Friday, October 31, 2008

Life would be easier if...

...I was beautiful, rich, popular...


Now a lot of people hear the phrase "Life would be easier if I was a girl."

This stirs the straw in a lot of peoples drinks and does so differently for each one.

Now I understand where natal girls are coming from. They see the sexism, the unequal pay, male privilege, <insert complaint here>.

I get that.

The biggest one that gets me is the work thing. See, I've been in my career field for 12 years. I've had to fight, claw, bite, scratch, punch my way to get where I am at today. Where I should have been in half that time if I had male privilege.

And I presented myself as a clean cut, professional, hardworking, white male. Living the lie so to speak.

Seriously I cannot count the times I was called in to solve issues that people who got paid much more then me couldn't fix.

My favorite story was fixing a problem that existed for three days in 45 minutes. It was then I realized I needed to leave that company since the engineer who had been assigned to fix it three days before was paid twice as much as I was.

So no I haven't seen a lot of male privilege in my career. I've seen others get opportunities handed to them on a silver platter. While I had to earn every little bit that I got.

And some of that was very hard to earn.

Sound familiar?

I think what most people fail to realize is how crippling and counter productive the dysphoria can be. A trans person can be so caught up and consumed by the disconnect they feel between their body and mind they lose the ability to just live life. Whatever that might bring.

Really it happens I know I have experienced it myself far too much recently. I just want to stop fighting myself and live my life they way I want. I respect it will change. I respect and expect that life in generally isn't going to become a blissful existence. But it would be nice to live it as myself and not have to fight the internal struggle that I do.

I also hear that transitioning isn't going to solve my other problems.

Guess what?

I don't really have any.


I have never abused any chemicals. I don't suffer from depression (well recently in coming to accept who I am has caused me some depression regarding not living as I feel I should, I just never had a history of it), ADD, or any other mental issues for that matter.

Some would argue I have a temper issue, but really I feel this is a result of pent up emotions I am not allowed to express not to mention the frustration of failing to live up to the expectations of others. Even thought I have worked so hard to be what others expected of me. Going above and beyond sometimes to make others happy. It hurts more then you can understand when that happens.

The only issue I have is Gender Dysphoria and GID.

My therapist even stated to me recently that I am the most well adjusted, intelligent, well informed, thoughtful gender disorder client she has had. I'm not claiming to be perfect but some of these others that she described were train wrecks.

No one is claiming life is easy, but when you place something like GID and Gender Dysphoria on top of it. Well it only makes matters worse. I feel I just want the torment to end so I can live my life as best that I can. Regardless of gender and what that gender might bring. It hasn't been so easy for me so far so to me it would just be more of the same.

So yes I agree that being a woman isn't any easier. But my belief is that life in general isn't easy doesn't matter what gender you are. But for some of use we want to end the crippling feelings that being confused about our gender brings and just deal with life issues from that point whatever they are. Good or bad.

Seriously I have long lived by the phrase "Life sucks! Get a f'ing helmet." The idea behind it is that life is going to throw stuff at you no matter who or what you are. Just deal with it as best you can and enjoy life as best you can. That statement just reminds me that at any moment something lousy can come your way. No matter how hard you try to avoid it.

So yes, at that point I do see the reason behind my open phrase, and where it comes from. Even if others don't. It is stated that way because a trans person just wants to be themselves without the distraction of who they are in conflict with who they are not.

At least that is the way I see it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

History of Kelli - The Trilogy

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far....

...wait wrong story.

Sorry about that.

Now here I am entering high school trying to deal with everything normal high school kids deal with. Yet I have something sitting in the back of my head that makes all this even more uncomfortable.

Somehow I managed to keep it all together though I won't say it was easy and I did have my issues.

First thing I will cover is that for the early part of my high school career I hung out with mostly the drama crowd. I actually did like acting, I had left the band scene since a fallout with my junior high instructor (add into the fact he was the acting HS director and I just wasn't looking forward to it.) I tried some sports but being in a smaller school, population wise, there wasn't a lot of options for me that I liked.

So moving into life I did my best. Granted at home my crossdressing expriementation was growing. Now this wasn't at all a sexual thing. Really I was a late bloomer in this regard it was more about looking like a girl. Thus allowing me to feel like a girl. I could just let those emotions and thoughts out. Which I didn't feel I could do otherwise. As I got older it came into play somewhat, but I never felt ashamed by it, just conflicted.

(In a pavlonian attempt to deal with this I actually conditioned myself to keep both sides apart. You'll see this in entries to come. But instead of a bell I relieded on the clothes. If I dressed as a boy I acted as a boy if I dressed as a girl I allowed my full personality out. Allowing either to mix wasn't a good idea.)

To add more to this I discovered a love of fashion. I would read any fashion magazines I could get my hands on. I would watch MTV's House of Style all the time. Almost never missing an episode. Yes I did normal boy things too (I was big into drawing and painting, video games, reading, and some sport) but sometimes I think I allowed a little bit of the girls stuff in to help with the dysphoria I was feeling but I wouldn't be surprised if it only made it worse.

One thing I could do is allow some of the outgoing personality out around others. I would act a little silly, say some things that people would chalk up a general weirdness or youthful exuberance. Really this was me letting little parts of her out without anyone catching on. It helped me deal with the pressure that would build from time to time. My personalty can be very bubble and sweet but if I let it go I find I start sliding down a slippery slope and I didn't want others to know.

For a while I was ok, I found a few distractions. After having given up running due to trouble with my knees in my sophomore year I picked up cycling. For some reason it just worked for me. I was able to exercise and keep myself distracted from other things quite a bit. I wanted to be the next Lance Armstrong, before Lance Armstrong was Lance Armstrong. It was however very effective in keeping my thoughts and my time occupied, but not always.

However at the time my second year of school was coming to a close the primary group of friends suddenly left me out of the group. To this day I still don't what happened or why. I was just annexed out. So there I went into summer vacation with not a lot of friends. Way too much time on my hands. You could see where this is going.

Cycling kept me out of trouble for the most part. It provided a distraction enough to keep me generally focused on other things. However it wasn't enough, without a lot of interaction with my peers my life started to spiral in directions I couldn't control. Crossdressing became a larger part of my existence. I just wanted the boy to disappear permanently. Yet I didn't know how I could do that or if it was even possible. There wasn't much info at my local library (it was rather small). And the internet didn't exist in 1990, at least publicly.

And I simply could not take daytime talk shows when they had women who used to be men on. Seriously did anyone buy that?

So there I was totally at war within myself. Another school year fast approaching, not a lot of friends, and I did not know who or what I was.

It was during this time I wished time and time again that I could take a pill, step into a machine, whatever and change myself into a girl and go on happily being me. For good and/or bad that it would bring.

Friday, October 24, 2008


I read a comment on my last post and I feel the need to clarify something.

Even though I never felt completely right as a boy. I was fairly good at convincing others that I was.

I like to borrow from the expression where the Devil states his greatest trick was convincing everyone He did not exist.

Me, I like to claim that the greatest trick I did was convincing everyone that I did.

I never really fit in with every group, but I never really was a total outcast. I just did my best to fit in where I could.

One thing I once heard from a friend of mine was that I didn't fit into any one social group in high school, but instead I was a little part of them all.

I know its weird but it makes sense. People I talked to ran a wide spectrum. I fit in just enough not to be tormented.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The History of Kelli - Part Deux

In the last post I covered the really early years. Though I did leave out the discovery of fire and the invention of the wheel.

Ok, so I am not that old, but I figured we already knew that and it didn't need to be covered. *wink*

So moving into my pre teen years, things really started to stand out. First I was always smaller then everyone else. Add to that the fact that I wasn't as strong as my direct peers.

These things always confused me.

Now as I rolled into the double digit age group my thoughts really stood out. I knew I was a boy (at least genetically) but I liked girl things quite a lot. Sticker collections were all the rage around this time. Well guess what? I had my own collection. Traded with other girls all the time. Again I was becoming aware that other boys didn't do some of these things so I learned not to talk to them about it. Fortunately for me word didn't really spread.

Now bring in the older brother, He is eight years my senior, uber macho, hunts, fishes, into sports, you name it.

Now don't get me wrong I like my brother alot. When the time to transition comes telling him well be the most difficult. Simply because I don't know how he will react.

So I had a strong male presence on the scene. Was trying to blend in with the other boys. I did a fairly good job of this since I had someone to watch and observe. Still I really didn't feel that I fit in anywhere. Not entirely with the girls and not entirely with the boys. Junior high was a really interesting time as I spent most of my mornings clustered outside the school with a group of girls chatting. Previously I had been involved with the Jazz band and 6th and 7th grades were spent early at the school practicing. So when that disappeared during 8th grade (we lost too many instruments to high school) I had to look elsewhere so I hung out with the girls who I was in drama class with and most of their friends.

I liked it but I still felt a bit like an outsider.

The other issue was gym class. Talk about uncomfortable silence. I really, really had a hard time changing in front of others. I found it awkward for a number of reasons. I don't think sexuality enters here since I really didn't know at the time I just found it equally uncomfortable around either sex most of the time. But compound that with having to change clothes in front of others. *gasp*

I just did my best to play the part I thought I was supposed to.

However I still felt out of place. I was an active child and would have been regardless of gender I was actually born. I would have played sports as a girl, but would have wanted to dress nice and look my best when I wasn't. The best example I have of this was a close neighbor of mine who was about 3 years younger then me. She has a black belt in Karate, but never has a bad fashion day otherwise. Getting the picture here.

I had an interest in clothes but due to my issue, I avoided things like shorts for a long time. this would be because shorts back then were really short. To me they felt girlish and as soon as I put them on, well imagine the torment and turmoil I felt. Which was why I avoided them. (I was saved when long brightly colored bermuda shorts became all the rage in the early 80's) Now it wasn't that the feeling felt wrong it was just that I knew by now I wasn't supposed to feel like a girl. So I tried to avoid clothing that did just that. I didn't want that constant reminder of what I wasn't.

Things like that lead to me keeping my hair very short of a long time among other things.

But very late in junior high, I did get curious. It was at this time I started to explore the clothes my mom had. Granted these forays were very limited I just wasn't at home alone much at this time. That even though I felt right and wonderful, there was that nag that I wasn't a girl and this was wrong. I think I mentioned it before. Shame.

So there is where I will leave it for now. Tune in next time, same Kelli channel.

Besides it could get juicy we'll be entering the high school years.

Friday, October 17, 2008


So I found my answer to last nights quandary.

Saks is having their Key to the Cure event.

I think this is a brilliant idea on a number of levels. I mean think about it. It gets people into the stores, spending some money in this economic uncertainty (and possible feeling better about doing so). Raises cancer awareness, not to mention actually donates some of the proceeds to a very good cause.

I personally think this is a win all the way around. And if you would have seen my locale store last night you would agree. Seriously you could barely move through it yesterday. It looked like the day after Thanksgiving.

Granted while I still feel very left out, it is nice to know what was happening. 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tidal Wave

So out to dinner I went this evening. The locale was a new Italian place in a local upscale mall.

Now I should point out I love this mall. Saks 5th, Nordstroms, Macys, Neimen Marcus, Bebe, Guess, Cache, big name designer stores and many more. Not to mention the clientele are definitely above average. Well dressed, classy, upscale. I could definitely waste some time and money here more often if I could. Not to say I haven't.

Now the restaurant in particular was near Saks 5th. Car parked and in through Sak's we go.

Here comes the interesting part. The store is having a big Cancer awareness extravaganza (I missed which one but the place was so busy I couldn't quite catch it) However the place was packed, women everywhere and the clothes were phenomenal. From casual chic, to looking straight off the runway, to everything in between. Women of all ages, shopping getting makeovers, chatting. It was simply a massive tidal wave of Femininity, Perfume, Estrogen, Makeup, Fashion. It washed over me with such force I could barely stand it, yet at the same time I didn't want to leave. In fact I wanted to run home. Do my hair and put on a smart outfit and go soak it all in. Spend the time chatting and getting a makeover myself.

Yet at the same time I knew I couldn't I was forced to go eat, then walk back through (*sigh*) to head home.

It was 2 minutes of bliss and agony all at the same time.


I wanted nothing more then to be a part of that club, yet through the cruelness of nature (and my own choices) I couldn't. At least not today.

Maybe someday.

But I truly hate being on the outside looking in.

The history of Kelli - Part I

So now for the background, the skinny, the 411 on me.

Well I guess the best place to start is the beginning.

First, there was nothing, then a loud bang!

Ok, ok, I know waaaaay too far back. Sorry I just couldn't resist.

Ok, so when I was little and old enough to remember I don't recall thinking anything was wrong. I guess I just felt I was me. I do remember doing some things differently. I was interested in girls things just as much as boys things. I was just as comfortable running and playing baseball or collecting stuffed animals and playing house.

I guess you could say that I was rather gender fluid when it came to interests. At such a young age I just didn't really understand the big difference between boys and girls.

Then as I got older things occurred that reminded me of this fact.

First, in my neighborhood there were about 15 of us on the block within a 4 year range. Most of us even closer then that. Even more of us in the same grade scattered throughout the neighborhood. (This comes into play as we get older and can roam further.)

(Add into this I had a brother who was eight years older then I was, uber macho, etc.)

One day, I cannot recall what happened exactly. All I know is on afternoon a few of us were together. Four boys (including me) and three girls. We were all outside and discussing what we wanted to do, when the girls decided to go off and do something rather girly. (I cannot recall what, I just know if was something). When I heard this I thought it was a great idea, I know I wanted to tag along.

That is until the boys crinkled their noes and looked at me like I was crazy. I don't recall what was said, just that is was said.

For the first time ever I felt shame about what I wanted to do.

I was doing something I wasn't supposed to be doing, wasn't approved of by my peers. I hung my head and stayed with the boys letting the girls go off and do their thing.

Even as I got older I did hang out with the girls quite a bit, but not very often as part of a larger group to avoid scrutiny. I learned how to jump-rope, bake and even how girls where supposed to wear their clothes. Now while I never did the crossdress thing at such a young age I do remember being jealous of their clothes, but resigned myself to the fact that I was a boy.

Really what else was I supposed to do.

So along with the fun things I did with the girls I did the boys things too. I played with trucks, baseball, or whatever else I was supposed to do with the boys. Again I didn't hate all of it, when I think about it had I been born a girl I very much would have been a tomboy as I grew up.

I dealt with this in silence confused as to why I like both sides of the gender fence. Granted I felt far more comfortable with the girls then I did with the boys.

Little did I know what it meant and what to do about it.

I'll cover the preteen years next.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The beast within

Ok maybe not a beast per say, since I kinda do like her. However this last weekend was not easy.

At all.

I like to use the bottle of soda analogy. The bottle being the outside person most everyone sees and interacts with. The carbonized contents inside represent who I feel I am.

I'll leave out the bubbly sweetness reference about the contents, but they are true. ;)

The point of the analogy was that outside the container is fixed and predictable. Inside the contents are sometime violate and become pressurized. From time to time I have to let the pressure out. Which I have done so, enough to let me survive so far with these feelings inside me.

Well if the astute readers have been following along you'll know I spent the first week of October at SCC.

It was an amazing 4 days.

But this post isn't about those four days. Nay, they are about the days since. Namely the weekend after. Now while I tried not to think about it something in the back of my mind the first Saturday after SCC wouldn't let me do that.

You see it occurred to me that the week before I was in some comfy, but cute clothes, letting Kelli be Kelli. Not to mention the momentum I had built up the previous three days. I spent the morning doing some convention things after which was lunch, socializing and a trip to the Mall (I did score this killer dress for the formal from Macys).

Which struck me very hard the following week. That I had to be what the world expected. I don't think ever in my life had I ever felt such a malaise. I think I got by when I was younger because I could let some of that personality out (Kelli is very outgoing and talkative) which allowed me to keep the pressure under check. Others just probably chalked it up to being a kid. But I don't get to do that much anymore.

But I digress, but the fact that I had to not be myself hit me, very hard. Harder then I expected and pretty much lasted all weekend.

I didn't do anything drastic, but I was miserable most of the weekend. And that to me isn't right, it was the weekend I should have been having fun or at least relaxing some.

Now why didn't I have this issue during the week you might ask? I was super busy with work and catching up at home since my return. Per usual if I distract myself with things I forget about the issue. This has been harder of late since the distractions just don't seem to work as well. But I had just so much on my plate it was enough until the weekend hit. That is when things slowed down.

And lately Kelli has been just clawing to get out more and more. Which is the reason for the title of this post. I like her, but I've trained myself to hide her at all times unless I can fully let her out. (remember the soda bottle analogy I mentioned earleir?) I have issues with doing the half and half thing, but I will save that for my next post discussing why I live the way I do.

I the mean time I just had to get this out of my head and don't worry I will be bringing it up in therapy next week.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Idol

This post has nothing to do with that television show.

At SCC this fall I had the chance to sit in on a seminar of someone who's book I read.

She was incredible. She was so open, honest and sincere not to mention down to earth and funny. Just sitting there listening to her was simply amazing. Not to mention it lent so much to the words in her book. That not only did those words touch me so deeply, but the person who wrote them was real. It made those words sink in even more.

On top of that she gave me a few minutes before lunch to sign my copy of her book and chat with me for a few minutes. Just those few minutes had a profound effect on me.

Now I have a long way to go, but if I ever get through this and come out on the other side relatively in one piece. I hope to pay her kindness forward. I might never be the public figure and activist that she is, but if I can show my support to others by being as kind and generous with my time as she was to me. Well that will be enough for me. I think we all need that at sometime, a big sister (or brother depending on your situation) to look up to.

I might never get to know her personally but her example inspired me and that is why today I say she is my idol. The trans community needs more people like her.

So now, if you haven't done so already, you should get to know more about Donna Rose. I also highly recommend her book and blog

On the off chance that she read this, thank you Donna. You gave me renewed hope and energy.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Finding Kelli

So this October I took a big step. Well at least a big step for me.

In my journey to figure myself out I decided to attend SCC. (For those that don't know it is the largest transgendered conference in the US. It takes place every year around the end of September or Early October. You can find more about it here:

I arrived late Wednesday and did not leave until early Sunday morning. After getting to the hotel and spending a few minutes unpacking while waiting for room service (I was hungry ok). The next 81 hours were spent as me. Eat, Sleep, Conference, Mall. I spent it as who I truly think I am.

So what did I find?

Well for one thing I didn't mind the routine. I got up, got ready, got dressed, went down stair for a quick bite, then off to where ever I was going. Not once did I think about my gender, I just simply was. It didn't matter that as a girl I had more to do, I never got tired of it. I am not quite sure how to explain it.

On top of that I just existed. I didn't feel the dysphoria, I didn't feel out of place. I didn't feel at war with myself to be something I am not.

The worst part of the trip was Sunday morning. No it wasn't packing the clothes away. This has never been about the clothes. Maybe when I was much younger I thought it was (or at least tried to pass off the feelings I had as such). But packing wasn't the issue.

No, it was the moment I realize I was going to have to do that final clean up, hit the shower and present the world with the person it expects to see. I felt like I was about to amputate one of my limbs. Morbid I know, but it is the best analogy I can think of. I sat in the big lounge chair in my room for 40 minutes, trying to come to terms with this and put the girl away. It wasn't easy.

The most interesting thing I had happen to me, was regarding all the people who asked me how far along I was in my transition. A lot of eyebrows shot up when I surprised them by saying I hadn't started and that I was still figuring it all out. Seriously, I got this from other trans, natal and everyone in between.

I am giving myself some time since the trip to come down off the cloud, to allow for some reality to sink in, before I rush any decisions. I am however finding that my dysphoria is even harder to deal with now. I am realizing more and more I just want to be me even though much of society might think I am crazy/wrong/sinning/whatever for feeling this way.

I will say this before I close this post. I did meet a number of wonderful people and simply had one of the best times of my life. I certainly intend to return next year.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Me, Myself, and I

So if anyone has been reading this blog you have been probably wondering. Who am I?

Good question.

I am a 33 year old trying to figure herself out. Now that is the interesting part. No, not the age. The 'her' part.

You see I am not exactly a her. While genetically being born a him I have known since a very early age I was different. Took me a while to figure it out. Try to deal with it and eventually come to terms with it.

And that is where I am at now.

I spent years trying to suppress the emotions, thoughts and desires that I had. To live my life as people and society expected of me. Only to come to the realization that I was fighting a losing battle. The flood waters kept rising so to speak. So now I am at this point in my life were I am questioning everything. Who I am, who I want to be, how I am going to get there.

I will point out that earlier this year I started seeing a therapist and working all this that is inside my head out. If I intend to do what I am thinking about I want to make sure, I myself, am prepared for it. I need to get my head on right before I start telling others and setting the transition ball in motion. Because if you are not careful or ready that ball can run you over.

Where will I end up, I don't know. There are things to still work out and settle in my head before I move on. Though I feel something will happen soon.

There is a lot to cover and I hope to put up more as I go along and thoughts come to my head.