Type: Ghost Town/Abandoned location
Location: Liberty, Washington
Date: September 9, 2017
We ended up driving through Liberty, WA on our way home from Leavenworth and stopped. I had read it was a ghost town, and there are some remnants of buildings.
However, it looks like a lot of the buildings I had seen pictures of online were removed, or at least not visible. There is a community people live at just up the road and I walked as far up as that community, I didn’t want to interrupt them.
So my first so called abandoned/ghost town. It is a good start on this project of abandoned places. Going back and looking at these photos I think I have learned a lot on what to do next time.
Oh and the pictures are of me about 20 months or so before transition started :).
It is official, I start back at the job I left in September for concerns about transphobia next Monday (March 4, 2019) . The straight up reason is I need to make as good a money as I can, I can’t put my husband through this debt if I don’t have to.
Don’t get me wrong, he is completely supportive of my transition and of us taking on the debt. He makes enough to support us without that debt, with the debt is enough to drain our resources that we have stashed away. Within 10 months to a year we wouldn’t be able to make all the payments for 120k in student loans, plus the car, plus the 40k for my face.
We are starting to barrel down at the magic age of 50 in a couple years and I need to get him a place of his own to buy and it won’t happen if I am unemployed.
So I got the offer to go back and I will. They know fully about the transition now, so maybe that will change things for the better. They know I have four surgeries between now and probably October and they said they would work my schedule around that. I can’t say no at this point. I have to give it a try.
It is very possible that I am freaking out about something that may never happen. They may turn out to be decent employers, and at the very least they won’t be able to stab me in the back like the last place I was at. I am expecting problems, so at least I will see it coming.
I have had a whole ton of stuff to write about, but this event has been nagging and stressing me so much that I have shut down. I figure I need to fix that. I have a few days before I start. I will get my shit in order, focus on my husband and enjoy this damn it!!! If its the last thing I do HAHAHAHA!
Besides I get half an office to myself, no one really knows what I do (or at least how I do it) and I am mostly in charge of my own life as long as I meet the needed audits. So maybe this is a good thing and I am freaking out about nothing.
Crossing my fingers.
The book that Wolsey and I were writing called “Accidentally Gay: The True Love Story When a Wife Becomes a Husband” is finished and has been fully published. We are excited by it!!!
So here is the official press briefing: AGPRFinal.pdf
Here are some links to electronic distribution, hardcopies are being printed as we speak I even found there is a placeholder for hardcopies on BN:
This story is based on a blog I had started after Wolsey came out to be as transgender. It was written during his transition and I had assumed I would never be able to follow him, so I decided to do what I could to be a husband.
I didn’t have any resources on husbands staying with their newly transitioned husband, and in fact it looked like at that time I was the only one doing so (that I could find, I have no doubt I am not the only one period).
The almost five years of that blog were intense. I got interviewed by numerous publications, and we even were approached by TLC for a special (we turned that down). We were then approached by our publisher Riverdale Avenue and they asked me to write about it.
I had the idea that I could take a good selection of my blog entries, then write up my responses to what they were about now that Wolsey was fully transitioned, and then also get Wolsey to write his perspective for each post and what he saw and felt. I think working with Wolsey so we could give both sides was a much better approach, besides I like working with Wolsey.
The publisher really liked our idea and here we are almost three years after signing our contract with the book out. I figure I will also list below where the other publications were, including one publication I actually wrote a story about our story in a shorter and much different format (MELK).
Funny enough, the very first blog entry I wrote I said I thought I was in the wrong body as well, but that I didn’t foresee ever being able to transition… Evidently my foretelling doesn’t work so well.
Press and Interviews about the Accidentally Gay Blog, and my marriage to my spouse:
Lately I have been freaking out about income. We are currently able to hold indefinitely on the husband’s wages, even with getting breast augmentation, and the orchiectomy (even a vaginoplasty if I go that direction). They are all covered by insurance and he is doing awesome supporting me.
So I am freaking out about the FFS. That has to come out of our pocket… except if I wanted a nose job or tracheal shave, those are covered, but those are the two things I don’t need right now. So I am looking at the countdown clock to accruing a debt I don’t have enough to do more than make base payments for a year and hope I get a job.
This has meant I was reconsidering going back to the DoD. Incredibly toxic environment, I would hate the job and myself, but if I could tolerate 18 months I would pay off the FFS entirely, my husband’s car and the car I would have to get to be able to commute to it.
So I reach out to my immediate supervisor. To my knowledge I left on good terms. I am completely eligible to force my way in with my tenure (there was no marks on my personnel record). She was excited and wanted me back ASAP. She recommended I talk to the Station Chief who is the overall manager. She even contacted him and he told her to have me call him.
In the past working under the station chief, he asked me to not take another job with the VA. He needed me as a highly qualified auditor and we made an arrangement and I did just that (this was a couple of years ago). I stayed at a job I hated because he asked, and also because the hubby was still there and in all honesty it was more for that reason.
My expectation was to dicker over scheduling and my time off for surgery… I was wrong.
I called him and his voice was weird. It had a tone I had never heard before and I was bit confused. He immediately asked if I was still changing my name from Lucky… I told him no, when I change my gender Lucky will actually be on my ID instead of a nickname (along with Lucia). He got really quiet.
I knew I was fucked at this moment. He got weird a bit about things when I confirmed I was going to have surgeries this year.
Then all of a second he thinks it might be a bad idea if I apply back. He said there were some “unofficial” performance issues and that the Regional Manager was lukewarm to the idea of me coming back.
I have never had a performance issue, in fact I was given an award 4 weeks after I left the agency in a paycheck for MY PERFORMANCE.
I confronted him about this. I asked if any of this was in my jacket since I HAD NEVER BEEN TALKED TO ABOUT MY PERFORMANCE. He backpedaled but kept saying maybe the other set of offices (the “not my backyard” excuse) would be better. If my performance was bad then it wouldn’t just disappear if I applied at a different office 7 miles away. Nope that wasn’t this at all, this was “we don’t want transgendered people here”.
I knew this was all bullshit, and I tried to retract myself explaining no worries, it isn’t a big deal to me anyways I wasn’t sure if this is what I wanted to do. He kept me on the phone for 20 minutes and it was awkward (ok, I could have left anytime but I have my own issues about being assertive).
So evidently now that I am having “surgeries” and transitioning, my performance was an issue at my last job. However these performance issues are “unofficial” and are not in my records at all.
It does absolutely reaffirm the husband and I’s decision to leave when I started my transition. It would have been hell there and I probably would come home crying every day, or in trouble for becoming too aggressive in return.
So now I am broke, worried about a fiscal cliff, but reassured we still made the right decision. So if nothing else this upsetting incident also just reassures me there are no regrets from quitting that piece of shit job.
Back on December 4, 2018 the hubby and I went down to Phoenix to see Dr. Ley for a Facial Feminization Surgery Consult. We have been through this type of thing two other times. The first for hubby’s top surgery then for his metoidioplasty, that last was with Dr. Ley and Meltzer so we were familiar with how it would go.
She was polite, and a good surgeon with the hubby. Her bedside manner was a bit abrupt (as it was also during his surgery as well). That being said we knew we would at least get a straight estimate. We had gone to a local Seattle doctor and he had quoted more then $60,000 for procedures that didn’t include as much bone work as I wanted (he is more of a specialist in soft FFS, such as muscles, not so much on the bone).
We went in having already done that 15 minute consult last August and assumed 20k minimum. After the quote from the Seattle doc I was expecting more like 50+k because Dr. Ley had mentioned doing a lot more invasive stuff, I was prepared to not be able to get enough credit to get it all.
We arrived and got the facial/cranial x-rays which was a lot easier than expected. The people at that dental office that did the x-rays evidently do it for a lot of transgender patients and they were completely professional and friendly enough.
Then we arrived at the appointment and only had to wait a little while, it was nice compared to last time.
Once we went back the first thing we noticed was that Dr. Ley was incredibly friendly with us. She was open and warmed up the room verbally before going into the questions. She had no problem interacting with me physically, touching my face and giving me a very intense look over and comparing what she saw, to what the x-rays showed.
The first thing I noticed is she said unless I absolutely wanted it, she wouldn’t recommend a rhinoplasty (nose job). She showed me the x-rays and evidently my nose is already at a feminine angle (angling up slightly). She was clear that for a face to be seen as feminine has a very broad spectrum and my nose was already comfortably in that place. This was a relief as my experience at other consults pushed a nose job. It meant she wasn’t in this just for money.
She went over the rest of me and it came out mostly like I expected. She is going to try and lower my hairline slightly. She was honest, she doesn’t think it will go more than half an inch (maybe a little bit more if she can push it). I have a good hairline, but contrary to what other docs say, she was clear it would help, but wouldn’t be as far forward as some try to quote.
The next part was raising my brows. She can do that easily at least half an inch, that will also help with the lower hairline because between the two my forehead will be at least an inch less than it is now.
Also dealing with my forehead is she will be doing some work on my brow ridge, basically sanding it down to be less masculine, while basically filling and shaping the forehead so it doesn’t just become flat. Her experience as a facial/cranial plastic surgeon with infants reassured me she has the skills.
In addition she will be adjust the orbital area of my eyes (I believe this is the facial cranialplasty level 3, intense but it should open my eyes up a lot. It will make them look bigger, and give me more real estate to use makeup on above my eye. She thinks this will also be a big help with feminizing my face.
We got down to my cheeks and recommended cheek implants. I wasn’t so sure on this, we hadn’t considered it but she was right. My 100lb+ of weight loss has gotten rid of any cheeks, they have sunken in a bit and implants wouldn’t go away, they would give a feminine cast. I talked with hubby and we decided that is good. So it is now going to be more surgery then expected so the cost went up.
Then she went to my jaw and surprisingly enough she recommended that she doesn’t shave it down. The angle is good, it isn’t super masculine or thick and unless I really wanted it she would leave it alone. I was surprised, and happy that once again she recommended against a procedure she could charge a lot of money for.
Then we got to my lips, I wanted a lip implant to lift my lip from its typically flat masculine look to a feminine look. She said that is easy and while she was there she could reduce the space between my lip and my nose giving it even more feminine look. The hours added on to the rest of the surgery (including chin below) was too much for one day so she recommended I do that as a second trip down. That would be an ‘in office’ procedure and I could go home the next day. We agreed, I am getting it, but probably not until three months after rest of surgery.
Finally we got down to my chin, and she fully agreed that it needs to be reduced (thinned/shaved down). She goes in through the mouth for that part so it won’t leave a scar on my neck. She was skeptical of plastic surgeons who would go up and under the neck, leaving a big scar since you didn’t need to do that. This is nice, considering when they due the brow ridge they will have to pull the skin back from my skull and do the bone work underneath, at least it won’t be pulling skin off my full face, just my upper half… ya that is a gross image.
The final result, about $39,000 quote. It is a good chunk more than I originally thought, but still more than $20,000 less than Seattle with more of the procedures I want. Here is the breakdown:
|FSCP w/ Brow Burring (6.5 hours)
Genioplasty (2 hours)
Malar Aug with Implants (1.5 hours)
Lip Lift w/implants 7025 (in office)
2 Nights Hospital
|Total||$38,983.00 (still 20k less than Seattle)|
I am very fortunate, we cannot afford to pay this but my credit is good enough to cover this with Care Credit and regular Visa. It means we are deferring student loans as we can, and we are going to be “going to school” broke but we can make the payments if necessary.
I am even more fortunate that my husband loves me enough to do this. When I saw the bill, even at 20k less than the other doc my initial response was to not do it. I didn’t want to tank his finances. He made it very clear he wants this for me, it is something that is going to help me in the future. I don’t care about passing in theory, but it will be easier to get the level of jobs I have the education for if I am not stuck in the middle according to society. So we are going to do it. Surgery is April 26, 2019 and the lip portion will be probably by August of 2019 depending on how my face will heal.
I will have a lot of future posts about this going into a lot more detail of the procedures and what we are going to do. I just wanted to get this out there as the basic what happened and how much. I will post examples of the procedures later as well.
I have been quiet because I needed to take some time away and center myself. I talked about being fired last week, and that it caught me completely off guard. I needed some quiet time to set up for the long wait of unemployment, and to see where the finances stood for the husband and I. Mostly I just needed to work through the feeling of being betrayed.
The finances are still ok. We got both our student loans deferred (I am unemployed and eligible, he still had optional deferment available) so we can make it on his income alone, even with our car payment. So financially we are doing ok without any income from me.
I have turned in all the required paperwork, I wasn’t let go for cause and there should be no issues on my work record. I should get unemployment. However, that can take some time, since the four quarters they count my income are when I worked for the feds. The feds don’t report wages to the state unless a person requests, so it could be weeks before I get any unemployment… We can get by, but it means I can’t put money aside for the FFS.
Of course this all happened the same week I flew down to Phoenix, got my FFS, and everything medically is going into fast gear. So a lot of anxiety has been occurring. That being said, a week later I find myself happier. I truly was despising that job. Mainly the way my management team I was on would target employees they didn’t like. That put me on the other side of my co-managing team several times when I couldn’t agree to punish my auditors for things that didn’t merit that level of punishment.
On top of all this there was a lot of disdain for my transition that had been building up. There were some people that were great, but several people I worked directly with would get that weird lip pull back when I talked about it, and obviously they were uncomfortable. Evidently uncomfortable enough that after I submitted an FMLA request for my FFS surgery I was walked out of the office 25 minutes later with no disciplinary actions, no warnings, it was just cashing in on the CBA and giving me “no cause” for my being released.
The frustrating part is the reason I came here was they are supposedly open to transgender employees, that wasn’t the case in the end. Even now I am really frustrated I took a 30k a year pay-cut, my commute when from 15-20 minutes to over an hour and all because a boss I used to work for and thought was a good person turned out to be a pretty shitty person. It all kind of hit me there and then. This job was taken purely because of my old boss, and it was nothing like I was told.
This means that I am now applying at jobs as much as possible. I would like to earn as much money as I can before surgery to help offset the cost, but the odds are that no one will pick me up before April. I don’t pass anymore, and I am ok with that. I suspect job interviews in the conservative business world will not go as planned. You never know though, maybe I will be surprised.
So this week I have been meditating a LOT. Trying to sleep enough and taking care of the husband since he has a stressful job and the money responsibility is on him. I think he is liking that I cook, clean, take care of him overall. I hope it is making it easier.
Now a week later there is a part of me to be fulfilling the traditional wife roles, I have always been motherly to people (it is joked about) but now it feels like I can be who I am. The meditation and supportive family I have chosen has made this experience so far better than I had hoped. Now that I am feeling centered, it is time to prepare for the surgeries (4 of them in 2019) and to get mentally in the groove.
So there I am, more centered now that I am not working for a shitty boss. Finances are tough, but aren’t they for almost everyone?
I was going to write all about my consult itself, but it turns out something more exciting happened. I got fired after submitting my FMLA paperwork for my transition surgery.
To be honest, it is more of a laid off situation, I am currently in a probationary period and within the first six months they can let you go no matter the reason (and they never have to tell you why). I assume this means I will be able to collect unemployment, the problem being is my job during the “unemployment year” was with the department of defense and there is a slew of hoops I have to jump through.
I have never received any disciplinary comments, never had any issues that I know of. I even asked my boss last Thursday how things were and she was fine. She even talked to me on Tuesday, the day before I was “separated” and was all chatty with me on chat while I was in Phoenix.
I went into work yesterday morning, and while I dislike my job I was putting 100% into it. I sent an email in explaining I am going to need to file for FMLA, that I am getting the surgeries and will need LWOP. Within 25 minutes HR had called me in and issued me a letter saying I was being separated.
All it quoted was the Union CBA that outlines the authority they have to release me, they don’t need cause and they don’t need to say why. The letter is dated the same day as my email too so that means they ran down to the director immediately and had her sign it.
Now, I am waiting on my unemployment decision (the hard part is I worked for the agency who handles unemployment, so this is awkward) before I make any final decisions on what to do. I may just walk away if I get my unemployment and look for a better job, or I may pursue this.
While the union agreement does cover their butts and allow them to do this, there is no way that my FMLA request for transgender services wasn’t involved since I have had no personnel issues. With that information it is actually against state law to lay out retribution for my FMLA request (and in WA state transgender care is covered under FMLA, or at least the state’s expansion of it).
That however will wait until I hear back. For now I will be anxious, begin my job searches and try and get unemployment. All the while arranging for my surgery in April. It just means more debt… However, the alternative is worse.
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.
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.
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.
(video clips below that)
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.