Nancy's Journeys

"I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.

"My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you." -- Audre Lorde

Who Am I?

I was born genetically male with no gross chromosomal irregularities. I was an Army brat with no real roots; we moved a lot until I was 16.

My first recollection of "odd" interests is when I was between three and four. I found one of my mother's old nightgowns in the ragbag. My parents became unglued when they saw me in it. After that, the desires remained buried until I was around thirteen.

I never seemed to be real interested in sports. As a consequence, I never worked at being any better and was usually the last one picked for anything. I also never really played much of the rough and tumble games or soldier type stuff. Cars were, for me, never more than a means of transportation - certainly nothing I wanted to get dirty working on. I joined the Boy Scouts only because my brother (1 year younger) did.

Around the age of twelve or thirteen I could no longer keep myself down to just an occasional touching of my mother's things - I had no sisters, just two brothers. I started sneaking things like slips and dresses out of my mother's room or the dirty clothes. Sometimes I would lock myself in the bathroom and put them on, then slip my pants on back over them and go out to the woods. Only once did I nearly get caught there.

Then, after a trip out of town in which I'd been left alone, my parents confronted me with the fact that some of her clothes had been disturbed. The big threat was that they'd have to take me to the post psychiatrist, thus making me the embarrassment of the family. They also said that I would not be left alone any more.

That didn't stop me. I just started getting more careful in the few chances I got to dress up. I even once wore a complete outfit to bed.

I was confronted one more time. I had "borrowed" some more clothes, including one particularly nice half-slip. Unfortunately I couldn't get the slip back because of activity in the house, so I hid it under my pillow. I could get to it easily if a chance came up, yet it should be out of sight there. To my dismay, my brother was looking for something and chanced to look under my pillow. Again I was a big disappointment to the family.

In high school I joined the Dramatics Club; after all, I had been acting my whole life. One day I was alone in the costume closet and found a pair of pettipants that just absolutely turned me on. I took them, intending to some day return them. My hiding place at home was in the pocket of a coat in the back of my closet. One day I went to get them and they were gone. I always assumed that, for some unknown reason, my mother had found them; but I never heard a word about them, even though they were clearly not hers.

By the time I finished college I had a collection of three or four outfits hidden in the attic where no one ever found them. Shortly after graduation I got married. After confessing to my wife about my secret, I retrieved the things from my parents' house and threw them away. It didn't really help, and I wish today that I hadn't done it.

My "hobby" had always confused me - how could a "real man" ever want to wear a skirt? And how about my lack of interest in sports, cars, guns, and things like that? I was almost always more at ease talking with girls than boys, and that was odd.

At my wife's insistence I went to the university psychology department - it was free. I went a few times even though I was very uncomfortable being filmed and never did like the guy I talked to.

I managed to stop for a couple of years, primarily because my wife was so much smaller than I. But then came the over sized slip that someone gave my wife. And then the large nightgown. And then the pair of panties that someone left in the washer at the apartment.

Before long I was back at it and opportunities abounded. My wardrobe expanded through several means. And then I started going to stores ...

I had heard of Christine Jorgenson, and then I found more stories of people who had gone through sex reassignment of some sort. While I thought it would be nice to be transformed, I never really gave it much thought as an avenue to pursue. That is until my marriage was going down hill badly and two different therapists made me answer the question. Yes, it seemed like that was what I needed to do.

So, after my eventual divorce, I started looking into it. I did get onto hormones, and did get a diagnosis of transvestite-transsexual-obsessive/compulsive. That seemed reasonable to me. I even started the program towards SRS and electrolysis.

I became friends with some other transsexuals and got much better at making myself presentable. I passed reasonably well. And I started considering men as objects of sexual attraction, even though my interest in sex had never been very high.

And then I met a woman who became a good friend and who was responsible for significant refinement in my transformation abilities and clothing choices. But then the unthinkable happened - we realized we were in love.

This time, however, I was armed with much more knowledge about the typical transvestite purge and binge cycles. This, plus the fact that my new wife had known and helped me dress up, convinced me not to get rid of everything. I did get rid of some things that I hadn't worn in a long time - sort of ritualistic purging.

After a year or so, it started again. And after a while of essentially doing it with my wife's knowledge, she said "no more." She was afraid that I would once again head for surgery and she would be without a husband. [I will not go into it, but she does have some childhood issues at work in this area.]

Of course it didn't stop; it just got driven underground.

I continued in therapy for a while, hoping that would help me solve my "problem" for real. I also joined Sexaholics Anonymous for help. But therapy doesn't work if you don't really want to stop, and I didn't.

What all this therapy and support did, however, was to help me learn to think about it on my own. So when the therapy stopped due to insurance changes and after a few missed SA meetings, I took over my own "therapy."

Gradually I began to believe that Sex Reassignment Surgery was wrong for me - legally being a woman wouldn't really solve my problems. It might help with having the freedom to dress the way I want, but the psychological difficulties would still be there - I'd still have a secret that had to be guarded. I would have just been responding to a society that places too much weight on the role of chromosomal makeup in lifestyle.

I believe I can truly say that I would rather have been born female. Since I wasn't, I have to play the cards I was dealt. I am lazy, more or less, and, to me, the effort to pass is enormous. My body is hairy, I am bald, and I am large by female standards. If I did not have these physical constraints, I might be in a different place right now.

And I'm not entirely sure, but I'm becoming convinced that I am really not a transvestite either, at least in the classic sense. The diagnosis typically includes sexual gratification from dressing up as a main point. While, out of habit, I have usually associated autoeroticism, I don't think that's really the point either. (See Dr. Anne Lawrence's article on Autogynephilia.)

One may still argue the obsessive-compulsive label, but I don't think that's valid either. It's just that opportunities are so infrequent that when they do come along I make the most of them - or more than that.

I know that I am a male, but I can't say I enjoy it, because I don't know what that (enjoy) means. I can't say that I have ever been happy, at least for more than a few hours, except when I first allowed myself to experience living as a woman. A large part of that is because I have always had this secret that I had to hide. I'm tired of hiding. I don't want to have to watch myself at all times (especially when drinking) to make sure I don't say something embarrassing, like "I find skirts to be more comfortable than pants."

So, where does that leave me? I still love women's clothes and I still don't like sports, etc. Well, the scientists tell us that gender is not a binary issue - it's really a continuum. Then that means that I can still be a male, but with a strong feminine component to my persona. Society sees both ends of the continuum, but has problems with physical expression of points in between. This is why I much prefer the term "intergendered" to "transgendered;" I am in between, not crossed.

Another way of looking at it is that life hands us a personality palette from which each us draws (for a variety of reasons, some conscious, most not) certain behaviors, preferences, and interests, none of which have an inherent sexual orientation. Unfortunately, too many people have associated a choice as being "masculine" or "feminine" without a real reason for that assignment. When a male draws too many traits generally associated with the feminine label, people can't handle the result - it's odd. [It is also odd that this typically does not hold true for females; they may choose as many "masculine" traits as they want.]

July, 2000 Update

Taking these things as a given, what do I do? That's what has been troubling me for a long time. If a sex change or significant crossdressing is not the answer, is there another solution?

The answer is yes. There is a political solution. Thanks to the power of the web, I have found it. It's up to me to implement it.

When I stumbled across several sites and discussions on the web, things began to take on a new light. What if I could actually wear a skirt in public and not be thought totally perverted? What if I can approach it as a sociopolitical issue (which this discovery made me see), and not a sexual one? All of a sudden, my secrets are out in full view - I could be open and honest with everyone, especially myself. Now I could be free of the burden of maintaining strict control over myself. Maybe I could be happy for a change. Maybe I could even enjoy being me.

Even more importantly, that part of me that I had been taught to despise could now be fully integrated into my personality. This would allow me to love all of me, and, as a consequence, others more fully.

I wish I could say it was all altruistic, but when I start fighting for men's freedom, I'm fighting just as much for me - my life.

Skirts and dresses are actually much more comfortable than pants most of the time. One could even make a case for men in skirts based on reproductive health. No one would think it that strange to see me in shorts - and what's really that different between a skirt and shorts? And with some of today's skirt lengths, between slacks and a skirt?

There are more and more men (see the first group of links below) who are waking up to the fact that we (men) don't have much fashion freedom today. Women have earned a great deal of freedom in the last few decades; it's time for men to begin doing the same. Besides, "Women's Lib" was supposed to be about equality, not women being more like men - it's time for men to accept some of the "burden" and be more like women.

I have run across several accounts of women in the 19th century (1800s), who described being consigned to long skirts and bulky petticoats as being in prison. Women have since broken out of that prison. Men, however, are now consigned to a different prison - one of monotony and lifelessness.

If one thinks of Fashion as a language and Clothes as the vocabulary, men have been severely limited in what and how they can express themselves. Meanwhile, women have been given (earned) an extremely rich and expressive vocabulary. Women have the freedom to express their moods and desires through their clothes and make up; why don't men embrace the same rights?

Men are beginning to realize that skirts are comfortable and you don't have to give up your manhood to wear them. Indeed, IMO, it takes a great deal of courage to be the first to fight against a prevailing cultural tradition. We are beginning to express ourselves.

I have begun wearing kilts in public, partly because of my Scottish and Irish heritage and partly to show other people that it's okay for men to wear "skirts." Being a man's garment, it's an easier way to introduce people to the idea. I also usually wear silk shirts most of the time to also show that men can wear silk too. I have gotten several very positive comments from both men and women, and only one indirectly negative remark.

When I became a Christian, not so long ago, I asked God what he wanted for me. His response was, "To be a missionary." That frightened me with images of grass huts and savage natives. More recently, He reminded (as in hit over the head with a 2x4) of that plan, but now I see it in a different light. I am to be an evangelist to men on emotional freedom.

It's kind of frightening how politically motivated I feel on this subject, since I never went through this when I was younger. So I set up this page using my old pseudonym as a way of saying good-bye to that part of my life that almost took me irreversibly away from where I need to be. The links that follow are a mixture of those that appeal to the TV/TS part of me and those that help encourage me on to my new fight for fashion freedom for men.

As the advertisement said, "It's a free country, dress accordingly."

December, 2004 Update

After an 11-month battle with ALS (Lou Gherig's Disease), my wife died on November 13. Before her death, we had both been working diligently on both of us getting used to her seeing me dressed in women's clothes. We both expected that I would go bonkers after her death and dress constantly.

It didn't quite work that way. As part of an ongoing joke with her, I had gone to eBay to find a nurse's uniform. Unfortunately, that started a buying spree in which I spent way too much money. (I will be selling some of it again to recoup some money.) I think that satisfied some of my dressing needs and I find myself mostly dressed in women's jeans and a blouse with panties and a bra underneath. This allows me to go out in public without drawing much attention, if any.

Since several neighbors had house keys (in case my wife needed help, and I did something stupid), I had to warn them that they might find me in a dress. They all accepted it without much trouble.

Unexpectedly, however, my desire for living as a woman, full time, came back rather strongly. I even approached a few of my job contacts about working as a woman. I went to Columbus, Ohio to re-learn my makeup and hair techniques at Briana and Brandi's Cross Dressers' Academy.

I have "outed" myself to several people since then. A few have actually been unexpectedly enthusiastic. The only ones seeming to have any potential trouble so far are my relatives, because they have known me for so long as "David." We will be working on that.

With my own soul-searching (and frustration) and the guidance from the Transsexual Road Map, I have set some goals for 2005:

  • Get a job - even if has to be as a male.
  • Work very hard on getting rid of my beard, especially on the upper lip and chin.
  • Get started on hormones again.
  • Organize my clothes and get rid of what doesn't fit.
  • Get some exercise and work on reducing my waist to 30 inches.
  • Get my teeth whitened.
  • Keep this web site up to date with occasional updates.
  • Begin saving for the surgery.
  • Late in the year, change my name legally, regardless of my work situation.

A natural question for you to ask would be "Why the change in attitude about a sex change?" Well, the first part of the answer is that I don't know that my attitude has changed. The operation may still not be the way I go. Living as a woman full-time, but retaining my existing plumbing may be sufficient. The other things have to be done first any way and surgery can't be scheduled without the full-time living.

The next part of the answer is that Laura was my soul mate; we were, to a large extent, a single entity. Our personalities fit so well together that she mitigated my need to experience womanhood. We worked together to integrate my personality traits into a single human being. So now, without her influence, I'm once again out of balance and seeking my place in the world. At the moment, that seems to be as a woman.

Free At Last, Free At Last, Thank God Almighty, Free At Last (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

January, 2005 Update

I returned to Columbus, Ohio to learn more about acting like a woman at Briana and Brandi's again. After a few photos, I had to work on sitting correctly and how to light my cigarette like a woman. Then Brandi took me to lunch and taught me how to eat like a lady, including repairing my lips after eating.

May, 2005 Update

I saw a show on prisons the other day in which they described the effects of being in solitary confinement. I believe if it weren't for my dog, Salty, I would be experiencing much the same thing. He is the only thing providing me with a very tenuous grasp on reality.

My financial condition is so bad that I can't get out and associate with people and it's extremely rare that anyone comes here. In the last month, I've been completely dressed (i.e. with makeup and hair) only once or twice. It's hardly worth the effort to get completely done for my occasional trips to the store.

Talking to people on the Internet just isn't cutting it. My antidepressants aren't taking care of it. My life is shitty and I'm losing it.

July, 2005 Update

Well, a number of people complained that my May update was too negative. It was written at a very down time for me.

Since then I have quit taking all of my medicines, and feel better! And, believe me, things have gotten much worse since then. I've now lost my home in addition to everything else. I'm forced to live with my brother and sister-in-law, who are very nervous about my dressing at their house because my sister-in-law's parents live just a few houses away and she doesn't think they'd understand my situation.

I am about to open an online store, so hopefully that will help the finances so that I can get back into my own place (and life) soon. I'm still looking for a regular job, but things just aren't happening there. Perhaps it is time for me to go in a whole new direction. I can certainly say that I can't keep going the way I've been going - that will destroy me. I need to build a new life and get on with it. And I am determined to do just that.

August, 2005 Update

This has been a rough month for me, emotionally. First, Laura's 59th birthday came. My brother, sister-in-law, and I had a small cake and put three candles on it, with each blowing one out to remember Laura. Then came our 20th anniversary - the one where we were supposed to repeat our vows. I've done a lot of crying this month.

Today I'm feeling pretty down, empty, and alone. Yesterday was my once a month support group (part of Tri-Ess, the Kappa Beta chapter). It was great to get dressed up and be with the other girls, but today I'm questioning myself.

It is really hard only being able to be myself one day a month. I think that's what's causing the questioning: if I only dress once a month, then how can I say I'm a TS? I know it's unfair to question that, and it's all because of my current situation, I'm sure. But the mere fact that these questions of my motivations are coming out does trouble me a bit.

Halloween 2005 Update

It's a bit strange how I feel about Halloween now. It's always been a titillating idea to dress as a woman for Halloween. But now that I'm living full time as a woman, it's more like a chore to decide what to wear.

I went to a friend's party on Saturday night. I had originally thought about wearing a square dance dress, but they suggested coming as a bride. Since I have a collection of gowns, I decided to go with that.

From wearing square dance dresses on numerous occasions, I knew how much effort managing petticoats could be. Even though the gown wasn't any where near the same fullness, it's length more than made up the difference. Getting in and out of the car and going to the bathroom were all considerably more difficult in my wedding dress.

Oh, well, the things we girls do to look nice for men!

Afterwards, we went to the usual gay bar (it has the drag show). I met a guy there who seems to be very interested in me. I can already tell that I could play him right into marriage if I wanted to.

November, 2005 Update

My other brother and his wife came to town to visit and see my mother. The family was to get together and eat dinner. Several times during the day I mentioned that I didn't have my makeup on yet or that something would give me time to do so. No one ever said that I shouldn't, for any reason. I had been led to believe that "family" meant mine.

Well it came time to go over there and I was dressed and made up. My local brother came in and informed me that I had to come "in drab" because my sister-in-law's parents would be there and they wouldn't understand why I look like a woman.

So I just told my brother that Mom goes to bed between 8 and 9 and he should just bring her back then. I wasn't going.

I know that they are thinking, and may say to my face, something along the lines of "How can you let your dressing up be more important than your family?"

My answer is simple: "How can my family insist that I not be true to myself for the sake of someone who is not my family?" Despite my legal gender status, I am a woman. There is no reason that I should not look like one. My mother accepts me; my uncle accepts me. They are both as old or older than my sister-in-law's parents. I feel like the real problem is that my brothers and sisters-in-law will not accept what I am.

Unless, and until, they make an attempt to understand, there is little I can do to continue having a family.

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you're not." (André Gide)

December, 2005 Update

Well, it's my least favorite time of the year - Christmas. But I won't dwell on that here. If you want a little bit of my thoughts, check my other web site.

The first big event that happened was that a neighbor decided to report me to the state Department of Social Services because I left the house a couple of times and it took longer than I had expected. So now I am officially a "parent neglecter," whether they find there was any real neglect or not. But the really weird part was that the neighbor, who has never chosen to talk to me, also claimed I am being "consumed by an alternate lifestyle." That prompted my first ever "letter to the editor." The whole thing also caused over-reaction on my family's part, and that really hurt my feelings. Which brings us to the next problem ...

Our family was to get together at my niece's house for dinner on Christmas Eve. That was fine; I had even already picked out my dress. Then my brother called and said that "the children would be confused" so I should come in drab. As I stewed about that over the next couple of days, I decided I just wouldn't go. I dropped my mother off and left. My Xmas dinner consisted of a Double QuarterPounder™ and fries.

When I got home, there was a message on my answering machine that they were waiting for me to eat. I called and explained that I felt unwelcome and uncomfortable, so I didn't stay and wasn't coming back. My niece said I was being selfish. She was concerned that her 1½ year old daughter would be confused. Now, you tell me which is more confusing, a man with long, painted nails, breasts, and in women's clothes or a person who looks totally like a woman? I think it is much more likely that her daughter's parents are the ones who are confused. Besides which is the better lesson for her, fear and intolerance, or love and acceptance?

So, anyway, if there was any doubt, I now know where most of my family stands. And it's obviously not at my side.

Okay, this is the time of year when people stupidly look back and see how they did against those things they said they would do.

Get a job - even if has to be as a male.
I never could find one, even with a temp agency

Work very hard on getting rid of my beard, especially on the upper lip and chin.
I did undergo some electrolysis and laser treatment until the money ran out

Get started on hormones again.
no money, no medications

Organize my clothes and get rid of what doesn't fit.
I have done some of this, but have more to go

Get some exercise and work on reducing my waist to 30 inches.
didn't get much exercise, but my waist is down to 31

Get my teeth whitened.
no money, no dentist

Keep this web site up to date with occasional updates.
I think I've actually accomplished this one

Begin saving for the surgery.
no money

Late in the year, change my name legally, regardless of my work situation.
My lawyer says this will be done any day now, but she's been saying that for several months.

Not a terribly good track record, mostly because of not being able to find a job. Now, with taking care of Mom, I am pretty much unemployable. That is unless DSS finds some resources that allow me to get out during the day to find a job of some kind.

January, 2006 Update

I guess the complaint that was filed for my "alternate lifestyle" was something of a favor. In an effort to further aggravate the neighbor, I've been wearing skirts and wigs every day and making myself much more visible in the yard. This is not only "good" for my neighbor, but also helps my mother more easily adjust to having a daughter around all the time. And it makes me feel better to be more femininely dressed every day.

Well, it's finally official! My name is now legally changed. I am Nancy and no one can dispute it. I went straight from my lawyer's office to the DMV and got my driver's license changed - complete with femme picture. Now I'll have trouble if I get stopped in drab - I guess the cure for that is to not be in drab?

Wow, it felt so good to cut up my debit card with my old name on it! From now on everything will have my REAL name on it.

February, 2006 Update

Well, another Valentine's Day has passed without a date - not even an offer.

The Kappa Beta (my support group, part of Tri-Ess) meeting was here in Columbia this month. The turn out wasn't exactly overwhelming. What really amazed me was the few girls who went to the club with us later. I don't know where the others went. The silly part is that the club here in Columbia is better than any in Charlotte where we usually meet.

March, 2006 Update

Sales on eBay have been very down, stressing what little money I had even more.

I got some emails from guys who sounded like they wanted a date, but none happened

April, 2006 Update

Finally! A date - well sort of. Let's call him Phil. He wrote to me and wanted to go out. Because of email delays we could only get together late, so I suggested meeting at the club earlier than the crowd gets there. He was a gentleman. He wouldn't sit down when I was standing and he insisted on lighting my cigarette.

Before he left - alone - he said he wanted to see me again. We then exchanged some emails and were supposed to have a real date on Thursday. I suggested a restaurant. I have no idea what happened, Thursday came and no Phil - I have never heard from him again.

We got invited to a party. When we got there it turned out to be the 21st birthday of a girl we know through our gay friends. I'll call her Candy. She's a stripper (yes, a GG). I got to talking to one of her friends, let's call her Masie. Candy told me the next day that Masie had asked her if I had really born male - she couldn't believe it. That made me feel good. And just to make it nicer, Candy (a professional stripper, remember) told me she really likes my legs and wished hers were as nice!

Well, I heard from Phil again. The day of our date, his computer fried. I had not given him my phone number and he had not given me his. To make a short story shorter, having been the victim of two fried computers myself, I decided to give him a second chance. Good move on my part! Even the Boyz approved, although they kidded me about becoming "prissy." I can't help it if Phil brings out the lady in me.

May, 2006 Update

I had another date with Phil, this time for dinner. We had a great time. We have so much in common, and, of course, everyone knows how much sailors hate to swap stories.

I tried to gather some information to help our support group (KB) and the chairwoman came unglued. Since she accused me of damaging the group, I resigned my post on the Board of Directors. That started a lot of comments amongst the other directors; it became known as the "Nancy Issue." As another result, I arranged to have a date with Phil instead of going to the meeting.

Being all done up for my date, I was kind of devastated when Phil called and had to break the date. My ride had already left for the meeting, so I couldn't even change my mind about going. I did get out and do some shopping, but, with so little money, that wasn't overly satisfying.

I heard very briefly from Phil again a week later, but haven't heard from him since then.

June, 2006 Update

One of the other KB directors called and arranged to come to the house for lunch to talk to me. She wanted everyone involved with the "Nancy Issue" to just act as though it had never happened. I agreed with a little hesitation, so I am once again the newsletter editor.

Still haven't heard from Phil, so I guess that's over. I did meet a guy at one of the bars and he is interested in me, but I don't know how that might go because he is gay and wants things I don't really want to do.

July, 2006 Update

Well, the end of the month saw me developing a sinus infection that turned into pneumonia. Since the USA can't see fit to have any kind of national health insurance, I am one of the many who has fallen through the cracks. I can't even go to the free clinic because I can't afford a baby sitter for Mom.

August, 2006 Update

The pneumonia is still clearing up - hard to do without any proper medicines. My sister-in-law was so helpful - she suggested I get some cough medicine. I can't even sleep laying flat because there is so much liquid in my lungs.

I get to go through the second birthday (on the 8th) without Laura - this would have been her 60th. Despite what I'm going through I still miss her so much! And, of course, later in the month would have been our 21st anniversary.

Strangely enough, the day before Laura's birthday, I received a most unexpected email. Laura's best friend and maid-of-honor at our wedding, Kathy had stumbled across this web site. They had lost touch with each other some 15 years ago, so this site provided Kathy with the disturbing news of Laura's death. She wrote to know of Laura's life and how I'm doing.

How does one chronicle in email the last 15 years of someone's life? How do you tell of your times with not only your best friend, but the recipient's as well? Obviously, it's easy to tell the major events of the time, but how do you explain the "aliveness" of that person? How do you explain all the emotions, the ups-and-downs? And especially how do you tell how the deceased felt through those times?

How do I even begin to deal with all the emotions reliving those times brings up? And having to do it at a time when my emotions are already on edge just due to the timing of the contact?

Since Kathy knew both of us prior to our marriage and even when I was in a sex change program before, she asked if I would like to try to be friends with her. That's an easy one. Laura even told me it would be a good idea when I "talked" to her. Certainly, Kathy knows something about transsexuality and we do have a common angel. It's been so long since I had a meaningful conversation (the last was with Laura); it would be so nice to do it again, if even less frequently than I used to have.

One day I got a phone call; the man introduced himself as a genealogist working for a lawyer who finds "lost" estates. To make a long story a bit shorter, it appears to be legitimate and I stand to inherit a fair bit of money. Because of other events during the month, and the fact that one of my online T-girl friends, I am now seriously considering using some of that money to go to Thailand. So I have a new goal for the coming year: get that "M" off my driver's license and birth certificate.

That will happen in:

September, 2006 Update

The first few weeks of the month were consumed with the elections in our support group. Some of us returning officers wanted to see the group opening up and doing new things; the "older" officers didn't and we were losing members because they were bored. Then the former web mistress decided she wanted to run for Chairperson, and said so. We considered that to be a big threat to our plans. She got huffy about our campaigning and started calling us names - publicly.

When the election came to a close, it turned out that the former web mistress lost. So she decided to pack up "her" toys and leave. That included the Yahoo discussion groups and the group web site. That left the rest of us to scramble to get parallel operations going in a hurry. Fortunately, I had saved off most of the old web site. Being pretty much the only somewhat Internet savvy person left, I became web mistress by default. So I had to create the new Yahoo groups and web site.

Meanwhile, those who aligned themselves with the thief began a major smear campaign and even tried to get the membership to throw us out. They went and started their own new group and used our resources to proselytize. Several members described all of this as "high school theatrics."

October, 2006 Update

Early in the month, we had the new Yahoo groups running and a new and revised web site up and going. Many members commented that the new web site was noticeably better than the old one. That made me feel better.

Even with continuing negative rhetoric coming from the break away people, the membership gradually came back - at least most of them. And the funny thing is that the architect of the mutiny had sold her house and would be moving, yet she continued trying to get people away from the group. By the end of the month, the break away group was close to death already.

November, 2006 Update

Things have quieted down quite a bit. The major remaining conflict is that one of the girls who went to the new group and was part of their Board wants to remain on our Board. Those of us who remained loyal to the group refuse to have on our Board someone who helps run a group that is dedicated to our group's demise. Yet she won't see the logic in that. Oh, even two of the most vocal of our detractors have returned to the group.

My brother and sister-in-law had Thanksgiving dinner on the Saturday after T-day. I kept expecting them to tell me that I couldn't come in a dress. They never did. So I went dressed and no one said anything. Even my niece's two young children - the excuse for last Xmas - were there. The adults all referred to me as "Aunt Nancy." Maybe they are coming around slowly. But I bet Christmas dinner will be different. We'll see.

December, 2006 Update

The group Christmas party had a relatively low turn out, but I enjoyed myself any way. I had a beautiful red formal gown - only my second formal ever.

Wow, I was wrong about the family Christmas dinner. We went to my niece's home again. This is the same one who last year didn't want me "confusing" her young daughter. Since then she's added a son. Not only was I not directed to come in "boy mode", but was welcomed almost like a normal person. I wore a ruffled blouse and pleated skirt.

Even more surprising was that I got some "girlie" presents this year. That even included some beautiful earrings from my niece! Maybe they're coming around. But my brother in Arizona did send a gift card made out to my old male name. I still need to work on him.

They are still keeping me away from my sister-in-law's parents. I disagree with that, but I understand why they feel the need to protect her (religious) parents.

New Year's is a bit disappointing though. My friend, Diana, is out of town. I don't dare take my car out at a time when the police are looking for the slightest reason to pull you over. I can't risk a DUI stop. Going to jail in a skirt does not appeal to me - at least until I have that "M" changed on my ID.

Okay, once more this year I will stupidly look back and see how I did against those things I said I'd do.

Get a job - even if has to be as a male.
I have talked to a few head hunters, but there just isn't much in this town. However, the male part ain't gonna happen.

Work very hard on getting rid of my beard, especially on the upper lip and chin.
No money, but when the inheritance comes, I have some set aside to get at least some done.

Get started on hormones again.
No money, no medications, but the inheritance should get me started again.

Organize my clothes and get rid of what doesn't fit.
I have done some of this, but have a lot more to go.

Get some exercise and work on reducing my waist to 30 inches.
Didn't get much exercise. But the looming surgery requires me to improve my fitness and quit smoking.

Get my teeth whitened.
No money, no dentist. I think I may have gotten them one shade lighter though. Again, I have some set aside from the inheritance.

Keep this web site up to date with occasional updates.
I've actually accomplished this one.

Begin saving for the surgery.
Well, no savings, but the inheritance is coming and I am scheduled for the surgery. I am also planning a thyroid cartilage reduction and augmentation mammaplasty (boob job). I just hope the exchange rate turns around soon.

Late in the year, change my name legally, regardless of my work situation.
Yay!!! I did get this done.

So, I am setting aside most of these for 2007. My newest resolution is to wear a skirt any time the temperature goes above 60.

January, 2007 Update

Well, the month started with an email from the surgeon's office. They hadn't heard anything from me (I didn't know they needed to), so they were looking at rescheduling me. After several emails back and forth, I managed to recover the original date. But along the way, as I explained my history, they allowed that I don't need a letter from a therapist okaying the surgery. My proof of living full time was pretty compelling.

The monthly support group meeting resulted in a totally unsatisfying solution to our big problem with someone who should not be on our Board. But at least it was done to prevent another war. Unfortunately, she has not done what she promised to do and the deadline has passed by two days.

The day after that meeting, Diana and I went to Myrtle Beach to visit with a sister group. They had a girl come to talk; she had her surgery just over three months earlier. We had a lot in common and I spent a lot of time talking to her and her roommate, who will have her surgery in April.

As the, hopefully, final disappointment for the month, the second inheritance claim is delaying the payment by at least three months. As a result, I had to write to the surgeon and delay my surgery. Well so my birth date and rebirth date will be the same. I guess you could say that my 58th birthday present to myself will be myself.