Welcome!

By registering with us, you'll be able to discuss, share and private message with other members of our community.

SignUp Now!

Ava_Marie

Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
24
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
The following is the very first speech I presented to the Toastmasters Club sponsored by my current employer. This was the first public discussion I had about who I am. I think it is a fitting beginning for this thread. It was a little over 7 minutes but that is not long to summarize my 60 years on earth at the time.

Welcome to Ava 101

I was born June 1958 in Los Angeles California the first child of newlywed parents who had recently relocated from Boston Massachusetts. My early life was shaped by the achievements and struggles of the 1960’s. The Space Race, Civil Rights Movement, Anti-War Movement, Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy, the assassination of Dr. King, and the Vietnam War. I was a creative, imaginative, and awkward child. I knew there was something very different about me , maybe I was a robot, and in Kindergarten I wrote a short story about my mechanical insides.

I grew up in La Canada, an idyllic community nestled in the hills at the Northern edge of Los Angeles. I wanted to know and do everything, but few things could hold my attention for long and to say school was difficult would be an understatement. I was different and I was bullied on the playground and in the classroom. My music teacher said I was exceptional, His worst student ever.

I excelled at some things; making model airplanes, repairing boats and cars, building or fixing most anything. When something held my attention I could examine an object or problem and understand how it worked or how to fix it. This talent would eventually become the cornerstone of my career.

After graduating High School in 1976 I attended Pasadena City College and received my Associate of Arts Degree. In 1980 I started classes at The University of California San Diego to work towards a degree in Computer Science. One fateful evening a roommate came to me saying he was failing pre-med and that his life was no longer worth living. I thought he was joking but later that evening, on a beach in La Jolla, he committed suicide. I was so distraught I never returned to UCSD.

In 1983 I enrolled at California State University Northridge. After years of working full time and taking night classes, I received my Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration with an option in Management Information Systems in 1988. My first job after graduating was with the Los Angeles Times. I enjoyed my time there, the smells, sounds, and feel of the historic Times Mirror Square were an inspiration. However I didn’t fit in and by the end of 1990 I was looking for another job.

January 1991 I interviewed for a position at Mortgage Lender named CountryWide, I didn’t get that job but 5 months later I got a call from HR offering me a different position. June 1991 I started as a Systems Analyst. I enjoyed what I did and my teammates were wonderful. I acquired all the trappings of a successful career and yet something was missing. I had a good idea of why I felt so unhappy and detached from the world but I denied it with all my being.

In 2006 I became friends with a girl at work. That in and of itself was not unusual as almost all my friends were women. Cheryl was a smart, energetic, and fun single mom with three grown children. A whirlwind courtship culminated on October 2008 at a beach on the island of Kauai. We were married at sunset as tears of joy ran down my face, I secretly wanted to be wearing her dress but I was convinced we were destined for a long blissful life together. Life however, had other plans. Thanksgiving Day of that year my Mother collapsed on the front steps of my Sister’s home. From that day until Mom passed in August of 2009 the façade of my old life began burning away. My darkest secrets were laid bare for me to see and I was forced to examine the truth I had repressed for decades.

In 2013 I sought professional help to deal with debilitating depression and anxiety. My authentic self would no longer be denied but fear still silenced her voice. Intense therapy slowly dismantled the shame I had felt since childhood. By December 2017 I had worked up the courage to share my true self with my wife of nine years. In a joint therapy session I shared my torment, once the words “I am Transgender” left my lips she asked for a Divorce. I was devastated, the relationship I suffered so much for, the relationship I had twisted myself into knots to keep alive was gone. That day I overcame the worst fear I had ever faced, the fear of being myself.

Later that month I began my journey to reveal the woman I have always been. Even today, each day is an adventure, each day I learn something new about this wonderful person who I have known all my life but hardly knew. She Loves Opera, Mozart, Pink, and Ozzy Osborne. She welcomes life with amazing energy and fearlessly embraces the world around her. Now that you have been introduced to Ava, I hope each of you will look forward to learning more about her.
 

Linde

Adminstrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
4,404
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Intersex
hello Ava, nice to meet you. We have a school teacher experience in common. I took English as my second foreign language in school (German was my first), and at the end of school, my english teacher told em, to never get a job in which i have to speak English, because i never will be able to learn this language.
Well, am living now for about 50 years in the US, and i have to speak English all day long, every day. I seemed to have learned it, because people seem to understand what i am saying! That much for judgemental school teachers!

Hugs
Linde
 

Ava_Marie

Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
24
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
Ava 101 was penned in July 2018 a little less than a year after I came out at work and started living full time as my true self. It has been a crazy ride with lots of ups, downs, and sometimes sideways. The best part has been being 100% authentic, not living in fear that someone might discover my secret and the freedom that brings. Which leads to beautiful moments like what happened Saturday November 21, 2020.
On that Saturday my girlfriend "D" and I traveled to Mojave Air and Space Port for an event (Plane Crazy) and to meet up with one of her old friends. "D" worked at the Mojave Airport for many years and she knows a few folks around the airport. As we were making our way to to her friend's hanger she saw someone else she had worked with so we walk up exchanges pleasantries and then "D" says "Dick I like you to meet Ava". Queue awkward silence as Dick Rutan and I look at each other, I broke the silence by proudly saying "I am her Girlfriend!". Before transition I would have panicked, froze, and possibly run away, but as uncomfortable as I was in that moment I had the confidence and self worth to proudly be myself. We came across Dick again at lunch were we had a nice conversation about what he was doing these days and if any of us was interested in buying a low time Cessna 150 he owns (Yes Dick Rutan owns a Cessna 150😲).
 

Monica

Fight for self love!
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
2,262
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
Ava, it sounds like your confidence is really taking off. Oh, sorry, bad pun, but it is nice once you are a little further along in the process and you can relax more. The beginning of transition can be a very self conscious time. I think it took me a bit to relax. Anyway, glad you are happy, you and D.
 

Ava_Marie

Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
24
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
This is a painful one but I think the message is important. Long ago in my prior life In 1990 I started dating a Girl who like many others I thought would make me forget the feminine thoughts in my head. Dianne and I we were in Love, we went looking for homes to buy together, and discussed marriage but she never was willing to say yes. This picture is from my company Christmas party in 1992.
Christmas Party 1991 Small.jpgShe was scared of being in a serious relationship, and honestly so was I. I have to say that I was very happy for five years before I could no longer repress my feminine self. I started privately cross dressing again and then, through the magic of the internet, discovered there was a name for my suffering, there were others like me:). From that day forward I read all I could about Gender Dysphoria and Transgender people. I slowly began to plan what I would need to do to transition and all that would entail financially. Then one day after almost 10 year together the Fear of discovery became too much, I broke things off with Dianne. We stayed in touch reaching out on Birthdays and Holidays until a few years after I married my now former wife in 2008. This year I finally mustered up the courage to contact her and I sent a Christmas card. A few days later on December 17, 2020 I received a message from her sister in-law that she had passed after a year long battle with cancer. To say I was devastated would be an understatement. Fear had held me back and now a dear friend would never know the true me.
This loss reminded me of a hard lesson I learned when I came out in 2017, that most Fear is only as real as we make it.
Be Brave, Be Bold because sometimes later may be too late.
 

Ava_Marie

Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
24
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
So something happened today for the first time that was so affirming and made me laugh with glee....
Me and my girlfriend "D" were sitting on the couch, each of us scarfing down a mochi ice cream when a piece of mine broke free and fell down straight down my top 😲 That has never happened to me before and I just started giggling as I worked to dig the ice cream out of my bra🥰
It is amazing the little things that can make your day!
 

OzGirl

Global Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
2,310
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
Yes, I had a smile when I dropped a peanut down there and it lodged in my bra. Then I realised there was room for lots more peanuts in my bra....

Hugs,

Allie
 
Last edited:

Linde

Adminstrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
4,404
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Intersex
And ladies over time you will develope this space into a storage system for all kinds of stuff.
It is also a good place to put the cell for the case the clothing has no pockets.

Hugs
Linde
 

NancyBalik

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Messages
113
Ava, Glad you are on the forum and fascinated by your story. Happy that you have found love after the tragedy of your wife rejecting you for your true self. That part of your story I find very sad as it corresponds with my greatest fear. Of course, my path is different because I have decided not to transition (believe we have different levels of need/intensity related to how far we must go), but I fear losing my wife’s love to be me. Both are so important (to me) — I’d hate to have to choose. In your case, it sounds like she chose for you. Again, glad you are here. Nancy
 
Last edited:

Donica

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
1,301
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
And ladies over time you will develope this space into a storage system for all kinds of stuff.
It is also a good place to put the cell for the case the clothing has no pockets.

Hugs
Linde
I think I would be very unhappy if there were too much storage space in by bra lol.
 

Linde

Adminstrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
4,404
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Intersex
I think I would be very unhappy if there were too much storage space in by bra lol.
Durable goods, and mostly food, will find their ways into that space.

Hugs
Linde
 

Donica

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
1,301
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
Durable goods, and mostly food, will find their ways into that space.

Hugs
Linde
Well, ok @Linde. I will admit I lost my car keys in there once :LOL:
 

Ava_Marie

Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
24
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
Ava, Glad you are on the forum and fascinated by your story. Happy that you have found love after the tragedy of your wife rejecting you for your true self. That part of your story I find very sad as it corresponds with my greatest fear. Of course, my path is different because I have decided not to transition (believe we have different levels of need/intensity related to how far we must go), but I fear losing my wife’s love to be me. Both are so important (to me) — I’d hate to have to choose. In your case, it sounds like she chose for you. Again, glad you are her, Nancy
Thank You Nancy, I appreciate your kind words and empathy. Indeed losing My Love, My Partner, My Friend was unbelievably painful but given who each of us are it was the best call for us. The thing I have learned is that we all have different journeys to understanding who we truly are regardless if we are LGBTQ+ or Cisgender. The hard lesson I had to learn was that the true measure of success in ones journey (and in life) is the happiness in your heart, so follow where that leads you as it is rarely wrong.
Love,
Ava
 

Madrhode

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
237
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
Ava, well I’m glad to have had the pleasure to need you and D and you are quite a role model. I think your former parter would probably say she is proud of you and that you have touched so many lives. You have touched mine that is certain
 

Ava_Marie

Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
24
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
Fun Day Sunday 🥰
Sunday January 31st was one of those very long but fun days. In the morning a wonderful flight lesson with some challenging conditions (gusty winds) and lots of touch-and-goes to work on my landings. Then in the afternoon "D" and I enjoyed several mesmerizing hours organizing, chatting, and watching the CNC Router cut some prototype parts for one of "D"s friends. Just cool to watch the CNC do its thing and working together with someone you are so close with is really rewarding and something we both enjoy. Allowed us to forget all of the ongoing ugliness caused by the pandemic for at least a few hours.
 

Ava_Marie

Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
24
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
Thoughts on Electrolysis.
Something that I want done and have dreamed about the final result for decades but I still have that "Love Hate" relationship with electrolysis. Every week I prepare for battle with the effects of testosterone that caused so much agony when I started puberty so long ago. I never really thought about the emotional toll all this takes until I looked at this picture I took on the way to electrolysis last week.
MeReadyforHNT.jpg
I was so surprised by look in my eyes, it is a sad look I have not seen since I started transition in 2017. It just reminds me that as much joy as I have discovered because I started this journey, the pain from decades of hiding who I am does not just disappear when you begin transition. There are things (experiences, connections, choices) that have been forever lost and the only option is to move forward embracing all the wonder living life as ones true self brings. It is not easy, simple, or painless but for me it makes every day sweeter and more amazing regardless of what that day brings.
 
Last edited:

Donica

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
1,301
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
With you sis!
 

TonyaJanelle

Ubiquitous Moderator she/her/hers
Staff member
Joined
Dec 23, 2019
Messages
2,053
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
Had a session toddy as well. Feel your pain literally and figuratively.
 

Confused

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
Messages
532
Gender Pronouns
He, Him, His, Himself
Gender Identity
Genderfluid
I have some scheduled next week as well. Wishing I did it before it turned gray so I could do laser instead.

Hugs,
Mike
 

Linde

Adminstrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
4,404
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Intersex
I have some scheduled next week as well. Wishing I did it before it turned gray so I could do laser instead.

Hugs,
Mike
I am done with all this stuff. The little hair I have left grows very slowly, and I shave once a week, and am good for another week again. My remaining hair is colorless, and by the end of the week, one still can hardly see it, it is more the feel I don't like.

Hugs
Linde
 
En Femme 728 x 90
Top Bottom