Apr 30, 2007

Ups and Downs

Ever had a weekend of constant ups and downs? If there were ever a weekend like that I’d guess that this was the one.

Friday ~ I ordered a new cell phone last week as my contract was up. Diane had renewed her portion of the contract last month and in doing so has gotten herself an LG VX9900 Env. Those are the phones that open up and have a full keyboard in them. We had decided on these as Diane and I tend to do a ton of text messaging over the course of the day. If you use that feature you can surely understand the pain of typing with just the numbers.

Friday when I got home from work the plan was to eat in and have a quiet evening. I guess you could say that WAS the plan but during the course of the day Fedex tried to deliver my phone and wouldn’t ya know it it was signature required. This meant I either wait till Monday or drive to the airport 20 minutes away and go get it… no biggie we can pick it up.

Diane and I decided to hit Applebee’s for dinner and then head to the airport. The dinner at Applebee’s wasn’t bad, I got my usual salad and Diane got a turkey sandwich. At one point the waitress used the label "Ladies" which I hadn’t heard apparently Diane did though. As we were dining I noticed someone on the opposite side of the restaurant who appeared to be my old drummer and best man from my wedding. As we dined I kept trying to figure out if it was him, it surely looked exactly like him, the mannerisms were the same. It finally got the best of Dee and she went on reconnaissance. …. NOPE not him .. But hey I never figured Rick would have a twin …

Friday night I made it a point to watch 20/20 as the whole show was dedicated to transgender children. After watching the show I have to admit that Barbara Walters did a tremendous job on this show and show an incredible amount of compassion on the subject. Watching the show definitely brought back a lot of memories from when I was a child. These children were so adamant from a very young age that they were the wrong physical gender. I only wish I had that tolerance and understanding in my home when I was younger and then maybe I could have understood just WHY I felt wronged.

When I was young I certainly knew there was something different. I knew I had a strong attraction to girls things and felt out of place hanging with the boys at times. I was never a rough and tumble boy when I was young. I learned to toughen up with experience to survive. These children will simply learn how to survive being themselves… Good for compassionate parenting.

The 20/20 message board had its share of bible bumpers and judgemental people but there were as many or more compassionate people there. It's nice to see society realizing that we are people that are just trying to correct ourselves and live. The sad thing is the people ripping the parent telling them they are perverted or need help for allowing their children to do this. We still have big strides to make...

Sat morning had me awake by 6 am so I figured I would sign on the Internet get my mail, check the weather and get ready to go out around 8. The idea was for Diane and I to go out for bagels and coffee and go shoe shopping and whatever else we thought of. When I flipped my pc on I knew there was something wrong right away, needless to say without getting into heavy detail my pc is TRASHED!

We got ready headed out to Panera and had a nice relaxing breakfast. After Panera we took our short walk over to Off Broadway shoes. With summer coming the idea was to figure out what type of sandals I can now get away with wearing. When we got to the front door we realized they were …..CLOSED!

Diane didn’t feel like hanging around so we decided to head over to the mall and look at pc’s at best buy. As we entered the mall and headed down towards the store I noticed a familiar face approaching. It was a very old friend of ours and we stopped to chat. This conversation would affect me profoundly afterwards.

Our friend is a local police officer who works in narcotics undercover. He was always a very quiet but nice guy. He was also a very macho male and very stern in his views. The reason this affected me in such a negative way was because I suddenly had flashes of bumping into old friends in my new role.

Diane knew I was a bit off, she saw it in my face and when she asked why I simply said, I think it is time to stop. It scared me to think I could come into contact with an old friend and then how I would have to explain myself to them. It is nuts to dictate my own well being to what old friends might think …but there it was staring me in the face. It will be a huge wall to climb.

Diane always makes it a point to explain how the changes are good ones, god knows she sees them. I don’t know that it does a lot of good because it has to come from my own heart and mind. It is still nice to hear how she views it and generally proves that I'm better off on this path.

Friday night we decided to go to a local diner for dinner. Neither one of us felt like cooking From the time we sat down till the time we left the waitress had us identified as ladies. Still the same old ball cap and jeans, no makeup and black, girls T-shirt. It really blows my mind every time but I can honestly say it is starting to become easier and definitely puts a smile on my face.

Sunday was our usual hit to the local breakfast diner and off to grocery shop. Not much to report there just a stress free time. After that it was off to circuit city to look at pcs. I settled on buying one at circuit city but I would have to come back to pick it up. So off to a local store to look for summer tops we trekked. We didn’t find much but we had a nice relaxing time. After that we stopped for a drink and back to circuit city we went.

Diane decided she needed to use their bathroom and I went over to get my pc. As I walked back over to wait for her I bent over to place the box and the floor. As I did this a large gentleman that was being helped by a sales associate motioned to me and asked. Would you like me to get you a cart for that Maam?

I must have looked like a freight train was bearing down on me!! I replied with a simple no thank you and proceeded to wait for Diane. As she approached I told her in a very low voice get me out of here. When we got outside I explained what happened and as usual she thought it was great. I think she was even laughing. I explained hearing it from guys is going to be a big adjustment for me. I know I’ll get over it, but it takes time. At least things are starting to happen more and more. It sometimes makes me feel bad for the people who will never pass without surgery.

After getting home, setting up the pc and getting things going last night I deiced to try my compact flash cards in it as it has a built in reader. It wouldn’t read the cards and now the light that tells you the card is stuck on . I assumed a reboot might clear the light and proceeded to do that…it wouldn’t reboot!


So now here I am at work. Out several hundreds of dollars and no working PC to show for it. I wasn’t planning on going out tonight but it seems like I’ll need to head back to the store with the PC ..

Tomorrow night is group, I think it is time to take the steps and get my ass out with people to get comfortable with myself in a public role. It isn’t an easy thing to do. Not long ago my friend Annah decided to try sky diving. In her lessons leading up the to first jump the instructor asked her "Are you scared at all?" Annah just told him she wasn’t but she later admitted to me that she was more scared stepping out in her female clothing for the first time than she was jumping out of a plane …

I guess that puts transition into perspective doesn’t it?


Apr 27, 2007

Mainstream media, Co-Workers and Bigotry

Sometimes the line between bigotry and acceptance can be very thin, almost indistinguishable. I have a co-worker who skirts that line quite often over the whole Transgender subject. He has no idea that I’m transgender yet but I’d tend to believe it wouldn’t be too much longer before he does.

For the sake of making it easy I’ll simply refer to him as "J"

The company I work for is a semi conductor OEM manufacturer that is a relatively progressive company. That is to say I cannot be fired here for coming out and I have already done that with the head of Human Resources here.

Locally we have 4 major divisions that are all within a 20-minute drive of each other. In one of those divisions is an older TG girl that is an engineer. She is a MTF that transitioned here early in my tenure with the company. My friend "J" happens to work in the same division as she does and one of our friends is actually her engineering technician.

"J" constantly comes into our shop to get work done, hang out, to personal jobs or whatnot. We have a long history as co-workers together. While it never seems to be solicited or the subject is rarely ever broached "J" always seems to have a habit of turning it onto "TG" matters and mainly as Chris as his target. I’m not sure why he is so obsessive with this but it seems to come up quite often.

Not long ago he made a veiled comment about being careful about drinking the company water because you might "catch" things. (Whatever)

Apparently in a recent conversation with Chris she had mentioned to him she was interested in buying a Harley 883 sportster and "J" shot back with the statement "You don’t want that, it’s a girls bike" Chris just looked at him like he was nuts with the I AM a girl look.

When it comes to matters such as this without knowing about me he really can portray a very bigoted hateful attitude. I think it is sad that he does this not knowing exactly WHO he might be stating these things too. I’ve consistently heard him refer to Chris as "it", "he", "that "thing" and I tend to either try and diffuse his direction or simply ask him what the big deal is. To date we haven’t had a confrontation over it but I certainly see it happening.

To see how the social landscape is changing a column about a sportswriter for the LA Times came out yesterday. The article can be seen here


I have to commend Christine for not only doing what she needs to do to live a happy life but doing it in a positive unapologetic manner. Her coming out letter was well written and to the point. I applaud her for taking such a personally private matter and sharing it as she has done. Education is the key for diversity to exist.

In parallel with the article the times made a discussion board available that can be seen here.


I have to say I am pleasantly surprised that 90% of the comments are positive. There are a few that talk about Christianity but they do not judge and a small percentage that are simply hateful. The common theme in these posts usually reference statements something like. "You need to get therapy because this decision is unnatural" Or "you really need to see a psychiatrist if you believe this is the right choice"

Funny how ignorant those statements really are. The fact is it takes hundreds of hours of therapy to not only gain the confidence to face your fears but to get things such as hormone treatments, breast surgery or genital reconstruction. One doesn’t just wake up one morning and decide to schedule surgery.

It takes approximately 3 months of therapy alone before a therapist can even suggest hormone treatments. It takes 1 year of living in the proper gender to get a referral for surgery and then that need to be agreed upon by a psychologist as well as a psychiatrist.

Sounds to me like Christine has probably established a good support of doctors and therapists to move forward. While I am sure there are people who take shortcuts, most of us do this in a very controlled and measured way. If you are not then you are doing yourself a disservice as these changes can affect your core being. Hormone has multiple side effect and blood needs to be monitored

I just wish people would learn to educate themselves before opening their mouths and making ignorant statements. .

From Largo Florida to LA California this subject seems to be breaking ground. All my children just wrapped up a 3-4 month story line about a transgender character.. Talk shows (Other than Springer) are having more informative shows about this. Diversity is coming and being accepted, it is just time for hatred to go away.

Tonight Barbara Walters will be doing a 1 hour show on 20/20 about this very issue. If you want to learn more please watch it.

Hope all is well and you enjoy your weekend, I know I will


Apr 26, 2007

What happened to summer?????

Seems like the shortest summer on record. Last weekend it was close to 90 degrees and balmy, today we awoke to temps in the mid 30’s. Tough to imagine the temperature can be so drastically different in a matter of hours or days but hey, it’s New England.

We awoke to a thick fog this am because of the change in temperature and the moisture in the air. One of the most beautiful sites I get to see is a stream not far from my home. The stream always looks so serene when it is like this because you can literally see the mist rising off the water causing that thick white haze that encompasses the air above it. I have pictures of that stream stashed in that very state of being, I should post them one of these days.

Last night was my usual every 3rd week counseling session. It has gotten to the point that I have to make sure to look presentable when going, as this is the first step in getting my ass out in public to live life. So I got out of work yesterday, made dinner, hopped in the shower and got ready. It’s so bizarre to me because I still personally have a hard time seeing the physical changes for myself.

Diane as well as Anne (Counselor) made it a point to tell me not only how good I look but how natural I look. I know they are telling me the truth but that small part of me holds on to the insecurity that others simply won’t see that. This part of the change has probably been the single hardest part of the journey ~ "Self Identity"

Coming out and explaining what was going on with me to family and friends certainly was and is a major hurdle but for some reason this one seems to be the bigger mountain to climb. I had explained to Anne that my head had been in a bit of a funk as of late. It’s such a weird state of being because I feel like I am suspended in an immovable state of being.

When I first started out trying to figure out who I am and what I should be doing, the first part of the ground work that was laid out was the notion that I would move slowly in a measured way. I naturally figured that if I was wrong in this or I simply couldn’t handle it that I would just sneak back into being Kevin and go about my life.

As I’ve gotten this far into the changes I now realize that I simply can’t or don’t want to go backwards. So, it leaves me stuck because it has been so hard to move forward from this point and the bridge back seems to be too eroded to pass back. I started to realize this as I started being assigned female by people who saw me without even trying very hard or at all. It just seemed to happen. This could only stand out to me as physically being unable to be Kev any longer, people just don’t seem to see it that easily unless they already know me.

Emotionally there is no way I would ever want to go back to the old me. While there are aspects of my personality I’ve held onto too there’s a lot of negative that I’m happy is gone. Let’s face it, as crazy as times are for me , I really am on the path I needed to be on. Hopefully in the near future I can make this final leap and have faith that the people who are guiding me are telling me how it really is and not what I need to hear….

I'm not complaining by any means, I'm much happier now than ever. My thoughts are much more precise and cohesive than they have been in years. It's most certainly the right thing for me, hopefully I will continue to find the strength not only in myself, but the people who care about me ..


Apr 24, 2007

Tuesday's thoughts ..

It’s an absolutely beautiful day outside again today. Yesterday saw temperatures in the mid 80’s which I believe broke a record for a high. Today is forecast to be a bit cooler as it should be in the mid 70’s and sunny.

Last night after dinner Dee and I went for a walk with the dogs to enjoy the air and get the dogs some exercise. The road across from ours where we tend to walk curves up a hill that we used to take my daughter on many years ago. Now nature has been forever altered into a new neighborhood of some pretty nice homes.

As we climbed the hill there was a warm wind blowing that was so much like it is in the middle of August here that it was hard to believe it is only April. It seems the seasons here have changed significantly from when I was a kid. Spring has seemed to fade away and now we jump from winter directly into summer. The gradual buildup has totally disappeared over the last few years.

My state of mind has been a bit off recently which I tend to go through with this whole experience on occasion. I guess I get to feeling like I’ve not made any substantial progress in a while and it forces me to rethink everything I’m doing. I guess I shouldn’t worry because it has to be a natural progression at whatever rate I can tolerate. I guess that sometimes I feel like daily living is stuck in some kind of twilight zone where I can’t move forward like I need and I can’t go back.

I know this feeling will pass and I’ll eventually conquer any concerns or fears I have. My counselor has been trying to get me to go to group so I can see others who are going through the same thing. I understand the reasoning but it does bother me a bit to feel like I’m using someone else’s struggle to validate how much easier I have it even if I don’t see it yet.
Not long ago Dee asked me about my fears of getting more involved with the group and why I’ve been so hesitant. She seems to think it is the next logical step to get me into a daily comfort zone in public. I got on the computer and called up a local "Trans" group and showed her the pictures as I think they say it all.

She had a hard time look at the pictures for long. Not because they disgusted her or anything but because they showed people who were trying way too hard to be female. One of the reasons I’d always kept to myself with this was because I didn’t want to be involved with the sexual aspect or shady of it, that simply scared the bejesus out of me.

She keeps trying to reassure me that I don’t look like the people she saw, that I look more natural and I’ve done things in a measured natural way. I still have a hard time grasping that and I end up feeling badly because I think she that doesn’t think I trust her judgement, I do immensely. It’s tough after living a certain way for so long and not fear you are still projecting that old person or you wonder how people are viewing you.

I guess I’ll get there, I just need to learn to be patient with life…. It’s such a new experience.


Apr 23, 2007

Weekend delights

Well it is Monday and it is back to another workweek. God I could use a nice vacation but as it stands now, if gas prices climb to where they are guessing ($4 a gallon) then not many of us will be able to afford travel this year. Could some one explain just why gas is projected to be at $4 a gallon?

My guess is pure greed, no more, no less. When gas hit $3 a gallon last year and we were all in shock at the pumps the reason they gave for the sharp rise in prices was Katrina. It was stated that supply had dropped because of the damage done by Katrina. So what natural disaster is hampering supply levels now?

Add to that the fact that the world wants us to pay a "Global Warming Tax" on our fuel and I can’t see anything good coming from this other than the collapse of the middle class worker in America…

So anyway back to the weekend.

Friday turned out to be such a beautiful day I decided to start my weekend a bit early and I blew out of work at 1:30. The weather seems to have finally turned (at least temporarily) and Friday hit the upper 60’s to lower 70’s. It was so nice that Diane had the top off the car to enjoy the weather.

Saturday had Diane working at curves from 7-10 am and then getting her nails done on the way home so it was quiet around the house. Both days this weekend I was out of bed before 6am, god it’s tough getting older. The nice part about it is that I actually enjoy getting up early now so it wasn’t a bad thing.

After Diane got home we showered and headed out to get some errands done before heading to my inlaws in the after noon. Wasn’t bad having the top down on the PT Cruiser and driving around in the sun.

Saturday night we met up with Diane’s family and drove to Portsmouth NH to a place called Muddy River Smokehouse. My father in law loves a good rack of ribs so we figured we would give it a shot. When we got ready to leave there were 11 of us so we ended up taking 3 cars. Diane’s sister’s family in theirs, My father in law drove with my brother in law and nephew and my mother in-law with Diane and I

I was nice not being stuck with the guys and relaxing on the 1 hour ride there. I did suggest to Diane I’ve been feeling like her Dad isn’t comfortable around me anymore and she said she felt he was the same with her. I hope that isn’t the case, as I’m not looking to make anyone else feel uncomfortable.

All in all we had a good time though ..
Sunday morning Diane and I got up early to meet up with my cousin Betty for our monthly breakfast. I ended up being not so good and getting Eggs benedict for a change. We had a nice time and Betty had made it a point to not bring her husband this time so we could talk more openly about what was going on with me ..

After that we went home took the dogs for a long walk and just hung out all day and enjoyed having the house open as it was close to 80. Hopefully we’ll have a lot more weekends of leisure …

Apr 18, 2007

Rain sucks/Floods too!

Well all the rain has resulted in flooding just 11 months after what they were calling the 100 year floods. Crazy stuff for sure but lucky enough but at least it isn’t as bad as it was last year. It has made getting to work a but of a nuisance for sure as the building I work in is right across from the Merrimack River.

The river is quite a bit over flood stage and from what they are saying about 8" lower than last years records. Along the river are several low lying areas and even homes that tend to flood out as the water rises. This even causes the water to flood out the route going by it thus causing me to take several detours to get here.

After I got in the am we flipped on the radio in the shop and as the news report came on they started mentioning all the flooded area. In the course of the report they stated that Rt110 was closed from the Armory to the highway. I wish someone would have told me that before I drove through that area. Stupid reporters…

I wonder how many people are going to miss work assuming the road is closed.

I love the rain, especially during the hot summer months when you have the house open and you get to smell the change in the air as it falls. What I really can’t stand it days and days of straight rain. As it stands right now the rain started Saturday and won’t leave until tomorrow. The radio just labeled it "The storm that just wont go away"

On other notes things have been relatively quiet for me this week, I’ve been a bit drawn out because of all the damp weather. It really keeps me in a groggy, sleepy mood. My face is slowly coming back to normal from the laser session I had on Saturday. Generally after the session for several days my face hyper pigments and it feels bruised in the areas where there is dark hair. As the dark hair has disappeared this has lessens quite a bit.

The hyper pigmenting is simply bruising, of the hair follicles from the lasers energy. The darker the shaft of hair the stronger the penetration, hence gray hair is unaffected and dark hair is desired.

Because my beard was so dark and coarse when I first started my face absorbed quite a bit of energy and at times it could actually feel like someone had punched me from the trauma. As much as it hurt to have it done, in the end the results are worth it and I’d do it all over again if I had too.

This past appointment was mainly to shoot 3 very tiny areas that we less than the size of a dime and any stray dark hairs that may not have broken the skin. I’m assuming that this should be it, now I can concentrate on the gray on my lower jaw and neck.

Yesterday was a bit of a weird anniversary for me. It was 13 years ago yesterday I fell through a window and caused severe damage to my right wrist. In the process I severed the artery and the radial tendon rendering my right wrist completely useless and keeping me out of work for 3 months. I had surgery that day to repair the damage and spent the next 3 months wondering if I’d ever pick up a guitar again. Thankfully it was the guitar playing that actually made my recovery that much better because I was very flexible in that wrist already.

One of the other things that stand out in April that I rarely talk about happened on April 1st. It isn’t a celebration of any kind so I generally don’t mention it. April 1st 1995 was the day my Dad committed suicide taking his life. The reason I bring it up now is because of the things I’ve been through over the last 2 years. I’ve been close to that myself to some degree. It was a selfish thing for him to do but in my own suffering I have a better understanding of why people can get to that point.

If you are dealing with any kind of depression, thoughts of hurting yourself or just daily misery over your life please get help and talk with someone. When I started my little journey I am on the last thing I expected to ever do was talk about it on the web in detail. As I have done that it has been a source of therapy for me helping me take each step in a positive manner. If my little steps here make someone else think about getting help then I have done what I intended to do by talking.

O a more upbeat note today is my Mother-in-Laws Birthday. I don’t think we will get to see her tonight but we are all going out to dinner on Saturday night to a BBQ place and we can celebrate then. Anyway HBD mom, even though you don’t read this blog .. LOL

Tonight we are going to head over to one of our favorite local restaurants (T-Bones)for a couple roasted turkey dinners. We have a few coupons that will cover 90% of the cost of the meal. Anything for almost nothing works well for me!

As far as me personally, things have been quiet and not a lot to report. I’ve been a bit lazy in nurturing myself lately and sadly not much is changed in that area. I need to get off my butt and start working on my voice now. The problem I’ve had with that is that I feel so silly doing it but it is part of the process and needs to be addressed. Once I can do this comfortably, then I think all the parts I need for the puzzle will be in place to get ready to the real life test. I’ll just need to finish telling people.

The real life test is living in the appropriate gender for a year 24/7. It is the standard that you have to complete before you can have any surgery. It is designed to simply see and show you whether or not you can survive in the gender you are moving too. This also includes changing names and legal documents. It’s all still a long way away but every step gets me closer to being who I always believed myself to be. Scary times indeed but if I end up feeling better about myself in the process then it will be well worth the time invested.

Before I jet for the day I wanted to take a moment for the Virginia massacre that just happened. When people lose their lives for stupid reasons it is a very tragic incident, It becomes even more tragic when it comes to it happening on a mass scale as happened at the university. What is bothering me about this whole thing is the world’s fixation with our gun laws and not the sympathy of the victims. This isn’t about you or me, this is a time for remembering the people who lost their lives because of this very twisted individual and our 2nd amendment has little to do with this. Please do not turn these tragic deaths into a political hotbed simply to further your own agendas, focus on the families of these poor people… My heart certainly goes out to them … may they rest in peace.

Anyway, I hope your humpday kicks major ass …


Apr 16, 2007

Nice weekends

What a crazy night and even a crazy morning with all the rain we are getting. Very early this morning while lying in bed waiting for my usual 5 am start I was listening to the rain coming down outside. At times it can be one of the most peaceful sounds as the tiny drop rustle the leaves. In the summer when the windows are open I can lay in bed and listen intently as the sound reminds me of my younger days camping in the White Mountains.

When we would camp there were times that that we simply hadn’t paid close enough attention to the weather report and ended up sitting through some rain storms. The sound of the drops on the tent and the rustling of the forest leaves stick with me to this day. Listening to the rain fall in my back yard is very similar to that as we are surrounded by trees, I often forget how country we really live until I have to drive into places like Boston or Concord.

This morning that sound really seemed to be lost with the intensity of the rain. Instead of that calming bristling sound that I’m accustomed to it had a much more violent tone to it. If you have ever heard the crack of a large tree branch breaking from its spot on a tree you can probably get an idea of this tone. It was one total non-stop branch break. The amazing part to me is that all the windows are still closed so the sound gets dampened a bit because of the barrier.

Friday after work Diane and I decided to hit the Outback for a couple of steaks. That is something that has become a rare treat for us as we try to avoid a lot of red meat. After that we hit the mall across the street to walk it off. We stopped in bath and body so Diane could get some body wash. They have some new scents and one of them is Iced Tea, which smells awesome. Every time she wears it I long for a long island iced tea!!!

This weekend was a nice quiet weekend, one I’ve come to really enjoy when they happen. No commitments, no where to be, no plans to follow, just a wing it and see where we go weekend. My only plans were for Saturday Morning at 9am to have what I hope to be is the last laser treatment on my face. 99% of the dark hair is gone and there are only 3 stray patches left so I felt the need to get at least one more in before I start focusing on the gray areas that the laser would not take care of.

Now that I have gotten to this point I’ve spaced my appointment out a lot further. Generally I would go every 4-6 weeks, this time I made an appointment for 10 weeks out just in case I need it. Because I’ve gotten to this point it is now going to be Diane’s turn getting Zapped as she is hoping to lose having to shave her underarms now, then if she likes that her bikini area.

After we got out of the laser appointment we decided to have a nice quiet morning and go shopping for some wants and needs. Diane was feeling a bit hungry so we hit Panera Bread for some bagels and coffee. As we were sitting there I was reminiscing with Diane of old days when I was far from being a morning person. I would have preferred to just be left alone and not bother with people until the glaze from my eye were gone. Boy times change.

I absolutely have become a morning person now and to some degree I even enjoy just having my own quiet time to start my day. The old me could not have even been bothered with breakfast and now I actually look forward to it. I’m sure some of it is age and some of it is just that I’m happier now and it gives me a reason to want to be up early.

After Panera we walked over to Off Broadway Show which is Diane’s favorite shoe store. It is actually quite cute because Diane was never a girly girl and she certainly wasn’t a shopper. She was always a very tomboyish girl and she simply never understood girly girls and their likes. Over the last few years she has certainly developed an enjoyment for show and jewelry shopping which is time I enjoy spending with her. In some regard my transition is having an affect on her because she seems to be coming around and enjoying this that she never used too. Sadly (Or not) we didn’t spend any money at that store.

From there we headed over to Harley Davidson to look at motorcycles and look at clothes there. They always have nice Jackets, T-Shirts and even jewelry. From there we scooted over to the mall and walked around. That night neither of us felt like cooking which can sometimes be a pain when it Is only two people. We decided to hit Bertucci’s for a pizza and Diane wanted a glass of wine. We had a nice relaxing time,

Sunday we got up for a usual trek to the local diner we go to almost every Sunday, hit the grocery store and Sam’s Club. Afterward we went to Old Navy as I had a $100 gift card I wanted to use. When I changed Internet providers I got a $100 American Express gift card. I needed to get a new Denim Jacket and some new tops. Diane got a light Jacket and some tops as well. When it was all said and done the bill came to $100.51 couldn’t have done any better to wipe the card out.

Anyway life this weekend was good, I really need to start focusing on some me time which I’ve been neglecting recently and I am feeling the effects emotionally. Sometimes I get stuck in a rut of doing things and not nurturing the path I am on. While it isn’t a conscious thing it does have its emotional impact.I guess I just take my daily routine for granted and I don’t always get to incorporate the newer aspects of my changes. Hopefully I can get more comfortable and work on this more as it is an integral part of who I am.

That’s enough for now .. How was your weekend?

Apr 13, 2007

Typical Male?

Back when I started counseling in 2005 and came to a realization that I needed to worry about my well being and learn to be who I am without feeling guilty or I was going to self destruct in the process of conforming. Those very first steps were truly scary ones and every baby step I’ve made since has been the same. The fact is that I’ve realized I am worthy of being happy and at least feeling normal.

Once I set that foundation in place I set a road map of what needed to change in order for this to happen. The first was to eliminate certain things that reminded me of male daily life, essentially things that impacted me negatively daily that I could do something about easily.

One instance was my vehicle and as stupid as this may sound it was something that had been bringing me down. The previous year out of need I had to replace my original Ford Ranger so in a hasty decision because I owned a home and felt like I needed to be responsible. So I bought another ranger, Let’s face it though a pickup truck is a very male driven product regardless of being responsible.

After going through all of this I would notice that every time I would get in my truck I would get this sinking that simply reminded me of who I am. While I struggled with the decision and felt irresponsible the truck had to go in lieu of something that was more suited to me and stopped screaming GUY!! That was how we had arrived at the decision to purchase my mustang, a decision I have not regretted once. In fact it was the first time in a long time other than the motorcycles that we owned that I had purchased a vehicle solely to make myself feel good.

One of the other changes that we all tend to deal with is aging and I’m no different. But with every age line added to my face and every stiff bone in my body I would be reminded that it was a day lost not understanding who I was or why. The one thing we all notice about aging is our gray hair, face it reminds us of our grand parents or even older parents.

I started to gray at a rather young age, Approximately 27-29 IIRC. Having long dark hair would tend to make every new gray stand out worse than the last. I knew this was becoming a deep part of my male life as I had started being identified by it. Over the years my hair had gone from Deep Brown to an almost Salt and Pepper showing I was getting older. As a male testosterone tends to make your hair get rather coarse and unruly.

In 2004 I was attending the NAMM show in Anaheim California when I bumped into guitarist Gary Hoey. He was a genuinely nice guy from the time we met him. I had been a fan of his playing for a long time and was aware that he was a local guitar hero, that is to say he came from the same general area as I had. In the course of our conversation I mentioned to Gary where my hometown was and he had mentioned he was actually looking to move back and that his family lived in NH not far from me. Eventually he would move back but I’ve yet to bump into him around town.

Like all famous encounters you simply assume given the vast amount of people musicians meet they play the part say hello to sell albums and forget all about it and focus on the next encounter. Gary was different and had done something that amazed me to this day. He remembered exactly who I was. The following year at the 2005 show Gary bumped into us for a 2nd time and never forgot me, this was something that gave me a new respect for him.

During these encounters my friend Todd was present and got to meet Gary as well. Todd as I was, had been a long time fan and had the same genuine experience with Gary.

Not long after when Gary’s tour ran through the Chicago area Todd went to see him perform and in genuine Gary fashion he remembered exactly who Todd was but what would happen next would blow my mind on several levels. Gary had asked Todd how I was and referred to me as the "Guy with the salt and pepper hair" Hmm ..I was beginning to feel old …

As things began to change and fall into place I decided to start coloring my hair. I knew that it was just another step in saying goodbye to Kevin and hello to Karyn. My biggest fear was the ribbing that I would get from work, after all I work in a trade. That ribbing never happened as not one of my male co-workers noticed the change in color. In fact people that see me all the time haven’t even noticed most of my facial hair is now gone.. pretty observant huh?

About 2 weeks after I colored my hair I got stopped from one of the girls upstairs with a smile on her face asking me what I had done. She noticed!! I was elated because not only did she notice but she thought it looked good. Shortly after that word got out as her husband was one of the guys that frequent our shop and yes I did get teased, just nowhere near as bad as I’d assumed I would. The numbness that the guys around me displayed definitely showed signs of typical MALE behavior

This morning as I was sitting in my chair the older Hungarian guy that works in here was standing staring at me and I caught him from the corner of my eye. I looked over and he had this smile on his face and in his thick innocent Hungarian accent asked me, "Did you paint your hair?"

I almost died of laughter, I asked him if he meant dyed? Laughing I explained to him I had but it’s been that way for well over a year now. He just had this bewildered look on his face and went back about his business …

Typical guy? Yep!!

This was one of the changes that had hit me in a profound way from the testosterone into the estrogen. The "T" gives men a more numbed awareness of their surroundings. Estrogen makes you a lot more aware of the world around you, it strips that numbness and creates a bit of a vulnerable feeling. I can honestly now see how teenage girls go through an awkward stage of feeling out of place in the world.

Thought I’d share for today .. Enjoy your weekend


Apr 12, 2007

Welcome to thursday

I haven’t had much to say over the last few days. I’m still stinging from the treatment we received from my daughter over Easter. Apparently as usual Diane and I are at fault and I guess that will simply never change. On a side note I’ve found out that there was an ulterior motive behind her boyfriends sudden need for an appearance.

I won’t say it here because I’m not sure of how much is known at this time but I can say it was because my daughter had something tangible to gain by getting him back in with the family. The sad part is that as this was going on the family was being included on something and Diane and I were being pushed out again as usual. I’ve come to realize I can never do right by Jessica and I’m ready to give up on her for my own sense of preservation.

It sounds so selfish and cruel to have to say that, but I can’t continue to live with her abusing me emotionally

Moving on, Steve Stanton is due to make an appearance on Larry King Live tonight. Larry while a bit ignorant has at times given trangendered people a platform, which is a good thing. I say ignorant because he doesn’t educate himself before opening his mouth and at times can ask some pretty dumb questions.

There was a few articles posted in Largo this am regarding the firing of Ms Stanton. The disturbing part of this is that they are trying to avoid media blitz now by stating that she had a poor track record and that was the reason for the dismissal. I don’t understand how someone can do such a poor job yet get good appraisal reviews… Lets face it, it was about discrimination which is specifically prohibited within their own rules for employees.

The guess is that Ms Stanton will announce a lawsuit against the city of Largo tonight. I think as a country we have become lawsuit happy but in a case such as this it can benefit a greater cause.

Hopefully this will set precedent that discrimination against anyone is simply wrong.


Apr 6, 2007

Sweet people

Well I wasn't planning on blogging anything today. I've had enough of the B.S that went on with my daughter last night and in all honesty it left me feeling pretty down.

I talk to several people throughtout the course of my day by instant message but I have to say lately one girl in particular has been getting me back out of my funk. She has never judged me and done nothing more than made me feel like my transition was no big deal, in a nut shell she just makes me feel like one of the girls.

She has had a knack of really making me feel good and accepted, in turn it helps me realize that there are accepting, caring people out there. I won't say who she is but I will say thank you to her .. Her husband has an awesome wife and she has really been a good friend ..


Apr 5, 2007

Sometimes ya just gotta vent

I've been good for a while about being positive and trying not to be the way I was before. I was such a negative person that it seemed to ooze from my pores at times. When you are miserable with yourself you have no reason to feel upbeat or feel there is any hope at feeling right. That has slowly changed for me with all the steps I've taken and I've certainly become a glass is half full kind of gal!

That briefly changed for a bit tonight and my mood is a bit down over something my daughter pulled. She pitted sister against sister to get what she wanted. Last year after being emotionally abused by her boyfriend she moved home. My wife and I did everything we could to help her and have her work on herself and straighten her life out so she could be happy. I even loaned her $14k to buy a car

While she was here she was trying to work things out with her boyfriend and on a camping trip he became physically abusive. She ended up applying for a restraining order as she assured me and everyone that knew her she was done with him. I certainly wish she had been telling the truth.

After 30 days she came up on her hearing to extend the order to one year and even her abusive dip shit b.f. showed up. She stated her case and the judge granted the stay for one full year. This was good news as we thought but something just didn't seem right. In the long run it turned out while she was applying for the restraining order she was still seeing him all along and we were all duped. She committed perjury in front of a judge to propagate her lie. The only explanation we have been able to come up with was that she did it this way to get help buying a car. Needless to say the car got confiscated and sold upon learning we were being played and lied too.

After his happened we made it a point to tell family that we would not be at any family functions that her b.f would attend. We were assured that the entire family were behind us because they didn't like this guy either because of what he had done to not only Jessica but my wife and I

Tonight we received a phone call in regards to Easter Sunday at my sister in laws house from my daughter where we were informed that she spoke to her Aunt and she was bringing her B.F. to Easter and she would call ahead of time so we could "leave" so we don't have to see him. I'm not sure why she thinks it is fair to expect us to leave a family function for someone who is simply not family and caused so much turmoil. Most of all we couldn't understand how my sister in law could allow this.

My wife decided to call her sister and tell her we would not be attending Easter at her house now and explained we were not comfortable being around Mark. What came out of the conversation astounded me. My sister in law said that he wasn't invited to Easter dinner. Jessica asked if he could come and she told her to ask Diane if she would be comfortable with it. When Jess called she simply made it sound like she had the support of her Aunt to deceive us ....yet again..

This past 8 months have been tough on me as last May and June I really thought I finally had my daughter back and that she genuinely cared about us. That all fell apart over the restraining order issue and I'm sad to say I rarely hear from her now. I don't see her for our birthdays or anniversaries. I didn't get a card for my birthday or any of her time, I simply got a 6 second message on my answering machine

It came out several months ago that my daughter is now pregnant from this dick head. I have so many mixed emotions over it and don't know which way to turn. I so wanted to be able to enjoy my grandchildren when the time came but i know that my grand daughter will be used as nothing more than a tool to hurt my wife and I

Not long ago Jessica made it a point of telling me she wanted me around for her daughter and while it was nice to hear she was very selfish in the manner it was done in. I rarely hear from her and in all honesty I feel like she doesn't care if I live or die. She doesn't call to see if we are OK, she doesn't call to tell us she cares. misses us or loves us, She calls when she wants something.. no more no less...

I guess it breaks my heart that I'm expected to be there for her and a grandchild but she can't be there for us.She truly is a selfish person and a taker. I've finally come to the realization I've simply failed as a parent and lost my daughter for good... and I'm very heart broken tonight...


Apr 3, 2007

Cha cha cha changes!

Things are a bit quiet today and I’m a bot bored. For those who are unaware of my background, I work in a model shop as a cad/cam model maker or a glorified machinist in layman terms! Occasionally I get jobs that take a very long time to machine so once it is set up and running there isn’t much to do beyond monitoring the machine and listening for dulling tools. This can make for a very long day at times and again for me that always means time to think.

The state of my mind has been really good lately, probably better than it has ever been. Thoughts are 100% clearer and not as testosterone driven as it used to be so I guess the estrogen has been a good thing. I often tease Diane that I’m going to stop the "E" and she always threatens me telling me she’ll find a way to get it into my food, apparently she doesn’t miss the old mood swings either.

This past week I had blood tests done to check my hormone levels, cholesterol, liver functions and my overall general health. Everything checked out great and I’m happy to say my estrogen levels are in the proper "female" range.

This is the first time in my life I’ve taken care of my health to this degree. Generally the old me would only end up in the doctors office when I was extremely ill or hurt. Most guys avoid the doctor like the plague, it seems to be a male trait, and guys act like it is beneath them almost as though it is a sign of weakness. Basically you can liken it to the old "I don’t need help I’m fine"

I was no different but I had different reasons for not wanting to go. Those reasons were always based around the GID and my fears that my doctor would figure it out. It would take me forever to go when I was sick based solely on fear. One time several years ago I developed a bad case of bronchitis that had that very hollow cough associated with it. For some time Diane would plead with me to go to the doctor and all I would tell her was "I’ll be fine" it took me well over a month and severe pain in my back before I finally gave in and went..

I’m happy to say I think those days are over now and my health is the most important thing to me personally.

The estrogen has had a profound affect on my emotions and thought process, it is so amazing to experience the changes first hand. The difference from testosterone and estrogen play such a basic role it is hard to understand without fully experiencing it. For instance the old joke that guys think with 2 heads and not necessarily the one on their shoulders, that isn’t far from being the truth.

For the most part the testosterone plays a huge impact on the male sexual desire or the perceived "need" for sex. Women often refer to guys as negatively because of their sexual appetite and to some degree they are right. Sexual desire and thought are a consistent presence through their entire day. I believe the statistics were several times every few minutes that males thought about sex. I’m sorry to say there is a huge biological basis to that now being on the other end of the hormone :o) It is very testosterone driven ladies!

So I guess that means it is beyond their control to some degree they are just programmed that way. This is a big reason of why sex is so visual and physical for men and more emotional and connected for women. While it is nice to be connected it isn’t as a big a deal for women, most need the emotional connection first.

I’m happy to say I don’t miss the days of that thought process because it was chaotic and felt very foreign to me or very out of control and it simply wasn’t me. I’ve always needed an emotional connection and the testosterone would really make that confusing for me.

Another huge change has been what I call testosterone rages. These rages were very emotional that would explode into a physical sense. For instance if someone were to approach me and say something about me in a negative way my state of being would go from 0-100 in a second or so. I’d be ready for a fight over the most trivial of things. This was from a combination of the testosterone and a lot of built up anger over feeling trapped in my own hell and not understanding why or what I could do about it.

Now I can honestly say those days of hot seated anger are long gone and it’s for the best, I’m sure I was well on my way to a heart attack from the stress of it on my body. When things now impact me in a negative way it has become much easier to decipher the issue and deal with it sensibly instead of flying off in a fit. At times it would leave me feeling like an animal trapped in a cage with no way out and the cage was closing in.

The ability to show emotion has gone through the roof and this was something that I had but was numbed to some degree before. The ability to cry has increased substantially over a wider range of issues. I can now have a more compassionate view of people and life and embrace it a lot more than before.

The physical changes have been awesome as well so far and I love every new thing I notice. My skin has softened significantly and even Diane has moments of amazement over the difference. Every so often she will touch me and feel a soft patch of skin and become entranced by it, I even think she has gotten jealous over it :o)

The hair on my body has decreased by 80% and what’s left now if very fine and soft. The hair that was previously on my belly and chest was very coarse and annoyed me to no avail, it would literally dictate my mood in a negative way by making me feel dirty, almost in an OCD type of feeling. It needed to be gone!! Before I started I had a reasonably hairy back and it was always something that even Diane hated and she would usually shave it for me.

My face has softened considerably now and with the lack of dark hair looks a bit younger. I guess there is something positive that most people would love, The ability to turn back time. One weird thing I wasn’t aware would happen that is very different is the appearance of very fine soft hairs on my facial skin and mainly on my forehead. It isn’t very noticeable unless you look against the skin in the light.

The texture of my hair has actually gotten smoother and silkier than before. My hair hasn’t been like this since before puberty set in. As I had gotten older the texture of my hair had gotten coarser and coarser. Something I would have never associated with testosterone. I’ve always been lucky in the sense of having very thick hair and not losing much if any of it to balding. The crazy part was that if you saw how much hair I lost daily you would wonder why I wasn’t balding. I am now getting fine hairs in places I didn’t have before like the nape of my neck and along the corners of my forehead.

And I’m sad to say the one negative affect that estrogen has ladies is on the nails. My nails have become much more brittle and pliable then they used to be. I generally used to keep the nails on my right hang a bit longer for guitar playing and they had always been thick and hard, those days are gone. Funny how one of the things that women show pride in are their nails and men actually have the proper chemical to grow them, I guess it is a bit ironic if not simply unfair.
Body odor or scent has apparently changes as well. It is more noticeable to Diane than to me but at times there are aspects of it I do note. It’s definitely a much sweeter pleasant odor than it used to be. My seat used to take on a slightly musky odor before. At any rate it is a change Diane seems to enjoy!!

My body fat is slowly getting redistributed although I guess you could say it isn’t fast enough for me. I’ve never EVER had a bum. It is starting to get a bit rounder and I guess that could be a bit of a blessing because for once in my life my pants don’t just sag in the back!

I’ve lost some of my muscle mass and I have noticed it simply in every day life just trying to do the same things I used to. It is funny now when I pick something up and my memory tells me it was easy to do but my arms say no way!

My ribcage has gotten a bit smaller as well. I don’t expect huge changes there, especially at my age but it seems like there have certainly been some. My ribcage has gone from 36" down to 34.5" I assume this is due to the reduction in muscle mass. This was something I honestly didn’t expect but I don’t mind one bit.

Lastly and yes the more personal one, yes my boobs are getting bigger, the current measurement puts me at about a "B" cup. As one might say I guess payback is a bitch because I used to tease Diane (In a loving way) about hers. There is some irony in this as boobs were simply never a big deal to me in the girls I dated. So now this obviously gives some explanation as to why the change in clothes is do simply because they will fit me better.

Well this was certainly a long-winded blog wasn’t it? I never expected to go on and on but sometime it is just good for the soul and if anything it could be educational for someone. All I can say is that I’ve loved every change and hopefully will continue to be as happy as I’ve been over the last year..

On a side note I’ve added a few links to some friends blogs. Thoughts from a kitten and Cobwebs from the attic are our friends Todd and Kristi and have been so good to me through all my changes and such that I wanted to include them here, i couldn't ask for better friends.

Please check their blogs out as well …

I’m out

Apr 2, 2007

Long Traveled Roads

Sometimes I look back at the road I’ve already traveled and realize how long of a path that has been. The problem is when I look forward I could swear I am standing right in front of Mount Everest. What a long hill there is yet to climb and on some days I honestly wonder if I am up to the task.

This weekend we got together for breakfast with Dee’s family at a local diner. We had a pretty nice time and the food was ok. The bottom line is that it was fun to be around everyone and it was a light atmosphere, which is far different from days gone by for me. Past days would often have me in some kind of funk with a black cloud resting over my head.

Being in the presence of family members can be an out of balance type of feeling for me because only a few know of my story and the others don’t yet. With the changes that have gone on to this point and summer fast approaching that will need to change as I won’t be able to layer clothing anymore when I am around family and friends who don’t know yet.

I guess you could call this my Mount Everest now, or at least the first tier of the climb to the heavens. The 2nd part of the tier is that I still find myself to be a little off balance in public, which is giving me a hard time psychologically. I know I will get over this but I am no different than anyone else I simply have my own insecurities to overcome.

It’s hard going from being labeled a boy visually to being labeled girl because as natural a feeling that it is when it happens, there is a certain amount of reprogramming your brain needs to wrap itself around in the grand scheme as you are used to being treated a certain way and reacting in just.

Friday night we went out to our local watering hole called Margaritas. This is a local Mexican restaurant that both Diane and I love. Upon entering the bar area where we usually sit we took a booth at the windows. Next to the restaurant is the Merrimack River and we often like to sit and watch the water billow over the falls and churn about as we eat.

As the waiter approached us he greeted us with a happy good afternoon ladies. May I get you a drink? It has gotten to the point that even just being dressed in my usual boy T-shirt and jeans that this now happens quite often and it is a quite natural and peaceful feeling when it happens.

What always strikes me funny is the fact that I’ve done nothing to alter my voice yet. I guess I have a mid range tonal quality to my voice that could slightly overlap the female range so it doesn’t seem to change that greeting once assigned. It is a truly wondrous thing for me.

Lately what I’ve been unable to do is make that jump from the male clothing to female and go out in public. At the point I am at with the hormonal changes it seems like a necessity simply because those clothes will just fit me better now. Dee keeps asking me why I can’t do that and while I know who I am on the inside I am still having a hard time figuring out how others view me. I am so afraid of being viewed as a male in female clothing that my brain simply hasn’t made the jump yet.

It’s funny how these things seem to work when you break them down into simple terms. For a crossdresser or a transvestite clothing is a very big part of their identity whereas someone who has G.I.D, clothing is really a very small thing. It isn’t that they don’t want e to look nice or be passable as much as they need to have a sense of congruency within their own mind and body. I guess I’m no different as clothing, makeup and jewelry isn’t a huge part of who I am. I still enjoy having nice things but it certainly doesn’t define me.

The other thing that is keeping me slightly off balance is Diane’s treatment of me in public. We are just so used to being a couple she does things that couples do out of habit. She will reach over and touch me affectionately or hold my hand. Say things she would normally say to a spouse. While it is nice to have such a loving relationship it becomes another hurdle to overcome as other people may being seeing two woman being publicly affectionate.

While I shouldn’t care what other people think it becomes an emotional challenge for me because it compounds where my mind is at every time I have to step into a public setting, again this is something that makes me wonder how I’m being perceived in public places. I don’t necessarily want it to change but at times it is just way to much to worry about and violates my small steps approach to things. I often wonder how I can easily play guitar in front of thousands of people when the need arises but I'm self conscious just waking through pubic places at times.

Lastly, is it me or have transgendered issues just exploded in the media as well as on television over the last year? I often liken it as buying a new car and suddenly noticing the same car everywhere you go. From television shows educating, to a soap opera detailing a TG issue, to current news event it just seems to be everywhere. Maybe the day of tolerance is upon us and bigotry will no longer be defined as acceptable behavior.

Case in point is the Susan "Steve" Stanton issue that has developed in Largo Fl. Steve did everything possible to do things in a respectable manner and the deeds of one selfish person destroyed this woman’s life by releasing the info prematurely to the press. After many people coming forward to state that Steve did a good job and received good merit reviews, that suddenly "Susan" is unable to be as competent. .

This case was the worst case of discrimination I have seen in a long time and I certainly hope she stands up for herself and sues the city for wrongful termination. On the positive side of things I for one am very proud of how she handled herself with dignity in such a tough set of circumstances. This case will be a defining moment for anyone who considers themselves to be gender gifted.

Please note that I use the name Steve but refer to both Steve and Susan as "She" Pronouns are a funny thing and even I at times can have a hard time and be a bit forgetful. When a transgendered person has come out and identified their need to change or become congruent within their mind the proper pronoun should be that of the internal gender. So if you know someone who is dealing with this you will now understand why these labels are applied so freely and maybe make them feel a bit better about where they stand.

Anyway I’ve ranted enough for now … maybe I’ll write more later..