Your Transgender Girl in the Neighborhood-JJ'S HOUSE!
In my mind, I had begun transition about 18 months before I went full-time living as a woman. There had been little doubt that I was ready (long overdue, really) to live as my true self, but I felt obligated to others to plan and allow them to transition along with me. That is, family and friends were more important to me than whatever solace my transition may have brought me. By that time, I had already been living 80% as a woman, which was pretty easy. The last 20% took a lot of work, however. The 80% was in terms of time, but the 20% of time was ten times more important to me. Three Thanksgivings have passed now since I began my 100% life, and I couldn't imagine going back to 80% - which is as far back as I know I could manage, anyway.I, like Paula, am a musician. I had long wondered how I would be accepted by an audience as a woman, and also by other musicians. I had been performing for mostly cross dressers for about a year, but that was more of a novelty, and not so affirming. I was in a blues/jazz band as my male self at the same time, and one day I secured a job for the band at a charity event called "Cross Dress for Success," raising money for "Dress for Success," helping low income women with business attire to help them find jobs. Using my cunning and decisiveness (honed so well over the years), I had a clause put in the contract that "at least one member of the band must be cross dressed." That opened the door for me to come out to my band, but what happened later was far beyond my expectations. Someone at the event wanted to hire us for another event (having nothing to do with trans), but insisted that I be just who I am. That led to a series of gigs for "Connie Dee and The Sciaticats (we all had bad backs, but were cool as cats), and I never appeared on stage as my old male self again. I went on to bill myself as "The Fabulous Connie Dee," adding the "fabulous" because there was already a "Connie Dee," hence the name you see here. I'd have to say that love is what helps to make the decision to transition. Love who you are, love those who are important to you, and love what you do (or continue to do what you always loved).