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About this blog

This blog is dedicated to telling those who read the entries about my journey in hopes that something can be learned. 

Entries in this blog

With my two year anniversary in regards to physical surgeries coming up I have been reflecting on recent changes along with my comfort level has changed in the past few months.

Although I've been very comfortable since surgery over time there are things that change which are not always easy to describe, for instance, how I view the world as a whole then how I view my part as a female in every aspect of my life. I know not everyone has positive outlooks, some have constraints of various kinds that have no control over them while others have the capabilities to overcome them where decisions are made to break them or move past them. Me, for the majority of them I have broken past them and part of this comes from self confidence.

A good example (as per the image below) is me wearing a red dress out with several friends whom I made over the past two years, none of them know of my former life.

 

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Next up, I believe part of my mother is surfacing in me. She always dressed smartly during the day as a bank manager, when out for the evening with my father always turned heads (as my father would say) first from her beauty and also from how she dressed. With that, recently I wrote about my clothing style and I have continued by purchasing more dressed and shoes to go along with them. Yesterday I decided that the next element that needed to change was outerwear. So off to Macy's to look at winter coats where my goal was to find one something classy along with keeping me warm when it gets cold out. Never would I have guessed that the color shown below would be my final selection as in the past I've always gone with black but I think that all goes back to how one changes over time from the effects of hormones, physical surgeries and confidence. Back to the coat, the price tag said 275 USD with a 25 percent discount which should have brought it down to 207 but not sure how but it rang up as 154 (sweet), no complaints from me and decided not to ask how it got that low.

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Decisions

By KarenPayne,

I have created this poll after hearing a discussion on another forum. 

There are many considerations e.g. you are born male but identify as female and want surgery, you were born male but identify as female but don't want surgery. Reverse this for female to male.

Then of course there are binary and non-binary.

Consider you are male, get F on your state id and commit a crime, go to jail but since you have male genitals you are placed in a male prison and the inmates know about your gender issues. Consider you are female and for the same reasons are placed in a male prison. Both cases there are high probability of ongoing sexual abuse.

With that one simple case listed above, would you still change your gender marker?    

In one of the local transgender/cross-dresser groups one of the new members, close to 80 years old brought his wife and two daughters to a club we frequent. I walked in an hour if they got there because of my day long drive with the local sports car club. Said Hi, sat down. the new member, let's call her Jane introduces me to her family and doesn't actually say I'm transgender or post-op I'm guessing that it's assumed since the table is full of cross dressers. When Jane was done talking they asked me some questions, one of them was, what brings you to this club and being with crossdressers? I said, they are friends. The one daugher said "it's wonderful that you can be friends with them", I said it's easy as I was in their shoes not so long ago and now post-op.

Her response was, really? I thought you were a female (meaning that I was born female) and would have never guessed otherwise, then the other daughter said pretty much the same thing. 

So after chatting for several hours I can see Jane has a very supporting family, the two daughters have taken Jane out for makeovers, clothes shopping and even to selected a suitable wig for her. I could see that Jane is not going to have any issues with her family which is really nice. 

When Jane first came to an outing with us several months ago she had never gone out dressed and was not dressed the first time. She has come a long way with the assistance of her family and our group.

The group is named Rose City Girls. This group, the majority are cross-dressers has at least two events every week, one for dinner and one for out to a bar. They have golfing events, travel to various events and even do cruises. If you are in Oregon or Washington consider joining. The only requirement is a to have a photo of yourself and a valid email.

 

 

Pre-surgery for as many years back as I can remember my clothing style was pretty much short skirts or dresses until the age of 50 then I slowly transitioned to jeans where there was something inside of me that provoked the change.

Beginning with the year prior to physical transitioning I might have worn a skirt once or twice and stayed steadfast to jeans then to leggings which for whatever reason were my staple lower body garment of choice. I was wearing leggings with tops appropriate for various occasions, meaning my butt was not exposed.

Heck if I can rational why two weeks ago I got a impulse to toss leggings, jeans and skirts and now totally into wearing dresses.

I first visited Macy's in Portland Oregon as in Salem (my home town) Macy's I didn't care for the dress selections. Ended up with three dresses perfect for the workplace and two pairs of heels (I'm guessing 3.5 inches). To be totally engulfed with dresses, three was not enough, thinking it would be nice to have a variety, boat neck, scoop neck, below the knees, above the knees etc.

Next stop was Amazon where another five dresses were added to my wardrobe. When to conclude (for now) things I hit a store in the local mall to purchase two evening dresses and another pair of heels.

I'm going to do one last thing, winter is arriving shortly and once here will look for deals on dresses for next spring and summer, not a person that does "what's in style" either so I'm not going to worry about that too much.

 My only explanation for the change is hormones. For those who have been on hormones for several years I'm sure have seen gradual changes in both physical and mental areas and think this is part of my change in clothing style.

Cancer

By KarenPayne,

So I'm going at this with no prior thought other than I need to write about two woman I know.

Three weeks ago a good friend of mine was sitting in her living room and one of her dogs kept sniffing and licking her one breast. She ignored it until the dog kept doing it for two days. Had a mammogram done and sure enough cancer and to note, it runs in her family. Several days ago had surgery and being the brave person she is posted photos so that people think more of what can happen rather than simply thinking of a pink ribbon. She had ups and downs after surgery but seems to be doing okay now.

Then today, another friend (and in the same circle of friends) was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a mammogram done shortly after the woman above.

Statistically speaking a woman passes every three to five minutes in the world from breast cancer.

We are not immuned from breast cancer so if you have breast that were induced by hormones get them boobies checked out and have it done regularly.

Above I indicated they are in the same circle, the three of us are defensive tactics instructors were an outstanding master (he has way too many things to list here) and we are all family from Oregon, Florida and Atlanta.

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.  

 

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).

 

 

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. 

My background includes certifications in what I call common defense that does not require years of training but does requires that my everyday students (I have professionals in military and police students). Two years ago I went under the knife to transition and after 12 plus years of teaching I put a pause on teaching.

Over the past decade or so I've read about people in the LGBT community murders, bullied and so on. This gave rise to me seeking out in the past few months a place to teach that would be okay with the establishment allowing me to teach.

Friday night I was given permission by the most popular LGBT club (I know some here are from Salem so it's South Side Speakeasy( to use their large back room normally for a card club (poker I believe is the popular choice). I provided my bio to the owner, told him what I would be teaching and the cost. He was very happy with me putting on this class and said it's been a long time coming.

Note that the cost is nominal, more to get the interested to come as I've done free classes before where my assistants and myself noticed differences in commitment between those who paid and those who did not. 

If anyone here is within the Portland/Salem Oregon area feel free to respond to when the dates will be. My first idea is to wait until after most people have finished their vacations and have the class on a Sunday mid-day into the early evening.

Lastly, hopefully others here that are capable of teaching such a class are doing so in their area.

Went to pick up my regular prescriptions from the local pharmacy, the lady behind the counter called for the manager before handing over my prescriptions. He comes up and says, would you mind me changing our records to reflect your current gender? I said thought it was (and then thought back, sure enough I never did).

I replied with "yes", done deal. He said, wow how times flies, I remember when you first started out and back then I didn't have a beard, look at me now lol.

Then I went for an MRI (shoulder problem), yeek, they had me done as male, the person assisting me said I can see that is not true anymore and updated my records.

All in the span of one week, here I slipped up and missed two local resources for over two years.

So my point is, you may believe all your bases are covered when changing your gender but as I learned two were missed hence passing this along for others to consider "did I miss updating my gender someplace?"

 

 

Reflecting back on the year 2016 I've very pleased with the decisions I've made and new friendships made. Now it's time to see what happens as hormones progress changes to my physical and mental attributes as most know as years go by hormones tend to incrementally change one's behaviorism and I have noticed in the past several months a noticeable change not per-say in moods but how I react to things and events that several years ago I would had reacted totally different than today.

Thinking about assimilation into a female role where many leave the trans world behind at my point in my journey I'm still going to mentor and assist those less unfortunate then me in regards to being able to transition with virtually no issues while the majority are on the opposite end of the spectrum. When not with transgender people I never bring up the topic unless someone else starts a conversation e.g. "I've noticed a surge with transgender people..." and is not directed at me but with a group of people.

Had a conversation with a cross dresser recently who heads up a cross dresser group indicated 99 percent of those who transition in her group leave the group and want nothing to do with them anymore. I said, can you blame them? Personally I rather see them do that but hopefully some will mentor others who's goal is to transition and need someone to assist them.

That brings up an interesting thing, while out with a cross dresser group last weekend one of the girls said her future son-in-law was coming and that he is also a cross dresser and his future wife knows about this, wow, times are changing. I'm learning that many couples are accepting of their cross dressing partners but a few I talked to said if they even consider transitioning they were done with them, in short they married a male and need a male yet accepting of their partner showing their female side.

It's a brave new world emerging. 

  

I really was honored to be selected to be a panelist for an event which was part of a week long summit put on by Microsoft last month on diversion and inclusion which was originally titled woman in technology. I was approached by Microsoft for this event and after talking to them I said why not include all sectors which includes LGBT and those struggling because of race, beliefs and culture although most of the latter have been coming to light in recent times.

They already know of my transition because when I transitioned I needed to change my name and gender for my account and that I'm a Microsoft MVP.

The event began by a introduction to how the event would go then five questions were asked, each of the panelist were given time to respond. To be honest I don't remember the questions. I do remember that in the first question I focused on cisgender females and the transgender community. The second question I moved focus to LGBT as the other female panelist had the cisgender aspect covered.

After finishing with the second question response I said something like, I'm one of the fortunate transgenders who transitioned unscaved which is not common place for most transgenders. Not only did I get an applause but a standing applause.

After the questions were asked the audience was given time to ask us questions but nobody did. After that we sat there thinking that people might come up and ask questions and I had a handful talk with me, one asked for my contact information as they had a family member who was transgender.

Over the following days I had people come up to me at the summit thanking me for speaking out and for having courage to speak. I told each and everyone of them is that I feel obligated to speak out for those who can not and that most who transition still need help but many times simply want nothing more to do with the transgender community and only want to blend in while there are others on the opposite end of the septum who are very vocal yet sometimes go to far and then we have some in the middle.

I did say during the event that to get people from the transgender community is not simply on large companies but also on the transgender person to as I know all to well that to be in technology of writing or supporting software or hardware things change all the time. Those who make the big bucks do so because they are continually bettering themselves like myself and I worked hard, was a window treatment sales person who studied at night for a year before quitting my window treatment job for writing software.  

Not everyone is cut out for working in IT but let's broaden this to other high paying professions and better your life along with showing others we are truly no different from cisgender and in some cases better.

I put myself in front of several hundred people with afterwards thousands who did not know who I was now and prior now know. I didn't want recognition for myself but instead to enlighten the cisgender community about the transgender community. Sorry if I didn't speak up per say about other parts of LGBT as I wanted to focus on trans. I did have one attendee who confided with me that he was gay and was worried about how to present himself and I got him to be confident and saw that he was doing better after talking to him.  

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I’ve recently joined a closed group on Facebook where the majority of male to female members will post pictures of themselves and ask if they pass physically. Just about every since member who post and ask if they are passable indeed passable.  Having been on this journey would like to offer a small piece of advice which is forget about passing physically and focus on your female voice.

When I or any heterosexual male or female encounters a female without thinking “are they really female” expect a softer voice then a male voice. When the female speaks in the same tone as a male that will make the heterosexual male or female wonder or think “is this really a female”.

My guess is many male to female transgender or cross dressers realize this already but want to stress that this can not only lead to people wonder about you but also may very well cause them to be embarrass and infuriate them to incite a mindset to cause you physical harm.

There is only one method to circumvent this when out in public which is to practice speaking as a cisgender female does. For many it’s not easy, like myself I had to practice, practice, practice. The most difficult part as one gets older is to not only train your voice but also to retrain your brain.

Example, as you close to finish speaking your brain says “now I can relax” and attempts to to back to the male voice if for no other reason that it’s easy while speaking in a female tone is hard work especially keeping a conversation going.

If you can afford to take voice lessons even for a few sessions this will assist in building a proper foundation for what you need to do later to keep up appearances both with your physical looks and sounds that come out of your mouth.

Several times a month I go out with several cross-dressers and transgender groups in my area and I’m the only one, say out of twenty that use a female voice. All of them speak like men and if they didn’t speak the majority would pass one hundred percent as cisgender females. Do they go out in public? Several do yet are known to locals as cross-dressers and never will pass.

For the next part a little history.

I joined a cross-dresser group who are located 40 miles from me back in 2000. At that time I was not even trying to transition in the public and never made it to any of their events which are several times a week. Another group opened in my immediate area and they have one member who belongs to the other group (40 miles away). The decide to meet here in my town in a gay bar, I thought, great, finally get to meet them.

Went to the bar, walk in and there is this thirty something cisgender female with a guy sitting at the bar, she looks at me and says, hi gorgeous, you smell sexy. I said thanks, got my drink and sat down. Five minutes later she come over to my table, sits down next to me and we start chatting. Shortly there after the one cross dresser group walks in, they are all wearing prom dresses (the theme of the evening, not be thou). I wave at them, remember they don’t know me and they stare until I wave them over. I introduced myself and the night was fantastic. Later on the leader said that when I waved and she looked over she thought we were two cisgender females and was dumb founded that I was post-op as my voice passed with no hints of male.

Fast forward to last weekend, the leader of that group was suppose to be down by 8:30 but arrived at 7:30 (I've been there since 7). I greeted her and said, thought you would not be here until 8:30? She said, I know you don’t stay late and wanted to talk to you which I thought was cool. Had a great conversation to say the lest. Another member who didn’t know I was trans or post-op was told by another member and was shocked at how well I controlled my voice.

Pause: Although my voice is not a 100 percent it’s fully passable. Even to this say I do warm-up exercises because my brain will still fall back into old habits.

With that I want those who have decided to read this far to know that it’s not easy (some may disagree but they are the minority), one must be committed to not only appearing as a female but make efforts to speak the part too. 

Have you heard Autumn? https://autumnasphodel.com/222/transgender-female-voice I feel the same as her in regards to mindset. There are plenty of resources on the web so thre is no excuse not to try.

The power of the mind is incredible

 

Several entries back I wrote about helping a male to female, surgery went wrong and ended up being hospitalized for many weeks because of rectovaginal fistula. Last week I saw her, she had a colostomy bag and indicated they would revisit what can be done in February.

This week she said there is a possibility of using a colostomy bag either internal or external for the rest of her life.

I can't even begin to imagine having the wear a colostomy bag forever because of a botched surgery.

My advice for anyone having surgery not out of pocket is to research the surgeons carefully. Her surgeon did 12 assist and four solo, Personally that is not enough for me to undergo the knife and you should think about this too.

How often?

The main risk of SRS is rectal wall tear resulting in rectovaginal fistula, which is estimated to occur in 1 of 400 vaginoplasties. Taken from  

 

With the elections over and seeing many in the transgender community worried what it's going to be like with the new president which really nobody can say for sure it might be prudent to consider worst case scenarios.

If I didn't have a passport this would be a wake up call to obtain one as at the current time for some it turns out to be difficult and in the future it may be even more difficult.

Medical needs and prescriptions, what can happen is of course unknown but consider worst case, those obtaining them for free may now need to pay for them while those that get them at a low cost, the price may go up.

Of course there are other things to consider yet personally these would be at the top of my list if I had not transitioned yet. Currently all my identification is under Karen Payne with a female gender marker yet so many in the community have not started, are stepping though the process and need to consider how things should be handled if things go sideways.

Last year was my first interview, today was my second. 

Last year they did the interview in Microsoft Studio were nobody sees this until pushed to the web. Big difference this year, they brought all their equipment to the main Microsoft building where there are thousands of people walking by and the camera is hotter without the AC of the studio. During the prior video you heard a question being asked then I would answer. This year they ask a question which is masked out, I repeat the question coming from me then answer the question (yeah, spooky). 

Any ways I talked only about transgender when it came to non-personal but a passion I have  for the community. I will provide a link here when the video is done.

Two nights ago myself, two Microsoft managers and three Microsoft engineers formed a panel on inclusion and diversity in the workplace. The settings, a room filled to capacity (guessing 400), two wine bars, cheese and crackers. We sat on stage, each with our own microphones. Yes the entire event was video taped by a professional team.

After a ten minute introduction by the sponsor (a Microsoft program manager) a question was asked, each one of us responded then moved on to the next question. At the end the audience was given the chance to ask the panel questions but nobody took advantage of this but at least for me five people came up either to ask questions or to say how proud they were of me for doing this. One even asked for my email as they are dealing with a transgender child.

The event was scheduled for a mere 30 minutes. I said up front this needs not to be constrained by time and they agreed which is good because the event lasted over one hour.   

When being driven back to my hotel I noticed a high number of notifications on my Twitter account, wow, lots of followers from the event, way cool.

Next day I had several people come up to me at other events and said they enjoy hearing me speak.

Oh, I was torn between indicating I was formerly male for the first question/give a short intro of yourself but ended up indicating by past. Got some blank stares like "really". What blow my mind was after talking about why we need transgender people in tech and why they are not (thinking fully transitioned vs in the closet) all I could focus on was the majority of people were applauding me which is a huge step not so much for me but for the transgender community at large.

Never thought I would be an advocate at this level but now so happy that I can be part of making people aware that the majority of transgender people are assets if given the chance rather than being part of low-income part of society. I did point out that like cisgender people there are indeed un-balanced people in the transgender community so we area in one sense of the word all cut out the same with a chemical imbalance (or is it balanced).

With that I would like to see others educate cisgender people showing them in a positive manner we are here, normal people that truly want to contribute to society, be loved, have friends and family and live together.

 

Several months ago I wrote about a person who had a botched surgery where the outcome was rectovaginal fistula. My part was simply support prior to surgery and assist if needed with dilation processes.

Well after just over a week out of the hospital I pretty much ended my involvement with her as she was taken back in for corrective surgery and have not spoke to her.

Last night at a bar, several cross-dressers met, we were having a great time then she walked in, sat down, we all said hello. She did not look happy, matter of fact she never looks happy since I've met her.

Every single person I've met before surgery was either happy or not happy because they wanted surgery. After surgery all but this one was very happy.

So I asked how she was doing, she lifted up her top and said this is her until February, it's a colostomy bag. She said it needs to be emptied 7 to 8 times a day.

About an hour after that she walked off, we didn't know where she went. Shortly afterwards I said goodbye to everyone as I had things to get done for a trip to Washington State. On the way out I saw her sitting by herself looking very sad but knew if I asked why I would be stuck there. When I got home she had posted on Facebook that we were not a problem, she was.

This to me is a huge red flag and although I don't truly know her think she is heading down a dark path.

Did the transformation in regards to bottom surgery cause unhappiness? I don't believe it did, instead there is much more going on but not being a professional have no clue to what is troubling her.

Is there a lesson here? May be, may be not, I would like people to think through what the outcome will be after they have corrective gender surgery as it may not be the life one believed it should be. You have to have realistic expectations else you may be playing with your life.

 

 

With no disrespect I’ve been noticing the more I’m with cross-dressers that two things (at least from my experience in the last several years) is, the majority of cross-dressers will not transition so they are part-timers only and that they never attempt to mask their voice to female mode and one reason I believe for the voice aspect is they only do to trans-friendly establishments.

Keeping with voice, I’ve only met three post-op transgender and I’m astonished to find they don’t attempt to change their voice what-so-ever. Sure they are many transgender people that do this, myself included as this fills the package but for the life of me don’t understand when asked why they don’t the common response is “I’m happy just like this” but at the same time get frustrated when they are addressed as “he” which I’ve personally heard when out with two of them. I tell them, if you expected to live your life as a female one must put some effort into the voice else people will not treat you as female and let’s put another thing into this, if you don’t fully pass facially but sound female you will for the most part be treated as a female while fully passing physically and sounding masculine most time you will not pass but believe you have because most people will treat you that way only so to be polite.

In the end it’s their life and their decisions made in regards to a voice will either make life roll along smoothly or create pot holes.

The aftermath

By KarenPayne,

So in my last entries I focused on assisting a trans person through SRS/GRS/GCS (pick one). They ended up with Rectovaginal fistula.

So after the initial surgery they stayed in the hospital for a week, back home for a week, back to the hospital for repairing the botched surgery, stayed there a week.

On top of this they were discharged to a recovery company for at least a week.

So there are plenty of these surgeries done each year, some overseas and here. A common factor for most is "I need this now, screw waiting" and then if you are one of the unlucky ones the above could happen or worst.  

When going forward with a surgery date way before that do lots and lots of research on whom is performing your surgery and if in doubt walk away as there are always other surgeons that are there to perform your surgery.

The following is scary to say the least

Ten days ago I was there for a male to female having reassignment surgery. The surgery lasted too long in my opinion and that the reason was the surgeon caused a rectovaginal fistula. A friend of hers was told (but not me) that she had gas coming out the vagina on Friday and the friend got her to call the hospital who said they would get back to her but never did.  I did not hear about this until this morning, she text’ d me and said she was concerned. I went over and got her to take pictures and send them to the surgeon. Now this is 10 AM this morning, he said to come in a 5 PM. seriously, this is one bad thing after another.

I learned that while she was in the hospital the care provided was unprofessional from assisting her keeping clean (they would not clean her breast or bottom) to providing sedatives for pain (I had sedatives pushed into me non-stop). Just the other day I learned that OSU, the hospital here in Oregon had a bad reputation for how transgender people were treated and that they were in a transition period to overcome the bad reputation.

Any ways, just received a text from her, they are keeping her tonight. I did not inquire why but a decent guess is because of the rectovaginal fistula.

Now with all this mentioned, she had no real choice being on social security, out of work, never being able to afford surgery. Couple this with extreme dysphoria and a surgeon who has done six reassignment surgeries prior is a recipe for what happened. It really is a catch 22 per-say, boxed in with a one way pass to live with the dysphoria or roll the dice with a surgeon with little experience.

One last thing, when I arrived at her house she was drinking some dark drink. I said, it’s close to 100 degrees outside, you are just out of surgery and need to stay properly hydrated so I went out and purchase a 24 pack of bottled water and insisted she drink this rather than chocolate milk. One must realize that after a major surgery such as this the body is in recovery mode for many weeks to follow and must treat your body well.

Lesson to take away, if you don't have the funds to obtain reassignment surgery you may very well be in the hands of people who may perform a bad procedure and as with this person have poor aftercare. If this is you, pay attention to your body after surgery, don't dismiss even the little things, call them out to those who are taking care of you and this might simply save your life.

 

 

My suspicions prior to my acquaintance undergoing the knife were right on point which I will get into here.

We headed off to the hospital at 4:30 AM, arrived at 5:30 AM, admitted and shortly afterwards she was taken back for pre-surgery. About one hour later she was off to the OP, they had given her a sedative already (I was not given one at this point). There is a leaderboard that updates through the stages e.g. prep, in room, closing, out of OR. 

She told me ahead of time the surgery was scheduled for 4-5 hours, I said it's more likely to be seven or eight hours. Well they told her right before going in, 8 to 10 hours and her friends who came to support her thought 5 hours and were not really prepared for that.

She went into the OR at 7 AM, came out at just before 7 PM, surgeon talked to us and said there were complications but would not tell us which I can understand but surmise a few things.

After the surgeon talked to us he picked up his backpack and seemed to be heading out, I was surprised that he was not staying to check up on her.

I had some reservations about the surgeon as he only had done six of these surgeries before, told her this but she was head strong about pushing forward. One of the issues is she is on social security, lives on just over one thousand dollars a month. I can understand this but if it were me would be concerned that the surgeon did not have more than six surgeries prior.

I am sure the complication reasons will be told today, one thought is they had issues with blood supply (long story), another a skin graph was needed and couple this with his original estimate which extended past 8 hours.

   

Background, I was fortunate to have a lot of support with my transition, friends and acquaintance where there for me. As many here know not everyone is lucky enough to have support before and after gender reassignment surgery and believe that if possible nobody should go through this alone.

With that said, this week cumulates several months of assisting a male to female person to their surgery this Thursday. When I first started off with them they had a good deal of dysphoria and not happy about going through the past few months and surgery itself by themselves. They would stay home a lot which I felt was not good for their mental health and got her to get out and do things. Over the past few weeks purchased needed items for them needed for post-op life the week after returning home e.g. K-Y products and many misc. items that some people don't think about or might be told they will need (Marci Bowers was my surgeon and had pretty much everything laid out for what I would need in detail).

So at 4:30 AM on Thursday I am driving her up from Salem Oregon to Portland Oregon for surgery which is estimated to be roughly four hours and be there for her afterwards along with stopping by on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

During preparations for her surgery I also had her prepare for aftercare once leaving the hospital which lead to her talking to the few friends she has to bring her meals and check up on her from time to time (I will be checking in on her often as I work ten minutes away).

This will be my third time assisting someone and know that it makes a difference when I walk into their room to find them without anyone to be with them their eyes light up when I walk in the room.

Yesterday I am walking up to my work area, a woman stops me and ask if she didn’t mind me asking a personal question. Since I have only seen her (there are over 1,000 employees) and not worked with her I figured it’s one of the following stock questions, where did you purchase your shoes or something along the line of transitioning. My perspective was if it’s about my transition (which nobody has mentioned in over eight months) it’s fine as she seems like a good person.

After saying yes to her question said I looked familiar but was unsure from where. Then she says, were you once male? I said yes. She then asked if she could hug me and I said yes and she did. Then she says I looked gorgeous which I thanked her for the compliment.  She did say if I had said I was always female her next question would had been, do you have a brother or other family member working here as she was not certain on if I was once male. We chit-chatted for a few minutes but the subject of transitioning has passed and onto weather and the little things in life.

Next up, I have joined another transgender site, Susan’s Place several months ago and this week was asked to become part of their staff which I accepted. It’s not that Susan’s Place is better than this site (TGuide) but felt the need to move on from here, at least for a while. Just keep in mind that this site (TGuide) is like no other trans site on the web and you should be proud to be here. What I have seen during my time here is a tight nit family of likeminded people who support each other and my wish is for that to keep going.

In closing, I hope everyone here is moving forward on their journey and enjoying life. I know not everyone can say they are progressing and for those my wish for those who are not find some peace in their daily life.

 

 

 

 

Obtaining a female voice for the male embodied female is that thing to which can’t be surgically remedied with a 100 percent success and is the holy grail for many. So what are common methods?

Mimic the cisgender voice on their own, purchase some type of series of lessons, enlist the aid of a voice therapist or go out on a limb for questionable voice surgery which statistically speaking can do more harm than good.

Many factors play into how one goes about obtaining that female voice which range from being in the closet, monetary funds to available resources. Kind of hard practicing the voice with others in the house and you are in the closet or money is tight, hard to overcome these things and can be frustrating when funds and a place to practice are available but no therapist or one is shy to make appointments in fear of what they might think of you.

No matter which avenue is chosen the ultimate test is picking up the telephone, talk to a stranger and have the responses coming back with female pronouns.

It’s relatively easy to learn to speak female for a short time e.g. one or two minute conversations but eventually for many the vocal chords want to relax, go to a comfortable place (heaven forbid), the deep male voice rather than the soft/higher voice we aspire too.

Things that can help, learn to breathe from the abdomen rather than the upper chest, placing your finger on your Adam’s apple, when at the right place the Adam’s apple rises and stays there. Try laying on the floor, this makes it more difficult to use the upper chest for breathing. Place a book on the abdomen and feel it working and if not then work on that aspect alone followed by going back to speaking at the right pitch and resonance.

After getting good with one or two minute shots of female voice try these things. Speak the following and maintaining the female voice (note between each word pause a second).

One, two

Now do

One, two, three,

Then

One, Two, three, four etc.

Got that! Now do

One, two, three, “Every dog has its day”

Practice that until you are satisfied and now put together several quotes like this and pick a random one, no peeking. After speaking the words finish with describing the quote. The idea here is the first part the brain is comfortable with while explaining the quote is spontaneous and now you have to work harder at maintaining the female voice.

Can’t do this at home? Why not do it when driving to work or taking a walk?

When I took voice lessons I was given 30 quotes, some did more than the above as they would challenge more aspects of getting the female voice done properly.

It’s important to keep in mind that the older you are the more chances there are for one to slip back into that deep voice rather than the soft voice.

Lastly, set a reasonable standard for your female voice rather than go for something that is unobtainable as this will help you to get a passable voice.

These are just a few suggestions that may or may not work for you but if not considered or tried one will never know. 

Closing out with a short story.

I belong to a local transgender group on Facebook, was invited to meet ten or so at a local club. I walked in 30 minutes early, was approached by a female (lesbian) who sat down at my table and started talking to me. Several minutes into talking she asked, are you here alone? I said no, I am waiting for a group of transgender people and they are all dressing in prom dresses (I did not). She then said "is that them" pointing to the entrance. I said yes, recognized them from FB pictures. I waved and said "Hi", several stared at me from where they were standing then decided to come over. When they did I said I was part of their group. One (I think she is the leader) said :"I was not sure who you were... all I saw were to cisgender females" 

About thirty minutes or so into talking with them several complimented me on my looks (and most important) my voice which in this case I know they would never had said it if they did not mean it. 

It took me a while to obtain that voice and so happy for having taking lessons by a professional therapist who's main task in the beginning was to cultivate what I had obtained on my own.