Annie and James Rushden were man and wife, until James revealed he was transsexual. Annie writes about the experience of falling in love all over again with her partner Claire. Same soul, different gift wrap.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A rose by any other name...

Is still just as smelly. *grin*. I actually don't like roses, but Claire loves them. I buy them for her every now and then and she buys me wildflowers. We understand each other.

BUT... that's not what this post is about. Our name change gauntlet is finally complete. Claire is now in possession of a driver's license with her real name on it. You may remember that she actually changed her name months ago by doing it in her native country in the UK. However, the local driver's license office wouldn't accept a UK document, so we had to publish in the paper and spend another $150 to get it changed here.

Want to talk about nerve-wracking? I hate the public information act. Publishing that you are changing your name from a definitely male name to female name is attention getting enough, without someone being able to easily track you down via public info. Ugh.

It was a roller coaster day, starting with the courthouse.

We were all done, and we finally got our appointment to do the name change in judge's chambers. The judge was a woman and had done several name changes of a similar nature, so we were pretty comfortable going in.

Then, while waiting in the public area we hear that she's not hearing our case, some senior judge is. Okay, no panic really yet... sure it is going to be okay. I start wondering on what grounds a judge can refuse to do this. Claire starts getting nervous.

The staff attorney comes out and calls out the names of three people waiting to go see the judge. And of course, in a very loud voice - 'James Rushden?'


So I jump up and say "That would be me" before Claire even stands up. I was hoping that maybe the others might think it was a probate issue, etc. and deflect attention from my already extremely nervous spouse. The last thing we wanted was one of these people to follow us into the dark garage and mess with us.

We follow him to the elevator and crowd on with these others that are giving us the hairy eyeball now. We get to the other floor and I pull the attorney aside for a second and verify that we would still be doing this in private and to please just call our last name.

We finally got called into the office (as Ms. Rushden), and discovered that we would be in front of an older male judge. Of course, being in the ultra conservative state we're in, we started really hoping he would be cool about this.

Well, let's just say I'm now enamored with this judge. He was not only polite about it, but warm and funny, and said congrats and shook our hands at the end. I sure got a kick in the head not to prejudge people. Ouch.

SO... we left on a high note now, this went great :)

We go to the DMV. That's when it goes downhill. I have some advice for anyone about to change their name. Before you do the name change, go in to the DMV in androgynous mode and get a new picture. Because it really, REALLY sucked for us not having done that.

We get there and get called up to the booth. The clerk starts looking over her paperwork and pondering the issue at hand. She's ready to do this until she sees that Claire is a permanent resident, not a citizen. It's not a problem, because you can change your name if you're a PR, but this is *why we were told to go change her name in a local court* - for these people at the DMV.

So I seethe for a moment, and then she calls a supervisor over. She hands the supervisor the old drivers license with the male photo and name. So the supervisor asks 'what does HE want to do?" The person helping us starts to say (loudly) that "HE" wants to change "HIS" name. When they dropped the "HE" bomb one more time, and Claire is trying to shrink herself under the counter I lean forward and say "She, please say SHE."

The clerk realized what she was doing and said "Oh, I'm so sorry, I don't know why I did that."

I mean, come on. A little tact? You have both IDs in hand, and you see a woman in front of you, and you call her out?

So after much back and forth while they decide if they should let her change her name on her license, they sign the documents and let her move on to the other room to get her new picture taken.

So we're standing there in line, trying to relax for a moment after that horrible incident, and we get called to the desk. We're hoping that anyone that heard that exchange has left.

I'll paint the scene for you. Imagine a waiting room full of people. Imagine a desk with a 24" monitor that is turned so half the waiting room can see the very large picture that shows on her screen as she pulls up the license with the OLD picture (huge picture) of "James" before transition - obviously a MALE picture.

Then, imagine the woman looking at it taking her time and reading the address out in a nice crisp, clear voice for all to hear. She leaves the picture on the screen as long as she can while telling Claire to remove her shades, etc. Then she takes the picture.

Any shred of dignity that Claire could have had left after the counter incident was now totally stripped. Mortified. I was just mortified at how they treated this. I can't tell you just how awful I felt for my poor Claire.

To top it off, her picture turned out like crap, and she thinks it made her look old.

And of course, it still has the M on it. But we figured that would happen.

But, she recovered, but was really down for a while afterwards. She has a license (that she hates) with her female picture and new name. Now, social security and all the other paperwork can finally start getting changed and we can bury the old name that she's suffered under for so many years.

It feels good. She wondered if we should have a funeral for James. I think that would actually be kind of fun :)

Take care all, I'm going to go play in my studio and hammer some metal.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hormones, Progress, and Boobs

Claire is finally starting to see some changes start up again from the new dose of hormones. Our visit to the endo a couple of months ago revealed that her dose of the past year wasn't really high enough to suppress the evil testosterone levels enough to let the estrogen really work. So now she's off the patch and on pills.

We're definitely seeing the effects of the T dropping, which is awesome.

Of course, the *big* issue around here is bra size. She's a full A now, and thrilled to be so. She is rather tall and thin (grrr - so jealous!) so if she hits a full B she'll be happy. What I find funny is the fact that she is a combination of enthralled and miserable at the current growth. Pains, tenderness, etc--while uncomfortable--are reassuring because they are accompanied by growth. I catch her prodding them sometimes and marveling at the real breast tissue that is giving her the long awaited proper changes. For instance, overheard in the Rushden house the other night - "wow, they're getting HEAVY!"

But the part that makes me really giggle is when she tries to go to sleep. She shifts around about 5 times sighing and fussing because the way she's slept her whole life doesn't work anymore now that she has boobs in the way (cue evil laughter as I recall abject misery during pregnancy). I have no sympathy. She doesn't know where to put her arms to sleep, and I find it so funny. She's cute in her misery ;)

She has discovered tank tops and now walks around the house braless in the tank top and lovely swishy linen pants, her hair now past her shoulders and highlighted with blonde streaks, feeling lovely and girly, and looking like a vision of beauty to me.

What a cool journey this is :)


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

We're still alive and kicking :)

Sorry for the long dry spell.

We've been doing great. We had a lovely Thanksgiving. I hope you did as well.

I really have a lot to say, but I've put this off too late tonight. So, I'll just post a couple of quick things.

I really like Atlanta. Claire doesn't. But two things happened today that made me proud to be here.

First, this morning, I needed some milk for my tea and coffee, so I ran to the corner shop to get some. I passed an older black man in a wheelchair outside, and watched a younger black man giving him some food. Well, from what I gather, he either was begging for food (it was 45 degrees out) or the young man just did it anyway. He apparently bought him two chili dogs and a drink from inside this store.

While I was standing in line, an altercation broke out when the woman (she's generally not a pleasant woman--so I normally don't shop there) that owns the shop walked in followed by the man in the wheelchair. He was raising his voice telling her "I did NOT steal from your shop. I haven't been in here before this very moment. That nice young man gave me this food! I am not a thief!!" She argued with him for a couple of minutes with him asserting his innocence and asking for an apology, because she apparently accused him in public in front of people.

Well, the murmurs started in line from customers...gradually getting louder (and of course, I chimed in too)
"How do you sneak into a store unseen in a wheelchair?"
"I saw someone giving him food"
"Being disabled does not make you a thief"
"He may have been panhandling but why are you accusing him of theft? He hasn't been in here."
(me) The hot dogs are not self serve, they are fixed up and handed to the cashier. How can you steal that? Besides, I saw the guy give him the food."

Finally he left, pride a little mended due to the support he received. As I walked out (vowing to not come back) a coworker fussed and said "I just don't understand why someone would equate wheelchair with thievery. Un-REAL."

Three cheers for people sticking up against bias!!


On the way home, something happened on MARTA that was also quite funny. Two seeing-impaired gentlemen were making their way to the train platform with the use of their canes. Now, I'm pretty sure that everyone knows that someone with a red-tipped white cane doesn't see very well. Right?

Well, this woman, maybe 25 years old, was standing on the platform with her back to the gentlemen. They came up behind her (tap tap tap - no missing it) and *gasp* tapped her shoe.

Well, rather than just understanding and either moving aside, saying hi or anything else... she (get ready for it) gave them a filthy look (because it's such an effective communication tool in this case?) and moved 10 feet away from them, scowling and rolling her eyes and looking like she had been molested - being quite the drama queen for the crowd.

Now, that's not the great part. The great part was the crowd that witnessed this. A slow murmur of comments started to swell and finally reached the woman's ears saying things like:
"holiday spirit left at the table?"
"wow, *really* mature"
"whoo, honey, that's SOME attitude."
and my personal favorite-
"I guess that hurt your dignity, huh young lady? At least you made sure to put him in his place. Feel better?"

She walked off to the other end of the platform.

That's what I like about Atlanta. In general, people pretty much don't tolerate open disdain of others for disabilities, race etc--at least in a public forum. Of course, it isn't perfect. But that made me feel proud to be part of the community today.

Anyway, take care all, I'll try to post again tomorrow :)


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Just a rant about how short life is.

Warning - I'm in a depressing space tonight.

I'm recovering from the shock and pain of losing a very dear friend. He was just 33. I have spent over a week now with crying jags that have left me wrung out like a sponge. It really drove home the fact that you can't put off life. And the part that really kills me was that his son was there when he died, and his son is so young and sweet. I can't imagine the pain and the guilt his son must feel at not being able to help his dad. It haunts me.

The big thing that made me desire to go ahead and take the big step to quit our steady government jobs and move to Atlanta was the fact that Claire started to have a fear of something happening and dying before should could ever realize her lifelong dream of being able to live--as Susan Stanton so perfectly puts it--an authentic life. As a volunteer firefighter, I certainly was keenly aware of the fleeting nature of life. Claire, who while in a law enforcement agency had to tend to gunshot victims, is also very realistic about it as well. It got to a point where an erratic driver or road rage incident would leave her really shaken.

That's why, in the space of a month, I steamrolled over her objections and found a new job that could cover our bills and moved us to Atlanta. I was tired of watching her have to play games - pretending to be someone else, hiding her true self, all until we could hit a magic spot of having paid off enough bills to survive her job loss if discovered. She would have done the same for me. Life is too short to hope for someday.

I have read a couple of books lately. Donna Rose's book Wrapped in Blue was the first one. We purchased it at SCC, and we bought, apparently, the last autographed copy that they had handy. She was there, but we didn't get to meet her. Jenny Boylan, on the other hand, was someone we did finally get to meet. She's as lovely and nice as she seems. But, I digress. Donna's book was great, but the story had parts that quite simply angered me.

See, I have a weakness. I really, really hate spiteful ex-partners. When I read about people that have a spouse turn violent or cruel simply because their partner faces the truth and deals with the big transgender weight on their soul, I get very angry. I get even angrier when I read of spouses using children as a weapon to hurt the trans partner. Unfortunately, as you know, that story is all too common. It seriously gets to me.

I understand that not everyone can deal with a trans partner the way I can. I do understand that. However, I can't stress enough that I just wish people could stop hurting each other over the trans issue. If you can't stay married, why be cruel?

I'll spare you my normal soapbox of why it is so damned important to start dealing with this before kids turn into adults and set themselves up for this sad story.

But the recent loss of this young, healthy, vibrant friend really shook me. I feel like I lost a brother. And in reading Donna's book--where she backpedals and pauses her transition--really made me wonder something. It made me wonder just how many people have put off transition hoping for the right time, for all the conditions to be perfect, or just because they fear the worst. I wonder how many of those have had something happen and never get to live their lives the way they should before they die.

I read Trans-sister Radio this week. It was a really good book. It is actually a novel, not a memoir. A good read, sensitive and respectful and also very warming, I have to say I couldn't put this one down. I love books that make me want my train ride to take even longer than normal. Anyway, I'd recommend this book. It was great.

Well, time to hit the bed.

Good night all, and make sure you tell your loved ones how much they mean to you every single day.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007


So Claire has had new hormone therapy now for a month (more on that later) and she's been definitely broadcasting different energy. We finally have her T knocked down to where it should be. I keep catching myself staring at her, realizing that she looks so lovely lately. She's happy, radiant, and just oozes femininity.

So, we go to Outback for lunch/dinner yesterday by a very friendly mall in Atlanta and we had a great time. After a lovely dinner, we both used the women's restroom together. It's the only place we've really been to where Claire has been comfortable walking into the women's restroom if it's more than a single stall kind of place. She's very self-conscious about being read in the women's room.

We headed over to the mall proper after dinner to look at bedding and clothes. We hit Sephora and were greeted at the door with "hello ladies" - which made Claire smile. Sephora was a bit uncomfortable for me because there's this energy of people wanting to put *gasp* makeup on you - something this tomboy will have to be wrestled into. But we had a good time looking around, and Claire had fun. At one point she found something Kiddo in Iraq might like, and I said "oh our daughter would just love that!". Oops. Way to give it away, Annie. :)

So we decide to head downstairs, and as we're walking to the stairs a man (pretty tall, and so is Claire) glanced over at us, then his eyes snapped back to Claire with an appraising look. I'll be damned if Claire didn't get her first flirting look from a guy.

And of course, she missed it.

Totally oblivious. Figures!

So, she didn't know whether to be tickled, flattered, appalled or any other emotion. In the end, she settled for what I hoped she would: pleased, delighted and very amused.

It was a good day :)

Well, we followed that up by doing nothing around the house today, except that I made some new jewelry. I'm working on bettering my silversmithing skills and getting more comfortable with a torch. I made a gorgeous ring with a huge ocean jasper stone. I'm keeping this one - I decided that I will keep all my first attempts both as history and to take the pressure out of the process. I also made a cool funky pendant mixing silver and copper. I'll see if Claire will take some pictures for me when I'm done.

Claire is working on her rank in the Halo 3 community. She was delighted to see that you can choose your gender in Halo now, and the emotes will be feminine if you choose female. You can also have pink armor, although she opted for a very cool brown. As for myself, I can't join in. I have simulator sickness with first person shooter games, and thus I'm out of Halo.

Well, time to head off to bed. I hope you have a lovely week.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Matthew Shepard Act Passes the Senate!

I'm sure you know, but hey, mainstream media wasn't carrying any notice of it. I still remember the day I read of his murder, of the brutality and senseless nature of the death of this lovely young man. It broke my heart then, and it still does every time his mother's name appears in my inbox as the Matthew Shepard Foundation pushes forward in this fight.

Hate crimes are a special breed of evil. But now, if Bush doesn't veto it, perhaps local law enforcement will have more resources to handle vicious polarizing crimes like these. But he has precedent in this - he was governor when James Byrd, Jr. was brutally murdered.

Remember James Byrd, Jr.? He was the man dragged to death in Texas in the late 90s. Three white supremacists beat him with a bat and then chained him behind a pickup truck and dragged him for 3 miles because they didn't like the color of his skin.

George W. Bush, governor at that time, stated his opposition to hate crime legislation and refused to attend Mr. Byrd's funeral. Thankfully, Governor Rick Perry fixed that situation in 2001 and passed the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act.

I noticed that both of my senators from Georgia decided to vote against the Matthew Shepard Act. I'm not surprised.

I truly hope Bush doesn't veto this. As my email from HRC stated today:
But even as we celebrate this victory – we know we face a tough road ahead. The bill has to survive final negotiations between the House and Senate before it gets to President Bush. Even then, he has threatened to veto it.

I guess we'll see. Don't forget to keep the pressure on and remember to thank those who did vote for it, and let them know how much it impacts the real people out here.

I also heard that ENDA may drop coverage for GID. I'm not really happy about that, but I guess if it passes without it at least my job will be protected. Silver lining, huh?

But anyway... on to a lighter note.

Kiddo emailed me from Iraq today. She's getting better dealing with the psychological trauma of being a combat medic in the thick of things, and has found herself with an ardent (read stalker) Iraqi admirer. Apparently he became smitten with her when she patched him up in the hospital. She's in good spirits though, and a tough little cookie. But she's still just such a little girl to me in so many ways.

I went to the hardware store today at lunch to get some of the fake stained glass adhesive window film, and I "accidentally" stumbled across the copper section in plumbing. Well, I saw all sorts of potential in some copper tubing and small copper bits that I can use in my jewelry. I adore copper and silver together. So, that's where I'll be tonight, in my studio hammering away with Claire rolling her eyes at me ;)

Wishing you all peace and love in memory of Matthew tonight. May you stay strong Judy, and thank you for all you've fought for.


So much catching up

Wow, I've just realized it's been a month since my last post. We've had so much going on. I'll tackle work this morning (before I head out to it).

Work: we're in the middle of a corporate restructuring at my new job (yay me!), so I've been in charge of migrating all the data from one area of the new company into our databases. It's been a lot of work and people are getting a little frayed at work. On a good note though, I've been told that my company has finished an investigation into the homophobic remarks at work and people have been spoken to. I still take precautions though, because I know that although the comments are gone, the attitudes are still there and probably festering now.

On a side note, I have Claire's picture up on my desk. Yesterday, a coworker walked by and saw it and asked...

Get ready...

"Is that your daughter?"

I told him that was my partner, and it was cute the way the light switched on. He picked up the picture, looked at her, and said "that's so cool." Heh.

Bastard. Do I look THAT OLD?

Of course, Claire thought it was *great*.

Ah well, I'm off to work. Have a great day everyone, I'll try to get back on track posting every few days, we have a lot to discuss.

In the meantime, go to HRC.ORG and get contact info for your elected officials, today is the vote for the hate crimes bill!


Monday, August 27, 2007

Homophobic outspoken coworkers suck.

This is a rant. You have been warned :)

My *ahem* very macho straight overcompensating *ahem* coworker insisted on loudly proclaiming his manliness by yet another gay bashing speech today near my office.

His rant, in a nutshell, was that gay people shouldn't display affection in public. It's perfectly okay for straight people to grope and slobber in plain view of the universe. Hand holding is okay for gays and lesbians though, so I guess I should be grateful for this magnanimous gesture on his part. I shall no longer need to feel ashamed to hold her hand!

Now, I had to stop and think - other than the PRIDE weekend - when was the last time I saw a gay or lesbian couple making out in public. Oh right... this morning. Wait, they were straight. Oh yeah, yesterday - oh wait. Straight too.

You know, I'm having trouble remembering even a single time that I have seen a gay or lesbian couple comfortable enough to kiss in a general public area. Yet, I see guys *groping* "their property" at the train station at least 3 times a week.

So, I argued for a minute - while another coworker stood there looking like he didn't know what to say - and then when he reiterated that only straight people have the right to kiss in public, and that he'd never forgive Disney for subjecting poor innocent straight families to Gay Day, well, I just turned my back to him, put my headphones on, and just dismissed the conversation.

I hope my manager heard this trash. I'm so sick of having to hear this at work.


I feel somewhat better now. Thanks for listening :)


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Banking on Change

Well, I have to say that Bank of America has restored my faith in their institution. As of today, Claire's name is officially Claire in their records, and they have made sure the employee that seriously crossed the line a few days ago now understands that trans customers shall be addressed with respect and the appropriate pronouns. To be continually addressed as 'he', 'him' etc for 30 solid minutes while dressed as a female--despite repeated pleas by me and Claire to say 'she'--was simply intolerable. To inquire as to a transgender customer's surgical status after a request to use the right pronoun was just unspeakable. We were ready to close our accounts and leave, seriously disappointed.

I will say this: Bank of America reacted quickly when informed of this situation. They escalated the problem immediately and went above and beyond to make sure we knew we were welcomed and valued customers of BoA. The employee that this case was escalated to came in on his day off--he had given me his personal cell phone number and told me to call when we were on our way in so he could leave home and meet us. We were treated wonderfully by the manager at the bank as well, and all is good with BoA.

We really appreciate the fact that this was something they were not aware of (this employee's attitude) and that they really went to great lengths to correct our experience. So, LGBT community take heed: Bank of America really does believe in their policies. They have my business for a very long time to come with the respect, kindness and professionalism they showed today.

Claire was so happy to come home today, log into her BoA account and be greeted with "Claire". We have new checks on the way in the names of Annie and Claire. In a couple of weeks, her new debit card with picture will arrive. I plan on making her buy me dinner with her own debit card as soon as she gets it. Hey, it comes out of the same bank account, so I don't feel bad making her buy ;)

Claire has an endo appt Friday. The fun part about being in transition is the fact that insurance doesn't cover trans stuff. So, the endo will be about $450 out of pocket, added to the out of pocket hormone therapy. I hope we get to the point someday where we can move transgender treatment out of the shadows and make insurance companies cover transgender issues. Hopefully the endo will up the spiro dose and maybe adjust the estrogen up a tad.

When you add the extra cost of transitioning as a permanent resident into the mix, you have about $1000 in costs just to change your name--it costs almost $400 just to change your name with immigration alone. I do wonder how people do this that make minimum wage or pay child support. The expenses just add up. Please don't misunderstand, I don't regret or resent any dollar spent towards transition. I just wish something better was in place to make it easier for people like 18 year old kids with no parental support to do this.

Laser hair removal is one week away and Claire is starting to stress a bit over it.
Thank god the doc prescribed her some Xanax. It really does help control the overwhelming and crippling anxiety that still occasionally grabs hold of her. She's come a tremendous way since beginning transition - facing her demon of severe doctor anxiety. I'm proud of her. I know laser treatment for her is painful as hell, and I feel so sorry for everyone that must undergo this and electrolysis. It just makes it so important that we get this society to a point where parents can understand that this is a valid condition and stop the wrong hormones in puberty. I'd love for us to get to a point where FTMs no longer have to face mastectomies and MTFs no longer have the ravages of testosterone to undo.

SCC (Southern Comfort Conference) is around the corner. I'm pretty excited at connecting with the community and experiencing the seminars. Should be a great time :)

Kiddo is now in Iraq, and on her way to her permanent station over there after spending a week in Kuwait. I had a complete meltdown at work last Friday--the day she boarded the plane in America to deploy. Thank god that there are some really wonderful people I work with, particularly B. and E. that checked on me throughout the day and made every effort to use humor and hugs to get me through the day. It's tough having a kid going to Iraq right now, but I'm back to coping anyway.

Well, I have a whole lot more to say, but it's after midnight and I'm worn out from a long day. I'll try to get on to post again tomorrow.

Peace, love and equality,


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Tears of a clown

So, the last week has been a fairly tough one, well I am the one posting .. I received my name change documents from the UK, made them legal by having my signature witnessed etc.

So we thought we would go and get my drivers license updated with the new name, shouldn't be too hard right? wrong. After waiting about 20 minutes for the girl helping us to find a supervisor who could help even more, we were told that they have no clue what a deed poll is and that they couldn't help us. The supervisor did forward the details to "legal", one week later we are still waiting.

Then we went to our bank for another simple procedure, change the name on the account from X to Y, easy right ..nope wrong again. You havn't played this game before have you? :) I can't do the whole story justice so I will let Annie when she feels up to it. Needless to say Bank of America (oops, did I print that out loud?) who supposedly gets a 100 on the HRC equality index, will be losing our accounts if I have my way.

This week our baby shipped out to Iraq, she's a combat medic and probably the sweetest, most loving, dumb ass teenager out there. But she's our baby. Emotions have been running high, good or bad my old habit of blocking emotions has helped me not lose it this week ... or did they, that power is fading, thankfully. I cannot take being emotionally dead anymore.

Last week I also signed up for one of those reunion sites to see if anyone I knew from school was around, well I found my sister. We havn't spoken for probably about 20 years (very long story, and probably not for here). I left a message saying Hi. Almost a week later and got nothing back, so figured ok, that's that then, I tried.
2 days ago I got an email back, she had been out of the country and was happy I contacted her. I then had the problem of deciding whether to tell her about "the real me" or not. In the end I decided what the hell, nothing more to lose, if she doesn't like it, I can always add her to junk email list.

I sent her to the very first post I made on here, so the words came across correctly. I received the following reply.

"ok i have read it ,and is claire you,,well if it is ,you are and always will be my brother things were never easy and if it is you,i look forward to having a sister ,im a little confused whether it is you or not ,,,but if it is please don't think i will turn my back on you ,we have missed out on each others life for far too long so either way ill always be here for you"

She's out for the weekend and said she would email again next week. I don't know how I feel about this. On one hand it could mean I have some of the "old family" again but on the other it could end up with me being hurt again and I do not want to go into the black void I used to be in.

It's almost 1am and it maybe time for a Xanax, maybe I'll add some more to this later.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Claire's official name change document is at Stansted Airport in the UK. We should have it in hand Monday morning. It's called a Deed Poll. Strange name, huh?

It's a holy crap kind of moment. It feels kind of surreal. "James" is now completely gone in "his" country of birth.

Is it bad to say I don't really remember "him" much? I mean, it is who I fell in love with, so I guess I should feel some little pang at least of loss. But I don't. Claire is just Claire. She's not ex-James, just herself. All I feel is a relief that the wait for this is over. Come what may, the deed is done. Immigration has assured us no backlash on this, but if it happens, it's done now. I'm not afraid :) Bring it on. It was worth moving to Atlanta to do this and let her break out of her holding pattern and really move on to her new life.

The only thing that has me shaking my head is the absolute breach of protocol Claire has done.

Took pills and grew boobs? Heh. No biggie.

Changed gender? Nah, no problem.

Picked the name Claire (from Breakfast Club, remember Molly Ringwald's character? I was Ally Sheedy's character mixed with Anthony Michael Hall's character in real life in school BTW)? Not the name I would have picked for myself, but no... that's not it...

She has No Middle Name!

She's Claire NMI Rushden

She said she did it because she doesn't want me using all 3 names when I'm mad, But I've informed her that she is now Claire Enemi (NMI) Rushden! when she runs afoul of my laws.


Seriously though, it's really freaking cool that her new name is getting on an airplane. Beats begging a judge for permission to change it, doesn't it?

Oh yeah, and let the "Just Claire 2007" jokes begin. (Will and Grace fans will get this)


She's officially Claire!

Claire received an email from the UK today telling her that her official name change documents will be fedexed today.



Thursday, August 2, 2007

SCC and how to live life as a happy trans partner

It looks like I will be able to get the Friday off for the Southern Comfort conference here. I've heard that there will be a couple of people speaking that I would love to meet, so I am really looking forward to it. I would love to talk to the activists that will be there, and would really love to attend the reading that Jennifer Boylan will give. The job fair should be great and I know Claire is looking forward to the marketplace.


I received another email a few days ago from a partner that had just realized that her spouse was trans. She was struggling to find a reason for it, and grappling with the shock and reality of what staying together will mean on her part. I am asked quite often how to deal with this issue in a positive light. I would like to give some advice to partners that are in this situation. These are my thoughts, and perhaps sharing my ideals might help you realize how I came to be the way I am.

* Be kind, step back, take a deep breath and try to empathize. Talk and find out just what your spouse has been dealing with all these years. Again, be kind.

* Realize that the hiding that has been done has not been on purpose to lie to you. It is most likely the fact that they have been deluding themselves that they could hide it forever and live a normal life. They only break down and tell when they give out trying to hide anymore.

* Realize that the physical appearance you fall in love when you meet is fleeting and degrades with age. You will have changes in your body, and your spouse in his/hers. If a relationship is only about looks, perhaps your relationship isn't strong enough to last the test of time anyway. If you are married to the soul inside the body, then that is what will last.

* Realize that a soulmate, a true love, is very rare. There are many women living with abusers, with drunks, with philanderers. If your spouse is a truly decent person, perhaps you should try to make the journey with them. You have nothing to lose if you try.

* Realize that you can't live your life worrying what others think. If your self-worth is tied into who you can be friends with and what groups you can be in, then you probably won't stand a chance.

* Realize that there will be awkward issues with sex. Again, empathize and be creative. Perhaps if you simply can't deal with the idea of exploration, then maybe a marriage without sex is an option. If you can handle the idea of snuggling and you're married to your soulmate, talk and compromise. There have been many people that transition and keep a marriage together, and not all of them have sex, just like there are several non-trans couples that eventually become platonic and still deeply in love. Ask yourself what you would do if your partner became impotent and the trans issue was never there, would it be a deal-breaker? If not, look deep and see if you can try to stay together.

* Realize that if you're willing to take a risk, to try a journey that will definitely be an experience in life, if you're willing to dig deep and understand, then perhaps you can find a happy balance and a joyous life.

* Again, if you stay, be gentle and kind. Transition is scary as hell, and there will be moments where you may get annoyed if your partner is self-centered and fascinated at changes in their body. Remember back to puberty when you experienced the same thrill, and realize that it won't last forever.

* Communicate constantly.

* Most importantly, if you don't stay together, be kind. Realize that this is not something your partner wished for. It is something they've hidden to try to spare you pain and to stay together. Please don't use children as a weapon. Set an example for them of being compassionate and understanding.

Have a good night everyone,


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A gigantic step

One of the big hurdles for us has been not being able to change Claire's name legally. Claire is a permanent resident, and she received her PR based on marriage over 6 years ago. We were afraid to do anything before getting citizenship which Claire isn't sure she wants to do yet. You must renounce your birth country to get American citizenship; you can't be a dual citizen. We were afraid that immigration would nullify the PR and kick her back to the UK.

After speaking with NCLR we were informed that they would really not have a strong case for deportation because the marriage was valid. But still, the worry remained. If we changed her name, what WOULD happen? NCLR's attorney that helped us said that there was no case on record like ours, so we would be a first if it happened and they tried to deport her.

But today I called immigration (from a phone not traceable to me, just in case) and spoke with them. They said that she has nothing to worry about and can change her name. If she wants a new card, though, she must pay $370 for one.

So my beloved Claire finally put in for a name change in her home country. She could never decide on a middle name so she decided to go without. Now we wait and see if it goes through. If it does, then her name will legally change and we won't have to go through the painful process of publishing in the newspaper for 4 weeks and then going before a judge. So here's hoping!

It's been pretty crazy here in Atlanta. My new job is going well but I have a lot to handle and my manager is on a vacation, so I'm in a sink or swim situation. Thankfully I'm keeping my head above water still, although I do have a good bit of water up my nose ;)

I'm dealing with a bit of a situation with a homophobic coworker right now, but I'll post more about that tomorrow hopefully. I have a lot to catch up on!


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Atlanta Pride

We were very excited about Pride. This was to be the first time that either one of us had ever attended a Pride celebration, although we wanted to attend the one last year where we lived. Unfortunately, security for the one where we lived was being handled by Claire's off-duty coworkers, so attending would definitely have been bad for not getting discovered.

All week we planned our weekend. I saw an ad on the corporate TV channel that we were having a float, booth and raffle during the parade. I emailed our liaison and asked what time we should be at the parade if we wanted to be on the float. The parade was on Sunday, so we figured we would see how Saturday went and play it by ear.

Saturday morning rolled around, finally, and we got ready to go. Now Claire is still pretty new about being out fully as Claire. Before we moved, she had just started to really feel comfortable going out in androgynous dress. Now she's working on going out totally en femme, using DermaBlend to cover the shadow of facial hair that she is working on removing.

We drove over to Piedmont Park and passed by OutWrite bookstore. Much to our chagrin, amongst the city sponsored banners hung from the lightposts and the masses of people obviously on their way to the park, were people with signs damning us all to hell. When we finally arrived at the 12th street entrance to Piedmont Park, there were people screaming in bullhorns preaching that we were all sinners. As people were stopped at the light at the corner, they would blow the horn in their car nonstop to drown them out. Although it wasn't fun for our ears to be caught in the noise crossfire, it sure was funny as hell.

We entered the park and looked around. People holding hands without shame or worrying about being observed, just relaxing and being comfortable in their own relationships. It was fantastic. Hot as could be, but fantastic. We had a pretty good time walking around looking at the booths. Finally, I saw the booth for my employer. Claire and I had discussed not disclosing our situation yet because I'm in a contract to hire position right now. I kind of want to get the feel for my coworkers and make sure there isn't a problem. So we had pretty much decided against participating in the parade this year.

So, we approach the booth and I decide I will at least speak to the liaison, since he knew my name and asked me to stop by. He works in a different part of the company, so I wanted to meet him. Imagine my surprise when one of the people there said, "Hey, I know you! You work in my department!" Yup. I was now officially out at work. Didn't get to meet the liaison, but I did discover that someone that sits about 5 rows away from me in my cubicle farm was part of the volunteer team for Pride. For the record, he's a super nice guy. Claire and I had a giggle about it and went to find some lunch.

We ordered some food and Claire went to find a shady spot while I went in search of some soda. As I'm walking the rows of vendors trying to find something to drink, I hear my name being called. I dismissed it at first, thinking surely nobody knows me here. But it got more insistent, so I turned around and saw another coworker, my next door neighbor in the cubicle farm. "B" was someone I had actually worked with already at the new job, and I had thought he was really nice. Just the day before, he had commented on my wedding ring - the soulmate ring we bought from the HRC site for our anniversary. Now I understood why it caught his eye. What didn't make sense for a moment was that he was sitting next to his wife, then I noticed they both had matching LAMBDA Legal shirts on.

I walked over and said hello, and he remarked that he definitely didn't expect to see me at the festival. I figured the game was up, so I just told him the truth. His wife explained their reason for being there: both of their children are gay. He told me to go grab Claire and come eat with them on the steps, which they assured me were the coolest spot around. I did so, and as we came back over, "B" laughed and said it must be meant to be, because the head of the transgender veteran's group was talking to them. He introduced us to her and we talked for a few minutes before she had to leave.

We sat for a bit and discussed different groups to volunteer with in Atlanta, and I really felt great about the good fortune of meeting up with them at the park. After lunch, we went our separate ways and we walked around some more. I'd love to say the rest of the day was great, but there were a couple of surprises in store for us.

First, we had seen a booth for Piedmont Hospital, touting the physicians that were comfortable with LGBT patients. They had told us to stop by after lunch and actually meet the doctors. When we caught the one doctor there, a woman, we explained our search for a general practitioner that would be comfortable with a patient on hormones going through transition. Her reaction surprised us. Not only did she express that she knew nothing about it, but when she called her fellow doctor (who's life partner was helping to man the booth), he told her that he wouldn't be good for us either. She told us that actually, what we needed was to go to an AIDs clinic for our everyday physician needs. When we said we didn't need an AIDs clinic, we just wanted a regular doctor, she again told us that the AIDs clinic was our best bet. So, needless to say that neither Piedmont Hospital nor its family physicians will ever be seeing us.

So, we pick ourselves up from that encounter and press on, having a fairly good time, when we get to the Macy's booth. I walk up to see what they have and the girl hands me a perfume strip to try out and asks me to hold on for a moment. So, we stand there for a minute and she comes back and in a loud voice says "Here's one for HIM," trying to hand one to Claire. She did this to someone that had taken a lot of care to try to present as feminine as she could, was wearing a purse across her chest that definitely accentuated the fact that she had breasts, and was definitely in full out girl mode. I intercepted her hand and said something like "What do you think you're DOING?" Claire and I walked away, determined to never shop at Macy's if that's how they treat transgendered people at a Pride festival.

As we were leaving the festival, we were talking about it, and wondering why the girl from Macy's would do such a thing, when we passed someone (MtF) talking about undergoing transition and taking hormones, dressed in female clothes, but looked like they hadn't shaved in a couple of days. It was hard to grasp that even though Claire went to great pains to look as feminine as she could right now--cute girly top, girl jeans, girly tennis shoes, jewelry, makeup, the whole 9 yards--she was still treated with less respect at the Macy's booth than the person who made no effort was being treated.

All in all though, it was a great experience. Unfortunately, Claire's blood pressure tanked a bit from all the heat and dehydration (despite drinking water) and hadn't recovered enough to risk the 98 degree heat for the parade. We made a lot of good connections, met some great people, and realized that we made the right choice moving here for now.

But yeah, I don't shop at Macy's anymore. :)

Peace, Love and Happiness,


Monday, July 2, 2007

So much to catch up on

It's been a whirlwind here. I find myself exhausted right now, and it's hard to sit down and write when there are so many things in chaos still. We still have so many boxes to unpack, and weekend activities have pretty much kept me wiped out and busy. I'll attempt to catch up on what we've been doing over the next couple of nights.

First, we finally made our way to Charis Bookstore while they were open the weekend of the 16th. What a lovely little shop. It's quite different from OutWrite, although they both have their charms. Charis is a nice little bookstore that caters to the feminist. We found some great books there and took one home with us. It's quiet and relaxing, and they have a nice single person bathroom--which is very comfortable for Claire right now. The two shopkeepers were so gracious and helpful and gave us lots of advice about the area. They had a busy week planned for the Atlanta Pride festival.

We were starving when we left Charis, and Claire wasn't feeling up to heading across the street to Little 5 Points yet. It was quite busy with some sort of arts festival. So we hopped in the car and headed over to Edgewood Shopping Center and had some lunch at a little Italian place. I have to giggle at the thought that Claire can be so funny about what makes her nervous. Walking around in a notoriously gay-friendly little village (Little 5 Points) causes anxiety, yet going into Home Depot or a mainstream restaurant in broad daylight in a "normal" shopping center is okay. The day I figure her out, I'll let you know. Until then, I remain mystified.

Over the next few days, we went several mainstream places together: Target, Lowes, Home Depot, and Publix. Claire doesn't go out as "CJ" anymore, now it's out as "Claire" or nothing. It's very cool, because I know she needs to get comfortable as her true self. I haven't had to utter the "other" name for almost four weeks, and I finally feel like my split personality is fading *grin*.

Our Amityville Horror house has been chilling out a little. We don't have as many bug issues now, down to a manageable 2-3 bugs a day that have to be terminated, and the house now has more insulation in the roof (oh, what a story I have about that process) . I'll stop here for the night and pick up with our experience at Pride tomorrow night. I'll also tell you why I'm now boycotting Macy's and Piedmont Hospital.

Oh, and by the way - Atlanta has a phone book called the Gay Yellow Pages. Every business in the book is either gay owned/operated or gay friendly. We also have a gay and lesbian chamber of commerce. How cool is that?

Peace, Love and Happiness,


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Such an exciting day

Today was Claire's first full day en femme in Atlanta.

We started out the day by getting dressed to go to the zoo. The first thing we decided was to buy an annual pass ($79 get two people admission for a year) and we had to deal with the policy that they normally have in place - you must show picture ID with your membership card. So I spoke to them and showed them the letter from the therapist stating that James is undergoing transition and should be addressed as Claire and treated with all the normal protocol afforded to a natal female. Because Claire can't change her name legally yet (other paperwork is pending with the government) she has all male picture IDs. They were very gracious and said just show the letter with the card until the people that work the membership area get to know her. Thus, she now has a zoo membership card coming in her name. Very exciting. The zoo itself isn't the best zoo, but it is a good place for her to get comfortable in a crowd.

We had a pretty good time, and only got a couple of stares. Claire is about 6'5", so she's a very tall woman. She has a slight build, and she's pretty passable. Most people don't even notice her. But some do, and they see the heavy makeup (dermablend) required to hide that damn black hair on her face. We're going to have to find a MAC counter and see if they have anything that will do a better job. But for the most part, I would stand back and observe passers-by, and what I saw was that 99% of the people paid no notice to my 6'5" beloved. The remaining ones that did--all but 3 of them just glanced and moved on. Nobody was nasty, thankfully.

From there, we came home, touched up makeup, used the restroom and headed back out to Kohl's. Talk about jumping in with both feet. Claire was amazing today. My very brave girl mingled with the people in Kohl's, got some cute clothes, and only had one family act up. Just nudges and whispers, but I thought it might take the wind out of Claire's sails. Thankfully, I was wrong. Claire really started to believe in herself today, and it showed. She didn't care what people thought about her, she just went about her business today as the fabulous woman she is. I do have to say, that the employees in Kohl's were fabulous. We dealt closely with 3 of them, and if they noticed anything, they didn't let on.

We ran into CVS to grab some nail repair stuff. A pretty uneventful excursion, we saw no reactions at all.

Back to the house we went, to have a late lunch, feed the puppies, let Claire have a quick shave and a reapplication of makeup, and off we went again. This time we went back to the Outwrite bookstore. We both had a lovely cappuccino and we split a banana nut muffin. After that, we jumped back in the car and headed to PetSmart. We interacted with a store employee, browsed around, Claire used the women's room, and some young punk guy nudged his girlfriend and whispered to her about Claire. Claire just held her head high and shot him a look that basically let him know he was a small-minded jerk. We walked right by him and he wouldn't look at us. We paid and left, and Claire was just doing fantastic.

After that, we cruised over to Little 5 Points and checked out the shops. The other bookstore we wanted to check out--Charis Books--was closed, so we grabbed some Mexican food and headed home. Hopefully, we can hit the bookstore tomorrow. We have it on good authority that it's a really cool bookstore if you're trans.

All in all, Claire had a great first really full day in the general population as herself. Starting to live full time before beard removal has had sufficient time to work may not be all that easy, but staying home and being a housewife certainly takes the pressure off right now. As for me, I'm just thrilled watching my sweetheart take these steps and build her confidence. I had a priceless day with her, and it made all the hassle of moving to Atlanta so very worth it.

She's tempting me away from the computer with Dove ice cream, so I must go. Can't say no to Dove, ya know.

Peace, Love, and Inspiration,

ps - if you're going to Atlanta Pride, drop me an email!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Long week :)

Well, the chaos is subsiding and it looks like life might be finally settling down. I have to say we're loving Atlanta. Claire was able to go out en femme tonight - complete with using a pushup bra with her own physique instead of using breast forms as augmentation. This was a huge first time experience. We had a lovely evening, including going to the Outwrite Bookstore and getting a new book (Head over Heels). Claire's energy is changing and the constant tension she was carrying is finally dissipating.

We drove by the Star Bar, where apparently Twinkledome was happening tonight, but decided to stay a little low key tonight. So instead, we hit a quiet Starbucks in Little 5 Points, which promptly filled up with people. Claire was a little nervous at first, having really only ever gone to LGBT friendly places en femme before, but when nobody gave her a second look she settled in.

After Starbucks, we drove over to Barnes and Noble, just to walk around for a few minutes in another general public place. Again, nobody gave Claire a second look.

Tomorrow we plan on hitting the zoo. We had planned on buying a year's membership, but we found out that you have to present your card plus an ID when you get in. The only picture IDs Claire has are in the name of James with a male picture. So we're going to talk to a manager tomorrow and see if there is anything they can do, as Claire really wants a membership in the name Claire, as we were planning on the zoo being a safe place to go for outings for Claire to practice her photography skills.

After the zoo tomorrow, we're planning on coming home for a bit, then heading back out for coffee again and more just being out in public time. I'm looking forward to it, because I love being out with her in our own town and not having to hide.

Peace, Love and Equality,


Sunday, June 10, 2007

We're here!

So, I'd love to be able to share how easy and wonderful our move is with everyone. But...


I have never rented a place sight unseen before, but this place looked great in pictures. So, we went ahead and rented it since I didn't have time to travel up to look at it first. So after many little glitches, we hit the road to Atlanta. We arrived in Decatur and pulled up to our new home. The landlord is a realtor, so he left the key in a lockbox for us, so we grabbed the key and went inside.

We walked into our lovely new kitchen and realized we weren't alone. Apparently we had about 200 roommates, swarming all over the kitchen. Yup. Roaches. Now, I've lived in houses that had an occasional roach, sometimes it's just unavoidable. But this... well... oh my god.

The bathroom mirror harbored a colony of the little guys. And the tub -- ants.

Oh, and of course, now we're in a new town 4 hours from our old home, and the movers are on the way with our stuff. There's not a whole slew of options at 6pm on a Friday.

Oh, and yes... the air conditioning. The a/c was broken. 98 degrees, no air, and roaches. Yup, Atlanta was starting out great!

So the landlord came over, and told us he'd hired a company to clean and do pest control, and was unaware of the problems. He offered to split a hotel room 50/50 with us for the night, and is getting an HVAC guy here tomorrow hopefully. He did buy a bunch of pest control sprays and we put those down immediately as we waited for the moving company to show up. They arrived 2 hours late, and one of the guys smelled of booze.

So now, it was 10 pm Friday, we're in Atlanta and no way in hell were we spending the night in our new home. So we ask the landlord what a good hotel to hit was. He recommends a Holiday Inn near Turner Field. So, you would think the night would get better, right? Romantic, quiet evening in a nice hotel.

You'd be wrong.

Yes, we stayed next to Turner Field on the night of a Braves game.

Until midnight, people screamed, banged on doors and sounded like they were going to rip them from their hinges. We finally fell asleep at midnight, and at 12:30am our phone rang. Guest Services wanted to know if we'd ORDERED a PIZZA. I was not a pleasant person to this employee.

So, I finally fall back asleep around 1, and have to get up at 6 to get back to the house and get ready to go to the airport to catch my flight back to Savannah, get my SUV, finish cleaning my old place and drive to get my 2 german shepherds and drive them up. Four hours in an SUV with two wound up german shepherds is not fun. It's even less fun driving on I-20 in Atlanta with shepherds rocking the SUV. But, we made it. The dogs fell in love with their new backyard.

When I got here yesterday it was about 98 degrees outside and poor Claire has been cooking. Aldactone drops your blood pressure and hers is low anyway, so she had to be very careful to stay hydrated. She says she lost 2 pounds in sweat yesterday.

I sprayed the hell out of the house with some strong perimeter spray and for the most part I think we have most of the roach problem in hand. So we stayed here. We pulled our bed into the center of the room so it wasn't touching any walls and made sure no blankets touched the floor. I sprayed a big square around us and had a giggle thinking that it was akin to a pagan ceremony. Then we laid there and slept very lightly -- waking every so often and eyeballing the ceiling. Yes, we left the lights on!

My Galaxie was delivered in one piece thankfully :)

So now I sit here sweating in my new home. I don't see any roaches but my bathtub is filled with dead ants. I don't know where my clothes are for my first day tomorrow and I'm absolutely wiped out.

I have to say that poor stressed out little Claire is handling all this bug stuff with tremendous grace. I wish her start in Atlanta could have been easier, but I think that once we get the problems sorted out here it will be a nice little house for us. I did have a lovely morning drinking coffee on the huge deck watching the pups play. We're planning on doing that for breakfast tomorrow.

Here's hoping I won't get lost and I'll be able to catch the MARTA train with no glitches.

Thanks for all the emails and PMs everyone sent! I'll keep you posted.


Thursday, June 7, 2007

T minus 1

Today is the last visit to the chiropractor (and great friend) Dr. T - a really tough goodbye. After that, we head on to our friend Ted's hair salon, where Claire will be getting her first 'official' girl haircut. She's also going to get her eyebrows touched up - better her than me lol ;) Another really tough goodbye. We tried to drop some flowers off to our regular doctor, who has been overseeing Claire's hormone therapy, but her office was closed yesterday.

After that, a quick lunch with my son and back to finish packing the house. Our antique Galaxie should be on a car carrier by that time and headed back to Atlanta, the city where she was manufactured.

Tonight, the dogs go to a boarding facility to wait out our move. I fly back Saturday morning to pick up my SUV and haul them up from Savannah to Atlanta. 4 hours with 2 german shepherds in close quarters... whew. Fun.

Tomorrow at around 9am we have to be ready to go, as the movers will be arriving. They should be done packing us up around 1-2pm and then we'll be on our way to a transgender friendly city. I'm really excited at the idea of Claire having the pressure off of her to pretend to be someone she isn't. This will give her some time to work on her voice, figure out what career she really wants and just settle in to her proper identity.

On a somewhat related note: today at 10:45am, Steve Stanton officially becomes Susan Ashley Stanton. I hope she has a great day to celebrate her officially shedding the wrong identity and embracing her proper one.

Cable gets shut off today, so we'll be back online by Monday hopefully.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Of goodbyes and empty offices...

Today was my last day at the county and Claire's last day at her agency. I feel so torn between sorrow of leaving friends and excitement about starting our new life. I leave behind a couple of really close friends and quite a few more really great people that have been so wonderful to be around. Leaving the courthouse today was like running the gauntlet, people demanding hugs and wishing us all the best in Atlanta. My best buddy Brian was definitely hard to say goodbye to. He's been a great friend to us, and has known about Claire's condition for months. Frances, my wonderful friend, embroidered a gorgeous present for Claire: a magnet with the "Put on your big girl panties and deal with it" phrase and her wishes for a successful and happy life as Claire in Atlanta.

We put the real reason for our leaving on our exit interviews, so I'm sure our workplace will be buzzing with the news by tomorrow.

I'm off to go pack. Cable keeps cutting in and out so I better get busy ;)

Peace, love and happiness,


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Of landlords and bunker gear...

We were approved for our house in Atlanta. We're pretty excited, because it has a huge deck and backyard for the puppies. We have the movers booked, and I'm trying to sell 3 cars in 2 weeks. Hopefully I'll succeed :)

I turned in my bunker gear tonight as my final act with the fire department. Of course, I was asked if I'm leaving my search dogs. Sometimes it's tempting -- when they're being crazy. But my K-9 would go on a hunger strike if I left him, so as much as I hate leaving the department with no search dogs, he's coming with us.

As I was getting ready to go, my fire chief walked over to me. Now, my chief is a bit different. He's a brilliant engineer with a very quiet but twisted sense of humor. Most people don't get him, but I do. I have the greatest respect for him. So anyway, he walked over to me and I said "Hi Chief." He just looked at me, gave a crooked sad smile and a slight shake of his head, walked up, grabbed my head and gave me a noogie. Yup, you read that right. In front of half the department, my chief saluted my leaving with the ultimate juvenile gesture. He then quietly walked off as I laughed and said "Thank you Sir!" and saluted. I couldn't have asked for a more touching send off from a really good guy. I know some of the new guys might not have understood why I was so touched by the gesture, but the old timers sure did.

I was glad I'd said all my other goodbyes, because after that I walked away from the group--past the tankers and engines idling along the road of the training site--to my truck, hiding the tears that streamed down my face.

Stay safe, my awesome brothers. You've been so great.

I'm 10-42.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Office Space

So we took a break from packing to watch a television show, and what was on? Office Space,a movie I have watched so many times I have lost count.

So Claire is sitting there snickering because she's pointing out I'm going back to the land of cubicles.

At least I have a red Swingline stapler. :)

Packing packing packing...

Ugh. I hate packing! But, we're having fun, or at least I'm telling myself that :)

Hopefully, our application for a place a couple of miles from East Atlanta and Little 5 Points in Decatur will be approved. The house is a little bit smaller than now but the yard is huge and I think the dogs will love it. There is also a huge deck that I can see Claire and the puppies hanging out on during the day.

Well the taskmaster--I mean Claire--is cracking the whip, so I must go pack some more.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

(re)Meet the Parents

Better late than never - I want to share our experience Mother's Day weekend.

Friday, Claire and I packed our bags, dropped the dogs at the vet and set off on a journey that was scaring the hell out of Claire. We were going to Florida to hang with family. My dad was about to meet the real Claire. So were my 2 aunts, my uncle and my grandmother.


Everyone has known since before Christmas. We've sent photos. Mom and my sister were up here to visit, so Mom was a known reaction. But Claire was stressed out. How would people react? Should she visit Grandma, aunts and uncle as Claire or in androgynous mode? What about Dad, would he want to call her Claire or CJ? Would they want to go out somewhere with Claire?

So we left home. Driving down the road, an hour into the trip, my beloved--in a fine mood to begin with and dressed androgynously to ease the restroom stops--cussed loudly. She'd forgotten something. Something quite important. Mainly, breast forms to help augment her growing figure. To say she was unhappy is an understatement.

No, she didn't want to go home. But maybe she did. She was pretty upset and for about 30 miles we went back and forth on whether to go back for them. We finally decided we would improvise when we got down there. She said that she wasn't used to going somewhere with them without actually wearing them.

We got down to Tampa and settled in with Mom. Dad came home a bit later and we had a nice evening. The next day, Mom, Claire (in androgynous mode as 'CJ') and I went shopping and tried to find a replacement for the missing bra and padding. We had a lovely time. We went back to my parents' house and Claire and I wrestled Mom's 2 dogs into getting portraits taken. At the same time, Claire also took a portrait of my sister's dog, who was boarding with Mom while my sister took her baby to visit the other grandparents. We developed the portraits into 8x10s and Claire presented Mom with the pictures, thrilling her beyond belief. So, with my earrings I made for Mom and Claire's pet portraits, Mom had a great Mother's Day.

Mom and I went out shopping at Midnight with her two sisters to get my grandma a new garden swing. While we were out, Claire crashed at the house exhausted. My aunts expressed worry about messing up the next day with pronouns, etc. I assured them that Claire didn't care if they slipped, and that she was more nervous than them. I grabbed a bouquet of flowers for Claire and when we got home I put them in a vase and left them on the nightstand next to her as a Mother's Day present.

Sunday morning we decided it was time for Claire to actually dress the part and go meet the rest of the family en femme. When we got over to grandma's house, we discovered that my uncle was there too (we hadn't expected that) so that was a bit of a shock. Everything went pretty smoothly, and we found out that the cover of the St. Pete Times was graced with the picture of Susan Stanton in her debut to the world as a woman. My aunts wanted Claire to take portraits of their dogs, so Miss Pet Photographer was busy. She got a couple of really cute pictures and made my aunts very happy girls.

On our way home, we stopped at CVS to print out Claire's puppy pictures. We actually walked into CVS before remembering that Claire was dressed en femme. It was just so natural. It felt great to just be out--me, Mom and Claire.

When we got home, the three of us sat back and scarfed down some Olive Garden takeout and my dad walked in. Claire was still fully dressed up, wig and all, and dad just looked and smiled, grabbed his food and settled into a normal routine.

It was all in all a fantastic weekend for all involved. Claire was a hit, and really settled into being her true self. I had a great time being with her, and it really just reinforced how important it would be right now to be on the path we are - moving to Atlanta and letting her at least stop living part time as James. At least now she can be CJ (the androgynous one) and Claire instead of being James and being too scared to dress up and go anywhere within an hour of home.

I have had it reinforced just how much my family amazes me. From my 80 year old grandmother telling Claire "make yourself at home sweetie", to my aunts for being so incredibly wonderful and using all the right pronouns and names, to my uncle for not even batting an eye, mom for running around town with us and not even thinking twice, to dad for being so supportive as well, they are a great family and I'm so proud we have them.

Peace, love and happiness,


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Back from interviews

Well, it's official. I have a job offer from Atlanta.

We have to move in two weeks. Can we say stressed out girls here?

We're trying to find a place to rent by using craigslist and rentlist.net, but it's hard when you can't be there to walk through the neighborhoods. If anyone knows anything about East Point, Marietta or Decatur in general, let me know :D

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The meaning of a heavy heart

(I have so many half written posts, I'll get back to posting daily once this trip is over)

Tonight is the first night Claire and I have spent apart in a very long time. I am in Atlanta tonight preparing for interviews tomorrow. If I get the job I hope to get tomorrow morning, Claire will be able to transition now because I will be making enough for both of us to live on while she establishes herself in her new identity. I drove around and visited a couple of rental houses here, imagining Claire staying at home and playing housewife for a while as she decides and experiments with what she really would like to do for a career.

As I left the house today, I realized something. I am in my late 30s, and have been in a few relationships. I always enjoyed being sent out of town on business or for any reason at all so I could have some alone time. Honestly, when "James" was working nights, I hated it but kind of enjoyed the break from what could be a tense time due to "his" depression.

But today... oh today.

I went to leave and realized that the idea of driving across a state and spending the night without her just plain hurt. I've never felt this with anyone before. It was nice to realize that the sadness I felt on driving away was a true testament to how very strong our marriage is, but I felt tears well up as I drove off.

Six years of marriage. A few hundred miles. And my heart felt like it weighed 40 pounds in my chest as I hit the highway.

I remember reading when Linda McCartney died that she and Paul never spent a night apart. I used to wonder how they could do that and never *want* to spend at least a little time alone. I understand now. I have Claire's picture sitting in front of me while I study tonight, and oh how I understand.

And although tonight I share my bed with nothing but the little stuffed bear we named Charlotte that we bought years ago at Birmingham Zoo (something to occupy Claire's pillow, placed in my bag by her), I feel honored and blessed. For, although some people may look at my life and wonder "why does she stay while her 'husband' becomes a woman?" I know the truth. I have the brass ring. I have a love that transcends all I have ever dreamed possible.

Good night, my sweet, beautiful Claire. I miss you desperately and love you ferociously.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Long time no blog...

It has been just a crazy few days. Between being out of town and being consumed with job hunting and relocation, it's been so very, very hard to get on and post.

So much to report. Where should I start?

We have been struggling with the idea of what we would do if Claire lost her job--a very real possibility given the agency she works for and her condition. We were comfortably living within our means, but without a whole lot of wiggle room. This means that if she lost her job and had trouble replacing it, we would be in trouble. This has caused a lot of stress.

We had also been planning on moving to Portland, Oregon in a couple of years. But, in order to be able to afford the move without a lot of stress (several thousand dollars and a complicated move), we probably wouldn't have everything paid off in time.

So, out of the blue, I received a letter from a recruiter. I'm a high level computer nerd, so I do get headhunted every now and then. That's when it hit me. If we moved to a bigger city with a comparable cost of living, I could easily make 20k more than I do now, which would mean that the financial load could fall on my shoulders for stability. Then, whatever Claire makes could pay off bills faster, but if she were to lose her job in the new place, we would be financially able to weather it. Added to that the fact that bigger cities have more tolerance, it would be easier all around. We could stay there for 3-4 years and pay off everything, and save money for a down payment on a house in Portland.

The most important thing of all though, is that when we move, Claire could immediately adopt an androgynous appearance and go by initials while she works--thus stopping the being called James during the day and Claire at night. She could basically shed the need to be James and at least start living in a transitional state.

So, that said, I placed a resume on a couple of the big job boards, and have been deluged. Apparently my skill set is in high demand, and I have narrowed down the offers to a few. We are now deciding on a location - Lakeland or Jacksonville in Florida or Atlanta, Georgia. I know the Jax scene, but I have no clue about Lakeland. It could be highly intolerant of LGBT issues. I would love some feedback from anyone with Lakeland experience.

I've got to wrap this up for a little while and go take care of some stuff, but I'll post again tonight to fill you in on our adventure of Claire meeting the family as Claire this past weekend.

Oh, and Susan Stanton's portrait was in the St. Pete Times. She looked so gorgeous and that smile was just worth 1,000 words. Today it was announced she's in the final round of interviews for the Sarasota city manager job. And she got a toaster from Jenny Boylan. What else does a girl need? *grin* We're so proud of you Susan! And Sarasota, you just plain rock. Thank you so much for being so fair and wonderful.

Have you seen the Gender issue of Newsweek? Fabulous articles. Really, really great.

Peace, Love and Equality,


Sunday, May 6, 2007

Thanks Comcast!

Comcast has finally fixed our Internet access. Life is good again! We're getting ready to make a trip down to Florida to visit my family. Claire is a bit nervous because she hasn't seen my Pop since the "truth" came out.

I messaged Popperoni this morning to pass along a question from Claire. Mom and Sis have seen Claire both dressed as Claire and in androgynous mode, and Claire wanted to know how to dress to make dad comfortable.

Dad replied with "I'm a nudist at heart, so if I had my druthers... but your mom says I can't, so whatever she wants, just tell her she should probably shave her legs if she's planning on a miniskirt. The French look is kind of frowned on down here in our neck of the woods."

It's really made me proud the way my family has treated this whole life change. Really, really proud. My dad was talking about Stanton a few weeks back, and he was so angered at the commission's decision to fire and the comments made at the "trial." His comment was "This is discrimination. Don't these people realize that this is something she can't change any more than people can change the color of their skin? She (Stanton) didn't ask to be born this way any more than any of us get to pick our attributes." Yup, my Popperoni is a good guy.

So today I plan to catch up on my web design work, and work on mom's Mother's Day present. I'm still debating what I'm going to make - I think I'm going to design her some really nice gold-filled earrings. And (shh... don't tell Claire -- Claire, stop reading now!) but I have to figure out what to make her as well. I figured it would be nice to give her something too :) I know her favorite present would be to have Kiddo here and safe, and not planning her deployment to Iraq, but I can't quite give her that.

Okay, I'm off to catch up on everything.

Peace, Love and Happiness,


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

General ramblings

Comcast has it in for us. We've had Internet access in spurts for the last week. It's been very obnoxious but at least I have almost hit the 14,000 word mark in a novel I'm writing. I get captivated by my character's story, and will catch myself thinking about her and what's next in her story as I go about my day. I find myself falling asleep with my mind firmly stuck in the world I am trying to weave in the book. It's an urban fantasy, a little dark, a little funny. I didn't map out the book in advance; I'm just letting my imagination run with me as I write.

I tend to put on the headphones and crank some music to drown out the evil television in the background, and sometimes I'll write for an hour before realizing I have played the same song nonstop (Trans Siberian Orchestra - Carol of the Bells... oh yeah...) because it all just goes background. So I've pretty much concentrated on that this week.

Claire tonight went through a hormonally charged evening (thanks, estradiol!) and obsessed over everything from her egocentric coworker to imagining that the two pounds she put on in four days was somehow not water weight. Hormone counteraction therapy in the form of homemade french fries was administered and said evening turned around.

She is pushing the envelope with her nails. We found a very sheer pink that she went over her clear nail polish with. I can't see it with one coat but she swears it's day-glo pink. Well, tonight a second coat went on and I realized "hey, this has sparklies in it!"

So now she has fairly "healthy" looking nails (read - PINK!) that shimmer in the light. Let's see if anyone notices that. I still don't know how anyone can look at her and not see the neon sign over her head that proclaims her girlness.

Ah well. She's still cute, even if she is a bit stressed. She was so stressed when she got home she stepped in the shower with her eyeglasses on. What else can you do but have a good laugh when something like that happens? She's hanging in there. :)

My dog is making strange noises as I type. If you've ever played with the child's toy that sounds like a mooing cow when you tip it over, you know the sound. He was half-asleep and making that sound every time Claire stroked his head, so she made him do it about 30 times. I have a strange household sometimes. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Peace, Love and Happiness,


Sunday, April 29, 2007

More about the 20/20 special. Heaviness and hope

Claire and I discussed this show at length, and heard people (in the TG community) talking about the fact that this show was heavy, or really moved them.

At first, when the show came on, Claire commented "Oh, it's about little kids?" not realizing beforehand what the show was about. As it turned out, I think the fact that the show was about young trans kids really helped a lot. Here's why:

Partners of transsexuals and people that just feel they need to demean TG people use the following arguments to vilify them. By showing that children as young as two and a half years of age are in severe emotional distress, the following common arguments are negated:

1. Transitioning is a selfish act. If the TS person loved then they would just deal with it quietly and not break up their family.

You can't say that children are being selfish about relationships at the age of three. Their pain was all too vivid, in the home movies and stories the parents told. What you see there is the amount of pain that is suffered by someone that is transgendered. The only difference is these kids are able to have a good start on their lives by beginning their adult lives with their identity firmly in place, as opposed to people like Claire, like Steve/Susan Stanton, like all the thousands of transsexuals that hide their entire lives out of shame and fear until they can no longer fight the battle.

2. Transsexuals are perverts or fetishists.

This one is obvious. As the spouse of a transsexual, it is so easy for me to understand that being TS is a matter of identity. It has nothing to do with sex. But people see that word nestled in the middle of the word transsexual and all of a sudden, they are lumped in with every perversion in the world. The one that really just rips my heart out is to hear people equate being trans to being a child molester. So, look at a small child. What is perversion when you have no concept of sex itself, but just of body classification and identity? How can a toddler have a fetish?


It breaks my heart to think of Claire hating birthdays as a young child. To see the pain so real and vivid as little Riley breaking down into tears just makes me look at my Claire and wonder how the hell she hung on to her secret as long as she did.

Claire and I believe that the reason that the show was so incredibly powerful is that it strips the arguments away that negate or downplay the pain and suffering that transgender people experience.

It is our hope that somewhere, some parents will see their children--be they young or old--with fresh eyes, and open their hearts and minds.

It is our hope that somewhere, a spouse who sees her partner's struggle with transition to be a selfish and uncaring act will realize that their partner fought valiantly for years to fight pain that is so incredibly visible in early childhood.

It is our sincere hope that somewhere, a child that is suffering will hear of the show, realize there is a name to their condition, and know that there is hope for a real life.

And finally, it is always a deep hope in our hearts that our society can move forth from the position that transgendered people should not be spoken about publicly and into a position of accepting them as the productive and decent citizens they are.

Wishing you peace on earth and good will towards humans,

Annie and Claire

Friday, April 27, 2007

Barbara Walters

I am so thankful tonight for...

  • Barbara Walters
  • 20/20
  • Parents who understand that their transgender children are normal kids with a physical problem and work to get them comfortable
  • The fact that Gender Identity Disorder is finally getting well-known enough that people don't have to hide their whole lives.
  • My Claire, who is so incredibly special
  • Jennifer Finney Boylan, who had the guts to write such a personal book that brings tremendous warmth, tears and laughter, and who's book was seen in the show tonight as giving guidance to some parents
  • The tears that were finally able to flow tonight, watching that program
  • All the people, who's lives are not touched personally by transgender issues, but have the courage to step up and be decent and enlighten others

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Old Mike, New Christine - LA Times sports reporter comes out as TS

In his article here, Mike Penner of the Los Angeles Times wrote today that he will be taking a vacation and coming back as Christine Daniels.

Not only do I applaud Mike Penner for his bravery in finally coming out of hiding and enlightening the world as he does so, but his column was so wonderful and well written.

I'm thrilled that the LA Times is so supportive, and is planning on welcoming Christine with open arms. In a few weeks, Christine will be living Claire's dream--being her true self at last.

God speed, Christine, we look forward to your debut!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Gender games, continued

So, I'm trying to get away from wearing 5.11 ATACS (tactical boots) and BDUs to work. I work as a network administrator for a large organization, and they've accepted me for who I am. Heck, I wore combat boots to my job interview. You just never know when you'll need to be appropriately dressed to respond to an emergency at work, right?

So today, I went to work in linen pants and a tailored pale blue woman's shirt, with brown kitten heels. I was noticed by some coworkers who asked me what the heck was going on with dressing somewhat girly. One coworker, Sean, (always a quick one with the jokes) told the others not to move too quickly, lest they scare me back into black clothing and 5.11s.

I just joked with them that my spouse and my mom were trying to get me to dress like a real girl, and rolled my eyes. Sean then made the comment that if I didn't have kids, he'd wonder about me.

Oh, if he only knew!

Nothing much else happening right now. I've been working on some jewelry and writing my novel. I'm really enjoying writing urban fantasy. It may never get published, but at least I'll have tried. I'm an hour late for bed, but I hit the 5000 word mark, so I'm happy.



Monday, April 23, 2007

Damn that Mary Kay...

Claire hates me now. And the irony is killing me.

We were out Saturday taking pictures of a festival in our town and several vendors had booths set up. One booth was for Mary Kay, which I noticed immediately because Claire was poking me in the ribs hissing "Mary Kay, Mary Kay!" in my ear. They had a huge gift basket they were giving away as a prize. So I entered my name hoping to win it for Claire. Since Claire was dressed in androgynous mode, and we were in our home town, it wasn't prudent to have her enter as her own name.

Well, guess who called tonight. Yup. The Mary Kay salesperson. I had given her my cell phone number, which has never--in a whole year--had reception at my house. Well, the damn thing rang. At my house. And when I answered it, the phone had a good connection and didn't lose it even though I moved around trying to drop the connection. I didn't win the basket, but I did win a "pampering session" and a free lipstick or gloss.

Of course I did. Because, see, I never win anything I actually want! I have as much interest in getting my colors read or getting a facial as well... as getting a free lipstick. I'm a tomboy. Color things on faces are not my speed. Now, Claire on the other hand is beside herself, because she would love, love, LOVE that.


So... I know that "pampering sessions" are often used by Mary Kay to hook new customers, so I know that part is not much, but waving a free lipstick at Claire is likely to inspire her to ask her partner to do whatever it takes to get it.

She wants me to go.

She wants to come "hang out" and get tips. While I pretend to be having fun getting *gasp* makeup applied to my face.

I don't know if I love her THAT much.

We had an exchange a few minutes ago that went like this (bear in mind we're cracking up laughing the entire time)
Claire: "Bitch. You stole my makeover."
Me: "I don't even want the stupid thing! That's torture! I'm NOT going."
Claire: "You have to. I want to hear the TIPS."
Me: "No way chickie, I'm not getting tortured for you."
Claire: "I hope you get fat overnight!" *flounces off laughing*

She cracks me up. I don't know if it's a good idea to ask someone in our small hick town if she's TG friendly, because Claire will obviously get outed if she isn't. But it would be so much fun to go somewhere local and do something. Perhaps I will go and pretend I'm interested and let Claire "help me pick out a color or two". Perhaps we should just book something out of town. I hate that she has to hide in plain sight still.

I don't know anything about Mary Kay cosmetics, so if anyone has some feedback I'd love to hear it. Is Mary Kay worth the money? Not having a MAC counter anywhere nearby, is Merle Norman better?

In the meantime, she better stop throwing pillows at me.



Sunday, April 22, 2007

Spousal Support...

So today I have to rant about something. If you are transgendered, there are several support sites that you can use. My Husband Betty, Crossdressers.com, and other sites are available to the transgendered and their SOs (significant others). There are many private groups that only GGs (Genetic Girls) can belong to as a support group.

Unfortunately, SO support forums (and I have joined several) tend to be extremely negative, and that's not what I want. I don't want a list that fills my inbox with negativity. I want a place where I can ask for and give advice, talk about things, and get feedback to help elevate me into a good place while dealing with this. If I need support and encouragement, then the last thing I want is hate and misery. A support group should allow people to voice concerns and fears and get reassurance and support.

I want to help SOs that are having trouble. I love to help people. That's why I volunter with the fire department. But I don't want a place where someone posts a problem and 20 people respond with "hell yeah, kick him to the curb!" and try to one-up each other on how awful their lives are. I am a big believer in surrounding yourself with positive energy, and I just can't bring myself to join in groups that allow so much bashing to go on. It is unhealthy and unproductive. It also scares me, because partners that are new to the "married to a TS" experience are scared and need guidance. If they are on the fence of staying or leaving a marriage, and all they see are bitter posts stating that all TS people are self-centered jerks, it could really affect a marriage. I just want to get on a soapbox and yell "hey wait, not everyone is miserable!"

Now, if a partner has always been a selfish jerk and is now being a selfish jerk in transition, that's not a trans issue. In that case, you're with a jerk that's making you miserable, so yeah, leave. I left one--not in transition, just a egocentric jerk. It was hard, but I survived rebuilding my life and career with small kids. Divorce sucks, but so does staying in a relationship that kills you, emotionally or physically.

If Claire was nasty, abusive, uncaring, self-centered and made me miserable, then I wouldn't be here. I would be gone from the marriage. I am not required to stay because of some perverse rule that I must be supportive. Life's too short to stay with someone you hate, much less support them through transition if they haven't been a fully vested partner themselves.

However, I love Claire ferociously, and she returns the favor. She's kind, sweet, wonderful and afflicted with being trans. Of course I stay and fully engage in this issue. Someday she'll be fully transitioned and things will settle down. We won't have to worry about being outed, about job loss, about hair removal. Then we can kick back and just be ourselves with just normal worldly worries.

My point here is that if you are deeply in love and want to make it work, there is no "SO only" place to go that will elevate you towards your goal, no place where you can express pain and get *helpful* feedback on dealing with an issue. If I have a question about hormones and what to expect, I don't want "If my spouse changes his plumbing I'm outta here" type responses, I want normal thoughtful repsonses. If someone knows of that place, where people that do love and cherish their partners go to ask questions and get support gather, please let me know. In the meantime, I shall continue doing it my way: with research, buddhist approaches to life, and deep honest conversations with Claire.

Dealing with a relationship that is in transition is like swimming to safety with your best friend making sure you both keep your heads above water. A negative only support group is a cement block tied to your ankles.



Saturday, April 21, 2007

Showdown: Handbags at Dawn...

It's been a wild couple of days for handbags...


Friday afternoon Claire and I had a chiropractor appointment. Dr. T was quite funny as usual and said she was dying to see a picture of Claire dressed as a girl. We decided that we'd take some pictures and let Dr. T see what Claire really looks like when she's not in drab.

When we went up to the front office to check out, Dr. T whispered to me to bring a picture in. Which started THIS exchange:

Claire: "You better behave, doc"
Dr. T: "Make me!"
Claire: "All right then..."
Dr. T the triathlete: (flexes bicep) "Check this out"
Claire: "And?"
Dr. T: "Wanna fight?"
Claire: "Okay, handbags at dawn?"

This caused the staff sitting there to drop what they were doing and ponder that statement for a moment while Dr. T stuttered, laughed and said "What?"

One of the ladies in the office said "Purses. Handbags at dawn." This of course made me completely lose it laughing, and Dr. T couldn't come up with a response that wouldn't completely give Claire away to the staff (like they won't guess now). She just exited the room doing half-hearted little kicks at Claire and laughing, telling Claire to behave.


Fast forward to today at Target. We're shopping quietly for clothes in the women's section. Claire is dressed androgynously, and we're playing it cool as we shop. That is, until we get to the handbag section.

Now, the handbag section is directly across an aisle from the fairly crowded women's section. Claire starts looking at some bags on a rack next to the aisle and picks up a really cute hobo and remarks "nice bag."

Not so bad, you might think. You'd be wrong. Because then I said, in my not so demure voice, "Oh yeah, that's cute! It's a lot like your MUDD hobo."

It was an "Oh my God. Did I just do that?" moment. We both busted out laughing. I don't know how many people overheard that, but it was damn funny.

Ah well. Yeah, deep stealth is all in our heads right now. The whole world knows ;)



Thursday, April 19, 2007

More from the random pile...

We watched the best of the GLAAD awards tonight. I am so proud to be part of the LGBT community, and I'm not afraid to say it. I proudly display the HRC equality sticker on the door of my office. Although Claire is still in hiding I am not afraid to educate my peers about the civil rights issues the community faces. The other day my friend and I walked past a jewelry store that had the HRC sticker on the window. The shop owner stood outside fiddling with a sign as we passed, and I commented on his display of the HRC sticker. He returned the favor by rewarding me with a big infectious grin.


So... I am Bi, and Claire identifies as Lesbian and is Trans... thus we're a BLT. ;)


I'm in awe of the strength, beauty and grace of Matthew Shepard's mother, Judy, for being such a spokesperson for hate crime legislation.


Have you ever heard the song Shiny Happy People by R.E.M.? That would be Claire on a new patch. She swears she gets a rush about 6 hours after a new estrogen patch is put on, and from my observations, it does seem to be true. Psychosomatic or not, it's a funny thing to observe. Bouncing all around the house, humming, singing, attacking me with a stuffed bear... and now because I said I'm writing this on the blog she's singing the Tigger song.

Ah, but it's good to have her really alive, even if she is an obnoxious git sometimes. ;)