EmmaSweet

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Everything posted by EmmaSweet

  1. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry Cleaning Up Loose Ends   

    Almost 75? I would have guessed you to be in your 50s, maybe early 60s. You have the drive of a 20-something!
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  2. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry Working   

    So much training is hard to absorb in such a short time. I hope you have plenty of time and experiences in between so the training has relevance for you.
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  3. EmmaSweet added a blog entry in Emma Sweet's Blog   

    Coming Out on National Coming Out Day
    Yesterday I read this article on Transgender Universe by Mila Madison (I love her writings):
    Is It Safe to Come Out?
    You see, yesterday was National Coming Out Day. On reading the article it occurred to me that for most people the definition of "coming out" is a single event, coming out of the closet, letting others know ones true/authentic nature (sexuality, gender, etc.), and then it's done. That stirred up some thoughts for me as I considered that I came out all of the past year and see myself continuing to come out for at least the next year and maybe beyond. i added a comment to MIla's article that I've edited below:
    I think a point can be made that coming out isn’t binary, all or nothing. For example, I started coming out to selected friends, family and professionals one year ago. I kept a list on my phone, marveling as the number slowly grew from single digits into the teens. I told them, mostly in person, that I am transgender and had been since my earliest memories. All were more or less supportive.
    About six months ago I couldn’t wait any longer and wrote a long-ish email to about 50 colleagues and friends. I then forwarded it to others as I thought about them. Most answered very positively, a few didn’t answer, and no on disparaged me. My number had grown to about 100.
    About six months ago, very tentatively, I started dressing and going out in public. What fear and anxiety! Buying clothes on Amazon, afraid even to return those that didn’t fit for fear that the UPS guy would discover my secret. I started by attending all professional meetings (therapist, doctor, stylist, etc.) presenting fully as Emma.
    Thankfully I have a supportive network of friends. One girlfriend took me to Nordstrom Rack and Sephora for shopping a few weeks ago. We left loaded down with bags like the women in Sex and the City. Another suggested I go to a local woman’s consignment shop; they were wonderful. Last week I ran errands, first to a lumber store to buy a bunch of wood for basement shelves, to Nordstrom Rack to return a jacket (and yes, buy another), Trader Joe's, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond... all as Emma.
    Yesterday I went to pick up some sheet metal to fix a door, presenting as a woman. Talk about a bastion of testosterone. No one batted an eye. I also went out for coffee with a male friend whom I had told I’m trans but had never seen me dressed.
    As of yesterday I’m starting to dress all or most of the time, authentically as myself, a woman, Emma. I take the public transportation downtown, go grocery shopping, the bank, you name it. I agree completely that we need to be visible so that our sisters and brothers behind us will witness our progress while the cisgender population learns that we’re just out and about, living our lives in peace and harmony with everyone. So what's left?
    There are more bridges left to cross, such as:
    Using my feminine speaking voice that I'm taking weekly lessons on. I'm nervous about that. Thank goodness my next door neighbor liked the way my "Good morning!" sounded to her this morning and volunteered to make herself available for me to practice as needed.Go for a bra fitting. I'm waiting for my breasts to bud more before doing that. I imagine that one of these days my breast forms will feel even more uncomfortable riding on top of my natural breasts. Oh, and then I'll be wearing a bra all the time, too.Select and wear a women's swim suit out and about. Likely next summer.Go to Macy's and places like that for a makeover. I could really use professional help with my makeup.Get my fingernails and toenails painted. Gosh, once that's done there's really no way to present as anything but a woman, is there? Get my hair styled and maybe add some highlights. My hair will be long enough in 4-6 months, I think, so I have some time. Change my legal name, drivers license, passport, etc. That's probably for 2019!That's all I can think of for now but I'm sure I'll come up with more! Hey, that's part of the fun isn't it?
    XXXOOOXXX
    Emma
     
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  4. EmmaSweet added a post in a topic Trump Continues to Empower Haters   

    I’m shocked but how can he shock me more? I suppose it’s good that he continues his narcissistic and moronic ways as even his base constituency whithers. I’m just so fearful of what he might and may likely do next. He’s just such a nut. 
    At this point I trust our military leadership much more than Trump. I can imagine why military coups can happen and ge successful. It’s just all so surreal. A bad dream. A nightmare.
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  5. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry Beginners Luck   

    I’m the Queen of the Semi-Colon! I use it all the time. It’s such a handy punctuation.
    You’re awesome, BTW, how you’re cold calling, taking the negatives in stride, and collecting appointments. Look girl, you’re going to knock this one out of the park. Let’s see, your cold-call to appointment rate is maybe 10% right? Maybe your close rate is 25% of the appointments. Maybe higher, we’ll see. You have four appointments I think, so aim to close. 
    Did they teach you the “Benjamin Franklin close?” You take a blank sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle from top to bottom, and tell them that this is how ol’ Ben made hard decisions. The left side is where he listed reasons he should go with the proposal, and the right side is where he put negative reasons. You offer to help by slowly filling in the left side with benefits that the prospect agreed with. And when you’re done you let them try to fill in the right side. They quickly can’t think of much and it’s apparent looking at the paper what he should do: go to with your proposal. 
    Good luck!
    Emma
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  6. EmmaSweet added a blog entry in Emma Sweet's Blog   

    Ignorance on Display
    Last night I met a male friend for dinner whom I've known since first grade - quite a long while. I'd told him via email that I'm trans a couple of months ago and he was supportive, so he wasn't particularly surprised when I appeared in skinny jeans, athletic pumps, and with studs in my earlobes. He's a successful corporate attorney and is friendly, very articulate, and handsome with designer glasses, died hair, and clothing that while very casual were color- and style-perfect for the occasion. But as an attorney, and a man, he consistently talked over me, peppering me with questions and thoughts while I tried to hold up my side of the conversation. Things like:
    "You're not going undergo genital mutilation, are you?" I was able to tell him that for me that's a bit over the horizon but also possible. I wasn't able to educate him on the fact that this surgery is in no way any kind of 'mutilation' with what that implies. I will be sending an email to him on that subject.
    "You're not interested in men?" I tried to tell him that sexuality and gender are orthogonal and unrelated but here again all I could tell him is that I'm only interested in women; I'm a lesbian.
    None of his comments or body language were delivered in any kind of negative way or overtone. He's told his parents who said that they wish me the best too, and his father (whom I haven't seen in over 40 years) said that he thought I'd make an attractive woman. I was just kind of taken aback at his assumptions and ignorance. As I said I'll send a follow up email to clear this up but imagine how hard it is to effectively us to people whom we've never met?
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  7. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry Sunday Again   

    Ah, a relaxing Sunday! I woke up lazy but couldn’t help from having a busy day:
    Worked on my voice feminization exercises, of which I’ve been delinquent. Reminds me of college when I’m supposed to be studying and find myself cleaning out my refrigerator.Ordered a whole bunch of lumber to build simple shelves in the basement.Bought a bunch of stuff at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, taking advantage of their 20% off coupon.Returned a new women’s jacket at Nordstrom Rack (had a hole in it) and bought another better one. Proud of myself that I unflinchingly told the clerk that they were mine! She didn’t bat an eye which was no surprise.Groceries at a Trader Joe’s. Have you tried their Crisp Bread? It’s so tasty and pretty healthy too. I love TJ’s!
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  8. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry Ho-hum   

    I can recommend many books. Tell me what you like and I’ll send titles! 
    It’s to be expected that you’re feeling down. Sure, it’s fun and all to be on your own, to dress when and how you like. But longer term you’re without your wife and that is sad. Give yourself the patience, caring, and support you need to work it out. It may take quite a while, there is no certain path or timeline. 
    I wish you well, sleep tight,
    Emma
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  9. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry First day   

    I'm pretty laid-bak too, and now that I re-read my comment I'm thankful you didn't misunderstand me. i didn't mean to say that you're having the troubles I wrote about. When I was writing I was remembering my first experiences in sales. Although I was in a professional sales role (like you) I feared that people would expect me to be like a used-car salesperson, or think of me that way. I also remember getting hit with objections that I didn't have an answer for. Each time as I drove to the following appointment I'd replay the exchange in my mind and almost always come up with a friendly and effective come back. I was proud of myself later to be able to use those come backs during meetings! 
    Yes, slow and steady. That's often been tough for me!
    XXXOOOXXX
    Emma
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  10. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry First day   

    Attagirl, Michelle! There is a lot to learn. But your approach and attitude will help you so much. Try emulating your manager and soon you’ll find your own style and voice. Handling objections is tough, especially the first time for each one. After, you may wish you’d countered with something and sure, the meeting might have gone better. But each time you learn more, and next time you’ll be better prepared. 
    Many people think sales is easy, for those who speak quickly and able to convince people to buy. In fact, sales roles are hard and sleaziness doesn’t work. Stay patient with yourself, learn each day, and in a short time you’ll feel empowered and see how you’re offering a real and valuable service to your customers and your company.
    Emma
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  11. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry New B   

    ​Hahaha!
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  12. EmmaSweet added a post in a topic Experts Confirm Gender Identity is Biological   

    You beat me to posting this Chrissy! Of course I'd never even heard of The Endocrine Society and was delighted to understand how much of an important and scientific body that they are, which underscores the validity of their report. The dominoes keep toppling, one after another, inevitably leading to societal support and embracing of transgender people as valid, valuable, and loved members of the human race. It's taking way too long but look how far we've come in only the last few years. 
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  13. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry New B   

    One more thing, please. Did you ever hear that when you’re selling a drill you’re not selling a tool that holds bits and twirls  them around. What you’re actually selling are holes. The same thing is true for insurance. In this case you’re selling peace of mind. If something unfortunate happens (and we know it does, all too often and to each of us) your customers will be covered financially. Maybe not 100% and it’s true that insurance doesn’t cover emotional distress, at least the effects of monetary loss are reduced when we need it most.
    Good luck in your new career. I’m confident you’ll do well.
    Emma
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  14. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry Book Project   

    That sounds awesome, Chrissy! Yes, please keep us informed.
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  15. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry New B   

    Selling anything, especially something like insurance, is tough. I sold capital equipment for about five years and I was pretty good at. Why? Because what I was really selling was myself. Be friendly, respectful, and educational. If they don’t want to listen or hear your pitch:
    - Is there a better or more convenient time for me to come back to talk?
    - Would you mind if I follow up with you again in, say, six months? (Keep short notes so when you do return you can remind them about your previous visit.)
    Keep at it and make it fun. When you’re on the phone be sure to stand and smile while you’re speaking. Your voice will be warmer and your energy will come through.
    Emma
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  16. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry Holding pattern   

    Michelle, I also have two sons that I have somewhat distant relationships with. The older (33) is kind of stand-offish, very sensitive to anything I might say, and invulnerable. The younger (29) vacillates between horribly depressed and fairly steady. He resists getting and holding onto a job because his mother (we divorced over 20 years ago) rescues him with money frequently although every single psychologist has advised that that is the exact opposite thing to do. These relationships have been painful for me especially as I know that I played my own negative role as I was so depressed and uncertain myself during their childhood. But I was also much closer to them that my father was to me and hey, I turned out all right - I think!
    I'm so happy for you to get your insurance license and wish you the best in finding a job that you enjoy. 
    Take care,
    Emma
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  17. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry Transgender "Community"   

    This topic came up in a recent post on Joanna Santos’ blog, "Musings From My Everyday Life" as well. I think Chrissy explained it much better than Joanna or me. I feel the same way as her and I’ve also wondered about it. I love it here at TGGuide but otherwise I just want to get on with my life. My main friends are cisgender women, some gay, some straight. I seem to fit right in with women as friends and I love that.
    All that said, tonight I’m going out to dinner with two cis women who have transgender daughters. After, we’re going to see Janet Mock give a talk! It’s getting more chilly in Seattle so I’m looking forward to wearing a new jacket I bought at Nordstrom Rack a couple of weeks ago. 
    Emma
    P.S. I would also like to add how much I appreciate Chrissy, Monica, and Michelle, as well as all others here. It’s been three years for me at TGG and its helped me so much. BTW, My first name is Emma. I originally coined "Sweet" as an anonymous last name that also, I hoped, reflected my disposition. These days I'm often using my family name Gray. My full name is Emma Joy Gray!
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  18. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry Closets   

    Many (most?) of us have much more stuff than we need or want. We are choking on it. A recent book suggests that as you go through your things, if you don’t love it, toss it. We all worry about doing this but the freedom from stuff overload is... Fantastic!
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  19. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry A life lived, a life to live   

    Hi Olivia,
    Welcome to TGG. Although I’m a dozen years older I am going through much the same as you. Just today my doctor increased my estradiol to a more typical introductory level. I am also going to therapy, voice coaching, and electrolysis. It’s quite a burden but exciting nonetheless given how many decades I’ve suppressed my authentic self. I say this not to make this about me but to assure you that you’re among friends.
    Emma
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  20. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry Full Speed Ahead   

    We will stay tuned, Michelle, that’s for certain. And we all have our trials. Not to compare, but, I learned today that my house’s driveway is in code violation and the sellers were aware of it and didn’t disclose it. Caveat emptor and all that. Yet another hassle. :-(
    Yes, and I agree, that I’m quite fortunate to have these issues to deal with. It’s just that it feels like a “Whack a Mole” game where I’m never quite gaining ground. 
    Stay in touch!
    Emma
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  21. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry Fear Adapting and Idenity   

    Hi Kitrah,
    My doctor who prescribed my HRT asked me about my support network. I am so lucky to have one. I wish I could wave a magic wand and give it or share it with you. I agree and understand completely how hard this all is. Each day, each new encounter, presenting as Emma is stressful. 
    My only suggestion is to try to build your network. Yes, keep coming back to us at TGG. We have your back. But reach out to resources if you can find them in your area. I wish you the very best.
    Emma
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  22. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry Dressing   

    Michelle,
    It is certainly challenging to find the style(s), colors, fabrics, and let's not forget... shoes! that work for us. It is trial and error. Keep your eyes open and look at other women both in public and in magazines and the web to see what grabs you. Last, since women generally wear much closer fitting clothing the size and fit really matters and all too often an L is just right for me, but sometimes an XL is too small. I like stretchy fabrics since my overall size is 12 or 14 but my waist is an inch or two larger than a cis woman's natural waist so the dress or top needs to accommodate that.
    Have fun with it!
    Emma
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  23. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry Fear Adapting and Idenity   

    Kitrah, I think you make such excellent points here. I also agree about makeup. We don't apply it or wear pretty clothes to attract men or others. It's because we enjoy looking nice, put together, expressing our personal style. I went shopping this afternoon with a girlfriend who took me to Nordstrom Rack and Sephora. We had a great time and I picked up too many things but I need them all especially as winter is soon coming upon us. Like Chrissy I'm lucky to live in a place where in general I can just present Emma as herself, and I love the help I received at the stores today. 
    My friend and I had dinner at a restaurant and I commented that I now understand why women like and need so many pairs of shoes. They form an important part of each outfit. Unlike for men where a pair of Levi's, a t-shirt, and crappy tennis shoes or boots are okay, we pull together a complete look where we hope everything compliments each piece, and through that we feel confident and yes, maybe even pretty although applying that adjective for me is probably a stretch! :-)
    I get so scared doing all this on my own and appreciate going out to these places with my friend. She shows me the ropes and gives me her advice on things as we go. I hope you have or can find a similar friend where you are. My friend and I will never be lovers, we're just two girlfriends out to have an afternoon together. 
    Hugs,
    Emma
    P.S. Nordstrom Rack is Awesome! I found shoes, coats, tops, scarves, makeup, and some jewelry - all at good prices. You can buy the things, try them on at home, and you have 90 days (yep!) to return them if they don't work out. Sephora is definitely more expensive for makeup but I received very nice help from the sales ladies. It was obvious to them that I'm trans and I didn't try to hide it at all. I even mentioned that the orange color foundation is good to neutralize the color of my beard area and they didn't bat an eyelash. 
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  24. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry caring   

    Hi Kitrah,
    You wrote, "I am reluctant to tell people I'm transgender but it not a stretch for the mind if they just look."
    I spent decades afraid that anyone would become aware of my gender dysphoria and feelings. I decided several months ago to come out to virtually everyone I know. I am lucky in that I'm retired (at least for now) and independent so I felt like it was better for me to just put it out there. And maybe I would help other trans people because those who I came out to will have perhaps their first awareness of someone they know (and hopefully like/respect) that to be transgender is just an example of normal human diversity. Most people (out of about 150) responded very positively.
    I'm also very fortunate that I have relocated to an area within Seattle that is very accepting, and I've told all of my new neighbors as I've met them that I'm trans and that they will likely see me in either men's or women's clothing. We talk about my names and stuff and I assure them that I'll not be offended whatsoever if they "make a mistake." The funny thing last night was that as I parked my car in my driveway I saw a woman on a bicycle coming up the street. I was tired and just didn't want to deal with anything, as I was wearing a long blue skirt, grey tights, and a maroon top. But I realized that I needed to roll a garbage can back to the house so I grabbed it and not looking at the woman, stated heading up the yard. In a friendly voice she called out to me, saying something like, "Oh! I didn't realize there are two of you here. I heard a single man had moved in." I walked to her and gently shook her hand. She introduced herself as a neighbor two doors down, and I told her my name is Emma. Nothing in her friendly manner changed but I went ahead and told her that I'm trans, snd that I have another name too. We both laughed as she realized that indeed I'm only one person, although both genders! And we want on to have a short conversation.
    You also wrote, "Part of my solution will be to move to a more supportive environment after I finish transitioning physically." If you can I'd highly recommend that you move much sooner than later. Transition is hard and we need our support networks. And, what is your definition of "finish?" I'm not really sure there is such a milestone. At least not that I can see for me. Sure, there are stages and I guess you could select one to be the final one. But there is so much more than physical transition, don't you think?
    Take care,
    Emma
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  25. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry caring   

    Kitrah,
    I hope you don't get the impression that I'm just carefree and out and about, and thus telling you that you should too. We all have to follow our own heart and pace. I'll also add that I do look forward to and cherish my evenings and nights when, home alone in my nightgown and robe, I'm cozy, just reading or watching a show. 
    Best wishes,
    Emma
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