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- May 2017
I've Been On HRT For A Week Now
   Fri May 26, 2017 9:05 am
Heels Are Loud on a Hard Surface
   Sun May 21, 2017 8:17 am
40 Lbs and Counting
   Tue May 16, 2017 1:58 pm
On the Town
   Fri May 05, 2017 8:11 am
A Reflective Interlude
   Mon May 01, 2017 9:12 pm

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I've Been On HRT For A Week Now

Permanent Linkby AnnMarie on Fri May 26, 2017 9:05 am

I'm a little blue today. The reason is a little too private to talk about here. I was a little surprised at the way it affected me, though; I wonder if it's the estrogen kicking in. I've noticed some other – positive – differences in my mood since starting HRT. I seem to be more easy-going, more ready to be guided by my emotions, less aggressive and more willing to let things slide.

I found out that HRT can make your scalp itch. A couple of days this week, I was walking at the mall; and, when my scalp started to perspire, it began itching like crazy. This was something I hadn't had a problem with before, so I searched on-line to see if anyone else starting HRT had experienced the same thing; and several people had. Best explanation is that it's due to the pH of the skin changing; the little critters that live on our skin are problem doing happy dances on mine, or something. It's temporary, so I'll ride it out. By the way, I also suspected that spironolactone, my anti-androgen (testosterone blocker) was upsetting my stomach once in a while – nothing serious – and, it turns out, that's a known side-effect. It doesn't happen often; so, again, I'll ride it out.

I left my apartment in girl mode for the third time Sunday evening to attend a local monthly transfeminine support group meeting for the first time. It was a positive experience. I got the name of a local primary care physician who is trans-friendly (my current one probably is not), something I very much wanted.

I've started a long-term project. Women come in all shapes and sizes, and in all degrees of femininity. You don't have to be girly or feminine at all to be female; but I am girly to the core, and I want to be as feminine in my expression as I can be. The best place for learning skills like that would be finishing school; but finishing schools for adult women, while they do exist, are apparently very few. I found one in Dallas, Texas, that is expensive and takes only 20 women a year, for two weeks in the summer – not what I would call a very strong course, if you ask me. There is also an age limit, which I don't pass. However, while I was scouting around, I learned about a series of books published in the 1960s, called the “Nancy Taylor Course,” that were spoken of highly. I investigated, found copies and bought them. Very, very nice; exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. They are very detailed and also very demanding. It's going to take awhile to get through them, but I think they're going to do for me what I want. It's very exciting.

I'm starting laser hair removal treatments for my facial hair soon. That will be a six-month project, more or less. Other than that, there's nothing new on the horizon.

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Heels Are Loud on a Hard Surface

Permanent Linkby AnnMarie on Sun May 21, 2017 8:17 am

Well, the really big news is that I started hormone replacement therapy (HRT) a few days ago. I’m on my way. I didn’t know this before it became a personal matter, but the benefits of HRT are more than developing a bosom: it redistributes fat, giving a softer, rounder appearance; and there can be psychological benefits as well. Often, the physical changes take considerable time – years, in fact. The advice I’ve read is to not undergo facial feminization surgery (FFS) for at least a year after starting HRT, to give your body a chance to make its changes to your face first; otherwise, the end result may not be what you expected.

I notice that my last blog post spoke of my wearing lipstick to the mall for the first time. Was it really that recently? I wear it whenever I go shopping, now. I’ve also picked up a pair of women’s jeans that fit, and I’m wearing them when I go out. The boots I mentioned in my last post – with a one-inch heel – arrived a few days ago, and they fit; I wore them shopping for the first time today.

I’ve been trying to create an ensemble with a Western motif for my next visit to the gender therapist. I am handicapped some by my weight, my genotype and my ignorance of the local shopping milieu. I saw an advertisement recently in which a woman was wearing a white peasant-style top with embroidery, and I loved the look; I’ve spent a lot of time the last few days looking for something similar locally, without success. In consequence, I broadened my scope and settled for looking for an attractive top in my size that I could wear with jeans.

There’s a local department store that is a ladies’ favorite, so I went there yesterday. I was wearing lipstick, of course; and the first item I tried on was too small. I’m not very experienced as yet dealing with women’s clothing, and while taking off the top I managed to get lipstick on the collar. I guess I could have pretended I hadn’t and just put the top back, but that’s not the way I’m put together. So, I found the salesgirl and told her I’d gotten lipstick on the collar. It turned out not to be a problem; but actually telling someone I was wearing lipstick was the real event. Happily, she didn’t react to it at all. That was nice. I ended up buying another that I thought was wearable, but I can’t wait until I’ve lost more weight and have a much wider selection open to me. At the moment, I’m having to make do.

Then, while shopping at Walmart, I found another wearable top; I couldn’t believe it. It’s even a bit androgynous in appearance, although it doesn’t feel androgynous when you put it on. I love the feeling that some women’s tops have. Someday, I’ll be buying lingerie.

I’m planning to attend my first support group meeting for transwomen soon; the local LGBT center has one every month. Hopefully, I’ll get some questions answered there, including where to find a new primary-care physician who is trans-friendly. I don’t think my current one is, and I’m not looking forward to cluing him in to my new prescriptions.

Lastly, I went shopping “en femme” early this morning, for the first time. Of course, I went to Walmart; the company has a policy of being “trans-friendly,” and there aren’t many people there at 2:00 in the morning. I wore the new androgynous top, jeans, new boots and a bra. I didn’t wear my wig, so my genotype was obvious. I did have the studs in my ears, however, which helped my presentation somewhat. I was nervous, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from crossing this threshold. I’ve found that crossing thresholds makes it easier to cross them the next time.

I’m pretty sure I got laughed at by two women who saw me; but everyone else just ignored me – everyone, that is, except the Walmart employee at the self-checkout. He actually started the conversation. To tell the truth, I think he was doing it for himself, to prove something; but I was grateful to be treated like a normal person by someone else.

I didn’t run into anyone at my apartment complex,...

[ Continued ]

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40 Lbs and Counting

Permanent Linkby AnnMarie on Tue May 16, 2017 1:58 pm

So, I made it to 40 pounds yesterday; I’m one-third of the way to my goal. it gets more difficult as your weight goes down, or, at least, it takes longer. Once I’m no longer obese – probably about four more weeks – I’ll have to up my calories a few hundred per day. My current level is okay while obese, but not healthy thereafter.

Acquiring feminine skills includes learning to keep your legs together. I’m not presenting as female yet; but I did dress for my second appointment with the gender therapist. I wore pantyhose under my skirt; and, at one point, she advised me to do something about my legs, because she could see all my goodies. That was embarrassing. So, I’ve been practicing keeping my legs together, among other things. Ever try getting out of a car without separating your legs? You almost have to move the seat back to do it.

It’s getting more frustrating not being out as a woman. I’ve been wearing lip gloss to go walking at the mall. I started with the nude lip gloss, then progressed to something that can actually be seen, if I put on enough of it and you look closely in decent light. Well, yesterday, I just said, “Screw it,” and put on actual lipstick. It was a color close to my natural lip color, and, to tell the truth, I don’t know that anyone at the mall noticed. It wouldn’t have mattered if they had; I’m sick of hiding, and I feel better when I wear it.

However, after I came home, I was shopping online for boots. I wear a men’s size 11, which is a woman’s size 13; and that’s not a size with a great deal to offer in a woman’s shoe. Well, I found a really great pair of boots on the Target website, and it said they had it in-stock where I live. So, I went to Target; but, first, I refreshed my lipstick. It was about noon, and the light at Target was going to be much better than the light at the mall in the middle of the morning; but, as I said, I didn’t care. When I had to ask help from a salesgirl, however, I’m pretty sure she noticed, and didn’t approve. She thought I was funny, and not in a good way. She didn’t say anything, but it was clear enough. I shrugged it off; but, at the same time, after finding out that the boots were for girls (kids), not adult women, I left the store pretty quickly, and, in the process, nearly ran into another woman who was leaving at the same time. Not very feminine of me.

Part of me really doesn’t want to look ridiculous to other people; but the stronger part of me wants to express who I am, and that side is winning and will ultimately prevail. It ultimately doesn’t matter if the world think that this woman is a clown; I know she’s not. I get a great deal of satisfaction out of presenting as female – even if it’s just a little lipstick, or carrying a woman’s pocketbook. I’m declaring who I am, and other people are noticing. Some of them don’t bat an eye; some of them laugh at me; some of them look at me disapprovingly. But, however it comes out, I’m declaring who I am; and that’s what matters. How other people take me is up to them.

I eventually found a different pair of boots online, and I’m putting together a casual outfit with a western motif. Today I made another early trip to Walmart to shop for women’s jeans. I took my glittering pocketbook in with me, as I’ve done at this store several times before; and, after trying on a few pairs of jeans, found a pair that fit and that I could live with. At this point, with my weight what it is, my choices are few. Eventually, I’ll be able to be more selective. I also picked up a belt that actually fit – barely – and was reasonably attractive, in an understated sort of way (I like that). Now all I need is a really great top. I’m going to look for one the next time I go mall-walking.

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On the Town

Permanent Linkby AnnMarie on Fri May 05, 2017 8:11 am

Well, I did it. For the first time, I left my apartment yesterday wearing makeup, a wig and dressed in girl clothes. My hand was shaking as I was locking the door. I was really not ready for my neighbors to know; but it was something I had to do, regardless. Thankfully, I didn't run into anyone between my door and the car, leaving, or coming home. The only place I went was to my appointment with the gender therapist, which went well, by the way. I was too keyed up at the time to reflect on the experience, but I'm feeling it now. This was a taste of something I want a lot more of.

Getting ready for this event was a major undertaking. I used Nair again, supplemented by shaving, because my chest hair had started to come back and I was wearing a top with a woman's neckline, and because I was wearing pantyhose. I had not shaved my legs before, because they've always been covered and because, frankly, I don't have a lot hair on my legs.

It was unseasonably cool yesterday morning; and, as you all know, I recently took almost all my clothes to Goodwill recently, so I did not have a sweater or coat to wear. I decided to visit Walmart to see if I could find an inexpensive sweater; and I managed another first. Since I threw my wallet away and started keeping my driver's license and credit cards in a hand purse, I've always taken my credit cards out and left the hand purse in the car when I've gone into a store. This has led to a few inconvenient moments, where I've gotten to the cashier and realized I'd left everything in the car. So, yesterday morning, I just decided I didn't care and took my hand purse with me into Walmart. I saw two employees check it out before I left. So what. Although I am concerned about the reactions of others, and definitely concerned about not being outed at work, there is also a part of me that is proud to be seen for myself. I know that most people will probably see a man with a purse; but I know they are seeing a woman who, at least in one respect, isn't hiding what she is, and I find that gratifying.

And, oh, I love wearing girly things. I actually stood there in the women's department and tried on a couple of sweaters, right in the front of the store. I just didn't care.

Once I got home, it was time to get ready. I'm getting first-hand experience in why it takes women so long to get ready to go anywhere. Guys need to try it a few times. My first experience with nail polish had gone very well; so, I was a little less careful this time, which resulted not only in a sloppier job, but also in tipping over the bottle of nail polish half-way through. I got nail polish all over my hands, on the kitchen counter and almost on the carpet – and with only about an hour to go before I had to leave. Those of you who read about my first experience removing nail polish will remember how I panicked because the acetone didn't perform as well as I had expected and how much of it I used. Well, I only had about 2/3 of the bottle left, and I had to leave enough to remove the polish from my fingernails when I got back home if I didn't want to out myself at work. (I also didn't want to go to the store to buy more with painted fingernails.)

I learned very quickly that acetone doesn't work as well on skin as it does on nails. Do you know what does? Baking soda. I'm beginning to think of baking soda as a household indispensable. It's good for so many things! I was able to remove virtually all traces of nail polish from my hands. What a relief.

Then, after I had gotten dressed and was getting my wig ready to wear, I was walking to the bathroom when suddenly my skirt fell to the floor. Something else to worry about while out and about.

However, everything went swimmingly after leaving the apartment. I hadn't planned on taking my new full-sized purse, the one I bought at Sears; but I was running out of time and had a bunch of junk to take with me, so I just threw it all in the purse and left.

It was a very good day.

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A Reflective Interlude

Permanent Linkby AnnMarie on Mon May 01, 2017 9:12 pm

The last piece of my outfit arrived today: the bra. I feel like that word should be in large type, colors and sparkles. It’s a 44C, based on measurements two weeks old. Thank goodness I’ve been losing weight like a champ, because it’s none too big at all. To get it on, I had to hook the back together and then step into it. I bought breast forms, which helped to fill it out; but I stuck a sock in each cup for good measure. Then I put on the top I’m wearing to my next session with the therapist. Nice! Going to have to get rid of that chest hair again, though; the neckline is considerably lower than a man’s shirt.

A lot of bits and pieces have come together recently. I already wrote about the wig, I think. I bought a few wig-related supplies, including a wig brush, bobby pins and “No More Tangles.” This wig has very long hair, and it’s already tangled. I think I’m going to buy a clasp of some kind tomorrow, to hold it back so that it doesn’t hide my face.

I have to admit that I’ve felt discouraged recently. Learning to deal with the accoutrements of presentation as a woman has a very steep curve. Oh, for a mentor. Makeup doesn’t look so horrible now, but I’m still not using eyeliner or doing anything with my eyebrows. The bags under my eyes are so bad that I splurged and bought something by L’Oreal designed to deal with them. I’ve spent so much money on makeup this month, it’s incredible.

And it’s also discouraging not to simply be living openly as a woman. I wear boy clothes whenever I leave the house. I work seven days a week, between the two jobs; but lately I’ve wished I could have a night out as a girl. I wouldn’t want to go by myself, of course; much too dangerous. But if I had the right friends along, I’d love to go out dressed appropriately. Even with this horse’s face of mine.

I’m not looking for attention. I don’t want to make a big splash. I would simply like to openly express my nature. I’d like to walk down the sidewalk in a nice dress and not feel like everyone was hating me. Maybe it will get to the point where I don’t care anymore; there are certainly indications of that.

I’ve been thinking about showing more reticence to engage others, seeking solace in my own thoughts and company. When I imagine myself, post-transition, I do not see a woman with an active social schedule; rather, I see a woman who has created her own world in her home and who dwells there most of the time. I think I would get a lot of what I need from others from just going out, to shop, to get coffee or go to the post office – you know, running errands, basically – and being regarded as just another woman. That affirmation would never cease to warm my heart.

I went through my closets and drawers, gathered almost all the boy clothes I own and took them to Goodwill. They’re gone. All I have left are my work clothes, a pair of pants in a smaller size and a few jeans in smaller sizes that may prove useful before I am able to transition fully. I also have some custom t-shirts I bought years ago from Café Press as an incentive to lose weight; they are too small for me and have never been worn. They are men’s t-shirts, but maybe I can wear them as a woman. They have sentimental value, so I didn’t toss them. And I kept an extra pair of shoes, just in case. But I took two trash bags full of stuff and a bunch of things on hangers to the Goodwill drop-off. It needed to be done. I no longer have sweaters, suits, ties, winter coats, etc., etc. All gone. I’m hoping that by this coming winter I’ll be down to weight and wearing a winter coat that is, if not distinctively feminine, then at least androgynous. Buying men’s clothing now would be a bitter experience.

As of this morning, I’ve lost more than 32 pounds. Only 85 to go.

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