Yesterday, I decided that I was going to fold my old homepage into this one. I've been trying to integrate my old identity into my new one, and that site is really one of the last artifacts up from my old name that remains online.

I started, as I thought was best, by going through and editing all of the HTML so the style of the pages would match the rest of my new site. I found that I wasn't such a good coder then, though, so I had a lot of code buried
in the pages themselves that I needed to change. Quite innocently, I started going through and fixing things.

Then I started reading what I had written.

This is where things got a bit strange. You see, on one of the writing forums of which I'm a member, there are a lot of shared settings in which many authors will all write stories, and it's very common in those settings to pattern many or all of the main characters on the authors themselves. Thus, a good number of the stories on my homepage all feature me.

The only catch is that they're not me. They're the person that I tried very hard to be, and for a while believed I could be for the rest of my life. I spent a lot of energy writing those stories almost as a subconscious reinforcement of the mask I wore. There I was, immortalized on paper, so to speak. I even wrote stories about my ex-boyfriend, before he asked me not to include him any more.

Reading back over what I had written, and who I had tried to be, I felt the distinct embarrassment that people get when their parents show off baby photos of them to others.

I couldn't very well say that the stories were never written. Too many people have seen them, and they would know even if I disavowed any memory of them. Yet, it didn't feel right to include them in my current homepage. They're a snapshot of the past, in the same way that my high school graduation photo and my driver's licence picture are. They were all things I believed were once true, and in that I stand by them, but they aren't true now. They aren't me now.

When I started this transition, I did so with the statement that I would never try to hide who I was, but that I wouldn't let that person dominate my life. I would learn from my past, but I wouldn't live there. As such, I'm not going to take down my old homepage, but I'm not going to update it any longer, and the stories that were there will remain there.

I am a work forever in progress, and those stories are, to a great extent, a snapshot of a history I outgrew.


Yikes. There's something to be said for being too busy living life to talk about it, but this is a bit excessive.

Over the weekend after losing my friend of six years, I decided that nothing was holding me back except my own concerns and I decided to proceed with hormones. After talking with a few friends, I decided that the way to go was through an endocrinologist that specialized in such things. It would seem to be the best choice, neh? Doing this required getting a referral from my primary-care physician, since I've got to deal with managed care.

Last Monday, I went and saw my new doctor about getting a referral to see an endocrinologist. She gave me the referral without any problems. Then I spent two days finding out that there are no endocrinologists around that will take my insurance who do hormone replacement therapy. In a fit of desparation, I called my doctor back and found out that she's had several other patients who have all done HRT through her directly, without an endocrinologist, one of whom who had even gone through the final surgery itself.

Now, the hitch is that she's tried to get insurance to cover her patients' lab work and such for this sort of treatment, and they just won't. I don't know why they won't; they claim it's unnecessary treatment. They obviously
don't have anyone who's been through the experience themselves. At any rate, she said that I'd have to pay for the expenses out of my own wallet. At that point, I asked her if this sort of thing would be covered if I'd been born a woman. She said it'd be considered a standard medical procedure so yes it would.

At that point, the plan crystalized. I'd been planning to move forward with hormones and then transition at work once I started to show. However, doing it that way would be several hundred dollars out of my pocket. Instead, I
planned to transition at work first, change my name legally and start my real-life test. After that, as a legal female, the insurance company would have to pay for my treatment. In theory.

I'd like to move to Theory; everything works there.

At any rate, my doctor put me on a "starter" prescription of estradiol 1mg once a day and spironolactone 50mg twice a day. She said in about three months or so, she'll do the baseline and prescribe something stronger.

It's a slow start, but it's a start, and it'll be much faster soon.


Today I think I had what has to have been the least painful separation in my life.

For some time now, two of my friends and I, along with a few others with whom I'm only mildly acquainted, had been meeting regularly for a regularly scheduled role-playing session. I've been role-playing, in various forms, most of my life. In fact, one of the first clues that something in my life needed addressing was the simple fact that my female characters outnumbered my male ones nine-to-one and always felt more comfortable. At any rate, though, tonight was supposed to be a game night, so I called to make sure that the game was still supposed to run tonight.

Now, I feel it only fair to mention first that, prior to a month ago, the two abovementioned friends were the only real ties to Texas I had. I didn't want to leave them behind. I knew I could find a job anywhere, and I knew that I could find professionals in the fields in which I needed them to help me through my transition, but I didn't want to lose these two friendships, both of which had lasted over six years, one of which had lasted sixteen.

The one that had lasted sixteen ended, more or less, two weeks ago.

Tonight, the other asked, in the tone of a concerned friend, "Look, could you please not wear a dress when you come over any more? I get very distracted, and honestly it's somewhat disturbing to me."

Now, I'm usually very easy-going, but I'm also trying to learn to live my life by my standards and my rules. I asked him if he would ask the same of the other woman in the group. He said he wouldn't have to do so. I asked
why it was an issue. He said it was just the way he was raised, and that the blouse-and-jeans were fine but that the dresses and skirts bothered him. We spent a few minutes beating around the verbal bush, and ultimately
he admitted that he just wasn't dealing with my transition well and that he had in his mind a set image of me as who I used to be and that he had no interest or, so he claimed, capacity to change it.

This is where we hit our impasse. If he had said, "I'm having trouble adjusting to your changes, please give me some time," I could've said no problem and been as accomodating as possible. What he said, though, was basically that he wasn't interested in trying and wanted me to change my behavior to accomodate him. I explained in careful, simple language why, if I had to put on a certain outfit, or even avoid putting on a certain
outfit, whenever I wanted to interact with him, then I was faking reality for someone else's benefit, and that I couldn't in good conscience do that.

He said in response that he understood my position but that he didn't feel it fair to claim that he could improve when he didn't think it possible and that he didn't think it fair that I force him to be uncomfortable. I agreed but said that the only means of guaranteeing that neither of us felt uncomfortable in each other's presence, if all these facts were immutably true, was to stop interacting with each other.

At that, he got very quiet and said he was only being honest. I said I knew that and that I respected him for it. I do, actually. I respect him greatly for refusing to lie to me and telling me a truth he didn't think I wanted to hear. I also respect him for standing by his beliefs. I don't agree with his beliefs, but they're not mind to make. The conversation ended quickly from there. He wished me luck in my future endeavors and I said that any
time he felt ready and willing to attempt to face his limitation, I would be available. I made sure he had my phone number and my e-mail address, and then we said our goodbyes and ended the call.

Only afterwards, sitting in an IHOP with Jason, did I realize that, now, I really have no ties left to Texas. My parents are here, but they'll be moving when my mother finishes her degree and won't even be here to hold me. I have a few other friends, but I see them so infrequently that they don't really count as a motivation. I have the job, but that's something I could get anywhere. I have the professional relationships, but I could rekindle them with others. In short, after my endocrinologist's appointment in July, I have no reason to stay in Texas, and many reasons to leave.

I think it's time I spoke with my therapist about getting my name-and-gender letter and starting my real-life test. I've got nothing holding me back now.


Today's entry promises to be a hodge-podge of thoughts. My mind's been all over the map today.

Last night, I officially acquired my hormone letter and found out that there's a third document in the path, a request for gender change. Apparently, this is the piece of paper to take to get my driver's licence to read "female". I didn't know about that one until recently; I had thought before that that couldn't be done until much later, or was just done on an ad hoc basis.

I may need that letter sooner than later, though. I had a job interview on Monday with another company at which I both requested a twenty percent raise over my current salary and told the interviewer that I would be coming to
work as myself. He didn't seem to bat an eyelash over either one. In fact, he seemed more bothered by the salary requirement than the dress code. I have a followup interview with them at the end of next week some time. I have no idea how that will go, but I plan to be myself for the interview and see what transpires from there.

I made my appointments both to get my referral and to see an endocrinologist today from work. If I had known that I could make the appointment without having the letter, I would've started a week ago trying to arrange it. As it is, I won't be able to go until July. This is mildly disappointing, because Jason and I are going to a get-together with some friends in Chicago around July 4, and I had hoped that I could have started hormones by the time of
the event, which will henceforth be called the 
Bash, as it's known to its participants. My appointment's on the twelfth. It's a bit disappointing, but not as much as frustrating that I have to wait so long.

Then, to wrap off today, on the way home from work, I heard a radio commercial for a news broatcast that set my mind in motion. The story itself didn't have anything to do with the subsequent memories, but the graphic imagery described provoked a bit of nausea and sympathy pains, and that's what brought back the past.

When I was young, very young, before I learned to present a different face to everyone and pretend to be people I wasn't to get along, I hated watching scary movies. I didn't enjoy them at all. I used to have nightmares if I tried to watch them. One of my friends, in fact the one who recently asked me to remove all references from my site, took it on as a task to "cure" me of this. In fact, this person took it on as a task to "cure" me of many things, the list of which would be longer than I care to remember.

Now, twenty years later, as I begin to unlearn all of the unnecessary add-ons to my life, I wonder how much of what I presented to the world is a result of that person's actions. At the time, I saw that person as a savior, a path
that wasn't my father's. On the other hand, I didn't have many friends as a child and this was well before I had learned to be my own person. I became very co-dependent on the few friends I had and was easily manipulated by them. The fear of losing them as friends and being alone let them talk me into doing a lot of things that I would never have done on my own. 

I wonder, honestly, how much of the false faces I tried to wear for so long are a result of that manipulation, not just by that one person but by the people I considered my friend who, for the most part, were really just interested in me because I let myself be manipulated by them. Was this person a friend? Yes. This does not change the fact that this person spent a lot of time bending me, ostensibly for my own good. Now, I can't look
back and say that it was. 

What matters now, though, is moving forward, not dwelling on the past. I enjoy reflecting on it, but I can't live there.


Today, I had what is likely to be the first of odd encounters until such time as I'm totally through the process. It shouldn't have been so totally unexpected, but it caught me thoroughly off-guard.

I ran into my cubemate from work today at the mall.

Now, this wouldn't normally be an issue. Running into someone from work while away from it is something that most people would probably consider a nifty coincidence. However, at the time, it was more like finding one's pastor at the corner pub and not being Irish Catholic. As I noted above, I should've expected that eventually it would happen, but for some reason I just sort of lived off in my own little bubble somewhere, that "work" was this isolated segment of my life into which I occasionally had to foray in order to keep making money so that I could pay for everything else.

The exchange itself was brief. He nodded and said, "Oh, hi," as I walked past; I nodded and said hello back. I suppose the blouse and jeans I had on could be mistaken for androgynous-enough clothing. Considering I still
get sirred on a regular basis, it's almost certain he didn't think anything of it, though I'll find on Monday.

The funny thing, now, is that about a minute after I walked past, the first thing I thought was, "At least I wasn't wearing a skirt!" Ten seconds after that, I realized how ludicrous that sounded. My letter of approval for hormones is written. I'm making the appointment on Monday to see my doctor and get a referral to an endrocrinologist. I'll be full-timing within a few months, and barring someone giving me double my current salaryto move I'll be dressing as myself at work soon enough. He's going to see me in skirts eventually, so would've been wrong with him seeing me in one today?

I think there, again, it was the shock value. I just wasn't mentally prepared to tell him. I got my new credit card, with my real name on it, and there've been a few places where I was hesitant to use it in case someone that's known me for a while asked questions while I wasn't ready to answer them. They're all people who'd eventually find out, but I haven't always been in a mood to answer questions. I'm not really trying to hide anything, but I'm also not going around and waving it under people's noses either. I'm just trying to be myself.

In hindsight, I almost wish that I had been wearing something more obviously feminine. I probably would've been in a bigger state of shock right now, but it would've been one less person to have to tell when the time comes to be myself at work. It would've made that hurdle one notch easier. I'll still jump it when the time comes, but it'd look less imposing.

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