It’s a perfectly ordinary day, and I’m sitting in my 5th grade class. Half of my attention is watching the teacher illustrate on the blackboard how to multiply fractions, the rest of me is watching driving Oregon rain outside the window. The next thing I know the lecture is over, I grab the bathroom pass and head outside through the little corridor that leads to the restroom.

Before I arrive I’m stopped by a man dressed in a suit and wearing dark sunglasses. He says he needs to talk to me privately so I follow him around the corner. read more

Living The Transsexual Lifestyle

Since starting transition I have become aware of the fact that I am living a transsexual lifestyle. It wasn’t something I realized on my own. After all, to me I’m just living life. Fortunately more as come to light as I’ve had a few acquaintances tell me that while they respect my right to do whatever I want to do – they disagree with the transsexual lifestyle part. Now that a year has passed since I started living full time as a woman, I think I’m starting to get a good handle on what this transsexual lifestyle is all about and thought I would share it all with you. read more

One Year Ago

I wasn’t planning to go full time on my birthday, but it just happened that way. After a lull in my consulting work I had decided that I wanted to take some classes during the summer in a subject area that has always interested me. Psychology. The plan for a long time had been that sometime late in the summer I would gradually transition my life over and then come out publicly in October. I really wanted to take those classes, but I realized that it didn’t make sense for me to sign up for summer classes only to change my name and appearance during the semester – and add to my stress. So I decided to just move up my schedule and start school as Madelyn. To be honest, I was ready anyway after waiting so long in life – I could have done this much sooner. The first day of class fell on my birthday. By June I was ready to come out publicly, and in July I had legally changed my name. read more

To a Happy New Year

A year ago today my family was on their way here; everyone converging on Samantha’s and my house. We had a really fun little reunion planned, and it turned out great (despite several of us catching a pretty bad cold during the week). We went snowmobiling, ate some great food, did a tour of a local chocolate factory, and went to a hockey game together. By this time last year my whole family knew I was trans; I had come out to my parents about two years before, and my brother and sister had found out earlier that year. There was a moment we were all sitting together that I spoke up and told them how grateful I was for them – and to say thank you to them for accepting me and supporting me. I told them I didn’t know exactly what the future looked like, but that I felt so fortunate to be with them. read more

Old Stomping Grounds

This fall has given me the chance to do a little travel. With the exception of spending the weekend with my family in Oregon this last May, I haven’t really traveled much since going full time in April, and certainly not since I came out publicly in July. In October that changed as Samantha and I took a road trip together to visit my family in Northern California, and then later in the month when I went to New York City to speak to two small groups there and see friends.

We had been planning our road trip to California for months. Samantha and I both really like taking road trips, so we had put a lot of positive energy into this one. Although there were unexpected obstacles to us getting started on time, we finally hit the road and before we knew it were hanging out with family. read more

The Value of Friendship

Transition has brought with it a lot of new experiences; or perhaps more accurately a new way of experiencing familiar things. For the last six months since going full time I’ve experienced a lot of those familiar firsts: going clothes shopping, or to the symphony, or even to the restroom.

When it comes to familiar firsts though, the thing that always makes me the most nervous, and excited, and hopeful all at the same time is when I see a friend for the “first time” again.

It’s really interesting for me the different reactions people have when we get together and we are experiencing each other for the first time with me being female. There’s a variety of responses from laughter and hugs, or a minute or two of awkward conversation that quickly dissipates, or exclamations of happy disbelief and compliments about what I’m wearing. I never know what to expect, but every single episode no matter how it starts quickly feels “normal” within a few minutes of conversation and people see it’s still me. A couple times people even said they felt more comfortable with me as a woman. read more

Loss in Transition

I know weddings are supposed to be joyous occasions, but the truth is I’ve got mixed feelings about them. On one hand I do share in the joy of the beginning of a new chapter in life for all involved, but I also know that in weddings there is loss. No more midnight runs to taco bell, or staying up until two in the morning and sleeping over on the couch just for fun. There’s a reason for bachelor and bachelorette parties – these are the last “hurrahs” as one transitions, quite significantly I might add, from single life to marriage. read more

To Those Who Support and Affirm Me

Note: This post is in response to all the comments and well wishes I received after publishing “The Open Letter” yesterday.

Yesterday I woke up early. I had slept fine the night before (surprisingly), but once 5:45AM rolled around I just couldn’t see myself dozing back off.

I was feeling pretty anxious; well a mix of emotions really. On one hand I was sort of glad that “the day” was finally here, but on the other I was definitely worried about what could be coming.

The moment came, I paused for a minute, and hit the button. I could not have imagined the magnitude of what would transpire over the next few hours. read more

The Open Letter

An open letter to my extended family, colleagues, and friends.

I’m not even really sure how one goes about writing something like this. Even after a lifetime of living with this, and several years of being out to a handful of the closest in my life, I’m still learning how to say what needs to be said. Nonetheless, I will do my best to be both as succinct as possible, and provide enough foundation to hopefully help you understand. I sincerely wish there was a way I could have told you this face to face, and can only hope that my sincerity comes through in what’s written below. read more