Guest Blogger

Monica Helms: Then & Now

Filed By Guest Blogger | May 16, 2009 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Living
Tags: before and after, before and after pictures, Monica Helms, now and then, then and now



  1. I liked girls and women, but also liked what they wore.
  2. I loved science and science fiction.
  3. I launched model rockets and even started a model rocket club.
  4. I was very mechanically inclined and loved building things with wood, plastics, metal and various moving parts.
  5. I was a wimp. I didn't play sports except Little League, because I had good hand/eye coordination when batting.
  6. With my friends, I was the follower. No one would listen to my suggestions or my opinions.
  7. I was a mediocre Navy person and employee, doing the least I needed to do to get by.
  8. I loved wearing dresses whenever I could, and for as long as I could.
  9. I did not care about causes or what happened in our country politically.
  10. When making love as a man, it was too short and I wasn't very thrilled with what my part was in the "process."

Editors' Note: While Monica isn't a contributor, we've decided to expand the series to include frequent readers and a few well-known guest bloggers. If you would like to participate in this series, send an e-mail to [email protected].



  1. I still like women, but I'm more interested in their intelligence then what they wear, and I have to go to different places to meet them.
  2. I still love science and science fiction, and I have written science fiction and have had some of my work published.
  3. I still launch model rockets occasionally and I'm a member of a local model rocket club.
  4. Not only do I still love building things with my hands, but I have a nice workshop to work in. This means I'm now considered "butch."
  5. I still have good hand/eye coordination, especially when I play pool. But, I'm not so much a wimp any longer.
  6. I'm not the follower any longer, but people still don't listen to my suggestions or opinions. Well, some do.
  7. I'm a much better employee because many things have made me see the value of having good integrity.
  8. I stay away from wearing dresses as much as I can, dressing casual most of the time.
  9. I am totally interested in all aspects of our country, politics and issues, and have helped to shape these issues whenever possible.
  10. While making love as a woman, the time is longer, more passionate and more satisfying for the both of us.

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I find it familiar when I read the story of other Women who started there lives as the Woman they are later in life. Thank you for writting this Monica.

Monica and I actually met at Transgender Awareness day in Madison, WI. I remember her thinking I was funny and I thought she was nice. She was paling around with another transwoman bar hopping later that day. You seemed to be having fun.

My life presently is also similar in many ways to the way I was before I came out an transitioned.

Except I'm even geekier (is that a word?) and I'm not fall down drunk all the time. Although, I don't mind decorating the mahogany every so often.
I just don't need it to get through the day.

Things that are the same 10 years later.

I live in the same house.
I sleep in the same bed.
I have the same cats.
I do the same kind of work, after getting out and coming back as Renee 18 months later.
I still like fish (more) and beer ( a little less). I still have a larger belly than I'd like, because I still prefer comfort over vanity.

Things that are different 10 years later.

The Woman I wanted to grow old with left our home and then she got cancer a second time and died a year ago. This still haunts me as I cared for her and was the last one to speak to her. I miss her alot. I think about her everyday, either when I wake up or go to sleep.

I'm with a different Woman, also Trans, and our fifth anniversary is coming up in July. Her name is Megan and I think she's great.

Work is harder to get, not because I'm trans, but because of the stinking ecomony.

I'm better at my work because I'm not hung over all the time.

I'm better at my work because I don't feel like I'm hiding something from a client. I don't discuss my trans status with my clients, it's none of their business.

I don't hate being who I am anymore.

I have different genitals and I don't even think about how much the old genitals bothered me anymore. It was the oddest thing, after the surgery that discomfort just stopped. After several days I couldn't even remember what that feeling was that drove me to make all these changes. But I'm glad I did and I'm happier for it. Glad you only have to do the whole nasty process once. some of it wass fun,, most of it was not. It did made life better though. Better is good.

I read Bilerico regularly and enjoy Monica's stories. And that's change I can live with.

Thank you, my dear. My love goes out to you and Megan. May the days bring more smiles into your life.

It's lovely to see the face behind all of the entertaining and informative posts. Thank you so much for letting us get to know you better. :)

Thank you for the kind words, Sher. That first picture of me was getting my Dolphins in April of 1974. My Captain actually lives here in the South and about a year ago, I got his phone number and we had a nice conversation. I still have those first Dolphins here at home on display. It was a proud moment for me.

What do you get your Dolphins for? What are they?

Dolphins look a lot like aviator wings from a distance, but are only given to submariners after they qualify subs. The qualification process is extensive and detailed, so earning them is not the easiest thing to do. Silver ones are for enlisted men and gold for officers. Here is an image for you to see.

Monica, I am happy for the changes in your life.

We all, directly or indirectly, benefit from the leadership you now provide. Perhaps more people respect your opinions and suggestions than you are aware of?

You might be right, Dale. I don't know. I remember 10 years ago on how cool it would be if I was considered a "leader" in the trans community. Of course, you remember the old saying? "Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it."

There are times, and some of them have happened here on Bilerico, where I wish I was totally unknown. But, there are also times when I see that I have made a difference, and it keeps me going. Maybe, the tears of joy and happiness will one day be more then the tears of pain and sorrow I have shed. Maybe. Thank you, Dale.

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