Saturday, January 31, 2004


Thursday night I was up in the city for the TGSF Social. I had been asked to attend since I was the runner-up for Ms. TGSF. Deciding not really to hang out there for dinner, I arranged to meet Claire and Amy for some food beforehand. Claire suggested we head over to the Fillmore area and try something there. So, we found a noodle bar, but the food I had wasn’t that great. Amy’s dish, which I sampled, was pretty decent though. Anyway, they brought something called a Mystic Fish with the check. Claire read the package which indicated to put the fish on your palm and see how it reacts. So, she sticks the whole thing on her palm and it does nothing. Turning over the white plastic, it has the meaning of what in this case: Motionless - thoughtful attitude, but your friends like you anyway. Claire says, “What’s that supposed to mean?” I just chuckled.

After looking a little closer at the white plastic, I notice the fish is actually inside the little bag. I pull it out and place it on my hand as it should be done. Only the head moved for me, which meant: generosity. Claire says, “’re paying for the bill, huh?” Not!!!

Claire and Amy both had the fish’s head and tail move, which indicated: stubborn. Yep, right again. :)

When we were getting back into my car, Claire donked her head on the ceiling as she climbed into the back seat. She says, “I know I hit it, but I can’t feel it.” Great. That’s something to look forward to.

We hung out at the Social for a little while as they dragged Siobhan, Anne Louise, and myself up there to talk about the Cotillion. Siobhan stated that she had a number in her camp tell her that she should have won, and thought I probably did as well, but that we all need to put the petty politics aside that have caused a lot of trouble lately. We need to rally behind Anne Louise and support her as Ms. TGSF. Siobhan’s right. I expressed the same sentiments when I was asked to say a few words. What’s really bad, is that I see so much of the politics. It really drives me crazy trying to put up with all of it. The thing is, I also like to give back to the community, although all it’s given me lately is a hard time.

I took off yesterday afternoon to do a little laser on my body, and on my face to try to get rid of some of the ingrowns. The arms and legs went pretty easily, but the goatee area of my face stung pretty bad. Looking at my face tonite, I still have some redness and darkness. Darn. I was hoping the laser would get most of that. Well, I’ll give it 2 weeks to see if I shed most of it, but right now it doesn’t look that promising. I went to electro after that with her working on my cheeks and neck. I think she cleared my face once again, but I scheduled another 1-2 hours for cleanup on Monday night which still allows me my two weeks before surgery without laser or electro.

I received a call from an unknown number this morning and answered in my girl voice. It was Joe, and he asked for Kara. Hey, I was impressed that he did that. We chatted for a little while since he was curious about my upcoming surgery and how I was doing with everything. He wondered how I was doing my voice and if the hormones had affected it, but I said it was just practice...and that it still needed a lot of work. It was nice to have him call me though, since he has been a friend I have known for a long time.

I’ve been cleaning up my apartment this afternoon before everyone comes over for the Super Bowl Party tomorrow. I have a variety of friends showing up including one from college who just moved out here, and a few that have never seen me as Kara. It should be fun.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004


Yesterday, my boss shows me his computer screen which has a workplace harassment online seminar that he has to take. He points at me and jokingly says, “See what you made me have to do!”

I responded with “whoops” as though I was the direct cause.

I received the email notice today saying I had to take the same online course to learn about workplace harassment. I took it tonite and got all of them right. Whoo hoo!

OK, well, the timing of this online workplace harassment thing is too much of a coincidence. It’s pretty obvious that upper management has received word of my impending announcement and has taken a few steps to try to make my life a little easier at work, but also to possibly cover their asses.

This afternoon was not a fun time. I was in an FDA pre-assessment-type audit, and under the spotlight. I was grilled for about 2 hours, and let’s just say that I ended up well done, perhaps event burnt. This is my first project where I’ve had to start the history file from nothing and put it all together. Not only that, but this is my first FDA project and was my first audit. Nice. I ate a burger and onion rings for lunch, and they weren’t sitting too well about an hour into the audit. What’s going to make this worse, is that I only have a few weeks left before I am out a couple of weeks for FFS.

Speaking of the same project, I gave the project manager my coming out letter tonite. He stopped by a few minutes after I gave him the letter and expressed his full support. He even said something like “Cool!” and that he was happy I was able to be myself...or something like that. We still need to discuss the allocation of resources while I am away.

Sitting here listening to the news, they just mentioned that this week marks the anniversary of all three NASA catastrophes in which astronauts were killed. They said that the Challenger destruction was 18 years ago. Jeez! That seems so long ago. I was a sophomore in high school when it blew up, and can remember I was walking outside the school when I heard the news. Last year, I was asleep when Discovery disintegrated on re-entry, just as I was asleep when 9/11 happened, only to wake up to the news on the radio. I did see one of the buildings topple as I stood there in awe watching what was really happening.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Spicy or Original

Today was my original date for FFS. Whew, I’m glad it got pushed back a few weeks.

Sunday night, I went to bed around 1:30am after taking a nap earlier in the evening. I had a dream that I was driving in a car with someone sitting in the passenger seat. We saw a UFO in the sky, then I remember not being able to move. I knew that I had been in the car driving, and that we must have crashed but I wasn’t able to move so I tried yelling. Slowly, I faded back to consciousness and realized I was dreaming. While dreaming, there is an automatic response in your body that paralyzes yourself to prevent you from acting out your dreams. In this case, I was trying to move, but couldn’t since the mechanism that prevented me during dreaming was still activated. And this, I believe, is the reason why so many people think they have been abducted. They are waking from a dream and can’t move, and it scares them. It’s happened to me a few times, but it’s not alien abduction. At least I don’t think it is. So, at 2am, I was back to sleep.

Yesterday, coworker PJ was giving me friendly trouble about what football shirt/team I was wearing that day. I showed him my Packer sweatshirt just like usual, to give him trouble with his 49ers (or 40 whiners as I like to call them) that he likes. He then asks, “What shirt are you wearing for the Super Bowl?”

Thinking he would say New England or Carolina, I told him I’ll wear anything he wants because I really don’t favor one or the other. He grinned, and then I thought, “Oh no. You just set yourself up to have to wear a 49er shirt.”

But no. He says, “Lace” and starts to chuckle. I just sat down and started laughing as he walked away.

Last night I was able to arrange 2 more hours of electro. Brooke hung out with us as well. During the time there, we had some deep conversations, with me sometimes the only one with the opposing view. Well, they both got me upset again, and since I was the only one, AND under the influence of pain killing drugs while experiencing electrolysis pain, I totally felt like I was being ganged up on. I remember the subject this time...the Standards of Care. That topic has caused a debate on one of my yahoo groups as well, simply because there are a few who do not fit the standard group of transsexuals who therapists believe can benefit from transitioning. I have used the Standards as a guide. If there are areas that are going to hold me back from my transition, then I have looked at ways to improve myself. Fortunately, I haven’t had that many things to work on besides my own physical transition. I didn’t have any major depression nor any other psychological problems other than my GID. I have watched how some TS have successfully transitioned, and I have seen how others have simply taken a ride that cannot end outside of crashing and burning. The Standards are there to assist us in a successful transition, and if one doesn’t want to follow them, that’s fine with me...just don’t phuck up my transition, and don’t come whining to me when you lose your job and friends because you are whacked. I had to relate to Brooke on how I saw the Standards. The Standards are similar to the speed limits. Sure, you can drive as fast as you want as long you don’t hurt anyone. If, however, you crash into someone who is going the speed limit, then shame on you, and yes, you better run with your tail between your legs because people will be out for you. So, why not follow the rules and benefit by flowing with traffic on the journey to a successful transition? Sure, there are some aspects to the Standards that might need refinement, but in general, they are there to help with a successful transition.

Uggghhhh....I’m tired. Off to bed.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Cotillion 2004

Pardon the long post.

I was at the young TS support group meeting this past Tuesday. Nobody new, but we talked a little about the exciting times in our lives. One is headed to SRS next month, the other was just putting together the letter to her parents, and I’m headed to FFS next month, along with going full time, and returning to work as Kara the following month. All three are painful events, but worth it in the long run.

Mom was due in this past Thursday night to visit me this weekend. I picked up my apartment Wednesday night and Thursday evening before she arrived. I’ve also been moving some of the male clothes out of my closet to open up a little space. I basically pulled out all of my pull over collared shirts along with some of my long sleeve shirts. I’m going to keep a few items like some flannel shirts for warmth and stuff like my letter jackets and my NFL football jerseys (chicks look cute in jerseys!!!). I picked up Mom at the airport around 10:30 then drove her back to my place, with a stop off at the grocery store to pick up a few items.

I went to work Friday, but told Mom we’d eat lunch out. I kept her busy with some cookie dough I hadn’t turned into cookies yet. She was pulling the last batch out of the oven when I came home to pick her up. Wow...those cookies rocked, and here I was still on my diet...sorta. Anyway, we had a nice little lunch, spotting a few coworkers out as well...even Robi. Later she asked why my mom was in town, and I told her a little about the Cotillion. I was kinda hoping to keep it fairly quite around work, but I figure Robi won’t spread it too much.

Right after work, I was off to the dress rehearsal for the Cotillion. The room was set up quite nice, but they gave us way too much room backstage and not enough room for the audience. I think we could have squeezed more seats into the audience if they would have lined things up better. Anyway, I took the cookies for everyone else while we waited for the stage to be set up. I also chatted with Siobhan and her wife, along with their friend Sarah West, who is known for her incidence on a United Airlines flight. It’s wild running into the people you hear about in the news. The TS community really is that small. I swear, we are all linked by less than three degrees of separation. I also chatted a little with V who was a friend of Chrysanthemum’s. She’s only 19 and already working on her GID stuff.

So, although asked to show up at 6pm, I don’t think we were able to start practicing until about 10pm.

T a l k a b o u t a l o n g d a y....uuugggghhhh.

We ran through some of the basics with the emcees, walked through the stage runs for the casual wear and formal wear, then I was able to practice my dance routine on the actual stage. The practice run went well, as the stage was just big enough for my little back and forth's. After practicing all week long, I finally felt comfortable about being able to perform it without messing up too bad.

Saturday morning I went for a run after sleeping in. I haven’t slept in many Saturday mornings in quite a while. After a shower, Mom and I went for lunch, then went over to my hair appointment. My stylist was able to straighten my hair last year, so I knew she would be able to do it again this year. An hour later, my hair was as straight as it has ever been. She even trimmed it up so that it looked totally awesome. I am so jealous of all the girls out there with straight hair. I wanted to have this done for the show, and also to see how it would sit on my face. I loved it so bad.

Initially, I was supposed to pick up Claire and Amy in the city, but they called to say they were going to rent a car to drive down. It turned out for the best. I headed over to the hotel about 4:30 to get ready, but left my clothes at home. So, I called Mom, only to find she’d gotten herself lost. Aaaawwwwwhhhhh!!!! She said she’d finally found the highway and was headed back up to pick up the clothes for me. I called again later to find that she was at the apartment, Claire and Amy had made it, and that she was on her way. Fifteen minutes went past and nothing. I called her again, and finally found she was headed the wrong way again. Aaaawwwwhhhh!!!! I’m going to have to talk to Dad sometime about her sense of direction. :P So, I finally got her turned around and headed towards me with enough time to run upstairs, change, and put my stage makeup on after she arrived with my clothes. Since I kept most of my outfits pretty basic, I was ready with no problem at, the show started nearly 30 minutes late. Claire, Amy, and my mom, however, barely made it in time.

For the Cotillion, we had 6 girls and 2 guys competing for the titles of Mr. and Miss Transgender San Francisco. Damon and Bobby were both vying for the guys, while Silia, Chrysanthemum, Anne Louise, Siobhan, Marla, and I were vying for the girls. All of the pictures here are courtesy of Jamie Fenton.

Left to right: Damon, Siobhan, Silia, Marla, Bobby, Anne Louise, Chrysanthemum, and me.

We competed first in Casual Wear. I wore gray pants from Express, black boots from Easy Spirit (a shoe store with shoes that had both style and comfort), a white ruffly top from Bloomingdales, and a leather jacket I found at Nordstrom Rack. All of it is stuff I already owned, or recently purchased in my journey to full time. The commentary for the Casual Wear section was pretty long, so you really had to keep the movement going and continue to pose at different spots, but not make it look like you were stalling. I had a lot of fun on that part while really flirting with the crowd. Later I found out that I was the highest scorer for that section of the competition.

Next up was the Talent section. Damon sang “I Got You Babe” with a hot MTF TS, while both were dressed in the opposite role. Siobhan had a comedy dialogue dealing with her life. Silia lip synched to two different songs with a variety of friends as her “back-up” singers with one of them falling off the back of the stage. Doh! Marla actually blew a pretty good horn, while Bobby wrestled with a crocodile. Anne Louise and Chrysanthemum both sang songs on their own. I then came out and performed a dance routine to the song “Oh Nelly,” which I learned in jazz dance class. It went pretty good as the crowd seemed to be into it and I didn’t have any major mess ups.

We then had intermission, and since I didn’t want any funky lines on my back for the formal wear, I decided to ditch all bras for a while. So, I put on this little red top and the rest of my casual wear outfit, and went out to mingle with the crowd. I caught up with Claire, Amy, my Mom, my roomie, Kathy, her friend Rachel, Diana, Chris from TLC, Mikayla, Marina, and a variety of other people.

I then ran back to get prepared for the Formal Wear section. I wore a red Jessica McClintock gown I found at Macy’s with Kathy a few weeks ago. I kept the rest of the outfit simple with red shoes, a red wrap, a bracelet, and a necklace my cousin Emily gave me for Christmas. It was hard to move around in the gown, so I wasn’t able to walk so fast in it, and almost tripped a few times.

We all came back up for the final question, and since I was the last competitor with the last question, I just stayed in the same outfit. My question: What makes you the ideal candidate? I hate having to sell myself, especially when I have to basically brag. I tried to keep it simple again, by saying I had a bit of wit, humor, etc. This morning, as I was driving back from dropping my mom off at the airport, I realized that I could have slam dunked that question had I prepped for it. I realize that almost all of the questions can be answered with two easy themes: being true to yourself and giving back to a community that has given so much to me. Had I said, “An ideal person is different for anyone judging them. It’s all relative. But as long as a person is true to themself and confident in who they are, that’s all you can ask in the ideal person, no matter what their skills may be”....or something like that.

During the whole event, though, there was a time when Lenny, one of the emcees, asked if there were any family members in the audience. My mom and a few others raised their hands. Lenny gave them all a round of applause, and came out to my mom to give her a big hug. I watched from behind the curtain, and almost started crying.

During the whole affair, both the rehearsal and the actual event, I had a chance to talk with both FTM’s, Bobby and Damon. They are both great guys, and I had no clear idea who was going to win. It’s too bad they both ran in the same year, as I think both of them would make great Mr. Transgender San Francisco's. Bobby was a bit of a player, and when I asked him if the girl in the crowd was his girlfriend, he played it up by saying she was one of them. Damon was a cool cat. He was laid back, but still an entertainer. He’s an EMT and used to serve in the military. They both do so well as men, and it’s hard to believe they were ever women. It’s just so incredible how damaging testosterone can be. I think I really connected with both of them.

The slow part of the show came when all the awards were given out. There were a few people that enjoy hearing themselves talk, and talk they did. They also enjoy patting one another on the back. Hey, whatever. Anne Louise and I did arrange for awards to be given to Susan and Roxy, though, but these were two people that really needed to be honored during the Cotillion since they were the people that put all of it together. The rest basically could have just not been awarded as far as I am concerned.

OK,’re probably wondering who won. Well, I thought for sure that Siobhan and I were the front runners since we are both pretty out going, carried ourselves very well, had some decent talent, and we’re both active in the community. When they announced that Siobhan was the second runner up, I figured that Silia had sneaked into the top two. Next, they announced my name as the first runner up. I really thought with Siobhan already announced, that I had a clear shot for the title. I guess I was just a bit arrogant. Anne Louise took the title. I was really amazed. The judges awarded the title to a total underdog. At least there were a lot of roses for First Runner Up as well, so I didn’t feel too bad. Plus, I knew that win or lose, I was going to have a good time.

Siobhan and I shared one another’s scores, and as I thought, we were neck and neck. The only event I really caught her on was the Casual Wear, but otherwise we were within a point of one another throughout the other sections. Siobhan’s strong points are her public speaking as she does a fair share of it compared to me. I do a few presentations here and there, but not like her. This showed in her points during the interview and the final question where she picked up almost a point on each section. I picked up two points on the Casual Wear, and almost one point on the talent, but we were basically even on the Formal Wear. I only beat her by one point, and with different judges, I’m sure we would have been back and forth on who beat who. I have no idea what Anne Louise's points were, but if I caught Siobhan by 2 points on Casual Wear, I had to have had her by at least 3 points. She must have killed on the interview and the final question. Anyway, it will probably drive me bananas until I see her scores.

Afterward, we hung around on stage while people came up to take pictures. My mom gave me some roses, and Claire and Amy gave me a beautiful arrangement of flowers. They all looked great with the pink roses from winning. Since I’ve never really received any flowers outside of the play from last year, they really made this ol’ girl feel pretty warm.

Since I’d been on a diet for the past two and a half weeks, going from about 143 down to 136, I was ready for some food. Mom, Claire, Amy, Brooke, Rachel (Miss TGSF 2003), V, and I all decided to order a little late night food. We ordered a pizza around 12:30 and chowed down on a large pepperoni and a large artichoke hearts and garlic around 1am. Yum! Yep, I was the one who ordered. We finished every last piece, especially with Brooke and Claire there. :)

I was still picking on Claire a little. On Friday night, we found out that the USC basketball team was staying in the same hotel, and playing Stanford Saturday night. Claire loves tall guys, so she was in a dreamy state of mind every time I mentioned that they were there. I asked the front desk if they had come back from the game, and they said that they came back earlier in the evening. Darn...I was hoping to have Claire entertain us with her attempt to get a date.

The hardest part of the entire night, though, was having a number of people come up and tell me that I should have won. I mean, I can understand someone coming up and saying, “Hey, we were hoping you would win” or “We thought you would win,” but I had people telling me outright that I should have won. I would just smile and say that I had a good time, and that it was enjoyable competing and being on stage. What else can you say? One of the judges and a few other people associated with the production came up to tell me the same thing. I’m sure Siobhan probably got her share of the same comments as well. Anyway, yes, I would like to have won, but I didn’t. I can live with that. I think this was my only shot at running, as I will probably have other items keeping me busy next year at this time, as well as a few projects that might prevent me from competing altogether. What’s really bad, is that Anne Louise took home Miss Congeniality as well. I voted for her because she’s been really friendly and helpful, and I didn’t think she had a shot in hell of winning. Looks like I wasn’t the only one.

After indulging in the pizza, Claire, Amy, Mom, and myself went back to my apartment to finally get some sleep. I think we crashed at 2:30 when I could not even keep my eyes open to talk with Claire and Amy as we slept on the living room floor. I asked before going to bed if anyone snored, and Amy raised her hand while laughing. Yep, she does snore, although not too loud. I woke up around 7am and just kinda laid there until Amy woke up. We chatted for a while, and were amazed that Claire never woke up. Amy said Claire was a heavy sleeper. I suggested we write something on her forehead since she probably wouldn’t be able to feel it anyway. Anyway, 8:30 rolled around and I threw my makeup on. I had to drop Mom off at the airport, then run over for brunch at the hotel. Amy and Claire went along for brunch, as we all pigged out.

Afterward, we chilled at my apartment for a while as Claire showed us her basketball spinning skills. Yep, I think those basketball players were still on her mind. In fact, she told us that she had a dream about them. Uh huh...I think I know what to get her for her birthday. :)

I suggested we get some ice cream, so we drove over and hung out in the downtown section. Claire, Amy, and I sat there eating ice cream as two pigeons kept walking about around us, especially one in particular. One of them wondered how pigeons were able to get around while moving their head so fast back and forth. Claire had us laughing up a storm with her “donk, donk, donk” sound effects as the pigeon wandered around us in a pattern only it’s feeble mind could create. Sometimes I feel as if our life is one big pigeon walk....sometimes we move so fast that we really can’t see where we’re going.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Have you ever seen an elephant pee?

Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day!!! Unfortunately, I still had to work today, but since I have a ton to do before I’m gone for FFS, I wasn’t really complaining.

Coworker Mark caught me sitting weird in my seat again today. “Why don’t you sit down?” he asked.

I just said that I was about to fax something, and that I had to pee, as I started walking to the fax machine. He laughed and said, “All at the same time?”

As I walked past him, he asks, “Have you ever seen an elephant pee?”

“Have you ever seen a grown man naked? Have you ever been in a Turkish prison?” ran through my head. Nope, there’s no mention of an elephant peeing in that conversation. I just gave him a strange look.

He then reported that he had been up at the zoo this weekend with his family and was watching the elephants during their feeding time. He said one of the elephants had gallons and gallons just coming out as he was peeing. He said his little daughter also made the observation that the elephant was both peeing and pooping at the same time, and that she said something else really cute. What this topic has in relation to my own journey, I really don’t know, but I thought it was something different to write about for once.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

In the chair

I thought I’d throw together a summary of this past week at work. Y and I talked a little during our bi-weekly one on one. We talked about my timeline and how it affects the different projects I’m on. At the end, he asked me what the hormones do for me, and so I explained to him that I’m on an anti-androgen called Spironolactone which prevents testosterone from binding at the receptor sites and Premarin which is conjugated estrogen. The “spiro”, as it’s more commonly known, is a potassium sparing diuretic which has also been used as a high blood pressure medicine. It lowered my testosterone count from 754 down to under 20. The estrogen, in combination with the spiro, has made my body hair finer, redistributed fat in my face, butt, and thighs, caused me to tire more easily, grown breasts, and intensified my emotions. I feel calmer and more at ease, but that’s probably just a subconscious reaction to knowing that I am taking the medication and moving forward along my path.

Robi has done pretty good with the news ever since the first day. I’ve chatted with her a little about the bathroom situation and having my hair straightened. She thinks the biggest trouble with the bathrooms will be with the women of different cultures who might not have grown up here in the US. She’s probably right.

Pete has been very professional on the whole thing. He’s shared a few of his own personal concerns, not about me, but just about some of his own. They aren't problems, but just things he would like to improve about himself in general.

G has also done pretty good. He didn’t really say anything the first day after I gave him the letter. The main reason, he said, is because he didn’t have any questions. He said he’s already gone through all of this at one of his previous employers, although he didn’t really know the past transitioner.

Although Y is my direct boss, I decided to send a letter to our group manager, who has recently become our manager due to the company’s reorganizations. His letter back was very professional and he basically stated that he was fine with my transition, that people said I was a good worker, and that he valued a person’s work more so than their gender. Cool.

HR and I haven’t talked since Monday, but I did receive a short term disability packet in the mail discussing state benefits including all of the forms.

Anyway, things are pretty good so far. I will probably disclose to the project manager of one of the larger projects I am on since we are on a pretty tight schedule. We’ll see how much my “vacation” will affect the overall timeline of my sections of the project.

On a lighter note, I was down for electro again this past week, and picked up dinner at the usual place. Brandon the bartender recognized me as soon as I walked up to the bar, even though it was packed solid. He had my receipt to me before I could even get my wallet out. He really took care of me this time as I was in and out in less than a few minutes.

After electro and over at Brooke’s, we got on the subject of her being fairly girlie. She said that she’s had numerous comments at work, as I can see why. She doesn’t have much hair on her face anymore, and the hair on her head looks like a girl’s style no matter how she wears it...down or in a ponytail. I told her that the people I’ve come out to lately haven’t had a clue, and she expected her coworkers to simply say, “So that’s what’s going on.” She reminded me, though, that I set out to not tip any of my coworkers off about my journey because I didn’t want to lose my job. Brooke is financially well off, so losing her job doesn’t really matter to her, in fact, at one point, she planned on losing it instead of transitioning on the job. But she was right, I set about my journey so that no one would notice. I only thinned during electro for my first 150 hours, then started stripping once it was thin enough to not look like hair patches had been plowed in my face. I’ve been hiding my breast growth for almost 1.5 years now with baggy shirts and sweatshirts. I have my hair in this ugly ass ponytail that my disclosurized coworkers thought was “just a bad hair decision” before they knew why it was being grown out. My hair just does not look good this long, without some serious styling.

Saturday during my drug induced coma during electrolysis, Brooke and my electro were chatting about something that really kinda got me upset. I can’t really remember exactly what it was ( was the drugs, man, and, hey, I’m getting old), but I just didn’t say anything. I knew I was under the drugs and I didn’t want to say anything stupid. I know they were talking about something similar to just not understanding that there are all different types of people in the world, and sometimes we need to accommodate them as well. For example, at the TGSF Holiday Social in 2002, they sang Christian religious songs. Sure, that’s fine and dandy with all Christians, but what happens when someone else of a different religion or a non-religion attends the Holiday Social? I asked this of the person who brought the song books, and she said she was instructed by another person as to which songs to choose from. This year, they sang more non-religious songs for the Social, which I took as a positive direction considering there were still a few religious songs. I just chalked these up to their favorites. Anyway, Brooke and my electro kinda hit my moody button with their misunderstanding and lack of seeing the bigger picture, but I knew to just calmly disregard their thoughts while the drugs wore off and I was feeling back to normal. And as you can tell, it’s not that big of a concern because I can’t even remember what got me upset with them. :P

After my session, my electro pointed me to DSW for their huge selection of shoes. And was she right. Wow. They had a ton of shoes at a decent price, although they didn’t always have my size. After finding a few shoes in the regularly priced areas, I ran through the sales racks just to check. As I rummaged through the 9 1/2 sizes shoes, I noticed that the other women in the same section were about 5’ 10”. Doh....I’m only 5’5”. I guess I will always be a little short for my shoe size.

After that, I went over to Macy’s to check on the black boots that I saw earlier, and to hopefully find my correct size. On the walk through the mall to Macy’s, I found these cute magnet earrings in a tiny little shop. I bought about 7 different pairs since I’m too late to have my ears pierced before FFS next month. Then, after trying the boots on at Macy’s, I decided I didn’t fully like the style, nor how it made my feet look extremely long...longer than they really are. While I was shopping there, though, I saw one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. She was about 5’9”, thin, with all of the right curves, straight jet-black hair, pretty face, nice complexion, and she was walking around trying on these spiked black boots. I was so jealous, even though I know it was just a physical jealousy. To make me feel better, though, we’ll just say she was a real bitch. :)

Afterward, Brooke, Susan, Kelly and I walked down to the Chinese place and ate lunch. I ate half of mine with the diet, while everyone else chowed down on theirs. Bottomless stomach-Brooke ordered the same thing as me, finished off her plate, then started on what Kelly had left over....and Brooke is still super skinny. She’s working through a dizziness issue right now, but still able to eat a ton and not gain any fact, she’s losing weight.

Even though I was swollen from the electro, I still decided to attend the MAC makeovers we had through TGSF. I just had a basic makeover since I’ve seen them really do a flashy number sometimes. These artists are used to working on women’s faces, not men’s who want to look like women. So, when they do their normal shotgun spray method, one usually ends up looking like a drag queen. I had to tell her the little hints so that I didn’t end up that way, such as only going so far on the lips then fading away in the corners, and not to go heavy on the eyebrows. She listened really well to my input, and I left there with a nice little makeover. I also purchased some of their great makeup, including switching over to a less coverage foundation since I have less facial hair to cover now.

I was then off to let Boobers out to pee, then out to San Francisco to have dinner with Claire and Amy. It took forever to find a parking space, and even though I was late to Claire’s apartment, they still weren’t ready to go. Finally, we caught dinner across the street at a little Italian place, back to her apartment to freshen up, then off to our main attraction for the night: Diva’s. Claire and Amy had never been, so they wanted me to take them since I had been there before. I’m not a huge fan of the place simply because all the incredible young girls make me feel jealous and all the creepy chasers are just unsettling, plus the dance floor isn’t that big. Finally, there are just too many working T’s in there trying to lure in customers. It becomes a real show-off-fest late into the night and can become kinda annoying. We were able to get a little time in on the dance floor though, with Claire showing us a few of her dance moves. I was trying my best to get into the dance beat as well, but I could only go a little while before feeling a little off balance. I think I was just too tired. I think Amy and Claire, along with myself, would prefer to go to a regular club next time, and Claire even mentioned satisfying my request to go to the lesbian club, The Cherry Bar. They have a kick ass dance floor and plenty of women to study for dance fluidity. Plus, they serve a very flavorful Cherry 7up for those of us who don’t drink. Claire and Amy, on the other hand, we’re feeling a little “happy” with the wine they had consumed earlier, especially Amy. At least they are both happy drunks, well, Amy is, but Claire wasn’t really that drunk. Amy’s funny line of the night: “I didn’t drink until after I met Claire.”

Today, I spent this morning doing laundry and ironing some of my new work clothes. I was also ironing them in preparation for this afternoon’s interviews with the Cotillion judges. I think I have a favorite already...dark gray wool pants with this nice white button up with soft blue stripes. The tries to flatter my non-existent female curves, but it can only do so much. I couldn’t find my little black socks, so I just wore my new black shoes without them. Ouch, that bit me later on in the shape of a nice set of blisters.

The interviews themselves went quite well, I think. The judges consist of Ayme the TGSF newsletter editor, Connie the photographer, Aunt Fran the radio DJ who transitioned recently in the SF Bay Area, Gwen Smith, Mr. TGSF 2003 Tyler filling in for Ms. GAPA 2003, Daddy Alan Selby, and Daddy Ray Tilton. I think the title “Daddy” is a part of the leather community. I knew all of them before today, except Aunt Fran and the two Daddy’s, although I had seen or heard about all of them before.

They asked some tough questions, but I think I worked through with some solid answers. They initially asked about what type of transgender person I was, and I said I was a transsexual in the middle of transition, with an upcoming court date this week to change my name, as well as going full time in March. I had some good compliments from a few on the panel, and then finished up by gabbing with fellow contestant Anne Louise in the waiting area. Since I’m contestant #8 of eight, I was the last one to interview.

I have everything picked out to wear for the Cotillion, I just need to really practice my dance number. And we’re talking some serious practice, here. OK, time to shake the bootie a little.

Thursday, January 15, 2004


I slept pretty good last night, but still not enough. I stay up way too late.

Tonight, I was back in the city picking up the TGSF mail again since it’s getting close to the Cotillion and we need to maintain as much correspondence with everyone involved. The mailbox is near Claire, so we had dinner, along with Amy, but Tyler declined since she was tired. We enjoyed a decent vegetarian dinner, although the service was in desperate need of an overhaul.

When I first showed up at Claire’s, though, she was modeling her black gown for the Cotillion that she picked up when we were out shopping this past weekend. Wow, she looked hot. She has a nice figure, and the FFS really brings out her true feminine essence. She’s such a nice person, and she’s really made me feel confident about the whole FFS procedure. Bring on Dr. O!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Day Dreams and Nightmares

I was out shopping with Kathy and Minka tonight looking for some new boots. We started out in Bloomingdales, down to Macy’s, then over to Nordstrom’s. I found a nice pair in Macy’s for a decent price, but the 10 was a little big, and the 9 was too tight. I need a 9 1/2, which they didn’t have. They provided a list of places that did, though, so I’ll pick them out sometime this week.

As we were shopping around, I looked at all the beautiful spring clothes that are out right now. I saw these cute sweater-shirt combos in the window at Nordstrom, and we went upstairs to the Junior’s section to take a closer look. Once there, I tried on an XL and from the looks on Minka and Kathy’s faces, I could tell it was too tight. Talk about depressing. I’m 5’5” and can barely fit in an XL in Junior’s without it looking all stretched out. I see all these cute little outfits and I realize I can’t wear most of them. I can just dream that they fit.

I wear a 36 band size on my bra, and after talking to Courtney and Brooke lately, both of whom are 9 inches taller than me and about 25 pounds heavier, are both wearing 34 size bras. I don’t know if it’s just that they have both lost more muscle over time (3 years of HRT for Court, 3 months for Brooke who starved off some of her muscle), or if being taller just stretched them out a little more, or what. It’s still kinda depressing.

But, really, I’m not that bad. I’ve been on a diet the past week, trying to trim down for the Cotillion. Tonight, I obviously said that a few too many times as Kathy was about ready to bop me upside the head after saying it for the upteenth time. I did pig out a little by chowing down half of my favorite, Capellini Pomodoro, and indulging in the bread with spicy olive oil vinaigrette. Lately, it’s been a nightmare of salads and veggies. Yes, I miss my comfort foods, but I guess I can manage all for the name of vanity in a little over a week.

My diet goal? I’m trying to get from about 142 down to the low 130’s. Sure, most of my body weight is muscle, something that will probably go down in time, but having a hard time doing it now it seems. I’ve heard from other TS that the muscle really tends to decrease after SRS, so hopefully that will be the case. For my height, 125-130 pounds would be nice for my level of activity, a weight I will hopefully be able to maintain at some point including being able to eat my comfort food on occasion.


The past two nights I’ve woken up around 2-3am with some type of anxieties. I can’t actually remember what they were, but I’ve had similar feelings at night before. I usually just have to calm myself down and tell myself that I’m just in bed, with sheets and covers just trying to get some sleep. It’s weird having those while I am sleeping, and they just seem to interrupt the sleep cycle so bad. They’re almost like the walking dead states I was in during college when I would stay up until about 3am, then get up at 6am to study a little more before taking an exam. Yep, I waited until the last minute to do a lot of my studying, except for a few classes, and looking back, I probably could have gone to bed at midnight, gotten a good night’s sleep, and still done just as well on the test. But it’s all in the past, and right now it really doesn’t matter.

Speaking of nightmares, it’s been a paperwork nightmare lately. Taxes loom on the near horizon, along with short-term disability forms, state disability forms, name change court filings, DMV filings, Social Security filings, and Dr. O surgery prep papers I still need to read, on top of dealing with an FDA paperwork nightmare on my current project. Ooof! Stop killing trees people!!!

Oh, speaking of the DMV and nightmares, I stopped by the local office at lunch today. I was in search of the gender change form, and when I arrived, all of the lines were as long as hell. So I walk up to the security guard and ask him if he knows if they have a general form area. He asks what form and I say "gender change." He asks, "Address Change?" and not wanting to disrupt his 80 point IQ, I say "yes." He points me to a general area. I look around for a form rack, but could only find a few forms scattered on one little table. So, I return to the guard and inquire about a "name change form," but he gets into all this mumbo jumbo about a name change and that it doesn't need a special form or something. I tell him I need a specific form, and it's personal. He then tells me to go to the information line, which from the looks of it, probably thinned down about 3 hours after they closed. Luckily, I found the form online. I truly think DMV is as close to hell as you can possibly get.

Monday, January 12, 2004

The Meeting with HR

Today was the big day at work...well, not THAT big day, just one of the big ones. I had my face to face meeting with HR at 10am this morning. From an entry on GenderPeace:

OK, so things went well this morning. We chatted for about 45 minutes, and it was a very positive response overall. In fact, my HR contact said if anyone had problems with me, I should notify her. She was even going to give me free reign over all the female bathrooms, but I told her that would make a lot of people feel uncomfortable, and perhaps we could work out a compromising solution for that...such as designating one of the three bathrooms in my building for me, and the other two for those that would feel uncomfortable if I were in there.

So, my background with all of this: I created an anonymous email account on AOL, then contacted my HR department via it last January. They finally responded in February of last year. Because I wasn't ready to transition, and I was waiting to see how the new California new law shaped up, I knew that I had time to work with them for a while. I sent in True Selves and Transsexual Workers: An Employer's Guide. My HR contact read these, then contacted me saying she had a better understanding of what I was going through. The new law passed in August, but didn't go into effect until January 1, 2004, so we set up a meeting for today to discuss the initial steps in my transition at work.

Today, we briefly discussed:

My schedule
Short term disability/time off for FFS
How to notify coworkers
How to notify vendors
Name change issues including benefits, log-ins, etc.

Informally, we discussed:

Why I changed my name to Kara instead of going with the female spelling of my current name.
My HR contact's own personal experience of going through a face lift 10 years ago.
My own issues/past history with GID.

I figure I will issue the 'coming out to coworkers' letter about 1-2 weeks before I leave for FFS.

This afternoon I had my therapy session. We talked about my meeting with HR, the visit home for Christmas, my upcoming legal name change and subsequent change at DMV and Social Security. She told me to get the DMV gender change form to her and she would fill it out such that I will now have an F on my driver’s license.

Speaking of the new name, I requested a second credit card on my regular account a while back, but with my new name. I figure I can change all of it around after the legal stuff, but I wanted one around just in case for when I go full time.

Well, anyway, tonghie I feel a lot less stressed out. Sure, I know there are plenty of stressful times ahead, but I got this big step out of the way, and it feels good. It also feels good when friends and family check up to see how things went. Uncle Jack emailed this morning to wish me luck, Jamie called around early afternoon to see how things went, and Mom called this evening to make sure things went OK.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

5th grade science projects

I handed a “coming out” letter to Coworker G as he was leaving Friday, and dropped another one off to Pete just after work. Pete called today and he seemed fairly supportive. He had a ton of the usual questions though, which I light-heartedly answered. I tried to keep a comfortable attitude about the entire thing, and provided a little humor while still being fairly serious.

Robi wrote me a letter and handed it to me at my cube on Friday. I thought I would post it since it is my first letter and written response at work:


So, I think I am finally over the initial shock of your news! Mostly, at least. It was completely unexpected, even for a jaded, crusty kid like me.

I did want to make sure that I told you that I think it’s fantastic that you have decided to make your transition. A lot of people have a hard time being themselves because it’s hard to put your real self out there and risk rejection from others. That’s why I admire your courage - because you’re putting yourself out there, even if the real you might be difficult for others to accept. Not to mention all the physical discomfort/pain and financial expense involved...

So, even though I know that you’re pretty much the same person you were last week, there’s a part of me that sees you very differently now - in a good way. Before, I just thought you were this insensitive dude who would make inappropriate comments about me in front of our vendor! Ha Ha - Just kidding. :) (I think she’s only half kidding - Kara)

I also want you to know that even though we are just “work-friends,” I’d be happy to talk to you about stuff or offer any support you need. I know it’s difficult to become a woman!

Anyway, if I don’t get a chance to talk to you before you have your meeting with HR on Monday...Good Luck! - Robi

Which brings up tomorrow. I have my face-to-face meeting with HR at 10am tomorrow morning. I’m a little nervous, but also excited. Every time I come out to a person, I feel this enormous weight and burden lifted off of me. I finally don’t have to lie to people.

This past Saturday I ate an orange for breakfast over at Brooke's. I also took the Spiro and Premarin as usual. Once I was over at my electro, I took the usual pain pill. Whew, somehow that combination turned my stomach into one of those volcanoes you see at science fairs. I don’t know if it was the combination of the pain killer and the orange or what, but wow. I wasn’t feeling that good for the rest of the morning and well into the afternoon.

After electro, I managed to get up to San Francisco to pick up the TGSF mail and talk Claire into catching lunch...hoping that my stomach could take it. Luckily, it did OK, and after a little food, I was feeling much better again....until I found a parking ticket on my car when we returned. I swear, we weren’t gone an hour, and the officer must have been perched there when the freaking meter ran out...if that was even the case. Jeez...and on a Saturday as well. Just my luck.

Anyway, we did a little shopping down at Nordstrom’s Rack where I found a few items to compliment my Cotillion outfits as well as a few clothes for my new work wardrobe. I also did a ton of shopping today picking out new work clothes. I spent over $400 at Express and that included a gift card from my cousin and a 15% discount for opening up an Express Card. I think it would have normally been well over $500. I also spent almost $200 at Victoria’s Secret. They have their huge bra and panty sale right now, but I was only able to find 2 bras in the sale bins that I liked. Finally, I stopped by the Gap and found some nice casual tops. I went by the Limited, but figure I’ll go back there after dropping by Ross to see what they have. My therapist suggested buying all of my work clothes at Ross for the first few months, then buying the good stuff after that. I thought I would buy the stuff I liked first, then supplement it with stuff at Ross.

Anyway, last night after getting back from shopping and taking the dog outside, I found an email from an internet TS friend about 10 minutes after she sent it. I read her 6:30pm email at 6:41. In the letter, she was saying goodbye and that she was going to kill herself. That’s not acceptable to me. I tried calling her, but there was no response. I didn’t know her real name, so after listening to the message on her voicemail again, I was able to obtain it. I looked up her area police number since I knew the general area she lived in, and called them at 6:55pm. I explained the situation and gave them her cell phone number, and they were able to find her in one of the local communities. The dispatcher was able to call that city’s police and have them send a car over. They made it there pretty fast as my friend later told me. I called the dispatcher at 7:35pm, about 40 minutes after the initial call, and he said that the police had made contact and were talking with her. He later called me at 8:45pm to say that my friend and her mom were willingly headed to a clinic to work things out. Whew! I was so worried that she was going to kill herself. Doing so may alleviate one problem, but it creates so many more.

On a lighter note, last week, two male coworkers that have recently moved into cubes near me started up a conversation about Garbage Pail Kids or Cabbage Patch or the other. I said they must be of a slightly different generation since I barely remembered them. They said they were around 27-28 and then asked how old I was. I said I was 33 and one of them seemed to be pretty shocked. He thought I was younger than them. Hmmm...the hormones must be doing their magic...or perhaps I am just that immature...or maybe he needs glasses....who knows. :P

Thursday, January 08, 2004

When you wish upon a star

I was down in the LA area on Tuesday and Wednesday at a conference. My two close coworkers and I flew in on Monday night, and headed to Downtown Disney for Y to grab a bite to eat. Robi and I mainly munched on some appetizers while both of them split a huge piece of carrot cake for dessert. After we arrived back at the hotel, I handed both of them THE letter as they climbed into the elevator. I was only on the 2nd floor, so I just took the stairs. Whew, I’d stayed up until 2:30am Sunday night writing those letters and a few other items that needed to be taken care of before I left.

Amazingly, I slept pretty good. Y called me in the morning to discuss breakfast, but that was about it. The three of us had breakfast, then attended the conference. We met up with an old coworker for lunch, then drove Y back to the airport for his trip home. None of the T stuff was discussed.

On the way back to the conference, Robi decided to talk about it, and said she was OK, but definitely shocked. She hadn’t seen any of this coming. She was a little sick, so she turned in a little early from the conference while I wandered around a little more. I wrapped up a day, went for a little run past Disneyland, then discussed dinner with Ally from GenderPeace. She decided to drive down to eat dinner with me. I talked to Robi about eating dinner with us, and she said she was up for it, even with a warning from me that I would be in girlmode. I went up to her room a little early so that she wouldn’t freak out in the hotel lobby when she saw me for the first time.

As I sat in the room, she admitted that this was all very different for her, and that it was going to take a while to get used to. She’s never seen this side of me, so basically she’s meeting a new me. She is so observant, though, as she stated that it’s like a second adolescence and that I’ll have to learn all of the things that a girl learns as she grows up. I told her that she was exactly right, and that I have been learning a little over the past couple of years. She made me stand up and turn around, then stated that she was impressed with my nice, yet basic look.

Later, Ally and Ani arrived, and we were off for a late dinner. Robi did great with all of it, and I was extremely impressed, as this was less than 24 hours after reading my letter to her. Ally was looking great as usual. Her skin is so clean and her nose is naturally feminine, with her voice just blowing us away. Ani came in semi-androgenous mode and had such a vibrant spirit. She’s just wanting to break out of all of it, but is fighting with the hair gods to let some of it grow back. Our bodies can be so cruel.

On our way to the airport the following day, Robi was talking a little about music, and asked if I even listened to hip-hop since I am such a “stiff.” Yeah, she used to think that I was just some lame white boy from the Midwest with no style, no culture, and no taste buds for fine dining....but in a good way. When I told her that I recently purchased Outkast’s latest CD and had listened to one of the CD’s the other night, she was thoroughly impressed again. I told her there were a number of songs on there that were really good, although it was kinda uncool to have like a 3-year old son rapping “motha phucka” on one of the song’s funny moments. Anyway, to have Robi impressed with me on two different occasions inside 24 hours has got to be a record.

When I got home from the airport I found the Dr. O presurgery information pack in my mail. I skimmed through it, but I will have to read it in detail pretty soon. I’m just a little over a month away. Whew....exciting!!!

We drew numbers for the Cotillion this past weekend. I’m the last competitor, just as Rachel was last year when she won the title. I still have a lot of practicing to do for my talent, but most of it is there. Now I just have to put together the outfits based on my write-ups for the evening wear and casual wear sections.


Coworker Mark stopped by my cube on Monday after a nearly 2 week company break and says, “I half expected to come back from the break and find you’d...” He paused.

My mind raced for answers....

“...gotten boobs?” “....had a sex change?” “...pierced your ears?”

When he continues with, “...done something radical with your hair.”

“Nope,” I told him, “nothing crazy...yet.”

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Dressing Rooms

Today was packed, as usual. I wrapped up 10.5 hours of electrolysis this week with 2 hours on Wednesday, 2.5 on Thursday, 2 on Friday, and 4 this morning. I’m happy to report that for the first time ever, we finally cleared my face. It only took 10 hours out of those 10.5 to do so. The rest we spent on extra areas like a few hairs between my eye brows and a few remnants on my chest. Ouch, those really hurt now, especially as you get closer to the nipples. My face is pretty torn up right now, with all of the electro, but with a little moisturizer tonight, it should be looking pretty decent by Monday.

After electro, I met Kathy over at the Mall to help me pick out a few outfits for the Cotillion. I found a nice red dress on and was hoping to find that at the mall to see it in person. We found it, but they didn’t have my size. It appears that it was a pretty popular model. The lady at the desk printed out a bunch of places that might have my sizes, but she just handed the paper to me instead of calling them up to see if they had them. That was the first of what felt like crappy service at Macy’s today. After looking around a little more, I found a Jessica McClintock version of the dress in the Junior’s section that looked just as good. With dress in hand and Kathy in tow, I headed to the dressing room. As we were about to enter, the lady that watched the doors was surprised that I was trying them on. OK, yes, I was in boy mode since my face was all torn up with electro. I could tell she didn’t want me back there, so we asked if there was another dressing room. She pointed us to the other one. So, we sat in line for a few minutes there, then when I was up to try the dress on, the lady would not let me in. Son of a bitch! Where the hell are you supposed to try on a dress in a Macy’s that only has women’s clothes??? Anyway, Kathy and I went up to another floor and I tried it on there. There was no one monitoring the rooms we found, and one of the doors was open, so in I went. It looks good, and I’ll be wearing it for the evening attire section.

I had also hoped to find an outfit for the casual wear portion of the event, but I couldn’t find what I wanted. I think I can get a little more shopping in tomorrow amongst all the meetings.

Thursday, January 01, 2004


I hope this weather is no indication of the new year. It seems like it’s been raining non-stop since I went to bed at 2:33am.

I spent last night with some friends...who still basically only know me as a guy, except for Kathy. We caught dinner and a movie, Big Fish, making it a fairly light New Year’s Eve. I didn’t mind. I had electrolysis yesterday, later today, tomorrow, and Saturday, so I have been in boy-mode since Monday to allow for all of the facial hair to grow out. Thus, I spent yet another New Year’s Eve in boy mode. Last one. Promise.

We caught dessert in one of the restaurants. I had a huge piece of Chocolate Tuxedo Cream Cheesecake. Yum. Hmm...well, that went straight to my ass. Oh well, I’ll have to run that off the rain.

The movie, Big Fish, had a nice little story about a father who told tall tales. Those tales were, however, based on real life events, but they were just the extravagant versions. In the end, the father became immortal in the eyes of his son by becoming his own big fish...his own tall tale. I was crying pretty good the last 10 minutes of the movie, as I knew I would after seeing much of the plot during the first part of it.

The tale kinda reminded me of the conversation I had with my own father. We all want to live forever, don’t we? Isn’t that one of the reasons we have children? I think I wrote about this recently as well. We live on in others. My dad is concerned that the family name stops with my sister and I, even though he knows that the the line continues in my sister’s son. I worried about that initially, but once I realized that my future living as a man trying to have a wife and kids would lead to a failed relationship and children with separated parents, I knew that it would be best not to even attempt that journey. As I told him, what's it really going to matter once we're all gone?

So many T’s try living as a man, marrying, and having children only to see the GID hit them so hard later on that they still transition. At that point, most lose their wives and children. It’s a harsh situation. I’m happy so far along my journey, and I will never create that heartache and despair with my own attempt at a family with me as the male figure. Don’t get me wrong here, the T’s that do marry only to transition later are trying to live up to society’s idea of a man. You have to give it to them that they are at least trying. But, for me, I saw my future. Transition was imminent. I couldn’t run from it. I’m not that fast.

It’s still raining out. Where’s my umbrella?