Thursday, August 26, 2010

Two feelings

The first one, I forgot to write in my last post. The day or two after the Lady Gaga concert, I realised that I hadn't cried once during the time I spent with my friend. This is surprising to me since normally when I talk about serious things like my family, my wife dumping me, etc I tend to get upset and cry. I figured out that I hadn't cried at all since I had been super happy during that time. I remember having a permanent smile on my face.

While I've posted before about getting more in touch with my emotions, I still have a ways to go. I can't always predict in advance how upset I will get and if I will cry.

The second feeling is that I keep feeling less close to my immediate family. It's most likely related to how I feel they've not been supportive. As an example, my dad just "lent" me three books that he suggested I could read. One's about going from atheism to religion, the next on male sexuality, and the last on male depression. To me this seems like a "fuck you." He claims to not deny that I'm trans, but this seems to. Anyway, this lack of closeness I feel makes me want to spend less time with them. For example, I was in my room surfing the internet and I heard my parents upstairs. I thought, "oh great, now I can't go upstairs to make myself supper until they leave."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lady Gaga!!!

Last night I saw Lady Gaga perform at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. (Formerly GM Place) This is where the major hockey games of the 2010 Olympics were held.

I went with a friend from high school whom I had not seen for years. Two weeks ago at work, I mentioned to my ex, H, about the concert. At first she lied and said that she didn't think we were still going and that she'd made plans. Five minutes later, she approached and said she didn't want to go with me since I made things awkward when we hang out. This is probably accurate. Hanging out with her is awkward. In the past, when I hung out with her, I felt upset with how she treated me when she dumped me. But I avoided ever mentioning that because I still wanted to hang out with her. When we hung out, she'd always expect me to share personal stuff without wanting to tell me about her new life without me. But she still should have informed me that she had changed her mind about going with me.

To find someone else to go with, I set my facebook status asking if anyone wanted to go with me. I got one offer, another girl from high school whom I hadn't seen since 1998 and that I'd never stayed in contact with. I noticed that the girl I ended up going with regularily posted links to Lady Gaga videos, so I facebooked her and asked if she'd go. She's a mother of four, and was so excited at the chance to see Gaga. Incidently, she was also my high school graduation banquet date as well as the sister of my first real girlfriend. But we were only ever platonic friends.

The concert was awesome. I'd pretty much characterize it as a production rather than a mere concert. It wasn't just two songs, a tiny bit of talking, then 10 more songs. It was twenty songs over two hours and five minutes, with many costume changes and set changes. Lady Gaga is very LGBT friendly and made several comments about that. She said something about coming to terms with our own LGBT identity. (Or something to that effect.) I felt like she was talking directly to me. Why?

I went as me. I told my friend all about me and she was cool with that. She's a relatively liberal Christian, so I knew there wouldn't be a problem. This is my second "outing." It felt great. I got a couple looks from two girls on the Skytrain but literally nothing else. We even got called ladies by a woman handing out Pantene samples on the street. I also used the ladies room for the first time as an adult at a restaurant we went to before the concert. My therapist indicated during my last visit that she wants to "see me all pretty," so I will go as me next time.

Somewhat unrelated, but I learned something that made me happy and I feel slightly guilty about it. Apparently the guy whom H left me for is a chronic cheater. I don't live in a "small town," but someone from Vancouver would consider my town "the boonies." Anyway, my point is that it's funny what kind of unexpected connections there are. H's boyfriend apparently dated my high school girlfriend the year after I did and cheated on her with multiple girls after being her "first." H's boyfriend then had an eight year relationship with another girl whom he also cheated on. This ex-girlfriend of mine is the sister of the girl with whom I saw Lady Gaga last night, so that's how I found out. So basically, H's boyfriend is a serial cheater and takes my "sloppy seconds." Part of me is pleased she's going to get fucked over and is glad she's going to feel some emotional pain. I don't believe in karma, but I like the idea. But I hope he cheats on her before they have a kid together. A couple weeks ago, I saw him talking to a girl outside at work and the body language seemed flirty not friendly. We'll see.

Monday, August 2, 2010

It made my day

I just came back from a trip to Alberta with my mom. On the way home, I saw this graffiti on the back of a bear-proof garbage container at a rest stop. I ran quickly to my car to get my cellphone to take this picture. (my camera broke)

I just thought it was so awesome.

That would be my car in the background. You just don't expect to see that kind of thing near Salmon Arm, BC.

I also went to see Salt on Saturday night. I didn't expect to see a group of ten queer women standing outside a cinema in Calgary, AB. The interesting thing about Salt is that it was written for a male lead but was adapted for Angelina Jolie. Not too many female actors (avoiding the word actress here) are allowed to carry a big budget action movie without an opposing famous male actor opposite them.

My mom didn't mention my pierced ears, and there's no way she didn't notice.

all for now!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

End of school

On Thursday, I met about twenty of my colleagues from the teaching program at a pub near the university to celebrate. Most people had just finished their last class. I came right after work. Many people were impressed that I took a relatively long car ride to see them. I didn't state that I would have driven three hours instead of just one and a half to see them.

My school colleagues are the closest thing I have to close friends. During the program I tried to do as much as possible with them as I could. I went to parties and even clubs and did had new experiences such as dancing and playing drinking games.

I was there from about 5:00 to 9:30, when they left to go do karaoke. Of course I would have gone, but I had to work at 7:00 a.m. and leave for a weekend trip to Alberta with my mom after work. I'm responsible, so I slept in my car until one, since I'd had a lot of beer. :)

When one of my favourite colleagues left, I really started crying a lot. (oh great, now I'm starting again) I'm so sad that the program is over. I like these people so much and I won't see them often if I do see them. Later, I was also talking to one girl who I'm not super close to. I started getting upset when we were talking about the future. So she had me come sit with her outside and talk to her. I asked if she'd heard about my presentation. She said she'd heard that there had been a big announcement involving me but not the details. So of course I came out to her. She said that she had a cousin who used to be Christine and was now Chris. She promised that we'd get together for coffee.

Yesterday I facebook chatted with the colleague whose leaving made me really cry. She's 40 with three kids. She was one of the people in my class who was very supportive when I came out. She said she'd take me clothes/accessory shopping.

All of the above is my attempt to describe how much I love these people. It's been really fun learning and laughing with them.

But what I don't understand is why they don't actually do things with me. We'll see if these last two promises end up being fulfilled or not. Between the two people that I feel closest to, I have seen them socially (individual, not a school related or a group event) a total of three times. Twice to celebrate the semesters' ends with my carpool partner whom I came out to in December and once to see that play a week ago with my lesbian friend whom I came out to in October.

There's been over five other people who've promised that they would contact me to do something but haven't. I don't get it. I know I'm fucking awesome. I'm easy-going. I'm fun to be around. I'm a good listener. I'm always up for drinking. Is there something wrong with me?

I'm going to keep trying, of course. I really need people to hang out with and talk to that are accepting and who like me of course. (I am super-likeable, I swear!)

Of my local friends, I have a married couple that I've known for over ten years. The husband was my best man. I'm out to the wife, so I'm sure that means he knows too. I see them maybe every three or four weeks. It's always the same - I come over on Friday night at 8 p.m. (after their two year-old is in bed) and bring board games. We don't really talk about deep stuff. Then I'm friends with the brother of the husband. But as with his brother, he's not into talking about anything personal.

I've been working alongside the same four people at work for four weeks now. I've never done that at my job - I usually just work alone. They did actually invite me to join them for a movie a couple weeks ago. Anyway, last week I was driving us to Triple-O's for lunch and I reached into my glove box to get my sunglasses. The woman in her forties saw my cigarettes and was surprised because I'm not a smoker. (every two weeks, maybe) She said, "what other secrets do you have?" I said that I had many. She said that I had to tell her something personal about me every day. So now, every morning, she asks me to peel another layer of the onion. An example of this was that I've only every slept with H., and for the first time on our wedding night. Obviously I have to come out to her at the end of summer.

I just don't know what the deal is with me and friends, and why I have no close ones. I know at work I just assume that everybody doesn't like me anymore because H. dumped me. (we work at the same place.) At school I tried really hard to make friends.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Two steps

I'll try for brevity for once.

Yesterday and today, I made two steps toward transition.

The first and more significant is that I made my first public appearance as C___. C___ is the female name I've been leaning towards for about a year. I chose a safe and friendly environment in which to appear as me. I invited my lesbian friend from school to see a play called Tiny Replicas, which is about two men who have a baby together. She also brought a couple friends, also lesbians. After the play we went to my friend's apartment and another lesbian couple came over as well. Near the end, my friend's fiancée came home. I was wearing makeup and Joe fresh clothing. I would have liked more time to get ready to go, but I live far from East Vancouver, where the play was "montée." Shit, I'm forgetting English.

I felt completely safe. It felt right to be out as C_____. I was only a tiny bit nervous. My friend introduced me to her friends as C_____. (I hadn't met any of them before). The name "C____" seems to work, and I like it. The only minor snafu was when my friend's fiancée came home and said, "Hi, malename!" I'd met her once previously. Since I'd only decided to come as C____ that day, she didn't know better. My friend corrected her. So that was only a bit awkward. I am really thankful to my friend C for giving me this chance. Her friends were all awesome too. I thought to myself, "Holy shit, I'm here as C____ hanging out with six liberal lesbian Christians!" Not the kind of people I usually get to spend time with. I wish I knew more LGBT people that I could hang out with. C is awesome but I don't get to see her much. (This was the first time I'd met her socially outside of school.)

Second thing that I did yesterday was getting my ears pierced. I asked a coworker with several ear piercings where I should go to get that done. She suggested this hair salon/tattoo parlour/piercing place. So I went there and got it done without waiting. Since this was done by a piercer, it was done with a needle, not with a gun. It didn't hurt very much. Laser hair removal is much worse, and it lasts longer.

Speaking of laser hair removal, I have my seventh and last session scheduled for next week. I called today and had no problem getting an appointment. The technician I spoke to on the phone said that it hasn't been too busy because people are getting tanned by the sun and hence have to wait. I said I wore sunscreen even when it's cloudy and she said, "I've trained you well."

Sunday, July 4, 2010


You know, I am worried about moving. I'm going to be moving to a town with a high Christian/Sikh population. Also, I will be transitioning at two jobs. One at the grocery store should be less difficult since it's a large company which probably has policies in place. I will be transferring stores in September, but luckily the HR manager is the same person for both stores. Although I don't see her often, we seem to get along fine. I asked for a transfer a week or so ago and she acted as if she knew me. I am a bit more worried about the school district, since it is known to be conservative. I do have the email of the BCTF (that's the teacher union, basically) person regarding LGBT issues. Still, it's a concern.

And I'm worried about not knowing many people. I know one couple that I haven't seen for five years, and a cousin who has three sons in their twenties. Other than them, I only know the teachers at the school at which I had my practicum. Hopefully it will be fine, and I'll make some friends.

But it's not like I'm moving far away. Moving "away" is something that appeals to me, but not now, and not without a partner/spouse. (Yes, I want to get remarried eventually.) So I'll still see the people I see now occasionally, like friends from high school or from my teaching programme. But I'll still be pretty much alone. I think I'll have to practice my hobbies and just fill my time. I'll be working two jobs, but I'd make time for any friend who wants to see me.

why yes, I'm drunk, how could you tell?

conversation with my dad

On Friday night, my dad really wanted to watch a movie called "Bergman Island" with me. It's a documentary about Ingmar Bergman, who is the most famous Swedish film director. My dad had already seen it, and this was the second time he'd mentioned wanting to see it with me. Naturally, I was suspicious. My parents don't like to bring things up, and watching a movie would be the perfect excuse to discuss something. So I read those two links I posted, but didn't find anything other than that Bergman became an atheist at the age of eight. I couldn't find any info about a deathbed conversion.

If you haven't seen any Bergman films, one recurring theme is death, and the fear of it. I'd only seen one Bergman film, "Wild Strawberries" as well as clips from a few more of his films. (If you are interested, some of his films are available to rent at Videomatica, which is Vancouver's best rental store for foreign and indy films.)

Sure enough, at the end of the film, Ingmar shares a confession. Before, he believed dying was like a flame going out - essentially nothingness. But apparently since his fifth and last wife died, he can't imagine there not being an afterlife.

Of course after the movie was over my dad said that it was almost like a religious conversion. I said, no, that that doesn't fit any religion, that it seemed more like a spiritual experience. During my last therapy session, my therapist suggested standing up more for myself when it comes to talking with my family. This would be a part of it. So I completely disagreed with him on everything. I pointed out that Ingmar Bergman would go to hell because he doesn't believe in Jesus.

Then my dad brought something up that really surprised me. He actually remembered that right about now is when divorce is possible. I told him I was really impressed. I had assumed that nobody in my family would mention it.

Unsurprisingly, my dad did not mention why H got rid of me. He did imply (as have other family members) that H didn't keep her marital promise. When my family says something like that, I don't know how to react. I don't really want to defend H, but at the same time I want to say, "um you know why she dumped me, right?"

A bit more about family. My sister and brother-in-law were away for the long weekend until an hour ago. So we weren't able to have pizza night on Friday like always. My mom and dad came over instead. Somehow, saying grace got left out of the supper. I've noticed that's been happening more in the last couple months with my sister and brother-in-law, but this is the first time I've noticed it with my parents. Awesome. I wonder if it's about respect, or if they just feel awkward.

Being an atheist is a big part of me. I don't ever pretend not to be anymore.


I'm scheduled for M-F day shift this week. That's really amazing. I think I mentioned before that I wanted summer to be over. That's still true, but on the other hand I'm scared to move out on my own. It's necessary, but it won't be easy.

I am more of a loner than lonely. Other than my parents coming over, I haven't seen anybody I know since Thursday morning at work. (that's three whole days) I've been more bored than lonely. Still, it would be nice to spend time with people. For example, I'd like to see Eclipse, but I'm sick of always seeing movies alone. But it would be a lot harder if I couldn't stand being alone.