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A lovely experience...

I was on an 8 day business cruise.  Almost 400 of us on 2,000 person ship.  It was 20% networking and 80% fun.  It’s the 16th such group cruise of which I’ve gone on the last four.  

I just want to be myself.  I went as Gwen all the way for 8 days straight.  I was in heaven to say the least.  I even arrived at the port, checked my bags and went through security as Gwen both coming and going.


That’s how I see social change and social perception of the transgender community happening.  Just be yourself but know that your actions also reflect on others in the community.  Forcing things onto people tends to have them put up barriers rather than relax, listen and understand.

Last night I got a DM from someone who was on the cruise with me.  I started to get misty after reading it.  She made my entire cruise worth it.  I’ll leave their name out.

Here’s what she wrote…


Gwen, I want you to know the 1st time I saw you I was taken back. I grew up closed minded because that’s the area I lived in, not because of my parents. They was from upstate NY and of course in a different time. 

As I got older I learned more about life, people and society. I have several friends who is gay or lesbian but had never met a transgender. 

Please forgive me and be patient with my writing. I saw you on the cruise and was taken back. I watched you and was in awe of how beautiful you are but also in how comfortable you are being you. I watched from a distance for days wanting to just approach you to say hello. 

I am very glad that the last day I got the nerve to tell you exactly how beautiful you are. I am sure your beauty runs deep and am very glad you not only accepted me as a friend but look forward to watching you become a beautiful butterfly. 

I don’t know your story and of course my ignorance makes my mind have questions. I just want you to know I look forward to learning from you and opening my mind to more.

Again, please know how grateful and appreciative I am that you was so friendly to me on the cruise.


This is how change happens. Forcing things on people simply puts up natural barriers which seems to be the norm these days.

My Response…


OMG That makes the cruise so worth it!  I hate it when the media pushes transgenderism on people.  I feel it’s the wrong course of action and just creates stronger barriers.

All I ever want is to be respected as a person and to be understood.  Changing perceptions one person at a time is fine with me.

I’m really a nice person (humble too) yet if people give a knee-jerk reaction not ever having  chance to get to know me, what good is that?  I don’t hold grudges either.  These days it’s either one pole or the other and if you’re not with me you’re against me.   I feel there’s so many shades in between. 

If you ever have any questions or just want to chat, just hit me up.



You may agree or disagree with my assessment and that’s fine.  It’s OK to have a different viewpoint.  I actually find it intellectually stimulating to discuss various view on topics.

What do you think?

Dr. Gwen Patrone


9 Responses

  1. Gwen,
    Good for you! That is an amazing story and thank you for being you and help bring about change in this conflicting time in the trans world. We will together make this place better one person at a time ❤️.


  2. The quiet, patient, gentle approach does seem to draw out the best in people. A few weeks ago I was, sitting alone, quietly at a little cafe. A younger woman, there with her preadolescent daughters came over to my table and told me I was beautiful, and that she loved my hair! It was a sweet moment and took no effort on my part.

  3. Gwen,
    In her note she wrote what I believe is an extremely important comment – that she was in “awe of … how comfortable you are being you”. To me, and obviously to others, it shows that you have completely accepted who you are and are truly confident when presenting Gwen to the world. People are generally hesitant to approach and talk to someone who acts nervous or furtively. After going out in public en femme for the first time, I soon accepted who I was and quickly became very comfortable and confident in being Fiona. People have responded with smiles, occasional comments and positive reactions when I initiate a conversation. I am convinced that being confident in one’s feminine self leads to a lot of positive interactions and is just as, or maybe more, important than the clothes, makeup or feminine mannerisms we all use to emulate women.

    I look forward to meeting you at Keystone.


    1. Fiona,
      That’s such a subtle point but powerful.
      Others relax when you are comfortable and confident.
      I often laugh and joke with people, which seems to loosen them up even more.
      Oh yes, I would love to meet you at Keystone. I’m speaking at 9 am on Thursday.

  4. Gwen,
    Fiona makes some very important points about confidence , the more you build on it the less you will encounter problems .
    I must admit I’m envious of your cruising experience as Gwen , I’ve enjoyed several cruises but none as Teresa but I’m working on it .
    Input from the media is doubled edged at times , I wonder at times how many within our community have suffered through media exposure ?

    Referring to the letter , on the surface I can see why you felt elated by her comments . On the one hand your behaviour opened her mind to the transgender community which was wonderful , I wonder how many others on that cruise might have made similar comments . In the past I have been part of that scene , I wanted so much to help others through social groups etc . The situation began to change for me when I went full time , being accepted as a woman has taken me by surprise but in the process I’ve gradually dropped the transgender label . I joined Kandi’s Land hoping I could pass on my experiences of transition . I had to make the decision of being accepted as a woman and not as a transgender person as it now never crops up in conversations with the public . I’m sure some believe this can never happen so I’m here to prove to others it can and it does .

    Gwen this poses you the question , how do you want to be recognised for the rest of your life , Gwen the transgender person or Gwen the woman ?

  5. Teresa,
    Thanks for the thoughtful comment and the question.
    It seems such a subtle question, but it’s pretty essential.
    I haven’t thought about it, if I’m being honest. I’ll have to ponder it for a while.
    The obvious answer is as a woman which is the goal for most, I would assume.

    1. Gwen,
      I’ll admit it wasn’t a question I’d ever be asked or considered . When I did consider my future I thought it would be lived as a transgender person drawing from the different sides , so what changed ? Perhaps I hadn’t realised the depth of my dysphoria , the more I went out as Teresa the less I wanted to reveal my male side . Going fulltime was a critical decision , for whatever reason I felt there was no logical choice in retaining maleness , with a little education and careful thought all I needed to do as a man was totally possible as a woman . To live as a transgender person can block aspects of your life , to accept life as a woman removes those restrictions . Obvioulsy this doesn’t take into account what other people think but after 5 years of accepting life as Teresa I haven’t encountered a single problem of being accepted as such .

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