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About Emma

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    Senior Moderator
  • Birthday May 12

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    Bicycling, learning new things, reading, playing fingerstyle guitar, camping, cooking, Petite Syrah, sharing experiences with friends.

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  1. Emma

    On Turning Sixty . . .

    Monica, I’m 62 so a tad older but similar in age. I’m more self-conscious about my voice and face than about my age spots, easily bruised arms, and stuff like that. I think that most people are self-conscious and worried. It’s part of the human condition. The trick is to have awareness of our feelings, let them breathe within ourselves, but not allow them to hold us back. Carpe dium, make every day as precious as you can. Emma
  2. Emma


    I joined TG Guide almost four years ago. The time seems short and in hindsight it's passed quickly but there were many deep valleys amid the peaks. Last weekend I hiked to Tolmie Peak with some lesbian friends. Imagine that, out and about as natural as can be. Now making plans for GCS, hopefully by end of Q1 2019. And yesterday my ex-wife phoned to ask if I'd like for her to help me through recovery! (You bet, I answered.) Wow.
  3. Emma


    It’s all approximate especially for women’s shoe sizes. My women’s size is 11 or 12, and the width is medium. Go to Payless and try shoes on that you like and you’ll soon see what I mean.
  4. Emma

    This world is destroying my family

    I have no idea where you're located, Jeff, your religious affiliations, etc. I came across this article earlier today and regardless, it's an excellent addition within mainstream media that the curtains are really being pulled back about the presence and lives of trans people. In this case, highlighting that areas in the Southeast are more welcoming than in the Northeast. It's also focused on trans girls and boys, adding more anecdotal examples of their realities and validity. I highly recommend it: Trans in the South: Meet Kids Finding Acceptance in the Bible Belt
  5. Glad to hear it but please be aware that laser hair removal isn’t permanent while electrolysis is.
  6. Emma

    This world is destroying my family

    Sorry, I have to add something here. "This world" is actually so much much better for trans people than it ever has been. The fact that shows like Megyn Kelly's and so many others are highlighting and celebrating our existence. Yes, there is prejudice, confusion, and lack of awareness. Those are things we can work on. I am 62 and well remember surreptitiously reading articles about Christine Jorgensen and others, growing up in extreme shame and secrecy, constantly aware of how I was being perceived and trying to adapt to be what didn't feel natural for me, often hating myself for my feelings that I simply couldn't suppress. I tried so hard, I really did. Perhaps you can elaborate on what this sentence means for you? And here's an issue from National Geographic that might help: GENDER REVOLUTION "Read the historic January 2017 Special Issue of National Geographic magazine on the shifting landscape of gender and download our discussion guide for teachers and parents" Just now I downloaded the Nat Geo discussion guide. Really, it's excellent. I suggest also sharing it with your child. She/he may find it very helpful in understanding themself and provide concepts and words that facilitate talking with you and professionals. It's that good.
  7. Emma

    This world is destroying my family

    Jeff, These words say a lot, I think. The first step in helping your child is to come to an understanding that to be transgender is real. Regardless of what therapists told me I needed to believe it myself. I did a heck of a lot of research to the point where it was undeniable to me. The next step is to try to determine if your child really is trans. Unfortunately there is no objective test. So what to do then? Listen to your daughter, take her to see qualified therapists and professionals. (Be careful, there are quacks out there too.) I know you are and I hope you'll continue to ask more. Through all this you'll gain a better understanding and thus confidence in helping your child. I'm not sure if this (below) will help but just in case, it's an email I received from my ex-wife a little over a year ago, a month after I drove away from the home we had shared. We were married for 20 years and divorced because we determined together that for me to become myself we had to be apart. We remain very close to this day, often on the phone together, and are making plans to get together this Thanksgiving at her place or mine. "Happy birthday my sweet __________, Wish I could be there to celebrate your day. And what a wonderful day it was 61 years ago when you arrived on this earth. This is your year to celebrate yourself and become who you really are. Be brave, be strong, be true, be honest in this journey. Remember that I will aIways love you. You are the finest person I have ever known and I thank God that you are in my life. Have the best day ever. Love, _______"
  8. Emma

    This world is destroying my family

    Dear Jeff, No, you're not coming across as callous at all. All I hear is a very concerned and worried father trying to do his loving best for his child. I have several thoughts I'd like to share: 1. Helping your daughter bind her breasts. On the one hand that's so kind and thoughtful of you. On the other it reminds me of the boy sticking his finger in the dyke. The waters are going to rise, her puberty is going to continue. I dearly hope that in parallel with this you are working with a qualified gender therapist and considering puberty blocker. 2. "I do not want her to be in this world." Are you more worried about her not becoming and rejoicing in being a young woman? Or, are you worried about how society may treat her? 3. Suicide: yes, 41% of trans adults in the US have attempted it at least once. I have, 2-3 times. The last one (about 3 years ago as I recall) was very close. Why do we do this? Because we are so torn up inside, losing the fight against our gender dysphoria and feeling helpless in the battle to become our authentic selves. For teens it's even harder because they have no resources and are so desperate for their parents' love and support. Without that they are stuck, not knowing what to do. They also know lots about how teens are committing suicide. 4. "While I understand that you believe you are transgender, has this decision to live this way really made your lives better?" Yes, I am 100% better off than before. I have no doubt in my mind that I am living authentically as the real me. Do I wish I was born female? Of course, and it saddens me that I wasn't. But there's nothing I can do about that and my life is so much richer and happy than I've ever been before. I believe your question comes from an understandable lack of understanding. I'm sure you've heard that people whose internal sense of gender matches their birth sex are called cisgender or "cis," and those whose gender doesn't match are transgender or "trans." Clearly, you are a cis male: great! I'm happy for you, I really am. But because of that it's so hard to wrap your mind around what it is to be trans. It just seems odd, foreign, unreal. But real it is. I'll share a story about me. I am very binary in that I have no doubt that my gender is female. But the label "transgender" is an umbrella term that includes many other gender feelings including "non-binary." My therapist is non-binary and I have a couple of friends who are also. Now that is something I can't wrap my brain around! I don't get it. I believe that they experience it but no matter how hard I try I just don't understand what it feels like to be them. But I accept their reality to be as real and valid as mine. Perhaps these videos will help you, I hope. They are quite recent and show Megyn Kelly with parents and teens of the GenderCool Project: Five Transgender Teens On The GenderCool Project And How Important Support Is | Megyn Kelly TODAY Siblings Of Transgender Girl: It Profoundly Affected Me In Such A Positive Way | Megyn Kelly TODAY Hear The Inspiring Message One Transgender Girl And Her Parents Want To Share | Megyn Kelly TODAY GenderCool Project Founders On Myths Of Transgender Kids & Rollback Of Rights | Megyn Kelly TODAY Be well, and please, stay in touch. We only wish to help you and your child.
  9. Another idea is to shop at women's clothing consignment shops that specialize in larger figures. Here in Seattle, for example, we have a large store named "Two Big Blonds." Most of their clothing is too large for me but I've bought several pairs of shoes and boots in larger sizes. I've also had success at Nordstrom Rack which has sizes up to 12 and great prices too!
  10. Emma

    This world is destroying my family

    Hi Jeff, I just came across your post; you bring up many understandable concerns and worries. I certainly agree: - There are no objective tests to determine if one is transgender. - We all wish our feelings, the ones we experience as trans and for our children, would just go away. - We all worry that we will be miserable in life, marginalized and unloved. And yet, we know, from clear existence proofs, that transgender people really exist. The science is trying to catch up, just give it time. I’m 62, and since I was in preschool I wished my feelings would just go away. Believe me, please, I’ve tried. I’ve been married twice, the second time for more than 20 years to a woman who still loves me dearly and I love her too. But in the end I tried to commit suicide a couple of times because I wasn’t living authentically. As a trans woman I am not miserable in life. Yes, it has its challenges but it’s actually very delightful compared with the alternative where I was largely waiting for life to run out. I don’t suppose you’ll find that very helpful. For me, the first step was to do enough research to convince myself that to be transgender is real, valid. After that, I struggled with determining that I am indeed trans. And then, what to do about it. I suggest you try following a similar path. Determining if your child is trans or not is tough of course. No, no one is going to push hormones or surgeries before your child and you/your wife are ready. That said, there may be an urgency to all this to start puberty blockers. From what I have seen and read they are harmless. But you need to convince yourself. Please talk to all the professionals you can find. Note also, please, that there is a conference in early August in Seattle called Gender Odyssey. They have a Family Program that you may find very helpful. I suggest that you look into it. With warm regards, Emma
  11. Emma

    "I'm Not A Detriment To Unit Cohesion"

    Wow, that was so good, so well said. Thank you Michael.
  12. It's expensive but when you add up the costs for weekly electrolysis (which may take 5 years for full and permanent clearing) the economics are right in the ballpark. The first session is the most expensive since it takes anywhere from one 12-hour day to a day and a half to clear. But they only charge you for the time it takes (plus the costs of the anesthesia) so that later treatments cost less since they are shorter. I'm hopeful that my next appointment in September will be only 7-8 hours instead of 12.
  13. Ellen, please try the following: 1. Go to: http://downloadcenter.nikonimglib.com/en/products/330/D3400.html 2. Download the Reference Manual to your computer 3. Read pages 84, 85, 86: “Image Quality and Size”. See if you can follow their instructions and find out what image quality and size that the camera is currently set for. Write that down! 4. Now, set the image quality to “JPEG basic”, and the image size to “Small”. That will produce photos of about 6MB is size which may still be too large. Try an experiment with websites you’ve had difficulty with and see if it works now. If it still doesn’t work then you will need to buy a simple photo editing program for your computer. It should have the capability to open your JPEG images and resize them smaller. The cost should not be high for this. I know this sounds like a lot of hassle. The “problem” is that modern cameras take very large photos, even when the smallest is selected. It’s not that your Nikon camera is bad. You’d have the same problem with Canon or any other brand. Good luck!
  14. Ellen, I believe there are a couple of ways to address this issue: 1. In a Nikon camera setup menu you can set the number of pixels in the photo to something very low. The downside to this is that if your photos are viewed in a larger size they will look pixelated. And, perhaps worse, you’ll either have to take two photos for each shot, one high-res and one low-res, or all of your photos will be lower resolution. 2. In a program on your computer, for example, photoshop although there are plenty of others that are much less expensive and easier to use, you can reduce the resolution of your Nikon-generated photo files so that they’ll fit within the maximums of whatever website you’re trying to deal with. The problem isn’t with Nikon per se. The issue is that newer cameras from Nikon, Canon, et al, have increased their resolution capabilities to enable their customers to print out their photos ever larger without appearing distorted. I’m surprised that the service people you talked to weren’t able to diagnose this for you.
  15. Wow Ellen, your model is Fantastic!!! Not sure why you posted the pics in this thread but regardless I’m happy to see your work!