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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

Went to check the balance on my checking account two days ago and I found a charge that I did not recognize, called the bank and they are working on a resolution to get my money back. What I really like about my bank is, you walk in, tell them what happened then the cancel the card and create a new one on the spot.

I am extremely diligent with my card and the only time the card is out of my seight is when purchasing gasoline (Oregon is you can not pump your own) so it has me wondering if that is the case or when I did a online purchase at Victoria's secrets last week. Hopefully the bank will track down who is responsible for this.

Gets you thinking especially with all the hacking which has been going on recently

Being it’s a new year a thought went through my head, I know what the monetary cost for preparing for surgery, actual surgery and after care but what is the cost over time? Well without going down to the penny I spent roughly $2,000 for a therapist, not enough to register for medications (insurance paid this), since 2000 spent roughly $4,000 for electrolysis, $7,000 on body enhancements. Now couple this with surgery and aftercare I figure a round number is $35.000. Let’s round this off to $50,000 and calculated this cost over the remainder of my life. I am currently 58 years old and at best would live to roughly 90 years old as I believe my genes are predominately my mother’s side of the family where the last three women averaged life is 95. Of course none of them smoked which I have but quitting but they did not have the better care of live available today so I am going to say I might live to 80 or 85.

That comes to $3,200 ($266 per month) cost for the rest of my life which I feel is well worth it. Now with that said imagine you could pay for your transition this way. For some it is still unreachable which is sad. All who have considered to transition from male to female many times never take in the magnitude of the cost to transition. If I were doing this today at an early age I would (thinking I think like I do today) go to college, pick a profession that pays well and put my head to the grindstone to fund transitioning. Sure it is easy to say as there are many variables that could side track this but without a plan and goal all the wishing in the world will not make this happen but instead like many will fall asleep at night hoping to wake up in a female body is unrealistic as we all know this will not happen.

Any ways with that said I don’t see the $266 spread out over time but instead the money spent put me where I should be and no amount of money can change this. When I made the final decision to transition I was focused like never before in my life, figured out what I needed to move forwarded and never looked back. Nothing like peace of mind.

We all know all to well that there are people that do not understand gay, lesbian and transgender people. With that said I consider New Year's Eve a time when you just might come in contact with them and if so there is always the chance of what I call "Gang/Group Mentality" where one person may start something and others will join in that would not normally join in if not in a group.

Even though I am highly trained things can still go sideways, my guess is most people here are not highly train which puts you in harms way so please be careful.

As Christmas gets closer it looks like I will not be spending time with any friends but will visit a friend on Christmas Eve. Why mention this? Because I am sure, there are many out there that may very well be depressed and that need not be.

My decision is too keep busy so my plans are to a) setup my new laptop, which is scheduled for delivery tomorrow morning (I will turn it on tomorrow to make sure it functions) via two-day business delivery, have been tracking it, and is on time. b. Comcast is setting up XFINITY Entertainment package tomorrow, which will take time to setup c) play my favorite music that is uplifting while writing a technical article for Microsoft d) prepare a great meal for dinner e) chat with friends via phone to have interaction with others. Bottom line, I will be a happy girl.

Side note, I upgraded my Comcast as my current DVR has limited space in that while in California it will get filled up before I get back so the new DVR has more space along with it can record 4 shows at once rather than the current one, 2 shows at once. It is costing me less than my current plan which is really a bonus.

Happy Holidays to everyone :D

At my last therapist appointment, she learned that the printer was out of ink and would mail my letter out. She also mailed a copy down to Marci Bower, which I am grateful. I would have been okay if I never read the letter but just the same happy to read her assessment and fully agree with her assessment. Reading “This client is an attractive, bright 57-year old transsexual woman” made me smile.

Sometime ago we discussed continual appointments after surgery. She had mentioned that some never come back after they get their letter. My thought is that anyone who goes through a life-changing event no matter how mentally stable they are needs to keep an open mind and continue their visits with their therapist. I made an appointment for 6 weeks after surgery and if all goes fine I will still make follow up appointments say three months out then assess how I am doing plus her assessment.

I have read posts on the web from people who are post-op that they become depressed, unhappy or uneasy. My thoughts at this time, not me but you never know.

I hope that others who follow the same path I am will take this to heart that we need support and do not take it upon themselves to say “I will get through this by myself”.

I was on Facebook tonight where I mentioned taking my new laptop to California with me. I have about 146 friends where about 8 know what's going on. Well my brother's old girlfriend from back from a few years after graduating from High School back in Pennsylvania saw my post and said "we should hook up". So I wrote her a private message explaining what was going on, she still wants to meet :)

Those were interesting times back then, she was dating my brother and I was dating her best friend. We spent many nights together with close smoking buddies at her house were her parents were fine with that. I would classify her as a hippy at heart and still that way from what I can tell, married with children living in San Francisco which as fate has it is where I will be for surgery.

My 92 year old mother and her still exchange Christmas cards every year.

For many years, I experimented with tucking my privates with many failures and success. Once I found a great gaff the company decided to change it and did not work for me anymore so I used the few I had until they fell apart and just as the last one was done for I found a replacement that I stumbled upon and have been using for the past 15 years.

My requirements were simple using the following situation. Be able to go use the toilet, stand up and tuck in less than a minute and remained firmly in place so not be reveal privates even with leggings.

The method was rather simple, purchase a normal gaff and boy shorts from Spanx. Tuck, pull up the gaff into position then pull up the boy shorts, done.

Now the reason for writing about this is because I was looking for my car title which I need to update within 30 days of my name change and have not seen it since 2009 when I paid the car off. So while looking for the title I found a forgotten supply of old gaffs (God only knows why I kept them) in a footlocker on the bottom and low and behold the title was on the top woohoo.

So I now have a trash can filled with gaffs ready to be toss soon as I am finished here.

Any ways I am happy that in just under 6 weeks NO MORE tucking.

Received my second letter for surgery requirements and a letter to assist with changing my gender on my driver licence. The letter for my driver licence is critical in tangent with my legal name change documents so I can book flights to and from California so I can purchase tickets shortly that match my name change and soon to be new gender.

After this I visited with a close friend who gave me an early Christmas present of 5 tube and two large bottles of KY Jelly for dilation after surgery. With these and the ones I already have I should be good for at least two months.

K-Y Jelly

By KarenPayne,

I was never told how much K-Y Jelly was needed for after surgery but went out looking at 4oz bottles and noticed they were all over $5 each. Last night while at the grocery store shopping for food decided to see what K-Y Jelly cost there, just over $5 but one shelve down was a store brand which I trust for other medication was $2.10 per bottle. Yep, I grabbed all six bottles, which I get an email back from Marci’s office indicating 6 was plenty. I will be going back to the store today to see if they have restocked and purchase what they have if the price is the same. Why do this? Because after returning home I must dilate three times a day and plan on having enough for at least two weeks.

At my electrolysis appointment this morning (still have another this afternoon) we chatted about something which I think is worth passing on. Have my legs and under arms waxed so there are no worries about shaving (yeah it would bother me). She set me up for waxing two days before leaving for California for maximum results.

Another thing is that I have used two different women for electrolysis and both use a standard padded board to lie on. This works fine for 98% of areas on the body but when it gets down to the area between the rectum and bottom of the scrotum no matter how wide the legs are spread it is prohibiting. So she took a end table that is level with the board and positioned it in a Y position so instead of hanging or hand off the board (which limits legs spread) she took a end table, placed a folded towel and then placed my legs in that Y position and it works great.

Thinking of this process, I read stories that pretty much said pain level was between 7 to 10 between rectum and scrotum and I saw a documentary where one person who crying like a baby the entire time. My experience is at pain level 2-5 and zero tears. I believe the Lidocaine 2.5% and Prilocaine 2.5% cream prescribed by my doctor makes a huge difference in regards to pain

Seems like in the past two weeks a lot has been happening, genital area is fairly clear, booked hotel room, doctor's packet arrived.

Last week I paid most of my surgery fee, the remaining amount is waiting for one office to receive my paper work for a $1,200 fee.

Friday I am going to UPS for UPS luggage. I decided to send my stuff done to arrive a day before I arrive. Everything will be tossed when going back home. So the contents are disposable, it pays to save some out dated clothing.

Next Monday I part one of my name change is done then two more weeks and it's official

Two more weeks for a phone appointment with anesthesiologist

I know I am missing something (oh that's right it must be from being mostly blonde now)

A co-worker pressured me today to learn about my surgery, long story short, he confirms my thoughts that the majority of co-workers will be fine with it. Matter of fact most people are guessing what is going on with me and are guessing I am transitioning. Such a great feeling

May do airfare on Friday.

Female Voice

By KarenPayne,

I have thought for some time now that my female voice was decent and will take voice lessons in the spring. Well today I was surfing through some videos online for after GRS thoughts and decided to click on one that was about male to female voice exercises. The person said to get Pitch Lab and work on keeping your voice between B flat and C sharp. I looked at the app, it’s free so I downloaded it. Afterwards upon opening it up there are a ton on in-app purchases but no need, the part I needed is free. So I try it out, I pretty much nailed the acceptable range woohoo. Even though I nailed it I know there is still work to be done but happy to know I am on the right track. Back in 2008 when meeting with a doctor for hormones (did not start then until last November even though she approved me) she indicated that my voice did not need much work and should be easy to have a very good female voice with practice. I think the main obstacle is the need to change back and forth but not after my surgery.

We all know you can look female but when our mouth opens and the female voice is not there all is lost. Don’t know about anyone else but IMHO you need to work on it. There are times I will warm up by saying meow, each time raising my voice to what I think is acceptable. I learned this from a u tube video.

To prepare physically for GRS I decided to stop eating any fast food and only eat fresh veggies and meat purchased the same day I consume it. Running on a NordicTrack at home, lifting lightweights, slamming a punching bag for tone. To be honest out of the past three months devoid of fast food I do not feel any healthier but have notice I am constant in bowel movements. Lastly, I only drink coffee and water.

I had elective surgery in 2010 and 2011 were I did the same thing and healed up quickly. One of them was abdominoplasty which involves a great deal of work to say the least and think if I did not prepare I would had been hurting a long time. PS If you ever consider abdominoplasty, do not watch comedies while recovering, it really hurts.

The following has no real train of thought (dang female hormones :D ) but this is what's up

Just received my packet from Doctor Bower, have started filling in forms and making appointments for EKG and HIV testing. Three weeks to go to formalization on name change. Going through the list of items I need to take with me to California and see that I need a ample supply of KY jelly. I decided to do NetFlix subscription, as being there for two weeks will need something to do when unable to get around. I know it’s getting real when just about every night I imagine myself being rolled into the room for surgery. Booked room for stay, normally $200 per night (yikes), discount rate is $155 which is $2000 total and I am use to places that charge (in my area) half that price, sure wish I had people in the area.

Photos for the hotel.

On the home front, I am picking up my final letter for surgery and document for name change/gender approval next Friday. Tomorrow I meet with my legal friend to get back money and Sunday off to purchase luggage as my current luggage is old and beatup or use UPS Luggage Shipping where they supply you with a cardboard suitcase then again I may not, will have to see.

Just returned from the post office and made my payments of $28,000 for surgery. The cashier at the bank said, can I help you mam? Gave her my driver licence which is still my male one and afterwards stayed with mam.

Irritated

By KarenPayne,

About three months ago, I contacted an acquaintance who practiced law but had to quit because of serious health problems. She indicated that I wanted to start my name change to contact her. Four weeks ago, we met for coffee and discussed the process, she asked for $100 to start working on it. Now I know some will say this is a lot but “wait for it”. The following weekend she asked me to fill out seven pages for the process. Got it done then gave it back to her. At this time, she asks for another $300, which covers the $111 fee and her time. What she plans on doing is handling the process start to finish. She said, last Thursday she needed to met with me again. I have not heard a peep from her. Last night I pined over how much time it would take if she contacts me this week and could not sleep thinking about after submitting three documents and posting one in the court room I needed yet another two weeks to complete the process. I decided today screw it and begin the process myself as the money is not that important but still peeved she did this. Took about 30 minutes to fill out forms, pay the fee and post a document on a corkboard. My date to start the next process is 12/14/2014. Then another two weeks followed by Social security then drivers license. This is what I need to get done before I head off to California.

In retrospect I should had done this myself but thought that giving her my business we both get something out of this.

Personally I am the type of person who gets to appointments early, when a friend needs help I give it and know full well that others are not always the same. Any ways I needed to write this out as it truly has been bugging me and helps a little to write this out. Good news is I am back on track rolling along like a unstoppable freight train.

End of rant.

Confidence

By KarenPayne,

Prior to perusing my current path to transition I did many things correct except one thing which was to try and fit in better. The main reason was, I was sure surgery would not be an opinion as it seems the Benjamin standards were to strict for me in that I wanted to not fully come out yet still have surgery and then come out in the future. I was sure this would work for me but several therapists did not see it that way. With that, I decided surgery would not happen and did not worry about mannerism, as it would conflict with me teaching self-defense.

I still believe I was correct (not saying I am better than the therapists), no different than when I had liposuction, the surgeon said there was not much fat to remove and I thought he was incorrect but did not say anything. After wards the surgeon visited me to see how I was doing and said I was surprised that there was no fat then I thought. I had always been thin but a thyroid issue caused weight gain and never lost the fat no matter how hard I tried so I went for liposuction and was a good idea as it did increase my self-worth. My current therapist felt no different than me but was happy I decided to live as a female as required.

So my point, since last November an important lesson was learned, nuances came to light which I recently self-evaluated within me, all subtle but extremely important in the long run. They run the gambit from walking properly to clothing styles. I recently wrote about going to a Guitar Center and trying to be male but failed, it was because mannerism of me now did not allow it while last year it was the complete opposite.

With that said, I was wrong in thinking the trial period was not needed but was right that I needed to transition with surgery as part of the transition. If not for the trial period, I would still be perfectly happy but would not fit in fully.

So in closing out, at this time the trial has been a success, woohoo. For a while I thought it would never end (yes it never does end) but it has and I am fully confident that I can survive in this world as a female and will be accepted. Times have truly changed and thank goodness for people coming around to people like us.

11/10/2014 addition

Just back from the grocery store and while bringing the groceries in my neighbor stop to chat. As I was walking away, she said that my voice has noticeably changed. I thank her for the compliment as she knows about me transitioning and like true feedback. My evaluation is I have gotten better at voice control without even thinking about it. As anyone who has considered passing the voice is the most difficult part. You get the proper look but for many it fades away when they open their mouth. I am taking this seriously to the point of going to a voice coach after transitioning.

Indelible

By KarenPayne,

Two years ago, I decided that I was going to transform so one of my first real steps was with tattoos. Any tattoo I had done was well thought out and no thought of any being even remotely male centric. The image below shows several on my shoulder and several on my neck. Besides those, I have several below the waist in front and (horrors) a tramp-stamp on my backside although I deplore it being called a tramp-stamp. These tattoos not only provide strength and comfort but also mark a time of never going back to being a male. As a side note I had my eyebrows and eyelids done by a specialist with this type of work and brows were shaped no different than a female with my facial structure. After SRS I am getting my final tattoo, the design is still a work in progress but know it will be one a marker for remembering who I really am.

I know there are many who consider marking one’s body with ink is bad but for me it means so much more than some ink making an indelible mark on me.

Tats.jpg

1/20/2014

Well it has been just under three months since I began hormones and when I got undressed for my morning shower this morning I noticed my breast seemed to have grown a bit since I last checked them. I have read many articles about how long it takes for breast too grow and from the get go made a pack not to be disappointed if they 1. did not grow in the first couple of months 2. did not get to at least a B cup as my mother is a full C cup. Oh, my left breast (and heard this is to be expected) is slightly larger than my right breast but not extremely noticeable.

My doctor who is a MTF told me that I had many facial features of a female including soft skin so I expect there will not be a huge difference with softening of my skin.

1/21/2014

An interesting thought about the hair (and this will more likely than not sound crazy) is all my life I've had dreams I live several hundred years ago as a female which I discarded, thinking my mind was playing tricks on me. Back around 2005 I met a woman and had a short relationship and distinctly remembering I saw her as an old soul. So one night after we pleasured each other she came out and said that she truly believed that we were together in another life where she was a male and I was a female. I found it interesting that she by telling me this brought new light to my dreams as she said it was a very long time ago.

1/23/2014

Received a call from Marci Bower's office, SRS is scheduled for 1/27/2015. When I submitted a date for surgery it was simply 1/2015, Robin indicated that January would work. Amazing, that is how far they are booked out too.

1/27/2014

One year from this date I will be under the knife for SRS, seems like a long time but before I know it the date will be here.

1/28/2014

My very best friend, a female who I see about every other weekend has been coaching me with walking as a female and for the time being have found my stride is much slower than it has been in the past. I did take lessons that included walking about 20 years ago but with time without practice, what was learned has faded away. There are so many little things that seem not to make sense until someone points them out especially when they video tape you like my best friend does. Here I thought I was doing great, especially with my voice but I can see clearly, how small differences in how one walks can go a long way with how one presents themselves.

2/16/2014

Yesterday went visited with my best friend, had a good time chatting over coffee then out for Chinese followed by crazy shopping for different types of chocolate. When her daughter saw me she said that she was wearing almost the exact same outfit I was and said I had great taste.

Oh, Friday my touchups for my eyeliner went well. Less pain than the last time and no having issues opening my eyes on Saturday which happened the first time and was expecting it this time but nope, no problems. Should be all healed up by Tuesday just in time to head back to work.

3/1/2014

Yesterday I went to H&R Block for tax preparation with a person whom I have been dealing with for years. I told her that my surgery was planned for 1/2015, she is researching if I can take SRS as a tax deducting which would reduce my amount to pay for 2015. If possible, that is great if not no big deal but would be nice. Also told her about changing my name and she said even if I do and need to call in make sure I explain about the name change otherwise they will not find me in their database. Jeez, things there are so many things that one does not consider when going thru this process.

3/6/2014

Bumped into an old girl friend last night while shopping, she was taken back by me as a female but was alright with me after we chatted for a while. One thing she said was "well that explains a lot", I asked her what do you mean? She said that it meant that I was very good at pleasuring her and that I was very good at hitting the rights spots and we both giggled. She wants to keep in touch and go out shopping with me in the near future :)

4/30/2014

Several days ago I noticed my cheeks now have a blush look to them all the time. Yesterday at my electrolysis session (currently doing brow touch ups after having permanent cosmetics done) and the operator said I had a few pimples which I had noticed and she was wondering if this was because of HRT which I said most likely it is.

This morning I brought my car in for brake replacements and while sitting there waiting for the van to pick me up for a ride home the mechanic came out, looked at me for a few seconds (I was the only one there) and then said, is your husband here? I asked whom are you referring too? He said my name and at that very moment thought quickly, said I was his wife and answered his questions.

06/28/2014

The following entry just flowed out of my brain (thinking more female now) in no specific order.

Three weeks ago went into my dentist (been seeing them for 20 years this July) office to make an appointment and the receptionist stood silent for a while staring at me. Finally she put two and two together and realized who I was but I could see in her eyes she was not sold on “this is him” and I will say my clothing was leggings which she could not see with a light jacket open that exposed my chest which anyone could see I had breast. I said I need an appointment but first need to explain what is going on with me. Spent roughly five minutes giving her the highlights and her response was ‘we support you’!!! The ‘we’ I should indicate that her husband is the dentist and she was speaking for both of them.

Went back the following week to get a filling and before he started said everyone in the office knows and have their full support. After giving me anesthesia, he asked if I mind answering a few questions, which I did. He did asked what should he call me and my reply was, my male name as I may end up changing my female name and this would avoid confusion.

Fast forward, this last Monday I had a ‘every six month’ appointment to check up for HRT. I just got out of my car and received a call from my dentist indicating that he and his family were going on vacation and wanted to check up on me before leaving as the entire office would be closed and I had pending issues (very long story). I think that was so nice of them to make sure I was okay.

Two weeks ago, I am getting out of my car and a female neighbor who did not know (or so I thought, will get to that shortly) about me said “you look lovely”, I smile and said thank you and went in the house. Several days pass and I see her again and this time she said ‘are you changing your name?’. So I took the initiative to explain everything to her and while explaining my road the neighbor next to her came out and got into the conversation. I told both of them my reasons for not saying anything in the past and they said, heck we knew something was going on LOL. So now I have two new girl friends and their husbands are onboard with me too.

Everyone is telling me I look much more feminine now. I finally stood in front of the mirror and did not see it. Then just last Saturday one of my close friends and her daughter went out shopping, did a picture of us and she sent it to me. Got home and was stunned seeing myself thinking, yes I really do look more feminine. Yesterday was at my monthly therapy appointment and told her about this and she said ‘yes you indeed look more feminine’.

Oh my, I am now on my second closet of clothes giggle.

I truly cried watching a movie just now, Winter’s Tale and know it’s the hormones. And I cried a lot.

Have been told by several that my breast have grown but not that much and have no expectations at this time knowing that this takes time.

Last but very important, I found a professional to do my genital hair removal. Not looking forward to this but just the same I am ready to get it over with. Funny I have no issues with SRS but do with genital hair removal.

7/22/2014

Today I start electrolysis for my privates in preparation for SRS. I was given a prescription to numb the pain, hopefully it will not be too painful.

7/24/2014

First off the electrolysis on 7/22 on my private area was great. I thought it would be extremely painful but with the cream I was given it truly numbed things down. Now I would be telling a lie if I said there was no pain, what I experienced was a mild burning sensation and was gone quickly.

Been noticing less and less people see me as male including those who have known me for about 20 years. This makes me extremely happy to say the least.

8/17/2014

Not sure what has gotten over me but all of the sudden I went on a shopping trip yesterday on a mission to find colorful plain bras. Nothing new in regards to finding the right size, if it were not for sizing issues I would easily had been to one or two stores and been done with it. I wear a 36C which seems to be a very popular size and with that hard to find. Next up, one of the stores had what I wanted but they were super padded (range goes from 1-3) and I want no more than a 1 if I was forced into padding. So of all places I struck gold at Walmart while Macy's, Target and JC Penny were three strikes and I did have luck at Macy's before. Downside to Walmart bras is they are not as well constructed thinking of longevity more than comfort as the high end bras were no more comfortable then the lower end bras.

9/24/2014

I have noticed a few subtle changes in the past few weeks; first, I get slightly more emotional when watching chick flicks and my desire for coffee is changing to tea. And my breast have grown slightly, not much but indeed noticeable.

10/10/2014

I am using two ladies for electrolysis, one started on my arm-pits today and was pleasantly surprised it was not that much pain unlike the work being done for preparing for surgery. At first I did not feel much pain but there are areas she is hitting now that are at a level 7 pain level. I think that is as far on the pain scale that I should get thank goodness. Anyways it looks like I will need to continue until December to complete the work which is getting done one hour each week.

Lots of friends keeping asking me if I am getting excited as my surgery date gets closer? I tell them the best thing for me is not to think about it otherwise I would be counting the hours so at this point I am simply focusing on today and not counting the hours. I would be totally lying if I said this in December, I will be counting down the time to surgery no doubt.

10/21/2014

I have been avoiding going to the local Guitar Center mainly from a few people who I rarely see and usually it there. I am desperate for a new guitar tuner as the current tuner the display is dim and hard to read. So I throw on a jacket over my female clothes so that I am kind of androgynous so to speak but really I still look female. I enter the store and a guy greets me “Hello, have not seen you for a long time” and I said hello back. He then asked if I needed help, told him about my tuner and he said I have one for you. He then took me over to where it was, demonstrated it and I said I will take one. He gets another sales person to assist and says to him; her current tuner is the old model and she wants to upgrade to the new model so can you ring this up for her. He does so and I leave and once in my car wondered why he thought I was female even though I was dressed androgynous. I failed to figure it out until I told the story to my best female friend. She asked, did you speak like you are right now? Then it dawned on me, I did not drop into my male voice and told me friend this. She said, if I did not know you I would had pegged you as female. She then insisted I speak like a male, I did and then it was a double whammy that reinforced my experience at Guitar Center.

I remember this time last year I was struggling to stay in a female tone and now I struggle to be male. I never in my dreams thought it would be like this and very happy now.

Book signing

I received an email today saying there would be a book signing for a book which I am part of telling my story of transitioning with others. My first thought is shoes so off to Target and found a lovely pair shown below. It’s interesting in that I use to wear high heels often and now if I remember it has been years since I wore heels even though I own enough to fill the back side of a closet. So it is time to get back into walking properly in heels which at least for me I do walk different in 4 or 5 inch heels then my daily flats.

I am going with my best friend so I know it will be a blast and always nice to meet new people.

BootsWithHeelsSmall.jpg

11/5/2014

I get into the elevator at work; there is one woman already on the elevator. Doors closes, she looks at me and says (actually I forget the exact words) who do you like to be addressed? I know what she is referring too and said, “It’s obvious to you?” and she replied with ‘I am reading a strong female presence from you’. It is not that long of a ride and we both get off on the same floor with nobody around. She told me that a woman in her family is transitioning from female to male, which is one of the reasons she felt comfortable talking to me. I asked her if I was presenting male or myself more as a female? Her response was easily female. I really felt good about this conversation afterwards.

Later in the day, I have a six-month review with my boss, which is all positive. When we are ready to wrap things up and he asked if I mind telling me about my surgery. Side note, I have no disclosed to anyone I work with about my transition. He then says it is okay if I am not comfortable with telling him.

Months ago I decided if anyone ask at work other than my boss I would not reveal what my surgery was. So I told him and from his facial expression told me he already figured it out and is supportive. He also asked about me telling others. I told him my plan was to first met with HR then a private meeting with my immediate team to disclose my transition and that when I return what to expect, he was also fine with this.

11/6/2014

I was sitting at work eating lunch at my desk when a call came through with no caller ID. I said hello (if I know the caller i say Hi this is Karen or Hi this is Kevin), the woman on the other end said 'is this Karen', got up and walk to an area I could talk. It was Robin from Doctor Bower's office confirming my surgeries and told me to expect a packet shortly to being their process with me.

The only question I had was to find out which day I needed to be there as they want you there one or two days ahead of time. My hope was one day as hotel rooms cost $170 per night and was hoping for Monday (surgery is Tuesday) rather than Friday as I did not want to spend Thursday driving down, meet on Friday and then having to stay thru the weekend, that would be costly. She replied, we want you here Monday morning, I shied knowing I could get there on Sunday.

Over the past year I tried not to think about geez, 12 months to go and for the most part have done a decent job of it. Now I am getting a tad bit like how many days to go???

So to top it off a lawyer friend of mine who I asked to assist me with name and gender changes text me today and said let's have coffee on Saturday to start a discussion on what needs to be done. She is very supportive of my transition which is very important to me.

Woohoo

11/7/2014

Gauging how hormones have affected my sex drive. First off I have always and still into females for the record.

I distinctly remember in 2007 very attracted to a female that when with her I was pretty much aroused all the time. Side note, the relationship failed but she remained friends with me and will be with me for surgery.

In 2013, still felt very sexually attracted to females that caused a reaction down there. I started hormones at the end of 2013 and every couple of weeks checked to see if the plumbing still worked which it has until June of 2014 were I could still pleasure myself but was not aroused as one year prior.

Present day, seldom do I even consider pleasuring myself but still see females as whom I want to be with if I was to consider a relationship but that is not in the picture until after surgery.

Something I just realized, I use to have an erection for the morning trip to the toilet, that does not happen now.

Before I began hormones, I heard this would happen and it did and I am perfectly comfortable with this and look to the future to how it will be to experience sex as a female.

11/8/2014

Just had coffee at a StarBucks with a friend who use to practice law were the focus was on her assisting me with the process of changing my name. I have known her since 2001 and we never touched physically but today she hugged me, said afterwards "my your hair is much longer since last time I saw you" (which was about two months ago).

Any ways she gave me a packet of forms to fill out and get back to her for next weekend which in turn she has the electronic document and will input my information into them then on to the next step. I am waiting to change my name after surgery so I can include the gender change as well.

11/19/2014

Today I spoke with HR and told them I was transitioning, there were no bad reactions at all. I did ask them if there was a plan in place for which restroom I will be using or if I could use any female restroom? He did not know but would find out (as I see it as I could use any female restroom but we will see). Also signed one name petition document and notarized. My legal counsel will submit my documents tomorrow.

11/21/2014

My legal assistant took all my forms that I filled out and redid them on the computer. She then gave me one that needed to be notarized, got it done, gave her the form. Then asked, how long, she said if all went well two weeks. Well she went to file the name change and the clerk said she filled out the wrong form. The right form had no County name while the wrong form had my County name. So she has printed off another copy and will give it to me tomorrow, and yes I will get it notarized ASP. Funny how I was in no rush to get this done but now that the process is underway I am excited.

More to follow as my journey continues...

11/26/2014

The curious case of Benjamin Buttons, while watching this movie I had emotions that have never been there before. Half the time I was on the verge of crying, something new for me. Over all in the past week I have been noticing dramatic changes in emotions and just fine with it. :)

At the movies

By KarenPayne,

I went to see Lone Survivor at one of the local movie theaters this afternoon dressed appropriate for the weather in a black skirt, white top and ankle boots. While waiting in line at the ticket counter to retrieve my debt card from my handbag I noticed two American Express cards and no debt card. Up to that point I was fully composed but then waves of hot flashes started, where my debt card was, do not want to use my AMEX card. So I stepped out of line to search my handbag and the debt card is nowhere in sight yeek. While doing this out of the corner of my eye I notice a man staring at me, took a quick glance and he smiled at me. Got back in line and reluctantly used my American Express card. The cashier told me I had a free small popcorn today woohoo. I waited in line for about five minutes, got my popcorn then went and sat down. Not a minute later the man who was watching me sat down two seats from me which seemed odd as the theater had plenty of seats. So throughout the movie which was suppose to be enjoyable all I can think about is the man and my debt card, both put a dammer on watching the movie. Once the movie was over I raced home and low and behold my debt card was on my kitchen counter. If it was not the only place it could had been was at the nail salon I was at yesterday and would had gone back in need be.

Any ways my reason for mentioning this is that I did not allow any of the bad things to cause a breakdown of my female persona, only the idea that my debt card was missing and the man reviewing me. If not for the movie, I may have been okay with the man watching me but not today. I truly believe he saw me as a female and was not seen as a male in female clothes <_<

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My life lessons started early on from confrontations on the streets of Philadelphia with no formal training. I looked into various forms of martial arts through the years and found that not one was all-inclusive for real confrontations. Another thing about sticking just simply martial arts in general is that they are classroom based, what I call a close environment as appose to an open environment where you are in street clothes, placed in real life situations. Closed environment training is usually by the numbers in the beginning then move to instinctive forms of the numbered techniques. With the numbered techniques, there might be a drill where two students practice a counter to an attack working through a series of attacks. The underlying issue is that many people will lose interest before moving into the instinctive level, which is when you “do” rather than “think” than “do” as in the OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide and Act). Many of these people believe at this point they have a good skill level because of the training but have never been in a violent encounter, which is the number one phobia, interpersonal human aggression. When asked what form of self-defense best I will reply as is stated above, none of them outside of may be Krav Maga. Krav Maga works with human instinct rather than doing something that is not natural. With that laid out, I have been teaching self-defense training professionally for the past 12 years. My classes are eight hours long where the main focus is empty hand tactics to stop an attack and get away or to stop without the use of weapons or to transition to a weapon. Referring to the Force Continuum escalation of force is empty hand to impact device to firearm. One of the universal weapons for personal protection is a device known as a Kubaton. The Kubaton (see link below) is legal to carry in most states but usually not permitted on airplanes or in courtrooms. To get around these restrictions many companies offer a tactical pen, which are both a pen and an impact device. Also flashlights such as Mini-Mag brand flashlight is great too.

No matter what your decision is for self-defense your number one tool is your brain followed by how fast you can get out of Dodge. I am a highly trained person but will avoid confrontations to no end unless backed into a corner and physically defending me is the last option but if the need arises, I will “do” not “think” and “do.”

I mention that I teach, in the trans and gay community I offer free eight hour long classes in my area but do charge for travel expenses when classes are outside a 50 mile radius of where I live.

The image above is me (on the left) teaching in male mode back several years. The woman is practicing a technique to circumvent a 200LB male from him grabbing her. The end goal is to smash his head into her knee and scrap his hand on the concrete.

References

Kubaton http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kubotan

Tactical pen example http://www.knifecent...KUdatarq=crtpen

Recommended book: Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion http://www.amazon.co...86548668&sr=8-1

Suggestion for home training: COUNTER-BLADE CONCEPTS (DVD) by Michael Janich http://www.staysafem...uct.php?proid=7

Open/Close environment from; Sharpening the Warriors Edge (book) by Bruce Siddle

For years, I dated a woman, which I felt a strong attraction too beginning in 2007, but never told her about my female identity. Well in 2009 I gave her a call (she lives 40 minutes from me and I needed to do it right now) thinking that there was roughly a 70 percent chance you would accept me and was scared for the remaining 30 percent.

I came right to the point for my call and told her that I was transgender and made my mind up to have SRS in the coming years. I was happy to learn she was fine with my decision and joked about her thoughts of marrying me but now would not but if she did get married she wanted me to be part of her wedding. I went to her house that weekend and found that she had a conversation with her three children (ages 12, 14 and 21). When I arrived two of her children where there and told me that they supported me. Terri told me that her daughter although accepted me did not understand the reasons. Several weeks later her daughter sat down with me in their kitchen while Terri was making dinner and started off by saying she supported me but wanted to ask some questions. We chatted for about an hour on the topic of me transitioning. When finished she hugged me and went off to do her thing.

As weeks went by Terri would do things like take me shopping, go out to dinner, visit her family her knew me as a man and now reintroduced me as Karen. I am so fortunate to have her full support and that she has agreed to go with me next year when I go for SRS. Recently she started dating a man and she told me one of the first things she told him was, if we click you need to know that my best friend is transgender and that is part of the package for accepting me (Terri).

I know others are not so fortunate with coming out but you know what? This shows how are true friends and lovers.

Any ways I see Terri several times a month, usually we will spend the day together doing girl stuff and sometimes she will critique me in things like mannerism i.e. last time she was chatting with me and her girlfriend and looked me straight in the eyes and said “you are such a girl” which I asked “what do you mean” and she told me that the way I was playing with my hair without thinking was a female thing.

I remember when she first introduced me to her best female friend, never said I was male. We sat in her living room for about an hour and then her friend left. About 15 minutes alter Terri gets a text message from her friend asking Terri if I was male or female? I later found out that it was not that I did not pass but Terri had told her friend about Kevin (my male name) and that Karen seemed to have similar interest and traits that Kevin had. In the end she said to Terri, don’t tell Karen I asked in case I am wrong. I told Terri to tell her friend that I was Kevin. The next weekend the three of us spent time together chit-chatting girl talk and never did her friend let on that I was not female. I later discussed this with Terri and she said that her friend only sees me as female which put a huge smile on my face.

Many years ago, I made a fatal mistake of plucking my eyebrows and did a horrible job in that when still moving between male to female then back to male looked bad in male mode but looked good in female mode. November of last year I researched permanent cosmetics for my eyebrows. The research began with a fair amount of time looking at pictures of woman who had their eyebrows done followed by researching who to check out and discuss my needs.

At the end of last October, I had a list of five people to consult with. The first one was so professional and a perfectionist I was sold and setup an appointment mid November.

In the consult, I told her I wanted her to recommend a color and a shape that was female. When I arrived (dressed in female mode) she explained how things would go from her preparation to aftercare. She first numbed me up then did her measurements followed by beginning the process, which was painless, and I know about needles from tattoos to electrolysis. Throughout the process we had discussions on me and my transition along with her describing her recent vacation.

Since there was no way for me to keep track of time, I had no real idea how long the entire process took until she was done. The entire process took just under three hours from start to finish. Part of the aftercare was not to analyze her work for at least 7- 10 days so I simply looked at them when applying AD ointment three times a day. Well I can truthfully say that those times I look at my eyebrows I was completely happy with the shape but could not get a good look at the color until a week later and was also happy with the color as I was with the shape.

I frequent a person for electrolysis for maintenance who use to do permanent cosmetics until her eyes got bad. She told me (wearing her magnifying glasses) that the person who did my eyebrows did an outstanding job especially with matching up natural strokes found in natural eyebrows.

Four weeks after the procedure I went back for touchups and also to have eyeliner done. As with my eye brows I deferred color and shape to her. I am happy with the eyeliner done but when going back for my four week checkup will be asking to thicken up on the upper eyelid (which she said I might want but better to go thin then thick).

Okay, neither procedure was cheap, $400 for the eyebrows and $350 for eyeliners.

What is critical now is I only need to apply mascara and lipstick in the morning which greatly reduces time to get ready in the morning. So I am overjoyed with these procedures and say it is money well spent. Lastly, I have gotten compliments i.e. there is something different about you but can't place my finger on it :-)

2/13/2014

Tomorrow I get my touchup done for my eyeliner and will be having the upper eyeliner done just a little wider. Can't say enough how I love the work that was done on me..