I've been off PE for a while. I am basically busy with living. After a year of living full time, I started looking back on what has happened in the last year. Even the bad things had important influences on what I was doing. I joined a transWomen Circle last spring. In it we worked at getting to the heart of The Sacred Feminine, and explored our Wild (Creative) Women. I still am in my Men's Support Group. They wanted to keep me after coming out because we are close emotionally. I have grownn dramatically through both these groups, and by living. I have learned a lot about myself and human nature. I know that I am emotionally a very strong woman. I know that friends don't offend. I know that the meaning of life is indeed simple, unconditional love that grows from acceptance. I know that some naysayers will tell you that the world is a terrible place; I have found that the world is a good and kind place, mostly. I have learned a lot.
I legally changed my name last summer, got a new passport with an F Sex designator. All my credit references are updated, as are my voting records. Before the start of the Jewish New Year, I underwent a formal ritual naming. I chose the name Yochana Elisheva, which parallels my English name Janine Elyse. It means God's promise and God's Gift, both in Hebrew and in English. Our Rabbi said that God will always be with me, especially because I carry Him around in my names. Immediately following this, I was welcomed among friends and family (children) into the community as a Bat Mitzvah - a Daughter of the Covenant. The process of Welcoming is so important in all walks of our life.
There has been a lot of humor, too (I do this professionally as well - improv). My favorite, more recent story, was when I took my divorce papers to our HR office to get my ex and two children who already are insured off of my insurance. She copied the front of the paper, looked me up online and said, "I can't find you in our records." I said, "Look again." She did and still couldn't find me. I asked what she was looking up. She told me: it was my exwife's name. I explained. She looked at me, said, "OK" and turned back to the PC.
It is true that I did lose some old 'friends.' Some were due to the divorce. I do not feel now that they were ever friends. There are some difficulties with some small minded people here and there. I don't dwell on them. I am so happy that so many people I know see that I had no choice here. I simply was who I am. They accept it and move on as well.
Work is good. No gender issues arose this past semester. There are some students who know; others who do not. The same is true about the faculty and staff. The studentsOverall, the University has been very accomodating. It is kind of interesting that I realized back in September 2009 that I was about to make history as The University of Georgia's first and only out transsexual faculty member. Many people on campus helped me at work. I am grateful.
I have developed a strong sense of gratitude for all that has happened and is happening. I find myself, when I pray, not asking God for help, but simply thanking God for getting me through whatever means to where I am now. I want to thank you, my sisters and brothers, for your support, concern and love over the last two years and continued support, concern and love. Thank you.
What it all comes down to is that after a year of living full time, life became very normal.
Love and Big Hugs,