Trans*date 2015-08-02: Pictures Speak – One Year Later

I’ve been taking testosterone for about a year and a month.  I’ve been letting my facial hair grow to see what it does when I don’t shave or trim it.  We start with two pictures taken in June 2014, right before I started.  The rest are from now:

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Now that I have Facial Hair, It’s Easier to Be Feminine

You might be looking at this post with a quizzical eye, maybe an eyebrow lift.  Or maybe you’ve been through all this and you’re nodding in recognition.

It’s not something that happened right away, but as my appearance and voice have become more and more masculine – corresponding with being read as male more often – I’ve gotten more and more comfortable showing my feminine side.  I don’t think it’s something too obvious to external viewers, except for those who know me well.  I don’t wear dresses or skirts, or make up, or lots of jewelry. My femininity expresses as a softness, an openness, some additional flair in the way I talk with my hands.

So why now, you ask?  Why now, when T has commandeered my body and taught it how to do all sorts of amazing things with hair and vocal chords?  Why as my face gets hairier and my chest furrier do I feel OK getting my nellyboy on?  Confidence is a powerful drug.  Feeling good in my skin, being seen, being recognized, being appreciated in a way that is aligned with my self-image has been like Miracle Grow on my self-confidence.  And apparently, it was the lack of that confidence that led me to stifle my feminine side.  Even as I defended its existence, even though I’ve insisted that I’m not all male, that I am a blend of genders… even though my feminine is a closely held part of my identity, I felt insecure expressing anything but masculinity.

I know from conversations with other transmasculine folks that this isn’t uncommon. I’ve been struggling against outside expectations all my life and some of those struggles have been about my masculinity.  My mother tried her darndedest to suppress my masculine side.  The feminist lesbians who were around me in my early 20s did their best to shame it away.  It went under and didn’t come out until it had received repeated invitations from people who were butch positive.  So yeah, once I found myself in a place in life where my masculinity was not only visible, but celebrated and in demand, I didn’t want to confuse matters with a flounce or a faggy flip of the wrist.  I didn’t want to detract from the image I was painstakingly building at the very time that image was beginning to get legs and walk on its own.

So what has changed?  I’ve been asking myself this question.  It’s not just a matter of reaching the proper ratio of body hair to total surface area.  Confidence doesn’t arrive with a  particular Free T level or as a prize for the 100th time someone calls me Sir and doesn’t take it back.  I don’t really know why now is the magic time.  But I have theories.

There are two elements to this new level of comfort I am feeling in expressing my full range of gender.  The first is that I have reached a level of visible and audible masculinity that feels very affirming, it feels right and that has resulted in a lot of confidence. I don’t fear that the slightest hint of femininity will erase the recognition of my maleness.  The second is that I have a sexual partner who is comfortable, turned on and ecstatic to be in the presence of all of my gender expression.  I feel very comfortable and safe with her.  She accepts and loves me in all my configurations and blends.  I feel safe and welcomed and adored by her and my feminine side has been present more and more – which has delighted us both.  I feel less and less gated.  My gender is able to roam freely and express itself in whatever way feels good in the moment, which is really the way it should be for all of us.

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Book Review: Lost Boi by Sassafras Lowrey


I remember reading social media updates from Sassafras Lowrey while ze was writing this novel, updates that spoke in excited tones about the characters and the way the story was unfolding. Now I know why.

Lost Boi is a retelling of Peter Pan, yes. A brilliant, imaginative, ambitious retelling that replaces pirates with Leather men and mermaids with Femmes. There is magic and kink and fairy dust and flying and through it all there is Pan, the charismatic enigma who pulls everything together.

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I enjoyed it for the storytelling, for the character depth and definitely for the kink, leather, BDSM and gender non-conforming elements.  Everyone in that story is someone I could have met, or could still meet.  I found myself slowing down toward the end of the book because I wasn’t ready for the story to end.

This book is a must read for anyone who cherishes creativity and good writing. It’s also a sure bet for those of us hungry for gender nonconforming characters with depth and complexity.  I think in 10 years, we’re going to recognize this novel as a classic in queer literature.  I am eagerly awaiting whatever Sassafras has in mind next.

Lost Boi by Sassafras Lowrey gets 5 boots from this reader.


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Black Hankie: You Earned It

My Dearest Lover,

You are amazing, do you know that? I am still in awe of the nasty beating you took from NeighborFemme and me at BSQ earlier this month. And you thought you might not perform well enough to deserve your black hanky. Let me tell you something, I never doubted you.

It was a hot day and we knew it would be hotter inside the play space. Hotter still with two tops giving you undivided attention. I watched from my perch on the bootblack’s chair while you set up our space. I appreciated the way you resourcefully solved a technical problem with the equipment I’d brought. I watched you and loved you and the anticipation inside me built. I imagine your anticipation was at an 11.

Neighbor Femme arrived and we had a quick conversation about how to approach our double team. I told her about the black hanky and her eyebrows went up. “Well, this is a special evening.”

You were very quiet.  I could tell you were gathering yourself, trying to prepare when you couldn’t know what exactly to prepare for.  You knew she was bringing crops and you’d seen all that I put in my bag – you’d set it all out for me.  There was the new flogger I’d bought that day, there were paddles and an impact toy.  There was the DIY toy I’d created just for you – extension cord with the ends cut off, creating two raw wire ends.  That’s the one that had prompted you to give me a dirty look and call me a fucker.  I think maybe that’s my Top’s first name, Fucker.  We’ll go with that.

I asked you if you wanted to start facing toward the post or out.  You opted for out, so I got you buckled into the cuffs I’d bought earlier that day (it was a good shopping day).  I’ll be honest, I was nervous, too. Remember this was only the second time I’d topped someone in public AND it was the first time I’d ever double-topped someone.  I knew Neighbor Femme was up to the task, it was me I was worried about.

There are practical aspects to doubling a bottom that I hadn’t encountered before, like how to coordinate the my flogging with her cropping so that I didn’t hit her and didn’t hit you in an out of bounds place.  We seemed to find our way fairly quickly, wouldn’t you say?

I started you with a warm up, slapping and squeezing you with my hands.  NF made a joke about it, but she didn’t try to dissuade me.  She’s not much for warming up but I know you like it and I like to give it.  I like to get the feel of you in my skin, to see the way you pink up under my attention and to hear your breathing get heavier.

The real fun started when I began using the flogger.  NF quickly joined in with her crops and you quickly became pink-tinged squirmy.  NF has a mean streak, you knew about that from my stories and it’s part of what made you nervous.  She showed you a bit of that when she used her knuckles on your chest.  I know how much that hurts. She became particularly interested in your armpits, and you howled about that.  I cannot say I know how that feels, though from your reaction, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to find out.

Once your armpits and front side were a lovely pink color, tinged with quickly rising purple splashes, it was time to turn you around.  We both checked in with you, wanting to see how you were doing.  You had wet cheeks and tears in your eyes.  You also had fierceness in those gorgeous eyes of yours.  You gave me a stern look when I asked if you were OK, perhaps you were even offended.  Of course you were OK.  I gave you a quick kiss and we continued.

I warmed you up with the flogger, really enjoying the sweeping figure eights I created across your pale skin.  NF came in soon, liberally sprinkling stingy pain over the traces of flogger.  She wanted to play with the flogger, too, so I handed it off to her and looked through the other implements you’d set out.

You got a taste of your heart paddle, a hurtful device made of acrylic that left lovely heart shaped marks on your sweet ass.  NF and I admired the way they showed up against your paleness.  I only gave you a taste because after all the beating you’d already had, too much of that paddle would have taken you right out of the game.

And there was definitely more fun to be had.  Dropping the heart paddle, I grabbed the extension cord.  You glared at me as I cheerfully informed you that it was time to get some tiger stripes. After a couple of strikes, your fears were confirmed:  this was a fucker of a way to get marks.  ”Look at those tiger stripes!  Do you feel like a tiger, baby?”

I cackled with sadistic glee.  You glared at me anew.  NF came in close to ask you if you could roar like a tiger.  You gave it your best, though we’d taken a lot out of you already, it came out as more of a whimper.  I had a feeling you were nearing your fill of Fucker and Bitch.  I gave you some more of that extension cord and then used my hands to ‘massage’ it in.  The marks were excellent.  Once I had my hands on you, it was hard to keep them off.  I ‘massaged’ you some more and threw in some slaps and punches.  Mmmmm, I do love your flesh so much.

Was it the punches that did it, finally?  It’s a bit of a blur for me now.  NF bid us adieu and gave you kudos before joining her family for a demo nearby.  I came in close again to see how you were doing, “Do you need more?”

You did not.

I unclipped you and took the cuffs off.  I was so proud of you – I’m still so proud – for taking so much pain in a short period of time.  Your performance was impressive.  You sat down and took a few moments to compose yourself under a sheet.  I cleaned up and put the toys away.  We moved from the open public space to the back room and stretched out on a bed.  You started coming out of your after-scene shell and we talked about the scene.

You’d told me that you wanted to have the final say over whether you’d earned the black hankie or not.  I agreed, even though I was concerned you’d be far more critical than I would.  I agreed because if you didn’t feel you’d earned it, it would be an empty reward.

“So, how do you feel about the black hankie?”

Your eyes were fierce, “I earned that fucker!”

Yes you did, love.  I handed you the hankie that I’d bought months before.  That fierce, triumphant look in your eyes was priceless, beyond measure.  I love the way you proudly display your hankie at every opportunity. I am so grateful for the gift of you, for the way you submit to my sadistic pleasure.  You are a prize, my love.  I know it, Neighbor Femme knows it and anyone watching us that night knows it, too.

You didn’t just earn it that night, but all the times leading up to that when you took everything I dished out and asked for more.  You’ve lived up to it every time since.

Thank you my sweet, fierce, strong, amazing lover.  You wear that black hankie well.


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Got Some Needs? Give Miss Bee a Call

Have you ever solicited the services of a phone sex operator?  Ever wanted to?  Here’s your chance… it’s not cheap, but then, the good things never are.  Meet Miss Bee aka Neighbor Femme:

Well hello there Butchtastic readers!

I’m Miss Bee, some of you longer term readers may know me as Neighbor Femme.  I’ve been a phone sex operator for 8 years, and have recently changed companies.  I’m rebuilding my business with Niteflirt at Life Coaching and Real Talk. I’m running a special to build up my ratings – I specialize in domination, foot fetish, and gentle to heavy humiliation.  Really though, with 8 years under my cute belt, I’m great with a very wide range of things from talking about Trans* things to really delicious role plays.

The fun thing about phone is anything you talk about is confidential. Just between you and me.  Some people think of it as cheap therapy.

Anyway, the other thing I wanted to share is that I have a new blog for those that prefer to voyeur at

Happy July, and may the fireworks ever be lit in your bed!

~Kisses and bites~
Miss Bee


If you do give Miss Bee a call, make sure to say Kyle sent you :-)

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Seeing Myself

I used to imagine what I’d look like if I born male, if I were born with the expected physical features of biological maleness.  I’d give myself facial hair and mentally take the roundness out of my cheeks and let that image float in front of what I was seeing in the mirror.  I think this is a pretty common activity among trans* people.

I was reflecting today on the fact that I can now see the maleness in my face without squinting my eyes and doing mental overlays.  It’s not that my face has changed drastically – the shape is a little different and yes, my facial hair is darker and in greater quantity – but it’s still my face, the face I’ve had since becoming an adult.  So why can I see the masculinity so much more easily now?

I think it’s all in my head.  All my life I’ve been schooled in the art of seeing the female in my face and body, regardless of the masculine tells.  It was another overlay that fit firmly over my image when I looked in the mirror, that I saw first and foremost.  When I began questioning my gender identity and exploring what gender could mean to me, I began seeing the male more often.  It was like a flickering image, at first it was hard to hold on to but eventually I could steady it and examine its details.  It was like having another person in my body.  Sometimes I’d see the female butch dyke, sometimes I’d see the man.  I remember confessing to Roxy that I had a crush on my male side, it was really like looking at the image of someone else, someone I craved being in the presence of, the Kyle side of me.

This morning I took a selfie of myself and looking at the picture I took, all I could see was the maleness.  My perception has switched over – now it’s more rare for me to see the femaleness in me, it flickers in and out of my vision and won’t stabilize any more.

I am still surprised at being seen as a man in the world, strangers rarely misgender me now.  It still surprises me because inside I am still a mixed gender person and the habit and expectation of being seen of female is based on 50 years of experience.


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“I need him”

“I need him, yes, really I do.”

She’s motioned to a door I keep closed.  I narrow my eyes, wanting to believe her but not sure.  I keep that door closed for a reason.  I’ve only opened it once and the result wasn’t good.

She gets close, holds my face and looks into my eyes.

“I am telling you, I want all of you.  All. Of. You.  And the one behind that door?  I need him.  I know why you keep that door closed and I’m asking you to open it for me.

Trust me.”

I’ve pulled out my keys and I’m beginning the process of unlocking that door.  I can hear him behind it, whispering to me, whispering in that seductive way he has.  I tell her what he’s saying, I become his conduit again.  She gets eager, desire rolling off of her in waves of scented heat.  He talks to her through me and she swoons in my arms.

Just a few more locks and she’ll get what she needs.

The Bad Man is already leaning against the door.

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Six Months

The thirteenth of each month, SWW and I add a notch in our relationship belt.  One month, two, three, four months… it’s now been six.

This love affair started while I was still sifting through the ashes of heartbreak.  Not the most auspicious way to begin a new love, and I was skeptical at first, unsure if I was on the right footing for a new beginning.  Interesting thing about hearts is they don’t see the contradiction in being heartbroken while falling in love.  Though SWW was certain of her feelings and her desire to explore a relationship with me, I was hesitant.  What if I was just reacting impulsively from a place of hurt and sadness?  I valued SWW’s friendship and personhood enough that I didn’t want to start down the relationship path and decide at a later date that I’d acted hastily.

She was patient, well, no, she wasn’t but she was willing to give me time.  She was a race car revving its engine at the starting line.  She told me that once I gave her the green light, she was coming for me at full speed.  I remember how my heart raced even as a part of it was walled off, scared and defensive.

I sent her an email without words, just an image:





And then it was on like Donkey Kong.

In the last six months, a lot has happened.  SWW moved into a sweet little apartment in Olympia, became a part of my family, became buddies with my wife and our love has blossomed, deepened and become essential to life.

I have had great love affairs with amazing people and this is somehow deeper, safer, more of adventure than any of them.  Perhaps it’s a matter of timing and where I am now in my life.  I feel more capable of this kind of love than I did in the past.  And by ‘capable’ I mean, patient and solid and more in charge of my shit.  Also, less likely to pick up the other person’s baggage and own it.

When I got together with SWW, I felt wide open and stripped down to my essentials.  Heartbreak will do that to me, like a cleansing fire.  I was unwilling to be anything but the person I am, flaws and all, with all my messy bits on display.  Having lost in such an epic way at love, I felt I had nothing more to lose at that moment so why not just be me?  I wasn’t trying to be my best self, it was enough to try to find my center again and hold that. It was enough not to let the waters close over my head.

She loved me just the way I was, right where I was and I did the same with her.  She’d also been through some rough emotional business and was working through the aftermath of a relationship.  It was one of those situations where a rational person might say, “Hold on, you’re both coming out of relationships… are you ready to jump in again?”  Apparently, we were ready.  The song by Ed Sheeran, “Thinking Out loud”, has some very applicable lyrics, it’s one of our songs:

… people fall in love in mysterious ways, maybe it’s all part of a plan…. we found love right where we are

When she told me she loved me, on our first date, 6 months ago today, I was scared.  I told her so.  I also told her that I’d fallen in love with her, too.  I was afraid of the timing, that I wasn’t being rational and that I’d hurt her.  I was scared I wouldn’t do it right, wouldn’t give her enough – that’s happened enough times before.  She took my face in her hands and said, “I will take everything you can give me and not one bit more.”

She’s repeated it since, reminding me that I’m not letting her down when I spend time with my wife, family and other friends.  Reminding me that she loves me right where I am.  This is a love we can sustain, a love we can build on and though it is a hot, sexy, fiery love, it’s not going to burn out any time soon.

She’s amazing, my lover is.  She’s sexy as hell, mentally sharp and with a wicked streak that makes me hard and soft at the same time.  She is really, really, really good at sex.  Like me, she contains a multitude of facets and we combine in some amazing and surprising ways.  We keep finding new kinks to share with each other.  She’s the closest I’ve found to a full match to my sexual, kinky, mental, emotional, spiritual needs.  She knows me more deeply than anyone on the planet, and yes, that’s saying a lot and I don’t say it lightly.  Again, a lot of this is about timing.  I have come to a place in my life where I feel more whole than I every have before and I am more able to give deeply from all that I am and it turns out she is the perfect recipient.

Typically by the four to six month mark, cracks have begun to appear, indications of conflict that will either break the relationship up or be the big issue we have to work through.  We haven’t had those.  We’ve had some things come up and we immediately work through them.  One reason for that is that neither of us is carrying the others baggage.  We are both pretty good at sitting in witness while the other vents or works through a conflict they have with someone else knowing that it’s not our problem to solve.  This is very different for me.  My White Knight seems to be enjoying his retirement.

We are compatible sexually, we turn each other on mentally and our souls are at home with each other.  On top of that, she and my wife like each other and that’s made a huge difference.  I don’t have the extra burden of managing their relationship or interactions.  They have their own relationship and it’s not mine to manage.  And yeah, this is another manifestation of me feeling whole and secure in myself.  My insecurity is at an all-time low and that sets the stage for wonderful things.

I can’t believe it’s only been six months.  It feels like we’ve always known each other.  Maybe we have.  Maybe this is one in a long line of lives where we’ve been able to connect.  Whatever the reason, she feels like home to me.  Life is good, y’all.  We stand at six months and look out onto an eternity of future love together.

 Switchy Witchy Woman… my love, thank you for the past six months, for your faith in us and your strength in speaking your truth every time.  Thank you for being my best friend and safe harbor.  Thank you for being someone I can trust, that trust gets deeper every day.  Thank you for being someone I can relax and be in the moment with, those moments are what I cherish.  Thank you for seeing me.  Thank you for allowing me to see you.  I love you, seriously excited to see what our next six months brings – <3 Kyle


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Date Not Derailed by Bad Shrimp

I started feeling iffy on the way to her house.  Switchy Witchy Woman and I had a date this weekend, and not just a ‘going out for drinks’ kind of date, this was to be my first sleepover in her new apartment.  So even though I felt a little irpy and gassy, I wasn’t going to veer from my course directly to her door.

The off feeling continued and my antacid did nothing to ease the unease in my guts.  Ignoring the rising chorus of voices in my head telling me that all of this was a very, very bad idea, I drove us downtown.  We hadn’t decided on where to start our evening, so we walked around a bit and I pointed out some shops she hadn’t been too yet.  Showing her new things in Olympia is still one of my favorite activities, though there are less and less of them every day.  She’s a really good at exploring and she loves this town.

We decided on the QB (Quality Burrito) Lounge where she asked our bartender Ted for a somewhat fancy vodka drink while I ordered a Black Butte, one of my usuals.  At this point my tummy was trying really hard to get my attention but I was steadfastly ignoring it and telling it to relax and have a good time.  Yes, I was being very nonconsensual with my stomach.  The sad reality is, when your tummy isn’t having a good time, it’s hard to relax and get frisky and romantic and last night was no exception.  About half-way through my bottle, I knew I was done.  SWW paid our tab and drove me back to her place.  Bare minutes after we got in the door, I was heaving my guts out in her bathroom.

She offered to hold my hair which is sweet and hilarious considering I’ve not much hair to hold.

All told I threw up a couple of times and then curled up in a ball on her bed. She took wonderful care of me, she’s an excellent Big Spoon.  I felt better and after a few hours of sleep, I could tell that whatever it was that upset my stomach, it was gone.

It was very early in the morning when I woke up to pee and came back to bed feeling frisky.  I’d awaken from a bad dream to find myself in bed with a gorgeous woman.  That is always a good thing.

Also a good thing, I’d asked her before passing out, “If I wake up and I feel good and I…”

“Yes, you have consent.”


We got our sweet sexy love on and slept some more and woke up for more lovin’ and repeated that for a bit before hunger got us up for good.  She made waffles and bacon and excellent coffee with real cream.  I started slow, but it seemed the tummy storm had truly passed.

I got home in the early afternoon and my wife was getting ready to mow the lawn.  I told her about getting sick and she said she’d had a rough night with an aching belly, too, though without the same results.  After going over what we’d both eaten at the grad picnic we had attended that evening, we decided to blame the shrimp.

Thank you, SWW, for being the most excellent date a sick guy could ever have.  I love you infinitely.

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Super Fun Weekend


I traveled to LA this weekend to help my brother celebrate his Doctorate.  I went with the other members of our family of origin, joined by his husband’s sister, one of my exes who he’s close to, three long time friends and mentors and various spouses.  There were 15 of us to witness his hooding and celebrate together.

It was a spectacularly good time.

My mom, dad, sister and sister-in-law flew down Wednesday.  Thursday we road the train from my brother’s place near East Pasadena into downtown for the hooding ceremony.  Once my brother had his fancy new hoodie, we stopped briefly at the reception to snack and get pictures taken and then back to the train.  That night we had reservations at Maximillio’s.  It had been raining off and on all day and was supposed to rain more that night, and the tables we’d reserved were outside but we were determined.

One of our group, an LA resident, brought wine and champagne.  The food was delicious, the company amazing.  My brother really does have some excellent people in his life.  About a half hour into our evening, weather started to happen. At first it was a light patter of rain, but soon a downpour.

The tables were covered, which held back most of the rain.  The staff huddled in the doorway, looking toward our table.  We whooped and hollered and kept drinking. Unfortunately there was a drip line.  I was sitting next to my brother along the backside of the table, the drip line went right across our heads.  The roof was apparently only ‘LA normal rainfall’ rated because it threw up its hands and shrieked like a drag queen with a ruined wig as it was pelted with extra heavy rain drops.

We shifted around, someone passed an umbrella my way and my brother and I ducked under it.  Our plucky waitress dashed out and asked if we wanted to move inside.  We laughed hysterically and insisted we were fine.  She suggested we move the tables 6 inches, which moved us out of the drip line.  The tables were moved and we partied on.  Not long after our dinner came out, we got a brilliant light show.  A thunder storm moved slowly over us, with lightening flashes coming fast and furious.  It was a dinner none of us will soon forget, including the staff who got wet on our behalf (we offered them our umbrellas, they insisted they were fine).  I’m sure they all thought we were nut jobs, but they also seemed to be having a great time.  Not often you get a party of 15 to sit outside and spend over $400 during a thunder storm.

The next day’s original plan had been to attend the university wide commencement but the rain and lack of cover for that ceremony led our illustrious leader to give us all a pass. He’d already gotten his hood and diploma holder, no need for all of us to sit in the rain for hours.  That’s when his friend who lives in LA offered to host a brunch.  Much better idea, and we didn’t need to get early either.

We took our time with brunch, which came together with contributions from all of us.  It stopped raining partway through and the sun came out to dry her outside furniture.  Little conversation groups were scattered inside and out.  It was awesome.


After a brief rest and wardrobe change, we were off again to party in downtown LA.  Our destination was a rooftop at 16 floors called the Perch.  It was fabulous. My BIL pointed out the various landmarks, including the buildings he and my brother had worked in.  The company was amazing again and expanded to include people from every institution of higher learning my brother had attended or worked for (up and down the coast).  Whereas the group of 15 were mostly people I’d met before, the majority of folks at this party were not.  I took advantage by introducing myself as my brother’s brother, which he reinforced.  People remarked at how alike we looked.  Then I’d point to my sis, ‘That’s our sister.”  Again, as in Florida, I was passing as male without having to try hard.

We left the rooftop late and found dinner at a place called Cole’s that almost exclusively serves french dips of various kinds.  There were pictures of celebrities and the one-time owner on the walls.  After that we all went home to crash.

Saturday the weather had improved which was good because we were headed out on another big field trip.  Most of our posse of 15 were going to the Getty Center to geek out on art and architecture. It is a beautiful place.  The buildings almost appear to float on top of this low mountain that you reach by riding a tram that winds its way up the slope.  My lovely girlfriend, the SwitchWitch, had been there and gushed about the experience.  I left with almost a hundred dollars worth of gifts and keepsakes and a renewed artistic inspiration.


I parted with the posse that afternoon when a friend who lives in LA picked me up and took me to hang out in Santa Monica.  I hadn’t seen her and her husband for 6 years, when we’d all attended the New York Sex Blogger’s Calendar Party.  They took me down to Venice Beach where we strolled, talked and gawked before having a great meal and beers across from the beach.  We watched the sun go down and the Santa Monica pier carnival lights come up.  Before heading back to my brother’s, they treated me to ice cream at Scoops. It was one final magical night in LA.

I was back at the home base by 10:30.  The next morning we had an early start, flying out of Burbank at 7 am.  I woke up at 4:45 to shower and drink coffee.  My bags were already packed and ready.  Coffee cup in hand, I walked up the terraces behind the house and looked out on the pre-dawn terrain.  Roosters and birds were heralding the day but human noises were almost nonexistent.  It was bittersweet goodbye.


The weekend was full of highlight-reel worthy moments.  Some of my most cherished are the small moments (those who know me won’t be surprised).

  • Watching my brother embrace his husband after the hooding ceremony.  They held each other for a long moment and I could see the tears in my brother’s eyes.  He pulled back and looked into the eyes of his beloved and without words thanked him for three years of sacrifice and support.
  • Sitting with one of my brothers long-time mentors and her husband, talking about art and inspiration, creative passion and artistic vision. True to her form, she had advice for me and I’ve tucked it away for further consideration.
  • The moment my sister corrected herself after using the wrong pronoun for me.
  • The joy and pride I felt being introduced and celebrated as the older brother.
  • that last morning, taking coffee in the pre-dawn calm

…. and a lot more that I know will come to me in the days to come.

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