18 Sep

People know me as being someone who isn’t afraid to share intimate details about myself or those around me and as someone who prides herself on being an honest person.  Maybe even a bit too honest, sometimes.

The post that I’m about to write is by far the most honest and open post that I’ve ever written.  It’s also the most difficult post that I’ve ever had to write, for a number of reasons.  I have gone back and forth about whether or not this is something that should even be said publicly and if so, how exactly I should go about broaching the subject.  However, recent events have brought this issue to light and I would rather know that I have the power to decide how something like this comes out, rather than give someone else the power to do that.

I received an e-mail today from someone that I’ve crossed paths with in the community, who felt the need to inform me of a short lived blog that I had started a little over five years ago that someone had dug up.  There aren’t any obvious details on the blog that would immediately link it directly to me, but more subtle aspects of it most certainly would.  The fact that the writer worked at an adult bookstore, or lived in Milwaukee, WI, or had just started playing World of Warcraft.  Certain phrases or expressions are things that I have been known to say or use in my writing.  If you really looked hard enough and wanted to connect the dots, you could pretty much determine that this blog was once mine.

The reason why this person felt the need to reach out to me was because one of the posts contained information of an extremely personal nature and they weren’t sure if I intended for something like this to remain public or for it to be potentially traced back to me.  When I realized what this post contained, I tried to do everything I could to take the blog down and I wasn’t able to do that.  The e-mail addresses that it was linked to have passwords attached that I no longer remember and I have exhausted every option I could think of to get access back.  Once I realized that the post could not be taken down, I then began to contemplate what to do next.

Someone had to go through a lot of trouble to discover this blog.  This person either really liked me or really hated me and this could impact how they would decide to use whatever information they found on that page.  Rather than have this hanging over my head, worrying about what would happen if something like this got out, I decided to take the power back and reveal the contents of the post, myself.

I’m transgender.

For those who aren’t familiar with the term, it basically means that you are born a certain gender, but you believe yourself to be the opposite of that gender and so you take steps to make your physical appearance match what you believe to be inside.  Essentially, I was born male, but I live my life entirely as female.  This is something that everyone in my real life is well aware of and completely supports me in this.  The people at the company I work for know.  My parents know.  My friends know.  I live quite a happy and normal life, for someone like me.  I make a great living.  I have a wonderful home.  I don’t really encounter much resistance about this in my personal life.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the Internet, it’s been a constant struggle.  There are numerous examples of men pretending to be women to pull one over on people or to get some sort of privilege out of it.  I can assure you that’s not the case with me.  I worried that by coming out, people would naturally assume it was another one of those situations.  And then there’s the timing of it all.  There’s never a good time or a right way to tell someone that you’re transgender.  It will almost always come out awkward and at a bad time.  You can’t really prepare for something like this or designate something as “the right time.”  It just has to come out when it does.

I wondered if it would even make a difference or if it should make a difference.  People don’t read what I have to write because of my sexual identity or my orientation.  They come to my site to read up on how to play a druid or a priest or to see which trend in the game I’m feeling opinionated about at any given time.  Why do they need to know which gender I feel I’m meant to be?  It shouldn’t be an issue.  People listen to my podcast to hear Ophelie and I have a few laughs and have intelligent conversations with people about their opinions and the games that they enjoy.  They don’t listen to our show because of how I choose to identify or how I live my day to day life.

I remember the moment that I first felt like I could make a difference and not for my gaming endeavors.  I have a Follower on Twitter who admitted they were trans and that they were really struggling with how to go about it.  They happen to live in a small town, their family doesn’t support them, they don’t feel they have a lot of money to begin the process, etc.  This was my moment.  I wanted so badly to say something to this person and let them know that it would be alright and that you can move away from all of that and you don’t need money to be who you were meant to be.  If I could come from a small town, where I was picked on and I could make something out of myself, then they could do it, too.

But instead, I fell back on that image that I felt like I had to maintain to stay relevant and safe in the blogging world.  So, I didn’t say anything.  I just offered a few lines of muted support and went on my way.  I have spent most of my time in the community rallying against people who are phony or put up false pretenses and here I am, doing the exact same thing.  It wasn’t all about the image.  It was also about having my escape and doing what I felt I needed to, in order to maintain that.

I’m one of those people who games to have an escape.  When I’m not feeling particularly confident in myself or on the days I feel like I can’t pass to save my life, I can log into whatever game that I’m playing and I’m a girl.  No questions asked.  I don’t have to worry about if I’m wearing the right outfit or if I’m walking the right way.  I can just log on and be who I want to be, who I feel I’m meant to be.  I don’t have to confront those insecurities that plague me on a day to day basis.  I was terrified of giving that up.  I worried about having my worlds collide and having everything I touched be affected with my sexual identity.  I wanted to keep something in my life sacred and my gaming was that something.

The truth is that I have been obsessing about this for months now.  This has been the one thing that has held me back from wanting to go to BlizzCon or connect with other people in the community.  I have lost sleep over this.  I have taken up binge eating to combat the worry and the stress that I put myself through, contemplating whether or not I should come out to people before I think about attending the convention or after.  I’m back on Paxil again, to deal with the anxiety.  It’s been incredibly stressful.  It only got worse when the blog from my past got out and when it was revealed to me today.  I’m not saying any of this to garner pity or to sound dramatic.  I’m just trying to highlight how difficult this is for someone like me and that this isn’t something that I’ve enjoyed keeping from people.

I’m sure I could have handled this better in the past and I’m sure I could be handling this better now.  I can’t take back how I’ve chosen to deal with this before, but I can certainly take steps to own how I want to deal with it, going forward.  This isn’t anything that I’m ashamed of or that I want anyone to feel bad for me about.  Do I wish the circumstances were better, for me to do something like this?  Absolutely.  But, it’s something I’ve entertained the thought of doing, anyway and I’m kind of glad that something like this came up to motivate me to get this out in the open.

I know this is something that’s going to affect me in many ways.  I know some people are not going to understand or they’re going to feel betrayed and they’re allowed to feel that way.  I know some people will have questions and I’m not opposed to answering some of them, as long as they’re asked in a respectful manner.  I know a few people will take a huge amount of glee from what I’ve just said and it will be used as ammo for jokes or something to be otherwise held against me.  I would like to think some people have some amount of respect for others and would not resort to such obvious tactics to get ahead, but I can’t stop people from doing that, either.  I haven’t always been the kindest person towards others and they would be well within their rights to hold this against me, if they really wanted to.

At the end of the day, I would just like to keep doing what I’ve been doing and to have this affect my gaming life as little as possible.  I would like to still contribute something to the community, to write about what I enjoy and what I love talking about, and to still be welcome to do the same with other people.

This post will be heavily moderated, so please do not take it the wrong way if you leave a comment and it takes longer than usual for me to unscreen it.  Hopefully, you can understand the reason for this.

*deep breath*


89 Responses to “Out”

  1. Ophelie September 18, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    Oh hun *hugs*

    I’m really proud of you! To me, you’ve always been Oestrus, my fellow singleton, my podcast partner and my cheerleader :). What you looked like when you were born or what your genetic makeup is or whatever, doesn’t matter. What matter is that you’re my friend O.

    I really hope you find some peace of mind now, and that you don’t apprehend Blizzcon so much. I promise you, you’ll regret it if you miss Blizzcon, and selfishly, Blizzcon wouldn’t be nearly as fun without you.

  2. Jadissa September 18, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    You’re really brave to be able to post and admit this, and for what it’s worth, I want to say that I’m proud of you for being able to say this publicly. I can’t imagine what kind of stress keeping this private from the community has put you under.

    I sincerely hope you won’t receive any backlash over this, but if you do, please turn a blind eye to it, because this doesn’t change anything about you and shouldn’t change anything about how you’re received.

    For what it’s worth, you’ve got my support. *hug*

  3. Hempia September 18, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    I love you.

  4. Sinfullysweet - Worldofwardrobes.net September 18, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    *claps and hugs* You are a human being, doesn’t matter what gender you are or your preferences. I am glad to call you a fellow gamer and would be proud at any time to call you a friend. Take your deep breath friend and understand that you brought this married woman to tears with your posting. Never be ashamed, or fearful of who you are! That is what makes you a beautiful human being! Heck, it could be worse, you could be a country bumpkin in hickville that just by the sound of her voice gets deemed ignorant. =) (Sorry went southern there) But you are who you are, and be proud to stand tall for who you are!


  5. Snack September 18, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    Moderate the hell out of this, O.

    My best friend is a transgendered lawyer.

    Her every day is an emotional roller coaster of fearing that she’s not good enough, that she doesn’t look right, that she’s not going to be able to hold it together in any way shape or form.

    It kills me that I can’t do anything for her, and she says every day, “When it’s all done, it’ll be okay.” It sucks, O, and I hope for nothing but the best of you, but most of all, I hope for happiness and warmth, success. I cheer for the people in your life who accept this, who love you as you transition, and I hope that you find that people are better than you’re afraid of with this posting.


  6. Aralosseien September 18, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Such a brave post. I’m sorry you’ve had to be so anxious about this old blog and I hope that getting this out in the open relieves that burden. It certainly makes no difference to me and it won’t to any kind, decent person. Anyone else isn’t worth your time 🙂

  7. Qieth September 18, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    We live in a world where we have to moderate ourselves to avoid being mauled by retarded bofoons. Just know that your family and friends – in real life and online – just want you to be you.

    We’ve had many talks. You are as much a woman as the next one!

  8. Dechion September 18, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    Well O, I will certainly say that took a lot of guts to put yourself out there like that.

    Probably more guts than I have.

    I think you have handled a difficult situation as best as you could. Thanks for going this route as opposed to simply deleting everything and dissapearing from the community. Call me selfish, but I enjoy your writing, and look forward to reading more.

  9. Lesa/Rhyane September 18, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    *hugs* Thank you for sharing this and having the courage to put it out there. You have my total respect and admiration – as much as I want to write about my struggles with having bipolar disorder and let people know that I’m probably not what they get the impression I am via Twitter, I just can’t. 🙂

  10. Hestiah September 18, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    You are exactly who you are to me. This changes nothing. I mean, it’s like new information, sure, but you are still exactly the O I’ve always known you to be. Opinionated, intelligent and full of attitude. None of that has changed, nor will any of it change now.

    I wish I could be sure that I could be in SoCal, because I still want to meet you. And get some drinks, and be downright some hot bitches together.

  11. Derevka September 18, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    Nothing to say but: /ovation

    (get it, o-vation?)

    Chin up kiddo.

  12. Noelove September 18, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

    I could care less what gender you were born as, I still think you’re a bitch. However, you’re a bold bitch for owning this and putting it out there. For that, you have my virtual back up if anyone gives you any shit. Ever.

  13. Carlos September 18, 2011 at 10:55 pm #


    I don’t really know you, but I somehow consider you as my friend.

    Today’s Oestrus and yesterday’s Oestrus is the same Oestrus, and she’s my friend.

    It’s kinda hard to translate it to English, but in Spanish it would be “La Oestrus de hoy y la Oestrus de ayer es la misma Oestrus. ¡Y es mi amiga!”

    It sounds better in Spanish if you ask me.

    Cheer up, my favourite blogger!

  14. Suzushiiro September 18, 2011 at 11:16 pm #



    In all seriousness I think that as you allude to most of the random douchehammers on the internet who are going to give you shit about this are going to give you shit regardless, and if you didn’t reveal this fact about yourself they’d just find or possibly make up some other thing to flame you over, like calling you ugly or a bad healer or whatever. As some would say, “haters gonna hate,” so what the fuck ever if they go LOL YOU’RE NOT REALLY A GURL YOU FREAK or something like that.

    As far as the people whose opinions you might potentially give a shit about go, I think being open about things like this can make a convenient filter for getting the people who don’t belong in your life out of it. Either it’s fine to let them know because they’ll be cool with it or it’s fine to let them know because you’re getting to the part where they reveal themselves to be a douche by going “EWWWWWW” and bailing now instead of wasting time and energy by hiding it only to realize the person’s a douche who’s not worth being around later. This applies to pretty much any aspect of yourself that people may judge you based on, be it being trans, homosexual, an aetheist, a Trekkie, a WoW player, an anime fan (that argument is basically what I give my mom when she gives me shit about having a Death Note wallet,) etc.

  15. Vidyala September 19, 2011 at 12:23 am #

    I’m sorry for the circumstances that forced you to have to write this, but I have the utmost respect for the fact that you did. Anyone who would give you a hard time or think differently about you after reading this isn’t worth knowing! I hope that having written about it helps alleviate some of the anxiety you’ve been feeling, I’m sure it can’t have been easy to deal with. Major props for raw honesty and guts. I hope you go to Blizzcon and have a good time!

  16. Alicara September 19, 2011 at 1:15 am #

    I commend you highly for being true to yourself and being comfortable in your skin despite the stigmas the Internet projects on people who “aren’t like them”. You are no different than the person to the left or right of you and honey we all still bleed the same red blood. If anyone’s got a problem with you, tell em’ I’m from Queens, NY and we’ll throwdown. 🙂

    Before this post and long after this post, you’ll forever remain the woman that’s going to be a special guest on GKick that I can ask questions to about clerics in Rift!!!

    ❤ and respect always,

  17. Dysmorphia September 19, 2011 at 1:23 am #

    It’s brave of you to write about this.

    You’re still the same O to me. The only thing this changes is that now I understand why you aren’t sure about coming to Blizzcon. I hope you come (if not this year, than perhaps another time) so I can buy you a drink.

  18. I. September 19, 2011 at 2:45 am #

    Lovely comments above and I hope it stays just as positive after me too. In short, why would I (or anyone) else give a fuck about your personal life? You disclose whatever you want about it. You said you’re a girl who used to play WoW and who plays Rift… that’s who you are to your readers and no one has any reason to resent you for not releasing more. You will probably lose readers… but (as cliche as it sounds) you probably didn’t want those people in the first place.

    And a personal anecdote: one of my former guildies is trans. (Which is I’m not posting on my usual nickname, but you can see my e-mail so you know who I am.) I learnt about this from mutual friends a couple of weeks after I met her in-game and I admit it was a bit weird at first. But, well, she WAS a girl and acted like one so it was very easy to forget she was born as a man. I was a bit worried about meeting her IRL (on a guild meeting) but, even though she hasn’t finished transitioning, it took all of 5 minutes to see her as just as much as a girl as me. (Girlier tbh, I’m kind of a tomboy.)

    This is not so much for you as for other people. I come from a society where gender issues are very much ignored, so I didn’t have any ‘first-hand’ experience with LGBT people before I started meeting a lot of foreigners online (and then IRL). But as long as you keep an open mind and remember people are PEOPLE and don’t change because of the sexual or gender identity… nothing will be different.

  19. Pewter September 19, 2011 at 3:30 am #

    I haven’t always agreed with you on various topics in the past, but you’re still O – intelligent, witty and opinionated, and obviously beloved by your friends. It takes a lot of courage to write a post like this. A lot of guts, a lot of eloquence. Good for you 🙂

  20. diabloceto September 19, 2011 at 3:52 am #

    This had to take an incredible amount of courage to post. I salute you for having that courage. Keep being the awesome bold intelligent O that many of us have come to enjoy and respect. We are all humans with many complicated layers, thank you for sharing another layer of yourself with us!

  21. Khaelan September 19, 2011 at 3:55 am #

    This was a really brave thing to do. I don’t know what else to say but that I’m still reading your blog, still looking forward to your podcast, so don’t stop writing or podcasting, please. You are who you are *shrugs*.

  22. Pilfkin September 19, 2011 at 4:09 am #

    I’m reminded of two things: firstly that no-one can make you ashamed of something that you’re not ashamed of (I think you have this covered!) and secondly an outspoken female English MP (forgive me, I don’t know which country you are from), who recently received an email from a journalist which had overt tones of blackmail along the lines of “we have evidence of you doing [this drug] and that you got sacked because of [this reason]” which she published, along with her response along the lines of “yes, I did drugs in my 20s…uh, have you met an 20 year olds?. Actually I was sacked for [this reason], hope that’s cleared it all up for you”. I applauded her like I applauded you.

    I think everyone else has the ‘bravo’ and ‘this changes nothing’ comments covered so I’ll add my glass raising to theirs and commend your honesty, your bravery and your openness. Carry on being the same you that you’ve always been, because I, clearly along with others, like that person and find her interesting, opinionated and fascinating.

  23. Gina / healbot.net September 19, 2011 at 5:49 am #

    hey sweetie! I support you no matter how you were born. You are you and that’s who you should be! And to be honest – you should be PROUD of the fact that just you posting this and writing it has been a huge step in your own personal GROWTH.

    I am proud of you! Rock on sweetie ❤


  24. Zinn September 19, 2011 at 6:06 am #

    Think the beauty of the internets are that genders tend to disappear, unless you actively try to show them. I’ve thought loads of people were X when they really were Y. Does it matter? Not sure. People have thought I was a guy (actually when I cut my hair short when I was 13 people KNEW I was a guy, the teacher didn’t believe me when I said I was a girl), people have told me I’m the girliest girl they’ve seen – it’s clearly as much in the interpreter as it is in expresser.

    I can see transgender becoming an issue outside of internet, people really -need to know- what gender you are. Not only know, it needs to make sense to them. My episode with me looking like a guy really bothered everyone else a lot more than it bothered me. But on the internet you are your words, you are the way you express yourself. People will undoubtedly have a interpretation of it as either “Male” or “Female” (for instance, I was sure blogger Rades was female because of how he writes, and I still think of him as such), and I also think it might affect how you read the text (in fact I just recently read a report on how talking about something as male or female affects what properties you describe it)- but I also think this will go away more and more. Language makes it impossible to refer to yourself as anything but “she” or “he” (at least in english), but maybe those words will mean less eventually.

    • Zinn September 19, 2011 at 6:12 am #

      Oh and I should mention that I’ve always considered you something of a “blogger in arms” kind of girl – we’re both girls, we both played Priests at about the same skill level (or so I thought anyway), had nearly the exact same progress in our guilds and seemed to share issues (especially guild ones). I still think of you this way (except you betrayed me for Rift! *shake fist*).

  25. Brian G September 19, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    I do not think I can add anything that has not been expressed already. You are extremely brave for writing this post and I hope your anxiety has disappeared. This post doesn’t change anything for me. You are O! You are one of my favorite bloggers and I look forward to your posts and tweets. Keep on being you!

  26. Nathelmi September 19, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    I have taught students who shared your anxieties over this. I organize extracurricular events for LGBT kids (the T is often overlooked and it shouldn’t be) and I wish we could claim we’ve made more progress in these struggles than we have. I’m hoping to erase the problems that seem to spring up around gender identity, and that no one suffers for or feels nervous about it. I’ll be thinking of you when we get there. H&K!

  27. Kaleri September 19, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    Not sure that I can top everything that’s being said here, but I was nodding along as I was reading the comments. Regardless of what anyone thinks of you (and that shouldn’t matter), you write great material (for WoW and Rift AND outside of those games) and you’re a strong lady.

    This won’t change how well you write, and it won’t change how interesting and helpful people find your articles. Don’t let anyone ever make you think otherwise.

    PS: I’m still banking on wings and BlizzCon, damnit!

  28. That Ghoul Ava September 19, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    I’m not real big on touchy feely posts, or anything serious for that matter. All I’m going to say is I admire the hell out of your honesty, and wish more people had your courage.

    You’re still a twat, though ❤

  29. Guinnyn September 19, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    I just read this post, twice, and… I couldn’t believe I was reading this. It’s… amazing. I can’t help but smile, and smile, and smile like a fool.

    Having a lot of good LGBT friends makes one see not with the eyes, but with the heart. You are who you are, and I love your writing, your tweets, your personality for who you ARE, not how you look or which genes you were born.

    I won’t even bother to adding anything that have already been said, because everyone so far managed to be brilliant on their opinions, which pretty much reflect my own opinions about you. I am aware I’m more like a fan (or, I dunno, a stalker on your bad days, maybe? XD), but I still see you not like a heroine, or a legend, or a blogger… but someone who enjoys her games, her series and her chinese a lot, who likes to discuss things, who won’t stand down for bullshit, someone who’s not afraid to speak her mind… and from now on, who should not be afraid AT ALL of being herself. 🙂

    If it is any possible, I only love and respect you, as a blogger, as a fellow gamer, as a person, and as a girl even more now. 🙂

    Haters are gonna hate and trolls are gonna troll, but TRUE friends will always be friends, and they will always be there for you. And that’s what really should count in the end. 🙂

  30. Karegina September 19, 2011 at 12:21 pm #


    I’m so proud of you for doing this. You’re strong and awesome. Nothing can change how I think of you, you’re an awesome woman who is very insightful and amazing. I can’t say anything different from what everyone else has said but I’m very proud of you!!

  31. Apple September 19, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    When I was 20 years old, I had a friend named Amanda. She was really more Aubrey’s friend than mine, but I’d offered to help her with some project or other and we’d been IMing and emailing and becoming friends very quickly. And after a couple of weeks, she IM’d me and admitted that she (really he) was trans, and that Aub and I were the first two people who had known him as Amanda that he’d really come out to. It didn’t change how I felt, just the name and pronouns I used. And my baby brother David remains one of my favourite people to this day.

    You’re still O. It sucks that you were sort of forced into the admission, but from the sounds of it, it was getting hard to keep the secret anyway. You’re still my partner in duck sauce, you’re still a gorgeous, sexy woman, and knowing this about you changes nothing about how I think of you or feel about you. You’re still YOU. Anyone who claims that you’re somehow a different person than you’ve portrayed yourself as is full of it, and if you point me at ’em I will let the wrath of Apple descend upon them.

    And, to get extra sappy on you, I love you to bits. Sure, you’re very blunt and honest and there were a couple of times (mostly in Ruby Sanctum, gotta admit) that I wanted to STRANGLE YOU for that, but in the end, I really appreciate that about you. I know you’re someone I can count on to tell me if I’m being completely insufferable. And I know you’re someone I can count on to have my back if I need it. And I’ll have yours. You are, my darling, the sexiest woman on my blogroll. I love you. Every single bit of you. You’re my friend. You’re O. And I love the stuffing out of you.

    So… there. 😛

  32. Sora September 19, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    Wow, you are very strong to open yourself up like this. I’ve had trans friends before (they were married to each other) so I have some small sliver of understanding on how big a step it was that you just took. But now I am hoping that you are feeling so much better about the truth being out (not that it was any of our business begin with) and I hope you will go to Blizzcon with your head held high.

  33. Bravetank September 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    I can’t really add anything to all the comments above but I just wanted to say what you’ve done is brave is the truest sense of the word, but it shouldn’t have to be. You haven’t announced anything that should be a deep dark secret – only something that you should be able to keep private if you wish, or public if you wish. Your life. Your call. But what you have done is announced who you are and that is something you should be incredibly proud of. I’m sorry it’s all been so stressful for you but hopefully now it’s off your chest you can breathe easy again & know it’s all fine anyway. Perfectly fine. You are who you are & from everything I’ve seen on here you are an incredible person.

  34. Sayomara September 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    Honest is always best, and I think you will be much happier when you are open with something then when you think you need to hide it. I don’t claim my struggles with learning disability is anywhere equal to yours, but I know I struggle with it everyday.

    Yes people often let us down, but i find life much more enjoyable when I hold people up to standard where I think they are good and decent yes they sometimes yet you down but on a whole people are remarkably supportive when you put yourself out there. And I see much of that here.

    I have nothing but respect for you and hope this gives you peace of mind and removed your fear.

  35. Codi September 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    I could write a really long message, but I think there are only two things I need to say: I love you and I am so PROUD of you. You know all the rest. ❤

  36. Mconniff September 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    For a few years (four or five) I have worshiped Matticus & Derevka, their insight and advice has helped me become a better Holy Priest. I may never get the gear that they have earned but I do try my best. I have met Matticus at BlizzCon, (yes I still have the picture) one of the most exciting moments while I was there. I was hoping I could have gone to BlizzCon this year to meet Derevka but my son’s pacemaker needs a battery replacement this year, so I may attend next year.

    I follow quite a few folks on twitter. Respectful, brave, insightful, Funny, or just down right honest folks. So when That_Ghoul_Ava sent me over to this site to read your post… At first I was surprised then thought about all the advice and (very) accurate detail you have provided me with so far whether or twitter or your podcast or others. Why should it matter her sexual orientation (male / female) or race or political back ground? Would it change the information I was able to glean from her podcasts or twitter rantings? No. Just like when I found out that Derevka may be gay (I don’t know for sure and it isn’t really my business) do I stop admiring him for his spot on assessment of the class I have been playing since Burning Crusade came out? Do I stop asking for his help and his understanding to my ignorance in something? Even while I served in the Army I treated everyone the same. I don’t care who you voted for, I don’t care what color you are, nor religion you worship. I listen to everyone and don’t judge anyone, I appreciate their constructive criticism and I try to work on my faults.

    I am very happy that you faced this issue openly and you should never be afraid of who you are, nor be afraid of what someone else thinks of you. GO TO BLIZZCON!! I have gone the previous two years and have had a blast. Not just at the convention but the Meet-Ups and fellow guildies you meet or folks from twitter. It is a wonderful adventure, pack a bag and go. You’re smart, you know how to answer stupid so that shouldn’t even be an excuse.

    I admire your bravery @—}—– keep up the good work.

  37. The Pink Pally September 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    Wow. I just… wow. I am so incredibly humbled by the amount of courage it must’ve taken to post this. There are some amazing comments here and I can’t really think of anything new to add so you’ll just have to suffer a bit of repetition. 😉 It sucks that this has been a source of anxiety for you and a hope that taking ownership of it allows you to get back to gaming (and blogging about gaming) as an enjoyable escape. I know it seems like the internet, and by extension the world at large, is dominated by ignorant, immature haters and trolls, but I refuse to accept that as truth. Perhaps it’s my rose-colored blinders, but I think there’s a quieter majority of geniune, friendly, caring, open-minded people out there looking to connect with others who share their interests. I’m glad I ‘met’ you through the WoW blogging network. Your sassy personality spices up my twitter feed (and makes me crave Chinese food like whoa). Thank you for sharing this. You’re an inspiration. *hugs*

  38. Saga September 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    I imagine it must have taken quite a bit of strength to write this post, and it’s a shame that you felt – in a way – forced to to so. But at the same time, now that it’s done – I hope that you can feel a certain amount of relief as well. Reading the comments of those before me it seems people really do care more about who you are as a person than what you happen to have (or not have) between your legs. Which is all as it should be.

    I’ve been enjoying your blog quite a bit, and even though you don’t write about WoW anymore I’ve still kept it on my reader because I still enjoy your writing, and I will continue to read it.

    An old friend of mine when I lived in the Netherlands was trans. I remember helping them with their make-up once, when it was still very new. We had a lot of very good chats about it, and it’s a shame that we lost contact after I moved away. It takes a lot of strength to tell people about these things, especially with all the prejudice out there – but it seems your readers are all a fairly open-minded bunch of people, and I’m humbled that you’ve shared your story with us.

  39. Arazu September 19, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    You are a cool person and it’s unfortunate that you got internet detectived. Even though we tend not to agree on stuff you are definitely strong and will come out of this fine.

  40. Tomaj September 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    You’re O. You’ll always be O. That isn’t going to change. However you might identify yourself doesn’t change who you are.

    I can really only reiterate what other people have said above, so I’ll spare you.

    But, I do want to say this in addition. Whoever might give you shit about this post (or any other post), it really doesn’t matter. In the long run, all it does is show their lack of understanding, tolerance and acceptance. That’s not something that you really need to put up with anymore than anyone else does. (On that note, I’m one prone to not keeping comments screened under most circumstances, but I think even this is a touch sensitive to take that route.)

    I’ve never known anyone well that is trans, and obviously I am not, either. But even if I did, it wouldn’t make any impact on who they are, or how they are. They are still a person, they feel and bleed and breathe like everyone else. And, like everyone else, they have a name, not some jibe against them, some demoralizing comment or third-grade insult. As far as I’m concerned, your name is O. And it will always be O.

  41. Dahrla September 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    F anyone who would say anything negative about this reveal – you are still the same O to me. And those people aren’t worth knowing, anyway. 🙂 Oh, and you are a hot bitch, no matter what!

  42. KetawaFox September 19, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    I came across this post while looking for people to follow on twitter. I just want to say i think it’s very brave and awesome of you to be open and honest about something that is so personal and hope whatever flack you may get (and I’m hoping it’s NONE) is very minor. Best wishes always!

  43. Cel September 19, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    Just adding one more supportive voice to the fray. I still see you as the brash, sometimes offensive chick I’ve always seen.

  44. Lou Gagliardi September 19, 2011 at 7:38 pm #


    I love you. You’re smart, you’re funny but also very, very brave. And that gets more respect out of my than anything.

    My wow guild know, and doesn’t care. I told a friend today, and I got positive vibes, and a compliment on my hair.

    I pointed them to this entry too; and may write one of my own.

    Thank you for being brave, man. I love you for it. ❤

  45. Dawn September 19, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    I’m not bothered, and neither are any of the people who matter. Carry on chica.

  46. Jason Etheridge September 19, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

    Anyone who says or thinks anything derogatory to you or about you isn’t worth knowing. Good for you, ma’am. Good for you!

  47. R September 19, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    Started reading this as a priest blog to learn priesting, kept reading for some random Rift stuff, may have just learned a bit of tolerance. Whether you have an inny or an outie is your business and no one elses. Good for you to be strong enough to share this.

    Carry on.

  48. David September 20, 2011 at 1:25 am #

    You are exactly who you present yourself to be. You have always been honest and forthcoming. I wish I could explain how trivial the details become when you get the important things right. Keep it up. No one does a better job of being yourself.

  49. Joar September 20, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    Wow – based on the way you lead up to that, I was afraid you were going to post something really controversial – like you’ve secretly been raiding primarily on a Rogue. Now that would have knocked me down.

    There’s not a whole lot to add to what’s been said above other than I’m also extremely proud of you for being so forthright with this – but at the end of the day, like most – it really changes nothing about the way I think of O.

    And in a way, that’s one of the best things about this community – the way it connects all sorts of different people and makes us all realize that what we have sometimes perceived as differences, don’t really matter at all. Hopefully it’ll make us all open up a little more.

  50. Autodidact September 20, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    I’ve been a lurker on your blog for a while, my main in WoW is a Priest and I’ve always appreciated your candor. (You’ve encouraged me to try a Rift 7-day trial today, download in progress)

    I hope that one day we can take the best of what the online community has to offer and the best of what the “real world” has to offer and make an amalgam to be our flagship in human relationships.

    Online, people tend to be more concerned with what another person brings to the table, and accept a certain amount of anonymity in regards to the “facts” about that person. However, there are also people who tend to abuse that anonymity and use it as an excuse to stop being “humane” to one another.

    RL, people tend to be more cordial, but the extent of the kindness they show you tends to be based on the “facts” they know about you at first blush.

    I hope that anyone who reads this learns that there is so much more to a book than it’s cover, and the “Stories of O” reveal an awesome person with a passion for gaming and keen insight, who has experience suffering and joy as everyone else, and that she is just as deserving as loving kindness and compassion as the next person.

    You are who you are, and I love you for it. IMHO, people should care more about what we share in common, and celebrate our differences as the vibrant, sparkling diversities that make life enjoyable.

  51. Windsoar September 20, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    Still out of town and just waiting for the crappy wi-fi to crash, so I’ll keep it short.

    Your gender is your business. I understand why you felt you had to write this, but it shouldn’t matter. I’m happy to see all the supportive posts you’ve already received. I ❤ you!

  52. Juvenate September 20, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    This doesn’t change the fact that I’m gonna make you dance with me at Blizzcon! SOMEONE there has too! Even if I’m a hot mess!


  53. Gaia September 20, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    That sucks that you were pushed into posting this but I think that the way you’ve taken control of the situation is awesome. I also think/hope that a post like this will have such a wide ranging and positive affect that no one will ever be able to truly appreciate. The strength of character evident in something like this bound to be reassuring and inspirational to others who may be facing something similar in their lives and will hopefully be equally educational and insightful to all of the people who will never find themselves faced with a situation like this.

    I don’t think I agree with most of what you post related to gaming but your candor, spirit, and passion for life are always inspirational. Keep being you. As several have already said, anyone that has a problem with anyone as honest and upfront as yourself likely isn’t worth worrying about.

  54. Juulna September 20, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    I went to a high school that was kind of known as the gay school, but not in a derogatory way. I grew up around people that were struggling with their sexual orientation and identity. I loved and cherished these people as much as any other people, and was there to support them when the anxiety of who they were in society got to be too much. Being around these people made me a better person.

    I believe that people knowing you, and knowing everything about you, will make them better people too. And it will make you less anxious. Sometimes the truth will hinder you, but other times it will set you free. Yes, that is terribly cliche, but I feel it’s correct.

    I know that me having read your blog for the last few months, and getting to know you through your posts and podcasts, has let me come to know you better; as much as a stranger can. I never once questioned you being a woman, and I still don’t. Anyone who let’s that change their perception of you, and lets go of respect… Well, I don’t know. I wouldn’t respect a person like that. But I do know that some people have just never been put in that situation before.

    Here’s hoping that people continue to respect and love you as much as they had before gaining this knowledge. Because you deserve it. You are an amazing woman, an amazing player, an amazing blogger, an amazing person.

    Keep at it, and hurrah for you posting this! I will respect you forever now. I commend you for your honesty. Bravo! *hugs*

  55. Johnnie @ MMO Melting Pot September 20, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    Congratulations, O. Elegantly done.

  56. Aldano September 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    Kudos to you for trying to be who you want to be and don’t let the small minded people get you down or tell you who you should be. Life is short, find what happiness you can.

  57. Nickie / Synysta / Rose September 20, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    People call me brave for the honesty that I write on my blog. Bloody hell, O. My hat is off to you.

    You’ll always be beautiful, fearless and bitchy to me. I ❤ you and can't wait to meet you next month 🙂

    *lotsalotsahugs* 😀

  58. Nonny September 20, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    I’m mostly a lurker, but I just want to say, how much I respect you for posting this. It’s difficult to talk about. One of my exes, my first love, is transgender, and he struggles so much with whether or not to be out because of discrimination, hatred, and betrayal that he has faced, from people who were supposedly trustworthy friends. And for a blogger, it’s especially difficult because you have no real control over your audience.

    I hope that you’re able to go to Blizzcon and meet your friends and that everyone is awesome and understanding and cool with you. Because what gender you are shouldn’t matter a bit. Best wishes!

  59. Gneisha September 21, 2011 at 12:01 am #

    Go to Blizzcon and be the confident, sexy, awesomesauce woman you are 🙂
    And know that I’m insanely jealous of you. JEALOUS.

    But really, you are 14,000 times braver than I am.
    Actually, that’s probably more like 140,000 times braver, since I’m afraid of the dark.
    And spiders.
    And zombies.
    And ghosts.
    And other illogical things that my brain knows (hopes) aren’t real during the day, but flips the switch to ‘heart-attack-at-every-noise’ mode at night.
    Anyway, thank you for the privilege of reading this post. I greatly enjoyed it, and love you for it 🙂
    ❤ Gneisha

  60. Caelcraft September 21, 2011 at 7:21 am #

    This changes everything, and it changes nothing.
    By “it changes nothing, I mean I will still read your tweets & posts in exactly the same way and I will still judge them on what they actually say and how they say it. This isn’t really ‘breaking news’ since it’s how I treat every post I read anyway, but in the circumstances it feels important.
    As for the “it changes everything” part, an hour ago you were one of many gamers I follow on Twitter, and one of a few blogs I occasionally lurk on. As I read this post though, you became (for lack of a less soppy statement) something of an inspiration to me. The way you took a situation which would have probably panicked me into a full retreat from the blogging scene and turned it around into something which makes you look so strong and in control was really amazing. I’m sure you felt a lot more vulnerable after posting this than before, but from where I’m sitting it actually made you look pretty invincible. If some anonymous internet ‘detective’ can dig up something as remotely hidden, as intimate and as private (in your digital life) as this and you can come out of it looking better than you did before, seriously what else could possibly touch you? Stand tall O, and remember that what you’ve proven here is no one can touch you unless you let them (chortle!).
    On a more selfish note, this post also helped me a lot. I’m going through a rough patch this Summer, and though it really doesn’t compare to this it’s been particularly hard for me and I haven’t been able to talk to anyone about it yet because it’s just really scary to face what the people I care about will think. Now though, I find myself thinking “If she can open up about something so much scarier, to a much more anonymous and risky audience, what excuse do I have for not talking to my friends and family about my own stuff?” So thank you, O, for having so much strength, grace and honesty that it literally overflows into those reading this post.

  61. Keslah September 21, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    I won’t even pretend to understand what you struggle with on a daily basis, but I give you a thumbs up for being brave and putting it all out there to take back control of the situation.

    Honestly – don’t care whether you’re girl, guy, trans, gay or alien. Your writing style and blog tells more about you than your chromosomes. I lurk here occasionally, and have enjoyed the posts I’ve read so far. I appreciate the work you put into the blog, and the insight you’ve given me for my baby priest. Keep up the good work and stay strong!

  62. Baringa September 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    Wow. You are insanely brave for writing this, I don’t think I could write something so personal, and publish it to the world.
    This doesn’t change anything in the eyes of the people who have a heart and brain. Gender does not matter.
    I hope you are able to go to Blizzcon and meet the people you want to meet. They wont care about this. And thats the important thing.


  63. Paul September 22, 2011 at 9:11 am #

    I’m just a random person who stumbled across your blog not too long ago. But let me assure you that I, typical random person, doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with you, or that you have anything to hide. Have a good life, we’re rooting for you.

  64. Somnar September 23, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    I’ll second, third and 67th what everyone has said here O! I just recently started following you on Twitter and came here to check out your blog for some Rift information. I had several friends when I lived in a not so small town in GA that I watched struggle with this daily, and kudos for you for doing it in such a public way! I hope the comments here have shown you that your readers and firends will support you and understand what you struggle with on a day to day basis, and hopefully that makes everything a little easier! Now, go and enjoy Blizzcon! (Jealous that we can’t go this year!!)


  65. Velidra September 24, 2011 at 12:52 am #

    Hey O. Your awesome. Don’t ever stop being awesome.

  66. scally September 24, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    *claps* I was a little slow in getting to read this but well done. I am a gay woman who whilst out online and to close friends am still very much in the closet so to speak and know how hard this kind of thing can be. To the people that count, it won’t make a bit of difference but I think you already knew that.

  67. Kuri September 26, 2011 at 1:01 am #

    Proud of ya, O! Great post. Surprising post. Came to it late but glad I finally read this since it was sitting on my Twitter to-click list for a good week. 🙂

    This doesn’t change a thing in my head about you though. You’re still a rawk Priest (in any game) and gamer, and your insight is what keeps me coming back.

  68. Telwyn September 26, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    I came to your blog because of the Rift posts. The Internet can be a very harsh place, seemingly ruled by the loud/brash/spiteful. But the wonderful reactions I read here are very positive and shows that the concept of community amongst gamers still exists.

    Bravo for posting this O!

  69. Rem September 26, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Power to you, for having the courage to be who you are.

    (Late to comment, as always)

  70. Adam September 26, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

    Hey O,

    I came a bit late to this one but honestly, your gender has nothing to do with how I interact with you. I value your mature, articulate, and fair input on a wide range of subjects. You always bring value to a discussion and rarely bring it to an emotional level. While saying that I also appreciate how difficult it must have been to write this post, so kudos to you for that. But I’m also pretty sure that it’s a relief to have the monkey off your back in some ways.

    So keep fighting the good fight. Your gender doesn’t matter; who you are does.

  71. Alethiar September 27, 2011 at 6:28 am #

    I’ve been out of things for three weeks now, due to an injury, and this is the first post I read when I get back to it. Wow!

    As others have already commented, I am so sorry you felt pressured into revealing this and that you felt it would in some way diminish how the community thinks of you. I am also deeply impressed with the way you chose to handle it. Good for you.

    There’s so much I could say, and so much going through my head, but I’ll try to keep this short and to the point.

    You are probably the one person most responsible for making me feel I could write about my own WoW experiences. You bring a warmth, passion and honesty to all that you write about, and I have always admired that. I respect your views, even when I don’t share them. You’re a personal hero of mine, and I don’t think I’ve ever made any secret of that! I love you, and I can only hope that getting this post out there will allow you to move forward and realise that there are plenty of us who love you for who you are. Keep doing what you do best, girl ❤

  72. georgewow September 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    Just saw this ive been unplugged for the last 10 days all I can say is hats off for posting this and i am bad with the written word but all that is important is that you are one of us – ‘the community’ we got your back hope to see you at blizzcon 2012 i cant go this year 😦


  73. Lady Erinia October 1, 2011 at 12:52 am #

    oh darling! No matter what I’ll stand by and support and nurture you. What a wonderful post! It must have taken a lot of courage and strength to write. You’ll always be my favourite O!

  74. Jaedia October 1, 2011 at 6:43 am #

    Aww you should know that the people who matter respect you for you and not your gender! 🙂

  75. Irene Knapp October 15, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    Congratulations on finding the courage to speak up. I blame nobody who just wants a quiet, normal life and has no interest in activism or the trans community, such as it is. Everyone deserves a chance at that, which would be meaningless if I advocated that they not take that chance when they finally get what they’ve worked so hard for. But the world needs – not so much voices for us trans people, as faces. Friendly, stable individuals who do great things. I hope that we just found another one!

  76. V October 19, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    Just one second; picking my jaw up off the floor. … well, all I could find was duct tape and rubber bands, but it’ll do.

    I’m glad you had the chutzpa for this! However, I don’t want to see you fret about people feeling like you were deceptive. You’re a woman and that’s all there is to it regardless of where you started.

    And I have the same problem with finding old passwords for obsolete E-Mail addresses.

    Love you. Rock on. ❤

  77. 1BigBore October 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    Beautifully written. You give hope where none is obvious. That is a talent. We all have challenges, and you have really taken this one on in a positive way. As time goes by, you will get nothing but more interesting and articulate. Honesty. Hard to find in this high octane world.

  78. The Nasty Shaman October 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    O, I choked up a bit reading this. Putting this out there the way you did took a lot of guts. The stuff that many people don’t have, you know?

    I’ve been contemplating a while on posting on my blog how WoW has helped change how I view the LGBT community. I think this post has pushed me a little further in the direction of “write it.”

  79. Uni October 24, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    I listen to your main podcast and a lot of the podcasts that you have sat in on and I enjoy all of them very much! I enjoy your outgoing and firm attitude you take on many subjects and so I decided to look up your blog. I have to say this is one of the most respectful and courageous things I have ever seen and I just wanted to say, ” Good for you! “. You shouldn’t be ashamed for the way you feel and whatever makes you comfortable and happy in life, more fuckin’ power to ya! I have a young daughter and I know that I would support her in anything she does in life, no matter what the case. I don’t know you personally, but I’d be glad to have you as a friend! Keep on keepin’ on and don’t ever let anyone tell you different.

  80. Katabri October 26, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    Whether you were born with XY chromosomes or XX ones, you are still a human being. I’ve followed you on Twitter for some time, and a recent listener to the podcast. Your external genitalia do not define you. Your actions do. And your actions show you to be a strong woman. I choose to see you as you choose to present yourself. Thank you for showing the world what it really means to be a strong woman.

  81. Ratshag October 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    Late ta the party, ’cause, well, sometimes I’s slow. That said, I’d like ta add me voice to all thems expressing they’s support and admiration. We is all people, and as such is entitled ta dignity and respect. Life is a journey, and we all gotta figgger out our own way from start ta finish. Ain’t nobody got a right ta tell ya yer doin’ it wrong; is your life, not theirs.

    This post clearlies were a hard one fer you ta write. I hope you can feel as good about yerself fer havin’ made it through this as you deserves to. Such courage is always inspirational fer thems around you.

  82. Aria October 29, 2011 at 4:59 am #

    I applaud your courage. 🙂 As they say, the truth will set you free.

  83. Somhlth October 29, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    Okay, I’ve read your blog, heard you on podcasts, and your O. How I managed to miss this post, Im not quite sure. I wanted to express to you my feelings. I know you can see them whether you approve them to go public or not. What I’m saying is for you, and if you want to share with others, go ahead.

    What swings between your legs, or doesn’t swing, doesn’t matter. Oestrus is a wonderful lady, I won’t feign to say I’ve followed you for a long time, but the short time I’ve read your writings and listened to your podcast. You are indeed a remarkable person whether you were born with dangly bits or inside bits doesn’t matter.

  84. Thespius December 24, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    O, I respect the shit out of you for everything you said. Having just read this at the time of posting this comment, it does nothing to change my opinion of you at all (what little that I know thus far). It’s the little idiosyncrasies like this that make each and every one of us unique and special. I’ve had a blast with our conversations thus far, and I expect nothing different moving forward. If ever you’re down in Chicago, the first round is on me! Always here if you need.

  85. Navimie January 27, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    O, I actually had heard about this post a while back, but had not read it. Though I am by no means a regular reader, I do admire writing that evokes feelings and this is no exception. I remember what I thought when (Azeroth) Apple wrote their piece and I was really moved. It’s old news now but, just wanted you to know that your words can still move others, after all this time.


  1. Coming out (Special thanks to @OriginalOestrus) « Unknown Ventures - September 27, 2011

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