So much has happened in nine days.

First, the important news: my sister is moving down. While this is an incredibly happy event, I wish the circumstances were better. Her father didn't outright say he was throwing her out, but the gist of his statement was that she would be out of the house if she kept going the way she was, so she's taking him up on it and moving down the day after her eighteenth birthday.

I've been looking forward to this sort of event for a long time. I've known her longer than almost anyone else in my life, and we've shared so much in that time that even if we aren't related by blood, we're still family. She means so much to me, and she's been there for me every time I've needed her, just as I've tried to be there for her. We could sit silently in the same room and know what each other were thinking, I bet. Musical tastes, books, dreams and fantasies... we share so much on so many levels. She really is my sister, in every way that matters.

Originally, Jason and I were going to go up to see her at her graduation in June, but now she's going to be coming down here and transferring to a local school for the last three months. I've already got my plane ticket to go up there and both coming back. I've reserved a hotel room, reserved a car and printed maps to get to her house. In eight days, at 6:20 in the morning, I'll be flying up there. I'm so excited.

I got recognized.

Two days ago, I went to Sam's Club, which is this big wholesale reseller where you have to pay for membership but can then get some things for incredibly good prices if you don't mind looking around and waiting for the good deals. I wasn't dressed; I just had on my work clothes, though I was carrying my purse, something I do all the time.

Sam's Club ID cards have photographs on them, as well as full names, so when I pulled mine out of my purse and passed it over, I must've grimaced. The lady checking IDs looked at the card, looked at me and handed it back. I started to walk past, catching a blur of her reaching behind her as I went. I'd gotten about two steps past her when she said behind me, "Excuse me, ma'am?"

I turned around, just as blithely, and saw she was holding out some pamphlet to me. As I reached out for it, she looked up at me and started stammering a quite-unnecessary apology. I told her it was quite alright, took the pamphlet and just drifted into the warehouse. I hadn't planned on spending much time or money there, but I dropped thirty dollars and bought Jason two cannisters of snacks and a bunch of other things I hadn't intended to buy.

I used to think, when people sirred me while I was dressed, that they were being rude or hateful or just ignorant. I used to fear that I would never make it. Now it's happened, and I wasn't even trying. I still think that at least some of them are saying it out of crudeness, but perhaps Jason and Lurene are right, and some of them are saying it to reassure themselves, and a few subtle cues will be all it takes toget them to call me ma'am, or at least have them ask.

I used the ladies' room for the first time the other night.

Jason and I were at the airport seeing off a friend that had flown through Dallas, and it was about ten o'clock at night. I'd gotten dressed casually and we'd gone to dinner. I knew better, after heavy dieting, to shock myself with a bacon cheeseburger, but it sounded so good that I just had to order one. Of course, twenty minutes later, I regretted it and we had to find a restroom.

A few weeks ago, we had gone somewhere and I had needed to use the ladies' room but waited until I got home because I was still very self-conscious. Tonight, I just went in and went about my business. Probably my lack of hesitation came from the fact that the airport was almost totally deserted. Perhaps I'm just getting used to being Kristina in public. Either way, I didn't really think about what I was doing until i was doing it, looked down and saw myself sitting there.

It sounds like such a little thing, using the ladies' room. I mean, in the scope of activities, using the bathroom is a negligible one. However, it's one of the few places where separate-but-equal is alive and well. Almost every public building on earth has both ladies' and mens', and never the two shall meet. I found one movie theater that has a unisex bathroom, marked "Unisex", and some percentage of places that simply don't make any distinction at all, but the norm seems to be one facility for one-half of the populace and a second for the other.

As I sat there, taking care of paperwork, I wondered briefly what would happen if someone were to try to make an issue of it. Realistically speaking, were there any laws that, prior to my surgery, I was violating by using the appropriate bathroom? My therapist at some point has said that she'll give me a letter of intent stating that I should be afforded all of the priviledges due a woman, but as of yet she hasn't and I'm not going to stop being myself because I'm not certified.

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