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Everything Going Perfect….

November 28, 2013

My best-1Sunplus

A thought about why someone who seems to have everything going perfectly yet reaches a point where the pain of living is so great that death seems the only choice.

I know there are many who will think I am trying to justify something that can’t be justified, that maybe I am trying to make sense of something that makes no sense, and maybe I am. Isn’t that what this life is all about? Trying to make sense of of senselessness.

Imagine going through life knowing everything those around you believes about you is wrong. They see you as someone you aren’t, and never could be. It isn’t that you don’t want to be who they think you are, but that who they see isn’t who you see. You build a loving relationship, or even several, but all of them as this person you don’t know. All you want to do is let them know the truth and be accepted for who you really are, but after a life time of living as someone you can’t be due to social constructs that says you can’t exist, are terrified of letting anyone know the truth.

You’re terrified of losing all the relationships you’ve spent a lifetime building. There are little slips from time to time hoping just maybe someone will learn your hidden secret, but you make sure those slips are very tiny also hoping they will be over looked so the relationships won’t be damaged. Then one day you make a major slip and everything about your secret come sliding out into the open. The relationships you spent a lifetime building are jeopardized and you are now facing questions you don’t have answers for. You see your whole life as being built on one lie after another, trying in vain to protect what means more to you then anything.

The rift is made and there is no hiding the truth of who you are any longer, and while the relationships are damaged they aren’t destroyed. All the love you have is still there and you can see the love is there in those you care so much for, but…

Is it possible to repair the damage to keep the relationship from falling apart completely? One day at a time you agree in hopes of proving that not everything is a lie. You agree to not push your truth any harder than your loved ones are ready for hoping without hope just maybe one day they will accept you never meant to lie, hoping they can see that they are your world.

Eventually the relationship is healed and even expanded beyond what you ever dreamed possible, you are accepted as who you know as though who you had tried so hard to be never existed.

The problem now is that you still remember that person and know that everything they had been wasn’t a lie but a part of who you have always been. Not the real you, but a part of the real you, a small part perhaps but still a part. You love your life but with each word of acceptance comes the sting of who you had tried being being rejected, it doesn’t matter how real that rejection is only that you perceive it to be there, and no one is saying otherwise thus helping to make a lifetime a lie.

I’m not trying to make anyone feel guilty for something like this. Everyone I know who could feel guilt for something like this, I know would never intentionally do anything to cause the feelings of someone they love to feel their life before they showed their true selves was a lie. They have come to accept the person because they do love and respect the person enough to understand the person never intentionally lied about who they were.

I just can’t help but wonder if it is possible to love someone for who they are so fully that in doing so who they were gets lost? Lost and confused? Could it be the person they were has nothing left? Could it be that even as much as we who have lived a life trying to be someone we know we aren’t, if we are accepted as who we are the person we never were gets so lost they seek the only out to stop the pain of being lost they can find?

I know what it feels like to hie the real person inside. I know what it feels like to when you open that door the real person has hidden behind for a lifetime to have your whole life called into question. What I don’t know is what it is like to be accepted but everyone you love so fully as who you really are that the person you tried so hard to be gets lost, and feels so alone nothing is left but the pain of loss.

You see for me, my family accepted me in hopes of my truth being a phase that would pass, and eventually I would again be the person they thought I was. Even after 7 years I get the feeling they still can’t accept who I am as a whole person now over who I they thought I should be. C’est la vie, the walls I built over a lifetime to protect myself from emotional pain like that are still there, maybe not as strong as they one were but strong enough still to be able to ignore most of the pain that beats against them.

So many who said they would be there who can’t even accept the name I now have, still hoping just maybe I’ll again be someone I never was and never could be. How many times I’ve seen others who have been accepted by those they love and wished I could have had what they have, or had. To have longed a lifetime to have heard the word mom, mother being used referring to me. To go out and have everyone I encounter refer to me using feminine pronouns. To hear people telling me how lovely I look in a dress or skirt and blouse. Those thing for the most part even after 6+ years living as the real me are still foreign to me with rare exception, and yes it does hurt, but it also lets me know that my past wasn’t all lies. That the strength I built when trying to be who others thought I should be is still there and maybe, just maybe, I am both the person they thought I was and the person I’ve always known I am.

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Uncertain

November 2, 2013

Imagine if you can waking up every day uncertain whether or not you really want to get up, wishing that the morning hadn’t come. Wishing for nothing more than finding comfort in no longer having to decide if you are going to get dressed or not. Wondering what purpose there might be in continuing through another day that you know is going to be much the same as the day before. When one day turns into another and nothing changes.

Can you imagine a world like that? Imagine each day being the same as the one before it?

scales of justiceOk let’s try this then. Imagine waking up each morning and leaving the house going wherever, just getting out of the house. You do a little window shopping and feel everyone staring because you don’t fit the image of what they think you should be. Most of them won’t say anything but you can see in their eyes their disapproval, and occasionally there is that one that will say something. You’ve dressed to be accepted as who you feel and when that occasional person that will say something does speak they refuse to accept you for who you are claiming to be.

Welcome to my world where it is easier to sit home cut off from society and its boxes that you don’t fit in, then to go out into the greater world and be stared at and insulted by having your identity torn away at every turn.

For the longest time I have wanted nothing more than to end it, to say enough. Each day is a struggle to find a reason to go on, to not get in the bathtub with a straight razor and just see how deep I can cut before the blood runs enough the pain of living stops completely.

Until mid September it was easy to find a reason to go on, it wasn’t always easy, but it was easier. Since then I have tried once to say goodbye, but try as I might the way I had chosen didn’t want to work. Whether it is because my bedroom is to be so the poisonous gases couldn’t concentrate enough or some other reason it doesn’t matter it didn’t work, I’m still here.

I’ve tried to find reasons not to try again, but they aren’t easy to find, whether it is simply because I really am not looking or some other reason I don’t understand. Over all it really doesn’t much matter I guess, since the over all feeling of just saying enough is there every morning when I get up and every night when I lay down. I don’t think I want to die, but I know I am tired of living. I’m tired of fighting just to be myself to be able to say this is who I am. You can accept it or not, but you don’t have the right to define me, that right is mine and mine alone.

So why should I fight any longer? What point is there in trying to find a reason to continue when nothing I do seems to matter. I use to believe I could change the world, that I was making a difference. I live in a place were I should be able to define who I am, yet I felt I was able to do that better when I lived where the laws weren’t there to insure I could, like they are here where I am now.

Yes the city I grew-up in does have the laws in place, but the entire state where I live now does and I have been mis-gendered more here than I ever was back home.

Trolley Square Salt Lake City, UT

Trolley Square Salt Lake City, UT

Unthinkable

October 23, 2013
My best friend and sister since December 13, 2006. Taken SCC 2011

My best friend and sister since December 13, 2006. Taken SCC 2011

Lisa and me-4.1

What is wrong with this picture other than the bad photoshop job I did?

Lisa may be gone from this world, physically, but her memory is still as fresh as if she were still here, and I hope it stays that way, at least for me.

Tuesday January 31, 2012 I had it all planned out. It was going to be the last day I intended to be here. Like every Tuesday since I moved here to Northwest Washington my roommates would be going to the support group meeting. It would be so easy to be gone when they got back and no one would really miss me so what difference did it make.

My roommates left and I got dressed in the dress I still want to be remembered in the last time the lid to a coffin is closed on me. I had always wanted a LBD and I really love the one I finally got.

I did my makeup just so and fixed my hair. It would be so simple and wouldn’t take long if I did it right, and I had every intention of doing it right. What I didn’t count on was a message I got via facebook after doing the final touches and getting ready to close down all the places I go to while on line.

Lisa Empanada

Anything? Hey you …. Tell me what came firstbthe chicken or the egg? Some questions are not as easy to answer. But we can try….

Jayne A Maynes

some questions have no answers

Lisa Empanada

name one question that does not have an answerr

I think we have something to talk about now….at least you can entertain that I might deserve as much…no?

Lisa Empanada

Jayne sweetie, I don’t have your phone number but I have your address. Please give me just a few minutes of your time. If not I think you would expect me to call 911 right? Just talk to me for a moment

The first of those came in to me at 6:26 pm the last listed here was at 6:45 pm. I gave her my phone number figuring she would call I would make out everything was fine and that would be that.

She did call, and I did try to make her believe everything was fine, but I had never been good at lying to her and she somehow knew everything wasn’t fine and refused to accept my excuses. She stayed on the phone with me for over 3 hours until my roommates got back home, and before she was willing to let me go extracted a promise that I wouldn’t do anything like this again, that if I was feeling so out of it I would let her know.

I hadn’t said anything to anyone I hadn’t given a clue what I was doing, at least I didn’t think I had, but somehow she knew and she wasn’t going to let me go so easily.

We had several conversations after that, and the promise I gave her was always in my mind.

For me she is still alive because she left a part of herself with me, and with others she cared about. When I see posts from Kristie her daughter I see Lisa in the words. When Sandy posts to facebook again I can feel Lisa’s influence in the words. The same holds true for others who were close to her I can feel her words in what they say. (Yes Sophie that is in reference to you.) Lisa influenced so many peoples lives, and those who knew her either loved her fiercely, or hated her because of her tenacity. Trying to argue with her was pointless since trying to find flaws in her logic was impossible.

I can’t remove her from my life and while I can’t pick up the phone and call her, whenever the phone rings I still hope maybe it will be her telling me she still is here and still cares. I still feel the tears she shed at SCC 2011 and how much I wanted to make those tears go away. I still hear her voice as she called last Christmas to wish me a merry Christmas. I still feel the joy I did when in early 2007 she affirmed me as the woman I had always dreamed I was.

I still blanch at the thought of her fear she would never be able to be the woman she was, simply because her heart was so big she put others first. The joy of hearing that finally she could be herself at home, and was accepted by her family.

It is unthinkable to me to even try removing her from my memories and pictures, to do so leaves a whole that can’t be filled.Lisa Empanada-Newell

SCC 2011 Part 2

October 22, 2013
My best friend and sister since December 13, 2006. Taken SCC 2011

My best friend and sister since December 13, 2006. Taken SCC 2011

Thursday evening was the first time I had seen this beautiful woman unsure about who she was.

Imagine having someone you looked up to tell you you’re less than, you’re claiming to be something you aren’t and will never be. That was the message that was received at dinner, even if it wasn’t the message that was intended.

After dinner Lisa and I went off and had a beer and talked. I gave her a little ribbing about her choice of Coors lite for a choice of beer, but Coors had always been available where I grew up, and it wasn’t until I was in the Air Force I had ever been anywhere it wasn’t available. Most of the people from back home called Coors Rockie Mountain… well it wasn’t something pleasant lets leave it at that.

After getting our beers her a Coors lite and me a Bud we found somewhere we could sit and talk without being disturbed.

I admired this woman so much and the pain she showed cut so deep. I sat across from her holding her hands letting her know she would always be a beautiful woman to me and nothing anyone but her could say would ever change that.

A tear started down her cheek followed by another as the emotions of the words at dinner hit with a force that tore apart any dam she might have tried erecting to stop them. We didn’t say anything for what seemed forever and I reached up to wipe away the tears hoping she understood that not everyone felt she was lying about who she was. The pain started to come out in chocked words that at first were difficult to understand. And over the course of time seemed to come easier.

I wanted to be able to fix this, to take away the pain I saw in her eyes and the way she sat there with tears streaming and the occasional sign as she gathered her emotions and release the pain. I felt so helpless, knowing there was nothing I could do aside from just being there and letting her know I cared.

I wish I could say that was the only time I saw Lisa cry that weekend, that there were no more moments of fear and uncertainty. To do that would be to lie. Yes we had a great time, but the weekend wasn’t only partying. We were sisters and Lisa had problems she needed to talk about and I wanted to be able to be someone she felt she could talk to about those problems.

Lisa had gone to SCC with one purpose and that was to finally meet the person who she had met online in 2006. she had no intention of making it back to Baltimore alive when SCC was over and we all had to go back home. At SCC she had finally be able to be herself 24 hors a day and she knew how hard it would be to leave that behind. I would love to take credit for her finding the strength to go back to Baltimore, but that was something she had to find in herself. She now knew that the support I had offered her from the start was genuine and would always be there. She knew the price I’ve had to pay to be who I am. She knew there were times I just wanted to give up and if she hadn’t been there to hold me up I likely wouldn’t be here now.

I failed her because I wasn’t able to see the pain she had, a pain she buried so deep no one saw it and what it was doing to her. A pain I can understand because I have been there and she didn’t fail me. She didn’t fail me because she was there to catch me when I was falling.

I’m sorry if that last paragraph sounds self-deprecating. Maybe it is, but maybe it is just that I miss my best friend and sister so much life has lost much of its meaning.

Friday night we went out to one of the local bars/clubs and partied like there was no tomorrow. We danced and just had fun. SCC had a dedicated bus to take those who wanted to go to the bar/club back and forth and on the way Lisa Amanda and I didn’t do much of anything other than enjoy the bus ride and make small talk. On the way back was an entirely different scenario though. We stayed at the club/bar until we were about the only ones left from SCC and were one either the last bus or next to last bus back to the hotel.

We moved all the way to the back of the bus and continued on our little party. Lisa and Amanda talking about how great it would be to not need breast forms any longer and me sitting there knowing how great it was not to need them any longer. Somewhere along the line someone said something and then both Lisa and Amanda I’m sure blushed and said they could believe I could be so brazen. I didn’t think about it I just did it. My dress was one in which there was no real way of wearing a bra and before I knew what I was doing or either of them had a clue I had opened my dress enough that my breasts were in plain sight for anyone who wanted to look to see them.

I guess what bothered Lisa and Amanda the most was I was sitting in the center of the back seat where all the driver would have had to do is look in the mirror to see my fully exposed breasts.

I’m sorry but after 50+ years of not worrying about whether or not my chest was exposed I didn’t, and still don’t see what difference it make that it be exposed now simply because I have a couple “C” cup bumps on my chest. Yes admittedly the nipples are a bit larger than before those bumps were there, and a lot more sensitive, but I still fail to understand what the big deal is.

I guess I forgot to mention dinner on Friday night. It could have been much worse since apparently all trans-people are suppose to like fish. For me it seemed wonderful since I do love a good salmon fillet, but that isn’t the case for everyone and I never would have thought an organization as old and big as SCC would have thought everyone would like fish. They didn’t asked on the registration form and thus didn’t make alternative options available. When the food was brought out it was then I found out Lisa like so many others I know didn’t like fish and trying to get something else was a real pain. They did finally bring out something else that was a little better but still not something she would eat. Since she wasn’t crazy about eating a fungi either. Both would have been fine with me though given the choice I would have taken the salmon over the stuffed portobello mushroom.

It seemed if something could possibly go wrong it did. At least with the mushroom she was able to scrape the stuffing off and eat that, but had we been given a choice of options for the dinners it would have worked out much better. I don’t know if they have made that change, I really hope they did, since going to another SCC has been out of the question.

Saturday was a day of doing almost nothing but sharing with friends and meeting new friends, something that was infinitely easier when Lisa was around then when I was by myself. In many respects I’ve always wished I could have been a social butterfly like Lisa, but insecurity and self-recrimination have always been something I’ve excelled at and even with Lisa’s help and openness I didn’t fair very well at making friends.

I guess in many ways the kind of work I did for 26+ years did nothing but help reinforce those self doubts. Driving truck means a lot of time alone with thousands of other people all around but no personal contact with any of them. It was great for making up my stories, if only I had learned to type as fast as I can think. The stories started as a way of making the miles go faster. I never worried about whether or not the story line was continuous or even made much sense the only person who would ever hear or read my stories was me.

Saturday threw a pall on everything it was the last night we would see each other for who knew how long. For me it was the last night I was able to share in person with my best friend and sister. We stayed in touch via facebook and shared so many more things, but I was never able to meet with someone who meant so much to me again. I wasn’t able to laugh with her as we did something crazy, or dry her tears as life just tore at her soul. I wanted to be able to help her find what in life had been forever elusive, the ability to just be ourselves and still be accepted in a society that rejects anything that doesn’t match its prospective of normal.

One thing about Lisa, she was only ever what could be considered normal if you removed everything society teaches as normal and apply only that she was consistent in always being herself. I never knew anyone more normal, or more loved. Lisa Empanada~Newell was loved because she LOVED. She knew what it meant to Love because you are Loved. She is my Connie from “Daughter of Life” upon which a picture of her is the cover pictureDaughter of Life. She is my Andrea from “A Psalm of Love”, She is my Janet from “The Butterfly Within” series. She is my Sam from the stories I am working on now that are a series I’m calling “The White Rose”. She is my Alex from “The Mystic Rose” A short story about someone who sees the wrongs and wants nothing more than to help those who need help.

Lisa Empanada~Newell is my hero. She was and always will be my best friend, my big little sister.

I miss you so much Lisa. I wish I knew why you had to go away, I will always love you sister.

This is a picture I took off of facebook, and I would love to thank whoever it was who posted it there. I hope my using it here doesn't offend you.

This is a picture I took off of facebook, and I would love to thank whoever it was who posted it there. I hope my using it here doesn’t offend you.

SCC 2011 Part 1

October 21, 2013
Lisa and Amanda SCC 2011

Lisa and Amanda
SCC 2011

Lisa and I SCC 2011

Lisa and I
SCC 2011

If you had the chance to go to SCC would you?”

I can’t afford it Lisa.”

That didn’t answer my question Jayne.”

Yes if I had the chance to go I would, but I can’t afford it and if I can finally find a job…”

I didn’t know why she was asking me this she knew I didn’t have a job other than the small business I was trying to get going , and even knew that wasn’t going all that well.

She didn’t say anything more about it for a while and I didn’t give it much more thought.

How much would it cost for you to get to Atlanta?”

I don’t have any idea Lisa. I already told you I can’t afford it.”

Find out and let me know.”

Lisa…”

She wouldn’t take no for an answer, she never did so why would she now.

I checked out the cost of flying out of Seattle vs flying out of Bellingham. Figuring in the cost of getting to Seattle it was less to fly out of Bellingham, and since getting there would mean getting back I got the price for round trip.

A week later I received a check in the mail for enough to cover airfare to Atlanta and back. I was registered for Thursday night, Friday and Saturday September 22 -24, 2011 in Atlanta, for Southern Comfort Conference. My best friend wanted me there and wasn’t going to settle for less than me being there.

Jennifer Boylan Author of “She’s Not There” and on the board of Glaad, had offered to have dinner with the highest bidder all monies going to Glaad and announced it via facebook. I thought it would be cool to have a chance of talking with her, but I knew it wouldn’t come cheap and it really wasn’t that important. If we ran into her great, if not c’est la vie. Again that wasn’t Lisa though. I had heard the winning bid had been $750 and didn’t really think anything about it since I didn’t think it would affect me. Of course Lisa never said anything why would she, she wouldn’t have been the one to make that kind of bid simply to have dinner with someone.

Arraignments were made that Amanda Strong would pick me up at the airport since she had planned on being there all week and renting a car while she was there, and then we would all meet at the hotel.

I thought about the last time I had flown out of Seattle and the hassle TSA had given me seeing my name on my ticket. They were so sure it wasn’t going to match the name on my driver license and when it did the TSA officer gave me a disgusted look, but didn’t press it any farther. Getting through security at the Bellingham airport was easy in comparison and since I didn’t go out of security when I got to Seattle didn’t have to worry about dealing with TSA until I was coming back home. Seattle was the only stop between Bellingham and Atlanta so once I got to the departure gate in Seattle it was just a matter of waiting until we were allowed to board.

In Atlanta I met Amanda for the first time while waiting for my bag to come off the conveyor. I had been to Atlanta more time than I could count but had never been more than a mile inside the beltway Amanda took I-85 straight through so I can now say I have been through Atlanta something I wasn’t allowed in a truck unless I had a delivery or pickup inside the I-285 beltway.

Amanda pulled up in front of the hotel and standing out front with her back to the drive was my best friend the person most responsible for me being able to be there.

My heart stopped knowing who she was even from the back before getting out of the car. Amanda gave me time to get my bag before going to park and I just stood there staring at the woman I had been wanting to meet since December 2006.

I walked up behind her and as I started to reach out to give her a hug she turned and threw her arms around me. We both had tears streaming down out cheeks and as many times as I had called her sister in the past they none of them felt as real as calling her sister from that point on.

I had heard dreams do come true every once in a while and finally meeting my big little sister in person one of my greatest dreams had finally come true.

It is easy to understand why so many loved her just from reading her words, but this was more. This was more than any words could tell. It had been great meeting Amanda, but Lisa and I had history. We had done so many things together, missing so many opportunities of meeting. We had both been waiting the better part of 5 years for this day and now here it was and all either of us could do was cry, and hug each other so tight it was incredible either of us could breath.

We walked together to get me checked in to the hotel and agreed to meet in the lobby in and hour to talk and wait for time to go to dinner.

I needed to get cleaned up from the flight and meet the person I would be sharing a room with for the next few days, not that I intended to spend much time in the room other than to change and sleep.

When I got back down to the lobby Lisa and Amanda were sitting together talking waiting for me.

Have you ever felt so out of place yet totally comfortable anyway? Both of these friends had money I likely would never have yet they both treated me as though it were me who had the most, as if I was worth more than either of them.

It was getting time for dinner and I had no idea what either of them had planned only that whatever it was wouldn’t be whatever SCC included in their package. Lisa excused herself and walked off a little way and was talking to someone who she brought back with her and I gave her a look of disbelief. I knew who this person was and was dumb founded that Lisa would have done what it now became obvious she had done.

Here stood Jennifer Finney Boylan, one of the biggest names and leaders in the transgender community, and she was asking where we wanted to go for dinner.

We were all a little excited having a chance to have dinner with one of the icons of the transgender community, and everything went fairly well until it was mentioned that neither Lisa or Amanda intended to transition. Lisa was still of the mind that living as herself part time would be enough if it meant she didn’t lose her family. I was living full time and had been for 3+ years. In a way Lisa had been living vicariously through me. She was there for almost every step I had taken and accepted me whether I chose to go on or go back.

Jenny hadn’t been very kind in some of the things she said about Lisa not being a real woman since she was willing to live as a man if it meant her keeping the love of her life, which at that point it did. Sandy loved Tom and still didn’t really seem to understand that Lisa and Tom where the same person in many respects, but as Lisa was a more caring compassionate person, if that were really possible. Since I really don’t know sandy other than what Lisa told me about her I don’t want to make her sound like an uncaring person, she was scared of losing her husband and I think I can understand how she felt, at least a little.

Jenny had no call to say the things she did to Lisa at that dinner, and because of those things she lost much of the respect we had all held for her. She was an icon we had looked up to and at that dinner she became someone who like us was still searching for answers to questions no one knew how to ask.

Since this is getting so long I’ll make it a 2 part and hopefully finish it next time. It could become even more since we are talking 2 full days and nights that haven’t yet been covered.

Diversi-”T”’s

October 20, 2013
I know this picture was taken afte Sandy found out though I don't know for sure how long after.

I know this picture was taken after Sandy found out though I don’t know for sure how long after. I believe I got it from her facebook account.

She looks so small standing next to me here. she was wearing flats while i was wearing wedges with a 1 inch platform. she was shorter than i am but not as much as this picture makes it appear.

She looks so small standing next to me here. she was wearing flats while i was wearing wedges with a 1 inch platform. she was shorter than i am but not as much as this picture makes it appear.

I had left the site after shortly after turning T-Girls over to Lisa. I needed a break from everything we had been trying to do and knew the only way was to get away from feeling like everything was crashing in was to literally walk away from if for a while. I didn’t just turn off my profile on the site I deleted it sure I would never go back. Lisa and I had traded email addresses so it wasn’t like we couldn’t stay in touch, besides I was in constant contact with a couple others from the group who were more than willing to keep me up to date on what was going on there.

After about six months I wanted to see how things were going and figured that going back under a different name might just be the way to do so without drawing attention to the fact I had started the group. Lisa had turned the group over to someone else and had asked me what I thought of her choice shortly before doing so. I had reservations about who she turned it over to but wasn’t sure how to explain the feeling I had since none of it really made sense. I told her I thought there were better choices but if she felt she needed to step away who she chose was up to her since I no longer held any power in the group having refuse to even take an associate moderator position.

I had never felt so under qualified for anything in my life as when T-Girls had grown to become the most active transgender group on that site. Another reason I left the site completely, I knew I wasn’t what everyone wanted to make me out to be, and I wasn’t going to be put back in a box I couldn’t control.

As I stated I did go back to the site using another name no one would know since it was from a story I had been working on, a story that became my fourth book the first two in print and making up a series I titled The Butterfly Within. Once I have the rights back I will be publishing them so I again maintain all rights even printing rights to them.

I never thought of becoming an author I never thought the stories I told myself as I drove across the US would ever be something anyone would want to read. The first book came about from a chat we had one night in T-Girls group chat room. We had started talking about how we wished we could have started our transitions back when we were all young enough the testosterone hadn’t wreaked the havoc it had one us. And as we talked the idea of writing a story about transitioning back then and having the acceptance of family came about and became the first book I wrote and sought to get published. “The Butterfly Within: The Image in the Mirror”, it was a story about myself if the world made sense, if I could have been myself from the time I first knew who I really was inside.

It took me two months to write out the story and edit it to send to publishers. I wasn’t sure any publishers would want to allow it since it dealt with a subject that even now is not acceptable in so called “Polite Society”. All I knew for sure was it was a story that needed to be told. I finally found a publishing company that was willing to publish is and even help me fix some of the grammar and punctuation problems I had. I didn’t know some of the rules so there were plenty of punctuation errors. I guess maybe I should have paid more attention in my English classes back when I was in school, except I hated my English classes, they wanted me to read books that held no interest for me and then write reports on those books I refused to read. In other words I made it through English class because I was good at taking tests unless they required me to write an essay answer.

It took a couple months if that after I had gone back to the site Lisa and I met on and I changed my profile name so everyone knew who I was again. I hated what I saw in the group I had started. A group that was suppose to be a safe place for everyone under the transgender umbrella, and now it seemed it was turning into a transsexual only club. A group that if you didn’t plan on transitioning completely from one sex to the other you were considered less than. The fear I had about who Lisa wanted to turn the group over to had become a reality.

I was so upset I started calling out the moderator and showing how they had taken something beautiful and turned it into something it was designed never to be. I guess I became so obnoxious about it that I got banned from the group I started. Did I deserve to be banned? If the group has still been following what Lisa and I had set for a course I wouldn’t have said and done the things I did that got me banned. So I guess the answer of should I have been banned is, YES. A resounding yes, because it was the only way to stop me from trying to get the group back on course.

A few months after I was banned Lisa started a new group naming it Diversi-”T”’s. She set it up very similar to how we had set up T-Girls, and sent out invitations to several of the people from T-Girls letting them know that leaving T-Girls wasn’t something they would have to do to be welcome. It only took a few months for Diversi-T’s to become what it had taken over a year to make T-Girls into, then everything changed. Lisa had been careless or hated not being known for who she was inside enough she intentionally set herself up to be discovered. Sandy found out about Lisa and Lisa was now in recovery mode trying to keep everything she held dear from falling apart.

The beautiful secure woman I had known and love so much became an emotional wreck in the verge of losing everything. She stepped aside this time finding someone infinitely better qualified to take over the group and continue it along the path she had set for it, while she stepped away to salvage what she could from her life.

The security of her world was gone she was in new territory and all any of us could do was offer her our support. She had started to make a big presence on facebook about that time as well and she needed all the support she could get from wherever she could get it. I made sure she knew whatever she chose to do about transitioning I was there to get her whatever support I could. I knew she was unstable but hoped she wouldn’t do anything self deprecating to try fixing a problem that might not be as bad as it seemed.

A couple months later she was back again the strong confident woman and with news that had all of us who had come to love her knowing our support was worth it. Lisa had taken Sandy into Diversi-t’s and let her read all the comments about how all any of us wanted was for her to find happiness and security, how we each hoped for her to not have to pay the price so many of us have had to pay.

Sandy seemed open to learning what being trans was all about and started to offer Lisa the opportunity to be herself more openly. Of course there were restrictions to just how openly if she really cared about her marriage, restriction that fell one by one over the following year. What Diversi-T’s and T-Girls had been designed to do finally paid off for someone who was loved in a big way. Lisa did leave Diversi-T’s and the adult site as she grew on facebook and as a condition of holding her marriage together. “This is a sex site after all Jayne”, came back and to keep her marriage meant she left the sexsite where she had learned so much about herself as a woman. Where together with more transgender people then either of us knew we had reached out to let people know they could be whoever they were and it was okay. They weren’t perverts because they didn’t fit in the gender boxes that society setup, boxes that by their very nature are corrupt and perverse.

T.-G.I.R.L.S.

October 19, 2013

 

 

Lisa2-1

She always did love wearing short skirts, but then she did have the legs for them too.

108.1

I had been on HRT for over a year when this picture was taken. I had stopped wearing breast forms and wigs within six months of starting HRT.

Before the fight in the second group we were trying to come up with a new name for the group and the post board was opened to suggestion. The name that won was The Trangender Castle. It seemed people were streaming into the group since the membership grew rapidly from about 8 to over 300 in a couple months. Then the fight between myself and the person who had originally created the group. I had the power to ban the person but didn’t feel it was my place to do so. Instead I opted for something else, knowing that if everyone followed it would pretty much destroy the Castle as we came to call it.

 

I didn’t know what else to do since I didn’t feel comfortable banning the person who had created the group so on July 4, 2007 I created a group giving it the Name T.-G.I.R.L.S. I don’t remember what the acronym stands for and refuse to go back to that site to find out. Lisa had submitted it when we had looked for a new name for the Castle, and I loved the name. It came in second right behind The Transgender Castle, and I had secretly wanted it to be the name of the group the Breakfast club chose as a home group.

 

By the time T-Girls was started we had a few more people we adopted into our little club so we were now 7 girls in all. It didn’t take long and the numbers of members in T-Girls started growing and the number of post at an even faster rate. We hadn’t crossed post threads the way we had originally but we did start bringing up topics that were educational not only for those in the transgender community but for cisgender supporters as well. We did a lot of research trying to find whatever information we could on transitioning and what methods seemed to work best. We reached out to everyone who is trans or fits under the trans umbrella. We found out the difference between transsexual and intersex and made sure the group knew why the two were different yet in many ways the same.

 

During this whole time Lisa had held fast that she wished she could transition, but wasn’t willing to pay the price she knew it would cost. She watched as so many of us who had finally weighed the cost of transition to be lower than the cost of not transitioning, each time offering what support she could.

 

At one point we had found a site with information that seemed to be good more often than not and with Lisa in mind I ask a question on that site. I’m not sure if I only asked the question because of Lisa’s insistence that she could transition or if I asked because I didn’t really see anyway I would ever be able to transition fully by having Gender Affirmation Surgery. The question was something like: Do all transsexuals have to have the surgery? I asked the question leaving room for those who for medical reasons can’t have the surgery, those who cared more about their families than finally being able to live life in the gender they know was right, those who couldn’t afford the surgery, basically leaving room for whatever circumstance life threw at a person.

 

The responses I got to that simple questions shocked me with how narrowly the people I had hoped to learn from defined who was trans enough for them to accept. Under their definition of what transgender was even I didn’t fit, and as long as Lisa held fast to her family she didn’t either.

 

Lisa was a woman, she had always been a woman, she would always be a woman. The narrow minded bigotry shown in the responses I received to my question told me more about the character of the people on that site then any of the articles they published on the news site could have. Those people didn’t want anything to do with anyone who wasn’t willing to devote everything even their health into completing transition which included surgery. I have been back to their site a few time since then but for the most part I feel everything they publish needs to be taken with a grain of salt and most of it discarded for the rubbish their narrow view of what is and what isn’t transgender brings into it.

 

I had asked the same question in T-Girls and the response there offered a lot more hope for everyone. I wanted my best friend to know that I would always accept her and it didn’t matter to me if she ever transitioned beyond what she already had and if she felt that was to much that was fine as well I would still support her.

 

I wanted Lisa and everyone that looked up to me since I was the moderator of the group T.-G.I.R.L.S. To know that they were whoever they chose to be I would accept them for who they said they were not who I said they should be.

 

I moderated T-Girls for about 2 years with Lisa there helping in whatever way she could. By the time I stepped down as moderator T-Girls was the third largest transgender group on the site and had more posts than any of the other transgender groups on the site. We had been there for an unknown number of transgender people, hoping to let them know we did care, they were important.

 

When I stepped down I turned T-Girls over to the one person I was sure could continue the group and make it even better, I turned it over to my best friend my big little sister. Lisa Empanada, although that still wasn’t her name yet. At that time her name was still just Lisa.

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