Outie-to-Innie Surgery Canceled

I gather there’s interest on the question of why I decided to cancel “the surgery” to change my P into a V. It’s not a simple explanation, or if it is, I lack the word-smithing skills to present it as such.

I’m a trans girl, as in born with a female brain structure and “outie” plumbing. During puberty, the latter made little enough testosterone that when I was in my mid-20s, I was told I look like I’m 15. I was very slender. Even so, during puberty, my plumbing also made enough testosterone that I’m 6″ tall and muscular — taller and more muscular than I’d have been, had I been making estrogen like genetically integrated girls did, during puberty.

I was born into a German culture enclave in South Africa, and trans girls weren’t a generally known phenomenon at the time so there was only one cultural path that was safe: based on the shape of my privates, I was told that I’m a guy and I’d better behave accordingly. Privately, I’d knit, crochet, sew, make candles and cook, and my idea of a fun masturbation session often involved the aforementioned candles — but publicly, I tried really hard to behave like a guy, and privately I wondered why it was so hard for me to think like guys do.

I did some pretty crazy stuff to fit into guy culture. I lay out in the African sun for hours on end without sunscreen, hoping it would mess up my skin and maybe if I look like an old gnarly sailor I’d finally look more masculine. The plan didn’t work well — though I did get skin cancer for all my efforts. When I learned it was macho to smoke, I was delighted and started off smoking three packs on my first day, including being able to blow smoke out my nose. I was miserable. When I learned it was macho to be into automotive mechanics, I dove into that field of endeavor. I was more car-geeky than any guy around.

All my efforts didn’t pan out all that well, and the other teenagers eventually figured out I’m brain-wise a girl, and one weekend at church camp was especially bad. A crowd of maybe 100 teenage boys became a mob and chased me, and when I eluded them, they hunted me for hours until they ran out of steam.

I’d tried for decades to live as a guy, and I failed. Eventually I was miserable, my cholesterol high, more than 30 pounds overweight, my blood pressure high … basically approaching the “don’t buy any more green bananas” stage. I couldn’t get motivated to do anything about it. Finally I went to see a counselor who was up to speed on the latest science as to trans girls, and she explained that trans girls are a scientifically validated (as in, with autopsies analyzing the brain structure and finding it to be fundamentally female) phenomenon known to exist, so it wasn’t like I was imagining I was a tree or Bigfoot or Jesus. We talked about what a reasonable burden of proof would be, and after enough time with this counselor, she was convinced I’m a trans girl but I wanted more proof yet, so I did a weird Stanford brain test as to gender. The conclusion was that okay, even by my picky standards, I can safely stop thinking that maybe I should try harder yet to behave like a guy. I could stop, and accept that I’m simply a girl, and begin to live instead like the girl I am, brain-wise.

I was both relieved and terrified. I didn’t want to become unemployable and die of hunger behind some dumpster somewhere, shunned by friends and family. But, I proceeded. I got Adam’s apple surgery, and got approved to take hormones. My morale and health steadily improved. I waxed my facial hair and body hair. I also got my facial hair lasered then got electrolysis for whatever remained. I relearned how to walk, talk and dance. For a long time I could relate to the mermaid Ariel in the Disney movie, who craved to be able to walk on land. I craved to have boobs and a vagina. I didn’t so much hate having a penis as I really wanted a vagina, and I soon learned that you can have one and only one of these: pick one, and only one.

There are two main ways to get a penis transformed into a vagina. One way is called “penile inversion” and it basically works as the name implies. The other is the Suporn technique, which is vastly more complex and advanced — and yields much better results, by my standards and that of others who wrote on the subject. However, it was available from only one person on the entire planet.

I was very nervous about that. I collect 1980s or later German cars, and by the time I can afford them they’re typically in bad shape, so I know how it feels to show up at a local auto repair shop with an old BMW that’s having a complicated problem and then hearing “that’s way too specialized for us, we don’t work on those.” Even so, okay, there ARE places who are willing to work on a BMW, and I could and did find them.

Then, one day, I bought a 1982 BMW 528e in which a previous owner had swapped out the fuel pump, cutting wires and generally making the process non-viable to undo. The replacement pump was not a BMW unit. Whatever it was, the car could run and start, but it didn’t have a check valve, so it didn’t maintain fuel pressure. Every time I tried to start the car after it sat for a while, I had to crank if for a very long time, because the fuel had to be pumped up all the way from the tank into the fuel rail to the injectors. At that rate, I was going to wear out the starter and battery, both. I paid a BMW-savvy guy to fix it. He screwed with the car for weeks, trying to get the thing working and put back to something resembling stock condition. He couldn’t get it to work, and he finally fired himself and just one day no longer showed up. It dawned on me that if I go get the Suporn surgery, I’d be making myself like that BMW — a very rare phenomenon, that hardly anyone knows how to deal with.

I used to do contracting work for the Navy at the time when they retired the F-14 Tomcat for the slower F/A-18 Hornet, and I was amazed that they’d not consider a fast top speed to be paramount in a fighter jet. It was explained to me that it costs 3x as much to maintain an F-14. That made quite an impression on me … it’s not just about the situation now, but maintenance matters. I recall a friend of mine working on a customer’s kit car that looked like a Lamborghini but had Audi internals. The car was a complete pain to work on. Maintenance … it matters.

By going for that surgery, I would essentially become non-viable for medical maintenance in the future. Maybe I’d be okay in the near future, but how about ten or twenty years from now? What if I’m 70 and I have plumbing issues nobody can fix? I was concerned about that.

My girlfriend (yes, I’m into girls romantically though both she and I enjoy having sex with guys) is a genetically integrated girl, and now and then when I was tempted to feel sorry for myself she reminded me of some of the benefits that I was taking for granted as to being a trans girl. For example, she’s lovely but she struggles with cellulite and I don’t. I can’t. My cells can’t make cellulite in the way hers can. She was steadily adamant about it, over the course of more than five years, and slowly what she was saying was starting to sink in. This included her saying unusually nice things about the plumbing I currently have. Yes, I could go get a strap-on after I got my P changed into a V but it’s not quite the same, and there something silly about doing all that.

The key point she made is that I’m only a freak to the extent that I accept cultural standards by which I’m a freak. A few centuries ago, twins were considered freaks to the point where one of the twins was hurriedly put to death in some cultures immediately after being born. Bottom line, Mother Nature creates humans in a wide variety, including twins and trans girls. So really, the question was by whose standard I needed the surgery. Did I need it to be a girl? Logically, based on the organ that fundamentally defines who and what I am — my brain — I’ve always been a girl. So, if I wanted to get my P changed into a V, was I doing it for myself, or to appease others — or both? I needed to check my premises. Yes, my brain structure is what makes me a girl, and there’s nothing that I can do below the belt to fundamentally improve on that. I either accepted being a girl already, or I didn’t. After some soul-searching, I realized that logically, I did … emotionally not so much. So, I dwelled on it until my emotions finally aligned with my logic. Was I maybe doing this to pander to those who defined gender based on plumbing? Maybe … more reason to not proceed as such. And so, I didn’t.

So here I am, a strange mix, but as to the basic configuration, it’s how I was born. I’ve changed what I care to change. I like having a more feminine facial structure and boobs. More of the same might be nice. But I no longer feel the need to get surgery to become a girl. I’ve always been one. If I do ever go get such surgery, it’d be for more logical reasons that what drove me before.

Ironically, my daily driver is a 2000 Audi Quattro A6 4.2 V8, with dual overhead camshafts, variable valve timing, variable-length intake runners, 5 valves per cylinder, 11:1 compression … a 300 horsepower screamer. And, it’s a weird mix of stuff, right from the factory, just like I am. The car is a mixture of things that somehow work together. Audi took a normal, mild-mannered Audi Quattro A6 with a capable V6 engine, and inserted into it the high-performance brakes, V8 engine and Porsche-designed heavy-duty Tiptronic transmission from the Audi A8 Quattro 4.2 V8 supercar. Somehow, they made it all work. They reshaped the front fenders and hood to make it all fit nicely. And it works. So, that’s me. I’m a blend of things. Part of how I am is how nature shaped me, and part of it is due to changes I enjoyed making … but driven by what I like to have, and see in the mirror.

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Endorsement of Lighthouse Laser

Trans girls older than our 20s grew up at a time when ridiculing trans people or putting us in a bad light, such as in popular movies, was just part of the American cultural landscape, something that was done without challenge or question, often a cheap shot intended to be funny.

The concept of being trans as a serious and legitimate state of being was generally dismissed or not recognized until quite recently. When a girl looked feminine but had “outie” plumbing, many people would nevertheless insist on classifying her as a guy. The implications and possibilities of a female brain structure was dismissed or not even considered.

At a more positive level, by my standards, are people who are used to binary gender looks, and they simply find it puzzling when somebody looks androgynous. I personally don’t find that offensive. In my experience, many people also find androgynous looks to be very attractive. Being trans has its pros and cons, but all in all I’m happy with being trans. Even so, life is rarely simple or easy: every time I pick up the phone or step outside my front door, there’s the possibility of having to deal with cultural animosity, because I sound and look androgynous.

One of the things that I abandoned early on, as part of accepting that I’m trans — and living accordingly — is that if I let cultural animosity stop me, then I’m allowing hostile people more control over my life and happiness than they deserve. I have a lot of personal and commercial value to offer, and if someone appreciates me, they get the benefit of my involvement. If they don’t appreciate me, I like to then go find people who do. My approach tends to set me apart from some of the trans girls that I’ve observed, including some of my friends, who insist on being accepted and dealt with as they are. I think that such forward people have a place in the world, and in some ways, they are the minesweepers and the bulldozers that clear the way. Perhaps theirs is a fine approach, but it’s not an approach I choose to take. I have the attitude that, if somebody wants to deal with me, then it’s a privilege mutually. Then again, I had that attitude long before I came out as a trans girl.

If someone is nice to me then I’m much more inclined to go and spend my energy and/or money there. If they’re hostile to me, I’m very unlikely to do business with them, but it does depend on what my alternatives are.

Generally I try to win people over, to be an ambassadrix so that I exemplify how positive a trans girl can be. This way, whoever meets me has a positive experience. In the long run, that’s how the world becomes a better place, I think: through reason, benevolence, trade, and generally voluntary interaction to mutual gain.

Sometimes I’m valued as an individual even if someone neither understands nor accepts the concept of a trans girl. That’s still a nice victory for me. For example, I have a close friend who doesn’t seem to have put much time into pondering the concept of anybody being transgender nor is he particularly supportive of my journey nor hostile to it, but he’s a great friend. A few years ago, when my Jeep broke down on a hot summer day, in the Nevada desert, he was the one I called. He came and rescued me, and brought me water and got my Jeep towed back to town. His attitude is: “I don’t care what’s going on with you as to your trans girl thing, and I don’t have to accept it. You’re my friend. You’re there for me, I’m there for you, and we have well-earned mutual respect. That’s all that matters.” It’s hard for me to complain about that.

In the area where I live, people are mostly trans-friendly. Sometimes people seem awkward and then I take the initiative and just deal with them benevolently, human to human. More often than not, they mellow out and become very nice to me, in a sincere way. I love that. Even so, I’m probably not welcome everywhere, especially where there are large groups of young adult males in a macho environment. Such places, I tend to avoid preemptively, but other places are more subtle. When I’m not sure, I prefer to have some advance insight as to potential awkwardness, were I there.

gIMAG2975For example, I’ve done part-time stripper (exotic dancer) work and I enjoy dancing as such. When I go to a LGBTQ friendly place like the Reno 5-Star saloon with its stage and two stripper poles, I’m in my element, as the picture on the left shows.

Even so, I can always learn more. My learning has until now consisted mostly of going to strip clubs and watching girls’ moves, which I enjoy since I’m attracted to girls, and then the learning is a nice bonus. But, a more formal class would be good.

There’s a pole dancing school semi-local to me, in Sparks, Nevada. I wanted to join up but me being a trans girl might make it awkward for some of the girls. So I wrote the school an email and sent a bunch of G-rated pictures. The email had words to the effect of: “Hi, I am Tanya, and here’s what I look like. I’m a trans girl and I’m interested in classes. If that’s cool, great and I’ll be there and spend my money.” I did not hear back from them, so either they don’t check their email or this is their way of saying “no thanks” which is as stark a “no” as I expected rather than an explicit “heck no, get lost.”

This place was an exception as to how I approach things. Generally I read the vibe of the place and then when I decide to proceed, I go for it, and I try hard to make things work out well. In the rare event that it doesn’t, that’s fine too. I’m resilient.

However, I have a cerebral, shy friend who is also a trans girl, and she was visiting me for two days. So, to her intended benefit, I was a little more proactive as a minesweeper, so to speak. She was planning on getting some facial hair removal work done so that she can looks aesthetically more like the girl she is, brain-structure wise. (Imagine a tall, leggy, slender, pretty red-head girl … with a 5 o’clock shadow. That last part detracts).  So, I found her a local laser place called Lighthouse Laser. They seemed competent, and I wrote them an email, explaining that I’m a trans girl, and I’d like to bring them a trans girl client, but only if we’d be welcome because I was only planning to spend my money there if they were trans friendly.

I got a super- nice email from Darity Openshaw, the laser tech lady, saying we’d be most welcome. I took my friend there and indeed she was treated very nicely as was I. Not just is Darity nice, but she also exudes competence, and clearly enjoys her work. I suspect my friend will be back for many more laser treatments in the future, since she’s planning on moving here.

“Here” is Fallon, Nevada – a small-town community east of Reno. I’d guess that more than half the vehicles on the road are pickup trucks and it seems to be a pretty rednecky place, at first glance — but people are super-nice to me. Even so, I’m clear not everyone here is trans friendly. I do like that such people are a tiny and avoidable slice of the population. The local police are well aware of me and they seem, if anything, extra protective of me and my property. I feel almost as if I’m their little sister and they’re protecting me. I love that.

As more and more trans girls learn that it’s safe to show ourselves, it’s becoming apparent how common a genetic mutation being trans actually is, and so it’s great that for people with dark hair (as in not me, I’m blonde) this laser place is a great trans-friendly option. A nice conceptual conversation with Darity the laser tech lady took things a step further too as to enlightening me, so by now I’m clear they’re not just trans friendly but LGBTQ friendly in general. I love that, and I endorse Lighthouse Laser heartily.

So, evidently, does my friend, who’s a nerd-girl genius including on lasers. She liked being treated nicely but she also had nice things to say about the technical merits of Darity’s work.

Their website is at http://www.fallonlaser.com/

How I Survived Bullies in High School

gggIMG_20170429_000850 I used to be in a romance with a girl whose son is exceptionally sweet and benevolent. Another boy would pick on her son, and bully him on the school bus. For reasons I don’t understand, his mom advised her son to put up with it. He did, and the bullying continued and got worse. Finally, she told him to fight back vigorously next time. He did, and that ended the bullying. That story happened in the US.

My school-time experiences were outside the US. I went to school in Britain and South Africa. The school system in the latter was especially bad. Things that would be abhorrent by current US standards were considered okay in South African school culture, though I understand there are some common problems.

The teachers totally failed to address bullying. Practically speaking, anarchy reigned. Much bullying was done in a gang context, but we also had one loner bully.

In our senior year of high school, he was probably 18 years of age, but he had the facial expression of a hardened, cynical adult aged mid-to-late 20s. His facial skin was red and tanned, as if he’d already spent decades under the African sun. His facial features and skin better fitted someone perhaps 10 years his senior — someone who smoked so much that it had affected his skin texture. He was of medium height, but he had a very stocky, compact kind of muscular structure, more befitting an adult than a teenage boy. His nickname, appropriate to Africa, was “Game Tamer” as in “wild animal tamer” — not in a “horse whisperer” sense, but rather as in “overpowering and intimidating.”

He was immensely strong, and he moved in a way that suggested he was accustomed to fighting. He’d shown up at our school shortly before my senior year. I didn’t know where he came from previously. The city I was in had more than a dozen large high schools, and the school I was in was in the most well-to-do area with the most elegant buildings, highest academic and athletic standards, and so on. The Game Tamer bully was an anomaly almost as if he’d shown up from a hard-core rural anything-goes high school, which was probably the case. It’s probably safe to say that everyone, including every ringleader bully, was wary of him.

The Game Tamer bully had the simple amorality of a savage. He bullied without malice. For example, our science class had cacti on the windowsill, planted in ceramic vases. At some point someone, perhaps Game Tamer, broke one of the vases. He picked up a large ceramic shard, and focused on one of the other boys who was nearby. The other boy was relatively high on the social scale, and physically quite strong too. He had done nothing to provoke the bully. He just happened to be nearby, and he got picked on for that reason. Using the sharp edge of the ceramic shard as if it were a knife edge, the bully calmly and methodically carved the other boy’s skin open, and expressed delighted amusement at how the wound gaped. It was so severe that the other boy needed to go the to emergency room to get stitched up.  I was surprised that the other boy had allowed it to happen.  There were no adverse consequences to the bully. Life went on.

Relative to the Game Tamer bully, I was on the other side of the scale, as to looking intimidating. Even when I was 26, 10 years after the time this story played out, I was told that I looked 15 years old, so I must have looked really young when I was in my senior year in high school. I’d also gone to school a year early, so all other things being equal, I was younger than everyone else in the class. I was also very slender and slight of build. Besides, I am also a trans girl. In South African school culture at the time, boys tended to not beat up girls, but they made an exception for trans girls so I needed to be continually vigilant.

As to dealing with bullies, I’d tried to reason things out, first. One day I found the worst ringleader bully alone, and I confronted him and engaged him in a candid conversation exploring the moral merits of his behavior toward me. He could, of course, not justify himself, and he admitted that. He looked sheepish and resolved to start behaving in a reasonable way. I was encouraged, but the next time he was exhibiting his bad behavior, he gave me a special smirk as if to say, “I’m aware of our discussion — and I’m consciously dismissing it. I’m choosing to be unreasonable.” At least, then, I knew where I stood. I couldn’t reason with the bullies, so I would have to be ready to defend myself. I wasn’t all too happy when I was looking at the gang bullies’ biceps and shoulder muscles, and contrasting their muscles with my own. Even though I had a blue belt in Judo, I wasn’t looking forward to having to use my skills in self-defense.

One day, in science class, for no apparent reason, the Game Tamer bully focused on me. I don’t recall how the conflict began but I’m sure I didn’t initiate it. Anyway, the bully had me pushed backward so that I was lying on my back on a bench, and he was looming over me, choking me. Perhaps thirty other kids were standing around, watching.

I knew an effective Judo chokehold, and so I applied that to the bully. As a result, we were choking each other. I recall his face getting redder yet, and I recall feeling calm. I had an intense tolerance for distress, such as when my joints were being strained or I was being choked. One of my advantages in combat was being able to outlast my opponent. This got me yelled at by my Judo trainer during a tournament; he was concerned that, for example, my arm was about to break and yet I didn’t give up. Aside from being incapacitated or dead, I know I can lose only when I give up. I don’t like giving up.

So, while I was on my back and being choked by the bully, choking him right back, I felt a quiet satisfaction at how I was handling it, and I enjoyed observing that he wasn’t handling it well. For a while, we each tried to outlast the other. The bully seemed to be losing control, and I expected him to switch to another tactic imminently. He pulled away and slammed his knee forward, aimed at my privates. I had expected that, so as soon as he slammed his knee forward, I rolled out of the way and his knee drive was harmlessly deflected against my other thigh.

At that point I think he felt embarrassed, having failed twice while everyone was watching. He decided to leave me alone.

The incident had been useful for me. The Game Tamer bully started being more deferential toward me. This helped my social standing enough to give pause to the other bullies who were themselves wary of the Game Tamer bully.

Shortly afterward, the end of senior year approached, and it was time for our final exams. These were held in a massive hall with three hundred students’ desks aligned in rows and columns. with teachers and monitors walking around to prevent cheating. An exam lasted three hours and one exam could make or break one’s final grade; it made up half of one’s total final score, for that subject.

Due to where our last names fitted in the alphabet, the Game Tamer bully sat behind me. Even though he was dangerous, I considered him more annoying than dangerous. I didn’t feel any fear toward him. To me, he had all the moral significance of a dangerous natural phenomenon such as being hit by lightning or bitten by a snake. It would be unpleasant and best avoided but not something on which to dwell. Even so, I was aware that his actions were based on choices he was making, and that he bore the moral responsibility for his choices. I didn’t think highly of his choices, and my attitude conveyed that. Ironically, my sincere condescension somehow inspired the bully to be nicer to me.

I had prepared well for the exam, and I was looking forward to taking it. My preparation had included buying a small bottle of white-out, a sort of liquid paper by which I could paint over my mistakes, which I considered neater than crossing them out.

The South African version of this product had chemicals that were generally known to have severe respiratory consequences. In the same way as one depended on gasoline for convenient transit, but knew better than to go take a deep breath at the filler hole of a car, one depended on this product for error correction but knew better than to take a deep breath when the cap was off. It was to be uncapped, used and swiftly re-capped, ideally while holding one’s breath. This was fairly common knowledge.

The bully, as it turned out, was unaware of the product. Sitting right behind me, he asked what the stuff in the little bottle was for. I recall feeling mildly annoyed by having my pre-exam concentration disrupted. I reached for it, opened it, and turned around in my chair. I held it out to him and said, “Take a deep whiff.” He leaned forward, and did. Apparently that satisfied his curiosity since he didn’t say or ask anything else. I turned around and focused on the exam that was about to begin. I did so well in the exam, and other exams that I took in that same three-week time-span, that my grades were high enough to get my picture on the top center of the front page of a major city newspaper. That the Game Tamer bully was quiet behind me was a welcome development for my ability to concentrate.

Three hours later, the exam was done. I got up, and so did the Game Tamer bully. He was exultant. Unbeknownst to me, after he’d inhaled the fumes of liquid paper, he’d become groggy and he had passed out, collapsing on his arms as if he were resting on the desk, or praying — so the teachers left him alone. He’d been out cold, for two and a half hours. Just before the last half-hour of the exam, he woke up and did whatever he could in the time remaining.

I was surprised and a little embarrassed that the effect had been so severe, but the bully reassured me that there was no need for me to be concerned, since his grades were going to be in the toilet anyway, and he was delighted that I would pull such a cool trick on him. He had all the benevolence of a good sport having lost a good tennis match or chess game to a superior opponent.

From that day on, my bully problem consisted of the Game Tamer bully being friendlier toward me that I liked. All in all, that was a better problem to have.

Status Report as to my Health

As background, here’s a quote from an article I wrote in January of 2016, a year and a half ago:

I went in for a medical check-up today and had my blood pressure tested. It’s 124 over 86 — which I gather is really good. I told my mom the numbers. She’s a health and nutrition guru professionally, so I value her opinion highly as such. She liked the numbers very much. She said that, at this rate, I might live forever. So, that’s good.

Yesterday, as in eighteen months later, I had my blood pressure tested again and the numbers are slightly better yet. Yay!

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This means I’ve been able to maintain an optimal balance as to the complex mix of chemicals I take in daily, as to sodium, potassium, spironolactone, estradiol, coffee, water and food.

I think that I weigh more than is optimal, but the most logical explanation is that I’m trashing my circadian rhythm. If I ever start going to bed at a reasonable hour then I expect that this piece of the puzzle will fall into place too. There’s just somehow always one more fun or exciting thing to do, that’s more interesting to me than falling asleep.

So, unless something quirky happens, I’m likely to be around for a long time. I’m glad. I feel good about my life. That should probably go without saying, but six years ago, it didn’t. I appreciate the contrast.

I’ve noticed that my body has been putting on a subtle and smooth layer of fat, just under my skin, and it covers my more intense muscles. I’m glad. My leg muscles used to be a bit too intense, by my standards. Here’s a picture from 2015 (the leg muscles were real, the boobs not):

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When I was a teenager, I lived in South Africa. My bicycle was my escape pod from a culture I disliked. I preferred no company to bad company, and so I spent a lot of time alone – sometimes at home, sometimes far away. All this bicycling seems to have built muscle, and it’s still around.

As a young adult, I also used to go on multi-day hikes in the South African wilderness, the type where you’d better pack your own food and sleeping bag if you were planning on eating and sleeping for the next four or five days.

I also had started my own auto repair business, and I often worked on cars. I couldn’t afford heavy-duty tools so the way I removed transmissions was by literally lifting them into and out of cars, by hand. I had a strange sort of sinewy strength, I also did Judo and Karate, and windsurfing, and those probably helped.

Later, I lived in Los Angeles and I’d bicycle from my apartment down to the beach and then I’d bicycle for miles and miles along the beach. I also liked hiking the hills around Los Angeles. Then, I discovered skiing, water-skiing and surfing, and it was all good … but it made for more muscular legs than fitted the showgirl look I wanted.

Two years ago, I danced at a club, as in, on stage. I’d done some professional dancing, as in stripper work, and that night on stage I was dancing just for fun, and a friend of mine was photographing and videotaping my moves. He and I overheard someone in the audience commenting, presumably with good intention, as to my hamstrings yet somehow that didn’t help me feel any sexier. I don’t have anything against body builders but that’s not the look I’m going for. So it’s been a relief that my legs nowadays look more smoothly feminine.

I gather that the peculiar DNA I have makes it unlikely or impossible that I’ll have cellulite, so I don’t have to worry about going too far in that direction. Indeed, there are some practical benefits to being a trans girl.

In other news, I now have naturally grown boobies. I’m happy with their size in some ways though I do wish they were larger. Even so, I’m not complaining. A friend of mine had implants done, and in a nice way she’s told me she’s jealous of my “girls.” She says I could wear anything whereas she has to be more careful about what she chooses to wear.

Six years ago, I didn’t much care if I lived or died. I was well on my way toward the latter. My blood pressure was way too high. My blood chemistry was bad, as in too high bad cholesterol. I seemed unlikely to be around much longer, yet I just couldn’t get motivated to do anything about it.

For me, it was exhausting and depressing, living life by trying to fit into guy culture, pretending to live as a guy, when I didn’t belong there.

Now that I’m living with integrity, as in I’m living as the female I am, consistent with my brain structure being female, life is grand. As part of that, I gradually became ever more motivated to be ever more healthy. I don’t think I’m going to win any beauty pageants, but I’m happy with myself. I work hard but I often walk, run, and sometimes sprint. I also dance and do some toning exercises. I’m happy.

I still have a lot of business debt to pay off and I’m working through that. I’m making steady progress, and my businesses seem to keep improving, so eventually I’ll have it all paid off. On paper, my situation would lend itself to feeling overwhelmed but instead, I just deal with it methodically, in a compartmentalized way.

I work with nice people whom I have attracted to my businesses. They seem to like working with me, and being around. I love the work and I enjoy the people I work with. As to people with whom I interact in a broader business sense: they either don’t know or care that I’m a trans girl, and life goes on. My stress level is super-low.

I still mentor trans girls, and I see how hard it is for them — the prospect of coming out. I see the struggle, the desperation and the need. I relate, from memory.

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The above picture was taken two days ago. Evidently, I nowadays have long, blonde hair, and it’s the same shade of blonde that my hair was when I was two years old — but that’s because I have it lightened to be that shade again. Six years ago, I used to crave having long, light-blonde hair like I do today, but I was too shy, bashful, embarrassed or ashamed to move in this direction. I dared not even walk down the aisle at the grocery store where they sold hair-coloring products, as in the package with blonde hair coloring. Even though it was late at night, around midnight at that grocery store, and there was nobody around nearby, I felt too intimidated. And nowadays, I’m simply … not.

I think my negativity, even self-hatred, was due to having accepted conservative cultural premises in which it was considered shameful to be born with male plumbing and a female brain structure, and hence thinking and feeling as a girl does. I had tried to suppress that for decades, and I’d failed. I’m glad to be done with it.

I wish that same relief and happiness for other trans girls who are hoping to come out, but it’s not just a trans girl thing. I think it’s much more broad of an issue, of knowing who you are and accepting it, and then choosing to live as such.

For example, I know someone wonderful who is, I gather, truly polyamorous and yet she has shoehorned herself into a monogamous lifestyle and she’s miserable, trying to make that work.

I’m also aware of another girl who, from comments she’s made, likes girls — and yet she has shoehorned herself into a straight lifestyle and she’s miserable, trying to make that work.

One of my friends knows or guesses she’s on the Aspergers spectrum, and she’s tried to shoehorn herself into living a lifestyle that doesn’t reconcile to that. She’s miserable, trying to make that work. I don’t know if being an intensely nerdish girl means that a girl is on the Aspergers spectrum but if so, then I’ve observed this in many girls who are cerebral — and shy, because they (wait, not “they” but “we” since I’m in this group too) feel like social misfits, which we are … by typical standards. However, in my opinion we’re more detail-oriented, orderly, precise, benevolent and just than typical people. I don’t see anything wrong with that … on the contrary. I’ve mentored nerd girls who have felt conflicted as such too, and I’ve delighted in seeing the deep happiness that come along quite quickly when a nerd girl comes to accept herself and her way of thinking, and then lives accordingly.

To me, nowadays, life is so precious. I would not want to waste even one minute by choosing standards that don’t apply to me and would make me miserable.

The way I understand things, if your mental wiring means you’re trans and/or gay and/or polyamorous, then by traditional conservative standards you’re a misfit, but it’s long been time to reject those standards, and to choose to live with integrity relative to who you are. As did I, you might discover that deep happiness is no longer elusive, and that depression no longer comes around.

I embraced life – living as who I am. So far so good. If you’re not yet doing so, please join me. And if writing me might help you, please do.

Nevada Bill SB 201 Passes: Conversion Therapy now Illegal

My amazing friend Brooke sent out an email yesterday saying:

“Today, Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 Governor Sandoval will sign into law SB201, which will ban licensed providers from engaging in the abusive practice of Conversion Therapy. I have been working with Senator David Parks and others to get this law passed for the past two sessions. Crucially, for us, gender identity and gender expression are included, along with sexual orientation, in the language of this bill. Nevada will be the 10th jurisdiction to pass this type of ban. Only eight other states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation before Nevada.”

Another wonderfully supportive friend of mine, who works in the legislature, has just emailed me that the bill is now law.

I’m not sure how much my letter helped, but it’s nice to be on both the winning side of history as well as the one that makes sense. I’ve noticed that these don’t always coincide.

Here is a special “thank you” to Brooke Maylath, whose energy seems to know no bounds in dealing with very complex and tedious issues so that right can prevail.  Some superheroines don’t wear capes, it seems.

Yay!  Time for a quick “basking in victory” picture.

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Protectress

ggIMG_20170414_011258-001I was in Livermore, California yesterday. A good friend of mine lives there, and his business is there. He is also my client as to custom business software — and his business is under attack, computer-wise, in a subtle way against which I can defend. I am enjoying the process of safeguarding my friend in his business.

This role fits my self-image on good days, as a tall, muscular, blonde warrior queen protecting the innocent from evildoers.

It’s a fine line as to when to engage vs. when not. I used to fight others’ battle for them and I found ample reason to not so do any more. That includes someone who got himself or herself in trouble knowingly, sort of as in playing with fire and getting burned. In such cases, I sympathize … the burned party can still be in the right, like someone who tells a Nazi inspection squad in the late 1930s that no, they can’t come in and inspect the basement. Brave and righteous, but it sets the person up for the sort of reprisal that makes martyrdom likely. That’s not when I step in to help defend. It’s when, by my standards, someone was for the most part minding their own business and going to reasonable measures to stay out of trouble yet even so, trouble finds them.

Instead of a sword, my weapon is typically a computer keyboard — and not in a physical sense, as in I don’t beat bad guys over the head with it. Even so, a computer keyboard is not always my only weapon — sometimes it gets physical.

For example, I was in a Chinese restaurant in Oxford, England a few years ago, enjoying a quiet dinner. A burly typically-English-looking guy with a bad attitude was having a loud argument with the diminutive Asian owner of the restaurant, The English guy was being blatantly unreasonable and had already done something violent — and things seemed likely to get worse. To my surprise, the other patrons were trying to pretend that nothing was happening. I stood up, walked over and stood next to the Asian guy, shoulder to shoulder, face to face with the aggressor. The gesture radiated protection and allegiance. The aggressor went berserk. He seized a 5’ tall chromed-steel “please wait to be seated” sign as in wanting to beat me with it. I was expecting something like that but I didn’t have time to respond. The restaurant staff swarmed the guy. He threw a heavy glass dish at one of them, but missed. Soon he had half a dozen Asian guys all over him and the next thing the aggressor knew, he was out the door. The restaurant owner was very appreciative of my allegiance.

Another similar time happened last year. A trans girl friend of mine (yes, in this case there is a space between “girl” and “friend”) was ready for her first day out in public, as the girl she has always been though this time, openly so. I was supportive as to her looks and styling and off we went to spend a fun day in Reno. Things generally went well, in part because I chose safe places with friendly faces, but in one case I had misjudged. At a restaurant, someone was saying mean things to my friend. I’m all for the right to freedom of speech, and someone can be as insulting as they like; that’s their right. It’s when they seem likely to be about to get violent that things change, for me. That’s a fine line to read well– especially in this situation because the mean person was behaving erratically and talking oddly, and had made a comment to the bystanders that she was on crack cocaine. This would explain the peculiar behavior and irrationalism. I’m all for people putting drugs they bought in their own body but my concern was that she was about to do something violent to my friend, as in it seemed likely that I would imminently need to protect my friend from physical attack. My friend might have been able to defend herself physically but psychologically she was not in that mindset – I’d read her as feeling very vulnerable, something that she later confirmed.

I decided that our “dine in” order had just become a “to go” order and I briskly escorted my friend out to the car. My friend was at the time trying to quit smoking but she was so shaken she needed some nicotine, pronto. I’m all for her enjoying her chemical of choice but I don’t like the smell in my car, so she stood outside the car.calming her nerves, while I kept watch. The crack lady came out of the restaurant and headed toward my friend. Battle stations. I instructed my friend to get in the car and lock the door. As for me, it wasn’t so simple.

Sometimes the safest thing one can do is to run away. Other times, that can be the most dangerous thing. For example, when face to face with a Nevada mountain lion, if one were to turn and run, one has just announced “I’m prey, chase me” to the big cat and it might well end fatally for the prey. By contrast, standing one’s ground intimidates the big cat, typically enough to make it turn around and slink away. The same analogy can apply to humans. I remained assertive and watchful, neither retreating further nor escalating. I watched and waited. The on-crack lady walked a safe distance past me, got into her beat-up old van, and that was the end of it. As it happened, she’d intended no further malice; my car had just been parked between the restaurant exit and where her van was parked. Even so, it felt good to be ready.

Location, Location, Location

I sometimes exchange emails with trans girls who live in hostile environments and whose lives are deeply miserable as a result of that. Sometimes a negative culture is so pervasive yet so integrally tied to the location that really there is no solution, short-term, except to leave.

By contrast, I live in what appears to be a very red-necky town east of Reno yet the people are super-nice to me even though I am obviously a trans girl. Their benevolence helps me be even more cheerful.

Typically, this inspires me to dress more elegantly too, as my way of celebrating being alive, being happy and living openly as the female I am. On that premise, I try to generally look as elegant as fits the context. What amazes me is how well it’s possible to dress with an ultra-modest budget, and that even includes elegant shoes. Whether from strangers or friends or my super-candid mom (on days when I visit her) I tend to get several compliments during the day as to my clothing and shoes, and it’s nice to have such feedback.

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This morning, I really needed to make only one business trip, to sign a new lease agreement for my shop. I nevertheless made a point of conditioning my hair, then wearing the elegant dress shown above, plus some elegant black dress sandals. I felt personally more confident, happier and more outgoing as a result. I’m inherently shy but when I’m confident enough, I can attain enough critical mass to be so personable that it’s hard to reconcile that to how quiet I am, on days when I’m in pensive mode.

A peculiar sequence of events played out today, and they made it viable for me to run several errands that I hadn’t planned on doing, when the day began. It felt good to look my best and be more confident during all of these, not least because today, an acquaintance was having a really lousy day and I managed to be a good enough listener to be able to make a difference in her day and her perspective. It is safe to say that somewhere during the course of our conversation today, she and I became friends. Even though she looked super-glum when we said “hello,” she was cheerful and seemed inspired not too long after. You know that someone is having a really bad day when she prefaces a sentence on the theme of “I’m unhappy with my life” with “I’m only a year older than you, and ….” So, I listened, asked the right questions and empathized, and the world ended up becoming a better place. Had I felt less confident, I might have not handled the conversation well.

I had just gotten home when there was a polite knock on my front door. I opened it and there was a gentleman from the local Police Department asking my assistance in translating a piece of evidence with some wording printed on it in German … since they know me, they like me, I like them and they know I speak German. It was the perfect icing on the cake that symbolized a delightful morning.

On the subject of law enforcement, when I see a police officer, I feel as if I’m seeing one of my personal bodyguards. I tend to work late and go for walks by myself in the evenings or even late at night. Even so, I always feel safe even though I live in the downtown area and my automotive business is in the sketchiest part of town and I sometimes walk from my apartment to my shop. The local police officers come across, to me anyway, as just a little extra protective when it comes to me, almost as if I am their little sister. I greatly appreciate how they deal with me.

One day, I’d been removing groceries from my car, which was parked right outside. I’d left the interior lights on, and the trunk plus several doors were wide open. I’d forgotten all about it, hours before. I didn’t realize that this made it look like perhaps my car had been ransacked.

I tend to wear sexy underwear under my everyday clothes, and when I’m home, the top layer comes off soon after I walk in the door. As a result, I tend to walk around inside my apartment in a pretty bra and thong, on days when I even wear a bra. On warm nights, I also like to have my front door open to the cool desert air.  So, late that night, I was cheerfully sashaying around my apartment, dressed like a Victoria’s Secret model, with the front door wide open. There was a polite knock on the open front door, and three local police officers peeked into the doorway, two guys and a girl. They’d seen my car and my open front door, and they just wanted to make sure I was okay. I also immediately recognized one of the officers, since his mom used to work in my software business and I’ve known him, so to speak, since he was a toddler. It was all very positive. I assured them I was okay, albeit forgetful — and all was well.

Them checking on me tends to happen every now and then. I work in my software business until late at night and sometimes I next go work in my automotive business. Sometimes that requires me to remove or replace parts off one of my cars, most of which are outside, in my lot. It has happened several times that an officer showed up suspiciously but then when he saw it was me, he relaxed, said hello and explained: “I just want to make sure nobody is messing with your stuff.”

Some months ago, one of the semi-dead-but-nice cars in my parking lot had a flat tire and I didn’t want to inflate it by hand, so I tried to park a running car nearby, at a peculiar angle with one wheel on the sidewalk, so as to get it close enough for me to power an air compressor from the cigarette lighter of the running car. All this was happening after midnight.

I was also wearing extra-skimpy clothing such as ultra-short shorts, no bra and a top with very thin, light-colored fabric.  At the time, I had two girlfriends and each of them had already assured me that this type of top left nothing to the imagination even as to any subtleties in the shape and the color of whatever was underneath the fabric. I suspect that they were each gently attempting to coax me to not dress as if I were sixteen. Even so, I like to wear tops like that because after a thousand years of feeling overly masculine, I nowadays feel mostly happy with my look, and dressing like that is my way of celebrating the change.

Also, in my defense, I should mention that I hadn’t expected to interact with anyone that night. I’d planned to pump the tire up quickly and be done with it, but the cord hadn’t quite reached and so my park-closely-enough exercise became ever more extended and exotic until it couldn’t fail to attract the attention of the local police force, which (with my eternal gratitude) tends to drive past my automotive business delightfully often, to make sure things are OK.  Two officers noticed the peculiar activity, and approached to see what was going on. Instead of scolding me, or staring at my chest, the officers were magnificently professional and polite, and simply asked me to please remove the car from the sidewalk. This was done, and instead of getting the world’s biggest parking ticket (as I richly deserved) I simply got a courteous and friendly “good night.”

I have read some horror stories and even seen one horrible video about law enforcement elsewhere actively discriminating against a trans girl. By contrast, it sure is nice to live in a town and within a culture where that sort of thing has never happened to me — and if it ever did, it would be completely out of character.

Life is good, but a lot of it has to do with where I choose to live.