Oct 31, 2008

Happy Halloween people

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.




Hi ****,

Happy Thursday!

I was just wondering if you followed through with the managers on Tuesday like you had planned?



Hi there,

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.

I've earned a lot of respect at my job, gotten a lot of time under my belt, which has boosted my benefits package greatly, maneuvered myself into good job with a great group of people, it was just too hard to give this up without trying. Hopefully I walk away only slightly licking my wounds but I am trying to prepare for the worst and I hope to be surprised.
Please be healthy happy and safe on this fun holiday!






Oct 27, 2008

Genes, Jeans and sexual objectification

Well we had a nice quiet weekend but I am a bit stressed today. I guess you could say it isn’t a bad stressed if there is such a thing. On Friday I finally got a reply from my H.R rep at work acknowledging Nov 10th as my full time change over date at work. In the response she mentioned that because she would be on vacation that week that the managers would be notified this week. So, the cat will be out of the bag sometime this week.

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

Just because

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

R.I.P Nina and my own political rant

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


Took this just lounging around this am. No makeup, just little ole me! Bit of a somber morning.


Oct 10, 2008

You can fill in the blanks

November 10th, 2008

Meeting Cyn's girl and truckers

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

Is your transition fun and humorous? Hmmm ?

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

Embracing past lives while growing for the future.

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

Forever changing senses

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!