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About KarenPayne

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 01/27/1956

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    Oregon USA

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  1. 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. 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,
  5. 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!!!
  6. KarenPayne


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


    Thanks for the comments Emma, Lori and Monica!!!
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. ​Hi Monica, I agree in regards to living in a place that give you many opportunities.
  11. ​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.
  12. ​ 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 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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