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Saturday, December 18, 2010

I am usually a very positive, purposed and aggressive person, in my both my past life as my born gender and now in my chosen gender. These things will always be me.

It is now December 18, 2010, one week before a joyous and happy holidays season. This is my 2nd year into my transition journey of many years to come. I am a 57 y/o transsexual female and proud of it and my strong beliefs have come over years of life's experiences. So I can be diplomatic as well as plain out blunt.

The reason I write my thoughts are so that all of you can understand the years of turmoil and stress my life has been. The struggles, successes and failures that come with life as a transsexual, always remaining strong in the hope and determination that we all must possess to find ourselves.

But today my life has brought me to a low point emotionally.

Making a decision that effects those around us is hard enough, but when you have to stand and watch your biological family reject you. The memories of seeing, holding or talking to my grand children is gone.

My thoughts tonight are saddened by that reality.

Love you all.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The greatest 2 days and on; this journey will become my future.

On November 8, 2008 I made a most important decision for my personal happiness. This decision was the hardest thing I had done in the previous 50 years. Since that time I always suspected I was different from the other boys. I was fascinated by my sisters clothes, I wanted to be able to wear those pretty things. Over the following years, with the exception of those days dominated by religion, I had something feminine to wear when I could.

Now I have spent the last 2 days in total unbelief , excitement, fright and elation in 48 hrs. On Tuesday, November 16, 2010, I went to KU Medical University and did the obligatory family medical history, personal history and blood work followed by a talk with the doctor. Two hours after arriving I walked out with my HRT prescriptions.

The emotions ran from, fright that I might not be approved, unbelief it was about to be one of the last steps in my journey to womanhood, excitement when the Doctor and personnel were so careful to document what I preferred being called to genuine admiration from them that I was taking this important step in my life and finally elation when I was handed the prescriptions themselves in my hands.

Two years and one week and I now start the physical transformation to womanhood!

This has been the happiest two days and my Hormones will be available to me tomorrow, November 18, 2010 after 1pm.

Thank You Thank You Thank You

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Personal plea to America

I love my Country first, my Transgender status second, why?

This is the greatest Country on Earth bar none and I will not standby and watch it ruined by any politician, political party or the MYTH of Social Justice.

I have lived for 55 yrs as a male, troubled by the knowledge that something was wrong with me. When I made my decision to become the woman I always I knew I should have been, I didn't abandon my love for Freedom and Justice that our forefathers gave us. I didn't expect someone to hand my new me on a silver platter, rather I knew it would be an upward battle as my whole career and personal life had been.

Please read my next blog and understand what I stand for: Freedom to choose who I want to be without fear of repercussion from those that see me as immoral or a freak. I have grown past those individuals, I do not condemn them for their beliefs and I expect the same respect in kind.

This is and I hope will always be a Free Nation where we can live together in Harmony and Peace. We have made huge strides to that end, but now is not the time to 'Fundamentally Change America', rather it is a time for us to unite and take back a Government gone crazy with corruption and influenced by special interest groups.

Peace, Love and Respect to each of you!

My Political views

Many of you have seen my blogs and remarks in regards to my political views. I have and will challenge the current administration and the Democratic Party even if some believe I am a true Republican because of my opposition. That just simply is not true.

Firstly and most importantly I am an American, born and raised in the 1950's. Raised up to believe in hard work and accomplishment being the 'only' thing that truly mattered to achieve success in America. I see that as an asset that took me so far in my Data processing career as a man. I taught those same values to both of my children and I am very proud of both of them today despite their inability to 'wrap their minds around' their father becoming a woman after all these years. My son is an Army Warrant Officer in command of and intelligence battalion currently stationed in Afghanistan. My daughter is currently studying for her Masters in Sociology at Missouri University. So you can see the values I instilled in them has made them understand that the ONLY path to success is hard work and dedication.

I am opposed to the current Washington Democratic Party because they are guilty of hijacking America and their own constituents through lies and deception, corrupt practices and illegalities Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged to change. Most everything they have attempted has been rammed down our throats whether we like it or not causing a rising up in America with an outcry for a return to the Constitution and it's core values. These are the same beliefs that I was taught and believe in today.

Social Justice is a myth and many have bought into the lie that Politics and Laws will change this for the good for all those who feel oppressed. Dr. Martin Luther King did not believe this either, he believed in the process of making your voice heard and thereby changing the future for minorities. I could give you countless examples of successful minorities in our Country that simply saw America as a Country of opportunity for those who wanted to work and dedicate their lives to The Dream. And yet in the days I grew up minorities even scoffed and berated these individuals of turning their backs on their minority groups. Those that criticized them, I believe, were just not willing to work as hard as they did.

I believe in The Bill of Rights and it's core of 'Equality for all'. I am not a Republican or Democrat, I am an informed individual who looks at both sides of the issues at hand and derives the truth and I will not bend to either side who does not stand the test of truth.

But I have to tell you this Country is outraged at the 'abuse of power' from Washington Elites on both sides of the Party lines.

We the people demand that our Government give back what they have and are taking from us, our Freedom. I will vote my conscious whether the Candidate be Democrat or Republican I support. As a Transgender, people might say I should vote Democrat and shun the Republican views on gays, lesbians, Transgender or Bi-sexual issues. I would if that were the ONLY thing at stake this November, but it isn't. Our Country and the future of my children and their children is at stake because of 'the Fundamental Change' Obama has decreed since his Campaign began. I opposed him then and I oppose him now. I will not sell out the future because some might feel 'kinder' towards me as a Transgender.

This Country has fallen asleep when it comes to life values, not religion or tradition, but what our Forefathers left for us to protect and defend.

If you don't vote with the truth in your heart and only your selfish needs, I fear you will be disappointed with the results. Educate yourselves about the issues without bias one way or another and vote your heart, that's all we can ask of each other. But please do not just pull the ballot handle down without knowledge as I presume a majority of you will, you might find yourself on the losing end. The demise of the greatest Nation on earth today.

Study the Constitution, Bill of Rights and what our forefathers wrote in the documents leading up to the Declaration of Independence. You might be surprised that we are not headed in the right direction to sustain our Republic.

For those of you who say, my vote is worthless or it won't matter, you have lost already. Others will decide your future for you and you will only be able to exist in your own self pity and anger. To effect change you must ACT!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


We, as girls inside, have suffered at the hands of society. We are misunderstood and many of us are discriminated against by relatives and the society we dearly believe should accept us for who we are.

I am asking all of you to post your experiences so we may be able to find strength among ourselves. My life is an open book to all who care to see what I have endured born in the 1950s.

Each of us may have been in different times and social times. Express yourselves and let's leave the past behind and move forward as the strong women we are and have been to move through life.

Hugs and Kisses to all who hear my voice.
Renae Michele Leah

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Absence

I have been on a self-imposed period of mourning and healing since my older sister's death on May 24, 2010. It and a few other things that occurred around that event caused me great sorrow, hurt and even disgust.

If I have learned anything in life however it is that only you can change your own circumstances.

My mother died in the hospital in 2003 as I held her and gave her permission to pass from this life out of her suffering. That image profoundly affected me and made me hesitant to be present as one might imagine. Movies do not depict death as it truly is when you see the light dwindle in that persons eyes if you have not experienced it first hand.

My biological family, additionally, did not want me to appear at that moment as the woman I am becoming. That was also so very hurtful.

Thankfully I have a new family that accepts me totally and my healing has ended.

I will renew my blogs shortly.

Hugs and much love to the world and the friends I have in my life.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Live and be in control of yourself

A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda Byrne
Creator of The Secret

From The Secret Daily Teachings

Isn't it great to know that you cannot control your world from the outside? To try and control things on the outside feels impossible because it would take so much work, and in fact it is impossible according to the law of attraction.
To change your world all you have to do is manage your thoughts and feelings on the inside of you, and then your whole world changes.

May the joy be with you,

Rhonda Byrne

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

~The Law of Creation~

Life doesn't just Happen, it requires our participation.
We are one with the Universe both inside and out.
Whatever surrounds us gives us clues to our inner state.
BE and DO yourself….
Do what you want to have in your life.

Our life from the beginning is a blank blackboard on which you have written the rules of life, values instilled by our parents and experiences we learn from. Try as you may you cannot avoid making decisions that guide you throughout your existence.

Can anyone deny that when you were born, you depended on others for your very life? Then comes a time you are influenced in school by others, teachers and knowledge taught to you. Some of each can be a positive or negative influence, either way you decide how you absorb and use that knowledge or experience. Who among you would rather have a positive result than a negative one?

When you reach that magic age of individual responsibility unfettered by parental control you live your personal life as it was written on that blackboard of life. With each success or failure you react accordingly, bathing in glory and happiness or dwell in misery and anger.

That very defining moment is when you need to examine the motives behind your reaction and decide how you will use it to move forward in life. That is participation. Think about what you can do either way, stay and not change, move on and use it in a positive way, or turn everything into self greed and bitterness.

Greed is 'getting all you can, keeping all you get and poisoning the rest'.

Change that to 'get all you can, share what you get and help others drink from your experience'.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

***** Who should I be? *****

We all have one life. It's our choice and only ours that decide how that life will be lived. Maybe it's me, maybe not, but in either case it seems to me that character, honesty, truth and values for our children to grow on is our responsibility. This makes us accountable for who they become.

I'm no expert in these things at any level of our social society or economic level. I was not rich but rather influenced as we all are those defining moments in our life. I've had many in my 56 years now and they have led me to one end. Greed and Corruption and even crime cannot be defeated, but rather passed on as a trust to our children.

My Journey is no different than Your Journey, maybe just your experiences, values and character passed on to you.

The 1st Law of Karma is the immutable truth of life and one we should be passing to them.

~The Great Law~

As you sow, so shall you reap.
This is also known as the Law of Cause and Effect.
Whatever we put out in our Universe is what comes back to us.
If what we want is Happiness, Peace, Friendship, Love….
Then we should be Happy, Peaceful, Loving and a Friend.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Becoming what we pass on.

~~The 12 Laws of Karma~~

~The Great Law~
As you sow, so shall you reap.
This is also known as the Law of Cause and Effect.
Whatever we put out in our Universe is what comes back to us.
If what we want is Happiness, Peace, Friendship, Love….
Then we should be Happy, Peaceful, Loving and a Friend.

~The Law of Creation~
Life doesn't just Happen, it requires our participation.
We are one with the Universe both inside and out.
Whatever surrounds us gives us clues to our inner state.
BE and DO yourself….
Do what you want to have in your life.

~The Law of Humanity~
What you refuse to accept, will continue for you.
If what we see is an enemy, or someone with a character trait that we find to be negative, then we ourselves are not focused on a higher level of existence.

~The Law of Growth~
Wherever you go, there you are.
For us to grow in Spirit it is We who must change and not the people, places or things around us.
The only given we have in our lives is OURSELVES and that is the only factor we have control over.
When we change who and what we are within our heart our life changes too.

~The Law of Responsibility~
Whenever there is something wrong.
There is something wrong with us.
We mirror what surrounds us and what surrounds us mirrors us.
We must take responsibility for what is in our life.

~The Law of Connection~
Even if something we do seems inconsequential, it is very important that it gets done as everything in the Universe is connected.
Each step leads to the next step and so forth and so on.
Someone must do the initial work to get job done.
Neither the first step nor the last are of greater significance.
They were both needed to accomplish the task.
Past, Present, Future.
They are all connected.

~The Law of Focus~
You can't think of two things at the same time.
When our Focus is on Spiritual Values it is impossible for us to have lower thoughts as greed or anger.

~The Law of Giving and Hospitality~
If you believe something to be true, then sometime in your life you will be called to demonstrate that truth.
Here is where we put what we SAY that we have Learned into Practice.

~The Law of Here and Now~
Looking back to examine what was, prevents us from totally in the HERE AND NOW.
Old thoughts, old patterns of behavior, old dreams….
Prevent us from having new ones.

~The Law of Change~
History repeats itself until we learn the lessons that we need to change our path.

~The Law of Patience and Reward~
All Rewards require initial toil.
Rewards of lasting Value require patient and persistent toil.
True Joy Follows.

~The Law of Significance and Inspiration~
You get back from something whatever you've put into it.
The value of something is a direct result of the energy and intent that is put into it.

***** Energize *****

Gender Identity Disorder (Dysphoria) which many of us have suffered most, if not all of our lives, in my opinion can be a life of highs and lows. More so if children are parents are intimately involved. This has caused us each to suffer deeper than others but I believe after waiting almost 56 years shy 5 months of finally finding someone I could trust to admit that all these feelings, urges were because I was a Transsexual Female most of my life. I just stayed within myself while occasionally stepping out.

Today I am a strong and principled woman now for nearly 18 months and for my biological children one rejection and one mildly receptive while with my new family since 1998 I found acceptance and love. That's is enough to raise my happiness and keep me looking forward.

I have been aware of "The law of attraction" in human behavior for many years and watching "The secret" did I finalize that my past was gone and today and tomorrow are I have.

You see "The law of attraction" states that like attracts like, then positive attracts positive and negative attracts negative in all things.

The very first step is "Accepting yourself" forgive others for not understanding, accept those who do and energize your inner happiness. Meditate on those things because "thoughts become things" in your life. You have taken the 1st step towards true happiness for you.

Build character in yourself, as the strong woman you have become. What you are and will become will shape those that attract you and them you. Soon self confidence will invade your thoughts and the future will hold untold opportunities.

I just recently was introduced to a short film that I would whole heartedly wish you would watch and understand the laws set forth that I believe build character that each of us should pass on to the next generation and beyond.

Love and Hugs
Michele Renae Leah

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Do family and friends really understand you?

My most earliest memories include confusion, compulsion and desires to be who I am.

Monday, March 29, 2010

knowing a person is knowing what that person wants you to know.

I have lived many views of life, boy, girl, man, woman and each one of them has given me insight into many experiences. Today I watched 'The Secret' twice and will watch one more time before I go to bed for the night. I highly recommend it to everyone it will change the way you think, it has mine.

"Every thought of yours is a real thing -- A force." ~Prentice Mulford~ (1834 - 1891)

I have talked about this so many times before and I will continue to try to explain and share my thoughts. We all are unique individuals with unique life's experiences, no one person is the same as the next. We were raised in different demographics, value systems, educational institutions and social and economic environments that affected us uniquely as individuals. The one thing we all have in common is thought and we only control our thoughts. During childhood until leaving home we have been influenced by all of those factors in a unique way. Some may not have had a parent or parents, maybe one or both were there but did not, either by omission or commission, give us proper or incomplete guidance. The end result is who we have become today, it was our interpretation of those influences that set our mind to it's current thinking.

The movie 'The Secret' illustrates how all things have an energy that emanates all around us from others and ourselves as we interact. We are bound together in so many ways that it is impossible to act without an equal action occurring whether it result in a positive or negative. Albert Einstein's 'Theory of Relativity' opens up quantum physics to include the very cohesiveness and symbiotic relationship that energy plays in everything. In that same mode we, all of us, exist in the same cohesiveness and symbiotic relationship.

As for reason I chose the title of this blog, as we matured in life we made adjustments in our thinking. Make no mistake, these adjustments are positive or negative depending on how we were affected by our experiences. But these adjustments were our responsibility and we are accountable for what we reaped. Many things became hidden from others in preference to decisions we make to adapt ourselves to our current life. We only allow others to know what we want others to know.

Historically speaking for the most part we are a race of violence and suppressors of the masses and I wonder if we can ever break that most evil of intents, greed.

In my life I have served youth because youth is always our future and what we do now determines what they think and do in the future. That, in the most urgent of ways, puts each of us responsible and accountable for what we leave them. In our head long race to 'get' we leave a void for them to understand and that is that there is a law of thought. That law is called 'attraction'. We attract what we think about most.

~Dr. Joe Vitale~ 'Metaphysician, Marketing specialist, and Author'
"Thoughts are sending out that magnetic signal that is drawing the parallel back to you."

~ Charles Hannel~ (1866 - 1949) 'The master key system'
"The predominate thought or the mental attitude is the magnet, and the law is that like attracts like, consequently, the mental attitude will invariably attract such conditions as correspond to it's nature."

~Dr. Joe Vitale~ Metaphysician, Marketing specialist, and Author'
"You are a human transmission tower, and you are more powerful than any television tower created on earth. You are the most powerful transmission tower in the Universe. Your transmission creates your life and it creates the world. The frequency you transmit reaches beyond cities, beyond countries, beyond the world. I reverberates throughout the entire Universe. And you are transmitting that frequency with you thoughts!"

~ Charles Hannel~ (1866 - 1949) 'The master key system'
"The vibrations of mental forces are the finest and consequently the most powerful in existence."

If we evaluate 'history' it is plain to see if we intend our thoughts to mold and create the future, we have an important need to agree and understand just what that future should be.

~Bob Proctor~ 'Philosopher, Author, and Personal coach'
"The law of attraction is always working, whether you believe it or understand it or not."

~Lisa Nichols~ 'Author and Personal empowerment advocate'
"you are the designer of your destiny. You are the author. You write the story. The pen is in your hand, and the outcome is whatever you choose."

One last thing, opportunity is what you make of it, seize it or pass it by, a personal choice. And finally the words of one of the most successful and important figures in American history.

~Henry Ford~ (1863 - 1947)
"Whether you think you can or think you can't, either way you are right."

***** All excerpts and quotes were read into this blog from the book 'The Secret' by ~Rhonda Byrne~ *****

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sometimes it's from a child

Sitting with a 2 y/o can teach you unbelievable insights into innocence. Here I am at age 56 starting all over with 2 girls ages 2 and 4. Many of you may be able to identify with my experience. As I looked into her eyes and listened carefully as she formed her words of which she has many. Struggling with making a sentence she frowned as I helped her say the words. I was impressed with her persistence to tell me what she wanted me to do. When I was embroiled with my career I was not the lucky one to see those same efforts in my own children now grown with children of their own. Do I deserve this chance to love again, to teach and guide? Am I worthy to lead them into a better life? Will I be there to see their triumphs and sorrows? Age has taught me many lessons, the most immutable of all, Love.

Mom's humor

As we all gathered at the dinner table
Mom would take her place at the head
Looking seriously she spoke

I stand before you
To sit behind you
To tell you about something
I know nothing about

Even the beginning came grins from us all
It then turned to smiles
Then giggles
Then laughter as she ended

A mother's love is so precious
She's gone now
But every time I repeat those words

I remember and miss her love

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Life's worth.

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Have you ever had a pet that followed, slept and sat in your lap all of the time and you say "go with mommy". Then after a few seconds say "or not".


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Window to the soul.

I was reflecting on people I've known well in my life. These friends all had one thing in common, we looked into each other not at each other.

What I mean by that is sometimes, more often than not I suspect, we look at a person without seeing who they are. The eyes are the window to the soul….

When we look into one another's eyes something changes, our true feelings and thoughts can be seen. A lost opportunity to meet someone for who they are and you never know, that person may become the most important person in your life or you to theirs.

Look me in the eyes and know that what I say is sincere and truthful, my eyes will betray me as they will you.

The world needs friends to love and know each other, don't look at me look inside me.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wisdom from my friend Princess Peace

Whatever feelings you have within you are attracting your tomorrow.
Worry attracts more worry. Anxiety attracts more anxiety. Unhappiness attracts more unhappiness. Dissatisfaction attracts more dissatisfaction.
AND Joy attracts more joy. Happiness attracts more happiness. Peace attracts more peace. Gratitude attracts more gratitude. Kindness attracts more kindness. Love attracts more love. Your job is an inside one. To change your world, all you have to do is change the way you feel inside. How easy is that?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Inner Peace

Everyday we feel the disturbance within our soul as we look out and see the suffering of others or perhaps ourselves. We face tough times trying to be or become ourselves, sometimes in a less than perfect situation. It might be family, friends, neighbors or the community.

Step back, take a deep breath, relax your mind and look back at the world and say 'I am only one person and I may not be able to do much to change the world, but I am one person and I can do something to change the world around me.'.

Look inside and forgive yourself of any guilt, forgive others that have harmed you and finally the next time you meet someone 'look inside of them not at them' and smile.

That smile will be 'ignite' another smile as they 'Pay it Forward' to others.

Listen to your soul sing as you walk away.

A light worker and angel of peace, become one and the world will see a new way forward.

Peace and Love to all!
Michele Renae Leah

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Nine months to go.

I have been living as a full time woman for fifteen months now. I have experienced the highs and lows of living a normal lives,we all know the stigma in society for each of us in our journeys. When I first 'came out', I didn't allow myself to feel any guilt, I had made a decision and acted on that decision. I had already decided that my life had always been that way so this was another time I would accept responsibility and be accountable. I didn't hesitate to fight discrimination that occurred in the summer of 2009. I caused harm and recovered lost love, decisions made it is time for me to make a place for me in society, a presence.

These are the things that I want to accomplish in the remaining nine months of fulfilling the legal requirements before Gender Reassignment Surgery can be authorized.

Name Changed to Michele Renae Leah. Just need filing fee of $166.
Cosmetic stuff, face scars softened, hairdo, my dentures LOL and a makeover.
Hormone Replacement Therapy, this is the one I need help with. I live in an black hole in SE Kansas, the closest larger cities are Wichita, Ks., Tulsa, OK. And Joplin, MO. If anyone has any advice as to search for a doctor to write prescriptions. I have heard from several sisters that they used a gynecologist vs a medical doctor.

I hope I hear from some of you that are at the same point I am or need help like me.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lessons for a therapist

I want to share with you an example of why sharing each other's experiences helps someone else. I met with my Therapist, DR. April T., three weeks ago in her office as I do every two or three weeks and discuss issues I am facing in Transition. You have to know you has a degree in 'Human Behavior' and specializes in GLBT clients.

The story is this; We were discussing my particular issue of having too many people in our house that I disagree with being there. The primary issue discussed that day was 'No consequences to their actions' and she was explaining to me why I was setting myself up for failure when I put the responsibility on my wife. She said to me that my wife was the willing one to allow the situation to continue and that by allowing her control I was going to be the loser.

She decided to cite an example of her household and for whatever reason, the subject she chose ended up as a challenge between us. You see her example was her family not picking up, leaving lights on when they were ready to leave for school and her husband, an Elementary School principal sleeping in until on occasions being late to work. She spent frustrating minutes each day shutting off lights, making sure clothes were pickup up, dresser drawers closed and her husband was up and about so she wouldn't be late herself. She related to me how she felt they were taking advantage of her and that they had no consequences for their actions, so the cycle goes on and on.

As she spoke those last words of no consequences I looked at her and said "then this should become a challenge for you and me". She looked at me with a shocked face as I went on that her behavior was exactly my behavior and that we both needed to set consequences and put responsibility and accountability where it should be rightly. That of course is on the backs of those that are committing the act itself. Those for her were her son, daughter and husband. Mine were the remaining four adult parents, their five children, my two children and wife. The challenge between us was to set the consequences back on their backs and enforce those consequences. Put accountability back where it belonged, not on ourselves.

Her solution was to go out on the way home and buy a penalty bin. In this bin would be put any toy or clothing left out by the children, for her husband something that was his favorite item. Earning them back within a certain time of 24 to 48 hours was to change the way their actions continued, if there was no improvement the item was thrown away.

My solution was to go home, not to call a home meeting, to take control and 'tell' them what was intended of each of them and the consequences. For the two families it was to get their children to pick up after themselves and for the parents to do the household chores and keep the house clean. Additionally when they received their State and federal Income Tax money, they were to move out, contrary to my wife's statement that they had to pay us back first. For my wife the statement 'we cut our losses here' was the decision for her children. For our two children I told her she would become more involved in raising them and supporting my transition, mentally, monetarily and physically or I would have to leave.

I met with my Therapist this last Thursday morning and the session began with her thanking and complimenting for my perception of the similarities in our situation. She told me how successful her situation became, everyone after a couple of days saw that she was serious and changed the way their actions were being conducted. Her stress level dropped off and her time was given back to her to spend on other things.

I arrived home and took each adult families aside and told them my decision and that mom was not involved, it was just the way it was going to be from that moment on. The exit time was real, I love my grandchildren, it was time for them to be reared in their own homes and that the parents take responsibility and accountability for their futures. For my wife it was understand my love for her, but that it was time for us to either come to a place of acceptance and progress for our life together or I was going to have to leave and live on my own.

The point of both mine and my Therapists actions were to remove the stress of allowing others to escape the responsibility and accountability of their actions and the consequences of continuing those actions. However harsh and final they may seem, personal happiness is one of the most important aspects of our lives.

I am happy to say That both my Therapist and I were victorious and now life is less stressful.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Back home to care for Mom

In the summer of 1996 I attended the dedication of a new industry, aviation, by opening a Cessna small engine aircraft assembly plant. I vowed right there, I would be hired in the first few hiring rounds. I was in the first 100 and hit the floor as a team leader responsible over ten others. My first priority was to become the best team on the entire manufacturing floor. In order to do that I used my 'boss' skills I had learned over the years of experience. Soon we were hitting on all 'six' cylinders,,, well it was a 'six' cylinder engine plane. Our team and I were receiving plant awards as well as Corporate. We all wanted the Million Dollar Education program we had trained under to be successful. The Team concept, collaborating on work skills, quality, inventory and overall performance. My whole self was in the progress I could make and believed it to be all our reward pursuits as healthy. I met my soon to be second wife Teresa, we were hired in the same week and trained together. She went to work on the fuselage mating jig while I ran the back shop, which was the cockpit assembly for her station. We became friends and regularly would see each other at our lines 'success' parties at a local bar on Fridays. I swapped a worker who's skills better matched the mating station for Teresa, who's wide varied skills would be better used in my shop. My shop had eight stations and she quickly became skilled in them all and would do anything I asked of her. I admit, even married, I was bitten by her charm, enthusiasm and desire to succeed.

My marriage had been in a spiral for many years we just didn't want to admit it to each other, so I worked long hard hours and played hard as well. Politely put, she and I had been heading in opposite directions since 1991 when I was away from home almost to the obscene. I had to be a social and professional representative of my company. This quickly moved me in the opposite direction she was going, raising the two children within the boundaries of a still religious belief system which I abandoned. My closet cross-dressing got me her view when she told some of the Elders within the church that I was possessed and they whisked me to the side and began laying on of hands, speaking in tongues demanding the demon be gone and all that stuff. I stood there in disbelief as my wife looked on weeping as if I was the devil himself. I was done with religion and her. I suddenly realized this was not wrong, it was just a part of me, I wasn't out 'hooking' on the streets. I plunged into my work, leaving her to do the primary child raising.

In August of 1996 I was awakened by a scream from my mother's house just a few feet away, our house was on her property. I raced to her side and asked what was wrong. She told me my nephew, who worked 35 minutes away from the bungalow between my house and hers, was in an head on collision with a semi on the way home at 2am and was killed. It was my sister's child James Michael, my name sake of my birth name 'Michael'. The F.U.C.K. club came through and my sister had no expenses whatsoever. The loss of this young man of 19 dealt me a terrible blow and I further distanced myself from almost everyone. Then in late September another accident on a country road claimed my sister's husband's daughter and almost my sister's other child. My mind nearly went crazy as I screamed "is this what I came home for?".

My relationship with Teresa was intensified at Thanksgiving 1996, which is her birthday. We were celebrating her birthday as line when she came up to me and said "I choose you as my birthday gift." Wow….. In the cold of the evening we did the wild thing and I was hooked. We became inseparable, sharing secret kisses on the floor and outside of work. March of 1997 my little sister gave me a 750 Yamaha so I could ride with her and her husband. I fell in love with the road and started going to weekend road trips to some biker shows with them. I drove to Teresa's house every morning at 3am to 'wake' her up for work at 5am. Weather never mattered to us we rode in 20 degree and degrees over 100, it was the freedom of the road that called me. By June the tires on my bike were looking bad and I was going to change them in a couple of weeks when my sister called and told me we were going on a poker run. She said she knew my tires were bad and that I could ride her Harley Softtail, I was thrilled. When I arrived at their house the Harley wouldn't start and not to waste the opportunity to party I took my bike, bad tires and all. We were playing poker from one bar destination to the next and we had just finished our 5th stop and were headed for the party to see who got the best hand. The excitement, the beers and the open road made several of us 'brave' as speeds kept going faster. My status was 'pledged by my sister and her husband' among the motorcycle club I rode with was called the "F.U.C.K." club "Fine Upstanding Citizens of Kansas"., and I was becoming rapidly accepted into full club membership wit my biker name "Einstein". A brother, who was hosting the party, pulled out on a long stretch of road ahead of the pack. While my bike was not near as fast I couldn't resist seeing what my bike would do. As I topped the hill at 105 mph my brother had stopped and was signaling the pack to the left onto a short gravel road to his house. Remember my tires? I hit the brakes and the bike went into an uncontrollable slide. I don't know what speed I was going when I put my foot out to hopefully deflect my brother from the main impact, it was a good decision he wasn't injured and his bike just fell over after the impact. I wasn't so lucky, my bikes right handle bar hit his bikes left handle bar and flipped me in the air landing nearly 180 feet down the road on the pavement. Everything went crazy as I flipped and hit the ground then things went black. I don't know how long I was unconscious before I opened my eyes. My sister was standing in my sight as she screamed "not my brother too" I looked at her and said "I'm fine Steve", a code between us during our phone conversations. I lapsed back into unconsciousness until I woke up signing release papers. I had been in the hospital over 24 hours and endured 2 surgeries to repair my left collar bone and sew my left ear back on, so many stitches and skin missing but I was alive. I had cheated death once more. I was back at work in two weeks with just my arm in a sling.

During the early spring of 1998 Teresa told me she was pregnant and I was overjoyed. The happiness and uncertainty of the future was stunned when on a typical morning in the spring, she suddenly began hemorrhaging profusely and I told her oldest son to get her to the hospital. I stopped at work and told my boss of the situation and I left to follow. We had to rush her to a hospital 45 miles away and it was hard to catch up to them, but I did. A note here that my motorcycle was now upgraded to a Yamaha 1100cc bike that could hold 120 - 130 mph easily and it was pegged for long lengths of road. I could only see her that one time as we admitted her to surgery, but her son said he would call me.

I'll stop here as my life would become far more complicated in the days, weeks and months to follow in 1998.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sitting in my computer room, as I often do, my thoughts were tantalized by the past and present and where we have all journeyed in our lives. Many of us have fought hard to become the person we are today and we acknowledge our life experience is unique.

My thoughts are me as the woman I've become sitting in the lush grass staring into a pool of still water as though it was my very soul.

Take a look in silence in the still waters of your soul for peace.

Can't we find peace to live with each other, in Peace?

20's - 40's life

I have to briefly state that up to this point in my life, I had not looked at the broader picture of society. I learned a great many lessons of life in my 20's that I began to focus on how I wanted my life to stand for in society and my lineage. Personal responsibility became my greatest ally as I grew in local society. My real need was to return my early lessons to those in my church youth group. I became the Youth Minister and was busy at all levels in my church. By 1973 I was traveling on ministries, preaching, mentoring and loving those I met. My inner girl was tucked away safely and I accepted that side of myself, but it dare not be I was now a man with influence on a younger generation. I met my 1st wife in 1974 at work on the manufacturing line and six months later we were married. Both of us put our heart and souls to the ministry of others. As the years passed by I continued to get promotions off the manufacturing floor into accounting. I took accounting I, II and Cost accounting in Junior college, two years later I was the Accounts Payable Manager at a new subsidiary. I spent a year traveling form Independence to Chicago working on the details of the company acquisition until I was bore and restless, accounting just wasn't me. I felt like I was strapped to an office and I wanted to be out among people. In 1976 my son Christopher was born. I was a father and I pushed forward for him to increase my income level so my wife didn't have to work outside of our home, which I did. In 1977 I was approached to sell Life Insurance in Springfield, Mo, it turned out to be Bank Whole Life Insurance with a face value of $250. My high school sweetheart, Lois, mad a couple of trips to visit me and I can tell you I had real feelings for her still. She and I were both married, but she had always been the closest to me and our relationship was intense. As I struggled to win in that market I discovered it was just not right to offer that type of insurance to a primarily 50's and up patron of the bank. I quit after discovering one week my wife had sold my High School Graduation ring and fed my two children, my baby girl was born in 1979, popcorn for lunch and dinner. My cross dressing started up again and I frequently wore panties under my clothes. I spent a few months building houses and general household construction projects. As the stress levels increased over finances, the further I cross dressed. It was time for a new career path, as I was searching for work I returned to Independence and was approached by my previous manufacturing company. They wanted me to come back to work for them in the Data Processing Department. This was to set the course for the remainder of my life until I was forty one.

In the spring of 1979 being a new programmer on staff I got the easiest assignments to learn on before I could take on more complex tasks. I made a good friend there and he was a soccer playing fool, one spring afternoon we were kicking the soccer ball around in the park. At least 20+ kids came around and we kicked the ball around with them for an hour. We told them we would be back the next weekend and when we arrived about 25 kids were waiting, so we split them up into two team and started teaching soccer skills. We started a soccer recreational club by May and enrolled over 200 kids to play. I was voted President and I quickly got adults to take places in the organization. My appointment would last two seasons and we would top 250 kids until I took a new job in Oklahoma City, OK. My cross dressing was minimal as I started this job. The job would turn out to be a short job, I was paired up with one other programmer to make a mirror system on a Honeywell computer by translating and correcting any program errors as we converted them from one language to another, This programmer's name was Francis Randolph. It was the first time I actually loved another guy, he was cute, accepting, fun. Our job would only last six months for us when we were offered jobs with a firm who managed university and city/county government software. Our job was helping do program modifications to the Oklahoma City's software, but this ended up being a short contract. Randy took an assignment in Detroit, MI while I took a position in Charleston, SC after I interviewed in Detroit. I had affiliated myself with the Edmond, OK soccer club, over 1,000 youth participating. As their referee coordinator. During that two years I instituted student referees that I monitored and trained them allowing us to hold 10 matches at one time, this eliminated the need for Sunday games and let us establish and adult league for Sunday's. My life was totally soccer and the following year I was elected President of the Club. I served for just over one season when I was transferred to Charleston, SC.

When I arrived in Charleston I was greeted with a magnificent night out with the senior staff and enjoyed the wonderful night life of downtown. The next day I thought I was going to be interviewed, instead I saw a girl in the conference room with the programming manager pouring over some reports. When I was watching them, the programming manager asked me if I knew anything about Data Base Administration, which just so happened was one of the tasks I took on during my first job in Oklahoma City. I quickly showed them the changes to make and helped them generate all the data bases needed. Wham I was hired, not as a Programmer Analyst but Data Base Administrator with a large salary and position within the organization. I had been wearing lingerie under my clothes for some time since meeting Randy, just something about meeting him that strengthened my transgender feelings. In Charleston the men dressed in three piece suits as I did because of the County and local top city influential people invited our staff to many evenings at the local party sites. I dressed in southern dress as though I belonged with the locals with lingerie underneath and a more feminine colored shirts.

In 1986, I was told I was to interview a new Tech Support Specialist for a job I had opened. When I got his resume' to my shock and happiness it was Francis Randolph, I didn't have to interview him instead I went into my supervisor's office and told him to hire him I was familiar with his work. A dream, a fantasy of mine was coming to work for me, wow. When he arrived he was just the same as the last time I saw him, gorgeous long blonde hair, blue eyes and plump kissable lips. We renewed our friendship spending many evenings taking in the night life, But it was his invites to his house to relax that I enjoyed most. Alone with him I know my eyes betrayed me when I looked at him. I wanted him to kiss me and more with every brush or touch. It wasn't what I should have been thinking, being married. We stayed friends until 1991 when he took a job in silicon valley with a private firm doing development work. I wasn't to here from him until one night he called me and told me he was going to disappear for awhile. I asked him why and all he could tell me that he had hacked into something he shouldn't have. I was to keep in touch with his former wife. Barely 3 weeks later she called me and told me he had been run off the road on his motorcycle over a cliff on one of California's coastal highways and was killed. A true love and friend was gone out of my life, I was devastated.

The remainder of 1991 though 1993 I rose to the Technical directors Position, a tense time for me. The entire Tech staff was fired by management while I was in New York at IBM technical school learning system security. After a brief stay to hire a couple of tech staff, I was off to school for the next 2 1/2 months in San Francisco, Chicago and back to New York City. As I served in those two years as Tech. Mgr., I was on the inside of the organizations operations with the client. The things I began to see behind the scenes were corrupt and in some cases downright unethical I began to be disillusioned with cooperate life.

In 1993 I got an urgent call from Lois asking me to meet her for a weekend in Savannah GA. She said she needed to talk to me and I did not hesitate leaving that weekend to meet her. She was living in Clearwater FL. And we, the entire family, had visited her a couple of times at her house. When I arrived she looked very sick and I immediately grabbed her in my arms and held her as she sobbed. We sat on the bed and talked about past things until we came around to the real reason she wanted to see me. She told me that she was dying of liver cancer and that she only had a couple of months to live. We cried for some time until we got some composure back, when she asked me what I was wearing underneath my clothes. Since she already knew about my feminine side I told her panties, nothing else. She told me to sit on the bed while she went to the closet and brought out some of her clothes since were about the same size. She sat me down after helping me dress and brushed my semi long hair and applied some makeup. We went out to dinner and had a good time for a few hours until she felt sick from the radiation treatments she had been receiving. We lay there in each others arms all night, drifting in and out of sleep as we exchanged kisses. Late the next afternoon we parted company and went back to our families. Two months later ger older sister Ruth called me to tell me she had passed. I couldn't even go to her funeral. My two truest friends were taken from my life and I felt more alone than I had my entire life.

The year 1994, I came face to face with corruption when I was offered an 18 month fast path training to be a manager of my own site. I asked to think about it and a week later I resigned in the face of this new opportunity. I met a man who had a concept that I felt I could help him develop into a good company. The concept was simple, tap into the greed of some corporations with a program to stack customers for $ incomes based on family shopping shared in a computer generated random hierarchy. I approached four SC State Senators who saw the potential of relieving families witn additional cash to spend in grocery stores and the potential to bring other retailers into the mix at a later date. They funded the company and we made One of the them President and my partner and I took Vice President positions. For a month I designed the computerized portion as I was Vice President of Operations while my partner was Vice President of Marketing. When the system design was through I used a connection I had in New York to contract the actual programming. I sent my partner out to California to one the largest grocery chains for a presentation, I should have known better than to send him alone since I had had to resue the first presentation to a large chain in SC and GA. When he came back he had failed to secure a second meeting after they wanted to consult with their Legal department, a classic mistake, they did not reset an appointment after numerous phone calls. Then the worst thing that I could find collapsed the company, he had dipped into the investment money to pay his ex-wife's rent. The remaining money was not enough to make the final payment to my hired programmer. With the initial presentation of the software ready I went back to the senators wit a small request for another small investment, they refused. My partner and I parted ways bitterly, I walked away with all the software and documentation safely under my control as it does today. In

Completely burnt out I moved back to Independence, KS determined to find my way back into corporate America.

The next years from 1996 through 2003 were to be years that would bring me to a breaking point. I was 42 years old when I arrived in the fall of that year.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Today I was shocked..

I find myself backed up against a brick wall. My income stream is from SSI, granted it is above average due to my profession. When I went to see my case manager today, she's in charge of my weekly progress and needs during transition. She informed me that SRS had discontinued my Medicare coverage, not my Medicaid for prescriptions, but any other services leaving me with a $4,000 bill. Which I cannot pay. The reason given by SRS was my income was too high?

Please note my blog titled Why "Sex change" surgery is medically necessary.

Any suggestions would be gratefully received.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A note to my grandchildren.

I have 19 grandchildren ranging in age 1 to 13. Now that my children are adults, most of them are accepting of my new self, but I now face the challenge of explaining to my grandchildren why poppy is wearing girls clothes all of the time. Recently my 5 y/o girl grandchild sat with me and said plainly "Boys aren't girls.". I simply told her that some of us become girls. She looked at me and said "Are you going to be a girl poppy?" I said "yes" and she just hugged me and said "that's ok, I love you poppy.". If only it will be that easy with the rest of them. I have custody of 2 grandchildren, both girls age 2 and 4. The 2 y/o does not know her mother, so she has started calling me "mommy" and only me. I love her dearly and intend to stay her mommy through all of my transition, she's mine and I'm so happy to be a mommy.

A note to my grown children.

I hope that in this letter I can explain some difficult issues in life I have had since I was very young.

I have been in therapy and under a Psychiatrist's care now as you know. In the beginning, in 2001, I had to face many of my life's experiences and the affects they have had on my personal belief system. This intense therapy, sometimes hospitalized, has brought me to self examination towards some mental, emotional and physical balance in my life has been The Hardest thing I have done, ever.

My personal being, what was inside of me driving me to my goals in life collapsed. My entire belief system evaporated, leaving me shaken to my very core.

I want to start at the beginning and work forward in this letter to bear my soul, if you will, as I have had to do for the last for the last eight years in therapy. The first hurdle, which took seven and a half of those years. Trust in others with my mind I have always protected with tenacity. The things I never wanted anyone to know needed to be shared or I was simply going to remain the bitter person I was becoming. That, in itself, has led me through an entire lifetime of history, happiness, regret, achievement and failure.

I have never been one to allow people inside of the inner workings of my mind and how each system of beliefs affected me since childhood. In fact, I have never shared that life with anyone ever, until now. In order to find the truth inside, I had to find someone who I could trust to open up to and share all of those things that have molded me and destroyed me.

Mental illness does not mean "crazy", it only means the person has some disorder which impairs "normal" interaction with those around the. In 1997 I had a motorcycle accident, not the first time I had faced death and certainly not the last. There have been several times I my past and several since that accident. Each time at those moments I saw life more an more what it meant to me. I just do not see the world the same as those around me.

Core beliefs are those things which are the foundation of each of our lives. The things that lead us through life, our decision making processes, belief in a higher power, belief in self and the things that we are influenced by or influenced others with inside of us. This is where I had to be regressed in therapy and psychoanalysis.

My lirfe from early childhood through my high school years, were years of pain, disappointment and ultimately caused me to become mentally ill, In those moments of time I developed myself, with little help from others, into a driven person who believes in a higher calling than most people I knew. Before I begin I must make one statement to clear the air and re-focus on the real issues that have ultimately led us to this time and affected my true children and your mother. Teresa did not steal me away or un anyway influenced me in my own decision making.

The truth is, everything in my life has been my my choices and mine alone. In that, I accept each and every decision and the ultimate consequences.

You both are my greatest joys in life and have never been a disappointment to me, you never will be. My love and admiration of each of you will never end as it never has.

This statement may not ring true on the surface and may even give you cause for some consternation, but I feel it important for this subject. I have never been able to find what I wanted for my life, complete happiness. Inner turmoil has both sustained me and ultimately brought me to my knees, destroying everything I had become.You could call it a complete failure to distinguish reality from fantasy as most psychiatrists would diagnose.

The core of my actions has been, righting my past while creating a good future for you children. I wish everyday that 'righting the past' had not been part of that thinking process. But, in keeping that core thought, I used it as a sounding board for my future actions. What I mean is, I looked at "history" for personal and non-personal proactive approaches to my future. That historical review of my life led me to two conclusions in my personal life, one that influenced me the entire time I was with you and now the second which has brought me to look at my future.

Before I move on I want you both to know one thing. I am, in fact, mentally ill and most likely have suffered this illness my entire life. I am an intelligent person as I raised both of you to be to take on the challenges in life. You have both turned out tp be the same, intelligent and competent to make decisions based on the reality you face. I hope each of you can gie me the same credit, even if some of my decisions have negatively affected our relationship. I do not want to be my father, he simply was never there for me and that will never change. I want you to believe and know that my decisions were for each of you, discarding myself in the process. I sacrificed my life, as we all do, for those decisions.

All of that said, I will give you the definitions of mental illnesses I suffer from fromy diagnosis. Further treatment will be on-going. I will not be returning to society as a "productive member" of society's working class, instead I will be content communicating my beliefs through the internet.

They now believe my mental illness is the result of repeated trauma throughout my lifetime. I'm sure you are both familiar with the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It was what I told them the first time jennifer took mre to Four County Mental Health. Now they finally came around and found what I already knew.

I currently have a book started which, I hope, will show people o9f all persuasions what individual reality means and the joining of our perspective realities to an end of broader cooperation. We each see ourselves within the boundaries of our life experiences.

I have been diagnosed using the definitions that follow.

Bipolar disorder
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bipolar disorder or manic–depressive disorder (also referred to a bipolarism or manic depression) is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated mood. These moods are clinically referred to as mania or, if milder, hypomania. Individuals who experience manic episodes also commonly experience depressive episodes or symptoms, or mixed episodes in which features of both mania and depression are present at the same time.[1] These episodes are usually separated by periods of "normal" mood, but in some individuals, depression and mania may rapidly alternate, known as rapid cycling. Extreme manic episodes can sometimes lead to psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations. The disorder has been subdivided into bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymia, and other types, based on the nature and severity of mood episodes experienced; the range is often described as the bipolar spectrum.
Data from the United States on lifetime prevalence varies, but indicates a rate of around 1% for Bipolar I, 0.5–1% for Bipolar II or cyclothymia, and 2–5% for subthreshold cases meeting some, but not all, criteria. The onset of full symptoms generally occurs in late adolescence or young adulthood. Diagnosis is based on the person's self-reported experiences, as well as observed behavior. Episodes of abnormality are associated with distress and disruption, and an elevated risk of suicide, especially during depressive episodes. In some cases it can be a devastating long-lasting disorder; in others it has also been associated with creativity, goal striving and positive achievements.[2]
Genetic factors contribute substantially to the likelihood of developing bipolar disorder, and environmental factors are also implicated. Bipolar disorder is often treated with mood stabilizer medications, and sometimes other psychiatric drugs. Psychotherapy also has a role, often when there has been some recovery of stability. In serious cases in which there is a risk of harm to oneself or others involuntary commitment may be used; these cases generally involve severe manic episodes with dangerous behavior or depressive episodes with suicidal ideation. There are widespread problems with social stigma, stereotypes and prejudice against individuals with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.[3] People with bipolar disorder exhibiting psychotic symptoms can sometimes be misdiagnosed as having schizophrenia, another serious mental illness.[4]
The current term "bipolar disorder" is of fairly recent origin and refers to the cycling between high and low episodes (poles). A relationship between mania and melancholia had long been observed, although the basis of the current conceptualisation can be traced back to French psychiatrists in the 1850s. The term "manic-depressive illness" or psychosis was coined by German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin in the late nineteenth century, originally referring to all kinds of mood disorder. German psychiatrist Karl Leonhard split the classification again in 1957, employing the terms unipolar disorder (major depressive disorder) and bipolar disorder.

Schizoaffective disorder
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Schizoaffective disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a mental disorder characterized by recurring episodes of elevated or depressed mood, or simultaneously elevated and depressed mood that alternate or occur together with distortions in perception.[1][2] The perceptual distortion component of the disorder, called psychosis, may affect all five senses, including sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch, but most commonly manifest as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking with significant social and occupational dysfunction. The elevated, depressed or simultaneously elevated and depressed mood episode components of the disorder, called mood disorder, are broadly recognized as depressive and bipolar types of the illness; the division is based on whether the individual has ever had a manic, hypomanic or mixed episode. Onset of symptoms usually begins in early adulthood and is rarely diagnosed in childhood (prior to age 13). The lifetime prevalence of the disorder is uncertain (due to studies using varying diagnostic criteria), although it is generally agreed to be less than 1 percent, and possibly in the range of 0.5 to 0.8 percent.[3] Diagnosis is based on the patient's self-reported experiences and observed behavior. No laboratory test for schizoaffective disorder currently exists. As a group, people with schizoaffective disorder have a more favorable prognosis than people with schizophrenia, but a worse prognosis than those with mood disorders.[4]
Studies suggest that genetics, early environment, neurobiology, psychological and social processes are important contributory factors; some recreational and prescription drugs appear to cause or worsen symptoms. Current psychiatric research is focused on the role of neurobiology, but no single organic cause has been found.
The mainstay of treatment is antipsychotic medication combined with mood stabilizer medication or antidepressant medication, or both. Antipsychotic drugs primarily work by suppressing dopamine activity; while antidepressant drugs primarily work by increasing the active levels of at least one monoamine neurotransmitter. The exact mechanism of how mood stabilizers work is uncertain. Psychotherapy, and vocational and social rehabilitation (see psychiatric rehabilitation) are also important for recovery. In more serious cases—where there is risk to self and others—involuntary hospitalization may be necessary, although hospital stays are less frequent and for shorter periods than they were in previous times.[5]
The disorder is thought to mainly affect cognition and emotion, but it also usually contributes to ongoing problems with behavior and motivation. People with schizoaffective disorder are likely to have additional (comorbid) conditions, including anxiety disorders and substance abuse. Social problems, such as long-term unemployment, poverty and homelessness, are common. Furthermore, the average life expectancy of people with the disorder is shorter than those without the disorder, due to increased physical health problems and a higher suicide rate.
The diagnosis was introduced in 1933[6] and will be removed from or amended in the next iteration of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), to be published in 2012.[7][8]

Gender identity disorder
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gender identity disorder (GID) is the formal diagnosis used by psychologists and physicians to describe persons who experience significant gender dysphoria (discontent with the biological sex they were born with). It is a psychiatric classification and describes the attributes related to transsexuality, transgender identity, and transvestism.
Gender identity disorder in children is usually reported as "having always been there" since childhood, and is considered clinically distinct from GID which appears in adolescence or adulthood, which has been reported by some as intensifying over time.[1] Since many cultures strongly disapprove of cross-gender behavior, it often results in significant problems for affected persons and those in close relationships with them. In many cases, discomfort is also reported as stemming from the feeling that one's body is "wrong" or meant to be different.
Some transgender people and researchers have criticized the classification of GID as a mental disorder for several reasons, including evidence from recent studies about the brains of transsexual people.[2] The treatment for this disorder consists primarily of physical modifications to bring the body into harmony with one's perception of mental (psychological, emotional) gender identity, rather than vice versa.[3]

Transgender vs. transsexual

The word transsexual, unlike the word transgender, has a precise medical definition.[17] It was defined by Harry Benjamin in his seminal book "The Transsexual Phenomenon".[17] In particular he defined transsexuals on a scale called the "Benjamin Scale", which defines a few different levels of intensity of transsexualism; these are listed as "Transsexual (nonsurgical)", "True Transsexual (moderate intensity)", and "True Transsexual (high intensity)".[17] Many transsexuals believe that to be a true transsexual one needs to have a desire for surgery. [18] However, it is notable that Benjamin's moderate intensity "true transsexual" needs estrogen, or testostorone medication as a "substitute for or preliminary to operation."[17] There also exist people who have had sexual reassignment surgery (SRS) but do not meet the definition of a transsexual, such as Gregory Hemingway.[19][20], while other people do not desire SRS yet clearly meet Dr. Benjamin's definition of a "true transsexual".[21] Beyond Dr. Benjamin's work, which focused on Male to Female transsexuals, there are cases of Female to Male transsexuals for whom surgery is often considered to be not practical.
Outside of the above medical definition there is a wide range of gender expressions which are contrary to the norm. Cross dressers, drag queens, transvestites, transvestic fetishist etc. It is notable that many transsexuals go through one of those self identifications before realizing that they are in fact transsexual.
Some transsexuals also take issue with the term because Charles "Virginia" Prince, the founder of the cross dressing organization Tri-Ess and coiner of the term "transgender",[22] did so because she wished to distinguish herself from transsexual people. In "Men Who Choose to Be Women," Prince wrote "I, at least, know the difference between sex and gender and have simply elected to change the latter and not the former".[23] There is a substantial academic literature on the difference between sex and gender, but in pragmatic English, this academic distinction is ignored and "gender" is used mostly to describe the categorical male/female difference while "sex" is used mostly to describe the physical act.[24]
There is political tension between the identities that fall under the "transgender umbrella." For example, transsexual men and women who can pay for medical treatments (or who have institutional coverage for their treatment) are likely to be concerned with medical privacy and establishing a durable legal status as men and women later in life. Extending insurance coverage for medical care is a coherent issue in the intersection of transsexuality and economic class. Most of these issues can appeal even to conservatives, if framed in terms of an unusual sort of "maintenance" of traditional notions of gender for rare people who feel the need for medical treatments. Some trans people might express this by saying "I don't challenge the gender binary, I just started out on the wrong side of it."[25]

Transgender identities

While people self-identify as transgender, transgender identity includes many overlapping categories. These include cross-dresser (CD); transvestite (TV); androgynes; genderqueer; people who live cross-gender; drag kings; and drag queens; and, frequently, transsexual (TS).[26] Usually not included are transvestic fetishists (because it is considered to be a paraphilia rather than gender identification). In an interview, artist RuPaul talked about society's ambivalence to the differences in the people who embody these terms. "A friend of mine recently did the Oprah show about transgender youth," said RuPaul. "It was obvious that we, as a culture, have a hard time trying to understand the difference between a drag queen, transsexual, and a transgender, yet we find it very easy to know the difference between the American baseball league and the National baseball league, when they are both so similar."[27] These terms are explained below.
The extent to which intersex people (those with ambiguous genitalia or other physical sexual characteristics) are transgender is debated, since not all intersex people disagree with their gender assigned at birth. The current definitions of transgender include all transsexual people, although this has been criticized. (See below.)
The term trans man refers to female-to-male (FtM or F2M) transgender people, and trans woman refers to male-to-female (MtF or M2F) transgender people, although some transgender people identify only slightly with the gender not assigned at birth. In the past, it was assumed that there were far more trans women than trans men, but a Swedish study estimated a ratio of 1.4:1 in favour of trans women for those requesting sex reassignment surgery and a ratio of 1:1 for those who proceeded.[28] There is a school of thought that says terms such as "FtM" and "MtF" are subjugating language that reinforces the binary gender stereotype.[29]
The term cisgender has been coined as an antonym referring to non-transgender people; i.e. those who identify with their gender assigned at birth.[30]


Transsexual people identify as, or desire to live and be accepted as, a member of the sex opposite to that assigned at birth.[31][32]
Many trans people desire to undergo gender transition. People who have transitioned, who do not necessarily identify as transgender or transsexual any longer, may identify as simply a man or a woman. Those that continue identifying as transsexual men or women may not want to ignore their pre-transition life, and may continue strong ties with other trans people and raising social consciousness.[33]
Many transsexual people have a wish to alter their bodies. These physical changes are collectively known as gender reassignment therapy and often (but not always) include hormone replacement therapy and sex reassignment surgery. References to "pre-operative", "post-operative" and "non-operative" transsexual people indicate whether they have had, or are planning to have sex reassignment surgery, although some trans people reject these terms as objectifying trans people based on their surgical status and not their mental gender identity.

I want you to know what you are about to read is, for me, the final piece of a 50 y/o puzzle. Once I found the right persons that I could trust to open up to, everything just flooded out. When you are fighting for literally a point of reference to normalcy and you do a deep search inside to find the answers, the right therapist and psychologist hold the key. By chance this little corner of SE Kansas had a transgender trained therapist and psychologist to open the door wider so they could help me.

I still have issue to reveal to them both and put the demons, as they say, to rest. This is my last hope for true happiness. You both have been my greatest joy and being transgender has been mine to bear all these years. I simply cannot move forward in my life without living it's remainder as who I truly was meant to be. I hope you understand. There will be many questions I know, I hope I have answered some of them.

Being transgender since I was very young has made life difficult, at the very least.

My past has been spent hiding my "inner girl" from the 'The World'. Your mother and I had you two and we raised you as best we could while trying to balnce career with personal belief. I made you mother happy sexually even while wanting to be in her place at those moments. I made her feel every bit as sexy, feminine and loved as I saw my "inner girl" receiving.

I may have lost track of a few things, but my intellect remains. I always said my intellect was both my greatest asset in life while being my ultimate downfall. You both are very intelligent individuals and I know I have put a huge stone in the path of our relationships. I still hope and believe after reading this that you will understand why I never wanted anyone to take a walk through my mind. I loove you both and hope that this will not be too much to bear.

The future is the real issue of life that remains. I decided I can no longer live two lives and the opposite sex. The footprints I left in my past will always remain. My concern for the future is for those I have touched and the relationships we continue, nothing else matters.

I have seen the two of you succeed in your chosen pursuits, Christopher for your career in Military Intelligence and Jennifer for your PHD in Sociology. And yes, I claim responsibility for your fierce attitudes and work ethics. I was like that, it's a rule for a successful and happy life for each of you. It was always my "inner girl" who was running the show, right down to selecting what your mother wore. The fashion taste of her clothing was what and how myself, if only I could have been ME.

In pursuit of "my true self" has not made me less aware that I still have two distinct lives with my children and your children.

The question I can hear now; Am I without a "Dad, Grandfather"?
How do you answer that question?

Of course I am still here, my mind has not changed, only how I outwardly appear.

Is that the right answer?
I hope so.

Why "Sex change" surgery is medically necessary.

Why "Sex chage" surgery is medically necessary.

The following information may be something that some of us feel to become the full person we always believed we should have been. The text can be redistributed as people feel fit, provided the text is not altered. Permission given by Mercedes Allen @

Even at the age of 56 I feel this article hits straight to the heart of my feelings.

Popular opinion has it that Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS, often popularly nicknamed "sex change surgery") is a cosmetic issue and motivated by a simple "want" to be female or male, by someone who was not born as such. However, extensive medical research into transsexuality dating as far back as the 1920s and continuing through modern studies have demonstrated otherwise, and consequently, the medical standards of care have included GRS as a necessary procedure for decades. In order to understand this, people will honestly need to put aside preconceptions for a moment -- and also realize at the same time that many transsexuals would rather see a health system in which preventative and quality-of-life treatments were uniformly covered, rather than one in which someone's eye surgery or tendon issues are not.

As recently as 50 years ago, being left-handed brought with it a stigma of being strange and socially unacceptable. In the Middle Ages, left-handed people were prosecuted as witches, under the accusation that being "backwards" meant that they were demon-possessed. In many languages, the word "sinister" and variants derive from the Latin word for "left."

This caused many left-handed people to attempt to hide their dexterity, switching to their right hand, restricting their comfort, agility and co-ordination. Many lived in constant fear of being found out.

"There was a lot of emotional stress and pain attached with it. I never understood why it was so “wrong” to be left handed. It caused me a lot of pain through the years that I was forced to be right handed all the while thinking “Why am I not using my left?” I tried to switch back other times but felt it was wrong and feared negative repercussions. So I finally had it and I fought through the pain and the ingrained negative stigmas about left handedness. Though I have only been back at it for a week it feels so natural, I cried and cried because I felt so so happy, like everything fell into place and that I was me again. All these years it had made me miserable I am so glad that I finally listened to myself." -- Mari Ongstad, in response to a speech given by left-handers' activist Murray Kaufman, 2006.

This is much the same experience of someone who is transsexual, except that their entire identity is at stake. They attempt to hide who they are, the hiding driven by a spiralling sense of shame and self-loathing, until it becomes an experience many liken to "suffocating," or vents itself in an explosion of frustration. Transsexuals are unable to explain why they feel that their gender should be something different than their birth sex, and sometimes spend years attempting to mask themselves, to "pass" as the gender that society expects them to be. This restricts their ability to function socially, emotionally, psychically, spiritually, economically (it’s hard to be productive while constantly feeling out of one’s element and/or “backwards”), maybe sexually, and leaves them often suicidal as a result. If this continues into later adulthood, often a crisis point is reached in which the person suffers a complete emotional collapse.

“Gender Dysphoria” is the name for this condition, and treatment follows the standards of care established by the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH, formerly HBIGDA), which includes GRS. No less than the American Medical Association has stepped forward advocating the necessity of surgery and its coverage. In fact, like the AMA, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association and the Canadian counterparts of all three all support GRS as a medically necessary part of treatment. It was partly for this reason that the Ontario Human Rights Commission ruled last year that that Province should restore coverage of the procedure.

Treatment of Gender Dysphoria encorporates surgical and endocrine intervention, because analytical and aversion therapies have historically proven damaging. As much as mainstream society would like to believe that electroshock therapy, anti-psychotic drugs or conversion ("ex-gay") therapy would help transsexuals “just get over it,” modern medicine has realized that this approach simply does not work, and usually results in suicide or extreme anti-social behaviour. Aligning body to mind, however, has enabled transsexuals to become valued and successful people in society. There are, in fact, a few transsexuals who feel that they can live without having GRS, but they are the exception and not the rule.

Gender Dysphoria (sometimes called "Gender Identity Disorder," or GID) is currently listed as a mental health issue, but ongoing study of both genetic ”brain sex” and Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) show the possibility of some biological causal factor. In a study released in October 2003, UCLA researchers identified 54 genes in male and female mouse brains that led to measurable differences by gender, and went on to indicate the possibility of a brain being gendered differently to one's physical sex. According to Dr. Eric Vilain, "It's quite possible that sexual identity and physical attraction is 'hard-wired' by the brain. If we accept this concept, we must dismiss the myth that homosexuality is a 'choice' and examine our civil legal system accordingly." Studies of EDCs show another, possibly concurrent potential that exposure to chemicals that simulate hormone characteristics -- particularly between the third and eighth week of pregnancy -- can affect the signals sent out to determine psychological gender and biological sex, which appear to develop at different times during gestation. One EDC of particular research interest, the synthetic hormone diethylstilbestrol (DES), was administered to women for a time as a "vitamin" supplement to help prevent miscarriage, a practice which ceased in the early 1970s when it was linked to various cancers (although it remained in use with animal populations into the early 1990s). In all fairness, nothing is conclusively proven at this point, and there is not a lot of research money being put into further study, as most pharmaceutical companies do not yet see a payoff from doing so. But the anecdotal and observational data from EDC and brain studies of human and animal populations would tend to support an innate origin of transsexuality, and coincides with transsexuals' convictions that they "just knew" that they were female (in the case of male-to-female transsexuals) or male (in the case of female-to-males).

There is more. Current legislation asserts that most forms of identification and legal documentation can only be changed to reflect one's new gender after surgery has been verified. Without GRS, many pre-operative transsexuals experience severe limitations on employment, travel beyond Canada's border, and treatment in medical, legal and social settings in which verifying ID is necessary. Prior to GRS surgery, transsexuals also face limitations on where they can go (i.e. the spa or gym, or anywhere that involves changing clothes) and difficulties in establishing relationships -- as well as being in that "iffy" area where human rights are assumed to be protected, but have not yet been specifically established as such in policies and legislation. In hospitals, prisons and such, they are housed by physical sex rather than their gender identity, creating potentially risky situations, unless the authorities directly involved choose to keep them in isolation. And at the end of the day, without GRS surgery, one's gender is always subject to being challenged or stubbornly unacknowledged by those who don't realize that a transsexual's gender identity was not a matter of choice. There is also an extremely high risk of violence faced upon the accidental discovery that one's genitalia does not match their presentation.

Transsexuality is not widely known or understood in mainstream society, and should not be confused with other aspects of the larger transgender (an umbrella term) culture. Although much sensationalism can be made of something like medical coverage of Gender Reassignment Surgery, the realities paint a very different story.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Needing comments girls.... Loving open arms here!!!

The next segment of my life I will be posting, I hope will spark some conversation. The first segment of my life through the teen years has been posted. I am hoping that each of you will read and post, by name or anonymously, about anything that occurred in that time frame you would like to make. Comments are NOT posted on Facebook!!

All I want to do is help us all find within ourselves that moment we realized we were transgender. Maybe you need support in your feelings or anything. As I stated before this site is for transgender helping and supporting transgender. Join me girls in sharing and supporting each other in our transition or decisions to pursue transition or staying where you are today. Everyone has an experience to offer the rest of us girls.

I love you all with open arms!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sixteen and barely kissed.

Things happened to me in this segment which were to be so humiliating, frightening to a transgendered boy. To this day the events would forever brand in my mind feelings I would attempt to hide and suffer within for the very thoughts that came to me.

I woke up in a daze, I was in bed, I was being "fucked" forcibly… Raped… I pulled away and screamed at him to stop. I was afraid for my life. What next I could never win a fight with him he was half my size bigger, was he going to kill me and get rid of my body. I did not know what to do, all I knew was that I had to leave, now. I gathered up my clothes and kept yelling at him as I moved toward the front door. I just opened the door and walked away in the pink baby doll night gown and snuck into a dim-lit spot, I can't remember. I needed to change and walk towards home as fast as possible. It was a hot June evening in Dallas and I found my way to a large street I knew "Forest Lane", where I just walked and walked hiding my face from everyone as they passed, as if they might know about what just happened to a sixteen year old 'boy'.

I wanted to scream, but at who, 'boys don't tell'. I found my way home early the next morning and I showered and fell asleep cuddled in a ball. Who would care in this big city. Sure I tried to confront him the next day, what did it get me, fired that's what it got me. Yes, I cried, I got mad and complained that they fired me for something they hadn't. I put up the defense front so that I could just be angry. I took it out on the only one responsible, my mom, she brought us here. I found my way to late night parties with my friends and their friends, coming home drunk, high, both or worse. Drugs and more drugs was my quest, more marijuana and acid, which I had heard about at the coffee houses just a couple of years ago. By school I was in complete denial and looked for anything to free myself from my reality. My studies World History and Work Experience, basically 90 minutes of history and 90 minutes of experience equals Graduation and goodbye to this town for me.

I had nightmares and bad trips during and on the weekends when I partied on with my friends. I worked my job and partied by night, my car had become my home. I poured money into the interior like most teenagers today. It was my haven and she was fast, too fast but I didn't want to slow down. My character changed in some ways, work hard and live harder when I came into contact with a biker club called the "Rebels" out of Bozeman, MT. My little sister's boyfriend was one of the founding 'Members' of the Club. At this moment in life I wanted to be indentified with someone and definitely not as a 'girl' in any way. After partying with them a few times they wanted to be a member, wow all I had to do to get one of those cool denim jackets with a Club patch. That was what I wanted, build or buy my own chopper and cruise the roads, free from all the memories. My solution to the past was to run away from all aspects, family, relatives other friends and just go.

School was easy, I aced both classes, go figure. I graduated somewhere in the alphabetic middle of eight hundred classmates at SMU in Dallas. Thank goodness we got the 10am slot as opposed to the 12noon, 2pm or 4pm slots. Can you imagine four graduations of approximately the same size in one place on the same day. I just wanted out of that city any way I could. I turned eighteen and kept working at the Chevrolet dealership when my sister's boyfriend asked if I wanted to work with him fulltime at his dad's filling station and shop. He was a brother, so I accepted and by fall I had moved into a large house with three other club members, a total of six in a three bedroom house we would all 'share the bills'. One third of us actually 'shared the bills', the rest donated weed or whatever else became available on our combined wages. My brother's introduced me to 'speed' and I loved it shot into my vein, the quick rush and almost euphoric high kept me fascinated. One night my sister's boyfriend's brother's old lady, well she might have been eighteen, slipped me a note which was a big come on. I wasn't interested and went to my room and crashed, the next thing I know my brother her old man is holding a cocked 45 magnum in my face and telling me to get out. When I got up I looked around and she was in bed with me, was he serious? Me and her? In his hand was the note she wrote to me. I got up, packed and looked at my partially built Harley Sportster and walked out away from there into a decision that was made on the same need to identify with something bigger than myself and definitely female.

I had moved to Wichita, KS to my cousin's but was living with my club brother who left with me. I kept doing speed for the next few weeks exclusively and worked for a custom marble top manufacturer, doing setups and spraying gel-coat on the molds. Sometimes I hadn't slept in days or eaten either, but it was al about the evening. My life was going nowhere fast and Vietnam was up in the air, the draft was notifying me that I needed to register which I did. I stayed away from drugs for a few days before a United States Marine recruiter talked me into taking the aptitude test and I scored high in the Avionics field and I could join under the 'buddy program' with a friend and go through basic and advanced infantry training together. I just looked at my brother 'Wirehead' and said "I will if you will." he nodded to his brother "Deputy Dog" and we signed the papers. The next day we were on the bus for Kansas City, Mo for induction into the Marines. Arriving by plane and then bussed to Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA where the first seventy two hours we were kept up, yelled at and mentally abused about everything from our sexual preference to our mother's obvious mistake in having me. Boot camp was both grueling physically and mentally and had me and my brother snapped together the Marine way in short order and became forward road guards for the platoon, meaning no one encroached our space at intersections by another platoon. Oh they loved to play, who can get there first and who could stop the closest to another platoon. Ahhh, Military life, ya gotta admire it's organization and disciplined life. I really did, only one hitch, I hated violence, go figure.

Those first two months of training, a total of four and you were Marine ready for your assignment, you were in the Corps. I loved the physical endurance of the obstacle courses, which being a smaller frame, my muscles made bulked in my arms, legs and abs. I was crazy fast and consistent in class and out of class. My week tour at guard duty came while I was serving KP duty for two weeks. For three nights I guarded the food that the base would consume, only challenged one Officer or any rank in that three nights between midnight and 4am. I had passed that part of training and we moved on to the second month with weapons and combat. My prowess with weapons was quickly recognized by the drill instructor and I go a little bit of encouragement on the rifle range enough to qualify 1 point away from and 'expert marksman' medal, so I got "sharpshooter' instead. It was the in your face 'combat', hand to hand' that absolutely convinced me that violence towards another human being would not be possible for me even if I was not on the frontlines. On the last day we were given orders to the northern side of Camp Pendleton for AIT (advanced infantry training, while we were waiting in barracks I and my brother slipped away and started hitch hiking for home. I had received a letter that my sister was now pregnant with her boyfriend's baby and he was beating her at times. I was going back and kick his ass.

Caught in Mairicopa County, NM with bald heads and no belongings, big red flag. The Highway Patrol soon rousted us back to the County jail for military hold. Short trip and now what? Back to the Corps under guard and to the Company Commander. No explanation was good enough and we were returned to the platoon, more KP while we prepared to leave on maneuvers, military slang for let's pretend to kick some ass for real. For one entire day, the first leg of our journey was up an incline of 30 - 35 degrees up. The heavy pack and steepness worsened with the rain turning our trail into mud. Under darkness we approached our objective and dug in for the next days maneuvers. None of us slept as we watched and heard the pre-dawn rumblings of tanks and artillery shells in the distant which lit up the sky. We were ordered forward and soon found the enemy on the other side of the hill, making there assault for that same objective. The battle raged for another night before the maneuver was declared finished. We never found out if we won the battle and if our captured and wounded and kill count was higher than our opponent, but we were all sure we kicked major ass. In the barracks I was pumped with the other guys, inside I was shaking.

I endured the remainder of training with no real sense of accomplishment and we received our orders for the next duty station. Mine was in Florida to Avionic Electronics School with a short stop over at home and my friends. We sat around and talked about the experiences and our Club Leader "Wolf Jack" was there to meet and greet us. Colors on I was introduced and we quickly became friends, brothers and especially Marines. He was just out three months earlier from Vietnam where he was A Ranger Sniper behind enemy lines in teams of two to kill and close down enemy supply lines. He glorified his experiences in stark detail to us all, he was obviously disturbed about some of the events that he had gone through. The taking of another human being's life literally drove me mad and I decided right then and there that I could not in any way support the war in Vietnam. I didn't report to my next duty station.

I purposely stayed at home, not because I was not a patriot, but we should never have been there and thousands lost their lives. My life was worth more to me alive than posturing myself as someone who felt in any way responsible. It was just not what I wanted my life to be involved in at all. So, guess what? I chose the same decision path as before, I walked away. For almost a year I continued to drink and do drugs.

My sister got away from the Club and pleaded with me to shed myself of them, come home and turn myself in to the military. I did so back in Dallas at the Naval Air Station at the risk with being charged with desertion during war time. I had to sit in front of my relatives, hoping I would turn my life around. I was, hopeful however misguided that thought was behind bars. I was transported to Camp LeJeune, NC where I was detained pending transport. It was encouraging my military guards were pleasant and allowed me the trip without any undue humiliation. The same was not true on my trip to my Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, FL where I was put in maximum security for two months. After what seemed an eternity my Captain arrived and took charge of me from the brig. My hope was blurry after speaking with my JAG lawyer, the prosecutor was going to make an example of my case. He had recommended two and a half years in federal prison and a bad-conduct discharge. That brightened my day, I talked with my 1st Seargent and he talked to the CO. They brought me in and flatly stated take an undesirable discharge and go home. I did and was on the bus that evening.

My stay was brief at my mom's, I said goodbye and headed to her sister's to start a new life. This was where I was when I turned the corner from my teens to the twenties. I landed a better than average job at a local manufacturing plant here in the city of Independence, KS. Today I live in that very city which has started to accept me for who I am today, but I'll get to that.