Down on the West Coast they got a sayin’

It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to write. Kass is taking time off from the blog as well, so for now I’m taking it over as my own. Though I’m sure she will still pop on every now and then. She’s had a lot of her own stuff going on between work and school and such.

So much has been going on. We went to California for two weeks back in June/July. It was amazing. I seriously want to move there now. We spent a few days in San Francisco and then we flew down to LA and hung out there. We did all the touristy things which I loved and drove around a bunch, went to the beach. I saw the guy that plays Turk from Scrubs at a barbecue joint our first night in LA, but that was our only celebrity sighting that we were sure of.

Turned 27 on October 20th.

December 22nd was my 1 year and 2 month anniversary on T. I’m pretty pleased. My wife says she really hears changes in my voice. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. She says I sound totally different. I have been trying to keep up with pictures and recordings of my voice, but I just don’t honestly remember. I was going to do a one year voice change video but I don’t have enough, so I’m thinking I’ll make a two year video.

I am now one of the operators for the new Trans LifeLine, a for Trans* folk, by Trans* for crisis line. I’ve logged in a couple times, but haven’t gotten a call yet. I’ve been really sick with a bad cold and my asthma the last few weeks, so I haven’t really logged on because I just don’t feel like I would be as good as I should be for someone calling in a potential crisis. I am super proud of being a part of it though. I think it’s an amazing service and I’m glad that something like this has been created. If you or anyone you know needs help, do not hesitate to call.

http://www.translifeline.org  (877) 565-8860 in the US and (877) 330-6366 in Canada.

Kass and I had a pretty good Christmas. We opened our presents on Christmas Eve. I was supposed to go to work but stayed home because I’m sick. Sadly, I won’t get my holiday pay, but that’s ok. Kass found us an immediate care and pharmacy that was open, because she is super sick, too. The experience was less than favorable. The guy at the registration counter understood immediately that I was trans and when I asked if he could put a different name of my forms and he was like oh yeah, no problem. I thought man, this is going to go so smooth. And then I got called into triage, and into administration, and to go back to my room. And every. single. time. they called my legal name. Even though he wrote my name in bold at the top of my sheet and underlined it a bunch. By the third time I was about ready to throw down. I thought I was going to lose it. Kass and I both said something to the woman taking us back and she was like oh yeah, I saw that. Seriously? You saw it, but what? Just ignored it? I was livid. Then we get back into our rooms and the nurse comes to mine first and calls me by my legal name. I corrected her and she just ignored me. Then she went to Kass’ room and she asked if she had been to my room yet, and the woman told her no, even though she already had been. Kass told her that my preferred name is Wes and my preferred pronouns are he/his/him and that I’ve had it up to here with everyone saying my legal name and female pronouns. So when she came back in she was extra nice and kept calling me Wes. We got the name of the person in charge though and are going to call, because it was just not a great experience, it was so uncomfortable and could have been dangerous. I’m always on the look out for stuff like that. I hate that I prepare myself to get my ass kicked. Do I think I will? Probably not. But I hate that I feel like I have to be ready, just in case.

When we got back home we opened our gifts. I got her an acoustic guitar and cell phone case, a “Notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg” shirt, and some other stuff and she got me a P-Style and a case, a bread maker, ice cream machine and some awesome cookbooks, one for my bread machine and one called Thug Kitchen that’s like a super cool food truck cookbook with foul language, an Oyster subscription and some other stuff. We’ve been hanging out playing Sims and SimCity and watching Lock Up and Roseanne marathons. Tonight I made a small ham, green bean casserole, and cheesy hash browns.

Tomorrow we’re going out to do a little shopping and I’m going to get stuff to make a couple loaves of bread. I also need a haircut something fierce and there is a pretty cook barbershop that I have really been looking to try out. It’s this kind of rockabilly place called Floyd’s 99.

Well, that’s what I’ve been up too. I’m going to make a point to write more frequently again.

And here is my day 1 on October 22, 2013 vs. 1 year, 1 month, and 1 week one testosterone.

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Top Surgery Fund

Hello all!

I have not updated in a while. Whew. We’ve been so busy. 

Right now I am working really hard on getting funding for my chest surgery. I am so ready for it, and so pumped. 

I’ve created a GoFundMe page to raise as much money as I can. I am hoping to be able to have my surgery by this time next year but I am not sure if that will happen. 

I would love for everyone to take a look at my page and would appreciate any shares and donations!

Thanks all!
Promise to update soon!

Wes.

I walk the Line

I caused a tiny fire storm in my family.

I seem to do it every few years. It’s not on purpose really, it’s just that I can’t always handle the way they do things. It gets to a point where I just get kind of fed up or someone does or says something and I have to say something. I find I have a little bit of a hard time letting things go. I’m not quite sure why. I just hold onto shit sometimes. I hold people to these really high standards and my family does not get any slack in that department. 

I was at work the other day and I posted these silly pictures of myself in the bathroom just kinda flexing and goofing around on Facebook. My aunt posted a comment on one saying that I still look the same to her. “Sorry baby” she said. About an hour after she posted it, it was deleted, but I had already seen it. I was really upset and really sat on it for a couple hours. Kass and I talked it over and we decided that maybe if I posted a video I would be able to address the things that were bothering me with her comment and with some comments that I had gotten from other people. Like ones who tell me that that like me better as my birth name, or like my birth name better. I have started telling those people that if they like it so much that is what we can start calling them. 

I decided to be really open in my video. Which was really hard to be that raw and honest from people that don’t actually really know me. I explained that if I were forced to stay a cisgendered woman and straight, that I would probably commit suicide. I don’t mean this in a “god, I would kill myself” sort of way. I mean it in a “my life was so unhappy when I had to pretend to be something that I was not, that if I felt for whatever reason I needed to be this way for the rest of my life I would probably enter such a deep depression and self loathing that there would really be nothing for me to live for” sort of way. I have felt this before. Sometimes I feel it now. I feel like damaged goods. Like I am broken or somehow an unacceptable form of a person. Like I am a freak. How else do you explain your parents turning their backs on you? 

Right?

So I explained that. I also told them that posts like that weren’t constructive and that of course I still look like me. I am “me.” Also I’ve only been on T for like 5 months and a week (Yay!), so at this point in time the changes are coming in slowly. By the end of the video my anger really came out. Basically I put out there that I was done trying to fit into everyones mold and that I was tired of following their rules and that I simply am done. I will not do it any more and that if any of them have an issue with who I am or what I am doing we can be done. Because I am done.

I got the response I wanted. And then some.

My aunt actually called me sobbing. She was a little drunk so I think she was more upset than she probably would have normally been, but in all honesty, it was nice to have someone hear me and feel what I was telling them. At first she kept calling me ‘she’ and by my birth name, which was kind of frustrating giving what we were discussing, but by the end she was calling me her ‘nephew Weston.’ That was really great. 

All I want is to be validated. 

On another note:

I got hit on by a gay man at work.

I was more pumped than I could ever begin to explain to you. He kept telling me how beautiful and deep my voice was and that he was so happy that he had been transferred to me so he could just sit there and listen to my beautiful deep voice. I couldn’t even believe it. I felt like I made it. You know you’ve reached your goal when a gay man hits on you. (Does that sound bad to anyone else?) If he had been sitting across from me, it would be another story, but over the phone I never get ma’am’ed.

Well… except for once last week. But then he got ma’am’ed, too. He was a little taken aback, but I think he got the hint. 

So as far as updates go there are a few.

The hair on my right temple seems to be thinning. I don’t know if I wrote about this before, but it is definitely thinner on the right side than the left. I am uber sad about this. I am just not sure if this is new or if I just never noticed it before.

My arms are getting hairier and they are also beginning to fill in more. It used to be just the tops that had hair, but not it is starting to fill in around to the bottoms. The tops are also starting the get thicker and its slowly creeping down my hands. 

The tops my my feet and toes are so hairy I can’t even handle it. My legs have always been hairy but spotty. Those spots are starting to fill in more like around my ankles and connecting to my feet, my knees are filling in and my thighs are starting to be covered. The hair is working its way up and down my thighs.

My stomach is so hairy. I am seriously going to be a bear. My chest is also super hairy. Most of the hairs are find but long. Except so this one super thick wiry black one right in the middle of my chest. 

My voice is getting much deeper. Some days it seems to drop so much I can hardly project and I have to keep clearing my throat. When I want to I can make it extremely deep. Other times I just sound like I’m croaking.

And last my not least… my business. I have not written about this yet. My sex drive is the same. Unreal. But my business. It is… growing. And boy am I excited. I have turned a 3ml syringe into a mini pump and have been using that to help things along. It is getting extremely thick at the base and I am just so excited. 

Well. I think thats all for now.

Night all.

Wes.

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.

Texts with my mother.

My mom randomly texts me. It seems every time they get bad weather there she texts me. Maybe it makes her think of her mortality or mine. Or maybe she knows how much I keep track of the weather and that I am thinking of them secretly. I’m not sure. But in the last few months my mom has text me several times.

Last Friday she sent me a text. It just simply said

I love you. Mommy.

Normally I don’t respond because she has never responded to me. They just ignored the video that I sent them explaining why I needed space and had decided that I needed to take a break and stop speaking with them. How it broke my heart that my dad’s angry letter hurt Kass’ feelings and made her cry. How it hurt me that my mothers pedophile of a father walked her down the aisle even though he hated my dad and she loved him for that, but they couldn’t even be bothered to show up to mine. How I ache because they have just chosen to ignore the fact that I came out to them as transgender. But this day I decided to reply.

I love you too.

infinity & beyond

My mother commented back with something I always used to tell her as a child. Toy Story being one of my favorite movies growing up.

Yesterday she text me again. I couldn’t help but laugh. No matter how I try to show my parents who I am, I can never move them past 6 year old me. 

Just felt the need to tell you baby girl how much i love you. Mommy

It took me a long time to be able to reply to her. I had to carefully think about what I was going to say. It pains me to correct my mother. Even as a child I have always seen how delicate she was. I never wanted to break her even at a very young age. Talking to Kass we decided to go with the ‘sandwich’ technique. 

I love you too, mom. I do hope that you can begin using my preferred male pronouns like he/his/him and name Weston/Wes. But I do want you to know that I do love you and dad and texting you has been nice.

I didn’t honestly anticipate hearing back from her. I imagined her reading my text message at her desk in her back corner area in the basement she works in. The florescent bulb flickering above her casting light over her briefly and then washing her again in darkness while she broke into a thousand tiny pieces.

I was wrong however and she responded quickly.

You are my very, very beautiful daughter. When the doctors handed u to me they handed me my precious baby girl. U were created that way for a reason & purpose. I love you & texting you just to say i love you has been nice for me too.

At this point I began feeling upset. She was blatantly disregarding me as she always did.

It saddens me that no matter what you won’t see me beyond what you want. Did you view any of the links I sent you? Or see what Pat Robertson said? I know how much you like his views. It makes me sad that you both seem to be ok with the divide this has placed between us.

It saddened me that u created this divide yet feel that daddy & i r responsible 4 it. We have never changed & neither has our beliefs. I’m sorry we’re not what u want or expect as parents. Wendy.

I just want you to accept me. That’s all that I ask and I don’t think that’s too much to expect from one’s parents. I just need to be my true authentic self, and it’s unfortunate that is what makes or breaks us.

It is a rare occasion in my life where I can be very blunt with my mother. I believe that me taking a step back and taking care of myself and doing what I need for myself and living my life with the person I love has given me the new ability to do that.

Im sorry i do not believe thats who u are. Im sorry but i don’t. It was great to hear from u but b4 u hate me we best quit for the day. I love u so very much.

At this point I was shaking. I felt so much sadness and anger that I almost felt as though I would not be able to control myself.

I wish that you didn’t put that on me like that. But fine. I love you too. Tell dad that I love him too.

I read and reread my text & don’t know what i put on u. I guess a good sign that we stop for the day. I will tell daddy u love him. U can count on that for sure.

That I hate you. I don’t like that you put that on me. Why would I beg for your acceptance if I hate you. Thank you for telling him.

Honey thats not what i said. All i said was we need 2 stop 4 the day b4 u hated me. I don’t want 2 fight so i think we just step back & breathe. Thats all. Wendy.

I could not even respond after the last text. My mother, the Queen of Guilt, will no longer get to me. Not in the way that she wants. Not anymore.

I feel such sadness. I think that I am officially mourning the loss of my parents. Before now I always held out hope that if we spent enough time apart that they would see how much they missed me and realize that they didn’t care who I was with or what name I went by. That as their flesh and blood they would just love me and accept me because they actually did love me unconditionally. But I now realize that it is not true. My parents love the idea of me. I am now sure that they do not actually love me, though. They have not actually loved me as a person for a long time. Though this causes me great sadness, I can understand. Because I can honestly say that had I just met my parents as people on the street, I would not love them as people, either. Their narrow-minded values, their ignorance and their small town ideas are hurtful and unfortunate. 

Some days I wonder how I came from that. How did I grow up to be such a different person with different values and ideals? Where did I learn to despise those that I came from? How did I evolve past the things that I was taught were right? 

The conversation does make me question myself. And I hate that. I hate that decisions are always so hard for me that the slightest thing can strike fear in me and make me feel unsure. I know the feelings will subside just as they always do, but I hate that their unwillingness to see beyond themselves takes away my joy. Even if momentarily. 

I think the thing that causes me the most sadness is that I am viewed as being wrong, broken, a mistake. That I couldn’t possibly have been ‘created’ just the way that I am, to be this particular person at this particular time. 

As a teenager I felt so angry at a god that would allow myself, my mother and others to be sexually assaulted especially as children. My mother always told me that it happened for a reason. So that we could be strong and we could help others. That we could survive it and that maybe someone else wouldn’t be able to, but that we could be their rock. That it was ok.

But this, this is wrong. This was a mistake and was not supposed to have happened. This will not cause me to be strong for others. This will not help me save lives or change the world. I am a defect. I am broken. I am a monstrosity. 

If there is a religion or a god that is fine with sexual assault but is against my authentic self, that is nothing I have a desire to be a part of.

4 months and some days

Video

The last week I have been obsessed with this song. I can’t even handle it. So. Good.

Ok, have not updated in a week and quite a few things have happened that I am really pleased about.

First things first:

I came out to my whole team in our meeting last Thursday. It was really great. I was super scared to do it, but I did it and everyone was really supportive. They all actually applauded me. I felt like Ellen Page. I’m even allowed to go by my chosen name on the phones now and at work and my supervisor is still trying to get HR to get my email and chat name changed too.

Saturday was my four months on T. It feels like I just started, but it also feels like it’s been forever. Such a strange feeling.

Today I had my third appointment with my endo. She said that all my labs are great and the my testosterone levels are in the normal male range. On the very low side, but in the actual male range. And she upped my dosage. So I am now on 60ml once a week. I am really excited.

We also discussed my mental health and some other concerns that I have had. The first two times I saw her I wasn’t sure how I felt about her, she’s just very straight forward and blunt, but this time I didn’t feel rushed and we just got to sit and talk. It was really nice. She gave me a referral for a psych consult and a new therapist since I don’t like the one I got my T letter from anymore. And she didn’t judge me for telling her I’ve been feeling depressed. Which I was really worried she would be like oh, you’re not stable, we shouldn’t raise your dosage, but she didn’t do anything like that. She was just really respectful and we talked about it and she let me know what she thought. Which I had talked to Kass about and was already planning on going to a psychiatrist, but I felt better to tell my doctor because I generally lie to them. So I liked being able to be honest with her. Next time I come in she is going to run some additional labs because I have been having the worst Charlie horses and she isn’t sure why and then she is going to do a full physical. Which I am not excited about, but glad that it will be with her and I don’t have to explain my ‘situation’ to someone new. How awkward.

In all the last week has been pretty good and I’m happy with the outcome across the board.

Coming out at Work.

So the other day I posted about having some issues with not being out at work. I was struggling really bad and I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to tell someone or I felt like I might walk of my job. And that was absolutely not an option.

So. Come out it is!

Out of a roughly 500 employee building maybe 5 people knew or so. One of them being a supervisor that I had the beginning of last year. I IMed her and told her that I really needed to talk, that I was going to explode and that somehow, someone needed to help me come out and use my chosen name. She put me in her calendar for 4pm. 

After my lunch I raced up to the third floor and waited. I waited for about 15 minutes and decided that she probably forgot. I was feeling a little furious by this point so I headed back to my desk. My current supervisor IMed me when I got back and asked her if I could come see her. She had a call for me to listen to. A customer complained about me because I wasn’t able to lower his bill. She said that was all she had for me and asked if I had anything. I asked her if we could talk in private. She we went to an office and shut the door. When I came out to the last supervisor, I thought I was going to pass out. I started seeing spots and felt light headed. My ears were ringing. This time, I just sat down and told her.

I’m transgender. And I need your help.

She looked a little surprised, but not so surprised.

She told me that she was glad I came to her and she went right to work helping me sort everything out. My original supervisor told me that HR told her that I would not be allowed to change my name until it was legally done. This was last May before I had even gotten my letter. I sucked it up and was fine with it. But now that I am in this odd stage, my voice dropping, growing facial hair, etc., I just can’t handle the thought of addressing myself with such a female name anymore. The thought was debilitating. And it was honestly affecting my work and in turn my commission. 

My new supervisor came back to me about 30 minutes late. She had gone directly to HR and told them what I needed as a transgender employee. They were totally fine with it and she said they seemed to not even remember saying no the first time. Which is great, albeit a little frustrating. In the meantime the other supervisor had tracked me down and apologized for missing out meeting, she was pulled into her supervisor’s office and was reprimanded (She is actually a really good supervisor, but she has quite a mouth on her and if she sees something that she doesn’t like or doesn’t think is right, she will quickly say something and it gets her in trouble. Often.) So she pulled me aside and we talked. She said that she and my new supervisor would tag team HR to get this resolved because the last thing she wanted was for me to feel uncomfortable at work.

So my new supervisor is now working on getting my name changed for my email address and in our IM system and she got me a new name tag for my desk. In the next supervisor meeting she is going to let everyone know so that I don’t have to and she said that it will get around, and I don’t need to worry about it, and that she will field as many questions for me as she can. I am going to let my team know in our meeting tomorrow. I am a little nervous to come out to about 15 people at once, but I think that most of them will be ok with it. I actually had to two macho guys that sit in the cubes on either side of me as me what I had started calling myself. I told them Wes. One of the guys is in a wheelchair and he told me that he wanted to start going by Hot Wheels. So for the rest of the day that’s what we called him. The guy that sits on the other side started using Wes right away. He then asked me if that was what I wanted him to do and I told him I would appreciate it. Later that evening he asked me why I had picked Wes and what it stood for. I explained it was short for Weston and then I took a deep breath and told him I am actually transgender and I wanted a very old school masculine sounding name.

He looked me in the eye, held out his fist to fist bump me and said “You do what you do, you’ve always been cool to me.” 

And that was it.

If coming out can always be this easy with that great of a response I would like that please and thank you.

This has however caused some weird feelings for me. Whenever I come out to someone and I feel that it is really important, I always question myself over and over for a while after that. 

Is this really what I want? What if I changed my mind? Do I really like the name I picked? How do I know I want to be a man?

hate that I do this to myself. But it seriously happens like every time. It’s really frustrating. I did it again this weekend. All weekend I questioned myself and my motives and felt so uncomfortable. I try to avoid talking about this as much as possible. Maybe because I don’t want it to take away points from my “trans enough” status or something, I don’t know. But I finally opened up to Kass about it last night. She could tell there was this nervous energy radiating off of me. That and my Trichotillomania got a little intense yesterday. I pulled out like half of my eyelashes sitting at work (only partially exaggerating). She told me that she thinks that it is because we are told that we have to be normal. And the more that I come out and assert who I am the less “normal” I become. That she thinks that being shunned one to many times has caused me to question my every move when it comes to being different from ‘everyone else.’ I think that she is right. It has been really hard. I hate feeling like I am so different. She asked me if this is what I really want or if I am maybe second guessing and if I think I am changing my mind. I told her that I am pretty sure this is what I want, but that I’ve just been feeling upset. She told me that she will always support me and that if I decide to stop where I am at, she is ok with that and that I will just have a deeper voice and will be a little hairier but that whether I continue on or not, she will always support me.

When she talks to me and tells me things like that it always reassures me of two things. That I love her so much and that I am doing the right thing. I think I just get so wrapped up in my head and I get so scared sometimes of being different and standing out. It frightens me. Risking the people are close to me and my potential safety. But I know that this is really what I need.

 

Wes.