Activity Stream

Activity Stream

  1. EmmaSweet added a post in a topic Makeup Kits   

    There is a lot, and I'm really learning too. There's the eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, contour colors (to add shading and highlights, such as to narrow the nose or add cheekbones), color correction such as orange for beard, green to cancel under eye purple color, also overall powder, and the overall primer before anything is put on, and eye primer. What a chemistry set, and the colors are selected for your skin tones and the look you want to achieve. Then there are the makeup removers, skin cleanser, and skin conditioners. 
    I received a pretty good lesson at a crossdressing service and then added what I thought I needed. And then this week I was at the Gender Odyssey conference in Seattle and bought three more potions. They gave me some instructions that I carefully wrote down and added to my one checklist of what I need to do to prepare. 
    There are lots of YouTube videos but I had trouble having patience with them. I think one on one instruction is ideal where you apply the makeup, take notes, and experience what works and how to fix problems. I've been told that Nordstroms is very trans friendly and you can get a makeover there with no obligation. I may try that one of these days.
    Start trying to do it and allow yourself time to make mistakes and improve. It's an art, not a science.
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  2. JudyCDNJ added a post in a topic Makeup Kits   

    Thanks for your advice however now I have another question, what goes into doing your makeup like foundation, blush, eye shadow, mascara and lipstick,
    anything else?
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  3. Briannah added a comment on a blog entry Housekeeping   

    The answer to the question of do women change clothes often is the same thing as everything else, depends on the individual and circumstances.  I rarely change once I'm dressed for the day, but stains and such sometimes derail me.  Among my circles of friends some change for every little thing, and some are 'this is what i'm wearing, deal" among both genders.  The idea that we change constantly is a historical leftover from the days or morning dresses, receiving dresses, afternoon dresses, and dinner dresses, and ball gowns, and so on that women constantly shifted through as social custom demanded.  I'm glad I'm born now, it sounds exhausting.  And some amount o the modern day stereotype that every woman can't figure out what to wear for an event and tries a bunch of outfits either in front of a mirror or cadre of friends as often seen on tv every time a female character has a work, date, or party type event continues the perception that we change constantly.   
    And nothing wrong with the submissive personalities of the world!  I firmly believe there is room for everyone, and the trick is to know oneself, both who we are and what we want, and then surround ourselves with people that allow us to be that and get the things we want.   ​If you're already figuring out who you are and what you want, you're way ahead of a lot of other people.
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  4. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Sunday mornings have been my usual time to clean the house which means vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the bathrooms, and so on. I have always believed that a husband should contribute to the household chores besides taking out the garbage which seems to be a typically male thing to do. Also, I do like a clean house. I'm not OCD mind you--well maybe a little--and I am finicky about being neat and clean  as was my wife . We were in total agreement on that score. But not that I am on my own, and with no one around to tell me what I should and shouldn't do...
    Well, for starters, I painted my toenails a shocking pink--pretty girly. The bottle said Sinful Colors and that works for me. Then I put on a cute blue romper and a necklace and bracelets. I figures I  might as well get a little dressed if I was going to work. Then for some reason, the romper wasn't working quite right so I put on a animal print bikini which looked great. Unfortunately, my privates kept coming out of the bottom part and I didn't like the look of that. So, I found a better bottom with a string bra top which worked just fine. (My wife used to say that I changed clothes more often that a woman. Do women change clothes often?) Anyway, doing housework was never more fun.
    Maybe, I just like being a maid. If truth were told, I really think that I am a submissive CD. I have always been married to dominant women, and I seem to prefer the secondary role. Also, I hve enjoyed reading some erotic literature about submissives. For me it's a turn on. So, I guess that's that. I think the hardest thing for me and maybe for everyone is to be honest with oneself and own up to one's true feelings.My mantra lately is: "It is what it is." No judgements, just the facts. Life isn't what should be, life is what is. Accepting that makes a lot of sense to me and a great relief. So that's what's going on in my brain today. I try not to be too gullible and naive, but sometimes I still get taken advantage of. I don't mind if it's not too big a thing. Later.
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  5. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Typical Saturday--mostly
    This was one of those days when I got up an hour earlier than I thought--which was damn early--like 3:40 am. I didn't realize this until a little later after I had given the do gs their breakfast and taken them for their walk and did my exercises. Then I saw it was nearly 5--a more normal time for me. Anyway, I was up, so I made coffee and added to my grocery list and tried to read the digital edition of the Miami Herald. I was not making it so the recliner beckoned for a little chair nap, for which I am famous. 
    Back up at 7:00 still feeling groggy, I had the rest of my now cold coffee--too lazy to even nuke it-and my breakfast cereal and then off to Walmart. My wife and I had a routine to go to Walmart first and then finish up at Publix. But since I did not have a huge list and I'm trying to watch my budget, i thought I could do it all a Walmart, including a few non-grocery, non-typical items like eye liner, foundation, mascara, and nail polish. ( I need eye shadow too, but I forgot to put it on the list. I have to go out tomorrow anyway.) My wife and I shopped at Walmart at roughly the same time each Saturday for the past 10 years or so, and were acquainted with several staff members and customers as well. 
    So the first person I see is Deepak, who is the checker at the back of the store by the garden shop. We've known Deepak like forever, and he was a special ed teacher so we would chit-chat about our students and how unruly they sometimes could be. He offered his condolences when I told him of my wife's death, and then went on about not being able to start over at my age. His message seemed to be that I had best carry on until the end--what a bummer! (I didn't tell him that.) I just nodded and made my way down the aisle to the cosmetics department with him tagging along. In my head, I was saying, "No, Deepak, go back to the register. I don't need you now." And, "What do you mean I can't start over when I am transforming myself into Michelle Lea, and I'm free to be me and on my own for the first time in my life! Life is just beginning!" (I don't usually use that many exclamation points, but I feel the are justified under the circumstances). 
    Well, I was finally set to pick up my make up items when I run into another couple we encountered every week and became friendly with. So, I had to let them know, and then I didn't feel like explaining why I was buying cosmetics when I had no wife. I'm still pretty new at this. I am not confident that the people we knew would understand. I did my other shopping with the intention of going back to cosmetics but that didn't work out. Target, here I come. In the end, I did get most of what I wanted and was planning on prettying up tonight for a chat with the girls. But I'm now feeling a little under the weather and just want to go to bed early and try again tomorrow. 
    But, I did get the lawn mowed, despite frequent showers,and I did visit my neighbor who just had hernia surgery and is a hurting piece of gear and I did finallay catch up with my brother who lives outside of Austin, TX, to see if he and his family are okay after Harvey made landfall. 
    I did get my toenails polished, not the fingernails yet. One of the shades I bought is almost a non-color and hardly worth the effort. I feel naked now if my toenails aren't polished. I have girly flip-flops I wear around the house. And so there it is for now. Later.
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  6. olcharlie added a topic in Transgender Rights & Political Activism   

    ‘A girl brain but a boy body.’ Kindergarten parents outraged over transgender book read in class
    AUGUST 25, 2017 11:30 AM
    A book about a transgender child read during story time in a kindergarten classroom in Rocklin has divided a school along ideological lines and sparked a flurry of vitriol on social media and conservative web sites.
    The children’s book “I am Jazz” was brought to Rocklin Academy Gateway School on June 7 by a transgender student who wanted to share it with classmates during story time. “I am Jazz” is the story of a real-life transgender girl named Jazz Jennings.
    “I have a girl brain but a boy body,” Jazz says in the book. “This is called transgender. I was born this way!”
    Later that same day, the Rocklin teacher selected and read “Red: A Crayon’s story,” a book about a crayon struggling with an identity crisis, according to a letter from the public charter school, which is part of the Rocklin Academy Family of Schools. The books are geared to children ages 4 to 8.
    Upset parents called the school and met with administrators. They protested at a June board meeting. Two families pulled their kids from the school. The issue has become so heated that the district hired a public relations firm to help handle the fallout.
     Social media posts have shown heated opposition to the story-time choice. Stories on local news stations, conservative web sites and press releases from family values organizations quoted parents who said the school threw a coming-out party that culminated with a boy coming out of the bathroom in girl’s clothing.
    School officials say there was no such reveal. The child had been transitioning slowly during the school year and had already been wearing girl’s clothes, said Jillayne Antoon, who was principal at the school and has since been promoted to director of growth and community engagement for the Rocklin Academy Family of Schools.
    The girl did go to the bathroom later in the day and changed into a dress, but then quietly returned to the classroom, Antoon said. She said the children had all brought extra clothes to school that day in anticipation of water play at recess, although that didn’t end up taking place.
    “A couple of girls complimented her on her dress,” Antoon said. “We were so proud of how the kids can handle this in a way that clearly the adults are having a hard time with.”
    More here:
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  7. olcharlie added a post in a topic Trump to bar transgender individuals from armed forces.   

    Assessing the Implications of Allowing Transgender Personnel to Serve Openly
    by Agnes Gereben Schaefer, Radha Iyengar, Srikanth Kadiyala, Jennifer Kavanagh, Charles C. Engel, Kayla M. Williams, Amii Kress
    Recent U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) policy banned transgender personnel from serving openly in the military. Potential changes to this policy raised questions regarding access to gender transition–related health care, the range of transition-related treatments that DoD will need to provide, the potential costs associated with these treatments, and the impact of these health care needs on force readiness and the deployability of transgender service members. A RAND study identified the health care needs of the transgender population and transgender service members in particular. It also examined the costs of covering transition-related treatments, assessed the potential readiness implications of a policy change, and reviewed the experiences of foreign militaries that permit transgender personnel to serve openly.
    More here:
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  8. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Getting outfitted
    Before I  joined the TG cross-dressers chat group, which was about a week ago, my idea of cross-dressing was somewhat limited. I didn't know or have contact with any other cd's, but I had read enough to know that there were others like me, and it was okay to be the way I am. I just like all things girly and feminine and become a different me when dressed up- a me that I really like. My wife and I (before she died) watched RuPaul's Drag Race and Caitlyn Jenner, but that's not really what cross-dressing is about. So I would wear whatever was handy and sneakliy buy a few pieces of clothing and jewelry (very small and inexpensive), and that was it. I would sleep in nighties, but othewise I was pretty male. So now I'm finding out everything it takes to do it right. It does take a little bit of money to get started and of course there is never an end to what you can buy or spend. But I have wanted to at least make a decent start without breaking the bank. 
    I did find a mentor almost immediately--Andrea--who has taught me a lot about embracing my feminine self and doing what it takes to be more feminine. I had already shaved off my  moustache, but now it was time to do the whole body. Andrea told me what to buy and how to do it and the results are amazing. And always wearing panties. And how a bra makes you feel more womanly, and about breast forms. So then, listening to the other girls in the chat room, I realized that I don't have any dresses or skirts or shoes. I do have a pair of tights, but no panty hose or stockings to speak of. How can I purport to be a cross-dresser without those items. Then Penelope revealed that she buys just about everything from the thrift store, and I t hojugt, what a great idea. I had been to consignment shops, but I didn't realize the thrift store would work too--at bargain basement prices. So, feelng a little sorry for myself today after having failed to get another job I interviewed for--that's another story--I tried out Goodwill this morning. What fun! It takes quite a bit of pawing through stuff--kind of like Ross--but I did manage to find three dresses and two skirts. I must say my taste runs from the tacky to the outrageous, but what the hell. I liked the feel and I wasnt' betting the farm. And like Penelope said, the clerk didn't seem to mind that this guy was checking out all this lady stuff. I will be back.
    I spent almost the entire afternoon trying on what I bought, and for the most part, I am pleased and will definitely be getting some good wear out of them. One of the more formal dresses from David's Bridal--must have been a Mother of the Bride (MOB) dress--took some figuring out. There seemed to have been a lot of engineering that went into constructing it, and it took more than a little effort to get in on right. I can get it to work. The others are a breeze.
    So I'm all dressed up tonight, and no one was in the cd chat room earlier. I changed my profile picture again. I tried it with the wig, but really prefer it without. i need to find a wig that fits my face a little better.Anyway, I am slowing evolving. It's been a busy week. We'll see how it goes next week.
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  9. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Two moments out of my week   

    That's so great! I know that it's best to not live for external validation, but it's always nice - really nice ☺
    I also like the sense from the first "moment" of simply feeling comfortable with another woman. I've gotten closer to one of the (female) bartenders at the jazz bar I go to. The other night I was leaving when she did and so we stopped outside to chat - that went on for about 1/2 hour - mainly about the jazz band members from that night (a little about their musical ability, but mostly other stuff 😛)
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  10. KarenPayne added a blog entry in Karen's thoughts   

    Two moments out of my week
    Moment 1 Just went to an appointment for some skin care treatment at a spa. As they are going through my medical history they ask, are you on birth control (I give a ever so slight smile), I said no, then ask (and I would thought this question would be first) have you been through menopause? I said no (big smile inside). At the end of the consultation we shared war stories of breast augmentation, she with breast reduction, me, well yeah no it was the opposite. During the consultation she asked what are you doing this weekend? Well of course my sports car driving came up and afterwards she said, such a bad girl and we went out to see my car.
    Moment 2 I'm at a club with a group of cross-dressers, most are long timers with no intent for the majority to transition. I'm sitting at a table watching two of them play billiards when one of the newer members comes to sit with me from across the room. She says, I wanted you to know that if I didn't know you were once a male would never guess it and since I know the truth have to say you look so content with mannerisms of a female and even better your voice is nice in regards to female sounding.
    ANyways thought I'd share them.  
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  11. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Hillary's story resonates
    Hi all,
    I've read a few articles about part of Hillary Clinton's upcoming book (which I just pre-ordered!  I can't wait to read it, and I don't usually read books by politicians). This was specifically about the debate in which Trump kept wandering around the stage and seemingly (not seemingly, he was) stalking her. She spoke about how creepy it was (it really was, even watching him do it was creepy) and how she continues to second-guess the fact that she didn't say anything to him right then and there.
    An op-ed in the Times talks about how common an experience that is for women in many settings (ok, for most of us it's not in the context of a Presidential debate) - both the experience of men trying to intimidate through stalking behavior, and the thought process that we go through when it happens - do I do something?  do I just ignore it?  How will I be perceived if I say something? This writer suggested - I think accurately - that there probably wouldn't have been any political benefit to Hillary challenging him. Anyone who would have viewed that positively was probably already supporting her, the others would have just kept talking about how "shrill" she is.
    I was thinking about this in the context of my own - transgender - experience. First, with respect to Hillary, I'm not sure how I would have felt about it if I was still living as a man and she had spoken back - I'd like to think I would have been supportive of her, and I think I would have, but I wouldn't have totally understood what she was experiencing and why she was reacting. For that to happen I had to be living as a woman. In the couple of years that I've been living openly as a woman I've had several experiences that, while not the same as what she went through, are similar. These were basically situations in which men, strangers on the street (or in a bus in one case) got overly assertive - they approached me with whatever intention they had and didn't back down despite my clear lack of interest. In all cases nothing ended up happening, I was able to walk away from it and they eventually did give up - but while it was happening I went through that same thought process, do I say something? Do I just ignore it?
    Like I said, nothing ended up happening - but because of these incidents I've had to adjust certain things. In one case it caused me to adjust the route I take going to and from the PATH station (because he works at a parking garage that's along the route I used to take), and in another how I choose seating on public transit (I stay close to the front of the bus, in an aisle seat). In another case there's really not much I can do, it was someone who aggressively approached me in a supermarket - short of changing stores, there isn't much to do. These aren't major life adjustments, but it's an indicator of ongoing sexism that I have to do them - men don't (that probably isn't 100% true, but much more often than not men don't find themselves in similar situations).
    I have thought about self-defense classes, I should continue to look into that.
    I'm curious about what experiences others have had and what steps they've taken?
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  12. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry I've Always Had Terrible Handwriting   

    That's all so wonderful   I find too that being correctly gendered still makes me very happy (I do think that having recently stopped wearing a wig kicked that back up again, but I never stopped enjoying it).
    I feel like voice trainers have some deal with ENT specialists, mine did the same thing!  And I also got a clean bill of health. Perhaps that's just cynical, it probably is a good idea, just seems suspicious 
    Enjoy your ongoing "space trip"!!!
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  13. Briannah added a post in a topic Need advice re: anesthetic cream so I can use Epilady on my face to get rid of beard   

    Hi Lisa!  I'm also from Ohio, I'm one of the spouses.   
    ​Until you can find a solution for the elecdtrolosys, may I recommend some time watching youtube videos?  Nikki has extremely dark beard growth (in odd patterns) and after a close shave with the help of some peach concealer (and this is where color theory comes in, you use the 'opposite color' concealer, like I have red blotches on my face so use green for example, his beard growth is dark so it's peach) and then put foundation over it, and it's amazing what it can hide.    There are trans-specific videos on youtube for hiding beard growth with makeup that are very good. I'm ​not sure what color for white, but perhaps the gray might also do well with the peach.  While this isn't perfect I hope it may be of some help to you in the meantime of a more permanent solution.  And perhaps you could ask some of the makeup artists in the comments for assistance with the coloration specifics if you can't find one that fits your colors. 
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  14. Briannah added a comment on a blog entry I've Always Had Terrible Handwriting   

    Our handwriting is heavily influenced by our personalities from what I understand, but it's a myth that having nice writing is a female thing.    Just ​as many of us write like dancing chickens dipped in ink.  A freind of mine and I Have to e-mail each other, we'd never be able to read the handwritten ones!  
    I'm so glad you're getting the things you always dreamed about!  And I'm doubly glad that you had a clean bill of health on your throat!  I'm always nervous when anything in the throat is off due to my families experiences (oh, how our life experience colors our reactions to everything!)  I hope you have a smooth time with the hrt!  
    Hugs!  Enjoy that trip, enjoy exploring the great west coast, and send me photos of the amazing things you see on that side of the country!  I would send you some from my side, but in all reality, it's corn fields.  If you've seen one cornfield, you've seen all there is to see.   
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  15. KarenPayne added a post in a topic Need advice re: anesthetic cream so I can use Epilady on my face to get rid of beard   

    ​There is nothing that will assist other than electrolysis with coarse facial hair. You might (and this is a long shot) search for schools in your area that teaches electrolysis, see if they would use you for teaching (might be more painful with newbies).
    Another thought, when I was having electrolysis done I paid $40 per hour while in the next major city the cost jumped to $80 to $120 per hour. With that, if possible explore options in other close by cities.
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  16. EmmaSweet added a post in a topic Need advice re: anesthetic cream so I can use Epilady on my face to get rid of beard   

    I don't have direct experience but from what I've heard you're asking for the Holy Grail. For me it's electrolysis, slow, painful, but effective.
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  17. LisaOhio added a topic in Cosmetics & Makeup Help   

    Need advice re: anesthetic cream so I can use Epilady on my face to get rid of beard
    Hi, I am Lisa from Ohio.  I am thinking about transitioning.  First step is to get rid of beard.  Cannot afford electrolysis nor laser.  My beard is EXTREMELY coarse, also it is growing in grey/white.  Even an extremely close shave would end up giving me away as a male 🙁  This may not be the appropriate place on this site to be asking this question, if it is not the right place, sorry.  Could someone move it to the right spot?  My internist will NOT prescribe a prescription anesthetic cream such as EMLA, Xylocaine/Lidocaine cream, etc., to help with the pain of using an Epilady on my beard for whatever reason.  I am stuck getting stuff from Amazon, etc.  I looked on Amazon and there are all sorts of Lidocaine 4% preparations, and other things that seem like they may help.  I know there's going to be pain and redness anyhow, but in the biz of transitioning, unf., there's just a lot of pain, anyhow.  I was hoping one of my new sister friends here at TG hub could recommend something that I am not going to be able to get from a physician but I can get on Amazon or, etc.  There are TONS of preparations of Lidocaine, Prilocaine, I think Xylocaine, etc. on Amazon, for instance.  Some of them are affordable, more or less, and some of them are costly.  I am a broke TG, like a lot of the rest of us, so I would like a "good value"cream.  I would like to apply it under occlusion (I have a wet dry Epilady) and then I guess a good half hour after having it on my face under occlusion with saran wrap, just step in the shower and use the Epilady until i cannot stand it anymore.  I know it will hurt anyway and will cause redness but ladies there just is no best solution.  you have to put up with the pain and the redness.  Then once you've got it all plucked out with the Epilady, it slowly but surely becomes easier as when it regrows, it's finer, and the more you do it, the easier and less stressful to the facial skin it becomes.  In the old days, I used to use hot wax to wax off the beard and THEN use the Epilady, which worked like a charm, but I JUST JUST cant tolerate the pain of waxing - it's HORRIFIC!  It's DEMEROL pain, especially under the top lip and under your chin to your throat.  If anyone can make a recommendation re: which anesthetic cream (nonprescription) that is obtainable online, preferably Amazon, I would be most appreciative.  I am trying to expedite things and getting rid of my beard from the root is toward the top of my bucket list.  I know that gals have different priorities and rates of doing things, but this my own personal "thing" that I want to do first, I hope you understand.  PEACE AND LOVE TO ALL OF YOU - and again, if this is in the wrong place, I am sorry, I am a newbie, you are welcome to redirect this question to another part of this site.  Love, Lisa.
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  18. olcharlie added a post in a topic In wake of controversy, new steps to protect LGBTQ students coming to Fresno Unified   

    Fresno Unified's Bob Nelson announces "all are welcome"
    Aug 23, 2017
    Video here:
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  19. olcharlie added a post in a topic In wake of controversy, new steps to protect LGBTQ students coming to Fresno Unified   

    Fresno Unified board president equates LGBT activists to Ottoman Turks, rejects calls to resign
    AUGUST 23, 2017 10:53 PM
    Fresno Unified School Board President Brooke Ashjian spurned demands for his resignation from members in the audience at an overflow board meeting Wednesday night, and equated LGBT activists, who have opposed him, with Ottoman Turks.
    Ashjian’s comments came at the end of a five-hour board meeting in which several dozen people addressed his remarks made earlier this month about LGBT-inclusive sex education. Some offered support for Ashjian’s views and his right to express them, while others said his words were harmful to students and urged him to step aside.
    In a two-page letter that Ashjian read into the record, he said LGBT leaders were attacking his faith, trying to silence him and force him from his school board, tactics he said were akin to what the Ottoman Turks had done to Armenians leading up to the 1915 genocide.
    Ashjian, a Mormon, said: “These individuals who are personally attacking me and my religious foundation while demanding my resignation, I ask why? Is it simply because I exercised my Constitutional rights of freedom of speech while I was doing my duty or isn’t something more nefarious, like simply desiring to muzzle anyone who dares not fall in line with the narrative of the day.
    More here:
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  20. olcharlie added a topic in Transgender Rights & Political Activism   

    In wake of controversy, new steps to protect LGBTQ students coming to Fresno Unified
    AUGUST 23, 2017 5:16 PM
    The interim superintendent of the Fresno Unified School District gathered Wednesday with representatives of LGBTQ organizations to demonstrate the district’s commitment to supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning students.
    Bob Nelson held a news conference at which he announced a series of steps that he expects to include in a framework to present to the board to ensure protection of LGBTQ students from harassment and bullying at Fresno Unified campuses.
    The news conference came as California’s fourth largest school district deals with comments made earlier this month by Fresno Unified board president Brooke Ashjian to The Bee over state requirements that sex education programs include discussion of LGBTQ relationships. In an Aug. 4 story, Ashjian said that while the district would abide by the law, he had concerns.
    “You have kids who are extremely moldable at this stage, and if you start telling them that LGBT is OK and that it’s a way of life, well maybe you have just swayed the kid to go that way,” Ashjian, a devout Mormon who is also politically conservative, told The Bee. “It’s so important for parents to teach these Judeo-Christian philosophies.”
    The remarks triggered a flurry of reactions, including a statement from Nelson and the district affirming Fresno Unified’s commitmentto tolerance and inclusiveness only a few days after Ashjian’s remarks were published.
     Wednesday’s announcement, just hours before a board meeting where Ashjian’s comments were expected to be revisited, sprang from a meeting Nelson held Tuesday at the district offices with members of Fresno Genders and Sexualities Alliance Network, My LGBT Plus, Trans E Motion, LGBT Fresno, Community Link, and community leaders including Fresno City College President Carole Goldsmith and former Fresno Unified trustee Pat Barr.
    The community meeting also came just a few days after Equality California, a statewide civil rights organization, sent a letter to Nelson urging him to pledge to protect the rights of LGBTQ students.
    More here:
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  21. olcharlie added a post in a topic Trump to bar transgender individuals from armed forces.   

    Trump's Transgender Ban In Military Will Focus On New Enlistments
    August 24, 20177:35 AM ET
    Transgender members of the U.S. military would be subject to removal at Defense Secretary James Mattis' discretion — and the service would bar transgender people from enlisting, under new White House guidelines for the Pentagon. President Trump announced the ban via a tweet last month.
    Rough details of the guidelines were confirmed by NPR's Tom Bowman after the White House plan for the Pentagon was reported by The Wall Street Journal.
    Gay and lesbian troops have been able to serve openly in the U.S. military since 2011; transgender service members were allowed to do the same in 2016, through an order from Defense Secretary Ash Carter. That order deferred setting policy on new enlistments.
    The Obama administration had set a deadline of July 1, 2017, for the U.S. military to decide how to handle transgender recruits. But as NPR's Phil Ewing has reported, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis put off that deadline in June.
    Mattis hasn't spoken much about the plan, and it's not known how rigorously he would enforce a policy on transgender troops. Tom reports, "The big issue for Mattis is service. If you're in the military, people who know him say, he'll give a lot of leeway for keeping transgender people in — unless there's some huge medical issue that prevents deployability."
    On July 26, Trump stated in a series of tweets that the U.S. would not allow transgender people "to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military."
    More here:
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  22. EmmaSweet added a blog entry in Emma Sweet's Blog   

    I've Always Had Terrible Handwriting
    When I was young my handwriting was awful. So bad that all too often I couldn't read it myself. It was a scrawl; I just didn't care. About 35 years ago when I started working with computers I forgot how to write in cursive. I'd either type out notes/letters on the keyboard or use printed capital letters, trying to mimic an architect's hand. I was still able to sign my name in cursive but it's always been a scribble, identifiable as mine but otherwise indecipherable. Until a couple of months ago.
    After I drove away from my life with my wife, heading north to destinations unknown, I wondered if my handwriting had always been so poor because on some level I felt that cursive was too feminine and that having nice handwriting might expose my feelings about myself. Sounds odd, I agree. I found a simple guide to cursive writing on the web and started slowly practicing. Soon it all came back but it's beautiful now! I love it, I'm proud of my writing. I wonder how and why it was so poor before but I think I know. Emma was in my writing and she needed to be kept in her place, out of sight if not out of mind. Not anymore.
    Yesterday I had a first meeting with a doctor in a Seattle medical center to talk about starting HRT. We got along well and I told her that I didn't want to start right away; I just wanted to get to know each other a little and I'd continue to think about hormone treatment, and possibly have similar meetings with other doctors. She was perfectly fine with this but near the end of the meeting I knew: yes, I want to start, right away. I told her this and she was very okay with that, too. So now I have an appointment with one of her residents on September 11th (I just realized the significance of that date) to start that ball rolling. They know and list me as transgender in my chart with directions to use female pronouns and Emma as my name. Wow. But there's more!
    A couple of months ago I met with a speech therapist to talk about voice feminization training. She's excellent and performed thorough tests on my voice, glands, and so forth. She had a concern that I might have a vocal chord issue so asked me to have an ENT evaluation before starting work with her. This morning I went to the ENT who inserted a scope up my nostril so she could see my vocal chords as they do their thing. And she gave me a clean bill of health, too. I'll start my vocal training at the end of next week! Still more...
    I am lucky to have a couple of lesbian old friends in Seattle, who are married to each other. We enjoy each other's company and they have encouraged me to dress however I feel when I'm at their house. But I've still been a little nervous. Well, they introduced me to a good friend of their's, a cis/hetero woman, who is becoming a friend of mine, too. She and I planned to go to a Mexican restaurant together last Saturday night (as a ladies night out, if you will), and I dressed fully, in leggings, a tunic top, makeup (light), some jewelry, and wearing my breast forms. But NO wig! Just my very gray hair which is growing out pretty well but not long enough to be styled as yet. Probably will get it styled near the end of the year. My friend was so nice to me throughout, another woman complemented me on my earrings, and the waiter referred to us as "ladies." It just felt good, ya know?
    I dressed the same way (but different outfit) yesterday when I went to see my therapist and the endocrinologist. It all went well. A couple of women smiled as we walked past each other; the way I interpreted it was that they could see that I'm a trans woman, and it was if they smiled out of encouragement, nothing else. 
    What an amazing space trip I'm having!
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  23. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry Update   

    Hey Bree,
    Delighted to hear how you and Nikki are doing! I'm also making terrific strides and need to write about my progress soon.
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  24. Briannah added a post in a topic Mental Health Professionals   

    I'd like to chime in also, mental health is a deeply personal process, and not every therapist is right for you.  I've worked with a few in my lifetime, and it took a few tries before my parents found the right one (I was a minor, I had no choices) that I could actually work with and get benefit from.  I see so many people who stick with a therapist that isn't right for them, aren't really benefitting, and seem astonished when I suggest that they try a different one to find a better fit.  It's such a subjective discipline, and that affects the quality of care even between two equally licensed and experienced therapists.  
    And I also agree with Monica, flexibility is important, but I also prefer the face to face, so the therapist has a chance to read body language and facial expressions.  But if that's not an option, phone therapy can be an extremely helpful tool.
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  25. Briannah added a blog entry in Learning to grow   

    So doing much better.  Yeah, that stupidly expensive Medcline wedge thing with the body pillow costs around $300, but WOW if you need some sort of sleeping wedge for a medical issue (I'm pretty sure apnea, copd, and some other conditions besides acid reflux benefit from the incline sleeping position) then I really really recommend this one.  The wedge is pretty firm and holds you up well, and it has a 'stuffer' pillow so you can change which side you sleep on (the other conditions it doesn't matter, only acid reflux really needs it to be left).  Also, don't get the cheater $220 version without the pillow to use your own, the candy cane shaped body pillow for the extra money is awesome.  It's really comfortable, the top wraps around you and stays in place amazingly, and the long side trails down to go between your knees for a spine alignment support.  If they can 'fix' this acid reflux and I can sleep flat again, I'm SO keeping this candy cane pillow thing.  IT's that amazing.  If anyone else here has my issues, this was completely worth the money, and going to pay for itself in a few months from the amount of medication I'm not buying now.
    So between the Gaviscon (works much better for reflux than the pink stuff, it really does not only neutralize the acid but creates a sort of foamy barrier that helps keep the rest of the acid in place) and the Medcline I'm doing MUCH better.  I've stopped taking the Prilosec (lots of potential side effects with long term use) entirely, and in the last week only needed the Gaviscon once.  I think I'm winning!  Feels good to win, but man do I miss my garlic.  I miss garlic more than I miss chocolate.  I have a serious garlic bread craving going on, but I'm not brave enough yet.  Food actually became scary.  Will this make me burn?  How little can I eat and still live so my throat isn't on acidfire?  IT's a weird feeling to be scared of food.   Not just nervous about calories or sugars, but actually frightened to eat at all.  I'm told on a forum I persused by other people with the condition looking for control information this is a fairly common reaction for those who don't have it under control, and it will fade away again with time.  You know me, research gerbil.   
    Still going to see a doctor to talk about this when I can, find out if something slipped out of place inside, some sort of hormonal issue (it all started with that months cycle, I really hope this isn't gonna be a cycle thing or a menopause one, I am getting close to that age), or what.  The websites all indicated even losing a couple pounds will lessen it, in my case I lost 15 and it got worse.  So I have no idea how to take that.  Maybe my stomach is just really mad and wants to digest me.  
    On the state of the Nikki: He's genuinely happy with his job now.  The utter lack of drama and actual ability to do his job and solve problems instead of just playing message tag with corporate people has done WONDERS.  He's putting in some long hours right now, but they use completely different systems than his old job and he's learning what he needs to know to master it.  It's amazing how much our life situations change how we feel and are.  I think its' done as much for the dysthymic depression as the pills are doing really.  so is having a more natural to his bio rythms sleeping habit.  Having all of that together is really bringing him back to his old self.  Which is doing wonders for us as a couple, and an education in how much when one spouse is not doing well it affects the other one, as I'm also doing dramatically better inside as a result of having a happy spouse again.   He bought powerball tickets cuz the jackpot is huge, and turned and asked me if we beat the odds and won, would I still wanna go to Florida?  And was all relieved when I said no, we'd just get a nicer house in new town than we could afford now because I can see how much he loves his job.​  But in 10 years it would be early retirement and this couple would be moving to my beloved Florida.  
    ​So life is good, house feels like an unending pit of work to try to get it ready for listing (that has slowed down as a result of his hours, a lot of the stuff that needs done now is things he is good at and I just sorta maybe understand how), and we bought a new car that gets really good mileage for all the commuting (and both our current cars be old and tired).  After much searching we found a good deal on a former rental car with only 17k miles on it.  Yay! 
    We did look into potentially getting a bridge loan and went to our credit union to crunch the numbers to see if we could afford to move now and just pay a higher mortgage until this one sells, but the first and only downside of using our credit union in our 15 year history with it cropped up, they only do home loans within the county.  Car loans are statewide (so we were able to snag up our great deal, with was 25K less miles and $4k cheaper than any available in my town, everything in my town has a weird expensive bubble) but we can't get a home loan for new town.  They offered us an equity loan to use as a downpayment to try to help, but managing THREE home loans at once seems...out of control.  We're going to research options with commercial banks, but I doubt it will really happen and we'll probably just stick with the original plan of being trapped here til it sells.
    Hope everyone here is doing great and making all your dreams happen!
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