I had lived in the Atlanta-Metro in the 1990’s and thought there was no place in this country I’d rather be again.  Maybe I would find my Queen; maybe I would come out of my depression; maybe I would feel differently in a place that had so many Black people.  I was excited, but I was also apprehensive for some reason.  It wasn’t long after I got here that I realized I would need a little help because I didn’t really feel any differently after the excitement wore off.  I had already gotten hooked up into the VA system in Decatur, got a doctor to dispense my anti-depressants, and a month or two later, contacted them to find a therapist.  They told me they didn’t have anybody available at the main VA; would I mind talking with someone at a civilian facility that the VA would pay for.  I didn’t care; as long as I got to speak with a counselor … any counselor.  I was tired of feeling this way and hadn’t had any kind of consistent therapy in well over a decade.

I began seeing Sylvia, and told her shortly after I started speaking with her that I thought I might be transgender.  She quickly mentioned that she saw other transgender people, but it didn’t make it any easier to discuss with her.  I thought it merely interesting that she had transgender clients, but I was ill-at-ease to discuss anything more than the admittance to her.  I knew nothing about what it meant to be transgender other than I felt like a man stuck in a female body.  I was still an emotional wreck, very isolated, and very depressed.  All I knew was that I had to begin somewhere.  I expressed my distress over not being able to get out of depression and cried a lot when I visited her.  At first, I saw her every 2 weeks.  I lived for my visits with Sylvia, because the rest of my life was virtually non-existent.  I slept all the time, only left my house to eat, came home and went back to sleep.  Nothing else mattered to me.  I wasn’t suicidal, but I wasn’t living, either.  She encouraged me to get out and about constantly, but I couldn’t hear her and nothing interested me except playing games on my computer, watching TV, and I had started becoming familiar with Facebook.  I hated Facebook at first; as do I anything technical in nature when I first come upon it.  Since PC’s were invented, I always stayed at least a year behind technology, because I never cared to deal with the bugs introduced in new software.  Best to let excited computer-illiterate people deal with new software, because I knew better.  Anyway, it wasn’t long after I got used to Facebook, that a woman named Doris, from Africa, began to talk with me.  She was involved with someone, but was the first young woman who could hold my attention and that I couldn’t run away.  I used everything I knew to make her go away, but she was so aggressive, I became intrigued with her.  I began to sleep less, looked forward to my nightly talks with Doris and visits with Sylvia.  So, for the next 3-1/2 years, I had two women who kept me clinging onto life.  Doris fell in love with me, but because of her age and distance from me, I just refused to reciprocate her love.

One thing I did begin to do was to research what transgender meant.  I looked at surgical photos, watched videos, read articles, but I had not embraced it within myself.  I continued to be in lesbian groups on Facebook, flirted with women every once in a while, and never told Sylvia that I was researching the subject.  She wanted me to get involved in some kind of volunteer endeavors, but they didn’t appeal to me at all.  I just quietly researched transgender males.  Every once in a while, Sylvia would ask me if I had thought any more about FTMs (Female-to-Males), and I never really answered her positively or negatively.  I just refused to discuss it with her.  She also wanted me to join her pain-management group, but I didn’t think I was in enough physical pain to get anything out of that group, plus it was held in the mornings, which I couldn’t stand.  I have always been nocturnal, and being retired allowed me to keep my own hours.  Plus, there was a 6-hour difference between where I live and Doris, and we always spoke in her mornings.  I told her about Doris, but Sylvia didn’t understand how I could carry on with someone so far away, so I didn’t tell her about Doris for a long time.

Within the 3-1/2 years, I went out just two times in 2013 or 2014 (I can’t remember).  Once to a lesbian party in a mansion (I was invited to by a lesbian on Facebook), and another time to a bar the same year.  I was very uncomfortable at the party, but hung in there until it ended.  I met the woman who threw the party, and she was a friendly stud.  I still didn’t have much to say, and just stood around a smiled.  I went back inside, and a very beautiful woman named Jordan came bouncing up to me, introduced herself, gave me a hug, and flitted away.  I followed her around, but never had the guts to say anything to her.  I watched her dance by herself, and whichever floor she was on, I found myself on the same floor … beating myself up for not having enough courage to have a conversation with her.  I’m sure she noticed I always seemed to be near, so while we were around the pool table on the main floor, she introduced me to her stud friend.  It was then that she told me both of them starred on the Internet TV series called Studsville.  Stardom never impressed me, but I was polite and found a seat to watch women playing billiards.  When Jordan went downstairs again, I followed her.  People were getting pretty smashed, including Jordan, and that always bored me to tears.  Another woman did sit down next to me while I was watching Jordan on the dance-floor in the basement, and she was very talkative.  She told me she was there with her stud girlfriend who she thought was too young for her, and told me she was from South Carolina.  I don’t remember much of what she said, because I kept having a conversation in my head about Jordan.  I nodded, said, “Uh huh” a lot, but I wasn’t paying much attention to the woman talking my ear off.  Her young stud did come up to us, and she introduced me to her.  I shook her hand, said it was nice to meet her, and she sauntered away.  I had finally decided I had enough of the party, and when I got up to leave, Jordan was standing by the stairs that led to the main floor.  I stared into her eyes as I approached her, and she reached out and touched the upper part of my chest.  She kissed me on the cheek and said goodnight.  What a jolt of electricity I got out of that one touch; it had been so long since a woman touched me.  But, I still couldn’t say anything, just smiled, and went upstairs to wait for the shuttle to take us all back to the parking lot where our cars were.  I went home, went to bed, and the next day, I looked for Jordan on Facebook.  I found her, sent her a friend request, and had a few conversations with her.  But, I mostly just watched her, things she said on her timeline and inside the group we both belonged to.  I quickly discovered that she wanted an OCD stud, which I wasn’t, and that was the end of my short obsession with Jordan.  I remained friendly with her, and reached out to her every now and then, but I didn’t pursue her anymore.

The bar I went to was in Downtown Atlanta, and I was one of the first people to show up.  The music was rather good, but there were no chairs, and my foot began to hurt.  There was a VIP room, but it cost too much, so I just stood around and watched people come in.  They were all way younger than I was, and as the bar started filling up, the music changed and sounded terrible to me.  Because I couldn’t sit down, my knee began to hurt.  I went outside to smoke a cigarette, it was freezing and I didn’t have a coat on.  After I finished, I limped to my car, left without going back in the club and went home.

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