Create your own blog at TGGuide.com. It's FREE and you can start right now. Some people blog as a sort of journal to share our thoughts, feelings, experiences and insights. Others blog to express opinions on social and political issues. Others blog to share their knowledge and experience with others. Go ahead. Express yourself! Others may be grappling with issues you blog about and your words could provide useful insight or answers.
Here are some blog topic ideas to get your creative juices flowing;
A daily journal about your life and experiences
A journal documenting when you go full time
A journal to document your gender reassignment surgery
Dating experiences and tips
Experience with makeup
Passing in public
Your experiences when you go out in public
Transitioning at work
Dealing with counselors or medical personnel
Introspection about your particular gender identity
Dealing with or overcoming self-limiting beliefs
Dealing with addictions
Dealing with self-destructive behaviors
Interactions with police or government workers
Changing your drivers license, birth certificate, etc.
Applying for jobs
Your big day, when you go full time
Hormonal development (please don't discuss dosages or make medical type recommendations)
Experiences with electrolysis
How other members of your new gender react to you, and your experiences
Your recommendations to others about to follow your path
Your thoughts about whether surgery is necessary to be your desired gender
Differences in how you feel dressed or not dressed
What your life would be like if you still repressed your inner identity
Poetry or prose
These are a few ideas to get you started. Feel free to leave comments to suggest your own ideas, or just start a blog and share with everyone.
Just log into your control panel to start your own blog. This could be interesting!
“I will give her space & time but I also need to nudge the conversation when I feel she is open to it.” So... I asked my wife if she wanted to have lunch yesterday and she immediately said no I can’t, I have to be on a call for work. I only came out to her at the beginning of August and things have been tense around the house since then. Actually things have been tense for awhile now do to my drinking over being transgender but since admitting this to myself I haven’t felt the need to drink. Gone. Zero. Very cool and amazing to me but that’s for another post. Anyway, She avoids the topic of me being transgender unless I bring it up. I said okay honey maybe another day. Then about 10 mins later as I was about to leave she said “my meeting was canceled so yes she could go.” Great! I believe I caught her off guard and she wanted to avoid any conversation about me being transgender and then re-evaluated the decision. I will have to ask her about that at a later date just so I can understand better. We had a nice lunch at a local place (it was the first restaurant we went to when we moved here) and the food was great. I could tell she was nervous about me bringing up the trans issue so I bought up regular life stuff for awhile and then when she seemed comfortable enough I asked how she was feeling about all of the gender issues. Straight away she said “I don’t feel any differently about this “. I just responded okay honey I understand. She than took a moment and then told me that when she was at the grocery store she saw a man in a dress. (Her face tensed up like she just ate something tart) I think she saw a transgender woman I’m guessing but maybe a crossdresser and now looking back at it I should have asked if she knows what the difference is, I’ll have to ask her about that later. “Boobs and everything.” She said. She told me that for her it was like “getting a punch in the gut.” “She looked like a woman boobs and all but it was definitely a man, I could tell “. I explained to her that I empathized with her feelings and was sorry that she experienced that but what she was see’s in others is not me. She is projecting what she fears onto me. She is aware of this but can’t help herself and I understand. I explained to her that when I see a transgender person or a cross dresser that is not passing well it bothers me as well (an uneasy feeling) but, as time goes by it’s not so shocking. It doesn’t seem so unnatural I guess. It takes time and understanding and really I still suffer from transphobic feelings and fears myself that I have developed over a life time. This takes time and understanding which I will need to work through. I told her “That is not me and I will not be throwing on a dress, heels and makeup to run around town.” This is true for me for the foreseeable future. I then explained to her what being transgender means to me. “This is an exploration of who I am and what I have known about myself all my life. If I don’t take on this challenge and truth about myself It could possibly kill me.” I also told her very clearly and calmly that “I am not ashamed of who and what I am. I am not afraid to be open about it. I am not going to hide or cowher from the world.” I respect my wife and her wishes so there is no need for her to worry about me showing up in a dress anytime soon. I would like her to be apart of this experience and exploration but only when she is ready. “So please honey, ask questions”. Well, we had a giggle about it then talked about other things in life like kids and work. A few minutes later she said that she wanted to go to therapy with me and maybe she will block off her calender for my weekly appointment. WOW!! I smiled. “That’s great and it will help us”. I also told her that she might want to go alone as well because it would help if I wasn’t there. She could speak more freely. She said yes. I told her to take her time and work that out as we go. I also bought up an idea that I have been discussing with my mom and therapist. I trust my sister very much and we talk about life together especially my marriage and drinking. So I want to come out to my sister and then my wife would have someone to talk to about this transgender issue that she trusts and feels comfortable with. My wife said ”That’s okay with me. That might be good.“ That’s when I stopped talking about transgender issues. I think it was enough for her to absorb and end that part of the conversation on a positive note. After lunch we walk into some shops that she wanted to check out and then a new spa that just opened up. As we walked back passed the restaurant we just had lunch in I pointed out a flyer on the window. Saturday night!! Dinner and a drag show!! $30 per person!!! 3 acts!! I said hey look honey we should come back here for dinner tomorrow😊. We both laughed and she said “I’m not ready for that yet “. Fare enough but she did say YET! Uhmmmm. So, all in all with a little patience and care while nudging her to communicate it seems like we might just have a chance. Hope is a powerful thing and this did lift my spirits. Later in the day she was sitting at the kitchen table and I came over to ask a question. I had just gotten changed to go to the movies and put on a tight top & Jean’s. I am always freezing in the theater so I was planning on putting a sweatshirt over my tight T-shirt. Let’s me be honest here I wanted to have my boobs stand out. I didn’t want to show them off to the family though. I just forgot what I was wearing. As I was asking her a question (and I find this funny) all she could stare at was my boobs! So, when her eyes finally came up to meet mine I gave her the obligatory look of hey my eyes are up here😘. Very funny 😄. I know she is curious about my physical changes because I have caught her checking me out every now and then but I’m not going to push that topic yet. She will bring it up when she is ready. So...with life’s ups and downs I move forward in this new journey of mine and I must say that yesterday was unanticipated and awesome😊. Today has also been a great day as well. HOPE !
As many know I love driving my 2016 Mazda Miata and belong to a local Miata club.
Last week I spent five days, Thursday through Monday driving with 17 other cars, a total of 22 people, all cisgender except for me. I have never mentioned my past life and transitioning. I bring this up because those who have plans for transitioning need to know when you do things right e.g. work on your female voice and be comfortable in your new skin coupled with mannerism and age appropriate clothing even if someone has doubts about your gender it will be a non-issue (not sure if I've been ever made but know this from others).
I was hit on by one man in the club and a female employee of a hotel (for anyone who knows Oregon, the chateau at the Oregon Caves). The man made his intentions clear but I made it clear I was into females. The employee at the hotel, let's say we had a wonderful time in the middle of the night (we stayed at a different hotel each night). She told me at the end of this month they are closing the chateau as their contract ran out and someone out bidded them.
All in all this was a great time getting to know several members better, some from other Miata clubs where there whom I met at what we call "Explorer Oregon" which my club puts on for four days each year in July. Nice seeing familiar faces.
Oh less I forget that four of the five hotels had both hot tubs and pools. Since I've transitioned I never refuse to take a swim or relax in a spa.
In closing, in the attached image I'm the car behind the front red car.
While we share so much there is also much that we do not share, i.e., every story has it's own twists and turns. As an introductory blog post I thought that I would start with some history. It will take a few posts to bring this up-to-date so bear with me. I do make every effort to not state the obvious and to not rehash commonalities many of us share. Finally, while I can spell, punctuation is not one of my strengths, so cut me a break will ya?
On Coming Out (Part One - A Beginning)
We were about 19 years into our marriage. I was deep in the closet although my wife had suspicions (but my name had yet to be chosen). Kids were in or approaching their teens. For reasons not relevant we had separated but never divorced.
I moved into a rental house which amounted to a larger “closet” for me. I could “dress” whenever I wanted but still I never left the house nor knew anything about cosmetics or proper fit of clothing.
I almost got caught once or twice as I would hand launder my lingerie then hang it to air dry in a bathroom and promptly forget about it. Visitors would come-and-go but if they saw they never asked.
My wife and I discussed reconciliation about two years later. By this time I knew that I could never divest myself of the woman that would become Lauren. All I knew was that she and I were one. I had no clinical name or diagnosis for it. I had never heard the word dysphoria but I knew that I had to be honest to the both of us so, to give my wife an “out”. I told her the truth.
We were in my bedroom; sitting on the bed when I told her. The exact words escape me but I do remember saying something to the effect that I could not “stop” and that “I wouldn’t blame her” if she decided to move on.
What seemed like minutes (but were actually seconds) passed as she looked at me. My heart was in my throat and pounding like crazy. She responded:
“That took a lot of courage to admit that”.
As she related to me later, things started to click in her brain and the previously mentioned “suspicions” that she had finally had an explanation. Her next comment was:
“I want it to be normal”.
I asked, quite man basically, “what does that mean?”
She responded “As if it is supposed to be that way.”
Well, color me dense but I still wasn’t sure what she was saying even though I had my hopes that my interpretation was correct. I pressed for more feedback.
“You can dress whenever you want”, was her response.
“What do you want me to call you when you are dressed?” she asked.
Wow. Wow. I never thought of actually having a feminine name so I asked her to choose. She said “Absolutely not. You must choose.”
Well, dear reader, you can imagine my near euphoric state by this point but I was smart enough to not press my luck so I chose a name. I chose the name Lauren and my wife never asked why. It would be years before she would find out why I chose that name. There is a story behind it for which I will start another post because I’m sure that there is a story behind yours.
So, I came out to her. I rolled the dice and they landed in my favor. It would be a while before I realized how extraordinarily fortunate I was. It would be a few more months until I learned why she was so accepting. You see, my willingness to come out to her opened the door for her willingness to speak more candidly about her desires. I will not elaborate upon those here but quite literally both our worlds changed.
Our reconciliation moved forward but it would be very long time before she (and I) really understood what was going on with me. Specifically, that I am transgender and that my need to integrate into the community at-large, as a woman, would be instrumental to my emotional well-being.
To be continued in part two.
When You Transition . . . Everyone You Know Transitions, Too
Written By Corinne Goodwin in "The GAYJOURNAL Magazine"
I began my so-called "path to transition" at the age of 55. That is when I finally said the words "I am transgender and I have to live authentically" out loud. Of course, I knew that I was trans decades earlier. I was not able to put a name to it, but I knew there was something different about me even before I started kindergarten. I was a real hard charger who worked 60 - plus hours a week and reveled in the privilege that mature white men possess.
Of course, much of what people saw was an act. Finally, after all those years, the pressure had built - up to the point where it needed release or I would sink into an unrecoverable depression. Thank goodness I said those words.
As most LGBTQ people know, there is an amazing amount of angst that is associated with being in the closet. There is also an intense feeling of being free when you step out into the sunlight. That, of course, it where Newton's third law of physics kicks in. You are finally stepping out into the light but for many of the people in your life, they begin to experience their own worlds of anxiety. In effect, you are transferring many of the burdens you have been carrying to them.
THE TERROR ASSOCIATED WITH NEWTON
When a trans person comes out to a family member the first thing they worry about is rejection. In my case I was married for over 30 years and I could not imagine not having my wife by my side going forward. I also had a son who is the light of my life and I had a small but close group of friends and work associates who I depended on. "What," I asked myself, "would happen if they reject me?" Would I be alone? Would I be disowned? Would I lose my livelihood?
HERE COMES NEWTON
Like I said thought, Newton's third law does apply. I came out gradually to my friends and relatives. In person when I felt I could and in letters, emails and phone calls when appropriate. Each time I did so, virtually everyone made the right noises and had the desired reactions. But, as I have been transitioning, some of the people who matter the most to me have struggled.
My spouse, who has a large network of friends from our old neighborhood, through her church and her job stopped inviting friends over to the house because she did not want them, me or her to feel uncomfortable. To make matters worse, I was so wrapped - up in my world, I did not notice until she brought it up two years after the fact.
My son was engaged to be married. In my mind, it was important to let him and his fiance know about me and my pending transition prior to the wedding - after all, it was only fair that she know what she was getting into. Unfortunately, despite an initially positive reception, soon thereafter, the engagement was off. To be sure there were other issues involved, but there is no doubt that my transition added to their tensions. Now I ask myself, what will be the impact on his future relationships?
In my business circles, I began the coming out process as well. I have largely done so by having individual conversations but coming in this slow - roll fashion has its costs. One of them is that I asked my associates to hold my "secret" while I worked thought my lists. That is definitely unfair. Plus, clients and business contacts have not known which name, e-mail or phone number to use. Even more critically, it forces them to pause and think carefully about how they address me in meetings or group e-mails. This is confusing, a real time waster and an unfair burden.
My friends have had to pay a price, too. I am excited about finally getting to live my life in a more genuine fashion. That excitement can lead to fixation where all I want to talk about is transition and everything related to it. Luckily, a friend recently said to me, "You know, it does not have to be 'all trans, all the time.' How about we change the topic?" After a bit of shock and self - examination, I came to realize that I may not have been paying their friendship back very well.
THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY COIN
Partners and spouses definitely have the hardest road. While a transitioning person's path is not an easy one, for them there are clear mileposts along the way to achieving an ultimate goal. That is not necessarily the case for a partner.
Think about it . . . beyond navigating the issues of potentially coming to terms with a new version of the sexuality and the possibility of being ostracized by friends and relatives, there are dozens of new rules (mostly unspoken) that have to be renegotiated. These range from who buys the flowers on Valentine's Day to how you introduce your partner at a cocktail party or casual meeting to how you sign greeting cards during the Holidays.
In other words, prior to the transition there was a relatively easy to understand script to follow. Now the script has been torn - up and there are few resources available to help a spouse or partner to find a new one. It is no wonder surveys show that fewer than 50% of all relationships survive a transition.
IS TRANSITION SELFISH?
The quick answer is "yes" and most trans people I know have struggled with the guilt associated with that selfish act. But, in the long - run you can not take care of the people who matter to you most if you do not take care of yourself first. In my case, I had to come to the realization that while transition is something I am doing for me, it is not exclusively about me. This is a reality that most transitioning people come to terms with sooner or later.
Our family members may grieve just as we feel we are being born and our friends and coworkers will have to make significant adjustments in their thinking and relationships with us. But, in the end, if everyone truly cares about each other and are willing to negotiate and make the adjustments necessary, transition can be successful for all parties.
I was looking forward to going to the conference for weeks but as it got closer I began to get nervous. I went with 2 friend which made it easier for me to go and harder for me to back out. One of my friends freaked out and almost didn't go but he pulled through. The point is that it was an unexpected build up of anxiety. Anyway...The conference was at The Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, FL and the accommodations were nice overlooking the beach in the distance and the river. The street Las Olas was full of little shops, restaurants and had a hip vibe to it with lots to do. I arrived early in the morning and my room was ready so I went up to change into something nice. I took a shower and shaved my body then picked out what I wanted to wear. My friends arrived shortly after and came up to my room. My friend Rachael was nice enough to lend me some of her makeup and then guide me through what to do. It came out pretty good for my first time ever! I am a tomboy TG girl and will probably never wear heavy makeup anyway. The natural look is for me or at least that's what I think for now. We went down to the conference to checked in and every single person was so nice and helpful. If you needed anything there was someone to help you. We went to whatever seminar was of interest to us individually and also some together. There were Doctor's talking about surgery's top, bottom, FFS, SRS etc., Lawyers talking about the laws and what your rights are, A wonderful women from TSA answering questions about travel, Makeup seminars, Comportment seminars, Wigs, Hair, pretty much everything. I do wish they had some vendor though. Everything was held on the 8th floor of the hotel which had a giant wrap around deck with comfy seating. Great space. There were people from all over and every age. Although I didn't see any youngsters. We broke for lunch and I invited a women I was chatting with to come to lunch with us. She writes a blog called Ronda's Escape but I haven't had time yet to check it out. She is very nice and the restaurant at the hotel was right on the water. We all enjoyed great food while chatting and watching the boats cruse by. (The restaurant is called the Boat House). After lunch we went back in for some more seminars. The first one was a general session and the speaker Marie was from the TSA. Marie's job is to help the TSA understand the transgender community and train the employees. She was full of great knowledge and took many questions regarding travel. There were a ton of things that I never knew about like you can call for a person to escort you through. If you need it. I then went to a seminar on wigs and walking which was pretty good and then the FFS surgeon. After the seminar he gave free consultations! At this point the clock is ringing 5pm and I head up to the wig ladies room for a test fitting (sorry I can't remember her name) and she said she would touch up my makeup too. Great! I have never tried on a wig before so I was a bit nervous. After picking out a wig to wear for the night and her putting on heavy makeup (which I hate) we were ready to go out for the night. We hung at the hotel socializing for a while and then down the street for dinner. This was the first time going out as Christy in public and I enjoyed the night. After dinner we went back to the 8th floor where lots of people were dancing and sing kereoke or just lounging around on the patio. It was nice to just talk with people about their lives and experiences. Then off to bed around midnight.The next day I did a yoga class on the terace and then had a complementary breakfast with everyone. We went to more seminars, lunch and then a fun pool party (what a site that was for the tourists) before I had to leave. Later they had a big fancy dinner but they were sold out. All in all it was a great trip. The room was $150 for an upgrade. $50 for the conference. We ate out 3 times costing about $75 total. I could have done the whole conference for under $200 easily if I wanted. Okay so that is the basics and hear is what I learned about myself on this trip. I love my friends and the support we give to each other is fantastic. I can trust them. It was pretty scary going out on the street at night. I absolutely hated the wig and the heavy makeup. Hated it! It is very important for me to look and feel natural, Comfortable. Getting made up to look like a doll was fun for a night but that is not me. Good to know right? I would rather look androgynous and real then pretty and fake. I am not sure that makes sense but that is me. I like to wear some tight jeans with a nice cotton t-top and sandels. Very little/light makeup and I love to smell good. My skin and nails are done nice but not over the top. Some nice sparkle stud ear rings and a cap or something until my hair grows out. I would have had a better time going out at night if I just dressed the way I wanted too but that's how I learn. The next day I did just that. Also high heels hurt I don't know how people wear them all day. Ridiculous. Why don't you just stick a fork in my foot. LOL The funny thing is yesterday I went to my therapy appointment dressed just like I wanted with no makeup (just did't have time) and people were saying miss and girl. It caught me off guard at first but then I started to expect it. I even added on a couple of extra errands to keep the vibe going. I guess I have changed more than I thought. The whole experience taught me a lot about myself and the transgender community in general. I feel far more confident with myself as well. I will be looking for more events to go to and I might try a Meet Up group. They have groups for everything, Bowling, Running, Dancing, Singing, Art, Beach and more.
Live Love Learn
The biggest thing I hate about me is being so misunderstood. People think that Me being different that its ok to call me names look at me funny. If I take my son to the park and other families are there I get looked at funny and round up their kids away from me. I don't look as a passable female at all. So I guess that means to them I am a predator or something. Being called names like freak and gay. Not that there is anything wrong with being gay but I don't identify that way. That is desperate from gender. I wish people were more informed and understanding. I am tired of being treated poorly. I just want to be me have fun raise my son. What's wrong with that? I have already lost all my friends and most of my family. I haven't even told them how I see myself. I mean Idk how I see myself Anyways. My ex told a lot of them about who I am at least in her eyes and outed me to them. So they know but I get no chance to defend myself or explain because it's just ignored. I am ignored by all. I have no one left. It a sad closed off world. Not to mention. Of the guys at work knew I would be made even more miserable. Everyone in my life is narrow minded. I am just tired. Its exhausting
I continue to grow as a person. I have been dealing with issues my whole life. Now that I am accepting myself as who I am meant to be I find it more freeing. I am wearing more of my bras and pretty much all female outfits in public now. My breasts are sore and my nipples hurt those have been for a while now. And I haven't even taken anything to create that at all. I guess I am a lucky one. Having an overactive pituitary gland has forced my hand and forced me to accept myself. Having a higher than normal estrogen level and lower testosterone levels. My hair is softer and my body hair is growing slower. I have been exfoliating with tea tree and mint body wash and a body buffer. My skin is so soft. I am finding that I am more caring than ever. But on the down side I am over emotional sometimes. I take offense to little things that shouldn't matter. I even bought some new panties yesterday and the woman in the checkout isle said nothing about it at all. It was no big deal. I even when I was looking at some in the lingerie dept a woman who worked in the dept. Asked if I needed any help. I said I am not sure. She said if you do let me know sweetie. If you need help finding your size or anything. That made me feel really good. It's nice when you have a good experience out. Tomorrow I have a Dr appt. For refills on my back scripts but I am also gonna ask her about my gender Dysphoria. And see what happens from there. I am gonna ask if she knows of a local therapist or anything. Idk if my ins. Covers med for transitions or not. But T blockers would help I think with my Dysphoria more. There are still so many things I look at in the mirror and go darn I look way to manly I hate it. I just want to be able to be myself and really be comfortable in my own skin. I am getting there it is gonna take a while. For almost 39 years I have gone between self loathing and hatred of my body and periods of time where I liked myself. Somewhat and then back to depression and anxiety over being not who I am. I have already lost most of my friends But whatever. Maybe I can make new ones. Idk only time will tell. Thanks to everyone on here for being so friendly and accepting and loving. And there is a support group that meets 2 a month here. But only one I can attend because of work. So I may go this month and see what that's all about. This site has saved me and I am so happy to have met you all. Thanks again
Live Learn and Love....you pick the order. As life rolls on I learn more about myself, the world and everything becomes just a bit clearer. Now I have been through a bunch of ups and downs lately that have really tested my resolve but just as the tide comes in I know it will go out. I choose to ride each wave as best I can and even though I will never catch them all I keep trying. When my body is spent and trying to ride another wave is pointless I rest and reflect on all the one's I caught and lost. Learning from others can help me catch the next one by watch, talking and by them pointing out my mistakes. This is the foundation of life for me. The foundation needs to be strong otherwise the home will be weak and fall or more appropriately get knocked over by someone else, sometime by accident and sometimes on purpose. My wife and I are surviving but not living not loving each other. The silents in the house on the matter of me being trans is so loud that I can hardly breath at times. This causes me to panic, search for an answer or relief but I know from a life time of searching that the dark hallway is nowhere I want to be. So, I open my mouth and start to speak, I force the conversation just so I can breath but what I really feel like doing is running. As my wife and I talk about this Transgender dilemma we find just a bit of peace. She has said "yes I will go to therapy with you" and a weight was lifted but my body is still carrying far more weight than my soul can handle. We have been getting alone but she is distant and I don't feel any love or respect from her. She has told me that she will not be able to handle me becoming a women. I don't blame her for making that statement as I have asked myself if she was to become a man how would I feel? I guess I would try and see how it goes. I'm not sure where our lives would go. So, how can I ask her to give it a shot without understanding the big picture. My mom has felt the need to run to her side and make the "well being of the kids" the priority. What ever we do the kids my come first. Of course mom and wife. My wife and mother are terrified that I will throw on a dress and start running around town. LOL. This is an exploration of my gender Identity with one goal at hand. To find out what and where I can just be me without the pain and suffering that I have haunted my soul for a lifetime. That is exactly it, MY SOUL and it is finally time to breath. I don't know if we will stay together or divorce but I do know that I will try my best to be the type of human being my family can be proud of. I actually feel like I should let her go so she can be free. Am I holding on out of fear of being alone? Is she trying to hold on out of guilt or shame? Does she want to be free of me? Do I want to be free of her? There are pros and cons on both sides of the list. Do I want to look closely at that list? The last thing I want to do is harm anyone including myself. We will hopefully hash some of this out at the therapy meeting but I know this is going to take time. Somedays I am happy and content to go slow and basically be me as I am now. Other days I am running for the door to transform like Wonder Women spinning around. What is up with that? My GP put me on some non addictive antidepressants to help with the extreme levels of anxiety that I would get once in a while. I felt like a zombie, no real emotions and that was a bummer so I got off them. Plus I just don't like taking pills (yes that is ironic). He gave me something else just to get through the really tough times but I have had no need for them yet. Before I made the commitment to explore my gender farther I had to get to a place in my mind and accept that I will probably lose everything in my life that I love. Or close to it. "If you love something set it free and if it comes back to you it was meant to be". I guess I am going to set her free and give her the freedom to choose without the guilt of me hanging on. Anyway that's the plan and we will see what happens. I am living, I am learning, Am I loving?????? Sometimes it's hard for me to tell what's going on.
Christy lets be free.
As I near my fourth anniversary on TG Guide I'm feeling a bit reflective. So much water under the bridge! Back then I was on pins and needles posting here as I worried about what I said (or didn't say), what my future might be. I guess I'm getting ahead of myself; I do wish to write another entry when we're closer to the anniversary itself.
I've read a lot about labels and how much many people don't like them. If I was non binary I'd certainly understand. I think it would be so hard to walk in their shoes. I talked to a friend a couple of months ago. She's also trans, an MTF woman. She's adamant that she's a woman, nothing more, nothing less. Of course, I was and am perfectly fine with that. But it didn't fit for me.
At the time I had been telling myself and anyone who'd listen that I was a transgender woman. In some ways I didn't feel I deserved to be labeled 'woman' without that qualifier and, regardless, I don't share cis women's experience of girlhood, puberty, and all the rest. And, as much as it is at times hard to bear, my face and voice are less identifiably feminine than I'd prefer. But they are what they are and in some ways I'm proud to let my "freak flag fly" as we used to feel back in the early 70s when our hair was long and we felt a solidarity in that. Not that I'm in any way a freak today; it's just that I'm less and less caring about how other people perceive me. Obviously I don't like being misgendered (it happened just this morning at my hotel breakfast in the dining room). I corrected her and we moved on. Hopefully she learned something.
When I talked to my therapist some weeks ago about this they (my therapist, Shannon, is non binary and they/them are their pronouns) they said that we needed to work on my capitalizing woman within my label as in "transgender Woman," to emphasize that I'm a woman first, transgender second. I didn't know how to do that and neither did they. As some know here I've been socializing with several lesbian women over the last few months at dinners, hiking, backpacking, etc., and I've asked them: "when you think or talk to me do you have to remind or monitor yourself to use feminine pronouns?" No, they all said. As far as they are concerned I'm a woman through and through. Cool.
Of late I've been trying on a new label that I came up with. It's a bit wordier than I'd like but here it is: "woman with a transgender history." It is a bit longer than I'd like but I'm not sure how to shorten it without losing its meaning: I'm a woman, that's for sure, but I also have a transgender history, and that's for sure too. In a way my label follows "people of color" in that they are "people" first, and "of color" second, which indeed they are. It's like a lightbulb has lit up in my head why many of them prefer that label instead of "black" or other labels.
Maybe as time and experience progresses I'll drop the last part but in the meantime "woman with a transgender history" feels right to me. I rather like it!
P.S. I'd also like to make another point. It's nice that Facebook and others have added new gender labels such as "transgender male," "transgender female," etc. I feel that they should also update their traditional labels to "cisgender male," and "cisgender female" which would, I think, force their cis membership to learn and consider something: that they are cis and that, as opposed to their trans counterparts, have their inner gender identity in line with their bodies. Lucky them, I guess, but despite the trials and tribulations of being trans I much prefer my current existence to being a cis male!
I'm having one of my best friends over to see the my new house, the first person I've had here other than the two coworkers that helped us move. Shes' one of the reasons I wanted to come here, so we'd be close enough to hang out more than twice or three times a year. And I'm realizing my job has had a deeply negative effect on some of my behaviors. I know I will enjoy the visit, it will be fun, and still I'm dreading it like mad. I have this antisocial streak lying underneath a need for company. I don't even understand my own brain sometimes. I had mostly gotten it under control, able to realize rationally that I WANT to spend time with people and will have a blast. And if something happens (the weather is really poor today) I will be slammed with an equally intense feeling of relief and crushing disappointment. How the heck does my brain process like this???
But the last year, between the hours of the job, not being able to have people over because staying with my odd hoarding mother and then having to get things organized here, I think I reinforced my old habits of solo activity and hermitism. I'll just have to do to the work, again. It's a good reminder that disorders and deeply ingrained policy traits can be overcome, but never really 'cured', and you have to nurture the better behaviors. I seem to have forgotten that. Meanwhile, I guess I'll just grit my teeth and get through it until she arrives and the joy mode clicks ins.
I really don't know why I do these things to myself, but at least I do better with living with them now than I used to. That's hope.
Nikki is really excited to have a guest, that helps. He put a TREMENDOUS effort into the living room, and wants to show off his decorative flair. I pick a few things I like, and then he sorts out the spatial layout and relations to each other to make it look good. He's always been better at traditional 'woman skills' than me. Which reinforced my childhood lived experience opinion that people should be allowed to be who they are, not told what to be based on their bodies. Going through figuring out what it all meant the day we first had the conversation about 'Yes, i'm going to stop lying about it, I'm transgender" changed a lot of things, both in him, our marriage, and in me. I'm finally at ease with my internal lack of the resonence with the stereotypical american female. I hate clothes shopping, I hate makeup, I'm okay with cooking but hate cleaning, and live for video games, table top rpg gaming, and other random things men like. And now I'm finally okay with that, I didn't realize til we started having the discussions of what it all means that I'd always been really uncomfortable with the feeling at odds with the role that had been hardcored forced on me as a child by family and the shcool system because of my sex. I'd internalized it. Rejected it and did what I wanted, but at the same time internalized it and let it negatively impact my self-esteem. Trying to care for Nikki's self-esteem all these years, especially the last few when he was most vulnerable, has repaired some small amount of the boudler sized damage mine has. But it's a start. Hope again I guess.
I feel weirdly naked after this post.
The next several, haha, fifty plus years, were rather routine and uneventful. My female identity surfaced again at college, and I enjoyed sleeping in lingerie. That lasted a while until I graduated, got a job and married and divorced. That was a tough relationship; can honestly say I don't believe that had any thing to do with my female tendency. Put that on hold again until the very end. I think I rationalized that I was born cisgender male and proceeded to work to succeed in my biologically given role. Off again until I travelled for work and got a small wardrobe just the basics, for when I stayed overnight in Hotels. Only went out dressed rarely and always at night so as night to be seen. Still loved the feeling and freedom of it, but still didn't commit due to my perceived lack of professional opportunities for woman at the time. Only half a dozen times more during those years on again, off again, on again, off again. Always purged my female possessions, each time telling myself this is crazy! But I always came back to being me, the girl, the woman. If I could have earned the same income as a woman back then, I would have transitioned much earlier without a doubt! Today, things are changing rapidly. As more people transition, acceptance is increasing although far from where it needs to be! I can actually imagine sometime in the future, although not in my lifetime, gender choice being a routine part of adolescence. Employment appears to be more open too. I don't need much income anymore although I will need some, and am in the final stages of phasing out my business . Well that brings me to now and I'm on again for over a year and I don't believe I will ever go off again. As I step out, too I don't think I'll ever stay in again either!
Although I live my life as a woman and am comfortable doing just about anything I still experience moments of gender dysphoria. For example, a couple of weeks ago I had a women's clothing "party" at my home where a clothing line's representative presented this Fall's new clothing to myself and four other women. All of us are friends but I was so on edge, comparing myself to them, wondering how much of an imposter I was actually perceived to be. Although I ordered some pretty clothes I was pretty down for the rest of the day and through the following.
I talked about my feelings with everyone - individually - in the coming days. I was surprised to learn that all were also very self-conscious, also comparing themselves to the others. A couple even compared themselves to me as I'm slimmer than them. But my neighbor (Jill) said she wasn't self-conscious at all. She's pretty, about 40, and trim. But is she 'perfect'? No, but she's a delight in every way. Jill said that she decided that she's not going to compare herself, fret about any aspect of herself that she doesn't like to see in the mirror. And that got me thinking.
This past Saturday I hiked by myself up Mt. Si (pronounced: "sigh") which is east of Seattle. I had plenty of time to think while hiking the 8 miles to the summit and back which involves 3,100' elevation gain. I thought about Jill's advice.
"Rock what you got" came to mind. After all, I chose my middle name "Joy" to copy a young woman's middle name that I knew about 50 years ago. She was pretty and young, a little chubby with thin blonde hair, and introduced herself as "Barbara Joy-to-the-world!". So yeah, let's rock!
I also love CSNY's song "Love the One You're With" and it occurs to me that we can turn the lyrics toward ourselves. We are with ourselves of course... all the time. So, I like that too.
So with that in mind I went to The Rack yesterday to buy a pair of black dress shoes to go with a black dress I'm going to wear to a formal dinner later this month. As I wandered the aisles I marveled about how much fear I felt about a year ago when a girlfriend took me to the store. Now, I'm just another shopper, enjoying a fun time. Yes, I found my shoes in size 11! $49!!!
Below are a couple of photos. One is my cat, Peanut, playing in the bag from yesterday's shopping spree, and the other I took last night doing my impression of Einstein's famous photo.
This is yet another instalment in the continuing saga of Michelle Lea. As those of you who have been following along may know, I sold my house. It is now under contract with a closing date of October 2. I have had to jump through a few hoops in the matter of repairs to get the deal done, but now it looks like everything is on track--although my realtor tells me that it's not over until the money is in the bank. Nevertheless, I took the plunge, and last week I purchased a mobile home for the princely sum of $15,000. I was going to rent, but I wasn't finding anything that I was willing to afford, and this seemed like just what I was looking for at this point. My primary objective is to cut my overhead so that I can add to savings instead of taking out of savings to live. I will still have some monthly payments in the form of a lot fee, but it is $686, and I think I can swing that. It's cheap living for sure. Now we'll see how I like living in a 55+ community. Hopefully, my neighbours--I have a British spell check-- keep mostly to themselves. If it is awful, I can always sell or rent it and move on, but I think it will be fine. When I say, "leap of faith," what I mean is that I put $5000 down so that I can start moving my stuff during the month of September, and be totally moved in by the end of September. I will pay the balance with the proceeds of the sale of my house. That is the plan. We'll hope for the best.
Well, knew then I just had to check this out further. During the next couple of years ( 7th and 8th grades) I found myself home alone for a few hours every day after school, and while others my age were home doing school homework I was doing my own "girl work". Always had straight A's in school, never had to study much, but paid close attention to a lot. You might say both school work and girl work came naturally to me. My sister was 16 years old, I spent whatever free time I could dressing up and trying on her make up before anyone came home and loving my new-found inner peace. Her lingerie, shoes and dresses were a perfect fit! And the makeup always felt just right, too. Oh, I still did what the other boys did too, play basketball, football, always excelled in just about everything, too. But my favorite pastime was being a girl. Even had a few girlfriends , non-sexual of course, and loved being around them. Made me feel pretty! There was a time when one noticed some mascara or eyeliner on me (apparently I didn't remove it all) and I just fibbed that my sister applied it once because she liked how my lashes looked. I remember thinking I had to be more careful in the future! And I was. I thought...……
Sis came home from school early one day and found some of her clothes and makeup out, and me locked in the bathroom. Never undressed and washed so quickly, came out and pleaded for her not to tell Mom and Dad. Later that evening Dad calls me into the bedroom and asks me if I wanted to be a girl. I could talk to a shrink if I wanted to. (SHRINK?...no one's gonna shrink my brain) not on my watch at least! That was also the era of shock treatments, lobotomies, and institutions. I wasn't going anywhere! " Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, Dad; that was the only time! " was my answer. Put that to bed real quick and didn't start feeling like a girl again until my college days. Never was depressed about it, rarely thought about it either, accepted that is the way things are. 💔
Starting over is weirdly freeing and oddly disturbing at the same time, whether the scale is large or small. I really wasnt' sure I would do well when Nikki decided we needed to change EVERYTHING, not just how our marriage worked and my knowing about and understanding his gender fluidity. As much as it can be understood, he's still learning as he goes too. But EVERYTHING was going to change. My home, the jobs, the lifestyle, the diet choices, our clothing, even our hobbies; literally nothing is the same as it was last year. I'm dealing, but I have fits of depression and weird resentments. I hadn't realized there were huge parts of my life I was really attached to in a way that I didn't notice every day, just reveled in subconsciously until they were gone. And finally having to stop lying to myself about the state of my relationship with my maternal family not really being any better than my paternal family, just more discreet about how unhealthy it functions was not surprisingly unpleasant.
I think I can safely say I'm adjusting though, and I suspicion by this time next year I will have adapted and re-normalized.
I sorta envy people who see starting over as a grand adventure and love it. I just sorta wade through it patiently and pretend I'm having a good time, nothing to see here, move along. It helps that I love my house, and now that my things are here and starting to settle into place I feel lest lost, as long as I stay downstairs. Upstairs is still an alien place. My bed sits in this great big empty room with a bunch of boxes creating a maze I injure myself on nightly trying to get to the bathroom, which is now surprisingly far away. The other two rooms are literally still empty, and it's weird how that empty plays on my subconscious.
Nikki's love of his new job is becoming problematic, and I work there with him. But it's company first all the time, and I'm lucky if I get some leftover scraps of attention. And there is the weird side effect of after weathering the sorting out of the gender issues and not ending up divorced, he's completely comfortable in our marriage. Comfortable to the point that he takes out all the frustration other people in the company build up in him on me because I'm 'safe' to let it all out on. Ya'll can imagine how thrilled I am about this new behavior. Especially since I'd crosstrained to work under him in an effort to try to get more home time (I was a carpool captive).
We have some more marital work to do, it never really ends does it? As long as you are two people in a relationship, there will ALWAYS be some new problem to work on. But after I got really quiet at home because I'm tired of talking about work and telling him verbally we needed to do more marriage time and less work time and he finally pushed my temper into reminding him I can be volcanic when pushed when after someone was rude to me and didn't give me the information I needed he didn't even ask what happened, just tried to silence my voice by gas-lighting me that I didn't understand the interaction I was in (and he wasn't) and I let him know clearly that was so not happening EVER AGAIN, he's working on it with me. Which makes me realize that old, underlying problem is still there, I can tell him about a problem until I'm blue in the face, but until it affects him by me puling away or losing my temper on him, he doesn't take it seriously. I'm thinking of suggesting marital counseling once he settles back into individual therapy for the dysthymia again. 20 years or marriage doesn't make anyone immune to the need for a little help sometimes.
On the plus side he's working on reducing his addiction to constant electronic entertainment and actually exploring our new area with me. There is a REALLY pretty town a bit south of us (stupid expensive to live in, and close enough to drive to form where we live but the commute would have been overmuch) with a lovely bookstore. Since my town has none. So that's a fun place to go. We're going to go to this super bizarre almost tourist attraction grocery store either this weekend or next, adn the space museum (Nikki loves Nasa stuff). I hope they have a planetarium at the space museum, I do love a good planetarium I must admit.
I guess all in all I'm fine, life is just continuing to happen both to me and around me. But the scenery outside is better. I have a super awesome hangout porch now to enjoy the last days of summer drifting by. The neighbors have been pleasant to us, and he said hello to me as he got home and I was reading a book on the porch and we had a nice conversation. So much better than the crazy, half dressed, theiving ones from our former town. I"m moving up in the world!
I have always known that I would be transitioning at some point in my life; just not when. That question has been answered and become quite evident to me within the past year. There are many reasons why it took so long but that really doesn't matter now. I don't have any regrets until now as I've been blessed with a good and fulfilling life except my only regret is I did not go after it many, many years ago. Think it would have been even more fulfilling. Things were soooo different in the 70's and 80's. I was never one to dwell on the past, only look and plan for the future.
So if I refer to myself in this and future blogs as... when I was a little girl... that was my mindset then, as it continued into womanhood and evolved to now . My first experience ,"when I was a little girl", (I just love saying that), was sometime between 11-13 years old when Halloween was coming and someone had the idea to dress me up as a girl. Real clothes, complete make-up, shoes, panty hose, wig, even underwear and bra, nail polish, toes too! A dab of perfume really did the trick. Think I already had feminine characteristics, lean body, big eyes, long eyelashes, nice smile. THAT feeling has never left me. Went on trick or treating and realized just about no one knew I wasn't a little girl, some even asked why I didn't have a costume!
Well going to end this for now; UPS just delivered, my red shoes. Got to try them on. Love shoes, dresses, everything feminine, and have built up quite a wardrobe...but will get to that in later blogs. Love
I know it’s been a while but I’m finally back. I have talked to my mom privately about what I want. She completely understands which is great. She just wants me to be sure if it’s truly what I want before coming out to the rest of my family. She wants to help me experiment first before making my final decision which is fair. First step is we both will get our nails/toes painted together.
Recently I commented on someone's post about being bullied, and, literally, I was bullied in the public library by two teenage girls only 15 minutes later!
That evening, I called a T/LGB Warmline to discuss this idea further.
First of all, I believe, due to the current Administration, that T/LGBs will encounter an increase in bullying, no matter where they live.
The first thing is that you deserve to be welcome, not just tolerated. Be sure your overall situation improves with each move. Thus the first question: do you feel welcome, not just tolerated, where you live?
As in dating potential partners, you should look for red flags, when you explore places to live. These can not be explored only on the Internet (although that is a good place to start!) or on a casual, brief vacation. You are not visiting on a vacation; you are exploring to see if this is a place where you want to spend the next several years of your life! Please visit for a minimum of a week. Ride public transportation, if you don't drive, visit the local T/LGB Center (ask questions!), look at housing that you can afford (in my case, public housing), etc.
Do consider carefully what size town you would be most comfortable in.
In a small town, often, "everyone knows everyone." It has been my experience in small towns that most people are partnered, and it can be uncomfortable living there if you are single. Many singles date through online dating websites rather than people who live in town.
Large cities are the opposite. There are many residents who are single, but often they are not seeking a committed relationship. However, large cities have neighborhoods, where people find community. They have many organizations to explore.
Medium sized cities seem to have the best of both worlds.
Questions To Ask The Locals
Do you like living at this apartment complex?
Is there anything I should know about personal safety? How is crime here?
What are the average rents here (for studio, one bedroom, two bedroom, etc.) for apartments?
How expensive are houses here? Are housing/rent prices going up (you may need a longer lease or buy a house sooner than later).
Is there public housing here? Is it owned by the city/county/federal government or privately managed/owned? Usually city/county/federal government owned public housing includes electricity/gas and private does not, and is better maintained.
Do you have easy access to banks, supermarkets, stores, and a variety to choose from? Go into stores and supermarkets and price the items there, to be sure you can afford buying in a particular town.
Do you have quality hospitals, doctors and dentists nearby that take your insurance?
Is the mail secure? If not, is the Post Office convenient and offers Post Office boxes at a reasonable price?
Observe the vibe - do you feel you will likely fit in here?
If you do not drive, is the town "walkable," and offers good, affordable public transportation?
Are a variety of support and social groups that meet regularly available?
Is there an active T/LGB Center with a wide variety of affordable activities nearby?
Are the police, fire and emergency medical technicians sensitive and supportive?
If you work, are there career opportunities in your field available that pay a good wage?
Would like very much to hear about your experiences in moving. Thank you.
It's been away since visiting this site and would have been longer accept for getting several email messages for posts I have subscribed too.
The main reason for not being here is life is good and with nearly three years post-op I go months without even thinking about transgenderism. It use to be a daily thought because is took time for my new life to settle in.
What's not to like? Well when out in the backcountry of Oregon with the Miata club I drive with when there are no port-a-potties sometimes finding a decent place to relieve myself is not always easy. Explaining to a gynecologist, nope I have not had a hysterectomy, see page three of my application (notes I'm transgender), "Oh I'd never guess".
Lessons to others, if you do have full surgeries to become the inner you then and do it right (which granted is not always easy) by pre-planning and learning to adjust/fit in you have a good chance to get to that place where you have days that not being a cisgender female never crosses your mind. People (friends) who know will give say things like "you are such a girl" and you have that inner glow.
In closing, one of the best things happened to me recently, my son called and said "Karen" I'm planning a trip to Oregon (he lives in California) can I stay over for a night? Day one here we spent the day together which included a run in my Miata, did lunch and dinner along with talking about stuff. Never called me Dad, always Karen. This was the first time he has seen me since my surgery other than photos I've sent him. All in all no downsides to his stay for two days. My daughter is also accepting of my transition but since she is on the East Coast it's mostly talking on the phone. Last time she saw me was one year before my transformation. So I'm a happy woman now and hope the best for those on their own journey not matter the path.
My house is sold—sort of. I have a contract, but the lady—a judge—could back out over the inspection report which found some evidence of termites and roof leaks. I have not seen the final report yet, but it seems the repairs will come to around $3500. It could be worse. I have already sunk 3200 into remodelling the bathroom and fixing the damage to my patio. Anyway, you do what you have to do. I think it will go through. The closing date is October 2 which is good for me as it will give me time to find a place to live and get packed and ready to go. I have seen some manufactured homes for sale that are pretty inexpensive, but I am still being advised to rent at this point. I will see what I can do. So, that’s what’s happening on that front. I am still plugging away at AFLAC and opening little accounts—one last week and it looks good for one this week. I am waiting until I get moved to make any big decisions about new employment. I would like AFLAC to work, but I have to be realistic as well. We’ll see. My step-daughter arrives next Thursday to help me get packed. I’m going to give her a lot of her mom’s things, so we’ll get that ready to ship. I am packing away my feminine things while she is here—only three days—so no big hardship. I don’t want to deal with that issue now—or ever maybe. All in all, I seem to be holding my own. The adventure continues. For sure.
I came out to my wife almost 2 weeks ago and life has been very stressful. My doctor put me on anti depression meds for a short time to help me get through this. It seems to help but I will get off of them ASAP. I hate taking anything like that. My wife was shocked and had no idea so it has been hard. She is open to therapy but we only went once together but hopefully she will go on her own. I have been up and down from feeling very relieved and at peace to feeling like I have made the biggest mistake of my life! I know there will be ups and downs but today we talked for a bit and she told me that if I want to transition all the way she wants no part of it. She wants no part of the trans community at all. She knows nothing about being transgender and can’t understand this at all. I think we are heading for divorce and maybe that is for the best in the long run but only time will tell. It is scaring me quite a bit, this unknown future. What will life be like? I worry about my boys all the time. What if this all a mistake? What if I regret transition? Will I be alone? Will I find love? What will I look like? She said I already look different and I can see it bothers her but I’m still in boy mode. I am afraid that if she sees me naked she will freak out. I told her all of these fears. I don’t think she loves me anymore, our marriage was on the rocks for some time now because of all my drinking. She believes me that being transgender was the cause for my drinking (the way I coped) but the trust is not there. I will give her space and try to help her with understanding if she is open but I have to be cautious because my boys don’t know yet. Uhmmm I am stressing out writing this.....I want to run. I want to scream. I want to laugh. I want to just snuggle up with my wife. Hold her...have her hold me. I want to cry but I can’t. I guess I’m just going to start implementing my life plan for transition. I know I want to fully transition, ffs, grs. I have since I was 7 or 8 trying to get rid of my male parts. (Nothing dangerous) I know it is pointless but I can’t stop thinking about the past. Why didn’t I just do this when I was 20 and moved to Hollywood. Why didn’t I ask the beautiful transgender girl that showed up at my house one day? My roommate brought her home for me not knowing she was transsexual. What it does prove to me is that I am in that same spot only this time I’m not going to hide again. I can’t. It will kill my soul. So I will trudged this road to the destination which is unknown but I will try my best to enjoy the trip and survive. I am a survivor, I always have been but this is testing me to my core. At least I have friends and my parents.
One more day
Unfortunately, there will be a 2.0, as our friend's big trailer was unavailable, but he brought the 'smaller one' and we moved most of it. So we're going back Saturday with him again (he's so sweet, volunteered to do it again for us!) and get the last of it. I can't find anything, unpacking is really random, but it feels great to be here. This town is amazing! People are REALLY friendly here. When I smile and say hello to random strangers they stop and strike up a conversation instead of looking at you funny and hurrying away like our last city. And it's a pretty little town. The house is wonderful, and we're slowly settling in box by box.
Nikki says hello to everyone!