Saturday, April 8, 2017
The logistics of going to meetups as Marian
When I started going to meetups as Marian, I was very self conscious. There was a constant worry about being pegged as a "man in a dress" instead of being a woman born with the wrong plumbing. It was very important to develop self confidence to get through these initial meetings with people, as it scary for most people to meet others they don't know, and more risky for transgender people to do the same thing.
The first female meetup group I joined was the Whine and Dine group. But I think I outgrew that group when it ceased to hold regular meetings. Now that the frequency of meetings has picked up again, the Queen Bee has tainted things for me, and I do not wish to go to a place where I'm not wanted.
There have been other groups that have opened there doors to me over the past couple of years, and the meetups that I go to most are those held by the FFGoW's. This is a bunch of 50+ y/o women who meet on a semi regular basis to eat and play games. These women are warm and friendly, and the meetup has gradually built up a core group that gets together on a regular schedule.
One of the problems I've had in going to these meetups is that I gave my relationship with GFJ a higher priority than going out as Marian. It made more sense for me to make the trade-off of less Marian time for more romance. This was a wise decision, even though the relationship didn't work out. It is not that easy for me to find suitable companionship, and I still hope that I won't be alone for the rest of my life.
Tonight, I'm going to another meetup with the FFGoW's. It'll be a typical suburban Chinese dinner - tasty, but sure to raise the blood pressure a little due to the salt and MSG in the food. In spite of the expected rain, I will be there - if only to have a couple of hours with other women who consider me a peer.
Being able to go out when I want means that I have to have a full female wardrobe. For those who have transitioned or are close to transition, this is not a problem. We have our wardrobes, and use them as any female would. Yet, there are problems for transgenders that cisgender women won't have. For example, I am unable to get a pair of pretty rain boots that I can use in rainy weather. Most feminine boots are made in sizes up to a 11W. Sizes above that are much harder to find. For people like me, that means that compromises must be made, so that we always present as feminine an appearance as possible.
The other day, BXM told me that in the couple of years she has known me, that my voice has gotten softer and more feminine. It has taken a lot of hard work. And even then, Lili has noted that my voice is not as good as it was a year and a half ago. (I'm not sure of who to believe here.) The use of a "feminine enough" voice is important, as it can be the big "tell" that makes it impossible to blend in with a group of cisgender women. So, that is why I will soon be taking the time to go for some voice training sessions with people at Mercy College's speech therapist training program.
Now that GFJ is no longer a factor in my life, I will likely attend more meetups as Marian. And I might even attend a few "co ed" meetups as well. But I won't want to do more than make a few friendships with women I meet - as I prefer the company of women to that of the other half of our species....