Blog, Sweet Blog

Posts Tagged ‘name change

Mood: I have the dread
Music: WBLS’s In Control from 7.14.89 feat. Ultramagnetic MCs and 3rd Bass

Margaret demonstrates the low point in Victorian-era Women's athletics, the wildly unpopular, Single-handed Trunk Drag.

I was watching Bram Stoker’s Dracula when I started writing this the other day and I realized, the first five minutes of  that movie are totally metal.

So Happy New Year, y’all.  I realize it’s a little late to do resolutions and wrap-ups (or so says John), but I wasn’t aware of any rules or time limits banning the writing of New Year’s resolutions after January 1st.  I figure, as long as I get something out by the end of January, we’re good.

First, let’s recap the major events of 2009…

-continued basking in the crappy, coming-out aftermath with my parents.

-CAME OUT AT WORK!!!  Seriously, in retrospect, this almost seems like a non-event, but, let me assure you, it was definitely an event.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget the megaWatts of energy expended in sweating worry, HR meetings, legal wrasslin’, and amazing letter writing before the big day, but it was all totally worth it.  It’s hard to believe I’ve been full time for 8 months now.

drove out see my father in Iowa for July 4th weekend, had a great time.  Also saw the mighty Sunn O)) in the mighty Big O.

-finally realized my cat might be trying to kill me.

-spoke at work conferences in both Washington D.C. and Mobile, AL…I should prolly tell those stories at some point.

-renewed my nuptial vows with my first love, Cheese.

-read some books.

went back to graduate school, got an A.

-battled King Ghidorah with Godzilla on Japan’s mysterious Monster Island.

tried internet dating and won.

-made up with my mother and she and my aunt came out to visit.

-had an unplanned gall bladder-ectomy.

-crowned Queen of Donkey Kong.

-won a caption writing contest and got my first professional writing rejection.

Holy wow, that was quite a year, hunh?!  I’ve read how some other bloggers didn’t particularly care for our old friend, 2009, but I thought it was pretty great.  I think my choice to (and following through with) transition helped a lot and waking up from the eight-year long nightmare of the Bush/Cheney regime seemed to lighten up the place considerably.

This is getting long, so let’s take a cheese break and meet back at the next, thrilling New Year’s installment, Viva la Resolutions!

Mood: Tired
Music: Acid Girls-This Is Who I Am And This Is What I Want Mix

We did it Internets! Somehow, I’ve managed to cajole, hoodwink, and harangue people into looking at my blog just over 1.0×10^3 times.  Granted, one in three of those views is prolly mine (I just love my blog), but numbas are numbas, people and you can’t argue with steam-powered locomotion.

I started this blog in…March, I think.  So, that’s about 250 views per month, but there is a slow, upward growth trend.  So, in other words, it should only take me another, 3.56 more years (approximately) to become “internet famous.”  I can’t wait.

In other news, this is like post 99, so stay tuned for a 100 Posts All-Star Spectacular just as soon as I get around to posting 100 posts.

In other, other news, my visit to the dentist was great and incident-free.  Actually, I was expecting some kind of something to happen, but it was totally normal.  Either they’re the most courteous and professional dental practice in the world, or it never occurred to them that I’m trans.  Either way, I highly recommend having an angst-free trip to the dentist.  Also, it looks like my name is good and changed with my university.  I posted this in the comments last time, but it seems like the problem was related to my numerous entries (due to numerous student jobs) in the HR database.  What the HR database has to do with my student email and random web greetings, I’ll never know.  Regardless, I’m glad it’s fixed.

Oh, and these lovelies have been clogging up my tabs for far too long…

Entangle II by Josh Keyes

Scorch II by Josh Keyes

Death by James Jirat Patradoon

Untitled by James Jirat Patradoon

Untitled by James Jirat Patradoon

Mood: Surly
Music: Sleater-Kinney-Hollywood Ending

UGH!   I’ve changed my name most everywhere and I haven’t had many problems with the old one creeping up…except for at my university.  I’m taking an engineering management graduate class, Project Management Systems (weee!) in the fall.  This class will be like a refresher before I start back to grad school for my MSEE in the spring (or next fall).   So, I’ve been trying to take care of everything before the semester starts and, frustratingly, my old name pops up all over the place.  I’ve put in a few helpdesk tickets to fix it, but it seems like they’re only fixing one instance at a time.  Today, I checked my student email and sent out a test message and my address comes up like…

Old Name []

So, that’s been a lot of fun.  I sent them another email a few minutes ago and asked them if they could just, you know, fix everything all at the same time.  The thing that kills me is that this is a new school, sort of.  I graduated from another campus, so some of the records are the same, but most are different.  I changed my name with the registrar at the old campus and I thought I was done.  Silly rabbit.

Right now, the whole thing bothers me, but it’s more of an annoyance.  However, I’ll be nigh-devestated if this sort of mistake pops up in the classroom or during the school year.  I can imagine a professor getting a class roster with my old name on it and demanding to know who I am and why I’m not on their list.  Good times.

Mood: Hopeful-er
Music: Black Sabbath-Hand of Doom

Wow, Ozzy…Hand of Doom…nice one.  Ok, before I get to the news, I need to tell you today’s music story.  This is, by far, my favorite Black Sabbath album….

SabotageFrontal.jpg Sabotage image by oskarotenks

Why yes, it is the 1970's.

I love this album for a couple of reasons.  First of all, it’s epic and heavy and dark and a lot more coherent than the rest of their albums.  Mainly though…would you look at what they’re wearing??? Wow wow wee wow.  Each outfit is more bizarre than the last, but I like Geezer Butler’s red tights and leather jacket and Ozzy’s man dress and platform boots ensembles the best.

If only I knew what Geezer was thinking when he chose that…

This’ll show me mates on the rugby team!

Oo’s the sissy now?

Ozzy Osbourne, you owe me £10!

I don’t know, just give me the outfit that will make me jumblies look the biggest.

I think I first heard this album when I was 17 and I’ve been a fan since then.  It amuses me that Ozzy has had this new popularity from reality television.  One of my favorite Ozzy quotes went something like…

When I got my first bit of Black Sabbath money, I bought a new pair of platform boots and a huge bottle of cologne ’cause I hated the way I smelled.

Ozzy has priorities and I can respect that.

So, the news…I went to the credit union and guess what?  I have a new credit and debit card with my name on it and new checks are on order.  Gooooo me!  The loan officer that helped me was nice and really helpful.  The only bad thing was that I had to show him my old ID (I’ll get the new one Monday), but whatevs.  It’s done and I never have to go back there again if I don’t want to.  So, I’ve got a lot of my name change stuff done.  On Monday and Tuesday, I’ll get my new driver’s license, change my Social Security card, change my property records, auto registration, and mortgage…I think that’s it.  I also found out that my car payment should be reduced by half (long story) any second now and I might even get some money back.  So, maybe this whole transition thing might actually work out after all.

Mood: Hanging in there
Music: Einstürzende Neubauten-Implosion

I’m sorry ok?  I was just trying to relate a story about and omg there’s A PONY!!!


I'm going to ride you and ride you and ride you and ride you and ride you and ride you and ride you...

See?  Don’t you feel better?  I know I do.  Seriously you guys, it isn’t my intention to comment on the transgender community at large or wax philosophic about the gender binary and our place in it.  Honestly, I’m just not that interested and there are people that are way better at it than I.  I’d much rather stick to sharing my own stories and pictures of ponies.  Speaking of, here’s a miniature donkey, or donk…

The humans call me Mr. Tibbles, but my true name is Karlogth the Merciless, Lord and Ruler of the Seven Pits of Krell.

So…are we good?  In other my-life news, I’m going to walk into my credit union in a couple of hours, hand them my name change decree, and demand that they change over all my accounts.  I can’t wait.

Mood: Happy like clams and Gilmore
Music: Dead Boys-Sonic Reducer

LOL…if you hear me say something funny or familiar, there’s a chance I heard it on the NBC show  30 Rock.  I love that show so much and it’s mostly because I love the show’s creator and star, Tina Fey.  Not love love, but I think she’s awesome and if I had to pick one person to pattern my life after, it would be her.  She’s smart, funny, beautiful, successful, talented, a there anything she can’t do?  Here’s a visual aid…

Adorable right?  Amway, the reason I used a line from 30 Rock as the title of a blog post is that I’m happy and I want to level a funny exclamation at the Intarwebs.  The reason I’m so happy?  Well, I just went and got myself a final decree of name change from the little old county court!!!  So yeah, it’s for real and official and awesome and everything.  The long, terrible nightmare of civil process servitude is over and I won…though, didn’t we all win, really?  I want to start changing everything right now, but I think I’ll wait a little bit.  It would be nice to have my new ID when I have my bank information changed over, but everything else can be changed whenever I feel like it.

Also, in other transition related news…my boss sent me a confirmation from our meeting and asked me to approve the events we had discussed.  So this means that my fist day back to work as Anna will be Wednesday, May 6th, 2009!!!  I will take vacation days on the Monday and Tuesday before then to get the rest of my paperwork changed over.  My boss, our director,  and HR will have an all-hands meeting that Monday to talk about me and let people air any issues that they might have before I come back.  I’ll get a new ID and all of my office stuff changed over during those three days and then that’s it.  Now I get to have my own stupid counter thing that all the web people seem to have.  Here’s mine…

*be sure to check back every day as it changes state from one day to the next!

Picking the counter was kind of difficult because a lot of them are just goofy.  For instance, this one is for, “Days until I trip out on mushrooms again”…

I call this one, “Days until I start therapy for my crippling addiction to gambling”…

Finally, this one is called, “Days until the gingerbread men kill me.”

So yeah, other than what I wrote for the caption, I think my counter is saying, “I like cats…a lot. But I think they’re lazy so I want to shoot lightning bolts at them so they’ll, you know, pick it up a little bit and stop sleeping so much.”   Obviously.

Mood: Soooo good
Music: The Style Council-The Lodgers    (that’s right, what of it?)

Oh Fridays…I sure do love you.  You never have a lot of work for me, people seem nicer, and no one seems to be in much of a hurry.

So, I thought I’d catch y’all up on recent events in my life.  I hate to have this blog be so one-dimensional, but transition is like the biggest thing in my life right now.  I’ve been trying to keep it lively (remember that hilarious animal post yesterday?), but the occasional trans-post is going to get in there.  Sorry if it’s boring to you.

Ok, so last time, I was debating about whether to tell my boss or not and HR had not gotten back to me.  Well, that next Monday, HR guy called me and let me know he had rec’d my packet and needed some time to go through it.  In the cover letter to him, I had suggested maybe we should meet up as our next step.  He told me that he didn’t think he needed to meet with me just yet.  He said he would call me back in a day or two.  So that was nice, and he was very nice about everything.  I’m not sure if I explained this, but our HR person is actually from another organization and, because we’re so small, we contract with them for HR and other administrative things.  I’ve met him, but it’s not like we ever see each other or know each other.  While this is happening, my boss sets my review time for 1:30 on Wednesday.  The next day, the HR guy starts sending me all of these links and information via email.  I understand he was just trying to be sweet and supportive, but some of the information he sent me was of questionable value.

Him:  Do you know we have a diversity council on campus?

Me:    Oh right, I think I saw a poster in the cafeteria.

Him:  Oh that right! That’s a wonderful poster…so colorful.  You know, you can call them if you want.

Me:  Ok…

I didn’t call (it’s not like I need their advice on how to come out and I hardly ever feel like “celebrating diversity”), but I always thank him profusely for whatever nugget he sends me.  Finally, he tells me that there is another trans woman on campus (gasp) and that she would be willing to talk to me if I’d like.  The place I work is weird.  It’s very academic, in a way, and people always seem to be hyper-focused on their work.  Given the distribution of GLBT people in the general population, I had assumed there was at least one L, G, B, or T person on campus.  But I’d never met one and no one seemed to be flying their flag, so to speak.  So, the news that there was another T person on campus was kind of shocking.  Amway, he told me the woman’s name and said it would be alright if I contacted her.  Ok, I’m not sure how many people work here…but it’s in the thousands and we don’t really have a campus directory.  I wrote back and asked HR where she worked or if there was, you know, a way to contact her.  He sent me her extension!  Again, maybe it’s me or it’s a generational thing, but I’d rather not just call someone out of the blue.  I did some searching and found out her division and emial address.  I crafted the most vague, innocuous letter i could manage and sent it off…

Hi redacted,

I hope I have the right person 🙂 I got your name from redacted at redacted HR. He said you might be able to (or know someone who could ) help me out with a work transition I’m planning in the next month or so. If you’re the right person and you have some time this week, please let me know and we can set something up.



I know, smooth right?  She sent me a reply and told me she was the one I was looking for.  We traded emails for a bit (she came out here at work about ten years ago and didn’t get fired, lives with a trans partner, etc.).  At one point, I told her I had a bunch of questions and she asked about them.  I sent her a final email with all of my questions…

Hey redacted,

Ugh, I just told my boss.  It went really well, but I kind of feel like throwing up.  Wow, 10 years ago…it seems like a lot has changed since then.  Do you think things have gotten any easier for trans people since then?  Awww, that’s so cool that you and your partner have been together for so long.  How did you meet?

Ok, so I have a lot of questions.  You don’t have to answer them in a big long email today…or answer them at all really.  I’m mostly interested in hearing about your experience and how you handled things at some point.  Yes, lunch sometime would be nice.  The only really good Mexican place I know of is redacted.

So, it seems like you transitioned while at work here.  How was that?  What process did you go through or what was the sequence of events?  Did you stay in the same job and department?  Did you have any negative experiences?  In retrospect, would you have handled anything a different way?  How far along were you with HRT and electrolysis before transitioning at work?  How long did it take before your transition was not a big deal (if it ever was) any more?  What was the hardest thing to deal with those first few weeks?  Do you have any advice?  Is there anything I should watch out for?  How did you handle transition with your health insurance?  Would you say you’re more of a cat person or a dog person?  Ok, kidding.



I know, cute right?  So I sent her that letter on March 24 and haven’t heard back from her sincewtf?  Ugh, seriously, that’s one of my biggest pet peeves…not answering a letter.  I kind of understand it though.  I guess this happens with LGB people too, but it seems like people are always wanting to hook us up.  And with trans people it harder…notice I just dove right into the personal questions?  That’s how we roll.  There’s very little, “Hi, how are you?  What’s your favorite color?”.  It’s mostly, “Hi, what sort of meds are you on?  Have you had surgery yet?  Tell me all about your horrible childhood”.  So, idk, maybe my letter got lost or she’s on a months-long cruise.  Whatevs, I’m not going to bother her.

So, I kind of gave away what happened next.  I CAME OUT TO MY BOSS!!!!!!!! Back up a little bit though.  Before my review meeting, I had asked HR if he had any advice on when I should tell my boss.  I was, you know, hoping for some of that pro HR advice…like something from a manual or something.  His answer was to tell my boss “whenever I felt comfortable.”  Thanks HR!  So I decided I’d prolly tell him at the end of the meeting if everything had gone well up until then.  So we’re going through my review and I’m totally freaking out and nervous.  My boss gave me a great review and the only negative-ish comment he had was that I need to start doing presentations and writing papers.  Which is totally valid.  I have specifically cloistered my self away for the last six months because…well, you know…I was scared, didn’t want people to know the old me very well, wanted to start making a name for myself using my new name, etc.   At the end of the meeting…

him:  is there anything else?

me: *visibly shaking*  Yes actually.  *hands him the packet*  So, I’m a transsexual and I’ve been working with HR to come up with a plan to…*simultaneously faints and      vomits*

Ok, jk, but I had a really hard time getting all of it out.  He was so cool and nice though!  He was smiling a bit as he asked me some questions.  He wanted to know why I had picked here and now to do this.  Which was a great question.  I thought about it for a second and told him that going through this is not easy.  You need to have a lot of money, feel mentally and emotionally ready, and feel like you have a good support system in place.  I told him that I really liked it here and I felt like it was home.  So I felt safe enough to go through this all with these people.  I also said that a lot of trans people get fired when they come out.  He told me that I didn’t have to worry about my job (awww, I wanted to cry when he said that).

The truth is, I prolly could have done this sooner (and I could have waited longer), but I do love it here.  This place does feel like home and these people do feel like my family.  Plus, they’re giving me enough money to accomplish my goals.  And, I am ready.  I think I’ve done the work and this feels like a good time.  So yeah, after I told him, I just wanted to either die or run from his office.  Before the end of it though, he sent HR an email requesting a meeting.  That meeting is this Monday!  I’m not sure what to expect, but I really think it will be a straightforward discussion of how I should start back to work as Anna.  At one point, the HR guy said there isn’t any legal problem with what I want to do and it’s just a matter of arranging everything.  Which is weird.  I had anticipated more problems, but I’ll take easy.  In the packet, I told them I thought starting back to work on the first Monday of May would be good.  I thought I’d take off a day or two before the weekend for paperwork and more shopping and they could use that time to tell everyone and get ready.  So, barring any last minute weirdness, May 4th should be my first day back!  I really can’t believe it’s almost here.

Finally, regarding my name change, I went to court (ulp, that’s a whole other post), paid my fees, and got the notice published.  So now, all I have to do is take back the proof of publication and pick up the final decree.  So, basically, my name change is done and I’m Anna Elizabeth redacted (lol) from now on.  I was looking at my paperwork last night, and it finally hit me that I have to start using that name now and that this is all for real and I hope to God that it works out. I’m happy about how everything is going, but I’m also nervous and still holding my breath.  There’s not really any going back now…and that’s ok.

Wow, longest post ever?

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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