Another Friend Is In the Know

Sunday, July 15, 2012

This isn't the long-delayed post I have been threatening for the last few weeks; I got sidetracked in an email exchange with a friend. Amazing how three hours  can pass by when you become friends with a fellow music obsessive. :c) We may wind up blowing our transition budgets on all of the new albums we discussed (yes, we're both of sufficient vintage to listen to albums)…

But, as I do so often when I get going on music, I digress. lol So here's what is happening in my little corner of the world.

I had a physical and some blood work last week. My new doctor dropped me a line today to say that my results looked great (her word). My estrogen levels are nicely elevated into the female range now, and my testosterone level is on the lower side (again, her words). 

Unfortunately, as she noted, she can't tell me how much my levels have changed since my previous doctor STILL has not sent my records to her. She has called repeatedly to request them; so have I. He simply cannot, or will not, do so.

I am going to do what I should have done in the first place. I'm going to drive down there - probably next Friday, since it is (sort of) on my way to the Newport Folk Festival, which starts that evening - and simply sit there until they give me my records. 

It is utterly ridiculous that is has come to this, and completely, totally unnecessary. How difficult is it, after all, to fax documents? 

But enough is enough. If driving an hour out of my way will finally, finally get me the records I should have had four months ago, I will consider it a small price to pay for extricating myself from that morass.


In much, much happier news, I came out to another old friend last night. 

Well, our friendship is old. We, of course, are full of youthful vim and vigor. :c)

Wait, let me start that again [clearing throat in as non-masculine a manner as I can muster]...

In much, much happier news, I came out to another dear friend last night. 

(Much, much better.) 

Her initial is J, which is a problem, as I already have a J whom I discuss in this blog. This is, quite frankly darned inconsiderate of her, I must say. Or, really, her parents. Does no one take into account the possibility that their child may one day have a transsexual blogging friend when they are naming that child? Amazing....

Anyway, I suggested to J that she could simply change her name, which would solve my problem with a minimum of fuss. Alas, her interest was tepid, at best.

However, I am a forgiving soul, so I will simply refer to her as JE. And the original J shall henceforth bear the moniker JN. (I considered J the Former and J the Latter, but that wouldn't fit as well on their Cass Club membership cards.) Please update your records accordingly.

JE and I actually met years ago at the Newport Folk Festival which JE will also be attending next week.

JE and her friend TT (I considered using T2, but realized she did not really resemble that other T2) were also staying at the same bed and breakfast as me. 

They were both from New York City (although JE is a California native). Within minutes it was as if we had known each other for years. JE and T2 both attended the festival with my friends and myself that weekend, and we promised to stay in touch.

 And we did. :c) 


To this day, both JE and TT are close friends. Newport has always been a special place in my life, and meeting JE and TT is just one example. 

(I will write more about TT another time, as I haven't spoken with her yet. I will also write about the couple who owned that magical B&B, but I will. In fact, I'll write about the very first time I met them. As you will see, they are remarkable.)

JE, without exaggeration, loves music more than any person alive. Her enthusiasm is truly infectious. Visiting a record shop with her was always an experience. 

The first time we did, we had been in the shop for no more than five minutes when she came up to me with a pained expression.

"Could I get your opinion, L? I'm trying to figure out what to buy, and I'm feeling really overwhelmed right now."

I said of course, and dutifully followed her to the back of the store.

Without exaggeration, she had a stack of 30 CDs piled up on the corner of the CD rack.

"How on earth did you possibly find all of these in five minutes?" I asked in amazement.

"I have a list," she said, pulling out several notebook pages covered with the tiniest handwriting you have ever seen.

"Why not just buy the store? It would be cheaper," I said, gesturing to the teetering pile.

"Ha, ha, very funny," she said. "I'm serious! What am I going to do?!?"

She was so sincere that it was hard to keep a straight face. But, being a good friend, I did; we narrowed it down to, oh, no more than 20 or so CDs, tops.  All of which she no doubt still has.

Would that we all have something we love as much as JE loves music. The world would be a happier place.


When I told her I was transitioning, JE reacted as every one of my friends has. She was shocked momentarily, and then, in her typically sweet way, expressed her sympathy for how painful it must have been to keep such a secret.

And she also said the same thing M did when I told him. I told her she could ask me anything, and she replied that she would gladly listen to anything I wanted to discuss.

She was also happy that I told her now - even if it meant doing so over the phone - rather than waiting until the Folk Festival in two weeks. It's a wonderful event, second only to Opening Day in baseball (my personal Holy Day of Obligation), and always one of the highlights of every year. 

However, it it somewhat hectic, and thus does *not* lend itself to in-depth conversations. My fear is it would go something like this: 

"Want to go see Punch Brothers on the Quad Stage?" 

"Sounds good. Oh, by the way, I'm a transsexual and started my transition already. Hey, want to grab a Del's on the way?" 

That is not how they recommend doing it in the Transexual Handbook, needless to say.

We chatted for nearly three hours, and promised to talk more in the days and weeks to come. JE offered to do anything she could to support me; I assured her that her ongoing friendship is more than enough.

It's such a wonderful feeling to be able to be myself around the people I care most about in the world. Luckily, they all seem to like her as well. Good thing, that. <lol> 

I remember one memorable Bill Cosby routine in which he describes being offered LSD by a younger comedian. He declined, politely. 

The other comedian said, "But it will reveal your true self!"

And Cosby replied, "What if you're an a**hole?" 

Always loved that. :c)

As JE and I wound down our conversation, I mentioned that everyone else who is attending the festival - M, T & JN, and F - already know about me. 

JE laughed and said, "Well, I'm wiling to bet I know what the leading topic of conversation will be all weekend!"

I assume she means the weather, but I will be sure to report back regardless…


I do have one other part of the conversation to relate, as it ties in with something I was discussing with a friend and with M, my therapist, at my session yesterday. But it shall have to wait another day...

In the meantime, here are a few of the acts I'm looking forward to seeing next week. I'll keep posting more over the next two weeks.

From what is easily my favorite album of the year:

And here is the legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band with The Del McCoury Band. 

PHJB gave one of the best live performances I have ever seen at the festival two years ago. You can listen to it here. I cannot recommend it highly enough. 

You can download nearly every performance from recent Folk Fests there, including Punch Brothers amazing set in 2010. All for free. So... go forth and listen!


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