Blog, Sweet Blog

Posts Tagged ‘full time

Mood: All of them
Music: De La Soul-Plug Tunin’

…I did it!   I’m really, really tired right now, but I just wanted to say that everything went well at work today.  Everyone I spoke to was really nice and supportive and it was just…kind of easy, you know?  I didn’t die or explode or get committed to an insane asylum.  Actually, it was kind of anticlimactic.  But I’ll take that over being humiliated and stabbed in the neck any day.  I’ll write more about the day later, but I’m going to go to bed early.  You can go to sleep too little cats.  You’ve done your job.

Mood: Peaceful-ish
Music: What Not to Wear-Stacy and Clinton making fun of some woman’s wardrobe

So, they had that meeting yesterday…the one where they were talking about me and sharing my most intimate, secret secrets with everyone I work with like it was no big deal.  I’m sure people were asking questions about me and discussing me and thinking things and wondering and moving me from one box to another and on and on.  I had a mini-freakout at the start of the meeting, but that quickly passed.

Afterward, I got wonderful emails from a few people and they all said that the meeting went well.  Everyone seemed to be receptive and taking the news well.  Ok, I’m not sure if this happens a lot, but I guess most people were kind of pissed at how the meeting announcement was handled…like they were going to announce massive layoffs or something.  I’ve heard a couple of versions of this story from other trans-women.  So, I’m not sure how they should be announcing this sort of thing, but maybe they should include a disclaimer like, “oh and btw, no one is getting fired…except for you Larry, you’re horrible.”  So yeah, so far so good, right?  I am a little bit nervous about tomorrow, but I’m kind of all worried out.  Besides, everyone already knows, so there isn’t much more to worry about.

I guess I’m only worried about looking nice and what I’m going to wear.  And I don’t mean that in like a oh pooh, whateva shall I wear to the ball kind of worry.  Turns out, the big big, numero uno boss boss-type boss person is flying out from the mother ship and visiting us tomorrow.  So, now I have to pick something that looks nice, is business-casual, and won’t embarass me or my coworkers in front of the boss.  I was just going to wear jeans or something .

In other news, I got quite a bit done yesterday.  I got my new driver’s license and Social Security card and did some shopping.  I was pretty nervous at the first stop, but I felt a lot better by the end of it.  Today, I think I’ll go for a bike ride then do some more shopping 🙂 and get ready for tomorrow.  That’s it I guess.  I’m doing well and I feel like this might actually work out.

Mood: Still.very.tired
Music: Nick Drake-Fruit Tree

Ugh, maybe I’m still more nervous and worked up than I was letting on.  I got like no sleep Sunday night and slept poorly this weekend so I was just a wreck yesterday.  I went to be bed early and took an antihistamine, but I still feel worn out and anxious.  I’m not sure whether I should attribute this to pre-full-time jitters or just poor health.  I brought my running stuff today and I’ll try to get to bed early again…hopefully that fix me.

So, that story about the trans discussion group meeting thing…um, before we get started, lets have a palette-cleansing photo…

f300cda45d76dfd0a3023793b6165b5be59.jpg picture by konferenzdertiere
Hipster chic or unfortunate coincidence?

Adorable, right?  That’s the picture I was looking for the other day.  I have a copy of it on my ‘puter, but couldn’t remember how to find it again on the intarwebs.  I originally saw it on ffffound, but it can be rilly hard to ffffind (lol) anything on there again.  Ready for another?

Here’s an album cover from a woman named Delia Derbyshire.

 /></a></p> <p>Gorgeous and apparently long out of print Delia Derbyshire library record.</p> <p>Spotted on <a href=
Shhh! I’m calculating a complimentary phase angle for a phat beat oscillator.

Delia Derbyshire had a degree in Mathematics, worked at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, had an awesome name, and is considered to be an early pioneer in electronic music.  So, there’s that, but it doesn’t hurt that her album cover is lovely and modern (that’s her btw).

Ok, so are you ready?  This is going to be  a long one….

The friend I was going to the meeting with (for the sake of privacy, let’s call her Kaylee) picked me up at work and we drove down to the meeting.  I changed clothes and did my makeup in the car and Kaylee opted for the no-fuss, shorts and t-shirt look.  Even though traffic wasn’t bad, we made it to the meeting about ten minutes late (’cause that’s how we roll) and parked in the back of the GLBT center.  This particular center has a youth-outreach program so I think there are always a lot of yout’s hanging about.  Well, they were all hanging about in the back of the building in the parking lot where we parked.  Most of them were…well, you know how kids are these days…slack-jawed, gawking, hanging about, cracking wise, and being shiftless and generally without direction…probably stinky.  We got out of the car and walked past them to the front of the building.  I was a little bit nervous, but felt pretty good about things due to my incredibly low expectations and the fact that Kaylee was going too.  The center is upstairs, so we walked up a flight of stairs then stopped in the middle of the next.

Me:  What are you waiting for?

K:     Um…nothing.  Maybe you should go first.

Me:  Nuh, unh.  This was your stupid idea, you go first.

K:     Cha, as if.  This was totally your idea.

Me:  Do as I say!

K:     Fine!

So, we make our way to the desk and ask the two guys where the…you know…[whispering] trans meeting was.  They pointed to a rectangular-shaped assortment of furniture behind the main desk.  Everyone at the meeting (all three of them) was sitting at one corner of the furniture group.  Kaylee and I wanted to, you know, bond with them, so we sat at the extreme opposite side of the furniture arrangement.  There were two older trans women there and what looked like a very young girl.  One of the older women introduced herself (let’s call her Amber, because she kind of had a stripper name) and bid us welcome.  I introduced myself and Kaylee, trying to set the tone for the evening, introduced herself in her deepest voice.  I was surprised but kept my feelings to myself.  In turn, the other woman (Jennapher Sillymadeuplastname) introduced herself and then introduced Michael (the very young girl, who was actually a neophyte trans guy and kinda looked like he was so nervous he was going to die).

Amber asked if we had any issues that we’d like to bring up.  I looked over at Kaylee for help because I don’t speak support group and had no idea what she was talking about.  Did she mean…was I fed up with The Man and those Fat Cats in Washington (yes)?  …did I need an American Sign Language interpreter (no)?  …was my skin really, really dry (not since winter)?  Since Kaylee returned my askance with only a stony stare, I answered Amber with a smiling shrug.   To move the meeting along, both women gave us a short transition-level synopsis (see, I told you…both were post op I think, both had been on HRT and out at work for a while and honestly who cares?).  One of  them asked me where I was at and I told them that I was about to go full-time at work.  Kaylee opted out of sharing.  Before the meeting, I had decided that, no matter how lame it was, I would try to make nice and be sociable.  I won’t say I’m always confident and in control of new group situations, but hours and hours of awkward social and professional interaction since graduation have taken the edge off.   So I wasn’t having any sort of problems at the meeting.

Apparently, that was our last chance to say anything.  From then on, we listened as Amber and Jennapher told us all about every single unbelievably personal factoid they could recall.  I don’t have the strength or courage to try to form all of these shocking tidbits into a narrative, so I’ll just make a list…

-Amber had been in therapy since 11, still goes, and thinks that trans people should have a lot more therapy…like years.

-Her breasts were size F (they weren’t) because she forgot about the effects of HRT before having a breast augmentation.

-She’d had genital surgery to save her life from something, but did not have a vaginal CANAL!!! NO VAGINAL CANAL!!! AAAGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!! I know, I’m still throwing up.

-Apparently both of them belong to about 30 trans and LGB organizations and I’m a horrible person and loser for not doing the same.

-She’d been at the Angie Zapata trial all week (and this was the day the guilty verdict was handed out) showing her support.

-She transitioned right after her wife died.

-She showed me a picture of her (when she had a beard) and her dead wife (no, she was still alive in the picture).

-She used to be a truck driver and was now doing something with the GLBT center…not exactly assimilated into general society.

-Jennapher was ex-Army and somehow got the VA to pay for her prescriptions and counseling and “almost an orchiectomy!

-She had also been homeless recently and was trying to start her own church group.

-She was wearing a short skirt (above the knee) and, unfortunately, I saw her underwear a lot.

-Both of them were nicely dressed, but a little bit too nicely, if you know what I mean.

-Amber told me all about the various TG events around the country and told me often how I should be going to them like she did.  At one point, I aksed her why I should be going (not trying to be mean, just asking) and she said it was just really great to hang out with other TG people (which includes a lot of cross-dressers), get dressed up, and blah blah blah.  A quick aside…it may seem like splitting hairs, but for those of you that don’t know, cross-dressers (CD) are very different from transsexuals.  CDs are generally straight men that like to wear women’s clothes as some sort of sexual release.  Some of them eventually figure out that they are transsexual (it can be hard to figure this out) and opt to have surgery.  But most of them are very happy being men and can never disassociate sex from wearing women’s clothes.  So, if you’re keeping score at home, I don’t feel that way and I don’t see any reason to associate with cross-dressers.  I may attend one of these events at some point in my life, but I definitely don’t feel like I’m missing out.

-At one point I told her I had thought about going to the Trans March before Gay Pride in San Francisco and she kind of put it down as a waste of time.

-She told me all about what makeup to buy and recommended it because it was something that drag queens wear.  Ok, I don’t have a problem with drag queens in general, but their makeup can be…rather thickly applied.  I am familiar with makeup and even wear it on occasion.  But, I’m trying to go for that “less is more” kind of look, you know?

-Ugh, what else…they encouraged me to remember to have regular prostate exams and told me about their colonoscopies and sigmoidoscopies (and I threw up in my mouth).

-Amber told me about how she had spent like so much money on laser hair removal and kind of gave me the pity eyes when I told her I was doing electrolysis.

-Finally, they encouraged me to remember that all of this transition business is fraught with peril at every turn and things could go horribly wrong and a lot of women end up killing themselves even after transition is over…but have fun with it!

At many times during the lecture, I looked over at Kaylee either because I was throwing up or about to LOL all over the place (thus sharing my true feelings).  A lot of the time, Kaylee was out of the room doing something else (talking to Michael).  When she was there, she always gave me the same “omg did she really just say that” smile.  So it was great having her there and made the whole thing much easier.  At one point, she texted me with, “Please shoot me.  This is so lame.”  It was horrible, but I was determined to stay until the end of the meeting.

Oh, and at some point in the meeting, this trans person that Kaylee had been supporting showed up.  I think I’ve explained it, but people like to pair us with each other.  “Oh, you’re trans, do you know my friend blah blah?” I understand it, but that’s not really a great basis starting a friendship.  Kaylee and I go to the same place for electrolysis (but have different operators) and recently, both of them have set us up with newbie trans people.  My operator asked my permission first and then sent an introductory email…which was thoughtful.  Kaylee’s operator just kind of made her talk to him on the phone one day…I know, wtf right?  Since then, it seems like he’s been wringing every ounce of support he can from her.  And that’s hard.  It’s important to have a support system and people to lean on when things get bad, but it’s easy to abuse it too.  We all have our own problems and varying levels of crazy and it seems like it’s easy to overextend yourself.  So yeah, he (and I say he…he identified as a trans woman but wasn’t trying to show that) was there and was talking to Kaylee a lot during the meeting.

So, the end of the meeting came and I was so ready to go.  I got a business card and contact information from both of the women and gave them the slip when they asked for mine.  I grabbed Kaylee (before she could invite whatshisface out with us) and we walked downstairs to the exit.  Outside the door, we couldn’t hold it in any longer and just started laughing and making jokes.  We drove back to my place and I made dinner for us both while we dissected the evening.  It ended up being a really fun night and I had a lot of fun playing Xbox with Kaylee, but O.M.G. that meeting was a bad way to start.  Unless someone would like to go back and needs a buddy, there is no way I’ll return.

Mood: Ugh, Monday
Music: Swans-Beautiful Child

Wow, that Swans song came on and I’m always awed by their…majestic depravity?  If there was a band that could immanentize the eschaton or rouse dead Cthulhu from his dreaming  at R’lyeh, it would be them…or Current 93.

Anyway, as you can see by my cute, though odd counter-type thingy (which I originally introduced near the end of this post), I am getting pretty close to starting back to work (and thus beginning the rest of my life) as Anna.  It says 9 days, but Friday will be my last day here at work and the last time I try to present as male.

So yeah, I’m getting very close and I thought now would be a good time to talk about how I’m doing with all of this.   I hate to be all zen-like and drama-free, but I’m pretty much over it at this point.  I still have a constant, low-level anxiety and still think about it quite a bit, but I feel a lot better than I did.   I was almost out of my head with worry and anxiety when I came out to my first (and best) friend and my parents in late October.  Somehow, it got worse (high blood pressure, trouble sleeping) after I had decided on my schedule for going full-time and telling work.  I felt like passing out and like I was going to have a stroke-heart attack-seizure most of the time from right before I sent our HR person my packet on March 18th until I came out to my boss in our mid-year review meeting six days later.  As I said, even though I’m not 100%, I feel a lot better now and hope that the rest of the anxiety will drain off as I add more “since then” days to my counter.  And, believe it or not, I am really excited.  I’m scared and nervous too, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be great.

This is a good idea and the right decision for me, but it hasn’t been very easy.  I could still use about 2 hours of electrolysis every week, but I only go for 1.5 hours at most.  It’s a lot better now, but the facial hair on my upper lip is still visible on Fridays…everything else is invisible to the casual observer.   I’ve spent a ton of money on all of this…just over $4000 so far (over half of that on hair-removal alone) and plan to spend another $700-800 before I come back to work next week.  So, transition is like having another pet in the house that eats an extra $300-400 of food every month.  I think my electrolysis should taper off in the next few months, but I’ll need to spend some of that on buying clothes and building the rest of my life.  And let’s not even talk about saving for surgery…that is simply a bedtime fairy tale right now.  So honestly, I could have waited until I had more money or had gotten further along with hair removal, but you can wait your entire life for the right time.  I’ve done a lot of planning and waiting and I feel like now is a good time for me.

As per usual, here is a picture that I’d like to share with you….

Dr. Allison Mouser demonstrates her signature, though controversial, performance technique--butt synthesis.

Mood: What’s the word?  Alright!
Music: The Replacements-Seen Your Video

Hey y’all.  I just got done working on the final draft of a letter to my coworkers and I thought I’d share it with you…because it’s, you know, important and stuff.  The backstory is that we’re going to have an all-hands meeting on Monday, May 4th.  My boss and our institute’s director scheduled the meeting to tell everyone about little old me while I’m out of the office on vaca.  I’m not sure about exactly what will go on at the meeting, but I assume there will be some frank discussion of me, my plans, what bathroom I’m going to use, the severe penalties to be levied against anyone that makes me the least bit unhappy or gets out of line, donuts, a few jokes, and a little bit of crying followed by a group hug.  But seriously, they’re going to use that time to talk about me and get everyone’s feedback on all of this without me being there…which seems like a good idea to me.  At some point, hopefully sometime after they’ve told everyone the reason they’re at the meeting, my boss will read this…

Hi Everyone,

Wow, when I started here almost two years ago, I didn’t think this day would ever arrive.  I’m sorry to have to drag you all down here for another boring meeting, but, hopefully, this won’t take long.  As Director and Boss said, I have decided to change my name and start back to work presenting as a woman.  The reason I’m doing this is because I’m what’s commonly referred to as transsexual or a person that has been diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder (GID).  A more clinical definition for transsexual is a person who strongly identifies with the opposite sex and may seek to live as a member of this sex especially by undergoing surgery and hormone therapy to obtain the necessary physical appearance. People with GID are different than and shouldn’t be confused with drag queens, hermaphrodites, cross-dressers, or transvestites.  And even though the word “sexual” is right there in the word, transsexuality has to do with how a person perceives their own gender and has nothing to do with their sexuality…there are lesbian, gay, and straight transsexuals.

I’m sure a lot of you are wondering why I chose to do this here and now. There are a couple of reasons, actually.  The medical community has established the Benjamin Standards of Care as a way to treat GID.  These standards ensure that a person is physically, mentally, and emotionally stable enough to handle hormone replacement therapy and surgery.  Before a person can obtain clearance for surgery, they must participate in what the Standards of Care refer to as a Real-Life Experience for at least a year.  During this time, the person must live successfully in their desired gender by completing a legal name change and functioning as an employee, student, or volunteer for the entire year.  After a lot of soul-searching and preparation, I finally feel like this is the right time to start living my life.

The other reason I decided to make this change here is that redacted feels like home to me.  I have wanted to do this for a long time but, before now, I had never found a place that was worth the effort.  I love my job and I feel honored that I’m allowed to walk in the building and work with all of you.  I love the people here and the work we do and there isn’t any other place I’d rather be.  If I want to make this my home (and I do), then I need to be honest with all of you.  I’m not trying to over share my personal life or demand any sort of special treatment.  I’m just trying to present myself as authentically as I know how from now on.

So what’s next?  Well, after the six hour long sensitivity training seminar and magic show…just kidding! Alright, let’s talk about when I come back to work on Wednesday.  After a nerve-wracking drive into work and a good ten minutes of freak-out time in the parking lot, I’ll walk inside.  I will look and sound a little bit different, hopefully better.  I’ve already legally changed my name to Anna (like Anne-a, not Ahhhhh-nah) Elizabeth (like Elizabeth) redacted so I’ll be busy for a while getting a new badge and filling out paperwork.  If you spot me in the hall afterward and would like to say “hi”, please do…I swear this is not contagious 🙂 You can call me whatever you’d like, but I’d prefer Anna and for you to use female pronouns like her and she.  I know this won’t be easy at first and it’s totally ok if you mess up.  I’d much rather have you mess up and talking to me than afraid to say anything at all.  You can ask me just about anything you want privately, in person, over lunch, via email, on the phone, two months from now, during a walk, over drinks, on my Facebook page, whatever.  Or, we can never speak of this again…it’s totally up to you.  So, other than having a different name and gender, looking different, sounding different, and being way more happy, friendly, and outgoing, I’ll be exactly the same person.

Ok, we’re almost done here.  So I guess I really only have two favors to ask.  The first is that you treat me with the same warmth and respect you show each other every day…nothing more.  The second is that we keep this information to ourselves.  I’m not embarrassed of who I am or what I’ve gone through, but I think I should decide who to tell and when.  We’re all adults and you’re free to behave however you wish, but, when you think about it, this really isn’t anybody else’s business.  It’s your business because I decided to make this change with you, my work family.  And like it or not, we all just entered into a giant, Meet the Parents-style circle of trust…but anyone else needs to earn their way in.

And we’re done!  Thanks for listening.  I’m really excited to see you all on Wednesday, and I hope you enjoy Boss’s magic show!

At this point, I’m pretty sure someone in the audience will start with the slow clap then it will build to a thunderous, standing ovation with a few shouts of “Author!” and some long stemmed rose-throwing mixed in.  What do you guys think?

an introduction

Hi, I'm Anna and I love cheese!

This blog is a chronicle of my life and a catalog of happy ephemera. The About page has a little bit more information, but, remember, none of this is really's just a supplement, a thumbnail sketch, a mostly anonymous Intarwebs placeholder. I'm way better/less wordy in person. :-)

Oh, and if I wrote something about you and you thought it was mean or hurtful, I'm sorry. It's how I felt at the time, but probably isn't how I feel now. Chances are, I love you and I think you're awesome.


All content on Blog, Sweet Blog is copyrighted by me, Anna Hell. Unless otherwise noted, all photos, words, and content on this site are mine, created by me, and should not be used without my permission (or at least attributed and linked back). I try to embed links or quote original source material if I use another person's work.

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January 2022