It’s been a while.
Sorry about that, but I’ve been crazy busy with life stuff and just haven’t had the energy to sit down and write lately. So here’s a little catch up post to let you know what’s been so much more important than writing my blog.
Back at the beginning of the year, Candace and I decided to get married. Our 20th anniversary was coming up in July of this year and we thought about how to celebrate that milestone. With the new president taking office and things being somewhat unknown we thought it might be the right time to get married and almost did a really quick impromptu ceremony on a friend’s property. But then we decided F*** that! We’re not letting that a$$hole make us do anything we don’t want to do and we re-thought the whole wedding thing. We decided that we wanted to go all out and shoot for the moon with this wedding. White dress, tuxedos, big reception, dj, the whole nine yards. And we did. So for the last seven months we’ve been planning our wedding. We had a blast! It was a ton of work and an even bigger ton of money, but it was also a labor of love (double entendre intended!).
And then Candace decided that we needed an extra bedroom for all of the house guests that she was expecting to stay with us so sometime in late April/early May work was started on our house to finish off not one, but three, unfinished areas of our home and a multitude of needed repairs that we’ve been putting off. For two months we had strange construction guys in our house starting at 7am. Every. Day. Except Sunday. Everyone that lives here felt the impact of the work being done. The dog, the cat and both of us lost a lot of sleep, time at work, and peace and quiet while the work was going on. To say it created chaos in our home is an understatement. Adding to that, we were up late many nights working on our wedding plans. Also, Candace had three surgeries during this time frame and couldn’t drive herself any where for about a month.
I won’t bore you with all of the details, but I will tell you that everything got done on schedule and the wedding went off without a hitch. Hooray!
End of story, right? Not really. That’s just sort of the surface story. The story any one from outside looking in would see. I’m only going to talk about what all this meant for me, so this is a one sided story. I can’t speak for Candace. For me, this was all HUGE!!!! HUGEMONGOUSLY HUGE!!!! I know, getting married is a big deal for everyone. I know. I’m not just anyone, ok? Well, first of all, I never thought it would happen for me and I really never thought in my wildest dreams that I could actually be the GROOM in a wedding. In fact, up until the last week before the wedding I was still having a hard time referring to myself as the groom. Second, only a couple of years ago, I was pretty sure that my relationship was doomed to fail and I was trying to figure out what Plan B was going to be. A lot has changed since then to bring us to this point. And thirdly, this was like a huge coming out party for me because a LOT of people who came to our wedding, including a couple of folks who were in it, had not seen me since I started to transition. Some didn’t even know that I had transitioned at all. And the icing on the cake was the fact that I have serious performance anxiety and I wasn’t at all sure I could stand up there in front of 80 people, in my transgender glory, and marry the woman I love without having a full blown panic attack.
I had a lot of emotions and anxiety around the actual ceremony. I had no reservations whatsoever about marrying Candace. I knew I wanted to do that. And I wasn’t worried about the reception at all. I just wanted to get through the ceremony without freaking out. I started meditating every day. I watched tons of wedding ceremonies on YouTube to try and desensitize myself. It worked quite well. When I first started watching them tears would stream down my face as the bride walked down the aisle. I would become a blubbering fool at the sight of a bride. But eventually, it started getting easier and I cried less and less until I could watch them and not really have any strong emotions. Excellent! I also started making myself do things that scare me a little bit and pushed my anxiety limits some. That helped too. I did past life clearings and energy work to clear out old negative and stuck emotions. Sounds like hocus pocus, right? Well, maybe it is, but I gradually started to feel stronger and more confident in myself to stand up there. I worried less about what anyone thought about me and more about focusing on staying in the moment during the ceremony. I knew that the key was to control my mind and emotions and I did everything I knew to get my head in the right place.
And then a funny thing happened. I realized that the groom usually gives a speech at the reception and I actually wanted to do it. Now, you should know that, besides heights, public speaking is probably my biggest fear in life. And I actually WANTED to give a speech! Who am I?? Candace even told me I didn’t have to do it because she knows how I feel about speaking in public. I wrote a great speech and read it to Candace. She was blown away and told me not to change a thing. I printed a copy of it and put it away until the day of our wedding. I had planned to practice delivering the speech, but never found the time or energy to do it. We also never practiced our first dance like we had intended. Oh well.
This last bit is going to sound crazy to a lot (all?) of you. On top of all this other craziness, I’ve been doing a program called Automatic Intuition to learn to give intuitive readings for myself and others. Part of the training entails developing relationships with your Guardian Angel and Spirit Guides. Whether you believe in this stuff or not is really unimportant. I often carry on conversations with my Guides while I drive because it’s usually the only peace and quiet I get in my day. I always ask them to use my voice to communicate with me. One day, about a week before the Big Day, I was chatting with Peter, my main Guide, and suddenly I started speaking in a very thick Irish accent. I asked if this was a different entity that I was speaking to than normal and he said it was. I named this Guide Ian. Ian talked to me at great length about how I had been a warrior in past lives and he wanted me to know how strong and brave I really am. He really pumped me up. He talked about me being a King and I was claiming my Queen. Incidentally, I refer to Candace as my Queen quite a bit in real life. I joke that I am her Jester. But Ian was really trying hard to convince me that I was a King and a great soldier, not a lowly Jester. His speeches riled me up and made me feel strong and powerful.
I know what you’re thinking. Poor Lesboi/Shawn has really fallen off his rocker and has some screws loose. Maybe you’re right. Truly, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that Ian and the other Guides made me feel strong and safe and I got through that ceremony feeling like a King, feeling confident and not giving one damn what anyone in the audience thought of me. When it came time for my speech I stood up and delivered it like a BOSS and got a standing ovation from the crowd. I danced with my new wife/Queen with reckless abandon and had an amazing evening. Whenever I felt even the slightest bit shaky or nervous I listened inside my head to hear Ian shout, “YOU ARE A KING!!!!” I just smiled and carried on. The result was that everyone treated me great, with love and respect, and I think we all had a memorable evening. If anyone had a problem with me I never picked up on it at all.
For me, the wedding was so much more than just a wedding. Yes, I married my beautiful bride and we celebrated our love and devotion to each other. But even more than that, I stood in front of all of those people as my true self, proud and strong, and celebrated the journey I’ve been on for the past 55 years of my life to get me to this moment. Every bump in the road, hill and valley, had led me to standing in front of these people in all my transgender glory finally able to claim my bride, my Queen, and feel like a King, a Conqueror. I had won the war and I claimed my Victory.