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Everything posted by Emma

  1. Emma added a comment on a blog entry The Vagaries of Sales   

    Attagirl Michelle! Yeah, sales is tough, harder than it looks. And that’s why the dollars are hung out there as incentive. 
    But you’re amazing. You’re like the Duracell Bunny: you keep running. You’re exactly what we need!
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  2. Emma added a comment on a blog entry "Most of the Time"   

    “Hidden Figures” was terrific, wasn’t it? We watched it on Thanksgiving after dinner. Another that’s similar (at least for me) is “The Imitation Game.”
    About the holidays it is weird to be on our own. I was just on the phone with my soon to be ex-wife. We still care for each other and miss each other but we live almost 1,000 miles apart so we won’t see each other for Christmas. She has a friend to visit on Christmas Eve and another on Christmas. I suspect I’ll be alone with Miss Peanut, my cat. I think I’ll bake a turkey leg and thigh. I love the taste. Maybe crack open a bottle of wine and watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” but my wife suggests that I not do that since I tend to get misty eyed at that movie.
    I hope you enjoy your company’s party. I hated them! It’s all so stilted and odd, trying to socialize while also around wives and husbands who don’t really want to be there. And if you don’t show up, people notice, so you have to. At one company we had a catered Christmas lunch, which was only for employees and that was fun. We received lottery tickets based on donations we made to a local charity that we then used to “buy” prizes. And after, we took the afternoon off! 
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  3. Emma added a comment on a blog entry Walking Back from Lake Washington   

    The weather is certainly brisk at times (it's 32 this morning according to iPhone) but I recall it was 50 when I was on my walk. I do tend to keep my hands in the pullover's pocket but overall, so long as I keep moving, I'm fine once I build up some warmth. Several days earlier it was in the low 40s and I wore a cap pulled down over my ears, a scarf, and a warmer jacket. The weather is one of the things I love here: I get to wear my cozy clothing! 
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  4. Emma added a blog entry in Emma Sweet's Blog   

    Walking Back from Lake Washington
    People in Seattle take advantage of sunny/rain-free days and I'm no exception. I love walking from my house through a local park and then along Lake Washington for several miles. It's very large, with a total shoreline that's probably around 60-70 miles and of course I come no where near that. It's ringed with parks and walking/running paths and just lovely.
    Today I was talking with my wife (via phone) while walking. She's in California and has never seen me presenting authentically. She asked if I was wearing my "lady clothes" and I assured her that yes, that's what I always do. Today's no different. She asked me to have someone snap a photo and send it to her.
    So here it is: no makeup, hair's a mess, but it's me, very comfortable in my own skin. Wow, I just happened to notice that I joined TGGuide just over three years ago. What a long space trip it's been!

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  5. Emma added a post in a topic Basic Issues in Transgender Mental Health   

    I hear you, Chrissy. I think GD's description should be broken down into several parts, before, during, and after transition (regardless of ones' definition of transition). 
    My transition is going pretty well, I think largely due to living in an area that seems to bend over backwards to be welcoming and friendly. I'm much happier in my own skin these days. And yet, I still experience my own flavor of GD, like yesterday when I met with a woman who is a make-up professional for a consult. I'm quite sure she has her own challenges in life but I envy her... <big sigh> 
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  6. Emma added a topic in Mental Health and Crisis Intervention   

    Basic Issues in Transgender Mental Health
    This is a pretty good summary of common issues we may face. 
    Basic Issues in Transgender Mental Health
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  7. Emma added a comment on a blog entry Into   

    Hi Frank, do you feel a need to come out to your family soon or before you see a therapist? If so, may I ask why? Coming out can be pretty challenging and fraught with emotions, for you and them. I suggest that you wait until you feel you’re on your own firm and solid ground emotionally.
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  8. Emma added a comment on a blog entry Into   

    Oh! You already have a blog! Good for you. Please see my response to your intro post. You’re absolutely correct, by the way, that it’s not your fault, nor is it a choice, a proclivity, or a lifestyle, to be transgender. The science is becoming clear: we are born this way, simply examples of normal human diversity. Nothing to be ashamed of, but I know all too well that can be easier said than believed. I’m 61 and lived in shame for about the last 60 years. No more though!
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  9. Emma added a comment on a blog entry Bumps in the Road   

    Outside sales is very hard, requiring a lot of self motivation and drive that most people don’t have or are afraid of.
    It sounds to me like you need to consider how well you qualified those prospects. If they don’t have or percieve the need then they aren’t qualified. And all too often, unqualified prospects may give the salesperson things to do instead of just being straightforward and telling them that they have no intention to buy. Why? Because they don’t like confrontation and they hate hurting you. So, at some point while qualifying the prospect it’s a fair question to ask: do they understand the need and want to address it? If not, see if you can understand why, and see if you can help. If it’s then still a no, then it’s time to thank them for their time and promise to follow up later, perhaps in six months. They will greatly appreciate your candor.
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  10. Emma added a comment on a blog entry Karma DOES Indeed SUCK!   

    Well hey, Mikey, congratulations on your “M”! It’s well earned and I love your story too. Since I just got my WA license a few months ago, now I think I should’ve entered an F. 
    I’ll bet having them enter your middle name instead of the initial is a real annoyance. Sorry about that. But now you’ve got your M and no one can take that away from you!
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  11. Emma added a post in a topic dumb relatives   

    Please watch this video of Dr. Mark Yarhouse, who is a psychologist and a religious scholar.  In this video his audience is comprised of church leaders. He does a terrific job of describing what gender dysphoria is and why people have trouble understanding. You might also ask your relatives to watch it. Better yet, watch it with them:
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  12. Emma added a post in a topic tiny razor invention?   

    Hard to say as I don't know your face or beard. For me I've had good luck with a Gillette Mach III that seems to be able to reach into that tight spot and remove the hair cleanly. Two weeks ago my electrologist started working on my upper lip. She spent a lot of time clearing that area so now it's not a big deal at all. 
    Important tip for electrolysis: the lip area is extremely sensitive. I am fortunate that she has a dentist office next door who (for $50) will inject novocaine to numb that area. The effectiveness of the novocaine was wonderful for about 75 minutes. The last 15 minutes of the 90 minute session were barely tolerable. I have another session this Friday... I'm both happy to have her work on it but also, I must say, getting ones beard removed is very hard to tolerate and pay for.
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  13. Emma added a post in a topic TIME: "Transgender Men See Sexism From Both Sides"   

    Yes, I fully understand the feeling of not belonging. I’ve not felt that way with men. It sucks, that feeling. Very self-conscious, trying to act a role that doesn’t quite fit.
    We both belong here and among our real friends who understand and love us authentically as our authentic selves.
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  14. Emma added a post in a topic TIME: "Transgender Men See Sexism From Both Sides"   

    It's high time for all of these pubs to give face time to trans men. As far as their not giving their due to trans women in the article I wasn't perturbed since the article was focused on men. I think it's much better known that trans women can experience quite a shock at how they are treated by society as women. Thus far I haven't felt it much since I never felt like I really filled the space as a man anyway. And I'm loving how nice women are in general to me. It's like being part of a sisterhood that I didn't know existed and I don't miss any brotherhood that simply doesn't exist, at least not at all in the same way.
    Did you also watch the video they have in the article (at the top)? I liked that, too. I'm envious that trans men seem to be able to blend into society (seemingly) much easier than trans women. If you've ever undergone electrolysis, man, you'd know what I mean. Oh, and then there is the voice work I'm doing! But I'm nonetheless pretty happy these days.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 
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  15. Emma added a comment on a blog entry Not for the Faint of Heart   

    Hi Michelle,
    I'm glad you liked the list and will definitely look at your suggestions. My wife and I also read all three of the Girl with Dragon series and loved them! So sorry that the author is gone, now.
    I want to add "The Martian" to the list. It was a very good movie and an amazing book, especially for a first novel. That said, so is "The Kite Runner"! You must read them both if you haven't already. 
    I've read Michael Connelly's books and enjoyed them but these days I'm less satisfied with "genre fiction" or maybe I'm getting more into "chick lit" go figure. I have enjoyed John Grisham's books but here again they're getting long in the tooth. 
    I loved James Michener's books, especially "The Source" which is a classic as far as I'm concerned. 
    No, I haven't gone to the movies for maybe a year. No one to go with and kinda busy... 
    See you!
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  16. Emma added a comment on a blog entry Not for the Faint of Heart   

    Hi Michelle,
    Always happy to talk about books! Around my neighborhood are these little weather-proof glass-door kiosks where residents can leave books they're done with and pick up others that interest them. Yesterday I picked up "The September Society" by Charles Finch and I'm one chapter into it. It has many great blurbs on the front and back covers so I'm hopeful it will be a fun read.
    Some possible books that come to mind are:
    "House of Sand and Fog" It was turned into a movie that was excellent; the book is even better of course.
    "The Name of the Rose" Also a movie that wasn't so good but I've read it at least twice, I loved it so much. Unfortunately I've tried all of Umberto Eco's other books and was always disappointed. Some weeks ago I found a Seattle bookstore that's acclaimed for its mystery books. I went there to find "another" Name of the Rose. The owner told me that there is no other book as good as that one!
    "Girl With a Pearl Earring" Another movie! Excellent, excellent historical novel.
    "The Grapes of Wrath" and any other book by John Steinbeck.
    "Stranger in a Strange Land" is a very interesting sci-fi book and is where the word "grok" came from. "I Will Fear No Evil" - also by Heinlein has a trans character!
    "The Book Thief" was excellent.
    "The Eye of the Needle"... wow!
    "Flight of Passage" is a very fun autobiographical account of two NY boys who were the youngest to fly a plane from NY to California. Very fun read.
    "Rocket Boys" (aka "October Sky") is a wonderful autobiography about a high school boy who earns his way out of a dreary coal mining existence into a professional career.
    "Soul of a New Machine" and any other book by Tracy Kidder.
    Gosh, I'd better stop now. If you don't find what you're looking for here, please send genres or titles of books you've enjoyed that I can use to offer other ideas.
    Edit 1: Okay, here's some more:
    "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene Brown. Really helped me, as all of her books have.
    "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. You don't have to be an artist (but we all are) to enjoy her taking you by the hand. Doing your Morning Pages can be very cathartic.
    "The Road" Cormac McCarthy: very spooky and surreal view of the future.
    "Wild" and "Tiny Beautiful Things" by Cheryl Strayed. I'm a huge fan of her, including her podcasts. She is so wise and inspirational!
    Edit 2: Still more!
    "Lonesome Dove" What an amazing adventure.
    "Atlas Shrugged" 
    "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience"
    "Man's Search for Meaning" Viktor Frankl: a must-read
    "The Hunt for Red October"
    "Red Storm Rising"
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  17. Emma added a topic in Transgender News & Happenings   

    TIME: "Transgender Men See Sexism From Both Sides"
    Very interesting article from TIME magazine: 
    "Over the last three years, transgender awareness has exploded. From Orange is the New Black to Transparent, from Janet Mock to Caitlyn Jenner, America has a growing fascination with the lives of transgender people, most recently in light of recent debates over controversial bathroom laws. But the spotlight on trans issues has mostly been focused on transgender women, and transgender men have been largely left out of the narrative. ...
    "Yet experiences of trans men can provide a unique window into how gender functions in American society. In the last few months, I’ve interviewed nearly two dozen trans men and activists about work, relationships and family. Over and over again, men who were raised and socialized as female described all the ways they were treated differently as soon as the world perceived them as male. They gained professional respect, but lost intimacy. They exuded authority, but caused fear. From courtrooms to playgrounds to prisons to train stations, at work and at home, with friends and alone, trans men reiterated how fundamentally different it is to experience the world as a man."
    Transgender Men See Sexism From Both Sides
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  18. Emma added a comment on a blog entry Not for the Faint of Heart   

    Chat has never really appealed to me, I must say. I like these “conversations” more. In the chat rooms I feel compelled to rapidly respond. Here, though, I can be a bit more thoughtful and long winded! So yes, let’s dive into deeper subjects!
    As for AFLAC, hey, you won your first deal! Good for you. The next will have challenges, sure, but you’re learning and making real progress, loading your funnel, and moving them toward closure.
    You go, girl!
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  19. Emma added a comment on a blog entry the ocean or the beach   

    ​I don't find it so much as shameful but transition is a lot of work that can be daunting at times. Like in a half hour I'm headed to the electrologist to start removing the hair above my upper lip. I'm told that hurts a lot so first I will see a dentist (next door) who's going to inject novocaine into the area. I have also been told that this will all take many visits. 
    But the effort seems reduced sometimes, like these days I don't experience much reluctance to just go out and about presenting as my authentic self. Psychologists once ran an experiment where they had people look up from the base of a hill to guess how hard it would be to hike up it. For one group they had them wear a 40-pound load on their back, and the other had no extra load. The 40-pounders assumed that the hill would be much harder to climb than those without the weight. I think I am finding that the load of my transition is lightening with each step I take. 
    ​I'm very glad to hear that you have a therapist. You are lucky to have one. And indeed, there is always so much that we don't expect. That's why they call life a journey and not a destination! We learn as we go... :-)
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  20. Emma added a comment on a blog entry the ocean or the beach   

    Thanks for writing this Kitrah. Sadness and depression often lead to withdrawal since it feels like we are taking care of ourselves, licking our wounds so to speak or, as you said, we are unhappy and being alone feels like it’s a protection against further hurt. What do you feel is driving you to withdrawing from others?
    Self shame is another reason, and I know this one very well. Shame derives from feeling “I am bad” and I felt that way because of my gender dysphoria. 
    But withdrawal doesn’t really help, does it. As Brene Brown says, shame loves the darkness and can’t live in the light of awareness and exposure. It’s scary but it truly helps to allow other people into our lives. 
    Do you have the resources to see a therapist? I highly recommend doing that if you can.
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  21. Emma added a comment on a blog entry the ocean or the beach   

    Kitrah, I feel for you. I'm very fortunate to have a good support network and I agree completely with Lori: it's so important. In fact, when I started HRT in early September my doctor asked me to describe my support network. Its existence wasn't going to prevent her prescribing the hormones but she wanted assurance that I have people around for help.
    I imagine you've looked for LGBT community centers and other resources in your area? There is no replacement for face-to-face human contact but indeed, web resources like TGGuide can help too.
    I wish you the very best Kitrah, I really do.
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  22. Emma added a comment on a blog entry The Weeks Ahead   

    Me too, MichelleLea, happy birthday. 
    So, you were born in ‘42? What a time to grow up. I suppose you don’t have any memories of WW2 people coming home and resettling. But then there was the Korean War, and Vietnam, of course. That’s a lot of wars, too many. 
    I was born in ‘56 and I well remember Vietnam, with Walter Cronkite reporting each night. I just missed being drafted which was quite fortunate of course. 
    So much has changed mostly for the better since then, especially as regards being transgender. I surreptitiously read everything I happened across, mostly about Christine Jorgensen. But also about transvestites, which always sounded like some kind of nasty thing, like a parasite. 
    Ah well, better late than never. I’m glad you found us, and enjoy yourself in the chat room. It does feel so great to just be yourself, doesn’t it. 
    Good luck this week. Yours is an especially tough sales job. Not only cold calling and all that but also selling a solution to a need that most would prefer to ignore or procrastinate. So much of the job is about selling yourself, bonding and connecting with people so they trust and want to do business with you. It takes a special talent and kind of person and I feel you’re going to do very well.
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  23. Emma added a post in a topic Trans Women Storming the Political Arena   

    Wow! Yahoo!!!
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  24. Emma added a comment on a blog entry "Transition"   

    Interesting, Chrissy, thanks. For me, I’m less concerned with defining where I’m transitioning “from” and more interested in the “to.” Also, in my mind I’m not even 100% sure of what I’m going to be when I get there. A transgender woman, yes, but I think I’m already there now as I’m always presenting as female now although have only been on HRT for two months.
    In general use by cis people I believe that they also have varying opinions of the from and to. But all understand that it is a transition, and it’s a big thing.
    All that said, I agree with your concerns about “CGHT.” That does feel loaded and potentially stigmatizing. 
    My own issue with “transition” is that it seems to imply something that is over and done at some point, like I should aim for something. I’m not, though. I’m simply taking steps, pretty much one at a time, like stepping stones across a river.
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  25. Emma added a post in a topic Trans Men Storming the Political Arena   

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