I seem to have “the look” down well enough. due to my dress code, make-up, facial features, physique and demeanor.
I went to a restaurant last night with three genetically integrated girls, and the waitress referred to us multiple times as “ladies.” I liked crossing the “looks” barrier and simply looking like the girl I am.
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I also explained my situation to the service writer at the local automobile dealership where I had bought my car six years ago. Over the years, he’d become a friend, not just an acquaintance.
This visit, although I didn’t have much make-up on, I looked very feminized, and he complimented me on how good I look even before I explained that I’d come to realize that I’m transgender. He was wonderfully supportive. He explained that if he should change my name in their system, he’d be happy to, and he congratulated me twice on having figured this out and proceeding with changing my looks.
Then, with supreme irony, he continued addressing me as “Sir.” So do many people who have known me for years and are positive and supportive. It’s really hard for them to throw the mental switch.
A friend of mine is a transgender guy. He looks and sounds as male as anyone I know, and yet even after he had reached that point, the people from his past still referred to him with female pronouns. His girlfriend got quite upset wit them until he explained to her that it wasn’t that they were being mean; the relevant people were very supportive. It was just a supremely hard habit for them to break. So, part of my new horizons involves meeting new people and being known to them from “day one” as, simply, Tanya,
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In the very beginning, when I started dressing and putting on make-up consistent with the girl I am, I felt horribly self-conscious and awkward when going out in public. Nowadays, I actually feel proud and I enjoy being out and about.
But, as to my voice, the moment I have to say something, I’m still wary because I still don’t sound like a girl, and I know it. How a person sounds is really important. I wish I’d worked on my voice training much sooner and much more enthusiastically.
So, although I feel fine about my looks, I feel self-conscious about how I sound. Last night I made a point of listening to not just what my female dinner companions were saying, but how they were saying it. Their voices were very high-pitched, and nasal, and yet lovely. When I try to sound like that, I feel like I’m doing a bad imitation of Donald Duck.
There’s a lot of work ahead.