Welcome, Lauren …originally posted Jan. 3, 2011

It’s been over a month since coming out as being transgendered.

…Things have moved fast since then.

Imagine being given a shopping spree in a store where all your deepest wants needs could suddenly be fulfilled.  …It’s quite overwhelming!  I have been granted the chance to live out the rest of my life as myself.

The changes can be most easily broken down into two categories:  Changes to how I think and feel; and changes to how I live my life.

The differences to how I think and feel are profound.  I have been feebly attempting to explain what being transgendered feels like.  There is the old standby “Being trapped in the wrong body”  and that fits, but there’s a lot that comes with that.  A person has to pretend to be the gender that they have been assigned.  I feel as though, for my whole life, I have been attempting to pass as a man.  I feel like an impostor.  I had a well-studied, well-developed character that I spent 30 years crafting.  When all was said and done, however…It was all an act.  It was positively exhausting!

I have always kept close female friends, and in their company, I have tried to show an understanding of the female condition, without giving myself away…. I wanted to know a lot, but not too much.  I was constantly using modifying statements like “But, what do I know?” to reflect a certain distance from personal knowledge.  Around men, I would puff myself up and try to fit the part.   The playground taught me that being a girl in a boy’s body meant I would be harmed.  I certainly was not ready to be found out.

…But I am ready now!  …and, that leads me to what I am changing about the way I live my life.

I have decided to un-trap myself.  I don’t have to pretend to be a man any more.  I am transitioning to life as a woman.  It’s a lot of work, but it’s far less than the everyday struggle of incongruity with myself. I have chosen the name Lauren, as it is a close fit to my old name, which I have really been honored to be called by up to this point.  Olivia, my new middle name, was DW’s suggestion.  I like the flow of the name, and I like that it sounds classy and sophisticated.

There are, of course, changes to appearance as well.  The most recent picture I have posted [on Facebook] was taken the first week in December.  At that point, I had just begun to wear makeup, and pluck my eyebrows.   I was attempting to just look like a ‘prettier’ man.  Most of this was simply in order to satisfy my long want to get to do the sorts of things I had been denying myself for fear that others would think it odd.

I am no longer trying to look like a prettier man.  I am allowing myself to look like the woman I am.

There is huge work in this transition.  There is a lot of hair to remove.  For my face especially, this means passing each square inch over and over in every conceivable direction, because makeup has a way of really pointing out stubble.  My skin is sometimes quite irritated by this.  I am also using chemical hair removers and will likely begin the arduous task of electrolysis soon. (We recently got a home kit for doing this.)  So, that’s hair..and there’s the makeup, the brows, the acrylics, the toenail polish, the switched-out wedding ring, the earrings, the wardrobe, the shoes, the prosthetics…yes, those prosthetics, the shapewear, the purse, and the wig.  At this point… it takes me up to two hours to get ready to go out.  My hope is that this can be streamlined down to about half of that, but still, it’s a considerable effort.

As I write this, I have not yet gone out presenting myself as a woman.  I have a wig from a costume shop that isn’t all that good.  I was proud of the work I did cutting and styling it, though…it started out as utter garbage.  The wig I have been waiting patiently for is to arrive this week.  (Perhaps as soon as tomorrow)  It is a much higher quality wig.  I am also waiting on a proper pair of prosthetics.  Right now I am just stuffing with upholstery foam.  I have seen the beginnings of what I will look like, and it makes me very happy.

I have an incredible, supportive wife who, though struggling with implications to our lives, has affirmed her continuing want to be in my life.  And, I have fantastic friends whose reactions range from completely unphased to full-blown cheerleader.

I love my life

I love the people in it

…and, perhaps for the first time… I REALLY love me

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5 thoughts on “Welcome, Lauren …originally posted Jan. 3, 2011

  1. As you know — blogging has been very important to me and my journey — I’m sure that it will be imiportant in yours as well — it’s a wonderful place to work out your thoughts and feelings

    I’m very proud of the journey you’ve made so far — and look forward to following your journey as you move ahead

    much love

    sfp

  2. Wow. Thank you for writing this. I wish you success with your quest.

    I relate SO much, including to being bullied, in detail — and I also relate to how I reacted behavior-wise and emotionally to the bullying, and how even now I prefer female company socially and can empathize when I listen and tend to avoid male social interaction etc.

    Wow. This is stark. It comes so very close.

    I don’t feel as repulsed by my male aspects, though, but even then there are many common elements. I also am in the “want to be a pretty male” phase and yet I don’t think it’ll stop there. I already have a sexy dress, stunning blond hair, etc. thank you to a wonderfully supportive friend.

    A few days ago, I went out to Walgreens, wearing my sexy black dress and sexy blond hair and high-heeled stripper shoes. I know I don’t look female; I look like some strange but sexy androgynous being and for now (and maybe indefinitely) I’m fine with that. As I walked into the store, some hooligan teenagers who were hanging around outside were laughing while looking at me. So, I thought about it. I don’t have to take this any more. I’m 49 now, and I’m 6′ of athletic bone and muscle and I know self-defense just fine. If they got violent, maybe they get to be beaten up by a girl. I turned around and went to verbally confront the teenagers calmly but very assertively. It was interesting to see how cowardly they dealt with the situation, initially trying to hide physically, then denying their actions, then being unable to defend their actions. I ended up defusing the situation and it became, amazingly, a positive conversation. As I walked in a second time, a middle-aged overweight lady behind me said “wow” as a sort of insult and compliment combined. The pharmacist manager seemed frazzled, and asked me for my date of birth even though it was on the driver’s license he had in his hand. On my way out, a 40-ish black guy looked my up and down and seemed appreciative and I stood close to him and said “hello.” He said: “I can see myself going up in you, man” and I asked him what else I could improve. He seemed taken aback and then touched my arm almost dreamily, reverently, and said: “you’re so beautiful.” I thanked him and left. On the way out, he was standing close to the exit and I waved at him, and he spread his arms wide, and she gave I the “thumbs up” and smiled. At Michaels the salesladies were super-helpful and nice. At a local fetish store the saleslady was super-nice and complimented the dress and said “live it up” in an encouraging way as to wearing the harsh thong I was buying, and when I mentioned my challenging day (first day out in vanilla public, clearly feminized) said “well, I think you look good.”

    That reminds me: I intend to start some sort of anti-bullying protection process for kids like that, legal or even otherwise.

    Reading this was hard for me, but I appreciate it.

    • It’s interesting to me, reading through your depiction of how things went on your days out. It wasn’t that long ago for me, but it absolutely feels like a whole different world since then. I was out today, for instance. I had lunch with a friend, went to the mall, and on to Home Depot. I was cute and casual in capris, white canvas flats and an athletic-type tee shirt. with the exception of what may or may not have been some second looks from customers at HD, I was treated like a completely typical woman. Not only was that how I was treated, it was how I EXPECTED to be treated. It’s a really good feeling to look back on any given day and realize how little undue attention I get anymore.

      I think we all start in the stripper heels and pink glitter stage. I heard one person explain that this was like an abbreviated female childhood. I tend to agree with that… it’s the fun of really going to the limits with heels and dresses and makeup and all of those awesome things you have always longed for. and, I think, over time….for many, at least… that gives way to the joy of simply blending in. That’s not to say that there’s a better and lesser place to be…. I really think one must grant themselves the room to wear the stripper heels (mine are acrylic platform stilettos that have blinking purple lights, lol) That feeling of playing dress-up was denied most of us… we need to have the latitude to learn what it feels like to be a princess before we can downshift to soccer mom 😛

      I hope so much that you will continue to derive great satisfaction from your journey, and that you will feel welcome to follow me in mine.

  3. Thank you … I see your point. For example, today I’m just sitting at home, all by myself, working — and yet there is joy in being dressed in my female clothes and hair and shoes, even though nobody could today accuse me having dressed like a stripper (unless perhaps it’s a stripper on her day off).

    I enjoyed reading about your experience as to hormones. I’ve looked into them and have not yet decided to proceed with that, but your input is helping me be more positive about them. As to feeling sad more easily, I sympathize — and if I may offer unsolicited input, that’s where exercise comes in. It helps me.

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