Joyce Claflin and Carol Hasbrouck pose in front of Carol's Hyundai Santa Fe before loading it up and taking off on their four-month, 10,000-mile, 24-state 'Dames Gone Wild' journey.

Carol Hasbrouck’s new book chronicles the Dames’ travels and travails during their “summer service adventure.”

10,000 Miles of Miracles

How Two Middle-Aged ‘Dames Gone Wild’ Found Purpose During a Cross-Country Road Trip

May 2024


Carol Hasbrouck had just watched her marriage of 20 years collapse. Then came the trauma of almost losing her eldest son to a severe head injury, and his long rehabilitation that followed.

At 55, this St. Petersburg, Florida resident thought she’d made her quota on hard times.

But when the real estate crisis hit in the late 2000s, Carol was the sole employee laid off from the mortgage banking job she’d worked for 23 years. As a result, she struggled to pay her bills, lost all her retirement savings in bad investments, and had to file for bankruptcy.

Carol sums it up with three words: “I was devastated.”

But as these losses grew, Carol says she started to realize that a bigger issue simmered beneath the surface (more…)

The Transchick Chronicles

A vaginoplasty at last, stolen laundry, and a desire to be ‘someone’s woman’

March 2024

Editor’s Note: This is the latest installment of “The Transchick Chronicles,” an on-going series of essays written by trans journalist Stephanie Haskins as she documents her transition, and modern transgender life. Scroll to the bottom for links to her previous entries.


It’s 9:45 a.m. on Monday, January 22, 2024.

A very pregnant, quite beautiful young nurse in loose blue scrubs is hovering close.

She holds a bag of strange instruments in her hand. I know what they are, and I’m frightened.

She’s preparing to guide me out of the only existence I’ve ever known and into the next.

But, really, there isn’t much of “me” left.

I was born Stephen Frederick Haskins, but what’s left of that person is now measured only in seconds.

Tick tock. Tick tock.

The clock on the wall in my spacious room at the Kaiser Permanente Hospital at 2425 Geary Street in San Francisco, California, makes almost imperceptible clicks as the second hand sweeps silently from one moment to the next

I fantasize that this nurse will soon be done with her careful preparations, and then, THEN, Stephen—ALL of Stephen—will finally be no more.

I’m prepared for some pain, maybe a lot, and I’m resigned to enduring it so as to arrive on the other side.

And then she begins.

“Breathe deeply,” she says quietly, softly crooning this rather dispassionate, yet melodious good-bye to a person who has lived a relatively long, mostly interesting, pretty successful life.

As a male.

Almost two years ago, most of the last molecules of Stephen were cut and rearranged. It’s now time to bring (more…)


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