Hi, I’m Paige.  I’m 5’8”, 315 lbs, Irish on both sides, fair skinned and freckled, natural strawberry blonde hair, and male-to-female transgender.  I have been a North Carolina citizen my entire life.  I am divorced with two daughters under the age of 10.  They mean the world to me.  So much so, that I’m foregoing any surgeries so I can save the money to help them through college and whatever else they need to succeed in life.

I briefly attended an HBCU after high school to study Computer Science, but dropped out to enter the workforce at 19.  I’m an extremely good backend web developer and I am approaching 20 years in the industry.  I’ve worked for both Fortune 100s and small startups.  I’ve also held odd jobs such as customer service, point-of-sale repair/installer, food delivery driver, prescription delivery driver, loan processor, and mental health peer support specialist.  But writing software is what I do best and what I love.

I’m a bit of an anti-geek, as I’m not really that big into comics, sci-fi, or superheroes.  I do enjoy movies of all genres – it just needs to have a good plot and keep me interested.  My favorite television shows are standup comedy, Monty Python, Law & Order: SVU, The Simpsons, Dirty Jobs, How It’s Made, Tom & Jerry (yes, the cartoon), and The Three Stooges.  My music tastes include rock, metal, alternative, grunge, house, dance, electronica, jazz, blues, and some pop.  I cannot stand country, rap, or R&B under any circumstances.

When I was younger, I studied piano for eight years with a concentration in jazz and blues with a teacher from the North Carolina School of the Arts.  I also used to be able to play trumpet, trombone, drums, clarinet, saxophone, and electric guitar.  I literally have not played any instrument in 15 years and would probably have to start completely over at this point.  I do, however, mix my own music using instrument samples and a virtual synthesizer when I get free time and am bored.  Nothing fantastic though.

I’m a vaper, I picked it up about three years ago after smoking cigarettes for 15 years.  When I started smoking, I smoked clove cigarettes exclusively for three years.  I have tried marijuana twice and it makes me super paranoid, so I can’t stand to be around it anymore.  When I was a teenager, I took LSD on multiple occasions and sometimes wonder if it didn’t mess me up permanently.

I don’t believe in any god or celestial being.  I do however, live with a strong moral compass and identify as a secular humanist.  I briefly attended a UU church, but found it to be too “churchy” for me.  I’ve been invited to a Friends/Quaker Meeting, but have not taken the opportunity to do so yet.  I also identify as a “bleeding heart liberal” and a registered Democrat.

As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I am a strong advocate for equality.  I lobbied against NC Amendment One and House Bill 2 through multiple meetings with legislators in person.  My main focus though is transgender issues, including the reduction of suicides and violence.  I have given multiple talks at multiple universities, primarily to social work and sociology students about my lived experiences as a transwoman.

I’m also a mental health advocate, as I’ve also been diagnosed with mental illness.  I have two genetic defects which strongly contribute to my major depressive disorder.  However, I am in counseling and on medication to keep it under control.  I have been admitted multiple times to a psychiatric facility for suicide attempts, the last one led to my separation and eventual divorce.

In addition to surviving multiple suicide attempts, I have also survived bacterial myocarditis (inflammation of the heart tissue) at age 31, a rape and brutal beating at age 18, and a major car accident at age 21.  I’ve also been “shot” in the leg by an exploding bullet from a fireplace at age 23.  I was also bullied all 13 years of public school, have an emotionally and verbally abusive family, and endured 11 years of emotional and verbal abuse from my former spouse.

I admit that at times, my self-esteem is very low.  I don’t think I make a very good woman.  I  can’t “do” makeup or hair very well and I’m not particularly pretty.  Despite six years of hormone replacement therapy, my breasts have not developed, nor have I seen any other physical or emotional changes.  I’m basically “stuck” with what I have and I’m trying to accept that.  I get jealous of ciswomen and other transwomen of how they look, act, speak, and generally carry themselves.  I wish that could be me, but it’s just not in the cards.

Sometimes to deal with the emotional pain, I drink a large quantity of alcohol at one time.  Ironically, due to my weight, I never get “drunk” or hungover.  It just takes the edge off.  I don’t do it very often due to the high cost of my particular poison, but it’s enough that I could be considered to have a substance abuse problem.

In addition to making music and writing code to relieve stress, I write.  I have started writing a novel about a young trans girl growing up, from birth through high school.  I’ve been pecking on it here and there for the last three years – and I’m not sure I’ll ever finish it.  But if I do, I intend to self-publish and make it available on Amazon.

Software Engineering, Trans Issues, and More