Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I'm so far behind on writing.  There are lots of positive things going on right now and it's become difficult to document.  For one thing, I'm just so happy and excited that I can't slow down my thoughts enough to convert them to words.  And for another,  there are so many things I could write about I don't know where to begin.  It's like all the pieces are falling into place right now.  I really need to write the rest of Star Crossed, but today I am taking a break and writing about general transition stuff instead.  It's just a quick update to document some transition related things while they are still current.

My birthday is tomorrow.  That was my deadline for going full time.  Am I on target?  Actually yes, I think.    Christmas weekend I was on my way out of town.  (Where doesn't matter and gives away another story I need to write separately. :P)  I made two stops here before I got underway.  The pharmacy, and the gas station for a Red Bull to keep me alert.  I was wearing horizontally striped grey tights, a black and grey empire waisted dress, a pea coat, and carrying a trendy little purse.  Both places were completely fine with me and other customers barely gave me a second glance.  Both clerks knew me, but seemed unsurprised and were cordial.

Since then I have made several trips into town dressed more casually, but not androgynously by any standard.  People have been using correct pronouns and have been very nice at the local restaurants and pharmacies.  

Last week I baked Christmas cookies with my awesome friends Jack and Diane.  We were at my Granny's house and I wore a black low heeled boots, gender appropriate jeans, a lavender tank and a hoodie in a very girly cut.  Full make up, natural curls and a silver bracelet rounded out the look.  Mom came up for lunch and didn't mention my mode of dress.

Since then she has seen me coming and going from the house dressing as I choose.  The day I came home wearing a pea coat, 3 inch heeled boots, jeans and a dressier top, I went straight to my room and came back out in a tank and jeans.  She didn't mention it, but she looked like she had been crying as I changed clothes.  It makes me sad that this is hard for her, but I'm very happy that she has chosen not to confront me.

My brother was in around Christmas as well.  I had written him about my transition in advance and was worried about the visit.  Things went well though.  He felt a little distant, but he seemed comfortable.  Things were much as they have always been between us, despite my change in appearance and it was very nice having him visit.

I've been a little pre-occupied lately and I've gotten off schedule as a result. I've not completed the work communications I intended to send before winter break.  I'll probably still send some form of communication to coincide with the end of winter break.  I still consider myself on schedule though, and I will be full time after tomorrow.

Monday I filed my name change petition.   It was all fairly comfortable, despite a degree of nervousness.  The Kentucky name change petition form is available online as a fillable .pdf file.  I completed it, took it to the courthouse, asked around about the right department and they processed it and set my court date.  January 4, 9:30 AM.  Reason for request to change name?  I simply typed "Transexual-Requesting name change in accordance with gender."  Everyone was very professional about the filing of the petition.

I always imagined this would be scary.  This was it.  The big move.  I had done the one thing that takes my transitioning status completely out of the realm of rumor and makes it a matter of written public record.  This is bridge burning on a grand scale and I always thought that watching the flames, there would be fear. How will my family respond to my fully coming out?  How will things go at work? How will this community respond?  Despite all those unanswered questions I didn't feel at all afraid.  I left with a deep contentment; a satisfaction that things are under way.

I'm sure there will be challenges in 2011, but there is this sense that everything is coming together for me.  Between the new social aspects of my transition and other recent shifts in my life, I'm feeling happier and emotionally healthier than I ever have.   =)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Star Crossed

Warning! This post is very sappy.

A few weekends ago, I was at a gathering.  I had arrived on time ,which is odd for me, and things were going well.  I was catching up with friends, having a good time.  I felt confident, happy, and very much in control.  I'm well into my transition.  The remainder of the immediately possible steps are laid out nicely.  I have wonderful friends.  I was content, but I was about to be reminded of the one thing missing in my life.  The one thing I wasn't allowing myself to think about, because I considered it out of reach and complicated, was about to suddenly become the center of my thoughts.

As I was sitting contentedly chatting a friend, the door opened to admit the most strikingly beautiful creature I have ever seen.  She was so unusually beautiful that she caught my attention immediately and my first thoughts were of jealousy and comparison.  I can be catty sometimes.  :P

Then, as she scanned the room our eyes locked briefly, we each smiled, and something amazing happened.  I was instantly captivated.  For the remainder of the gathering I couldn't get her out of my mind.  I never approached her and instead kept my original seat.  I never made eye contact again.  But I was just constantly aware of her presence - wondering if she noticed me and what I looked like from her angle of observation and silly things.  I really wished I could talk to her but I wasn't sure how, and I wouldn't want her to figure out I was interested in her. If it turned out not to be mutual that would be just far to embarrassing.

Eventually as she was circulating around the room she approached me and a few friends, and we finally got to chat.  We were standing face to face, and at this range she was even more beautiful than ever.  Her eyes were so blue and brilliant.  Her smile was breathtaking.  Her voice was soft and quiet, with a touch of huskiness.  I could have listened all day. I had this urge to reach up and brush her cheek with my fingers, and found myself wondering what it would feel like to kiss her lips.  

As we talked it turned out we had quite a lot in common.  We both work in technology, and our skill sets overlap somewhat.  We are both kind of dorky and have some common interests.  I felt shy talking to her.  I rarely waste much energy thinking about things romantic, and my sudden interest in this girl had taken me completely off guard.  I had no idea how to act.  She seemed a bit shy as well and little things about our communication seemed to hint that she might be interested in me too.

One thing I worried about was her age.  She looked to young for me.  At  one point the subject of age came up and upon reporting my age she seemed highly surprised and said she would have guessed another age; an age thirteen years younger than my real age.  I asked her age and it turned out we were only five years apart, rather than twelve to thirteen years I would have guessed.  I was so relieved that I just stared into her eyes smiling for a moment.  She was smiling back.

At the end of the night we were among the last to leave, and we parted with a brief hug.  Nothing romantic,;just the same friendly hug I would have given any friend.  But I found myself wishing so much I could hold her tighter or kiss her good night.  I walked to my car without looking back, and have scarcely thought of anything but her since.  

Part 2 Later  :P

Friday, December 10, 2010


Its been a quiet few days on the blog, but there is lots happening with me right now.  In fact, I think something happened Saturday that will effect the rest of my life in amazing ways, and every day since has been charged with positive emotion.  I can't write just yet because there isn't enough time for a few days, but after this weekend I hope to be able to share my news.

Keep an eye on the blog roll, and I'm sorry I've been so distracted. :)

Thursday, December 02, 2010


Today after work I wanted a snack.  Now a year on spironolactone, I have become accustomed to the sudden salt cravings that take me at strange times.  It is nothing that a bag of barbecued pork rinds and a V-8 can't settle in a few moments.  With that in mind I took a detour on my drive home and stopped at a gas station in my quiet little town.

It is a typical country store with a modern cookie cutter twist.  Tobacco advertisements line the walls behind counter,  along with assorted odds and ends for sale.   Encased in glass on the counter a row of rottiserie chicken and other greasy edibles bask in the glow of a heat lamp.  On the shelves the selection is much like any other fuel stop in the United States and the building is a very typical gas station type structure; the kind that even if you tore out the pumps and left it standing derelict for a century, you would still be able to tell it was originally a gas station.  This one generally has a very down home feel even though I have never known exactly why.  Maybe it is just that it is never quite completely clean and there is a well worn feel to the place.  Maybe it is that the staff is almost always incredibly nice.

Today there was a bit of a line and I didn't know the clerk.  I was feeling ill at ease and wished things would hurry along. It had been a long day that ended with hanging a very heavy projector mount in a drop ceiling.  My makeup was worn out, my hair was frazzled and the red crew neck I wore over a long sleeved green thermal showed traces of the dust I had hastily brushed away before entering.

While I was standing there waiting my turn to check out I noticed the guy behind me was incredibly close.  If he had been any closer I could have probably felt his breath down my neck.  I suppressed a giggle.  Obviously he had no idea who I was.  Most men would never violate my personal space in this town for fear of me, or if not that then fear of being seen that close to me.

Maybe I wasn't looking terrible after all I thought to myself.  Still I was aware of the dust, the tousled hair, and the fact that I had ceased shaving yesterday in preparation for more electrolysis on Saturday.  The insecurity mounted.  Then I looked outside through the window and a reflection caught my eye.   Suddenly my insecurities seemed well founded.  Behind me and the guy standing so close was a short lady a bit older than me.  She was leaning out of the line and craning her head in my general direction.  I knew immediately she was looking at me.  In hind sight I am not so sure, but at the moment I was sure she was trying to get a glimpse of the infamous local tranny.

At the counter the clerk took his time checking out the two people ahead of me.  "Have a good evening ma'am."  "Have a good evening sir."  He was tall and lean.  Probably fifteen years older than me, with a slow drawl and a friendly manner.  I stepped to the counter and his manner completely changed.  Without a word he scanned my items.  Beside me the man who had been immediately behind me had suddenly seen fit to give me lots more space once he had seen me in profile.   I had laid  a five on the counter and the clerk didn't bother to mention a price.  Instead he quietly slipped the five off of the counter and never met my eyes until he handed me my change.

For that second that he was looking at me I decided I wanted to at least try to come across as friendly and non-threatening so I smiled.  For the effort I got a hesitant thank you.  I told him to have a good evening and headed for the door.  As I touched the door the awkward silence broke.  "Haven't seen you in a while!"  the clerk said to the man in line behind me.

I walked to the car quietly contemplating the nature of my local infamy.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Work Fashion Preview

A sampling of my new work wardrobe stuff.  

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Shopping and Catching Up With Friends

I haven't gotten to hang out with my two favorite local friends very much lately.  So when (hmm, lets make up some names....) Jack and Diane invited me out of town last Saturday I jumped at the chance!

The trip was required for Jack, who had an all day meeting.  That left Diane and I with a girl's day out sort of situation, which was just awesome!   We had lots of time to chat and catch up, ate some Taco Bell for lunch in the car, sat on a bench on the college campus for a long chat, and drove around checking out the town.  It was all just great.

But the highpoint was the shopping.  We hit Factory Connection and the merchandise and prices were amazing.  I've mentioned for a while now that I need work clothes and that I have a hard time shopping for them.  When I think about work I always imagine that I'm going to be under my co-workers' microscope and completely over analyzed this January.  Thinking about it makes me feel a need to over-analyze too, and to make sure every purchase is inscrutable.

When I walked into this store, I was hit with much the same feeling.  I just started going through the racks, feeling overwhelmed by all the worries.  Shopping for clothes is easy.  Shopping for acceptance-not so much.

Diane was great though and helped me get past it.  She started pointing out things she knew I would like.  She was so excited about all of her finds and the enthusiasm was contagious.  Before long, I was actually picking out pieces to too, and once the dressing room was unlocked and I had tried on a few things, I was pretty much unstoppable!

I ended up with stuff that is work appropriate, flattering and very much in sync with my sense of style.  I didn't hold back and this trip marks a complete departure from the androgynous clothing choices I've made in the past few months.  I think I am geared up for the entire winter season now.  After winter break I will be full time, and my limited wardrobe was one of the biggest remaining hurdles.  It is very exciting to finally have that sorted.  I love the way I look in all these clothes too, which helps my confidence.  And coming out at work, confidence is always a good thing.  :)

After Jack got out he had Taco Bell too, and then we hit the next town over and shopped Burke's Outlet.  Jack and Diane walked around checking out the whole store.  I had a very specific purpose in mind though.  For my coming out I have clothes, shoes and outerwear all covered.  But I needed a nice versatile bag.

In the end I found a brown metallic   Kathy Van Zeeland bag at an outrageously low price. It is probably the nicest bag I have ever had, and the color should prove versatile.

I've really always wanted the convenience of being able to carry a bag.  I stopped carrying men's wallets two years ago, and since then everything I carry on a daily basis gets shuffled between coat boxes, the car glove box, pants pockets, desk drawers and my laptop case all day.  Then on weekends when I am out, it all gets migrated into luggage and purses.  Its very hard to keep up with anything this way.

 It is going to be so wild, being able to just put everything in a bag and always know where it is.  As my first bag for every day carry, I'll probably end up developing quit an attachment to it. I also got a wallet and a 7 day pill box to take care of my remaining storage needs.

In Burke's we ran into one of my co-workers, who was, according to Jack and Diane, sneaking around trying to get a good enough look to positively identify me.  I really wasn't dressed for greeting co-workers, in much less androgynous clothing than I generally pick for around the office.  They are used to turtlenecks, crew necks and such, not off the shoulder cowl necks and embroidered stretchy jeans with rhinestones all the way down the sides.  I could not leave the bag though, so I decided to take my chances and check out anyway.  She ended up striking up a conversation with Jack and Diane as they waited in line behind me and I knew at that point I had definitely been made.  I still didn't turn around though.  I'm full time in just a few work weeks and the game is up.  No worries!

After Burke's we all got sandwiches at Penn Station (where they wrote me up as Shana yet again.) Then we headed home for an evening of chatting and watching movies.  We picked Avatar, which turned out to be a bit of a let down.  Diane pointed out some similarities between it and Pocahontas and we ended up making fun of most of the first half.  Then the movie got more serious and I ended up getting drawn in despite all the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 type commentary, and the presence of umpteen gazziolion cliches, from the bad ass marine with a heart of gold, to the stereotypical tomboy femme fatale pilot, and General Duke Nukem.

I stayed over night and Sunday we watched Steel Magnolias, which I could write a whole separate blog on.  I have an acne spot beside my right eye that probably has something to do with all the crying I did.  Steve fell asleep.  LOL!

We spent the last part of the evening on a technical project for Diane's class.  I love that sort of thing so I enjoyed helping out, and learned some software stuff I didn't know too!

Monday morning it was hard to believe the weekend was over, but it was only a two day week and I was feeling so confident had happy after the wonderful weekend.  I was very productive and happy for those two days.

In the hall during the last class change of the day a student stopped me.  "I saw you this weekend!" she exclaimed happily.

"Oh, where at?" I asked, more curious than alarmed.


"Oh yeh!" I said, and waved as I made my way down the hall.

These dreams move on.

Is it cloak 'n dagger?
Could it be spring or fall?
I walk without a cut,
through a stained glass wall.
Weaker in my eyesight,
the candle in my grip,
and words that have no form
are falling from my lips.


A few months ago I wrote a silly blog about a romantic dream I had.  In the comments I ended up discussing the snake dream that used to wake me often.  It started happening in my childhood.  In the dream I was always walking somewhere and would suddenly spot a coiled snake in range to strike.  Then I would start running but everywhere I went there would be more and more snakes.  I would run past them faster and faster, my speed making it harder to spot them on time to stop or turn before being bitten.

In the comments last time I mentioned that those dreams started to happen less often after I started transition and eventually ceased all together.

Last week I dreamed about snakes again for the first time in two years.  It started the same as ever.  I was walking along, this time through my parents' house, and happened upon a partially hidden snake at close range.  Normally my mind would have cast it as a threat and I would have began running and then my subconscious would have generated more snakes to terrorize me as I ran.  This time though something different happened.  My sleeping brain decided to cast it as a pet.  As I looked at the snake, I knew I was supposed to take care of it.   I was somewhat afraid of the snake, but I felt responsible for it.  As it crawled around the house, I had to keep the dogs from killing it,  keep it away from Kupo, my parrot, and try to protect it form people who might accidentally step on a creature of such short stature. 

Toward the end I rolled over the back part of its tail with an office chair and I was absolutely terrified that I might have hurt the snake and was doing my best to nurture and mend the poor thing.

I'm not big on dream interpretation but when you have a scary dream all of your life, then it quits happening, and  the object of your dream returns cast in a totally different light, it is hard for even a skeptic not to wonder if there is some meaning behind it.

Maybe the snake represents my gender issues, and while I was terrified and running, I am now trying to address those issues, to take care of it.  That is sort of like the snake I suppose.  Last time this was discussed in blog comments I looked up a meaning that suggested snakes are often guardians in dreams, locking away primal parts of your nature.  I am a woman and I kept that locked away and tried not to face it for years. Maybe the snakes in my previous dreams were guardians of that locked away portion of my nature, and now that I've accepted and begun to express my gender I don't need fearsome guardians to bar that door any more so my sleeping brain now casts the snake in a different light 

At any rate, I was terrified of those dreams as a child, and ran from the snakes several times a month well into adulthood.  Then as I started to come to terms with my gender issues the dreams stopped.  And now, on the cusp of presenting full time in my proper gender, the snake is back in my dreams but I'm not running.  I'm nurturing it.   That shift from fear to nurture is what makes it so intriguing to me.  

There have been lots of other shifts in my dreams too.  My own physical manifestation in dreams has always been very closely tied to reality.  I was always cast physically male, but not happy with it.  I never dreamed of an idealized me, but rather of the image that haunted me in the mirror daily in my waking life.  The same was true with my treatment in dreams by other people.  Much as in real life, I was generally treated as male.

When I started going part time, it changed a little.  Sometimes I would be cast in that role, and I would be wondering in my dreams if I was getting clocked and if I was about to get outed.  Sometimes there were moments in dreams when I would be talking to some imaginary dream person and they would realize my biological origins and their demeanor would change.  Just like in reality.  All the fears in my real life follow me into my dreams with a very direct representation with no symbolism really involved.

Now as my confidence builds, I'm generally socially accepted as a girl in my dreams, and the fears of being outed aren't there as often. I'm troubled by such thoughts less when I am encountering new people in reality, so I guess it makes sense that such fears have less impact on my dreams now.  

Since lots of things are represented directly in my dreams,  it seems logical that the snakes might actually represent snakes and noting more.  I have always been afraid of them.  But if so the sudden change in the snake's role in my dream doesn't make any sense.  I saw one in person toward the end of this summer and my heart was racing.   As I settled afterward I actually felt shaky, stiff, and a bit dizzy.  So the new dream definitely isn't based on a new bravery toward the concept of snakes.  :P

To me the whole thing feels like some sort of subconscious graduation.  LOL!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mistaken Identity...

This post has some made up names in it.  LOL!


Today I walked into a local store.  I was looking rough.  I had worn makeup the day before, had not washed my face because I was staying over night with friends and went to bed late.  Basically I just got up this morning, brushed my teeth, threw on my more androgynous clothes from Friday and hit the store for something me and my friends could fix quickly for lunch.

When I got to the counter with my Tostino's party pizzas,  Lay's chips and Tostito's queso,  the clerk gave me an odd look.  My first thought was that she just thought I was weird looking.  It turned out that instead she was trying to decide whether she recognized me.  

"Are you Cindy's daughter?"

"Er...  No, I'm Bill and Jeana Darkstar's ....."  I faltered.  Daughter was on the tip of my tongue and I so wanted to say it.  But this is a small community and everyone mostly knows everyone.  She would realize right away that to her knowledge Mom and Dad have no daughters.  And if word got back that I was saying I was female already, it would push things to fast.  My coming out is still a month away.  I thought it through quickly before finishing my sentence.  "....son."

It stung to say it.  I am a woman and being recognized as my true gender is always a triumph.  Especially when I'm presenting in such a natural state.  It felt awful refuting her completely accurate gender assertion.  The word "son" tasted bitter in my mouth.

She looked completely confused.  "What?", she asked with a quiet politeness.

"I'm Bill and Jeana Darkstar's....."  I trailed off, unable to speak that bitter word a second time, and still regretting the first time.  

She paused and thought a long moment before saying "You look a lot like Cindy Darkstar's daughter."

I was blushing.  The girl she had confused me with is a distant cousin 7 years younger than me.  Pretty high praise for a mid transition transexual girl coming off of a long day of shopping and a long night of movie watching who hasn't shaved, done make up, or combed her hair in 36 hours.

She tried to apologize, and I told her it was fine.  She told me that I'm pretty either way.  "That's a good thing right?"

I thanked her for the compliment and we said our good byes.  As I was stepping away from the counter we both said "Thank ya' much."  in perfect unison.  So odd because I don't think I've ever heard anyone besides me say exactly that line.  15 years ago I would have said "JINX!"  LOL!  

I left the store feeling extremely good about myself and with a sudden burst of energy. 


 There have been so many positive signs this weekend.  But the rest of the story is a bit longer and more involved.  Maybe I'll get to type it all up tomorrow.  Right now though, I'm just feeling incredibly blessed and very much prepared for coming out completely during the late part of next month.  I've got the most amazing friends, and transition is going wonderfully.  Just so many blessings and I'm trying very hard to relish it all and take none of it for granted. :)

An Email

For a few weeks now I've been saying that I absolutely must open communication with my brother by some means.  Shortly after those early mentions I wrote an email that came out to be fairly lengthy.  I opened by mentioning how hard it was to tell him in particular because the importance of his opinion and because I hate to worry him.  From there I gave a description of what it means to be transexual, a brief history of my lifelong issues, and a rundown of my current situation.  The huge steps coming in the near future were also discussed in short.  I closed with the most important part;  that whether he approves or understands, I hope that our relationship will not be damaged.

I read the letter over, occasionally making small changes, over the past few weeks.  No matter what though, it always felt blunt and jarring.  So I never sent it.  That is until last Wednesday.  The holidays are fast approaching, everyone in the county knows yet my own brother does not.  Something had to be done.  I reread the letter a few more times that evening and made a few small adjustments.  I realized at this point that no matter how you say it, there is no way to comfortably tell a very close friend and relative that you are transexual.  I could text, I could call, write a shorter email, a longer email.  In the end, emotionally it will be very much the same for the person receiving the communication.  There is no magical way to make it all easier.

My cursor hovered over the Send button for quite a while.  I wasn't scared like I have been sending similar emails over the past few years.  There was just a sense of gravity and anticipation.   He is one of the most important people in my life.  When I clicked Send finally, there was a strong sense of relief and I went to bed happy.  I had finally opened one of the most important lines of communication I ever would.

I.  I was a bit nervous waiting for a response, but not disappointed. I knew it would take some time for him to digest the information, and that the actual response might not be easy to write.    I checked at every opportunity, excited for news, but did not truly expect to hear anything back before the weekend.

Friday when I found his name in my Inbox I smiled.  As I read I just wished I could hug him.  He wrote back a letter every bit as long as what I had sent, and it was very clear that it was just as well thought out.  He told me that he had known something was up with me for a while, but had not known exactly.  The rumors had not found their way to him and Mom and Dad had hardly mentioned it.  He suspects our parents had decided to stay vague to shield him for now.  I find that very likely.  That was one of the reasons I waited to tell him too.  He is just so busy with school and work, and didn't need more to worry about.

He said it was hard to understand, but was trying and it would take time.  He wrote that he intends to be supportive though and that I'll hold no less of a place in his heart, though it is almost like having someone new step into the place reserved for his brother.  He also mentioned that his fiance is very supportive of me, which was great news as well. One of my favorite thing about his letter is that toward the end he was comfortable interjecting a bit of humor.

His response seemed very sincere and caring, and I couldn't have asked for more.  =)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

More of my insane spontaneity.

Last weekend was supposed to be mostly relaxing.  I had an electrolysis appointment in Lexington, but after that I was going to call friends in the area, see if anyone wanted to hang out for a bit, then drive home before dark and settle in to rest and take care of things at home for the rest of the weekend.

Instead, while I was in electrolysis, I got a call from my friend Debbie in Louisville, another hour and a half from home.  They were wanting to have dinner out, then go to another restaurant that was presenting live music at the bar.  I explained that I was recovering from electrolysis, had no luggage, no clothes, was dressed ridiculously casual.  She offered full access to her closet (we were the same size until she dropped a dress size this year) mentioned that another friend had left a bag of shoes in my size that I was to take home and could therefore use.  Being a Mary Kay rep she offered me access to a wide array of beauty supplies to make up for my lack of luggage.  It seemed doable!

I explained to my parents that I was extending my trip and told about my plans.  Mom seemed fairly comfortable with it so I started on to Louisville.  I arrived with plenty of time, so Debbie and I ran out to Kroger  so I could get a few cheap essentials I was short on since I wasn't packed for travel.  While there Debbie talked me into dying my hair before we went out.

I've never done home color but Debbie talked me into Clairol Natural Instincts in Nutmeg.  I was nervous about it, and my first impression afterward was not at all good.  It seemed to kill my natural highlights and low lights, leaving an unnaturally flat and uniform color.  It looks fine as I write now several days later, but on the night in question I was terrified. :P

Debbie suggested a few possibilities for my evening wardrobe, but in the end we both preferred a black velour  fitted shift dress.  The dress was a major confidence boost - almost enough to counter not having my own colors of makeup, the uni-tone hair, and the facial swelling from electrolysis.  Up until now, I have not been very confident about my figure being dramatic enough and tended to pick stretchy dresses to push for every bit of curvature I could show.  This dress lay lightly across my curves, not too tight or too loose, but just perfectly following the contour of my body as if tailored for me.

As I was preparing to leave I had such a funny moment.  I was walking down Debbie's hall, and at the end is a full length mirror.  Standing there was someone who looked like me, yet more refined.  Pearls and a classy black shift, with black angle boots and a strand of pearls.  Watching myself glide down the hall toward the mirror I was near laughter.  Maybe for one night I could trick people into thinking this Taco Bell chick actually belongs in five star restaurants.

We met up with the rest of our friends and had a great dinner at Winston's.  The food was far costlier than I am accustomed to, but it was quite nice.  I had 3 little medallion cut steak things under a bleu cheese sauce and garnished with.... I have no idea.  At any rate it was good, and the atmosphere was nice.

After that we proceeded to Jack Ruby's downtown.  The band was great and I felt pretty comfortable despite the elitist crowd.   Out of our party of five, three of us were either CD or TS and quite tall, making pass-ability somewhat of a challenge.  The other transgender girls in my party seemed very uncomfortable with the attention, but I didn't care.  No one said anything out of the way but the group at the next table over ask to pose for photos with us at our table, which I found a bit insulting.  Though they were very polite and gracious about the whole thing it still left me feeling like a bit of a curiosity.

Afterward we went bar hopping.  Our options were limited because a few of us had come without IDs.  We ended up at some hole in the wall called the Monkeywrench.  They had a live reggae band, practically no one was on the first floor, and the first floor smelled like marijuana.  A blonde with dreadlocks trippin' on drugs opened a rather one sided conversation with us that mostly consisted of telling us to "Stay cool." and other such sage advice.  Tina would have loved her, as she was incredibly mellow.  LOL! After about 15 minutes in the bar we decided it wasn't really our scene and decided to move on.  She left us with the parting words "Hey ladies, be nice."  Next we were at the Back Door, which has a pool hall/road house kind of feel.  It was a rough looking crowd but we were treated well.

We all got home by 2 AM, but Debbie and I chatted until 4.  We were all supposed to be back up and ready for brunch by 11 AM, so I only slept until 9.  Sunday was hectic. My confidence from the previous night was gone with the black dress back in the closet and again wearing my jeans and top from  the day before.  I managed to have a good time at brunch anyway though.

We ended the day with shopping at Dillard's but I didn't buy anything.   I'm not really sure what I want to wear for work.  Usually I can shop for stuff that catches my eye and shop without over thinking it.  But in January I can't break this feeling that I have something to prove and I keep worrying and overcomplicating the decisions.  :P

I enjoyed my trip, but by the end I was so ready to be home.  Shorty after I hit the road though I realized I had left my phone in Mary's car.  Hmm, no phone.  I can't find any house in town except Debbie's without help, and ten minutes until Debbie was leaving for work.  I rushed back to her house and caught her just before she left and she called Mary who had already found my phone and voicemailed Debbie.  While she was waiting for me at Oxford mall I got lost, couldn't find her on the lot and I was stressed about wasting part of her weekend waiting around.

I hated getting a late start but it was nice getting to chat Mary for a bit.  I've only met her on two trips but she is one of the most encouraging people I've ever been around.  Debbie had asked me at brunch when I planned to do GRS and such and Mary seemed legitimately shocked that I wasn't finished.  She said she had just assumed.  At Jack Ruby's she said I was one of the prettiest girls there, and I think she actually meant it.  Her compliment came as pretty high praise in that haughty crowd and eased the sense of inferiority I was fighting at the time.  Just incredibly sweet.

It was a whirlwind weekend and I didn't feel at all rested Monday morning, and all the food and drinks were too costly, but it was definitely all worth it for time with my amazing friends.  :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

VLOG: Electrolysis Update

Yes, one of my rare, and terribly boring vlogs.  If reading my nonsense in the previous post didn't put you to sleep, here's a brand new shot at Shandy Alexis dullness. :P

Pronoun Confusion and an Aside Regarding Bras.

I was in a computer lab trying to assist a teacher with the recovery of some missing writing assignments stuck out on the network somewhere.  One of the students began logging in, though it was pretty much a waste with the issues we had at the time.

So the teacher said, "Wait until he- Wait 'til ... is done working on them!"  I felt so sorry for her.  The rumors are out there, and my presentation is mostly in order, yet I'm still not officially out.  So awkward for everyone.  It was very considerate of her to try avoiding "he", I think.

This pushing the edge of androgyny grows more awkward by the day.  People who read my blog regularly are very familiar with my current mode of dress. Women's jeans, stretchy women's tops in gender neutral colors and necklines.  I wear my hair as curly and voluminous as I wish, and I don't shy away from makeup, though I try not to get to carried away.  Male elements?  Pretty much just the shoes, or if it is very cold I sometime's use a men's button up shirt as a cover up part of the day.  The shoes are a sort of odd hold out.  As long as people are calling me he and I can't correct them, it just feels odd wearing something that makes a blatant gender statement.  My clothes hint strongly at my gender, but by cut, shape and fit only.  Most of the shoes in my wardrobe go well beyond that.  It is the same for jewelry.  My ears need re-pierced now, but, I would gladly wear studs to work, while the styles I actually prefer, I would probably never consider until out.

That probably sounds like an awkward enough presentation as it is, with people widely regarding me as male, with no word from me to the contrary.  But the really odd part?  I almost never wear a bra.  There are two reasons.  The first is much like the shoes, earrings, or tops of gender specific style.  A bra generally can't be 100% hidden under the types of top I wear, and makes a very, very strong gender statement.  The, other thing is that everyone there has seen me completely flat chested for 8 years, and suddenly rocking up to work wearing a bra, people would probably think I was faking having breasts. For some reason the idea of someone thinking that irritates me to no end.  Being flat chested has always been a source of major embarrassment and insecurity for me.  Of course I'm still fairly flat chested, but I'm not totally flat chested.

So my solution has been to intentionally demonstrate for a time that I actually should be wearing a bra. It sounds pretty crazy I'm sure and a lot of my friends are puzzled by this strategy.  I suspect it is equally confusing for people at work.  Really I've probably already made my point, but that still leaves the first issue.  That I am not technically out.  I really doubt anyone is going to understand my logic on this one, but at least I tried.

Today I heard the word "boobs" in hushed tones twice as I entered classrooms, and lots of indecipherable murmurs as kids glanced/smirked/stared in my general direction.  The subject may not have been me, but the timing seems suspicious, and it happens often.  I'm feeling self conscious but if I can hold out until the start of Christmas break, it's all going to get easier as I can settle into a normal presentation.  If I can just pull this off a little longer without embarrassing myself it will all be fine.

Sometimes I wish I could move.  I never have to think about this stuff in Lexington, where people don't know my past.  This is just the most awkward place I could possibly be right now.  I'm so self conscious about being perceived as male and it leaves me completely insecure.  Worrying about the perception of everyone around me keeps me nervous and anxiety always runs high. There are a million instances that cause me no stress anywhere else in the world that leave me feeling inferior and ready to run away in this awkward in-between presentation, surrounded by people who have always perceived me as male.  I so wish I could explain it better.

Let the psych analysis begin...


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

A Meeting...

This morning I went to work feeling great, for a Monday.  Fresh off of a weekend in Lexington visiting my friends and taking in some much needed electrolysis, with a solid eight hours of sleep I was feeling ready for a productive day.  Things started out very routine.  I walked down to the library to get the specifics on a work order and chatted with the librarian for a bit about everything from hair to migraines,  then returned to my desk to catch up on email.

The phone rang.  I picked it up to find my boss on the line and suddenly things felt a little less routine and I was anxious.  For the past few months I have felt out of the loop, and my boss never calls more than once per week.

After the briefest of hellos, he asked me to come down to the office.  My routine Monday skidded to a halt.  If he wanted to talk shop, he would do it over the phone, and for most types of meetings he would volunteer the specifics unprompted.  I wanted to ask what was up, but if he didn't want to discuss it over the phone there was no point pressing the issue.  I simply agreed.  Whatever was happening, it was transition related.  Was I being fired? Was someone complaining about my appearance? Was this going to be some sort of ultimatum?

I drove to the new technology office trying to remain calm.  My heart was racing though.  I was imagining more vividly than ever the choices I would have to make if I lost my job.  My worries only solidified as I climbed the stairs to the new technology office in a former grade school building where my boss and the other technician have set up shop, their desks facing each other from opposite ends of what was once a classroom.

The distance between me and these two men has always been there to some degree, especially in the last year.  But the new office is the premier sign of the near total communication break down that has come in the past months.  They set up the move in private, told me of it barely before they intended to start packing, and didn't include me in the discussion of what resources would stay and which would go. Besides that, I was never invited.  There were a few logical reasons for my remaining behind, but it was very clear to me at the time that I was not wanted here.

I opened the door without knocking and found my boss at his desk with the other tech standing alongside looking at the same screen.  The tech nodded in my direction and announced my arrival to my boss in a low tone.  I greeted them.  My supervisor answered but the other tech did not.  They continued their discussion then the tech left to work on something.

The conversation segued into things more directly effecting my work and eventually my boss mentioned that when things are slow at the high school I can help out in the main office with network administrative tasks.  Then he suggested meeting weekly so that we can all stay coordinated.  After  these thoughts were explored briefly he mentioned the main reason for the visit.  The Board's administrative staff was wanting to meet with me about my transition.  I told him any day would be fine, and that I would send out an email to the meeting participants explaining things so that they could decide on their questions.  He said they wanted to meet right away.

At this point my fear started to dissipate.  He went on to tell me that they just wanted to find out what was going on and see if they could assist in making my transition more comfortable basically.  I wasn't sure that was strictly all there was too it, but I felt ready emotionally, even if on a more concrete level I really had no idea what to say.  Except for the shoes, I looked pretty presentable and was feeling confident after a great weekend with supportive friends. I could do this.

I walked into  assistant superintendent's office and took a seat.  My boss and the federal programs director were to attend as well, but they weren't in the room yet.  The assistant super was very kind and conversational and we chatted about some issues he had setting up a new computer and peripherals for his Dad. He said he had thought about calling me for advice on it over the course of weekend.

Then my boss and the federal programs director arrived.  We all chatted for a few moments, no one seeming to know quite how to broach the topic at hand.  Eventually though the assistant super brought the meeting to order.  During a lull in the conversation he just said he had called me in because he wanted to talk to me about my transition, which has become common knowledge.  I smiled.  It has indeed become common knowledge, and I was feeling a little silly for handling my transition in such an unusual way that they were approaching me about this instead of the other way round.

I explained that by the end of winter break I intended to go full time, and to have everything handled regarding my name change.  I didn't really get into the details of what it means to be transgender, or a history of my transition to date.  There were questions about my eventual operation and how much down time would be involved.  They asked whether I am currently being harassed.  I explained that mostly co-workers have treated me professionally and that harassment from students has fallen off sharply, basically no longer posing a problem.

The bathroom issue came up.  I explained that I don't use student facilities for either gender currently and do not intend to in the future.  I told them I would be using single occupant staff restrooms only, not bothering to mention a gender.  They didn't ask for clarification, seeming mostly comfortable with that response.  My boss mentioned that in my stage of transition the restroom situation must be awkward for me.  I joked around about the men's room situations I've had, and everyone seemed to find it pretty humorous.  I explained that outside the county where no one knows my past, such situations aren't awkward at all, as I can go into a women's restroom anywhere without it troubling anyone.

The federal programs director asked me how much more I intend to change the way I dress.  I told her that generally I dress fairly casual and wear jeans and such at work because I never know which days will be desk work and when I could suddenly need to climb into a ceiling and run wires instead.  I went on to say that on days that I wish to do something more dressy I will, within the limits of the dress code everyone else follows.  We moved on to the next topic.

In the end they asked why I expected some degree of backlash once I went official, since there was really very little further presentation change on the way.  I explained that by the time I went to the courthouse and requested a name change, finished taking the masculine elements out of my wardrobe and started requesting that people start using the right pronouns, that it probably would generate some interest.

They asked if there was anything they could do to make things easier.  Continued employment and a cooperative attitude is plenty.  I told them that I love my job and that being able to be myself without it interfering with my work was all I wanted.

As I said it I cried.  The tears were almost brimming over.  I'm glad I managed to keep them back because my mascara doesn't even border on water proof.  There seemed to be a bit of an emotional response from almost everyone at this point.

The assistant super adjourned the meeting and the federal programs director gave me a hug and said she would help me anyway she can.   I like everyone present at this meeting, but I also know things in this system tend to move with political undercurrents working below the surface and the ripples on top don't always truly imply what they immediately suggest.  After the meeting adjourned no one left immediately except me.

I am very happy that they took the initiative and opened a dialog with me.  I have been meaning to open communication for a few weeks now but have fallen behind on my timeline.  Now I am suddenly back on schedule despite my inaction.  I still need to decide how to make the staff in the district aware of the situation so that they know what is happening and how to address me.  Should I handle it myself, or should I discuss it with central office now so that they can be prepared to send out something more official in my support, if they are willing?

Off hand I am think I would rather just send my own message to everyone and then deal with breaches in etiquette casually as they arise.  To this point things have been slow and subtle, and I've counted on kindness and respect instead of trying to twist arms.  It has worked and most people have responded well to me. Changing track now and insisting that the board require people to address me properly seems unnecessary.

However that pans out I'm so excited.  No matter how things play out this is a huge step. :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Very Interesting

I came out to another co-worker!  She already knew generally what was happening and I think I learned more from her than she did from me.  For instance, lots of the men at work are extremely uncomfortable about this and speculate quite a bit.  My boss told her that implying that what I am doing is okay is saying that God makes mistakes. Her boss actually asked her to snoop around and find out for him a while back, whether I am transexual.  None of that surprises me, but a little more affirmation always paints a clearer picture.

Not everything I found out was bad though.  She said it's mainly men that have a problem with me.  I told her I was going full time by the end of the year, and she told me I already am full time, and that I make a lot better looking girl than guy.  She figured I was probably getting a lot of flak over everything and had noticed that there is pepper spray on my keychain.  Said she had mentioned the pepper spray to another co-worker, who said that I was to sweet to be bothered and that if anyone was harassing me she would beat them up! :)

She told me a really funny story too.  While I was at central office earlier in the week, a guy I didn't know walked in and joined the conversation at the front desk.  Apparently he ended up asking about "that girl here earlier, with the curly hair."  

I was called Miss Shannon again today, this time by a substitute teacher while working in a classroom.  

I'm so happy with the way things are going!  I'm going full time soon.  :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Then-Now-Whoah! :P

The last few days have been so positive.  Friday, I switched from the pharmacy I chose for privacy over an hour away, to my local pharmacy.  The convenience is nice, but even more importantly it indicates my progress over the past year.  I got my first written prescription 15 months ago and the thought of trying the local pharmacy then barely crossed my mind.  I imagined having to go in completely in a male mode of dress, with prescriptions that could only mean one thing.  It was  easy to picture them being rude and I could imagine the rumors that would start.  It was unthinkable, and so I chose something more distant.

Even an hour and a half away there was the possibility that a pharmacist or tech could be from my home town.  For the first few months I was extremely nervous about going.  They were some of the few people in my part of the world who knew about my transition in those early days, and I felt self conscious.  Because of the distance it was usually necessary to leave straight from work, and I would get made up and change in my car so that I could present myself with s bit more confidence.  Still it was stressful back then.  On days that I didn't have time to change clothes and put on makeup I felt miserable going there looking male.

Now everything is so different.  I can leave on my lunch break, drive 3 minutes to the local pharmacy, and walk right in.  I wasn't at all nervous the first visit and the idea that word could get out didn't  bother me at all.  I'm ready for people to know.  My work presentation and physical transition has evolved enough that I felt completely confident wearing my work clothes, which are mostly gender appropriate (except the shoes LOL!)  It is just hard to believe that a year ago I was sneaking away to a place an hour away and finding deserted parking lots to do my makeup on.  Everyone was nice to me as well.

It's a simple change, but I think it indicates how much more comfortable I'm becoming with myself, my home town and the people around me.  Sunday I went to the lake with my parents.  Mom didn't suggest that I wear a coverup over the V neck thermal I chose. Today one of my calls got disconnected and the caller was routed to Kim when she called back.  When Kim handed the phone off to me she told the caller "Here they are, I'll put them on."  Rather than he and him.  

Shortly after the call, I was still in Kim's office  and a student came in looking for me.  She asked Kim if she could "speak to Miss Shannon."  Lots of students are smiling and greeting me now too, even some of the guys! 

I think it's all coming together and I can't remember the last time I felt this hopeful about my future here.  :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Cage of My Own Design

A few days ago while checking email at work I realized that October is drawing to a close.  Seems like only a blink ago when it was still September and I was telling myself that if electrolysis recovery was smooth and didn't effect my appearance negatively, that I should feel confident to go full time by the end of October.  As I thought about it I realized I still could not see myself standing in line at the courthouse for a name change.  It felt impossible and unreal.  

I sifted my thoughts, looking for the source of my hesitation.  They were myriad. I'm not satisfied with my fall wardrobe.  I need shoes, bags, more work appropriate fall tops.  With what I have now, I'm just not going to have the confidence. Then there is my brother in Ohio.  I've still told him nothing.  He should probably know.  Those are things that I can quickly resolve though, I realized.  I could hop on the Kohl's and Zappo's websites and round out my fall wardrobe with a few pieces easily.  I had already written my brother and all I had to do was simply hit the send button.  

The one thing I could not get past though was Mom.  I thought back to the weekend, when they invited me out for dinner.  As I stepped out the door she reminded me, as she often does, that I was only wearing one shirt.  At the time I had been wearing a snug  navy crew neck tee with close fitting London Jeans.  At the time I felt hurt and angry.  It was an insult.  It was her telling me that I look to weird to wear a tee shirt and jeans without some big long floppy shirt to cover up my shape.  It was her telling me that she was embarrassed of me.  it washer saying I should be embarrassed of myself, that I needed to cover up.  Every time she says it I grit my teeth and find myself wanting to tell the truth.

I wanted to tell her that my little secret was already out, that I was not embarrassed of my body, that I actually had a degree of pride for the first time in my life and that her shame couldn't take that away from me.  But I didn't say anything.  I just went back inside and put on a giant men's shirt down past my ass and hit the door looking like a figureless scarecrow.

If I couldn't even stand up to her enough to handle that, how was I ever going to tell her that I was going full time?  So that was the truth I realized.  I'm not going to be ready to tell her by the end of October.  After November starts I will feel I can't upset the holidays with this upheaval.  If I don't act now, then in January I will probably have a brand new excuse.  

I stepped into the hall.  (My name is not Kimble, but lets pretend for a sec, for privacy sake. :P  )  A student stopped me. "Mr.  Kimb..........  Ms. Kimble?"

The girl was wanting to ask me if I had found a keychain in the lab that I was just leaving, but I was still stuck on Miss. Kimble.  I get called Miss.  But here, I'm not fully out and I wasn't expecting anyone to say that for a while.  I was so happy, I couldn't stop smiling.  You would have to be pretty sure about what is going on with me to feel comfortable using that title.  How much more evidence do I need that it is time to move on?

Today I was in a classroom and a teacher refereed to me as a gentleman.  As he said it one of the girls in the class glanced up and made eye contact with me.  There was this sense that she had looked up specifically to gauge my reaction.  Most people seem content not to bat titles and pronouns around unnecessarily relating to me.  I've mostly graduated from tech guy to "tech person" this year, and there's only a hand full of people who ever call me sir.  Something as unnecessary as "move so this gentleman can .....blah blah blah..." had caught me completely off guard.  As the girl glanced up to check my reaction, I probably looked pretty angry.

I've got to get past this awkward stage.  Everyone knows, and by continuing to hide I'm just making everything more difficult than it needs to be.  I've been advancing slowly, laying the ground work.  There have been no sudden moves, but rather a gradual shift.  But its like getting into a cold pool.  You can dip a toe and slowly start tempering, but there still comes a time when you have to take the plunge.  I think I'm there. I must stand up to Mom and put this in-between phase behind me.  It's time to settle this.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Zap: Follicles Under Attack

It has been a while since I've written, and things have been fairly eventful.  Usually under those circumstances I write up some massive, blathering, sleepy chronological thing to try to catch back up.  This time though I'm going to try to do better and cover different topics separately.

So, let's start with electrolysis.  A few weeks ago, it became obvious that I needed to switch over.  There is very little hair left, and laser doesn't seem to effect many hairs each session anymore.  Shortly before that an electrologist came to the Transkentucky meeting on a session I missed, and I kept hearing good things about her.

A few weeks ago I called.  She was extremely nice and we chatted for some time.  During the conversation she seemed both competent and nice.  She eased a lot of my fears about recovery time and raised my confidence in the technology.

Since then I have had two one hour sessions, two weeks apart.  Those have went very well.  The pain is minimal and the skin looks almost completely normal within just a few hours.  Unlike laser, each hair is individually tweezed so there is no waiting for weeks to see how much will shed.  Also I was able to shave comfortably the very next day.  This is so much easier than laser that it would be easy to start worrying that the settings are too low.  But each time a hair is tweezed it comes out without a sharp sensation;  no feeling except friction.  I think that is a good sign.

My electrologist says this is mild because its one of the best machines available.  We are working with blend electrolysis, which uses galvanic as well as thermodynamic components in tandem, one creating a lye based reaction at the root of the follicle, while the other type accelerates the reaction through electricity or heat.  (I get them mixed up.)  Either technology is proven to kill hair, but apparently blend has very serious advantages.  One of the two individual technologies is faster with less time per follicle, but blend heals more easily, and is therefore a bit more stealthy.

I'm just so glad I found such a great electrologist.  She is one of the only six certified in the state.  She has been great about scheduling and has an excellent manner.  Pricing is very reasonable too!

I'll be continuing my treatments every two weeks.  Right now my upper lip is almost clear, which is such a relief because it has been a difficult area.  Besides that we have started clearing stray hairs along the sides of my mouth as well.  Next time it might be possible to get that all cleared enough to start on the chin.  :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Something Funny at Penn Station

While out on a drive to London, KY with my parents I stopped by Penn Station for a quick lunch.  Dad went in with me and was in line just ahead of me.  I was presenting as I often do when traveling with my parents.  Men's shirt over a women's crew neck and jeans, no make-up, clunky androgynous boots and curly unkempt hair.  After taking my order the clerk asked for my first name, which is typical at Penn Station.  They key your first name in at the register and it prints on the order so that the cashier further down can find you if the line gets shuffled, and so that they can call your name when your order is ready.

Dad and I got our drinks and waited at a table for our carry out order.   It was fairly crowded and loud, making conversation pretty much futile.  While I was sitting bored checking my email and sipping at my fruit punch, a second  worker started calling for Shayna.  There were quite a few people waiting for orders but I realized, very happily, that the first clerk had misunderstood my name and put me in the system as Shayna.  Which was nice, because if she had perceived me as a guy and couldn't hear my name she probably would have assumed Shannon, Shawn or something along those lines.

It felt awakrd though, because I was with Dad.  He and Mom have never shown any indication that they consider me at all passable.  If I got up and went to the counter I'd be acknowledging that I thought the clerk saw me as female.  I could just imagine Dad sitting there silently thinking that I have a totally delusional self image.  Worse yet,  what if I got to the counter and they had not misheard me?  What if I went up and there really was a Shayna.  How embarrassing would that be with Dad there?

I snapped out of my garbled thoughts, realizing the sub guy was calling Shayna forward for the third time and was starting to look a bit annoyed.  I just stared, still unable to settle on a course of action.  Then Dad relieved all my anxiety.  "I believe that's you." he said in a low voice from across the table.  I dared look his direction for the first time since the name "Shayna" was called.  He was wearing a slightly awkward smile. 

I happily picked up my bag at the counter and sauntered back to the table glowing with pride.  Dad was smiling back less awkwardly now.  I think he was maybe even happy for me.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A Letter

Last Friday my brother sent me a friend's request on Facebook.  There was no message with it; just a blank request.  Its odd.  Here I am on the verge of going full time, yet knowing my brother had located me on Facebook set my heart racing.  Not only that, but every time I opened the email notification about the request for the rest of the day my heart stated racing again.  I had not even realized that I was that afraid of him finding out.

The profile under my real name is locked down tight.  I can't be searched, and all the fields are locked.  The photo is fairly androgynous.  But the email address I used is on my brother's address list so I've realized for a while now that I'm probably being suggested as a contact.  Not only that, but since part of my info is locked, if my brother actually clicked it he got a "Shannon does not share all her info...." message.  

The Facebook invite reminded me of just how much I have delayed on telling him.  I'll be out soon.  Near Christmas he will visit.  It would not be fair for me to put this off and let him find out what is going on when he sees me on his visit.  Inevitably he is going to find out and clearly the time is here.

I drafted a letter tonight.  I'm very impulsive and find myself wishing to just send it and find out what happens.  But his opinion matters a lot to me so I need to make absolutely sure I'm ready.  I'll think about it for a few days and then decide what to do.  Or rather when and how to do it.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Results Are In, But Am I Out? Mixed Signals.

Last week, it was on Topix that I had undergone SRS already.  Even in my work clothes new acquaintances are much more likely to call me she than he.  Further back I had a co-worker kindly offer to be my Avon rep.  Some co-workers have said some extremely supportive things on my looks that border on telling me that they know.  Then there's the text message I got from my friend telling me that he had overheard a conversation where some people were saying I was turning out to be a beautiful woman.  I ran into a guy I used to know a few days ago at a local business and he had no idea who I was and actually started hitting on me.  When I told him who I was he seemed very surprised.  Then there was the talk with my boss a few blogs back.

The evidence was adding up, and I've been living under the assumption that most people know or at least strongly suspect that I am trans.  Well, then there was a fire drill Tuesday and I ended up out on the parking lot with a couple of ladies I work with. We chatted until the drill ended, then took the conversation inside.  At that point I mentioned I would be out Friday, one thing led to another and I told them everything.  

One was just wonderful.  She wasn't comfortable with it, but she had a very open minded attitude.  She said she was convinced that transgender people do have something biological happening, and that she understands no one would subject themselves to what we go through without a real need.  I think she started crying in the conversation even before me.  

The other girl was incredibly annoying.  She's like "but you have had relationships with women."  Er, lots of women have had relationships with women. I've discussed that topic at length in earlier entries so I'll not get into all that.  But my specific circumstances disregarded, a lot of genetic women choose to have relationships with women.    She said "So you're going to wear dresses and things?"  My other co-woerker pointed out that not all women wear dresses.  At one point she actually ask if I would "actually be wearing bras to work?"  It was very obvious that she considered the notion laughable.  I guess the most annoying question was "Can you really pull it off?"  She sounded extremely skeptical.  I explained that I never have trouble anywhere I go.

She even managed to somehow throw into the conversation that there was no way I would ever have bigger boobs than her.  She said it jokingly but something about it felt like she was wanting it to sting.  I innocently explained that I had considered implants but decided a sleeker look works better for me.  She made a poor attempt at seeming supportive even while managing to throw in several rude comments. When my other co-worker hugged me and offered to listen if I needed anything, she followed suit, though with decidedly less sincerity.

Her attitude was fairly annoying, but really the most shocking part of the conversation was that both seemed completely caught off guard.  They each said they noticed the makeup, and that I seemed a little changed physically,  but that they had not heard the rumors and that neither had ever considered I might be trans.

Could it be that I'm not as out as I think?  After all the stuff that has happened in the last few weeks this was so confusing.  It was like I had stepped into the twilight zone or something.  My confidence in my appearance was shot.  The whole understanding of peoples' perception of me was suddenly called into question.  Many of the events of the last few weeks suddenly made no sense at all.

Wednesday I woke up feeling better though, and determined.   I threw on a stretchy bright red crew neck tee, distressed skinny jeans, and a tasteful amount of makeup in subtle tones.  Then I styled my hair into sharply defined intricate curls and sprayed and teased it for high volume.  One co-worker told me I was beautiful and the hair got several compliments.  The rude girl I came out to even complimented me, if  "Your hair looks better than yesterday." counts. LOL!  Still I've struggled for confidence since that conversation and their apparent surprise.  

This morning she had the gaul to ask me to move six very light projector boxes for her. We work in the same department, but she is certainly my supervisor by no means, and moving boxes doesn't fall into either of our job descriptions.  Yes, she just decided that since I'm a man, I should be carrying boxes for her.  I masked my anger well I think but she must have noticed, because she felt compelled to add a few seconds later that she was on her way to a meeting and didn't want to leave the projectors in the hall.  But please, how long does it take to carry 6 boxes from an adjoining room?

I was angry but I didn't feel confident enough to express that.  In her mind, I'm a guy.  I'm still technically presenting as male.  I was caught off guard, nervous and couldn't think of anything better to say, so I told her I would do it though I had no intention.  I just left them in the hall to see how long it would take for her to figure out she needed to move them herself.  Eventually she did, or had someone do it.  

I was walking through the high school office this evening and a co-worker was discussing a pageant with a student competing in it.  I just overheard them discussing how she should walk when they noticed me.  "There's just the person we need!"  And yes, they asked me very nicely to teach her a nice runway walk.  If I were feeling more confident, I would have loved to help.  I was just so flattered!  It just made my day.  

Anyway, I'm in a much better mood now.  I still feel I'm mostly out and that people will respond well to me.  As for the rude girl, I can still be nice to her.  My confidence is back and she can't touch that.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Now I Know

I've always wondered when I would end up on the gossip sites and dreaded the possible backlash.  Monday night the first question was finally answered, and  I have waited nervously since, wondering what would happen once the conversation was open.

I've been checking this site for months now  looking for my name.  During all that reading I found some pretty disturbing threads which made me worry more about how harshly I would get treated.  Due to that worry I've been watching very closely since Monday.

SO far there are only 18 posts.  Two or three adolescent jokes, with no real malice.  A few corrections to my name.  One person who implied I should do what I want, but somewhere else.   The rest of the replies are all defending and supporting me and my family.  It is listed as the second hottest discussion despite the low number of posts.  I'm assuming that means it is getting read pretty often.  There have been no further comments in the last 7 hours though, so it looks like people are content to let this go.

People are still treating me basically the same at work and in town.  Yet again it seems I've underestimated my community.  

Monday, September 20, 2010

Red alert.

Well this has been coming for a long time.  I finally made the most prolific local gossip serving our little community here.  They got the first few letters of my first name wrong; probably to make sure I wouldn't have the right to look up their IP and sue.  The comment was short and to the point.  It basically says I had a sex change.  It just states it as a fact.  Not anything truly insulting.  Maybe stating that was supposed to be an insult in and of itself.  LOL!

I check the site twice a day, and oddly the post came 7 minutes before my check.  Already there was a reply though saying basically that it was true, that the person writing the reply had seen me.  Hopefully it doesn't go totally out of control from here.

This is so distracting.  I keep wanting to check back and see how long it takes for someone to say something stupid.  It's not like I can possibly defend myself.  I don't know why I bother looking.  Eventually someone will say something that will upset me, then others will pile on.  I'll have no idea who any of them are and won't be able to do anything about it.

My heart is racing.  I really shouldn't even look...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

So Close

I'm under the gun, around here...
-Counting Crows

It's been a fairly uneventful week here.  Work was busy, but normal. Things were okay at home.  A few silly things happened related to transition and my presentation; as always.  The weekend was slow and relaxed.  

There is lots on my mind though.  I could decide to go to the courthouse soon and file for a name change.  Before that, I have to explain to my parents that I am going full time.  Then there is the matter of communicating with the next and final tier of management at work and deciding how to handle communication to the rest of my coworkers.

In two weeks I have my annual endocrinologist visit and  hope to  work in my first electrolysis appointment while in Lexington.  I've decided  facial laser hair removal has cleared what it's going to.   I'm hoping after one electrolysis appointment I'll have an idea of how long skin recovery will take after each session, and how many sessions it will take to finish my face.  Laser has done a fairly thorough job clearing the hair and I'm hoping a few electrolysis sessions will finish the job. :)

Transkentucky meets that same weekend, so I'll get to catch up with a few friends.  I can hardly wait!

The first weekend in October seems like such a long wait.  My existence here gets more awkward by the day.  My work presentation gets me identified as female anywhere else I go.  My constant worries about  perception at work continue to make social interaction awkward.  Its difficult existing between genders.  Right now I'm in a mood to burn bridges.   I want to change my name, go full time, and let everyone know.  Things will still be awkward, but at least I will be through trying to mix presentations and will finally be able to drop my guard and be myself.  There will be some degree of initial shock but going full tiem and finally living as my true gender will be much more comfortable than this peculair gender limbo I exist in now. 

The beginning of October is the next step.  Until then its a matter of waiting and my awkward dance on the border line between male and female.