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Everything posted by KarenPayne

  1. KarenPayne added a blog entry in Karen's thoughts   

    Q&A: MVP Karen Payne Talks With Us About Being A Transgender Woman In Tech
    Several years ago I was asked to speak at Microsoft on "Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace". They wanted my perspective as a Microsoft MVP (Most Valued Professional) being transgender in the tech field. Only a handful at Microsoft knew I was transgender when I would meet with them but my lead at Microsoft asked me to participate and I said yet. From that I did the Diversion and Inclusion speech with a panel which then moved to me being interviewed (which was the second time, first time was the year prior for women in tech).
    So several weeks ago I was asked to do a write up for a Microsoft blog (which in the first paragraph has a link to another article for the New York Times). Never heard back from them but instead rec'd a tweet from another female MVP saying I should change my Twitter handle from (my old identity) of kevininstructor to kareninstructor. Learned that kareninstructor was taken (strange, may be I created it and forgot about it, will have to see) so I had to pick another one (ended up being a better selection). I then noticed that group Twitter account was cc'd so I went there and found a link to my blog entry. Now in all fairness I belong to the group and if I had checked it out would had know the blog was posted so fair is fair.
    Q&A: MVP Karen Payne Talks With Us About Being A Transgender Woman In Tech  
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  2. KarenPayne added a blog entry in Karen's thoughts   

    This morning I went down to chat with a fellow co-worker, asked him "I wonder if people here will dress up today?". I asked because not every year they will, kind of hit or miss. He was unsure same as me.
    He then told me that a former co-worker told him that I killed it one Halloween (way back in 1996) when I dressed up as a female. I vaguely remember until this jogged me memory. I had dressed in proper business attire, mid-size high heels, black stockings, black dress, just above the knees, while blouse and black blazer. As the story goes (because I didn't know this) was that this former co-worker arrived and thought to herself, who is that woman sitting in Kevin's desktop. She didn't say anything, waited for me to turn around and took a minute to realize I was dressed as a female.
    Any ways the former co-worker told my present co-worker I killed it in that it was not apparent that I was "me" until she stared at me for a minute. 
    That brought a smile to me today, twenty some years later, I will take it
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  3. KarenPayne added a blog entry in Karen's thoughts   

    Two year anniversary coming up
    With my two year anniversary in regards to physical surgeries coming up I have been reflecting on recent changes along with my comfort level has changed in the past few months.
    Although I've been very comfortable since surgery over time there are things that change which are not always easy to describe, for instance, how I view the world as a whole then how I view my part as a female in every aspect of my life. I know not everyone has positive outlooks, some have constraints of various kinds that have no control over them while others have the capabilities to overcome them where decisions are made to break them or move past them. Me, for the majority of them I have broken past them and part of this comes from self confidence.
    A good example (as per the image below) is me wearing a red dress out with several friends whom I made over the past two years, none of them know of my former life.

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

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  4. KarenPayne added a comment on a blog entry Dressing   

    I'm a firm believer in evaluating clothing. I go through my closet every several months to see what stays, what goes. Usually for what goes (which is never that much as my weight is fairly constant) are items that are not age appropriate e.g. a top that shows skin between the bottom of the top and the top of my pants/leggings/jeans.
    On a side note, have not worn anything but dresses in the past three weeks other than shorts for exercising. I've acquired ten ten dresses which prompted purchases of thigh highs and of course several new pairs of heels and earrings (getting to be high maintenance). While starting this new phase I did a valuation of older garments, not much to speak of in the realm of dresses or skirts as in the past two years I wore nothing but jeans and leggings. What is great, people noticed and received compliments at work, a patient at a spa and also in a mall (woman sitting down looks at me, I noticed, she says "you really look elegant") told me. So now my closet is really getting full and see in the near future a purge per-say and when I do so the first on my list are crossdressers who can't afford garments such as the ones I;m tossing from the closet. I tend to purchase in a fugal and sensible manner e.g. high heels tend to be under 60 dollars but when I see that 120 USD pair I can't resist (damn my daughter's best friend for pointing them out to me)  out comes the credit card. Yes I just did that yesterday and these are keepers.
    Thinking of parents, my father instilled in me to dress smartly like always tuck my shirt in at an early age, when seeking out a suit get it custom tailored. My mother (currently 94) has drilled into me I have great fashion sense since transitioning and keeps schooling me on "before tossing something" generally speaking if it still fits now and not in style likely it will be back in style in several years. I remember peeking into her closet at say 10 years old then say at 18 and she still had shoes that where there at 10 years old and sure enough she would not wear them for sometime then years later she would.
    Guess I'm just rambling on here and believe it's time to stop here. 
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  5. KarenPayne added a comment on a blog entry Dressing   

    Everyone is different, for instance if you have no hips some dresses will not look right then there are dresses that fit right everywhere but the chest region etc. I've found that for me PattyBoutik items work well for me but someone else they may not. Good example (for me) I just purchased the following which was designed for having some hip, I do so it works for me plus it suits me well overall. 
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  6. KarenPayne added a comment on a blog entry Decisions   

    ​In regards to not having access to surgery, point in fact, in Oregon you can use F for a male who identifies as female and M for a female who identifies as male. This is really the reason for the question (and may not have been clear about that). If a female who identifies as male uses M for their gender marker and is in a prison which places them in with men that is not a good situation or must be pat down at an airport etc.
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  7. KarenPayne added a blog entry in Karen's thoughts   

    I have created this poll after hearing a discussion on another forum. 
    There are many considerations e.g. you are born male but identify as female and want surgery, you were born male but identify as female but don't want surgery. Reverse this for female to male.
    Then of course there are binary and non-binary.
    Consider you are male, get F on your state id and commit a crime, go to jail but since you have male genitals you are placed in a male prison and the inmates know about your gender issues. Consider you are female and for the same reasons are placed in a male prison. Both cases there are high probability of ongoing sexual abuse.
    With that one simple case listed above, would you still change your gender marker?    
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  8. KarenPayne added a blog entry in Karen's thoughts   

    Meeting the family of an older transgender
    In one of the local transgender/cross-dresser groups one of the new members, close to 80 years old brought his wife and two daughters to a club we frequent. I walked in an hour if they got there because of my day long drive with the local sports car club. Said Hi, sat down. the new member, let's call her Jane introduces me to her family and doesn't actually say I'm transgender or post-op I'm guessing that it's assumed since the table is full of cross dressers. When Jane was done talking they asked me some questions, one of them was, what brings you to this club and being with crossdressers? I said, they are friends. The one daugher said "it's wonderful that you can be friends with them", I said it's easy as I was in their shoes not so long ago and now post-op.
    Her response was, really? I thought you were a female (meaning that I was born female) and would have never guessed otherwise, then the other daughter said pretty much the same thing. 
    So after chatting for several hours I can see Jane has a very supporting family, the two daughters have taken Jane out for makeovers, clothes shopping and even to selected a suitable wig for her. I could see that Jane is not going to have any issues with her family which is really nice. 
    When Jane first came to an outing with us several months ago she had never gone out dressed and was not dressed the first time. She has come a long way with the assistance of her family and our group.
    The group is named Rose City Girls. This group, the majority are cross-dressers has at least two events every week, one for dinner and one for out to a bar. They have golfing events, travel to various events and even do cruises. If you are in Oregon or Washington consider joining. The only requirement is a to have a photo of yourself and a valid email.
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  9. KarenPayne added a blog entry in Karen's thoughts   

    Clothing style uprooted
    Pre-surgery for as many years back as I can remember my clothing style was pretty much short skirts or dresses until the age of 50 then I slowly transitioned to jeans where there was something inside of me that provoked the change.
    Beginning with the year prior to physical transitioning I might have worn a skirt once or twice and stayed steadfast to jeans then to leggings which for whatever reason were my staple lower body garment of choice. I was wearing leggings with tops appropriate for various occasions, meaning my butt was not exposed.
    Heck if I can rational why two weeks ago I got a impulse to toss leggings, jeans and skirts and now totally into wearing dresses.
    I first visited Macy's in Portland Oregon as in Salem (my home town) Macy's I didn't care for the dress selections. Ended up with three dresses perfect for the workplace and two pairs of heels (I'm guessing 3.5 inches). To be totally engulfed with dresses, three was not enough, thinking it would be nice to have a variety, boat neck, scoop neck, below the knees, above the knees etc.
    Next stop was Amazon where another five dresses were added to my wardrobe. When to conclude (for now) things I hit a store in the local mall to purchase two evening dresses and another pair of heels.
    I'm going to do one last thing, winter is arriving shortly and once here will look for deals on dresses for next spring and summer, not a person that does "what's in style" either so I'm not going to worry about that too much.
     My only explanation for the change is hormones. For those who have been on hormones for several years I'm sure have seen gradual changes in both physical and mental areas and think this is part of my change in clothing style.
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  10. KarenPayne added a blog entry in Karen's thoughts   

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

    So I'm going at this with no prior thought other than I need to write about two woman I know.
    Three weeks ago a good friend of mine was sitting in her living room and one of her dogs kept sniffing and licking her one breast. She ignored it until the dog kept doing it for two days. Had a mammogram done and sure enough cancer and to note, it runs in her family. Several days ago had surgery and being the brave person she is posted photos so that people think more of what can happen rather than simply thinking of a pink ribbon. She had ups and downs after surgery but seems to be doing okay now.
    Then today, another friend (and in the same circle of friends) was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a mammogram done shortly after the woman above.
    Statistically speaking a woman passes every three to five minutes in the world from breast cancer.
    We are not immuned from breast cancer so if you have breast that were induced by hormones get them boobies checked out and have it done regularly.
    Above I indicated they are in the same circle, the three of us are defensive tactics instructors were an outstanding master (he has way too many things to list here) and we are all family from Oregon, Florida and Atlanta.
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  12. KarenPayne added a comment on a blog entry Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference - Part I   

    Keep us informed please on how things go
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  13. KarenPayne added a post in a topic Makeup Kits   

    What I've learned is to get a make over by a professional, have them figure out the best shades for you for your eyes and face. The higher end makeup is much better than what you purchase in regular super markets and such.
    I settled on a brand called Benefit after having several makeovers done but that does not mean this brand is good for you.
    Many cross dressers are afraid to have this done but the professionals who do this are perfectly fine doing a cross dresser, all you should be concerned with is the customers and most times they are a non-issue from stories I've listen too, me, never had any issues.
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  14. KarenPayne added a post in a topic Need advice re: anesthetic cream so I can use Epilady on my face to get rid of beard   

    ​There is nothing that will assist other than electrolysis with coarse facial hair. You might (and this is a long shot) search for schools in your area that teaches electrolysis, see if they would use you for teaching (might be more painful with newbies).
    Another thought, when I was having electrolysis done I paid $40 per hour while in the next major city the cost jumped to $80 to $120 per hour. With that, if possible explore options in other close by cities.
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  15. KarenPayne added a topic in Transgender Events   

    Self defense class Oregon USA
    Several weeks ago I was given permission to teach a self-defense class in a local business which is in the working stages for mid September. From the initial response I'm guessing there will be more than one date as I'm teaching this with limited assistance. I can teach people with zero skill with a class size of ten and with a secondary instructor (whom I must teach them my style) I can up class size to say 15. More likely there will be over 30 interested in this class.
    If you are in the area of Portland/Salem respond here if interested. I will be posting date-time shortly.
    This will be for anyone in normal physical health.
    The basics taught are easy to learn using leverage rather than strength.
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  16. KarenPayne added a comment on a blog entry Birthday Blog   

    In regards to finding a man, one is out there for you, it's simply a matter of getting out there in the right places. For me finding a female was not that bad but had to change my mindset and of course present myself in the proper fashion.
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  17. KarenPayne added a blog entry in Karen's thoughts   

    Great weekend
    This past weekend I spent with a group like minded people who love driving Mazda Miata's. Friday we drove what the average person would consider a dangerous drive where in 19 miles there are 170 turns where the majority are marked at 20 MPH and we took them a good deal faster (the fastest was 70 MPH and the average was 45 MPH). Friday evening we have a group dinner with about 120 people. Saturday we drove two drives, one in the morning and one in the afternoon (Friday's drive was an all day event).
    When we returned on Saturday to the hotel I wore for the first time a bikini and was hit on by three men, that was a good feeling and was fun flirting. Saturday night was another dinner and I decided to wear a nice evening gown with heels (I seldom wear this attire) and had two of the men from the afternoon hit on me again.  It's nice being at this stage of my life not needing to worry about anyone even considering my former life and truly didn't think about it till now and decided to write this entry (as usual, as the thoughts enter my brain writing them down).
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  18. KarenPayne added a blog entry in Karen's thoughts   

    Healthier life style.
    First off, wish I’d thought of this earlier in life yet there is no bad time to start. I’ve been coloring my hair from dark brunette to blonde to dirty blonde and the consequences were thinning of hair but no hair loss (thank goodness).

    Decided it was time to combat the issue with vitamins and several hair mask and conditioners. It’s been one month now and have seen noticeable difference is the health of my hair. Downside is on the weekend I spend an hour dedicated to pampering my hair.

    I’ve also started having a professional facial done once a week and have noticed healthier skin.

    Couple the above with from fast food diet to one deal with meat a day with the rest salads and streamed vegetables.

    I think the above will pay dividends as time goes by with emphasis on leading a healthier life style.    

    Last but not least, since two more things, I never go out without a hat and sunglasses even when it’s not sunny. Maui Jim's prescription (progressives) sunglasses were my choice as I like the trial pair given to me along with testimonials from customers of more than ten years. Of course dependent on what I’m wearing I wear good sun block/screen lotion. 

    PS It's been over a year without any makeup other than a product which promotes healthy skin which has a slight makeup characteristic to it. 
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  19. KarenPayne added a comment on a blog entry Letter   

    Sorry to hear this has occurred, must have been done by a weak minded person.  
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  20. KarenPayne added a comment on a blog entry Providing my local community classes on self defense   

    In regards to keeping in a state of readiness, what happens when you are trained and disciplined is readiness is not in the fore front of one’s mind but is now instinctive in nature. I tend to be more in tune with what’s happening around me from “oh, those flowers are pretty” to “that person is acting in such a manner to be on alert”.

    Living both genders provides both a unique insight into how people perceive the opposite gender thinking prey, an easy target to “don’t mess with that person”. In my former life I remember when first beginning as an instructor my demeanor to students was for lack of better terms was “don’t mess with him” while countless times people would ask me if I was FBI, CIA etc. LOL. Then in my current life that pretty much never happens which is kind of cool. For instance my manager at work was talking about self-defense to another co-worker and I found a time to inject myself into the chat with a demonstration to show how I would handle the situation they were talking about. I remember his face, never seen me do this before. He is about thirty pounds more then me and several inches taller and boxes. I had him in a position where I could walk him around without any chance to escape using one hand to control him. Months later his boss joined in on a conversation and I asked for someone to volunteer for a similar demonstration, my boss stepped back and pushed his boss forward (lots of giggles came next).

    My point is not to say how good I am but instead to prove a point that a female/cross dresser or transgender can have the upper hand on an attacker because the attacker does not see it coming.

    Back in the day when I was training rough and tough military types we would train to the point that afterwards there at times were serious black and blue marks, blood and soreness between the legs (if you catch my meaning). The point here is I believe if a student really wants to be prepared they need to go past the clinical classroom setting to become inoculated to a sudden attack. I did my first such class for non-military and afterwards only a third of the students (all females) were a little disappointed that I did not go harder on them (as I did with military types). I told them that you are the minority and would offer another class to up the force-on-force level but sadly the class didn’t get more than eight people while my normal class would be 15 to 20. I’d hear back from the more dedicated students, not many which is good that they actually had to use the skills I taught than they all reported the force on force made a difference. Heck even my daughter told me this too when she had to fend off a frisky men.

    When I think of ingrained, that comes with training outside of the classroom. For one year I offered free follow up training once a month to students. Not many took me up on it but month after month the same six or so people showed up and progressed with their skills. Then there was a fortune 500 company who saw value in continual training and contracted me for a year to ensure employees had a set of skills that would possibly save their lives in a violent situation from various confrontations.

    Next week, at work where I’m part of the agency I work for we are putting together life like training for “Active shooter”, oh how this will be fun training 1,000 people. The head of security is former SWAT with an open mind which many law enforcement people are not to civilians and transgenders. 
    Seems I got a tad long winded here, my apologies.

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  21. KarenPayne added a blog entry in Karen's thoughts   

    Providing my local community classes on self defense
    My background includes certifications in what I call common defense that does not require years of training but does requires that my everyday students (I have professionals in military and police students). Two years ago I went under the knife to transition and after 12 plus years of teaching I put a pause on teaching.
    Over the past decade or so I've read about people in the LGBT community murders, bullied and so on. This gave rise to me seeking out in the past few months a place to teach that would be okay with the establishment allowing me to teach.
    Friday night I was given permission by the most popular LGBT club (I know some here are from Salem so it's South Side Speakeasy( to use their large back room normally for a card club (poker I believe is the popular choice). I provided my bio to the owner, told him what I would be teaching and the cost. He was very happy with me putting on this class and said it's been a long time coming.
    Note that the cost is nominal, more to get the interested to come as I've done free classes before where my assistants and myself noticed differences in commitment between those who paid and those who did not. 
    If anyone here is within the Portland/Salem Oregon area feel free to respond to when the dates will be. My first idea is to wait until after most people have finished their vacations and have the class on a Sunday mid-day into the early evening.
    Lastly, hopefully others here that are capable of teaching such a class are doing so in their area.
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  22. KarenPayne added a comment on a blog entry Providing my local community classes on self defense   

    To elaborate (thinking about what bluemoon mentioned).
    One of the most important things as an instructor to understand is where students are coming from along with what they are willing to do or not do.
    With that I refrain from teaching firearms as a self-defense tool for this class but instead focus on
    Awareness OODA loop as a foundation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_loopColor codes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_CooperVerbal Judo http://verbaljudo.com/Empty hand techniques to stop and attackEmpty hand techniques to control an attackImpact tools (flashlights for instance) to assist with larger attackersDealing with bystandersDealing with law enforcementI have lots of experience (including teaching firearms ranging from handguns to shotguns)
    I do understand those not willing to participate but at the same time many walked through the doors where I taught with either or physical or mental scars who would tell us they were the type not to take these classes but after an attack that changed everything.
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  23. KarenPayne added a blog entry in Karen's thoughts   

    Missed resources
    Went to pick up my regular prescriptions from the local pharmacy, the lady behind the counter called for the manager before handing over my prescriptions. He comes up and says, would you mind me changing our records to reflect your current gender? I said thought it was (and then thought back, sure enough I never did).
    I replied with "yes", done deal. He said, wow how times flies, I remember when you first started out and back then I didn't have a beard, look at me now lol.
    Then I went for an MRI (shoulder problem), yeek, they had me done as male, the person assisting me said I can see that is not true anymore and updated my records.
    All in the span of one week, here I slipped up and missed two local resources for over two years.
    So my point is, you may believe all your bases are covered when changing your gender but as I learned two were missed hence passing this along for others to consider "did I miss updating my gender someplace?"
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  24. KarenPayne added a comment on a blog entry Reflection on the past year   

    A wonderful feeling, is it not
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  25. KarenPayne added a post in a topic cis women support for CDs   

    When I told my best female friend I was transitioning she hugged me and then said "we need to go shopping". So I never asked anyone, they told me. Besides shopping we also did makeup sessions at Macy's.
    The only suggestion for doing this is to work (if needed) on the female voice.
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