Monday, December 30, 2013

Something Trans

Interesting title.  I just thought I should write about something trans today.  After all it's a part of who I am.  It's a part of my journey.  I am transgender.  I know some people are reluctant to use that word, and honestly I was that way for a long time.  I was reluctant to think of myself as transsexual.

Sometimes it's important to look back where I have come from and see the path I have taken to get to this place.  I have had my surgery.  And let me say that "this side of the fence", this side of surgery is different from what I expected.

There are the little things that I wasn't expecting ... like having a vagina is a little messy.  So much easier just being able to "shake" the little guy down there when I was done.  Now it's really hard to be clean and dry.

Dilating is interesting too.  I have a confession to make there.  I haven't been dilating as much as I should.  Eeek.  I dilate once a day for about 30 minutes, but I am meant to be doing that morning and night.  I don't do it in the morning.  I find it nearly impossible to have the energy to get up early in the morning to do that when my energy levels have been so depleted from the surgery.

And that is probably the biggest thing I have had to get used to.  Having the surgery for me was like having glandular fever all over again.  I have seriously not had the energy I was expecting.  My GP told me that I would probably feel that way for 6 months, and she could very well be right.  It's almost 4 months, and I am still feeling rather tired.

On the up side, I love my life now.  I can't say that enough times.  I never, ever thought that I would get to have these experiences.  I am forever thankful for that.  I love being me.  I love being seen for being me.  And I don't miss wearing a mask.  I Love Being Me!!!  :-)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

In The Moment

Being in the present moment.  OMG I struggle with this.  And to be honest, I never had much of an understanding how important it is to be present.  It's where we live though.  I have list of things that I need to achieve, and until I do, I have essentially held myself to ransom.  I need to let my attachment to my goals go, and focus and be attached to the process and journey.

We had sizzler for lunch today with the boys.  Another way to share something special with them.  It's nice to get out like that as a family and do that.

As we attempt to understand ourselves and our struggles with life's endeavours, we may find peace in the observation of a flower. Ask yourself: At what point in a flower's life, from seed to full bloom does it reach perfection? 

The Practicing Mind by Thomas M. Sterner

Transition has a way of holding out this idea of what it means to be perfect in front of us.  Well to be perfectly honest, life, not just transition, does that.  I have transitioned, and I have had surgery.  But now what?  What next?  An interesting question.  Life is the journey and it's a daily step by step journey.  Like even right now, I am writing this blog.  That is my process at this very moment.  I desire to not let my mind wander to the future and what I hope to achieve out of life, or the future, or this month, or this year, or today.  Because right now I am achieving my goal of writing a blog.  It will never be finished.  It is a work in progress always.

Enjoying the Journey

I think the universe is telling me a the moment to "enjoy the journey".  That's how it feels.  I just purchased "The Practicing Mind" which is an interesting read so far.  Basically it talks about not making the product my goal, but the process, "the practice" of getting to that place the goal.  Which is interesting.  I guess that means that the goal is the discipline of practicing over the final product.  When we look at the product as the goal we sometimes find the journey there to be a nuisance.  And then with that feeling on board, we struggle to make the journey.  Interesting.  I can totally relate to that.

It's a Saturday.  We took the boys to Carindale today to spend their "christmas money".  Apart from that we have been home all day.  It hasn't felt like a saturday.  I guess that is because it is christmas holidays.

I have been really enjoying playing guitar of late.  And hopefully I am beginning to enjoy the journey.  I have been practicing with the JS-10 Eband device which is amazing.  Makes practicing easy ... lots of different styles and backing tracks that I can "dial in" and just start playing over.  It seems to be helping me develop my ear which is good.

I'm also looking at possibly working through some of Ted Greene's "Modern Chord Progressions".  It's an incredibly intense book.  I have wondered how I should even work through it.  I think, I should look at it like the Bible.  Funny I know.  But if I am to internalise the music and ideas, I need to take them as small bite sized pieces.  It's not about playing all the different chord progressions one after another.  It's about letting one chord progression get into my head.

Friday, December 27, 2013

My Value System

We had a lovely catch up today with Jess.  We had previously caught up for her birthday in August just before my surgery date.  It was so lovely catching up and touching base with each other.  I asked Giselle later if that's "girl talk" and "how did I do?"  Funny question, I guess.  Probably highlights the fact that I am never over confident about that kind of thing.

I am really enjoying Life Coaching with Anthony Venn Brown.  It's been amazing.  This week, I had to identify my values and how they fit together, as in what is the priorities of my value system.  Which is a challenging process.  I think I have my value system as I believe it to be.  My top 12 values in order would be:


I'm very intrigued as to what we will do with that.  What is interesting is that these values are almost hardwired in me.  They represent the values that I carry.  They aren't by any means what I would expect someone else to value, but these are my values - I guess these are my "religion" or my "spirituality", my "code".

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Learning About Myself

I am learning things about myself as I work through this Life Coaching Program.  One of the things I have learned is that it is more important and valuable for me to understand who I am than it is for me to place the burden of responsibility for figuring that out on someone else.  I have hoped for so long to be "discovered".  And what I mean by that is that I hope that someone will see the potential in me, and ultimately that discovery would open doors for me.  This is backwards though, I have come to realise.  I mean it sounds backwards when I verbalise it.  I guess I haven't ever verbalised it before.

I am discovering that my desire for a possible "change of career" is more based in the belief that I have "run my race" with respect to Technology and I have little left in me to contribute.  While there may actually be more rewarding experiences for me "out there", this is not a good enough reason to leave technology.  I truly don't know how many days, months, or years I have left in technology.  I do know, however, that I am a valuable asset with very diverse experience.

I need to plan more.  That's something else I am discovering.  I am not sure exactly how I will do that, but I know that I must do that.  It's not enough to have a couple of steps planned out.  I want to know where I want to go.  I want to know what that destination looks like.  It's no longer enough to know the next few steps.  I want direction.  And I want a destination.

While I consider that there is some aspect of a "calling" on my life, a greater purpose, I am wary that I would use this to "avoid the difficult and painful things of life".  It's all together entirely possibly that my desire to go into some form of ministry years ago was a subconscious mechanism to "avoid" dealing with my gender identity disorder.  

I am loving what I am discovering about myself.  And that is probably my next realisation.  In the program that I am working through, I am to understand that I have the answers to my own questions.  My life coach, Anthony, is to lead me in my discovery of those answers, not to give me those answers. Like I shared, that's something that is second nature to me:  I seem to find it easy to defer to others.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


It’s interesting for me to take a step back and look at my process.  I have a fear of asking for help.  I need to ask for help, but more often than not, I’m afraid of a few things.  One, I am afraid of asking the wrong questions.  Two, I am afraid of asking the wrong people. 

I think what that means is I am afraid of failure.  But in the process I have made myself unwilling to ask others for help for fear of failure.  There have been times in my life where I have “made a mess” as it work as I was working a process only to have that process evolve into something that does work.  And I love that feeling.  I love feeling accomplished.  Of getting my hands dirty and making something out of the “mess” as it were.  But I’m initially afraid of that “dirt”.  So what do I do?  How do I “step out” and make that mess while dealing with my own fears of failure? 

I also feel like there are times in my life where I really get “bogged down” in issues that just never seem to get resolved.  I’m not sure what that is about.  I think another thing that I fear is “momentum”.  When I have momentum with good habits, I feel like I can face a lot of different things and just “work it out”.  But when I lack momentum, my motivation is not far behind. 

I would like things to change in my life.  I would like to transform in this next year.  Perhaps that will be my word for next year:  Transform.  I get that is somewhat ironic because I have done a lot of that lately.  This would be different though.  This would be about changes to not just me in my identity, but changes to me.  After all, I’m not sure that I have really actually changed much except my outer “skin”.  I want to change the inside which is a lot harder.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Life Coaching

I have started a Life Coaching Engagement with Anthony Venn Brown.  I first read his book "A Life of UnLearning" in 2005 I believe.  Reading that book really inspired me to make decisions to start on this journey.  I had up until that point made a lot of decisions both to do this and then not to do it.  Somehow I always ended up in the same place of having done nothing and very miserable.

I love where I am at right now.  I have had the surgery and I am beginning to feel really good about myself.  I don't always like every picture I see of myself, and I don't always like the image in the mirror that I see.  But it's a lot less than it used to be.  And at least now I get to wear pretty clothes!!  :)  Not lost on me.

So, back to Life Coaching.  One of the habits I am trying to establish is to blog / journal more frequently.  I used to be more involved in journaling in years gone by.  I don't know what it was that stopped me.  I think it was that I used to love the "feedback" I got when I used to write on . I loved that site, and I loved the "connections" that I made there.

One thing I have realised though is that I need to journal for me primarily.  Journaling for other people can be daunting when the thoughts in my head are muddled.  I want to make them into something meaningful, but I just can't find my way through it.

So I'm going to try and not "promote" this journal now for fear that I might start writing for other people.  These words on this page are here primarily for me.  That's how I want this to be.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Kindness.  As a spiritual person, I want to embrace this in my life and share it with others.  And I have a person who I know needs it.  Dad.  Yes, I get that I wrote about him yesterday and how much he is frustrating me at the moment.  For the longest time in my life I have felt like so much about him is a “lost cause”.  Not that he has been helpless, but I acknowledge that I don’t have what he needs ultimately.  I’m not even really sure what that is.  I couldn’t say that all he needs is a relationship with God, because I am not sure exactly what God would do for him.  He is an atheist and seems very afraid of all of that.  He surrounds himself with prickly ways, and it’s difficult to get close to him.  I wonder who is beyond all those facades though.

The question is how do embrace kindness into my life.  Colossians suggests that I should clothe myself in kindness, which is kind of ironic, because it is my clothing and my outward appearance that I feel I have to hide from dad.  I have hid who I am internally from him for years.  When I first arrived back in Australia in 1989, he told me that he didn’t want to see any evidence of my Christianity around the house which I get is fair enough.  It’s difficult and challenging to share with him though when he is so anti spiritual.  And he can’t be told.  He is not ever in a position of needing to learn, or of being a learner.  Not in ways like that.  It’s like he has it in his mind that he should be teaching me.  I guess what I would like from him is a relationship of equality.

I need to overcome my fear of being vulnerable with him.  I am not sure what that would take though.  God, I am lost in this.  Do you have a way for me to move in this? 

My Dad

I don't really know what to say.  I feel quite frustrated at the moment, and wonder if this is a good time to record my thoughts as it were.  I'm frustrated because I am sitting in my lounge room and my dad is sitting across from me.  What's frustrating about that?  He fails to get me.  I don't know if it is that he doesn't want to get me or just can't get me.  I really don't know.  I am assuming it it that he doesn't want to get me.  Otherwise he would be trying.  He would surely be showing signs of trying.  Or at the very least ask me.  Ask for help.  I go out of my way for him to get this slowly, but it's like he doesn't want to get it.  So what do I do?  I don't really know.

I don't seem to have much in common with this person.  And it's not like I wish I did, because I don't.  Not really.  He has been generous with me in the past.  And I should remember that.  But does all of that get undone when someone fails to accept who you really are when you tell them who you really are?

I am going to spend some time in the next few days to figure out what it is about him that really annoys me.  Is there some thing that I am not dealing with here?  I have told him what I am ... where I am coming from.  I just don't get that he doesn't get this.  He shows no signs of getting this.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Next Stage

I started Life Coaching yesterday with Anthony Venn Brown.  I am already amazed at the changes that i have experienced.  I guess to be honest, I wasn't sure how it would work, or how I would go.  I know that it's early days, but I am excited.

There has been a restructure at work.  It's still working its way out at the moment.  I am to move into the "Consume" space, which essentially means I will be dealing with production issues.  Interestingly enough I have spent a lot of time in my career working in implementation teams.  It will be interesting to see work from this point of view.  I'm not sure how I feel about it to be honest.  I guess I will wait and see.  I have been at RACQ now for over 3 years which makes this the longest I have been at one work place.

Life goes on.  Sometimes I wish there was some way of stopping for a moment.  Kaylee decided to leave us.  She took her own life on November 20th Australian time.  I can understand why she did it, though it's sad.  I just don't understand it.  I have shed tears for her.  But it doesn't seem enough some how.  And I didn't even know her.  Not really.  And yet I think I did.  Her journey and outlook seemed similar to mine.  And so did some of her experiences.  We shared commonalities.  So I did know her.  May she rest in peace.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

When Waiting is Good

So, it's a Monday.  It's 13 days after my surgery, and it's the day I have my final followup consultation with my surgeon, Dr Andrew Ives.  It's been a big journey.  I always knew it would be.  But it's been bigger than I had expected.  And it's taken me way beyond myself in many ways.  And that's not a bad thing.

It's taken me decades to get to this point of where I am at.  And I am, by no means, arrived.  I have more of this journey ahead of me.  I mean, for me, that's life.  Life is the journey.  That's what I believe.  But there has been so much waiting.  There has been so much time in my life that has seemingly been wasted.

Could I have done this earlier?  Yes, undoubtedly.  Could I have saved myself and people around me the pain of doing this when I did?  Possibly.  This is all true.

But now is my appointed time.  I know that and can feel that.  It's palpable.  I don't question the timing of this.  I mourn things that I will never have, milestones that aren't mine, but I no longer question this timing.  The timing of my transition, of my surgery, of my recovery, and this part of the journey are perfect.  Not gonna change anything, or wish that I could!

Waiting is not a bad thing.  I am driven to make the most of my time and to be productive.  It eats away at me when I am forced to wait.  But waiting is good.  It has been very good to me.

My best advice is to find peace with your journey whatever it may be.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Three Weeks Tomorrow

Three weeks tomorrow.  How that does feel?  Surprisingly, it feels very peaceful.  I think I am ready for this.  I don't mean to "wish away" the next three weeks either, I will be happy to stay seated for the entire "ride".

In November of last year, Leigh Neighbour who is the minister of Metropolitan Community Church in Brisbane asked me to speak about Transgender Day of Remembrance.  I remember speaking about what it's like to be transgender, and how that feels, and the struggles that we face, and the dangers as well.  After all, that's what it's about.  It's about remembering those who have not survived this journey for whatever reason.  Tragically there are those who are taken from us violently.  Murdered just for being themselves.  And then there are those that we lose because this journey is too difficult.  And truly there is no judgement there.  There but for the grace of God.

Yesterday, though, was different.  Someone I know through the internet, a friend, posted their "final video" on youtube.  At first I wasn't sure what they meant.  I thought that perhaps this person was just stopping their channel.  And that would have been tragic in itself.  But this friend meant differently.  My heart immediately broke and my blood ran cold.  I was stunned.  I saw her post a mere 15 minutes after she posted.

We do live in a community.  And we are affected by each other.  We each have our own significance and weight in each others lives.  The internet brings us together in ways that are mind blowing, and yet it can also still leave us isolated geographically.  Sometimes it's not enough to use words, we want to be "there" for a person.  And yet we can't.  We have to sit and wait, powerless to do anything.  And that's hard.

I hope this girl will be okay.  She didn't end up taking her own life, but I believe her when she said that it was her intention to.  I hope that she can find something to hold on to in this world.  I guess I say that selfishly too.  I want her to stay because I appreciate who she is.  I would never judge her though if she wanted to go home.  I would just be incredibly sad and again reminded of how difficult this journey is.

All that said, I wouldn't trade anything for being a part of this community.  To quote a wise man, "I love my tribe".  I love who I am.  I love this community.

Friday, August 9, 2013

My Identification with the Female

Okay so this is what I have been thinking about.  And I'm trying to figure out why this has come to the forefront of my consciousness.

Here is the question that I have been mulling over:  Is my identification with "the female" more about an emotional connection or a physical connection?  And when I say "the female", if it's not obvious what I mean is everything in me that resonates and relates to being female.

I am sure ultimately it's both, and possibly even spiritual as well.  But is one connection stronger than the other?  At first contemplation I would have to say it's definitely emotional.  I mean I feel significantly emotionally connected to being female.  It means a lot to me to have those kind of relationships that are typically more female.  I love the kind of communication styles of women when they are relating to other women, especially close friends.  And I love being a part of that.  I find fulfilment in my relationships when I am perceived as a woman, as female.

But there is a physical aspect as well.  I know physically I want to look female.  But I think perhaps that desire to look female is more about achieving that sense of emotional connection.  It's significantly harder to convince people you are a woman on the inside if you don't look that way externally.  When I wasn't dressed as Cindy in the early days, I had difficulty believing i was female internally and emotionally.  Looking back I know that I was, but when I didn't see it in my own reflection I couldn't bring that expectation to other people to see me that way.

So perhaps my physical identification with being a woman is more about achieving that emotional identification with myself and those around me.  It's important for me to be seen and perceived and reflected as female.

There are other aspects of physical identification that are significant for me.  One of them involves the surgery that is coming up.  I mean if it wasn't important I wouldn't be subjecting myself to that, but I am.  It is important to me.  And interestingly I won't be seen by many at that degree as female.  There of course will be my lovely amazing wife Giselle, and perhaps a doctor or two.  But ultimately it will be a physical marker that will be righted that very few will appreciate or see.  But it's still important to me.  It's important because I want that emotional connection.

I'm thinking about this now because I am facing the surgery which has brought the idea of that physical identification onto my radar as it were.

So that's just what I have been thinking about ...

Monday, July 8, 2013

For Posterity

Just some thoughts that were gnawing at my brain last week ... I was going to delete it, but what the hell, it's my journal.  This is my life.  

Do you know what I hate?  I hate that I’m a nice person.  I hate that it has taken me decades to find my voice.  I hate that I too quickly put myself out for the sake of other people, when they don’t even know that I’m doing it.  And that’s not their fault.  That’s mine.  It’s not about them … it’s about me.  How could they know if I never tell them.  And I’m not a martyr either.  And I hate that this has been a part of who I am as long as I can remember.  So when faced with “keeping people happy” over “I think I might have a problem” I default to keeping the people around me happy.  That’s my problem. 

I hate sticking out.  I hate being different.  That is one of my fundamental fears.  And yet here I am.  I stick out. 

I think it is profoundly more disappointing to be so close to your goal, and yet come to the realisation that you will never quite reach it, than being hundreds or possibly thousands of miles from your goal and never knowing the pain of that journey.

“They lead me to water, but they won’t let me drink” – Chariots of Fire (Harold Abrams)

If I had a choice, I would NOT have travelled this journey.  I think primarily because there is no “pot of gold” here.  There is the general vicinity of “the end of the rainbow”, but that’s it.  If you get too close, it moves away. 

And I am not sure I want to be “this person”.  I wonder if this is me.  I mean, I don’t like sticking out, I love my comfort zone, and don’t like moving outside it, and yet this condition has forced my hand.  I am forced to move out of what I know.  And I don’t want to be forced to do something like this. 

This isn’t like shooting for the moon, or running in a race.  This is a fight for survival.  And yet in my running, in my travelling to the moon, I know it’s not mine to have.  I know I won’t come first.  There will be no medal at the end of this, not like other people run for.  There is only survival.  That’s it.  And I can’t say necessarily that I have it within me to want to survive this.  Decades of this.  I don’t think that I do. 

Can you blame someone for wanting to give up? 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Looking ahead

Let me say firstly, that I could never have imagined my transition going better than it has.  Other than somehow winning 10 million dollars.  Yeah I know, not really anything to do with transition.  But wow, the past couple of weeks have been difficult “transition wise”.  It’s getting down to the pointy end of business I guess.  In other words, surgery.  Which is interesting, because I had no idea that I would find this part so difficult.  And I can’t in truth understand why I am having such an emotional reaction to this.  I always knew it was something that I had “shelved” in my mind.  If I can put something off till later I usually do.  I am the epitome of a procrastinator.

But now, I am looking down a path that brings this milestone very clearly into view.  The tentative date being less than 100 days away.  And yet I want this.  I don’t understand my reaction to this.  It is throwing me.  The butterflies in my tummy are something that I can’t seem to switch off to.  And then having had my final consultation with the psychiatrist at the Monash Gender Centre in Melbourne and receiving his letter of recommendation for surgery to Dr Andrew Ives.  And now having on board all the information, the warnings, the disclaimers, the preparations, what can go wrong from Dr Ives I am, in a word, overwhelmed.  Completely overwhelmed.  Dr Ives, by the way, is a lovely man and by all accounts a very good surgeon. 

I am just overwhelmed.  I hope that I can get my head above water at some point as I begin the countdown.  I think I will.  These are just the initial reactions that I am experiencing.  And I am scared. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

I'm not quite there yet

We are already into the third month of 2013.  I have been fulltime for over a year now.  Wow ... that has really flown.  And I think the thing that has surprised the most is how "normal" everything feels.  I don't think I was ready for that!

So why the subject line?  Not quite there yet.  It has to do with a devotion that I read today, and one that I read on Friday.  The first one from Watchman Nee's devotions talked about how Abram had settled in Haran but God wanted him to keep moving on, and that he hadn't actually reached the land that He had intended for Him.  The second was a quote from Ecclesiastes that read in paraphrase, "There is no straightening out something that God has made crooked."

What do they both mean to me?  Well, I guess I think I shared once that I felt like God had called me to  server Him, and I have certainly prayed that He would use me.  And I feel like for where I am at now, I am in Haran.  Apparently there was nothing recorded about Abram while he was in Haran.  And that's how I feel.  I feel like in many ways, there is not much that is coming out of my life at the moment.

The truth is, I have wanted God to take me to new places.  I have prayed that for decades.  In many ways this "stop over" has not been of my doing.  At least I can't see that it is.  My problem is that I don't know the way to "the land that God would show me".  I have no idea how to get there.  And I don't really know why I am "here".  And not that where I am is a bad place.  It's so not a bad place.  I haven't been happier in my life.  I feel like for the first time, in a long time, and possibly forever, I finally have a home.  And I finally feel at home in my own skin.  And that is amazing.

And yet, there is something that is leading me onward.  There is something that, deep within me, I feel like I am restless.  I feel like there is a purpose within me that has gone unfulfilled to this point.  I desperately want to find rest, but this feeling is stopping me.  I am at His Mercy and His Timing.  I can do nothing else.

So that is where I am at.  I am a transsexual.  I am comfortable in my own skin and I know this is a part, a very big part, of who I am.  But I know there is more.