For some reason WordPress isn’t allowing me to access my Notifications through any of my browsers, (Chrome, Safari). I can still answer short comments via my phone but detail responses are difficult.
So, because I felt it was important to respond to one comment in particular, I am doing so here instead, I hope Robin doesn’t mind.
Let me copy her comment here and then I will respond below.
“I found that while I had to wait, going to a gender therapist to confirm what I knew in my heart was very affirming and helped a little. Daily application of moisturizer and shaving almost all of my body hair helped, too. Sometimes, since I had to work in “boy mode”, wearing something feminine underneath (bra, panties, maybe a chemise) helped… all stuff that no one noticed (despite my fear it would be glaringly obvious).
I also recommend you start shopping for wardrobe *now*. Shoes, coats, gloves, scarves, hats, skirts, blouses… all of it. You will need an obscene amount of clothing when you do go full time… and buying pretty things (even if you’re on a thrift store budget like I am) can help.
Also, remember you are on a process… it won’t happen overnight, but little by little you will get there. *hug*”
I am currently in therapy, though not with a GS. Unfortunately the nearest ones are in Chicago which is a three hour drive.Still my therapist, Jodi, has been a tremendous help for me in working through many issues and I am thankful to her for her support.
As for my “stealth” presentation… Mostly this is an issue when it comes to work. I am not conformable with the idea of coming out to my employer or coworkers and I have to admit I might never be. So I will continue to present as male there for the foreseeable future, though I admit this might have to change at some point.
Because of this, I do some similar things to yourself; using moisturizer, body shaving, using Secret instead of men’s Speed Stick, I have also let my hair and nails grow out, wear a pony tail and clear nail strengthener in place of polish. All of these things do help, though it often the use of my birth name and male pronouns which cause the most problems.
On the issue of dressing; for work I have found there is little difference between what I use to wear and what I do now. In fact, no one has really noticed the slight changes I have made which are more about being comfortable rather than obviously feminine. T-shirts, sweat shirts, jeans. All of this is pretty gender neutral outside of sizes and fabrics and who looks so close anyway?
Away from work is a different story and here I have to say my dysphoria is more about my internal dialogue than it is about other’s reactions.
I have breast “enhancers”, silicone shapers, which give me the correct shape. I wear pretty much women’s clothing exclusively although I do often wear those same T-shirts, sweat shirts, and jeans as I do to work depending on my mood and how lazy I feel.
I really do have a decent wardrobe at this point, tops, pants, black and blue jeans, mock necks, turtle necks, sweaters, cardigans, pullovers, some button up blouses, three quarter and full sleeves. I happen to have some tattoos). I also have a decent collection of shoes and boots including flats and heels, sneakers and even a pair of furry house boots.
I also have acquired some jewelry, a necklace, a bracelet, and ring which I often wear regardless of how I want people to see me.
In addition I also have a Winter coat and a leather jacket for Spring and Fall. I have several scarves, though I want to get more and two purses, one with matching wallet.
I also have two wigs, though how often and where I wear them is a point of contention with my partner. If you look through my posts or “About” page you can see me with them on.
99% of my shopping is through thrift store, consignment shops, and garage sales. As I like to say, I have champaign taste on a beer pocketbook!
If I buy anything new it is only when there is a great sale.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, much of my current problems are internal. It is the way I project my fears and expectations onto those around me and not the way I have been spoken to or treated. In fact, as time passes I find I am greeted with female pronouns and generally treated as a woman more often than not. Those time when I am not, it is because I have had to use my birth name or am presenting androgynously enough the other person isn’t sure how to address me.
The fact I am so often aware of those things which I feel mark me as “different” is more on me than anyone, after all, I am the most aware of those things being an issue, most people don’t even notice. This is true of my voice which is a major sticking point to me. I have been told time and again it is more than passing, yet to me it is completely wrong… I don’t know what I think it should be, but it isn’t what I hear.
As for the other part… well, there are ways of reducing how noticeable such things are and I am looking into those. Thankfully they aren’t overly expensive as such things go and I plan to have something before Summer arrives.
Let me add something here… In the end it doesn’t matter what I do, what procedures I have done, what training I engage in; there is only so far I can go in transition.
There will be a point beyond which I cannot pass, after all, my past is what it is and cannot be changed. Also there is basic biological differences between what I can achieve and what I would have been born with… bone structure, nerve endings, skin texture, hair texture… there is quite a list of what will always set me apart from my sisters. The thing is, only I can come to terms with such things. Only I can become fully comfortable in my own skin. There is no magic pill for it. I have to do it for myself and this is what I am struggling with at the moment.
Yet you know something?
Right now, with all of the ups and downs, doubts and fears… I feel more complete and at peace with myself than I have err felt in my life.
I can look in the mirror, see who is there and smile because, makeup or no, hair or no, half asleep or wide awake, it is me there and she is a beautiful person.