In the spotlight: Carmen Carrera

“A little more light!”It’s an early morning photo shoot for Glamour Magazine UK. There’s a blizzard outside the window of Jack Studios in New York as the crew sets up in a flurry: Photographers meticulously adjust the lighting, makeup and hair artists arrange their bounty of brushes and stylists hang up racks upon racks of familiar names — Ralph Lauren, DSquared2, Zac Posen, Helmut Lang, Agent Provocateur, Vivienne Westwood.They’re all here for one person…

Read the rest at CNN

We’re Only Going This Way Once.

I’m sitting here waiting for a fresh pot of coffee to finish brewing. When it does, I am going to get the Bailey’s out and make an Irish coffee. I’m hoping it will sooth my sore throat since Vicks quit adding alcohol to Nyquil.

This seems to be the yearly punishment for being the parent of three boys. If there is an illness in the news, you can be your going to get it sooner than later.

Okay, enough of the pity party, coffee’s done and this seems little more than an average cold…

uumm Irish coffee….

Oh, where was I?

Yes, I caught a cold. Yesterday I was feeling lousy and half expecting to have caught one of the nastier flu bugs, which is why I took the easy way out and just posted music videos and then went to bed.

Oh, and because with the exception of Gary Numan, these were songs I had recently discovered and wanted to share, though I had planned to post one a day over an entire week instead of all at once… the best laid plans of mice and all that jazz….

I do hope people found something they liked.

One bad thing about being sick is I had to cancel my therapy appointment for this morning, I didn’t want to pass this along to anyone else, so it will be another week before I have another session scheduled. 

The truth is, nothing terrible has happened this week, which is sort of sad when I think about it and really shines a light on the way I use to measure my life not so long ago. I do have my little ups and down, but everyone has those… it’s… wait for it….

Normal!

OMG!

I am actually beginning to like the word.

Normal.

Normal!

I can even type it without cringing or wanting to spit as if I had tasted something foul…

BTW, tomorrow I probably won’t remember this post and even if I do I’ll blame it on the alcohol. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)

I’ll give you an example of what I’m talking about. At one point today I had one of those sneaky negative thoughts come along… “If it looks like a duck; if it walks like a duck; if it quacks like a duck, then it is probably a duck.”

If you can’t guess, this is a reference to how I see my gender issues from time to time. Before the would have begun a downward spiral of thoughts and emotions which fed on each other until I was so buried in my own head I couldn’t see daylight.

No now. Not today.

The thought was broken by what popped into my head… “except for the ugly duckling. Sometimes everyone gets it wrong.”

Living a double life in so many ways isn’t easy, no matter how noble the intentions. My time is broken up through out the day I often have little chance to do anything for myself before the kids start returning from school and while I know now the way I look isn’t a problem for them, I do have to be out with the neighbors when the busses arrive and I’m not ready to deal with any of them just yet, so it’s just unadorned me out and about. It’s the same at work, and though I have been doing this for several years now, it still bothers me on a number of levels and truly aggravates me when I think I have to hide in plain sight because some people could never handle the truth… Small minds, small hearts….

Anyway, as long as this continues to be the life I lead, then I have to expect more ups and downs, more times of doubt and fear.

More times when I just want to give up.

Yet they pass.

They pass.

In the end I realize I am who I am and nothing is going to change this simple truth.

Would I like to be myself all the time? Of course.

Would it reduce my stress levels? Yes and no. Going full time has its own issues to be dealt with which I cannot simply dismiss. It would be rather dishonest of me… at leas to myself and if you can’t be honest with yourself, then who can you be?

On the other side is how I am feeling more and more free each day. There is a weight lifted from my chest and I can breather easier than ever before. I find even in the darker times, in the middle of the night, things seem brighter, less immediate, and not as insurmountable. 

No matter what I find myself smiling more, sometimes for no other reason than I feel like it. Yes there are tears and sometimes I don’t even know why they are there, but it’s fine. They are welcome.

You know, there are days when I feel as if I am simply floating in the river of life, being carried wherever the current takes me and I look at the sky above and think I haven’t moved at all, then I look at the world around me and realize miles have slipped past while I wasn’t paying attention.

I have said before, two steps forward, one back but it really sin’t like that at all. I am constantly moving forward even when I think I haven’t moved at all.

A thought which came to mind this week was this…

Every second is brand new, every step takes us into the unexplored. Every tick of the clock is a new universe because not matter how many times we may think we have walked the same path, it isn’t. Not really. There will always be something different from the last time even if it the play of single stand of hair in a shifting of the air. Every breath is different than the last and can never be repeated.

So why not seek to make the most of each second, every breath, that next step no matter where it is leading us?

We’re only going this way once.

 

Beautiful Darling (2009)

Beautifuldarling

 

I watched a movie I didn’t know existed until a few days ago, about a woman I knew nothing about. Now I sit here with tears in my eyes and a sadness in my heart because hers was a life too short.

The movie is ‘Beautiful Darling, The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Andy Warhol Superstar’

The title seems a little dry after watching the film, though accurate in it’s way. 

I’ll share with you the storyline as given on IMBD website.

“Candy Darling was a fixture in the New York Off-Broadway scene in the 60s, in Warhol films such as Women in Revolt and Flesh, and became a prominent personality in Warhol’s circles, influencing such noted contemporary artists as Madonna, David Bowie and Lou Reed. This documentary will use a series of interviews, archival footage, and images from Candy’s home in Massapequa, NY. Archival footage includes rare 25 year old interviews conducted by Jeremiah Newton with members of Warhol’s Factory and Tennessee Williams. The film features interviews with colleagues, contemporaries and friends of Candy, including John Waters, Peter Beard, Holly Woodlawn, Bob Colacello, Geraldine Smith, Pat Hackett and Ron Delsener.”

 

My thoughts…

Watching this, I found myself fascinated by Candy. I wanted to know more about her, who she was, why she was… If I hadn’t know from the description on Netflix that she was Transsexual, I never would have guessed and it wouldn’t have mattered if I did. She was, by her own hand and deed, larger than life. The flame which draws the moth, and like the flame, burned out too soon.

She was part of time which, when looking back, seems so far from us now. A different climate, a different understanding… society has moved on… Yet it really hasn’t. What you see and hear of life in the New York LGBT community of the late 60s, early 70s isn’t so far removed from where we stand at this moment. Maybe laws have changed, maybe people want to believe things are better, yet listen to the words of those interviewed, see their reactions to the memories which lie no so far beneath the surface and you will the same battles we fight today.

I do have to wonder about this film and it’s purpose. If it is to showcase a lost treasure, it does it well. If it is meant to be a cautionary tale, it does leave the proper impression. But if it is meant as a way to honor a unique soul. To spotlight the trials and tribulations of life… well then, I feel it missed the mark just a little.

You get a glimpse, through her journal of the sadness and loneliness which marked her days on the earth. You can just see, almost hidden from view, her desperate need to be accepted and loved for who and what she was.

And you can feel the weight of each passing day in which she did not find what she wanted most.

If your interested, the movie is on Netflix, available to streaming. 

I’ve Been Thinking…

Yes, dangerous I know.

Most of the time when I write about the issues I am having, I seem to try to convey my emotional state more than anything. Maybe it’s because as I find myself dealing with issues, it is the emotions which come to the forefront. Which color my sight and leave a metallic taste in my mouth.

Yet I wonder how often this ends up clouding the issue.

These past few days are a good example, so let me take a moment to try and explain much of what has been bothering me. Maybe in this way my day to day life become a little clearer. After all, as far as I know, there isn’t anyone reading this blog who knows me in my day to day life out in the ‘Real World’ or if they do, they haven’t said as much to me, and so the only images you have of me outside of this space is what I write here, and truthfully, 99% of this is about what is happening on the inside.

Most days I do little or nothing to change my appearance from what it has been for the majority of my life. True, I have let my hair and nails grow. I use lip balm more than I use to, but really there isn’t much of a noticeable change. I still spend my days in jeans and sweat shirts or tee shirts depending on the weather. I wear tennis shoes more often than not, though I have to wear boots for work. When I look in the mirror I see the same reflection as always…

When I speak I hear the same voice in my head. I have made no efforts to feminize my voice.

I have adjusted the way I walk, but it more to the point where I don’t obviously walk like a man, ram rod straight with a tight, overly aggressive step.

Outside of this, I have tried on many levels to allow my thoughts to open beyond the narrow day to day view I had trudged through for so long, yet it is all too easy to fall back into those familiar, comfortable patterns. 

It is the same with my emotions. Yes, I have loosened the bonds I kept them under, to do anything else would have lead to a breakdown, yet I still find times when it is difficult to let go and just feel.  Then again, the very fact I can feel anything positive at all is a vast improvement over where I was. Too many years of nothing but negative emotions, the self hatred, disgust, loathing, and the anger… Oh, so much anger… 

Still, even here I can find myself falling back into those old, familiar ruts. It’s the path of least resistance. The sharp, bitter taste I know all too well.

You see, in so many ways, in so many things. Thoughts, actions, emotions; I often find not much has changed from what has gone before. So many days when I think,look, or listen to myself and I wonder what has changed? 

I think, often, if I went full time, this would change. It would have to wouldn’t it? To make those changes, no matter how minute, which transform me, in my own mind, from costume to reality and lead to the “new” me becoming more “real” than the old?

This is the question I cannot answer. Maybe it is the thought of being given no other choice but to change these things which attracts me to the idea. Maybe it is the thought; by maintaining so much of the trappings of my old self, I can never be anything else…

If I look in the mirror and see the past staring at me, am I really anything else?

I think I have said this before; if I could rip off this skin, like a snake or bad parlor trick, and step away as I know myself to be… I would do it in a heartbeat.

If I could step into the shower and standing under the stinging water to be transformed, I would rejoice.

Nothing is ever so simple though, is it?

There is a constant tug of war between what was and what I wish to become.

I don’t know… I really don’t. Some days are easier than others. There are times I want to get up and sing and dance like no one is watching… and then there are the other days. Days in which I want to scream until my throat is raw. To dig my nails into this skin and tear it from the bone.

Days when I just want to be me and days when I want to be nothing at all.

Maybe some day I will find my balance. A time when it really won’t matter what I look like, how I sound, what name someone addresses me with.

A day when I am truly myself.

Shivers

Saturday was a busy day. Busy enough all I could do was eat a little Dinner and went to bed early.

I started out with therapy, which went well. The nice thing at this point is I am looking past dealing with gender issues and moving on to the other things I need/want to work past. 

As I said, I am in the process of decluttering my life and this really does mean in every way I can. It isn’t just about throwing some things away or straightening out a closet, though those things are part of it. I also need to deal with my emotional baggage which has weighed me down every bit as much as boxes of stuff.

One of the things I told Jodi was I need to work through my resentment and anger for things from the past. In some cases, these things go back more years than I care to think about… a lifetime and more. I need to let them go. In many cases the people aren’t even alive. There will never be a way to get closer, not from them, not as long as I hold on to the memories. All I am doing is giving someone else power in my life. Power they did not earn or deserve. It is time for me to take it back. 

In so many ways this is the same as emptying out an old box. It does me no good just sitting there taking up space for which I can find a better use.

Thankfully so much more is going on than therapy. A and I took time to get out by ourselves. We really need the time alone to decompress from what is more times than not  two week spent inside four walls where it can be difficult to just think, never mind having an adult conversation.

We needed to look for a new recliner, which we didn’t find, but we spent the day going through thrift stores and consignment shops. I wasn’t looking to buy anything for myself today, as I said, I was wanting to find a decent chair as well as clothes for the boys. (Being boys they are hard on clothes when they aren’t outgrowing them at an alarming pace). As it turned out, A had a different idea, so when we happened across a Coach wallet which matches the purse we bought awhile back, she got it… and gave it to me. It was unexpected and a wonderful surprise which I am still smiling about. I’ll post some pictures of them both when I get the chance.

Oh, speaking of being out, we went back to store we were in a few weeks ago which sells a lot of furniture. The sales lady is someone we have dealt with before. When we first started looking we had our backs to her and she asked if she could “help you ladies,” (Sorry, I still get a charge when I’m correctly gendered), the only down side was when we turned to her and she recognized me from our last visit where I had to use my male ID, so she apologized saying she didn’t recognize me. One day this won’t happen as no one will remember me as anyone other than Kira, but for now I understand it and assured her she hadn’t hurt my feelings in the least. Even though it wasn’t entirely the way I would have liked, this was another instance of validation for me. When just being myself is enough to deserve being seen properly more often than not.

Oh, I forgot to mention, I was presenting more as myself with the exception of my hair. It was simply too windy to risk wearing a wig… I really need to invest in some bobby pins… but in any case, I did have my hair in a pony tail to keep it out of my face. Of course wearing a heavy winter coat tends to make everyone look like stuffed sausages, so I know certain tale-tale things weren’t obvious which makes such recognition even better.

 

I’ve done a great deal of talking here and in past posts yet I find words alone are not enough to truly express just how different my life is at this moment. How much it feels as if I mountain has been lifted off my chest. I can breath, for the first time in I don’t remember when. I am able to breathe. More than this, I am able to feel. Sitting here I have tears in my eyes, not from sadness or fear but from simple happiness. I can’t think of the last time i could say such a thing.

I am happy.

Such a simple statement to try and convey so much.

I know for many this isn’t a big deal, nothing to sit and ponder over for hours at a time, yet when you have never had this sort of freedom it is almost overwhelming.

I can see possibility opening up before me. A glimpse of a life I didn’t know until recently even existed.

I suppose I could look back on my life with resentment, after all, there are all of those years which could have been like this. Years which I could think of as having been stolen from me, yet I don’t. I can’t. Such things seem a waste of time and energy which could be better spent elsewhere and so I am enjoying the moment as brief as it may be.

The realization I can do this is enough to send shivers running down my spine… in a good way. 🙂

 

More Stories About Grantland and Dr. V

Grantland apologises for article that outed transgender golf inventor

The prestigious sports website Grantland has admitted poor judgment and offered a profuse apology for an article about the inventor of a revolutionary golf club who committed suicide while the piece was being researched, and whom it posthumously outed as transgender.

Source: The Guardian

 

The 4 Most Important Points In Bill Simmons’ Apology For Publishing A Piece Outing A Trans Woman

Bill Simmons, the founder of Grantland, an ESPN-owned sports and entertainment site, issued a wide-ranging public apology on Monday for the site’s decision to publish a piece about the inventor of a golf putter who killed herself while the piece was being reported. Simmons’ piece answers many of the questions I and other critics have raised about the story, “Dr. V’s Magical Putter.” He acknowledged that the reporter, Caleb Hannan, should not have outed the subject of the piece, Essay Anne Vanderbilt, as transgender in a conversation with one of her investors. He admitted that Grantland had been careless in its use of gendered pronouns in referring to Vanderbilt, and in employing other language that implied that being transgender is strange, deceptive, or in keeping with fraud. And most strikingly and importantly, Simmons acknowledged that he and his staff had failed to supplement their own lack of understanding of transgender issues by bringing in outside editors, an omission that the site took a small step towards rectifying by publishing a thorough analysis of the piece by ESPN baseball reporter Christina Kahrl, who is herself transgender.

Source: Think Progress

 

When a Journalist Threatens to Out a Trans Woman, Where Do the Ethics Lie?

Just like Caleb Hannan, I know that when you set out to write a story, it doesn’t always end up where you thought it would. Human beings are fascinating, complex creatures, and sometimes a simple story on, say, a miraculous golf club evolves into something else as you uncover more and more about its maker. It’s then that you reach a breaking point: stop to refocus the story, or follow it in a new direction? What if following it would require outing your subject as a transgender woman, potentially endangering her?

Source: Care2

Kira: In My Own Words

I wanted to wait until after my therapy session to write something more personal. It has been nearly a month since I last saw Jodi, before Christmas. With the holidays and her taking a vacation it just wasn’t feasible to try and do anything before now.

I was a real jabber jaw today and the time flew by before I knew it, which is good. It really felt nice to just sit and talk with someone who is an objective observer. There is no fear of judgment or ridicule which takes so much stress of a conversation.

For those of you who read this blog regularly know I have my times. I have long had a habit of thinking things to death and combined with a tendency to take things out of context or more personally than intended. So often I have found myself a dog chasing her own tail. Getting no where and making myself dizzy. 

There are time though, when all of this self examination pays off. When I have had time to work through it.

This past month has ben such a time. In the beginning I was worried and confused by my feelings or my lack of them. I have lived for so long in a constant whirlwind, for me all of the noise and chaos were just another day. Now, between medicine and therapy I have the ability to experience what most people take for granted, which is a relatively calm mind capable of clear thought. I also have ways to sort out my emotions, to bring sadness and depression under control by keeping them in perspective. Before they could balloon out of control, becoming so overwhelming the consumed my life for days or weeks at a time.

Control, tools, and finding balance. All of these come together so in the end I can find my way clear of the distractions, to step back and see the forest for the trees. I’m still learning, still finding my way through this new view of the world. I’m going to make mistakes, loose my way rom time to time, become overwhelmed… The difference is, I have been handed a compass and a rough map so with time I can find my way back.

This is where I find myself today. Speaking to Jodi I realized just how much I have changed. How my view of situations has become clearer and I am able to face things a little easier without falling into a panic.

My view of myself has also changed dramatically. Before the very thought of being myself in public, to presenting as female was more then I could imagine. Now, there are more times when regardless of what I look like hear female pronouns and if I don’t? Well, it’s annoying but doesn’t lead to me crashing and burning like it did in the past.

You see, as I was talking I realized something about myself, something which has snuck up on me when I was concerned with other things…

I find I am more comfortable in my own skin.

Now I still have ups and downs, times when things bother me more than they should, yet over all, I’m not concerned with how others see me any more. All that matters is how I see myself.

Is it nice when I am correctly gendered? Of course. Would I rather take the time to get done up before I go out, knowing doing so will make being seen and accepted much more likely? Yes.

But there are also times when I just don’t care. I dress for the weather, for comfort. I don’t fight with wearing a wig or makeup, sometimes I don’t even wear my enhancers. You know why? For one, I’m lazy. For another I know who I am inside regardless of any thing else and I am comfortable with myself. It doesn’t hurt that I have been correctly gendered regardless of how I thought I was presenting.

Male mode, en femme, Greg or Kira… I don’t even think in these terms any more. They are meaningless. I am me. Nothing more, nothing less and I really have nothing to prove to anyone. 

This doesn’t change the path I am on. At some point I am going to legally change my name. I am going to seek to have my gender markers changed. I want to look more into HRT. I don’t know if I will need or want to go any further than this, but no isn’t the time to worry about it. It isn’t a driving need at the moment though I accept it might be one day. There is no reason to get worked up about it. If it happens, then it does. If not, then not.

More every day I see and think of myself as Kira. Kira Anne Moore… “K” (Kay), to my friends if they are so willing.

I again explained to Jodi Greg was a costume, a mask and a bundle of expectations I wore because I want to be accepted. To be included, to have friends and lovers and all the things most people have. I wanted to be loved by my family. To feel a part of something outside of myself. 

I tried to be this person. I tried to meet expectations. I took on the mannerisms I thought were expected. Tried to share the interests of those around me. Tired to play a part for which I was woefully unequipped to play.

I couldn’t do it any more.

Meeting Jodi was a real blessing. The last time I tried to get help, I was left in pretty much the place where I had started. There was no real effort on anyone’s part to try and do what I needed, which was help me. She saw me. Heard me. Listened. Before I had to fight every step of the way just to be acknowledged and then it was just to be handed a bunch of pills, patted on the head, and sent on my way…

I have spoken of the past two years and what I long struggle it has been… Yet, this is just blink. Nothing really when I look at how long I have been making my way to the point where I am now, sitting here typing these words.

I was 10 when I first realized there was something different about me, I am going to be 48 this year…

38 years to find my truth. a lifetime and more to begin the journey I should have began the first day I stood in front of mirror with a towel over my head wishing it was my real hair. When I stood barefoot on a cold concrete floor about to do something which felt so right even as it terrified me beyond words.

The first time I reached the breaking point. When I stood in disbelief as the walls of my mind were torn asunder, as I was left with nothing but death as a companion, I was shuffled off out of sight, out of mind. No one wanted to be bothered. No one wanted to take the time to find the truth which was waiting just under the carpet where I had been sweeping it for years. It was 1988.

I could spend time wishing for what could have been, but what use would it be? Nothing would change, nor should it. 

It has been a long hard journey, but if I had not seen the things I have seen, learned what I have learned, I would not be the person I am today. Every mistake, every scar, every wound, every scrape and bruise I have earned. It hasn’t been easy and sometimes the pain was more than I thought I could bear, yet I did. I have and I will.

I stand here today because of what has gone before. I have walked under the sun and felt the wind in my hair. I have heard my name from other lips and I have been seen and accepted as who I truly am. Nothing can take those things from me.

What I do. What I have done. The person I was before never could never have done.

Could never have dreamed the dreams I have. 

From slavery to freedom I have fought and clawed. 

I have earned this.

I deserve this.

I will have this.

 

I will say to anyone who asks;

This path is not easy, but nothing worth achieving ever is.

Not everyone can do this, but how will you know if you never try?

It is worth it.

If you do nothing else, trust yourself. It’s difficult to do but the rewards are beyond compare.

A Year Of Transition

I wanted to post this earlier, but as so often happens, other things came up and I wasn’t even able to start it, never mind getting it posted. Well, I can do it now, I’m sure most of my original thoughts have stayed with me enough to make sense.

 

Since the beginning of the year things have been strange for me and I have had difficulty working through just what is different now. Other than myself I suppose, though I think I have finally come to an answer.

For me, this year is going to be one of transition. This may sound strange if you’ve followed me for very long, after all, isn’t this what the last two years have been about?

Yes and no.

To this point my transition, such as it is, has been a mental journey. It hasn’t been about only coming to accept myself, but of working through a great many issues. Some I was aware of, others not. In the end I have found it necessary to let go of a great deal of baggage I have carried with me for far too long. Therapy has helped with this as has going on medication to get me to a place where I could face so many issues. There was a great deal of pain, betrayal, anger, sorrow and regret and some of these things remain, a permeant reminder of what I have been through. Just as a scar is a reminder of an injury…

These last two years I have been in survival mode, just struggling to get from one day to the next without coming apart from the pressures inside. When I thought of a way to describe it, an avalanche came to mind. An unstoppable force of nature sweeping away everything in its path and me, a skier trying to keep from being buried alive. The motion and noise were incredible. So intense I sometimes lost sight of anything except for the next second, trying to avoid the ever mounting pile of debris which surrounded me. Oh, there were times of peace and calm, a second here and there to catch my breath and get my bearings but little real relief.

 

And then I reached this point.

 

Have you ever been in a situation where there is a flurry of activity. Intense concentration as you maneuver your way through? Did you find, when it ended, it still took you a few moments to realize it was over? To regain your balance and be able to take a breath? The change is striking. The silence so intense it is almost pain.

Did you stand there lost and confused?

I know I did.

You see, I have gone from the terror of the avalanche to the startling peace the valley beyond and it has taken me until now to realize where I am and how much has changed. The silence rings in my ears and brightness of untouched possibility is blinding. I am battered and bruised, but I survived.

More, I am alive and those two things are a lifetime apart.

I know the difference. 

I have survived before but I did not live. I was nothing more than a shellshocked survivor left to look around at the destruction which surrounded me and I could never have imagined the possibility of rebuilding. To make something new, better for myself and those around me.

Now I do.

For me this is what transition is really means. To move beyond what was and to embrace what might be. I still have a lot of cleaning up to do, not just mentally, emotionally as well and getting out of my own head to cleaning up my life in the real world as well. To discarding a lifetime of uselessness and gathering around me only those things which have usefulness and meaning.

I have a house I have lived in for more than a decade and it is overflowing with “things.” Books, magazines, bits and pieces from the past I couldn’t bear to let go of. Toys I had as a child, books I read in high school. I have been a true pack rat over the years, always making one excuse or another about why I shouldn’t throw something away and which has now sat in a box, forgotten for more years than my oldest son has been alive.

I know now it was because I felt I had lost everything. Anything of importance or value to me. Not the way I thinking of it. Not in terms of things, but in those things which only I could give away or allow to be taken from me. My self worth. My self respect. The love I should have had for myself… 

In their place I had put things. Object into which I had placed the value I should have given myself. 

There are boxes and boxes now. Filling up the basement, stuffed into closets. I don’t even know what is in most of them anymore… 

So you tell me, do they really have any worth at all?

I wonder. 

This is part of my transition. To take back what is mine. To regain all I have given away or discarded over the years. Not things. Not objects. Not anything which can be captained in a box to be taken out and admired for a moment before it tucked away and forgotten once more…

No.

My heart. My mind. My strength. My love. My self respect. My self worth.

These are what I am reclaiming as my own. 

Yes, I am sure there will continue to be more than this. More to my physical transition, my mental transition. Yet, for the moment, they are secondary. I said before, it does not matter what I look like or what name I use, I am still me regardless and this is true. I see this now in a way I couldn’t before. Those things are an extension of what I am inside, at my core. They hold an importance in my life only in so far as they will allow me to exist in the world as the outward expression of myself… They are not me in and of themselves. Without me investing the heart and soul it would be the same thing as I have already lived, just from a different side of the fence. 

“He” is and always will be a costume. A mask. A disguise worn not out of choice. He is not me. He never was. Not really. Not where it counted. In my heart. In my soul.

“She” is and must be more than this. I cannot wear her when it is convenient and take her off when she is not. 

He was what I was expected to be.

She is who I am.

Change

This is a post I should have written on the first; a new year, a new beginning but I wasn’t ready then. I had to reach a place where I have the time to take stock of myself. Where I have been, where I am, where I would like to go.

Taking things backward, I really can’t see where I am heading just yet. It isn’t time for me to do so. I know as time passes I will gain a better perspective of what I need to do to move forward. There is no need to push things.

As for where I am; I have reached a place where, mentally and emotionally, I have cleared away much of garbage and waste of the past. I am ready to start over fresh in many ways, to start not with a clean slate, but one which has been reorganized into something useful for who I am now. There is no erasing the past, only putting things into perspective. Yes, there were bad things which happened, but those were a lifetime ago and it is time to leave them behind. There were good things too. Things which built the foundation upon which to build a future. There are lessons learned, understanding gained, and memories collected which have enriched my life beyond anything I could have imagined. There are new people and new opportunities.

Now is the time to truly open my eyes and see the world around me, not through the damaged reflections of the past but through the clean glass of understanding.

To reflect my new outlook I have updated the look of my blog and I am going to do my best to become a better writer and bring better content. I’m sure I am going to fall short from time to time. Find myself slipping into bad habits and riding the emotional roller coaster which has brought be this far. I am many things, but first and foremost I am human and therefore not perfect.

As I have said many times, I am a work in progress. 

First-grader prompts Cumberland schools to address gender identity

At least they are willing to begin having this conversation. Only time will tell if they take the correct path for all students.

Read the complete story here.