Consult Trip to Phoenix (event)

We did it, we finally went down to Phoenix to see Dr. Ley for my FFS surgery. I will go into it’s own post on everything she is going to do, this rather is to just give a brief rundown of the trip itself.

We got to the airport later in the day. This is the first time we haven’t had pre-check in four years. Our first flights no longer working for the DoD. We were fortunate, the lines were really fast and not much wait… however then came the body scans.

The hubby went through without a problem. I stepped through and was scanned by the MRI machine. The hubby said he saw the light go off around my groin area. They immediately pulled me to the side and as he was about to pat me down I stopped him and warned him I am transgender and that I have boobs if he runs his hands up my chest.

That boy froze so hard. He looked like he was going to faint. He then touched me on the hip, on the side and walked off saying I was good. Absolutely no looking in the region that set off the alarm as well. So the hubby kept making fun of my groin after that until we got onto the plane.

The plane trip was easy, we just flew for a little over two hours, bored. The service both down and back sucked though. One passthrough with water and then both times the stewards disappeared into their little shack and we didn’t see them at all.

We landed, got our car and found our hotel room. Hubby wrestled with the air conditioner after we had some Red Robin then we went to bed and slept like crap. Waking up the next morning we went and got my jaw/face/head x-rays and went to the consult.

On the way back from the consult we had a great lunch at the “Old Mission” a really good, if a bit expensive mexican food place (upscale). The tacos were fantastic and the guacamole was decent, but a bit too expensive.

We then got to the airport and once again I got pulled by TSA, my groin lit up their MRI machine. I have no piercings down there, nothing in my pocket. This time I decided to not say anything about being trans and they guy did a pretty thorough background… EXCEPT HE NEVER CHECKED MY GROIN. He even swabbed me, but not my groin. I could see my groin lit up like a Christmas tree on the machine, but evidently he was scared enough of my dick that he didn’t go near it.

They then pulled my bag and my bag also had set off the scanners, this time it was the trail mix in it… Good job TSA, way to protect our borders… from my terrorist trail mix.

We then got there and waited SIX HOURS!!!! We had to turn the car in so we were stuck. We had only been away from the airport itself 14 hours total… There we sat (and hubby slept) until the plane came. We flew home, but that wasn’t all, we spent almost an hour on the tarmac in Seattle waiting because an Alaska Air plane had problems and couldn’t leave the gate.

Overall, I loved being with my husband, I loved getting my FFS consult, but the trip itself was too exhausting with no real stories to tell… other than my groin is disliked by the MRI machine. Hopefully details of my FFS consult after I have slept some.

 

Tacoma Point Defiance Zoo (date)

DATE DAY:
Where: Tacoma Point Defiance Zoo
Links: Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium (PDZA) https://www.pdza.org/
Date: November 10, 2018.

We have really been wanting to go see the zoo since we moved here in July, but with my jobs switching around and just the stress of transition we haven’t gotten out. Finally we decided to go anyways.

The zoo was sadly smaller than anticipated, but I loved the jellyfish and Dari the tiger the most. However, pretty much everything came over to check us out. According to the worker, Musk Ox had never gotten that close or walked towards people that she saw before.

The arctic foxes were cool enough, but their area was full of plastic garbage. Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely sure they were there for a purpose, to entertain them. I also realize that they don’t have the budget of the Woodland Park Zoo. That being said it still was uncomfortable to watch (same with penguins).

The jellyfish photos came out better than I expected. The rest of my fish pictures sucked (and got tossed), except for the “disapproving fish”. I need to learn better techniques and get additional equipment for aquarium photos.

Dari the tiger however was my favorite. She is a gorgeous animal and was intently interested in a toddler and then me… is that saying something about me? If I wasn’t color blind I would have played with the color levels to get the picture even better, but that is the last thing anyone needs me to do.

She noticed a toddler across from her
She noticed me

I don’t think we will visit in the short term again. If we get money up (I am now going to be unemployed) I want to hit the other sites around first. Still, we had a great time and some of the animals were awesome.

DATE GALLERY!!!
(video clips below that)

 

First Time

Well it happened for the first time today, something was said about my transition in front of me in a negative way and it was at work.

I was stepping into an elevator and with four other guys who work somewhere on my floor but not in any of my areas. I noticed as I stepped in that they were all sort of staring at me, not a big deal, I know I am hot. I turned around facing the door and the words, “What the fuck is that” were uttered. 

It was pretty clear what was being said and why. I looked over and they were all looking away. I am sure whoever said it didn’t mean to say it aloud in my hearing but it didn’t matter. I had heard it.

The weird thing is I shut down immediately and just wanted to go home. This is not my normal reaction. Normally I will get mouthy, in people’s faces. Hell I have cornered other people in their van (while I was on foot) when they made a shooting gesture at my husband and got in their face. The just shutting down thing is not a reaction I would expect from me.

Problem is, I can’t prove which one said it and there is the off chance it is because of the clothing I am wearing (I definitely don’t worry standard business casual) but I know exactly why and I just wanted to go home.

I didn’t like that feeling at all. The rest of the day at work was great, but I didn’t feel great. The only other time that day was when I walked into the bathroom in front of someone and they immediately veered away, that was awkward but that has happened a couple of times.

I know this is the least I will have to put up with, and now that the initial shock to my system happen I think I will be fine in my reaction. However this has me totally reassessing what I want to do for a living. Working in close quarters in an office is going to be like this and that is fine.

I am just frustrated this shit was why I left the DoD, and funny enough I think this wouldn’t have happened in my actual office at this time because everyone knows me (it definitely would have happened at a minimum if I changed offices or went to training, let alone no work protections, so no regrets leaving anyways).

The funny thing out of all of this is I had one other occurrence happen a week or two ago. I was at the urinal and a guy stepped up using the one beside me and turned towards my chest. His eyes were at my boob level (and they are starting to be obvious) he stared at them for a few seconds. Then he went back to peeing and I never saw him again. I thought that was hilarious… but yesterday not so much.

Goodbye Ghost

I had a bunch of posts I wanted to do, I have been traveling for work, hanging with husband. Sadly though Ghost had taken a turn for the worst. Yesterday he wouldn’t really get out of his blanket area except to go check out the outside when we opened the kitchen deck door (he hated outside before this apartment).

So yesterday we contacted The Good Life, the same vet that helped him a few weeks ago to have her visit today and help us say goodbye. However, Ghost will do what he wants and he passed away after we went to bed last night.

The hubby has been sweet, he tried to keep me from having to see it or deal with it. I have helped with all our other animals and while it is a lot harder to not cry right now and I appreciated his effort, it was my duty to help.

Goodbye old man cat, Mr. Pinchy, Ghost… We love you very much and I really do hope something like the rainbow bridge exists. Take care.

Prepare to be bombarded with cat pictures. We will get back to my regular thoughts after I can get back to it.

Memory: Camp Horizon (1988)

Camp Horizon is located in Birch Bay Washington (the site of an old Air Force Station) that provides recreational facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities. I was fortunate enough for two, one week sessions, to be an assistant counselor. It is something that has stayed with me for my life, or at least the last 30 years since I did it (1988). I ended up going up to Birch Bay in summer of 2017, and while I was there I decided to go back to the camp and take some photos. In addition I do have a couple of photos from that time.

The sign!

Funny enough, I had lived in Birch Bay in the fall/winter of 1987 at the age of 15/16 and I never knew this place existed. Then we moved to Bellingham that spring. There I attended Bellingham High School. When I was at the high school, I somehow got in contact with a nice young man named Russ Nelson. He was the stage/videographer for the high school. To this day I can’t remember how he got me interested, but he talked about Camp Horizon and I should volunteer as an assistant counselor.

This was a new thing for me. I had just gotten done being homeless for a year+ and then living in Birch Bay (once again I didn’t know this place existed). I thought this wouldn’t be bad to start with on my resume. I believe it paid $50 for the first week and if I went the second week it went up to $75 (although I could be off a bit). So I agreed to it. Russ was kind enough to drive me to the camp (which was about 30 miles from my home).

I got to the camp, met several other assistant counselors (and a couple of college aged counselors) and began my short lived career as a camp counselor. We were there for five days each session I believe and our days consisted of bunking in the dorms, getting up, running classes, movies, gym activities, and most importantly just being there for the campers.

It was the first time I worked with people more disadvantaged than me and I loved it completely. I will be honest though, it probably helped that I had regular meals, recreational activities and no drunk parents (they were in a bad place at this time). To this day I still remember Dayleen (I am sure I did not spell that right). A young girl who was deaf, with some developmental disabilities and I believe cerebral palsy. It is because of her that I learned my numbers and letters in American Sign Language, along with the way to say “Cookie Monster” and a couple of other phrases.

My three strongest memories were waking up and hearing “I wanna dance with someone” by Whitney Houston, going downstairs and meeting up with Dayleen. I don’t remember exactly what we were working on, I just remember her being so excited about us playing and her signing “Lucky” or some variation of it when she saw me. Sadly I had a picture of her but once we started moving a lot as an older teen, it disappeared in one of our many homeless moments.

My second strongest memory was wrapping up my first session and feeling incredibly sad that it was over. It was followed up with getting home and my parents were on a run. There was loud arguments, loud music and much drinking by several people. I just remember wishing I was still at camp.

My third memory was Melody (I think her name was Melody, not Meloney, but I could be wrong). She was one of my many unrequited loves. I was very quiet as a teenager at this time, and I never figured out how to ask her out, or do pretty much anything. However, my favorite memory with her was laying under a tree, next to her and talking for a long time (probably longer than I should have since I was after all a counselor).

The two sessions went by very quickly and before I knew it I went home and collected my check for the two weeks. I believe I bought my parents an anniversary present and my brother a birthday present with it, never spent a dime on myself (I think the remaining went to house bills). I never was able to go back the following year. This was because by that time I was working full time and supporting my family.

Damn I look young.

Fast forward to summer of 2017 and we went up to Birch bay and stopped by the camp. Surprisingly there were people readying the camp for this summer and we talked with them. They are up to 6 or 7 weeks a year of sessions and they have been constantly updating the place. They were kind enough to let me take some pictures. So below is our gallery and it includes photos from my adventure and last weekend. I know we had other photos, if I find them I will add them.

THE GALLERY

My First Week

I have been very quiet for awhile now. Mostly because I started my new job, and with the much longer commute I have been tired and overly anxious. Well now I can give some feedback on it.

It’s Great!!!

The money thing hasn’t hit me yet (or reduction of), but my boss and coworkers have all been really cool. I am slowly presenting more feminine, and since my two supervisors I work with (as the third supervisor) they are incredibly kind about it. My boss is totally supportive and constantly tells me to wear what I want, and not care about anyone else.

I am still not ready to do that yet. I start up my laser hair removal again next Saturday, then some electrolysis for the hard to get rid of hairs after that. Once I don’t have to worry that within three hours of arriving having so much whisker that it would destroy any ability to not get dysphoric.

I have a ton of subjects to talk about, but once again I am fairly exhausted and even this was a lot of effort, so I will get back to you all as soon as I can. Thanks for everything.

Bad bosses dream

Dreams Road SignI am starting a new job today (one that knows I am trans and seems to accept it) so last night was filled with hard dreams.

I woke up from a dream this morning, around 2am. It involved me starting a brand new job in an office. It was incredibly regimented, and people were always freaking out. A coworker who sat next to me at another desk was a large black man who reminded me of my previous boss I just left (except she was a she).

He looked over at me and told me that I would have to take breaks at 1130am every day, no exceptions and it is required. I laughed my ass off at him at first and told him that isn’t true. He continued to demand it and I told him I am not “working at fucking mcdonalds” and you aren’t going to regiment me on every little thing I do.

At some point I stood up, told him to fuck himself he wasn’t my boss and we would be stepping up to the next person line of authority. That is where I woke up.

manager

I can tell that relates back to two different people. The first was my previous boss. She wasn’t flexible on my start/end times. It was a silly rule because I couldn’t cover anyone else’s position (I am the only auditor in a group of accountants) and they couldn’t cover mine.

It was the ONLY white collar job I have had since graduating going on 11 years ago that isn’t flexible on start/stop times. The advantage of auditing is there is no customer service, and as long as you are in at a core set of hours (many times 9-2, or 9-3) they don’t care if you come in earlier or stay later then that to make your full day.

She also wouldn’t let me work extra hours on some days to make up for medical appointments on the other. There was a whole ton of other small things, but those are the big one (and I agree not the worst in the world), but my Oppositional Defiance personality has a hard time.

The other boss is from the DoD. He told me to do things that were not what I considered ethical in testing on a DoD Contractor. He didn’t want to deal with the problems I was finding. I told him no, I am pursuing it and he really didn’t have the authority to stop me since that was my actual job.

He kept pushing and pushing and griping. Eventually I told him we could go talk to the station chief to clarify it if he wants. He talked big about we don’t need to bother him, I just needed to listen to the doofus supervisor (himself). I stood up, told him to fuck himself eventually, said we are going into the manager’s office and he could decide.

fuck you

The shocked look on that person’s face was priceless. We eventually went in (stormed is probably a pretty good word) and I laid out what I had found. The supervisor all of a sudden started backing down in front of our big boss. Big boss agreed with me and that was that.

Now I realize it seems weird I can tell my supervisor no, but that is because I am an auditor. As an auditor I am responsible as a professional to not veer my audit on outside pressure, that includes my supervisor if I feel we are not following “due diligence”. That was what was happening, he didn’t want to find more problems and I told him you can’t just stop looking when you find problems.

There are a lot of other small things like this, but that is why I like auditing. I can pursue problems I see and have upper management usually back me (now, whether they support it because the contractor has lobbyists is a different story, but above my paygrade and not something that was my issue).

There you have it, an anxiety dream taking two different incidents from my last two jobs to make me anxious for my new one.

Shedding the old skin

Well yesterday I made the first step of shedding my old look.

Since the weight loss started in March I have dropped from 300+ lbs down to 217 today in September. I feel good, I think I look a lot better (but I do feel I am not done), and because of this I have a LOT of clothing that I can’t wear.

Most of the clothing is my boy clothing of course, especially my work clothes. I have a ton of clothing that is just hanging out in boxes and bags because it won’t fit me. Yesterday we decided to get rid of the clothing, and not to keep it any longer “just in case”.

We will be giving my boy clothing to my younger brother. He doesn’t have a lot of good clothes anyways and I like being able to help him with what I do have. Combined I am giving away

  • 14 T-Shirts
  • 1 brand new suit (bought in march)
  • 5 belts that are way too long and can’t be cut down.
  • 5 long shorts
  • 2 gym shorts
  • 7 polo shirts
  • 4 casual office pants
  • 3 jeans
  • 8 dress shirts
  • 4 dress pants
  • 1 pair of fatigues
  • 1 sports jacke

March 2018

This leaves me with a few bits of boy work clothing that are much smaller size (from waist size 46+ to now a 36, same with the shirts in reduction.

The surprising part is now I have to get rid of all my initial girl clothing as well, and that is the clothing that made me feel a tinge of worry and maybe regret. None of the boy clothing did that.

Don’t get me wrong, it is great I went down from that size, but it is still a little sad. Also, I will probably have to shop in plus size most of the time anyways no matter how skinny I get, since I am 6’2″+ tall.

So next month when I go up and see my brother I get to give him a new wardrobe. Both the hubby and I figure even if I gained weight back, I won’t be wearing those types of clothes by the time it happens anyway.

September 2018

I am still working on my new wardrobe. The hubby is busily buying things for me as he finds them, and we are both surprised at the sizing getting smaller as we go. He says it is the first time in our 26+ year relationship (26 years married on Halloween, then a couple years before that) that I seem to enjoy getting clothes. I think he is right.

Overall the experience of shifting out clothes is distorted by my body changing shape. I have some pictures of me just in underwear from March of 2018 (what I looked like under the suit) vs now in September. However I don’t think I am ready to see that up here yet, it really makes me dysphoric.

The funny part about this is I couldn’t name why I hated myself so much before I decided to transition, but I truly did, and I still struggle a little now. Although it is getting less, and I am starting to like what I look like better. That is probably a whole entry by itself, but not today.

So there it is, I am making my first full step in shedding my old self, by packing up forever my old clothing. It is scary, but also pretty exciting.

Almost there, a good choice to leave

Today is my last full day at my job followed by a half day tomorrow (for a total of two having to drive into days), and while I am nervous that I haven’t gotten my offer letter yet, I am also really excited and relieved knowing this was a good choice to leave. There are two reasons for this.

The first is when I told my boss a couple weeks ago I was leaving. She was incredibly supportive, asking how could they change around my schedule for my medical stuff. Then I told her what my medical stuff was for (upcoming orchiectomy, feminizing facial surgery, breast implants) and that didn’t seem to do much to change her, but you could tell.

Well fast forward to yesterday, the HR person comes up to me and double checks that I want to leave. She makes it incredibly clear that HR would give me the necessary time off and I could ask Yolanda to hire a temp up to 6 months, which is renewable for 2 more times. Technically I could be gone 18 months and still have a job. I could actually keep it open while working at my other job to see if that new job works out (ok she doesn’t know that part).

She explained I just need to ask my boss and she has the authority. Our department has a budget for a full time temp worker. Of course it is up to my boss and she has to be willing to do it, but its an option. The problem is my boss never offered that at all. That just shows me she didn’t want me to stay. So that made my decision easier. There was something about her reaction to me that bothered me, she is just pretty good at covering it up.

The stink eye wasn’t quite this bad.

The second thing, and actually more impactful is how people have changed. When I gave notice I told my boss and asked her to not tell the people about my status. Later that day she sent out an email on my leaving (but not why). I had a couple ladies come over to me and chat for an hour. They evidently like me a lot, and I had a small wavering if I was doing the right thing.

I come in the next workday and about half the office wouldn’t even look at me. I am not joking, I even was kind of a dick about things and would step directly in front of them and they would turn their head away. No chatter about personal things, not even more than monosyllables if they could get away with it. I saw this with Wolsey and I assumed I was prepared for it myself. At the time it annoyed me, and amused me to make them uncomfortable. Now however it does bother me.

looking away from me.

The reason I know this is about my transition is because there are still a couple of people who chatter with me. It didn’t seem to phase them. They wished me luck on my future surgeries. They knew what they were for, so I know my boss evidently talks to everyone else (no I am not surprised of that). At that point no one else at the county knew my status, let alone my future plans.

So today is my final long day. I have decided I will be an adult, give them the work they are paying me for and be happy when I leave at 1130am tomorrow morning.

Work and Transition Venting.

This week has been incredibly busy, multiple doctors appointments scheduled and a job interview. The job interview was the thing that took a lot of energy from me.

I have never been this anxious about looking for work, and while I did just get a very good paying job I have found a lot of issues dealing with my transition and the job in general.

The Problems:

The new employer had HR present a new Employee Policy Handbook last year. This included recognizing Gender Identity as a protected status. This is expected as it is state law. However, the council voted to NOT adopt it, because “It would send the wrong message”. They didn’t want to bow to pressure to let “men use the women’s bathroom”. I talked about this here in my “Settling In” post so I won’t go further about that specifically.

There is absolutely no flexibility in my position. I am going to have to have a lot of doctors appointments and surgeries coming up. My boss was quite clear that she only wants us working 8-430 in a solid set schedule. This might seem normal to some, but in the last 10 years and 5+ employers I have never seen this. Normally you are given core hours you need to be there (say 9-3) but you could adjust it to come in late or early (6-3, 9-6, etc). This flexibility does not exist here.

The strange part about the flexibility is that my job isn’t done by anyone else and I can’t do any job others do. I am the only auditor/monitor in my area for my group and no one knows the job so they can offer me no coverage, but even more so I can’t cover them, they are accountants and its a totally different job. This means it’s useless to have me there to “cover for others” when I don’t do their job at all.

This follows up to another point about my coworkers. There has been a lot of jokes about “men in skirts”. They don’t address transgender men but I assume that is because those men often can disappear into society easier after transition so people don’t realize they are there. They even joke around this to me when I am married to someone they know is transgender (but a man… right?).

That combined with the fact they want me to fix things, but not really means this job isn’t a fit. It especially isn’t a fit when I get full FFS surgery, breast implants and an orchiectomy and will need to miss a lot of time. I don’t feel safe there, so it isn’t a permanent spot for me.

Fast forward to Tuesday’s appointment. My old boss at a state audit job asked if I would be interested in a supervisor job. I said yes and applied last month. I got called last week and asked to come in for an interview which I did, and I think it did well.

The job has incredibly flexible hours. After my training as supervisor (this is my first fully titled “supervisor” job, but I have ran audits with up to 8 auditors under me so it actually isn’t new) it sounds like I can telework 3 days a week (60%) and more if needed. The hours are what I want them to be daily (of course this has to be reasonable), and I can take off whatever time I need for medical.

It was a very friendly interview with her and two others. So much so that I was upfront about my status. I explained that I now present as male, but that is changing and I am transitioning. There wasn’t even a hesitation, they said they want me and they would protect me. The state is incredibly protective over LGBTQIA so I don’t doubt it.

They said they have to talk about it, and talk with HR to see if they can get close to my salary I had before (they won’t be able to come close at all, probably 65% of it). I reassured them I know the state pays a lot less, but I want to work at a place I feel does a good job for the citizens, for its employees and that will protect me.

I am hopefully going to hear an offer today, but I am quite aware that bringing up my transition status may torpedo the job offer in the end. I figure I would rather not get the job then work for people who have a problem with it. I am already at a job I can hover at for a long time that pays better but treats people like they work at McDonald’s. I can make that work until I start getting surgery if I need to.