I've had quite a lot of rush in my life. The tornadoes have not yet died down. Since going full time on December 23, 2009, I've been busy reestablishing my life and relinking up with friends, relatives, and work colleagues. I have been quite remiss in journaling and blogging and probably will be so in the future (I've hardly been on PE at all since the 23rd). Here is a quick summary.
I came out at work to my department on Friday, December 11, first to my faculty colleagues, then the doctoral students. I think I blogged about this already. I came out to the entire college on December 21st and to the Temple members a couple of days later with a short and sweet email. I went full time on December 23rd, got a new license on the 24th (new pic, same name, same gender - rats!), moved across town on December 30th, spent New Year's Day at a party next door where I found out that everyone knows I am transsexual: and they simply accept me as a neighbor and friend. ("Welcome to Bohemia!"). Two days later, I'm off for a week for a meeting in Costa Rica (see the other blog entry), back home, classes begin, and I settle into my routine of sorts. At work, there is acceptance; among most close friends, acceptance, support, and love. Likewise at temple with some exceptions, which is true among friends in my past. My children are working things out, my parents are coming around (more in a later blog), my fex (future ex wife) and I should be divorced within a month, and I will change my name within four weeks of that. Through Facebook, I've reconnected with and rebecome real friends with several close high school friends, including all but one ex girlfriend (I haven't found her yet). They were all happy for me and the one ex girlfriend who I was heavily in love with and I still have a lot in common, as girlfriends. We've reconnected deeply and with joy.
There are all kinds of neat and humorous stories that I try to summarized from time to time: like when the stray cat strolled up to my front door and tried to get into my house. I looked at her as I nudged her away and said, "OK. Look. I know I fit the stereotype: mid 50s single woman living alone. But, it isn't going to work. I'm highly allergic to you. Sorry!. You have to hit the road cutie!" And several students have come into my office, looking for the old me, and started to leave or asked what happened to me to which I respond, "I used to be him." Twice I ran into people whom I had met several times. I simply said, "Yes. We met when I was a man." I love the look of disbelief. I'll stop doing this in a while.
At an impromptu party two doors down Friday night during a snowstorm, I spent the bulk of the evening chatting with the other women. On the next girls night out they'll call me.
Friday I had a physical. I learned how to do a breast exam formally. I corrected the receptionist when she called for Mr. Aronson ("It's Ms.!") When the nurse got me into the examining room, she asked, "So, we'll be doing a Pap Smear, right." "Um... Maybe not just yet. Let me explain and tell you what's going on: I'm transsexual and in transition. I need a breast exam, testical check, prostate check..." This was the first time anyone asked me about doing a Pap Smear - I loved it. I scheduled the physical with the new doctor who I heard was LGBT friendly. She had an emergency and couldn't come. The others were quite T friendly. I learned at the impromptu party that my neighbor, at whose house the party was, is my doctor: small world and small community.
Living in Athens presents all kinds of opportunities to listen to and create live music. I've been going out to hear a lot of good, live music, which Athens is famous for. Mostly of the acts are friends or people I have come to know from hearing them regularly or through friends, but often alone (anyone in Athens want to date?), generally meeting up with friends there.
For the most part, life is normal. I still get 'sirred' on the phone. I correct people. As far as the live me goes, on the street, shopping, in the office, in the classroom, etc., it's always 'maam,.' even among people who knew me before (they call me Janine). A lot of my students are oblivious; many know and don't care. I've restarted my music - last Saturday I performed with two friends at a regional meeting of an international women's organization. My 'new me' musical debut. And, I'm still active in our magic club, being an official professional magician (I don't really perform - I like the designation as being a member of the Society of American Magicians).
The upshot is that life is indeed normal; fortunately never (hardly ever) boring. It's exciting and interesting; yet in many ways my life is normal for a middle-aged woman. May you all achieve a level of normalcy and happiness as you transition.
Hugs and love in normalcy,