Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Quickie - No News Today

Extra!  Extra!  Read all about it....

Not much has happened with me today - and that's a good thing.

But I did have one minor thing of note.  The friend who introduced me to people in "the North Country" made a comment about me in an email today.  She invited me up for kinkster dinner on Friday, and/or a more "private" gathering at a local club for kinksters. (I do not have plans to discuss any kinky play here.)  In the email she commented:

"...but might go to munch on Friday night or to "xxxxxxxx Club" on Saturday night.. Your sister (read: my female persona) would be welcome at either.. Would she be more comfortable in the more private setting of "xxxxxxxx Club"?  Though she does seem to be getting rather bold to me.  <smiles>"
Well, this is a very pleasant comment about how much I've changed in less than a year - and I have this lady to thank for helping me along the way to becoming the person I am now....


As noted in a prior blog entry, I was having a discussion with a woman who criticized my posting.  We had a pleasant exchange of postings, and both of us learned things from each other.

One of the reasons I write this blog is to foster a healthy exchange of information about the transgendered in our society.  Not only do the "true transgendered" (as I like to call them, for lack of a better definition) feel threatened by mainstream society, but we even victimize ourselves by repressing our feelings, our wants and desires.  It is no coincidence that the transgendered have a higher likelihood of having an addiction (mine is food, others use aocohol, tobacco, or other mind altering substances), as well as a very large percentage of us having suicidal thoughts.  Only by understanding our nature, will we have the tools to heal ourselves and take our rightful places in society - not dominating or bullying people, but by going gently and humbly into the world....

Recently, I read a figure that there are roughly half a million of transgendered males in Great Britain, out of a population of 67 million.  That means, if America has the same percentage of transgendered people as Britain, we have approximately 2.5 million M2F transgendered persons in this country.  That's a lot of people!  Yet, most of us are in the closet.  Why?  Fear!  

But this post is not about fear.  It is about what we need to do to break down that fear.  I have one reader of this blog who comments on outreach whenever I interact with "civilians".  And outreach is important.  One of the best things I did in the past month was to out myself to a woman traveling back to her family's home in New England.  The half hour we chatted about being transgendered gave her a great, short education.  And I'm sure that she will be able to say to other people, that the transgendered are all among us - most do not want to be seen as anything but the gender in which they present, and many do it so well, you wouldn't think of them other than a natal male or female (depending on the gender presentation).  Taking the time to talk about being transgendered is important - but not just for outreach, but to become more comfortable with being transgendered.

For me, I hope to see the day where we can go out into the world, and no one bats an eye if we talk about our nature.  And this day may be sooner than we think in many areas of the country.  Until then, I'll continue talking with people, having pleasant conversations about being transgendered, and maybe bring a smale to others faces while I do so....


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Freedom to be me

I recently discussed what it means to be "out".  But being out means much more than an ability to be honest.  It is a freedom from worry - no more having to hide one's true self....

Today, I went on a date with a woman who knows about my second persona, and it felt good that I could talk about it and know this woman wouldn't "just run away" if she were to see me in a dress - as she already has seen the pictures of me doing so. 

However, the one thing I've learned about being out, is that when I'm with someone, not to dwell on one's new found freedom - it is something others have gotten used to over years, and is not new news to them.

Our itinerary for the day was to explore a Hudson Valley town, and then have some dinner.  We did just that.  But the itinerary was very different from that I would have chosen in female mode, as I don't feel comfortable exploring clothing stores that cater to women while in male mode.

The date ended as I expected, with a nice kiss, with a hint of more to come.   Strangely enough, with two women interested in me, I'm actually glad that neither woman has directly expressed an interest in going to bed with me, though they have made it clear that they are both considering "overnighting" with me....  Since an overnight is simply a matter of when and where with each woman, I have a quandry which may be simplified by me outing myself to the one woman who hasn't been told of my transgendered nature. 

Going home from the date, I called my friend L, who I've accompanied on her shopping trips for costume jewelery for resale.  Well, she had a package of jewelery for me - fleshing out my collection, so that I have enough to wear for a while.  And I can't wait until next weekend to do so.

What is the price of love?

What would you do to find an acceptable mate?  What sacrifices would you make?  What tradeoffs would you make?  I find myself asking these questions and more as I look for a mate.

Today, I had a very enjoyable date with a woman I've dated several times before.  This time, I drove to the other end of the NYC suburbs to meet this lady (she came up this way last weekend), and from there, we went to the Jersey shore.

As you can see from the above picture, they are still dealing with beach restoration needed due to last year's hurricane. 

We had a nice day at the shore, spending a little time in each of three towns, ending in Asbury Park.  It was the first time we spent all day together *and* holding hands for a while as we walked. Both us look at life in very similar ways - often, there is no one right answer, or easy solution to life's problems.  The ice was slow to melt, but it shows signs of being a very promising relationship.  But there's one fly in the ointment - I met her through my "straight" personal ad, and not my "twisted" personal ad.  So I have the question - how do I break the news of my alternate persona to her?

Now, I have another gal in the wings, with whom I've only had one date.  The chemistry is very promising here as well.  This woman met me through my "twisted" ad, so there is no need to reveal this persona to her.  She knows about it, and wants to know me anyway.  So I need to find out what lady #1 thinks about my feminine persona before I go to far with lady #2. 

One could say - "How do I get into this mess?"  I think it's because dating has always been a "feast or famine" situation for me, and I don't like to take the needed risks, the leap of faith, for a relationship to set.... 

Am I that different from the average transgendered person?  I doubt it.  From what I read from the online blogs, it looks like many of us have spouse problems.  Most transgendered folk either have spouses who just tolerate our dual persona nature (if not transitioning), or won't tolerate it at all if they knew about it.  Only a small segment have spouses who either accept us this way, or even better, participate in events with us this way. 

So, it looks like many of us repress this side of ourselves.  Does this make sense?  I doubt it.  If I've already gotten several women responding to my "twisted" personal ad within a couple of months (I have two ads active on OK Cupid), then why not be honest with others and weed out those who can not accept us for what we are?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

What's so special about being out?

The titla of this post sounds like such a simple question, doesn't it?   But from what I have read on other blogs written by transgendered people, being "out" is an experience unique to each person.  And I think a certain freedom is a common link between these experiences.

I can only focus on my own experiences, and "Freedom" related to choices I could make, and roles I could play.  The traditional male role didn't work for me.  The traditional female role wouldn't work for me.  Somewhere, somehow, I had to find some role that would be comfortable for me.  I hated having to prove my masculinity - especially when I see being a full fleged adult as being separate from one's gender.

Former acquaintances couched their opposition to same-sex marriage as a function of promoting proper child rearing, by having examples of both male and female behavior in the house.  To me, this is bunkum - studies are showing that children of same-sex couples perform just as well as those in two-sex couples.  I can only imagine what they'd be thinking if they knew I was transgendered. 

So there is something about expected social roles that may be a factor in being out.  But what about self image (and I'm not referring to self esteem)?  Is a person comfortable seeing his/her own sexually dimorphic characterists when viewing his/her own body?  I'm comfortable seeing my male body, and I'm just as comfortable viewing my body when wearing the prosthetics that make it look female. (As if I were a woman who had a pair of mastectomies.)  I'm sure that many transgendered can only bear to see themselves in their non-natal gender. 

Therefore physical self image comes into play.  Let's couple all these ideas for a minute, and I think being out is a combination of being able to be honest about one's self, one's view of self, and one's presentation of self to others.  Does this make sense?  To me, YES - but only as a starting point for discussion.

What does being "Out" mean to you?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Quickie - Waaah! No Marian time this weekend.

Yes, you read that right.  This gal has to stay in the closet due to other uncontrollable conditions.

Tonight, I have an invite to be with a friend. Sadly, I won't have enough time to switch into Marian mode if I'm to get to this friend on time.  Waaaah!!!!

This weekend, I have dates with two ladies.  One of these ladies, K, knows about my Marian persona, but wants to know the male persona first.  The other, L, has yet to be told about Marian, and I don't know how she'll react.  And yes, I have good reasons for keeping more iron in the fire right now - until most of my dating comes from the site with the Marian picture being displayed, I'll always have problems because of having to reveal myself....

Keep your fingers crossed....   Maybe I'll get lucky and find a way to get in some Marian time yet.  (Oh... And you thought I was going to talk more about these ladies.)

Quick thoughts....

I had a friend over tonight and we chatted about cabbages and kings, why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings....

This lady and I used to work together about 25 years ago.  I've seen her through her divorce, and she has seen me through the loss of my wife.  We've leaned on each other's shoulders through thick and thin.  So telling her (a while back) about being transgender was a non issue for either of us.

I figure that the first step that anyone looking to be "out" in the world is to be able to risk telling one's friends about one's transgendered nature.  If you are ready to face them, then facing the world is relatively easy. 

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Miscellaneous Thoughts

Today, I don't have that much to say.  But I have a series of disconnected thoughts which may have a common theme once removed.

First, I had another response from the woman I mentioned the other day.  (See blog entry link below....)

Optimally living in two genders

And she presented her views well.  Even tnough we may disagree on a lot, there are also things we agree on.  I feel that the M2F transgendered woman can only be female when male privilege and male dominance has been fully surrendered.  This is a hard thing for natal males to do.  And to be accepted, this is essential....

Next, I finally had the date I mentioned in yesterday's blog entry - and it went well.  Although dating is a big headache, it can also be a rewarding experience.  K and I had a great time, and laughed a lot.  However, I'm more concerned about the second date - after such a good first date, will she see me as a one date wonder if she doesn't laugh as much the second time around?  Who knows?  But I sent off an email to say that I enjoyed her company, and was wondering if she'd be free on Sunday.  (If she says yes, I'll postpone a date with my niece to go museum viewing for a week.....)

I called my friend L after my date to tell her what happened.  Sadly, L is not having good luck with the guys, and her depression is contagious.  She has lost hope, and she is attracting the wrong kind of man.  (Maybe she should place a new personal ad, but delete much of the stuff that's attracting the wrong males....)   But the best advice one could give her - get a makeover and a professional picture before placing the ad online.  Her ad brings out the worst in her face....

Sadly, I haven't made the time to take the voice classes I paid for several months ago.  (Luckily, I have them digitized, so I can practice at will.)  Sounding perfect is not in the cards for me.  But sounding presentable is.  And this may be a realistic goal, given what I heard done with some M2F transgendered females when at Fantasia Fair last year.

So what is the common theme?   I have no idea.  But life isn't as well organized as we'd like it to be - it's messy.  And even when messy, life is interesting.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Looking forward to a date....

Tomorrow's the big day.  I'll be meeting a woman for a date that knows both my male and female persona before I go on the date.  (This is rare - I can think of only one other person with whom this has been the case.)   But a couple of my friends have cheered me on, rooting in my corner, hoping that this date goes well.  Well, we'll see....

If I were meeting her in female mode, I'd be worrying - what will I wear?  This is where men have it much easier - the typical straight adult male doesn't worry that much about his appearance, as the rules for him to dress and look good are simple.    But if I were a female, I'd be in trouble - Do I dress up? Do I dress down?  What will he think?  I know one thing, I'd consider this look:

I should say, I'd choose the hat (if it fit) and not the top.....

Am I old fashioned?  Probably.  My ideas of how a female should dress came from the women of my mother's generation.  So I find it surprizing how (relatively) comfortable today's shapewear can be, in comparison to that worn a generation earlier.  (But I won't offend you with a picture of me in that....)  And I find it surprizing how quickly the definition of a properly dressed woman has changed to include pants (of various sorts) in everyday wear.  (How many of us remember that it was a big deal for Mary Tyler Moore to wear Capri Pants on the old Dick Van Dyke show?)  Somethings never change - and the more things change, the more they stay the same - women will always dress to catch the attention of men.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Getting flamed by a radical feminist

This was bound to happen someday - I just got flamed by someone with her own political agenda.  The author of this flame follows 3 radical feminist blogs, one of which has a posting which is very anti-transgender.  Such is life.

Why do I mention this?  This woman objected to two things from this blog.  First, that the average male's voice can be trained to rise half an octave and learn enough feminine vocal styles to sound convincingly feminine.  (I'm pretty sure that many of us in the transgender community know the handful of vocal coaches/speech therapists who are successfully doing this work, or we know how to find them....)  Second, this woman objected to my use of the word "Natal" to refer to someone born a woman, so we can distinguish the natal woman from the M2F transgendered woman.  According to this woman, both Buck Angel and Chaz Bono are women.  Don't say that to Buck or Chaz!

In a way, I feel sorry for this woman.  Radicalization in most forms indicates extreme unhappiness with an area of the status quo.  Yet, I can understand why some women defend their spaces from the transgendered - many M2F transgendered folk at one side of the spectrum still think like males, and act as if they still have a right (if they ever had any) to a social dominant position in the world of women - continuing to disrupt those women in the same way they did when they were presenting as males. 

So what is a M2F transgendered person to do?  First, I suggest learning the ways of women very fine detail, and emulate as many of these behaviors as much as possible.  This will mean that a transgendered woman will need to learn to communicate for rapport and not just for simple information exchange.  Second, one must tread very, very carefully - there are women who are uncomfortable with any hint of maleness in their spheres.  Don't tick them off - it'll only make things worse for the rest of the transgendered community.  And third, have confidence in yourself.  Without that, you will fail.

Now, I'll bet that this post will act as a lightning rod for some - it will draw some negative attention, and maybe a flame or two.  But we are a fragile community.  The true, gentle transgendered woman needs a form of social scaffolding to make her transition into femininity.  And I hope that I can help erect some of that scaffolding....

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Back to NYC and some other thoughts...

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being with two friends going from one boutique to another.  The weather was much warmer than I dressed for that day, and I was carrying around a trenchcoat still with a lining for winter wear.  So, I was working up a sweat just holding the coat.  Just imagine carrying the coat with 2-3 miles of walking - something I have no problems doing without sweating in 70 degree weather.  (More on this later....)

I had the vicarious pleasure of shopping for things that I could not possibly wear without a full blown transition AND serious weight loss.  (Imagine the strapless gown....  Only a natal woman with the proper "equipment" and shape can wear it well.  My friend C has everything in just the right proportions.)  To contrast the differences between my friend and I, I'd like to present the following photograph:

You'll notice that she is smaller than I am, and.... notice that my breasts have shifted slightly.  AARGH!!!!   I've just learned something - use better methods to fix my prosthetics to my chest *and* don't carry a large coat hanging over a pocketbook when walking a lot.  (This helped set the forms into the wrong place, and I had to adjust them a couple of times to stay looking reasonably natural.)

I don't think my friend C would mind me posting this about her (as she has her own blog) - she blogs about her weight loss.  Would you believe that she lost over 100 lbs.?  You'll also notice that she's wearing black.  Now that she has a body she can show off, lighter colors for outerwear would help show how pretty she is.  (I wish I had thought to take a picture of her in the strapless gown - it showed off her figure for the person she is now, and not the person she was 100+ lbs. ago.)  I'm glad that she has a wonderful husband who encourages her to see the beautiful person she is, and to see that she's now a size 6 and not a size 26 anymore....

It take a lot of time for any person to internalize weight loss.  And when I gained back 70 lbs. over a period of 8 years, I hadn't yet fully internalized my new self image, nor had I developed the tools to mitigate the risks of food addiction.  Some of us are helped by joining weight loss groups, others by simple self discipline, and lastly by surgery.  My friend L (who lives nearby) has given up, and is very depressed.  She can't see the possibility for change as I do.  So I don't know who has it worse - the person who doesn't know what's possible, or someone like me who does, yet hasn't done so. I'm not sure what the answer to that question is, but I hope to see my hypnotist friend on Tuesday and restart the process of losing weight....

Shifting around a little bit....

Sometimes a T-Gal looks pretty, and other times she does not.  For me, it was a great pleasure to be addressed as "Ms. or Ma'am", or to be referenced as "ladies..." while out yesterday.  But this brings up the question - how does a person internalize one's self identification?

Right now, I identify as a man visiting the world of women.  There's a part of me that would want to live this way 24x7.  But I'm more than comfortable just visiting this world if it means that I can have someone I love in my life.  And it is very enjoyable just to be able to do things such as try on the hat below:

Again somthing outside my control is at work here - no hat made for the average woman is likely to fit my head.  I have to wear wigs with a large cap size, which means hats meant for the average woman's head won't fit mine.

But just visiting the world of women is a great pleasure for now.  For example, would any woman invite a man she doesn't know into the following picture?

It's hard to describe how this happened, but we were trying to set up the same picture as this woman and her friend were trying to do.  Somehow, I found myself next to the beautiful woman who had no idea that I was anything but a middle aged woman.

And here's another shot at the same place:

I can imagine what I would look like with a lot less weight - and a nicer top!  This is not a top meant for spring - the colors are coming out, and the woman in the previous picture looks much more appropriately dressed for the season than I do....  But, of the pictures taken of me yesterday, this one is my favorite.

Hopefully I'll see both C and A again soon.  Since they live about 2 1/2 hours away, it won't be as frequent as I'd like.  But seeing C is an inspiration, and a pleasant reminder that, I too can lose the extra weight and look much nicer than I do...

Cleaning up some of the mess - A Quickie.

As I've mentioned in other entries, I am not out to everyone.  As a result, I play it safe, and put all my female things away if I think someone will be over - today might be one of these times. 

I've been seeing a lady for a while, and things are going very, very slowly between the two of us.  Normally, I'd have written her off.  But this time around, it has actually helped.  (I'll contrast my approach with one of my friends' appraches in a later blog entry.)   Taking things slow has allowed us to get to know each other.  With that being said, if she comes to my place, I want to control the message.  And the best way to do so is to carefully reveal this side of me - not having things show up, that I don't want to be seen without explanations....

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Another fine day....

Today, I went to the city to see my friends A and C from the North Country. (Of course, in Girl Mode....)  Like me, C has had a problem with her weight.  Unlike me, she had surgery a couple of years ago and now looks - va-va-voom!  (Yes, that phrase dates me.  But I'm not ashamed to say I'm a baby boomer who'd have liked Ike had I the chance to know him....)  And I know how much her hubby care for her - he fell for her when she was heavy, and loves how she looks now....

But back to the current day....

We had scheduled a day of boutiqueing.  Of course, none of the boutiques she wanted to visit had anything for plus sized gals like me.  That wasn't an issue - I got a vicarious thrill seeing this lady enjoying herself in her "new" body, getting used to being a svelte woman.  At one boutique, she spotted a strapless dress that she wasn't sure of - and both her husband and I told her to try it on.  (She still has a hard time thinking of herself as a size 6, after being many sizes larger for so long.)  Well, it fit her like a glove - it was now a requirement for her to buy THAT dress and find a place to wear it.  As we were looking to catch a bus to go to the next boutique, I mentioned that I'd gladly go through the bypass operation and to start hormones so that I could look as good as she did in that dress.  (She was absolutely stunning in that dress, and I only wish I could do the same!!!!)

Enough for now - I have to run off to dinner with a friend, and I still have to refresh my face for the evening.

ps: I'll post more about this day later on, and have some new pictures sometime this week....

Way up North....

It's been a while since I've taken off on a Friday to go to a party in the "North Country".  But whenever one friend holds our group's monthly gathering at her house, the party is always on Friday. 

As I may have mentioned, I'm on my co-op's board of directors.  And this means sometimes I must do some work for the board.  In this case, it's an appointment with a utility to discuss how its new cables will be installed in our apartment complex.  Luckily, in a previous gig, I learned enough of the industry lingo to understand the core issues in dropping new cable into a 60 year old building, and how to do it without disrupting most of our residents.  So this meant that had to be in boy mode in the morning for the meeting with the utility, and in girl mode for the rest of the day, when I drive North for the gathering (and return the same night). I'm very glad to report that everything went as expected with Verizon, and after I get some sleep, will send a report to the other directors.

On the way up North, I stopped in at Catherines to see what summer stuff they had on hand.  I found a pair of capri pants and a blouse that works perfectly with it as an outfit - that I snapped it up right away.  This outfit is pink, and shouts "Female".  And given how I was dressed, shouting "Female" was in good taste. I'll be going back for an outfit I saw there soon - the sales lady and I were having a conversation about a multitoned, reddish jacket over a beige shell... What would be the best bottom for the outfit - skirt or pants, and of what color. The saleslady said a white skirt, and I was thinking a red skirt.  Hmmm..  Maybe it's time to add both a white skirt and pair of pants to my closet. 

Due to the stop, I was a little late for the party.  Sadly, this month, there was almost no one at the party - it seems like virtually all the regulars had other things to do.  But if this pattern keeps up, I'll be finding somewhere else to go, because I want human companionship for my investment in time.  Will I miss these people?  Yes - they showed me warmth and acceptance when I needed it most to grow.  But I said the same thing about my widow/widowers gatherings.  And I learned that there is a time and season to all things. Hopefully, this season is one of growth....

Thursday, April 18, 2013


I never would have thought I'd be writing an entry about outreach.  To out one's self for the sake of matter-of-fact conversation to a complete stranger would normally sound reckless to me.  But it felt perfectly natural given the circumstances of the situation I was in.

This morning, as I was on my way to work, a lady needed help with her baggage before sitting down next to me for the ride into Grand Central.  So, after helping her, I felt very comfortable chatting with this lady, as she was on her first leg of her trip by train, then bus back to Maine.  We talked about many things, and ended up talking about places we'd like to travel, and San Francisco came up.  I told her about my wife, our desire to move out to the bay area, and my trip to scatter her ashes there.  And then I mentioned that when I go there now, I become part of the human granola....

Well, by now, this lady and I had achieved a certain rapport, and the conversation was flowing as if we had known each other forever instead of 10 minutes.  So I showed her some pictures of San Francisco (at the Musee Mechanique) and she noticed a picture of a lady.  She asked, was that my wife?  I said "No, that's me....  I'm transgendered."  She was surprized, and noted how good I looked.  And then she asked me a lot of questions, such as how I did my face, where I went, who I was out to, etc....  The more we talked, the more both of us were enjoying the chat - I even showed her the picture taken in the ladies room of the Newseum in DC, commenting "to boldly go where no man has gone before...."  It took her a second, then she laughed, picking up on the joke.  All too soon, the train arrived in Grand Central, and we had to part ways.  But I gave her information about this blog, in case she wants to read more about my occasional exploits.

In yesterday's blog entry, I mentioned two women who responded to my personal ad in "Marian" mode.  Well, for the second day in a row, Ms. K and I were exchanging texts while free at work.  I told her about the "hen party" I was at a few weeks ago, where I was accepted as a woman, and she asked "how?"  And I responded by noting how I've practiced raising the pitch of my voice by half an octave, noting that I still have an extremely flawed voice if I have to talk a lot....  So she is very interested in seeing me - if only to meet this curiosity of a person.

Who'd have thought that I'd be performing a form of outreach two times in one day?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dating in two genders --- Continued

Just as soon as I start talking about my two personal ads on a popular service, I get two hits from women who've seen the ad with the picture of my Marian persona, who are both interested in dating me....  As the expression goes, you can't make this stuff up!

There are two women in the picture - K and C.  Both are very geographically desirable for me, although neither is at the educational level I'd prefer.  Does this make a difference?  It can - my late wife was more intelligent than her educational background would indicate, but never really got the encouragement to pursue a higher education.  Does this mean much?  Well, if one partner enjoys a certain "in depth" type of conversation which leans on concepts learned in a classic liberal arts education, and the other partner doesn't have command of these concepts, there could be something missing after the initial chemistry wears off.  This also applies th modes of thought - the better the education, the more likely it will be that a person is able to juggle ideas almost as if they were mathematical equations.  In short, it could be like the "Red State vs. Blue State" macro level style of communication where the two sides talk past each other than communicate with each other....

But back to the two women....

Ms. K responded to both of my ads.  We arranged to get together next week (having connected via the ad with my male persona's picture).  But we've communicated much more via the ad with my female persona's picture.  So, I figured that since she was open to seeing me in this persona, that I'd connect the two before next week's date.  And guess what - she's even more interested in getting together!!!!

Ms. C responded to me after Ms. K, and the conversation was pleasant.  However, she didn't respond to the ad under my male persona.  Both ads say much of the same thing, but in different ways.  So I'll see her soon as well.  But with Ms. C., she doesn't care how I dress when I meet her.  This means that I have an open pass to get into this persona before going on the date.

What about the other woman I've been seeing, and not yet been intimate with....?

Well, I'm considering my position as being free to date others until we get intimate.  Of course, I'll have to tell this lady about my female persona and let her make the decision whether she wants to continue seeing me, and in what way....  Ms. L is well educated, and I've already had several dates with her.  And given where we are, I wouldn't mind things growing even more between us.  But she has to know about this persona before making exclusive committments to me.  So I'll tell her as soon as it looks like we will be getting intimate.

So keep your fingers crossed -
     As Margo Channing once said, I might be in for a bumpy ride.

Quickie: Laser - I'm finally committed

I've finally decided to shit or get off the pot.  Last night, I purchased a groupon coupon, and decided to start laser to kill my beard hairs....  Soon, I won't need beard cover when I do my face.  Even better, I can do my makeup more like a natal woman, and leave most of my neck area without makeup - which will help keep my clothes from getting makeup stains....

One more step on the path to femininity...  What an interesting path!

Quickie - In the dressing room

On Sunday, I went to a consignment store for plus sized gals with my friend Vicki.  Neither of us planned to buy anything, but we ended up trying on a lot of things - tops, pants, skirts, and dresses - acting like kids in a candy store with a fist filled with nickels.  It was pleasant to see Vicki treating me totally as a woman, handing me clothes while I was dressing (Vicki seeing me in states of undress), and me doing the same with her.  Both of us were in the hunt for pretty clothes to wear - and we found them together.

One more step on the path to femininity - and it's nice to have a friend along for part of the trip.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Building friendships - some preliminary thoughts.

I've been giving the issue of friendships some thought lately.  Over the years, I became isolated due to the nature of my job and the nature of the people I associated with.  But this isolation made me feel a little lonely.

To deal with isolation, I decided to get out in the world.  In male mode, I've attended some meetups, and will probably do so in female mode soon.  When given the opportunity, I socialize in my female persona, traveling to the North Country, and hanging out with my friends M, P, V, and L.  Recently, I've placed a personal ad showing only my female persona, and it's been getting more hits than the ad showing my male persona.  (Ladies must be very curious, but not that interested....  Yet, I've gotten a few responses - but not from those gals who'd be on the top half of my list.)  So, I'm still a work in progress - in both personas.

The question comes to mind - what should I be looking for in a friendship?  As adults, we may randomly meet people, but what causes us to be attracted to new friends is something else.  I found that I have little charisma in my male persona.  Even with trying not to speak (as the maleness of my voice comes out), I seem to have an easier time striking up new conversations in female mode.  But this doesn't answer the question, yet it points towards one.  Women socialize by establishing a sort of rapport with each other, sharing their feelings.  Men socialize by exchanging information, but not sharing their feelings.  By their nature, men are lonely animals.  So, this gives me a clue - I gravitate towards friendships where rapport is established.  Yet, I like having companionship - even if quiet is shared.

So, it is likely that I must develop my female persona some more - if only to see what develops.  I think that I will end up having many more female friendships than male friendships - and that doesn't bother me at all.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Optimally living in two genders

Today's post by Meg got me thinking - is there an optimal way for a MtF transgendered person to live in two genders prior to a formal transition?  Should one gradually shift one's gender presentation from male to female by incorporating more female clothing in the mix, gradually feminizing the image people see in a male presentation?  Or, should one go "All In", and present a non-blended female image when presenting as female, and present a non-blended male image when presenting as male? 

Before I go much further with this exploration, I'll state that I don't think there is a right answer due to all the trade-offs involved.  As I started to think of this, the following issues came to mind:
  • High priority relationships - How much can you reveal to the important people in your life?  This group may include family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and selected acquaintances.  Can you afford to lose contact (or worse) with any of these people?
  • Comfort being in public - Are you comfortable with some people reading you as a "visitor" in the sex opposite to what you were born into?  Are you thick skinned enough to not be embarassed, or to continue in the social situation?
  • Quality of presentation - Do you look "reasonably passable"?  If someone were to pass by you, would your face or body shout that you were not of the biological gender of your presentation?  Does your face look feminine enough after makeup is applied?  Does your voice have a reasonable feminine timber?  Do you have appropriate feminine body language?  Do you dress appropriately for a woman of your age?
  • Privacy - How comfortable are you with the idea that you will be out in public?  Are you comfortable with the risk that someone will know you are transgendered?
Going out as a member of a support group is one thing.  But going out on your own is another.  Many support groups have lockers where one can stash the alternative wardrobe, prosthetics (wigs, breastforms, etc.) and makeup needed for a feminine presentation.  What does one have to do to go out on one's own without the group?  Each of us has a unique answer to this question.  Some have their alternate identity hidden in a locker, a trunk, a place in the attic where they can go when their significant other is not around.  Others are lucky to have closet space in the house, where the significant other tolerates the presence of these items.  And then there are others like me who are "lucky" enough to live alone and have enough room to maintain two separate wardrobes, with no one to complain about the female clothes in the closet.  

But having a place to store one's stuff and get dressed does not mean that one can feel safe going out.  For most of us, it is wise to be risk averse. Exposure as a M2F transgendered person can cause loss of a job, loss of family, loss of friends, and loss of a social support network. Yet, we yearn to go out in the world and experience life in the other gender. So, belonging to a support group (if one is available nearby) is a good first step towards this experience. Many groups go to places that are TG friendly, these visits help individuals develop the self confidence to feel more comfortable in their new gender presentation.  For me, I was lucky enough to go out "dressed" for the first time in San Francisco - a town where no one cares whether a man is wearing a dressed, or is simply wearing a thong while walking down Market Street.  So, with the confidence I gained while in San Francisco, I was able to go out in more places and am now very comfortable going out in my home town....

Many of us have bodies, faces, etc. that shout out "Male".  There are certain tricks that can help minimize the male characteristics and play up the female characteristics one has.  Make up, shapewear, etc. can help a lot.  But it can't perform miracles.  So it is up to the individual to determine how to address these issues.  For me, I use makeup to contour my face.  I also try to wear clothes that are forgiving of a male body frame.  This means that, when possible, you'll find me in tunic length tops with skirts or dresses, where I can hide my lack of a feminine waist.  There are lessons one can purchase online which can help the M2F transgendered person to develop a feminine voice, develop female body language, dress like a female, and apply makeup.  I'd suggest that the new M2F transgendered person to invest in these things, as they help one develop a mode believable female presentation.

And this leaves one's comfort being in public to be discussed.  Each of us has to break the barrier that keeps us from the outside world in one's own way.  We all have to accept the risk of being as transgendered (as I have, with friends accidentally outing me) and not worrying about it.  We are not natal women.  Some of us will only be visitors to that world, while others will emmigrate to that world.  But I've found that the better our presentation, the more likely we'll be accepted visitors or parts of that world.

Now back to what got me thinking on the differences in how we live in two genders....

Meg is very careful not to have people who know her as Meg know her in her male persona.  There are many advantages to this - one of which is that in casual encounters, acquaintances will be less likely to accidentially "out" a transgendered person.  She is more comfortable with feminizing her male appearance in subtle ways.  I can see this making it easier to transition, as one doesn't have to keep presenting as a "dominant male" during a period of changes.  Stana has people who know her in both modes, and is quite comfortable going to some of her functions en-femme.  Mandy has gradually softened her masculine image, and is often addressed with female pronouns, as she is wearing mixed mode clothing. Kim travels transgendered, but has good reasons not to live that way in her home town.   And I keep my presentations separate, but am very comfortable with casual acquaintances and female friends knowing that I am transgendered. 

As a casual observer can see, there is no one right way for any of us.  There is only the way each of us takes.  But it is most important to take that first step.  Not taking that first step keeps us in the unhappy area of the well known.  Taking that first step is scary, as it leads to the unknown - with the chance of being very happy in the future.  And I advocate carefully taking that first step....

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Consignment Shopping

Today I went shopping with a friend who knows my two personas.  Our plans were to go to the plus size consignment store that Stana once mentioned in her blog, look at the merchandise, and then have lunch.  Well, our plans changed a little, and we had an early lunch before going to the consignment store. 

Going to a store like this is "catch as catch can".  Most merchandise is one-of-a-kind in the store, and one has to be a little bit lucky to find things that really work on one's body.  And I was lucky to find one very pretty top and two skirts for $26.  This gal's gonna rock!  My friend bought much more than I did, and escaped for $60 or so.  But where we really did  damage to our pocktbooks is at The Avenue - where the two of us found some nice shoes!  I spent $65 on a pair of shoes and a top. But my friend probably spent about $130 or so on 3 pairs of shoes.  At least I still have some room in my closet for the clothes I bought.

My friend realizes that she is having trouble keeping the genders straight when being with me en-femme.  She just figured out that she has to call me by my female name when en-femme, to cement the idea in her head that she's with a female.  If she uses my androgenous male name, she will likely use the wrong pronoun and embarass everyone.  At least, she realizes that a mistake made with salespeople doesn't count for much - we're not likely to encounter them in the rest of our lives.

So she dropped me off around 6:30 tonight, and I missed most of the movies I wanted to see at the theater.  I had a choice - get undressed, strip off my makeup and get comfy for the night/  Or, to refresh my face, and take care of some grocery shopping I have to do.  Guess what - the groceries won....

The day starts with a shopping trip and ends with a shopping trip.  Isn't that just like a woman?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Dating while transgendered

I'd say that the title of this blog entry may be a little misleading.  But I haven't thought of a good way to describe my thoughts more accurately....

As I may have mentioned, I am a widowed person searching for a long term companion.  My gender preference is towards females, and I only date them.  With this being said, over the past few years, I've used several avenues to meet women - my most successful being that of the personal ad.  This time around, I have two active ads.  One ad is a "straight" ad, with a typical male picture used for a profile picture.  The other ad is my "twist", the ad where the image of my female persona is posted - and notes boldly that I dress for both personas, but have a gender preference towards females.

Of course, I get all my dates from women who see only my straight profile.  What I find strange is that my "Twist" profile gets even more visitors - probably those people who want to look at a curiosity.  But I won't ask any of these ladies.  Obviously, if all they're doing is looking, they are not the kind of woman who'd take a flyer on dating someone like me.  So I'll probably end up meeting someone nice via my "Straight" ad, and then hope that she'll be comfortable enough with me to accept this part of my nature as part of the whole package. 

So, what is the best hope for people like us?  I'm not sure.  It's in our ethical interest to be open and honest about who we are.  But if potential partners of our preference don't respond, what should be do?   Some will mislead potential partners, and wait until it's way too late for a partner to back out before telling about one's transgendered nature.  Others, like me, will pursue both paths, but if meeting a person via a "straight" ad - will avoid the bonding nature of physical intmacy until informing our partners of our transgendered nature.  No path is perfect.  Each path is a trade-off.  But if we don't understand the trade-offs, we do a disservice to ourselves and to those we wish to partner with....

Weekend plans and possible disclosures.

After work tonight, I had the pleasure of changing into girl mode, then driving to my friend's place to help her with computer issues. We're now at the point where she wants to help me with my weight loss goals through the use of hypnosis in exchange for my computer skills.  (About 10 years ago, I lost over 70 pounds with the help of hypnosis, and I could use that help again.  So my help is not altogether altruistic.)  So, I plan to take advantage of bartered services, and have a win-win situation....

Before I started on her computer, I asked her to take a few pictures of me.  The picture below was the only one I liked.  Too bad that the blush stands out too much on my face in the photo - it looked better in person....

While working on her computer, we got to discussing my transgendered nature, and I found out how she processes my two personas - she responds to me in girl mode as a woman, having problems when I talk about the nature of my feminine illusion.  And she responds to me in boy mode as a man - as if I am two different people sharing the same body.  This makes it easy for her to switch between the two personas.  If she sees me in girl mode, I'm Marian.  And when she sees me in boy mode, she uses my male name.  She has never used the wrong pronoun like my other friends.

But she did bring up one problem.  I'm getting to the point of dating one lady, where we may be getting ready to be physically intimate with each other.  And this means that I must be ready to tell the lady I've been dating about my transgendered nature - hoping she doesn't run away.  As the odds are less than 50/50, working against me, I have to be ready for rejection.  I'll find out tomorrow, if, after our day trip, we make it back to my place....

On Sunday, another female friend and I (we share the same wedding anniversary date) are driving to a consignment store that Stana mentioned in her blog.  Although neither of us have any intention of buying anything of note, it'll be a wonderful day out with an old friend. With this being said, I told someone a lie about this trip. I've been chatting with one woman about my weekend plans, and I mentioned that I was going to the Timexpo museum.  (We would have done this afterwards....)  But the museum is closed on Sundays.  So I told a small fib - we were going to the Mark Twain House in Hartford.   I wonder if Twain would have had a good phrase for what I was doing....

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Planning a busy weekend

One of the problems I deal with in living a life in two genders is that there's never enough time for me to get into girl mode and to enjoy it for a while.  This weekend is a perfect example of the issues involved....

Tomorrow night, I'm supposed to help a friend with her computer.  I figure that I may get home around 6:00 - 6:30 pm, and then make the effort to get into female mode before driving the half hour to be with my friend.  I'll probably return home by midnight, so I may have spent only 3-4 hours en-femme that evening.  On Saturday, I'll be out on a date en-homme, and have no chance to be in girl mode.  Then, to close out the weekend, I'll again get into girl mode, so that a friend and I can go to a consignment store in Waterbury and look at their goods.  (Thank you Stana, for the information about this store in your blog.)

If I could stay in girl mode all weekend, I'd consider doing my nails in a nice shade of red.  Alas, to put polish on for one day seems a waste.  I'm glad that when I go on a 7 day (or more) vacation, I have enough time in girl mode to justify a mani-pedi. Soon, I'll have to commit to a vacation.  Rest assured, it will be mostly in girl mode.   Where I'll be going, how and when, is still up in the air.    But I'll write about it when I make a decision....

A Quickie - Someone responded to my personal ad...

It's hard to believe, but a woman responded to the personal ad that I placed with my en-femme image.  Although she's geographically undesirable (lives in the wrong NYC suburb - a bear to visit with bridge crossings factored in), she might be worth meeting in the city, as she wasn't put off by my image.  (Who knows what she's like in real life - it always pays to be careful with personal ads....)

I'll have my regularly scheduled posting later tonight.  But I thought that this tidbit may give some people hope....

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A question of etiquette....

Is there any polite way to open up a conversation with someone and ask if she's transgender?    I'll bet that many people would love to ask that question if it weren't so impolite.  And I would have asked that question of a person who was sitting near me on the train today, had I not felt that it was inappropriate to ask. 

First, why did I think she was transgendered?  Well, she had a voice closer to a male's range.  Her body did not have the usual curves.  And her face had some of the angles you'd expect on a male's face.  (There were more things to note, but that's enough to give you the drift.)  Being transgendered myself, this piqued my interest - if I were right, I'd have loved to find out more of her experiences, and what one should and shouldn't expect during a potential transition process.  But more importantly, she might simply be a kindred spirit with whom a good friendship could be built.

There are more than enough of us living in stealth mode, which is an indicator of a success in transitioning.  Hopefully, in the future, with children being diagnosed as transgender before puberty, the need to transition may be replaced with a prevention from maturing into a body of the wrong gender....

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Being bitten by a bug...

Well, the bug to travel has already bit me again, and I don't know where I want to go.  As you might guess, I'm thinking of flying somewhere for my "long" vacation.  The question is 'Where?'

Now, I have a short term goal of visiting Philadelphia again in the near future.  But I keep hemming and hawing about making reservations, as I saw most of the main historic sites on my last visit there with my then girlfriend.  What else can I do in that city?  Yes, I'd like to see the Mutter museum, and maybe a couple of other museums.  But without being sure that I could meet up with others from our "sorority", it wouldn't be half as much fun....

Today, I saw a deal which I almost took advantage of.  For one day only, I could get a round trip ticket from NYC to LA or SF for $200.  Of course, when you pay for one checked bag each way, the price jumps to $300 or so.  But it's still a good price.  Was this what I really wanted?   No.  I want one last cross country train trip.  And I want to travel somewhere new. 
So I'm looking at going out to Seattle and then taking the train back to New York, with a few days in Chicago for fun.  The catch - I'm running out of things to do there.  It'd be nice to go to a ball game - but only at the park on the North side of town.  Yes, there are other museums and tours I could take, but how much would be repeating things I've already done?   I could take the train out to Seattle, and then return by air.  But getting home from the airport is a big pain.  Yet, this might be the way I'll do it.  And now's the time for me to start thinking about my vacation plans.

But this idea is not cast in stone.  I want to visit a place that's TG friendly *and* has comfortable weather.  I also want to avoid spending a fortune this year, as I am also looking at going to Fantasia Fair in October.  Given a choice, I may drop Fantasia Fair, and go somewhere I haven't been before, or somewhere there's still a lot left for me to see for the first time.  (Does anyone have any good ideas?)  One thing that's for certain - I will be spending my time there en-femme!

Monday, April 8, 2013

To shop or not to shop, that is the question.

As I've written in other bog entries, I have to make some decisions so that I can intelligently add summer components to my wardrobe, and not just spend money on clothes I might never wear again.  (And with NYC weather about to hit 80 degrees tomorrow, I'd better get cracking on buying my summer clothes.)

Right now, I have some ideas of what I'm going to buy for my summer wardrobe.  But I first want to run them past a few natal female friends of mine, so that I can be sure that I'll be buying what a natal woman of my age would wear.  One of the things I'm looking at is a blue dress in a similar cut to the lavender floral dress I'm wearing in my profile picture.  I'm also looking at buying some T-shirts and some crinkled gauze tops and skirts.  The key to what I want to buy - loose, non-form-fitting clothes which are light weight and comfortable to wear. 

It's so easy to spend money, but so hard to spend it well.  I'm lucky that I can afford (for now) to maintain two wardrobes, and to be careful to get the most value out of the money I spend.  (I believe I've said this before.)  And now, I have a new concern - I'm running out of space in my closet for my girl clothes, and I don't want it to grow larger than my boy closet - unless I decide to go into full transition.   There are articles of clothing that I don't intend to wear anymore - and I'll replace their closet space with new items that I'll get more use from.

But I have to say one thing in conclusion - it is much more fun shopping in girl mode than in boy mode! 

Dinner with friends - Aftermath

The magic which infused our group's first dinner wasn't there today.  It will be the last time we try to get together, as my friend, my link to these people, is no longer interested in being associated with the group.  (At least the topic of me being transgendered was not an issue - I was seen and treated as a female, and I enjoyed dinner with the smaller group we had today.)

As I noted before, my friend looks at the world as a series of conspiracies, so that she can be a helpless victim with someone else to blame.    The reason I mention this trait is an interpersonal communications game we played while having dessert.  It is geared to get people talking about their strengths and weaknesses, and to help people look at ways to quickly set themselves on the path of improvement.  My friend mentioned that she was overwhelmed by the issues of caring for a grown-up special needs child (among other issues), and that she couldn't get the support she needed because the support groups she started fizzled out because no one had the time for them.  I said that she should find 30 minutes of each day to blog about this subject.  She should vent, then hope that others chime in with their thoughts - and ways they have dealt with their problems.  In short, she should no longer think of herself as a victim (even if she is), but think of herself as using a tool to enlarge the power of her voice.

Do I think my friend will make the shift in her thought process to attempt taking control of her life?  I'm not sure.  But I sure plan to take the next step in my own life, and again try hypnosis to help me lose some weight.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Second dinner with new friends

OK - I've talked about this before, but I have some concerns...

Tomorrow, I'm going into NYC to have dinner with some new friends.  They only know me as Marian, and not my male persona.  When I met them first, the friend who introduced me would note that I'm transgendered - if the issue of my gender came up.  And it didn't.  I was totally accepted in the female role.

Strangely enough, I'm a little nervous about seeing these friends again.  Why?  Without thinking, I set a high bar for myself in relating to these new friends - and I could easily slip up, make a minor mistake and embarass myself.  More importantly, I could embarass the friend who introduced me to this group.  But that's something that I'll do my best not to let happen.

Now, the next big question is - what shall I wear?  Yes, this T-Gal is becoming more like a natal woman every day.  (When was the last time you heard a straight man asking that question?)  For people not familiar with the latest weather in the NYC area, the weather is supposed to be in the high 50's in the daytime, and the mid 40's at night.  So I have to rummage through my closet and find something that will be comfortable for this weather and yet look nice on me.

In the near future, I plan to go to a meetup as Marian.  I found the perfect meetup for me, it's a group which welcomes Straights and GLBTs. So, it they have a weekend meeting, I'll be there.  Maybe I'll make some more new friends.....

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Shopping - and not finding what I want.

Like most natal males, I learned to carry my necessities in my pockets.  One could never have enough pockets.  So carrying a handbag took a little getting used to.

However, I had an advantage that many men don't have - I was already used to carrying a messenger bag around with some books and magazines that I'd want to read that day.  Even when most people are now using tablet readers while commuting, it is not out of place to see a man carrying a messenger bag with his computer, books, etc. in it.  And I am more than comfortable carrying my bag around - even on days that I don't bother to open it up.

But I only carry the bag in the way a woman would carry a crossbody bag.  I've found that I can't hang a bag on a shoulder - I need the strap to go on the other side of my head. So this limits me when I go handbag shopping - like I did tonight.  And, as you can guess from this entry's title - I found nothing worth buying.

Most handbags are too small to carry my woman's wallet.  Add to that the two pairs of glasses and miscellaneous other stuff like lipstick and pressed powder, and I'm carrying more things in the bag than I ever needed as a guy. Now, I'm perfectly comfortable with a handbag, and hate having to go back to my pockets when returning to male mode.

In addition to looking for a handbag, I also considered going shopping for a pair of women's trousers - to go with a couple of tops I bought a couple of weeks ago.  But given the choice of buying trousers which would be on sale for a while, or buying the handbag whose sale ends on Sunday - What would you choose?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Out of the woodwork

Tonight's blog will ramble a bit - my thoughts are a little more disjointed than usual....

Last weekend, one of my old acquaintances came out from under the woodwork to say hello.  I never made the effort to stay in contact, and I think I understand why now - he was Bipolar, and had a touch of OCD and ADHD.  So after a few years of not being in contact, I plan to get together for a drink and catch up on life.  If things come up in the right way, I'll reveal this side of me to him to see how he reacts.  It will be a low risk outing.

Tonight, I was supposed to see an ex-girlfriend (and husband) for dinner - but she's feeling sick with gallbladder problems and can't enjoy eating.  (For someone who loves to eat, I know this is a problem for her.)  So my thoughts are with her, and I hope she feels better soon (as well as hoping that the doctors figure out what is wrong, and fixing it....)  And I needed rest, and was glad (in retrospect) that I could stay in.  I want to go out to see my dad on Saturday, then in the evening, go out on a date.  On Sunday, I'm supposed to go to a hen party - if it finally comes off....  This will be a busy weekend, and I can't afford to burn my candle too long at both ends.

In many ways, I feel like I'm coming out of the woodwork as well.  With some people in the know, I'll ask which side of me they want to meet.  With others, I go as the default persona in which they know me.  But in all cases, I seem to becoming more open to people - as well as them becoming more open to me.  My female persona seems to have none scarring that my male persona has had to deal with.  As a result, subtle traits such as my body language are more inviting to people.

I'm still debating whether I should attend a few meetup groups in Marian mode.  Whether I do (or not) will depend on the location, date and time of these meetups.  Marian mode will be limited to weekends - and even then, may be limited even further by my other social engagements.  Although I go out in the world without trouble as Marian, there is still a part of me that worries a little about putting myself in an embarassing or risky situation.

I've started a correspondance between myself and the T-Gal (Rhonda) from yesterday's post on Stana's blog.  Rhonda seems like a person I'd love to meet one day - if only to share tips on how to function as a T-Gal in a mostly conventional world.  Having read her PDF on volunteer work, followed by part time, then full time work as Rhonda, I can now hope that one day I can safely function in the female role in a similar way to that now being done by Rhonda.

There is so much I could say, but my intellectual focus is shot for the night....  So I'll bid everyone an adieu and leave you with this tune.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Empress's new clothes - a Quickie.

The title doesn't mean that I'm going out without clothes like the emperor in the story of a similar title.  It means that I finally received a shipment from Land's End that I had almost forgotten that I ordered.

Summer's coming, and I have to plan for both the spring and summer additions to my wardrobe.  So far, I know I could use a simple twinset in a light, neutral color.  And I'm looking at crepe/crinkle dresses and skirts.  But I'll need a little guidance - and I'll be asking a few of my female friends for help before I go shopping.

Now, over on Stana's blog, there is the story of one T-Gal who is male at home, and female in her post-retirement work world.  I love the idea of being able to go out in the world en-femme and work while en-femme.  Would the reality dissapoint me?  Who knows?  But it's something I'll have to think about, because if I lose my current 9-to-5 position due to redundancy, I may consider doing some volunteer work en-femme.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Looking forward and back....

A few weeks ago, I met with a group of women who accepted me as female - even though my voice alone should have given my maleness away.  This weekend, if all goes right, I will again be meeting with this group and having another wonderful dinner with them.  Hopefully, the magic that infused our first gathering will be present again.

This past weekend made me realize how much I enjoy being en-femme.  There is no erotic thrill to it for me.  It is simply a feeling of comfort.  It is not necessarily clothing comfort - things like shapewear aren't the most comfortable of garments.  But it is more a comfort of being able to be more of the person I want to be.

One might ask - could I be this person as a male?  Maybe.  But it is much easier to be open as a female without triggering concern.  For example, when I visited the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space annex with Charity and Meg, I had the pleasure of doing it en-femme.  In her blog, Meg noted she was looking at how others reacted (or not reacted) towards me, and I was being taken as the person I was presenting myself as - a middle aged woman.  Meg went on to note a conversation Charity was having with a little girl.  I don't think this kind of conversation could have been had if either of us were seen as male - women tend to bond together for both safety and to achieve their social ends.  A male in their midst would have been disruptive to the process of social bonding....

Most men don't think that much of safety - many of us act confident enough to handle any situation, and it may be just that combination of confidence and body mass that helps men be safe.  But consider the situation I encountered on my trip home from DC.  When I reached Penn Station (NYC), I had to make my way from the Amtrak/NJT side of the station to the LIRR side of the station to get on the subway.  I followed the signage that led me through a narrow corridor with no store fronts or places to run for safety.  This corridor then led me to an unattended subway entrance with stairs which hindered me getting from one place to another with my luggage.  In male mode, I was uncomfortable, but knew that I'd likely be able to give as good as I got - and probably survive an attack.  But no female I know would have taken that corridor.  If anything, a female would have taken a cab across town (instead of using the subway, which was my plan.)  She wouldn't have felt secure, and wouldn't have felt she could protect her body from harm. 

But back to being in female mode....

When I caught up with Charity having her conversation with the girl, I was more than comfortable letting Charity speak and adding my $0.02 only when I could add something to the conversation.  My participation was more of an affirmation of what Charity was saying, including my one salient comment - that she could play with any toy she wanted.  (I also meant that she could become any type of person she wanted to be....)

Having a foot in both genders does help give me a unique perspective on things.  But there are limits to that experience.  I can not experience many of the vulnerabilities many women experience every day.  Not living as a woman 24x7, I do not experience the prejudices many women face.  And not having a natal female's reproductive system has given me a different perspective about sex than natal female usually have....  With this being said, it is an interesting perspective, and one I'm thankful to have....

Monday, April 1, 2013

Dee Cee - Day 4

It's been a great weekend, and I'm sorry I had to leave DC.  But leaving some things undone gives me good reason to go back again.

Today, I realized that I had to be very careful when walking.  My rightmost toe on my right foot had gotten a blister, it popped, and the first level of skin came off.  OUCH!  So, last night, I put a coating of nu-skin on it, and hoped it would get me through today.

The first museum I visited was the National Museum of the American Indian.  I'm very glad that the exhibits noted how the US Government broke the majority of its treaties.  Although we stole this land fair and square, it never should have been stolen in the first place.  There's no way to properly compensate the aboriginal Americans for what was taken from them, but we should remember our history for what it was, and try to treat the surviving aboriginal Americans with the respect they deserve.

After this, was an art museum - I can't remember the official title of it, but I enjoyed the Albrecht Durer (sorry - I can't get the umlaut over the U) exhbit.  Venturing into the older wing of the museum (it owes part of its legacy to Andrew Mellon), I realized that I couldn't take in even a fraction of this side of the museum and still make my train home.  So, at 3:00 pm, I made my way to the hotel, picked up my bag, and walked to Union Station where I'd be waiting for my train.

Waiting at Union Station, I read Meg's latest post of the day.  This one is good - and it's going to get me checking my firm's self service HR as well....Even if the computer stuff is as easy as Meg posts, I'd be a little leery of anything posted exactly 17 days after the Ides of March. (3/32/13).  With this being said, I seriously doubt that I wouldmake any changes of this nature until I'm retired.  There would be too many headaches to deal with from my coworkers.

While on line to get onboard my train, I chatted with a "fellow" passenger.  (She's a pretty lady, about 45 y/o, from what she said.)  We both hated flying, and thinking of my plans to traven en-femme one day, I said: "I know someonefrom California who flies cross dressed.  Would a TSA pat down be considered a benefit to the job?"  I made her chuckle, and then switched topic.

Now that I'm in my seat on the train, I'm taking the time to write this blog entry and think about the experiences I've had on this trip.  Seeing Meg and Charity was a high point of my visit - I'd love to see them again, and hope that this can happen.  Another high point was becoming much more relaxed about talking, not worrying as much as being pegged as a male under all the feminine frills. The conversations I had were well worth revealing (without mentioning) that I'm transgendered by tone, pitch, and phrasing of my voice.

Outside of career and family, I want to develop more friendships in my female persona.  If those friends also know my male persona - that's fine.  But I'm planning on being very careful with whom I entrust information about both personas.  With some CDTG's, I'll make the first move and offer friendship to both personas.  With others, I'll let them come to me.  But with "civilians", I'll have to get to know them very, very well before taking a risk.  (And there will be some noted exceptions - such as my friends from the North Country.)

And this leads me to my last thought of the day.  About a month ago, I attended an off-Broadway performance with a group of women, and was accepted as one of them. This weekend, if all goes right, will be another gathering of the crew. This gal can't wait for the weekend to come! 

PS: In one chat I had last night, I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow (lady) project manager who was operating a yogurt shop to pay some bills.(Her son was with her that evening.)  We were talking for about an hour after I went to the shop for some dessert, and she gave me some good advice about getting my experience hours in to sit for the PMP certification exam. I'll try to remember to visit the store the next time I'm there - and it will be easy for me to remember her name: Lola.   I wonder why that is? <g>