort of crazy antics. Maybe these guys see a number of transgender people pass through security that they did not question it or maybe my picture looked enough like me in the face, who knows. But I had no problems whatsoever and I'm very thankful for that.

After emailing my counselor and letting her know that things went well, she gave me a great compliment, saying that I was a very courageous woman. Even as I beamed at the compliment though, I felt like it was really misplaced. I didn't do this because I was brave or courageous...I did it because I felt like I HAD to....because it felt like the right thing to do, the ONLY thing to do.

At the Ontario airport, I stopped at a coffee shop while I waited for them to start boarding the plane that would take me home. I ordered a hot chocolate and the lady asked for my ID because I used my credit card. I showed it to her and she glanced at the picture and handed it back to me. She then said "I don't want to offend you or anything but you look completely gorgeous!" I must've blushed a deep red. She continued "You guys that do this make us girls look bad sometimes." She was completely complimenting me here, her tone was one of sincerity and admiration. I thanked her and almost walked away without my hot chocolate, lol.

Throughout the whole trip, I got ma'amed constantly...you'd think it would get old but it really doesn't, LOL. Between the flight attendant saying "would you like anything to drink, ma'am?" and the lady who yelled out to me as I was walking away "Ma'am!....you forgot your purse!!!", it really still did not get old. =)

After arriving in Ontario airport, my uncle came and picked me up and he promptly picked my parents up at their hotel. I was very surprised and it was a bit awkward at first because my parents had not seen Debra before. I had assumed they would not want to hang out around me at all and would simply have to put up with me at the funeral itself. Well as it actually happened, they ended up hanging out with me, my aunt and uncle, and grandpa for most of the trip. I knew they were quite uncomfortable with how I was dressed but they were civil and didn't ignore me either. When we went to my grandmother's viewing, they even hugged me as I cried at the loss.

It was also interesting meeting up with family and friends. My aunt did a wonderful job introducing me as her "niece" and I beamed every time. Other times when she wasn't around, I introduced myself as my grandmother's granddaughter. At one point my dad was standing there and after I had introduced myself as such, the lady turned to my dad and said "Oh so she is your daughter?" and he awkwardly nodded. I was kind of amazed....of course my mother was across the room, she probably would have 'outed' me instead hah. Not that that really mattered so much to me, many of the friends and family knew and recognized me and some of them didn't even question why I was dressed like that. Maybe they assumed or maybe they had been informed prior to coming.

My aunt, uncle, and Grandpa were simply wonderful. They all referred to me as "she" or Debra most of the time and that felt good. Sure they lapsed into the male pronouns and using "J*****" before correcting themselves but they were trying and that was so much more than my parents or my other uncle did. (who actually introduced me to his friend as J***** when I was quite obviously dressed in a black dress and hose). At one point I said goodbye to my grandpa and he said "Take it easy, girl" and hugged and kissed me on the cheek. I felt warm and fuzzy inside. =)

All three nights, I went with my aunt and uncle in their jacuzzi as well. I had previously bought a one-piece swimsuit and tied my wig up so as not to get it wet. I of course am quite lacking still in the bust area so I wore my breast forms under the suit and I still have a tummy but other than that I didn't think i looked too bad in my swimsuit, it felt good. My aunt and uncle didn't bat an eye but the first night, my parents went in the jacuzzi with us. I'm sure the experience of seeing their "son" in a one-piece women's swimsuit was quite a new one for them.

Throughout the trip, I told myself that even as civil as my parents were acting, I could and would not expect them to be any different when they went home. I would surely be in for an unpleasant surprise if I assumed that any civility they offered me in company of family and the death of my grandmother...would extend back home. Sadly, I was very right about that. As soon as they got home, they both sent me long emails telling me why I was wrong and in sin and all the usual bs I'm so sick of hearing. So of course I'm still not allowed at their house nor invited to thanksgiving. It's probably wishful thinking to believe that they might be ok with me coming over for Christmas too, ah well.

Overall the trip was quite amazing. It was simply great to be able to spend a 4 day weekend as myself too. Coming back to work on Monday has been hard. I've been thinking more and more that I should start informing the CEO and HR manager at my work about what is going on....I'm impatient for the chance to fully go full time and shed what's left of my guy clothes and life. It makes my heart leap to think about! At this point in time though, I'm trying to take my counselor's suggestions in slowing down some. A lot has happened in the past month or two and I need to let things flow for a while. I would like to start on hormones and it might be good to let the hormones take effect for a few months before I begin working on my "letter to work" that will explain what I intend to do.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Moving Forward

Well my grandmother (Father's mother) died last night. That's a new event in my life and it hasn't quite hit me yet. I'm sure it will at the funeral. But in the meantime, it's definitely hit my father like a truck and on top of the fact that his son wants to now be his daughter....it's just not a good combination. And of course I can't be there to hug him and talk to him because he won't see me like I am, as Debra. He has been calling me Debra or Deb (his new nickname for me) via email and IM but he still is not ready to see me yet...which frankly is fine. I can be patient for that. But it's hard because of the fact that his mother died and we can't be in physical presence together.

My wife rebuked me and told me I should set aside my transition if even for a day to be with him, dressed in guy clothes, and I gave it much thought. She's also requested that I not sleep with my breast forms, that I dress as a guy for our 5th year anniversary dinner, and that I goto her family's thanksgiving this year dressed in guy clothes too.

All of these things are kind of similar in that they are essentially requesting that I not only stop my transition but reverse it, if even for just a day. I'm so against detransition that the thought of dressing up in guy clothes for any time more than I already have to (ie at work) is terrifying. I also think that if I do it once, everyone will expect that I can do it again and I do not want to put that kind of implication out there.

My wife claims that I should try to gradually transition which is a good point and frankly I did try that....I started it by only coming to my parents' house with nail polish on and they suddenly banned me from coming over that way which only hastened my transition.

Speaking of transition, it's interesting because for a long time I thought that my transition would begin when i started hormones or maybe when I went full time at work. But in reality, my transition has already begun.....when did it begin? When I found self acceptance in myself and knew that this was the path I needed to take.

I know that some of you will probably agree that I should take this time to dress up in guy clothes to be with my family but I sincerely think that it would hold serious consequences and would in general be backpedaling. I am moving forward and my counselor is helping me not do it so fast but I am moving forward.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Happenings

So I went to a halloween party last night in Seattle with a couple friends. I wore my cheerleading outfit and was feeling pretty good about that. Met some new people, danced a little, drank a little, hung out with friends, and just had a good time in general. But 2 things happened that night that struck me.

The first thing was while I was in line to get a drink from the bar, a guy walked up to me and asked if it was the line for the bar and I said yes and then he actually asked me, "btw, are you a woman?". And I can still hear him saying those words in my head. It's a rather rude question to ask someone, really. I was telling my wife the other day that it's rude to ask if somebody is "trans" whether they are or not, it's just plain rude. Well my response to this gentleman was "I'm trans". He said "ah ok, well it's a great costume" and then he sped off. But I was left thinking about his question and my response. I know that halloween is a time for guys to dress up as girls sometimes whether they are trans or not so it can be a night where people question you or read you. So really I guess it was a good thing that he had to ask...maybe I passed well enough (given of course the situation of it being dark and everyone drinking). More concerning to me than his question however, was my automatic response. Why couldn't I have said "Yes, I'm a woman"? If I could go back and do it again, that is what I would say but I think this shows that there's still part of me that's ashamed of my body not being right.....I can say I'm a woman inside but my automatic response because of the fact that my body still appears male (at least when naked) made me blurt out that I was trans, like it was some way of telling the truth because saying I was a woman would've been a lie. But it's not a lie, it's just a partial truth because in soul and in heart and in mind, I AM a woman....and yet the body and actions are still in transition to be made right. And now when I think about that situation, the tendrils of regret for my response entangle me still.

The other thing that hit me that night was actually after the party. We went to my friend's house and her and her fiance were going to go in the jacuzzi. They had talked about this previously and I had thought about joining them maybe someday in the future. But they somehow convinced me that it would be ok to do so that night. I was nervous and yet excited. She had a spare one piece suit that would fit me and since I was self conscious about my lack of bust, she suggested I just keep my forms in under my suit. Minutes later, I found myself looking at a girl in a bathing suit in the mirror. Never mind that my hips weren't extra big or that my tummy was not completely trim....standing in front of me was a woman in a bathing suit and she looked beautiful. I know that underneath the suit there were breast forms as well as a bad tuck job but outside of the suit, I really and truly looked like the girl I was supposed to be. It was like a foreshadowing of what was to come and it gladdened my heart. We didn't even end up going in the jacuzzi because it was luke warm but my night had already been made so I really didn't care.

Thanks Elayne and Brent for inviting me to the party and encouraging me to peek out from underneath my self consciousness.

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