Wednesday, January 8, 2020

I miss this.

New year.   New decade.  So much has changed since I transitioned.  And so much has stayed the same.   To be honest, there’s a whole hell of a lot from   those days I don’t remember.   I realize my mind treats many of those memories as hostile and I’ve blocked some of the most painful ones out.   But they’ve been replaced by ten years of mostly good ones.  Good friends.  Good family.  I survived what I thought was the impossible.  

Interested in hearing ten years of stories since I made it through that long , dark tunnel?

Monday, May 2, 2016

An Update

Hi, everyone.  I know, I know, I promised to start blogging again.  And that was a hell of a long time ago.  I just found myself far too busy, and far too tired at the end of the day, to do anything else but work, sleep, and tend to my family.  Sounds monotonous.  Sounds tedious.  Sounds boring.  Sounds drama free.
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
I think I have a lot more to share before my blogging is over.  I keep hearing how the platform is dead, and that's okay.  I'll probably start doing a few YouTube videos like I have in the past.  I know I've often shared more than I should have, but now I believe I have a need to share what's on my heart, and that someone out there might benefit from it.  

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.

Lori B.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Distant Ship Smoke on the Horizon

I used to rant about my feelings and frustrations on Facebook quite often.  But I eventually got the impression that no one wanted to hear me complain about pretty much anything anymore.  I think that, after years of fighting through the trials of transition so openly and publicly, people close to you just get tired of your story.

I rarely rant online anymore.  It's just not worth it.  

But I still need an avenue, and I remember how cathartic blogging would be to me.  Oh sure, it was nice having people relate to me by commenting.  And the new topics and conversations that started in the comments section were worth following as well.  But the most important thing about blogging for me was that I just felt better when I did it. 

I never considered myself to be an eloquent or prolific writer, and I'm okay with that.   But I remember the times where, after hours of soul-searching when I should have been sleeping, the confusion and chaos inside my brain was delicately laid out in some pretty damn good fashion.

There is so much that I want to say.  But I don't think I need an audience anymore to say it.  In fact, I never really needed an audience to write.  I miss it.  So I think I'll take a stab at it again.

You might not like what I have to say.  Don't read it.  That's fine.  

I'm not looking to find an audience.   I'm looking to help myself again.  If you want to come along for the ride, hop on.  

Maybe I'll be back again in a day,

or a year.

I got to meet my dear old friend Chloe Prince for lunch recently.  I'll talk more about that soon.  Here's a selfie from that day.  Ha, I said "selfie."

I freakin' invented selfies.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Uprising - Revisited

So many of my friends are going through incredibly painful and emotionally charged times right now. I too am going through the biggest changes in my own life.

There is a stirring within me, a stirring of a woman who beats her fists upon a wall, angered that so much tribulation and emotional distress has to be endured by so many.

There is an uprising within me. I will be stronger, more courageous, more certain, more committed to love conquering all.

The ideal can be achieved, but it starts with me. It starts anew.

Update: October 2012
That was the first blog I wrote when I started "A T Revival."  Wow, it seems like a lifetime ago.  So much has changed, yet my passion for life has only grown.  And I've grown older as well.  I can barely even remember being "him" except for my experiences and relationships with my closest family and friends.  But I no longer see that "Man in the Mirror," and the feelings of heartache and  pain I experienced during transition is a fading memory.

I still struggle, but not like I struggled before.
I still strive, this time for my family, and in doing what I can to provide for my children while giving them all of me they need and want in me as their Maddie.

I have a new song in my heart. A true song.  I'm finally singing from the voice that was so ever silent within me, and it's a fantastically melodious reverie.

Solace for the Soul

I made it back to Arizona safely. No cops, no sandstorms, and no video. I tried filming a quick vlog but was repulsed with the way I looked. With the relative humidity around 90 percent, my hair was a mess, plus for some reason I felt my camisole looked like a "wife beater" on me in the vid.

Yo, Vinnie, you wanna I shoulda take this putz out back and a ya know?

What the hell, it was ten minutes of jibberish anyway. I was spewing about some of the bullcrap I've seen lately online. I'll explain that here in a bit.

I've got two things on my mind I wanted to share briefly while my son is in the bathtub. First of all, I feel so elated to hear my son's voice resonate in this home again. For over a month now the only thing I heard was my own developing female voice (as I try my darndest to copy the voices of the CNN anchorwomen), and the sound of my three annoying cats uttering a deep meow as they call out for the kids whom they cherish as their adopted parents.

It was fun while it lasted, if even for a couple of days. Tomorrow I take him to the airport where he will fly back to California to spend the last two weeks of his summer vacation with his mother. So I'll be alone again for a couple of weeks, but I have a couple of cherished memories to hold onto for a while.

Last night my spirit crumbled briefly. I'd just spoken with my wife over the phone about her family and her father's lack of acceptance. I ended up saying things I shouldn't have, but I was deeply saddened that my wife had to be stuck being pulled in two different directions. My guilt was overwhelming me for a brief period, and my son came up to me and embraced me. I had to get on my knees so he could surround me with his small arms and hold me. He told me he didn't care what anyone thought about me, and he said, "You're fine just like you are, Dad. I will always love you." When we were done my tears and snot were all over his t-shirt.

It's amazing how such simply sweet words are like solace to the soul.

On a different front, I don't know how much you read about other transactivists who are on the frontlines of enacting change from both a sociopolitical level, and from a personal level. I have had the pleasure over time to get to know many of these people, and I consider them some of my best allies in my personal transition. I consider these people my friends and invaluable resources when I need them.

But I'm beginning to get a little pissed.

Now I know I've made my share of mistakes, and I've misspoken when I should have kept my mouth shut. But it seems like there is this growing pool of people who have nothing but negative criticism without ever suggesting ideas for positive change themselves. I'm not targeting anyone, and I'm not criticizing any single person. It's just an observation, and I'm not alone.

When I look at what I've seen and read recently, I tell myself that I hope this isn't the direction our community is heading in. I can see why people choose to move towards living in stealth and abandoning any need to reciprocate the support they received from others back to the community.

But I don't want to be like that. I see just how much of a difference one person can make to one other person who is struggling with the same issues.

I can also see what happens when one person feels abandoned by everyone including those he or she thought were their friends. Feeling left out, especially in the trans community, is something NO one should ever have to feel.

Too many people have been pulling for me. I hope others are pulling for you. If you've "made it through," I hope you're pulling for someone else out there.

That's community to me. That's unity in purpose, spirit, and love.

Meghan, Marti, Donna, God bless you. Your tenacity to endure so much BS sets one hell of an example to me.