It’s been a while huh? Sorry ‘bout that, but I’ve been a tad
bit busy with my personal and professional life being a bit tossed about.
We have a service contract with a huge customer in Indiana
that requires us to have an engineer onsite every week day. This was all well
and fine until the guy that was filling that position for us decided to up and
quit. Guess who the only other person in our field service group is that knows
that product well enough to go in and pick up the pieces? Yup, ‘twas I! So, for
the last six months I’ve been living in a hotel in Indiana.
It turns out that it is a good thing that the guy quit,
because he apparently wasn’t devoting much effort to his job, and the customer
was pissed off about it. Here our customer was mad as hell, but we had had no
idea until this guy quit. Want to hear something funny? This guy turned around
and started his own company, then tried to take the service business away from
my company. Apparently he didn’t realize just how badly he had pissed off our
customer and he had thought he could make his own personal fortune by coming
right back in as his own contractor. One
of the managers I work with here flat out told me that if he saw that guy on
the facility, he would personally escort him off of the premises. Yeah, needless to say, he didn’t take the
contract from us.
Despite the fact that they're in a historically masculine industry where you would expect Good Ol' Boys and Red Necks to be in charge of things, this company is VERY accepting. I've met several openly gay people who are happily married here and are clearly accepted, and I've met three TG's that I know of who are open and out here. In fact, this company will actually pay for their GRS, and I don't know of any other company that will do that. Don't get me wrong, no one is running up to hug them all and say "You are SO welcome here!", but they do have good jobs, and are accepted. It is progress. I'd like to share their company's name because I am proud of them and they should be proud of themselves, but I can't risk breaking either their company's policies on social media, nor my own company's. Not worth the risk to me.
The good news is that my company is well aware of the
sacrifice my family and I are making. I received a letter and a modest bonus
from the Vice President of our company thanking me for going to extraordinary
lengths to salvage the situation. The bad news is that I’m not sure their
thanks and bonus is worth missing so much of my children’s growing. . .
Welp, I have a brand new granddaughter, Gwenevere, and she
is just a few months old now! Of course you would expect me to say this, but
she is one of the cutest critters I’ve ever seen. Funny, but as a kid, I always
hoped that someday I would find someone stupid enough to marry me, but somehow
the idea of having children never crossed my mind. It really floors me that I
have three children and two grandchildren now. How the hell did that happen?!
Where I am staying in Indiana is about half the distance to
visit my son and his family in Virginia as it would be from my home in Texas,
so I made it a point to go meet my new granddaughter one weekend. It might be a
shorter drive from here than it would be from Texas, but it still wasn’t a short drive. It took me 12 hours of
driving each way over one weekend to git ‘er done, but I did it! Just to make
it that much harder, I even made the trip back to Indiana with a massive
hangover, because I’m just that kind of stupid.
I don’t get out much as Kim these days for a few reasons.
I’m afraid that my three years of laser treatments on my face failed to kill my
beard. It helped a lot, but it’s still there. Since it has been a couple of
years since my last treatment, you can now see beard shadow through my
foundation, and so it is pretty quickly obvious that I am a guy in a dress.
Strike one against my confidence. Just to make things worse, my 50 year old
face is rapidly degrading and showing its age more and more each and every day.
It surprising to me just how rapidly the wrinkles and the sagging eyes are
getting worse. It’s as if my face held out as long as it could, but has now
thrown in the towel and said “Screw it! Let that shit wrinkle and sag!”. So at
a time when I have to wear heavier foundation to hide the beard, I now have
deep wrinkles that are exaggerated by the heavy makeup. Strike two for my
confidence. Last but not least, working at this customer site is a major change
of physical activity for me. I am used to lots of walking through airports,
busting my butt off to do a job, then lots more walking through airports on the
way home. My job with this customer? Sit at a tiny cubicle all day long just in
case one of their 160 instruments fails. I’ve gained over 10 pounds since being
tied down to one customer. Strike three for my confidence. Let me sum that up for you – fat, old,
bearded dude in a dress. Sigh . . .
So I’ve been in Indiana for about six months now and this
last weekend is the first time that I got out as Kim, and my confidence was
destroyed right out of the gate. I’d decided to go see the latest installment
in the “Divergent” series (a mediocre movie by the way) and was standing in
line to buy my ticket. There was a mother with two teenage boys in line in
front of me. I’d guess one of the buys was probably about 16 and the other
The 16 year old looked at me as he
turned around to talk to his brother, and then the whispering started. The 14
year old starts looking up, down, and all around as if he were watching a bee
buzzing about his head, before he turns fully around to look at me with a huge
grin on his face. That was hands down the worst job of looking while trying not
to be obvious that I have ever seen. It was so pathetic that it actually made
me laugh a bit, so I thought I’d make the best out of it.
“You know, you really need to work on your subtlety a little
bit.” I told the kid with a smile. He looked a bit stunned, but his mother and
big brother broke out into a full laugh.
So I guess here is the way things are panning out. I’ve
traveled all over the country as Kim for the last 10 years or so. Perhaps I was
deluding myself, perhaps not, but during most of that travel, I have felt as if
I were perceived as a woman. This was
gratifying and fulfilling for me. Now, for the reasons that I mentioned above,
I am clearly not being perceived as female, not even by myself, and this I do
not find fulfilling. Now when I go out, I am clearly being perceived simply as
a cross dressed man, and this takes quite a bit more courage and a thicker
skin. I’m not sure I have it, and even if I do have the courage, what is the
point if it doesn’t make me happy? I’m still contemplating things, but I think
that the odds are good that I’m just about done with it. I told my daughter the
other day that I was thinking about just being a “normal” guy, and she laughed and informed me that “normal” doesn’t impress her much. Damn I love my kids . . .