Following Up

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. :-)

I wanted to add a quick update to my most recent post.

First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who left comments or sent email and/or text messages after last nights' post. (Special shout-out to Calie, who didn't give up after Blogger decided to use her comment for its holiday meal, but instead sent me a lovely, heartfelt message by email.)  That means a great deal to me. You are the best, all of you.

(That includes you, April, even though you were just trolling for ideas for my Christmas present. :D)

I wound up missing Thanksgiving dinner today. I started feeling poorly last night, and within a few hours I was achy, coughing, and sneezing, all of which kept me up far too late.

I finally fell asleep as dawn was breaking, and awoke around noon. I knew as soon as I did that there was no way I could make it to dinner.

I always get sick around the holidays - last year, unfortunately, at Christmas - so this was not wholly unexpected. But I am certain the stress of the other evening played a part too.

In any case, I wound up spending the day either in bed or on my couch, sneezing and coughing. Not the way I prefer to spend my holiday.

I told my therapist M recently that I suspected my health would take a marked turn for the better shortly after I went full-time. She agreed. Both she and friends like Kelli, April, Stace, and others have told me I will not be aware of just how much of a toll GD was taking until it is gone. I will be quite happy when that happens.

My nephew C checked in via text (my voice is shot at the moment) to make sure I was OK, and to tell me he was behind me 100%. He said his mother (my sister C) is still furious, both at my parents and at my brother and sister-in-law.

He asked if I was coming for Christmas. I replied that it wasn't up to me, but that I wanted to.

His response was instantaneous.

"I want you there and so does Mom. As yourself."

I thanked him, and said that wasn't how anyone else in the family saw it.

"Well, they don't get to decide that. You don't tell them how to live their life, do you?"

I mentioned that my brother and sister--in-law may well say they won't come unless I go as "him."

"Who gives a damn whether they come or not? If they don't want to come, they can stay home."

I replied that Nana and Papa may well side with them.

"To hell with them. All of them."

Have I mentioned lately what a good kid he is?

For his response alone I am thankful today.

I am also thankful for my wonderful friends, and for my co-workers who have been there from the moment I told them.

And for April, who makes me laugh harder than anyone else ever has, even on days like today when I am feeling blue, physically and emotionally. And even when that means she says something that makes me spit out my tea all over my laptop - twice. (Repair bill is in the mail, bitch.)

OK, time for this girl to get some rest. It is very cold here tonight, so I broke out the heavy artillery - my footie PJs:

Mock me if you feel you must. I, however, will not be shivering tonight. :c)

Night, everyone...


In honor of Thanksgiving, some quiet, meditative music from George Winston's lovely 1982 Christmas album, December:

This album perfectly captures the melancholy nature of the holiday, as well as its joyous side. I never tire of it. Here's another beautiful track from it:

No Regrets

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

From the moment I came out to my parents nearly six months ago, I have known that it was simply a matter of time until the final confrontation would begin.

That confrontation started last night.

And it is going to be very ugly.

That Was The Week That Was: Part I

Monday, November 25, 2013

(Thought I would throw a bone to my friends on the other side of the Atlantic with that title. :D)

Greetings from frigid New England, one and all! As I write this, I am in my living room, huddled under two blankets, watching the Bruins defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime (yea!) while wearing the following items:
  • A t-shirt
  • A long-sleeve t-shirt
  • A fur-lined hooded sweatshirt (zipped all the way up)
  • Three pair of leggings
  • Heavy wool socks
  • Calf-length boots
And I am *still* cold. Even my pal Cody the Cow can only provide so much additional warmth: 

Clearly karma remembers my years of mocking my mother and sister for complaining about the cold. (In my defense, however, I *was* dealing with the handicap of trying to pretend I was a boy at the time!)

It is slightly warmer today than it was yesterday, when we had temperatures in the lows 20s with 25 MPH winds. For those of you in countries that use sensible means to measure temperatures and such, that means it was wicked cold (as the locals say). :c)

Now that I have established the hardships I am enduring, I thought I might share a bit about last week. 

The short version:

It was a good one. :c)

HRT: Year Two (a/k/a The Not-So-Young and Breastless)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

That's right, boys and girls, it has been two years (!) since I began HRT.

That is simply astonishing to me. It simultaneously feels as if it happened an eternity ago - and yesterday. How is that possible?

Follow along, below the fold, for more!

I think the biggest change in the past year has been internal. The single most important event in my transition, in retrospect, happened just before last Christmas, when I finally allowed myself to cry - to really cry.

I wish the circumstances could have been better, but it was absolutely necessary for me to let go. It is no coincidence, I think, that I was addressed as "she" in public - while in boy mode - for the first time not two days later.

That has become a common occurrence, something I still find remarkable. I don't think I look all that different; clearly, others think I do. Just last week my colleague RO told me he didn't recognize me in photos taken just before I started HRT. Given that I am addressed as "Miss," "she," "her," and so on more often than not while out and about - even in boy mode - I have to concede they are on to something I simply cannot see yet.

I suspect it is more than just my appearance, however. The moment I allowed myself to finally cry that day was the moment I think "he" began to let go, and allowed me to become myself. Not two weeks later I marched into a MAC store, unplanned - again, in boy mode - and calmly told a makeup artist I was transsexual, and hoped they could help me.

Two days later they did, giving me a full makeover - at dinner time, on a Friday evening, in the front of the store. I didn't realize it would be like that, but I remember  thinking to myself that I have every right to be there; I'm a woman, and I should have been able to do this my entire life.

I sat there for over two hours, in full view of everyone, while the artist worked her magic. (Trust me - it was magic, given how pale and sick I was while recovering from the flu. She did *not* have much to work with. lol)

At one point the manager who had booked the appointment came over and told me she and the other staff members had been watching, and were amazed at how calm I seemed. I admitted I was amazed too. Her immediate reply: "It's because you belong here."

The other major tipping point this year was when I finally spent a day as myself outside my home as myself. Again, I was amazed to realize it felt… normal. Completely, utterly, normal. Even after I outed myself to the very first person I spoke to that day. :#) Cassidy Elizabeth, Mistress of Disguise, foiled again!

I am beyond fortunate that I seem to pass fairly well, given that I have barely begun to master makeup, or had my hair cut properly (it is an unruly mess right now), or learned much about style. I will hopefully improve on these, and other areas, the way I try to do with everything: hard work and practice.

To touch on the physical changes for a moment, the most visible change to me is how fast my hair is growing, particularly in the past few months. It seems to have gone into overdrive for some reason. My back and chest, meanwhile, are nearly clear now, which is pretty remarkable, considering where it was a year ago. (Sorta gross, I know, but there it is.)

I have also been startled by the progress we have made in my electrolysis sessions, especially the past month or two. I haven't shaved my face since last Thursday (sigh), but it was only today that it is noticeable. The discomfort is beginning to pay dividends - yea!!!

As I wrote yesterday, I cannot wait until I am full-time (24 days and counting!). I am wondering if lifting the constant strain of trying to pretend I am someone I am not will be noticeable. My therapist has said I have no idea what an enormous burden it is, and will not know it until it is gone.

I know I cannot wait to see what changes the next year brings, physically, emotionally, and otherwise. I am determined to get back on track to exercising regularly after nearly two years of assorted illnesses, injuries, and other woes. It is really important to me, and when I make up my mind to do something, I do not let anything stop me. On this date next year I am going to be in the best shape of my life. Book it. :c)

I will end with a huge thank you to everyone who has helped me in more ways than they can ever know, or I can ever repay. That includes both my dear online friends, those of you in my life offline, and of course my sister and nephew C.

Calie, Halle, Becca, Jenna, Leslie… you have been, and continue to be, an inspiration and a source of comfort. The same goes for Jen (from Jenesis), Debra, Faline, and others who are either no longer online or are living their lives as themselves.

A special shout out to Kelli, Stace, and, especially, April, for your unwavering support and friendship. I cannot imagine how I managed without you in my lives before this. (Or, to put it another way... where the hell were all of you before this?!?) ;-p OK, no more snark. I love you all more than I can ever express. :') Thank you SO, SO much!

Thank you for joining me on the ride so far! Cannot wait to see where it takes us next year!


Just wanted to post a brief note about the title. There is a story to it that involves (of course) April.

She decided earlier this year that she and I clearly merited our own sitcom, given our shared unique (read: weird) sense of humor and warped view of reality.

I have learned to humor her in situations like this, so I played along.

A: "This could be really great for both of us, Cass!"

C: "Um… okay. So, what's your plan?"

A: "Well, first we take the nation's TV screens by storm. Then, once you and I are America's sweethearts at the end of our first season, we use that as leverage."

C (confused): "Leverage for…?"

A (indignant): "Our boob jobs? What else?"

C: "Oh, of course."

A: "We get Victoria's Secret to sponsor it. And we show both of our surgeries on live television! I'm thinking one-hour special."

C: "One hour? Have you looked at either of our chests?!? We're both flatter than a Utah dessert, hon."

A (after a moment): "That's true, isn't it?"

C: "Better tell them to make it a mini-series."

So there it is. Let me say, here and now, for the record:

Fear not, for we shall both forever remember all of you little people once our inevitable rise to stardom begins.

Or... maybe not. (Hey, those all-night bacchanals at Brangelina's won't attend themselves, you know.) Perhaps we'll just hire someone to remember for us…

Anyway, that's the story behind it. (You're welcome.)

Oh, what was our second proposed title, by the way? Why, here it is:

The Bold & The Boobless

Send us you cards and letters to let us know what you think!


Just thought I would repost some pics, plus one new one, for easy reference in case anyone is interested.

June 2011:

November 19, 2011 (HRT day 1):

June 2012 (eight months):

November 19, 2012 (HRT, one year):

July 6, 2013:

July 20, 2013:

July 27, 2013:

August 3, 2013:

This is my favorite so far, which is why I put it at the top as well. This is how I wish I looked all the time! :c)

October 20, 2013:

November 19, 2013:

I deliberately took one the night before HRT, to show the difference between my beard now, after 14 months of electrolysis, and the day I began, above. 

I had shaved *that* morning in the picture taken on 11.19.11, if you can believe it. And in this picture, I last shaved… five days ago. I find that encouraging. :c)

(For the record: I *am* not topless in this picture, nor am I any of the others that make me *look like* I am, er, unclad. :#) The "girls" are simply not yet up to the task of holding up some of my nighties. Honest! Guess I need to ask Santa for a bathrobe...)

Really looking forward to seeing how I look a year from now! Curious to see if the changes are mostly over, or if they still continue. Should be interesting either way...


As a full service blog, I wanted to post the following link, courtesy of The Onion, as a public service. It offers some useful tips for we girls in the workplace. I hope you find it as enlightening as yours truly did:,34594/?playlist=recent-news

Watch and learn, girls, watch and learn. (I particularly like # 2, incidentally.)


I would be remiss not to include something from one of my long-standing favorites, so I shall go back to Pearl Jam, and a couple of deep cuts that I have always loved.

First, this gorgeous, haunted gem (and perhaps my favorite PJ song) from 1996's underrated No Code album:

Eddie Vedder has since admitted he wrote this about himself, detailing his struggles to deal with the massive fame thrust upon the band in general, and him in particular, after their first three albums. Happily, both he and the rest of the band seem to have survived - and prospered.

From 1998's Yield (also an underrated album, imho), here's "Wishlist." It began as a lark in the studio, but quickly became a favorite of both the band and their fan base.

I always liked the ambiguity of the song's final verse:

I wish I was your favorite song
The one that you can't turn off
I wish I wish I wish I wish
I guess it never stops

That last line could be taken several ways; is he saying he will never stop wishing (in a way that implies he will never be satisfied)? Or is he wishing that his/her favorite song goes on forever?

I suspect it is the former, since he made a small but telling change to the final line when I saw them at the final show on their 2000 tour in Seattle:

I wish I wish I wish I wish
I guess my list goes on

That always struck me as a more hopeful ending. He isn't resigned to feeling he can never be satisfied; instead, he is looking forward, hopeful about what is ahead that might bring joy. I have always preferred this ending. :-)

Big News: Cassidy's Confession!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I have a confession, dear reader.

I am afraid I have not been completely forthright with all of you.

I have been holding out on sharing some important information about myself.

And for quite a while, too.

Is it that I dream of a world in which I can happily eat peanut butter every single day of the year?

No. (I will admit that freely.)

Is it that my bedroom is covered with Photoshopped pictures of a shirtless Dick Cheney?

Er... no. (That would be April.)

Is it that I harbor a longstanding, but unstated, passion for the New York Yankees?

Hell, no! (Being a diehard Seattle Mariners fan is shame enough, believe me, even for a native New Englander.)

No, it is something else.

What is it, you ask?

What is this secret that Cass has been harboring?

Well, let me tell you what it is, dear reader:

I set my full-time date.


Prelude, Plus Some Quick Tidbits and Musings

Finally getting around to finishing a post about some news in Cass's little corner of the world. I will be finishing - and posting - it tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Follow below the fold for a few items from the past week if you are so inclined.

(It includes shoes - specifically boots - among other things, in case you are wondering. Or am I the only person who would find that intriguing?)

Musings: Sound & Vision

Saturday, November 9, 2013

I wanted to write about a conversation - via text - that I had with my mother earlier this evening.

We communicate in a number of ways.

I seem to be getting better at picking up on what is really being said the further my transition progresses.

And not just by others, either.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I returned from electrolysis several hours ago.

I walked into my apartment and sank onto the couch.

I am still there.

It hurt so much tonight.

I'm not sure why.

We worked around my lip, mostly the upper lip and the corners.

Needless to say, these areas are less than pleasant under the best of circumstances.

Tonight was not the best of circumstances.

While I hardly enjoy the process, electrolysis is usually tolerable, even when we work in these sensitive areas.

But tonight was agony.

And I do not use that word lightly.

I will usually chat with M, my electrologist, during my session, even when we work in these areas.

But it soon became apparent that this night was different.

For some reason, I was unusually sensitive to each pulse.

I soon lapsed into silence.

I tried to focus on the sound of the clock ticking.

It didn't help.

I told myself that each pulse was another closer to the last one for the evening.

That didn't help either.

M stopped at one point.

"Are you OK, Cass?" she asked.

I nodded.

"You're crying, hon," she said, her voice quiet.

"You have been for a few minutes."

I didn't realize it until she said so.

"It's pretty rough tonight, isn't it?" she said.

I nodded again.

"Do you want to stop, hon?"

I thought a moment, then shook my head.

"No, let's keep going," I said. "It will be worth it eventually."

I hope, I added silently.

"Good girl," she said, gently rubbing my shoulder.

I could hear the smile in her voice.

Finally, it was over.

I stirred as I sensed M moving the light away.

"Don't get up, Cass," she said, pressing on my arm. "Just lay there a bit."

Secretly, I was glad. I was utterly spent.

As she applied the rubbing alcohol, I started sneezing uncontrollably.

"I'm sorry, hon," she said. "This was a really hard night."

"But be proud. We're using nearly the highest setting, and in some very sensitive areas. And we went the full hour."

"We should film just a few minutes of one of your sessions," she mused. "Then you can show it to anyone transitioning is a lark."

"No one would go through this unless they had to."


A dear friend has said on several occasions that transitioning is hard because it should be hard.

It should not be undertaken on a whim.

It should require a serious commitment, in terms of time, energy, and effort.

And that commitment will, at times, require pain.

Both physical and emotional.

I have felt both - intensely - this past week.

I would be dishonest if I said I never doubt whether this will be worth it.

All I can do is my very best.

So I can, finally, be myself.

Even if it hurts.


I can count on one hand what I think are truly great music videos.

This, by far, is my top choice.

I am moved to tears each and every time I see this.

Johnny Cash, and his wife, June Carter Cash, filmed this in February 2003.

June, whose haunted expression as she looks at her husband has stayed with me ever since first viewing this video, died three months later, on May 15.

Her husband passed away shortly thereafter, on September 12.

Their courage, their commitment to their art, and, especially, their commitment to each other, resonates even a decade later.

They faced their pain.

And they transcended it.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Happy Monday, all!

I spent today in our main office for several meetings.

I thought I would share a bit about my day, my realization that I have been less than vigilant in maintaining my deep cover as a boy, and my radical steps to remedy this alarming development.

Follow along, won't you?

Vignettes: It's Not Easy (Being Blonde)

It is late, I am tired, and I just took something to help me sleep…

But some posts demand to be written.

This, however, is NOT one of them.


But in my quest to be as honest as possible with you, dear reader, I shall share yet another moment from Cass's seemingly endless Walk of Shame.

Join me, won't you?

Just don't get too close; I'm liable to trip and take you down with me.

You have been warned...

Magic and Loss

Sunday, November 3, 2013

This was another of those posts that seemed to write itself.

They seem to happen from time to time; in fact, one arrived, unbidden, last week. I have learned to simply get out of the way and let them go where they will.

It began as a light-hearted reply to Jenna's comment on my previous post, about her sudden interest in all things Red Sox.

(Jenna, all I can say is that you are now a citizen of Red Sox Nation. Welcome! Oh, and please - try not to get any tobacco stains on the clubhouse furniture, OK?)

But then, mysteriously, it turned into something more.

It was soon about baseball.

And Lou Reed.

And community.

How did all of those widely disparate things come together?

Follow along, and discover as I did.

Read Socks

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The last few days have been quite emotional. The entire week, really.

Much of it was a reaction to good news, or to happy circumstances, in the early part of the week, peaking on Wednesday evening as the Red Sox won the World Series.

I watched as they put an exclamation point to their remarkable, joyous season - and, simultaneously, felt hot tears streaming down my face.

I felt quiet pride for their achievement - and almost unbearable grief at the same time.

And I wasn't completely sure why.

I'm still not, to be honest.

But I am trying, with the help of some dear friends, to untangle the knot of emotions I feel.

I have SO much to write about.

So much I need to write about.

Some of it is quite upbeat. (Much of it, in fact.)

But some of it is also dark, and melancholy.

I will write about it all. Doing so helps me process what I am feeling. And why. (That last part is the trickiest.)

It is intense, and it is emotional - both pleasant and not-so-pleasant.

But as I told April last night, I would rather feel intensely - even painful feelings - than be numb, as I was for most of my life.

Because that is how I know I am leaving "him" behind, and growing into myself.

But all of that can wait for the next few posts - which includes some not-insignificant news in Cass's little corner of the world. So please stay tuned.

Before I delve into those murky waters, however, I want to share a happy story that took place on - you guessed it - Wednesday. :c)


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