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?
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.

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:

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.

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:

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.

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.

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. ;)

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.

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