Sorry, been busy living….

So, it has been quite a while since my last blog entry.  I guess that I’ve suffered the same fate of those who transitioned before me; living life at this point in time is more important, and telling the story has become less.  But telling the story is very important… more people need to be out there telling it as it is.

I just realized this morning that it has now been +1 month since I’ve gone totally full time, that being at work and with family.  And, for me, I simply could not be any the happier. Each and every day is further confirmation that I have made the right decision for myself; it was not a choice.  It was something that had to be done, in order for me to live, finally, to my fullest as a human being, for once.  And that now is precisely what I am doing.

The signs of change are abounding at times.  Two weeks ago, I was doing my laundry – now I typically do this first thing in the morning, without showering and with minimal makeup.  And I go to a local laundromat by where I used to call home.  So, I am placing all of my clothes in the respective dryers, and I notice that a very close family friend walks in and empties her washer, and of all dryers to go to, she gravitates toward my table, puts her things in the dryer, and waits.  No less the three feet away from me as I watch one of the tvs….  I end up folding my dried clothes and bundling them, and then walk past her, directly in front of her.  And it is revealed to me that she never recognized me.

Another chance encounter this week, which was a bit awkward.  I was at the market to pick up salad items.  As I walked in, I noticed someone who looked very familiar; it turned out to be one of my best friends whom I haven’t seen for years, right there, standing in line at the registers.  Do I, or don’t I??  Aww heck, I walk over, say his name twice.  He finally turns around and stands there, staring at me, and after more than several seconds, states “that” name.  We have a very brief discussion, as honestly, I feel badly now, because I feel as though I ambushed him and put him on the spot.  But it was a nice conversation, he said that he had heard rumors but had not heard anything definitive, and was glad for me that I am happy.  I am going to follow up with him this week.  And I feel I need to give an apology; it is so very awkward trying to figure out the best approach toward old friends, especially those who are geographically removed.

I work with certain people regularly.  One day last week, I needed to coordinate some last minute changes to flight missions.  So I needed to call others in a central office, people that I have worked with regularly in the past.  And I’m speaking with this one person, and we’ve worked many times together on these things, and afterward, she proceeds to ask me how I was chosen to do these coordinations, and where I worked regularly, and that they were told Keri would be calling but nobody has ever worked with me…. No read on the voice, my voice has progressed quite nicely.  And all the while I have this sheepish smile on my face, thinking, wow, this is pretty neat.  And also, somewhat awkward, because how do you explain to others that you need to continue a relationship with that, well. that you’re now a girl.  Trust me, it ain’t easy.  In fact, I’ve started sending a few emails to people I know well in FAA, because I do need to maintain a relationship, and of those few I have sent, the response has been positive and compassionate.  But there’s still those that, while I now them, I feel that I don’t know them well enough to justify my having to tell all.  Which has made things difficult for me in some respects, such as not being able to utilize the many contacts I have made over the years as I try to get selected for a new position.  But…. work, all in all, has been a non-issue, and, frankly, I am more comfortable with the bathroom situation and not having to share at this point.  Work as proven to be  the least of my pains.

People in my facility continue to adapt.  Practically everyone I work directly with in my Unit is supportive and understanding, and also very compassionate.  There hasn’t been any mass mistakes with regard to both name or proper pronoun usage.  In a “positive-negative” sign, this week I’ve noticed that as people let their guard down and relax, this has slipped; I’ve been called “he” or “him” more times this week than in the past three.  And a couple of people have fubarred and called me by “that” name, but apologizing profusely when they catch themselves.  Old acquaintances/co-workers – some of these people I have worked with for over 20 years – are starting to loosen up and at least say hello and acknowledge me as I walk by.  On a shift a week ago, I was even semi-flirted with by another person!… a male whom I do not know.  So, it’s quickly becoming old news and just the daily routine for me.

At my crisis hotline, the greatest compliment paid to me, now several times, is callers that I have spoken with somewhat regularly, speaking with me now and saying that they’ve never spoken with me before.  This is all over the phone and, as the phone is typically the most difficult and the litmus test for passing, this makes me feel wonderful and validated.  Next month, I will be presenting my transgender story for the first time at one of our major trainings for new potential counselors.  I am also working on more detailed instruction for the second phase of training, and my Director is also contemplating holding a community meeting at a local library to talk trans issues exclusively.  So another step into the public and away from the closet.

Life on the home front… entirely different story.  I was basically told that most of my immediate family – i.e. children – has “written me off.”  And the climate continues to become increasingly uncomfortable, and not very accepting of me nor understanding of what I am going through.  The standard tag line is how “sad” it is for the the children, for everyone except for me.  Which is amazing that as I am being accused of selfishness, those around me think only of themselves and that’s ok.  Truth be told, they would rather explain away my demise than have to explain – and therefore suffer the embarrassment because of it – my new life and resulting happiness.  But that is being dramatic… funny how when I speak the truth, I am called dramatic.  I haven’t seen anyone, spoken with anyone in my immediate family, for well over a six weeks.  I haven’t seen or spoken with my son for over six weeks, except via the occasional text message.  And that, of course, is all my doing, all my fault.  Naively, I clung to a now disbelief that things would be different, that certain people would be compassionate and understanding, but it is not so.  The only tie that remains is the financial; all anyone – everyone – wants from me is monetary.

Socially, I have never had so many real friends in my entire lifetime as I do now.  Real friends, friends who will come running at the drop of a hat, without any expectations.  They now are my family.  And I’ve met some very wonderful people, including Allyson Robinson of HRC and Mara Keisling of NCTE, people I so respect for everything they do on our behalf.  And I am becoming ever more the social butterfly; last week I went to a lesbian bar night to meet several of my friends, which found me exchanging glances with another and with her asking me to dance.  And I am going to  GLB dance this weekend with a friend, which should be fun.  I’ve invited a few people over for dinner, as I now so love to cook, especially for others, and I so much love sharing wonderful conversation – not texting – but real, honest to goodness, face to face conversing.

 

my "clubbing" attire

I’ve also started to change aspects of my wardrobe, from a more conservative approach to more sporty/sexy in certain areas.  One thing that Allyson imparted upon me was to simply be myself and not worry about how I am perceived by others.  Hence I am working more heels into my routine, and am not concerned about the added height.  And selecting trendy looks.  I have not gone clubbing yet, but I’m certainly ready to do so….

 

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