*** August 1986
My life was a shambles. I had spent the better part of three years flailing through community college looking to either move on to a university or to drop out and run away.
Run away from my home.
Run away from myself.
An unexpected situation in December of 1985 changed the direction of my life. I had broken my ankle playing volleyball and due to the decreased mobility I decided to take the Emergency Medical Technician class just to fill units to keep me as a full time student.
I decided to get a job on an ambulance to save money for my escape. It was simple, I would either move to Alaska and get a medic job in one of many industries or I would run to Los Angeles and try to find my way through my transition at a time when there was little or not information, and even less support for transgender people.
I was cutting ties ... with everyone. I wanted to disappear. I did not want new friends, I did not need a relationship.
In hindsight, the issues and feelings were likely my first bout with depression and anxiety ... but I was a man. Men don't talk about their feelings ... they tough it out.
My plan was working.
All I needed was eight to ten months to have enough money to get out of Ventura county.
I met Pam. I knew instantly I had feelings for her. She was, and is beautiful inside and out. She was simply the most caring person I ever met ... and she showed in me. Even after I lowered my mask a bit she still liked me.
Worse than that, she loved me ... She was not supposed to fall in love with me ... I was supposed to run away and never look back.
In March 1987 we married in Las Vegas. I am happy I chose to stay.
On the advice of friends, I am removing the term "dude mode" from my vocabulary. Many more times than not (75% to 80%) of the time I am addressed in public I am called ma'am or miss. The majority of the rest of the times I am addressed with no gender marker attached. It is very rare that I am called sir.
It doesn't matter how I am dressed, if I've shaved, how my hair is, I get called ma'am. This makes me happy.
For the first time in a long time Pam and I went to get basic mani / pedi from our favorite place. b The last time we were there was December, before my surgery. My hair was still long, but dirty blonde. My beard was much more visible. I was not wearing makeup. I was not carrying a purse.
All that changed.
The owner recognized Pam, but I don't think he recognized me.
It is part of the learning curve, but Pam used male pronouns when referring to me. It didn't bother me because I am not used to being referred to as "she" or "her" or "Tiffanie" from my wife ... we both need to work on that.
The staff was speaking Filipino a lot more than usual ... If I was the paranoid type I would think they were likely talking about me.
Actually, I am the paranoid type ... I don't care that they talked about me, if they were.
So several weeks ago I was talking to my niece, Sedona. I asked her if she had mentioned anything about me to her mom (my eldest sister). She said she didn't think I wanted her to. She truly is a wonderful young lady.
I told her I didn't mind if she said something. I know they talk on a regular basis, and my transition has become a part of Sedona's life. If she wants to or needs to talk about it, I trust her judgment.
She did tell Linda.
I waited a bit then decided to communicate through Facebook. I can understand that she is likely a bit shocked, but her main concern is my well being. I have mentioned many things about Linda in previous posts ... this is the sister I remember giving me a "comfortable" every night ... and when she moved away she made me a sign that said "comfortable" so I could tuck myself in.
I know she will be there to support me as I inform my other siblings. I am not expecting her to fight my battles nor try to convince the siblings that may not accept my decision. I just want an ear to listen to my concerns and grumblings as I continue on my journey.
Thank you Linda. You and Sedona have become a much bigger part of my life.