Tuesday, May 31, 2011

We Are NOT Amused

Things have very quickly become very serious.  I'm feeling extremely vulnerable right now, and I don't know who I can or cannot trust.  The last few days have been some of the hardest I have ever had to endure.  Oddly enough, I am more assured of the rightness of my choices now than ever before.

I may not know who in the world I can trust, but I know that I can be true to myself.  And I know that my real family loves me deeply, as I love them.  For now, that is all I need.

Hope you're all having a great week!

Monday, May 30, 2011


I will begin by proclaiming that I am in a good place.  I am okay.  What you are about to read will likely become very angry, as I will probably end up typing all the ways in which I did not respond to the people I am discussing.  I apologize in advance.  I could spare you, my beautiful readers, the gory details; but I will not.  I think it is appropriate that you know the bad as well as the good.  It is all a part of the same transition.

I would be lying if I claimed to expect something more from my birth family.  What can one truly expect from people whose entire life exists in the bubble of a small town where terms like diversity are taken to mean that the “women-folk” are permitted to work at the local candy factory?  In its entire history, there have maybe been a dozen African American families who have taken up residence in the town, and none of them stayed very long.  The very small Hispanic population is referred to as the “colored people” in “polite” conversation.  And no self-respecting gay or queer would dare to walk the streets during daylight hours when upstanding citizens are out with their families.  In some small way, I suppose it is a relief to know that I will never again have cause to visit such an evil place.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 was a difficult day.  Looking back on the meltdown I felt yesterday morning, and knowing how the early parts of the day unfolded; I suspect my morning struggles were actually my intuition screaming at me.  Just as I had begun to collect myself and was considering moving into the living room to unwind, the first in a series of email messages popped into my inbox.  I made the mistake of reading it.

The first note was from the woman who married my birth brother several years ago.  I should note that this woman has spoken less than a paragraph worth in words to me in all the years she has been a part of my birth family.  I have never faulted that; I assumed she was shy.  She wasted no time getting to the point, which was that I was an abomination in the eyes of God, that I was a pox on the family, and that this “Kate persona” as she described it was an affront to all that is good and holy.  I probably could have lived with that, but she also felt compelled to call my children’s upbringing into question.  That sent me to a whole new level, but at least she said she would be praying for them.  That makes everything better.

My initial thought (aside from the intense anger, of course), was that she was interjecting her thoughts without my birth brother’s knowledge.  She was not, after all, included in the original conversation.  Then I considered that maybe she was speaking for him, as perhaps he was too shocked or afraid to say anything himself.  It turns out she was just the opening act… not a very good one.  The light show was terrible, and the tech crew obviously missed the Holy Roller effects queues (soft light showing through artificial fog, image of random mountains and a burning bush, that sort of thing).

Being the strong and evolved woman that I am, I continued my tack of responding only with kindness.  Short and simply, I expressed appreciation for her input, extended my love, and offered hope that she may one day want to know the real me.  Not long after, my birth brother fired the second volley.

In this great literary effort, God’s judgment against me was further confirmed, it was explained that my actions were entirely irresponsible, and a number of other very insightful observations were made.  Among them, I learned that it was a good thing my father is dead, as knowing me would have killed him.  Also, despite intense and countless efforts to reach out to me over the years (I will be sure to show you the piles of unopened letters, invitations, and other communications from my family that I have carelessly disregarded – if I ever receive any of it), I am to blame for the distance among the family.  Oh, and I learned that it was my birth brother’s sole and lonesome responsibility to take care of my birth mother as the one and only upstanding family member.  I’m glad they have each other.

With all the ridicule, insults, judgment, and condemnation, it almost seemed that my father actually was still alive.  I haven’t been treated with such hatred since he passed.  The only question that was left in my mind was whether my birth brother was actually holding the cross in his hands, or if he had set it aside long enough to type the email – I’m not sure how that works with self-proclaimed martyrs.

At my beautiful and outrageously awesome wife’s urging, I postponed any further response until later in the evening.  I made two.  One was to the entire group, who had the misfortune to receive the “reply all” that these two geniuses sent.  To them I apologized.  I expressed my regret that they were exposed to these emails, and assured them I would handle all subsequent communications individually rather than risk further awkwardness.  To my small town heroes, I expressed my disappointment in their position – in the most friendly and understanding tone possible, of course.  I expressed the hope that they would one day want to know me and offered my continued love and support.  And finally I explained patiently but firmly that my letter was not for the purpose of begging acceptance, love, or permission, but that I was offering the opportunity to know the real me.

Now I am going to take the money I would have been spending on trips to Ohio and by boobs… or maybe a new car for my wife.  Heck, I’ll get both.

Until next time, my pretties!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Faded Glory

I am emotionally exhausted.  Don’t get me wrong; I am still in a very good place, I have a path before me, and I have support.  I know where I’m going, and I am very happy.  Still, there are just days when you really want nothing more than to curl up in a little ball and cry for a few hours.  Honestly, that’s probably about all I need – a good cry, but I think I am just too drained to be capable right now.  It’s been that way since about Thursday, and that was only about halfway into the emotional upheaval of the last week.

I think one of the hardest parts of making this transition, so far, has been the amount of support I’ve had to be able to offer others while still needing support myself.  I am a strong person, and I have been doing exactly that most of my life; but sometimes – especially right now – I really struggle to hold it together.

So far in the last seven days I have had a major conversation with HR at work, I have experienced my first counseling session, I have had a serious conversation with my children… and several about that conversation with both my wife and ex-wife.  I have received an email from my sister.  I have had a text conversation with a colleague in California who “heard it through the grape vine.”  I have sat through an attempted “family meeting” on the subject of my transition, which went pretty terribly no matter how you rationalize it – not from a support or upheaval standpoint, but form the standpoint that we really never successfully had a conversation.  Hell, two of the four kids couldn’t even be bothered to stay in the room.  The other two were so uncomfortable that the whole thing just came off as a big joke.

Don’t misunderstand, I’m just venting.  I understand all of these things, and I don’t fault anyone.  I know that this will all take time.  The issue this morning is that I’m drained, and I just don’t have it in my to be that brave, strong woman everyone expects.  I could use a shoulder… or at least someone to pretend they want to be in the same room with me.  Today, I feel less like an empowered and motivated woman, and more like an underpaid and taken for granted housekeeper.

I need a hug.

Yes, in future posts you will receive updates on all of those milestones I mentioned and have not yet detailed.  To avoid any consternation, the daughter conversation went okay… not great, but okay.  The email from my sister pissed me off, but at least she’s communicating.  The text from my work colleague was entirely supportive, but potentially hints at a prematurely opened can of worms.  And the family meeting has been suspended until further notice.

I said avoid consternation... not suspense.  I am a writer after all! :)  Tune in next time to enjoy more thrilling adventures from our beautiful heroine - Kat-Girl!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Much love,

Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's a Wonderful Life (Part 3: The Weirdness)

Big news!  I had my first counseling session yesterday to begin working toward my full time transition… so excited!!!!  (Too many exclamation points?) J  I will share with you about my visit soon, but I want to discuss the last little twist from the party before I forget it.  What I will share now is that I absolutely love Andrea (my counselor)!  I think this will be a very good thing.

Before I begin, let me reiterate that I don’t feel good about this – a little ashamed, in fact.  I’m discussing it, because I feel it is probably an important element in my transition.  What I experienced, I know, is not entirely unique.  I have read numerous accounts from other transgendered women about similar experiences.  I don’t know if that makes it any better, but it is nice to know I’m not the only one.

We had a late addition to the guest list for last Saturday.  One of Jamie’s friends, who is a cross-dresser (they met in a TG support meeting on line) confirmed with her on Saturday that he would be attending.  He didn’t announce his full intention, but given that he asked if it was okay for him to come early, we presumed he planned to “dress” for the party.  I was very glad that he was coming and very happy for him.  The only thing that concerned me then was that his presence might interfere with my preparations.  I, after all, had a whole slew of food and beverages to get set up on top of getting myself ready.  Jamie promised to help keep that from being a problem, and we were both very excited to have another guest on our guest list.

Party preparations went smoothly, and by the time our guest arrived (about 45 minutes early), I was completely ready with the exception of the things I was intentionally putting off until the last minute – starting the chocolate fountain, for example.  When he came walking in carrying a suitcase and other bags, I had a sinking feeling.  He announced that he didn’t know what to wear, so he brought several “options,” and my first thought was “crap, he’s going to want to put on a fashion show.”  I don’t know if my unease was noticeable (probably), but I quickly excused myself, explaining that I still had work to do in the kitchen; and I left him in Jamie’s care.  I did not fully escape the transformation, as he just had to show us pictures of the outfits he was “considering.”  At this point, I became downright uncomfortable. 

Eventually Jamie joined me in the living room where we sat down to relax for a few minutes before the rest of our guests arrived.  While we were waiting for our “special guest” to get ready, Jamie and I discussed a group that our guest had joined and had been telling her about.  Apparently, they get dressed up, go out to dinner, and then go to a shopping mall where certain stores stay open late to cater to them privately.  He mentioned it to her (and later to us both) thinking that it would be something I should do.  When Jamie floated the idea of our joining in sometime, it hit me.  My one thought was “why would I want to sneak into a mall after hours with a bunch of men who want to try on women’s clothing?  I buy my clothes during normal business hours.”

It struck me that while I know I am; I do not think of myself as “trans.”  When I’m thinking about myself, what I like to do, and/or who I want to socialize with, I am thinking of myself as a woman: no descriptors, no footnotes.  About this time our guest stepped into the living room for the “big reveal.”  He was obviously nervous, obviously uncomfortable, and obviously a man in a dress (with questionable makeup).  It completely freaked me out.  Then when our party guests began to arrive, I became almost embarrassed.  It felt for all the world like we were having a perfectly normal party with friends and that everything was as it should be… except for the cross-dresser we had inadvertently forced on our friends. 

For the most part I was able to ignore the discomfort and enjoy myself, but on at least a couple occasions that was impossible.  While my desire was to mingle with friends, chat, and enjoy the show (did I mention it was a “Rocky Horror” party?), our guest seemed to want to find reasons to be near me – in pictures, while dancing the time warp, etc.  On one occasion, he felt the need to show me a “slideshow” of photographs of him dressed that he carried on his phone.  I half-looked on as he rattled on about the wheres and when’s, until I could find an excuse to get away.  When he positioned himself next to me for the group photo, I moved to a stool in front of the group and encouraged my wife into a position that was also slightly separated (I later cropped him out of the photo).  When toward the end of the evening, he disappeared (after telling a couple of my friends that he had a different outfit he wanted to show them), reappearing several minutes later in a different dress and wig, it was almost more than I could bear.

I want to be able to be supportive, and I want to encourage people with gender issues, and I feel badly that I experienced so many negative emotions in that situation; but it is very plain that I do not want to hang out with cross-dressers.  The reality is that it was very likely his presence that helped establish me as normal… at the very least his presence made me look that much hotter (sorry, that’s really catty… but I am Kat-girl, after all!).  I just could not see it that way.  I am ready for prime time.  I am prepared to live in normal society.  I am every day growing more comfortable living out loud.  I have an amazing group of friends and even some family, who love, accept, and support me.  But I am not ready to be a mentor or role model; and I am certainly not ready to sacrifice my femininity to make room for other people’s experiments.

I wish I were more open to embracing others who are suffering.  Maybe someday I can be there, but not right now.  I hope that doesn’t make me a terrible person.  Please believe that I support my trans-sisters, but it seems – for now at least – I may need to support them from afar.

I know this likely comes across as somewhat mean-spirited, and I apologize for these feelings.  Please know that my reaction was entirely involuntarily, and it is something that I will work very hard to overcome.

Until next time, my pretties,
Much love,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's a Wonderful Life

I have been saying it since I finally started to take my transition seriously a few months ago, but I have been reminded of it so often over the last few days, that I must again mention how blessed I feel to have the love and support of so many people in my life.  This last week has been so amazing.  From work to my personal life, events have taken on a life of their own, and things just seem to continue to fall into place.  The encouragement has been so overwhelming that even the little cynic in the back of my mind is having trouble maintaining her doubts.

We hosted our first annual Rocky Horror Party (“The Master’s Ball”) Saturday night.  We enjoy hosting parties, so we do it as often as we can; and in many ways, this should have been just another party for us.  The way events unfolded over the last few weeks, though, this party turned into a pretty big deal.  The significance of the event covered everything from the fact that it was the first such party ever hosted by me (not Kyle), to the reality of meeting new friends who will only ever know the real me - Kate, to welcoming coworkers into my real life who have only ever known me as Kyle.

With all the momentousness of the evening, I expected to be extremely nervous – especially with exposing work colleagues to my world. Oddly enough, though, I didn’t feel anxious at all… okay, not true.  I was worried about having everything prepared and set up in time for the party, but I always worry about that!  In fact, the closer party time approached, and the closer I was to being ready, the more comfortable I became.  I can honestly say that with one unrelated exception (which I will explain later); there wasn’t a single moment of weirdness.  It felt like any normal evening with friends, and I think my friends – old and new – felt the same way.

Possibly the most exciting outcome of the evening was that we made new friends.  This is exciting for me, because they are the first such friends I have made.  They are the first people I have met who met Kate… not Kyle, or even Kyle dressing like Kate.  To them, I will have been Kate from the day we met.  That thought just blows me away.

During our typical Sunday morning (afternoon) post-party review, another interesting thought occurred to me.  I heard over and over again from various party guests (most of them) how wonderful I looked, how “hot” I was, how much they loved my dress… and on, and on.  It went on all evening.  But what made me feel the best, and what I found myself discussing the following day were all the compliments on the food and drinks I prepared.  Those were the comments that really stuck, and they were the ones that made my night.

Don’t get me wrong; hearing that I looked good was certainly gratifying (especially from coworkers).  What woman doesn’t enjoy that? J  I think it’s just that my confidence in myself has grown enough that those comments don’t bowl me over the way they once did. 

Okay campers, enough for one post.  I have so much more to share, but I know how 21st century attention spans work… so I’ll go for the hook instead!

Still to come fort Kat-Girl (get it?) J

  • What was that “one unrelated exception?”  What kind of weirdness is in store for our hero?
  • Back to work… and a new life.  What happened in that conversation with human resources?
  • And, of course, the count down continues.  Fewer than 48 hours remain before our hero meets her counselor for the first time.  Will it be love at first plight?

Tune in next time, same Kat time… same Kat channel!

Ciao babies!

Picture pages, picture pages... lots of fun with picture pages!
A few pics from the Rocky Horror Party...

The Master and Her Princess

Let's do the Time Warp again!

Resting after the Time Warp

Or Maybe a Bite! (Sweet Transvestite choreography)

The Princess takes a break

Contest winner pays homage at the (tired) feet of the Princess

Some of our esteemed party guests

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Shot Read Round the World

It's been about a week since I sent the letter to my family.  It may seem like a copout, I know, but I honestly feel it was the best way to handle my family.  For those who are in the current century, I emailed the letter with accompanying offers of discussion from both my beautiful partner and from me.  My mom received hers in the mail.  It has only been a week, well for my mom it has only been a few days.  I have received messages of encouragement from cousins, etc., but as yet I have heard nothing from any of my immediate family.

I followed up the family effort with a "mass mailing," okay it was a note published on Facebook... same thing.  I am farther "out" than ever before.  The only place I am not public is with my employer (and even there, a very large percentage of my colleagues and coworkers know, as they are either on my Facebook friends list or they talk to someone on my list).  The only reason I haven't told my employer is that I don't think I'm quite ready to handle the stress that will bring.  I need a week or two to settle down.  (I also want to make sure that I do that one right, because I have a feeling it will end badly.  I need to have all my ducks in a row, so to speak).

Next Thursday, I have my first appointment with a new counselor.  I am very excited about that.  It has been a long time since I've been to a counselor, and I certainly have enough to talk about these days!

It's been a rough week.  I know that I am ready, and I know that I am prepared for the worst regarding family relationships, etc., but it still hurts.  I've been crying a lot.  Just a couple hours ago, I started crying in the middle of a restaurant, because the coleslaw I was eating reminded me of a salad my mom used to make... embarrassing.  You know what though?  I'm in a good place.  My emotions are running very high these last few days, but I have never felt more confident in myself, more assured of my relationships with the loved ones near me, or more excited about our (and my) future.  I love my life, and I know that the future - whatever it may hold - is going to be even better than today.  More than anything though, I so deeply appreciate my wife and partner.  She is my rock, and she has been such a strong support over the last few weeks (ever since I met her, but especially over the last few weeks).  I don't know how I would do any of this without her.

Hope you are all having a great week!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kate's Transgender FAQ

This was my most recent post on Facebook following the "big reveal" to my family.  I felt it was time to let everyone else know the story behind what they were seeing.  I hope you will take the time to read it (sorry, it's long) and let me know what you think!


Kate’s Transgender FAQ
I have recently begun to broadcast a number of “changes” in my life through Facebook.  Some among my friends understand exactly what is going on, but these changes are very likely vague and somewhat puzzling for many of you.  Now that I have handled some of the “high priority” communications, I can safely share more information with you all in the hope that you may better understand what is happening.  

In a nutshell, I am transgendered and have begun to work toward a full time transition to life in my correct gender.  This is not a new discovery or any kind of spur of the moment decision.  This is a reality I have struggled with all my life.

I’ve provided, following, a list of some common questions I have been asked in conversations with people I have told personally about this transition.  This is by no means a complete list, and it may just spur more questions than it answers.  Still, I hope that it provides at least a little better understanding for those who want to know.  If you do have other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.  I will be happy to help you understand as much as I possibly can.

The Most Frequently Asked Questions:

What do you mean “transgendered?”
The word transgender is a blanket term that refers to a whole spectrum of gender identity issues.  It’s a very generic way to describe what is going on with me.  To be more specific, I am a woman born with a male body who is taking steps to correct those birth irregularities.  I am actively working toward a goal of living full time in my correct gender.  The process varies by individual, but for me will include psychological, chemical, surgical, and cosmetic procedures intended to ease the process of integrating into daily life.

So, you like to dress up like a girl?
Well, technically I guess that is accurate… especially when it comes to shoes; but it’s a little short-sighted.  The thing to understand is that in every way other than physically, I am a woman.  How I dress is really just an extension of that fact.  So, yes, I do like to dress in MY clothes.  If I didn’t like them, I wouldn’t have bought them!

How long have you known?
I have known about this in one way or another for as long as I can remember.  Of course, as a child, I didn’t have the tools or experience to fully understand the issue (or that I wasn’t the only one dealing with these feelings), but I always knew that I was supposed to be a girl.  I have specific memories that range as far back as Kindergarten and vague recollections prior to that.

Are you gay?
Okay, why does everyone go there?  This has nothing to do with sexual expression, preference, or what I like to do in bed.  This is who I am as a person – it’s about how I think and feel, and how I interact with the world.  Sex has nothing to do with it.  If you must know, I love my wife; so I suppose that makes me a lesbian.

What does your family think about all this?
I told them.  If I ever hear anything from them, I’ll let you know.  The good news is that I have a huge family of loving and supportive friends who start with my wife, and even include my ex-wife.  Yes, seriously.  I have all the support I could ever dream of regardless who among my genetic family chooses to embrace me.  I once read that if a woman wasn’t prepared to lose everything she held dear, then she wasn’t prepared to transition.  I am prepared.

Wait, so you’re going to cut “it” off? (I tend to get a little sensitive about "genital" questions, so I'm sorry if my answer may seem a little vulgar; but if you're asking, you deserve the truth.)
Umm, that’s not exactly correct.  An accurate question would be “Wait, so you’re going to filet “it,” gut “it,” and shove what’s left up inside?”  And the answer is… I’m not sure yet.  See the last Q&A for further information.

What about your wife?
My wife is my soul mate, my life partner, my rock and my anchor, and the love of my life.  She has seen through to Kate since the day we met (I don’t know how, as conflicted as I was back then... Jamie is just that awesome).  I wouldn’t have the strength to do what I’m doing without the love and support (and the shoulder to cry on) that she offers me every moment of every day of my life.  She is the one person who has shown me that I can love me – the real me – and she is the one person who I know will always be by my side.

But you don’t act like a girl!
That is true.  The thing is I was bullied, tormented, and harassed by “normal people” all through childhood and into my teens.  I learned early and painfully that these feelings are not the kinds of things that make you popular with others.  I’ve had a lot of practice pretending to be someone I am not, and as I continued to immerse myself in my role over the years, everything from my job to my relationships became dependent on me playing that part.  In some respects it became comfortable, or at least safe, because people liked me that way (or at least, they didn’t torment me as much).  But, the stress of maintaining a Kyle persona all this time has generated nothing but negative feelings in my life.  In recent years, I’ve come to realize that I have been beating myself up for years to avoid letting other people beat me up.  I now understand that I do not control – nor do I particularly care – how other people feel about me.  As such, you will likely begin to notice a difference in my behavior as I shed those learned traits, and allow my true nature to show.  The most notable difference is that I am a much happier person.

Are you going to quit your job?
Honestly, this is an area I am still trying to figure out.  I know there are many examples of women who successfully transition without leaving their careers, but I am not entirely convinced I will be one of those women.  I like what I do, who I work for, and the company that employs me, and I seriously hope that my employers will embrace the same spirit of diversity that I so often hear preached from every corner of our organization.  That said, it is still very much a male dominated industry (especially in my area of responsibility), and I think I would be naive if I wasn’t at least a little dubious about how my particular situation will be viewed.  For the immediate future, my intention is to continue my employment for as long as physically possible without causing a stir (within “legal” and “procedural” protocols, of course).  At some point, I will no longer be physically capable of pretending to be Kyle during working hours.  Hopefully, I will have figured the rest out before then.

What do your kids say about all this?
Other than “I love you,” not much.  I love my children more than anything in this world (or out of it, for that matter).  The one thing I want them to know above all else is that I would never intentionally do anything to hurt them.  The things I'm doing now, I am doing because I have to in order to be the kind of person they would want in their lives... a happy and loving individual who can see past her own shortcomings to embrace their needs.  They know about me, and (I hope) they know they can talk to me whenever they feel the need.  Until then, I am trying to just let them work through things as they are ready and comfortable.

Aren’t you worried about what people will say about you?
If I worried about what people say, I would never have survived as a manager.  People have been talking about me all my life.  Since I entered management, everyone from people I don’t even know to people I considered friends have felt it okay to express opinions about me.  In many cases, those are less than favorable remarks at best.  It doesn’t bother me.  So, they have some new material.  So what?  I’m happy, and in the end, I know who my real friends are.

So, what are your plans?
This is another question I can only partially answer.  I ultimately plan to live my every day life in my correct gender – as Kate.  Whether that journey will include full SRS (sex reassignment surgery a.k.a. GRS, gender reassignment surgery), or something short of it, I do not yet know.  Honestly, I want to engage as few surgical options as possible, as surgery is traumatic and painful, and of course carries risk.  I will continue less devastating steps – therapy, hormone treatment, permanent hair removal, etc. – as long as needed.  I have definite plans to engage one surgical option as soon as financially possible, which is FFS, or facial feminization surgery.  This one step I feel is critical to my successfully integrating into my daily life as Kate.

I still have a number of issues / questions to resolve – what I will ultimately do for a living, for example – but I am confident that many of these questions will answer themselves as I move along this path.  My primary focus now is to take one step at a time, and to embrace the changes that come, whether those I initiate or those that happen.  And above all I plan to continue learning to love myself, and to love the people who love and are supporting me.


These are the biggies that seem to come up in every conversation.  If you have others, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Much Love,

Thus ended the post to which I have received multiple supportive comments, and still nothing from the gene pool.  Que sera, sera.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Emotional Roller Coaster

Greetings friends.

The last few days have been extremely emotional for me.  A number of surprising things have happened this week; most of them very good.  As I'm sure you all know, I've been behaving rather boldly through my Facebook account for the past few weeks.  That boldness continued this weekend with my addition of the set of photos I shared with you all (actually I put them on Facebook first... nothing personal!).  This isn't the first time that I've put pictures of Kate on my Facebook account, but it is the first time that I did it without restricting any friend groups.  This meant that everyone including my work colleagues were able to view these.  This, of course, accompanies all of the very "female centric" posts and comments I've been sharing.

It would seem that my actions finally poked the right set of nerves for some of my colleagues, which led to yet another moment of intervention / fact sharing... I don't know what to call it.  We talked.  It started with a significant increase in the amount of talk around work about me (all of which I hear through "my sources").  From the talk, I knew that two of my management folks - who are among my Facebook friends - were at a point of needing to talk about it.  We made it all the way through Monday and half-way into Tuesday when one of them finally popped his head in my door and said "I'm thirsty," which is our code for "let's blow off work and go have a drink."  I honestly didn't have time for it, but I knew what was coming, so I asked him to give me a few minutes and I'd meet him at our normal spot.  I also asked him if our other colleague would be joining us.  He agreed that it would be a good idea, and we made the arrangement.

An important thing to understand is that I am a fairly crafty person.  I had spent a lot of time over the years feeling out beliefs and predilections, and making preliminary determinations of where my "trouble spots" would be when I finally moved forward with transition (yes, I pretty much do this with everyone).  "I'm thirsty" was one of the people I had determined would probably not be able to accept me.

It took a couple hours, but eventually the subject did come up, and to my shock and surprise, both of my colleagues pledged their unwavering support and friendship.  Noted, that "I'm thirsty" did admit that it was going to be a big struggle for him, but I cannot describe how impressed I am by his surprising display of friendship and support.  Of course, as all of these conversations do, this one ventured into all of the fact finding and personal exploration - how long have I known?  What does my family say?  What about my wife?  How far do I plan to take it?  When do I plan to tell my boss?  You can imagine.  The conversation lasted into the late evening hours, by which time, my wife and partner had joined us and was actually taking care of most of the conversation for me.

The night ended with both of my friends and colleagues assertion of their support and friendship, after which I went home and had a complete emotional meltdown.  I bawled for a solid hour, during which my wonderful partner gently held me and stroked my hair offering gentle encouragement.  I knew this was going to be hard.  I cannot begin to explain (or confirm, as I'm sure many of you have experienced or are experiencing the same thing) the toll these conversations take on a girl's psyche.  With each discussion, I essentially relive all the struggles and all the hardships.  I have to revisit the rejections and the hurdles.  I am forced to reconsider decisions and discuss timing and next steps.  The good news is that my resolve has never been stronger.  The only thing that really scares me now is that I know the conversations only get more difficult from here.

I have handled the easy people - the acquaintances, the long distance friends, the people who already knew or I already knew would support me.  Now we're down to employers and the "untouchable" family members.  My mom.  Ugh.

In other news, my brave and beautiful partner had surgery yesterday (yes, I had to drive her to the surgery center with a terrible hangover from the previous night's unplanned adventure).  It was relatively minor surgery, but it did involve actually cutting two bones, so she is in a considerable amount of pain right now.  The surgery was successful and no complications, so that is good.  All that said, from the moment I saw her in her little surgical gown and cap, I've been fighting not to cry.  I'm trying to keep a brave face, but every time I look at her, I have to fight back tears.  I guess I'm just not used to seeing her weak.  She is so strong; she is my rock and my protector, and she has been by my side supporting me from practically the moment we met.  I know how much she hates feeling weak, and I know how badly she just wants to be back on her feet; and that breaks my heart.

Please keep her in your thoughts as she continues to heal and regain strength.

And have a wonderful week!

Oh, oh!  One last note (sorry, this has been long one already!): following all the turmoil Tuesday night, I made one other change.  My name... well, on Facebook anyway.  I finally changed my first name on my Facebook account from Kyle to Kate.  I had converted the email address a few weeks ago, but no one really sees that.  There is no more hiding, everyone who knows me (on FB, anyway) now knows Kate.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

May 7 Girls' Night

My partner and I went out last night for a little "girls' night."  As always, we had a few drinks, enjoyed a good show, and had a ton of fun.  Already looking forward to the next round! :)  I have plenty to share, but I need to keep it brief tonight... so how about a few pictures and a promise for a more complete update soon?  Super, you all are so amazing!  Ciao!

May 7, Girls' Night:

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  Until next time, take care!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Just a Few Updates

You will recall the rather rash move I made a couple weeks back posting a very pointed statement on my Facebook account.  I just wanted to share some of the feedback I've received related to that post.  I've attempted to cover specific identities in the interest of my friends' safety.  I know YOU guys are all trustworthy... it's THOSE OTHER guys I worry about! :)

Here is the string that pretty quickly followed my post:

It is so amazing to have such wonderful friends.  I would note that the second from the last comment is from my ex-spouse and Mother of my two wonderful daughters.  The other interesting note is that not a single family member (blood relation... sisters, brothers, cousins, etc.) commented on this post.  It would seem that the great wall of denial still stands strong!  Oh well.

I read once that before one could truly say she was ready to transition, she first had to know that she would be willing to give up everything to do it.  I hope that my relatives will eventually come around - especially my mother and siblings - but the good news is that I have the support of my children and a whole slew of people close to me.  I am prepared for "the worst," and I am at peace with the possibility that I will lose many relationships (among other things) through the course of this transition, but I am very happy to know that I have support and that I won't lose everyone!

In other news, going out tonight!  Very excited about that.  I have the cutest new dress that I cannot WAIT to show off.  I'll try to post some pictures.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!


The book that provided the above insight regarding transition (proceeds from purchases of this book (through my link) will go toward the "FFS for Katey" fund - hee hee!):