Monday, July 28, 2014



It's a word that isn't in the dictionary.  But Google it, and you'll find many entries.   We in the Trans community know exactly what it means.

To return to the way one was before changing.  In my case, to return to my male life.

I must admit, the thought has crossed my mind.  And I know some people who have done it- who, after going full time, have decided that this life was not for them.

Take Me as I am

But please join me as I think this through.

What do I miss most about my life as a man?  That's easy- there's really only two things I miss- and that's my Wife and daughter.  I miss the day to day life.  I miss my daughter's smile.

If I detransitioned, would they take me back?  Would I get to go back to living with them as a family?  Would all be forgiven?

Nope.  None of that would happen.

No, I could detransition today, get a double mastectomy, burn all my feminine clothes, fall to my knees and beg to return, and I wouldn't be taken back.  Why?  Well that's simple.  Wife isn't the one who threw me out.  That was MIL, and she isn't the type to forgive.  Nor would I ask to return.  No, Wife would have to move, and she's already demonstrated that she's unwilling to do that.

So if I can't get back with Wife and Daughter, why would I do it?  Today I have peace.  I am who I was born to be.  Today, I may live precariously, wondering how I'm going to meet next month's rent.  I am often very lonely, wanting the company of my Wife and daughter.  But I am without the Anger and Pain that ruled my life until recently.

I am four months full time.  I can't go back now.  Even if I wished to do so.

And I do not wish to do so.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Costumes at Work

The sultry days of July are a far cry from the crisp nights of late October, yet there I was, driving to work in a costume.  In my Mary Marvel costume at that.  Why?

Up, Up and aw... wait a second

The bookstore has a chain wide promotion starting, and Saturday July 19th, 2014 was part of the kickoff.  Technically, Friday was the first day.  Our dress code was changed for the weekend so we could wear "pop culture t-shirts, jean, etc" if we wished.  I wore my "Batman Year One" t-shirt, a black skirt (suggesting a cape) and a black belt.  It was a fun and functional outfit.

Pop Culture: That's the theme of this three week long promotion.

So Saturday was the "big day" of the "Preview weekend" as it was called.  There was a costume contest, both for customers and employees.  As the contests were nationwide, my chances of winning weren't awesome, but what the hell?  I polled my facialbook friends on what, if any, costume I should wear.  Most people made selections, but one person dissented.  Donna Rose suggested that I may wish to decline- not wear a costume.  Her point was that I probably want to "fly under the radar" and not draw attention to myself.

But instead of heeding this advice, I decided to wear my super heroine costume.

Posing in the Breakroom Saturday

And guess what?  Donna was right.

Allow me to share the "greatest hits."  These weren't the only comments; no, not by far; but the best of three days.  Because one day of abuse wasn't enough.  No, I had promised to wear the costume on Wednesday, which was chain wide "Batman day."

"You look like a complete idiot."

"(to son) Thank the man...woman... (to me) what are you anyway?"

Another customer Wednesday complained to a fellow that my outfit was "inappropriate" and "beneath a bookstore."  But she was nice as can be to my face when I helped her find a book.

With a coworker Wednesday

So today, Thursday, I was greeting people. And elderly "man" came in and said "Did you see that monster woman they had here yesterday? Man was she ugly and she had on this crazy red outfit..."

I said "That was me."

"Oh" he said, "I didn't recognize you" and then walked away giggling to himself.


So Donna, you were right.  I was spotted as trans left, right, and center while in costume.  I don't get read half as much in regular clothes.  Yes, I still get "sir" about once a day, (including twice today) but most of the customers address me by my proper gender.

Yes folks, welcome to my life.  My C cup breasts, long hair, makeup, and feminine attire obviously are not good enough for me to completely pass.  

So.  Has it been all bad?  No.  I had MANY compliments on the outfit, and management was glad I wore it, as I was the only one in costume.  And... yes...

I had fun.

So, does it balance out?  Not really.  I am human and have feelings and those people's comments hurt- especially today's.  No one likes being called a Monster.

Do I regret my decision to go full time?  Never.  I am alive, and I am living as the person I was meant to be.  Linda and I are living on the edge of ruin (hopefully that will be sorted out soon) but I am at Peace.

You can't buy Peace.  For any price.

So, lesson learned.  No more costumes at work.  Under the radar.  Subtle.

Me?  Subtle?  Yeah right.  But I'll do my best not to be a Monster.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rash Decisions in Richmond

On July 3, 2014, Linda Lewis and I hopped into my car and drove south.  We drove straight to Richmond, Virginia.  It took quite some time due to traffic, but we made it eventually.  During the ride, my left ankle itched.  I scratched it occasionally and thought nothing of it.

Ready for Richmond!

The day was hot, and we were fairly tired.  However, seeing my dear friend Ally immediately brought Linda and I back to life.  Ally suggested lunch at a local Irish pub, O'Tooles.  As I love Irish pubs, I was happy to go.  There were maybe a dozen people in the place, and the three of us sat at the back half of the bar.  We weren't there five minutes before an older guy came over and gave us all his business card.  he flirted very hard with Ally while doing so.  I think that of the three of us, I'm the only one who still has his card.  Why, I have no idea.  I kind of think it's funny I guess.

Three Vanity Club sisters having a serious conversation at O'Tooles

That night, we went to Karaoke at a hotel restaurant called Nacho Mamas (not to be confused with the Baltimore institution).  The place was small with an oddly shaped bar, kind of triangular with fully half of it walled off.  The karaoke was behind the bar with views of the people down two sides of the triangle.

Ready to Sing!
We found a table near the back, and I put in to sing the Grateful Dead's Friend of the Devil, one of my usual songs.  As I sang, half of the crowd were busy texting or otherwise not giving a damn.  So I guess i was less than riveting.

Friend of the Devil

Later, I sang the Beatles "I've Just Seen a Face."  As I took the microphone, a heavy set African American woman called over to me "Girl, you'd better sing!"  Well, my reception on my second song was as indifferent as my first, so I gave up.  A couple of songs later, Ally stood and beautifully sang a Stevie Wonder song.

Ally sings; hearts break

Soon after, our night ended.  Everyone was very tired, so we returned to Ally's house, and went to bed.

The next morning was July 4th, which dawned hot, bright, and beautiful.  I thought a bit while showering, and wrote my thoughts in a quick blog entry.  Some people sing in the shower- I think.  The night before cured me of my singing bug for a bit.

I noticed little bumps above my eye, on my left ankle, and on a finger.  What in the world?  Hives?  What are they?  I threw makeup over the face bumps and got ready.  I didn't want to be a party pooper, and there was a pig roast to attend! 

LtoR:  Random guest, Me, Linda Lewis, Ally

The party was in a nice Richmond neighborhood, and was open to all the neighbors as well.  There was quite a good turnout.  The hosts were very genial, and had a wicked sense of humor, as evidenced by the signs all over the house.
Snobby Cat

The food was wonderful, and a couple hours after we arrived, the pig was ready.  The hosts chopped the meat into barbecue and everyone feasted.  It was SO GOOD!

Roast Pig

Chop Chop
While there, I met many people, including someone who works at a Richmond location of the book store where I am employed.  We compared notes.  He was a very pleasant person.  I also met a couple who were extremely nice.  He was legally blind and she was all but deaf.  As she said, the deaf was leading the blind!  

After a long afternoon of eating far too much, laughing a lot and, yes, drinking a bit much, we went back to Ally's house.  We were all thoroughly exhausted.  That's when I removed my makeup and saw what the itching was all about.

My old enemy Poison Ivy was back with a vengeance... and this time it was on my face.  My ankle was also covered, and it had a large blister filled with oil.  Ally had calamine lotion, which I used.  I still had medication from last summer, but it was back in Pennsylvania.

I slept uneasily, my face and ankle oozing oil and covered with tissues.  

The Beginning

The next morning both my face and ankle were far worse.  I decided that I should head back to PA to get the meds.  Ally, Linda and I had planned to bop about Richmond for the day, but the rash was severe enough to scare me.  I remembered last summer when I had the rash all summer long, and was worried that this would scar my face as the rash scarred my legs the previous year.  So, reluctantly, Linda and I bid Ally and Jay goodbye and headed north.

During the previous day, I'd been texting with the amazing Jenny North, a Vanity Club sister from Alexandria, Virginia area.  She was the one who'd made my session at Keystone so memorable.  She said she's love to see us as we drove past her area, so we stopped for lunch in beautiful downtown Alexandria.  Jenny met us and led us to an Irish pub called Murphy's.  The inside was crowded with people watching a World Cup match. 

We had a wonderful time with Jenny, who was a great hostess.  Soon it was time to go, but we stopped in a drug store so I could get some cortisone creme for my rash, which was oozing a river of oil.

With the Beautiful Jenny North

Back on the road until Baltimore.  Sandy Empanada was busy with family, so we couldn't see her.  I decided I'd stop at the site of Lisa's death.  So, on a hot sunny late afternoon, I pulled off the road next to where Lisa had parked the van all those months ago.  And just as I did the last time I'd passed by, I said a prayer for her.  I also updated her on my life, and cried fairly hard.  Linda waited in the car to give me privacy.

The rest of the trip back was uneventful.  I stopped at MIL's place so I could pick up the prescription creme.  I had given it to Wife to combat a case of poison Ivy she had a month prior.

The rash kept getting steadily worse. It was crusted over with hardened yellow puss.  On Monday, I called out of work and went to see a doctor.  She prescribed prednisone, and I kept using the creme.  To date, nearly two weeks later, the rash on my face is gone without scars, but the rash on my ankle is still healing.  At the peak, I counted 44 blisters on my ankle, all of which eventually popped and are finally healing.  

I really wanted to stay the full time in Richmond, but couldn't.  Ally and Jay were amazing hosts again, and Linda seemed to enjoy her time there as well.  I still have no idea from where the rash came, but that's kind of a moot point right now.  It's healing.

Since then, it's been back to work.  Linda is still looking for a job.  Without it, even if our third person moves in, we are sunk.  And as that third person hasn't told us when she is moving in yet, we may be sunk already.

So I've been a bit depressed.  Money woes will do that.  Hopefully Linda will find a job soon, and A will move in so we can keep the apartment.  If not, well, we're homeless.

Not a cheery thought to end the blog entry, but there it is. I've brought it all up to date.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Thoughts from Richmond on July 4

I'm sitting here at the computer of my dear friend Ally Raymond.  Linda Lewis and I are her guests for a few days here in Richmond, Virginia.

A few thoughts at random as those two get ready.  We are going to a Pig Roast block party sort of thing.  It's going to be a hot day, but a fun one.

This one gets a little preachy folks.

Today is American Independence Day.  Today, Americans like me celebrate our independence from England.  Never mind that the Declaration was actually signed on July 2- those are niggling details.  We celebrate on July 4.

I was thinking about this last night.  Jefferson wrote one hell of a document back in 1776.  The most oft quoted part is as follows.  And many Americans can quote this from memory.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Never mind that Americans held slaves for decades after this document, and that true equality between the sexes has yet to be reached (Hobby Lobby anyone?)  More niggling details.

Never mind that rights for Transpeople are still lagging far behind... oh wait, that's my point.

July 3, Richmond.

We Americans like to say we live in the land of the Free.  But freedom truly only exists for one protected class:  White Males.  So it was in 1776- so it is in 2014.

And THAT is NOT a niggling detail.

I have been asked by online people "why would you give up being male?  You are top of the heap- a white male.  Why join a repressed group?"

Well, like I had a choice?  It was either transition or blow my head off.

Then there's this Emma Lazarus once wrote "Until we are all free, we are none of us free."

So. taking that as a Truth (and a self evident one at that), we can say that as long as Transpeople are not free... as long as Women are not truly free, then none of us are free.

Life.  Liberty.  The Pursuit of Happiness.  These truths are not JUST self evident, but they come at a price.  Millions of soldiers over the years have paid the dues for us.  Many NON soldiers serve humanity as well, every day- in shelters, classrooms, everywhere.

So on this July 4, I think about what I have done lately.  Yes, I'm a Former paramedic.  Yes, I was on the picket lines against Reagan, W, and the Iraq War.  But what have I done LATELY, especially for the trans cause?

For my brothers and sisters.

For whom our truths may be self evident to US, but not to the public at large.  They see as as freaks or worse- to, at times, be denied Life and Liberty.

Do we dissolve our bonds with those people, or do we educate them?  Well, I have a Masters in Education, so guess what I answer?  

And so I shall.

Many holidays have no True meaning.  But some do.  Memorial Day and Veterans Day we salute those who fought and continue to fight for us. Thanksgiving is about Family... those which with we are born and those we choose later in life.  Then there are religious holidays.

Independence day is more about Fireworks and a pig roast.  It's about celebrating where we come from, and who we are.  And it's about re-committing ourselves to the cause of Independence for ALL.  

Today I am in the former capitol of a political entity that existed to keep people in bondage, and I celebrate Freedom here.  And here I re-commit myself to the cause.

Preachy?  Maybe.  But it's how this woman from Philadelphia, birthplace of Freedom, feels today. 

In Richmond, Virginia.

On the fourth of July.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

"Trans Panic" A Rant

It's been a while since I did a political jawn on this blog.  It's long overdue.  This one is gonna get partisan, dear readers, so if that's not your cup of meat, well, you've been warned.

First, read THIS.

Synopsis:  Cincinatti Transwoman murdered.  Body dumped.  Relatives saying "oh it wasn't hate... HE shouldn't be pretending to be a woman."  Media:  ummm well... (analysis mine)

Then there's THIS, a little closer to home for me.

Synopsis:  Philadelphia Transwoman murdered: stabbed, dismembered, body dumped.  Media:  well, she shouldn't have been posing as a woman (analysis mine).

So.  Word around Philly is that the Philly murderer will use "Trans panic defense," and I wouldn't be surprised if the Ohio guy does as well.

What is "trans panic?"  Well the LGBT Bar explains it this way:

Gay and trans “panic” defense tactics ask a jury to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity is to blame for the defendant’s excessively violent reaction. The perpetrator claims that the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity not only explain – but excuse – their loss of self-control and subsequent assault of an LGBT individual.   (Citation HERE.)

So.  Two murders.  Two out of many.  What do these murders have in common?  A "so called liberal media" demonizing the victims is one.  The violence of the act is another.

Hmmm let's examine something else.  Ohio's state government is top to bottom solidly GOP.  So is Pennsylvania's.  Neither are too welcoming to LGBT.  Pennsylvania recently started allowing same sex marraiges due to a court decision, and Governor Corbett, facing poor poll numbers in an election year, decided to throw a bone to the "liberals" and not pursue it.  Ohio bans same sex marraige in its constitution and by statute. 

Neither states have many legal protections, if any for Transpeople.  Some localities, like Philadelphia do, but in general it's hostile.

I'm not saying these murders are the GOP's fault.  Far from.  However their intolerance at the top breeds the example.  Pin headed Fox News fanatics are shown, not told: SHOWN, that it's ok to hate.  And so they do.  Why?

It's easier to hate than to love.

I woke up this morning to see an editorial by activist extraordinaire Kristin Beck on this same topic.  Her point is that FOUR transwomen have been murdered in the past month.  She admonishes us all to be safe.

I echo this.  Be safe.  They HATE us for being who we are.

We Are Trans.  We were born this way.

Me: July 2, 2014