2 encounters in one day – The Safeway Incident

Today was a strange set of encounters, two of them to be exact. Both put me in uncomfortable situation and both of course involved being transgendered. I was wearing my blue striped dress and was out auditing one of the agencies and things were fine until I went to the local Safeway (in a bad area of town).

Me in the dress three months ago

As I exited Safeway, I noticed in front of me an older lady walking to her car. Behind her was a small man (I believe was homeless) following after her, with a second  homeless man watching from the other side of the entryway into the store. It bothered me, something seemed off.

Just seeing how the man was approaching made me wonder and I stopped walking in the middle of the parking lot and just watched the lady to make sure she got to her car when the small black guy yelled at her a question I couldn’t make out. I am fairly sure it was asking for change, but the fact she hurried quicker meant she wasn’t interested.

So I stood there and settled on the balls of my feet (in my little black Uggs) and I just watched him. I wanted to make sure nothing happened. I was very aware of the second man to my left and slightly behind me about 20 feet. I didn’t say anything, just watched in case I need to intervene.

That is when the guy to my left and behind me loudly yelled, “6’1 or 6’2?” I knew immediately he was talking to me, but that he was actually warning his buddy I was watching. I spun on my left, keeping the small guy in site and smiled at the man with the questions.

At this time the smaller man who was accosting the woman also stopped, he turned to watch me and seemed to have forgotten the lady. She immediately took advantage and got in her car and left. Meanwhile I just smiled at the guy and yelled back “6’2”. I think he was surprised I responded to him and didn’t scuttle away.

The gentleman who yelled the question

He stood back, cocked his head and then yelled, “Where’s your husband?” I yelled back “A few blocks away, will bring him lunch when I am done here” and I motioned to him and his friend. I think he was a little shocked at my response because he pulled on his medical facemask over his nose (the man had awful teeth).

It was during this time that the little guy just faded away, I saw him moving for a moment and then he was gone in between the cars. I noticed the guy asking the question nod to me and say, “good enough for me”. He then leaned over the railing and avoided responding to me anymore.

I am more than willing to say something to someone if another person might be in danger, but if its just me I am happy with leaving. That is when I got into the car and drive off.

That would have made the day interesting, but it doesn’t even include what happened at People’s Park

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Things I forgot

You would think that I would remember my childhood all the time, the violence (not on us by parents, but surrounding us), the alcoholism, the homelessness, but evidently I forget huge chunks for years at a time and am surprised when my PTSD pops things back up.

We went to the movies to see Rambo Last Blood. Yes it is horrible, outdated and I will probably see another one if Stallone does it. It just is a tradition. However, I did have something happened that was jarring.

It was during the first half of the movie. Stallone was beating up a man, he broke the man’s collar bone and started twisting it out of his skin. It was ultraviolent but not more violent then a lot of what I watch. However, I found myself curled up into a ball in my theater seat, hiding under my leather jacket trying to catch my breath. Evidently it gave me a huge anxiety/panic attack.

That is when I remembered once when I was 10-11 or so and we were out at my dad’s friends in Granite Falls. My parents had run to the store, and a couple of the guys there were working over another man in a room very seriously. You could hear the beating in the room I was in next door, the whimpering, crying and growling/grunting from the people.

When they were done, one of them came out and asked if I could keep an eye on the man in the other room, so I got up, went in and sat on a chair while the two men who beat the person in this room left to have cigarettes.

First, let me be clear I never felt I was in danger. I never was threatened, harmed or anything up until a couple years after this when some of the same people attacked my family (they owed my dad money and thought they would be better off removing us instead of paying, but that is a different story).

Also, when my parents got back to the house my dad lost his shit on the two guys. He didn’t want me seeing that or being around that. My parents were open about everything they did. I had even saw cocaine deals happen regularly involving kilos of cocaine, but the violence on someone in front of me really upset my parents, so we didn’t go back out there for a few weeks after that.

I can’t say I remember everything clearly. I have always had a hard time remembering specific details, but I remember feeling bad for the person there. Also I know he wasn’t killed or anything (at least then) because I saw him a few months later and he acted like nothing had happened.

However, this left me in the theater panting, and panicking for a short time. It passed and I told the hubby about it. I figured it was one of many stories I have told him about my childhood. He was surprised and had never heard this story. I guess it turns out and  I was evidently wrong. I hadn’t realized how much of my life I haven’t even told him.

I am sure this came up partially because of my transition. I am having to rethink who I am, what I am and where I go. I am also seeing a therapist fairly regularly, and they are having me start to delve into things. Finally I think the thing that triggered me was Rambo wearing his green army jacket. It reminded me so much of growing up where I was surrounded by my dad’s friends and associates who all wore army gear, things like that green army jacket.

It has been a couple of days now, I can start sleeping again, but I do feel like a wuss. Nothing bad had directly happened to me. I had seen ultra violence in real life more than a few times before I went into that room. I guess maybe this means the therapy and self review is starting to unlock some of my shit I locked away. Maybe I can start working on it now.

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Some good news

I got my blood test results back. I have some good news and some ok news.

Good news: my testosterone is “LESS THAN 10 ng/dL” and the range is 0-74ng/dL. So at least we know my testicles haven’t mysteriously grown back 🤣.

The test is to ensure the male hormone has dropped off thus allowing feminine hormones to work their magic. This is first time my testosterone hasn’t decided to make a comeback and I find it encouraging.

Another bit of good news is my progesterone numbers (prolactin test): 15.5 ng/mL and the range is 2.5-19 ng/mL. That is excellent news as this is the hormone that developed breast growth.

Finally I got my estrogen results via paper only (for some reason it isn’t on my electronic documents). 98 pg/mL and the standard range is 30-500.

This is an upward trend (my last result was less than 20), but not where we want it (300+ is the target score, there is another test that goes up to 700 and on that one we want 400+, not sure the difference though between the two scoring systems).

I will admit I was really disappointed by this. However Dr Fields is awesome, he said we will take this progress and up my dosage to 8mg of estradiol per day (I was taking 6 as of yesterday and only 4 when I had the horrible doctor) so I feel like we are moving.

I will go get another test in November and cross my fingers.

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General Update and Cheek News

I have been quiet lately, not that new things haven’t happened, just that I am exhausted. However, wanted to get out some of the basics while I had some moments.

The last couple of weeks have been especially bad with insomnia and nightmares, mostly me not being able to protect people I currently care about, or who passed away already. This results in me getting up somewhere between 00:30 and 0300 for several days, unless I crash every five or six days which case I sleep until 4pm (which is later than normal for me). This leaves me grumpy and tired. Fortunately my husband is pretty forgiving.

I did get to meet a nice transgender lady while I was at work. I was actually on lunch at Thea’s park and I am sitting in my car throwing peanuts out for the crows and seagulls. I see this lady pull up beside me. My first thought was wondering if she was a trans lady. I glanced at her, she glanced at me and a few minutes later she motioned for me to roll down my window as she asked me if I was trans.

That is when I met Hazel, a nice lady who is a local and has been doing this a couple years longer than myself. She seemed nice, we chatted and exchanged instagram accounts. It was nice meeting someone like myself. It is funny, I have met a lot more trans guys than gals. This is primarily because for 5 of the last 6 years we were focused on hubby’s transition so it was guys who came out of the woodwork (especially about accidentally gay and the website). It as just nice to meet someone like me.

Yesterday we went down to Portland to check on my cheek with Dr. Ley. The trip down was actually pretty cool. I live to just spend time with my husband. I realize a lot of people hate traveling with others, but 3 hours each direction with my hubby is enjoyable to me, especially since I don’t drive so much anymore.

We got there and there was a bit of a kerfuffle finding the office. Met a nice trans girl named Libby and we helped guide her to Dr. Ley’s office as well. I walked in with Dr. Ley and she didn’t even recognize me from my surgery four months ago. The facial changes she made, plus the hormones, new hair color/style and my long skirt gave her a blank stare at me for a few moments.

I intentionally didn’t choose my best most recent image, the recent image is my “average”.

She was nice and realized who I was soon enough after I started talking. After telling her some of my concerns she reached into my mouth where I noticed the real thingand I saw her visibly hesitate when she felt the “serrated edge” feeling the cheek had on the inside. She apologized for any pain as she crushed up whatever was sharp feeling.

She admitted she had never felt something like that before (my body heals weird). She was worried at first that part of the cheek was exposed inside my mouth but relaxed when she realized it was fine. She ended up clearing me and saying my cheek was healing well with no problems, that was a relief.

We then stopped at the Bantam Tavern, just a couple of blocks down where I had fish and chips and a couple of Whiskey Punches to celebrate. We then came home and I got to spend more time with the most important person in the world.

There is my favorite thing in the world.

Of course I am back up at 3am this morning, but I feel a bit better as I fell asleep earlier. I just wanted to get this written down (I have already forgotten the dream I wanted to talk about, all I remember was me desperately searching for a large oxygen tank in a garage that had slipped under all the carport racks). So here it is. Hopefully more will be coming. 🙂

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Anxiety

One of the things I had done during my FFS was cheek implants. I originally didn’t think I wanted them, but the doc talked me into and to be honest she was correct. I think they look great, and I am really happy.

The left cheek implant has always bothered me during the healing contest. Not heavily, but enough. It was the last to stop swelling after the initial surgery, the skin tends to tighten around it more so occasionally if I smile there is a stretching feeling, but this is all within a normal parameter.

Several weeks ago I noticed when I feel my cheek from inside my mouth, my left cheek feels more jagged on the edges then my right one. It could be a stitch, or just the way it healed. However it does give me a little anxiety about it.

A couple weeks later I was talking to my nurse, she asked for me to get pictures of the inside of my mouth and send it. I did so, got some good pictures and sent it to her. She replied it looks fine, but she would show the doctor… then I got an email asking for me to make an appointment for the doctor to see my mouth when she comes up to Portland (they are in Phoenix, but were going to be in Portland as they expand their offices).

The doc said it is fine but she would like to look. That of course makes me nervous as well but I have an appointment on September 20th.

Fast forward to a couple days ago I noticed it was spread out a little more in my mouth (still looks fine externally). Yesterday it ached and swole up a little (both sides do this occasionally,its just a natural part of healing. This morning it is a bit more puffy, I don’t think its infected but I worry.

My biggest anxiety breaks down into a few things.

I just don’t want to incur any more cost of having it removed, waiting six months and putting it back in. I am already tanking us financially and doubling or tripling the price of my cheek implants is freaking me out. This doesn’t even include the cost of flights or time off.

I am worried about what I would look like without the implant, whether its just temporarily for six months while it heals or if its permanent. Will the skin over the implant sag, will I have a more gaunt look in my face, will I totally fail looking cute.

This week was the first time I ever looked in the mirror and saw myself and really liked what I looked like. I mean I totally thought I was cute and there were no negative thoughts (except for the dislike of my skin apron from weight loss, but that will be fixed). Then this happens and I am worried I am on a downward spiral.

So here I am anxiously unsure what is going to happen and how to go about it. The sad thing, I am aware it is probably nothing at all and things will be fine, but that anxiety is still there.

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Long long day… but worth it

Here it is 00:30 and I am awake with anxiety, uncomfortable dreams and still amped from my day. I feel distracted and to be honest emotional (evidently distracted enough that it is now 02:00 because I just sat here zoning out for 90 minutes).

This isn’t uncommon for me when I have to deal with family. Ever since my parents passed I haven’t had many good experiences (barring with my younger niece and nephew). The difference is today it felt like we got past something, maybe things are changing. Even if they aren’t, I think I am gaining the ability to just let things go.

Yesterday started decently, if not a bit early. I was up by 4am (anxiety about going up to visit parents grave). Hung out with husband a bit until I left later then normal (after 8am) to drive up to Bellingham (about a 130 mile drive one way). It is the first time I have been out and about by myself dressed female without my husband (barring work).

It started with going to the gas station at Safeway. Two different guys are filling up cars and they notice me. One guy just smiled, the other guy chuckled to his friend inside their truck. Fuck them I don’t care (actually not too much at least). Went inside the little store area to look for a Coke Zero, none where there. The older guy behind the counter asked me what I am looking for, I told him and he said “Honey, they are outside” and went out and got me the last Coke Zero. It was nice that he didn’t even hesitate, I wasn’t sure with him being older how he would react, then he yelled at one of the guys at the gas pump so I knew he wasn’t super nice all the time.

I then drove up to Bellingham and on my way stopped by a grocery store for flowers for my parents grave and a Starbucks. Everyone was nice and the florist lady called me Honey. Is that normal to have so many people use that term?

For some reason (maybe its hrt, or maybe I am old) I had to stop again to pee. This time at a rest stop. This is where things got twitchy. I am parked and four asian ladies in a Canadian plated van step out and smoke three fee from my window. I then get up to go to the bathroom and I get stared at by a bunch of rednecks when I go into the bathroom, and when I get out of the rest area bathroom there are three different guys from different group standing there watching me.

I think the one advantage is none of them realized I was taller than them, and I have a lot of tattoos. They just stared at me, but didn’t say a word… so neither did I. I got out of the rest area as soon as possible though.

I got to Bellingham and picked up my brother. This was a funny part. I swing into his apartment complex and he almost walks past me. He is staring at me like he is trying to figure out who I am. This is the first time he has seen me dressed in makeup and a skirt.

He got in the car and laughed about it. He said that he saw me from outside his apartment, he thought he recognized the car but when he saw only one person and he thought it was a woman, he didn’t think it was me. I knew he was telling the truth because when he walked past me I saw the moment when he recognized me.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I pass in general, but it was nice to see evidently I can feminize well enough.

We then met with my niece at Bob’s Burgers and had a great lunch. She also had a confused look when she saw me  and she congratulated me on how I looked. We then had lunch and she talked about her life, my brother’s life and mine. I feel like we got past some previous family stuff. Don’t get me wrong there is still stuff that hurts and I will eventually talk about here, but you try and get past it.

Neither my niece or brother wanted to go to the cemetery so I took my brother home. On the way home we stopped by his kid’s house and I got to say hi to my younger set of nephew/niece combination (they also didn’t recognize me at first, not saying I passed as a woman, but that I didn’t look like who I was). Once done there we had to stop at three places to pick him up a bus pass and we said farewell.

Finally I got to go to the cemetery. I was supposed to come up a couple of months ago, but with all the surgeries, medical visits, etc I never made it. I spent a good hour or so there, cleaning up the headstone of my parents, taking pictures and dropping my excess flowers on obviously unvisited graves. I think I want to go up there and do a full photo layout of the cemetery. It is still the single most beautiful graveyard/cemetery (I don’t know the difference) that I have seen in person in my life.

Finally I drove home (took 3 hours to get anywhere) and got to see the husband. It was a 12 hour day that felt like 16, but I felt better. I think I want to go up there a little more regularly.

What I did find was my family I met with seemed ok with me walking around with them with a skirt on. I didn’t realize how anxious I was about how they would react (and I still don’t know why I care). It was a good experience though and I am glad I did it.

Oh, and there will be photos later!

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Bathroom Encounter

Gather around for a story of someone who is a royal fuck and why women talking in a bathroom still weirds me out. As a side note, this doesn’t happen in men’s bathrooms. There is an unspoken rule that you do not talk to each other, so it has been an experience learning that women do this differently.

It all started at work, for the most part I have good luck in the bathroom. Most women I see at work don’t hesitate with me being in the bathroom, but sometimes all the stalls can be empty, they walk in, see me and walk back out. It hurts but it is what it is.

Shitty things happen, and this time I am sitting in the stall at work, minding my own business. Someone else comes in and sits in the stall next to me. They just start chatting to me like they know me. We have two actual bathrooms side by side and both are women’s bathroom. I figure their friend probably was in the other one and she hadn’t realized it wasn’t her friend sitting in my stall.

I don’t know her voice but we have a lot of people in that department and I suspect she is across the hall. She then says “Don’t you hate they let guys in here”. Straight out says that to me.

It kind of shocked me for a moment since I know that I have to be that “guy”. Everything sort of froze for me and I went into automatic mode. A childhood full of stressful situations that have left me with PTSD, but also the ability to respond immediately to the situation.

My Bradley wit did overcome and I said “I know… guys shouldn’t be in here.” With my still masculine voice. I am fairly sure I had a bite to my word, one of those ‘wrong stall biatch’ and I could tell I had scored a pretty good hit.

I think she might have had a stroke at that moment as she went silent. You could hear a pin drop. It was that bizarre silence that is just momentary, but loud in its lack of sound. All of a sudden a scattered sound of cleaning up and then she whipped out of that bathroom like a roach scurrying away. I didn’t even catch a glimpse of her when I was finishing up, she was just gone.

At first I thought maybe it was a mean girl thing and she was saying it like that to fuck with me. Some people I grew up with would have approached it that way, a casual “oops I didn’t realize that was you”, but I think her bailing out so quick shows she did think I was someone else.There isn’t anyone else in my department that would have the nerve to do that kind of thing, so the more I think, I definitely believe she just made a mistake.

I was amused for a little while at work, then mad, then I just wanted to crawl home and hide.

I know I shouldn’t care, but it did bug me. I still think about it a few days later. I realize this is my future, and while it sucks, it is still much better than how I felt before I transitioned.

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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.

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Phoenix Airport Encounter

I posted a bit earlier on an encounter at the Phoenix airport, but I thought I would go into a little more detail here.

The day before went really well. We ran around a bit and I went in and met some really great people at Senza Pelo Med Spa who would do my electrolysis. They were pretty damn spectacular and deserve a post later.  They did nine hours of electrolysis and while my face was puffy I was (and still am) happy with the result.

Me getting electrolysis

That night was fine, my face looked like a prize fighter had worked me over but my goatee area had never been that smooth ever and I was ecstatic. I woke up with the bruising on my lip and chin area and puffy. I was tired, hungry (as I haven’t been able to keep down food the whole time I was down there) and I just looking forward to getting out of the 110 degree Phoenix heat. The one good thing I had was my hubby who was doing what he could to take care of me.

We drove back to the airport and I couldn’t get out of Arizona fast enough. The last two days I have been getting a lot more rude side eye, or absolute straight on staring at me. I get that at home in Seattle area of course, but I get a hell of a lot more support. Also, I don’t have to panic every time I go into a bathroom, or get the annoyed looking women when I step out of a stall.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that Arizona might have “come a long way” but it certainly isn’t close to the Pacific Northwest (where I still have to be careful). Not once did I feel safe, not even in boy mode when I had my beard grown out.

There were supporters of course, not nearly as many but I did get smiles, head nods and some people would come over and talk with me. Not everyone is bad, and I don’t think a majority is necessarily bad, but the majority is silent and that is almost as bad. Combine this to the stupidity of the Fox News channel that was on everywhere made me remember I am not safe and I am not home.

Fast forward to the airport. I had crossed security and that went incredibly well. They were respectful and there was a lot of levity when once again I got patted down. This time it was an elderly lady but she was pretty sweet. The only weird thing is when we arrived they seemed surprised that the hubby and I got in the first class line. They obviously assume all transgender people would only fly coach and were poor. I am struggling financially but only due to student loan and FFS payment, otherwise we do pretty good for a living.

We were in the main gate area and the hubby needed to use the restroom. So I did what I normally did and stood against the wall outside the bathroom. I watched the people go by and I felt super uncomfortable. I couldn’t put much makeup on due to the swelling, I was hot, uncomfortable and was getting a lot of stares (not even side-eye, but full on staring at me as they walked by).

That is when this one conservative looking douchebro steps up, not more than a few feet from me, pulls out his phone as he is making some snide comment I didn’t quite catch and took a photo of me standing there.

I am not sure at what point of what he did that I decided “fuck it” but that was it, that was the last thing I was putting up with and for a brief moment I stepped off the wall and up to his face. I honestly don’t know what he saw but he panicked and backed up. He obviously did not expect me to react aggressively, and for some reason even though I was standing straight I don’t think he realized I was as tall as I am.

I shouldn’t have reacted like that. It is dangerous there, I could have been broadsided by someone else. I am in a hostile state, with a hell of a lot of hostile people and the worst part if I get arrested (which undoubtably would be the case if it was his word against mine) I probably go to a male jail and if I am lucky it would just be solitary.

I stopped myself and he scattered on his way like a scaredy cat. I was really angry at that point, and disappointed in myself for doing it, and disappointed I had stopped myself. It was just a natural thing to step up and part of me thought I failed for not shoving him (growing up with bikers and a father who in my childhood definitely taught me what should be done when you are insulted… although I think by the time he got older and passed he would have been happy I didn’t do something to get hurt, weird how people change over their lives). I also felt like a disappointment that I might inconvenience the husband, or if I had caused a ruckus I don’t want to add any negative press to my other trans/non-binary people.

So I stepped back against the wall. I knew he had a picture, and I knew it was a useless idea to go chasing to get it back, so instead I took a picture of myself so I could post it. It gave me some sort of feeling of control (stupid I know). For some reason I felt I needed to get my picture out there before him. So here is my picture:

no glamour shot here – I was really upset

Pardon the grumpiness, the tiredness and the not even close too presentableness. Tired, sweaty and no makeup with bruising starting up on my face made this not my favorite picture. Oh and Fuck Him and the horse he rode in on.

Fortunately we flew out about an hour later, and four hours later I was in Seattle and immediately felt safer, and that I was home. So here I am now home, in my house and comfortable and still really upset by that guy.

 

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A good TSA experience

Here I am this morning in Phoenix waiting for my all day electrolysis appointment (9 hours worth). I just wanted to report back my trip yesterday had good and bad when it came to being transgender, and especially with me having a beard. Let’s start off my series of posts with a good.

hubby and I, early morning 

I got to SEA-TAC airport early in the morning. They had a new setup for TSA security and unfortunately we don’t work for the DoD anymore so we don’t have Pre-check. We get into the line and as I am removing my stuff into the grey tubs, the TSA guy yells at my husband and is just a dick. We smooth that over quick and start to go through.

I step into the scanner and I know it is all going to hell. It does its little MRI/circling thing and I step out. This very nice lady asks me to wait and low and behold, the scanned image shows a huge yellow box around my groin.

I was totally expecting a shit show at this point, but I was incredibly, pleasantly surprised. She smiled at me and she explained that she had entered the setting “female” on the system, so when it found something unexpected in my groin it went off. To be honest I didn’t know it read things that closely, but I nodded. She then explained if it was ok with me, she would flip the settings to “male” and scan again.

I told her that was fine. The reality of my situation is I believe I am female, science bears it out along with my doctor, the government assigning me female, etc. The truth is though I still have a penis, no matter what others what to call it, it is still a penis. At least until I get a vaginoplasty. So I have no problem with this.

The scanner finds no problems with my penis at that point… but does find a problem with my boobs. The lady is still there, and by now two more guys have walked up (I think one was stationed there, and another, a supervisor I believe). This is where I was positive the shit was going down. I was wrong.

All three of them were incredibly compassionate. The lady apologized and said they would have to pat me down since the machine was going to find a problem no matter what. I understood and I told her “Don’t worry, it is ok. It doesn’t matter which of you do it, this is going to be uncomfortable for all of us”.

The lady stepped forward herself, and she kindly patted my boobs down. This was the least invasive way (I could have the boy do it, but he would have to pat down my groin). She was joking the whole time and honestly it was an overall positive experience. We said our goodbyes and I thanked them for being so cool about things.

When we walked away the hubby mentioned he thought they must have had transgender training since he came down with boobs three years before. They were not so kind, and they were honestly rude and freaked out when they had to pat down his boobs (before he had them removed).

Unfortunately I am a minority, that isn’t going to change and with the complete freaked out security mindset this will be my normal state of being. However, even with that, this experience was positive as I met three TSA workers who were kind, compassionate and respectful. This was probably the highest point of the day… especially after I arrived in Arizona.

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