Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Having felt like a woman inside all my life, actually living as a woman full time this year has created new feelings that sometimes are surprising.  Real Life Experience is teaching me that having the feelings of being a woman do not necessarily prepare you for the experience of actually feeling like what it is to be a woman.

Women have a very different experience in society than men.  This is true on so many levels that it may be difficult to understand from a man's perspective, from the outside looking in.  Different women have different experiences and everyone deals with experiences in different ways, but there are some commonalities that permeate the experience of being a woman in our modern society.  

Feelings of exploitation, objectification, scorn, ridicule and being treated like a second class citizen exist to various degrees in most women  and I think the source of these feelings is often misunderstood.  Part of the experience of being a woman today is to be treated like a sex object, to be thought of as not good enough or worthy of certain status and to be looked down upon, in certain ways and at certain times.  I don't think there is any way that one can conceptualize these feelings unless they have experienced them first hand.  The phrase "walk a mile in someone's shoes before you know what they are feeling" does apply here.

I believe that all men realize that women feel like sex objects at least part of the time.  Women deal with this in various ways.  Some are very sensitive about any hint of being objectified as a sex object, some become very guarded and alter their behavior or manner of dress, some do not seem to notice or care and some embrace it and play it up.  I believe that some of these differences are due to the fact that different women have had very different experiences and some just have different ways of dealing with it.  

Women are often treated as second class citizens in relationships, social situations and the workplace.  Even though various laws and policies now exist to combat discrimination, it is still a problem.  I think that certain men (perhaps most men) will always feel that they are better than women in certain ways and there are probably nothing that can be done to change that.  In another way, many (perhaps most) men also feel that they are better than other men.  That is something I know from having lived the majority of my life wearing a man's shoes.  I never felt that way but it must be something inherent in the average man's psyche. 

Having only lived the daily life of a woman for a number of months, I do not pretend to know the full experience of what it feels like to be a woman.  I did not have to grow up as a little girl, go through my teen years, come into adulthood and live all my life as someone who was born a woman.  The feelings of being a woman do not completely prepare you for the feelings you will experience living as a woman every day.  That is why this phase is called a real life experience and that is why transition is only a beginning. 


Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Messages ( a synopsis)

Tammy World 2012
This photo, My World, was taken one year ago in 2012.  The world was good then and getting better.  Here in 2013, things are even better and the best is yet to come. 

I have TWO important messages for everyone here.......

1.  You Can live your life as yourself and you can be whoever you want to be.  This applies to anyone and everyone, whatever your situation is and whatever it is that you want to be. Don't let your dreams sit on the back burner because you think they can never come true. They Can!

2.  All of you out there who think you cannot get out the house as yourself, for whatever reason, you are wrong.  Go out into the world and be yourself, whoever you are.  People will accept you for being yourself more than you ever imagined..

This price tags on the furniture show that I am Not in my home. Tammy World is what lies beyond the 4 walls and proves that the door that keeps us in can also let us out!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Two years ago, on 9/10/11, I had a date with a man and he brought me these flowers.  To some degree I had started dating men for a couple of years but this was only the second time I had ever gotten flowers.  He was serious about taking me out to dinner, shopping and doing all the things I wanted to do.  He was even willing to take me to the State Fair, which I had been planning as my first big outing around a huge crowd of people.
My first flowers from Mitchell

I met him several months earlier at a party and we had been talking for over a month online and on the phone before this date in 2011. 
We had more dates and he actually brought me flowers the first 9 times we went out, even when it was just meeting for dinner.  I told him we had to take things slow but before long I developed feelings for him and found myself in love.  Soon it was apparent that the feelings were mutual.

It's Been a Great Two Years Together
A month after our first date we decided to to date exclusively and we are still together today. I love my boyfriend and he makes me so happy! He still gives me flowers on special occasions and from time to time just because. 
My most recent flowers from Mitchell.

Monday, September 9, 2013


Birthday flowers from my boyfriend.
I celebrated another birthday recently and I have to say it was by far the happiest one in memory.  I remember two years ago setting this year's birthday as a deadline for myself.  It was August of 2011 and I was on the edge and in pain.  It had been a breakthrough year in many ways but that birthday was filled with a lot of anxiety.  In fact, my most recent birthdays had all been filled with their own unique brands of anxiety. 

In 2009, around the time of my birthday, I was having a lot of anxiety about coming out to my spouse.  By the same time in 2010 I Still had not come out to her and by then the anxiety was becoming acute.  In just a few weeks I actually did come out to her, as I talked about in this blog post entitled Hello World.  That brought a huge relief and not nearly as  painful an aftermath as I had feared.  She didn't run off and tell my parents, she didn't leave me and the ensuing year brought a lot of growth and changes.  I no longer had to hide myself so I could dress freely at home and go out when and where I wanted to, with the exception of staying out very late or staying overnight somewhere.  In other previous posts, Hello World Part 2 and Hello World Part 3, I go into a lot of details about what happened in my life and relationship with my spouse in 2011. 

By the time my birthday got here in August 2011, the joy and relief of being able to go almost anywhere as myself almost anytime I wanted to had been replaced by the angst of still being trapped in a life I did not want to be in.  More than just feeling trapped in the wrong body, I felt trapped in a wrong life.  My head had cleared up and I had seen that living as myself, as Tammy, was possible.  It no longer had to be just a dream, it was fast becoming a reality but still there were major obstacles to overcome.  I cried by myself on that birthday and promised myself it was the last year that I would be stuck like this.  I sort of knew it would be too much to accomplish for me to be full time by my next birthday, but on that day in 2011, I made a promise that within one year I would be in transition and by the following year's birthday, 2013, I would be full time and on the road to fully being myself.  

During the summer of 2012, after I had already started hormones, my therapist asked me what my goal was on when to go full time.  I didn't give her a date but I did give her a range.  I told her I would like to transition on New Year's Eve that year and that I had set a deadline of being full time by my birthday on August 19, 2013.  She told me to shoot for the end of 2012 and like any goal if you fall short at least you come closer to it than if you put everything off until the last minute.  A new year and a new me is the way she put it and that is exactly what I had in mind. 

Throughout my life I have been a chronic procrastinator, and at the time I really didn't think I would make my goal of being full time by the end of 2012 but I sure as heck was going to make my deadline.  I had to conquer what I saw as my "Mt. Everest" first, coming out to my parents, and that created a great deal of anxiety on my birthday last year.  As it turns out, I  conquered my own Everest and went full time a few days after coming out to them on December 21, 2012 which was the Winter Solstice and ironically the last day of the world according to the Mayan Calender.  A new era was ushered in alright, but for me it was much more of a beginning than an end.

Sharing a kiss with my baby on Thunder Ridge as the sun sets across the Blue Ridge.
So when I celebrated my birthday last month I had the satisfaction of knowing that I beat my deadline by 8 months.  This was the first birthday that I could fully be myself and everyone knew me as Tammy.  No more hiding and no tears this year!   It was a very good day to say the least and we actually celebrated the occasion over 6 days.  On Thursday I left for Virginia to spend 4 nights with my boyfriend Mitchell, then I returned home on Monday to celebrate with my parents by going out to eat and having cake at their home.  The day after my birthday I drove to Raleigh to spend time and go to dinner with my estranged spouse Joan, who gave me a very special birthday card addressed to Tammy. 
Enjoying a special dinner at a nice restaurant in Lynchburg, Virginia.
With all I went through trying to get Joan to understand and accept me for over 2 years, getting that card was a real victory.  Of course, my parents accepted me almost immediately but getting a card addressed to their daughter really, really warms my heart.  Mitchell met me as Tammy and although he saw both sides of me when the other side still existed, he has always been my biggest supporter and confidant, much more than I could have asked for in any relationship.  He has brought me a love, friendship and happiness that I never could have imagined.  I am so thankful to have all of these people in my life and especially thankful to have all of their acceptance and support.

I have conquered my "Mount Everest", now the mountains are much more manageable.  Here I am in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
Happy to be accepted and loved.  Enjoying time at my parent's home after a birthday meal at Red Lobster.
So, while this is turning out to be a beautiful year and I feel much better than ever, I still feel trapped in a way.  I am finally comfortable with myself and happy, but I am ready to complete my transition and move on with the rest of my life.  My goal now is to complete my transition by the time my next birthday gets here.  This has actually been my goal from the beginning but now that things have fallen into place, it looks like it has a good chance of happening.  Next year will be a big birthday for me numerically, one of the "milestone" birthdays that people usually dread.  They now say that 50 is the new 40 and I actually feel more like I am 30.  Some say that life begins at 50 and I believe that's going to be the case for me.  Hopefully, I will get to celebrate 2 birthdays next year.  I do hope you will follow me for the rest of my journey and beyond here on Tammy World and I appreciate each and every one of you!

High on the mountain, the peaceful valley awaits me on the other side.