A change for the better

I have not written a blog a quite a while, several months. I hope this does not regulate my link to the recycle bin on your phone/tablet/computer.

Life has been a whirlwind of change during this time and I am going to try and share some of it with you. Unlike most of my blogs, there is no point, no theme to these writings, just an accounting of my time.


Until this summer I was at best a part time person. I kept my male persona for work, local politics, most day to day business and shopping. I if had to guess I would say my time was 70% male, 30% female. Meaning my presentation, I have always been the same person inside, but it is important to me that people perceive me as I perceive myself, so my presentation we very important.

The year began with a local political upset that ended up with me as Mayor of my small town. Nothing I had planned or strived for, but in the circumstances it is the right thing to do for my town.

Late summer was finally the European vacation we had been planning for almost a year. 3 weeks of pure bliss. I made a gamble and packed more female clothes than male and it worked out amazingly well. Basically the male clothes served coming and going so I would more closely match my passport.

 Early fall found me at work, unable to stop myself from telling everyone I work with that I was Trans. Their immediate acceptance and overall enthusiasm were startling. The very next day HR was happy to update my name and photo for myID badge. I have not been back in male disguises since.

 The town is next on the list and I have come out to a couple of councilmen, the town attorney & staff and a few key people in the town. Again everyone was immediately accepting.

 Finally the small rift I felt between my brothers and their kids has been mended thanks to the actions of my wonderful niece-in-law.

 I just spent a fantastic weekend getaway with my wife, did not even bother with packing male clothes. 

 I now spend almost all my time as myself and it feels so nice. 

When I think of all the years I worried, all the imagined problems I would face, how much I failed to understand real public reception, I can’t believe how long I held myself back.

 That’s it, I’m now at a new stage in my life. I have moved on to a whole new way of living, let’s hope it gives me wonderful insight and things to write about.


Life as a transgender is full wants and desires that seemingly never happen. HRT is a slow creature that appears, on a daily basis, to be doing nothing.
 Then one day, you realize you have changed. You don't know when, it wasn't yesterday, or the day before. Little by little, minute changes happen, one on top of another until they become obvious.

I still have a few times in my life that require people to perceive the old me, the male me. At first I would just sort through my closet for bigger shirts, not shave for a couple of days. It was working well. Of late I have to buy much bigger shirts and make sure to hide things.
 4 days of not shaving produces hairs that I can see, and certainly show up with makeup applied, but i'm no Don Johnson, and to anyone more than a few inches away, I'm clean shaven.
 When I first came out, presenting as female was a long complicated affair involving girdles, breast forms, other padding, dresses, hose and heels. Now its a pair of cut-offs and a T-Shirt.
 In short, it has now become the male presentation that requires work to pull off.
 I still have a long way to go, but I have definitely passed a big milestone on the journey.  

Stages of Fear

I’ve been writing a lot about coming out , and my latest get together with a couple of my trans friends provides more insight. 

We will call them girl-A & girl-B, and we had a nice little gathering recently. We don’t get to see girl-B much, so it’s always a treat when she's there. After much catching up our topic of talk always turns to all things trans. 

Girl-B opined that she had had little, if any, ‘girl time’. A relative had moved in with her and that made the transformation all but impossible. I have known girl-B for quite a while and I know that she really finds the thought of being discovered unpleasant.

 I can remember an occasion that we were attending an event and I was giving her a ride. She had me come down the alley and park in her garage. As I drove was away from her house she ducked down a bit until we were well clear of her neighborhood.

This is not unusual behavior. Most trans people, women in particular, raised more than a couple of decades ago have been through this. The thought of anyone seeing you struck absolute fear in your heart. I know, I was there once.

 Girl-B is quite comfortable around other LGBT people and is actually quite lively, often the center of attention. So it’s not a matter of her being shy.

 Girl-A and I often ride together to events. I drive to the front of her house and she walks out to my car. We often go to public places together, museums, movies restaurants, she is extremely comfortable in public. 

 Originally from another town, except for wife & kids, all her family and friends are in her home town. She is going home for an extended visit this summer and is quite scared of their reaction to her appearance. She is adamant that they can never know anything about her being trans, so she is afraid they will notice that her eyebrows are thinner, that her beard does not grow (laser treatments), that her hair is very long.

Girl-A is perfectly comfortable with strangers, It’s a different town and except for her trans friends, almost no one knows her. She worries only about her family and friends back home, and states she would rather die, than cause any of them the discomfort of knowing she is trans.

 Girl-B is afraid of her family and friends knowing, but is also afraid strangers. She feels that everyone will judge her poorly. The exception is her trans friends.

I know that I went through these stages myself. Originally I wanted no one to know, but I slowly added family, then friends, then strangers. 

 I wish I could say these are stages that we all pass through naturally, but this is not the case. I know many transgender women and I can see that everyone seems to find a stage they can live with and stick with it, or if they do move on to another stage, it’s a slow process. At least they all made it past the very first and hardest stage, leaving the house.

A cursory read on any of the many internet forums  will show you that the majority of the people on these sites will never leave their house. They will never get over that stage of fear that would let them meet in person, others like themselves..

So what can we do? I think that just like cis people, trans people need to get to know other trans people. And this is happening. Media exposure goes a long way toward the transgender stuck a home. But public exposure is what it will really take. Once they see others in common places the fear will lose some of it power.

 So how about my friend girl-A? She is certainly comfortable in public. Her only hope, is for her family and friends to be exposed to enough transgender people to think of trans as acceptable, then they will have to express it to her. Fear will prevent her from ever being the instigator in that talk.


Your Milage may vary...

Recently I have a chance to catch up with several of my Trans friends who are transitioning. We have known each other for some years and have all started HRT, although at different times.

The differences are quite startling. A couple have had breast enhancement, one looked fabulous, in my opinion, a perfect ‘C’ cup, The other went for more like a ‘D’ or Larger, I didn’t ask. One told me that she had been on HRT for 6 years with no breast growth, so she had the work done.

I talked to another girl who had around 6 years of HRT resulting in sizable natural breasts. She related a story about holding her grandchild and discovering her shirt soaked. Her breasts had spontaneously lactated.

When I contemplated HRT, I researched everything I could about it’s effects. I could find no definitive answers. Almost every source had at least some contradicting info. ‘You can expect growth similar to women in your family’,  ‘Past the age of 25 you can not expect any appreciable growth’,  ‘It’s all up to your genes’,  ‘It’s all up to the right doses of the right hormones’,  ‘It’s up the the zodiac sign you were born under’  and finally one actually said ‘ It’s in your mind, it you want it enough, it will happen’.

Why is the available info is so bad ? Maybe it’s that we have remained so hidden for so long, and there really is not a lot of quality documentation. I think we are on the verge of changing that.

I can say that my experience has been good. A year and a half into it and I have small but unmistakeable breasts. My skin is amazingly soft. And although it is really hard to see a difference in my shape, I can no longer comfortably fit into most of my boy clothes. Not from weight gain or loss, they are just all cut wrong. I have to buy mens shirts a couple of sizes larger. The shoulder seam hangs down my arm, but it fits through the chest. I had taken to stealing my Wife's jeans and short because they just fit better. And in a truly unexpected turn of events, I’m seeing hair on my Male pattern bald head returning. Will it fill in completely? Who knows, I hope so but am not counting on it. I always believed that having been devoid of hair for decades, it would never regrow. Pleasant surprise.

Is my experiences borne out with my friends? No, they have their own changes, at different rates and in different places. But isn’t this really just natural? CIS women experience the exact thing. I remember in school watching the girls change throughout Jr. High and High school. Some got really curvy really quick, other not so. Many would bloom as they entered college, some later, some never.

So be patient, things will happen at whatever pace your body is destined to. Relax and enjoy the ride.

Coming out at Work

Probably the hardest thing that any transgender does is come out publicly. It hangs over our heads like a guillotine poised to strike. Most of us spend years, some forever, actively preventing anyone from knowing our feelings.

But once you make the decision to live your life on the outside like it feels on the inside, you know that it has to be done.

Several of my friends are on similar journeys to mine and I spoke a recently with one about her experience coming out at work.

 She works for a large company so her first step was the Human Resources department. They consulted with the corporate office and got onboard. Her direct supervisor was supportive as were many of her colleagues. This did not stop some from complaining, resulting in her having to use a single stall bathroom, …in another building. Human Resources  intervened at the prodding of her lawyer and she can use the bathroom in her building again.


 Another friend still works in boy mode, in spite of a pair of very nice implants. She tells me she wears a big shirt, a big jacket and puts her hair in a ponytail down her shirt. Her reason is that it’s too much money to risk a bad reaction. Eventually she will apply to another company as female, thus avoiding the issue altogether.



 I am in the unusual position of being self employed as a consultant. This means there is no single HR to go to, no one place to make an announcement. I work for several companies, some government entities and many individuals. So I have multiple targets. Add to that an active political life and you end up with quite a complex problem.

 I’m taking it slowly, always a sound tactic. Starting with my individual clients, I am testing the waters. So far so good, the reactions have all been very positive, and I am encouraged. I have also informed my direct supervisor at one of my bigger clients. She was great, again very enthusiastic , even suggesting that I give a TED Talk on the subject. This clients HR is in my near future.

 Will my luck hold? Can I really just stop being Jeff and go to work everywhere Jess? Only time will tell.

A Man's Man !

I have come out to my family and friends. I tell them that it’s ok to tell anyone they want, it’s not a secret identity, I’m not a superhero!

One thing I really enjoy is hearing the story of them telling their family or friends. I am interested in the opinions of people without my presence to alter their response.

A common reply is ‘ You would not think that of him, he was such a ‘Man’s man’. These statements are usually based on shared experiences like backpacking or Mountain biking. Both activities that are perceived as manly, but are just as likely to have female participants as not.

This makes me reflect on how I behaved in the past. I expressed myself in as manly a manor as possible. I kept a beard or go-tee for most of my adult life, and although I never admitted it, it was my way of keeping me from expressing my feminine side. All part of the mask that I wore every day.

A little bit of self reflection always leads me to comparing what I have learned about myself to the rest of the world. I started looking at some of my trans friends, specifically the ones that are ‘Part time’, still in hiding from their work, friends, family and sometimes even their wives. When they are not expressing themselves as feminine, they exhibit that same ‘Man’s Man’ kind of attitude. Not the over the top attitude of a typical bully to frat house jerk, just an expression that they are a MAN, with no hint of femininity.

I can’t speak for anyone else but I know I did this as a way of keeping myself in check. A way to make it more difficult to express who I was inside. 

In the end, all I did was bottle up my feelings until they reached a breaking point where they could no longer be ignored.


Target stores did a brave and wonderful thing by publicly declaring their support for non-discrimination. 

So of course the fear mongers have organized a boycott. They would not want to shop with people that don't fear the world as they do.

So today I ask you to sign my petition showing support for Target. We need to show an overwhelming number of supporters. This will go a long way to make the haters understand just what a minority the are.

Please Sign Here