"Living As A Tranny" why i'm doing "this" "This" isn't always easy. However - I'm "stuck" with it. Here's where I sort through the everyday realities of being "T"... my new reality 12/07/03 Wish I could invest a lot of time in this entry - it's important. Alas, short & sweet. Working hard to better understand & deal with my new life. Most challenging? Letting go of that feeling I must catch up with where I was before. Know what I mean? I remained fixated on reacquiring all those prior elements of success & lifestyle. Hard to let that go. Feel a need to get back where I was...go further - as this new person. Was depressing retracing steps to accomplish goals from my past - being more challenged in their achievement. Reality? I'll never be where I was before, because I'll never again be "him". I'm the same being I always was - but I'm not the same person. I've changed. Thus, I'm forced to reevaluate all my goals, priorities & projects. Created a shortened list of aspirations. Quite difficult to liberate projects I invested years in fulfilling. Still learning I can't do everything - and still be happy. Trying hard to learn to love myself, my life - with all its messes. Second part of embracing my reality is forgiving myself for not being perfect at this experience called life. Funny - when younger I could pardon my sins with greater ease. Knew I had plenty of time. Get older? Get stingier with leniency. Trying - one last time...to love myself & all my bad maneuvers. Today is that first day of the rest of my life. Wish I could learn to embrace such wisdom with ease. Hard to love thyself in the wake of not liking my actions. Still learning to accept this one. Finally, I'm working hard to develop a new life. No desire to be "Miss Thang" - feel a stronger pull towards the limelight of normalcy. Accept I'll never be customary - but I'd sure like to live as if I was. Blending...that's always been a challenge for me. A few scraped knees, a broken bone or two - I'll get there. Likewise, while I'll always invest in my ability to present myself in a most feminine manner - I'm accepting I'll never be some sort of beauty queen. Sucks, huh? *Laugh* All in all? Learning to accept me the way I am - my reality. And that's not easy. Gotta run - traveling again. Ciao! maintaining purpose - 11/24/03 One of the more difficult challenges of transition I face? Maintaining a higher purpose for my life. Know what I mean? Transsexualism often causes me to feel like such a total fuck-up. Look in the mirror and say: "What the hell kind of life are you leading"? Then - I consider the future...increased loneliness, isolation. So exciting to embrace future pain, today. Like paying interest on money you've not even borrowed. Not fun. Try to steer clear of this mental backwater with heightened spirituality & remaining focused on worthy goals that add purpose to what this living is all about. Only problem? My goals are lofty, complex - take years to evolve. Feel like a snail in the desert. Challenged with this post-40 crap - reflecting on all I might have done differently. Up & down...down & up - makes ya' manic, even when you're not. Only real solace? "Friends". Learning that finding a dear friend is hard. However, being one - is the most vital commitment. My damn obsessive compulsive behavior cost me dearly in this department, before. Trying not to duplicate hat mistake again. On a lighter note... ...headed to Atlanta this weekend to rearrange my storage units and grab a few items for the Nashville digs. Looking forward to visiting Darleen - where would my life be without my Jewish mother? *Smile* She just passed her real estate exam - bought her a fun gift for congrats. You go, GF! ((hugs)) ...went horseback riding a week ago with Mr. Man. Can you see me - on a horse? *Laugh* The good news? I never fell off. Gotta' relish our successes where we can. *Smile* ...seem to be the only person on the planet that gains weight from the Atkins diet - go figure. Started aerobics, that's helping. Work up a good sweat - and look like hell. Works for me! ...blessed with a new & most dear friend. Got shit-faced Saturday night on three bottles of wine...laughed until my tummy ached & cried until I couldn't breath...and we never even left her kitchen. Nothing like killer girl-girl communication to cleanse a weighty soul. Crashed like a baby - in a pair of borrowed floral pajamas my grandmother would have hesitated to adorn. *Laugh* Was more rested Sunday AM than I can ever recall. Thanks sweetie - you're so cool ((hugs)) ...traveling a bunch with work stuff. Damn east-west travel wipes me out. Accomplishing things though - that's good. My future looks promising as long as I don't dwell on how far behind I am from my original plans. Why do I do that? Blonde roots - I suppose. Know I'm not making much sense. What can I say - it's a Monday. Happy Thanksgiving! "out" on a limb - 10/05/03 Thinking transition? Some newcomers begin with a notion they'll remain at least somewhat out regarding their transsexuality. If you're a lab rat - that's perhaps doable. However, if you're fairly visible: think again. It's a bitch. Few people prepared more thoroughly for transition as an openly transsexual person than moi. Since I'd already been accustomed to being identified as openly gay - didn't figure the image transition would be overly challenging. Was I ever wrong... Missed - big time. Why's that? First, I failed to accurately account for the long, long...long lead times required by others to adjust to this new person & the excruciating process of getting shuffled - in that global positioning system known as people classification. I wasn't changing my gender & subsequently running off to some far away land to begin afresh - I was staking my claim amongst existing vistas. Discovered - that's very time consuming. In business - where time almost always equates to money, these delays were expensive - even deadly. Second, many of my closest friends were transsexuals & people that had come to accept of my lifestyle. Sadly, these surroundings caused me to view the world rosier than it really is - when it comes to acceptance. Amongst environments of lofty business goals - I was a freak, period. Needed skills in dealing with that - and I wasn't prepared. Finally, I heavily underestimated the emotional fatigue I'd endure during this same evolution. Tear-filled nights, feelings of total isolation, bitter anger, excruciating frustration...name it - I've known it. It's been painful. Learned I was far more fragile than I first understood. Watched others go through similar challenges - even failure. Endured the suicide death of dear friend that simply ran out of gas. What was I doing...what were they doing...that was causing this mess? Realized - I was constantly rolling down dead end streets and finding myself afraid to stop the car, turn around - and start over. "Starting over". Can't begin to describe how hard that is - for a MTF transsexual in the midst of transition. When you've waited your entire life - to simply be yourself - and suddenly realize you need to start over for the n-tenth time...it's easy to just say "fuck it" - and continue on a path of gender transition without regard for the balance of your life. With each passing day "age" creeps up on you your shoulder & whispers...you're running out of time. For a female - transsexual or otherwise - this is doubly brutal. Aging equates to becoming less feminine - even ugly. The pressure from these emotions is a cocktail for insanity. Interestingly, I found it easier to muster the courage to continue as I first planned versus "adapting". While others sometimes admire the courage of a transsexual to be "herself" - I found it far more difficult to learn to change just what "she" is. Make sense? I agree, it's confusing to me as well. Whatever... Long story short? I'm seeing progress, beginning to realize my aims. Granted, my goals are slower to achieve than first anticipated but when it comes down to it - who cares? Three new approaches are helping: 1. I'm more sympathetic to the world around me regarding my transsexuality. Just because I was born this way doesn't give me an excuse to claim foul - if someone is troubled by me. I'm different - and I accept responsibility for this fact. Steering clear of a gender community obsessed with assigning blame for prejudice versus embracing accountability helped. I've already got plenty of excuses for my shortcomings, don't need support - in that regard. Likewise, acquiring thicker skin & developing a regimen of spiritual support were essential components to improving. 2. I adapt. When I hit a challenge that relates to my gender (which most do) - my first step is to now consider what I can do differently. Is there another way? Should I turn around...start over? I'm beginning to view these wrong turns as simply opportunities to start afresh. Know what else? My turning skills are improving. I'm adapting faster - making pit stops quicker - and thus, losing less time with each setback. 3. I work harder. Being different offers every excuse for others to say "no" to my proposals. Simply started I've come to understand the quality of my efforts must exceed this barrier. The only way I can overcome that challenge? Work my ass off... On a lighter note - finally acquired a belt I lusted after for a couple of years. Know me? Know this - Renee's got a big, big belt fetish. For some it's shoes...others crave unique jewels. My world gets rocked by chic belts, period. I start fidgeting - even break sweat - when I witness a new design I find appealing. Proud of myself - waited almost two years to pick this one up - the 2001, heavily-tooled black leather YSL gypsy belt designed by Tom Ford...yum, yum. Opening year prices - even on ebay - were ridiculous. Even acquired the matching purse - made my quarter. It's the little things...that make life worth living. Stay tuned...the journey continues. Ciao! RR a new beginning - 10-19-03 Forty-six days...been awhile, huh? Swore off this on-line journaling. Convinced it wasn't helping anyone - least of all...me. Guess what? I was wrong. Tonight, chatted with a friend - of a friend...of a friend. In other words: a stranger. Long story short - she sold me on how this journaling can change lives. Accordingly, mine...changed hers. Subsequently considered her words for almost an hour. Not sure where to start. Recalling why I quit. Does the world have a right to know my life & innermost feelings? No - it doesn't. However, if it's possible that my ramblings can help one person in a positive way - could I ask for anything more - from any activity I'm devoted? I don't think so. Thus, here I am. Where do I start? Soooo much is happening...changing. Probably best if I catch ya'll up slowly. Sadly, don't have time to discuss much detail this evening. In summary? Been humbled - by my life, transition - and its challenges. That detailed plan I spent a year preparing for a new life & the launch of my new career? It went right out the window. Nothing - is happening as planned. Remaining openly transsexual as I move about the world? Can you say...put a bulls-eye on that silly bitch? Still haven't given up that vision but I'll be the first to admit, it's a nightmare. Still...I continue to believe it's necessary. Society dictates we either go stealth, live as hermits, turn tricks - or burn at the cross. I know there's a path amongst all this heavy foliage I'm traversing. Keep believing - one more sling of the machete - and I'll see it. Not giving up just yet. My biggest challenge? Learning to manage my childish temper. That's hard. I'm passionate - but I sometimes direct my passion negatively. Difficult to admit I can be so childish. One of my most compelling new insights. If you actually know me - then you know - there's the good - the bad - and the total f***ing bitch. *Grin* Need to wrap this up - headed to New Jersey tomorrow. Oh boy - I'm just so excited about that. *Laugh* We'll chat again soon - missed ya'll. ((hugs)) As Ever, Renee my swan song - 09-03-03 Well...had to happen at some point and this is it...the final entry into my on-line journal. Life as I knew it, is about to end...just as the life I imagined - begins. This journal was an essential component to my success in connecting these polar dots. Certainly wasn't a straight line, never been famous for flying efficient routes. Still - it got me "here" and all in all, I'm ready. I started my on-line journal with a two-fold purpose. First, I'd become stagnant in my "writing" at this web page. I believed if I began publishing my thoughts & feelings "publicly" - I'd regain fresh perspectives for future content. Second, I hoped that by openly revealing myself & my stumbling blocks - I'd illuminate better paths for gals in the future - less, my mistakes - of course. Like to think I accomplished both those aims. To my old friends - those that followed my odyssey as it occurred - can't ever thank you enough. You were my rock...cheering inconsequential feats as vital - making life seem special when it really wasn't, like family. You were also my angels - cradling my soul when I fell from grace. We went though a lot together, couldn't have survived without your love. Most importantly, you are my friends - which means we'll always be linked at the heart. "Thank you" - and God Bless each & every one of you. **kiss** For those reading this journal for the first time..."welcome". You've discovered a two-year voyage of a life - filled with "living" - as a neurotic transgender person. You'll encounter moments of love, glimpses into beauty, detours into despair, even a handshake with horror. This - was my mirror. Always hoped others might see themselves in it - and know they're not alone in their quest to remain beautiful, as a person. Doubt I'll ever journal publicly again. Taken shots over this, even ridicule. Got a lot - gave a lot. Like most adventures in life - breaking even feels like a winning hand. If I ever again share my innermost thoughts & feelings with the world - it will likely be in the format of a book, but I wouldn't bet on it. Does this mean I'm through writing at reneereyes.com? Nah - quite the opposite. Regained my desire to expand this web site. Thus, journals end means I now begin - that less selfish task of publishing fresh content for the benefit of all. I'll likely incorporate these journals as part of the learning process into the "t-girl survival guide" as I begin updating all sections. A little teary-eyed - so I'll wrap this up. Know that you'll always be in my thoughts - and your dreams - will always be in my prayers. As Ever, Renee i believe in god - 09/05/03 Finally - begun making friends with "death". Impossible to do - without some basis of spirituality. In that process, I never let go of anyone I love, that died. I tried carrying them with me. Finally, when my mother was laid to rest - the load became unbearable. Every time I nudged by life - it's challenges - I'd almost fall under the weight of dead bodies upon my shoulders. I'd fall, drop one, then another - walking in circles as I attempted to reassemble my load for continued journey. How could I accept a new family? I was too busy caring for my old one. Hurt some people along my way in sorting this out. Kept testing their ability to love me unconditionally. Didn't understand - such endearment is a child of giving - not taking. Came a day - when I had to let them go. Found out...this is where God comes in. He carries them , looks after them - even grants access when I need to be held. Was really hard to let them go, perhaps the most challenging weeks of my life. One at a time, I said goodbye. Hard to imagine my life without them. Lost God for a number of years in my life. Rejection from his followers - mistook, as abandonment by Him. Live in a pretty very strange world. Those in majority? They cast judgment upon other creatures based upon their interpretation of God's truth. Sad - very painful. I know one truth - didn't choose to be this way. What person - even remotely sane, would "choose" this disruptive lifestyle? Got news for ya - nobody. I was born this way. Know what else? I believe everything on this planet was put here for a reason - and that they're are absolutely no mistakes in that regard. We're all intertwined in an evolving nest of social & spiritual Darwinism. Like to think...God made me this way for a reason. Believe he anointed me with particular training, skills & gifts - so that I might subsequently play a minor role in helping others realize I'm not sick - I'm just different. And so are a whole lot of people just like me. Hard some times - to retain faith when a world seeks to remind you that you're ugly. Imagine...your name is "Jones" - and of course, you were born to that name. Watching tonight's news, you endure yet another headline: "The Jones family - and anyone named accordingly are all sinners. They can never marry in the eyes of God or the catholic church. What sort of holy body would take away my right to sacred vows with another human being? You could lie - say you're not really a "Jones" - would make your lifestyle a bit easier but your "life" would be even more challenging. To deny self - is to deny happiness. All of this - in the name of God. Yep - easy to forget, that's "man" speaking...not God. Been thinking...convinced - only the lamb knows the real meaning of life No worlds to conquer, no predator is she. gets to see the fallacy of the lion. alone - 08/06/03 Talked at length last night via phone with a male friend I find appealing. He's unique - tends to state his mind. Anyway...towards the end of our conversation he made a statement in the midst of a discussion about just being friends and having fun together - "But Renee, you're looking for a husband". I got quiet. Was weird - like all this time my hand had been continually reaching into a cookie jar and suddenly someone noted - "Oh, you're eating cookies". Felt as if I accidentally back into my emotional rose bush. Fun...when we get caught in our own thorny paradoxes, huh? Thought about that as I lay in bed last night. Still on my mind today - bothers me. I emulate habits of women I admire. Likewise, try to steer clear of less appealing patterns. When I lived "as a guy" - despised women obviously in search of a long-term male companion. Know what else I noticed? They usually made poor choices. Not natural for women to hunt men when it comes to companionship. Males don't like being hunted - represents captivity. Gotta' get clear of this "I need love" mode. Unhealthy - even dangerous. Safe to say it started with the death of my mother - was electrified when I stared at those graves of my loved ones - and festered as I dealt with this challenge of living so very differently. Shit-load of baggage, huh? Just laughed aloud at my solution..."find a loving partner" - like attempting to replace a full-grown limb with a seedling. Can't say I'm depressed - feels more like bitterness. Frustrated that my choices leave me here - alone. Angry - that everybody died on me, leaving me - alone. "Alone" Why can't I make friends with that word? Sounds like a few hundred bucks of therapy to me...*Laugh* notes from the far side - 07/01/03 Long time between updates, huh? Anybody miss me? Yeah, yeah...whatever. *Laugh* So much happening. Guess the good news is that I'm not on-line very often, busy "living" instead. Strangely, that makes me happier. Had a nightmare with my damn phone line. Couple that with the fact I'm "waiting" to install a cable modem until I move (across the street - larger place) - hardly been on-line. Thus, I couldn't update. Don't ask me to explain all this - too bizarre plus I'm too computer illiterate. How about updates by "category"? Works for me... The "F" Word Even with all the work, moving & recent travel - still found a bit of time for the "f-word". You know...fun, silly. "Worth noting?" Attended an AIDS fundraiser during gay pride here in Nashville known as "Night in White". Took a photo of my ensemble in the parking garage that I just uploaded as July's "Photo-of-the-Month". Sadly, there was very little lighting & the picture came out rather "fuzzy". In case it's not obvious - I was not in good spirits - had a splitting headache. Four Advil plus a few drinks later - was smiling, making new friends & chatting up a storm. Here's a photo by the event photographer of me & my roommate "John" - when I feeling noooo pain. *Laugh* Only been a "bad girl " once amongst the local gay / DRAG bar scene. Had fun but not "up" for a repeat anytime soon. Got totally shit-faced and was fortunate I didn't get into trouble. (Thanks - for getting me into that cab, Katrina...((hugs)) Into my work projects, transition, plus future dreams - don't desire much edgy adventure. Found a laid back bar I enjoy with enough socialization & dancing to satisfy my palette - and still get myself home by midnight. Gotta make special note of my newest GG friend "Lynn" - she's extra cool and I adore her. Pals today - and hopefully, friends for life. ((hugs)) Surgical & Cosmetic Worth noting - none of my planned investments in this regard are what you'd call "over the top" - everything's designed to either transform features to a more feminine appearance or enhance proportions. Embraced the fact I'll never be some "knock out". I accept the fact that I'm "42" years old...it's not 'gonna get better "appearance-wise"...from this point forward. Don't consider myself "ugly" - just embracing where & "what" I am. My goal? Attractive features combined with an elegant presentation topped off by edgy fashions. Sounds like "me"...*Smile* A little behind schedule on certain surgical dates - nothing major. Still be "done" and beyond swelling, etc - by year end. For Love of Love Strange combination of "events" in this category. Residing happily with my roommate "John" reminded me - I relish living with another person whom I care about. Simply stated? Some people live on their "own" with ease. I'm not one of those people. I need - I want - I'll "have"...a loving & committed relationship. The twist? Got "dumped'...again. Ain't been my year when it comes to matters of the heart. This one hit me hard - more about "how" it ended than anything else. That "hurt" - a lot. I'm so tired of such pain. Spent the next full day contemplating my relationship "past" and my future. Decided...the only person I'll ever find the sort of unique relationship I desire is with another "tranz" person. Try as they might, the sort of "straight" men I find appealing can't accept some "flawed" version of femininity - and the admirer's I enjoy can't deal with my "outness". How can one embrace true love - with "conditions"? Sick of my transsexuality being an issue in a relationship. The only person where that wouldn't be the case? Another tranny... Thus, I'm in the midst of drafting the world's longest "personal ad" - and I'm going to seek "assistance" from all of you in helping me find my ideal partner. The hardest parts - as I see it? Locating another tranny that's...
"Been around the block" with all this crap and yet didn't end up an emotional or financial disaster;
Finding someone whose 100% past any gender or sexual euphoria, plus those "I'm so beautiful" & "cinder-fucking-rella" syndromes;
Someone whose willing to get past all the traditional top/bottom bullshit in a relationship;
Someone whose drug-free, near my age, and neither an ordained saint nor lost sinner,
Someone whose willing to commit, remain faithful...and whom I share a degree of common interests, physical attraction & good old-fashioned compatibility.
A cinch, huh? *Laugh* Guess what? I'm optimistic. I know there's another tranny out there "just right" for me. I'm getting healthier - emotionally speaking - which means I'm getting better suited to both identify & "be" appealing to my partner. Likewise, I'm betting that someone who visits or will drop in on my web site - knows that person, as well. I like to think I have a great deal to offer this individual- not this least of which is a very loving heart. Fun anecdotal? My roommate requested the right to draft a section of my "personal ad". Could be interesting - known me since first grade plus living with me for the second time. Only thing? Said I had to include whatever he writes "word-for-word". Straight men...total control freaks. Whatever.... Actually, I consider my roommate to be my greatest asset in this "search". We're much more than friends - we're family. That sort of support provides increased courage to "try" - and fail. I believe he'll help "put me back together" if I fall apart once or twice during this process. Had one friend mention I can't "seek" love - has to come to me. Sorry, I don't buy that with this lifestyle. I'm betting my potential partner doesn't live up the street from me. Likewise, there's timing issues. Next summer - I'm planning to acquire the sort of home I always wanted. Know what? I don't want to buy & decorate it "myself" - I'd rather wait...and make that domicile "our" home versus "my" house. Know what I'm talking about? Half the pleasure of a new home is all the good & bad memories of "setting it up". Likewise, while my current business interests would allow me to live most anywhere - I'll launch a new retail dry cleaning operation at some point in the relatively near future. When that happens, relocation (for me_ would be challenging. I'll do what I have to - I'm certainly not desperate. However, I'm 'gonna try and find my partner. "Funny". When I shared this revelation with close friends - most first questioned the "sex". Although other tranny's have rarely been targets on my radar screen, I can honestly say - I'm not worried about "the sex". Been intimate with most every type of creature on this planet. Know what? Didn't notice much difference - never been a person that was sexual orientation specific. When I'm into a person - I'm passionate. And when I'm passionate - sex "works" - period. Work & Career Ahead of schedule in this regard. Got past most landmines relating to my openly transsexual lifestyle. Learning to adapt & live within my new "minority" status. My expectations are not what I define as lofty but I'm excited - enjoying what I'm "doing". My business endeavors are in sectors I relish (fashion & cleaning) - thus, it's not really like I'm ever "working". That's kinda nice, ya know?. Spending more time on "work" than is probably healthy - a function of enhanced priority and the fact there's no "special someone" in my life. Life & Living Still get a bit lost when it comes to understanding my "reason" for living. Try not to go "here" often - rather, focus on enjoying each day as best I can. Faced an interesting paradox. As I came so dangerously close to "checking out" a few months back - found I needed a reason to live. At first...believed I could discover happiness by "giving" to others. The problem? This equated to my happiness being dependent upon future events - even "reactions". Thus, I made "happiness" a dependent variable...once again. At times, not very certain "why" I continue. Created a detailed file folder for "if" I decide to leave this place. All organized for a quick & efficient death. God, I have so many obsessive compulsive issues...*Laugh* Try as I may - I don't view death like most people. For me? The struggle is living. When I die - I usually feel I'll just be going home - as that's where almost all my family already "is". I'm not remotely fearful of dying and particularly "taking" my own life. Pretty certain that's how I'll eventually exit. Natural causes? With no family to help care for an aged transsexual? "No thanks" - I'll pass, on that vision. Living as a Woman Gaining a better understanding why gals eventually go "stealth" and divorce themselves from the gender community. As I'm getting past "transition" - my gender issues are becoming much less important to me. Since good friends are most oft developed & defined by common interests & desires - and as my transsexuality becomes a minor "focus" - don't feel compelled to develop new friends on that basis. I applaud those individuals that contribute so much of themselves for the advancement of gender-related causes, etc. However, I'm pretty much sick of the subject and all its fragile ego's. Wish I was more compassionate - more patient. Alas, those aren't my strengths. My current situation - my future plans...they're different from many transsexuals. When I'm with other tranny's - it's exhausting to explain my "projects". It's like - they're most interested in discovering where I'm "going wrong" - versus offering any decent advice on where I might be doing something "right". Trust me - I don't need a bunch of tranny's reminding me of where I'm "wrong" - the rest of the world covers that responsibility quite nicely each and every f***ing day of my life. Likewise, at times - it feels as though I'm "bragging" - hate that feeling. In comparison - when I'm amongst other "minority" business developers - we're just talking shop, sharing strategy - implementing dreams. Thus, feel I'll develop most of my new friends from my other interests & amongst minority business leaders. Whatever... That's about it. Not certain when I'll "update" again...busy, busy. Hope everyone is well... Hugs, RR a cry to god - 05/30/03 "Cried" off & on...for almost four hours yesterday. I'm not talking sniffles - I'm talking "sobs". Had to nap twice to simply "recover". "Why was I crying?" I'm getting the living hell beat of me by corporate America. Try as I may to put a positive face on myself and my transsexualism - I'm a "freak". Hardest part? Convincing this world I won't hurt anyone because of my lifestyle or presentation. Could I somehow damage profits - if I'm even remotely associated with an enterprise? It's a question I face each day. I'm learning that no matter how solid my potential is perceived - it's limited by the personal prejudices & beliefs of the listener. No commercial role models exist for transsexual success & acceptance by "Joe Public" outside the realms of entertainment and small business stealth. Thus, I'm left to twist. Keep thinking I've found a path that'll fly - only to encounter a fresh set of bricks. I'm lost in a labyrinth of stone walls & invisible ceilings. Would be lying if I said I didn't once again stare into the abyss and consider options to shorten this journey with death. I'm only human, damnit. The good news? Didn't "stay" there very long. Guess that means I'm getting better - emotionally speaking? "Hey" - I'll take any positive - wherever I can get it these days. "Today" I once again review my business chess board for renewed opportunity. It's hard - to keep starting over. Every time I think I've discovered a strength amongst my poorly positioned pieces - I get forked - like a f***ing amateur. "You know what keeps me going?" Don't laugh - this might sound silly... I recently developed a unique sense of personal spirituality - an "understanding" - between me & the Almighty. When I was a teen - I was kinda "Mr. Everything"...class prez...football team captain - you know the drill. By the age of twenty-five? I was ranked as one of the top fifty entrepreneurs under the age of thirty - along with the likes of Bill Gates, Michael Dell - all those major brands & future founders of companies now deemed as America's most successful. I was written up in Forbes - invited to the morning talk shows...the toast of the town. Mark Cuban - the owner of the Dallas Mavericks - was one of my dearest friends at these elite gatherings - only because he & I were the only ones more interested in staying "out all night" rather than listening to a speaker corps. *Laugh* Compared to my "classmates" - I'm a pretty significant failure. Oh, sure - I accomplished goals beyond the norm but nowhere near the stratospheres once expected. We both "why" that is - I was always distracted - seeking balance amongst my damn gender issues. I now embrace my alternative gender as all of me - not some hidden "part" of me. I like to "think" - no, I now believe...God allowed me that path amongst gifted WASP males so that I might first learn the skills necessary to build an enterprise of consequence as an openly transsexual person. I didn't really earn a lot of my earliest successes - they were mostly from skills which were gifts - from God. I also think he wanted me to first view the world through "privileged" eyes - so that my vision wouldn't become clouded once I was living as the leper. It's an interesting vantage point - fer sure - I now see such beauty - and I witness such f***ing ugliness. So - what's my "belief"? I'm thinking that I'm supposed to repay the Lord for my special talents by providing a successful mercantile example that helps educate the public that transsexuals are not freaks. Rather, we're high quality human beings that can play an important role in the success of any commercial enterprise. So what's the problem? The guy upstairs didn't leave me much of a roadmap to follow. Honestly? I keep getting "lost" - and I'm really getting tired of everyone the hell beat out of me. Thus - I close this entry with a prayer... "God - would you please quit f***ing around and show me the God damn path???". "Thanks", big guy - I'd really appreciate it. "Amen". Oh - and "PS" - please save me a pair of those extra-wide angel wings for when I come home. I think I will have earned em... Ciao! a healthy place to be - 05/19/03 In a very healthy "place" right now. Feels exceptional. Considered "why"...without a doubt it's most affected by the fact I feel more in control of my own destiny than in past months. Depression is rooted in a sense of "losing control" - only natural the opposite would hold true. This "road" - my plan? Been a bitch - to make reality. Finally at the river's edge - physical transition...future career as an openly transsexual female...emotional stability - all "on track". Thank God. Likewise, a more emotionally healthy living environment is crucial. "John" (my roommate) is the absolute best living companion I could have at this time. A healthy friendship, loving support for each others goals & dreams - and zero issues my transsexuality. That's ideal. Saw Darleen late Saturday night - really miss her. We talked of what it already feels like being "apart" - she got teary - I welled up - we both started crying. Held one another for several minutes whispering affections and shedding tears in the middle of a crowded nightclub - music blaring. Nobody could figure what the hell was "going on". My guess is that it's a high percentage shot we'll eventually live together as we grow older. Main reason? We wear many of the same-sized clothes. *Grin* Seriously, our bond is that special and we both recognize the low percentage likelihood either of us will end up finding a long-term loving companion. My reasons are obvious. Dar is faced with the bitter challenge of finding a straight male that's her age also whose cool with her alternative friends. You'd be amazed how challenging that is. The next best thing? A long-term living arrangement with a loving "bestest girlfriend"....with boy-toys "on the side". *Laugh* Works for me... Working hard to make new friends - focusing on "women". Why? There's little basis for competition, conversations are more appealing, and there's less likelihood of sexual issues. Met a couple of special people where I feel confident I'll develop a long term bond. That's nice. Understanding - even appreciating - the time required to nurture and develop new close friendships. Consider that - a high priority. Passionate about my dreams - confident in my plans - living in a supportive environment. Like I said - I'm in a healthy "place" right now. Ciao! i live - 05/06/03 Considered a lot lately...myself - my life. Coming to understand how very "flawed" I am. That really hurts. Sucks looking in the mirror - seeing all that "ugly" - knowing it's 100% "me". Brought me to uncontrollable tears - knocked me to my knees - almost resulted in my "end". "Know what?" I'm now focused on appreciating how incredibly gifted I am. My talents? They're far reaching. My impact's been felt globally in the past - will be felt similarly again. I'm a powerful person - my nature. Not necessarily a "good" person - but good at it. Not overly efficient - but damn effective. Know what I mean? All together? I'm what you might call "beautiful" ugly. What's "good" - is utterly breathtaking. What's "bad" - is fucking rank. Tried changing. No go. Thus, I'm learning to accept me - for all my gifts and those flaws. Do the best I can to improve both. Learning - I'm a "loner" - probably...belong that way. "Hurts" - knowing - I'm not suitable for loving another human being. Got some good friends - they know me well. Somehow...they embrace these horrid traits - remind me, of my gifts. I treasure these fine people - they are my loves - they're all I have. And I'm blessed. "Know what?" There's one trait I do best at in my "life"...I live. I live. Unfortunately, at this point in my life - I live emotionally as an adolescent female - highly insecure, very susceptible to suggestion. Wish that wasn't the case - but sadly, that's my present reality. Recently - a pair of circumstances knocked the living fuck out of me. Did I deserve it - was I wrong? Totally - did some childish things. That - is not my nature - just another part of my "growing up" in this new gender. I might try and act like a forty-one year-old "woman" - but emotionally, I'm only living as a 16-year-old "girl". That's been obvious to my most insightful friends. Guess what? You don't beat a child when they're being "childish" - you correct 'em, then nurture. They respond accordingly. I now better understand this flaw - how to manage it. I'm surrounding myself with people who understand and accept "where I am" in this regard. I need special support as I grow and converge my emotional chronology with my femininity. I live. I don't want to hide my skills - I seek to maximize them. I'm not afraid to try - fail, get bloodied, ridiculed - outcast. In this regard? I'm not child-like - I'm regal. I dare not waste another day apologizing for all that I "am" - all that I can be...all that I will be. I never lived my life situated on a park bench admiring my perfection - pointing out flaws in others. That's easy - even cowardly...because it means you're "doing" anything. I almost fell into that trap. It's not my nature. I'm most naturally drawn to error - attracted, to making mistakes. The bigger? The fucking better! I comprehend..."success comes from good judgment - good judgment comes from experience, and experience...it comes from bad judgment". Thus, as I continue to fail - I succeed. I live. This world is made up of all types of people. Those that live? They're usually kinda' messy. Lots of people only "live" briefly - spend the balance of life analyzing - fearing, those intense sensations. I get knocked out? I eventually wake up - and start throwing haymakers again. I choose to keep living - forever! It's strange - America's most famous people? They're found in Hollywood. These "actors" portray people that "live" - and somehow - we give them credit for that color. Few could comprehend the horror, the risks, the nightmares, the mistakes, the joy - of real living. I'm no actor. Rather, I'm part of that more colorful cast - that "lives". I'm a "fuck up" - but, I'm alive. I live, God Damnit! And nothing...no event, no person, no circumstance - will ever take that appreciation away from me again! Took me a long, long time to realign my male assets with this new transsexual existence. Had no interest in that fate of just "surviving" endured by most my sisters. Almost "done" - just...about..."ready". Truth be known? You ain't seen nuthin' yet... I "move" tomorrow - birthday next month. Fuck you, world - I'm alive & well!!!!!!!!!!!! a path of your own 04/24/03 Earlier in my "transitional" planning process - I was frustrated by my inability to identify a role model or "mentor" who already achieved goals I envisioned. That was depressing - scared me. Could my plans & dreams come true - if nobody else was doing them? I had doubts. This trepidation was enhanced as I tested my blue-blooded business comrades. "My crazy lifestyle a part of my business life?" Maybe - at some microscopic level of affirmative action - but nobody was willing put up with it in the privacy of the board room. Most, quickly handed me my hat - quit returning my calls. "Know what?" Things are getting much better in that regard. I'm 'kinda excited. In fact - other than the fact I seriously contemplated taking my own life recently - never felt better about my future - as a transsexual female. (Hey - at least I'm laughing at myself). ((hugs)) Naturally - I'm way behind based upon my initial goal schedule but I accept that "fate" as congruent with my chosen path. Earlier - it seemed everywhere I turned - I got creamed. "You're actually a transsexual?" Oh, then fuck off. Now - almost eerily - I'm seeing improved opportunities at every turn. Granted, modesty aside - my biz projects are killer and I'm no slouch as an entrepreneur. Still, I was first rejected - over & over & over... For anyone that hopes to conquer some larger conquests away from the security of the GLBT community or atmospheres that aren't remotely tranny-friendly (Wall Street, etc.) - I'd offer the following insights to date - based upon my "fuck-ups".
Embrace the fact you're a "freak" - To most I work with "I'm a freak". Sure - I'm a "nice" freak, even a damn skilled & relatively intelligent one, but I'm still a freak. I prefer to think of myself as queer - but that word implies much less than people often "view" me. Being freakish doesn't necessarily imply people don't like me - it means I typically first make them a bit uncomfortable. I now liken myself to those people that live with "a limb out of place" - or a similar obvious physical "difference". Account for your freakishness, account for the extra time people will need to adjust to your "difference". Hurry it - you'll likely get hurried off.
"Triple" your time estimates - If you're already highly skilled in "PERT till you drop" planning processes - I promise , you're still not ready to accurately estimate how long your larger biz goals will take, as a transsexual. Why not? There's simply too many unknown "conflicts" - and such divergences are dynamic - often taking on lives of their own. Know this - everything takes longer than expected - than you've been used to from your past. Simply stated you'll need more time & money to start & build - than ever before. Get it? ((hugs))
You 'gotta be better - I'm sorry - but I'm hard on myself "here" - and I'll be hard on my sisters as well. My business concepts must "stand out". My personal "presentation"? It's got to be surprisingly excellent. They'll be looking for "no" - like you've never "known" before. Only way we win? We've got to be the "best' - or at least, we need to be damn close. The best parallel I've heard? Amongst the larger traditional biz community we're viewed with about the same contempt as a black man in southern Mississippi in the 1950's. We win - when there's too much financial return for smart players to walk away. Business speaks one language - "money". Thank God.
I screwed up early-on in each of these departments...got "pissy" when I wasn't more easily accepted, got frustrated when everything fell far behind workable schedules - got mad when my "almost" excellent biz plans got the "blow off". Don't be "dumb" like moi - relish these minor challenges as just another part of that gift - of who you are. Tranny's rule - let's get to it! i am beautiful 04/01/03 A very dear friend just shared a most special gift - "The Velveteen Rabbit". Hard to imagine anyone as old & "different" as your truly - could've traversed life's course so very long without yet enjoying that unique arrangement of words. Being real...from being "loved". Shedding a tear - to find your way home. For a person born to a "body" - and life - so un-real...this story was particularly endearing. Now considering - all that this meant to me. So many "real" analogies...that first meeting with the other "real" rabbits...that embarrassment - hiding, all those facades carefully constructed to veil - all that I'm not. Being discarded - to finally comprehend the meaning of life - and myself. Funny...used to feel so very "beautiful" as a person. Now - often feeling "ugly"...why is that? Seems obvious at this moment. Focused - so very hard, on developing a physical presence that some junior marketing executive situated in a cubicle on Madison Avenue diligently reinforced...this - is beautiful. Bought it...sold it - all the while, knowing better. Confused glamour - with "beauty". I was blessed - "born" to a loving home. Grew up beautiful - as I was so dearly loved. Life evolved - so did I. Began feeling unsightly as I became less loved. On no day did I begin to feel so ugly as that morning in May 2000 when my mother was laid to rest along side those other members of my loving household. I'm not foolish. My lifestyle is littered with lust - that love, of the loins. To survive, l came to quickly discard well-meaning intentions as veiled attempts...to disguise love - as lust. Just now realizing - I'm "throwing out" some adorable stuffed animals full of love - and beauty. A bad habit is born...I've become so used to fending conditional affections - that I'm sometimes unwittingly returning that favor - to those I love. Gotta rethink how I clean & maintain my emotional playroom - before I end up with a chest of "unreal" toys. Guess it's all pretty simple. I am beautiful - as I am loved. Reminds me of a quote I adore: "If you want to see what you look like - look in the mirror. If you want to see what you are - look at your friends" Works for me...hope it does for "you" - as well... loving what i'm not 03/30/03 First - a few "updates"... The biggest news? Lost nine pounds...and it's still coming off. Between continual sickness & that extra cold weather - my usual winter "ten" - turned into almost twenty. First place I packed it on? "My face". Hormones don't allow for poor diet & exercise. Back in my groove...feels good - can actually "see" my jaw line again. *Laugh* Second, "little things" - keep getting better. My facial skin...it's getting smoother + that hair...it's almost all "gone". Means I wear less "make up", that's nice. My wardrobe...I do so love fashion. It's pretty much killer...for any occasion. Third, had a horrible week on the business front. Thus, didn't have much time to consider personal "issues" - focused on the crisis at hand. Finally, had dinner with my loving girlfriend Sashia tonight. Instead of our usual restaurant outing...she "cooked". Keep in mind - she worked as a chef for years, thus...it was awesome. Needed that visit - was in tears during the drive "over". So spaced out - drove three exits past her own before I realized I was "off track". I adore this woman - closest thing I have to a "tranny big sister". Really needed to air some recent personal issues. As always - her insights were exacting - painfully obvious. Wrapped up the evening by stopping in on my dear friend "John" - who was visiting from Nashville - then made pit stop to say "hello" to friends gathered at Model T. Was home before midnight...relaxed - shot a new "photo of the month"...I know - pretty lame lately, but I'm just not into shooting photos. Made coffee - sat down, time to tackle some issues. Simply stated - I'm a mess. So unlike "me". Beginning to appreciate a few horrors of "transition". It's like...I've awoken - in a parallel universe. Everything is exactly where it was - but nothing is the same. Almost as if I jumped down a hole chasing that little white rabbit...ended up in China. Forced to learn a whole new language & set of customs...keep fucking up the simplest of tasks. I'm a "foreigner" now...bias & prejudice are ways of my life. I don't "trust" like before, I can't. No longer cross a street - without first looking over my shoulder. Old friends treat me differently...but am I really different? Family support? Dead & gone. Thus, headed to the mountains this AM. No cell phone, no CPU connections, no faxes, no "thing". Just jeans, sweatshirts, hiking boots, journals, my make-up (Duh!), and "Princess". Need a break from all this. More importantly? Need a break from "me". Not sure exactly when I'll return - a few days seems appropriate. Until then...*smile*. I'll promise 'ya...nothing else really matters. My interests? They're pretty much the same - but my "priorities"...they've changed. Relationships? Wish I could laugh at "that" - could be funny if I still had my sense of humor. It's not - and I "don't". My former lover (male)...ran off with my former, former lover (TS). Jeez! I'm sorry - but that hurt...like a bitch. Tried attracting a woman I found highly appealing. So confusing...didn't know what I was doing. Fell back into all sorts of "male" actions & feelings. Not sure "who" I am in a potential loving relationship. TS? Drag Queen? Female? Male? Transgenderist? Fag? Had so many damn "titles"...not even sure of "what" I am any longer. A person? Not even sure about "that". "Chaos" Three main "sources" for this confusion...seem pretty obvious. contemplation 03/22/03 "Contemplative". That's me - this early AM. Ate too much last night - just couldn't seem to stop consuming. Full tummy wiped me out early. Busy "packing" - can you believe I'm finally "moving"? So it took me an extra year to get it together...whatever. Listening to music - Sheryl Crow's "I Shall Believe" to be exact. Part of a special mix I use to "clear my head". Not really helping. Ever get up really early some AM's....walk outside - breath in God's gifts, then subsequently "question" why you're so very busy doing everything you're doing? Me too. Know what wears me down? Being - a transsexual. I've always said I'd remain fairly open publicly regarding my transsexuality - but I'm no longer as certain. It's tiring. I'm not asking to ever be 100% accepted "as a woman" - no delusions in that department. Still, it would be nice to enjoy life as a person - versus a transsexual "person". We're either excluded - or desired - for being ourselves...gets old. How many conversations can & will I have regarding "what I am"? Is there a limit before the game warden chases me off the farm? I sometimes get trapped into spending more time telling people about "what I do" - than doing it. Not healthy. Received a fresh new "death threat" yesterday. An angry father - claimed I ruined his son's life with these desires to "be a woman". Used to "keep up" with the number of times I'd been terrorized with death, a beating, a ruined life...lost count. Survived a brutal rape & a high-speed brick to my skull - figure it'll take a pretty tough SOB to ever take me out. Don't get it - I'm so passive - why would anyone want to "kill" me? Whatever...have at it, sweetie. Standing in the line at the grocery yesterday...there's man in front of me - with his wife. Starts gives me that "knowing" glance - can't help but notice the wheels turning in his head. Did he really think I was there to subsequently give him a blow job in his car? Sure - it's the only reason I go to the grocery store. *Laugh* I'm supportive of "admirer's" of transsexuals - dedicated to helping them understand themselves - & "us". When they make a comment - often childish & sexually-based - doesn't phase me. Still, over time - collectively...they start to sting. Begin to smell that stench...gets under my skin - threatens my soul. Requires cleansing - contemplation - reminders that I'm not some sort of prostitute, a freak, a loser - just another person trying very hard to simply be "who they are" and enjoy my brief existence here on the third rock. That's what I'm doing this AM...cleansing my soul - and my sense of self. Good music, writing, positive thoughts..."liquid plumber" - for the tranny. *Laugh* My ears are now enjoying Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful". Ever meet her - gotta give special thanks for that rendition. Never fails to bring a smile to these lips & I usually end up belting t least one verse "out loud". Gotta' clean up the bedroom - one more time. Got distracted "packing" yesterday - came up with a great idea for my Kentucky Derby outfit. It's killer - a red with black trimmed riding jacket embellished with about twenty bright gold buttons paired with with a short cream & black trimmed skirt. Changed the traditional "riding collar" to a mandarin style then added a bright gold military-styled pendant right below the chin. "Regal" look - with a chic feel...my fave style. Nobel-winning physicist speaking at Georgia Tech today - got an invite to the reception. Should I do the "boy' - should I be the "girl". Doesn't really matter - fellow nerds never care. Well...Celine Dion is now telling me "I'm Alive" and Princess is nudging my knee requesting a *hug*. Think I am - and I think...I need "one", as well. Ciao! finding my smile 03/20/03 What a week! Intensive therapy...quality time with dear friends...productive work efforts...and it's still only Thursday AM. Not bad, huh? Top that off? I met a really neat guy last night. Planned dinner with Darleen - her oldest friend "Tom" joined us. He's such a cool guy...the world's best gay father & an inspiration on living healthy & happily with HIV. Poor fellow - he got stuck between Darleen & I through dinner...hard to get a word in edge wise. Wore black on black - my "Darleen" impersonation - it's her signature look. Ate too much - always do, "there" - great sushi. My "voice" - continues to piss me off. A sad by product of living "part time" - is you can't fully develop that femme voice to undetectable levels. Considering "mine" started at near FM radio tones - guess I should be thankful. Now - I just sound like some flaming fag - from tha' deep south. *Laugh* Result? People often "draw back"...when I talk - suddenly confused over my gender. Happened with our waitress last night - and again when I stopped for coffee on the ride home. I was a little "tired" - my voice deepens as I exhaust. Sucks! Anyway...I "left" Tom & Dar to catch up with one another - grabbed my coffee at the bar & chatted with the bartender, an old friend. As usual, I was cutting up with everyone inside of fifteen feet in short order. Ended up engrossed in a conversation with an extra neat guy - a writer & collector of art. I was just a "bit" enthralled...duh! It finally quit raining outside - poured last night - and none of us were wise enough to tote rain gear. Made it home by 10:30 PM...just in time to catch the latest news on the war. Anyway...I do have a point coming soon...*Laugh* Transition of gender? It's challenging. Some of you "worry" as I explore certain thoughts, fears & frustrations in this journal. Please don't. I'm starting to liken successful transition to that of a successful marriage. To make it "work" - you must deal with the most challenging issues early on. You've got to embrace the good & bad traits of this new "partner" - learn to effectively communicate at every level - and accept the fact you'll be "together" forever. Know what I mean? What I'm "doing" in this process - is working through those tough issues of my married genders. I'm attempting to address many problems early in my "marriage" - so that I might enjoy a more blissful matrimony as I make my way further down this aisle. It's very time consuming, oft overwhelming, a daily mixture of happiness & frustration, and on more than one occasion - I wish I could find a way "out". Sound familiar? I'm of the opinion - whoever "smiles" most often, during their brief visit here on earth..."wins". My challenges - and those of my cohorts...are simply related to finding and maintaining that smile while dealing with alternative gender identity issues. It's a tough journey. We're the poor stepchildren of the gay community and not readily understood or embraced by anyone - save a few horny males. *Laugh* But - there's really only one goal we seek...smiling more often - each & every day. I'm "working" on mine "here" - in hopes that others who pursue such a course might not duplicate my same mistakes... ...and I'm sincerely "hoping" - you smile more often, today! ((hugs)) much ado about nothing 02/08/03 Ever feel ugly? Me too... These feelings are presently heightened. My life's evolving from the club queen / DRAG magician to a transsexual entrepreneur woman. It's hard. My "flaws" are not so easily hidden in these environs. It'll take time, a couple of years to even get close to where I want to be. That's frustrating. I'm not going for the "cover girl" look - not my style & I couldn't pull it off regardless. Sucks when you walk out the door - and know "you ain't got it". I hate being a perfectionist...and being so very, very far from perfection. F*** it, whatever... Still reflecting upon a recent experience... Met a guy - definitely a different experience. Very, very controlling - scary. Felt concern for my safety, knew I could be in big trouble. Such a bizarre look in his eyes - can't get it out of my head. I deal with these types in my club worlds, but I'm safe there. Raise my hand - and twenty people get postal. Here, I was vulnerable - he knew that - seemingly relishing the advantage. Felt like I was a star in one of those movies on "Lifetime". Played chess - got out of harm's way. Still, I didn't see it coming - that bothers me. I'm very street-wise. Just realized - I'm now living in a different neighborhood. Spending more time as a woman... I'm up to about 40%. More & more locals - at the grocery, post office, Kinko's, Wal-Mart, my regular haunts - only know "her". I'm obviously more comfortable as a woman, than male. Duh! Not hurried, still learning. My brain has totally freaked from hormones - crossed that chasm, I don't "think" the same anymore. Weirdest part? I don't recall how I "used to" think... Still obsessed on my silly wardrobe... Like the good little obsessive compulsive I am - not yet relinquished focus on this "project". Obviously one female trait I'll never master is multi-tasking. *Laugh* I focus - it's my nature, it's how I best "learn". I seem to need the crutch of excellent fashion to give me confidence in certain environments. I'm not "down" about that. My activities already have me running in lofty circles - for a tranny - and I feel II 'gotta look better than they'd expect. Still....I always laughed at people that depended on this crap for a positive self image. Another reason to remain humble in all aspects of life & living... Quit taking photos... In case you haven't noticed, I pretty much quit taking any photos. What's the point? I look the same every day, no longer do the late-nights, and I'm not happy with my body at this moment. I'm going to totally revamp my photo gallery to looks more consistent with my present lifestyle, activities & image - but no clue "when". Just don't have the time, or interest. Welp - that's about it. Much ado about nothing, huh? Hope ya'll are well...((hugs)) life before prejudices 01/19/03 "Prejudice". Try as I might to comprehend what "that" word really meant - as a born & bred white, Anglo-Saxon protestant American male - I simply "could not". I could feel empathy - but a person reared in this favored slot only "thinks" they understand what prejudice feels like. Enter my full-fledged transsexual behavior... "Now I know". *Laugh* To be judged - before you utter a single word, to witness that trepidation from your mere presence in the eyes of a stranger - that's hard to live with...every single day of your life. This past weekend I attended a few events at the SCC 2003 planning meetings here in Atlanta. This gathering was held at the same hotel as the annual SCC conference in September of each year - the Sheraton Colony Square hotel. Guess who "else" was congruently staying at this property? The participants & parents of the "National High School Cheerleading Championships". Can you imagine what "that" mingling was like...hundreds of teenage girls ages 14-17 plus a handful of similar young males...mixed with "us"? Guess what? We all meshed...beautifully. The girls admired great make-up skill & clever ensembles - although my Saturday-night "big hair" kind of overwhelmed their young senses. *Laugh* I don't think I've ever had so many people want to "touch" my hair. The "boys" were more challenged with interaction. The threat to masculinity is tough at any age. Still, they all wanted "pictures" - and a few eventually opened up for conversation. Know what was most impressive? The quality of questions regarding transgender issues from these youths. I don't recall ever being asked such excellent inquiries - and I know I don't remember anyone "listening" to my responses as intently. It occurred to me how well all of us can interact in the absence of prejudice. In this instance - youth was the gift for free communication - preconceived notions, are just not yet "there". I attribute much of this success to quality parenting. I enjoyed the good fortune of meeting a few of these parents. A group of gals from Orlando, FL became especially dear to me - following two late nights of hanging out in the hotel lobby and ragging one another for hours. Today, I'm visiting the finals to help "cheer on" these newfound friends. I accept certain prejudices as part of my life. I'm not easy to anger in that regard as it relates to "me" - my skin's fairly thick. Still, it was an honor to enjoy a brief glimpse of "life" without prejudice. Fantasyland, to be sure - but even fantasies can eventually come true.... a dream nears reality 01/11/03 Yesterday - was special. Invested three hours studying details for the creation of a foundation in support of transgender projects. One gift I hope to bring this community is a stronger financial basis. Nobody seems challenged identifying important visions and needed support systems for transgenders - free counseling, t-friendly shelters, free web servers, career assistance, name it... Transgenders notoriously fall through existing safety nets...family is rarely supportive and existing infrastructure doesn't account for our unique needs - causing depression & failure to remain the highest probable outcomes. Trouble is - few know how to operate such facilities in an optimal manner - let alone how to "pay" for these services. As usual - I consider most issues "backwards". *Laugh* Thus, I'm focused on how to create an institution with adequate financial wherewithal, first. Sadly, these projects get very, very expensive. This past year I assisted three of America's largest enterprises in creating environments more supportive of employees and customers facing gender identity issues. While I was honored by these tasks - I remained motivated to learn about each firm's requirements for supporting this "vision" I have in mind. Merging these realities with my existing thoughts - I'm nearing completion of a project proposal with merit. I usually hesitate to include details regarding my future plans & projects "here". People become insistent, not understanding that major projects - take a great deal of time to create. Likewise, I'm not presently "doing" this with any other group or individuals. When I'm only in the formative stage of a new vista - I don't tend to work & play well with others. *Laugh* Still, I'm impressed with the improving viability of this concept - and I'm excited about "that". I used to think this dream was at least a decade away - but I now believe it can be successfully launched around 2006. That - is a good thing. *Smile* santa "arrived" - one day late 12/26/02 I just had the most emotional experience of my young female "life". It began with my search for unimaginable savings at a pair of Malls. There I was - throwing elbows with the best of 'em - and relishing the quest for high quality garb at cutthroat prices. Upon achieving quota, my shopping associate and I made our way to the Lenox Mall food court area - to add a couple of calories to our weighty paper "luggage" - and the bags carrying them. What a fabulous day! I owned new clothing and hadn't yet ruined my credit rating. I "felt" good - even looked well. This - was one of those oft-underrated moments in life, and I was relishing that experience. After taking turns guarding treasures and ordering food - we secured the only remaining location free of debris or competing shoppers. Seated at the table next to us was an absolutely adorable young boy who looked to be about four or five years of age. I noticed his father seemed busy corralling the other two children from the clan - so I struck up a conversation - quizzing him on his successes from "Santa". This lad seemed a bit on the shy side. Thus, as I sometimes "do" with a child that age - I scavenged some tableside paraphernalia - and began performing an impromptu "magic act" for my newfound pal. That - opened him up to smiles and laughter. A couple of minutes later, his sisters - and dear old dad - made their way over to "us". As my audience grew - I expanded this onslaught of "amazing" feats with the aid of loose change, napkins, packets of Equal, empty coffee cups and whatever else my young friends requisitioned from the tables situated around us. It was a cheery & pleasing encounter. When the curtain closed and I focused on the meal before me - I noticed - the boy got very "quiet". He subsequently walked over to his father - whispering in his ear - all the while, clearly staring at "me". Neither of them was smiling - and I couldn't help but observe that his father seemed to be getting emotional as they spoke. At this point - I'm gawking intently across the table at my friend with that "what the hell is about to happen?" look in my eyes. As a not yet living full-time "as a woman" transsexual - I couldn't help but explore some fears. I felt uneasy, only glancing from the corner of my eye at the "discussion" going on beside me. Anyway... This father now hugs his son - and asks for all his children to remove their food trays. He then turns to me, lightly places his hand on my now tense shoulder and begins to explain how his wife of fourteen years died about three months ago from breast cancer. He expresses that his son took her death particularly hard, almost never mentioning "her", and that their holiday was especially challenging. Thus, you know what happened after he shared what his son had just now told him: "That woman, reminds me of mommy". Immediately, the father starts crying, I'm crying, my friend joins in - and those returning children are looking frightened as they gander at these three adults broken into tears. Consequently, I reached for the boy, hugged him very tightly - and whispered in his ear "his mother loves him". I now wish I could have thought of something more profound to say - but that was about all the words I could muster as I fought back additional tears. After my girlfriend & I managed to make our way into the confines of her automobile - I totally broke down. I mean - I lost it. I'm certain any tranny would've gotten emotional from that experience. "Who wouldn't?" To be thought of in that way "as a woman" - by a child...that's very heavy stuff - for a transsexual. Still, the root cause of my inability to quit "sobbing" lay not just in this moving life experience - but also in an event leading up to it. This Christmas - I didn't "ask" for any presents. I sought no material objects from anyone. I did, however - commit a silent prayer for "something" during December 2002. I'm childless - and pretty much "family-less". If you know me personally or read any of my on-line journals this past year - you're aware - I'm a somewhat lonely camper. Thus, I asked "Santa" for a tall order - "a very special person to tell me that they 'loved me' - and really mean it." I suppose Santa must've been extra busy this year. I got my wish...one day late. I'm crying again "now" - so I'll wrap this up - with the only words that seem to come to mind... God bless us - every "one". fashionable diversions 12/08/02 I'm "up" early - it's 2:00AM on Sunday. Can you say strange "sleep schedule"? *Laugh* Can't help it. I'm working on intense projects - and I'm facing lingering effects from that damn flu I contracted before Thanksgiving. Thus, I "work" until I can no longer effectively concentrate - then I do some other "stuff" - to subsequently exhaust my mind & body - before sleeping. The exact position of the hands of the hour clock or the location of the sun - is of little importance to me - when I'm in "this" mode. Okay, I agree - that sounds a bit insane...but consider the source, baby. *Laugh* One byproduct of this focused schedule is I become acutely aware of the impact of Hormone Replacement Therapy on my emotions. Simply stated - when I become fatigued - I become highly susceptible to emotional swings. Know what I mean? It's almost humorous at times. I go to bed with all sorts of weird thoughts - I awake with a totally different perspective. I wish I had time to "study" myself a bit further in this regard. I'm sure it would illuminate some useful new habits to deal with that process. Better managing those wicked "depression swings" - would cause my life to be better - I'm sure. Guess what I find highly therapeutic when I become dog-tired? Designing new "fashions". I think I must've been a seamstress or something in a past life (not that I believe in past lives) - because I always relish "messing" with clothes. Unfortunately - in this life - my sewing skills "suck" - so I'm handicapped. "Okay" - so I'm handicapped in lots of ways - hush. You'd be amazed how much effort I'll put into a new outfit - only to subsequently "toss it" - after I finally try it on when I'm in a less "creative" mode. Ever get too "creative" for your own good? Me too. *Grin* A couple of my designs ended up in high-end fashion enterprises. Last year I created a new "belt" constructed from the arms of a "leather coat" that made its way into the Gucci line. That was a cool experience. However, this is absolutely not a commercial focus. I just find it a fun way to expend creative energy - and end up looking slightly better on one of my rare "dates". I tend to "classify" my outfits as either classy, sassy - or trashy. Outside that realm - it's jeans, sweats & t-shirts for me. Lately, I'm exploring the "sassy" concept with a bit more "chic" styling. You know...hot enough to turn heads - but not such a high temperature that I can't wear it to high-end Atlanta restaurants. I'm enamored with runway fashions. The challenge? How to affordably produce great looking ensembles in this regard. I love this version of the "sassy" look - but they oft appear "trashy" - if you don't wear the highest quality fabrics and styling. Unfortunately, both of those inputs get very expensive in a hurry - damnit. My method? I tend to try and acquire a stunning base garment of the highest quality - and build around it - with affordable trimming. I own a decent arsenal of accessories to finalize outfits - that helps. You just can't beat ebay for locating affordable Versace & Gucci trimmings, etc. - if you're patient. One look - I find appealing is the open-front "bra-less" dress, blouse or jacket. I believe this style is complimentary to a long-waisted, somewhat flat-chested "bitch" - like me. *Grin* I'm working on a pair of chic new "numbers" in this regard - but they're not completed - as of yet. It's so damn challenging to be broad-shouldered - with narrow hips...as a girl. Those pair of inputs don't work coincidentally when it comes to "glamour". Do it "wrong" - you end up looking like a DRAG queen. Get it right - you materialize into a "model". Wonder why I'm having problem in "this" department? *Laugh* Of course - the most pleasurable phase of designs - is eventually "naming" them. My most recent creation is entitled "Princess Leah - on Ecstasy". I admired those chrome-armed outfits adorned by Leah's mother in the recent Star Wars "Clones" movie. However, I decided to pass on the "ear buns" hairstyling. My face is already wide enough - thank you very much. *Laugh* This is definitely only a "clubbing" outfit - but it's pretty cool. Well - I've rambled enough. My "point" - in this regard - was much more succinct than my choice of "words". I've discovered that for me - fully exploring a unique hobby that requires no personal reflection - is an ideal outlet for my energies when I get "down". That beats the hell out of contemplating a somewhat "fucked up life". the process of a recorded life & living 11/09/02 I feel a need to clarify myself a bit regarding this journal - and "my life". First off - I'm a very busy person. Thus, I rarely "plan" when or what - I'll include in this on-line journal. When I find myself with some "free time" - or I'm in the mood for a bit of self-expression - I try to record an entry into this journal. It seems to some readers - that many of my entries sound a bit depressing - or intense. Let me offer you a challenge - try keeping your own journal. I want you to see what happens with your "entries". Do you just feel "great" at this moment - not a trouble in the world? Do you feel "that" way all the time? If so - good for you. However, I know that if that's the case - you're not in the middle of transitioning your gender. It's a challenging process. I'm "happy". I'm relatively "content". I'm challenged. I'm motivated. In other words - I'm a lady with big dreams...and the desire and commitment to see these visions through to their successful completion. If you've ever met me - you know - I work hard not to take life or myself too seriously. I'm playful in my life and living. However, I take my particular dreams very seriously. I do this for "myself" - and for the hoard of transsexuals that might eventually follow some of the unique paths I'm blazing. I'm not "down" - I'm just living. ((hugs)) And on another subject... Without a doubt - the seemingly stupidest activity I've invested a large portion of my time and resources over the past several years has been my unique "DRAG performances". For those of you that are not aware - I mix large, Vegas-level magical illusions into dance / lip sync presentations. Sound cool? Some - are fairly impressive. However...to perform a mere pair of "simple" lip sync sets - which equates to a grand total of about seven minutes "on stage" - I must invest over eight hours of "set up" time, preparation, transport, take down, costuming / make up, etc. I'm also very limited on exactly "where" I can perform - due to the needs for certain stage size & lighting. Add to this the fact some of these illusions cost thousands of dollars and the routines allow little or no time to "take" financial tips from audience members - and it would be safe to assume I'm about the dumbest DRAG performer on the planet, right? What did I do to resolve this dilemma? I just kept adding new illusions and dance numbers - of course. You know...if you're wrong - might as well be "very" wrong! *Laugh* I don't know "why" - but I kept sensing something "bigger" was buried within this type of performance. "The good news?" I finally discovered where all "this" is going. *Smile* Can't share it yet - still about a year of further development to bring my dream to fruition - but I can't help but feel great about "where" it's all headed. It's only a "hobby" - but it's important...to me. we all need "a dream" 10/09/02 Know what? I'm understanding a big reason I'm getting a bit "down"...I'm not looking forward to many things in my future...I'm no longer "dreaming". Why is that? Good question... For one - I'm a strategic "thinker". One of my few gifts - is being able to evaluate a small number of inputs - and subsequently predict likely outcomes with accuracy. I'm skilled at that. Most scenarios I envision - are either stalemates, the loss of "the queen" - or where I end up checkmated. Not fun. Two - I never got caught up in the "I'll just be happy finally "living as a female" mentality that sustains the dreams of most transsexuals at my stage of development. I'm not euphoric - I'm pragmatic. Sucks, doesn't it? Three - I'm "afraid" - too much time spent thinking - not enough time "doing". Story of my life - can't change what I am - at least not very easily. Whatever... I'm beginning to feel that "goals" relate most directly to "plans". Dreams? I believe they're most closely associated with "happiness". Know what I mean? What to do... I've decided I'm going to step back into the "forefront" in my activities - work & otherwise - as an openly transsexual person. I don't do this "stealth" crap very well. I feel like a f***ing church mouse. It's against my very nature. The world may not be ready "for me" - but it's sure as hell gonna "meet" me over the next few years. *Laugh* It's a little scary to dream "big" in this role. Why? You go from being a minor freak - to a "major" freak. Fun, huh? I'm embracing the idea of "being alone" - for the rest of my life - and I'm making "friends" with that concept. I get depressed when I think about being "lonely" - I'm sure I'm not "alone" with that thinking. ((hugs)) However - when I decide to let my heart get excited about someone - I always seem to get "hurt". I'm going to stay too damn busy to worry about it. Need to decide where I'm going to "move" by year end-ish. Miami is still my first choice - but I'm also now considering California. I dread such a long distance trip for me - and all my "stuff". Still - seems well suited for openly living as a "non-op transsexual entrepreneurial renegade" with attitude. *Laugh* On second thought - perhaps I should scour the condo market on "Mars". *Laugh* Dream? Happy! Happy? Dream! Oh, get a life Renee - that's all there really is... Happy Trails! *Grin* the year of the duckling 08/08/02 Atlanta's "weather" - was nothing short of majestic - today. The sun shined brightly - but it wasn't too hot. We sustained a gentle breeze - but even shaded spots weren't chilly. 'Twas heavenly. I tried to get a few things done "on the inside" but Mother Nature's gift eventually won out. I threw on an old Jersey & a pair of favorite jeans, loaded Princess (my Lab) into the 4-Runner - and headed to the foothills of the Smokey Mountains. I didn't take my camera - as my therapist and I've agreed that I "need" no new pictures of my femme self at the moment. *Laugh* I regretted that decision though - I witnessed some pretty killer "art" - amongst the trees. Wish I could have recorded digitally. "Princess" & I stopped at a Kentucky Fried Chicken and ended up enjoying a candlelit luncheon at a remote stream near Cherokee, NC. I recently learned how to "burn" custom music cd's (thanks Kevin *S*) - so the music accompanying our intimate setting was particularly excellent. We even enjoyed a luscious afternoon nap on our blanket-covered oasis as the sounds of Enya, Elton & Sarah M lightly riveted the indigenous lifestyles. That - was a most special moment. There's nothing like such an "escape" to help clear my cranium from those nasty cobwebs that hinder our ability to "see" those things I overlook most easily. Namely, objects situated directly in front of me. *Laugh* This will be a most interesting year "for me". So many changes - not all of which - are going well. Most of my challenges relate most directly to an awful run of procrastination. I seem fearful of making certain decisions. I now understand a big part of my trepidation is that some "moves" - just won't come out very "pretty" - no matter who I maneuver the chess pieces. They're just plain ugly. To help keep myself more "centered" during these challenges - I've decided to call this upcoming adventure "The Year of the Duckling". This is a year I will "face the music" on so many important challenges, problems, and opportunities. I want no stone left unturned - from past or present. I'm even embracing the somewhat deformed ugliness I witness in my mirror each AM - as my body goes through the challenging process of gender unification. Something about "embracing" my life - even my appearance - offered my soul a degree of solace today. It feels like it all be "ok" - know what I mean? "Today" is today. Tomorrow - I'll be a Swan. For now - I'll just relish my year as a duckling. Most importantly...let us not forget to pray for those people that will once again be called upon to recall the horror & pain endured from the loss of loved ones on 9/11/01. "God'? Please - "bless" America - on this day. lost in space 08/15/02 I "need" this "entry". I'm trying to resolve a big problem in my life. I'm thinking "out loud" here. Thus, I'm not sure if this entry will make a great deal of "sense". Strangely, I'm getting more and more comfortable airing my intimate thoughts in this forum. While I often "recast" certain details to shroud certain facts - I'm doing "that" less often. Anyway...I've always faced "this" problem. However, it seems worse than at any prior point in my life. "What's the problem?" Every project I'm buried in - is very "long term" in nature. Know the type of project I'm talking about? Projects - that are at least a year in the making. Many - are much longer. For instance...
Transition - "Duh" - this is one big-ass project. Between trying to improve my skills each day "as a female", make wardrobe additions, plan and implement upcoming surgical "adjustments", dealing with hormonal imbalances, fighting the battles over permanent hair removal, the "crap" of identity "switch", gain a few pounds - and nothing feels "right". Need I continue? Some people question my dedication to trying to become "pretty". While I recognize and appreciate that "beauty" - is manifested from the "inside" - I'm not naive enough to ignore the fact we live in a world where "pretty on the outside" is important in one's ability to "getting things done". I've come to recognize most "lay persons" first conceptualize a transsexual as "ugly". The public nature of my future career goals - as a transsexual - motivate me to create a better "first" impression in this regard. "Transition" creates some of the worst scenarios for "conditionalized" goals. Know what I mean? Should I do "that" now - or wait until I've completed my identity change? That - is always an issue. Still - this "project" is fairly manageable - and includes some "fun" milestones. Ironically, I find myself jealous at times of other "girls" that consider "this" the most daunting project in their lives. Why should I feel jealousy towards others regarding decisions I made for my own life? Good question...
Work Projects - My "work" is always buried in long term issues. While I remain reluctant to share details of those projects "here" - suffice it to say they're intense, tiring, large and "long term" in nature. Thus, I enjoy few short term milestones along the way.
"New" Career Development - I'm committed to translating my prior experiences into the a somewhat successful career as an openly transsexual entrepreneur. I pigeon-holed an excellent venture solely for this end. A test of the waters reveals I'll face a lot more discrimination that I first anticipated. I'm not convinced I possess adequate resources to overcome these obstacles. I'm scaling back my plans a bit to compensate for these combined challenges.
Performing - Like the village idiot - I "traded" what was a fun and enjoyable pastime for a grand undertaking. My new DRAG magic act is first rate. It's also extremely time consuming, expensive, will never make money, and can only be performed in a handful of venues due to the sheer size of my magical illusions. A single "dance number" - costs me several thousand dollars in magical "illusion", costuming / look, and accessories - not to mention "hours & hours" of practice and preparation. While a prototypical lip sync DRAG act can afford timing mistakes that can easily occur during a performance - my act "can't". The timing of the illusions to the music is crucial to the overall presentation of each act. It's like each & every "act" - is of the sort a Queen will develop for a major "pageant". This - makes me the world's stupidest DRAG queen! I enjoy entertaining others - but I'm losing sight of the "goal".
Art - My art collection and supporting web site is growing at a snail's pace. I can't afford to add the pieces I "need" - and can only budget one night each month for writing and editing new content. I accept that the size and nature of this project is "very" long term. This one doesn't seem to bother me as much as the others. That's probably because my entire collection is packed away in storage. Out of sight - out of mind...is a powerful tool.
Novel - I'm beginning to think that if my novel ever reaches fruition - it will become another of the world's natural wonders. That's sad - to me. It's an incredible book - my best ever. While my prior writing has always been non-fiction - I'm an abstract thinker at heart. Thus, "fiction" should be my best friend. This project just never reaches the top of my priority list - damnit. Honestly, I'm not up for the scope of this challenge "today" regardless. I still "write" on a couple of nights each month - for posterity's sake. However, the quality is poor due to my lack of focus.
Love - "Ahem". I genuinely have to laugh out loud in "this" department. Between my own idiosyncrasies, my transsexualism, and my ridiculously high "standards" - I'm not convinced I'll ever "find" this. I've noticed that I no longer trust anyone with my heart. Sadly, I almost never trust anyone "period". Transsexualism tends to create caveats and conditions on affections. Thus, I've worked harder this year to improve my closest friendships. Here's an interesting tidbit - I'm becoming skilled at "matching" others. It's not something I'm "trying" to do - but I've played cupid for a couple of recent marriages. Maybe that will translate into my own success some day - maybe not. It could be a reason I'm not finding a good match. Do I know myself that "well" - or that little?
Home - I packed away all my "possessions" and sold my home - in order to become most nimble to pursue future interests. Namely, I wanted to be in a position to "move" with relative ease. Those of you that collect fine art & antiques understand "why" I had to do this. You can't pack and move "that stuff" in a day - even a month. So - I've got about a half a million dollars worth of A & A sitting in storage. I'm not worried over it - it's safe & secure. Rather, I miss it's "beauty". What "should" be an accoutrement to my existence and a platform for emotional stability - becomes just another "long term project". Should I now unpack all "this" - start a new home - and embrace and commit to staying in Atlanta? My heart says "no". Wish I understood "why" that is...
reneereyes.com - Even this web site is a never ending list of "projects". I've no idea when I'll finish. My "goal" - is for this place to become one of the net's ideal launch points for those just beginning to embrace transgenderism within their lives. Alas, it's got a very long way "to go". What's most challenging? Completing projects "here" is rather anti-climactic. I recently uploaded three rather detailed new "sections" - providing helpful tips to beginners for fashion & shopping, buying wigs, and taking photographs. While I hope and believe these efforts will "help" others - I've no way of "knowing" this is the case. Should I keep writing new sections? It takes a great deal more time than most people think to finish such projects. The "net" is not a very gratifying source of "feedback". You rarely get to "touch".
While I derive pleasure from achieving certain "milestones" in each of these "projects" - I can't help but be reminded how far each remains from fruition. I appreciate what I consider the true meaning of my life...just "be happy" - and leave a bit of my accumulated wisdom behind - to aid present and future "generations". I recognize a source of "my problem" is found in the manner which I approach solutions. I tend to be a "perfectionist". I lean towards grand solutions - to relatively minor projects. I guard against doing "this". I constantly refuse new projects and opportunities because my plate is already overflowing. It's a gift. It's a nightmare. Certainly the fact I "sleep alone" each night adds to my frustration. Alas, sleep-over "candidates" - always seem to want everything but the real "me". I can't seem to handle the drama any longer. Likewise, I'm no longer willing to invest the time to let anyone get to know "me". Too many faces have "come and gone". I know I need some therapy on "this" issue. I'm painting myself into a wickedly lonely corner. If I'm not careful - I'll color my life into a passageway with no escape route for happiness. It seems a lot of people I "meet" feel they share much in common with "me". Yet - I almost never feel I share commonality with them. Why is that???? What am I missing in these "relationships"? Am I so shallow that I'm failing to appreciate their lives? The more people "I meet" - the more lonely I become - and the more isolated I "feel". I often wish I could somehow "erase" many things I understand about "reality" in this world. It would be nice to "un-learn" certain insights. However, I'd trade all "those" - for a lesser appreciation of how much I "don't" know. I stare at inanimate objects. Eventually, I can see it's "life" at the molecular level. I can literally hear electrons whizzing past my skull. Worlds - spinning within worlds. Life - where there is no life. A blue print for existence. I see it - but don't understand it. Nothing's inanimate. I'm often ashamed to be a "human" - we're such arrogant creatures. "Think" - think - think... I know there's no "blue ribbon" waiting at the finish line if and when I "complete" these projects. I created them for me - for my own happiness. The journey is the source of reward. I enjoy each "subject". I also appreciate each undertaking's minor role in my service to mankind. Why am I so damn frustrated??? My present "routine" - must be out of sync. Perhaps it's not "what" I'm doing - but "how" I'm doing it. That sounds "right". Is it just an excellent choice of words - or a truism. I'll have to "test" it. Still - part of me fantasizes about a total "life makeover". I find myself tempted to volunteer for directly assisting people in less fortunate areas of this planet. I think "this" might help me regain my sense of "center". Something about the idea of such immediate positive feedback from life and living - seems appealing. Is this desire a byproduct of my present overload from "unfinished" long term projects? I'm not sure. I'm aware that being "happy" is a conscious decision. However, I face a number of other "conscious" distractions from my bliss. Get rid of the distractions? I warned you this would be a strange entry. I'm sorry - I'm weirding out today. Whatever... an older note "revisited" 07/16/02 Here's an "article" I started a few months back - never finished it. Story of my life...*Laugh* I took this AM to touch it up enough for inclusion "here". Just a thought... she males & fairy tales - The Artistic Gifts of “Different” People "The reasonable man adapts to the world around him. The unreasonable man expects the world to adapt to him. Therefore, all progress is made by unreasonable men." - George Bernard Shaw I own a lovely "traditional" painting of a cavalryman on horseback by a well-respected French artist named “Alphonze Marie De Neuville”. At the time it was rendered – the gallery carrying Neuville - also promoted a lesser-known and oft misunderstood artist named “Pablo Ruiz Y Picasso”. At that time, they sold this young Spaniard’s pieces for less than half the price of my painting. Today, my charming Neuville is worth about $10,000. The "Picasso" - would easily bring over $3,000,000. Why the big difference between “then" - and now? "Simple" What was considered “non-traditional” in 1905 – is now deemed “the best” of mainstream. Being different isn’t “wrong” – it’s just different The above scenario is not unique. “Traditional” artists judged the first impressionist works to be “threatening” to their commercial viability as artists. They believed those novel pigments caused patrons to question the validity of “all art” - and artists. However unsettling "that" seemed at the time – it’s typical of the process by which innovative ideas are embraced by "a group" - and subsequently - by society as a whole. "A more recent example?" IBM once viewed "software" as a minor technological "accessory" - and gladly licensed Microsoft's system - when they could have owned it for pennies. "Traditional" thought of the vast majority was "wrong" and Bill Gates - knew it. We’re facing a similar challenge of what’s considered “the real” art” - of transsexualism. "Know what?" That's what I’ve always considered great about art – and artists. I don’t get “mad” because a sister defines transsexualism differently than I do. I relish the fact lots of painters see the exact same scenery – and produce a totally different image. We’re different – but we’re all still “artists”… Tradition is essential "I'm a non-traditionalist." However - I've yet to meet an accomplished non-traditionalist - that didn't hold a "high regard" and in depth understanding of traditional thinking. Make no mistake - "tradition" is important. It creates stability. It serves as a stationary platform for young minds to leap into the world of freer thought. Traditional " efforts" - are the pillars - of progress. Traditionalists refine and smooth out rough edges. Non traditional thought - is born from traditional thinking. In fact, the more ingrained the facts - the more likely a creative mind can illuminate new theories - and boundaries. Consider "Picasso" - deemed a master figurative artist in his early teens. His novel approach to the interpretation of distorted shapes was born from his early comprehension of reality. Its a symbiotic relationship - for human success. Clearing Your Canvas Having trouble considering an alternative form of expression as “real”? Consider this - it's not what you "don't know" in life that causes problems. It's the stuff you know to be "absolutely certain" - that can get you into real trouble. Of course, I'm referring to "assumptions" - those building blocks of suppositions, which make up any and all “truths”. If you've ever done any “research” - you know - the most important basis for discerning new theorems is in your "assumptions". The only times assumptions are considered “valid” - are when they are proven. “Proof” - takes a great deal of time. I'm not talking “hours” - I'm talking ions. Until then - we operate on individual "faith". Remember this - "modern man" has only been around - for a few thousand years. We’ve only been lighting our homes with incandescent bulbs for about one hundred of those years. Assuming we have a stunningly clear picture of what “really” represents transsexualism at this early stage of humanity - is a "tad bit" optimistic. "Try keeping an open mind". You’ll be in great company. Living with Differences Unfortunately, “being different” is something we admire greatly about our neighbors - but hesitate to embrace - in our own households. "It’s sad". Most of us are particularly skilled at getting others to embrace “differences” - as okay. What advice have you offered your friends and loved ones regarding your transsexualism? “Understand it?” Hopefully. “Embrace it?” Ideally. “Accept it?” Works for me… Try following your own “advice”. "Keep a penis?" "Create a vagina?" "Live between genders?" "Be a woman?" If you witness a TS rendering her self-portrait in a manner different from your own, consider embracing it for what it is - different” – not “wrong”. Keep in mind we’re all “artists”. One of us is a great modernist, the next a master of realism – another a noted surrealist. At varying times, one form of transsexual "art" will be more popular than the next. That – doesn’t make "it" great – it simply means it’s become the preferred palette of the present majority. The “majority” knew the world was flat, the moon was made of cheese – and women didn’t possess the skill set to vote. We can laugh at each of these suppositions “now”. Be careful starting your morning by throwing rocks from the “house of majority”. You could end up on the receiving end - by nightfall - as the minority. Support Your Local Modernist Imagine if the “traditionalists” won over Queen Isabella regarding her maverick sailor “Christopher Columbus”. Imagine a world without non-traditional thoughts and actions. A world with no "little fat-man" flying a key on the end of “his kite”. No "Picasso", no "Franklin"…no United States of America. Try keeping an open mind when you witness a sister displaying her “art” of transsexual expression - differently from your own. "Listen". Hear. "Try" to understand. You could be trading away a valuable "Picasso" – for a lovely "Neuville" – for twice the price. it's a nice place to "grow up" - but i don't want to live "here" - 06/06/02 I grew up in "Owensboro, Kentucky". It's a lovely city comprised of roughly 60,000 people situated in the western portion of the "Bluegrass" state. Owensboro was "ideal" for the rearing of a free-thinking young mind - like "mine". Good schools, friendly people - and just enough "blabber mouths" that I could never get into too much trouble - without my mother or father catching wind of my "activities". *smile* There came a "time" - when I knew I could never "live" in Owensboro - as an adult. It served me well as "a youth" - but I needed different pastures to pursue my "adult" interests. Likewise, the Internet - has been very good to me. I've met so many wonderful new friends from the on-line "world". The Net was a perfect outlet for "study" regarding my transsexualism. It offered me a safe platform to express my alternative gender. I worked hard to "return" this favor to the Web. I constructed this web page - so that others might not repeat many of the mistakes I made along the "wild & crazy road" - I call my life. As I eclipse another year of my "existence" here on earth - I'm appreciating "more & more" - those special people whom I can "meet" for hot coffee or hot kisses, hand holding or rump rubbing, cries on shoulders or offering shoulder to "cry" - in other words - people I can physically "touch". The Web - has a way of causing someone in my "current position" to feel alone - even "isolated". On-line friendships are "great" - but they never come close to being as "fulfilling" - as a dear friend seated across a table. Real time friendships take "time" to develop. Sadly, I only have so much "free time". I can't spend it "everywhere". Thus, my goal for this new "Renee Year" - is to get "off-line". "No" - I'm not shutting down this "web site". However, I intend to spend progressively "less & less" time - on the Web. Very little "chat". Fewer "email" responses. Fewer "photo shoots". Fewer updates "here". You know the "drill". I feel like I'm about 23-years-old "as a woman". I've gone to school. I've prepared. I've planned. I've practiced. I've been "involved". However - it's now - "show time". It's funny. I'm reminded of that special combination of fear - and exhilaration - that I enjoyed when he was only "23". My goals seemed so very large - and the world seemed pretty "small". Thus, my objectives for "my" new year, include... I need no more "chat". No more photo shoots as I scurry home. No more "web work" - at least - for this year. I do intend to finish drafting my "on-line makeover" section - as I consider it excellent writing "practice" for my future career as a published author. However, I think it's safe to say my on-line "presence" will "diminish" - from this point forward.. My "new book" is fully outlined. It's time to finish the "content". I'm starting a new "job" - and hope to secure my financial future. My transition is "on track" - and I'm pleased with my progress. I feel I can do best for myself - and my sisters - by putting a positive and smiling face on "transsexualism" real time. These - are good "things". *Smile* "deciding" - not to decide - 03/17/02 "I can't make up my mind". Imagine "that". *Laugh* Here's my dilemma... I mapped two "future" careers. Both account for any "issues" I might face regarding my transsexualism. I'm currently pursuing these "paths" - on a parallel basis. That - "probably" means I'll have even less free time to "work" on this web page. "Sorry". *Sigh* One path includes continuing my efforts in the dry cleaning industry. For those of you who are "unaware" - I'm one of the more successful retail dry cleaning operators in the U.S. I pigeon-holed an improved "retail" concept for "use" - once I started "transition". It's sort of an "insurance policy" - that guarantees an avenue to prosper in the years ahead. "Dry cleaning" is actually a very good business for "a transsexual". Why? First, people rarely discriminate against anyone that "clean their clothes". Why do you think so many "foreigners" are in this business? I'm serious. Second, the "fringe benefits" - match up nicely. Between "free" dry cleaning & ironing, "free" alterations, and an "army" of unclaimed women's clothes to "shop" from *Laugh* - I'm surprised more tranny's aren't in this business. *Laugh* "Small service businesses" are historically an ideal "haven" - for people facing "discrimination" issues. To date - most transsexuals "vanish" in stealth - or suffer limited opportunities. Guess what? That situation - is not as unique as "we" like to think. Lots of cultural groups faced similar "limitations" - over the decades. Most often - their release from "financial bondage" is achieved through small businesses in service sectors where people care little regarding ethnicity - or gender identity. I'm an expert "dry cleaner". I'm trained and successful in "franchising". I recognize that organizing a successful "dry cleaning concept" - ideally suited to transsexuals - could be a "good thing" for many of my sisters. I've got the specific skills, resources - and experience - to make it work. "The problem?" My heart - longs for something different... I want...to be a "writer". I love writing. *Smile* Actually, I relish expressing myself "creatively". Writing affords me that opportunity. Presently, I'm making a serious "stab" at this career. My first book is about "cleaning". It's already "set" for publication. Once this "launch" is complete - I'll focus my efforts on "a novel" - I began two years ago. "It's a thriller" - and it's fairly "twisted". Big surprise, huh? *Laugh* That's my "plans". Either I make it as a "writer" - or I become the next "George Jefferson" - with c-cups. *Laugh*. Currently, I'm "preparing" for both these opportunities with equal zest. Either way - I'll do my best - and I'll be happy... daily affirmation - 01/30/02 I was only "17 years old" when one of my most influential mentors gifted me a copy of Norman Vincent Peale's: "The Power of Positive Thinking". Inscribed in the front of this now tattered paperback is a note from my mentor taken from the Bible: "What a man 'thinketh' - so he be. What you think about all day - is exactly what you will become". Those words were as important to the "youthful male" that received them at that time - as they are to the budding woman I am "today". I've revisited these good habits - as I've mapped my detailed plans for growth - as a woman. "Autosuggestion" is a most powerful force. Tranny's know this better than most. Following is my "daily affirmation" which I read aloud each morning & night. I recite my more detailed "plans" three times weekly. My Personal “Vision” & Daily Affirmation Throughout my life – I’ve hoped, fretted, prayed, & dreamed – of “successfully” transitioning from “male to female”. My life’s dream – is about to become – a reality. I was born a “transsexual”. I’ve “battled” this condition – for as far long as I can recall. In recognition of this “hidden” need – I postponed goals or “failed to commit” – as I left “an out” for eventual transition. I now embrace “who I am”. I choose to accept this “gift” – and the God-given traits it affords. “Transition” has always been a function of my happiness – but it’s not its only “condition”. The balance of my other activities, loved ones, desires and dreams – form the crux “of my smile”. Balance – is my vision – of maintaining bliss. I comprehend there’s a huge difference between being “pretty” and becoming “beautiful”. Although I’m very committed to becoming “prettier” – I’m far more concerned with enhancing my “beauty” – as a human being. I define “beauty” by my actions, my state of mind, and by the number of smiles I share each day. I define “successful transition” by my own terms. It includes being pretty & passable “as a lady” on the outside – and manifesting beauty & love “as a woman” from the inside. It involves working at a job I enjoy where I provide worthwhile services to society and earn an income commensurate with my contribution. It includes residing in a lovely home where I can ideally decorate with my fine art and antiques collection. I understand it will be challenging to successfully “transition”. However, I recognize it’s equally “difficult” – to live a lie. I’m no longer concerned what others “think” of my transsexuality. I understand I’ll likely forever be included amongst society’s “oppressed” minorities. I accept this “lowered” status and embrace the fact I’ll be expected to work harder – to achieve less – than I did “before”. I recognize “t-friction” as a powerful force in “wearing down” transsexuals. I will steer clear of this “energy robbing” force by residing in a “tranny friendly” area and carefully choosing “which battles to fight”. I’ll only put myself in highly “frictional” situations when I believe – the potential “positives” – heavily outweigh the wear and tear I’ll endure. I feel a heightened sense of “seriousness” regarding the image I “project” to others – as a woman. However, I never wish to take myself “too” seriously. I thank my parents for anointing me with intellectual gifts that provide clarity & opportunity, I thank my family for loving me and teaching me to love myself “no matter what” – and I thank God for giving me “a sense of humor” – to compensate for “all” – that I am not. “This” – is not about “me” – it’s about living. Anytime I begin to “feel sorry” for myself, I’ll seek to “help” another person – with less advantages – to recall how fortunate I am. I believe in “myself”, I believe in my “plans”, I believe in the “love” I’ve enjoyed in my life, and I believe in “God”. Together – “we’ll” make a better human being of “me”. the " significance" of insignificance - 1- 16 -02 Most of our lives we remain at least "somewhat" obsessed with the accumulation of " recognition" from others. You know...our 15 minutes of fame? Later, we become equally concerned with that "recognition" after death. The " reality" of history tells us how few people - even "famous" ones - are recalled for more than a few years. And those that are certainly don't care now - they are dead. All that matters is your perception of happiness - and how you live your life - "while" you are living it! Screw "fame". It's overrated compared to a walk in the mountains, a loving hand in yours, and your "next breath" of life... new friends 11/02/01 Have you ever been lost – and didn’t know it? Have you ever been unloved – and didn’t feel it? Being lost – and being unloved – is but two sides of the same coin; " known" as loneliness. A loss of family – is not a condition – for unhappiness. It’s a prerequisite – for embracing new family. Blood need not define one’s family. Only love. For at it’s molecular level – love – is all that family really is. Friends offer both love – and light – along life’s darkest paths. Find a friend – and you’ll find a family. Love a friend – and you’ll have a family. Today – I found a hint of my family from a new friend. I’m not alone – I’m just different. I’m not headed to oblivion – I’m reaching for ecstasy. Why does the world seem so large when we’re alone – and so small when we’re loved? Is the world nothing more than a single beating heart fused by love? I’ll save that riddle for tomorrow. Tonight – I celebrate the gift of light from my new friend. what i leave behind 9/04/01 I watched the "Bridges of Madison County" this past weekend. I never saw it before "now". I was struck by the mother's message to her children in sharing her special relationship with the "other" man. She stated how " important" it seemed to her later in life - to be concerned over people knowing who she "really" was during her brief visit here on earth. That really struck me. I spent years gearing towards goals and the acquisitions of possessions which I felt would impress others - usually women. *Laugh* Of course, I steadily learned nobody is ever "impressed". They're either " envious" or simply disinterested. As time progressed - I became most concerned with pursuing projects & goals which I "really" enjoy - without distress over what others think of my accomplishments. Of course - like most humans - I enjoy " praise" for my hard work. However, in general - I've selected areas where " my passion" is the driving force behind my efforts. This " thought" from this movie - gives me one " additional" perspective... I've never had a child born unto this world "from me". Without " kids" - it seems more challenging to gauge what " impact" I had on the world. I recognize "impact" is a fleeting and sometimes distracting force. Thus, I suppose what I really mean is " leaving a bit of my hopes, dreams and insights behind." What was unique message from "Bridges" was the honesty- based approach to this life-long need. Most of us get wrapped up in constructing a killer " obituary" - versus the essence - of what we " stood for" in life. My life " is" and shall be unique. It's important that I consider what "message" I'm leaving behind. And that it's not necessarily what I'd " like it to be" - but rather - that is simply - what it is... i'm too young "to stop" 08/21/01 I recently allowed myself to gear down my life and "change directions" towards a vista of hobbies & interests. I'm simply too young to do "that" at this juncture. Focusing on my collecting efforts is such a "cold" experience. These activities are an accoutrement to life - not a life - in itself. Life is defined by ones "actions" - and by the people we "impact". I've steadily "positioned" my life where I'm impacting no one - and it feels wasteful and makes me feel like a loser. Get my focus back - and start "building" - NOW! You're too young for "this". emptiness - 08/19/01 After hour-on-end working on the perfect "new home design" and completing plans for a first-rate art collection (based upon my resources) - I've begun to recognize the emptiness associated with "order". I recognize the beauty of my efforts - but I more clearly see the ugliness of being "alone" in life. The loss of my family, North Carolina home, Kentucky home, etc. have caused me to feel a bit lost regarding "my purpose" - and basis - in life. I feel a strong need to feel "a part" of what I'm doing - and to belong to something important. Who "cares" if I die tomorrow? Not many people. learning to love the life you're living - 08/05-01 Today, I found myself writing " a vision" of what I'd like for my life to become. In that process - I pulled out some "prior visions" from years earlier. Know what I learned? If " the list" - is not heavily weighted with activities you're already deeply engrossed in undertaking - you've got big problems. New " projects" rarely turn out quite like we "expect". In fact, most people don't even continue with them - once started. And of those you go further with developing - few become "passions". My vision "before" - is different from now - because I've discovered what I "don't enjoy". You don't really know "this" - until you live it. I'm "changing" some of my present plans. There are too many "unknowns" on that list... extremities - 07/05/01 On occasion, I go "to the edge" in life experiences. Following these "experiences", I have a propensity to " get down" a bit. Today, I've come to realize that although it's important to recognize " a bad event" for just that - something which I should " learn something from" - it is not something I should allow to alter my life plan or self image in any big way. It's called a "mistake". I'll always make them - and I must learn to shake off its repercussions - and move on.