Friday, November 28, 2003


(once again, from my written journal)

The emails from my sister earlier this week weren’t good, progress maybe, but still not good. At least she will correspond with me here and there. She doesn’t like my transition. Period. I’m not exactly sure what her fear is, but tonight she said it wasn’t moral to transition from one sex to another.

This morning, we spent most of the time painting my sister’s family room. She and her husband had picked out two earth tone colors to paint it, along with a chair rail to encompass the room. We were scheduled to visit the doc this afternoon around 2pm, so I started getting ready around noon. I asked my sister and mom if they would be OK with me going in girl mode. Both said they were fine with it. I got ready then came out to eat the lunch my mom had prepared. My sister was in the living room doing something with her son, as a fourth sandwich sat alone on the kitchen table. Not until I’d basically finished my sandwich and my mom had gone out to smoke, that my dad said my sister and mom argued, and now my sister wasn’t going to therapy (and wasn’t eating lunch either). Damn. I really wanted her to go.

Anyway, the session with the doc went fine. I think he understands the basic underlying issues a transgender person goes through. We talked a little about mom and dad’s trip to San Francisco, how they were doing with things, and then we moved to my sister. Dad has finally started to understand most of this. He realizes where I need to get to, and he’s working on accepting all the resulting consequences. I explained some of the family dynamics to the doc and we talked about some of the ways to work through those dynamics.

We came home and painted a little more, then ordered a pizza for dinner. After finishing dinner, I started to get into the reasoning for my transition timeline - with FFS at the time of living full time. I don’t remember how we got on the topic, but we did. I should not have been so naive, as any conversation on my transition with my sister would eventually lead to someone getting upset. We got on the subject of moving on with jobs, either by being fired, or however, and I said it was possible to have my name changed on my diploma so that I could get a new job as Kara. She didn’t like that, then said she should get a new diploma and sell it on eBay to whoever needed an the highest bidder of course. I said that would be morally wrong, and she threw that back in my face. It was a setup.

“Do you think what you're doing is moral? You were a man in high school, and college, and your degree should stay the same.”

I asked her why it made a difference if I was a man or a woman when I earned them. Obviously, she thinks my journey is morally wrong. Mom walked into the kitchen, and although it was just my sister and I in the discussion, the approach by my mom upset my sister, and she ran off into the living room. Mom sat down and got mad at dad, but dad was doing well in the conversation. I asked mom not to get mad at dad because he had handled the situation very well. Mom became upset, though, and went to smoke. I whispered to dad, “Is there any way out of this situation?” I started to cry and told Dad, “All of this is so hard on me added onto my own transition.”

Here is where my dad spoke some of the most sincere and bravest words I have ever heard from him, “You do what you need to do.” So caring.

I sat in the bathroom after that just crying into the sink thinking how my transition is tearing at the basic foundation of our family. It’s a no win situation right now that currently rests mainly with my sister.

Thursday, November 27, 2003


(again, pulled from my written journal)

My sister just dipped into the room I’m staying in her house and said, “I don’t mind you dressing as a woman here.”

I responded by saying, “I didn’t bring along enough clothes.”

She reiterated, “It doesn’t bother me your dressing as a woman or becoming a does, but I’ll get over it. I just didn’t like your attitude from the 4th.”

I asked if there was more than the one incident. She said I just seemed like I was a bitch. She’s probably right, but then again, I forced myself back into the male shell for the visit. It’s not a happy place for me to go anymore, but I do it for work. Around people that know about my journey, I usually let the male shell go. Anyway, I think it’s progress with my sister. She even brought in a skirt that she said would no longer fit her, and asked if I was interested in it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003


(Pulled from the pages of my written journal)

I just got off a flight from San Francisco to Chicago, and am now sitting at the terminal to catch my flight to Oz. On my 4 hour flight here, I sat beside a woman about my size, but the age of my mother. I stayed silent much of the flight between sleeping and reading my book Middlesex. About 3 hours in and with the refreshment cart approaching, I started up a conversation we’d briefly had earlier, “So, where are you headed in Michigan?”

Believe it or not, Grand Rapids popped into my head first, followed by Detroit, but she said Grand Rapids. We continued the conversation as she said she’d been visiting SF the past week at a literary conference and that she taught English at the University in Michigan. I asked her if she read the book I was reading. She said yes and asked me how I liked it. I told her I found it fairly entertaining so far and that a coworker had read it before me. I’m not sure how we moved to the subject, but I told her I was an engineer. That was the beginning of a very unique conversation. She asked why I got into that field since there weren’t many women....for the men, or the job? (OK, yes, I’m in girl mode.) I said I liked math as a kid and it kinda lead me down my current career. She asked if I still liked doing math and I said that I didn’t really use my degree anymore, and was more of a babysitter I gave her a big grin. No, I still use some of my degree, just not too much of it. Again, we drifted along in conversation until she asked, “How long have you known what you are doing?”

Now, somewhere in the drifting of our conversation, she mentioned that she just loved identity stuff. So, most people might ask “doing?” but I knew what she meant. I don’t go around haplessly thinking that I’m passing under the scrutiny of the human eye, but I do OK. Perhaps it was our conversation and my inability to perfect a female voice, but she knew.

I answered, “All my life,” just as I told Amanda in my dance class. I’d never known any different. She wasn’t phased though. Our conversation diverged as we talked about identity and families, religion and politics, and the ever present Thanksgiving break. As we chatted about Thanksgiving and spending time with the family, I told her I was nervous as hell. I asked her how I looked, and she said I looked quite calm. Hmmmm....I guess the facade from work is pretty good.

Her family was coming over for dinner tomorrow, and I’m visiting mine in the Midwest. The tone changed as she told me that she thought her husband was gay, and that she’d had these thoughts the past 10 years. She’d given him the opportunity lately to come clean and to tell her, but he hadn’t. She thought he was having a relationship with another man who had entered into their lives. They had three sons, all of which she thought would enter into the family business. She thought her husband was afraid to tell her for some reason. I said it could probably be for the kids or the job....or the family. I said that I was asked as a kid if I was a boy or a girl, and after that, I started to create a male shell. Not until I had accepted who I was was I able to openly talk about all of it. If someone would have asked me if I was a transsexual before I moved to SF, I probably would have flatly denied everything simply because I hadn’t even accepted myself yet. She started to cry as she told me more of her concerns. She loved the man. I could tell. You don’t see that true love at this stage of life very often, but here it was sitting next to me 7 miles over the Midwest. She was afraid to lose him, but in contrast, she also wanted him to be true to himself. Torn. What can you do in that situation? She asked me anyway...”What would you do?” I didn’t have an answer for her. I dug out a tissue for her to wipe her eyes. She said all she wanted was the truth.

Anyway, we arrived here just a while back. She’s headed for another flight right now, but she did tell me that she has a book that will be out in about 9 months. “It deals with identity,” she said as she smiled. Cool. I’ll have to read it.

...written later....

My ride to KC wasn’t as exciting as the one to Chicago as I sat next to some dude who played air guitar. He needed a little practice still.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003


My stomach was in knots all day today. Yesterday, I sent an email to my family asking what their feelings were about my presentation this Thanksgiving holiday. My dad and mom both had letters back saying to be conservative when at my sister’s since the situation was already tense.

My sister wrote back basically saying (and I’m being nice here): I’m having trouble with your transition, especially with the name and pronouns, and right now I’m having a hard time accepting it. I fear you’ll show up with the same attitude as the 4th of July and I won’t tolerate it in my home.

I sent an email back: I understand your concerns. May I ask what type of attitude you felt from me over the 4th of July. I’d like to know so that I do not offend you.

She replied: Attitude? I think it went something like this...”Princess [sister]” That was when I was asking you and Dad not to splash for a little while...remember now?

Of course I remember. My Dad (or actually my uncle, I believe) and I were throwing these water balls around in my parent's pool. My sister, whose husband has been serving abroad for 4 months at that time, and has been taking care of her 6 month old son alone, decides to move from the lounge chair to a floating raft. We were splashing and throwing around the balls, thus causing spray, some of which continued to land on my sister. She’d had enough, and sat up “Would you stop splashing for a while.” I thought...hey, it’s a swimming pool, there’s water...hello? Instead, I said, “Anything for Princess [sister].” My sister was pissed. I saw it in her eyes. She wanted to relax...something she really hadn’t been able to do since her husband was so far away and she was temporarily a single parent. If I could take back my comment, I would, but the attitude my sister has now is the same attitude she’s shown me since this spring. She doesn’t want to talk to me and she can’t accept my decision. I don’t know if she can see that it’s the best for me or not. Perhaps she thinks it’s not the best decision for her. Either way, I can’t believe she’s turned such a small event into this catastrophe.

I mentioned all of this on a TS board on a subject someone else had started about the sister they had that would no longer allow her family in the same company as the TS. There were all types of suggestions ranging from just going in boy mode to going fully as Kara. Since my mom is so supportive, I think she’ll be mad if I go as a guy, but hopefully understand the circumstances. My dad doesn’t really care one way or the other. If I go as a girl, I’m afraid my sister will be upset, but it’s her place we’re spending Thanksgiving. If I go as a guy, my mom will be upset at my sister and Dad. She was a little upset during my visit in July when I was only in boy mode, when she had prepared everyone for Kara. The only girl stuff was when I was in the pool when I’d wear a sports bra top that sorta matched my male bottom bathing suit.

One person remarked on the board it was better to go in girl mode since “it’s better for them to hate the person you are than to love the person you aren’t.” Good advice, but since this is my sister’s place I think I will exist there in boy mode. I’m flying in girl mode, though, and I brought along some wipes to clean the makeup off on the drive to her place. I’ll put a sweatshirt over my blouse, change shoes, and but the side bangs back into my rat’s nest of a ponytail. We’re headed to group therapy on Friday, and I hope my sister will attend.

Monday, November 24, 2003


I received an email from my mom this morning. She went way overboard by adding my soon-to-be-middle name to the intro and using “you girls” when referring to my sister and I. I sent an email back saying I appreciated the affirming words, but to kinda chill on the extreme stuff. She still is by far my best supporter in the family. I’ll be seeing some of the family later this week as I travel to the Midwest to spend time with them for Thanksgiving.

My electrologist asked this past weekend if I was interested in doing some hours tonight, and of course, I took her up on her offer. She was able to put in 3 hours on my cheeks tonight. Whew....all of this facial hair removal seems to be coming together, but I know that I still have a ways to go. The upper lip still needs a lot of work. As I was heading home, I decided to go for a little fast food. Yeah, it's a bad habit, but it's my comfort food and reward for the pain. I pulled up to pay for the meal, then looked inside...don’t ask me why. Across the way, I spotted my coworker Mark. What a coincidence. Anyway, I would have brought it up tomorrow, but there would be too many questions as to why I was down there, so I’ll just let it all slide. I’m just lucky I wasn’t down there in girl mode and decided to go inside to order. That would have been a trip....but I wonder if Mark would have spotted me.

Anyway, tonight my electrologist and I had a few good conversations. Short Rachel was before me, but was on her way out as I was arriving. I haven’t really had the chance to chat with her, but then again, it appears she’s not really into hanging out with other T’s. I don’t blame her...she looks great and supposedly has a good GG base to work with. The girl doesn’t need any facial surgery as she has hardly any brow, has a small nose, and a small chin. Anyway, my electro and I talked about what finally kicked us into gear into transitioning. She said her crisis was finally realizing she’d never be a break out musician. I told her mine was a combination of a few different events....seeing another transsexual with my own eyes shortly before turning 30, turning 30, and also having an anxiety attack one night a few months later as I stared in the mirror and saw the reflection of an old man. It scared the crap out of me.

Money, money, money....take 10.

Hey, I checked my current 401k account and all of the investments from my old 401k are now in my new 401k, and appear capable of being borrowed from....which should take care of the remainder of my Dr. O bill.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Another busy weekend

Mark and I had lunch on Friday, and ate outside to enjoy the somewhat nice weather...out of the wind. As we were sitting there, Mark spots a group of people walking in to order their food, and says that they are dressed as programmers....and that they have stereotyped themselves. He says they’re straight out of a movie...the punk girl, the nerdy white boys, and the skinny Asian guy. I ask him what I have stereotyped myself as. He says I don’t have a particular stereotype.

Friday night as I picked up dinner, I spotted my favorite bartender. The cute girl was there, too. Unfortunately, both were busy with other stuff than take care of me, so one of the managers rang me up.

After electro on Saturday, I was off for home to shower and get ready to go to the city. I had arranged the Dr. O seminar and wanted to get to the Center a little early to help with setup. I arrived only a few minutes early to see Dr. O and Mira fiddling with their projector. They never got it to work, so we all just huddled in tight to watch the presentation on their laptop. Although he didn’t really talk about much of the graphic part of the surgery, he did explain a little more about some of it. I was kinda hoping to tape it so that we can show it at further events to those that are interested, but I think they prefer that no one tapes it. I totally understand, which is why I asked first if I could.

Anyway, after the event, I was finally able to introduce Amy and Claire to one another. We determined that they were born one month apart, and started HRT one month apart. Crazy. Are they sisters separated at birth? We hung out at the Center for a while by moving from area to area, staying one step ahead of the utility guy. Whew...we talked about a lot of issues with transition. There are just so many things that happen during it, that it just seems to consume so much time. It’s nice to be able to discuss it with people, though, although it would be really cool to have some TS friends who are finished with the whole process who don’t mind looking back at us once in a while.

Since I’d only had a banana for breakfast and a PB&J sandwich with a couple of carrots for lunch, I was starting to get hungry. We picked up Tyler on the way to Northbeach, then walked around looking for a nice place to eat. Tyler and Claire were greeted by two Italian guys basically begging us to eat there, and even threw in free dessert as a teaser. We walked around a little more, then figured all of the places were about the we went for the free dessert. Wrong move. The food I had wasn’t the best, but it was edible. I think Claire had the same thoughts on it. We all shared the “free dessert” then crashed at a local cafe. It’s been a little chilly here lately, so I went for a nice cup of hot cocoa. Yum. I finally dropped all of them off then made it home, only to finally crash at 2am. It’s kinda funny that I’m driving everyone around considering I drive a small little sports coupe and everyone else is like 6’ tall. Since I’m fairly small, I fit well in my car, and never really had to worry about transporting people around....but out of the group, I’m the only one with a car. Wild.

I was up early this morning watching the pregame show. Yeah, yeah. After watching the Packers beat up on the local Forty-Whiners, I got ready in order to meet Tyler for a little shopping. We grabbed a little lunch in Nordstrom’s cafe where I experienced yet another simply edible meal. It must be the weather. Oh oh...just before our food arrived, I had to use the restroom. That was the first time I was in a crowded restroom, although there was no line. Whew. I had to walk all the way to the back of the restroom to find an empty stall. It’s just such a nervous situation because you don’t know what someone is going to do if they see you as a man instead of a transsexual in transition, and do something to hurt you. Anyway....get in, potty, wash hands, out.

Tyler spent what seemed like forever trying to pick out a sweater. Next time I'll bring back-up so we can drag her outta there. :P At least she was kind enough to help me pick out a little black dress for a dinner in a few weeks. I wanted to stay under $120 for it, and made it by about 25 bucks. The dress fits pretty good, and shows off a little cleavage which I was quite impressed with while staring in the mirror in the dressing room....the dress, not the cleavage. :P

We also went in the Victoria Secret fragrance store. The women running around in there were both quite polite, and went out of their way to call us ladies over and over. One of them spotted my freckles and noted her own as well. I said, “I guess that makes us pretty unique,” and smiled. She did as well. It seemed like they knew I was TS, but they were cool with it. Since it’s San Francisco, I’m sure they’ve seen it all.

I crashed tonight with a 3 mile run and a Spicy Chicken Sandwich from Jack in the Box....but no Oreo cookie shake.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

5th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today is the 5th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance...well, for another 18 minutes it is.

I made it to Harvey Milk Plaza slightly before 6:30 tonight, which was supposed to be the start time for the walk down Market Street. I was impressed that I was able to make it there considering the logistics of the entire thing...putting on makeup, driving into the city, parking....parking, catching the F Street car down to the Castro from the LGBT Center.

Anyway, I said hello to a few friends while we waited....Kate, Gwen, Gayle, Mikayla, Kelly, Dion, Travis, and Angel to name a few. I called Claire since I thought she would be down there as well, but the timing of the event with her zapping schedule just didn’t work out. For those that don’t know....never get between a transsexual and her electrolysis appointment. I also saw Matt Gonzalez, one of the mayoral candidates in next month’s mayor’s race runoff. I was impressed he was out there. Too bad I don’t vote in SF.

As we were all waiting, I had two separate people come up to me and asked what the whole thing was about. I told them it was the 5th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. One guy couldn’t believe we’d been having it for 5 years. I guess many people just don’t realize how long we’ve been around. Jeez, just looking back at all of it, I have spotted TS/TG conferences that occurred when I never even knew they were going on, way before I was out to myself. Where was I? Why hadn’t I ever heard the word transgender before 2000? Was I living in a cave or what?

The walk along Market was nicely organized. We had a police escort the entire way, although we walked a little slower than what I would have liked...but that was probably by take in the event in all of it’s glory. Usually, most of us get tired of people staring at us because we are different...but tonight we wanted them to stare at us...acknowledge who we are...and realize that we are people...just like them, and it’s not OK to kill us just because our gender identity and gender expression are different.

We made it to the LGBT Center then piled into the Ceremonial Room. We had a number of performers, including Transcendence, the first all-transgender Gospel Choir. They’ve been around for over a year and I’ve heard them perform a number of times. Unfortunately, I’m not the biggest fan of gospel, but they do sing very nicely. What was so amazing to me is that there was an entire stage filled with people who now expressed themselves in the gender they identified with, even though they were born into the opposite biological sex. It was so amazing to see all of them being who they are, and seeing them so happy.

A guy walked around passing out cards with numbers on them. Someone didn’t want theirs, so I offered to take it. It was number 19. After the list of performers and speakers had concluded, we moved forward with the crowning moment...reading the names of those that had been killed because they were different. One...two...three......the names continued with horrible stories of how people were killed and the injustice around their murder. Many of the people that killed these transgender people were never identified or even tried for their crimes. Sixteen....seventeen....eighteen.. ..the mic was passed to me. I read the card:

My name was Michael Charles Hurd of Houston, Texas, and on June 18th, I was found shot to death in my car; at the time of my death I was wearing a wig, makeup, and feminine attire.

Gwen rung the bell after I finished.

Twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two....the names continued on, each one dying in horrible fashions. Thirty-five, thirty-six.....thirty-seven. Thirty-seven people were killed in the past year because they were either transgender or a supporter/friend of someone who was transgender. When can we stop hating people because they are different....and just move forward with life.

Sorry, but I have to continue on. This week, Bush has been in Europe. Today, a bunch of Europeans brought down a huge fake statue of Bush similar to the way the Saddam statue fell. George is fighting so hard for the freedoms of Iraqi’s and the security of Americans, but he won’t even provide the freedom of gay and transgender people in the US to marry one another. What type of two faced freedom is that?

Wednesday, November 19, 2003


OMG...they just ran the male version of this Sprint commercial. The one I had seen up until now had the Sprint guy telling a bunch of sorority girls that they could now call free at 7pm instead of 9pm. They all go bananas with it being 7pm. The one just now had a bunch of fraternity guys instead, who go bananas when they find out “it’s a good deal.” The funny thing is that just this week I was thinking how stereotypical the sorority girl commercial was, but now they’ve balanced it out. I’m impressed.

Last night I came out to one of my classmates in dance class. She hadn’t been around in a few weeks, so when the class started going to the tougher routine, we kinda stood there watching them. The questions started then.

“What made you take this class?” she started with. First I said it was a long story, but then I explained about the play I was in earlier this year and how some of my cast mates had recommended taking the class.

She kinda caught me off guard with a comment like “How are you so pretty?” Huh? So, I said, “Well, I cheat a little.” ...which led into me coming out to her. I told her I was transgender, on hormones which helped out my skin complexion and that I didn’t have as much facial hair with electrolysis. She was totally cool with all of it, and intrigued as well. She asked a few more questions including the one I seem to get here and there: “So, are you gay?”

“Nope.” Then I went into the whole gender identity/sexual orientation thing. She was curious about the voice thing and if I had a “before” picture. Although I haven’t changed that much yet, I showed her my boy and girl ID. She took it all pretty good. I mean, we’ve talked here and there in class, but she barely knows me...which it seems allows a person to take the disclosure a lot easier.

She also asked, “How long have you known you were going to do this?”

“All my life,” I quipped back, “but only recently did I accept it and realize it’s what I need to do.”

Monday, November 17, 2003


I got a call from Mira this morning. She says Dr. O is going to be busy with some family matters when I had scheduled my surgery in January. She offered a date or two in early January, but I told her I wouldn’t even be out at work by then. She said the next available day would be in mid-February. Oh well, I guess this gives me more time to take care of the weeds in my face.

I had a meeting with the TG Steering Committee in the city tonight. We talked about a Winter Holiday party in December and handed out responsibilities for different aspects of the party. After the meeting, I called Claire. I’d told her earlier in the day that I would be in her neighborhood, so we decided to get together for dinner. I was in boy mode since I went to the meeting directly from work. That was the first time she’d seen me in full on boy mode, but it didn’t freak her out. She looked pretty good, as usual, and does amazing for being out less than 2 months. We ate a little Thai, then I cruised home.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

The Usual Suspects

It’s me and Boobers again this weekend. It's almost become a routine.

Anyway, this past Friday I stopped by the usual restaurant to pick up dinner for me and my electrologist. We usually eat before getting to work on pulling the weeds, although, I guess she’s the one who, by definition, does all the work. OK, so there’s usually this male bartender that takes care of my call-in order. I’ll have to say he’s pretty decent looking....for a guy, and he always remembers my name. :) This time, however, he wasn’t there. I was disappointed. I guess I like seeing him there, and being treated very that he knows my name and takes care of me. Don’t we all live for a little bit of routine and consistency in our lives? We live for a balance between the multitudinous and the monotonous....don’t we? Actually, there was this cute female bartender working there instead of him, so it wasn’t a total loss.

This past Thursday, I found myself yet again thinking about FFS. I then realized I would be, in a way, saying goodbye to the boy face. It also felt like I was saying goodbye to “him.” It’s not like “he” is a different persona, but he’s kind of a shell of who I am....the male identity I used to get me by in society. He’s sort of an older brother to a degree. I was saying goodbye to a dear friend and I started to cry...thinking how he’d no longer be there to help me get by. The only way I can really relate it is to think about the movie Return of the Jedi. Remember how at the end when Luke kicks Darth’s butt all over the countryside, but Darth is dying after saving his son from the Emperor? Remember sitting there as you saw Luke's father dying after taking off the mask. You put a face to the evil name of Darth Vadar and realized he was human just like everyone else. You felt sorry for him...even though he was the main evil character for the previous 2.9 movies. I cried for my “brother” even though he’s the “bad guy.”

Anyway, Courtney called to console me since I’d IM’d her what I was thinking. I know it’s all whacked, but I wonder if this is what others are going through as they see me transitioning from the boy to the new girl. Yes, we can all be afraid of what the future holds simply because the future is untold. It’s something we can’t see, and sometimes it can scare us when it ventures too far from what we are expecting. Anyway, the next day I was just the opposite as I looked in the mirror and said, “Yep, all of this boy stuff in the face has to go.”

Thursday, November 13, 2003



I’ve noticed lately that my right eye has started twitching. My left eyelid used to twitch a few years ago, and I finally figured out that it was either dehydration, stress, or a combination of both. I figure this new eye spasm is related to stress....the stress of getting this close to going full time, having FFS, and just everything else.


I also noticed that the boys downstairs seem a little “confined.” I know my ass is getting bigger, but while it is getting bigger, my guy-jeans are putting the crunch on the boys down below. I’m due for my quarterly measurement in the morning, but I’m going to take a quick measurement just to see. Wow, I just measured my hips at 37”. I started around 35.5”, and have slowly seen it creep up. Three months ago I was around 36.5”, so I’ve gained half an inch in three months, and a full inch in the past 6 months. That’s why my pants are fitting much tighter now. Two months to go before I can ditch the guy-jeans.


My boss has been monitoring his blood pressure for a little while lately. When I stopped by his desk today, he was measuring it again, and recording it in his log book. I asked if I could take mine, as I had done a while back. “Sure,” he said. So, I strapped it on and pressed the button. 110/72....pretty good. Of course, the Spironolactone is a blood pressure (potassium sparing) medication because mine used to be around 135/75, which was a little high.

When I was rolling up my sleeve to put the blood pressure, by boss says, “Your arms are small.” OK, so let me see if that measurement has done anything over the past 15 months. Nope...still 10.25”. Maybe they just look thinner without all the hair over them. Yuck!


Marina and I had dinner after my dance class tonight. She was at electrolysis again, and stopped by on her way home. We ate a little Chinese food and talked about the usual. I told her about Kathy’s encounter with another T at a bar a friend of ours works at, and that Kathy used her as a reference when talking with the other T. Midway through our conversation, she asks if I want to get one of those shakes I mention in my journals. Ooofff....I have not been eating well at all lately, nor have I been exercising (only one workout in the past week), which could be one of the reasons my butt is getting big. Well, we stopped at Jack in the Box on the way home and got the usual shake. That’s it for more splurging for a while.

Money, money, money....take 9

I finally got the check from my old 401k plan, and filled out the paperwork to roll it into my current 401k. My old plan wouldn’t let me borrow from that account since I no longer worked with that company, so I decided to transfer it in the hopes that I can borrow from it once it’s in the current plan. That should easily provide enough to take care of the remaining balance with Dr. O.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Closed doors

Last week my company issued a statement saying the doors would be closed the week after Christmas. I was hoping to have a face-to-face with HR on January 2nd, but it looked like I was going to have to wait until the following week. So, I sent an email to my HR contact asking to meet the following Monday. She emails back that she’s off to another site that week and could meet the following week. Doh! OK, I guess I have waited this long, what’s another week and a half, huh?

Fishing for comments

I was having lunch with some coworkers and vendors last Friday when the subject suddenly became interesting. One of the vendors mentions that his son likes fishing and his daughter doesn’t. Robi mentions the gender stereotyping of that situation. Of course, as I become a bit more daring realizing that no one even suspects my situation, I state, “I didn’t like fishing as a kid, and my sister did.” It was a friendly little conversation about gender stereotyping that continued with Pete saying how he saw his son playing with trucks while all the girls were at the table just drawing. Pete then mentioned something really interesting....that female's brains develop across hemispheres and had different skills such as communication. I have no idea if his statement is valid, but I found it interesting that he said it. I know many T’s who are very smart, and also very articulate. They can be engineers and programmers, yet also artists and musicians on the side. The conversation kinda drifted off after the brain development as our food arrived.

After electrolysis this past Saturday, I picked up my parents at the airport. Yep, the parents. They’ve done pretty good considering the situation, but they are still working through some issues. Based on the advice of their own therapist, they decided to go with me to my therapist....and also visit me for a little while.

We just chilled on Saturday, then went to a fund raiser for the Transgender Day of Remembrance on Sunday for brunch. It was the first time my Dad saw me as Kara. I could tell he felt a bit nervous. Anyway, we drove up into the city for the event and finally found a place to park. Once inside, I introduced them to a few of my friends, then introduced myself to some people I’d never met before. A guy named Travis was very friendly as he introduced himself to my parents and made them feel right at home. After my parents made their way to the food, I asked Travis what his relationship was to the fundraiser. He said he was trans. My eyes opened pretty wide. Sure, he was short, about my height, but he had a ton of facial hair, had some severe hair line recession, and his voice was quite deep. Testosterone does some pretty drastic stuff. He said he was ok with telling my parents, but I told him I’d wait until later.

We ate a nice little brunch, then watched Dion’s short film on last year’s Day of Remembrance. Gayle, who was the organizer of the event, then asked for contributions to the event. I threw in a little money, as did my parents, then we headed out for the art museum. On our way, I asked them about some of my friends, and the new people they’d met. My mom has already been exposed to some of my TS friends, but this was my Dad’s first time. I asked what they thought of Travis, and my dad said he enjoyed talking with him since they were both military men. I told them that Travis was born a woman. My dad about shit his pants there. He said he really bonded with Travis. I had to laugh. My dad...bonding with an FTM. How cute. Seriously, though, it was nice to see that my dad was able to admit that he had bonded with a guy who just happened to start out a little different than most guys. My dad has trouble getting past the stereotype of people being different, but once he meets them and talks with them, he sees that they are normal people.

All of the people there were very nice and polite to my parents, and they told me I was brave for bringing them along. I figured it would be a good opportunity for my parents to meet other transgender people to see that we’re just like the rest of society......we just happened to have been born in the wrong body.

We toured the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art after running into an artist friend of mine in the parking lot...what a small world. I will have to admit, though, that I’m just not a big fan of modern art, but some of it is ok. To me, much of it just is not that impressive. Anyway, there were a few photographic exhibits. Some even included old photos of female impersonators, transvestites, and what were probably transsexuals, but due to the time period, weren’t able to transition compared to current standards.

On Monday, I went to work for the first half, then came home and changed. We left a little early so I could stop by the courthouse on the way to therapy. Yep, the name change. I had to fill out the Civil Case Cover Sheet and the Petition for Change of Name, as well as the Order to Show Case and Decree Changing Name. They are not the easiest forms to fill out since part of them has to be filled out by me and part by the court/judge...and they don’t exactly tell you which part to be filled out by whom. Anyway, after being shown where to fill out a few more items, she also mentioned that I should call some of the newspapers to see how much they charge for the name change, since some of them can differ by hundreds of dollars. OMG...did she just say hundreds of dollars???? That’s insane. I called up a few, and of the ones I could find, it ended up being just shy of $200. That’s still insane. One little blurb in the back of some newspaper once a week for 4 weeks. It’s all a gyp. OK, so I jumped back in line and finally got my paperwork in, and paid my nearly $300 fee. I’m lucky I did this myself, otherwise the whole thing would have probably cost me over $800. Insane.

After that, we attended therapy with my therapist. My dad jumped in pretty fast with some of his concerns. My therapist explained a little about the whole transsexual situation, how it can possibly come about, the usual ways a child hides those feelings, and some of the treatments. She also went over some of my dad’s concerns. I know my dad still has a lot of concerns about all of it, and I know he feels let down. He’s just having a hard time with his son becoming a woman. He’s trying to work through it, but it’s just going to take time. Hopefully one day he’ll be proud to call me his daughter, although even I will have to get used to that.

We did go over my blood test results before we jumped into the meat of things. My ALT was 20 which is great compared to what it has been. Unfortunately, my testosterone has shot up to 87 from under 20 a few months ago, and my cholesterol is up to 171 when it’s usually around 130. Perhaps Courtney’s little visit, and subsequent inflicted diet, brought it up a few points. Anyway, she liked the cholestesterol number even though it seemed high to what I’m usually accustomed to, and she raised my spironolactone up to 150mg a day from 100mg in order to hopefully tackle the jump in T. She’d mentioned it before that there is usually a secondary jump in T after being on spiro for a while.

We then went to dinner, and then attended a PFLAG meeting that I have frequented before. The people at PFLAG are great, especially since they have all gone through it before, although most have dealt with their child being gay or lesbian, and not transgender. I hope my parents will decide to attend some of the local PFLAG meetings near them, as the people in the group can really help. And knowing my parents, they’ll really be able to help those parents of transgender children who come along later.

After the meeting and back at my apartment, my parents and I also discussed my sister. My sister basically won’t talk to me. We had an incident pop up last Christmas, and she did not like one of the sites that I had linked to on my previous website. Somehow, through all of that, she does not feel comfortable around me at all. Hopefully she’ll come around one day, and I’ll be there for her when she does.

Last night, I went out on a date...sorta. I took the usual precautions of picking the place beforehand, telling someone where I was going, then having that person call during the meeting to make sure I was ok. Hey, I gotta be safe out there since there are too many people that just don’t like transsexuals. The guy is married, and visiting the area on business, but I told him before having dinner that all he could plan on was conversation. I don’t know why I meet a few people here and there....I guess to get a little practice sitting on the other side of the table. He was a nice guy, but he was hoping to develop some sort of friendship with me....something I am not going to do with a man at this time, especially one that is married and is looking to have more than a friendship at some point.

A quick laugh.

Coworker Mark stopped by my desk earlier this week and proclaimed himself a connoisseur of reality TV. Duh!

Ooops, I did it again.

In a meeting yesterday, Robi, Pete, and I somehow got on the subject of plastic surgery. It all manifested from a conversation in which I am trying to get a headset for my phone so I don’t have to crink my neck to the side to hold it there while talking. Pete made a funny comment about me wearing tube tops if I start wearing a headset like Britney Spears....and that’s when it took off toward the plastic surgery topic. Robi says she’s going to grow old gracefully while Pete mentioned something about his face profile and how his nose sticks out quite a bit. To be truthful, I’d never really noticed. My Facial Feminization Surgery is scheduled for the end of January, but they’ll only find out about it about 2 weeks before I have it. I hope they are able to get over it in that amount of time.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Long hair

I visited the dentist this morning for my usual 6 month checkup. Good marks all around. :)

When I visited 6 months ago, the receptionist said she barely recognized me and that my hair was getting long.

Today, all she could say is, “Wow, your hair is really long.”

I had two other coworkers tell me the same thing today...with one telling me I needed a haircut. I guess it must be “pick-on-the-long-haired-guy day.”

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

It's a trap

I cried again Monday night as I went to bed. I saw the empty spot where she’d slept the past 6 nights and I instantly started crying again. I miss her.

Yesterday, I was talking to my roomie about our visit to AsiaSF last week. We got into a discussion about the little things that still look masculine on some of us. He said, “the girls that dance on stage still have little things like the cut of their arms or the build of their chest, but with the huge boobies, it just doesn’t really matter,” as he stood there with his arms outstretched and his hands held in a manner to suggest he was groping someone., it appears that big boobs definitely help one look more like a least in the eyes of horny men.

My coworker Mark has been fairly quiet in his comments lately. He’s still big on discussing the latest reality TV shows, though. Yesterday, I saw an email discussing a reality show called “There’s something about Miriam” about 6 men who were suing the show that had duped them into trying to win the affections of a beautiful woman that was in actuality, a pre-op transseuxal.

Hey, those guys signed on for the show, and that’s what they get for doing a reality show. They should air the program. As soon as I saw the article, though, I knew I had to forward it to Mark.

This morning, Mark walks by my cube and says, “It’s easy to fall into that trap.” I will assume that he also found her attractive, and would not have known she used to be a man. Hmmmm. That's all he said, though.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Saying good-bye to Courtney

Today has been hard. It was not a day I was looking forward to, and yet, I knew it would come.

Before I talk about it, though, I want to talk about yesterday. Courtney fixed her favorite breakfast....chocolate chip pancakes. I’ve never really been a pancake fan, but I tried them. They were pretty decent. I guess I’ve always just been too much of a cereal fan to prepare anything other than the normal. I might start making some special breakfasts on Sundays, though, since it’s an old family tradition as well.

I had to go to some TGSF meetings in the afternoon, then took off once they were complete. Court and I grabbed some pizza again. It seems that’s another of her favorites. We worked a little on my voice then picked up my roomie at the airport when he came back a little early.

Last night, as we were getting ready for bed, I sat in bed thinking about her leaving today. I started crying. I tried to hide it, but the sniffling was pretty noticeable. I grabbed a tissue and wiped away the tears. Courtney sniped, “You better knock that shit off!” as she was washing her face.

I tried to recover and said, “What?” in a nice calm manner.

“Oh, I thought you were crying,” she responded.

I was.

We woke up early this morning and I knew it was going to be extremely hard. I cried in the shower. On our way to the airport we were both fairly silent. I made a comment and looked over at her, and she was crying. I instantly started crying myself. I grabbed some tissue as we departed from the car. We checked her in then walked to the area near security. The line wasn’t short, but it also wasn’t long. I told her it would probably be best if she headed out to get through security in a timely manner.

We hugged...we cried. I hugged her again, with my arms around her midsection like a small child hugging their parent. I didn’t want to see her go. I don’t know why exactly, but I connected so well with her. We have a lot in common, yet we’re both quite distinct. I told her she’d better go. I walked back toward the garage, but hung out in the empty baggage claim area and cried some more. I waited long enough to assure myself that she was through security. I cried on my way to work, but was able to dry my eyes by the time I walked in. I almost started crying again during the morning hours. I was hoping that Court would call during her layover in Chicago, and she did. I was glad to hear her voice. I asked her to call me again when she got home. She called a few hours later to let me know she’d made it. After work, I cried on my way home.

I went most of my life bottling up my emotions, and letting them flow freely is finally so fulfilling, but why does it have to be so hard to say goodbye to someone you care about?

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Out and about with Courtney

Saturday - November 1, 2003

Yesterday morning, Courtney and I caught breakfast at IHOP. She pigged out on her favorite, chocolate chip pancakes. I did the same, except with some blueberry waffles.

After that, I went to a make up class for the two dance classes I missed this week. Whew, it was hard catching up on the items I’d missed. Courtney caught the end of our class and watched me mess up a bunch. Oh well.

We chilled after that. Later, we started preparing for the night by getting our Halloween costumes on. Courtney was a sexy nurse and I was the vampiress, like I was last weekend. Hey, why spend that much money on a costume once, when I can wear it twice?

After sitting around forever, Brandon called to let us know that Vaniity and Sam wouldn’t be making it up since there were some problems with the costumes. Brandon said he was headed up, though. We met him at one of the exits along the freeway, then drove up to the city together. Brandon looked awesome with his vampire prosthetic since he looked like he was right out of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We spent a few hours at Diva’s since it was too cold to hang out in the Castro. They had a costume contest which all three of us participated in. Court and Brandon made the final cut, with Brandon taking the overall prize. They definitely loved his outfit.

This morning, I went for a run with Boobers. My roomie is out of town, so I’m watching her until Monday. After the run, Courtney and I caught a quick lunch and decided to do a little sight seeing. We drove along Ocean Beach, past the Cliff House, through the Presidio, then across the Golden Gate Bridge. We decided to take a fun little picture similar to a popular one that had been on GenderPeace. We had purchased fun little sunglasses and brought along our blue Dr. O pens. We asked a guy to take a picture while we held up the pens in one hand and mobile phones up to our ears with the other hand, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. After that, we drove up into the headlands and took a few more scenic pictures of the city and the bridge. (It was a GP gag.)

After that, we decided to waste a little time by going shopping and headed for Nordstrom Rack. As we were driving down Van Ness, we saw Tyler and Claire. What a coincidence. We yelled at them, but they didn’t hear us. I circled around, but we didn’t see them, so we just parked. I called up Claire as we were walking across Van Ness. I told her we were still at the bridge and wondered where they were. After finding out, we sneaked in and surprised them. Tyler was out looking for a new phone, and after finding one, we made our way to the Korean restaurant. Claire felt uncomfortable with a few of the people who she thought were staring at her, but they were harmless. We enjoyed some fabulous Korean BBQ, though.