Let’s talk How do you feel about living stealth* #WhatsUpIman

First off, too each their ownπŸ˜‡βœŒοΈ…

And I’ve said this multiple times., Personally I am DADT (don’t ask don’t tell). 

I also understand when people live stealth for certain reasons like safety or comfort. Just like those who choose to live unapologetically out loud like advocates.

Same as those who choose to go through legal transition, therapy & SRS; you do and live how best suits your needs and what is important to you.

So I can say that this is going to be a lengthy blog because this is more of an opinion than actual facts.

“…Because there is no way that you can fuck up every day living so bad that you might die.”

However I will say this… Eventually,now that I’m older and “cis passing” way more than the first time I blogged about this subject; I can see me living more out loud then DADT. I have taken this into consideration not only with my recent career change which puts my face out there more than before in the queer community but also because I CAN live my truth. I’ve never been one to rub my trans status it someone said face or always bringing it up in conversation outside of context. But I am fortunate enough that I can live my truth safely and comfortablely. Which not alot of trans and queer people can say. Those that can seem to forget that someone’s , guilty as charge. So I do see myself living a little more outloud in the future 😎

-Iman

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Let’s talk HOW DO YOU MAKE A RELATIONSHIP LAST* #WhatsUpIman

Phew 😢

Well this is going to be an interesting discussion…

…Considering the question is talking about trans*relationships. Specifically transmen & transwomen. I want to get this off my chest. In my personal opinion alot of these relationships (trans) fall apart because the lack of attention and communication mixed with the vast amount of infidelity because so many other single trans individuals seem to be “waiting in the bushes”.

Some things are different in a cis- hetero normative couples and transgender (mtf/ftm) couples of course. That’s from the strain of actually being transgender. 

Personally, I believe all relationships thrive with communication, understanding, honesty, and loyalty; in that order. Trans or One gender.

Communication is definitely key. Without it a relationship can’t move forward of progress or be healthy. If you cannot easily talk to your partner about things you disagree on eventually conversation will become one-sided, passive aggressive, dry and eventually probably not at all.

When I say communicate I mean listen with the intentions to understand not with the intentions to soley respond. Listen with the best of your ability to understand and sympathize. It goes a long way. By doing this your partner will feel more comfortable to discuss more things with you and be more open and less defensive.

Understanding what your partner verbally expresses to you in conversation & communication is important but it is also key to understand your partner as a person. Not only what they like and dislike but how things and situations make them feel. Then you can have a better understanding on why they react the way they do in certaint scenarios. Too often we find ourselves assuming partners, friends, associates, strangers etc; are doing or reacting to something negatively because we don’t truly understand that person. It’s not really nagging if you understand why they are nagging.

Honesty. Yup. Honestly is third on the list. Without understandable communication being honesty is basically pointless. You can be honest with a person all you want but if you or your partner lack communication skills it’s can be complicated to really understand what is being said and if things are misunderstood sometimes it will appear the the person is being dishonest.

Save the best for last, LOYALTY. This is more than just being faithful to the relationship. It’s actually being loyal. To the person , the relationship , and the goal. It’s so much more than just not cheating. Imagine a knight loyal to a kingdom. No only does he not side with another kingdom but he defends the honor of his kingdom at all cost. So looking at it like that not only should you remain faithful but honor your partner and respect the love and relationship you are building together.

I honestly believe most failed relationship could have worked if people took the time to make it work. Easier said then done I’m sure. But try to remember your partner is human. No human is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. But if have communication, understanding, honesty and loyalty (and are actually compatible) you should be find.

But then again I’m not Dr Phil & I am a divorcee…. But I found love again so I have pretty good faith if an asshole boyfriend like me can; anyone can.

A year of houselessness..

 ’16-’17 was a tough yearπŸ™„

From being dead broke recently divorced and packing up what little life I had left and blindly moving to New York…

To battling homelessness, heartbreak, extreme social anxiety & a complete fear and paranoia that everyone was out to destroy me…

And finally relocating to a small town, starting a career at a job I love, being financially stable and falling in love…

From the end of 2016 to a year later in ending in late 2017 life seemed to throw just about every curve ball possible at me. 

It started going downhill in Spring of 2016 as I struggled to understand my transition and where I wanted my new life to go I watched my marriage fall apart and what I that was my life explode. Not to mention the affair and jail time the year prior still causing me an extreme amount of stress.

Between my confusion in my transition and basically having my life turned upside down I began wanting to run. Run away from my problems. Run away from my mistakes. Run away from myself. So I did. I started running, or at least trying. 

Found myself leaving my home renting a room in a area of town where know  one knew my name, closing off from the world, barely even seen by my roommates but I didn’t seem to be escaping from what ever I was running from. So I ran farther. I ended up it Texas. Houston I believe. Paying weekly in hotel rooms, doing temp work, doing an assortment of drugs & trying to forget who I was/I am.

Eventually I ran out of money and mental strength to deal with people. By this time I believe I started to slip into depression. I still felt my demons on my shoulders, like I hadn’t ran at all. So I figure if I’m going to be broke, homeless and depressed I might as well go back to where it all started. Plus Texas is fucking stupid.

So somehow up I ended back in New Orleans, Metairie to be technical. A young broken man on the verge of a self destructive path. Fortunately I was taken in by my gay mother that had adopted me a few years prior. She tried her best to help me stand but mentally I was a complete fucking mess. And seemed like the more she tried to help the more it reminded me that my life used to be so great and it was completely falling apart all around me and there was nothing I could do about it only made me worse.

I went from being at depression’s doorstep to being hurled through the front door. Shit was bad. I mean like REALLY bad. Almost ended up in a psych hospital..

*Takes bong rip

Reaching my breaking point and still wanting to run away from it all, when the opportunity came for me to be able to run away 13000 miles away I took it.

Packed what I had left which ended up being a army duffle bag and 2 book bags and headed to the Greyhound station. I had no money in my pockets but I know if I didn’t do this and let my soul fly I would never get better & I might never figure out what I wanted to be in life.

“…But Son, what makes you happy?..”

You can read my blogs from my 26hr Greyhound bus trip from New Orleans to New York in my “Road Trip” section of my blog. 😊

Of course with no money in my pockets and not knowing anyone in NYC I ended up in the shelter system for the first few months and then renting rooms and eventually back in the shelter system. Seemed like everything was still going wrong. Getting lost. Being Robbed. Freezing temperatures. Injured at work. Losing my wallet. Getting played. 

But I felt like I had some how found what I was running to. I thought I was running FROM my problems but I was actually running to my life. My new life. The life my soul was searching for. Even with all the shitty stuff that was still happening I was happy. I felt like I made a decision that made me happy. Of course it wasn’t all shits and giggles and sparkles at first or for the first 6 months. There was times I wanted to give up but I refuse to just go home where I had found what I almost died searching for. So I stuck it out and eventually….

Well, eventually…😎

Xbox One S

Dear Microsoft,..

Fuck youπŸ–•πŸ™„

Okay so I’m a 90s baby all the way and although I wasn’t an actual Xbox owner when Microsoft first release the gaming console. I was dwindling away from my Gameboy advance around the time if I remember correctly.

I learned at a very young age that sport games like NFL Blitz were my weak point and I excelled at 1st & 3rd person shooter games. So naturally my first Xbox crush was Halo. Don’t get me wrong I loved True Crimes & Grand theft auto but I preferred games with a stricter story plot.

I remember I used to stay up all night, when I did “acquire” an Xbox; playing Halo until I would here my Grandmother getting up. Sneak back into my room and act like I was sleep. (My kids gone be sneaky afπŸ™„)

Anyways enough of the flash back…

First off this new age shit got me feeling old as hell. So apparently you can just download games straight to your console, which is awesome yet shitty. Microsoft customer service almost got cussed all the way out.

I have been a committed Team Xbox supporter, minus the brief period in 2014 when I had a PlayStation 2. Yes, Microsoft basically says “Fuck you” to it’s user by making them pay for online gameplay features. But sorry Sony , graphics, online gameplay, and joystick layout is more speed. And c’mon…. Halo.

But now that I’m adulting and shit, I have to think long term and expense. Do I really want another monthly bill? Did they really solve the red circle of death issue or did they just get rid of the circle? Am I really going to be playing online like that?πŸ€” All questions that led to my original decision of biting the bullet and getting a PlayStation. We all know Microsoft loves bundles. Once I saw “Master Chief Collection” I felt my spirit leave and re-enter my body. So the choice was clear.

I totally felt like an old timer when I was expecting to see an A. Halo graphics on the actual console. & B. Actual Halo game cases. All the set up and whatnot need internet access, which a complete 3 day headache that I will save for a later date to vent about.

I am still overall pleased with my choice of gaming console & I am still officially Team Xbox (I am still coppin a PlayStation 4 eventually).

Add my GamerTag imanking26 😎

R.I.P. 360 waves

It is with a heavy heart I write this

😭😭😭😭😭😭

I don’t know how this happened… 

Well yea I do actually. I was bored so I started fucking with my hair. Fail attempted to bleach my hair with baking soda and perioxide.πŸ™„πŸ€£

Yes I could have just went got hair bleach… But it was more fun to “Do-It-Myself” which didn’t work and failed miserably. It only successfully made my scalp to tender to comb , brush or scratch.

Anyways back to the MURDER at hand. I originally assumed no big deal my waves have bounce back from plenty. My wolf is just starting to really settle in. But I knew I fucked up when I realized I didn’t bring a hard brush…. And I couldn’t find a comb in the house. (Out of town of course)

Still I just knew my waves was going be ok. Even after the damage from this makeshift hair bleach on top of not having any real shampoo in the house (again not at home). I think if I had brushed, even with a soft brush, after that wild wash my waves would still be here.

Once my hair dried the damage was done the fate of the 360 seemed to be sealed… I found a comb about 2 hours later.. but it was no help.

I even rush bought this shitty medium hard brush…. It helped the rotting corpse of what used to be deep 360 waves.. but … I’m sorry everyone… They are gone now…

I will seek help from the elders.. but this may be the end of this journey

My first holiday miracleΒ 

Yes I don’t really do holidays… Nor am I a Christian.. but, I do know around holiday time (November – December) most humans tend to get “jolly”; the holiday spirit if you will.

A few days after Thanksgiving. Also marking the 1 year mark from the first time I stepped foot on NYC soil… Err, um concrete.

So typical travel dysfunctional morning Iman type of Tuesday. Over sleeps, forgets to purchase ticket, gets lost in subway, can’t find gate etc.

This morning trying return home was as always planned out relatively easy and every goal seemed to be accomplishable. Nope. Of course not. Too easy.

One of my biggest pet peeves of traveling is waking up TOO early. Too early to get ready but too late to get comfy and fall back into a deep sleep. And of course this was the morning my brain and bladder picked to work in unison at an attempt to wake me up on the wrong side of the bed.

I combat both with pissing and pot. Ha ha. Made sure everything was packed and curled up back under my woman. Between the now relief of an empty bladder, the buzz of the bud and the warmth of my partner I found myself fighting a deep sleep quite a few times to say I was only laying down for an hour.

This particular bank card is known to give me headaches but today I was already prepared, or so I thought. Noted now, you probably shouldnt purchase a prepaid debit card with the expectation of being able to use it within the same hour πŸ™„. Rookie mistake. 

The nice people at Duane Read tried their best to get the inefficient card I have been struggling with for almost 3 months now to work. They even had to work some magic even involving a second register to get the card that I now have but probably still can’t use for the the next hour or so. Still, when I walked out the door I felt confident that everything was going to be alright.

Normally I know exactly where to find my gate since I have found my preferred provider for transportation back and forth from Ithaca to NYC. Oh yea but today I’m already off my game. I believe it took me 30-40 minutes to find my gate location. About halfway there I panicked when I realized that the card that I just put all of my cash on can’t be used for online purchases for 2 hours after reload. Or I’m assuming that’s why it wasn’t working. (Cause it works fine now just ordered from Solidarity Soaps)

So I’m in front of my departure gate frantically trying to re-re-re enter all this card information and time is ticking. It’s not looking good. “Error”, “Opps looks like we’re having trouble”, “try using a different card”. Now it’s 10 minutes till departure so I’m calling my boss to tell him there’s an issue, calling my friend to see if he can order my ticket, texting my woman to see if she’s still up. Just a freaking mess. 

The last person in lines goes through the gate so I approach the bus driver (mom’s always said the worse someone could do when you ask them a question is to say no). I explain to him my situation, or at least the relevant parts. My friend calls back “no dice man, tickets aren’t up anymore”. 
And then a holiday miracle happens… 
What’s understood doesn’t have to be explained. But I will say this next time you want to cuss out the employee because the don’t want to give you extra sauce, or angry with the cashier who won’t let you “slide with the 50Β’” , try to remember that is that individuals job, livelihood, income & the way the support themselves and their family. Don’t get upset because they didn’t want to risk it all for you… Just be grateful when you cross paths with an innocent soul who will…
-Iman

Thanks Guy πŸ˜ŽπŸ€—πŸ˜Š

360waves, 12 weeks

Progress report. 

C’mon, you should know me by now.

Sooooooo , I have been slacking in the waves department due to work & traveling. Not to mention leaving important items such as durags, brushes & waves grease all over the United States while traveling πŸ™„

Anyways, every second is a second chance.

So it’s been almost 3 months since the big chop and the start of this amazing journey. Here I am 3 months and several hours of brushing later. 😎 I think I am doing pretty good.

Most recently trying to get back in track I’ve been using 3 different methods to try and continue making gains.

Connection Training.
I mixed 2 methods I picked up from fellow YouTubers. Click here: https://youtu.be/M36n07QXoRA to watch a video about my plastic bag/connection training.

COMPLETE brush sessions
Yes. COMPLETE brush sessions. Meaning 30 continuous minutes of brushing with different texture brushes. 10 minutes with a hard brush. 10 minutes with a medium brush. 10 minutes with a soft. At least twice a day, usually once after peel back in the morning and before the durag at night.

Combing my waves.
This method is somewhat still new to me and honestly I need to work on it to perfect it. But this method is helpful for weak sides, missed connections and stretching tight waves for corse hair wavers. This method is best during 4+ weeks into a wolf. The more growth the better. Combing against the grain then combing with the grain followed by a hard brush session. Seems simple, but I have did some damage the first few attempts. I personally do NOT recommend this method for novice or beginner wavers.

I still have a lot of gains to achieve and several hours of repair brushing sessions because I’m lazy and forgetful. But still spinning my guy.

Stay wavey , brushers.
-Iman

No Shave November

Yes, it’s that time of year again.

Most people only know of “No Shave November” as a month of growing a scruffy beard or not having to go to the barbershop for a month. Well I’m here to remind you of it’s true purpose.

First let me say to all those who lost a love one to cancer I am sorry for your lost. And to all those fighting the battle with cancer be strong, fight long and never give up.

No Shave November is to bring awareness to all those battling cancer. During the month of November you are suppose to refrain from your normal haircare routines(not limited by haircuts btw). Then at the end of the month donating the money you would have used for haircuts and hair products to a cancer institution of your choice. Also allowing to grow your hair wild, free & untamed for those going through chemotherapy and suffering from hair loss, since they cannot grow hair like they could before undergoing treatment. Lastly, going from a normally clean shaven individual to someone who desperately needs a barber is bound to draw questions. Allowing the supporting individual to spread awareness by explaining exactly what “No Shave November” is and stands for. It is more than just growing a beard or skipping the barber chair for 4 weeks.

Too often I see Tguys and OneGender guys boast about their beard gains but not acknowledging those fighting for their lives in a battle with cancer or paying respect to those who lost their battle. It upsets me that most of these men don’t know why “No Shave November” was started and fall into the band wagon and just “stop shaving for a month”.

Please stop making this a fad, do your research, and support the cause wholeheartedly.

And yes I am participating in No Shave November 😊 #FuckCancer 

-Iman

An eye opener… New Orleans??

My trip back home was emotional to say the least.. 

On top of dealing with something I thought would be years from now I had to deal with a lot of things I ran from last time I found myself in New Orleans.

Relationships, places, ideas, dreams, hoods…

All things I left behind in my city , or so I thought.

It was all so surreal seeing the apartment I called home with my wife and step kids. Family that I hadn’t seen since the beginning of my transition. Old neighbors & friends doing the same things they were doing almost 3 years ago. Shit was heavy man.

Then there was the missed connections.. people I thought would love to see me, seemed to do everything in their power to avoid me. Only a certain amount of moving hours in a day.. I missed links with people I really wish I hadn’t. Wasted time linking with those I really wish I hadn’t. 

But what was the most interesting thing over this weekend was random conversations I had with not only complete strangers en route and in town but the in depth conversations I had with some people that I never thought I would have. Outside looking in would appear to be minor things, trivial; but to me were monumental moments in my life that reflected the amazing amount of growth I’ve gone through as a person in just under 2 years.

My total travel time was about 8 hrs there and just below 12hrs on the return. *Including layovers and early arrivals at terminals.

I flew economy there and back with short layovers in Atlanta. Not sure what type of plane was from Syracuse to Atlanta and vise versa. But the 757 & 753 to and from New Orleans was the bees knees. Way to go Delta. 

I still prefer buses over flying , maybe one of these days I’ll take a train for the first time. Plane terminals are a lot easier to me. Maybe because most directions to your gate are pretty obvious and simple to read. Or that the fact there was someone I could re-ask what my gate number was almost every 10 ft. 

However as a TMOC , TSA was not so welcoming. Leaving out of New York wasn’t a problem. No extra searches , pat downs or luggage checks. Butttt coming out of New Orleans was the exact opposite. The workers stuck to their story that the extra “care” was because of my type of identification (which wasn’t a problem 4 days prior) but it still didn’t make me any less pissed about the 1st, 2nd or 3rd pat down. The old lady opening up both of my carry-ons or the wierd selfie stick looking device she ran over the edges of my Kindle.

I kept my cool till it was all over with, returned my vans to feet and stormed off to my gate which I made by the skin of my teeth…

All in all I call this an “eye opening” trip moreso than my previous adventures because it is rare that I get to return to a part of my past with fresh eyes. My reaction to almost everything has changed; from my mother’s passive aggressiveness, waiting on the RTA, certain areas of my city, the type of people I (used to) associate with, to way I receive people and they bullshit.

Yup I’ve changed.

The biggest thing that made it all worth while is people noticing the change in my vibe: “You don’t look all stressed” , “Seem to be alot more calm”, “Nothing pisses you off anymore” …

All things I needed to hear 😊 Things that are most certainly true 😎🀘

Be on the look out for my snapchat Vlog (tried something a little different) coming soon to my YouTube channel.

As always, thanks for reading folks and I appreciate your support πŸ€—

-Iman

#FlyHighGeraldineAUNTGERRYJones πŸ˜‡

Yup I changedΒ 

Most guys love to say, “Oh I’m the same person I was before I transitioned”…

πŸ€” Hooooowwww???

Lol j/k 🀣

No, seriously I was “that guy” for a while. Only recently have I come to terms b with the fact I am a whole different person. Like seriously, I’m an entirely different kind of man now. I mean that in the most brutally honest way with myself.

My whole attitude and outlooks on certain subjects have changed. It’s great to know I’m still evolving 😊. I had started to feel old and stagnant m looking back and hearing what the old me has done, said and felt; I have grown into a wiser, calmer more open minded and thoughtful man. 

I was an ignorant arrogant mofo not too long ago..

I speak different. I react different. I even think different now. 😊

I noticed as I evolved mentally I also began to grow physically. I started to stand up more up right my chest widened and got broader. I gained happy weight (but in muscle). Once I came to terms with the hereditary fact that I will most likely never be in the full Rick Ross beard gang. My baby goatee started to come through. Awee 😍 ” look at it, all barely connecting and shit”. Still gains for me. Some how me changing on the inside helped me change on the outside. Wowwww . 
✌️