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.