Dec 21, 2008

Tattoo day!

Well as previously mentioned, we had met with a tattoo artist 2 weeks ago, gave her some basics and a deposit to come up with a design. Yesterday at noon was the appointment to have it done and I was looking forward to seeing what she had come up with. I didn’t know how feminine it would actually look and giving someone an open book can be a scary thing.
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)

All in all a busy but memorable day, I definitely felt loved yesterday. The icing was the tattoo that I’d wanted for the last 20 years was finally here.
If anyone is in the Manchester NH area and wants a tattoo, go see Kat at Spider-bite, she is awesome!!


Dec 19, 2008

20/20 tonight

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.


20/20 airs tonight at 10pm


Dec 13, 2008

ice storm

I'm sitting in a panera on public wifi so this will be short. We had a massive ice storm and have not had power since early yesterday morning. No power=no heat! They are saying that we may not see power restored until next Wed.
We went through the same thing in 1998 albeit not as bad as this one. Todays focus will probably be getting the woodstove up and running and seeing if I can get my old generator working. Last night the temps hit 17 degrees but the house has only dropped from 60 degrees Friday morning to 49 degrees this am. Guess the house is insulated better than I thought! We decided to load up on blankets and stay at the house because we have no where to bring the dogs and we don't feel right about just leaving them there, so we'll bear it with them for now ..
Anyway for now I'm out .. hope everyone else is fairing well ..

Dec 11, 2008

Jessica's update

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

I'm baacckk!

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…