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Posts Tagged ‘parents

A continuing series of reposts from my tumblr page,

On parents and cell phone texting…

The good news? My parents have recently discovered the joys of texting.

The bad news? “Reo tues state fair remeber old days along w pat benatar”

Translation from dadtext? Hello daughter!  Did you know that Pat Benatar and REO Speedwagon are playing at the Iowa State Fair on Tuesday?  I would love to see them and your stepmother and I are thinking of going.  The songs of that era bring back a lot of memories, both good and bad.  ‘I Can’t Fight This Feeling’ and ‘Love is a Battlefield’ got me through some tough times and I think attending Tuesday’s concert would be a fitting tribute to the memory of times gone by.  I’ll be sure to text you from the audience!  Love always, Dad.

An important dadtext update…

Anna: Hey dad!  Sorry, but i’m not sure what you meant by the last message.  Are you going to the fair on tuesday?  And seeing pat benatar?

Dad: Reo speedwagon yes we may go

Anna: Oh cool!  That sound fun.  Ours is all the way down in pueblo, so I usually skip it.

Dad: Rember the days we drove to find them reo

*long pause*

Anna:  Hmm, no, that doesn’t ring any bells.  Did we take a roadtrip in search of REO Speedwagon?  Did we find them?

You guys!  After that last message I wanted to call my father and check to see that he was ok.  And that he wasn’t, you know, drinking brown bag wine at work, again.

I don’t recall a childhood quest to find the lost REO of the Speedwagon, but I really wanted to keep messing with him.  Were they nice?  Did they reward us with rock and roll treasure?  Did we befriend any magical creatures along the way?  Did I get turned into a newt?

I make the fun, but it’s out of love.  I think it’s adorable that he texts me out of the blue sometimes, but these are too good to leave alone.  I hope he never stops!

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: Tuesday, y’all!
Music: Fire + Ice-Weirdstaves (Fyrstr Aettir, Annar Aettir, Thridi Aettir)

Oh Mylanta!  It feels like I’m never going to finish this story and it’s beginning to feel a lot like a burden.  So, I might as well just get it over with already.

Where were we?  Right…farmer’s market, not moving back to Iowa.  So, after driving around for a bit, we went to breakfast, bought some wine (Joel Gott 2007 Zinfandel.  I overpaid for it, but it is, by far, the best Zinfandel I’ve ever had.  You should buy it.), and then went to my Stepmother’s favorite witch shop.

For some reason, I’ve wanted to buy some tarot cards for a while now.  I’ve looked a few places, but hadn’t ever felt like it was the right time to buy.  I told my Stepmother about this, and she proceeded to tell me all about how she’d been taking tarot classes.  Weird, no?  I ended up buying this one (Golden Rider)…

…because it literally fell off the shelf at me and I like the art.  I bought the cards because…I think I’ve mentioned my interest in things occulty.  I’m too much of an engineer to take much of it it too seriously, but there’s no harm in study.  My theory on the tarot is that if anything positive comes of it, win.  Like, even if it just shows me things that I already know (but haven’t been able to verbalize or admit), then it’s money well spent.  Also, I feel like I’m in a place where I have some insight into my self and my life.  So, don’t be surpirsed if I start putting up today’s card under the song and mood.  I have a lot more to say about the occult, spirituality, and metaphysics, but we’re veering dangerously close to off-topica.

Amway, the shop was really cute and funny.  It had “serious” magick stuff (potion fixin’s, candles, Eye of Newt (she turned me into a newt!, lol), etc.) but also a lot of Harry Potter and fun things.  There were three women (owner and employees) in there and they all had this sort of knowing aura about them and I’m sure I could have learned loads from them had I stuck around.  Anyway, I could have spent hours in there.

Here’s the teeny, tiniest side story–the witch shop is located in the same neighborhood that two friends of mine used to live.  There was a dive bar in the neighborhood and when the mood struck, we’d amble down for cheap PBR’s and earthy aromas.  This was the kind of dive bar that had a jukebox with Mountain Jam” by The Allman Brothers on it, and I would play it  For those of you that don’t know, Mountain Jam” is a 33 minute long Southern Rock epic of improvisation.  I’m not really a fan of the song (too long, too Allman-y), but playing that song for the bar would amuse me to no end.  The same cannot be said for the other patrons…let’s just say we had to leave the bar earlier than we had hoped one night.  I also used to play the Beatles’ “Revolution 9” when I played darts with my friend Shari because it would to drive her bat shit crazy.  Ah, good times.

After the shop, we headed back to my parent’s place and did a whole lot of nothing.  My Stepmother had been having problems with her laptop, so I played at trying to fix it.  Later, we made dinner.  Dad did a dramatic reenactment of Best Steaks Eva and I sang the crowd favorite cucumber, hairoom tomato, and onion salad (with handmade vinaigrette, no less)  song.  Après dinner, we drank and talked and watched the backyard neighbors light fireworks and shoot Roman Candles at each other…seriously.  It was just like an episode of Jackass…amusing, dangerous, homoerotic.

The topic of me and my transition did come up during our al fresco dining and drinking, but it wasn’t as heavy as you might imagine. Basically, we talked about some of the mechanics of the transition process and how things had been since going full-time, but that was it. I’m not sure how my Dad and Stepmother were so cool and accepting (or at least acted that way, which, at first, can be good enough), but I credit them with making the trip fun and successful (in terms of getting reacquainted).  In other words, we were able to just talk to each other and enjoy each others company.  To me, that was the best part of the vacation.  Except for the farmer’s market, we didn’t go watch fireworks or do anything other than hang out and talk.  I’d forgotten how nice that can be.

Regarding names and pronouns…my Stepmother, bless her, never slipped up….which amazed the sass right out of me.  Dad was another story.  He’s been a salesman his entire life, so the Dale Carnegie friend-winning method of always addressing a person by their name is as natural to him as breathing.  So, he hardly ever said the wrong name.  But, try as he might, he could not seem to get his head around the new pronouns.  Stepmom and I corrected him as much as we could, but it didn’t seem to sink in until the last day.

And you know what?  It was ok that he messed up all the time.  When I first came out to people, it was a big deal for me if they made a mistake.  Like it was my fault because I wasn’t presenting myself well enough, and those mistakes really hurt my feelings.  Now, I’m a lot more confident, and I realize that this is a process that we’re all going through.  Of course, I’ll be upset if the situation never improves, but that seems like a remote possibility at this point.  And like I said, Dad was almost perfect by the time I left.

At some late hour, we moved into the house to watch television.  Dad promptly fell asleep and Stepmom and I started talking about all kinds of things, but a lot of it was about Dad.  He’s just turned 60 and has always enjoyed food, drink, and cigars probably more than he should.  So Stepmom and I worry about him and wish he’d take better care of himself, but he’s not the kind of guy that you can just make healthy.  He has to make his own choice, but I think time might be running out.  So, that was kind of a sad topic, but it was nice to bond with Stepmom about something.

Sunday was more of the same.  Stepmom and I took the dogs for a long walk, Dad made hamburgers, I made Sangria, we watched True Blood, we drank the Sangria, we talked, we watched The Women, etc. Dad had to work late Monday morning, so we said a quick goodbye and I packed then drove to Omaha.

Jeez!  I feel like I’m serializing a novel…Anna of Green Cornfields:  My Shocking, but True Midwest Adventure. The tale isn’t done yet kittens, but we’re close to the end.  Tune in next time for fawning accounts of modern rock and roll music and more, less-than-amusing anecdotes from the road.

Mood: Monday, y’all
Music: Spacemen 3-Feel So Good

I really like the band, Sunn O))) and have been wanting to see them for years.  But, since they’re snooty metal art hounds, they only seem to play in hip, sexy cities like…New York City!  Tokyo!  Tel Aviv!  Paris! I always figured it would be a long time/never before a trip to one of those sexy cities and a Sunn O))) show aligned.  So, I was shocked and delighted to see that they had deigned to play some shows in the lowly Midwest and in a city that’s sort of close to me and to my heart…Omaha, Nebraska!

Once I saw that, I planned out a mini vaca in a matter of hours.  My father lives in Des Moines, IA (which is like three hours from Omaha) so I decided to make the drive out to see him then swing back to the Big O for the concert on Monday.  I’ll leave the Friday after next and drive all day to Des Moines.  We’ll hang out and celebrate America’s birthday, then I’ll drive to Omaha for the show and stay overnight Monday.

This prolly isn’t a great time for a vacation, but whatever.  It’s been a long time since I did anything fun for myself and it will be really great to see my Dad and the band.  This is the first time that my Dad will have seen me since transition, so it’s going to be kind of weird at first and I’m the nervous.  But, I’m sure that will pass minutes after I get there.  I’m so happy and together these days, it’s hard for people to not be charmed to death by my…happiness, togetherness, and death-inducing charm.  And bless his little heart, Pops seems really excited and is already making plans for our time.  I’m excited too.  I haven’t seen him in a couple of years and he’s been really supportive of my transition.

I haven’t written much about my parents and their reaction to the news of my transition.  The short version is that my father has been very sweet and has really been trying to make an effort to accept the new me.  Mom is…incommunicado.  We spoke at Christmas and I have received, maybe two, terse emails from her.  And I’m not sure why she’s had that reaction.  She isn’t extremely religious and is fairly liberal, politically.  So…what’s motivating this?  Maybe she feels like she failed as a parent?  Whatever, it’s all pointless speculation until she actually tells me what’s going on.  Lord knows when that will be and I’m not sure what I can do to improve our relationship in the meantime.  So, I’m very much looking forward to renewing my relationship with at least one of my parents.

K, back on topic…so, Sunn O)))…

…is kind of hard to describe.  They’re basically doom metal slowed down to the point of ambient, diaphragm-crushing abstraction.  The reason I want to see them so badly is because their shows are more like a physical, rather than musical experience.  They usually perform in black robes and pack a smaller venue with dry ice smoke, a single light source and many gigantic bass cabinet guitar amplifiers.  I think the result is like swimming at the bottom of a very deep, frozen lake and witnessing an ancient summoning ritual.  Or, kind of like…

So, I’m excited (and frightened) but it should be an unforgettable experience and a very interesting way to end Summa Vaca ’09.

Mood: Woosh
Music: The Beatles-Julia

Ok, so I’m done with the coming out letter.  Wee-yow is it long, but I think it’s a really good letter and it should make my transition nearly painless :-).  I wrote the first one to my Mom and will send further edited copies out to Dad, Aunt Debbie, Charles, Melanie, Scott and Donna, Cassy, and Jen.  For posterity’s sake, here it is…

Hi Mom,

I’m so glad we’ve been able to trade some meaningful emails recently.  Over the years, I’ve discovered that having a positive relationship with my family is very important to me.  Of course, some of my familial relationships are easier to grow and maintain than others, but they are all worth the effort.

I may not say it as often as I should, but I love you and Tom very much.  In your way, you two have always been there for me and supported me through good times and bad.

As you know, I have been seeing a therapist for some time.  I started seeing one in the middle of April just as things were getting really bad with Cassy.  I decided to start therapy because I was trying to find some way to cope with being a transsexual.  Take a deep breath; I know this is a shock.  The definition of a 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 (as by changing the external sex organs).

A lot of transsexuals say they always felt like they were born in the wrong body or knew they were girls from their earliest memories.  I didn’t really feel that way.  I always felt like I was very different from other boys, but it’s like I wasn’t able to comprehend what that might have meant.  I cross-dressed from a very early age (six or seven) but I wasn’t able to classify how I really felt until my middle teens.  I don’t know if you remember this Mom, but you attempted to have a conversation about my cross-dressing with me while I lived with you in Evergreen.  Jen was seeing that male therapist (I was 17 I think) and you asked me if I wanted to talk to him as well.  I wanted to tell you everything right then and there, but it was like my mouth was incapable of forming the words.  I had no idea how to explain my feelings to anyone, so I kept quiet for years.

I’ve been pretty unhappy for a lot of those years and I think most of that had to do with my discomfort in having to act like a male.  I’ve tried a lot of different things to silence the voice in the back of my head (drinking a lot, joining the Army, getting engaged, etc.) but nothing has worked.  I’ve always felt like I was living a fake life and that has caused me to be very depressed at times, made me perform poorly in school and at work, and kept me from forming strong relationships with my family or friends.   Therapy and the realization that I can make some positive changes in my life have allowed me to be truly happy for the first time in years.

As you may have guessed, this is the real reason that Cassy and I broke up.  I told her about this about 6 months before we got engaged and she didn’t seem to mind.  In retrospect, I think she wasn’t able to fully process or believe what I was saying at the time.  After I started talking about transitioning more and more, I think she finally realized what I was really talking about and it turned out to be too much for her.  As I’ve said, my feelings towards Cassy have never changed.  I still love her more than anything and want to spend my life with her, but I’m still waiting to see if she can feel the same way about me given all the changes I’m going through.

So, if you’re still with me, you’d probably like to know my plans for the future.  Some of my plans are dependant on what’s called the Benjamin Standards of Care.  These standards specify how transition from one sex to the other should be accomplished and are supposed to ensure that that I’m making the right decision for me.  I began the process in April by seeking out a therapist who was specifically trained in gender issues.  My therapist, Dr. S, has a Doctor of Psychology from DU (undergrad from Dartmouth) and she’s very good…I’ve included her number at the end of the letter.  After a number of sessions, Sarah determined that I was not crazy, that I was sincere about wanting to begin my transition, and that I was doing this for the right reasons.  Sarah sent my family doctor (who has a lot of experience with transsexual patients) a letter giving her blessing to begin hormone replacement therapy.  I have been taking 200 mg of Spironolactone (and androgen blocker) and 4 mg of Estradiol (estrogen) for the past four months.  The changes have been slow, but are noticeable.  I see my family doctor once every three months for a check up and blood work.  So far, I’m doing well and in good health.  I have been working on my voice and facial hair removal (hormones do not help with either) for a few months now.  I started with laser hair removal in May but switched to electrolysis a couple of months ago.

Over the next week or so, I will have come out to everyone (you, Dad, Aunt Debby, my friends…Jen has known for years) that is important to me…except for work.  I’m still not sure when I will come out at work…I’m thinking sometime in the Spring maybe.  Before I come out at work, I will have completed a legal name change with the state.  I’m pretty sure I will go by Anna P, but I am open to suggestions for a first and middle name. With the name change, I can change the gender marker, name, and picture on my driver’s license; change my information with Social Security, credit cards and other accounts.  After all of that is changed and I have come out to my boss and HR, I will begin living as a woman full-time.  The Standards of care specify that I need to have lived as a woman full time for a minimum of one year before I can get clearance for any surgery.  My plan is to get sexual reassignment surgery, but I can’t say when that will be…it’s very expensive, like $15-20,000 and is not usually covered by insurance.  There’s a very good surgeon (Dr. Marci Bowers) that splits her time between here (Trinidad actually) and Seattle.  If I were to get surgery, she would be at the top of my list.

I’m not sure why I am this way Mom, but you should know that this isn’t you or Dad’s fault.  I think the most common explanation is that there is a difference in brain chemistry due to hormonal exposure during fetal development.  So, this has nothing to do with the fact that you and Dad got divorced, or that you were a single Mom, or anything…I think I would have turned out the same way if none of that had happened.

I know you worry about Jen and I and, no matter what it seems like, I really do appreciate it Mom.  You know I’m not a rash or impulsive person and that I try to give careful consideration to any new situation.  I’ve given this decision literally years and years of thought, study, and planning.  I know this is the right decision for me and that this is probably the only way that I can be truly happy in life. Things are going to get a bit harder for me as I adjust to my new life, but I’ll be careful.  I know that women in general (and trans women in particular) have a lot more to worry about when it comes to personal safety.  I don’t have to exchange my common sense for hormones, so I should still be able to take care of myself like I have been for the past ten years.  I am willing to change any behavior of mine that isn’t safe.  Also, believe it or not, I pass for a woman pretty easily…and it will get even easier the longer I’m on hormones.  So, I’m not too concerned with negative public reactions. Anyway, please keep up the normal Mom-type worrying, but I think I’m going to be alright.

Ok, so here’s what I expect from you…

-read this letter very carefully, share it with Tom, and try to fully digest what I’m saying and why I’m saying it.

-do some research on your own…call my therapist if you want, visit some websites, check out the library, or talk to some friends or Jen.

-when you’re ready, call me or send me a letter of some kind.  I want you in my life now more than ever but that means we’re going to have to talk about this some time.  Bring all of the questions you want and, hopefully, an open mind.

-eventually, I’m going to want you to treat me (and relate to me) as a woman, girl, daughter, etc.  The biggest part of that is getting the pronouns (switching from he to she) and my name right most of the time.  I know this will be hard and will take a while, but I’ll wait :-).  I’m pretty relaxed about pronouns and names now, but as time goes on and I get closer to going full-time, misgendering me and using my old name will really start to hurt my feelings.  Also, I clearly remember when Jen came out to you and how that was received.  We’ve all had a lot of time to deal with it and have learned a lot since then.  So, I hope things go a lot more smoothly this time.

-finally, try to be understanding…this is the most difficult thing I have gone through in my entire life.  My emotions and confidence change minute by minute right now and will probably get worse as I get closer to going full-time.  Many people compare this time period to a second puberty.  So, if you ever catch me acting like a moody 13 year old girl, please try to be patient with me…I’ll get over it in a few minutes.  If that doesn’t work, apply ice cream or hugs until the symptoms clear.

I know this is going to be hard for you Mom, but you’ll see that this is the best decision.  If you’re worried that you’re going to lose the person you’ve come to know and love, don’t.  I will look different, sound a little different, and act a little more like a girl, but I always be the smart, sweet, loveable, funny, kind, adorable, (I could go on :-)), naïve, and mixed-up kid you’ve always known.  And, believe it or not, there’s a lot of funny in all of this transition stuff.  We’re all going to have a big laugh about all of this someday, I promise.

I love you and Tom more than anything in the whole wide world and I can’t wait to talk to you.



p.s.  So, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of resources for you.  If you need me to send a book or any other articles, let me know.

Lynn Conway’s Website

Dr. Lynn Conway is a professor emeritus in Electrical Engineering at the University of Michigan, she cowrote the textbook on VLSI (very large scale integration, the basis for all computer processor design), she’s transsexual, and a hero of mine.  Her website has a lot of good information and the Transsexual Women’s Successes page has profiles on tons of amazingly successful transsexual women.

Transsexual Road Map

Andrea James is another superstar in the community.  She’s a succesfull businesswoman and television/movie producer.  Her and her friend, Calpernia Adams, recently spoke at the Vagina Monologues.  She established this website a long time ago and it’s a reference I always find myself going back to.

My YouTube Channel

I subscribe to a lot of TS girls video channels(click on subscriptions).  Some of them are having an easier time of it than others and all of them are at different stages of transition.  But they’re all beautiful and wonderful in their own way and I love following along with their lives…karmatic1110, riftgirl, gothique11, grishno, icecoldbath, fiddlejamie, Jayhawke, and blickblocks are some of my favorites.

Susan’s Place Forums

This is a discussion group that a lot of girls use.  The discussions are broken down by sections, so you can read at your own pace.  Also, I think there’s a section for significant others (which include parents).  You can connect with other parents or ask your own questions if you want.


Here’s a decent FAQ (frequently asked questions) list.

My Son, My Daughter-an article from Ladies’ Home Journal

An article written by mother dealing with her son’s transition.

True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism-For Families, Friends, Coworkers, and Helping Professionals by Mildred L. Brown & Chloe Ann Rounsley

-This is supposed to be like the book that everyone gives out.  I’ve not read it, but am considering buying it to give out.

Wee-yow!  Now I just need to sit on it for a couple of months until I’m ready to send it out.  That will be hard, I want to send it out now.

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.


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January 2022