Happy New Year - January/February 1999

Okay, here it is another year. What a difference between last year at this time. I had hit somewhat low, then. I wanted so much and it all seemed so far away. This year, so much of who I am and what I want is real, tangible. I quit my waiter job in Dec, and for a few weeks, things looked pretty bleak on the job front. Construction jobs were nil right around Christmas, so I had to look at tip type jobs again just to get some money in. I applied at a downtown hotel a coupla days after Christmas, and on the 3rd of this month, I got called in. Hired 3 days later. Room Service. Instead of 2.25 hr + tips, I am making 5.00 hr + tips+ service charge. Awesome. Incredible benefits, great place to work, 15 minutes away on bike...good thing cause I have to be there 5:00 am, no buses...LOL..

I was very happy at the choice I made and how it seemed to be working out. The 5am thing is especially good for me. I need to practice discipline. I have lived my life not really caring. I went from thing to thing, town to town, job to job, because I couldn't have what I really wanted. I wasn't able to have a family, go to work in my suit and tie, and be a professional man. I know many will cringe, but it's what I wanted, but never had a chance to discover if I would like it or not. Now, I had a chance to move up in this company, learn some discipline, go to school, paid for, and become an accountant or bookkeeper. I love that stuff. I did it for the company I worked for before all this and fell in love with numbers and spreadsheets and budgets and payroll. Any how, I would be getting up early, doing all the normal things a guy does to get ready for work, and I got off at 2:00pm, so I had much of the day still available. It was great. I loved walking downtown at lunch with all the throngs of people. For the first time IN MY LIFE, I belong to the human race. I have an identity, a place I fit. Not even I could understand how incredible that feeling was till it hit me. I never knew how much I missed, how much I put away because it hurt to think of. Now everything is available and attainable. Phreaking incredible.

So the year started out on a good note. The best thing was knowing that a year ago, on January 13th, I started living as a man. I was called Devin, but it wasn't legal. I was a female at my work, and had to begin letting them know I was really a guy. It was tough. I had to learn how to bind the lumps on my chest that estrogen had caused to grow. It was painful, and sometimes embarrassing when it didn't work so well. But there were good things too, I began to use the men's room exclusively, I began to make friends as a male only. It was a tremendous start, but back then looking ahead was hard. Everything seemed so far away. January 13th 1999 came, my one year mark, and I marveled at how things had worked out. I was legally Devin now, had worked as a male at two jobs, and no one had ever known, my buddies had no clue, I went to church in a suit, wore ties almost daily (hey I have 40+ years to make up for...LOL) To my landlord I am a male, to my housemates, to the neighbors, I am just a regular guy. I have never been a regular anything. Amazing how one year can change a life so completely and totally. I am so happy and have been so for several months. I have quit having depressions, I am more in control, I care more, I live more, I want more, can achieve more. Whew, how wonderful life is when you can just live it and not just act it out.

January 13th, my first anniversary, came quietly. I went to work, saw the love of my life, went home, did the usual things. Around 8:00pm my mom paged me (I have no phone yet) with the code that she was on her way over. That was very very strange. She never came out this late at night, how strange. Anyhow a few minutes later she drives up. A "how are you, son" and she holds out a present and a card. "Happy anniversary, son" It was a tie box, I knew it soon as I saw it. I had watched my dad and brother, uncles et.al, get them through the years. She and my dad will never understand what they did for me that day. Being their son was beyond anything I could have hoped for. For Mom to go out and buy a tie (my first as a present) just blew me away. Then came the card. "My dearest Son - Happy Unique Anniversary" The card said, "no one could take your place...cause it's reserved for ever." More blubbery stuff, and mom signed it, and then on the other side of the card was a note "Much Love, Your Dad" Not just Dad, but Your Dad. Somehow it really hit me. I told mom that it was kinda cool, and she said he sat for about ten minutes thinking of what he would write and then he wrote this. It prolly sounds dumb, but from my Dad, it was really a heartfelt thing for him to do.

The rest of the month was pretty uneventful. Work, sleep, play, learn, just a regular string of days. No strife, no worries, just day to day living.

February was a pretty non-descript month as usual...LOL. The month was spent learning more about my job and I cross trained to another desk job, which I will to on an as needed basis. Not my accounting yet, but the best thing was...I GOT TO GO TO WORK IN A TIE!!!!!! How wonderfully cool that was. I love the days I get to do this and not wear the room service uniform. It is so easy to be able to dress nicely as a guy. I could not choose anything before except jeans and t-shirt. If I had to wear a dress or something, someone else had to help me. I can tell a woman what looks good on her, but I could not begin to dress myself in female clothing. It didn't look good, it was very traumatizing to even try things on, much less let someone see me in them. There was no way I could decide what to wear for myself. It really drove my friends crazy and shopping was almost as stressful as going in the women's bathroom. Anyhow, dressing now is no problem. I know what tie will look good with what shirt, I know what suit will look good. It is so amazing to spend money on clothing. In 1 year, I have spent more on clothes than in the last 15 years. That is no exaggeration. I probably only bought 4 items in the last 15 years, besides replacing jeans and t's. I have spent more on ties than those 4 outfits. Anyhow, it's been a great two months. I feel less and less like a "transman' or "FTM" or whatever label people need on things, and I needed at first actually, and more like just a regular person who happens to be male. No one should ever have to wait 44 years to feel like a normal human being. But on the other hand, I am so much more grateful for my life than most people who never have to struggle with being given an identity that is not correct, and then given a stigma because of it. But stigma is something that is given, and doesn't have to be taken. I choose not to accept it, I choose just to be me, like it or go somewhere else....

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