Now Playing: Everybody's Got a Story
I think I'm going to stop apologizing for my abscences around here. It's not that I don't want to update regularly but rather my busy schedule gets in the way. And, since sporadic updates have become more the norm, there doesn't seem to be much reason to appologize for an everyday occurence (or not...occurrence, you know what i mean).
So much has happened since I last updated here and this one entry will never cover it all. I have notes written down and entries offline that are coming when I get a spare moment, but I'll try to give you a taste quickly here before I run for bed. I've been out all over the place with T* malls, stores, movies, dinner, etc. I went to get more laser in good ole' CA. Oh and speaking of T* we're definitely no longer together as a couple. I won't say it didn't hurt that we broke up but I know it was necessary and we're still the best of friends. I'll elaborate more on that later. What else? I came out to my ex ex (the one before T* who is now my current ex, still following?) and she's really cool about things, we're going to grab some dinner together later this week so I'll give you the scoop on that too. I finally got around to sending a letter to my dad (yeah I couldn't do it in person) so I'll update you on that. Oh and two nights ago I came out to my best guy friend. The one I've known since preschool and he was completely amazing in his reaction to it all.
Yeah, so much. Promise to put all these things into words and context very soon. I have a few days coming up at the beginning of next week so by then at the latest. Thanks to everyone who's been writing me and I'll be catching up on your emails too. Best holiday wishes to everyone, life is good.
Now Playing: Lets Get It On
Ok, I guess I should never say that I'll get to all my email since it never happens. I ended up with another full inbox which I've half emptied. Sorry to those of you who have to wait a little longer. Promise to get there. In other news, T* and I went to see Ray last night and of course I went as me. We had a lot of fun and I'm starting to feel a bit more comfortable being myself in public so two thumbs up. The movie was good too, especially if you like the music. Well written and Jamie Foxx was amazing considering what I've seen him in before. I added some new photos too as a Halloween present ;-) Hope everyone had fun and stayed safe. I'll update again soon. B'bye for now.
When Does Safety Become A Crutch?
Now Playing: I Hate Everything About You
I'm a year and a half into my transition now (if you count from the first day I started hormone replacement therapy) and things have gone very well. Better in fact, than I had any reason to hope. I've had good results from both HRT and laser, I'm told I'm presentable (hard to see it for myself but it will come), I've been accepted by the limited number of people I've come out to, I have advice and guidance from people who have gone through all of this before me, I have a bright future with a good career and I have a loving, supportive roommate who has helped me all along the way. So why am I finding it so hard to continue moving ahead toward living fulltime? I have around 10 months until the date I had originally set to go fulltime and when I should be sprinting ahead towards the finish line I find my legs leaden and unmoving. What's holding me back? Friends I've had who were behind me transition wise have since caught up and gone fulltime as I plod along. I used to tell myself it was ok because I was going at my own pace and I had my own timeline to execute and that I shouldn't worry about how fast or slow others reach that same goal. Still, it's depressing to be passed up by all your peers. Granted school is slowing me down. All the girls I know who have passed me and gone fulltime are working part time jobs or struggling to build careers. None of them are (still) in school, but is that a reasonable excuse?
Don't misunderstand me. I have no desire whatsoever to go back the way I've come. I could never go back to that life. It's just that I'm wondering if I haven't found a safe stop along the way and latched on because it was comfortable enough to get by with. I mean when you compare the here and now with what I was struggling with before I started transitioning the difference is amazing. I'm infinitely happier now than I once was. But shouldn't I be pressing ahead to fulfill what I was headed towards all along? Presently I'm doing well in school and people generally like me. Even though I may look a little on the odd side (presenting as a guy) people warm up to me quickly and I'm definitely enjoying myself. Plus, I get to be myself most of the time I'm home. I can't remember the last time I wore casual guy clothes. So is it this safety of having my privacy (concerning my gender issues) and still being able to be myself for a decent amount of the day that's given me pause? Is it because while the distant future looks so secure, the immediate future (ie. the time surrounding my coming out at school) is full of uncertainty and doubt. Not to mention the fear of rejection by my classmates. Is it because with fulltime inching closer daily, the facts concerning what I'm about to do have suddenly become crystal clear causing me to hesitate while I take it all in? Wish I had the right answers. Perhaps it's something else entirely.
Share your thoughts if you'd like...
I'll let you know if I come up with a good explanation.
Ok so if this format looks odd...it's because it is. I've been having problems with my coding as far as the comments page goes (ie. you couldn't enter them and just got an error) so I've reverted my blog to "safe mode". If it works properly you should be able to start entering your comments again. Sorry about the long wait for these changes. Diagnosing coding problems when you have little to no computer literacy is a bit time consuming. Anyways, as I said somewhere previously, I have a few past entries that I'm going to retroactively enter. I'll be sure to link to those in the left hand column so you don't miss out if you've been reading all along (are there any of you out there?). At any rate, thanx for your patience again. I'll be more active, just cross your fingers.
Posted by andreaportman
at 5:42 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 25 October 2004 9:10 PM EDT
Email And Then Some...
Now Playing: Childhood Dreams
Ok so I had a few hours free and somehow I was able to catch up on just about all my email. My inbox had over 700 emails when I started so you do the math :-P I also got around to updating my guest book for everyone who was wondering where their entry disappeared to. Honest, that form doesn't lead to the abyss or the circular file. Must run back to school but I'll be back soon to add a real entry here. Lots going on lately but my free time has been mostly too limited to blog. Thanks everyone for being patient.
Now Playing: Fan
Ok I've come up with a plan, plus new rules for my website. From now on I'll post updates on weekends (weekdays time allowing) and also answer emails at the same time. Although, I don't have much spare time during the week or on the weekends, I can generally spare at least a few minutes Saturday or Sunday. So, if you send me an email then chances are you should hear from me by the weekend. At least that way people have some idea of what to expect rather than typing off a message and sending it into the void that has been my inbox for the last 3 months or so. My apologies to all.
I realize that my comments aren't working correctly anymore and I'm working hard on fixing that. Unfortunately, I'm no computer whiz so it's prolly going to take time (unless one of you has a brilliant answer for me). Things should be back up and running semi-normally soon though.
As a final item of business, I did add a few more photos here. Sadly, they aren't the most recent but they are from the last few months. Random shots that slipped through the cracks. Hope you find them up to par. I'll prolly write more tomorrow or Sunday. Until then...
Posted by andreaportman
at 12:03 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 25 September 2004 12:07 AM EDT
Now Playing: She Will Be Loved
I haven't been making enough time for my webpage. I could give you the sob story about how busy I've been but if you've been following my website you already know. I'll spare you. So much has happened in the last month or so. I'm actually putting in some older entries that I wrote out by hand when I had a free moment but couldn't get to a computer. I'll be sure to point out which entries those are in case you're curious to go back and see what's been going on.
As far as transition goes, not much has happened of note. I've reached around 18-19 months of HRT (and I really do plan to update that section too), but changes are very slow these days. Most of my major advances are behind me. I still haven't done any better in the "coming out to family" category. I have the letter for my dad but still haven't slipped it in the mail. Maybe I'm afraid that will make my transition that much more real. Point of no return? Not sure why that would bother me though. I have no desire to go back, never did. However, I do find that the further along I get, the less pressure I feel to speed through everything. Not sure if that makes sense but it's the truth.
So anyways, have patience with me. I'm doing what I can and I'll keep at it. I haven't given up on this website yet and I don't intend to.
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
, 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
Updated: Tuesday, 26 October 2004 7:22 PM EDT
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.