|I had better quality photos of me, but this captures my silly spirit so this will do.|
Compared to the years involving my transition from male to female, drama-free was exactly what I needed. Looking back at those days, there are moments I can barely recall just because of the level of stress that I remember enduring. I've heard the term "pink cloud" many times before, but I don't think or remember a life so g
lamorous. From the early days of covering up my five o'clock shadow with thick MAC foundation and concealer, to the other side of the tunnel where I finally settled into family life and was finally able to be my true self at work, almost any given day was no walk in the park.
So where am I today? Well, I am nearing the end of the second decade of my career in law enforcement. That was something I never talked about when I blogged daily years ago. The fear of being outed, or even worse, fired, was always looming. I had friends who were terminated or were forced out because of the incessant emotional beat downs in similar agencies as mine. At the time I changed my name, the federal discrimination case taken on by Diane Schroer had just ended with the resulting decision that discrimination based on gender identity is sex-based discrimination in accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Going from being a part of a 96 percent male workforce to being in the four percent minority of females was a great challenge. Something I've been told will be a great read if I ever write a book about my crazy life. The stories I could tell. Ha.
But overall, I found myself quite comfortable in my own skin at work because of the incredible amount of support I had from colleagues and friends. I worked hard to be someone who cared about those I worked with, and I often felt like I was the unofficial psychologist or pastor-on-duty. When the time came for me to unravel Lori to my employer, a lot of great things fell in to place. Not that I didn't have the gossipers talking behind my back at the watercooler, far from it. I was the talk of the town, well, for at least a few weeks. But if you've ever worked in a large agency or corporation, you know how new news quickly becomes old news as new gossip about someone else makes it ways to the headlines at the watercooler.
So what am I up to today? I considered blogging again, like I considered it by the looks at my last post. I almost forgot just how good it feels to get things off my chest, to write first and foremost for an audience of one... me. But I also miss the connections that I had with the blogging community, and the many trans friends I gained during that time. There are but a handful of people from that time that I still communicate with on a regular basis, and I'm sure it's just because we're all busy. We get so distracted by our daily business that it's easy to forget to stop and increase your value between each other.
One thing people couldn't say about me was that I never committed to anything. Transition was hell, and I was never sure I'd make it out alive. My latest greatest commitment continues to be spending time with my children as they get closer to graduating. I can't believe how wonderful my children have become. I think about them more than I think about anything else. And knowing my children know my authentic self without any more lies to cover that up is a major relief. I never knew I had the capacity to love them as much as I do today. Transition cleared out the haze and gave me this ability, despite the pain that we all went through in navigating such a challenge together as a family.
There's another passion that's been reignited in me, and that's my love for taking photos. In the last year, I've started a legitimate photography business focusing on capturing portraits of families, high school seniors, weddings, and other events. And I've also discovered the beauty of the night sky as astrophotography is incredibly rewarding when I see the resulting images from my efforts.
|One of my favorite captures. Taken with a Canon 5DMarkIII and Sigma 50mm f/1.4ART lens.|
|This little desert tree reaching for the Milky Way Galaxy|
If you're an old friend or are just finding me here for the first time, do say hi, would you? I'd appreciate reconnecting with old friends, and I'm always open to connecting with new people.
And if you're silently suffering inside and you can't find a way to get through this, reach out to someone. To friends you trust, to family who you know cares for you, or send me a message. I'll do my best to point the way in the right direction if I can. And for the many Christians who simply wrote me off and dismissed me as a "backslider" or that I was "never really a Christian," my faith in
God has changed, you're right. But I find myself closer to his loving arms than I ever have before. It would take many more blogs to explain how I arrived safely in His arms, but I assure you my hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus' blood and righteousness.