How George Michael became Japanese art to me

How George Michael became Japanese art to me

The passing of George Michael hit me hard, at least when it sank in. Most everybody hates their voice when it’s recorded and they hear it played back. Despite spending a decade in radio, then doing voice over work for nearly three, I’m no exception, but it wasn’t always that way. I used to sing opera. I had, by all accounts, a beautiful baritone voice that could sing bass and tenor parts, alike. I sang at weddings, funerals, and with the occasional glass of wine could be persuaded to sing a Latin or Italian aria in someone’s living room, which thrilled them and me both. My radio career was successful, too. With the passing of George Michael, memories of an old flame came rushing back with such force, I couldn’t stop crying in the...

It’s not just about you!

It’s not just about you!

“It’s not just about you.” It’s a mantra I repeat in my head, almost daily, still. It’s something I knew I needed to keep in mind before I came out to family and friends as transgender. And it’s something I tell people who are just coming out, or are considering coming out to family and friends. When a transgender person finally works up the nerve to transition and live authentically, it’s like an overdrive kicks in. We finally feel free from the bonds which have held us captive, sometimes for many years. All we want to do is finally move on with living our lives. It’s easy to get caught in the euphoria of living your life for yourself, after living it for other people for years. I spent several months in psychotherapy before I realized it was...

How a transgender woman loses male privilege

How a transgender woman loses male privilege

My coworker Kelly said, “When I first saw you, I thought you were a woman, but then I said to myself, ‘I think that might be a man.'” I was thankful for her honesty. She came to Atlanta only 8 months ago, so I was only about three months into my transition when we first met. Every time I’ve said something about how feminine I appear to others, my friends all say something similar. “You’re so pretty! You totally look female.” These reassurances do chip away at my doubt, but I don’t believe the doubt will ever leave for good. It will only be pushed further away. I’ve vacillated for weeks about whether and how to write about this subject, but I knew I needed to write more in depth about the changing way other...

What are you willing to give up?

What are you willing to give up?

What are you willing to give up to get what you want? Imagine you have a diamond in one hand and a fist full of gold in the other. You’re sitting in the sun on the hottest day of the summer, you haven’t had anything to drink all day, there’s a glass of water right in front of you, and you’re surrounded by people who each have a glass of water. Are you willing to drop the diamond to pick up the glass? What about the fist full of gold? You can sit there until you die of thirst; until the others around you lose hope or get bored and move along; or until you can give up something to save yourself. In some ways, life really boils down to making choices of this sort. At some point, you have to make a choice about what you’re willing to...

How to compliment a transgender person

How to compliment a transgender person

How do you compliment a transgender person? On the surface, it seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve found there’s more psychology involved that you might think. Recently, my close friend told me about a conversation she ahd with someone we both work with, who said I was looking very pretty lately. My friend told the coworker, “You should tell her.” Our coworker’s response initially surprised my friend. When my friend told me, I was surprised as well. The coworker confided to my friend that she hadn’t been sure if she should compliment me on my dress, because she thought it might make me uncomfortable, or make me feel singled out. Our coworker was on to something. It is true, that most trans people just want to blend in. When we...

The changing faces I see on elevators

The changing faces I see on elevators

I’ve been passing more and more, lately. That’s what transgender people call it when people see you as the gender you are, not what you were assigned at birth. When we don’t pass, we call it getting clocked. Passing is good, getting clocked is bad. It occurred to me week before last that people look at me differently now, than they would have before before my transition. I’m not just talking about the fact that they see a female now. I mean the looks on their faces are different, and so is their body language. I had just been to the grocery store and was exiting the elevator in my apartment building while a young woman was waiting to board, obviously headed to the pool. I’d never seen this woman in the building before that moment. I...

Ch-ch-ch-ch Changes – one year on hormones

Ch-ch-ch-ch Changes – one year on hormones

I’ve seen a lot of changes over the past year. This past Sunday, in the words of my friend Bella, was my one-year “tranniversary.” I began HRT, or hormone replacement therapy, in May 2015 to block the effects of the testosterone that had poisoned my body for many years. Testosterone does many things to humans. It’s what makes facial and other body hair grow thick. It helps form male reproductive tissues during infancy, promotes bone mass, it changes specific characteristics in the facial bone structure as males age, it lowers the voice of adolescent males, and even helps males develop muscles faster. Did you know testosterone is an anabolic steroid? I’ll be honest, I didn’t until I began researching for this post. It’s a really powerful hormone! But...