Lily’s First Holiday Season

Like many seasons before, it’s proving to be a kick in the head. However, this year is a little different. It’s been about nine months since I came out as Transgender. This is my first season presenting female and if all goes well I will be beginning Hormone Replacement Therapy in a bit over two weeks from today. I’m seriously ready for this and I can hardly believe it’s finally actually happening. I will be seeing an Endocrinologist just to be on the safe side with figuring out dosage and all mostly because I have an autoimmune disease (RA)and don’t know what variables that might pose.

My Gender Therapist has been really amazing about helping guide me through this process. I really like the guy (He’s a Trans Man) and he’s super involved with Equality Florida. I saw him at the ‘We won’t be erased’ rally in St. Petersburg and last night he was a speaker/presenter at the Candlelight Vigil for Transgender Day of Remembrance. The Mayor of St Pete and many other city officials were speakers. I cried at various points. Listening to the names of the(confirmed) Trans People lost to violence cut me to the core. One of the slain shared my last name.

The night before the vigil my Man and I went to pick up a pizza. On the way there a jerk teenager started screaming and threatening to stab me. We kept going the other way and he didn’t follow us. I was freaked the walk back and had my mace ready. Thankfully the trip home was uneventful. It drives me nuts when people (Mostly Republicans) go around talking about people like me wanting special treatment and say things like ‘Its 2018, Gays are in absolutely no danger in the western world!’. Even though I was talking about TRANS PEOPLE. Nice subtle form of Erasure, eh?

I exist and sure as hell plan to assert it. The religious right doesn’t own America and they sure as shit don’t own me. I’m trying to detach myself from the news cycle and public outrage to some extent but with the ruling administration waging war on LGBT people I for one refuse to just roll over and let these lunatics erase us.

I’m not becoming ‘hateful’ or ‘screechy’ or whatever the latest word du jour is for people who don’t want to let billionaire narcissists do whatever they please. What I am becoming is simply no longer afraid to fight the hell back. I’m as sweet and reasonable as they come but that ends when you start stripping people like Me of our civil rights to housing and employment and education and healthcare and threatening to define us into legal and literal oblivion.

Anyhow, the transition goes well. Got my Gender Dysphoria diagnosis letter sent to the doctor, my hair is finally starting to look good, and I’m building a huge Trans family online. I still only know a couple of local people because I’m incredibly slow to approach people but I’m working on it. One thing my therapist advised is to not do any sort of body modifications until I’ve been on hormones for a long while because often the changes from the hormones prove sufficient without altering anything plus if you do something early in HRT the results can be unpredictable. So yeah, still taking things nice and slow.

The next thing to start working on is my voice. Luckily I found a nearby Trans Wellness Center that has vocal training classes. Definitely looking into this. Anyhow, I’m still fighting holiday stress as per usual. I’m a little nervous about getting awkward questions over the holidays from relatives who haven’t seen Lily in person yet. Doing my best to be good natured. There have been awkward moments, sure. But my family has been mostly super cool about my Transition. I love them and I pray like HELL that we keep political discussion to a minimum for the sake of decorum.

Aside from that, just enjoying the Facebook group I started (Transgender Metal People 😫)and loving and appreciating the living daylights out of my growing Trans Family. If y’all are reading this YOU mean the absolute Universe to me 🤘

Anyhow, despite my troubles at least my anxiety meds work and I had tacos for lunch! Today has been pretty good and I’m feeling pretty awesome about Lily Jane (and planning to start taking some Martial Arts classes 🤘).

Happy Beginning of the Holidays, folks. Enjoy this photo of me at the Trans Rights Rally. More to come.

I am just getting started 😘

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The Chronicles of Lily Jane Part Two

Sometimes it’s so freaking astonishing to me how far I’ve actually come. For many years I was way too terrified to go out in public presenting as female. It’s coming up on Halloween and one year since I finally began to force myself to deal with my inner turmoil. I still struggle with RA and Bipolar Disorder. Sometimes immensely. But ever since I realized that I had been absolutely suffocating my inner self and just let go… Things have been gradually improving. So allow me to bring you up to speed on the latest happenings:

I have one more session with the nice Gender Therapist I’ve been seeing in Pinellas Park and I’ll have a Gender Dysphoria diagnosis letter to take to the Endocrinologist I’m scheduled to see in early December. I really like this therapist and may continue to see him after I’ve gotten my hormones started and whatnot. For some reason we’ve just really clicked right from the start and believe me, good therapists are worth hanging on to.

I’m doing alright healthwise. Still having breakthrough flares since quitting Sulfasalazine. That stuff just made me too damned ill. I’ve been on Plaquenil for about a week but my Rheumatologist told me it’ll take a couple months to start working. Kevzara injections are pretty effective but they weren’t quite covering me for the full two weeks so hopefully Plaquenil will help me get slightly better mileage than I was.

I should have said my PHYSICAL health has been decent. In the magickal Bipolarcoaster of my head things frankly haven’t been so cheerful. I woke up a couple days ago to a New York Times article saying that the current administration is trying to legally erase transgender rights and protections and define us into nothingness. I’ve been hysterical for days. I feel sick and absolutely demoralized. I’m getting by on little snippets and scraps of absurd laughter and it’s somehow sustained me this far.

It freaking figures. Barely make it through my twenties and early thirties and when I finally find the courage to assert my femininity the federal government decides to wage war on LGBT people. I’m still living and breathing and existing. I’m just terrified by hearing our President openly call himself a Nationalist and calling people like me an angry mob as they begin to systematically strip us of our rights and protections and civil Liberty. Everything might seem normal to you, but in the queer Community the fear is very real and tangible. I carry pepper spray and a knife whenever able, I don’t go out after dark alone, I’m afraid to lock eyes with strangers, I don’t go off the main roads and by all rights I guess I got my transitioning wish. Living as a woman and everything that comes with it. That includes mortal terror.

Still, things could be far worse. I’m becoming more politically active (mostly out of a sense of survival imperative) and I have a fuckton of support in my life. My amazing friends as well as my family have been as supportive as humanly possible. Except for my Dad. I’m scared of that conversation. But I won’t stop living my truth. I just have to hope for the best. I fucking refuse to go back. The psyche of Lily has become like a hospital for the tortured wreckage of Thomas. A name and an identity I never had a say in. I still have many elements of my old life or precious memories or whatever that I carry in my heart. As profoundly difficult as it’s been, since I began living as Lily I’ve been doing my best to heal my being, to let go of Thom without resentment or shame. To forgive him for being so miserable all the time he was hiding out not being able to comprehend what was happening to him. I’ll never forget the time a few days after coming out where I had a moment of reflection. As I grappled for the words tears began streaming down my face and all I could manage to say to myself was ‘Thank you so much for letting me out of my cage’.

I don’t intend to stop now or in the near future 🤘

The Chronicles of Lily Jane Part I

Things have been more than a bit perplexing of late. I’m moving forward with my transition as well as I’m able to currently and despite the passage of time seemingly coming to a crawl…. Stuff IS happening. I’m not sure what I should go into first here so bear with me as I struggle to articulate my thoughts.

I’ve been socially transitioning since I came out as Transgender in March so about five months now plus some change. I’m building up a new collection of clothing, working on makeup skills and doing my best to alleviate my sometimes crushing dysphoria. I have been seeing my longtime therapist again since coming out and he’s been really great and supportive. He is not a gender Therapist though so I referred him to one that I’ve been in contact with about figuring out what the standards/criteria for the gender dysphoria diagnosis letter. After that I’ll go to an Endocrinologist and hopefully begin hormones soon though I think Florida may require a year of social transition first.

Not crazy about living in Florida. Many of the people are mean and paranoid and I feel like I have a target on my back here, even in my most confident state. I’m working on facing my fears and doing my best to be strong. People I know tell me they think I’m brave or something and while I appreciate the sentiment I feel compelled to confess that I am frequently overwhelmed and absolutely crippled by fear and anxiety. I’m okay for the most part being out in public but strangers and crowds are really starting to freak me out sometimes. I’m usually okay at a concert or something but I’m finding myself getting really perturbed when I go pretty much anywhere. I know it’s not fair on my part because most people are totally cool but I’m seriously developing a bit of a social phobia and it’s been making me really have more of a sense of urgency about keeping myself together.

While I’m much happier day to day since coming out as trans, I’m also finding myself having to handle far more anxiety and apprehension than I have ever had to shoulder. The Rheumatoid Arthritis has been it’s usual capricious self so I’ve been riding my bike obsessively recently. I’m usually okay as long as I keep myself steadily burning all this bipolar energy. But sooner or later I have to slow down or stop. That’s where things get challenging for me to deal with.

I get into a lot of awkward situations and look for unisex bathrooms wherever. Not that feminine looking so no matter where I pee I’m gonna get dirty looks and perhaps worse but… Whatever. Hopefully things improve for future generations.

I miss the outlet that I used to have in Theatre. But I feel like all I could do at this stage is help behind the curtain. I don’t want to play male roles and I’m not confident in myself enough to seek out female ones yet. I’m not saying that I never will be, just that I’m not there and it distresses me. I’m hoping I face this soon as I feel like this part of my soul is withering.

Really doing the best I can to be a good Lily. I’m plagued by self doubt and this ugly part of Thom’s emotional baggage that refuses to let myself take credit or pride in anything. I know I’m a fairly decent person but I constantly juggle bipolar disorder with an autoimmune disease (RA) and the stress of transitioning and….. I can’t properly put into words how exhausting it sometimes is being Me… I keep pushing forward because at ever so slight a pacing…. Things are improving. I don’t hate the sight of myself any more. There are things I can and will change but…. I’m mostly okay with my meat skeleton.

I still have flashes of absolute spiritual agony from time to time. Believe me, those abrupt shifts can make you completely mad. But I’m learning that somehow I still have a friend in myself. We’re even closer than ever since I allowed her to reveal herself 😹

I still haven’t come out to my Dad. I’m afraid of how he will react. I know he doesn’t have a particularly high opinion of trans people and I’m afraid but…. I know I’ll have to deal with it eventually. Just not today.

I keep moving through the various systems like I have some idea of what I’m doing. Sometimes I’m not even faking. The closer I’ve become with my inner self the more determined I am to never retreat. Lily has a name, a close confidante in herself, and amazing support network. The thing I’m becoming super adamant about is not letting my emotional or physical pain turn me into a jerk. I know who the fuck I am and who I want to be and….

I’m here for the Long haul 😘

It feels Lovely to spill my guts in the form of a Planet Berserk Post. Swear I’m going to try to be more prolific.

Love-

Lily Jane 💜

Adventures in Breathing and Being….

Hello, Reader Folks. Apologies for my absence as I have been struggling with balancing my personal life, injuries and general fatigue and malaise. Things are definitely on the upswing though. I’m feeling pretty awesome about my existence and the people in it be lately. So allow me to divulge what I’ve been busying myself with:

My big Sister came to town for a few days to help celebrate my Dear Mom’s 70th birthday! We went to the Beachcomber on Mandalay and had an absolutely superb dinner and celebration. It was my Mom’s first birthday with two daughters as well as my first real family function as Lily Jane. All in all I think it went really well and I’m pleased with everyone being so cool despite a few awkward moments. Those are going to happen and my family has been really great about accepting Me. Calling me a different name than what I grew up with is a little odd, I get it. Point is the effort is there and I appreciate them.

I’m recovering from some really terrible inflammation in my elbow so I’ve had the last week off work. Happy to be going back as I am a little stir crazy at present. Tennis elbow and tendonitis can be an icky combination but the Mobic has been very helpful and right now my pain is relatively low. The Rheumatoid Arthritis stuff is fairly well managed though I am really curious to see where my vectra DA mark is. Yay, more blood work! Anyhow, I’m a little banged up but my health is pretty good and I’m grateful. Kratom has been a real blessing and helped me manage pain more effectively as well as cut back on meds.

In other news, I’ve been in contact with a Gender Therapist about getting a letter of dx of gender dysphoria so I can begin HRT which I am really anxious to do. I’m going to s r about getting my main therapist schooled in WPATH or whatever so I can just have him write it. I’m anxious partially because I want to get married to Shannon and I don’t want to Marry him as Thomas. So I want to be legally Lily and on hormones before I tie the knot. I hope that answers some of your questions about when that’s going down. I really don’t know is the best I can do at present. But I’m optimistic that it’ll work out. Hormones are supposed to be really helpful with easing some of the body dysphoria stuff which I am all for.

My awesome friend Heather has given me a bunch of really cool dresses and been a really super supportive friend lately. My Mom has been really awesome too even if a little puzzled at times. I’m spending a lot of time just kinda letting go of some of my stylistic hangups and trying to be more comfortable in my own skin. I’m pretty confident about leaving and going out and about, though I carry pepper spray and watch my back. I’m also doing the unthinkable and cutting out beer for an undetermined amount of time. I’m just starting to care about my figure a little more and am not really feeling beer these days. So whatever I guess.

I’m doing quite a bit better since I built up a rather formidable Internet family in the last year. I have a great deal of people in my life whom I’ve never met in person but have been there for me in some of my darkest times. I do my best to be there for them as well as I can. I’m always fimly within reach of moral support from a plethora of interesting people and It means the absolute world to Me 🤗

It’s these various people online and irl (of course) who make me realize that I need to stop screwing around and get prolific with my writing and visual art. Because the people in my life inspire me so much that I can’t freaking contain myself and I want to SCREAM IT!!!!

So, Ummm…. yeah. That’s what’s going on with me lately. I feel beat up but refreshed and ready to go full throttle again! Also, I feel cute today 😎

Have a splendid day, Y’all. We’ll be back soon!

Love-

Lily Jane 💜

Back in ALASKA!!!!😍

As the title implies, our trip finally happened. Not in it’s original form nor under the preferred circumstances but….Shannon is finally healing up and well enough to travel. So first a week in Alaska. Firstly for a Memorial ceremony for his Mother. Secondly so he can meet with lawyers and handle his busines. After that we’re spending a week in Vegas on the way back to Tampa. We have both had a rough year so far and decided that the timing was right for a little vacation. But more on that later.

We had the Memorial with family at Murphy Dome USAF Radar Station( pictured here)

at the top of a mountain.

I thought it a perfect time for my hooded dress and longsleeve shirt (because mosquitoes are INSANE up here) but only one other person wore black.

We shared stories and memories plenty. Shannon’s Sister and her Husband brought Shari a few last drinks that we poured of diet pepsi and wine(and we had a bit of wine too) and we scattered some of her ashes up there. Those who wished to put on a glove and tossed a handful of Shari’s asges as we said our goodbyes. As for the rest of the ashes, Shannon and I are taking them to Vegas (which she loved). The highlight was as well were getting ready to leave a double rainbow formed 🙂

Aside from that, Shannon has been busy with figuring things out with the lawyer and I’ve just been kicking back and relaxing. Enjoying the Scenery. Here is the view from where I’m sitting:

So we’re here until Saturday and then we fly to Vegas by way of Seattle. Gonna see Primus, Carrot Top and some JOUSTING among many other things like relax by the pool 😍

I’m super excited. Aside from all of that,I’ve been in contact with a gender therapist who has been really helpful. I hope to be on hormones by the end of the year. I’ve been infinitely more happy and content since I began transitioning. I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin it’s amazing.

So that’s about all I have for now. Smooches!!!

Love–

Lily Jane(and Wodos)💜

Second Awkward Teenage Blues

This is something that keeps occurring to me lately, that I’m basically going through a more appropriate form of learning to be yet again. I try to not look goofy but sometimes I like to have a bit of fun with my outfits. I’m 35 going on 36 and I’m just now finally letting my guard down enough to let myself just be a girl. I spent my teenage feeling repulsive and hating most of the available clothes. I wasn’t even close to having myself figured out in those days but it was certainly in the works. So now I find myself out as transgender with most of my friends, family and work people. It’s been a little scary at times but largely a really good experience. A lot of really awesome people have revealed themselves as allies and my existing friends have been really incredible and supportive. My Mom too, bless her heart. Even though my Death Metal style kind of irks her 😛

So now where I find myself is….looking for an Endocrinologist and inquiring about beginning HRT. Building up a wardrobe and working on makeup skills which are still honestly pretty modest. Managing the RA as well as I can and getting lots of time on the bicycle because it helps me maintain a nice figure.

Aside from that, seeing my therapist, going to work, and immersing myself in music I’ve been rather laid back lately. Perhaps content is a better word. I had a neat experience getting ready for work yesterday. Got kind of zoned out while looking in the mirror while thinking of doing my makeup and hair. Looked myself over and had a few brief words with myself. As joyful tears began to drip all I could manage to say was ‘Thank you for letting me out of my cage’. I tear up just remembering it. It was one of the most unbelievably happy moments of my life. I’m still afraid. It just isn’t enough to stop me anymore. I’m coming into my own, I know who I am and I wouldn’t trade it for anything under the Sun.

All across the board people are astounding me with how cool they’re actually willing to be. There was a drunk couple at my work last night that I thought were making fun of me at first but wasn’t sure, turns out they were totally cool. Had a nice chat with me as they left and ran into me after I got off work and bought me a beer. I get nervous and apprehensive at times but…

The world is changing for the better. It may be hard to see at times, but I feel it in my heart and it’s beautiful and liberating and exciting all at once. That’s food enough for Me.

The future is so bright I need shades 😘

Love-

Lily Jane 💜

Berserkitude

Well, I’m still here! Things are pretty rough at present time and I figured ‘What better time for a blog post?’. A few highlights of late:

The Alaska Trip is not happening (at least in the form we imagined). Shannon has an infection in his foot and is currently in the hospital being treated for it. Not sure what his plan of aftercare will entail but we’ll know more soon. I took him to the hospital the night before last. I am worried fucking sick 😖

As for my health, I did a dumb thing recently and lapsed on my RA meds for about a month or two and I’m paying for it with an absolutely punishing flare up. I saw my Rheumatologist a few days ago, explained what was up and he gave me a few treatment options. I chose Kevzara shots because he had samples (meaning I could start on it right away) and I did my first injection in the office before I left. I’m still hurting bad and am currently attempting to control things with low doses of prednisone. It’s making me loopy but it IS helping. I’ve been highly stressed physically and mentally and have managed to weasel my way out of my last two days of work but tomorrow I absolutely gotta go.

My Mom(who reads this Blog) has been really awesome and supportive about me transitioning. She suggested seeing an Endocrinologist and looking into starting hormones as well as possibly genetic testing. She still has outfit angst for Me, bless her heart. She couldn’t stand the way I dressed before I figured myself out and that hasn’t really changed 😂

So those are the major occurrences lately. Time to go through the hot ass summer with awkward stage hair. Whatever. I feel surprisingly good considering I’m deep in a wicked RA flare up. I hurt like hell and I’m more emotional than usual but Shannon is the one in real trouble right now and I’m doing my best to be strong for us. I’m gonna clean up, put on something cute and go have dinner with my lover in his hospital room. I’ll deal with tomorrow tomorrow.