I had the day off today and ended up spending some of it watching surgeries being performed right in front of my face at Regions Hospital Level 1 Trauma Center. It was absolutely amazing and doesn't make me doubt the new course of my life in any way, I more than anything want to be a nurse now.
I was flying high and I still had to head over to the University to pick up a few things and after that my dad took me out to lunch, reminiscing about his days at the University and that I was the only one of his four kids that chose to go there even though both my aunts, and my dad went there.
Needless to say, the conversation drifted to my transgendered status. But, not in a blunt way, no.
"You know who looks just like you now! Your nephew, he's the spitting image of how you used to be. He's going to grow up to be a big strong man, I can tell already."
"You know what your brother was saying about you, he said that if you were to lift weights you would have an amazing physique. You have the build to be a body builder!"
They just kept coming, but I was alright with it. At first it really got me down until I realized that my dad had no other firm ground to put his foot down on. He didn't use logic, he didn't use religion, he didn't use biology. No, he used reaffirmation. Once I realized this I realized that he understood two key things about me. The first of these being that it was my life and he was going to be there for me, but that he would still struggle with it the whole way. The second, the biggest one, was that he really had no argument against my transition.
He's seen me since I began, and he's seen how happy I am, how much thinner I have become, and in shape. He's seen me finally follow my dream and go back to college. He's seen me straighten everything about my life out.
A few months ago we were talking about this and he asked me (in a way that was more of a 'think about this, because it's a damned good point' comment than a question), "What if you get done with this and you are unhappy about it? What if you have the surgery and live the life and this isn't what you wanted?"
I responded without having to think about it, "So be it. If that is the way of things than I have at least found some months or years of peace in the interim. If I don't do this you won't have me in this world for much longer. And, if I do this and it makes me unhappy than we can look back and see the good there was before the end."
I think that scared him, and he really truly thought about the suffering I've done, and I'm done with that. It's time to get on with life, to move forward.
I was chatting online with a new friend that I had met at the University of Minnesota and they asked me, "So...why do you go by when you are in the GLBT center at the U of M and with us, but online you go by Kelly?"
Hmm, good question. I had to think about that before I responded.
I thought on it a moment and than said this, for the most part:
"Well, online I am me, I am Kelly. There is no face, there is no body. I am just who I am already inside and as such I don't need to be here."
"The name Kelly is a sacred thing to me. Not because of the name itself but because of what it stands for to me. I have an idea of who I am as Kelly and I don't live up to that yet, physically. It's a very important thing that I do not use this name until I am ready."
"It would be like calling a knock off Rolex a real Rolex, it cheapens the experience and what the real thing stands for."
So, that was my answer. I guess it wasn't something eloquent, it was just raw and from the hip. But, I guess it does really sum up how I feel about the two different worlds I inhabit now...the real world and my own little world online.
One day the two will merge together. But, for now I just need to be two people...
I have my sixth laser hair removal session today. I thought it would be my last before electrolysis but Roseanne seems to think I would still benefit greatly from laser as I am apparently her best client. After six sessions I am probably 90% clear on my entire face, save my upper lip which is about 50%.
So, I sit down in the chair, as usual but this time we chatted away for about twenty minutes before my session. She really took a liking to me this time and treated me in a very feminine way. I also have to admit, hormones are doing AMAZING things for me. I am even starting to see feminine features and I sometimes surprise myself when I catch myself in the mirror unaware.
But, I digress. So, she started up the machine and I know Roseanne too well now and how she works...
"Roseanne, did you turn up the setting in any way?"
Of course, she replies, "Oh, it's so beautiful out, but I am wondering if it's going to rain like it has been the other days."
No answer...ok, I'll play the game.
I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!
After she finished the excruciatingly painful upper lip I asked her, "OK, now that that's done...what did you change it to?"
She sheepishly, and finally, admits, "I didn't turn up the power, I just increased the burst time to 15ms."
"Ouch! Thank you! It was 40/10 last time wasn't it? Now it's like 50% higher?"
OK, so we move right along. After about another 20 minutes my entire face is done. As usual my hands are completely bright red from squeezing the stress balls to death.
"So, what do we do next time?", I ask.
"The face, still?", she asks...but could have just as easily have said, "Duh."
"No, no...I mean are we going to do laser or electro?"
You know the rest of that conversation.
So, I finish with my appointment and go back down to the lobby. It's Saturday so I seem to only share the 20 story building with Roseanne and the grumpy security guard that doesn't hassle me anymore at the front desk. When I get out of the elevator there is a giant floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall mirror. I look around, nobody...awesome! So, I spent a few minutes looking at myself, how I walk, how I stand, are my shoulders too big? Will my hair stay this wavey and cool? Blah, blah, blah. I leave feeling so much better about myself...less facial hair seems to do that to me.
My cellphone starts vibrating in my pocket and it's my ex-wife. Oooh, shoe shopping! OK, I am already on the Light Rail so I meet her about half way down the line and she parks her car and we jump back on to the Mall of America. I wasn't buying any shoes, but she needed a pair for interviewing and some crazy urge in me wants to shop.
We spent over an hour picking out one pair of shoes, an hour! I didn't even notice the time. That's more time than I've spent on all my guy shoes combined! But, we found her a really nice pair of shoes, very subtle, black, but also casul-ish.
She started talking about how she noticed everybody looking at us and she said, "I wonder if they think we're lesbians or if they think you're a guy or what." Wow, I've never heard her bluntly come out and say I was looking more feminine, but there it really was.
"How can you live with all the staring that goes on? It got hard for me just after a few hours..."
"I can't. I'm very low-key and you know that, I don't like attention and I don't like compliments that draw attention to me. It's one of the hardest things for me right now and it scares me to know what they are thinking."
It gets really quiet in the car for a little bit and than she says, "I don't know if you are going to be able to live up to your timeline that you had. Your doing so good on the hormones and the weight loss and everything...and the breasts."
I was incredibly happy just then, but scared to death. I started to cry but she didn't notice at first, it was just the sort of tears that well up and slide off your eyelid. But, she noticed shortly after.
"Oh, I'm sorry, what's wrong?"
I told her how it scares me to have to make that jump some time to being just Kelly. Not being something stuck in the middle. I wasn't scared about BEING Kelly, I was scared about getting there and how people would treat me. When I finally come out to the world, that's what really makes me scared. I really needed to share that with someone, and she understood perfectly. She knows me as well as I know her, and together nobody knows us both more than each other.
She's no longer the love of my life, but she is a love of my life. She's my best friend, and the person I trust more than anybody else to help me through this. She's also the only bridge I never burned with an ex-girlfriend.
Thank you Megan.
I registered for classes yesterday and when I walked down the Coffman Mall Area there were no less than 30-40 gay pride flags wrapped around trees or hanging from poles, fluttering in the wind. That sight alone was enough to make me gasp in awe. But, the real kicker were the hundreds of students just going about their regular school day without a care in the world. They didn't mind. Nobody tried to tear them down, and nobody spat on the flags or purposely avoided walking by one.
That gave me courage to go in to the GLBT Center in Coffman Union today.
"Hi, what can we help you with today?"
"Yes, I am a new student here...attending as a CCE student half time and I thought I would stop in and see what's what."
"Are you a supporter of the GLBT community or are you a member?"
"I'm a member. I'm transgendered."
"Ohh! That's amazing, because we were just talking about the need for more members in our transgendered group! Hi, I'm Gina. I'm a trans-ally. Come in, have a seat and chat."
So I did. Me and Gina talked for about an hour and than it happened. Daniel walked in to the room and I was able to talk with my first other transgedered person ever, face to face! I sat down around 11:30 A.M. and I left at about 3:00 P.M.
It was so amazing to have the chance to talk with another transgendered person face to face because we were actually able to have little debates in our conversations about symantics and about feelings, etc. It was really, really wonderful and I will never forget it. We showed each other our old pictures on Driver's Licenses and such. I must say, Daniel really did look girlie before they transitioned and now I would have a tough time discerning that they were FTM.
I was happy to find that the same issues and questions and doubts that plague me are not just local to me but that at least one other person has them too. I am not happy that they have to deal with them so much as that I know someone else out there is basically a comrade in arms in the gender fight.
I'm very happy I stepped inside that room and hope I can do it again sometime soon. My schedule is very tight right now but I will do everything I can to get back there...it felt safe. And, nobody judged me for what I am...how cool is that!
Well, my family was up to their usual Par for course today...
My sister was particularly impressive, she would back me up and support me with little words and gestures and then on the ride home she told me I should start lifting weights, etc.
"Oh, you have grandpa's frame...you are built so much like a weightlifter you really should lift weights!"
Well, this pretty much shattered me until I was able to come in to work on Monday and talk to Luci. Luci is one of those friends that is really truly a friend and will brush you off if she has a reason to but will actually tell you why she brushed you off. She's very truthful about things and that's what I like about her, no holds bar and very blunt.
"So, Luci...do I have a big frame? Do you think I would make a good weightlifter?", I asked her without giving any background into the question.
She knows about my transgendered situation and replied, "What are you talking about?! You are skinny and really not that muscular."
Than I descirbed what my sister said to me...
"Are you serious? What a bitch. No, you don't have a very big frame at all and because you are six feet tall you look even skinnier proportionally. You are going to look great when you are finished. Nobody will be able to tell a thing."
Well, that really, truly made me feel better.
On top of that I had an online conversation with a friend, Hayley. She is, on the whole, way too right about everything and way to logical! She helped set me straight and also helped me to let go of some of the fears that have been building up inside of me. It's hard to do this day in and day out without having these fears of the future creeping up on you constantly, it really is.
Thanks to both of these girls for all their amazing help and for being there. I hope I can be there for them when and if they need it.
I was coming back from lunch (I went to buy some color markers to doodle with, lol) and ran into a coworker of mine from an old department I hadn't worked in for about 4-5 months. He was sitting near the employee door talking on his cell phone.
He looked over at me, dropped his jaw, and told the person on the other end of the line he had to go.
"Wow...just...wow. You... (Boy's Name)?"
"You've changed so much...let me see your ID badge!"
So, I proceed to show the security guard my badge as I walk in the building, my coworker still following. We pass security and I hand him my badge. (As a side note I am still waiting for security to finally complete that shadow of doubt they have about me and stop me from getting in.!) He looks at it intently and than looks at me, back to the badge, than to me.
"You look fifteen years younger..."
"Yeah, I get that alot now, lol."
"No, seriously... It's like..your nose, your chin...your cheekbones... I don't know."
I didn't exactly want to get started on that topic so I threw a bone...
"Yeah, it must be that 95 lbs. I've lost since I last saw you."
"What! Wow, that's incredible. Yeah, it does wonders for you! I lost 30 lbs. myself, can't you tell?"
I am such a liar...
"Yeah, I noticed right away, you just seemed to be in such a shock I thought I would wait until you came down a little before bringing it up, lol."
Roughly at this point the elevator gets to floor 11 and he gets off with a hearty goodbye. I ride the elevator up to floor 12 and go back to work...what a weird, interesting, funny conversation!
If I look fifteen years younger than I look eleven? Lol, I think he was trying to say I looked about 36 or 37 before...which I grudgingly would agree to... So, that would mean I look closer to the realm of 22 to 23 now, which is what I have been getting more and more. It made me all glowey all day today for some reason. Probably because I know this particular coworker doesn't lie, or inflate things...they just tend to come out of his mouth as honestly as he thinks them.
Not a bad day at all!
I spent hours upon hours today at work with a tweezers and hand held mirror. What, might you ask, did I do with these two items?
Well, I went over my face over and over again...gently grabbing each individual hair on my face to see if Laser Hair Removal from my last appointment had sufficiently loosened any hairs. Turns out it had.
I was bumming about my upper lip for a long time, it just didn't want to give up those darned hairs. Well, where there used to be 200 or so hairs there are now about 20! I am thrilled, my five o'clock shadow on my upper lip is nearly non-existent now!
I really couldn't do a whole lot on the underside of my chin and my cheeks because of the odd angle trying to hold a mirror and tweeze at the same time, but I was able to get a number of them there too...I think those areas need a few more days.
Anyways, I feel so much better for each hair that falls out and never comes back! It really feels good, plus I am so absolutely horrid at shaving that I have even once cut the crap outta my ear while shaving my face...
The other morning I blew out my tire and bent my rim horribly on my bike and had to walk three miles to have the rim replaced and the tube repaired. Now that my bike is back in service so am I! I was absolutely astonished today! I usually consider my bike ride a great ride if I get 13.2 mph average over the entire ride, but today I got 14.33 mph!!! It was incredible, and I am not exactly sure at which point I picked up the slack, but that can only be good for my fitness and weight loss!
Besides actually having to work today it was a great day!
My phone rings, it's my sister...
"If someone had information that would lead you to your mom, would you want it?"
I say yes before I can even think about it, I'm already in shock.
My sister goes on to tell me that she has been searching for my mother for me (we are not biologically related, nor am I adopted...read back six months if you want to know all about that) and has finally found her.
"She's in Maryland, it looks like she's been remarried too. She has a different last name, but the social matches, so does the birthdate."
She gives me the number...
I tell her I have to go back to work, and instead I go into the conference room and cry. What do I do? I've been looking for my mom for fourteen years, and to all of a sudden find her, just like that.
To have a real mom...what's that like? Will she accept me for a girl, let alone a boy?!
I don't know what to do, I'm scared...
I am so hung up on looks...not because I need to look drop-dead gorgeous. No, I just want to look cute, not boyish cute, but girlish cute. I want to look like someone you would date if you had better manners, or if you volunteer at the Children's Hospital on your weekends. I know it's hard to define what that means, since there are so many different types of people...but I know there's a specific type of person attracted to each specific type of other person.
I want that cute girl look...
I posted my picture on one of my gender forums I usually read through and the response I got was, "That's a cute boy picture."
Granted I am only 13 weeks into hormones (I love these damned things!) I was hoping that I would have an inately more feminine face.
Now, maybe I am being hard on myself because most of my friends tell me I have very delicate features. I am tall, but pretty skinny looking for my six foot height. I just know I have to look really good to not stick out at this height.
Luci, one of my (brutally) honest friends from work was talking with me and I brought up this situation and she said, "You have very delicate features for a guy...very delicate. I don't think you are going to have any problems at all."
But why do my pictures always look boyish?!?! I don't get how I can see more feminine featuers in my face when I am looking in the mirror, but photographs just ruin the entire illusion for me.
At very least I think I will be having my jaw re-worked along with my chin. I really think that is the biggest area that could improve my passability 250%. A few people tell me I don't need it, but I want it.
[03:52:35 PM] (My Boy Name): You're welcome. May I help you with anything else today?
[03:52:39 PM] (Woman Customer's Name): Theres nothing else
[03:52:46 PM] (Woman Customer's Name): No mam
I just got ma'amed ONLINE! Do I really talk like a girl? I mean, my name isn't a girl name...it SOUNDS like a girl's name, but it's spelled differently and in a boy's spelling so it is hard to misintepret if I am a girl or a guy by the name, and the fact that they have a generic male picture of me (presumably with a nauseatingly bright smile). But, there it is..."No mam".
That just blows me away...in the face of ALL that information stating I was male she still saw me as a woman.
Do I REALLY talk like a girl?