Friday, December 20, 2013


On page 318 of the December issue of Elle Magazine, the one with Lea Michele on the cover, looking over her shoulder with smoldering eyes encircled with thick black eyeliner, were this month’s horoscopes. After scanning Sagittarius’s prognostication for the beautiful yet unpredictable Amanda Seyfried, who was born on December 3rd in the same year I graduated from high school, I read mine; I’m a Pieces by the way, February 19th - March 20th. After the new moon arrives on the 2nd, expect major career recognition to head your way. Watch for exciting calls that may offer opportunities to broaden your influence. The 12th could bring good news…

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Kiss is Still a Kiss

I just came across a lovely article, written in 2008, about a dear friend, Jhan Dean Egg. He was known to many, including my friends and family, as just  "Egg".  I only saw him a few times after he moved to San Fransisco and we lost touch in the late 90's. I knew he was HIV+, but never learned what became of one of the most inspiring people I've ever met.  He died 15 years ago on December 13th, 1998.  While we were art students at Syracuse University, he was one of the first boys/men I passionately kissed and caressed.  I will always remember his bearded stubble burning my lips, his persistent phone calls to my dorm pay phone, his love of music, and his infinite optimism. I miss you friend.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I was sitting on what seemed like a paper plane, with my seat belt securely fastened, drifting through space, 30,000 feet above Indiana or Ohio.  Actually I didn’t really know where I was, but it was very dark on the other side of the thick oval window and I imagined my hand would instantaneously freeze off if stuck my arm into cold air flying past at 500 miles an hour. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

No Drama

About to cross the finish line
After twenty miles, I slowly crossed the Willis Avenue Bridge and entered the Bronx.  Despite the deep thumping base and encouraging words from DJ Leon Martin on the corner of 135th Street, I was questioning why I was doing this.  My knees ached, my left foot felt like a nail was being hammered through the bottom of my Saucony running shoes into my heel on every step, and my right calf was cramping so bad I would repeatedly screamed out, “FUCK!” every 400 feet, it was like I had Tourette's. What was I trying to prove? 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Running Down a Dream

Despite being sick for the past three weeks and just finishing a course of antibiotics, I still plan to run the New York Marathon Sunday. I called my pulmonologist yesterday to ask for help as my asthma wasn't cooperating either. He responded hesitantly, you're still running? He doesn't get it.  The 26.2 mile course travels through all five boroughs and is lined with millions of cheering New Yorkers, then finishes in Central Park. I will be one of 40,000 other runners on Sunday chasing a dream.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Up and Away

Sometimes the road gets tough, yet sometimes I experience a glimpse of humanity and I’m lifted up. Sunday I ran the Maine Half Marathon for the fifth consecutive year. With nearly four thousand runners, the race is one of the most popular in the state.
Start of Maine Marathon-Half Marathon Portland, Maine 2013
 I remember my first one quite clearly and while it was only four years ago, it seems worlds away. My colleagues had challenged each other to train over the summer and run the race in early October.  I was looking for the feeling of being part of something and started training in June.  While I had been a runner in high school, that was twenty-five years earlier, plus I had other priorities and diversions that I used as excuses to keep me from running for years.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

In New York, Living

Like so many other participants who attended last week’s training for transgender organizers, I arrived in New York City on Tuesday evening.  The first part of my trip ended at The Port Authority in midtown Manhattan after a 51/2- hour bus ride from Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  After successfully navigating the three flights of escalators I emerged into the perpetual light of 7th Avenue.  With my carry-on bag and over packed suitcase filled with way too many shoes, I started walking south to my waiting hotel and the other conference participants 20 blocks away. In New York people don’t get out of the way and they rarely smile.  I felt like an Atlantic salmon swimming upstream encountering damn after damn along the way.  After five or so blocks, my feet started to hurt and my back ached from sitting for so long, with a little guilt I hailed-down a cab to carry me to my destination, a Holliday Inn on 26th street in Chelsea.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Kids are Alright VI - Be Gone and Live

I woke up the other morning to the sound of the school bus that passes by my house at 6:40 every school day.  It startled me out my sleep as it was the first day of school and I hadn’t heard the hum of that diesel engine with its large rubber tires hurtling down my country road all summer.  For years I used to gauge my mornings by the flash of yellow passing by my house, knowing I should be grabbing my lunch bag and coffee by that then to make it school on time, but not that morning.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bring a Peace to my Soul

I there something wrong with me?  Looking back over that past few weeks, I wonder if my colonoscopy was the highlight.  Trust me, I rather be writing about returning to teaching, the job and career I have dedicated my life pursuing, or writing about my new girlfriend, the one with long fragrant chestnut brown hair.  The one I hold like a doll made of china. The one who ignores me as I stare into her blue eyes that are as deep as the Atlantic Ocean, but I can’t, because I don’t have a girlfriend and I don’t have a job.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Just Another Day

Overlooking the Mad River Valley from the porch of a home my family had rented for the second year in a row, I sat on a slightly uncomfortable metal chair stealing a few minutes of peace and quiet away from the commotion of young children playing electronic games indoors, oblivious to the green grass, blue skies, and spectacular views that awaited, just a few feet away.  How far could I see from the replica white farmhouse? It was perched on the side of a mountain, encircled by a mote of Hydrangeas and guarded by a solitary blue spruce, which also doubled as an apartment complex for numerous species of birds.  I was unsure, so I did a little research.  The distance to the horizon from an elevated position can be calculated by taking the square root of two times the radius of the earth plus the elevation.  If the elevation from the GPS in my sister’s gray Chevy Suburban that just past 200,000 miles on her trip to Vermont is accurate, the distance to the horizon, including my height, is approximately 105 miles, that’s not taking into consideration atmospheric refraction and other obstacles like trees and mountains.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tale of Two Races was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us… 

My weekend started with a bang, well not actually an explosion, rather it was a pathetic electronic horn attached to a megaphone being used to start a 5k race on Friday evening. Standing alongside hundreds of other runners at the beginning of the 16th annual library road race, I felt like an alien in my own town.  You’d think by now I’d get used to the stares and awkward glances, but I haven’t yet.  Two years ago this was the first race I competed in since starting my gender transition.  I’ve run many races over the past few years, but this one is close to home.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Kids are alright part V

Sharply dressed in brand new white corduroys and a black polo shirt, I met up with several my neighborhood friends at the intersection of Newtonville Ave. and Harvard St. on a bright September morning. We were going walk together on our first day of junior high. I don’t remember getting a lot of new clothes as a child. I wore a lot of hand-me-downs from my four older brothers.  I even recall a series of elementary school class pictures where three of us are smiling like we were actually happy to have our pictures taken, wearing the same red dress shirt, passed down year after year.  There was also the occasional stolen item from my mother and sisters’ closets, worn in private or underneath.   Even though these new clothes were for boys, getting a new outfit was special, and the first day of school was indeed that. 

Sunday, June 30, 2013


Nearly 20 years ago I turned by back on organized religion, and any belief I once had in fate or God faded with my youth. Recently I attended my aunt’s wedding and that was my first time in a church in several years, and definitely my first as transgender woman.  While I was excited to share in her special day, I had my some own apprehensions.  But it felt reassuring to be included in the event, and it was a chance for me to show my aunt how much she has meant to me.  It was also an excuse to buy a new dress. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013


I was about four miles into a hot and humid run and my asthma was making each step and breath seem like a major accomplishment.  It was the first full day of summer and I felt it.  In the distance I noticed a young girl with a bright yellow top riding a bicycle towards me on the opposite side of the road along Goose Rocks Beach.  As she approached, it appeared she was riding erratically, as if she this was her first time without training wheels.  Her sun drenched salty shoulder length wavy blonde hair tousled from side to side. As our paths were about to cross, it suddenly dawned on me that she wasn’t riding a bike at all;

Friday, June 7, 2013

Gone Again is Summer

On the final morning of our final day at the Millay Colony for the Arts, our group of eight writers were meeting one last time. We gathered in a circle, like we did every morning all week, sitting at the dinning table to read our stories and solicit feedback. As the conversation turned to the business side of writing, I lost interest. Leaning against the frame of the screen door with a glass of water in my hand I drank in the lush views across fields of June grass and violet wild flowers. The colony sits on acres of land that border Edna St. Vincent Millay's former house and gardens. While I should have been paying closer attention to the discussion, my back and mind were tired, and my thoughts started to wander like I had done every afternoon for hours until dinner. During my adventures, I hiked through fields and woods, walked and jogged along dirt paths, and slipped, on more than one occasion, into very cold streams.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Woman's Glory

In the fascinating documentary, Good Hair, Chris Rock's teenage daughter confronts him about straightening her hair.  This question opens a  window into the wonderful world of black women and their unique relationship with hair.  In the film, Maya Angelou is interviewed and passes on this sentiment, “hair is a woman's glory.”  For me, my hair has become a constant reminder of my transition.  It doesn't matter what hair I'm thinking of, it’s all of it, from the top of my head, down my arms, and all the way to the stranglers on the tops of my toes; I can't go a day without considering my hair.  Why? 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Waiting for Tomorrow

Amid the anguish and tears for the dead and cries for reform after a recent building collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh that killed over a thousand innocent workers, emerged a faint plea for help.  Miraculously a woman’s voice was heard during the salvage of the structure, rescue had ended days earlier.  She had been buried for 17 days under the heavy concrete rubble, surviving on bits of food she found in pockets and bags on the bodies of her dead coworkers that surrounded her for weeks.  An astonished workman detected a voice calling, “save me, save me.”

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Juniper Lane

Soon after writing and posting “My Story Starts at Sea” I got a call from my Endocrinologist’s office.  I just had regular blood work the week before and I was expecting a call with the results.  The nurse asked if I was taking my medication properly.  I thought I was, it has been nearly 2 years since I started hormones, but I went over in my head my pill routine that includes over 15 pills per day.  They are for a variety of medical issues, not only for my transition.  I have learned some trans-women try to speed up the process by intentionally overdosing, but not me. The nurse’s question made me curious about the results, were my estrogen levels too high or too low, or was there something else? 

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Kids are Alright part 4.

My story continues at sea... 

The joy of starting my journey to becoming a woman was beyond any emotion I had ever felt.  After taking my first dose of estrogen I walked to the ocean and stood ankle deep in the cold water.  I could see my bright coral colored toenails clearly through the sun-filled sea.  The water felt refreshing and I decided, despite the cool temperature, to walk out even deeper until I was almost submerged under the waves. But, I was still wearing my wig and worried it might fall off.  I imagined someone coming across a floating pile of hair and being terrified at the site of a middle-aged bald man-like person in a bikini, so I decided not to go under completely. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Boston Skyline,  Saturday April 13, 2013
My heart goes out to the running community and all those affected by this tragedy. I was born in Boston and while I haven't lived there in years, I still consider it my hometown.  Most of my family and so many friends are a part of this special community. 

In fact, I was in Boston all week before the race.  My dad had just had heart surgery at Tufts Medical Center and I had been visiting him with my mom and other family members for eight days.  He was released from the hospital just on Sunday.  I thought about staying on Monday to watch this magical race one more time for inspiration and to see some of my heros, like Olympians Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher. But I wasn't feeling too good, so I drove home to Maine and watched the race, start to finish, on my computer.  

As a marathon runner who grew up just a mile from Heartbreak Hill and have been a lifelong fan of this historic marathon, I've come to know it as one of the greatest sporting events in the world.  I will train even harder now with the hope of running this treasured race someday with spirits of those who lost their lives on this tragic Patriot's Day in Boston. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Kids are Alright part 3.

School's out for the Summer

The celebration of the start of summer usually brings teachers great joy, but for me, there was only more anxiety.  I have always found peace and solace, sitting on the beach late in the afternoon with a book in one hand and a drink in the other. But as sat in my beach chair on the first day of summer and I looked out over the cool blue-green Atlantic Ocean, I noticed my usual unobstructed view wasn't so clear.  On my horizon were several obstacles and a few promising new adventures.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Kids are Alright part II


Today I learned that a British transgender teacher was found dead in her home. Its believed she killed herself.  I can’t stop thinking about her and my tears have now run dry.   Despite the bright sun and welcome spring-like weather, it feels like I’m suffocating in a dark grey cloud of sadness.  Usually my long Sunday run is rejuvenating, triggering endorphins and brightening even the darkest days, but it didn’t today.  I never met this woman and only saw a picture of her this morning.  I recall reading a few blog posts earlier this year about her and how she began to transition in school.  I guess I had a personal interest and it was encouraging to learn of her story, especially that she had her school’s apparent support.  But the bloodthirsty tabloid press constantly hounded her from the time her private details became public, and her life was never the same again.  Nearly two years ago, I came out to my school community,

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Kids are Alright

It was an early January morning in Maine and the temperature outside was somewhere below zero. I don’t think it matters all that much once the mercury drops below freezing; it was cold.  I was sitting in my warm car trying to find the courage to walk across the parking lot and go inside.  I had cafeteria duty at the high school where I was a teacher for eight years.  During my tenure at this school and at all the other schools where I taught in my 19 year career I worked outwardly as a man, but that was all about to change.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Melting Snow

I sat in my warm car, hiding from the late winter wind that howled through the streets of Boston waiting for the right time to go into the club. The sun was setting and the city looked desperately attractive a week after an historic snowstorm.  It was a familiar place, but a very far different era.  It had been a long time since I was here, with a boyfriend, 25 years ago.  He was cute and playful,

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Connect the Dots

Recently, after participating in panel discussion about gender and sexuality for high school students, a young woman, maybe 16-years old, hesitantly approached and thanked me for sharing my story.  I was touched by her compliment, and I could sense she wanted to say more.  With her friends by her side, she confided in me, that she recently came out to her family,

Monday, February 11, 2013


who’s that girl
hiding behind her past
dressed in golden yellow
disguising a heart
that beats like a gazelle
hunted by a lion
chasing its tail

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I just watched a wonderful video of a high school student coming out to his classmates during a school assembly. Maybe you saw it too, it was all over the Internet.  He was receiving an award for his talent as an actor, and during his acceptance speech, shared that he was part of the LGBT community, and now he didn’t have to act straight anymore. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

She's a Lady

While not quite Lady Dowager's status, 
it's very affirming nonetheless.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Pain I’m Used To

It’s like taking a lit cigar and burning my face, over and over again. As it’s happening, I twitch, sweat, and tear-up, but the pain is fleeting.  The heat only burns dark hairs, not my skin, that is unless you forget to remove your makeup, and then the laser burns your skin too, that happened once.  For those who have tried laser before, you know first-hand, the unique sensation of the intense heat searing hair follicles to their root; it’s like burning a hole in a leaf with a magnifying glass and the sun.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Flammable part 2

Before I knew it, I was sitting in a cozy and trendy restaurant in Portland.  With the wig drama in the past, the night off to a fabulous start.  My new friends and I were having fun, telling stories, enjoying a few drinks, and getting to know each other.  After a while we decided to try a new place for food, more drinks, and to stretch the evening.  At a nearby grill we huddled together, like old friends, waiting for a both to open, and within minutes, we were set.  We continued to enjoy each other’s company and ordered dinner.  Suddenly, a stranger was sitting opposite me, joining us in our booth.  That was odd.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


I was finally going out.  And while it wasn’t technically a date, a girl can dream.  I was going out with a fabulous woman and her cute gay cousin for dinner and drinks.  It was Friday night, girls’ night out.  In my new life as Gia, I haven’t had the opportunity to experience that unique event yet, and while tonight wasn’t that grand, there certainly was to be more drama than I was used to.  It was Portland, Maine, on a cold January night; it wasn’t exactly an episode of Real Housewives.  If there were spray tans and fake boobs, they were difficult to spot under layers of fleece, flowing scarves, and wool hats.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Year of the Squirrel

Along the two million strides I ran this year, there were certainly unforgettable views.  From the dunes of Cape Cod, mountains of Vermont, corn fields of upstate New York, inlets around Deer Isle, parks in Atlanta, up and down Heartbreak Hill, Portland’s Back Cove, and the daily runs from my home in Kennebunkport, which is lined with farms, pastures, nature preserves, ocean views, marshes, small homes, and even a Presidential mansion; no two runs were the same.