Author Topic: One New Life to Live  (Read 6147 times)

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Offline Northern Star Girl

  • Previously Alaskan Danielle
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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #100 on: December 05, 2020, 04:54:43 pm »
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
Thank you for posting your Saturday tennis update.

I will make a couple of brief comments....

First:  A smart girl ALWAYS accepts compliments and says Thank You.

Second:  Always prepare yourself (We all need to prepare ourselves) mentally for unwelcome comments and actions like that guy demonstrated... at least he got a talking to from some of your supportive members and he apologized.

As we have discussed previously in our comment exchanges....   safety in numbers .... it is very good that you have accepting and supportive members around you at these events.   Roll with the punches and as you did, always rise above it.

Thank you for sharing and posting....
We are your biggest fans here and are always rooting for your success and happiness.

HUGS and HUGS.... and more HUGS,
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 Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #101 on: December 05, 2020, 05:03:08 pm »
Well done Laura, that was amazing that you handled that so well!
3 tennis.related questions!
1. Is it mixed doubles?
2. Do you play any differently than you did?
3. Do you think it’s a bit unbalanced with you as the woman on a mixed doubles team?

Good questions, @Pammie.

While the Friday group has been together for more than five years, the Saturday group is a COVID invention as a way to get people together for tennis after our Club closed for six weeks. After our Friday group had been playing at a local high school's courts (there are six courts at each of our city's six high schools), we wanted more tennis and more friends.

So, my friend started inviting others to play with us. Now, this was mostly invitational at the beginning since he/we wanted to play with others who were "nice". You've probably experienced at your previous club of players who are jerks to play with. We filtered those out from the beginning, but that left us with a large pool to choose from. As the months flew by, friends would suggest other friends and some players would contact our leader to ask to play. Now, there's quite a pool to draw from and we've settled on 12 players, taking three of the six courts. The other two-three courts are taken by pickle ball players.

So, there's no set policy about male or female players. Some Saturdays, there are 4-5 women. Some, like today, we had six (including me).

We have several rules. Your first set is with the people you warmed up with. If you win your set, you both remain on the court, but you must partner with someone else for your next set. If you lose, you and your partner find other courts, but not the same one. Because you can only play with each person once, if you and one of our prior partners happen to be on the same court later, you must play against each other. An unwritten rule, but one we typically follow, is that if there are two women and two men, you play mixed doubles.

Otherwise, it's all about having fun....Oh, and winning. Fun comes first though.

Laura
One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Offline sarahc

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #102 on: December 05, 2020, 05:18:20 pm »
Laura:

Thank you so much for posting about your tennis experiences. As we have discussed previously, tennis is a huge deal for me as well, so it is great to read about your experiences.

I don’t know if I mentioned this anywhere in the forum, but I did get to play tennis three different times in October before the weather turned for the worse here on the East Coast. All three experiences were very positive, although each time I was playing with allies. The first time I played was in an LGBT tennis club event, where I played three sets with three gay guys who were all very friendly. We were all pretty evenly matched, and we had a lot of fun. The second time was in a more conservative area where I played with my uncle and two of his friends (who both knew me well prior to my transition) - that went fine but I did get some interesting looks from other courts. And then I hit some balls with another transgender woman in my area, and we blended in pretty well. It was so good to get back playing and I look forward to continuing to expand my tennis horizons in the spring.

I did notice, however, that I had lost a lot of strength over 18 months, especially with my serve! Ugh, my racket felt sooo heavy when I tried serving. I need to do some exercises to rebuild arm strength. How did you find your strength upon restarting play?

Sarah
----
48 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 Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #103 on: December 05, 2020, 05:28:28 pm »

I did notice, however, that I had lost a lot of strength over 18 months, especially with my serve! Ugh, my racket felt sooo heavy when I tried serving. I need to do some exercises to rebuild arm strength. How did you find your strength upon restarting play?

Sarah

Hi @SarahC.

I'm glad you were able to get on the courts before the weather turned bad. Here in central California, our winters are rarely severe enough to stop us. Oh, sure it gets cold, as it was this morning when the temp was in the low 30s, but we don't get snow and since we're in the rain shadow from the coastal mountains, we only average around 12" of rain each year. Yes, we play when the courts are wet. LOL.

And arm strength loss? Tell me about it. I used to have a serve that was difficult to return. Now, I can always expect the ball to come back. I, too, should begin doing weight exercises.

Laura
One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Offline JudiBlueEyes

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #104 on: December 06, 2020, 09:58:42 am »
Concerning the "incident" with the member who laughed, I say well played.  I'm am happy it turned out all right.   
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 Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #105 on: December 06, 2020, 10:30:02 am »
Thank you, @JudiBlueEyes and @Danielle.

I'm glad I waited to come out until I was ready between the ears. Yes, trying to stay positive, as Danielle encourages, is important, but like my post, Leo the Late Bloomer , we all bloom in our own time, not when people want us to.

Laura
One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Offline Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #106 on: December 07, 2020, 09:46:32 pm »
Second Monday at the Tennis Club

While I've been playing doubles at a local high school's courts, my Mondays, for the past 15 years, have been spent playing singles against a long time partner. Last week was the first time he met Laura and while it may have been a bit of a shock to him, he handled it well.

Tonight, he was able to call me Laura for the first time, something he mentioned was going to take time to get used to.

Tell me about it.

Right now, all I can do is be friendly and not react to anything that might be perceived as negative. I'm certain that most people who are New To Laura will come around as they feel more comfortable with the new me.

On the court next to us was a married couple who play at the same time each Monday. As they were about to leave, I went over to them to introduce myself and tell them this is who I will be from now on. Both said hello back and introduced themselves as well (this despite that they've known <deadname> for several years.

So, another good day as Laura

Onward

Laura
One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Offline Northern Star Girl

  • Previously Alaskan Danielle
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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #107 on: December 07, 2020, 10:16:33 pm »
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
I loved reading your last report and update regarding your Monday at the Tennis Club.....

..... however.... I am not certain how your left it with your long time partner...  did he finally accept you as Laura? ... and he now is now cool being with you and continuing addressing you as Laura....   I hope that is the case now.

I am really liking how your express your positive attitude about all of this....  I love positivity as you are quite aware.
Negativity is not productive.

Oh, and the married couple that has known you for years.... introducing yourselves to each other.... very sweet story!!!!

Thank you for sharing your "another good day with Laura"
 
Hugs and wishing continued success and happiness.
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 Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #108 on: December 07, 2020, 10:45:52 pm »
..... however.... I am not certain how your left it with your long time partner...  did he finally accept you as Laura? ... and he now is now cool being with you and continuing addressing you as Laura....   I hope that is the case now.

Thank you, @Danielle. Being positive is something you've helped me learn.

As far as my tennis partner, he's not unlike all the other people who have met Laura for the first time the last two weeks. They've all been friendly, but haven't yet called me by my name. I know it will take time for them to adjust and feel comfortable.

So, tonight, when my single's partner named me, I was quite pleased that he's made the effort to adjust. I know it's new to him, after knowing <deadname> for so long, but he's making an effort, which is good enough for me.

Thank you again.

Laura
One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #109 on: December 08, 2020, 05:13:22 pm »
Ok, I am all caught up with your thread or blog, and will try to stay up.  I don’t play tennis, but I would love to fly planes.  I am trying to get a medical now, but I have some thing that will defer me.  I think I can satisfy the requirements ultimately.


So, what ever happened with the plane engine?  Was it just carburetor icing?  I think that was the conclusion you reach during your run up, but I thought you might have a mechanic look at it anyway.

Anyway, I am in my late 50’s and have many hurdles to cross before I transition (if I ever do).  Your story is somewhat of an inspiration to me.  But, I live in a much more conservative community.  I would probably need to move. 

My parent’s family (parents and sisters) are transphobic.  I have not come  out to any of them.  They would not take it any better than Danielle’s parents did.  In fact, I doubt they would take it as well.  They would probably never want to see me again and never speak to me again. 

And, my household family consists of my wife, two college aged kids and myself.  I am a step dad to the two kids.  I have come out to my wife, but not to the kids.  Between the two, I think my daughter would be supportive.  I don’t know how the son would react.  It would be hard for him, because I think he sees me more in the role of “dad” than he does his own father. 

So, I suppose I am what you might describe as a late bloomer.  I always clearly knew that I seriously wanted to be a girl.  But, I haven’t been able to be myself at least since I was 5 and my grandmother told me I was going to Hell for being a “pervert”.  Sort of harsh rejection fora 5 year old.  But, it did serve to impress upon me the importance of staying in the closet.

Anyway, I am enjoying your successes.

Offline Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #110 on: December 08, 2020, 05:28:22 pm »
Ok, I am all caught up with your thread or blog, and will try to stay up.  I don’t play tennis, but I would love to fly planes.  I am trying to get a medical now, but I have some thing that will defer me.  I think I can satisfy the requirements ultimately.


So, what ever happened with the plane engine?  Was it just carburetor icing?  I think that was the conclusion you reach during your run up, but I thought you might have a mechanic look at it anyway.

Anyway, I am in my late 50’s and have many hurdles to cross before I transition (if I ever do).  Your story is somewhat of an inspiration to me.  But, I live in a much more conservative community.  I would probably need to move. 

My parent’s family (parents and sisters) are transphobic.  I have not come  out to any of them.  They would not take it any better than Danielle’s parents did.  In fact, I doubt they would take it as well.  They would probably never want to see me again and never speak to me again. 

And, my household family consists of my wife, two college aged kids and myself.  I am a step dad to the two kids.  I have come out to my wife, but not to the kids.  Between the two, I think my daughter would be supportive.  I don’t know how the son would react.  It would be hard for him, because I think he sees me more in the role of “dad” than he does his own father. 

So, I suppose I am what you might describe as a late bloomer.  I always clearly knew that I seriously wanted to be a girl.  But, I haven’t been able to be myself at least since I was 5 and my grandmother told me I was going to Hell for being a “pervert”.  Sort of harsh rejection fora 5 year old.  But, it did serve to impress upon me the importance of staying in the closet.

Anyway, I am enjoying your successes.
@Rachel Montgomery
Regarding the flight emergency, it most certainly was carb ice, something that took me by surprise. Next time, I'll know to quickly bring up the emergency procedures within ForeFlight (the iPad app we use for navigation).

I'm not sure what type of medical certificate you're looking for. Previously, in order to earn your Private Pilot's License (PPL) you had to have a Class C medical, which required you to fill out an extensive health history, including all drugs you're taking or have taken. It's a bit intrusive. You also had to have a physical examination by an approved medical examiner.

Now, it's easier for most of us private pilots to just get the Basic Med certificate. You still have to fill out some forms, but your primary doctor can conduct the physical. Check out AOPA's web site for more info, since they were the primary advocates.

Regarding your home situation, you have my thoughts. You're certainly in a tough situation, but at least you've come out to your wife. If you decide to begin HRT, know that there are multiple ways to hide our growth, even in the summer, so don't count that option out.

Thanks for following my story. It's been a wild ride at times.

Laura
One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Offline Northern Star Girl

  • Previously Alaskan Danielle
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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #111 on: December 08, 2020, 06:00:13 pm »
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:

I meant to tell you this earlier but I love your Christmas Ornament as your Avatar!!!!

Thank you for sharing your happiness on the Forums.


HUGS,
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 Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #112 on: December 08, 2020, 06:54:08 pm »
Thanks, @Danielle.

About a month ago, I read a post on LBGTNation about an organization that was making personalized ornaments for transpersons. I went to their site, filled out the form, and the ornament arrived a few days ago.'

The project, The Rainbow Sheep Ornament Project, aims to help us start rebuilding sentimental mementos that don’t use our dead name.


It's nice to have an ornament that reflects the new me.

Laura
One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Offline sarahc

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #113 on: December 09, 2020, 07:01:07 am »
That's a wonderful idea! And the ornament is pretty.

Sarah

Thanks, @Danielle.

About a month ago, I read a post on LBGTNation about an organization that was making personalized ornaments for transpersons. I went to their site, filled out the form, and the ornament arrived a few days ago.'

The project, The Rainbow Sheep Ornament Project, aims to help us start rebuilding sentimental mementos that don’t use our dead name.


It's nice to have an ornament that reflects the new me.

Laura
----
48 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 Rachel Montgomery

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #114 on: December 09, 2020, 12:14:35 pm »
Quote from: Laura1951

Regarding the flight emergency, it most certainly was carb ice, something that took me by surprise. Next time, I'll know to quickly bring up the emergency procedures within ForeFlight (the iPad app we use for navigation).
 

OK.  Good to know.  What were the atmospheric conditions when you had the icing problem?  Were they such that one would expect to need carb heat?

Quote from: Laura1951
I'm not sure what type of medical certificate you're looking for. ...Check out AOPA's web site for more info, since they were the primary advocates.
I am an AOPA member.  They did offer good advice on navigating the medical student certificate problems.  And, I am working with a local AME on filing the application.  As I said, I expect it to be deferred.  No drug issues, but some endocrine problems that require treatment.  Everything is under control.  I reasonably hope to get a "special issuance".  I also had a problem with migraine headaches several years ago.  They may want to follow up on that too.  And, depression associated with dysphoria.  They don't like depression.  But, that has not been a real problem in over 10 years.  We'll see how they look at it.

Quote from: Laura1951
Regarding your home situation, you have my thoughts. You're certainly in a tough situation, but at least you've come out to your wife.

Yes, I came out to her more than 13 years ago.  That was very hard, but I was having a really hard time and she needed to know to understand.  She took it very well at first.  I felt so loved.  Then, she started getting concerned that I would transition, which would embarrass her.  She is not a lesbian (though I certainly believe that I am one) she says that if I have to transition to be happy that I should; but, she would feel compelled to divorce me.  She says she would always be my friend.  I know her well, and I am afraid she would see me as the woman that took her husband from her.

Offline Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #115 on: December 09, 2020, 03:37:07 pm »
@Rachel Montgomery
 
What were the atmospheric conditions when you had the icing problem?  Were they such that one would expect to need carb heat?
It was a nice fall day. The flight to Watsonville passes over two mountain ranges. The first one, I fly at 4,500 feet to give myself clearance. After I pass over the first, quite wide range, I descend to 3,000 feet to cross over the next mountain range which is just a few miles from the airport. The valley between ranges only takes about 5-6 minutes to cross. It was a bit more than mid-way across when I experienced problems and rather than risk not making it over the next range, I decided to land.

Now, I probably should have remembered that carb ice could be the problem, between considering my options and pushing the mixture to full rich, I didn't think of it. Funny, because we always pull carb heat when we're in the traffic pattern.

still, not a bad lesson for me.


 
I am an AOPA member.  They did offer good advice on navigating the medical student certificate problems.  And, I am working with a local AME on filing the application.  As I said, I expect it to be deferred.  No drug issues, but some endocrine problems that require treatment.  Everything is under control.  I reasonably hope to get a "special issuance".  I also had a problem with migraine headaches several years ago.  They may want to follow up on that too.  And, depression associated with dysphoria.  They don't like depression.  But, that has not been a real problem in over 10 years.  We'll see how they look at it.

I wish you the best getting the deferral. The FAA is notorious for taking their time and then requiring endless hoops. I love AOPA and miss their fly-ins.

 

yes, I came out to her more than 13 years ago.  That was very hard, but I was having a really hard time and she needed to know to understand.  She took it very well at first.  I felt so loved.  Then, she started getting concerned that I would transition, which would embarrass her.  She is not a lesbian (though I certainly believe that I am one) she says that if I have to transition to be happy that I should; but, she would feel compelled to divorce me.  She says she would always be my friend.  I know her well, and I am afraid she would see me as the woman that took her husband from her.

You're in a difficult situation, but at least you're out to your wife. Countless others here found how difficult it was balancing keeping the wife happy while denying their transition. You have my best wishes.

Laura

One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Offline Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #116 on: December 09, 2020, 03:43:09 pm »
December 9, 2020

Name Change
Today i submitted all the forms to the court for my name and gender change. They'd been filled out for six months, just waiting for the space between my ears to be ready. Once i went full time, two weeks ago, and felt completely comfortable introducing myself to people who knew <deadname>,  I knew the time was right.

So, after playing tennis today with my good friends (all whom have known about Laura for at least five months), i drove down to the superior court clerk's office to submit the forms. It took some time for the clerk to review them, make small corrections that the self-help center had missed, and run my forms by her boss to make sure they were in order.

After about 30 minutes and $435, i was good to go, completely surprised when the clerk told me i should have the order in about 10 days. The advice i had read from CA's Transgender Law Center said it could take six to eight weeks, so i was a bit shocked/thrilled.

One strange thing happened though. As i was leaving the clerk's window, she had forgotten to give me copies of the application, so she called out to me, "Sir". Now, having just played tennis as Laura and presenting as her at the window, this came as a bit of a surprise and more than a bit disrespectful. I didn't let it bother me. Nor did i correct her. Like last Saturday when someone fell down laughing when they recognized me as <deadname>,  i decided not to care. I am who i am. i've finally gotten the "between the ears" thing right.

This small incident reminds me that my city and most cities south of me in the great central valley, received a grade of D from the Human Rights Campaign. That was one reason i was considering moving north where LGBT acceptance is greater.

i'm good though. i have friends who accept and support me. 

Now, with COVID restrictions currently shutting down the DMV and SS offices from in-person visits, I have about 10 days to figure out how to get a new SSN and driver's license.

Onward.

Laura
One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Offline Northern Star Girl

  • Previously Alaskan Danielle
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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #117 on: December 09, 2020, 07:45:48 pm »
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
Thank you for sharing your terrific news regarding your name change...
...this is certainly very, very exciting for you as you have moved into full-time 
and absolutely time to make your name match who your are.

I was touched by your "good" attitude about being called your deadname and being
addressed by your deadname gender pronoun at the clerks office.

You are to be commended for letting that stuff roll off of your back as you did. 
Your positive attitude, your self-assurance and your self-confidence are admired
by all that are following your journey here on the forums.


HUGS, and as always,
best wishes as you continue on with your life goals. 
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 Rachel Montgomery

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #118 on: December 10, 2020, 12:11:18 pm »
One strange thing happened though. As i was leaving the clerk's window, she had forgotten to give me copies of the application, so she called out to me, "Sir". Now, having just played tennis as Laura and presenting as her at the window, this came as a bit of a surprise and more than a bit disrespectful. I didn't let it bother me. Nor did i correct her. Like last Saturday when someone fell down laughing when they recognized me as <deadname>,  i decided not to care. I am who i am. i've finally gotten the "between the ears" thing right.

I don't know if anyone else can relate to the point I am trying to make, but I hope it helps someone.  I think that you have a wonderful attitude, and to the degree that you can maintain it it will serve you well. 

In coming to terms with who I am, I am well aware that many in my local community see gender as synonymous with sex, and sex as immutably anatomical assignment at birth.  That is what I was raised to think, and dysphoria doesn't sit well in that paradigm. 

The trigger for laughter in many, many jokes is surprise (it is the number one ingredient of comedians presentation).  The major nine laughter triggers include:

    Surprise

    Superiority

    Embarrassment

    Release

    Incongruity

    Recognition

    Ambivalence

    Configurational

    Coincidence

Introducing the element of surprise into writing a comedy is always great. This is because you’re portraying a story as one thing but just when you capture their attention, you switch up on the story and they’re left with no other reaction than laughter. A good twist is usually funny, especially when no one sees it coming.  As Dave Chappelle suggested (and although he has been the subject of criticism for doing so), being transgender and changing our presentation does make for awkward situations, and comedians understand that awkward situations present surprising twists that inspire laughter.   People sometimes laugh and don't know why.  Sometimes people laugh because they are uncomfortable, a little frightened, and yet they feel safe.

In my late teens and early 20's, I often smiled inappropriately.  Any time I felt threatened I smiled.  this lead to some people becoming quite angry at me because they thought that I was not taking their efforts at intimation seriously.  I didn't think it was funny.  I was taking it seriously.  I just couldn't stop smiling no matter how I tried.

And, people laugh when they are frightened.  Have you ever been in a crowded movie theater watching a horror film, and all around you the audience seems genuinely scared; but for some reason their screams and gasps are punctuated with laughter?  We usually think of laughter as being a response to pleasure or amusement—we’re supposed to laugh when we find something funny, not scary. So why do we laugh when we’re scared?

Scientists still aren’t sure what makes us laugh in seemingly inappropriate contexts, but they have some pretty compelling ideas. According to scientists like primatologist Signe Preuschoft, who published a prominent study on macaque laughter, fearful laughter is an expression of submission. Macaques in Preuschoft’s study laughed or smiled when they felt threatened by a dominant macaque—their laughter was accompanied by evasive or submissive body movements. According to Preuschoft, the laughter is used to admit fear and communicate a desire to avoid conflict.  Another camp believes that fearful laughter actually represents a denial of fear. We’re scared, but we’re trying to convince ourselves and the people around us that we’re not—that everything is okay.

Some people that laugh at you may not be intentionally insulting you, they may uncontrollably be responding from fear.  The fear I am talking about isn't a fear OF YOU, but a fear for themselves that they have been shockingly misjudging a situation for some time.  If I am honest with myself, I can understand fearing a change in gender presentation, because I spent too much of my life fearing it myself (for myself).  People like some sort of concreteness, a high degree of things such as (but not exclusively) gender.  And, while your gender has not changed, their perception of your gender has changed when your gender presentation changed.  It is shocking to many people. 

If the guy who laughed had no expectation in his mind that he knew you to begin with, he might not have been inspired to laugh.  Perhaps he is just expressing confusion and shock.  When this happens, and when these people think rationally about it, sometimes these people know they shouldn't have laughed, and are ashamed because they know they behaved inappropriately.  He did man up and apologize, so provided it doesn't happen with him again, I would give him the benefit of the doubt, that he was just responding in a way that he is now ashamed of out of surprise.

I think it would help me to deal with that happening if I keep in mind that they may simply be surprised because I did a good job of hiding my gender, and suddenly they are questioning their ability to correctly perceive what is going on around them.

I don't know, I may be the only one this sounds comforting to, but it is easier for me to forgive someone for being surprised and responding inappropriately than it is for me to forgive them for being mean or cruel (whether intentionally or with reckless disregard for the feelings of others).

Offline EllenW

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #119 on: December 11, 2020, 05:02:15 pm »
December 9, 2020

Name Change
Today i submitted all the forms to the court for my name and gender change. They'd been filled out for six months, just waiting for the space between my ears to be ready. Once i went full time, two weeks ago, and felt completely comfortable introducing myself to people who knew <deadname>,  I knew the time was right.

So, after playing tennis today with my good friends (all whom have known about Laura for at least five months), i drove down to the superior court clerk's office to submit the forms. It took some time for the clerk to review them, make small corrections that the self-help center had missed, and run my forms by her boss to make sure they were in order.

After about 30 minutes and $435, i was good to go, completely surprised when the clerk told me i should have the order in about 10 days. The advice i had read from CA's Transgender Law Center said it could take six to eight weeks, so i was a bit shocked/thrilled.

One strange thing happened though. As i was leaving the clerk's window, she had forgotten to give me copies of the application, so she called out to me, "Sir". Now, having just played tennis as Laura and presenting as her at the window, this came as a bit of a surprise and more than a bit disrespectful. I didn't let it bother me. Nor did i correct her. Like last Saturday when someone fell down laughing when they recognized me as <deadname>,  i decided not to care. I am who i am. i've finally gotten the "between the ears" thing right.

This small incident reminds me that my city and most cities south of me in the great central valley, received a grade of D from the Human Rights Campaign. That was one reason i was considering moving north where LGBT acceptance is greater.

i'm good though. i have friends who accept and support me. 

Now, with COVID restrictions currently shutting down the DMV and SS offices from in-person visits, I have about 10 days to figure out how to get a new SSN and driver's license.

Onward.

Laura

Laura,

I am happy you got your name change on my Birthday. Congrats.

It is interesting that you could submit the forms in person. My county court only allowed it via computer. Once it was accepted, they advised when the judge would sign it, which was in 30 days from when they accepted the form. I had to appear at a court clerk window and to pick up the signed documents.

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 February 2018
Legal name and gender change January 2019
GCS - some time soon (I hope)

Tags: coming out