Tinted Brows

gg2015-08-06 20.21.06I’m taking a break from all the heavy-duty stuff I’ve been writing, and talking about make-up.

A pretty girl I know spends about an hour a day on make-up, and she has a full and rich life professionally and personally. An hour a day seems like a big bite out of a day. Granted, she looks gorgeous when done, and before make-up she looks … healthy and wholesome. Make-up definitely puts her in the OMG wow category.

And yet even if an hour a day could get me there … I don’t want to allocate my time as such. So I get my hair done in a way that makes it look good for several days on end, and after a wash it still looks okay. I have semi-permanent lashes and waxed eyebrows and semi-permanent eyebrow tinting to avoid the washed-out blonde look I’d otherwise have. Yes, I’m a “real” blonde.

As for my skin, I use a good facial cleanser to make and keep the pores small, and prevent blackheads.

As for smooth skin, I moisturize my eyes with eye-specific cream and the rest of my face and body with other moisturizer, and that I can do while doing other things like reading on the computer. So, I don’t do foundation, blush, etc. I try to have a naturally healthy glow instead. And sleeping enough and drinking 12+ glasses of water a day helps too. I also manage to not stress out even though I sometimes have the sort of situation that normally would make stress skyrocket.

I’ve found eyeliner and eyeshadow can do A LOT to move me towards the WOW category but it seems to be hard on the skin, and it’s time-consuming so … I hardly ever do it.

As to lipstick, I have pretty lips but a very masculine jawline so I don’t wanna go too heavy on the lipstick and look like I’m in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. My lips are naturally pink like some people’s lips are post-lipstick so I normally just put lip gloss on.

I hope this helps you if you’re a t-girl struggling with make-up. And here’s a big “thank you” to all the lovely ladies who have helped me with make-up tips and presents over the years. You know who you are, as do I. THANK YOU!!!

Transsexual Girl or Genderfluid? Part 2

g2015-08-03 03.06.15

So, you’re trying to figure out if you’re a t-girl or a genderfluid person.

The nature of the best evidence is introspective. A secondary source might be observations by observant and open-minded people.

Ironically, your looks are NOT evidence. You could look like John Rambo and still be a t-girl based on what makes you a t-girl: a female brain structure. There’s a lot of confusion on that point, such as t-girls being called cross-dressers by superficial people who are themselves unclear on the best available definition. One gentleman voiced to me that he doesn’t consider a t-girl to be a t-girl until she’s had a boob job. Hello, superficiality.

Anyway, as to the nature of qualifying evidence:

The problem with the first type, introspective evidence, is that most of the think-like-a-female evidence is missing. The typical t-girl grew up with everyone, including herself, trying to convince her she’s male. She probably grew up being excruciatingly embarrassed at every emotion that told her she’s reacting like a girl, and she probably ended up denying, negating or downplaying any such introspective evidence. She probably went out of her way to hide that she might be a girl mentally.

For example, I suntanned for hours on end without protection in the African summer sun, trying to get a gnarly skin like an old sailor in the hope I’d look more male. Anything to make me somehow be more male, I sincerely embraced. I chose male role models. I embraced automobiles and did crazy macho stuff like lifting engine blocks out of the engine compartment by hand (don’t be too impressed, they were 4-cylinders). My circle of t-girl friends for the most part chose VERY macho professions: police officers, Marines and other branches of the Military, truck drivers, etc.

Admitting our female emotions to ourselves was contrary to that agenda. So if you finally realize there’s enough evidence to make you think you’re a girl brain-wise, then surprise, there has been much more evidence throughout the years but you, yourself, threw that away. If the relatively tiny surviving amount of evidence is enough to maybe tip the scale, then imagine what all such evidence over the span of your life would have done. Wouldn’t it be like dumping 10,000 pounds on the “female-brain-structure” part of the decision-making scale?

In addition to a t-girl dismissing and ignoring a lot of evidence, which is how such evidence tends to be destroyed, there’s another factor too: repression. Repression can nip feelings in the bud. Let’s use the example of a male homophobic person seeing a hot gay person. The immediate emotion is sexual arousal — but the homophobe douses that so immediately with self-anger and self-hatred (that he externalizes and aims at whomever he found arousing) that the blip of arousal is ultra-short-lived and overwhelmed by much anger and hatred instead. Not that homophobes are introspective — but even if one was, he’d find it a lot easier to remember the anger than the arousal … especially if he’s actively trying to suppress, downplay and negate the feeling of arousal.

The problem with repression is that it works well (for a while anyway). So if you grew up as a repressed t-girl, which adjective describes me as well as many t-girls I know, then much evidence got snuffed out in that way.

That repression might be self-induced due to embarrassment, guilt, shame, wanting to belong and be accepted socially — all powerful factors. To the extent that such “you sure react like a girl” evidence was nevertheless observed by anyone else who pointed it out, that probably made the t-girl much more likely to experience negativity. Remember, in guy culture, the phrase “you’re acting like a girl” is a grave insult. Probably that reinforced her dedication to suppressing and hiding such feelings.

So as to introspective evidence: Most of it, you destroyed by
– denial, and
– repression

As to observations by others, first some background about me as an example. When I was eight or nine, an adult did something that involved my genitals and his. I was a very unenthused, disgusted participant in the interaction. Right afterwards, I went to my mother to tell on the man, but I didn’t have enough of a case to convince my mother that regardless of how it maybe wasn’t that big a deal in the grand scheme of that social circle, e.g., it’s not as if the person was trying to rape me … for ME it was huge, life-changing, traumatic event. I hated that man forever. I also hated my mom downplaying it. As an adult, I now understand her reasoning given the context, and so I’m no longer bitter.

Regardless, that event changed me forever. My sense of “it’s basically a safe world” got instantly replaced by “I’m safe nowhere — better take care of myself because I’ve just seen I can’t trust anyone else. I’m on my own so I’d better take total control and responsibility, and proceed accordingly.” It’s like I used to be a passenger in an airplane, reassured that a competent pilot was driving, and then I realized the cockpit was empty. If I didn’t fly that plane, I’d perish. That was much to realize, for someone only eight or nine years old. Even so, I survived, and more: the decision (to live as an intellectually independent being) empowered me to trust nobody. And so all my feelings about being a t-girl, I shared with nobody while I was growing up. And I do mean nobody.

So when, many years later, as an adult, I came out to my mom as a t-girl, she reasoned that a mother knows her own child well and she pointed out that maybe I’m mistaken as to having a female brain structure, because she saw very little evidence of me being a t-girl. She did, however, see a mountain of examples of me acting in a male way. Of course, she was right. The evidence I hid from her and the evidence I held up for her to see … these totally misled her, as I’d intended. It’s like the Charlize Theron movie, Head in the Clouds. She plays the role of a superficial, Nazi-friendly bimbo so well that (spoiler alert) nobody except her high-up contacts in British Intelligence knew she was a brilliant and effective member of the French resistance, getting secrets from the high-up Nazi officers as pillow talk, and passing them to the Brits. When the Nazis fell, the local French mob descended on her and wanted to punish her for siding with the Nazis, and she had painted so convincing a false picture that it was non-viable for her to convince them that the exact opposite was in fact the case. And so it was with me. Those who knew me superficially were amazed I’d been a woman all along. I can’t blame them: I’d hidden it so well.

In my defense, this hadn’t been conniving dishonesty. I had honestly thought I was a male with a screw loose and maybe if I kept repressing my female side it’d eventually die off.

How was I so effective? It’s a nature-nurture thing. Yes, some behavior is learned. But some of it IS genetic. A person with a female brain structure will think like a female. And one thing females are VERY good at is: the field of social nuances. For example, we tend to pick up on little vital issues that most guys would be utterly clueless about. For a great example of this, see the movie Legally Blonde.

If you task a female with understanding and functioning effectively in a particular culture, then she is much more likely to succeed than a male would. Ironically, that includes male culture. For example, all other things being equal, if you tasked a female with hiding in plain sight by assimilating male culture, she’d probably succeed. If you tasked a male with hiding in plain sight by assimilating female culture, he’d probably fail. It’d take a very unusual male to pull that off (and a really great actor to even play such a part, like Hugo Weaving in Cloud Atlas or Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie or Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire).

And so falls away a major objection such as “but you fitted so well in male culture.” Yes, I did. But that wasn’t because I was male. I was a female, and socially astute. Besides, I was convinced my life and safety depended on my acting convincingly. And so I was highly motivated. For example, when I was 14, I went camping once, for days on end, with more than a dozen boys a year older than I. There was no adult for many miles around. (Dumb idea, I know). Had they discovered I’m a t-girl I am 100% certain I’d have not come back from that trip alive. And so I did things that would out-male the males, socially. For example, it was considered cool to smoke. So, I outsmoked the rest of them. I also had a very macho style of puffing on the cigarette while using my hands minimally, letting it hang from my lip. I’d also figured out how to draw the smoke into my nose and blow it out my nose without inhaling. And I smoked three packs a day. Yep, I “out-maled” them (and yes, I later felt miserably sick from smoking that much.)

And so, if there’s not much observation by others as to you reacting like a girl, it might be because you consciously eliminated much of that too. But probably, observant females who have been really close to you, day after day, might well have noticed much.

So, by the time you start noticing a pretty darn large pile of evidence suggesting you’re maybe a t-girl, then the good news is that you’re probably only looking at a tiny percentage of the whole.

Transsexual Girl or Genderfluid? Part 1

This picture courtesy of Griffinstorm, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

I learn a lot about a concept by trying to explain it. I’m mentoring several transsexual girls (or people who might be transsexual girls). One of them asked me today how to know whether to self-categorize as a transsexual girl or as a gender-fluid person.

It’s a good question to ask. It tells me that if she is indeed a transsexual girl then when she does decide to walk across that particular line in the sand, i.e., to come out brazenly then it’ll be an informed decision, and the courage that her certainty brings will greatly empower her on what is likely to be a difficult journey.

I am not ready to offer an answer yet. But the answer deserves a lot of foundation-building. For that, at least, I’m ready.

* * *

The answer has to based on reality, which we learn about by observation. But a basic pair of concepts need clarifying.

Humans have many social conventions that we mostly correlate with what we observe. For example, we observe someone as female so we treat her as such. We observe someone as sick so we treat her as such. We observe someone as injured so we treat her as such. We observe someone as old so we treat her as such.

Some of these adjectives are typically approached as absolutes (e.g., “female”) and some as a continuum (“sick” or “injured” or “old”). For example, we rarely ask “how female is she?” but we do ask “how sick is she?” or “how injured is she?” or “how old is she?”

That difference, between an absolute and a continuum, is at the heart of the issue. Saying you’re a “transsexual girl so you’re a girl, end of story” makes it pretty darn absolute. So does “you have penis so you’re a man, end of story.”

Saying “maybe you’re genderfluid” is an absolute category too but it involves classifying the person gender as not absolutely being in one of two categories.

So to be able to make any sense of this, we need to be pretty darn clear on what an absolute is, and what a continuum is, and when to use one and when to use the other. So that’s how I’d begin answering the question.

Perhaps it’ll help to begin a little further back in time.

Two prehistoric people watching lightning strike a tree might be perplexed, especially if it’s their first such sighting. The logically-minded person might say: “I have no idea what that was” and then might or might not resolve to try to find out. The non-logically-minded person might say “It was the lightning god” and then that person might or might not run with the implications of that, e.g., appeasing the presumed lightning god by doing something or other.

The latter approach is more satisfying ostensibly because at least now the question of “what was that?” has been solved, so there’s at least some certainty now. There’s psychological satisfaction, a sense of peace and being in control, that comes with feeling certain.

However, “feeling certain” and “being certain” are not the same.

There are several problems with the “lightning god” approach. One is that it considers the matter closed and needing no more explanation when in fact the opposite is the case. Also, it actually explains nothing. It tells us nothing about the lightning god or how he made the lightning or why, nor what lightning is. And, it opens the door to all sorts of arbitrary notions piled on top of the original one.

Religions have a long and unhappy track record of humans doing presumed-to-be-required irrational things to appease their presumed deities, and this sort of event can be the spark that ignites the sort of fire that ends up with innocent people are burned at the stake because someone in charge feels certain that’ll appease their presumed deity.

When the issue is presented to others, then the proponent of the lightning-god hypothesis has no proof. So if the others dissent they might get killed or threatened or ridiculed or otherwise manipulated. If the doctrine of faith is accepted in that social circle, that helps the delusional process along because it admonishes people to suppress their dissent, on principle.

And so even though the disastrous effects of this mindset have left a wake of carnage that spans continents and millennia, humans continue to take this approach. Why? My guess is: we value feeling certain. And if we can’t have that, we improvise. As to certainty, “fake it till you make it” might describe that approach, though ironically faking it makes us unlikely to try to make it because we think we have solved the problem already. In other words, “feeling certain” is a poor substitute for “being certain.”

Absolutes are a huge help in attaining certainty. If you have to voice an opinion as to whether or not someone is alive or dead, or the hut is or isn’t on fire, that’s the sort of thing most humans can handle. On the other hand, evaluating someone’s health or how fire-retardant a hut is … that’s far more tricky.

And so it’s probably no surprise that humans are drawn to absolutes. Ancient guides on ethics went along with this, with right-or-wrong edicts that left little wiggle room. To this day, complex issues such as male homosexuality are a cognitive non-problem to those who embrace that sort of ethic. It’s written in Leviticus that men screwing men is an abomination, so to that mindset that’s all there is to the issue. To someone with a different mindset, there’s a lot more to the subject.

The temptation of certainty and the simplification of absolutes make it very tempting to choose an absolute even if the issue is not that simple. unfortunately, a black-or-white approach doesn’t describe everything. Many things are more accurately described as a continuum.

Then again, some things ARE black or white. Based on a particular definition of “alive” someone is alive or not. Based on a particular definition of “on fire” the hut is on fire or not. And based on a particular standard of ethics someone is either being ethical or not.

The notion of universal grayness tries to obfuscate this point, and is informally described as: “there are no blacks or whites, only grays.” If phrased more precisely, it would say: “there are no absolutes.” Although many professional philosophers seem to be unclear on that point, it’s nevertheless a pretty silly statement — for many reasons. For example, that statement itself is an absolute, and any attempt to make wiggle room fails similarly, e.g., saying “well, then, except for this statement” then that one exception is again an absolute, and so on.

The doctrine of universal fuzziness postures as an attempt at fairness, open-mindedness and a warning against false absolutes. Part-way it has merit. Indeed, some things are on a continuum and some things are absolute, and yes, treating a continuum as if it involved only absolutes is a bad idea.

However, treating absolutes as if they were a continuum is also a bad idea.

Ironically, logical philosophers are a rarity throughout history. But a logical philosopher could help us understand that reality tends to be a continuum. If our definitions are precise, then we can make absolute statements as to something fitting inside or outside that definition.

For example, if someone is stone cold and has been so for days, the yep, by most definitions of “dead” then they’re dead. And if the hut is ablaze then yep, by most definitions of “on fire” it’s on fire.

But if someone is still breathing but brain-dead, or vice versa, is she dead? Well, it depends on your definition of “dead.” If the hut is smoldering but not aflame, is it on fire? Well, it depends on your definition of “on fire.”

That’s not so say we can just go come up with silly definitions. Our definitions define concepts, and concepts are our way to understand the world. If they’re logically assembled and based on facts, they’ll match reality and enable understanding thereof.

For example, an understanding of lightning might enable one person to tell another, in an open field: “lie down.” A non-understanding of lightning might inspire one person to tell another, in an open field: “climb to the top of the highest tree, and wave your arms to appease the lightning god.” Sooner or later, the clash between mistaken thinking and reality is proven in terms of consequences, e.g., death.

And so with all of this as a basis, when a transsexual girl appears on the scene, is she really a girl or really a man? And when someone might be a transsexual girl or might be gender-fluid, then how does that person decide?

I haven’t even answered the question. I’ve just built the basis I need, so as to answer that question. But at least, now I do have a basis. More on this later.

The Affordable Price of Whore Moans

2015-07-30 22.03.04Thank you for responding to my sensationalist heading. This article is really about hormones though those with an active mind might still explore a mental connection.

A good story has a clear context. Okay, so let’s set the context: I’m kinda broke. Actually, by general standards, I’m very broke. Not that I’m complaining; I feel like I’m living like a queen in regal luxury. I have everything I basically need and anything more would just be extra icing on the cake.

Besides, any non-trivial extra money that I don’t consider “seed corn” goes to paying off my financial debts anyway, so it’ll be a long time before I march into Mercedes-Benz of Reno and buy two of their sports models on the same day, as I did about a thousand years ago before the economy went bad. And it’ll be a long time before, as I did when the money flowed like water, I take the entire company to Hawaii for two weeks and pay for their housing, airfare, meals, etc.  Though were I to do that now it’d cost a lot less since the entire company is down to one or two people, depending on how you classify.

No, nowadays those Mercedes-Benz sports cars are long gone, and I’m driving one of two cars: a 1991 Volvo station wagon with the heater and blower both “on” all the time due to a malfunction … what’s that? Yes, I live in the middle of the Nevada desert. Yes, it’s summer. Yes, Volvos have excellent heaters. However, no worries, the tailgate has no window so the hot air kinda exits there. Yes, really. The other car is an even-older BMW that has no A/C and … anyway, you get the idea.

I live in a place built in 1937 (which in Nevada time means it’s Cro-Magnon) and I can’t afford to turn its A/C on.  I wear $10 Walgreens dresses and $10 sandals. I mostly eat fresh food …. that ironically happens to be the cheapest and more healthy type of food. And yet I’m giddily happy. My intent here is that you now you have some idea of how broke I am. As for health insurance, nada. And I’m fine with that. I’m healthy and just I make sure I don’t slip on banana peels.

So, I am kinda puzzled when I read of transsexual girls like me who wanna go on feminizing hormones but are worried because of the expense.  What expense?

I’m on hormones and if I can afford it, a pauper can, QED. Let me break it down for you:

I’m on Spironolactone. Thanks to Walgreens, that’s $30 a month. I’m also on oral Estradiol (which absorbes under the tongue so it bypasses and thus doesn’t destroy my liver). Thanks to Walgreens, that’s $17 a month.  Every six months or so I go to Planned Parenthood and get a checkup so that’s maybe $80. They order blood tests from Quest Labs and those cost me maybe $375. I’m also supposed to take one baby aspirin a day, and there are a million or so of them in a huge bottle that costs me almost nothing at Walgreens, so I have enough of that to last me until the sun becomes a red giant or white dwarf, whichever occurs later.

So, good people, I hope you enjoyed your case study about “going on feminizing hormones” being nicely affordable.