I got my passport last night. It was waiting for me in my mailbox when I got home. Anxiously, I tore open the manila envelope in which they'd sent all of my paperwork. The first page was a letter saying that the passport was a limited-duration issue, good until six months post-op, but that I could have it converted to the full duration without question or cost after providing proof of surgery. I was fine with that; I figured they'd do something like
that anyway. I opened up the little blue sheaf.

Kristina Robin Davis. Male.

I have, I think, never been quite so livid as I was in the first two seconds after looking at that. Not even the recent fiasco of the Bash organization for next year put me quite into the stratosphere like this. The Ninth Circuit Court of Texas, the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, my significant other and my mother all recognize me and consider me female, and here I have a little square of blue cardboard slapped with the wrong information.

For about three seconds, I wondered if I were ever going to be free of my unwanted past.

For the next hour, I swore I was going to catch a flight to Houston and quietly strangle the officer in the passport office that issued my passport.

Then Jessie dragged me to bed, made love with me and held me while I cried fell into an eight-hour coma.

Today, I'm going to call them after I get out of work, and I'm going to ask, very politely, why my paperwork was issued with the wrong information when by their own letter to Ms. Davis, they recognize me as female. Then, regardless of what answer I get, I'm going to assume that when I get back from Thailand next April, they will correct the mistake in my records when I present them with my paperwork saying that I've had the proverbial nip-and-tuck. If they still insist at that point on getting it wrong, I'm going to throw a conniption over the likes of which J. R. "Bob" Dobbs himself would soil his underwear.

I'm keenly aware of what assuming does to people. I just don't feel like arguing with them until I'm back and have the final weapon in my arsenal.

Of course, I also have one last chance at getting them to correct their records. I put in a request at the California Department of Vital Records, the holder of my original birth certificate, to have the proper amendments made to reflect the changes in my information. If they follow through with what I think they agreed to do, then I'll have an amended birth certificate to present back to the Passport Agency to get my records fixed yet again.

I know it's counterproductive, but I would love to see the look on the faces of the people there when I calmly and smugly present them with a corrected birth certificate and inform them that they out of all the government offices
faced with this issue have refused to treat me properly and with the recognition I have earned.

It's almost enough to make me want to sue them right now.

This morning when I stood on the scale, it read 265. I'm now five pounds above where I started when I went back on my diet. True, I did have a slew of visitors over that time period, and I let myself go, but I am at a point now where I can no longer afford to let myself go, to act as if having visitors is any excuse for me to neglect my diet.

Right now, I'm fighting for motivation. I'm fighting for every step of the way, every pound I want to lose. When I started dieting the first time, I had a host of appetite suppressants that worked and a ready supply of caffeine, a natural appetite suppressant, to help me along. Now, I can't have the caffeine because it's contraindicated by my anti-androgen, which is also a diuretic, and the appetite suppressants have all been recalled.

I'm down to willpower and Stupid Human Tricks to get back to where I want to be, weight-wise. Not just that, but where I need to be to have a better chance at a successful surgery. Doctor Kunaporn normally doesn't take any patient over two hundred pounds; he made an exception in my case because of my height, but I know I can drop to 220 if I try. I've been there before. I can get there again.

To this end, I'm starting a daily online table to monitor my progress. Keeping records at home and privately has not helped me this time. I know that, if I'm showing the world that my weight is dropping, I'll be happy. Conversely, I know that if I'm having to show it rising again, or if I'm avoiding posting anything because it's not falling as it should be, then I'm doing something wrong and I need to fix my habits.

My goal is to reach 220 by the end of January. That's eight pounds a month, starting now. That's by no means impossible, but it will be difficult. I've done worse, so I'm not too worried. 

I hate that I have to do this to get myself to fix my own bad habits, but if I said, "this is who I am", I would have to hide my face. I started my transition telling myself that I could be who I wanted to be, and I'll be damned before I let go of that.


Yesterday marked the first anniversary of my Real-Life Test. As of yesterday morning, I will have spent one full year living as myself, as Kristina Davis, and not as the person whose name still (dis)graces my birth certificate.

Birth certificates and other government proofs of identification are still something of a sticking point for me; I'm still fighting the passport agency, though one thing has changed on that front that should clear the way for the rest to resolve. My surgeon is finally sending me my Letter, in which he says that I'm scheduled for thus-and-so date and should be given egress from the United States of America to be allowed to meet this obligation. Hopefully it will work. If not, I'm going to have a deuce of a time applying under my old name. I've already submitted the paperwork to the California Bureau of Vital Statistics to amend my birth records. If this letter doesn't do it,
maybe that will. I hope.

Looking back, it's hard to imagine my life before a year ago. I mean,  consciously, I can call up the memories, but they feel alien. I mention on my homepage that I have no intention of claiming I sprung fully grown into the world at age twenty-five, and yet it feels like that in a way. I know what I did, and I can recall specific events, but when I do so they don't seem like they belong to me. I feel like I'm reliving someone else's life when I try to think about it.

I don't suppose that's too surprising, really. I know several people who're going through the same transition who have all expressed at one time or another the desire to have their pasts buried and forgotten. We live in a society that still doesn't totally understand and accept, even if individuals do, and references to our past can get awkward. For the most part, I simply refer to myself as female as far back as possible, and yet there are times of my life where this simply won't work. I lived in a university dorm for a year, and I had a male roommate. No dorm would ever intentionally allow two strangers of differing sexes to occupy the same room, at least not in Texas. Thus, how do I talk about my pathologically normal roommate André without giving away the past?

Should I even care? My friends are an even mix of those who don't know and those who don't care, with most of the former eventually winding up as the latter, but I know someone right now fighting for employment because she
has a military discharge for GID. She's working at a grocery store because she can't get hired for anything better. It's heavily frustrating, seeing this kind of treatment and not being able to stop it, knowing that I could be subject to the same.

At any rate, I look back now at my first year and all I can say is that I wish I had known so much sooner. I envy some of my friends who're going through the change so much younger than I, but I hope that never interferes with our friendship. I can't help but wonder sometimes how much different my life would be now if I'd realized and accepted all of this when I was in college, or even high school, but I'm not enough of a Nostradamus to really know.

All in all, I'm happy with the decision, and I'd do it again in an instant.

Anthrocon was last week, and I still have mixed emotions about it. I'd been looking forward to attending for some time, but once I was there, it wasn't what I had expected. Rather, I wasn't able to do what I had hoped.

I simply do not handle large undirected groups of people well. I freeze up. I get silent, curl up in my corner, hope to go unnoticed and panic if I'm put into the spotlight. I can deal with small groups. I can deal with larger groups of people I know well. I can deal with large groups if we're all participating in some specific activity. I can even handle public speaking, since I'm the event on which people are focused. Past a certain point, though, I simply don't react positively.

When I went to Further Confusion with Jessie last year, I didn't really attend the con. I visited with Ryan, while Jessie went to the convention. When I go to the Bash every year, I spend my time socializing with smaller groups, and I grow distinctly uncomfortable when everyone is together. I wish I felt more comfortable, safer interacting with larger groups, but I never have, and it's only grown more acute since my transition. I don't even socialize at work events. I feel out of place and isolated. 

I wanted to attend, to have a good time, but I spent most of it either fighting off panic attacks or hiding in the women's room at the hotel while Jessie at least enjoyed zirself. I don't begrudge the roo for that, and in fact I'm very glad that zie had a good time, but I'm disappointed in my own inability to overcome something so seemingly simple.

With understanding comes growth, and with growth comes new possibilities. Either I'll learn to live with this part of my life, or I'll find a way to overcome it. Either way, I'm better off now than I was before, and I know how to avoid the worst of these sorts of situations.