Observing my own transition through the eyes of my children and finding hope for humanity

I shared the photo in this post with my children the other day.  It is a post of me in my 20’s.  Their reaction is what most trans women live (and die) for.  To pass.  Sadly, they didn’t recognise me, but they also said, “there’s no way you could tell that you are/were a man.”

As a child, one does develop a strong sense of self independent of one’s parents, even at a fairly early age.  I can certainly remember my own, and how necessary it was for my emotional survival.  One of my siblings noted of me the other day, “you fought back.  The rest of us didn’t.”  And its true, I did fight back, constantly.  And the only way I could do that and not lose my sense of self, was to disown them as parents.

Do you want to know what discipline is?  Where it comes from?  What digging deep means?

Ex-Mistress said I had a hole in my cup…the one that she was trying to help me fill.  Over a lovely few days visit with my sister, playing tennis, just being us, talking about family and life, she spoke at length about her body image, growing up with bulimia, the neglect in the house coupled with abuse—cruel words about body image, that led to her eating disorder.  She also spoke of being struck.  She showed me a world of hers that I had not known.

When I described my own version of coping, that I had to shut them out, to simply say to myself, ‘you are not my father, you have not earned the right to tell me what to do, how to be, who to be.  Nothing.’  She cried (oh, how I love women) and asked me ‘how did I survive’?  The truth is, I would not have survived had I done anything else.

Healing this heart-rift is one of the clutch of main goals in my personal life.  One does not get there through therapy alone.  Therapists, however, can be fabulous guides.  I had a fabulous exchange with one of the readers, a fabulous blogger, Naughty Nora about this.  Do read her blog…it is a wonderful blend of philosophical, thoughtful, personal, and erotic that is inspiring in its scope and genuine-ness.  The topic was having multiple therapists, and we agreed that having different therapists help you with different things can make sense if done purposefully and consciously.

How to do Therapy, my way

If you know what you need, step one, is to map it out.  If you don’t know what you need, step one is to figure it out.  Mind mapping is a brainstorming technique that many people find useful in this situation.

I find it helpful to cast the net as wide as possible.  To take advice.  To be totally open—after all, these people are here to help, and can only help if you are raw, naked, before them.  The number of people (including myself) who have let shame constrain them is tragic.

I listen to some very close friends who are totally inside the tent…they know (perhaps without all the sordid details) about my kinky life, my need to express love through slavery and submission, my divorce, my gender dysphoria and coming out.  

I listened to Ex-Mistress, who opened me up to the world of touch therapy, to the therapeutic application of pain and how sexuality has so much to tell us about what is really going on inside.  A bevy of people are teaching me about human connection and how to be with someone and be emotionally available.  Chief among these are current Mistress.

It makes me realise that we all collect different people for different reasons.  I seem to collect people who are teachers.  Quite literally too, as I think I am falling for someone who is a teacher by profession.  She also teaches me, not overtly, but through her how.  And this for me is the foundation of respect.

There is a massive realignment in my personal and professional life taking place.  I am not so much shedding people, as I have always been surrounded by good people, but more that I am meeting so many new people who seem to have the way they are as their primary and most important mode of existence.  This is a wonderful thing.

So therapy, in this instance, is about consciousness, understanding, and action.  We don’t just talk about it, we actively reorder our lives…and it is not about doing, so much as being.  If a goal is mundane, like being fit or exercising, when we think about ‘doing’ exercise, it can become a chore.  I don’t feel like it today.  I’ll do it tomorrow.

When we think instead of simply being fit, ‘I am a fit person’ then my behaviour naturally falls into place.  They are not just habits, they are simply ‘the way’.

The pillars of my house

Patching the cracks in my cup has been an important part of my journey, for being able to truly feel and be sated by love, is perhaps the most fulfilling thing we can find here on this mortal coil.  Finding and accepting and stepping into my own femininity is another.  Transcending my given body, my form, through presentation, life choices, exercise and diet, and even surgery are all aspects of something bigger: a state of quietude.

Quietude is a form of contentment, even bliss.  It is the antithesis of the ADD mind, but also one which the ADD mind is supremely capable of, but only through the application of intense discipline.  My current and budding love interest, I shall call her Star Child, is outwardly just as wild and chaotic as I am, but is also leading me by example towards Buddhist practice.  The calm below the surface is the greatest calm of all.

Current Mistress has opened this door for me.  She holds me through how she sees me, and it makes me realise how important it is to be surrounded by people who see us with clean and soft eyes.  When someone looks at you and judges you or compartmentalises you, even if you don’t fit the compartment, the judgement sticks.

Being gender dysphoric is exactly like that.  Already, the massive disconnect between the manifested body and the need to be in a different body is present and powerful on a constant basis.  But when you are a trans woman and someone sees you as a man, those lines are made to seem and feel insurmountable.  I speak of my time before coming out, and in particular of my time before hormones, because GAHT (gender-affirming-hormone therapy) has totally rewired my outlook on life and the world.

Yes, I would love to pass, and were I young enough and could do it over again, I would transition at the age of 12 when it first began to really hurt—because by then I suspected Santa Claus wasn’t real, and my fantasy of just waking up one day as female was not going to come true, and that the magic of my ballerina outfits only worked when my eyes were closed.  But I can go back now in time through meditation to little boy me slipping into a tutu or wearing a princess crown and letting him know that when s/he grows up, we won’t just be a princess, but an Empress, and that it will all be fine.

The importance of transition cannot be understated.  Everyone that I meet in the trans world experiences euphoria after coming out.  Yes, there are difficulties for all of us, but the joy is so great it sweeps all the crap away.  And, in my case, when someone looks at me as if I’m a freak, I still feel better than I would if they looked at me and saw a man.  Especially a woman.  I don’t want anyone to see a man when they see me.

At lunch the other day with one of the 12 women I am inviting to an event I plan in honour of female icons in my own life, she said to me, “you can’t rock boy mode anymore.  It’s too obvious.  I’d know in a heartbeat.”

And there you have it.  The woman I was staying with shared her take on the outfits I have worn that she said looked best on me…one was a strappy black dress, flapper style, skin tight, totally exposed shoulders and neck, low cut in the back, rather skimpy, showing my tats, and very high heels…and the other was a woman’s version of elegant man, sort of “Ad Men” style—high waisted black trousers, very nipped at the waist, a crispy white cotton blouse open down far enough to show a bit of bra (and gosh, lingerie really is fun!).  As my bestie said, “when you are on the line [gender presentation], you really fxxk with us, and that’s what women, this woman, finds hot.”

Current Mistress does something similar with me as a client.  She sees my humanity and treats me with the consideration, solicitude, and care that any human should deserve, but which seems so rare in the pro-Domme/client world, at least my limited experience of it.  When you are trusted, you are trustworthy.  How we are seen affects how we are.  When someone like this looks at you with such soft eyes, eyes without judgement, it allows for an exploration in human connection that is profound beyond words.

And that is my next pillar.  To connect and be present with and for people I am surrounded by, and to do so with soft eyes.  And I should say, it seems to be working.


I seem to be writing a lot about the importance of how we live, how we conduct ourselves, the energy we bring to the table.  Somewhere along the line I decided that embodying Grace was the only way I could do transition.  I could not do this as a fighter.  I could not be the person who stands up for trans rights, or who has strong words on my lips, and who enters the fray with a chip already on her shoulder.  Please don’t misunderstand.  We need this.  Just as feminism needs fighters, so too does the LGBTQ+ community, so too do trans people, especially trans people.

I have wonderful conversations with my lawyer about being trans, especially around the hideous political tide which is sweeping us up.  When a politician decides that hate speech is something to be proud of, they are lost, but the whole landscape suffers.  Ted Cruz says, “my pronouns are ‘kiss my ass’.”  That is gross on so many levels, made more so by how that resonates with people.

The British Conservative party is making trans issues a centrepiece of their platform.  Sadly, the Labour party, ostensibly the opposition, appears to be on the same side on this issue.  Where does a trans person turn for representation?  Why on earth is such a marginal group of such interest?  We are less than 1% of the population.  

We are made out to be violators of female spaces, sexual predators, cheaters at sports and gosh knows what else.  I would say instead that we are miracles.  It is a miracle when we are alive.  It is a miracle when we thrive.  It is a miracle when we simply are.

As my lawyer says sarcastically, “like there are so many of you,” as if to say that trans-women’s right somehow impinge on women’s rights, or that there are enough of us to even bother with the energy levels that politicians direct our way.

My trans experience has been so relentlessly positive.  The only people in my personal and professional life who have struggled with my transition have stopped struggling after being with me.  They see what coming out has done for me.  It has set me free, and that is manifesting in my energy, my beauty (and I am not talking specifically about what I look like, but rather how it feels to be in my own skin), and what I am therefore able to give to them.

And here is another pillar.  To not consider people from a ‘networking’ perspective, or rather, thinking along the lines of ‘what can you do for me’.  I don’t know whether this is what Ex-Mistress meant when she talked about letting go of quid pro quo thinking.  In her case, I struggled to get past the idea that it was a self-serving lesson.  Sorry.  I’m still working on it.  What does this mean?

To be open and curious with everyone we meet.  To interact with a ginger reverence and openness to where things may lead.  Such an attitude requires boundaries, knowing our own and asserting them, something which has always been difficult to me…so this is another pillar, to assert my boundaries, but to do so with Grace.

Helping my Children to See

I would expect my children to struggle with what is happening with me.  They have been beyond fabulous.  When one said to me, “you do you, Papa,” it nearly brought tears to my eyes.  They don’t have many people to talk to about this. Or divorce, which is another elephant in the room.  Their mother is not an unbiased reference, and I can see that, and how the struggle to reconcile their views, and experience, with hers.

The author, age 20 at home in my first dress, wearing a man’s hat

Going out with them, them seeing me, helps to provide them with their own narrative.  Soft eyes can come from others.  Out with one child, I was accosted first by one woman, and then by another about 30 minutes later, both saying more or less them same thing, “you look fabulous.”  The pride on my child’s face, you know how children are that way, was beautiful to see, far more beautiful than the compliment.  What happened was that my child was able to see that trans is beautiful, it isn’t something shameful or to be hidden as their mother says and feels.  And it was good for them to see that.

Why did I show them a photograph of me at about the time that I met their mother, showing what I looked like when I put on makeup?  So that they know this is not some “thing” and understand that it has always been there.  It is the essence of who I am.

The picture I showed my children, the author, aged 26, living on her/his own for the first time


I don’t regret anything about my life.  I don’t intend to regret anything either.  I make mistakes, I have done as many horrible and stupid and hurtful things as the next person.  I can apologize.  I can change.  We can always start again.

Would I love to be so utterly and completely female as though I had been AFAB (born female and assigned female at birth)?  Yes.  Do I regret not transitioning at 12?  No.  Even though I might do it differently now?  Of course.  We are who we are when we are, and we make the best decisions we can at the time.  I was put on this earth in a certain way, and I am rolling with it.  Maybe my soul did choose this body for a reason—this is what spiritual people have said to me.

They don’t say, “God wanted you to be a man, so be a man.”  Or “God gave you a male body, so having surgery is against God’s will.”  I know they say those things, but after meeting me, people who say those things don’t say them to me anymore.  When we put a human face on politics, we can change people if they are willing to listen.

And no, I am not a woman.  I will never be a woman.  But I will identify with women.  I will be in the tribe of women.  I am an ally of women, even to those who don’t accept trans women into the circle.  But above all, I am a trans woman.  And that is even better.  It makes me a unicorn.  A ballerina giraffe.  A witch.  A shaman.

A picture I drew at the age of 19 of what I thought was a beautiful woman, and my mother said, “is that a self-portrait?” I said, “no,” but it is kind of like what I imagine when I think of female beauty…delicate. I haven’t looked at this for a long time, and it is kind of weird to see the picture almost as if there are two faces here.

A trans woman friend of mine described how for a period of years after she first transitioned, she was able to access both male brain and female brain and became a kind of relationship counsellor to men and women alike.  I lost access to male brain almost immediately.  I can’t relate to male brain, but in part, that was because I never could.  I have benefited mightily from being a white man.  I didn’t give it up “lightly” except I did.  Because I didn’t feel I was giving up anything at all.  I was gaining something I’ve always wanted, to be seen for who I am.  Now, I am a trans woman.

I went to a business school reunion recently, and I wondered a bit about how it would be to “come out” to so many people all at once, when usually I have enjoyed my one-on-ones.  It has been wonderful to do it.  When I need to cheer myself up, I remember someone I haven’t yet connected to, and give them a ring.  It really is a pick-up.  At the reunion, the best possible thing of all happened.  I didn’t come out.  At all.  Nobody asked me, nobody said anything. What happened was that everyone simply treated me as female.  The men kissed me hello instead of shaking my hand.  It was natural.  It just was.  These are possibly the last people in my life that I would have expected to be so affirming, but there it was.

Being a trans woman is the best therapy of all.  Through coming out, I have stepped away from shame and its connections to my sexuality.  By embracing my femininity and being overtly out, people ‘get’ me in ways they never did when I was male.  People talk to me differently.  Women don’t see me with suspicious anymore (at least not most).  But I am also having access through this new emotional range, to an ability to be present, to connect with people, and you know what?  The world is laying itself at my feet.  Doors are opening.  New, beautiful friends are coming into my life.  Everything is falling into place.

My life as a man is over.  He is in the last days of his twilight.  He was a good man.  Flawed, but decent, fun-loving, entrepreneurial, but ever so tortured.  His quietude comes with my existence.  It is my turn now.  At my first Ayahuasca sitting, his intention was to ‘let her out’.  She is out, and while I am not sure that he imagined she would take the wheel so soon, so comprehensively, with such conviction, it is welcome.  After all, male me never thought I would fully transition.  Female me hasn’t the slightest doubt, no matter the cost.

So, now I get to have a whole new life.  Its already better than the last one.  I can and will have it all.  And yes, beatings cost extra!

Happy Easter Weekend.

6 thoughts

  1. WOW you have amazing eyes and facial bone structure – the second picture is really pretty – i have to say if i had seen you like that it would have quite “turned my head” if you had transitioned at the age of 12 i think you would have been a stunningly attractive woman that would have turned heads wherever you went – i think you wold have been guilty of causing more than a few “arousals” as well. hope you have a lovely weekend and “HAPPY EASTER” to you – best wishes alan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Alan, that is very sweet. It would be nice to dream, but as someone who was a “pretty” man, life hasn’t been so bad. Your words are very kind, and it is a pleasure to have shared. Life is what it is, and now I get to be something entirely new and fresh and different, and just as unique as any of us…Happy Easter to you too my Manx friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing your image, my beautiful friend. I hope it feels okay to you for me to comment on your lovely bone structure! And that look in your eyes…hot damn. So vulnerable AND sensual. But more than that…thank you for what you have shared from your heart in this post. I learn so much about self-acceptance and self-love from you, concepts that I have undertaken as of late. I think learning to accept our whole selves is one of life’s most challenging, and most rewarding, journeys. You are moving through this major transition in your life with such grace. I admire you very much ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so sweet. Thank you so much. I do appreciate this very much. I have kept that photo all these years for just the reason that you say, it is vulnerable and also appealing…yes, it spoke to me about me in ways that I couldn’t easily access. So glad to share it.

      Liked by 2 people

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