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About this blog

Exploration and growing into my transgender self

Entries in this blog

 

Teanaway Ridge Hike

I hiked up to Teanaway Ridge (https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/iron-bear) yesterday with Philippa, Juliette, and Clara. The weather, spring flowers, and amazing views of the Cascade Mountains were perfect, as was the after-hike beer and munchies. The hike was hard going for me since it was my first hike since my GCS/BA in late January. It was fun getting to know Clara and Juliette who are mid-30s, married to each other. Full of smiles and youthful energy and enthusiasm. The thing is that

Emma

Emma

 

Guilt on the Rise

My ex-wife and I talked yesterday for ninety minutes on the phone. We got caught up on each others lives after not speaking for three weeks due to my facial surgery recovery and her trip to Mexico. That was all well and good until near the end of the call when she said that we need to reduce the frequency of our calls to monthly. She started crying as she told me how unhappy she is, nothing to really look forward to, that sort of thing. It's been two years since I left her in California and this

Emma

Emma

Am I a Woman?

Am I a Woman?

Yesterday I exchanged emails with a good friend of mine, who's a cis woman, about how before/during/after transition I fretted about my gender. Although I feel very binary, a woman, I tell people that I'm a "woman of transgender experience" which, I hope conveys an understanding that I'm a woman first, but am also transgender, always and forever. Well, I tell myself that, but I still struggle. My friend wrote: "The ways we try as women to fit a standard, and inevitably fail, because it's an

Emma

Emma

 

Labels

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

Emma

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

Emma

Emma

Wow

Wow

I joined TG Guide almost four years ago. The time seems short and in hindsight it's passed quickly but there were many deep valleys amid the peaks. Last weekend I hiked to Tolmie Peak with some lesbian friends. Imagine that, out and about as natural as can be.  Now making plans for GCS, hopefully by end of Q1 2019. And yesterday my ex-wife phoned to ask if I'd like for her to help me through recovery! (You bet, I answered.)  Wow.

Emma

Emma

 

Inauthenticity vs. Authenticity

A friend of mine who happens to be non-binary wrote to me this morning about a speech he made yesterday at a monthly event were locals in his community speak on that month's theme. For May it was "epiphany" and... he won! I've had my own epiphany in the last couple of weeks that I'd like to share. Over the years I've often read about the need to live authentically. I assumed that meant I needed to find a different job, career, or otherwise "find myself." I had about three major career chang

Emma

Emma

 

I Got an F Today...

On my Washington state driver's license, that is! I sent in the US Passport revision application last week, requesting (and paying for) expedited service. I don't trust our government (you know who and if you don't what planet are you from?) to not suddenly change the rules, preventing me from obtaining this. Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me please!

Emma

Emma

 

As the Pink Fog Clears

The "Pink Fog" (aka, Gender Euphoria) is something many of us experience as we come into our transgender selves. It feels great, similar to the infatuation of a new love interest. For me I've wondered at times if I'm chasing it which brings up worries that I'm following something akin to the path of an addict instead of my true nature. This came up for me yesterday morning when I read a story in a friend's blog of a 20-something AMAB person who got so caught up in his being a somewhat effeminat

Emma

Emma

 

"Eat, Pray, Love"

It seems that many (all?) Seattle neighborhoods—including mine—have these small kiosks where we can drop off books for others and choose from what's there, all for free. That's just so cool for someone like me who loves to read and I often wonder if others appreciate the ones I drop off. The other day I found "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. I started reading it and loved it so much. I found myself literally laughing out loud while reading it in coffee shops! On Sunday morning I curled u

Emma

Emma

 

On Coming Out

Coming out has been quite a journey for me. The first person I came out to was my therapist in 2014 and later that year my (now ex) wife. In 2015 I came out to several others, mostly therapists and people who participated in local trans groups. Toward the end of 2016 I came out individually to my two sons as well as a couple of friends. Last summer I sent an email to about 100 friends and colleagues, letting them in on my little secret. Yesterday was the biggest day thus far. Yesterday I update

Emma

Emma

 

My First Bra Fitting

I remember hearing that Nordstrom is trans-friendly and offered free bra fittings. But also, back then, I was terrified at the thought. I knew it might happen some day but when that day came I'd know that I'd have to have really come into my own in a much more secure way.  I've only purchased my bras on Amazon. They fit okay, and weren't that expensive. I measured myself with a band size of 38 and as my mother's was 34 I thought I was in the right ballpark. The first cup size was C because that

Emma

Emma

 

My Fair Lady

At last week's meeting with Sandy, my voice coach/therapist, she recalled that early in our work together she'd offered to also coach me on feminine poise, mannerisms. Was I still interested? Absolutely! We thus spent a very fun hour working on my walk during which I recalled the line, "The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain." As with so much in life the differences between how men and women stand and walk are subtle. For some none of this may matter but for me I want the whole package. He

Emma

Emma

 

Happy Birthday Monica!!!

I learned just a few minutes ago that Monica's birthday was last Friday, 1/19. Birthdays are a big deal, especially for those of us who're contending with being trans, lesbian, disabled, ... And heck, we keep getting OLDER. I'll not advertise Monica's age, will leave that up to her to divulge. That said this year is a milestone for her. Monica was the first to great me, with warmth and sincerity, when I joined TGG about 3 1/2 years ago. That was such a difficult time for me. It seemed clear tha

Emma

Emma

 

I Don't Care Much for Myself Tonight

I spent the evening with three girlfriends at a dinner show in downtown Seattle. I should have had a better time. I wore my new burgundy REI sweater dress, fleece-lined leggings, and a silver necklace. If I do say so myself, I looked nice. Nice that is, for me.  I'm not sure I should be writing this at all. After all I'm a moderator here. Aren't I supposed to be like a Camp Counselor who always knows the right thing to say, the right thing to do? That's what it seemed like when I went to camp,

Emma

Emma

 

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

Emma

Emma

 

EMAGINE

A couple of months ago while driving north in Oregon I thought of a custom license plate for me: "EMMAGINE." Unfortunately the DMV only accepts 7 characters or fewer so I dropped an M. I love it!

Emma

Emma

 

Coming Out on National Coming Out Day

Yesterday I read this article on Transgender Universe by Mila Madison (I love her writings): Is It Safe to Come Out? You see, yesterday was National Coming Out Day. On reading the article it occurred to me that for most people the definition of "coming out" is a single event, coming out of the closet, letting others know ones true/authentic nature (sexuality, gender, etc.), and then it's done. That stirred up some thoughts for me as I considered that I came out all of the past year and see mys

Emma

Emma

 

Ignorance on Display

Last night I met a male friend for dinner whom I've known since first grade - quite a long while. I'd told him via email that I'm trans a couple of months ago and he was supportive, so he wasn't particularly surprised when I appeared in skinny jeans, athletic pumps, and with studs in my earlobes. He's a successful corporate attorney and is friendly, very articulate, and handsome with designer glasses, died hair, and clothing that while very casual were color- and style-perfect for the occasion.

Emma

Emma

 

I've Always Had Terrible Handwriting

When I was young my handwriting was awful. So bad that all too often I couldn't read it myself. It was a scrawl; I just didn't care. About 35 years ago when I started working with computers I forgot how to write in cursive. I'd either type out notes/letters on the keyboard or use printed capital letters, trying to mimic an architect's hand. I was still able to sign my name in cursive but it's always been a scribble, identifiable as mine but otherwise indecipherable. Until a couple of months ago.

Emma

Emma

 

Trying It All On For Size

The last couple of weeks have been busy. I had a first meeting with a new gender therapist (Shannon), my eyebrows waxed by a stylist (Zed),  and an evaluation with a very experienced voice coach (Sandy). I’ve also started drafting my transition plan that I’ll review with Shannon when we meet again in September – after I return from Alaska.   I mentioned to Sandy (the voice coach) that I want to start low-dose HRT in September as a way to dip my toe in the water. She advised that I get some doct

Emma

Emma

 

"Meet Emma": My Coming Out Email

Last week I sent the following email to about 30 ex-colleagues and friends at a start-up company I worked at for 6 years and loved. Roughly 75% have responded very positively, and one even reported that his 9 year old son has expressed transgender feelings and asked for my thoughts and suggestions. I've not received any negative feedback. Maybe the other 25% are uncomfortable? Who knows, but that's okay... Since sending this email out I've forwarded it to another 15 or so people. I think it's a

Emma

Emma

 

A Wonderful Experience

For the very first time I went out to dinner dressed last week and spent a couple of days in skinny jeans, leggings, and my tunic tops. Also wore a couple of my skirt/top outfits. I also received a lot of lessons in makeup and wig care. I learned so much! And I just felt wonderful.  True, I also learned that, frankly, makeup is hard to learn, and I prefer to wear as little of it as possible. And the wig is hot and not very comfortable. Thankfully my natural hair may be okay so I'm growing it ou

Emma

Emma

 

Horns of a Dilemma

Yesterday afternoon a rental RV pulled in to the campground space adjacent to mine. I didn't take much notice of it. I glanced there occasionally and was surprised to find that the couple were sitting in the cab of the truck. Kind of odd since the first thing one does is connect up the water, electricity, and waste disposal. I made my dinner and while cooking my pork chop decided to ask them if all was alright. Maybe they were unfamiliar with what to do and embarrassed to ask?  After eating my

Emma

Emma

 

One Door Closes, Another Door Opens

Today is – quite literally – the first full day of the rest of my life. Yesterday (on Easter Sunday) I left my wife (now, ex, which is hard to fathom), home (now hers), friends, and family, to venture out on a Hero’s Journey (if I do say so myself) to see what I find in my gender, life, and home. I woke this morning in my Minnie Winnie near Healdsburg, California at a KOA campground, figured out how to hook up the water and sewage to the coach, and cooked eggs and coffee for breakfast.  The las

Emma

Emma

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