Several of the things I am certified to teach require recertification like tactical batons its every three years, firearms every year, hand-to-hand combat and edge weapons every year.

The Hand-to-hand and edge weapons lapsed last year because of my transition. I informed the Grand Master about this about six months ago and was very supportive of my transition and said make sure you come to training (which was today). He lives in Florida and does certifications at various locations around the world. In the past when first starting out I would attend a grueling six day instructor course in Florida and also Washington State. For five and a half days we would learn new methods and techniques for teaching students rather than us learning completely new techniques. The last day as just mentioned was grueling in that you had to test in a realistic environment which usually each person taking the test was rather battered up.

Even though today was a one day class I expected no less in regards to the test but was told I did not need to take the test as I have proven my abilities and was handed not a one year recertification but a three year certification.

When I arrived at the school one of the people who helps runs the school greeted me and told me his name then asked mine. Since nobody else was in listening range I told him I was male until recently and that my name is Karen Payne. The significances is he knew me as Kevin Gallagher. It took him a few seconds of him staring at me and then realized who I was before. We chatted then other students came in so we stopped.

At the end of class the instructor said, in your photo on Facebook your eyes look extremely happy and no different in person. He had shown my photo to an assistant instructor in Florida whom I met once back I 2010 and said “she looks great doesn’t she”. Seems she must had as she made a friend request today.

During the class I interacted with pretty much all the students at one point on another and nobody acted oddly to me and at the same time had no clue I was once a male.

All was not peaches and crème, I realized that when people talked about family I needed to be short on that discussion as I was not going to say something like “my wife and I…”, that would give things away and was not wanting that so during some breaks I kept quite.

Overall it was an excellent day working with other instructors who do this for six days a week and kept up with them.