Kim's (Not-So-Secret) Diary
(for 2002)

Diary Entries for 2002

Here's some info gleaned from the "what's new" portion of my main page; the actual diary entries are below this...

August 11, 2002: The Past, Present, and Future... and The Nature of Success

I've been contemplating the past some lately... I had my 20th year high school reunion last night. I've also been contemplating success, and friendship; as both have been themes coming from the reunion. Writing to a friend who contacted me after awhile prompted me to put some of my thoughts down here...

I was a nerd in high school. Yes, me. No, not a cheerleader (I wish ;-), and not one of the popular people. Yet I've both overcome some nerdiness, and garnered some "success" because of my nerdiness. My confidence, though, comes from liking myself (at least more fully, and more of the time)... not from my clothes, nor job, car, house, nor even my wonderful girlfriend... All those things add to my life, certainly; success to me is, though, thinking I'm generally a good person and making the world a better place for being in it... or at least not making it worse. ;-) I think one of the ways I measure my success is how many people I love, and how many love me. How many friends I have, of any given intensity and frequency of contact. Those, to me, are important things. I won't lie and say money or things are not important to me; if they weren't, I'd probably be teaching at a University now vs. teaching/consulting in the business world... not that I'd have to give up making a nice living; simply that I'd have to take a fairly large pay cut. However, given acknowledging money as an influence, I'd say it's down the list... after my own personal happiness (which has to do more with things that don't take money) or sense of fulfillment, my loving and being loved, my being challenged and growing.

So the past has been on my mind, and that has been making me reflect on the Present. Things are really very good at the moment. I may have a lot of self-induced stress from various sources, and yet things are going well and I could choose to change the things that stress me. I think that does have to do w/liking myself more... at least more than I did in high school.

I sometimes wonder about the future... Will I be married again? Will I be a parent? Will I be employed in 6 months? Will I be doing the same thing (job) in 6 months? Where will I be living (I'm selling my house, and looking for a new one closer-in to town)? However, some things I'm not questioning, or facing changes on. I'm comfortable with where I am on my gender. I'm happy w/my current relationship, and letting it grow naturally... It's been a year (as of a couple of days ago) since my girlfriend and I started dating. A wonderful year, and one filled with a good amount of happiness. I have many things to be thankful (and happy) for, and that's a good thing.

I have a friend (Hi Ms. T!) who's birthday is today. She is facing an uncertain future... one of transitioning gender/sex. One of changing family nature. Of a potential change in work and career. She is starting Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) today. She is supported by a loving spouse and children. Yes, they may be a bit overwhelmed at times, or even going through the various stages of grief, and yet they make it clear to her that she's loved. This is a very cool thing. It's such a hard transition to make; so many obstacles to overcome. She is a very close and special friend, and I am looking forward to being there for her how I can... and growing and learning along with her.

We all have our path to follow. Each of us finding out what fulfills us, and then going after it... and it's partly the blessing and curse of being able to pick our own career and life path. No longer are we expected (or needing) to follow in our parents' footsteps, or simply to subsist off the land. I've seen various levels of awareness and action on this challenge from people. It's not an easy thing to figure out who you are, and then go after making your life match that. I know I'm still working on it. I wish you success in your journey of self-discovery.

August 03, 2002: Recent Happenings, No pictures...

Hello again! I realized I haven't updated my site in awhile... partially due to the fact that I've been insanely busy (as usual ;-), and partly due to the fact that I've pretty much stopped taking pictures of myself when I go out. Hmmnnn... you must now be thinking "What?! A crossdresser who doesn't take pictures of herself? What's the world coming to?" Well,... the crossdressing is reaching a point where it's simply something that's part of my life; that I enjoy doing for fun, and is in some ways no different than going bowling now and then. Would you always take a picture of yourself in your bowling outfit every time you went bowling? (Really? Every time? Wow... ;-) So, anyway, I do have a set of pictures to get up from Esprit still, and have backlogged a bunch from before. So in another month or so when my site becomes more of a priority I'll probably get some of that up.

Speaking of being out and about,... I was out a couple of days ago at "First Thursday." The art galleries all stay open late, and open their new shows, on the First Thursday of the month. Cool, huh? So if you were out wandering about and saw the brunette in the red top and black skirt (wandering around w/the redhead) that would be me.

I also recently was at Darcelle XV, a female impersonator cabaret here in town... performing as a backup singer in a benefit show for Camp Starlight (a camp for HIV/AIDS kids). We raised over $500 for charity; very cool!

So my life is busy w/work and friends and dressing every weekend and all... I hope your life is full of good things.

July 15, 2002: On my girlfriend, Ms. C... and being transgendered

My girlfriend (Hiya' Ms. C!) is really, really wonderful... in more ways than I can adequately express here; at least in the few minutes I'm giving myself before I sleep.

I realize I've been remiss in writing about her here. I spend all these paragraphs musing about 9/11, or some other thing related to my life (or at least my transgendered life ;-) and yet Ms. C means more to me, in a lot of ways, than 9/11 or those other events or thoughts do. What made me realize my diary had fallen behind? When she (yes, Ms. C) pointed out that a diary entry here had accidentally disappeared. I mean, she's not only aware of my dressing, she also is so supportive of and involved with my dressing that keeps up on what's going on in my transgendered life, buys me girl things now and then, goes out w/me on occasion, etc. She accepts my crossdressing as part of me; and as something that is, in a lot of ways, no big deal.

It's certainly a balanced view she takes; there are some things that change while I'm dressed. For example, she sees me more as her platonic girlfriend vs. her romantic boyfriend when I'm dressed... and that's fine. It is, in fact, a nice compliment; she can see me as a woman to the point of relating to me as she would to any woman. She's not attracted to women, so she basically isn't attracted to me that way in girl mode (yes, we both realize I'm still a boy underneath all the clothes, but let's not go there for now, okay? ;-). A relationship is about supporting each other w/out losing what's essential and individual about oneself and one's growth. Anyway, for Ms. C to accept my crossdressing, vs. merely tolerate it, is a wonderful thing in itself.

It took me a long (loooooooong) time to get to the place of acceptance of my crossdressing that she was in almost immediately. Granted, it's easier for her to accept my dressing (and me in general) when I accept myself. However, it's also a testament to her open, loving nature (and, well, liking me a lot ;-) that she was able to so readily accept my crossdressing as part of me. Or how she accepts gay people. Or {name a group that often faces prejudice here} people. It's not simply her support of my T-ness that makes her wonderful, By The Way... Ms. C is a loving (kind, giving, nurturing,...), smart, funny, cute woman. I'm very happy to have her in my life,... wherever our relationship may head.

It is, in fact, around the one year anniversary of us having met for the first time. It was around this time last year that, when fed up with internet dating ads, she took one last look at FriendFinder and found my ad. She liked the twinkly eyes, and we have the same favorite movie (The Princess Bride),... and, it turns out, a lot of the same favorite things and ways of looking at the world. So she emailed me... [It was a boy ad online; that hinted at being a crossdresser, but didn't say so directly. I told her about it on our second date. :)] Anyway, it's evolved from meeting online in July to in person in early August, to going out dancing on Halloween (yes, w/me in girl mode), to "friends w/benefits" late last year, to her being my girlfriend. Anyway, we tend to both nurture and support each other fairly equally... Something that partnership ought to do, and seems all too rare sometimes. :)

So, I guess to wrap up my musings, I think all these thoughts can relate in general to being transgendered, and to something you might care about beyond reading about me if you're "T" (or a partner of a T) as well: There are probably more women (people) out there in the world who can accept a crossdressing male (or female) than you (or me ;-) might think. That acceptance, I think, has a lot to do with how much the crossdresser accepts themselves... as well as with how open-minded (or loving) the other person is. That acceptance (by another, or even of oneself) shouldn't, in my opinion, be unconditional; the trans person shouldn't ask too much of their partner, and vice-versa. Partnership is about loving your partner; by supporting them in their spiritual/life growth, while recognizing that your partner is climbing that mountain with your help as a base camp... not by being carried by you, nor not really even with you alongside. [Yes, this view is influenced by The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck :)] The growth you do ultimately has to come from within you; those that love you can simply be there to support your growth.

July 12, 2002: On 9/11

I had someone ask me today whether the USA's response to the 9/11/01 attacks (The "War on Terrorism") help or hurt (the USA)... Hmmnn. Well, for the USA not to respond at all wouldn't be appropriate. Did we have to respond with war? I'm not sure. Is killing people, to show that killing people is wrong, a good approach? Probably not. While the Old Testament may say "eye for an eye," and the Talmud or the Koran or whatever might have similar ideas, I'm not convinced that perpetuating bloodshed is the way. "Love thy neighbor as thyself." On the other hand, if the USA tried diplomatic channels and was ineffective, then what sort of message would/does that send? While the USA's policies may favor Israel unfairly, to kill innocent people (to kill people at all) to get that message across is heinous. The people who planned and carried out the 9/11 attacks are psychotic, amoral people. Does that mean all Arabs or those from the Middle East are? No! The USA has done some psychotic, amoral things (like take Hawaii away from the local people by force)... does that mean that all people in the USA are psychotic, amoral people? That deserve to die to get a message across? No! I think not. So that's what I think of the question of whether the USA's response to 9/11 helps or hurts.

I can tell you, though, that what I think hurts is my heart every time I think of the innocent people that died that day; and for all the innocent victims of war. The heartbreaking stories I've heard of what happened at the Towers (like a couple holding hands as they jumped from the Towers in desperation, or the sound people made as they hit the ground), and the heartbreaking stories of the violence that seems to never end in the Middle East,... that hurts. Someone on NPR (Fran Liebowitz, I think) was pointing out we are where we were thousands of years ago: fighting religious wars. Think about those words. Fighting. Religion. War. I, personally, think that our world could do with less of religions thinking their way-- their letter of the law, so to speak-- is the only way. I think we could do with MORE of finding the commonality and love for life that is found in every religion. A Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Bahai, Scientologist, Wiccan, etc. is not an infidel; not a godless (or goddess-less, even ;-) animal to be punished. We are talking about people, here folks. People like you and me. I have a T-shirt that says "Honor Diversity." I strive to live up to that ideal. Can you learn to respect, or at least tolerate, differences in others? If so, don't you think the world would be a better place to live in? If not, why not? Why do you fear those who are different from you? Why do you not have room to let them live their life too?

This topic is near and dear to me for many reasons... including my transgenderism. After all, I've had to face too many people in my life that seem to fear or hate me for being different. It's not about religion, nor even what country I live in. It's simply for what clothes I wear. For how I choose to express myself. I have been afraid for my life, or at least my well-being, for simply wanting to walk down a street while headed to shop or to dance. If people can be so hateful of me, for doing nothing but being myself and being different than them, then I think we have a long way to go before we can learn to respect differences in country, class, race, religion, etc.

Granted, I am trying to look like a woman when I am (my body is still that of) a man. Why? Well, if for no other reason, because I (think I) would face more danger, prejudice, and hate (or, at a minimum, harassment) for being a man to wear "women's" clothing than to perhaps be either perceived simply as a woman, or even as a man trying to look like a woman. There are certainly other reasons for me to crossdress, but does it matter why I do? If I am not trying to do something illegal, nor be deceptive (other than the "illusion" of being female), then what does it matter what I do? I am not out to rob banks in disguise, nor to fool men into thinking I'm a woman to attract them, nor to get into a woman's bathroom for dubious purposes. For the latter, in fact, I go into a woman's bathroom because I have to take care of natural bodily functions.

[As those fine crossdressing lads in Monty Python say: ...And now for something "completely" different:] On the subject of bathrooms, it's always mystified me why people-- espeically women-- are so relatively uptight about the gender separation in bathrooms. I would think that men have a half-reasonable excuse: They're standing at a urinal, exposed. Women, on the other hand, are in a stall. No one can see. Would a woman be taking off her clothes in front of a mirror in the bathroom? Rarely, if ever. I mean, c'mon here folks... the purpose of a bathroom is to take care of business (and perhaps chat some) and leave. Yet there are probably states in this "free" country of mine that would arrest me for being in a women's restroom even "en femme" and having done nothing illegal, threatening, etc. Having done nothing but needing to go potty. Once again, this world mystifies me sometimes.

Okay, so I started out with something "weighty" like 9/11, and have ended up talking about bathrooms. Seems sort of silly by comparison, doesn't it? Well, the issues with either come from the same root problem: Fear of the unknown, of the differences in us, of the "other." Whether that manifests itself as prejudice against transgender people, classism, racism, religious fanatacism, or even war it's still the same root causes: fear, greed, egotism, etc. I know humans are capable instead of courage, generosity, selflessness, and love. How do you choose to act? The choice is yours, after all.

May 23, 2002: On The Road (Sometimes As A Woman)

I'm writing this from the road... it's my job to travel, and this week is no exception. I didn't bring my "girl" clothes along w/me for this trip, and yet I have for other trips... including my recent trip to Thailand. I didn't for Paris, and most definitely did for Esprit... [Yes, there will be pictures coming sometime soon ;-)].

A lot has happened in the last 4 months... I've grown much closer to the woman I'm dating (hi C!); it seems to be getting somewhat "committed." Which is cool in many respects, including the fact that she's incredibly supportive of my crossdressing (transgenderism, whatever ;-). Heck, my wardrobe is already full, and she keeps buying me stuff. :) Anyway, we went to Paris together, and had a wonderful time; tres bon. I went to Thailand to accompany a friend of mine for her SRS/GRS with Dr. Sanguan in Phuket (hi KAT!). I went to Esprit dressed, and had a wonderful time... well, except for my performance in the talent show, which pretty much was the worst I've ever done. [Sigh] It was so nice to see friends again, feel the support of the community, and simply be "in girl mode" for 4 days in a row. This weekend I meet up w/friends from High School... we're all converging on NYC. Yes, where there's terrorist threats... if it's one thing I've learned from being TG, it's to not live my life in fear. Be prudent, perhaps, but don't live in fear.

Anyway, I guess I should be going to sleep, and I don't have any great insights or even stories to share here (sometime I'll probably share the 5 Baht Sushi story from Thailand, meeting people anywhere and the travel/work bug, the last-minute-and-it-somehow-worked Fashion Show, etc., etc., etc.). Anyway, thanks for reading my ramblings, and I hope your life is going well.

January 31, 2002: Life and the Movies

Today is/was my birthday; 38 years old. Many friends called me today directly to wish me happy birthday; that was really, really nice. A couple that I expected to,... didn't. It was a good day, though... I did what I wanted, at least for the most part. I went and saw 2 movies; "Harry Potter..."; and also "The Lord of the Rings (Fellowship of the Ring)" for the 2nd time. I saw my parents, which was nice... they're great people. Anyway,...

I'm writing this at the end of the day, when my body is counseling me to sleep... and yet there's something gnawing at my brain; an itch I can't quite scratch. I think it's something to do with my birthday and where my life is (or isn't) going... I'll spare you the inner thoughts and conflict boiling below the surface,... suffice it to say I'm 38, and I have no partner in life, no children (not totally sure I want any, though I could certainly do so), no burning nor clear career path (heck, not even a 2-year plan), blah, blah, blah. So that could be what's eating at me...

Perhaps, though, it's the SororityBoys movie that I saw advertised in the theater this evening. I checked out the website... it looks to be a little bit of rehash of "Bosom Buddies" (Yes, I am dating myself w/that reference... and I did already tell you how incredibly old I am anyway, huh? ;-). I don't plan on seeing it; at least not in theaters, and probably not ever. It looks like the kind of movie where cross-dressing is played for laughs, and they try to work in a moral of the story about how the guys get in touch w/their feminine side... as an afterthought, or to somehow make the rest of the lame jokes okay somehow. Of course, To Wong Foo very pleasantly surprised me with its storyline, and perhaps even treatment of the subject (of TransGenderism) in general.

I am too close to trans-related movies to see them in the light the rest of the world does, though... I don't think I saw Tootsie in the same way as anyone else I saw the movie with; probably not in the same way that anyone I have talked to about it did. Same for a host of other movies, like (in no particular order): Boys Don't Cry, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Just Like a Woman, Ma Vie en Rose, Victor/Victoria, Some Like It Hot, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Rocky Horror Picture Show [I saw the play on Broadway too :)], The Crying Game and so on. [A list of T-movies is/was here] They affect me in a way that non-Trans people can't quite understand, I think... like I can't quite understand how non-Trans people see them (or me). Being TransGendered (TG) is part of who I am... has been for almost as long as I can remember, and will be (at least in an emotional if not physical way) for the rest of my life. It is like a part of my DNA; intertwined in its double-helix around my psyche now; part of what makes me who I am. I could not unwind that from me if I wanted to... and I don't want to.

Being TG has been an interesting road in my life... and caused many interesting times. Some good, some really bad. There's a book brewing in there somewhere; perhaps I will write the "Great American Novel" about it someday. Until then, a thought strikes me about the interesting road and times I've faced... There's a (Chinese?) curse that goes something like "May you live in interesting times." Well,... I (we, since you're probably included... [I tend to doubt this little journal survives much longer than I do; unless you count some web-crawling archive at the Library of Congress ;-)] :) live in interesting times. This is a time where we are at the dawn of the information age. Technology has changed lives more in the last 100 years (heck, last 30 years even) than in the previous millennia. So, too, are things changing for gender and sexual minorities; for minorities of many kinds. The Stonewall protest riots were started (or at least helped greatly) by the transgendered in the gay community: The DRAG Queens. That helped touch of a gay rights movement that grows all the time. I see "rainbows" that announce a gay driver on more and more cars. If the gay community can gain such momentum in a movement, perhaps TG folk can too.

Well. Here I've rambled my way from my little birthday celebration to pontificating (or at least wondering ;-) about the transgender rights movement... [and as a militant left-hander, it bothers me to say it's a "rights" movement at all ;-)] I guess that's not so unusual, when you give me a moment to share my thoughts with you... whomever you may be. [All 2-3 of you per day, lately... of the 90-300 who stop by. Only about 6% care to know more about me, yet nearly 95% go see my pictures. Sigh... Okay, it's now almost 1 am and my birthday is over; I guess I can sleep now. :-}]

January 15, 2002: Hibernation

A friend of mine (Hi Tam!) jokes that Kimberley goes (I go) into "hibernation" during the winter. I sort of do... it's that cold, dark, gray, often damp time of year (here in Oregon at least ;-) and hibernation seems appropriate. Anyway, the cold of winter seems like a good time to grow my beard. Yes, beard. Seems weird for a woman to say that, huh? The bearded lady. Well, the male side of me likes the beard, so it does come to stay now and then... I'm more the bearded man than the bearded lady when this happens...

Yes, I am a man. I may be a transgendered woman (cross-dresser to be more precise or at least commonly understood), and yet that also means I can be a man. That's not the case for everyone, I think; either they'd define "transgendered" to mean full-time woman, or they'd define the woman in them to be separate somehow from the man. Going back to the symbolism of yin and yang (Yin-Yang), man and woman are simply parts of the whole being. We all have masculine and feminine, man and woman, in us. I am comfortable running up and down the gender spectrum... (see My Thoughts on Gender for more about this).

So that leads me to why you haven't seen a lot on this website in the last few months, and aren't likely to until after Esprit this year. That is unless I find some of those zillions of pictures that need scanning and posting... ;-) [Well, that, or I actually update my diary now and then also... :)]

More Diary Left...

Please see my Diary for 2001 for more diary entries.

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