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Blogs => Member Blogs => Topic started by: Stevi on March 19, 2018, 04:20:15 pm

Title: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 19, 2018, 04:20:15 pm
A little history.  I have been a member of Susan's Place for more than two years now.  A lurker for about six years before that.  I am not a frequent commenter and this is my first OP.

I am about to turn 68 years of age. After a lifetime of mostly chronic, low level gender dysphoria punctuated with an occasional acute episode which manifested itself with private crossdressing ( and the inevitable shame and purging ), about ten years ago I got the opportunity to explore more deeply while I found myself away from home, and my wife, for business related travel.

After realizing, about six years ago, that what was going on in my psyche was deeper than a crossdressing fetish (or hobby, if you prefer), I came out to my wife of then 44 years.  Over these six years she has progressed, sometimes reluctantly, along with me in coming to a “solution”.  We have just recently come to a place that I am reasonably confident about how much I need and at the same time she has defined what she can accommodate.  She has come an incredibly long way. For me that is a non-surgical transition (started HRT for about six months ago) to full 24/7 living as a woman with her in my life as my wife in a physically intimate relationship. I am becoming more and more comfortable with being open about being a transgender woman. For her part, she wants very much for us to to continue in our relationship to “death do us part.”  She still has a bit of a hangup about appearing to others as a lesbian since she is most decidedly heterosexual.  She says she will not refer to me as “my wife”.   She has not come up with a suitable substitute other than sticking with “my husband”.  If that is really what she wants, I'll take it.

Until we reached this point, we have avoided revealing to any of our somewhat large family and rather small circle of friends.  Depending on where we ended up there may have been no need for anyone else to ever know of this. Now that this point is here it is time to begin to tell the world.  At least our small part of the world.  The starting place is our older daughter.

You might note that I wrote “older daughter.”  We have a younger daughter as well.  That daughter has been estranged from us for twenty years.  She never told us why.  She just callously turned away from us.  I say callously because, the last time we spoke with her was on her wedding day where she refused to have any pictures take with her mother and the one I was in was because I “pushed” my way into the shot and the photographer snapped before she could stop the moment.  I am sure the picture was not kept.  She allowed us to “participate” in that important event while not wishing us to be present at all.  That situation took me years to somewhat recover from and nearly took my life.  To this day, tears are only ever one thought away.

 That is the background to my coming out to our older daughter.  This past Saturday, while visiting our daughter, I handed (I knew I could not have remained coherent for long enough to have said the words myself.) her a a carefully worded, repeatedly edited, two page letter that expressed my love, our love, for her and briefly recounted some of what has been part of my whole life and how her mother and I have determined to handle it going forward.  Now, understand that our daughter is liberal leaning and has numerous gay friends (She worked in cosmetology for many years.) so we had lots of reasons to feel that all would be well.  Still, we were very, very apprehensive.  I trembled as I waited for her to finish the letter.  When she did finish we were relieved when she gave me a  hug, told me she loved me, loved us and said everything was going to be OK.  We finished the weekend together and all seemed to be well when I hugged her, kissed her on the cheek and told her I loved her as she left for work early last Monday morning.  A little later, we drove to our home.

Her last communication with us was on Wednesday via email.  It was not terribly long.  It used the phrases “bad dream” and “death of my daddy”  She asked for more time to process.  She did not sign off with the usual “Love you both,”.

I know she wants time to think.  I know she needs the time and the space to do that.  I am trying to be patient.  But it is hard. Very hard.  In her sister's case some twenty years ago I remember not knowing what to do.  I ended up not being pushy and allowing her time and space hoping she would come around.  Time did not fix it.  In the end, I don't think it could have turned out any worse than it has. I have not seen or heard from her since (other than some news photos on the internet and a brief encounter with her at her grandmother's, my wife's mother's, funeral where she pushed my wife away and ignored me entirely).  I know she has a daughter of her own that I am not likely to ever get to know.  I often wonder if I could have done something to have gotten a better outcome.  Now, with this present situation I am worried.  I do not want a replay of the past with my remaining child.

Making matters worse is the fact that my wife is now rethinking our plan.  So, it seems I could end up loosing both if our daughter turns away from my wife because of my “choices”.  My wife may not forgive me for causing this lose.  Logically, my wife kinda understands that this is not really a choice.  But this is a time when emotions rule and emotions might just win out.

Since I started writing this OP,  my wife and I have managed to cry together and hug each other and better understand what each of us is thinking at the moment, so things seem a little less dire that when I started writing.  But I am still not breathing easily.  I have returned to dark thoughts that I thought were relegated to my past.  I am not in crisis but I was certainly much happier before this all came crashing down around me.

I don't know that I asking for anything more than a sympathetic ear to hear my words.  If you made it through to here, thank you for listening.

Stephanie   (My wife uses Stevi, you can, too.)
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: cliffyman1953 on March 19, 2018, 04:45:06 pm
A little history.  I have been a member of Susan's Place for more than two years now.  A lurker for about six years before that.  I am not a frequent commenter and this is my first OP.

I am about to turn 68 years of age. After a lifetime of mostly chronic, low level gender dysphoria punctuated with an occasional acute episode which manifested itself with private crossdressing ( and the inevitable shame and purging ), about ten years ago I got the opportunity to explore more deeply while I found myself away from home, and my wife, for business related travel.

After realizing, about six years ago, that what was going on in my psyche was deeper than a crossdressing fetish (or hobby, if you prefer), I came out to my wife of then 44 years.  Over these six years she has progressed, sometimes reluctantly, along with me in coming to a “solution”.  We have just recently come to a place that I am reasonably confident about how much I need and at the same time she has defined what she can accommodate.  She has come an incredibly long way. For me that is a non-surgical transition (started HRT for about six months ago) to full 24/7 living as a woman with her in my life as my wife in a physically intimate relationship. I am becoming more and more comfortable with being open about being a transgender woman. For her part, she wants very much for us to to continue in our relationship to “death do us part.”  She still has a bit of a hangup about appearing to others as a lesbian since she is most decidedly heterosexual.  She says she will not refer to me as “my wife”.   She has not come up with a suitable substitute other than sticking with “my husband”.  If that is really what she wants, I'll take it.

Until we reached this point, we have avoided revealing to any of our somewhat large family and rather small circle of friends.  Depending on where we ended up there may have been no need for anyone else to ever know of this. Now that this point is here it is time to begin to tell the world.  At least our small part of the world.  The starting place is our older daughter.

You might note that I wrote “older daughter.”  We have a younger daughter as well.  That daughter has been estranged from us for twenty years.  She never told us why.  She just callously turned away from us.  I say callously because, the last time we spoke with her was on her wedding day where she refused to have any pictures take with her mother and the one I was in was because I “pushed” my way into the shot and the photographer snapped before she could stop the moment.  I am sure the picture was not kept.  She allowed us to “participate” in that important event while not wishing us to be present at all.  That situation took me years to somewhat recover from and nearly took my life.  To this day, tears are only ever one thought away.

 That is the background to my coming out to our older daughter.  This past Saturday, while visiting our daughter, I handed (I knew I could not have remained coherent for long enough to have said the words myself.) her a a carefully worded, repeatedly edited, two page letter that expressed my love, our love, for her and briefly recounted some of what has been part of my whole life and how her mother and I have determined to handle it going forward.  Now, understand that our daughter is liberal leaning and has numerous gay friends (She worked in cosmetology for many years.) so we had lots of reasons to feel that all would be well.  Still, we were very, very apprehensive.  I trembled as I waited for her to finish the letter.  When she did finish we were relieved when she gave me a  hug, told me she loved me, loved us and said everything was going to be OK.  We finished the weekend together and all seemed to be well when I hugged her, kissed her on the cheek and told her I loved her as she left for work early last Monday morning.  A little later, we drove to our home.

Her last communication with us was on Wednesday via email.  It was not terribly long.  It used the phrases “bad dream” and “death of my daddy”  She asked for more time to process.  She did not sign off with the usual “Love you both,”.

I know she wants time to think.  I know she needs the time and the space to do that.  I am trying to be patient.  But it is hard. Very hard.  In her sister's case some twenty years ago I remember not knowing what to do.  I ended up not being pushy and allowing her time and space hoping she would come around.  Time did not fix it.  In the end, I don't think it could have turned out any worse than it has. I have not seen or heard from her since (other than some news photos on the internet and a brief encounter with her at her grandmother's, my wife's mother's, funeral where she pushed my wife away and ignored me entirely).  I know she has a daughter of her own that I am not likely to ever get to know.  I often wonder if I could have done something to have gotten a better outcome.  Now, with this present situation I am worried.  I do not want a replay of the past with my remaining child.

Making matters worse is the fact that my wife is now rethinking our plan.  So, it seems I could end up loosing both if our daughter turns away from my wife because of my “choices”.  My wife may not forgive me for causing this lose.  Logically, my wife kinda understands that this is not really a choice.  But this is a time when emotions rule and emotions might just win out.

Since I started writing this OP,  my wife and I have managed to cry together and hug each other and better understand what each of us is thinking at the moment, so things seem a little less dire that when I started writing.  But I am still not breathing easily.  I have returned to dark thoughts that I thought were relegated to my past.  I am not in crisis but I was certainly much happier before this all came crashing down around me.

I don't know that I asking for anything more than a sympathetic ear to hear my words.  If you made it through to here, thank you for listening.

Stephanie   (My wife uses Stevi, you can, too.)
Hi Cliffy here what a wonderful  letter i am just a normal man well i must admit i do like t x dress if i can but your letter has warmed my heart i think you and your wife are very brave but honest with each other my relationship with my wife is hust a cuddle tme and no further but i love her so i contnue so continue on with your life enjoy your marriage sadly without your young daughter but be happy i hope my respnse brightens your heart and i will be here if yo want to communicte
Precious  thoughtsCliffy

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Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on March 19, 2018, 05:31:11 pm
Sorry to hear your wife is rethinking it after all these years. It has to be tough thinkingnyou were progressing then find out maybe not 
My wife gets the same fear of being outed as lesbian which she is not.
We don’t use husband and wife any more, it is Donna and Marilyn only and this is helping her. For me it’s not an issue as she finds comfort in it.
Best of luck and happiness
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 19, 2018, 05:59:40 pm
Cliffy,

Thank you for you kind thoughts and wishes.  There was a time i thought, maybe a better word is hoped, I was a crossdresser.  Alas, it was not to be.  I thought I finally had it sorted out then I get this curve ball Enjoy life where ever it is that you find yourself in it.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Jamina on March 19, 2018, 06:05:26 pm
Stephanie- I am so sorry that it is hard. It sounds like there are some complex dynamics at play and that makes it pretty hard to read between the lines so to speak. But one thing does pop up straight away which is that you guys all need to keep talking and loving each other, and as far as you can you need to be the dependable one while your loved ones deal with the impact of your coming out. Don't give up on your eldest. Give her space, but not the kind of space where she's out of your life- the kind of space where you spend time together and let everyone's problems be for a bit. Show her that she still has two parents, and that she doesn't have to deal with the 'death of her daddy.'

Everyone here understands why some of us take a long time to share our trans selves. But it is really hard for people close to you to discover that you've been holding on to secrets for a long time. It rocks foundations and can make our loved ones withdraw their trust. It takes time to rebuild, but once you do that hard work of rebuilding trust, they have a relationship with the real you, and it can have a much stronger foundation.

You're in the process. It's not easy and it's not quick, and it might be the rest of your life, but you are pointed into a future where nobody in your family has to hide out and everyone can be their true selves without fear. That's a gift to your great-great-grandchildren. Don't give up on any of it.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 19, 2018, 06:18:19 pm
Donna,

Thanks.  We thought about just using first names.  There is something missing though.  My wife and I we celebrate out 50th on this coming August 8th.  We have never been sexually intimate with anyone except each other.  I am OK with what ever floats your particular boat but we are from a time and background where that was instilled into us as meaningful.  We are both proud of a solid, monogamous fifty year relationship that we hope continues to the day one of us dies.  That make the spousal relationship important to us and important for others to know if they are to truly know us.  So, you can see where my wife is coming from with this problem for her.  I do not really know what the solution is, yet.  I am beginning to think, though, that it lies in being willing to live openly as a transgender woman married to loving heterosexual woman and being open and proud about this now woman was for most of fifty years her husband and simply go by the nominal of husband.  If that bothers some friends, we'll simply find better friends.  If that bothers acquaintances, we'll simply get acquainted elsewhere.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 19, 2018, 06:52:05 pm
Jamina,

Thanks for your thoughts. I am trying to be the strong one.  I know that my daughter has been blind-sided so-to-speak.  I started this OP here to get some of the help I need while both my daughter and wife deal with things.  My wife has a therapist appointment on Wednesday and I am trying to help her as best I can.  I need for her to reassure me that we are still OK.  That has been missing and I find that I am addicted to being OK with her.  I went into serious withdrawal when I felt things were NOT OK with us.   A recent dose of hugs helped a lot.  Still need a few more doses, though.  One of the things she told me was that she was trying to avoid saying anything to me that she really did not mean.  She was, and still is to some degree, angry with me.  But she is trying to communicate constructively and, for a while, that means not communicating at all until she can get a handle on what is churning in her mind and emotions.  I am going to try and get by until after she gets face time with her therapist. 

As for our daughter, I have tried to strike a balance between contact and avoiding the appearance of pushing.  While we were with her, we talked about "Daddy" helping her with some overdue maintenance and updating of her condo.  Since her last communication with us, I sent an email, suggesting that we come up to her place and get started on some of that this coming weekend.  I made no mention of the tough issue before us.  Just "Daddy" doing what this daddy has always done for his little girl. There has not been any acknowledgement of that suggestion.  Don't know if she got it, read it or anything.  Now I am stuck with trying to figure out if and when I should just call and talk with her  about going up to see her.  Damned if I do and damned if I don't.  What shall I do? What shall I do?

Thanks for the therapy,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Tommi on March 19, 2018, 07:33:39 pm
I do not envy you your road. I feel like I won the lottery sometimes when I see the hardship so many here face. This type of situation happening is part of why I was so afraid to come out. "Spouse" is a nice gender neutral term with the gravitas of "marriage" behind it. My wife does not consider herself a lesbian. She says she's a "Tommisexual" :) Love and kindness to you and yours. I hope this all works out for you in a way that sits ok for you all; Bit, For you, most of all.

Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: cliffyman1953 on March 19, 2018, 07:57:24 pm
Sorry to hear your wife is rethinking it after all these years. It has to be tough thinkingnyou were progressing then find out maybe not 
My wife gets the same fear of being outed as lesbian which she is not.
We don’t use husband and wife any more, it is Donna and Marilyn only and this is helping her. For me it’s not an issue as she finds comfort in it.
Best of luck and happiness
Donna
Stick in there things will get better you and your wife will enjoy life together
Cliffy

Sent from my SM-T800 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: cliffyman1953 on March 19, 2018, 08:03:10 pm
Jamina,

Thanks for your thoughts. I am trying to be the strong one.  I know that my daughter has been blind-sided so-to-speak.  I started this OP here to get some of the help I need while both my daughter and wife deal with things.  My wife has a therapist appointment on Wednesday and I am trying to help her as best I can.  I need for her to reassure me that we are still OK.  That has been missing and I find that I am addicted to being OK with her.  I went into serious withdrawal when I felt things were NOT OK with us.   A recent dose of hugs helped a lot.  Still need a few more doses, though.  One of the things she told me was that she was trying to avoid saying anything to me that she really did not mean.  She was, and still is to some degree, angry with me.  But she is trying to communicate constructively and, for a while, that means not communicating at all until she can get a handle on what is churning in her mind and emotions.  I am going to try and get by until after she gets face time with her therapist. 

As for our daughter, I have tried to strike a balance between contact and avoiding the appearance of pushing.  While we were with her, we talked about "Daddy" helping her with some overdue maintenance and updating of her condo.  Since her last communication with us, I sent an email, suggesting that we come up to her place and get started on some of that this coming weekend.  I made no mention of the tough issue before us.  Just "Daddy" doing what this daddy has always done for his little girl. There has not been any acknowledgement of that suggestion.  Don't know if she got it, read it or anything.  Now I am stuck with trying to figure out if and when I should just call and talk with her  about going up to see her.  Damned if I do and damned if I don't.  What shall I do? What shall I do?

Thanks for the therapy,
Stevi
Hey always a pleasure to be a friend and some help you will be ok and if your wife truly loves you she will come around and if you ae able to help your daughter do i she will appreciate  it and realise she has not lost her Dad

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Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: cliffyman1953 on March 19, 2018, 08:09:24 pm
Donna,

Thanks.  We thought about just using first names.  There is something missing though.  My wife and I we celebrate out 50th on this coming August 8th.  We have never been sexually intimate with anyone except each other.  I am OK with what ever floats your particular boat but we are from a time and background where that was instilled into us as meaningful.  We are both proud of a solid, monogamous fifty year relationship that we hope continues to the day one of us dies.  That make the spousal relationship important to us and important for others to know if they are to truly know us.  So, you can see where my wife is coming from with this problem for her.  I do not really know what the solution is, yet.  I am beginning to think, though, that it lies in being willing to live openly as a transgender woman married to loving heterosexual woman and being open and proud about this now woman was for most of fifty years her husband and simply go by the nominal of husband.  If that bothers some friends, we'll simply find better friends.  If that bothers acquaintances, we'll simply get acquainted elsewhere.

Stevi
Stefi
If you can pleasure  your wife as she wants and show her lots of love then she will except you as her lover her friend her husband her partner surely being more feminine  will show her the tenderness you have for her but still be able to please her  to me she should realise she has the beest of both worlds stick with it
Cliffy

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Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 19, 2018, 08:28:21 pm
Tommi,


We kicked the "Spouse" idea around but it didn't tickle her fancy at the time.   We'll have to revisit the topic after this present crisis passes.  More than anything, maybe, it is trying to change her habits.  That makes most any other designation problematic if she is resisting change.

Cliffy,

We are sexually interactive.  But six months of the little blue pills (estrogen) and two months of the little pink pills (progesterone) has had its effect on functionality.  We have found ways to improvise and we are making progress on that front.

Might be a good idea to prepare for bedtime and see if she is up a little something more than sleep.  Thanks for thoughts.

Good night all,

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 20, 2018, 10:23:23 am
Thanks Team for changing my username.

 :icon_joy:
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 20, 2018, 11:07:18 am
Good morning,

Today is a better day.  Had a good night and even got a little sleep.  My wife and I appear to be OK. OK is really good if you get my drift.

We are still worried about our daughter but not worried so much about ourselves, us.

I did wake up before the sun and lie in bed pondering something.  You see, last month I, as Stephanie, ask my wife to marry me again as Stephanie on our fiftieth wedding anniversary, August 8th.   I told her she had the say on how big a deal we made of it.  You see, fifty years ago, we eloped as 18 year olds to Florence, SC.  We could get married at 18 without parental consent, no blood test and only a 24 hr waiting period.  This time around, I gave her the option to decide how big a deal to make of it for a couple of reasons.  I am good with a bigger deal than the first time where we appeared before a justice of the peace and had strangers for witnesses.  But, if she is uncomfortable with a public ceremony with me in my female form it is OK with me that we do a very small, very private reaffirmation of our vows with each of us in simple attire.  If she wants the fancy dress she didn't get the first time that is fine with me.  If she wants a bigger to-do, I would love to stand before a gathering of family and friends, each of us in formal, gender appropriate attire and say "I do!" all over again.  (By the way, she has excitedly told a couple of her girl friends of my proposal, but she hasn't said "Yes." to me.  Her girl friends are giving her a hard time about that and she deserves it, I think.  ;D)  Anyway, what I was pondering was the things I would like to say to her and anyone that is there to witness the event.  We have, on the whole, had a good life together and I cannot imagine not finishing it together,  I want to tell her loudly and proudly for the world to hear.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Tommi on March 20, 2018, 02:51:45 pm
Good morning,

Today is a better day.  Had a good night and even got a little sleep.  My wife and I appear to be OK. OK is really good if you get my drift.

We are still worried about our daughter but not worried so much about ourselves, us.

I did wake up before the sun and lie in bed pondering something.  You see, last month I, as Stephanie, ask my wife to marry me again as Stephanie on our fiftieth wedding anniversary, August 8th.   I told her she had the say on how big a deal we made of it.  You see, fifty years ago, we eloped as 18 year olds to Florence, SC.  We could get married at 18 without parental consent, no blood test and only a 24 hr waiting period.  This time around, I gave her the option to decide how big a deal to make of it for a couple of reasons.  I am good with a bigger deal than the first time where we appeared before a justice of the peace and had strangers for witnesses.  But, if she is uncomfortable with a public ceremony with me in my female form it is OK with me that we do a very small, very private reaffirmation of our vows with each of us in simple attire.  If she wants the fancy dress she didn't get the first time that is fine with me.  If she wants a bigger to-do, I would love to stand before a gathering of family and friends, each of us in formal, gender appropriate attire and say "I do!" all over again.  (By the way, she has excitedly told a couple of her girl friends of my proposal, but she hasn't said "Yes." to me.  Her girl friends are giving her a hard time about that and she deserves it, I think.  ;D)  Anyway, what I was pondering was the things I would like to say to her and anyone that is there to witness the event.  We have, on the whole, had a good life together and I cannot imagine not finishing it together,  I want to tell her loudly and proudly for the world to hear.

Stevi
That is lovely!

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Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 20, 2018, 07:32:49 pm
Well, my greatest fear has been realized.  This is the central point of our daughter's last brief communication to us.  "Please stop contacting me."

I fear I will not survive this time.

Stevi :icon_cry2:
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Tommi on March 20, 2018, 07:34:52 pm
What the, actual, hell? I'm so sorry to hear this :(

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Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 20, 2018, 07:51:22 pm
While I do not believe I deserve this treatment from our daughter, at least I am the legitimate target of her anger, disgust hate or whatever it is that has possessed her.  But my dear wife does not deserve any of this.  She has been rejected for something that was none of her doing.  Her only "crime" was to stand by me when I needed her most.  How can our daughter be so unkind to her mother?  I cannot even begin to fathom it.

There is no fix for this.  The genie has been let out and cannot be stuffed back into the bottle. 

Devastated,
Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on March 20, 2018, 09:45:33 pm
I feel for you. This is a terrible place to be put in by a child. My wife and I are second marriages and are happy together. However her youngest son(43) will have nothing to do with her because of me. She can’t see them or the grand kids and daily calls have dropped to once every couple weeks.
Kids can be so <bad> after spending your life raising them.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on March 20, 2018, 09:55:16 pm
That is awful to hear Stevi, I am so sorry. I only hope that time might change her feelings. You don't deserve that treatment either. If you only had a third party who could talk to her and find out her thinking. Hugs! Hang in there!
Moni
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 20, 2018, 10:51:49 pm
Donna and Moni,

Thank you both for your support.  Having a virtual shoulder to cry on and a sympathetic ear to listen is helpful.

It is really hard to know what is going on in her mind.  I don't know if she is struggling all alone or if she has looked for support somewhere and maybe found bad resources.  She lives up near DC and we live down North Carolina way so we don't have any overlap in our circles of friends to find a helpful third party.  We feel so helpless in these circumstances of not knowing what is going on and no way to find out.

My wife has a therapist appointment tomorrow afternoon.  Additionally, she is a writer and can fill up pages with words in no time at all while she pours her heart out on to those pages.  Her therapist was a creative writing teacher and says he loves to read what she writes.  I, on the other hand, struggle to get the words out.

I thought things were going to be alright at the time I came out to our daughter so I felt I could get along until my next therapist appointment in the first week of April.  But this whole situation went so sour, so fast, it has taken me by surprise.  Having all of you girls here to listen and commiserate with has been a great help to me.

Thanks, again.
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 21, 2018, 09:04:00 am
It is a cold gray day here.  The weather is forecast to deteriorate throughout the day. Life doesn't look to be going any differently.  At least my wife and I are working through all of this in tandem.  Not at odds with each other.  a lot of turmoil though.  One minute it is "I'm done with that brat!"  The next it is compassion, realizing that maybe all she needs is time to process and hoping she will come around.  When I came out to her, I told her I would give her time to process this new information.  Implicit in that was having confidence that she is actually processing and incorporating it into her relationship with me and her mother.  Right now I know no such thing.

In about a week, I have my 68th birthday.  I wonder how she will deal with it.  We have decided to wait and see before making any more moves in my transition.  I am being impatient, I suppose.  I have been progressing much more slowly than I would have liked for the past six years.   As I have made each step in my understanding of myself I have stopped and waited for my wife to catch up.  Sometimes I found myself knowing what I wanted and needed many steps ahead of me but I waited for my work her way step by step.

Three weeks ago, we had finally reached the point where we had confidence in an agreed upon goal we thought would work for us.  Together, this time, we were ready to make the next step with our daughter and wait for her to catch up.  What if she doesn't ever want to catch up to us?  How much longer must I deny myself what I want?

We will give her the time til my birthday has come and gone.  If she indicates she stills cares about me, us, then  we will continue to exercise patience.  Otherwise, WE will proceed to get on with OUR life together.  Then end of our life is too close for us to pissing around trying to be considerate of someone who doesn't really care.  If she ever does come back into the fold, she will have to take US as she finds us.

I am going to, seriously now, begin the name and ID change stuff that I can do.  I have a PA birth certificate and they require actual surgical intervention before they will change my gender marker.  I am in NC and, as far as I know now they will not put an F on my driver's license with out SRS but hey do need to put my legal name on it.  I am sure I can get the other important things changed.  Starting place is the county courthouse and a legal name change.

Between now and my birthday I need to get a coming out letter prepared for my family members.  All of my siblings were raised in a fundamentals religious environment and most of them are still entrenched there.  After what has happen with our daughter, the most promising of the bunch, I expect I will be without any family in a month's time.  If it comes to that, "to hell with them all."

As I told my wife this morning, "It looks like it is just US,  WE will have to be enough."

Moving on, at least trying,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on March 21, 2018, 10:54:01 am
I can only imagine how scared and upset you are Stevi. We never really know what will result from the telling of our secret. I hope you will find a way to stay positive. Negativity is such an easy thing when things go badly but is a dead end. I can't tell you what to do with your daughter. I  have thought about what I think I would do. I think I would give someone close to me some time to sort things out. If there are no signs of communication though, I would reach out again. I would express that my love to them is unconditional. I have never asked anyone to understand what I had to do in transitioning. It is something that isn't that important when all is said and done. I did ask for their trust that I am who they love still and that if I had any choice in doing it, I would probably have opted out. As a parent myself, I was terrified of hurting my kids. I came out because I could no longer do the lie. But they are adults and they have to choose. For some they go away for religion or embarrassment or who knows what. I guess we hope they see past all that unimportant stuff and focus on the important thing, being there for the family that has loved them. Like I said this is my view. For me nothing trumps family. Hugs Stevi, keep talking Sweetie.
Moni
I wrote this before reading your last post. It sounds like you have a very good plan. Good luck. You deserve to be happy, all trans folk do. At some point we have to live for ourselves, however that looks. Others must make their choices!
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 21, 2018, 02:57:08 pm
MonkMoni,   (edit Moni, I really didn't mean to misspell your name here.  I know you have been a very good sport about the teasing.  My fat fingers betrayed me on the small Fire I was using at the time.)

Thank you so very much for expression compassion and support.  As you noted in your PS, I have already done much as you suggested.  Knowing that someone I really respect and who gets the circumstances  thinks much as I do helps me have some confidence that I am doing the right thing.  Whether or not it works out well in the end, believing I did it the best I could will be of some consolation.

Stevie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on March 21, 2018, 03:04:00 pm
Stevi. I really hope it works out for you all family wise. It can be so hard and troubling. Just after my wife and I married we had to kick my son out of the house. We drove him three hours away to his cousins and didn’t talk for almost 2 years. In that time we all changed and luckily for the good. My wife and I moved to the same city he was in. He came out to us about all his issues and now she is my daughter. We are forging ahead in a while new world as I guess I’m his mom now!!
Given time all things are possible and we can all hope it heads to the brighter side for you.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 21, 2018, 03:27:33 pm
We are at our therapist's office and right now my wife and I are waiting for her to be called in.  She was especially quiet during the drive in.  I have asked her if she is angry with me about the present situation.  She said she was not but then added the qualifier "Not yet." That is disconcerting.  I would prefer a more positive qualifier but I guess I often do the same thing in an effort to not convey a sense of false hope.

After her session, we are going meet someone we met by chance back in December while on our "family cruise" with our daughter. This person has become a good friend and a great help to my wife in dealing with our transgender trials.  This friend is  MTF and just a few years older than us..  She is the only other trans person my wife knows personally.  She is fully transistioned and a confident, open,down to earth person. She is really funny and enjoying life.  She has been a immense help to my wife's outlook on all of this.  My wife has gotten first hand knowledge that someone can actually be trans and happy.  I hope she can console us both some but more than that, I want us to laugh.

Hopefully,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 21, 2018, 03:43:30 pm
Donna,

Knowing what going on in other people's mind is an impossibility.  Especially, when they cannot confide.  This trans state I find myself in means I know all too well how hard it is to be open with others.  Our daughter had been seeing  a therapist herself to a very long time.  As we were preparing to come out to her, she informed us that she was no longer seeing the therapists.  Lousy timing for this but I could not fix that.  Incidentally, other that telling us she was in therapy, she told us nothing more.  I was at a lose as to whether I should inquire or not.

I hope you all don't mind my ramblings too much but it is therapeutic for me.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 21, 2018, 03:51:17 pm
Can't catch a break.  As I posted my last I touched something on the screen and opened a screen with a collection of photos  from our "family cruise" our daughter posted on her Facebook page a while back.  The Fates can be so cruel.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on March 21, 2018, 07:39:36 pm
Always reminders popping up. Be strong and firm. You have people here all the time. Vent and rage to your heart content. We all need to be able to talk and unload.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: stephaniec on March 21, 2018, 09:50:40 pm
sorry your in this position
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 22, 2018, 01:51:50 pm
Donna and Stephanie,

Thanks for your kind and consoling thoughts.  I know I have people here and I appreciate that so much. 

We just got back home.  We have to travel about three hours to our therapists' offices in Wilmington, NC. That is were I had to go to get an gender specialized therapist. That was three hours yesterday to get down to Wilmington with her session late in the afternoon followed by a dinner with our new trans friend and another very accepting and in-the-know cis-women we have befriended in Wilmington. We had a very good time all together without a lot of delving into the present darkness in our lives.  We did fill them in on things but we did not wallow.  We wanted joviality and our friends helped us out immensely.  We stayed in Wilmington over night and had the three hour drive back today.

My wife's session seems to have gone well.   Her therapist told her that we needed to give our daughter more time to process.  We had already decided that for ourselves.  Still, we are peering into a frightening unknown with almost zero hope the outcome will be favorable.  On a positive note, my wife's and my relationship seems to be solid.   I have been concerned that her anger would turn toward me in all of this.  As time is moving on, I have less and less concern in that regard.

Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 22, 2018, 02:58:39 pm
In the wee hours of this morning, I found myself lying awake in bed, thinking.  I was rolling around the oft' expressed idea of the trans person having "died".  My wife had used it soon after I came out to her some six years ago.  Our daughter used the "my Daddy died".  Don't get me wrong, I get it.  But as I have come through the trials of getting to my current state and looking to what I am hoping to be when I finally arrive, I see it more as a resurrection of sorts.  In many respects I think I was as good as dead or on life support, at the very least.  With transistioning I am beginning to want to live.

Another misconception my wife has expressed of late is "I don't see where you have changed.  You just look different.  You still have the same interests and do the same things."  First, I know I have changed in some ways so the observation is not entirely correct.  My wife has been watching in slow-motion with my progression spread over some six, probably more, years as I have been discovering myself and allowing her to keep pace.   It is true that my interests, likes and dislikes have not changed.  But, I, unlike others who may have, did not engage in super macho behaviors and activities to fit in or impress others in a testosterone driven environment.  I, largely, hung around the fringes of the male social groups because that was where I was supposed to be, not particularly where I wanted to be.  So I had no need to shed a male persona.  It wasn't all that noticeable to begin with.  In my case , I think it was more like fitting or forcing a square peg into a round hole.  You can make the peg fit if you remove the parts that make it what it is, that is square.  Who wants parts of themselves removed in order to fit into life?  Or, you jam the peg into the hole, deforming and stressing peg.  Who wants to live deformed and stressed?  No, the solution is to slip the square peg into the square hole that matches in size.  I don't think I should be expected to change a whole bunch. I did not contort myself to fit into life.  I just wasn't living in a hole that I felt comfortable being in.  I am becoming comfortable in my life.  Square peg - square hole.

Too much philosophy?

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 23, 2018, 02:30:21 pm
I was a bit, really a lot, angry and hurt and disappointed with our daughters reaction. without properly filtering my word and inflection, in my discussions with my wife, I gave her a sense that I am, now, full speed ahead and no longer willing to be patient with anyone, in particular her.  That has given her some angst.  In the present circumstance we both need to keep in the forefront of our mind that all three of us are in delicate emotional states.

I some sense am am inpatient.  I have been progressing slowly so as to keep my wife on board with all of this.  About a month ago, we , as I understood it, had decided that she could get to where I believe I need to go.  She had her usual cautionary addendum, "As far as I can tell, won't really know till we do or don't get there."  I have learned that the best commitments I can get.  I do the same to her.  Transgender self-realization if fraught with changing limits and needs.  My wife's accusation is "You keep changing the rules!"  I really try hard to give the impression of "I will ... " or "I will not...."   But, still , she often takes them in an absolute sense and gets scared or angry when I begin to talk or do things that violates one of those "absolute" statements I did not really utter.

Then there is the present circumstance.  I committed to our daughter that I would wait for her to come up to speed before I made anymore steps forward.  I did not want to put her in an awkward position of having to defend herself or me to others of our family until she is strong enough and informed enough to do it.  I still don't want her to have a hard time of any kind because of my doings.  But, what if she never resolves this all favorably to us?  How long do I wait?  Well, back on topic, the other night I spoke out of frustration and began to speaking in words and tones that began to sound like absolutes.  I was talking with my wife about what to do next.  How long do I wait for our daughter to come back into communion with us?  What signs do I look for?  When do I stop waiting, patiently, and confront her about what she has or hasn't decided?  How do I decide if minor progress is enough so I can be confident she will get there quickly enough that i can continue to wait?  None of this has a simple answer.  I was going all kinds of directions at once.  I started talking of time periods and deadlines.

My wife, emotionally delicate, began to apply this impatience on my part to her.  She began to wonder if I was just going to give up on her and just do what I want as quickly as I possibly can get it done.  We talked this over some this morning.  I think I assured her that was not what was going to happen.  We did talk about the next steps.  The next step is one she needs to take.  Since our daughter knows what the situation and she wants to do whatever it is she is doing without our input, our plan was, still, is to come out to my wife's best friend and confidant.  Agian, as with our daughter, we have reasons to believe it will be OK.  Also, as with our daughter, my wife's confidant thinks highly of me.  It makes me smile from the irony when her friend refers to me as S in one of here daily emails to my wife.  S does not really refer to my given name.  It is short for Super-Man.  :)  While this is my truth to tell, this relationship between my wife and her friend is maybe the most important non-spousal one in either of their lives.  Certainly in my wife's.  My wife has dumped a lot on her friend over the past years that has its roots in my problems and how it has affected my wife's world.  My wife just hasn't told her what the root cause really is.  My wife needs to do this coming out in her time and on her terms.  She has already told me that it must be face to face and needs to be very private.  Either the two of them or the three of us where they can say what they need to say and express what they need to express without a public display.

Well that is her next move.  Meanwhile, I can begin to do all the gender marker and name change stuff.  That all requires action on my part.  That is good.  It is largely in my control.  Having a sense of control of something and something to do will help keep me out of trouble elsewhere.  Meanwhile, I have put what I need to say to my immediate family onto the back burner to simmer.  MY parents and my wife's parents are all gone.  I have two brothers, one older and one younger than I.  Five sisters, one older and four younger.  With a fundamentalist type religious background, I hold out little hope for any of them sticking by me.  But, I do need to do what I can to get the best outcome I can.

My "keep out of trouble" project (Am I really keeping out of trouble with this?) has begun.  I checked on my gender marker status on my Pennsylvania birth certificate.  Last time I looked I understood I needed SRS to have the marker changed.  No more!  All i need is a letter from my physician that states I have transitioned.  And the doctor defines what transition is.  There is a bit of a hurdle to get over, though.  My endo physician was an out of network provider who moved away from the area and left the group she was associated with in February.  The physician taking over her cases  had just gone out on maternity leave and is not yet back.  So, I have lost contact with one doctor and have not yet established a relationship with the other.  I have an in-network primary care physician who is aware of my transgender status.  She may be OK with handling the letter I need if I do all the necessary homework and turn it into her when I ask.  She may not and I wouldn't really blame her.  I don't even have my next appointment for a visit to my new physician for my endo needs.  I don't want to delay the birth certificate change if I can avoid it.  It may be possible to track down my former endo physician to get the letter from her.  All of this is predicated on the assumption that any of these three physicians believes that six months on HRT qualifies as "transition".

At the same time, I have to shepherd a name change through the system so it converges with my birth certificate change of gender.  I want hose done so I can do the driver's license and passport changes at the same time.

I think that should go a long way toward keeping the mind occupied.  Hope it doesn't take me 'round the bend.

By the way,  In doing my form searches for this "project" I ran across a couple of services for name change help.  One was NameChange.org.  They purport to help with a whole bunch of stuff related to name changes.  I had to fill out the whole application before I found out what their fee is.  $49 if memory serves.  That aggravated me a bit.  Anyway, has anyone use this or a similar service?  Was it helpful enough to justify the cost?

Heard enough yet?  I just scrolled up and saw how long this ramblin' got.  Sorry 'bout that but I did not know I had that many words in me.

Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 23, 2018, 02:52:05 pm
Something I was going to put in the prior reply but forgot when I moved on to other things.  Aren't you glad?

I my talk with my wife this morning, I told her of this metaphor I have in my mind that I use to guide my steps in my journey.  I envision us as a mountain climbers moving toward a summit.  I am in the lead and, tethered to me with a rope, is my wife , downslope from me.  I am selecting the pathway, she is hoping, trusting that I choose the best pathway.  I can go no faster than she can follow.  If she cannot overcome an obstacle, I can help her by pulling on the rope, my strength added to hers.  If she looses her footing, I pray the rope is strong enough to withstand the greatest stress upon it and I am firmly grounded enough to not loose my footing as well.

I thought it was a pretty good metaphor.  She thought she should be walking along side me.  I told her it was my metaphor.

Stevi 
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: PurpleWolf on March 23, 2018, 03:19:20 pm
Hi, I read your first post (and some of the last ones) but not the entire thread so sorry if I'm missing something here...

As for your daughter: I could console you with this: Just because you've had a rocky relationship with your younger daughter, doesn't mean this is going to be the same. Whatever is the reason that made her not wanting to keep contact is totally different to your other daughter who has very much been in your life so far. I've watched some interesting vids on kids of transgender parents and how they're coping with it. In one an adult daughter reconnected with her dad in her teens - only to discover her dad was actually transgender which came as a total shock. She ended up really needing some space and cut all contact for some years... After that she's come around and is developing a new relationship with her 'dad'. The vid is not available anymore, unfortunately. I think every case is unique - in her case she found it really hard to come to terms with all that, especially after getting her 'dad back' in her teens.

Just saying that... even if she needs some time - a lot of time, even a few years - there's still a chance she'll be fine with it in the end  :). Just don't compare her possible reaction to that of your younger daughter. There must be issues in your relationship with her that she's not able to overcome. Personality differences, unsolved grudges... This is totally different. You already have a good relationship with your older daughter. So her being shocked by the news doesn't mean she will cut all contact with you for 20 years to come like the other daughter did.

I'm just trying to say that... try not to think in 'what ifs' you know what I mean? It is very unlikely she will cut contact with you because of this, even if she's having a hard time understanding. In this case, she actually might need some time & space to come to terms with everything. I'm pretty sure she will be back in your lives after some time!

This is hurting you immensely - but from her point of view this might have come as a total shock, especially as you are her parent and she may have not been aware of any of this for all her life. To you this is all clear - to her, not so much.

Just try to avoid pressuring her and putting her in her sister's shoes! Both your daughters are two completely different people. The issues you've had with your younger daughter are irrelevant here. This is between you and your older daughter. A little bump in the road - but one I'm sure you're able to overcome!
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 23, 2018, 04:48:32 pm
PurpleWolf,

Thank you for taking the time.  Your words are encouraging.   I know my two girls are different.  My fear was loosing them both.  Maybe this one does not understand that I fear she is doing much the same thing, albeit for other causes, as her sister did to us and her as well.  In her mind she may not have intended to turn away in the end and expected and still expects to work it out.  Her way of handling it surprised us and to us and seemed to be a fulfillment of our greatest fear.

I have resolved to let her go for a while yet. Watch what happens.  Pray and hope for the best. I due course though, I have to proceed.  Either with her blessings or without her blessings.  I am playing it by ear and I hope I err on the side of patience and forgiveness.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 24, 2018, 12:39:12 pm
There is hope.

My wife was doing her Facebook thing and was pleasantly surprised by something posted by one of my sisters.  My sister had linked to https://www.facebook.com/NowThisNews/videos/1815477808483701/ (https://www.facebook.com/NowThisNews/videos/1815477808483701/) without any comment.  The content has to indicate that at least this sister is likely to be understanding of my need to transition.  There is still the "Not In My Back Yard" syndrome possibility but this is promising.  There is hope. :icon_dance:

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: PurpleWolf on March 24, 2018, 02:18:29 pm
There is hope.

My wife was doing her Facebook thing and was pleasantly surprised by something posted by one of my sisters. 

There is always hope,  ;)! That's great news!!!

I have resolved to let her go for a while yet. Watch what happens.  Pray and hope for the best. I due course though, I have to proceed.  Either with her blessings or without her blessings.  I am playing it by ear and I hope I err on the side of patience and forgiveness.
Yes, you must proceed. This is your life, after all, and this is the right thing for you. There is a chance she will be able to see the positive change in you and how good that makes you feel, and be happy for you  :D! Sometimes people just need time to process things. That doesn't mean she's 'cutting contact' or plans to do so - to her it might just mean she needs some space to reflect on things, before coming back to your lives. The girl on the vid I was talking about said similar. That it wasn't about her wanting to sever contact with her father - it was more about her, and her need to preserve her emotional well-being by just staying away for some time. She said it didn't mean she ever stopped loving her parent. She just wasn't emotionally ready to confront that situation at that time of her life. 
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 24, 2018, 03:04:46 pm
Been trying to do what I can to make progress without upsetting things too greatly in my wifes life while we bide our time for our daughter to come around.

I have become serious now about the name and gender marker changes.  I have searched around the internet to find the forms I need.  I have contacted the county clerk of courts to be sure of what I need for the name change.  There is some preliminary stuff I need to do before I can petition for a name change.  I need to get a report from both the FBI and the SBI.  Those two applications need a finger print card submitted along with them.  So that is my Monday morning project.  I will visit either the very local town's police station or the county police station to get my finger prints taken.  That is the bio-metric marker that those agencies use to search their databases for my criminal records.  I am sure they won't find much.  I have never run afoul of the law and I can't recall ever having my prints taken before.  My hope is to have those two applications in the mail by end of business on Monday.

After those two applications are on their way, I'll start on the other forms for the name change.  Most of it is boilerplate but I need two county residents to sign affidavits as to my character.  I am not a gregarious person so I have not made many friends around these parts.  An added complication is that the forms have the matter involved, that is, name change, on the forms.  That complicates things a bit.  It will mean that I may have to out myself to whomever I go to with these forms.  I am not ready to to do that yet, but I may have no choice.  Might have to go to more than two people before I get two who are "willing to participate" in my transition.  Not everyone in this North Carolina town is all that tolerant.  I have some options so i'll have to figure it out.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on March 24, 2018, 03:47:50 pm
Hope you get your paperwork processed. We need fingerprints as well but the letters can come from our doctor. It’s one of my future plans.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on March 24, 2018, 04:36:47 pm
Been trying to do what I can to make progress without upsetting things too greatly in my wifes life while we bide our time for our daughter to come around.

I have become serious now about the name and gender marker changes.  I have searched around the internet to find the forms I need.  I have contacted the county clerk of courts to be sure of what I need for the name change.  There is some preliminary stuff I need to do before I can petition for a name change.  I need to get a report from both the FBI and the SBI.  Those two applications need a finger print card submitted along with them.  So that is my Monday morning project.  I will visit either the very local town's police station or the county police station to get my finger prints taken.  That is the bio-metric marker that those agencies use to search their databases for my criminal records.  I am sure they won't find much.  I have never run afoul of the law and I can't recall ever having my prints taken before.  My hope is to have those two applications in the mail by end of business on Monday.

After those two applications are on their way, I'll start on the other forms for the name change.  Most of it is boilerplate but I need two county residents to sign affidavits as to my character.  I am not a gregarious person so I have not made many friends around these parts.  An added complication is that the forms have the matter involved, that is, name change, on the forms.  That complicates things a bit.  It will mean that I may have to out myself to whomever I go to with these forms.  I am not ready to to do that yet, but I may have no choice.  Might have to go to more than two people before I get two who are "willing to participate" in my transition.  Not everyone in this North Carolina town is all that tolerant.  I have some options so i'll have to figure it out.

Stevi

Wow Stevi, it doesn't seem like they make things easy. What's the state motto there? 'We help you even if we have to go kicking and screaming?' Oh, North Carolina, got it. Could you use a therapist as a reference?
Moni
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 24, 2018, 05:00:24 pm
Donna and Moni,

These affidavits are for the legal name change.  Not the gender marker related stuff.  The signers need to live in the same county as I do.  My neighbors, essentially.  They are attesting as to my character.  Thing is, the form has the reason I am seeking the character reference- a name change.  If they ask why a name change or to what new name I can't very well say it is none of their business, can I?  I won't lie to them.  If what I am doing goes against their grain, I am exposed.  A little scary but I guess I'll get through it.

I have begun attending a UU Fellowship in the nearest large community.  That group is not in my county but there may be a couple of my-county-residents attending that would be willing to help me out after they do get better acquainted with me.  I attended for the first time this past Sunday and found a very accepting group of people that seemed to be eager to get to know me.  I plan on going back again tomorrow.  I have some time to wait for the criminal reports to get back so I'll let that possibility mature a little.

Stevi.

PS Hope no one minds but I am going carry on with this as a sort of log.  So, it may at times look like I am talking to myself.  Don't hesitate to interrupt me, though.
PPS Moni, I just added your name and mine to the spellcheck dictionary so this computer doesn't think so badly of us. :)


Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 24, 2018, 08:04:29 pm
Our daughter has made contact.  Very promising.

She did dump quite a big load on us.   My revelation triggered an avalanche on her part about her issues from her childhood through the present.  Three very dense pages of words drenched in emotion and pain.  Now, the three of us have to work through a lot of failings, unrealized, (maybe, unrealistic) expectations, secrets and hurts.

There is much to do and the road will be long, rough and tearful, I am sure.

Hope lives,

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on March 25, 2018, 11:47:06 am
Stevi,
   Glad to hear that she made contact. It sounds like your coming out could potentially benefit her with resolving some of the issues that were lying beneath the surface for her. Hopefully you all can work through this without it getting  real ugly. It does show that you matter to her, even if it shows up as anger to start. I recommend you really  listen to her. If you get defensive and shut her down, it may go badly. Chances  are just her being able to express her thoughts will help.
   When I changed my name I had to publish it in the local paper. They asked why I wanted the name change in the paperwork. It was recommended that the best answer is to write, "Personal Preference." Don't know if that would be enough for a new neighbor or contact, but it might be worth a shot.
Moni
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 25, 2018, 03:38:15 pm
Moni,

Our daughter's letter has much in it that is accusatory.  I am trying hard to keep in mind that mostly, it stems from a difference in perspective and a lack of understanding of all the circumstances.  I am by nature a sympathetic, empathetic and forgiving person.  I will have no real trouble making the allowances I need to make.  My memory is not good enough to permit me to hold a grudge.  On the other hand, my wife takes things personally and is easily hurt and never forgets an offence or mistake.  That nature has been a problem in my transition (nothing is ever really over and done with but can be put back on the table at any time) and could be a problem with her dealing with this rough patch in her relationship with her daughter.  Sometimes, it is best to forgive, forget and move forward.

I just finished up an email to our daughter.  I tried to stay focused and be conciliatory in tone.  I am avoiding sounding like I am trying to "justify" myself while acknowledging that she has suffered much.  She dumped a lot on us and I cannot begin to address it all and do it well.  I am not sure I can do it well just a small piece at a time.

Your "Personal Preference"  reason has quite some merit. Thank you for that thought.

Have you come down from on top of the frig yet?

Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 26, 2018, 10:53:07 am
My mission for today was to get my finger prints and get the applications for the two criminal reports I need for my Name Change petition.  I ran into a couple of speed bumps.

First one was the local town police no longer take finger prints.  The officer I spoke with told me they no longer have an ink and roll'em station on site.  I have no idea what they do if they have to process someone that has done something particularly offensive. The officer told me that I would need to go into the county's law enforcement office to have them taken there electronically.  I told him I knew where that was located and thanked him for his help.  (I had a backup plan in place.) As I turned to leave, he returned a "You're welcome, Ma'am.

I was not presenting overtly female so it was unexpected.  But, pleasing.  I was in a  pair of jeans, red sweater with a light unzipped jacket.  My hard-to-manage Miss Clairol blondish hair is shoulder length and I had it more up around my face than pulled behind my ears.  Other than a detectable bust if you pay attention and a pair of small jeweled studs in my ears I was not really trying to tip the scale to the feminine side.  While I don't have a particular problem with gendering if I put in a bit of effort, this was encouraging.

After that dead end, I headed into the county office to hit another speed bump.  There, I quickly found out that they do the fingerprinting.  Just not on Mondays.  I need to go in on Tuesdays or Thursdays, 9 to 4.  Before I left I found out that their fee was $5.00 cash for the service.

All  the information about this has talked about using an official FD-285 finger print card.  My brief discussion with the first officer indicated that the fingerprints are now taken electronically and stored somewhere that I can access them.  I have to sort that out tomorrow when I intend to try again.

So, I am, from day one, already behind schedule.  :)

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 26, 2018, 05:45:33 pm
Had a couple of heating service guys come this afternoon.  I thought the heat pump was not performing as well as it should be.  As they were working on it, I hung around to watch over what they were up to and at the ready to turn things on and off as required.  I was still in my jeans and red sweater from my outing this morning but it was warmer so I had shed the jacket I had on earlier in the day.   I stood right beside them.  Chatted and joked.  Asked for explanations.  Once one of them had to get my attention.  He addressed me as Ma'am.  Later, as they were wrapping things up, I was on my way into the house to get my checkbook and I overheard one of them say to the other, "She went into get a check to pay for it."  Wow! Either these two North Carolina country workin' stiffs have given me a big dose of "Whatever floats your boat." or I am beginning to pull this off.  Either way, I'll take it.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 27, 2018, 03:23:13 pm
I took care of the finger prints today and got the two requests for review of my criminal records into the mail.

If anyone wishes to know, the fingerprinting was simple.  I stopped by the law enforcement facility in the county seat.  They digitally scanned my prints in a variety of groups and printed them out on their special card stock official form.  So, the online form I hunted down and printed out was not necessary.  I needed two copies and paid $5.00 each for them.

I assembled the request paperwork for the North Carolina SBI (State Bureau of Investigation).  The form is a simple half page request for the information.  It needed to be accompanied with a copy of my prints and a certified check or a money order in the amount of $14.00.  I stopped at the bank on the way home and obtained that.

I had to go back home before heading into the post office because I had made an error in my FBI report request.  There are two ways to get the FBI's report.  One is to directly request it from the FBI.  The other is to use what is called a channeler.  From what I read in my searches, it seems the channeler can get my report more quickly.  The cost is pretty much the same.  The channeler's services cost me $39.95.  They have some faster delivery options that you can pay extra for if you wish them.
 
After getting my corrections made I stopped by the post office and got the requests on their way.  The process is underway.

While I was out I had to make a stop to pay a bill.  I have been stopping by to pay this particular bill for a number of years and I always take a little time to chat with the two girls in the office when I do.  This time, I had additional business.  I decided I would approach them about the possibility of signing the "affidavits of character" for me.  I was completely open and above board about it all.  First, I asked if they were residents of the county I live in.  Check. I told them up front that I was OK with it if they could not do what I was going to ask them to do. (It is my belief that no one should be expected to violate their conscience, even if I disagree with the rational they use, unless they are doing real harm to someone else.)  I then told them I needed the affidavits as part of my legal name change and that my new name would be Stephanie Rushelle Jones. This was information on the affidavits they would be signing and have notarized.  They both happily agreed.  I left the forms with them.  One of the ladies is a notary and can take care of the form for the other.  But a notary can't notarize for herself so she will take the form to another notary.  I should be able to pick them up after Easter.  It is a relief and turned out to be no big deal.

Stevi,

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on March 27, 2018, 04:53:45 pm
Stevi,
   Yeah on the workmen gendering correctly. Yeah on getting the character references. For a while there I thought I was gonna have to move there to help you out. I can verify that you are indeed a character. Its funny how the things we  stress over sometimes turn out to be nothing, and the unexpected little things can drive you crazy.
Monica
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 27, 2018, 05:04:15 pm
Monica,

Are you really still on top of the fridge?  I thought you were out on parole.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 27, 2018, 07:33:55 pm
In keeping with the idea that this is my log, I feel I need to make an entry here about an email I sent off to my wife's pastor. "My wife's pastor" needs a bit of explanation.  We began attending the local Methodist church when we moved into this area about eight years ago.  Methodism is in my wife's upbringing.  I am not a Methodist but it was a place I could socialize.  Basically good, friendly people.  I attended with her.  With everything going on in our lives we just kinda stopped going.

I am seeing a real need for my wife to get out more so I decided to send an email off to the not-so-new pastor whom we have never met to get a feel for whether we could resume attending.  I revealed to him that I was transgender and asked questions of him about his personal take on my condition, the general conference's position and what the local congregation members might think of my wife returning to the fold with me, as I am, in tow.  The purpose of returning is to find a supporting, loving place.  No way are we looking for condemnation.  Neither are we looking to start a ruckus.

This morning I received a  reply.  It was not preachy as in fire and damnation.  He told me the Methodist General Conference has rule about the roles of homosexuals in the ministry and marriage rites.  There is a conflict going on within the conference about how to handle LGBTQ things going forward.  It is on some agenda to be dealt with next February.  There is little guidance in the rules of the church specifically regarding transgender.

The pastor's own views are that his role is to assist a person in a relationship with God.  Not to be the morality police for individuals or society at large.  He told me some of his grandson's homosexuality and his love for his grandson.  He says he believes all are of spiritual worth.  He believes God is able to bring about what God wants in people's lives.  So it seems he can be welcoming.  Not as sure he will be an staunch ally if things get tough, though.

He could not be as encouraging when it comes to the congregation. To his knowledge, the congregation had not been confronted by the issue of transgender people actually sitting in the church pews.  I cannot encourage my wife to step into a possible meat grinder so I will need more assurance about a warm reception in general.

I sent the pastor a reply with some thoughts in it but told him I would need to think this over and I would get back to him.  I am wondering if he might consider getting to know me a little better.  Maybe, some sermon or study that would prepare the congregation for a new challenge to their imitation of Christ in their lives.   A fear their response when the theoretical becomes the real.

Stevi


Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 27, 2018, 07:37:47 pm
I can't believe just how much I have had to say lately.  Even if I am talking to myself.  I finally see the day coming that I can just be.  I am taking steps that were daunting to even think about a short time ago.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Tommi on March 27, 2018, 07:58:28 pm
When Christians try to throw "God doesn't make mistakes," My thought is "then he must have made me transgender to help you learn compassion, love,a nd acceptance through diversity." :)
I have no faith, and it pisss me of when people use theirs to justify hate. I hope this turns out well, for you.
While it is sad that homosexuality is still such an issue, at least he's gendering you correctly ;)

Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 27, 2018, 10:11:07 pm
Tommi,

The "God does not make mistakes" declaration is so incredibly shallow.  I am a Christian, although I am a heretic in most of their opinions, and it pisses me off, too.

My effort to find a supportive Christian environment is going to be tricky.  I do not need the Christian environment but I do need to make connections with caring, compassionate people.  It is a shame that we need so hesitant and cautious in engaging with people who pride themselves in their "Christ-like love" for others.

I have also been exploring the Unitarian Universalist option.  Problem is the distance to travel to the nearest fellowship.  Makes it harder to frequently interact with members of that very accepting group.  The Methodist church is only a couple miles away and has more activities readily available to us for our participation.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 28, 2018, 08:04:54 am
I hope the moderators aren't put out by this post.  I don't want a lot of discussion about this either.  I just need to record, for myself, and let you all get to know a little better how my mind works.

A big reason I think "God does not make mistakes." is such a shallow mantra is that "God makes us all flawed by design."  When they say, "God does not make mistakes." what they are really saying is that there is something terribly wrong with me and it is my doing, not God's." The mantra does not even begin to correspond to reality. Think about it.  Whom do you know that is perfect in every way?  Many are born with severe physical or mental problems in which they had absolutely not choice.

No, we are all flawed in some fashion and to some degree.  Our flaws serve two purposes.  At least they should.  First, we should be humbled to know we are less than perfect.  We should be less certain that we know all the answers and more willing to consider that we might be mistaken.  Second, if we are aware that we, ourselves, are flawed and in need of sympathy, empathy, compassion, tolerance and help from others from time to time, we should be more able to be sympathetic, empathetic, compassionate, tolerant and helpful toward others when their needs arise.

It is sad, though, that so many, Christian and non-Christian, alike, are not able to learn those lessons.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Michelle_P on March 28, 2018, 09:17:15 am
Stevi, I hope someone doesn’t try the ‘God doesn’t make mistakes’ line on you.

I’ve had this pulled on me a few times.  My response is generally based on Matthew, “The Parable of the Talents”.

Quote
God does not make mistakes.  God does test us, and those around us, through His gifts.  He may grant us gifts to use in our lives, if only we can recognize them. What we do with those gifts matters.

Recall the "Parable of the talents".  A man going on a journey calls his three servants together.  He entrusts 5 talents (a talent is about 80 pounds of silver, roughly 20 years wages at the time.) to one servant he sees as being very able, 2 talents to a capable servant, and one talent to the third servant.  Then, he leaves.  The servant with 5 talents invests them, and makes another 5 talents.  The servant with 2 talents invests them, and earns another 2 talents.  The third servant buries his talent, fearful of risking it.   The man returns after a long period and settles accounts with them.  The first servant returns 10 talents, the original 5 plus the investment gain, and the man praises him, granting him a high position.  The second servant returns 4 talents, the original 2 plus the gain, and the man praises and promotes him as well.  The third servant returns the original talent he buried.  The man decries his wicked and slothful ways, takes the one talent from him and gives it to the servant with the 10 talents.  "For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.  And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Now, when I was created, I had a family that was fairly well off, a good home, and I would develop with an intelligent and curious mind, the potential for a good education, as a white male.  I think God looked at this and thought "OK, this one has it pretty easy, and needs a special challenge to fully develop.  I think I'll give this one the soul of a woman and see what they do with that."  God caused my mother and doctor to use a new medication, DES, that made my brain ready to receive a female soul.

Now, having been granted this gift, and realizing what I have, what am I to do with it?  Shall I bury it, hiding it from the light, so at the end of my days I can only return this gift, unused and uninvested?   Or should I bring this gift into the light of day, use it to it's fullest extent, to let it grow and flourish, for the benefit of myself and those around me, so I may return this gift manyfold at the end of my days?

Now, there are those who would have me bury it, suffer in silence, for this gift makes them uncomfortable.  At The End Of Days, they may very well be cast into the outer darkness.  In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Thank you, Jesuits!  ;)

Feel free to steal this post!  Now, I’ve had some minister types ‘strain at gnats’ with the line of argument, falling back to some of the Old Testament fire and brimstone.  We can always try to remind them that Jesus dis set the old laws aside when he gave us that mandate to love others, treat others as we would ourselves want to be treated.  Probably won’t work with someone who  selects Bible versus to back their predetermined mindset, but that’s life...
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Susan Baum on March 28, 2018, 09:44:30 am
I hope the moderators aren't put out by this post.  I don't want a lot of discussion about this either.  I just need to record, for myself, and let you all get to know a little better how my mind works.

A big reason I think "God does not make mistakes." is such a shallow mantra is that "God makes us all flawed by design."  When they say, "God does not make mistakes." what they are really saying is that there is something terribly wrong with me and it is my doing, not God's." The mantra does not even begin to correspond to reality. Think about it.  Whom do you know that is perfect in every way?  Many are born with severe physical or mental problems in which they had absolutely not choice.

No, we are all flawed in some fashion and to some degree.  Our flaws serve two purposes.  At least they should.  First, we should be humbled to know we are less than perfect.  We should be less certain that we know all the answers and more willing to consider that we might be mistaken.  Second, if we are aware that we, ourselves, are flawed and in need of sympathy, empathy, compassion, tolerance and help from others from time to time, we should be more able to be sympathetic, empathetic, compassionate, tolerant and helpful toward others when their needs arise.

It is sad, though, that so many, Christian and non-Christian, alike, are not able to learn those lessons.

Stevi
Stevi, your eloquence sent my socks across the room.
Those who have walked the paths that we walk have had to face our flaws as perhaps few others have the courage to do. While everyone's story and paths to self may differ widely, we have only arrived at this place after admitting to ourselves that we have to fix what is wrong.

I hope you and your elder daughter can reconnect. I know firsthand how excruciating it can be for them to shed the real or imagined wrongs parents inevitably inflict on their progeny in the name of love; my eldest's dump was an hour-long tirade that culminated with her foot into my rump at the head of a (thankfully short) stairway! No I was not physically hurt and my love for her has never wavered but some of my anguish yet remains when I recall the incident.

Hugs
Susan
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 28, 2018, 10:20:00 am
Michelle,

I don't ever intend to engage in trying to rebut such shallow thinkers other than telling them they are idiots and get back to me when they have actually thought through what they just said.

I, as well, have concluded that my condition is for good.  It has caused me great travail in my life but it has, also, brought me to a place of great compassion for all others, even those that would do me harm.  I may even be able to soften some hearts and educate some minds by exposing them to someone who they know, first hand, has been a god person when I finally do go fully public.

I have long since moved beyond the "letter of the law" to the "spirit of the law" as encapsulated in Jesus's two great commandments and powered by an involuntary, inevitable response to grace.  Love received is amplified and spread abroad.  As inevitable as the response of the apple when its stem can no longer resist the strain.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 28, 2018, 11:40:51 am
Susan,

Thank you for your expression of appreciation.

We have searched within as few people ever do.  I am aware that some of us make some really bad choices.  Who doesn't at one time or another?  But, it is insulting to me, when others, who haven't got the first clue, presume to let us know just what it is we should do about it all.

Our daughter did make a couple of exchanges of emails but I fear she has shut down again.   She seems to have been content to dump on us but unwilling to do the work of addressing the issues.  I will give her more time to process.  Patience, Stevi, patience.  Tomorrow is my 68th birthday.  I wonder what she will do with that.  Be prepared for a rant the day after tomorrow as I am not terribly hopeful.  You have all been warned.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Susan Baum on March 28, 2018, 03:57:22 pm
Stevi,
From one 1950 model to another Happy Birthday. and don't let your daughter upset the day. It is your day to celebrate, so do it!  :o The advantage we have is we are not as apt to be carded when we order an adult beverage  ;)

Susan
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 28, 2018, 04:35:21 pm
Susan,

Thanks for the birthday wishes.  Around here, with liability issues and zealous enforcement, everyone is carded.   Give a girl a break, will ya, for cryin' out loud.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on March 28, 2018, 06:34:24 pm
Stevi,
   I am an atheist. I have the idea that Jesus was a man who preached tolerance and hung out with the misfits of his time. I know it is probably not that simple but it works for me. I am a big fan of the underdog. I respect any person in any religion who respects others. My partner went to the UU church and they were very open minded. I like them because they are people centric not rule centric. When I came out, I had in mind that the religious folks would have a hard time with me. I was very wrong. I work with many people at my job. There were some who I could tell were uneasy with my change of gender presentation. The thing is, they tended to stay that way if I was not around them much. As soon as I interacted with them, they realized I was no longer a label but a person trying to take care of our kids and just make it through life as myself. They loosened up. I think if you went to that church you would probably find many supportive and others who could use their eyes opened. If you chose to be that unicorn in the middle of  bunch of regular people, you can have a positive effect. I guess I am rambling a bit here. Happy Birthday!
Moni
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on March 28, 2018, 06:41:02 pm
As for the fridge, I have been having the irresistible urge to get little branches and twigs and carry them up there. It is starting to form a nice circular shape. I think I might be pregnant. Also have a craving for worms lately.  :P
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: echo7 on March 28, 2018, 09:25:40 pm
Stevi, this has been a long read, but I've really enjoyed reading about your experiences here. Thank you for continuing to share.  And Happy Birthday tomorrow.  :)
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 28, 2018, 10:40:32 pm
Moni,

When is the clutch due?

Thanks for the birthday wishes,

I have attended the UU Fellowship twice, now.   My wife accompanied me last Sunday.  We have found them to be a very accepting collection of people.  Their focus is, I think, to be mutually supportive of one another based on more than a naturalistic foundation.  Our experience shows that the UU is safe for us.  It would be a no-brainer if they were not a 40 min drive each way.  Extra activities are not very so there is not a lot more than the Sunday meeting.

I am still trying to sort out the possibilities of the local Methodist congregation.  I will need to interact with them to some extent whether my wife and I attend services or not.  It is our local community, after all.  Should we circle around the edges or wade into the thick of things by sitting among them on Sunday mornings.  I think I need the engagement of frequent interpersonal interactions and working together for common goals.  My wife needs it too but I am not sure she is able to take the risk of rejection, face to face.  I still do not have a good handle on how great the risk is.

I told the pastor in my last email to him that I need to think about the situation more and that I would get back to him.  Still thinking.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 28, 2018, 10:43:55 pm
echo7,

Thank you, as well, for your birthday wishes and the expression of appreciation for my ramblings.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 29, 2018, 09:47:43 pm
It's my birthday, today.  I now have 68 years of wear.  Got well wishes from a number of family and friends, mostly through Facebook.  After an unusually pleasant conversation with my wife's niece, we decided to visit her for this Easter weekend.  We had been contemplating visiting her but we were having trouble making a decision.  We have been trying to help her out with her cars, housing and finances in general for a while.  It has been emotionally draining for us since all our efforts have seemed to make little difference in her outlook.  Anyway, she called to wish me a happy birthday and her voice was actually cheerful and after a a little conversation it was evident that her outlook was much improved since our last conversation.  So, we hurriedly put together a couple of bags and left for Atlanta with a stopover at Pedro's South of the Border Tourist Trap for the night.

After checking in for our stay, we climbed back into the van to move around to our room.  Well, the engine cranked well but absolutely refused to fire.  I lifted the hood to look for the obvious but the obvious wasn't to be seen.  I could not dig in too deep as I was dressed in a light green sweater and the brightest, whitest jeans you are ever likely to see.  So I had the hotel security guy call a mechanic that was not far away.  In only a couple of minutes a couple of guys with flatbed arrived to help two damsels in distress, (They addressed me as Ma'am, repeatedly.) and soon had the van loaded up.  An hour or so later I called to find out what the prognosis was.  It appears to be the fuel pump quit.  Should have the van back before checkout time in the am.  That seems to be promising.  Not cheap but could have been a timing belt.

After getting settled into the room, my wife and I roamed around the tourist trap for a bit on our way to one of the restaurants on the property.  While waiting for our meal to come out, my wife and I talked some about how to handle the communication situation with our daughter.  We were at a loss to figure out what is the best approach.  All that we could decide is that we didn't know how to best handle it.  Having that conversation was an improvement.  My wife has been sullen fir the last week. Then the best thing happened. Our daughter called!   Instead of some ring tone my phone announces who it calling.  So, I knew before I got the phone out who it was.  Speak of the devil.  The first words out of her mouth were a very cheerful, "Happy Birthday, Daddy."  As we walked back to our room, I chatted with our daughter about my day and the present travel adventure, her day and a boy relationship dilemma she has currently (That last might just be a first.), some planning for a scheduled December cruise for the three of us, some health issues she and her mother have in common, she complained about me passing early gray hair on to her and her mother passing the health problems on to her, I joked that what I passed on to her is easily fixed with a couple of bottles, etc..  I repeated my thanks for her birthday wishes and we said our "I love you."s  and I passed my phone over to my wife and they had a long pleasant conversation about some of the same and some other things.  A most welcome turn of events.  I am concerned that she may now be avoiding the elephant in the room, but I am going to take it.  I'm happy right now.

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on March 30, 2018, 08:47:19 am
Stevi,
   I have a thought. When all else fails, honesty is the best policy. Consider sending her a note saying that you know she is having a hard time with what you told her. Tell her that you want to be there for her, you want to work through the things that bother her, but that you are not sure of the best way to do that. Ask for her help in how to resolve things. I tend to think that that approach respects her opinion, involves her in the decision making process and helps it not become 'the topic that shall not be mentioned.'  Then again, what do I know? I spend most of my time trying to hatch these damn eggs on my fridge.  ;D
Moni
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 30, 2018, 09:24:54 am
Moni,

I like your thinking.   I'll see what I can do to implement some version of it.

Now as to those eggs.  Pregnancy is surely a taxing experience but when those little chickies emerge, it is shear joy.  Just to put that statement in some perspective, I delivered my first born 49 years, 2 months and 1 day ago.  Cut the cord and was the first to hold the precious little girl.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on March 30, 2018, 09:44:46 am
Stevi,
   Hope it helps.
   I have cut the cord on my two sons, the first being 31 years ago. It is, as you say, pretty amazing. As for the eggs, you don't think it matters that I got them from inside the refrigerator, do you. They warmed up real nice. Sure talking a long time to hatch though.  :laugh:
Moni
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 30, 2018, 10:26:42 am
Moni,

When it comes to the little chickie's, never give up. 😀

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northstar on March 30, 2018, 10:31:43 am
Hi Stevi, and a belated Happy Birthday to you!  ;D

Regarding your Methodist church --  you might contact your local PFLAG central office and ask if they have any Transgender folks who are trained and willing to do a "shared pulpit" presentation, where they give half the sermon and the preacher gives the rest.  We've had good experiences hereabouts with our local PFLAG speakers.  {{{HUGS}}}
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 30, 2018, 11:07:25 am
Northstar,

Thanks for that thought.  I am still trying collect my thoughts on all of that situation. Some kind of a cooperative presentation  to the congregation is one possibility.  I do not know if the pflag is the source but there may be some other pastor in the area with more first hand experience with the plight of transgender individuals that would be willing.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 30, 2018, 06:37:45 pm
Happy birthday to me. I got a new fuel pump for the van and second night's stay at Pedro's South of the Border Tourist Trap because it took until nearly 5 pm to get done "before checkout".  :). They didn't say which day's checkout.

On a brighter note, I repaid our daughter for giving me a big smile last night by having some flowers delivered to her. It was made up of sun-shiny flowers in a happy face emoji style mug.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on March 30, 2018, 09:24:25 pm
Pedro says, "Pay de car beal!" Been past that place a million times and never stopped. Wonder what Hispanic folks think of those bill boards.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 02, 2018, 02:58:00 pm
I "Payed de car beal!" sand got under way the next morning.

Been out of touch for a couple days.  No Internet at my wife's niece's place.  I am sponging off Wendy's free WiFi to check on things a little.

Been in male (as male as I get these days) mode for the last couple days.  Since the niece works through the night and will not be home yet, I will be leaving in the am, very early, in a dress and put together a little upscale for the trip back home.  I have been a little out of sorts for a few days, according to my wife.  I will be glad to get back to my normal.

Won't be at home long,  Have to do a two day trip to Wilmington, NC for a Pflag meeting Thursday night and the wife and I both have therapy sessions on Friday and I go to a group session in the evening for me.  Then it is back here to the niece's place for a week.

Just checking in.  Need to go see if I can track down Laurie's Lorry, now.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 05, 2018, 07:28:54 am
Uggh!  I am feeling overwhelmed.  Talked with our daughter last night for a little while.  The conversation went well.  I did not intend to delve into the thick of my transition and its effect on her life.  My reason for the call was to plan for a block of time to do some renovations on her condo.  I am hoping to pull up the carpet in the living room and dining room and put down some kind of flooring.  She has a cruise scheduled from the 28th to the 6th of May.  I thought I could get to her place a few days ahead so she can select materials and I could make the mess while she is away.

I feel the need to discuss some things with our daughter but I do not get the sense she is ready yet.  I know she has resumed her therapy and has an appointment scheduled for the 25th.  I have had some pleasant conversations with her but I feel like I am on pins and needles.

So, today we go to Wilmington for a Pflag tonight, therapy sessions tomorrow with group in the evening and on Saturday morning we are headed out for another round at my wife's niece's place.  Have to be back by Monday the 16th for an optometrist appointment for me, (will probably need to schedule cataract surgery) and my wife has jury duty anytime during that week.  Won't know until the evening before if she needs to show up the next day or not.  Then I have to squeeze in a trip to New Jersey to do some long over due programming work.  I have been trying to do it remotely and it has been one hiccup after another.  Need to go there and just deal with it.  Then my daughter's renovations.  Then eye surgery, probably.  For various reasons it will mostly be in male mode.  Taxes need to be finished up in the middle of all that mess.

Then to top it off, I was taking some compost out to the pile and after I used the faucet to rinse out the container, it refused to stop dripping.  Can't leave for a long stint with that so I have to deal with that some way.  Not hard, just need to make a plan.  Feeling a little inundated, I walked into my wife's den and she says "What's the matter?!?!" It wasn't the question that angered me.  It was the tone.  I am sacrificing myself for her and her's and I don't get one bit of sympathy.  I pushed it all back in my mind and let it be.  She really did not want to hear the answer to that question right now.

Anyway, I can just turn the water off when we leave and deal with the valve when I get back in about ten days but I think I am going to run down to the local hardware and pick up a washer.  I feel like I need to actually accomplish something, no matter how small it may be.

Time's a wastin',
Stevi

PS Could not get just a washer .  Had to buy a kit for 8.59 which they did not have.  New valve cost 5.79.  What a world.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on April 05, 2018, 07:12:31 pm
Stevi, going back and forth between gender presentations is a real bummer. Hang in there, at least your girl is talking now. It is hard to know how hard and when you talk about the elephant in the room.
Moni
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 06, 2018, 08:43:59 am
Things are a bit hard for me to figure out, right now.  I do not know what our daughter is expecting.  In her diatribe right after I came out to her, she expressed resentment that I/we did not share with her sooner than this.  That timing was a calculated decision on our part.  If, perchance, I found a way to "beat" this or live with it in private, I would have carried it to my grave.  She would never had needed to know.  When my wife and I finally decided I needed to go 24/7 and she could/would try to live that life with me, the first person we let know was our daughter and we did it as soon as we could do so in person.  I don't know if I could have done it any other way.

Now, I have important information to pass on to our daughter and I don't know what  she wishes me to do.  I have begun the process of changing my legal name.  She really needs to know that soon my name will be changing and what I am changing it to.  She does not give me the sense that any of this is something she wants to talk about right now.  But I can't wait too long or I'll get more blow-back when I finally do.

This has really been hard for me to navigate.  All these uncharted waters.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on April 06, 2018, 05:41:54 pm
Sorry Stevi, for the distress  you are dealing with. Your daughter is gonna go through stages, anger at it being kept a secret is a common early stage. It is probably very disorienting for the world as she knew it. Hopefully she will move to a thought process of trying to figure out how it will work in her world. If you have had a strong bond with her up til now it can be a big advantage in that your bond will carry you through. On the other hand, a strong bond can make it hard for her to adjust the image she has of you. With my oldest, I saw him surface accept me, get angry at himself for not being totally accepting, and finally come to terms with things. He felt very guilty for withholding that acceptance at first. I knew something was wrong and kept asking if he was okay until he told me to stop asking. I waited til he worked it out. Later he came to see me when I had GCS. He was very afraid he might lose his Dad with that serious operation. The night before we had a most memorable night. He asked to leave our little get together to be alone with me. My other son soon joined us outside looking up at the stars, talking. He told me that he would always remember that night with his Dad. We cried and hugged and just sat together. It was so sweet. I guess my point is, this is so emotional for kids, even if grown. It is a process they must go through. They are both very accepting now. I do worry that it will be another big adjustment for them when I get boobs this summer. It is not an 'out of sight, out of mind' kind of thing like the other surgery. With time, it will be accepted, I think.
   Stay strong, Girl!
Moni
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 06, 2018, 09:50:02 pm
Moni,

Thanks for sharing your experiences with your sons.  I am glad for you that in the end it worked out.  I understand the wisdom in giving them time and space.  It is encouraging to know it can and does work out well.  I know the YMMV bit but every ray of hope is welcome.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 06, 2018, 10:06:20 pm
I was out with my wife today.  We had our therapy appointments at 1:00.  Before the appointments we did a little thrift store browsing and after the appointments we went out to Olive Garden for a late lunch.early dinner.  Three different times I got complimented on the dress I was wearing.  It was a plain denim dress that followed my shape from the waste up quite well.  It was a bit looser on the hips but overall gave me a pretty good looking figure.  I really appreciated the compliments and my wife took note of them.  She commented about them, approvingly.

I think I mentioned some recognition of my womanhood up thread.  That was affirming as were today's complements.  Still, there is this nagging in the deep parts of the mind that says that people are being kind inspite of what they are seeing.

I really wish I had an honest evaluation of how I am seen by others.  I do think, though, as time goes on, that I am less and less concerned about passing or blending and more and more content to be treated as a woman by others irregardless of what others actually see.

Stevi,
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 06, 2018, 10:22:00 pm
Oh, the therapy session.  It went OK.  Most all of it was dedicated to our daughter's diatribe.  This is the first time I have seen my therapist since before I came out to our daughter.  The thoughts and advice I received pretty much mirrored what you girls have already given me.  Give our daughter some more time and if she doesn't reopen the discussion on both my transition and her issues with us for our parenting in some reasonable time frame, I will need to approach her in a manner that goes pretty much like the one Moni has outlined.  I had already started on composing my thoughts along that line.  Tricky part is determining what a reasonable period of time is.

My wife gave me a jab as we both exited our sessions at the same time.  I was wiping a few tears from eyes and she quipped that she hadn't shed a tear this time around implying I was being such a girl about things.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on April 07, 2018, 05:57:49 am

My wife gave me a jab as we both exited our sessions at the same time.  I was wiping a few tears from eyes and she quipped that she hadn't shed a tear this time around implying I was being such a girl about things.

Stevi

Did you tell her to "woman up" that when the going gets tough, the tough are strong enough to cry?  :P

Wait, maybe it was a statement that she didn't need to cry due to her being in a better place. Could be!
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: KathyLauren on April 07, 2018, 06:34:11 am
Still, there is this nagging in the deep parts of the mind that says that people are being kind inspite of what they are seeing.
...
I do think, though, as time goes on, that I am less and less concerned about passing or blending and more and more content to be treated as a woman by others irregardless of what others actually see.
I think you just answered your own nagging doubt.  It doesn't matter what people see.  If they are being kind, go with it.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 09, 2018, 09:41:18 pm
Moni and Kathy,

A quick thank you.  I am in an internet black out zone and only have a minute to check on things, here.

I'll be back.  Soon, I hope, but some day , certainly.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Julie -2010 on April 09, 2018, 09:59:36 pm
Stevi,

  I feel for you.  I'm on the beginning path that you have already gone down.  How will my wife handle it if the kids cut us off.  How will my kids handle it.  They seem real open but this is their dad not a friend or just someone they know.

  I've pondered this long enough that I need this no matter what.  That is so hard to say.  I don't want to lose my wife and kids but I also want to be happy.  I still have the guilt that I've put my family in this situation and very much blame myself.  Yes my therapist is helping on not beating myself up so much.

  Sometimes I would just like to move away (with my wife) and live how I want to live.  The kids will be fine, my family and friends will be fine and life goes on.  But that would be really hard of my wife and I know it is not the way to go.

Good luck.  I hope your daughter comes around.

Julie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 14, 2018, 09:22:43 pm
Finally got out of the internet blackout zone.   I have now got to recall some of what has been transpiring as of late.

But first, up thread I mentioned, more than once, I believe, that my wife an I befriended a trans-woman back in December.  It was while were doing a "family cruise" with our daughter.  We, subsequently got to know this woman quite well and really enjoyed being with her.  She was a great help for my wife.  She was an example of a trans woman who was enjoying life.  She was funny, extroverted and had a "This is who I am.  I like it.  If you don't, to h**l with you." approach to living.  This morning, we got a call from a mutual friend.  We learned that our new, but close friend had passed from a massive stroke.  In four short months she had made an incredible contribution to my wife's and my own life.  Her passing has left a huge whole in our souls that shall never be filled.

Rachael, thank you for allowing us to have been a part of your life and for all the help and support you were to both of us.  It was a joy to have known you. You will be sorely missed.

We love you,
Stevi and Penny
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 14, 2018, 09:48:48 pm
Julie,

Getting to where we need to be can be really hard.  Finding the compromise that gets all the parties involved what they need for the relationships to continue can be really hard.  It may be, in the end, impossible.  I have been slowly working through this for about ten years now.  First it was me all alone, experimenting just to figure out where I fit on the spectrum.  Just how deep and swift was this current I found myself in.  Then six years ago, I came out to my wife.  In reality I brought her into the closet with me.  Better for me.  Hard for her.  That is where our friendship with Rachael was of such help.  She finally had a friend who understood the trans-plight and was more than willing to help her.  Someone with whom she did not have to guard every word.  A source of pertinent information from a real live person.

When we see what our trans-plight does to those we love, it is natural to suffer pangs of guilt.  There is something going on in us that is not fathomable by "normal" people but it is not something that is intentional on our part.  We need not feel guilt for being who we are.  However, we need to manage our relationships as lovingly as possible.  That is something we have control over and we should do our best to be loving and compassionate in the process of finding the best solution for all concerned.

Yea, believe me, running away has crossed my mind on more than a few occasions.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 14, 2018, 10:14:09 pm
On a more positive note.

On our way out of town a week ago, I stopped by to pick up my affidavits of character.  One was done, but the one that needed to be done out of the office by another notary, was not yet done.  While there, though, I had her notarize an affidavit from me that declares I have no outstanding tax obligations, no child support obligations and not sexually offensive a sex offender.

When I got the mail for the first time since we left a week ago, I found the both the FBI and the NC SBI reports that I need for my name change petition.  Neither agency could find any record of having run afoul in their systems.  It seems there is no one in their systems with my finger prints.

So, I have one notarized affidavit as to my character to pick up.  Then, I need to check with the county clerk of courts to see if I need anything else.  The next step is a ten day posting at the courthouse of the notice to petition for a name change.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on April 14, 2018, 11:24:07 pm
Sorry to hear about your new friend. It’s hard to loose someone even if you have only known them for a short time.
Glad your paper work is coming together.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on April 15, 2018, 08:04:58 pm
Stevi,
   So sorry about your loss. Some people pop into our lives and make a huge difference in no time at all. This has happened to me. It hurts.
   Hoping the paperwork is coming together for you. Hugs.
Moni
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 16, 2018, 07:27:58 am
Donna and Moni,

Thanks for you condolences.

Rachael was to first trans person I have befriended, in person, that I actually knew was trans.  I have met some others but I have not made any real connections with them.  I will need to work on that.

I have gotten to know of many of you sisters here on Susan's quite well.  It has been great fun watching some of the antics orbiting Laurie's Lorry.  I have been keeping a close eye on some of the other journal style threads here, such as Michelle's, Rachel's, "The Roll Show!" and the progress and travails of so many others.  I see great people having a great time, lovingly, teasing each other.  I see so much support and encouragement spread around.  Still, I feel as though I am just an outside observer.  I have the sense that most anything I have to say is just noise.

Many of you have been most supportive as I have been chronicling my experiences here these past couple of months.  It is most appreciated.  I just do not feel the same bond that I had with Rachael.  Not yet.  I am sure it will come with time, if I keep engaged.  Building meaningful relationships with others has always been a weakness of mine.

Thanks for all that everyone has done for me.

Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 16, 2018, 08:20:14 am
Life is still busy.  I have submitted my taxes.  Not the last minute but probably as late as I have ever done them.  Usually that job gets done before March roars in.  I have bunch of obligations to fulfill over the next month or so.  Wednesday, my wife and I hope to attend Rachael's funeral.  My wife has jury duty this week.  Their system is that she needs to call this evening to find out if she is needed to show up tomorrow.  If she is needed we won't know if she will be selected so we don't know if Wednesday is free for her.  We are going to see if we can short circuit that whole thing when I go to the courthouse today to proceed with my name change.  I hope I can get my notice for the name change posted today.

Yesterday we had a pleasant conversation with our daughter.  She seems to be doing OK.  She has had a couple of therapy sessions and says she is in a good place.  She is still unsure what her feelings will be when we are face to face.  I am struggling with just how to present when she next sees me.  I do not want to overwhelm her.  Yet, I don't want to hide my new found light under a bushel any longer, either.  Our next face to face is not far off.  I have committed to doing some renovation work on her condo for her while she is doing a cruise.  We are trying to get everything in place so we can travel to our daughter's immediately after the funeral.  So, it looks like she will see me on Thursday.

Got things to do today and tomorrow.  I have a chronic coolant leak in the van somewhere between the engine and the firewall so I want to drop that off at my service place and see if it can be fixed before I need to leave on Wednesday morning.  I have an optometrist appointment.  I am watching a developing cataract and it might be time to schedule surgery for that.  Then, I need to get the name change notice up, if possible, otherwise, it will be two or three weeks before I am back in town to get it posted.  Then there is packing for the trip.

While we are traveling up our daughter's way, I need to go to my employer's location to get some programming relate work started.   I have been trying to do this remotely but I have been a nightmare.  I need to get the physical system properly laid out and the basic software platforms installed.  After that, I should be able to complete the project remotely.

My wife's sister has been having serious health issues lately and we need to try to see her while we are thatr close.

The next step in my coming out process is for my wife and I to sit down with her very best friend, face to face, and let her know what is going on.  You all know how stressful and uncertain that process is.  My wife and this friend exchange emails daily and confide in each other about everything, except my transness.  The need for my wife to protect "my truth to tell" from her friend has been a great burden on my wife.  It means she often has to be cryptic and secretive when she bitches about me.  But, now, that we have determined that we are moving forward to 24/7 womanhood for me and our daughter has been told, this friend is the next that needs to know.  This is our first opportunity, in person, to do that since we told our daughter.  Wish us well.

There is one other person that need to be told in person.  After that it will be a family and friends, general broadcast.

Never a dull moment.

Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: KathyLauren on April 16, 2018, 08:43:45 am
So sorry to hear about your friend Rachael.

I wonder if your wife can get excused from jury duty because of the funeral.  When I served jury duty, the judge excused people for similar reasons.  YMMV, of course.

Good luck coming out to your wife's friend.  It gets easier.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 16, 2018, 12:19:26 pm
Kathy,

Thank you.

I am sure she will be excused.  The timing is a bit tight.  We won't know until shortly before we should be getting underway.  Just makes for more uncertainty at an overall bad time.  It will work out.

I am very hopeful that all will go well with coming out to my wife's friend.  Just more uncertainty to deal with.  For myself, the outcome is not that terribly important.  Sure, I do not want to loose a friend.  The real burden, for me, is the possibility of my wife loosing her very best friend or even just having that relationship strained through no fault of her own, but, because of me.

In many ways, this whole business seems so one-sided.  I am getting what I need, although, I have compromised in some ways and progressed more slowly than I would have liked.  But she seems to be getting nothing more than a continued relationship with me which is what she has always had.  I was not mean and nasty or disengage or constantly depressed.  I was "misplaced." I was always a good provider and a faithful husband.  Our marriage has had its problems but we always worked them though.  She has had to struggle through my trans-plight mostly on her own.  She was not even able to confide in her best friend.  She has been seeing a therapist and that has been a help.  Our friend was such a significant part of her support system.  None of her support is close at hand.  Therapy, group and Pflag are all more than two and a half hours away for us.

Just venting, a bit

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on April 16, 2018, 10:15:14 pm
It is so much the story for our SO. We need this and we become better people for it but they are losing the love of their lives even if we never really leave the room.
It is such a conundrum to deal with. We can all hope that caring and loving and compassion win out in the end and they see us for the true spirits we are.
Friends and family can throw up such road blocks just with their comments that it makes it even harder for our SO to wrap their heads around it as is the case with my wife and her youngest son (43) and his wife.
They blame me for putting my wife in a terrible situation when they haven’t even spoken to us as a couple. They don’t have a clue that we are more open and talking than ever before and  besides my changes happier as well. If they would sit and listen and visit they would see a loving couple, girlfriends and best friends.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 17, 2018, 07:01:13 am
Donna,

My wife and I have not had a lot of push-back, yet from anyone.  Mostly, I suppose, because we have not come out, as yet, to many of the more important people in our lives.  I think I will find that some are OK, even supportive.  Many are likely to be aghast and shun me/us.  We am prepared to accept their decision.  We do not depend on them all that much, anyway.  We do not see them all that often.  I think I dread the most, those who think their knowledge and wisdom is so superior to my own in this that they know better than us just how we should be handling it.

I have spent much of the last ten years examining my transgender nature under the microscope of my worldview.  I have adjusted that worldview microscope to bring newly discovered details into focus.  My wife and I have cried many a tear while trying to define our needs and desires for our future.  And some think they have stumbled across the essential fact about a subject which they absolutely nothing about that trumps it all.  Yea, right!

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 17, 2018, 03:35:53 pm
Yea!!!!!

Notice of petition for my name change is posted.  I should officially be Stephanie Rushelle Jones on the 30th of April if the County Clerk of the Superior Court of Pamlico, NC looks at his calendar on that day.  That is the first business day after the 10 day notice period.  I hope he checks his calendar first thing that morning.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on April 17, 2018, 05:09:43 pm
Stevi,
   It is getting exciting! Or is it Stephanie now?
   It has always come back to this for me. You (person that I am telling) know your life, I know mine. I don't have a choice in what I am doing (transitioning.) It is a chance for my happiness versus certain pain and torment. You have no right to judge me unless you have dealt with dysphoria yourself. I will help you to adjust as best I can, give you information, answer questions, but don't condemn me for doing what must be done. There is no one who tried to run from this more than me. If I know anything, I know there is no running from this, no cure, no religious miracle that will change my reality. Of course, I then bend over backwards to help others deal with this, especially family. I was the youngest of 5 kids. I fully expected my siblings to question what  I said about being trans. They accepted the facts as I presented them. I was surprised and pleased.
Moni
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 17, 2018, 07:28:11 pm
Moni,

You can call me Stephanie, you can call me Stevi. Just don't call me Stephen!

My memory is very bad.  My childhood memories are sparse and probably very unreliable, but I recall at about the age eight that I wrote my name as Stephanie on a piece of paper that survived for about ten more seconds.  Dreams do, sometimes come true.

Moni, you are a wordsmith.  I love the way put together those thoughts for an answer to  your naysayers. I am sure you won't mind if I use them as a basis for retort of my own when the need might arise.  O.k.?

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 17, 2018, 07:39:26 pm
I am lying here on the bed catching up on my thread while my wife,while sitting at the desk over in the corner, is reading through it from the beginning.  So far, no ranting or streams of tears.

Oops, she just turned to me and commented on reply 32.  I will have to review what I said back there.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 17, 2018, 08:10:38 pm
We are in a hotel room in Wilmington for tonight and tomorrow night. My wife got excused form jury duty.  It was early enough in the day that we decided to come down this way today rather than leave early in the morning to get to our dear friend's funeral service.  The trip from home to here is about three hours.  Being here tonight makes it much less stressful.  We have had a good dinner out and a swim in the pool and a soak in the hot tub.

Now I have enough time to drop by the clinic in the morning, early, and get my blood samples taken.  The order was placed by my former physician at the time of my last visit.  I am hoping to set up an appointment with a new physician while I am at the clinic.

Now, with my name change hearing completion, I need to establish a connection with my replacement physician.  Besides the care and the new prescriptions, I need to see about a letter for my gender marker change on my Pa birth certificate.

Thursday morning we are heading to Alexandria and our daughter's for our first in person interaction since the events that precipitated this thread.

What a time of mixed emotions.  Sorrow for the loss of our friend, happiness for another milestone on my journey and apprehension about the approaching meeting with our daughter.   

Rachael said it will be alright.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 18, 2018, 03:20:42 pm
We attended the funeral of our dear friend this morning.  She was properly respected  and celebrated for all that she was.

Maybe you would like to get a glimpse of this extraordinary person.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2_fvRHXVUM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2_fvRHXVUM)

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on April 18, 2018, 04:37:18 pm
Stevi,
   Thanks for sharing this. She sounds like she was pretty wonderful. I am inspired by her words. I have a couple of doctors who routinely have students who come in with them. I think maybe I will speak to them for now on and maybe, in a small way, advocate for quality care for trans folk or maybe ask if they have questions of me. Open a dialog with the doctors of the future so to speak!
   If you relate to something I said, feel free to use it, Stevi. I think the further along I am in my new life, the less I am feeling guilt and any need to apologize for being me. It took a while to realize that I have every right to be me. I hope you will stay strong in being who you are, enjoying who you are. It is pure immaturity for people to reject us on the basis of being trans.
Moni
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on April 18, 2018, 05:45:19 pm
That is a great idea Happy. The more positive info we can get out into the health care profession the better future trans people will have it. We really need way more doctors and allies in health care just to reduce wait times.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on April 18, 2018, 06:09:30 pm
That is a great idea Happy. The more positive info we can get out into the health care profession the better future trans people will have it. We really need way more doctors and allies in health care just to reduce wait times.
Thanks Donna. My friends call me Moni. I have been extremely lucky with health care professionals. The only unusual things to have happened to me were positive. Two different nurses confided to me that they were  lesbian, but unfortunately closeted. I was honored with their trust in me. Sad that they were closeted though!
Moni
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on April 18, 2018, 06:18:40 pm
I love talking with health care people. They are so willing to listen and learn. I have had major issues since I broke my back in 1984 and all my experiences except one have been a positive learning lesson for me.
I’ve been studied and part of studies and never minded helping out with info. There are lots of medical related things I can tell doctors about for after the fact. They know the immediate and the cause and effect. They don’t know the copping struggles afterwards.
I had one doctor derail and screw me because he was too stupid to figure out what was going on. His solution to being stumped was to accuse me of having Munchhausen syndrome. Since then I have taken every opportunity to make sure they learn from the patient rather than a book. It took me two years to get that comment removed from my records and an actual diagnosis to replace it.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 20, 2018, 08:02:45 am
My wife and I arrived at our daughter's house before she got home.  Per my wife's request (insistence) and my desire to not be overwhelming or confrontational, I was dressed in slacks and a shirt with jeweled snaps instead of buttons.  The shirt has a looser fit than a lot of my wardrobe and has conveniently placed pockets that camouflage the, otherwise, notable girls.  I had removed the more overtly feminine jewelry in favor of a simple gold chain necklace and bracelet set.  The three of us had a pleasant evening talking about all kinds of things.  Her work, her revised treatment for her facial inflammation (which seems to be working well), our recent travels, her upcoming cruise, our plans to get to New Jersey for some on-site work and some family visiting, the renovation I am planning to do for her, etc.  No mention of the issues that I know need to be addressed.  Her issues with my transition and her issues with our "failed" parenting.

I am having a difficult time with determining what to do or say and when to begin to address what I am sure needs to be addressed.  My transition needs to keep moving forward.  I can see the end and I am getting impatient.  Still, I am trying my best to be mindful of my wife's and daughter's needs.  Also, I have great apprehensions about screwing it all up by doing it all wrong.

Up thread, a little ways, I related that my wife was reading through the thread.  When she finished, she came over to me and was actually smiling.  I had written some things that she found reassuring.  Her greatest anxieties, I think, revolve around her fear's that I will desert her, not love her any more.  Some of the things I said, I think, were reassuring in that regard.

However, after we talked a little bit, she, again, stated that she did not see where I was any happier.  I disagree.  I know that inside I am happier.  I was sure that it was obvious on the outside, as well.   But, maybe, not as much I think.  Maybe, it is being masked by the worries that accompany each small step that I celebrate.  Each step forward is quickly accompanied by a new concern.  Coming out to my daughter was followed by this "walking on eggshells" in trying to get past her  issues with it.  The other day, I completed all I needed to do for my name change but wait for ten days.  I was ecstatic.  My wife quickly moved on to the next problem.  Worry, unnecessary worry, about what that means for our marriage certificate.  I remarked that, soon, I would need to notify the bureaucrats and businesses that I had changed my name.  A process I was looking forward to tackling while being fully aware that it is no small task to touch all the necessary bases.  There will be some cost involved but my wife's take on it was "That will cost us a fortune."  I did not get any time to revel in my accomplishment.  She did not even take a moment to congratulate me before I was to be overshadowed by her next concern.  My worry is not for the various steps of my transition so much as it is for the others around me that are impacted by each step.

I don't know that this entry went the way I thought it would when I started it.  Sorry 'bout that.  Rant over.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 20, 2018, 03:57:53 pm
Girls,

My wife and I have a stay at Crossville, TN planned from the 16th through the 26th of May.  We will be traveling from eastern North Carolina to Crossville along Route 40 but we are willing to go out of our way, if necessary.  We are wondering if any of you ladies would like to get in touch and arrange some quality time getting to know this older couple.  We are willing to stop along the way either to or back from Crossville.  Or, we would love to make a day trip from our Crossville base to meet up with someone.

If anyone is interested, PM me.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 21, 2018, 01:48:46 pm
The three of us had a pleasant evening after our daughter got home.  Everything went well.  No explicit discussion of my transition.  At one point in the evening, we got into a discussion of her nails.  She has an appointment to get them done today, along with some hair coloring in preparation for her cruise next week.  I joined in the nail discussion and she answered some questions from me, more inquisitive than a guy would normally get, without any obvious discomfort.  This morning, before she left for her appointments, we talked about her hair, she thanked me for the good hair genes from my side of her family, except for the early gray.  She made some comments about my hair where she seemed to be comfortable with the below shoulder length.  All in all, just normal conversation.  Still, it was not our usual conversation, if you know what I mean.

Maybe, I am over-thinking this.  Maybe, all that is needed is a gradual warming up of the pot until this frog is cooked.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 21, 2018, 01:50:41 pm
I spent a little time today getting my forms collected for some of the documentation changes that will begin when I arrive home.

I am trying to figure out the order.  I now have an appointment on the 10th of May with a new physician.  I have a form letter that I want to ask her to copy onto letterhead and fill out.  We are just beginning our doctor/patient relationship so I don't know if she will consider certifying "has had appropriate clinical treatment" for at my first visit or not.  I don't know, even, what she considers what is needed to meet the the requirements.  I have been seeing a therapist for just about a year, now.  Based on a short bio I sent to her before our first session, she accepted me as transgender the moment I first walked in the door.  I have been on estrogen and Spiro for six months.   progesterone was added back in January.  I have been undergoing treatment and it "has had" its effect.  So, I should make the bar as long as it is not too soon or her bar is too high.  I would like to get the letter so I can deal with the passport, driver's license, Social Security and PA birth certificate with only one trip to the well for each one.  I would like to get going when I get my Name Change Order in hand but I'll see what my new doctor will do for me before going forward with any one of them.

Patience,
Stevi,
Patience!
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on April 21, 2018, 04:12:26 pm
I hate being in limbo where you don't know how you stand with people. You are smart to let a bit of normalcy happen for her to adjust. Of course, it is hard on you, but at least you are still talking and it looks positive. When I first came out, I strongly had the urge to talk about trans stuff. I wanted feedback on how people felt. After about a year, that desire has come and gone. I am more a 'person' than a 'project' at this point. I am happy about that.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Rachel on April 21, 2018, 04:23:20 pm
PA drivers license, you download a form from the DMV and fill it out with therapist signature. I had done my name change prior. I did social security, birth certificate and 10 year passport post op. I needed a special form for the passport that Dr. McGinn provided. I used the certificate she provided post op for my birth certificate and social security. The passport form is different than the post op form I received from Dr. McGinn.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 21, 2018, 06:22:33 pm
Moni,

This limbo sucks.  I am trying to please three people at the same time.  My wife is fine with however I dress as long as it is modest in public.  She has seen me in some very feminine attire, often.  But, right now, she is holding the reins pretty tight on me.  She doesn't want me to spook our daughter and I am totally on board with that.  Thing is, I feel that I need to show some of the real me.  If I don't show a little, how will our daughter ever adjust to this new reality?  I will try my best to walk this tightrope.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 21, 2018, 06:40:29 pm
Rachel,

I have a hybrid situation.  My birth certificate is a PA document.  I need to satisfy their requirements.  If my new doctor goes along, I will have no problem with that.

On the other hand, my driver's license is from NC.  The situation here is a bit fuzzy.  As I understand it, the law actually states that surgery, so stated by my physician in writing, is required to get the gender marker changed.  In practice, most DMV offices will accept a letter that states Stevi "has had appropriate clinical treatment."  (I hear tell of one jerk office supervisor that insisted that it needed to be "medical" instead of "clinical.") I have been advised that I should not challenge the DMV office's decision and instead collect my papers and try a different DMV office.  Nobody wants to rock the boat since it is possible, with patience, to get what a transgender person needs with things as they are.  If we press the issue, some anti-trans high mucky-muck bureaucrat might get the bright idea that "the law must be followed to the letter."and all of us here in NC will be royally screwed.

The passport and social security changes are the same for all of the USofA.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on April 22, 2018, 10:21:07 pm
They sure don’t make it easy. I’ve complicated I more as my birth certificate is from one side of the country and they have crazy requirements to get it changed. Twice as
Much paper work as here. Everything has to be approved federally then provincial can do their thing. Where it really gets complicated is I have to supply a marriage licence and it can’t be a civil licence or from a justice of the peace. Ours is civil and it’s also from Las Vegas and now I have to deal with them to convert our licence.
Oh well
I’ll get it done sooner or later
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 23, 2018, 05:40:53 am
Donna,

Aggravation everywhere you turn, it seems.  They will convert a license but they can't just accept it.  Stupidity.

Good luck,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 23, 2018, 08:41:57 pm
Well, today, I dropped by the HR office at my employer.  I felt I should check out policies since at some point, probably sooner than later, they will need to have my new legal  name.  I do most of my work remotely so it will not be often that I will interact in person with any of them.  However, the engineer I work with is also responsible for my payroll entries.  That means he will see a name change on the account for me.  I needed to know if I was ok with the company in general and if my working relationship was in immediate jeprody.  I am safe for the present.  It is possible that my work with the engineer will not be renewed if he has a problem with me.  All he has to do is call someone else next time he needs someone to do the things I do for him.  I don't really think there will be a problem, but you never know.  I think I will need to have talk with him by Thursday afternoon.  The HR  person offered to sit in when I choose to tell him.

My disclosure to HR was amazingly relaxed and well received.  Her greatest concern was if I was happy.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 23, 2018, 08:58:13 pm
Yesterday, I,  my wife and our daughter went out and picked up the flooring for the living room and dining room remodel.  I was ask by the SA  to sign the delivery ticket.  I took the opportunity to causally tell our daughter that I was in the process of changing my name and what it would become.  No drama from her.  Not much of anything, really.  Not that there was much she could do about it at this point.

Things went very well the rest of the day and all seemed well when I saw her off to work this morning, before we, too, left for NJ.  I hope things don't go sideways like last time.  Don't think they will but I am a bit gun shy, now.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on April 23, 2018, 09:18:29 pm
Well, today, I dropped by the HR office at my employer.  I felt I should check out policies since at some point, probably sooner than later, they will need to have my new legal  name.  I do most of my work remotely so it will not be often that I will interact in person with any of them.  However, the engineer I work with is also responsible for my payroll entries.  That means he will see a name change on the account for me.  I needed to know if I was ok with the company in general and if my working relationship was in immediate jeprody.  I am safe for the present.  It is possible that my work with the engineer will not be renewed if he has a problem with me.  All he has to do is call someone else next time he needs someone to do the things I do for him.  I don't really think there will be a problem, but you never know.  I think I will need to have talk with him by Thursday afternoon.  The HR  person offered to sit in when I choose to tell him.

My disclosure to HR was amazingly relaxed and we'll received.  Her greatest concern was if I was happy.

Stevi

Great news about work. Hopefully the engineer will be cool with the new you. My wife was so concerned about me coming out at work but it was really no big deal and everyone has fully accepted it. I know my job and they know that, they know it makes no difference to
them how I look or what I call myself as long as the job is done. My contract was renewed for another two year term and I won bids on several new big jobs. None of my other clients has had any concerns. I’ve kept the same company name for simplicity and just added Donna as the point of contact. I guess now in my own secretary.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 24, 2018, 07:56:34 pm
My wife and her best friend spent the day together while I tackled my employer's project.  Good news!  I have gotten a handle on the problems that have been causing so much consternation.  The system is doing the very basic things I need it to do.  Now, I have to fill in the details.  But there is even better news.  At the end of my wife's day, just as the returned to our hotel, my wife took a very deep breath and told her best friend what was up with me.  At first, her friend feared that one of us had serious health problems or that my wife and I were parting ways.  After my wife got it all out, her friend was relieved.  Me being trandgender was No Problem! 

I received an email from her.  It simply said, "Hey Lady! Love you, Lumpy"  (Lumpy is her self-ascribed self-depricating nickname)

Today was a really good day,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on April 24, 2018, 08:10:05 pm
Fantastic Stevi, I'm so glad it went well. I had a number of people relieved that I was only transgender and not sick or dying or moving away.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 25, 2018, 09:11:08 pm
I had a talk with my HR person this afternoon.  She asked what I needed from them.  My face to face interaction with the many fellow employees with which I have a long history are very infrequent.  At this point I just need assurance that my future with the company is safe and the one person I interact with most often is informed and given the guidance for proper interactions with me.

Unless and until I need to interact more extensively with fellow employees I don't think I will press for a plant-wide announcement.  Maybe, though, it might be wise to have HR bring the department heads up to speed about transgender issues in general and my status in particular.  I will, I think, be coming out to many more people, soon, and the rumor mill might make things awkward if there aren't enough ears attuned to get it under control.

The plan is for my HR contact and the plant manager to take about a week to collect their thoughts then they will sit down with my work associate and inform him.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 26, 2018, 08:56:21 pm
My wife and I met up this evening with my wife's best friend. Had dinner and a great time around the table.  Just we three girls.  Nothing special.  Really special.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Paige on April 27, 2018, 03:34:58 pm
Hi Stevi,

I've been following your thread with a lot of interest.  Being a 55 year old with adult daughters, your story has a lot of similarities.  I haven't transitioned, just low dose E, but you definitely are inspiring. 

Glad it's working out for you.
Paige :)

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 27, 2018, 09:35:27 pm
Paige,

I am glad you found somethng or two in all of my muttering that was of some help to you.  It has been helpful to me to just be able to "let it out" to ears and hearts that care and understand.

As loving parents, we really do not wish to bring any trials or travails on our children.  Sometimes, though, the best we can do is the lesser of two bad alternatives.  I really believe that my daughter would much rather have a happy parent in a different form than an unhappy parent.

My wife and I arrived at our daughter's place at about 3 pm today.  I will begin work on her condo while she is cruising the Carribean for 8 days beginning tomorrow.  I am going to paint the living roomand dinigroom then pull up the carpet and lay some wood flooring down in its place.  It seems I need to do what I can for my "little girl."

"Little Girl"-     In the email my daughter sent and I reported on early in this thread, she dashed my belief that I had done an acceptable job for her while she really was a little girl.  I have, for some years now, been affectionately calling her my "little girl."  Since that email form her, I have not been able to use the term as a term of endearment to her.  I am unsure about what the term mans to her.  Did it evoke in her what it is that I meant when I said it.  My meaning was that I was there for her to do the things I did for her when she was truly a little girl.  It seems that, in her mind, that I did not do what she needed me to do back then.  I, now, have doubts as to whether I would be bringing up bad memories for her instead of the reassurances I intend.

Our interactions seem to be fine.  I am consiously making an effort to demonstrate to her that I am still who she needs me to be for her.  We have had a few "woman to woman" moments and she had not flinched.  She seems to be taking it in stride.  I am dressed down.  I changed from a dress and some unequivically feminine jewelry to jeans and a tee shirt and some innocuous posts in my ears in place of the dangly earings before she got home.  So, I am not, by any means, pushing the envelope in my appearance..

I am, I suppose, OK with it.  I just wish I was fnally at a point where I was no longer accommodating the needs of others so much.

As I stated up-thread.
Patience,
Stevi,
Patience
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on April 28, 2018, 03:56:27 pm
Hi Stevi,
   I had a chat with my youngest son today. I talked about what is in store for me looks wise this summer. I was wearing a cold shoulder dress with some cute straps across the front. I told him that I am taking another leap forward in how I will look this summer. For one thing, I'm getting boobs. I am not wearing a burka around him so he needed to be aware that I will be respectful of his feelings, but I am going to dress the way I want with slight variations when he is around. (No bikini's, etc.) He again thanked me for my gradualist approach and that he was pretty used to whatever I wore now. I'm full time almost 2 years and it has been a gradual loosening up on me restricting myself. I think you making this gradual for your daughter will pay dividends  in the end. It is sad that your pet name for her is something you don't feel like you can use any more.
Moni
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 28, 2018, 09:31:32 pm
Moni,

I am pleased that your relationship with your son is good and your presentation is "acceptable' so far.  Slow and steady.

I am trying to be patient with my daughter.  This morning, my wife told me that, last night, while I was "out of the room", she and our daughter had a bit of a conversation and I was among the topics.  My wife was cryptic but encouraging about what they spoke about.  Our daughter had expressed some "ideas" regarding me but was very cautious that she would be able to bring them into being.  My wife was cryptic because she did not want me to get my hopes up about specific "ideas" just in case our daughter could not follow through.  She did want me to know that there is reason to hope.  Our daughter appears to be trying.  I think, in time, my daughter will get fully on board.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 29, 2018, 09:16:44 pm
I made the following entry in Rachel_Christina's thread  "Total acceptance from Significant Other"   I am including it here as part of my ongoing thought process regarding my transition.



I am relatively fortunate.  My wife took it hard.  After a break-in period she, reluctantly supports.  She does things for Stevi but she really would rather not any of this was in her life.  In the past, when things were going badly for us and I wavered in my resolve, she made comments to me along the lines of "I will not stop you from doing this if it is what you need to do."  Sounds supportive but often feels like an "I'll help you do this but I really don't like it and you are making me miserable but don't mind me and my needs."  She doesn't convey any sense that she is the least bit happy that I am doing what I need to do.

Last night was a bit of a bad night so I am a bit down this morning and that may be part of the reason my tone is negative.  Most of the time, things go well for us.  We usually have a good time and life is pretty good.   I know she is struggling with a lot of things and this bail of straw has not made life easier for her.  She doesn't stop my progress.  I am going more slowly than I would like, for her sake, but, I am moving forward.  She has difficulty with using my new name and proper pronouns.  She tries but I think, by now, she could do better.  I understand that she has her outlook on the way things should be.  I just have this sense she cannot or doesn't want to let go of the old and embrace the new.

Verdict:  50% supportive

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Julie -2010 on April 29, 2018, 09:30:25 pm

 "I'll help you do this but I really don't like it and you are making me miserable but don't mind me and my needs."  She doesn't convey any sense that she is the least bit happy that I am doing what I need to do.


This is how I feel some of the time with my wife as well.  She really isn't interested enough to get to know me well.  She says she wants me to be happy but I know she hates this whole thing and so I don't think she puts any effort into it.  I'm not saying she has to be so happy and our previous life has to be wiped away.  Stevi, good luck with your path, I know it is not easy.
Julie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 29, 2018, 10:32:04 pm
Julia,

I just deleted a diatribe about my wife and replaced it with this simple "Julia, Good luck to you on your path, as well."

My mood is still <poor>.
 
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Paige on April 30, 2018, 11:17:57 am
Paige,

I am glad you found somethng or two in all of my muttering that was of some help to you.  It has been helpful to me to just be able to "let it out" to ears and hearts that care and understand.

As loving parents, we really do not wish to bring any trials or travails on our children.  Sometimes, though, the best we can do is the lesser of two bad alternatives.  I really believe that my daughter would much rather have a happy parent in a different form than an unhappy parent.

My wife and I arrived at our daughter's place at about 3 pm today.  I will begin work on her condo while she is cruising the Carribean for 8 days beginning tomorrow.  I am going to paint the living roomand dinigroom then pull up the carpet and lay some wood flooring down in its place.  It seems I need to do what I can for my "little girl."

"Little Girl"-     In the email my daughter sent and I reported on early in this thread, she dashed my belief that I had done an acceptable job for her while she really was a little girl.  I have, for some years now, been affectionately calling her my "little girl."  Since that email form her, I have not been able to use the term as a term of endearment to her.  I am unsure about what the term mans to her.  Did it evoke in her what it is that I meant when I said it.  My meaning was that I was there for her to do the things I did for her when she was truly a little girl.  It seems that, in her mind, that I did not do what she needed me to do back then.  I, now, have doubts as to whether I would be bringing up bad memories for her instead of the reassurances I intend.

Our interactions seem to be fine.  I am consiously making an effort to demonstrate to her that I am still who she needs me to be for her.  We have had a few "woman to woman" moments and she had not flinched.  She seems to be taking it in stride.  I am dressed down.  I changed from a dress and some unequivically feminine jewelry to jeans and a tee shirt and some innocuous posts in my ears in place of the dangly earings before she got home.  So, I am not, by any means, pushing the envelope in my appearance..

I am, I suppose, OK with it.  I just wish I was fnally at a point where I was no longer accommodating the needs of others so much.

As I stated up-thread.
Patience,
Stevi,
Patience

Hi Stevi,

Thanks for your response.   I wouldn't call it muttering, you've posted a lot of wise comments on how to deal with family and society.  Transitioning is not an easy thing especially for us older gals.  No one has all the answers but your honesty, empathy and patience are good examples for all of us.

Regarding the "Little Girl" nickname you have for your daughter,  I have similar names for my daughters and I worry too if they'll be comfortable with me continuing to use those names if I transition.  Whenever I get to the point where I think I have to transition, I stop in my tracks because I'm so worried about how my daughters will react.  I'm glad you are working things out with your daughter.
 
Take care,
Paige :)
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 30, 2018, 05:12:44 pm
Paige,

I am pleased that you found some wisdom in my muttering.  Sixty-eight years seems to have accomplished a little in this old brain.

The reach of the influence of the transgender condition in our lives and those we care about is far and wide.  Would you have foreseen the possibility of a pet name being a problem?

I hope you find an acceptable resolution to your dilemma that allows you to make progress.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 30, 2018, 05:24:09 pm
DONE!

I sent an email off to the Clerk of the Superior Court of Pamlico County, North Carolina.  I asked if the name change order I petitioned for was issued in my absence as we had arranged when I submitted my paperwork.

His reply---   Done!

So, as of today, April 30th, 2018, I am now Stephanie Rushelle Jones. :icon_joy: :icon_walk: :eusa_dance: :icon_dance:

Joyously,
Stephanie R Jones   a.k.a.  Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on April 30, 2018, 08:34:47 pm
I made the following entry in Rachel_Christina's thread  "Total acceptance from Significant Other"   I am including it here as part of my ongoing thought process regarding my transition.



I am relatively fortunate.  My wife took it hard.  After a break-in period she, reluctantly supports.  She does things for Stevi but she really would rather not any of this was in her life.  In the past, when things were going badly for us and I wavered in my resolve, she made comments to me along the lines of "I will not stop you from doing this if it is what you need to do."  Sounds supportive but often feels like an "I'll help you do this but I really don't like it and you are making me miserable but don't mind me and my needs."  She doesn't convey any sense that she is the least bit happy that I am doing what I need to do.

Last night was a bit of a bad night so I am a bit down this morning and that may be part of the reason my tone is negative.  Most of the time, things go well for us.  We usually have a good time and life is pretty good.   I know she is struggling with a lot of things and this bail of straw has not made life easier for her.  She doesn't stop my progress.  I am going more slowly than I would like, for her sake, but, I am moving forward.  She has difficulty with using my new name and proper pronouns.  She tries but I think, by now, she could do better.  I understand that she has her outlook on the way things should be.  I just have this sense she cannot or doesn't want to let go of the old and embrace the new.

Verdict:  50% supportive

Stevi

I can't imagine how hard this is for a spouse/ partner. I think a gradual approach to someone less than enthusiastic is the best way. I tend to think time will either help them get used to things or make them bail. I hope your new reality will start to become the  new normal for both of you.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 02, 2018, 08:26:15 am
She baked a cake!   Not really, my wife bought and decorated an ice cream cake for Stephanie's new name being official, legal, actual.  In general, she is on board with what I am doing.  Sometimes she needs a little adjustment period as I take each step forward.  The adjustment periods do seem to be getting shorter.  I am thankful for that.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Susan Baum on May 02, 2018, 08:44:42 am
An ice cream cake? Cool, way cool.
I guess you spent the evening chillin' out...
(my bad)
Congratulations on the name change, Stevi.

Susan
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 02, 2018, 09:13:41 pm
Susan,

Thank you.  Yeah, it was a pleasant surprise when she brought out the "cake."  It was cool!

I am still on a high from this latest step.  I do get a bit of a breather in that I am traveling and won't be able to actually get the court order in my hands until this coming Monday or Tuesday.  My next step is to see if my new physician, whom I will meet for the first time on Thursday, will give me a letter that satisfies the four agencies I need to go to change my name AND gender marker.  There is not much I can do until that takes place.

Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Paige on May 03, 2018, 04:27:40 pm
DONE!

I sent an email off to the Clerk of the Superior Court of Pamlico County, North Carolina.  I asked if the name change order I petitioned for was issued in my absence as we had arranged when I submitted my paperwork.

His reply---   Done!

So, as of today, April 30th, 2018, I am now Stephanie Rushelle Jones. :icon_joy: :icon_walk: :eusa_dance: :icon_dance:

Joyously,
Stephanie R Jones   a.k.a.  Stevi

Amazing, you're truly an inspiration Stephanie R Jones 😊 😊 😊 😊

Paige 😊

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: KathyLauren on May 03, 2018, 04:58:42 pm
Congratulations on the name change, Stephanie!
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 03, 2018, 07:43:02 pm
Paige and Kathy,

Thanks, girls.  I'm still giddy. :icon_joy:

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 07, 2018, 07:31:12 pm
In a reply of mine to this thread I made on April 28th I mentioned a comment by my daughter about some "ideas" for her Daddy, as Stephanie.

Well, last night, after my daughter got home from her cruise and the hectic evening of me trying my best to tidy up enough loose ends of the renovation work I undertook to put a pause in the effort, my daughter presented both my wife and I with the usual gifts in remembrance of her trip and a thank you our house-sitting.  My wife received a Pandora bracelet and a palm tree charm.  I, in stead of the T-shirt, received a beautiful, rose gold, heart -shaped pendant and chain.  She had put it off until we began talking about getting ready for bed.  She had to swallow hard to overcome her apprehensions.  But, she put in the effort she needed to do it.  I thanked her and hugged her for both the gift and her effort.

Afterward, my wife told me that the "ideas' were about some kind of jewelry and my daughter asked about my tastes.  At that time, she was not sure she could do it.  In the end she found she could.

Oh, the renovation work was close to completion.  I have the closet space under the stairway to put the flooring down in, about half of the base moulding to put in and the moulding around the front door to replace.  I had to pause there because we needed to get back home for some other obligations.  I'll get back up that way in June, I hope, and finish up.

Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on May 07, 2018, 07:45:16 pm
Stevi,
   That is great! It will get easier for her. What a positive step.
Moni
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 07, 2018, 09:19:12 pm
Moni,

I am very hopeful that she will make it to a very good place.  I'll give time its way to do its magic.

I want you to know I hope for the best for all those in your life with problems.  I hope you have what you need to get through, as well.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Susan Baum on May 08, 2018, 11:14:22 am
Stevi, what a wonderful gift and message from your daughter.

… She had to swallow hard to overcome her apprehensions.  But, she put in the effort she needed to do it.  I thanked her and hugged her for both the gift and her effort.
Stevi
She actually overcame her fears twice in both selecting and then giving the pendant. I feel less fear and more acceptance may be coming into her heart. 

Hugs
Susan
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 08, 2018, 10:43:10 pm
I picked up my name change order at the court house today.  I have stopped by the insurance agency and the bank and had them change their records .  No one seemed to have any problems at all with it.

I was breaking new ground at the bank.   The gentleman said it should be easy but he had not actually done it before.  I was properly gendered throughout the process which only took about five minutes.


The insurance was a little more complicated.  The clerk could handle the auto and home insurances with a simple request form.  My life insurance needed to be handled by the agent.  The agent was out at the time so I went back after doing a couple of other errands.  When I did get to meet with the agent, she was unsure about how to go about it and said she would need to get the info from the main office.  We got into the issue of gender marker change and had a brief discussion about how to address me- Miss, Mrs. or Ma'am.  I suggested Ma'am was best since I am married and therefore not really a Miss.  Mrs. is taken by my wife and we are still working out how she wants address me in public.  The agent said she had been surprised by my transition and might have a bit of a problem with addressing me properly but she was going to try her best.  I told her I could not ask for more than her best.  I to hear from her in the next few days about the name change on my life policy.

I spoke with the HR person at my employer this afternoon.  She has informed my immediate supervisor and he has no problem with my revelation.  We have set up a 10 am three way call tomorrow morning to just talk about it a bit.  Seems like all is well there.

This evening, my wife fixed dinner and we dressed up as a bit of a celebration of my "new life."  She suggested that she take a picture of me to use as an avatar.  So, what do you all think.

I fit all that into a day of running errands and getting four weeks of spring grass growth whacked down.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Paige on May 09, 2018, 11:00:45 am
Looking good Stevi :)

Paige :)
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: KathyLauren on May 09, 2018, 11:13:33 am
The gentleman said it should be easy but he had not actually done it before.

Haha!  That's what the lady at my bank said, too.  I said, "Yes, neither have I!"

Quote
She suggested that she take a picture of me to use as an avatar.  So, what do you all think.

Looking good, Stevi!  But you should be smiling more after a great day like that.  HRT and makeup and clothes will do wonders for your presentation, but the single biggest feminizing accessory is a smile.  Don't worry, you'll soon get used to smiling a lot.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 09, 2018, 11:48:21 am
Paige and Kathy,

Thank you.  My smile is the best I can do.  I cannot show much in the way of white since there isn't enough there to show.  In the past, I rarely smiled so I guess all those smile muscles are atrophied.  I'll have to start working them out regularly.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 10, 2018, 09:39:11 pm
One more step.  I visited my new endo physician today.  She is a youngish woman and very pleasant and easy to talk to.  She has been doing transgender HRT for a bit more than a year.  Seems like a short time but I suspect the average experience for doctors in this field is not much more than that.  She explained her reasons for all her suggestions and recommendations and they made perfect sense.

Things went really well.  I'm in good health.  BP 108/72, cholesterol was marginally high but good now.  Weight is stable.   She was pleased that she did not have to worry about marginal high BP levels since a side affect of the HRT hormones is a tendency for BP to go up.  She took the time to let me relate my history with my HRT and my transition in general so she could get to know me better.  She recommended a few adjustments to my regimen. We stopped the Spiro entirely.  My T is all but 0.  Estrogen should hold that down by itself, now. She cut my progesterone in half for a couple more months. Then stop it entirely.  Her rational is that it will have probably done as much as it needs to do in my case for breast development (I'm a solid B) and it is not as well studied for its long term affects as she would like to use it beyond the time it does what it is intended for.  If I feel I need a little more of its magic, all I need to do is call and she will send in a script. She increased my estrogen by 50% because I am in the lower half of the female range and would like to get me into the upper half of the range.  She added finasteride to see if we can reawaken some of those hair follicles on the crown of my head.  I am not cue ball bald but I am very thin up top and have a receded hairline.  Worth a try to see if there is still some life up there  Come back in three months.

Also, I asked her to provide me with letters to submit with my gender marker change request .  She was happy to provide them and I had them in hand before I left her office.

I am incredibly pleased with her.  I had a really great day.

I am hoping to squeeze in a visit to Social Security in the morning before my 12 am therapy session, now that I am armed with my name change order and my physician's letter.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 10, 2018, 10:07:38 pm
My wife and I stopped by the POP CULTURE popcorn shop this afternoon.  "What is so special about that?", you ask.  Well, I'll tell you.  The shop is the newly acquired business of the only fully accepting and supportive child, Joanna, of our friend, Rachael, whom we recently lost.

We spent some time with her and got to know her.  We had not met her before except to say our condolences to her at the funeral.  She is a lot like her father was.  We enjoyed spending the hour or so with her.

Something we learned about was some of the behind the scenes antics that the many non-accepting family members pulled.  What it amounted to was that most all of the family members wanted to violate Rachael's expressed wishes to be remembered and celebrated as the woman she knew herself to be.  Joanna fought and won the battle to see that Rachael's requests were carried out.  What we attended was remarkably respectful of Rachael and we had no reason to think that there had been such infighting behind the scenes.  Since the funeral, everyone has abandoned Joanna to let her deal, alone, with what was left behind when Rachael departed.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on May 11, 2018, 12:28:17 pm
It’s a shame that family members act in such a way. They say they are loving until push comes to shove then their true nature come out.
Hope she finds comfort in the fact you made an effort to be friends with Rachael even for a short time and you took the time to visit her
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 11, 2018, 06:51:39 pm
Stopped at the Social Security Administration Field Office in Wilmington, NC this morning.  I was at the front door at about 8:30 to begin waiting along with a half a dozen others for the 9:00 opening time.  A few minutes before 9:00 the doors were opened for the now twenty-five-ish of us.  I wanted to get started ASAP because my wife and I both had a therapy appointment later on that I did not want to chance missing.

The line proceeded to check in and each of us was issued a number after which we dutifully took a seat in the waiting area.  A couple of minutes after 9:00 the service windows began to open.  A minute or so later, the numbers began to be called.  I was called almost immediately since I was the third non-appointment person to check in.  When I sat down at the service window, the clock behind the service person showed 9:04.  When he asked, "What are you here for?", I passed my SS card and driver's license through, followed by my name change order and the letter I got from my doctor the previous day and I simply stated, "I am here to change my name and my gender designation in your records."  At 9:08 I was told, "This social security card needs to be shredded, you will not get it back.  Here are your other papers.  Your new SS card should arrive in the mail in 7 to 14 days.  Have a good day, Ma'am."

Another one bites the dust.  One step at a time.

If you discount the sixty-eight years of preliminary preparation, that was easy!

 :eusa_dance:,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: christinej78 on May 11, 2018, 07:17:14 pm

... At 9:08 I was told, "This social security card needs to be shredded, you will not get it back.  Here are your other papers.  Your new SS card should arrive in the mail in 7 to 14 days.  Have a good day, Ma'am."

Another one bites the dust.  One step at a time.

If you discount the sixty-eight years of preliminary preparation, that was easy!

 :eusa_dance:,
Stevi

Hi Stevi,           11 May 2018

Reminds me of when I received my draft notice; I went to the draft Board and told them I lost my Draft Card. They issued me a new one, which is what I turned in to the Navy upon enlistment. Still have my original. Still have my original SS card, which is barely legible.

Sounds like you are moving right along. Hopefully I will follow not too far behind.

Best Always,
Christine
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on May 11, 2018, 10:59:13 pm
Stopped at the Social Security Administration Field Office in Wilmington, NC this morning.  I was at the front door at about 8:30 to begin waiting along with a half a dozen others for the 9:00 opening time.  A few minutes before 9:00 the doors were opened for the now twenty-five-ish of us.  I wanted to get started ASAP because my wife and I both had a therapy appointment later on that I did not want to chance missing.

The line proceeded to check in and each of us was issued a number after which we dutifully took a seat in the waiting area.  A couple of minutes after 9:00 the service windows began to open.  A minute or so later, the numbers began to be called.  I was called almost immediately since I was the third non-appointment person to check in.  When I sat down at the service window, the clock behind the service person showed 9:04.  When he asked, "What are you here for?", I passed my SS card and driver's license through, followed by my name change order and the letter I got from my doctor the previous day and I simply stated, "I am here to change my name and my gender designation in your records."  At 9:08 I was told, "This social security card needs to be shredded, you will not get it back.  Here are your other papers.  Your new SS card should arrive in the mail in 7 to 14 days.  Have a good day, Ma'am."

Another one bites the dust.  One step at a time.

If you discount the sixty-eight years of preliminary preparation, that was easy!

 :eusa_dance:,
Stevi

I went to get my fingerprints yesterday and arrived at 08:00. Well they are on summer hours and not open until 09:00. Back to work and back over at 11:00. At 11:50 have my prints and paperwork for the registry office. 14:30 over to the registry office and fill in the proper  forms now that they have the new ones, way fewer questions now. Had to surrender my birth certificate and it will be destroyed. The issuing province will send out a new one after I send them way too much money. Anyways called vital statistics and they are all caught up and should process and send everything back by the end of next week or the middle of the next. Can hardly wait and the new forms don’t require any medical info for the gender marker change anymore. So the new documents will be marked Female.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 12, 2018, 05:56:37 am
Donna,

Good for you!  Is your part all done now?  Are you just waiting out the bureaucrats?  Hang in there.  You'll beat them!.

I still have three of my four major documents to deal with.  My birth certificate applications, one for the name and gender change and one to actually get a new certificate, need to be sent in by mail.  Hope to do that today or tomorrow for Monday's mail.  The driver's license and passport require photos.  I don't know if it will help but I want to visit a salon first so I have some chance of getting a good, even if lying, image on them.  Have to wait for a day or two for my social security changes to propagate through the system before I can do the DL, anyway.  Both of those need to be done in person.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on May 12, 2018, 10:42:21 am
This is all the changes at the federal government level for this batch of paperwork. Next is drivers licence, health care card, a new birth certificate from Ontario and it will have the F on it.
Then I get to do everything else, credit and membership cards, banking vehicle registration and on and on. Lol
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 12, 2018, 01:32:51 pm
Donna,

On and on and on and......

Seems we are in pretty much the same place in the process/

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 12, 2018, 02:02:52 pm
I was out working in the front lawn. Spraying the driveway to push back the jungle, actually.  My new neighbors from across the street were out in the front of their property and when they noticed that I was working right out at the road, they came over and introduced themselves.  The woman spoke up first and said her name was Beth and her husband was Will.  I paused, for what seemed like a long time, probably wasn't, for a quick calculation.  How do I start out with this new relationship?  I am ready to come out for the most part.  Just kinda want to get the i's and t's crossed on the paperwork before pulling the trigger on that at the gym where I swim in the mornings.  But why hide anything when I really want to get it all out there?  Added it all up and said, "Stephanie Jones."  I am now out in my neighborhood.  These are the first two people in town that have been introduced to Stephanie.

We spent a long time talking about things.  Their reason for coming over was to ask about internet service in the area.  I gave them the dope on that.  We talked about a lot of things.  It turns out that Will is a programmer of industrial equipment in the pharmaceutical industry, same as I.  He will have a need for reasonably high speed internet for when he semi-retires to work on projects from home or whereever his boat or travel trailer takes him and his wife.  Much as I have been doing.  A kindred spirit of sorts.

During the whole of the conversation, they gave no indication they even suspected I am transgender.  Just a pleasant conversation among a woman, Stephanie, and the new neighbors from across the street.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on May 12, 2018, 03:03:45 pm
Well done Stephanie. May as well go forward on the right foot and not have to introduce yourself twice.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Alyssa Bree on May 12, 2018, 05:43:57 pm
I was out working in the front lawn. Spraying the driveway to push back the jungle, actually.  My new neighbors from across the street were out in the front of their property and when they noticed that I was working right out at the road, they came over and introduced themselves.  The woman spoke up first and said her name was Beth and her husband was Will.  I paused, for what seemed like a long time, probably wasn't, for a quick calculation.  How do I start out with this new relationship?  I am ready to come out for the most part.  Just kinda want to get the i's and t's crossed on the paperwork before pulling the trigger on that at the gym where I swim in the mornings.  But why hide anything when I really want to get it all out there?  Added it all up and said, "Stephanie Jones."  I am now out in my neighborhood.  These are the first two people in town that have been introduced to Stephanie.

We spent a long time talking about things.  Their reason for coming over was to ask about internet service in the area.  I gave them the dope on that.  We talked about a lot of things.  It turns out that Will is a programmer of industrial equipment in the pharmaceutical industry, same as I.  He will have a need for reasonably high speed internet for when he semi-retires to work on projects from home or whereever his boat or travel trailer takes him and his wife.  Much as I have been doing.  A kindred spirit of sorts.

During the whole of the conversation, they gave no indication they even suspected I am transgender.  Just a pleasant conversation among a woman, Stephanie, and the new neighbors from across the street.

Stevi

How great is that? I am super happy for you! That must feel very affirming at the very least.


xoxoxo
Alyssa
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 12, 2018, 07:04:51 pm
Donna and Alyssa,

Yes, it is great.  I have had a lot of grin-inducing moments as of late.

The subject of this thread is "Things just got really tough (long read)".  So much good stuff has been coming along that I think it needs to revised to something less dire in its tone.  I think "Stevi's Saga" would be better.  Can any one of the moderators do that for me, please?

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Dena on May 12, 2018, 09:33:02 pm
If your sure that's how you want the thread titled, I can retitle the entire thread for you in a minute or two. Just let me know and I will do it for you.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 13, 2018, 07:14:20 am
As you might take note, the subject line of this thread has graciously been changed by the moderators.  Thanks again, Dena.

I have gone back and read the original entry and recall how low a time that was.  While we all have many lows as we travel the paths we find before us, for me, that period was certainly among the lowest.  Even yet, the circumstances that precipitated that low are not resolved as well or a fully as I would like.  But, there is cause for hope that all will be well, sooner, rather than later.

In the mean time, my journey seems to have finally moved into hi gear.  The effects of HRT are very noticeable.  Of course, there is the breast development.  My wife is teasing me about me being bigger than she is (not true, yet) and they get in the way of her putting her head on my chest the way she used to.  Although I have never been particularly hairy, my body hair has thinned considerably.  I see a softening of the skin and a less rugged look. Those changes were slow but are finally undeniably there.

After we came to terms with my need to transition and my wife's commitment to our relationship as I proceeded, things have developed on a couple of fronts.  I have made swift progress with my document changes,  The birth certificate applications are put together and all they need is a notary stamp and a postage stamp.  I am planning to visit the DMV for the driver's license and the post office for the passport tomorrow.  Won't be long before all that is in the rear view mirror.

In addition to my daughter, I am out to my employer and my wife's best friend.  I still have one good friend to come out to in person before I begin making a general broadcast via email to my and my wife's families.  But I am no longer really hiding.  Used to wear a lot of over-sized drab shirts.   If anyone notices the nail polish or the earrings, so be it.  When the documents are completed, I will confront fitness center management about the gym locker room issue.  In this small, rural, burg, I will likely be plowing new ground.  I will be addressing that soon.

So, what I initially reported as a dire crisis has morphed into a saga.  There are hiccups along the way, but I am pleased with the overall direction and happier with the speed at which things are moving.  And I can see the end, I think.

My best wishes to all of you as you move along your own paths.  May you find your destination to be gratifying and your arrival on time.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 14, 2018, 08:00:11 pm
This evening my wife and I are settling into our hotel room.  We are headed out to Tennessee for a vacation.  It has been a good day.

It actually began yesterday when we stopped by a salon after church for a hair cut.  I had the stylist cut the front for bangs and trim me all around to even things up..  The final length ended up almost shoulder length but my hair is curly and it pulls itself up to mid neck.  That was in preparation for this morning.  I got up early and headed into the DMV.  By 9:00 I had a new temporary license with my new name and an F on it with a promise to receive a permanent REALID driver's license in the mail in about two weeks.

On the way home I stopped at a registration DMV and had the two titles corrected for the vehicles in my name.  That requires a notary stamp.  While doing that I got the form for my birth certificate name and gender marker corrections notarized.  I stopped at the post office and the birth certificate applications are now en route to New Castle, PA for processing.

This afternoon, I called my healthcare insurance provider about changing my contact information.  I was told that their system would be updated automatically by social security.  I'll have to follow up on that but it sounds like "That was easy!"

Icing on the cake.  While driving from out on the eastern end of North Carolina to here in Greensboro, my wife and I had good natural conversations about numerous facets of my transition.  About three hours of relaxed conversation. One question she asked me was "Do you feel different?"  I said, "I don't feel different.  I feel good.  I feel happy!"  We talked about what was left for me to do.  She wondered if my transition was done.  She wants it to be done.  She does not really do well with change and wishes the changes to be over with.  I told her there was still more for me to do.  Body changes for me that are left to be done are minimal.  I would like to have my face cleared of the beard but, not much else.  I haven't even tried to tackle that since I have been traveling constantly since the summer of last year.  Other than that there is moving to full 24/7 womanhood.  I still need to come out to my family and hers but that has little impact on my actual living of life since there is no chance of accidentally bumping onto any of them in my day to day life.  There is the issue with the gym pool and the locker room usage.  We also discussed my unfettered movement around the town among those fee who know us that will likely be synchronized the gym thing.  So there are a lot of things to wrap up but my transition is rapidly approaching what I consider to be its endpoint.  The light at the end of the tunnel is beginning to intensify.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on May 14, 2018, 10:15:04 pm
Sounds wonderful Stevi. I don’t know about the end though. Every time I think I’m good I then know there is always a next coming up.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 17, 2018, 07:22:02 pm
Stopped by Walmart here in Crossville TN yesterday and got a passport photo taken.  Today, I dropped my application for a renewal with corrections for my name change and gender marker.

Now I wait.  I have a temporary driver's license and expect the laminated one in ten days or so. A few weeks for the birth certificate.  Four to six weeks for the passport.  When my birth certificate and passport are done, I intend to approach the gym about their transgender policy and otherwise flaunt it.  'Cause I got it.

Donna, you are probably right that there is much more ahead than it appears.  Even if that is true, I feel really good right now.  So many things are in or soon will be in the rear view mirror.  Lately, things have happened so quickly.  I have been dealing with this for all of my life at what I call a "chronic" level.  About ten years ago, I began to deal with it to experiment and investigate.  About six years ago, I came out to my wife and, together, we have tried to find something that works for both of us at the same time.  It has been a slow and frustrating process to find that "endpoint."  We think we have and we can both see it not so far ahead.  Since we have committed to that, we both just want to get there.

Still movin' along,
Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on May 17, 2018, 07:42:13 pm
I am so happy moving along as it comes. When the next comes along I just go with it. There has been no rhyme or reason for which ways I’ve been going, I just go. My wife and I are bound and determined to make this work and so far so good. I can hardly wait for the envelope in the mail with the new name, that will be an awesome next.
Best wishes for your progress and your peace and harmony
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 18, 2018, 03:51:08 pm
Ugghh!  What is wrong with me?  This morning, as I was signing into the fitness center to gain access to the pool, I almost printed out that old moniker.   Had to backup a bit and make that e look like an a before finishing.  Old habits die hard.

Stephanie
Stephanie
Stephanie
Stephanie
Stephanie
Stephanie
Stephanie
Stephanie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: KathyLauren on May 18, 2018, 04:39:51 pm
Ugghh!  What is wrong with me?  This morning, as I was signing into the fitness center to gain access to the pool, I almost printed out that old moniker.   Had to backup a bit and make that e look like an a before finishing.  Old habits die hard.

Stephanie
Stephanie
Stephanie
Stephanie
Stephanie
Stephanie
Stephanie
Stephanie
It happens to all of us.  I have dead-named myself in emails a couple of times, and twice verbally.  Cis people have trouble getting our names and pronouns, why should we expect ourselves to be perfect?  It takes time to develop new habits.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on May 18, 2018, 04:54:46 pm
That is so true. I started to introduce myself as him last week and had to check myself. I’ve caught myself saying “I’m the guy” in what ever context it was.
It really does take time to get it right even in our own heads.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 22, 2018, 11:31:46 pm
Bittersweet!

This morning, I went for my swim.  When I was done there was an aerobics class in progress, so instead of moving through the class participants to get to the steps leading out of the pool, I decided to launch myself out of the water and onto the side of the pool.  So, down I went, deeply, then up and over the edge of the pool.  My chest made firm contact with the floor around the pool and the girls both let me know they were out front.  Ouch! :)  Then I rolled over onto my butt to sit up and the boys both let me know they were still hanging around down below.  Ouch! :icon_frown:

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: sarah1972 on May 22, 2018, 11:39:22 pm
OMG - this made me laugh. Sorry. Reminds me of my two-year-old kid who has tremendous talents to kick below and hit on top. Ouch and Ouch.

Bittersweet!

This morning, I went for my swim.  When I was done there was an aerobics class in progress, so instead of moving through the class participants to get to the steps leading out of the pool, I decided to launch myself out of the water and onto the side of the pool.  So, down I went, deeply, then up and over the edge of the pool.  My chest made firm contact with the floor around the pool and the girls both let me know they were out front.  Ouch! :)  Then I rolled over onto my butt to sit up and the boys both let me know they were still hanging around down below.  Ouch! :icon_frown:

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: mm on May 23, 2018, 08:25:24 am
Stevi, your new girls will let you know when they get hit or bumped and then still having balls to contend when they get hit hit.  I know which you like and which you wish were gone.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 23, 2018, 04:49:01 pm
mm,

I have, over my lifetime, been made aware of what hangs below many times.  Over the past months, I have been made aware of the B size development up top on a number of occasions.  I don't think I have been reminded of both in such rapid succession before.  I took notice.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on May 24, 2018, 10:26:57 pm
Them nasty little boys will remind you when you least expect it. Boob bumps are going to get more common as they grow. Never get used to it. I so want to get ride of the three stooges hanging out down there, four if you count the turtle. Down to under two months to schedule surgery. YES
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: mm on May 24, 2018, 11:41:56 pm
Donna, the 2 months will go by quickly if you don't think about the surgery all the time.  Who is your surgeon?
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 25, 2018, 10:40:47 am
Bureaucracy- Ugh!

Yesterday I checked back with Humana, my Medicare healthcare provider.  I wanted to find out if their system had been updated to reflect my changes with Social Security.  When I called them right after I finished the paperwork with Social Security, I was told that their system would update automatically to match the Social Security changes.  Well, it seems that is only indirectly true.  Their system actually follows Medicare with follows Social Security.

So, I had to move up the bureaucracy.  I called Medicare.  After about a half an hour I was told that they were not yet informed by Social Security that my name and gender had been changed.

So, I called Social Security.  After turning down all the standard options I was given a choice to wait in the 25 minute queue or opt for a call back in 35 minutes.  I took the call back option.  When the call back came I was occupied and got to the phone just as it hung up.  What now?  Do I have to get back in the call back list?  While trying to do that, I got a call back and switched to the call waiting.  It was confusing.  The same automated voice was on both calls.  Did I switch calls?  Switch again.  Same voice.  Which call am I on now?  Finally I figured out which call I was on and I ignored the one I didn't need any more.  The automated voice connected me with a PERSON.  I got the service person up to speed with who I was and what I was trying to accomplish.  He went off to figure it out and left me with a silent line.  15 minutes or so later he came back and informed me that my new Social Security card should arrive in a few more days.  Then I asked him if Medicare had been informed of the changes.  Again he went off to investigate leaving me with a silent line.  Twice, at about 15 minute intervals he came back to check that I was still there.  Most of the way into the third 15 minute silence I dropped my phone and dislodged the battery.  I can only hope that he stuck with it long enough to uncover any problem and correct it.  I will call them again in a few days.  Don't want to deal with again, so soon.

Ain't nuttin' easy?

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on May 26, 2018, 10:27:53 am
Darn Stephanie. What a cluster. Hope you get it straightened out with them. I receive my name changes paperwork and have started thru the list of everything else to change. Did my insurances first, 25% discount for female driver.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 27, 2018, 08:15:59 am
My wife and I went on a vacation trip of about ten days that ended yesterday.  After a 12 hour trip home yesterday I collected the mail from the overstuffed mail box.  Almost lost among the Woman Within and Roman's catalogettes I found letters from Social Security, NC DMV, my bank and my insurance company  I now have a Social Security card, a driver's license/real ID, a debit card, insurance policies correct name.  Bonus- the driver's license has an F on it, Too.  The wife said she thought I deserved better than an F.  I said it is closer to an A than that M ever was.

Most every thing is changed.  I have to see about several property titles.  I have to do my Discover credit card.  I was away from home and did not want to take a chance on getting that mucked up while I was somewhere they would not send me a new card.  Then there is tht Medicare business I related above.  I think it is likely OK but I'll check on that after this Memorial Day has come and gone.

I have done my part on the birth certificate.  That should be coming any day now.  The passport application is in the works, as well, I know because they cashed my check,  They say it could take four to six week weeks for my new book to arrive.  It hasn't been two weeks, yet.

Progress!

My next steps will be contacting the gym and beginning total unabashed 24/7 around the town.  I am not really hiding right now.  I went to the post office in the full femme attire I traveled home in yesterday.  Just the gym locker room and the a distinctly feminine suit in the pool.  For years now I have been wearing a pair of women' gym short and a women's top that was not to distinct.  More recently I have had to upgrade to a top with a bralette in it because of the girls wanting to show off in the cold water.

Simultaneously, I will announce to my and my wife's family.  They are all scattered around the country.  none of them live close by.  It will be an email broadcast for most all of them.  I have one brother that is not internet connected and my wife's two remaining sisters ate not either.  I will need to send them snail mail, I guess.

That is the state of Stevi's Saga as of this moment.   Time to get off to church.  I am trying the local UU to try to make meaningful accepting connections in my life.  Got to go.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Chelsea on May 27, 2018, 08:43:03 am
My wife and I went on a vacation trip of about ten days that ended yesterday.  After a 12 hour trip home yesterday I collected the mail from the overstuffed mail box.  Almost lost among the Woman Within and Roman's catalogettes I found letters from Social Security, NC DMV, my bank and my insurance company  I now have a Social Security card, a driver's license/real ID, a debit card, insurance policies correct name.  Bonus- the driver's license has an F on it, Too.  The wife said she thought I deserved better than an F.  I said it is closer to an A than that M ever was.

Stevi,

 That's great news having your correct Name and gender marker now. I will take a "F" any day. I just cant wait until I get this far in my transition. Congrats.

Hugs,
         Chelsea
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 27, 2018, 04:45:29 pm
Chelsea,

You are moving along.  Your successes and milestones are coming.  There are ups and downs, advances and setbacks. In the end, it will add up to progress for you.

My awakening was late in life and very slow when it started.  For a long time I tried to find some middle ground. Each step has been timid and tentative until about a year ago.  It was then that I sought out a therapist.  She wanted a short bio of my gender struggles sent to her before my first session with her.  When we sat down face to face, after some pleasantries and getting comfortable with her, based on my bio, she asked me how far I wanted go with my transition (surgeries and such).  There was no question on her part that transition, in some form, was in my future.  I had been vacillating and doubting and questioning and trying half measures for the previous nine years.  I had to try all that to know that it wasn't ever going to work.  Things have been moving along much more quickly as of late.  The goal is determined.  My wife has committed to that goal with me.  Things are happening for me/us, now.  It is great!

Hugs to you, too.
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on May 27, 2018, 05:03:22 pm
Stevi,
   So happy for all your progress. I know that that makes you feel better. My partner used to go to UU and it was very welcoming. I have a church allergy or I would consider going myself. I will be visiting your neck of the woods next month for my 'neither hair nor there hair repair' in Charlotte. I'll wave to ya.
Moni
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 27, 2018, 05:42:23 pm
Moni,

I understand the root of your church allergy.  I have one, too.  Mine is a bit harder to account for.  I am a Christian but I haven't found any congregation that doesn't consider me a heretic in the extreme. Not likely to, either.  I am a religious sect of one. At least the UU's accept one and all, regardless your faith(less) tradition.  It is a place to interact with kind and thoughtful people.  That is what I am looking for with them. I know what I believe and why I believe it.  So, I don't need them or anyone else for that.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on May 27, 2018, 06:40:52 pm
That is so great. What’s wonderful way to end a vacation than to find the mail box stuffed full of presents
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 27, 2018, 08:57:57 pm
Donna,

Yeah, the vacation was really good and the presents in the mail put a cherry on the top for me.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Nicole70 on May 27, 2018, 09:48:41 pm
Hi Stephanie,

I hope you are ok with that name, I saw on another post that was your chosen name, congratulations on getting your new documents, I hope to do that soon too. Glad you had a nice holiday, and were comfortable enough to be you. Best of luck with telling your families, I hope you find universal acceptance.

Hugs

Nicole
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on May 29, 2018, 08:47:18 am
I went for a swim this morning.  I used the men's locker room.  There are few members who use the pool when I am there and I rarely run into any men that are in either the locker room or the pool.  I, occasionally, share the pool with a woman or two,  This morning it was two.  They were done and gone when I got out after completing my mile.

After getting out of the pool I went into the men's locker room and stripped down.  The only private place to do that is inside one of the two shower stalls, behind the shower curtain.  Not a really spacious place to do that,  Since no one else was around I wrapped my self in a towel and went over to the locker to get dressed.  I did not put on a bra.  Too much chance of being caught doing that if someone did come in.  As I stood at the mirror to brush my hair I noted that I really do need to wear a bra.

I have peeked into the lady's locker room.  It is much nicer than the men's.  Newly remodeled by the looks of it.  A little more spacious in the showers but I think that is still the only truly private space to be fully naked in.  It is going to difficult to navigate this, I am afraid.  I currently arrive at the gym in my swim wear so that part of the routine need not change except for a prettier suit.  I don't know, yet, how to best handle the process on the way out.  While there are few people who use the pool at the times I do, the likelihood of crossing paths with someone in the lady's room is significant.  I will need to be completely private while disrobed.  Getting my street cloths from the locker section without tracking water all over then getting showered and dressed privately may be a challenge.

On the way out of the gym, I stopped by the front desk and asked Peggy how to contact the gym's manager.  Well, she informed me that she is the manager.  So, I opened up the conversation by asking if the gym had a transgender policy.  She said no, they do not.  I told her it is time for them to develop one and that I am transgender and I am completing my transition.  My new, legal, official name is now Stephanie and my gender is female.  I offered her time and assistance in getting their policy developed.  She will need to talk with the two owners.

She did not seem to be surprised or particularly uncomfortable.  Her comment was "That's the way things are, now."  From that, I don't know if she, personally, approves or disapproves.  Her personal views are only important to me is so far as they influence what they come up with policy-wise.  We are friendly to one another but not friends.  We have no interaction other than pleasantries while I am passing the front desk on the way in and out of the gym.

I will be out of town again for a little more than a week.  I give them that time and see what they have done when I get back to the gym again.

I need to contact Medicare again today to see if they are up to speed yet with the Social Security Administration's records.  While I was doing my laps, I remembered I need to get the proper documents to my employer so they can update their records.  Got to get that all together, too.


Things to do, people to see,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: HappyMoni on May 29, 2018, 10:56:10 am
Moni,

I understand the root of your church allergy.  I have one, too.  Mine is a bit harder to account for.  I am a Christian but I haven't found any congregation that doesn't consider me a heretic in the extreme. Not likely to, either.  I am a religious sect of one. At least the UU's accept one and all, regardless your faith(less) tradition.  It is a place to interact with kind and thoughtful people.  That is what I am looking for with them. I know what I believe and why I believe it.  So, I don't need them or anyone else for that.

Stevi
That's okay, I never understood why everyone  was supposed to believe the same anyway. Someone who sees things based on their own thought process is, in a word, refreshing.
Moni
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on June 01, 2018, 04:45:50 pm
Just an update.

I checked with Medicare.  They said I need to be patient.  Not in so many words, but that was the jist.  If, after Social Social  has had 30 days to do what they need to do and Medicare still hasn't received the updates into their system, I need to get back to Social Security.  Be patient, Stevi.  But I am not!  Get out of my way people!  I've been waiting for, like, forever, so do it, already!

My wife and I arrived at our daughter's place on Wednesday.  I was in a summer dress when we got here and dressed down at my wife's instance and I am kinda OK with her reasoning.  Neither one of us wants to overwhelm our daughter.  What I ended up wearing was a pair of jeans and an oversized T-shirt.  I would rather have had on something a bit more expressive.  I did not do anything about trying to hide my peach gel finger nails, though.  My wife was worried about them. My daughter had to notice but did not comment or even indicate she cared one way or the other.

How is my daughter to "get used" to me being me if I am not really being me?  Yesterday, I was in work cloths  when my daughter got home from her work cause I was working on the moulding.  Today will likely be the same since I am still working and she is on her way home right now.

My wife is trying to protect our daughter from me to give her time to adjust.  I need for her to begin to deal with it.  My name has been changed and my name and gender marker are being distributed throughout the bureaucracies.  She needs to understand and begin to deal with these things.  We have a cruise, the three of us, scheduled for December.  Still a ways off but time flies whether you are having fun or not.  I fully intend to not have anything with me that is not distinctly my style and unequivocally feminine when I am on that trip.  I don't know how many times we will be together between now and then.  Sometime over this weekend, I need to discuss some of this with our daughter.  I need to know what is going on in her mind.

When we leave here, probably Monday morning, we plan to stop by Rock Hall, MD and see the last friend that ranks an in person reveal.  I am pretty sure she will be OK.  She is Catholic but I think she values kindness and mercy above strict doctrinal adherence.  I'll cross my fingers and hope for the best.

Then there is one more trip to my wife's niece in male mode to fulfill my commitment to her.  When that is done, there will be a general coming out to one and all.  Our daughter needs to know that is in the near future as well so she can be prepared for what may show up from relatives on Facebook.

I am feeling really good about myself these days.  Last evening, though, I had a period of sadness mixed with anger.  I need to get this done but I am again in a bit of a holding pattern.  I know I need to wait here but it got to me last night.

I hope all of my friends here are getting along well.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on June 01, 2018, 07:01:41 pm
Best of luck with all that Stephanie. Hope it all goes well, I so understand the sheltering of the kids thing of the kids thing. They are way more understand than most give them credit for. My grand kids from my daughter all know and still love me.
Both of my wife’s boys have refused to talk to the kids about me or let them meet me. It’s a shame because as they get older it only makes it harder on them. By the time they finally meet me they may think I hate them.
It does suck
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Laurie on June 02, 2018, 01:51:41 pm
Hi Stevi,

  Hun, I sincerely hope all goes well with your daughter accepting you as Stevi. Mine did not go well and it nearly killed me. Literally. I thought I was prepared for it if she didn't but I was so wrong. Family rejection hurts and hurts a lot. Throw that rejection on a person with existing low self esteem and self hate and it is a recipe for ... well ,lets just say it is not good. I listened to my friends and accepted trying an antidepressant when my therapist suggested it. I doubt I would be here now if I had not. My daughter and grand kids are lost to me now and it is still hurting a whole year later. Enough so that I fear stopping the medication.
  I do not mean to be a negative Nellie, but the hazard is there and I really hope you do not experience what I am. I hope you have all the support paths swept clean and ready for use if you need them. I am praying you won't.
   I hope things go well in MD with your friend too. Enjoy your time visiting family and friends.

Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on June 02, 2018, 09:35:06 pm
Laurie,

I remember well your episode with your daughter and the fallout that ensued.  I know its affect on you will linger for a long time.  Wish I had better news for you in that regard.  All of us have experiences that we desperately wish could be undone or in someway rectified that are not within our abilities to change.  We must push them aside, not allow them to demand our attention, and, instead, focus on the things in the present that can fill us with joys. 

I went through a similar thing with my younger daughter and feared the same was happening with her older sister.  I am fortunate that the older one is coming along and I am confident that, eventually, she will be OK with me.  So, I have no real fear that she will cast me aside.  For that, I count myself to be fortunate.  Still, it is difficult to hide/tone-down who I am while my daughter gets comfortable with who I really am.  I'll navigate this and all will be well.  I am confident in that.

Thanks for worrying,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on June 05, 2018, 06:57:24 am
Short and sweet.

Soon after arriving at our friend's place in Rock Hall, I broached the "subject."  I told our friend that I was transgender and that I was transitioning.  Her immediate question was, "You are still you, aren't you?"  We discussed a little of what transgender means in my case, in particular-  my struggles over my lifetime, my name change and more mundane things. Then it was to friendship as usual.

Later, when my wife and friend were alone, together, she asked my wife if she should make up another bedroom for me.  My wife said, "No way!"  My friend said, "Good!"

I was pretty sure this is how it would be received but there is always that nagging fear.  No need to worry.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Chelsea on June 06, 2018, 10:49:36 am
Stevi,
That is great news about your friend! I love that feeling of relief I get when my friends accept me. I'm always scared to death right before telling them.

Hugs,
   Chelsea
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on June 09, 2018, 10:29:53 pm
Something funny,

My wife came in from the mail box yesterday.  She was laughing and said "Stephanie is real!"  I was somewhat perplexed.  All I could think of was that either my new passport ot birth certificate had arrived.  I was feeling  little miffed because I jumped to the conclusion she had opened my mail.  I wanted to be the one to open that particular piece of mail.  Well, she handed me the mail.  It was one of those deceptive pieces of junk mail that tries to look "official" and dupe you into buying auto repair insurance to "extend" your soon to expire warranty.  Evidently, my recent auto title name changes have triggered a rash of solicitations in Stephanie's new name.  This piece was the fourth one in three days. Stephanie is a part of the great mass of people from which businesses wish to separate money.

Something interesting,

I am working toward having cataract surgery in the near future.  Thursday, I kept my first appointment with my surgeon-to-be.  I walked up to the window to introduce myself and fill out the preliminary paperwork.  I am in the middle of getting my name and gender changed with the various bureaucracies.  Right now, Social Security and my NC driver's license are changed but Medicare and Humana are in the past, still.  I had no choice but to out myself.  Well, I started out by telling the woman behind the window that this is going to be a little different.  While standing there in a dress, jewelry and lippy, I gave her my deadname so she could find me in her appointment calendar and handed her my new driver's license.  She looked up at me and smiled.  Then she said.  "Yesterday, I finished reading 'Becoming Nicole.'"

(Becoming Nicole  The Transformation of an American Family---  The inspiring true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother, and an ordinary American family's extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the uniqueness in us all, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning science reporter for The Washington Post, Amy Ellis Nutt.)

Downer,

For a few days now I have been struggling, in spite of the couple of high points above.  I spoke with the gym manager, again, briefly, about the gym owner's as yet non-existent transgender policy.  No progress on that front, yet.  I don't really know how it will all work out yet.  The layout of the locker room is not going to make using it easy for me.  The management is likely going to resist accommodating me.  This not-so-little hurdle has gotten me thinking.  "What the *&*% am I doing.  As a non-op I have a feeling of being an impostor if I start using the women's facilities at the gym, in particular, and just living as Stephanie, in general.  To compound this feeling, while sitting in the surgeon's waiting room with my wife, we looked at photos from the last eight months or so.  I was in a number of them.  Only a few of them were of me as Stephanie.  Regardless, I was revolted by all of them.  I just can't see how I can get accepted into the world as a woman.  There is so much T damage to that face.  I have compromised with my wife in that I committed to doing a non-op transition.  I have been rethinking that commitment a little.   That doesn't fix the face but it does obviate the locker room issue by ridding me of that defining appendage.  I guess it is a matter that I am a bit unsettled right now.  I want a life where I am involved and accepted as a woman.  I am having doubts that is even remotely possible.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on June 11, 2018, 04:20:54 pm
Happening Things ,

I got an email on Friday from the State Department.  They informed me I needed to submit a different, additional form to complete my paper work. the letter attached to the email was addresses to Stephanie and Ms Jones.  The issue was with the gender change.  I made an appointment via the web appointment scheduler for this morning at 11 am.  This form needs in person interaction.  The young lady in the passport office remembered me from my previous visit (I wonder why?) and we had a pleasant time dealing with the snafu.  Hopefully that is taken care of except for a little more waiting.

Called Discover today to change my name in their records and get a new card sent.  Discover is my primary credit card.  We are leaving for a trip to my wife's niece's place in a couple days and I wanted to get the card ASAP.  The cheerful young lady (from the sound of her voice) I got became even more cheery when I told her that I wanted to get a new card sent to me because my name wasn't Stephen anymore, but now, Stephanie.  She seemed so happy for me.  She took good care of me and I thanked her profusely.  A really pleasant and simple interaction.  Should have the new card in 1-2 business days.

Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on June 21, 2018, 12:58:32 pm
Been out of touch for a while.  We are in the midst of another renovation period for my wife's niece.  Busy as heck and not very well connected to the outside world.  I hope all the girls and guys I have been following along with their journeys are doing well.  Some of you were in bad times the last I was here and I really hope things have turned around for each of you. I hope the rest of you Have had lots of good things come your way.

I don't have time to check on all of you and I am so far behind.  I have been thinking of you all.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on June 21, 2018, 01:47:50 pm
Been out of touch for a while.  We are in the midst of another renovation period for my wife's niece.  Busy as heck and not very well connected to the outside world.  I hope all the girls and guys I have been following along with their journeys are doing well.  Some of you were in bad times the last I was here and I really hope things have turned around for each of you. I hope the rest of you Have had lots of good things come your way.

I don't have time to check on all of you and I am so far behind.  I have been thinking of you all.

Stevi

@Stevi:
Dear Stevi:  Thank you for checking in on your thread.   
Hey girl, I always say: "Busy people are happy people."   If one is busy, they do not have a lot of extra time to wallow in their sadness.
Here on the Forums, in your absence, life has been going on as it usually does.  Members are posting good news, sad news, happy posts and not so happy posts.   When you get a chance to catch up you will find all the things that keep us all coming back to the Susan's Place Forums.
Don't work too hard at your wife's niece's renovation project.....  you need some time for yourself eventually.

I'll be looking for your thread updates as you feel free to post them.
Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on June 27, 2018, 11:49:40 pm
Something funny,

My wife came in from the mail box yesterday.  She was laughing and said "Stephanie is real!"  I was somewhat perplexed.  All I could think of was that either my new passport ot birth certificate had arrived.  I was feeling  little miffed because I jumped to the conclusion she had opened my mail.  I wanted to be the one to open that particular piece of mail.  Well, she handed me the mail.  It was one of those deceptive pieces of junk mail that tries to look "official" and dupe you into buying auto repair insurance to "extend" your soon to expire warranty.  Evidently, my recent auto title name changes have triggered a rash of solicitations in Stephanie's new name.  This piece was the fourth one in three days. Stephanie is a part of the great mass of people from which businesses wish to separate money.

Oh how I do understand how you feel. I got my real live first official price of mail from Wrokers comp board to accnkledge my official name change in their system. A nicely worded letter
To Ms Donna A and all. Three or four times.
You do have to love these idiot as it arrived nicely addressed to Mr Donna A 
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 02, 2018, 06:39:25 pm
Hello there everyone,

I am finally out of that cyber black hole I was in for what seemed like forever.  I am back home and mostly unpacked.  Lawn mowed, sort of. Had to set the deck at max to not make hay.  I will need to make another pass when the clipping dry out a bit.

We swung by the post office on the way to the house and picked up the mail.  In it was my new passport with the correct name and gender marker. :icon_joy:  Now my driver's license and passport match.  A piece at a time.  I am still waiting for my PA birth certificate.  I have checked in with Medicare about the Social Security changes being propagated to them.  They have not gotten the memo yet.  My Social Security payment went into my account this past month under my dead name even though I have had a new SS card in my possession for quite sometime.  Seems SS's right hand doesn't know that its left hand is doing.  I need to block out a big chunk of time to call them.  Last time the wait in the queue was 55 minutes.  Couldn't deal with that at that time.

For tomorrow morning, I will head into the pool at the fitness center.  I will have a heart to heart with the manager.  I have given them a considerable amount of time to come up with a decision and policy on my use of their facilities, locker room in particular, in female mode.  I wonder if they have a response and whether it is reasonable accommodating to me or not.  Before I left town on this last trip I warned the manager that I would return around the first of this month and expected some movement on their part.

I think I mention up thread somewhere that I asked my wife of nearly fifty years to reaffirm our vows.  That was in February.  Well, she finally said, "Yes."  Now comes the logistics of putting something together with our daughter and some of our closest friends in attendance. on or about August 8th, our fiftieth anniversary.

Good to be back,
Off to check on some of you,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Michelle_P on July 02, 2018, 10:47:01 pm
Stevi, congratulations on the documents, but most of all, congratulations on the wedding vow renewal on your 50th anniversary!

That is a wonderful affirmation of the relationship between the two of you, and I was so happy to see this posted.   Thank you for sharing!

Michelle P.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 03, 2018, 05:37:49 am
Michelle,

Thank you.

As time has passed I have become more and more appreciative of the place that good, close, caring and mutually beneficial relationships have in my life.  I think you have found this out as well. I have had, in my life, very few close relationships.  I am actively trying to improve the ones I do have and reach out to form others.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 04, 2018, 12:01:15 am
I finally got an answer from the fitness center.  Some time back I had approached the manager and asked about a policy about transgender persons using the facilities.  I offered to discuss the situation with the owner and help come up with something.

Since that time I have touched base with the manager several times.  No progress was reported to me.  I have no idea how much information was passed to the owner by the manager.  This morning, I asked again and she said that she forgot to pass my last reminder on to the owner.  She then took my phone number and said she would pass it along to the owner either today or tomorrow morning.

This afternoon the owner called me and let me know how he was going to handle the situation.  He stated that what he had decided did not necessarily reflect his personal opinion but since North Carolina law does not require the facility to make any accommodation for transgender people that he had canceled my membership (a family membership) and that there was a check at the desk to refund the my membership dues (that they had just debited from my bank account for the month of July.) then he said good bye and hung up.

He canceled a family membership so my wife can no longer use the facility, either.

I have not picked up the check yet.  Not sure I am going to.  Would that be an implicit acceptance of their action?

I am at a bit of a loss as to where to go from here.  I live in a small town in an otherwise rural area.  The nearest alternative with a pool is God knows where.  Closest possibility might be an hour's travel away.  Litigation is expensive and would do little to get me back into the pool in the foreseeable future, anyway.   There is a local coverage web site, Towndock.net, where I might put up a fuss with an open letter posted there.  I don't know if public opinion would be any more favorable to me there or not.  Back when HB 2 was passed here in NC, Towndock.net ran a satire piece about potty monitors checking birth cetificates and gender inspectors that got some clicks.  I am still coming out to friends and family so I am not sure I want to poke my head up that high just yet.

Need to give this all a little thought. 

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 04, 2018, 12:36:05 am
On a brighter note,

Back in March one of my sisters reposted a video by a transgender Navy SEAL.  I sent her an email and asked if she would discuss it privately with me.

I did not get a response so I just let it drop.  Well, last week, she sent me an email and apologized for not getting back to me sooner.  She said was available today to talk about it with me.  This afternoon I called her and we talked about her reasons for reposting the video,  We talked about her political views.  She is likely to be the most left leaning of all my seven brothers and sisters.  We talked about the views of each of our siblings.  My family has a fundamentalist Christian past.  Some of have moved away from that others have not.  We discussed that as well.  Somewhere in the middle of the hour and sixteen minute conversation I decided I needed to tell her why I wanted to talk with her.   I knew it would be safe.  I think I caught her a bit off guard.  She was accepting but at first she didn't seem to quite know what to say.  After a few moments for collecting her thoughts she was supportive and reassuring.  Just happy that I had come to terms.

We had a good talk.  Just before we said our goodbyes I told her she could share our conversation with her husband.  He is a Lutheran minister.  A little later in the afternoon I got a supportive email from him.

That is one sister and spouse on my side.  Four more sisters and two brothers to go.  Unfortunately, I have now picked the low hanging fruit.  The others will be less sure.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Megan. on July 04, 2018, 12:57:52 am
On a brighter note,

Back in March one of my sisters reposted a video by a transgender Navy SEAL.  I sent her an email and asked if she would discuss it privately with me.

I did not get a response so I just let it drop.  Well, last week, she sent me an email and apologized for not getting back to me sooner.  She said was available today to talk about it with me.  This afternoon I called her and we talked about her reasons for reposting the video,  We talked about her political views.  She is likely to be the most left leaning of all my seven brothers and sisters.  We talked about the views of each of our siblings.  My family has a fundamentalist Christian past.  Some of have moved away from that others have not.  We discussed that as well.  Somewhere in the middle of the hour and sixteen minute conversation I decided I needed to tell her why I wanted to talk with her.   I knew it would be safe.  I think I caught her a bit off guard.  She was accepting but at first she didn't seem to quite know what to say.  After a few moments for collecting her thoughts she was supportive and reassuring.  Just happy that I had come to terms.

We had a good talk.  Just before we said our goodbyes I told her she could share our conversation with her husband.  He is a Lutheran minister.  A little later in the afternoon I got a supportive email from him.

That is one sister and spouse on my side.  Four more sisters and two brothers to go.  Unfortunately, I have now picked the low hanging fruit.  The others will be less sure.

Stevi
I never get tired of reading about positive acceptance, especially from family members. Very happy for you hun. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Dena on July 04, 2018, 01:24:50 am
Your health club member ship is a contract where both parties agree to exchange something. Contracts are broke when both parties agree to dissolve the contract or when one part violates the terms of the contract and the other party decides to end their participation in the contract because of the violation.

For the club owner to return your money, you would have to agree to terminate the contract or commit a violation of the contract. I don't know what is written in your contract but it would be interesting to know if there was a terminate under any condition clause in it. If not, the owner could be in violation of their own contract. In either case, if it's a large corporation, you could appeal the decision. Other than that, it may be best to forget about it.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 04, 2018, 07:25:17 am
Dena,

Thanks for your comment.  This local fitness center is a small privately owned single operation.  Their is no place to appeal as I am already at the top.  I will need to look more closely at the contract to see if they have violated its terms in handling the situation.  You are probably right that I will not get what I really want which will be the continued access to the pool in peace.

I am not by nature a contentious person.  I am angry, though, and, at the moment, would like my pound of flesh.  I am wondering if a bit of bad press might not get me some of that while raising awareness that an injustice has been done in my little corner of this world.  Most likely, though, it will just make trouble all the way around.


Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 04, 2018, 07:34:53 am
Yesterday was a busy day.  I forgot to mention I managed to nudge Social Security along in getting my name change and gender marker done correctly.  After 40+ minutes on hold I got a real live person to complete a step in the process.  It seems there is a step that generates the new SS card and another that generates the Medicare updating.  When I told her that Medicare had not yet been updated it only took her a moment or two to figure out the problem and take care of it.  She said Medicare would be updated overnight.  She sounded like she knew what she was doing so I hope that I am done with that.  I will need to see if my healthcare insurance provider gets the memo soon.  They told me their system is updated based on Medicare changes.

Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 05, 2018, 08:25:37 am
Yesterday was a busy day.  I forgot to mention I managed to nudge Social Security along in getting my name change and gender marker done correctly.  After 40+ minutes on hold I got a real live person to complete a step in the process.  It seems there is a step that generates the new SS card and another that generates the Medicare updating.  When I told her that Medicare had not yet been updated it only took her a moment or two to figure out the problem and take care of it.  She said Medicare would be updated overnight.  She sounded like she knew what she was doing so I hope that I am done with that.  I will need to see if my healthcare insurance provider gets the memo soon.  They told me their system is updated based on Medicare changes.

Stevi

@Stevi:   Congratulations to you in getting all of those important changes accomplished...  For sure, it is a very affirming thing to do and is an important step in finalizing your transition.

Arghhhh.... the frustrations of dealing with name and gender changes... I found that dealing with the federal, state and local government agencies involved a lot of phone calls, letters, paperwork and sometimes (as you stated) very long waits being on hold on the phone, etc.... very frustrating for certain. 
Private companies and banks were the easiest to do.   When I relocated to my new town and state more than 1½ years when I went full-time I found that when changing my CPA certification to my new state of residence that I also had to change my diplomas with my schools and colleges which I was surprised to find out about .... but that turned out to be quite straight forward and comparatively an easy and quick task.
 
Just when I thought that I had all the changes done, then low and behold something else seems to pop up.
Then, of course, I keep continuing getting mail and emails that use my old name and gender... and that is more than 1½ years later after going full time back in December 2016.  I expect all of that to continue for the near future.

Thanks Stevi for sharing and for updating us.  Please continue, your followers and readers want to know.
Hugs and well wishes,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 05, 2018, 04:06:09 pm
After my recent conversation with my sister when I came out to her and her husband I have begun to consider revealing to my other siblings sooner than I was planning to.  But, before that I needed a better read on my daughter's progress.  She has not to been forthcoming about her progress. So,  I called her.  I did not press her about her progress.  I simply updated her on developments on my end so she is not blindsided by any fallout.  She did take it all calmly.  A good sign.

I have begun to compose the email I expect to send out.  I anticipate doing that some day this coming week.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 05, 2018, 04:24:43 pm
Name change woes.

I called Medicare to see if my name and gender corrections made it to them from SSA.   Only a 15 minute hold this time.  Got a person  and explained what I needed.  The name was correct in parts of my record and wrong in other parts. No idea why it would need to be in the record more than once.  Since the correct name was somewhere he could make the record consistent.  Not so with the gender marker.  I would need to go back to SSA to get that fixed since it was wrong everywhere.

Called SSA.  One hour and thirty minute estimated wait time.  I am listening to elevator music punctuated with assorted messages about how SSA is so sorry to be such a pain in the behind and how I can help them serve me better by having all my info ready at my hand. My call is now at 29 minutes and 7 seconds.

To be continued......


Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 05, 2018, 10:02:27 pm
.... After 1 hour 22 minutes 18 seconds a real human voice replaced the music.  Again I explained the gender marker was not in Medicare's database.  Back on hold for another 5 minutes.  After 1 hour 29 minutes 57 seconds I was again assured that the records were updated.  Yeah, right.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 05, 2018, 10:41:41 pm
.... After 1 hour 22 minutes 18 seconds a real human voice replaced the music.  Again I explained the gender marker was not in Medicare's database.  Back on hold for another 5 minutes.  After 1 hour 29 minutes 57 seconds I was again assured that the records were updated.  Yeah, right.

Stevi

@Stevi: Arghhh, the government bureaucracy at it's best.  Your long waits on telephone hold are something that are an experience that most of us have endured.  After waiting that long to get to a real human voice I hope that you got a name and a telephone extension in case things don't go as planned.
Good luck to you and I am wishing your well.
Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on July 06, 2018, 09:50:41 pm
.... After 1 hour 22 minutes 18 seconds a real human voice replaced the music.  Again I explained the gender marker was not in Medicare's database.  Back on hold for another 5 minutes.  After 1 hour 29 minutes 57 seconds I was again assured that the records were updated.  Yeah, right.

Stevi

Well you are patient for sure. The way I see it my phone would have died at 1 hour 29 minutes and 55 seconds.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 06, 2018, 10:49:53 pm
Donna,

I made sure its umbilical cord was attached on both ends. And, it was impatience that drove me.  I refused to wait until a less busy period.  Had to get it fixed ASAP.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 06, 2018, 10:54:45 pm
Donna,

I made sure I had its umbilical cord was attached on both ends. And, it was impatience that drove me.  I refused to wait until a less busy period.  Had to get it fixed ASAP.

Stevi

@Stevi
Dear Stevi:   
Well, did you get your "Mr." changed to "Miss" ???   
Is there any way for you to confirm that change yet?
To make you feel any better, I have waited many times for hours ....  and a few times after waiting so long, I would get a dial tone....  arghhhh !
Thanks for your update.
Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 07, 2018, 04:10:24 am
Danielle,

I will need to be impatient until Monday when I can  check back with Medicare to see if they got the memo from  SSA.    I echo your Aaaagh!

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 07, 2018, 08:52:44 pm
Funny interaction on Facebook,

My eldest sister's daughter posted a couple of photos of her new hair cut on her page.  It is a buzz cut on her left side.  I am not a fan of partial buzz cuts, myself but on her it is cute.  After a few complementary comments from her friends my sister, her mother, dove in with a chapter-verse referenced tirade about proper Christian living, don't follow the trends of the world. what a poor example for her other daughter, etc.  Hilarious to read.

I am in the final edits of a three page letter to all my siblings announcing my transition to them all.  I think I should send a defibrillator in advance to my eldest sister.  If a haircut has given her such a righteous apoplexy, my announcement is going to put her into cardiac arrest.

I am pretty sure I am going to get it from her with both barrels.

Oh well, se la vie,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on July 08, 2018, 10:00:39 am
Stevi, you have to do what is right with you. Tell her and be done with it, if she takes it poorly just know your not alone. We all are here to support you and we have all had something similar. She may surprise you so keep your fingers crossed.
Every one is entitled to their opinions and some may not align with ours, don’t let it eat you up.
Unfortunately family and friends can be cruel and uncaring be we need to be better than that and stand firm in or commitment to ourselves.
Best of luck with all of it, once you are 💯 our it will be so much smoother.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 08, 2018, 01:25:48 pm
Donna,

I knew my eldest sister would be a royal pain in the behind.  I will be fine no matter how she responds.  I am braced for the worst and hoping for the best.  The worst is known not to be coming because the one sister that knows is an ally.  Everything else good I get is gravy.  I have high hopes for two of the four sisters that remain.

It is true that we really do not know who will react well and who will react badly until we give them a chance to think and finally weigh in.

Hopefully,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 08, 2018, 05:28:46 pm
Went to the UU service this morning.  After the service, during the coffee and munchies, I was walking through the room and someone greeted me with "Stevi!  You look gorgeous!"  I smiled broadly and replied, "Oh, thank you so much.  That is exactly what I was going for!"  The dress was a variegated light blue silk number I got from a thrift store quite some time back.  It fits my curves really well.  Yes, I have a feminine shape!  I have lost about 10 stubborn pounds recently.  There are just a couple of extra pounds around the waist, now.  HRT has added a couple of inches on the north and south ends.  Wearing the dress made me feel really good.  Getting that affirming feedback made me feel really great.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 09, 2018, 08:12:02 am
Aaaaaagggggghhhhh!!!!!

Just got off the phone with a Medicare rep.  My records still don't show an F.  According to this rep, I need to wait 30 (more) days before the correction at Social Security that was done on Friday gets to them.  I was told otherwise by SSA.  I have no idea who is right.  Probably neither.  It is really something like 390 days.  I do not understand why there are two departments in the first place.  And, don't these people know that computers can talk to each other.  And, electrons travel really fast.  The computers are not that far apart that it should take 30 days.

Wait, I was not put on hold for, like, forever.  I was not put on hold at all.  Maybe, I dialed a wrong number? Hummm!

Back to my impatient waiting,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 09, 2018, 09:31:40 am
Aaaaaagggggghhhhh!!!!!

Just got off the phone with a Medicare rep.  My records still don't show an F.  According to this rep, I need to wait 30 (more) days before the correction at Social Security that was done on Friday gets to them.  I was told otherwise by SSA.  I have no idea who is right.  Probably neither.  It is really something like 390 days.  I do not understand why there are two departments in the first place.  And, don't these people know that computers can talk to each other.  And, electrons travel really fast.  The computers are not that far apart that it should take 30 days.

Wait, I was not put on hold for, like, forever.  I was not put on hold at all.  Maybe, I dialed a wrong number? Hummm!

Back to my impatient waiting,
Stevi

@Stevi
Dear Stevi:  I just "knew" that your gender change request was not going to be quick... and I had a hunch that there is a lot of bureaucracy red tape that will slow that down... and different departments that compete with each other.
At least you didn't have to be on hold for a long time on the phone... but like you said, you might have dialed a "wrong number" ........  keep after them Stevi ... the squeaky wheel gets the grease....

Hugs... and patience.
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 09, 2018, 04:01:55 pm
I am still mulling over my options regarding the local fitness club's cancellation of my membership.  I stopped by the facility this morning.  I spoke with the manager.  It was a congenial conversation.  When I walked up to the window, she immediately reached into a paper organizer on her desk and placed the envelop she had retrieved on the counter in front of me.  I refused to touch it.  During the conversation I asked the owner's last name.  In the call I got from him last week, he gave me his name but I am bad with names and I was unsure of how he identified himself after the phone call ended.  I asked if there were any other owners.  Answer- No.  I asked if the manager could retrieve a copy of my membership agreement for me.  I have not been able to locate my own.  She said she would but she needed to search through old files to locate it so it could take a few days.

When I started to leave she asked why I was not taking the check.  I told her that if I did, it might be construed as an implicit acceptance of the owner's actions.  I had purposely refused to touch it so there would be no question that it was never in my possession.

I don't yet know how to proceed.  A number of possibilities have come to mind.

I have sent an email off to a woman in a legal services practice in Wilmington, NC.  This particular woman is a trans woman whom I think I have met in a group therapy session a couple of months back.  I got her card from the leader of my most recent group session last Friday evening.  I gave the basic facts about the situation and ask if she could point me in the right direction for some help.  No response but hasn't been long.

Last Friday in my therapy session one of the topics of discussion was this membership cancellation.  My therapist suggested I contact the North Carolina chapter of the ACLU.  She even handed me a slip of paper with their URL on it.  I looked on the site and I am seriously considering filling out their request for help form.

A third course of action that has crossed my mind is to send a registered letter to the facility/s owner.  So far, he has had not actually heard what it is that I want or need.  While it is unlikely that he is going to reconsider, having something in writing about what I am asking for may be useful further down the road.

Then, there is still the court of public opinion.  I could put a piece in the local County Compass paper or on Towndock.net that lets the community know what has occurred.  I don't whether that will change anything or help anyone in anyway.

Or, I could just drop it and move on with my life doing my exercise by walking and running instead of using the pool as in the past.  I and my wife are not particularly looking for attention so that is an attractive option.  Still, I am wondering if I can fight this fight for the sake of my trans sisters and brothers.

Any thoughts, girls and guys?

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 10, 2018, 03:44:07 pm
Never a dull moment,

I have returned home from the surgery clinic.  Cataract surgery on the left eye. Seem that all went well.  The wife says the doctor said it was a big one.  Don't know how that translates into better vision now. Sitting here with a patch on my eye.  I will have some restrictions on what I can do.  Good time for a girl to make some trouble among the web pages of Susan's Place.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 10, 2018, 07:12:42 pm
I found that my gendering during the stages of my cataract surgery to be a mixed bag and more upsetting than I had anticipated.  In the past, I have been disappointed when people see him and go with what they see.  When I am forced to look like him, it is excusable.   Sometimes I fall down on my end and don't do the best to pretty him away.  Then it is my own fault.

Today was a bit different.  I was required to wear loose fitting clothing with no makeup or jewelry.  My documents are still inconsistent and unfortunately the surgical center had to follow Medicare.  The one agency that is still in olden days.  Their records show Stephanie (If I can believe the last rep I spoke with,) but the gender marker is M.  I am expecting a new Medicare card in the next couple weeks with that good and bad mix on it.  In the mean time, all I have is the pre-name change one.

So, when I arrived I logged in as Stephanie (Stephen) Jones, hoping to awaken a few brain cells at least.  Nope!  Me standing there in a feminine hair style, top and full skirt. the intake rep started off with MR Jones.  Ugh!.  To myself, "Let it go.  How long can this take?"  Wrong!  Every action that I needed to perform was requested of MR Jones.  Every reference to me when talking with my wife or other staff was HE.

Check in completed.  Back to the surgical pre-op area.  I immediately asked the pre-op nurse if she could use Stephanie instead of the Stephen on the documents before her.  "NO!  We will use what Medicare has listed."  So, I was MR Jones and HE throughout the preparatory process.

That is until just before the surgery was about to begin and the anesthesiologist arrived.  She, God bless her, first words out of her mouth, asked what name I would like for her to use.  "Stephanie, of course.!"  From that moment onward I was gendered correctly.  Unfortunately I was not aware for much of it.  She was my anesthesiologist, after all.

My wife reported that the surgeon and staff used she when filling her in after the operation's end.

I was surprised how much it bothered me.  Enough for me to complain to my wife as she waited with me during the last minutes of my time in pre-op.  I avoid burdening her with these little upsets.  This one just got to me.

I wish SSA/Medicare would have been more competent.

I did not detect any intolerance toward me.  Everyone was quite pleasant to deal with.  Not a sour-puss in the bunch.
   Just not observant or did not care.

Sorry if the text above is a bit garbled.  I am blind in one eye and can't see out of the other, right now.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 12, 2018, 09:12:04 am
Went in for first cataract surgery post-op.  This time everyone handled the gendering correctly.  Even the young lady who, on my first visit, opened the door to the waiting area and loudly asked for Mr Jones?  Mr Jones? Mr Jones?  This time a simple Miss Jones as she looked my way.

The doctor was pleased with his handiwork.   I have another follow-up in a week.  About another month before I get a new prescription.  In the mean time, my old prescription no longer works for both eyes,  A bit disconcerting.  So, I stopped by Dollar Tree and picked up two pair of reading glasses with very different diopter and popped the lens out of one side and made a pair that should get me by until I get the a proper pair.

In other news, when we got home yesterday, I got the check in the mail from the fitness center.  It had extra postage on it that I think was a for some kind of proof of delivery.  I opened the envelope.  I was sure it contained only the check to refund my most recent membership debit.  I was right.  I had to open it just in case it had some communication within it.  I do not intend to cash the check until I get some competent advice and make a decision on how to proceed.

Still angry and feeling a need for justice since I will not get consideration.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 12, 2018, 03:47:19 pm
Me again.  I stopped by the fitness center on the way home from the mail (Going to the mail is another entry's subject.) and was pleasantly surprised.  The manager had retrieved our membership agreement and copied it for me.  I was sure the owner would be obstructionist about.

The Terms section is one-half a page long.  The pertinent portion reads as follows: the fitness center "reserves the right to withdraw, suspend, or refuse membership privileges either temporarily or permanently from any individual or family member who, in the administrator's opinion has conducted themselves in a manner detrimental to the legitimate interest of the "fitness center "and its members"

All I did was ask to now if they had a transgender policy and offer to work with them develop one since they did not have one.

More to think about,
The saga continues,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 12, 2018, 03:55:57 pm
Me again.  I stopped by the fitness center on the way home from the mail (Going to the mail is another entry's subject.) and was pleasantly surprised.  The manager had retrieved our membership agreement and copied it for me.  I was sure the owner would be obstructionist about.

The Terms section is one-half a page long.  The pertinent portion reads as follows: the fitness center "reserves the right to withdraw, suspend, or refuse membership privileges either temporarily or permanently from any individual or family member who, in the administrator's opinion has conducted themselves in a manner detrimental to the legitimate interest of the "fitness center "and its members"

All I did was ask to now if they had a transgender policy and offer to work with them develop one since they did not have one.

More to think about,
The saga continues,
Stevi

@Stevi
Dear Stevi: 
Hmmm, based on your previous post about getting the debit returned to you, I don't think that this sounds like good news....  I hope that I am wrong.

Or.. is it good news and they are gifting you a lifetime membership????????????

Please keep us updated.
Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 12, 2018, 07:16:43 pm
Danielle,

I am thinking I might be able to get more than a membership out of this.  Should I try for the whole fitness center?  What ya think?

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 12, 2018, 07:29:36 pm
Up thread I mentioned a trip to the post office earlier today.  The story behind that is that I have begun my "coming out party" to my five sisters and two brothers.

Over the past week I have been composing and polishing a letter intended for all of them.  One of my brothers is not Internet connected.  To get the letter to him, I needed to use the US Postal Service's snail mail service otherwise known as "First Class".  I took his copy of the letter down to the local post office to give it a head start.  I plan on sending emails to all the others on Saturday.

Soon, they will all know.  Might be some fireworks for my party before this is all over.

For better or for worse, hold on to you hats.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 12, 2018, 07:44:01 pm
I am proud of my wife.  She has been trying to find some way to use our experiences to be of help to others facing a similar situation.  She has found an online support site for wives of transgender spouses.  She responded to one woman's plea for help.  The woman is in the place that my wife has some experience living in.  Dealing with her problems alone and not liking the HRT related changes in a person she dearly loves.  My wife's response was honest but very encouraging to that woman and others following the topic.  She helped others and it made her feel better about herself.

I love her,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 12, 2018, 07:56:29 pm
Danielle,

I am thinking I might be able to get more than a membership out of this.  Should I try for the whole fitness center?  What ya think?

Stevi

@Stevi:
Have you asked to meet with and spoken with  (in person) the owner? 
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 12, 2018, 08:50:47 pm
Danielle,

I was being snarky in that comment about getting the whole fitness center.

I asked the manager to have the owner contact me about the matter.  The manager was not willing to give me his phone number or address.  After some follow-ups with the manager, the owner did, finally, call me, once.  It was not a conversation. It was a series of statements from him where he tried to disavow any transphobia on his part, told me he believed he had no legal obligation to accommodate me, told me my membership was canceled and there was a check at the front desk to refund my unused dues, after which he said goodbye and hung up.

I am inclined to send a conciliatory toned letter to him and ask if we can amicably discuss the situation in an effort to resolve the issue before taking any adversarial action.

I really don't want to make life hard for the man.  I am in no mood to roll over, either.  This is a small community and the fitness center is, I suspect, struggling financially.  It is a disservice and an injustice to us, on the one hand, for him to dismiss my wife and me.  On the other hand, if I press too hard, all that is likely to happen is to force his operation into closing in which case the whole community looses and I gain nothing of value.

I find myself in a position where I am in the right, I think, but, not knowing what the right thing to do about it is.

Perplexed, I am,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Dena on July 12, 2018, 09:47:35 pm
Probably you should sit down with a lawyer, ACLU or LGBT rights group and work out a letter that covers the following points.

1. The center is in violation of their own contract and could be sued for the violation.
2. You don't wish to take legal action, you don't want your money back and would prefer not to take it to the court of public opinion.
3. What you do want is to continue using the facility and you are willing to discuss the issues that could occur.
4. Many people have already addressed this issue and were able to work out an agreement satisfactory to both parties.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 12, 2018, 10:19:18 pm
Dena,

Thanks for the advice.  I have reached out for some legal advice.  I intend to do something to follow up with that tomorrow.  I am trying to think and work this through for the best outcome all round.  I really do not want to hurt the community or the employees of the fitness center.  I do not want to give the general public cause to think ill of me or the transgender community at large.

Regarding your 4th point.  Can you point me to a source to substantiate such a statement?  I do not doubt you but I do not want to assert something I cannot defend.

Thanks again,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Dena on July 12, 2018, 10:50:16 pm
We have several members here who use health clubs. Among them Alaskan Danielle (https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php?action=profile;u=57927) and sarah1972 (https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php?action=profile;u=49005). The FTMs on the site often attend health clubs before top surgery in order to build up their muscles as the surgeons can do a better job if they know what the chest muscle structure is like.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 13, 2018, 06:39:09 am
Dena,

Thank you for your latest reply.  I was aware that there are fellow members here at Susan's that use their own health club, peacably.  I do not know how contentious their situations were and how they compare to the one I find myself in.

It occurs to me that I might make the same point with a statement along the lines of "My wife and I are confident that, together with you, we can address this issue and work out an agreement that is satisfactory to both parties."

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 13, 2018, 08:50:01 am
Danielle,

I was being snarky in that comment about getting the whole fitness center.

I asked the manager to have the owner contact me about the matter.  The manager was not willing to give me his phone number or address.  After some follow-ups with the manager, the owner did, finally, call me, once.  It was not a conversation. It was a series of statements from him where he tried to disavow any transphobia on his part, told me he believed he had no legal obligation to accommodate me, told me my membership was canceled and there was a check at the front desk to refund my unused dues, after which he said goodbye and hung up.

I am inclined to send a conciliatory toned letter to him and ask if we can amicably discuss the situation in an effort to resolve the issue before taking any adversarial action.

I really don't want to make life hard for the man.  I am in no mood to roll over, either.  This is a small community and the fitness center is, I suspect, struggling financially.  It is a disservice and an injustice to us, on the one hand, for him to dismiss my wife and me.  On the other hand, if I press too hard, all that is likely to happen is to force his operation into closing in which case the whole community looses and I gain nothing of value.

I find myself in a position where I am in the right, I think, but, not knowing what the right thing to do about it is.

Perplexed, I am,
Stevi

@Stevi
Dear Stevi:  My suggestion for you is to follow what you stated about writing a conciliatory toned letter to the owner and then requesting a low-key meeting to discuss the situation... not threatening legal action and not with an aggressive or angry tone and not with an activist leaning.
 
Legal threats and protester type wording at this point are not going to get him to talk to you in a reasonable way.   State to him that you and your wife are not a threat and all you want to be able to do is to have a peaceful and non-confrontational membership at his health club. 

At the end of your brief letter also include the following... politely request a cordial and brief personal meeting with him so he can meet you and your wife in person...  to discuss the matter. 
POSSIBLY discussing locker room issues and going over ways to alleviate any of his concerns would be a subject of interest to the owner and in fact might be one of his main concerns???

Coming onto him with both guns blazing is not a good approach and will only build a higher wall particularly with all the NEWS headlines lately regarding LGBQT issues.
 
Stay Calm... speak softly (but don't) carry a big stick yet (Teddy Roosevelt) 
Good luck to you and keep us posted.
Hugs,
Danielle

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 13, 2018, 09:13:15 am
Danielle,

I am planning on going with consiliatory letter approach.  I certainly think Dena has had some good thoughts.  I think I will keep this at a personnal level through this next step and hold off getting legal types involved for the time being.

Although I am angry and the word on the grapevine holds that he is a difficult person to deal with, so the effort is likely to futile, the conciliatory approach is consistent with who I am as a person.  It is the right next step.

Between now and Monday I will put my thoughts together and prepare a letter.  If anyone has any further thoughts, I am all ears.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 13, 2018, 06:14:38 pm
I have been having mixed success with getting all the government agencies up to speed with my name and gender changes.  NC driver's license, easy.  Social Security, easy, I thought, but some glitches that are still not resolved.  Passport, expensive, done, had a glitch that I overcame.  Medicare, pain in the behind, mostly SSA's fault.  PA birth certificate, unbelievable.

The birth certificate is a two part question type of thing.  File paperwork for the corrections.  Then, apply for a copy of the corrected birth record.  I sent the paperwork off in the middle of May.  It has now been about eight weeks.  I was becoming concerned so I looked on the PA Vital Statistics web pages to thy to track it down.  I found a set of FAQs that address processing times.  My corrections are expected to take fifteen weeks.  Only then can I obtain a corrected birth certificate.  Some of the othere processing times were as much as 30 weeks!

Government agencies have absolutely no incentive to serve its customers well.  If any business had a processing times like this they would be out of business before they completed their first request.

Oh, does my head ache,
Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 13, 2018, 06:31:54 pm
I have been having mixed success with getting all the government agencies up to speed with my name and gender changes.  NC driver's license, easy.  Social Security, easy, I thought, but some glitches that are still not resolved.  Passport, expensive, done, had a glitch that I overcame.  Medicare, pain in the behind, mostly SSA's fault.  PA birth certificate, unbelievable.

The birth certificate is a two part question type of thing.  File paperwork for the corrections.  Then, apply for a copy of the corrected birth record.  I sent the paperwork off in the middle of May.  It has now been about eight weeks.  I was becoming concerned so I looked on the PA Vital Statistics web pages to thy to track it down.  I found a set of FAQs that address processing times.  My corrections are expected to take fifteen weeks.  Only then can I obtain a corrected birth certificate.  Some of the othere processing times were as much as 30 weeks!

Government agencies have absolutely no incentive to serve its customers well.  If any business had a processing times like this they would be out of business before they completed their first request.

Oh, does my head ache,
Stevi

@Stevie
Dear Stevi:   I feel your pain....  you are right, of course, about Government Agencies and how they process changes, or anything else for that matter.

Just imagine if the government was the only one to design, to make and to sell cell phones and to provide cell towers, cell service, and internet connections?
The phones would be big and heavy, wouldn't work well, no cutting edge features and performance, too expensive, cell coverage from the towers would be inadequate and slow, internet connections would be problematic at best.... etc, etc....   

I trust that you get through all of these changes in a tolerable time.   I went through many of the very same issues when I went full-time...  however at my age I didn't have medicare or social security too mess with.

Keep us updated....
Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 14, 2018, 06:54:23 am
Events in our niece's life have my wife in a but of an agitated state.  The car we loaned to her started screaming from its front wheel bearings.  She lost her job which depends on the car.  To top it all off, she got pulled over for a burned out headlight.

That is where things get a little sticky for us.  Our niece has not been told about Stephanie.  The car is registered in Stephanie's name.  There is a high probability that the officer queried her about who the car belonged to.  Since I spoke with her about an issue while she was getting the car repaired, she sent a text with an image of the reciept and work order.  The phone has gone silent.  Don't really know what it means.

We have invested a great deal in trying to help her out.  At every turn, there have been problems and disasters but it is not for lack of us trying.  If Stephanie is a problem for her, she is on her own, now.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 14, 2018, 07:09:14 am
I have been putting the final touches on some emails that will serve as cover letters for the coming out letter to my siblings.  I think all is ready.  I sent the letter to my one internet challenged brother on Thursday.  So, the process has begun and I really can't back out of sending the letter off to all the rest.  Still, the thought has my blood pressure elevated a bit.  My plan is to click the send button later this afternoon.

This coming out business has really been taking its toll.  I called our daughter a few days ago to give her a heads up on this round of coming out.  She seemed to be OK, well, not upset.  I sent an email out to her that let her know I had sent the letter out to my brother and the plan was to send it by email to the rest this weekend.  I, also told her of tentative plans to visit her soon.  Last night I tried to call.  No answer.  I left a message.  No call back.  This all has me worrying.  Probably nothing more that her being busy, out with friends, catching up on her rest.  I am trying not to let my paranoia get the better of me.  Not doing a very good job of that.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 14, 2018, 09:37:52 am
I have banged a crack in th Social Security-to-Medicare interface.  I received my new Medicare card in th mail.  Yeah!  It has the correct name on it!  This card is a bit different in format than the old one.  It has a new Medicare Number.  They were using what was essentially your Social Security Number.  They are in the process of converting everyone to the new numbers.  The new card does not include any mention of SEX.  Good and not so good.  Having MALE plastered on the old one was a real downer the othe day when I was in the surgical center for my cataract operation.  But having FEMALE on the new one would have saved me another call to someone to find out if their records have my correct gender.  Even when they do things right, they seem to find a way to screw me up.

It is Saturday so I have another impatient wait till I can call someone next week.  I will also need to check in with my healthcare insuance to see if they now have the correct information.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 14, 2018, 03:29:39 pm
I pulled the trigger!  I hit the send button on seven coming out emails.  One for my brother.  Five for my sisters. One for a friend of thirty years and his wife.  I know, I am a glutton for punishment.  My wife and I are braced for the outcome.  Might be some fireworks.  It is past the time of year for big fireworks displays.  Maybe they are all sold out.

Wish me well,
Strevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Nicole70 on July 14, 2018, 05:03:30 pm
Stevi,

Great news on getting a new card, I hope you find the records are now correct. Just a look ng wait on hold on Monday hey, at least you can do your nails while you wait. Good luck with the emails to your siblings and friends, I hope it all works out better than you imagined.

Did your niece and daughter eventually get back to you? I’m sure they were just busy and not ignoring you, maybe they were just taking time to process the information and doesn’t necessarily mean anything bad.

Hugs,

Nicole
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 14, 2018, 05:10:06 pm
I pulled the trigger!  I hit the send button on seven coming out emails.  One for my brother.  Five for my sisters. One for a friend of thirty years and his wife.  I know, I am a glutton for punishment.  My wife and I are braced for the outcome.  Might be some fireworks.  It is past the time of year for big fireworks displays.  Maybe they are all sold out.

Wish me well,
Strevi

 @Stevi
Dear Stevi:  You are a brave one for sure....  but it is kinda like tiptoeing into a cold swimming pool... it is better to just jump in all at once....  so hitting the send button on those emails was kinda like that. 

I trust that your official coming out to your family and freinds goes well.
Please continue to keep your readers and followers updated as you always have done.

Hugs and well wishes,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 14, 2018, 09:01:04 pm
Assorted updates.

My daughter was just busy, tired and sleeping it off.  She called and we had, maybe, the best conversation a long while.  I had to inform her that I was sending off the email to the 30 year friend.  That friend was actually in highschool with her.  A few years younger.  He was her younger sister's boy friend.  In the summer while they were dating I introduced him to sailing and made quite an impression on him.  He is my friend and my older daughter's friend as well.  He is the first person we wanted to come out to that is really closely connected with our daughter.  She had to have a heads up and I wanted to know how she felt about getting a call from him about all this.  She was good about it all.

As for the friend, he quickly fired off a text to me right after he got the email.  The electrons had not had time to cool off.  It read "I will always love you.  Will call you later."

I got a call from my in-the-know sister as well.  She was impressed with what I wrote to all of them.  It was the first time she read it.  I had sent an earlier version out to her husband for critique but she opted not to read it then because she wanted to "get it at the same time as everyone else"  Had a really open and frank sister to sister talk about a number of things that lasted over an hour.

Nothing yet from anyone else.  Too soon.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 14, 2018, 10:27:40 pm
Nicole,

I am not looking forward to going back to the Medicare quagmire.  I may have fond a work around.   I have one of those customer care acccounts with Medicare called MyMedicare.  I found a page on it that displays their information about me.  Of course my name is there.  It is correctly listed.  My gender as it is in their records is also there.  It is still listed as MALE.  I think I will follow that for a while to see if it is updated sometime in the next couple of weeks as I wait out the 30 days they said it might take.

Thanks for your support and hopes that it goes well.,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 14, 2018, 10:32:13 pm
Danielle,

Jumping into cold water takes my breath away.  Once I get moving though, I am OK.  This will be OK.

Still gasping to catch my breath,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 15, 2018, 03:35:55 pm
Danielle,

I just noticed the new avatar.  Gorgeous and radiant, girl!  Almost as much so as what I see inside.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 15, 2018, 03:52:05 pm
Danielle,

I just noticed the new avatar.  Gorgeous and radiant, girl!  Almost as much so as what I see inside.

Stevi

-    -    -    -   -   -   -   -   -

Danielle,

Jumping into cold water takes my breath away.  Once I get moving though, I am OK.  This will be OK.

Still gasping to catch my breath,
Stevi

@Stevi
Dear Stevi:  Thank you for your nice words... a smart girl always accepts a compliment!!! Thank You

Please do keep us all up to date on your coming out emails and reactions.... 
Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 15, 2018, 03:57:55 pm
Went the UU service today.  There is a portion of the service where members of the congregation are invited to come forward to share there joys and concerns.  Several people reported their sorrow for the death of someone in their lives.  That seemed to be the theme this week.  Last week it was reports of renewed cancers and other dire health issues.  I felt a little self-absorbed after sharing my relatively trivial concern about the potentially negative responses of my siblings to my coming out letter.  After the service, I was approached by so many people with expressions of encouragement.  I found the expression of love and concern uplifting.  I think people need to have an outlet for their love.  Sometimes, that outlet needs to be one where they can truly express hope.  Maybe, it was selfish on my part to share.  But, maybe, I presented an opportunity for many to love and hope.

That opening up to share my concerns is not something I would have done in the not to distant past.  It felt good to share my burden, even a light burden, and feel the support and hear the encouragement.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: KathyLauren on July 15, 2018, 03:58:11 pm
Hi, Stevi.  I have just been catching up on your thread.  Congratulations on all the coming-out letters.  I am happy for you that the initial responses have been positive.  Let's hope it stays that way.

Bureaucracy!  ::)  Yeah, I've been there!
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 15, 2018, 05:57:38 pm
Kathy,

Thank you, for adding to the hopes count.

I am slowly but inevitably defeating the bureaucrats.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 16, 2018, 07:49:29 am
The Purge has begun!

Just need to get rid of some of these clothes.  The closets and drawers are full.  I am not using any of the boy stuff except for ratty work clothing.  So much of the girl clothing is just not me anymore.  Much of it is too plain for me.  It was for being me without calling attention to what was happening.  Drab colors and unembellished.  Now I want to be seen for what I am.  Bright and vibrantly feminine.

Then there is the bra collection.  That is where I have started.  The drawer was packed with heavily padded bras from days gone by.  Some benefit from herbs, in the more distant past, and nine months of supervised estrogen have made them irrelevant.  I am a B, going on C and it's all me!  No need for the help of the padding.  Some of them are so pretty, though.  Regardless, off to charity they go.  I still need support.  Just not that type, anymore.

I have had my share of purges but this feels different, somehow.   :laugh:

Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 16, 2018, 08:12:38 am
Hey girls and guys,

I need some help.  There are so many of you running threads to chronicle you journeys.  I think it is great and I am trying desperately to keep tabs on all of you.  The various threads are scattered over several forms and sub-forums.  Sometimes the forum activity is so fast and furious that your thread is pushed down the list to where I don't readily find it.  Or, I might not get a chance to look at all the forums where my favorite people are doing their journaling in the time available.  Is there any method you can recommend to make it easier to know when there has been a reply that freshens up the threads I am trying to follow closely?

What a problem to have.  Too, many friends to keep track of.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Paige on July 16, 2018, 11:05:28 am
Hi Stevi,

You probably know this but if you comment in a thread you want to follow, it will show up when updated in the "Show new replies to your posts" at the top of the screen.

If that doesn't work for you could try the  "Recent Topics" link.

Take care,
Paige :)
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 16, 2018, 03:29:37 pm
On the Fitness Center Fight Front Line,

I put together my letter to the owner of the fitness center who canceled my membership rather than talk things over with me.  I had a number of objectives in mind while writing it.  Maybe foremost was to get it all in written form. I gave him pertinent information about me and my needs and asked that he reconsider.  I pressed the point that I believe he violated the terms of our membership agreement.  I offered to work with him to resolve the matter amicably.  I, also, let him know that I had adversarial options that I would resort to if in a two week period he did not establish a good faith dialog with me.  I think I was conciliatory but, I, also, let him know I am not playing games, either.

I sent the letter out by first class certified mail.  It should complete its journey, practically across the street from the post office, in two days time.  His clock should start ticking on Wednesday.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Nicole70 on July 16, 2018, 04:29:05 pm
Hey girls and guys,

I need some help.  There are so many of you running threads to chronicle you journeys.  I think it is great and I am trying desperately to keep tabs on all of you.  The various threads are scattered over several forms and sub-forums.  Sometimes the forum activity is so fast and furious that your thread is pushed down the list to where I don't readily find it.  Or, I might not get a chance to look at all the forums where my favorite people are doing their journaling in the time available.  Is there any method you can recommend to make it easier to know when there has been a reply that freshens up the threads I am trying to follow closely?

What a problem to have.  Too, many friends to keep track of.

Stevi

Hi Stevi,

Not sure if you use or like to use a smartphone, or have a tablet device, I use Tapatalk, you can follow posts, or if you have replied to a post then you get a list of posts that have updated, it also lists post you have not yet read.

Nicole
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 16, 2018, 05:35:48 pm
Hey girls and guys,

I need some help.  There are so many of you running threads to chronicle you journeys.  I think it is great and I am trying desperately to keep tabs on all of you.  The various threads are scattered over several forms and sub-forums.  Sometimes the forum activity is so fast and furious that your thread is pushed down the list to where I don't readily find it.  Or, I might not get a chance to look at all the forums where my favorite people are doing their journaling in the time available.  Is there any method you can recommend to make it easier to know when there has been a reply that freshens up the threads I am trying to follow closely?

What a problem to have.  Too, many friends to keep track of.

Stevi

@Stevie
I "Bookmark" the member's threads that I follow closely so I can easily find them even if they are not on the Recent Topics list. 
Some days there are lots of postings happening and stuff gets booted off of the Recent Topics list within a few hours sometimes. 
So, try the "My Bookmark" list, I think you will be happy with how that works for you.
Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 16, 2018, 05:38:28 pm
On the Fitness Center Fight Front Line,

I put together my letter to the owner of the fitness center who canceled my membership rather than talk things over with me.  I had a number of objectives in mind while writing it.  Maybe foremost was to get it all in written form. I gave him pertinent information about me and my needs and asked that he reconsider.  I pressed the point that I believe he violated the terms of our membership agreement.  I offered to work with him to resolve the matter amicably.  I, also, let him know that I had adversarial options that I would resort to if in a two week period he did not establish a good faith dialog with me.  I think I was conciliatory but, I, also, let him know I am not playing games, either.

I sent the letter out by first class certified mail.  It should complete its journey, practically across the street from the post office, in two days time.  His clock should start ticking on Wednesday.

Stevi

@Stevi:   All the proper moves for sure... starts out nice and ends up being firm without being overtly threatening.  Nicely done.
Please be sure to keep us all updated about the future events with this. 

Thank you for posting this...
Hugs, and well wishes,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Laurie on July 16, 2018, 05:58:00 pm
Hi Stevi,

  I have read the sagas contained herein of the less than satisfactory escapades with both Medicare and the fitness center. You are one determined lady! I don't go to a fitness center (wouldn't know what to do if I did) but I do hope you eventually get an adequate solution to the issue. As for the medicare gender correction venture you have me wondering now. I had thought my experience at the local SSA office was a painless experience in taking care of both Medicare and SSA. But now you have me wondering about the gender designation. I have not used either new cards yet so I do not know if it is right or not. I guess I will have to look at that online site you spoke of.
  Congrats on the coming out letters and good luck with the rest of the responses. I hope your luck is way better than mine was. But hey, life happens and sometimes we loose. Sometimes we win. Keep the faith and your resolve.

Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 16, 2018, 06:38:15 pm
Paige, Nicole, Danielle,

Thank you for the pointers about better navigation of the forums.  I add them to the mix and see what I can do to keep better tabs on all of you.  I have the impression that there are many more of us to keep tabs on than there used to be.  Maybe, I am just more interested.

Danielle,

I don't really expect the fitness center owner will respond well.  But, who know, I might be wrong.  It is important to me to do this the right way which happens to be the easy way.  Will he smart or obstinate?

Laurie,

The gender and name issue is such a bear.  I have been involved, lately, with more than my usual number of health care provider interaction.  I have been fortunate in that I have not had a lot of need for them most of my life.  Now that I am customizing some of the original equipment while trying to keep the badly worn systems functioning, I have needed to call on them more than I used to.  Right in the middle of trying to get my documents corrected.  At some point I expect my insurance carrier to finally get with the program and start denying payments for that Stephen fellow I have been needing to drag to the doctors with me.  That will just be the icing on this cake.

One and all,

An update on the coming out letter.  Other than the one sister who already knew, not one peep from anyone.  Still early and I know there is a lot to take in.  Maybe, I should start checking death notices around the country.  There may have been a recent spike in the death rate from EHS (Exploding Head Syndrome). 

Seriously, I am trying to keep it all in perspective, but I am starting to get worried. 1 for 7 makes for a really bad batting average.

Stevi.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Laurie on July 16, 2018, 07:06:30 pm

An update on the coming out letter.  Other than the one sister who already knew, not one peep from anyone.  Still early and I know there is a lot to take in.  Maybe, I should start checking death notices around the country.  There may have been a recent spike in the death rate from EHS (Exploding Head Syndrome). 

Seriously, I am trying to keep it all in perspective, but I am starting to get worried. 1 for 7 makes for a really bad batting average.

Stevi.

 I counted your sister and the long time friend you taught to sail.  That is 2 my friend. Some you will not hear back from and other need time to assess things. Hang in there, all is not lost yet.

Hugs,
  Laurie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Nicole70 on July 16, 2018, 07:11:51 pm
Maybe, I should start checking death notices around the country.  There may have been a recent spike in the death rate from EHS (Exploding Head Syndrome). 


so funny, I’m glad you are keeping your humour, let’s hope in time they all come round.

Hugs

Nicole
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 16, 2018, 07:59:42 pm
Laurie,

I was focusing on my siblings with the reference of 1 for 7.  You are right to point out the brighter picture which is-  Of those important people I have told and I wish to carry forward with me into my new life, which totals 19, 8 have come with me.  Of the remaining 11, siblings and their spouses, none have, as yet, refused to come along.

Felt like a SLAP to me.  Thanks, my friend.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 16, 2018, 08:10:56 pm
Danielle,

Thanks for the tip.  A little tweaking of the display order of the replies so last in is first out and I now have a folder, "Susan's Gang", among my bookmarks with my own Saga and 13 of my favorite sister's escapade journals at the ready.  Humm. 13?  That will not do.  Oh, I forgot Laurie's better half.  That will fix it.  Make that 14 sister's.  There are more, for sure.  Just have to track them all down one more time and drop them into my folder.  Loose the hounds, the hunt is on.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Laurie on July 16, 2018, 09:25:15 pm


Felt like a SLAP to me.  Thanks, my friend.

Stevi

  If you feel you need that slap I can oblige you. I can probably get my Aussie protege to do it too...

No, not a slap, just a hug,
  Laurie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 17, 2018, 10:41:50 am
Herding the Bureaucrats.  Looked at my health insurance related web sites.   No gender changes yet.  That is no surprise.  They have made a half-hearted attempt at changing the name.  Most places it is still Stephen.  A couple of places, like my printable ID card and some health services discount cards that I can print out, it is Stephan.  Now, where did they get that?

Spoke with a very pleasant young lady who had to consult someone higher up, I suppose.  She could fix the name but the gender is still waiting for SSA and Medicare to get their act together.  She proposed 45 to 90 days for the rate of flow for the information from SSA to Medicare to them.  She says I should have a new card with the correct name in hand in about ten days.  Let me think, where have I heard something like that before?

If I have a Medicare and a health insurance card with my correct name and no gender info I will be fine until my PCP wants to setup a mammogram.  I have an appointment with her the end of next month so that may be sooner than you might think.  I have been seeing her for a number of years and I was open with her about my breast development and my welcoming attitude toward it from the beginning.  I am well developed enough and they have been around long enough that she may begin to think it is prudent.

 :eusa_wall:
Stevi :icon_crazy:
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 17, 2018, 10:52:03 am
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:  Ahh, yes, the government bureaucrats.... they do things their way and we can't do anything about it.
I went to get a vehicle title changed and I rushed over there at 8:30AM thinking that they would be open.... WRONG....  the door is locked with a sign that says that they open at 9:30AM.... through the glass door window I could see 4 employees in there sipping coffee and chatting away with each other... what is up with that?  I decided to stay there and wait as the line grew longer....  in the meantime my business is closed because I am not there.
I am running my own business as you know....  I have posted hours on my office door but if I am there working before or after hours as I almost always do, my door is open and my "open" sign is displayed... no way, as long as I am in my office, can I afford to turn away clients...
... but I guess that the Motor Vehicle department has a monopoly on their business so the public is at their mercy.

This is the way it is, the way it has always been, and the way it will always be....   I guess we just have to grin and go with the flow as best we can.

Hugs and well wishes,
Danielle


Herding the Bureaucrats.  Looked at my health insurance related web sites.   No gender changes yet.  That is no surprise.  They have made a half-hearted attempt at changing the name.  Most places it is still Stephen.  A couple of places, like my printable ID card and some health services discount cards that I can print out, it is Stephan.  Now, where did they get that?

Spoke with a very pleasant young lady who had to consult someone higher up, I suppose.  She could fix the name but the gender is still waiting for SSA and Medicare to get their act together.  She proposed 45 to 90 days for the rate of flow for the information from SSA to Medicare to them.  She says I should have a new card in hand in about ten days.  Let me see, where have I heard something like that before?

If I have a Medicare and a health insurance card with my correct name and no gender info I will be fine until my PCP wants to setup a mammogram.  I have an appointment with her the end of next month so that may be sooner than you might think.  I have been seeing her for a number of years and I was open with her about my breast development and my welcoming attitude toward it from the beginning.  I am well developed enough and they have been around long enough that she may begin to think it is prudent.

 :eusa_wall:
Stevi :icon_crazy:
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on July 17, 2018, 11:25:34 am
Herding the Bureaucrats.  Looked at my health insurance related web sites.   No gender changes yet.  That is no surprise.  They have made a half-hearted attempt at changing the name.  Most places it is still Stephen.  A couple of places, like my printable ID card and some health services discount cards that I can print out, it is Stephan.  Now, where did they get that?

Spoke with a very pleasant young lady who had to consult someone higher up, I suppose.  She could fix the name but the gender is still waiting for SSA and Medicare to get their act together.  She proposed 45 to 90 days for the rate of flow for the information from SSA to Medicare to them.  She says I should have a new card with the correct name in hand in about ten days.  Let me think, where have I heard something like that before?

If I have a Medicare and a health insurance card with my correct name and no gender info I will be fine until my PCP wants to setup a mammogram.  I have an appointment with her the end of next month so that may be sooner than you might think.  I have been seeing her for a number of years and I was open with her about my breast development and my welcoming attitude toward it from the beginning.  I am well developed enough and they have been around long enough that she may begin to think it is prudent.

 :eusa_wall:
Stevi :icon_crazy:

So crazy making for sure Stevi. I received my new health care card about two weeks ago and it was all good and then this past Friday I received another letter. Seem I’m now included in the provinces cervical cancer screening program and have to book my Pap smear. They do make me shake my head some days. My other insurance changed all the names and charts and then sent the confirmation letter to “Mr Donna B”
Got to love it. I hope all goes well with your family and the rest of your coming out
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Paige on July 17, 2018, 03:13:24 pm
If I have a Medicare and a health insurance card with my correct name and no gender info I will be fine until my PCP wants to setup a mammogram.  I have an appointment with her the end of next month so that may be sooner than you might think.  I have been seeing her for a number of years and I was open with her about my breast development and my welcoming attitude toward it from the beginning.  I am well developed enough and they have been around long enough that she may begin to think it is prudent.

Hi Stevi,

I wonder about the necessity of mammograms.  You may be the age where cis-women normally get mammograms but your breasts are considerably younger than theirs.  I wonder if there's any science that actually backs up this type of screening on transgender individuals and are there any studies that suggest older transgender women especially late-transitioners are prone to breast cancer?

Just curious, have a nice day.
Paige :)

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 17, 2018, 03:23:12 pm
Hi Stevi,

I wonder about the necessity of mammograms.  You may be the age where cis-women normally get mammograms but your breasts are considerably younger than theirs.  I wonder if there's any science that actually backs up this type of screening on transgender individuals and are there any studies that suggest older transgender women especially late-transitioners are prone to breast cancer?

Just curious, have a nice day.
Paige :)


@Paige  @Stevi
Dear Paige and Stevi:
For your information, I have already had 2 breast exams and then a Mammogram early this year. 
I have full B or a C cup and my doctor felt that a Mammogram would be in order since I have been on HRT for over 3 1/2 years.   The good news is that the exams and the mammogram results were good.
I guess that this is kind of a right of passage for a transwoman.

I discovered that some cis-women call a Mammogram a "titty-squisher"  ....  for good reason I found out!!!!

Hugs and well wishes,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 17, 2018, 04:05:43 pm
Paige,

What I quipped about a mammogram was a little bit of tongue-in-cheek.  I expect that I will need to out myself more times even though I have Medicare and insurance card in my name, if/when the doctor sends me off to a new set of people that will look at me funny 'cause there is an M down in the record system somewhere.

But Danielle is right.  The cells that began to multiply to make the new breast tissue are not first generation.  They are distant descendants of the originals.  That makes them subject to some copying errors.  Then there is just the possibility that something goes astray.  Maybe not quite as high a risk as a cis-woman but a significant risk nonetheless.

Besides, cis-men get breast cancer, too, on occasion.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Dena on July 17, 2018, 04:58:19 pm
Ahh, yes, the government bureaucrats.... they do things their way and we can't do anything about it.
I sometimes thing there are three sure things in life. Death, taxes and employment when you have a government job!  ;D
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 18, 2018, 08:21:48 am
Yesterday, afternoon I got my first reply to my sibling coming out letter.  It was an email from my younger brother's wife.  She opened the email addressing me as Stevi and admitted it felt strange to do so.  But, she wanted to be as supportive as she could.  She told me she had been active in an LGBT church and was well acquainted with our struggles.  She had seen the improvements in people's lives when they had come to terms with themselves and began to live openly in accord their reality.  She expressed hope that I would have the same outcome.

My sister-in-law relayed my brother's take.  She told me he said he would not condemn anyone for how they choose to live their lives, but he was struggling with how to workout our relationship, going forward.  He had expressed to her that, looking back, it was not all that surprising of a development.

I profusely thanked my sister-in-law for her acceptance and hopes.  I told her to let my brother know that I would give him time and space to work it out.  And, he was welcome to call on me any time about this matter or anything else.

This is pretty much what I expected from the two of them.  I'll take it!

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 18, 2018, 09:03:33 am
I did hear from one of my sisters about another matter.  It is tangentially related to the coming out letter.  If I had not just sent the letter out to her, I would not give it a second thought.

In an email she relates that she has a granddaughter with some health issues.  The doctors are struggling, it seems, to determine what the source of the problem is.  She wrote the email to me and my other sisters and brother asking for medical histories.  On the the surface it seems reasonable to get some family member health history.

If it was the typical general questions about occurrences of cancer, heart disease and the like I would not get too upset about it.  Medical forms ask those kind of questions all the time.  Her request was for great detail.  Life-long details.  Dates and medications.  Operations.  Details that I would expect from my doctor about my health history but I have never had a doctor get that specific about a close relative's health history.

On my coming out letter I told them all that I have satisfied my doctor and the various government agencies that I had received "appropriate clinical treatment" and I am now female.  I explicitly told them that the nature and extent of my physical changers was a private matter among me, my wife, my doctors and my therapist.

Now, for my paranoia.  Is this sister mining for information about my transition and the alterations I have done to my body and the hormones I am taking?  The amount of detail she is looking for, the type of things she wants to know and the timing of the request all give me cause for suspicion.  To fully provide the information she purports to need, I would have to tell her about my HRT medications and any transition related surgeries I may have had.  I hate to think she is being that duplicitous and disrespectful.  But, this does not feel right.

To add to the unsettling nature of the email, she made no mention of the letter I sent.  Nothing to let me know she had received it.  No indication she was giving it any consideration.  It's as though I never sent it to her.  If she really has not received the letter then I do not know how to sign any reply I might send out.

All of this has me in a real quandary as to how to handle it.  If my sister's granddaughter really needs the information, I would not withhold it for even a second.  But, if this is some ploy to get information my sister has no right to, or need of, I am really ticked off.  I just don't know what to do.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 18, 2018, 09:16:44 am
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:  I am following your last couple posts that you talk about the reactions that you are getting from family and friends as a result of your coming-out emails that you recently sent,
and as you mentioned, some of the reactions are about what you expected.

Certainly loved ones will have many, many questions and be very curious about you and your journey.

I will be following your thread to read what else develops....
   ........... stay positive and stay on course.

Hugs,
Danielle


***Oh, and that is upsetting to me to hear about your sister's grand-daughter regarding the cancer diagnosis...  I am trusting that her doctors will get this under control.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Susan Baum on July 18, 2018, 10:06:10 am
Dear Stevi,
I understand your conundrum but you don't have to provide any of the information to your sister.

You are protected by HIPPA rules which are designed to prying noses out of medical records and, as you said, some of her questions are more in depth than you have been asked by your own care providers. That doesn't feel right to me either. Some maladies do have a genetic footprint worth exploring but medical histories such as what you describe (e.g. broken shoulder January 2006) aren't remarkable and have no place other than your own doctor's files.

I can suggest an alternative. If there is a real need for an in-depth family history, ask her to have her granddaughter's health care team contact you directly for the information they may need.

Susan
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 18, 2018, 11:10:13 am
Susan,

I have no intention of giving her the kind of information she is looking for.  Fortunately, I have an unremarkable health history so there is little to tell anyway.  I have no problem giving my grand niece anything that would help her, HIPPA be damned.  I am just struck by the invasiveness and timing of my sister's request.  It gives me a bad feeling about myself for thinking what I am thinking and a bad feeling toward her for her asking if her motives are not altruistic.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Paige on July 18, 2018, 12:11:37 pm
Susan,

I have no intention of giving her the kind of information she is looking for.  Fortunately, I have an unremarkable health history so there is little to tell anyway.  I have no problem giving my grand niece anything that would help her, HIPPA be damned.  I am just struck by the invasiveness and timing of my sister's request.  It gives me a bad feeling about myself for thinking what I am thinking and a bad feeling toward her for her asking if her motives are not altruistic.

Stevi


@Stevi
Hi Stevi,

If they're trying to figure out what illness your grand niece has, I'm not sure why any treatment for transitioning would matter.  As far as I know there's no correlation between any childhood illnesses.   Give her all the rest of your medical history and see what she says.  If she's really fishing, she'll have to explain why it's relevant .  If it's about your grand niece then you have given all the information they need.

Good luck,
Paige :)
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Dena on July 18, 2018, 04:40:33 pm
I don't think you should provide your complete health history but you can limit yourself to known issues and chronic conditions. Don't go into detail but just stick to the persons name and the condition. You might provide more detail if you get more specifics about what they are looking for or what she is suffering from. 

This can get a little complicated at times because conditions don't always express the same from generation. An example is my grandmother suffered from parkinson's but my aunt suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. To complicate things farther, my grandmother's sister suffered from schizophrenia. All are conditions that are nerve related however they express themselves in much different ways. Fortunately it appears that my mother didn't inherit the gene.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 18, 2018, 06:22:15 pm
Girls,

Thanks for your input and concern for me.  I have sent off an email to my sister.  In it I simply said that other than the occasional infectious diseases like colds and the flu I have had no problems with my physical health.

That is the truth of the matter.  I have been blessed with general good health.  As for my dilemma with revealing any details related to my transition, I left it unmentioned.  If she has not received my coming out letter because it detoured out into cyberspace's bit trash can, I do not want to tip my hand in this context.  If she has received and read my letter, she already knows all I have to tell her at the present time.  If she becomes an ally and a confidant in the matter, I might let her know more.  I do not see how revealing that portion of my history is likely to be of any help to her.

As far as I am concerned the matter is closed.

Now that I have bragged about my good health, I will tell you all that the eye specialist was even more pleased with his cataract work today than the last follow-up visit.  He has turned me back over to my optometrist for a new prescription come the end of the month.  If it matters, I am pleased with his work, too.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 18, 2018, 11:16:01 pm
Got a call from my youngest sister.  She is surprised by all I had to reveal.   She does not understand it but does not want to cause me any more grief than I have already endured in my life.  She does not agree that I am taking the right action but admits she is really in no position to judge.  She says the new name and look will take some getting used to and expects trouble trying to get with the program.

Her husband is pretty much the same.

During the conversation, she let out that from a comment I made three years ago in a phone conversation and another comment in a recent email to her and the rest of her sisters about another matter in my life that has been really difficult for me, she had put 2 and 2 together and concluded that I had a need to open up to them all about something.  That bit of arithmetic gave another of my sisters the missing unknown for her bit of calculus and she knew the reason why I wanted to discuss the transgender seal video she had posted on her Facebook page.  She had feared I was going to rip into her for promoting such nonsense.  So, she had avoided responding.  Now, she knew the real reason.  That prompted the email to me where we set up the phone conversation where I came out to her.

I thought I was in control of all of this.  Turns out my little sisters were pulling some strings behind the scenes.  God bless them.  I was moving toward coming out but my open minded sister's contact made it easier.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 18, 2018, 11:21:45 pm
@Stevi
Wow-whee ....  what a terrific report.!!!! 
It appears that your coming out email is going very well, perhaps better than you expected.
Yes, as you stated about your little sisters:  "God Bless them"

Thank you for keeping us up to date with your postings...
Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Laurie on July 18, 2018, 11:28:47 pm
  Hi Stevi,

  I am going to chime in with a bit of personal experience. When I was married my wife and I had 2 children, A girl first and a boy. My son, Kylan, was not developing in the same ways that children do. Oh physically he was fine and active but he didn't talk. He was pretty much okay otherwise. As concerned parents we start becoming concerned. He was born in Naples a few weeks early, at the military hospital there by emergency C-section. He had a bit of difficulties with temperature and oxygen levels. So we thought there might be something there. But test after test and assessments came back negative and that he was a little behind for his age. Eventually they got around to doing some chromosomal tests.
  Finally we got an answer. What my son had was a genetic condition known as Fragile X Syndrome. The tests showed that in I think 17% of his chromosome pairs the X chromosomes looked broken. This syndrome had only been equated to Autism withing the 5 years prior so this was still pretty new. There was nothing beyond special schooling that could be done for him. As he got older he began throwing fits every time he returned home from a ride anywhere. As soon as he recognized the neighborhood his fit began. He was able to pick up several words but never was able to talk in a sentence. When he wasn't throwing a fit he was a lovable kid. He even appeared apologetic after his fits were over. Eventually he became too much for my wife to handle his fits so we placed him in a group home where he could get the care he needed. About 4 years ago he died of a heart condition. I had not seen him in almost 20 years. I try to rationalize that by telling myself that he wouldn't know me if I had been able to visit. Both of these bother me but there nothing I can do about it.
  I told you more than needed. The point of my story is that he had a genetic condition that is passed on from one generation to the next through the X chromosome meaning the female partner. It can go undetected in a female because a female has 2 - X chromosomes and in nature if there is a problem with one there use the other. They either have no symptoms or only mild issues. In the case of a boy offspring they have only 1- x chromosome (from the mother) and if if it a damages one they are screwed and it has to be used. Therefore it manifests itself in a more prominent way depending on what traits are being enabled in it. My son was severely affected.
  My wife has 2 brothers both of whom have mental issues. The other is institutionalized in a controlled  environment as was my son. There other was of a higher skill level and had lived at home with his Mother. My wife was not tested for this condition as she had to be the carrier. Her brothers and Mother were never tested for it either so I cannot say for sure but I'm willing to bet they had it too.
  My daughter who had a 50-50 chance of being a carrier was tested so she could make an informed decision to have children. She was found to not be a carrier and had 5 children all are fine.
  If this testing had been done and they had the knowledge then my wife could have been tested to see if she was a carrier before we had kids.

  This is one scenario where some family history can lead to a diagnosis. Your trans medical history need not be a part of that but other information may be useful to your young relative. Obviously the decision is yours.

Hugs,
  Laurie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 19, 2018, 06:22:28 am
Danielle,

Yes, This is going well considering the much worse result I feared.  Still four of them to weigh in.  Three sisters and one brother.  It is good to not be out-right rejected.  Still lots to learn about how we the want to or can interact with me.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 19, 2018, 07:07:04 am
Laurie,

Thank you for sharing that personal bit of you and your family's history.  I am glad you feel you can share this in the public arena.  While it does not change any of the past, it opens the window into you precious soul just a little further.  I really like what I see there.  Love you, Laurie.

I am familiar with Fragile-X.  A grandson of my most accepting sister has the syndrome.  He is not as drastically affected as your son seems to have been.  Even so, it has had dire consequences on the boy' mother's marriage and her life in general.  As for the boy, he is living a challenged life but, in the right social environment, is happy. When it came to light I, as the more geeky of the brothers and sisters, got involved with learning the ins and outs of it so I could help the family understand it.  My sister struggled with guilt about it for a long while since it does follow the maternal line into boys.  Even girls carrying the Fragile-X syndrome can experience some affect of its presence.  With each succeeding generation, the size of the disrupted portion of the chromosome involved tends to increase and the severity of the syndrome gets progressively worse as it is passed down into sons of daughters and sons of granddaughters. 

I know enough about genetics to know my sister was asking for information that really was not pertinent.  My issue was her motivation.

I learned something of the actual timing of events for my overly inquisitive sister from my youngest sister who called last night.  It turns out, that, my younger sister got my email soon after I sent it on Saturday.  She was going to call me night before last but was interrupted by a call from my overly inquisitive sister.  For what ever reason, my overly inquisitive sister had just gotten or just found my coming out email.  That was after, she had sent out her medical history survey.  So, she did not have any nefarious motivation.  My bad.  I am glad to know she had not attempted such a scheme as I had invented in my own mind.  She was just being herself in doing over-kill and being more thorough than the situation called for.  It turns out I was just being paranoid and this time their wasn't anyone out to get me.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Laurie on July 19, 2018, 02:47:26 pm
 Hi Stevi,

  I am glad right along with you that the request from your sister was not as you feared.

  It was bitter sweet to find out that you are familiar with Fragile-X. Sweet in finding someone that understands the issues of it. And bitter in that those that are are familiar with it, are usually familiar because of direct experience with it in their family. For that Stevi I am sorry to hear that your family was affected. It is very hard for those affected with it. Especially the females as they need to know if the carry it so they can be prepared for it's ramifications should they choose to have children. I would not want that burden. My own experience with it was hard enough.

Hugs,
  Laurie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 19, 2018, 03:50:09 pm
Laurie,

Bittersweet, indeed.  It seems we have even more bad stuff in common than previously known.  I hope that is the last of that kind of thing, sister.

Big Hugs back,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on July 21, 2018, 03:24:36 pm
  Hi Stevi,

  I am going to chime in with a bit of personal experience. When I was married my wife and I had 2 children, A girl first and a boy. My son, Kylan, was not developing in the same ways that children do. Oh physically he was fine and active but he didn't talk. He was pretty much okay otherwise. As concerned parents we start becoming concerned. He was born in Naples a few weeks early, at the military hospital there by emergency C-section. He had a bit of difficulties with temperature and oxygen levels. So we thought there might be something there. But test after test and assessments came back negative and that he was a little behind for his age. Eventually they got around to doing some chromosomal tests.
  Finally we got an answer. What my son had was a genetic condition known as Fragile X Syndrome. The tests showed that in I think 17% of his chromosome pairs the X chromosomes looked broken. This syndrome had only been equated to Autism withing the 5 years prior so this was still pretty new. There was nothing beyond special schooling that could be done for him. As he got older he began throwing fits every time he returned home from a ride anywhere. As soon as he recognized the neighborhood his fit began. He was able to pick up several words but never was able to talk in a sentence. When he wasn't throwing a fit he was a lovable kid. He even appeared apologetic after his fits were over. Eventually he became too much for my wife to handle his fits so we placed him in a group home where he could get the care he needed. About 4 years ago he died of a heart condition. I had not seen him in almost 20 years. I try to rationalize that by telling myself that he wouldn't know me if I had been able to visit. Both of these bother me but there nothing I can do about it.
  I told you more than needed. The point of my story is that he had a genetic condition that is passed on from one generation to the next through the X chromosome meaning the female partner. It can go undetected in a female because a female has 2 - X chromosomes and in nature if there is a problem with one there use the other. They either have no symptoms or only mild issues. In the case of a boy offspring they have only 1- x chromosome (from the mother) and if if it a damages one they are screwed and it has to be used. Therefore it manifests itself in a more prominent way depending on what traits are being enabled in it. My son was severely affected.
  My wife has 2 brothers both of whom have mental issues. The other is institutionalized in a controlled  environment as was my son. There other was of a higher skill level and had lived at home with his Mother. My wife was not tested for this condition as she had to be the carrier. Her brothers and Mother were never tested for it either so I cannot say for sure but I'm willing to bet they had it too.
  My daughter who had a 50-50 chance of being a carrier was tested so she could make an informed decision to have children. She was found to not be a carrier and had 5 children all are fine.
  If this testing had been done and they had the knowledge then my wife could have been tested to see if she was a carrier before we had kids.

  This is one scenario where some family history can lead to a diagnosis. Your trans medical history need not be a part of that but other information may be useful to your young relative. Obviously the decision is yours.

Hugs,
  Laurie

So sorry to hear that Laurie. Losing children by any means is never a good thing. Glad your daughter did not carry the gene
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Laurie on July 21, 2018, 04:13:07 pm
So sorry to hear that Laurie. Losing children by any means is never a good thing. Glad your daughter did not carry the gene

  Thank you Donna,

  I certainly agree with you. "Losing children by any means is never a good thing." Unfortunately as most already know, both of my children are lost to me along with my 5 grandchildren. It has not been an easy thing to deal with.
  But this is Stevi's thread and it is not about me and my problems. Let's get back to her, okay?

Hugs,
  Laurie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 21, 2018, 06:56:12 pm
Yesterday, wedged in the chaos of getting ready to travel to my wife's niece's place and planning for our upcoming first honeymoon (Yeah, that is right.  Been married nearly fifty years.  It is about time.) my wife and I polished her missive to her two sisters to tell them of my transition.   She started the letter more than a week ago.  I made it to the post office for proper postage before they closed the window.

On my family's side, I have had three responses. My second oldest sister and her husband are really good. My younger brother's wife emailed to let me know that she supportive but my brother is tolerant. I doubt he would give me any grief, but he'd soon leave the room if we ended up in the same room at the same time.  My youngest sister called and we talked for some time and I have to classify her "trying to accept" as well. I don't think she would leave the room but our discourse would be difficult.   They are unwilling to condemn me but are immensely uncomfortable with what I have decided I need to do.  I had thought I would have heard something more from the remaining four today but no one else has made contact since Tuesday.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 22, 2018, 12:26:50 am
Yesterday, wedged in the chaos of getting ready to travel to my wife's niece's place and planning for our upcoming first honeymoon (Yeah, that is right.  Been married nearly fifty years.  It is about time.) my wife and I polished her missive to her two sisters to tell them of my transition.   She started the letter more than a week ago.  I made it to the post office for proper postage before they closed the window.

On my family's side, I have had three responses. My second oldest sister and her husband are really good. My younger brother's wife emailed to let me know that she supportive but my brother is tolerant. I doubt he would give me any grief, but he'd soon leave the room if we ended up in the same room at the same time.  My youngest sister called and we talked for some time and I have to classify her "trying to accept" as well. I don't think she would leave the room but our discourse would be difficult.   They are unwilling to condemn me but are immensely uncomfortable with what I have decided I need to do.  I had thought I would have heard something more from the remaining four today but no one else has made contact since Tuesday.

Stevi

@Stevi
Dear Stevi: Thank you for your latest report regarding your coming out emails to your family that you had mentioned in previous postings.
There is no doubt in my mind that you had a difficult time writing on your thread about some of the not so good results... and then the 4 that have never answered with a comment, a question, or anything!!!

Please know that many of us on here have gone through or are going though the same kinds of turmoil trying to have those close to us offer some kind of acceptance and understanding.   Personally I know about this this very well,  After transitioning for 4 years and being full time for well over a year and a half I still do not have any acceptance from my loved ones and family... and my previous best friends for most of my life will not even answer the pnone when I call ... nor answer any emails or letters.   Frankly once you have done, as I have, all that you can to reach out ... the ball is no longer in your court, it is their move.   I still continue to reach out but as time goes by, the pain of rejection will start to fade... or at least, that is what I am told.

Hang in there girl, continue to be strong ... and keep on keeping on.
Thank you for keeping your thread updated and for sharing your life events with all of us.
In your good times we will rejoice with you and in your not so good times we can offer our understanding and support.

Hugs and hugs and hugs.
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 22, 2018, 05:49:29 pm
Danielle,

I have not given up all hope, yet.  It has been longer than I would have liked.  When we talked, my youngest sister, sister #5, told me that sister #4 had sent an email to the others asking what their thoughts were.  I had invited them to talk amongst themselves in the letter I sent to them all, so that was fine by me.  That email was sent almost a week ago, though.  #4 was trying to process.  Are they still working on it?  I know this may take some time to process so I will wait a while longer before writing them off.

I do not expect outright belligerence from any of them.  I do not think they are bad people.  Certainly not mean people.  But I am disheartened to think that I will be unwelcome at any family gathering of any size.  With so few of them being supportive I can't see how any group of them would not have a majority of less than accepting among them.  There seems to be little hope that I will be welcome into the inner sanctum of "the sisters".  As in being included in the circuit of the "sisters letter" or invited to the "sister summit" where they get together at one of their homes to do their girl stuff.  Maybe it doesn't matter because this whole affair may just create a rift that destroys those things for them so they won't happen from now on, anyway.

A big part of what I want out of my transition is to finally be accepted as what I have for so long hidden from all who are important to me.   It is discouraging, more than I thought it would be, to think that may never be the case.  I really hope they surprise me.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donna on July 22, 2018, 08:40:24 pm
Sorry to hear all that stevi. I hope things turn around for you. Don’t give up, what you are doing is so right for you. I know how your feeling as do
Lots of others here. Be strong my friend
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 24, 2018, 02:39:44 pm
I mentioned in a reply a couple days back that my wife had finished up her letter explaining our situation, transition and such, to them.  One of them called as soon as she finished reading it.  It is all good with her.  She said she loves us both.  Always has and always will.  We are both welcome when we can manage to get her way.

I have not heard from the other sister.  She is the wife of a retired Methodist minister.   Don't know how they are going to deal with.  Still waiting for that shoe to drop.

As for my family,  I still haven't heard anything from three of my sisters and one of my brothers.  Right now, I am fearing the worst from them.

That is my update on the coming out to family process.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 24, 2018, 03:21:23 pm
I mentioned in a reply a couple days back that my wife had finished up her letter explaining our situation, transition and such, to them.  One of them called as soon as she finished reading it.  It is all good with her.  She said she loves us both.  Always has and always will.  We are both welcome when we can manage to get her way.

I have not heard from the other sister.  She is the wife of a retired Methodist minister.   Don't know how they are going to deal with.  Still waiting for that shoe to drop.

As for my family,  I still haven't heard anything from three of my sisters and one of my brothers.  Right now, I am fearing the worst from them.

That is my update on the coming out to family process.

Stevi

@Stevi:
Dear Stevi: 
It is not my intent to bore you with my armchair coaching here but YOU can not control how others feel about you and if they accept you.   .....
.... But you are in complete control of how you act and handle their acceptance or non-acceptance....
 
One thing is for sure, you have to accept yourself!!!

Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Laurie on July 24, 2018, 03:48:16 pm
Hi Stevi,

  Waiting for those responses can be a pain. We want to know and we want to know now! Some people honestly do not know how they feel about it. They can take some timee to respond if they respond at all. It has still been a relatively short time since you sent them out. Give it some more time for it to sink in and find out how they feel about it.
  While you are waiting enjoy those supporting replies that you have gotten back already.

Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 24, 2018, 07:09:43 pm
Danielle, Laurie,

I know.  I need to be patient.  Then I get what I get.  No answer?   Rejection?  Disowned?  Just deliberating?

Still, it is a bit like sitting on pins and needles.  Uncomfortable no matter which way I twist.

Girls, I do hear you.

Thanks,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 25, 2018, 07:40:01 pm
My wife got a call today from her "other sister" ( the one that had not called yet in the post from a couple days ago).  She told my wife that all was well.  She loves us and respects my decision.  She might have trouble with the name but she is OK with us.  My wife is batting a thousand. 

I spoke with my most accepting sister, sister #2, today.  She thinks that sister #1 and sister #3 will choose to write a letter.  She spoke with sister #1 and she thinks that she will be much like sister #5.  That she is thinking I am doing the wrong thing but wishing for me to be happy.  Probably, will have trouble with me in face to face situations.  May never accept me as their sister.

I am not home.  Won't be home until Saturday evening at the earliest.  So, I won't know if they have sent out letters or not till then

SOme very good news.
Focus on that,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 25, 2018, 07:57:52 pm
My wife got a call today from her "other sister" ( the one that had not called yet in the post from a couple days ago).  She told my wife that all was well.  She loves us and respects my decision.  She might have trouble with the name but she is OK with us.  My wife is batting a thousand. 

I spoke with my most accepting sister, sister #2, today.  She thinks that sister #1 and sister #3 will choose to write a letter. She spoke with sister #1 and she thinks that she will be much like sister #5.  That she is thinking I am doing the wrong thing but wishing for me to be happy.  Probably, will have trouble with me in face to face situations.  May never accept me as their sister.

I am not home.  Won't be home until Saturday evening at the earliest.  So, I won't know if they have sent out letters or not till then

SOme very good news.
Focus on that,
Stevi

@Stevi:  The plot thickens, now you have to nervously wait for the letters...  in my experience if it is good news they will call... those that want to write a letter may just feel more feedom to tell you what they really think.  This is exactly what happens with emails also... hiding behind a computer screen.

For your sake, I really hope that I am wrong... I want you to be happy and have the acceptance from your loved ones that you so very much desire.  Just so you know I still do no have acceptance from my parents and family members so I do feel your pain and anticipation about this.

No matter what happens, you did come out to them, that was a bold move on your part and I applaud you for that.

Please try to get some rest as you wait for the postal service... they don't call it snail  mail for nothing.

Hugs for you, wishing you well as always,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 26, 2018, 07:48:30 pm
Got an email from sister #1.  She is mourning the loss of her brother.  She thinks I should accept the way that God made me and be comfortable in my own skin.  That is the jist of her rather brief email. She is stuck on the outward appearance as the definition of who I am as a person within.

I will put together a response that Socratically addresses what I see as her misconceptions.  It will take a while to get to it since I am up to my armpits in alligators right now.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Dena on July 26, 2018, 09:32:26 pm
But but but, you didn't chose to be this way, it is the way god made you!

I know you already know that but I had to say it.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Paige on July 27, 2018, 12:54:35 pm
But but but, you didn't chose to be this way, it is the way god made you!

I know you already know that but I had to say it.

What Dena said :)
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 28, 2018, 06:45:33 pm
Dena and her echo, Paige,

Exactly!

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 28, 2018, 11:58:11 pm
Where to begin?

Yesterday, before we could head back home, my wife, her niece and I sat down at the table.  We were about to transfer title to our van to her, a gift.  Before we began to process the title, I needed to clue her in about the name on it.  I did not want to get into a public situation and have her be taken by surprise and then go ballistic. So, I handed her the title and asked her to look at the name of the owner, my name.  Our expectations were extremely low.  The niece has often expressed disparaging views of black, Mexicans, gays, man-buns.  But we needed to let her know what was going on.  We were flabbergasted by her response.  After answering her query as to what that meant she was 100% accepting.  She has insisted that I never again compromise my presentation around her.  She is worried that she will offend by letting habit cause her to use the wrong name or pronoun.  Incredible! 

Two of my wife's other nieces have reached out to express their unequivocal acceptance and love for both of us.  My wife's family has been, so far, ultra supportive.

On my side, it is a mixed bag.  Our daughter is still struggling in spite of her liberal bent.  Just too close to home for comfort.   My youngest brother is OK as long as he doesn't actually have to deal with me in person.  Sort of "Do whatever you want.  Just don't ask me to be involved."  My youngest sister is in a better place than my brother.  She disagrees with what I have decided to do but she will try to work with it for my sake.  My oldest sister decided she needed to give me her opinion and advice which I specifically told her I was not asking for.  I replied to let her know I got her response and would follow up with a more complete reply.  Every time I try to put my thoughts down I get more and more angry with her.   Almost every word of her response is wrong in some way or another.  Inaccurate, dismissive, disrespectful or self-righteous.

Two sisters have not replied in any way, whatsoever, as yet.

On the positive side, my second oldest sister and her husband and my younger brother's wife are supportive.

We got home from Atlanta this evening and swung by the post office to pick up the mail.  In it were a couple of cards from UU members expressing support for me specifically in regard to my coming out to my family.  There was a beautiful letter from one of my wife's nieces expressing full support for both of us.

Then there was the card from my older brother.  He is a word economist.  After stating my letter was hard to read (because of the content), he wrote "I'm OK with it."  Related how he questioned, from a early age, why people do such terrible things to other (kinds of) people.  I was now "an other kind of people" person.  He assured me that he will not abandon me.  Commanded me to "Be careful." with a reminder that North Carolina is not the most liberal state in the U.S.  Invited me to call if I need to talk.  Sent his love to me and my wife.  Brief and perfect.  One more solidly in the supportive column.

The saga continues....
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Susan Baum on July 29, 2018, 05:52:10 pm
Hi, Stevi,
How wonderful were the responses you got from your niece and older brother? Like cherries on an ice cream sundae.

My own family was also a mixed bag but, as your brother put it, I'm OK with that too.

Keep on being yourself. You still may manage to convert a few minds.

Susan
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 29, 2018, 11:57:26 pm
I have heard from a couple of my own nieces.  The one has gotten in touch with my daughter to try to help her along.  The other has contacted me with support and a commitment to help her mother with bringing my younger brother into line.

The second one is into her ancestry.  She asked some questions about how to include me in her lineage.  She was wondering about how to handle the new name and old name.  This is something I don't remember ever running across in all the conversations and comments here.  I was touched by her consideration for me.

I spoke again with my most accepting sister, sister #2.  We talked bout a number of things.  Her new job.  The circumstances that brought about the suicide of our younger sister's son a few years back.  Other family related things.

We spent some time on just what I should do about responding to our oldest sister, sister #1.  I am still angry about what she had to say to me.  We both agreed it was unlikely to do any good to argue with her or try to educate her on the issue.

She holds a certain opinion about this.  The correct one, by the way.  So, since my opinion and choice of action is flawed because it does not match the correct one, hers, I need to rethink it and properly consider God and His principles this time.  Obviously, since I reached the incorrect conclusion, I did not do it correctly the first time 'round.

I will try again to reply to her.  I think, this time, I will agree to disagree about what is the right path for me to move on.  Tell her in no uncertain terms that I have carefully considered all of this.  I have decided to do what it is that I need to do to try to be happy.  I have succeeded.  I am moving forward.  Her only choices are to accept me and come along enjoy the true, complete person I am, her sister, or reject me and be left behind to unnecessarily mourn the loss of a brother that never really existed except in her own mind. 

Having just written that last paragraph, I think most all of what I need to tell her is in there.  I just need to change the person of the pronouns from her to you and stick it in an email to her.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Paige on July 30, 2018, 07:52:30 am
I have heard from a couple of my own nieces.  The one has gotten in touch with my daughter to try to help her along.  The other has contacted me with support and a commitment to help her mother with bringing my younger brother into line.

The second one is into her ancestry.  She asked some questions about how to include me in her lineage.  She was wondering about how to handle the new name and old name.  This is something I don't remember ever running across in all the conversations and comments here.  I was touched by her consideration for me.

I spoke again with my most accepting sister, sister #2.  We talked bout a number of things.  Her new job.  The circumstances that brought about the suicide of our younger sister's son a few years back.  Other family related things.

We spent some time on just what I should do about responding to our oldest sister, sister #1.  I am still angry about what she had to say to me.  We both agreed it was unlikely to do any good to argue with her or try to educate her on the issue.

She holds a certain opinion about this.  The correct one, by the way.  So, since my opinion and choice of action is flawed because it does not match the correct one, hers, I need to rethink it and properly consider God and His principles this time.  Obviously, since I reached the incorrect conclusion, I did not do it correctly the first time 'round.

I will try again to reply to her.  I think, this time, I will agree to disagree about what is the right path for me to move on.  Tell her in no uncertain terms that I have carefully considered all of this.  I have decided to do what it is that I need to do to try to be happy.  I have succeeded.  I am moving forward.  Her only choices are to accept me and come along enjoy the true, complete person I am, her sister, or reject me and be left behind to unnecessarily mourn the loss of a brother that never really existed except in her own mind. 

Having just written that last paragraph, I think most all of what I need to tell her is in there.  I just need to change the person of the pronouns from her to you and stick it in an email to her.

Stevi


Hi Stevi,

I find your updates really inspiring.  Sure there's some negatives, but the positives responses you've received are pretty amazing.  Not too many people in this world can really test how people feel about them.  By the sounds of it, you've got a lot of people that truly love you.

Take care,
Paige :)
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 30, 2018, 01:49:58 pm
Name change details,  I had to stop by the tax office today.  We transferred a vehicle to our niece.  It is subject to personal property tax so I get a rebate for the remainder of the tax year.  While there, I had them change my name in the tax records.  Smooth and easy.

While in the courthouse, I stopped by the Recorder of Deeds office.  I asked if the name needed to be updated on my deed.  I was told I need to have a new deed drawn up to do that.  When I asked if I HAD to have it done, I was told that is a legal question that I would need to see a real estate lawyer about.

On another front, the fitness center membership.  You thought I forgot about that, didn't you.  Well, I did not.  It is just that I gave them two weeks to reconsider before I took further action.  He did not use the entire period.  I picked up a registered letter from him today.  He has refused to reinstate our family membership but my wife may continue under a single membership.  Tellingly, I think, he addressed the letter to S Jones instead of Stephanie Jones, as I had signed my previous letter.

So, while in town I stopped by the law practice I have used in the past to ask about the deed and name change.  In addition, I asked for some referral for a law firm that might take a gender discrimination case.  I had to leave a message for the lawyer.  I'll let you all know where this leads me.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 30, 2018, 07:12:29 pm
I replied to my older sister, Sister #1.  Every time I thought about what to say in a reply, I got more angry.  I had initially thought I would try to educate her.  That was a foolish thought.  She is not interested in learning anything about gender identity issues as it relates to me.  She already knows what she needs to know.  She asked her doctor for a second opinion.  Not to learn anything.  Instead, so, she could call upon an "authority" to back up what she believes.  She then proceeded to tell me I was asking the wrong question by asking them to accept me and my choice.  According to her I should accept with how He created me and learn to live with it.  Translation- Man up!

in my reply I bit my tongue and read her the riot act, anyway.  I put the Tommy gun down and just settled for giving her both barrels of the shotgun.  She got off easy.  I am typically non confrontational.  This was not typical, by any means.

(Irony.  I just got interrupted by a text message from another of my wife's nieces.  She sent a message of love and support for both of us.  Pride in me for making the bold step to transition and make it known to one and all. She informed us that her daughter is working on her Masters in gender studies.  My wife's family has been super-great.  So much of my family is tying themselves in knots over this.)

I did not tell her to get lost.  I used the last half of the reply to express my love for her and my understanding of how hard it can be to grasp and offer an olive branch.  I do not want estrangement.  I just don't want her meddling and second guessing nonsense.


Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 30, 2018, 07:20:43 pm
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:  I read your update and have tell you that it was good that you bit your tongue... and didn't tell her off, but instead offered an olive branch... Kudos to you for taking the better action on your part.

I know that all of this is very difficult and here on your thread, your readers and followers are your biggest fans...  In your good times we will rejoice with you and in your not so good times we will offer our thoughts and words of support.

Hang in there...
Hugs and well wishes,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 03, 2018, 10:16:59 pm
Just an update on a few things.

Not much from my family.  No reply from sister #1 to my reply to her troublesome response.  Still not a word from sisters #3 and #4.

My wife and I have begun to get ready for the cruise.  We will head down to Miami a few days early.  We have made some arrangements to spend some time with a couple of the regulars here on our way through central Florida.  Looking forward to that.  We have done a little shopping.  The cruise has a couple of evenings designated as "elegant night"  I found a couple of dresses for the occasions.  One is a dress with a black halter top.  Low, low cut in the back and a full faux wrap around skirt, gold on black.  My wife insisted I buy it along with a more practical blue dress that with the proper accessories can do elegant or classy casual.  They were on the clearance rack.. Thought I would need to pay about $90.  Got both of them for $56 when we checked out.  What a pleasant surprise that was.

On the fitness center front, I have filled in some online forms with ACLU of NC and Lambda legal to see if I can get a little help with fighting the fight.  I have, also, reached out to a lawyer to seek some counsel or a referral to a lawyer who can help me deal with this issue.  I don't know if I will actual pursue it, but I need some advice on the possibilities of mounting a challenge and the chances of prevailing.  My wife and I are not in a big hurry to be high profile in the fight against transgender discrimination.  Still, if this is a suitable case to challenge a private individual's choice to not serve a transgender individual or the lack of transgender discrimination protections in North Carolina we will give it some consideration.  This situation does not have the religious objection component in it.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: echo7 on August 04, 2018, 10:16:56 pm
It seems to me that there are almost no legal protections for gender identity in North Carolina.  In fact, the state has a negative score according to this website:

http://www.lgbtmap.org/equality_maps/profile_state/NC

I don't know what kind of legal recourse you could possibly pursue, if there are no existing laws to protect your position.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 05, 2018, 05:18:03 am
echo7,

Yes, I know it is a tough one.  Likely, impossible.  I do believe he violated the terms of the membership agreement in that "being transgender" is not one of the two grounds for canceling my membership.  North Carolina law does require he honor contracts he willingly enters into.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 05, 2018, 05:32:15 am
I have male pattern baldness.   Not cue ball bald.  Just noticeable thinning on the crown and a receding hairline on my forehead.  I have been on finasteride for three months, now.  I noticed, yesterday, that there is a lot of fuzz, some of it about a quarter inch long, along my hairline that did not use to be there.  Interesting.  Very interesting.  There is hope that my hair might be filling in.  It takes so long to grow though.

I have an assortment of wigs.  I don't often wear them any more.  Much more self-confidence, now, than I used to have.  My wife, on the other hand, frets about the top of my head when I am in public au natural. 

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Nicole70 on August 05, 2018, 08:48:29 pm
Hi Stephanie,

I also suffer from the same, I’m glad you are seeing progress . I also am taking finasteride for it but I’m also using minoxidil, I use a generic product instead of the more well known brand which is supposed to help you regain your hair, I found once I started on the minoxidil my hair has thickened and strengthened. While I haven’t recovered all hair on top it is much better to the extent that it no longer causes me to worry too much about it. I found it took a couple of months to see results and the longer I take it the more new little hairs keep appearing and filling in the gaps.

I don’t want to clog your thread up with images of my head so I have posted in my thread Now I’m Nicole showing the progress from March to today.

Hugs

Nicole

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 07, 2018, 05:33:59 pm
There have been a couple of developments on the coming out front.

I got an email from sister #1 a while back.  Her response to my sibling coming out letter violated some boundaries I specifically and pointedly set for her.  I pushed back at her, hard, too hard, I feared.  I am not often as assertive as I was with her this time.  Anyway, yesterday she replied to my pushback.  Not the best, but one I think I can work with.

This morning I put a fist full of letters into the mail to let a number of cruising life friends know what was up.  Over the past few years we have drifted apart for various reasons.  A major one was my and my wife's efforts to tame the trans-beast.  Now, that the creature has been domesticated, I thought they should know.  One of the couples lives not too far away.  On the way back home from the post office, I stopped at the local grocery to pick up a few thing for the next couple day's meals.  On my way across the parking lot I saw that friend walking to her car.  I purposefully avoided acknowledging her.  I had just sent out the letter and did not particularly care to address the issue in the middle of the local grocery's parking lot.  I did not think I had been noticed by her.  When I got home, I found my wife sitting on the bed, clutching her "Hugs and Kisses" bear.  "What now?", I asked.  She asked, "Did you see X while you were out."  I had.  Well, it seems that X stopped at our house on her way home and ambushed my wife.  Grilled my wife about how she was, questions and comments about our sex life, comments about my mental condition and expressed anger at my not acknowledging her in the parking lot.  All in all, a really bad scene and totally uncalled for.  The upside, my wife handled it well.  Not the confrontation itself, so much, (She wishes she had been quicker witted with her side of the situation.) as the aftermath.  I found her in a relatively good state when I got home.  Not so long ago, I would have found her in the fetal position bawling her eyes out.  I made a point of acknowledging how well she was dealing with it.  She is now POed beyond belief at X.  She is in defensive mode on my behalf.

In an effort to head off potential trouble, we decided I needed to email a copy of the letter I just put in the mail to one of our mutual cruising friends with X.  We needed to make sure X did not pass along this news before our letter arrived.  When I came into the computer to send off the email, I found a response from sister #3.  Sister # 3 was the one I held out he most hope for but the long time without a response was beginning to worry me.  Oh ye of little faith!  What a reversal of fortune.  My sister #3 was most kind , compassionate and thoughtful.  Addressed me with "Dear Stephanie, (I like Stevi, too),".  She proposed that we find a way to get together.  She wants to talk with us face to face.   Email is OK but she would rather do it in person.  I knew she was good hearted.  Our absolute worst response and probably our very best response in a matter of minutes of one another.  A roller coaster for sure.

Sister #4 is the only one left.  Crossing my fingers.

While taking care of the email to the mutual cruising friend, I got a further response from sister #1.  She did much better this time except she appears to be avoiding my name..  We will be able to get along, I think.  I sent a brief reply to both sister #3 and sister #1 so they know I got their emails and that I'll do a proper response to both of them a little later.

A little later I sent off a PM to a couple of cruising friends that are in parts unknown on their boat right now.  I have received affirmative responses from them.

The saga continues,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on August 07, 2018, 05:42:01 pm
@Stevi
Well, the way that I am reading your update it appears to be all good news... even though the thing did not go very well with "x" it was nice to read that your wife has defended you in that matter.
Things appeared to go well with your sisters and as you are, I am crossing my fingers for you regarding Sister #4

Ughhh, that was an ugly happening with "x" ...  she certainly has a bee in her bonnet...  be very thankful for your wife's attitude about all of this.... as I am sure that you are.  You are very fortunate... make sure that you let her know that.

Thanks for keeping your thread updated....

Hugs and well wishes,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 07, 2018, 06:59:31 pm
Danielle,

Quote
Thanks for keeping your thread updated....

Trying my best.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 08, 2018, 08:56:40 pm
My wife and I renewed our vows.  Exchanged rings.  What do you think?

(http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh625/sterusjon/DSCF5012%202_zpshjfzvzpe.jpg?1533779160280&1533779160499&1533779160610)


By the way, her hand is covering my bright red nails and my hand is covering my name. The text is part of my portion of the vows that I read while weeping like a girl.  The photo, also, went on Facebook.  Still waiting for the last couple of letters to arrive at their intended destination by snail mail so a little subterfuge is still in order.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Nicole70 on August 08, 2018, 09:00:15 pm
That’s beautiful Stevi,

Such a wonderful moment for you both, you are one lucky girl, I’m tearing up reading it, no wonder you were weeping.

Hugs

Nicole
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on August 08, 2018, 09:01:13 pm
My wife and I renewed our vows.  Exchanged rings.  What do you think?

(http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh625/sterusjon/DSCF5012%202_zpshjfzvzpe.jpg?1533779160280&1533779160499&1533779160610)


By the way, her hand is covering my bright red nails and my hand is covering my name. The text is part of my portion of the vows that I read while weeping like a girl.  The photo, also, went on Facebook.  Still waiting for the last couple of letters to arrive at their intended destination by snail mail so a little subterfuge is still in order.

Stevi

@Stevi
Dear Stevi:  This is very wonderful news ... I am so happy for your both.  It is great that you both found the commitment and love to stay together in undoubtedly difficult circumstances.

Very beautiful matching rings and a beautiful photo.... thanks for sharing your special moment with us.

I am still crossing my fingers for you regarding the last few letters that you sent to be received and then waiting for and getting replies....
Thanks for your updates.
Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 08, 2018, 09:23:18 pm
Nicole and Danielle,

Thanks.  I took some other photos.   One is now my new avatar.

Danielle, some good news on the latest round of letters.  The one sent out by email to the active cruiser friends resulted in a very positive response.  They are a couple of great guys, a married couple, so it was pretty much what I expected from them.  The other email that I sent to beat the neighbor with a bee in her bonnet was responded to as well.  Very favorably.  They asked me to send them a picture now and then to get them acclimated.  So they got a photo of my wife, the full shot of me that was cropped for the avatar and the ring shot you have just seen.

Not sure how gradual a change they are getting with the photo.  I did warn them that I was rather far along in my transition.  I don't know if they will see it in my face or not.  Might be interesting to know if they see a bigger change than I do.  A disappointment, though, if they don't.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: randim on August 09, 2018, 06:00:18 am
Stevi,

That is beautiful and touching.  As the faith folk say, you have been blessed.  And your rings are just lovely.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: KathyLauren on August 09, 2018, 06:36:13 am
Stevi, congratulations on renewing your wedding vows!  What a lovely thing to do!

I love your rings; they are beautiful.  And I love your new avatar!!  Wow, you look gorgeous!
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on August 09, 2018, 09:28:57 am
Nicole and Danielle,

Thanks.  I took some other photos.   One is now my new avatar.

Danielle, some good news on the latest round of letters.  The one sent out by email to the active cruiser friends resulted in a very positive response.  They are a couple of great guys, a married couple, so it was pretty much what I expected from them.  The other email that I sent to beat the neighbor with a bee in her bonnet was responded to as well.  Very favorably.  They asked me to send them a picture now and then to get them acclimated.  So they got a photo of my wife, the full shot of me that was cropped for the avatar and the ring shot you have just seen.

Not sure how gradual a change they are getting with the photo.  I did warn them that I was rather far along in my transition.  I don't know if they will see it in my face or not.  Might be interesting to know if they see a bigger change than I do.  A disappointment, though, if they don't.

Stevi

@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
Well, this is all very good news... thank you for sharing this with your readers and followers.

I am sure that you know that we are our own greatest critics....  When I first started transitioning I had always found that my friends had a better impression of how I looked than I did.  I was always so hard on myself... I think that this is a normal thing for anyone.
 
Looking at your new photo makes me think that your friends will be quite taken back by your beautiful feminine appearance....  so, no fears please, hold you head high and keep a smile on your face.

Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Paige on August 09, 2018, 10:05:34 am
Hi Stevi, 

Congrats on renewing your vows, that's such a wonderful thing to do.  You and your wife obviously have a very special relationship. 

Also, your new profile pic is amazing.  You've come a long way.

Take care,
Paige :)
 

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 09, 2018, 10:43:43 am
randim, Kathy, Danielle and Paige,

You are so kind and encouraging.  I realise I am harder on myself than others are.

At this past Sunday's UU service, My wife and I included the congregation in our celebration with a cake after the service.  As the congratulations were given and accepted, I got into conversations about how it started those fifty years ago.  I am completely open about our past.  I was surprised that I needed to explain that, No, same sex marriage was not legal way back then and that our marriage was legal because I was a man way back then.  I guess, maybe, I am more "male fail" than I see in the mirror.

Another little bit of encouragement came when I received an email from one of the church members,  She had read the "joys and concerns" email sent out to all the members and noticed Happy Fiftieth thumbnail in it.   She emailed to wish me a happy fiftieth birthday since she had missed the celebration because she had been out of town.  I thanked her for mistakenly thinking I am only fifty years old instead of married for just fifty years.

Onward to 75 years,  2/3rds of the way there.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 09, 2018, 10:49:01 am
Moderators,

I need a bit of help.  I have been trying to insert another image in another reply.  I swear I am using the same technique I used to insert the image of our rings.   In the preview or the post all I can get is [Image Removed]  I even retried the ring image and got the same result.

[Image Removed]

Any idea what gives?

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on August 09, 2018, 01:21:14 pm
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:   I see that you are using PhotoBucket to host your photos.   Might I suggest that you clear your browser and clear all cookies and history, shut-down and restart your computer.....
...do a fresh login to PhotoBucket and do a fresh upload of your pictures..... and try posting your pictures again.   

If that doesn't work I can send you simple picture posting instructions for a different picture hosting site that I always use and have success with.  

Please try again... we all want to see more of your pictures!!!
If you are still having problems after trying what I suggested please let me know here on a reply post or send me a PM and I will send you instructions. ... I will be glad to do it.

Good luck!!!
Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: KathyLauren on August 09, 2018, 02:16:40 pm
Photobucket does not allow you to post images from there onto forums like this.  You have to pay them money if you want to do that.  There are other image-hosting services that will allow free posting to forums.  I use Flickr.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 09, 2018, 03:14:50 pm
Here is the "card" I put together to recite my vows from.  Thought you might like to "participate"  Picture me weeping and pausing to collect myself with every phrase as you read.


(http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh625/sterusjon/img051_zpslmbt4dfu.jpg?1533844090640&1533844090844)

Quote
Fifty years ago, as a naive, maybe foolish, young couple we stood before a justice of the peace and promised to love, honor and cherish one another until death parted us.  On that day, together we stepped out onto a pathway to a place we could not see.  As we have walked along the pathway we chose, we have passed through many terrains.  Some places of peace and joy.  There have been canyons of gloom and despair.  At times the pathway was rugged and treacherous where we needed to help one another pick our way through.  At times, the pathway before us was steep and difficult to ascend, but one that led us to the satisfactions of success.

All of our steps, together, have brought us to this place on this day.   This place is one we could not have foreseen in all our wildest imaginings.  It is a good place.  It is our place.  It is a good day.  It is our day.

As we stand here, together, in our place, I promise to love, honor and cherish you as we again step onto the pathway that stretches before us that will take us on into our future until death do we part.  My dear Penny, will you continue our journey together?

With all my love, forever,
Stephanie

My wife's name is Penny.  I am pretty sure this is the first time it appears anywhere in this saga.  Meet both halves of this duo.

(http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh625/sterusjon/DSCF4999_zpslvdprtpo.jpg?1533845626494&1533845626719&1533845626866)


Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: KathyLauren on August 09, 2018, 03:23:03 pm
Stevi, your re-dedication vow is beautiful.  Fifty years!  Wow!  I have a lot of respect for any couple that can stick it out that long.  You have done well!

I love the photo of the two of you.  You both look great.  And obviously, you have what it takes.  I wish you a long and rewarding future together.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on August 09, 2018, 03:24:19 pm
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:   Well I see that perhaps my corrective suggestions might have worked for you and you once again were able to post your pictures from your PhotoBucket account.

Thank you for sharing your vows and your thoughts regarding your ceramony and of course the wonderful picture that you posted.

I am very happy for you and the success that you are having with your life endeavors.
Thank you for sharing with us.
Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 10, 2018, 11:32:41 am
After this exchange https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,233042.msg2163420.html#msg2163420 (https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,233042.msg2163420.html#msg2163420) over on Jessica's "mess' of a journal ;D, I went out to mow the swamp, otherwise known, affectionately, as my lawn.  To keep my mind occupied during that mundane task, I was thinking about some of aspects that exchange touched upon.

Our strength here is in our numbers.  There are many stories.  Each carries its own burdens and boasts its own achievements.  While I am envious of the ones that seem to be able to generate the activity surrounding the frivolity and good natured ribbing that we all give to one another on occasion, I would like to think that the posts that reach out with a simple "I hear you. I feel for you." are every bit as important.  I think the many posts which in and of themselves don't have anything remarkable to say, so they generate silence in reply, but in aggregate tell a phenomenal story of victory over obstacles and fears, are of immense value to all of us.

In our numbers, there always seems to be someone among us that is not too busy with their own situation at the present moment who knows just what to say to those in crisis.  In years past I was mostly a "lurker", as I put it to Jess, a "reader", as Jess suggested, or maybe what is better, Ellie's (Roll) a member of the "live audience".  In those times, I needed to see the examples of those who are out there ahead of me.  Every one of those examples had, at one time or another, something to give me.  The more of you who put yourselves out there the more there was for me learn.  I was shown examples of successes to reach for for myself.  I was cautioned by the failures so I had a better chance to reach a good outcome for myself.  I was shown the way forward by all of you in one way or another.

In the past six months, I have moved from the audience up onto the stage.  In crisis myself, I started this thread.  I got the handholding I needed to work through it.  Even at this point, that crisis is not entirely resolved but I have made strides toward living my life as I need to that were longer and more fast-paced than they would have been without all the help and encouragement from all of you here.

Those of you in our audience are important.  The audience is where we draw our performers from.  By all means watch, listen, enjoy the show.  When you are ready, come join us up on stage.  You will overcome your stage fright more quickly than you might think.  Our strength is in our numbers. Consider being counted among us.

Stevi







Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Susan Baum on August 10, 2018, 01:17:10 pm
Hi, Stevi
(Sorry this is so late, I've been away from the computer for a few days.)
Congratulations on your 50th wedding anniversary - a milestone few couples achieve. It shows the deep love you and Peggy have for each other and the commitment the words "until death us do part" truly mean. Though she has passed, I still wear the ring my beloved placed on my finger on the day we were wed. Why do I feel a long cry coming on?

And, lest I forget, thank you for the photos and sharing your vowel renewal with your "audience" as well.
May you continue to share your beautiful life with us.

Susan
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 10, 2018, 03:31:27 pm
Susan,

I thank you for your thoughts.  Sorry your beloved is not there with you.  Now, I have to reach for the tissues, too.

I will have more to share.  Count on it.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 10, 2018, 10:30:45 pm
Got a call from another of the former cruising friends that I came out to in the latest round.  All is well.  I am pleasantly surprised with this response.  This is a couple that we thought very likely to have difficulty.  Instead, we got a warm response.  An invitation to visit, and friend requests on Facebook.  The day before they received my letter they had been talking about getting back in touch with us.

I called them back this evening to narrow down their Facebook page.  After we took care of the friend requests, we set a date to stop by on our way home from Miami after the docking.  They are a couple of hours north of Miami, right along the route home.  She is excited to get out to do some thrift store shopping, just us girls.  The lone guy has his Harley and Miata to keep himself entertained with.  Thrift store shopping is one of Penny's and mine favorite activities.  Our friend boast of some of the best thrift store shopping anywhere.  It seems the affluent snowbirds leave a lot of quality items in their wake as they migrate north and south to follow the seasons.  I think we are going to have some fun for a day or two with them.

Another of the cruising couples has responded.  Their contact was not direct.  I am little flummoxed about what is going on.  There was a text message from someone.  Neither Penny nor I recognized the number.  The text was positive in that it wished me well in my journey.  But, it it had the feel of "I hope it works out for you and sayonara".  I think, it was from the male half of the couple.  However, the female half has made several comments on our Facebook activity surrounding the 50th anniversary celebrations.  In one of them hse thanked us for "the note."   I sent her a pm asking for some clarification of the situation.  I am pretty sure that they are good with it all.  I just need to have amore direct conversation.

There are three couples left to hear from.  Miss bee-in- her-bonnet is most likely a loss.  I'll give her a little more time to see what she does.  Since she lives in the neighborhood, I need to know where she does tand.  I may have to draw some lines for her in the event we cross paths.  I will let her know, in no uncertain terms, that any problem she might have with my presence will be her problem.  I will not retreat from spaces that I have as much right to be in as she does.  If she cannot countenance my presence, it is she that will need to leave.  I will not leave on her account.

If the other two couples have issues, I will simply drop it.  They are way far away and life will go on without them.  I will regret the loss, but not loose any sleep.

The whole coming out process has gone well., for the most part.   I have sister #4 from whom I have not hear as yet.  Other than Miss-bee-in-her-bonnet, no one has been negative.  There are a number that have pleasantly surprised me.  I had hoped that some of my siblings would have been more welcoming but they did pretty much what I expected.

It seems like we are in a pretty good place with more than enough support and acceptance from family and friends.  A wife that is fully on board.  I count myself as one of the more fortunate transitioners.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Jessica on August 10, 2018, 11:54:42 pm
@Stevi

After this exchange https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,233042.msg2163420.html#msg2163420 (https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,233042.msg2163420.html#msg2163420) over on Jessica's "mess' of a journal ;D, I went out to mow the swamp, otherwise known, affectionately, as my lawn.  To keep my mind occupied during that mundane task, I was thinking about some of aspects that exchange touched upon.

Our strength here is in our numbers.  There are many stories.  Each carries its own burdens and boasts its own achievements.  While I am envious of the ones that seem to be able to generate the activity surrounding the frivolity and good natured ribbing that we all give to one another on occasion, I would like to think that the posts that reach out with a simple "I hear you. I feel for you." are every bit as important.  I think the many posts which in and of themselves don't have anything remarkable to say, so they generate silence in reply, but in aggregate tell a phenomenal story of victory over obstacles and fears, are of immense value to all of us.

In our numbers, there always seems to be someone among us that is not too busy with their own situation at the present moment who knows just what to say to those in crisis.  In years past I was mostly a "lurker", as I put it to Jess, a "reader", as Jess suggested, or maybe what is better, Ellie's (Roll) a member of the "live audience".  In those times, I needed to see the examples of those who are out there ahead of me.  Every one of those examples had, at one time or another, something to give me.  The more of you who put yourselves out there the more there was for me learn.  I was shown examples of successes to reach for for myself.  I was cautioned by the failures so I had a better chance to reach a good outcome for myself.  I was shown the way forward by all of you in one way or another.

In the past six months, I have moved from the audience up onto the stage.  In crisis myself, I started this thread.  I got the handholding I needed to work through it.  Even at this point, that crisis is not entirely resolved but I have made strides toward living my life as I need to that were longer and more fast-paced than they would have been without all the help and encouragement from all of you here.

Those of you in our audience are important.  The audience is where we draw our performers from.  By all means watch, listen, enjoy the show.  When you are ready, come join us up on stage.  You will overcome your stage fright more quickly than you might think.  Our strength is in our numbers. Consider being counted among us.

Stevi

Stevi it is so true that our achievements and experiences bind us into a collective power that we all draw strength from.  When you do look at it from a perspective of entirety each part is integral to creating that power.  If a part is missing the whole is lessened.
This is a basic tenant for a cooperative social network.
Here at Susan’s Place we have achieved something that is sometimes not achievable. We all tend to support each other with a family take on life and can often become protective of the ones that falter along the way, hoping and helping in the spirit of solidarity.

I’m so happy you have come into the sunlight and shirk the shadows save for respite.

Hugs and smiles. Jess
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 13, 2018, 11:10:52 pm
A couple of things going on.  Still trying to herd my gender marker change through from Social Security to Medicare to my insurance provider.  Called Medicare to find out that they have not got the information from Social Security.  Called Social Security but the automated phone system told me there was no one available to assist and goodbye.  I tried twice.  Same thing both times.  Monday at 10am.  Should have been someone there.  I ended up going online and leaving a Contact Us email.

I got a response from another of the cruising friend couples.  They express sadness for my struggles in life.  Gladness that we have figured out how we can deal with it.  Concern for me regarding surgeries.  I think it was concern of me undergoing permanent changes that I might later regret more than the inherent risk associated with such surgeries.  The email seems to be supportive.  But I am left wondering if they really wish the relationship to be truly close, again.  I sent a reply of thanks.  I mentioned that we will be passing close by on our way to and from Miami in September.  I wonder if they will offer to try to meet for a while as we go by.  We shall see.

That leaves one couple to hear from other than Miss bee in her bonnet.  I don't expect to hear from Miss be in her bonnet.   But I wonder if the whole congregation now knows of me.  I am wondering if I should send a follow up letter delineating the rules of engagement in the event we cross paths in and around town or, rather, just let it go and life my life as it suits me no matter what she thinks or does or says.

I have not yet heard from sister #4.  I did get a call from sister #2 tonight.  We talked about what sister #4 is thinking.  I appears she sent a letter to all of her sisters, except me, with a list of scripture references and a list of questions about how this affects Penny and my daughter and how will it impact future family gatherings.

The fitness center front.  I spoke with a lawyer today.  This evening I sent her an email that filled her in on some of the particulars of the situation.  I attached copies of the letter I sent the fitness center and his reply to me as well as a copy of the membership agreement so she better evaluate the situation.  Lambda Legal has asked me some questions to be forwarded to their legal team to see if they think there is some way to proceed.  It will take a day or three to decide who gets the honor of my defence.

The saga goes on  and on and on.....
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on August 13, 2018, 11:59:09 pm
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:  Yes indeed the saga continues for you on so many various fronts.  Everything that you mentioned seems to be in limbo right now.   You obviously are making some progress but in some of those issues it might be best to let them go after your repeated efforts have seeming gone nowhere. 

You have a life to live, with or without the ones that you are trying to clarify your life goals with

Take if from me, in my personal experience there is indeed a point where I stopped chasing an amicable solution and move on.   While I have not given up entirely on my family and old friends,  I am no longer obsessed and concerned about those issues on a daily basis. 

Please continue to keep us all updated.... 
Hugs and well wishes to you.
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 14, 2018, 08:55:55 am
Danielle,

I guess it does seem like an obsession.  There is a lot I am trying to wrap up all at one time.  I don't want to cut off contact with anyone because of a misunderstanding on my part.  I'll get it worked out.  Just need to keep herding the cats along.  Eventually, I will be past it all.

Gotta go do something important, like mow the grass.  Now, that is an obsession.  Seems like that is all I do only to find it needs doing again.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 15, 2018, 10:27:35 pm
Yesterday, I again spoke to someone at Social Security.  This person looked over my records and found that there was still incorrect gender information in my file.  Again i was assured that Medicare would be informed of my gender marker change.  This time the time frame was characterized as "soon".   THe time estimates I have gotten have been varied and meaningless.  I did not bother to obtain the definition of "soon." It would have been just another definition without meaning.

I'll watch MyMedicare site for a gender change for a while.  But, I expect to need to call somebody again about the gender marker.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Nicole70 on August 16, 2018, 07:41:14 am
Stevi,

How frustrating, they do appear to be dragging their heels on this gender change, mind you everyone worldwide seems to have the same issues with government bureaucracies. Let’s hope that soon means soon.

Hugs

Nicole
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 20, 2018, 04:53:59 pm
SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!  IT'S A GIRL!!!!

Just got home from a working visit with our daughter.  Picked up the mail from the PO Box on the way into town.  Then the mail box out in front of the house as we drove into the driveway.  The mailbox out front had two letters in it from the PA Division of Vital Statistics.  Opened the top one.  Oh, No!  The copy of my name change order was not sufficiently legible to issue a name correction.  I would need to come up with and submit a better certified copy.

I opened the second envelope and found a new birth certificate issued to STEPHANIE RUSHELLE JONES, FEMALE.

Investigation revealed that the request for a better copy of the name change order was issued the day prior to the birth certificate, itself.  Knowing the certified copy was not very good, I had included a high contrast copy of it, as well, with the application.  The high contrast copy pulled out sufficient detail to make it readable.  It seems someone reviewed the application and approved it in spite of the poor quality of the certified copy.

Slowly conquering the bureaucracies.   I am down to getting Medicare and Social Security on the same page with my gender.  After that my insurance carrier should be easily persuaded to follow Medicare.  As of earlier today, Medicare does not know of any change from my most recent call to Social Security.

Stephanie Rushelle Jones,  a.k.a. Stevi


Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: randim on August 20, 2018, 05:06:47 pm
Congratulations Stephanie 👍👍👍. Guess this means you’re a few days old. Cool trick!
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on August 20, 2018, 05:12:23 pm
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
Although we may be dealing with slightly different agencies and more local agencies in different states, the government bureaucracy can be a difficult gauntlet of paperwork, forms, copies, fees, etc... and just when you think that you have crossed all of the "t's" and dotted all of the "i's" you will most likely discover that some clerk found that something is not right and there you go again... more forms, more copies, more, more, more...  it is just so frustrating.

Anyway, back to the subject of your latest post.......

CONGRATUALATIONS....   :) ;D :o you are now officially and legally a FEMALE !!!!   I am very happy for you!!!!

Hugs and more hugs,
Danielle

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 20, 2018, 06:58:28 pm
In my previous reply about my birth certificate, I mentioned a trip to our daughter's.  It was a work visit.  I put a new O2 sensor in her car's exhaust system and a few other Daddy-Do items for her.  That has been my role in her life.  I have been concerned that she is still struggling to process and accept the new normal of a transgender woman for a dad.  While I avoided wearing dresses during the visit, I was attired in distinctly female clothing.  Like woman's pink shorts,  feminine cut blouses and flowery tops, necklasses and earrings.

Penny was in a bit of a quandary about the proper pronouns.  She wanted to try to please us both.  We discussed it before bed the first night and the next day, while our daughter was off to work, I told Penny I thought our daughter needed to be exposed to the reality that is her parent's new life.  I am a she/her, now, and our daughter needs to come to grips with it.  That is not going to happen unless she is pressed to deal with some of these things.  Pushed out of her comfort zone a bit.  Penny was much more consistent with the she/hers after that.  Our daughter seemed to do well with it.  I am hopeful, but cautious.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: JudiBlueEyes on August 20, 2018, 08:20:40 pm
Congratulations on the new BC!

I think your approach with your daughter is a sound one.  She needs to see and interact with the real you.  Kudos to you for taking it easy and understanding the situation from her point of view.
Judi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 21, 2018, 08:21:20 am
randim, Danielle and Judi,

Thanks, girls.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 22, 2018, 11:57:28 am
The Fitness Center Fiasco.

I have found a couple of lawyers who think I have a winnable case for breach of contract by the owner of the fitness center.  They are providing their services pro bono.  My wife and I are now talking through what it is we want to obtain as a settlement.  There is the option of restoration of my membership.  There is a problem there in that we feel I may be watching over my shoulder at someone who is looking for the least infraction for an excuse to again terminate my membership.  Not sure we would feel comfortable using the facilities.  The other option is for seeking some remuneration for damages and do without membership.

Any action is likely to make us a subject of discussion, maybe worse, in this small rural community.  We are just now moving to live life on our own terms so we are not sure we want the 15 minutes of fame or the much more enduring infamy that might result from further pursuing this.  For myself, I am POed enough and, shall I say, proud enough to take what comes.  But, I do not really wish to subject my wife from what might come our way.  We do not have a good handle on the community's response if/when the news gets out.  We need to do some deliberating over the next couple of weeks.  The lead lawyer is taking a bit of a vacation that largely coincides with our honeymoon.  I told her we would let her know how to proceed after we get back from our travels.

While we don't want to dwell on it too awfully much over the next couple of weeks, we will decide how we wish to proceed so we can let the legal team know what to do next.  What do we want?  Should we have the attorney send a letter that might bring the owner to the table in good faith to resolve it or just go straight to court from here or drop it altogether and live quietly out of the lime-light.

Anyone out there that has faced a similar trilemma?  Any thoughts, anyone?

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: JudiBlueEyes on August 22, 2018, 12:49:51 pm
I think any time you can work things out, it is good.  Maybe a well written letter will entice the owner to sit and discuss the concern where you can come to an amicable solution.  Being in the limelight, especially in a small town can be brutal so your trepidation is well founded.  I wish you well. 

Have a safe and fun trip.
Judi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 22, 2018, 01:01:50 pm
Judi,

I have sent an amicable, yet firm letter, to the owner inviting him to engage in a dialog with me.  It was rebuffed.  My attorneys have a copy of it and tell me it was well executed.  The next possible intermediate step between here and going to court is to have the attorneys draft a letter.  It is possible that the owner's thinking is that I would most likely roll over and let him have his way.  Getting a letter from a law firm might make him change tack.  Problem is that he might agree to reinstate my membership but then look for a way to get me out with a more "legitimate" reason or the staff may make use of the facility uncomfortable for me with hurtful words or actions.  Should I take that risk?

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on August 22, 2018, 01:25:29 pm
Judi,

I have sent an amicable, yet firm letter, to the owner inviting him to engage in a dialog with me.  It was rebuffed.  My attorneys have a copy of it and tell me it was well executed.  The next possible intermediate step between here and going to court is to have the attorneys draft a letter.  It is possible that the owner's thinking is that I would most likely roll over and let him have his way.  Getting a letter from a law firm might make him change tack.  Problem is that he might agree to reinstate my membership but then look for a way to get me out with a more "legitimate" reason or the staff may make use of the facility uncomfortable for me with hurtful words or actions.  Should I take that risk?

Stevi

@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
Usually I am NOT personally in favor of highly visible and high profile court proceedings of any kind.

While some transgender individuals may win a particular case, I always think it is best to "let" the offender, in this case the fitness center owner, settle out of court and thus "save face" and also save him the expense of legal fees but also the embarrassment and possible negative business ramifications of losing the court battle on a hot-button issue like this.

Based on what you stated, I would take the risk if indeed the fitness center owner rescinded your membership denial and allowed you to once again be a member. 

That said, do know that he and his supporters would be watching you closely when you are at the fitness center....  I would suggest that if you do go back there to initially always have others with you all the time... safety in numbers.  Don't go there alone or go into the changing areas or rest rooms without a friend at you side.  Obviously it goes without saying that you will need to be a model citizen and a happy and "follow the rules" type of member at the fitness center.

All of that is just my opinion, that is all....   food for thought!!!

As you may know from reading my thread, I go to the local gym regularly with my gym-gals group of 5 cis women.  We look out for each other and have each other's back ....   again, safety in numbers.   
I fondly call them my body guards... I had written about that on my thread... as I had been approached several times by creepy guy #2 at my gym and my gal-friends came to my rescue.   Other forum members here have mentioned similar things happening to them with the creeps... the creeps are everywhere!!!!

Please continue to keep us all posted,
Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: JudiBlueEyes on August 22, 2018, 01:26:42 pm
I was thinking the letter should come from the lawyer as it is the only way to get some peoples attention.  I recall that you had already sent one.

Judi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Dena on August 22, 2018, 07:11:28 pm
If the owner is transphobic you would probably be better off with a settlement as the fitness center will always be a hostile environment. On the other hand, at this point the only one who might talk some sense into the owner would be his own lawyer. The only way to get his lawyer involved will be for your lawyer to send the letter. As I see it, you really only have three outcomes.
1. Walk away.
2. The owner settles and you don't have a membership.
3. You take it to court.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 27, 2018, 09:34:32 am
I am sitting in the waiting room of our therapist's  office while Penny is complaining about me to her therapist.😁 When she finishes, our honeymoon begins. From here we are headed southward through South Carolina and into Georgia on the first real leg of our trip that will take us as far as St. Thomas before we turn around to wend our way back home.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on August 27, 2018, 10:20:24 am
I am sitting in the waiting room of our therapist's  office while Penny is complaining about me to her therapist.😁 When she finishes, our honeymoon begins. From here we are headed southward through South Carolina and into Georgia on the first real leg of our trip that will take us as far as St. Thomas before we turn around to wend our way back home.

Stevi

@Stevi
Dear Stevi:   
After all the complaining to the therapist is out in the open....  you can then get on with your joyous honeymoon plans and great sounding trip together...

Have fun, and enjoy being with each other, and wishing you safe travels....
.... and remember....  pictures or it didn't happen!!!

I will be eager to read your upcoming updates.
Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 28, 2018, 05:22:16 pm
Yesterday, Penny and I finished up our therapist sessions and headed southward.  As we motored down along I95 headed to Kingsland in Georgia, we did not have any real firm plan in mind.  It was good enough to be footloose and fancy free for a bit.  As we approached Florence in South Carolina, a thought occurred.  That does happen to me on occasion.  Why not make a small detour and visit the town again.  After all, it had been a while since we were there. Only fifty years.  You see Florence was the where Penny and I got married fifty years ago.

We were each eighteen years old.  I could not get my parents permission for us to marry.  At the time, South Carolinsa allowed eighteen year olds to marry without a blood test with only a twenty four hour waiting period.

So, we drove into town to see some of the sights.  We set our sights on the county courthouse.  As we were approaching the courthouse the following came on the radio.


Our life together
Is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love is still special
Let's take a chance and fly away
Somewhere alone

It's been too long since we took the time
No-one's to blame, I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It's like we both are falling in love again
It'll be just like starting over
Starting over

Everyday we used to make it love
Why can't we be making love nice and easy
It's time to spread our wings and fly
Don't let another day go by my love
It'll be just like starting over
Starting over

Why don't we take off alone
Take a trip somewhere far, far away
We'll be together all alone again
Like we used to in the early days
Well, well, well darling

It's been too long since we took the time
No-one's to blame, I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It's like we both are falling in love again
It'll be just like starting over
Starting over

Our life together
Is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love still is special
Let's take a chance and fly away somewhere

Starting over (over and over and over)

(Just Like) Starting Over
John Lennon

It finished up just as we drove past the courthouse steps.

Kismet, Ya think?
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: JudiBlueEyes on August 28, 2018, 05:29:31 pm
Stevi, I hope you're enjoying the first leg of your trip.  I always marvel at how certain songs can speak to us in such a meaningful way.  All our lives are interconnected in some manner.  To that end, we're all with you and Penny.  Safe travels!

Judi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on August 28, 2018, 06:42:14 pm
@Stevi
Dear Stevi: 
Thank you for posting your terrific update as you started your road trip.  For sure what played on the radio as you approached the courthouse sounds like Kismet to me.... it is and was your destiny to be there at those times, 50 years ago and now.
Was it a song or was it read as a poem?   
All the words are so wonderful and most appropriate for you and Penny on your 50th wedding anniversary.....   CONGRATULATIONS  !!!!

Again, thank you for keeping your followers updated with your life happenings.
Hugs, and well wishes....   and SAFE TRAVELS
Danielle

Yesterday, Penny and I finished up our therapist sessions and headed southward.  As we motored down along I95 headed to Kingsland in Georgia, we did not have any real firm plan in mind.  It was good enough to be footloose and fancy free for a bit.  As we approached Florence in South Carolina, a thought occurred.  That does happen to me on occasion.  Why not make a small detour and visit the town again.  After all, it had been a while since we were there. Only fifty years.  You see Florence was the where Penny and I got married fifty years ago.

We were each eighteen years old.  I could not get my parents permission for us to marry.  At the time, South Carolinsa allowed eighteen year olds to marry without a blood test with only a twenty four hour waiting period.

So, we drove into town to see some of the sights.  We set our sights on the county courthouse.  As we were approaching the courthouse the following came on the radio.


Our life together
Is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love is still special
Let's take a chance and fly away
Somewhere alone

It's been too long since we took the time
No-one's to blame, I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It's like we both are falling in love again
It'll be just like starting over
Starting over

Everyday we used to make it love
Why can't we be making love nice and easy
It's time to spread our wings and fly
Don't let another day go by my love
It'll be just like starting over
Starting over

Why don't we take off alone
Take a trip somewhere far, far away
We'll be together all alone again
Like we used to in the early days
Well, well, well darling

It's been too long since we took the time
No-one's to blame, I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It's like we both are falling in love again
It'll be just like starting over
Starting over

Our life together
Is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love still is special
Let's take a chance and fly away somewhere

Starting over (over and over and over)

(Just Like) Starting Over
John Lennon

It finished up just as we drove past the courthouse steps.

Kismet, Ya think?
Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 29, 2018, 07:26:40 am
Danielle,

It was the song that was playing on the radio.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 31, 2018, 07:06:13 pm
A little catching up to be done.  Penny and I have been busy the last several days.  On Tuesday we moved from south Georgia down to central Florida.  That evening we visited with Stephanie (@Steph2.0 version) for several hours.  Wonderful conversation to get to know on another better.  The following morning we met up for a brunch.  Good food at a  local diner.   Afterward, I dropped Penny off at our hotel room and I went over to Stephanie's place where we found diversion in conversation, touring the shop and hanger while Stephanie watched the weather as storm cloud after storm cloud popped up and dissipated in the area.  Finally the weather cooperated enough for Stephanie to get the craft out of the hanger, up in the air for a half hour so she could cruise around a bit, put through a few sharp banking turns to give me few thrills, and get it back to the hanger before the really bad weather came in with heavy rain and solid overcast to follow.  Tanks so much, Stephanie.

For the evening, Penny and I collected Stephanie and drove to Cassie's house for her on the way to a T-Network social event.  I have some transgender social connections around home but they are therapy related events that exclude SOs.  I wanted to get Penny some exposure to more of my world and Stephanie and Cassie graciously guided Penny and I so my wife could get a bit of the flavor.  By the time we all got to bed it was late. Some more thanks are in order for Stephanie and Cassie going the extra mile for us.

The next morning was reserved for Stephanie's FFS phone consult.  Between the late hour that I got her home and the restless night she had in anticipation of the morning's Skype session, Stephanie needed some time for herself.  But, as previously arranged, We picked up her and her spouse for a trip up to a housing development area known as The Villages.   There we met up with Cassie and the five of us had some dinner and some socializing.  Afterward we headed off to The Mystic Ice Cream Shop for a game of trivia and and some ice cream, of course.  Although we did not win any of the rounds, we did mange to give some of the better teams a run for their money a couple times.  I was a bit apprehensive of my ability to contribute but I surprised myself and had a really good time.  We left Cassie to fend for herself after the trivia and we got ourselves back home before the coach changed back into a pumpkin.

Our time spent with Stephanie and her spouse and Cassie was filled with good experiences and conversation.  Thank you, so much girls.

Stevi and Penny
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: KathyLauren on August 31, 2018, 07:56:49 pm
Great update, Stevi!  Having just enjoyed a visit from Tia (Anne Blake) and Debi, I love reading out members from Susan's Place meeting up with each other.  I am glad that you have such a good time.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 31, 2018, 09:02:19 pm
Today we moved on down to Miami to board the Carnival Glory tomorrow for our honeymoon cruise.  On the way we stopped  near Jensen Beach to have lunch with a couple of former cruising friends from days gone by.  When I recently reached out to them they were most welcoming.  We had a pleasant long lunch.  We will stop by on our way home for a longer visit.

We are now checked in and the luggage is rearranged for boarding tomorrow.  I hope all you girls and guys stay out of trouble and save a little of the fun for me when I get back into port.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on August 31, 2018, 09:26:23 pm
 @Stevi:
Dear Stevi:
Please have a pleasant and fun trip on the cruise. 
Such a great way for you and your wife Penny to celebrate your 50th Wedding Anniversary.

When you are done with your cruise it would be great to see some pictures of your happy and fun times together.
Hugs and well wishes,
Danielle
Today we moved on down to Miami to board the Carnival Glory tomorrow for our honeymoon cruise.  On the way we stopped  near Jensen Beach to have lunch with a couple of former cruising friends from days gone by.  When I recently reached out to them they were most welcoming.  We had a pleasant long lunch.  We will stop by on our way home for a longer visit.

We are now checked in and the luggage is rearranged for boarding tomorrow.  I hope all you girls and guys stay out of trouble and save a little of the fun for me when I get back into port.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on September 11, 2018, 06:52:22 pm
Well, Penny and and I have arrived home from our honeymoon.  It went very well and we had a good time.  It began with a stop in Florence, SC where we married a little over fifty years ago.  It had a visit with some new friends, Stephanie and Cassie, and ended with some recently informed old friends.  In the middle was an eight day cruise aboard the Carnival Glory just the two of us. I will need to fill in the details at a later date.

Let me tell you all why.  It is ironic that Florence is scheduled to stop by our house in the coming days.  So I have to get the house all ready for her arrival.  Our little abode is located at the edge of what is called the 500 yr flood plain.  A few years back, Hurricane Irene blew in 9' 6" of tidal surge that put the shoreline on the back corner of our little piece of this earth with the house surrounded by water.  Presently, the forecast for the Nuese River is for 9 to 13 feet of surge.  13 feet will bring the water level up to mid-calf where I now sit.  Not much I can do except move valuables up to the table tops, pack what is most valuable and necessary into our little Prius and head out of town.  We have until tomorrow afternoon to accomplish that.  Tomorrow evening the winds will begin to build and the rain bands will start darkening the skies.

Our daughter lives in Alexandria. VA.  We will go to stay with her until we are allowed to return to see what we can salvage.   The house is insured for flood, wind and hail for more than its likely real value.  The deductible is not insignificant so the worst case is for relatively minor damage.  Best cases are all or nothing at all.

I promise to take all the pictures we had taken for our honeymoon album so I can provide the required evidence. 

We will be OK.  We have each other.
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: KathyLauren on September 11, 2018, 07:47:48 pm
I am glad you had a good honeymoon, but what a thing to return to!  The storm is going to do what it is going to do, so all you can do is to protect your valuables and evacuate.  Yikes!

I wish you good luck and hope that everything is okay when you return.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Nicole70 on September 11, 2018, 09:17:58 pm
Good luck Stevi, I hope your property misses the worst of the weather, stay safe.

Nicole
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on September 12, 2018, 10:29:23 pm
We are settled in at our daughter's, place.  The day was a bit long.  I was awake at a little after 5 am.  I did the work of "battening down the hatches" to make ready for Florence's arrival, mowed the grass.  The lawn was temporarily normal following a couple weeks with little rain.  Then there was the packing to do.  We left the house just before noon and arrived here just after 7 pm.  Traffic on I95 northbound was heavy and backed up in places.  I was surprised it went as quickly as it did.

The forecast for Florence has been shifting around.  The surge prediction was down to 6 t 9 feet.  The track projections has move her southward.  But the surge in our area has been moved back to 9 to 13 feet.

Good night,
Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on September 13, 2018, 07:42:25 am
Checking onto towndock.net ( our hometown has an excellent website to cover all things local ) it seems the wind and rain of Florence have begun to settle in over our home.  I do see the forecasted track is taking her further south than our place.  Bad news for people down in South Carolina.  The wind speeds are lower than they were but the storm is going to move slowly and dump a lot of water.  Our house in still threatened by a very high storm surge from the northeast winds of the right-front quadrant.

I am not overly concerned.  We are safe.  We will put it all back together afterward.  There is nothing there we can't replace or live without.  In the meantime, I think we might run over to Rock Hall, MD and visit with a friend where we docked our boat in days gone by.  Something fun and a good diversion to occupy the mind.  She knows of my new look and is perfectly OK.  Should be fun.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: steph2.0 on September 13, 2018, 07:46:48 am
Checking onto towndock.net ( our hometown has an excellent website to cover all things local ) it seems the wind and rain of Florence have begun to settle in over our home.  I do see the forecasted track is taking her further south than our place.  Bad news for people down in South Carolina.  The wind speeds are lower than they were but the storm is going to move slowly and dump a lot of water.  Our house in still threatened by a very high storm surge from the northwest winds of the right-front quadrant.

I am not overly concerned.  We are safe.  We will put it all back together afterward.  There is nothing there we can't replace or live without.  In the meantime, I think we might run over to Rock Hall, MD and visit with a friend where we docked our boat in days gone by.  Something fun and a good diversion to occupy the mind.  She knows of my new look and is perfectly OK.  Should be fun.

Stevi

Best of luck in all respects, Stevi!

Stephanie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on September 13, 2018, 09:04:11 am
Thanks for your well wishes, Kathy, Nicole and Stephanie.

Towndock has implemented the latest storm surge algorithm.

https://towndock.net/img/21859.jpg (https://towndock.net/img/21859.jpg)

Eat your heart out, Jim Cantore
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: steph2.0 on September 13, 2018, 09:17:21 am
Thanks for your well wishes, Kathy, Nichole ans Stephanie.

Towndock has implemented the latest storm surge algorithm.

https://towndock.net/img/21859.jpg (https://towndock.net/img/21859.jpg)

Eat your heart out, Jim Cantore

I’ll be darned. That’s the same algorithm my investment counselor uses!
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: randim on September 13, 2018, 11:07:09 am
Checking onto towndock.net ( our hometown has an excellent website to cover all things local ) it seems the wind and rain of Florence have begun to settle in over our home.  I do see the forecasted track is taking her further south than our place.  Bad news for people down in South Carolina.  The wind speeds are lower than they were but the storm is going to move slowly and dump a lot of water.  Our house in still threatened by a very high storm surge from the northeast winds of the right-front quadrant.

I am not overly concerned.  We are safe.  We will put it all back together afterward.  There is nothing there we can't replace or live without.  In the meantime, I think we might run over to Rock Hall, MD and visit with a friend where we docked our boat in days gone by.  Something fun and a good diversion to occupy the mind.  She knows of my new look and is perfectly OK.  Should be fun.

Stevi

Good luck Stevi.  Hope the weather Gods are kind to you.  And to me as far as that goes.  I have a vacation trailer (yes, trailer!) on Harkers Island north of Morehead about 100 feet from the back sound.  I am not optimistic.  We made a trip down this week and hauled off as much stuff as we could and tried to get as much stuff off the floor as possible.  But I'm afraid if the wind doesn't get it the water will.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on September 13, 2018, 12:04:41 pm
randim,

May the weather gods be most kind to you, as well.  Not much hope for that, though, since we stopped sacrificing virgins to them.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: randim on September 13, 2018, 12:13:06 pm
randim,

May the weather gods be most kind to you, as well.  Not much hope for that, though, since we stopped sacrificing virgins to them.

Stevi

Well, they are so hard to find.  Lovely earrings, btw.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on September 13, 2018, 12:31:25 pm
As a human interest interruption to the weather news, I thought you might like to see a couple of photos from our recent trip.

First, my new avatar.  It is cropped out of a photo of both Penny and I.

(http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh625/sterusjon/a09p%2035343%202_zpsiy79lt9e.jpg?1536859148559&1536859148761&1536859148898)

Proof that we ventured as far as St Thomas

(http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh625/sterusjon/05p%2006187_zpsxl4bp5ob.jpg?1536859338969&1536859339137)

I had fun with the waite staff at dinner and the photographers, too.  This is me channelling my #4 sister.

(http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh625/sterusjon/a06p%2032963_zpsxcjn9gil.jpg?1536859338969&1536859339137)

The experience was a very positive one.  We were quite open with everyone about our fiftieth anniversary and our closeness as a couple.  No one seemed to even bat an eye as to what/who they were interacting with.  Some may have figured it out right.  Others, probably not.  Everyone was great.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on September 13, 2018, 12:50:37 pm
Checking onto towndock.net ( our hometown has an excellent website to cover all things local ) it seems the wind and rain of Florence have begun to settle in over our home.  I do see the forecasted track is taking her further south than our place.  Bad news for people down in South Carolina.  The wind speeds are lower than they were but the storm is going to move slowly and dump a lot of water.  Our house in still threatened by a very high storm surge from the northeast winds of the right-front quadrant.

I am not overly concerned.  We are safe.  We will put it all back together afterward.  There is nothing there we can't replace or live without.  In the meantime, I think we might run over to Rock Hall, MD and visit with a friend where we docked our boat in days gone by.  Something fun and a good diversion to occupy the mind.  She knows of my new look and is perfectly OK.  Should be fun.

Stevi


Stay safe Stevi! I've been watching this one from the west coast. Glad to see the winds are slowing down a bit. All my best wishes. Lovely pictures btw!

Stay dry you two!
Hugs,
Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 13, 2018, 04:28:47 pm
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
Well, after seeing your honeymoon/cruise pictures and your newest and latest Avatar/Profile photo I am going to use the word that I have become known for... that best describes your new picture....
    Wow-Whee !
Thanks for sharing your 50 years of married bliss with all of us.

Now, for the Hurricane... I hope that since the storm has been downgraded and shifting it's course that your home is in a better situation to avoid damage....  I had to chuckle when you stated that you mowed your grass before you left your home and fled to safety at your daughter's home....   I guess that you want it to look nice while you are gone!!!

Again,  thanks for your update post and sharing your Wow-Whee pictures.
Hugs and well wishes,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: KathyLauren on September 13, 2018, 04:59:59 pm
Stevi, I love your new photos, especially the first one, that you used for your avatar.  You look beautiful!
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on September 13, 2018, 06:26:52 pm
Danielle and Kathy,

Thanks for taking note of my photos.  The three I posted are just a sampling of what we had taken.  I really had fun with outfits and hair.

Now back to the weather news from Oriental Harbor.

TownDock reports:
Quote
6:57p The TownDock surge stick (a piling in the “basement” that has been marked with every major hurricane) got to near 8 feet a half hour ago. We are hardly out of the woods, but the levels have gone down an inch or two in the last 15 minutes.

First dip seen so far.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on September 14, 2018, 05:05:55 am
Good morning everyone,

It appears that Florence has peaked around our house.  Overnight, the local website, towndock.net, reported a max surge level of about one inch above Irene's 9.5 foot record.  The level has receded, now that the wind has clocked around some to 7 feet.  Things vary locally so it is possible that the level was somewhat different around our house.  But, we are hopeful the water did not intrude into the house itself.  Wind speeds were reported to be 90 sustained and gusting over 100 mph.  Florence is taking her good old time.  Her eye has not even made landfall, yet, though it is getting close.  It will be a while before we can even consider returning home.  There is no assurance the wind did not deal us a severe blow.  The wind speeds are more reasonable now at 30s and 40s.

In the meantime, we are safe here in Maryland with an old friend.  We expect to return to our daughter's place this evening so we can spend some weekend time with her.  No sense planning too far ahead until that b&*)h blows herself out.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on September 15, 2018, 02:03:20 pm
Monitoring what is going on at home.  The water levels are receding sllooowwwwwllllyyy.  There are still tropical storm winds- 20-30, gusting 40s out of the east.  The water won't go out until the wind goes southeast or the wind drops more.  Rain and scattered thunderstorms.   Power is still out.  Most of the residents in the Tideland Electric's service area are without power.  Route 55, the main road out to Oriental is impassable due to downed power lines.  Looks like a while before we can trek back.  Still no idea what we will actually find.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on September 15, 2018, 02:25:32 pm
I have been catching up with a few things that I put on the back burner with so much else going on.  It has been a while since I had one of my little chats with the Social Security service rep who assured be the gender change would show up at Medicare "soon".  So, I gave Medicare a call.  Is my gender marker FEMALE?  NO!  Before the Medicare service rep could give the spiel, I cut her off and told her I knew the drill.  I would call Social Security, again.

Two calls to Social Security would not give me the option of speaking to a representative.  A third call, late in the day, offered me a one hour and forty five minute wait time.  Not viable at the time so I rudely hung up on Social Security.  The annoying-music machine didn't much care but I did get a bit of satisfaction.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on September 15, 2018, 03:42:50 pm
Oh my Stevi! I hope they don't drop the ball here. My guess is the government takes forever to get anything done. I'm in the same boat but haven't sent my doc's to SS or MC yet. Still waiting for my court order to come through the mail. I don't know why I even ask to have it mailed to me because I have to go back to the courthouse to get it certified.

All my best wishes that your house will remain unharmed through the storm. It's almost over. Hang in there.

Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on September 17, 2018, 09:39:51 am
Florence News.

The electric company's nearly worthless outage reporting web page indicates that our house is still without power.  Towndock.net reports that there are dozens of down poles along the highway into Oriental.  There are two providers in the region so I am unsure as to whose poles they are.  I received a call from our next door neighbor.  He gave me an assessment of our situation over the phone.  We got about a foot of water around and under the house.  Not enough to reach the floor joists but probably the HVAC ductwork was invaded.  The fuel oil tank which was less than half full was blown off its cradle.  The stuff at ground level in the carport was in the water as well as the washer, dryer and freezer in the utility room.  In the grand scheme of things, it appears we faired well. We are anxious to be getting back but we will stay put here at our daughter's place in Virginia until we atleast get power back.

Social Security, Medicare and my gender marker.

I called at 8:01 am.  Had a 27 minute wait in the que.  Spoke with a rep. After a long hold, he returned to tell me he found that the steps to get the change made so Medicare could see the change had not been completed.  He could not make the changes himself now.  He told me he sent a priority message to the data processing department so some IT wizard could do the deed.  This time I was told it would take 15 days for the change to be done and not to bother calling Medicare since they would only send me back to Social Security to get it fixed if it wasn't changed.  Do I have any confidence in this being in the least bit accurate? No!, Nada!, Zip!, Zilch! Absolutely not!  I just wasted another 52 minutes of my life.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on September 17, 2018, 11:23:38 am
Thank god it's not the house. Washers, dryers and refrigerators are easier to replace than a house. I'm not about the ductwork. I've watched them replace 4 or 5 aging power poles a day. Hopefully they will have the power back on soon.

OMG! I can almost visualize the chaos that must be happening at SS. Panic running back and forth, tripping faceplant into the copy machine, deer in the headlight dumbfounded blank stares. Oh my, I just freaked my self out.

I hope they have this all figured out when my paperwork gets there. I'm at least glad you two are getting to spend time with your daughter. I wish it were better circumstances.

Hugs,
Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on September 17, 2018, 01:24:49 pm
Donica,

I have a different image of the goings on at SS.  I picture a whole crew walking out the door to the cafeteria for a cup of coffee to take with them out the back door to the smoking area.  Fifteen to twenty minutes later they will all parade back in to tell each of us that was put on hold whatever it is they think will get us to move along.

I guess after the umpteenth call I am getting a bit cynical.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 17, 2018, 04:14:09 pm
Donica,

I have a different image of the goings on at SS.  I picture a whole crew walking out the door to the cafeteria for a cup of coffee to take with them out the back door to the smoking area.  Fifteen to twenty minutes later they will all parade back in to tell each of us that was put on hold whatever it is they think will get us to move along.

I guess after the umpteenth call I am getting a bit cynical.

Stevi

@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
I am so sorry to hear of the difficulties that you are encountering with your home and local area relevant to the storm and subsequent damage that it has caused.

All of that came on the heels of your lovely Anniversary trip with your wife...  at least that went very well as you reported.... and your pictures were wonderful for your followers to see.

Now... regarding Social Security....   as we all know, no matter where we live or what government agencies we try to deal with, the wheels of Government bureaucracy and red-tape not only can move very slowly, but many times seem to run backwards.   Patience is definitively required.... I am always stuck on hold on the phone with different government offices, sometimes for an hour or more just to find out that I have reached the wrong department.  This kind of thing even spills over when dealing with private businesses such as the phone company, doctor offices, insurance companies, the cable television company, the utility companies, bank services, etc.   ....   
I always love the phone announcement, "your call is important to us...." and the fact that I am stuck talking to a computer voice and can never talk to a real person many times.

I feel your pain, I trust that you can get everything in order.
Hugs,
Danielle

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on September 18, 2018, 08:25:33 pm
One of the other things that was put on the back burner before our honeymoon trip was what to do about the loss of my membership at the local health and fitness center.

Well, it seems that Penhy and I are becoming transgender activists.  We have engaged a law firm.  It may surprise you to learn that it is not illegal for a business to discriminate against a transgender person in the state of North Carolina.  I know.  What a shocker.  So, we cannot sue on those grounds since the federal government is not involved.  Federal funding of the business might give us some grounds in a federal court.  However, the owner of the business is required to abide by the terms of the membership agreement.  North Carolina does require him to do that.  We are sure we can make the case he revoked our membership without cause in violation of the terms of the agreement.  We will be suing for breach of contract.  Our lawyers are determining what they feel we can ask for now that we have resolved to go forward and decided what is not acceptable.  Simply reinstating my membership is not acceptable.  I am not at all comfortable with returning to the facility without more protection for me and greater tolerance of me.

After some of this Florence interruption is behind us, we will finalize our path forward with our lawyers.

Wish us luck,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 18, 2018, 08:40:13 pm
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
Oh yeah, I was kinda wondering about the status of the Health Club that you are/were a member of.   With all that has been happening with your Wedding Anniversary vacation trip and the Hurricane issues...  it was certainly understandable that it ended up on the "back burner" ... 

I am wishing you well for your quest for justice and respect.   Whenever you think of it please keep all of your followers updated with the status of this important action that may or may not happen through our lawyers.

Hugs and well wishes,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on September 19, 2018, 09:36:32 am
One of the other things that was put on the back burner before our honeymoon trip was what to do about the loss of my membership at the local health and fitness center.

Well, it seems that Penhy and I are becoming transgender activists.  We have engaged a law firm.  It may surprise you to learn that it is not illegal for a business to discriminate against a transgender person in the state of North Carolina.  I know.  What a shocker.  So, we cannot sue on those grounds since the federal government is not involved.  Federal funding of the business might give us some grounds in a federal court.  However, the owner of the business is required to abide by the terms of the membership agreement.  North Carolina does require him to do that.  We are sure we can make the case he revoked our membership without cause in violation of the terms of the agreement.  We will be suing for breach of contract.  Our lawyers are determining what they feel we can ask for now that we have resolved to go forward and decided what is not acceptable.  Simply reinstating my membership is not acceptable.  I am not at all comfortable with returning to the facility without more protection for me and greater tolerance of me.

After some of this Florence interruption is behind us, we will finalize our path forward with our lawyers.

Wish us luck,
Stevi

I should say so! At the very least more protection for you and all LGBT folks. North Carolina is off my list of possible future homes.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on September 21, 2018, 02:17:49 pm
I am checking in.  We arrived home on Wednesday afternoon.  Power was on.  The house itself is in good shape.  Roof undamaged.  The water level around and under the house was an historic high. eight inches above that of Irene.  Even at that level it did not reach the floor joists.  I did loose the washer, dryer and freezer in the utility room.  In the grand scheme of things, we made out well.

I have no cable or internet access at home so I need to visit the McDonalds in town. 

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: steph2.0 on September 21, 2018, 02:22:53 pm
I am checking in.  We arrived home on Wednesday afternoon.  Power was on.  The house itself is in good shape.  Roof undamaged.  The water level around and under the house was an historic high. eight inches above that of Irene.  Even at that level it did not reach the floor joists.  I did loose the washer, dryer and freezer in the utility room.  In the grand scheme of things, we made out well.

I have no cable or internet access at home so I need to visit the McDonalds in town. 

Stevi

Uh huh. The only reason I go to McD’s is for the internet access, too. The Double Quarter Pounders have nothing to do with it.

Seriously, I’m glad you didn’t have serious damage!

Stephanie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 21, 2018, 02:26:12 pm
I am checking in.  We arrived home on Wednesday afternoon.  Power was on.  The house itself is in good shape.  Roof undamaged.  The water level around and under the house was an historic high. eight inches above that of Irene.  Even at that level it did not reach the floor joists.  I did loose the washer, dryer and freezer in the utility room.  In the grand scheme of things, we made out well.

I have no cable or internet access at home so I need to visit the McDonalds in town. 

Stevi

@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
  I think that you should count your blessings.... the appliances you lost in the utility room are easily replaced compared to what could have happened to your home....

... hey, the good news is that you mowed your lawn before you evacuated to you daughter's place.  I am still chuckling about that when you mentioned it one of your previous post replies.

Most of us have watched the NEWS and seen pictures and descriptions of the widespread and severe damage the storm caused.... again, you can count your blessings.

Thanks for posting this good news,....  all of your followers are happy for you.
Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 21, 2018, 02:32:00 pm
Uh huh. The only reason I go to McD’s is for the internet access, too. The Double Quarter Pounders have nothing to do with it.

Seriously, I’m glad you didn’t have serious damage!

Stephanie

@Steph2.0
Dear Stephanie:  I have to stay away from fast food.... the Double Quarter Pounders are indeed good but it seems that the Half-pound of hamburger meat and all the other things that go in it can make my bathroom scales act up and show that I gained more weight than what the burger weighed!!!   Go figure!!

... and yes indeed @Stevi .... we are all very glad that you didn't have more serious damage.
Hugs,
Danielle

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: steph2.0 on September 21, 2018, 03:05:03 pm
@Steph2.0
Dear Stephanie:  I have to stay away from fast food.... the Double Quarter Pounders are indeed good but it seems that the Half-pound of hamburger meat and all the other things that go in it can make my bathroom scales act up and show that I gained more weight than what the burger weighed!!!   Go figure!!

I was only joking...

...sorta. Very rarely I let myself indulge but once in a while it counts as comfort food! ❤️
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on September 21, 2018, 03:16:26 pm
After collecting a wheelbarrow full of pine tree branches, my lawn looks really great.  All the clipping were deposited in the back corner of my next door neighbor's lot.

I went for my walk this morning.  Huge piles of branches and marsh grass washed to the high water mark.  Along the river, I saw a home with the lawn littered with the rip rap rocks that used to line the river back out front  It would have been frightening to have stayed at home through it all.

The McD is only serving via the drive-thru.  I had a large milkshake to "pay" for my internet access.

I am off to the grocery now.  Take care all.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Nicole70 on September 22, 2018, 03:52:58 am
Hi Stephanie,

I’m glad your home was relatively untouched, I can’t imagine how stressful it must have been not knowing how your house has faired, I know at the end of the day it’s just bricks and mortar, but at the same time it’s home.

Hope you get your internet reconnected soon, take care.

Nicole
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on September 22, 2018, 09:42:31 am
Dear Stevi! I'm so glad it wasn't any worse than you first thought. Home sweet home. There's nothing like being back at your own home. I hope it doesn't take them too long to restore the internet. It's been years since I've been inside a fast food restaurant. It's not the McD burgers that hook me. It's the fries. Extra large please!

Welcome home hugs!
Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Laurie on September 22, 2018, 11:48:44 am
Hi Stevi,

  I was glad to hear you are back home and that things could have been a lot worse than they are. I hope you are back to normal operation soon.

Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: randim on September 22, 2018, 03:43:45 pm
Hi Stevi,

Glad you weathered the storm relatively well.  New Bern was on the news a lot.  Looks like it got hit pretty hard in general.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on September 27, 2018, 06:54:57 am
Internet service restored.  I have an insurance adjuster due this afternoon to look at the inundated appliances and under the house at the ductwork.  The water level did reach high enough to compromise the insulation on it and likely hasten the corrosion of the metal pipe.  I probably should replace it on principle.  It is original to the house and I have already done some patch work this past spring.  Maybe the insurance will help a little after the deductible.   A new washer and dryer are on order and scheduled for delivery next Thursday.

Also, on next Thursday's agenda is a phone conversation with my lawyer about the legal action against the owner of the fitness center.  I'll keep you all posted.

Thank you all for your concern for us and how we made out.  We have been inconvenienced by Florence.  So many others have been so severely impacted.  Do what you can for them.  We are fine.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 27, 2018, 12:42:49 pm
Internet service restored.  I have an insurance adjuster due this afternoon to look at the inundated appliances and under the house at the ductwork.  The water level did reach high enough to compromise the insulation on it and likely hasten the corrosion of the metal pipe.  I probably should replace it on principle.  It is original to the house and I have already done some patch work this past spring.  Maybe the insurance will help a little after the deductible.   A new washer and dryer are on order and scheduled for delivery next Thursday.

Also, on next Thursday's agenda is a phone conversation with my lawyer about the legal action against the owner of the fitness center.  I'll keep you all posted.

Thank you all for your concern for us and how we made out.  We have been inconvenienced by Florence.  So many others have been so severely impacted.  Do what you can for them.  We are fine.

Stevi
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
Thank you for your report and update letting your followers know that things are becoming OK with you and your home.
It is certainly wise of you to have your insurance company and getting the inspection for you areas of your home that may have water damage. ....  this is also quite obviously important for electrical and electronic appliances and devices.

Oh for sure, do continue keeping all of us updated.... and also please keep us updated regarding your legal actions regarding the fitness center.

Hugs and well wishes as always,
Danielle

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on September 27, 2018, 06:31:38 pm
I recently had a general physical exam with my PCP.  She found that my prostate was not normal so she setup an exam by a urologist.  I had the exam done today.  I was treated respectfully by all of the staff.  I was properly gendered throughout the visit.  The doctor and I had a good laugh about me being his first female prostate exam. :laugh:  :laugh:  I could not very well hide my transness from him.  After he called a female chaperone into the room, I lifted my skirt when he asked. 

He admitted that he did not have much, none really, experience with prostates that had been on nearly zero T for as long as mine has been.   He was concerned enough that he recommended that he do a biopsy to be sure there is no cancer.  That has been scheduled.  Better safe than sorry.

The insurance adjuster came later in the day.  He could not include the washer, dryer or freezer in the damages since they are not part of the structure.  They are personal property.  I do think he was generous, otherwise.  He wrote up the ductwork, which was partially submerged, the water heater, an inspection of the AC/heat pump which was close to water level, just to be sure, and (the generous part) replacement of the insulation between the floor joists which "may" have incurred damage.  I am sure the floor insulation is fine.

I can begin work while I wait for the check.  There is a $2000 deductible but I can do most of the work myself so I am hoping the check covers the bulk of the materials that I really need.  My most pressing task is the ductwork.  I want to get it done while it is not too hot to be without AC or too cold to be without heat.  He said I should see a check in about 3 to 4 weeks.

The washer and dryer replacements are due for delivery in a week.  The freezer is already repaired and down to 10 below.  I replaced the compressor startup module for about 40 bucks.  We will let it run for some time and avoid filling it too much until we are confident in it.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Laurie on September 27, 2018, 11:44:46 pm
 Hi Stevi,

  Thank you for the updates. I am glad your damages were not that bad. A pian in the tail for sure. Speaking about pains in the tail, I laughed at your doctor's comment about your exam. I am glad he is going to do a biopsy to be sure there is nothing terrible to worry about. We already have too many members in the Big C club. Out gatherings are sad affairs anyway, no fun at all.
  Keep your spirits up and if you cannot do that come talk to us. We might be able to help you there.

Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on September 28, 2018, 03:14:03 pm
Great update Stevi. I'm guessing they had to replace a few power poles to get your internet back up and running? I'm glad to here everything is going well. It has been a few years since I've bought a washer and dryer. Back then you could get a nice set for less that $500 ea. Again, great news Stevi!

Hugs,
Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on October 04, 2018, 10:09:25 pm
Life continues.

An insurance adjuster came by last Thursday.  He poked around the house, took some pictures, asked some questions and made some measurements.  He decided that it would take almost $10,000 to clean up and make the necessary repairs.  The policy has a $2000 deductible.  It is now in the hands of FEMA and my insurance agent.  I think I will come out OK since a lot of that is labor much of which I will be doing myself.

The new washer and dryer arrived today.  Clean clothes!   The insurance didn't cover the old ones.  They are not part of the structure so they were not in the figures.  That is oK.  They were used when we bought them almost nine years ago.  They went through Hurricane Irene and needed to be resuscitated.  We were contemplating replacing them before Florence showed up to make our minds up for us.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on October 04, 2018, 10:14:02 pm
The fitness center situation.

We had a conversation with our lawyer.  She presented a multi-pronged plan.  We are on board for most all of it.  She  needs to put the whole package together for us to review before we head to court.  North Carolina does not have any protection in place with respect to transgender discrimination.  So we are left with some other avenues.  Breach of contract and consumer protection laws.  She feels we have good cases for both.  In addition, we are convinced the the defendant is driven by transphobia.  That possibility opens the door to punitive damages in addition to civil damages.  Since we intend to make the transgender aspect an integral part of our case, we have decided to try to make the case high profile with publicity on our terms.  It is possible, maybe likely, that the transgender aspect of this case will become known outside the courtroom and a subject at the coffee houses in these parts.  We are going to look into publicizing it on our terms rather than having to play defense.

I am living full time in the community as a woman.  All my documentation has female as my gender marker.  All of our family and people of importance in our lives know of the changes I have made.  I have one work associate that needs to be brought on board, for better or worse.  I was going to tell him a while back but when I called him he was in ICU dealing with heart issues.  I opted to focus on him and his recovery rather than dump my news on him.  He was doing much better last we talked so it is about time he gets the word.  That will be everyone of importance.  No reason to not be loud and proud after that.  I will step into the media lights and make this case about mistreatment of people, transgender people, with what little legal leverage I can bring to bear in North Carolina.

It will be  a month or more before the case is filed.  My lawyer intends to do this meticulously so that we have the best chance to not get any of the parts of our claim dismissed.  She has a lot of research to do so she gets it right.  I'll report back as things develop.

Wish us luck,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on October 04, 2018, 10:22:04 pm
Life continues.

An insurance adjuster came by last Thursday.  He poked around the house, took some pictures, asked some questions and made some measurements.  He decided that it would take almost $10,000 to clean up and make the necessary repairs.  The policy has a $2000 deductible.  It is now in the hands of FEMA and my insurance agent.  I think I will come out OK since a lot of that is labor much of which I will be doing myself.

The new washer and dryer arrived today.  Clean clothes!   The insurance didn't cover the old ones.  They are not part of the structure so they were not in the figures.  That is oK.  They were used when we bought them almost nine years ago.  They went through Hurricane Irene and needed to be resuscitated.  We were contemplating replacing them before Florence showed up to make our minds up for us.

Stevi
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
It is so nice to hear that your Hurricane Recovery process is going well.... it sounds like that the financial resolves are going to take care of the big bulk of the recovery costs....   regarding the washer and dryer, it sounds like you ready for an upgrade anyway, the Hurricane just made that happen a little faster.

I was just about to ask about your update regarding your fitness center issues???  I just saw that you posted about that as I was hitting the "send post" button.....   great minds think alike.  It appears to be good news, but it will take time......

Every time I come to your thread I am just so happy to see your terrific Avatar/profile picture..
definitely a beautiful picture.

Hugs and well wishes,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Michelle_P on October 04, 2018, 10:25:08 pm
Wow!

Stevi, thank you so much for taking this on and pushing for justice and fair treatment for yourself and all our brothers and sisters.  Contract law is practically sacred territory in our courts, and the thought that someone would unilaterally breach contract simply because they object to the nature of the party they contracted with is an incredibly bad precedent to let stand.

Go get ‘em!

Hugs and thanks!
Michelle P.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on October 05, 2018, 08:49:54 am
Danielle and Michelle,

Thank you for your support and encouragement.  This is likely to be a long battle.  Penny is being a trooper about all of this.  It is another stress inducing thing I have brought upon her.  I am so grateful to her for standing by me through it all.  She is worrisome about things and can think of more things that can go wrong with a situation than you can shake a stick at.  Even so, she is is vehement that the fitness center owner has done wrong to both of us and "needs to pay".
 So much so, she is willing to risk the potential fallout from the inhabitants of this rural North Carolina community.  The town itself is somewhat cosmopolitan in that it has a significant portion of retirees from up north.  The larger area is mostly the born and raised here in Southern Baptist county.  Having said that, I have, except for this fitness center situation, been treated quite well by everyone I have had to interact with in the past few months that I have been living as myself. 
 
Danielle, I am pleased to see the avatar picture every time it appears on my screen, as well.  I did the makeup myself.  It is more than I do on a routine basis.  But having done it and have it turn out so well gives me confidence that I can "clean up well' if the need arises.  That may be the case if the publicity part of this legal situation puts me in front of a camera.

Thanks, girls,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on October 05, 2018, 10:23:55 am
Great update Stevi!! I'm glad you are standing up for your rights. NC needs to step out of the stone age's. I hope the publicity of your case reaches all the way to the West Coast. I will be following all media outlets as well as your updates here at Susan's for your story.

Go get them ladies.
Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on October 05, 2018, 07:55:36 pm
Donica,

Thanks to you, too .  Your encouragement and support are appreciated.

Charge!,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on October 18, 2018, 07:14:11 pm
Humorous and happy event.

I have been to the doctor and had my prostate biopsy done.   I told you all about its scheduling a while back.  It all went well with ner a hint of issue with female me having a prostate biopsy.  Well, while I was under the house installing ductwork, my wife picked up a call on my phone from the urologist's office.  They asked for Mrs. Jones.  She informed them that she was Mrs. Jones.  They then proceeded to inform her that her prostate biopsy was negative.  We are both happy to know we have a healthy prostate.

I am making progress with the ductwork install.  I have enough installed that we can pump a little heat into the house.  None too soon.  It is headed into the forties for a low tonight.

Stevi 
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Laurie on October 18, 2018, 08:38:19 pm
 Hi Stevi,

  I am glad to hear both Mrs Jones are happy over the negative result of that prostrate biopsy. I am also glad you are still making progress on those repairs. Stay warm and cozy.

Hugs,
  Laaurie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: JudiBlueEyes on October 18, 2018, 09:00:05 pm
Well wasn't that a fun experience?  (ask me how I know!)  My news wasn't so good, meaning that part is now gone!

Good news for both of you!!!

Judi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on October 19, 2018, 12:03:42 pm
Humorous and happy indeed Stevi. A song comes to mind, "Mrs. Jones" written by??? Oh well, never mind. I'm glad both of your prostate biopsies came back normal. I have to say you sound healthier than I am crawling under the house installing duct work.

Hugs,
Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on October 27, 2018, 08:14:12 am
I have so catching up to do.

First, the heating system repairs Florence commanded me to do have been completed.  The house is all ready for a winter's blast.

Second,  the very last important person in my life that I felt needed to know has been successfully, brought on board.  I had reached out to that friend more than two months ago.  At that time he was in ICU with complications from heart surgeries about fifteen years ago.  Failing grafts.  I chose not to burden him with my issues until he had his own under control.  He almost didn't make it.  One night about a week after I spoke to him, he needed to be defibrillated.  Fortunately he was still in the hospital.  He seems to be on the mend but they are still adjusting medications.  Anyway, I sent him an email and he soon returned a brief but affirming reply.  I have since spoken with him on the phone.  He opened the conversation with "HI, Stevi." and we spoke of his recovery, my recovery from the hurricane, the nor'easter that was drenching me and headed his way and of some business related loose ends affecting me that he is trying to get his work associates to take care of.  Situation normal.  Normal is good.

With that revelation to my last important person in the rearview mirror, I need to make my official shout out to my world on Facebook.  Last time I was visiting our daughter, I warned her that after I spoke with this last friend I was going to come out on Facebook, pictures and all.  I need to let her know the time has come.  I don't have a large following on Facebook so it will likely be a non-event for the most part but she needs to be prepared for any eventuality since Facebook loves to spread the news for us. This flower should be in full bloom within a few days.

Yesterday evening we entertained a couple of our past cruising friends.  We had them over for my pizza.  We had a great several hours catching up with what's been happening since we last were together.   Since much of what has been happening was with me and my wife, the conversation was largely about me and my wife.  They were interested and Penny and I were open.   Had really good time.

Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on October 27, 2018, 09:26:04 am
Dear Stevi! I'm glad to hear everything is going well with your home, friend and your SO and cruising friends. I also came out on FB. I was surprised how supportive everyone was. I think you will see the same thing.

Hugs,
Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on October 27, 2018, 10:07:41 am
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
Well, it is nice to see a happy and good news report from you this morning when I logged in. 
I am so glad that most of your post-hurricane damage to your home is taken care of and your your heating system and other things are ready for winter's blast!!!   Here where I live we have fresh snow on the mountains and hills behind my home and light snow on the ground this morning...   23 Deg F   ...Burrrr ....  but it is very beautiful.

Very good to hear that your "last important" friend's health is stabilized and he addressed you as "Stevi" and that he is very accepting of you... very good indeed.

Regarding Facebook, I trust that all of that works out well for you as you reveal more about yourself there in the next few days.  I trust that your daughter will be prepared to handle the questions and comments that she will get about you.

Ahhhh, having a nice visit at your home and a pizza with your good cruising friends, always a nice way to spend an evening with people that are your good and accepting friends.

Good reports are always a nice thing to see here on the Forums.
Thank you for sharing.
Wishing you well.
Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on October 27, 2018, 03:54:29 pm
Donica and Danielle,

Thanks for noticing, girls.

I just finished with a phone call with our daughter where coordinated our checkin for our upcoming family cruise.  That is the first week of December.  Past cruises with her with me as the old me.  She seems to be ready to be with the new me in all my glory.  Won't really know till the time actually comes.

Before I handed over the phone to my wife so they could chat, I let our daughter know that my Facebook coming out was imminent.  She seemed to be mostly OK.  She has been forewarned.  So, I will need to put together my coming out message over the next day or so.

Onward and upward,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on October 28, 2018, 05:30:57 pm
Coming out complete!

I have just put up a post on Facebook that completes my coming out.  It is confined to all my friends.  Not a fully public posting.  Along with an image of me (my current avatar) the content is:

Quote
Earlier this year, in the springtime, Penny and I began a process that we are, with this post, just now completing. It was a gradual process requiring many steps. Each taken in its proper order with much deliberation. Each taken with trepidation for the consequences. Each taken with hope the next would be easier. The first step was to inform our daughter, the most precious person in our lives. From there, we informed close family and friends, to gather support, all the while fearing rejection. That process is all but complete. Every person in our lives that we felt the need to inform first hand, has been informed. We are most thankful the news was, overwhelmingly, received with grace. Most all responded with love and concern for both of us. Truly a blessing.

The news is-- I am transgender. Furthermore, I have determined to live my remaining days as who I have always been in my mind's eye.

So, from this day, I will live boldly and proudly at all times and in all places with the love of my life, Penny, as Stephanie Rushelle Jones. To my friends, I am Stevi.

Hello, my name is Stevi. I am pleased to meet you.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on October 28, 2018, 10:17:53 pm
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
WOW .... this is spectacular....  what a brave and bold announcement that you made on Facebook.... and with your current picture your friends will get your complete coming out story.   

How many of your friends did you announce this to?   .... and considering your Facebook friends, how many of them are of consequence and how many are not much different that acquaintances???   

If I may ask, what are you expecting for your acceptance and those that will not accept you???

I am very happy for you....
Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on October 29, 2018, 05:47:29 am
Danielle,

We told all those people in our lives that are close relatives, daughter, brothers and sisters, by direct, individual communication.  All of our parents passed some time ago, so they never knew of it.  We told those friends who are or have been an active part of our life in recent years with whom we desired to continue or reestablish our connections.  That left just a general announcement to wrap up the loose ends on Facebook so that "interested parties" would know and not be "surprised" if the news found them via the grapevine or some reference to some Stevi person in some conversation.  My friends on Facebook are not that many.  Mostly more distant relatives, some old work associates from pre-cruising days, the odd acquaintance from here and there along the way through life and some new friends who have never known the old me.  The Facebook announcement is maybe more of a signal that the secret is out and there is no longer a need to mind their ps and qs in their communications with me or about me.  I had asked everyone to be careful as I moved through the priority list and I went to all those who needed to hear from me, personally.

So far, there have not been any negative responses on Facebook.  With all that is positive there, I think anyone with a negative thought will keep it to themselves.  They would get eviscerated by my supporters.

Thanks, but I do not feel particularly brave or bold.  It is almost anticlimactic.  The process has been about eight months long.  There has been only one outright rejection- Miss Bee-in-her-bonnet who learned of it accidently and accosted my wife, verbally, on our front doorstep.  A couple of non-responses to letters or emails from us.  A number of ambivalent, live and let live, responses.  Unfortunately some of those were my own siblings.  That is probably the source of most of my disappointment.  Each of my siblings reacted pretty much as I had anticipated.  I had just hoped for more from them.  On the other hand, there have been incredibly supportive responses.  Some of those from old friends I fully expected the worst from.  Very pleasantly surprised.  Added bonus- In these recent months, I have made many knew acquaintances, some have become good friends, who have not known me as anything other than Stevi.  With these new people in my life, I have been completely open about who I am, now, and who I was for most of my sixty eight years on this orb.  That has been a liberating and joyful experience.

The first person on the list, our daughter, the only person we could not bear the thought of losing, is still struggling in some ways.  I get the feeling she is uncomfortable with me.  There is little discussion between us about my transition.  None of it is initiated by her.  Without feedback from her, I am always unsure of how to appear or what is OK to say or do.  Maybe it is more paranoia on my part than it is an issue on her part.  Without the feedback, I am left to wonder.  I have been trying mightily to be considerate of her needs and progress.  I forewarned her before I took each next step.  I waited between each step to give her some time to let the dust settle.  Time to wrap her head around it.  That is a big part of the reason it took eight months to reach this milestone.  I hope this announcement goes some way toward making her realize this is the way her father is.  It is not a dream.  It is not going away.  It is not an earthquake.

Most of my transition is in the rearview mirror, now.   My friends and family know,  My documents are pretty much all corrected. Still fighting with getting the gender marker right at Medicare.  I am hoping to spend some more time regularly around home so I am considering some regular appointments with an electrocutioner if I can find one within reach physically and financially.  Shaving is such a pain.  I get a hankering to have the GRS, at times.  My wife has said she expects it to happen some day and she is sure she is OK with it.  Most times I think I will be fine without it.  But there are times....  It is a big expense, not trivial, especially for us older folks, and not imperative, yet.  We all know how that process goes though.  Constantly pushing the envelope.  Never satisfied with enough.  Rather have it all.

Danielle, I hope you don't mind my stream of consciousness reply to a rather simple question.  Thank you for your support through these, sometimes trying, past months.

My thanks to all of you here at Susan's Place who have gone before and shown the way or traveled with me during this journey.

Hugs to all,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on October 29, 2018, 08:46:10 am
Congratulations Stevi! It's just takes time for some to take it all in. I'm sure your daughter will become more and more comfortable as time goes by.

Hugs,
Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on October 29, 2018, 07:11:33 pm
Donica,

Yes, on my good days I am confident she will make the adjustments.  Funny thing.  I have come out to conservative leaning friends and been graciously welcomed into their hearts and come as you are.  Our daughter is definitely in the liberal camp.  The Father-Daughter relationship really makes for some cognitive dissonance at times when it comes to this particular situation.

She will make the transition, pun intended, I am sure... I think..... I hope..........

Hugs to you,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on November 06, 2018, 10:11:38 am
Another milestone soon to come.

I am out to all who needed to hear directly from me.  I made an announcement on my Facebook page but that doesn't reach many people.  Certainly not everyone who knows me.

My former employer occasionally calls on me to go back for issues and updates on some of the equipment I helped design and build for them way back when.  I have been out to HR as well as my principal contact and co-worker there since not long after my name change this past April 30th.  There was no need to disrupt the workplace with a broader disclosure back then.  Well, they have asked for me come to the plant and deal with several problems for them.

I contacted HR and let them know that I am totally out and not going to be hiding who I am.  Not that I will be particularly feminine looking while there.  It is after all a manufacturing environment and my task is maintenance related.  Not the time or place for lace and high heels, by any means.  However, I thought they should consider the effect of obvious changes in me that I am not in a mood to hide, even if I could.  So, they have spread the word to those with whom I will likely be around and need to interact.

I am pretty sure it will all go well.  Still there is a bit of a knot of apprehension in the stomach.

Added to that, the plant is in the area where my wife's family is from.  This will be the first opportunity for them to see the new me since we came out to them.  I am not going to overwhelm, them but I don't want to leave the impression that nothing is any different, either.  There is, also, a niece I feel I need to give a pass.  She is nearly 60 years old.  She is inflicted with hydrocephalus.  She has outlived the doctors who, 60 years ago, gave her 5 years.  She outperformed everyone's expectations.  However, her fate is finally catching up to her.  I have always been "Uncle Steve" to her.  She waits in giddy expectation for the moment during my visits when I breakout with "Oh, Susanna!"  I don't think she needs to have to process the change to "Aunt Stevi".  I think I am going to have to walk a fine line with this mini-reunion.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on November 06, 2018, 10:19:49 am
@Stevi:
Dear Stevi:
Thanks for updating all of your followers....   you have quite a list of things that you are carefully juggling as you continue on ...( and also as Aunt Stevi)   :)

Regarding your progress as you continue to come-out to family, friends, co-workers, etc. ... there is so much to consider as to how and when and you have been very successful with your efforts.   I think that how you are handling your work situation sounds like a good plan.

Regarding family... yes indeed there are those like your niece and others that we do indeed need to "walk a fine line" 
All we can do is to be honest and at the same time considerate....  yes, for sure, a fine line!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Hugs and well wishes,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on November 06, 2018, 11:16:46 am
Hi Stevi! I understand your concerns with your co-workers. I too am occasionally called into work in a manufacturing environment and hiding anything at this point isn't going to happen. Ever since I came out to them there has been an uneasiness feeling in the air with my co-workers but I think part of it is my own uncertainty. With time, they and myself become more relaxed and go on about our business.

Since it sounds like your niece loves you and has shown such strength throughout her life, and given her unfortunate condition, a fine line may be the right choice, but I would also not underestimate her either. Your wife's family has known you for so many years that, as anyone else, they may except you without question, or will just need time to take it all in.

I hate those knots of apprehension in my stomach. But there is only one way to get over them. A tactful fine line perhaps. I have found that I have underestimated 99 percent of my family and friends. I hope everything goes well.

Hugs,
Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on November 08, 2018, 02:18:24 pm
I HATE THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION!!!!

I, again, like a good little girl did as I was told.  I waited 30 days to check on Medicare's correction for my gender marker.  This time was no different than the last and the one before and the....  "Sorry, I checked the Social Security records and they do not show female.  You will need to contact Social Security to get them to correct their records."

I called Social Security and after an hour and eighteen minutes of hellevator music noise, I got to talk to a representative.  I explained my problem.  He spent a few minutes digging into the records and comes back with, "You will need to go to your local Social Security office and have them correct the gender marker."  Now this is a new variation on the theme of "It is wrong but I can't fix it.  I could not understand why I needed to make the trip to an office.  After a bit of an exchange that did not make it clear, I asked, politely, I think it was politely, for a supervisor.  He said he would get one and put me on hold.  After several minutes he came back on the line and informed me that he had corrected the gender marker and I would receive a new Medicare card in about four weeks.  Well, I blew up.  I read him the riot act.  He just did the same thing that they did to me the last upteen times I called about this after waiting in the queue, for almost two hours sometimes.  First off, a new Medicare card is no longer needed.  The new cards do not have a gender designation on them.  I need Medicare's records to indicate FEMALE so I can fight with my insurance provider to change their records so next time I go for a another health service I do not have to deal with the discrepancy in the records.  I, again, asked for a supervisor.  He told me he had not been able to find one available and if I gave him my number he would have one call me.  That triggered another explosion.  I was told twice before that a supervisor was not available and that one would call.

My expectation-  No one will call.  Medicare might send me a new card for no good reason.  It does not have gender on it so I will not know if it is fixed in their records.  I will, after four weeks, have to call Medicare to find out that it is not updated in their records.  I will have to call Social Security to find out that it is still wrong in their system.  And the cycle will be repeated, ad infinitum, I fear.

Aaarrrrgggghhh!
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on November 09, 2018, 02:14:28 pm
Jezzzz I know! I'm waiting for new SSA and Medicare cards. You would think after all these years they would have this down. I guess that's asking too much from the government. Did you have any laps in your benefits from SSA? Jezzz! I hope they get this right my first time. I can't afford a laps.

Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Nicole70 on November 09, 2018, 08:07:05 pm
Hi Stevi,

Well I’m struggling for words, it’s terrible what you are facing with Medicare, it’s one side playing off against the other, it’s almost like you need a judge to issue an order against them to pull there bleeping finger out!

I’m glad you are almost done with your house repairs after the storms, I hope things are getting back to normal locally.

It sounds like your plans to come out to everyone is going ok, apart from the odd few I’m sure you will receive universal acceptance.

Hugs

Nicole
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on November 10, 2018, 07:38:13 am
Donica and Nicole,

No lapse in benefits.  I have not had an issue with either Social Security or medical payments for services.  My medical is not directly through the government.  It is through Humana as a Medicare PPO.  I do not know if there is a problem with direct medicare, but I doubt it.  I didn't seem to have any issue with the name change.  I think you will not have a problem.

I am just infuriatingly frustrated.  I should not have to be following up on any of this.  Then I have to do the legwork(waiting on hold) to talk to someone who has a different story.  You would think they would have  handle on this by now, but they just don't.  Some say they can't fix it then say they did.  Some say it was fixed but Medicare says it still isn't.  Some say a special unit will take care of it.  Some say the change will be in affect in 24 hours.  From some its 30 days.  One told me 90 days.  It is all electronic, for goodness sake.  Worst case, some kind of batch operation at mid-night or some such thing.  Why the ^**% is this so hard.

By the way, I have not received a call back from a supervisor.  Would bet lots of good money on that!  Maybe that is why it is so hard.  They don't know what they are doing and don't care.

I think my next move will be to visit an office and resubmit my gender change.  I just hope Trump's rascals don't put the kibosh on that before I can get there.  It has crossed my mind that that is already secretly in place.  Only real reason I don't believe it is that they are proud of what they are doing with regard to trans people.  I can't believe they would miss a chance to let everyone know how they are defending God and country.  I am getting cynical in my old age.

Just to be a little positive.  The repairs from Florence are all done for me.   I made out well.  My losses were minimal and the insurance was more than adequate and efficiently handled.

There are many others who are still far from recovery.  The task is huge and there is a shortage of contractors and labor.  Issues with permits and government oversight.  Not necessarily bad, just adds to the time it take to get things done. Unlike, me they are not able to do it themselves.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Jessica on November 10, 2018, 10:42:51 am

I think my next move will be to visit an office and resubmit my gender change.  I just hope Trump's rascals don't put the kibosh on that before I can get there.  It has crossed my mind that that is already secretly in place.  Only real reason I don't believe it is that they are proud of what they are doing with regard to trans people.  I can't believe they would miss a chance to let everyone know how they are defending God and country.  I am getting cynical in my old age.


Stevi

I feel your cynicism is justified.  My biggest fear from what is going on is that they are creating a list and using it when they are able.  What will happen to everyone’s ID that has had a gender change?  I’ve seen history repeat itself already, this is an extreme low and unfortunately massive push back is required to change that.
I guess I’ve gotten cynical in my advancing age also.

Hugs and smiles from a California girl
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on November 13, 2018, 06:52:01 pm
We spent much of the day with my wife's two sisters and one brother-in-law (He was a Methodist minister most of his life.).  After they received our coming out letter some months back, they expressed enthusiastic support.  They followed through today.  We had a great time together.  Not one hint of awkwardness.  They loved the pictures from the recent cruise.  They gratefully accepted some 4X6 copies of some of them.

I am so happy they were so loving. I wish some of my brothers and sisters were half as accepting and supportive.

In other news.  I now have a draft of the complaint our lawyers are working on with regard to losing our membership to the local fitness center when I asked about their transgender policy.  Penny and I need to go over it and, as our lead lawyer put it, "comment with abandon"  We will be traveling between Thanksgiving and Christmas so it will probably not get filed until the new year.  Don't want to file it then have issues with any appearance that might need to be made while we are not in town.  I will keep you all informed as this moves forward.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on November 13, 2018, 06:56:39 pm
We spent much of the day with my wife's two sisters and one brother-in-law (He was a Methodist minister most of his life.).  After they received our coming out letter some months back, they expressed enthusiastic support.  They followed through today.  We had a great time together.  Not one hint of awkwardness.  They loved the pictures from the recent cruise.  They gratefully accepted some 4X6 copies of some of them.

I am so happy they were so loving. I wish some of my brothers and sisters were half as accepting and supportive.

In other news.  I now have a draft of the complaint our lawyers are working on with regard to losing our membership to the local fitness center when I asked about their transgender policy.  Penny and I need to go over it and, as our lead lawyer put it, "comment with abandon"  We will be traveling between Thanksgiving and Christmas so it will probably not get filed until the new year.  Don't want to file it then have issues with any appearance that might need to be made while we are not in town.  I will keep you all informed as this moves forward.

Stevi
@Stevi
Dear Stevi
This is great news regarding spending the day with your wife's sisters and brother in-law.  It is so nice to receive non-judgemental acceptance, especially from family and loved ones.

Yes, indeed, please keep us all informed about the legal battle you are having with your local fitness center....  this is certainly a subject of interest to all of us reading and following your thread.

Thank you for sharing.
Hugs and well wishes,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on November 15, 2018, 01:24:58 pm
I'm glad your family visit went well. Enjoy your trip through the holidays. No need to worry about the fitness club case until you guys get back. BTW, my new SSA card has arrived without skipping a beat in services.

Hugs,
Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on November 16, 2018, 07:37:08 pm
I have just finished up  week of long days on site among many people whom I have known for many years.  Those I was likely to interact with were prepared by HR with "sensitivity" training and some particulars about who was going to make an entrance.  The week went well.  There were no truly negative interactions.  Many were happy to see me and happy for me.  Very few let on that anything was different.  If anyone was having a problem, they did not let me see it.  A couple of girls did stop for a moment for a personal conversation.  Nothing too invasive.  Just a few questions about how long and the like.  One of the girls declared, "So you finally did it!"  She is the only person that I know of that was not taken by surprise that I went over to the bright side.

I have had a good working relationship with the company for many years before my semi-retirement in my late fifties and throughout the years since.  I was thanked by the new manager for helping them out again.  He asked if I was open to doing more.  When I replied in the affirmative, he said he would have the people under him put together a list of projects that needed my expertise.

I worked hard and long hours but it was a really good week.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on November 17, 2018, 02:03:36 pm
Woo-hoo Stevi! Great news. Glad everything went well.

Hugs,
Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on November 17, 2018, 02:29:48 pm
I have been reviewing the draft complaint from my attorneys.  We will be making three separate claims for relief.

A little background to catch up the new fans of Stevi's Saga.  Back in May, soon after my legal name change and during the time I was getting my documents corrected, I approached the management of my gym to inquire about a transgender policy.  Long story short, the eventual response, received in early July, was the termination of our family membership at our local fitness center without discussion or warning.

The first is "Breach of Contract" by the fitness center because "the Membership Agreement was terminated solely because Ms. Jones is a transgender woman." which is not one of the grounds specified in the contractual agreement between us.  We will be seeking actual damages on this claim.

The second is "Violations of Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act" by the fitness center because the fitness center "terminated Ms. Jones’s Membership Agreement in bad faith, without cause, and in violation of the Membership Agreement.  It terminated the Membership Agreement solely because Ms. Jones is a transgender woman."  "Terminating a contract based on the transphobia of the owner of" the fitness center "is immoral, unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous, and substantially injurious to consumers, including Ms. Jones."  We will be seeking actual and treble damages and recovery of attorney's fees on this claim.

The third is "Tortious Interference with Contract" by the owner of the fitness center.  (Tortious interference is when a third party interferes with an agreement between two other parties.  The fitness center is an LLC and under contract law a separate party from the owner.) The owner "had no justification to intentionally induce" the fitness center "not to perform the Membership Agreement.  His motives were not reasonably related to the protection of his legitimate business interests or the legitimate business interests of" the fitness center.  "His only motive for interfering with Ms. Jones’s Membership Agreement with" the fitness center "was actual malice toward Ms. Jones, specifically based on the fact that Ms. Jones is a transgender woman."  We will be seeking actual and punitive damages on this claim.

We will be seeking damages, to be determined at trial, for each of the claims.  As you can see, all three claims are based on the transphobic attitude of the owner.  None of the claims for relief are based on anti-discrimination law.  I have no codified specifically gender identity discrimination law to protect me in North Carolina.  Rather, they are based on contract law and consumer protections.  I do not know if this tack had been tried before.  We shall see what happens.

I think I will see about delivering this lump of coal (this complaint) as a Christmas present to the owner of the fitness center via the GENERAL COURT OF JUSTICE, SUPERIOR DIVISION.   >:-)

What ya think, girls?
Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on November 17, 2018, 04:16:13 pm
It sounds good to me however I don't know much about the law other than if it's not in your membership contract, rules of conduct, dress code etc... then they can't legally do anything and are in breach of contract. So long as it is a lack of state transgender anti-discrimination laws this shouldn't have anything to do with it. I would guess if there is a state law specifically imposing transgender discrimination then that would be different but inhumane nonetheless.

Good luck Stevi.
Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on November 17, 2018, 04:48:24 pm
After the HB2 fiasco was settled with its "repeal" the state of affairs is, as I understand it, that it is up to the business to treat transgender in whatever way it suits them.  Even when HB2 was in effect, the restriction on bathroom usage only applied to government provided or funded facilities.  It did not apply to private businesses.

The agreement provides only two causes for termination on his part.  Nonpayment of dues or conduct detrimental to his interest or those of other members.  He took the dues out of my account with automatic drafts.  There is a reference to the "rules" in the agreement but that makes no mention of transgender.  There was no conduct on my part that might have been objectionable unless you stretch the meaning of the word beyond all recognition.  Asking to talk is not conduct.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on November 19, 2018, 07:52:39 pm
I BEAT 'EM! :icon_dance:

Today, while traveling home from my work trip, I received a phone call from an unrecognised Maryland phone number.  Well, on the other end was a gentleman who informed me he was with Medicare.   He had good news.  In effect, he told be he had dealt with the idiots at Social Security and had them, finally, correct the gender information in MDR (master database record) in the master database.  It turns out that this is the record that must be correct for very basic information such as name, date of birth and gender.  The system regularly writes its contents to a working database that Social Security uses for its day to day operations and, to Medicare, which has its own working database for its day to day operations.  Theory is that correct information in the master record will automatically get distributed into the other databases.  But, it does an equally effective job of distributing errors into the working databases.  You can correct the working databases until the sun burns out but the corrections will never stick unless the master record is corrected.  No wonder I was told so often, "I fixed it!" only to learn later that it still was not fixed.  He told me he has to tell the idiots at Social Security to correct the master record for someone or another numerous times every day.

He is my hero!  I don't know how he got involved.  Maybe it was the rant I unloaded on the last Social Security service person I spoke with yelled at that did the trick.  I told him, if I knew where to send it, I would send him a gift.  He cannot accept gifts but jokingly said it would need to arrive in less than 45 days.  He has had 40 years of government service, 30 years with Medicare.  Retirement is in sight.  I joked back that he would soon be the the victim of Social Security and Medicare.  He replied that the last thing he would do before leaving was make sure his master record was correct.

So, just to be sure, I went on MyMedicare.gov and checked the personal information in my account.  It, finally, states FEMALE!

If you need help with this, you better act soon.  He is gone in 45 days.  Then the system is pure idiots.

I WON!
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on November 20, 2018, 01:55:12 pm
That's good to know Stevi. If I have this problem, I will tell Medicare that SSA has to fix their Master record, or for that matter, tell SSA they need to fix their master record. Jezzz! What a headache! I'm glad you straightened them out on how to do their jobs.

Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Paige on November 24, 2018, 12:30:11 pm
I BEAT 'EM! :icon_dance:
I WON!
Stevi

Well done Stevi.  I'm glad it finally worked out. :)
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on November 24, 2018, 01:21:09 pm
I BEAT 'EM! :icon_dance:

I WON!
Stevi
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
Ya-hoooo....  the old adage is "The squeaky wheel gets the grease.".... 
... nice job you did as you were "squeaking" to them. 
The proof is in the pudding.

Thank you for posting your good report.
Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Jenny1969 on November 24, 2018, 01:41:53 pm
Stevi

I think your daughter will come onboard in the future. Its like the 5 stages of grief because she might see this as a loss or death of her father. 5 stages.......Best of luck to you

Jenny
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: KathyLauren on November 24, 2018, 02:00:20 pm
I BEAT 'EM! :icon_dance:

Just catching up on your thread, Stevi.  Woo-hoo!!!  So nice when you can get through to the one competent person in a bureaucracy of imbeciles!  I hope you have equal success with your lawsuit.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on November 25, 2018, 04:02:27 pm
Thanks girls,

Penny and I are on the road again.  We are making our way down the east coast toward Miami and another cruise ship.  This is our fourth cruise with our daughter.  Our first with her and Stevi onboard at the same time.

Our first stop is a town Georgetown, SC.  It is  port town  along the ICW we visited more than a few times back in the years we lived aboard our boat.  We walked down to the docks we came into with the dinghy to look out over the anchorage.  Tied alongside was 40ish foot sailboat with a couple onboard. We had a pleasant chat about our past and their present.

After leaving the dock we walked a ways along the boardwalk exchanging our mutual memories.  Then a stop at the ice cream shop for orange pineapple.  They didn't have any.  The girls tending the counter thought we were daft.   But then, last we were in, they were just toddlers.

Good day.  Good memories.

The anchorage from back in the day.  Dinghy dock in the foreground.

(http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh625/sterusjon/DSCF5239_zpsktv30qh9.jpg~original)

Penny settled for Chocolate-Black Raspberry.

(http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh625/sterusjon/DSCF5248_zpsni4iopaq.jpg~original)


Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: KathyLauren on November 25, 2018, 05:37:32 pm
Then a stop at the ice cream shop for orange pineapple.  They didn't have any.  The girls tending the counter thought we were daft.   But then, last we were in, they were just toddlers.

That is one of my wife's favourite flavours.  The ice cream boat just down the road from us had it this past summer.  It might be a regional thing.  I had never heard of it out west.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on November 26, 2018, 01:11:58 pm
That looks like one big delicious ice cream cone. A two hander for sure. Penny looks like she's loving it. Have a wonderful trip you three. Looking forward to your updates.

Hugs,
Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on November 26, 2018, 01:26:35 pm
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
Thank you for posting your cheery and upbeat road trip update....   Penny's ice cream looks delicious but with the cold and snow and ice all around me, it is not quite as tempting as it usually is....   instead, I am going for hot soup, hot coffee, etc.
Continue having a safe and fun road trip and then be sure to enjoy yourselves on your Cruise with your daughter !!!  I am sure that she and you will be happy to be on her first cruise with "Stevi" on board.

Thanks again for keeping us all tuned-in on your adventures...
Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on November 27, 2018, 05:44:41 am
Penny does love her ice cream.  I had a small cup, myself.  It wasn't all that warm here either, Danielle.  Not Alaska cold but chillier than I like it.  But then, 74 degrees is too cold for me.

Our second day of travel brought us from Georgetown, SC to Jekyll Island, GA.  By boat, along the magenta line of the ICW, it is through mostly marshes.  (The route is marked on the charts by a magenta line.) The numerous streams meander through the marsh and the Army Corp of Engineers cut channels through to interconnect them to create the intercoastal waterway in this area.  So what is about 130 miles in a straight line takes what seems like forever as you motor up and down streams and sounds to the next cut to the next body of water.  Doing that at 5 or 6 miles per hour  can take quite a while.  The scenery does not change a lot, either.  this is a section of out travels where we tried to head out an inlet onto the Atlantic to hop around and save some time.  It did not always work out because the wind was on the nose or a winter cold front was due to pass over us.

However, this day we were in the car and made the journey in about six hours with a couple of stops to entertain our selves.  As we travels the highway instead of the waterway, we recalled past time as the crossed over some of the streams we once plied in our boat.

Here on Jekyll Island, we visited another dock we once tied alongside to.  The tide was low and still falling so I walked it alone, since the ramp was very step down to the floating section.  Penny is not all that mobile or sure footed.  About half way town the long dock, I came to a boat with a young couple on board.  The boat was familiar.  It was a smaller, 37 foot, version of our own boat, a 42 footer.  I began a conversation with the couple.  It turned out that they have just acquired the boat, for free, in Oriental, NC, that is where we live now.  The boat was an older boat, built in 1980.  It had been damaged on the port side in Hurricane Florence.  They are in the process of moving it down to St. Augustine, FL, our next destination, as well, for repairs.  We chatted about boat life, traveling the ICW in November in a fiberglass board with no heat, attempting to cross the sounds with 25 knots of cold wind blowing straight at you with no wind break in front of you, turning back to find a safe and comfortable dock to tie to.  Typical cruising life that makes you instant friends because you are "in the same boat."

Penny and I left the marina and drove around the island, triggering memories of past experiences.  After returning to the motel, we went for a walk in the beach in the near pitch dark.  The sun was well down and the moon had not yet risen.  The lights on the buildings here are low level and not directed toward the ocean so as not to confuse the emerging sea turtles.   On the way back from the beach we went for a swim in the 85 degree pool followed by a dash to the hot tub before returning to our room for our night's rest.

This is one of many 65 foot clear bridges that cross the ICW.  In the past, most bridges across the waterway were drawbridges or swing bridges.  Those have been replaced with these high bridges that, as a standard, will allow a sailboat with up to a 65 foot mast to pass through.  The remnants of the former drawbridge can be seen in the photo.  If your mast is taller, you will need to sail out in the Atlantic to make your passage. This one crosses the Jekyll River that separates Jekyll Island from mainland. It is just to the north of the marina and this picture was taken from its dock.

(http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh625/sterusjon/DSCF5251_zpsqxn4l0jn.jpg~original)


The island is dressed up for Christmas.

(http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh625/sterusjon/DSCF5276_zpsgw3bfmo4.jpg~original)
(http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh625/sterusjon/DSCF5290_zps71yppf3j.jpg~original)

Life is good in so many ways,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on November 27, 2018, 10:25:02 am
thank you for the update Stevi. Your trip is very interesting. The pictures are great. Do they keep those lights up year round or is it because Christmas is getting close?

Enjoy!
Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on November 27, 2018, 09:42:24 pm
Yesterday was a dreary drizzly grey day.  This morning the skies were much more clear and and blue after the front had passed through.  It was a cold front and it brought inn temps in 30's.  We were not in a big hurry to get off Jekyll Island.  Today we had a short trip that brought us into St. Augustine. We have been to this town many times by both land and sea.  It is customary for us to have lunch at Scarlett O'Hara's.  This time was no exception. Scarlett posed for a picture for me.

(http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh625/sterusjon/IMG_20181127_130952_zpsn8g6trtj.jpg~original)

After lunch and a stroll along the touristy shops we drove across the Bridge of Lions past the anchorage we used to set an anchor in. It is now filled with moorings. That is good in some ways.  More boats will fit in the same space.  They are more secure.  Downside?  Anchoring was free, but a mooring will cost you.

All the times we have visited this town and we never visited any of the beaches  Well, after checking in and getting settled into our room, we remedied than little shortcoming.  We hiked out across the Highway A1A and strolled along some sandy beach.  See?

(http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh625/sterusjon/DSCF5293_zps7e2sha2j.jpg~original)

That is a view under the fishing pier, southward at low tide.

After the walk on the beach, we went for a swim in the indoor pool.  Right now, it is time to set an alarm and turn out the lights.

Tomorrow, we will make an even shorter trip down to Daytona Beach.

Good night,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on December 11, 2018, 10:41:11 am
Back from our family cruise with our daughter and settled down a bit in a timeshare condo in Pompano, FL, just the two of us now.  Time for an update.

I have been concerned, worried and apprehensive that things might go all sideways with my relationship with our daughter once she found herself looking at me in all my new glory.  Everything was fine from the very moment I stepped out of the car to help her with her luggage at the airport.  That was the first time she has seen me in a dress.  It was sleeveless with a rather deep v-neck line.  She smiled and we exchanged hugs.  Throughout the cruise, if she was having a problem she didn't show it.  We spent a lot of time out doing things as three women.  We talked of lipstick and nail polish.  Joked and smiled.  Took pictures together.  She did have a couple of pauses when someone asked about who I was with respect to her.  She chose to "not hear the question" one time.  Another time, she gave a vague, "We're family."  That is just as well since there is no real need for strangers to get all bogged down in my history.  I seem to blend readily with no puzzled looks or whispering so it is best to not rock the boat with any response that requires further explanation.  She handled it well though I could tell she had to do some mental gymnastics for a moment or two. 

However, Penny had an opportunity to have a mother-daughter chat with her that lasted a couple of hours in which I was a major topic of conversation from what Penny tells me.  One of our daughter's principle concerns was that Penny and I might separate.  I think Penny helped to alleviate that concern.  Although she appears to be OK, our daughter is still struggling on the inside.  She has questions she wants to ask of me but she can't bring herself to do it, yet.  I do think she is less worried now that she has seen me in the wild and knows that I am getting along well as myself and accepted by others.

I seemed to have been worried unnecessarily.  There is still a ways to go but I think we will get there.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on December 11, 2018, 10:50:30 am
Isn't that a great feeling Stevi! We go through life facing all these fears and then most turn into a non-event and a BIG relief. Glad the cruse when well for you three.

Hugs,
Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on December 11, 2018, 12:02:54 pm
@Stevi:
Dear Stevi:
Your update regarding your family cruise and your daughter's reaction to seeing you as Stevi in full bloom for the very first time is so wonderful for me to read.   You are very fortunate with how things have turned out for you with your wife and daughter and all of your additional family member's acceptance.    Not every transitioner has that good fortune....  I am certain that you are counting your blessings.

Thank you so very much for sharing your story about your latest cruise, and also sharing your life journey on your thread.   Certainly your story and your thread are an inspiration to other transitioners that may or may not be experiencing difficulties relationship to their own transition journey.

Thank you for sharing.
Hugs and well wishes as always,
Danielle

Back from our family cruise with our daughter and settled down a bit in a timeshare condo in Pompano, FL, just the two of us now.  Time for an update.

I have been concerned, worried and apprehensive that things might go all sideways with my relationship with our daughter once she found herself looking at me in all my new glory.  Everything was fine from the very moment I stepped out of the car to help her with her luggage at the airport.  That was the first time she has seen me in a dress.  It was sleeveless with a rather deep v-neck line.  She smiled and we exchanged hugs.  Throughout the cruise, if she was having a problem she didn't show it.  We spent a lot of time out doing things as three women.  We talked of lipstick and nail polish.  Joked and smiled.  Took pictures together.  She did have a couple of pauses when someone asked about who I was with respect to her.  She chose to "not hear the question" one time.  Another time, she gave a vague, "We're family."  That is just as well since there is no real need for strangers to get all bogged down in my history.  I seem to blend readily with no puzzled looks or whispering so it is best to not rock the boat with any response that requires further explanation.  She handled it well though I could tell she had to do some mental gymnastics for a moment or two. 

However, Penny had an opportunity to have a mother-daughter chat with her that lasted a couple of hours in which I was a major topic of conversation from what Penny tells me.  One of our daughter's principle concerns was that Penny and I might separate.  I think Penny helped to alleviate that concern.  Although she appears to be OK, our daughter is still struggling on the inside.  She has questions she wants to ask of me but she can't bring herself to do it, yet.  I do think she is less worried now that she has seen me in the wild and knows that I am getting along well as myself and accepted by others.

I seemed to have been worried unnecessarily.  There is still a ways to go but I think we will get there.

Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: KathyLauren on December 11, 2018, 03:13:30 pm
Thanks for the update, Stevi.  It sounds like you raised your daughter right: she handled the questions with aplomb.  She may still have questions, but I am guessing all will be fine.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: steph2.0 on December 11, 2018, 03:42:00 pm
I seemed to have been worried unnecessarily.  There is still a ways to go but I think we will get there.

This is all such good news, Stevi! This is all hard enough without family problems. Having an accepting daughter takes off so much pressure. Much of the credit can be given to the way you raised her. Congratulations for bringing such a lovely person into the world.

You done good, Mom.


Stephanie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on December 11, 2018, 06:59:46 pm
Thanks girls,

My transition has turned out remarkably well.  Few absolute losses.  All vital persons in my life are still there.  Beyond that, most are supportive or, at the very least loving, if unable to be embracing.

Quote
You done good, Mom.

I know I raised her well.  She turned out to be a very good person.  I will take all the credit I deserve, no matter how little that might be.

I like the Mom part of that thought, but I doubt I will ever have the type of relationship my wife has with our daughter.  I am convinced I will always be the "Daddy" in my daughter's mind.  As a result, I doubt we will ever have the more heart-to-heart mother-daughter/woman-woman type of conversations the two of them have.  I will always be the one my daughter goes to to fill the more physically protective role and my wife will always be the one she goes to to fill the more emotionally supportive role.  That is quite alright.  As a parent, as any other parent, I will do all I can for my child.  Fate has foisted a particular set of skills, "Daddy skills", to use in that effort.  I will use them to the fullest for her.  If ever a mother-daughter moment comes my way I will cherish it.

Stevi

PS.  I hope you don't mind if I put these thoughts into writing here.  I do it more for myself than anything.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on December 11, 2018, 08:41:15 pm
An affirming moment.

First, to put it into perspective.  While on the cruise, I had a bit of a melt down one night.  I had some photos taken one evening.  After the images were available on the ships intranet, I took a look at them.  The poses were full length.  I was disgusted when I looked at them.  I saw a man in a dress.  I had a bad night but managed to resurface the next day.

Yesterday, Penny and I were in the grocery store to get a few things for our stay here at the timeshare this week.  Penny sent me off to find an onion and a couple of potatoes.  While standing in front of a bin of russets, dressed in a blue on white floral patterned, full skirted, sleeveless dress, I was rummaging through them to find the ones I wanted, I felt a tap on my shoulder and heard an "Excuse me."  I turned to face a man.  He said, "You're hot!." He then turned and walked away.  All I could do was say, "Thank you."

I related the incident to Penny when I delivered my onion and potatoes to the shopping cart.  I had to fess up when she asked what the big grin was all about.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on December 12, 2018, 01:46:26 pm
<<<SQUEEEEE!!!>>> Isn't that the best feeling Stevi! By the was your new avatar looks I'd say you rocked his world.

BTW! I think you just may have one of those mother/daughter moments before you know it. And may more in the future. I was surprised at how close my daughter and I have become.

Congratulations girl!
Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on December 13, 2018, 11:16:13 pm
In the spirit of full disclosure.  The good the bad and the ugly----

It seems I live in a more fragile condition that I thought.  As a general rule, these days I am quite happy.  I have, I think, successfully made my transition.  I live my days as my authentic self and rarely give it much thought, anymore.  Surely different than it was when I first began to venture out as a pale imitation of a woman before Penny knew what was going on.  The mind constantly swirling with thoughts and doubts.   Still, the crashes can be only one misstep away.

I had a bad time this past week over a couple of unflattering photos.  It was a really nasty bump in the road.  From this vantage point it was silly of me.

This morning was another really nasty bump.  I will be as delicate as I can about this.  My wife and I are intimate.  Normally, I resort to a device to stand in and do not even try to manage on my own.  This morning my wife surprised me when her efforts proved to be particularly stimulating.  For me that intimacy is a complex mix of pleasure for me, desire to please her, physical discomfort, sometimes pain, and psychological gymnastics to deny the role I am actually filling and substitute another.  I need to focus on the better part of that mix to keep it together.   I lost my focus and the situation rapidly deflated.  My wife was disappointed and shut down.  I was angry with myself for failing her, even for trying.  Mentally we both went to bad places.  Neither could find the words or actions that were needed to close the chasm.

I spiraled down to a place I have not visited in a very long time.  I found myself estimating the distance from the railing of the 7th floor landing to the lobby of this timeshare condo.  I wondered if that was enough to be sure the result would be complete.  I wondered how long it would take for resolve to change to regret.  How much terror could be contained in those few seconds.  Would I feel any pain between the moment of impact and the end of my existence?  I pulled the drapes closed and laid in the darkness weeping.  Hating what I am.  Hating myself for the choices I have selfishly inflicted on my wife, on our relationship, on our future.

I do not know quite how, but we did finally find some words and some actions to close the chasm.  I am in a better place, now, but far from my best place.

Penny is in the next room watching some TV program.  Before I post this I need to think about it.  I am going in to cuddle up with her for a while....

..... off to bed we go.

Good night,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on December 14, 2018, 03:07:37 pm
Oh Stevi! I'm so glad you are in a better place now. Even though I'm no longer married, I still beat myself up over these same issues. I pushed passed that edge but my choice of device did not function. I'm now so very glad it didn't because everything is so much better now. I still struggle with this as I can't believe that I even did that. I didn't even think of what this would have done to my wife and kids. Not being there for my kids would have been far worse.

By the context of your post in your thread, You two seem to love each other deeply, enough so that moments like this end up as water under the bridge, fading memories of the past and wonderful new memories of the present and future. We are finally able to be more of our true selves and that helps me to stay positive.

Hugs,
Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on December 14, 2018, 08:41:21 pm
Donna,

Thanks for the hug.  I needed that.  Today was a bit better.  I am still circumspect but not distraught.  We spent most of the day doing things together.  That always helps.

We do love each other.  If we didn't the journey would have been entirely different.  It is likely we would have parted ways a long time ago if we did not.  The path we have been on had far too many painful moments to have overcome without love.  There will be more difficult times, I'm sure.  I think they will be less frequent and less intense, on average.  I hope there is no outlier among them that turns out to be too intense to overcome.

Thanks for the thoughts,
Stevi.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on December 14, 2018, 09:23:08 pm
Fitness Center Lawsuit update.

I have received the edited complaint from my attorneys.  (Yeah, attorneys is what I wrote.  Sounds high powered, doesn't it?)  I found next to nothing to question or comment on.  I will put together my thoughts in an email that should be in my lead attorney's inbox on Monday morning.  Next up is a set of discovery requests and questions to include when the complaint is filed.

My lead attorney is representing me as a victim of discrimination because I am transgender.  The other member of the team is there because our action is related to contract law.  Without laws protecting me against gender identity discrimination in North Carolina we need to use the laws about contracts, consumer protections and tortitous interference (interference in a contract by a third party) to "make him pay" for what he did to me because he did not want to deal with a trans woman.

I had told my led attorney the devil >:-), or maybe it's the bitch :icon_evil:, in me would like to see the defendant's New Year start off on a bad note.  She said she thought it could be made to happen.   

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on December 24, 2018, 12:17:21 pm
Merry Christmas! (Happy Holiday, if you prefer.) And a Happy and Fulfilling New Year!

((((Hugs)))) to all,
and Here's to Ya!
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on December 24, 2018, 01:50:18 pm
And to you and yours dear Stevi! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on December 25, 2018, 01:34:32 pm
Thank you, Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: steph2.0 on December 25, 2018, 07:11:10 pm
Merry Christmas to both you and Penny!


Stephanie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on December 25, 2018, 08:01:25 pm
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
I have been very much enjoying reading your recent updates..  This is definitely the season for all of us to find happiness in our lives.  Unfortunately this can also be the season that some find very difficult because of unaccepting and unhappy family relationships....

I hope and trust that you are finding the joy and happiness that you deserve.   

I wish you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS
and a prosperous and Happy NEW YEAR 

Hugs and as always, Well Wishes
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on December 25, 2018, 10:25:22 pm
Danielle,

While I have had a few glitches with my immediate family, I consider my situation to be among the better ones.  I feel a little guilty when I think about it because I have been so fortunate.  I am saddened so when I realize that so many have experienced so much loss of spouses, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers.  I know some of your own situation with your family and friends.  I have shed many tears for my sisters and brothers here as I have learned of some relationship being severed.

On the other hand there have been some causes for celebration when one of us has remade or strengthened a connection.  It does not happen often enough, but it does happen.  I am thankful when it does happen.

We share both our sorrows and our joys.  Happy New Year to you and all.  May it be full of joys.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on December 25, 2018, 10:28:03 pm
Stephanie,

Thank you for the good wishes.

I have taken note of your and your Cassie's happy holiday activities.  I am glad for you both.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on December 28, 2018, 03:20:22 pm
An update on my gender marker change,

I had finally gotten Social Security to correct the master record so Medicare would get the correct info on the subsequent syncs.

This morning I called Humana.  They synced their database with Medicare. Now, their records have the correct info, as well.

Next time I am standing in front of a surgery reception desk in a pink flowered dress, they won't have any excuse for misgendering me repeatedly for all the world to hear.

Mission accomplished!
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Paige on December 28, 2018, 08:24:51 pm
An update on my gender marker change,

I had finally gotten Social Security to correct the master record so Medicare would get the correct info on the subsequent syncs.

This morning I called Humana.  They synced their database with Medicare. Now, their records have the correct info, as well.

Next time I am standing in front of a surgery reception desk in a pink flowered dress, they won't have any excuse for misgendering me repeatedly for all the world to hear.

Mission accomplished!
Stevi

Wow that took a while.  Well done Stevi. :)
Paige :)
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on December 29, 2018, 10:28:20 am
I had to do the same thing Stevi. I called SSA last week to have them update the master record and then called Medicare earlier this week to update their records and send a new card. And yesterday I called Kaiser member services to update their records and send a new card. If we don't follow up, nothing ever gets done. We have to do their jobs. I would have been fired for neglecting this kind of thing. I repeatedly mentioned to each of them that this is in regards to my name AND gender change. Let's hope I start seeing my new cards show up soon.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on December 29, 2018, 10:50:59 am
Donica,

It is absurd that we have to shepard these things through the system.  It is so difficult to do from the outside since we have no idea what the true situation is or how it really works.

I hope my experience with this made it a little easier and a tad quicker for others.

I hope you got it all straight for them and you.

Happy New Year,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on December 31, 2018, 04:45:32 pm
@Stevie
Dear Stevi:
I have enjoyed to opportunity to meet you on the Forums.
I have very much enjoyed swapping comments and thoughts with you.
Obviously there are some bumps in the road that all of us experience so we continue to hang on for an exciting ride.

It was wonderful for me to get to know you on the Forums this past year...
I have so much enjoyed your updates as you continue on in your journey.
Thank you for feeling free to share your life events with all of us.   
 
I am so very happy that I found you and your thread on the Forums this last year and I will be eagerly following your upcoming reports and updates in the New Year in 2019.

Wishing you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR   in 2019...

Hugs and as always, well wishes.

Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Nicole70 on December 31, 2018, 05:13:02 pm
Happy new year Stevi!

Wishing you a wonderful 2019, you were one of the first ladies that reached out to me earlier last year and I really appreciate your support. I hope 2019 brings you all the happiness you deserve.

Hugs

Nicole
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on December 31, 2018, 08:26:21 pm
Nicole,

I remember when you burst onto the scene with your troubles like all of us, it seems, have done.  That was only six months ago.  Can you believe it?

Have a joyous year, my friend.  I will be keeping an eye on you from halfway 'round the world.

Love you,
Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on January 01, 2019, 01:48:30 pm
Happy New Year Stevi! I has been wonderful following your thread. I'm looking forward to following your journey through 2019. Wishing you and yours a joyous 2019 girl!!!

Hugs,
Donica.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on January 01, 2019, 03:04:36 pm
Donica,

I am so pleased to have you as a traveling companion on this journey of ours.  It is good to chat with you and all of our friends along the way.

A joyous year to you,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on January 25, 2019, 08:26:10 pm
Time for a bit of an update.  I have been lurking around the various threads here on Susan's Place to keep an eye on all of you.  I've been quiet though.  Sorta pushing things around in my head.  Been busy with some travel up to New Jersey.  Had some "billable hours" stuff to do.  Made some visits to Penny's family.  I was welcomed with open arms.   We spent a few days at our daughter's place while she and five of her friends took a three day cruise to Nassau.  While she was out of the house I did some tile work in her kitchen and smeared some paint on the walls for her.

On the lawsuit front, things have had a small glitch.  I had not heard anything from my attorney since the beginning of the month.  I sent off a couple of emails but I did not get any response.  Uncharacteristic of my attorney.  I made a phone call to the firm this afternoon.  I learned that my attorney is in the hospital.  I don't have any details   The attorney working with her got back to me with the bad news.  That attorney did forward the latest revision of the complaint for my perusal.  So, things are not as far along as I had hoped but they are continuing to move forward.

Penny is still struggling with health issues.  It has been established that she has severe sleep apnea.  She is due to go back on Sunday evening so they can hook her up to some equipment to determine what she needs in the way of treatment.  CPAP machine is in her future.  Today she had a visit with her PCP and came out of the office in a state.  The doctor has prescribed for a diabetic condition and high cholesterol.  She is not a good patient.  She does not take criticism or pills well at all.  I want her to feel well.  I will do anything I can to help her.  But I can't fight with her to force her to do what she won't do.  For now, she seems to be resigned to doing what the doctor has told her to do.  We will see.

Then there is me.  I am doing pretty well.  I feel good physically.  I am struggling to get back to my exercise regimen.  I have put on a few pounds, well, more than a few.  I am good mentally except for one little nag that has been irritating the back of my mind for about four months now.  I have been trying the non-op route for my wife's sake.  I am becoming less and less satisfied with that choice.  I seem to be getting by without any misgendering, no second glances, welcomed into the female circles.  But, I don't feel completed.  I feel like an impostor, sometimes.  So much so, I have begun to research my surgeon option and insurance coverage.  On the one hand, hoping that I can get GRS without blowing up the savings account and on the other hoping there is a wall so high and wide and thick before me that I can't conceivably do it so I don't have to broach the subject with Penny.

Yeah, I haven't discussed this with Penny, yet.  I am finding this to be as daunting as my revelation of being a crossdresser way back when.  From that day on, I have been "changing the rules", her phrase, as I have found that, today, I need more than I had thought I did yesterday.  This is a tad more radical than pierced ears.

I have learned a little.  I have spoken to several living real people with my insurance provider.  What I have learned so far is that they will cover the surgery with the usual deductibles.  I, supposedly, have documentation enroute to me that confirms that.  I don't know how far I can trust this information.  The people on the other end of the conversation had no idea what vaginoplasty is.  They insist the PPO will pay for it.  Sounds way too easy for me.

I have looked into surgeons, as well, and I am leaning toward Dr. MacPhee.  Her practice is here in North Carolina.  About a three hour drive.  She doesn't accept my insurance but her staff has indicated they will help me navigate the reimbursement maze.  I have seen a number of positive reports from her clients. 

It seems there might not be any walls that are impenetrable.  So, I have a very deep conversation ahead with my therapist this coming Friday.  Do I really need to do this?  Will it truly fix what still ails me?  I need to get that sorted out before I go any further.

Is everybody else having a good time?
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: LizK on January 25, 2019, 08:43:26 pm
…..

It seems there might not be any walls that are impenetrable.  So, I have a very deep conversation ahead with my therapist this coming Friday.  Do I really need to do this?  Will it truly fix what still ails me?  I need to get that sorted out before I go any further.

Is everybody else having a good time?
Stevi

Hi Stevi


It can be a very daunting decision as to whether or not to progress to surgery. In my very limited experience talking it out is a good idea. You do not have to make any decisions  but talking out your feelings about this may in fact unwittingly lead to the decion you need to make.  There was always some part of me that knew where I was going however I would not allow myself to do what I needed to for such a long time. When I left my hometown in 1981 I had already thought through a "plan" of how to go about becoming a woman without really accepting that I could do it. This took me some 30 plus years to execute due to a number of reasons...mainbly not trusting my own judgement nor listening to the "inner me" I spent so much time in denial couched as one excuse or another.

I hope you are able to arrive at your decison I certainly have no regrets about mine. Thanks for the wonderful update and I hope Penny can overcome her health issues as I bet that is concerning you.


Take care

Liz
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on January 25, 2019, 10:06:26 pm
Thanks Liz,

I know I need to do a lot more thinking over on this.  My biggest fear is that this sense of being an impostor is not really rooted in my incongruous genitals.  I fear there is something more "I" related about it.  To go forward with the surgery and still not have the issue resolved would be a disaster for me, for my wife and for us.

I want to get the problem resolved ASAP but I know I need to be cautious and deliberate about all of it.

Thinking......
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on February 07, 2019, 06:06:50 pm
What's up, Stevi?, you ask,

Well, let me tell you a little of what has been going on.

Over the past couple of weeks, there have been a host of emails among my siblings and myself.  I am not sure if I have told you all before about the "Sister Letter."  For some background, it was a chain letter that circulated from sister to sister with each reading the contributions of those who preceded and then replacing their own prior contribution with a new one.  It was not strictly a sister letter in that it included their in-law sisters, my brother's wives and Penny, my wife.  When one of my brother's wives passed rather suddenly, her daughter took her place in the missive.  Since the letter came through the house for my wife's contribution, I knew what the girls were saying to one another because she shared it with me.  I was a bit put out, but back then they did not know about me and my secret sister status.  Still, the implicit assumption of none of us "boys" being interested in the details of their lives and not welcome to share with them hurt a bit.  Anyway, the letter got stuck in somebody's inbox and couldn't find its way to the outbox.  As a result, my oldest sister sent out a search party email for it.  At the same time she asked if there might be a better way to to get family information distributed.  One of the sisters-in-law suggested doing it by email.  There was some discussion of the logistics.  As I surreptitiously watch by way of my wife's emails, I could see they needed some help so I suggested they do a family newsletter distributed by email.  I suggested that one person (I offered up myself, if no one objected.) compile self-reported news into a periodic newsletter to be distributed to one and all with a legitimate claim to be member of our flock of crazy people.  Well, they took me up on my offer.  So, I have begun my duties as the first editor of the Jones Family Newsletter. 

My first order of business was to put the Sister Letter to bed.  I have sent out portions of it to everyone who had not yet seen all the contributions of the others.  So now, that chapter is closed.  Now to putting together an introductory issue of a newsletter and an email list for its distribution.

On another front, my lead attorney has had some health issues come up.  She has begun chemo for a lymphoma.  Her prognosis is good, I am told. Tthat did slow things down a bit with getting the complaint ready for filing.  Today, I got an email from the other attorney on the team.  She tells me the complaint should be filed with the court tomorrow.  Next step after that is to see that the defendants are served.  From that time, they will have 30 days to respond to the discovery documents.

I have not shaved my face since Monday morning.  I have an appointment, my first, with an electrocutioner tomorrow morning.  I have not been able to get our lives into a steady-stay-at-home routine up until now.  I regret not having done this way back while I was still not out, but it is what it is.  I will see if I can put together a routine where I shave before UU fellowship on Sunday morning then let it grow until Wednesday for another session in the electric chair.  My therapy and group sessions are on the first Fridays and I will attempt to do other appointments on Thursdays or Fridays and maybe Mondays, in a pinch.  Hopefully that will minimize the forays of the bearded lady.

In my last therapy session, most of my time was spent with the subject GRS.  Should I or shouldn't I?  Given the irreversibility, not to mention the costs, financially, impact on my wife, recovery time and the risk involved given my age irrespective of my above average condition for a woman of my age, I need to very sure it will cure what ails me.  My dysphoria is not non-existent but it is not overwhelming, either.  Not having GRS, not having a female body, as I think I said before, makes me feel incomplete.  But, is that all it is that is giving me that sense?  I am still trying to figure it all out.

No, Penny and I have not had a discussion about me having GRS done.  However, from some more comments by her, I am positive she expects it to come to pass.  And, I don't get the sense that is particularly distressing to her.  I'm sure we can have a good discussion when I get it better sorted out in my own mind.

Sorry for the long post,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on February 07, 2019, 06:29:57 pm
@Stevi
Dear Stevie:
Yes indeed, I was about to ask "What's up, Stevi"  ....  2 weeks is way to long for your followers to go without updates or even short and sweet postings from you on your thread.

Regarding the Sister Letter, I recall something that you had mentioned about it's in a  "way back when"  post and it's existence and possible consternation to you.    In simple terms, it was GOSSIP, which almost never treats everyone fairly and amicably.

So, you are now the Editor in Chief of the new Jones Family Newsletter !!!   I trust that you are happy with that title and the time consuming duties that are a part of the job.  The good news is that you are in control of the content and distribution.

So sorry to hear about the health issues that your lead attorney is dealing with but it was good to hear that things are about to get serious with the court filing.   I am trusting and hoping that something positive will happen in the next 30 days.

Wishing you well with your electrolysis tomorrow....  going around as a bearded lady is not too desirable for sure.... don't be looking into any mirrors or have any pictures taken of you tonight or tomorrow!!!!   I would imagine that you would not be happy with what you see.

GRS is sometimes considered one of the final big steps in many transitioner's time lines.   I am glad that you are carefully going over all of this with your therapist.
Yes for sure, a serious discussion with your dear wife about your possible GRS is definitely in order.... wishing you well when you bring the subject up for discussion.

Finally, please do not be "sorry for the long post"...
Certainly I am interested in what is going on in your life endeavors and as well I am certain that all of your followers want to read everything that you post.

Thank you for sharing all of your thoughts.   Please don't torture us and make us wait another 2 weeks!!!

Hugs and my best wishes to you.
Danielle


Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on February 07, 2019, 07:05:27 pm
Danielle,

Thanks for the comeback.  Time has a habit of getting away from us.  I'll try really hard to post more frequently.

I am sorry I gave you the impression the Sister Letter might be gossip.  It certainly was not what is typically envisioned when one talks of gossip.  Each of my sisters told of the events in their own lives.  They didn't dwell on others.  Hard to believe, maybe, but true.  I looked forward to seeing the letter arrive.  It was a way for me to connect with them as a sister and be on the inside, even though they didn't realize I was there.

I am proud of my sisters.  Three of them have PHD's and have specialized in child development and education.  The other two are in management level positions.  They all have their quirks but they are good people.

Danielle, don't think I have taken offense.  I certainly have not.  I just felt I needed to correct any misunderstanding.

Love you, girl,
Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Laurie on February 07, 2019, 11:12:27 pm
Hi Stevi,

 Congrats on becoming an integral player in the family newsletter. Question, will said letter now be open to the men in the family should they want to participate or will it remain the purview of the female folks? That includes you btw *wink*. Glad to see that you have found a part in it for you finally.
  Good luck on the electrocution sessions. I hope they are not troublesome for you and that you intend to follow the regimen set up by the official electrocuted alumni. Judging by my own rate of progress, I will be an old man by the time my face is done. Oh wait.... I'm already old. *sigh*

Hugs,
  Laurie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on February 08, 2019, 07:32:25 am
Laurie,

The newsletter is intended for the entire family to receive and, hopefully, participate in, from the matriarch of our family, now my eldest sister, to the beginning reader/listener.  I hope to get some submissions fro some of the younger ones.

I did get a little pushback from one sister who wanted it to be closed to the immediate family members.  A little hard to please that one, sometimes.

Got to get going now.  Need to get a last meal before seeing the electrocutioner.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on February 08, 2019, 09:08:45 am
Dear Stevi! I thought I would check in and say hi. I've been a bit busy the past two weeks so I need to do a lot of catching up. I hope you and your family are doing well. I'll catch up soon.

Hugs,
Donica.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on February 08, 2019, 10:53:20 pm
Donica,

Good to hear from you again.  I know full well how we get busy at time.  We are doing well.  Hope you are do as well as we are.

Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on February 08, 2019, 11:03:09 pm
Got an email from my attorney.  My Complaint was mailed to the court this afternoon.  This is a point of no return.  I am now going to be in the public record with a complaint against one of my not too close neighbors for breaching a contract and violating NC consumer law because I am transgender.  I wonder how my other neighbors in this small eastern North Carolina community are going to react once the news starts to get around?

Cross your fingers, everyone,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on February 08, 2019, 11:11:26 pm
Had my very first electrocution performed today.  I survived to tell the tale.  Not quite what I expected.  I did not find the insertion of the probe and the zapping to be particularly uncomfortable.  The plucking of the hair afterward was a tad painful, though.  Those of you who are electrocution survivors, does this sound right?  My electrocutioner has been doing this for 35 years so I would expect she has a good idea what is the right way to inflict the torture.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on February 08, 2019, 11:43:32 pm
Got an email from my attorney.  My Complaint was mailed to the court this afternoon.  This is a point of no return.  I am now going to be in the public record with a complaint against one of my not too close neighbors for breaching a contract and violating NC consumer law because I am transgender.  I wonder how my other neighbors in this small eastern North Carolina community are going to react once the news starts to get around?

Cross your fingers, everyone,
Stevi

@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
Thanks for posting your followup report regarding the legal action you are seeking.

This is obviously very good news, it has been a long road getting to this point.
I understand your feelings about being a little concerned about how your neighbors and friends will react.

As you are aware from reading my thread, I live in a very small community where everyone knows each other, especially the blonde haired, blue eyed woman who moved up her 2+ years ago to start her CPA business.... so for sure, the word will get around fast whenever there may be a less than stellar moment in my life or in my business!!!

Wishing you well, thank you again for keeping us up to date.
Hugs, and well wishes as always.
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on February 14, 2019, 10:41:40 pm
My wife and I exchanged Valentines this morning.  I gave her mine and she gave me her two.  The first was a lovely kinda generic card.  You know, could'a been suitable for any two people who care about one another.  The second one, though, was extra special.  In gold lettering on the front it boldly declared, "For my Wife, my Valentine".  A year ago she was adamant that I would always be her husband.  At that time, she was very uncomfortable with being seen to be in a lesbian relationship.

What a difference a year has made.  We have made new acquaintances and friends.  She is open about how we are related and about our history. 

Happy Valentine's Day,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on February 15, 2019, 11:12:29 am
Happy Valentines day to you and your wife Stevi. It sounds like you both had a wonderful day.

Keeping my fingers crossed too. Do you have a court date yet? I think your neighbors will back you as this is a HR issue first. This could be their rights taken from them too.

In my experience, it should not hurt when your electrocutioner pulls the hair out. The zapping should detach the hair from the follicle so it should come out easily. Your electrocutioner may need to give you two zapps before pulling the hair out.

Hugs!
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on February 15, 2019, 07:26:15 pm
Donica,

Thanks for stopping by.

There is some paper shuffling to be done before I get to court.  After the complaint is filed with the court (Should be done but I haven't heard.), the defendant needs to be served.  Then he has 30 days to respond to the discovery documents.  After that, a court date may be set.  There is a possibility they will attempt to settle.  I fear this will be an ongoing saga for some time to come.

I think the defendant thought I would go quietly into the night when he canceled my membership and rebuffed my letter asking for reconsideration of his action.  I think he might try to make it go away.  The complaint prays for relief for actual and punitive damages (some of them are trebled) for four different claims.  I don't think he will want to risk the outcome if he thinks he can get off cheap.  I think he might get the idea to offer me my membership back and not a lot else and say no harm done.  I don't know that I would return to the fitness center even if I could.  I don't trust that they would treat me well.  You know- "Someone convinced against their will is of the same opinion still."  Whether I am in a mood to settle is not important.  (I'm not.)  There will be paper pushing with that exercise that will take its time.

I have had a second session in the electric chair.  (Not really a chair.)  This time she increased the current a bit and the insertion of the probe was noticeable but bearable.  The pulling of the hair was not felt much with only a few exceptions.  More what I thought the experience would be like before my execution date arrived.

Take care, now,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on February 18, 2019, 09:09:56 pm
I had an affirming experience today that actually started yesterday morning.

A while back, I started attending a Unitarian Universalist fellowship in the nearest community that might qualify for city status.  Before I began attending, the group moved to become a "welcoming congregation".  That is, they proactively learned something of the struggles and needs of the LGBT+ community. Yesterday, after the minister's message, he asked members of the congregation to tell of their personal experience of being helped by the congregation and how they feel they helped the congregation in return.  After several members offered there thoughts, I asked for the mic.  It was not easy for me to do that.  I almost chickened out.

I offered two thoughts.  First, I expressed my appreciation that the entire congregation has welcomed me, and my wife, with open arms and unmitigated support.  Second, as to what I had to offer.   I told them I was most likely the only transgender person most of them knew they knew personally and that I was available for them to get to learn more about me and others like me.

After the service, I was thanked by more than a few members for my message to them.  Both men and women.  I was gratified with the response of so many.  So many expressions of gratitude and support and admiration for my courage.  I told some of them, "I don't feel brave."  I feel more like desperate.  Doing what needs to be done is not courage. It is pragmatism.

This morning, I attended a Koffee Klatch.  There were twenty five or so from the congregation that gathered together for coffee and pastries.  Again, I was thanked for my words from the previous day by more than a few.  As the meeting was beginning to wrap up, four of us gathered together off to one side.  All of us women.  The topic of conversation, again, became my words from the day before.  A fifth woman joined the group.  She expressed her appreciation for my words from the day before but she added another thought.  She said "I see that you are a Woman Warrior!"

I have found this whole experience to be so affirming.  So encouraging.  I am really glad I put myself out there.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on February 18, 2019, 09:21:59 pm
@Stevi
Dear Stevi ... the Woman Warrior
WOW... what a wonderful and terrific update that you just shared.   Your experiences at your new church and with some of the women at the church are certainly very affirming.

Thank you for sharing!
Hugs,
Danielle

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on February 18, 2019, 10:02:39 pm
Danielle,

Thanks.  I can always count on you.

Hugs,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Paige on February 19, 2019, 08:00:01 am
She said "I see that you are Women Warrior!"

I would definitely agree with that sentiment.  Well done Stevi :)

Paige :)
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on February 19, 2019, 09:28:43 am
Thank you, Paige.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on February 19, 2019, 10:12:57 am
That is wonderful to hear Stevi. I always fear the church congregation as there is so many protest from them in my neck of the woods. I no longer attend the church that I was married in and had attended for most of my life. There is a United Church of Christ just down the street from my old church that I now attend. They are LGBTQ welcoming and friendly. We have our monthly PFLAG meetings there as well.

Hugs!
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: steph2.0 on February 19, 2019, 10:28:33 am
"I see that you are a Woman Warrior!"

I have found this whole experience to be so affirming.  So encouraging.  I am really glad I put myself out there.

You are so much stronger and braver than I am, Stevi. You truly are a Woman Warrior.

Stephanie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on February 19, 2019, 12:55:22 pm
Donica,

I am doubly unwelcome in many Christian congregations.  In addition to the transgender "difference of opinion", there is the doctrinal variances.  Beyond affirming Jesus Christ as my Saviour, I am decidedly unorthodox in my doctrinal stances on almost all points.  That doesn't make things very comfortable sitting in the pews.

The UU Fellowship does not much care what beliefs you have or even what your fundamental worldview might be.  The fellowship has former Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Moslems, pagans, humanists, agnostics and atheists.  I might be the only member who professes to be a Christian in whole lot of them.  Their focus is how, whatever you believe plays out in your life.  If what you believe prompts you to be caring and compassionate and to act to make a positive difference in the lives of others, you will be right at home among them.

Thanks for stopping by,
Hugs,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on February 19, 2019, 01:17:54 pm
Hi there, Stephanie,

I don't know how brave I am.  I think I said I was being pragmatic.  There is no way I can hide what I am minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day.  No way I would make it for a full week so I will leave it at day after day.  Might just as well own it.  I have, Penny and I have, too much history to even attempt to make true friends while trying to hide any of it.  I have a past that in many ways I am proud of.  The shameful part has been largely dealt with.  My openness with my friends about my transgender status is a large part dealing with that shame.

When it comes to more casual, fleeting interactions out in society, I try my very best to fit into the situation as just most every other woman tends to do.

I hope Sue is not suffering too badly.  Let her know, please, I am thinking healing thoughts for her.

Hugs, my friend,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: steph2.0 on February 19, 2019, 01:27:19 pm
Hi there, Stephanie,

I don't know how brave I am.  I think I said I was being pragmatic.  There is no way I can hide what I am minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day.  No way I would make it for a full week so I will leave it at day after day.  Might just as well own it.  I have, Penny and I have, too much history to even attempt to make true friends while trying to hide any of it.  I have a past that in many ways I am proud of.  The shameful part has been largely dealt with.  My openness with my friends about my transgender status is a large part dealing with that shame.

When it comes to more casual, fleeting interactions out in society, I try my very best to fit into the situation as just most every other woman tends to do.

I hope Sue is not suffering too badly.  Let her know, please, I am thinking healing thoughts for her.

Thank you, Stevi. She’s sleeping through surgery as I write this.

I’ve written this before, but don’t know if you’ve seen it: in the past when people called me courageous, I’d tell them it wasn’t bravery, it was desperation, just like you do. But then I ran across a quote attributed to Marion Morrison (John Wayne). “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”

By that definition, I think most of us are among the most courageous people around.



Stephanie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on February 26, 2019, 06:10:56 pm
Life goes on.

I have just returned from a brief visit with my daughter.  Two Sundays ago I got a 10:30 PM call from her.  She had just discovered the thermostat had failed for her heating system.  There was a 5 to 8 inch snow storm forecasted to arrive overnight.  I'm her goto for that type of problem.  Over the phone, I guided her in locating and jumpering the two wire she needed to to confirm the thermostat was the culprit and get some heat into her chilly house.  She controlled the heat by the breaker through the week until she could get to Home Depot and pick out a new thermostat.  This past Saturday, she called and we worked through that selection process.  When she got it home, she called again so I could help her install it.  Oops, the old thermostat only needed four wires.  The new one needed a fifth wire that was nowhere to be found.  The new thermostat had an adaptor that could be installed in the furnace that would change things so it only needed four wire.  I guided her with opening up the furnace to see what she had on that end.  It wasn't pretty.  No nice, neat labeled wires or terminal strip.  So, after some contemplation, I told her I would drive up the next day and do what her Daddy has always done- help out my girl as best I can.  At the same time, I would finish up the tile installation in the kitchen that I hadn't quite finished up in January before I ran out of time on the previous trip.  I installed the thermostat Sunday evening and did the tile work on Monday.  Drove home today.

By the way, when I had arrived at my daughter's house, I walked in in what I had worn to the UU fellowship meeting earlier in the morning.  Not long after I got settled in she said to me, "Cute skirt."

This morning, just before my daughter left for work, she opened the first real conversation about my transition we have had.  She said she was considering stopping her therapy sessions again but before she did that she wanted to know if I had any more bombs to drop.  She said she was 90% OK with things.  She didn't see where she needed the regular monthly hand holding.  When I had come out to her last year, about this time of the year, she had just stopped going to therapy.  She did not want to repeat.   We talked about how the cruise in December had helped her get more comfortable.  She saw me in my finest and in public.  Nothing traumatic happened.  She had, also, had a chance to talk with her mother to get some concerns aired and some questions answered.

As for a bomb to drop, I am still wrestling with the GRS option.  All I can say right now is the payload bay doors are still closed.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on February 26, 2019, 06:17:26 pm
On the lawsuit front,

The Complaint was file stamped and a summons issued on 2/13. The attorneys received the copies of those from the court last week and sent out the complaint and summons for service on each defendant by certified mail.   They have not received the certified mail receipts back yet.  Once they do, they’ll know which day the defendants received the papers on, which will start the 30-day clock to file an Answer.

My guess is the clock may have already started or very soon will.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: JudiBlueEyes on February 26, 2019, 09:05:28 pm
I'm glad to hear you could fix the thermostat issue without too much drama and it allowed for a good conversation. 
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on February 27, 2019, 10:25:16 am
It's wonderful to hear that your daughter in on board and ok with your transitioning. It has always been important to me that my children be happy and comfortable with our relationship.

I am following your court battle with the owners of the gym which you and your friend once belonged. It is disheartening to hear that North Carolina has so very few laws, if any at all, in defense of the transgender community. It is time they step out of the dark ages.

Hopefully your case will further add cause to help the unfortunate others who have experienced inhuman treatment at the hands of NC's government and many other states like them. We all to often hear of inhuman treatment to trans people such as the trans women who completed her transitioning but was still treated as a male at the hands of the NC police department. This is shameful and needs to stop.

Stay strong Stevi. The whole trans community is behind you.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on February 27, 2019, 02:19:20 pm
Judi

It was a bit of a relief to actually have a direct conversation with my daughter about me.  I have been so unsure about how to approach her.  I needed to get this resolved but I, also, understood that I needed to let her work at her pace.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on February 27, 2019, 03:12:32 pm
Donica,

Thanks for keeping tabs on me and my woes.  The lawsuit has been slow going in many ways.  Just my impatience, I suppose, is showing a little.

North Carolina is a mixed bag when it comes to transgender issues.  We were in the news big time a couple years back with the HB2 fiasco.  There is a substantial contingent of ant-trans people in this state.  Gov. McCrory instigated the law.  The residents rejected him in the next election.  I am convinced the bathroom bill was the straw that tipped the balance against him.  Still, it has been possible to get your gender marker changed on your driver's licence with supporting evidence from your medical team for a while.  It was a bit hit or miss as to how much trouble you had because there was no real clear guidance as to what was sufficient medical backup.  If the DMV personnel you went to were not happy about granting the gender change you could get the runaround.  That has recently been clarified with a new special form just for the purpose of gender marker changes.  That all went through without a peep of objection.  I think, just maybe, those who might not like the idea are aware they may be kicked to the curb in the next election if they object.

I have had my own issue with the fitness center.  It is likely only the owner, himself, that is the problem.  Even that, so far, has been non-confrontational.  I did not sense any problems with the staff.  For the most part, from my limited experience, I think the general population of North Carolina is c'est la vie, if not outright supportive, about transgender men and women.

I don't know how this will all turn out.  Worst case, the judge just dismisses all my complaints.  We are using laws to correct a wrong they were not intended for when they were written.  Breach of contract.  I can't see how this is not a breach of contract but my opinion doesn't count for a lot.  The judge might conclude that asking about transgender policies was sufficient grounds for the defendant's action because any transgender person using the facility is inherently detrimental to the facility's interests.  Consumer protection laws.   Those were drafted long before the transgender issues became prominent.  Will the judge be willing to apply them to my case?

In the communication I received from the defendants I was told North Carolina law did not require them to accommodate me.  They never asked me what I wanted or needed.  I think the defendants failed miserably to work out a mutually acceptable set of terms.  I have no idea what kind of a defense they will mount.  The defendants might ask to settle it out of court, in which case, I suspect they will try to throw me a bone.  If they had responded favorably when I first asked them to reconsider their first, drastic action of terminating our membership, I would have been amenable.  No longer will I just go back to what I had before this all went south.  From this vantage point, I am disinclined to settle.  I am in a bit of a crusade, I think.

Until we are further down the road, I have no idea if this will do anything at all other than make a 15 minute stink in the media.

In for a penny, in for a pound,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Dena on February 27, 2019, 05:03:43 pm
The point is you were willing to renegotiate the contract to reach terms that were agreeable to both of you. Without showing good faith, you membership was canceled without consulting you. A contract is an agreement between two people and one can't just say I changed my mind. You made your best effort to preserve the contract, the health club for what ever reason didn't. A judge that decides otherwise will be overturned on appeal.

The only exception to this is if he contract contains a cancellation clause which it appears your didn't. Big mistake on the health clubs part and in this case, it should cost them.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on February 27, 2019, 08:35:08 pm
Dena,

Thanks for your comment.  The contract does have a cancellation clause.  It specifies two possible causes.  One is non-payment of dues.  Not the case.  In fact, he refunded unused dues in the form of an, as yet, uncashed check at the time he terminated the membership. The other is for cause where, in the opinion of the owner (the defendant), I have done something that he construes to be detrimental to the facility or its membership.  This is a slippery clause.  My attorneys assure me he cannot be capricious in the determination what constitutes "detrimental".  I just don't know if my asking to discuss my continued use of the facility as a transgender woman will be considered sufficient cause for termination.  I most definitely think it does not.  But a transgender hostile judge may not take my side.

I think I handled the situation with consideration for all concerned.  From my perspective, his actions were rash.  I asked for him to reconsider and I was unceremoniously dismissed.  The language of the complaint unequivocally asserts that his motivation was transphobic.  His, albeit scant, communication with me has tell-tale signs, such as his refusal to use my new legal name, of his transphobic animus. 

I am, obviously, hoping for the best.  All the while expecting the worst.  I have learned that what seems most reasonable to me often gets other people's panties all in a bunch.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Dena on February 27, 2019, 09:17:50 pm
Consider that the operation of the health club was the same after coming out as it was before. None of the customers complained to management about you. I would say that coming out had no effect on the club. Possible further in your transition that might not be true but for now, there was no reason to invalidate the contract.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 07, 2019, 12:45:10 pm
We are expecting a visit from a long time friend this coming week.  As is obligatory, we are doing a bit of cleaning and rearranging in preparation to our best foot forward.  I had a few things that needed to be properly hung in the wardrobe.  I have been putting off ridding it of the remnants of my male clothing.  Those remnants have been squeezed in the furthest end of the wardrobe as time has gone on.  Much of it was the last oversized shirts from when I was still hiding the real me from my family, friends and neighbors.  I haven't even considered wearing any of it since last summer.  On one particular hanger was a tailored suit. I bought it a long time ago specifically for my father-in-law's funeral.  I have worn it a number of times since for special occasions.  I have avoided this task, I think, because of that one item.  It meant something to me because of its association with important events but I could let go of that.  The real problem was what purging that remaining maleness would mean to my wife.  She really liked the way I looked in that suit.  We hugged and shed a few tears, not so much for my loss, but, for hers, before I carefully folded the suit and placed it in the donation bag.  As I was folding all the rest, Penny's eye caught a burgundy red velour shirt that she just loves the feel of.  In exchange for the potential that she will be rubbing her hands on me, I conceded to her insistence that I hang it back in the wardrobe.  After all, women often wear shirts with the buttons on the right?  Right?  Anyay, it's not a man's shirt.  It is my shirt!

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on March 07, 2019, 01:14:05 pm
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
I think that most transitioners can agree with the issues of purging of the "old" clothing that you described.

Even though when I went full time well over 2 years ago and got rid of all of my male clothes and shoes, once I moved up to the cold climate, out of necessity in the bitter cold, snowy and icy weather, I started acquiring a small selection heavy duty warm clothing from "Farm Stores",  "Outdoor" and "Sports" stores....     shirts, pants, hats, gloves, scarves, shoes and boots that for all practical purposes kinda look like men's clothing...  but the shirt buttons are on the left where they belong as they should be for a woman... and when possible more pattern choices, feminine cuts, even some lace or bling,  color choices such as pink!!! ETC, etc. 

In my old job in male mode I always wore  men's suits at work and had several more formal and expensive men's suits...  I had a terrifically difficult time giving all of that away...  almost all of my male friends wore a larger size so the thrift stores and charities got the benefit of my "gifts"   
I had thought incorrectly that I wanted to keep some of my best suits for formal occasions but that was not going to happen because for me, there was no going back...  I have been living as a full-time woman with a closet full of women's clothing...  no more men's clothes to bring back memories from the past....

... but of course, I don't have a spouse that has desires for me to keep some of my old sentimental clothing...   as you have done, you better heed to her wishes!!!!

Thanks for posting and sharing....   
HUGS and best wishes,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on March 07, 2019, 05:48:29 pm
Dear Stevi. That reminds me, I still have some old "him" shoes to donate. I have purged all but a pair of blue jeans I thought I'd keep for those real dirty jobs around the house. Maybe they will go too. I have new ladies grunge jeans to take the place of the old ones.

Oh and BTW! I've always thought women look sexy wearing nothing but their man's button down. Right or left.

Hugs.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 31, 2019, 04:53:03 pm
Today, as part of the the service at the Unitarian Universalist fellowship my wife and I attend in New Bern, I shared the following as both a source of Joy and a cause for concern.  When I finished, most of the membership in attendance applauded.  A number of them stood while doing so.  I am gratified that I have found a community where I am so whole-heartily accepted.

Today is March 31th.  Today marks the eleventh INTERNATIONAL TRANSGENDER DAY OF VISIBILITY, created by transgender advocate Rachel Crandall. This day, which is observed every year on March 31st, is intended to raise awareness about transgender people, bring attention to the discrimination and violence we face –but also to celebrate our successes and triumphs. This day is a time to celebrate transgender people around the globe and the courage it takes to live openly and authentically, while also raising awareness around the discrimination transgender people still face.

In other news, three days ago, three bills were introduced in the North Carolina House of Representatives.

HB 514 seeks to expand anti-discrimination protections into more areas of public life for all of us and include all LGBTQ persons in the classes protected.

HB 515 is a long overdue complete repeal of HB 2 from 2016 and its farcical repeal by HB 142.

HB 516 is intended to protect minors from the child abuse of “conversion therapy” to "fix" LGBTQ children.

There is much to be done to move these bills to actual laws.  This is a start. Please help any way you can.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on March 31, 2019, 05:01:04 pm
Quote
Today, as part of the the service at the Unitarian Universalist fellowship my wife and I attend in New Bern, I shared the following as both a source of Joy and a cause for concern.

@Stevi
Dear Stevi:

Wow, a wonderful report, but unless I am missing something, what is your cause for concern? ???

Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 31, 2019, 05:16:09 pm
Danielle,

My cause for concern is that the North Carolina Senate is dominated by republicans.  This effort is not very likely to succeed.  It is, however, a first volley.  The battle will eventually be won.  My concern is for just how long it will take.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on March 31, 2019, 06:29:56 pm
An update.

It has been a while since I left any tidits here.  Life has been good and I have been busy living it.

On the lawsuit front.  I got word from my attorney that the defendants received the complaint on March 5th.  That started the clock for them to answer the discovery within 30 days (or ask for an extension).  I have not heard anything further.  Thirty days is this coming Wednesday.

I have had a couple of conversations with Penny about surgeries.  GRS and facial work. They went well.  She indicated that she has, for quite some time, expected that I would have GRS done, eventually.  So, she has been resigned to the eventuality for a while.  It is not something she really wants but she, frankly, fears that I would come to be resentful if she tried to stand in the way or give any ultimatums that would stop me from doing what I think I need to do.  She is well aware that sexual functionality as it used to be will never return so there is not a lot of benefit to her for me to keep the guy around.

My concern is that she has effectively put the potential blame squarely on me if we lose our sexual intimacy.   My wife is decidedly hetersexual.  I fear that she will not be interested, even worse, repulsed, if I do not have at least the form of a man.  She cannot give me much in the way of assurance that she would be able to intimate.  I understand that it is hard to know until she actually faces the reality of it.

I have taken so much from her with all that I have needed to do.  Must I take this last bit from her?  I have been managing.  But, it is getting harder to ignore the constant reminder.  I am reminded first thing in the morning when I have to "arrange things" to get dressed.  Every time I visit the restroom, I get the feeling I an interloper, a deceiver.  I have to be self-aware to be sure that no one learns more about me than I want them to know.  I don't want to have to be so self-conscious and circumspect about it.  Most of my life is lived with hardly a thought about my gender.  Except for this.  The constant gender noise I heard in my head for so long is mostly all gone, except for this.

I am moving forward on investigating the insurance situation.  Typically, everyone I have talked to so far have given me different variations of the insurance coverage.  I now have in hand a 180 page document that I am trying to find all  the pertinent sections in so I can call someone and talk to about each one.  There is no way, it seems, to be able to contact he same person you spoke with before.  I will need to train myself to be the expert.  There has got to be some fly in this ointment, I just know it, but I have been told I can get the major part of GRS costs covered.  Facial surgery will be at my own expense, if I go for it, since I see no way that it will be deemed "medically necessary."  I am seriously considering doing a bit of a facelift.  I do not have an overly masculine face shape.  No Adam's apple to speak of.  Brow ridges are not terribly prominent.  Just the removal of the tired, worn out look would suffice, I think.

On a more positive note, a couple weeks back Penny and I attended a transgender group's meeting in Myrtle Beach, SC. There we met a transgender woman, W, who was there for the first time.  She is slightly older than I.  She is married, 34 years, and trying to keep her marriage together.  After the meeting, my wife passed her contact information to W to pass on to her wife.  A couple of days later, we got an email from W.  We exchanged a couple more emails.  Penny and I invited W and her wife for lunch.  We met whe next day at noon.  We had lunch and sat in the restaurant for a couple hours.  Then we invited them over to our condo for a while.  All together we spoke for over five hours.  We  shared our experiences with them.  We felt it was important to know that it did not have to be the end of their world if they did not wish it to be.  We have had some subsequent contact and it seems that we have had some positive affect.

One of Penny's biggest difficulties with my revelation and transition was finding cause for hope that it could turn out well.  She is trying to show others in like circumstances that it is not hopeless.  While it may not be easy, it is possible for a couple to survive with their relationship intact, even, stronger than before.

Now, back to the regularly scheduled program,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Laurie on March 31, 2019, 11:11:05 pm
  Stevi,

  I cannot say I have been keeping up with anyone's journeys. Heck I don't think I am keeping up with mine as it feels stalled. I wanted to say thank you for your updates. both with your UU church and your thoughts shared in the last post. I want to congratulate you for your compassion and thoughtfulness towards. I also applaud you and Penny for helping that new couple and being a source of support for them. I do believe that relating our or stories and being someone to answer to those new folk that are obviously struggling can help in way we may never know. So good job to both of you. And thank you.

Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 01, 2019, 04:55:22 pm
Laurie,

Thank you for stopping by.  I have missed you and been worried a bit about you.  I understand some of the reasons you have been less of a presence around these parts.

I know you got a lot out of your opportunities to be of help to so many of us here.  I thank you for what you did for me.

Thinking about you,
Stevi

 
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Laurie on April 01, 2019, 10:36:41 pm
Awwww Stevi Thanks (blush)  I don't think I did that much here . I just tried to be apart of the community. I got a lot of help here myself and tried to give some of it back. I found my time here as a member and as a mod were very rewarding. I find it extremely sad that me feeling of camaraderie here was destroyed so easily over a disagreement. My joy I had of being apart of this sight is gone. I still like to check in for a few minutes when I can and see how you all are doing. It is spotty at best and my posts are few. Though I wish you all the best I have for all intents and purposes lost my connection with this site.
  Just keep up the good fight Hun and I'll be in and out occasionally.

Hugs,
  Laurie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: LizK on April 02, 2019, 12:36:56 am
....
My concern is that she has effectively put the potential blame squarely on me if we lose our sexual intimacy.   My wife is decidedly hetersexual.  I fear that she will not be interested, even worse, repulsed, if I do not have at least the form of a man.  She cannot give me much in the way of assurance that she would be able to intimate.  I understand that it is hard to know until she actually faces the reality of it.

I have taken so much from her with all that I have needed to do.  Must I take this last bit from her?  I have been managing.  But, it is getting harder to ignore the constant reminder.  I am reminded first thing in the morning when I have to "arrange things" to get dressed.  Every time I visit the restroom, I get the feeling I an interloper, a deceiver.  I have to be self-aware to be sure that no one learns more about me than I want them to know.  I don't want to have to be so self-conscious and circumspect about it.  Most of my life is lived with hardly a thought about my gender.  Except for this.  The constant gender noise I heard in my head for so long is mostly all gone, except for this.

...
Now, back to the regularly scheduled program,
Stevi

I have enjoyed catching up on your thread and you talking about GCs reminded me of the issues I had prior to surgery. Like you, my "little guy's" only function for such a long time and for the foreseeable future was as a conduit for basic bodily functions and I really didn't need it for that. My wife I  think, was similar to yours in that she knew GCS was inevitable and expected it. She made her position quite clear...she was Hetro and not going to change... I think from my experience that the loss of touch and cuddles is harder than I thought. I hope you and your wife are able to maintain at least a modicum of physicality to your relationship. I think as human beings we are hard wired to want this and probably need it for good mental health .

I can relate to your description of "gender noise" and think as trans women(or men) we have a lot of this where our cis counterparts don't experience it at all. To find it quietening is such a positive thing to have happen in your life and can understand you wanting it gone completely. I hope you can navigate your way to this and keep your relationship in a good place.

Liz
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on April 02, 2019, 06:25:10 pm
Dear Stevi! You have certainly said a mouth full. I'm probably not the best person to talk about relationships as I have since gotten divorced. I can only say that time will tell. Most importantly keeping the communication channels open with Penny and just be honest with each others feeling and concerns.

Kudos to NC for at least acknowledging the need for more and better human rights. Damn the republicans. They're on their way out anyway.

I truly hope you and Penny are able to work this out together. I personally know more than one couple that have fully transitioned and are enjoying a closer and happier married relationship. It does happen.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 06, 2019, 10:21:44 pm
Back home, now, from Wilmington and our therapy appointments.

My appointment covered a number of issues.  Not problems.  More of a report for the most part.  But, there was one topic that was important.  GRS.  I recalled my discussion with my wife on the subject.  I have already written about that up thread.   Basically, Penny is not enthusiastic about it. She is resigned to it.  Thinks she will be OK with it.  While I understand her response it lacks an explicit commitment to live with the results in an intimate relationship.  My concern is that she will not be able to.  Then, it will be all my fault if it all has gone sideways.  I don't think it is because she won't commit.  I think it is because she can't make a promise to me she may not be able to keep when the possible becomes reality.  To bridge that gap, I will depend on her love for me and trust all will be well.

In that ight, I have decided to take the steps to have GRS.  As my homework assignment, I need to pindown my insurance provider about the necessary content of whatever it is that is needed to establish "medically necessary."   I need to get this done by the first part of May so I can communicate it to my endocrinologist during my next visit as well as my therapist so she knows what to do about a session with a doctor of psychology for a second letter to support the dysphoria justification.  The other thing to do is to find a surgeon.  There is one essential criteria I know the insurance provider will require if I can hope to get reimbursed.  That is that the doctor must be "eligible for Medicare."  I have already emailed Dr. Keelee MacPhee who practices here in North Carolina to see if she qualifies in that regard.  If she does not, I will check on other possibilities.

Onward I go,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on April 24, 2019, 09:41:30 pm
It has been a while since I made any entries here.  Things have been going well, mostly.

First, an interesting development.  Penny was, for a long time, hung up on the idea of her being seen by others as a lesbian.  Over time that has faded quite a bit. Along the way I told her I would not take her role as a wife in the relationship.  I would identify myself as her partner or spouse but not her wife.  I would use Ms as my title.  Well, today, she told me it was OK with her if I wanted to use the honorific- Mrs.

I changed electrocutioners.  The one I was using was located in the nearest "city".  About 45 minutes travel time to and again back home.  After about five hours of work, I did not see any evidence that a single hair had been executed.  I have located another electrocutioner about twice as far away.  I had a one hour session last week.  I am scheduled for a two hour session tomorrow.  In have purchased a bucket of lidocaine cream for the occasion.

I have been trying to get straight answers out of my health insurance about what is covered with respect to GRS.  Well, I got specific diagnosis codes and CRT codes and made another call.  I have been told that I will either have to find a surgeon that accepts Medicare assignment or, maybe, they will reimburse me the amount of the Medicare assignment since I will need to pay the surgeon the full amount up front.  The insurance provider can't (so they say) tell me beforehand what amount the Medicare assignment might be.   I have an appointment in  couple weeks with my doctor so I'll see if there is any way she can get the information.

I have made arrangements for a visit with two of my sisters right after Memorial Day.  I am traveling to my accepting sister up in Wisconsin.  The one sister that expressed a need to talk about things in person will fly in to join us for about four days.  I am a little apprehensive but I am pretty sure all will turn out well.

I have received some email communication from my oldest sister.  She refuses to use any form of my name in any of it.  She has referred to me in the masculine third person.  (Some of the emails were addressed to other family members.)  It angered me and I considered ripping into her.  Trouble is the communications were dealing with some stressful circumstances surrounding a battle for custody of her grandson in the courts.  I would have come off as "petty" if I opened my mouth about it.  I have decided to let is pass for the time being.  The reason she was emailing the family was that she was asked, by social services, for contact info for a number of people, including her brothers and sisters.  I wanted her to tell me what she had told them about me.  Specifically, what name did she give them for me.  I do not wish to make things any more difficult for her, in the event they do contact me, than they already are.  She did not give me an answer.  So it is on her.  I'll just have to muddle through if I get a call. For now, I'll let it go and I'll see how the visit with my other two sisters go before I consider complaining.

The lawsuit is slowly moving along.  The Defendant has asked for a thirty day extension to respond.  That was granted by the court.  The new deadline is May 4th.  Impatiently waiting is my part of this process for now.

I hope all of you are doing well.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on October 24, 2019, 10:02:41 am
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
Where have you been on your personal thread? ???

Of course I have seen your recent postings and comments on other member's
threads... BUT you have left me and the rest of your loyal followers wondering
what has been happening in your life.

It is unbelievable but your VERY LAST update to your personal thread was
back in April 24 ,2019... that was SIX MONTHS AGO.... A HALF YEAR !!!!  :o :o :o

If you feel so inclined and ONLY if you feel comfortable doing so, come back
to your thread and tell us what has been going on in your life.


HUGS and best wishes from your loyal follower.
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on October 24, 2019, 12:28:49 pm
Yes your followers would like to know? How did your court battle go? Who is everything on the East Coast?
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on November 18, 2019, 12:27:28 pm
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
I am missing reading your updates on your thread... 
..did I miss your announcement that you have another thread perhaps? ???

I trust that all is OK with you and your family....
I would love to read an update from you, but only
if you wish to do that and to share with me and
the rest of your avid followers.


Many HUGS,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on November 20, 2019, 09:39:38 am
Sorry girls,

It has been a long time since I posted about myself.  I have been lurking and on occasion mumbling something in other threads.

Anyway.  I have been well, mostly.  I had another eye surgery.   Right retina this time.  Came up rather quickly, this time.  The left eye I had done a couple years ago after a long time of waiting for it to get past "more harm than good, possibly" stage.  This time I had to stay face down for three weeks after the operation.

During that recovery time I prepared a presentation for my UU fellowship about the many facets of the transgender struggles in the current political and social environment.  That went well.  I spoke to about forty people and had very positive feedback.

In some of my last posts on this thread I mentioned my consideration of getting gender affirming surgery.  I did decide to pursue that with the blessings of my wife.  I selected a surgeon and had a consultation.  That went well.  It looked like everything was on track for a surgery date sometime after the new year starts.  Well covered by my insurance.  That all seemed to go sideways when the surgeon, two weeks after my consult, announced she was leaving the university system she was affiliated with at the end of the year to open her own practice this coming spring.  That put everything into chaos.  Lots of questions and few answers.  So the past couple months have been a bit of a roller coaster.  Ain't nuttin' easy.

Well, I got a call from the surgeon on Monday.  She is still leaving to set up her own practice but she has decided to stick around until the end of March.  That will allow her to fit me in right after the first of the year and still be in place to give me proper followup for about three months afterward.  I have a tentative date for January 7th.  That is what they put on the prior authorization request to my insurance provider.  I am told my provider typically takes about two weeks to make their determination.  I have made a lot of inquiries in the past myself with my insurance provider and I am 99% sure that I will be approved for the procedure.  I have got my fingers crossed and trying not to too psychologically invested in this, just yet.  When, and if, the approval comes through the actual date for the surgery will be locked in.  I expect it to be the second week of January.  The 7th is a conflict date with Penny and a visit with my retina surgeon.  She is having a problem with her left eye that my, now our, retina specialist is watching closely for deterioration.  It is still in the "more harm than good" phase.  We may both be in surgery recovery together.  I don't know how that is going to work out.  Ain't nuttin' easy.

You might recall, I am in litigation with my former fitness center.  That is going very slowly.  The defendants attorney deposed me several months ago.  My attorney thought they might come to the table to negotiate a settlement but that has not happened.  I have to figure out now whether I should make an offer, myself, or just ask the court to set a date for trial.  A jury trial in this conservative county is risky.  If I do not prevail, the precedent might do more harm than good.  The defendant really has no incentive to push this along since he has nothing to loose if I just allow it to die.  The ball is in my court, it seems.  This is going to be a marathon.  I guess.  Ain't nuttin' easy.

Penny and I have decided to move into the town where we attend the UU fellowship.  The epicenter of our lives has moved there.   We are spending a great deal of time there and it is about 40 minutes travel to and from.  There is little here where we are now other than the home we live in.  We have done some house hunting but with the on and off and on again surgery, upcoming travel plans with our daughter in December, Penny's health issues that might involve surgery and some rehab and financial considerations we decided to put that off for a while.  I had thought that we would try to find something in the housing market after the first of the year.  With Monday's news, that is all in disarray again.  Ain't nuttin' easy.

So, that is the short and sweet and sour of the past few months.  I hope everyone is doing at least as well.  :)

Hugs to all,
Stevi

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on November 20, 2019, 12:58:12 pm
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
Thank you so very much for your long awaited comprehensive update.

I am glad that your eye surgery was just in time to save your eyesight....  any of us have to keep on top of our health and what we sense may be undesirable changes.

I would like to read how your presentation goes for your UU fellowship.... when are you planning to give your talk?

It was good to read that your wife was supportive with your planned Gender Affirming Surgery...  but it appeared to be on hold due to circumstances beyond your control.... and then with the call from your surgeon, it is back on track.   I am certain that you are disappointed with the delay and change of plans but January 7th is just 6 weeks away.

Oh no, and now your wife Penny is having eye problems.... I trust that everything goes well for her.

So sorry to read of the continued delays and slow-motion action with your lawyers....  those kinds of legal things are always full of delays and change of plans.... patience my friend!!!

I wish you well with your proposed relocation, if it happens you will save a lot of personal time and also gas money.

Your reoccurring theme of "Ain't nuttin' easy." seems to be quite appropriate to your update.

Even though your update was a combination of "sweet and sour" at least you are making progress on some fronts.... be glad it was not all bad news.

Thank you for coming back to your thread and updating me and the rest of your followers.

I am wishing you well as you continue on!

HUGS and best wishes as always,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on November 21, 2019, 06:21:54 pm
Good to hear from you again Stevi. I have caught you here and there on the threads. Congratulations on your surgery date. I hope it all works out for you both.

My now passed father in law went through a retina surgery and was laid up face down for three weeks too. I don't imagine it was very fun.

It sounds like you have a tough decision to make regarding your court battle. It would be a shame if this gym owner gets away with his unethical behavior. I wish you all the best of luck.

Hugs!
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on November 22, 2019, 01:50:49 pm
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
I am so glad that you are here on your thread keeping us all up to date. 
....your followers desire to read your updates and see your pictures that you post.

I hope that your different situations that you described in your last update get resolved soon.  It is not fun to have ongoing medical issues and of course that unsolved legal issue.

My sweetie ToothFairy and I will be heading to be with her family for Thanksgiving in Montana soon.
We are planning to be out of town for several weeks, no specific date when I will be getting back home.

I might not be able to get good cell phone service and get online so I want to wish you and your wife and family a Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful and Merry Christmas.
HUGS,
Danielle



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 39



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Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on November 22, 2019, 03:16:02 pm
Danielle,

May your travels be safe and your visits joyful.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on November 24, 2019, 07:39:08 am
I just found a post that HappyMoni left over a week ago.  It appears it is a bit of a farewell.  I hope not but I fear so. There have been others with whom I have walked along my path who have moved on, it seems, as well.  Laurie, Michelle_P have said their goodbyes.  Others, like myself, stop by less often or have much less to say.  So many names.  So many good companions.

It is sad in some ways.  Sad enough to induce ocular leakage.  Still. it is encouraging.  When I first came to these pages, first as a lurker, then more involved, I was in a bad place.  All of you know the symptoms.  Since I am, now, approaching the completion of my transition, the constant presence of the angst I once endured has dissipated immensely.  At least it has for me and I suspect it has for so many others who I came to know, just a little, here.

The encouragement is for those of you who are in the throws of despair over how this situation you find yourself in can be resolved without great loss.  How this can possibly turn out well.  Rest assured, it can.   Persevere, with one another's support   One day you will look around and see that you and those you have traveled with are on to better places in your life.  I wish all well.

I am not, not yet, saying goodbye.  I am simply reflecting on a part of the journey.  One, like so many other parts that is, for me, at least, accompanied by tears.

Love and hope to you all,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on November 24, 2019, 10:16:47 am
Yes I presume we will all past the torch at some time or another. I have to admit, I haven't been following as much as I have in the past. But so far it is due to much more activity in my life now and finding to time can be challenging. To those that are leaving, it is with a heavy heart I say good by and a heart felt thank you for your friendship and support. I will always hope we all can meet again.

Hugs!
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Nicole70 on November 24, 2019, 04:39:32 pm
Hi Stevi,

I have always followed your thread, not always commented, I hope you are feeling a little better than last week when nuttin’ was easy, and I hope you have some success with your local swimming centre but at the same time don’t over stress it, some battles are worth fighting, some not so much but that’s for you to judge. I always think back to the words my Grandad always used to say to me and I think it always holds true, “don’t let the bug$$rs get you down”, he was a Yorkshireman so I’m not sure those words translate well to your part of the world but some people aren’t worth upsetting your happiness.

I too have noticed a lot of old friends leave recently, it’s sad but sometimes when the environment changes then people feel uncomfortable to hang around, I’m also feeling this way and this is probably a farewell from me too, I’ll pm you.

Hugs and best wishes,

Nicole
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on November 24, 2019, 06:36:37 pm
Hi all,

I have been in a melancholic mood today. On the verge of tears throughout. I, along with my wife, attended a UU service this morning.  The closing hymn, "We Laugh, We Cry" (Shelley Jackson Denham) was one I thought apropos to my mood. I dared not breathe the words as the fellowship sang them.  The last verse is as follows: 

We seek elusive answers to
the questions of this life.
We seek to put an end to all
the waste of human strife.

We search for truth, equality,
and blessed peace of mind.
And then, we come together here
to make sense of what we find.

And we believe in life,
and in the strength of love;
and we have found a joy
being together.

And in our search of peace,
maybe we'll finally see:
even to question truly
is an answer.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on November 28, 2019, 10:57:10 am
I just got an automated phone call.  My insurance provider has approved my physician's request for approval for the procedure.  The caller was not a person so I could not ask for the details.  But, the only request for authorization I know of is for my bottom surgery.  So, I guess, I have finally made the next milestone of my journey.  The tentative date that was entered into the request is January 7th, 2020.  There are a couple of details to iron out with other appointments so that may not be the actual date.  I will contact the surgeon's support staff on Monday to deal with that.


Down to about six weeks!   Big smile!

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Nicole70 on December 03, 2019, 02:46:00 pm
Wonderful news Stevi, so happy for you!

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on December 04, 2019, 04:31:07 pm
Nicole,

Thank you.   I hope all is going well with you.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: JudiBlueEyes on December 04, 2019, 07:47:55 pm
Very good!  I hope that was what it was for.  That date is approaching fast!
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 15, 2020, 08:06:18 pm
Hello to one and all,  Or, no one,

I have not been in these parts for quite some time.  Getting on with a busy life, mostly.  I do have a couple of things to report.  Just to tie up loose ends, I suppose.  Maybe, there is someone there from those days gone by that might be wondering what happened to me.

If you recall, I was involved in a lawsuit over being kicked out of the gym my wife and I were members with when I inquired about a transgender policy.  Well, it has been settled.  I cashed a check.  I have the right to tell my story in my own words except I can't identify the gym.

Bottom surgery?  After a string of hurdles that included the surgeon leaving her post to start her own practice, subsequently offering to return to do the operation, the legal department stepping in and saying "no way", followed by another surgeon beginning to set things up even to the point of having insurance approval only to be halted by Covid's effect on non-emergency surgeries my wife and I are packed for a flight in the morning to make the last preparations on Friday for peritoneal vaginoplasty surgery this coming Monday the 20th.

My journey to this point has been a lot like that run-on sentence that you just read.  I made the decision April of 2019 to do this.  I had to get my medical team letters re-issued because they were more than a year old. I have only gotten the date set in the past month.


Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 15, 2020, 09:45:34 pm
@Stevi
Hello Stevi:
You certainly were missed by many of your followers, certainly me included.
Thank you for coming back to your blog/thread to get us all updated on what has been going on in your life.

Your last post here on your thread was in early December,  7 months ago!!!!! :o

I am so glad to read that your lawsuit with your local gym has been settled and you have a check deposited in your bank account as a result!  That is very good news indeed.

Wow, surgery is approved for you finally!!!   Congratulations.

Please continue to keep me and the rest of your followers updated, we want to root for your success as you report what is going on.... we are your biggest fans.

I am hoping that I won't have to wait months and months to see another update from you!

HUGS and best wishes....  wishing you well with your surgery plans.
Danielle

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 17, 2020, 06:28:59 pm
Danielle,

Can always count on you.  Thanks for taking notice of me scurrying by in the shadows.

Yes it has been a while since I posted.  I have dropped by to peek in on my friends among these pages.  I did not have much connection with most of them outside the one here.  Without them it just did not seem like there was much for me to say anymore.

Besides, my time has been full with some advocating for others and a busy life where I live as myself with few difficulties and more friends around me (even with Covid) and lots and lots to get done.  I no longer have the great need for the support of others that initiated this particular thread.  So, life is good for me.

I will come back after this coming Monday's grand event and report back on how I am doing and how things are going.

Hugs back to my northern friend,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: steph2.0 on July 18, 2020, 06:16:57 pm
Danielle,

Can always count on you.  Thanks for taking notice of me scurrying by in the shadows.

Yes it has been a while since I posted.  I have dropped by to peek in on my friends among these pages.  I did not have much connection with most of them outside the one here.  Without them it just did not seem like there was much for me to say anymore.

Besides, my time has been full with some advocating for others and a busy life where I live as myself with few difficulties and more friends around me (even with Covid) and lots and lots to get done.  I no longer have the great need for the support of others that initiated this particular thread.  So, life is good for me.

I will come back after this coming Monday's grand event and report back on how I am doing and how things are going.

Hugs back to my northern friend,
Stevi
All the best, Stevi! I’m still dealing with after-affects of my surgery back in September. My case seems to be unusual, though. I’m sure you’ll have a much easier time than I have. I’ll be thinking of you on Monday!!


- Stephanie
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: mm on July 18, 2020, 08:49:49 pm
good luck and let us know how you are doing.
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 19, 2020, 05:11:36 pm
Quote
All the best, Stevi! I’m still dealing with after-affects of my surgery back in September. My case seems to be unusual, though. I’m sure you’ll have a much easier time than I have. I’ll be thinking of you on Monday!!

Sorry to hear that you have had a bit of a challenge with your recovery.

I appreciate your good thoughts for me.  I'll be reporting when I come out the other side.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on July 21, 2020, 01:29:09 pm
Hello again Stevi. It has been a long while indeed. Wow yes, much as happened. First, let me congratulate you on winning your case against the gym. And second, I assume you are now in recovery? Wow hun! Congratulations again. Yes the COVID mess has been just that here in my neck of the woods. Closure after closure and beginning to wonder if at all this year that I will get to be a complete woman. I'm glad to hear some of us are still moving forward.

Hugs!
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 25, 2020, 02:14:05 pm
Time for a proper update.

Penny and I arrived well before my 11am appointment.  The surgery was set for 1 pm.  It got delayed because the OR with the robot was in use still with an operation that went long.  I got into the room about 2:30.  The room was full of people.  This is a teaching hospital so every principal had two or three shadows.

They had to use ultrasound to find my veins for the two IV  ports.  Gave me a spinal block.  Lights out a little past 3 pm. Awake in my new living quarters at 11 pm.  Six hour operation.

I was warned the spinal block would wear off before 24 hours. The pain never came.  A little discomfort is all right up to now. Tuesday, Wednesday went great.  Up walking the halls, feeling good.  But, Thursday was bad.  Chills and profuse sweating.  Upset stomach and nausea.  Light headed.  My surgeon had concerns about a clot in my cht.  An EKG and an X-Ray in my bed.  The EKG was fine. The X-Ray did not show a clot but it did show a layer of air between my right lung and my rib cage.  Pulmonary specialists added to the mix.  Back on O2.  Hoping to help my body absorb the gas.  Another X-Ray, but in radiology.  Had to stand up for two images and get in and out of the gurney for transport.  Doable but not fun.

Yesterday was better.  Second X-Ray read showed no change. Nothing to do but watch.  Left me on O2 and monitored blood saturation.  100%. Still had stomach problems.  Managing that.

Packing came out yesterday.  A little ahead of schedule.  First dilation this morning.  Dr Roth, Penny and I in the room.  Went well.  No pain.  Good depth. Penny teased me about the girth, though.  P1.

There are a couple of labia drains that need to come out and the catheter tomorrow morning.  If urination is OK, I expect to go home later in the day. 

Home for now is a condo in Indianapolis.  We are staying in town till the 8th of August.  I have a follow-up on the 7th.

Feeling really good now.  No where near the pain I thought I would have.  After the surgery anesthesia, just a couple of Tylenol every twelve hours.

Pleased as puunch,
Stevi


Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 26, 2020, 06:34:45 pm
I am home!  I am feeling good.  Tired. It has been a long day for both of us.  Awaken early.  Catheter out first thing.  Discharged and home at about 2:45. The hospital pharmacy was closed for Sunday.  We had to get the prescriptions filled on our own in an unfamiliar city.

Happy, tired, settling in,
Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 26, 2020, 07:46:24 pm
@Stevie
Dear Stevie:

Wonderful GOOD NEWS report!!!!
I am so very happy and glad for you.


HUGS and HUGS,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: ChrissyRyan on July 26, 2020, 07:51:12 pm
I am home!  I am feeling good.  Tired. It has been a long day for both of us.  Awaken early.  Catheter out first thing.  Discharged and home at about 2:45. The hospital pharmacy was closed for Sunday.  We had to get the prescriptions filled on our own in an unfamiliar city.

Happy, tired, settling in,
Stevi


Welcome back home.   :)
Do have a wonderful week ahead.  :)

Chrissy

Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on July 27, 2020, 01:57:05 am
Thank you, Danielle and Chrissy
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Donica on July 30, 2020, 10:33:30 am
Congratulations young LADY!

Hugs!
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Paige on August 02, 2020, 11:15:17 am
Amazing Stevi, glad it went well.

Regarding your peritoneal vaginoplasty surgery.  Do you still think this is the best option?  Did your age make getting this procedure difficult?  I'm 58 and I think it sounds like the best way to go, but it is still relatively new.

Thanks,
Paige :)
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 02, 2020, 02:57:58 pm
Paige,

I have not a great deal of experience yet.  But I think there are a couple of pluses.   Though some of this will vary with individuals, I think some of it is inherent to the method.  I have full depth, already.   The cylinder they formed from the peritoneal tissue was pulled through and closed off way up there.  The peritoneal tissue was not entirely severed from my body.  They did not have to move any tissue from somewhere else (requiring it to establish a new blood supply) to give me that depth.  My penile tissue would not have done the task all by itself and given me much depth.

Pain from dilation is minimal.  Really none except I am testing moving up a size.  The stitches connecting the penile skin to the peritoneal tissue are still a little bit of a problem and will be, I suspect, until they have fully dissolved in a few more weeks.

So far, I am very happy with my choice.  It is not as new as you might think.  It is relatively new for us.  As I understand, the technique has been used previously for women lacking a vagina.  Not all that common but not unknown.

I just got back from an almost two mile walk.  Slow pace but no problem at all.

Tomorrow will be two weeks from my surgery and time to return to my little blue pills.

My biggest problem has been my body's thermoregulation system.  I tend to be cold-blooded on the best of days and the operation put me into a bit of shock, I think.   The one really bad day I did have was when my body's thermostat went through a reset.  Since then I have been fine.  That chilled to the bone feeling is gone.

So far, I have no reason to second guess my choice.  Ask me again in about thirty years when I am finished with it.  :)  >:-)

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Paige on August 07, 2020, 09:32:17 pm
Thanks so much for the reply Stevi.  The more I read about this method the more I'm convinced this should be the standard method.  Hopefully surgeons practicing the old technique will soon realize this.

One day hopefully I'll follow your lead.
Thanks again,
Paige :)
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on August 11, 2020, 02:28:18 pm
Paige,

You are welcome.

I am a very healthy 70 yo.  I have never had any abdominal problems or trauma so that made me a good candidate.  I was warned that, in the event they could not get the peritoneal tissue they needed, they would use part of my bowel for the vagina lining.  Once the procedure was begun, some tissue source was going to have to be used.  There may be other options in other girl's situations.

I am still recovering well. I still get up and down a bit gingerly but I am mostly back to normal with moving around and living life.  Load restrictions of 10 lbs are still place but I am driving.  No baths or swimming, yet.  I have not had to use any narcotics for pain.  Down to 1000mg Tylenol twice a day.,  Probably will reduce or discontinue that soon.  Much of the swelling is down.  Stitches are still there but not too awfully annoying.  Some sensation in the clitoris but I can't call it pleasure at this point.  Too early to push the envelope on that yet, anyway.  I was/am concerned on that front since I had lost most sensation from a severe case of phimosis some years back.

Stevi
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Paige on August 12, 2020, 07:51:01 am
Hi Stevi,

It sounds like your recovery is going very well.  I'm so glad for you.

Thanks for the details. It really helps.  Hopefully one day I'll go through the same process. :)

Paige :)
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Northern Star Girl on October 18, 2020, 12:00:52 pm
@Stevi
Dear Stevi:
Where are you? ??? 
It's been well over 2months since you have posted anywhere on the Forums...

As one of your followers I very much miss reading your updates.

I trust and hope that you are OK and staying healthy and safe.

HUGS,
Danielle
Title: Re: Stevi's Saga
Post by: Stevi on October 23, 2020, 06:38:43 pm
For my dear Danielle way up there in the northern nether regions.

I am doing well.  Busy as all heck.  The good thing is that, apart from my daily appointments with a dilator, absolutely none of it is tangled up with gender identity issues for either me or my dear wife.

I am involved with my UU congregation.  Most especially with seeing that all the pieces for our Sunday Zoom services get gathered up from week to week and streamed out over Zoom and Facebook.  For anyone who might be interested you can look up the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of New Bern on FB and view the many services there beginning back in the spring.  I was very much involved behind the scenes in the majority of them.  I did the presentation for a very early one.  You are welcome to watch the live stream on Sunday mornings at 10:30 am.  We go live at 10:20 am and the 10 minute preservice period is worth a look, too.

There have been a lot of other goings on.  We get to the Y's pool in the early am for nearly an hour six mornings a week.  We bought and moved into a new home here in New Bern back in January.  Had a lot of cleaning and painting to do around our living in it. Still trying to filter through the stuff we move into it.  That is hard to keep working at but it is being slowly conquered.  There were interruptions along the way.

My bottom surgery and all the drama around getting it done.  You will have to look backward in the blog to get a better picture of that.  I don't have a lot to say now.  I will say this.  It is over.  I am pleased pink. The hospital and surgeons billed for over $100K.  The insurance paid about $25K.  My portion came at just north of $1600.

Along the way I had cataract surgery and the wife had a retina surgery with a 6 week downward facing recovery period.  That is all in the past.  They both went well.

I have been maintaining two homes since January.  Besides the lawn work I spent a few dollars and some elbow grease to spruce up the "country estate" out in Oriental for sale.  It is under contract now.  The closing was supposed to be this past 16th of October but the buyer's bank SNAFUs have the date moved out to November 12th.

One of the compromises my wife made when we bought this house was that she could/would live with the kitchen until the "county estate" sold.  Then we would remodel it.  In anticipation of getting our equity and capital gain in our greedy little hands, we have been planning that.  We did go ahead and buy a new propane stove to replace the electric range that came with the house.  It was a $2000 unit that had been dropped.  I got it for less than $1000 and with an afternoon of minor disassembly and some sheet metal work it is perfect.   After running a propane line that piece of the new kitchen is in service.

Well that should give you some idea what life has been like.  Crazy. Busy. Happy.  Useful.

I do drop by here once in a while to check on what is happening here.   Some of the friends that were active when I was so desperately in need of the help they gave me are still around.  So many are like me, I suppose.  They have overcome the overwhelming presence of the gender questions scurrying on the squeaky wheel in their heads.  Moved on to do what life is calling them to do.

There are some active posters from my bygone days, still.  I do thank you Danielle, and others like you, who are holding the torch high so our brothers and sisters can find their way through the darkness.

I started this thread in time of crisis in my transition.  Before that I lurked for a long time. I only occasionally posted.  Trying to work through the gloom and fog.  It has been a long journey for me and my wife.  Some steep and rocky terrain to be traveled.  But we have arrived.  I hope my story engenders hope in others.

I will drop by from time to check on some of you.  Till next time.  Peace.  Love.

Stevi