Saturday, March 29, 2008


I haven't been writing much for this venue, as I have been trying to focus my energies for the piece that I will be submitting to Elle Magazine. (Biting my nails on that one! How do I know where to begin? Anne Slowey told me to just write and write and write, and not to stop, not to self edit. I hope she doesn't end up regretting that advice!)

It's been an interesting few weeks. So many wild intersections of my life these days.

One of the trans listserves that I am on illuminated the topic of depression. A very sweet younger guy brought up his battles with self destruction, and asked the group for suggestions and support. There was one response in particular that really humbled me. It was from a fellow who is in his late thirties, as he discussed his own experiences with similar demons. I could really relate to what he was sharing with the group. Talking about his bouts of depression, and the courses that it sometimes took, such as cutting, etc. But he talked about things in such an open, and self reflective way. As he spoke, it was clear that so much of those negative reactions no longer work for him. There was something so liberating to hear about his changes, and how gently and respectfully he reached out to this younger guy. I was inspired. At the bottom of his response he included his blog address, so I checked it out.


It humbled me in many ways. To hear that this guy had given birth to six kids, and has been happily married for 20 years ~ it granted me so much hope. His partner not only stayed by his side during his transition, but was excited to explore new elements to their dynamic ~ what we might all wish to happen: have people we love stand by us. But beyond his romantic relationship, he had six children, with who, he also would have to negotiate these newer developing changes. And that is the part that really put me in awe, and gave me a little more perspective. I think having kids and finding a balance in one's life can be challenging enough. But to then create a revolution to his extent in one's life is just incredible to me. I think about all of the ways my connections to people made me afraid to change, and I am so honored to be able to read Edward's words about how grateful he is to make these necessary shifts in his life. Even with challenges that he faces with some of the struggles his children face within their own lives, unrelated to his transition ~ I wish him all of my support, and have been changed by his words.

His blog is:

Then a relative new comer to the local DC trans group that I co-facilitate sent the link to the Advocate article about the trans dad in Oregon, who stopped taking testosterone after 8 years to become pregnant. It was written by the subject, Thomas Beatie, and defines some of the problems he has faced in his position. It has created a media frenzy, and brought up a lot of issues for me.

That article can be found here:

Oddly enough, when I was 28/29 suddenly out of no where, I wanted to have kids. To me, it was blatantly that "biological clock" thing that most women speak of, but I had never experienced it before. Honestly, I kind of thought that it was a load of crap, having more to do with social pressures and such. I think that I stand corrected now.

So, I had a conversation with my best friend Jules, who had recently transitioned himself. (Back story: Jules and I had gone to college together, but were four years apart. I was older... In my younger days at college before Jules arrived i spoke openly with friends about wanting to transition, but never quite knew how or when. As I got older, I spoke about it less openly, and candidly, especially when I moved out of the collegiate incubator in which I lived, and found myself back in the real world. After his own graduation, Jules moved to San Francisco, and then New York, where he realized that he wanted to make that leap, and begin hormones, and soon after have top surgery. Part of me was jealous, but I also knew that I was not ready, but I couldn't fully articulate what exactly it was that was holding me back, preventing me from embarking on what I felt like I wanted since I was 19. At 29, it hit me.)

I wanted to have kids. Not only be a parent but HAVE kids, give birth to them, which I have never wanted in my life. Ever. When I was 19, I began dating Julia, and we just fit. We spoke of someday getting married and having a family together, as she really wanted to have children. We moved to the SF Bay Area together, and played house, even as we babysat our neighbor's infant. It felt like foreshadowing. Then after several years, we broke up, and the dream of having a family dissolved. It wasn't until I was 29 that this reprise came flooding back about wanting children, but now in a new way of wanting to give birth.

Jules and I were talking on the phone, catching up about all of the things he's noticed during the early stages of his transition, and I was mesmerized. So many nuances, and details. It was really fascinating to hear and witness. Then he turned to me, and asked me about my own desires to begin that process. I nervously said that suddenly I was faced with this drive to have children, to give birth, and then transition as a single parent. I had spoken ad nauseum about it with my therapist, who really got in those trenches with me to excavate some of those answers. I felt weirdly resolved. I spoke to Jules about all of the options that I had researched, and even about some of the guys I met at a trans social group outside of Baltimore, who were "Moms" before they transitioned. I met some of their well adjusted kids. The whole thing really resonated with me, despite never having any idea that it would have.

Both Jules and I did film and video work, and we had toyed with the idea of doing a documentary together. Next thing I knew Jules asked if he could crash with me as he was coming to interview one of the trans-dad's that I mentioned to him a few months earlier. He started to make a documentary on Trans guys that gave birth to their biological children. I was so jealous that he had such a brilliant idea for a documentary, and was so honored when he said at the Los Angeles screening of his film that he "made the film for his best friend." I wept in the audience, as no one had ever done something so remarkable "for" me... And as much as the film might have come from our discussions, it was his brilliant idea, and his fortitude that brought it to fruition, while it received accolades in the festival circuit and got picked up by the biggest queer film distributor in the US. Amazing. So proud of him.

That was 2005, when he completed his film Transparent. Then out of no where, several years later there has been a resurgence of interest in his film, as Oprah shot a segment about it (as she herself watched my friend's doc), and now with this Beatie story being a media blitz, everyone is contacting Jules to get rights to show a clip of a similar trans dad that he featured in his film. Inside Edition wanted to use a clip, and just last night Transparent was featured on 20/20. (The part that makes me nervous is that the fellow that my friend Jules interviewed years ago has moved, and in his new life, he is not out as trans to his community. I hope that so many journalists digging up info on older stories with similar themes do not hit him too harshly in this new stealth life of his.)

Jules website for that film is:

And lastly, while speaking to my other best friend Melanie, someone I have known since I was 16, she mentioned last night that one of her photo students in LA reminds her of me when I was younger. She gave this student this blog address, and when I woke up this morning, I found several new comments posted.

One of the things mentioned in the comments posted by MVS is this interconnectedness of our lives these days with things like blogs and websites delivering these kinds of intimate stories right onto our laps (or laptops). About this ability to "know" about others' lives in excruciating detail, but perhaps never even seeing their face in person.

I see that myself all of the time, where I get so consumed by analyzing other people's experiences. It pushes me further, and forces me to think about things from new possible perspectives. Kind of like this grand baton relay, that has gone on through out history, where we offer up what we have learned and experienced to see if it may be of use to others, without even recognizing that pattern sometimes. (This is why I can get embarrassingly obsessive about documentaries, biographies and auto-biographies sometimes.) I want to know more about the human experience, and all that it entails and includes. I want to find my place in the world, and hearing how others find their places helps me draw my own maps, charts and graphs...

Thanks to all that have helped me chart my way here, and for making connections when we didn't "have" to ~ it makes all the difference.

(My email address is if people want to contact me directly about any of this.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Recently and resistently, I joined Facebook under my new name. It's a bit of an awkward process, as many older friends or "friends of friends" might not understand the context of my life these days. Beyond that, they simply might not know who the hell I am with said new name, and a stick on stache in the profile pic. (I feel like Clark Kent. Something as subtle and silly as this sticky strip of faux fur somehow confirms my completely "new" identity. Odd.)

One of the people that recognized me is an old friend from college. (One who hit me in the head with a hammer for funzies. Just kidding. It wasn't fun. It was for a good cause. Should we note that I never considered transitioning before this "accident?" Thanks, Heidi~this is all on you!)

Here are some excerpts from our recent exchanges which I found to be somewhat funny.

My last posting here was the list of changes I noticed since my transition, which I clipped from an email I wrote to this friend. Here is her response.

I have no witty retort -- but HOLY CRAP! I mean, it makes sense -- I just never though about it in that sort of detail. It's kind of like you are the living battle of the sexes peace negotiator! Gender mediation -- there's your new field.
"As a former female, I felt x, y, z... But now as a male I feel p, d, q."

gender mediator. i love it. i feel like it's some weird fringe super hero. like i'd need a shawl more than a cape...

It's funny -- I was saying to Sujal (hubby), that it's hard for me to fully grasp your change -- that you were the chick that all the chicks had a crush on in college -- so it's challenging to think of you so differently. We've been talking a lot about identity at my school this year -- it's our "diversity" theme. One of the things we talked about is one creating one's own identity VS the one that others create for an individual by how they perceive that individual. One we create; one is imposed on us. Clearly this hurdle for me is because of the perception I had of you -- not your perception of you. Anyway -- blah blah blah musings. It probably seems so touchy-feely-girlie to you now. ;)

i can't tell you how much i appreciate your distinguishing the difference between the identities that we assume for ourselves, vs what others project on to us. HUGE difference sometimes, and very frustrating. people had often just assumed that since i was female bodied and dated women that i (and ALL of my partners) must be lesbian(s). which was actually not the case. i never felt like a woman, so therefore since lesbians could only be women~it never really felt like it fit... since i was a kid i have always felt boyish, and so many women (and gay men) that i have been involved with commented on how they liked me because of that boyishness. most of those women have been straight, and therefore they weren't lesbians either... so, as you say, many projections on to me about identities and assumptions about orientations. (and thanks for the flattery of saying all the chicks had crushes on me in college! heh heh.)

i guess hearing stuff like that makes me hopeful that maybe i won't be alone forever... not to sound dumb, but having transitioned, now passing can ironically be a bit more intimidating.

i was being interviewed for the second installment yesterday by this sociologist studying trans issues. he was asking me during both interviews how i don't identify as a "MAN" now, and he seemed to be almost shocked that i don't id that way. i said that i identify as trans. for me, i really do feel more in the middle, and embrace what that means to me. but am scared of that context when i think about relationships ~ me in relation to someone else... there was the question of authenticity. this is just for myself, but i don't feel like "an authentic man." and i certainly don't feel "male" as that connotes sex ~ chromosomes ~ things that (in MY mind) can't be changed by simply taking hormones or having countless surgeries. that is the genotype, versus phenotypes ~ the displays of behaviors, actions, etc. chromosomally i am still and will always be "xx" female. but having taken hormones, and having surgery, it makes it easier to pass as a man, but my body is not fully masculinated. (not to be too crude, but bottom surgeries available for transmen are so far off from "the real thing" where as bottom surgeries for transwomen are much more successful, and look more realistic. again, not to be too crass, but the fact that i am looking like a guy but don't have a dick, it can make things more complicated... identity wise, and relationship-wise...)

I obviously think a lot about identity, myself... This year I taught the class, and we read Bharati Mukherjee. She is an Indian immigrant, now a US citizen, and she tends to write about the modern immigrant experience. Coming from a fairly working class background and going to a place like Bennington - I remember Roland Merullo saying something like, "There's no handbook for social class jumping."

but i see the relevance in a statement like roland's. culturally we think so much about the american dream, this concept of escaping the reality of whatever situation into which we were born, and creating ourselves anew~but there really is no handbook for how to do just that, on any level. there are get rich quick schemes, and lose weight fast systems advertised ad nauseum, but really nothing of substance to talk about moving about different social strata, be it class or gender or even cultural. is there? am i dumb or missing it? (should that be the elle article? a how to guide for "social jumping" for trannies? uh, probably not...)

Regarding a how-to book/article/guide -- I think that's precisely it -- one can't be definitively written, mainly because we cannot account for all of the variables. I think our best "guides" are fellow human beings -- and even then, they fall short in terms of providing a fail-proof plan. Frankly -- that search for a fail-proof plan is dull. Most of the fun of life is navigating blindly. I like to grope around. Who am I kidding -- I just like to grope. ; ) Actually the word "grope" has always creeped me out a little.

----> so how does it work then, exactly?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Changes I've noticed...

I have recently reconnected with a few friends from college, and have been trying to explain how certain things have shifted since I began my transition a few years ago. My friend was joking about male pattern baldness, which really triggered a huge reaction in me, as I fear that so desperately~say it ain't so!

Anywho ~ here is the list of some of the changes that I have noticed.

the changes i have noticed since being on testosterone...


* the fat migrates from typically feminine deposits (like breasts, hips, thighs, butt) to more masculine areas ~ like the gut (wah wah wah).
* breast size decreases mostly when the fat migrates, but possibly related to hormonal shifts as well (like the opposite of breasts getting bigger right before women get their periods.)
* speaking of ~ my period disappeared several months after being on "t"
* much easier to lose weight almost instantly, but if i stop working out, or if my diet changes drastically~weight is put on immediately.
* i can build musculature incredibly easy now, from even mild work outs
* (this migration/elimination of fat, teamed with added more muscle mass completely changed the structure of my body. my pants were a lot baggier, and my shoulders "beefed" up over night ~ meaning i had to get almost an entire new wardrobe. i gained 20 lbs despite being "leaner" since i started t~it's crazy.)
* i have a lot more energy, meaning i generally have more desire to work out, etc ~
* but that also correlates to my appetite having doubled to sustain the work outs (making it that much more challenging if i miss work outs! guh!)
* food cravings have changed most dramatically... many years ago i had been vegan, and even though i am not now, i don't eat a lot of meat, and try to avoid mass amounts of dairy. when i started "T," instantaneously i began to crave things like bacon cheeseburgers with barbeque sauce, topped off with a chocolate malted milk shake. it was completely bizarre to crave different foods all of a sudden, and my ever-present sweet tooth suddenly dissipated. (i guess pregnant women are used to these kinds of fluctuations with hormonal shifts prescribing which exact foods will be appreciated or "tossed.")
* based on this new found diet~the particular scent of my body odor changed ~ which to me, was the most striking difference, to not recognize my own "natural" scent. (kind of like when morgan spurlock was joking about going into a sauna when he was making "super size me" and someone asked unknowingly "who brought a cheeseburger into the steam room?")
* also, random note: that pH balance crap from those deodorant commercials is real. i had to stop using my gender neutral hippie-dippy deodorant to a more manly brand to prevent "unwanted" scents from developing
* speaking of hormonal shifts and such, i also began to break out in small bouts of acne, primarily under my jaw line and even a tiny bit on my shoulders~which was gross. this has mellowed out as my body has become more used to the hormones, but also because my diet has become more moderate again
* my body has gotten generally hairier (facial hair is slowly coming in, but is still relatively light, so it's not as noticeable...)
* one weird side effect that i can't quite explain is that my hair would no longer absorb commercial dyes, so i went back to my uber-dark original hair color (to find that my hair is more salt and pepper now, coincidentally.)
* i fear that the hair on my scalp might be thinning at the crown, but my hairline itself has definitely receded at the temples. (that part is fine, as i think that can be sexy, but anything more than that, and i am getting rogaine and hair club for men, damn it all!)
* my voice has dropped roughly three octaves, but in the beginning i was losing my voice and experienced my voice cracking in the stereotypical pubescent boy tone (my voicemail accts have my original voice still on the greetings, which i want to try to record and upload to the blog for people to hear the difference)
* it is common for the facial features themselves to become more angular/rigid as a result of the testosterone, such as the eyebrow ridge seeming more pronounced, and jaw line getting more square (i fear i have this cromagnon thing going on in my forehead now. arg!)
* i produce more saliva now ~ which is odd, but i hear common for transguy to confirm
* i often feel hot, (like hot flashes that women experience through menopause) as opposed to always feeling cold pre-t
* the libido increases exponentially (um, awkward!)

other changes that i noticed:

* it becomes nearly impossible for me to cry (when before I could cry at the drop of a hat) even if i get sad, it is tough for more than like 4 tears to fall.
* challenging times in the past would have typically manifested as sadness/paralysis, where now frustration/challenging situations trigger anger instead, propelling rather than paralyzing
* a lot of my shyness has dissipated ~ which is weird to have this sense of myself, (as somewhat shy, reserved, someone who tends to get sad) change so drastically
* the shyness has been replaced by a quiet confidence (as opposed to a more codependent feeling of wanting to be liked and gain others' approval) now, i don't really care as much about what others think. again~odd to see this huge shift, when it seemed so inherent to what i knew to be "me" ~ i don't know how much can be attributed to the physiological changes based on the hormones, or how much is simply the result of having faced my demons because of mytransition
* i relate to people much differently now, where i step up and state my feelings much more directly (which i don't think was easy for my former partner at the time, nor my boss...) i don't tip toe around things anymore
* i have found severe set backs with things like spelling and grammar, which were never a problem pre-t
* the most interesting element to my transition is that what i find attractive has shifted. mid/post transition i found myself much more interested in gay men, which i wasn't really anticipating. and i hate to admit it, but embarrassingly~my attention in other people became a lot more objective, than subjective. finding myself checking people out based on looks in a way that i never experienced before. ( i feel like such a douche bag admitting that, but it's true...)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

7 Habits of highly ineffective people

Let's see. I'm not sure where to begin.

I haven't written in a little while because:

1) I got this bioterrorist plague from one of my room mates, and despite having had surgery, an infection, three migraines, and my heart torn out~THIS was actually this worst I have felt in years... Flu my ass... This stuff is lethal.

2) I lost one friend because I said she hurt my feelings.

3) I lost another friend because I said, despite having dated years back, and the fact that I am NOT hitting on her, I think she is pretty impressive and lovable. (I still got it! How have I ever dated ever? I am so awkward. Sorry again...)

4) There is another person that passive aggressively keeps telling me that I should be her friend.

5) I had a sweeping moments of sadness at the prospect of the local farmer's market starting back up in my neighborhood soon. My ex and I would walk over virtually every Saturday during the summer and pluck gorgeous organic finds to serve for the upcoming week. There was something so idyllic about those Saturdays. About the 2 block walk over, filled with hope and contentment~while we chose smaller potted veggies to try to plant our own garden. Cheesey metaphor aside~the gardens always failed, and the veggies never went very far. Seems about right ~ right about now...

6) I had to show a property for the property management company I run, and bumped into a friend of a friend. I had introduced myself with my new name, which then became increasingly awkward, as this woman said she was going to ask if my friend Sarah remembered me. (Sarah might not know my new name, and how awkward is that? Only slightly less awkward then when I drew a blank with this new woman asked what my last name is ~ so she could ask about to these other people. "Ummm. Warren." Riiight. Keep it together, yo...)

7) I was asked to be in a sociological study on trans folks, and received my first piece of mail with my new name on it. t was the release form for being in the study. I had to sign it with my new name~but I don't have a signature for it yet. So I looked like some third grader practicing my cursive, as the "w's" are way too perfected, and the rest looks like arse. Jeez. I am 12 years old...

On a side note: I picked up Eckhart Tolle's new book "A New Earth" that I was too horrified to buy in public. It's the new Oprah book, which I hate that I know... (I was given Tolle's first book by my best friend from high school~ Hilary, who got it for me when we both first moved to DC. She is a Buddhist who now lives on an Italian farm with her Italian husband, while they are into the slow food movement and teaching tai chi.)

Tolle's first book was called "The Power of Now" ~ a book my dad later stole from my old apartment, so I can't even remember what it was about... I was curious about this new book. But honestly, I was so embarrassed I went to a cheezeball lowbrow bookstore~where I NEVER shop, in order to pick it up, cuz I was so horrified that I'd be seen buying it. They were sold out. Apparently a lot of other people had the same brilliant idea, so I had to go elsewhere. I ended up going to the bourgie high brow political shop in town, and lolly gagged around for a while until someone "uncool" took over the register. How bad is that? I read the first few chapters, and it's surprisingly ironic that I had that drastic of a reaction to buying the book that is about learning how to free ourselves from our egos ~ from our thoughts that what what others think of us matter.... ironic, no?

There was a really interesting passage about how losing everything either makes us feel victimized and cling to our egos, and to our anger, bitterness and resentment, or it allows us to liberate ourselves, and yield to inner acceptance ~ becoming compassionate, wise and loving. And in that very sentiment, I felt like I saw so much of what I have already been learning. Yielding to what have been the biggest struggles.

Like trying to buy embarrassing self-help books in broad day light. Does it get tougher than THAT? Sheesh...

Friday, February 29, 2008

Burly Beard?

Ruth and I went to the photo booths after the worst week. I think we were ready to be done with it, and usher in a new sentiment. We got to our favorite photobooth in town and it was out of order. (As the second photo depicts~as I am sitting inside the booth, having crossed the very official notification on the weathered masking tape stating the obvious... I am pissed!)

Being the dope I am, and Ruth being the genius she is (no, really she is. She's an ivy leaguer. I just went to Bennington. Wah wah wah...) decided to use her blackberry to take pics that she could later morph in photoshop to look like the real photostrips. She made it work, but these are just a few individual frames.

I like this first pic cuz I was hoping the faux fur trim on my jacket's hood would make me look like a burly off shore fisherman. Like an extra from JAWS, not like an extra from the Gorton's Fishsticks commercials. Buh!

Does it work?

I hope so, cuz I am ready to start having things work again in my life. I gave myself last week to grieve and wallow in my self pity, and within a few days I was ready to be done. I got bored with myself, and was ready to pick up and move on.

So I did... I went back to scheming and dreaming like my typical Sagittarian ways. I enlisted good friends and conspirators to help me focus some of my masterful plans, and luckily some of theme stuck. I heard back from Anne Slowey today that now is the perfect time to run the Elle Magazine piece. She said that she was just talking about me yesterday. How humbling is that?

Just this past week I really committed to putting my self out there, and admitted what I really want, and want to do. It can be a pretty terrifying process. I was terrified to tiptoe past my modesty and say what I had really hoped I could create for myself. This after feeling really rejected and denounced just a few days before. I don't want to give up on myself anymore. I don't want to assume other people's negative, destructive habits and believe their issues to be speaking truths about me. I have to see through it ~ through to my goals.

Ok, so what is it that I want again? Besides a big burly off shore fisherman's beard?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

One week...

One week down ~ after the toughest decision of my life. "Still around the morning after..."

Thank you guys.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Scar tissue

I have witnessed my own subconscious sabotaging methods for decades. Since I was 15, I have tried to employ so many "self-help" techniques, and enlisted so many therapists to help me make the changes necessary to "get over stuff and just be happy already." I think I am starting to see that it doesn't necessarily work like that, but I'm still not sure how it does work then.

Somehow I had it programmed in my head that I was simply "depressive" or that I was permanently damaged by the experiences in my life. There might have been fleeting moments of relief, but I believed that no true peace would be possible for me. Any momentary lightening of the darkness would fill me with such billowing hope, until the darkness returned, and cast its ever-present toxic shadow over my resuscitated optimism.

Why? Why could I make no considerable progress?

After a lifetime of being told that I "can't" do whatever I thought it was that I wanted to do, I started to believe it myself. I started to talk myself out of every dream I ever had, and why it would never be possible to attain. Worse than that, I would belittle myself for actually thinking someone like me deserved such riches.

When do we stop believing that we are worth our own dreams?

How can we feel inspired by those who strive for those lofty goals, rather than despising them, or thinking that they were the "chosen ones," and we are average mortals not deserving of hope and success? How do we become conditioned to "settle" and feel resigned in our hopelessness?

I dreamed my whole life to feel whole in this body. Not necessarily to feel like a boy or a man in this body, but to feel less conflicted with the sex of this body that was prescribed before I was born. In many ways, it felt like a birth defect, but one so subtle that the outside world would not be able to identify it upon first glance. How can I say that I was born in the wrong body without sounding crazy? How can something I have known my whole life not feel like my own? I always felt so tormented by the discrepancy between my mind that envisioned my own masculinity and my body that depicted the female form. I felt so crazy and wrong to want something to fix that tortured conflict I knew in my body every day.

* * * * *

In 4th grade I saw an episode of the Oprah show about people who had been raised the wrong gender. Underdeveloped males that mistakenly been raised as girls. I remember the feeling of exuberant joy that seemed almost like a religious enlightenment: "It was NOT MY FAULT." I identified with everything those members of the panel recounted about their childhoods. They had crushes on their female friends, but didn't feel like lesbians, they wanted to participate in more traditionally boyish social settings, but didn't think of themselves as tomboys. Everything was corresponding to my experience, and so it was a sign that I was supposed to see this particular show.

For two years I found myself joyfully clutching to this self-assumed medical secret, as it felt like a countdown until the day the doctors would recognize their mistake, and rectify their miscalculations. And then the worst thing possible happened towards the end of my 6th grade year: On June 13th, 1987 I got my period. Suddenly, I knew the truth ~ it was my fault. My body was not an underdeveloped boy's body, but a fully functioning female body. So the "problem" was in my head~the way my mind internalized this decrepancy between mind and body and how gender identity/expression differed from the biological sex are programmed to be.

There weren't very many positive role models for the transcommunity at that time. The media depicted things like cross dressers as a comedic or fetishistic elements in films and on television. It was easier to find charicatures of what society deemed as "gender misfits" than it was to find any genuine depictions of trans people and their experiences within the world at large. Even fewer cases of "female to male" back then.

I felt like a freak.

Because I had so little exposure to the trans experience back then, I didn't know it was even an identity to embrace. I had no understanding that there would be ways to rectify that internal versus external discrepancy. I didn't know that I could exorcise those demons, and make decisions to eradicate the gap between how I felt and how I looked. Maybe it wasn't so much about eradicating that gap, as opposed to filling it in. It not polarized, between girl vs boy ~ it is just who I am, and where I am, somewhere more in the middle. (I am my own "middle man.")

Having felt broken my whole life, I guess I didn't get it. Scar tissue~it fuses what has been severed, bridges those gaps. I see these new scars on my chest as the symbol for this process of my healing from the breakages/break ups. This scar tissue has filled in the abyss, and made me feel whole for once in my life. I think I had the misconception that I had to break myself down more in therapy to arrive at some self-realized actualization that would bring contentment. As much as there have been moments of shattering the crystalized, yet incorrect notions of how I had to live my life ~ simply because I didn't know there were other options ~ I think it didn't have to be about beating myself up during that process. It didn't have to be about punishing myself, or seeking out other people who would punish me when we'd hit those vulnerabilities. I don't want to be punished anymore.

I don't want to succumb to the shame. I don't believe that should feel ashamed of being trans, like it will single-handedly make me unlovable. Or deny my challenging past. And I don't need to assume other people's fears as my own, if they can not love me here. I am ready to accept the sum total of facets that make me who I am, and not want to have to "excuse" any single one of them. Mostly, I am ready to seek out people who have accepted their sum totals, as well, and can meet me here ~ scars and all.