St. Luke’s Memorial Episcopal Church (gallery)

Name: St. Luke’s Memorial Episcopal Church (Anglican) 
Religion: Liberty, Washington
Location: Tacoma, Washington
Date Church Opened: 1883 CE
Website: https://www.stlukestacoma.org/
Date Photo Taken: May 19, 2020
Camera Used: Panasonic Lumix F1000

The husband and I went on a small walk from our house and found this almost in our back yard. It is a pretty little church, although with COVID situation it was fairly empty. If I ever get a chance I will add more photos.

 

 

Electrolysis Trip #2 – Day 2 and 3

Another late post, but life is going at a million miles an hour. Then again Day 2 and 3 were remarkably quiet.

The biggest thing of course was a combined 10 hours of electrolysis I got. I sat as two wonderful people worked on my face at the same time for five hours. They got a large chunk of my face done. This included all around my mouth, almost to my chin and all the way up the left side of my face. Even now, two weeks later, I have a lot of smooth skin, especially above the lips (the important spot).

I had planned on going out later that night, but you can see from the pictures that I was feeling rough, I definitely wasn’t feeling feminine and we hid out for the entire day eating grocery store food and door dash Mexican food. It wasn’t a bad night.

The next day was a little better. I woke up feeling ugly duckling, but decided fuck it and I would dress up anyways. I got some looks from the locals, but no one had the cajones to say anything so we remained where we were, ate La Quinta breakfast and then turned in our room key (btw the Tempe LQ SUCKS, it was dirty, loud and at no time did we feel safe).

We then went and saw Charlie’s Angels. I enjoyed the movie thoroughly, albeit I admit it wasn’t “good cinema”. After that we went to Del Agave in Scottsdale and had a wonderful meal. The server/bartender Daniel was a great guy, I felt safe (probably the safest place I had felt in Arizona) and told us what to order that was the best, and he was right (and it wasn’t the most expensive dish).

 

Hubby was happy for real food

We had an encounter after the meal though, walking to our car a guy was walking his two kids. He spotted us and loudly proclaimed the following:

Dad: So kids, who are we voting for in 2020?
Kids: Donald Trump!!!

Yep, the asshole said it as an intimidation factor because he saw I was transgender. I thought momentarily about going over there and handling it verbally, but he had kids and I was feeling fairly vulnerable after the electrolysis, but I decided not to. I thought the hubby was going to kill him though, that is why I love the man.

I was surprised when we boarded the plane that a very conservative lady (with a church group) told her husband to let “her” through so “she” can get her stuff and she smiled at me. I cannot even explain how nice it was to have someone validate me, especially someone who looked fairly conservative, after the Trump asshole. It put me in a better mood.

We then got back to the airport, waiting around for a few hours and flew home. I always forget how much I miss it here until I land in the Pacific Northwest

Electrolysis Trip #2 – Day 1

This post is a little late, but last weekend we went down to Phoenix for 10 hours of electrolysis. The overall judgment is that it is always worth it, but it was really rough. I will break this up so you don’t get a wall of text, so lets cover the first night, Friday November 15, 2019.

The first thing that happened the week before was growing out my facial hair. I haven’t done it since August and it really set my dysphoria off. It was enough that I don’t think I could do it just for 90 minutes of electrolysis, the 10 hours is something I would go through this for though. I just can’t do short visits because I would have to keep my beard long indefinitely, and I can’t do this week after week.

2 days before electrolysis

The morning of the trip was awesome and stressful at the same time. I fell asleep around 10pm and was promptly awake by 1am, but I didn’t feel too tired because I knew we had to be up at 3:30 anyways, so I stayed up and played some video games (Judgment) and headed out very early when my hubby woke up.

Hubby is not happy.

 

Arrival at SEA-TAC with Pre-Check was worth the money for five years of coverage. We got through the system in a record time, and I didn’t even get wanded by the guard, although my bag got “randomly selected”… so no wand for me, but the poor bag wasn’t so Lucky.

Waiting at the airport was a little stressful though. It was the first time I had to grow a beard in three months and I just wanted to hide. Eventually I had to visit the boys bathroom for the first time in 7 months since I was way too masculine looking for the women’s without risking assholes, so the hubby and I both went in to the boys bathroom together, where I took a picture of how I looked.

I didn’t get looked at much, which was great with me, but surprisingly the boys bathroom was a lot more alien to me then I remembered. Not sure what the difference was, except it was quiet even though there were several guys in there. I never imagined missing warm bathrooms with voices. Weird isn’t it.

We arrived in Phoenix with little problems, although the steward was nice and gave me a hard time for “being in a band”. However when we talked (he was obviously flaming) and I told him I am trans, I showed him before and after  and he was floored (as was the other steward). He had a lot of questions, he thought it was funny a lot of people ask him about transgender people, and he would always explain “How the fuck do I know?”

We then landed in Phoenix, dirty, browns and browns, it is not something I would like to live at for the beauty of the landscape. We sat in first class as this other man in first class started taking everyone’s pillows and blankets and stuffing them inside his suitcase… WTF… We then got ourselves a fancy rental car… even had its own AC/heater temperature for each side…

We then checked in to a different then normal La Quinta… and that was its own brand of hell, but at least on Friday night it just seemed a little bit dirty and worn down. From there we got sandwiches at AZ Sandwich CO and hid out all night waiting for my 8am appointment. We watched videos, trying to use Hulu to stream, but that was limited results. Eventually we logged into Youtube and watched videos until we both passed out for our first day.

15th Birthday Memories

Well today is it, it is my 48th birthday and the first one I am out to the world as who I am (a girl). You think that would be what I was focused on today but it isn’t. I woke up thinking about my 15th birthday in 1986.

We had been living in our car at this time for about six or seven months. Having left Lake Stevens, a contract out on my family we had to leave everything behind. My dad sold what he could, got a car (a 1978 Cadillac El Dorado I believe, a baby blue color).

1978 Cadillac El Dorado at the Everett Motel near 1115 Broadway, on the cross streets of Broadway and 12th street (it is abandoned now, maybe torn down). 

We had gone down to Lake Tahoe in late January/early February and had just gotten back up from there at the end of June. He had to sell the Cadillac for money for food and by this time we were in a 1970s Gran Torino. From that point we had lived in the rest stops between Everett and Bellingham, camping out when my father could get enough cash for a park camp space.

Gran Torino is on the left, my brother and mother in front of the trailer end of August 1986 in Birch Bay WA on Loft Lane. Our first home in a long time.

By August though we were living in Birch Bay state park. We had a tent, the car, and we had made an occasional impromptu shelter under the park bench with plastic. Yes we were truly homeless like you see in the movies or in Seattle now. Eventually we got a hold of a tent at least.

legitimately not joking when I say I slept under a visqueen piece of plastic under a park bench. I believe this is on my birthday actually.

A little bit better picture, right before we got a cake for me.

It was the five of us, my sister, brother, mom and dad along with our dog “Thirty Eight”.

I remember that we didn’t have money for presents, the last gift of any sort I had gotten was when we were just becoming homeless and before we left Everett in February. I think it was from Catholic Community Services actually, that I had gotten a set of grey sweats and it was something I wore a lot when trying to sleep.

I learned a lot being homeless, how many people out there who would want to help… and sadly how many people pointed, stared or made comments. After all, no matter how clean we were, and how often we would dig money up for a laundromat, you always have this smell. It isn’t dirty, greasy, but it is a homeless smell no matter what you do.

I remember I was reading “The Exorcist” while we lived in that state park. This was the last full blown homeless location. After several weeks at Birch Bay state park my parents got enough momentum that we weren’t homeless in the fact that we got ourselves a tent, and eventually moved from apartment and shelter to apartment and shelter, but we were out of the car at least (and out from under the park bench).

The big upgrade for our family! Here is the tent. We got harassed a lot less once we had a tent and it didn’t look as bad, almost as if we were just vacationing

Brother and sister doing kid things

The two things I remember from my birthday. The first is that my parents were sober most of the time we were full blown homeless (except when we were living in motels). When we were in the car, or in a state park they kept sober. So it was a sober birthday they gave me, which at the time (and maybe even now) made me incredibly happy.

The second thing I remember was my dad scraping what he could to get me a cake. It was one of those small, single layer, pie pan size cakes and when divided among five people it was a pretty small piece, but it tasted really good (I believe carrot cake, and to this day carrot cakes and spice cakes are my favorite). I remember thinking how grateful I was to have it, and to have family and a sleeping bag to lay on, under the plastic sheets covering the park bench.

It is funny, I am in a good place now. We might have a ton of debt, but they can’t repo my face or who I am. We eat well, we can afford to replace a tv when it goes out. I was less anxiety ridden though when I was homeless, I found happiness in smaller things (like a cheap grocery store single layer pie pan size cake).

Don’t get me wrong, I am not at all romanticizing being homeless, it fucking sucks. You are cold all the time, tired all the time and people treat you like shit. Sometimes though for me it is worse being tied to obligations, worrying about my job schedule and not getting to see the day pass by.

I suspect my childhood gave me a lot of fucked up coping mechanisms, and broke my mental health. That being said, it doesn’t change that I find myself today thinking about being 15 and living in a state park… under a piece of plastic and a park bench instead of what is happening now on my 48th birthday.

Morning Ritual

Before I decided to transition, I had unknowingly suffered from white boy privilege. I would give my girlfriends, then wife a hard time about how long it took to prepare. All the while not realizing how long it did take to prepare, and the expectations of society on it.

Fast forward to now, and I realize what a douche I was. Not an intentional douche, but a douche nonetheless. Now that I have a morning ritual with makeup, and not even that heavy of makeup (I am still scared of that, will post later on it).

So every morning I double shave (that is until I finish electrolysis) then I put on makeup. I realize I am not winning any beauty pageants, and that a lot of women forgo this (rightfully so if they don’t like makeup), I can’t. Being transgender means I need to try and use every tool I have to give the indications of the gender I am presenting. Every little bit helps.

Here are some photos of my makeup, actually it isn’t much and maybe I will do a more in-depth later, but this is it for now.

Also I am learning to eat crow as I realize all of the microaggressions or at least the unrealized privilege I judged women and undoubtedly minorities with. I am trying to change that.

Rest of the FFS Trip

To be honest a large portion of the trip after my surgery is a blur. I do remember the whole food debacle though with clarity.

Before we came down I got the surgery schedule and was told that I would be on clear liquids for three days Friday through Sunday), then another 2-3 days of soft food (Monday and Tuesday) and by Wednesday I would be fully capable of eating. So we went to Frye’s Grocery and bought food for the 9 days we would be in town. The first three or four days being clear liquids, the next two being soft, then normal.

The cart isn’t full yet.

When I came in for my pre-op appointment on Friday we were then told no, in fact I would be on clear liquid until Wednesday, and I might be off soft foods by the time I left (but probably not). So we went back to Frye’s for a second set of groceries based on this (another $70).

I was released on Sunday to go back to the hotel from the hospital and I was told right there by my surgeon that I could immediately start eating regular solid food. The nurse came in behind the surgeon and suggested that maybe I don’t, and to be honest we listened to her, but I was frustrated by the constant changes in what I was supposed to do post-surgically. Almost as if she didn’t remember.

The surgery itself went well though and I liked what I saw, so I went back to the hotel room and the next three or four days were a blur. We occasionally went out, but eating regular food was too difficult so I ate a lot of yogurt and dip while laying in bed. Also I hated growing stubble because I couldn’t shave.

Red Robin was really hard, I couldn’t open my mouth so I had to cut the burger into 20+ pieces and eat it with a fork.

It was partially a blur because there was pain meds, recovering from general anesthesia and finally I got sick and was puking my guts up. All I remember was watching Brooklyn 99 and marvel movies in a haze of sleep, sick and dreams.

We couldn’t tell if I was sick because I caught something, or because I had to go off all my hormonal treatment, either way having had facial surgery, my head was wrapped up and hurting from cutting off portions of my skull (forehead, cheeks and jaw) that it just sucked. Also, by this time my hair stank, it still had blood in it, even after days of showering, because I couldn’t scrub it.

I tried constantly to clean the blood out of my hair for the whole week.

By Thursday morning though I was recovering and we began going out to do small things, mostly so I could eat something that wasn’t yogurt. I still couldn’t open my mouth all the way, but it was definitely better. Below was my trip to see Avengers:Endgame.

I went to my post-op appointment on Friday and I knew this would happen. I was hurried through, the surgeon only spoke to me for about five minutes and bailed out of there quick. Her assistant removed stitches, or at least tried to (since then my hubby has removed more than a dozen stitches out of my scalp that should have been done).

I was (and am) really happy with the results, even with a swollen face.

Eventually Saturday morning we piled down to the car, took it back to the airport and I flew home. I haven’t ever been so happy to just be home. There I spent the next 2.5 weeks recovering. The husband was so much help I can’t even thank him enough for everything he did. I am a lucky girl.

Seriously, I couldn’t have done any of this without him.

Well that is it, my FFS trip (I still have a whole mouth/lip FFS thing going on, but that won’t be until end of 2019 and is its own story).