Again, business before pleasure.
Allow this referral to ‘Kira Moore’s Closet’ web-site:
- ‘Trans Deaths, White Privilege’ is a current editorial written by Jenny Boylan, English professor at Barnard College.
Next business is the 2015 U.S. Trans Survey (http://www.ustranssurvey.org/)
You can complete it in maybe an hour if you submit rote answers. I chose to deliberate upon my answers and I took two hours to complete the survey. The questionnaire provides you the opportunity to include your ‘story’. I pre-wrote my ‘story’ so that I would not get timed-out.
Do the Survey then pass it on
Also linked at:
Allow these words of encouragement to you as I look back: 30 years full-time forever female, 35 years legally affirmed female, and 41 years from when I began transition about this time of the year in 1974. Please allow my two cents worth having walked this road and paved part of this path for you to follow.
If your counsellors are good – remain with those as you are making progress.
All your writing education and experience at school was for a purpose.
Write. Write some more. Write some more again. Keep writing. Writing is good therapy on its own. Writing forces you to put your thoughts into concrete logic and re-examine yourself when you read what you wrote. That’s worth more than its weight in platinum.
Enjoy reading your introspective compositions; read others who post great comments at their web-sites.
I have probably written thousands of pages and expect to write a thousand more. I’m still learning at age 59.
Find a way to meet with your transsexual support group – whether individually with other members or as the group. If your current group can’t meet your needs (e.g., meet other days to accommodate your work schedule), then seek another. If you are near a large city, there should be multiple support groups:
- browse for them on-line
- make friends with members of those groups
- meet on your schedule one-on-one.
I lived at a small town of less than 500 people (1977 – 1978) and was one hour’s drive to the nearest small city. Still, I found a friendly pro-transsexual physician who started everything for me. Finding legitimate people in my day was complicated and difficult; today’s Internet and web-site searches make it easy.
I feel your pain at the thought of losing family and friends through transition.
It was termed ‘feminine protesting’ in my time:
- ‘I AM a girl! I am NOT a boy. I’m gonna do it, Mom, and you can’t stop me!’
I was engaged in it since at least age 3.
No family member – immediate and extended – was surprised at my change. I lost my entire family anyway; my mother threatened me with her pistol the last time I saw her. My closest ‘friends’ abandoned me; my supposed ‘best friend’ turned violent against me. I did not do that ‘c-w-d’ scene; some new ‘friends’ might seek it of you.
Instead, I got involved with charities at my community. I was a volunteer at my local county hospital:
- (a) volunteer pharmacy tech at the in-patient pharmacy and
- (b) volunteer psych tech at the mental health care ward.
Get physically active; I played several seasons on the community team tennis league and women’s softball league. I made friends from those experiences. So, after work or on weekends, consider finding those extra-curricular activities to expand your circle. You are under no obligation to tell anyone about your self unless you feel comfortable; it’s your business and not theirs.
I learned along my transition that there is this kind of triage:
- Some will be approving: Be thankfull for their approval – they are keepers.
- Some will be non-committal: Work on the non-committed – you might find a new friend
- Some will be oppositional: These will be most of your people. Accept them in the face of their rejection of you because you are the better person than those who deny you.
Work with friendly females who can be honest with you and teach you how to improve your appearance where you want to make improvements. Practise in the private comfort of your home – wardrobe, make-up, perfume, mannerisms, walking, talking, etc. Look at yourself in the mirror and try new things. Record yourself for your review.
You are so correct when asking for honest criticism. Those who tell you everything is fine when everything is so wrong are not doing any favours for you. Some mistakenly consider they are being polite, but they are not. It is critical that your supporting contacts, friends, co-workers provide accurate feedback so that you can improve. Find friends who give honest advice and stay with them. This is where a transsexual group should be better than other circumstances.
You will recognise the niceties of others who unquestionably accept you as female – such as that man who let you in the aisle at the store. Their actions will re-inforce your transition efforts. You’d be surprised how men respond positively when a woman returns the favour; give that a try for your own ego boost when you see a guy who meets your fancy. You might make good conversation at the check-out line or maybe even make a new friend with your smile.
Unfortuneately, there will be boors out there who try rattling your nerves; ignore them. Women get those same rude comments for the same crude reasons. Counselling and support will work you through those moments; work with your friends. I experienced a constant barrage of ‘She’s a he. No, he’s a she.’ at work for nearly seven years. I wanted to shrink up and crawl in a hole; instead I walked past those ‘people’ with my head held high. Honestly, I look back at that time beginning more than 35 years ago and I wonder how I survived, but I did and here I am more than 30 years post-transition, post-op, female full-time. Yes, their demeaning comments still hurt; I am the better person out of that arrangement.
Allow my recommendation for you to shop at charity re-sellers such as Goodwill or Salvation Army. They have good merchandise for good bargains; Goodwill holds half-price Saturdays every other week. They are also a good resting place for you to deliver your ‘dead name’ wardrobe and accessories that you no longer need – a way for you to complete re-doing your household.
Presentation and perception is part of your transition – ‘passing the ‘passing’ test’. I acquired my all-female uni-sex wardrobe (jeans, top, shoes, sox) by 1979. For example, I could wear the same uni-sex female attire:
- If I presented as male, then others perceived me as male.
- If I presented as female, then others perceived me as female.
Maybe not 100% but enough to where I found confidence from those who made the correct identification.
Here’s the kicker. You are likely noticing when impolite ‘people’ make bad remarks while you are presenting as female. There are probably others doing the same but in the opposite – when you were presenting as male and they commented of you as female. Think about that – the latter circumstances would please you as much as the former circumstances hurt you.
Other examples were among my final proofs that I ‘passed my ‘passing’ test’. I was doing my best to present as male at work where I was employed as male, yet strangers called me ‘Miss’ or mistook me for female. People on the telephone who did not know me called me ‘Miss’ because my voice did not change. Noticing these little acts will go a long way to boost your internal satisfaction and self-confidence. Here I recently learned the term ‘male fail’.
You are correct about finding your own personal style of female attire.
One gender counsellor advised me early to wear the most feminine clothes as possible for my style – that doing so would bring out the feminine in me and would force others to perceive me as female. It worked well. I’m now past that mode.
Nowadays, I can choose to wear jeans, a top, and no make-up – none mis-gender me. Then I enjoy times getting ‘dolled up’ just the same when I want to do that mode for special occasions. Agreed; skirts and dresses are so much more comfortable during Summer heat.
You will find your comfort zone.
Work uniform attire is frequently male attire that both men and women wear – none flattering to female sensibility and there is little you can do about it when orders come from on high at a distant corporate office.
You are learning the negative practicalities of the differences of the sexes – discrimination. Men will lop off 100 points from your IQ score. They will call you obscene names and speak in rough terms. You will face discrimination at work; you might be denied pay raises or job promotions because you are female. If you try changing employment, prospective employers will direct you to their clerical pool, not their professional positions for which you might be qualified.
Yes, at some point you will need to decide for yourself how to balance your female identity imperative to the comforts of male privilege; you might find a positive decision or settle for a worst case scenario.
Your work environment might be horrid if you come out to them; that is not really unusual, sad to say. Your co-workers will speak against you regardless of what you do, so do only what you want to do that is best for you. If that also means separating from that employ, then resolve that possibility.
Looking back, I can see that I had a prime opportunity to transition from male to female at work when my supervisor initiated action to fire me as a transsexual – she thought I was a female working there as a male. I now see how that was the perfect cue for my situation that I should have arrived at work the next day as Sharon / female and given no point for my supervisor to fire me.
I’m writing this to you to encourage you to examine your options – you may come upon an unexpected surprise. But be easy on yourself if you realise you missed one because more will follow – use it as a lesson to be more prepared to watch for your opportunities.
Your next moves will include your court hearing for your legal name change and legal sex change.
Some jurisdictions provide that you include changing both your name and sex identification on your legal documents – most notably and practically your first change might be your drivers licence or other legal government-issued state identification card; it was my driver’s licence for me. I can’t begin to express how much exhilaration and self-confidence I gained despite all the nervousness coursing through my body appearing as Sharon and female to MVD that afternoon. I’m certain that I was that MVD agent’s first transsexual and he was at least as nervous as I. You can also change your Birth Certificate with this court document.
Request a letter from your counsellor or physician for just in case purposes.
Social Security Administration will also change your name and sex in your file – most likely, they can use your court order for name and sex change or they can use a specifically-worded medical statement to change your sex. See SSA regulation ‘RM 10212.200′ or an earlier post here at my web-site (‘Another Sex Change At Social Security’). If you work as female in your new female name but do not change your SSA record, then your name will be included in the SSA discrepancy report provided to your employer and which you incur multiple trips to your SSA office to resolve.
I first changed my SSA file in September 1978, but this year alone I had to go to SSA at least a half-dozen times within one month to re-correct their erroneous reversions of my file. AGH!
Your complete legal change of name and sex will also allow you to get your new / revised US Passport in your new name and sex. IRS can deny paying your income tax refunds if your name and sex do not match. Medical services can be denied or insurance coverage not paid if your sex does not match – meaning that your presenting sex (female) must match your legalised sex (female). I am writing this to you from my own personal experiences.
Good for you deciding to go full-time and remain with it – without ERT as well. That takes an amazing force of personal strength. I admire those who go directly to full-time transition because I know how much more difficult it is than entering as part-time transition.
Some asked that it should have been easier for me as inter-sex female with my innate goal as female to transition at full-time from my start. Why could I not go to bed one night as Nick / male and awake the next morning as Sharon / female full-time? Nope. Despite my intimate anatomical mix-up and internal imperative, I had to deal with the outward external change same as any other M-F transsexual – the paperwork, the people, the employment, the schools, the legalities, the medical teams.
For my self and my decision-making, it was to my better situation to go part-time. The biggest regret of my part-timing was when I failed to grasp that opportunity to change to female at work (where I was a federal government employee) once my supervisor began action to fire me for being transsexual. She was confused accusing me of being a female working as a male (which was kinda true but not accurate in the sense of transition). I still get a chuckle from her mis-identification. I should have recognised my opportunity and arrived at work the next day as Sharon and female. She still might have continued firing me but at least I would have made my point.
In fact, I might have won the issue because a higher-grade employee of my agency working at Washington, DC, began her M-F transition at work late during the time of my administrative process when that agency was firing me. I could have argued that it was illogical to fire me while openly accepting the other employee.
‘Dead name’ – one transsexual taught that term to me and I kinda like that brief term for what is your predecessor name. Some people see their change as the ‘death’ of the ‘before’ person and the ‘birth’ of their ‘after’ person. Allow me to tell you about people calling your’dead name’ to you versus calling your new female name to you.
My family rejected me – totally. But I give credit to my dad despite that he NEVER called me Sharon, my chosen name, and failed to use female pronouns. He could not bring himself to do that. It was not in him and he was honest about that.
On the other hand, other family – immediate and extended – called me Sharon and used female pronouns. Should that not have made me feel good? NO! They did that in their derision, not their acceptance; the more they did it, the more they hoped they could demean me. I preferred they would not have bothered. Their efforts mattered little since they chose to break off all contact with me. My loss is my gain.
Let me tell you more about ‘dead’. My immediate family (father, mother, sister) and I lived geographically distant from each other by the time I began my true transition (1979). The closest of the three was my father, about a two hours drive, once I made it past post-op and female full-time (1985). He came to visit me several times each year, but he would not allow me to visit him; I did not know why until years later. Meanwhile, my sister and I resided approximately 1.000 miles distant and my mother resided approximately 2.000 miles distant; neither locations were easy travelling though I went to my sister first upon my full-time and forever status. She was cold to me.
My father died in 1989. I went to manage his home and property afterward and that is how I learned why he did not want me to visit him. The neighbours approached me and expressed their remorse how sad it was that first his son died so young and then the father died – that I must be the grieving daughter / sister. I caught their cue and played along – it was easier than trying to explain the truth.
It was not that my father considered me ‘dead’ – as when someone says in rejection, ‘You are dead to me.’ No, my father in his complicated un-acceptance found it better in his environment to tell his friends and neighbours that his ‘son’ Nick (my male predecessor), was deceased and that my dad not allow me to visit him at his home for fear of his charade failing if someone saw me and identified me as my male predecessor. I found it amazing that none of his neighbours recognised me in 1989 – most strange since I personally knew many of them myself and car-pooled to work with the married couple across the street when I resided with my dad as a teen / young adult at that residence (1973 – 1977). Again, I was someone who appeared familiar to them yet they apparently had no concept to think that this woman in their presence was my male predecessor.
It is another example of something I posted earlier in my web-site (see: ‘Incognito’) how people who may have known me in our past did not recognise me in our present – in my post-op full-time female presence. They may have sensed some recognition or familiarity of my appearance, but they were not thinking that my male predecessor had a sex change and was now this woman in their midst. Nope. The perceptions of my dad’s neighbours was me as the grieving daughter / sister.
Long story short, consider the circumstances when someone uses your ‘dead name’ versus someone who uses your new female name. Someone using your ‘dead name’ may be making an honest mistake from habit while the other instance can be awkward or worse. Bear in mind that you have known your own self longer than they have known you in either presence and it may simply be habit to use your ‘dead name’.
I put thought into this for myself and allow this explanation: If someone from my past (family or friend) came along and called me ‘Nick’ absent their negative connotation, then I might actually find it amusing or cute and bring up old times. Otherwise, no friend in my current life knows from me directly that I had a male predecessor; of course they are welcomed to check this web-site to quench their curiosity.
Allow me to share a serious consideration. This comment can help if you (or others) have any newbie doubts.
The medical term ‘phantom limb syndrome’ refers to when the body persists sensing the absence of a lost part.
I was recently at a message board with other post-op M-F transsexuals sharing comments when one member asked about phantom limb and their now-missing male ‘member’. No one at that board reported any phantom experience except as maybe very brief and transitory that was soon gone. No one sensed any loss, but rather all declared a gain.
I presented that question to my TS group a month ago. Likewise, no one declared any phantom feeling. It did bring out a few chuckles at the very thought that a M-F true transsexual would have those feelings.
Okay, M-F post-ops at a message board and a small group of us at our TS meeting is hardly scientific. The point I am setting forth to you is that a M-F true transsexual will NOT report that loss of anatomy the way a male will.
You are still early in your transition and your GCS / SRS is a future concept. If you suspect the potential for loss and phantom syndrome, then you will need spirit-searching and discussion with your gender counsellor to assure yourself of your future. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain if you need to take a step back and re-evaluate your situation.
Try the COGIATI (COmbined Gender Identity And Transsexuality Invenory) questionnaire:
COGIATI is NOT a clinical diagnosis survey, but it does ask questions that require you to think about your self, your thoughts, your perceptions.
Allow me to add this epiphany moment. I had been female full-time post-op since 1985; yet there I was on vacation at Port Orford, Oregon, in 1993 when some special realisation hit me. It was a side glance at the bathroom mirror that caught my attention as I acknowledged myself as that women in the reflection; it was not the first time – I saw my female self in the mirror for years since earliest childhood. This time was a curious, deeper ‘Ah-ha!’ experience. I scanned her from head to toe and every aspect of her was still correct; this was, in fact no dream.
You who are yet to begin transition or who are new in your transition will understand that you and your mind will hold that male versus female image for a time. It might take deliberate efforts to see yourself as female in your mirror. You will find yourself a very attractive, young women in that mirror and in your photographs.
I transitioned at parts of my life; I did not simply go to sleep one night as my male predecessor Nick and awake the next morning as Sharon and female. I went to work as male, I attended church as male, I had friends as male. Then there were times I lived my mundane life as female: I went grocery shopping as female, filled up the gasoline tank as female, walked the hallways of familiar places as female (where they knew me as male – including the very hospital where I had my exploratory a few years earlier), attended a Christmas event as female (where the people knew me as male), bought postage stamps at the Post Office as female. People made no identification of me as other than female during those female parts of my life I presented as female.
My part-time mode occurred from 1979 to 1985 – that’s six years – and I marked each day, week, month, and year as a success as I progressed more to female and eliminated male.
Our web-sites are here for you, dear fellow traveller.
Take care – Enjoy! – HUGGSS