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About Emma

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    Senior Moderator
  • Birthday May 12

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    Bicycling, learning new things, reading, playing fingerstyle guitar, camping, cooking, Petite Syrah, sharing experiences with friends.

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  1. Emma

    A Short Story About a Regret

    I have many such stories. A common response is a desire to eliminate the memory, the regret, and whatever other feelings come up. Our memories are cemented by repetition so that kind of focus accomplishes the opposite! Another and more satisfying approach is to take a look at the memory as if you're walking through a museum and see it hanging on the wall. What does it say to you, today? What might you learn from it? Appreciate its artistry, the brushstrokes, the details and the edges that might fade into the background. We all have such histories. If you will it's one of the wonderful aspects of being human.
  2. Very delightful article, Monica. In many ways it echoes my own experiences. The fear of rejection has been such a constant in my life from me earliest memories, even in preschool when I wanted to dance like a ballerina or curtsy with the girls. Even now, when I don’t receive a reply to an email or text message, I jump to that conclusion until, as it always does, my assumptions are proven wrong. Rejection seems to be such a common denominator for trans people. Perhaps also for L.G.B. people too?
  3. Emma

    Growing up and out.

    I tried meds several times over the decades where I was going to therapists for depression but not confessing my "shameful" feelings about my gender. After making a serious suicide attempt about 2.5 years ago my therapist insisted I go see a psychiatrist or he'd have me committed. For the first time (to a psychiatrist) I came clean and we started trying drugs and eventually hit on something that's been remarkably helpful - for me. Here again, speaking only for myself, it was like I had to gain a new mindset about meds and what they do. In years past I'd hoped that the pill would clear the depression and life would go on, depression-free. Of course, that didn't work. I finally (perhaps as a result of finally receiving a drug that was effective for me) discovered that I really did have two things going on: 1) a problem in my brain chemistry that was addressed, thank goodness, and 2) my shame and fear around my gender dysphoria which has also much improved after transitioning, HRT, and living more authentically. It's all so complicated especially for adults like us who've developed coping habits that, to some extent, we also have to undo. I suppose those habits are still with me but I do seem to be getting better, with a happiness and peace that I've never in my life felt before.
  4. Emma

    Being misunderstood

    My wife used to often make such observations too, as if she was my personal coach. She said that crossing my legs at the knees, fluttering my hands while speaking, standing with hands crossed, so many things, made me appear effeminate and would cause people to think I was weird. It was so painful to hear her since I was simply being myself, often otherwise happy. She’d bring me crashing down to earth. I did defend myself but was too hurt to try to make any part of it humorous.
  5. Emma

    Being misunderstood

    I wonder if the people who are the nastiest are men, women, or if it’s roughly the same. I suspect it’s men. We all know how men are so afraid of women. In my experience cis women have been very supportive of me. Trans women are too but it’s less clear. On the other hand if women are acting scared or threatened by you then maybe they’re not seeing you for the woman that you are. This is where I think Chrissy is so correct. If you can show a level of confidence (not arrogance!) and female body language (especially walking and standing) I suspect their attitudes will change. Your being you becomes harder to deny. All this is indeed tiring, no doubt about it. Some of it is what all women have to deal with. Some of it is reserved for transgender prejudices. Very hard to tell the difference! Walk, standing straight and proud, not folded over like men. Go ahead and swing your arms but don’t limp your wrist in an affected manner. Dress appropriately for the climate and social scene. Check out what other women are wearing and if you like their style make mental notes to emulate them. Smile! It’s harder to scoff at someone when they’re smiling and happy.
  6. Emma

    Growing up and out.

    First, my apologies to Mikaylajane for having this conversation on her blog. I'd normally just post on mine or elsewhere but last night I was reeling with emotions so I wrote what I did. I'm still kind of shell-shocked this morning. I have a doctor appt for tomorrow morning and am getting ready now to run out to the Walgreen's for the blood thinner prescription. I'm worried that all this will also stand in the way of my GCS which is scheduled for 1/31. We'll see. Monica: I agree with you and appreciate your support, especially your comment about the photo. Maybe it's time for to me to experience my version of menopause. i guess what I'm most afraid of is that I'll return to feeling the distress between my body and mind which I had for so long before starting HRT. I'm reasonably sure though that I'll be able to stay on spironolactone so maybe that'll be mitigated. Chrissy: Thank you too for your message. Indeed as I was driving home last night I wondered if I could just switch to injections. I raced home to open up a presentation that a local highly-regarded physician sent to me after I met him last month at Gender Odyssey. Maybe, as you said,. alternate delivery might be okay. Unfortunately the way I read this below, the risk is higher for injections. I'm also in excellent health, exercise regularly - all that. But I'm also 62 and maybe that's a factor in DVT risk too.
  7. Emma

    Growing up and out.

    I don’t want to be a downer but neither of us will ever be a cis female. Of late I’ve been labeling myself a woman of transgender experience, the point being I’m first and most importantly a woman but indeed I have a trans history and will always be trans. Today I drove myself to the emergency room because I suspected deep vein thrombosis in my left calf muscle, which is a known risk for HRT. Unfortunately they confirmed it and it’s likely that tomorrow I’ll be told to discontinue estrogen. I want to cry. I’ve gone through so much to get here — lots more than most cis women — and now I have to downshift from progress. Oh, and the ultrasound technician misgendered me despite the “F” on my chart, my legal name, the clothing I wear, the voice I’ve worked on so hard, my hair, my jewelry. She didn’t mean anything by it. She practically started crying herself when I calmly and privately pointed out her error. In some ways I don’t need to pass. I’m fine with being trans. But in many other ways I get very sad when I’m reminded that I’m not a cis woman. I just want to pack up the tent and retire to a cabin deep in the woods. Even if I did consistently pass I’d always feel a bit on edge, like a secret agent behind enemy lines. So that’s not a solution either. I know these emotions will decay and a couple of days from now I’ll be fine. But still. It’s safe to say that transitioning isn’t a cure-all. It’s better than not, certainly. But we’ll always be trans.
  8. Emma


    As I was walking to a restaurant near my hotel this evening (I’m in Chicago after enduring another round of massive electrolysis) I came up with: “woman of transgender experience.” After all, that’s what I am I think. History or not, I’m still trans!
  9. Emma


    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!
  10. Emma

    Love the One You're With

    Christy: Thanks for your comment! Rock what you got girl! Monica: Weight and disability are such huge challenges that I know you must face. I feel so fortunate, I really do. I also agree that your challenges make it a lot harder to find dating partners. The thing to do, which I know you're doing, is to get out there, regardless of whatever we are challenged with, and show the world your pretty face and delightful personality. Bree: Thanks! I sent Peanut's photo to Nordstrom yesterday; they also loved it and are forwarding it to their marketing group. Who knows, maybe she'll be famous! She's certainly Top Cat in my house!
  11. Emma

    On again/off again- In and OUT

    Like Christy, I’ll never go back. I’ve never felt as good as I do now. Like you, Jessica, I suffered a lot over the decades. Good grief, what a struggle. Coming out into one’s authentic self is scary and fulfilling, like tackling a complicated project that you’re not sure you can handle. The joys of incremental progress are phenomenal.
  12. Emma

    Leap of Faith

    Sounds like a terrific plan to me, Michelle. You gotta live somewhere and $686/month is pretty low. Best wishes on a smooth sale of your house and fun times setting up your new home!
  13. Emma

    Love the One You're With

    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.
  14. Emma

    My return

    That’s so great to hear! I imagine you’re feeling good about confronting your fears talking with your mom. Please remember that feeling, nurture it. No matter where you go or end up the road ahead has plenty of crossroads. When encountering them it helps to recall previous challenges and how great it feels to be authentic.
  15. Starting my transition, actually started many, many years ago, now ready to be serious.

    Have recently joined and following a few members, but not sure how to set up my own blogs, ets.