Monday, April 9, 2018

Silly Work Outfit

Top - ?? - Similar @Amazon
Undershirt - Vetemin - @Amazon
Jeans - Levi Denizen - Modern Boot Cut - @Target
Shoes -  New Balance - Similar @Amazon
Beanie - FHeaven - Similar @Amazon
Belt -?? - Similar @Amazon

Well, I suppose it is time to come clean if I am going to be able to accurately describe the context of this outfit.  And besides, I don't really think it is going to affect my life one way or the other for the blog-o-sphere to know how I am employed.  So.... ready for it?  Here goes nothing - - I am a middle school math teacher! 

Crazy huh?  Well I think I am to have been working with this age group for over 20 years!  Yikes, am I really that old?  Why yes indeed I am! 

Okie dokie, so now that is officially out of the way, this past week we had spirit week for our upcoming standardized tests.  On Friday it happened to be "meme day."  I kept asking everyone, what exactly are you going to do for meme day and they kept explaining to me what a meme is.  Uh, sorry kiddos, I understand what a meme is, what I don't understand is how is someone supposed to dress as a meme??  Whatever, right? 

My wife and I each have a shirt with a funny little saying on it, so we decided to wear those for our meme spirit day.  My wife's shirt is a pig eating bacon, thinking to itself, "yummm."  Funny huh?  And you can obviously see what mine says.  If you don't know the meaning behind this saying, it is going against conforming to the norm.  I always think of it as the students are the penguins!  Ha! 

The day that I wore this outfit, it was about an hour or two into my work day when it occurred to me that I was dressed fully in female clothes!  Funny as it was the first time ever.  I normally wear pretty much exactly what is pictured, except for wearing a male work Polo shirt instead of the silly penguin shirt.  I thought it was also pretty darn interesting as I normally don't wear such a tight shirt to work.  You know, with the boobs and all, tight shirts are interesting!  Oh, but I was too lazy to shave on this morning, so I had a bit of a goatee! 

You may be wondering how exactly things go with dressing the way that I dress while teaching 7th and 8th grade students.  You know that lovely age from about 12 - 14!!  Ha!  Lovely!  That is funny!  Well I will let you know, if you don't already, typically middle school students are so super self conscious of themselves that they can barely focus on anything else.  Sometimes it is about half way through the school year before a student will loudly exclaim "wait, what, you paint your fingernails?!"  And then the whole class laughs, not at me, but at their fellow student! 

I once had a student directly ask why I dress the way that I do, and I told them that I do it to show them that it is okay to be different.  Many teachers tell them it is okay to be different, all while looking exactly the same as a typical teacher.  I tell them that even though at first I was terrified of being myself in front of them, that I do it because I am learning how to love myself for who I really am. 

Generally speaking after that conversation with my classes, they clap.  Yup, that is how awful the little buggers are!  Ha!  Seriously the students are awesome.  And yeah, I do work at a pretty rough school.  New teachers have been known to run scared from this place!  But as well, this is not the only school that I have worked at that I have been dressed in a mixed gender manner.  I think this is the 4th school.  And at no time have I received any negative feedback from my students.  They have questions for sure, but they accept my answers. 

So, um, yeah, there ya go!

Love you!

Love yourselves!

Seriously, give it a whirl!  Who knows, maybe you'll like it and start treating yourself better!


Friday, April 6, 2018

A Human Narrative

What do you picture when you hear the phrase "gang member?"  How about the phrase "founding member of a gang?"  How about hearing someone explain to you, in person, standing not five feet away, that they have indeed taken the lives of human beings in the commission of crimes?  And yes it was left open as to the exact number.  I got the feeling that possibly not even he knew the exact count. 

So?  How about it?  Thoughts on who this human being is?  A pleasant one?  One that makes you think, hey you know what, this is the perfect person to come out to and explain that yeah, I am transgender.  

Whatcha think?  Sound like a good idea?  Does that sound like someone that you would picture as being tolerant?  What about warm and touching?  Well, without much fanfare, I will let you know that was exactly the conversation I had a while back.  I'm not so sure of when exactly it was, except it wasn't super recent.  Maybe a few months ago.  Maybe. 

I do know that back in February I did mention to you that I have been having some odd conversations as of late.  This particular one came about through the fact that I want people to know someone who is transgender.  I read somewhere that something like 80% of the American population does not personally know someone who is transgender.  That is a crime.  Those of us who are transgender seriously need to stop hiding.  It is easy to discriminate against a group of people that you personally have no connection to.  I want the people in my life to have a connection to the transgender world.  It is a small but vital thing those of us who are transgender can do to help out the entire world.  We need to put a face to this whole transgender thing.  We need cisgender people to feel some sort of personal connection to a word.

Moving on.....  So yeah, this guy I chose to speak to that day was pretty high on the list of people I assumed I would never speak to about transgender issues, let alone my own personal ones!  Eeek!  And the things I had heard about him certainly did not help me to feel comfortable about him either.  How about when one of my supervisors told me that we had one of the top three founding gang members working for us?  Yeah!  Not the first person you would chose to have the whole TG talk with right? 

Funny, as because in reality, yes he is all of those things, a gang member, an original founding member of the top gang in our area, a murderer, and a felon.  Yet he is also, a husband, a father, a son, a brother, an artist, a hard worker, and one hell of a nice human being.  But if you can't get past the lack of formal education, the time he has spent in prison, the actions he has taken, the obvious gang tattoos covering most of his body, you'd never get the opportunity to learn who this human being is.  

Isn't it more than a bit ironic that is what most of us who are transgender are actually looking for?  For people to see who were are on the inside and stop judging us by our outside shells?  Hmmm..... Yeah.  

Of course I had the conversation with him.  We see each other almost every day at work.  Not for long, but for long enough for us to have a few moments to converse.  One day, kind of out of the blue in my recollection, I told him that I am transgender and that I am taking estrogen. 

He had super thoughtful comments.  One of them was explaining to me how he had a friend in prison who transitioned while in prison.  I was floored by that and asked how in the world a person gets those types of meds in prison.  He explained that you can get almost anything you want while in prison if you are able to pay for it.  I explained that I thought it was sad that this TG human had to exist as a female in a male prison.  Damn. 

He also shocked me when he confided that one of his cousins is transgender.  It turns out that he is super sad because his cousin disappeared for a long time and nobody knew why.  Eventually he got a hold of his cousin and that was when his cousin explained that he was transgender and was transitioning.  He told his cousin that he better come by and begin reconnecting with everybody.  The cousin came over, and everybody was super supportive of her.  Did I explain, besides the whole gang member thing, that we are talking about one of those huge, extended, Hispanic, Catholic families?  Well yeah, there's that as well!  

It was again just one incident in what is becoming a vast number of them that made me shake my head at myself for ever being so foolish to think that I can't be honest with my fellow human beings.  One of the huge things for me was another conversation with this gentleman where he explained how freaked out he was about people finding out about him, his past, and who he once was -- I swear I thought he was going to explain he was transgender!!  If you know transgender humans, that is like our narrative!

Or so I thought.  Apparently, it is not a transgender narrative, it is a human narrative.  We as humans are typically so in need of human contact, and so fearful of being shunned by the herd, that we are terrified to tell anybody who we really are.  It's a sad existence.  I know not everybody suffers this way, but a vast number of us do for sure!  And this coworker of mine, he has apparently been terrified of people finding out that he was a gang member, and had been to prison.  He was afraid that if anybody knew the truth they wouldn't want to have anything to do with him.

Regardless of his past, of who he used to be, he is trying to be someone different.  He has made a vow to his wife, that with his first two kids he spent too much time in prison and missed much of their lives.  So when she had two more children about ten years back, he said he was done, and would never go back to prison again.  And he did it the right way.  He cleaned up his act.  He was able to barely find employment, but he did it, and he has kept his word.  Eventually a judge ordered his record be expunged and he was eventually able to find decent employment, which is how he and I eventually were able to have this seemingly odd meet up and conversation.  

In reality that conversation was exactly the one that needed to be had for we were two people who were both suffering in the exact same way.  It was such a mind blowing moment for me to realize that two humans who have had such vastly different paths in life were able to share the exact same insecurities.  

Shocking.  Seriously.  Shocking.  Well, for me at least. 

It was yet another incident that is slowly but completely changing my opinion of just who exactly my fellow human beings are.  

Love you!

Love yourselves!

Only then can you love each other!

Oh and by the way - the art pictured at the top of the post was a gift to my wife and I from the gentleman I had this conversation with.

Photo Credits:

Monday, March 26, 2018

My Outfit - White Sweater

Sweater - White House Black Market - Similar @ Amazon (at least it looks soft and fluffy!)
Scarf - No Idea - Similar @ Amazon or Similar @ Amazon
Jeans - 7 For All Mankind - Similar @ 7 For All Mankind - Similar @ Amazon
Booties - Madden Girl (Farrley) - @ Famous Footwear @ Amazon 

This is such a plain sweater but it does actually have a very small embellishment on it.  You can't see it in any of the pictures that I took, so you'll just have to take my word on it.  It has a small black bow on the upper right shoulder.  It's at least a little somethin-somethin to make it look a bit different than most.

Oh, and it is super soft!  I am super into texture, if I haven't mentioned that to y'all yet I will take this opportunity to toss that out there.  I think my affinity for texture comes from color blindness, blue-green, and my love of black and white.  So, yeah, textures can seal the deal, or kill it off entirely.

Alright, thrilling, I know!  The thing about this sweater though, as with many sweaters, it is a bit bulky and boxy.  Thus when I put it on for this outfit, I knew that I hand to find the right way to belt it.  But none of my many regular belts worked.  Which is exactly why I keep my hanger with my scarfs right next to my belts.  Sometimes, they work so perfectly, like this black and white polka-dot one.  I love the way that it pops when combined with this sweater.

Getting opportunities to get out used to be such a special occasion for me that I could remember each one as an individual piece of joy and happiness.  Funny, as now that dressing in my preferred manner is pretty much a daily occurrence, each particular day is not so special, it is just ordinary and common.  In one way the magic has seemingly faded, but in reality it has simply spread to my entire existence, which is actually way more cool.  Hmm.... is that just a fancy way of saying, I have no idea what I was doing when I wore this outfit??  Hmmm.... Maybe!!!

Okie dokie!  Love you!

Love yourselves!

Love scarfs as fabulous accessories!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Hiya Dermatologist, Yup They're Boobs

That morning I had to giggle as I was getting ready.  I was taking a half day at work so that I could visit the dermatologist.  What had me giggling was thinking back to a day, oh so long ago, that I was worried about wearing women's underwear to the doctor's office.  I mean, what if they found out?  What if they were to somehow find out that I was wearing women's underwear!  Oh the horror, the horror!!  At one point in my life I actually felt that way, and yet on this day, I had to laugh.  Pretty much everything I chose to wear was purchased in the women's department.

Oh and let's not forget that I am growing breasts.  Yeah, that is kind of a difficult thing to hide when one is going to the dermatologist for a full-body mole check!  Ha! Err, there is also the little thing of my dermatologist having updated information about which medications I am taking, which happens automatically!  So, uh, yeah, there's that.

Okay then..... onward!

I made it to the dermatologist that afternoon and after being led into the room, and being asked to disrobe for the doctor, I found myself pondering what sort of lovely paper garment the nurse had set out for me.  Would she give me the standard paper blanket, or now that I am obviously showing my transgender status, will I have been promoted to the breast covering, backwards opening, lovely paper robe?

Alas, I received the paper blanket.  I briefly pondered wrapping myself up in the blanket and then thought, no, that would be a bit too over the top.  Besides, I really don't have a problem with nudity, even with my newly forming friends.  Though I did sit there, with my boobs out, getting a bit irritated at the growing thought that they surely would not have a cisgender woman sitting there with her breasts out.  I've spoken to my wife about these things and she has assured me that this sort of thing has never happened to her.

The doctor came in and we chatted for a bit about the little things in life.  She performed her exam and I asked her about a spot on my breast.  It was a red spot that appeared to be a bit like an ingrown hair.  It was something that I spoke to her about a couple of years prior and she kind of dismissed it.  Well, now that I happen to posses an actual thinking brain, I was determined to stand up for myself and not allow her to blow me off.  I calmly, but insistently, explained my concern for this spot.

Okay, brief interlude - if you do not already know, back about 20 years ago, I was diagnosed with a level 2 melanoma on my right breast.  I had plastic surgery to remove it and to make sure my nipples stayed aligned, ha!  Thanks Kaiser!  I did everything I was supposed to do, and have continued since as well.  I have had more moles removed than I can count, and most of the scars have faded away, and thankfully, I have never had any signs of cancer since.

All that to say, yeah, no, the spot on my left breast was not of the cancerous, scary kind, it was of the hey this stupid red spot is really annoying and bugging me, can't we please do something about it kind.  Which the dermatologist heard and quickly said, "okay then, let's do a small punch and remove it."  Which, if you don't know, is where she uses a device to cut a small circle in and down a bit.

She explained the procedure to me and why she thought it was appropriate.  I immediately asked her about scarring.  She sort of blew me off and said, "oh well it won't be anywhere near as bad as that scar."  I know that she had no idea of how badly she made me just feel as she motioned to the scar above my right breast.  The scar from the cancer removal, the scar that I will have to live with for the rest of my life, directly above my right nipple.  Thanks doc!

With my mind spinning while contemplating this, I calmly said to her, "I want you to know that I am transgender.  As well, I have been taking estrogen since last July.  I am telling you this, as I want you to know that this area,"  I motioned to my breasts, "is very important to me."

It is in these types of moments that show the really important difference in me since starting to take estrogen.  In the past I never seemed to be able to articulate myself well in times of stress.  I would always sort of short circuit and unfortunately often all I would feel was a rising sense of frustration and anger.  Now though, it is as if the world has slowed and I have all the time in the world to calmly, rationally, converse with clarity.  Ha! That's funny, me with clarity!  I know that to many it often does not come off that way, but trust me the shit that is rattling around up in that noggin of mine is far more clear than it ever has been!

Anywho..... After giving my doctor the "official transgender speech,"  I watched as she slowed down and began absentmindedly repeating her previous examination of the area she was contemplating cutting into.  Then it all clicked for her.  She wasn't talking to a man about his manly chest, and his manly scars, she was talking to a woman about her breasts.  Not just that, but talking with a woman, about cutting into her newly forming breasts and leaving her with stitches and a potential for a scar.

It was then that her entire demeanor changed.  She took many more looks at the area she was examining.  She looked at it from more angles.  And she told me that she was sure that I would be happier with the outcome than I was in trying to live with it.  Now that I knew she understood the gravity of the situation for me, and she reassured me that the scar would be very minimal, and look far better than the slow growing red blemish did now, I agreed to do the it. 

She began taking things out and prepping for the procedure.  I knew exactly what she was going to do.  I have already had it done numerous times to remove those pesky little moles I mentioned earlier.  She was pulling things out and seemed to be checking a mental list of needed items.  I didn't want to disturb her while she trying to get ready, but I knew I had to speak to her about the stupid little blanket they gave to me.

As she wrote a few notes down, I tried to come up with exactly when and what I should say, but she beat me to it and asked "Being as you are transgender, is there anything that we could be doing to make you more comfortable?"

I like my dermatologist.  She's a keeper!  I asked her if it was standard policy to give everyone the little paper blanket.  And she said yes.  Which kind of surprised me actually.  I was really thinking they had a shelf with folded up paper clothing items and one was labeled MALE and the other FEMALE.  Okay, so maybe not, but I still kind of assumed that they would give a robe version to women.

Apparently not!  My dermatologist explained that was the standard item given, but that anybody could request a robe if they prefer that.  She went on to say that there are many women who will only disrobe down to their underwear and bra, but that makes it a bit difficult to do a proper full body check.  Furthermore she explained that there are some men who refuse to undress, and will sit in the family member chair, fully clothed.  She then asked if there was something that I would prefer.  I explained that no, I am quite comfortable with my body, I would simply like to be offered the same thing as any other human.  Ultimately, both she and I think of humans as just that, humans.

She did understand though that I am a human who cares about the overall appearance of her breasts!  Taking that into consideration she deftly performed the procedure, removing the offender, and neatly places two tiny stitches into the incision.  She then said, "let's see what's in there....... yup, it's what I suspected, a sebaceous cyst."

This was the second removal of this nature, though the previous one was on my back, which my wife used to loving refer to as my volcano.  Lovely, huh?  Oh boy, the joys of being human!  These are things we don't really mention to kids.  Who wants to know this stuff???  Not I!

So.... there ya go!  I told her I am transgender, she understood the gravity of the situation, asked if she could be doing better, removed a cyst, and now it's healing.  Badda bing, badda boom, there ya go!  And I used to be afraid about wearing women's underwear!  Ha!  Silly little human!

Love you!

Love yourself!

Love dermatologists!

Photo credits:

Monday, March 12, 2018

Reader Question - Gender Identity

Recently I received the following comment:

Im going thru gender identity and i fill very feminine all the time and im confused about my sexual orientation and i love to crossdress and im bisexual im going to meet with a therapist next week and part of me wants to get away from the feminine sissy side and part of me wants to become a she and get put on hormones and start to transition and become mtf but i got kids to think about and plus my wife said if i do she will leave me and divorce me and at one time she use to support me and buy me panties and bra's and cami's and nighties and eyeliners and do my eyebrows but not no more she says im gay if i want to dress girly and im not gay i think never been all the way with a guy but i do know i love to dress feminine and be girly advice please

Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out and write to me about your concerns.  I hope that I can help you out a bit.  Please understand that the following is solely my own opinion based upon my own experiences.  Okie dokie!!!  Lets see here:

1 - There is a difference between gender and sexual orientation.  Your interest in expressing something outside of the norms for your gender assigned at birth has nothing to do with who you are attracted to.  Honestly to me it sounds as though you are indeed bisexual, in that you enjoy being with a male or a female.  And that's fine.  In some ways I am jealous of your position, I mean you are in a position to be able to evaluate if you are interested in anyone you see, me though, I have half the population off the board right from the start!  Ha!

2 - I am not, nor have I ever been, interested in the 'sissy' side of cross gender expression.  I do however have some speculations about it.  In ways your comment reminded me of myself back in my teenage years.  Testosterone, and it's resulting sex drive hit me hard as a teen.  Thus I found a good 'safe' way to express my interest in cross gender expression; if I brought it up during sex, then it was only a mere sexual fetish.  This was acceptable to me.  I couldn't actually bring myself to say that I wanted to dress this way all of the time.  Not in a sexualized manner, but in a more typically feminine way.  This is what I think happens with many men who have a gender variance.  It can only come out during sex, because then its not an identity issue, it is just a fetish.

3 - Nobody is going to 'put' you on hormones.  Some may recommend it.  Someone will have to prescribe it.  But it will only be you who decides to actually do it.

4 - Kids are resilient.  Far more so than many of their parents are willing to see.  They are actually pretty simple.  Do you love them?  Do you give them the gift that no one else can, the gift of your time?  For that is what kids want.  They want time with the most special person in the world to them, you.  Not female you, or male you, just you, whoever you are, for you are their world.  You are their reason for being.  Without you there would be no them.  If you give them you, whoever you truly are, it is my belief that they will still always love you.

5 - Wives are not always so resilient, though they all certainly have the capacity to be so.  It is far more dependent upon you though.  Kids have an awe for their parents that is hard to kill, it is pretty much born into them, but for spouses, it has to be earned.  It is my belief that this is done through open minded, honest, consistent, committed communication.  It is far easier said than done.  But it is the path to relationship happiness.  At least for me, that is the only thing that I can think of that has brought both my wife and I to the point that we are at.

6 - The best possible thing you could be doing is going to see a therapist experienced in gender identity.  You truly do have my sympathy.  It sounds as though a whole lot of things are coming to light at this point in your life.  An experienced therapist, that you work well with, combined with a desire to work on yourself, can be a very rewarding experience.

Okay.  I think that is about all that I can offer up to you.  Seriously though, that therapist thing is ultimately where your best chance at a happy resolution is at.

Monday, March 5, 2018

My Outfit - Actual Daily Wear

T-Shirt - No Idea - Similar @ Amazon
Long Sleeve - Mossimo: Tissue Tee - Similar @ Amazon
Jeans - Levi: Denizen - @ Target
Beanie -   - @ Amazon

This was the outfit I wore two days ago when I visited the dermatologist.  It is the result of going to work, taking off my work Polo shirt, and putting on one of my favorite tee-shirts instead.  Oh and yeah, I did enhance my bust as well.  Everything else is what I wore to work on that day.  Point being - while I don't always dress all fancy, pretty much each and every day I am dressed in female clothes.  Yes, even while I work.  And no, I don't work by myself.

I find it to be rather funny as I often tell people, please gender me according to how I am presenting.  So, those are the clothes I was wearing.  Now, here is a close-up of my face:

Why don't you try and tell me which gender am I presenting as?  Hmmmmm..... isn't that a damn good question?  Yeah, I think so.  Do you refer to me as male because of my facial hair, and some physical features, or do you refer to me as female, because of the clothes, the boobs, oh and yeah, the estrogen?  It really is too bad that we don't have universally used and understood pronouns that are genderless.

How about this:

The English language has gender-specific personal pronouns in the third-person singular. The masculine pronoun is he (with derived forms himhis and himself); the feminine is she (with derived forms herhers and herself); the neuter is it (with derived forms its and itself). The third-person plural they and its inflected and derived forms (themtheirthemselves, etc.) are gender-neutral and also used to refer singular, personal antecedents (e.g. "Where a recipient of an allowance under section 4 absents themself from Canada, payment of the allowance shall ..."[10])

Unsure how to refer to me?  I'll accept, he, she, or they, but if you call me it that may indeed be it for you and me.  Wanna put a smile on my face?  Go with the feminine!

Okay, that's it for today peeps!

Oh!!!!  I almost forgot.... isn't the saying on the front of this shirt ridiculous?  It totally reminds me of things I saw while in Japan.  They would put together English words that often made no sense at all!  Hollywood and Compton?  Excuse me?  Why in the world are those two together?  No idea.  No explanation has ever made sense to me, thus I love it!

Love you!

Love yourself!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

How is Jules Really Doing?

Are the benefits worth the cost?  The question just sort of popped up out of nowhere, which is fairly commonplace for me.  I have a tendency of bringing things up out of left field, tossing them out there for the world to absorb, and then sort of sitting back and observing the ramifications.

I thought this question was much better than the one that most people ask me, 'but seriously, how is Jules really doing?'  I don't like the implications of that question.  Sort of like the person is saying, hey, I know Jules is lying when she says she is fine with you being on estrogen, so why don't you spill the beans and lay out the reality that she is super pissed at you and is about to leave you.  I suppose that I can't blame people and their ignorance... oh wait, sure I can!  For ignorance is no excuse, right?  Well for matters of the law at least.

This isn't really a matter of law though is it?  No, it is one of integrity, and love.  Integrity, because most of these people are implying that Jules has no problem with lying and deceiving anyone who asks about me being on estrogen.  Love, because that is why she really is okay with me being on estrogen.

I suppose that the only reason they are asking the question is because Jules is the one they can relate to, and they can not imagine themselves being in a similar position as her.  They think 'oh, she is being the good, quiet wife, who is sullenly accepting the dominance of her male, egocentric, mentally ill spouse, who is forcing her to swallow down an ugly reality.'  Okay, so maybe they are not quite so harsh, but still, the vast majority of them have that twinkle in their eye when they pose the question.  That twinkle that seems to imply, okay, cool, whatever you want to do, but I could not imagine what it would be like to be married to you.  Thus the words, the tone, the body language, all of it coalesces into an oft repeated statement, 'how is Jules really doing?'

Maybe their insistence, maybe my own insecurities, maybe just because I love turning things over and over in my head, poking, prodding, examining items from as many angles as I can, maybe that is why I asked Jules the question.  Maybe because I too am in a sense of disbelief; can my wife actually be as awesome and accepting as she actually is appearing to be?

So.... 'Are the benefits worth the cost?'

Jules paused for the briefest of moments, before saying, 'huh?'

'Are the benefits of me taking hormones worth the cost that has been paid.'

She wrinkled her nose, smiled, and said, 'well what are the costs?'

I had to laugh at the simplicity of her statement.  Yes indeed, what are the costs.  So, I laid them out for her.  1 - I am loosing muscle mass, and am beginning to struggle to bare the brunt of the physical labor I have so far required of myself.  2 - I may loose the ability to function sexually as I have done throughout our relationship (notice though that is not a cost I have had to face yet.)

Jules responded quickly, 'uh, yes.  I will take this peace and love any day over what we have been struggling with for the last 30 years.'

She had a point.  A really big point.  A fantastic point.

It's hard for others to imagine.  My sister probably can for she is possibly the only person outside of my wife and I that truly knows how rough Jules and I have had it.  It is really difficult to explain to outsiders how things have been for Jules and I.  Can I just say, it has not been enjoyable?  Is that enough?  Doubt it.

How about if I say, I have repeatedly pondered why in the heck she and I ever stayed together?  How about if I say that she and I probably fought, at a minimum of once a week, every week, for over 30 years?  Is that enough to understand?  How about if I say that she and I have mutually physically attacked each other as we have attempted to beat the living shit out of someone who we love and yet want to kill at the exact same time?  How about if I say that through sheer grit, and unwavering determination, that the longest we ever went without fighting, in over 30 years of being with each other, was a painful 7 months.  Which, by the way, ended in one of our most epic fights ever.

In many ways, the hardest part of explaining our relationship is attempting to understand why with all of the insanity that has been our lives, why in the world we ever have stayed together for as long as we have.  That truly is the mega question that most people silently ignore.  I think that people assume we are exaggerating.  I mean really, why would we put ourselves through all of this drama?

How about love?  For though we could never get along, we have loved each other.  And love is a funny thing.  A thing that many have never had the opportunity to appreciate.  Love is that thing that binds people together in the face of absurdity.  When you can't imagine being with someone for even one more moment, let alone another year, and you stay anyway.  Not because you are afraid.  Not because of threats of intimidation.  Not because of financial interests.  Not because of any logical reason, except for your singular commitment to another individual on this planet.

Why are we still together?  Love.  Why did we suffer through so many years of seeming unending torture imposed solely by ourselves?  Love.

I remember someone said to me, I will never change who I am or what I like for another person.  And my thought was, wow, you are going to live a lonely life.  For while our relationship has not ever been Brady Bunch perfect, and even though it was frequently an unhealthy thing that many would have recommended we quit, we could always see something within each other.  Some spark, some glimpse, some small kernel of the way we could live.  Even though my wife and I have been seemingly unloving throughout much of our relationship, we are both brave, and we both have hope.  Unending hope at times.

Take hope, bravery, and a willingness to change, combine it with an unrelenting desire to grow, stir it all together in a bald faced emotional rawness, then cook it in brutally honest no holds barred communication - well then you have what Jules and I have.  Which is an amazingly rich definition of what love can be.

But none of this really explains what has happened since I have begun taking the right hormones for my system.  And that is what this post is supposed to be about, isn't it?  Well, yeah, but you seriously have to have a better grasp of what the previous 30+ years have been like for us and our relationship.  It's all about context people!  If you don't understand the context, then the answer is irrelevant!

So how is Jules really doing?  How about amazingly.  How about better than she has been the entire time that we have been together.   We are together still, yes even with me being on female hormones, because of love.  Because of the commitment to love that we both strive for.  Because of all of the fights.  Because of all of the kisses.  Because of all the heartache.  Because of all the memories.  Because of all of the crying.  Because of all the laughter.  Because love is a commitment.  I choose to love this person, for who they are, where they are, and fortunately for me, she feels the same.

No explanation can ever suffice to others who could not imagine a reality they don't exist within.  Many people have a marriage of convenience, and if it no longer serves their purposes, they will move on, searching for a happiness that they may never find.

What has me being on estrogen brought to our lives?  A full richness of experience that can never be fully explained to any outsider.

I know that all relationships are not worth saving.  I know that many relationships should rightfully end.  I know that love cannot conquer all.  I know that within the transgender experience there exists lots of moving pieces and parts that most of us struggle to fully comprehend and describe.  I know that many relationships will never survive transition related events.

But I have hope.  And hope is a powerful thing.

Love you!

Love yourselves!

Believe you can, and you may just end up impressing even yourself!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Outfit - My Usual State

Jeans -Levi:Denizen @ Target
Shoes - New Balance (Arishi) - @ Amazon - @ Famous Footwear
Hat - @ Amazon

Here you see me in my more natural state.  I thought it would be good to finally post up something from how I actually look in a more day to day appearance.  This was inspired by two elements 1 - somebody mentioned to me that they don't ever go out because they don't pass, 2 - I haven't been posting many outfit posts recently because I have not been going "all out" lately. 

Okay so first point - here is a closeup up transgender me:

Is it obvious that I am not attempting to pass?  Now I fully understand that within the transgender spectrum, passing is an important thing, not actually to the people that they are passing to, but rather to the people that are attempting to pass.  So..... I totally get it when we are talking about the people who need to view themselves as who they know they are.  It truly is an amaze-balls experience to finally see yourself as how you know you have always expected to see yourself.  If that makes any sense!  Ha!

But.... if one's concern for passing is for fear of reprisal due to reveal of one's transgender status, then I want to be the one who gently nudges you to seeing the possibility that one can exist in this world as a transgender human.  A human that others see as a transgender human.  For this is personally how I normally appear in, oh, about, 99.9% of my life. 

I will admit that I have figured out how to take a pretty darn nice photo.  But really, that photo is just a small moment in time.  A carefully crafted moment.  The right lighting.  The right angle.  The right lighting.  The right camera.  The right lighting.  The right wig.  The right ligh...... okay, enough already!  Argh!  Point being is that in any given month, before starting HRT, I would normally only dress with a wig and makeup, maybe once or twice in a month.  Now it is even less.  But dressing in some sort of mixed gender presentation, oh well, yeah, that occurs the entire rest of my life.  That happens when I am working in my yard, going hunting, working at my job, going to the grocery store, living my life.

Not passing, is my life. 

I may very well pass when I give it a go.  It is still not 100%.  Certainly not when you actually speak to me.  But honestly passing is irrelevant.  I know how hard that is to understand when you don't have any personal experience with that, but it is what I experience.  Maybe someone can take something from my experience and give it a whirl! 

It's hard.  I get it.  I really do.  Which brings me to point 2.  I have not posted many outfit posts lately because I have not been going all out.  The wigs have been super annoying lately, and so has makeup.  That has not really inspired me to take photos of myself!  Because for me, I do not in any way see anything even remotely feminine in them.  But I'm trying to come to grips with some of my own personal issues, so.... here you go, you get to see the most common form that I take!  Ha! Like a shape shifter or some such shit!  Hahahahahaha!

Keep in mind online realities - these are reflections of real life, and reflections are often distorted.  Not wrong, just a bit different.

Live life.  Observe reality. 

Love you!

Love yourself!

Love hot pink!!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Openly Transgender

I’ve been having some odd conversations as of late.  

One of them was with my neighbor, who is approximately 65-70 and a retired teacher.  She and I have a funny relationship together.  Mostly we see each other while walking our dogs at 5 in the morning in the pitch black along our small backcountry road that people drive way too fast on.  I think we earned each other’s respect when she and I banded together and took care of most of our neighbor’s estate when nobody else would, including those who stood to inherit the estate, who was not either of us!  

Anywho…. In regards to me, and how I live, ya know, that whole transgender thang, right?  Well I have no idea if she has ever seen me fully dressed as a woman in real life, but she has certainly seen me dressed in full girl clothes and clearly visible breasts, cause ya know, that’s me.  

So, she’s seen me, but I had not had the official talk with her until very recently, like say maybe about 3 months ago.  And if you don’t know - the official talk - is when I use very specific language, like transgender, estrogen, doctors, therapy, blah, blah, blah!  I don’t know what prompted the initial official talk, but one day I just said what the heck and had the talk.  Since then, nothing in our relationship has changed.  She has continued talking to me and treating me in the same respect as she had prior.

Okay, so the odd part of this story is supposed to be the odd conversation right?  

She and I were both doing our regular thing when we see each other, walking our dogs.  Only it wasn’t super early in the morning, but more like 7 or so.  We stood and chatted for a bit when she asked why I was up so early on a weekend when I could finally sleep in instead of going to work.

I hesitated only briefly, so that it was only really noticed by me, and then explained that I had a therapy appointment.  Which then prompted a side of the road conversation about me going to therapy, taking estrogen, and being openly transgender, and how it was all going.  

I know I live in California and pretty much everyone thinks this entire state is nothing but liberal hippies who eat granola and surf all day and they all accept everyone regardless of who they are, but I’ll tell ya what, that is certainly not the case.  It is much more that way in the main cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, but if you basically go away from the coast, California is a much different place.  And I live in that place.

So, my neighbor and I are hanging out on the road, across from one of the many small family cattle rancher’s places.  Our retrievers are hanging at our feet being pet as the rancher’s border collies are yipping at us from their kennels.  Occasional trucks go zooming down the road, and we all stop and wave.  It is small town USA, where apparently everyone knows everyone, and I am chatting it up with a woman who does indeed know just about everyone that drives by.  And furthermore, I am openly talking to her about things that I never thought I would ever do, let alone ever tell somebody about.  Unbelievable.  

Really the unbelievable aspect is that I am openly talking to this woman about being transgender.  Not because of where we live and the arguable amount of conservatism within my area - did I mention many people still have pro-Trump signs up in their yards?  No?  Hmm?  Yeah.  Anywho - having the conversation within such an area was not the odd part, the truly odd part was that I was having this conversation at all, with anybody, and especially so with this partial acquaintance, my neighbor.  Admittedly she is frequently a mother figure to me, which again makes it a bit more odd.  Odd piled on top of odd.

To grow up knowing I could never tell anybody this deep seated nasty little secret and then to be openly discussing it with this woman was more than just a bit surreal.  I keep mentioning this “openly” aspect and that is because a part of me still feels as though this is a “nasty secret” that if I am going to talk about it, it should be in some small, dank, dark, dimly lit room, with the door shut and locked.  Then maybe, possibly, I might be conned into releasing my shocking truth.

But no.  There I was.  A bright sunny morning, my dog at my side, my neighbor in front of me, and I’m chatting away about being transgender the same way one might talk about how since the rains have come it’s going to be time soon to haul out the spray and begin killing weeds.  Odd.  

Oh and yeah, a few interesting tidbits came from that conversation.  One - she was super surprised to find that I have no intentions of transitioning to living full time as a female.  That one set her back a bit, it was obvious that was something she had never considered.  Two - she mentioned that since finding out that I am taking estrogen she has done some research on people who have de-transitioned.  I tried explaining to her the depths to which many of us suffer, while in hiding, and after coming out.  And how many people struggle with transition due to extreme lack of support from anybody.  Three - I told her of this blog, - Hiya, are you out there reading this?  Ha!  Four - She asked if I had made goals with my therapist and how I was progressing in meeting those goals.

The goal part of that conversation reminded me to check in on my goals.  Which by the way, my therapist and I reviewed, and it turns out, I had actually met all of my goals at that point.  My therapist then gave me a homework assignment of coming up with new goals.  One of which is something I feel really weird about, and I actually intended to write this post about that.  But, ha!  I successfully avoided talking about it!  Ha-Ha.  Maybe in the future you will hear of my new therapy goals, but that is not this day folks!

Love you!

Love yourself!

Seriously, love yourself enough to be open about who you are with those who are in your life, yes even if _________ .

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Quitting Estrogen? Hell No!

I'm curious, after getting your driver's license did anyone ever ask you, hey, have you ever thought about what might happen if you decide to stop driving?  What will happen to you?  Have you thought about all of the possible ramifications of continuing to drive?  Did you make sure to keep your bike and your bus pass? 

How about getting your teeth fixed?  Did anyone tell you to be careful of what you were doing when you got braces?  Or how about getting a cavity fixed?  Did anyone warn you that in a year or two you might change your mind about having that root canal?  You know, because maybe instead you decide that you would prefer to go through the daily pain of having rotting teeth stuck in your mouth. 

Jules tells me that I have a knack for absurd analogies.  I think they are funny.  Often the way that I see it is, if you can carry your reasoning into, through, and beyond the absurd, and it stills sounds reasonable, then maybe you have something there.  Often people will be able to offer an explanation that works for the small stuff, simply because the small stuff is insignificant, but when you apply it to bigger issues, it falls apart.

Okay, even I now think I am rambling!!  The point being that many people have asked me about the ramifications of being on estrogen for the long term.  They seem to be very concerned, entirely for my benefits alone, about what being on estrogen will do to my future ability to produce testosterone. 

It's a shame that in order to answer this question I need to attempt to predict the future, and I am seriously trying to stop doing that.  But I will attempt to put myself out there and say, I can't imagine anything occurring that would ever make me want to stop doing this.  I mean really why?  Why would I?  Why would I want to return to such a dark dreary world filled with angst, anger, irritation, and annoyance? 

Here is another analogy, I remember growing up with black and white TV.  Maybe my TV was color, but I remember shows like The Andy Grifith Show, that only aired in black and white.  Did anybody ever ask you if you thought about making sure that you could go back to a black and white only TV once you bought a color one? 

Sound absurd?  Maybe, but really that is a fair analogy to how I feel.  With estrogen the world is filled with colors of all hues, while for me, the testosterone world is black and white.  So, yeah, I suppose that yes I have at least pondered returning to that world and it terrifies me.  It fills me with such dread that I am beginning to ponder how to make these changes more permanent. 

Seriously.  Me and Testosterone did not mix well.  I don't want to go back.  Ever.  I know that I am trying to retire from predicting the future, but I cannot imagine anything that would make me want to go back to living that way. 

To actually, directly answer your question, yes I have thought about what will happen if I stop taking estrogen.  As far as I have been told, and from what I can research, here are the permanent effects of taking estrogen:
1 - sterility - though ha! I've had a vasectomy, so what the shit do I care?
2 - breast tissue is permanent - though they may deflate some if one chooses to stop taking estrogen.  However if you read my last update you will know that my breasts happen to be the exact same size now as they were when I started.

And that is about it.  As for most of my friend's concerns, my ability to continue to produce testosterone, that will come back as long as I posses testicles.  I'm not stopping the testosterone from being produced, I am stopping it from being absorbed.  The difference is that many of my friends are only familiar with stopping the T from being produced from such things as taking steroids.  With that, the testosterone producing capabilities can be permanently stopped.  For me though, that is a big nope.  Which unfortunately also means a lifetime on an anti-androgen, unless I somehow misplace my testicles! Ha!

Do you know what people should be more concerned about?  Female to male transgender people who begin taking testosterone.  Wanna talk about permanent effects? 
1 - facial hair
2 - possible sterility
3 - deeper voice
4 - genital enlargement
5 - balding

T is a mighty drug.  I don't like it, nor am I appreciative of the effects it had on me for 45 years.  But hey, if that's your thing, then enjoy the shit out if it! (To quote my wife's therapist!)

So uh, yeah, there you have it.  That is what I know of that will happen if I continue taking estrogen and decide one day to stop.  But seriously, nobody wants me back on testosterone.  Seriously.  Nobody.  Well, nobody should want me back on T!  Apparently many people are questioning themselves if estrogen is an appropriate treatment for me.  Funny.  Interesting.  And mildly annoying.  But really, the most important person, me, I don't want me back on T.  The second most important person, my wife, she does not want me back on T.  So really the only people who really matter do want me back on T, so guess what?  It ain't happenin' peeps!

Which by the way, brings up another very common thing for people to say to me, "Well yeah, but what about Jules?  How does she really feel about all of this?"  This post is too long and rambling as it is.  That topic will just have to wait until next time my little blog-a-renos! 

Love you!

Love estrogen!

Well, love me on estrogen!


Love yourself, even if that means taking T, if that is what you need to do to love yourself, then go for it! 



Sunday, January 7, 2018

My Outfit - Tall Maroon Boots

Tunic - White House Black Market - Similar
Leggings - White House Black Market - Similar
Boots -  Unisa  - Similar
Belt - Mossimo - Similar
Jacket - Max Studio - Similar

Do you love the boots?  I do.  I don't think I have a very good picture of them though.  Hmm... let me see if I can figure one out.

Awesome huh?  Well I think so!  That was why when I was last shopping at DSW in Dublin, CA, and ran across these beauties, I was so thrilled when I found them in my size.  Furthermore, they actually fit!  Wow!  Glory be to the holy shoes!  I mean I love suede, and I love boots, and I love maroon, so what is not to love about these?  Seriously, I really like them.

I chose to wear these to one of the sessions with my counselor, who really likes shoes!  I think she said she had somewhere between 100-200 pairs?  Maybe my memory is a bit off, but I do know that she really likes shoes!  She told me that she is a firm believer in "shoe therapy."  I mentioned it to my wife who kind of lightly scoffed at the idea but reconsidered when I pointed out that if it is something that truly makes you happy, you can afford it, and it doesn't hurt anybody else, isn't it kind of a good thing to do for yourself?  Just as anything along those same lines would? 

She had to admit that I had a point.  Of course, maybe it was all just a ploy for me to justify buying another pair of yummy boots?  Hmm, maybe.  No, no, no.  Seriously, I don't need to justify to her anything that I want to buy, nor does she.  And I do think that shoe therapy is a real thing, a real good thing.

Okie Dokie.  Thanks!

Love you!

Love yourselves!

Love really awesome shoes that make you feel like a million bucks!