Quiet seas or smaller storms?

gray

Being trans is boring.

It’s 4:30 in the afternoon and raining here. I hear the tick of the clock on the wall, the trickle of water in the downspout outside the window, and the rain pattering on the roof. The kids have a friend over and they’re filming a movie with their friend’s iPad, but I can’t hear them because they’re in the back yard.

Besides rousing, feeding, and getting the kids to school this morning, most of my day was spent struggling to salvage a post I started but never finished two years ago about passing and its intersection with cultural expectations. After taking the original 500-odd words and gluing on another 150, an electrician I contacted about quoting a small project texted me they were available and was it okay if they came over? I closed the file with the relief only a solid excuse to abandon it could provide, and went to do my makeup before they showed up.

On the mornings I have my kids, I’ve taken to not putting on my makeup and just throw on a shirt, jeans, earrings, and my rings to drive them to school. Boldly, I’ve even run a few errands this way. The stores aren’t very populated in the morning and most of the clientele is a mix of retirees and stay at home moms, neither of which I worry about too much because they’re too focused on shopping to notice a transsexual in their midst.

Last night I discovered the caulk I replaced in the kid’s bathroom must have frozen in the garage this past winter because it didn’t skin up and was still liquid-y. So, this morning after dropping the kids at school I went to the hardware store to get a fresh tube, but Ace didn’t open until 8am, and I didn’t want to wait around for them to open, so I drove to the builder’s supply down the road instead.

While I’ve never had a problem there, I have felt uncomfortable at times. All the cashiers are men and their old-school attitude often shines through, eyeing me with suspicion when I buy things they don’t seem to expect a woman to buy, like metal roofing screws, flashing, and joist hangers instead of painting and gardening supplies. Bathroom caulk falls into the painting supplies bucket, so the cashier smiled at me this morning.

I finished my makeup realizing the garage wasn’t ready to be quoted with a bunch of stuff in front of the electrical panel and no markings for where I wanted the outlets installed. I’d install them myself, but I need a couple of 220v outlets for some shop tools I inherited from my uncle, and I don’t feel comfortable wiring those circuits. Plus, the thought of climbing up into the attic and drilling holes for and stringing the wire doesn’t sound like fun to me anymore.

The electrician seemed a little surprised when he saw me, but then I’ve been told and accept the fact that being an almost six-foot-tall blonde makes me striking, so there are many times when I can’t tell if I’ve been clocked or people are reacting to my size. He also seemed surprised I had marked where I wanted the outlets and referred to them as duplexes and the circuit breaker box as the panel, the industry jargon for them. He took my specifications down and said I should get a quote from the office early next week.

Not having the desire or will to return to working on my post, I went for a run.

I felt silly running in makeup, but it also made me feel less concerned about getting clocked. Even with the pink running shoes and shorts and the light teal rain jacket, when I wear a beanie like I did I look square instead of round and there’s no way to change the biomechanics of my running body movement without fucking up my hips. It was a nice run in the rain and I didn’t encounter anyone.

Wednesday marked ten weeks of the four to six weeks the website said it would take for an updated birth certificate, and four weeks after my first call when they said it would take six to eight weeks, and two weeks after my second call when they said it would take eight to ten weeks and to call again if it didn’t show up at ten weeks because everything looked on track.

Before getting in the shower after my run, I called right around 1:30pm and let it ring for six minutes with no answer before hanging up. I guess everyone goes home at 4:30 on a Friday on the east coast. At least I didn’t have to out myself again.

After my shower and a re-application of my makeup, it was time to pick up my youngest from school. As usual, they ran around out front with their friends while I chatted with the dad of my kid’s best friend. I’m sure he knows I’m trans but he always treats me with respect and introduces me as Heather to other parents, whose names I often forget because I’m bad with names.

Forgetting names is now something I feel guilty about. The last six years, and especially the last two, have been filled with the tumult of transition, divorce, and job changes, and it’s only been the last few months things have quieted down enough to allow me the mental breathing room to see I should be remembering my kid’s friend’s parent’s names more.

And then here I sit and consider how lucky I am to be bored and experience passing privilege most of the time. Being white and having had a tech income are the main differentiators in enabling those two luxuries. Living in a very liberal and tolerant area is the icing on the cake.

I’m still working on that other post about passing, and maybe I’ll finish it, maybe I won’t.

While my experiences when I don’t pass are similar to others, (verbal harassment, discrimination, threat of physical violence, etc.), I experience them with much reduced probability, frequency, and magnitude. I’m not yet convinced I can add much to the conversation.

I think it would be like writing about the emotional impact of tsunami preparation and aftermath while living in Denver. Intellectually it’s possible, and I can get close to it by anticipating and preparing for a flood, but unless I’m on vacation at the beach when a tsunami rolls in, my lived experience is by definition limited.

For now, I’ll take the luck of being bored over the alternative while I search for the best way to help other trans people lead boring lives.

Posted in gender transition, observations, personal history, random, self-acceptance, shopping, transgender, transition, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Week 160 – A one-act scene at the urgent care clinic

EXT. OF URGENT CARE CLINIC ENTRANCE IN THE
PACIFIC NORTHWEST

Towering Douglas Firs footed with salal
contrast with the landscaped and manicured
surrounds of a new-ish medical facility.

The parking lot is empty.

A beat-up station wagon drives up and parks.

A woman in her late 40's exits the driver's
door wearing concern on her face.

She opens the passenger door behind her and
a child about eight years old climbs out,
sniffly from crying.

Fresh blood is caked on their right eyelid
and there is a mark on their nose.

She takes the child's hand and they walk
towards the entrance.

	HEATHER
	The good news is that there's
	no one else here, kiddo, so we
	won't have to wait long.
	
	CHILD
	My eye hurts.
	
	HEATHER
	I know. I'm sorry. 

They enter the building.

INT.

The intake area has two admitting desks and
they approach the one directly in front of
them and sit down.

The woman at the desk has a crisp manner.

	WOMAN AT DESK
	Hi. How can I help you?
	
	HEATHER
	This kiddo got jabbed in the eye
	with a plastic pipe. Besides the
	cuts, I wanted get their eye
	checked.
	
	WOMAN AT DESK
	Okay. Are you the mother?
	
	HEATHER
	Yes.
	
	WOMAN AT DESK
	What's their name?
	
	HEATHER
	[Child's full name].
	
	CHILD
	I go by [diminutive of name].
	
	WOMAN AT DESK
	(Smiling and typing into a
	computer) What's their birthday?
	
Heather starts to answer but is interrupted.

	CHILD
	[Birthday].
	
	WOMAN BEHIND DESK
	Okay. Do you have
	their insurance card?
	
Heather fumbles in her large purse for her
wallet, digs it and the insurance card out,
and hands it over.
	
	WOMAN AT DESK
	(Takes card and types into
	computer) Are you the primary on
	the account?
	
	HEATHER
	Yes.
	
	WOMAN AT DESK
	(Typing) Do you still work at
	[corporate company name]?
	
	HEATHER
	Yes.
	
	CHILD
	No you don't!
	
	HEATHER
	(Leans in close to child and in
	a lowered voice) I know, but I
	do. It's complicated. I'll explain
	later.
	
	WOMAN AT DESK
	(Typing) Are you still at [local
	address]?
	
	HEATHER
	Yes.
	
	WOMAN AT DESK
	(Stops typing and looks slightly
	puzzled) Are you [Heather's ex's
	name]?
	
	HEATHER
	No. That's...their other mother.
	
	WOMAN AT DESK
	Oh, okay. So what's your name?
	
	HEATHER
	Heather [lastname].
	
	WOMAN AT DESK
	(Typing) What's your social
	security number?
	
	HEATHER
	[Social security number].
	
	WOMAN AT DESK
	(After typing it in, she looks
	more puzzled) I have another
	name for that. (Pauses) Um,
	[Heather's deadname]?
	
A beat goes by in silence.	

	HEATHER
	That was me. I changed my
	name.

Another beat goes by.

	WOMAN AT DESK
	Oh.
	
	HEATHER
	Yes, he doesn't exist any more.
	
	WOMAN AT DESK
	(Resumes typing) Oh, okay.
	I'll just change that now
	so you won't have to if you
	come in again.
	
	HEATHER
	Thank you.
	
	CHILD
	My eye hurts.
	
	HEATHER
	I know. We're almost done and
	then we'll go back and they'll
	check you out.
	
	WOMAN AT DESK
	Okay. (She hands back the
	insurance card and holds out
	an identification bracelet)
	Does all this look correct?
	
The child grabs bracelet and studies it
intently.
	
The woman behind the desk and Heather
share a smile.

	CHILD
	I think my name is spelled right.
	
	HEATHER
	Yes, that's right.
	
The woman behind the desk takes the bracelet
back and snaps it around the child's wrist.

	WOMAN BEHIND DESK
	Okay, head down the hall
	(gesturing) and take a seat
	and they'll call you.
	
	HEATHER
	Thank you! (To child) Let's
	go get you checked out.
	
Heather and the child get up, she takes the
child's hand, and they walk down the hallway
out of sight.

		THE END
		-------
Posted in family, healthcare, observations, personal history, transgender | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Week 159 – Online dating

Rows of faces stare at me from the screen. Most are smiling, except for the odd thoughtful or just plain odd look. Here I am now, online dating, entertain me.

There is the interminable profile to fill with select distillations of an almost half-century of experiences. There are the myriad decisions of what to include, what to bury, and what bait to put on the hook when I’m not even sure what I’m fishing for. Friends? Lovers? Both? Am I showing enough skin? Not enough? Do I seem frumpy, weird, desperate, or worse, boring?

Being trans also means I’m faced with deciding if or how to disclose. I take a middle ground and self identify as a trans woman in my profile listing and scrupulously avoid mentioning it in my profile text. I’ve looked at other trans women’s profiles to get a sense for how they handle it, and I see a bushel of trans archetypes.

There are the ‘let your freak flag fly’ BSDM bottom subs with pictures of themselves harnessed into swings. There are the ‘tech professionals’ of the never married or divorced variety with pictures of them in various innocuous locations and poses. I’m in that group. There are the ‘I’m trans and proud of it’ people with pictures in various states of dress and undress. Many of all are poly.

And then there are a raft of people who tick the box for trans woman and talk about what a ‘sissy CD slut’ they are. Almost exclusively, they dress in pantyhose or lingerie and push the boundaries of x-rated photos. I dread coming across these profiles, as they are uncomfortable reminders of when I thought I was a cross dresser and make me fear their self-identification conflates in a subset of potential dates’ minds women who’ve made hard choices to transition into authentic lives with a semi-closeted fetish.

Then the voices in my head remind me the path to trans self-awareness also passes through the valley of the CD dolls, there is no trans enough, cis-normative passing can matter or not, and everyone has their own transition. While I am competing for attention, it will be won or lost on my abilities and anyone who confuses me for something I’m not isn’t likely to be someone I want to be with.

I return to my Zen pose and turn my attention to potential matches. Questions arise.

Why do so many of my matches mention they’re poly? Does the selection algorithm tilt towards poly results for self-identified trans women? How can a lesbian women be in a poly relationship with a guy? Is she a TERF? Is she trans? Where are all the femmes for femmes? What am I doing here? That question gives me pause.

I consider my last online dating adventure in the early 2000’s when I was in the bloom of my early 30’s as a white, apparently cishet man with no kids. There were many women to court and I went on lots of dates. There was nothing to explain and the vast majority of my baggage was deeply repressed and out of sight.

The net results were: one relationship that lasted three months and blew out because I freaked out; one two-week relationship with someone who drifted away because I kept messing up thesis for dissertation when I asked how it was going; and one five-week relationship where I was unceremoniously dumped over the phone purportedly because, ‘you remind me of my ex-husband in the emotional sense,’ but I think was because my then ski bum lifestyle didn’t mesh with her final year of medical residency and power couple visions.

Then I met my future ex-wife next door. Online dating was fun, but didn’t lead to lasting love.

Now I’m an almost fifty trans woman with two kids who’s more picky than she used to be, is trying to figure out how to queer date, and is lonely. This ups the ante, and self-doubtful thoughts creep in like mold to colonize my self-esteem.

My pictures make me look mannish. Femmes won’t want me. Does my writing make me sound like a guy? Can I really look past where another trans woman says she’s a cat? Is internalized transphobia making me skip over most other trans women’s profiles? When did I start looking as old as all these other women my age? I haven’t done shit in three years except slog through personal shit and who will want that? She’s not liking me back because I’m trans. She’s not writing me back because I’m trans. No one will want to be with me because I’m broken.

I take a deep breath to center and calm myself while brushing those thoughts away. I dial my expectations back. I shift my intention to friends first and ready myself to repel catfish. I remind myself I’m lovable and desirable, I like adventure and surprise, and it’s okay to not know the answer to if I’m showing too much or not enough boob.

©Heather Coldstream


Please consider supporting my writing by buying a poetry collection from the Kindle store!

2016: Poems from a Year of Change

Uncertain: Poems About Gender Transition

Thank you!

Posted in coming out, gender transition, observations, personal history, relationships, self-acceptance, transgender, transition | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Week 158 – Empathy for the devils

Cultures, like living organisms, evolve and shift in response to environmental conditions via natural selection and favor traits promoting their continuance. If a culture starts to lose its cohesiveness or shrinks due to changes in its members’ self-identification criteria, these changes naturally generate fear for those remaining in that culture. Empathizing with those people can help ease the transition period, help reduce unnecessary friction between competing cultural groups, and light the way towards combating toxic cultures.

How someone reacts to a cultural shift depends on how central it is to their self-identification. If it’s highly central, they are likely to blame the people abandoning it for abandoning their values while simultaneously attacking people who identify with the newly evolved culture. We are seeing this play out in the United States as the still-dominant white culture reacts to the growing multi-racial culture with recently re-energized white supremacy and white nationalism as reflected in the recently elected 45th presidential administration.

If the cultural shift is not central to self-identity, they are likely to define the people remaining in the traditionally defined culture as rigid or anti-progressive.

Cultural groupthink often operates in both directions here by requiring people wanting to remain in the traditional culture group to sacrifice any progressive beliefs in the service of orthodoxy and cultural cohesion, and by those in the newer culture by requiring those transiting from the traditional group to abandon deeply held beliefs and traditions.

This dynamic is usually framed as a regressive/progressive or traditional/radical, depending on which side of the fence you’re on.

All established, regressive/traditional cultures were at some point progressive/radical. It’s just the way cultures progress. Newer cultures displace older cultures. The timeframes vary depending on the size of the culture. We see rapid cultural shifts measured in weeks on the Internet around memes, music, and games, and slower cultural shifts around things like national or ethnic identity. All behave in punctuated equilibrium, with long periods of relative stability compared to shorter periods of rapid change.

During the transition from one recognizable culture to another, the definition of traditional/regressive cultural behaviors or artifacts for the people who choose remain changes and it defines a new traditional/regressive baseline for the radical/progressive group. Often, cultures split during these changes and arguments to wars are fought over whose version of traditional/regressive is the ‘correct’ one. It’s very a human cultural behavior seen everywhere from politics to religion to sports to specialized micro-affinity groups.

I posit it is entwined in our great ape troop roots as an evolutionary adaptation, with h. sapiens being the most successful at exploiting the adaptation compared to other hominids. It helps explain how h. sapiens eradicated/assimilated competing species with advanced culture like h. neanderthalensis.

At a species-level, we pull together when faced with non-anthropogenic species-level threats and then ‘subset’ it down through diminishing cultural affinity bonds like nation-state, region/state, city, sportsball team, school, professional associations, friends, etc.[1]

That was a very long wind up for my pitches:

Pitch #1: Gender, as socially constructed cultural affinity groupings,[2][3][4] is currently going through a traditional/regressive to radical/progressive cultural shift. This, by definition, is going to get people agitated.

Pitch #2: The traditional/regressive and radical/progressive gender shifts are oscillating around our contemporary cultural extremes while the culture of gender reverts to the mean. This is a fancy way of saying gender culture is fracturing along binary/non-binary boundaries tied to religious and political beliefs and is moving towards modeling historical cultures where acceptance and/or tolerance of gender non-conforming people were just how things were.

Pitch #3: After a few hundred years of trans people being banished from the public cultural sphere, we seem to be reclaiming our spot. This is a very good thing.

Pitch #4: More people coming at trans people hammer and tongs is a signal the traditional/regressive group is losing their power to assert trans people should be banished from the public square. It used to be almost everybody hated/didn’t want/didn’t care about trans people, so the broader polity worked to keep us in the shadows. This is no longer the case.

Taken together, I think this means attacks on us will increase before they decrease, but it seems clear to me the overall cultural momentum has shifted our way as evidenced by demographic shifts in transgender acceptance and tolerance.[5][6]

While what’s happening in the U.S. states around existing and proposed legislation impacting trans people is ugly, the traditional/regressive camp is aging out.

I am not a Pollyanna. We will see more trans people, especially trans women of color, killed just for being trans. I do not expect trans people will have full civil rights any time soon.

I do believe now and the days ahead will be the best time to transition. There are several orders of magnitude more visibly trans people now to help light and lead the way. There are several orders of magnitude more cis people who are supportive to tolerant of trans people.

There is still much work to do. There is still a long way to go. But we have come a long way in a short amount of time, and while there are still huge barriers to transition breaking across race and income, access is continuing to increase.

And here’s my last pitch: If you accept the current cultural dynamic as a natural one, developing an empathy for those opposing and denying us strengthens us by allowing us to see their behavior towards us for what it is rooted in: fear. Their cultural world is diminishing. It must be scary to them as they contemplate cultural extinction.

Identifying a culture as wrong and hurtful can exist next to an understanding and empathy of the people within the culture and the fear they have of it going away. Pouring our anger on their fear creates more fear and anger on their side, which entrenches them in even more reactionary behavior with the result of creating more anger on our side. We all lose.

I accept there will always be people who hate me and want me dead for what fears they project onto me. I will fight them. I will fight them with cold, steely determination until I am unable to fight any more.

What I will not do is what they do to me: dehumanize them. I can still punch them in the face[7] and empathize with their very human fear of me. These are not in opposition.

My argument is empathy makes us stronger and more human when those people attempt to dehumanize us by making their attempts even uglier and harder for others to turn a blind eye. It arms us with the knowledge of knowing exactly where to shine a light to expose their prejudice and bigotry. It de-escalates anger, allowing clearer thinking about how to defeat them.

Be strong.

(This essay is a cleaned-up version of a Twitter stream I posted.)

[1] The vast majority of people will help another drowning person or attend to someone they discover in physical distress unless there are clear cultural markers identifying the other person as an enemy group. e.g. – A racist might let a person from another race down or a person attending a sporting event who is bleeding might be ignored if they are wearing the rival jersey.
[2] http://www.who.int/gender-equity-rights/understanding/gender-definition/en/
[3] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/gender
[4] https://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/sexuality-definitions.pdf
[5] http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-lgbt-poll-idUSKCN0XI11M
[6] http://www.hrc.org/resources/hrc-national-survey-of-likely-voters
[7] http://thefreshtoast.com/culture/the-best-remixes-of-white-nationalist-richard-spencer-getting-punched-in-the-head/

Posted in activism, gender transition, observations, opinion, politics, transgender, transition | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Week 157 – Three years of HRT

estradiol-svg

While three years of continuous HRT have just passed, setting a hormonaversary date isn’t so easy for me. My first hormone course was May 2011 through December 2011. It included two brief breaks; one was for a medical scare and the other was to self-check if I was doing the right thing. By that December I decided I wasn’t ready to continue and paused until February 6, 2014, when I started again. And here I am.

The ‘here’ is a curious spot. It’s a milestone but not a destination. It’s easy to see how far I’ve come but harder to see where I’m going.

Gender things that looked like they had simple answers six years ago have turned out to be complex and the things that looked complex have been relatively simple. Back then, gender transition milestones looked a lot like video game experience points. Collect enough, and I’d be a woman and be happy.

Leave the house dressed for the first time, +10. Put makeup on and not have it look like total shit, +15. Get ma’amed, +20. Start electrolysis, +25. Start hormones, +50. Grow tits and an ass, +150. Grow hair out, +75. Part-time transition, +250. Full-time transition, +500. Legal name change, +200. Gender marker changed on identification, +350. Facial feminization surgery, +1,000. GCS/SRS, +5,000. Plus a zillion bonus multipliers like getting hit on, a bra fitting, skirts, dresses, ears pierced, and so on and so forth. More woman with each goal level achieved!

But it really didn’t work that way. With each new milestone came a growing awareness I wasn’t so much building myself to be seen as a woman in other people’s eyes but stripping the man off of me, layer by layer to reveal the me that’d been hidden from view the whole time. My thinking shifted from an externally validated, ‘I need x, y, and Z to be seen as a woman by others,’ to an internally validating, ‘What do I need to do in order to bring the woman I see in the mirror into comfortable focus?’

This shift was gradual, and I didn’t really notice my perspective had changed until a few months ago. Like when most of my beard was gone and the realization of how much having facial hair had been driving my gender dysphoria, having most of the guy gone has made me realize how much woman I am, if that makes any sense.

And long-term happiness? I’m still working on that. I am massively happier than I was before transition. To be free of a large chunk of my gender dysphoria has brought a great happiness to me. To be in the final phases of dismantling the last, larger vestiges of it is a great relief. It shrinks them to size in my self-revelation process versus being separate, outsized goals with huge emotional freight attached in a vain attempt to create something that was already there.

Onward!

Posted in coming out, gender transition, HRT, observations, personal history, self-acceptance, transgender, transition | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Turning queer

I was queer in 7th grade when my class daydreams floated over to an 8th grade girl’s desk and I saved her from a fire and my unlimited imagination’s reward was a passionate embrace and kiss.

I was queer the first time I kissed a girl later that year and my mind drifted off to her sweeping me away into the future while she looked at me with a look I’d eventually come to recognize as, “Aren’t you going to make another move on me?”

I was queer when I was thirteen and discovered that I just liked sitting around in my mom’s skirt and wondered who’d want to be with me.

I was queer when I was fourteen and confused a girl by getting her incredibly turned on by only massaging her breasts and not being very interested in doing anything else.

I was queer when I figured out I was trans, not gay.

I was queer at fifteen when I would imagine myself to be the centerfold models I saw in the magazines that came my way.

I was queer when I lost my virginity at sixteen and spoke of wanting to swap bodies when we made love.

I was queer at eighteen when a drunken fraternity brother I suspected was gay kissed me during a room party and I wondered why he thought I was the person to kiss in the room because while it didn’t bother me, I wasn’t attracted to guys.

I was queer at twenty when I realized everyone else in that room when I was eighteen was gay except me.

I was queer throughout my twenties, like the time a naked woman who was not my girlfriend crawled into my bed and I spent an hour trying to figure out what to do until she became exasperated and climbed on top of me and the times I saw the, “Aren’t you going to make another move on me?” looks, which I still hadn’t figured out.

I was queer when I married for the first time at twenty-five and wished it was me wearing the wedding dress and the bridal trousseau on the first night of our honeymoon.

I was queer through that marriage as I walked up to the point of taking hormones and transition and walked back in fear.

I was queer when I dated after my divorce in my thirties and saw many more, “Aren’t you going to make another move on me?” looks and the answer to that question began to arrive when a woman said to me, “Well, it’s strange. We’ve been on three dates and you haven’t even tried to kiss me yet.”

I was queer when I purged all of my women’s clothes and convinced myself I was a guy.

I was queer when I remarried and had a kid and then another kid.

I was queer when I realized I couldn’t live as a guy any more in my forties.

I was queer when I started to take hormones and a few months later my body started to change and I made some more progress answering the, “Aren’t you going to make another move on me?” question.

I was queer when my ex moved out and I started to think about dating.

I was queer when I went on my first date as myself with another woman and began to get an inkling I was queer.

I finally realized I was queer when I collided into another woman and the resulting pleasure explosion was exactly what I had been looking for my entire life and answered the, “Aren’t you going to make another move on me?” question because it didn’t come up at all.

And just like that, I turned queer.

Posted in coming out, gender transition, personal history, self-acceptance, transgender, transition | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Week 156 – January 2017

It’s been a rough couple of weeks. Everything I’ve been trying to write as of late has been coming out too clever by half, so this is a back-to-basics update.

January 24th my youngest kid came down with the flu, and then my eldest succumbed on the 26th, and then it took me down on the 28th. This interrupted the regular weekly transfer of the kids between households on Thursdays, and the ex and I agreed to hold off until they were fever-free. My youngest transferred this past Sunday and my eldest Tuesday. While I’m past the worst of the flu, I’m still coughing and a secondary head cold has taken up residence.

So for the past ten days I’ve been nursing my kids and then myself, and it wasn’t until today that I left my property to do some grocery shopping and to get the hell out of the house for a change of scene. Just doing that turned out to be overdoing it, and I’ve spent tonight on the couch streaming TV.

The other reason I went out was to pick up some medication for my kid, because the ex ran out, and as almost de rigueur for her, she only realized when she ran out. How she can’t keep track of a critical maintenance medication for him is beyond me. It also angers me since I’m on the hook for medical stuff for the kids and it forces me to scramble when she drops the ball.

And in the background of all this is, of course, the shitshow that is the new presidential administration. While they have issued a statement saying they’ll support Obama’s Executive Order providing federal-level gender identity protections for federal employees and contractors, it’s clear that something is in the works to fuck us over, probably modeled on existing state laws that allow pharmacists to refuse to fill emergency contraceptives through a ‘conscience clause’.

Post-inauguration, I stepped back from Twitter because it was getting a bit overwhelming being tapped into the digital vein. Thank you to everyone who has reached out, I really appreciate it. I’m not entirely gone, but I’m purposefully being much, much quieter than normal so that I can focus on my own stuff for a bit.

I did something similar in 2013, when I took a whole month off and then came away with some insights. What I notice is that my first break was also in January and it might be that the holiday/immediate post-holiday emotional roller coaster myself and many other trans people tend to end up on during this period is just too much for me to absorb.

Yesterday marked ten months post full-time social transition and I’m coming up on three years of HRT on the 6th. Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of my first date with my ex. I suppose I should remove that reminder from my phone. Time just keeps slipping on by.

©Heather Coldstream


Please consider supporting my writing by buying one of my poetry collections from the Kindle store!

2016: Poems from a Year of Change

Uncertain: Poems About Gender Transition

Thank you!

Posted in family, health, HRT, observations, transgender, transition | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments