Activity Stream

Activity Stream

  1. MichelleLea added a comment on a blog entry Beginners Luck   

    Thanks as usual for your astute comments. It's nice to hear another gal semi-colon user. I think you know that I used to teach English , and grammar and punctuation were my forte. (I don't think it's taught that much anymore, at least not that I could tell). I will keep the Ben Franklin close in mind. The next step is sitting down with the prospect and determining how we can meet their needs. I will have high-powered help with that part until I'm up-to-speed. Right now, I have 7 appointments  set for next week. Some may be single, direct sales; others maybe the business. We'll see.
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  2. Emma added a blog entry in Emma Sweet's Blog   

    Coming Out on National Coming Out Day
    Yesterday I read this article on Transgender Universe by Mila Madison (I love her writings):
    Is It Safe to Come Out?
    You see, yesterday was National Coming Out Day. On reading the article it occurred to me that for most people the definition of "coming out" is a single event, coming out of the closet, letting others know ones true/authentic nature (sexuality, gender, etc.), and then it's done. That stirred up some thoughts for me as I considered that I came out all of the past year and see myself continuing to come out for at least the next year and maybe beyond. i added a comment to MIla's article that I've edited below:
    I think a point can be made that coming out isn’t binary, all or nothing. For example, I started coming out to selected friends, family and professionals one year ago. I kept a list on my phone, marveling as the number slowly grew from single digits into the teens. I told them, mostly in person, that I am transgender and had been since my earliest memories. All were more or less supportive.
    About six months ago I couldn’t wait any longer and wrote a long-ish email to about 50 colleagues and friends. I then forwarded it to others as I thought about them. Most answered very positively, a few didn’t answer, and no on disparaged me. My number had grown to about 100.
    About six months ago, very tentatively, I started dressing and going out in public. What fear and anxiety! Buying clothes on Amazon, afraid even to return those that didn’t fit for fear that the UPS guy would discover my secret. I started by attending all professional meetings (therapist, doctor, stylist, etc.) presenting fully as Emma.
    Thankfully I have a supportive network of friends. One girlfriend took me to Nordstrom Rack and Sephora for shopping a few weeks ago. We left loaded down with bags like the women in Sex and the City. Another suggested I go to a local woman’s consignment shop; they were wonderful. Last week I ran errands, first to a lumber store to buy a bunch of wood for basement shelves, to Nordstrom Rack to return a jacket (and yes, buy another), Trader Joe's, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond... all as Emma.
    Yesterday I went to pick up some sheet metal to fix a door, presenting as a woman. Talk about a bastion of testosterone. No one batted an eye. I also went out for coffee with a male friend whom I had told I’m trans but had never seen me dressed.
    As of yesterday I’m starting to dress all or most of the time, authentically as myself, a woman, Emma. I take the public transportation downtown, go grocery shopping, the bank, you name it. I agree completely that we need to be visible so that our sisters and brothers behind us will witness our progress while the cisgender population learns that we’re just out and about, living our lives in peace and harmony with everyone. So what's left?
    There are more bridges left to cross, such as:
    Using my feminine speaking voice that I'm taking weekly lessons on. I'm nervous about that. Thank goodness my next door neighbor liked the way my "Good morning!" sounded to her this morning and volunteered to make herself available for me to practice as needed.Go for a bra fitting. I'm waiting for my breasts to bud more before doing that. I imagine that one of these days my breast forms will feel even more uncomfortable riding on top of my natural breasts. Oh, and then I'll be wearing a bra all the time, too.Select and wear a women's swim suit out and about. Likely next summer.Go to Macy's and places like that for a makeover. I could really use professional help with my makeup.Get my fingernails and toenails painted. Gosh, once that's done there's really no way to present as anything but a woman, is there? Get my hair styled and maybe add some highlights. My hair will be long enough in 4-6 months, I think, so I have some time. Change my legal name, drivers license, passport, etc. That's probably for 2019!That's all I can think of for now but I'm sure I'll come up with more! Hey, that's part of the fun isn't it?
    XXXOOOXXX
    Emma
     
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  3. Emma added a post in a topic Trump Continues to Empower Haters   

    I’m shocked but how can he shock me more? I suppose it’s good that he continues his narcissistic and moronic ways as even his base constituency whithers. I’m just so fearful of what he might and may likely do next. He’s just such a nut. 
    At this point I trust our military leadership much more than Trump. I can imagine why military coups can happen and ge successful. It’s just all so surreal. A bad dream. A nightmare.
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  4. UsernameOptional added a topic in Transgender News & Happenings   

    Trump Continues to Empower Haters
    By Bil Browning · Wednesday, October 11, 2017
    "Also appearing will be House Minority Whip Steve Scalise who was recently wounded in a mass shooting in DC. Scalise’s life was saved by a lesbian police officer who shot and killed the attacker. Scalise has said the incident did not change his mind about gun control or LGBT rights."  -lgbtqnation.com
    Trump will become first president to speak at hate group gathering
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  5. Emma added a comment on a blog entry Beginners Luck   

    I’m the Queen of the Semi-Colon! I use it all the time. It’s such a handy punctuation.
    You’re awesome, BTW, how you’re cold calling, taking the negatives in stride, and collecting appointments. Look girl, you’re going to knock this one out of the park. Let’s see, your cold-call to appointment rate is maybe 10% right? Maybe your close rate is 25% of the appointments. Maybe higher, we’ll see. You have four appointments I think, so aim to close. 
    Did they teach you the “Benjamin Franklin close?” You take a blank sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle from top to bottom, and tell them that this is how ol’ Ben made hard decisions. The left side is where he listed reasons he should go with the proposal, and the right side is where he put negative reasons. You offer to help by slowly filling in the left side with benefits that the prospect agreed with. And when you’re done you let them try to fill in the right side. They quickly can’t think of much and it’s apparent looking at the paper what he should do: go to with your proposal. 
    Good luck!
    Emma
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  6. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Beginners Luck
    I am supposed to be working on the computer this week learning how to use the AFLAC enrollment platform--which by the way is pretty cool if I can ever figure it out. However, I have been plagued with technical issues. First, I couldn't log into the system, and after a day and a half of trying, I finally got in so I could take the required courses. Now, I can't get the learning lab to work. Oh well. Support is closed for the day, so I'll call them in the morning. You'd think their training would be a little more user friendly.Technology is great when it works; not so much when it doesn't. (I like to use semi-colons. I don't know many who do.)
    Anyway, rather than sit at home and be frustrated, I have been going out in the field and approaching businesses like I was told to do. I wrote about yesterday's endeavor--most of which got lost in cyber space--20 approaches with one appointment set. This morning I did a small industrial park. In a little over an hour, I made 22 approaches, made contact with 11 decision makers, and set three appointments. I should do pretty well if I can keep this up, but you never know. I could make 40 approaches and end up with a zero. Still, I am encouraged. My boss asked me what I'm telling them. He said I don't need him anymore--not true. Now we'll have to see how many of these prospects convert into clients. I can't do that on my own yet. Still learning.
    In other news, I finally got a knee-length pleated skirt that I ordered ages ago. It's cute and fits so I'll keep it. I'm just not sure it's my style. I think I like maxi skirts better and dressy flowing pants. So anyway, I'll keep trying. Happy International Day of the Girl!
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  7. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Ho-hum   

    Monica,
    That seems like it might have been a little while ago? From what I've learned there aren't any time limits. What matters is how much, if at all, the grieving process is interfering with daily living. It can certainly go beyond 2 years (my parents died 13 years ago and I still have moments of grieving)
    Chrissy
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  8. MonicaPz added a comment on a blog entry Ignorance on Display   

    Dear Friends,
    Just because you have known a person for a long time, doesn't mean they will grow parallel to you.  
    Emma, I hate to say this, but this man hasn't grown much since the first grade when you knew him.  By the way, education does not always imply maturity.
    When I attended my 10 year high school reunion, I was amazed that those who attended looked and acted as if they graduated YESTERDAY.  Asked to be taken off the mailing list!
    When I moved to Dutchess County, I reunited with a friend of mine from high school and I wondered why I was ever friends with her.  She did not look or act like she had grown at all, and she and I had graduated 40 years ago!
    My youngest brother, he claimed he did not recognize me on an emotional or physical level in the ten years we were out of touch.  Took this as a compliment!  
    The upshot is that we all grow at different rates and directions.  Even if we compare ourselves to ourselves, every ten years every cell in our body is replaced, and if we are growing at a healthy pace, we should show significant differences every ten years.  Even when I look at myself from six months ago, a year ago or two years ago, I see significant change in myself.
    By the way, that man was just plain RUDE!
    Your friend,
    Monica
     
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  9. MonicaPz added a comment on a blog entry Ho-hum   

    Dear MichelleLea, Emma and Chrissy,
    When my mother lost my father due to heart disease, she joined an organization called, "Widow to Widow," which was free, run by a woman psychologist.  My mother got a lot out of it, but the greatest thing she got out of it was that the grieving period should last no more than two years.  This is the point that the widow should clear out and give to charity the unusable property of the deceased partner.  The psychologist said it was unhealthy to grieve beyond two years, and that the survivor should get counseling.
    Hope this helps.
    Your friend,
    Monica
     
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  10. MonicaPz added a comment on a blog entry Feminist Group event   

    Dear Chrissy,
    Strongly feel that transwomen are "real" women, and those that identify as Lesbian are "real" Lesbians, as well as those that are Straight women.  Have always looked in between the ears ("character counts").
    This also goes for transmen.  
    Want to emphasize I feel this way both about pre-op and post-op, pre-hormones and post hormones.
    Somehow, I can sense the gender and sexual orientation ("gaydar") energy of people, and beyond, the beyond I can not discuss here, as that would require a book!
    Have to accept that some others do not have this capability, and they have a lot of confusion about it.
    Just wished that people who do not understand something, did not feel the need to be hostile about it, but just accept that they do not understand it at this place and time.  By the way, there are many things I do not understand, and I accept these things as things I do not understand yet.  Hope that makes sense!
    Your friend,
    Monica
     
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  11. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Feminist Group event
    Hi everyone,
    I'm pretty excited about an upcoming event that I'm involved with - it's part of a feminist Meetup group that I belong to. Each month we have a moderated discussion on some issue within the feminist movement (last month was about racism in feminism). This month I'm moderating the discussion on transgender issues - the title is "Are trans women real women?" (the title is meant to be a little provocative, and to have a very obvious answer - the organizer was worried about using it, but since I was ok with being identified as transgender in the blurb about it she was ok with the title).
    We're going to show a couple of short videos - one by a TERF explaining why she doesn't accept transgender people as women, and then one by Janet Mock, explaining how she realized that she was a woman (well, a girl, she was 5 when it happened). Then we'll have a discussion about it! The topic is really "what is a woman?" which should be pretty interesting - I expect some discussion about nature vs. nurture ("Female brain" vs social construct).
    This is another example of where I've gone over time, since it was only within the last year that I was trying to pretend I'm not transgender - now I'm openly leading discussions about the topic. That of course is another huge thing - I told a friend about this, she's known me for 8 or 9 years, and she was thrilled, but also recognized how far I had come, back when we met there's no way I would have been willingly doing a public speaking event.
    More later!
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  12. MichelleLea added a comment on a blog entry Ignorance on Display   

    We still have a long way to go in this country. Your encounter, unfortunately, is pretty typical of what you get for feedback. I don't think that anyone who is not trans really has any understanding of what it's all about.
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  13. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Into the Fray (cont'd)
    At least I got a start. As the manual says, this is a marathon, not a sprint. And, the top 10% were once the bottom 10%. It wil come.
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  14. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Into the
    I didn't write yesterday as I had an eye appointment, and my eyes were still dilated. Makes it hard to see. I was in AFLAC meetings all morning and into the afternoon prior to my doctor's appointment. I didn't even have a chance to grab lunch which is a rarity for me. I'm not much of a snacker, but I do like my three meals a day. I would say that the meetings were fairly typical for sales meetings. Goals were laid out; top producers were recognized; contests announced; plans set for the week ahead. It was a little bewildering the first time. Every industry has it's own jargon and acronyms, and it takes a little time to even know what everyone is talking about. After the meeting, I met with my sales manager to lay out my schedule for the week. It was supposed be a week doing lessons so that I could be credentialed to use the policy writing platform--it's all cloud-based now. While not best practice, you can even write a policy over the phone and have a signature texted. Paper is so 20th century. LOL.
    Well, that was not to be. I was finally able to log onto the AFLAC website, but then it asked me to change my password, and all I could get was an OOPS! message. So, I spent almost two hours with tech support--when I finally was able to get ahold of someone--and my issue is still not resolved. Maybe paper was better? Anyway, I had previously told the folks where I used to work that I would stop by to say hello. I haven't been back since I lost my job at the end of June, although some of the staff did come to my wife's memorial gathering. I felt it was time to check in. I got a warm welcome from staff and the students who were still there. I feel that they were genuinely happy to see me and I liked seeing them too. I even got invited to their Thanksgiving dinner. I don't know if I had mentioned, but I worked at PACE Center for Girls for almost 14 years as an English teacher and guidance counselor as well as special needs support. It's a program for girls who need extra acacemic and emotional support. I was often the only male figure there out of 40 staff and 80 girls. I seemed to fit in. Before I left, we did hire a facilities guy, Mr. Jose. He was really sad to see me go.
    So, we plenty of time on my hands, I figured I might as well get to work. I had read through and practiced how to approach businesses at the one-day sales school, and I had seen how my manager worked. All that was lacking now was for me to get out there and give it a go. The worst that could happen would be that people would say no. I picked areas that didn't look overly promising because I needed the practice. Mostly the business owners weren't there, so I would have to go back. Most of the ones I talked to weren't interested and I couldn't even convince them to see me for 10 minutes, but that happens. In the end, I did make one appointment for next week and even had to call and reschedule. At least I got 
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  15. MichelleLea added a comment on a blog entry Ho-hum   

    Emma, I'll take any book suggestion you have. I am a non-discriminatory reader. My time is somewhat limited now, but I always like fo have a good book going.
     
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  16. MichelleLea added a comment on a blog entry Ho-hum   

    Thanks, guys. It's a comfort to know you are there for me. I hold you in my heart.
     
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  17. MichelleLea added a comment on a blog entry Sunday Again   

    Cleaning is a favorite procrastination activity of mine also. LOL
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  18. Emma added a comment on a blog entry Sunday Again   

    Ah, a relaxing Sunday! I woke up lazy but couldn’t help from having a busy day:
    Worked on my voice feminization exercises, of which I’ve been delinquent. Reminds me of college when I’m supposed to be studying and find myself cleaning out my refrigerator.Ordered a whole bunch of lumber to build simple shelves in the basement.Bought a bunch of stuff at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, taking advantage of their 20% off coupon.Returned a new women’s jacket at Nordstrom Rack (had a hole in it) and bought another better one. Proud of myself that I unflinchingly told the clerk that they were mine! She didn’t bat an eye which was no surprise.Groceries at a Trader Joe’s. Have you tried their Crisp Bread? It’s so tasty and pretty healthy too. I love TJ’s!
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  19. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Sunday Again   

    I like my "homebound" Sundays . It's a nice mental break from the week
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  20. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Sunday Again
    I did my usual dusting and vacuuming and bathroom cleaning this morning. I also made a hamburger helper dish with the pound of hambuger that was in the freezer. I am trying to work my way through all the food we have on hand. My wife was a great one for stocking up. I can eat for a while on what we have on hand. My foray into cooking is going well enough. HH is not that big a deal. I didn't have any milk on hand so I substituted Eagle Brand Sweetened condensed milk which made the dish somewhat richer and heavier. I do need to keep a few things on hand, or at least read the directions before going shopping.
    My manager gave me a homework assignment for tomorrow to make some lists of people I know and businesses I deal with. So, I worked on that. This afternoon, I called on several of my neighbors to fill in some of the blanks. It was hit or miss, but I actually did get one positive response from a neigbor I don't know well who wants to look at my policies. So, you never know.
    I'm in meetings most of tomorrow and I will be doing coursework for AFLAC for the rest of the week. Back out to do follow-up and more prospecting after that. I'm just taking it easy tonight. I did start a new book, a P.J.Parrish crime fiction novel. So far, so good. I'llcheck in with the girls. It has been quiet there lately. We'll see what happens tonight.
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  21. MichelleLea added a comment on a blog entry First day   

    Emma, I always appreciate your comments and your willingness to share your experiences with me. I have come to the conclusion that life is one big learning curve, and as long as we keep learning, we'll be okay. I like your thoughts on reflective practice. By going over how we can do better, we do improve. Then, it's a matter of practicing the right things. At least, I'm on my way. I'll take it a step at a time. Love.
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  22. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Ho-hum   

    You never need to apologize for feeling sad or down. Grieving isn't a predictable or linear process, it's completely natural to feel it for almost any length of time. I can imagine how getting checks with just your name could trigger it.
    It's good to hear that writing about it helps. Keep writing! It's also perfectly normal to want or need some sympathy - so don't hesitate to say when you're feeling down.
    Xoxo
    Chrissy
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  23. Emma added a comment on a blog entry Ho-hum   

    I can recommend many books. Tell me what you like and I’ll send titles! 
    It’s to be expected that you’re feeling down. Sure, it’s fun and all to be on your own, to dress when and how you like. But longer term you’re without your wife and that is sad. Give yourself the patience, caring, and support you need to work it out. It may take quite a while, there is no certain path or timeline. 
    I wish you well, sleep tight,
    Emma
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  24. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Ho-hum
    I guess everything is finally catching up with me. I have been pretty much in a whirlwind since my wife died in July what with one thing and another. I have kept myself super busy  while at the same time trying to make room for some social life which consists of daily visits to my friends down the block and chats with the girls. I have not minded being alone for the most part, I have to admit. I have enjoyed the freedom to be able to dress when at home and wear whatever feels right at the time. Otherwise, my life hasn't changed a whole lot. I am a homebody for the most part, and anyone who has a house knows, THEY ARE A LOT OF WORK! Most of which I don't mind doing--I like it when the place looks good, and I like being outside. Even when Sue was alive, I spent a good part of my day doing household chores. 
    Today, I got my new checks in the mail with only my name on them. Maybe that brought home the fact that I am truly on my own now. I'm not going to apoligize for feeling a litte down or sad. I think I'm entitled to some of that and I don't want anyone who reads this to feel that I need a lot of sympathy--well, a little maybe, but I'm basically okay. I read recently that it's not even healthy to try to be super positive, rah-rah, all the time. It's not natural. We all have our rhythms, and this is part of mine. I must say that it feels better just to write about it and put my thoughts and feeling on paper. 
    i did make the effort to get cleaned up tonight, and that felt good. I am dressed pretty casually, still in girl clothes but simply. I think I need something fun to read. I haven't read a good book in a while. I'm missing that. I say hi to the girls and crawl in bed with something good. Nght all. 
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  25. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Ho-hum
    I guess everything is finally catching up with me. I have been pretty much in a whirlwind since my wife died in July what with one thing and another. I have kept myself super busy  while at the same time trying to make room for some social life which consists of daily visits to my friends down the block and chats with the girls. I have not minded being alone for the most part, I have to admit. I have enjoyed the freedom to be able to dress when at home and wear whatever feels right at the time. Otherwise, my life hasn't changed a whole lot. I am a homebody for the most part, and anyone who has a house knows, THEY ARE A LOT OF WORK! Most of which I don't mind doing--I like it when the place looks good, and I like being outside. Even when Sue was alive, I spent a good part of my day doing household chores. 
    Today, I got my new checks in the mail with only my name on them. Maybe that brought home the fact that I am truly on my own now. I'm not going to apoligize for feeling a litte down or sad. I think I'm entitled to some of that and I don't want anyone who reads this to feel that I need a lot of sympathy--well, a little maybe, but I'm basically okay. I read recently that it's not even healthy to try to be super positive, rah-rah, all the time. It's not natural. We all have our rhythms, and this is part of mine. I must say that it feels better just to write about it and put my thoughts and feeling on paper. 
    i did make the effort to get cleaned up tonight, and that felt good. I am dressed pretty casually, still in girl clothes but simply. I think I need something fun to read. I haven't read a good book in a while. I'm missing that. I say hi to the girls and crawl in bed with something good. Nght all. 
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