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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


By KarenPayne,

Forward, this may very well be boring too some so be forewarned,

I am having a so-so morning, it's hot, in the nineties and have enough of watching television so what's there to do?  I should wash and style my hair but it's too hot but I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow for blood work to see if my hormone levels are correct.

So I decide to see if my stylist shop has time to wash, condition and straighten my hair and figure there will be a wait but as luck has it they have time. I knew going in that my regular stylist does not work on weekends so it would be someone else. 

Never had the lady assigned to me done my hair. Told her what I wanted and off to getting my hair washed. After she washed my hair she recommended a deep conditioner which I said okay. Then off to drying and styling my hair.

Well everyone knows that in a hair salon woman chat right. So I am with a new stylist I am finding it difficult to discuss things i.e. when we got on the topic of my regular stylist leaving I said it's sad she came here from down South for a man and things fell through. She starts talking about online dating with men, me, what do I say without telling her I use to be male and then think, she probably figured it out already but avoid talking about me a a male dating woman.

Next we start talking about if I wanted my bangs cut and for whatever reason I have a memory surface about my ex-wife screwing up her bangs and want to tell the stylist and thought "oh hell" I will tell her. She I said I have a story to tell but need to reveal something first. I was male. She kepted on drying my hair for about thirty or more seconds and looks at me and says "no", "really". But you are so girly how can that be? I said that for a long time it was hard for me to feel I was female but after hearing replies such as your's I am not doubting it anymore.

Now most of the time I can't see what she is doing to my hair and finally do. I said, how did you do that? She said "your hair lead me in this direction". It's subtle but I thought "hey it looks like Stevie Nicks" as seen in this photograph. I always like this style and never could get it. So I asked her how did you do that again and she showed me. So hopefully I can do this next time I wash my hair. 

She then cut my bangs followed by showing my the back of my head to see my hair and says "you can't see it all as it's longer than can be seen in the mirror". I just adore the work she did and very satisfied.

So I expected this to cost around 25-30 dollars but was charged 19 dollars, oh my God I could not believe it especially since she spent over an hour with me.

Came home, looked in the mirror and all I could do was smile ear to ear. Have to say this has turned out to be a fabulous day.  

Closing out, two things I thoroughly believe are so much of a boost to one's self-esteem is spending time at a nail salon and the second is spending time at a hair salon. 




Coming of age

By KarenPayne,

For so many years I would dress in the morning in tactical clothing which includes a firearm inside my trousers and a revolver at the ankle and would stay that way until bed time. Slowly this became coming home at immediately disrobing into female jeans or leggings and a female top with flats. Those days are completely gone now hurray for that other than use to taking 15 minutes in the morning to 30 to 40 minutes in the morning where the majority of this time is "what will I wear today" which turns into "that looks good" to "Oh, wore that two days ago" to "wore something similar yesterday" to "I think this will do but not sure about the shoes" Yeek. Yes I do the same thing with my undergarments too. The funny thing is as the weather becomes increasingly warmer (yeah in the nineties plus) I find myself when at home undressing down to a tank top, no bra and panites and keep my capris close by for when someone comes to visit. Also, no shoes (really).

It is fun looking back in time to how life was for many years to evolve into "I'am getting closer" to "I have arrived". 

For many travelling this path I can say with utmost certainty that baby steps are better than taking huge leaps from one gender to another gender. It gives one time to accommodate both the mind and body to your true gender. Think of it as a per-teenage girl growing up where they learn through the years to become a woman rather than one day declaring they are a woman. Same goes for female to male, lessons are learned and you are acclimated to that role.

Some will think "I can't wait to be away from the day to day burden of this wrong body" but I urge you to take time to become accustomed to not only your body but also how people see you and people can tell (thinking male to female) when you do things out of place which goes back to my recent entry Feminine Movement.  I find myself doing cisgender things in the past few months that I was not in the past and see men noticing me more and more, you can tell "that look" which is "hottie" or "is that a man or female" and I am getting the "hottie" look more and more (and I like even more when females give me that look).

So take your time and be the man or woman you are comfortable with.

“Where should I go?" -Alice. "That depends on where you want to end up." - The Cheshire Cat.” 
― Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass



Recently, in the past two weeks I have noticed my brain is working differently than in the past. I labeled this entry intangibles because as per the definition it is hard to touch on.

It all began last week, there was something that felt different in my thoughts. Sometimes I was razor sharp with the task at hand but other times I was off in my own little world. The only thing that makes sense is that this is a cumulative effect of being o hormones. I am truly thinking more like a cisgender females more and more each day and will be interesting to see how far this goes.

Think this is one of my shortest entries but an important one too.

Road trip

By KarenPayne,

My daugher is going to move from the Philadelphia Pennsylvania  to Portland Oregon (20 minutes from my place) this coming Spring. I told her it would not be cost efficient to have her car taken on a train and a bad idea to sell it as the car is fairly new.

In my late thirties I made the trip in four days across country (three times in three years in my forties) but thirty years later will more likely than not need one or two more days. So in total I am going to take two weeks off from work for this. Two days will be visiting my mother, brother and old friends (they are aware of my transition and fine with this).

So I am flying out and driving the car back. Was just thinking that why not throw out this to this forum and others that might live between the two points to see if they might be interested in a visit? Would love to have the opportunity to get to see faces that are at this time only on the web. 


I had nothing on my agenda today so off to the mall to browse around. After entering the mall through Macy's my phone rings, look down and it's my son. So I answer the phone and he says "happy father's day". We chat, here ask how things are going in Oregon (he is in California). I did the usual, everything is fine then tell him about my transition.
My expected response did not come which would be something like "why" but instead he asked questions which I answered and he seems fine with what I am doing. I told him that everyone knew except for him as I was not sure how it would be taken. At one point in the conversation I ask if it would be alright if I could come down and visit and he is fine with me coming down.
Usually are chats are about ten minutes but after getting off the phone this call was almost an hour and only part of the discussion was about me while the remainder was about what he was up to and other family members. In regards to other family members, both him and he's sister chat on average once a month and she went and visited him last summer for a week.
So I am very optimistic that I have a strong connection to both of my children now which is fantastic.
In retrospect I was not looking forward to "the" talk about me transitioning and happy it was done now this way.
UPDATE After the phone call I sent him a picture of me but did not hear back then remember him saying he was off to work after done talking. So two hours later I get a text message back in response to the picture that was all positive.
I was watching a television show called "American Odyssey" where men in the show (in North Africa) are walking around in robes. I stopped and thought, wow, I have completely forgotten what it's like to have male parts swaying around between my legs and it has been just over four months since those parts went away. Now I can't fathom this at all, what was it like, nope, no memories. I think part of it was that after 2013 I was tucked 98 percent of the time as I could not bear to things moving around between my legs. I honestly thought about the above for a good 30 minutes and zilch.
Thinking of my new breast, I am guessing in time the same will happen, can't remember what it was like to be flat chested.  
In the end not remembering things from the past is yet more closure  
I am not the type to attend a trans parade at all but felt the need to see what is was all about. 
Well for a while there it seemed like we would not make it as my friend's husband got intoxicated and did some really stupid stuff to his wife and young daughter, When I got to her place her daughter clung onto me for safety and the husband immediately settled down to some extent as even though he is much bigger than me he knows what I am capable of. I could write an entire entry of this but decline too.
So we headed off to the march/parade getting there about 15 minutes before a bunch of speeches began. In some ways I was surprised that there was a woman walking around with no top acting like a male and after sometime realized they were looking for a reaction from people but people in Portland are not going to react for the most part thus zero gained.
I noticed a transman standing by themselves and told my friend I believe they are by themselves and look like they could use some company. Next thing I see if my friend moving next to him and starting a conversation along with introducing ourselves and after that he was happy
Overall there were segments of each part of LGBT community there and for the majority acting normal yet as you might guess there were some that were there in my opinion to stand out and be seen. Some of them IMHO were a negative to how others view trans people.
One thing I want to point out that there was a fair amount of transmen at the event and would say they were well represented in numbers and also outward appearance and attitude.
Would I go next year? Nope, as indicated above, this is not me but would support the community in other ways which I plan on doing, just not a march/parade.
The two blondes in the lower right corner, one is cisgender and the other in transition. I spoke to both of them and can honestly say they make a great couple with a positive attitude.

Think the green sunglasses suit me just fine.

Everyday I have an hour lunch at work and usually take a 15 to 30 minute walk around the city. Today there was a sign up at the Red Cross asking for blood donations so I was inspired to drop in to see if I could give blood today. 
I walk in, ask if they could get blood from my in 30 minutes? They said that is possible. So I say the last time I was in was as a male. Got the usually statement such as "no way" so I produced my former driver licence and she stares at both for about thirty seconds, looks up, looks at both pictures again and then looks up and says, amazing.
I am then taken to a interview room (which they have done in the past), ask me a few questions then she says I have to ask my supervisor something. Comes back in five minutes and says if I want to donate I must use my born gender rather than my current gender.
I had many ways to reply but kept it dirt simple when she said "is that okay" I replied with "well I am female now, that's all that should matter and decline". She responded, I don't blame you at all and thanks for coming in.
If I had not told them about my transition all would had been fine but that is past history now. Would I do it different if I could go back in time knowing what I know now? Yes as the original reason was to link up my past blood donations with my current identity unless there was a crisis and then more likely than not they could care less. 
Bottom line for me is honesty.
As many know, I had this performed with my gender reassignment surgery. I was told it would take about one year for full transparency and at three months post surgery I had this one tiny bump that had been bothering me. Well today I was wiping my neck from sweating as it's just under 100 degrees here and it dropped off with no visible telltale signs that is was even there.
Just like any surgery these things take time and so happy that this happened now rather than down the road. 
This goes along with my (use to be) un-favorite topic of dilation which today is a walk in the park. Sadly I have heard there are some who paid for gender reassignment surgery that are interested in men that fail to listen to surgeon's instructions to dilate and learn to late that things close up and not usable.
Back to tracheal shave, ever time I look in the mirror or at pictures of myself in recent times vs prior to the shave it makes all the difference in the world, a second only to a decent female voice. So if you have a protruding Adam's apple and going for gender reassignment surgery I highly recommend having this procedure done.
Check out pre and post photos here http://marcibowers.com/mtf/mtf-services/tracheal-shave/
I had a session with my therapist today where part of the conversation lead to a junction on a post I did this morning "The Opposite Sex, Rene's story" and she said that many letters being written by her are for Marci Bowers. Then the conversation turned to male to female clients and that in recent months she wrote letters for clients for Marci Bowers. 
Even though she asked before, she asked again, where you happy with your results from Marci? No hesitation, yet I am completely happy with the looks, normal functionality and arousal for just just under four months post surgery.
I can not give enough praise about her in regards to pre and post surgery. Each month I text message her on her personal phone number to let her know how things are progressing. This month I said since all is fine perhaps you need not hear from me. She responded and said I care and please keep providing updates.
So I just wanted others to know that Marci is in high demand and well worth waiting for yet I am guessing some may not want to wait between 14 to 18 months so if you are interested in using her know full well there is a waiting list for her services.
Last week was my first post surgery operation appointment for breast augmentation where I was told there would be several more appointments over the next several months. Today I was examined and asked about pain or discomfort.
I told them what little pain was still present was almost completely gone on Monday of this week. Both the surgeon and his assistant (a female) agreed that my recovery was better than the average person after breast augmentation and said even with heavy muscles I was doing fantastic. During the examination I was placed into various positions to ensure the forms were in the proper position which is what the elastic strap was for which I had been wearing for the past two weeks.
So now no more wrap but was told to be careful with things like lifting heavy objects for the next two week.
They said I was doing so well that my next appointment will not be for five months unless I had concerns.
This morning I thought that they might toss the wrap and decided to bring a bra with me so once the appointment was concluded I went right to the restroom and put on the bra I brought with me. Comparing the old breast forms to my new breast, there is very little difference in projection which made me happy. Speaking of bras, I plan on visiting Victoria's Secrets Friday afternoon for a bra fitting.  My wish is to get one for everyday and one fancy bra. I will work with the everyday bra during the weekend and if it suits me will purchase more on Monday after work.
Since my mother and brother who live 3,500 miles from me have not seen Karen I went and got some photos done. Before are a few of the photos. For my mother and brother (both live in the same house) I had three pictures framed together.
I elected to have the pictures taken with zero makeup so any and all flaws do show up and that is how I like it, natural.

This is a game changer for life so the answer to pursue hormone replacement treatment should not be sought after until you have taken the time to place yourself into isolation many times and come out with "this is right for me"
The following may not be suited for everyone and even so might possible change your opinion of me but I am coming from a very different place here
So while teaching a group of people mixes included everyday people and military I posed the question; in front of you is a child with their hand reaching for the trigger of a IED, do you pause or take the shoot? I then stand there and say nothing which (try it sometime, ask a question where you know that nobody wants to answer and then just stand there, they are forced to respond) Bottom line, in this situation hesitation means you are dead.
Like the question above indecision with hormones can very well destroy your life either mentally or physically or both. If you jump the gun without placing yourself into isolation and be truthful with yourself, back to mental/physical damage.
What is isolation?
Example, you walk deep into a forest, sit down and completely clear your mind of everything then focus on solely on you and hormones. If after this you decide to move forward go home, walk up to a mirror and clear your mind, look at yourself in the mirror and be truthful, ask yourself "Is HRT right for me", there should be zero hesitation. If you said yes this is right for me continue with life but mark your calendar to do the mirror thing again at least 10 times and if there is zero hesitation seek medical assistance to get treatment.
My path
My path did not involve the forest and not everyone can use a forest, you might drive to a secluded place and do the same thing. I would find my place that worked and would ask myself the question which was over at least one year's time. I then made an appointment with a doctor for getting on HRT. We sat down together and discussed how I came to my decision which included telling her I had seen a therapist who approved me for HRT (in later years he included me in a book he wrote that devoted a chapter on me). I told the doctor I had the letter with me if she would like to see it. She placed her hand on my knee and said "dear, I see it in your eyes that you are indeed a candidate for HRT and all I need is blood work from you". She said an assistant would be in to take my blood and make a copy of the letter (she never read it). Two days later I was called asking where should they send the prescription to?
A point from the above, during the doctor consultation I believe she saw in my face and eyes from my explanations that there was zero doubt in me to move forward with HRT. I have been using her now for two years and learned that she is not so easy with others. I know of two others who were down right denied HRT until they could produced therapist letters. 
As mentioned above, you must have zero doubt in your mind before making an appointment with a doctor to move forward with HRT. Don't listen to stories that say you an stop before six months and revert back to pre-hormone treatment as this is a strong indicator that those people were not ready and may never be ready for hormone replacement treatment.
In a recent post I place the image below into it which was taken by my friend who said she wanted a picture of me for memories of that day. I was thinking about female Mannerisms and Body Language but not at that moment looking at the picture below. Note this is three days after breast augmentation and not thinking about my body language what-so-ever.
Several things became apparent that I would like to point out, men generally sit forward while females sit back on a chair, men typically have their legs spread and hands in their crouch or open to the outside of their legs. 
The purpose of this entry is for others to consider their posture not only when sitting but also when in other positions such as standing or walking. I have mentioned in the past my friend would constantly critique my mannerisms and body language when I first came out which in turn jogged my memories of being professionally taught female mannerisms. Not everyone will have someone that will critique their body language and mannerisms which means it is up to you to do so. I think doing this is critical in comfortably passing in the desired gender.

Don't forget the little things such as putting your fingers through your hair,twirling your hair. Include hand gestures as needed and often.
When a guy walks, subconsciously he claims the space as his and therefore walks with wider strides and kind've thinks of his shoulders like an outward extension of himself. When a girl walks, she is doing the exact opposite. Subconsciously, she is trying to take up the least amount of space possible. That is why girls walk with closer strides and keep their arms a bit closer to their sides.
A picture says a thousand words as in the image below, When self-analysing myself when standing say in a check-out line I am always as shown similar to the right side image.

Hopefully these suggestions are of assistance with your journey to a better life in your correct gender.

It is save to say that I am doing well now other than feeling crappy from not taking a shower since prior to surgery and plan on taking one this morning as I was given the okay to take a shower.
From the post surgery visit yesterday they explained to me about the current status of my breast skin and what to expect in the next few weeks which is what I will report on next so others who will have breast augmentation will know about what to expect.
In retrospect
It is critical that you have a support person with you and that this person understands what you are going through and will be there with you.Eating healthy is super important. My friend forced me (as I am not a fruit person) to eat fruit and veggies (I am a veggie person) which helps with constipation.Staying hydrated is also important.I found using a travel mask for sleeping is important to block out all light since I was sleeping in my living room and had a support person doing stuff where she needed lights on. Keep the mask close by if moving to another room and you feel tired this will help.In my prior post I reported a low pain level, I can not stress this too much that I have a unusual threshold for pain so be prepared for more pain than I had.Very short walks around the house can help fight off feeling confined as it is really good to not move around a lot the first few days after surgery but one does need to get up and move the limbs around.Listen to the surgeon's instructions. I thought one was interest in that the simple task of opening a refrigerator door is a no-no right after surgery.  
Today I was thinking about the real life experience (12 months test) that a person is required by the WPATH guidelines and how I seemingly did extremely well over 12+ months and believe this is partly from having studying female mannerisms, realizing  from many observations how female and male anatomies are different yet with the right preparation from watching cisgender females a cisgender male can compensate for what surgery can't give you which is the natural movements of a cisgender female and the lack of hips and longer legs. Granted that some of us have longer legs and have a more female curve but many don't.
Watch a cross-dresser solely dressing for sexual gratification and we will see them wearing pencil style skirts while a male-to-female that has studied cisgender females may more often wear a skirt that flares out slightly to balance out broad shoulders. Sticking with hips and broad shoulders we can compensate by wearing high waisted jeans.
I believe that no matter how well one does compensates with clothing a true telltale sign to others is when a beautiful woman walks down the street like a man, then questions begin to circle through their heads, is that a man or a woman? 
The aim of studying female movement is so that you can come to possess it for yourself, so that is not copying what women do, but rather making it part of your natural being, as it is for other women.
One thing that is seen between males and females when walking is men's feet generally are outward while female's feet are more inward. Take note of this when out in public and I am sure you will see this too. There are natural reasons for this that men do not possess yet one can mimic by imagining that you are walking along a line, but try to curve your feet into that line as you go, rather than letting them move parallel to the line. This should produce a slight, but natural-looking jiggle, that should help you to achieve an acceptably feminine gait.
Thinking of walking, how about sitting, where are your leg's, spread apart as a typical male or knees close together or touching. Are you sitting forward or backwards, where are your hands and when talking are you talking with your hands?
You simply don't practice and do but practice, practice, practice and evaluate until it becomes natural and the key here is to constantly evaluate one's self.
So I finally had intercourse today which upfront I told the man I was not interested in dating or a relationship as he is into me but he needed to know I am not letting this going any farther and he is fine being friends and having this time together today.
I was very happy in regards to me able to accommodate him as he was larger than average so that means for those reading this that the larger dilator does allow for larger size penises. He did everything right to arouse me, took his time and I let him know I was ready (was kind of hard to miss me panting and so forth). Afterwards we laid there for a while embracing the moment.
I still don't have much of any sensation inside but I do have a fair amount of sensation in regards to my clit. We went through various positions rolling around which was much more than I expected so that was a bonus.
Right before leaving we agreed to do this again in a couple of months, something in the fall.
Lastly, guess I am bi-sexual for the time being  

By KarenPayne,

My mother called last night to chat about photographs I had sent her of me (which I mentioned in a recent entry). She first asked who had done the packaging. I told her UPS and was hoping that all had arrived intact. She says, it took my bother a long time to open the package as it was packaged very well.

She then studied the three framed pictures and came back with “you are right, I would not had recognized you” and that if you were to walk up to me and said nothing I would not recognize you.

The next part gave me a smile when she said “I bet you get heads turning when you walk into a room” and I said I get some heads turning which I had not noticed but my best female friend tells me about men checking me out with a look that appears to be not about gender issues but that they are interested in me. Vanity, guess I have some hidden away laugh out loud.  With that in mind I noticed on my Facebook page there are 14 men following me and one recently wanting to date me. This man was first floored that I was once male but in his words could not live without me and girls that is a sign to stop this before it goes any farther.

Somehow the conversation went into sex, not from me, by my mother. I am still getting use to conversing with my mother about sex which has come up several times since I transitioned.

I remember once finding a picture of my mother when she was in her early twenties and wow, she was a knock out for sure.

So at one point she mentioned having sex with several men over the years and one think I thought was funny when she said “is that all there is” where the man entered her and pretty much was done in seconds.

When I hear about things like this I go back to when I was male. In my early years I could last a long time but was criminal in that I was not good at pleasing a woman fully meaning exciting her entire body. After separating from my former wife things changed and I was working woman’s bodies in loving making. Of course years later I realized I was performing more as a female, not using my penis so much. In the last two or three years I had issues keeping it up and believe it was not from not physically being able to but mentally was repulsed so much by my penis that it would not stay in play even with Viagra. My next to last girlfriend told me that she had eight good O’s (orgasms) from me. Fast forward to a year and a half ago when I told her about my transition she went back to that night and said, now I understand, it makes sense as you were in the role of a female not male.

Any ways I told my mother about the above in another phone chat and she told me about some of her dealings in bed with men.

The last thing we talked about was having me stay with her when I go out and visit this coming April.  The jury is still out if I will stay in a hotel or her place. I think staying in a hotel is best and can be with her three-quarters of the time but will wait and see.
I do have to say that I am amazed that my mother, 92 years old so much enjoys chatting with me and throughout the chat kept bringing up how happy I appeared in the photographs.

Last week I received a friend request on Facebook from a man I don't know. Usually I only allow either people I know or people that are connected to my current friends. Well not sure if this one was a mistake or not as of today.
It started off immediately, each morning he would message me asking how I was doing and would respond in a way that nothing could be construed in any way that I was interested more than being friends.
This morning it became apparent he wants to date me. There are several issues here, the first is me (do I need to explain lol) which I fully disclosed this morning about my gender in which I spelled it out. He comes back and says "are you a male" and I responded in more details about having zero male parts. I expected no reply and for about three hours no a peep. At this point I believe this is done but I then get a new message indicating he wants to continue which leads to issue number two. He lives in New York which is on the opposite coast. Now before going farther, this is indeed new territory as I am much more attracted to females than males.
When I look at a cisgender female I see beauty not just in the physical shell but in their being. When I look at a man something comes out which is primal, void of any conceivable notion of love which I get with cisgender females.
Even with that my mammalian brain in a warped sense is driven to like men but at the same time feel like a female pray mantis that eats her mate after sex (not I did not say make love). Now that is a statement in and of itself and wonder what a therapist reply to that would be?
I am starting to think if he progresses with his actions with intent to date I will need to politely tell him I am not interested.
My best female friend planned this morning to visit Macy's and Nordstrom's for me having a bra fitting. The first stop ended up at Nordstrom's where she knew one of the people there which has been fitting bras for almost ten year. As luck was on our side she was just finishing up with another customer so I was introduced to her and told her what I was looking for, an everyday bra with no underwire. She brought me back into a fitting room, had me take off my top and then measured me up. She then says I will be right back which was about five minutes. She came back with two nude color bras, tried the first one on which she had highly recommended made by Wacoal and it fit like a glove. I said no need to try the other one as they both look very similar. It was a very pleasant experience having this bra fitting and was grateful that total time spent from walking in to walking about was roughly thirty minutes.
We then had lunch at Nordstrom's restaurant, excellent food and great service. We when spent another two hours shopping at Macy's and a few other stores then we hit my kryptonite, Victoria's Secrets where I just had to got in and ended up with five new thongs.
Before we went shopping I hung out at her house with her two teenage children too. Her daughter was at odds with me transitioning for about a month and now even closer with her. Her son never had any issues so no problem there.

Had one of those elevator discussions today, was waiting for the elevator and two female co-workers asked me what I thought about C Jenner, got that over with and then spilled over to “it’s a man’s world” which slid into my story of how after over ten years teaching firearm, impact and edge weapon self-defense that the main source of teaching dried up because of my transitioning. I also told them that perhaps in the back of my mind (and they agreed) I needed to teach and continually train because after transitioning it might take a down turn, which as I just mentioned it has.
That is no different than many trans people who give up so much more and I feel fortunate that this is the only thing in my transitioned that suffered. With that, giving up teaching self-defense over more than a decade has left a huge hole in my world so I did indeed gave up a good deal.
I have been thinking over the past few months once I am fully recovered it will be time to look at putting together a DVD teaching the basics of self-defense targeting the softer gender against the more powerful gender. Many instructors teach to the mass, meaning more to male vs male and only partly for females being attacked by males. My bet this has not been widely done but do know of three or four female instructors that teach this yet you need to be in training at their dojo and pay big bucks. My strategy is to look into a no frills approach which shows several common attacks and how to defend against them that does not rely on strength but instead body mechanics. Show the attack, dissect the attack and show in slow motion several times then at close to full speed how to counter the attack.
Another idea I have is to take this on the road, perhaps get people in different states to ask their support groups if they would sponsor an eight hour class which would be low cost if I can get someone to host me for my stay and feed me. This way everyone benefits.
The majority of techniques taught will be empty hand and will introduce people to the use of small flashlights and tactical pens to supplement their defense. For those who use a cane I am well versed in teaching self-defense with a cane.
Note, besides the elevator chit-chat I received a new tactical pen manufactured by a fellow instructor I met back around 2004 in Florida during a master instructor week long class. Tactical pens are great tools for self-defense. One can pick up one on the low-end for about twenty-five dollars while mine generally are range from just under one-hundred to close to two-hundred dollars but the average person need not spend that kind of money for a good tactical pen. Also, tactical flashlights are great too for self-defense and in my honest opinion one should never leave home without a flashlight after dark which is something I discuss when teaching. Bottom line, scumbags despise the light, they enjoy preying on the weak and the innocent from the dark, they don’t want to be seen so I say “light them up”.  
Note, I can not stress enough that having a tool with little training doubles your chances of escaping an attack. For me (and I have done this) I use them for defense, compliance and restraint. Once you see me with a simple pen against a large attacker and what can be done it generally inspires students with greater confidence.
Some of my tactical pens and flashlights. Top pen is one I show for what not to carry as it has a point that can stab and we want not to stab but to hit places were skin is close to bone. Next two are my favorite, the second from top runs about $80 while the third from top is about $300. Fourth one down is about $25 and works great. Fifth down from the top I just got in the mail today runs $125. Last item is a flashlight which I carry 24/7 for both illumination and defense. On the right is a flashlight I carry when wearing a jacket and have a second one next to my bed. 

Every once in a while I get tired around lunch time at work and luck that I park my car in the underground garage in my building. So I went down to take a nap and as I am falling asleep I am thinking it's been four months since gender reassignment surgery and started going back in time thinking, self-evaluating how life has been treating me. My conclusion was that there is nothing negative at all about me changing gender and little to no complaints in other aspects of my life.
I believe one reason for me taking this journey back to January is because I made a commitment to my therapist that I would continue seeing her at least until my surgery anniversary date. This Friday will be my second visit with her since surgery, the first was right after returning home. Besides informing her that all is well I am going to indicate that I want to wait six months until another visit simply because how life is rolling along nicely now. I know full well that I can contact her in between visits so I always can reach out if for some odd reason things change.
Knowing what I know it's important no matter how well life is going to have a life line to a therapist as life can take a down turn in a blink of an eye and wanted to stress this to others as we all deal with what life tosses us differently. What you thought was truth before hormone treatment therapy will be different say 12 to 24 months later. Heck this weekend I cried my eye's out while watching a movie, heck before hormones I will not had any emotional response at all. For someone else this could very well throw them into a depressive state of mind which may be difficult to pull out of so please keep a life line open to a therapist along your journey.  
Lastly, keep in mind you are not alone, when there are feelings (dark feelings) of depression do not hold it within, find someone who will listen and by all means vent your feelings here in a blog entry. And don't watch depressing things on television and avoid drugs and drinking, they are temporary solutions that only cause less than great emotional and mental well-being. 
I always enjoyed going to my hair salon prior to becoming female but it's so much better now as I am included into chit-chat that only woman engage in. Was there for three hours getting my roots and highlights done so there was a good deal of chit-chat.
Two things worth mentioning, one of the stylist who (just learned this today) has been there for 13 years (and I have been going there for 20) ignored me so I thought then the stylist doing my hair said to me, do you know Jean (the other stylist)? I said yes and wonder if she knows who I am? So she called Jean over and introduced me as Karen then said I was Kevin.. Jean looks at me and there it goes like other times before, the eyes and mouth pop open. She said if not told she would never had guess it was me (thinking before Karen). 
Second thing, my stylist who is also the owner told me she came from Mississippi to Oregon to marry and it didn't work out. She is staying here for at least six months and then going back to Mississippi. What I thought was interesting was her saying that if I was to go to Mississippi I would get many marriage proposals. Before I could say anything see said because I was beautiful which I hear enough to have me start believing that it might possibly be some what true.
So my morning was most excellent, got into some good chit-chat, got a boost of self esteem and my hair done, what more could a girl get from a hair salon.  
I am not one to call people on the phone which my mother knows all so well but when she calls we usually chat for between one and two hours. She lives on the opposite coast, 94 years old with the mind of a 40 year old which is truly amazing.
Tonight we talked about some of my old girlfriends and she talked about some of her old boy friends back when she was 18 years old.
One of the stories was when I was out and about with a few guy friends all night, came home and my father was sitting at the kitchen table having a cup of coffee. He turned and looks at me and said "Debbie is waiting for you in your bedroom". Debbie was unlike most girls I had dated in my late teenage and early twenties. I met her at a bowling alley, she caught my eye big time while working the snack area. She came over to give food to a customer and I made some remark like "Hey girl", she flipped me the finger. Okay, challenge is on. I went back to her area and started a conversation which at one point turned into discussing billiards and if memory serves me correct started downing beers and getting a tad rude at her. She offered me a peace offering, a hot dog which I accepted but later regret-ed it because she had cooked it in a deep fryer. All in all some how that rocky started turned into a two year party between the two of us.
Going back to the night when my father indicated she was in my bedroom, I went up to my bedroom, she was asleep so I got into bed with her. Next morning she had no clue where her clothes were so she slipped into some of my clothing. So that was that.
Tonight when talking to my mother I mentioned Debbie. She said I remember that night, I was awake when she came in dressed with very little clothing, dressed as an American Indian, sat down with your father and produced a bottle of Jack, asked where I was, slugged back a few then without asking said she was going to bed, my bed. Well my father liked Debbie so he let her go up there.
Then I hear the rest of the story, my father was a firemen and was listening to the fire/police scanner and head a call come across that the police were looking for a teenage girl dressed as Debbie was. My parents never told me this which all I could do was simply laugh.
Is there a point here? Maybe, kind of. 
All throughout my teenage years I was fixated on wild attractive females and never once stroke out. Years later I truly believe all these woman felt a male/female connection but did not realize it until later in the relationship which eventually ruined said relationship.
Are you still with me (heck I am wondering myself lol)
I find it interested to look back over some 40 years of adult life confused about my gender and now finally coming to terms with Karen so that the past does make sense where it did not many times which was at times mind blogging.
I can let it all go now knowing the at least 90 percent of the woman I dated even back through high school know it was not who they thought I was and have come to terms with Karen. Now the funny thing is my 40th high school reunion is next month and the invitation went out to my male name which was crossed out and penned in Karen Payne    
Thanks for sticking with me on this!
So in under six months I have gone through both gender reassignment surgery, tracheal shave and breast augmentation where three years ago I thought this would be impossible and now very happy that I am finished with surgeries as there is in my mind not much more that can be done that would make me happier.
I read about some who will get various parts of their face done to have the bone structure, hairline and eye's of a female and they might possibly benefit me to look more female but at what expense? Sure I can afford surgeries for better aligning my face to be more female yet that is in my opinion vanity at my age yet if I was in my early twenties I might had considered more surgery.
Sitting here right now I am truly content with the results and hope that others going down the path take their time with making decisions on what surgeries (if any) will make the the female or male they truly want/need to be. And remember, for some surgeries will bring peace while to others it may bring the complete reverse which can very well be worst than if never having surgeries.
Getting breast augmentation is reversible while genital surgery is not (well we could argue this in some cases) so please think long and hard before moving forward.
One happy female here that could not be happier  
PS (Yeah I'd be lying if I said I didn't want hips)