By Request II… Polyamory

I am cheating by pasting this essay in from previous work, but I think it largely satisfies the request for an overview of my views on polyamory.

Reflections on polyamory and non-monogamy

May 1

First, let me say, I believe there is a major verbiage problem in explaining open relationships. Namely, that the vocabulary surrounding such ideas is limited and limiting.

Here is a dictionary definition from Webster’s:
poly·am·ory
the state or practice of having more than one open romantic relationship at a time

To me, the subjectivity of the phrase “Open romantic relationship” allows for a host of varying interpretations. Some people focus on sexual aspects.  Now, many of those people feel that they are strictly ‘swingers’ and not ‘poly.’ Others dismiss ‘swinging’ as somehow inferior because it lacks emotional depth. And, while I see the distinction at both ends (sex focused vs. romantic love focused) I am not sure that it’s really as binary as all that.  And, I certainly would not presume to say that one is better than the other. Because each couple has (or should have) a specific set of beliefs and limitations, there can be no true and absolute definition of what any given couple actually is.  My own needs are for emotional connections, whether sexual or not.

As I understand it, having an open relationship (some might call this dyad polyamory) is the way that most couples falling under this large tent of polyamory participate in it. In this type of open relationship, there is a nuclear relationship of two individuals. (A ‘primary’ relationship.)  Its members are free to engage in romantic, sexual, and even committed relationships with others. (Secondary relationships) They may also have relationships with people they see rarely or for a short time… or for some specific common interest. (Tertiary relationships)

As to my personal participation in polyamory, my beliefs are less arbitrarily structured, and more need-based. Natural balance is fairly easy to achieve here, as long as there is emotional honesty and cooperation.  When we focus our energy on getting everyone to where they need to be, it becomes far less important who gets there first.

I first began self-identifying as polyamorous a few years ago.  I had gone through one of many recent personal metamorphoses in the months leading up to that. I decided that my life was better served by conscious decisions than be simply subscribing to societal norms. Among the other choices I made during this period was the decision to set aside Christianity, and religion altogether. It was in the context of this period that I challenged my thoughts on societal roles on love and sex and monogamy, as they seemed closely tied to religious dogma. I undertook to understand the human as an animal. To strip away the cultural programming, and understand what it is that people do by nature, and by instinct.

I decided it was my assertion that humans are not necessarily meant to be monogamous.  They are certainly not in error to choose it, if that’s what works best… but, it’s no an absolute. Then came extensive discussions about the emotional impact of non-monogamy on relationships. I discovered that I might actually enjoy it if my partner were to engage in relationships with others.  (This has actually proven to be the source of great joy.) Over time, theory gave way to practice and it has become utterly clear to me that this is not only a lifestyle, but rather, an identity.  I have an unlimited amount of love to share, and an equally unlimited want to share it.  My only concern is that I not take on more than my time allows.  I want to be a good partner to those who choose to have me in their lives, and recognize that trying to be there for too many people at once means not being there for anyone.

The bottom line is this: nothing makes me happier than seeing my partner happy. …and, I am not so egocentric (or insecure) as to believe that I am the only person who can make that happen

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The BIG One!

Hello, lovelies;

SO much to get to both in terms of volume and importance.

Let me knock out the quick stuff…

DW’s health concerns continue, and further action may be required to finally be done with this scare once-and-for-all.  This is not doing great things for my nerves.

GS and I are rebuilding our friendship.

SCG is still quite busy.

PB is now quite busy as well.

BB is rather busy.

Dallas Pride was…well, not Long Beach Pride.

Gender non-conforming friend decided to make war on me, to little or no effect but to look foolish.  Way more drama than I am used to, or am willing to make time for.

Babykiddo is sick 😦

I may be getting sick 😦

DW has been getting out more of late.  I am very grateful that she seems to be making strides toward doing more of the things that make her happy.

I ordered myself a Rainbow Brite doll to replace the one I had as a little girl.  I had no idea how much good a silly doll could do for me, but I lit up in probably the same way I did as a four-year-old when it arrived yesterday.

Lots of friends seem to be getting what they need and want, and that does me immeasurable good!

The temperature is now back within earth-like ranges.  More 100+ degree days this summer than any in history…. how nice 😛

But, the real news is the unexpected appearance of what appears to be the next major relationship.  This new interest came crashing into my life about a week and a half ago, and much has changed since!

She (despite a recommendation from a friend that I should call her “Too Much Hotness,” which is certainly deserved, I am instead going to call her ROS.  Ray Of Sunshine) came to a discussion group on polyamory last weekend.  That night, about ten of us, ROS included, stayed well past the group, on to a restaurant, past the restaurant’s closing and into the wee hours.  There was no missing her, all eyes took notice wherever she went.  She is charming and energetic, funny and thoughtful.  And, not to glance over the obvious, she is stunning!

We had great conversation by text and over the phone throughout the week, and made a date for Saturday lunch, which became an entire afternoon.  Then, she came over Saturday night and spent time with some friends of mine (including BB and her husband, and GS)  Things got comfortable, and romantic…there was lots of kissing and snuggling.

Sunday was Pride…met her there…. then she came over again Sunday night for more time together.  I went to the mall and had drinks with her yesterday, and she is out with DW having dinner right now.  The plan is that, once they return, ROS will spend the night.

I am as smitten as can be.  More to follow on the specifics of why she is such a great fit, but for now, I leave you with the news that I have been absolutely swept off my feet in the greatest possible fashion!

Be well, beautiful people!

Muah!!!!

New topic for “By Request”

I have the next topic for what I hope will be a fun series of entries, “By Request.”  The next topic will be Polyamory.  Now, some of that content is available in a general sense, but I will be attempting to take it on more as a practical matter…how I have seen it work and fail to work, what the principles we adhere to are, and so forth.

I will look forward to writing it, and I hope you will indulge me by reading it 🙂

Have the best of all possible nights, my loves,

Muah!

By Request.. first in a series

The first request comes from a reader who is a friend of mine wanting to gain a firmer understanding of transgender life.  She has asked how I am feeling about my upcoming legal name change.

Honestly, it may seem silly that the biggest feeling I have at the moment is that I am very nervous about having to appear in court to get the change put through.  We have a pre-paid legal plan through DW’s job.  I have an attorney who has filed the petition with the court.  I had myself fingerprinted (at the county jail…loads of fun!)  All that’s left, as mentioned, is the court date.  It should be short and sweet.  I will affirm that I am not changing my name to hide from prosecution or debt.  I will state that my name change is being sought because I am undergoing gender reassignment, and that my new name is the one by which I am known personally and professionally.  The judge then has the choice to rubber stamp me, sweat me out, or decline to grant the petition.  These sorts of things are supposed to basically be a formality, but I hope I just get rubber stamped.

Beyond Monday, though, I will not have to decide which name to put on a form, whom to have products delivered to… I will never again have to pause and determine why someone is asking before deciding what to tell them my name is.  If someone is asking what name is on my credit card, that’s one name, but if they want to know how to tell people who I am, that’s a different one.  So there’s that.

The other thing is, just like starting hormones, this is a benchmark.  I can point to this as a sign of my commitment.  For those who think this may be a phase, for instance, I am able to say my name is what I say it is, this is not an alter-ego, this is not a joke, this is not a Halloween costume.  I am this person.  There is no ability to ask what my ‘real’ name is beyond the one I give.

Another nice thing about this is the need for a new driver’s license… my old one has a very unflattering picture of someone who looks nothing like me.  It will be nice to get a new ID.

None of this, of course, changes my legal status as male.  There are an awful lot of hoops to jump through there… and it tremendously complicates marriage rights of all sorts.  My hope is that the laws are ready for me when I am ready to change my gender marker.

I think that essentially satisfies this question… who else has a writing prompt for me?

Another one…just because I like you so very much!

I realize that I neglected to mention stuff in the last post, because I was so focused on GS.

Saturday, Mrs. BE had a birthday dinner, and party that followed at their place.  A wonderful night filled with VERY open talk, and even more open activities was had.  I found myself spending the bulk of my evening giving massages to very attractive people.  Poor me 😉

Also Saturday, I spent the morning with my friend next door, who is also a stay-at-home-mom.  I always have a very nice time with her, and will miss her a great deal if either of us move.

Sunday had me trying to very carefully tightrope walk as a friend of mine who is non-gender-conforming went on a bit of a tirade against another acquaintance of mine, TJ.  I was trying to do the best job I could of trying to explain, and even try to apologize for the angry words without completely selling out my friend.  I got a series of messages yesterday that led me to the knowledge that ngc friend was not too happy with me over it.  I guess I couldn’t win… but the tirade was out of line, and someone needed to say so.

The tone of this week, though, is still under the influence of DW’s health stuff.  More medical interacting on Friday… hopefully once and for all!

That’s it for your bonus blog, but check back for a bonus essay that a friend of mine requested on my feelings about the impending court date for my name change.  I hope to have that up tonight 🙂

Stay sexy, my loves!

Muah!!!

You are owed a new post

…So, here it is 🙂

Remember when you were a kid, and you had a sand sifter?  Several versions of this exist, but mine was a simple circular plastic pan with a perforated bottom.  I liked this toy.  there was a simple elegance to scooping up sand and watching it flow gracefully out revealing whatever pebbles or sea shells might be there. That’s not unlike life now.  Lots of things pouring through the grate, yeilding the discovery of new things.

As previously mentioned, there was an abrupt end to things with GS.  It has become apparent that this is a bigger deal than first thought.  While I stand by my belief that it didn’t work, I have become very interested in why I decided to take such a strong stance on ending it.  My M.O. is to let things show themselves to be problematic, rather than simply acting on the belief that such an eventuality is inevitable.

In the case of GS specifically, I have a level of fear of being hurt that clearly exceeds what it might typically be.  She is young, and views relationships in the way that young people do (as do I.)  I had concerns before dating her that her tendency toward being ‘direct’ in conversation might be a liability where my feelings were concerned.  Time proved this concern had merit, and I id find myself being harmed by words which were not sensitive enough for my wishes.

We had a couple of instances of this, and got past them… but, the night before I decided to cut things off she made a comment about SCG not being sexy.  This shifted some things.  First off, I am much more tolerant of people hurting me than people hurting those close to me.  I am very protective of those I love (in any fashion) and this was a very big deal to me.

The following morning, she wrote me with criticism of how I had characterized our relationship in the blog.  She seemed to feel slighted.  Already reeling from the criticism of SCG, I had had enough.  I made the decision to cut it off right there and then.  that was a little out of character for me, but things only went further from my pattern from there.

I generally have an outcome in mind when engaging in heavy conversation.  In the case of a breakup, I generally keep the friendship outcome in mind.  For whatever reason, though, I found myself back on my heels in this conversation.  I was not able to be successful in maintaining the friendship.  In fact, the more I was pursued and apologized to, the more frightened I became.  I simply ran from the conversation, leaving no forwarding address.

I still cannot answer with any certainty my questions on why my behavior was so different this time.  I think, to a certain degree, I am different.  I am less likely to stay to long at the party.  This is a result of too many times of playing fool me once, shame on you, fool me thirty times, shame on me 😛  So, there’s that… and it probably plays a part.  And, of course, there’s the being protective of SCG thing.  That plays a role too.  But, what is the x-factor here?  What was it about this turn of events that made me so able to freak out?

…Because GS was the first person to have a relationship with ME.  Before, there was always the safety of the pseudonym… that old person who people saw, which was pretty close to me, but not quite.  It was just enough of a barrier to be able to remain objective and calm in a breakup.  GS saw me as a sexy girl, though.  Not a sexy trans-girl, not a sexy self-assured weirdo.  Just me.

I think that is the biggest component.  I have never had to break up with someone who saw only the real me before.  I realize now, there was a lot of fear in that.  It is entirely likely that I now have this out of my system, as I now know to watch for it, but I feel badly for being less able to maintain the friendship as a result.

In addition to having negative feelings about the breakup itself, my handling of it has had a trickle-down effect to my relationship with SCG, and with a new character to the blog… she needs a name… She has a beautiful smile, kind, deep eyes, very attractive, huge heart… any ideas?  She is a member of the poly community, and she and her husband have been dear friends of mine and DW’s for some time now.

In other news… Great weekend for being social.  Have plans with a friend to go shopping tomorrow.  Saturday afternoon, I am having lunch with a newcomer to the poly group.  …and, PB has been in touch today 🙂

….and there is someone on OKCupid who reminds me a bit of Audra McDonald.  (Now if I could just find an Ana Marie Cox look alike! lol)

 

Be well, my lovelies!

Muah!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and then there were two.

Things ended rather abruptly with GS today.  We had some good times, and I am glad for that.  The end was unusual.  I like to maintain friendships where there is a willingness to do so, but I felt a bit backed into a corner and opted instead for a clean break.

There are new things on the horizon, but I am very eager to see what happens in the next week or two with PB and SCG.

Be well, my lovelies!

Muah!

Quick and Dirty

I have been too busy having current events lately to post about current events 😛

I have three…count them one, two, three budding relationships of one sort or another.

I have been deeply engaged with my family on the west coast in anticipation of a possible move back home.

Everything feels very much up in the air.  It’s fun, in a way, but I am ready for a disposition.  Ready to know if we’re moving, ready to know where these budding relationships are going, ready to know if my silly endocrinologist is going to FINALLY up my hormones, ready to get my fingerprints taken so I can finish my name change…. too many juggling balls.

All of them lead to better things (I think) but it’s a lot of motion.

In terms of my three lovely romantic interests, the looming move is keeping me in something of a holding pattern.

One of these has reached a disposition… sort of.  Let’s call her Gold Star for now. (she was previously mentioned as being new to Denton)  GS and I have a sort of casual (largely physical) relationship.  I don’t have experience with relationships like this, so it’s novel.  She makes me feel sexy, and the importance of that cannot be overstated.

SCG and I are enjoying each other’s company.  Poor dear seems overburdened with school, but we are finding ways to sneak in time together.  She is an absolute sweetheart, and we have very similar wants, it seems.  I continue to hold out hope that she will be someone I can really let myself fall hard for.  I feel like she really believes I am beautiful.

The most recent addition to the mix is a member of the poly community.  I think that sets her at a huge advantage to being able to understand the rules of the road.  She is a little older than the other two, and more established in terms of home, vocation, and relationships.   We will call her Poly Bombshell. PB and I have met up twice now.  I have some concerns that I made less than an impressive showing last time, but time will tell.  I did get a very knee-weakening kiss at the close of our last meeting, and I hope that is a good sign.

I desperately need to sleep, and for my body to stop aching.  Worry over DW’s health has been the underpinning of every passing moment the last few days.  Things are looking better now, and I can move on.  Thank goodness.

In other news, my warranty replacement for the hair removal laser comes tomorrow… hopefully.  I have never been so eager to inflict tremendous pain on myself 😛

Be well, my loves.

Muah!!!

 

 

 

Baby update

I have been asked for baby info, here’s the latest.

Cayleigh will be 14 months on the 17th.  She is in the middle of the range for height and slender… but, she has a huge head, apparently.  She has four bottom teeth, and is almost done getting numbers three and four on top.

She is happy, and likes being around people.  Her laugh is hilarious.  She likes to pick up flat objects like papers and menus and rotate them and look at every conceivable angle, almost as though figuring out some deep puzzle.  She takes on everything in this way, cautiously and deliberately examining all angles.  She clearly wants to understand all the complexities of a thing before diving in.  Her moms will have a much easier time of it if that lasts 😉

She LOVES to dance and listen to music.  She gets very excited about the pool, and likes to splash, and be splashed. She explains things to us in great detail and with great emphasis (in her own language, of course.)

She claps and waves, gives five… she can feed herself finger foods and hand us things we ask for.  She understands the word “No” and is good about following direction. She follows us around the house at super-zoomy crawling speed.  She likes attention, but does not need it every single second of the day.

All told, she continues to amaze us with everything she does.  Every day is a new adventure!  I love being a mom ❤

The Girl in the Blue Pants

I was born March 30, 1980.  As in the case of almost all babies, a cursory glance at the identifying parts determined whether I was a pink-dress-wearing baby or a blue-pants-wearing baby.  I was said to be the latter.  While I would go on to be called Lauren, I was given a different name at that time.  I liked the name I was given, it was the name of a great man and personal hero, my maternal grandfather.

I am told I was a precocious child from a very early age.  Language came easily to me.  I was curious, expressive, and sensitive.  I’ve been asked before what my earliest memory is. While most of my early memories revolve around my maternal grandparents and the wonderful times I spent with them, I believe that my earliest independent recollection is of banging my head on my headboard in anguish over something or another.  Take that as you will.  I was pretty happy most of the time, but I did continue self-injuring behaviors well into adulthood.

I realize the first time something felt wrong about being a girl in blue pants as soon as I learned there was a difference between boys and girls.  A guest speaker came to my preschool to talk about strangers, and what strangers might do to our bodies.  I remember there were different words for what boys had and what girls had.  Amusingly, I mis-remembered the name of the girls’ part as “Gertrude.” Despite having the wrong name, I hung onto this idea of Gertrude.  It seemed, at the time, like something I needed to file in my brain in a brightly-colored folder for use later.

Throughout my young childhood, I was surrounded by girls.  My best friend, and two other very close friends were girls that lived on my street.  I remember even then, how much I wanted to be included. I wanted to prove that I was more than my blue pants.  For the most part, I was accepted as being capable of doing all of the girl things, and my blue pants didn’t seem to hold me back.

I remember, in particular, my deep love for the cartoon “Rainbow Brite.”  One of the only conspicuous concessions to my femininity was the purchase of a Rainbow Brite doll.  I wonder to what degree my parents either thought that was a phase, or were mortified by that.

School came and brought with it further expectations of gender from my contemporaries.  Other people in blue pants wanted to rough-house.  I didn’t.  I wanted to play with my pink dress friends. I quickly learned that just wouldn’t do!

My first pathetically one-sided run-in with a bully was in kindergarten.  I can still remember the boy… Randy was his name.  I had two strikes against me: One was, of course, being a girl; the other was being taught to be a strict pacifist under any and all conditions.  This was something of a fascination to boys, it seemed.  Someone who would not fight back under any circumstances.  The temptation was great, indeed!  Add to that, the way I dealt with these conflicts was to tell the teacher.  That made me additionally popular as a target, as playground bullies tend to prefer their brand of justice over that which was dispensed by the powers-that-be.

My essay entitled, “It Gets Better” addresses the bullying in greater detail.

I engaged in asymmetrical warfare with my brother as a result of the same facts that made me a favorite target among classmates.  He was a properly-credentialed boy, and I found myself doing things like playing the overture to “The Phantom of the Opera” at high volume in order to achieve the effect that might otherwise be achieved through a scuffle.  He was a much better scuffler than I, despite my four-year advantage.

The age of seven saw me moving several cities over, and leaving my street full of girlfriends behind.  There were new girls to play with, but they were outside of my travel boundaries.  This was a very lonely time.  I made friends with a boy on the adjacent cul-de-sac (the only kid my age within my travel boundaries at the time) this was largely a product of his owning a Nintendo video game system.  I had discovered by then that doing as the Romans did helped thwart some of the difficulty I had with my peers, but bullies were bullies.

In the ensuing year or two, I began to really be conscious of how to tell lies well.  I was at the optometrist for my weekly ‘quack’ eye exercise nonsense.  As these exercises caused me considerable discomfort, I lied to the optometrist about not feeling up to it.  She bought it!  But then, she walked me out to my waiting mother to whom I tried to lie about having said that to the optometrist.  I was busted.  I spent the rainy afternoon writing “I will not lie.” over and over, and missing my favorite TV show “Ramona” which was about a girl my age who was misunderstood.  Despite being caught on this occasion, I went on to become such a strong liar, I could make myself believe my own fabrications.  My identity split in two.  There was the version of me that I thought would not get in trouble, and the real me buried somewhere deep inside.  I think my ability to act is largely a product of what this period in my life caused me to do.

It was this striated personhood which had me in love with stories like “The Little Mermaid,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and “Beauty and the Beast.”  Stories about people who were so much more than what their appearance portrayed, about people who needed to be something else if they were to be happy.

Time marched on.  I was lonely from being without girls to play with.  At the end of third grade, my teacher had a sleepover for the girls in my class.  I, of course, was not invited.  I was very jealous.  By fourth grade, the pressure of being someone else, coupled some pretty severe problems at home gave rise to my checking out of school in a drastic way.  I developed anxiety over judgement and acceptance.  I would do my schoolwork, but not turn it in, as I did not want it graded.  School never improved for me.  In fact, it was met with increasing terror and contempt year by year.

Junior high had the other girls’ bodies doing fascinating things.  I was doubly fascinated, as I was both interested in girls, and wanting that for myself.  I started being left at home alone at some point.  I used to literally run to my mom’s closet and try on her clothes in a fury, hoping not to get caught.  I spent enormous amounts of time in the bathroom considering what it would be like to have the right parts.  I learned everything there was to know about female anatomy.  I never found myself contemplating sexuality in what one might call a conventional way.  I remember the first time that I was caught staring at breasts, I was doing so out of wonderment and envy rather than attraction.

From the time I was twelve, well into my adulthood when she eventually passed away, my mother had cancer.  It was Hodgkin’s disease, which is a lymphatic cancer.  This began to make some things obvious to me that had not been as obvious before.  One was that I did not want to be anything like my mother. Another was that my father would have probably been more happy pursuing his dream of being a history teacher than have to deal with having a kid at nineteen years old.  Oddly enough, however, I have shifted my beliefs in recent years.  I think I have turned out a great deal like my mother.  Perhaps (as is my hope) just a better version of the woman she tried to be.

My mother was not a well person in another way too, though.  She was not mentally sound.  I say that as a person who takes daily medication for depression… she was not well.  I do not judge that she was ill, only that her denial kept her from getting the treatment we all desperately needed her to have.  Her erratic behavior had indirect effects as well.  My father was pushed to the breaking point with trying to appease her.  He had no energy left for other matters, nor the will to overrule my mother’s insane expectations.  I bring all of this up because, this is often the period of time when people start to figure out gender variance.  I was too absorbed in other matters to explore that.

Halfway through high school, my life took a major turn for the better, in terms of feeling connected to the world of women again.  I had my first real girlfriend at this time.  Not only was she an amazing partner, she was willing to answer my questions about her experience of the world as a woman.  We had some of our best time doing things more typical of two girls.  This was a definite turning point.  I never had relationships with other women in the same way after this.  Being surrounded by a group of girlfriends became the norm again, but in a new, more grown-up way.  They were willing to share with me what it was to be a woman in the same way that my younger years had surrounded me with those willing to show me what it was to be a girl.

Women opened their lives to me, told me incredibly detailed accounts of the innermost workings of their experiences.  I was a captivated audience, and this served me well, as it made people all the more willing to share with me.  I found myself with deep, intense friendships.  I would go so far as to say that I not only loved my friends, but in many cases, I may have been in love with them.

By Nineteen I had found the perfect job working at Disneyland.  Finally getting to leave the facade of myself behind for a few hours, I delighted in being a more true version of me, and also in playing characters.

At twenty, I found myself suddenly in need of a place to live as my mother turned me out because I had opted not to take her to the Disneyland employee party that year.  Being kicked out was nothing new.  I found myself homeless two days before Christmas at age seventeen, when my father found it convenient to allow my mother to assume that an altercation he and I had was because I was a menace, and not because he had succumbed to his violent temper (as was his custom.)  I had to think creatively to find a home in the space of a few hours.  The most reasonable and immediate solution seemed to be moving in with my then-girlfriend (To be clear, this was not the same one as I’d had in High School.)

The relationship was doomed from the beginning, but neither of us had very good options as we both sought to be free of the drama of our families of origin.  We married that summer.  She was disappointed in me.  She wanted me to act more masculine than I did.  She asked if I was gay, she told me to “be a man.”  Of course, I was unable.

That relationship came to an end some five years later, after the death of my best friend caused me to finally make some tough decisions about my life.  I began talking to an old flame.  I was able to talk to her in ways I hadn’t before.  I spoke, in plain terms about how much I felt I was a woman, and how jealous I was of the experiences she’d had.  She was supportive and understanding.  I moved from Southern California to Fort Worth, Texas.  I did this to start over with the old flame.  I made huge strides in figuring out who I am during that time.  It was a good environment for being myself.  That relationship did ultimately end, but my momentum did not.

I went into the relationship with my wife knowing a great deal about my gender identity.  At that point, I was explaining myself as “emotionally female.”  I had not accepted the term “Transgender” because I mistakenly thought that meant I had to be transitioning.  We had a daughter together.  I did everything I could to be a great partner through pregnancy.  It was a hard road, though.  It stung so deeply that I was watching this amazing process of creating life unfold before my very eyes, but I was not able to participate in the way I desperately wanted to.

My daughter was only a few months old when I was having a conversation with a friend in which I was explaining my gender issues and she asked a very simple question of me that started a revolution.  I was telling her why I could not transition to a life in which I was outwardly female.  The question stopped me cold.  “Why not?”  I came up with justifications as to why not… she countered.  Ultimately, I was left to contemplate whether I might actually get to show the world who I am at long last after denying myself for over thirty years.

Over the next several months, I slowly chipped away at my need to cling to my false identity, and began to embrace the idea of allowing myself to be myself.

A new name, new pronouns, new titles, new clothes, an exhausting regimen of hair removal, and heavy makeup.  Prosthetics came and went (with the appearance of my own tissue growth.)  Coming out to all sorts of people under a variety of circumstances.  Being polyamorous meant I would have to do what most trans people do in learning to date as their preferred gender.  I am due to have even more hormones started in a few weeks.  ( I am on a starter dose of daily estrogen at present.)  The hormones alone change all sorts of physical and behavioral changes.

The fact is, though, despite all of the outward changes, you probably have always known me… even if you knew me by another name, or with a different appearance.  The person I am now is the same person that came out at my most happy and comfortable moments before.  Maybe Lauren was listening to you when you needed someone to talk to.  Maybe Lauren cooked for you.  Maybe Lauren helped you pick out an outfit.  I have always been there.  No matter what other truths may have seemed to exist, if you have known the core of me at any point, you have known Lauren.

And, just as importantly, the person who was miserable… the person who didn’t want to live… the person who lied and was controlling and manipulative….That person has nothing to do with me.  That person was a product of having to keep up a charade all day, every day for entirely too long.  That person was exhausted!

I buried that person.