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About Emma

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    Senior Moderator
  • Birthday May 12

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    Bicycling, learning new things, reading, hiking, backpacking, camping, cooking, Petite Syrah, sharing experiences with friends.

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  1. Emma

    The List

    Hi Dee, wonderful, heartfelt list. Isn’t it amazing how doing something as simple as that puts your feelings in perspective? Hi Jess, take your time, no rush of course or need to post it. I suggest just creating an unordered list on paper as things come to mind. Later, you can edit and group them however you wish. I think it helps so much to witness the totality of our experiences like this. It sure did for me.
  2. Emma

    Just some more thoughts.

    Well, you asked! <6 years: preschool and kindergarten Where I discovered my shame about wanting to be girly and do girly things, and the powerful need to keep it strictly hidden from others. But as an only child where did that shame come from? I assume I learned it from my mother, before I have memories, when I rebelled against her making me be a boy. Wore out my baby blanket’s satin edging; I loved the feel of it. Twirling like a ballerina at another child’s birthday party; ashamed and stopped before “being caught.” Wanted to learn to curtsey with the girls in preschool Playing with the girls in the kindergarten kitchenettes; afraid of the boys play and what they would think Playing with neighbor friend (who much later came out as gay): making up stories with little characters 6-12 years: grade school Like a sponge I soaked up knowledge about girls and women, contemplated what it would be like, and fostered fantasies. I spent hours surreptitiously investigating in magazines, newspapers, television, and catalogs. Wanted to be a Blue Bird in 1st grade Wished I could be a mermaid Wanted stirrup pants like the girls: how would they feel to wear? Rolled up in my Nana’s satin comforter; shamed by her to stop. Playground: with the girls playing hopscotch, gymnastics on bars Unexpressed wishing mother would buy leotard and tights for me Bedtime fantasies of being dressed as a girl, transported away into space. Or, dressed in a harem girl’s costume, living in an I Dream of Jeanie bottle, with Jeanie. Fixated on catalog with sleeping bra, wanting one, trying to figure out how to order and receive it secretly. TV: That Girl, Girl from UNCLE, Flying Nun, The Avengers, I Dream of Jeanie, Bewitched Favorite movies: Patty Duke, The Sound of Music, Three Lives of Thomasina Wanted to be able to cry and wear a ring like a girl at school 13-18 years: junior and high school Covert actions taken to experience clothing, the good feelings that emerged were undeniable. Subtly" trying to encourage mother to buy a tutu for me Hand-sewing camisole and romper out of rags while parents at AA meetings Trying on girdles from Goodwill bag Cutting panties from discarded pantyhose to wear under clothing or to bed Bought black long-sleeved leotard at dance clothing store; returned a year later to buy black tights. I had to wait or risk their remembering me. Wearing mother’s swimming suit when parents were out for the evening Lake Berryessa: bought pantyhose to wear and hang out in, on weekend alone. It felt marvelous but lonely. Wanted to crossdress with girlfriend; she was okay with it but I was too cautious Stole girl's skirt, top, and slip from restaurant restroom Continually looking for discarded/lost girl’s clothing Found yellow girly panties on lawn Found multicolored panties in HS parking lot 18-24 years: college More clothing and my first-time experience going out dressed. But otherwise a low point in my TG world as I tried to be what I was supposed to be. Stole blue leotard from clothes wash room in dorm Halloween: dressed as coed (skirt, girls sweater) for party, loving it and yet feeling so alone, afraid to show that I loved it too much and that I’d be found out. Twenties More clothing and dressing. Found navy blue dance panties in parking lot Bought leotard and tights at dance store Bought leotard at flea market Halloween (1981): on the Castro as a nurse. What a great time I had, just being me if only for a few hours. Halloween (1982): on the Castro as a bride. Not quite as much fun but a good time nonetheless. Wearing leotard/panties during sex Thirties Explorations, confronting fears by buying clothing. Wearing panties and nightgown during sex Visited TV/TS bar in Munich: a long walk from my hotel but I left shortly after arrival; too scared. Foxy Lady Boutique – SF: dress and lingerie Lingerie boutique - Mountain View: corset and stockings Forties Exploring what it means, terrified to come out and be accepted. Once again, full withdrawal. Accumulating very small wardrobe KOA Santa Cruz: much research, writing, desperate for acceptance and understanding. Drove to LA to crossdressing clothing store; bought a dress, lingerie. Delivered overly comprehensive report to my wife that I hoped she would see it all as no big deal. Just the opposite, she was devastated. Serious suicide considerations Carla's Boutique: bought dress, bra, other Fifties Discovering the new transgender vocabulary, that being trans is inborn, not a choice. Wondering how far on the spectrum I will need to travel. Finally: full disclosure with therapist, wife, and gender therapist. Bringing leotard and tights on business trips It all emerges again: much more exploration Confrontations with wife Serious suicide attempts, much consideration Clothing bought on Amazon, REI, Carla’s, dance store... Judy Van Maasdam’s confirmation Attended TG/TS group meetings at Carla's and with Judy Participation in on-line support groups TGGuide and CrossdreamLife Wearing dresses and skirts in private at home; nightgown to bed Sixties With disclosures, my shame is about gone. Still hard to accept this reality at times. What will I do if my marriage collapses and I’m on my own? Realization that I'd always wanted to be small and treasured: does that mean female, or perhaps loved by my mother? I think it's the former but it's probably both. Wearing dresses and skirts in private at home; nightgown to bed Coming out to family and friends: all going relatively well Increasingly accepting that I do not see a need to socially or surgically transition Attended TDoV, TDoR in San Francisco; surprised I don’t feel much of a bond with these people. Dara Hoffman-Fox’s book (You and Your Gender Identity: A Guide to Discovery) and workbook: worked through the exercises, provided them with edits for their 2nd edition. Three days of transformation, living, and going out at Over The Rainbow in Portland. I loved it. Building up cosmetics, having fun experimenting and learning. Update (Summer 2017 thru September 2018) Started transitioning to Emma just over a year ago, living full time, never happier or more at peace in my life. No thoughts or worries about “de-transitioning.” Still some social anxiety but mostly gone. Life’s good. 100% out to all professional colleagues, friends, family. Most are very supportive, I even learned from one colleague that his son is possibly trans or gender variant. Divorce finalized December 2017; she and I still talk at least weekly, often for an hour or more, listening to each other, support, shoulder to cry on. Gender Odyssey Conference (Seattle): Attended August 2017, dressed as a woman (wig and all) for three days. Wonderful experience, learned a lot, made new friends. August 2018: attended all four days as a Session Host, had a fantastic time introducing speakers, managing the room, helping and talking with attendees. Started HRT 9/11/17: Consulted with an endocrinologist with an idea for an experiment for low-dose HRT. He agreed, I tried it, and loved it. Never looked back. Donated all of my male clothing to charity, now very comfortable shopping anywhere. Feminine voice training with Sandy Hirsch: went very well Legally changed my name and gender marker in all state and federai records Happily accepted by local lesbian groups for hiking, camping, and just fun. Several new and great friends. Joined Human Rights Campaign as a volunteer; hoping for greater responsibilities soon. GCS scheduled for 1/31/19.
  3. Emma

    Just some more thoughts.

    I certainly started borrowing clothing from my mother’s drawers early in elementary school. I even sewed my own out of rags in junior high. One thing really helped me determine and accept that I’m trans and that was to create a list of things I did and fantasized about throughout my life. I broke it down into major age groups such as: - pre school - elementary school - junior high and high school - 20s - 30s - etc Within each timeframe I had a bulleted list of single sentences that reminded me of the event or activity. It took me some days to get it filled in because I kept remembering things that needed to be added. When it was complete I shared it with my therapist who remarked that he could not imagine someone who is not trans as having such a list, showing how my fantasies and feelings are such a consistent thread in my life. This idea might help others too. But I recommend that you enter it into a file or write it out. Trying to keep it all in one’s mind is next to impossible and prevents one’s ability to see the whole picture.
  4. Emma

    Restless before the rain came

    Ah yes, I remember your post! I’m glad you re-entered it. You do look terrific, your hair, face, and that lovely red coat. 2.5 hours for coffee is quite a drive. I’m sure you’ll figure out a way to do it, and I’ve no doubt you’ll have a great time. I’ve done similarly. I recall about ten years ago I’d gone off camping by myself, away from my wife and family. They had decent WiFi in the campground and I surfed the web like mad. I’d bought some tights at a grocery store and wore them beneath my pants which felt good. But I needed more. I had to have more. I then drove about 300 miles south to Los Angeles to go to a store that specialized in cross dressing clothes. I was there when they opened, shopped for an hour, and then returned to my campground. The clothes weren’t very nice or of good quality but I enjoyed wearing them. So, I know at least something about what you’re going through. It’s exciting but also so stressful at times. Remember this please: your joy comes from a true sense of finally experiencing your authentic self. There is nothing wrong or untoward about you or your feelings.
  5. Emma

    Blog Deleted ?!

    Hi Lori, Indeed, I found another thread by a new member that I'd responded to about 11 hours ago... my comment is AWOL! Emma
  6. Emma

    Blog Deleted ?!

    I'm quite surprised to hear about this and thank you all for not taking this personally. I don't even know how to begin troubleshooting it. I'll ask Mike (UsernameOptional) for his help.
  7. Emma

    Saratoga Pride

    Good for you Jessica! You’re lucky to have found such a nice group that’s close to you. I echo what you are feeling going out. Wow, when I first started I was so scared, even to drive my car. Slowly, slowly, it’s come to the point that we dream of, that I just get dressed in whatever feels best and appropriate for the occasion. Yesterday when going to a clinic to see a girlfriend for a medical exam, I wore a longish navy skirt, black leggings, and white Banana Republic sweater. We’re getting together this evening and I’m thinking of a pair of khaki green pants and a casual top. Comfy, nice looking, and casual. Keep putting yourself out there. Sure, we connect with some people more than others. That’s the spice of life.
  8. Emma

    The Final Solution Is Wrong

    Wow, your writing comes to me at a time when I happen to really need it. Thank you.
  9. Emma

    Painting my toes?!

    Pretty hard to paint ones toes! I think you're right, practice. Have lots of nail polish remover and cotton balls handy to clean off the mistakes. And, do it over paper or something that won't be damaged if (when) you spill. Honestly, I think you'd be much happier getting a pedicure at a salon. It's pretty inexpensive, easy. and they do more than just paint your nails.
  10. I highly doubt the problem is with your computer's memory. If you wish, try the experiment without having any other active programs running. I'd also try using a different browser, such as Chrome or Firefox. That's a much more likely culprit. Both of those browsers are free and yes, I also don't like having to use a different one. I experience stupid problems all the time with Safari so I use Chrome when I need to.
  11. Emma

    I am no longer "Presenting Female" !

    I’ve thought a lot about Jess’s post and the comments. I think I initially missed her point and now get it. I don’t “present” as a woman either. I’m just me, Emma, a woman going about her life. I’m not wearing a costume, they’re just clothes that I happen to like and feel good in. I suppose it wasn’t necessary for me to post this but hey, that’s why we have comments!
  12. Emma

    I am no longer "Presenting Female" !

    I’d like to add that each of our authentic presentations is unique, and that’s wonderful. Speaking for myself determining that presenting (being) as a woman all the time was a bit surprising but now just feels natural. But women have many different styles and determining how I want to live in that spectrum is an ongoing adventure. I’m narrowing in and yet I’m drawn in many directions. My point is that it’s totally cool with me wherever feels right for you on the gender spectrum and within that where you reside. In fact I think it’s delightful that you’re thumbing your nose at the status quo. Be yourself, be Jess, always.
  13. Emma

    I am no longer "Presenting Female" !

    I understand and applaud you. Just present as Jess and screw the rest. The only important thing is for you to feel good in your own skin. Besides that nothing matters.
  14. Emma

    My First 18

    My goodness, BA, what a horrible childhood. Mine sucked but nothing like yours. My mother was manic depressive, often in her bed, never loving. My father was nice but I didn’t know him because he was always at work. As an only child I basically took care of myself while tiptoeing around the house in real fear that I’d get yelled at, spanked, or both. My mother committed suicide when I was 24 and, truth be told, I wasn’t sad. Just ready to move on.
  15. Hi Barbra, welcome to TG Guide, but gosh, what an intro. Twenty years since your last purge? Your offer is very generous indeed but I feel compelled to ask: are you sure you want to do this? Most've us have gone through many purge cycles over the years and then, always as far as I know, been inexplicably drawn to rebuilding what we purged. Now, I assume that you've thought this through and I'm preaching to the choir so please don't be upset with me for my comment. Regardless, you're quite welcome to join our group discussions with or without your having gone through a purge.