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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Rough Day

I haven’t shaved since yesterday because I go to electrolysis on Saturday, most people at work have either not noticed or have been nice. However…

I was upstairs at work getting tea and I am standing there. This old guy (not a coworker) stands up next to me, not more than 6 feet from me (probably closer).

He is staring at me, as in glare/stare. He literally looked at my tits and the. Up to my cheeks and then back down. Getting more upset as he watched.

I turned and smiled at him, I was at work and all I could think of that wasn’t aggressive was ask “Do you want to touch the stubble?”. I was expecting a freak out, but I couldn’t stop the words.

He looked poleaxed, then walked off in a huff. The other person standing on the other side almost spit coffee out her nose.

Today is rough . I hate the stubble but I sure as hell cant let someone get in my space without responding. (Oh and the lady was super cool with me).

#trans #translife #confrontation #ihatethebeard

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Upgrade of HRT regimen

Things are looking up. After a pretty horrible experience with my previous provider, who told me the hormones won’t do me much good anymore… I talked with my therapist and husband (two different people) and we went to a different doctor, a trans specialist.

He saw me, totally reassured me that I am far from done. He upped my dosage from 4mg to 6mg estradiol and added in progesterone to help breast development. He believes I can get them a pretty good size and asked me to wait on breast augmentation until next April and let my natural boobs grow first, then get the augmentation. So I agreed to it.

That means I am now on a new HRT regimen and pushed back a surgery I was going to have in two months, to April. It makes me a little anxious, but I feel good about what he wanted me to do. It means only surgery in next eight months is for my lips, and only if I can get the electrolysis done.

I think it is relieving to my husband that my surgery got pushed back, but it sounds good.

In other news, I am moving my primary care back to the doctor we had in Everett. It is a long drive to get there (over 60 miles) but he was super supportive of the hubby in his transition, and since I have a transgender specialist, I want my primary to just care about me as a person. So that is good too.

I will give updates on the HRT of course, last night was the first full dose of both (3mg estradiol x 2 a day, and progesterone at night). I am hoping to get back on the hormonal changes soon.

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My privilege, an introduction to what I see.

I know that a lot of my posts are stressed out. Money, emotional baggage and societal issues are fairly overwhelming in my life. It is true, we are $40,000 in debt just to my face, another $140,000 in student loans and we are stuck working in fields neither the hubby or I like.

That being said, I am incredibly fortunate that I can call upon the credit needed for my transition, that I am white and in a middle class career field. So many others like my husband and myself don’t have an option to borrow money. I do say being in debt is better than not being able to transition and I see both the privilege and the luck I have had in being in this position.

My future goals is to dig out of this debt over next 5+ years and if possible give back so I can help others who don’t have that access. If nothing else to help those that need binders, or need smaller amounts of money for HRT or small procedures.

I just wanted to quickly post that no matter how stressful things are, I realize and acknowledge that my position is better off than many. It doesn’t change how much I hurt, or my stress, but it does temper my reaction sometimes. I just wanted everyone who reads this to know I see it.

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Mountain Man Encounter

Yesterday I had a really interesting encounter. I was in the stairwell at work walking up to get the coffee shop. A very large and burly man walked into the stairwell. He saw me dressed up in a skirt and a grey sweater. I was a bit worried with his appearance, he was large and very masculine. He seemed just as worried as he stopped and he hesitated when he saw me.

Pic of me later that day.

I watched visibly as he debated what to say and he start and stopped a couple of times. He then smiled and asked me how I was and treated me like I was a woman. I was so proud of this man I didn’t know. He obviously had never encountered a trans woman before and he saw me, stopped, and thought about it.

It was a good experience and by the time we both exited the coffee shop he was chatting at me and seemed so much more comfortable. I am glad that I made him more easy around obviously LBTQIA, and honestly I think he might have made it easier for me to be around large, brawny and bearded mountain men.

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April 30, 2009 – Flashback Friday

April 30, 2019 the hubby and I pre-transition. I took him to see where I was auditing in Coupeville. #fbf #flashbackfriday

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Throwback Thursday – July 2013

Throwback Thursday July 2013.

Throwback Thursday from July 2013.

Welcome to our Call of Cthulhu game I believe. Holy shit 6 years?

Left to right: hubby (two months before coming out to me), Wey, Lici, Drew. Not pictured Rai on left, Torie on right.

#throwbackthursday #callofcthulhurpg #gamers

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Work Lunch 7/18/19

Victor Seagull once again greets me at the park. This time he came right up to me.

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