Date Night and some other things.

Kass and I are going out on a date tonight. We’re going to dinner and to see Arcade Fire. 

We haven’t been able to really go out out in a while, we’re either too busy with work and school or we were kinda broke for a while after paying for our wedding ourselves. 

I’m excited to be able to spend this time with her tonight. I’m also feeling really good because we get to dress up and I usually feel more confident dressed up than down. Also, I got my hair cut today which always makes me feel so much better about myself. A nice high and tight with a deep fade and my part buzzed in. Very classic.

The hair and clothes make the man. 

I’ve been outed more and more at work. Which is a good thing, and I generally haven’t had to do it. People either get it from my name change or they have heard around the way.

One of the supervisors at work came up to me the other night and told me that he really liked my name choice and asked me how it felt to be able to be myself. He told me that he thought it was really great that against all odds and judgement I could just be my true authentic self and that he thought I was very brave and a hero. 

I am grateful that I am receiving such positive feedback from people, but I am also very awkward because I do not feel like I am anything near a hero. I also feel a little bothered that I have to be brave or be viewed as brave. Why does being ones true authentic self have to be viewed as an act of bravery and valor? Why do others have to make it such a feat of strength to be yourself?

I have also been experiencing a lot of male privilege lately. Only on the phone at work, but that’s where I spend most of my time. My name and deepening voice passes for most people. The people that do still hear the female tones though ma’am me like nobodies business. I feel like they are sitting on the other end of the phone like, “oh, I know your game…. ma’am.”

But for most people they don’t even question it. And I have generally been treated so nice. People used to argue with me about what I could and couldn’t do for them and would demand things from me and argue with me about everything. It has really lessened. They will generally ask me “are you sure you can’t do xyz?” and I will tell them, yes I’m sure, and they will take it. It is nice to not have to argue constantly.

But I feel so much guilt over my male privilege. I have had to fight so hard to be seen and heard as a woman, and I know my wife still has to do it and all other women have to. But now I don’t. I now am getting it easier. And I feel like I don’t deserve it. Like I should still be fighting right along with them. 

I was trying to explain it to the not-so-informed lesbian that I work with the other day and she told me not to act so hard on myself and that I deserved it and was owed it and this was who I was and felt that I should be so I shouldn’t try to take it away from myself and yadda yadda yadda…

I tried so hard to explain that I wasn’t feeling guilty over being trans*, I was feeling guilty over my new found ease in dealing with people. That because people perceived me as a male I was ‘in’ and my thoughts we acceptable. But that if these same people were dealing with me face to face it would be totally different and they might feel cheated and lied to. But of course, she didn’t understand. Thankfully my wife gets it though. Or I think I would go mad. But she doesn’t think I should feel guilty either, but that I should enjoy it. And use it to my and women’s advantage. And I agree.

I will use my male powers for good!

Also, I’ve been keeping a list of all the fun things I’ve been called this week:

  • Son
  • Brother
  • Bro
  • Hero (I saved a sweet little old lady a ton of money on her bill)
  • A gentleman and a scholar (same with this little old lady)
  • Man
  • Dude (in a fratish, respectable sort of way)

I think that’s all of them. I loved the gentleman and a scholar. She told me that like four times. It was great.

Well, Kass is about ready so we are heading out.

Goodnight all.

Weston.

Thanksgiving, homework, shopping, work party.

Aside

Another packed week has gone by and begun for us. We are both finishing up our respective semesters and instead of enjoying our days off or the holiday, we have both been cramming in homework. Kass has taken a quick hiatus from the blog, only because she can’t keep up with posting and all of the reading she has to do and the papers she has to write.

Starting from the beginning of last week, I still cannot get the nerve to give myself my own shot. The thought of stabbing myself in the leg literally makes my muscles freeze.

Can’t.

Do.

It.

So, yet again Kass came to the rescue. She made me hold the needle, but she actually did it. I jumped and the needle stabbed all around in my thigh. It was actually kinda gross. Surprisingly enough there was zero blood. Any other time, quick in, quick out in a straight line and I bleed all over. What is up with my thigh?

Then for Thanksgiving, we spent the day at home together. We were supposed to go over to Kass’ dad’s and spend it with him, which would have been their first Thanksgiving together in about ten years. Short of the long, Kass’ dad is a chronic alcoholic. He called us last Saturday asking us for help because he had been drinking. He told us that he wanted to go to rehab. So we drove the forty-five minutes to go get him, took him to the hospital so they could take him to detox so we could then get the ball rolling to get him into rehab. After he got out of detox he pretty much wont answer any phone calls or texts. So he, as Kass put it, chose to sit home alone and pout on Thanksgiving rather then spend it with us. So that didn’t happen, and since I am still not speaking to my parents and my family is about five hours away, we just spent it at home together.

I made biscuits and gravy for breakfast and then we had ribs, lil smokies, god damn green bean casserole, and strawberry cheese cake. We got a bunch of other food too, but quickly realized that in our excitement the night before we had gone WAY overboard for just the two of us. We then did homework and watched movies. All in all it was a great Thanksgiving.

If you don’t count all the other stuff.

But as Kass says, before she met me she was eating gas station hot dogs on Thanksgiving. And before I met her I spent it with my ex and her family, and it always turned into this drunken angry brawl.

Our simple, sweet Thanksgivings at home, just us and our little cat, are so much better.

This weekend was my work holiday party. Kass and I have really been looking forward to it. We loving things like those. We went shopping yesterday for new clothes. I got a really nice winter sweater, the JFK kind with the three buttons on the top, and a new knit bow tie. Kass got a really pretty red party dress. We went to this little boutique by our house that has really pretty and cheap jewelry. We got a lot from there for her and our bridesmaids for our wedding, so we went back to get her some new jewelry for the party. This one sales women in particular is always really excited to see us. The problem is she is always “ladies, ladies, ladies!” It’s really uncomfortable. Then she asked what we needed the jewelry for. She had gendered me so much we both just stood frozen for a second. I could tell Kass was trying to figure a way to say, “we are going to his work holiday party” but just couldn’t get it out. I just jumped in quick and answered.

The party was so much fun. It was casino themed which was a lot of fun. We love the casino. We played poker and the ponys. We hung out with some people that we know and we attempted to win prizes. I was such a wonderful evening. Kass looked just gorgeous and it was so great being able to introduce her to everyone as “my wife, Kass.” I was so proud. I love going out with her.

One thing that has been bothering me a little is how the harder I try to represent myself as a male, the more I get called miss, ma’am, ladies, etc. It seemed like on Saturday while we were shopping we were “ladies,” and “you girls.” And then our friends that we were hanging out with this evening at the party both know I am trans. One of them is actually also trans, and he doesn’t say much. The other woman couldn’t seem to get anything right. She kept going between Weston and my given name, and kept calling me she. Kass noticed it more than I did I think and was pretty bothered by it since the woman has known longer than most people.

I’m not sure how to feel about all of this. I’m not sure if we are just more sensitive to it now, though we both don’t think this is the case. Or if people are being spiteful. Or if it is totally an unconscious effort on their part and they do it simply because they have figured me out. I’m not sure of the answer, I just know it’s kind of bothersome, and I’m not quite sure how to handle it. Or if I should even bother most of the time.

Weston.

Shot 5

This is Kass. 

Tonight Wes attempted to give himself his 5th shot. I have been giving his shots since the first shot. Its usually a bit of dancing around in the bathroom to get him to relax because the needle is the size of a battle ship, but he has admitted that it is most times relatively painless. Tonight though there was a lot of “How are things going” and “Im doing it, sorta” going back and forth between the bathroom door. I dont have an issue with doing the shot, but I figure that since this is a lifetime thing he should get used to doing it himself, just in case for some reason Im unavailable. 

Wes: I cant make myself do it, my hand is just hovering above my thigh. My muscles literally will not move. 

Me: You need to put enough pressure behind it to break the skin

Wes: I just dont know how much that is…

Me: Do you want to practice on an orange or a banana?

Wes: We dont have either…

Me: How about a hotdog bun?

Wes: I just cant make myself do it…

Me: Ok, I’ll be in there to help.

Wes: No! Im going to do it!

Me: Did you do it?

Wes: No. 

Me: Ok, I will come help. 

Next week we will try again. 

Im Kass.

I am cis gendered and have been lesbian identified and out since I was 15. I am married to Wes and very much love him. I was not surprised when he told me he wanted to transition. There were times in our relationship when I saw how much pain he was in and I wanted to tell him what I saw and that I knew. Kinda like when people say “I wish someone would have told me I was gay”, but I waited because I knew he needed to figure it out on his own. I am glad that we are here at this point and he is beginning his transition.

I had an idea in my head of what transitioning would be like. I pictured testosterone shots and hair growth and voice deepening, and masculinity. I pictured support groups and new friends, and community. I pictured the same me and a different outside him but same inside him. I pictured doctors appointments and lots of money being spent. I found out that things that I pictured were wrong and that there is so much more than I had ever thought.

First, being a couple when a person is transitioning essentially means that both people are transitioning. and for awhile I very much thought I was being selfish thinking that. But for over half of my life I have been a lesbian identified cis gendered female. I have been fired from jobs, rejected by family, fought for equal rights, learned to be proud and come to terms with the fact that my identity is beautiful and I am strong and brave and have nothing to hide. And although most people perceive me as a straight woman unless my significant other was standing next to me, I was never closeted while at work, or anywhere else for that matter. One of the things I loved most was hanging pictures of the two of us around my office space. It made my day go faster to look at our memories and see us at our happiest.

I started a new job, it was almost perfect timing really because we decided that we would just use male pronouns from the beginning and eventually I can hang pictures. However it hasn’t been really as easy as that. We got married in September, and the people in my office really like me (for once, its amazing, part of me wonders if its because they all think Im a straight woman and can finally see me and not get hung up in the fact that Im queer) and have been really excited to see wedding photos, and want to know about my husband and have even made jokes to watch out and not get pregnant in the first year of marriage. I go back and forth on wanting to tell people, wanting to let them in, trust them. I have told 4 of my co-workers. The first woman is a lesbian, and although she is part of the queer community I still felt like I was going to throw-up when I was getting ready to tell her (I get a little nauseous when I get nervous). The second person I told was the person I share my desk with, and I felt the same “walls closing in, everything is getting black” feeling I feel when I have to speak in front of an audience. But I made it through. And she and the other person came to our wedding. Recently I told my dad. I had been putting if off because he and I hadnt spoken in 10 years and then just like that we had reconciled. There is nothing in this world that would ever make me pick anyone over Wes, and I was pretty sure my dad was going to be fine with the changes on the horizon, but it was the anxiety and fear of the unknown. The rejection. The having to say goodbye. Each person I tell, the feelings are always the same. I feel like I am coming out again. Its the same “hard talk” feelings, I feel very emotional like I cant control the tears, and I get a little faint, and nauseous. The conversations are usually about 2 minutes long. Like a shot, most of the pain is in the anxiety before.

Another thing Ive realized is there is literally no way to prepare for all the situations that are going to come up during this process. For example, we were swimming the other day as we like to do at the gym and I realized that 1. I like using the locker room with him at this time while he still appears female and will be upset when I have to use the locker room with a bunch of strangers I dont know. 2. What do we do before the top surgery? Which locker room does he use when he looks like a man but hasnt had top surgery. 3. Im nervous for him. Ive always been the person who protects him. I always stand up for him, I always tell people to fuck off if they treat him poorly, and what will happen when Im not there because Im a woman and he’s a man and Im not allowed in the bathroom or locker room.

Another things that has been very different from what I pictured is the community. For some reason I had an illusion that there would be a great support network for trans people and their families out there. But there isnt. We have gone to a few groups, and met a couple people. Some have been really nice and we have genuinely wanted to stay in contact and become friends with them. Other people we felt like it was best to keep our guard up and not let them in too close, which made us a little sad as it felt that was the majority of the people we met. Its really hard to get information on safe doctors and safe spaces, sometimes it can be scary trying to do that stuff on your own and it would be really nice to be able to ask someone.

For now, that is about it. Its been 4 weeks/4 T shots. I for some reason thought he would have a full beard by now. Silly.

 

-Kass.

And so it begins…

I’m Weston.

About a year ago, I finally came to a conclusion. A big one.

I’m transgender.

I’m not a lesbian female. Not anymore. Not really ever. Lesbian was never a proper fit for me. I hate the word for myself. It feels…. foreign.

In my head I’m a man. A good looking one, too. He’s strong and quick witted. Brave. Mysterious. He’s intelligent. An amazing lover, never jealous and always early.

I am none of these things. Well… I’m smart. Not always common sense smart, but I’m smart. I can carry on a conversation about most things… except anything that has to do with math (this I’ve always known, but was glaringly obvious recently over coffee with a new friend). I am clumsy. I am messy. I am forgetful. Probably most of all, I am awkward. So awkward.

And I am transgender.

It’s always been a bit of a struggle to understand. My gender has always wandered back and fourth, back and fourth. It’s confusing. A question always running in my head:

“What am I?”

Within the last year, I have settled on the what. It’s been hard some times. The who feels like that will be a question that will take longer to answer.

On October 22, two days after my 26th birthday, I had my first appointment with my endocrinologist. That evening, I had my first shot of Testosterone.  My wife gave me the shot. She has been very supportive. I don’t have a video of the first shot like many people do. I thought about taking one, but I didn’t. Half of me is glad and half of me wishes I could watch it over and over. I think watching me yell and wimp out several times would be hilarious to watch. Funny enough, I don’t think shots are so scary.

Until someone is winding up to shove a 2 inch long needle into my thigh muscle.

Then shit gets real.

Today is day 27.

I haven’t seen any real changes yet. I wake up every morning eagerly anticipating my beard. I think that my voice has changed some. I am going to start doing random recordings to see if I can tell for myself. We already take a lot of videos of random things, so keeping up shouldn’t be hard. Logging them will be the part I need to keep up with. I have also started taking photos everyday. So when the changes start, I will be able to see when they happened.

My wife and I are going to maintain this blog together. A sort of transitioning together blog. It is our journey and our story, we figure why not tell it together.

Wes.