Affirmations: Point of No Return

An affirming day yesterday.  I "thought" I was in my guy mode with my natural hair and no makeup and just a  collared shirt and Jeans.  I was up in the White Mountains of NH playing "tourist" at the Flume Gorge.  Along the walking trip, there was a point where one could diverge through a small jumble of rocks that made for a tight, dark, one way passage through to the other side.  A mother and young daughter saw me turn around and signal to J to try it, but alas, this was not her cup of tea.  On my way through, I used a pocket LED flashlight to light my way and then turned around to help the little girl, just ahead of her mother, to find her way through the cavernous rock jumble.  The mother thanked me and reassured her daughter by telling her to "follow the nice lady with the flashlight".

The Flume Gorge and Walkway

Later, while taking close-up pictures of butterflies that were alighting on a wooden safety railing to catch some rest and some sun, one of a group of young girls stood mesmerized by how close I was to them.  I heard her say to one of her other young friends, "Look how close she is.  That lady is so lucky".

Butterflies Taking a Break in the Sun

Earlier that day, I was baffled about using the restroom situation at the gift shop and entrance station.  I didn't want to use the men's bathroom because of the weird looks often gleaned from the other guys when I do.  I didn't want to use the women's bathroom because of the reasoning that I was in my so-called guy mode and would freak some woman out in so doing.... so option three of utilizing the cover of a well placed boulder out in the woods was used.  Well, after being called by female pronouns on the whole trip,  I was pretty well assured that I was NOT passing as a guy even though I thought I was.  So I tried the women's bathroom for the first time in my no-makeup mode and, lo and behold, not a single problem was encountered.  Somewhere along the way, I've crossed over some invisible threshold in my transition, one which I was not fully aware of until yesterday.

In another series of affirmatives this weekend, I had several women strike up conversations with me, some quite lengthy, while out browsing in thrift stores. Topics ranged the gamut but in one particular encounter with a woman who was browsing as well, we ended up somehow talking about relationships and the nature of men.  In an instant, I suddenly realized that she was speaking to me as one woman to another.  Several other encounters with women in a variety of stores just really left me feeling great inside.  It wasn't only that I was blending in as a woman, but it was even more so in the appreciation of being able to enjoy the types of interactions which women randomly have socially with other women.... something that men seem almost never engage to engage in while out shopping.  And of course, the topics which women talk about can quickly become very deep and personal..... something I have very much come to appreciate in my life now as a woman.  All in all, I picked up some great dvd movies and a super-8 projector to compliment my older, 1948 silent 8 model as I continue to search out old movies and shows from a long-gone era.

Even with the positives, there are a few negatives that still seem to be thrown in.  But even with these "negative" events, there still seems to be some rays of sunshine.  Kids are absolutely amazing. While dining out with J a couple of days earlier at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants, the father of a family of 3 children and his spouse picked up on something about me that caught his interest. I was very well and respectably dressed and out in what I used to call my full female mode.  As he looked over his wife and at our table, I could see that he had his eyes on me and on the two of us. At some point, with his phone raised, I could see he was taking a picture as he whispered something to his wife. She seemed to care less in his observations and had no interest in continuing the discussion. Whether he saw me as transgender or whether he saw J and I as a lesbian couple is unknown to me and I'll never really know.  He then showed the picture he had taken, first to the son (age about 9) sitting nearest to him and he seemed completely uninterested. His daughter, about 12, turned to look at us and held no expression as she looked back to her dad. As she stared intently back at her dad, I could clearly hear her say to him,  "Don't be so mean dad... You're such a meany". WOW! Kids are just amazing...They come without prejudice and bigotry and they were quite a contradiction to this guy who seemed enamored and appalled with me simultaneously as the brain in his head seemed to be competing with the one in his pants. This little girl made my day.... 

All in all I'm finding that this transition is happening painlessly and invisibly as my life takes on a new course.  I never really was planning to transition and was trying to hold a "male" mode for when J needed it, but apparently that has failed miserably.  The world now sees and affirms me, more and more, as a woman, which is who I am and always felt I was inside.  I'm my own toughest customer to sell apparently, but I'm really beginning to realize that there is, at this point, no turning back on this journey and my destiny.  I just wish I had some directions because I feel like this vehicle I started is now driving itself.....



  1. It's up to as far as when or if you do transition to full time, but you are obviously ready. A really good question is: Why do you still wear a wig?

  2. To answer your question Tammy, there was always a need for differentiation and to keep my two very independent lives separate. The hair was simply one of a short list of "props" which helped to maintain this separation. Over time, I see this breaking down and an integration and fusion taking place. The time is not quite right yet for all of that to take place, but it will one day come.

  3. You look like an adorable "cool" aunt or teacher all the kids would want...I don't see "guy" mode anywhere near this lady!

  4. Christen, I think you look very pretty and frankly I just do not see the "Guy Mode" that you speak of. I greatly admire and respect you and those who have come before and after you for the strength and courage you have shown to carry you through this most difficult of journeys in life. All of you are heroes to me. I am just a straight guy who cares about the feelings and rights of others. Thank You for sharing so much.
    Chris Stiller .

  5. You are being FAR to hard on yourself, Christen - in your "outside" picture you just look like a less-glamorous but more natural-looking woman. You are SO lucky to look so feminine with no make up at all.

    Also, you should have complained to the man who took a photo of you in the restaurant - I had this happen once (taken by a school pupil in a shop) and I reported it as a hate-crime incident, although they didn't find the person who took it the school broadcast a message to all pupils that such behaviour would not be tolerated. At least his child had more respect for you than he did.

    Best wishes,

  6. Very much a woman! It's what I would think If I passed you on the trail or in a store.


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