LovelyLisa

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Everything posted by LovelyLisa

  1. LovelyLisa added a comment on a blog entry One Door Closes, Another Door Opens   

    Emma, I have not logged in for awhile until today and was surprised by your post. I am so sorry that you had to go through this. Yet at the same the love that you and wife showed each other is unparalleled. Just amazing!
    Be safe and well on your new journey. I am happy for you!
    <3
    Lisa
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  2. LovelyLisa added a comment on a blog entry Updates   

    Thank you Emma! I am so excited and happy. Yes, Merry Christmas to me. This has been quite a journey for me.
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  3. LovelyLisa added a blog entry in Finding Lisa   

    Updates
    Update - 12/6/2016
    To say that a lot has happened since I last posted is an understatement. I will post more later.
    I am currently recovering from FFS surgery on Dec 2nd. I had a brow reduction & lift. Upper eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty, fat transfer to the cheeks. Chin reduction and shaping and tracheal shave. Tomorrow I have an appointment to hopefully take some of the stitches out and splint on my nose..
    I have been off from work since Dec 1st and will be returning to work as Lisa on Dec 19th. I changed my name with the court and my name and gender marker on my SS card. In a few days, I will be going to the DMV and later the passport office to change my name and gender marker there as well.


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  4. LovelyLisa added a blog entry in Finding Lisa   

    Transition Update
    My FFS surgery is scheduled for 12/2. My full-time date at work is 12/19. I am still part-time, but dress almost all of the time, except work. I have been on HRT for almost 17 months and filling in nicely.
    My name change order came through. I was going to change my license but have been sick the last few days. With work, I haven't gotten to it. But that is next as well as my SS Card. Then my passport.
    More disclosures. What I am finding is that everyone is accepting at first, but after the shock wears off, not everyone is. So I am plowing ahead past my surgery and full-time date. It's like I am racing before anyone tries to get in my way or gives me a lot of grief over it. So a lot of people know ... but there are many more who I still want to tell. This is such an emotional thing for me. That it is hard to be objective about it. I am finding that the closest of family members and friends are the ones who have the hardest time dealing with it.
    I have been working with HR to update the policy and come up with a communications plan to the company and customers. Not everyone knows yet, just management, task leads and HR. But everyone will find out in November.
    I have support group tomorrow and I am trying to organize my thoughts. So much has happened these last two months.
    Love to all,
    --Lisa
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  5. LovelyLisa added a blog entry in Finding Lisa   

    Transition Update - Full-time date: 12/19/2016, Name Change, Disclosures
    A lot has happened since I last posted. On Friday, I set my full-time date with HR ... 12/19/2016. No significance to the date. It's just a good time to ease into my new routine, because there will be a lot of down-time in the office.. I  have decided on my name, but will not disclose my new full name here until I am near my FT date. Lisa will (continue to) be my first name. I've had it for over 25 years and am used to it.
    - I met with my VP who was really shocked, but supportive. There will be more follow-up with him and HR. I told him, that from a personal perspective the decision was not taken lightly and that to get to a decision was gut-wrenching. He said that he couldn't imagine anyone going through this unless it was absolutely necessary.
    - I met with my project lead and a couple of coworkers. My project lead was so happy and excited for me and just glad that I wasn't leaving because he relies on me. The two coworkers I told, I was a little worried about, but those meetings went well.
    I have been giving people that I disclose to the option of seeing pictures of me. I had some prints made at Walgreens to show people if they are ready for it. Once people see me as Lisa ... they totally get it.
    I am excited and am very ready for this. I just hope that with me finally being open and honest with others that it will encourage more people to come out. My hope is that I can increase awareness and visibility by my presence in the workplace. I did talk with HR and there are some people in the office who do not know someone who is transgender and I will be the first in the company. So it will be interesting, I'm sure. And speaking of visibility, I fully intend on looking fabulous. I am sure that some worlds will be "rocked". Hopefully, not too many heads will explode. But if they do, I will deal with it like I always have, with grace, love and kindness. <3
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  6. LovelyLisa added a comment on a blog entry Transition Update (Posted on FB - 7/12/2016)   

    Thank you all so much!! I will be posting more. It's been a lot to tackle. I knew that July would be extremely stressful and emotionally challenging for me. But I feel so much better and finally free to be me!
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  7. LovelyLisa added a blog entry in Finding Lisa   

    Transition Update (Posted on FB - 7/12/2016)
    Talked to the HR Director at HQ today (finally) and disclosed that I plan to transition within 6 months. I had typed up a long letter to give to her or read (it was the easiest letter to write ...). But instead of reading it, I decided that she and I would benefit more from a two-way conversation. It went really well. It turned out that a close friend of hers and her family just went full-time (MTF), so she was really, really excited for me, which surprised me. LOL. Anyways, I wanted to feel her out and see if she wanted to drive this or if I could. Basically she told me to do what I thought was right for me. Which was really great. So, I have a meeting scheduled with one of the project leads and am meeting with my VP this week after that. I have a follow-up with her tentatively planned for Tuesday to talk detailed timelines at which point we will approach the president.
    I am really excited about this. Hell, I was excited before the call. It was LONG overdue. So, I know that this is going to "rock" some worlds. But anyone who has known me for a long time, I am pretty fearless when I commit to a decision. So it will be interesting how this will affect the dynamics of the office and my primary customer. It should be interesting and a great learning experience for me. And honestly, I see a much, much better life for myself, better relationships due to do me being able to be fully open with others and being true to myself. I will be able to connect at a much deeper level, more than I ever have my entire life. Also, I won't be wasting my life anymore trying to be someone else. Or by meeting someone else's expectations. I am truly free of the burdens, bonds and boundaries that I have placed around myself. It really is a "good thing". :-)
    So, my wife's family now knows. And they have been super kind to me, which has caught me off guard and totally by surprise, because my wife and I are not staying together. There are more people that I need to tell over the next couple of weeks, but I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
    I am testing my wings. They are strong and they are beautiful. This is going to be an awesome ride!!
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  8. LovelyLisa added a blog entry in Finding Lisa   

    Update ...
    Just an update
    I haven't been on here much. I have been really busy, active. Making steady progress.
    But I had something that happened to me last night which stopped me cold. I had a guy who I was friends with, who I have chatted with for months, just dump me and cut me out of his life. Being trans*, I have experienced a lot of this over many years. But recently, things had been going really well. So this blindsided me a bit.
    Anyways, I cried today. I will be okay. It will take some time to get over this. This wasn't the first time, and it won't be the last.
    I've experienced tons of rejection. And honestly, I am used to it. Even though things have gotten so much better in the last 5 years or so regarding others accepting me, particularly these last few weeks (which is awesome), it still just wears me down. Makes me tired. For some reason, I don't know why, it makes me either work harder or just back away from things. I don't allow others to validate me a person or a woman. But it still hurts when it happens, especially when we develop relationships with others and they for whatever reason back away.
    I hope that everyone has an awesome day today.
    --Lisa
     
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  9. LovelyLisa added a comment on a blog entry My Love, My Life   

    Monica,
    Thank you! I have been trying to get my wife to go to counseling or support groups for families and spouses and she has thus far resisted.
    I think you are right about being drawn to my "feminine energy". It's interesting, but several ex-girlfriends have said that breaking up with me was their biggest regret. I think many love my sensitive side but sexually need a man, so it just doesn't work out. 
     
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  10. LovelyLisa added a blog entry in Finding Lisa   

    My Love, My Life

    "My Love, My Life" were the words I had inscribed inside my wife's wedding band. I really meant it. She was and is everything to me. I love her so much.
    A few weeks ago, my wife told me she did not want to be with me anymore. She explained that she is not a lesbian. That she tried, but needs to be with a man and wants to start dating. I knew that she was struggling with my transition and our relationship. Many times in the past, she has said that if I transition, that she would not stay with me. Last year she had a change of heart, yet our relationship has changed. We are still loving with each other. She is my best friend. Yet she is not attracted to be anymore. We haven't had sex in 2.5 years. There are a lot of couples that stop having sex. But obviously this was something my wife needs.
    She started to cry. I felt so bad for her. I was so sweet with her, I hugged her and told her that it was okay. I told her that I loved her, totally understood why she felt that way and supported her. That she was brave for saying what she said and that I am proud of her. I smiled and showed her so much love, the kind of unconditional love that I promised to give her when I married her. She is really an awesome person and woman. I am so fortunate to have had her in my life and shared so much of my life with her (the last 18 years). I've told her many times, that our marriage was "it" for me. I never want to be married to anyone else. But, there are no guarantees in life. She needs more than what I have to give. And honestly, we have grown apart. I am not the best and smartest spouse in the world. But I am the most kind and loving that she will ever meet.  That does count for a lot and is very important. But that is not enough in our marriage. My attraction to her is still really strong and I told her that, not to make her feel bad but to let her know that I still find her desirable.
    Last week, she suggested that I start dating guys. I have never been with or dated a man before. Mostly because I have not been physically attracted to guys and much more attracted to females, my wife specifically. It was a strange conversation. I don't know where it was coming from. Honestly, these next two or three months, I have a lot of things I am trying to tackle and dating is not in my forethought. But realistically, that is what I face in my future. Finding someone else who wants to share their life with me. Being a transwoman, this may be a difficult task. But I am not stressed out about it, because I have a lot of really awesome new friends that I can rely on who are very special and dear to me. I am very thankful for them and everyone who has stuck by me through all of this, especially my wonderful wife who I love and respect dearly.
    It is so important to find love and happiness in life. I hope that all of us find what we seek.
    Love and Blessings to All on this Special Day!!
    --Lisa
     
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  11. LovelyLisa added a comment on a blog entry Life is Good   

    Emma,
    It is good to see that things are going well for you. Life is good, even though at times the experience of coming to terms with our gender and transition are daunting and unsatisfying at times. Life is good when we don't put pressure on ourselves to either conform or to transition.
    It's wonderful that you are getting out, meeting new friends. Support of a good friend or set of friends is so important.
    Please feel free to contact me at anytime.
    --Lisa
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  12. LovelyLisa added a comment on a blog entry My Love, My Life   

    Veronica, thank you for those kind words and your support. I don't want anyone to cry, though. :-)
    I have never loved someone so much that I am willing to let her go and be happy. At times it is upsetting and heartbreaking for me because she has been everything to me. At the same time, I have grown being married to her and in my walk with the Lord. Love is and should be unconditional. Otherwise it is not really love. And I love her unconditionally.
    I really do hope she finds a wonderful guy. And I am hopeful that my children handle it well. Both my transition and the new guy. Whomever that is or will be.
     
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  13. LovelyLisa added a comment on a blog entry Depression, being forgotten and a comforting Bree   

    Hang in there hun! Maybe you could talk with them about this oversight?
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  14. LovelyLisa added a blog entry in Finding Lisa   

    Keystone Conference 2016

    It has been quite awhile since I have updated. A lot has happened over the last two months. Recently I attended the Keystone Conference in Harrisburg, VA which is less than a 2 hour drive for me. I only attended the conference Friday and Saturday, had a wonderful time, a bit tired but learned a lot. My primary reason for attending was to meet with several surgeons and get consultations for FFS. I also wanted to attend the sessions, meet others. Before I arrived to the conference, I did try to get on the schedules of surgeons for consultations so that I can get estimates and potentially schedule surgery.
    So I only had two consultations with Dr. Rumer and Dr. Leis. They are local to the Philly area so they are very accessible for me. I was please with both doctors. I also attended their informational sessions at the conference. I showed them a pencil drawing that I did of myself when I was 17 years old (I posted it here for reference), just to show them how my face has changed over the years.  Specifically, there is a bump on my nose, the distance between nose and upper lip is a little longer. My jawline more pronounced. But what has changed the most is my brow. It is very pronounced. Given the changes to my face, I still wouldn't change much, but the brow and pronounced trachea I really need to address. I received an estimate from Leis for the brow reduction, lift, scalp advancement, rhinoplasty, lip lift and tracheal shave. I am getting an estimate from Dr. Rumer for the same, but she suggested fat injections in the cheeks. I am waiting to receive an estimate from her via email. I was really excited about it, because I feel like I am taking the first concrete steps towards my goal of working full-time as a woman.
    I also talked with James Walker out of Buffalo, NY who does full beard clearances. I have had 4 full face and neck laser treatments and 37 hours of electrolysis over the last 11 - 12 months. But it is not progressing fast enough and I would like to accelerate it. I am hoping to get on his schedule the first week of April. He travels and will be in Harrisburg, then.
    I will be posting more soon. A lot has happened in my life.
    Love and Sunshine,
    Lisa
     

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  15. LovelyLisa added a comment on a blog entry Keystone Conference 2016   

    Emma,
    Glad to be back. I have been so crazy busy these last two months. It's nuts!
     
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  16. LovelyLisa added a blog entry in Finding Lisa   

    The Transition of Others
    As the saying goes, "As one transitions, those around them transition as well." I am reminded of this fairly frequently, but more-so this week. My mom and sister have been struggling with my transition.
    My mother and sister still live in the Northwest Ohio area. I told them of my transition and being transgender at different times. I came out to my sister back in April 2014. I came out to my mom later that year. I have struggled with my gender identity my whole life. My mom was vaguely aware of this struggle in my early years. Eventually, I was put in therapy when I was 14 years old to address what was going on with me. My parents really did not know why I was dressing and going out in public. They thought I was acting out. That I was engaging in risky behavior. But they did not understand or know what it was. I did not know what it was either.
    After a year or so of therapy, my therapy ended and was considered "successful". Successful in helping me repress my true gender identity and successful in fooling everyone that I was "normal". Whatever "normal" is. So fast forward 30 years. My father passed away a year and a half ago. My mom is struggling with his death and all of the ramifications of that. And she is struggling with my transition. Not just coming to terms with it. But also trying to understand how this could happen. Naturally as a concerned parent, she is looking back trying to understand how she missed this. She is also trying to fill in her history with the story of my experience.
    This past week, she has struggled with the coming "death" of my male gender and what that means to her.  Getting used to having a new daughter and no longer a son. Does she call me by my female name? Or my male name? I told her to call me whatever she felt comfortable calling me. That it was okay and natural and that she needed time to get used to this. My hope is that eventually it will be difficult to call me her son. But I understand that to her, I am her only boy. She was concerned that I would demand that she refer to me as a daughter and that it was going to take her time getting used to it. I told her that as long as someone's intentions were not malicious that I wouldn't be upset if someone misgendered me or forgot to call me by my female name.
    My sister is having the same difficulty with having a sister versus brother. The sense of loss is very real. Even though I am the same person, in this very bigendered world, we wrap our identities in our gender roles. Those around us interact based on how we present ourselves and are perceived. This is more-so the case in a close knit family. And when we no longer act or present in a way that represents our gender roles since birth, this is considered an act of rebellion, an affront to  "normal" people who consider this "abnormal". How people deal with this, depends partly on them and their relationship with me.
    Regardless, my expectations are the same. I expect to be treated with respect and expect to be accepted without understanding. My word taken at face value. Yet, I will cut everyone some slack. My transition will take time for people to adjust to. Some more than others. I have been struggling with my gender identity for 40 years. If it takes people some time to adjust and get used to it, not having that experience, it is totally understandable.
    Everyone take care. I hope that everyone has had a wonderful week.
    Love,
    Lisa
     
     
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  17. LovelyLisa added a comment on a blog entry The Transition of Others   

    Thank you so much ladies. I did visit with my mom and sister in Ohio after I wrote this and we talked for several hours. I think that they are much better. I think that everyone wants to be able to categorize or describe something in concrete ways, leaving no room for gray areas. My mom and sister are certainly not like that. However there are others who are. I cannot explain to them why I am like this, or how me being transgender came to be. There are a lot of theories and explanations out there. But no one really knows, why I am like this. And no one knows better than I, who I am. That is a fact. This is who I am. It is a part of me the same way that a limb is on a body. Further, I am female, regardless of what people say, because again, that is who I am. And no one know better than I do who I am, what I need to live and survive.
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  18. LovelyLisa added a comment on a blog entry Emma's New Dress   

    Emma,
    Beautiful! You cast a striking silhouette. I am so happy for you!
    --Lisa
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  19. LovelyLisa added a blog entry in Finding Lisa   

    New Year 2016
    This week I had to work, but I was able to reflect a bit on what was a difficult last three years or so. It's seems as though just in the last three weeks as I have stabilized, I have been able to focus, be more task-oriented, yet be able to look forward, plan and conceptualize what my future might look like or what may be possible.
    It is always difficult to say what will happen. Yet I won't let that deter me from making sound plans for myself that are achievable. I have a few focus areas for next year: my family and friends ... work continuously to strengthen many of the life-long relationships that I've had with my friends and strengthen ties with family. Seek out allies. People who I think will support me as I transition. Make new friends and network. Spend more time with not only trans* folks but cigender folks as well so that I can start to socialize in my new role. Come up with a more solid transition plan. But at the same time, not rush into anything or put undue pressure on myself to meet a deadline.
    The holidays can be painful for many people. I am thankful that I was able to spend this time with my family. I've lost many people I have loved over the last couple years. And otherwise things were extremely difficult for me for several other reasons. But I am thankful. We all are happy, healthy. We have a wonderful life and home together. I am getting what I need to transition and take care of myself. And most importantly, I have the loving support of my family. Life is a struggle. Eventually, we all lose this struggle. It's what we do during the struggle, which defines who we are. And as bad as things can be, we need to look for the little things to enjoy in life. For me it is my children, the outdoors and riding my bike. And focus on the positives and what is good in a given situation. And invest in the relationships we do have. And create new lasting friendships. It costs nothing to be kind and loving to others. Don't harbor anger. Forgive and love others. Even when they seem beyond loving. It's all tough stuff. And transition is tough stuff.
    If anyone is struggling, please feel free to send me a message. I am here for anyone who needs it. I can be a friend if you need a friend or someone to talk to. Just let me know.
    I hope that everyone is having a good Christmas and has a wonderful New Year in 2016. I think that it will be a good one! (I hope ... LOL!)
    Love and Blessings,
    --Lisa
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  20. LovelyLisa added a comment on a blog entry New Year 2016   

    Thank you Veronica, Violet and Stephanie. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you too! I still have a long road ahead of me. I recognize that. I am just so thankful and glad that I have the support of ladies like you as I go through this journey. --Lisa :-) <3
     
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  21. LovelyLisa added a blog entry in Finding Lisa   

    Holidays, Closure and Looking Ahead to 2016
    Had another good week. I feel like a survivor but I want to be more than that.
    This week I closed out a project that I had led for almost 2.5 years. It was extremely difficult and often went from one crisis to the next. Unfortunately, several of us paid a price personally because of this project. We either suffered due to the personalities that we were subject to or had to make extreme personal sacrifices in order to be successful. Several of us had mental breakdowns because it would be too much at times. So, I couldn't help but sit back in my chair today at work and reflect on not only what was accomplished, but also what happened, what I learned from the experience and how I grew as a person.
    There is no doubt, I am more patient and mature. No doubt. I know how to better deal with others who go beyond difficult to hostile. And what I learned is to be kind, loving and gracious. Kill them with kindness. That was basically what I did. Also, to not be the smartest person in the room, but the kindest. I had several people tell me things like, "you are too nice" or "you are way too kind". "You need to be tougher, more aggressive." And the question I would ask is, "How? How is someone more aggressive and tougher? At what point does one cross the line? And what constitutes toughness, exactly? What does being "tough" really mean?". With love and kindness, there is no line to be crossed. No way a person can run afoul of authority being excessively kind. I can express an unending and unconditional love to all ... and not get in trouble. And there is nothing anyone can do about, other than fire me...for being kind and loving. Yeah. I guess it's possible. But why would anyone do that?
    I also learned how to be better prepared and prepare for success, not failure. To always look ahead. Look for opportunities in the most challenging and dire situations and environments. Listen to what people have to say, respond and act. Take control of a situation when no one is leading. If it is your meeting, run the meeting. If someone is leading, respect their leadership and defer to them. And most of all, be the best you can be in any situation and task. That way at the end of the day, week, month, year or life there is no reason to look back with regret.
    Anyways, those are my two cents at the moment. Just decompressing after the week, a little tired, sick .. but already planning for a successful 2016.
    On the personal side, I will have some time off. Will look to continue to improve physically and give myself a break mentally. I have almost lost 50 pounds. I plan on losing about another 7 pounds but stay at that weight for the next few years and let HRT do some of the work for me. As of today, I have been on HRT for 8 months. I look like a totally different person. It's amazing how much I have changed in such a short period of time.
    If I happen to not post anything else for the remainder of the year, happy holidays to everyone and a happy new year! I will try to post a couple of updates over the next two weeks, but may not because I'll be focused on being with my family.
    Take care, love to all and God Bless everyone!!
    Love, Lisa
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  22. LovelyLisa added a comment on a blog entry Happy Holidays   

    Happy Holidays, Emma!
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  23. LovelyLisa added a comment on a blog entry Great week...looking forward to the future.   

    Thank you ladies! I am just very thankful that I feel better. It has been quite a road that I have traveled thus far.
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  24. LovelyLisa added a blog entry in Finding Lisa   

    Great week...looking forward to the future.
    I had a good week last week and this one is turning out to be just as good. First, I finally feel stabilized on my meds over a week ago.
    This past weekend I met up will a large group of ladies for a Christmas party at the Marriott. That was nice. I posted one of my pictures.
    My job is going well. I am feeling good and in good shape. Everything seems to be better. I am mentally strong again.
    I hope that all is well with everyone.
    Happy Holidays,
    --Lisa
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  25. LovelyLisa added a blog entry in Finding Lisa   

    Update
    It has been awhile since I last posted. I ended up having more issues with anxiety and depression in Oct and Nov. Though, I feel like I am finally coming out of it.
    Work was really stressful the last couple of months, which did not make things any better. My productivity over the last month has been great and everyone is pleased, but the environment I work in is difficult at best.
    On a positive note, I posted some updated photos of me. I've lost a considerable amount of weight and am filling in nicely. I lost 45 lbs over the last 5 months and am down to 160 lbs, which is what I used to weigh 2+ years ago. I basically stopped drinking alcohol and cut back a bit on consumption. Also, no sweets and junk food. I also have been getting to bed early (around 8 or 9pm) and getting plenty of sleep. I feel so much better. I have sleep apnea and I am sleeping better because I lost the weight. The best part is that those pictures are all me. No shapewear and padding, except for a padded bra.
    Up until about 3 or 4 weeks ago, my wife hated seeing me dressed. Didn't want to be around it etc. But now, I am presenting much better and she thinks I look great and is happy for me. She wants to buy me female stuff and shop for me. In some ways, it bothers me. Transwomen feel an intense pressure to meet some sort of standard that society puts on us. Gender is viewed as binary. And hate feeling like I have to look a certain way to fit in. But unfortunately, that is the reality of our lives. Women are judged by how they look, particularly by other women. But I am glad that my wife now feels better about this. She and I are still not intimate, have not been for a couple of years nor do I expect her to be. But after her struggling with this new version of me for three years, it is good to see she is more positive about this.
    Looking ahead, I will be speaking to my children soon. As well as work. I know exactly what I will say.
    I hope that everyone has had a good week.
    Love,
    --Lisa
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