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Everything posted by KarenPayne

  1. KarenPayne

    Five days on the road

    As many know I love driving my 2016 Mazda Miata and belong to a local Miata club. Last week I spent five days, Thursday through Monday driving with 17 other cars, a total of 22 people, all cisgender except for me. I have never mentioned my past life and transitioning. I bring this up because those who have plans for transitioning need to know when you do things right e.g. work on your female voice and be comfortable in your new skin coupled with mannerism and age appropriate clothing even if someone has doubts about your gender it will be a non-issue (not sure if I've been ever made but know this from others). I was hit on by one man in the club and a female employee of a hotel (for anyone who knows Oregon, the chateau at the Oregon Caves). The man made his intentions clear but I made it clear I was into females. The employee at the hotel, let's say we had a wonderful time in the middle of the night (we stayed at a different hotel each night). She told me at the end of this month they are closing the chateau as their contract ran out and someone out bidded them. All in all this was a great time getting to know several members better, some from other Miata clubs where there whom I met at what we call "Explorer Oregon" which my club puts on for four days each year in July. Nice seeing familiar faces. Oh less I forget that four of the five hotels had both hot tubs and pools. Since I've transitioned I never refuse to take a swim or relax in a spa. In closing, in the attached image I'm the car behind the front red car.
  2. KarenPayne

    Time passes

    It's been away since visiting this site and would have been longer accept for getting several email messages for posts I have subscribed too. The main reason for not being here is life is good and with nearly three years post-op I go months without even thinking about transgenderism. It use to be a daily thought because is took time for my new life to settle in. What's not to like? Well when out in the backcountry of Oregon with the Miata club I drive with when there are no port-a-potties sometimes finding a decent place to relieve myself is not always easy. Explaining to a gynecologist, nope I have not had a hysterectomy, see page three of my application (notes I'm transgender), "Oh I'd never guess". Lessons to others, if you do have full surgeries to become the inner you then and do it right (which granted is not always easy) by pre-planning and learning to adjust/fit in you have a good chance to get to that place where you have days that not being a cisgender female never crosses your mind. People (friends) who know will give say things like "you are such a girl" and you have that inner glow. In closing, one of the best things happened to me recently, my son called and said "Karen" I'm planning a trip to Oregon (he lives in California) can I stay over for a night? Day one here we spent the day together which included a run in my Miata, did lunch and dinner along with talking about stuff. Never called me Dad, always Karen. This was the first time he has seen me since my surgery other than photos I've sent him. All in all no downsides to his stay for two days. My daughter is also accepting of my transition but since she is on the East Coast it's mostly talking on the phone. Last time she saw me was one year before my transformation. So I'm a happy woman now and hope the best for those on their own journey not matter the path.
  3. KarenPayne

    My new job

    Four years ago, my company decided to implement a canned solution for the business which meant after the four-year process those (like me) developers that were not part of the migration from old systems to new systems would be placed into a very different position with the same pay, extremely easy work. Sounds great unless you’re like me, not into easy work. So I emailed the CIO of a sister company asking if they had any positions open? Side note, she knew me as a male when she worked in my company. Also, I was loaned out to this company two years ago for two months. Was told there were no positions open but then was asked to meet her (this by the way was in the beginning of December 2017) and the IT manager two weeks later. Talked for an hour with no openings. On the weekend prior to New Year’s my manager calls me into her office, said that I was asked to do a six-month rotation at the other company and was informed the next day would be my first day. Well I’ve been there ever since and they did find a position for me but will not be open until June 2018 and will start the hire process two weeks before my rotation is up. Now the important part, since I’ve been here nobody knows of my past except for the CIO and one other manager. I simply blend in, nobody has a clue of my former identity. Now the key for those still on the path to transitioning is your overall presentation both physically as in appearance and of course voice and mentally which means you believe you are female and have worked on all aspects of being female no matter if you are below average, average or better than average matched to a cisgender female your personality will shine through as female.
  4. KarenPayne

    Having doubts.....

    Hi Christy, I don’t know what your day to day life is like but a huge confidence builder is getting out and engaging with people whether it’s with cisgender or not yet cisgender is a better bet as it forces those like us to keep the package (how we interact with people both mentally and physically) together. Not keeping check on doubt and fear can lead to more and more doubt and fear. Some think that “getting out” means going to work and home again were this can lead to false comfort then one (and if) you think or know someone “clocked” you it’s harder to take. This is why it’s important to engage with strangers. I do this all the time e.g. during a shopping trip I see another woman with something that may look good on her will say “I think that will look good on you” and many times a conversation arises. It takes work to present ourselves in the beginning and for some that question comes to the forefront, was this the right choice? I thought it was 100 percent. Well if one has gone through the process of living life in the opposite gender and engaged with people that is pretty good confirmation if doubt was never there. Remember when I suggested to write a diary? If you did this perhaps it’s time to go back and read your thoughts prior to surgery? More likely than not they will confirm your decision and reaffirm it was the right decision to move forward. Remember, taking this journey is similar to becoming an astronaut, lots of hard work were many don’t have what it takes to reach becoming one. Tell yourself you are strong and persist. edit formatting
  5. KarenPayne


    Stockings and thigh highs, for me are for evening, going out on a special date. With that in mind I want decent stockings or thigh highs and found the following site. http://www.stockingirl.com/ I am more into thigh highs as for me they are easier to work with than stockings and have other advantages... And I want a product that feels fantastic where many store brands lack this attribute. For my first pair I settled on these Personalized Ultra Sheer RHT Stockings which I think it's nice they are personalized to you and I like they are garter-belt style, something else men like as well as myself.
  6. KarenPayne


    Yesterday while standing outside on break at work I hear someone say “hey you”, turned, looked around and here is a trans person whom I’ve known but have not seen in ages standing there. I said hi, she comes over and we hug. She is around 30 years old and when she (from what I remember) doing well (on her meds) very passable other than her voice. Well I could tell she was not well shaven facial wise and was very loud when chatting with her. There was a couple about 50 feet away that could not take their eyes off her and know full well that it was from her appearance, partly female, partly male. It was not one or two glances over in our direction but many over say (I was not keeping time) ten minutes. I felt like saying something but decided not too as it could very well have gone in a direction that I did not care for and was on break at work while if not at work would had said something. The take-a-way from this is if you are looking to present as one gender than make an effort while if your are fluid it doesn’t matter yet this person is looking to be totally female and have surgery. Also, people say in general they are accepting of trans but we all know there are some who are not and need to be cognitive to this as some do mean us harm. From the day I first presented myself (after surgery) as female clothing, mannerism and voice needed to be there and made sure it was. This is not to say it’s wrong to go against the grain but if so be prepared for blowback be it people staring, saying nasty things or physical, be aware is the bottom line
  7. Only time I'll wear a mini-skirt is when it's over 90 degrees outside and I'm home. At my age it's not appropriate to wear a mini-skirt, If I decide to wear a skirt out in hot weather it's what any cisgender woman would wear at the same age. If you are trans or crossdresser at an age you can get away with a mini-skirt just remember it may bring unwanted attention too you,
  8. KarenPayne

    On Coming Out

    This has me thinking back to whom I came out to after my therapist and doctor. I dated a woman for a year back in 2007 and remained friends with her. I called her, told her about my plans and the first words out of her mouth were something like "oh, now I understand". She said that one night while we were dating she felt like she was sleeping with a female. Another old girlfriend said pretty much the same thing (she is bi-sexual) and had no problem with it. We talked for about two hours. A funny thing she said was "we need to go shopping together and when I see you if you look better than me I will have to kill you". Thinking of Facebook, a friend whom I've known since eighth grade sent me a message asking "what happened to Kevin" after I had changed my name and picture. Now this comes after I do a message after changing my name and picture announcing that I had gone under the knife a month or two before he sent me the message. He asked me to prove it was me by asking me three questions only he and I would know and once he verified this he was perfectly fine. Think out of 250 plus friends I lost one after coming out but not sure as people come and go on Facebook. Congrats on your coming out!!!
  9. KarenPayne


    ​Hi Chrissy, no she was not because she has mental issues that blocks this from happening.
  10. KarenPayne


    You are not alone here, many look back at missed opportunities and will ponder "what if I took that opportunity?", best to simply stop looking into the past (yes I did this too) and simply move forward. The longer you are on this journey my guess is there will be many moments, when you least suspect it that a new feeling will emerge that seems out of now where that is totally female or how you walk thru your daily life and think to yourself, X amount of time ago I never thought this way, I've had those moments which would come at the strangest of times, walking across the street, chatting with the woman at work on a girls night out etc. Time presents many surprises both good and bad or indifferent, embrace them for what they are e.g. jeez I ran out of panty liners or I'm having a great time out with friends while the person at the table across from us just bought me a drink. Life may be short yet full of wonderful things, cherish the past with no regrets is food for thought.
  11. KarenPayne


    Thanks for the comments Emma, Lori and Monica!!!
  12. KarenPayne


    I agree with Emma, being trans is hard. My doctor once said to me that being trans and undergoing GCS is similar to being an astronaut. Not one of us asked for this but here it is and we either deal with it or not. Something I truly believe in regarding being trans, even if it does not seem possible one of the best things you can do is say to yourself "I have bad and good day, what should I do to change it?" For me it study, study, study for a better life monetary wise e.g. from under $20,000 a year salary to over $100,000 a year w/o college salary. I studied over 10 hours a day for 12 months and then searched for employment which landed me a job on the opposite coast where it's very trans accepting for the most part. My point here is if you put your mind to it anything is possible. One of the number one toxic issues with trans people is their current living environment and with a strong will and determination your life can drastically improve. I look at my brother, he is not trans but had the same education as me and makes half the salary I do. Perhaps being trans can make someone stronger if they truly make up their mind to not let it get them down. So a person put up a sign "I SEE YOU", for the average trans person that is a red flag. Time to consider a move and if that is not possible at the present time, start a plan to do so while in the mean time be on guard for physical violence. On a up note, generally speaking one person putting up such a sign is usually not a threat but if they have a group of like minded people that is a huge concern as group violence is easier to justify while one on one is much more difficult to justify in general.
  13. KarenPayne

    Two year anniversary

    ​Hi Monica, I agree in regards to living in a place that give you many opportunities.
  14. KarenPayne

    Two year anniversary

    It’s been exactly two years to the day since gender confirmation surgery. Looking back over the past two years I’ve notice as time rolls by (especially in the past six months) I’ve assimilated well into my new life. I have, and not a conscious decision becoming removed from online forums that focus on the LGBT community yet still locally involved with a group in town and in Portland. Why bring this up? Over the years I’ve heard that many who transition physically will distance themselves from the LGBT community and now from experience believe that (at least in my case) it’s not always distancing oneself from the community but simply settling into the new life. I’ve never been or will be that type of person who distances themselves from the community for any reasons other than subconscious reasons of feeling comfortable in my new life. Back at Christmas time I went on a dinner cruise (see image below) with a local Portland Oregon group known as the Rose City Girls where I’ve only met a handful before attending the dinner. I was amazed that at the girls I chatted with a dinner whom I had not met before all thought I was a cisgender female. One of the girls I met five or so years earlier didn’t even recognize me from five years ago until I told her and she said that I had changed a good deal and still was not sure I was that cross-dresser from years past. So that really confirms that I took the right path in life by making the decision to physically transition. Do I have any regrets? My thought had been, wish I had transitioned ten or more years ago yet what if I did, where would I be right now? Better not to think too much about this and simply move forward as the past is the past and nothing can change it. Profession wise this month I went from a position at one state agency to another state agency one block down the road. Only the CIO know my former identity as she once worked at my former agency and had asked me two years ago to come work for them but the time was not right until the first of this month.
  15. KarenPayne

    Two year anniversary

    ​I truly believe the average person who goes through surgery and lives life as they should have will (as it did with me) take time to realize these things, it's a great feeling. If nothing else, I get out with a local group of crossdressers once a month and recently been pushing to have them get out of their comfort zone. Why do I mention this? Because when the day comes after your transition if possible it's a decent idea to mentor someone who has walked in your shoes.
  16. KarenPayne

    Two year anniversary

    ​ Thanks Emma! Regarding the Rose City Girls member in the lower right-hand corner of the phot, I don’t know her name, only met her twice before. They are a very active group but I don’t get out with them much simply because they are generally doing things during the week were it’s an hour drive each way for me. Cass the leader of the group comes down to Salem on the third Saturday of each month to join in with a local group in Salem and we have a great time Cass is and great and interesting person who does all of the organization for the group. Last Halloween she opened her home to the group, supplied everything along with allowing anyone to stay overnight so they didn’t have to worry about driving home because of drinking or (as 99 percent are) they are crossdressers that have a hard time sneaking back home. Regarding electrolysis, if the person performing this on you is not using the blend technique you might ask them about it. For me it was less painful. The kicker is that the blend technique is not the best for every single area of the face. My technician had two machines and would switch between them depending on what part of my face she was working on. What I thought was interesting is that the face is actually more painful then between the legs, at least for me. Over the past year I’ve had my underarms done (well 90 percent) and going back in May to finish up. Had to stop because of a) shifting job positions at my workplace of 22 years, got disgusted with it and jumped ship to another agency one block away and with that had to put the underarms to the side. In regards to having GCS, it’s always been my believe that it’s not for everyone. If my dysphoria was not so bad I would had foregone surgery and breast augmentation and with that placed the money in the bank for retirement yet I could not live life without those surgeries. Several weeks ago I crossdresser told several of us she was wondering why she even dressed anymore as she believes she is fine not crossdressing after doing so for over ten years. I know several others who are borderline in regards to GCS and encourage them to take it slow as we all know you can’t reverse the surgery. Going the route you are sounds like an excellent path. PS I was wanting to meet you when there for surgery.
  17. KarenPayne

    I Don't Care Much for Myself Tonight

    In regards to pain of electrolysis, back when I was undergoing treatment I learned that not being well hydrated would cause discomfort. In recent months I've been having facial dermaplaning done which is extremely painful if the technician is not well versed with preparing their patient as what happened to me several years ago when I first underwent the procedure while in recent times the technician uses a completely different numbing agent and no pain is felt for the most part and even when felt is manageable. I would think (knowing that I've had my face done) the same pretty much applies to having facial hair removed. And the dentist numbing for me was a must for my upper lip area. What we go through to look feminine and even for cisgender females, men have no clue
  18. 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
  19. KarenPayne


    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
  20. KarenPayne

    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.
  21. KarenPayne


    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.
  22. KarenPayne


    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.
  23. KarenPayne


    ​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.
  24. KarenPayne


    I have created this poll after hearing a discussion on another forum. There are many considerations e.g. you are born male but identify as female and want surgery, you were born male but identify as female but don't want surgery. Reverse this for female to male. Then of course there are binary and non-binary. Consider you are male, get F on your state id and commit a crime, go to jail but since you have male genitals you are placed in a male prison and the inmates know about your gender issues. Consider you are female and for the same reasons are placed in a male prison. Both cases there are high probability of ongoing sexual abuse. With that one simple case listed above, would you still change your gender marker?
  25. 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.