'You need an attitude adjustment, young man!' That's what my dad would say to me growing up.

At the time, I never really understood what he meant, now I do.

Fear of being exposed is something that every transgender experiences at some point. First we are scared of anybody finding out. we are afraid of what they will think of us. I think we don't yet know what to think of ourselves.

When I started going it was scary. I was still afraid of what people thought.

The first time I went through a fast food drive-through it was terrifying. First time to a store I almost turned around and left before entering.

But time passed, and so did my fear.

Today I went to the hospital for a X-ray. The admissions clerk looked at my paperwork, looked up at me and aid 'oh!' (All my legal docs are in my male name)

She was sweet and obviously a bit curious, so I offered to answer any questions. She was really happy and asked away.

Next I sat in the waiting room, waiting to be called in. Soon I see a technician, looking at her chart and scanning the waiting room. When I made eye contact, she mouthed my male name with a questioning look. I followed her and got the X-ray. She was pleasant and chatty.

Upon leaving the hospital, the admissions clerk, stood up and leaned out of her cubical and shouted 'Goodbye Jess!' , big smile on her face.

It's not these people that needed an attitude adjustment, I was me.

I the past, I would have been afraid of what they would think of me.

Now I view every encounter as just plain fun. I love the reactions I get and look forward to them.


There has been a lot of Caitlyn bashing of late. 

When she appeared at the Chicago House Speaker Series luncheon for the Chicago House, she was met by a group of angry protesters. The husband of slain police office returned her posthumous ‘Woman of the Year Award’ from Glamor magazine, because they awarded this year to Caitlyn. Rose McGowan has written and angry letter to her, saying she does not know what it’s like to be a woman.

First an Olympic hero, next the brow beaten husband of a reality show, then brave and courageous human, coming out as trans on national TV. Then she was the vivacious pinup cover of Vanity Fare, and star of her own reality show. Nowshe is the subject of public backlash.

Let’s look at this new turn of events. 

What were the protesters angry about? Caitlyn was not representative of Transgender people, she has too much money and her life is too easy. How about the Husband? He did not think Caitlyn was woman enough and tainted the award. And Rose McGowan, again Caitlyn is not woman enough for her definition.

So, according to the angry public at large, Caitlyn is both not trans enough and not woman enough. I have to ask what they want, for her to transition back and apologize for the whole thing?

Let’s start with the protesting trans. I’m sorry ladies, but your economic status is not a prerequisite to being transgender. I have trans friends that are poor, and have suffered. This is certainly a bad thing. I lead a comfortable life, does that preclude me from my feelings? Do I make too much money to be trans? Does my lack of suffering negate my lifelong desires? You are imposing an impossible set of standards and to be honest, just sound jealous. Get over it! Transgender is a non-discriminating condition. Anyone of any economic, religious or ethnic background can be trans. Stop the reverse discrimination, all of your lives would be worse without Caitlyn. She has dragged the public kicking and screaming into realization that we exist. And I am grateful.

James Smith, really? Glamor giving this award to Caitlyn has somehow changed the heroism of your wife? Did it change what she did on 9/11? Are you to judge the value of her honor on your opinion of every recipient in perpetuity? If next year it is awarded to someone you approve of, will you ask for it back? Your wife was a hero, you seem to be the kid that takes his ball home when things don’t go his way.

Finally Rose. Oh Rose, how I used to admire you. You were always my favorite in anything you appeared. But Really, Caitlyn does not know what it is like to be a woman? Of course not, but you have no idea what it’s like to be trans. To always look at women and wonder what the hell went wrong that stuck you on the wrong side of the gender fence. Watching others wear the things you longed to wear, doing the things you wanted to do. I would venture a guess that Caitlyn has spend far more time in her life contemplating what it means to be a woman than you ever have. She dreamed about all the things that you take for granted. 

Does Caitlyn have her flaws? Absolutely. 

'Let they without sin, be the first to cast stones. '

Not alone

Alone: First I was alone

When I was young I felt completely alone with my transgender feelings. No one I knew seemed to even consider that anyone could be that way. I think this issue is true for most, if not all transgender people.


Two: Then we were two

I'm unusually lucky that in college I met a woman who acknowledged that people did feel this way, and was perfectly OK with it. I married her.

She gave me two daughters, and gave them her genes. My contribution to their gene pool did not result in any transgenderism being passed along, but her acceptance and kindness did.

Four: Now we're four

I sheltered them from the T word until they were in college themselves. Their reaction has been remarkable. Most of my transgender friends would kill for the support I get from my family.  

Five: one more

Eventually every dad, transgender or not, has to see their daughters move on. My oldest married a wonderful man. She choose well and Jess gained not only a son-in-law but a new supporter.


The early days saw little time as Jess, but my wife would encourage it whenever I expressed a need. She never conveyed any distain or reluctance, it was always just a normal thing with her. 'It's who you are' she would tell me.

When the girls came into the loop, they jumped in quickly. Imparting on me all the knowledge they obtained growing up as girls. Helpful things I would have learned if I had not spent my youth as only a boy.

More important than the lessons and encouragement has been the fact that they treat Jess as a normal part of life. They attend social gatherings with my transgender friends, we dine in normal restaurants, go shopping in regular stores. This includes my son-in-law, who can compliment my outfit and then switch to tech talk with me, without missing a beat. They make me feel 'normal'.

When I blog, I blog from my soapbox, taking the role to a political level sometimes. This requires a level of confidence that is often missing from the trans world. A confidence that comes from the support, nourishment and encouragement I get every day from my family. 

So when you read my words, remember that it took a team to get them on your screen, the best damn team anyone could ask for.