Showtime…

Sitting in my hotel in Pennsylvania… Tomorrow is the big day…. Report to Lower Bucks Hospital for 6am and about 8 hours of surgery… See you on the other side….

New Vlog…. 24 days to go…

well 23 this morning….. 😉

August is gone…

wake me up when September ends.  The single most important accomplishment of the month was being informed by my supervisor at work that the bathroom situation had been resolved, that I was granted access to all women’s facilities, excepting the one with the shower, immediately.  Truly I believe this precedent-setting decision came about as a result of my directly lobbying our Administrator, Randy Babbitt.  I truly feel as though I’ve accomplished something for the greater good, that I’ve left my mark, however little it might be.  For now, when those following me do transition, at FAA at least, they will be granted access to the proper sanitary facilities from the start.  Great change does indeed take great effort, and I’ve been working this issue since December….  I can truly say that my organization, my FAA, is an inclusive one.

Secondly, August marked my “first” birthday, well the first one since transition.  No surprises there… though I did happily receive “happy birthday” text messages from my youngest son, and my daughter and step-daughter.  But I didn’t see my wish come to fruition, and it is now coming up on – nine – months since last I even spoke with one of my children, or my to-be-ex…. never mind seeing them.  Truthfully, the day was loathsome, not to mention this little issue called Irene rolling in… whoever ordered me a hurricane for my birthday, thanks!  Gift receipt next time please.

The day before my birthday marked one year on hormones.  One year… actually seems like its been much longer, but all I need to do is look down, and see minimal development to know… No doubt hormones have helped contribute to the roller-coaster ride that has been my life over the past year.  I must say, it has been quite the odyssey, and incredible journey that I would never recommend for the faint-of-heart.  It seems as though I’ve been living this forever, which to some extent I have, but its been really only almost nine months since I transitioned at work.

Also the day before my birthday, I finally received my surgery recommendation letters… I had known for months that they were “approved” and that I would be getting them, but it was nice to finally have them in hand.  I promptly forwarded them to my surgeon, and all pre-surgical paperwork has been completed, everything is ready for next month.

So here I sit, counting down the days…. Saturday will be one month to my date with destiny, the culmination of everything I’ve ever dreamed of, the completion of the most important accomplishment of my life.  I cannot wait to get there, to savor each and every moment of that time, to experience it all fully, every emotion, every thought and feeling… to wake up that first time, complete…. finally.

46 days to go, and the fun never stops….

That’s where the countdown clock is, yuppers….  It’s been a wild ride at times, for sure, with an amazing amount of experiences going on my life.  Where to start?

Well, last week I had to have a conversation with my supervisor at work about a coworker; I am no longer free from harassment on the job, albeit verbal.  One coworker essentially never speaks to me anymore, and it is only through my breaking into joint conversations that this person will interact.  More-so, this person has never, in my recollection, used the correct pronouns, and it is my belief that this person goes out of the way to use the incorrect one.  Well, I had several consecutive shifts with this person last week, and the last straw was when this person was speaking with another, they said “him” with regard to our getting calls about a situation.  That was all I could tolerate, particularly following a friend saying during the week that I’m an “outcast,” albeit jokingly…. it may have been a joke, but frankly it couldn’t be further from the truth.  So I had a phone conversation with my supervisor expressing my discomfort, and he in turn spoke with others, and the person in question was formally spoken to.  Apparently, the person did not deny doing it, nor beg confusion on the issue, which lent further credence to my belief that this person did it purposefully.  Thankfully, my employer has a zero tolerance policy, and although it was not my intent to have this person in a formal discussion – and why do I feel badly about that when again I was the wronged??? – they took swift corrective action to address the issue.

Which leads to the next bit of news.  Several months ago, I applied for a new position in FAA… two weeks ago, I got the formal offer.  Out of over 120 candidates to bid for this position, I was informed that I was “most qualified” and at the “top”of the selection list.  So it is with a tremendous sense of satisfaction and personal accomplishment, that I can relate that I will be moving to Virginia in the not-too-distant future to my new position and a new phase of my career, of my life truly.  I have rediscovered a passion for what it is that I do, and I truly hope to grow my career and see how far I can take it.  And, truthfully, considering I am TS, I consider it an incredible accomplishment that, not only have I retained my job, I am being promoted and have even received two commendations since January, including a cash award for performance.

I was conversing with my close friend this afternoon on the way to the Hamptons, and I was saying that yes, what others have told me, what I have read, is so true.  You are so much better off to move away, to break all connections, with everyone – everyone you’ve ever know – and start over in a new world, and rebuild.  Even though nothing really has occurred anywhere that have have interacted in before and after my transition, I sense the discomfort in many.  And it is fact that these people knew me, by sight, as that former self, and it is difficult to put that image away and adopt a new one.  I cannot wait to relocate where nobody knows me by sight, where the first several seconds will form the mental image that they will operate from… of Keri and Keri only.  Yes, I completed my transition in place, in the midst of 600 coworkers, each personally briefed on my personal business, and yes I am very proud of that fact, that I freakin did it… how many others could?  But truthfully, it would have been much easier, and less painful in the long run, to have packed it in and moved away.  But that was never an option for me and, frankly, I am not one to run away… well not any more at least.

It’s been over 8 months now since I’ve seen or even spoken with my children, any of them.  This month will mark – one year – on hormone therapy, and that has gone well, although not at the pace I would’ve wished for.  I’ve gone through being randomly alcohol tested and drug tested at work since transition, I’ve successfully found a new GP who is very compassionate and understanding of me, and I have managed to make wonderful new friendships, lasting friendships based on trust and truth.  And I’ve enjoyed this summer more than I have ever in my adult life, I’ve spent every weekend in the Hamptons, I been to the beach several times in my new suits, I’ve discovered some wonderful restaurants and simply amazing food…. I am living plain and simple.  And despite everything else, it is one thing that nobody – nobody – can ever take away from me.  Truly, I have had to destroy everything in order to get to where I am today…. and I would not have it any other way.  And I would do it over again in an instant.  And that simple fact is what people cannot seem to appreciate, at least those “closest” to me…..

And so I sit here, 46 days from finality…. it is not the end-all of end-alls…. it is the beginning of the final chapter in my life, the real truth as opposed to all of the fiction I’ve had to live over so many years.  So in 46 days I will be on that gurney, and will be wheeled down that long, bright, sterile corridor to the end of my transition, the end of my transiness, my “trans” anything.  And to my future that brightly and expectedly awaits me…. and I simply cannot wait for the moment to arrive.  To be complete, that cherry to top off my sundae…  Everything is ready, my surgeon informed me today that all the paperwork, pre-op tests are in, they just need my surgical recc letters which I get next Friday.  I’ve begun to buy all the supplies I need to bring with me, and I look forward to my trek to a little town called New Hope, and a big future called my life….

Everything is our fault….. Our choice….

80 days as of today, and it’s reached the point to where all I think about is my pending corrective surgery and everything that needs to be done on the way there. I am getting excited about it, I cannot wait, I cannot wait to receive that corrected birth certificate. The end zone is squarely in sight.

And yet my immediate family continues to live under a rock, hoping the nightmare will go away… maybe if They ignore it, it will disappear…. They continue to dismiss everything about my life, continue to believe everything in the past two plus years was contrived, that my suicide was all simply a ploy to get her back… Of course, I walked away from my family, my children, I put my job and career at great risk of loss, I checked myself into a psych hospital, all as an act. Never mind the thousands in debt I incurred because of it, or the year or so of my life lost…

And of course, it was my -choice- to transition. My choice…. Yes, I made a choice, and that was to live, to not kill myself, amazingly a great part for my family. I -did not- have a choice…. It got to that point we all get to where I had to be done, there were no alternatives… well one perhaps, but I made the -decision- to transition, foolishly thinking that my family would rather me living and happy than dead. Nothing could be further from the truth apparently. And it is I who pushed them away, it is I who broke off all communication, it is I who told them not to send me a fathers day card, or text….. Yes, it is my fault….

Which we all know is living in fantasy land. They not only cannot be honest with me, they can’t be honest with themselves. While trying to pin everything on my pocketbook, they choose to totally overlook their role in everything, their ostracizing me, their decision to cut me off, as if I control their lives…. I would never wish to, it’s difficult enough to maintain control of my own at times. Yes, the truth hurts, and for some, it’s best to simply ignore it than be forced to deal, to do what’s right, what’s humane, what’s compassionate….

It defies all logic that family, the ones you devote significant parts of your life to, the ones you give everything to, can be so hurtful. Can express how understanding they are towards others and yet totally write you off… How they can say in one breath that they care for you, and a second later that they cannot deal with you right now. That it’s so much more difficult to deal with, and yet the haven’t expressed a single word of feeling towards you, even like, for over two years. I’m sick of all the hypocrisy, sick of all the hollow promises, all of the pretense. Tell me simply and truthfully you never wish to see me again, and let’s be done with it.

These are the issues that separate the girls from the women, the ability to, in spite of it all, continue to go forward, to push the envelope, to live for oneself despite the potential for loss. These are the issues that don’t get enough public awareness, the family reaction to their family member, the cutting off at the knees…. That we are the selfish ones. In the end, they all live in denial, they refuse to face the truth, they live with their heads in the sand, because it’s easier….

Good luck and best wishes I say….. I had no choice, I had to do this… And I would make the same decision tomorrow we’re it to come to that. This is my life’s single greatest accomplishment…. I fucking did it and I am living it…. And they will never take that away from me.

82 Days to Go….

Till I am no longer a transsexual… and will simply be a woman. It’s been awhile since my last post, so I thought I would provide one now, with an update of things.

So yes, surgery is now 82 days away. I simply cannot believe it, how the time is flying by. I originally booked my vaginoplasty and breast aug back in January, and after thinking things over for two weeks, also booked a traech shave for the same day with Dr. McGinn. Although most people tell me that my Adams apple is barely discernible, I know it’s there and I have grown increasingly self-conscious of it. So I am going to have it reduced now and then all of my surgeries will have been done. And surprisingly, I checked my mail today and lo and behold, Chase Bank sent me interest free checks for my credit account! Payment problem solved!

I will work my last shift on the 1st of October, and leave for PA on the 2nd. My surgery is to be on Monday the 3rd, I will be in the hospital till that Friday, then head up to New Hope to stay at a nice B&B until the following Saturday. So two weeks’ vacation in PA, then home for a minimum of another two weeks recovery. I’ve been viewing another gals’ vlog on YouTube, who her her surgery in 2010, and did daily updates, which I will also, and it’s given me perspective on what to expect. Like no solid food for over four days, having to lie flat on my back only for three days without getting up, being catheterized for eight days including over the weekend at the B&B (fun fun), and my new daily life…dilatation, dilatation, dilatation….

Given all of that, I am genuinely getting very excited about the approaching event. Not too nervous, but the after are routine does seem a but daunting on first blush. Painwise, I’ve heard top surgery is the more painful. But hey, no pain, no gain, right?? I’m starting to get things together, like shopping for comfy appropriate clothing – thank goodness I’m not doing this in the middle of summer – and finishing up all of my pre-op testing. So there’s lots to keep me busy…. But it will all be worth it, when in late October I hold my new birth certificate, with my real name, confirming that I am a girl….

Eleven months this on HRT, I’ve got nice hips and my breasts are growing but not close to what I would like. Body hair seems to be minimizing, and my skin is definitely softening, especially my face – my electro tech commented our last session that I seem to bleed much easier than previously. I don’t seem to have wild variations in emotions, but I can sense when I am pms’ing for sure, and I do cry at the drop of a hat.

I’ve been 24/7 everywhere now for seven months, and I have not had one single bad experience anywhere. Even work has been amazing, everyone has been respectful and friendly for the most part, all without incident. But… I still have not seen or spoken with any of my children since before Christmas, and my second wife still also refuses to see or talk with me on the phone. That, the children, has been hard, and I’ve gone through a multitude of emotions with regard to it. My 18 year old graduated high school this year and had a cruise for a celebration, both of which I was not wanted at. He starts college in the fall, and although I get to pay my chunk, I had zero input in the selection and visit process.

In many ways, it seems like just yesterday that I transitioned, and yet it also seems like it’s been forever like this. Tho I continue to adjust, I have adjusted so well and I am so incredibly happy for the first time in my life; it was the best decision I ever made truly. Even suffering the loss, I would do it all again. There’s nothing like the feeling of living, really living, for the first time.

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120 Days Out and still feeling like a mutant

Yes… today marks 120 days out from my gender corrective surgery, as I like to call it.  120 days…. all I can say is wow.  This time is flying by so very fast, it’s simply amazing.  Before I know it, I will be packing my bags and heading to New Hope.  New Hope…. rather auspicious that.  Almost everything is started or completed for October, the only thing left remaining is to make a hotel/B&B reservation for my recovery period after surgery.  I simply cannot imagine what it’s going to feel like waking up the very first time following surgery… I just can’t… it will simply be so incredible, and though I feel it will be an emotional experience, I do not anticipate having any sort of “PPD…” post-penile depression.  LoL.

This afternoon following work, I went to see the new “X-Men: First Class” movie. -SPOILER ALERT –  How was it you ask?  Umm, it was ok… honestly, while I think the concept great, I think the plot-line and characters could have been better.  I really didn’t care for a few of the featured mutants on both sides, and though the cameo with Wolverine was worth a laugh, it was kinda cheesy.  But they neatly tied everything together, from Charles and Erik, to Mystique’s connecting with Magneto, to the Beast’s maturation of his abilities.

While I love action/superhero movies, and while I did enjoy this one for the most part, it did hit me in spots.  I found several dialogues in the movie hit me very close to home, sadden me actually, and think of my own ~ ALL OUR own ~ experiences.  For example… Erik tells Mystique to not be afraid to show herself, that she’s so concerned about being accepted by everyone else but cannot accept herself.  Or how she tells the Beast that he has finally found himself and is living as he is supposed to.  And so it went in several places in the movie, focusing on living true, or hiding one’s talents, to discussing the oppression they are subjected to by society generally.  Yeah, we as a community share alot of commonality, I believe, with the mutants, even down to the diverging views on how to proceed, as Magneto’s rebellious nature comes to life, only to be countered by Charles’ more conciliatory approach.  Kind of like our community at this time….

I don’t know why movies will touch my inner soul so forcefully at times like this one did.  I suppose it’s related to my being a “deep person,” as my therapist, and others, find me to be.  I just find myself very sensitive to these parallels to what we face in trying to be ourselves each and every day.  Funny, but as I was leaving the theater with the hundreds that were in the movie, the one thing that popped into my mind was “hiding in plain view…”  I wonder, will that feeling -ever- go away….  Will I ever achieve a point in my life where being “special,” being a mutant in today’s world, no longer crosses my mind?  I like to think that one day I will, that simply living will no longer involve any thoughts whatsoever about my past.  It’s still a work in progress… hopefully, October will tear away most of the fabric left of the past, helping to weave the new future.

“Have you had your period?”

Last week was interesting for a number of reasons.   First off was a visit with my new GP.  I needed to find a new one as my previous GP had retired about a year and a half ago.  And, there are several tests I need to get done for my pending surgery in October.  So the last visit to my endocrinologist, I asked the gals at the desk if they could refer anyone, and they gave me two names.  The first one I called, which actually was the one I was favoring for whatever reason, was not taking new patients.  So I phoned the second, who was.  The receptionist was very nice on the phone as well.  And I got an almost immediate appointment of less than a week away.

I’m so glad the calls worked out the way that they did.  My new GP is wonderful.  She’s very patient, deliberate and methodical in her ways, and above all very understanding.  First off, she asked me what I was there for, so I took a deep breath and explained that I was trans, was having my surgery in the fall, and needed tests done in addition to a new GP.  She didn’t blink, and just went into the patient query.  Funniest thing: even though I disclosed this, and she understood because she mentioned I will need a Prostate PSA test next year, she did ask me if I got my period!  Hehe, that put a smile on my face, and I explained that no, not physically but that I get everything else associative with it.  She then proceeded to ask me if I had friend/family support, I explained yes to friends, no to family, and she told me that if I ever needed to talk or discuss anything, to come to her and talk.  Which was wonderful…

She is also an advocate of mammograms, and continually pushed me to have one now.  I had to explain to her that my natural breasts aren’t as big as they looked – I wear forms currently because it’s very important to me psychologically – and told her I fully intent to beginning next year.  She did write a scrip however, for a mammogram and a sonogram.  She also discovered a potential heart issue, and I need to go back for an echocardiogram next month.  She said that she needs to clear me for my surgery, and she takes this responsibility seriously.  She is just so very nice and professional, and understanding.  I was very nervous going to a new physician, and having to explain things possibly, but she immediately put me at ease, and treated me like everyone else, not a special case.

Last Wednesday, my day off, it turned out to be gorgeous, so I decided to head to the beach for the day.  I went home, gathered things I wished to bring, did a few things around the house, and put on my new bathing suit for the first time.  And headed off to Robert Moses State Park, where I took a very long walk.  I was parked in field 5 and wished to walk to the lighthouse, but a little more than midway, I was turned around by a woman who would not let me pass; they were filming “Men in Black.”  On a public beach, for which I pay some of the highest taxes in the country…. I thought it was not right, but I didn’t let it ruin my wonderful day.  And the stunt pilots were out practicing for the airshow yesterday and today.  I walked with shorts on; when I walked back to my area, I changed into my beach skirt and set up a blanket and sunned myself.  It was wonderful, just all so normative.  And, tucking for me is not an issue: there really isn’t anything to tuck anymore, thanks to HRT!

Thursday, my girlfriend and I went to a pet shop that specializes in puppies “just to look.”  Now, I had recently begun thinking about getting a small dog, in fact I wanted one that I could bring along with me everywhere for company.  So we went and looked at all of the different breeds the store had… more than twenty.  I had been thinking about a Chihuahua, and I saw a few.  Before we were to leave, a salesperson brought a grey one back to her cage, I saw it, and immediately fell in love with her.  We then played with her in the play areas, I texted my landlord to gain clearance, and Pia became my newest family member!  And it’s just like having a baby… she is my baby.  She’s only 2 1/2 months old, requires constant attention and is so very cute!  Now it’s like the eldest sib vs. the newborn in my household, trying to get my 2 year-old kitty Cleo adjusted to her new little sister.

This weekend I received notice from NCTE that OPM published guidelines for tran-identified federal employees.  Which makes specific reference to the bathroom issue, stating that employees, once transitioned at work, should be granted access to the facility appropriate to their gender.  I will have more to say on this next week, as I cannot say anything specific to my situation at this time.

Laser adventures and coping with expectation

Another day of firsts… after realizing I could put it off no longer, I had my first session of laser on what will become in October my vagina.  Fun?  Oh yeah…. almost as much as going to the dentist, but not quite.  Actually, with the exception of a few very painful spots, which caused me to rise off the table, it wasn’t so bad.  I was a little uncomfortable about it, actually more for my laser tech, who is a wonderful person and put me immediately at ease.  I commented that this must be a first for her, and surprisingly, she said it wasn’t, which made me feel even better.  All-in-all I guess it was about 30 minutes, and then we were done.  I am to receive 4 treatments, each of which consists the primary clearing visit, followed by a “touch-up” a week later.  So that makes eight total… oh joy…  But it needs be done; I really do not want any hairs growing inside my vagina, and my surgeon is a stickler for hair removal, even thought she will cauterize and scrape away follicles during the surgery.  Just another step in the process, a process now that really is a checklist more than anything else.

I was told again by a friend this morning how much she admires me for having the dedication to keep on moving through al of these necessary steps to reach my final goals.  And how I possibly inspire others and that people “look up” to me.  Trying not to be modest really, these statements simply confound me at times.  My friend had seen a recent post on my FB, complaining that I cannot live up to others’ expectations, and I truly do feel that way.  I think certain people have this image of my being strong and confident and unbreakable 24/7…. well, I can assure you that nothing is further from the truth.  I am just like everyone else with like foibles, and a few unique to me, and it is hard at times to hear these things and simply let life take its course.  I’ve begun study of Judaism and specifically Kabbalah recently, which has me even more introspective the usual, and thinking on this, if I can be a positive role model, if someone in transition or about to start can gain even a shred of valued advice, if through my simply living I touch someone on their journey… then I shall be truly humbled.  It’s not a competition to see who’s better or more authentic or does more for the community – although there are plenty out there who would make it so.  It’s the singular most important decision and journey one will ever undertake during their life…. ever.  If I am able to help even one, then I have made something, have paid back a little….

Yesterday found me enjoying a day of beauty.  Right before the start, I got called from work to come in for an overtime in the evening, which I was happy to do, and then off to start the day.  First stop, Kathryn’s Hair Boutique in Babylon and a roots treatment and cut.  She also recommended and did some “lowlights” as my hair really started to go more blonde with the sun.  For styling, she suggested a brazilian treatment for my bangs to help keep then straight and unfrizzed….  And omg it came out so awesome looking, I was so very happy.  My hair has been perhaps the single most important change for me that has just so made me happy with myself and my appearance…. it’s huge to me.  But I’m still getting used to trading in my $19 haircut for the new, vastly improved $90 model, ex tip, yesterday.  LOL… my monthly upkeep has jumped like 500%…. it’s not easy being a girl, let alone cheap.

Then it was off to Best Nails for removal of my old Jessica enamels and a new coat.  I decided to go back to a light pink shade, as it’s a bit more demure and not as “pop” as the last, which was a bright reddish-pink color.  They came out great, and while there, I had my eyebrows waxed and cleaned up.  No caterpillars here….. Then it was to home, a quick meal of sautéed chicken, broccoli, olives and tomato in garlic and oil.  And off to work.

Next week presents another challenge; I finally called the referrals I had for a new general practitioner, and made the appointment for early next week.  My surgeon requires a complete physical, ekg with report, chest x-ray panel, and of course full blood work, so next week I start work on satisfying all of that.  I also need to procure my two letters of recommendation for surgery, which are not issues for me really.  All must be completed a month in advance.

So such is my life… simply living and dealing with normative everyday issues as a normal person living, and hoping, and dreaming, and struggling, just like everyone else.  And that is what it was all about from the beginning actually, and that it what makes me so very happy… it’s just that simple.  On a side note, working last evening and answering the MMU line for aircraft clearances, it was saddening to realize Stacy will never again be on the other end… but I know she is happy and at peace…

Our journey together….. a memorium

I wrote this for Stacy last Thursday… she was buried this morning in Parlin, New Jersey…. Stacy was -31- years old…

our journey together

We met at once upon a time,
In fair and golden days.
To share our fabled dreams beheld,
To ponder life beyond the haze.

You pronounced “I am she..”
I said, “yes, I am too.”
Our friendship sealed, our fates our bond,
The fire we would pass through.

By first step, you would show the way,
The bravest of our two,
Your soul it’s brilliance as a guide,
Through darkness I followed you.

Tho fog opaque enveloped us,
A worldy ignorance at play,
Thy strength of will, thine energy,
Set lights to guide our way.

By end of days that seem as years,
You breached the other side,
The woman you were meant to be,
An angel in my eyes.

I followed, cross the barrier,
And joined the truth revealed,
Alas we were as meant to be,
Sisters, each life appealed.

At once empowered,
Rejoicing our newborn selves,
Our lives begun anew we lived,
To learn, to love, each breaking morn.

But time, it seems would not be ours,
For tho you led our way,
And brought us both unending happiness,
Twas not for you to stay.

You’ve left me here, alone, bereft,
What is it am I to do?
Your flame doused in a moment’s breath,
Darkness ere returns to you.

I mourn thy loss, my dearest, my friend
It pains me to go on,
My like desire to follow you,
And ply thine shores beyond.

I’m left alone to walk this path,
Without you at my side,
But ever happy with the thought,
You’ve nothing else to hide.

You’ve found your peace,
You are made whole,
To treat with angels evermore,
To live as one in total bliss,
Upon that distant shore.

I called you friend… and I loved you for it.  I shall miss you always and be forever grateful to have had you in my life, if even for the very briefest of moments.  May God bless you and may you always walk with the angels, a protector of those left behind.

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