Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tangled Heart

For the majority of my life, I was trapped in a tall castle in a hidden glade. I was told what to believe and who to be and I accepted it all because I knew no different and I knew it made others happy. But there came a point in my life where that was no longer good enough for me. I needed to get out of this castle I was born in....I needed to be free, to experience the world without being trapped in this biological and societal shell.

Despite those around me forbidding me to leave, forbidding me to begin on this new journey, I set out anyway, on my own. I met many new people and was amazed at how much better life could be and they were amazed at who I was and couldn’t believe who I had been was ever real. Many of them could relate to my dreams and it gave them hope to follow their own dreams.

Everyday, life got even better. There were times where things just clicked and everything that had ever happened to me or NOT happened to me just suddenly made sense.....like seeing the shining lights of your birthright on your birthday. I compared myself to others my age and found that I was sometimes making up for lost time, frolicking around, smiling big, a picture of girlish innocence.

But before all of this came to fruition, I fell into a trap, laid by my parents and the people I called “friend” at church. Their raised voices interpreting verses in such a way that they burned scorches into my skin. They begged me once again to come home to the tall castle in the glade where nobody could see me for who I really was , where they could cherish me alone, the way they desired. I found myself following along with them, now a fate worse than death.......and so I chose death.

Many people came to my aid though, to save me from myself. It set me back on a path facing away from that dreaded castle I had grown up in. My horrific frowns became joyous smiles with sparkles in my eyes, the likes that nobody had ever seen before. And so it still is...today.

But unlike Rapunzel, my captors were also my true and biological parents. While she got to embrace a new life with her parents once more, I find myself waiting for the day when I can come home, the long lost daughter that my parents never knew but do want to know. When I can feel the warmth of both of their embraces, crying tears of joy, the many years of separation completely made up for by love and forgiveness.

Note: Tangled is an awesome movie, go see it! =)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Eventful and Emotional Holiday

The last couple days have been a torrent of different emotions and I feel like I'm preparing to rise up the hill to another week, another year even, and I need to stop and look back and try to process everything that's happened. I figured the easiest way to talk about these is to describe each event and the emotions it incurred.

Event: I met some lovely new ladies at a crocheting meetup group and I really think I made some great friends and they seem to have wholeheartedly accepted me as well.

Emotions: Joy, Surprise, Love

Event: I delivered my presents to my parents' house a week before Christmas and was met with my loving brother and very wary father.

Emotions: Sorrow, Bitterness, Disappointment

Event: I was able to make and give special presents to all of my girlfriends at Zumba and they were all happy and thankful.

Emotions: Joy, Love, Excitement

Event: A recent realization that I wasn't even being asked to be included in outside-of-work-and-guy-related activities from male coworkers anymore and how I didn't miss them at all.

Emotions: Contentment, Happiness

Event: On Christmas Eve, my ex-wife called and (whether she meant to rub it in my face or not) told me that she was going to spend Christmas Eve with my biological family and that she had made my mother a scrapbook of lots of old "boy" pics.

Emotions: Anger, Hurt, Frustration, Bewilderment

Event: My adopted mother and I saw the movie, "Tangled" before church on Christmas Eve and I found myself caught up in everything Rapunzel went through, drawing all kinds of parallels with my own life and transition. (Note: There may be a future blog post in more detail about this)

Emotions: Wonder, Giddiness, Joy

Event: My biological mother texted me in the usual hurtful way, making "Merry Christmas" into a possible start of another argument. I chose to be the better woman and simply wish her Jesus' love always.

Emotions: Hurt, Sorrow, Anger, Love, Peace

Event: Realizing that my biological parents really didn't get me anything for Christmas this year except that my mom offered to pass along some of her fudge via my cousin.

Emotions: Surprise, Weariness, Sadness

Event: Spending the night at my adopted mom's house with my close friend, Kayla. Laughing lots and having a good time.

Emotions: Joy, Giddiness, Love

Event: Having our own Christmas, making the best of unaccepting families, enjoying each other's company, good food, and exchanging gifts.

Emotions: Joy, Thankfulness, Sorrow

Event: Lazing around on Christmas Day in my pajamas and no makeup and re-remembering how my body still doesn't feel or look at all like I want it to without the comforts of makeup and padding.

Emotions: Despair, Regret, Weariness, Sadness


It's definitely been an eventful and emotional holiday.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas everybodies! =)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Another Breast Posting

Breasts are a popular topic. From food (chicken breasts) to health (breast cancer awareness) to Television (boob tube) to sex or more importantly, foreplay. It seems to me they may have always been a popular topic. For most transgender women, they are more than a topic though….they are a need.

Most natal women grow up, go through puberty, and take for granted the breasts they are given by Mother Nature. They may not understand why a transgender woman would want them, the back aches, the bras, etc. But to a woman like me, breasts are a sign of my femininity that I was denied for the better part of my life.

And now I have them and I find myself caught up in society's obsession with bigger breasts. After a year of estrogen, I have reached an A-cup and I admit to proudly showing what cleavage my padded bras allow. I take comfort in the fact that they are mine…finally. But I still yearn for more.

The other day I was paging through a magazine while I waited in the waiting room at the Laser Clinic and I came across an ad. The woman in the ad struck me because she had no bigger breasts than I did and she was wearing a bikini and she still looked totally and completely feminine and beautiful. Her bikini top did not offer pushup padding that made it look like she had more but instead showed off her natural body.

I put the magazine down eventually and went about my day but that picture kind of stuck with me. I realized I wanted to blog about it and then proceeded in trying to search google for the ad. Of course, I found many ads involving white bikinis but none of them were like this one, if you know what I mean. Page after page of women with much bigger breasts was all I found, to my despair.

So today I finally went back to the Laser Clinic and found the exact ad again and made sure to take notes of what it was advertising so I could find the ad on google that way. And so that picture is below.

I know that there are many years ahead of me and in those years my body will become even more aligned with my gender. I will of course still hope for more growth in the area we call breasts but at the same time, I take comfort in pictures like this.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Transsexuality 101

Someone posted this on a forum I frequent and I thought it was really good. Verbose but not too much so with enough information to get the main points across.

What is a transsexual?
For simplicity, a transsexual is a person whose inner sense of gender identity and brain patterns are completely the opposite of what physical form they are born into. This is a recognized medical condition which is completely unrelated to sexuality or sexual preference at ll, but unfortunately society sees only brazen gay and bisexual people out there using gender bending to express their sexuality and assumes this is what transsexuals are too. A real transsexual has no more in common with a drag queen, gay, or bisexual person than they do with a chimpanzee! They have a deep basic incongruity between their inner identity and their physical form which can only best be expressed as something which is within their very soul. Transsexuality occurs in equal numbers across born male and born female people. Estimates are that approximately 1 in 30,000 people are born with the condition.

How does this happen?
There are many things known today through years of research, though no one single absolute cause has been quantified as of yet. It is almost universally believed that during the formation of the fetus in uteri, a hormonal imbalance affects the development of the body sex characteristics in a way that is misaligned with the core gender bran wiring. The brain "gender identity" is determined very early on in the fetal growth process, though the messages of an incorrect hormone balance sent to the developing fetus' body, redirects the "intended" natural development to the wrong physical gender. Once born, while growing up the body's own hormone generators then further the physical discrepancy - especially once puberty arrives. Unique chromosomal or genetic influences are also possible contributing factors that are being researched as additional contributing components to the phenomenon. It is very important to understand that no two things in nature are alike - there is no black and white bipolar scheme in life, and random types of birth development happen in all species, including transsexuality. Much more common birth development variations include Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, Klinefelter Syndrome, being Intersexed, or Gender Mosaic.
Transsexuality is not hereditary and a person cannot just "become" transsexual one day. As an extremely complex birth condition the situation is simply a variable in nature and there is nothing and no one to blame. It can actually be a very enlightening, even religious experience about the nature of the universe and humanity far beyond simple primitive bi-polar sociological models. Most transsexuals are acutely aware of something feeling incorrect from a very early age, but lack the ability to approach the issue. Transsexuality is not contagious, a "demon" or a cult into which someone can be enticed into - one cannot "catch" it or turn into it... one is simply born transsexual. It occurs across all races, socioeconomic classes, religions, and childhood upbringings, and has been documented throughout history for thousands of years... many cultures have even revered or worshipped them for having extraordinary vision and wisdom. Transsexuals are actually very good, intelligent, family loving people who are valuable, creative, and productive members of society when given the opportunity to flourish without oppression.

How could someone want "that" surgery?
The person with transsexuality eventually must learn to accept their situation if they are to survive happily in self congruity and not be rendered incapacitated by depression and other co-morbid mental health problems out of frustration and despair. They often have worked very hard at being everything they could for everyone else but no matter how hard they try, they always come up feeling empty and unfulfilled because they are still not whole. These feelings magnify over time until eventually the individual is overwhelmed with dysphoria. They may have tried to live in a role and style that is incongruous for a long, long time until it finally becomes unbearable... this can become a critical life threatening time for the transsexual. To simply try to even live in some sort of duality or "alternative lifestyle" without true physical and social alignment is to just continue the intolerable hypocrisy of a masquerade in a different form, still being something they are not. The ultimate goal is to be truthful and completely real unto themselves as their true gender identity dictates. The only real option left then becomes the social process of transitioning to their correct gender and also the medical process of hormone therapy and surgery. Physical pain and expenses become completely insignificant in comparison to the prospects of having to endure living life in a false way any longer.

The Life Experience of a Transsexual
A person with transsexuality will almost always go through many devastating and long stages of fear, guilt, anger, shame, self loathing and emotional distress though out their life as a result of the incongruity. They know that they will also likely face fear, hatred, prejudice, violence and rejection - sometimes even from those they may love or respect most. No one wants or chooses to have this happen to them, so as a result, transsexuals typically live seriously disrupted lives tangled in deep inner emotional conflict. They must go through a very long difficult process of getting beyond their internalized conflicts and societal pressures by learning to finally accept that this is just who they are, and these are the cards they have been dealt in life. It is then that they realize they must play it out to the best of their ability to achieve congruity, for their own health and well being.
Often those with transsexuality will attempt almost anything in the world to avoid facing their fears and unavoidable situations, including super-human macho activities or careers, marriage, family, extreme creative endeavors or even turn to religion, drugs, or alcohol to escape. Sooner or later though, if they have survived this far, they will find that these things did not work and they must face yet another even greater battle with their transsexual "demon". The fear of facing the issue can instill an emotional paralysis that can be difficult if not impossible to shake. It is then that they must seek professional assistance to gain some kind of movement in their situation. There is an immense amount of deep inner personal work ahead for someone who reaches this point. Many unfortunately, never make it. If they do, they come to realize that the "demon" was an internally fabricated myth woven out of fear of change, emotion, insecurity and social pressure - it was never even really there at all. As US President F.D.Roosevelt put it, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts."

The Final Freedom
Once the transsexual person has overcome their fears, guilt, and shame and accepted themselves and learned to feel self worth, happiness and inner pride, with proper guidance they will move forward through transition and on to establish new lives in the properly aligned role. The period of time can be short sometimes for very young transsexuals who can't find coping skills in life or are less affected by social "role" pressures to conform to - or it can take years, even decades to unfold. The path can be a treacherous, painful, expensive, lonely, and emotional one, but it can be done successfully with the highly rewarding end result of rising above the flames of their torment and dysphoria like a phoenix from the ashes.
To just feel "normal" is something almost everyone takes for granted in life. For the person afflicted with transsexuality, it is the Holy Grail. Once an individual passes through the processes involved, wholeness of being is achieved and the person can transcend their past medical condition and live a balanced, normal life.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I didn't know

I'm sorry
I didn't know your wounds were still so fresh
the hurt that you felt inside completely crippling.
that when we'd meet
there would be a connection I'd never felt before.

I didn't know what your touch would do to me
that your kiss would renew my soul
and your arms holding me close
could give such contentment.

I didn't know of your struggle inside
taking on new endeavors too soon
you warned me often
but I just didn't want to listen.

I didn't know that I was pushing for more
and my desire for your presence
would just push you away
I was too blind to see it.

I didn't know that it would hurt so much
that tears would rain for days on end
that I might make you feel guilty
with public postings of heartache

I didn't know that I'd make things
more difficult for you instead of easier
in these days of loneliness and hardship.

I'm sorry, I didn't know.

1 year on HRT

Wowies, it's really hard to believe it's been 1 year since I started this biological journey to set my body straight. It's been a journey of self discovery, joy, anger, love, hurt, peace, sadness, wonder, and so much more.

People may laugh when I say it's been the best year of my life so far. Especially considering the loss of my parents' love, my ex-wife and her parents, as well as a so-called loving church family. Not to mention, the few heartaches I've already experienced when it comes to dating as a transgender woman. But all of those things pale in comparison to FINALLY being able to be ME. To look in the mirror and finally see what I was always supposed to see. To not have to constantly worry about overcompensating for something I am not. To live naturally and not be afraid to be real. Add to that the endless support from friends (both longtime and new), work, and even some very special family (by blood or not) along with a new and openly loving church family.

I couldn't be more thankful and I look forward to many more wonderful years to come.

I know I've linked back to this video a few times before but it still amazes me that things could change so rapidly. And time flies when you're having fun ;)

Monday, November 29, 2010

His arms

Descended into melancholy;
random spouts of crying,
tears of longing
trying to understand.
Realization of his true feelings
makes my heart soar
only to be drowned
in a raging fire
under a giant waterfall.
He's juggling emotions
he's not ready for
as old wounds are still fresh.
I know he needs space
but my heart hurts for him
I just want to be in his arms again.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Then and Now

I haven't done many of these publicly but this seemed appropriate.

On the left, November 2008. On the right, Today, November 28, 2010.

A bit of a difference.....

Friday, November 26, 2010

Someday I want to be a mom

I went to the theater today and saw a movie. The title or actors are not really important, they bear no relevance to what happened to me during the movie.

In one scene, a man is running up to his house as his wife holding one child and holding the hand of another child, run up to meet him. They embrace and kiss and I was oddly struck with the epiphany: "Someday, I want to be a mom".

What does it mean to be a mom, you might ask? Is it raising children, nurturing them through their babyhood, passing down your experiences as they grow older, trying desperately to make sure they don't make the same mistakes you regret making and yet letting them fall once in a while, when they need to learn the hard way? Is it dealing with the teenage years of having them turn away from you in defiance as you spend endless nights crying, only wishing they would go back to being young and innocent again? Or watching them grow to adulthood and realizing that parenthood does not end there and that you have a lifelong commitment and bond to care for your adult children?

Frankly, I think it's all that and more. I think that what it means to be a mom can only be found through experience, not unlike knowing what it means to be a woman.

Growing up, I constantly looked to my dad as a role model, obsessively so. And yet I never ever wanted kids, being a dad was something that just did NOT make sense to me. I was horrified of being around kids, I just didn't know how to handle them and I worried they would "call me out" or "see right through me" and who I am....even when I couldn't see it for myself.

Now, I find myself still a bit timid around other peoples' kids but my thinking is quite different. My latest struggle over the past month or two has been dealing with the fact that I can never carry a child in pregnancy. Many would gawk at me that I'd even want to and they'd tell me I should be thankful that I cannot but I just don't see it that way. I realize pregnancy is not something taken lightly. It is nine or more months of an aching, backbreaking experience and more months still of recovery but I can still honestly say I'd take that if I could....to feel the life of my own child inside as he/she grows in their first stages of life, I can't even begin to fathom that feeling. Nor will I ever be able to.

But there is always adoption and I hope that in the future, when I meet the right guy and the time is right, we may choose a route such as that, to have a child we can call our own. That's all in the future though, right now, I just know:

Someday, I want to be a mom.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Passion Poem

Your arms engulf me
your hands hunger for my skin
our bodies intertwined.

You kiss me softly
my lips can't get enough of yours
our hearts racing.

You caress my neck
I feel your passion exuding forth
our moans are audible.

You kiss on my tummy
your goatee tickles me to no end
I'm giggling and squirming.

You stroke my bosom
I'm plunged into pleasure unwinding
my back arching up.

You utter wonderful words
as your hand slides down my thigh
you pull me closer.

I gaze into your eyes
as I caress you relentlessly
ecstacy builds up in you.

I rest in your arms
we talk and we sigh, mutually content
we fall asleep soundly.

Baggage

Asynchronous conversations
with some mutual interest
lead to personal meetings
with renewing attraction.
Stories are exchanged
and company is welcomed
while lightning strikes
from two epicenters.
Time flies at warp speed
when found together
yet slow-motion riding
between those visits.
Though mirrored experience
is found in the depths
a ravenous affliction
still runs its course.
But hopeful recovery
is slowly but sure
as pieces come together
patience is required.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Tomorrow is Transgender Day of Remembrance and I am forced to step away from my life for a moment; to step away from my minor complaints and many blessings of my own transition and remember those who were not so lucky as I to even be alive.

For those that do not know, Transgender Day of Rememberance is a day to remember all of the transgender people that died in the last year and for many years before. In this world, we all die, many of us prematurely but the statistics for transgender people either being murdered or committing suicide are astonishing, mostly because of lack of acceptance in society today. This last year alone, there were 30 or so transgender people that died, that's almost 3 a month!

For more info on TDOR, see: http://www.transgenderdor.org .

As someone who's tried to commit suicide myself in the past, I have to say I can relate and only wish that we could all just love one another and ourselves instead of hate. I know it sounds corny but I believe it's true. I go back the state I was in that horrible night I almost did the deed. I can feel the pain, the hurt, the hate directed towards me all over again and I can't help but cry thinking of what would have happened had my ex-wife not woken up and stopped me. I would never have been able to express the complete joy I feel today....nor would I be able to share that joy with others who need to hear it just as much as I needed to hear it that very night.

To conclude, I'd like to link/quote a blog entry that was posted earlier this week or last week that really struck a chord with me and brought tears to my eyes.

From: Questioning Transophia blog:


Nearly half of living trans people–surviving trans people–have attempted suicide.
Nearly half of those of us who did not succeed in killing ourselves have tried.
Nearly a tenth of us will be murdered. Nearly half of us will be raped. Most of us will experience violence from loved ones and almost all of us will be denied homes and jobs. This is not hyperbole. These are the numbers as the world currently stands. But the most devastating one, as far as I am concerned, is that first one. Nearly half of the living have tried not to be. That is: let’s leave behind all the nearly. More than half of us have tried to end our own lives and many of us have succeeded. We are a heartbroken people.

This is not arbitrary. This is not a mistake. This is not for no reason. This is because we live in a world that has systematically forced into us the falsehood that we are unworthy of the basic consideration of humanity. This is because we–and we are a beautiful people, a powerful people, a beloved and phenomenal people–have been fed falsehood after falsehood until we were convinced that we were the problem, and not the campaign, from the institution on down to the individual, to erase, denigrate, break, and murder us. This is the failure state of the communities we live in: our families, our religious communities, our political leaders, our movements, our governments, our cultures. This is us–trans people–as a people–being forced to carry the weight of an entire world’s failure.
If we are so desperate to escape this world–if we see no other alternative, or worse, loathe ourselves so very much–it is because our communities have failed us. They can do better. We can do better. We deserve better. We are not so full of self-hate because something is wrong with us. We do not do such terrible violence to ourselves because that is what we deserve. We do not abdicate the belief in our own inherent dignity and worth lightly or easily. It is torn out of us, little by little, in daily, tiny murders. And every time we cringe and scrape and apologize for breathing, for taking up space, for speaking, for loving, every time we ask for forgiveness just for being what we are, every time we internalize story after story about how we are dead to our loved ones, ask to be brutalized, need to expect that what we are will merit every door closed in our faces, we are participating little by little in our own suicides.

I am no longer interested in sweet words about this. We convince ourselves we are the problem because we are taught to do so, and we are all taught this, minute by minute, even those of us who mostly don’t believe it. We are reminded every hour how low and vile we are despite our best efforts. If you have for an instant believed that you are unworthy of love, that you are wrong, that you are anything less than a person, it is very simply because your community has failed you.
When you have been told you are less than human–less than sacred–less than beautiful–your community has failed you. When you believe it, it is because your community has failed you. I do not intend to mince words.

If you are out there believing that you are less than other people–that you are unworthy–that those who love you are settling, or tolerating, or deserve your apology–that those you love are not lucky to have your love–your community has failed you. Your family has failed you. Your faith, if you have one, has failed you. Your leaders have failed you. If you or the people around you are using words that make you feel like a thing; if you are frightened to have basic bodily functions in public; if you talk about yourself like a disease, not a person; if you see nothing ahead in your old age but the bleakness of despair, isolation, and abuse; if your youth is a neverending desperation to get out and away to somewhere you cannot trust exists; if you are quietly taking your bag out from under the seat another has taken from you and moving on instead of asserting yourself; if you are telling yourself it is excusable for other people, even loved ones, not to afford you the basic respect of your own name; if you are believing this is the best you can do, they have let you down.
You deserve better. Because you are not the problem. You are not broken. You are not worthless. You are not a problem and you are not a mistake.

We talk a lot about principles and rights, but I am not talking about rights and don’t want to. Rights are the purview of politics and I don’t want to talk politics. I don’t want to talk analysis or discourse or theory.
I want to talk morals. It is a moral issue that our community is full of despair and self-hatred and self-disgust. It is not a matter of rights. It is not a matter of laws or votes or commandments. It is a moral issue. It is a theological issue. It is an issue of fundamental, basic human-ness. And I think sometimes we, as a community, especially those of us so proud to be radicals, forget that sometimes we rush ahead of the community, the culture, the people to whom we are connected, and want to talk about our rights before we talk about what we deserve and why we deserve it. We want to talk about protecting our own before we give each other reason to believe we are worth protecting. We want to jump in with both feet and spread the word about what we ought to have in society without convincing our people that we are worthy of not just full participation in society, civil or social, but of love. Of beauty. Of truth. Of basic humanity. Of self-respect.

This is not about self-esteem. This is not about self-help. This is a moral issue. This is an issue of the basic liturgy of human interaction–because it is our daily rituals that define the four corners of the world and the arches of the sky, it is our stories that tell us how to recognize our own faces, and we have been denied our place in the human liturgy for far too long and it is long past time to erupt up from the landscape that conceals us and demand, not just our rights, but the basic essential core of worth and decency that makes us people and therefore worthy of rights in the first place. We have been denied this and we have been told we are the problem. Those of us who are political, like me, hear often about ourselves as a cause. Those of us who are academic, like me, hear often about ourselves as a concept. But we have gotten ahead of ourselves because too many of us–leave alone everyone else, us!–have not heard about ourselves as people. We have been excluded from our own landscape of story and ritual. We have been ejected from our own moral universe. We have been torn from our own regard. And we are killing ourselves by degrees because of it. At eight years old I put a kitchen knife to my chest and pushed, and it was only a miracle that caused me to falter and fail. That eight year old child was not the problem. I was not the problem. A world that taught me that I had no place in it, that taught me to look away from my own holy truth and afford myself not even a scrap of the respect I agreed all other people merited, that taught me that nothing done to me could be wrong because my own moral universe did not include me–that world was and is the problem.

If for a moment in your life you have spent a breath or a thought hating yourself, looking on yourself with disgust and contempt, it is because people have let you down, and those people were wrong. You deserve not to submit to them. You were never the problem. If for a moment you thought your family, your friends, your lovers, needed to compromise to love you, thought they could do better and have a real person instead, it is because your community has let you down, from the top to the bottom.
If our leaders cannot tell us this–if we as leaders cannot tell each other this–we are fundamentally and profoundly abdicating our responsibility to our people, who are crying out for justice. If you run a church or a support group or a political faction or a newsletter or a website. If you speak to our people in public, if you guide young people or those just discovering themselves, if you are entrusted with the responsibility to guide any of us, and you do not make it clear that we are whole, we are real, we are worthy, we are beautiful? You are letting us down and you can do better. You can do better than letting that lie go unchallenged. Our people are hungry for the truth. We are starving. If you deny them that food, if you feed them garbage instead, it is on you.
This is not politics, or theory. It is a moral issue. We are under the arch of the same sky, and yet we are denied the sight of it, leave alone the hope that we might be virtuous enough to share in holding it up.

We are not the problem. We are not broken. We are not dirty. Wrong is not our name. We are not wrong. It is long past time to recognize that though we may lose much from truth-telling, when it all burns away, everything that is left is true.
Do not trust me because some great Word is in me. Trust yourself and the Word in you. Trust that you are brim-full of truth. Trust that there is a mighty and lie-less core within you that from birth has told you that you are full of what is good, and trust that the fact you cannot hear it ringing out over your landscape is because it has been buried by other people in a landfill of falsehood.
The fact that you can doubt the truth within yourself is because your community has let you down. And we can do better. We deserve better. We are better than that. We are not wrong.

I do not intend to mince words. Whatever there is in you that tells you that you are not worth loving, not worth living, not worth fighting for: burn it. Burn it down and dig for the truth underneath. Dig down through the ashes of all those lies until you hit bedrock and then, pushing off from it, rise up. We walk in places much too dark and terrible to deny ourselves this. In a world that sanctions and blockades our sources of spiritual nourishment, we carry too much already to weaken ourselves by collaborating with this enforced and unjust impoverishment. We deserve to rise up, and, even if only in ourselves, nurture revolution.

We are real people, beautiful people, and we deserve families, communities, movements, and cultures that honor us. I think we can have them. I believe we can make them. We are part of this human family, worthy, complete, pure, and mighty. And we ought to be able to say this out loud and to ourselves until we know that it is true.

Welcome to church.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Autotransography: Part 16 - A Short Message

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Featured on T-Central

Well apparently I've been featured on T-Central!

T-Central is a blog of it's own featuring all kinds of transgender blogs in one central place. Check it out =)

And thanks for featuring me =)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Autotransography: Part 15 - HRT Changes & Voice

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Autotransography: Part 14 - Airports and Funerals

Friday, October 29, 2010

Autotransography: Part 13 - Starting Transition

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Phase you

You think I'm pretty
thanks, you're cute too
you'd like to get to know me
sure, lets hit it off
you find me interesting
well you seem cool too.
You want my number?
to go on a date?

Did you read my profile?
Did you read those words
that forever will change how you feel?
Did you realize who I am
wasn't always this way?
No?
I've been honest about it
from the start.
What's that? Things are different?
You are no longer interested?

You'd rather not meet up?
You have an open mind but
you can only be "friends"?

It's not that I can't use
more friends
it's that you suddenly think
I'm less of a woman.
Why would I want to be "friends"
with someone like that?
What? You don't think that?
If you didn't think that
you'd still be interested
and my past just wouldn't
phase you.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Out of my hands

Here's a video my brother made the other day, just him, my sister, and her daughter all gallivanting around, it's pretty entertaining in my family's sort of way.

I was struck by how much my niece has grown up in the last year that I have not been allowed near her. She's even talking intelligently and interacting responsively now. I laughed with my brother and sister as they laughed but I couldn't help but cry thinking I would've been there with them. Then I re-thought that in my head. I COULD have been with them, had they let me be.

My brother is supportive but my sister is far from it and refuses to even call me "Jer" let alone my real name.

I feel like I have missed so much being with my brother and sister and watching Crystal grow up. I shudder to think that all she knows of me is some weird "Uncle" they've ingrained into her...

But at the end of the day I have to remember that it's purely out of my hands. I can't take responsibility for how my sister and parents have chosen to respond to my transition. All I can do is be thankful my brother understands and try to continue to love them all in every way they will still let me, each day hoping they will someday at least TRY to understand.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhlaF0xjTQw

Autotransography: Part 12 - Finding Self Acceptance

Autotransography: Part 11 - Driven to Suicide

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Voting for LGBT Civil Rights

I'm not one to post about politics usually, in fact I hate them. But since coming out as transgender, I've taken a little more interest, mostly in Civil Rights for everybody, including everyone in the LGBT mix.

I received my ballot this week and was confronted with a slew of names and no real good information about civil rights support so I started on a trek to find out. I emailed all of the candidates to find out what their opinions on civil rights were. I will try to keep this up to date in case anyone else is interested (in the Seattle/WA area).

I realize many people won't agree with this because there other issues at stake besides Civil rights but this is what's important to me.


The List:

US Senate

Patty Murray (Democrat) - Contacted, She confirmed her support for LGBT Civil Rights.

Dino Rossi (Republican) - Contacted, No Response yet.

US Reps

Jay Inslee (Democrat) - Contacted, He confirmed his support for LGBT Civil Rights.

James Watkins (Republican) - Contacted, No Response yet.

WA State Senate

Rodney Tom (Democrat) - Contacted, No Response yet.

Gregg Bennett (Republican) - Contacted, No Response yet.

WA State Reps

Ross Hunter (Democrat) - Contacted, No Response yet.

Diane Tebelius (Republican) - Contacted, No Response yet.

Deb Eddy (Democrat) - Contacted. Positive Response:
YES, I support LGBT rights. I have been a cosponsor for all domestic
partnership legislation in the past couple of sessions. SeaMec, the Seattle
group that interviews candidates on a whole range of issues, including
transgender rights, gave me a very favorable ranking back in '06, the first
time I ran for office.


Phillip L. Wilson (Republican) - Contacted, No Response yet.

Prosecuting Attny

Dan Satterberg (Republican) - Contacted, No response yet.

State Supreme Court

Jim Johnson - Contacted, No Response yet.

Barbara Madsen - Unable to find contact info, did find info that she may be against Gay Marriage: http://judgepedia.org/index.php/Barbara_Madsen#Madsen_votes_to_uphold_ban_on_gay_marriage

Richard B. Sanders - Contacted, Negative Response:

The Court only addresses the specific legal issues that comes before it.

The State Supreme Court ruled that the Legislature could ban same-sex marriages, and he agreed on that opinion.



Charlie Wiggins - Contacted, Netural/Positive Response:

Thank you for your interest in this election and for your inquiry.
There are a host of issues that arise from your question. Rather than try
to lay them out, I'd ask you to read the interview with me that appeared in
the Seattle Gay News back at the end of July, which I attach.
The one thing I would add to this mix is that I've given further
consideration to the issue of same-sex marriage after the decision of the
federal court in the California Proposition 8 case. The federal judge
listened to all of the evidence and concluded that none of the studies
supported the ban on same-sex marriage. So I cannot tell you how I would
rule the next time this issue arises because I have an open mind on the
subject. I also would refer you to the article in the Stranger about my opponent,
which I also attach. I hope this is helpful and I appreciate your inquiry.


Court of Appeals

C. Kenneth Grosse - Unable to find contact info

Michael Spearman - Unable to find contact info

District Court

Janet E. Garrow - Contacted, Negative Response?:

Thanks for your interest. I cannot use my work computer for campaign-related questions.


Frank V. LaSalata - Contacted, No response yet.

Linda Jacke - Contacted, Generic/Negative Response:

I have taken an oath to uphold the law and in all my decisions in my
court, I will do that.


Peter L. Nault - Contacted, No response yet

David A. Steiner - Contacted, No response yet.

John L. O'Brien - Contacted, I think positive response:

Thank you for your inquiry. My goal is to treat everyone that appears
before the same regardless of their race, color, creed, national origin, sex
or sexual preference.


Michael Finkle - Contacted, Response: Positive:

What I can tell you is that I have received the highest possible rating, "Exceptionally Well Qualified", from Q-Law. Q-Law is a bar association comprised of attorneys who are members of the LGBT community. I have been endorsed by three openly gay judges, and three of the volunteers working on my campaign are members of the LGBT community. Over the past 6 months I have received at least half a dozen petitions seeking name changes by people who were undergoing or who had completed gender transformation. I have granted them all.


Donna Tucker - Contacted, No response yet.

Larry Mitchel - Contacted, Positive Response:

Thank you for writing. I believe that all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, are entitled to the rights provided for in the state and federal constitution. It is the right thing, both from a legal and moral standpoint. Everyone is entitled to equal justice under the law; I have made that the guiding principle in my current position and that will continue to be my goal if I am elected judge. QLAw, the gay/lesbian/transgender bar association in Washington has given me a well qualified rating. Thank you again for your inquiry and I appreciate the thoughtful consideration you are giving to your vote before you cast it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blog interview

I was recently interviewed on a blog, "Be Your Own Queero": a blog bringing you the best in LGBTQ activism, politics and culture by focusing on the personal stories of queer individuals. They feel that it's important to have strong and supportive queer communities and they are creating those communities where they do not exist.

So with that said, the interview can be found here:
http://beyrownqueero.com/post/1365342750/interview-debra

To most of you, the information in the interview is probably old news but I thought it was great to be able to tell my story to more people, especially those who feel they may have no hope.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Another post about suicide

I came across this comic strip yesterday and about cried my eyes out in an instant. It describes well my plight with my parents and their pure ignorance at what they're asking me to do.

From Trans Girl Diaries Webcomic :




Along the samelines, this video was sent to me last night. Please watch it. It's the testimony of a council member speaking out against youth bullying.

Edit: The video is on youtube now:



http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3096434/vp/39680125#39680125

Monday, October 18, 2010

Who is that unidentified man?


This was a dream I had the second night of our road trip down the Oregon Coast:


I was looking out of the window of a house with an unidentified but familiar man standing behind me and it started to snow. It snowed rather quickly and the whole yard was covered in less than a second or two. I said aloud : “wow I’ve never seen it snow that fast before” (This was a hint that it was a dream but I didn't notice). I stood there and took in the beauty and leaned back on the guy and he held me close. Then he ever so slowly, holding me like I was a fragile china doll, softly kissed me on the cheek. It was so intimate as his lips took a lifetime in their touch softly brushing against my cheek. I was so overwhelmed that I felt like crying in joy.


Then mom woke me up, turning her CPAP machine off. =P

I guess the dream is a reflection of my thoughts during our drive that day. I had been thinking about relationships, old and new. Thoughts of my ex-wife and the good times we had. Thoughts of what I was looking for in a mate nowadays, man or woman. Sometimes I think of being post-op as a way of being more accepted by straight men seeking relationships and yet I've also come to realize that it opens me up from the protection that being pre-op has provided. A lot of straight guys that let's say had less-than-good intentions, were avoided simply BECAUSE I am pre-op.

Being post-op may open me up to a bigger pool of possible mates but the fact of the matter is, someone who would have loved me unconditionally as pre-op is going to have a better understanding and support than someone who only loves me after I'm post-op. And there will also be a lot more possible mates with not-so-great intentions that will no longer be quite so inhibited.

It's all so complicated...there are so many different kinds of people out there and I'm waiting for the one that I can connect with on the right level. It almost seems impossible at times. And yet it seems to happen everyday around us.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Autotransography: Part 10 - Bad Therapy and Suppression

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Small Hopes Dashed

It's weird how I can go days, weeks, or even months without worrying about the fact that my parents' don't accept me for who I am. But then some event will happen that will remind me and I'll find myself in endless tears. Why is that?

Earlier I noted a comparison between then and now. Then, I was trying to hide my trans issues so I didn't have to deal with them and now instead, I'm trying to hide my parental issues so I don't have to deal with them....the difference of course is that I finally steped up and dealt with my trans issues but parental issues are out of my hands. I deal with them best I can, in poetry and tears. That's all that is in my power to do.

Today I found out that I'm 46,XY. For those that don't understand what that means, 46,XY is the normal male chromosome karyotype. I admit to have sincerely been hoping that the test would come back with 47,XXY (an intersex karyotype) or something else but alas that did not happen. So yes, I do for sure have male chromosomes. I was fairly disappointed in the news. I don't know if it was the lack of estrogen in my system this morning or the fact that the wound my parents' and grandmother's birthday cards had left was still fresh. Either way, I found myself crying off and on today.

Now wait, before you comment, please understand: I know I'm a woman. Sure I have male chromosomes but so do many AIS women who have never lived a day in their lives as men. Am I upset because I needed something more to tell ME who I am? Plainly, no. I already know that for sure. I mean, put aside the fact that this last year was the best year of my life, that I finally like how I look in the mirror, that my body seems to soak up estrogen, that so many things have come naturally to me.....all of those are great but none of them matter compared to this: I know I'm a woman.

No, the reason I was upset about the chromosome test was because I was hoping that there would be some medical fact I could really show my parents to prove to them that I am a woman. To make them see. So maybe they would put aside their denial and love me again. But as many have already said, they probably would not have taken it into account anyway. They already deny that I ever acted feminine when I was a child even though I've reminded them of many such instances and they would rather listen to religious counsel that tells them to treat their own daughter like she's dead.

People say I should cut them out of my life well the truth is they've cut me out of theirs for some time now but I still send them birthday cards and cards on holidays and they still send me the ones with my old name and hurtful dysphoric pronouns and titles. They do it on purpose but I don't believe they do it to hurt me.

No I don't think I could ever cut them out of my life altogether. It might be easier and I might cry a lot less but I would rather cling to some shred of hope that they may love me again. Somehow. Someday.

Autotransography Part 9: Self Discovery

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Clouds of Constant Hurt

Among years of love and acceptance
there are always those that bawk
they cling to interpretations
of memories once past
and written words
sting like knives to my heart.
Despite communities of love
my tears splash down
each one a treasure trove
rich with hurt.
Trapped between death
and a life fulfilling;
yet disdainfully ruled.
I must be a mountain
amidst a blue ocean.
I fight the erosion with love
the kind that sweats blood
and tastes tears
through clouds of constant hurt.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

200th Blogpost!: Boys when you're in a Bustier

Last night, I attended a fundraiser event for a nonprofit, started by a friend of mine, called Beauty Empower. The event featured raffle prizes and a lingerie fashion show and essentially a "pajama party". By this, they meant that it was a time when guests could dress up in bustiers and corsets, etc.

Well that alone was enough to pique my interest. I try to dress proper for each occasion and it's not often you get to wear a corset or bustier, esp out in public. =) But I also have been trying to figure out ways to help my friend with the nonprofit so I volunteered to help sell raffle tickets.

Now, I don't own any corsets or bustiers so I ordered a pretty purple and black one from Fredericks of Hollywood and made sure it was going to get here before the event. 2 days before the event, it arrived and I realized that Frederick's runs waaaaay small. It was size medium and that did not work for me at all, in fact, I'm not sure if a Large would, maybe only X-Large. And yet I wear medium for most clothes nowadays. I was pretty disappointed but a friend of mine told me I could borrow her bustier which was also purple and black and it ended up fitting! I was so glad.

Anyway, I went home after work, changed into the bustier with a black mini skirt, black hose, and black suede boots. I finished up my makeup with more eyeliner and mascara and headed down to Tacoma in rush hour traffic. While on the freeway, after the traffic was behind me, a car pulled up next to me and I saw the window rolling down (on the freeway?!) and a cute guy looks over, smiles and waves at me! I am a bit taken aback and giggle a little and smile and wave back and he rolls up his window and speeds ahead. Quite weird. I swear I didn't know him but he looked vaguely familiar. Still kind of funny and definitely helping my self confidence.

I arrived at the Lounge where the fundraiser was supposed to take place, slightly earlier than I had intended but that was ok because my friend, the founder, found me right away and we hung out for a bit, waiting for everything to be setup. She had someone do her hair though because she got there so early to see to things that she hadn't done her hair yet. While she did that, I searched out the lady in charge of raffle tickets to find out how we were going to go about that exactly. At some point, my old friend (who happens to be the husband of my friend the founder) walked in looking for his wife. I said hi and pointed her out to him. He kind of did a double take when he saw me. I can't remember the exact words he used but he basically said that I had "developed" since he'd last seen me in March. I kind of laughed at that and for once in my life, I didn't make mention of my very padded bra, I just agreed with him, smiling. =)

At some point, I grabbed a roll of raffle tickets and a basket and walked around for a bit, not many people were there yet so I went and stood at the door, near the bouncers. I chatted some with the bouncer collecting the cover charges and he agreed to send everyone my way for raffle tickets after they'd paid.

Throughout the night, I felt very sexy, not in some dirty perverted way...just in a feminine sexy pretty way. I noticed guys looking at me and smiled. Thoughts of being "trans" or wondering what they would really think if they knew popped up a couple times but for the most part, I felt comfortable just being a woman and not worrying about all of those issues for the night.

One black guy was staring at me with interest and I giggled and looked away. I kept looking back and he was still looking and I kept giggling. It was kind of funny. Another black guy, when I approached him to sell him raffle tickets, he leaned over to my ear and asked "Are we raffling you?". I giggled and told him no and he said thanks anyway then.

Throughout the night, I stuck by my post near the door and sold tickets to people as they entered. As the music went and I knew the songs, I found myself dancing along with the music and that seemed to bring passerby curious glances from outside and again I had to smile. Another guy was talking to some other girls and me and he was saying something about how pretty I looked and I said thanks and couldn't help but smile wide and he said "See?" talking to the other girls about me: "Look at that smile??? wow!!!".

At one point, I went outside to put my purse in the car because I could see the car from my post so I figured it would be safe enough. I'd also told the bouncer guy to watch out for my car since it was right there haha. Outside, as I was walking back from my car, from the club next door, a guy walked over and told me I looked very pretty tonight. I thanked him and smiled and went back inside.

My friend's husband had a friend that arrived at some point and was hanging out. We talked off and on, he seemed like a really nice guy, very outgoing. He even went so far as to try to sell the prizes he'd won for a donation to Beauty Empower.

Anyway, all in all, I had a completely wonderful time last night, just being able to feel like a sexy woman and not worry about anything else. ;)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Autotransography: Part 8 - Married Life

Saturday, October 2, 2010

AutoTransography: Part 7 - College & Dating

Friday, October 1, 2010

1 year of transition

October 1st has had a lot of different meanings over the years. In 1989, it was the date we moved to Washington State from California. Last year, however, it was the day I began my transition and this year it is a 10 month anniversary for when I started Hormone Replacement Therapy.

I had come out to my parents last year about being transgender in August but it wasn't until October 1st that they saw their first glimpse of a different me.

It was a Saturday like any other, my wife and I would go to my parents' house (~10 min away) and my mom would make everyone breakfast and then my dad and I would go on a walk and have coffee down near the Mukilteo waterfront. It was a Saturday like any other, except that I wore a dark green nail polish on my fingernails.

We ate breakfast and I remember my mom and sister looking at me like I was some kind of freak and my sister rushed my 1 year old niece downstairs away from me like I was a monster. I would later find out that both of them had SWORN I was wearing makeup when in fact, I was not.

My dad and I went on our walk and I might have gotten a look from the barista but my Dad didn't seem to care one way or the other.

It wasn't until the next day that my dad told me that my mom had banned me from coming to the house ever again with nail polish on. A foreboding foreshadowing of the disownment that was to come.

Nail polish, it's really a simple thing, it would have been easy enough for my mom to say nail polish was ok and yet it would have also have been just as easy for me to say ok, I won't wear nail polish at your house. But it was more than that. It was me trying to ease my parents into my transition slowly and having them deny it at the very first point, such a small and almost unnoticeable point compared to wigs, makeup, and dresses.

I had made a promise to myself that I would dress as a woman all of the time at home and I would go the extra mile and wear nail polish on weekends because I didn't want to have to remove it every single night before work.

My birthday happened to be the very next week and we were planning to celebrate it on a Sunday. Because of the new "no nail polish" rule, I asked my dad and pleaded with my mom to change the day we celebrated it to Friday and I wouldn't wear nail polish. My mom refused and would not lift the nail polish ban.

My now ex-wife went to my own birthday party (and my sister's, hers is 2 days from mine) alone that Sunday night while I stayed home. Maybe my parents really thought I was faking. Maybe they really thought it was a phase. Maybe they really thought their son who had done everything right and made them proud all his life....was not really going to transition to be their daughter.

Whatever their thoughts were, I sat there alone on my birthday for the very first time and yet their lack of tolerance only pushed me forward. And here I am now, 1 year later and a lot has changed.

I've seen who my true friends are, I've been blessed with continued employment, I've made new amazing friends, and most importantly, I've been able to be true to myself for the first time in my life. It has been quite a year.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tweetcloud Overview



I recently did a tweetcloud of all of my tweets on twitter in the last year or so. I found it quite interesting.

#1 word - Girl - I think that's funny considering this last year has been my first real year being able to be a girl. And yet the reason that's the number one word is because when I talk to other people, I often refer to them as girl at the end of every tweet or so lol.

#2 word - Thanks - I guess I say thank you a lot. =) I suppose I receive plenty of compliments and feel like I need to say thank you....and try not to let them get to my head. ;)

#3 word - hehe - Yeah, I giggle a lot and 'hehe' is one form of that. =)

#4 word - hugs - Yes I give virtual hugs LOTS. In real life, I give real hugs LOTS too. =)

#5 word - time - Right off, I'm not sure how this one relates to each individual tweet but it kind of has a lot of meanings for me in the last year. Being impatient about how time is going slow (body development, parental acceptance, etc). Being reflective about the past and the time I've lost, etc.

#6 word - love - This one's pretty obvious. I say love a lot , 'Oh I love your pic!' etc. But it kind of also reflects the love that I want in my life and yet the love I want to give friends, family, and those in the transgender community, esp those who are in need and hurting.

#7 word - awww - Yeah I say that lot, what can I say. =)

Well I will stop at 7 words but I thought that was interesting

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gender-inclusive Dormitories

Last night, I was sent an article about gender-inclusive dormitories at Western Washington University. (see http://westernfrontonline.net/news/12503-gender-inclusive-housing-a-go).

Surprisingly I'm kind of torn. While it may be a great thing for many , especially those that don't consider themselves male or female but somewhere in between, I feel like if I had transitioned at college or even if I went back to college and lived in the dorms, that I'd have wanted to stay in the women's dorms. For binary transsexuals like myself, we want to be accepted as a woman in every way. Yes we understand we are transgender women, but still women.

I wonder if transgender women applying to western (pre-op or post-op) would still be allowed to stay in the women's dorms or if they will now only be allowed to stay at this gender-inclusive dorm. I would hope for the former unless they would prefer to stay in the special dorm.

Either way, Western definitely deserves some positive recognition for this new dormitory.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Singles Night in Seattle

Last night, I journeyed out to a single's meetup in Seattle. I have been a member of this singles meetup group for a couple months but had not ventured out to any of their meetups yet because I didn't know anybody and felt a bit shy when seeing how many people were going to show up. I figured it was something I should be taking another single friend along with me but I don't have many single friends.

What changed? Well this meetup was special in that it was meant for only newbies, or people that had not been to 3 or more meetups with the group yet. So I felt if there was ever a time to go, it would be then. Be introduced to how the group works and how each meetup probably works.

I had RSVPed for this about a month ago and when I looked at it the day of, I realized for the first time that it was in Seattle. Seattle at 6pm? How the heck was that supposed to work. I did NOT want to be stuck in traffic for an hour. I was tempted to call it off and just not go but near the end of the day, I decided I would just do it....but I would take the bus. There happens to be a bus route 5 blocks down from my apartment that goes straight into downtown Seattle. So I got some cash out for bus fair and headed out, book in hand.

On the bus, I mostly read my book or looked out the window but more than once, I noticed different people looking at me with a look on their face that said they might know I was trans. I just ignored it though. When I got off the bus, I walked a few blocks (thank God I changed out of my heels and skirt) to the pub where the meetup was taking place. I had arrived right around 6pm. Yay for buses!

I walked in, unsure of where to go. I didn't see any signs so I continued into the bar and found a section of the bar with a sign that said "Seattle Singles". I breathed a sigh of relief. I had found it. The lady handed me a drink ticket and I used it at the bar to get a glass of pineapple juice. Then I went over to the name tag table and made myself a name tag. I looked around, there were probably 15 or so people there at that point in time and they were all sectioned off in groups of 3 and 4, talking. Some were at tables, others were standing at the bar.

I made my way to one of the tables and asked if the empty seat was taken, they said not at all and motioned for me to join them. I was briefly introduced to 2 guys and 1 girl and I introduced myself. We chatted for a bit about my name because they hadn't heard it before. They asked me where it came from and I said I didn't really know but that I knew it was fairly unique and I liked that. I of course couldn't tell them that I picked it out myself lol. I made a mental note to look up what my name meant (and I did: "Strong and gifted ruler").

We chatted for a while, getting to know each other, what each person did for a living, etc. One guy did tech support, the girl was in the mortgage industry, etc. I explained that I was a software developer and of course everyone was surprised....they always are surprised to meet a female developer. It's just very rare in this industry. I do usually make the comment that I am the only female developer at my work. And I did mention (and I think only the girl at the table heard me) that I was thinking of going back to school for psychology or maybe cosmetology. She said she had gone to school for cosmetology too but never used it but she thought it was great.

Apparently there was a game planned that half the people (including me) didn't know about where you bring a picture of yourself as a baby and then people have to guess which one is you or something. I only bring this up because at one point during the conversation, a lady from another table leaned over and held up a picture of a baby boy and asked the guys at our table if it was either of them. At the time, i hadn't realized she wasn't asking everyone at the table (babies look sometimes genderless) so when I said "no" to the lady, she said "of course not you, hun. it's a boy!" . That kind of made me smile to myself.

We continued conversation and one of the guys left and an older guy sat down and started talking to me and the other girl at the table. He kept chatting it up with the other girl while the food was brought out (free buffet). I glanced at the food and didn't see anything gluten free so I didn't consider going over there. Then the girl at my table turned to me and said "do you want to get something to eat?" and I said, sure. We walked over there and got in line and she mentioned that she had just wanted to get away from the older gentleman that was chatting her up. We both giggled at that and made slight comments to each other here and there. I ended up getting a "slider" burger and just eating the burger portion (ditching the buns) when we got back to the table.

The older guy left at some point and the other guy at the table left and came back with his roommate who joined us at our table. When I first met him, the look on his face was the one I'm used to when someone has read me. We continued talking though but periodically through the night, I felt like the look on his face was one that showed that he knew.....it wasn't one of disappointment or even dread...something else, but it was there. But his roommate and I continued to chat it up a bunch and even got into talking about the "Wheel of Time" series (a fantasy series by Robert Jordan). The guy I was talking to said something about how he hadn't met many other people who had read it and I think the unsaid thing was "many girls that had read it".

So the night was winding down and yet the place was getting packed. There were at least 100 people there and if you didn't have a table, you were standing up pressed against people, talking to other people. I was content to just stay at the table and chat with the people I had met, rather than try to go meet more people and the guys at the table felt pretty much the same. The girl finally went off to meet more people and I continued chatting with the same guy, the only guy that I thought I'd be interested in seeing again. At some point, I mentioned i needed to find out where my bus would pick me up and when and he pulled out his iPhone and pulled up the transit app and found for me where I needed to go and that it would be there in 11 minutes. I felt kind of funny, knowing I had my iPhone and the very same app on it in my purse but I let him do it. =)

I told them I had better get going then. Him and his roommate kind of looked at me disappointed that I was leaving, as I put my hoodie on. I said goodbye and walked away thinking I should have asked for that guy's number or given him mine.

The bus going home was much less crowded and there weren't really enough people to even consider anyone looking at me. I just got back to my book for the trip. When I arrived home, I logged onto meetup.com and found the guy I had met (by his first name) and sent him a message. We exchanged phone numbers later on and might meet up again sometime, just us.

Overall, I was not very comfortable in the environment where I knew literally nobody. I am comfortable around a lot of people I know or maybe even kind of know but in a room full of people I didn't know at all, I was a bit on edge. I was glad to have found the table I did when I did and found some friendly people there. In truth, I probably will never go back to a meetup like that, too nerve wracking. But at least I met some cool people and for the most part felt comfortable as myself.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Autotransography: Part 6 - More Teenage Years

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Autotransography: Part 5 - Teenage Years

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ex Dreams

Over the past few days, I've had some interesting dreams about my ex-wife.

One of the dreams began with my ex-wife and I still being together but I had transitioned. She seemed ok with things and we were enjoying being around each other but I had a bad feeling about something so I asked her if she used my real name and female pronouns around her parents and my parents. She didn't answer, she just looked at me with a look on her face that told me that she didn't. I was very upset and told her we couldn't be together then.

It was weird being with her again in the dream but ironic I eventually found myself in the same place I did, in real life.....no longer a part of that union.


Then last night, I had another dream about my ex. This one was quite different. We were getting remarried to each other. It was like wedding prep all over again. It was so weird too because I don't remember wedding dresses or tuxes or anything. I don't remember if I was a man or a woman in this dream. I was less concerned about that.

I was actually very torn about remarrying her. Part of me still loves her deeply and loved the idea and yet part of me felt like I was trapping myself, putting myself behind a wall, a facade....of someone else. Like I would be drowning in somebody else's life, clawing to get out......again.

It's just so interesting to me that the dream was so genderless and more about who I was in general when I was with her.

With my transition, a lot of things have stayed the same and yet a lot of things have changed, even in my personality. I mean I went from introverted to extroverted. That alone is a HUGE change. And yet going back and trying to be who I used to be....even without thinking about the gender....ended up being too painful to bear, even in a dream.

Autotransography: Part 4 - Becoming a Teen

Autotransography: Part 3 - More Childhood

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Autotransography: Part 2 - Childhood

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Autotransography: Part 1 - Childhood

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bittersweet Moment

I had a conversation with my ex-wife last week where she told me she had a boyfriend. She told me that she had run into someone she had known in high school and they had really hit things off nicely. She described him and how they had talked for hours and I found myself being so completely happy for her. In fact instead of feeling jealous that she was with someone that was not me.....I found myself being jealous that she had met such a nice guy and I hadn't met that guy for me yet. At the same time, I am really overjoyed that she has found someone special.

When we had split up, I had hoped for this. I had hoped that she would be able to find a nice guy that could treat her like she should be treated and love her. Since our split almost a whole year go, I have cried for her, cried missing her, cried remembering our 8 years together. It was not without a lot of pain and grief that I began moving on myself, dating other people.

By the time our divorce was finalized, I dare say at least part of my heart was over her. That said, there may always be a side of me that will always love her and cherish the memories we made together. But I was able to see early on in my transition that she would not be able to accept it and we both would be miserable together. And so we both learned how to move on.

A bittersweet moment in time.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Some hospitals get it right

This was an email forwarded to me by the Washington Gender Alliance. I thought it was something that needed to be shared because we do often hear horror stories of how transgender individuals are treated in hospitals but we never hear the good stories.


Hi Everett-area gender variant folks and allies.

It seems like I'm always hearing stories about trans people getting mistreated by hospitals and other medical facilities. Because of what I had heard from around the country, as a transgender person, I was expecting to be treated as a second-class (or worse) patient when I was admitted to Providence Hospital (Colby Campus) three weeks ago. I was very surprised when this isn't what happened. I've asked the Washington Gender Alliance to pass along my story to you because I thought it might be refreshing and even personally relevant for other trans folks to hear about the care the hospital provided.

I was in the hospital for 14 days total, 5 in Critical Care. My stay involved some pretty intimate procedures, including a pelvic area ultrasound and catheterization. But never once was I called by the wrong pronoun. Anyone - from the nursing staff to radiology technicians to the team of doctors that worked with me - who had a question that related to my transition in some way asked me their questions very respectfully, always letting me know that they understood if I didn't want to answer if it made me uncomfortable to discuss it.

Not only was I treated respectfully, but in many situations, I actually felt encouraged and supported as a transgender person. One RN told me about one of her FTM family members and how proud she is of him for completing his legal transition. Another, who had never worked with a transgender patient before, politely asked if I would mind helping her learn more about how medical transition worked so that she would be more knowledgeable when working with trans patients in the future (I was happy to oblige.) A transport aide told me about his hope to one day quit his job at the hospital to become a full-time LGBT equal rights activist. One of the surgeons on my team even spoke with me about my plans for future medical transition and offered to pair a transition-related surgery with an emergency life-saving surgery I may have needed during my stay.

In all, the treatment I got there was above and beyond what I could have hoped for. I had originally gone into the Emergency Room expecting to be made to feel self-conscious and that my trans status would be treated as a roadblock. Instead, I wound up extremely impressed. Hopefully, this level of care will continue at the Colby Campus of Providence Hospital, so that fears of discrimination will not need to play a part for any of us when disaster strikes.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A life worth living

One year ago today, I was not myself....in more than one way. I had been dealing with a deep depression because I had chosen not to transition even though I knew the truth of who I was inside. As I started to see a flicker of hope that transition maybe was possible and that it wouldn't be this horrible, ugly thing, despite the sacrifices, the men in my bible study took it upon themselves to call me out and tell me every reason why becoming my true self was wrong.

They threw bible verses at me, in raised voices and told me I would destroy my wife. They said the church would excommunicate me, they said I would be no longer welcome there, and they also said I would lose my salvation....that God would take away his love.

In my head, all I heard was "God would rather have me dead as a man than alive as a woman" and I knew I could not go on living as a man, it was too painful now that I knew the truth of who I really was.

The result of course was a suicide attempt, which failed, thanks to my ex-wife. I don't blame those men in the bible study for my suicide...it was still my conscious choice, even if very misled. I do often wonder if my parents actually wish I had succeeded because they no longer acknowledge me as their child and never want to see me again. And how is that much different from me being dead?

But this suicide attempt was a huge turning point for me, one that I would never look back upon. I would venture out a new person, one ready for living a new life, with all of it's challenges, sacrifices, and yet also it's joys and rewards.

So today, I'm not celebrating an anniversary of a suicide attempt but instead, one more year of life I never expected to live and not just that, but the first real year of life where I've been able to live as my true self, instead of some subconscious facade.

Everyday brings new challenges and hurts and reminders of sacrifices but among those are also feelings of peace and joy like I've never experienced in my past 28 years. And that's a life worth living.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Clothing Changes

Over the past couple weeks, I've noticed some changes in myself. Changes relating to how I dress. Mind you, I have been way past the stage of wearing dresses and skirts all of the time for a while now, in fact I've been wearing jeans or shorts or capris at least 2 times a week. But recently, that 2 times a week has become how often I wear a dress or skirt instead.

I think it really started with shoes. I saw the most adorable clogs on Payless' website so I ran out and bought them and have been wearing jeans pretty often since. It's kind of a double whammy, really. Clogs instead of heels, pants instead of skirts. I stopped wearing heels as much when the summer weather allowed for more shorts and capris and I started to feel like heels, even strappy sandals, were a little overdressed for capris or shorts. So I turned to flipflops, mind you, high wedged flipflops, but nevertheless flipflops.

It's interesting to me because when I first came out, dresses, skirts, and heels were such a huge part of everything because they helped me feel more feminine and yet now, I am comfortable enough with myself and feel feminine enough without them. I guess I feel like I can still be a woman without all the extra feminine clothing.

The other day, I was wearing jeans and a top and I went to get the mail and as I was walking back to my apartment, I saw a random guy walking to the mailbox from the other building and thought to myself, From far away, does he see that I'm a woman even though I have jeans on?" and I wondered without any real answer. Somehow this led to the fact that my curves aren't exactly as curvy as I'd like them to be and how much more accentuated they can be with skirts or dresses or how much more sexier I felt in those instances.

So I guess on one hand, it's good that I'm feeling comfortable and feminine enough to wear clothes and shoes that don't necessarily accentuate my body as much as other articles of clothing could. But I still feel at times, so very lacking physically. I can only hope that as my body becomes more and more like it should be, that dysphoric feeling will become less and less.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thoughts on De-transition and Suicide

Recently, I was reading a very detailed story about the life of Christine Daniels here and I was surprised to read that she had taken the same suicide method I had tried almost a year ago.

I believe there is no lack of correlation between Christine's de-transition back to 'Mike Penner' and her suicide. I can relate to a lot of what she went through (as can many who go through transition). She received a lot of support, especially at first but where there is support, there will always be criticism too.

The article talks about many cases where Christine was referred to as 'a man in a dress', something all of us fear to be recognized as. Her divorce was also talked about and how painful that was for her. She also was apparently set to have a photo shoot for Vanity Fair but from what the article says, it seems it might be plausible that the photographer was intent on portraying Christine as the dreaded "man in a dress". She realized this during the shoot and had to really fight to make sure Vanity Fair didn't publish it. On another note, apparently Christine kept a blog and she talked a lot about makeup and hair and clothes. The article talks about how she was severely criticized for this because other trans women thought she should be talking more about how it felt so much better to be real.

I'm not sure why I am choosing to write about Christine. I think it's because I have had similar experiences. I have missed my wife and my family, I've been referred to as a 'man in a dress' by many and many more think it and will continue to think that even after I've had surgery. I've also been criticized by people from within the trans community for the speed of my transition. I realize I'm not a celebrity and that if I was, I would probably get much more hate mail.

One thing I have come to realize because of this is that we really need concentrate less on criticizing others and more on supporting them. It's a good rule to live by in general but in the trans community, I think it's even more important. Anyway, I won't get on a soapbox here, I just wanted to mention that shortly.

One thing I will say about Christine: I think it's very clear that she didn't commit suicide or even de-transition because being Christine wasn't the right thing to do which many people might write it off as, if they haven't read the story closely at all. Instead, various circumstances that many of us go through, such as divorce, criticism, and general non-acceptance were the cause.

Recently, a transgender friend of mine that I knew online, posted a video crying saying she was going to de-transition. This was within weeks of her surgery too. None of us know why, it's really a huge shock to all of us. I cried when I watched the video because she was in so much pain.

I can directly relate to that pain as I have had fleeting thoughts of de-transitioning just to feel my family's love again, no other reason. Of course thoughts like that, of being a boy again, are much too painful to even try to entertain, as they tended to point me to back to suicide again. It's helped continue to push me along my path because I really do know who I am now and any other option is death.

To conclude, I just wanted to say two things:
#1 - Christine, I will always remember you as the beautiful woman that tried to be herself.
#2 - Sara, I hope you are not headed down a similar route but I will support any decision you make, including de-transition. Feel free to contact me always!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Do chromosomes define us?

I recently read an article called I'm a woman with male chromosomes and I learned about an issue I had only vaguely heard of before: Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS). The article tells the story of a young woman who was born with female parts on the outside but on the inside, had somewhat male parts. Apparently she was born with XY chromosomes but her body in the womb developed everything on the outside as female so she had a vagina like any other woman but there was no uterus and no ovaries.

She talks about the stress of living with this condition...how girly she was and yet she was constantly ridiculed as "being a boy" because she had XY chromosomes. Reading her story, I found I could completely relate. I mean, I don't have AIS, I wasn't born with a vagina but even with my male parts intact, something did happen in my brain or somewhere else in my body in the womb such that I now know I am a girl.

The article also took me back to my parents and my ex-wife telling me that no matter what I did to my body, my chromosomes would always be XY so I would always be a "man". Well tell me please....is this woman a man? I don't think anyone in their right mind would say so and though my condition is not quite the same, it's very similar.

Also, I read somewhere recently about the Nikki Araguz case that in some previous cases in Texas, they considered gender to be a combination of what your birth certificate and what other documents say as well as your chromosomes. I was kind of taken aback because in most cases, once you change your birth certificate to female, there's no way someone can say you're male. So here is a case where if they really considered chromosomes to define gender, they'd have to be crazy.

I like this article because it brings up an issue that is more closely understood by others than the usual Transgenderism issues and yet it's very closely related. I've often wondered about getting a kareotype test to find out if I'm one of the rare cases of XXY but the truth is that no matter if my chromosomes are XXY or XY, I know I am a woman.

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Blog Layout and Name

Hi everyone!

You might have already noticed, my blog has taken on a new layout and also a new name. It was about time for both. In the time that I've posted to this blog, I've changed the name a few times. I remember it starting out as "Gender Confusion", moving through a couple other names as I progressed, and finally leading into "The Girl Inside", where it has stayed for the longest time.

But now I'm at a point in my transition and life that "The Girl Inside" no longer really describes it well because "The Girl" is no longer inside only. =) I am able to be me in every aspect now. Mind you, there's still a few surgeries on the list but you get the idea.

I can't take full credit for the new name. A recent acquaintance used it in passing and I thought it was really cute. But it also fits the blog better, I think.

Essentially, my blog is about my interaction with the world around me and I think this made-up word describes that well. =)

So, let me know what you think of the new layout and the new name!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Not wanting to wake up

This morning I woke up in my bed but I was in a different house, my parent's house. My dad came in and sat on the bed and started talking to me like old times. He started talking about something and referring to me in the third person and he actually used the pronoun "HER" and I was a little taken aback. I got up and was fiddling around with my dresser drawers or something when mom walked in and said that breakfast was ready.

Wow it felt like old times and yet my parents were allowing me to be around them and my dad was using female pronouns....what was going on?

Oh yeah. Then I woke up. =(

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Non-Trans Privilege Checklist

Taken from http://www.amptoons.com/blog/archives/2006/09/22/the-non-trans-privilege-checklist/

1) Strangers don’t assume they can ask me what my genitals look like and how I have sex.

2) My validity as a man/woman/human is not based upon how much surgery I’ve had or how well I “pass” as a non-Trans person.

3) When initiating sex with someone, I do not have to worry that they won’t be able to deal with my parts or that having sex with me will cause my partner to question his or her own sexual orientation.

4) I am not excluded from events which are either explicitely or de facto* men-born-men or women-born-women only. (*basically anything involving nudity)

5) My politics are not questioned based on the choices I make with regard to my body.

6) I don’t have to hear “so have you had THE surgery?” or “oh, so you’re REALLY a [incorrect sex or gender]?” each time I come out to someone.

7) I am not expected to constantly defend my medical decisions.

8) Strangers do not ask me what my “real name” [birth name] is and then assume that they have a right to call me by that name.

9) People do not disrespect me by using incorrect pronouns even after they’ve been corrected.

10) I do not have to worry that someone wants to be my friend or have sex with me in order to prove his or her “hipness” or good politics.

11) I do not have to worry about whether I will be able to find a bathroom to use or whether I will be safe changing in a locker room.

12) When engaging in political action, I do not have to worry about the *gendered* repercussions of being arrested. (i.e. what will happen to me if the cops find out that my genitals do not match my gendered appearance? Will I end up in a cell with people of my own gender?)

13) I do not have to defend my right to be a part of “Queer” and gays and lesbians will not try to exclude me from OUR movement in order to gain political legitimacy for themselves.

14) My experience of gender (or gendered spaces) is not viewed as “baggage” by others of the gender in which I live.

15) I do not have to choose between either invisibility (“passing”) or being consistently “othered” and/or tokenized based on my gender.

16) I am not told that my sexual orientation and gender identity are mutually exclusive.

17) When I go to the gym or a public pool, I can use the showers.

18) If I end up in the emergency room, I do not have to worry that my gender will keep me from receiving appropriate treatment nor will all of my medical issues be seen as a product of my gender. (“Your nose is running and your throat hurts? Must be due to the hormones!”)

19) My health insurance provider (or public health system) does not specifically exclude me from receiving benefits or treatments available to others because of my gender.

20) When I express my internal identities in my daily life, I am not considered “mentally ill” by the medical establishment.

21) I am not required to undergo extensive psychological evaluation in order to receive basic medical care.

22) The medical establishment does not serve as a “gatekeeper” which disallows self-determination of what happens to my body.

23) People do not use me as a scapegoat for their own unresolved gender issues.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Strangers

Who are you people?
And what have you done
with the loved ones I knew?
Like phantoms of the night
and demons of the south
you came in and stole away
my family.
You're left in their place
empty husks of darkness
doing the will of evil
though thinking you walk
in the light.
The worst kinds of iniquities
are done by those who believe
they achieve them
in the name of good.

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