Author Topic: Being Jane  (Read 919 times)

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Offline Jane.Shannon

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Being Jane
« on: May 26, 2020, 12:02:09 pm »
I recently realized that Susan’s includes a blog thread.  I had a blog style thread on another site, transgenderpulse.com.  I mention the name because I thought it was a very good site, really very similar to Susan’s.  I felt this site has more visitors, and I have a good friend who reads Susan’s, so I switched.  The purpose of this blog is for me to explore my feelings and experiences as I transition.  To share some challenges and successes.  And maybe to help others who are working through gender dysphoria.

   Just a quick overview of where I am on the transition highway.  I think my journey is not entirely uncommon.  I grew up in the 1980s, so crossdressers and transvestites were weirdos and freaks.  I first started crossdressing around 2009.  I vividly remember the first time I wore an outfit of women’s clothing.  I had short military style hair, I was in the US Army at the time, I was wearing a red top and a short black mini-skirt.  Looking back the materials were cheap and the clothing was poorly made, but I felt beautiful for the first time in my life.  I “knew” at that moment I was not supposed to be a man.  But I didn’t want to be a freak or a weirdo. 

My life was going great.  Our son was less than a year old.  Both my wife and I were 12 years into our 20 year Army careers.  We had recently been promoted to be Majors after returning from tours in Iraq.  I felt a deep shame about my desire to crossdress.  Shame at what I was, and even worse, how much I enjoyed it. I convinced myself that I could not risk EVERYTHING.  At that time anyone who was part of the LGBT community was quickly and quietly shown the door. My wife’s family is pretty liberal, but who knew how she would react.  With those fears, prejudices, preconceived notions I entered the closet. 
Jun 2019: Came out to all immediate family
Aug 2019: Started HRT
Dec 2019: Hair Feminization Surgery

Offline Northern Star Girl

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Re: Being Jane
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2020, 12:37:37 pm »
@Jane.Shannon
Dear Jane:
As you might already know from reading many of my postings and comments around the Forums I always make the suggestion to newer members that keeping a journal is good therapy.   Not only with our own journal/Blog threads but also I always recommend keeping a more private and personal "old-school" Pen&Paper journal at home.   

I keep personal journal at my home which is full of colorful doodling, sometimes illegible and hurried writing, snapshot photos, notes about doctors appointments, my romantic endeavors, my coming out trials and tribulations, and other writings about those that I am friends with, those that accept me, those that do not accept me, and my issues with my non-accepting parents and family, etc, etc.
 
I find that it is definitely very good personal therapy to write out my feelings and venting...  and ponder my situations in my journal.  Just writing out these things can help me to sort out my priorities and to find ways to help solve my issues in a positive way.

I am so very glad to read that you have now started your own BLOG/journal here on the Forums.
When you report good news we will all rejoice with you and be happy for you... and when you write not-so-good news we will lend you our ears to listen and our shoulders for you to lean on.   We are your biggest fans and we are always rooting for your success and happiness.

My home journals (I have several now) are not in any kind of a fancy book with a clever cover...  mine are rather plain 3 ring notebooks that allows for adding pages and inserting lots of notes and scribbles and some  photos too.   
Whatever works for you is important, after-all it is YOUR JOURNAL to do with what you want.

I often find myself leaving through some of the past entrees of my BLOG/journal postings here on the Forums and my personal journals that I keep at home and will sit and read it for hours on a cold rainy night sitting in my comfy chair sometimes with a smile and laughter, sometimes with satisfaction with my decisions,  and sometimes with tears in my eyes.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts....  I will be eagerly following your postings.
Hugs and best wishes to you....
Danielle

***SEE MY LINKS BELOW
The Ramblings of a Northern*Star Girl
A New Chapter: ALASKAN DANIELLE's Chronicles
I am the HUNTED PREY: Danielle’s Chronicles
Things change re: ALASKAN DANIELLE
Positive Mindset... put away negativity

Started HRT:   March 2015
Went Full-Time    December 2016
Quit my male-mode job and relocated to a very small town in Alaska in January 2017
I'm a blonde, blue eyed woman, Age 40

Offline Jane.Shannon

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Re: Being Jane
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2020, 06:08:40 pm »
@Northern Star Girl
Daneille,
   I mentioned in your blog that I really enjoyed your writing.  At times while reading your writing I wondered why you didn’t talk about transition more often.  At some point I realized that our gender transition does not solely define us.  Instead we are defined by many of our choices and the many different paths we walk.  It is with that in mind that I decided to start writing again.  I am less than a year into actively transitioning, so the process weighs heavily upon me.  However, my family does many things, and I hope to share some of those also.
With the highest regard,
Jane
Jun 2019: Came out to all immediate family
Aug 2019: Started HRT
Dec 2019: Hair Feminization Surgery

Offline Jane.Shannon

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Re: Being Jane
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2020, 07:05:30 pm »
My wife and I (whom I shall refer to as T) have worn Fitbits fitness trackers for years now.  About a year ago we saw Fitbit was marketing, The Ace, designed for kids.  Now all four of us have Fitbits.  When T and I were in the Army staying in shape was pretty easy.  The Army places a high value on physical fitness; therefore, physical training is included in the daily schedule.  On an average Army day I would be over 15,000 steps before breakfast.  Since I retired in 2015 my averages have been a little less.  With the Covid lockdown they really dropped.  Since the boys have trackers also, we could see that all four of our activity levels were much, much lower than before lockdown started.  We decided we needed to change our habits.     It was fortuitous, but just as we decided to make some changes the boys’ Scout troop started a group working on the Personal Fitness Merit Badge.  We convinced them to join us in being more physically fit.  We started working out three days a week.  This has been great!  Three days a week, after “school,” we head to the local high school’s track and workout for about an hour.  Our fitness trackers were much happier, I lost about five pounds (that I did want to lose).  We were definitely on the right track, but the other days of the week were still more sedentary than we wanted.
We were having trouble getting the boys to leave the house.  We wanted them to “go out and play,” but they complained that there was “nothing to do.”  I was shocked when my quasi-luddite wife encouraged the boys to download and play Pokemon Go.  The three of us had played the game in the past, and the boys both have large Pokemon card collections.  It has worked GREAT!  The only rule is that they cannot play it in the house, they have to be out and about to play it.  We have used the game as a great lure to not just go out of the house, but also to explore some new areas. 
Today we visited a small forest here in the Seattle area.  It was beautiful.  The trees were lush and tall.  The cottonwoods are blooming, which isn’t so good for my youngest son’s allergies, but they create a snow-like feeling that I find beautiful.  One aspect of playing Pokemon that surprised me is just how much knowledge my kids have acquired.  There are literally hundreds of Pokemon.  They not only know what the names are; they also know what type they are, what they evolve into.  Add to that my youngest is the master of which types of Pokemon have advantages over other types.  So when we battle our Pokemon, he checks our line up to make sure it will be effective. 
It’s the results that T and I are enjoying.  Pokemon successfully get the boys out and about.  Their steps are up, not hugely, but they get more steps than they would otherwise.  Finally, it has allowed them share an expertise they have with us
Jun 2019: Came out to all immediate family
Aug 2019: Started HRT
Dec 2019: Hair Feminization Surgery

Offline Jane.Shannon

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Re: Being Jane
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2020, 07:14:52 pm »
Here is a photo I took in the forest near our house.  We were totally shocked to find two wreaked cars while walking through the woods.  This one had a beauty and oddness that I just had to capture.

https://imgur.com/P2w0F7J

I think I am doing something incorrect uploading the image.  I will continue working on that.

« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 07:33:15 pm by Northern Star Girl »
Jun 2019: Came out to all immediate family
Aug 2019: Started HRT
Dec 2019: Hair Feminization Surgery

Offline Northern Star Girl

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Re: Being Jane
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2020, 07:45:56 pm »
@Jane.Shannon
Dear Jane:

I took the liberty to post your picture/image.

   

For help including images on your comments, postings and
Forums Private Messages please click the following LINK:
          Trouble posting pictures??? HERE ARE THE INSTRUCTIONS

Any questions please let me know, I am always very glad to help when I can.
HUGS and best wishes,
Danielle
***SEE MY LINKS BELOW
The Ramblings of a Northern*Star Girl
A New Chapter: ALASKAN DANIELLE's Chronicles
I am the HUNTED PREY: Danielle’s Chronicles
Things change re: ALASKAN DANIELLE
Positive Mindset... put away negativity

Started HRT:   March 2015
Went Full-Time    December 2016
Quit my male-mode job and relocated to a very small town in Alaska in January 2017
I'm a blonde, blue eyed woman, Age 40

Offline CynthiaAnn

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Re: Being Jane
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2020, 09:04:17 am »
Hi Jane, Cyndi here, just chiming in to let you know I have book marked your thread here at Susan's and enjoy your postings. I think western WA is a great place to raise kids overall, lot's to do and see  :) I recall our daughters having an interest in "Pokemon Go" a few years back  :) I have a "Cubone" on my desk here that was theirs 20 years ago (keepsake). Quite the Cottonwood "snow" here also, it just floats in the air to collect softly in places....

I'll be reading, and wish you the best on your journey Jane.

(totally unrelated, your screen name makes me think of a local newscaster on the radio of the same name  :D)

Best

Cyndi -
kindness is love nurturing your soul....

Offline davina61

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Re: Being Jane
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2020, 11:30:48 am »
From what I can see its a fast back mustang.Dont know what the green stuff is!!
a long time coming (out) HRT 12 2017


Jill of all trades mistress of non
Know a bit about everything but not enough to be clever

Offline Jane.Shannon

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Re: Being Jane
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2020, 09:27:10 pm »
I think it was an OLD Datsun or Toyota. We all were really curious how it got there.
Jun 2019: Came out to all immediate family
Aug 2019: Started HRT
Dec 2019: Hair Feminization Surgery

Offline Jane.Shannon

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Re: Being Jane
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2020, 01:30:07 am »
Outfit of the Day Jun 24.
This was a birthday gift from T and the boys.  It is the first dress I have really liked.  I like the way it fits snug around the waist and flares out in the skirt.  I love the sleeves.  At first I thought they might be a pain to deal with, but they were great.  The dress is NOT warm.  I tried wearing it a few days previous to this, but I was freezing and changed into other clothes.  This one is a real winner.

Jun 2019: Came out to all immediate family
Aug 2019: Started HRT
Dec 2019: Hair Feminization Surgery

Offline anne_indy

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Re: Being Jane
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2020, 06:17:10 am »
Hello Jane - I just found your blog.  I totally agree with your feelings about the dress. You and the dress look great together. Kudos to your wife and kids for having the style sense to find something that looks so good on you. It’s wonderful that you have the family support. What a world of difference that makes in our transitions.

I look forward to reading more from you about your journey.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Offline EllenW

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Re: Being Jane
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2020, 09:07:22 am »
Jane

The dress looks wonderful on you. What a great birthday gift. I find it very rewarding when I my wife buys my a nice dress.

Enjoy your birthday gift

Ellen
Known all my life I was different
Started to live part time as my true self in 2010
HRT January 2018
Full time at work Febuary 2018
Legal name and gender change January 2019

Offline Jane.Shannon

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Coming out at Work
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2020, 03:51:42 pm »
June 29, 2020

   When I first started coming out to family I built a timeline.  One event was June 2020: Come Out at Work.  This date was carefully chosen.  I planned on coming out after the teacher school year ended, but I didn’t know the exact day so I just used June.  I have found that giving people time to consider and absorb the news that my gender has changed works really well.  This would give my colleagues about two to three months to get used to the idea.
 
     I wrote the draft email about a month prior, so I could take my time editing and revising it.  I vetted it with my wife (who is an amazing proofreader), my principal and assistant principal (who is also the district equity chair), and a colleague who is also a friend.  I then made sure I told a few people personally, especially those on my teaching team.  I also told my teaching mentor who retired last year.  I figured many of these people might end up getting questions from their friends at work, so I wanted them to have some extra time to figure out their feelings.

    When I was thinking about sending the note I would get a little nervous. I was scared of hostile responses.  But I was also excited.  I am still excited to return to school in the fall as ME.  As I planned out my transition I wanted to give myself and my family time to adjust to female-me first.  Then I would have a strong base to build out from.  Part of me wanted to rush, but taking things slowly and methodically has worked well.  As I considered the timeline I also thought of my students.  I didn’t think it was fair for a bunch of 10 year olds to switch from mister to misses mid-year.  So last fall I donned male clothing and headed back to school.  It was surprising that as time wore on, it got harder and harder to present daily as male. 

    One thing that makes me a successful teacher are my class rules--I have none.  Instead I teach several values that we developed as a school.  I also talk to my students a lot about integrity, something that is very important to me.  Every morning I put on those clothing and felt more and more like a fraud.  The last few days of the school I cleaned out my classroom.  Since I had not come out, I went to campus in men’s clothing.  Putting them on was very difficult.  They don’t feel right on me in so many ways.  I am surprised at how they fit.  When I started cross-dressing women’s clothing felt different, but not awkward, the male clothing felt huge and boxy.  They also felt out of place on me socially.  At the end of the first day, I pasted my letter into an email, and saved it as a draft.  At the end of the second day, I reviewed it one last time.  When I woke the following morning everything was completed.  Report cards: submitted.  Classroom: cleaned.  2020/21 Contract: signed.  Evaluation: completed.  I sent my email.  About an hour later I received my first response.  To date I have heard from about half the staff.  Everything from a simple “Welcome Jane,” to letters affirming support or even advocacy.   

    So a new summer project is to find more outfits to wear to work in the fall.  I will post pictures here as I try on outfits.  The next step is coming out to friends and neighbors.  That email/letter is in for proofreading now.

I will post a copy of the letter below.
Jun 2019: Came out to all immediate family
Aug 2019: Started HRT
Dec 2019: Hair Feminization Surgery

Offline Jane.Shannon

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Work Coming Out Letter
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2020, 03:54:52 pm »
To my friends and colleagues of School Name,
     Over the last several years, I have realized that I am transgender.  In summer of 2019, I started living as a woman at home and with my local family here in Bothell.  My wife, T, is fully supportive.  Our sons have been wonderful and seem mostly unbothered. 

    It is my intention to live full time as a woman once the contracted school year has ended.  That means I will be returning to school in August as a woman.  I ask that you refer to me using my new name, Jane XXXXX, and feminine pronouns.  Students may call me either Mrs. or Ms. XXXXX.  I know this is challenging, and I understand there will be many slip-ups.  I think my name might be “Jo---Jane” for the next year or so. 

     I anticipate that this may raise questions from students and families.  With this letter, I am officially out, so, if asked, please let people know that this is real and help them clarify new forms of address.  If you have questions or are asked questions, please feel free to send the questions or the questioners to me.  I don't want people, especially our students, to be afraid to ask questions.  If you would like additional resources, please let me know.
Thank you all for your support in this.  I am very much looking forward to next school year at School Name and sharing a truer version of myself with you all.

Have a wonderful summer,
Jane (formerly Joe) XXXXX
Jun 2019: Came out to all immediate family
Aug 2019: Started HRT
Dec 2019: Hair Feminization Surgery

Offline Northern Star Girl

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Re: Being Jane
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2020, 04:28:22 pm »
@Jane.Shannon
Dear Jane:
It was wonderful for me to read your last 2 posts/updates.   
You did a terrific job making your gender intentions very clear.   

There will be "slip-ups" as you mentioned with pronouns and your name but those kinds of "accidental things" should diminish fairly quickly.

Formerly coming out, with your friends and relationships.... and now with your work environment should feel like you now have a big load off your shoulders....  you are now undoubtedly feeling free to present yourself and to live as Jane.

I am very, very happy for you.    Please keep your updates to your Blog/Thread coming.   I, and the rest of your followers want to keep following along with you in your exciting journey.

HUGS and more HUGS,
Danielle
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 10:37:49 pm by Northern Star Girl »
***SEE MY LINKS BELOW
The Ramblings of a Northern*Star Girl
A New Chapter: ALASKAN DANIELLE's Chronicles
I am the HUNTED PREY: Danielle’s Chronicles
Things change re: ALASKAN DANIELLE
Positive Mindset... put away negativity

Started HRT:   March 2015
Went Full-Time    December 2016
Quit my male-mode job and relocated to a very small town in Alaska in January 2017
I'm a blonde, blue eyed woman, Age 40

Offline CynthiaAnn

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Re: Being Jane
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2020, 04:36:15 pm »
Nice on coming out at your job Jane, that's a big step. Glad to read it has gone well for you.

An interesting upcoming school year, with many changes....

Hugs

Cyndi
kindness is love nurturing your soul....

Offline sarahc

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Re: Being Jane
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2020, 04:45:07 pm »
Outfit of the Day Jun 24.
This was a birthday gift from T and the boys.  It is the first dress I have really liked.  I like the way it fits snug around the waist and flares out in the skirt.  I love the sleeves.  At first I thought they might be a pain to deal with, but they were great.  The dress is NOT warm.  I tried wearing it a few days previous to this, but I was freezing and changed into other clothes.  This one is a real winner.



That dress looks really great on you. Fit and Flare FTW!

Sarah
----
47 years young.
Known that I am trans since...forever.
First therapy session / decided to transition / hair removal: October 2018
HRT: January 2019 (journal https://www.susans.org/forums/index.phpVF/topic,244009.0.html)
VFS: September 2019; three-month report here
Full-time: April 2020
FFS: August 2020
SRS: January 2021

Offline JudiBlueEyes

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Re: Being Jane
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2020, 07:15:40 pm »
Hello Jane,
I just bookmarked your tread so I can keep up with your progress.  It all sounds exciting.  Your family sounds awesome.  Your letter was well thought out and well written.  I wish you all my best in the coming school year.
Judi
Wind blew in, cloud was dispersed
Rainbows appearing, the pressures were burst
Breezes a-singing, now feeling good
The moment had passed like I knew that it should

Offline Jane.Shannon

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Outside Costco
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2020, 03:29:28 pm »
I have to admit right now I'm nervous and a little scared. I'm sitting in the safety of my truck looking at Costco's front door. Not just any Costco. This is "my Costco" the odds of being seen are high.

I'm avoiding right now as I deal with my fears.

Okay, I'm ready...
Jun 2019: Came out to all immediate family
Aug 2019: Started HRT
Dec 2019: Hair Feminization Surgery

Offline sarahc

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Re: Outside Costco
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2020, 03:49:45 pm »
I have to admit right now I'm nervous and a little scared. I'm sitting in the safety of my truck looking at Costco's front door. Not just any Costco. This is "my Costco" the odds of being seen are high.

I'm avoiding right now as I deal with my fears.

Okay, I'm ready...

Ugh - so many times have I been in this spot...

Just gotta keep pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. And act cool  8)

Sarah
----
47 years young.
Known that I am trans since...forever.
First therapy session / decided to transition / hair removal: October 2018
HRT: January 2019 (journal https://www.susans.org/forums/index.phpVF/topic,244009.0.html)
VFS: September 2019; three-month report here
Full-time: April 2020
FFS: August 2020
SRS: January 2021

Tags: #namechange #DD214