Archive | August 2015

‘Silent Night …’

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Again, business before pleasure.

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Allow this referral to ‘Kira Moore’s Closet’ web-site:

  • ‘Trans Deaths, White Privilege’ is a current editorial written by Jenny Boylan, English professor at Barnard College.

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Next business is the 2015 U.S. Trans Survey (http://www.ustranssurvey.org/)

You can complete it in maybe an hour if you submit rote answers.  I chose to deliberate upon my answers and I took two hours to complete the survey.  The questionnaire provides you the opportunity to include your ‘story’.  I pre-wrote my ‘story’ so that I would not get timed-out.

Do the Survey then pass it on

Also linked at:

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Allow these words of encouragement to you as I look back: 30 years full-time forever female, 35 years legally affirmed female, and 41 years from when I began transition about this time of the year in 1974.  Please allow my two cents worth having walked this road and paved part of this path for you to follow.

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If your counsellors are good – remain with those as you are making progress.

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All your writing education and experience at school was for a purpose.

Write.  Write some more.  Write some more again.  Keep writing.  Writing is good therapy on its own.  Writing forces you to put your thoughts into concrete logic and re-examine yourself when you read what you wrote.  That’s worth more than its weight in platinum.

Enjoy reading your introspective compositions; read others who post great comments at their web-sites.

I have probably written thousands of pages and expect to write a thousand more.  I’m still learning at age 59.

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Find a way to meet with your transsexual support group – whether individually with other members or as the group.  If your current group can’t meet your needs (e.g., meet other days to accommodate your work schedule), then seek another.  If you are near a large city, there should be multiple support groups:

  • browse for them on-line
  • make friends with members of those groups
  • meet on your schedule one-on-one.

I lived at a small town of less than 500 people (1977 – 1978) and was one hour’s drive to the nearest small city.  Still, I found a friendly pro-transsexual physician who started everything for me.  Finding legitimate people in my day was complicated and difficult; today’s Internet and web-site searches make it easy.

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I feel your pain at the thought of losing family and friends through transition.

It was termed ‘feminine protesting’ in my time:

  •  ‘I AM a girl!  I am NOT a boy.  I’m gonna do it, Mom, and you can’t stop me!’

I was engaged in it since at least age 3.

No family member – immediate and extended – was surprised at my change.  I lost my entire family anyway; my mother threatened me with her pistol the last time I saw her.  My closest ‘friends’ abandoned me; my supposed ‘best friend’ turned violent against me.  I did not do that ‘c-w-d’ scene; some new ‘friends’ might seek it of you.

Instead, I got involved with charities at my community.  I was a volunteer at my local county hospital:

  •  (a) volunteer pharmacy tech at the in-patient pharmacy and
  •  (b) volunteer psych tech at the mental health care ward.

Get physically active; I played several seasons on the community team tennis league and women’s softball league.  I made friends from those experiences.  So, after work or on weekends, consider finding those extra-curricular activities to expand your circle.  You are under no obligation to tell anyone about your self unless you feel comfortable; it’s your business and not theirs.

I learned along my transition that there is this kind of triage:

  • Some will be approving:  Be thankfull for their approval – they are keepers.
  • Some will be non-committal:  Work on the non-committed – you might find a new friend
  • Some will be oppositional:  These will be most of your people.  Accept them in the face of their rejection of you because you are the better person than those who deny you.

Work with friendly females who can be honest with you and teach you how to improve your appearance where you want to make improvements.  Practise in the private comfort of your home – wardrobe, make-up, perfume, mannerisms, walking, talking, etc.  Look at yourself in the mirror and try new things.  Record yourself for your review.

You are so correct when asking for honest criticism.  Those who tell you everything is fine when everything is so wrong are not doing any favours for you.  Some mistakenly consider they are being polite, but they are not.  It is critical that your supporting contacts, friends, co-workers provide accurate feedback so that you can improve.  Find friends who give honest advice and stay with them.  This is where a transsexual group should be better than other circumstances.

You will recognise the niceties of others who unquestionably accept you as female – such as that man who let you in the aisle at the store.  Their actions will re-inforce your transition efforts.  You’d be surprised how men respond positively when a woman returns the favour; give that a try for your own ego boost when you see a guy who meets your fancy.  You might make good conversation at the check-out line or maybe even make a new friend with your smile.

Unfortuneately, there will be boors out there who try rattling your nerves; ignore them.  Women get those same rude comments for the same crude reasons.  Counselling and support will work you through those moments; work with your friends.  I experienced a constant barrage of ‘She’s a he.  No, he’s a she.’ at work for nearly seven years.  I wanted to shrink up and crawl in a hole; instead I walked past those ‘people’ with my head held high.  Honestly, I look back at that time beginning more than 35 years ago and I wonder how I survived, but I did and here I am more than 30 years post-transition, post-op, female full-time.  Yes, their demeaning comments still hurt; I am the better person out of that arrangement.

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Allow my recommendation for you to shop at charity re-sellers such as Goodwill or Salvation Army.  They have good merchandise for good bargains; Goodwill holds half-price Saturdays every other week.  They are also a good resting place for you to deliver your ‘dead name’ wardrobe and accessories that you no longer need – a way for you to complete re-doing your household.

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Presentation and perception is part of your transition – ‘passing the ‘passing’ test’.  I acquired my all-female uni-sex wardrobe (jeans, top, shoes, sox) by 1979.  For example, I could wear the same uni-sex female attire:

  • If I presented as male, then others perceived me as male.
  • If I presented as female, then others perceived me as female.

Maybe not 100% but enough to where I found confidence from those who made the correct identification.

Here’s the kicker.  You are likely noticing when impolite ‘people’ make bad remarks while you are presenting as female.  There are probably others doing the same but in the opposite – when you were presenting as male and they commented of you as female.  Think about that – the latter circumstances would please you as much as the former circumstances hurt you.

Other examples were among my final proofs that I ‘passed my ‘passing’ test’.  I was doing my best to present as male at work where I was employed as male, yet strangers called me ‘Miss’ or mistook me for female.  People on the telephone who did not know me called me ‘Miss’ because my voice did not change.  Noticing these little acts will go a long way to boost your internal satisfaction and self-confidence.  Here I recently learned the term ‘male fail’.

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You are correct about finding your own personal style of female attire.

One gender counsellor advised me early to wear the most feminine clothes as possible for my style – that doing so would bring out the feminine in me and would force others to perceive me as female.  It worked well.  I’m now past that mode.

Nowadays, I can choose to wear jeans, a top, and no make-up – none mis-gender me.  Then I enjoy times getting ‘dolled up’ just the same when I want to do that mode for special occasions.  Agreed; skirts and dresses are so much more comfortable during Summer heat.

You will find your comfort zone.

Work uniform attire is frequently male attire that both men and women wear – none flattering to female sensibility and there is little you can do about it when orders come from on high at a distant corporate office.

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You are learning the negative practicalities of the differences of the sexes – discrimination.  Men will lop off 100 points from your IQ score.  They will call you obscene names and speak in rough terms.  You will face discrimination at work; you might be denied pay raises or job promotions because you are female.  If you try changing employment, prospective employers will direct you to their clerical pool, not their professional positions for which you might be qualified.

Yes, at some point you will need to decide for yourself how to balance your female identity imperative to the comforts of male privilege; you might find a positive decision or settle for a worst case scenario.

Your work environment might be horrid if you come out to them; that is not really unusual, sad to say.  Your co-workers will speak against you regardless of what you do, so do only what you want to do that is best for you.  If that also means separating from that employ, then resolve that possibility.

Looking back, I can see that I had a prime opportunity to transition from male to female at work when my supervisor initiated action to fire me as a transsexual – she thought I was a female working there as a male.  I now see how that was the perfect cue for my situation that I should have arrived at work the next day as Sharon / female and given no point for my supervisor to fire me.

I’m writing this to you to encourage you to examine your options – you may come upon an unexpected surprise.  But be easy on yourself if you realise you missed one because more will follow – use it as a lesson to be more prepared to watch for your opportunities.

*(2007 10 10) Superior Court - Name Change (p1 of 2)

Your next moves will include your court hearing for your legal name change and legal sex change.

Some jurisdictions provide that you include changing both your name and sex identification on your legal documents – most notably and practically your first change might be your drivers licence or other legal government-issued state identification card; it was my driver’s licence for me.  I can’t begin to express how much exhilaration and self-confidence I gained despite all the nervousness coursing through my body appearing as Sharon and female to MVD that afternoon.  I’m certain that I was that MVD agent’s first transsexual and he was at least as nervous as I.  You can also change your Birth Certificate with this court document.

Request a letter from your counsellor or physician for just in case purposes.

Social Security Administration will also change your name and sex in your file – most likely, they can use your court order for name and sex change or they can use a specifically-worded (2015 05 14) MIHS Discrepancy Lettermedical statement to change your sex.  See SSA regulation ‘RM 10212.200′ or an earlier post here at my web-site (‘Another Sex Change At Social Security’).  If you work as female in your new female name but do not change your SSA record, then your name will be included in the SSA discrepancy report provided to your employer and which you incur multiple trips to your SSA office to resolve.

I first changed my SSA file in September 1978, but this year alone I had to go to SSA at least a half-dozen times within one month to re-correct their erroneous reversions of my file.  AGH!

Your complete legal change of name and sex will also allow you to get your new / revised US Passport in your new name and sex.  IRS can deny paying your income tax refunds if your name and sex do not match.  Medical services can be denied or insurance coverage(2011 02 01) MediCare Card not paid if your sex does not match – meaning that your presenting sex (female) must match your legalised sex (female).  I am writing this to you from my own personal experiences.

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Good for you deciding to go full-time and remain with it – without ERT as well.  That takes an amazing force of personal strength.  I admire those who go directly to full-time transition because I know how much more difficult it is than entering as part-time transition.

Some asked that it should have been easier for me as inter-sex female with my innate goal as female to transition at full-time from my start.  Why could I not go to bed one night as Nick / male and awake the next morning as Sharon / female full-time?  Nope.  Despite my intimate anatomical mix-up and internal imperative, I had to deal with the outward external change same as any other M-F transsexual – the paperwork, the people, the employment, the schools, the legalities, the medical teams.

For my self and my decision-making, it was to my better situation to go part-time.  The biggest regret of my part-timing was when I failed to grasp that opportunity to change to female at work (where I was a federal government employee) once my supervisor began action to fire me for being transsexual.  She was confused accusing me of being a female working as a male (which was kinda true but not accurate in the sense of transition).  I still get a chuckle from her mis-identification.  I should have recognised my opportunity and arrived at work the next day as Sharon and female.  She still might have continued firing me but at least I would have made my point.(2007 06 08) OPM Reassignment Letter

In fact, I might have won the issue because a higher-grade employee of my agency working at Washington, DC, began her M-F transition at work late during the time of my administrative process when that agency was firing me.  I could have argued that it was illogical to fire me while openly accepting the other employee.

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‘Dead name’ – one transsexual taught that term to me and I kinda like that brief term for what is your predecessor name.  Some people see their change as the ‘death’ of the ‘before’ person and the ‘birth’ of their ‘after’ person.  Allow me to tell you about people calling your’dead name’ to you versus calling your new female name to you.

My family rejected me – totally.  But I give credit to my dad despite that he NEVER called me Sharon, my chosen name, and failed to use female pronouns.  He could not bring himself to do that.  It was not in him and he was honest about that.

On the other hand, other family – immediate and extended – called me Sharon and used female pronouns.  Should that not have made me feel good?  NO!  They did that in their derision, not their acceptance; the more they did it, the more they hoped they could demean me.  I preferred they would not have bothered.  Their efforts mattered little since they chose to break off all contact with me.  My loss is my gain.

Let me tell you more about ‘dead’.  My immediate family (father, mother, sister) and I lived geographically distant from each other by the time I began my true transition (1979).  The closest of the three was my father, about a two hours drive, once I made it past post-op and female full-time (1985).  He came to visit me several times each year, but he would not allow me to visit him; I did not know why until years later.  Meanwhile, my sister and I resided approximately 1.000 miles distant and my mother resided approximately 2.000 miles distant; neither locations were easy travelling though I went to my sister first upon my full-time and forever status.  She was cold to me.

My father died in 1989.  I went to manage his home and property afterward and that is how I learned why he did not want me to visit him.  The neighbours approached me and expressed their remorse how sad it was that first his son died so young and then the father died – that I must be the grieving daughter / sister.  I caught their cue and played along – it was easier than trying to explain the truth.

It was not that my father considered me ‘dead’ – as when someone says in rejection, ‘You are dead to me.’  No, my father in his complicated un-acceptance found it better in his environment to tell his friends and neighbours that his ‘son’ Nick (my male predecessor), was deceased and that my dad not allow me to visit him at his home for fear of his charade failing if someone saw me and identified me as my male predecessor.  I found it amazing that none of his neighbours recognised me in 1989 – most strange since I personally knew many of them myself and car-pooled to work with the married couple across the street when I resided with my dad as a teen / young adult at that residence (1973 – 1977).  Again, I was someone who appeared familiar to them yet they apparently had no concept to think that this woman in their presence was my male predecessor.

It is another example of something I posted earlier in my web-site (see: ‘Incognito’) how people who may have known me in our past did not recognise me in our present – in my post-op full-time female presence.  They may have sensed some recognition or familiarity of my appearance, but they were not thinking that my male predecessor had a sex change and was now this woman in their midst.  Nope.  The perceptions of my dad’s neighbours was me as the grieving daughter / sister.

Long story short, consider the circumstances when someone uses your ‘dead name’ versus someone who uses your new female name.  Someone using your ‘dead name’ may be making an honest mistake from habit while the other instance can be awkward or worse.  Bear in mind that you have known your own self longer than they have known you in either presence and it may simply be habit to use your ‘dead name’.

I put thought into this for myself and allow this explanation:  If someone from my past (family or friend) came along and called me ‘Nick’ absent their negative connotation, then I might actually find it amusing or cute and bring up old times.  Otherwise, no friend in my current life knows from me directly that I had a male predecessor; of course they are welcomed to check this web-site to quench their curiosity.

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Allow me to share a serious consideration.  This comment can help if you (or others) have any newbie doubts.

The medical term ‘phantom limb syndrome’ refers to when the body persists sensing the absence of a lost part.

I was recently at a message board with other post-op M-F transsexuals sharing comments when one member asked about phantom limb and their now-missing male ‘member’.  No one at that board reported any phantom experience except as maybe very brief and transitory that was soon gone.  No one sensed any loss, but rather all declared a gain.

I presented that question to my TS group a month ago.  Likewise, no one declared any phantom feeling.  It did bring out a few chuckles at the very thought that a M-F true transsexual would have those feelings.

Okay, M-F post-ops at a message board and a small group of us at our TS meeting is hardly scientific.  The point I am setting forth to you is that a M-F true transsexual will NOT report that loss of anatomy the way a male will.

You are still early in your transition and your GCS / SRS is a future concept.  If you suspect the potential for loss and phantom syndrome, then you will need spirit-searching and discussion with your gender counsellor to assure yourself of your future.  There is nothing to lose and everything to gain if you need to take a step back and re-evaluate your situation.

Try the COGIATI (COmbined Gender Identity And Transsexuality Invenory) questionnaire:

COGIATI is NOT a clinical diagnosis survey, but it does ask questions that require you to think about your self, your thoughts, your perceptions.

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Allow me to add this epiphany moment.  I had been female full-time post-op since 1985; yet there I was on vacation at Port Orford, Oregon, in 1993 when some special realisation hit me.  It was a side glance at the bathroom mirror that caught my attention as I acknowledged myself as that women in the reflection; it was not the first time – I saw my female self in the mirror for years since earliest childhood.  This time was a curious, deeper ‘Ah-ha!’ experience.  I scanned her from head to toe and every aspect of her was still correct; this was, in fact no dream.

You who are yet to begin transition or who are new in your transition will understand that you and your mind will hold that male versus female image for a time.  It might take deliberate efforts to see yourself as female in your mirror.  You will find yourself a very attractive, young women in that mirror and in your photographs.

I transitioned at parts of my life; I did not simply go to sleep one night as my male predecessor Nick and awake the next morning as Sharon and female.  I went to work as male, I attended church as male, I had friends as male.  Then there were times I lived my mundane life as female:  I went grocery shopping as female, filled up the gasoline tank as female, walked the hallways of familiar places as female (where they knew me as male – including the very hospital where I had my exploratory a few years earlier), attended a Christmas event as female (where the people knew me as male), bought postage stamps at the Post Office as female.  People made no identification of me as other than female during those female parts of my life I presented as female.

My part-time mode occurred from 1979 to 1985 – that’s six years – and I marked each day, week, month, and year as a success as I progressed more to female and eliminated male.

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Our web-sites are here for you, dear fellow traveller.

Take care – Enjoy! – HUGGSS

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‘Been to Hollywood, Been to Redwood, Been to Pescadero’

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Business before pleasure today.  Serious business.

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I repeat this information from Cara’s site:

(https://lizdaybyday.wordpress.com/2015/01/02/leelah-alcorn-her-death-and-facing-human-monsters-among-us/).

Enact ‘Leelah’s Law’ to end transgender ‘Conversion Therapy’

https://www.change.org/p/president-of-the-united-states-enact-leelah-s-law-to-ban-transgender-conversion-therapy?utm_source=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=new_signature&utm_content=change&tk=OTem5VSIxw7tkvjeMOEeJByGJGCRLZ5NT8oW
6KlEUVg

I add my own modified message.

Leelah Alcorn was 17 years old; she was transgender.  She wrote her suicide note (http://i.imgur.com/6cZjm4P.png), posted it on Tumblr, and then walked in front of a semi-truck on the highway to end her pain.

In her suicide post, Leelah described her parents forcing her to attend Christian ‘Conversion Therapy’. They withdrew her from her public school – they isolated her from her friends – they denied her efforts to confirm her female gender identity.  I submit that these parents deliberately committed criminal child abuse against Leelah.  They are the type of parents who knowingly act in such careless disregard as to deliberately make their children hate their self.

Leelah’s closing last words:  ‘My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year.  I want someone to look at that number and say “that’s fucked up” and fix it.  Fix society.  Please.’

I cry each time I read Leelah’s final letter.  She engaged in the same feminine protesting to her family as I throughout my own childhood.  I know her pains – I myself was suicidal with pains – I wish I could have been there to ease Leelah from her pains.  I extend to anyone out there whatever help or consoling to you that I can do.  If nothing else, I give to you my warmest, my most heart-felt HUG through these cyber waves.

Sorry, I am not one of those sunshiners who goes along with the ‘It gets better’ routine.  It does not get better.  The world hates us – the world hates us more each day that we exist in their world.  What you can do is join with we who accept you as you are and we as our own can make it not get worse for you.

Suicide rates for transgender youth are the highest suicide rates in this nation.  ‘Conversion Therapy’ is documented to cause great harm; it led to Leelah’s suicide.  Therapists are using it to brainwash the child’s gender identity.  These therapies are unethical.  Let Leelah’s petition become one small effort to end those therapies.

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Then we have this petition: ‘Formally Investigate the Transphobic Violence Leading to the Rising Death Toll of Transgender Women of Color in the U.S.’

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/formally-investigate-transphobic-violence-leading-rising-death-toll-transgender-women-color-us-0

Thank you, Kira.  This is from her site.

Since January 9, 2015, twelve (12) Transgender women, mostly women of color, have lost their lives due to hate and Transphobia. Eight of these beautiful lives were lost in the first two months of the year. With such a high death toll, something must be done to raise awareness and end the senseless killings of a targeted, vulnerable community.

For Transgender women of color, safety is a real and warranted concern. We are asking the administration to raise awareness and take action to keep this community safe, by conducting a formal investigation of these deaths occurring across the county to the targeted community of Transgender women, particularly women of color.

Please take action to ensure this community does not have to live in fear of losing their lives to hate and violence.

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Please view this week’s episode of PBS ‘Religion and Ethics Newsweekly’ (check your local listings or go to PBS.org).

They include an extended segment about transgender in Christian churches. They interview people who are trans and people who are ordained ministers who welcome trans into their church.

If an anti-trans Christian wants to view the issue with an open mind, at least this is a start.  Doubtfull any hard-core anti- would consider watching let alone coming away with a renewed perspective.

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Recent comment from Cara, my spirit friend of this domain and renown Barbarian Warrior Princess of the Renaissance Festival, reflected on the Ford Mustang.  I owned my share: 1964 1/2 (1975 – 1976, pearl white) and 1965 (1994 – 1999, baby blue).

My first Mustang has its own curious memories.

I bought it cheap – $300 in 1975.

Its days were where my memories lie.  Slim and I travelled up-state planning to visit with Laurel, my former high school English teacher from Pinewood School (Pylaia, Greece).  We all became friends during our year together at Greece and continued our friendship with regular correspondences via the postal mail.

My effort to meet with Laurel during that Summer of 1976 had a frustrating start.  Unbeknownst, she was travelling back and forth from her home at Pescadero to house-sitting at Redwood City.  We apparently missed each other in opposite directions for a day.  Realise, dear reader, that in 1976 we had no such thing as cellular telephones as we walked 10 miles to school in the snow each day.  Add that she had no home telephone and I did not know her house-sitting telephone.  Ah, the ‘good ol’ days’.(1976 08) Follansbee (3) - Slim and Boyuks (Ohio River view)

So Slim and I sat at the Pescadero Post Office and waited during most of the day on the possible idea that she would come collect her mail.  Nope; she did not arrive at the Post Office.

Meanwhile, I saw a curious red roadster that afternoon.  It was at the gasoline station across the street while I waited for Laurel at the Post Office.  Slim and I hurried to check it out before the driver finished his fill-up and drove away.  He showed it to us.  Cool!  I thanked him and off he went.

There was no Laurel all day at the Post Office, so I parked where it seemed safe – at the school parking lot.  Little did I know that security would lock the entry during the night; I watched as he closed the gate and drove away, but I wasn’t going anywhere till daytime anyway.  Oh well.  Then the later late-night security guard drove by my car; looked inside with his flashlight and saw Slim and me sleeping in the car.  He woke us and told me that I must leave the premises – that parking at the beach was safe and legal – that he would make rounds to check on me at the beach during the night.  I asked the guard about Laurel; he told me that he knew Laurel from the school.  He gave some ideas to me to track her the next morning..

I parked at the beach and awoke at dawn.  I took the guard’s advice, I made a telephone call at the local police station, and Bingo!, I found Laurel.  The Police helpt me with directions to Laurel’s home – in the mountains of Pescadero.  I never would have found it on my own – a good lesson to ask for directions before you get lost.

Laurel and Slim and I had a good time visiting for a couple days.  She introduced us to Chuck, her boyfriend.

Laurel and I prepared our dinner that afternoon:  stuffed squid.  YUMMY!  Gawd I love fresh seafood and miss it living inland.

That evening Laurel and I sat and talked.  I showed our school yearbook from the year after she left (1972 – 1973 school year, my second year).  She had a good time reminiscing about our old days and the people we both knew.

I considered telling Laurel about my pending change during this visit.  I did not expressly tell her, but oops, some papers in the yearbook fell out and she saw them.  They were to be my props for my telling until I got cold feet.

Teacher hand-out papers were from my 11th Grade ‘Psychology’ class at Pinewood – those notes were from days of that class when we talked about transvestites and transsexuals.  As the teacher’s notes showed, he defined both TV and TS as sexually aberrant deviations. The teacher’s lessons and notes made me angry in 1973 – but I bit my lip and stayed silent.  Actually, I can’t blame the teacher.  Back then (1973), psychology lumpt TV with TS and defined both as sexually aberrant deviants.  I know what I am, I know I am NOT TV; I know I am NOT a sexually aberrant deviant – I do NOT prey on children. And what about my parents who preyed on me?  It was my body that was mixed and needed correcting; the clothes that girls wore made less matter to me.

Other papers that slipt from the yearbook were my references to electrologists at my home city; I wanted to check them out as a possibility if I developed facial hair.  I had some hair in 1976 when I was age 20, but not much (yet); I had no clue what was about to happen in another couple years.  I plucked then same as I would during subsequent years.  I could clear my face in less time than to shave anyway in 1976; the bonus was a clear face for days and no stubble.

Laurel read through the teacher’s notes, looked at the electrologist list, and put them back in the book with a curious glance at me but without comment.  I wondered whether she began suspecting something about me.

I really so much wanted to tell her, but our visiting was about our re-union and not my intimate troubles.

Then there was that red roadster.  I asked Laurel and Chuck if they saw that car.  They told me that is Neil Young’s car and that man driving it is Neil Young.  Ahh!  I met Neil Young and did not recognise him.  Looking back, he was probably pleased that this young kid with the Lhasa Apso was not all gushy intruding on him but instead wanting to check out his ‘rod’ and compare notes to my Mustang.

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Sometime following my visit to Laurel, I wrote to her and told her all about my self. I reminded her about my visit to her, my papers I was ready to use as props, my lost nerve that I shrunk from telling her.  I realised I did not want to spoil our visit with issues that she might not know how to handle – that I simply wanted to enjoy the visit without any other pressure.  She accepted my apology.

Better than that, Laurel came to visit me where I lived at Utah (1982).  She was eager to talk.

She arrived during the evening and told me that she wanted to really talk to me.  She asked if I had any wine; I did and offered it to her.  She told me that she had to get drunk to give her ‘what fer’ talk to me about being female.  As she sipt her wine, she told me quite a lot.  She and I were obviously not going to get naked, so she brought foreign porn with her to show graphic pictures to go with her graphic words.  How could I explain that ‘dangly thing’, my faux ‘male’ anatomy, was a ‘virgin’, but my rudimentary vagina and structures had their own experiences in the privacy of my own home?

(1981 xx xx) Work ID Photographs

I do not know if it was the booze or her personal inclination for something, but Laurel made a comment from her perspective that I understood.  I could have taken it as an insult from my transsexual perspective, but that would have been difficult because she could not understand my core gender identity perspective.  Anyway, Laurel told me, ‘Nick, you are a very handsome MAN who could have any woman HE wanted.  I’M attracted to you.’

Laurel was looking at Nick that evening, the male you see similar in that 1981 work ID photograph.  In her uncertainty, Laurel discussed how she did not want me to continue with my transition.  She thought that she could convince me that my ‘very handsome MAN’ male looks should convince me to stay ‘male’.  Transsexualism does not work that way.

I saw that 1981 male predecessor person as ugly, not attractive, whether male or female.  Maybe he is ‘handsome’, I do not know that because I NEVER saw him that way.  I saw that picture of that person as the contemporary (i.e., 1982) appearance of my female self and felt revulsion by it.  In other words, my appearance as Nick is ugly as Sharon regardless of how others perceived ‘him’ as a male.

Laurel’s comment made no matter to me.  She did not quite comprehend the gender identity issue; few people I have known outside the community understand this core gender identity mix-up.  So many people have no conflict of their own; they are totally satisfied and pleased with their mind and body, unlike trans.

I told Laurel how I appreciated her open honesty.

I made certain Laurel saw my pills to know this is serious.  I reminded her that there was no going back.

*

Laurel and I kept in touch through the next few years.  I did not tell her all the steps I had been completing to finish my transition during our exchange of our letters.(1996 07 23) MVD Licence (USE THIS)

When I settled at my new residence (June 1985), Laurel was among the first persons whom I called to tell about completing my transition.  ‘I did it!’, I told her during a nervous, but cheery, telephone call.  Yep, I had my operations and successfully completed my transition.  She was happy for me.

We later lost contact with each other.  I miss Laurel and her well-meaning support.

*

The second Mustang story will follow in a later post.

*

‘Years in the Telling’

*

‘The loneliest people are the kindest.  The saddest people smile the brightest.  The most damaged people are the wisest.  All because they do not wish to see anyone else suffer the way they do.’

  • Contributed by: Janet H

(1972 xx xx) Dad-Slim at Anatolia campus

*

I tried contacting relatives and friends to re-kindle our past and overcome our obstacles.

*

Nancy, a cousin on my mom’s side of the family, is close in my heart.  We began with our long-time pen-pal relationship during childhood – we exchanged correspondences sharing our world travel experiences.

Nancy invited me (as my male predecessor Nick, that is) to her wedding (1984) – an all-expences-paid trip from Utah to Texas.  Nancy knew of my change through family gossip; imposing my medical history, my confirmation operations, and attending as Sharon was not happening during her wedding.  This was her event – it belonged to her.  I filmed her ceremony, reception, and family events; I produced a video as my gift for her.

Nancy suddenly began sending anti-LGBT brochures to me (1986).  I take some humour that her demand that I not go through with my sex change was backward.  She wrote to me to not change from what I am to what she thought I would be.  In other words, in applying her unknowing perspective, she was telling me to not change from female to male; I can do that.  I accepted her concern and took no offence.  She has not written to me since 1986.

I recently conducted an Internet search, found her, and tried re-establishing our relationship.  Instead she wrote back that she does not know me and told me not to write again.

*

I tried re-cultivating relationships with two other cousins – these on my dad’s side of the family:  Nancy and John.(1976 08) Follansbee (3) - Slim and Boyuks (Ohio River view)

This Nancy and I met only once (August 1976).  She lived at West Virginia with an expansive view of the Ohio River from their front window.  My dad and I were travelling cross-country and returning home from spending our Summer with his family at New Jersey.  Nancy was fun to get to know.  She was a big Elton John fan.  One day, our families gathered at their front yard for some casual picture-taking; she was reluctant.  I took quick candid shots that drew her good-humoured ire.

It was good that I took those pictures.  Years later, Megan (Nancy’s daughter) came upon me  through her ancestry search.  I sent scanned copies of those three pictures that surely charmed both Megan and Nancy.  I did not mention to Megan that I (Sharon) was the male predecessor Nick who Nancy knew those days 30 years earlier.  Megan quit writing to me.  Always my worst fears kicking in, I suspected Nancy figured my situation.

I know little of John; he was also making the same ancestry search with Megan.  He sent an e-mail to me when Megan and I were exchanging our e-mails. I replied to John’s e-mail but did not receive any additional e-mails from him.  I also expected his non-reply was influenced by whatever Nancy may have mentioned to him

I recently tried re-connecting with Nancy, Megan, and John (May 2015).  So far no recent reply from either, though John’s e-mail came back as un-deliverable.  I see that as at least good news; if they respond telling me not to contact them again, then that is the bad news.  I will continue writing without being insistently intrusive.

*

Lisa is one reveal 40 years in the telling.

Lisa and I were school-mates when she was in 10th Grade and I was in 12th Grade (1974). She worked on the school yearbook student staff while I was a contributing student from Photography class.

We met again and developed our friendship (1975).  We maintained a friendly association at varying levels for many years.

The last time Lisa and I met face-to-face was when I conducted business at the school where both she and my dad were teachers (May 1985).  I was tying up loose ends of my male predecessor though I was now Sharon, not my male predecessor’s persona.  Recall when I wrote about presentation and perception; this concept was valid at our last meeting.  Every stitch of clothing that I wore that day was woman’s wear (shirt top, jeans, shoes, etc.); I no longer possessed any male attire.  For Lisa, I styled my hair in a male way and refrained make-up and perfume (though my natural scent was clearly female).  Lisa saw me as male, we interacted with me as male, I used my best male falsetto.  She never knew me with facial hair, or even shadow, so she likely held no suspicions about my absent facial hair at our last meeting.  Her workplace was neither the time nor place for me to discuss my change.

Lisa worked with my dad; she knew him personally.  Lisa and I exchanged periodic notes through my dad as intermediary for years following that May 1985 meeting.

I called Lisa on the telephone a few times to share sympathies during the period of my dad’s death (1989).  I identified myself to her only as Sharon, not as my former male predecessor persona; I substituted Sharon for my former male identification.  That did not seem to confuse her as we exchanged reminiscences of our shared past.  I refrained discussing my change during our consoling telephone calls because that topic was not within the realm of our conversation reminiscing about my dad.

I planned a visit to Lisa as part of my trip to her town to conduct other business (late-1990s).  Meeting with Lisa that day was not to be.  I did visit with her mom.  She knew me well when I was a male.  She was puzzled who I was when we discussed events that she surely recalled occurred between Lisa and her male friend Nick, not this woman Sharon presenting to her that afternoon.  I did not want to impose my change upon Lisa’s mom until I spoke to Lisa.  I left a videotape of a sample of my TV shows as a token of a gift to Lisa.

I have made intermittent efforts to re-connect with Lisa without intruding upon her present life.  Current results remain pending.

*

Clint and I were neighbours, we rode the school bus together, we were 12th Grade class-mates, and we began developing our best friend relationship in 1973.

Clint enlisted in the Navy at the end of school and began his service late-1974.  We maintained our friendship throughout his duties in the Pacific.  The Navy discharged Clint (late-1978); he stayed with me at my home during his immediate post-service time and he prepared to attend college the coming semester beginning January 1979.

Clint and I were sitting on the couch watching TV one evening when he suddenly went into convulsions.  I knew enough how to stay with a person enduring seizures.  He was confused as he revived; I told him what happened.  I nursed Clint through these sudden, growing occurrences of events while he stayed at my home during that month.  He attended to a variety of medical appointments and learned that the Navy made him ill with Agent Orange.

We did many things together as ‘bros’ during our friendship years.  The most exciting was the day we spent sky-diving.  It was something I always wanted to do.  Sky-diving was fun but I suppose that I will likely not do it again.

He picked me as his ‘Best Man’ for his wedding – his wedding happened during that week following my departure from Utah when I stayed at my dad’s home while doing my house-hunting and moving (June 1985).  Unknowingly, Clint’s ‘Best Man’ for the job was a woman presenting her male predecessor one last time – Clint’s wedding was my big send-off to the demise of Nick – only I knew about it.  I felt bad withholding my personal situation from Clint, yet as with cousin Nancy, this wedding was his moment and not mine.

I waited and told Clint a few days after his wedding.  My friend initially took everything with a seemingly positive curiosity but he lacked comprehending basic biology and A&P; I went only as far as he understood.  He took it well initially and for the first few days.  He went to a week of Navy Reserve duty and still seemed accepting when his wife and I went to greet him at the airport.  Within the next week he changed; his acceptance collapsed into eventual violence.  He sicced a gang of his buddies on me – four former college football players.  There but for the grace of a car that started quickly and allowed a fast getaway did I avoid whatever might have befallen me at our apartment parking lot – whether a solid beating or worse.

Anyway, I pondered words to write to Clint in an anniversary card that I sent to him on his 30th anniversary.  I can only hope these past three decades have mellowed his attitude.

*

I have two close friends who live at Tucson; I travel to visit them as frequently as I can.  We have known each other at least 25 years; we became friends while we worked together making TV at the community TV station.  They only know me as Sharon; they never knew my male predecessor Nick or any mention of him.  My dilemma has always been how or when or why I inform them.  What is the point now?  Any need to comment fades through the intervening years as they know me as me Sharon and that should be all we need.  My male predecessor has not existed as part of my presence long before we three met; that ‘before’ presence has been absent from my ‘after’ spirit all these years.

*

‘Marriage Equality’?

So what that the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of ‘Marriage Equality’.

I have been following various news and social message boards throughout this year when they discussed the topic of transsexual / transgender.  The overwhelming sentiment is hatred and vile toward any and every human being who experiences their gender identity dilemma.  The worst are the numerous who openly call upon Americans to ‘hunt and kill’ transsexuals and leave our ‘dismembered bodies’ to ‘rot to the insects’ or be ‘gnarled by the bears in the woods’ (actual quotes of actual posts).  After all, as these commentors posted to their message boards, what normal heterosexual man in his right mind would want to date a M-F transsexual, make love with a M-F transsexual, or dare we say marry a M-F transsexual.  God forbid!  Oh, yeh,  they also inflict their audience with their own messages from God, or at least their god.

The few support for transsexuals is more from the clinical community – medical experts who post facts about human development, biology, and A&P.

My personal experiences fare no better.  I lived 35 years in my own ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ anonymity until I decided I’d rather tell and get this complication resolved up front.

So when someone cheers on ‘Marriage Equality’, I say ‘Never mind’.  My family, my best friends, and my community at large turned against me.  What good is equality when there is no partner to share it?

*

‘Where’s The Rush’

*

Does one really characterise what we M-F transsexual made as a ‘choice’?

If a woman could ‘choose’ to live as a man, then there would be quite a rush on the F-M transgender clinic; M-F would cease. We M-F are not wired with a male identity to live in this man’s world.

(http://press.endocrine.org/doi/full/10.1210/jcem.85.5.6564#)

As is the female identity:

  • One heterosexual female friend told me she attempted such a feat many years ago – present as a male to learn what it is to be male.  She said she was unsuccessful because her identity is female.  She said that while she was able to look masculine she could not present herself as a man.
  • I have an on-again / off-again e-mail pen-pal relationship with a woman who recently told me she dressed as a man and then in a man’s costume for Hallowe’en last year.  She said her disguise was good; other men thought she (‘he’) was a different man in a man’s costume.  But she described how she hated trying to portray that male performance for the Hallowe’en party and was so relieved when she got home and took off her double man’s costume.  That’s the hold of identity.

*

This male-dominated world is paternalistic and misogynistic.

There is no practical reason to ‘choose’ life as female facing these odds – if it was as simple as ‘choosing’.

Why would women ‘choose’ to encounter discrimination at every point in American life?

  • Employers pay women at 60 cents-on-the-Dollar compared to male colleagues (even when women have far more education and / or experience).
  • Men treat women as if we have no education (ignoring our college degree and / or post-grad professional school) or work experience.
  • Prospective employers refer women to apply for their clerical pool regardless of our education and work experience; they accept men to apply for management positions.
  • Strange men poke and pinch women on public transportation; they make wolf-calls and obscene gestures.
  • Men at the auto shop treat women as if we know nothing about cars (though it is not unusual for many M-F to have had auto shop class at high school or worked on cars as a teen during our ‘before’ life).
  • Men deride women when we present learned information to them because that is what men teach each other to do.

Notice the Moslem / Arab world?  Those male societies consider females their chattel to be bought, sold, raped, bound, enslaved, denied an education, abused from birth to death, and subjected to ‘honour killings’ when the men offend each other.  No wimpy Moslem male could endure life as a woman for the slightest moment; my absolute respect to all women who endure knowing nothing else.

Allow my own comparison how ‘professional’ people treat others at work – male versus female.  I went from being a respected male to a disregarded female following my Transition.  It was that old adage of losing 100 points off the IQ scale for changing from male to female.

  • a)  I was employed (as a male during my Transition to female) at a large-sized federal agency’s office (1980s).  I have a college education in business administration, including coursework in personnel management, accounting, and finance.  I accumulated a reasonable number of years personnel management experience when I was appointed to my position as ‘Assistant Personnel Officer’.  My office took me as the personnel and payroll ‘expert’.  My agency managers and co-workers sought my advice for their tasks and questions.  I was well-respected for my ideas as others sought my input.  I keenfully observed how higher-grade women managers acceded to me as a ‘male’ though their prospective contributions exceeded mine.  I was the only male who gave respect and deference to higher-grade and more-experienced female managers; I was the sole ‘male’ who invited and encouraged women participation at my federal office.  Terry, my lower-grade female co-worker, was amazed that I treated her as an equal and gave serious consideration to her when I sought her ideas for work activities   The other males treated women like dirt; it seemed the women hardly perceived it or said nothing because they reallised it was pointless.
  • b)  I was last employed (as a female) at a major agency in state government in a mid-sized state (2000s); my position title was ‘Fiscal Services Specialist’.  I had my college education and then some – now including post-graduate courses.  I brought more than 20 years of additional specialised experience to my position.  I performed an exclusive assignment for state government – I was singularly responsible for accounting the budget of billions of Dollars for state property and business insurance and created and maintained all applicable databases and spreadsheets.  The men at my state employment treated me little better than a low-level clerk.  My immediate managers stole my work as theirs and demanded that I brief them in advance so that they could present my reports solely as their own; they rarely allowed me the opportunity to speak at meetings.  I was the one who was obligated to take time from my tasks to prepare and bring refreshments to all the meetings, serve them, and clean up their mess when our meetings concluded.  Men universally went over my head.  It was common for them to fumble through their tasks, pass the blame to me for problems they created, then leave it to me to take time from my tasks to clean up their business mess.  Only female co-workers accepted my guidance to train or teach them; no male came to me for instruction, not even lower-grade male employees.

Yep, women are expected to ‘know their place’ in this supposedly equal society when it comes to ‘male privilege’ – in these instances, whether employed at federal or state government.

I worked with two women-led civics groups during the 1980s (presenting as a male during my Transition to female); those groups were working to pass the ERA.  Yes, sadly, many of the women in the more well-known international feminist group fell into that category of lack of awareness of ‘male privilege’ despite absorbed by efforts to change the system that perpetuates it.

I challenge every male to ‘walk a mile’ in a woman’s shoes (figuratively and literally) and come from that experience un-changed.

See also:

‘Oblivious to Privilege’

Alternet:  ’10 Words Every Girl Should Learn’

*

And still, at least during the early years of my transition (1970s, 1980s), Society impressed upon me as female the importance of knowing when to shut up when a man told me to shut up.  Sometimes, even nowadays, I acquiesce when a chauvinist tries that on me, sometimes I fight back.  No female should be forced into that decision; no male has a right to impose that obligation upon a female.

I confirmed a curious matter of the differences in generations of feminist awareness in the M-F.

My female-hood is feminist 1960s / 1970s.  A M-F spirit friend of an age similar as mine came to complete her transition to her female-hood now in 2015; she is a feminist of 2010s.  I clearly do recognise that today’s 2010s female feminist mindset is far more advanced than my 1970s female feminist due to her 30 and 40 years later change.  I am happy for you, not jealous or angry or frustrated.  You demonstrate that my generation’s work 20, 30, and 40 years ago bore fruit.  You are as much the fruit of our labours in feminist equality as we are the fruit of your labours allowing us to become public and allowing us to cast off our anonymity and fear.  Do you comprehend this?

We are of the same age but of two separate generations and we have all come to a great meeting of the minds.

*

Let me describe one telephone conversation between my mom and me (1978).  I was telling her about my college accounting class.  She told me that I was wasting my time – that no business was ever going to hire a female accountant.

My mom spoke from the perspective of futility of her generation of women who came to adulthood during the 1950s – 1960s.

My mom was correct for her time and even for some during the 1970s and 1980s.  She was denied employment as an accountant; she was continually being shoved into lowly clerical / bookkeeping work despite her better qualifications.

*

I’ve told many people that, in all honesty, I could have stayed ‘male’ if I could have survived living as ‘male.  I can’t do that, even now – with no need and no necessity for connection to any employment sphere or tie to the economy.  I collect a monthly SSA check as income and pay my utility bills as outgo all through direct deposit.  That has been the bulk of my life since my employer fired me on their charge that my being Transsexual renders me ‘mentally unfit’ to be a State employee (August 2008).  I could live the rest of my life in total isolation – in an environment in which my sex and gender would be irrelevant, and I still could not live as ‘male’, I still can’t present as ‘male’.

Can you comprehend this?   There is nothing holding me to any or either sex or whatever in-between or beyond.  Yet I can’t leave my female-hood behind.  That is the strength of one’s identity.

No pity party for me.  I have been attending classes at the Phoenix Public Library in an effort to develop several ideas into non-profit businesses.  I have been getting busy again and it feels good.  These are more reasons how and why I evolved to take my self public:  ‘You don’t like me?  Make something of it!’ is sort of blossoming my attitude – maybe a little streak of 2010s feminist..

*

No matter 40 years ago or today, it remains a ‘man’s world’.  Even women who have risen to the top of the heap include many who are little more than stooges for the patriarchy.  It’s not entirely them to blame.  They came of their age in the 1950s – 1960s – 1970s.; they were indoctrinated by that male patriarchy.

Hillary Clinton is barely the lesser of two evils in a Democratic versus Republican election.  At least that is not my concern.  I am a Green – been a Green since 1982 – voted Green since 1982.  I can vote Green because my vote will count Green.  Republicans are the automatic vote here at Arizona.  That Democratic-versus-Republican binary is not imposed against me where I reside.

John C. Scott Ulm, one of Arizona’s most famous (nay, infamous) Republican right-wing conservative radio talk show hosts, boasted last election day 2014 that ‘Republicans are so stupid they’ll vote for anything with an ‘R’ after the name, including Daffy Duck.’.  Yeh, he said that – the b*lls!  He is so accurate – you Republi-cons vote exactly as he derided you, you stoopid pawns.

Arizona’s Republican Party leader boasted during the 2010 campaign:

  • ‘Republicans are now the tyranny of the majority!’.

(Refer to my ‘Republicans – Part 2’ for more quotes.)

I sit and wonder where is the common sense among the people here – they do not listen and do not pay attention, they vote by habit for Republicans who insult them.  And they lay blame on others when things go wrong.

*

‘Incognito’

*(1973 04) Self-Picture

Allow me to recall to you that lay people lack recognising the difference between homosexual and transsexual.  Further,  my experience adds that people who knew me well as my male predecessor may not recognise me as I am now as Sharon,  They were likely not thinking sex change – not thinking that Nick is now Sharon.

This first photograph is me at age 16 (April 1973) – a self-portrait deliberately in dark lighting as artistic effect for an 11th Grade ‘Photography’ class project.  For those with a photography application have at it and make it ‘normal’; let’s see what you can do with your computer – post your results.  Or look below.

(1976 08) Follansbee (3) - Slim and Boyuks (Ohio River view)This next picture with Slim and me was taken in 1976 (age 20).  I did not know the term ‘stealth’ in those days, but that was what I had been doing since August 1974 when I began my transition.  Neither my dad (to my left) nor any other relative had the slightest idea what I had been doing for two years as well as the future that I planned, my feminine protesting notwithstanding.

My dad, Slim, and I visited with relatives on his side of his family who reside at Follansbee, West Virginia.  Their home looks Westward to the Ohio River (at the background).  Do you know that view, Mary?

I came upon Cousin Nancy’s daughter Megan by serendipity about 13 years ago as we each concurrently posted requests at a genealogy web-site seeking to locate family.  We (Megan, Nancy, cousin John, and I) exchanged e-mails briefly (a year or so); I sent copies of pictures taken during this visit in the course of our exchange.  Eventually, they all quit replying.

I recently located their current cyber pages; I have posted many notes to their sites asking them to please contact me via my e-mail to resume our communication.  Perhaps they realised who I was / am and decided my persona does not fit their notion.  Nancy, remember this Elton John lyric, ‘She’s harmless and empty of anything bad …’.

*

I knew there were quiet rumblings of gossip at the federal agency office where I worked (December 1978 – October 1980) that had people calling me homosexual (using coarser words, actually).

Virginia, who sat across from me at work (not my later girlfriend Virginia), wasted little time making crude remarks to me and about me at work from nearly the day I started.  I ignored her abuse; as we were the same age, I was willing to consider that she did not know better the difference between homosexual versus transsexual.  She spread her abuse of me with other co-workers at other departments, who spread their abuse of me through still other co-workers.

Lauren was the first person who made me feel welcomed at my new job that I began December 1978 when she asked me to dance with her at my first Christmas party.  I accepted her friendship.  I soon learned that I made a misguided effort to befriend her.  She hurt me when I saw how she joined the gossip and turned against me.

Lydia and Bonnie were among the few who made no gossip about me.

The pervasive environment was quite overwhelming, yet I could hardly go to my supervisor who truly knew something was there about me (recall, I worked in the Personnel Department and she received Social Security Administration’s discrepancy report showing me as Sharon and female while I was employed as Nick and male).

That October 1980 evening when Steve invited me to his home under his impression from work-place gossip and innuendo that purported me as homosexual was no surprise.  Rather, Steve’s mention was my added confirmation to the error of their ways.(1981 xx xx) Work ID Photographs

This picture to the right is what people saw in 1981 (age 25).  ERT was too late to stop that shadow.  Oh well, it would be gone in a few years (see below, again).

The curious epilogue to this can be when I tested my self and my past.

  • I stopt for lunch years later (1985) at the diner downstairs from the apartment where I once resided at that same community.  I was driving my rental truck with my belongings on my move from Utah to Tucson.  The people at that diner had impugned my male predecessor derisively as homosexual throughout the time when I previously resided at my up-stairs apartment.  That day years later I dined there as Sharon; the same people who knew me as Nick, saw me daily for two years as Nick, and ridiculed me as Nick, failed to recognise me as Sharon.  They were not thinking in 1985 of Nick as Sharon – not thinking Nick had a sex change to Sharon.
  • Another true event on that same day was at the nearby gas station.  The same man who ran it when I was a neighbour was still running it in 1985.  I pulled up to get gas.  As I was arranging the truck to align to the gasoline pumps, he came from his office, started yelling at me, and called me crude ‘dumb broad’ kinda insult names.  He saw a young woman (me) driving a rental moving truck.  He and his name-calling offended me; this was where I lacked the ovaries of my spiritual friend – she of her warrior nature would have told him off and got a free drink outta that deal – ha ha ha.  I was pleased to settle with the fact that he had no idea who I was.  As with the diner, he knew me and saw me for two years as I presented to him as my male predecessor Nick.  He had no idea that day in 1985 that I was now Sharon, this woman at his place of business.  Yeh, I could have gone to another gas station, but I went to this specific gas station to deliberately test my appearance to people who knew me as my male predecessor.  He was not thinking Nick had a sex change to Sharon, same as the diner.(1985 08 xx) Pima CC ID - (1988 xx xx) DES ID

This was not without risk.  I certainly was scared at the prospect if either he or the diner figured me out.

*

This picture here to the right was from my Pima Community College student ID (July 1985 – age 29).  This is similar whom both the diner and the gas station operator saw that day that month or so earlier.

Now don’t I appear chipper.  Look, no more shadow!  It’s a wonder what ERT, plucking, and electrolysis did since 1979.  I boldly wore no make-up that day of student ID pictures.(1985 08 xx) Pima CC ID - (1988 xx xx) DES ID

This next photograph was from my Food Stamps ID card (July 1988 – age 32).

My counsellor was correct – long hair with the part in the middle made my long face appear longer.  I later clipt off 14 inches and still had hair shoulder length.

*

As I mentioned in other posts, my federal employing agency fired me for being transsexual (1985). To make ends meet, I worked a variety of temp agency assignments and short-term employment (1985 – 1990) until I obtained a more permanent position.

Allow me to share two work experiences following my completed transition.

  • I was assigned to prepare bookkeeping for a small accounting company (1986). My supervisor escorted me to introduce myself to the other employees.  My heart skipt several beats as my supervisor identified one co-worker who would be arriving later – Elizabeth (she goes by ‘Chavy’).  Chavy and I worked together at the same federal agency when she was a Summer intern (1980). We saw each other daily at work for three months and we developed a friendship outside work hours.  Uh oh!  What if she recognised me and filed a complaint or worse (I was commonly suspecting the worst).  Nope.  She did not recognise me at all – or at least she said nothing to me.  We worked side-by-side for two months and not once did she say or ask anything – not even a whisper.  She saw me only as Sharon.  Of course why would she think I was that other person – Nick – a male.  Can sex change be the first thought in most minds if you think you see someone who looks familiar?  Chavy and I are members of a food co-op; we frequently saw each other at our co-op and she always addressed me as Sharon.  Chavy never mentioned or asked about our prior time together where she knew me where I worked as a male.
  • I house-sat for neighbours who frequently travelled out of town; I also took care of their horses and their two Great Dane dogs during their absence (Slim enjoyed playing with their BIG dogs).  They had a son, Duane; we never met because he is one year older than I and was attending college out of town.  That was during the mid-1970s.  Fast forward to 1986 and another temp assignment – this time creating computerised commissary accounts.  My supervisor was Duane.  Again my heart lost several beats as he came to introduce himself to me.  He did not recognise me – or at least did not say so.  Lucky, too, that his office was distant from where I worked at the commissary store – we barely(1973 02 xx) Kathy-Nick-Slim at Thasos saw each other during the four months or so that I worked my assignment.

*

My appearance is not as the same person when comparing pictures of my ‘before’ male predecessor versus who I am now.

This picture to the right with me holding Slim (and Kathy to my right) was taken at Thasos, a Greek island near where we resided our second year (February 1973 – age 16).

Of course, I have lived nearly all my adult life as female.  I have been on ERT since 1979; I feminised during all these intervening 36 years and then some.  My first endocrinologist was so amazed with my changes during the first years despite offering his gloomy prospects at our early appointments; he remarked that my body transformed to the female body I was meant to have had I been born fully female.(1996 07 23) MVD Licence (USE THIS)

This next picture is from my 1996 MVD drivers licence (age 40).  Not bad for a picture from MVD.  The MVD picture that followed this picture made me appear with no teeth.  AGH!  I refuse to post my current MVD picture, it is THAT bad.

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I am writing that no matter how much or how little occurs or is noticed, people have limited reason to recognise transsexualism as a matter of first course if they see someone who appears familiar.  In a way, people’s human nature looks for other conclusions.

Nor is our presence necessarily homosexual, though we can and do have as much variation in our attraction of a partner as any other human being.  We comprehend that difference.

Allow me to add that in the first two instances, I chose to place myself in those situations to test my appearance change – I was in control.  The subsequent two workplace events also tested my appearance change to people who knew me, but those environments were not at my control.

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With me, my family refused to recognise my feminine protesting other than being insane – as what I posted elsewhere at this web-site including the quotes from Kathy calling me ‘crazy’ (and worse) despite all the continuing years under-going mental health counselling with professionals who verify my actual sanity.(2015 09 28) Passport Photograph

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This final photograph, for my passport, is my present appearance (age 59).  The Passport agency prohibits applicants from smiling in their official picture – so I smirked.  I did not want that stern look, eh.

There were days when I thought that I would never make it alive this far.  I think I am aging well; I earned every grey hair that nicely frames my face.  Apologetically, yes it is all mine with no receding male hairline.

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To quote United States Army Brigadier General Anthony Clement McAuliffe  at Bastogne: ‘NUTS’.

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