Saturday, June 6, 2020

Dressing down for respect and to blend in?


Someone asked on a forum recently:

As a woman, have you found dressing femininely has any downside professionally?


I felt my repsonse was bloggable:



This is an interesting topic for me.

When I first transitioned at work, I was learning to dress. I tended to try to dress casual (for the software field) and I experimented with what I liked , didn't like, was appropriate, not appropriate, etc.

For a while there, I found I would 'dress down' so as to 'blend in' and not have my trans-ness questioned.

At some point, I said screw that noise and started dressing more femininely. Dresses, skirt suits, heels, etc. Mostly exclusively.

At one job I did have someone spread a rumor that I was a 'transvestite', mind you i'd never come out to my employer or coworkers at this job. That rumor was a huge hit to my ego and my style and soon after I left that job.

I started at a new place and still kept up with my outfits the way I liked them mostly. One random day I wore suit pants or jeans or something and someone commented on 'wow I dont think I've ever seen you in pants' (implying I always wore skirts/dresses). Mixed feelings about these types of comments. On one hand I felt like 'shit, do they assume I'm trans?' but on the other hand I felt like 'That's right. I like dresses and style.'

Over the years I've come to OWN the fact that I like to dress nicer than most software developers. And every new job I tend to have to 'train' everyone to realize that yes 'she is always dressed nice'. At my latest job they had a fun 'fancy friday' competition and I kept winning it so I opted to become one of the judges instead lol.

As for respect, I feel like unfortunately yes, people who have not worked with me and see me for the first time often judge me like I'm some bimbo.....BUT just like training people to get used to seeing me wearing nice clothes, people who work with me come to understand very quickly that I'm not just sharp but also that I don't take shit from people. haha

What's my point? I guess live your life. I tell myself over and over, I didn't transition to dress down in jeans and tees lol. But everyone has their own style and life.
Find yours. <3

Saturday, January 4, 2020

I wrote a book!

You read that right, I wrote a small novellette (8000 words). I started this in 2016 when I was recovering from FFS in San Francisco. It's been through a few readings, critiques, and even a full run-through of changes with another friend but I think it's arrived at a good place. I was able to publish it via Kindle Direct Publishing and set it at a very low price of $1.99.

Please check it out!

Here's the summary:

Mirrors are fascinating objects. They show us what we look like when we cannot see our own selves. Sometimes they show us the realities we don’t want to confront.
Some people even speculate that mirrors are doors to other dimensions.

Janet is an average woman who’s never thought about what transgender people go through so she blatantly disregards their narrative as invalid. She’ll soon have a lot to learn.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Beyond Gender Podcast Interview: Stealth


I was excited to do an interview on Beyond Gender, a podcast I've listened to for a while now.

I got to tell some of my story and talk about what 'stealth' has meant to me, etc.

Check it out: http://www.beyondgenderpod.com/ep-093-stealth/

Friday, February 1, 2019

Poem: Distant


This is something I wrote when I moved away into a new condo I bought for myself. My husband and I had already separated at that point but the fact that the condo was farther from him and closer to work was going to mean I wouldn't see him as often.




Distant



These walls are now bare
Most everything’s packed
The day’s finally come
It’s all now so real
I’m moving away
farther.

Things quickly have changed
In an up and down way
Emotions, commitments, 
My heart feels like it’s been 
Put through 
the ringer.

And yet here we are
Somehow on good terms
As we both make plans
For our new future lives
apart.

When I came to this place
I was heart-set with hope
We could still make things work
We just couldn’t live together
anymore.

How much can change
In just 7 months
Neither of us are ready
To forever part ways
But this will make things more
difficult.

It was a space of my own
After years of sharing
A place to explore myself
As well as grieve
on my own, in my own
Solitude.

Not meant to be permanent
But I didn’t think
I’d move again so quickly
It’s almost more significant
Than moving out of your 
house.

We’ll still see each other
You’ll help me with my condo
As I help you sell things
And encourage your move to Hawaii
But now things will definitely be more
distant.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Bohemian Rhapsody


Note: SPOILERS for the movie Bohemian Rhapsody follow. I jotted this down in November but spruced it up to post today.


There are many themes in the movie that portray Freddy Mercury’s life and dreams. Many which ring true to my soul. 

Like many of us, he wants to make something of his life and he knows he has talent and he goes for it. I realize there was only so many minutes available in the film to portray him but it felt like they rushed him into singing without really portraying him as a person first. It almost feels like he sets his family aside for his career from the start, changing his name completely, apart from them and as a watcher, I kind of want to know more about where that’s coming from, inside of him. What did he experience growing up that made him feel like he needed to escape from the family name? Of course I also relate to this since my parents disowned me when I came out as transgender. I re-married several years later and gladly took my husband’s name, no longer proud of the family name. And I’ve become something special in my own right with my own talents too.

Anyway, his family, especially his father, is almost ashamed him for what he’s becoming as he gets more and more popular. Freddy seems to look past that and sees into the future of who he will be and what he will accomplish. He finds his own true family within the band, Queen. And in truth, though he was a major piece of the spirit of Queen, and the lead singer, he even admits that the band is his family and it’s a great thing to watch as all members of the band bring their songs and lyrics to the table, contributing in different fashions. Over the years since I transitioned, I’ve been forced to make my own family as well. I’ve met many friends along the way, some of which I have been close enough to call sister and even mother. Family really is who you make it sometimes rather than the blood relation we were raised to believe was thicker than water. It’s also interesting to me that my family issues are not the only ones….that many people out there are estranged from their blood families in some fashion and it’s often not LGBT acceptance related.

Ok back to Freddy. He's obviously in love with a girl from the beginning of the show, before he’s even fully committed to the band. As the years go by, he discovers himself to be gay and he realizes that he can’t keep holding onto her. He tries to let go, giving her a place to live very close to him but the kind of relationship one can have that is not intimate is still so limited and leaves a hole for someone else to come and fill it. He's aghast when she finds a new boyfriend who can love her like he can’t. Similarly, I had to let thy wife go as well, not because I was gay but rather because she wasn’t (haha). But gosh darnit if I don’t know the feeling of trying to keep someone you love close to you even when you know it’s better to let them "fly away" to live their best life. I’m actually struggling with that even now as my husband is moving away and I am trying to figure out where I want my life to go even if it is not quite as entangled with his as it has been for the past 7 years.

In the final moments of the movie, Freddy gets back together with Queen and they perform for the Live-Aid event that is destined to raise a record amount of donated money to stop hunger in Africa. These moments of the film portray what it’s really like to be loved on stage, to perform with your heart and soul and feel the energy of the crowd. I remember getting a similar feeling when playing bass guitar in the worship band at church and have also experienced it runway modeling and on stage for competitions. There is no other feeling like performing your passion and being loved for that performance.

In all of that, Freddy finally wins the respect of his father after all of these years by performing on a stage for a good cause. Something his father always preached about. It’s quite wondrous to see the two unite in a hug as his fathers eyes fill with tears of pride for his son after all of the years when they were merely filled with disappointment. Alas, not every story has a happy ending….especially in real life. I’ve had to come to terms with my hope…..a hope that my parents could maybe one day be proud of me….be proud of who I am today and what I’ve accomplished. I’ve had to let that hope die so that the constant disappointment doesn’t keep bringing me down.

But you know what? “The Show Must Go On” and as “Another one bites the dust” I just ask you all two things: “Let me Live” and “Don’t stop me now”

You see what I did there, right? 😉 

Monday, December 24, 2018

Rhinoplasty Revision

So I'd been planning this for a while but I had a rhinoplasty revision with my doctor this month.

A year ago, I had my 1 year post-op appointment and I wasn't sure if I really needed or wanted a revision. It's true the nose wasn't shaped quite as I'd wanted it to be and the doctor agreed that there was a slight bump before the tip....which ends up keeping it from having that pleasing ski slope look. Even still, I wasn't sure I wanted to go through an excessive surgery again just for a small bump when FFS in general had a huge impact on my confidence.

I think I was convinced by two things. One, the doctor was wlling to do the revision for free (which means he waives his fees but I still would pay hospital and anesthesia fees) and two, he claimed the recovery would be much easier. So we scheduled it for this month and I scheduled the proper time off and found myself in San Francisco again in December.

The surgery went well. He said he took out mostly scar tissue (but a little bit more cartilage as well) and that has led us to believe that he should have had me taping my nose for the recovery of the last surgery 2 years ago. So this time, I'm taping my nose for a month and I may even keep taping it at night for another month after that.

I'm almost at 2 weeks post-op now and feeling pretty good about the results. Between FFS, hair transplants, and this over the last 3 years, I'm feeling like it'd be nice to not have any more surgeries for a while (if ever?) haha.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Dating while trans: Not my narrative

So lately I’ve been dating again. My husband and I are splitting up. We are still seeing each other for now but I’m also seeing other people. It’s a weird situation but ironically it’s working well for us currently. 

But anyway, back to the dating part. For seven years I’ve taken for granted the fact that I no longer had to worry about people rejecting me for being trans. My husband has always been supportive and it’s never even been much of a subject we even talk about. I’m over it, I’m done. I moved on. 

But apparently once again I’ve been caught…..dating while trans. 

People that hang out with me nowadays have easily realized that there’s much more to my life than the fact that I transitioned from man to woman. I just don’t talk about it anymore and why should I? I have all the necessary parts for sexual copulation as a woman, I interact as a woman, I really am no different than other woman except that I can’t get pregnant. 

And yet I still run across guys that either take issue with my past or take issue with the fact that I don’t bring it up. The latter is almost even more frustrating than the obvious reactions reflected in the former. The fact that my body didn’t completely match up with my identity for a part of my life has no bearing on the present. I shouldn’t need to bring this up with every single person I meet, especially on a first date. It’s nobody else’s business but my own. 

One date stopped talking to me after the first date and we’d had a really good time together. I finally straight up asked him what was up and he told me he was upset I never brought up my trans status during our date;  that he’d dated other trans women and they had always brought it up. He said that because I hadn’t, I was being dishonest. I told him I didn’t see why that was important. If you like me as a person, find me attractive, and you can have sex with me, what the heck does it matter where I came from? It’s a literal piece of my medical history and it’s private. 

I am however very upfront with the fact that I don’t want kids therefore excusing the need to bring up the fact that I’m infertile. I’ve definitely never led a guy on in thinking I would have his baby. 

We don’t all immediately list out the surgeries or illnesses we’ve had when we meet someone so why does being trans have to be any different? I’ve been over it a million times that I don’t want to be a spectacle and I definitely don’t want to be ‘special’. I’ve tried my best to live a ‘normal’ life as a woman, taking on new hobbies and experiencing new things in this short life we have here on earth. Whether people are supportive or hateful, I’d just rather they skip over the my ‘trans status’ and look closer to who I am as a person instead. 

Don’t get me wrong, many trans individuals are happily out and proud and/or feel the need to tell people about their trans status. Some don’t even feel fully male or female and that’s their narrative and that’s completely valid but it’s not my narrative. 

I’m female. I’m a woman. That’s it.

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