On the morning of November 5, 1992, with the stroke of a pen, the Honorable Virginia Q. Beverly, Circuit Court Judge, Fourth Judicial Circuit, in and for Duval County, Florida, made Denise Anne Fell a legal person and with the same stoke made Tom a non-
Monday, November 9, 1992
I awoke as usual this morning. As I prepared to get out of bed, glanced into the mirror. I had on my purple nightgown. I know that within a week I can stay in the femme dress. I will not have to put on the usual pants and shirt to go into work. It is a very exciting time. I arrived at work at 6:30 and smiled as I entered the snack bar. Next Monday, Denise will be entering the snack bar. I cashed a check, signed by Denise Anne. I love it.
I arrived upstairs and started my morning chore of uploading from system (District) and prepared to download to the main IRS Computer System. The download was going smoothly, when it dawned on me that after Wednesday when I have my 3 hour session of electrolysis, there is no reason as to why Denise cannot start to work on Thursday or Friday. I played around with this idea for a time and wrote a memo to the 3 managers that are over me and to the Labor Relations Specialist that is handling the paperwork for Denise. I told them once I passed Wednesday and had jumped this little hurdle Denise could report on Thursday or Friday. I said that it all depended on how I felt that morning. But the transition would begin no later than November 16th.
We had a meeting across the street concerning employee safety. A manager was mugged a couple of weeks ago and her pocketbook was stolen. The mugger broke her finger and hit her hard enough to cause her to have to get stitches above her eye. It was a very upsetting experience for the entire Branch.
My day went smoothly. As I was ready to leave, I crossed Monday, November 9th off my calendar. This was my last Monday in the male mode. When I arrived home I had a package waiting for me. The sweaters that I had ordered had arrived. They look nice. I had a long sleeve pink sweater, a royal blue shell and a royal blue regular sweater. They all fit. The slacks that I ordered did not fit. I think that it was the style rather than the size. I sent some more notices to different companies that I have accounts with about my name change. This task is almost completed. I hope that by next month I will have new cards and my bills will be coming to Denise. I spent a relaxing evening and prepared for my next work day.
Tuesday, November 10, 1992
I woke up this morning with a feeling of total contentment. I do not remember feeling this good and this relaxed in a very long time. I have about made up my mind that Full Time will start on Thursday. The only problem that I can foresee to prevent this from happening is if my face is too irritated from the electrolysis that I am scheduled for tomorrow. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will not happen. It was a typical day and not much really happened. I guess that I spent the majority of the day trying to get myself mentally prepared for the big step. I talked to Melanie in the early afternoon (Florida Time) and felt very good after our conversation. I find her a totally remarkable woman who is always there to help. Her support has been a tremendous boost for reaching my goal. I spent a relaxing evening watching a movie when I got a very pleasant surprise. I received a telephone call from someone that I have wanted to talk to for a very long time. I had a nice chat with Elaine and I hope that there will be many more in the years to come. I thought that Elaine had a cute little southern accent, and I envy that. I could easily take her voice as feminine. I am still hoping that I will come up with something. I guess I will try a voice coach and failing that I will try with some voice surgery after studying other alternatives. The day ended on this pleasant note. With that I will close and prepare for a full day tomorrow.
Wednesday, November 11, 1992 (Veterans Day)
I awoke this morning at my usual time. I wanted to get some chores done before leaving the house for a days adventure. I started out with 3 hours of electrolysis. I can honestly say that I can think of far better ways to start a day. This was a necessity in order to begin my Real Life Test. After 3 hours of torture, I went to Regency Square Mall and shipped a couple of packages UPS. I then had an ice cream treat at Swensons. I felt that after my 3 hours of torture I deserved an award for being such a good girl. At the appointed time I arrived at J.C. Penneys. Robbin Briggs, the nail technician, was ready to give me my first pair of acrylic nails. This took approximately 2 1/2 hours. For the most part it was very enjoyable. We selected a length that was about average and a white nail polish that had a pink opaque tint. This was a nice color that would go with anything and yet not overpowering. This is what I was looking for. I came home and spent the evening shaving and preparing for what could be a RED LETTER DAY.
Thursday, November 12, 1992
I woke up this morning and listened for the rain that they had predicted. I did not hear any noise of rain on my skylights. As I got out of bed, I made the decision that there was no reason to delay any longer. When I selected my underclothing I put out a bra and panties instead of a T-
I made my usual stop at Burger King and got something to drink on the way into town and arrived at the Federal Building at about 6:20. I stayed in my van until 6:30. The next couple of minutes had to be the hardest of my life. I wanted to get back in my van and go home, but that would have solved nothing. I entered the building where the security gave me a good morning and that was all. I went to the snack bar where I usually read the newspaper before work. Again, nobody said anything. They had been forewarned, but did not really expect me to come in dressed until Monday. As I sat reading the newspaper and eating my morning toast, a coworker from another branch came up and said, "I guess that Denise is appropriate." I said, "I think so." That was that another coworker said good morning and that was it.
The true test was going to be going into my branch. This is on the sixth floor of the Federal Building. I went in and absolutely nobody said a word. A few people finally came up when I was doing my morning upload/download and said that they were surprised. They did not think that I would look this good. People then began to call me Denise, although a few did slip and call me Tom. I answered them. I guess that I have to get use to it also.
The only problem that arose was the rest room. I had planned to use the ladies rest room on the ground floor. One reason it is one of the only two that are wheelchair accessible and also I only knew of one or two female employees from the Army Corps Of Engineers worked on the ground level. Most use came from people coming into the building and going to Immigration. I soon found out that there were 17 female employees on the ground floor and they were not happy about this. The next solution would have been the nurses office. However, since this is also used by sick people it could not be tied up for long periods. The final solution was that for a short time I would use the nurses office and a private rest room on the ground floor would be altered to accommodate me and that would be a rest room for me to use that would not upset male nor female employees. Also, since I came out and have started full time they have no idea if someone else will come forward now or in the future. If so, then this rest room will also serve to accommodate them. That made everyone happy, especially yours truly. Other good news that happened today at work is that I was notified that my personnel folder had been changed to reflect my new name. The payroll records have been changed and all my computer logons have been changed or are in the process of being changed. I am on 3 different systems, which is 3 separate main frames. This does not include the PC. All day I expected the hammer to fall, but it did not. It was one of the best days that I ever spent at work. One that I will always remember. The day I went to work in a dress.
I found that my nails were too long. They needed to be trimmed. I called Robbin and made an appointment after work. I guess the biggest surprise is that I went through the mall and did not get read. I think one lady was unsure, but there was no laughing or pointing. I don't expect this to happen all the time, but it was nice for a first time out. I came home and I was emotionally exhausted. It has been a long and wonderful day. I can only compare it to the days my two daughters were born. It is a day that I will treasure always, and I know that tomorrow morning I will have less of a problem going into work. I can honestly say that today is the first day of the rest of my life (female life).
Friday, November 13, 1992
I went into work this morning. It was much easier to enter the building than it was yesterday. I noticed that for some reason there are some people that I go out of my way to avoid. I don't know why. Maybe it is that I have such harsh feelings towards them. I really know of no reason to do this. Today, I wore a rose color dress that had a large button on the collar. I received compliments on this outfit. One coworker make the comment unf***ing believable. I guess that was a compliment. My manager told me that a few people were shocked. They never thought that I would go through with the transition. They figured that it would blow over and that would be that. Surprise, surprise.
I left early in search of the elusive driver's license. It was a comedy of errors. First of all they would only take original documents or certified documents. The only elusive document is the name change. It is still being processed. The clerk said that if I would produce the original letter from my doctor he would change the sex on my driver's license. I said fine and went home to get this letter. By the time I got back he stated that the office had called again and until the surgery is complete no gender change on the license. This is a different story than what I was told earlier. After about 3 hours I gave it up and went and had my van repaired.
That was fun. The Service Manager was my neighbor at one time. He had one surprised look on his face when I went in the service department in a gray skirt and royal blue blouse. In all reality he handled it very well. I also had the misfortune of breaking a nail today. I made an appointment and had it repaired after my van was repaired. I am really beginning to appreciate what women go through for their entire life. I have had the mood swings, I no longer just jump up, wash up and get dressed. I now have to decide what to wear. Make sure that the makeup is on correctly, the hair looks all right and still get myself to work at the normal time. It does take us girls a little longer to prepare ourselves.
While at the mall, waiting to get my nail repaired I strolled around, so to speak, and I don't think anybody paid me any attention. The only place I know I was read was at the little hot dog stand that I frequented when I was at the mall. All in all it was another great day.
At this point in time, Denise is enjoying life to the fullest and is still mindful that she must be careful to make this a success. My weekend is planned and I am preparing myself for the upcoming full week at work. It is going to get cold, so I am going to look for a pair of dress pants tomorrow. I have a nice pink sweater that would look very good with some navy slacks. I will see what I can find. I am ready to go full forward and I am looking up the road to the day that it will all be accomplished.
Saturday, November 14
I am not sure how to explain today. I guess that you could compare it to major surgery. I was once told that the 3rd day was the worst, well, I woke up this morning and realized that I had to go out of the house dressed. I procrastinated. I vacuumed, mopped the kitchen and finally went in and put on makeup and got dressed.
It was not my typical Saturday when I threw on a pair of cutoffs and a T-
The first was my neighbor from across the street came over to see me. Her husband had been over the other night and told her how good he thought that I looked. She said she was surprised and thought that my makeup looked very good. Next Elizabeth came over. She is the wife of a person that played wheelchair basketball with me. She was impressed and we talked about my attitude of expecting too much from me. She said I had the wrong idea of what a woman should look like. She said that she hoped that I would be more than a lady, she hoped that I would be a woman. We also discussed that women wear casual clothes on weekends. I had on a camel skirt with a white pullover shirt. This shirt and a blue pullover shirt are the only male clothing that I kept.
Just as she was getting ready to leave my next door neighbor came by. He is the one I thought that I would get a hard time from. The first thing he said, was can I speak to oh, you're pretty. I don't think it registered with him at first. He was just letting me know that he had talked to the post office and I could have a curbside box put in front of my house if I so desired. I thanked him, but it was information that I already knew. I like the idea of a locked mailbox, especially when I am out of town for a weekend.
After the game, I went back up to the mall to get a manicure and it was the first time that I went shopping for clothes dressed as Denise. I picked up a couple of pairs of pants. It is supposed to get into the 30's and may be a little too cool for skirts or dresses. I made another purchase also. I had a few samples of fragrances that my Mary Kay representative had given me. I was not real crazy about them. I went and got some SHALIMAR. This has always been a favorite fragrance for me. I hope it smells as nice on me as it does on the ladies I gave it to over the years. After my manicure I came home and spent a quiet evening. I have a big day tomorrow. It will be the first time that Denise will play basketball.
Sunday, November 15, 1992
Today was going to be a wonderful day, but I guess it has turned out to be a total BITCH. I went to Gainesville to day to play some wheelchair basketball. The first as Denise. I was looking forward to a nice day of exercise and seeing some old friends. Needless to say I did not play in a wig or makeup, and I really did not like going back to semi-
I arrived home and took a shower and put on a nightgown so that I could relax a little while before Gender Chat. I signed on Prodigy to see if I had any Email. I then went to Frank Discussions. A subject of AC/DC TS/TV WHATEVER was mentioned. Out of curiosity I looked at the message. Lo and behold, I knew who it was from and who it was directed at. It was from my sister's sister-
I am ashamed to admit it but I wrote her as close to a nasty note as I thought that I could get away with and told her to stay out of my face. Do I feel better. I don't know. I just know that it seems I have no family members left. That too is fine with me. I could not go on forever living my life to please others.
I really need to compose myself and get ready for what I hope is a pleasant evening on gender chat. I only know that I am going forward and each day will have to get better. Denise will survive this upset. It is really sad that the happiest week of my life has to close on such a sour note.
CONCLUSION: I guess that I did not make it a full week. I started four days early and have no regrets. All in all this has been a wonderful week. I have started full time. I am able to dress and be the real me. I have been to the mall and from all indications I am passing. I feel that some people may wonder if I am a male or female, but that is almost as good as passing. More will be written as time passes on my transition to womanhood. DENISE ANNE IS ALIVE AND WELL IN FLORIDA