April 29, 2016

Had a very interesting chat with my therapist yesterday. I mean, they are always interesting, and always very helpful, but near the end of our time, she mentioned that I have to get ready for dating. Okay. We have talked about that and where I think I am with that right now etc. But this time she was pretty blunt about it. What she was trying to get at was that while I am not ready to actively date and “put myself out there” she said I will need to be ready for situations coming to me. I guess I gave her the whole “dog hearing a high pitched sound stunned look”, and she basically said, “You need to get ready to be hit on!” . Oh, alrighty then. Not even close to where my head is on all of this. She said looking at me, I need to be prepared on how to deal with it when it happens, cuz its going to happen. Okay. Point taken. Still don’t believe her, but she is waaaaay more experienced with all of this than I. But, seriously?!?!? I’m sorry, I just had to laugh.

 

April 28, 2015

Life is slowly moving on….Went to the bank on Tuesday to sign new documents placing the house in my name and arranging for the equalization payment to my ex. Lawyers yesterday to sign off on the deed to put the house in my name only, etc, etc. So, all the conditions for completing the separation agreement and payments are done. Bit of a sad day, but I know it is the best thing for both of us, and it is what she wants, so I am happy for her. And, quite honestly, I am happy for me to. We are both better off being able to live our separate lives and go our own way. That is not to say that we are not on good terms, we talk often and have a pretty good relationship, all things considered. It is just another step in the whole transition process for me….for us….sigh.

 

April 25, 2016

Interesting….over the past few days, I have received two “friend requests” from member of my dive team. These guys are military and “ultra male”. That being said, there has not been any issues with them – so far – with me being transgendered and transitioning. Also, another member saw that I was online yesterday on Facebook and pinged me on Messenger and we chatted back and forth a bit. He had a few questions about diving, and I wanted to know how his wife was doing (she’s getting treatment for Cancer). Was a great little discussion. We ended up trying to set a time to meet in person to continue our chat, probably next time I am with the team. So, you never know where your support (or resistance) is going to come from. I thought for sure, given the make up of these guys (oh, and two women), that I would hit a few pockets of discrimination. But that has not been the case….not the slightest bit. I am very fortunate, and I remind myself of this daily.

 

April 19, 2016

Electro appointment today, second one this week. An hour each. Coming up to one year. Another one to go…sigh. But we are making really good headway. I have gotten to the point that I don’t need to where foundation on my cheeks, chin or upper lip for coverage unless I want to. I usually do though, as I have uneven skin tone. But at least I have gotten that far…. Not exactly my idea of a good time, but, we all do what we have to do….

 

April 17, 2016

Wonders never cease….Today my ex came over to borrow my car to move a few things to my daughters apartment as she (my daughter) gets ready to move to Toronto for her new job!! (Hoorah! Finally, she’s graduating and “off the books”! ) Anywho, because I still can’t lift anything, I am pretty much useless to help. so my ex agreed to do it, no big deal. So I went on with my day, making soup for the week and some biscuits, well, just cuz I felt like some Cheddar Bay Biscuits (you know, like the ones you get at Red Lobster….just about the only thing worth eating there… but I digress…).

 

When my ex was done and she returned my car I asked if she wanted to stay for lunch as I had made plenty. To my mild surprise, she said yes, and stayed!! We had a wonderful chat about nothing really in particular, keeping it pretty light. She stayed for about an hour. It was soooo nice! I was very appreciative that after all that has gone on, she wanted to stay and engage as “friends”. Perhaps, just perhaps, she has turned a corner and is realizing that I am not a monster!?!? We will see??

 

Oh, and I wasn’t hiding, but wasn’t really “in her face obvious”. Had a tank top with a shirt over, that was unbuttoned, jeans, very little makeup, just some eyeliner and mascara (which I can get by with these days) and my hair in a pony tail. But out there enough to make a point, I am who I am. I mean, “the girls” were fairly obvious.

 

It gives me some hope….hope that we can be respectful enough of each other to the point we can be together, while at the same time, getting on with our separate lives. I am hoping that some day, the four of us (my two girls added in) can gather for the occasional meal etc, so that Thanksgiving and Christmas don’t have to be a) awkward and b) so lonely for everyone.

 

Wonders never cease….

 

April 14, 2016

Check off another thing on the “to do” list. Attended our dive team major “annual” meeting last night. Their first exposure to me for many of them. Turned out to be a really big “non-event”. Now, these guys are all military, mostly army, with some from Navy. The usual greetings from around the table, pre meeting chit chat and post meeting banter. There were about 5 that didn’t get “the memo” and had no idea who this new female member was and I could see they were confused as I would make comments about stuff that occurred in the past during training etc. It was actually kinda funny! The penny dropped from them when the commander actually used my old name, quickly correcting himself, but I could see the light bulbs go on. No issue. There is one that still hasn’t figured it out. He is relatively new. I actually did work with him last year, helping him with his training for Dive Master, but he obviously did not make the connection as he said at the end of the meeting, “nice to meet you”. Actually asked if I wanted to join him and a few of “the guys” for beer after the meeting. I had to decline, as I was driving with another member who had to go. Anywho, just goes to show that I was really worked up and nervous about all of this, but in the end, it was fine.

 

I went home feeling not only happy, but it was actually quite liberating. No more hiding, no more “lying”, no more false pretence, just me, being little ol’ me!!

 

Yup, you guessed it, another small victory……

 

April 11, 2016

Had another “chat” on the weekend about my transition. This time it was with a very senior person in an organization I do volunteer work with/for. It went extremely well! I had a feeling it would be okay, but, I never assume….anything. He said that he figured it out months ago and was just waiting to come to him to start the discussion. He had the same sense as I, that the board would be fine, with the exception of maybe one person, and she is not influential, so in the grand scheme of things, it will be fine. The staff will also be fine. This is not the first discussion the staff have had around transgender people, so not a “new concept” to them. We are going to meet this weekend with the Chair of the Board, who also “figured me out” months ago, to work on a communication plan for the board and staff. But all in all, there doesn’t seem to be a concern.

 

Another step forward…

 

April 8, 2016

Okay, so had a meeting with the leadership of my dive team on Monday, right? There was one person we all agreed may be the only person that would have an issue with me being trans. Well, low and behold, out of the blue, he sent this message to me yesterday:

 

“Hey Erin, as you are aware, M*** spoke to me this afternoon. First things first, I’m relieved to hear you managed to pull through and survive from your heart attack with your bypass surgery. Always better to be on the green side of the ground. I was a little shocked to hear of your new life, but I admire you for your courage to do what is the right thing for you. Takes bravery to step out and say I’m who I am, life is too short not to be living life where you are not comfortable with whom you are. Life is always about being true to yourself and happy with yourself. You are a friend and always be a friend, this doesn’t change a friendship. I look forward to diving with you again when you feel you are fit to dive, and look forward to seeing you.”

 

You never know….you just never know…..

 

Again, a small victory.

 

April 7, 2016

So, had “the chat” with one of my very good friends and his wife last night. Haven’t seen them for a while as he has had health issues, and of course, I have been out of commission with my heart surgery etc. I had a feeling it was going to be fine. But honestly, coming out of their home last night just over 2 hours later, I am not really sure what to think?!? It was the most under whelming, luke warm reception to the news of the divorce and my transition that I have experienced to date. Not sure what to make of it. She, honestly admitted that she is supportive, and we are okay, but needs to time to digest it all and will probably have questions later. That is perfect, I have no problem with that. I could see he was really trying hard to be supportive, but I could see he was struggling with it all. I think they were both “blind sided” by it and maybe just need time. I am hoping that is what it is. He and I are actually kinda close. We have travelled all over the world to dive, from exploring WWII battleships in the South Pacific, to hunting down giant Mantas off the coast of Hawaii. I did his rescue training and we have gotten each other out of sticky situations and he has always had my back, and I, his.

 

So I am hoping that this is just a “I need time” thing. We will see what the summer brings. I hope we can get together a lot this summer. I know for her, it will be different as my ex is now out of the picture, so not sure how much she will want to hang out with us, but then again, as she gets more comfortable with me as a woman, we might do girls night out things??? Not sure where this is going. So, I think this one will go into a “holding pattern” for a bit while they try to work it out and ask more questions.

 

You can never predict how these things are going to go……

 

April 6, 2015

Last night I had the opportunity to participate in the first meeting of a new group just formed by our local office of the Canadian Mental Health Association to work on a project to help LGBT youth with mental health issues in our community. Ranging from impact of isolation, homelessness, lack of access to resources, abuse, etc, etc. Not really sure why they asked me, as I definitely learned way more than I contributed, but I was happy to be there. So we laid out the scope and started to generate ideas of how to attack the problems. Very interesting and diverse group at the meeting which was awesome.

 

I couldn’t help thinking throughout the entire meeting that I am so fortunate in my life that I have the resources and support to go through my transition etc. But I am definitely not the norm, but the “thin edge of the wedge” as they say. It was quite “in my face” the entire evening. Wow….I don’t have to look very far to see there are so many struggling with LGBT related issues. So important to worry about and work on what is going on in your own backyard before you try to change the world! Work on changing your little corner of the world, the rest will come.

 

April 5, 2016

Had a meeting with the leadership of my dive team yesterday to have “the chat” with them. Chief instructor, “commander” and 2nd in command came to my house. The Chief instructor already knew as he is a good friend of mine, so it was good to have his support. I was pretty sure it was going to be okay, but they are all military, so you never know. Anywho, turns out they were totally fine with it. They assured me they are not anticipating any issues but will deal with it immediately because “I am personally inclined and obligated according to Military policy, to deal with. So, I think it will be fine. There will probably be the initial few jokes and then back to business. My main concern is that we literally place our lives in each others hands, I need to know they will have my back. They assured me there will not be any issues, but will certainly be on the look out and keep an ear to the ground, and deal with anything should it arise. Even though this is something I do voluntarily, I would really like to keep it going and assist with instruction, training and rescue etc. I will be the only active female Dive Master on the team, so the commander is actually very pleased with that….looks good for the team (he is a bit of a political animal…ha ha).

 

So, another group done. I only have one more volunteer organization to deal with, and that is coming up. That one may be a bit tricky, but not as much as it used to be. When I was Chair of the Board of Governors, I was very much in the spotlight and the face of the organization at times. Now that my term is done, I think it will probably go unnoticed in the public, so don’t have to worry about the folks that think that might be an issue. I remain hopeful!! (as always…)

 

April 3, 2016

Had a very interesting experience yesterday, for a few reasons. I was fortunate enough to get a ticket for an afternoon performance of Cameron Carpenter, a world renowned organist, who is also a supporter of, and advocate for, LGBT rights. He was amazing!!! Holy. He played a number of Classical and contemporary pieces, and even a piece by Stan Rogers, a very famous Canadian folk singer, which he said he couldn’t resist given this was his first to Canada on his world wide tour. So, really an enjoyable afternoon.

 

Now, I went by myself, as tickets were ridiculous to get, and I think I got the last one, as I decided relatively late to go. But go, I did. I noticed that I am getting much more comfortable going out by myself. Either to events like this, or the movies, etc. I comfortably chat with staff for directions to my seat, or washrooms etc with no difficulty what so ever. But what I noticed this time is that I felt a twinge of being there alone. And I don’t mean with a friend, but with a “significant other” or partner. It was mostly couples, which may have contributed to this, but I really felt the need to link my arm with a partner, or lean my head on their shoulder as I listened. Maybe it was just a somewhat romantic setting….I don’t know. But this was a first. Maybe I am comfortable enough in my own skin that my heart has moved onto looking for a relationship waaaaay before my brain is???

 

Hmmmmm, will have to let this one simmer for a bit…

 

April 2, 2016

A ho-hum day for groceries and laundry etc. But, going to out to a movie tonight with a GG friend of mine. Will be great to get out with her. She’s roughly the same age as me, son same age as my kids, living on her own, really smart and funny as hell ….we have a blast together. Oh, and did I mention, she is my Electro tech!! Will be nice to be able to chat with her without getting a needle stuck in my face a couple of hundred times!! ha ha.

 

You just never know where friendships will strike up along this journey…..

 

April 1, 2016

Have I mentioned how much I hate electrolysis?!?!? Ugh. Taking advantage of my time of “recuperating” I am double and tripling up on treatments, going twice or three times a week for hour long sessions. Might as well, right?? Problem with that is having a “fury face” most of the time. Double “ugh”. I mean, we are making good headway, and it is a necessary evil, but holy….

 

My cheeks are pretty much all clear now, which is great. Focusing on chin and upper lip. But regrowth is now to a point that in some areas I have to go 5 days without shaving in order to have enough of the hair to grab! The hair is now that fine and slow growing, which I know is a good thing in the grand scheme of things. I guess this is just that icky “in between” time of the process. I have pretty much become immune to a lot of the pain, though my eyes can still water from treatment in certain areas. I have learned to wear either no mascara, or waterproof!! ha ha. But at least I am moving the peanut up the hill and making progress…..

 

Little victories…