May 31, 2016
Been a bit busy the past few days….haven’t had time to journal, which sucks. But, back at it!!
Had a great chat with my therapist today!! We have finalized a plan for getting all the paper work and contacts for SRS done. In August, she is going to collect all the required documentation for approval by the Health Ministry and submit it on my behalf. So, all the forms, a letter from her and a letter from my Primary Care Physician and she will look after that. Then, once I am approved, of which she doesn’t anticipate an issue, she will contact Dr. Brassard in Montreal to start that process and get a consultation and surgery date for next summer.
Was a whirlwind conversation, but wow…..looks like she has been totally able to figure out this new approval system in Ontario and is going to work with me to navigate it and get this all done!
Colour me one happy girl. So ya, that calls for a little happy dance!!!
May 23, 2016
Luckily, today is a holiday up here in the North, so I took advantage of that and got out of the house. Spent the morning with my dive team as they went on a dive. I was relegated to support which turned out to be a good thing as someone did need assistance with some equipment issues. Anywho, after that, spent some time on the waterfront at one of my favourite spots just to clear my head and take in some sun. First time this year I have actually needed sunscreen!! So, feeling better now. That and the fact I was able to chat with Jenn for about 20 minutes (most of it crying) and an hour with my oldest daughter (without crying!! ha ha).
This is quite the roller coaster ride, this transition shit…..
May 22, 2016
Just got a very long email from my ex…very emotional, for me. Our youngest daughter is graduating from Law School in two weeks. My ex informed me that she can’t join us for the celebratory dinner and she is not in a place emotionally where she can or wants to do that. She also told me that I am not to approach her parents under any circumstances after the ceremony, the reception, for pictures, etc. Her father hates me right now, doesn’t understand this “lifestyle” choice I have made (this is what they honestly believe, and are not open to any type education or information etc. And they were truly more parents to me than my biological ones ever since I left home at 17. So essentially, I am pretty much an outcast at the event. That being said, as a member of faculty and an Alum of the Law School, I get to “hood” my daughter and give her the degree on stage. I am sticking to my guns on that one. But that is it. After that, I am to fade into the woodwork and not surface again until the dinner at the restaurant when it will just be me and my two daughters “celebrating”.
So, hear I sit, an emotional wreck in need of a hug. I feel like a big pile of steaming crap. This is one of the many times that being alone is really, really lonely. God, sometimes this transition shit really sucks!!! I hate this…so much!!!
May 20, 2016
Was chatting with my oldest daughter last night. A lot of the usual stuff, etc etc. She also told me that a lot of her friends including the mother of a little girl she baby sits all want to meet me!! This certainly never happened when I was “just her dad”. Now that they all know that I am transgender, they all want to meet me and spend time with my daughter and I. They are all completely supportive my daughter and my transition. Interesting how I am now little “miss popular”. It’s almost like they want to meet the cool parent, like it’s cool to be trans?? Don’t get me wrong, I am more than happy to get to know my daughters friends. They are all really nice “kids”…okay, mid 20 somethings…..but still, this is all very new….and interesting???
May 17, 2016
had a conversation with a CIS friend/colleague the other day. We are quite close. Some years back, I hired her to work as part of a team to work with me on an initiative. We have always got along great, she is a very sweet person. Anywho, the conversation moved along and I showed her a recent photo of me, something other than jeans and a tee shirt (ha ha), and she actually started to tear up. She said she was so overcome with the happiness in my eyes, and how well I clean up!! ha ha.
I am blessed to have so many good people in my life, both CIS and trans, men and women. Nothing can replace the love of friends….
May 15, 2016
Had the pleasure yesterday of attending one of the sessions of a Trans conference here in town yesterday. The speaker I went to see was Stephanie Battiglino. She was the special advisor to Diane Sawyer, who was brought in to prep Ms. Sawyer for the Caitlyn Jenner regarding transgender women. It was a fascinating talk. Very casual, in that she welcomed lots of questions and comments both about her own personal story and the Sawyer job. I also had the opportunity to speak with her one-on-one afterwards. She is an amazing person and advocate/activist for the trans community.
That was time well spent!!!
May 13, 2016
Received the following very brief email from a colleague at work. He is about my age, and I have had the pleasure of watching him develop over the past 10 years and move up into a position on our senior executive leadership team. He is a very kind soul and I am fortunate to be able to call him “friend”….
“Erin, I just want to say how proud I am of you. You are a very courageous person. I am honoured to be your colleague and friend.”
Not very many words, but great ones!!! Another small victory…
May 9, 2016
Another interesting first on the weekend….My dive team knows Erin and are totally fine with it. As such, one of our instructors asked me to stop in and help teach a weekend course with him, and he did so knowing I would be Erin. Anywho, I had to work this weekend, but really wanted to do this, so I “overloaded” myself a bit, given that I am still recovering. I am not cleared to be in the water with them yet, but was able to be surface support, making sure they had the equipment set up correctly, doing their surface drills etc. I have worked with this instructor for the past 3 years on training courses and we know how we each do things and we work together well. Anyway, this would be the first time working with students as Erin. He introduced me to the students, only 8… 5 men and 3 women. Not a single issue. No looks, stares, issues, nothing. They had no clue I was trans. The good thing as that the commander was also there as the 2nd in water instructor (typically the job I would do), and he was prepared to intercede on my behalf if there was an issue. Once he saw there were not going to be any issues, he relaxed and we had a great training session! I began to notice that while the men would ask me or the male instructors questions, the women tended to gravitate towards me. It became obvious to me they were more comfortable asking another woman their questions. Including the good ol’ “Should I be diving in shark infested waters when I am on my period?”. I gave her the answer and we chatted about it, and she was good with it and we moved on. As the only active female trainer on the team, the leadership see it as a bonus, in that it helps the female students feel more at ease. So, a win-win.
Things just keep rolling along…..
May 6, 2016
I received a very nice text message the other day. One of your dive instructors sent a text message to me, using my proper name, Erin, asking if I would be available to help out with some instruction this weekend. He knows me as “Erin”, he is the first instructor to reach to me to ask for my help since the transition. Felt very good to see that he has accepted me as another diving professional and cares more about my expertise than “my looks” so to speak. In other words, treating me as he would any other professional. Having said that, I am now the only active female dive master on the team, but I must say, for a group of major alpha males in the military, there have not been any problems. It is one thing to accept who I am, but to reach out and ask for my assistance tells me they really have accepted me. Great feeling!
Chalk up one for the good gals!
May 3, 2016
Well, after much searching, I decided to go straight to the “horses mouth” so to speak, and try to get the correct information on how to change my name and gender on my Quebec Birth Certificate. They do have info on how to do a name change on line. But apparently, that is only for changing last name. If I am just changing given names, it is actually a bit less complicated. And, as it turns out, I can get my name and gender changed at the same time. I have to submit the change of name form which is also has information for change of gender, get it signed by a witness that knows me for more than 2 years, and get it notarized and send it in to the ministry in Quebec. 30 days later I will receive an official change of name and gender certificate from the government of Quebec. If I want to get a new birth certificate, I send that in, along with my original birth certificate and 4 months later, I will have a new BC.
So, now the question is, will I be able to use an out of Province Name change certificate to get my Drivers Licence and Health card changed in Ontario?? This might be the classic case of 2 steps forward and 1 step back????
On the plus side, the clerk I spoke with in Quebec was very polite and very helpful and gave me his direct line should I have anymore questions or need more assistance. So, perhaps I can now start that process?????