One by One

Hello again! Another week down, and another week closer to returning home! I actually managed to have a really mellow week somehow, other than one day troubleshooting a fuel issue. 7 hours straight troubleshooting in the cold wasn’t very fun, but everyone goes through it from time to time, so I can’t complain too much. Such is life on the line, and that’s just the way it is.

I came out to a few more people in the past week. My laser hair removal tech from a salon back home recently opened up her own place, so I sent her a message finally explaining why someone with so much facial hair would want it all gone. She’s skilled with eyebrow waxing and stuff, so I asked her to be the saviour of my brows, and maybe finally get these things dialed back to a more feminine level. She seemed supportive of my transition and more than happy to help me with some of the more difficult parts of beauty. I also came out to another coworker and friend last night, and he was extremely supportive as well. Everyone seems to be taking this so well and without much question. Maybe they could already tell? Does it just make sense to them? Maybe this is meant to be? We also ended up having a pretty wonderful discussion about transphobic people, and how they might change their mind if they knew a transgirl or transboy in person, and especially if they were a close friend. Here’s hoping more people take it well.

I finally caught up with one of my favourite webcomics, Questionable Content, this week! Over 3300 chapters took forever to get through, but I’m really glad I stuck to it. The main motivation was to see a transgirl character named Claire, and she didn’t disappoint. I ended up getting attached to pretty much every character along the way, however, so it was a fun ride. There’s this huge void in my life now, so I need to find some other way to waste time. Send me recommendations for other webcomics to read!

In other news, I’m going to be violating my body with a tattoo and piercing when I get back home. I’ve had a 9-tailed fox tattoo planned for a while now, and it’s finally time to get it. The design is still up in the air, but I’d either like it to be a white or gold fox, and with the tails either reaching down from my shoulder onto my arm or across my chest. I’m pretty tiny, so there’s not a ton of canvas to work with where I want it, but I’m sure I can figure something out. As for the piercing, I’d love a nostril ring, despite everyone eww-ing when I run the idea by them. I’m bringing my inner personality out into the world by transitioning, and that’s something I think is absolutely me. It may seem weird now, but I’m coming out of my shell one bit at a time.

Anyway, that’s all for this week! Hope you enjoyed the update, and I’ll try to keep up my weekly post schedule as long as I have something to write about. Until next time!

“You don’t have to feel safe to feel unafraid.” – Lions! by LIGHTS

Sandbox Life 2

I’m a terrible person and neglect this blog a lot, but I guess it’s time for another update! I’ve had a lot of positive feedback about my writing as of late, and I feel like I’m letting down my few readers with these giant gaps in posts. I’ll try to write more, I promise!

It’s getting festive over here in the desert! Christmas decorations are going up left and right, and we even put lights all over our building at work. Oh, and we’re still kicking butt over here. Jingle bombs~ While this won’t be my first Christmas away from family, it’s absolutely my first one out of country. It’s always difficult not being able to really talk to family and friends this time of year. I don’t think I’ll have a problem pushing through, though, especially when I have some really exciting things coming up! I’m going on a really cool trip at the beginning of January, but I won’t be able to talk about it much until I return home to the US. Stay tuned for that in the future! I should also have another appointment with my psych around that time, which is actually pretty exciting for me. Any progress is good progress!

It hasn’t been all festive cheer, though. I had a bit of a depressing few days right after the novelty of the first psych visit subsided. It really sank in how much time I still have left over here, and how powerless I am to make a difference in my life until then. I’ve been trying to keep up running and other activities that keep my mind and body fresh, so my mood has been better as of late. I’m slowly trying to put together some potential outfits and acquire some skincare products so I’m ready to hit the ground running when I get home. Fully embracing the white girl inside has been a conscious effort for me lately, too. I’ve even been crossing my legs in public! Shaaaaame! I have so much work ahead of me, and no choice but to keep my head up and put one foot in front of the other. Even saw a shooting star a while ago and I bet you can’t guess what I wished for. It’s pretty obvious.

In other news, the ska band idea is starting to come together. We have a trombone player and a trumpet player who are totally willing to jam, and it looks like I’ll be on guitar and maybe vox until we find someone better to sing. This should be a lot of fun, and even if we suck, it’ll be amazing to play in a band again. It’s been years, and I had so much fun jamming in high school. We also got word of a new Vanilla WoW server that will be launching soon, so now we’re planning a small guild for dungeons and stuff too. It’ll just be me and a few coworkers, so we can talk about what we’ll be doing at work and then be huge nerds when we get off duty. As of now the plan is to roll a human priest for me, and I’m pretty excited to play in the Vanilla era. Most of my playing was in WotLK and Cata content, so I missed a lot of what made WoW great at the beginning. I warned you I was a huge nerd at the beginning of this blog, didn’t I? We’re only getting started!

So, all in all, it’s still a bumpy road and there are still bad people out there that need a violent attitude adjustment via JDAM. I’m left with no choice but to work through the problems of the world and those of my own, and hopefully I’m still allowed to be a transgirl when I get home. Resolve, please be with me.

“All of us get lost in the darkness, dreamers learn to steer by the stars.” – “The Pass” by Rush

The Start of Something Beautiful

Until now, this entire transition has been theoretical and lacking resolute commitment. Sure, I’ve invested time and money into hair removal, but that could easily be written off as an intense aversion to facial hair. Alas, I can officially say that I have taken a step that marks the official start of the rest of my life.

I went to a military psychiatrist yesterday, after having sent out an email some time ago intending to make some sort of progress in my life. The wait was agonizing, and harder still was thinking of what to say. You can rehearse a conversation as many times as you want in your head, but when the time comes it’s an entirely different challenge. Thankfully, I knew beforehand that she has some experience with transgender service members, so that eased the nerves a bit. Could you imagine talking to someone who has only read about this stuff in journals and articles? Terrifying.

We discussed a great deal of things, and I ended up understanding myself a lot better in the process. I couldn’t remember much in the way of being uncomfortable as a male before middle school, which almost bothered me. Everyone who transitions seems to have some sort of history way back into childhood, but I couldn’t narrow anything down. Maybe my parents will have some examples, once I finally tell them. We talked about what my goals are surgery-wise, and what my chosen name is. It was almost like giving a briefing on my history, current status, and future “operations”. I’ll save you the sensitive details, since I’d have to kill you if I told you! We mutually agreed that some of my next steps forward, in lieu of hormone treatment that is unavailable to me at this time, would be to come out to more close friends and coworkers. She also wants me to endeavour to start not only using the correct pronouns and name for myself, but to really get into the mindset that I am now entirely a female in a male body. I have always felt like Val is just a girl that has been locked away, and not a legitimate part of me. Hiding her away, trying to be a man and not a degenerate. After being shunned for so long, it’s time to let her take over and to truly commit to this change that has been hindered for many years. I can do this!

“The more I get to know the less I find that I understand” – “The Start of Something Beautiful” by Porcupine Tree

Sandbox Life

I regret to inform you that I don’t have any philosophical rants this week, but I don’t intend for every post to be that way, after all. I’ve been pretty busy this week, and there are a lot of things keeping me entertained!

First off, Pokémon Sun and Moon just came out! I had initially ordered a JP region cartridge of Moon for my New 3DS LL, but I couldn’t wait any more and just downloaded it. Guess I’ll have something to sell on eBay once it gets here! I’m really enjoying it so far, and I’m just about to finish the first trial on the second island, as of writing this. I went with Popplio as my starter, and I’m super happy with her. I’ll give updates on my team occasionally here, I think, and maybe I’ll just start a Pokémon tag for future posts.

Now, after a long time of listening to other genres, I have rediscovered my love for Ska! A buddy of mine at work mentioned Streetlight Manifesto the other day, and upon telling him I’ve only heard their remake of Keasbey Nights, he freaked out and educated me about so many other great songs they have. We also discovered a mutual obsession with Reel Big Fish, so that was a pretty sweet day. We’re thinking about trying to start a band of our own when we get back to the States, which could be a lot of fun, even if we end up sucking. I really want to learn a brass instrument, but I’d definitely play guitar for the band. Maybe someday I’ll be able to play trumpet or trombone. Time will tell!

In other news, I fought off my brief sickness from yet another vaccine! I don’t think I’ll ever be running on 100% here with my allergies and cold-induced sinus problems. May as well call me Rudolph, since my nose is going to be red all winter. I wonder what you’d call the female version of Rudolph? Ru-chan would work if she were Japanese, I guess? Now that I’m relatively healthy, though, I will be starting up my running routine again! Went last night and ran for about 20 minutes on the treadmill. My endurance is still pretty much there despite the two-ish weeks off, but I need to bump up my pace. Shooting for under 11 minutes on the 1.5 mile run for my PT test in July, and I’m in the high 12s currently. I don’t need to lose weight, but I want to tone my legs a bit more with this, as well. No, I won’t lift with you, stop asking! A muscley transgirl will never pass, that’s just ridiculous!

So, there’s not much progress on the trans-front lately, but that’s what I’ve come to expect. I’m on the other side of the world from home, and there’s a war to win! I should, however, have some good news come the beginning of December, so stay tuned!

“Would you be upset if I told you we were dying? And every cure they gave us was a lie?” – “Would You Be Impressed?” by Streetlight Manifesto

Coping Mechanisms

It feels like my entire life I’ve been waiting to do things. Counting down, watching the clock, marking the days. The passage of time consumes our lives, and we only have precious little. When it comes to being transgender, I’ve been waiting a very long time, and with extended waiting comes a need to cope with things like depression. I’ve known for certain that I am trans for about 6 years now, and it has been one hell of a bumpy ride. Hopefully hearing about some of my experiences will help others who are experiencing the same. We all deal with these things differently.

Early on, there still seemed hope that I’d be able to accomplish something in the next year or two. I already had long hair, I was starting to get a collection of clothes, and I had a roommate who was also trans to help bounce ideas off of. At one point I had even scheduled an appointment with a therapist to try and get the ball rolling. Unfortunately, my motivation fizzled out and I grew terrified of what I was getting myself into. I know now that I was just trying to shun this side of me, for it is not an easy road and I’m not exactly one for tackling huge challenges like that. So, I bailed on the appointment, and some time later I had to move back home with my parents for a while. The military had always been my backup plan, and that was the next step forward. Air Force, please treat me well.

Joining the military brought with it many new challenges but also opportunities. First to go was my hair, and that was pretty crippling emotionally. I tried my best to just think of what I needed to do in life and how I needed some stability. For many, the military is a great place to hide from yourself and try to be the man or woman you were born to be. At the time, you couldn’t be openly trans, anyway, so why not just hide your degenerate self deep in the closet never to be seen again? If only it was that easy to deal with. Instead, I can think of more than one occasion where I’ve curled up on the floor and cried my eyes out. Not so tough and mentally stable now, was I? Instead, I started clinging on to the hope that someday the ban would be lifted, and following the news carefully to catch whatever was said on the subject. I had started collecting clothes and stuff secretly, again. For those who don’t really understand, dressing and acting differently from our preferred gender is actually pretty painful. Dressing up once in a while does wonders for emotional wellness, though getting caught would have likely been career-ending for me. Such a rebel.

Summer 2016 hit, and things changed. The ban was lifted, nobody would get discharged, and come October, we’d be able to transition in-service. I couldn’t sleep. I got so giddy and excited that I read every single news article about it, even though they all said the same thing. The more I read, though, the more terrified I grew. For the first time in years, I had to make a legitimate choice, and I couldn’t use the “it’s not allowed so I can’t do it anyway” excuse any longer. The rest of my life would be determined by this decision to transition or not. I wish I could say it was easy, but there’s so much to be both lost and gained. It took me about another month to make up my mind, but I finally chose what I thought would be the best for me in the long run. I weighed pros and cons of both choices, and it quickly dawned on me that no matter what I do, these feelings aren’t going away. Time heals wounds, but not this wound. It’s not a phase, this is the real life.

So that leaves me here, sitting in a tent at 3 am writing a blog that nobody even looks at. Well, maybe eventually, but this is more for me to get my ideas down in a journal-esqe format anyway. I’m still very much a male in appearance other than my skinny-ass body. I have appointments coming up in a few weeks, and with that hopefully I’ll actually make some progress in life. Whatever can be done while I’m slaving away working 72 hour weeks, the better off I’ll be when I finally go home. Head held high, I’m going to push through. Don’t give up, you magnificent bastards!

“I’m lookin’ at my watch
At all the time that’s been stolen
When I was carrying you
It seems I’ve tripped and I’ve fallen” – “Waste” by Smash Mouth

Many Hobbies, Manly Hobbies

Sometimes I ask myself if I’d even fit in at all as a girl. Considering the nature of many of my hobbies and my extremely manly career field, will I just be that weird trans girl or will I actually end up being really cool and likeable? I would like to assume the latter will be true, but there’s no way to know the future for sure. I had the itch to write today, but couldn’t decide on a topic, so I figured I’d give my few readers a little more insight into who I am as a person, and what I like to do in my free time. I have a lot of hobbies, so I guess I’ll start with the more “manly” ones and see where we go from there. Probably wont get to everything, but there’s always another time.

I love guns! Whether you think they should be strictly regulated or not, I happen to be one American in love with my firearms. I don’t hunt, however, so I have mine mostly for target shooting and home/personal defense. I live in an open carry state, so I usually have my handgun with me around town and will likely carry it much more often as I start to look more and more feminine in the future. Can’t be too careful, especially with all the rape and sexual assault cases we always hear about in the news. I’m not going to be as bold as to say that I want to protect others with my handgun, but sometimes all it takes is someone with weapons training to halt a crime before it gets out of hand. I hope to never need to use it, but I carry it regardless. I’m interested to see what everyone else thinks about this subject, but I ask to please keep any discussion civil.

Another relatively “manly” hobby of mine that I just recently got into is motorcycles. I had always dreamed of owning a motorcycle, and a few years ago I finally made it a reality. The urge finally got to me, and I went out and bought a BMW G650GS before I even had my license, or had even ridden a motorcycle before. A gamble, but I have a habit of being skilled at things I try. Missed a single point in my riding test, which I’ll take as an epic win, and now I’m absolutely in love with my bike. The weather has been kinda crappy the past few years, so I only have a few thousand miles on it, but I’m planning on using a bunch of this extra money I’m bringing in to customize it a bit and do a big tour of California. I lived in Cali for 20-ish years, and still haven’t even seen half of what the state has to offer. It’s also worth mentioning that I’m almost exclusively a solo rider. I love just loading up and hitting the road with nothing but me and my music for hours. It’s extremely relaxing and helps reset my mind after long weeks at work.

Last but definitely not least (for today, there’s tons more), I have an unhealthy obsession with anime and pretty much everything Japan. I know, I know, people like this are obnoxious as hell, and I do everything I can to avoid that. Some people watch sports, some people watch lots of movies, I just happen to watch anime. It’s just another form of media to me, and I happen to enjoy the themes, settings, subject matter, and the humor more than a lot of American cartoons/shows (with notable exceptions of course). This love inspired me to take a trip to Japan, and after falling in love with the people, culture, and breathtaking views, I went on to visit another two times. It’s very likely I’ll go back in the future, but for now I have more important uses for my money. Being trans isn’t cheap, and I’m intending to “do it right” and get a couple surgeries. So, call me a weeaboo faggot or whatever you like, but I know what I enjoy, and I encourage everyone to be true to who you are.

Oh, and one more quick thing! I love beer! Girls drinking good beer are a rare breed, so I’m just gonna slide right in there to fill the void. Big fan of Munich Lagers and stuff like that, but I’m also pretty addicted to Sapporo. Sapporo Classic is love/life, but Hokkaido only!

So anyway, I hope you enjoyed me talking about myself with no relevance to anything, but hey, this is a blog, isn’t it? I did this more to try to let some people relate to me, and how you don’t have to be 100% girly to be a trans girl. We all like different things, and sometimes growing up as a guy initially isn’t such a bad thing. What if we were never exposed to these things? What has our birth gender held us back from experiencing? Get out there and try new things, and expand not only your view of the world, but maybe have a damn good time and gain some new hobbies in the process!

That’s all for today, so this is Val signing off~

“The point of a journey is not to arrive.” – “Prime Mover” by Rush

What I’ve Come to Expect

I’ve known pretty confidently that I was transgender for at least six years, and the past four of them have been in the military. I’ve had a lot of time to sit back and evaluate the outlooks of many of my coworkers when it comes to LGBTQ issues, and the prospect of transitioning in this environment is more than a little spooky. Though, while some may be fiercely opinionated and stubborn, I feel that many are just poorly educated on these subjects. Only two of my coworkers know, as of now, and they’ve both been very accepting, thankfully. I think things change when someone close to you announces something like this. You usually care about that person, and regardless of your experience on the matter, it’s something you have to accept in some aspect. I think being one of the few who are actively seeking transition in the military will be a good eye opener for the average rank and file. Let’s just hope things go as well in reality as I’ve hoped they will.

In the meantime, there are some things that all of us are going to have to deal with. One of the most frustrating questions I’ve been receiving recently is why I’m not growing a deployment mustache. I made the “mistake” of growing a rather majestic one a few years back for the time-honored tradition of Mustache March. This has left everyone with unreasonable expectations for me here, but they don’t know I’ve had quite a few sessions of laser hair removal on my face since then. No, the hair isn’t completely gone, so I intend to invest in electrolysis when I return to the states. Problem is, I can’t tell them I’ve had laser without pretty much coming out, and I’m not ready for that yet. I’d like to get as far along as I can before dropping the trans bomb on my coworkers. I’m very focused on how I’m going to handle it when it does happen, but more on that later. So basically, I have to keep coming up with excuses for the lack of mustache, and it’s getting pretty annoying having to deal with all this unwanted facial hair attention. I guess this is what those obnoxious as hell Tumblr posters call #Triggered. It’s just dysphoria to me.

On the topic of people pushing me to do things, I’ve received a pretty considerable amount of fun poked at me for my small muscle size. I’m 5’10” and I weigh 128 lbs, which leaves me extremely thin. I don’t mind this at all, as it gives me a more feminine frame, but in an environment filled with people taking T-boosters, protein, and all manner of supplements in an effort to “get big” or “swole”, I stick out like a sore thumb. It’s not that I don’t work out, I just have different priorities than they do, and apparently that’s not acceptable. I’m sure many of you can relate to this at some point in your transition, particularly those also serving in the military. There are fitness standards to maintain, but there’s no reason for us to be a body builder if we don’t want to. If you’re curious what I do to stay thin, I have to admit that my metabolism does all the heavy lifting. I do, however, run pretty regularly here in between sicknesses. Being in close proximity to literally everyone is really giving my immune system a run for its money. I try to work out my legs as much as I can, as honestly they’re one of my best features. Occasional crunches and pushups are required to keep my fitness up to spec, but I try not to overdo it. Personally, I’m not really into girls with bigger muscles than me. That’s just not my thing, and maybe a little weird.

You know what else is weird? Being transgender. Absolutely degenerate, right? The amount of things I’ve heard from people about how women are inferior, how “trannys” are still just men regardless of how they look or what they have downstairs, and just how disgusted they are when it comes to “chicks with dicks” is pretty frustrating. I have no choice but to sit back, play along, come up with excuses, and hope they don’t actually mean anything. If they do, I’m gonna have a really troublesome life here in the next few months.

Val, signing off~

“Let me explain
This ugliness, this cruelty, this repulsiveness
It will all die out
And now, I cry for all that is beautiful” – “Fellow Feeling” by Porter Robinson