Create your own blog at TGGuide.com. It's FREE and you can start right now. Some people blog as a sort of journal to share our thoughts, feelings, experiences and insights. Others blog to express opinions on social and political issues. Others blog to share their knowledge and experience with others. Go ahead. Express yourself! Others may be grappling with issues you blog about and your words could provide useful insight or answers.
Here are some blog topic ideas to get your creative juices flowing;
A daily journal about your life and experiences
A journal documenting when you go full time
A journal to document your gender reassignment surgery
Dating experiences and tips
Experience with makeup
Passing in public
Your experiences when you go out in public
Transitioning at work
Dealing with counselors or medical personnel
Introspection about your particular gender identity
Dealing with or overcoming self-limiting beliefs
Dealing with addictions
Dealing with self-destructive behaviors
Interactions with police or government workers
Changing your drivers license, birth certificate, etc.
Applying for jobs
Your big day, when you go full time
Hormonal development (please don't discuss dosages or make medical type recommendations)
Experiences with electrolysis
How other members of your new gender react to you, and your experiences
Your recommendations to others about to follow your path
Your thoughts about whether surgery is necessary to be your desired gender
Differences in how you feel dressed or not dressed
What your life would be like if you still repressed your inner identity
Poetry or prose
These are a few ideas to get you started. Feel free to leave comments to suggest your own ideas, or just start a blog and share with everyone.
Just log into your control panel to start your own blog. This could be interesting!
I arrived in Philadelphia today - the conference starts early tomorrow so I decided to get down here a day early. I got a hotel at a decent rate and it's about 1/2 block from the Convention Center!
Anyway - last year I did the free version of the conference, this year I paid for the professional track (for a student it was $85). The tough part is deciding what to go to! Initially I went through the schedule and just put everything I was interested in on my calendar. Then earlier this week I went through to pick which ones to actually attend - that was the hard part! I gave 1st priority to Behavioral Health panels, since that is the professional track I'm on. Then I leaned towards panels covering topics around F2M and gender non-confirming individuals, since I have decidedly less experience there. Of course this is a mixed things for me - personal and professional, so I don't want to forget the personal side :-)
I'm volunteering in the morning - helping with set up, so it will be a long day, but worthwhile! I'll post more tomorrow after Day 1.
in some ways this was just another typical Sunday, you know, cleaning the house, doing laundry, working in the yard, etc. But then, there are no "typical" days anymore. It's a funny thing about life, at least in my experience, that when you are into something, people and resources appear to help you along the way. Well, i did some looking initially,like finding the Transgender Guide and meeting all my new CD friends. I have made such huge advances in opening up my female self with their help. Then this morning, just for shucks, I started looking for local wig shops that might cater to CD's, and came across Renee Reyes's website. I spent a good portion of my day reading it and am still not finished. Wow, what an inspirational lady, and so smart. Although, she looks gorgeous, she is really about inner beauty and embracing joy and happiness. She does mention that we girls do tend to be a bit vain (smile), and we spend a lot of time working on our looks, but it is a process and we should enjoy the ride. She likens it to reliving our childhoods, but this time we should make better use of it. Anyway, I will recommend her to my friends. I am thrilled to have discovered her.
And on that note, I decided it was high time a put on some fingernail polish. I had been painting my toes for the past couple of weeks and loved the look, but didn't want to do nail polish since I can't hide my hands like I do my toes when I go out. But, What a Trip! Talk about instant femininity! I don't have to work tomorrow, so I'll be able to enjoy them for most of the day until I go to dinner at our neighbors. It will be a littel bit of a hassle to do nail polish, but worth it I think. Thanks for the tip, Renee. I do need to work on my technique, however. It took a while to get them right, but hey, it was my first time. So, I'm going to sit back, and take my time, and enjoy the ride. Hugs to all.
So things are starting to happen faster now. We have moved in with my mom as planned, and I am alternating between helping Nikki move things and cleaning mom's house. (Seriously, it took three hours to go through the pantry and get out all the expired food from years 03 to 16). And the rest of the house is insane, but I'm slowly taming it. Mom is getting the better end of this deal, really. Free cleaning and repairs and cooking until we sell and buy a new house. Old house is nearly empty, just a bit more to pull out and then it's painting time. We're still waffling on whether or not to fix the damaged laminate. New car is working out great, old main car is doing great, old secondary car is going to the scrapyard, the costs to fix the brake issue and make it sellable are higher than we could sell it for. Bummer, some extra money would have been nice.
It's kinda weird being here again. I lived here with Grandma, my mom, and my son when I met Nikki. I had the downstairs basement finished room, although ever since the big flood it's impractical to use as a bedroom anymore. Which is a same, as it's HUGE and was lovely with lots of space. Only ever had to come upstairs to use the bathroom. I was the hermit Bree in the basement!
Nikki's girl mode items are all packed away with a decoy tag, he's still very much closeted as far as our families go. Since he realized transition is not a path for him, dealing with our awkward families is a door he doesn't want to go through. As in most things (other than anything food related, do NOT EVER trust Nikki's judgement with food, trust me) I trust his judgement and respect his choices. And he pointed out I won't be at risk for giving myself a black eye again slapping myself with the breast form. (Didn't quiet get a black eye, but I did have a nice red mark from that oops. Why do they put it in such clingy plastic?) Nikki does have a nasty set of scratches across his back, so I've been teasing him he made a ghost angry that we're leaving. It sounds more fun than I think the cat did it while we were sleeping.
I haven't had any really awful burning for a week, had one bad night last weekend, but it's been good since. Nikki's physical health is solidly great, and his dysthymia has been very much under control. He continues on his medication, but the improvements in our life have done wonders also. Once his job is less demanding (they're in the middle of some big changes that take a lot of hours from him) he's going to see about finding a new therapist in our target town and he can just go after work and then come home until we move. He has to start over anyway since his passed and then we went on insurance hiatus. He'd rather do it just once instead of twice.
It's sorta amazing how far we've come since last years confusion and upheaval. I'm proud of us. Now I have to go continue trying to convince my elderly cat that moving was a good thing and that he should eat some of his food. Dog is loving the adventure of a new house (wish she would stop running full speed into doors though, she's traumatizing ME with her poor banged head) lizard doesn't care. Our lizard is too cool to care.
I have been having difficulty loading this page for some reason, but now I'm back at it. As those who have been following know-namely Monica, Chrissy, and Emma Sweet--this has been a rough summer. In June, I found out that I was losing my job after almost 11 years at PACE Broward. And then, at the end of July, my wife died rather suddenly. She had not been doing well for quite a while, but we always thought there would be more time. The weeks following my wife's death were filled with a crush of friends and retatives offering support and sympathy. We had a final memorial gathering at the house. We had a good turnout and it went well, and then Sunday came and I was truly on my own for the first time in forever.
I don't know what got into me, but I didn't waste any time beginning my transformation into Michelle. I presented as a man for my wife, but thre was no need any more. I would still grieve my loss, but I knew this time was coming, and I already had some ideas about what I would do when I was on my own. Besides, I wasn't returning to my old worksite, so people wouldn't know any better. The first thing to go was the moustache. I had been threatening. Although I am close to 75--November--my hair is still brown. The only part that is gray is my moustache which I had to continually keep dyeing with Just for Men to keep from looking like a pensioner. Even then, it still had streaks of gray that wouldn't be covered. What a pain! My wife did say thought at without a moustache, I didn't look like I had any upper lip. In this, she was absolutely right. My lower lip is full enough; the upper lip, not so much. I have since learned to push it with a lip pencil and lipstick. It is what it is. A plastic surgeon could probably enhance my lips, but I don't see me doing that for many reasons.
Anyway, back to the topic. I had enough of a severance package and paid leave from work to last me a little while, but not for a whole lot longer. I needed to work to supplement my social security check. I went through all the requirements to substitute teach as a fill-in while looking for a full-time job, but school had not yet started and there wouldn't be any demand for subs until it did. I did have several interviews with schools for ESE (special needs) support, but never got called back. I have good experience and great recommendations, but I have a feeling that my age may have eliminate me. I began to widen my search beyond education--I still did not want to be back in the classroom--but that may change. I would even consider anything that I could do that paid at least $15/hour, but that's not minimum wage yet. Last week, I interviewed with AFLAC to sell accident insurance, but haven't heard back from them either.
Then, Ms. Brooks, the ESE Specialist, I worked with from the school district called to tell me that I was expected to sub at the Pompano Youth Treatment Center--a Department of Juvenile Justice detention center for boys--on Friday. Since I had not previously registered with the Broward substitute teaching system, I thought that one had fallen through. Not so. I was told that classes started at 7:15, and I got ready and left the house about 6:20. Even with a major wrong turn on the turnpike, I still was early enough to have to wait in lobby. It turned out to be a pretty easy day. During the first two periods, a chess teacher worked with the boys on their chess.The rest of the morning was taken up with a movie. The boys were respectful. I didn't do a whole lot, but I did get paid for it, so what the hey. Now I find out that I am booked for the next week at a different detention center. I might actually have to do some work for this one. Given the circumstances, I have not ruled out a full-time teaching gig with one of the centers. It actually felt good to be working again, not that I haven't enjoyed or really needed some time off, but it will be a relief not to have to worry about an income.
But, in the meanwhile, Michelle came out and has blossomed and will continue to do so. That is not changing. I will never go back to where I was. This is who I am--so world, get used to it. I have to give a shout-out to Andrea, who has become my mentor and guide in transforming into Michelle. The other girls in the CD chat room have all been supportive and fun just to be with. So that's it for now. We'll see what kind of trouble I can get into tomorrow. Stay tuned.:)
I'm feeling a little low tonight, and I was not going to get dressed and spiffed up. But I did, and I do feel better. I had lunch today with two of my former co-workers at PACE Center for Grils a place called The Whale's Rib in Deerfield Beach. Jen was my direct supervisor for 10 years and Shelly was the #2 person at PACE, and I knew her for 10 years as well. They have become friends and have been very supportive of me throughout my job loss and the loss of my wife. Both wrote glowing letters of recommendation for me, so much so that I wondered if they were writing about me. (I do have some self-esteem issues although I shoudn't) We had planned on having lunch together for a long time, and I asked Shelly to set it up and pick a favorite place of hers and Jen's.
The Whale's Rib as the name suggests is a seafood restaurant just across A1A from the beach. I passed it a few times before finally spotting it, and then paid $10 to park my car (ouch) which it turns out I didn't need to do, but oh well. I got there right at 11:30, and met them just inside the restaurant. We hugged and found a booth. It was nice to see them. It would have been more fun to have met them as Michelle and really been one of the girls, but I'm still Mr. Mac to them, and this was not the time to come out to them. So, we talked about job searching and family and what we were doing. just catching up stuff. In the end, we got into TV shows and stuff we were into which was more fun and interesting, but lunch was over and it was time to go by then. We will stay in touch. I don't know that we will have lunch again anytime soon. I guess I had my hopes up that it would have been more. It is what it is.
So, I drove home feeling more on my own than I have for a while. It has been a little over a month since my wife died, and it just starting to sink in that I am alone. I have to say that I haven't minded it that much. I am free to do as I please, and I am liking that a lot. Still, it does take some getting used to. I have thoroughly enjoyed chatting with my new-found friends on this site. I should at least check in tonight. I have to think about that.
I have to agree with Emma Sweet's blog entry that the cosmetics section of your local Walgreens or Walmart or Target can be pretty intimidating for us newbies, especially when it looks like we don't belong there. Actually, we do; but that's another story. Amazon is a safer bet. Be that as it may, I am venturing forth, going to stores that I don't usually frequent so I don't have to explain myself to an acquaintance. Before self-checkout, and before I started cross-dressing for real, I thought about maybe buying a birthday card to go with my girly purchases; or maybe waiting until Christmas. In a past life, I have bought many intimates for Christmas presents. But I digress. So today, I picked up a make-up brush and eye shadow along with two pair of tights on sale and nylons. I looked at dresses and could have bought a couple, but that was another $50 and I was already straining my budget. I am still not working you know.
And on that score, I got two calls to substitute teach today, but I was told that I was not in the system. How could that be? I thought I had done everything. Wrong! Maybe I'm getting more addled or my head is in another place, but I did not read the fine print which explained to me how to register. You know, they could have put that in the email to ,make it easier, but I guess the school board people just wanted to see who was paying attention. I finally did get it figured out. There will be more jobs--not to worry.
So tonight, I tried my hand at some eye makeup, which while not a total disaster, is not far from it. My guide in this case was a Cover Girl ad for making cat eyes like Katy Perry. Mine look more like racoon eyes--well at least I'm ready for trick-or-treating. This will take some practice and more tutorials--real ones. The one queen who does makeup tutorials is gorgeous. I'm beyond that. I just want to look presentable.
I figured out how to put a picture up. Don't know how to do an album yet. I'll work on it. Later.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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!
I just wanted to do a quick post, yesterday was "officially" my 2 year anniversary of transitioning. I arguably started before that, but August 10, 2015 is when I began "presenting full-time" as a woman, and I haven't looked back :-) It was shortly (like days) after that I started on HRT. It's also now been almost a year since my breast augmentation surgery.
When I look back, especially in the approach to my GCS (in December last year) I remember thinking about whether or not I would regret it. I really didn't believe I would, I think it was just that even the remotest possibility of that could have been devastating (since GCS is, for all practical purposes, irreversible). I haven't spend even a short moment of regret, so that fear didn't come to pass. The only moment that was even like it (but wasn't regret) was after 2 days of bed rest after surgery when I first had to stand up - it was such a weird, disorienting, uncomfortable feeling that I remembered wondering why I would have done this to myself - but that was just a response to how I felt at the moment, it wasn't a regret about what the surgery was for.
I think the key for me to not being in a position where I would regret anything was that I took my time. It may not seem like it, given how much happened in just 2 years (and I recognize that objectively that is a pretty quick transition time), but when you're actually living it day to day, it's a pretty long time. But the process also mattered - at each point I took a small step, I figured out how I felt about it, and if it felt right, I took the next small step. I didn't try to immerse myself in living as a woman (not that that can't be the right approach for others, but this is what worked for me).
The first few steps were in simpler acts of feminizing my look, until it drifted to a point where I had to go full on. Even then I was fortunate to have a friend who did a drag show and she let me guest perform, which gave me a "safe" place to present as a woman in front of a bunch of people. I did that quite a few times (she was really amazing, she pretty much let me guest perform whenever I wanted, I give her so much credit for helping me through the transition process).
Each step not only felt right, but it felt like it wasn't enough, so moving on to the next step was easy, even necessary. I recall at an early early part of the process a good friend asked if I thought I would get "bottom surgery," and I said, totally sincerely, "probably not." I meant it completely at the time, but through the process that I went through I came to realize that it was something I wanted.
One important thing that I've learned (or at least tried to learn) over time is to be aware of my privilege. I'm not Caitlyn Jenner, I'm not a rich white woman who could basically disappear and then re-emerge a few months later as a woman - I had to do it in real life, I had to transition while going to work, while riding the subway, while grocery shopping, etc. But still, I was fortunate to have insurance that covered most of the expenses (and the benefit of working in New York, where insurance companies are required to cover transition expenses). I also had a job that was not only ok with my transition, I think they really liked that I was doing it. And I was especially privileged in having close friends who were totally supportive and helped in so many ways as I worked through the process (especially my friend who was thrilled to have a new make-up shopping buddy and to share her knowledge of doing make-up). I'm also fortunate to have this website and the collective experience of everyone on it!
There are so many people who don't have that kind of access and that kind of support - so I'm always looking for ways to help out (not financially unfortunately, being a full time college student doesn't leave me with much - any - discretionary spending money). Ways to be supportive individually, and ways to advocate more publicly for changes that will benefit transgender people with less resources (right now we have to fight Trump to just not lose ground - but there's always room for improvement).
So that's all I have for this anniversary edition :-)
So. I'd been doing rather well mostly the last year or two medically, ever since that emergency surgery issue in 2015. So...Cobra for insurance between Nikki's old job and new job is $875 a month. We don't have that much extra money. We just don't, even with the really nice raise new job has afforded us. And of course, I develop a problem. My stomach acid is trying to digest the rest of me. Acid reflux gone crazy. *headdesk* I have to more months until there is insurance again. And I'm REALLY hesitant to scrounge up the money to go to the urgent care, for fear of what the senate is doing with the legislation and inadvertently getting a 'pre-existing condition' and having them repeal that protection and then I'm really in trouble.
So in the meantime, trying to control it with life style changes as best I can. I just ordered a $300 pillow. Seriously. It's called a medcline, and if anyone else here has acid reflux, look it up and see if it's good for you. I'm a side sleeper, so sleeping on a wedge is a big issue for me. This medcline thing is a wedge, but it has a hole built in for your arm, which both holds you onto the wedge at night and comfortable gives your arm a place to go on the wedge, but also keeps you on the left side, which reduces the acids ability to escape. Now I have to wait for it.
Changed my diet according to the recommendations, and it's slowing down the burning feelings, but this really sucks.
Either way, it's a good reminder to myself to not get complacent about what they are doing with medical care laws. For me, this problem is temporary. For millions of retail and food service workers for example off the top of my head, this is every day reality. Someone asked me why I care so much the other day, when I have access generally. And this is why, because I can't imagine not having a reasonable end date to being able to get help, and then in two more months being able to. There is a real fatigue in following the political crazy, but it's important.
Love to you all, and I hope you're all in good health.
So, you see after Forever I am adding a new blob giggles.
Yeah a big pile of blob, why eh I suppose because here is a place just to dribble out some thoughts without disturbing the flow of a thread, or a means to vent without disturbing the flow of the forum.
I know that not everyone appreciates my opinions or views on life, wether or not if it has anything to do with transition or not, not everyone will, I respect that, I do.
That being said, some times you just want to reach thru the screen and grab the other person and give em a bit of a shaking lol.
Ahhhh you twat giggle
Smile everyday even when some self absorbed thumb sucking twat struggles through life and wishes to drag you along for the shitty ride. Oops PG nah you know better coming here, yup you do don't you, that's why you read my posts because in the end of it all I will never lie to you why should I I don't expect you to lie to me, if you think I am a blow hard big mouthed deisel dyke who prattles on tell me that because I will tell you your a twat. Smiles and laughs.
Thanks Mom and Aunts for my understanding no one wants needs or deserves to be Molly coddled.
You know it's been a hell of a trip but in general transition is fine, yeah I wish I had done a few things differently but for the most part, it's exactly what I knew it would be, life in a different pair of pants.
Just go live your lives free from the delusion transition will change everything, because it won't, you will change what you see needs to be changed, you will feel it's over when you feel it, no one can control you unless you allow them to. Grow up be an adult and live the last bit of this life you have to it's fullest.
And yeah life can beat the hell out of you just drag your butt up and say is that the best you can do well here you go I can take it.
This started as a journal entry for myself, but I decided that it would be better to put out in the “public” instead. My summer classes ended on July 11, and the fall semester doesn’t start until the end of August – leaving a “void” of about a month and a half (I had hoped to find work to fill in that time, but that didn’t happen). Before it started I had been at times excited about the “void,” and at times terrified – and for the same reason.
I knew that this would be a good time to do some personal reflection. The past year has been pretty big, as I’ve talked about in other posts – leaving my job, going back to school, and having breast augmentation surgery and GCS. The GCS was probably the biggest, but with being in school and dealing with recovery, there wasn’t much time to reflect.
Anyway – in an earlier post I mentioned that I considered GCS to be effectively the end of my transition (it isn’t really, but going forward there aren’t a lot of active decisions to make) and the beginning of my “evolution” (as I called it). This turned out to be more meaningful, and far more difficult than I thought at the time. I think the way I described it was that I had transitioned to become a woman (physically) now it was time to see what I wanted to do with my life as a woman.
There is so much tied up in this that it’s hard to know where to start – obviously the big “mistake” in my life was that I was identified and lived as the wrong gender for my entire life until I was about 48 years old. That fact alone makes it hard to just pick up and live. But in that are also the many, many decisions I made over time that were directly or indirectly linked to my gender dysphoria. There are far too many of those decisions to try to sort through, and I doubt it would be worthwhile if I could. One part of me wonders what my life would be like if I had realized much earlier that I was a woman and been allowed to live that way – but the more reasonable part of me realizes that doesn’t really matter, I can’t achieve that now, I can move back to some point in the past and do it over again.
A big problem now is the feeling that I can’t, or rather won’t, move forward. It seems strange considering how much I’ve accomplished over the past couple of years, but I don’t believe in my own ability to move forward from here. I’m able to almost dismiss the past couple of years as having simply erased a deficit rather than actually advancing in life. And it’s not that I don’t think I have the ability to do the things that I want to do, it’s that I don’t believe I have the will to do it, which I think comes down to lack of self-care, lack of self-love.
Which brings me to the main point of this post, “Childhood Emotional Neglect.” In concept I’ve been aware of this for some time, I just recently came across that specific name for it. It’s basically the idea that your parents didn’t give you enough emotional attention as a child and so you don’t develop proper emotional health for yourself.
I realize this sounds like – and truly is – another “blame the parents” approach. I truly have moved past that point, with help from my former therapist. In one session I talked about how I thought my parents had failed, vs my sister who felt like they did the best they could. My therapist responded with “they might have done the best they could, but you needed more.” Which was a very helpful way of reconciling the past and bringing up to today – they probably did fail me, that isn’t going to change, so I have to fix it now.
I’ll stop my rambling now J That’s the point I’m at right now, and I hope to use the rest of my time until school starts to process some more of this. While writing a paper last semester I was doing a review of an article about working with transgender clients which pointed out that “completing” physical transitioning is not the end of the process, which I was very happy to see addressed, it truly isn’t the end, it’s yet another beginning, and often (always?) a pretty scary one.
I had a wonderful week this week. Last week I told you of a horrible incident that happend when somebody was rude and upset me about being Transgender and a park in the UK last week. Well I have some good news after speaking to the park they were wonderful and invited me back to made my dream of being Slimed come true. (I had always wanted to be on on a messy childfens game show growing up but was bullied at school and was told I was to ugly to be on TV. )I went back yesterday and despite and long train journey it was worth it. Everybody was so kind and understanding. So a huge thank you to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Nickelodeon Land and Team Nick, and Nickelodeon uk. I may still be ugly but at least my dream came true
But as you can see I made a bit of a mess of slime box. Sorry Team Nick. I have also included the video of me being slimed I am on the left in the yellow t-shirt.
I am really sorry I have not been in touch with my blog over the last couple of weeks I have rather busy. As I had a spare minute I thought I would update you all. First of all thank you for the kind words again it is really nice to know I have found a place for support as I transcend from Male to Female.
Still trying to speak to the press in the UK still have had no luck with that but have tried to get in touch with some local PR companies to see if they can help. Waiting to get back to me.
Looking forward to the end of next month as I get my first couple of tattoos I am having two ribbons on my feet. A pink cancer ribbon on one foot and on the other a ribbon with lots of different colours for two reasons 1) To celebrate being transgender and 2) To show support to people with have autism.
Still using Charlotte but still trying to pick a Disney Princess or Nickelodeon name to use
Finally a sad and happy story. First the sad story. As a child I always wanted to get slimed on a TV show but was put off when one day at school I was told by some bullies that I was too ugly to be on TV. When I told my therapist this she informed that a theme park not too far away was doing a slime event during the summer and as i was going to the park I thought maybe I could get the chance to be Slimed. Sadly a very ride staff member told me that it was just for kids (I know this not true). Also they said as I was trans people like me should not be allowed to do fun things like that. Thankfully I have complained and the company are trying to resolve this.
But the happy event that happend was today when I was at practice for a superbike racing event this weekend. I love collecting autographs of both bike riders and car racers. Some of the riders asked if I was trans due to my make up and clothing. I said I was as they asked me in a really nice way. I was talking to them and they asked if I wanted them to sign the autograph to my real name or trans name. A couple of the riders said they were really jealous of both Trans and Gay people as they had the guts to be themselves and be proud of who they are. They also said they were jealous of us because we were so brave. This is from people who race 200MPH superbikes. But it made me feel a million dollars and I bet they do not know how good it felt they said that.
My birthday is technically still 2 days away, but since I have access to a computer right now I thought I'd do this now. It seems like a good moment to just reflect on the past few years. First a quick timeline!
March 2015 - this isn't really the beginning of the story, but this is when I actually recognized that I am transgender, and then shared that with my therapist. There was about a year or two of cross-dressing and exploring that lead to this point. One vital take-away is that from this moment on a lifetime of depression went away. I'm not saying I haven't been depressed about things since then, but the underlying, existential depression I experienced until then was gone - I stopped asking myself "Why can't I just be right?"
August 2015 - I began "presenting full-time" as a woman, both at work and everywhere else. Working at a school helped this as the school was pretty empty during the summer, so I had time to acclimate without a bunch of faculty and students around. Also during this month I started taking hormones.
July 2016 - I left my job to go back to school. I had been planning to go to school anyway, but part-time. My employer needed to reduce staffing, so they offered a buy-out which made my school decision easier ("easier"). It was still a tough choice to make - I had been there 10 years, it was secure, I had no idea what would happen if I left. I eventually spoke with my best friend on the phone about it (he had moved out to LA recently) and he asked "in 5 years what do you want to be looking back at?" - my decision was made.
August 2016 - I had my breast augmentation surgery.
September 2016 - I started school, pursuing a Masters in Social Work at NYU. For so long I had been trying to figure out what I really wanted to do in life, this choice seemed so obvious after I made it, but I know I couldn't have made this choice before coming out and transitioning.
December 2016 - I had my GCS - YAY!!!
May 2017 - finished first year of school - YAY!!!
And that brings us to today. A lot has happened, and I'm thrilled with it, but I know that more still has to happen. For one thing I don't think I've quite fully internalized my own sense of being a woman, at times I still feel like an imposter. I suppose after living for 48 years identifying as a man it's bound to take some time. My recent decision to stop wearing wigs helped - I had put too much of my gender identity into them.
I still very much fear being alone forever. I often find myself thinking that no man will ever accept me as a woman and be in a relationship. There is something to it, there are definitely men who would run away from the idea of dating a transgender person, but I also know that some of that thinking is part of what I said just before about not fully accepting myself as a woman. There's work to be done.
I wonder if my sister will ever come around. I'd prefer to think that I'm fine just leaving her behind, but I know I'm not. We never had a very, very close relationship, but we generally had a good relationship and I miss that. I also know that I made the choice, I told her I didn't want to hear from her until and unless she was ready to accept me as a woman, and I can't back away from that.
I'm often unwilling to accept some things that are simply true and can't be changed - they all focus around the fact that I was not born a cisgender female, and I will never have been. As a result I will physically never be a cisgender female, I will never have the experiences that a girl has growing up, etc. It's silly to reject those facts, but I still try sometimes.
So that's more or less where I am right now - see what happens in the next year :-)
This past weekend I spent with a group like minded people who love driving Mazda Miata's. Friday we drove what the average person would consider a dangerous drive where in 19 miles there are 170 turns where the majority are marked at 20 MPH and we took them a good deal faster (the fastest was 70 MPH and the average was 45 MPH). Friday evening we have a group dinner with about 120 people. Saturday we drove two drives, one in the morning and one in the afternoon (Friday's drive was an all day event).
When we returned on Saturday to the hotel I wore for the first time a bikini and was hit on by three men, that was a good feeling and was fun flirting. Saturday night was another dinner and I decided to wear a nice evening gown with heels (I seldom wear this attire) and had two of the men from the afternoon hit on me again. It's nice being at this stage of my life not needing to worry about anyone even considering my former life and truly didn't think about it till now and decided to write this entry (as usual, as the thoughts enter my brain writing them down).
I took a somewhat unexpected next step on Friday - and it came with a pretty big bit of self-realization.
Since I started wearing a wig regularly (going on 2 years now) I've been rather relaxed about haircuts. The last couple of haircuts were self-inflicted - I mean "self-done" - and so my natural hair has, I'm sure, not looked so great. But it didn't matter, nobody was seeing it - even if I just went downstairs for laundry, etc., I'd at least wear a baseball cap.
It occurred to me that if I actually met someone and started dating, they would eventually need to see it. So I've known for a little while that I at least needed to get a real haircut and not keep doing it myself. At a practical level I wasn't sure how that would work - would I go someplace without a wig on to get it done? Unlikely. Would I wear it and take it off when I got there? That seemed likely, but possibly awkward.
I had lunch with a friend on Friday (Bastille Day!!!) and mentioned all of this, and showed her a picture I had found on-line of a hair style that I thought might work for me (BTW, my hair is quite thin, and there is some male-pattern baldness, that's what's made going natural so difficult for me). She agreed with the style, and with my "plan" to go to Supercuts after our lunch. To help me along she insisted that I send her a selfie when I was done :-) I like that kind of thing, being "backed into a corner" helps overcome any last-minute jitters.
So I went to Supercuts. There was one guy and two women doing hair - I was hoping not to get the guy - I didn't. I explained to the person who did my hair that the last cuts had been my own before I took the wig off, and I showed her the picture I found. I knew she couldn't do exactly what was in the picture, I don't have enough hair :-( But she got the idea, she knew what I was going for, and she did a great job!!! I had fully anticipated that I would put the wig back on when we were done, but then I didn't, I went home "natural" (and mind you this was in the city, so "going home" involved a 10 minute walk in Manhattan to the PATH train, a 20 minute train ride, then a 10 minute walk home). It's not my "fantasy" hair style, but I'm not likely to ever have that (see above re "not enough hair", plus I don't think the Farrah hairstyle is so popular these days).
Below is a picture I took after I got home (so my hair was dry). A "pixie cut" as I came to learn is what it's called :-) Pardon the exposed bra strap and lack of any make-up!
The self-realization happened because as I was walking home I felt a sense of liberation from not wearing a wig. I realized that I had let my wig(s) represent my gender - subconsciously I only felt like a woman with a wig on. Not that I won't ever wear them again, but I need to work through this (especially now that I'm on summer break, so I have some freedom to ease in). Friday night I had to make a trip to Rite Aid, so I decided to do it without a wig. Then yesterday when I went to play tennis I didn't wear it, and again today I went to the gym and the supermarket without it. It really does feel good, it feels like another step towards authenticity :-)
***Please know that I'm not criticizing wearing wigs!!! I know a lot of trans people do, and obviously I was for 2 years and probably will continue to do so. I just personally need to know that I'm fully me with or without it***
Here's a pic -
And unrelated to this post - here is a picture of Cinammon. I got her a few days before my GRS (at Duane Reade when I was getting my surgery-related prescriptions), she went with me to Philadelphia for the surgery, was with me through the entire recovery and ever since :-) Particularly in the few weeks right after surgery, when I couldn't really write in a journal, I often talked with her about things that I was feeling...she's a great listener, she doesn't judge, she just smiles :-)
First off, wish I’d thought of this earlier in life yet there is no bad time to start. I’ve been coloring my hair from dark brunette to blonde to dirty blonde and the consequences were thinning of hair but no hair loss (thank goodness).
Decided it was time to combat the issue with vitamins and several hair mask and conditioners. It’s been one month now and have seen noticeable difference is the health of my hair. Downside is on the weekend I spend an hour dedicated to pampering my hair.
I’ve also started having a professional facial done once a week and have noticed healthier skin.
Couple the above with from fast food diet to one deal with meat a day with the rest salads and streamed vegetables.
I think the above will pay dividends as time goes by with emphasis on leading a healthier life style.
Last but not least, since two more things, I never go out without a hat and sunglasses even when it’s not sunny. Maui Jim's prescription (progressives) sunglasses were my choice as I like the trial pair given to me along with testimonials from customers of more than ten years. Of course dependent on what I’m wearing I wear good sun block/screen lotion.
PS It's been over a year without any makeup other than a product which promotes healthy skin which has a slight makeup characteristic to it.