Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Truly Childish Story

This story is quite childish.  Maybe by the telling, I'll lose even more subscribers (I've lost 15 this month.)  But, oh well.

The story begins Monday night, when I made Tacos for dinner.  Ortega ones- the type where you buy the kit and make them at home which I do because I have Zero cooking talent.

Anyway, the next day- Tuesday (yesterday), I worked 9-5.  I spent the first half hour alone at register, which means I can't leave.  After that, I went to Customer service, where I answered the phone and helped customers find books, etc.

We weren't what I would call busy, but it was steady.  Every time I'd take someone to their book and come back, someone else would be waiting.  And most of these people were elderly, which means they tend to be high maintenance, which is fine.  My job is to make them happy, and I do my job well.  But that means they take time.  And there was always someone waiting.

Now, while I was at register, I started to feel the need to go to the ladies room, but I couldn't go, as I was on register.

Then there was one customer after the other: no chance to break away.  And as we were, as always, understaffed, I couldn't really call for help.  Everyone else was also busy.

Mature and Refined Woman

An hour went by.  Two.

Remember, I had tacos for dinner the night before.  There's no really nice way to say this: gas was building up, and was beginning to hurt.  As a mature adult, and a woman, I do my best not to demonstrate bodily functions in public.  (I have no problem doing it at home, much to Linda's disgust.)

Just ask her!

However, it was quickly becoming a crisis situation.  Thankfully, I finally finished with a customer, and had no one waiting.  I all but sprinted to the ladies room.  I was quite happy to find it empty (I don't like public restrooms, as the sound of males and females relieving themselves IS different, and I prefer not to, um, give any clue as to my unfortunate birth gender.)

Now, the restrooms at the bookstore share a common wall.  On the ladies side of that wall are the four stalls, and on the men's room side are two stalls and two urinals.  Occasionally, one can hear something through the walls, like a muffled toilet flush.

I'll bet you can see where this is going, right dear reader?

So I sit in the stall and, well... I can't quite call it breaking wind, as that's too delicate.  No, this was a low class wall rumbling good old fashioned Fart.

And I felt So much better.

That's when I heard it- on the other side of the wall, I could hear a guy laughing his ass off!

I mean, imagine hearing THAT coming from the ladies room!

I blushed briefly and started giggling myself.  I then finished my business, washed my hands, etc, and prepared to leave the ladies room.  I wondered if the guy would be waiting outside to give me applause or something.

But there was no one waiting, and I resumed my duty station, relieved.

Yes, I have a juvenile sense of humor.


Wife and I had lunch together today (I'm off work), and as I drove her back to work, I related this story.  Before the story ended, her glasses were off, and she was laughing so hard she was crying.  Seriously.

And you wonder why I married her?  ;)

This story is SO immature!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

SAGa of the Sports Bra

My "Big Sister" Mel has been on me quite a while to join a gym.  I was a member of Ballys for MANY years, but I hadn't gone in over a decade.  I can't say it helped much.  When I lived in Baltimore, I even attended aerobic classes for a while.  My two coworkers and I were the only males (well I appeared to be one) in the class, and received many evil eyes.

Back then, my workout clothes were shorts or sweatpants and an old t-shirt.   Pretty simple and easy.

Plus Plus Sized

Things are VERY different now.

So, at Mel's insistence, and my own need to drop a LOT of weight, I joined the local Planet Fitness.  I haven't gone yet.  The several feet of snow outside are quite a deterrent.

But there was another small hurdle.  Since the last time I'd been to a gym, I have changed a bit.  The most obvious changes hang on my chest.  Breasts.  And just a t-shirt will no longer do in public.

I needed a Sports Bra.

Simple enough, right?

Well, I'd never worn one before.  And had no idea what to look for in a sports bra.  I figured something to hold the Girls in place and hopefully make them look good in the process.  So I did what any reasonable girl would: I asked my friends on Facialbook about it.  Both facialbooks (one is my old "male" FB, which is family and old friends for the most part) had a lot of suggestions.

I was given ideas on what to look for, as well as where to shop.  The suggestions came from women of many different body types from skinny to voluptuous.  As I am rather stout and my girls are big, I needed a lot of support.

So, with all that in mind, I went shopping after work on Thursday night.  I went to the huge King of Prussia Mall, which is near the bookstore.  I figured I'd just bounce around there, looking for the bra.

I parked on the back side of the mall, near where my Fridays used to be.  From there, I walked into a very large sporting goods store.  Yes, it was a big Dick's.  I figured I couldn't go wrong with a big Dick's, right?

I have trained many salespeople in my day, and rule number one is always to acknowledge the customer.  Make her happy.  The customer comes first, right Dick's?  Wrong.  I was in there for twenty minutes, and, while I saw many employees, none offered to help me.  That's right, Dick's blew me off.

And besides, the largest sports bra I could find was (L).  I'm (XXL).  I guess this Dick's only likes skinnier girls.

And so, I Strapped on my courage, and walked off into the mall.  The first stop was a total Bust.

My second stop was Lane Bryant.  They cater to big girls like me.  The salesperson who greeted me was a very pleasant college girl who was at least an inch taller than me and was very beautiful.  She showed me their sports bras and I even tried a couple on. I looked around the store a bit, and also spoke to the other salesperson there.  Both were really nice and good at their jobs- giving me lots of Support.  But, alas, they didn't have my size in stock, so rather than Plunge into a bra that didn't fit, I decided to check another place.

My next stop was Victorias Secret.  I knew that the largest they had in stock was a 38 (I'm a 40), but I figured, the bra had to be tight anyway, so why not?

So I went in and was greeted rather quickly by a skinny gorgeous young woman.  I told her what I wanted, and she insisted I get a fitting... despite the fact that the very last time I'd walked into this store, I'd had one.  Ok, whatever.

So she took me to the fitting rooms, and I was introduced to a Bra Stylist.  She measured me and went to get some sports bras to try.  Now, I was wearing a dress, having just come from work, so when I tried these on, I was just in bra and panties.  And, um, I hadn't shaved my upper legs.  And I was wearing Grannies.  So the person came to check on me and I was frightfully embarrassed.  So much so that I'd begun to sweat.  Ick.  And the one bra had a broken zipper.

So the next couple of bras were brought in by another girl, this one a gorgeous blonde.  She smirked a bit.  And a third group was brought by yet another person.  By then, I'd had enough.  I found one I liked (38 DDD).  I have to say though, I really thought the girls must've been laughing at me, and that's why they kept sending new ones in: "hey you have to see THIS!"  If nothing else, I definitely felt judged.  I felt like a total boob.

But as the bra I selected fit well, and I thought looked great, I bought one.


After all, it was getting late, so I was getting in just Under the Wire.

I thought about my trip as I walked in the mall back to my car.  the salespeople at Lane Bryant had been so friendly that I wanted to buy SOMETHING there.  A teddy caught my eye earlier, so I decided to price it.  It was a fiery red with black trim, and they had my size.  And it was on sale!  I guess you could say it was a Demi-Annual sale.  Anyway, I went to the counter and bought it.  Yes, I was Hooked.  I spoke to the same two wonderful salespeople.  We started talking, and I told them where I worked.  they both started gushing- they both LOVE the bookstore and had wanted to work there.  Really?  Wow- they were both so good at what they did that I told them I'd put a word in for them.  (I haven't done it yet.  See: "Several Feet of Snow," above.)

I then went back to my car.  Tonight was my roomie and bestie Linda's turn to make dinner, so I headed back to the apartment.

The next night, SEPa was hit by a blizzard.  And I've been inside since.

So, I now have a sports bra, AND a teddy.  I'm running out of excuses as to why I can't go to the gym.  Aside from the snow outside.  A little later, I'll excavate my car from the mountain of snow in which it is entombed.  (Linda is outside shoveling out hers, and we only have one shovel.)

Oh, did I take any snow pictures during the blizzard?  Or of the teddy?

Of course!  I decided to get all dolled up and take many pictures.  Linda and I even made a video.

Baby, it's cold outside!

So here I am, snowed in on a Sunday.  I'm supposed to work tomorrow morning, so, as I said earlier, I have to go shovel out my car.

All in all, I had an interesting time shopping.  I wouldn't call it the Breast shopping experience I'd ever had, but I learned a bit and met some nice people.  All in all, an Uplifting experience!

Work appropriate?

PS:  Yes, I'm aware that as I lose weight, my boobs will get smaller.  So I may need to do this all over again someday.  But I'm not Deflated by that thought.  No, I'll just have a Cup (or two) of courage and go out again!

Monday, January 18, 2016

"Out of Love"

The day is over.  I'm sitting here at my computer, drinking a glass of Bogle vineyards cabernet, and organizing my thoughts.  As my roomie Linda is already asleep, I'm listening to 80s music on my headphones.

It's been a day.

As those of you who follow this blog know, I work at a chain book store.  I never name the chain, as 1) it really isn't anyone's business and 2) I don't want to violate any "online" policy they might have.  Better safe than sorry.  As I've stated several times in this blog and at my column on TG Forum, the management from the top down has been absolutely supportive of my transition.  Keep this in mind, as it's important.

It was a strange day already at the Book store.  Sundays are usually a nasty day.  The rich folks go to church, get all guilted up, then come to the store and take it all out on the "peons" who work there.  Also, we always have to straighten the store, as there will always be sloppy people, but on Sundays, the professional "store destroyers" come in and wreck the place.  All in all, it's never a fun day.  

But today... today was even weirder.  For example, someone wanted me to wrap a gift card.  That's just odd.

Anyway, it was around 3:30 PM.  I was alone on register at the time, as the other register person was on break.  A customer approached.  She was Asian, mid 20s, maybe 5’4” tall wearing a blue jacket.  I’d seen her in the store before this.   Bought a few items of a religious nature, and started discussing how God is great.  At that moment, no one was in line.  I told her I have my religion, but prefer not to discuss it.  She then told me how God can see into everyone’s hearts, and she could tell I had “a very good heart.”  She said that several times.  I thanked her.  I mentioned we had many people come to the store directly from church.  There was a little more small talk when I noticed a line started to build, and I prepared to call the next customer. 

She then reached into her rather large purse and pulled out a DVD.  She said “please accept this from me.  Don’t be offended.  I’m giving it to you out of love.”  I told her I couldn’t accept gifts.  She insisted; I refused again.  By this point, the line had grown quite a bit.  She insisted again, so I took the DVD, tossed it on the counter next to the register, and called for the next customer.  At this point, the other cashier returned from her break, and we worked on the line.

Maybe 10 minutes later, the line was finished, and I looked at the DVD.   It was called One of the Boys: the Sy Rogers story.  I looked at the back and saw on the blurb “sexual redemption ministry.”  I guessed that this person was one of the “reparative therapy” people I’d read about.  I smirked, and decided I’d look it up on my break. I was a bit irritated at that point.

With a BONUS interview!  Golly!

A bit later, I took my break, and during time googled “Sy Rogers.”  I discovered that he specializes in Transgender reparative therapy, which means, essentially, “pray the trans away.”  This practice is illegal in several states, as it often leads to the suicide of trans person involved.  At that point, I became extremely angry.  I informed management.  My break ended, and I returned to registers.

I remembered later that I'd seen this wonderful person before a few times, and that last time, she said she had a "Christmas gift" for me, which she would bring in next time she came to the store.  Well, that explains why she just so happened to have that particular DVD in her bag.

Back cover

Later in the shift, the manager on duty told me he had contacted the Store Head Manager, who is on vacation this week.  At the end of my shift, he informed me that he was writing an incident report to send to corporate.  I wrote one as well, and sent it to HR.

The Head Manager texted me expressing her regret that this happened, and said that if this customer returns before corporate gets back to management, that I should contact a manager and leave the register area. 

Dear reader, I don't know if I have the strength to do that.  

I have many friends who hold many different religious beliefs (including muslims, for which I'm sure the GOP will investigate me if Trump gets elected.)  I respect all of their beliefs.  I have my own, which are very personal to me.  As such, I rarely discuss them.  I just say I'm Christian, and leave it there.

One thing I feel EXTREMELY strongly about is how many on the right wing cloak their hatred in religion.  They call themselves good Christians and good people, then spew hatred at everyone who isn't EXACTLY like them.  

The woman today mentioned that "God sees into your heart."  People like her often say "God doesn't make mistakes."  Well, guess what, chick... God made me TRANS.  And she made me this way to test the faith of people like YOU and YOU have been found Wanting!  Yes, God "sees your heart" and sees HATE which you hide by excusing it with religion!

And I'd love to shout this in her sanctimonious, smiling face and watch her reaction.


I need this job.  

The book store has supported me 100% when MANY other employers would not have done so.  I seriously doubt that I'd be able to find other work, especially with a company which supports my transition so well.

So what will I do when she comes in again to see if I watched the DVD (which she will)?  

Will I Cry HAVOC and let slip the dogs of war?  Read her the riot act?

I really hope that I have the strength to walk away, and let management handle it.  After all, my job depends on it.  I had the strength to live after Lisa died.  I had the strength to be True to myself.  Do I have the strength to not strike back?  Was it not Shakespeare who once wrote "Wrong us, shall we not revenge?"

Stay tuned.  This isn't over- not by a long shot.

Be well.

Neener neener poopy head!


Thursday, January 14, 2016

How do I say Thanks?

A couple of blog entries ago was all about a go fund me that I launched to help me pay for my name change.  I did it reluctantly, for three reasons.

The first is I dislike charity for myself.  I want to earn my own way through this world as much as possible.

The second is that I don't feel worthy of charity.  How have I earned it?  There are many others who are FAR worse off than I am.  They deserve charity more than I do.  Granted, I wouldn't be alive today without the charity of my dear friend M, who opened her home to me, which I can never repay.

The third is that I didn't think it would work.  I didn't think I'd make even $100, never mind my goal of $1000.  After all, people have their own problems, so why should they care about mine?  Besides, I'm just a fat TG with a blog- who REALLY gives a damn about me?  Besides, my situation is utterly hopeless.  To believe it would work means I have hope.  And I didn't.

Yes, that's what a life time of self hatred and depression can do to a person's self image and confidence.


The real reason I did it was to show I was right, and three people specifically were wrong.

Well, before I say anything else, I want to say publically that I WAS WRONG.


The other two (who I won't name as I don't have permission), YOU WERE RIGHT.

Within minutes of  my posting about the go fund me on Facialbook, I received my first donation, and it was from my dear friend, the beautiful Victoria.  I sent her a thank you text, then went to bed.

I woke up and went to work.  Didn't bother checking.  On my first break from work, I checked, and I was much higher than I ever thought I'd be.  I couldn't believe it.

I started sending thank you notes, but most of the donations were anonymous, including the largest one.

One of the donations was from someone who I KNOW is in similar circumstances to my own, yet she donated.  She couldn't afford it, yet she did.  She knows who she is, and I will say this, GF, you made me cry.  Tears of happiness.

Then I checked Facialbook.  I noticed that some people had SHARED my post.  Actually a lot.  50 times in fact.  One person, a GG ally and dear friend named Brittany, wrote a little something to go with the post.

And an evangelical commented on her post, calling me "morally corrupt."  That led to some... posts being exchanged between him and me.

Brittany, you also made me cry... and blush.

Look at those shares!  

To my absolute astonishment, I made my goal within a day.  I couldn't believe it.  I couldn't wrap my head around it.  I still can't.

Which brings me to the point of this entry: how to say Thanks to everyone who helped?  It wasn't just the money, even though that was the reason behind the whole thing.  It was that people cared enough to reach out and help ME.  Useless, hopeless Me.

My friends, you have given me HOPE.

And maybe that was the whole point that Sandy and the others were trying to make- they were trying to show me that there IS hope.  They knew I wouldn't just take what they were saying at face value- especially when "I knew better."  Since what they were telling me "went against the narrative" playing inside my head.  They had to prove it to me- show me how wrong I was.

And they did.  YOU did.

Dear reader, as you can see above, the goal is quite crushed.  In fact, there's enough for me to use a lawyer to do the name change (saving me at least two days off work and a LOT of hassle) and STILL give Renaissance a hefty donation.  But I'm also going to cheat just a little bit.  I'm holding a little money back... to pay forward.  Someone will need help, and I want to be able to give them what you have given to me: Hope.

So how do I say Thanks?  I really don't know.  I am humbled.  So humbled.  And so very grateful.  I guess the only way to really thank all of you is first to say it:

then to hold onto the light of the Hope you've all given me- keep it in my heart.  Have it ready when the Darkness returns.  My own light of EƤrendil.  

I have a 10 AM appointment with a lawyer on Friday.  The process will begin.  Soon, I will be Sophie legally.

Thanks to You.

Be well.

Monday, January 11, 2016

What Bowie Meant to Me

As everyone knows, David Bowie is dead of cancer at 69.

He was a true artist, and as such touched so many lives, especially those of us who were and are "different."

Growing up in a bodaciously small town like I did, I had heard of David Bowie, usually from TV talk shows, and I may have heard Space Oddity.  The talk around my elementary and junior high school was that he was a "faggot" and liking him meant YOU were as well.

When I finally got MTV in 1982, they played videos from the Scary Monsters album.  The first video I saw was Ashes to Ashes, in which Bowie was some sort of demented harlequin.

Ashes to Ashes

The other videos in rotation were Fashion and Heroes.  In Fashion, he was a drugged up mess.  I remember listening to the words and thinking "this is so human.  He just wants someone to like him.  To listen to him."  I UNDERSTOOD that.  I was an outcast, and I was hiding my terrible secret.  He spoke to and FOR me.  I was instantly a fan.

Then I saw Heroes.  There he was, in his "Brian Eno trilogy" period, so lost and distant... but the WORDS...

We can be Heroes... just for one day...

Then, like an absolute Bomb, Bowie's Let's Dance album crashed into the US.  Bowie had reinvented himself as a clean, stylish, yuppified person that EVERYONE wanted to be.  He was the Biggest thing in music in era of larger than life personalities.  Boy George?  Duran Duran?  The Police?  They were Huge, but Bowie was bigger.  He had influenced them all, and now he was taking his star turn.

I remember the only party I ever gave as a teen, when my parents were away at the shore.  It was mostly people I worked with, but a few others showed up.  One was a classmate named Tony.  I remember a bunch of us sitting on the living room floor, talking about music.  Tony was talking about Bowie, saying "a couple of years ago no one cared about him, but now you can't GET tickets to see him."  And he was right.  To this day, when I think of David Bowie, THIS is the version of him I think of, as it impacted my teen life the most. I was dressing as a woman by that point, expressing my true self for really the first time.  And since Bowie could be different, so could I.

The "Serious Moonlight" tour came to Philadelphia for four sold out shows, and Bowie filmed the Modern Love video at the Spectrum.  Simply amazing.

Modern Love in Philly

He stayed on top for a while, then receded as fame does. On one of my first visits to see my friend Chuck at his art school in downtown Philly, I remember seeing murals painted on the school walls of Bowie in his various guises.  Chuck said "Bowie is God here."  And I understood what he meant.  Bowie was so City... and I wanted to be a part of it.  That's one of the reasons I decided to go to a city school: Drexel University.

(I soon realized that this was a mistake and transferred to Penn State.)

Bowie kept changing.  His music kept changing.  In 1989, he announced he was going to stop playing the old songs, so he would tour playing them one last time: the Sound and Vision tour.  I was in the Spectrum with my friend Mike (who got me a ticket) and the show was amazing.

Bowie kept changing, but the public didn't change with him.  Didn't matter,  he kept right on going... true to himself.  Then, he disappeared.

Ten years later, he reappeared with a new album.  March 2013.  I was working at the book store by then.  And the album was amazing.  Bowie was back.

On Friday, Bowie released a new album.  It was his 69th birthday.

Now he's gone.  And so many people are shocked and in mourning.

What did Bowie mean to me?

Bowie showed me new worlds far beyond the small town I knew.  he showed me that change was possible... and could be beautiful.  That is was Ok to be different.

Because I WAS different.  I knew that, but I hid it.

So many years later, I am True to myself.  Yes, I am different: I am Trans.  And I celebrate it.

That is the lesson I took from David Bowie.  He was an icon and an Artist who was different, and celebrated that.

As we shall celebrate him.

Sleep well, David Bowie.  You will never die as long as your art survives.

What's In a Name? (an Appeal)

Almost all of my readers know me as Sophie.  Many of you know how I got this name (Karen from Femme Fever).  Some know why I keep it (Sophie Scholl.)

Shakespeare had this to say about names:

What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

(Romeo and Juliet: Act 2, Scene 2)

I am Sophie.  Yet, I am not.

With dear friends Linda, Amy and Victoria a week or so ago

I'm still legally known by my male birth name.  That's what's on all my official documents.

My driver's license may have my gender as "F" and the picture may be current, but the name is still my birth name.

I've been full time as a woman for nearly 22 months.  I've been on hormones over three years.  I do outreach.  I write this blog.  I've been published in the New York Times... but I'm still not legally Sophie.

My transition has stalled.


Well that's simple:  Money.  I work retail, and can barely keep a roof over my head.  In Chester County, PA (where I live) it costs over $900 to change one's name (unless it's for marital reasons- then it's only $100.)

As most of my readers know, my mood hasn't been too... great... of late.  One of the reasons for this is because of my stalled transition.  I'm beginning to believe I will never succeed.   What to do about it?

Several dear friends have sent me private messages suggesting I try a "go fund me" campaign.  I didn't want to do so.  I despise charity.  I want to succeed or fail on my own merits.  I GIVE to charity, yes.  I do so often, but that's different.  I don't feel I've earned charity.  (I'm the same way about gifts.)  I don't feel worthy of them.

However, a coworker told me that it's ok to accept charity- to let others Help.  She said that some people WANT to show their support, as they WANT my transition to succeed.  See "don't feel worthy" above.

Anyway.  I looked at my life and my future.  I can't remain where I am.  I can't go back to where I was.  So there are only two other options, and the best one is to go forward (the other was Lisa's path.)  And to move forward... well... I need help.

With that in mind, I heeded my friends' council and started a Go Fund Me.  This is only the second one I've done- the first was to help defray some of Lisa Empanada's funeral expenses (which raised over $3000, thanks to the generosity of the TG community.)

So there it is:  I'm asking for help.  I need $1000 to take this next step.  I'm not expecting anyone to donate- we transpeople all have our own problems- but if some people can, I would be most grateful.

If you would like to help, click THIS LINK.

Whether you can help or not, I appreciate you reading.  And I appreciate your comments.

I'm going to bed now.  I work tomorrow.

Thanks again.

Be Well

Monday, January 4, 2016

All is Quiet on New Year's Day

We are now in 2016.

This year I will be fifty years old, assuming I live to September.

Like many people, when I was younger, I loved New Year's Eve.  A chance to get drunk and it was expected.  Now, I don't bother.  I consider it "Amateur Night in Dixie" and I don't want any part of it.  All the idiots will be out, and every cop on the payroll will be waiting for them.  No thanks.

I had December 31 off.  I decided I'd treat myself and my roomie and bestie Linda Lewis to some lunch, then go do some long overdue work.  Linda worked until noon.  I arrived at 12:25 with a bucket of amazing Jerry's Chicken (it's a local place near me.)  Each of us ate our fill while watching an episode of Star Trek (original series, of course.)

Linda then went to take a nap while I went to my storage space.  My goal was to finally remove all of my guy clothes.  That's right, I hadn't done that yet.  I knew it would take a while to dig through boxes and find the clothes, then to bag them up for transport to a donation center.  I especially wanted to get rid of my old guy suits so they would be inaccessible to anyone.

Messy messy

And it certainly did.  Most of the boxes are very heavy, as they are books.  I had to dig through a lot to find the boxes of clothes.  About an hour into the process, an older man came off the elevator on my floor.  I told him that if he needed to get through, I'd clear a path.  he said that wouldn't be necessary, as he was several spaces closer to the elevator than me.

Turns out he's in the antiques business.  Has two storage spaces in the building for overstock.  By that point, I'd pulled out a book of World War I era books memoirs, etc.  He looked at them, and was mildly interested.  Just for giggles, I showed him my copy of Invade Mecum which I've had for over a decade.  He was interested in that, and offered $50.  I smiled and declined, and kept digging through boxes, finding clothes and more books.

Eventually I had several garbage bags full of clothes.  I'd emptied out or consolidated over a dozen boxes.  I did save a few concert t-shirts, fraternity stuff, and some other select pieces.  As I was putting the boxes back in, the antique dealer came by again.  He offered me $200 for the Invade Mecum.

I was short on rent due to Christmas expenses.  I had no idea how I was going to pay it.  And here was a guy offering me $200 for something that liked, but kept in storage.  I told him to show me the $200.  He produced two $100 bills from his pocket.  I checked to make sure they were real (working retail teaches you a few things) and pointed to the box where I had put the book, saying "it's in there.  On top."

He happily took it, and was on his way.  And I had enough for rent.

It took two trips with a cart to get both the clothes and the trash to my car.  It was dark outside.  I'd been there for five hours.

First I drove back to the apartment to let Linda know I would be back after dropping off the bags.  Also, I wanted to show her something I'd found.

In one of the boxes, I found a lot of old paperback books that hadn't been unpacked since I packed them in the early 90s to move out my parents' place and into my first apartment.  Over twenty years. Among them were a bunch of long out of print Star Trek novels from the late 70s-early 80s.  Linda is a MAJOR trekkie (as am I), and as all of her books are in storage in Michigan, I decided I'd bring these back to read.  She was extremely excited.

Linda with the books

I gave her the books, then went back out to my car, which I drove around to a dumpster, where I dumped all the empty boxes and a bag of trash.  Then I drove to a nearby shopping center where I knew there was a place to leave clothes for donations.  And that's what I did.

Bye bye guy clothes!

I thought for a moment about all the money I and my wife had spent on these clothes.  About the two of us shopping together, happy.  It made me cry a little.  But, the clothes would help people, and, well, I was no longer a guy.

A page turned.

I went back to the apartment, where Li and I watched Oceans 11, and played video games.  I bought some champagne a while back, so we had that to toast in the new year.  Then she went to bed.  I stayed up to write a little, then went to sleep as well.  I had to work the next morning.

So I'm working at the registers the next day, and an older woman, maybe in her 70s comes to my register. She leans in a bit, and says in a hushed voice: "I must tell you how much I admire you and the work you do for LGBT children. You are so inspiring. Is there any way I can donate to help you and your cause?
I grabbed some scrap paper and wrote on it Mazzoni Center and William Way LGBT Community Center. I suggested she google these places and donate to them, as they have programs in place for LGBT youth and can use the help.

She was very appreciative, thanked me again, and left, smiling.
Wow. What a wonderful person! Day made!!!

Now it's 2016.  Everyone is making resolutions.  Me? I'm taking things one day at a time.  As I wrote in a previous entry, my transition has stalled, probably permanently.  

What do you do when a dream dies?  

I don't know.  But at least the new year started well enough.  Quietly.

Be well!