A Texas Butterfly

A Texas Butterfly

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Locks of Love

This week ( 03/11/2011 ) marks an anniversary of sorts for me. It has now been one year since I first started to let my hair grow out. It has not been cut in the past year except to have the split ends trimmed. My hair is now just past my shoulders and I love to feel it brush my skin. I can’t wait until this time next year when it should be down around my shoulder blades. Did I mention that I love long hair?

A couple of months ago I was getting ready to color my roots. Yes, unfortunately I am old enough to have to submit to that chore. I had been staying with my adopted family, all of whom have been so wonderful during my divorce and transition. ( They took me in when I was kicked out of my house. ) My adopted Niece, Charity was going to put some highlights in my hair for me. She asked me if I wanted to stay brunette or if there was a hair color that I had always wanted to be. I told her that I had always wanted to see myself as a blonde. She asked what color blonde and I pulled out an old Newport News catalog and found one of the models whom had the most gorgeous blonde tresses and highlights, and I said “that color”. She said, “I can do that.” Yea!

It took us several days and tries, mostly since my hair was dark and it is harder to go from dark to light than it is to go from light to dark, and Charity had never work on hair going from dark to light. Finally, after stripping my hair and re-coloring it we arrived at the exact color that the model in the catalog had. I was thrilled and we both jumped up and down with joy. Joy tired after a minute so we stopped jumping, too.

Ladies, be careful what you wish for! I really was happy with the results of our, … Charity’s efforts. I had little to do with it. She had done a fabulous job. But, every morning I would get up and look at myself in the mirror and ask, “Who are you?” I thought I just needed time to get used to my new look, so I gave it almost a month to soak in. It never did. I just could not get used to myself as a blonde. I was getting ready to go for my first job interview as Lindsay and remembered Charity and my adopted sister, Nancy telling me to go to the interview with the hair color that I was going to keep. So, I went back to my natural brunette but with some added highlights. I was thrilled with the color and the highlights as a brunette. My confidence was high as I went to my interview.

When I was trying to get used to my blonde locks, I started thinking about the women that I admired and whom I thought were beautiful. When I was growing up, all the women that I admired or thought were beautiful, were all ladies that had longer hair. And somewhat surprising to me is that almost all of these women were brunettes. The ones that came to mind were Audrey Hepburn, Suzanne Pleshette, Marlo Thomas, Jacqueline Bisset, Jacqueline Smith, Pam Dawber, and more recently Julia Roberts and Jennifer
Garner. And, on a personal note, there, ever present, were my own two beautiful sisters. I wanted more than anything to be just like them. I hope I didn’t miss the mark too far.

To the several girls that told me that they had to “do” their hair on a night that I had asked them out, please forgive me for thinking, “What a load of crap. If you don’t want to go out, just tell me.” I now know how much of an undertaking it is to “do” your hair. While I’m at it, let me go ahead and apologize for rushing my dates as they tried to get ready. It takes time to be breath-taking. Giggle. Another observation; I never thought that I would be thankful for hair that got in the way. When Charity was doing my hair I turned quickly and got slapped in the eye with wet hair. When I eat I have to make sure to push my hair out of the way. When I clasp a necklace or zip up a dress I have to lift my hair out of the way. Such small acts, but ain’t it grand.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A New (Legal) Name

I knew the week was going to be a good one. It had literally been years since the thought first entered my mind. What name could I come up with for my new life? Who or what would influence my decision? Would it fit me? How many times would I change my mind and try on another name for size. I have been Lindsay for so long, I had to stop and think what it was that drove me to decide on the name. So, what was it? I don’t know! Honestly, there were no movie or television stars during my High School and College days when I chose the name that caught my attention, or that I lusted over. There were no stand out entertainers named Lindsay. It was just a name that I thought was pretty, as I wished I was. It seemed to flow from the tongue. And it was totally different from my male name, which was a huge plus. I didn’t want a take-off of my male name, I wanted something new for the new me. I’m not knocking any of you that have chosen cute little twists of your birth names. They can be very appropriate for some of us starting a new life. And, don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I want to cut all ties to my past life. I have had some wonderful experiences up to now, that I don’t want to forget, including the marriage to my wife and the birth of our daughter. I still love my wife and our daughter is still Daddy’s little girl. But, I am starting a new life, the key word being “new”. So, “Lindsay” gets the call for my new name.

Lindsay was the first name that I seriously considered. Strangely enough, I didn't change or try out other names as my first name. Lindsay seemed to fit me so well. My middle name however, was a different matter. I didn't really think seriously about a middle name until about two years ago when I decided to transition. I thought about how different names would sound together and how they would flow. I tried 'Ellen' and 'Elaine' both which I liked very much. In the end I took the path of an acquaintance of mine. She had taken variations of the names of her children as her names. I thought that would be a way to honor my daughter. So when I came out to my daughter early in 2011, and she was OK with my transition, I asked her if I could take her middle name as my middle name. She thought that was cool, and gave me her blessing. Thus, Lindsay Nicole was to be my name.

It was the day after Memorial Day 2011. I had to be at the District Clerks Office at 8am. It didn’t help that I didn’t get much sleep the night before trying to decide which of three outfits I would wear. I ended up wearing a simple black skirt, with a semi-sheer black and white print blouse and a black cami underneath with simple 2 inch black heels. I was determined I was not going to be late on this most important day. I arrived at the court house with 45 minutes to spare, no small feat for me. Getting through security was a breeze since my outfit was simple and I wore minimal jewelry. I was proud of myself for planning my outfit with security in mind, and getting there in plenty of time. I was smiling as I rode the elevator to the 5th floor and stepped out to, … a locked clerk’s office door and about ten other people waiting in the corridor. There were two benches against one wall and those were occupied so I stood nearby trying to look casual. Other people drifted in after me. After about 15 minutes of standing, a nice gentleman who was seated on one of the benches and had been talking to a female I took to be his wife, stood up and apologized for being rude, and offered me his seat. I graciously thanked him and took the proffered seat. I and about 15 others had to wait another 20 minutes for the clerk’s office to open. After the office opened we took turns checking in with the clerk then waited to go to the court room all together. It seemed that most of the other 15 or so people waiting were in the same court as I was. At around 8:30am the clerk took us up to the court room.

I had no idea what to expect from the Judge. I didn’t even know if the Judge would be a man or a woman. I was hoping to get a female Judge feeling that a woman would be more sympathetic to my cause. I don’t know if that is the case, but it is what I thought at the time. We found out from the Bailiff that one of the other Judges had taken that Tuesday off to extend his Memorial Day weekend, dumping cases that Judge would have heard onto the Judge hearing our cases. Our Judge was none too happy about the extra work load and the fact that the absent Judge had not cleared it with our Judge. I was afraid that might put our, my, Judge in a bad mood which might affect his decision on my case.

The Judge heard all the cases from the other court before starting on the cases in his court. Yes, I had drawn a male Judge. How wonderful. He took six cases before me and I could hear some of the conversations in front of him. If the Judge wasn’t in a bad mood from having to take on another court’s cases, he was at least brusk, to the point, and all business. He denied one woman’s petition because she didn’t have her paper work filled out properly.

Finally it was my turn. I was hoping that the Bailiff would only call my last name because my male name was on my petition. No such luck. He called both my first and last names and I got a few quizzical looks when a woman walked up to the bench after a man had been called. Again being all business the Judge asked me why I wanted to change my name. I explained to him that I was a male to female transsexual in the middle of transition. That was good enough for him and no other questions were asked. He was about to grant the petition and close the case when I interrupted him and asked about the gender marker change. He was unaware that I had asked for a gender marker change and had not even seen the letter from my doctor that I had submitted with the petition in support of the gender marker change. I advised him I had another original, (yes, I had obtained two originals for just this event) and started to pull it from my notebook. He stopped me and told me it did not make any difference because he did not have the authority to change a gender marker. I started to ask, “If you don’t have the authority as a District Judge, who does?” I decided that would get me no where and remained silent. If he thought he didn’t have the authority to change a gender marker, my arguing with him was not going to change his mind.

I had to wait for the rest of ‘our group’ to finish and the clerk came and took us back to her office to finish the paper work. The clerk was really sweet and gave me more certified copies of the court order than I had requested and didn’t charge me for any of them. She wished me luck and I was out before 11am.

It was bitter sweet for me as I was really hoping for the gender marker change, also. But, the feeling of finally being Lindsay legally is so wonderful. I was so pumped up and still am even now.

Introducing Lindsay To My Sisters

It had been almost a year since I had come out to my sisters, and still in that time neither of them had met or seen pictures of Lindsay. It was the summer of 2010, and I guess I was getting a little grumpy from not being Lindsay as much as I wanted or needed. It was actually my wife, Diane, who suggested that I go see my sisters. I had some time off from work that I needed to take, so I called Leslie and asked I could come see her for a week and introduce her to Lindsay. She thought the idea was great and coordinated with my other sister Lin for us to have an all girls week. Of course my girlfriend, Suzi and I, had to do some shopping so I'd have enough nice clothes for a week with my sisters. Any excuse, right Suzi.

All packed, (my word, I can't pack light), I stopped for a couple of days to see a friend on the way to Leslie's, but that's another post. My poor sister was in an apartment because she had had part of her house catch on fire from a lightning strike but her insurance company had set her up with a two bedroom apartment. Leslie was great as I knew she would be. She was very complimentary on my make-up and wardrobe. She was still making arrangements to have her house repaired and I went with her to take care of things. I asked her if she would be embarrassed for me to go with her into Lowe's and other places. She looked at me funny and asked why. I told her that I don't always pass. She told me that I looked more like a woman than a lot of women she's seen and if anybody said anything to me about it she would "punch them in the nose" for me. That's my sister. We took care of her business at Lowe's and a few other places, including gathering some things from her house, and Leslie didn't have to punch anybody out.

That night we went to dinner at a nice Mexican restaurant we both enjoy and had a couple of drinks to celebrate Leslie's "new sister". Back at the apartment later that night Leslie brought out some jewelry bags and set them in front of me. Leslie told me that after I had come out to her and told her about watching the girls of the family split up Mom's jewelry, she felt so bad that I had missed out on all the girl stuff. She had gone through her jewelry box and picked out some things she thought I would like, some Mother's, some her's, and she wanted me to have them. We hugged and cried sporadically as she showed me the jewelry. There were some really nice pieces, necklaces, bracelets, and rings but there was one item that had caught my eye. It was a James Avery butterfly key ring that had been Mother's and I remembered seeing it on Mother's keys. Since butterflies are kind of my thing, and I knew that was special to Mother, it was special to me. It went on my keys right then. I didn't care who saw it or if they thought it was gay or sissy. It had been Mother's and now it was mine.

Leslie and I drove to Lin's house and we stayed there a couple of days. One day we all went and had pedicures. Another day we went shopping. I had been looking for a pair of nice slacks that would go with a particular blouse I had, and Lin and Leslie helped me look for the right color. We didn't find the right color slacks, but we did have fun trying on clothes. I'd be in the dressing room and Lin and Leslie would bring me things they thought would look good on me and I would model some of the outfits. I'm sure some of the other ladies in the store got a kick out of the three giggling women. Then we went a few store down to an accessories store call Charming Charlie's. It was mind blowing. What a store. If you haven't been to one you need to find one in your area. I ended up buying several pairs of earrings there. The whole week was wonderful. We were just three sisters doing things any sisters or girlfriends would do. I haven't laughed or had that much fun in a long time. On the last night I was to spend with my sisters we dressed up semi-fancy and went to a nice restaurant. During the meal Lin and Leslie made a toast to "Sisters" which made me tear up. They were so wonderful and I know I'm a lucky girl to have such great sisters.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Coming out to my sisters

For many years I had wanted to tell my youngest sister about Lindsay. She and I have always had a bond. Because of one thing or another it just never seemed to be the right time. In the summer of 2009 our mother was very sick, and the 'kids' took turns taking care of her, with the brunt of the work falling on Leslie, my youngest sister. Mom ended up passing that summer and we were left with the tasks of selling the house and dividing property, ect. When we were dividing property the girls in the family had spread Mom's jewelry out on the dinning room table and they took turns choosing pieces they each wanted. I so much wanted to join in and pick a few pieces for myself. It was agonizing to sit in the kitchen watching them, fighting back the tears, and wanting to yell, 'damn it, it's my turn'. I finally went up behind my wife and whispered into her ear, 'please get me something for me'. I was astounded when we got home and found out that Diane had gotten me several things, mostly necklaces and bracelets, but they were Mom's, and now, they were mine. I was very pleased.

A few weeks later I took a U-Haul down to pick up the big things that Diane and I wanted. She had stayed home. My youngest brother and his wife were there to help me load things, and oh, so smoothly talked me into taking things I didn't want for the sake of getting the things out of the house. And they were slick. Of course, Leslie was there, too. After completely stuffing my truck and a U-Haul, my brother and his wife went home leaving Leslie and I alone in the house drinking a glass of wine together. I guess my siblings were more astute than I realized. Leslie asked me what was wrong, saying she had sensed there was something eating at me for some time. I tried to avoid the subject saying it wasn't the right time. Wiser than her years she explained that life is always complicated with something going on all the time, so if my reasoning for not telling was 'it's not the right time', it never would be the right time.

So, sitting in the house that had been our mother's which was then partially gutted, I broke down and told Leslie my story of growing up a Transexual. I had always thought that if any of the siblings would be understanding, it would be Leslie, because of the bond that we had always shared. She didn't let me down. She hugged me and told me that she loved me and promised whatever I needed in my journey, she would be there for me 100%. Then to show her support she said, 'have you checked out Mom's closet to see if there's any of her clothes you can wear?' So, I got an assortment of shells, pant suits, and blouses that had been my mother's. Pretty cool.

Leslie was curious and asked questions which I answered. She wanted to know if I had told anybody else in the family, which I had not. She asked if she could tell my other sister and I gave her permission to do so. After telling Leslie I was going to tell Lin anyway, but I let Leslie do that for me. After I got home, I got the sweetest e-mail from Lin telling me that she loved me, and would support me in whatever I needed to do. I had been pretty sure that my sisters would understand and support me. I wasn't as sure how my brothers would react. But, both Lin and Leslie promised me that when it was time to tell my brothers, if I wanted to do it in person, Lin and Leslie would be on each side of me for support. I am truly blessed with a wonderful family.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Day with Doctor and Therapist

I’m not a very experienced girl.  I have work and family responsibilities that I recognize as being more important at this point and time than my having a few hours of enjoyment as Lindsay.  Of course it goes without saying that I would love to be out experiencing life on a regular basis as Lindsay, and I am anxiously looking forward to the day I will go full time, even though it will alter my responsibility to my family.  But, at the moment I must bide my time.  I get to be Lindsay about once a month when I go to see my therapist and my doctor, usually on the same day so I don’t have to take off work too often.  Other than therapy and doctor days, I get out about three or four times a year when my best friend Suzi and I go to Dallas for a whole weekend.  Because my time as Lindsay is so limited right now, I savor every moment I can be my true self.

My typical trip to the therapist and doctor usually go something like this.  My wife doesn’t like me to dress around her, or even in East Texas where we live, because she is so fearful that someone we know will recognize me.  So, getting dressed at home on the day of my appointments, and then driving to Dallas as Lindsay is out of the question.  The best solution I’ve come up with is to drive over on the night before, get a decent meal I don’t usually have access to in East Texas, and check into a motel.  I do some prep such as shaving the legs, and putting on some fake nails then try to get a good nights sleep.  I try to get up six or seven hours before I need to be at my appointments.  Let’s face it, it takes time to be as beautiful as I.  Stifle that chuckle.  It does take some time for me to get ready, because I haven’t had that much experience with makeup, but probably more because I’m just not a morning person.  Trowel and shovel in hand and before the day is over, I’m ready to go.  LOL  One bad cup of coffee in the room requires a stop someplace for a real cup of coffee, or to be more precise, a large sugar with a side of coffee.  That usually is enough to get me where I need to go.  I like to schedule the doctor visit first since my doctor is in Coppell, about as far northwest as you can go and still be considered in the Dallas area. 

My doctor is great, and she has helped me in so many ways, but I will write about her in a future blog.  Everyone at her office is so friendly.  They do the usual weight, blood pressure bit, and then Dr. Ridley and I sit down and talk about a little bit of everything.  She takes her time and a session with her usually takes between 45 minutes to an hour.  And, that time doesn’t include the time in the waiting room, or getting vitals checked.  That is from the time I actually sit down with her to talk, until I walk up front to check out.

Doctor visit out of the way, it’s time to remind my stomach that we are still friends.  I eat a light lunch, as in not too filling.  I’ll save my appetite for dinner and splurge a little.  Arby’s, Chick-Fil-A, Sonic.  All are promising for the short term.  With my stomach now having signed the temporary Peace Treaty, it’s time to head for therapy.  Feleshia is such a sweet lady.  Her office is set up more like a living room than an office, with two couches, a soft chair and a coffee table.  We each usually take up the same spot on different couches, with Feleshia kicking off her shoes and tucking her legs under her as she sits clutching a big soft pillow, and me trying my best to be the prim and proper lady.  Sometimes, though, Feleshia rubs off on me and I’ll have to kick off my heels as well.  I usually pour my heart out to her and she provides insight and guidance.  Most of our sessions are pretty upbeat since I have been fortunate enough to have almost NO bad experiences.  I have been known to do my share of crying when we talk about my family.  And Feleshia is so sweet, she doesn’t even make me bring my own tissues.  I know we have a patient/therapist relationship.  But, there is so much more to our interaction than that.  She is truly like another sister to me.  I consider her one of my friends and I hope she feels the same about me.  

With doctor and therapy out of the way, it’s usually time for some more therapy, …, RETAIL therapy.  Over the years I’ve spent so much money on things that aren’t right for me or were just cheap products.  The old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ is true.  With my RLT or full time looming in the near future, I’m no longer buying things just for me enjoy wearing around the house only for me.  For the last six to eight months I’ve been trying to build my wardrobe to start the rest of my life.  I definitely shop more and buy less than I used to.  While I am trying to pay for doctors and therapy and trying to save for surgeries, I have to be more selective in what I buy to make sure it is something that can follow me into a new life.  It really is therapy.  If I’m feeling a little down, a little shopping time can pick me right up.  I love the hunt, and finding that one great piece is also on sale is fantastic.  I feel the urge for a shopping day coming on.

Before going back to the motel to change and go home I always take the time to treat myself to a nice dinner.  I have my favorite haunts like Chili’s, Olive Garden, Cheddar’s, and Outback.  Perhaps next trip I'll have a good steak and a glass of wine, or a nice pasta and a margarita.  I feel very blessed that in all my outings, whether it’s shopping, dinning out, or going to the movies, I have always been treated with respect, and dignity, as all people should be.    

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Not Quite 40 Days And 40 Nights

Last night before going to bed I once again conducted the experiment that I have tried so many times before.  And, once again, I could see no scientific proof that the experiment was a success.  So, being the dedicated non-professional that I am, I know that I will continue running the same experiment until I have success.  I am that committed to the outcome I seek.  The experiment, Sleep Learning.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, once again I fell asleep with my laptop in front of me.  Concentrate as hard as I could, I absorbed no more knowledge than dozing off without the computer in my lap.  How many times must I repeat the trials of science with the same outcome, before there is a miraculous breakthrough that will benefit all mankind?  I shall persevere, my friends.  For, to not try would do a disservice to the scientific community, geeks everywhere, and anybody that enjoys a good nap.  Fear not, my friends.  For I look out for you and my sleep learning experiments shall one day be victorious.   

Today is February 12th, 2010 in a small community north of Tyler, Texas.  Well, to be accurate, it is February 12th, 2010 in other places, too.  Last week it was fairly warm, but oh so wet.  It rained, and rained, and rained some more.  On Tuesday I was afraid that I would not be able to make the trek up and down the 130 feet of my poor soggy driveway.  My pickup truck can usually handle just about anything.  But the huge amount of rain that we have been blessed with in the last week certainly put my truck to the test.  So, in a display of brilliance not often delivered by my brain, I decided to park on the opposite side of the circle drive that doesn’t see much traffic.  I was so proud of myself.  There is a fair amount of gravel on that side of the drive and almost never gets bogged down in mud.  The well traveled side of the drive now has ruts about 8 to 9 inches deep that are completely full of water now.  So, as I walked out to my truck Tuesday morning to go to work I hardly got my boots muddy.  I was feeling a little smug as I had put one over on mother-nature.  She wasn’t going to get my truck and I muddy another day.  I backed out  and just barely got off the drive onto the yard, and promptly sunk the truck about 5 inches.  Not to worry.  The back wheels weren’t that far off the drive, and didn’t seem to be that deep.  I’ve done this before and I can do it again.  Slowly give it a little gas and watch the tires spin, in place.  Not what I had in mind.  Rock the truck, that’s it.  I tried that, but what I forgot was that the truck has to move at least a little bit for it to rock, not just spin in place.  I thought I could do this.  Did I forget to mention that I’m the same person that got my grandfather’s 65 horsepower farm tractor buried up to the axles.  We had to “pole” the tractor out.  Probably only the country folks reading this have a clue what it means to “pole” a tractor.  So, what did I do.  I did what every red blooded budding female would do.  I put my head on the steering wheel and cried.  Yes, five months on HRT have been working on me.  I have noticed that I cry at the drop of a hat, lately.  Don’t ask me why.  I know it doesn’t really hurt the hat.  I knew that it was coming.  Other girls have told me that they got very emotional at different stages of transition.  So, why wasn’t I prepared for it.  Girls have told me that they wore their feelings on their sleeves.  I prefer to carry mine in a cute little Coach purse.  Not really.  I’m transitioning.  I can’t afford Coach.  Who am I kidding.  I couldn’t afford Coach if I wasn’t transitioning.  So, how did I get my truck unstuck?  Did I use my feminine wiles to charm some man into helping a poor female in distress?  Although I did ask a neighbor down the road to help me, my feminine wiles and charm are still in reserve for another day.  In my amateurish opinion, feminine wiles and charm are like sage.  Best when used sparingly.  Does that make this sage advice?         

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Roadmap To Transition - High School and Beyond

When I was a Senior in High School in Albuquerque all my friends wanted to go out drinking all the time. And of course, I did my share of that, too, as long my family was home and I didn’t have a chance to dress up. If they were gone, I preferred to spend my time alone, well, except for Lin’s closet. I was working at a fast food place then. Once the rest of the family went up to the lodge, our vacation cabin on the Pecos River that my family built. They were to be gone a couple of days and I couldn’t get the time off to go with them. It’s true, I couldn’t get off, but I wasn’t too broken up about it. It gave me the whole weekend to myself. One of those nights I went to the movies on base. What nobody else knew was that I was wearing one of Lin’s light georgette sheath dresses under my regular clothes. As I was walking home a car load of my friends drove by, both girls and boys, and they wanted me to go out with them to party. I declined because I knew that if I went, something would happen. Either I, or one of the girls, or both would be a little tippsy from wine or beer, we’d start getting a little frisky, and she would see or feel Lin’s dress and I would be found out. That was also the year that we had “Hippy Day” at school. I borrowed a pair of Lin’s purple velvet hip-huggers and wore one of my own pink and purple flowered shirts that went well with the pants. I was on cloud nine all day knowing that I was wearing girl’s clothes to school, even if it was just pants. I felt great wearing girl’s clothes to school and nobody cared.

It was in H.S. that I realized that when I dressed up I didn’t just feel like I was Chuck in a dress. There was more to who I was, who I am. It didn’t seem right to look at myself in the mirror wearing a pretty dress and say, “Chuck, you look pretty.” The girl in me needed a name that was female. That’s when I chose the name Lindsay. That was long before my niece was even a thought, so I didn’t name myself after her. Lindsay is still who I am now, who I have always been. Then I thought that I was Lindsay just when I dressed as a girl. I would later realize that I have always been Lindsay, regardless of what I wear. I am not Lindsay because of what I wear. I am Lindsay because of what is in my heart and mind.

In college I continued to dress. Most of the time I had my own room, even though I had house-mates, and I managed to keep my secret. My best friend back then was Rick. His girlfriend was Debbie. When I moved into the apartments that Deb’s father managed, I worked security there. Rick and Deb and I had a friend that was getting married and we went to a party for the Bride & Groom the week before the wedding. While we were mingling Rick and Deb had gone off someplace to visit with friends and a girl I didn’t know approached me. She introduced herself and told me that she had been to the apartments to visit one of her friends who lived there. Her friend was a male and she had a female friend with her that night. She and her girlfriend had talked the guy into letting them dress him up as a girl and they had taken him out driving around. They were all giggling and having fun when they drove back in and I checked them at the gate. I knew that something was going on but I also knew they had been in numerous times visiting the friend and had never caused any problems so I let them in without knowing the third girl in the back seat was the guy. When she was telling all this at the party I remembered the night she was talking about and thought that the guy didn’t make a half bad looking woman and I told her so. Then she floored me. She told me that I would make a good looking woman also and she could help me like she and her girlfriend had done to that guy. It took me by surprise and all I did was blow her off saying I was too ugly to make a pretty woman. She said “your loss” and walked away. Regret #3. I wished that I had taken her up on her offer. But, if I had, I probably would have found a reason to stay in Albuquerque, I probably would not have moved to Texas, and I wouldn’t have met my future wife, Diane, and I wouldn’t have a beautiful daughter, so even though it seemed like a regret at the time, it seems that I made the right choice.

When I moved to Texas and met Diane, I thought being married to a beautiful woman would cure me of this curse. Regret #4. I didn’t tell Diane, my future wife and soul mate, that I thought I should have been a woman. I fell in love with her pretty quickly. At first I was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to handle me being femme, and I was sure she would leave me. Then I found out about Michael, her first husband, and how hurt she was finding out that he was gay. Me hurting Diane like that was the last thing I wanted to do. I was already in love with her and knowing about Michael only made me feel MORE GUILTY. I couldn’t tell her then, that would have crushed her. So, I didn’t tell her. I should have. Making the arbitrary decision not to tell was, in retrospect, selfish. She should have been given the information and had the chance to make the choice to either stay and marry me and my femme side, or run for the hills. I didn’t give her that choice. I took that choice away from her because I was afraid that she would leave me if she knew. That was selfish. I was hoping Diane would be my salvation, and in a way, she has been. Just not the way I thought at the time. I did stop dressing for a while. I was, am, that much in love with her. I was willing to give up the thing that had given me so much pleasure, and pain, over the years. The thing that made me feel whole. It wasn’t until well after we were married that I realized that this is not something you get cured from, it’s part of who we are.