Wednesday, December 31, 2008

If You're Happy And You Know It

I have to admit that I've noticed this year passing more than most because I've seen how our granddaughter has grown and changed over the year. (Watch any child and you'll see time passing before your eyes.) She's the delight of my heart, of course.

I don't mind the year passing, perhaps because it's been filled with good memory-making days. Brooke, of course, is first on that list, as are all the silly and fun things Angela and I have managed to get ourselves into. I've never mourned a year. I don't want to go back to any of them, even those I consider "the best." I'm one of those "onward looking" folks who drive others crazy. I like looking back at memories; I have lots of scrapbooks I look through from time to time even. But, they aren't any of the things that keep me going. I'm curious about What Happens Next. I want to know about the next great discovery in science and medicine. I want to see what new things Brooke discovers. We're are expecting a new granddaughter come summer, and I know I'll enjoy great times with her too.

I can't say getting older is any picnic, but it does have it's good things. There is more time to myself, time to try new things and do all those things I wanted to do, or should've done, through the years. I have time to spend with Brooke; I have time to go RVing; I have time to work on a memoir about Angela's transition and a fictional story too. I can sit and read a book, or take a nap, or write to a friend (yes, I still write actual letters as well as email). Most of all though, I can enjoy time with Angela. Although we've been married 42 years, I've wanted to know this new person Angela more and more. She's almost 9 if you count from her SRS (sex reassignment surgery), and you know how 9-year-olds are - a little silly, a little snugly, a little of all sorts of this and that. Well, that's Angela all over. She's into everything, way more than me, so I learn lots of stuff from her. I think I read a lot, but she puts me to shame. I read about a book a week; She's finished three. I read one magazine a week, and she reads three. She knows the news before it's news half the time. Isn't that great? Between Angela and Brooke, I don't have a chance to feel older.

Okay, there are a few more aches and pains around than when I was 20, but So What! I'm healthy, and most important, I'm happy. I love Angela, Audra, Brooke, my puppies, and all the rest of my family. I love to see what Angela and Brooke are going to come up with each day, individually and together. I love seeing Audra grow as a woman and mother, and I enjoy seeing her marriage grow. I love watching my puppies play, although I still miss Kathryn the Great more than I can say (she died in November), I love Snowball's Chance and Cassandra. I just plain love each day. I hope you do too. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My transsexual nurse

It was my turn, I guess. I've always played Nurse Nellie when David/Angela managed to have any of his or her variety of accidents. They ranged from falling off a ladder - once as David and once as Angela; two heart episodes, again one as each; many bangs, bruises, cuts and gashes. I've been the one with the hydrogene peroxide, gauze, ace bandages, neosporine et al. I've also been the one who insisted, "We're going to the hospital on this one."

Yesterday was a gorgeous day, and there was no rain in the forecast for at least two days. It seemed the right day to spray the "No-Vegetation-Forever" weed killer. Our RV parking area was overgrown, and the sprouting vegetation in our driveway was forcing cracks open in the asphalt. So, I got busy. What I didn't do was pay attention to where my head was. Yep, I gave it a solid clunk on the corner of one of the RV room extentions. I assured myself of no serious injuries, and then I made several rude remarks to the offending corner and about my own inattention. I was soon back to work, however, although well away from the RV. Ten minutes passed, and then I noticed something dropping from my nose and then off my chin. I blinked away a bit of dampness on an eyelid, and puzzled, I reached up to see what the heck was going on. My forehead was covered in blood, and it was rapidly dripping down my face. I headed for the woodworking shop where Angela was putting together her latest project for baby Brooke - a desk/toy box arrangement. She took one look at me, grabbed my arm and headed me toward the sink. Due to previous accidents of her own, all the necessities were readily available. After a thorough washing out, hydro-peroxide and etc, she applied pressure to the top of my head and marched me into the house for further aid.

I'm happy to report that, outside of a gash about 3/4" long on the top of my head, I'll survive. She wouldn't even let me go back outside. She picked up all my stuff, and then returned to make me a cup of tea and hand me my book. "You're in for the rest of the day," she said. See how lucky I am to have my own T nurse around. She continued to check up on me through the afternoon, touching up any oozing, administering gauze and refilling my tea. What more could a wounded, inattentive person ask for? Yep, this is another Best Thing About Being Married To A Transsexual.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Holidays with a Transsexual

Again I know how blessed I am to have a T in the family. She's just plain tops in the kitchen! She can lift the heavy pots that I'd have to struggle with - like the turkey in and out of the oven, quickly and efficiently. She's great at carving it up too. Since I've retired, she's stopped doing all the cooking, which is fair, but she continues to do ALL, and I mean ALL of the clean-up. Now, who could ask for more than that?! But, even given that, she was in and out of the kitchen to help with this and that as I was getting prep done. She also always sets the table when we have company, even when it's just the kids. We had Daniel's folks over Xmas Day evening for dinner, so we had 6 for dinner, so there was plenty of cooking going on.

She's just a treasure with the gathering up of all the discarded wrapping paper and helping with keeping the various piles of gifts organized so we can get pics with each person and their gifts. Then she whips it up into bags so those who are away from their homes can take them easily. She's very organized without being anal about it. It's positively GREAT!

She's a good hostess too. She helped with all the falderal that goes with Xmas with guests. Almost none of that would have happened before the transition. He would have helped with the clean-up, and he'd have been "nice" to the guests, but, as I said above, the transition has made a remarkable difference. It's still fun to watch her interact joyously with folks, even after almost 8 years since the transition (Jan '01). She's also right in there with the kid and all her toys too! What an entertainer she is, and the two of them together are quite an act.

Anyway, I'm blessed to have a T in my life. If you have one, I hope you are equally blessed!
Happy New Years to everyone

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Me? I'm a Straight Lesbian

Okay, I know everyone doesn't agree with me on this, BUT, it is MY OPINION that those who hurl "you've killed my loved one," to anyone who is transitioning, is WRONG about that. The "killing off" of that person is the person doing the killing, not the person who is transitioning. THAT IS DIFFERENT than deciding that one cannot face being viewed as, oh, the horrors of it all, a lesbian! Give me a break. Lesbians are people too! If people could get over labels, most people would get over themselves and their fears of being labeled. Okay, I get it that some folks think they can't have sex unless it's between a man and a woman, including the penetration stuff. I don't think there are that many folks out there that haven't heard of masturbation, sex toys, and all the other ways that one can come to orgasm with the person you love without a penis being involved.

We are often asked, "are you a lesbian now?" by students. My answer is what I titled this piece - "I'm a straight lesbian." That usually gets a laugh, and then Angela and I can talk about labels and how they don't always fit everyone. Labels are okay if you are talking about large groups in general; but when you are talking about specific people, it's usually better to talk about the person and not label them as one thing. Saying that Einstein was only a (pick one) scientist/mathematician/physicist wouldn't exactly fit the bill would it? He was much more. So too are your friends and family. I don't introduce my friends as "this is Josey, she's a heterosexual." I introduce her as my friend, and then I tell more about how special she is. What she does in bed with a partner/lover/spouse NEVER shows up in the conversation. Why should it? Why should anyone care what she does, or what I do, in the bedroom. I don't want to know what my friends, or yours, do in their bedrooms.

I married straight. My spouse became a woman. Now I certainly appear to be a lesbian. But to merely say we are two lesbians negates the 35+ years we were married as husband and wife. David didn't die, and we are still married, and we are still as much in love as we were when we married. David became Angela, took hormones, had some parts rearranged, and now she is who she should have always been. I'm glad I wasn't so worried about being possibly being viewed as a lesbian that I would have lost my spouse, who happens to also be the person I love more than any other.

I was called a lesbian when I was younger because I stood up for homosexual friends, one of those times was just months before I married David. Those folks were wrong then, but I didn't care. "Sticks and Stones my break my bones, but words can never harm me" is something we all learned when we were kids. I still believe it's so. My lesbian and gay friends are as dear to me as my heterosexual friends, and I don't give a fig what any of them do in their bedrooms. I don't introduce them as my lesbian or heterosexual friends, I introduce them as my friends. I also don't care if folks consider me a lesbian, because that doesn't begin to define me.

I'm sorry if your spouses can't see their way clear to get over the fact that others might view them as lesbians. I'm sorry that the only way they think they can have a "marriage" is to have penetrative sex with a man. That's THEIR choice though, not the Ts.

We used to be afraid to tell anyone there was CANCER in the family! We used to be afraid to let our children play with a kid who's parents were divorced. We were afraid to have someone of another race move into the neighborhood. Very few women worked. Now, wearing pink to support cancer research is popular, and everyone talks about it, openly! Now, more than half of marriages fail, and one parent families are the NORM; noone worries if their kids play together anymore! Diversity rules in neighborhoods, schools, and the workplace now. Women are half the workforce. Aren't all these changes better? I think they are.

Don't be afraid to stand up and say, Gays are people too, and I'm proud to be part of an accepting family. If you are worried, have qualms, or are afraid about having a T or a gay in your family - get yourself to a PFLAG meeting! That's Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (plus Ts and Bis and Questioning, and all the other letters in the alphabet!)

If you are afraid of what people might think - think of those who wouldn't stand up against the holocaust! "They came for my friends and I wouldn't stand up against them; they came for my neighbors, and I wouldn't stand up against them; when they came for me, there was no one left to stand up for me." Think about it.

There are still pictures of David in our house; there are also pictures of Angela in our house. We still talk of David, and we still use he and him when we talk of those times. David never died, he's part of Angela, he's part of our family, and he's part of us. Now she's Angela and we use she and her. We don't worry if someone sees us as lesbians, or as just a couple. We're still married, we're still spouses, and most important, we're still in love with the same person we origionally married more than 42 years ago.

I know this isn't the way it works for some folks, and I understand; but I hope, someday, it will be that way for everyone who wants it to be.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Same person, different package - there is no death

People change. Children grow from infants - to preschoolers - to teens - and to adults. Parents age and often become dependent, and the person who transitions changes outward appearance as well as assuming more outward traits of their new gender. All of those things are real, and they are natural. Many people say the person transitioning has killed their daddy, or their mother, sibling or their spouse. THAT IS NOT SO! Did I say that loud enough? If every child, spouse or sibling that screamed "you've killed my Daddy/Mommy/Spouse/Brother/Sister" at the transitioning person had their heads screwed on right, they would realize that it is THEY that have "killed" their loved one.

Okay, think about it. When your kids grew up, did you stop loving them? They certainly aren't in the same package they arrived in, not by a long shot. As they grew, their personalities changed; did you stop loving them then? When they became adults, they changed more, as they took on adult responsibilities. Did you stop loving them then? No, because they were still the same person in a different package.
Has your spouse changed from that romantic person you dated? Do they still dress up every day, or is it blue jeans and a shirt?What? There are no more high heels, no vests and ties? Do you two still hang on every word the other speaks? Do little presents happen every week? Do you still go out on dates regularly? Adults change too - same person, differnt package.
So, why do some think that it isn't okay for the transitioning person to change - even dramatically - even into another gender?
It's their choice if they kill off the transitioning person.
Oh yes, there are certainly adjustments to be made, especially for a spouse, but look at it this way. Let's suppose the transitioning person had had a stroke or was in an accident. What if they were suddenly debilitated in some way. Would all of the friends and family think of the person as having died? NO! Would they think the person dead to them because of this dramatic change? NO! In fact, friends and family would EXPECT the spouse to stay and take care of the newly debilitated spouse; children would adjust to Daddy or Mommy: Siblings would adjust to this changed Brother or Sister that's now in a wheelchair, or blind, or whatever else might've been the result of the stroke or accident. But, when a person changes gender, some families fall apart.

Here's my take: they never loved the PERSON. They only loved the "being a couple," having the money, having the just-like-everyone-else person.

Angela and I have been blessed, we are still together (42+ years), our families accept us (except for one sister out of 6 siblings), and most of those who were our true friends are still with us (yes, we lost a few in the transition - their loss, in my opinion).

Angela is the same person; she's just wrapped up in a different package. She's so much happier, and that makes happy. She's so much more outgoing(less inhibited), and that's a plus for me. She's certainly freer with herself to me, our daughter, our family and our friends. I love it. I think I'm the one that is blessed.

One bit of advice to the transitioning person: go slow and follow the Harry Benjamin Standards. You won't regret it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

How'd a week get by while I wasn't looking?

Okay, it's December, and the days whiz by. I know that; gads, I can't believe a whole year has zipped by me, much less a week! BUT, I do TRY to not let so many days get by me between posts.

I admit to being worse since Kathryn died. I miss her so much. It's been a month and 4 days right now. She died in my arms at 11:35 p.m. I hate it. That's not to take away the fact that I love our other two dogs, but Kathryn was special. We all have those special pets, and she was one. So, I get lost sometimes, just thinking about her and missing her. Angela has been a sympathetic comfort as she misses her too.

I like winter, but I don't like damp cold, and that's what we've had of late. I get house bound and that means lots of reading and snuggling in. Now, when we lived in snow country, I liked to walk in the snow (No, I didn't like driving on ice at all!), even when there was a blizzard out. We lived in South Dakota, and I grew up in Ohio and Kansas. Angela grew up near Buffalo, and she thrives in winter weather. That means she is always up for raking leaves, trimming trees, and all that outdoor stuff. Good thing, or I'd stay indoors for half our winter months. She takes the baby out to play in the leaves. I go out and take pictures, then return to snuggle in with my book. I love her to death.

We've been RVing too - and it was cold at Duncan Mills (near the coast along the Russian River). We had dirty dog feet problems, but we overcame them with love and patience. Bless Angela's heart. Since we've been back, she jury rigged an extension on our outdoor RV hose so we can wash the dogs feet outside in warm water (we've been using a pan of warm water). She also made a duck board so they won't be standing in mud. Now, that's not only helpful, but above and beyond the call of duty! See what I mean about the bennies of being married to a T.

So, that's how the time gets by me. I'm just blessed with an understanding T that I love to death!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Grandkid and a T

What a combo those two are! They are always up to something, and there is no telling what it might be. They are both inventive, and most of the time, they are inventing ways to get in my hair. By the time I have one area tidied up, another has been turned into a disaster area. I will say this much, though, when it's all over, Angela is as often as not, the final official tidier-up of the area. I guess I fell like I've been running interference all day, so she gets the final put everything in its place detail. They are particularly good at blocks. I find little stacks of them everywhere. Books too, seem to be in piles here and there. I am noticing that te baby is playing by herself more and more. Angela is always hovering nearby if I'm not in the room. That's a good thing. Now that we have the tree up, it's best to not let her out of sight, even for a minute. We've told her it's like the TV - look but don't touch - but, we know how much temptation is in view. So far, and it's been three days, there has only been one ball removed, and that was because she bumped it. No, there are no icicles this year. Safety first. Anyway, if you have a grandchild, a T is the perfect sitter. You see, she gets to experiece all that girlie growing up through the eyes of the child. It's a joy to watch them both go through all the discoveries as they happen. As it happened, Angela, as David, was off fight a war, so she, as he, also missed much of the growing up of our daughter. Now, she can experience it for the first time. What a treat for me.!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Okay, I'm pooped

I'll say one thing for Angela: she can wear you out! She's one of those "always busy" people. Me, I can sit on my can and listen to the birds twitter from time to time. Once in awhile she'll actually sit down to read for an hour, but most of the time, her reading is in bed or at lunch. She's a morning person too - so, when sun-up arrives, she's out of bed like a shot. That's absolutely wonderful, because on the days we babysit, she's already read the paper and had breakfast before the baby comes over for our babysitting days (Tues-Thursdays each week). I get up at 8. Boy, am I lucky! See, there's another of the Best Things About Being Married to a T - two actually - she's up early and she loves to babysit! It's the other days that wear me out.

She still gets up at the crack of dawn, and she's ready to "get started" on whatever her Project of the Day is by the time I've stumbled out of bed and started my breakfast. I can usually hold her off long enough to get through the morning paper with my coffee and munchies by distracting her with "have you checked your email." Then we're OFF TO THE RACES! Usually, it's the yard that takes the most of our time - 2.5+ acres keeps two ole gals pretty busy, let me tell you. She works on tree or hedge trimming while I'm the pick-up detail. It's great exercise, but I'm ready for bed come bedtime, let me tell you. I'm just glad she can still work the chain saw (Yep that's another Best Thing About Being Married to a T!) I do most of the mowing, because she does almost all of the housecleaning (we recently switched jobs, 'cuz I'm TIRED of doing the housekeeping!), but that doesn't mean there still isn't PLENTY of yard work besides the mowing. We have a garden, as in vegetable garden. What the rabbits, gophers, birds and bugs don't get, we get to share. She's handy with the rototiller, which keeps the weeds down, mulches up the compost area, and softens up the earth for new rows of seeds and seedlings. I do the hoeing, planting and weeding. She helps with digging out stuff - like the corn and tomatoe plants when they're done. We did all that yesterday, then we put up a fence to protect the lettuce plants. So far it's Rabbits - 20, us 12. I hope the fence helps. We'll see. So far today, she's cleaned the fish tank and steam-cleaned the main walkways through the house. She also fixed us two nice BLTs for lunch. Now she's off to Home Depot for the paint for the granddaughter's toybox/desk she's building. Me, I've been working on rearranging a wall sized book case in the family room. So, you can see what I mean, when I tell you it's only 1:30, you'll know why I say. "She can wear me out!"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Love and romance

I had lunch with friends yesterday. One of the topics of conversation was romantic love. Most thought that romantic love died pretty quickly after the "bloom" was off the marriage. Well, I have to differ. First off, love doesn't seem to just be something that appears and then hangs around without anyone doing anything. Love requires that one, actually two - the partners/spouses - take notice of it. Love is about being able to gaze into one's/each other's eyes and know that truth is there; that caring is there; and that most of all love is is there. Note I didn't say adoration or infatuation. Oh yeah, it's great if your spouse adores you, but I'll take true and honest love anytime. Adoration means being up on a pedistal, and I want to be side by side. My parents touched each other often, in a loving and caring way, and they looked at each other in loving and caring ways. Angela and I do that as well. Oh yes, there are the teasing looks and touches too, but more often than not, there is just that brush of a hand, a kiss, a look that reminds us how special we are to each other. As my friends talked of the loss of romance in their lives, I kiddingly suggested they get their spouses/partners on hormones. I don't see a lot of difference though, between the looks and touches we have now and the ones we had before. You all know that Angela, as David, was critical and compulsive. In those periods, I'll admit there wasn't much touching and looks of love going on; BUT those were PASSING times, outside of those minutes or hours, we returned to our "norm" of caring for one another. Now that Angela is who she has to be, there is no need for those compulsions and need to be critical, because they were driven by her need to make me who HE couldn't be. She IS who Angela needed to be, so both are gone, along with the depression that accompanied that. So, there's lots of romance in our lives, always has been, always will be. You can have a "date" with your spouse/partner at home; you can have one just passing in the hall. Just think what a lift you get when you know that look, or that touch, that says, "I love you," happens. Don't forget to say those words daily too. Romance isn't hard to come by, when you pay attention to it. one doesn't need to be a T to be a romantic, and one doesn't have to be married to one either. But, Angela is, and I am, and I think it's great!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's all about love

Loving a T is pretty easy. Just do it. Ts aren't really any different than the rest of us. They just need to be who they have to be. If you're trying to figure out IF you should love them, the answer is yes, because while they are still the same person you always loved, there will certainly be some changes. It comes down to loving the person or the package. Now, society would tell you, "how could you leave a spouse who had an accident or a stroke that left them changed." Those same folks would ask you, "how can you stay with someone who is making this change." First off, if it's the person you love, then the change will only be for the better, because they will be who they really have to be, and they can stop hiding, and holding that real person down. What freedome that will be for them - and YOU! When we told our families about Angela's transition, which we did in letters, one from each of the three of us - David/Angela, me and our daughter (then in college), this is one of the paragraphs that speaks to this issue:
I like David, I love Angela, and I know making a life with her will be much more pleasant and easy going than at any time with David. I do not regret any time with David. I always knew Angela was back there, hiding, somewhere inside. I knew it then, and I know it now. It was Angela I was in love with, as a part of David, and now as a much larger part of the whole Angela.
David did not tell me about Angela until we had been married 20 years, yet I knew there was someone she was hiding inside because I could see climpses of that real person often. What a difference it made when WE freed Angela. David isn't gone, he's still here in our memories and our hearts, and in lots of pictures around our house. There are pictures of us together as a family, and all of his A.F. awards are in the study - 36 Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross among others. There's no need to grieve the loss of David, because he's still here, as a part of Angela. It's just that the right personality has been allowed to emerge, and it has literally saved our marriage. Now, married more than 42 years, I can happily say that; and I would encourage anyone wondering if they should encourage a transition, I'd answer YES! But, please insist the T follow the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care. Everyone we know who has done so has had a wonderful and safe transition. Those who have not, have had nothing but grief, problems, and serious physical problems. Do it the right way, and you'll never regret it. One other suggestion - go, watch the surgery, you'll see that every part is reused, and you'll know what's what and where. Look it at this way, every woman wants a wife!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kathryn the Great

Kathryn the Great passed away at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday. She was number one dog, and has been for ten years. Only one other of my many pooches surpassed her in holding my love, although there isn't a dog that hasn't been well loved by me. Frankie, a collie, was my sympatico dog, and I swear she could read my mind. Frankie thought she was our daughter's mother, and she was one dog in a lifetime. Kathryn was next, and making her Kathryn the Great was absolutely necessary, because she was great in every way. She was interested in everything from the moment her eyes open each day until they were closed, and woe to anything that woke her at night. She was right there - on the spot - to the the slightest noise or irregularity. Mostly, though she was just the perfect dog. She was pure love most of all. She knew when a kiss was needed, and she knew when doing something silly would have us all in stitches. She had the zoomies at least once a day, and she snuck up and pounced on her ball like a cat. That was because our old male cat raised her, and our other two dogs. She had a pink little tummy she loved to share, and she used her front paws to hold on to everything - me in particular - when she was playing or giving kisses. We had a morning ritual where I lay on the floor with each dog in turn for little morning personal time. Kathryn was always in earnest at this time, as if she knew this start- of - her - day was the most important thing she could be involved in. And, so it was. There was playtime and breakfast that followed, but those were just passing things. She knew what her floppy-poppy ears were, and they flopped about when she bounced or zoomed around. She knew she loved having her chinny scratched, and if she stretched her back paws out, she knew they'd call me from any room in the house to kiss. There was a pink spot on one that made it especially darling. Her pretty-face was so cute and full of expression I could read her mind. She had a particular scent that was hers alone, and it was soft and sweet. She never smelled like a dog, and she loved it when I gave her smooches between her eyes, that was her Kathryn-smell spot. Sometimes, she gave puppy kisses, and even at ten, her kisses smelled and tasted like a puppie's milk breath. She loved a particular ball, and it was her treasure. Now that ball rests with her in her grave by our patio in the back yard she loved. She was the sweetest, smartest, and most fun of dogs, and I will miss her terribly. She developed cancer, and within a week of discovering the first lump, she lost her sight. She was gone two weeks later. I miss her terribly, but it was better that she died quickly rather than suffering. She took two shuttering breaths as she lay beside me, and then she was gone. She, like Frankie will always have a special spot in my heart and memory. She was Kathryn the GREAT!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's about what's right

While Angela and I will not be affected by the defeat of Prop 8 in California, a great many GLBT+ couples will. We remain legally married because we were married as man and wife. There have been too many times that the Bible has been used to deny rights to people, and it's time we stop. The Bible is misused by the religious right when they pick and choose particular verses to follow, without following the rest of them. It's misused when anyone decides that their interpretation is the ONLY right one. It is particularly interesting to me that those who consider themselves evangelists are downright certain that every word is direct from God. A little reading up on the Bible would appall them. The Catholic Church had the primary decision rights as to what went into and did not go into the Bible as we know it. The current evangelical churches, most based on Southern Baptist faiths, certainly do not hold with the Pope, nor with many of the tenants held by the Catholic Church, yet they accept the Bible as it stand unequivocally. Through the years, revisions have had more to do with the politics of the time than with Divine inspiration. Anyone who has been in an argument on politics or played the whisper game know how easy it is for things to go awry. Add to all of this to the fact that time after time the Bible has been translated. Just think how just one word, or a misplaced comma can change the whole meaning of a sentence. Additionally many things we take as rights have changed. Slavery was accepted back in biblical times, as was subjugation of women. Children worked and girls were expected to be married and bear children at very young ages. Of course, people didn't live as long then, with exceptions such as Moses and Methuselah, to name a few, if you believe that literally. Time after time, those considered "Bible Thumpers" have been proved to be on the wrong side of Right. We have a newly elected black man as president elect. Civil Rights carry the day now. Eventually, having second class citizens will disappear. Unfortunately, in many states, it will take longer than in others. My greatest sorrow is for those of the religious right who will eventually find that a member of there own family is among those they've campaigned against. Too many GLBT+ folks commit suicide because of their second class citizenship, and the religious right should blame themselves. The right to love someone should be something everyone supports, especially those who would otherwise wish to share the joys of marriage. I certainly wish for all my GLBT+ friends and associates the right to marriage in all its glory. I'm blessed to have a good marriage. Support the rights of others - please.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


There's a lot of comfort in a hug or a hand on the shoulder. They have the most power in times of passion and sorrow. We loss those who are special to us in different ways. Sometimes a dear friend moves away and chooses not to stay in contact. In that case only memories linger, generally of times of laughter and shared experiences. The loss though is "casual," the pain of the loss is a memory with distance. The loss of a dear parent, a sibling, or child is front and center of our day to day life. Even the thought of such a loss brings compelling sadness; then when it happens it is devastating for days. Weeks and months pass before the hole fills with memories; Years pass as the loss softens into the touch of feelings. The loss of a pet, too, brings harsh emptiness for a long time. The hugs and touch of those closest to us wash us with love as we face those losses. Angela is particularly good at knowing just the right time to reach out with a hug, a pat on the shoulder, or a personal gaze with meanings of nothing but love and support. I treasure the knowledge that each loss is abrogated by her enduring love and caring. There has been no immediate loss, although both of my parents recently passed away, and now two of my pets are seriously ill. Even so, Angela always seems to know when I'm lost in a memory of those losses, or the impending ones. She appears from somewhere, and out of the blue, reaches for me to touch or draw me into a hug. It's a special bond we've only shared since her transition. I bless the day she began following the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care including hormones, real life test and her final transition.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I am NOT a morning person, never have been, and never will be one most likely. It's a shame, because the mornings are always pleasant, crisp and usually clear, even in the California smog areas. Angela, on the other hand, IS a morning person. Thank heavens!

Angela is the one who takes the dogs on their morning walk when we are RVing. Yeah, she putters around the first fifteen minutes, but once she's up and going, there is no stopping her. She has the dogs on their three-way leash and is out the door. They're gone anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes just soaking up the early rays of the sun and checking out all the fresh smells of the morning. When we're RVing up in wilds, there are lots of animal smells for the dogs to catch up. She usually gets a paper too. We aren't the type that turns on the TV, so we get our news from the morning newspaper 99% of the time. Yes, we occasionally catch a network news show if there is something going on - like 9-11, the economic mess we are in, or an issue (like Prop 8) that we are particularly interested in watching how it's progressing.

This morning, things got bollixed up. I'm the night person who takes the pups out for the 2 a.m. or 4 a.m. potty call. THIS morning, they woke; I stumbled out of bed and slipped on my blue jeans and jacket; I managed to get at least one eye open so I could get them on their leash, and out we went. Ten minutes later, we were back inside. I peered at the clock face and realized it was two minutes to 6 a.m. Dast, oh dear! Our alarm was set to go off at 6 a.m., so I'd let a perfectly good Angela-take-the-dogs-out opportunity go by. Horrors!

So, yep, this is another Best Thing About Being Married to a Transsexual, only this morning, I missed it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What's it all about?

What's marriage all about anyway?
Love, caring, sharing, commitment, at least that's my answer. I think a lot of marriages have that. I also think a lot of them don't. My parents did, and my sister and I often talked about how hard it was to live up to that example. There is no question that those two people had all of those qualities in the 100% range. They'd easily die for one another, and, in fact, they did. My mother pined away while my father was in a nursing home recovering from a bought of pneumonia. She just didn't cope well without my father around, even though she saw him often, and for long periods. She dropped dead on her 80th birthday. Literally. My father returned home not long after her funeral, and he was gone within a year. He cried over her pictures nightly. At the funeral, my niece gave a beautiful eulogy about how when she'd come to visit she'd see them dancing together in the living room - sometimes to music only they heard, and sometimes to something on the radio. She spoke of how they often touched one another, and how you could see love in their eyes whenever they looked at one another. When they spoke of each other they always had nice things to say, even if they were passing over a rough patch. Yes, they had a few fights in life, usually at night, after we kids were in bed, but they always went to bed together, and always had kisses in the morning over breakfast.

Our daughter would say the same things about us now. Now that Angela has transitioned, I mean. Before that, at least from the time she was in 3rd or 4th grade, we didn't get along well. David was reclusive, compulsive, depressed and critical. By the time our daughter had started school David and I were growing apart and starting to argue. I had become tired of always feeling "not good enough." He didn't want to leave the house unless he had to; he always criticized what I wore; he never liked the way I did almost anything - cleaned house, fixed dinner, loaded the dishwasher, folded the clothes - and yes, I altered how I did them often to suit his current needs. By the time she was in junior high school, we were two people living in the house, but we were living apart. We slept together, because sex was always good, but we could no longer cope. Our arguments were loud and not pleasant.

Then there was a dramatic change! David told me he'd been hiding his need to be a woman. I told him that was okay, and we moved forward to allowing him to cross-dress. We got counseling for our marriage, and after a time, finally discovered that all that bad behavior came from his suppressing who he needed to be - ANGELA! Once we found the right councilor, blessings on her, and David began to follow the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care, our lives changed completely. Angela was a happy person - the depression was gone, and with it went the compulsively and reclusiveness. She was the life of the party, finally free to be who she had to be. We began to kid with one another; we began to go out - often. And, my hurt feelings about all the criticism disappeared, because I understood David was projecting Angela on to me. He wanted me to be who he couldn't be!!! Duh! Why hadn't we seen that all along? So, when David became Angela, I didn't need to fulfill that roll anymore. I was free to be me too!

NOW we have that marriage my parents had. Now we have our own lives, and it is great! We love one another more deeply than when we met and married. We share our souls now, not only our lives, but everything about ourselves. We are committed to one another more surely than ever before. What a treat it is to be married to a T!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Don't forget

Don't forget all the ones you love, even when you are concerned and concentrating on one with a problem. Perhaps I should say especially when you are concentrating on one with a problem. I've been worried about a close relative, and our granddaughter's croup caught up with me! I was concentrating on the one with the problem and missed the bad cold. Yes, I mentioned that she had a stuffy nose, but just a couple of days later, she was in the hospital. Not long after that, I had my mind on my newly diagnosed with diabetes dog, and I failed to notice a growing problem in another dog. Now, surgery is scheduled for her. Similar things happen with friends, so, the lesson here is don't be so wrapped up in one that you fail to keep an eye on others just as close. It doesn't matter if its family, friends, or pets. I've learned my lesson, so I thought I'd pass it on to my readers.

Now, all that being said, given all of the above, Angela has been a huge help with support on all fronts. There have been lots of extra phone calls to the family member, and then trips to the hospital and extra phone calls for the granddaughter. Angela has been a huge help with giving shots as I learned my way through that. It's a two person deal. I do the "pokes," but Angela handles the analysis and all the other "stuff." She was right there with me when we took Kathryn, the "other" dog into the vet, and she helped with the exam and X-rays. She'll be there for the after care too. I know I couldn't have always said that before she was a T! She's as involved with babysitting the granddaughter as I am. Before, the dogs were strictly mine. Now, she's as attached to them as I am. So, I am again, so very glad to have my Transsexual spouse!

Please vote NO on Prop 8 if you live in California!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Getting Ready

I always seem to be getting ready to do something. More often than not, it's getting ready to get ready to do something. That's just not how it should be. In other words, something always comes along that sidetracks me while I'm doing all my "prep" work to finish up a project or two. Of course, the fact that I usually have more than one project at hand could have something to do with why they don't all get done in a timely fashion - including my blog. Angela, on the other hand, always seems to start a job and finish it before tackling another. That's not to say that distractions don't take her away from her primary task from time to time, but she's usually pretty dead on. I think that may be a more male trait that has hung on. I see that many women always are doing umpteen things at once. Perhaps that's because it's hard to focus on just one thing when one has children, much less children and job! So, we tend to multitask better. The good news is, Angela's transition let her multitask and keep on track. How's that for a Best Thing About Being Married to a T?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Life Happens

Goodness, it's been nearly a month since I was on this blog. Believe me that it wasn't because of lack of interest. Time just disappears when one's life has a few small blips that are unexpected. Those same blips make me appreciate the things I love all the more however. Our middle dog, Snowball's Chance, became quite ill, and I rushed her to our trusted vet. She has diabetes. That came up quite suddenly and took us completely by surprise. While being a doctor might have been a fanciful dream of mine when I was a kid, having to poke my dog to get a little spot of blood to test, give shots, and keep her happy through all of that has shown me that it's a good thing I didn't become a doctor. No, I'm not squimish about blood in the least, but I am no professional about getting a little bead of blood to pop up. Who'd have thought that would have been hard? So, blessings on all of you who do it so well!

A family member has been going through dealing with serious depression. I'm a long ways away, but that doesn't make my concern less. It's frustrating to not be able to help other than to give advice and support. Blessings on all those professionals who help folks caught in the spiral of depression.

It's fall, and that means lots of yard work when one has 2.5+ acres to tend to. Mowing is a full day of work, and that's with only a break for lunch. Bless all you pro gardeners out there, I wish I could afford to have you help with this yard more frequently than only when we are away for more than 2 weeks!

Now, all those things are going on, and when one makes a short list, they don't seem like much, but they use up physical and mental time, because they are added to the day to day things we do and already keep us pretty busy. The good thing I have on my team is Angela! She's always there when we are babysitting. I'm not a morning person, so she takes care of the early part of the day. She's also a great relief pitcher when I'm just out of sorts or maxed out on dealing with a toddler. She's the strong arm in the yard, doing all the trimming with chain saws, details like hedges and edging that would otherwise add hours to the job. She is a wonderful support with a nice back rub or back scratch when my emotions are frazzled with worry about my depressed family member. She's right at my side as we deal with our little dog. She takes the hard job of doing the poking at getting the bead of blood, or she handles the monitor portion. The bottom line is she's always there, my loving help mate. The lines of who's job is what and how it's done have all gone away. We share the jobs and projects at hand and we make them special. So, Angela is my ace in hand, so yep, this is another Best Thing about being married to a T!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kisses in the hall

Love is all about kisses in the hall, when you pass one another, or just when you happen to be close. Love is saying I Love You more than once a year, it's saying it every day, at unexpected times, and when it's least expected. Love is all those little "love" touches also in the hall, when you pass one another, or just when you happen to be close. It's also holding hands in the yard, in the house sometimes, and out sometimes. We are fortunate to be in California where two women, or men, holding hands, or touching one another in appropriate manner, is accepted. I have never been one to suggest necking in public, or deep kissing, or certainly not going futher, but hand holding is always okay. Anyway, think about how many times you tell the person you've committed your life to, then count the times you show it, say it, or act on your love besides actual love making. It's those little kisses and touches in the hall that make all the difference. They remind each other how much you really care. What a difference it made to us when Angela no longer had to hide who she was. David certainly used to touch, kiss, and hold hands, but it always felt more obligatory than desired. After she started cross dressing it was the most natural thing in the world. Now it's every day, and what a blessing it is. Yeah, this is one of those Best Things about being married to a T again!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Comments Please

Hey guys n gals n all else in between! I'd like to hear from you. Those of you who have left comments already, THANKS! If you leave a comment and want a response that isn't published on your blog, leave me your email address so I can contact you outside of your blog. I'm enjoying many of your blogs as well. I think that more couples will stay together as time goes on, don't you?

Sometimes our own fears about being perceived as a homosexual couple create problems for us. We don't "exactly" fit the "typical" gay couple mode since to just say, "We're a lesbian couple now" doesn't quite work, does it? You see, that sort of negates more than half of our married life. That's why I kiddingly say, I'm a "straight lesbian," or "We certainly appear to be lesbians now, but we don't quite fit the typical mold." Of course, both of those responses lead to more questions and answers. The whole idea is to make people think about labels. Labels work for a large group "in general." But when one gets down to specifics, about one or two individuals, those labels don't fit, do they? So, yes, we DO appear to be a lesbian couple, and we don't care if that's what folks think, but we find it much better to reveal that Angela is a T and that we've been married for more than 42 years! We can also joke about having it both ways. Trust me when I say, THIS way is the best!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Say "Thanks!"

Please say Thanks to all the folks that support all the things you like to do. "Huh?" you may say. I'm talking about advertisers and sponsors of events you like to go to, newsletters you get, even newspapers. You know what, many of the events we all love to attend wouldn't happen if sponsors and advertisers didn't pay all the upfront costs just to have a chance to have a small booth, a banner, or an ad in a newsletter. I'm on a board, again, yeah, even after saying "never again" a half dozen times. Believe me, if we didn't have advertisers and sponsors, a lot of things we do wouldn't happen. We have to pay to have our newsletter [printed: it's the advertisers that defray the cost. When we rent a space for a big event, it's our sponsors that make it happen. Yes, we put in the time and effort, but the bills have to be paid up-front. What they get in return is a booth, or their banner displayed. So, it's important that member let them know they saw an advertiser's ad, or stopped by their booth, or noticed their banner. It's helpful if our members frequent our advertisers and sponsors, because there are plenty of other organizations out there asking for their dollars to suppor their events. I worked in advertising for more than thirty years, and trust me when I say, if an advertiser doesn't hear, or see, that their money is well spent, they'll give it to a different newsletter, event, or group. So, say "Thanks for supporting our event, our cause, our newsletter," when you go into a store. It's especially important for those of us in GLBT+ organizations, because not everyone loves us, as you know. So, please say "Thanks!"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ah, Paradise

It's ten a.m. and I'm sitting here at the computer, still in my jammies catching up on email and waiting for Brooke to wake from her morning nap. I've got a cup of tea nearby, and Angela is out doing all the shopping - you know: groceries, drug store, bank, pet food place, home depot, and anywhere else that has all the necessities. I'm so glad she likes to shop, 'cuz I do not! Oh, I'm okay with our monthly trip to the base for commissary and base exchange services, but all that other searching out all the needful things is just not my idea of fun. I'd much rather be with friends, working in the garden or yard, or playing with the granddaughter. Angela's love of the shopping aspect is just another Best Things About Being Married to a T! Don't you wish you had a shopper spouse?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Transition isn't easy for everyone..

There are lots of ways to transition. It's harder for those who have family that aren't understanding, and that is the case for about 90+% of the Ts we know. But then - we did things a little differently than most. First off, we went slowly; we followed the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care. We had a good councilor who was a GLBT+ specialist. She helped with understanding everything that was going on, and took the lead with the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care. Secondly, we brought the family along gently with no big arguments. Instead, we told them what was going on, let them ask questions, provided back up material and were very understanding of their discomfort. We had to be prepared to accept the fact that not everyone was going to agree with what was going on, and that we might lose that friend or family member. That didn't mean we would stop loving them, but if they chose to disassociate themselves from us, well, that was their choice. We were fortunate in that our families stayed with us (save one of Angela's sisters, and a sister-in-law). We don't see them; their choice. We sought out support organizations, and we formed our own. We started with nationally known organizations, and they were a big help. PFLAG, Society for the Second Self (Tri-S), and Transgender groups. We did our research before we went to family. We watched and taped documentaries when they were on TV. We read everything we could find about transitions. We got good doctors to prescribe Angela's hormones, we went to a nationally known T surgeon for Angela's SRS, we checked and double checked everything. We found that for most of the Ts that had a hard time things got easier for most of them when they got involved with support groups, started following the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care, and when they slowed down and quit trying to insist everyone join their cause immediately.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Comfortable days

I really enjoying being comfortable in my life, our life, and the life. My life is pretty serene these days, and Angela is the primary reason for that. We enjoy so many things together these days, that are just day to day things. I'm talking about fixing meals, working in the yard, going shopping. We can laugh about how she lost some strength in her transition, so now I need to help her lift heavy objects. You should see us wrestling a huge piece of wood in Home Depot. Sometimes when were are doing our monthly grocery shopping we take different areas of the store. Invariably, though, we end up on the phone consulting and laughing about something the other should "come over here and see." Working in the yard is consultations, then do the work, the consult, then work. Since the weather is really hot, neither of us are anything to write home about, even in our wet t-shirts. Yeah, I usually soak my tilly hat and my t-shirt to keep cool. Angela is less inclined to do that. We both manage to get pretty dirty through a full day of working in the yard. She usually does all the trim work while I do the mowing. When she does all the mowing and trim, I do the wedding and planting/transplanting. I do the vegetable garden, but she helps with the clean up. We both are involved when it's tree and hedge trimming time. She still is the wielder of the chain saw, while I handle the raking. We can fill up our big old dumpster with a mornings worth of work easily. The nice thing about it though is we actually have fun doing all of it - together. Together is lots better than doing everything apart, don't you think. Yeah, that makes this another one of those Best Things About Being Married to a T again!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I'm in love

I'm in love - with the person who first set my heart ablaze - as a song by Cole Porter says (from the play Out Of This World). I'm in love with Angela, and that makes me very happy. I'm in love with a lot of things, actually: our daughter and granddaughter, our doggies, lots of friends, our home, and all that other stuff, but mostly I'm in love with Angela. What a change that is from thinking about divorcing David. That was years ago, of course, but it was a consideration. We just weren't getting along. We were still in love, we still had good sex, we still liked all the same things, but our day to day living had lost the sparkle. We fought often, and just didn't see eye to eye about how our lives were going. Angela's transition changed all that. Part of it was hormonal changes that altered her way of seeing the world. Most of it though was just letting her be who she needed to be. As soon as she was at peace with herself - her body in line with what her mind knew she really was - life was good - for both of us. I'm in love with her mind, body and soul. Being at a wedding this weekend left me reflecting on 42 years of marriage. The first part was good, after Audra was born it was even better, and then things started falling apart. Angela was so withdrawn and unhappy that it spilled over into everything. We disappeared in that morass. That was a shame because we really loved each other. The depression and stress he carried filled up the space love used to occupy. Things got better when he found out it was okay with me if he wanted to dress up; things improved even more dramatically when he began the Harry Benjamin standards of care, got onto hormones, got counciling and started moving toward sex reassignment surgery. When s/he began his real life test life got good again, for both of us. Now all that transition is over, and Angela is just Angela, and I love her to death! She is just so delightful. It's great to be in love! Yeah, being in love is another Best Thing About Being Married to a Transsexual!

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Wedding

We attended our first gay church wedding this weekend, and we have another next weekend as well. What a treat it was in every way you might imagine. The wedding couple were perfect, the church lovely, the wedding not only historic but dramatic and beautiful, and the reception was a treat. What more could anyone ask for.

The wedding was held on the couple's 11th anniversary together. That made everything doubly special. It was the first wedding in the new, year old, sanctuary, and it was the first gay wedding as well. History making events, though, take second place to personal events, and weddings are the most personal of all.

I'm most curious to understand how it is that those in opposition to gay marriage think sharing marriage with gays will somehow diminish their own marriage. That's like saying having a child diminishes my love for my spouse. Sharing something good has always been a way to grow that good thing. Fear of losing something is a terrible thing. It's unfortunate that their love isn't strong enough to be able to allow others the same rights.

Congratulations Bev and Jackie!

Friday, August 22, 2008

T's got talent!

So a T is going to be on TV as a regular. The GLBT+ community has been on TV before, and I certainly agree it's past time that they become mainstream characters. I'd like to see more of their character's be something other than the "funny" one(s) of the bunch, or the "awkward" one, or indeed, the "strange" one, but just being on TV is a good thing. What I'd really like to see is a couple like us - just one of the folks in the neighborhood. About the only thing that makes us different in our neighborhood - as far as what our neighbors see - is that we do fly the rainbow flag beneath the American Flag. My point is, we need to stop making people that are not exact cookie cutters of ourselves seem less than ourselves. We need to stop arginalizing "others." Let's just treat everyone like they were part of the family, because we are all a part of the "family of man." We need more handicapped folks involved as mainstream TV characters too. Let's start a campaign!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The joys of being married to a T

Being married to a T is just plan fun. There are so many joyous moments in day-to-day things these days. We share the kitchen, the yard work and even the shop. Yeah, I still do a lot of holding and passing tools, or helping to hold up wood (Angela's into woodworking - rocking horses, toy boxes, shelving, and such), but now we have so much more FUN. There used to be criticisms, now there is laughter. There used to be expletives (not deleted), now there are lots more please and thank-yous from both of us. Most of all though are all the shared little things. As a guy, David could manhandle a large piece of wood into place, now we carry it together. As a guy, Angela did most of the yard work, now we each do our share, more often than not, working in an area together (we have 2+acres in landscaping). She trims the hedge while I rake up the leaves. She cuts off a limb, I cut off the branches, we load up the dumpster together. It used to be just me with the housework, now Angela will do the sweeping as I do the dusting. We each take a bathroom. We kiss in the hall when we pass each other - and how many folks that have married 42+ years still do that?! There are more hugs, there are more kisses, and there's a lot more touching going on. Yes, there are a whole lot of joys when one is married to a T.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Blogger unblocked my blog!

Gee, I must suddenly be special. I can post again. Blogger promised to let me know when they "unblocked" my blog - "after they reviewed it for 20 days" - since they thought it was spam(????!) They did NOT let me know I could post again. So, I still think they must be prejudiced against GLBT+, or trans folks anyway. I heard nothing about why they thought the blog was spam, nothing about what they were looking for, when or why they decided to unblock it, or anything else. Oh yeah, my password suddenly didn't work either. I had to reset that. I'd like to hear what others think about blogs being considered spam. Even more so, I'd like to hear if you are part of the GLBT+ communicty and have experienced this situation - with Blogger or any other blog arena. It's pretty rotten if you ask me, but then, you see, now I'm prejudiced against Blogger! How'd that happen?! Okay, I'm still using it, so I'm not very prejudiced. I'll just say I'm pretty suspicious of them for now. Let me hear from you.

Friday, August 1, 2008

How can a blog be spam

A blog is just someone's "diary" of sorts, isn't it? People can read it if they please, but it isn't "sent" to anyone. So, that makes me wonder iwhy Blogger would flag a blog about being married to a transsexual. What if Blogger flags blogs they are prejudiced about? After all, maybe they didn't like my topic about being married to a transsexual that changed from a male to a female. Horrors!? Not in my view! It's the best thing that could have happened to our marriage. We can top most married folks for logevity of marriage anyway, with more than 42 years now. Why am I blogging about that - two reasons: I want people to know how great it is that we stayed married. AND - I want to show folks that there is no reason NOT to STAY married! People who change to what they "must" be become whole! Prejudice is a BAD thing, and I don't care if it a neighbor, co-worker, client, friend, stranger, or in this case MAYBE - Blogger. I hope you do read my blog, but if you do, it's a choice. I'm not forcing it on you. I hope you do come back and read it, and I hope you find out that all GLBT+ folks are just like other folks. I also hope Blogger isn't prejudiced, but I'm waiting to see what happens next - AFTER they unblock this blog.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

GLBT targets

A gunman opens fire in a church in Tennessee against an open church; a youth opens fire in a school at a gay teen; all over the country there is hatred against GLBT+ folks. I'm of the opinion that when we are judged, it's going to be by a god that is exactly what we hate the most. That would mean some obscure form of sushi’d judge me, I suppose. All kidding aside, I was meant the kind of people we hate - if you hate gays, god is going to be a gay; if you hate people of a different race than your own, god's going to be that - etc. You catch my drift, no doubt. The bible has been used to justify a lot of hate, everything from an eye for an eye to giving folks what they think is the right to justify killings because of their own understanding of the bible. I don't mean to get after folks over what they believe the bible tells them particularly, I'd just like them to make sure it's what they are darn sure about - and not just taking their preacher's word about what something means. I suspect almost everyone's played that old whisper game; well, the bible has been translated a bunch of times. I'd suggest everyone do a little reading / research about that. Remember that the Catholic Church of the early centuries had the most say as to what went into the bible, and the interpretations that were "allowed." There are a lot of scrolls that could have been in the bible that got left out; Translators had their own beliefs, and just a little slant can make words mean different things to different folks. All I ask is that everyone be VERY careful about hating anyone. I think it's best to leave the taking of lives to god. If you have concerns about GLBT+ folks, do some research, contact a local group like PFLAG and go meet with them - or at least go on their website. Watch a video of For The Bible Tells Me So, research how the bible was put together, but most of all - please, think for yourself.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Transsexual Bests after 42 years

Yeah, after 42 years we do finish each other's sentences. Not only that, we know what each other really meant when we misspeak. Both of those are Best Things About Married to a Transsexual by the way. This morning I said, "If we were to ever win a lottery, I'd buy a place between Lead and Deadwood." What I meant was 'between Durango and Silverton,' which Angela noted quietly, and I agreed. We know each other pretty well, you see. We both like both areas, but there is really something earthmovingly (yep, that's probably a new word) beautiful about the area between Silverton and Durango, Colorado. If you've never taken the drive, or ridden the old steam train, you've really missed SCENERY, and yes, I mean every one of those capital letters. And yes, I DO suggest you also go see Lead and Deadwood in the Black Hills. In fact, I suggest you get out and see the country! All of it. That's another thing we agree on, which is probably obvious given the fact we have an RV and use it to see the sights - local, national and state parks and monuments - and all parts in between.

Angela grew up near Niagra Falls, so falling water has to go some to impress her. However, while living in New Mexico, we took a drive to go see Sittiing Bull Falls. It wasn't an easy trip either. We drove along a state highway, then a county road, then a gravel road, and finally a dirt track, and I do mean track. Then we hiked nearly half a mile to see this place we'd heard about. Sitting Bull Falls is quite a sight to see. It's really a grotto, where spring water flows over rocks and drops into a small pool of water. In the grotto, there's lots of greenery. It's quite pretty. Next to Niagra, it's not much of a falls; you'd see more water coming from your bathtub faucet. But, given that it is smack dab in the middle of the dessert, it's pretty spectacular. Would I suggest you go see it? You bet - especially if you are married to someone like Angela, who's willing to go to some of these otherwise hair-brained places I hear about. You see, that's another one of those Best things about being married to a Transsexual.

Friday, July 25, 2008

42 years

We've been married 42 years - as of the day before yesterday! Not bad for any couple, but pretty special given the circumstances, don't you think? Well, I do! Just to drive the trans point home, without Angela's transition, I don't think we'd have made it. There would have been a divorce, for sure - because:

One: David was unhappy as a man. He was depressed, compulsive, reclusive and overly critical. He was not easy to get along with - period. I always felt like I was walking on eggshells. No, he was never physically abusive, and we always had a good sex life. But, because he was not happy with himself, he was not happy with the world in general. Additionally, he projected his need to be a woman onto me. He always wanted me dressed the way he would have been dressed had he been able to be Angela. His transition saved our marriage.

Two: I had taken David's need to project his need to be feminine onto me as rejection of me. I am talking about his wanting me to "be" the Angela he couldn't be. Neither of us realized that was what was happening until we sought counciling with a therapist familiar with transgender issues. I took what I thought was rejection and internalized it as my not being "good enough." It didn't take long for that to make me angry, as I was a successful business person, and I was often complimented on my dress and personality. Anyway, that rejection resulted in my being angry, which eventually became an explosive anger anytime there was any hint of critisism or desire for me to dress, or look, any other way than I chose. We had reached a point where, outside of enjoying sex together, we had little in common, and we didn't spend much time doing anything together.

When we discovered Angela's need to crossdress, we also recognized that when crossdressed, he was delightful to be around. He was happy, talkative, and gregarious. What a difference. Once he was able to transition, he was free to be herself. That also freed me to be myself. The critisism stopped, the projection stopped. AND my anger completely disappeared as did all the hurt feelings.

So, Angela's transition saved our marriage! So, here's another Best thing about being married to a transsexual. When a transsexual is free to be themselves, everyone around them can be free to be themselves as well. What a wonderful thing to share with a spouse!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Trans - Time
Hey, first off, it's okay to be a T. It's okay to be transgendered; AND, it's okay to be transsexual. There is a bit of a difference. A transsexual is Transgendered, but someone who is transgendered may not be a Transsexual! Aha! Transgender is an umbrella term for lots of folks with gender issues (not sexual issues). If you are GAY, you are not transgenered, because you are okay with your sex, and you are okay with the fact that you love those of the same sex. Gay is a sexual issue, not a gender issue. Transgenered folks have a problem with their gender. If they are transsexual, the brain says they are A and their sexual organs say they are B. If you're a crossdresser, there are times you need to cross genders to be comfortable in your skin, so you have a gender issue. You see the difference. Okay, so if you have a child, spouse, or other family memeber who is having trouble with what gender they are, you have a transgendered person. If your male child tells you, "I'm a girl, so I shouldn't have a penis," he's probably transgendered, and likely transsexual. If your spouse says, "I have to be a woman sometimes - to relax and be myself, they are transgendered, and possibly transsexual - they may also only need to cross-dress to be comfortable. Check it out with them, with a therapist, with a doctor, with someone in the community (like a GLBT community center or PFLAG), or at least with someone you trust. There is understanding out there, but you MAY have to search it out. You're always welcome to comment on/email this blog, and I'll get back to you.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Star stuff

We're all made of star stuff. That's what Carl Sagan said in his series Cosmos, which is one of the best series around. I find I rather like that. I like being related to all things, particularly the stuff from which stars are made, don't you? I'm also one of those folks who would take a space flight in a heartbeat, given the chance. My bags have been packed and ready to go ever since the first the first space shots began. I was just a kid, but I remember. Our daughter was born just before the walk on the moon, and I recall watching that spectacular feat on TV too. Only a very few have walked on any body other than earth. I think it's time we started sending men and women out toward the universe - Mars first, then asteroids and moons, and planetoids, and on to whatever we can find. I'd like to touch some of that same star stuff on another planet, or at least, I'd like to know that humans are still reaching for the knowledge only space exploration can bring us. Let's go see what's out there. Let's see if more living star stuff is out there; lets see if we can find more thinking star stuff! We are explorers; we are gutsy too - so let's get on with it!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Traveling through history

I'm a history freak; I admit it freely. I enjoy walking in the footsteps of those who made history. I love standing in a place where history was made. I get goosebumps when I think of the men and women who built our country. Recently, we've been RVing along the Oregon Trail. It always amazes me when we stop at a place like Independence Rock and few travelers even give it a passing thought - much less walk the small distance to actually touch history. Independence rock was a place (large rock) the emigrants wanted to reach by Independence Day. Doing so meant they were likely to pass through the mountains before the snows came, generally assuring them a safe passage, weather wise, to either Oregon, California, or Salt Lake (depending on the destination desired). Independence Rock was a place to celebrate our country's independence, even if the wagon train were a tad early - or a tad late. If they were near their goal date, they often afforded themselves (and their oxen or mules) a day of rest. What a treat that must have been after days on end walking the prarie! They had left their families and comfortable homes and farms behind, they had set out with little knowledge of what was ahead. Their courage and determination lead them and egged them on. They had visited Fort Laramie and resupplied. They had already begun to leave some nonessentials by the wayside. Many had already lost a child, a spouse, or another member of the family or close friend. Accidents along the trail were common. Bad water, illness, wagon, animal and gun mishaps each took a few members of the traveling party to their grave. Yet the members of the wagon train carried on. They buried their dead and moved beyond their grief. Me? I'd have taken a first look at the Rocky Mountains and decided trying to farm in the middle of Indian Country seemed safer than taking a wagon through the mountains! Heck, I doubt I'd have made it to Independence Rock. I have nothing but admiration for those that carried on. I figure it's the least I can do to is to take a little walk to an important place to them, doff my hat, and say "Thanks!"

I encourage all of you to go to the historic & beatiful sight you pass as you zip along a freeway. Stop for a moment, say a Thanks, and pay homage to those that found these beautiful places, or that left their footprints along the way as they made history and built our nation. Go, visit history. Give yourself a chance to be awed. Think what it might have been like to endorse the Declaration of Independence, to die at The Alamo, or walk the Oregon (Mormon or California) Trail!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

RVing with a T spouse 2

Patience. That's what I'm developing. We are at a huge rally called an Escapade. If you are into RVing part time, full time, or even now and then, this is an outstanding group to join. They have one or two Escapades per year. They are well attended - we have more than 1,000 rigs here. It's being held at Cam-plex, a large conference area in Gillette, Wyo. The staff here, and the Escapee staff have done a wonderful job of planning the whole event. We have been busy from 8 a.m. until around 10 p.m. nearly every day. Before the official conference started there were tours and social events. While the conference has been going (today is the last official day) there have been outstanding seminars, boot camps, driving schools, tips and tidbits to share, and loads of friends to make. There has been only one minor problem, and that has been the internet and phone connections. Phone has been better than Internet, but both are sometimes things. Angela, being the computer nut that she is, is really missing the computer hook up. Both of us miss the newspaper, but Angela is decidedly having computer withdrawal! We've seen no newspapers and seen no TV since we left home more than two weeks ago, yet the computer is on every day, "just for checking." So, patience is a good thing, don't you think? We'll eventually get a signal. You see, hormones don't change everything!

Monday, June 30, 2008

RVing with the T Spouse

One of the Best Things about being married to a T is that they know all the things a guy knows, and they're learning all he things a gal knows. So, when you are in a tech seminar together at a huge RV gathering (Escapees RV Club 48th Escapade & 30th Birthday bash in Gillette, Wyo), she has no qualms about asking tough questions, correcting instructors, or answering for them when they get hung up! That is NOT the case when it comes to Keynote Speakers. In fact, my T got all teary eyed -just like me - when the speaker gets to all the warm and fuzzy stuff! Last night we had an excellent speaker talking about such things as finding the kid in ourselves again, letting go of our worries over things we can't control, and being as enthusiastic as children are. One of the things we did was the typical "say hello to two people you haven't met." That was just fine, as it always is. Then there was a major change: "Now greet two new people as if they were long lost friends." Wow! What a difference in enthusiasm, in smiles, hugs and backpatting. I think both of us will try to remember to greet more folks like that for now on. How about laughing? Kids, 4-5 years old, laugh approximately 400 times a day! Adults laugh about 7. Isn't that a shame? Let's change that! Laugh more often, worry less, greet everyone like they were long lost friends. Share more of yourself, and stop being embarrassed about little things noone will remember anyway.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Having Fun as Your Spouse Transitions

If you have children, you know how delightful it is to watch them discover new things each day. If you have a spouse going through transition, you'll find much the same thing happens. Not long after Angela began hormones, she was out grocery shopping. When she got home, she was excited to tell me that "A man held the door open for me!" A few days later, at a visit to Home Depot, she reported, "Two guys helped me unload all my stuff into my trunk." Another shopping trip resulted in, "You'll never guess what happened! Someone whistled at me!" She was enthralled with each occurance. I shared in her joy.

Then there was the day she called me at work to say, "You'll have to come home and help me. I can't seem to stop crying!" She had watched a tear-jerker movie on Lifetime.

Yes, I went home. I did the required "There-theres," and the "It'll be all-rights." I did them for about an hour, while she continued to be teary-eyed and weepy. After that, I told her, "I'm afraid you're on your own on this one. You'll stop crying eventually." I had to return to work, and sure enough, by the time I returned home, she was over her crying-jag. We've laughed over that episode many times.

The biggest laugh came when she returned from an evening meeting. She said, "Did you know that women talk in the bathroom?" I couldn't stop laughing! Of course women talk in the bathroom. I didn't know that men didn't, but evidently, that's the case. It took her awhile, but she was soon able to carry on a complete conversation in the ladies room.

Now she accepts these little peccadilloes as natural. But they certainly were eye openers when she first began her transition.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Marriage is a special thing. Forty-two marriages happened in 1.5 hours in Fresno, California. Fresno is NOT in favor of same-sex marriages, at least not if one listens to our religious right. However, our largest church's pastor was kind enough to ask his congregation not to harass couples on their special day. That was kind of him. In fact, only one family came out to protest, plus a single, scowling man, who only accosted an 8-year-old child. No, he had nothing to say to anyone - except when an 8 year old offered him a bottle of cold water after he had stood glaring at the line of folks waiting to register for more than an hour. His words were wrong and hurtful, and baffling to the child - all about how her parents were using her for propaganda. However, he had nothing to say to the family who's children were on his side, running into traffic to show passing cars their pencil printed protest cards. No, he accosted a child who used a crosswalk to offer him a cold drink. He is a good Christian man, though, don't you think?

I'm always curious to know why many conservative Christians are quick to spout bible verses from the Old Testament against gay marriage while they ignore other verses in the same chapter. I'm curious to know why they choose to use the Old Testament as a weapon while ignoring the New Testament of love, acceptance and forgiveness. I'm curious to know why they spout bible verses from the Old testament, which is the history of many religions on earth, yet ignore the New Testament that is the future they so wish to bring about. I wonder what they think of "Judge not..."

Marriage, for the 42 couples united in that first hour and a half, was wondrous. There were many tears of joy shed; shed not only by the participants, but also by the very clerks and officers of the court that had only days before eagerly spoke to the media of how they thought gay marriage was wrong. Instead they smiled, shed a tear of compassion, and shared in the joy of the many couples that wed. Perhaps some hearts melted. I think so; I hope so.

Angela and I are married, legally, because we married as man and wife. Not even a national constitutional amendment would dissolve that marriage, although, some states might not recognize it, now that we are two women. That's a battle yet to be fought though. We join in the fight for gays to marry because we know what a real marriage is. It's not built on what others make of my marriage; it's built on what Angela and I make of our marriage. Other people don't threaten my marriage, and they shouldn't threaten any marriage. A real marriage is sure of its statue, of its rightness, and of its love. What my neighbors do, what they think, and how they view us, has no meaning to our marriage. If they choose to celebrate our marriage, we're glad; if they choose to disagree with the fact of it, that's their business, and they will have to answer to their own conscience. We will help fight for the rights of all who wish to marry in love, caring, and trust in each other. Join the fight. Vote for the ability of gays to marry. Let love triumph.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Part 3 re Your spouse's transition

You're going to have a teenager on your hands! I don't care which way they are going - MTF or FTM - they are going to go through puberty. This is a bit trying, but, it is also a lot of fun. You T will try out all sorts of clothing styles andf abrics - some will be outlandish, some too old for them, and sometimes (more often than not at first) their clothes will be too young for them! Remember - they didn't get to try all those teenybopper "fun Clothes." They'll also experiment with make-up. It'll be too heavy (including perfume), and it'll be the wrong shade sometimes, and they'll get frustrated with it. It'll almost always be overdone at first. Let them mimic you; you've been out of that stage long enough to know what is appropriate, and your T will look to you for guidance. Just remember, they are going through a teenage-emotional time, so they will be overly sensitive to praise and criticism! You may get some back-talk, and you'll probably feel like a parent rather than a spouse. That's okay. I felt like I was protecting Angela for a while, but as with all "children," you have to let them go and do their own thing. My initial concern was the too much phase when make-up was too heavy, hair too long, skirts too short, and heels too high. If you T is FTM, they may overdo exercise (to pump up their muscles), or they may want more facial hair than you care to tolerate. Angela's teen stage didn't last too long, and there were only a few instances where I had to say, "Go back and take off half the perfume or make-up, or change your skirt to something closer to knee length, if you want me to go out with you. It is an exciting time for them. Let them enjoy it. Laugh with them, not at them, and share the joy!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Part 3 Things to think about re a spouse's transition

Skin: Angela is four years older than I am, but she looks 10 years younger! Why? Because she developed baby skin when she first went on hormones. Yep, it took away all the wrinkles and made her very soft to the touch! You'll like that, and so will she, no doubt. It was, initially, a source of wonder, because it made such a difference in how she looked. Remember she was in her late 50s when she made the transition. She really looked like she might be in her late 30s or early 40s. When we speak at colleges, universities, and forums, we joke about what a sweet young thing she turned out to be. It's true, though. So, be prepared. What's actually happening is she's developing that little layer of fat that women have under their skin that men do not have. Now that it's been 6 years since her surgery, and 9 years since she began hormones, she's starting to show some wrinkles again. I guess that's the bain of all humanity - as we age, we get wrinkles. So enjoy the soft touch, and let her bask in the romanticism of being far younger than she is.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

More things to think about re a spouse's transition

Breasts: they're there, and they weren't there before, at least not the sort that poked out. So, one must deal with one's feelings about them. Additionally, you can almost bet that most men who are becoming women are going to want more than the hormones alone give them. Give up trying to convince them that they will be sorry later as they get heavier and don't stand up quite so well. That will NOT work. First off, it won't work because, face it, they are Men who are becoming Women, and most Men have at least some pluses in their minds about breasts. Just think of the fun you'll have making jokes about mountains out of molehills, girls(!) i.e. spouses, girlfriends and otherwise female acquaintances. Make peace with the fact they are going to be there, they are going to grow larger, and after surgery, if it's in the budget, chances are they are going to be at least one size larger than before surgery. Accept it as a given and as a fact.

They are going to go on meds that will make their genitals shrink. After surgery, there will be no testosterone, and if so their sex drive may also decline. I don't mean that their sex drive will go away, I mean it will not be a primary in their mind any more. Everything, literally, will be primary. There will be so many new things for them to experience that sex will fall down the list of priorities. This is the time you need to be making adjustments. We'll talk about that tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Things to think about re a spouse's transition

When your spouse transitions, things will change. They'll change gradually, for the most part, but some things will be quite different almost immediately. One day I told Angela that she was changing daily, and that that meant I was dealing with a different (although improved[!]) person every day. The first thing I noticed was that within three days of her beginning hormones she was noticeably happier. Her whole outlook brightened. Perhaps it was only the beginning of an adventure high most of us experience, but I am certain the hormones played a part in that. I also noticed the slightest nuance of a change in the way her kiss tasted. Soon her breasts were sensitive to the touch - very much like a pre-teen who's breast buds are beginning. Anything that touched her nipples sent a ripple of sensation through her. It was fun and disconcerting, a topic for conversation - funny and serious, and an experiment for both of us. Why do I say that? Because I had always slept with my head on his chest, and that was now uncomfortable for her. We had to adjust. Then, of course, the breasts began to grow. I will admit this was more difficult for me. I just hadn't worked out how I was going to deal with actual breasts.
More tomorrow:

Monday, June 9, 2008

The purple dog

Okay, it's Gay Pride week, so to celebrate our eldest dog, Kathryn the Great, decided to roll in the fallen mulberries! She looked like a purple tie-dyed dog! Of course, when she did that, we were still up to behinds in plumbing problems and did notice. When I did discover her shenanigans, the purple color had dried and was well soaked into her hair. (Bichons don't shed because they have hair instead of fur.) Anyway, I cut most of her stained hair off, gave her a long bath, and then did a good grooming - I.E. I evened-out her clipped hair. She still looks like a Bichon, but a closely clipped one, that's for sure. Perhaps I should have left her purple for the Gay Pride parade. All three doggies walked the route with me. Of course, the baby, Cassandra stole the show. Many people came out to give them a pat our two as we walked the parade, especially when I stopped to give them water. I'm sure Kathryn would have been the hit of the show if she'd still have been purple!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

How lucky I am

When a man transitions it does change his brain somewhat - he becomes softer in thought, more emotional, and more joyous - but any knowledge that was there is retained. Thank goodness for all of the above. I am fortunate in so many ways, and one of those things I'm fortunate about is that Angela is capable of fixing nearly anything that breaks. Just this last week she's fixed two sprinklers and a major plumbing problem! The plumbing problem involved the water main from our well to our house. It was quite a project. Yes, I helped by holding this and that, handing her tools, and generally adding an encouraging word when something seemed difficult. She did all the real work though, and without her knowledge and expertise, we'd have paid a small fortune to a plumber! So, if you are looking for Best Things About Being Married to a Transsexual, THIS is one of them! She's also helping a friend with his computer (she's a Novell engineer), is designing a bookcase for another friend, and she helped our daughter and son-in-law lay gravel and bark in a nice design in a mid-sized flower area near their front door! She's creative, inventive and very good at fixing almost anything!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Things that I love

This is could be a long list, but I'll keep it reasonable.:
1. Angela, especially since she transitioned
2. Our daughter, what a delight she has always been; yes, even as a teen
3. Our granddaughter, what joy she has brought to our lives as we rediscover the world through her little eyes
4. Our extended family, what a blessing they are for who they are, and for their unquestioning support of unusual life - We are blessed
5. Friends that are true in every way; what an honor to know them all
6. All dogs - our own especially. They bring us comfort and love 24/7/365
7. Trees dancing in the breeze
8. Making new friends
9. Weather - good and bad, it's amazing, isn't it?
10. Good food, particularly those meals that are shared with those we love.
11. Laughing - out loud more than that hidden chuckle. It's always best when shared.
12. Seeing growth - the kind when one's ideas are stretched to include things never thought of before
13. Trying new things - especially things that are challenging to us
14. Seeing new sights
15. Seeing success happen to our family, friends, acquaintances, and ourselves
16. Hearing music in all its many forms
17. Listening to a contented sigh of happiness.
18. Seeing love reflected back from another's eyes
19. Watching my garden grow
20. Watching life happen all around us

Monday, May 26, 2008

Being Together

This long weekend (Fri-Mon) we spent a lovely time with the Rainbow RV group in Bodega Bay. There were 30+ RV units with the club signed in when we began. Our first official meeting was a potluck hors d'ouvres gathering. Trust me when I say it was way more than simple hors d'ouvres. Not a soul left hungry, I can tell you that for a fact! There are obviously CHEFS in this group, as well as the run-of-the-mill homemade treat makers, and a few who bring store bought munchies. All in all, it was a terrific meet and greet; we met many new folks, reconnected with a few couples that had been at the first gathering we attended in Gold Country, and we formed some nice friendships that began at this gathering. The second day was a tour-around on your own day, but the evening's potluck dinner added pounds to every one's waistline! What treats there were. This gathering showed just how important being together can be. There were several birthday celebrities, but more important were those celebrating anniversaries - 37 years, 23 years, 19 years, 32 years, 27 years, 18 years - and so it went. The numbers, with two exceptions were always two digits. The two exceptions were one man who had recently lost his partner of nearly 30 years, and one new relationship of only a few months. Again I was struck by the fact that virtually all of these GLBT+ folks are in very long term relationships. They believe in being together, and they deserve the right to be married. They deserve the same rights as everyone else that is committed to their relationship. Yes, Angela and I are married - 42 years come July - but we are unique in the GLBT+ community because we married as man and wife, and that cannot be undone. I am absolutely dumb founded that anyone thinks that because two men sleep & have sex together, or because two women sleep and have sex together is any one's business. What other group is repressed because of what they do in private. I don't know what my best friends to in bed with their spouses, and they don't know what my spouse and I do. So, why would anyone care what GLBT+ folks do in bed with their loved ones, and why do they think thy have a right to judge that? As we've seen in the news, many of the most vocal leaders of the religious right, who say they are against all the things they say are sinful, continue to get caught doing exactly those things they preach against! Guess what, most of the things they do are certainly much worse than being in a committed relationship with someone of the same sex! The point is, gays are asking to be allowed to make their long-term, commitments to another person legal and equal in the rights of the law. I can't see how anyone can see 2 peaople being in a committed relationship as a bad thing! You'd think the religious right would be all for gay marriage, but they aren't. Good heavens, one can find almost anything in the bible, and use it to as a hammer on someone else. I'm sure there's a verse about looking after the log in one's own eye before going after another person, but that doesn't count of course. In fact, very few foks on the far right follow what is in theBible to the letter. If they did they'd all still be living the same way folks lived in the first century after Christ was born, sacrificing animals and a whole raft of other things! It's time to allow progress, particularly in the human rights department. Let's get a focus on the child abusers of the world rather than on folks that want a committed relationship! We continue to allow child abusers access to the very children they abuse! That's nuts, plain and simple. Loving another person enough to want to marry them is a good thing, folks. Okay, I'll get off my podium, with one request: think how important it is to love being together enough to want to make that love legal! Then let everyone have that right and quit worrying about what someone else does in the privacy of their own home when they are loving another person (not abusing them). Turn the energy being expended against gay marriage into energy towards protecting the children of this land from their abusers who are most often their own relatives!