I’ve decided to change the direction of this blog. As it turns out, there are other more effective avenues for my comics. I have decided to devote THIS page to my recent transition from male to female.
My actual transition date was October 8, 2014. That was the date of my transition surgery. Transition itself didn’t really begin until 3 weeks later. The first week after surgery was spent with my face bruised, stitched and bandaged in a dimly lit hotel room. The only people I saw were my partner and the room service waiters. After returning home and having my stitches and bandages removed I convalesced at home or the next 2 weeks as the swelling went down. I hardly left my place during that time either. I began to wonder how life would be in the outside world. Would people perceive me as a woman? I wondered if I was isolating out of fear. I could tell if I didn’t get back “out there” soon I might not be able to. I’d also had my voice adjusted and it was still very weak although higher pitched, almost like a whisper. Events conspired to move me back into the world when my general manager had an unexpected life crisis. I had to return to my business early during the fourth week of my recovery. Fortunately I had help at work since my voice was still marginal at best. This was the beginning of a very strange journey during which I have had to confront fears and unexpected situations almost daily.
Walking through the door of my store in a busy beach town was almost surreal. None of my neighbors or employees had seen me yet as a woman. I had told all my employees so they were prepared, but most of the neighboring business people had not known. They had all known me as a creative, definitely masculine entrepreneur, artist and high level surfer and swimmer. I had no idea how my transition would play in a neighborhood surrounded by decidedly masculine surf/skate store patrons and employees. In addition, I hadn’t spoken to any of my customers. Many I had known professionally for up to a decade. In my busy retail store I have had tens of thousand of customers over the years. My regular customers and local customers numbered in the hundreds. Many of my old friends and even current ones didn’t know. Athletes in town I had competed against fiercely and often defeated would have to meet the “new” me. These encounters meeting them and updating all of them over the following weeks and months proved to be interesting to say the least. There was no way I could send out a group memo to everyone I had ever known or worked with, competed with or known so I decided to deal with them on a case by case basis, mostly in person. In addition to this were the daily details of being female. Things a man never has to consider. Things I didn’t know would be part of life, but things every woman knows. I felt like an inexplicably naive child entering some of these situations for the first time as a 50 year old adult. I hope to convey my experience negotiating all of these in my blog.