snippet of a letter to Carol Honda, a professor friend from the west coast

I’ll tell you a time in my life where you really, really made a difference. Do you remember when I had tickets to the Grateful Dead for 3 nights in a row in Oakland Coliseum? I rented a car and drove up to Davis and we went wine tasting (and brandy tasting at Domain Carneros) and you were studying something the tuba, something utterly joyous. Debra had just broken up with me and I was reeling and your friendship and the visit west and the Dead helped get me back into a good place.

Right after my visit west I dove deeply into building Joyce, not some cross-dressing, fearful Joyce, but a social, happy, out Joyce, and she was well on her way to emerging when I met Mary Jo, and although she didn’t ask me to do it, I sort of voluntarily put Joyce away with the thought that true love, family, and kids would render that part of myself obsolete forever.

You can see how well that worked.

I since learned that what they call Gender Identity Disorder never, never, never goes away. You’re born with it and you’re destined to do something about it, depending on how severely you feel at odds in your body. I love my life and my family and my kids and job, and this one thing threatened to wipe it all out. I figured (coldly and rationally) that all in all, it would be better for me to acknowledge this condition, pick the path that I knew was right (if hard), and live the rest of my life as a woman than to pick what was behind any of the 20 unknown doors with 20 bad outcomes like death by stress or anger or heart attack or ulcer or suicide.

So here I am, 15 months of estrogen (and no testosterone), 17 months of therapy, out to all my students, faculty, administrators, family, and friends — on the eve of morphing from George into Joyce for good, and life is really all very good. I feel like I’ve joined the human race. Even in the pages of this blog you can see how bubbly (on average) my recent posts have been compared to the depressing posts of not very long ago.