Skip to main content

A Christmas Eve story and a photo—seven years later.

Story: Excerpt from Chapter 27
“The Day the Music Stopped”
Transparently: Behind the
Scenes of a Good Life. 


This was the 7th Anniversary of our shopping trip to Costco on Christmas Eve, which we now celebrate by going shopping at Costco on the 24th, followed by brunch! Photo: Selfie with Duncan at the Richmond, BC Costco, Dec. 24, 2014. Here’s the back story.


How and when I would begin transition—that was the $64,000 question. I still did not have the confidence to present as a female when I started to disclose to people. My friend Duncan convinced me one day to come visit them as Lisa. His argument was that I needed to start presenting, and what better place than in the safety of close friends. He wouldn’t take no for an answer, insisting this was something I had to do. 


There was a lot of truth to what he was saying and I concluded he was right about my feeling safe with them. I finally did this one Friday afternoon in early November, 2007. I wore a long-sleeved top with a crew neck, a black skirt, clip-on earrings, and a wig I had recently purchased for $45. I found some low-heeled mules my size at a shoe discount store to complete the outfit.

I will give Duncan and his wife the benefit of the doubt, but I think they were just being polite as they received me that afternoon. As we chatted and had tea, Duncan took some pictures, but I must admit the adrenaline was flowing fast and furious, so the experience was more nerve-racking than enjoyable. My second visit to Duncan would prove even more stressful.


It was the morning of Christmas Eve. Again, Duncan had convinced me to visit them as Lisa for Christmas, and we had a lovely visit. Everything was going well until he said he needed to go to Costco to purchase something. Since I was the card-bearer, the implication was I was to go with him. Costco is about half way between our homes, so the plan was for each of us to drive our own cars and meet in the parking lot. I thought he was crazy for suggesting such an idea, especially on the busiest shopping day of the year. They both assured me no one would know.

“You look fine, dear, better than most of the women who will be there. Just relax, keep your chin up and walk slowly. You’ll do fine.” Those were his wife’s comments as we went out the door.

I remember very little about that trip to Costco—I had tunnel vision from anxiety. I just knew we had to find what he was looking for quickly and make a beeline to the checkout. We were in and out in less than ten minutes—mission accomplished! Back in the parking lot we wished each other Merry Christmas, hugged, and said goodbye.

I don’t remember driving home; I know I felt I was going to puke when I came in the door. It was going to be a long time, a very long time, before I transitioned, I said to myself. Going out in public was so stressful. Yet it felt right on a different and deeper level: the guilt was gone.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

“You can ride on my lap.”

Added a Postscript at 8:00 p.m. PDT on April 25, 2018 Five years ago I spent a week in Fort Lauderdale to attend a trans-related medical symposium. One of the highlights of the event was meeting Jazz Jenning and her mother in person. Jazz is the well-known trans girl who became famous when Barbara Walters interviewed her in  2008 at the age of five. The other highlight was spending each night with my first cousin, Carlos, and his wife, who live in Ft. Lauderdale. Carlos drove me to the airport on Tuesday for my return trip to Vancouver, via Chicago. Seconds after he drove away my phone vibrated. It was a text message from United Airlines telling me my 4:15 flight to Chicago was delayed until after 7:00 p.m. I entered the airport and went to the United counter. I told them I had a problem. I was scheduled to catch a connecting flight to Chicago for Vancouver about the same time I would be boarding my plane in Ft. Lauderdale.  There were no later flights from Chicago to Vanco

Paradox = Father’s Day for a trans woman.

It seems innocent enough, to have a day to celebrate fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. The Salazar family, summer 2002. If one’s relationship with their father was a good one, this day of honor will seem completely appropriate and welcomed. If your dad was not deserving of this kind of respect, then this yearly reminder could be extremely painful. Equally, if you’re a trans woman who fathered children, this day can either be a good or a bad—if not surreal—experience. It all depends on the kind of relationship you now have with your children. Father’s Day is extremely painful when your children have rejected you and want nothing to do with you. As far as they are concerned, you might as well be dead. It hurts. However, If your relationship has survived, then you can count yourself extremely lucky. I was fortunate on two counts. On one hand, I had a dad who was loving and, best of all despite his relative old age when I came ou

Me too. But some of you already knew that.

Coincidental with my Class of 68’ 50th high school reunion, the reports of Republicans bullying Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who question her memory of the attempted rape by Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, it has thrown me into a bit of depression. I’ve been triggered. I am here, in a motel room in San Jose, California, where in an hour my high school reunion is to take place. Earlier this afternoon I drove to the two location where I was sexually abused and raped. I  remember all the details. I may not know the name of my attackers, but my body and brain remember how it felt to be force to masturbate a man who was one of my paper route customers. I was 12 years old. I resist to compulsion to go wash my hands for, God only knows, the millionth time. Then there was the rape when I was 15 years old. Someone who purported to want to help me audition as a rhythm-guitar player in a garage band and had offered to drive me to a house in Willow Glen, a neighborhood in San Jos