Why?/Why Not?

Why do I do the things I do? Because I can. That’s why. Because, unless I harm you or a loved one in some way, it’s none of your fucking business. Why concern yourself with little ole me, when there are so many real problems out there for you to worry about?

Every day, more people than I think should, insist on calling me “sir”, or “him”, or “he”. I ask you, does this look like a “he” to you?

Or, maybe this?

I know, this one?

This is what I wore to work, today.

No makeup, but do I really look that much like a man?

I know I’m probably making a bigger deal out of this than I should, but how hard is it to show a little fucking respect?

Yesterday, some young asshole walked by me, looked me up and down, and, when he thought he was out of hearing, called me “a purple haired fucking fairy.” I thought he was going to shit himself when I asked him if he had a problem and if he wanted to step out side. I don’t mind telling you, I really was hoping he would step outside with me so I could kick his ass. I’ve never wanted to kick someone’s ass so bad in my life.

Today, the backwoods, inbred, bubba who had threatened my life on more than one occasion came in. I usually avoid the fucker by going back to receiving while he’s in my department. Today I stared him down with gunslinger eyes, daring him to say something. I wanted a fight. Bad! The fucking pussy lowered his head and turned away.

What’s a girl gotta do to get a chance to kick somebody’s fucking ass these days? ( I should probably mention it’s my time of month)

Maybe I should invest in a new one of these. Help me release some frustration.

I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on my purple hair. Mostly from my female friends and coworkers. A few have asked me why. The answer is simple or difficult. Depending on your own point of view. Here it is.

The first 45 years were for everyone else. The next six were like walking on eggshells. The next 45 years, if I have it in me is for ME! No one else but me. I’m done worrying about what everyone else thinks I should or should not do. I’m too old to dye my hair purple!? Not to me. I’ve got 51 years of trying to make everyone else happy to make up for. I’ve got 51 years of pretending to be someone I’m not to make up for.

51 fucking years!!!!!

Think of it as a fuck you to all the haters in the world.

“I make a face, uplift a defiant middle finger, I and give an obscene little kick.” Grendel

So, if I want my hair purple, it’s gonna be purple. If I want it pink, it will be pink. If you don’t like it, that’s your problem, not mine. Feel free to remove yourself from my life. The loss will be yours, cuz I’m fucking awesome.

Peace, my friends.

Catie

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Who Am/Was I?

Everyone loves to look at old pictures. Right? Who doesn’t like a nice trip down memory lane. Old pictures of our younger selves wondering what we were thinking with that hair and that outfit.

I think you’ll find this isn’t actually the case when you ask an older transgender person who came out later in life. Sometimes, those old pictures can bring back a great deal of dysphoria and leave a transgender person feeling pretty bad about themselves and life in general. It’s a reminder of the mask they used to have to wear and the person they used to have to pretend to be so they didn’t get beat up, verbally and mentally abused, or disowned by their families. Sometimes those old pictures are nothing but pure and simple sorrow.

When I see old pictures of myself, I have a bittersweet sort of feeling. Those memories will always be fond ones, especially those with friends and family when we could get together and laugh and joke and have a good time. But, I wish I could’ve been me in those pictures.

Of course it was me in all those pictures. I mean, how can I be anybody but me. What I mean is, I wish I could’ve legitimately been there presenting as the person I truly knew I was inside and not in some costume representing myself to be something everybody expected me to be but I truly wasn’t.

In most older pictures where I knew my picture was being taken, I’m usually making some stupid face or giving someone bunny ears or I am so absolutely fucked up on something I was oblivious to my surroundings. It’s how I coped with my life. Get fucked up so life didn’t mater.

In the picture I used for this blog, I was 17, and, with the exception of the prominent Adam’s Apple, I think I could have passed for a girl. 

A friend of mine asked a question of me recently; “How you want to be referred to in those old pictures?”

I’ve always been Catherine in a sort of way. When I was in third or fourth grade, I loved the name Danielle and would have chosen that name if I transitioned then. When I was picking a name, I thought people would call my Danni (Danny) and that just seemed to masculine. Later, in high school and college, I loved the name Elizabeth/Beth. (Guess what my second wife’s name is?) My first foray into the feminine life, I kept my dead name but changed the spelling.

When it actually came time to present to the world as my authentic self, a choice had to be made. I narrowed it down to Victoria, Rebecca, Aikaterina (which is the Ancient Greek form of Catherine) and Catherine. I chose Catherine. If I wasn’t married at the time, so my wife would have had to change her name, it would have been Catherine Marie O’Brien, but I decided it would be the right thing to keep my last name. After all, I did give it to my three children.

So, what do I want to be referred to by? I prefer to be called by one of the following three proper pronouns; Catherine, Catie or Cat. I hate Cathy but will answer to Cate if you must. I am a woman so use she/her pronouns in reference to me. I don’t mind being referred to as transgender, but that is not the case with most transgender people because it’s not your place to “out” us. It’s ours and ours alone. I, however, live my life in the open, so it’s fine with me even though it should be a non-issue. I also identify as lesbian, if we’re being totally honest, here, though that tends to piss most lesbians off, because they don’t view us as women.

So, if you post an older picture with me in it, please tag me as Catherine, not @&$%, even if it’s of me pre-transition.

Who am I? I am me. That’s who. I’m the same person I’ve always been and I always will be that person. The packaging and presentation may be different, but inside I’m as female as I’ve always been. Even if I had to pretend to be something different.

Peace, love and light, my friends.

Catie

This topic was suggested by a friend. Thanks. (I don’t mention anyone’s name in my blog without their permission.)

PTSD: Is it possible for me to have this?

I’ve been in a really melancholy mood the last few weeks and I’ve had an overwhelming sense of guilt that I can’t seem to shake. It’s really starting to freak me the fuck out. It’s hard for me to handle some of the feelings I’m having because I’ve always felt you should leave the past behind you, learn from your mistakes and live for today.

“Eat, drink and be merry, for, tomorrow we may die.”

I have become extremely irritable and impatient with people. I’ve always thought most people were idiots, but it’s much worse and I find it hard not to just tell them to shut the fuck up. I find myself walking away from some people so I don’t become hostile. I would never willingly harm another human being, but my anger is harder to control and I find myself cussing them out in my mind.

I can’t watch or read the news because it makes me feel anxious and nervous. (I’m grinding my teeth as I write this.) As a matter of fact, I have pretty much stopped watching TV altogether. I used to look forward to it every night, and now, I dread the thought of even turning it on. I can’t remember the last time I really enjoyed it.

This may sound strange to some folks, but I feel totally alone in a room full of people. I was never really a social person, but I was starting to get out and want to socialize more, but that has all stopped being fun for me.

I get these really strange and terrible thoughts in my head that I have no clue where they come from, nor do I want them there. And, the nightmares. Don’t get me started on the nightmares. I’m a lucid dreamer, so I should be able to control my dreams, but for some reason, I can’t stop them. Dreams of all the fucked up things that happened to me when I was younger that I could have sworn I’d buried deep in the back of my mind. I either can’t get to sleep at night, or want to sleep all day. The only place I seem to want to be these days is In My Room. (I tip my cap to Brian Wilson)

There are even days when I can feel neither happy nor sad. I refer to this as null and void.

I was talking to someone about the hurricane that went through Florida and I told them as strange as it might seem, I felt guilty I wasn’t there. This very intense, overwhelming, paralyzing sense that I let people down. They said it was like I was suffering from PTSD.

It can’t be. PTSD is what soldiers suffer from coming back from war. Right? How could I be suffering from this? I’ve never even served in the military (I couldn’t), let alone been in combat. There is no way I’m going to mock all those brave soldiers who fought for my right to exist.

Not. Going. To. Happen.

So what is it that has been fucking with me, lately? Who knows. I’m a messed up individual, who had a few traumatic things happen to her. Life isn’t always happy. Shit happens. Some things I choose not to mention publicly, but, I mean, I’m not the only person in the world who was forced the grow up pretending to be a man when she was a woman, who saw her first dead body at six, was raped at twelve, lost herself in drugs, was technically dead twice by the time she was 21, was betrayed by loved ones, suffered emotional instability most of her adult live, survived a Cat 5 hurricane (or 2 or 3) or wakes up in the middle of the night with visions of the dead body she found floating in the canal.

So, I guess I’ll just keep getting up every morning and strive to survive this crazy roller coaster we think of as life. It’s all I can do until it’s over and the next leg of my journey brings me to a better plane of existence where pain can’t survive.

Welcome to insanity. Pull up a chair and stay awhile. The shows about to start and if you can make to the end, you just might win a prize. If you can’t, give up your seat to someone else and let’s see if they can ride the broncing buck while it surfs the triple overhead wave that crashes on a reef. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s for those with steely ice water in their veins.

Et det tibi pacem.

Actions and Reactions

Over the last couple of months, I’ve come to realize that there are four types of people that I interact with on a daily basis. Some, you hope keep walking. Some, you wish you could spend more time with. I came to accept this Bit of knowledge while dealing with the public at my first ever retail job. ( Boy, do I have a new found respect for people who work in stores.) Most people you have to deal with are just every day people who come in to the store. You help them and they go away. Some you see again. Some you don’t. (We’re the only game in town.) Then, there are the other people.

People type number one: These are the people who refuse to acknowledge you. They walk by doing their best not to make eye contact. If they do, they look away real quick. They won’t respond if you say something to them and act like you’re not there. When one of them does look at you, or lowers themselves to talk to you, it is with hate and disdain and malice in their glare and or tone. These are the people to whom you would like to give a high five to…..in the face…..with a shovel. To be polite, I call these people fucking assholes.

People type number two: These are the people who will say high to you in passing, but keep moving and do their best to get out of any conversation as quickly as they can. They are willing to converse with you as long as there is a benefit to them. They really don’t feel they should have to associate with or talk to someone like you, but they do because they have to, or because they need something. Some of them may actually try to be polite, but they fail miserably because they just don’t know how to be polite with someone such as yourself, because they believe you are beneath them. I call these people deceptive, arrogant, prejudicial hypocrites.

People type number three: These are the people who you can have a conversation with. You can joke around and laugh with them even though you know you’ll never be friends. These are every day people who just treat everyone else the way they want to be treated. I believe most of the population, at least the population that I deal with, is made up of people from this group. You can deal easily with these people, and you hope everyone you come in contact with will be like this. I call these people, people.

People type number four: These people smile when they see you because they are genuinely happy to see you. There is no deception in their demeanor and you are just as happy to see them as they are to see you. You look forward to time with them because you feel good when you’re around them and feel a little empty when you’re apart. Though you can can hear the mirth in their voice, you feel equally comfortable in silence around them, because you are so at ease with their company. Who wouldn’t want to be around people like this? I call these people family and friends.

The next time you wander out and about in the world, ask yourself which type of person you want to be. I want to be a type four. How about you?

Love & Betrayal

Those that don’t understand loyalty can never understand the cost of betrayal”–unknown

The question I get asked a lot, is, “What are you most afraid of?”

That’s a loaded question. Isn’t it? I really have no legitimate “fear” per se. I don’t like heights, but overlook that dislike for the awesome views and vistas gained by achieving height. 

There are others, but nothing really worth getting into, and I don’t want to bore you. So, then why am I writing this today? There is only one thing out there that I can honestly say scares the living shit out of me. Love. 

I’m not talking about that unconditional love I get from (and give to) my family and friends. That would be silly. I’m talking about when two people, who were, at one time, complete strangers, get to know each other in a way that transcends the normal, perceived barriers of friendship, and brings them to such a level of awareness toward each other, that they cease to be two beings and become one soul. 

I don’t know. Maybe I expect too much from the other side of the relationship. Maybe I take my declaration of love more seriously than most others do. You see, I don’t make promises that I don’t intend to keep. In fact, I make very few promises, because I can’t handle not keeping one. If I give you my word, I will do my absolute best to keep it. Period. I honestly believe that a person is only as good as their word.

Another thing is, I hate saying “I love you.” Well, hate is probably too strong a word, but, hopefully, you get my point. If I don’t show my partner every day that I love them through my actions, then I am failing on my side. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with saying it. But, I always felt that that was too easy and anyone can say those cherished words. It’s much harder to demonstrate your love than it is to profess it.

But, we are, however, getting a bit off topic, here. The question at hand is, why am I afraid of love? That’s easy. Betrayal.

I’ve given myself over completely, by solemn vow, before God, Goddess, the Universe, to two women in my life. Both times I got fucked up the ass with a fist full of razor blades.

The first time we were very young. She got pregnant. We talked about abortion. Say what you want about Planned Parenthood, they talked us out of it. I dropped out of college and went to work at menial job after menial job and kept feeling like I was better than them. I hated everything about my life except my wife and kids but knew I had to keep going to these menial jobs for them. So they could have what they needed. I wasn’t the best provider in the world by any stretch of the imagination, but I did the best I could under the circumstances. I bought a house so we didn’t have to live in some crappy apartment and there was always food on the table. At 21, I had a wife, two kids and a mortgage and a job I didn’t like. I suffered my mother complaining about her because I didn’t want her to drop out of school or miss out on anything just because we were married. I wanted her to have as normal a teenage life as possible even though she had kids.

In 1990, the job market disappeared and she was pregnant again. There were signs that she was cheating on me and I wasn’t sure this one was mine. (Note: I have absolutely no doubts at all he’s mine, now. He looks just like me at his age. But, understand I had huge doubts at the time.) After talking with her “Daddy”, she convinced me to sell the house and move to Florida.

We weren’t there five months when I came home early from work to find a stoned teenager watching my kids and her in bed with the next door neighbor. I was destroyed, and I lived in a state of null and void for years after this.

After 12 years of fucking around and feeling sorry for myself I met a woman on the internet.

I flew her down for thanksgiving after a couple months of chatting online. She was rough around the edges. Maybe more broke than me. I wasn’t going to see her again, but she was a persistent little thing and she grew on me. I moved her down to the Keys and we started a very rocky and bumpy relationship for the first four or five years. Then things got better. A lot better. Eventually we bought a condo together and moved in to a place I really didn’t want to be. But, once again, I made sacrifices for the one I loved. (Another side note here: I wrote an entire blog about finally leaving this place and Habitat for Humanity) We did get married and then it all went downhill from there.

After spending many extended trips away rom me to be with her kids, she convinced me to give up my very lucrative job and a life I made for myself and move to Missouri. I figured she really needed to be close to her kids, so once again I made sacrifices for someone I loved and made the move.

No sooner did she arrive that she started to act a LOT different. It was like she was trying to push me away. I was miserable and I cried myself to sleep at night. But, I made a vow and I wasn’t going to leave. I asked for signs and they all told me I had to stay.

Then, finally, she informed me she wanted a divorce. All the signs changed and told me I could leave.

Finally some relief. I literally felt as though the world was lifted from my shoulders.

I’m not saying I have no blame at all in any of this, but you asked. I tried to answer.

So, you may be able to see why it might be a bit reluctant to get into another relationship. I meet somebody, fall in love, move halfway across the country, and get dumped. I don’t know if I can go through all that again and remain a sane woman. I guess only time will tell. 

Now, my problem is this; I’m stuck approximately 1200 miles away from my closest family or friend with no way to get to fuck out of Dodge. But, I’m like a cat. I always land on my feet.

Love, light and harmony, my friends. Peace.

Catie/Cat {CatieCat}

I Like My Job; It Sucks

                                                          

I recently started a new job at a national home improvement store. I’ve never worked in retail before and this was all very new to me. It’s definitely a lot different starting out all over again when you were essentially your own boss for the last 18 years. I’ve been working there about 5 weeks, now, and it is still very difficult to not be the boss. I would change a lot of things and there is a least one person I would fire. (But that’s a different story) This story is about Catie going to work, not %$&@.

You see, even though my name legally changed while at my old job, and most people were accepting and supportive, there were more than a few who just never stopped calling me %$&@. I tried to be patient. I tried to act like it didn’t bother me. But, it just wasn’t working. I mean, why would I go through the expense (paid for by my big sister) and hassle of a legal name change, if I was still going to go by my dead name? 

One of the reasons I agreed to move to Missouri is to start over in a place where no one knows me as %$&@. I was here for about three weeks when I walked by someone and they said, “Hi, %$&@.” Really? I couldn’t believe it. But, it happened. It was someone I didn’t even think knew my dead name. Thankfully, that’s the only time that happened. I corrected this person, for the record. 

So, now Catie gets to go to work. The application, interview, and W2 all done as Catherine. Nobody there knows me as anyone other than Catie (some call me Cat). After a internal email introducing my self and explaining my situation so some who were unsure knew how to address me, I have met absolutely no negative situations at all and several of the guys have gone out of their way to come introduce themselves and let me know they had my back if needed. How awesome is that? All the girls just treat me as one of the girls. (Insert cheesy, happy face emoji here.) I should be happy. Right?

Then why don’t I feel it?

I get sir’d more then I can count on all my fingers and toes. When I first started, there were a couple of times I could literally see the hate and disdain on the faces of people I was trying to help. So, I decided, for the sake of making the customers more comfortable, I would change my name tag to Cat, instead of Catherine. This helped with that, however it resulted in me getting sir’d more. Because I work in the plumbing department, and most of the people I deal with are men, I find myself acting more masculine by the end of the day, which makes me feel even more like shit. I do get my fair share of ma’am and miss and even a few “huns” and “darlin’s”. I even got a “sugar “. But at the end of the day, I just want to go back to where I currently reside and wash it all off and be as feminine as I possibly can. 

I recently had a conversation with a fellow employee about dealing with all the bullshit. He has to deal with racism. He’s an awesome person who wouldn’t harm anyone. We talked about having to have thick skin and keep a smile on our faces while helping these racist, transphobic, ignorant, arrogant, belligerent, narcissistic, rude, hateful, bible thumping, bad mannered, abusive, illiterate, graceless, discourteous, barbaric, impudent, insolent, antagonistic, contentious, hostile, egotistical, piss poor excuses of what they call a human being, and acting like all is right with the world, when what we really want to do is tell them to shut the fuck up and learn to respect people instead of sticking their heads up their asses and living in the Stone Age. 

There are other members of the LGBTQIA community working at our store, but they don’t seem to get harassed as much as me and the “non-white” folks in the store. I’m not even going to pretend I know what it must be like for transgender men/women/non-binary folks of color. (I’m sure there are places you can read all about that from people who experience it first hand.)

Honestly, though, for every jerk(fucking asshole) I have to deal with, there are several people who just act like everything’s normal (which is how it should be), and two or three that I get the “darlin’s” from. 

Just another day in the life of your average, every day, transgender woman.

Peace, Catie

Words of Wisdom: or Some Crazy Advice from a Messed Up Mind

                                                                                                                  

“From me to you… You got to be crazy. You know what I’m talkin’ about? Full goose bozo. Because, what is reality?”— Robin Williams 

I like to think I took his advice all those years ago in 1978. I’ve always considered myself, at least a little, crazy. I remember the quote as being, “Full on loose goose bozo.” But, I looked it up, and the quote at the top is what it was. I was destroyed by his death. I piece of me died with him. Why am I reminiscing ? Because, I remember when I came out. I thought to myself, “I must be crazy. Full on loose goose bozo.” Then I pushed the post button that published the letter that would change my life forever. 

That was January 1, 2015. I still go back, from time to time, and read all the beautiful comments I received on that post. It always moves me to tears. The overwhelming love and support I received that day will always be with me for as long as I live and beyond. But, before that, I sat for what seemed like hours with my hand on the mouse with the cursor hovering over the post button with a swarm of angry bees in my stomach, knowing that once it was out there, I could never take it back. After I clicked that button, the swarm of angry bees turned to complete and utter dread and horror. I almost deleted it immediately. I thought I was going to be sick. I clicked out of Facebook and turned off the computer and did whatever I could to distract myself from what I had just done. I mean, I had heard all the horror stories about being disowned by family and abandoned by friends and being left completely alone. When I got up the courage a few hours later to go back and look, I could not believe my eyes. 

I have absolutely no regrets. I did what I had to do. I was selfish for once in my life and did what was best for me. Consequences be damned. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Why am I writing about this? Because I feel I need to put this out there before I write what I have to say next. I know it’s hard. I know that it will be one of the most, if not the most, difficult decisions you will ever make. I’m going to say something I’ve been saying since high school (before the Nike commercial) 

Just do it!!!!

That’s right. Take a deep breath. Relax. And, just do it. It’s that easy (not easy at all).

I’ve been getting acquainted with someone I went to high school with who I had a huge crush on. I didn’t think this person knew I even existed. I mean, there was no fucking way this person would even consent to speak with me, let alone go out with me. Right? What an idiot I was. I should have asked her out. She assures me she would have said yes. She tells me she thought I was cute. 

Me? Cute? Awe, shucks. 

But, even if she said no, I still should have asked. Why? Because we’ll never know what could happen if we don’t take the chance. 

I humbly offer the following advice:

If you’re a transgender woman, get up, do your hair, put on some makeup, put on your favorite dress, and go outside. Go somewhere and interact with people. The more you get out, the more confident you will get, and the easier it will become until you’re living your authentic life and wishing you had done this sooner.

If you’re a transgender man, wipe off that makeup, throw on some worn out jeans and a t-shirt, go to the barber and get that haircut you know you want. Go out and be you. 

You want a tattoo? Go get one.

You want a piercing? Get it.

You want to ask someone out? Do it with a smile on your face. 

You’re gay? So what.

You’re a Witch? Embrace it. 

Please, for the love of God and Goddess, don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something. Most especially, yourself.

Look, I know there are some of you who can’t. I get it. I really do. I promise. But, at some point, you’re going to have to take that first step. It will be the hardest one. The next few steps will still be difficult but easier and they will continue to get easier until you’re walking steadily down the right path. The next thing you know, you’ll be jogging and then running head on into the greatest journey a human can ever have. Discovering who you really are and becoming happier than you ever felt you had a right to. 

Life is beautiful. Be beautiful with it. 

Peace, love and light

Catie 

Unacceptable Acceptance 

                                                            
For the most part, everyone that is in my life has done there utmost to be totally excepting. They except that I was trapped in the wrong body and I finally had enough “balls” to live an authentic life and be the person I truly am. They apologize when they call me {dead name} or refer to me as he/him and move on. Sure, I still get introduced as their brother or son, or with the qualification “she used to be {dead name}”, but they don’t mean it. They’re not completely clueless to how it makes me feel. They know it kills me just a little bit inside every time it happens. I mean, as long as I’m trying to look and act like a real woman and act in a way that helps them see me as a woman, then there’s no harm. I know I woke up one morning and just randomly decided to choose to change my life and live it in a way that would make people hate me and mock me and ridicule me and call me a freak and other names and risk being raped or beaten or murdered because I don’t fit into their little box of acceptability or (their) god forbid I use the ladies room when I need to pee. I mean, I chose this and they didn’t. I can’t expect them to accept my decision without even considering their feelings.

Okay. I can no longer continue typing this in this fashion and not continue to grow more angry with every letter I tap. Even knowing it was extreme sarcasm. 

My dysphoria is real. Stop making this about you. It has nothing to do with you. Get over it.

One of the most difficult things I have to deal with every day, isn’t the lack of understanding or hate of total strangers, it’s the lack of understanding of the people who claim to love and accept me. Every time you use my dead name or the wrong pronouns, it hurts. A lot. I just can’t pretend to not be hurt by these things anymore. If I don’t speak up and correct you, it will just continue. And, that is just completely unacceptable. 

Don’t tell me you accept me if you don’t. You’re not doing me any favors. Just get out of my life. You don’t really want to be in it, anyway. I’m not a freak show here for your viewing pleasure. I’m not a trained animal performing some tricks for a treat(which is also unacceptable). Don’t pretend you still love me when what you really want is to get as far away from me as possible. Or, was it your intention to fuck with my life because in your narrow sighted view with blinders on, you felt like I ruined yours? 

No favors were done, here. By pretending, all you accomplished was making my life more difficult. Physically, I am utterly and literally alone. For the first time in my life, I have no one to lean on or to talk to close by because your life was more important than mine. Walls were torn down and defense mechanisms deactivated because you deceived me only to need to be reconstructed after the damage was done. 

Sure, I’ve got all those pleasant support groups to hang out in so I can get even more depressed and dysphoric. I’ve got people who tell me I can call them any time who haven’t got a clue how to help or the right thing to say. (Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the offer, but let’s face it, it can’t help.) I’ve always got my family who are scattered all over the place. I have transgender friends online, but I don’t really know them and would feel weird reaching out to them even though many have told me they were there for me if I needed a compassionate ear. Not the same as having someone sitting across the table from you having lunch or giving you a hug when you need one. Is it? 

I’ve always been a solitary person. For obvious reasons. But, sometimes you just need human contact. It would be nice if I had some. 

I cry real tears. I feel real pain. I live a real life. I need real support. I need real people.

Catie

The Journey So Far: Does Transition Ever End?

I think it’s kind of funny how this blog started out about my transition into the woman I truly am, and it evolved into a sort of spiritual awakening. From one kind of transition to another. I have to laugh about that. What’s not funny, however, is the fact that people seemed to want to read about my gender transition, but nobody seems to give a shit about my spiritual journey. Maybe that’s because Spiritual transition doesn’t feature the sort of “freak of nature”  that gender dysphoria does. Everyone wants to know what makes a freak a freak, but nobody cares about the Devine. 

When does transition end? Does it ever really end, or is there an endgame? Sometimes it’s hard to get a handle on it. 

In the beginning, there was a lot of support given to me by friends and family. Perhaps the newness of it all has worn off and people aren’t intrigued any more. I know that, for me, being transgender is a non-event, now. I live my life. I don’t even think about it for the most part. It’s hard to write about something when you don’t see it as needing to be talked about. 

But it does need to be talked about. Doesn’t it? It needs to be talked about because there are so many transgender people out there who are afraid. They are afraid to tell their parents. They are afraid to tell their brothers and sisters. They are afraid to tell their husbands or their wives. They are afraid to tell their friends. They are afraid to walk outside as their authentic selves for fear of being beaten, or raped, or murdered by some asshole who thinks he has the right to impose their will or religious beliefs on them. They are afraid because when they look in the mirror, they don’t see what they think society expects them to look like so they “pass” as their true gender. They are afraid to go out in public because, maybe, they might need to relieve themselves and using a public restroom is out of the question because they could get arrested, or beaten, or raped, or killed. 

If you are not transgender, no matter how sympathetic you may be, you have no idea what it’s like. Not one fucking clue. So, don’t pretend you do. Don’t get me wrong, we appreciate and need  your support. Without it, there is no way we can achieve the equality that is our right. But, when you tell us you know how we feel, you insult us. Because there is absolutely no way you can possibly have the slightest hint of a clue as to how we feel. 

I have become so comfortable with who I am that I have gone out a few time without shaving, and I am quickly reminded of the fact that people can’t handle anything that is not in their comfort zone. My life is so normal otherwise I forget I need in the morning. You see, I can’t afford electrolysis or laser hair removal, so I still have to shave every morning. It was always a reminder to me that I wasn’t born the way I should have been. I was different than all the “beautiful people” of the world. When I go out without shaving, all the polite people of society call me “sir”. Not being a sir, this really gets to me. It reminds me that I’m not one of the lucky ones who can identify as the gender they were assigned at birth. I still have to work at it to be taken seriously. 

To all you people out there who never (or think they never) met a transgender person, remember this for me: We are all equal in the eyes of the Universe. We are all children of God and Goddess. We all just want to live our lives to the fullest without fear or anxiety. Live and let live, my friends. 

Peace, Love and Harmony.

Catherine 

Witchcraft. It isn’t just for breakfast any more.

I have always had an extreme dislike for any form of organized religion. The second any thought starts to get organized by a group, it becomes corrupt, and disillusionment takes over. This leads to prejudice and persecution.

What bothers me further, is when people try to bring their beliefs into politics. There is no place for faith or religion in the day to day organization of life among the general population. What group A believes to be socially acceptable, group B may find morally reprehensible. That doesn’t give group B the right to tell group A they can’t do it. Why is it, that whenever you make a statement regarding your personal beliefs, people feel the need to bring the Bible into it? “Facts are facts,” they say. Now, I don’t doubt the existence or life of Jesus of Nazareth. What I do doubt is the authenticity of those who claim to be his follower. If a high school gymnasium represented all the knowledge and facts that existed about Christ, the Bible would only be about the size of a marble, yet that is what “christians” focus on. Very few acknowledge the existence of any other “facts” about their demigod.

If you want to go to “church” every Sunday because that’s what you think your god wants you to do, while defiling their teachings the rest of the time, then peace be with you, my friend. But, don’t tell me that I have to be like you. I DON’T!!!!!!  I don’t have to do anything but live my life being the best me I can be, for anyone but myself, down any path other than the one I choose for myself.

I was born into a “christian” family and raised in my early life as Roman Catholic. My father is so Catholic that when my parents got divorced, it was in the divorce decree that I be raised Catholic. It really shook his world when I left “The Church” in tenth grade and started attending the Episcopal church my mother went to. I know what you’re thinking; not a very big change, essentially all you did is give up the guilt and obligation.

I knew two very fundamental things from the time I could form my own thoughts:

1) There was more to the Universe than what the “Church” was teaching.

2) I was NOT the boy everyone kept calling me and treating me like.

In the summer before my last year in high school, I addressed the first issue by attending every church, synagogue, mosque, temple and commune (etc.) I could find. I drove as far as Maine and Upstate New York from my hometown of Athol, Massachusetts. It took me most of the summer to come to the realization that no organized form of religion would ever satisfy ME. I started spending more time in the woods. There are plenty of places to get lost in the woods in New England.

I was always a solitary person for the most part, and found solace in the woods, and with a few friends I had from time to time, and with my band mates who I was spending more and more time with over the last few years as I tried to lose myself in music. My time making music is some of the very few peaceful memories I have from my youth. I’m glad I have them. But, I was already very disturbed by the other issue I mentioned earlier, the fact that no matter how others saw me, no matter what the world treated me as, I was not a boy. Never was. 

So, there I was, a person who desperately needed to discover two separate things about myself that were beyond my ability to discover in the area I grew up in and with the resources at my disposal. I was pretty much fucked. How was I, at the age of 17, in a fairly rural town in 1980’s Massachusetts, supposed to learn about Witchcraft and Transgender issues with no reference point or guidance?

I pushed everything as deep into the recesses of my soul as I possibly could and tried to live what was considered, in my little corner of the Universe, a “normal christian life”. I married, started a family a walked the same path as many others. I was young. I was stupid. I was naive.

I actually started to care if I lived or died when my daughter was born. How can you look into the eyes of your child and not sense a greater need? This little person depended on me for her survival. The subsequent birth of my sons only solidified the need to survive and care for them. (I wasn’t always there for them.)

Things started to change shortly after I moved my family to South Florida. Events happened that ripped my heart and soul from my being and I slipped into a deep dark pit of despair. For a little over three years I was less than stable. I stayed away from my kids because I was determined not to let them see me like that. I didn’t want to hurt them. I probably came pretty close to losing them forever. I won’t assign blame. There’s enough to go around.

After this, I partied, I was promiscuous, I got all the craziness out of my system. Then,eventually got back in the right place with my kids and met someone new. Well, she wanted to get married and I felt there were “things” she needed to know about me before vows were exchanged.

Here I was in my mid 30’s when we met, still very much confused about who I was. I didn’t know the terminology and had never even heard the term transgender before. I was still no closer at 45. I told my wife-to-be everything I could about myself. Then my kids. Then others in my family. Things snowballed and the next thing I know, I’m an out and proud transgender woman. Support from family and friends was unbelievably strong and I was a happy girl. Finally!!!!

Then it all started. I was a freak. I was possessed. Don’t use this restroom. All these good, kind-hearted, wholesome, God fearing “Christians” were telling me I was going to Hell because I wasn’t like them. Well, Hell is a Christian concept. All mythology has an afterlife were all people go when they die, but Hell……   Until Dante, Hell was described as the absence of God. A place where a fallen angel presides. It was a work of fiction that gave us a ‘Satan” with a goats head and cloved hooves for feet who was red with a pointed tail and carried a pitchfork and presided over a lake of fire where the souls of the damned were doomed to burn for all eternity. Now, that’s what every Christian believes.

How could I subscribe to a religion that believed stories as fact and disregards fact for fiction? I can’t. As I stated earlier in this missive, I always knew there was more to the Universe than what the church taught. It was time to dig deeper and learn what I could. Religion is NOT for me. It never really was. Witchcraft is my path. It always has been, I just didn’t call it what it was. I do, now.

I AM A SOLITARY ECLECTIC WITCH! I walk the old path and try my best to learn all the old ways from the days before the corruption of what the world calls Christianity.

Let that soak in for a moment. Really, REALLY soak in. I’m not sorry if this bothers you or it makes you uncomfortable. People like you have been persecuting people like me for millennia. Get the fuck over yourselves. We are still here and there is not one damn thing you can do about it.

People try to wrap the world up in black or white. There is no black and white in the world. Only different shades of gray.

Peace, Love, Harmony and Blessings to you ALL.

Catherine Marie Boudreau

AKA Catie; aka Cat

*****Disclaimer: I grew up believing in God and Jesus Christ. I prayed every day and had those prayers answered far too often for me not to believe. I just believe differently than you. All prayer is, is casting a spell. Power comes from within as well as throughout the Universe. All gods are one God. All goddesses one Goddess. Together they are the Devine.