Transitioning in Pictures

As the Buddha points out again and again, the very essence of human life is impermanence.  Nothing is static, and so we are all undergoing constant transitions.  But living in this strange world with igneous rocks, slugs, blueberries, iPads, rainbows, and Facebook, the change of the physical body from a female form to a male form is an emotional and spiritual journey like none other.  This blog post is a pictorial representation of my experiences, both in transitioning to a male body, and in other important life transitions.  I hope you will indulge me the saunter down memory lane.

Here is me as a baby sitting on my beloved daddy’s lap:

0001 Angelo Hazel Terry - 1957-05-26

And me at 7 months of age:

0001 1957_terry

Here I am again with my dad about age 2 years, not smiling because of the curly long hair or the frilly dress, but because I was sitting beside my most favorite person in the whole world:

e - Angelo Terry - 1958-02-24

Here I am at about 2 years of age, but notice I prefer my book to my doll, and I’m already sitting with legs crossed in “boy style.”

Terry - Legs Crossed - 4

Here I am with my first dog, Fuzzy.  My hair had been cut short, and I was wearing the closest thing I could get to “boy clothes.”  Fuzzy was my “pretend horse” when I wanted to play cowboys and Indians and he sure tolerated a lot with great patience.  His warm, furry hugs got me through my daddy’s death:

Terry and Fuzzy - 1960 approx

Here I am with my little buddies, me in the middle with glasses, about age 5 or 6:

e - Gail Lee Terry - 1962 approx

Here I am at around the same age, very miserable to be forced to wear a frilly dress, hat, and patent leather shoes:


Here is me in 1962, the first Christmas after my dad had died, me in my thick glasses, the sadness hidden, but oh-so-happy to have been given cowboy boots, an air rifle, and pistols and holster for Christmas:

e - Terry - 1962 Christmas

Here I am in ~1963 or ~1964, wearing a Marine hat someone had given me:

Terry in Marine Hat

The following two photographs were taken on my first real vacation, when we drove from Little Rock, Arkansas, all the way across Texas and through El Paso, into Las Cruces, New Mexico.  I got to see White Sands National Park, Carlsbad Caverns, and we crossed the border on foot into Juarez, Mexico:

Terry - Mrs Walker - Dova - in Texas - 1964 approx 1966c_terry_tx_trip

The following two pictures show how I looked in approximately the 4th grade.  She second picture shows me holding my dog, Sheba.  I will have to write a separate post about what my mother did to my dogs, Fuzzy, Sheba and her puppies, and Scottie:

1965_terry_school 1965c_terry_sheba

The next three photographs show how I looked around the time of high school, college, and immediately after completing my BA in psychology.  The first one is my senior high school picture:

1974_terry_graduation Terry - 1980 approx Terry - 1982-06-25

And here I am with my first partner, Dee, and her little sister Pam.  I am on the left, Pam is in the middle, and Dee is on the right.  Dee was my high school sweetheart, though I couldn’t tell her that in those days.  We were friends and college roommates for 5 years before we became partners, and we were then together for 9 years before the relationship ended.  The photo was taken in the home we purchased together:

Dee Pam Terry - 1984-12-25

The next two pictures are my “piano” photographs, taken while Dee and i were still together, I believe.  The first picture was taken at my mother’s house in Arkansas — me playing my daddy’s piano, which had become destroyed by mother’s cigarette smoking by then.  The second picture is me playing an old upright piano I’d bought while Dee and I were still together:

Terry and piano - 1987 approx Terry and Piano - Abt 1983 - 7 Village Court

The next bunch of photos show my “transition” period from my relationship with Dee to my relationship with Donna.  The top left photo is Donna’s graduation photo from Elmira High School in New York.  The bottom right picture shows me in my “New York” t-shirt, after I’d made my very first trip alone to Binghamton, and just before I moved there.  The bottom left photo is notable for being the last picture of me wearing a skirt — I was on the way for a job interview at Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Western New York.  And the top right photo is one that was taken in our apartment in Binghamton after one of countless eye surgeries I’d had over the years:

Donna Stoliker - Graduation Picture Terry in Binghamton NY after eye surgery - 1987 Terry in Dress - 1986 Terry - 1986 or 1987 - 2

In the section of photos after the one that immediately follows, I’ll show the period of time that encompassed my relationship with Kim.  But this one here was taken while Kim and I were together, but just as the need to transition had become overwhelming.  I’d shaved off my hair and died the fuzz blue, but then I had some fun with altering the original photo:

Terry - 2001-10-19-0005 - edited - fun

The next group of photographs were taken during my relationship with Kim, and show me moving closer to transitioning.  Knowing that Kim has always identified as lesbian (and I had as well, until the buried gender issues clamored to be heard), when I met Kim, I immediately told her that I might transition some day, ans asked her if that would trouble her or be a problem for her.  She was straightforward and honest on that score, and said she thought she could accept it and would try, but she wouldn’t know for sure until it happened.  Unfortunately, the relationship unraveled for other reasons, and I could guess that my transitioning would have been an insurmountable issue for her, but she did support me along the way, and even after we broke up — once we’d put the bitterness behind us.

The first photo is of the two of us having a meal at a nice restaurant in Georgetown.  The next three are photos taken on a trip we made to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, the third of that group showing our dogs, Henry and Otis trying to get a snuggle as I snoozed on a hammock in the cabin we rented.  I’d started transitioning at that point.  The photos showing me in ties and button down shirts were taken just around the time we had become partners or just before.  The one of me in a vest was when I was just beginning to transition.  There is a photo of me sitting at my desk in my cube where I worked as a systems engineer while Kim and I were together.  And the last one was me dressed for a job interview, after which, I’d be hired as a “computer scientist.”

Terry and Kim TP Restaurant Kim and Terry - Blue Ridge Mountains - 02 Kim and Terry - Blue Ridge Mountains Terry Otis Henry in Hammock - 02 Terry - 1994 1 2002-03-0001 - Terry - In Blue Pullover 1996_terry_work boychicks_lambda_TERRY Terry - Interview Clothes - 01 - Year 2000

The next group of photos were taken after I had started the physical process of transitioning, but before I met Paula.  The first is a shot of my “top surgery” before it had completely healed.  Lower down, there’s another photo of my chest after the healing was complete.  The second picture was taken in that “intermediate” stage before the testosterone shows its full effects.  Some of the others illustrate how I looked when I finally got my full beard growth.  And the latter photos are from my trip to Montreal, Quebec, to see Dr. Yves Menard for my “bottom surgery.”  Montreal was beautiful with the winter snow, and I spent a month in his recuperative facility.  It was glorious!!!

2002-08-20 - Terry - Chest 2003-07-27 TerryV and Stick 04 2009-01-01 - Terry - 007 2009-01-13 Daisy & Terry - 001 Just Terry - 02 Terry Montreal 048 cropped--2 Terry in Virginia OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The next bunch of photographs were all taken during my period with Paula, and even though I look blissfully happy, it was when my life took an unexpected downturn.  So many years, so many trials, so many disappointments, but now whole in body and heart, I thought I’d finally found the one who truly loved me, who I could spend out the rest of my years with.  Alas, I didn’t know predators like Paula existed.  I had only ever wanted a family, which had been denied to me in all those years when being a lesbian was verboten, and sometimes life-threatening.  In some of the pictures, you can see me holding my precious dog, Otis, the inspiration behind DogDharma.  I could never have predicted that my baby would end up dead with my wife’s involvement.  Nor could I have predicted the other terrible things that happened.  But for the briefest of moments, everything seemed right with the world.  The next-to-last photo with me holding the rainbow flag was when we attended gay pride in Brighton, UK.  Paula’s three daughters and some of their friends are standing around me.

Terry & Otis - 2010-01-28 - 004 - no Terry and Paula 024

EDITED terry-paula-kids-at-bramber-castleTerry and Paula - Chevy's Terry - March 2011 Terry and Paula at Abbey Road Terry and Paula on Paula's Birthday Visit 2010-10-31 Trip to Wales - 22 - Terry and Paula 2010-11-11 Emilee's Birthday Outing - 04 Terry and PaulaEDItED terry-and-kids-gay-pride-brighton-2010-august  Terry and Paula 001 July 2010 Terry and Paula 2011 May - 02 ??????????????????????????? Terry - 2010-01-28 - 001 - SMALL Terry & Otis - 2010-01-28 - 001

And here is how I look now, a little worse for the wear, but less naive, and grateful to still be alive.

Terry - Flags 1-17-14 2014 at 6.17 PM

PLEASE NOTE:  Photos of Paula’s children have been edited to obscure their faces and to protect their privacy.

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About DogDharma

Dog Dharma is written by a human who loves dogs and who believes dogs have attained enlightenment. The human behind Dog Dharma came from humble origins, has faced many trials, enjoyed many adventures, and taken a path less traveled. He claims no special privilege or expertise, and remains humble. Dog Dharma‘s author has learned a few things along the way, and has much yet to learn. He has been told by many people that he has a talent for writing, and aspires to write a book, but is a little too lazy and disorganized, so his blog will suffice for now. He opens a window into his life in the hope that some of his words may be of comfort, some may be a beacon or warning, and perhaps he will connect with like-minded souls. Everything shared comes from a place of openness and honesty, but with no claim that he possesses the Truth. People and places mentioned should be taken as pseudonyms. In many cases, details may be an amalgamation of actual events disguised to protect the “innocent.” Nothing written is to be taken as actual fact, but as the author of Dharma Dog‘s limited understanding. From the mouths of the Beatles: In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make
This entry was posted in dog, dogs, domestic abuse, FTM, living without family, loneliness, mental health, narcissism, narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personaltiy Disorder, no family, Paula Khier, Paula Simmons, Paula Vanzetti, personality disorder, psychopath, psychopathy, transgender, transgendered, vision impairment and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Transitioning in Pictures

  1. cdog5 says:

    Beautiful pos. You’ve shown the arc of a life here as it undergoes change — and as you say, all life is change. I’m so sorry about Otis, but I think you are definitely honoring him with this blog. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. DogDharma says:

    Thank you so much for the kind words, cdog. Otis was the light of my life, so loved. And not to brag, but the smartest dog I ever met. ❤


  3. Tela says:

    What a brilliant way to document your life~ something to be proud of for sure. While most of us have no clue what it is like not only physically, but mentally to be transgender, these post gives us a small idea. Thank you for sharing with all of us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • DogDharma says:

      You’re a sweetheart, Tela. When I began writing my blog, I didn’t quite know where to put the transgender bit. Its intersection with having survived a psychopath put me in an odd position. Non-transgendered people who are survivors have their own niches, whether male or female, gay or straight. At one and the same time, I seemed to fit in and identify with all niches, yet my case was unique. And made even more unique when my formerly “straight” wife decided she was a lesbian, and touted a series of her female targets under my nose. But being transgendered is part of who I am and part of my story, and I wanted to share both aspects, and other stuff as well. I had absolutely no clue I’d get the positive reception I’ve receive. That support has been buoying, and so I slog on and blog on! Thank you! ❤


  4. mischele2k2 says:

    Thank you for being so brave and open with your story. I am sadly realizing that there are more victims out there than anyone realizes.


    • DogDharma says:

      Thank you so much, Mischele. I’m following your story and wishing you the best. There should definitely be a law for rape-by-deception. ❤


      • mischele2k2 says:

        I am working on it. I have a meeting next month to get the ball rolling. I agree that there need to be parameters so that it’s not abused by scorned short relationships where someone finds out after 2 weeks that the other is married but in cases where there is just out and out intentional, deliberate deception going on, where there are more lies than truths.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. DogDharma says:

    In my case, it was deliberate deception. Without a spousal visa, there was no hope of moving to the UK and having a real marriage with my wife. If you’ve read my other posts, she lied and told me she owned her home. To get a spousal visa, you have to provide the UK gov’t with proof of where you will be living. After we were married, my wife continued the lie and signed a sponsor letter fraudulently stating she owned her home, when she didn’t. This prevented me from applying for the visa for a full year — until the lie came out, not from her, but from her cousin. Meanwhile, huge sums of money lost, untold heartache, and even more ghastly lies. She tried to convince me to submit the visa application sans the (nonexistent) deed to her house. Had I done so, she’d be in jail right now. Just sickening.


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