Slipping into the Shadows

My bedroom

I made it! March 24th, 2016 was the last day of my journey. I am now officially post-transition. It feels amazing to be able to call myself that.

Some things have changed with me in recent months. I’ve removed any references to being transgender on any of my online profiles. I’ve mostly even stopped talking about being transgender in Second Life, unless it’s in private, or if I know all of the people around me personally. I just simply identify as a lady now.

I guess I should say it outright in big bold letters in case any one gets confused that I am not ashamed of being transgender in any way, shape, or form. It’s a part of me. It’s always been a part of me since I was born, and will continue to be a part of me for the rest of my life, and I am totally fine with that. Got it? 🙂

Transition was a big part of my life for many years. I was in therapy for years before I was granted access to hormones, “just to make sure I’m serious.” (This is known as “trans gatekeeping” by our community.) It occupied all of my time for years. I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars. I sold all of the stock I had from a previous job just so I’d have more cash on hand. FWA was the first real vacation I took since transitioning, and it had been a long time since I was there. I had just been saving every last dollar I had to pay for transition related items.

I’ve been harassed more times than I can count, I’ve been told that “lord god almighty you make for an ugly woman,” I’ve had random tourists call me “tranny” while taking my photo, I’ve had gay men yell dirty things at me from across the street in the Castro, I’ve been the butt of people’s jokes while I’m the subway… I’ve been through a lot.

And really, I’m just kinda worn out.

So I’m pulling back some. I want to be just another random lady on the streets for a while. That’s not to say I’m gonna stay in the shadows for forever… most likely I won’t… but for right now, I’m just wanting to relax and move on a bit.

I’m ready to start taking vacations again. I want to get back into supporting rabbit advocacy groups, something I strongly regret having to stop because I didn’t have the funds.

Hopefully this is just a break. I’m hopeful that after I’ve had a few years of “normal life” back under my belt again I’ll feel differently and things will change once again. I have no idea how this is gonna go… I just know I’m worn out and ready to slip into the shadows.

I will, of course, keep on support people in any way that I can, even if I’m not on the front lines. Getting stuff done in the background is what I do for a living, after all. 🙂

Bunny vs The Social Security Administration


I went to the Social Security Administration office in downtown Oakland, CA today. The reason I went was to get my gender marker corrected from male to female now that I’ve had appropriate treatment and am eligible.

It ended in heartache.

Background Stuff to Know

There’s a few things you should know.

  • I am terrified of downtown Oakland. 😦 I get harassed almost every time I go there. I’ve gotten the worse harassment I’ve ever received there. I get nervous and scared every time I even think about going there. This is why I’d held off getting this done for so long… I just didn’t wanna go to Oakland.
  • This was not my first visit to the SSA (or even this office!). I was last here in March of 2014 after I legally changed my name. I knew the drill ’cause I’d done it before.
  • I didn’t change my gender marker during the first visit because I hadn’t yet qualified for it. (I didn’t have surgery until March of 2015.)
  • My first and middle names are very feminine. There’s no male version of ’em, and there is little doubt I am a lady when you hear my name.
  • My last name is one of the most common last names in the United States. It’s not Mickley, but that’s what I’m gonna pretend it is for this story.
  • The only purpose of this visit was to get my gender marker switched to female.

That should do it!

The Story

You may not realize it, but while it doesn’t list your gender on your Social Security card, the SSA does keep track of it, and it’s used as a source of truth for some things. When you go through transition from one gender to another, you learn that there’s two places you have to have update your records – the DMV (this is what shows up on your ID), and the SSA.

I’d been putting off getting my gender marker changed with the SSA, because, ick, it’s not a fun thing to do. I had today off of work, however, and I decided to use that time to be productive and finally get it done.

I got there this morning and checked in. I was given a number, A178, and told to go sit in the waiting room for my number to be called. I didn’t have an appointment, but that was okay. I have an iPhone, and Twitter, and lots of other stuff to do while I wait. I was prepared for a long wait, and it was just fine. I ended up waiting about 90 minutes, which is less than I figured it’d take. (I was counting on two hours!)

While I waited they were calling off numbers slowly. I think they were in the A150’s when I got there, so I was pretty excited when they got to the A170s. Things were going pretty well at this point!

Eventually I hear them say on the PA “Mr. Mickley to window four.” I ignore this because “Mr.,” and because the last name was Mickley. My last name is so common that I just figured there was someone else there with it. It was also kinda weird that they said a name, because up till then, they were calling numbers.

They repeat this a few times. People start looking around the room trying to figure out who Mr. Mickley is, in case he’d fallen asleep or something.

Finally I hear “Last call for Mr. Mickley, number A178, to window four.” I instantly turn white as a sheet and my eyes fill up with tears, since A178 is my number.

I get up and take the walk of shame to the window. Everyone is looking at me at this point, because I’m a chick that got up when they called for “Mr. Mickley,” and I’m really upset and super embarrassed.

I get to the window unable to speak because I was so choked up and was fighting back tears. I give the clerk the letter from my Doctor certifying that I’ve completed my gender transition and the paperwork needed on the SSA’s side to have it changed. (I came prepared – I filled it out ahead of time on my computer and just printed it out and took it with me.)

The clerk asks for my ID, which I hand to him. My ID says that my gender is female, as it should. I still haven’t said a word because I’m so choked up. I finally bring myself to sit down while he’s working, and he calls me “Mr. Mickley” a few times while asking a few basic questions. (This was after I’d handed him my paperwork and my ID, all of which state female, and it was clear that I was there to get their database corrected at this point.) I merely responded by shaking my head.

He asks me “do you have a court order for ‘the change‘?” and I weakly get out “I don’t need one,” because I don’t. (This was the first thing I’d managed to say.) He starts doing something on the computer – looking up the correct procedure I assume – and learns that I’m correct. You don’t need a court order to get your gender changed if you have an affidavit from a licensed Physician.

The clerk keeps working on the computer for a while, and then gets up to talk to someone. I have no idea what he said… getting my name changed was a breeze, so I expected this would be too.

Finally he comes back and makes a photocopy of my doctor’s letter. He returns with the usual stamped letter stating that I’d applied for a new card and that it will be mailed to me in a few weeks. He did manage to call me “Miss Mickley” at this point, but the damage was done. I was a total wreck.

I collect the stamped letter, file it away in my folder, and slip out quietly to the bathroom to cry. 😦


Now that I’ve had time to calm down and collect myself, I am pretty sure the clerk did not mean to be mean to me. I am guessing he thought he was providing really good service by reading a name rather than some stupid number.

The problem is that, like it or not, the SSA and the DMV are the gateways to our identities in the real world. Assumptions like “Mr.” or “Miss” based on a character in a database may not be good there because that’s where we have to go to get it changed, and we need their help to do it.

My first and middle names are very feminine. If he’d just bothered to read the screen, he’d seen that “Mr. Mickley” was completely the wrong thing to call me, but he never did, I guess.

I do intend to contact the SSA office on Monday and let them know what happened. I’m done with them – I won’t need to go back for a long time to come – but I want to make sure that the person that comes after me doesn’t have to deal with what I dealt with today.

I don’t wanna get anyone in trouble, but I want to point out a gap in their training. I want to remind them that to some of us, these things reallllly matter, and we need their help.

I really wish he’d just called out “A178.” 😦

Bathrooms and Tiki Rooms


I spent part of this week at Disneyland! It was great. I love that place. 🙂

The trip was very special to me for a couple of reasons. One, it was great to spend time with a friend I don’t get to spend time with much because we live on opposite coasts. The second is a bit more personal.

The last time I was at Disneyland, in Feb of 2013, I was still presenting male, and hadn’t started toying with the idea that, to be happy, I needed to transition fully. At this point I had already come out as trans to my friends, and they were all very respectful and were doing their best to make me “just one of the girls,” but I hadn’t decided to transition all the way yet.

As most people know, I’m a kidfur. My character is a seven year old bunny rabbit. (I’m not a babyfur. I can use the potty all by myself, thanks!) Part of this is having a family that I’m connected to, including a Mom. I was out in LA to visit with them, but especially my furry Mom. While I was out in LA, they did their very best to let me be one of the girls, even if at that point I didn’t really look the part, and I love them for that. ❤

My furry Mom and I went to Disney together. We spent time in both parks over the course of two days, and I remember it very fondly.

It was my first time in LA, and I didn’t know that once the sun goes down, it gets cold. It gets cold fast. Because of this I wasn’t prepared for sundown at all… once the sun went down I started shivering because I was cold. (It’s Southern California, for sure, but it was also February!)

Well, my furry Mom did her best to be all Mom-like and tried to give me her coat. I wouldn’t take it at first (chivalry is a hard thing to unlearn!), but eventually she got all Mom-like and was like “Bunny, take my coat. Now,” and then more-or-less made me take it. I begrudgingly took it.

Here’s the thing… it was a lady’s coat. I didn’t think much of it, other than it was a purple hoodie and it was warm and I was cold.

Not long afterwards, we stopped at the restrooms inside the Enchanted Tiki Room area. (Right by the entrance door. Most people don’t know they’re there, so they’re very private.) When I was in the bathroom, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

I was kinda shocked at what I saw. I looked… female! The coat did a good job of making me look kinda curvy. I was also holding a white light-up rose, too, so that helped as well. It was just sorta magical to me because I’d never really seen myself that way. I was all like “Wow, I don’t look all that bad!!”

That moment in the Men’s room there at Disneyland was the first time I’d ever even _thought_ “wow, I look okay!” in my life. It was… amazing. I felt so awesome that night. It was the first time I’d ever “cross dressed” in public, and I was doing just fine. 🙂 (I’m careful to use the term “cross dresser,” because I’m not one. I’m a lady and I dress correctly as one.)

This trip, I presented female. I had zero issues passing. I used the lady’s restrooms without so much anyone even looking up, I got gendered correctly the whole time, etc. Kinda awesome to me.

But… I made my friend that I was at Disney with go use those hidden bathrooms at the Enchanted Tiki Room. Not because I had to go, really, but I just wanted to go back to the place that really “started it all” for me.

I got all teary-eyed as I walked up the steps towards the bathroom, only this time, instead of going into the Men’s room, I went into the Women’s room. (And yes, I was wearing that same purple hoodie as before!)

I’m all teary-eyed as I write this. I cried a bit leaving the restrooms that night. It was just so emotional… I… don’t really know what else to say.

The magic that happens in the Enchanted Tiki room is amazing, but the real magic that happened that night in the restroom next to it… that will live with me for forever. ❤