Fall in CT feels a lot like winter in TX. We totally need to up the winter clothes game soon. We have heard “layers” and “wool blend socks” a lot so I have been adding things to our Amazon list and purchasing a few items on paydays. Layers are a lot. It’s like wearing 4 outfits at once 😂 We are learning as we go and I’ve been told we have until December/January to get all of our winter necessities. The kids and I were surprised to see “snow pants” on their school supply list and are thankful a friend already gifted us with those since I have zero idea what I’m doing when it comes to winter clothes.

Life finally has a sort of cadence and we know our way to walk to the grocery store, pharmacy, and post office without having to use the gps. The leaves are changing colors and it’s so exciting for me… fall has always been my favorite season and now I’m in a place that’s famous for its fall foliage. I’m hoping to get a few day trips in to drive to see the best fall leaves sighting spots in New England. We’ve been working so hard with very few breaks between my work as a nurse that pays the bills (and also advocates for the LGBTQIA+ community) and our family’s work advocating for the trans community to do our part in changing hearts and minds. We have a lot to do leading into elections and then legislative sessions. 

A couple of weekends ago our family was presented with the “Profile in Courage” award at the Connecticut Voice Honors Gala. This weekend Kai was an invited guest to attend (via zoom) a global networking event for girls and non-binary youth leaders.

Not a single day goes by that I don’t think about the goodness of the people who continue to believe in us and help us. It’s what keeps us going. Now that we are here in the New England area it’s easier for us to look around for a safe place to call home within our budget. We are excited to find where we will be moving come spring.

I thought I’d include this article from the Texas Tribune. It serves as a reminder of why we had to get out of texas. We fully anticipate more of these heartbreaking stories of what trans youth are being subjected to and I cannot imagine Kai in this position. 


All the Feels

Sat down with my coffee and opened Twitter to find a mom of a trans kid in the UK who is scared and concerned they have to flee their country soon. Why? Because the UK has elected a conservative leader. Then the fear gripped me too. The safe states won’t be safe if the country isn’t safe. If this country isn’t safe and neighboring countries aren’t safe… what happens to transgender people, especially the children.

Here is the twitter post: https://twitter.com/emmsyemma/status/1566766098061660160?s=21&t=u7C8Ih39hd-NJXUMFQk8Wg

As for my family, we are feeling relieved to be in a safe state but always revisiting our escape plan to get out of America if the conservative party comes back in power. The 7 years of trauma we endured is beginning to surface in new ways now that we can process it. I’m randomly bursting into tears but having to buy eggs at the grocery store nearly broke me… if you don’t know my family we had a flock of chickens who were our pets that we had to rehome to get Kai to safety. I’ll share with you one of the gifts I have given myself since we left everything behind is this beautiful stained glass feather I got from Italian Freckles – It’s a Glass Thing! on Etsy. It reminds me of my Butters, a beautiful, funny, and smart buff Orpington who was one of my favorites. Maybe I’ll buy another for my birthday to remind me of Phil and another for Christmas…


Being in a place where we feel safe enough to process the trauma and grief of all we lost is a good thing and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help of every single donation to our GoFundMe and we will forever be thankful for all the kindness we’ve been given and those tears mix with all the others. https://gofund.me/c3773e43 Tears of relief, gratefulness, and grief all mixed together and it’s a good thing.

We are being responsible with our spending but moving and starting from scratch is expensive. Living in a safe state for trans kids is expensive. Living in the city is expensive. Knowing we will need to move again in spring is a bit discouraging. Also, super frustrating when you just know you have something and start looking for it and realize it didn’t make the move with us.

I still believe in the goodness of people. I still have hope. I do not still have Hefty Leaf Bags because I left those back in Texas.

Chicken update

And this is the text that made the tears finally flow again. It was like a pressure release valve just got turned alllll the way to the left.
As most of y’all know, we had to rehome our little flock. I cannot tell y’all how I have worried about them.
It was a such a relief to see photos of my happy healthy flock and get updates on their new life. They have 5 acres and grandkids to carry them around.
I’m so thankful for good people.

Rehoming the flock

Thank you to everyone who shared my post and begged your friends to rehome my little flock. 

Today a family came and took all of the chickens… even my 5 very good boys. They kept assuring the kids they have a beautiful place with 5 acres they can roam and stay together and that they will be well loved by their grandkids. Actually, maybe they were saying that to comfort me.

It took about 4 hours in the Texas heat for 4 adults to take down the runs, coops, toys, and all the other things my flock had collected to keep them happy and entertained. I was thankful for the heat because the sweat maybe helped camouflage the tears. I did ok until they put Phil in the kennel… the very best good boy. I’m thankful they found a home where they can stay together but damn, this really sucks. 

I’ll be ok. We’ll be ok. One more step closer to getting Kai out of Texas. On to the next step… it’ll definitely be easier than this one.

Very good boys

I’m out of ideas to save the lives of these handsome good boys. These three are brothers and live together in “The Cockpit”. All they need is a place they can eat bugs and chase away snakes.
I’ve called a number of sanctuaries and offered donations and ongoing donations for their care with no luck. It’s extremely difficult to rehome roosters. Even when they are very good boys.



Getting our things ready for a garage sale and have a promising offer on the MiniPearl (our tiny house in Austin). This photo is what we are working toward downsizing to as we set off on our new adventurous chapter. Class C seems like something I can drive AND tow my little Kia. Just think of the places we can go to and weird things we can discover on our way to our destination… wherever that may be.

Big Adventures

I’ve told the kids we are headed for a big adventure as we continue to pack a little each day. Which things do we keep and which do we sell? The choice is even more difficult because we aren’t sure where we are going or what kind of place we will live in. We don’t know how much it will cost to move nor store our belongings because we don’t know where they are going. The only thing we know is we will have three cats and a 50 pound dog in tow and we need to get out of Texas… months ago actually. I cannot wrap my mind around how dangerous it’s become for transgender Americans and the people who love them.

Connecticut is on our shortlist and I have already applied for my nursing license there.

Another big adventure for the Shappley’s.

Forever thankful for our Chosen Family

A Facebook post from June 2021

Ahhh… when you walk into the comment section after your family has been there.
I remember this aunt. I remember when she lost her daughter in a tragic accident. My cousin was my age. I remember the days and nights younger me prayed for her. I remember the empathy I felt for her. I remember the fun times too. I just don’t remember my family being this mean, horrible, and uneducated.
I wonder when I’ll get used to this and it won’t feel so disappointing.
Oh, this isn’t the worst by far. I think seeing my cousin post my address and phone number in the comment section of a Fox News story when we lived in Pearland was probably one of the worst… or maybe some of the posts from my sister…or maybe when a cousin threatened to send my kid out in a body bag… Good times y’all. Good times.
I’m just rambling now.
Happy Pride y’all. Hugs to everyone that is OUT & PROUD despite awful family members. Forever thankful for our Chosen Family.