Dec 21, 2008
From the time I met Kat I got a good vibe from her. She seemed like a free spirited girl, good at her work and incredibly cute in a Betty Page type of way.
When we had gone on for the initial appointment she asked me some questions, had me look at styles of roses and did her best to get a read on me.
We awoke to a pretty good sized snowfall overnight Friday night so we had plenty of clearing to do before we could head up there. At one point I was getting nervous because I didn’t think we would make it on time and even texted her to let her know, no big deal she was running late because of the snow herself.
When we got there she had just arrived and had been getting her workspace in order. Then we sat down to look at the tattoo design. She explained that she hadn’t fully completed the design because she was having an issue getting the closed rose to look good and she was pretty much right, it screwed the whole flow of the piece. We both agreed the best idea was to go with 2 open roses and she set out at adding the newer idea to the paper. Both Dee and I loved the piece but I still felt there was something missing and asked if she thought it would look good with some eights notes and musical symbols floating around the piece, she thought it was a great idea and just what it needed and she proceeded to add those.
Before we had gone any further we happened into some idle chit chat and the topic of me being trans came up (I told her before I came in that I was) Kat seemed to be intrigued by it and had a lot of questions for me. She had only ever seen it on TV but never met anyone on the process. She told me that if I hadn’t have told her that she would never have known. I love hearing that but not because I have anything to hide, it just makes me feel more at ease. After all this we lost about 2 hours of time and at about ten minutes of two started setting up to do the piece.
I had given Dee the option of picking where the art should go and after seeing it she chose my lower back, she felt it flowed better there. It was nice making this a personal thing with her and it ended up being my birthday present which is even nicer. All in all it took about 2 ½ hours for her to do the entire piece and this would pose to be a problem, we were supposed to be at my inlaws for dinner at 5:30 and it was 4:40 pm when it was finished. We still needed to head home and then down to Massachusetts, about an hour or so worth of driving in heavy snow.
When we arrived at my inlaws house it turned out to be a surprise birthday get together for me . When we walked in several of my friends were there and Diane’s family. Dee even went so far as to have pizza and meat pies from a place that I used to love when I was a kid “Tripolis pizza” in Lawrence Ma. (What a nice touch)
Dec 19, 2008
I wanted to take a quick moment and get this quick blog up. I do have other things to talk about but that will be another time.
Tonight on 20/20 will be a story about a serial rapist in Bloomington Ill who when caught turned out to be a police officer. This particular story has some meaning with me because one of the victims is actually a close friend of mine. Kristi became a victim of this scumbag in April of 2003 and earlier this year I posted about the trial and her involvement.
The girls in tonight's segment all went public and came forward unselfishly so they could show other victims that they shouldn't be afraid to do the same. The whole point is to educate the public and in some form help people who may be suffering through the same thing.
Kristi has been a huge source of support and inspiration to me in my own journey, hopefully others will find the same…
Here's a spoiler video for tonight.http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=6483401
20/20 airs tonight at 10pm
Dec 13, 2008
Dec 11, 2008
My daughter prodded me a bit reminding me that I hadn't written any updates to "walking in new shoes". I don't know if she is trying to keep me current. Keeping me creative or she's just bored and needs some new writing to read. I guess this is for her … LOL
I'm sure if you were to dig deep enough you could always find things to write about but I've not had the inspiration to write or anything to really share of substance without going over things I've already written about. At the moment life is awesome, I'm looking forward to the holidays and I'm totally enjoying my family. Most of all I'm enjoying having the weight of my life's big secret from my shoulders.
Over the last few weeks it would seem that things have quieted down. It's a little strange to have EVERYONE or almost everyone calling me Karyn now. I absolutely love finally being recognized in one sense but it is very much a new world for me. So far there hasn't been any negativity that I'm aware of.
I'm finding that it is a great feeling of acceptance to be acknowledged as Karyn but then it is a whole deeper level when those people (mainly women) treat me as female in our conversations. It's not anything that I've ever anticipated but it is certainly something that makes me feel alive.
This past Saturday I met with a tattoo artist and gave her the components to draw up a custom tattoo for me. For years I had always wanted to get one but I had an issue with what I'd be expected to get as a male and quite honestly, I didn't want something that didn't fit who I was. For years all my friends would get tattooed, even Dee has 4 of her own and yet everyone would always ask when I was getting mine; now I am!
There are 4 components to the tattoo that have some significant meaning to me.
A treble clef: Represents me and my love of music
A heart: Represents Dee and the fact that she is the love of my life
An open rose: signifies my daughter Jess and is open to show that she has blossomed into a beautiful woman.
A closed rose: signifies my granddaughter Gianna and is closed to so show the beauty of her newness and youth.
We sat and looked at different styles of roses and I picked a style. I have given the artist creative control to have some fun with the tattoo and get something that not only has meaning but is mine, no one else has it. I'm guessing that the flow of it will be relatively simple and I can't wait to see her design. The placement hasn't fully been determined but I do know it will be somewhere on my back. Hopefully when it is done I will get pictures up here.
Lastly I have a funny little story. About 2 years ago on a shopping trip to a local mall, early in my transition I had been in a weird place. People were starting to see me as female and address me with feminine pronouns when they would acknowledge us. We happened to be browsing as a Xmas ornament store in the mall when from across the store my daughter yelled "Dad check this out!" Being self conscious I retreated from the store and I know that my daughter got hurt because she had felt that she hurt me. Funny how far I've really come when I think about it.
Tonight while in a local mall my daughter dragged us into a new Bare Escentuals store. For those of you who don't know what that might be, it is a high end mineral makeup store that I use and I love. Standing in the store looking at makeup brushes my daughter turned and said "Dad, isn't this like one of the brushes you use?" It struck me funny and I replied, those 2 things don't work well in sentence when out in public. The nice part was that I didn't freak out, I didn't retreat, I just kind of got a laugh from it because it sounded sooo funny to me. In fact one of the funniest things my daughter says is; "I love my dad, isn't she beautiful." For some reason "Dad" "She" and "Beautiful" seem like they are foreign substances in the sentence together.. LOL
An old friend recently called someone who currently knows me to find out if the info they heard about me was in fact true. I guess he was pretty shocked to hear it was but the best part was when he told my friend that he felt bad. Apparently over the years he had a habit of calling me bitch and now he thinks back and adds what he knows about me know and it is bothering him. It's not a big deal to me, I understood where he was coming from at the time and well, sometimes I was back then!
I guess that is the update for now, it's all about getting the shopping done and being in the moment for the holidays. I can honestly say I've never felt happier…
Dec 2, 2008
What a great week off I had. I have to say that this past week had not only been good for the relaxation but good for the soul as well. I had some incredible interactions that resulted in some really funny moments. Let me first start off by saying that the most reassuring feeling I find is to walk into a Victoria Secret with Diane and hear good afternoon ladies. For some reason that more than any other place seems to give me the most accepted internalized "It's finally here" feelings.
Last Friday I received a phone call on my answering machine from my insurance agent. It would seem there was an issue with the corporate site and my email being outdated so I signed onto the site to update the email. It dawned on me during the process that I never updated my name and as luck would have it, that was one of the things that could edit right on the site and in doing so I left a comment as to why it was being edited.
I've dealt with this insurance agent for close to 20 years and in fact the girl I've dealt with is the same age as me with an incredible smile and personality. She was always the type of girl I would have been attracted too when I was single (Oh so freaken long ago).
While in the car my cell phone rang and it was my insurance agent. When I picked up the phone I knew full well what this was about. "Hey I had to confirm this weird email we got from corporate" she stated. So I asked her "If it were true would you be shocked?" " Of course I would" she replied, " When I read it I thought, no way he was always so cute that I would have dated him!"
Without missing a beat I shot back "Well that's why I had to do this, you never made a move"
Now obviously I was teasing as I am deeply in love with my wife but hey, I figured it was good for a laugh and of course her replay was "Hey you were married and so was I" Obviously this was good for a laugh.
The funny moments never cease to amaze me and I do have quite a bit of fun with them. This past weekend on Facebook I found some very old friends that Diane and I had not seen in years. We had originally met these friends through a mutual acquaintance (IE: My best friend) When I saw them I thought I would have some fun and I shot an message off to the first girl.
Now if you're on facebook you know that there is a picture in your profile and the picture I have currently is the one with my new bangs. Funny enough, before transition I was always so paranoid of posting pictures of myself because I assumed people would "Figure me out" or know who I was. In this case the message went something like.
Do you know me? Clue: Zeppelin
Many years ago on a cruise with these friends the islanders in St Lucia had been calling me "Zeppelin" because of my long hair. It was only fitting that this person should know me by that name. But in her reply it was simply, .Sorry, no I don't know you. In my 2nd set of clues I obviously went a little deeper and her reaction was wait a minute Kevin does kind of sound like Karyn. When she realized it was me she was blown away and that I looked "fabulous" (Which sounded like a good thing) She then told me that I should mess with another friend because this was too juicy to not spill the beans.
So again "Do you know me?? Clue Zeppelin and Blondie
"Her response was even better. "Sure I know you, I'd recognize you by your picture, you look just like your dad, how is Kevin and Diane"
Yup she though it was my daughter!! I certainly hope that means I look good ..LOL
Over the last few days they have been incredibly sweet to me and I've even noticed when talking about me in wall to wall conversations the pronouns are spot on. In seeing that there is no greater gift than that type of acceptance and seeing those pronouns have just been so warm to me.
I can't help but embrace the humor in this. I never want to take myself too seriously in my transition and I hope that others who know me find some comfort in that. I hope that as much as they need to adjust to a new visual change, the humor keeps the spirit of the person they knew…
Nov 25, 2008
Nov 21, 2008
The end of week 2 is coming to a close and it certainly went easier than week 1. I'm sitting here counting hours until I'm off for a 1-week vacation or staycation as my friend Todd so puts it. Guy #1 has ceased his bitching and moaning so I can only assume that he has been talked too. He has even come into the shop ½ a dozen times this week, which was something he refused to do previously. I can honestly say otherwise things just seem normal which really makes me happy!
I had my weekly electrolysis session last night and I have to say that Rita is awesome! I'm sure it helps having a past familiarity with her and mainly her sister so we always have things to talk about. Funny enough, she is the type of person that I could be friends with. She is upbeat, positive, compassionate and interesting. As far as the actual work she has done I'm seeing a lot of results faster than I expected which is awesome. I am looking forward to the day that I can be done with this and just get out of bed not worrying about hair anymore. Thanks god what is left is gray and hard to see.
Having next week off should be a blessing, it will be a week to decompress and when we get back it will be December (The holiday season!) Normally in days past the Latter part of Nov and all of Dec were rough months for me over the years. It was a great source of depression and misery for me. I'm thankful to be able to say that I'm looking forward to the holidays and my birthday this year. I guess having a huge burden lifted from your shoulders can work wonders.
I'm not sure if I'll be blogging or what I'll be doing with my week off yet. I do know that on Tuesday I have a hair appointment and then obviously turkey day on Thursday. Tonight Diane and I are meeting Cynthia for dinner so it should be a nice way to kick off the holiday week. We always have interesting conversations and she is a good source of inspiration having already walked the steps that I am currently walking. It's always nice having someone to share stories or bounce things off of.
I guess for now that is all the news I have. If I don't talk to anyone for the next week may you all have an awesome thanksgiving.
Nov 18, 2008
Well yesterday was the first test of whether guy#1 was going to be professional or a freaking dweeb,. Turns out he took the dweeb route. Yeah I know, I should have known better but hey I had high hopes. I always hope that the good in people will outweigh the bad.
Yesterday as we were working away I heard the door to the shop open, a few moments of silence and then a bang of the door closing. Sure enough he snuck in, tossed work on the table and then snuck back out. Now this is all well and good, but the first thing that's wrong with this picture is that we have a rule in here. If you need a job done you are required to talk to us to see if we have either the time or capacity to do it.
This rings true for every job that comes in here but even more true for jobs from other departments. Our company is set up in such a way that even though we are one company, we work as separate divisions even under the same roof at times. We do not work for his division so technically we don't HAVE to take his work. Basically it comes down to us doing a favor for him and his needs. Pretty sad that he needs a favor but cannot be respectful to come in here for it. He's an arrogant Fu … well you get the idea.
Yesterday when my shift was up I left the back door of the building and guy#1 was outside taking one of his many "I need a butt" breaks. Dee said she noticed that the minute he spied me walking out he turned in the other direction. I've been told he refuses to even acknowledge me and I guess he assumes by turning his back to me he's letting me know that what I'm doing is unacceptable and I'm being punished.
This am when I came in my coworker Rich informed me that the minute I left he came in to discuss the job. So now it comes down to him being unprofessional and impeding workflow because he has a personal issue with me. Funny enough Rich wants me to do the job and ask plenty of questions so he HAS to deal with me! I'm not out to look for trouble so I wont go out of my way but if I do the job, he most certainly will have to address me.
I have to admit this turn affected my mood this am. I know I shouldn't let it bother me but it happens.
Funny enough lately I had been repeating an old phrase that an ex coworker and friend from the shop used to recite when people would make comments. "I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to make money". On a basic level this premise couldn't be more true because guy#1 doesn't pay my mortgage, support my family or hang with me. But this morning something would tip the scales and lift my mood.
Being in a closed in room here and having our email notification sound like a ding going off can be a bit of a pain. "DING!" Rich and I look at each other with that old "mine or yours look"! So quite a while ago I traded the ding for a "You've got mail, yay!" wav which was exactly brought me to the email I got.
My old coworker and friend had gotten word of my transition and took time to let me know he supports me and that it wont make him see me any differently, we were still friends. I sat for a minute and just tried to absorb what I had just read. I guess what got me what that this was someone who hadn't seen me in a while, he could have kept the info and just not done anything but yet, he went out of his way to send some encouraging words.
Now I know if you take a negative and offset it with a positive you can pretty much call the day a wash and move on. But in this case I really felt like that email had more impact on me than any negative guy#1 is putting out. It not only changed the direction of my day it really elevated my mood. It reminds me that not all people are bad people and there are a good cross section of people who are good people, caring people, people worth the respect and the time you have to give.
**UPDATE** As I was writing this guy #1 actually came in the shop while I was here! Wonder if HR layed it out for him!
The bottom line is that it doesn't take much to make someone feel valued. That letter made me feel exactly that. So Kev, if you are reading this … Thanks
Nov 17, 2008
Lately the big news seems to be not only that Prop 8 passed but that there are rallies all over the country calling for a repeal to the law. People are justifiably upset over the passage of a law that grants a class of people privilege. Over the course of the last few months on occasion I make it known what my political views are and like most of the rational people I believed that Prop 8 should be defeated.
My interpretation of how the constitution protects us tell is that a minorities civil right cannot and should not be allowed to be suppressed by a majority. Furthermore with freedom of religion as a fundamental right that we all share and one religion should not be allowed to weigh its moral beliefs on any group of people, especially not followers of that particular faith.
Yesterday morning while during my usual Sunday morning coupon cutting frenzy, George Stephanopoulos came on with an interview of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger discussing the changes in the Democratic sway in politics and what this meant to Republicans. I have to admit I became rather intrigued with the Governor as he outlined some of his points of view on Taxes and such. When it came to the issue of Prop 8 I was again very impressed.
By nature I am what you might consider a liberal thinking republican, something you do not find very often. With every answer that the governor put forth I realized that there are some conservative people who are very forward thinking still around. The nice thing was that the governor had the almost identical view on Prop 8 and what should happen. In fact his point of view embraces the very idea that civil rights should not be put to vote in such a manner.
I think that the Supreme Court was right by saying that it's unconstitutional. And that everyone should have the right, just like we had the battle in 1948 and the Supreme Court decision came down, that, you know, it was unconstitutional for blacks and whites not to be able to get married with each other, and they overturned that. And since then, that has been taken care of.
And now the Supreme Court says that it's also unconstitutional to not let gay people get married, the same-sex marriage. So to me, that is the important decision here, and everything else is not that important. So people can pass initiatives, like Proposition 187 passed under Wilson that said we should not give, you know, Latinos and those that are illegally here any educational services or any kind of medical services. The Supreme Court said, well, the people maybe had some intentions there, but it's unconstitutional.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you think the courts should overturn Proposition 8?
SCHWARZENEGGER: The court has overturned it. And now they went back. And the people have voted for it again, against the gay marriage. So the Supreme Court, you know, I think ought to go and look at that again. And we'll go back to the same decision, basically.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you believe they will.
SCHWARZENEGGER: I think that they will. And I think that the important thing now is to resolve this issue in that way.
Nov 14, 2008
Well I'm in the last ½ hour of m shift for this week so that means I actually made it. It was a very emotional week for me and I'm looking forward to a few days of R&R. I have 1 more week of work and then we are shut down for the week of the holiday so I'll have a little more then.
I likened the end of this week to my friend Cynthia to the movie "It's a wonderful life".
In the movie there is a part where Jimmy Stewarts character is trying to calm a run on the building and loan. He takes to using his own money to keep the place open and with about a minute to spare he is left holding $2 in his hand. I remember him saying something to the effect of if they make it to closing that they stay in business.
Today was my building and loan run. I felt as though if I could make it to the end of my shift today that the worst part of my tenure here was over. Ok not so much worst as much nerve-wracking but you get the picture. All in all I think it has been a successful week. It's good to know I'm getting support. I got this email from one of the engineers this am that was really cool.
I got your message on Monday and meant to swing by this week to offer you support and encouragement
Didn't happen so I'm writing you briefly now.
I wish you the best of success in your complicated transition over the next couple of years. Hope to catch up with you soon to see how you are doing.
Can't get any better than that. That seems to be the consensus of the people that know me and I've yet to hear about anyone else who is negative… Good times!
Weekend is here!
Nov 13, 2008
Things seem to be falling into a quiet routine around here. One of the nice things for me is that my shift hours have me as one of the first people in the building. That helps keep me from feeling like I'm walking into a lion's den by being stared at. So far the people who I have daily interactions with, nothing has changed in how they treat me. I obviously don't know what they say when I'm not around but that doesn't really matter to me.
What has helped to some degree is that for me the changes are minor as I've previously stated. It isn't like I'm suddenly wearing skirts to work and trying to sit with the women. It isn't much of a stretch to go from Boy jeans and Tees to girls other than the jeans now fit me a hell of a lot better. In the job that I'm in I wear shop shirts anyway. For a lot of these people the shocker tends to be in the name change and pronoun area and they will definitely find it hard to see changes because for the most part they are already there
In another twist that I hadn't mentioned in my blog yesterday about guy #1 and HR was that the person that "sold" me out was the person that had my back and went to HR. I'm a bit blown away by it and I appreciate the fact that he cares enough to do that.
So far my experience has been that most people either just want you to be happy or they just don't feel the need to acknowledge it either way. That is to say that they may not agree with it but they just keep it to themselves. Another thing I've found is that you find acceptance in the places that you would have never expected or even looked for it. I've had some of the most macho of guys' wish me well. One even served in the originally ground assault of Desert Storm.
A friend a long time ago when I worked in the main machine shop used to keep the saying. "I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to make money" While we all want to be liked, we really need to remember that this is the point of our employment, especially in issues such as this. If someone here doesn't like me because I'm being true to myself then it needs to be remembered that they don't pay my bills. We aren't spending thanksgiving together and we certainly aren't going out for drinks after work. Those things are reserved for my friends and family, not people who have zero effect on my life.
The bottom line here is simply. I know other people who would love to transition and feel whole but are afraid to do so for fear of being ostracized. While it is a scary thing to do and not everyone will agree. The weight lifted off your shoulders and the support you do get is so much sweeter. Don't be afraid to be you!
Nov 12, 2008
So far most of this week has gone smoothly accept the one guy I mentioned and one other I just found out about. The difference in the 2 is night and day though. As I've said the engineer has been very vocal to people ripping me behind my back at every chance. Apparently it is really bothering him. I've now heard such things as
I'm a loose cannon (somehow I'm now insane in his eyes)
I shouldn't be allowed to do it
He refuses to accept it
He refuses to acknowledge it
He refuses to work with me.
This last one he has no choice, he has to work with me because our jobs intertwine and I refuse to be cast aside in my role here. I've been here far longer than he has and it's not about how he feels about me, it's about getting a job done for the common goal of the company.
I knew he was homophobic and I knew he would probably have an issue. I just didn't realize that I would be his bitch session to 90% of the people in this building.
In his travels one of the group leaders who is also a friend of mine is now elevating this information to Human Resources. He feels this need to be taken care of now so that this individual doesn't start turning other people against me here. On another level it's just plain wrong to allow it to continue.
Guy #2 said
I don't understand it
I don't want to understand it
But I wish him and his family well.
Now that's something I can respect. I can easily respect someone who may not agree with it but acknowledges my right to exist. Such a stark contrast in human beings isn't it?
So, when does someone's right to feel comfortable become more important than my rights to feel comfortable with myself and not hate myself anymore. It's amazing to think I've spent 3 years of my life learning to not hate myself just so somebody else CAN hate me.
We can accept a host of anomalies in the human body and yet when it comes to sexuality it is not only taboo, it's wrong in some people's eyes. People like this would deny our right to exist simply to make thir self feel comfortable. It's something that I will never understand.
Now before anyone thinks it's all doom and gloom on my part, it isn't and I'm fine. In fact if this was 3-4 years ago I would have probably gone after the guy in a rage. Today because of the changes I can easily ignore it and let it roll and hope that H.R puts him in his place.
Nov 10, 2008
I got in at 6am and as planned I'm not going for shock value, the shock was more in people finding out than anything. A simple pair of jeans and girls short sleeved t-shirt was all I needed. Funny enough being a musician all my life each ear is pierced twice. I used to keep 4 hoops in them at all times. With this change I rarely wear them anymore. Kind of an ironic twist.
The email went out shortly after I got in, it took me about 15 minutes to get through the company listing just to add everyone I wanted too. Being there so long it was quite a long list of people.
When my coworker next to me read the email (He's known for 2 years) he was a little apprehensive about me using the word "transsexual". I guess he felt it might be a little strong for some. I explained that part of the direction of the email and the humor was the intention of it being shocking and that my attitude would actually temper the email. My read on it was right, the email paid dividends with several of the male employees telling me that it made all the difference in the world.
All in all I got a lot of words of encouragement. About 8am my HR rep stopped in on her way to the other building to make sure I was alright and see if I needed anything. She told me she would be turning in my name change for IT and the badges for our doors.
At one point one of the facilities guys dropped in. He is one of 2 guys that I used to talk bikes with and he has an incredible Harley. He came into our room and bent down to check the fire extinguishers on his monthly report and as he did this he said hey guys whats and stopped dead which caused me to burst out in laughter. My laughter caused him to start laughing and it broke the ice.
His coworker dropped in. This was one of the more macho guys in the company that I was very concerned over. He pledged his support of me and said that the email helped him put it in perspective. Apparently HR had said that there would be a zero tolerance policy regarding things being said and this made him feel that I was suddenly unapproachable. No more Redsox/Yankees talk he figured. But the email made him realize that at least with me it was quite the opposite and while he understand I'm changing, he gets to change with me and not overnight. Yes, it takes time to not only get used to changes but have them become second nature in your everyday thoughts and language.
For the most part I had a positive day and the only negativity that I heard about came from an engineer that I've never cared for. We just never seemed to have the ability to get along, we just seemed to tolerate each other. I was told his words were "It isn't right and he shouldn't be allowed to do this" Whatever ...
As my day closed out and I walked towards Diane sitting in my car in the lot I had a smile on my face. When I got in the car I noticed a dozen roses and a dark chocolate bar for me to congratulate me on my biggest step to date. Now it's the 2nd time I've gotten roses from Dee and this one means so much more to me.
I know the next few days will be hard for me but I also know that every new day lessens the shock, makes it go away and I won't be the flavor of the day anymore.
I rarely say this about myself because I don't like sounding like I'm high on my own list but for once, I'm proud of myself for sticking to my plan and not letting fear run me ... thanks for all the encouragement .. here's to a new life!
Nov 9, 2008
Aren't they awesome? I cannot even begin to explain what these meant to me in this blog. In the future this will surely be a story that is talked about. For now, the moment belongs to me.
Tonight sitting here Dee decided to snap a picture of me. It's pretty raw, no makeup and me looking pretty tired. Still it is important because it is the eve of the start of a more normal life for me and something I wanted to be able to look back on. I soo hate this picture because of how I look but I do understand that I want it documented...
Ew, I look gross in this... but hey, whatya want for 10 oclock at night!
Hope you're all well ... onward and upward peeps
Nov 8, 2008
Work being the final holdout in my life officially marks the end of the old and the beginning of the new. I tried to interject leavity in my email to make people understand that it isn't a crazy thing and they need not fear the unknown. I hope that some behing me will appreciate it for what it is and I hope everyone enjoys the humerous twist ...
It's not everyday that you get in on a Monday morning, grab your coffee, settle into your chair and flip the pc on, open your email and suddenly have your day start with "Oh by the way, I'm transsexual and I have gender identity disorder"
(I'll give you a moment to wipe the coffee from your monitor and keyboard)
Ok, now that you've cleaned your computer off and called over your coworker to ask them to reread that paragraph to you because you weren't quite sure you read it right the first time; you did. As shocking as that info might be for you, the reality is that for me I've had to relive that with each new person that I've told and it never seems to feel any less personal to me. With that stated let me explain.
When people hear news such as this is becomes quite a shock for several reasons. Generally it is assumed that this is just coming out of left field because the person affected has never exhibited signs of it in the past. The reality is that they did exhibit signs and probably have for their whole life, they have just done their best to hide it from the world because let's face it, it is sensitive personal information that in a lot of circumstance is used against the person dealing with it.
So, why me? Why now?
Well it isn't exactly now, this is an issue that has plagued me since I was a very young child and I did the best that I could to simply avoid dealing with it. Unfortunately for the people around me that sometimes meant me cracking under the stress and being hot under the collar and a little unapproachable. In fact if I've ever snapped at you off the cuff for something that seemed trivial, then it was probably due to the stress of trying not to deal and for that I truly apologize. Fighting this consistently kept me so stressed that it didn't take very much for me to go off on a tirade at times. I feel pretty badly about being this way with people over the years.
In 2005 after a life trying not to deal with this issue the pressures and life changing events made it almost impossible for me and I needed to seek help. This is exactly what brings me to this letter today.
Why you, why now?
The reason you are on this list is because I've had a positive past working relationship with you and quite honestly I have a lot of respect for you. In fact because of that respect, I wanted this news to be heard from me and not from the rumor mill. However, it is quite possible that the rumor mill got to you before this letter and if so then I'm sorry for not doing this sooner. I would have preferred that you heard it from me directly because you deserved at least that much respect.
About 6 months ago under the direction of my physicians and the set standards of treatment for this disorder I changed my name legally and changed it here at work with personnel. In an effort to protect my privacy and allow me to be able to emotionally handle people hearing this news, *** did not make it public, they waited for word from me to start making the more visible changes. Those changes start going into effect as of today, Monday Nov 10th.
I know this will be a hard thing for some people to grasp and it may seem a bit strange to suddenly have to rethink their psychological view of a person they have known a while, please understand that while this could be hard for you that this only happens to you once, I relive this with each new person that learns of the news. The good news for me is that my work environment is literally the last holdout of people who know. With that said please let me make a couple of key points.
Please note the humorous way I attempted to open this email to you. The reasoning is simple. All too often people treat situations like this as though it is a death sentence or as though the person affected suddenly becomes very unapproachable. In all honestly from a personal standpoint dealing with this issue has actually made me more approachable as I've started removing the single biggest piece of stress in my personal life. Just picture having a secret that is so fragile about your psyche that you know could do you damage and be forced to hide and suppress it for fear that you will be ostracized by your peers and family. To date, I have been incredibly blessed that this has been as positive a change as it has to the point that the people closest to me see a 180 degree positive change in me.
In making this change one of not only my biggest assets that have helped me in this is my sense of humor. I not only value this in my own life but in the people around me and in that, my friends and I have had some incredibly funny moments about this subject and myself. Please do not feel like you need to walk on eggshells around me it is simply not the case and it would bother me to have people feel that they did have too.
People have questions. People by nature are very curious and without asking questions they never get any sense of what this is all about. Education is a powerful tool and asking question opens the door to learning and understanding. I am very open and receptive to questions and I do my best to answer as openly and honestly as possible. I cannot always answer every question but I try to do my best with an open mind.
For me this change has been from the inside out for the last 3 years and for you it is in fact the polar opposite. It takes time to get used to changes and people make mistakes. I will never fault a person for making a mistake; it just isn't fair to assume that people just make a fundamental change over night. It takes time and I understand this so please don't feel like you are being insensitive by making a mistake. I will not get offended by it.
I understand that this challenges some peoples views and that some will simply view this as a choice. I assure you that for me, it is not a choice and it has been pointed out that there is in fact a biological basis to this. Please understand that I am doing something to give myself quality of life so I can be around in a happy and healthy manner for my family and for myself. I have respect for you and I hope that you will continue to have respect for me as well.
In closing as I have stated please feel free to ask questions if you need. I hope that we can all move forward in a positive way to not only keep a happy work environment here but a successful one for the company as a whole. I apologize for the long winded email but I did want people to get a decent sense of things.
Nov 4, 2008
Funny the things that hit you out of the blue. I was working away thinking about all that had to be done tonight, picking Diane's mom up from the airport, Voting, making dinner etc when the date hit me. It's Nov 4th. November 4th 1984 was the day that my grandmother passed away and I find that I miss her no less today than I did minutes after I lost her. The one real difference now is that with the change in hormone, I find it much harder to hold back my feelings on the matter. Yes I have even welled up with a tear several times. They say that time heals all wounds but sometimes it just dulls the pain a little.
My grandmother had a big role in my upbringing as we lived with her, she watched me most of the time, cooked for me and in a lot of cases made sure I never went without the essentials. It was tough on my mom being a single parent then but I can honestly say that my grandmother more than made up for the loss of the 2nd parent. If I needed it, she made sure I had it.
Alma was a little bit of a woman with a ferocious Canadian temper when needed. My mom and her brothers used to joke about my grandmother 8 rings that she would put on to smack you with. It used to irritate her so deeply when they would do that to her.
In the evening hours of November 8th after stopping by my band rehearsal space our old bass player Pete made note that he had seen my mom speeding up the road. When I inquired the direction I knew exactly where she was headed as my grandmother had been in the hospital after a heart attack. My grandmother had done severe damage to her heart. Being as stubborn as she had been she had been in pain for 3 days before ever telling my mom that something wasn't right. By that point the damage had been done in a major way.
After getting the news from Pete Diane and I got in my car and flew to the hospital in the next town over. I did make it in time to be with her when she passed and have that closure. I know she went peacefully with the people who loved her. For me I have never forgotten the feeling that I had at that moment and it is still with me to this day.
So, R.I.P Nana, you are missed.
I've had a family member inadvertently playing mind games with me over the past week. I know they don't understand that they are doing it to me but it doesn't make it sting any less.
Not long ago my sister mentioned that my nephew had been mad at me claiming that I mistreated him in my home. He had told her he slept at my house and attempted to make breakfast for us the next morning. He told her that he said he enjoyed it so much we would have to do it a lot more and claims that my response was "What for"
Let me start by saying that this nephew is a great guy. I also need to mention that he has in fact slept at my home. At no time has he ever cooked me breakfast so I'm a bit perplexed by the accusation. But in the name of fairness I explained to my sister that and told her that it's never been my intent to make him feel unwelcome in my house.
Recently his wife messaged me saying he accepted my apology for what I'd done to him and that they would love to see me. I've never actually apologized for what I've done because I hadn't done anything. The reality was that I only said if he ever felt unwelcome that I was sorry for that. I was happy that he wanted to see me. The next message went to now he's having problems but they wanted to set some time for the whole family then the final message was that he's having a hard time with this and he's not sure if he wants to see me.
I don't begrudge anyone his or her feelings and I'm the last person to ever want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. The seesaw of want to not want to is doing damage to me. I've already stated I don't want anymore drama in my life. To go from not wanting too, to wanting too, to maybe to unsure just plays an emotional game with me and it's not fair to me. I'm at the point of pulling back again to preserve my own well being.
I'm now inside of the 1 week countdown at work and it has not been easy on me. I'm not thinking this is a mistake in any way but I am getting the nervous cold feet. I'm only hoping that I can keep it under control enough to follow through. This is the single scariest step I've ever taken in my life, but then I'm sure I felt that way about changing my name as well.
Sunday Dee and I picked our friend Cynthia up and headed up to Tilton NH to an outlet Mall. I was looking for some cheaper jeans that I can wear to work and not worry about ruining them. We had a really nice time. I tried a bunch of boots on that I like as I need some and Diane was partial to one pair. The thing that constantly worries me is the heel. I'm so worried that it will make me stand out too much. On top of that in the boots we tried on I had to drop 1 shoe size down to fit. I don't know if my feet have shrunk or it's just the boot. The 1 set of boots that fit Dee loved but to me it would have screamed drag queen, something I am probably too aware or worried of.
When we got home that night the mood had struck me and I started cleaning the closet. Diane wondered what the hell was going on as she saw dress shirts flying down the stairs one by one. The mood hit and it just made me think it's time to start purging and donating some more of my stuff. Hopefully I'm not going to need it anytime in the future. In the purge I did find out that I amassed a lot more pairs of jeans than I had realized. I found out that I have a dozen pair, something Kev would have never done. It's to the point that Dee wants to change closet sides with me because she feels I'm going to end up with more clothes than her, (she could be right)
Yesterday I received a phone call from my old friend Mike's wife. If you recall I mentioned Mike passing away in one of my blogs last year. She has been asking me to teach his oldest son guitar. So in an effort to be above ground I told her what was going on with me and she seemed ok with things. She did say that when she saw me at the wake last year she knew something was up because of the change in my appearance. When I came up to pay my respects she hadn't recognized me and I figured that the changes had her guessing. We'll have to see what goes on from here.
Lastly and most importantly don't forget to get out and vote today. It's the single most important American right you have. I could care less who anyone votes for just so long as they vote. I'm very much looking forward to life going back to normal and we can erase battle lines and just go back to being Americans for a change and not Dems or Repubs …
Hope you're all well.
Oct 31, 2008
Happy Halloween all.
Growing up Halloween was always a cool holiday for me. I lived in the city and at the time it was pretty safe to go door to door trick or treating. In the span of a few blocks a kid could really clean up and have a years supply of treats, ok maybe not a years the way kids eats sweets.
One Halloween when I was about ten my best friend and I got the idea to dress up as girls and go trick or treating. My mom actually helped do my makeup and loaned me one of her wigs for the task. Like most people who have G.I.D that have that one Halloween, I've never ever forgotten it.
Sitting on the couch about a week ago I was thumbing through the local flyers in the paper and I came across a page of costumes. I showed it to Dee asking her what she wanted to be with a playful smile on my face. She naturally pointed to a sexy witch costume on the page.
When she asked me what I wanted to be, very straight faced I said how about Darth Vader. That was met with a bit of a scowl and a disapproving nod.. Ok I replied how about a cowboy? Her answer? You cant do that you're a girl silly. I looked at her with a bitter look and told her that it wasn't fair, the boys had the coolest costumes! She didn't know whether to take me seriously and hit, or just laugh or me.
FWIW yes it was in jest, just my crazy twisted humor coming back again to haunt her.
The weekend is almost here and another work week subtracted in the countdown to Nov 10th. I got a call from H.R. Tuesday afternoon asking me to stop in. When I did she asked how I was doing and if I was still planning on the 10th as a date. I told her that I'd probably never be ready but it has to happen. My stomach had been in knots over it.
She mentioned that she was going to be on vacation next week and needed to brief the managers that this was happening before she left so Tuesday word was leaked to managers. I've been on the edge of my seat since over it and not really heard much, so yesterday I dropped her an email asking if she followed though.
I was just wondering if you followed through with the managers on Tuesday like you had planned?
Yes, I did speak with all of the managers in Methuen on Tuesday. All were attentive to the issue and assure me that their eyes and ears will be open and will take swift action should they need to. I also told **** *****, for obvious reasons. Deep down, the managers there are a good group of people and are supportive of you.
I plan to stop by the morning of 11/10 to see how you're holding up.
I guess I couldn't ask for better H.R people, they have all been great. In my 19 years with this company I have held a very good working relationship mixed with some personal friendship with some of these people. I did tell her in the meeting that I couldn't wish for a better group of people to have my back through this.
Not long ago or what seems not long ago when I first started the piece of advice I was given was that it was best to to a between job transition and start fresh where people didn't know. I can certainly see value in that but given the fact that I never seem to do anything the easy way I decided to stay put.
Oct 27, 2008
Having EVERYONE at work knowing was the ultimate goal in moving forward, but having so many people know all at once is incredibly stressful. Also in the email she mentioned what the anticipated dress code should be. Basically telling me I needed to keep within the parameters of my job(duh). Because of the type of work I do I am a bit perplexed by what changes I will really make. A different pair of jeans maybe? The girls will be up and forward instead of tied down? Otherwise, nothing really changes except the name on the door and corporate email!
Friday night another minor thing had arisen for me. It’s not a new issue but it is definitely an issue I’m trying to learn to deal with. In fact I talked to Annah about this today and she had similar feelings about the subject when she went full time. Getting checked out by boys.
Dee and I met our friend Cynthia for dinner and drinks at the Olive Garden. I’d been jonesin for some good Italian food. After dinner when we were leaving as I approached the doors to leave I noticed to men talking to each other and both stopped to stare at me. As I got outside by the parking lot I notice d that they were still looking in my direction through the doors and talking.
My brain splits into 2 different schools of thought at this point.
1) They are reading me and they are not too happy to see a transsexual in their favorite restaurant.
2) They actually thought I was cute and they were checking me out.
Most people want me to believe it is the latter but my brain trying to keep me safe jumps back and forth. The real issue though is like Annah stated, they were probably checking me out and well, living in the male world I have a good idea of what they may have been thinking. It’s a weird feeling to be looking at guys as though they are pigs now but being in that position I see no other possibility.
Being looked at by a guy in a sexual way is a bit unnerving and foreign, especially being that I do not like them in that way. This is going to be one big hump to get over and get used too. At least my brain was willing to reason finally that it might actually be that they think I’m hot. This was positive movement for me.
Recently doing some searches on the internet I came across a website and a myspace page for the old bass player from the ban I used to be in. Dee and I always liked Dave, he was a cool guy and produced one of the Boston radio shows called “The big Mattress”. Dave had no idea of what changes I’d been through so I myspaced him through Diane’s account and sent an old picture with the caption, “hey know who this is” . Dave was cool about things and asked a bunch of questions as well as making some cool jokes. One issue that arose was when he asked if Vin our old guitarist knew and I told him no. Dave decided to send just my picture to Vin and see if he could figure out who it was. What a way to shock a guy. Vin’s response was one of the best yet.
So I sent him your pic. His first reply was that he had no idea who you were and asked if it was someone who he slept with or wanted to sleep with back in the day. I replied with a hint that we used to play together and he still couldn't figure it out. So I told him that it was you and this is his reply:"NO FUCKING WAY!!!!! I NEED PROOF NO FUCKING WAY!!!!! NO FUCKING WAY!!!!!!!!"
LOL So hurry up and get a vagina so we can really freak him out LOL
I love it, how do you not laugh at that. The really crazy thing is that posting pictures of myself on the web in the beginning was hard. I figured for sure people would know who I was. It’s funny to think that one of the guys who spent countless hours learning songs and jamming with me had no idea when he saw his old counterpart. I guess it makes it more apparent that there really are drastic changes.
Lastly I wanted to touch on the big news that is running rampant throughout most of the trans blog world today(Thanks Kathy) . Apparently scientists in Australia have isolated a gene that could have some responsibility for being transsexual. It seems this particular gene tends to be longer in M2F transsexuals and it is responsible for the body being able to process testosterone. Scientist think that people who have this defective androgen gene may not be able to utilize testosterone to its full extent. In this defect the brain in gestation remains female.
Some think this is just the tip of the iceberg and others think it isn’t much to be excited for. The reality of what the implications could mean is that if it can be proven that transsexuality has a biological basis then insurance would have to cover it, it’s not a choice as once thought.
If you want to read more
Other than that there’s not a ton new, it was a reasonably quiet weekend. I think the only other thing is that I bought a couple of new pairs of jeans.. oh yay! Exciting huh. LOL
Hope you’re well peeps
Oct 22, 2008
I look around at where I am, where I started, but most of all those who loves me. I see my family, my friends old and new and I cannot feel like anything but an incredibly lucky girl or some would simply call it blessed. Whatever it is it is a good thing, it's a feeling that I was never able to fully embrace before these last few years. I cared about the people around me, I certainly loved them but I never felt as connected as I do now. It's so funny how internally that has changed.
I look at my wife wondering how she ever put up with such a roller coaster ride over such a long period of time. I'm amazed at the fact that her love is boundless and her acceptance unwavering. She does nothing but try and find the good in people and when she can't she simply feels bad for them. Every time I look at her and ask her how she can support what I need to do all she ever does is glances at me with her pretty blue eyes and tells me "You cannot help who you fall in love with". For her it's simple, cut and dry and there is nothing beyond that.
Years ago she had a picture of me on her desk at work, in it a long haired husband, a rocker at heart, a hidden girl but most of all the love of her life. A coworker asked her how she could possibly tolerate a husband with long hair and told her that if it was her she would make her husband cut it! Diane simply told her, it's only hair and I like it. She knew that we had the type of marriage that one would never force the other to do anything they didn't want to do. I guess some of the answer lies in that.
I look at my daughter and how far our relationship has come. She was always the apple of my eye, even if she didn't realize it back then. I had a hard time relating to her back then but wanted the best for her. Today she is a mother herself, worrying about her own child's well being. She's so good at it too, and she loves her daughter as much I love her. The nicest part is that we've finally been able to make more connections and get closer. We talk more than ever before, something I not only cherish but hope I never lose. It's such a funny thing when I see her leave a message in a comment section or discuss me by email or even on the web. It's mind boggling to read things like "I love my dad, she's so awesome!" Seems like such a twist of words in one way but in the other it's music to my ears.
Several years ago I had been talking to Annah Moore about a band audition she was waiting to hear about. She was moving back to her musical roots and trying to join a popular metal band in Austin. She was so excited and hopeful that she was over the top when she finally got word that the gig was hers. The twist came in a conversation with her son on the phone. "Dad got the gig mom, she's so excited!" He blurted in the background. Annah just had to laugh and so did I, it was such a foreign thing for me to hear. Now a few years later I hear it again but instead of Annah, I'm the she being referred too! My how times change and my how they have been a positive change.
My old friends have bent over backwards to make me feel normal, accept me and treat my transition as just an everyday event. It's rarely discussed anymore outside of an occasional joke which is totally cool by me, I know I'm loved when we are joking about it because when it stoops it means they are no longer accepting me for who I am.
My new friends have been just as awesome, I would have never thought I would be making new friends as Karyn but it seems to be happening. Cynthia has been a godsend for me, her humor, her caring nature just makes my day. Mostly her humor! It's nice having someone locally who walked where I am walking now who I can ask questions of, share experiences with or just simply laugh at life.
Lately negative people weigh on me greatly, to the point of me finding that I need to distance myself from the poison. For the first time in my life I crave positive interaction and need to totally shun the negative crap that some people can spew. I drags me down, sucks my emotions from me and just leaves me drained. I love waking up and feeling positive about my day, about my life and just anything that comes my way. I fond myself worrying less and less about life these days, something that I used to constantly do.
Not long ago Dee and I were on one of our walks talking about our lives and where they were going. When I was young I would tell her that I would never see the age of thirty. A lot of young people make those comments as a passing statement, but I meant those words back then. Suffering had done that to me. When I hit thirty it became a yearly struggle 31,32,33 making year after year wondering when I wouldn't be able to handle it anymore. On this particular day as we walked our 4 miles I mentioned how much I'm looking forward to the next 40 years. Even I was shocked to hear and feel the words pierce my lips and funny enough, they were authentic feelings. I smile even now thinking about it.
It's funny how society cannot totally justify transition and they write it off as a choice, heck I've even read some people's comments of how it should be illegal. Looking from back to forward I can honestly say the changes prove to me and my family that there is no choice here; it is what is right, it is what is needed. Every scary step and threshold turns out to be more worth it, more than even the last step. Every step creates a new sense of being, a new sense of self that I've never experienced.
For the first time in my life I can truly say that I'm beginning to love myself.
Oct 20, 2008
Well as vaguely mentioned in the last post from my phone it was a pretty somber day yesterday. Diane's grandmother in England passed away Sunday morning. It wasn't a total shock, she had been declining for the past few years and had been put in a home.
I feel bad for my wife because she can't go over to say goodbye, her passport expired and she hasn't renewed it. Her mom heads back home tomorrow for 2 weeks. It sounds like this could be her final trip back to her homeland now.
The picture I sent via my cell phone yesterday was me just knocking around the house in the morning. It shows what I look like without any bells and whistles now after 2 ½ years of HRT. I look at it and see the changes, hopefully others do as well. If anything I think I look a bit drawn and tired, not surprising.
Lastly I wanted to discuss this stupid election, the views of my family, friends and peers. I am registered and tend to vote very conservatively (Republican). I vote conservatively because I do not believe in the fiscal agenda that the Democratic Party invokes. My views tend to be conservative on fiscal policies and a mix of conservative/liberal social views. In fact I actually fall under the category of "Blue Dog Democrat"
I believe in the right to bear arms,
I believe that the Govt shouldn't be dictating things like health care. (social medicine)
I believe spreading the wealth teaches people not to try hard.
I believe that if you are gay you have the right to marry your spouse. It's your civil right)
I believe that bills like ENDA should be signed into law to protect a class from discrimination
I believe that abortion is a woman's own right to make her own choices.
I believe immigrants have the right to come here to prosper (The legal way!)
I have a lot of mixed views and I embrace my views as my free rights as an American. Being the first in the nation primary politics are wearing on me in a very deep way now. What's bothering my now more than the fact that I'm sick of this election is that my liberal friends and peers talk about me like I'm stupid and cannot make up my own mind. I'm "Blind" or "I'm a sheep" or event hat I'm uneducated because I don't agree with Barack Obama and his socialist views.
I'm highly offended and hurt that my friends and peers think that lowly of me because of my "right to have my views" yet If I followed my friends then I truly would be a sheep, not the other way around.
I am of the belief that you will never find a politician that meets all of your needs, The responsible thing to do is to vote for a politician that stands for your most important views and the ones that you concede are the ones that you have to fight for.
I believe that progressive taxation is not only a bad thing, I think it is anti American. I think it is because it does nothing to give incentives for businesses to grow. Instead of raising taxes on the people making $250k and above, I'd rather see tax incentives for homegrown jobs. For every job brought back into the states there should be a break.
Being trans goes against the grain of being republican because the conservative parry doesn't support the gay community. I totally understand that and yet I vote repub, why?
I believe the fiscal responsibilities are more important to the country as a whole and that it is more pressing than something such as gay marriage. My peers may feel differently and that's not only fine, that's what American principals are and I can respect that. That is until I read or am told how bad of a person I am for my views which seems to be happening quite a bit lately.
There's a reason that I don't talk about politics and what's going on now is exactly why. People can't be nice, they have to be nasty to get their views across. In this I'm very bummed by the people that I look up too and I'm sorry that I don't live up to your high moral values. It seems lately everywhere I turn I barraged with poor opinions of who I am..
Oct 19, 2008
Oct 10, 2008
Well I had a new experience yesterday, one that I certainly didn't expect but certainly made me blush. I got my first cat call …
The girl that cuts my hair and does my eyebrows for me is a sweet friend of my daughters. She has bent over backwards to make me comfortable and help me out and I adore her. This year her and her husband decided to have a baby and low and behold she is with child. Unfortunately right now due to personal reasons she is unable to cut my hair and I'm in need to a new hairdresser for the task.
My friend Cynthia was meeting with her girl yesterday to get her nails done so Diane and I decided to take advantage of the great 74 degree weather and take our bikes up to meet her. It was an awesome fall day for a ride and it took us approximately 10 miles up the back roads. At the end of RT128 in Londonderry NH is a stop sign and that merges into RT 28a. It's at this point where traffic was a bit more busy and we were trying to focus on pulling out left onto 28.
As we were sitting there waiting for our move a construction truck passed us in the same direction we were about to go and as he did a loud whistle came from inside the cab of the truck. PfffftPheeeeuw. As usual I turned my usual shades of red and chuckled as Diane laughed at me over it. At that point it was just another experience to take in and enjoy. I turned left onto 28 and took a big lead in front of Diane's bike. Coming around the next bend in the left lane waiting to turn left was, you guessed it "Said trucker"
As my bike flew by the cab of the truck I heard something preceded by the trucks air horns going off. As Diane flew by they blasted again … I have to say that I am finally getting a little more used to this happening now and as we are riding I am noticing more and more men turning to get a glance of the 2 girls on their Harleys. I just had to laugh though ..
After meeting with Cyns girl I have an appointment on Tuesday evening and she assures me that she can help me get me hair to a point that I wont need to tie it back on the bike anymore. (We'll soon see) I hate having to tie it back
I'm looking forward to it…
Oct 3, 2008
Last night as I was reflecting on the blog about embracing the past self that another really good point struck me that is rarely talked about in transition. It's has to do with how we interact with the people that know us from before we start. To start this off I'm going to use a real life example.
The company that I work for is pretty progressive on human rights. While they do not discriminate against transgender people, the insurance still doesn't cover any part of transition. (To a point) Overall, if you come out as a transsexual planning on transitioning, your job here is protected. They want the best of the best and they understand that being diverse creates more opportunity to tap some incredibly intelligent people.
In another division is an older transsexual that for privacy issues I will call Betty. Betty started her transition early in my years working here and did it completely on the job. Back in the early 90's we as a society still had a long way to go toward acceptance and education over this issue and yet, this company embraced her change. It wasn't as easy for the employees.
Back in those day I was working in our main machine shop and working with a bunch of shop guys took a huge emotional toll on me because of the things they would say about this person. I would later learn that this person had no friends left after her transition and generally had people view her very negatively here. A lot of these things played an important part in my fear of transitioning because I simply did not want to be treated the same way. The only thing I had to go on in those days was the experience from watching and listening.
Over time I noticed different issues that have since changed my opinion of Betty and made me realize that even with all the negative trans stuff, she simply wasn't a nice person to begin with. In turn she does every other transsexual behind her an injustice as we all end up stereotyped with the Springer mentality. My understanding was that back early on if you even said something to her that could be construed as discrimination you would end up in HR under the microscope. While I understand that there are people that will never accept us, there are a bigger number who simply; don't care! The problem arises when someone mistakenly uses the wrong pronoun or gives the wrong impression without intending any malice toward the trans person and the trans person is so defensive that it becomes an issue.
In another instance at a lunch time company appreciation picnic Betty showed up wearing Daisy Duke shorts. Somehow the thought of a 68 year old woman at a company function, during work hours just does not seem right, trans or not! It is issues like these that have labeled her and stereotyped the rest of us making it harder to be taken seriously.
One of the big things in the people I have always associated with is that they must of all things have a good sense of humor and personally I'm not any different. This aspect of my personality so far has been the one thing that I have been able to embrace and use to my advantage when dealing with people who know. I find the more I allow this to be fun without being insensitive the easier it is for them to feel comfortable with it. More times I've been told or heard, "I was going too but I didn't want to offend you" from people who know me or are even close to me. Unless you are saying things with the intent of being nasty then it's not possible for me to be offended.
If I were to take my transition and myself so seriously that people felt they had to walk on eggshells then how could I possibly live a fun and happy life? So far in my experience the looser you are with humor with this subject, the easier it is for your peers to feel comfortable with you. They simply become less afraid that they are going to say the wrong thing.
Humor is certainly a medication that more of our lives need, not just trans people!
Oct 2, 2008
Sara made a wonderful point in her last comment. I figured I'd spit out a quick blog on the subject of how we treat our past lives. All to often I hear about Trans people not wanting to have pictures, mention old names or embrace any part of who they were before they fixed themselves. If you've noticed on my blog I've never once ran from or have hidden the fact that my name was Kevin and at times I have even posted old photos.
Not long ago someone asked me what I was going to do about all the pictures throughout my home. Are they too painful for me to look at? Absolutely not, those memories have gotten me to where Karyn is today. Furthermore it would be disrespectful to my daughter and wife to just pretend that part of my life simply never happened. When I look at old photos of myself I usually see a guy who was very unhappy. Occasionally I find a memory that I have a smile and you can tell it was a good day. I look at those photos with fond memories for sure. Without some of those fond memories made with the people I love I can honestly say I wouldn't be here today for those to even be an issue.
I may not have been happy in the gender I was handed but I've never been ashamed of Kevin and Kevin will not disappear from our lives totally. He will be looked at fondly because he gave me the best family a girl could ask for …
Thanks For the inspiration Sara
Oct 1, 2008
It's funny what our senses can trigger for us. Seeing something that reminds us of a person. Hearing an old song that brings back a specific mood or in this case smelling a familiar odor that gives you a moment of comfort.
This morning standing in the shower, attempting to wake up, a sudden but familiar scent became very noticeable to me. It was the smell of Jovan musk that suddenly seemed to fill the air of the bathroom. It's a scent that has very deep meaning to me.
When Diane and I were dating this was by far her favorite perfume and literally the only one she would wear. It's a scent that takes me back to the early days of our relationship when at the end of the night, I would go home I could still smell the scent of her perfume on my clothes and my skin. It was an odor that always made me think of Diane and how precious that particular time in our lives was to me.
As I stood there thinking about the musk and our young lives together I could see Diane standing in front of the mirror getting ready as she does every morning. I slid the door of the shower open and with a smile asked her if she was wearing her Jovan. With a bewildered look she answered "no"
I don't know what triggered that smell for me but I know it was very real to my senses and something that seems to happen a lot more often now. Since I have been on hormones my sense of smell and taste has become more sensitive to the changes around me. For instance I now notice the smell of men's cologne as it lingers in the work hallways long after he has been there. Or even things such as unpleasant male body odor have been much stronger. Riding on the motorcycle yields the various floral smells or even the smell of concord grapes on the vine.
As for my sense of taste, spice seems to be something I crave now. While I used to really enjoy spicy food it now has hit a whole new level. Seafood has become tastier to me and I've now started liking whole-bellied clams and cooked shrimp, all things I hated before. I guess variety really is the spice of life.
My sense of touch has become heightened as well. To be touched now has a deeper sense of pleasure about it. To simply have my arm caressed is heaven to me now, something that had little affect on me before.
It's funny to think that all of this was triggered from one dear smell that was never really there for me except in some deep corner of my mind. Wonder what other tricks my day will play on me!
Sep 28, 2008
This past Wed was my every 4 week counseling session and I have to say it is too the point than it is more like sitting and talking with an old friend than it is an actually counseling session. When I mentioned this to Anne she said for the most part that she felt I was adjusting to this whole process well. Have no deep emotional issues getting in the way and overall I'm so much happier than I'd been a few years ago. This particular affirmation was not only nice to hear, it was something I really needed to hear. It really shows how far I've come emotionally.
Weather wise it's been a crappy weekend but that didn't stop us from having an enjoyable weekend. Saturday morning was a bit busy as I had another electrolysis appointment. It is slow going but I am starting to see some results from it. As long as I can slowly see those results I don't get down about having to go. So far it still hasn't been very painful for me.
Last night we had plans to meet our friend Cynthia for dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. We had decided to get there early so we all settled on 4 pm. On the way to dinner one of those tiny little smart4two cars passed us. It seems like they are getting incredibly popular up here. Funny enough the license plate caught my eye and I just HAD to get a picture of it!
I absolutely died laughing when I saw this. Looking at the size of the car it certainly is a fitting plate.
When we arrived at Margaritas, Cynthia was waiting outside for us and I felt so bad that she was standing outside in the rain. We went in sat down and boy time flew! In fact the time went so quickly between drinks talking dinner and just having fun that we didn't walk out until 9:30 pm. Apparently I have a new nickname. I believe Cynthia dubbed me "Literal Karyn" albeit I have no idea why! LOL All in all it was a nice evening with great company. This is a friendship that I can see blossoming as she has such an awesome sense of humor and she is just fun to be around.
Today was a pretty quiet day and I guess it was nice to just be lazy we had plans to get some things done but honestly it was nice to just hang. We did our weekly Sunday grocery shopping, went to the farm and brought home stuff to make salads tonight. After dinner I was a bit bored so I decided to play with some makeup and take a few pics. So ..Here's the latest pictures. Hope you like.
I guess that's about it for now, hope you all are doing well and are happy…