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Showing posts from August, 2012

being a woman

I know what's bothering me. I don't want to desire to be a woman. I desperately don't want to do that to my kids, my mother...

If it ever came down to complete depression I would succumb to the pressure. I guess this is why I am trying so hard to find the core pathology as to what makes me tick. I almost want to still be cured and have someone tell me I'm sick and need to get better. Truth is I don't think that's going to happen. So I need to deal with this head on but ever so delicately. I have less fear about the job than I do about my kids although the job transition would terrify me no end.

feedback comes fast and furious

Rachel king who is a regular on the pinkessence website I frequent commented on my autogynephelia post (similar to the one I posted here)in negative fashion (as expected). No one wants to think of themselves as a flawed freak who needs to be "cured". I think for me the best answer is to stop analyzing the causes for my condition and just treat it in the best possible way. Dr Lawrence admits that sometimes the answer is to transition in order to be able to live happily.After all I am what I am!!

Oh what a tangled web we weave! I need to stop beating myself up all the time!

PS: my apologies in advance if you are a ssupporter of the republ
Party but last night's performance at the RNC almost made me ill. I respect him greatly as an artist but that was political shilling at its worst. Granted I don't support most of what that party stands for and I'm probably biased but I felt embarrassed for him. Oy!

autogynephelia revisited

I went to Dr Anne Lawrence's website today and read her article on autogynephelia called "becoming what we love". In the article Anne cites the work of Ray Blanchard and talks about this condition not being just about erotic arousal in starting out as non homosexual MtF transsexuals but also about love and admiration for what is female. It actually reassured me because I had always felt a guilt around the erotic aspects of my dressing. Now I can say that this condition I have is more rooted in love than in the desire to have an orgasm in a dress and panties.

Kudos to Dr Lawrence for finding vindication in Blanchard's work for those who would paint him as an adversary of my type of transexualusm. I never asked for this condition but I find a soothing tone in the way the research is presented and being a transsexual woman herself, she relates directly to her findings in a very personal way.

I feel more educated and better for having read it.

Thank you Anne!

Her article…

the bridge...

I was feeling a little low over lunch today. I had my headphones on and the song "the bridge" by Elton john came on my playlist. It got me almost crying as it fit where I think I am right now on my life journey.The lyrics of "you can face the bridge or fade away" I thought were particularly fitting because I am at a bridge crossing. End of my 2nd failed relationship and wondering what's going on in my gender journey.

I need to get away from feeling sorry for myself and move forward. I need to be thankful for my kids, my job, my health. So many things to be thankful for. I did snap out of it and went back into right thinking mode.

Even if I am a woman I'll delay to do anything about it. If the crossdressing helps me live with my disphoria it will do.after all it's enough for me to know it and living part time might be just what the doctor ordered...

gender therapy...

I'm debating whether to do some more gender therapy. It's been 4 years sfince I completed my 4 month stint at the gender clinic. Now that I have come to accept my tg status it may be needed to help align myself to see where the next step lies if any at all.

Right now I am leaning heavily towards living part time but doing no hormones or surgery. I think this is the answer for me but I want to make absolutely sure so there are no regrets. I have left a message at the clinic and will wait for a call backx. Hopefully I can get a consultation or two out of this.

Sunday morning service...

This morning I attended mass as Joanna and it was very peaceful. It was the 8 am service at the Notre dame bascilica which is a spectacularly gilded church (home to many concerts including luciano Pavarotti).

I find it rewarding to attend services en femme. I have long since removed the guilt that I had ingested over the years and indeed this has little to do with God but more of a twisting of religious ideas and poor human interpretation. In the end I am loved as much as any other person in this world ; trans or not. So now I can grab the low hanging fruit of spirituality and ignore the uglier aspects that organized religion can fall prey to.

I am spending the rest of my Sunday as Joanna. So far the weekend has been going well....actually more like great...

my life in pumps...

Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated by the classic black pump. I can't think of anything else more singularly feminine that screams woman as a flattering pair of pumps. My mother would wear them in the 60's as almost all women did as the basic shoe of choice. It was not until Audrey Hepburn came along with her cute little ballerina flats that the almighty pump was challenged.

The popularity of flats is very much with us today and as a tall woman I am glad for it but my 2 inch heels hold a special place in my heart. Add to that a pair of pearl earrings and a little black dress and you have a classic winning combo for any formal occasion.

I am looking forward to attending a wedding or other formal affair as Joanna so I can put together that combo or variation thereof...

so freeing

I woke up this morning thinking how freeing it is to be who you are. As a person who lived in a self made cage all my life, I can't emphasize enough how good I feel about this. I wish I had discovered this sooner but I am fortunate that it's not so late that I can have a good quality of life from here on in. Thanks to all my internet support crew for helping me realize this!

weekend en femme....

Well this will be my first ever entire weekend as a woman. Should be interesting. My kids are with me for the following 3 weekends so this is a good chance to pamper myself a bit and see how it feels to not change back.

As I gave already blogged, I will not be pushing anything here but just taking life one day at a time. Life is such a fleeting and fragile thing anyway. Today I heard a co worker's brother got run over by a truck in a mall parking lot of all places. Apparently he had been picking up some money that slipped under what appeared to be a parked truck and all of a sudden it ran him over as it backed up. The driver did not realize anyone was there and the man did not realize the truck was operational. He will live but he'll be in ICU for a while and then likely physical therapy. Just goes to show how anything can happen at anytime to anyone.

So I will let the tide drag me along a bit and enjoy the solitude I have been mandated to follow. The natural rhythm will take…

it's official...

I'm on my own officially (real estate wise anyway). I am going to the notary in 45 minutes to sign the papers that will make the place my gf and I shared officially mine.

At least I have dressed nicely for the occasion. The notary knows I'm trans and this is our second meeting with me en femme. So no biggie...

another nice meet up

As I'm writing this I'm still in my dress and heels. Came back from a nice coffee and dessert with Elcy who used to work at Taylor and now works at Melanie Lynn (2 stores I frequent). Her and I hit it off pretty much right away and after chit chatting with her on a bunch of occasions and finally buying a skirt from her I decided to leave my number at the store and let her call me if she wanted. She called me last week saying she would be on vacation but upon returning would give me a ring. That she did over the weekend which led to our meeting tonight.

We went to a little cafe near my place and had a lovely time. I told her my husband and I were through and that I would be on my own and I suggested we have our next meet up at my place. Now I know I'm fibbing but I need to see how viable my passing in real life is working out and so far it's working great. I really do want to be friends with her and it's important to me right now to be able to be a woman.

I think w…

rock and a hard place

From the point of view of a trans person who is drawn to women we're kind of stuck. The more we're attracted to our feminine sides the less likely we are to find an accepting partner. In my recent previous relationship, Joanna was there in the background but was something to be dealt with and tolerated but not celebrated. I suppose that makes sense because what woman is going to deliberately desire her man to be more woman than man.

Therefore I am getting myself into the mindset that I will likely stay on my own. I don't want to put Joanna back in the closet and don't want to compromise the freedom that I have given her. In all likelihood, pairing up with another person would mean putting her back into a closet. Yes it will be lonely at times but in life there are always compromises to be made. And the idea of being with someone just for the company does not appeal to me.

After an unsuccessful marriage and my recent 3 year relationship, it might be time to try and live…

LGBT pride

Today was the LGBT parade and I did not attend. I might have this year though but my kids were with me and by the time I dropped them off with their mom, it would have been too late to go.I never really felt part of that community though. I was never even sure that the transgendered belonged lumped in with the rest because we are not about orientation but about gender identity. So in that sense we are an odd pairing.

I guess the argument goes that we are all societal outcasts and we are strengthened by the support that the numbers bring. So for better or worse we are tied at the hip. Strange in a way as early pioneers like Virginia Prince were quite homophobic and went to great lengths to put distance between the gay community and the so called heterosexual crossdresser. Of course the lines have blurred considerably since then. But when I was young there was no internet and no guidance on anything.

Was I homophobic? well in as far I was raised Catholic and hated myself for wanting to …

pinkessence

Yes that's the name of the website that Chloe Prince created for us trans folk and keeps a lot of us coming back. It's a site that covers a lot of bases - blogs,personal pages, chat,advice, etc and to boot it welcomes all of us whether you are a closeted cd or a full fledged TS.

Chloe has been credited with saving a lot of people from despair through their ability to draw from the resources that you find there. Just this morning I was chatting with one of the more senior bloggers and newly transitioned woman. She is 54 years old and tried to fight off transition for as long as possible. In the end however it was stronger than she was and she succumbed to its power. She is happier and better for having done it and told me it was either a bullet or a dress. It makes me wonder where I'll be in 5 years and whether I will also end up where she is.

One thing she did mention is that there are bends in the road where you do not expect them. So I will just follow the road and see w…

my second meeting with Darla

Well it was an interesting meet up. We ended up having capuccinos and a cannoli and talked about life and she shared more thoughts about her brother's suicide and how she felt about it. It was very pleasant and I really like her bubbly and friendly personality. Afterwards we strolled around the mall and continued talking. Then something very frank happened - she admitted that at first glance (when I first walked into the Payless store where she then worked) she thought I might have been a transexual woman. Her co-workers had also chimed in and strongly agreed she told me. The funny thing was that at that time I did not think I was fooling anyone as to the fact that I was a man in a dress so that was very revealing to me. Three points were given for this claim

- my height
- the size of my hands
- the more than average application of make up (beard cover)

She explained away the first two on her own saying that there are lots of tall women and having big hands makes sense if you'…

The advancing tide

I find that the "newness" of this process for me can be (for lack of a better word) addictive. Since I came to terms with this condition of mine being permanent, its been easier to accept that I can now allow it to run a ceetain course and see where it takes me. The new experiences as a woman are challenging and fun and I want to test myself in all new situations to see how I fare. As an example I was in a coffee shop yesterday and overheard two women speaking Spanish. I recognized the accent as coming from Spain and since they needed some assistance ordering I jumped in with both feet to help and eventually ended up having a nice chat. The day before that I was in a dress shop browsing and in the process of looking struck a nice chit chat with the owner who turns out is Chilean. At the end of our 20 minute conversation I ended up giving her my number so she could call me and we would get together at her discretion and timing. I don't normally give everyone my number but…

the girls at cafe depot...

A while back I started to frequent a little downtown mall cafe where most of the workers are from Mexico. One day I started conversing in Spanish with the manager and we started getting to get to know more and more about each other over time. They know me there as Juanita and as far as they'e concerned I am a genetic woman as witnessed by our little chit chats at the counter as I'm paying. They ask about my vacation, my kids, my esposo (husband) and my femaleness is validated when I go there. So it's great coffee and excellent service with a dose of affirmation on the side.

I never used to believe that I could actually convince anyone that I was a woman . I recall starting off at a little place downtown where I would go early on the odd Saturday morning. The girl there would call me sir the first few times. After a while we both got comfortable with each other and as I blossomed into a more confident woman she admitted that she could never imagine me as a man. It all went …

I needed this break

I had not taken 2 weeks vacation for a number of years but this year I really needed it. There was a mix up between my ex and myself regarding which 2 weeks I would take and she was surprised when it wasn't the last 2 weeks of August. Fortunately it worked well for me because they were at summer camp during the day and with me evenings. Their camp is great as they go to the water slides and the amusement park or to the beach.

While they were away I was able to be Joanna who increasingly seems to mean "myself". So to date this has been the longest period of my life that I've had to be a woman and test the waters. So far it's been very revealing but clearly a lot of work remains to be done in the brain department. I need to first work on adapting to being alone and get a rhythm going. After that we shall see.

I have also been wondering that if I were ever to seriously contemplate transition would I be able to return to my old office as a woman. I think the answer …

new shoes...

Tony's shoes is a store that carries larger women's sizes (I believe to size 14). So since my amalfi patent leather pumps had seen better days,I went over this morning to have a look at their stock to find a deal.I went in with no expectations and simply hoped for the best.

After looking at the front section of the store and finding nothing interesting, I started to look towards the middle. At this point one of the salesmen asked me what I was looking for. I pointed towards my feet and told him I wanted a comfortable classic pump in black. He told me to follow him and we headed towards the back of the store and another sales rack. After rummaging around in the selection he grabbed a pair of pretty ones and said I have these in 13 (I had asked for 12 but what the beck). After several minutes he returned with very cute black patent pumps which I proceeded to try on. Thankfully I had remembered to cream my feet and apply nail polish. They fit great and he said "those look ni…

fragility of life

Life is such a precious and fragile thing. I had a health crisis about 4 years ago that was part of a major milestone in my life. I was in gender therapy, got sick and then divorced. It was a watershed period during which time all my trans issues bubbled to the surface. I could no longer deny that I was trans and not a for kicks crossdresser. My dressing increased and I began to feel ok with it. My guilt was also subsiding.

In chatting with a friend this morning she told me her 41 year old cousin was just diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and it made me think back to my own illness and that of my father who never made it to his 61st birthday. It all hangs by a perilous thread. I am trying to find God again in all this after a period during which I could be called at best agnostic. Maybe my anger was and is rooted in fighting my own nature all of these years. I blamed God for making me faulty and me for being weak willed in not defeating my crossdressing habit. But I am discovering that I …

chill out...

I think I need to chill out. I'm always on hyper drive and have always been that way. I suppose it's a combination of what I learnt at home and nature of the Mediterranean soul.

If I could take a yoga class it might do me good. All I know is that operating at this frequency is not doing me any favors. Question is; can I succeed in doing something to help myself in this area? Homework for the coming months...

I've been putting in a lot of entries here but that's because I'm on vacation. That frequency along with my system's will slow right down...

passing thoughts

I used to think I understood the concept of "passing". That holy grail that all aspiring crossdressers strive for. If only we could fly under the radar and not be detected. To be left alone and not be hounded or laughed at at the mall. Oh those packs of teenage girls!

I would dress flawlessly but then carry myself like a frightened soul with hunching shoulders and expression of pain emblemed on my face. The ruse was up, no matter how feminine I might have looked. And here was someone mistaken for a girl as late as 11 years old during the early 70's when long locks were the norm. Is that your daughter? The shopkeeper said to my mom one day. I was stunned and ashamed but secretly titilated although I would never admit that to myself at the time.

And now as I write this I am comfortably ensconced in an internet cafe in my dress,pumps and earrings. How far I have come. The secret all along of course is understanding in your mind that you have a right to exist. That God loves…

the road to womanhood

It's been such a slow and steady progression towards attaining some kind of equilibrium that I have almost not felt the change except of course when I look back. Yesterday I was out and about and stopped at a cell phone booth at the mall to enquire about getting a cell for my son (he is starting high school in the fall).

There were a young man and young lady there. They both looked at me as I approached and she jumped into action (perhaps because she thought this middle aged woman would be more comfortable dealing with her). We talked about the types of phones and plans available and I casually mentioned that my daughter helped teach me to text on my cell. She then said "I taught my mom too". And then it really struck home with me how much I had moved from out and about crossdresser to increasingly a woman doing her everyday activities.

It's a subtle change as nothing physical has changed but I was in a mental zone at the time where I was not aware of how I was dress…

rock and a hard place....

I found myself starting to cry in the car today. First the text from my ex regarding the trans talk with my kids (my son undoubtedly spilled the beans) and then my ex gf sends me a text asking if she can come over to get some shoes she left behind. I asked her to give me notice when she was coming so I could be out of her way. She responded by saying she "gets it" about me not wanting to be there. Then I saw her face in my mind's eye and out came the tears. I guess the healing will take some time and I know I can't see her again until I am better about the whole thing.

Both episodes made me feel like I can't get anything right. I also felt like I really didn't need this additional trans problem and all the trouble it's caused me.. Oh to be able to push that wish button sometimes.

Talking to my kids

My children know I'm transgendered. All of this came out in part during the divorce process with their mother and in part during my relationship with my girlfriend who offered information a little faster than I might have wanted. They have never seen me dressed and have no desire to as per a conversation I had with them yesterday.

I wanted to broach the subject of being trans in order to get an idea of how they were feeling about the subject now that some time had passed since they found out. As it turns out they don't think about it very much. My daughter who is older has less of an issue than my son but both would have a lot of difficulty with the idea of their dad being a woman. I did not offer this up as something that would happen but in the flow of the conversation, they both expressed their discomfort around this presently remote possibility.

I myself don't know where I am going yet. The only thing I know is that I will continue the process of self discovery and exp…

my anger issues..

One of the things that came up as a conclusion to my 4 months of gender therapy was my so called 'repressed anger'. There may be some validity to that as one of talking points during my recent break up was my volatile temper. I am Latin and there is a basis in nurture and nature here. My mother is highly excitable and I did witness some heated arguments between my parents over the years. Being the oldest did not help matters either as I was more micro managed than my younger siblings. Add to that a healthy dose of Mediterranean style Catholicism and you have a recipe for guilt and major issues.

This certainly helped repress my instincts towards the feminine and kept any trace I might show in this direction something to be hidden and eradicated at any cost.

Small wonder then that I was even able to shed any of these trappings and start to accept my transgendered nature.

I wonder what the introduction of hormones might bring to do to quench the temper I have. Don't get me w…

of jitters and solitude...

I still get the jitters (although increasingly much less) before an outing as myself. I say myself because I am wondering if I wouldn't be dressing female every day if I could. There is still that excitement of walking out the door as Joanna and going into a bus or a crowded mall. Of course the sheer dread I used to experience is gone;that awful trepidation about stepping out of the car and facing the stares of others and being rewarded all the more by appearing jittery and nervous.

I am now calm and collected when out in public but it does take me a little while to get into that 'zone' where I am totally relaxed. So those jitters may be more linked to excitement than fear.

It is interesting to trace the steps I have taken to arrive at where I am today. When I look at those early pictures of Joanna I see a hesitant crossdresser. Now as I view a couple of recent pics I am seeing more a woman. That excites and frightens me at the same time. After all I have lived almost 50 y…

a nice model to follow...

I've been following the website Femulate.org for quite some time now. What i like and admire about the way Stana lives her life is that she's made commitments and she abides by them. She has discovered over time that she's always been a woman all along but she married as a man and has a daughter and she has honored those vows. Her compromise has been to live as much the life of a woman as possible without transitioning.

I admire that approach very much as I feel increasingly that I am in the same boat with her. If I knew then what I know now I would possibly have chosen to transition early and start my life that way.

Things being what they are I will try and live a compromise solution that allows me to live part time and in a fulfilling and satisfactory way.

You go Stana!

the lips say it all....

Recently I have made a decision to tone down my lipstick color. From an earth toned red to more of a lip gloss balm. The love of red of course goes back to my early days in dressing up and wanting to emulate my mother, but I think this more toned down look is better for everyday use and allows me to look less 'made up' if you will. So this more everyday Joanna is adapting to living as a woman in the everyday world. What remains to be seen is what the balancing point will be. Do I want to switch or just be happy going back and forth.

Anyway for now I am happy making the little adjustments....

with a little help from my friends

One of my aims recently. has been to try and reconnect with friends I have lost touch with. Whether they be internet or close by.

I have really missed them and because my previous relationship was volatile and stormy at times, there seemed not to be a lot of leftover energy for them after I factored my kids into the equation.Although I must admit that my crossdressing needs seemed to also fight for time and draw lots of energy due to my considerable appetite for it. Once out of the bag it became a big part of my life.

So I will reconnect and hope to draw inspiration and courage from them and IF transition is in my path, I will draw strength from those ties. As the dust settles on this recent turmoil they will become mainstays in my life.

how I love my heels...

Funny that as I have progressed in my boldness when out and about I have tried increasingly to blend in as an every woman. However not to the point of being dowdy. I always find it interesting when some transwomen in their efforts to not stand out will not allow themselves to look nice when they are out in public. So as we all agree that one should not wear a cocktail dress to the mall, there is nothing wrong with looking a little made up and a little feminine. One of those elements for me has been the wearing of heels.

I don't mean 3" heels either. I am tall and I can't wear them if I don't want to overly stand out. But certainly a kitten heel will put a nice finishing touch on any outfit

My Dinner with Darla

I used to go to Payless shoe stores quite often to buy my shoes. Not only where the prices low but they had the larger sizes that larger and taller women like me need. During these visits I would see the same girls and eventually struck up a bit of a rapport with a young woman (we'll call her Darla). She was super helpful and I was flattered by the fact that in her eyes I passed as a woman. The way she treated me had me convinced that she believed I had been born as such. She ended up, however, leaving that particular store and I lost sight of her for a long period.

Lo and behold, during one of my outings a few months ago I ran into her in the street. She was very friendly and we ended up exchanging cell phone numbers. After that she would text me and I would text her periodically and we joked about getting together one day. So when the opportunity finally came a couple of weeks ago (our calendars finally aligned) we agreed to meet up for a drink at 6 pm on a Friday evening.

I mu…

Autogynephelia...

Its a mouthful of a term and a lot of people (trans included) don't know what it means. In a nutshell it means "love of one's own image as a woman". The trans community has taken exception to this idea because people like Ray Blanchard (the researcher) have used it to denigrate the need or desire for SRS in some transexual women. I know when I was young and first experienced sexual release while dressed as a woman it made me feel guilt and shame. I was after all a Catholic and this should never happen!

As I have gotten older the sexual aspect of dressing has waned but what I have concluded is that I did not start dressing as a female for sexual pleasure (after all I was only 4 or 5) but instead as puberty began to take hold of my body the incredible satisfaction of being able to do this was converted into sexual energy. We are after all sexual beings. But it was this very achieving of orgasm that kept me pinned into a cycle of guilt which then manifested itself in pu…

I have a dream...

I have a dream that all will fall into place and all will make sense one day. This whole trans issue is confusing to me as every year you feel slightly different than the previous one. Subtle changes happen that make things progress but ever so slowly. Too slowly for my liking.

Once I turned 45 and started accepting that this was not going to go away there have been changes. Is it for the better? I am not sure. But I know you can't live your life thinking that your impulses are bad and that you are a bad person for caving into them. I did not ask to be this way but I figure that once here I might as well adapt and learn to live in a balanced way with this "condition" (as my ex likes to call it).

Whether I am flawed or not I am what I am...