Functioning in a Feedback Loop

FOP01_2014-10-20_00.44.56A friend of mine, has (by my standards) done very well in life, and as she explained the sequence of events, I can conclude that her feminine poise, grace and wiles have been part of her success. At an impressionable age, she was sent to, essentially, charm school. Obviously, she’d paid attention.

As for me, I didn’t experience any such formal training, and I’m still playing catch-up because I only recently figured out I’m transgender and I switched from trying to live in boy culture, to finally being myself. I’ve had some wonderful advice from elegant and helpful ladies near and dear to me but … it’s been hard to put it all together — and keep it together, until the last two days.

FOP01_2014-10-20_00.43.21What happened? Well, there’s a German phrase “Glueck im Unglueck” which translates to “good luck amidst, and sort of due to, bad luck.” The bad luck is: I dropped my cell phone one too many times and it finally stopped working (not that there’s much luck involved; simply physics, actually). The good luck is: I didn’t wanna stop taking selfies, and all I had was my webcam.

So, I downloaded some super-cool free software named Yawcam, and it snaps and stores a picture every x seconds, and I can configure many things about that process to make it work as I want.

FOP01_2014-10-20_00.41.36I finally like how I look nowadays, but wow, what a difference it makes when I slouch. And how much nicer everything looks when I lean my upper body back a little, wow. And, where I put my arms really does matter. And that “feet even slightly apart” stance looks a lot less feminine than I realized. And, having my legs almost parallel looks a lot nicer than I realized. And so on.

This sort of feedback has been invaluable. I grew up with a friend who slouched, and his mom used to intone “don’t slouch” many times a day. Perhaps a webcam would have helped him realize what a difference his posture makes as to how he comes across.

FOP01_2014-10-20_00.43.47As I learn more about girl culture, I’m learning that many girls slouch, and tall girls more so, and those with big boobies more so yet. I fit all three categories (albeit with fake boobies, but still) and so I’m actively counteracting the temptation to slouch.

My webcam-plus-software combination is helping me function effectively in a feedback loop.  I like that.


If You’re Female Mentally, You’re Female Fundamentally

NEW-55AgggI just came up with “If You’re Female Mentally, You’re Female Fundamentally” today.  It might be something that someone else already said but either way I like it a lot.

By this I DO NOT mean it’s a “mind over matter” thing in the “let’s light some incense and sing Kumbaya” sense.  I’m all for a “hey, whatever makes you happy” mindset, and my liberal friends are awesome as such, and thank you.

But, for my way-less-tolerant conservative friends, there IS now scientific proof. The transgender (to be precise, transsexual) girls analyzed for autopsy-based evidence had brain structures that were the same as genetically integrated girls (a.k.a. cisgirls) — very different than male brains.

Indeed, if I wanna wear a bra and change my name to “Tanya” that really IS my decision and none of your business, but there’s fundamentally more to it than me asking you to humor me because “I feel like a girl.”

The reason I feel like a girl is because I am one, mentally i.e., brain-wise, as in structurally.

Notice how we don’t see folks running around saying they feel like they’re a green sea turtle or a Burmese python and feeling a strong draw towards living as such.  The reason is because there’s no strong (or, I’m guessing, any) genetically-based phenomenon whereby people are born with brains structure like turtles or pythons.  But, there IS a genetic anomaly whereby some people are born a mix: female brain, yet male-shaped body parts ‘down there.’

My liberal friends tend to be moved by compassion. For them, “accept Tanya as a girl” is a no-brainer. And, I appreciate that immensely.

My conservative friends tend to be moved by justice. To them, “accept Tanya as a girl” is not a favor I’m asking. It’s justice — recognizing that someone is a girl, based on a criterion more fundamental than their body parts ‘down there.’ And, as to them finally thinking it through and coming to that realization, I would appreciate that immensely.

Symptom #3 of Feminizing Hormones: Me, Emotional

Someone near and dear to me explained to me how I might become an emotional basket case when I go on feminizing hormones. It sounds daunting but even so, if that’s part of experiencing femininity in all its glory, I’m all for it.

I’ve been on this stuff for maybe 2 weeks by now.

Yesterday I felt an unusual-for-me need to reminisce about a romantic relationship that ended last year, and as a result, I ended up sitting in a brightly lighted restaurant …  crying, with a waiter looking at me with a “WTF, lady?” expression on his face.

I guess it’s all part of the experience, wow. This could get interesting. There’s certainly a lot to cry about, in terms of people who have come and gone.

Even before I started taking feminizing hormones I’d cry at sad or moving parts in movies. A former girlfriend liked watching the “Mean Girls” movie with me because it fascinated her that I’d always cry during one particular scene in the movie even though I’d seen it SO many times.

Buy stock in the company that makes Kleenex, people … it’s going to do well.

Incidentally, here’s what my big fake boobs and I look like tonight. No, I don’t have a Hitler mustache. It’s a weird shadow effect of the lighting.NEW-16

First Two Noticeable Effect of Feminizing Hormones

I’ve been on anti-androgyns (spironolactone) for maybe a couple of weeks now, and suddenly I can relate to the female experience where the room temperature is in the 70s or low 80s, and it feels TOO HOT!

Also, my eyes are more dry. I bought some lubricating eye drops today.

No round and gorgeous butt or size DDD boobies in the mirror yet, dangit.

Interesting process …

Better Self-Confidence

I hate stubble.  Yes, there are cool hi-tech ways of removing it, but I have light-colored facial hair. So, lasers don’t work very well, and besides I can’t afford anything more pricey than wax.   Wax hurts, but it works!

imag8556I’ve been diligently waxing myself from the neck down, for the past three years. By now, my body is for the most part smooth and hairless.  The hair follicles have basically given up trying, and what little hair still grows on me is mostly sparse, light and golden-colored — very feminine.  This has worked because I have let the hair grow out long enough for the wax to grip, and rip out by the root. Since the body hair was covered by clothing, there was no problem with growing it out long enough so as to be able to wax it.

The same principle works for facial hair, but I’ve been more reluctant to grow it out so as to be able to rip it out by the root with wax. Reason: I hate stubble and I especially hate being out in public with stubble.  However, it’s time to be disciplined and get on with it, so now I have a steady routine of growing out my facial hair and then waxing it away.  Eventually (soon?) I won’t have to do this any more, as the hair follicles are weakening or dying.  I can hardly wait.

As a result, some days I might look like a pretty-enough girl with big fake boobs, long lashes and long blonde hair, but … I also have stubble. Yeah, it looks weird. I know.

As planned, when I’m just about to wax, it’s 4-day old stubble, and I hate it even more then.  I try to schedule my waxing sessions so that I’m at home alone over the weekend when the stuff is extra long, and I either stay in or I only venture out only late at night. Yes, it really bothers me that much.

So, this morning (being Sunday) I was maybe a day or two away from having grown the stuff out long enough to wax it, when my phone rang.  A dear friend of mine had just returned back to the US from abroad. Although for the first few days since her return, her car behaved, today it refused to start.  So, her phone call to me was a polite cry for help.  Since I know how to fix cars, I packed my tools and dressed relatively elegantly, in a nice top and a long skirt — sort of like a society lady albeit with stubble. There wasn’t time for me to put on make-up because the lady had to be at an appointment soon. I was tempted to shave but this would have killed this week’s waxing session — and besides there wasn’t time.  Off to Reno I went, stubble and all, to save the day.

Swapping in a fresh battery didn’t fix the car, and the lady needed to go somewhere for an important hour-long appointment, so I drove her there. During that hour, I got hungry and since I was near one of my favorite restaurants, I decided to be brave. I went in. I got some odd looks from customers, but the staff was wonderfully nice to me. I was as friendly as I always am when I have smooth skin.  It all worked out OK.  The friendly treatment registered with me emotionally, and the funny looks somehow didn’t bother me.  I liked that.

Unfortunately, the car saga remained problematic and as part of being a helpful friend, I ended up making several visits to other businesses in Reno during the remainder of the day.  The last trip was to a Wal-Mart in a nice neighborhood.  By then I didn’t just have stubble but also grease and old oil on my clothes, hands and face.  I was probably the most peculiar-looking person who’s been at that Wal-Mart in quite a while.

I thought back to three years ago, when I was excruciatingly embarrassed to stand in the cosmetic aisle at Wal-Mart even though it was late at night and the place was almost deserted. I looked 100% male and I was looking at fingernail polish, and I was fearing that doing so might “out” me as a transgender girl.

By contrast, how openly I was “out” today, ironically again at a Wal-Mart, reminds me of the “attagirl” phrase of “you’ve come a long way, baby.”

Indeed, I have.  And it was nice to realize this.

Tanya Version 2.0 Today … Due to Hormone Treatment


Today, I was sitting in a waiting room along with a maybe-6-year-old little blonde girl and her mom. Both seemed to be genetically integrated (not transgender). I pondered how someone the size and shape of the tiny person grows to become shaped like an adult female, and how the shaping process is driven by hormones to such a huge extent.

Puberty is the key time-frame. Whatever the dominant hormone is at puberty will affect the shape-changing process. And, during puberty, I had 100% the wrong hormone. I often wonder what I’d have looked like if I’d had female hormones, not male hormones, during puberty.

A clone of me would have the same brain structure as I have, so she would also be a transgender girl. I’ve fantasized about cloning myself and helping the clone live a better life than I did, by enabling her to have female hormones to shape her during puberty.

Fantasies aside, I’ve been downplaying the value of hormones. I’ve been trying to look as feminine as I can without them. I’ve paid attention to skin care, make-up, hair, nails, exercise, eating right, and so much more. As a result, I have achieved a level of success of which I am proud, especially given what I started with.

The pictures on today’s post were all taken today, and they show what I’ve managed to accomplish so far. I’m happy … but I still look far too masculine, by my own standards anyway.

With the right hormones, just by living a reasonably healthy life during puberty, so many things about me would have been shaped as I’d prefer them to be. For example, one transgender girl (Jenna Talackova) had female hormones early enough, and she became Miss Canada. To quote from a CNN article: “Talackova … began hormone therapy as a teenager …”

If you think I’m hot, then why thank you, but there’s little risk of me being able to enter the Miss Universe contest.

There’s not much I can do about that, either. Time doesn’t run backwards. By now, I’m many years beyond puberty. By now, feminizing hormones will have, at best, a greatly reduced effect on me. And yet, there will be SOME effect. And (drumroll, please) … starting today, I’m on the way to experiencing this effect.

I just started feminizing hormone treatments about an hour ago, by taking my first Spironolactone pill. The stuff is delightfully affordable, at about $24 per month. Yay for Walgreens!


A side effect of this chemical is that it changes the way my body deals with potassium. So, to keep my blood chemistry healthy, I need to eat less of the foods that are rich in potassium.

  • Winter squash, cubed, 1 cup, cooked: 896 mg
  • Sweet potato, medium, baked with skin: 694 mg
  • Potato, medium, baked with skin: 610 mg
  • White beans, canned, drained, half cup: 595 mg
  • Yogurt, fat-free, 1 cup: 579 mg
  • Halibut, 3 ounces, cooked: 490 mg
  • 100% orange juice, 8 ounces: 496 mg
  • Broccoli, 1 cup, cooked: 457 mg
  • Cantaloupe, cubed, 1 cup: 431 mg
  • Banana, 1 medium: 422 mg
  • Pork tenderloin, 3 ounces, cooked: 382 mg
  • Lentils, half cup, cooked: 366 mg
  • Milk, 1% low fat, 8 ounces: 366 mg
  • Salmon, farmed Atlantic, 3 ounces, cooked: 326 mg
  • Pistachios, shelled, 1 ounce, dry roasted: 295 mg
  • Raisins, quarter cup: 250 mg
  • Chicken breast, 3 ounces, cooked: 218 mg
  • Tuna, light, canned, drained, 3 ounces: 201 mg

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) .. via an email from my mom. Thanks, mom!

I also need to make sure that I drink enough water — yet also not too much.

The local Planned Parenthood and Quest Diagnostics chapters have done a wonderfully thorough job of so many things, including testing my blood chemistry to make reasonably sure I’m a good candidate for whatever I’m about to experience. I feel like I’m in good hands, especially since they plan to keep monitoring me.

As to what this chemical is and does, I’m quoting snippets from Wikipedia: “[it] is a synthetic, steroidal … antiandrogen that also has some weak progestogen properties, as well as some indirect estrogen … effects. It … may … be employed for the purpose of reducing elevated or unwanted androgen activity in the body … Higher doses are not recommended for males due to the high risk of feminization … Spironolactone is frequently used as a component of hormone replacement therapy in trans women, usually in addition to an estrogen … the clinical response consists of, among other effects, decreased male pattern body hair, the induction of breast development, feminization in general, and lack of spontaneous erections. Because spironolactone reduces the body’s production of testosterone and blocks the androgen receptors, it can cause effects associated with low testosterone levels and hypogonadism in males.”


This is a major step in the direction I want. The dosage I’m on is humble, just 100mg a day. That’s at the low end of the scale for this sort of agenda. But, I’m fine with starting out like that. Baby steps. 🙂

As to one expected benefit: I’ve diligently been doing butt exercises and they’ve helped only up to a point. More muscle isn’t going to give me a more feminine-shaped butt. However, in concert with this hormone, more exercise and eating right means: I CAN expect to have a more feminine-shaped butt, with matching hips. I am SO looking forward to that.


I’m happy!!

Play-Acting Out a Fantasy — By Mistake

Sometimes I do some exceptionally not-so-bright things. Today was a day with much of that.

This morning, before 7 a.m., I got dressed for a Greyhound bus ride to cozy and warm Sacramento. I work sandals, and this elegant business suit top, and a dress that was … way short. And, bare legs. I didn’t think much of it since I was just planning to pick up my old Volvo at a mechanic’s place and then meet a friend in Livermore — not much public exposure planned. This is what I looked like:


Yeah, the dress is short. I know. I figured that only the mechanic, and my friend and maybe a very few other people might see me in that. And, the mechanic and my friend are each open-minded and encouraging of me dressing up as the wild girl if that’s what I choose to do. My excuse, if I need an excuse, is that I’m compensating for years’ worth of repression of my female sexuality.

Problem is, the mechanic who came to pick me up at the Greyhound bus station was not punctual, so I waited and waited outside the bus station, with some not-too-savory folks milling around. I got hit on twice, which is a nice compliment but kinda awkward too.


I turns out that my now-fixed Volvo drove well, but not well enough. So, my short dress and I ended up visiting MANY young guys in automotive businesses trying to get the car’s issues resolved. So, by now, half of northern California has seen my upper thighs.


Early this morning, to get to the bus, I had driven my little old BMW to downtown Reno and parked it close by the bus station, on 2nd street. By the time I got back to Reno, it was WAY later than I’d planned: after midnight. And, it was cold. As in teeth-chattering cold.

For reasons I won’t get into, the Volvo needs to stay in Reno, and there’s a good parking garage on 5th street. So, I parked it there. To get from 5th street to 2nd street, you have to cross … 4th street. In fact, to get from where the Volvo was parked to where the BMW was parked, a logical-seeming route took me along 4th street, and right by the Sands Casino.

Problem is: in Reno red-light district culture, if you have to choose ONE street for picking up a working girl (a.k.a. hooker) then 4th street is your best bet, and (no disrespect intended towards that fine establishment) if you had to pick ONE casino resort, it’d be the Sands. (Also, no disrespect intended towards that profession.)

So, let’s re-cap. It’s after midnight, in downtown Reno. And, here, walking the streets is a tall transgender blonde with huge, fake boobs, bare legs and a super-short dress. She’s walking around in 45 degree weather, and she’s doing it along 4th street and past the Sands … not subtle.

I wasn’t even trying to turn tricks. I was just walking to where my little old BMW was parked. However, I’m sure it looked like something very different was going on.

Ironically, while I was on 4th street, a Reno Police car drove by and stopped by (oh, more irony) the same red light where I was standing. It was a red traffic light, but … still. Red light.

The officer was probably thinking “you can’t make this stuff up” and, to my relief, didn’t arrest me for being a blatant cliche.

I have to confess that I have fantasized many times about being a working girl, but this acting-out event was the result of pure bad planning … though Sigmund Freud might have argued that subconsciously, I masterminded it all brilliantly. Maybe he’d have been right.

This means I can explain today with two very different possibilities. I was either super-ditzy or deeply brilliant.