Oct 27, 2007

where ya been

Things have been a bit quiet lately, not much to report, not much to discuss I guess. I’ve had a bit of a hard time swallowing my friends’ death. While I think he was way too young to die, it isn’t the reasons I have uneasy feelings about it. To die at that age of natural causes is a hard thing to swallow but we understand that sometimes it is better than the suffering that can be attributed to your decline. The bottom line is that if he died of natural causes I would have mourned and moved on. Even an accident would suck but it is something that while sometimes can be avoided, just happens. Then as in Mike’s case a freak accident sometimes just has to make you wonder.

I’m not making accusations so I hope that this doesn’t come across in that manner. I am having a hard time believing that the manner he died was a total accident. This has kept him on my mind quiet a bit lately and I only hope that this wasn’t what I think it could be. If anything I simply hope he is at peace and I will miss him dearly.

I’ve been in a great mood otherwise; I have no complaints other than the typical “I’m getting old” routine that we all joke about. Even at the level of my mood the most bizarre thing hit me yesterday. The sudden urge to have a good cry. I don’t know why, it has never happened to me in that manner before. I’m not down; I’m very much up but from what I gather it is an affect of the hormones. I don’t hate the feeling but it is different for me. I’ll just take whatever comes my way and embrace it because even at my worst now my days are one hundred fold over what they used to be. I’m still living with the happy to be alive emotions and loving it.

From an emotional value who couldn’t be happy, the RedSox made the world series again and are currently 2 games up. While I think Colorado still has the ability to play good ball and come back, I have a lot more confidence in the RedSox of present than the old bad luck teams I grew up with. It’s amazing what the 2004 WS win did for the fans up here, it’s night and day now. So …go Sox ..

What I had sat on and not revealed here was something that could have been really big news for Diane and I. Twice a year the Oprah show does a show on Gender Identity and Transgender people. She generally handles it in a very classy way that gives some sense of normalcy that counters the old freakish shows of days gone by. After taping her first show on the subject it had gone so well that Harpo decided to do a second show. The second show was to be based around Trans people who had or were transitioning with very supportive families.

Through another party Diane and I were contacted by Harpo as possible guests and it sent to a lot of soul searching on my part. Was I ready to out myself on the grand stage? Was I a good spokesperson for this change? Was my family supportive enough to not only continue to love and support me but be comfortable being ousted to the world in this manner?

I’m happy to report that they were not only open to it they were very supportive. My daughter told me that she was proud of the family she came from and she wouldn’t be who she was if it wasn’t because of who we were. I also had several friends that I inquired to tell me they felt I was articulate enough to be a good spokesperson and handle myself well enough for the task.

For me the biggest hurdle was my concern about my appearance. Did I look good enough and passable enough to not look like a fool. Regardless of what I felt about my appearance, voice or mannerism I am proud to admit that I committed myself to doing this and in return answered the call to Harpo. We were asked for pictures and such but in the end we were not chosen. I am proud to have gotten myself to the point of committal though, I only hope that in the future when the task arises for me to be a part of a bigger solution that I am up for the task.

Recently there has been some division around the GLBT communities over a bill that was to be submitted by Barney Frank called ENDA


When this bill was written is was with the explicit protection for sexual orientation and gender identification in the work place. While we as society have moved forward we still have a cross section of society that feels your Sexuality or Gender Identity somehow affect your ability to do a good job. This is just a nice was of saying they will use these thing to discriminate and ENDA was to be a good way to silence that discrimination.

After Barney Frank got all the GLBT groups on board to lobby his bill he suddenly has done an about face by removing Gender Identity from the bill. His claim for removing this is to say that they do not have enough votes to pass the bill in that form and he has decided to water it down to only protect his own interest “sexual identity”. Representative Frank could not understand not only the backlash he created within the Trans community but the division within. By removing gender identity Mr Frank created division within the GLBT community by lifting 1 part of the community to protected status and turning his back on the other part of the community. He could not understand why Trans people would not support this bill in its current form and then “someday” adding rights of their own.

Being from Massachusetts I have never been a fan of Mr Franks, I’ve found his interests to always be very self serving. For once though I thought there was some hope that people finally understood that Gender Identity doesn’t mean we cannot contribute in a positive way to society.

As it currently stands ENDA passed the house without having gender identity in the bill and there is a last ditch effort to have it added in the next series of votes down on the house floor. The sad part is that in the end it will only be vetoed by a conservative administration because of the religious right wing.

While I never begrudge any person their faith and I also believe it is my right to have my own beliefs. What I’ll never understand is the ideal that we have to live by the standards of a religious system that doesn’t fit into every person’s box. If someone doesn’t believe in god then why does someone who does get to dictate the rights of all of us. Effectively applying their own religious moral standards to everyone regardless of what they believe.

I for one will live my life in the best manner I can, not being dictate too by someone else’s moral value.


Oct 12, 2007

Shocking loss

Some day’s life just seems to flow by uneventful and nothing in particular stands out. For me I long for the day when everything I am working on now becomes so normal that I don’t even have to think about it. It’s easy to get wrapped up in my own changes or my life’s activities. Then there are those days that life smacks us with some cold hard reality and we have to put things back into perspective.

I’ve had days where I’ve complained about what has been going on in my life and then something happens that makes me realize I’m not only lucky to be here, but I don’t have any right to complain.

Last night I received a disturbing phone call from an old friend of mine letting me know that another friend had died. There were no additional details, nothing more than basic information.
Mike was only 37 years old and he was married with 2 young children. I met Mike in 1989 when I started working for the company I currently work for. He still worked here as well, just in a different building as I. Mike and I hit it off as friends as soon as we met, we had very similar tastes in music, personalities and we both loved to ride motorcycles. Back then he even picked up the guitar and took lessons from me for a brief period. He was even at the my party when I got married

When I went through my rough family times in 1992 Mike was there helping me move. He was at my house for dinner as well as just time to hang out. In 1994 Mike, 2 other co-worker friends and I took a trip to wood stock 94 in upstate NY. We had a blast that weekend and we brought back some pretty fond memories and stories. We spent time going to the Laconia motorcycle rallies and most of all we goofed around everyday at work.

Mike never got to find out about the changes that are going on with me. When he got married and settled down we slowly went our own ways. He would go on to 3rd shift and I’d see him less. I changed buildings and that created more distance between us. The one thing that remains constant to this day is that I still consider Mike a good friend of mine and I will miss him dearly.

I have no right to complain about the trivial things I am going through today. If anything, this makes me realize that I need to be the best I can be in whatever I can do because we never know when it will be over. Maybe once the shock of this loss settles it will give me additional strength to live my life as meant to be ..

For now Mike, Rest in Peace wherever you may be ..I’ll will miss you dearly


Oct 5, 2007

Friday is here

Yesterday was a bit of a rough day for me. I sat and wrote out a whole blog for it to only get lost in a crash or something. That was the tip of the iceberg but it is safe to say it was one of those days we all have wondering why in hell that we got out of bed. Things got messed up, people were pains and it was just a better day for sleep and than productivity. i guess the fact that I'm still a bit under the weather could have bearing on it as well.

My writing yesterday started with a simple conversation with a friend and turned into a thought provoking discussion for me. In the course of whatever we had been discussing I made the statement "I don’t like fake people". I’m sure most people can agree that you want to know a true person and not some facade that they want you to see. I explained to her that one of the things that bothers me in transition is how in some way we are expected to "act" to emulate the destined gender.

In a counseling session not long ago I made a comment to my counselor that I didn’t know quite where I fell within the feminine spectrum. I knew it was something that I would have to figure out as I weave my way through dealing with physical and the emotional changes. She told me to go further to the feminine side of how I’d imagined myself.

I don’t know how I imagine myself, I’ve never reduced how I’d felt to a visual goal within my mind. I never sat down and thought that my goal was to be a full time Barbie doll or any ultra feminine persona. In my reading of my transition stories to get other peoples perspectives of how to deal with these thing was a common idea that we try to do as much possible to pass.

I guess one of the problems I have with stepping into that prescribed box is that I don’t feel true to who I am, I feel more like an actress and that is just not me. I’ve always tried to be a genuine person to others and the only way I can say I’m a hypocrite is in hiding my gender identity to others. I’ve always been proud to be the type of person who was brutally honest so anything less for me would make me feel terrible.

I’ve never set out to change things intentionally but as I’ve become slowly more comfortable with the changes in myself, my mannerisms, choice of words and the way I act have all changed have all naturally. For instance when I used to walk I had a very male bounce to my gate. It has since been pointed out to me that the bounce is now gone and I walk more smoothly than I used too.

My wife often points out things that are very girlish in mannerisms or even some of the things I say.

I’ve seen all kinds of women in my lifetime and there is a wide array of difference to the gender spectrum, everywhere from Tomboyish/Girl all the way to Feminine Girl. The one thing I always loved about my wife was her tomboyish ways yet she was still able to get cleaned up and be very feminine. The bottom line to me is I don’t care where I fall as long as it is within a comfortable spectrum for me and it is not an act.

With all that said I do know there are things that need to change a bit like my voice. This has been one of the hard "I feel like I’m acting things" that bother me. I do know that it is a necessary change in order to get read properly and eventually I will get myself there.
Call it paranoia if you want but lately I’ve been feeling like some of the people who have pledged support to me are having a hard time with what is going on. It’s kind of hurt me a bit to feel like I’m hurting other people or making them uncomfortable but I do know that I can’t be something I’m not for others comfort. I guess things will change and I’m happy to have people around me who love me.

I don’t understand why I’ve been so lucky in the support area, I’ve heard a lot of nightmares about people who have lost friends, family, jobs, homes etc and it scared the hell out of me. In fact this was one of the biggest reasons I’d always assumed I could never do anything about how I’d felt. I think the fact that people care about me has a lot to do with the positive changes to my personality since this whole thing started. I’ll take whatever I can get ..

Some days are harder than other, some are days where I’m just tired of the whole transgender thing in general. I told my friend Annah a few days ago it’s so hard to remember how bad it was, that part of my life seem to have just become stories to me now instead of true emotion.

I’m just glad to feel good and be happy to roll out of bed everyday … I hope to have a lot more of those.