Victory Celebration Time

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Today is sort of the equivalent of a Jewish girl enjoying a “yay-for-Israel” party in downtown Berlin. It’s the sort of thing that seemed supremely unlikely in the late 1930s or early 1940s.

When I told my mom I’m a transgender girl, she argued with me long and hard, and when I got tired of it and I didn’t argue back, she would lecture me — and not in a polite way. The relationship deteriorated until we hardly talked to each other, for many months.

My biological dad passed away some years ago, and I met a nice gentleman (about my dad’s age) who was initially a software client and then became a friend. Eventually, we became so close that he basically became my surrogate dad. He even signed his emails “Love, Dad.” 

When I told him I’m a transgender girl, it didn’t go over well. He explained that intellectually, he understood — but emotionally he couldn’t get his head wrapped around the issue. When he was out with me socially, it was excruciatingly embarrassing for him, he said. Then, he officially checked out of the relationship as my surrogate dad The subsequent emails ended with “Love, your old friend” instead of “Love, dad.”

Being a transgender girl has its set of social issues but having my mom be adversarial and rude, and my surrogate dad basically checked out … that wasn’t a happy set of developments. But, I had decided that people will be welcome in my life on healthy premises or not at all. I wasn’t going to interact with anyone in a context where it would bring me down emotionally.

So, with my mom and my former surrogate dad, I was cordial but distant, and I was OK with being in that mode indefinitely, if needs be.

Weeks passed.

Gradually, things became better. Eventually, they improved to where I was OK with visiting my former surrogate dad again. My mom wanted to have a California vacation, so I took her along. The two of them met and became friends. The three of us would go out to dinner together. and they’d chat, including about me.

Sidebar as to pronouns: when you’re a t-girl then past a particular point of transition, it’s really unpleasant to be referred to as “he” or “him” since that’s not who or what I am, and it’s a jarring reminder of how things were, and what I worked hard to move away from. When someone slips up out of habit, so be it. When someone insists on using male pronouns when referring me, that basically tries to make the point that either that person doesn’t believe in the concept of transgender girls, or does … but doesn’t think I qualify. Either way, it’s not the sort of social dynamic I want to experience, so I avoid such situations. If that means excluding some people from my social circle, so be it.

Then, a wonderful thing happened. When the gentleman was telling my mom a story about me, and he used male pronouns, she’s gently correct him, and he’d apologize, and shoot me an embarrassed look and explain that old habits die hard. That was SO gracious. Then, sometimes she’d tell a story and use the wrong gender pronoun by mistake, and in turn, the gentleman would correct her. It was so benevolent.

This morning, I made them a breakfast of crepes, and we stood around munching crepes, enjoying each other’s company.

Instead of these close relationships being unhealthy or dead, they’re now healthy and well.

Life is good!

Progress, Measured On the Eyebrow Threading Rejection Scale

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Reno, NV is generally a nice place to be a transgender girl, in my experience. One exception is the arena of eyebrow threading or waxing. As I understand my so-far-explored options in the Reno area, they are:

  • Get them done for $15 by a nice man who is very supportive of me transitioning as a t-girl and yet seems to not be very girl-friendly based on the, um, broad comments he makes about girls, inspired by his experiences in the salon where he works.
  • Get them done at an upscale place that charges $35 and then wants to know how much I want to add as an additional amount, for the tip. Whoa!
  • Get them done at an eyebrow threading place at Meadowwood Mall.  As a test of a t-girl’s self-confidence, this place is “The Gauntlet.”

As to the latter option, the lady who works at the main store, near the east entrance, is Asian Indian. I have nothing against that; some of my friends are from India and they’re fine people. Sadly, this girl subscribes to the “t-girl unfriendly” part of Indian culture. There’s a lot of that about. Until very recently, t-girls were not even allowed to get Indian government work cards, which meant they weren’t able to get legal employment, and so plan B was “illegal employment” since plan C is “starve and die.”  I gather that “plan B” in India doesn’t offer a rich set of options. One of them is “whore yourself out” which isn’t likely a great career choice when your heart isn’t in it.  

My basic point is that there are elements in Asian Indian culture that are very dismissive of t-girls. The chick who works, or worked, at the main shop eyebrow threading location at Meadowwood Mall in Reno seems to subscribe to some of these bad ideas. She clearly had issues with me, as being a t-girl.

She refused to do my eyebrows. Now, I realize that I don’t have a right to eyebrow threading services — but reason tends to be a good way of resolving concerns, so I tried to reason things out with her.

In the conversation, she kept calling me “sir” frequently enough that I found it appropriate to show her my NV Driver’s License that shows that (even though I’m a weird mix of male and female parts) I’m basically and officially female so could we please dispense with the “sir” and also ideally dispense with the the unreasonable refusal to do business with a t-girl? No. No success.

She suggested I go find the girl who worked the eyebrow threading cart in the same mall, since she’d be more enthused to take me on as a customer.

Historical sidebar: Since black culture and transgender culture often make for a useful parallel … my experience would be as if a black chick shows up at a business and the person there flat-out refuses to do business with her because she’s black. Whoa! And, no amount of reasoning changes the mind of the business person. Double whoa!!

So, finally, I went to the little cart in Meadowwood Mall, where the sign says that prices for females are $10 and the prices for males are $12.  I had my eyebrows done, and the lady announced the price was $12. I took out my by-then-weary driver’s license again to show that, see, I’m basically a female (although, yes, yes, I know, I’m a weird mix of male and female) but … no. $12. I wasn’t happy about it but I paid. After all, being treated in business as if I were a male was certainly better than being sent away.

I was stubborn. I came back a second time, a few weeks later, and tried to reason with the first girl again. That time around, she grudgingly took my money and did my eyebrows.

I should mention that during all this, I was generally made up and wearing female clothing and had long blonde hair to where even the very male security guard at the mall was savvy enough to figure out I’m basically female, and called me “ma’am.”

Even so, I gave eyebrow shaping in Reno a “D” as to my experiences so far, with the first Meadowwood mall chick getting an “F.”  Okay, I know I haven’t tried every eyebrow-shaping vendor in Reno yet, and that I can probably make an appointment at a t-girl friendly salon and be treated better, but my schedule tends to be super-busy, and I prefer a walk-in place. And, I’m sort of burned out on my walk-in-place experiences in Reno by now.

So, what I do nowadays is to simply let my eyebrows grow out of control until I happen to make a business trip to Southern Nevada or Northern California, where eyebrow threading or waxing has so far been a) t-girl friendly and b) affordable.

And so it was today, when I happened to be at the Great Mall in Milpitas, and I walked by an eyebrow threading place. I decided to use their services.  Their price list stated that prices for females are $10 and prices for males are $12.  The lady did my eyebrows quickly and pleasantly, and charged me $10. Better!  … and she got a nice tip for it. The results of her work are shown in the above picture, taken today.

Perhaps one day t-girl friendliness, as to this field of endeavor, will make its way east across the Sierra Nevada mountain range. I’m looking forward to that.

 

Feeling Validated as a Girl

So there’s this joke about a guy who really knows how to make someone feel like a woman … he ignores her while watching football on TV, with a beer in his hand and while yelling at the referee and the family dog.

Moving from male culture into female culture has certainly been an eye-opener for me. Something on that subject happened to me last night. Here’s the story:

* * *

I’m still not super-happy about my lack of cleavage, and my face still looks too androgynous by my standards. But, I do what I can with what I have. For example, I exercise my legs and butt so that they look good. And, thanks to good DNA, the passage of time, and a great hairdresser, I have long, light-blonde hair that looks like it was “permed” … which it wasn’t; it naturally dries like that.

I’m also very aware that moving and sounding like a girl are part of the entire integrated package of living my life as a girl, so I enjoy sounding and moving ever better. The former still needs lots of work; the latter not. Whether on 6″ stilettos or flat sandals, my walk is pretty much as feminized as the genetically integrated girls I know, and arguably more so yet.

My basic point is that it’s pretty debatable how female I look from the front, but from behind I look pretty darn good. I even have a curvy butt and smooth, shapely legs.

Last night, the weather was lovely. I went for a night-time stroll in the neighborhood near my office, which is in a small town that for the most part has wonderfully open-minded and nice people, but also a few redneck assholes.

There was some traffic passing by, uneventfully … except for a white GMC or Chevy pickup truck that was about to roar past, and then slowed down and almost stopped. The driver was maybe 18 or 20, as far as I could tell through the open truck window. He yelled something like “hah” or “yah” … and then sped away. There was someone else in the truck next to him. It was hard to make out details but it looked like another guy, approximately the same age. This being Saturday night, this was presumably their idea of fun.

After they’d left, I decided to go into my office and lock the door before they had time to go around the block and do a repeat performance.

I thought about the experience, and realized eventually that they weren’t picking on me as a transgender girl; they were picking on me as a girl, period. Interesting … so this is what it’s like to be a girl. I’d just experienced my first cat-calling.

And, almost as if on cue, today I found this video that parodies cat-callers. It’s really funny, and it helped me realize that this sort of thing happens to girls, transgender or otherwise. The video was both reassuring and perplexing. So, even when they’re adults, some guys are mean to random girls. Wow.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/keithhabersberger/what-men-are-really-saying-when-catcalling-women

Being Hot, in More Ways than One

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The above picture is of my 1988 Mercedes. I bought it last year for $1,000 — in non-driveable condition. After I spent another $950 on a fuel injection mechanic and another $300 or so on parts, the car finally now runs.

I collect old cars like other people collect stray cats. For $350, I just bought a running 1989 Volvo 240, and so yesterday I drove this to my mechanic (200 miles away), since the Volvo needs work too. I then picked up the Mercedes from the same mechanic. This plan enabled me to have a car to drive there and a car to drive back.

I’m a night owl so the night before, I was up until 4 a.m. or so. One of the reasons I was up so late is that, even though I have a nice-ish shape now, I still have more body hair than I like. On my legs and butt (the most-photographed parts of me) I’ve waxed the hair so often that most follicles have given up. So, I have very smooth skin there. But my chest and tummy … not enough. I still have too much body hair there. And so, on general principles, I wax the hair in those areas away too, so I look nice and smooth all over. It hurts but it’s worth it. That’s what I was doing between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. Good self-discipline, that.

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I needed to be up and about by 6:30 a.m. so as to put a fresh battery in the Volvo and get it reliable enough for its 200-mile trip to the mechanic shop. I’d planned to make the round trip quickly enough to be back in Reno for a 4 p.m. appointment. Much as I needed sleep, I got up way early so as to get going. Good self-discipline, even if I do say so myself.

Neither the Volvo nor the Mercedes have functional air conditioning. The mechanic’s shop is in the greater Sacramento area. In early August, that area gets very hot, especially on sunny, near-cloudless days. All this would mean I’d be driving hundreds of miles in hot and sweaty conditions. I figured I’d soon look like a sweaty mess. Putting on make-up and a nice outfit almost seemed pointless, especially after having had only about 2 hours of sleep. It was tempting to think “today, I’m probably going to look bad anyway, so I’ll just make that the aesthetic theme for the day.” But, no. I like to make the most of what I have to work with. If I was going to be a sweaty mess, I might as well look good while dissolving. So, I carefully put on eyebrow pencil, eye shadow, eye liner … and lots of lotion. I figured that mascara and lipstick, foundation, etc. would make a mess when I became drenched with sweat, so I omitted them. I put my hair up in a pony tail, and I put on a pretty summer dress and elegant-enough shoes, and off I went.

By the time I got to Sacramento, I was hungry. My meager breakfast had been inadequate. It was nice to be able to walk into a cool, air-conditioned In-N-Out Burger joint and feel pretty enough. That made me glad that I’d gone to all the trouble to look nice.

Here’s a picture of the Volvo, at that location.

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My mechanic is wonderful and he’s t-girl friendly too. Normally, he and I have more of a peer-to-peer dynamic but yesterday it was noticeably different. He basically went into “knight in shining armor” mode. Even though he was on a tight schedule due to a business appointment to which he needed to go … before I drove off, he insisted on personally helping me top up the coolant (that he donated), and the oil (that he donated). Then, he insisted on washing my car, personally. After that, he insisted on cleaning the windows meticulously. Then, he offered lots of helpful advice for the trip home. I was also on a tight schedule so I experienced all of this kind attention with mixed feelings, and I kept reminding him that I’m on a schedule … but it was nice to have this competent and kind gentleman take care of things so chivalrously. This was either a huge coincidence or it had something to do with me looking unusually pretty that day.

Shortly after I left the mechanic’s place, I stopped for fuel, and out of habit and due to being in a rush, I put in 87 octane. Dangit! I realized, as I drove away, that this was a mistake. This particular engine is high-performance and high-compression — and it needs high-octane fuel. Driving it on lower-octane fuel can seriously mess up the engine especially under hot, high-speed, high-load conditions. I might be OK driving on level terrain for a few more miles, but certainly, going up the mountain before refueling would be a bad idea.

The traffic became way worse than I’d expected, and I called my 4 o’clock to announce I was going to be arriving in Reno so late that it made more sense to cancel than to wait around for me. Dangit. I’d really wanted to be there.

By the time I was in central Sacramento, it was around 3:30 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, I wanted to get ahead of the mid-town Sacramento traffic. Spending another 10 minutes to pump gas might cause a delay of 30 minutes if that got me stuck in traffic. So I delayed stopping for gas, but as soon as I was on the outskirts of town, I pulled into a gas station and lavishly bought lots of 91 octane fuel with which to overwhelm the lower-octane fuel. Better.

This particular model of car uses the air conditioning system to cool down the fuel lines. When these get too hot, the car can get vapor lock — a condition in which the liquid gasoline turns into vapor, which the fuel pump can’t pump, so the car won’t start until the engine compartment has cooled down. When a car engine is turned off, it gets hotter yet because the heat soaks from the inside to the outside, and there’s no cooling process (e.g., water pump running, air flowing through the radiator) to compensate. This happened to my car, and the fuel lines were already too hot because the a/c doesn’t work on this car. After I pumped the gas, and I went to start the car, it didn’t start. I cranked the engine for so long that the battery ran low — not smart. Regardless, the only thing to do was to wait.

Here’s a picture of the car, cooling down. The open hood speeds up the process.

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To my surprise and delight, another Mercedes-Benz pulled up behind mine. The owner was a nice gentleman who said he had been driving by, and he’d noticed another Mercedes-Benz owner possibly having trouble, and so he was here to help. That was so sweet, wow. I explained that my car was experiencing vapor lock and just needed to cool down. I needed no help, but I really appreciated his thoughtfulness. I gave him a nice smile. Off he went, and I continued sitting in my car … in the shade, but it was still a pretty darn hot day, and of course with no air conditioning. The little convenience store at the gas station was cramped enough that hanging around there would have been awkward (albeit air conditioned).

The next part of the story, in the next paragraph, I didn’t realize until later when the gentlemen told me about it, afterwards.

After he left, the gentleman thought about me. He really liked my looks and attitude. I’d figured out I’m a transgender girl and he found that to be a very sexy thing. He’s not typically successful with ladies because he’s shy, but today he found enough inspiration to try to woo me to his place, and if his wildest hopes became true then the visit might have a sexy theme. So, he came back to talk to me a second time, a few minutes later. The first visit had been to just be helpful. The second visit was basically to hit on me.

It’s safe to say that if I’d looked like a slob, this wouldn’t have happened.

The gentleman explained that instead of sitting in a hot car, I was welcome to come to his place and enjoy air-conditioned comfort. He also mentioned there was a Giants game on, as extra enticement. I’ve lived in the US since I was 22 but so not-into-guy-stuff am I, deep down, that until yesterday I didn’t know who the Giants are. Now I know they’re a baseball team, and specifically for San Francisco. At the time, I looked more puzzled than delighted about the Giants game being on, but I accepted and the gentleman drove me to his place.

I’m clear that this isn’t normally considered safe behavior but I’d concluded the man was basically a good person and besides, I have a don’t-mess-with-me attitude and I know self-defense. So, I didn’t feel worried about safety issues. Besides, I’ve done escorting, which has put me in more-risky situations such as hotel rooms or sunset strolls in secluded places, with men whom I didn’t know well. So I’m experienced at judging people and dealing with risk.

Back to my story: Once he’d settled back on his couch, the gentleman confessed to no longer being married and being too shy to approach girls. He told me some interesting stories. I liked him. He offered me a beer but I asked for some water instead. While he was in the kitchen getting that, I looked at a sexy picture on his living room wall. It was a photograph of a pretty, nude girl who is a female-shaped in every way, including ‘down there,’ i.e., not obviously a transgender girl. Her body shape (slender, athletic, basically flat-chested) was very similar to mine. I try to tolerate my own lack of bustiness, and some days are better than others, but it’s puzzling to me that someone would actually like a shape like mine. I always think “if you like me now, a set of DD boobies can only improve things and you’ll REALLY like me then” but … no, some guys actually like a look like mine. Without DD boobies. Wow. Okay.

While I was digesting this, the mood in the room became a lot more sexy. The gentleman was already turned on, and I was becoming so too — rapidly. The sexual possibilities as a premise behind his invite suddenly flooded into my brain. There’s something very hot about being the focal point of someone acting on, essentially: “I like girls who are, specifically, like you. I met you, liked what I saw, and I want you. I think you’re hot. I came up with a way to lure you to my place. Now that you’re here, I’m trying to figure out how to move things from being bland and pleasant to being sexual, consensually of course.”

A conversation began, and the gist of it is captured in the above paragraph. I went to get another cup of water for me, from the kitchen. On the way there, just before I vanished around the corner, I asked the gentleman sitting on the couch if he’d like to see a show. Indeed, he did.

I do part-time work as a stripper (clothes, not paint). Even though I was wearing a pretty (as opposed to hot) dress, and flat shoes (instead of my stilettos) I can work with what I have, and so I stood on tip-toe, with just the right pose, and angled just the right way relative to where he was sitting. My dress slowly moved up, more and more … exposing some shapely legs, and eventually more too. The gentleman seemed to appreciate the view — a lot.

I don’t kiss and tell so I won’t go into details, but even though we didn’t max out what was mathematically possible, a good time was nevertheless had by all and it was a very sexy visit. The gentleman later took me back to my car, helped me jump-start it, and was overall wonderfully chivalrous. Normally, I don’t get rescued. This rescue was either a huge coincidence or it had something to do with me looking unusually pretty that day.

The Mercedes brought me safely home the rest of the way, and now it’s parked outside my front door.

As for me, I now have some new happy memories. All in all — it was a very good day. It’s sort of like “be prepared, so if life hands you lemons then you can make lemonade and in so doing, maybe end up with a Fortune 500 lemonade company that you then sell to go buy a nice condo in Hawaii.”