Hello, new readers!

It's a pleasure to meet you!
Rather than re-invent the wheel, I'm going to share five posts that should tell the story of who I am and what I'm about.  If you like them, you'll probably enjoy reading the rest of my blog as well.

#1.  Typical Shelly Fashion (part 2)

This has to be the blog post that I share the most.  It's a picture overview of my transition from male to female, spanning from 2005 to 2016.  It covers the four relevant phases of my life:  nerdy male gamer, normal everyday woman, hippie chick, and androgynous wizard.  If you or anyone you know believes that it's impossible to transition and lead a happy life, please feel free to show them this post to disprove that.

#2.  Transcendence

I have a fair number of transgender friends.  They span from people like me who are more or less done with it, to people like my friend Ellen who only recently started questioning her gender.  While I admit that I came from privilege - I had a lot of support from my family and friends, and have only lived in progressive parts of the country - I feel like that makes it my responsibility share my story and promote an approach where we humanize each other in order to have productive conversations.

#3.  Character Creation

I genuinely enjoy listening to other peoples' problems and trying to help them out with it.  And ever since writing this post, I find it almost impossible to resist comparing real life to a role-playing game and using the analogies to help give advice.  This is a post about how I created the character of "Shelly Moonbeam" as a sort of idealized version of myself, and then slowly but surely made an effort to actually turn myself into her.

#4.  Rolling Forward (full) 

This is a four-part story about my earliest uses of MDMA and how it positively impacted my life.  It spans multiple topics:  the first time I presented female to my friends, the epiphany that made me realize I owed it to myself to transition, my love affair with the band Phish, how I coped with my father's death, and why I feel inspired to help end the War on Drugs.

#5. Best Case Scenario, Redux

I'm sharing this post for three reasons:
  • it brought me very far outside of my comfort zone to write, which makes me like it more
  • it's important for me to share my long-term goals with my readers
  • I used all of my favorite pictures of myself in it :)

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