Wednesday, August 25, 2010
For example, there are my kids. Their mother and I are divorced so my relationship with them isn't what I'd like to to be. I've always wanted to be a full-time parent, but life has robbed me of that opportunity. I do see them quite a bit and are involved in their lives, but it is a tenuous thread at that, especially since they are older. I have a 21 year old son and we spend quite a bit of time together, will he still want to or will he be embarrassed? I hardly ever see my 19 year old daughter. Something like this might bring us closer, or might be the final straw. She needs her dad right now. My 17 year old, hard to tell. I think she'd be the most accepting but at the same time maybe embarrassed to bring her friends around. Next year she's off to college so I don't have much time left with her. Then there is my 11 year old a son I'd like to come live with me, or at least go to school in my neighborhood instead of his mother's. Nothing sinister against her, it's just that I live in a better district. But, going forward I wouldn't mind him living with me more, or even full time. I think he'd be happier and I think it would be better for him.
These blogs, while very positive and encouraging, also show a darker side of transition - the pain it causes others. While I'm lucky in that I'm already divorced and don't have to drag a spouse through this, my kids will be affected and regardless of how accepting they are now, who knows how this will impact them in the future.
I can't even begin to discuss my mother, Ms. Guilt and Shame. That woman would make it seem like I am destroying everyone's lives with my transition and maybe she would be right? Who knows.
Then there is the story of the Mike Penner, LA Times sports reporter who decided to transition, backed out, then finally killed himself. Is that in my future? I don't have suicidal thoughts, but did he before he decided to take his own life? It didn't sound like it.
Then there is my ex, with whom I've been spending a lot of time and her support of me through this has really allowed me to see her in a different light and honestly, my feelings have been coming back for her. But they aren't just any normal feelings. After we split up, we talked about what went wrong and in searching for answers I came across a book, 'Venus on Top,' about dominant women and submissive men. I shared it with her and she agreed that if we had that kind of relationship, that our marriage may have succeeded. We've toyed with that kind of relationship over the past year with varying degrees of success and my thoughts and feelings of submission have come back in full force the past week or so. Why? Is that the life I was meant to lead or is that a viable alternative to the more painful ordeal of transition? Am I escaping and which is the escape and which is my destiny? Should I follow my path or should I follow a path of lesser resistance?
Saturday, August 21, 2010
I'm feeling more comfortable why women's products. The other day I bought and outfit from Dollar General thinking it would be a quick in-and-out trip but, as luck would have it, the lady in front of me had $134 worth of items - from Dollar General! It kind of peeved me that she didn't invite me to go ahead of her as I only have a few items and was the only other person in line. Ah well. I bought what I thought was a nice shirt and pants outfit but when they rang up, they rang up as PJs! I could have sworn they were real clothes. Ah well, since I don't go out as Jane at all I figured I could use some more sleepwear.
Any way, the counseling appointment went really well. This was, believe it or not, my third visit and I have another appointment to see her next week. We are really on a roll exploring my past and she is asking a lot of questions I wish someone had asked me twenty years ago when I saw a counselor for the first time. I guess at this point I have two concerns:
1) Is she going to find something in my past that will invalidate my feelings? Such as "because your mom always wanted a girl, but never had one, you're self-identifying as a woman in an attempt to seek her validation." If that's the case, then what? Accept that I am what I am and pursue transition or deal with that first? The way I see it, as long as I get answers I'll be happy. On the other hand...
2) What if she just rubber stamps my desire for transition, without exploring the options, and three or four years down the road, after putting everyone through this with me (especially my children) I find out that there was another option? I think that scares me the most.
Another concern of mine is my age. I'm 45 years old. What will hormones do? I see some of these beautiful young women (Jerica for example, who has a great blog if you don't follow her) and think "wow, that could be me" which is quickly followed by "or not, maybe if I would have started 10-20 years ago). Then I find a youtube video of a 62 year-old undergoing a transition who is thrilled to death and really looks like an older women. And then I look around and think that I already look more feminine than about 10% of the women I see (I love that line from Seinfeld, "Have you been to the DMV lately?" when they were talking about what % of the world is actually good looking).
One other issue is outing myself. I'm out to three people - Linda (ex), James (long time friend, recently f2m tg), and Mary Ann. Both MA and J (we use each other's initial by the way) have said that they almost told friends, and I want Linda to be able to talk to someone about it if she wants. I'm okay with this because I trust who they tell. The one issue I have is a woman named Amanda. She is also part of the inner circle of friends, but has been out of the picture lately due to a pregnancy and subsequent newborn. However, she is starting to get out more and I feel bad with her not knowing and I would tell her in an instant but here's the catch - I am renting a house from her and her husband. I'm sure she'd be okay with it, but I'm not so sure about him and they lived in this house for years and are real close with the neighbors. I dunno but I do know that I am not going to tell her and then ask her not to share it with her husband. That wouldn't be fair to her.
Sorry about the long post. I don't know if it's better to post frequent short posts or infrequent long posts.
If you read this and have some feedback on the age issue, outing myself to Amanda, or my posts, but all means leave some comments! I think this is a great community and I've learned so much and have received so much encouragement - both directly and indirectly.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
So, on the way home after dropping the kids off I stop by Walgreens and bought some shaving gel and lotion (along with a few other items to disguise my other purchases - I am getting more comfortable shopping for Jane while I am out and have a good cover having daughters and all), went home, and shaved it all off (I also bought some nail polish - purple). I have to say it required some stretching and bending I didn't know was possible for my own body. I had a lot to shave so my blade pretty much dulled by the time I was done but I think I got nearly 97% of it. I noticed I did miss a few spots (mostly behind my thighs - how do you get that spot?). I didn't really think much of it at first but it really hit after I put some lotion on my legs. It felt good - so clean. I know a lot of guys, when they make the decision to explore their feminine side, yearn to get read of their male genitalia. For me, it's the hair. Oh, and the first time my legs brushed up against each other it was definitely a strange feeling!
So when I'm done I go down to the family room (I live in a split foyer) and pop in my Sunday night NetFlix DVD (a classic Dr. Who - Peter Davidson's "Time Flight" if you follow the friendly Time Lord) and go to paint my toe nails. Geez, talk about more acrobatics! I finally got them painted (two coats) and like the look of them. I picked out purple, my new favorite color. It was such a wonderful experience to select among the many colors and I love clothes shopping and the selection available for women - even picking out a bra and underwear. Who doesn't love this?
So, a good night and huge step forward for Jane. Hope you don't mind the picture.
Friday, August 13, 2010
I do like her. She asks some really tough questions and I think she's going to be good for me. I do wish I had found her decades ago though. I have spent a lot of time in and out of counseling but nobody has delved as deep as this woman has, I really feel like we are getting somewhere and I go back in a week. If you are in the gateway city area and want her name, let me know. I'd be more than happy to refer her to you.
I'll keep you all posted. Kid weekend this weekend, following a rough two weeks of work (I had a class to train) and home (numerous meetings, school year start up, cub scout kick offs).
Sunday, August 8, 2010
My mind has been wandering quite a bit these past several days. I have another appointment with my counselor on Friday. She had an opening for last week but I thought that would be too soon. I almost wish I had taken it. It's not like I'm depressed or anything, just confused. And not confused about what I want - I know what I want. I want to shed my male body and embrace my femininity but, like I said in my journal, I have two feel firmly planted in the masculine world and that's one of the things I want to talk to my counselor about.
I'll tell you what I do like - I do like the facebook/aol/yahoo ads geared to my feminine side (I've been doing a lot of window shopping on line and I guess those applications have picked up on my cookies). I like replacing my "Nivea for Men" products with L'oreal products. I like friends giving me things like old earings (a pair of which will go wonderfully with a dress I bought) and I like walking around the house in girly pjs. Not to mention washing my "delicates" and replacing my guy clothes (my trans friend James is going to get first crack at those) with women's clothes. So far I have two dresses, about four tops, and a pair of capris. I'm also getting bolder about buying girly stuff in public - pantyhose, face wash for example and guess what? The whole store didn't stop and point at me. Cool. You know what I really want though? A jean skirt. But first, Dollar General had a nice top and black skirt combo I will pick up next time I'm up that way (if they still have my size).
So, that's it for now - hope you all have a good week! Supposed to be a hot one here in the Midwest.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Here is my result...can't complain. LOL.
Which Classic Beauty Icon Are You?
You're Julia Roberts
1990s down-to-earth, classic all-American sweetheart
Physically stunning, you’re a radiant natural beauty whose features — be it your dreamy eyes, megawatt smile, or statuesque long legs — make you stand out from the crowd. Forever our pop culture’s “Pretty Woman,” Julia Roberts always makes a splash on the red carpet, but she may be even more beautiful when she’s sporting casual jeans and a tee — and the same goes for you. People are attracted to your simple elegance, good-natured humor, and down-to-earth charm.
Your modern-day kindred spirits include Amy Adams, Freida Pinto, Rosario Dawson, Sandra Bullock, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Alexis Bledel.
It did help that my friend MaryAnn called and said she was clearing through her things and came across a few clip on earings I could have I was thrilled. I sure does help to have friends like her, a friend that is transitioning himself (f2m) and an ex-wife that is going to give me fashion advice. Not to mention all the blogger girls who have been more helpful than they realize.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Well, I got to the therapist, filled out the paperwork and then the anxiety hit while I was sitting there waiting for her (not a bad anxiety, just general anxiousness) and then she came down and introduced herself and felt really comfortable.
Basically (as most of you know already being through this but this is the benefit for future readers who are wondering how this happens) the first step is to determine if the feelings are legitimate or not. If not, then determine why I have them and deal with them and if they are, determine how far to go with them and really, the only thing holding me back from going all the way (living full time as a woman, not sure what kind of surgery I'll want - need to take that one day at a time) is my children, but I'm sure that's something we'll discuss in therapy. We have to. She also mentioned Harvey Benjamin's "Standards of Care" and I found out that if I do want to transition, I am working for one of the best companies for that. Go figure. I work for a rather large company in a rather large metropolitan area and I know they have an award winning diversity program, but I never knew what they did for the transgendered (we also talked about transgendered, transexual, transvestite, etc). Apparently my counselor has already helped a few people transition there and I guess in some ways it's good to work for a big company. Now, if I do decide to transition there I don't think I could in the same department. Hard to explain, but where I work their are the field workers (very masculine) and office workers (more open). Right now I work as a trainer in the field area, although my experience is mostly office work. Because I came from the office side and not the field side, it's hard enough for me to establish credibility with the field workers in my department. If I transitioned, it would not be good. Besides, I think I'd like to start anew somewhere. I have a great deal of customer service background so maybe I could be transferred to the call center as a supervisor or maybe even transfer back to my office department. It's mostly women (a few members themselves of the LGBT community) so I might fit in well there. Never fit in well as a guy.
So, that's an update. I feel good about the path I'm on and feel like this was a giant step in the right direction. I'm thinking about coming out to a few more people, but not sure about that. Maybe I'll wait.
We all dream a lot.
Some are lucky, some are not.
But if you think it, want it, dream it,
Then it's real.
You are what you feel.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
On another note, I met a woman on craigslist who had some clothing for sale and bought a bag for $20. Some fit, some didn't, but all were in decent shape. I think I have a good start on a wardrobe now. There is one that I really like - a pretty black dress that fits very well. I think I just need a belt for it (black belt? white? something else?) and I'll be set. If nothing better comes along, I think that will be my "coming out" outfit, although I saw this light blue top with brown skirt combo I really liked, too. We'll see :).
Finally, kid weekend coming up and it's going to be a long one and incorporates my vacation so Jane will have to slip away for a little bit (I may still blog) and make room for Al. Ah well. The way the schedule works out after this weekend it'll be the standard two weeks before I have my kids over again so I'll have plenty of "Jane" time then. I really wish I could just be Jane full time :(.
Monday, July 26, 2010
What else inspires me is how beautiful some of these women look. One concern I have is getting past the "man in a dress" look. I know that will take time and practice but seeing some of the results is definitely encouraging!
I think this post will just be a series of random thoughts of events that have happened over the past week.
Am I too old for this? I'm 45 and if I transition, I'll be close to 50 before I do. Will I be too old? I'll be transitioning at a time when many women are going through menopause. I know there are other women out there my age just now transitioning and my good friend James (f2m TG) is transitioning and he's only a year younger than me so I guess the choice is to be happy the rest of my life or continue faking it. I'd rather be happy and be who I am.
Shopping! I actually did some shopping for Jane (as Al) - yea me! Last week I had to travel to mid Missouri (I live in St Louis) to pick up some boardgames a friend of mine and I bought from an estate sale (long story) and on the way I must have passed a 1/2 dozen Wal-Marts, sooo...I stopped in one on the way home and bought a bra and some panties. I was going to buy some pantyhose also, but the sales clerks were standing there and I didn't want to draw TOO much attention to myself. I had to pick up a few other things and I got those first before heading over to the woman's department. I had shopped a bit on-line so I new what I was looking for and found them with little effort. The panties were easy (basic "Just My Size") and the bra took a bit longer. I measured myself at 48DD so that was problem number one. There just isn't much attractive in that size and I wanted to buy a "box" bra instead of a "hanger" bra so I picked something up - simple and white. And then, on my way out, I saw a clearance rack with many larger sizes (I was glad I wasn't the biggest size there) and saw one that I saw online (a very pretty rose colored bra) but 2" smaller than what I wanted but I liked it and I'm wanting to lose weight so I thought I'd get it and if it didn't fit now, it would fit later. Well, as soon as I got home I bathed and tried them on - and yea - it fit! A bit snug and now I have to make some falsies (I think for now I'm going the bird seed in stockings route). The panties fit well also although I have a little butt and am going to need padding and my "manhood" is not exactly easy to tuck away (I wish I could donate it to James) so they did fit funny.
Shopping II - Something else I stumble upon was Craigslist. Not sure why I thought of it. I do use that site quite a bit (for merchandise ladies - nothing more! Well, okay maybe once when I was traveling for work but that's another story, that's how I found out about the boardgame sale) and saw a clothing tag, clicked it, and searched for plus sized clothing. Wow! What a way to build an instant wardrobe. Women are selling clothes by the bagful that don't fit any more - either due to weight loss or weight gain. I've contacted a few of the women and may pick some up tomorrow. I have a cover story (buying for my girlfriend's daughter who is moving back home from Atlanta which is based a bit in reality, which is what all good fiction writers do) but I'm not sure if it's flying or not. So I may pick up a few things here and there. I'll post with details of my haul.
Wearing Women's Clothes - Now that I am acquiring all this clothing, when am I going to wear it? Just around the house. I am not going to be one of those "guys" who wear women's underwear to work; I'd be afraid of being found out. I did wear my new panties to my writer's group on Friday where 2 of the 3 attendees knew about "Jane."
So, I do have a very long way to go, but I think this is a good start. I'm going to end this post here but in my next post I'll give you a "coming out" update, my thoughts on hormones, starting therapy, and whatever else is on my mind. That might be later tonight.
Monday, July 19, 2010
I am confused by the overwhelming choices that have to be made at the store. As a guy I tried to keep my skin in good shape so I used a facial wash and facial scrub but all I had to do was go to the shaving aisle, grab the product and go. I think Nivea is really the only big company that makes products like that for me. Even now using my guy stuff feels yucky. I hate using it but I don't want to show up at work every day smelling like Mango. And that's another great thing I mentioned before - the selection. The fruits, smells, varieties are all great. I've also loved mango so that was my first choice and I'm glad I did. My skin feels great (except for all the hair) and I smell pleasant.
But getting back to choices, what do women need for their face? I guess there's face wash and exfoliant but is that it? And what does a girl do? Go to the store, go with a brand and stick with it. I've noticed since my "emergence" day (I think that's what I'm calling it, I don't like calling it a "birthday" but I know I came up with a better name than emergence) that I've been paying more attention to female-focused commercials. I think I like Dove but I wonder if Avon would be good? I can order it via catalog and have it delivered by someone I probably don't know. Something to think about it. I feel funny examining the women's products at the store. Walgreens had a sale on panties and I thought about getting some, but didn't.
Ah well, I think that's it for tonight. There was something else I was going to say but I can't recall. It's getting late. My ex-wife (the most recent one, no kids) is starting to come around and I feel like I can talk to her more as Jane. She even told me where I could get a swimsuit wrap in my size for a good price (I joked with her that I was tempted to keep hers the other night when she came over to swim).
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I thought for sure once he went back to his mom's that I'd jump back into "Jane" mode but it took longer than expected, due in part to my writer's group assuming I was hosting last night (I did and we had a great meeting, but it was another "Al" night) and then this morning I met a friend to play games. Tonight my daughter (17) came over and we watched the first part of the Dr. Who Season finale and had ice cream. So, it's been a great week. I've been "window" shopping on-line, checking in on blogs and *almost* bought some women's clothing today. Chickened out though.
Any way, once I slipped on my nightgown (after my daughter went home) I was back in Jane mode full force :). It feels so comfortable and I feel "at home."
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
The first person I told was my long time friend James, a f2m transgendered person who has recently (within the past 18 months) come out himself. I don't know if it was his courage that inspired me to come out myself, but he definitely has led the way. Without him and his support I may still be in the closet with everything.
The second person I told was my most recent ex-wife. We have no children together, but it was still risky as she has contact with some of my family and we are both involved in a civic organization with which my outing could cause problems. While she was a bit taken back, she seems to be comfortable with the revelation. I did lay the groundwork for it, though, with many different sexual interests I've divulged to her over the years. This was the revelation that tied everything together.
The remaining two are a woman I know through James and another crossdresser I know at work. The latter I met in an on-line chat room. We hung out for a while, nothing sexual, but then when I got married again five years ago we lost touch. I sent him an email but haven't heard back from him. I'm not worried about that since he could be on vacation or not checking his email. It would be very discouraging if he has lost interest in cross-dressing. I would wonder if I would lose interests myself and with all the money I'll be spending to shape my body and then clothe it, I would be really upset.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
So I guess to answer that, the biological me is gay, but the real me is a straight woman named Jane.
Last night was my first chance (I had my kids over the weekend, more on that in another post) and at first I didn't "get it." But after soaking a bit I understood. First, it felt good as the product worked into my skin, softening it and I guess moisturizing it. I really liked it. Looking forward to using it for my morning shower. It is supposed to be a shampoo, too, but we'll see how effective it is at that. I just need to get something besides my harsh wash cloths now. Man, it is expensive to be a woman.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Then I came across this website...www.reneereyes.com. In it, she has some work out tips for guys making the transition to gals. She even started out with arms that were bigger than mine and now has some dainty, feminine arms with no flab. Granted, she's had surgery, but I don't think they have arm surgery for m2f. I don't know though.
Any way, what she recommends for the upper body are the fly and the pull ups - not traditional pull ups, but I guess they recreate the same work. Basically, you are laying on a bench, holding the weights behind you and then you lift up. This works the back of the arm muscless and certain chest muscles - the kind we girls want to work out. Apparently, they help shape the breasts better, especially for fillers. The fly does the same thing. She recommends many reps of light weights.
For the legs, she recommends cycling, which I enjoy, but when I go to the gym I usually walk the treadmill. Not this time. I had forgotten how much cardio one can get when one cycles and how much easier it is to read/watch TV while cycling. The time flies faster. That's all she recommended about the legs, but I also worked my flabby thighs.
After that, come the abs - abs, abs, and more abs - both vertical and horizontal.
I'm glad I found the site. My goal is work those muscles, especially my abs, and then burn, burn, burn, calories.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Since my last divorce, I have been exploring my masculine gay side more but that never really fit - nor did heterosexual relationships with women. I even tried being submissive to a dominant woman and that didn't feel right either. Looking back on it I think I was trying to be gay or bi as an acceptable alternative to being transgendered - and if I could find a woman to "force" me to behave and dress like a woman, that might alleviate some of the guilt.
But the guilt hit me over the weekend. It was PrideFest in St Louis and I thought about going but my schedule prevented me from attending but on Sunday, June 27, 2010, a facebook friend of mine posted something about facebook and made the comment about "being yourself." That hit me like a brick wall. I had been lying to myself this whole time. I never felt right as a man, I was a woman on the inside, male on the outside. It was what they call and "aha" moment. Just then a flood of memories long forgotten (or supressed) poured back into my consiousness - all the experiementation, all the closet dressing, having many female friends and most importantly, not being comfortable with who I am. That was the biggie. I laid in bed last night with my memories and my first thought was to come up with a name. I tried on a bunch for size and came up with Jane. Not sure why. It just sounds right. Many of the names I went through I had an association with - ex wife or girlfriend, relative's name, or other bad association. I was also watching a classic Dr. Who that featured a woman named Jane so maybe that's why it stuck.
That next morning I emailed a transgendered friend of mine (f2m) and confessed to him how I had been feeling all these years. He was, of course, very accepting and encouraging. I've known him since high school and we've bounced back and forth all these years, but have become good friends over the past two years. I'm glad I got back in touch with him and I am glad I was able to help him with his transition. More about James in a later post.
Guess that's it for now. I'm in the research stage - what size do I wear? How do I buy a bra? What do I want for my first outfit? I did find a nice plus size bra at Wal-Mart I liked and will buy and as for as dress I'm not ready to go out so I think I'll settle for a nice casual outfit. My ex left a nigthtgown over last time she was at my place so I've been wearing that in the evening (when I don't have my kids). I'm actually thinking about coming out to her - mostly for the make up, advice, free wardrobe, and just to spend some girl time with.
That's it for now...more as I progress.