Sunday, March 31, 2013

Dee Cee - Day 3

I met Meg and Charity today for a trip out to the Air and Space Museum annex.  It was good that  had breakfast beforehand, as neither Meg nor Charity were hungry.  As much as I think the location is very inconvenient for a casual visitor to DC, I can see why they chose it - it's adjacent to Dulles Airport, and the space was available at a "reasonable" price.  (You'll note the quotes around the word "reasonable" - we are talking about our government and its decision making.  This is the same government, that years ago, couldn't agree on federal deposit insurance.  One part of congress wanted $25,000 for a limit, and the other wanted $40,000 for a limit.  So they compromised and split the difference and set the limit to $125,000.)

This is a museum that is hard to reach (except by car), and is worth the effort.  My reason for going there was a specific B-29 momber flown by Paul Tibbets.  When asked what "nose art" to put on the plane, he said he wanted his mother's name on the plane.  So Mrs. Enola Gay Tibbets will be remembered for generations - as being the woman who gave her name to the plane that bombed Hiroshima,




There are other reasons to be here, including the chance to view a genuine US Space shuttle first hand.  One of the planes I wish I could fly is below.


If you can't tell from the picture, the drivable part of the plane is separated from the flyable part of the plane.  This is the only experimental air-car that ever was certified by the FAA.  Of course, it could never be certified for land travel, so there is not much of a market for these vehicles....

Eventually, it was time to go.  Meg and Charity had other plans for dinner....  SHUX!   I'd have loved to have more time to spend with them.  But I'm grateful I had the time I did - both are busy people, and I'm looking forward to seeing each of them the next time any of us are in each other's neighborhoor.

Before parting, I wanted to get a picture with the three of us together,  But today, Meg was very camera shy.  Yet, I was able to take this picture of her on the sly....


That doesn't mean I didn't have my picture taken with Charity....


This will be my last time en-femme during my trip.  Tomorrow, I return to New York - and I have to do it en-drab.  (I can't wait until I start, then finish laser on my face - then I'll be able to travel en-femme without a witching hour to be concerned about....)  You can bet that I'll miss being en-femme!


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dee Cee - Day 2

This was my first full day in the DC area, and I was en-femme all day.  Although I had 3 things on my list that I wanted to do, I had to settle for one thing - seeing the National Museum of American History.  (The shop I wanted to visit on U-Street was closed, and I had wasted the morning relaxing.)

Now, NMAH is a wonderful museum to explore.  It's worth the visit, just to see the Star Spangled Banner that inspired the lyrics that Francis Scott Key set to the drinking tune "To Anaceron in Heaven", now known as our national anthem.  (It's good to know that there will always be a close connection between our nation's history and alcohol.)  The rest of the museum is very interesting as well - seeing Julia Child's kitchen made me realize how important a custom designed kitchen cawon be to a person who loves to cook.  (I'd gladly have taken fixtures at her countertop height - she was 6'2", and the kitchen fit her height, and this made it much more comfortable to be in the kitchen.

While in the museum, I saw these two ladies (sorry for the blurry picture)...




You'll note that their skits were BIG and brassy.  I'd love to have the opportunity to wear something like this without looking foolish.  But I'm no longer a YOUNG lady - I'm middle aged, and dress like the woman I want to be.

After this museum, I thought about visiting the US Holocaust museum, but knew that I didn't have the proper time to dedicate to it.  So, instead, I went to the Smithsonian Castle, and paid my respects to a real bastard.


Before you start thinking I've insulted the man, it's because he was a bastard that his crypt (and the rest of his legacy) is in the United States and not Great Britain.  James Smithson could not leave real property (read: Land) to anyone, because he was of illegitimate birth - a bastard.  Before he died, he converted all his wealth into coin (which was considered "personal effects" and not property) and bequeathed it to the United States for purposes of founding an educational institution.  I won't go into the full history of this man, but the institution that bears his name also played a part in the Civil War because of its location. I think he'd have enjoyed seeing what became of his legacy...

But back to me....

After visiting  "the castle", I stopped by the National Museum of the American Indian (this was one of the museums NOT staying open late this Easter weekend), and then to the National Air and Space Museum, where the picture below was taken.

 
You'll notice that I'm wearing a tunic and leggings.  Leggings are a rarity for me because of two things - a requirement that I wear a foundation undergarment tight enough to prevent "Mr. Happy" from being detected, and that I wear a tunic long enough to cover this area as well.  I was lucky enough to finally find some tunics which fit the bill (I may go back for more when i get home, if available), and said - this is what I'm wearing in DC.  It's feminine, yet in the range of what most natal females were wearing.  And given the choice between wearing skirts/dresses and wearing what natal women would wear, I'll try to make the same choice as a natal women.

Tomorrow, I hope to finally make it to the Air and Space museum annex near Dulles airport.  If I do, I'll be meeting a sister blogger (and friend) and hope to have a great time - which I'll report on tomorrow....


Postscript....

My pooka followed me down here.  Not only did I forget to look for my Metro stored value card before I left for a store on U-Street (causing me to take a cab), but when I got back, I found that I lost the card while out for the day.  I think that pulling my cell phone out of the pocket caused me to lose the stored value card.  So I'll buy a new one in the morning, and write off what I had lost.

Although I rushed to the store to make it there by 9:00 pm, the lady told me that she keeps it open until 11:00 pm on weekends.  We had a great chat, and then it was off for sushi.  But then I had to take the dreaded Metro - and had to ask for help in buying the single ride ticket.  On my way back to the hotel, I had to make a transfer to the Red line - and ran to catch the train that was just pulling into the station.  In the background, I heard two younger gals say....  Look at that gal run!  (As if they couldn't believe someone of my size could move....)   Thst was the best affirmation of my femininity I had all day!!! 


 


Friday, March 29, 2013

Dee Cee - Day 1

It's the first day of my stay here.  And already, this trip has been plagued by minor but frustrating problems.  First, the wheels on my suitcase broke, and I had to repack into a suitcase I had in the basement in less than 20 minutes.  Next, was trying to hump an overloaded suitcase over a turnstile to get on the NYC subway (NYC has no easy way to get between Grand Central and Penn Station - it's a two stop, two seat ride), and then not having my good cell phone charging cable with me, and finally, my hotel room wasn't ready until an hour after I arrived.

OK, it's not all gloom and doom.  I'm making mountains out of molehills.  Tomorrow will be a good day for this gal to go outside.

But there was one incident of note in my travels... This trip, I decided to travel in boy mode for convenience.  When I got on the train to DC, I was sitting next to a nice old lady.  We chatted about many things, and I decided to spring a picture of me as Marian on her.  She asked whether this was a picture of my wife, and I said - No, this is me....  And I explained about being transgender in 20 words or less.  Of course, the eventual question about bathrooms came up, and I said - do you think I would be using the men's room wearing a dress?  She wasn't shocked.  But I continue to find it amazing how many people "civilians" and the transgendered make a mig deal about bathrooms.  We don't go there to pick up people.  We go there to relieve ourselves and get out as quickly as possible.



Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Pooka strikes again!

For the life of me, I can't find the cell phone charger/cable I planned to use when going to DC.  Not to worry - I have spares, and will have no problems transferring pictures from my phone to my computer.  However, things tend to pop up in the most unusual places long after I've stopped looking for them.  And I can only think of one reason for this - I share this space with a benign pooka.

Unlike Harvey, Mr. Dowd's pooka, mine doesn't yet have a name.  In fact, he's never introduced himself to me.  Yet, I'm continually finding things missing, and later stumbling into them in places I'd never have put those things.  This is one trip that I hope he won't be a companion to me - I can't afford to lose anything outside the house.  My bag is now all packed.  All the stuff required for my female persona is in my luggage.  And it weighs a ton.  But that bag will be coming with me when I go to DC.

I'd love to show you a picture of my pooka, but I can't.  So, to give you an idea of what one looks like, I'll substitute a picture of Mr. Dowd's pooka standing next to him.....

A quickie - would you kiss this frog?

With a title like that, you can guess I have nothing much to say today - and you'd be right.  After getting a 5:00 am wake-up call from the office, and getting back home at 12:30 am, I am wiped after catching up with my correspondance.  So I'll leave you with a picture I took today, and will write more tomorrow....

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

DC Wardrobe Choices

Tonight, I decided to freshen up after work and get into girl mode and do some shopping.  Winter's gone (for the most part), and I need clothes for both Spring and Summer.  So it was off to The Avenue I went.... 

One of the problems in being a heavyset T-Gal is that one has to shop carefully to get clothes that fit.  I've found that I can wear a woman's 3x top (or dress), but have to go down to a 2x bottom because of my lack of female shape.  So my goal was to find a couple of tops, and maybe a pair of woman's pants (yes, pants) that fit me.  Although I did find the right side pants, they were not the style I wanted - so I decided not to buy anything there.

On my way back, I decided to stop into the local Walmart.  Growing up in suburban NYC, Walmart didn't enter our consciousness until the mid 1990's - they expanded slowly and carefully.  But they did get here, like a tsunami.  I was looking for certain items - women's razors, setting powder, etc., and ended up looking at some inexpensive tops, which just happened to jump into my shopping cart, along with some knee-his.  When I got home, I tried on one of these tops with a pair of leggings I never wear - and they look properly casual, but good enough to bring down with me to DC. 

Why don't I wear leggings you might ask?  They are feminine enough apparel, and are comfortable.  Well, I never found the right type of top which drapes low enough to complete the job of hiding traces of "Mr. Happy".  (The last thing a TGCD wants is to have someone notice a hint of one's birth gender when presenting in female mode.)  Tonight, I found a couple of tops, and may go back for more after I return from my DC trip.

In fact, I intend to wear one of the new tops and leggings when I take my Segway tour around DC.  I'm loooking forward to riding one of these devices - it seems like more fun than riding in one of those ersatz trolley cars.  And, since I'm a night owl, I'll be taking a night time tour.  This will leave the better part of 3 days free for further exploration of DC.  Hopefully, I'll get a lot of pictures (including those of myself and the cherry blossoms), some of which I'll share on this blog.....













Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Preparing to travel

I've been making a list, and checking it twice....

In my male persona, I could have easily looked like Santa Claus had I let my beard grow out to a reasonable length.  But unlike Mr. Kringle in cold weather, I prefer to put all of me under the covers - including the whiskers.  And this leads me to talk about the real "Miracle on 34th Street" - Penn Station.

Now, I don't know how many of this blog's readers are familiar with New York City.  But the Pennsylvania Station complex lies underneath Madison Square Garden, bounded by 34th street, 7th and 8th avenues, and 32nd street.  It is an ugly complex, and one I'm forced to use when taking Amtrak to points South and West, save a random trip Northeast to Boston. It is a very confusing complex, and I'll be departing from it for my upcoming trip to DC.  (Later in the year, I'll be meeting someone who will be arriving at Penn Station - and I'll be doing some reconnaisance to locate an easy to find place to meet.)  You might be wondering why do I mention the uglyness of Penn Station.  Well, I've been thinking of making this trip en-femme.  But it is very uncomfortable waiting there, and I don't want to ruin my makeup before even getting on the train.

In Kim's blog, she once mentioned the fact that she's had laser done on her face to kill off most of her beard's folicles. This way, she can travel more than 8 hours or so, and still look good en-femme.  Unfortunately, I haven't started my laser process yet, and I have to be careful about when my face starts to show beard stubble.  I find that I can do OK for about 8 hours using beard concealer, but I'm taking a risk if I stretch things out any further - 12 hours is an effective limit for me.  This means that if I were to travel to DC en-femme, I'd have to redo my face once I arrived, so it would look good until I got back to my hotel that night.  And there is no way I could prepare myself on departure morning and make it home before my my beard stubble gave me away.  So I'll be traveling in drab, and then playing tourist en-femme for a while.

As usual, my upcoming trip will be taken via Amtrak.  And I'm looking forward to getting on the silver snail in spite of Penn Station.  So I'll close out this entry with two music clips that seem apropros.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XQybKMXL-k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIz2_Tkvq_U



Monday, March 25, 2013

Computer geek on call

In other entries, I've mentioned my 70 y/o friend that I've been helping with her computer.  Today was another visit.  This time, we wanted to clean up her Hotmail folders, so that she could manage her emails. 


Before we got to working on the computer, she needed to take some pictures in front of her apartment.  The place doesn't look so nice, and she wanted to document it for some purpose or another - I didn't ask, as it was a distraction for me.  After taking the pictures, I asked her to take some pictures of me.  And I think they came out nice.



What do you think?


After we took the photos, we went back inside the apartment for the next few hours and worked on moving her email off the cloud and into local storage.   Following this, I worked on showing her how to use Facebook.  This was frustrating....   I can only imagine what would have happened if I went into teaching children.   No, it's best not to imagine it - the repercussions would be depressing..... <g>


But back to seriousness.....

Once we backed up everything on my friend's machine, we were off to dinner.  It's been a while since I ate at this place, as I used to be a regular there with one of my ex'es.  And the food is still good here, while the service is as forgettable as I remember it.  My friend P was having a laugh to herself - I was being treated like a real lady, and she was thinking - if the big burly men who held doors open for me only knew....


Yes....  If they only knew - but I'm glad they didn't.




Sunday, March 24, 2013

Another visit to the Great White (?) North....

This will be a short post - I may write more on it tomorrow....

Today, I went up to see my friends in the North Country, and had a great time of it. (There was still some snow on the ground - which was a pleasant sight to see during daylight.)  But this might not have happened if I payed close attention to the number of hours I'd be driving vs. the time I'd be spending at the gathering.  When I left the afternoon, I was a little down, and in the back of my mind was doing a cost benefit analysis of driving North vs. staying local and seeing a friend.  In the end, I'm glad I overcame my funk for a while, as I had a very nice conversation with a wonderful and gracious lady - who I'll likely see again with her partner, when they visit the NYC region.

The more I go out in Marian mode, the more I feel comfortable in this mode.  About the only things I am concerned about while in female mode is (1) the regrowth of my beard stubble, and (2) my masculine sounding voice.  And I can do something with both of these problems given a little money and time, and a little time and effort.  Eventually, I'd like to be able to stay in female mode for days without having to think about either issue.

But back to my friend....

This friend (who I'll call "C") lost a lot of weight, and maintains a couple of blogs of her own, one of which discusses issues related to how she lost her weight.  (I noted in the chat that I would not be ready to do it her way, due to issues that haven't been resolved yet - and she understood where I was coming from.)  So we chatted about our blogs, and I noted my goal for this blog.  She noticed the same things "wrong" with this blog that I already noticed and plan to correct.  And I'm glad that this reality check confirmed my feelings about how I can improve the blog.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Knowledge is power

Last year, I went out in public in my female persona for the first time.  It was a little scary at first, but it was also a great thrill.  I could crib FDR's famous statement, and say "The only thing to fear is fear itself."  And that's so true.  In about 7 months, I have gone from fearing the outside world while en-femme, to being embraced by it.  Yet, I still have very far to go.

In my learning process, I discovered that the online resources available to trans folk are spotty and disorganized.  Some people have tried to index things that they are interested in, but no one seems to have addressed the skills, resources, and professionals a trans person will need in becoming the person s/he wants to be. Much of this information is available at regional conferences, but how many people can get away for a weekend or for a full week?

A MtF trans person wanting to come out in the world faces a big set of challenges.  And yet, trans people overcome them every day.  What's their secret?  Knowledge.  I gained a lot of information by reading information found on the net and practicing those skills, but I also gained a lot by going to a conference and meeting other people like me.

As I see it, a MtF trans person has to learn the following skills (in no particular order):

  1. Makeup (especially, hiding a beard)..
  2. Female voice (tone, pitch, word usage, etc.)
  3. Female body language and general comportment.
  4. Selection of appropriate prostethics (Wigs, Breast Forms, Hip Enhancers)
  5. Female clothing selection (what is comfortable, appropriate, and attractive).
  6. Female accessory selection and usage.
  7. Female socialization.
  8. Hiding/minimizing other miscellaneous masculine traits.
Additonally, the MtF trans person would have an easier time if s/he took care of the following body modifications before final transition:
  1. Laser/Electrolysis for beard removal (most important)
  2. Facial Feminization Surgery (important for many).
Each trans person will face a different set of challenges.  If my brother were trans, he wouldn't need Facial Feminization Surgery, but he would need to deal with the other 9 items on my lists.  Obviously, I'm further down my path, and still working on all of the first 8 items, and will soon start laser for beard removal.  But I've been trying to associate with people from whom I can learn these skills - and that includes getting out and socializing as a woman.  I still have to be careful because of my voice.  But it forces me to be very careful and very aware of my environment.  And this helps me develop my skills even quicker.


I've made it a point to learn as much as possible about being transgender.  There are many good books out there written by many people who have walked down our path before.  The best ones were written by the people who faced the most challenges on their journeys. One learns little from the easy paths.  One learns a lot from the more difficult paths.  And I've learned a lot by reading every book about transgenderism that comes my way....


Has being a knowledge sponge helped?  I believe so.  And I hope that I can pay it forward by passing that knowledge on to other transgendered folk.....  So if there's anything you'd want to know, please tell me....





 





Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ms. Marian's guide to dating, mating, and more.

The title of this post is inspired by an off-Broadway production that I had the pleasure of seeing about 2 years ago.  The off-broadway production was light fluff - as I intend tonight's post to be....

This evening, I was supposed to see one of my friends for dinner.  We haven't seen each other in ages, and it's always a pleasure when "S" and i get together.  (S is the person who introduced me to friends from the North Country, helping my Marian persona to get out and about in the world.)  Since we were taking advantage of the Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, the restaurant we chose is ot one we would usually be able to afford.  So, to make sure we had a table waiting for us, I made reservations under my last name.  One catch - S didn't know which persona I'd be coming as.  I told her that it would all depend on the train I took home.  If I had enough time, I'd come as Marian.  So this created a dilemma for her if she arrived early and I was late....

Now, S and I have had fun with each other in the past.  I won't go into details, but I can say that I've seen more of her than her employer.  So we started to discuss the dating and mating we've been having - and I told her about a woman I've been chatting with on line.  This woman has multiple lovers, and put that on the table in our discussion.  That's not a problem for me.  I then put my Marian persona on the table for her - and that wasn't an issue for her.  So, it looks like we'll eventually get together....

Soon, I'll be visiting Washington, DC.  If all goes right, I'll be having a half smoke at Ben's Chili Bowl this time.  One thing I know - there's a great little shop on U Street where I found clip on earrings from estate sales - and I intend to buy more than a few.  This gal's gotta have her baubles, bangles, and beads!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

HAL-9000

As I write this, I have the movie "2010" on the TV Screen.  Arthur C. Clarke was a man way ahead of his time, and we are far behind what he saw for the human race.  I wonder what his thoughts would be if someone would have chatted with him about transgendered folk. 

But this leads me to a chat I had with a lady earlier....

People who know me in my male persona know that I am a member of a professional organization.  (No, I'm not a doctor or lawyer.  It's for a field in which I'm trying to establish my expertise and gain a certification which will help me gain employment if I were to lose the job I'm in.)  Tonight was the monthly meeting of this organization - and I was there, as usual.

One of the things that people do at these meetings is to exchange business cards and tell little things about themselves.  I mentioned that I write a blog about a subject not safe for work, and was trying to develop a readership for the blog.  (The theme of the presentation had to do with social media and social networking.)  Since "50 shades of Gray" became popular, BDSM is starting to become acceptable for mainstream conversations - but it's not yet there.  Of course, I played it safe with what I said.

Now, one of the nice things about the internet age is the ubiquity of computers and high speed connections to computer services, one of them being on-line dating services.  This makes it much easier to find compatible people via personal ads than when I met my wife.  And since the dating service I use for my male persona is free, I decided to place a separate ad - as a CDTG male looking for a straight or bisexual female.  Do I think I'll meet someone this way?  It's doubtful.  But it's a low cost, low risk, and high reward bet.

Tomorrow night, I'll be seeing a friend for dinner.  She knows about my female persona, and is proud to have helped me get out and about in Marian mode.  And if the weather is good, I'll see her in my female persona.  If not, it'll be in my male persona.  Then, after I leave the office on Friday, I'll be able to paint my nails, and stay in Marian mode all weekend.

What amazes me about all of this, is that none of the things I've been experiencing lately would have been possible without computers.  And it's even more amazing that the computing horse power represented by the movies of yesteryear is now easily held in the palm of your hand.  I wonder if today's version of the HAL-9000 would pass a Turing test.  It's very likely that it could....

Companionship ...in an unusual way.

As I mentioned earlier, my friend P has been having problems with her computer. My plans for today were: to go to work, go to my therapist, and then go to P's place to fix her system. Luckily, she was able to get her laptop running again, but was concerned that everything was properly backed up.  

P has no clue when it comes to computers.  But why should she have much of a clue?  These devices that many of us take for granted should be simpler than they are.  Yet, no one in the field has perfected an interface which is simple enough that one doesn't need some sort of training to use it.

When I arrived, I made a bee line to her computer, where I finished the process of cleaning out her email from her ISP's server.  We moved it into Thunderbird's database (on her laptop), and from there, pruned 90% of the messages which were no longer needed.  It's amazing how many messages can be accumulated over the years - and P accumulated quite a few.  But they are gone now.  (Next, it'll be cleaning out her Hotmail account - but that's another tale for another day.)

But I mentioned companionship in the posting title.  So you're probably wondering - where do I get to that?

Although P is straight, her daughter and sister are not - and P has had fun going to certain dances/gatherings where her daughter and sister would go.  So she invited me as her guest.  And I might even go - as her dance companion.  But this is not where companionship ends.  I then suggested that for one of my inexpensive trips by rail, that she consider coming with me - as long as she pays for her own transport, food, and museum admissions.  And she commented that she'd love that.  (I reminded her - we'd be traveling as women friends, and nothing more....)  So I might be doing a lot more with a companion in this persona than I would have dreamed a year ago....

Yet, this is not all....

Another friend, L, suggested that I post a new personal ad.  This ad would have pictures of me in my female persona, noting that I am a crossdresser - with no ties to my male image.  I would not be responding to any ads from this identity, but it would be a passive place to receive responses from women who might like to date someone like me.  (It's a low risk, high reward way of me meeting women.)  So if anyone responds to the ad - I'll write about it here.  Heck, it'd be great to have a female companion who is also a lover of me in female mode.....

Monday, March 18, 2013

No good deed goes unpunished....

Last night, I helped my friend back up her computer.  Sadly, I may have helped her screw it up as well.  

My friend, P, was worried that her computer was going to fail and wanted to back up her data files.  So, I bought her a thumb drive, and then copied a few gigs of data onto it.  However, even after the copy reported that it had ended, it wouldn't let us remove the drive.  I told P to let the system run all night.  The next morning, she still couldn't remove the thumb drive, and she was getting even stranger behavior from the system.  So I told her to shut it down.  Of course, her system wouldn't come back up.

Now, I'll bet that I can fix this easily when I'm there in person.  But I can't do this until tomorrow night.  The snow on the ground made it hard for me to drive from the station to my home, and I'd have been even more foolish to drive to her place with slick, snow covered roads on my route.

Worse comes to worse, I'll pay for someone to fix it.  But I doubt that will be needed.  (Famous last words.)  Sometimes, it pays NOT to help too much!

Quickie - More to come

Yesterday, I visited my 70 y/o friend, P.  The day went better than expected, as I was able to take a breather from getting her going with her computer - and go shopping in Marian mode.  I didn't buy much, but I filled in holes in my costume jewelery collection.

But, I did gain something that I wouldn't have otherwise....  She has connections that I can use for voice feminization training *and* for choosing a reliable laser operator.  You can bet that I use these connections - I hate the idea of beard stubble limiting my time in girl mode, and I hate the problem that my voice gives my genetic origin away. 

More to come....

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A little bit of this and a little bit of that....

Sometimes, an entry in this blog has a theme that permeates every paragraph.  Other times, the theme is tied into the entry by bookend paragraphs or a closing statement.  But often enough, I'm tying together random thoughts and bundling them into one entry.  This is one of those times.

The discipline of writing a blog is much like writing a diary.  A person has to attempt to write entries at regular intervals.  But in a blog, one can write about the things going on in his/her life, or write about things of interest.  This makes writing a blog easier than writing a diary.  Yet, it is harder than writing a diary, as the mere idea of writing a blog implies that one wants others to read it.  And in my case, it's certainly true. 

Now, I find myself looking for the days that I can get into Marian mode and go out in the world.  I'll bet that to many pre-transition, pre-RLE transgendered folk that this is the case.  It is the one time we can shed our masks and become our real selves for a while. Today, I'll be lucky enough to shed my mask when I visit one of my friends.

I've written about this friend (P) before.  She's in her 70's, and gets her news from a non-mainstream media source.  If she brings up a political discussion or one of the conspiracy theories from that source, it can get quite tiring.  I look at life from a different angle than most - America is based on markets, where goods, services, ideas, and even religions compete in the marketplace.  I don't believe in conspiracy thories, as they would generally be exposed over time.  But I do believe in dysfunctional markets, with powerful people trying to take advantage of inefficiencies, and trying to make things worse for their own gain.  I do believe that people's ignorance and a lack of transparency cause more of the problems we have in these markets.  So I look forward to seeing this friend on one hand, and yet, am concerned that I'll be listening to conspiracy talk much of the day.

As I've noted in earlier blog entries, I'll soon be visiting Washington, DC for a mini vacation.  And this vacation will be in Marian mode.  This doesn't mean that I'll be able to dress exactly as I'd like - the weather plays an important factor in how I dress.  If the weather is cold, I've found that most suburban NYC women will be wearing jeans - to keep their legs from being exposed to the cold needlessly.  But if the weather is warm, the skirts and dresses come out. That's how I notice Spring is finally here.  In New York City, the number of women wearing dresses and skirts to the office has been going up over the past couple of weeks.  I'm wondering what it'll be like when I go South, as the weather will be a factor in me choosing what I'll pack.  So I think I'll keep an eye on the NYC ladies (and their legs) to determine how exposed my legs will be when I go on my trip....

Next weekend, I'll be traveling up to the North Country again to see my upstate friends.  This group is forming an alternate lifestyle community (they are polyamorous), and they have welcomed me with open arms.  For me, it's nice having a place to go - especially in Marian mode.  I miss having the variety of acquaintances that many people have - the emotional damage I suffered as a child left my male persona with the lack of social skills or talents needed to attract people as friends and acquaintances. So I'm grateful to have this bunch of people to visit, where I can be both in my Marian persona as well as being in my male persona.  You might ask - am I polyamorous?  Although I could be, and am very friendly to it, I am likely just curious about it - and identify as monoamorous.  (To me, the jury is out, and I will not limit myself - especially if I were to bond with a polyamorous lady.)

Some readers of this blog may have noted that I have a small poll posted.  I'm debating whether I shold place a personal ad that notes that I am transgendered, and only have the picture of me in Marian mode.  One of my local friends and one of my friends from the North Country advocate this.  And yet, I'm unsure.  The last thing I want to do is put myself at risk.  But I want to be honest with any woman who answers my ad, and she should know about this part of me before she gets too involved and possibly feels betrayed by receiving this information later on.

So it all gets back to a chain of thoughts.  Sometimes, those thoughts are organized.  And sometimes, they aren't organized.  But it feels good to get them down somewhere....




Friday, March 15, 2013

Looking forward to Cherry Blossoms

Last year, I had the pleasure of visiting Washington, DC over the Veteran's Day weekend.  If I had thought about things, it would have been a perfect time to boogie over to Arlington to see the Cemetery.  But there was so much to do, and I couldn't pass up the pleasure of meeting Meg.

This year, I'm going to be in DC for the Cherry Blossom festival.  It's supposed to be beautiful there during those weeks, and I'll be sure to take my camera along for my weekend there.  And of course, I'll be in Marian mode --- YAY!!!!  A whole weekend, where I can be the person I want to be.  (Well, almost....  I'm not a size 16.... yet.)  Hopefully, I'll be able to meet up with Meg again - she's a great gal, and I'm looking forward to meeting Charity as well....

I'm glad that I won't need my car in DC.  Yesterday's emergency trip to the repair shop turned out better than expected for me.  This morning, I received a call from the shop, and I was told the car was ready.  It seems as if there was a bolt hole from which transmission fluid was leaking.  (They probably didn't tighten the bolt properly in my last service, and that caused my problem.)  So they put a bolt in the hole, replaced the transmission fluid, and the car was ready to go.  But this incident does indicate that I can't treat this car as if it were new - I have to be aware that the car has about 110k miles on it, and I may have to think about replacing it at any time.  And the last thing I want is to get stuck in the middle of nowhere en-femme.  (Just like a woman, wouldn't you say....?)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Tranny of another sort....

Normally, I've been trying to have at least one "Marian day" every weekend.  Various things get in the way of me doing more than that - dating, visiting family, and doing certain errands that are best done in boy mode.  This weekend looks like a new reason for me not to be out and about in Marian mode - my car's Transmission may be shot.  By now, the casual reader of this blog has picked up on my sense of humor.  And the idea of a "Tranny" having problems with a "Trannie" was too good not to use here.

I drive a car that's over 100k miles old, and it has generally been reasonably reliable.  But the car is getting old, and one must be careful not to think of it as being a new car.  About 2 weeks ago, I brought my car into the shop for an oil change, and ended up getting some preventive maintenence which involved the transmission.  Well, for the past few days, I've noticed some fluid leaking from under my car and was having problems related to my transmission (car not getting into gear, etc.) which would be related to a transmission's hydraulic system failure in the making.  So to be safe, I left work early today, and brought my car to the shop, where they can work on it first thing in the morning.

Now, this is one of the times I'm glad that I use the dealership for regular service.  I'm known to the people in the service area - and am treated well.  Given that I'm 15 minutes away from the dealership, I'd have been happy to take a cab home.  Instead, they gave me an informal loaner - one of their cars that is not in saleable condition (yet), but is available to be loaned out for the night.  And that's what I drove home today.

I am concerned about how much the service I need will cost.  It would be foolish to throw good money after bad - money that I'd rather spend on new frocks and vacations en-femme.  If it will cost me a lot of money, I may end up fixing the car, and selling it to a friend (cheap) to cover my costs in fixing it.  I would then buy its replacement - and have a car I could rely on when I can't afford to have a car spending time in the shop.

But, back to the disruption in times spent in Marian mode....

If I don't have a reliable car, I won't be able to go anywhere.  And If I can't go anywhere, why go to the bother of turning into my prettier self?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Incognito

A little over a week and a half ago, I went to dinner with four other women, and they accepted me as part of their all girl circle. Tonight, I ended up setting up the newest version of the AOL desktop, so that I could communicate with this group using a new, dedicated email address - using the female name for this persona I use when not blogging. 

Why did I choose AOL?  Simply because it's not that popular anymore, and I'd be more likely to get the email id I wanted now.  And I got it.  But shortly after setting things up, a setting got fouled up, and AOL's anti robot challenge for email sending blocked me from sending an email.  So I figured I'd download the AOL desktop.  And it worked, just as I expected.

While on AOL, I decided to look up a chat room I used to frequent, and enter the conversation as Marian.  There were a few old timers there, so I had to play dumb as if I were a newbie entering the chat room.  One of the people in the room was an ex-BF of a close female friend that passed away about 5 years ago.  And it was a pleasure to get his biased feelings about her - she'd have been glad to know that he really cared for her....

But good things had to end, and I had to leave the chat room to take care of other things.  In this case, it was opening up and trying on a new wig that I bought.  The hair color was a little too light for me - but I'll ask a friend to look at it on me before I decide what to do with it, as the style works for me.  No matter what I do, I intend to buy another in a darker shade.  And, if all goes right, I'll be wearing the new wig on a trip I plan to take soon.

Now ...back to the other chores I have to do before going to sleep tonight.....

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

An old friend from long ago and far away

Today, I didn't think I'd have something to write about.  But then, an old friend IM'd me unexpectedly, and we had the nicest of chats....

As many of my friends know, I lost my spouse years ago.  She was a troubled soul, and deserved much better in life than what she got.  (I won't go into her problems here.  She was a good woman, and to talk about them may give some readers of this blog the wrong idea.)  She knew of this side of me, but she didn't know how far I'd eventually allow it to grow as a part of me.  The friend I chatted with tonight (who I'll call "B") knew her, and knows me in both my personas.

We talked of many things - of shoes and ships and sealing wax, and whether pigs have wings.  (Yes, I do love "Jabberwocky" and "The Walrus and the Carpenter".  But I digress.)  Much of this conversation focused on my late wife, and my transgendered nature.  B told me that she'd be comfortable meeting me in this persona, and she said "sure".  We touched on the growth of my female persona, how my communication style lends itself to a female persona (and hers towards a male persona - probably why we get along so well), my wife's problems, and that it seems people like me more in my female persona.  (I noted that if I make friends in this mode that know me only as a female, I'll make time available to them in this persona - even if it means my male persona becomes the one that's in the closet.  I'm not going to lie about being a genetic male, but I will not advertise it either when in this persona.)  In short, I noted that if popularity and acceptance means that I do a defacto transition, it will be worth paying that price....

Obviously, I don't have the pressing need of most transgendered people to have GCS (Gender Corrective Surgery).  This is a blessing.  But it does put me in a minority within a minority.  I can live with this body I'm in with only minor modifications such as beard removal via laser or electrolysis.  FFS (Facial Feminization Surgery) may be something else.  The author of the book, "Alice in Genderland" has had partial FFS, if I remember correctly - the lower part of her face has been feminized, so that she can live a life in two genders.  This is closer to where I'm at right now.  The difference - I'm only attracted to women sexually.

Now, B lives on the opposite coast (I won't say where - i respect her privacy).  So she is far away.  Hopefully, she'll make it to this area soon (I have a rough timeframe for her visit), and we can continue our chats in person....  (And if I make it to her area, I'll be sure to visit her and her family.)  And on that note, I'll end with this video clip....   Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dN3GbF9Bx6E


Monday, March 11, 2013

Jewelery

Baubles, Bangles, and Beads...  These are things that natal women tend to have.  Some are real, fabricated from gold, silver, platinum, often with precious gemstones.  Others are fake (costume), made simply for decoration and worn to compliment what a woman chooses to wear on a given day.  And that was what I was shopping for today.

In an earlier blog entry, I mentioned a friend (L) that I hadn't seen in years.  She's looking for the "thunderbolt" kind of love, the kind that is all encompassing and consumes you totally.  This is not the kind I look for - each time I've been on the verge of having it, things turn out badly.  But she realizes one thing - I must bring out my trans nature early on in the dating process, if not at the beginning of it.  But I digress....

Our plan for today was to meet around 10 am, and then trek into NYC to buy some costume jewelery for her business.  Things didn't go as planned - Daylight Savings kicked in, and L got up late.  Of course, my alarm woke me on time, and I had already gotten into Marian mode for the day.  But L wasn't awake when I called her.  We ended up going into NYC about 1&1/2 hours late.  Yet, this was more than enough time to go into NYC to buy the various baubles, bangles, and beads that she needed.

Arriving in NYC, we walked into one of the many stores geared to wholesale sales.  And it was amazing how cheap most of this stuff really is.  My friend wanted me to buy a lot of stuff, wanting me to have a lot of adornments.  But I have a different internal style than she has - mine is more classic.  Even for everyday wear, simple pieces of gold and silver can do much more for a woman than a lot of cheap bangles and beads.  Yet, even the cheap stuff has its place - it can make or break many an outfit. 

Both of us are food addicts.  I know I have to work on it, but there is only one way for me to do so - by not leaning on someone weaker than myself.  And this lady is weak.  Sadly, she also makes sense when she says that weight loss works better when one has a partner.  But she would make a terrible partner for me.  Even when we shopped, I can see her addictive tendencies come out -  she wanted me to buy more than I wanted, to spend more than I wanted.  In short, she wanted me to spend the way she does - without much thought.

In another blog entry, I mentioned a cruise that L wanted me to take with her.  Knowing that we have extremely different interests, it didn't make sense to entertain the possibility of an unplanned vacation opportunity.  L said that she planned to take the cruise anyway.  Well, she didn't.  She shopped around for another friend to cruise with.  And she told me of problems she had with this friend on a past cruise.  I dodged another bullet - again!  (This one was easy - I just said NO, and blamed it on my job.) 

So this brings me to something I've learned - if you end up meeting a person you want to spend time with, make sure you spend time with that person before making things permanent.  Every time I see L, I realize that she didn't do her homework before getting married - she didn't study her future in-laws for clues to her fiancee's behavior under stress.  She assumed that he would have the same all encompassing, consuming, co-dependent love that she had. But most of all - be sure that both of you want to be with each other in times of stress - as you will have them.

And why do I bring this up at the end of an entry about shopping?  A good relationship is like a piece of fine jewelery.  Choose wisely, and it will only grow more valuable to you with time.  Take the time to know what you really want, and make sure that you and your partner know as much about each other as possible early in the relationship.  Assuming you choose well, your partner will bring out the best in you, as a well chosen piece of jewelery beings out the best in a woman's appearance....

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Installing a TV

Most of us have had chores that, had we known what those tasks would entail before starting them, that we would never have volunteered for.  Yesterday, I had one of those chores.

I have a 70 year old friend who is lost when it comes to electronics.  A while back, she asked for my help in buying and installing a new TV.  What I didn't realize at the time is that removing the old vacuum tube TV would be a major effort.  Not only did we have to move a 100 lb. TV from the apartment to the street, but we had to tear apart her entertainment center to do so. 

But I'm getting way ahead of myself.

My plans were to visit my friend in Marian mode.  So I did my usual routine, getting showered, made up, and dressed.  But this time, I decided to wear a pair of woman's jeans.  (I was glad to be wearing pants later on.)  I figured that if I was doing some work, why not wear what a natal woman would wear in these circumstances?  And this choice made me look less out of place than I could have looked - I saw only one suburban woman wearing a skirt, and she looked like she was going someplace where wearing a skirt was appropriate.

So I headed off to my friend an hour later than planned, and we immediately went out to shop for TVs.  We went to the local Best Buy, and then to the regional WalMart.  Looking at the TV's, my friend had a hard time making a decision - do I buy the Sony TV for $300, or do I go back to Best Buy and buy their house brand of TV for $200?  She decided to play it safe and buy the Sony.  Now, this is where WalMart shopping can be a pain in the ass.  WalMart's electronics department has a wall filled with TVs.  But if you don't see the boxed TV in front of this wall, it will likely not be in stock at this store.  They had more than enough second tier brands for sale.  But they did not have the Sony we wanted in stock.  So our decision was made for us. We'd be going back to Best Buy.

As many of us who have shopped at WalMart know, this chain's main demographic is "Value Oriented Shoppers".  Translate this to standard English, and we get - people on the border of being on welfare, or those receiving benefits from government entitlements programs.  In short - poor people.  WalMart puts a big emphasis on low prices, but it sacrifices both service and your time to do so,  So, when you enter many a WalMart store, you see a cross section of society that many of us don't see in our daily lives.  And my friend noticed this.  She also noticed how crowded the store was.  And this was typical of a Saturday afternoon at this store.

Before leaving, we decided to browse through the store and see if there was anything else we needed.  And I got a phone call while in the store - this is where my trip became expensive, as I lost my parking ticket.  Instead of getting free parking by having my ticket stamped at the cashier's station, I had to pay $20 to free my car.  This would be the most expensive set of lip liners I'd be buying for a while.

So it was off to Best Buy where we bought the TV.  The sales person gave my friend the same information I prepped her with before going shopping - validating what I told her, and showing that he wasn't going to push a more expensive TV that she didn't need on her.  If more salesmen/women were like him, I'd consider shopping there more often.  He actually was very helpful - and I appreciated what he did for a 70 year old lady. 

At this point, my friend didn't need me any more, so I told her that I'd get the car, and bring it to the front door.  While I was away, the salesman had the grace to call me a lady (a nice touch) in part of their conversation.  Ringing up the TV took a little time (as one expects), but we got the TV in the car, then brought it back to the apartment.  And this is where the fun would begin.... 

After dinner, we started the process of trying to get the old TV out of my friend's entertainment center.  There was no way to shift the TV to wiggle it out of the entertainment center - there was a wooden lip that blocked the path out.  The friend who installed the TV said that he put it in from the back.  So we took off the back panel, and found another wooden lip which prevented us from moving the TV out.   We called her friend again.  He said that he removed the front lip to get the TV in.  So we went back to the TV and started to disaaemble the front.  Finally, we got the lip off, and got the TV out.  It was a two person effort to get the TV onto a nearby bed, but it prepared us for the real pain of getting the TV out of the apartment and down to the street.

I was very glad to be wearing a pair of jeans, as doing this work in a skirt would have been ridiculous.  (And I was very glad to have a man's muscles too....)  And the next step was to install the new TV.   So it was my task to put the new TV together and install it and the Cable Box into the entertainment center.  This was the easy part of the day - once I found where I could plug the HDMI cable into the TV, everything went smoothly - much better than the last two times I installed a TV.  (One time, the coax cable into the cable box was bad, and had to be replaced.  The other time, the cable company had to upgrade a couple of settings before my new box would send HD signals.)  The only wrinkle for the day - my friend accidentally left the cable remote in my car - which we noticed before I left for the night.

The last task of this effort was to bring the old TV to the street.  Imagine me and a 70 year old lady trying to carry this TV down a flight of stairs, and out to the street.  Imagine it with a lady who had hip surgery a while back, and is still not completely sure on her feet.  And imagine it in a hallway that is poorly lit.  This was not fun.  But we did get the TV out, and were finally done for the day.

So after a little bit of rest, it was off to my place, where I could finally turn into a pumpkin and rest....

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Quickie - Dinner and a movie

As I said earlier, I was going out to have dinner with an old friend.  And we had a nice Chinese meal at a local restaurant.  Of course, "The Girls" demanded to be fed, so towards the end of the meal, I spilled some Shrimp and Lobster Sauce over my top.  (I'm lucky that I have a load of laundry to do tomorrow.)

Instead of going to the local theater, we went back to her place and watched a film on TV - "Hitchcock".  If you get the chance, see this film.  Although it didn't win the Oscar, they did do a good picture of painting a picture of this complex man, his wife, and the story that inspired the movie "Psycho".  Unfortunately this film can only hint at what this man was - one could do several films and not scratch the surface.  Instead, you'll find some tasty nuggets of his sense of humor - from treating the movie you're watching as another long episode of his TV show, to having Norman Bates' "Mother" in Janet Leigh's dressing room when the film was wrapped.

So I'll close this blog entry with a music clipping you might remember well  ...if you're still breathing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eIk5DWUx_E

Friday, March 8, 2013

Out to dinner - again

Well - another week has passed, and it's time for Marian to come out and play.  With the slop on the ground, most natal women wouldn't bother with a skirt - it's time to take out a pair of jeans and to be comfortable.  Though this T-Gal would rather put on a nice skirt, that would make me stand out.  And that's the opposite of what I want to do - I want to blend in. 
Luckily, I have the right things to wear for a relaxed, casual night out.

Tonight, I'll be seeing a friend who helped me choose the outfit I was wearing last weekend.  She's been prodding me to buy another new wig, with a touch of highlighting  to help make the wig a little more attractive.  So I finally bought it - and it will be coming soon. I sent a picture of myself in last week's outfit to an ex-girlfriend and she thought I looked very good.  What's interesting here, is that she's actually giving me advice on how to look like a more authentic, and nicer looking lady.  As I said in an earlier posting, I might end up being a better lady friend to her than I was as a boyfriend.  Life is strange!

So, I'm digging things out of the closet, and preparing to gussy myself up for the evening.  It's always nice to get out as Marian, and I'm looking for as many possibilities to do so in social settings. 

As I get ready to go out, I'm humming this little ditty....  Enjoy.

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/296088/Gigi-Movie-Clip-Thank-Heaven-For-Little-Girls.html

ps: If you get the chance, watch Hugh Hefner crucify the tune in an old Saturday Night Live skit.  His voice sucks, but the idea is inspired.  (By what, I don't know....<g>)


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Meetups - thinking of going en-femme.

After last Sunday, a thought has been developing in my head.  (No jokes please, I do occasionally think with THAT head.)  And it was to go to more social gatherings (read: Meetups) as my feminine persona, without a female companion to give me legitimacy. 

You must be thinking that I'm a little daft.  And I wouldn't begrudge you for thinking that.  But, given how the three women reacted to my Marian persona, it gave me the confidence to explore the option of socializing as a woman, without a safety net of having a friend with me to give me cover.   I mentioned this to one of my female friends (who I've gone out with as a woman), and she said - go for it!   Then I asked, what would happen if my Marian persona becomes much more popular than my male persona? (Several people, including an ex-girlfriend, have noted that I am more relaxed and more pleasant in Marian mode than I am as a male.  So this would be a legitimate concern - if I were very lucky.)  And, the answer both of us said in our email exchange was - I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Now, the friend that introduced me to this group of ladies has yet to hear from any of them again.  (She was a friend of the leader, but not the others - so we both met new people that day.  And my friend will send me the email address of the leader, so that I can thank her for extending the invitation to come along.)  I will keep my readers informed of developments with this group.

This weekend, I'll be visiting this friend again, and finally get around to buying/installing the new TV in her apartment.  Cost is very much a factor - she's living on a limited income, and has virtually no flexibility in what she spends.  So I have to get her the best bang per buck, and do as much as I can with the resources I have at hand.  And I noted a week ago, it'll be interesting how we're treated when shopping for electronics.  (If we're in a discount store or warehouse club, there will be no issue....)  

It's going to be a very interesting weekend....

Quickie - a friendly choice

Yesterday, a friend invited me to her place.  No...  it's not what you may be thinking.  She presented me with a choice.  Do I come up en-homme, and be able to go for a swim and soak in the hot tub? Or, do I come up en-femme, and the two of us go out for dinner and for some shopping? 

What would you do in my shoes?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Thoughts on GLB----T

Years ago, T-folk aligned themselves with the GLB (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual) communities as we all were on the outside of mainstream social norms.  Since then, the GLB's have moved much more quickly into the mainstream than T-folk.  And this is disturbing to many of us transgendered people.  But to understand  what we have to do next, we first have to ask why this happened and what we can learn from it.

Fifty years ago, not much was known in mainstream society about homosexuality or transgender issues.  Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transgendered folk were lumped into the same category - gender freaks.  The societal mainstream did not distinguish between gender/sexual preference, gender presentation, and gender identification.  When someone's gender characteristics differed from the mainstream norm, that person would likely be ridiculed and harassed.  (Imagine what would have happened if Rock Hudson's sexual preference had been openly known in the 1950's.)  Others might become curiosities, such as Christine Jorgensen.  But on the whole, variations from the mainstream sexual/gender norm were not accepted.

This condition would likely have continued, save for a virus brought to North America by a gay Canadian flight attendant who frequented all of the major cities/towns where gay people would be found.  This man was "Ground Zero" for the AIDS epidemic.  As we all should know, there were quite a few men in straight relationships who were having homosexual sex "on the down low".  AIDS became an epidemic which knew no social or sexual boundaries.

I won't go into the idocy of the 1980's here.  We had conservatives who considered AIDS God's punishment of gay people.  We had gay people (such as the man who I'll call "Ground Zero") who refused to wear condoms, not believing that what we now know as AIDS can be "stopped" by use of barrier methods.  But we paid a heavy price.  AIDS decimated the Gay community, and many homosexuals became militant in order to help preserve their community.  One might be very upset at the tactics then used by Act-Up, but they were effective in getting the Gay community a political voice (no one else would help them).  And as a result, due to activism that originated in that community and the research that community funded, AIDS became a manageable chromic disease instead of a guaranteed death sentence.

But what did gay people do after fighting AIDS?  They fought for their civil rights.  They had a voice, and they focused it on the needs of their community.  No longer were T-folk a vital part of the club. Gays and Lesbians were seen as part of the larger community, just outside of the mainstream.  And activists for this community made sure the mainstream saw Gays and Lesbians as having only a minor difference from the rest of society - their choices of who they love.  This tactic worked.  Gays and Lesbians are accepted by the general population - not many people care about who a person sleeps with any more (except in certain more traditional communities).

This leaves the transgendered community in a bind.  Can we afford to stay linked to the GLB's anymore?  They have little to gain from helping us. So, what should we do to gain acceptance from the mainstream.

Well, let's start with what we can learn from the Gay community.  They made sure that the decimation in their ranks was noticed by society at large.  They also made sure that the larger society saw that they entered into relationships, often more stable than those in the mainstream.  Activists showed that homosexuals were not a threat to the mainstream, but a major asset.  In short, homosexuals were "passable" - and they are now becoming part of the mainstream.

Transgendered folk are different from homosexuals.  We differ from the mainstream norm by our sexual presentation and/or our sexual identification.  Unlike homosexuals, we don't "pass" unless we are successfully in stealth mode - and not all of us are lucky enough to have faces or bodies close enough to the norms of the opposite sex not to be noticed.  For example, many MtF transgendered folk need to have FFS (Facial Feminization Surgery) in order to have a face that doesn't shout "Male".  Many MtF folk can buy breast forms and fanny pads, but that doesn't hide the fact that natal women have narrower waists than men.  And the necks, wrists, hands, ankles, feet of MtF transgendered folk also help give us away.  A consequence of these differences is that most of us never can exist in stealth mode.

Can we take advantage of our differences?  To me, the answer is yes.  But we first have to get over our embarassments.  Many of us fear getting out in the open.  That's why I love the idea of events such as Fantasia Fair - they help many of us take our first steps out in the open.  Yet, many of us stay in the closet, except at these events.  This is something we must overcome.  Like the gay community, we must encourage young transgendered folk (not transitioning in childhood) to congregate in socially accepting areas.  We need critical political mass to achieve our goals.

Once we have critical mass in the cities, we can spread out into the suburbs and rural areas.  We need to have media show us as normal people - which we are.  Like the GLB community, we must focus our efforts in gaining acceptance and building upon our achievements.  Those who "pass" must speak out in our behalf.  They will be considered the most "normal" by the mainstream.  Those who do not "pass" have to develop a thick skin, and get out in the world.  General invisibility is not in our interest.  We must live normally while being true to our special natures.  If people see us behaving normally, they will tend to treat us within those behavioral norms.

You might be asking - "Marian, what about you?  What are you doing?"  And that would be a good question.  As much as last night's post had me "passing" with a group of 4 other women, that doesn't mean I really pass well.  At 5' 9", and at a size 3x, with no feminization surgeries, I'll bet that there are many people who see me as a male as I pass in their midst.  Yet, no one has bothered me, and I have always been treated civilly, if not warmly - and this might be all we can ask at this time.

Please remember that I walk in the footsteps of those who carved out the path I'm traveling on.  Could I have taken last year's vacation and been en-femme most of the time, had I not read about Kimberly's travels?  I'm not sure, but I doubt it.  Could I have driven to Fantasia Fair from New York en-femme without reading Stana's exploits?  I doubt it.  But I did these things, and I'm doing more and more every day.  And I have these people (and others) to thank for clearing the path for me and making my walk a little bit easier.

Who'd have thought this would happen?

As I mentioned in a quickie post, I was going with a friend to an Off-Broadway show and meet some "Civilians" for the performance, and then dinner.  What I couldn't know was how well things would go....


 

No, this picture was not taken at a restaurant.  This picture was taken in a female friend's apartment.  And this is how I looked when I met these "civilians".

The show we went to see had some fanstastic singing.  Although it is not a show I would have gravitated to or would have even been on my radar, I was very glad to have gone to see it.  Normally in this show, six women would be singing various songs related to stuggles for freedom - in both the USA and in South Africa - all acapella.  Two of these ladies were not available, and yet the remaining four had enough power in their voices to not need a microphone to reach the entire theater. 

After the show, we went across the street to a Scottish restaurant.  And we must have closed the place down.  No, none of us had more than 2 drinks.  We were just chatting for 3+ hours.  I was keeping my male voice in the lowest vocal range a woman might normally use, and my friend said it was coming off as an androgenous voice - appropriate for a middle aged woman.  I was accepted as that woman. My friend later commented that the conversations would have been very different had they thought of me as a male - topics of boyfriends, etc. were coming up, and I was responding in a feminine way.  If anything had come up, such as my male voice coming through, my friend would have noted that I was planning on transition, and that would have settled matters. (And if this is in the back of their minds, it's obviously not a problem now.)   But that escape hatch wasn't needed - I even had the opportunity to show a picture of me taken at Fantasia Fair, adding to the image I was creating - I am a woman who enjoys the company of other women.

The conversation we were having touched on many topics.  But most notedly, none of them were of pop culture or throwaway topics - all were topics of substance.  And yet, there was lighthearted fun.  For example, a couple of the women wondered why men were so....  Of course, it had to be the one genetic male who added in - most men think with two heads, most of them thinking with only one at a time - the wrong one.  (It's an oldie, but sure to build rapport among women.)  We talked about career issues, divorce issues (years after the divorce, when a former spouse remarries), and many other things.  All of these topics were discussed with rapport in mind - there was no competition for attention, it was more like music, where people playing one instrument support people playing other instruments.

Towards the end of the evening, several of the ladies expressed a wish to make this a regular once per month outing, and maybe getting a little more dolled up for dinner.  We even created a name for our little women's social group - and it felt great to be included in the group.  My friend wondered what would happen if anyone in the group were to find out about me, now that we're bonding together.  And I reminded her to remember - tell them that I'm in transition, but not in any hurry....

I'm looking forward to seeing this group again.  I told my friend that I will attend almost any weekend event that does not require me to take off my clothes (such as a spa visit) or otherwise put myself in a position where I have to reveal my male identity.  My friend, in turn, said that she'll invite me to more of her social activities - and that I'm free to attend in either my male of female persona.  You can guess which persona I'll probably choose.  And I'd have in my wildest dreams have believed that I'm this far out of the closet now. Nor would I have believed that I could be accepted as a woman over an extended period of time with genetic women.   If today was any indication of how I'll be received while in my female persona, I'll live more of my life in Marian mode, and then make the hard decisions regarding companionship for my male persona.

So, to close out tonight's entry, I will leave you with a link to the song I am humming....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7jcOWUue98&list=AL94UKMTqg-9ArmormtBaKRxpKuanPc2Rg&index=13

Enjoy!



Sunday, March 3, 2013

Another Quickie - How plans change...

In a recent post, I noted that one has to be ready to make changes to one's plans at a moment's notice, so that one can take advantage of unexpected opportunities.  Today, I had another opportunity come my way - and I am choosing to accept it.

Around 9:00 am, the friend who I was supposed to meet today for electronics shopping gave me a call.  She told me of her friends calling her up and inviting her to an off-Broadway production, then to dinner.  And my friend invited me to come along.  So... I'll get to meet new friends en-femme, and see how they react. 

This will be the first time around "civilians" (friends of a friend) who do not know me first or do not know of me first.   Wish me luck.

I'll have more to write later...

Buying and using makeup

Makeup is is a subject that many of us MtF transgendered folk must address sooner or later.  Unlike natal women, MtF trans folk usually need some help to get their faces to look reasonably feminine.  And it is a big step for us to learn what to do and what not to do with makeup.  For me, the challenge with makeup was to establish as simple a routine as possible and get maximal results.  I needed my face to look reasonably feminine, and I didn't want to spend any unnecessary time on makeup tasks that weren't absolutely needed. 

Now, basic female makeup is relatively simple (in theory).  It is geared to accentuate a woman's best facial features and minimize the rest of them.  However, in MtF makeup, we have a different set of issues.  Our basic goal is to minimize masculine features, and make the rest of the face look as feminine as possible. Often that is as simple as making the nose look thinner than it really is, minimizing the appearance of the masculine eyebrow ridge, contouring the jaw line to give the face a more ovoid appearance, and covering the beard in a way that the color of the hairs are masked by makeup. 

For many of us, one extremely important question will come up - how do I deal with my 5 o'clock shadow at 9 am?  In my case, I read about two brands of professional makeup used in the TV industry.  And I found that I like the Ben Nye brand of concealer best.  Even better, living near New York City, it is easy for me to stop into a theatrical makeup store and pick up this brand in person, thereby saving the shipping charges.  (This allows me to buy an extra unit of this valuable makeup at no extra cost, as I pick it up in person.)

I've found that a combination of the beard concealer (as a base coat) followed by Dermablend as a basic foundation works well for me.  (Unfortunately, I can't order both types of makeup from the same store.)  Better yet, since a little of each goes a long way (both require the use of a setting powder), I'm actually saving money by buying the more expensive makeup and applying it sparingly and properly.  However, I have no intention to contour with a darker shade of dermablend - I get more control with any store brand of liquid makeup such as Revlon, Maybelline, etc...  And a little goes a long way here as well.  Just make sure to use setting powder in the affected areas before applying blush. 

The next goal I have is to develop a fool proof way of doing eyeshadow that is reliable, simple, and takes a minimal amount of time.  Right now, it seems to take as much time to do my eyes (if I do them) as it does take for the rest of my face.  There are articles and on-line tutorials aplenty on this subject.  But none see to make it idiot proof.  And I know that when I'm in a rush, the last thing I need is another time consuming, error-prone, complex process to follow.

So I wonder - what tricks have you found that help with getting your makeup to look better, to be applied faster, and get the best bang per buck from it?