Going the pharmacy

I have a  good friend, let’s call her Mary, that I have known for a long time. She is a genetic woman and is one of the few people who knows all about my TGness. I met her at a conference years ago and we became good friends. I usually see her in girl mode which is really nice since she treats me simply as another woman (Once when I did  show up in boy mode she made a comment about how Robin was crossdressing as a boy). We get together on a semi regular basis, mostly for lunch or maybe  shopping.

Over the past few years Mary has developed some serious health problems that limit her ability to get around and sometimes to even run routine errands. I have stepped in to help her with errands and shopping. Sometimes I accompany her and sometimes I just run the errand for her but almost always am in girl mode when I do it.

Doing these routine errands has been a wonderful experience for me. I have always sought to spend my girl time doing as many routine life activities as possible. Going to the grocery store as Robin and  talking to the checkout clerk has always been  more satisfying than attending some TG event.

I have done her grocery shopping, picked her dog up at the vet, and helped pick out a backyard umbrella at the local hardware store. We have returned her cable box at the local Comcast office and bought smoke detectors at Home Depot.  I have talked with her insurance agent, visited her in the hospital, and chatted with her neighbors. One day I encountered some paramedics in her front room after she had fallen in her home while getting ready for a planned lunch with me.

You have no idea how satisfying such things (well maybe not the paramedic part) can be and I would not trade these experiences  for anything. All of my interactions have been positive and oddly (and wonderfully) completely “normal”.

At the same time such situation have really, really stretched my girl mode comfort zone and especially my  girl mode “social skills”.  Having a long chat with Mary’s condo association business manager about some electrical problems in her condo and not reverting to boy mode “know it all-ness” was a real struggle.

The result of the all the various errands was an incredible increase in my girl mode confidence and willingness to venture into almost any situation without concern.

There are still surprises that do happen to me and hence the title of this blog (I am sure you were wondering what all of this had to do with going to the pharmacy). Mary has significant pain issues which require some pretty strong medicine. One day she had gotten a new prescription from her doctor but had forgotten to stop at  the local pharmacy.  I had dropped off some groceries at her place and was on my way out the door when she asked if I could drop off the presciption at the pharmacy and that she would pick it up later.  I said sure,  thinking it would be easy and quick to do. How hard can dropping off a prescription be??

As it turns out for certain kinds of pain medication, just dropping off the prescription is a big deal. I drove to the pharmacy and went in. I am in total girl mode wearing my current favorite clothing style: leggings and a long tunic top (my fashion evolution will be the topic of a future blog).

I stand in line for a while and it is eventually my turn. I hand the prescription to the pharmacy clerk and tell him that Mary will pick it up later. At that point he says that I must present my ID and the information on it will be entered into a state database.

That was unexpected.

At that point I had two choices. I could take the prescription back to Mary and tell her she had to handle it or I could give my boy mode ID to some low level pharmacy clerk. Now I had presented my ID to a CHP officer and to various TSA officers when I had flown “en-femme” years ago. Doing that was stressful but they were at least government officials acting in an official capacity. This was some clerk at the local CVS.

After a brief pause, I handed him my ID and waited. Nothing special happened. He scanned my ID, typed some things into his computer, handed back my ID to me, and said the prescription would be ready in an hour and asked if I wanted to wait for it.

That was it. No weird looks, no giggles, no comments.  Nothing out of the ordinary. It was oddly anti-climatic. A few hours later Mary picked up the prescription without incident.

And I am in some California data base of prescription drug buyers. At least they did not take my picture….

My encounter with the police

For my first “real” post, I thought I would write about my experience with the California Highway Patrol (CHP). For those of you not in California, the CHP is primarily responsible for law enforcement on the state’s freeways and major highways. They are statewide group and is the closest thing we have to “state police”.

I suspect that an encounter with the police is one of the most frightening situations that most TGs can imagine. Part of the concern is real as one does hear stories of TGs who have been insulted, harrased, arrested, or even injured by police, especially TGs of color. The biggest part of the fear is simply that someone in a position of authority will discover the “real you” and you will be officially “outed”.  I know I always had such a fear and so made sure that I obey every traffic rule when out in girl mode.

Until that day about a year ago.

I was on my way to the home of my BFF who had graciously allowed me to work at her home during the day. I am fortunate in having a job that can be done almost anywhere and so I spent several days a week working at her home while in girl mode. It was a really great time that I will write about another day.

Anyway, I was on the freeway and approaching the exit to her home. There was some stopped traffic up ahead and so I moved to the right in order to get to the exit. There was a solid white line on the right side of the road that I crossed in order to get around a stopped car. I had done such things in the past without a second thought. I noticed a CHP officer standing by his car but did not think much about it (afterall I was not speeding).

As soon as I crossed the line, his flashing lights went on and he waved me to pull over. At that point I was in full casual girl mode (jeans and tshirt) . I thought about a quick change (removing wig, wiping off makeup, removing some padding, etc) but given how close he was it did not seem like a good idea.

He walked up to my car and asked for driver’s license, registration, proof of insurance, etc.. He was very nice about it all. I was also very nice and pleasant. At the time, I had no idea what I had done wrong.

Now just to make things even more interesting, it turns out that I did not have my driver’s license with me. I had lost it about 6 weeks earlier while on a business trip (I think I left it in a rental car). I had made an appt for get a new one but the delay to get an appt was about 8 weeks.

So here I am in girl mode, stopped by a CHP officer for a traffic offense, and I have no driver’s license. I am oddly calm. I feel like I should panic but I sort of figure what is the worse that can happen and so I don’t.

I do have an old expired driver’s license and so hand that to him along with registration and proof of insurance. I make a brief comment about how its an old license and how today I don’t look like the picture.  He takes everything and walks back to his car. He had been totally polite the whole time.

After a few minutes he comes back and explains the nature of my offense and wants me to understand that crossing the white line for any reason, except for car breakdown, is against the law. He also explains that I need to get to the DMV ASAP to get a new license.

At that point, three wonderful things happen.

The first is that he lets me off with a warning about crossing the white line. He says to be careful not to do it again.

The second is that gives me a citation for not having a valid driver’s license. If I get license with 60 days, the fine is only $25.

The third (and best part) is that in the “Gender” field on the citation, he has placed an ‘F’ !!! I have been officially recognized as a woman by a CHP officer (despite having my boy name on the rest of citation) .  This alone was worth the $25 fine. I had to turn in the original when I paid the fine, but made a copy of it. It is one of my prized possessions!

I assume that he thought I had transitioned and that my comment about not looking like I did on the license confirmed that to him.

Overall it turned out to be a good experience. The officer treated me with complete respect the entire time as I did him. Getting stopped by the police is often a stressful situation but in this case, it went much better than expected. It was a great confidence boost.

Of course, it probably helped that it occured in Northern California, about 20 miles south of San Francisco,  and on some back road in Texas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knock, knock, is anyone there??

It has been about 3 years since I posted anything to this blog, even longer since I did a lot of posting. There are several reasons why I stopped posting.

I got busy at work and at home and did not have a lot of time to post. .

I ran out of things to say. It turns out to be hard to keep coming up with new material. When one starts blogging it seems like there are too many things to say but eventually one runs out of new thoughts. I seemed to be repeating myself.

It all seemed sort of unnecessary and dull. There are lots of interesting YouTube TG posters with videos that are way more accessible than a written blog. There are thousands of TGs on Facebook posting everyday. TGs are now out in public without apology. They even get their own TV shows and appear on the cover of major magazines. I doubted whether  the thoughts and experiences of one semi “out” TG added anything to the conversation.

I was also sort of disappointed with the lack of comments to my postings. I wrote and wrote and seldom got any feedback. I have come to realize that lack of comments means almost nothing. I follow several really great TG (and other) blogs that also seem to get virtually no comments. I also realized that I seldom comment on other blogs, even those I follow daily, and so comments (or the lack thereof) mean almost nothing.

Finally, sloth…I just got lazy

So why do I want to start blogging again?

First, Donald Trump was elected President and his follows want LGBT folks to disappear from public view. By writing this blog I am refusing to disappear. I will be one more voice  that will not go away. I know I am just one person but presenting my thoughts and activities will add to all the LGBT voices and make sure we don’t just go away like they want us to.

Second, it will be a way I can record all the activities and adventures I have experienced as a part-time TG girl. The last 3-4 years have been a wonderful time for me. I have gone out as Robin more than ever before and done things I could have never dreamed of doing (and some I may have  had nightmares about,  such getting stopped by a California Highway Patrol officer for a traffic offense) . I have also gotten much more comfortable in my “femme skin” than ever before. Given my life situation, I am unlikely ever to transition to full time but at this point I am as comfortable in girl mode as I am in boy mode. For a long time I felt oddly limited when in girl mode. I enjoyed it but lacked a certain confidence in being out. I went to lots of places but also avoided others.   I just want to write down what I have been doing and hopefully others will find it interesting and maybe a bit encouraging.

Writing things down will also help me to remember all the wonderful times I have had, both alone as well as with good friends.

Third, it will be a place where I can write about TG (and nonTG) things that interest me. I changed the title of my blog from “part time robin” to just “Robin Elaine’s blog”. In the past I wrote about just TG things but now I want to write about more than that. our new president, the next few years will be challenging for everyone and I want a place where I can write about it. Even if no one reads it, it will feel good to get my thoughts out.

I hope to write something a couple of times a week but we will see how things go. I have lots of “adventures” from the last 3 years that I want to get down in writing and so I may be living in the past for a while but I hope to mix both new and old adventures to keep things interesting.

–Robin