I think the hardest part was – and it still is – trying to get my family to accept – you know? They still use the female pronouns.  And I don't think I'll ever get them to that point.  A few years ago, that would have really bothered me, that they have not accepted it.  But I've got to realize that they're on their own path, whatever path they're on.  And I'm on mine. 

In the beginning, when I started transitioning, when my features started changing, when it got to the point where I was totally male, I wondered why people were treating me differently.  Other races were treating me differently.  And I realized, I'm a black male now, and so when I step on the elevator, the woman's going to clutch her pocketbook, or she's going to move to the other side of the elevator, or I get doors slammed in my face.  You know? 

But I will say that being a male – not so much just because I'm a black male, but being a male – I believe I have gotten better jobs because of being a male.  Because I don't have to sit across that table with somebody interviewing me as a butch lesbian, and they're trying to figure out: "Okay.  Is this a male?  Is this a female?  Do we want this person with this large question working for us?"  But I have gotten more jobs, and as time goes on, better jobs because of being a male.  I really believe that. 

Going to therapy was probably one of the most freeing things that ever happened in my life.  And transitioning at 50 probably saved my life.  Because at the rate I was going, I was either going to start drinking again – and if I started drinking again, I was probably going to hurt myself.  That was the way I drank, I was so miserable being inside this body.  I had not been able to hold down a relationship, because I was such an angry person.  I had a lot of anger issues.  I had a lot of self esteem issues.  My confidence level was very low.   I had some intense therapy to really get to know who I was, before I started into any of the transition.  I am such a whole person now, for going through this.  I'm more happy with life.  I'm not dating anyone right now, but I know the next relationship that I go into – that person's going to be damn lucky.  Because I've got my shit together.  I've got my game – I've got the game on.