The strangest things hit me in the strangest ways.

POP! The First Male Pregnancy is a "net art" project created by Virgil Wong, in connection with several other explorations into biotechnology and biology. The site contains a reasonably medically solid, if laymanesque, explanation of how a male could carry a child to term.

I didn't realize, when a friend first pointed out the site to me, that it was actually someone's idea of art. My first reaction was something like, "No, surely I would've heard something more than just that. It would have been a headline somewhere, wouldn't it?" On the other hand, I don't watch television any more because I can't get a decent reception in my apartment and I refuse to pay for cable. I don't read newspapers or follow much in the way of online news sources. My mother probably would've told me if she'd heard anything, but she's going for her doctorate right now and could easily have not heard.

I guess in short, I should've known and even did know from the get-go that it was a hoax, but when I found out for sure, I still started crying.

Becoming a mother is one of my biggest dreams, one that I hope one day I'll have the chance to fulfill. I know that the options of adoption and foster children are always open, and I plan on looking into them once I feel that I could be the sort of parent that any child deserves to have, but my deepest dream is to bear my own children one day.

Right now, that's simply medically impossible. After all is said and done, I will have the appearance I desire, but I won't have the internal structure to compliment it. At the moment, there's just no way to get it, either. My friends have told me that the technology isn't in the too-distant future to allow for it, but it isn't here yet and I have to accept the possibility that it may not happen within my lifetime.

I'm torn between saying that it should be such a little thing, and saying that I know better. Part of me doesn't care, that what truly matters is having things so that they feel right when I make love, that being able to look in the mirror and see the person I know I want to be looking back at me is the crucial factor. Part of me still doesn't know how to accept the fact that, when all is said and done, I won't be a "real woman", that I won't menstruate, can't bear children and will never truly know what it means to be female.

Is "female" truly my goal, though? I said when I started that to be female was the wrong approach, that my drive should be to become myself, and that I should do everything in my power to stop wearing masks and be who I
wanted to be. It just happens that part of who I want to be is a mother, and that's something I can only do through the help of others. 

I know what I want, and I know that I can't have it immediately, but I also know that if I wait, I may get it, so I'm waiting. I've waited this long; I can wait longer.


I swear, there are people who live their entire lives on automatic.

Yesterday morning, I went back to the courthouse and had my gender legally changed. I found out last Wednesday that the judge I had had before, the one who had seemed so nice and polite and concerned, was the one who refuses to sign anyone's gender-change. Going back, all I had to do was get a different judge and it was a matter of five minutes and a few strokes of a pen.

I'm now legally female. It's still a bit mindboggling, both in that it's true and that I had to get a piece of paper to prove it. It seems like such a pointless formality, and yet now I can show off my driver's license to anyone without worrying that they'll notice that little detail. It's comforting that there's nothing left to get in my way beyond the details of surgery and such.

I took my new court papers, ink still wet, with me to the Department of Public Safety to get my driver's license fixed. After standing in line for about an hour, I got to the counter and told the clerk that I needed to have my details updated.

She said, "Oh, did you move?"

I said, "No, I had my gender legally changed."

The woman behind the counter looked at me, looked at the court order, looked back at me, looked at my old driver's license and then looked at the court order again. She got up, picked up my driver's license and court order, and went over to talk to someone. Then she talked with someone else. Then she talked with a third person. I couldn't hear what she was saying, but the gist was obviously along the lines of "what do I do with this" with a smattering of "is this legal" for variety. Everyone with whom she spoke apparently told her the same thing, which she didn't want to hear, because she kept on asking. Finally, after her fourth person, she came back to the counter and started making the changes in the computer.

The actual process, once she started, took less than five minutes, picture and all, though she did insist on three pictures so she could get the worst of the bunch. I think, though, that this is common for drivers' licenses. Anyway, after all was said and done, I paid my ten dollars for the new license. Then, as I was picking up my paperwork, guess what she said to me?

"Have a nice day, sir."

I stared at her in dumbfounded shock. She asked five people in the course of this whole escapade what to do. She had five people tell her to change my driver's license. The court order said "female" on it, and the only thing that had any indication of masculinity at all was the M on my old license and in the computer which was changed. I have breasts sticking out of my sweater, for crying out loud. Yet, despite all of this, what does she say?

"Have a nice day, sir."

I can only imagine that she was running on autopilot. I quite literally stood there in front of her for five seconds, shocked. The whole time, she stared back at me placidly, totally unaware of what she had said. When I finally came to my senses and corrected her, she did apologize, but the fact that it happened at all stunned me.

Are most people this clueless? If so, this would explain why I keep getting mistaken. I seem to find three types of people. The first see exactly what's happening and call me "ma'am". The third see absolutely nothing beyond what's presented, and they also call me "ma'am" It's the group in the middle, the ones who see enough to know what I was but not enough to figure out what I am, that keep getting it wrong.

I hope this third group is not as large as it appears to be.


No matter how far I think I've come, I still have a long way to go.

I have been involved in a friend's play-by-mail now for many years. My method of role-playing has always been to find a character into whose head I could comfortably crawl, and learn over time to respond to things in the
game as the character would, to make my response as the character as close to the charcter's as I could get. I used to use role-playing as a means of escaping reality; now I like to think that I use it as a pleasant diversion,
a positive instead of a negative.

The character that I played, at first, was a model of self, a fifteen-year-old male werebear verging on self-discovery and becoming involved with his first love. I thought at the time that this was a good self-reflection-in-funhouse-mirror, which is the sort of character I play best, because of how I tend to play characters. At first, it was a fun role, and a fitting one, because I thought it was close to who I was.

As time progressed, though, I began to drift away from that mindset. In the past, I know I've said here that I found the idea of bringing my old stories over to my new homepage difficult to accept, because the characters within were no longer people with whom I could empathize. The same happened with the character in this game. At one point, I emailed the gamemaster and said that I didn't think I would be able to continue playing the character.

The gamemaster was extremely sympathetic, and he offered to help me find new life in my character by setting things up so that the character would become female. I said that I wasn't sure if it would work, but I was willing to try and that I didn't want to quit the game. We negotiated a few details and then I left things to his capable hands. 

Shortly thereafter, we set things in motion for the character to make the grand discoveries in her life. Honestly, it wasn't much of a stretch; events had conspired earlier that made things convenient. Role-playing tends, by its nature, to exaggerate events in the real world, and things that could have taken a normal person years to understand happened in a much shorter time within the game.

One of these events was the development of a relationship with another character in the game, a male slightly older than my character. In good melodramatic style, the relationship developed quickly, but not illogically, shared trauma and shared adventure helping grow their closeness. He was among the first of those to find out about her, not the first only because of fear that he would reject her for her announcement.

As things are now, the character is about to have her wishes fulfilled. A mage in the game has undertaken to change her physically from how she is now to who she believes she wishes to be. My character was sent, with her mate, to prepare emotionally and mentally for the change. She worked through a lot of anxiety and fear in her preparation, talking with her mate.

At the end of the last round of emails, her mate proposed to her. 

After responding, I stood and walked away from the computer, thinking about everything that had happened in the game and how it related to my own life, and how I would feel in her situation. It occured to me, after some thinking, that I was envious of her.

No matter what I do, no matter how hard I work, no matter how long I spend trying, I will never truly "be a woman", if only in the sense that my chromosomes will always be male. My body will be virtually indistinguishable
from that of a woman's, but I will never bear my own children. This, more than anything, is what upsets me now.

I remember Lurene as a young child, telling me of her dreams of having children, and how I used to smile and shake my head because I could never see myself as a father. I wish I had had her strength and understanding

I broke down in the shower, sobbing in Jessie's arms. She would have everything I wanted, and I felt so angry and upset and envious that it overwhelmed me. All Jess could do was hold me and wait for it to pass. I hate putting those I love into those kinds of situations, but there are times when I don't know how do to anything else.

I accept that I will never truly have what I want, that I will never get one-hundred percent of what I seek. With work, though, I can have most of it, and that will have to suffice. The only alternative is to have none of it, and that just simply isn't an option.

I'm happy with my path in life, even if it doesn't take me exactly where I want to go. It's the best I can do, and that is all I can ask.

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