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Andrea: The Transition
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Sunday, 22 August 2004
Boston Trip
Mood:  happy
Ok so I didn't mention it before I went but I spent this past weekend in Boston meeting up with a bunch of trans women I know. Obviously we didn't want random people showing up, hence the silence but it was a wonderful weekend. So many good experiences and I finally got the chance to meet a lot of good friends who I had previously only known via the internet and the phone. So the following is roughly the events that occurred in a chronological order. This may take a little reading to get through. Oh and if you were there and I don't mention you, my apologies.

Friday, August 20th
I'm currently in the middle of a rotation at school where I tend to get out around 5:00 pm. This definitely wasn't going to work since I had nearly an 8 hour drive (according to yahoo) to get to Boston and I was hoping to get there in time to at least meet a few people before I passed out. So I slipped out around 3:00 pm ish and rushed home to change (boy to girl mode) and finish packing. Now I had done my best to pack everything on Thursday but all night I kept remembering more things I wanted to take with me so I had a sizable list to cram into my bags when I got home. I had planned on getting out of the house around 3:30 and being on the road but time goes so much faster when you need it most to go slowly. So by the time 4:00 pm rolled around and I had only 3/4 packed and was trying to fix my makeup for the 3rd time I just sat on the floor in the living room (surrounded by everything I hadn't packed yet) and started crying. I think it was more the fear of spending a whole weekend as myself and meeting lots of new people and frustration with not getting off on time that triggered it, but poor T* didn't know what to do. So she gave me a big hug to stem my emotional outpouring (thank you estrogen) and started cramming things into my bags. Of course crying did wonders for my mascara so T* dragged me back into the bathroom and fixed everything. No idea where I would be (or how late I would have been) if it wasn't for her. She's truly my rock in all of this transition madness.

I managed to get on the road by 4:30 pm and for a while things went smoothly and uneventfully. Now it's not that this was my first time out in public in my correct gender, but it would be the first time I was going to spend several days straight as such. On top of that, because we'd be at a hotel, most of our time would probably be spent at restaurants, sightseeing, whatever (ie out in public) so I was more than a little apprehensive about the whole trip. I got a call from Reise (my roomy in Boston) about 2 hours out of Boston (around 8 o'clock) and found out I'd be meeting her and a few others at the T station (fitting :-P). Of course shortly after I got off the phone with her I got caught in a torrential downpour which delayed me by almost an hour. Finally, around 11:00 pm I pulled into the parking garage and found a spot on the very top floor. I called Reise back and found out they were in the basement of said parking garage which turned out to be the last stop for the T (not to be confused with T*). Very convenient. So I grabbed my bags, gathered what confidence I could and hopped on the elevator.

To be honest, when the elevator doors opened I was more than a little petrified. Here I was meeting people who I had become very close to through the internet, who I had formed friendships with and had gotten to know very well and who I had never met and had no idea how we would mesh and OMG I'm so much more shy in person. Everyone was so great though and the enjoyment of meeting them overshadowed my anxiety enough to keep my legs working until we got on the T. At least in my defense I had been out as myself for just a fraction of the time most of the others had. Infact, more than a few were already fulltime (give or take) so that's my excuse :-P Eventually we got to our stop and made our way up through the station to the street and our hotel.

At the bar in the lobby were a bunch of others that we were there to see but we ducked by quick and made our way up to our room for the evening. I wasn't ready for any more meet and greets and it was getting late already. Reise had been there for most of the day so she changed quick while I unpacked. As luck would have it, we ended up with a room right next to Jayne and Jess so I finished unpacking, changed and we headed next door. That first night we just spent some time chatting and I spent a lot time just sitting and taking it all in. I tried to be chatty but I was still overwhelmed from my long day and everything else so I ended up being pretty quiet. Not to mention my voice is still borderline mediocre to poor. Didn't help much.

Saturday, August 21st
The next morning we tried to get up and get ready early but two girls and one bathroom ended up slowing us down a lot. Eventually we made it downstairs and met a lot of the other women who were there. It's surprising to meet people that you have preconceived ideas about from your interaction with them online, very enlightening. We ended up splitting off into smaller groups with an agreement to meet back at the hotel around 7:00 pm ish to go to dinner as a group. I got a chance to wander around the Quincy Market area with Reise, Jayne, Jess, Megs and Kaitlyn (plus various others who popped in and out) for most of the morning and afternoon. It was great to hang out with other people my age with similar things going on in their lives. So much fun. It was rainy all day so we spent time running in and out of buildings to avoid the intermittent showers but it didn't dampen things. Eventually we wound up at a mall because Reise needed to find a strapless bra for the next day plus it's just fun to wander. She found one in Vicky's (which didn't work the next day, lol) with a little time to spare so we could get back to the hotel before dinner. Well, when we got back to the subway station near our hotel it was pouring and of course none of us were smart enough to bring an umbrella. We made a quick run for the hotel but we ended up getting totally soaked by the time we got there. Most of our group ended up grabbing the first elevator up but it was too crowded for all of us so Reise and I took the next one. Just as the doors were about to close an older couple got on with us. At that point I had settled in to being out in public (passing or not), but being soaked I was worried that the small amount of makeup I use was no longer there and I had a feeling I wasn't passing. I did everything I could to make my self as inconspicuous as possible but it didn't work. After a moment, the gentleman looked over at us and laughed and said, "Now you girls know why guys don't grow their hair out like that." Then he pointed to his balding head and said, "It's like rain on a tin roof with this thing though." OMG, one of the happiest moments of my life. Not that I hadn't been out in public before. Not that I hadn't felt that I had been "passing", at least at times before that. Not that others (who knew I was born male) hadn't told me I looked fine. It was the fact that he had no idea who we were and he had no reason to believe we were anything other than women. It was the first time I got feedback by someone I didn't know that prooved I was passing just fine. I still can't help but smile about it when I think back on it. We all laughed and parted ways when we got to our respective floors. Definitely my favorite experience of the weekend.

We got back to our room and dried off then headed down to meet the crew and head out for dinner. We decided to get dinner at a restaurant called Fire and Ice and since we were in such a big group and the restaurant was close by, we ended up walking. If you've never been there before, it's a lot of fun. You get to pick everything out and they cook it right there in front of you while you watch, plus the food is really good. Definitely worth your time if you're ever in Boston. There were 20+ people there so it was a bit of a chore to get everything going but eventually we were seated and got to eat. The staff was really nice and dinner was over much too early. Story of my whole trip. By the time we got back to the hotel it was getting late so we changed into PJs and went next door to Jayne and Jess' (our impromptu gathering site). We spent the rest of the evening chatting and wine...tasting :-P I got to meet Nova and Juri (wish I had had a bit more time to spend with everyone) and we eventually coerced Megs to borrow some of our clothes and change since she had to come in "boymode". Another fun evening.

Sunday, August 22nd
The next morning Reise and I slept in late and barely made our checkout time. We decided to wander on our own for the morning and ended up down near Harvard square. I was thinking very hard about getting my navel pierced while we were there but eventually decided to save doing it until I got home. We had lunch at UNOs which was nice without so many people. The waitress was really nice but I still wondered how well I was passing (yes I'm THAT paranoid) which kept me fairly quiet during lunch. Afterwards, we wandered around the park and sat for a while just talking. It was a nice day and I was definitely already missing Boston and all my new friends as my departure grew closer. We decided to catch up with the main group one last time before I had to leave so we called them and headed off. Well, as Reise was finishing up on the phone, some random scary guy approached us and said, "Hi ladies, if you want some weed, we've got some over there", and pointed to his friend. LOL Too funny. We respectfully declined and hurried off to catch up with the rest of the group.

The rest of the day flew by. I got a chance to see everyone I was really close with and to say my goodbyes and then wound up back at my car in the parking garage with Reise. We said our goodbyes (miss her lots) and suddenly I was on my way home again. It all happened so fast. I would have been happy to have another week to spend with everyone but I'd had a hard enough time getting two and a half days free. Overall, the experience was amazing and definitely something I'll never forget. Looking forward to more gatherings in the future (I hope) and a big thanx to everyone who showed up. It was a big step for me in moving forward and getting out and about.


Posted by andreaportman at 12:01 AM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 26 October 2004 7:22 PM EDT
Wednesday, 4 August 2004
Security Incident
Mood:  silly
I was at work again today at the hospital and had another "incident". I was working in an office, filling out papers and well this particular office has big windows so you can see in from the hall and doors on both sides so occasionally people use it as a short cut. Well for whatever reason, today the doors were locked. So while I was sitting there near the door and working, a security guard came by and tried to cut through but found the door locked. I hopped up from my seat without really looking up and opened the door for him then sat back down to continue working. He came in and glanced over at me and said, "Thank you, Miss."

Wasn't expecting that. In fact I looked up to see who he was talking to because we were the only ones there and I was wearing a shirt and tie so I was pretty sure he hadn't made a mistake. Well when I looked up he did a bit of a double take and muttered, "er...sir...student", and hurried out. LOL He must have wondered why I gave him such a big smile for mistaking my gender.

;-)


Posted by andreaportman at 12:01 AM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 2 August 2004
Braving The Village
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: The Village
This morning I had to see a patient who was overtly psychotic with paranoid delusions. I went in with another student (male) to see this middle-aged man because it's safer to see psychotic patients with backup. We get into the room and introduce ourselves and he gives me a really strange look and says, "Well you come in here looking all pretty and then you opened your mouth. I didn't expect that to come out." I was a bit confused so I asked him what he meant to which he replied, "Have you ever heard of these new things called sex changes? You didn't have one of those did you?" OMG. Now of course I still go to school as a guy (sadly) and no one at school has been informed of my impending cross-over so the other student I was with didn't really think much of it. I'm sure however, I turned a dark shade of red. The patient went on to explain all the intricacies of sex changes with a great deal mumber of his own oddities thrown in for good measure. I politely decided not to point out all his inaccurate information and our interview continued without problems after that. When we left the room, I had a good laugh about it with the other student but on the inside I was wondering if he'll be laughing when he finds out that that operation is in my future. Fun stuff.

In the evening T* and I were chatting about our trip to the drive-in and about getting me back out in "girl mode" soon. It turns out I needed to return a shirt (juniors of course, not mens) I purchased during our shopping excursion over the past weekend so we got this crazy idea that we should do it that night and I should go in "girl mode" (blah, there's that word again, hate it). To keep the trip back to the mall from being a waste we looked up showtimes for the movie theater there and decided we'd stop and see The Village too while we were at it. Again, like last Friday, I was petrified during the car ride, but when we got there T* just hopped out of the car and said, "Don't think about it, just get out of the car" and walked off toward the mall entrance. Haha, she knows me too well. So I did the only thing I could do, jumped out and hurried to catch up with her. Amazing how she understands when I need to be pushed and does it without needing to be told to. You'd think she's lived with someone in transition before, lol.

Things went off without a hitch in the mall. I tended not to make eye contact with anyone but there were no whispered words and T* said no one gave us a second look. We wandered through the store and exchanged the shirt I had purchased without any issues. I was completely scared the whole time but no problems. Even the lady at the register gave me no more than a quick glance. So far so good.

Afterwards we wandered down to the theater, waited in line with way more people than I had expected for a Monday night and bought our tickets without any issues. The theater wasn't too full but I didn't bother looking around much even though by that time I had settled down for the most part. The Village was an odd movie. Definitely creeped me out during a few scenes though. When things finished up, we waited for most of the room to clear and then made our way out. Unfortunately though, because it was in a mall, the exit was back out the way we came through the lobby which was packed with people at this point (don't ask me why, maybe several movies got out at once). We made it out unscathed and T* said no one gave us odd looks. Hopefully next time I'll have a bit more confidence so I can keep my eyes up and decide about that for myself.

:-P


Posted by andreaportman at 1:01 AM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 30 July 2004
Fun At The Drive-In
Mood:  silly
Now Playing: Spider Man 2 with I, Robot
Like I've been saying all along, by late summer this year I really shouldn't have any excuses for not going out in "girl mode" (hate that term but use it for simplicity). End of July seemed like late summer so T* and I decided to start out easy by going to the drive-in. What better way to get out in your correct gender than the drive-in? You're around a lot of other people but there's a barrier between you and them. Plus, it gets dark out pretty fast and you never have to leave your car if you don't want to. It made it the perfect first place to get rid of some of the jitters.

To be honest, I've been out in the past in "girl mode" but hadn't in a while and somehow this time it felt much more important. In the past I had lots of reasons to fail (though I could never really tell whether I was passing or not), but now I didn't have those excuses to fall back on. Failing this time (i.e. by getting "clocked") would be very damaging. Afterall, if 16 months of estrogen, 4 laser treatments and dropping close to 50 pounds couldn't keep me from getting "read" there probably wasn't much else that would. Sink or swim time.

So because failure this time would be so much worse than failure in the past, I was pretty much terrified when T* and I hopped in the car and headed off. We brought food with us so we wouldn't have to go inside and I was careful to remember not to drink much so I could avoid needing a bathroom break. We got through the ticket booth without trouble and found a good spot to park. It took a little while but I finally settled down. There was a guy and his wife to our left sitting in their lawnchairs with friends of theirs parked on the other side of them next to their station wagon (why do people do this at the drive-in?) and people in an SUV to our left, but none of them gave us more than a cursory glance or two.

About halfway through the first movie, T* pulled a blanket out and we both climbed underneath it. We weren't doing anything bad but we were close together I guess. A few minutes later I happened to glance over to our left and I saw the guy next to his wagon staring at us. He didn't stop when I looked at him either. So that made me a little paranoid, but I managed to look back at the screen. Every couple seconds I looked back over his way and every time he was staring at us openly. It wasn't yet completely dark yet so it wasn't hard to see what was going on. So by now I was worrying and I mentioned it to T*. She told me not to be silly and that I looked fine and not to worry, but it kept bothering me.

At the end of the first movie I looked over and now the guy and another guy (from the car on the other side of him) were looking our way. I wanted to sink down into the seat and disappear when I heard one of them (our windows were cracked a little to get fresh air in) say, "lesbians". LOL! Thanks guys. Scared the cr*p out of me for an entire movie, but omg that felt good to hear.

The rest of the night passed uneventfully. I consider it a good start.

:-)


Posted by andreaportman at 1:01 AM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 16 July 2004
Worst Day Ever
Mood:  d'oh
Today was a very long day...

I was going to the DMV this morning because I wanted to get a new license with my new address on it and also because I wanted to change the old picture I had. The photo is from when I was 16, very short hair, wearing a baseball cap (which I get yelled at all the time when I have to show my license to the police) and generally just not very good. So, I decided since I'm going to Boston in a little while to catch up with some women I know and since we'll prolly being going out to the bars/clubs at night I should probably have a license that at least looks a little bit like me. It would suck to get turned away from a bar when you're using a legit license to get in. Right, so I printed out online and filled out the "I lost my license" form from the DMV so I wouldn't have to turn in my old license when I got my new one, but there's one problem with that. If you do infact lose your license, you have to be able to prove who you are to get a new one. It's a pain too, you need to bring lots of stuff with you. Now things get complicated...

After my planned stop at the DMV, I was going to swing by my old apartment to pick up some more of my stuff (that's right, I still haven't finished moving out yet). So I swapped cars with T* for the day because 4 doors are better than 2 for moving. This is where the problems started. It seems I forgot that my registration was still in my car (vehicle registration is one of the forms of ID you can use if you lose your license) and my car was now and hours drive away from me in the wrong direction. So I thought ok, no big deal, I'll go to my old apartment first and pick up my expired passport since that would also work as one of my forms of ID. With this in mind, I drove across town to my old apartment (about 30 minutes away from my new one) only to realize as I was pulling into the driveway that the key for that apartment was on my keychain which T* had along with my car.

Luckily, one of my old roommates was home so I could get in, but my room was still locked. It took about 30 minutes and an armload of tools but I was finally able to pop the lock without breaking the door and get into my room. So I dig around and find my passport only to read that it expired in January of 2002. Was this a problem? Of course it was. According to DMV rules, an expired passport can only be used as identification if has expired in the last 2 years. Today being July of 2004 means it wasn't. So, I took my passport and whatever else I could find for ID and decided to go see what the DMV could do for me.

It gets so much worse...

So I hopped in T*s car and headed back to the DMV. Turns out, the summer flu or something was going around the DMV office and half the employees were out or on vacation so I spent a nice long time in line (as if DMV lines are fast anyways). So finally I get up to the info desk and explain my situation, they take my picture (horrible picture by the way, totally scary) and I go over to cash out. Wait in line another hour, get to the desk and the women waiting on me says, "Your passport is too old." I must have given her an awful look because she looked at it again and said, "Well, I guess it's not that old," and let me go. My one spot of luck in an otherwise dismal day.

So now I was running a bit later than I wanted to and had to get to my laser appointment in Canada by 2 pm. Now normally, it's an hour and a half drive when I get thru customs without trouble and I wasn't giving myself much leeway by the time I left to get there on time. Headed down the highway for the border, get to Grand Island and get stuck in traffic. Sit in traffic there without moving for 50 minutes. It turns out, a truck flipped on the Queenston-Lewiston bridge blocking both lanes. So now I'm running way behind. Finally get to Canada (amazingly without getting hasseled at the border) and speed off down the QEW for my 4th laser treatment. Somehow I didn't get pulled over by the mounties but I was doing 90 (mph not kph) most of the way.

So I get to *name edited for privacy* about 2:03 thinking I'd be almost on time however... somehow I managed to take the exit before the one I was supposed to (probably because at this point I was a mess) and ended up getting lost in downtown *name edited for privacy*. During this time I very nearly rear ended not one but two different cars (neither my fault) and continued driving around with no map and nothing looking even vaguely familiar. At this point it's 2:30 and I'm balling my eyes out trying to drive, thank you estrogen. Finally I see a sign for something familiar and end up showing up for my appointment 45 minutes late.

Thank God my laser tech loves me (must be because I tip well) so she didn't complain too much that I was late and hurried me through. Of course because I was so flustered earlier, I forgot to take meds before I went so laser was a fun, teeth grinding experience.

So I finish up with laser and leave the office a little relieved that I've finished all my appointments for the day and can get home. I stop for gas because I was too busy earlier to get any and after I've finished pumping ($25.00) and paying with two $20s I realize I'm in Canada and will be getting their funny money back instead of American (at a very bad exchange rate I might add). But whatever, that's ok, I'm on my way home. Of course as I'm merging back onto the highway I manage to hit and kill this poor innocent little bird. Turn on the tears again.

It gets worse...

Finally, I get back on the QEW and head back for the states. I get within 5 miles of the U.S./Canadian border, I can see the guard shacks and the customs buildings, and I get stuck in traffic again. I manage to sit in traffic in sight of the border for an hour and 45 minutes. It turns out an 18 wheeler spilled gas all over the highway and then caught fire. Black smoke everywhere. I have pictures on my camera phone that I should post here. Sit there and sit there and sit there. No where to go. Cars behind me, cars in front of me, concrete barriers to either side. Eventually the police and rescue workers turn all of us around and send us back the way we came. It's interesting driving the wrong way down a highway. Not sure why but it is. So I drive all over who knows where and finally they sneak us through a construction site to send us back through customs the way we were headed in the first place.

You'd think things would finally get a little better...

I get to the customs booth and the guy is being nice. Asks me the normal questions, etc. I think he's going to give me my license back and send me on my way when he comes out of the booth and says, "Ok, put it in park and open the trunk." Of course I'm still in T*s car and I have no idea where the trunk lever is because I never drive her car. So I'm looking all over the passenger compartment and now the border gaurd is getting pissed. He starts asking me all these crazy f*cking questions and wouldn't you know it, I start crying again for the third time in the same day. Finally, I yank the keys out of the ignition and toss them out the window at him and tell him to open the trunk with the key which he does. He then proceeds to rummage through nothing (there wasn't anything in the trunk, not even a spare tire) for what felt like 10 minutes. I have no idea what he was doing and at that point I really didn't care. Eventually he comes back to my window, tosses my keys in my lap and says, "Get going." B*stard. I then stall T*s car not once but twice (it's standard) because I wanted to get out of there so badly.

All in all, a wonderful day.


Posted by andreaportman at 11:06 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Sunday, 8 August 2004 6:03 PM EDT
Tuesday, 13 July 2004
Still here...
Mood:  silly
Now Playing: Digitally Imported...Vocal Trance
Contrary to popular belief, I didn't abandon my webpage :-P Things have kept me busy, but now that my test is out of the way I should have some more time for updates. Hope so anyways.

My exam was last Friday and wow was it ever evil. Now I know why a large number of people who take it come out thinking they failed it. Fun stuff. I really have no idea how I did. I feel ok about it but I'm pretty sure I didn't ace it. Still have to wait 4-6 weeks to get my results. Plus, I start school again next Monday. So much for a summer break.

In other news...
About a week or so ago, I suddenly realized that I was sort of falling for someone. What makes a crush something more? Hm... Of course this has made my life very complicated at the moment, especially when one considers that I'm currently in a relationship. It's made me really step back and examine things a bit closer. I want to do the right thing for myself and everyone else involved. Plus, the last thing I want to do is hurt anyone. It's really difficult trying to understand yourself when you're transitioning. So many things are changing, it gets hard to keep up. Perhaps it makes it that much harder to nail down what one wants in his/her personal life. That would help explain a little bit of what I feel. It's almost like I don't completely know who I am yet because I'm not done becoming me. Meh, not even sure what I'm trying to say anymore. Suffice to say I've been a bit confused lately. I guess I'll be taking things a little bit at a time and figuring them out as I go.

Hi to anyone from GP who comes here. Have you figured it out yet? :-P

So now that my exam is out of the way, I should be getting back to updating regularly. Yell at me if I don't. In email news, I'm a month behind. Yeah, that far. I guess that's what happens when you try to answer everything you get. Doing my best to catch up now. Sorry if you had to wait this long. I'll get to yours soon.

:-)


Posted by andreaportman at 5:14 PM EDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Friday, 25 June 2004
Careful What You Wish For...
Mood:  on fire
Right so I seemed to forget that being on hormone therapy can make your skin extra sensitive to the sun. So my short stint outside on Wednesday ended up leaving me with a very nice burn. Bad enough to keep me awake most of the last two nights. Bad enough to make it painful to walk. I guess that's what happens when you over-cook 40% of your body. So no I haven't been back out to finish my tan yet.

I've decided I'll be telling my dad about my transition near the beginning of August. That should give him time to get settled after the loss of his mother and still give me enough time to do what I need to do before going fulltime. I'd give him more space if I could but I'm not sure I have more time than that. I still need to come out to my mom, most of my friends, school, etc. and I don't want to have to do it all in the same week. The possibility of all that rejection at once would prolly be a little much to bear. Hence my plan to spread it out.

At this point I've just about reached my limit with studying. Good thing my exam is only 2 weeks away. Not sure I could take much more. So for better or worse, I'll be a lot less stressed soon. Perhaps that will translate into more updates here. I guess we'll have to see how busy this next school year gets.

Thanx to everyone who's sent me email. I'm in the process of replying, honest.

;-)


Posted by andreaportman at 3:56 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 23 June 2004
Sun Worshipping
Mood:  silly
Now Playing: Colorblind
I spent this morning working on a tan. I know all the dangers of sun exposure so you can spare me the lecture. Since I've spent the last two years couped up inside and white as a sheet I thought I could handle a few hours in the sun this summer. There's a beautiful hill on campus here that overlooks the lake and it's pretty quiet so that's where I decided to put down my blanket and get comfy. I studied for most of the morning uneventfully. Occasionally people would pass on the bike path nearby but without incidence.

Well, around noon a guy and girl were riding by on their bikes and the guy kept standing up on the pedals and looking over in my direction. Then he dropped a little behind his female companion and kept looking my way. Finally the girl he was with looked back at him and shook her head and they both disappeared. I'm going to hope that he was checking me out the same way he would any other girl sunbathing. I was only wearing a tight little pair of shorts and had my hair pulled up into a high pony tail with a pair of sunglasses resting on my head so I was definitely presenting a female image.

Then around 1:00 one of the guys cutting grass decided to come over and cut the little patch between me and the lake. Again, I caught him glancing up every once in a while, lol. That was enough encroachment for me so I packed up and took off. I'll have to head back tomorrow or Friday and finish tanning on my front side. Are guys always like that or did I somehow inadvertently send confusing signals with my image? Hm... I suppose it doesn't really matter. I was just there to tan, nothing else so as long as I can finish up without incidence I could care less.

In other news, it looks like I'm going to be meeting up with a bunch of trans women I know from the internet soon. Should be a great experience having never met another trans male or female in person yet. Isn't that sad? Studying goes much the same. Promise to update again soon.


Posted by andreaportman at 2:17 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 19 June 2004
A Long Week
Mood:  hug me
Now Playing: Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)
I guess I'll start with what was good about this week...

On Tuesday my sister got married. The wedding was outside and they found a beatiful location right near the river. The proceedings took place in the evening and since it wasn't extremely far from home (she had planned to get married in the Florida Keys originally), T* and I drove down to be there. Although the ceremony wasn't traditional (my sister has her own way of doing things, love her for it) it was really cute and exactly what her and her now husband wanted. I have another brother, hee hee. Both my mom and dad showed up which could have been a bit strained (they're divorced and not on the best of terms) but wasn't. I even managed not to cry which is pretty good I think considering all the estrogen I'm on. The reception afterwards was really nice too and the food was oh so good meaning it was oh so bad for my diet, lol. T* and I sat with my dad and the groom's parents which was nice. The rest of the night was fun but uneventful for the most part. Dancing, food, alcohol in large quantities, all the important things for a good wedding. The only glitch in the evening came when my dad noticed I'd had my ears pierced. Whoops. T* and I played it off like they'd been pierced for a long time and it was no big deal. I think it worked. I'm worried that he's starting to wonder about me though, building up some unanswered questions. I guess it won't matter soon. I can't wait just to have everything out in the open for better or worse. Sick of hiding. Though my sister and her new husband were super busy with everything they found a few minutes to chat with T* and I near the end of the night. I'm so happy for them. So while we were standing there talking away from the rest of the attendees my new brother-in-law (who's in the know about my transition along with my sister) said to me, "You know I've never had a sister before." At first it didn't really register to me what he was saying and then I put two and two together, he was talking about me. I almost cried for the second time that night. So sweet.

And now the rest...

On Tuesday morning my gram passed away. I got a phone call from my dad and knew what was coming before he said it. Though it was expected, it was still really difficult to take. She was my last surviving grandparent, I have no more. When I saw my dad at my sister's wedding he said he'd catch up with me about the funeral and church services. It must have been so difficult to have his mother die and to give away his youngest child on the same day but he was really strong through it all. I got a call Thursday night from my sister telling me that the funeral and church service were going to be Friday morning, but that she had no idea where or at what time. Later, around 11:00 pm, my brother called and filled me in. Although my gram had 7 children, my aunts and uncle generally defer things to my dad. He just does a good job taking charge of situations among his siblings. Turns out he was so busy with all the arangements for the funeral it slipped his mind that he was suppose to call me and let me know what was happening. Thank God my brother and sister kept up with me.

Since T* is home visiting her family I was on my own heading out to the funeral in the morning. Of course because I had someplace I absolutely had to be, something would have to come up and make things difficult. I ended up getting stuck in a fun traffic jam about 30 minutes from the funeral home. Sat there for 45 minutes before we finally started to creep ahead. I was going to post a picture of the accident (took some with my new camera phone, it was scary bad) here but decided not to in deference for anyone who might have been injured or worse. So I was going much too fast the rest of the way and ended up arriving only a few minutes late. Viewing hours were in the morning and my brother (who I haven't seen much of in a long time) was waiting for me outside. We stood outside for a few minutes and talked about gram, about the family and about life in general. I hadn't expected it (sometimes my brother can be very close about what he's thinking but this time he was very open) and it had a calming effect on me which I definitely needed. About 40 relatives showed up for viewing hours and it was nice to see so many family members I hadn't seen in a while though the circumstances could have been better. We spent the morning there with her talking quietly and exchanging stories, remembering her life. Afterwards, the burial was first followed by the church services. This allows the family to grieve first and then go on and celebrate the life of the person who's passed away.

It was a cloudy day but as we pulled up to the cemetary the sun broke through. We had several police cars and motorcycles escorting us as my grandfather had been high up in an office of public service and the city sent them out of respect for him and my gram though he passed away a decade ago. There were a lot of tears but I managed to keep mine inside somehow. The burial was fairly short. We said our goodbyes and moved on to the church where we attended services with her congregation. Her pastor read one of her favorite poems and I'll share it with you here. He told us to think of my gram as the ship...

Gone From My Sight
Henry Van Dyke

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white
Sails to the morning breeze and starts
For the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until at length
She hangs like a speck of white cloud
Just where the sea and sky come
To mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says;
"There, she is gone!"

"Gone where?"
Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull
And spar as she was when she left my side
And she is just as able to bear her
Load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone
At my side says, "There, she is gone!"
There are other eyes watching her coming,
And other voices ready to take up the glad shout;
"Here she comes!"

I cried then, just a little but I couldn't help it. I'm crying now again typing these words...

We spent some time sharing memories and moments with her congregation, sang some hymns and then the service was over. I said my goodbyes to the rest of my family. Still so many things at home I had to attend to so I had to take my leave. I got in my car and got out on the highway and then the tears really came. I pulled over for a short time and cried by myself wishing T* was there with me to make it better but I was alone.

After a few minutes I got things under control and continued home. Such a difficult day.


Posted by andreaportman at 1:10 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Saturday, 19 June 2004 1:44 PM EDT
Monday, 14 June 2004
When Is The Right Time?
Mood:  hug me
Now Playing: The Radio
Well I meant to get back here sooner, but as always things come up. I got a call middle of last week from my dad because my grandmother has taken a turn for the worse. T* and I have spent the last couple of days visiting her and supporting my fam. Unfortunately at this point she doesn't recognize people well and can't talk much but she called T* and I by name when we went to see her and she seems at peace. I've been trying to stay strong for my dad and the aunts and uncles, but I'm pretty sure it's all going to catch up to me soon. If you believe in God, do me a favor and say a prayer for her.

I'm also trying to figure out exactly what I should do. I had wanted to tell my dad about my transition a while back but I didn't want to bother him with it too soon after he got the news that his mother had terminal cancer. So I waited. Then I wanted to tell him again, but thought it would be easier to wait until after he had helped me move to my new house just so he wouldn't feel awkward giving me a hand if things bothered him. He ended up calling me a few days before my move and telling me that my gram was getting worse and that he couldn't leave her alone during the day long enough to come help me out. So I waited. And now, she's very ill and could pass any day and I realize I certainly can't bring this up with him now. Further, I don't want to dump it in his lap a week after she's passed away. So I'm still waiting. Any suggestions?

PS: I'm planning on adding some more photos this week. Maybe Wednesday just so you can all keep up with my progress.


Posted by andreaportman at 4:05 PM EDT | Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink
Updated: Monday, 14 June 2004 4:15 PM EDT

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