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Offline Steph2.0

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The Stephanie Chronicles
« on: September 17, 2017, 11:42:47 pm »
Hi all,

In my introduction post a while back...

(here: https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,227254.msg2015145.html#msg2015145)

...with the strong suggestion of my friend, guide, and badger-in-chief Laurie, I promised to put together some kind of record of my transition. I was thinking about doing a retrospective topic that covered everything up to now, and a separate one for things going forward. Well, a little of Laurie's attitude must have rubbed off, because that sounds a little too much like planned organization. So I'm going to throw everything into this thread willy-nilly. You'll see flashbacks, long-form stories, stream-of-consciousness blabber, short notes, links to other things I've posted, and likely a fair amount of silliness. That's assuming anybody actually reads any of it. If not, at least I'll have a record for myself and a server to keep it on.

So if there's anyone in here (crickets), read on...

Steph

[edit: add link to Introduction]
« Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 12:45:58 am by Steph2.0 »


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

Offline Megan.

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2017, 11:49:17 pm »
Eyes peeled, ears pricked and nostrils flaired; stream away!

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Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2017, 12:04:30 am »
A Wonderful Day

Yesterday my wife and I went to a neat little town on the Gulf of Mexico. I went as my real self with a nice button down top, capris, and a cute sun hat. Just a couple of 59 year old ladies out for a nice day in a resort town. It was hot downtown but we walked down to the bay and had dinner in a nice restaurant outside on the water.

Now, this wasn't the first time I'd gone out as myself, but I'd always felt furtive and nervous about it, with the attitude that I was pretending to be a woman, and I hoped nobody saw through my disguise. This time I said to myself, "What was I thinking before? I AM a woman!" And I realized I believed it. With that attitude if anyone calls me out, they're the one in error, not me.

And I had a wonderful day. Nobody looked twice as we walked around town, the restaurant staff was great, and nobody in the place pointed and snickered. We even had a bit of silliness with the waiter. After he took our orders, he reached across the table for my wife's menu, and she misinterpreted and shook his hand. We all cracked up, and to carry the joke further, the waiter shook my hand, too, and we all bowed to each other. Now, I saw the handshake coming, so I knew to avoid the masculine, "put 'er there, ol' buddy ol' pal" style handshake, and offered just my fingers. He never noticed anything amiss. (See what I did there?) How cool to relax and have fun just being myself.

When we left there we attended a local trans social meetup and spent the evening meeting new folks, trading stories, and learning from each other.

As always, it all had to end, and we made the long drive home, where I had to devolve back to the drab male existence I'm stuck with for a little while yet. Not too much longer, though...

Steph


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2017, 12:30:24 am »
More Family Validation

I wrote in another thread about how I came out to my Mom and sister. You can read about it at these links:

https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,226090.msg2011416.html#msg2011416
https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,226090.msg2012908.html#msg2012908
https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,226090.msg2013288.html#msg2013288

I thought I was going to have to go through it all again for my Mom's hubby (she got remarried after my Dad died long ago), and my sister's hubby, but both Mom and sis said they'd tell them themselves, so I was spared that. Since then both husbands have been told about me, and while I haven't talked to either of them myself, I'm told that they're both understanding and supportive.

Well, that was proven today. As noted in yet other threads, my old name was Stephen, which I've feminized to Stephanie for simplicity, and practically everyone called me Steve. About two weeks ago I started signing my emails to family as "Steph", and my Mom had replied that she'd find it hard to start calling me that, but she'd work hard on it. Well, I got an email from her today, checking on how I'm doing - not just recovering from that nasty uninvited houseguest Irma, but also on my mental and physical health in my transition. And she wrote this:
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"I must tell you, we  were wondering how you were doing when Irma coming through the other day and [hubby] said “Steph” will be ok, that made me so happy that he called you “Steph”.

Not nearly as happy as it made me. It induced more ocular leakage...

Steph


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

Offline Laurie

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2017, 12:33:18 am »
Hi Steph(anie) H2O,

  Well it is about time. I'm not getting any younger ya know? I look forward to keeping up with your antics, trial, self deprecations, Et cetera, Et cetera, Et cetera It ought to be entertaining. Do you think you can give us a heads up when you feel another entry coming on? (I still cook popcorn the old fashioned way and it takes a bit more time)

  It does sound like you two little ol' ladies were out to have a bit of fun and did so in style. Isn't it nice to be out and shuck that fear and worry from your shoulders and just relax? When you can do that it marks a transition in your journey from wanting to be and being who you are. As you indicated  it is almost a tangible thing when it happens. You feel it inside. You can't grab it or hold it but you sure can feel the change. And it feels "Good" doesn't it?
  You know I don't think you have hardly talked about your better half. She must be a wonderful woman to put up with the likes of you for so long. Please tell her hello for me and give her a hug from me. I'm sure you have been umm a challenge for her over the years.

   Good start for a personal thread. We'll just have to see how it grows from here. Try not to use too much fertilizer.

 Hugs,
   Laurie


Offline Megan.

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2017, 12:55:02 am »
A day on the gulf of Mexico and a tasty meal with the person you love sounds wonderful. X

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Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2017, 01:31:04 am »
Do you think you can give us a heads up when you feel another entry coming on? (I still cook popcorn the old fashioned way and it takes a bit more time).

I don't have it all figured out yet, but I know there's a way to get notifications on new posts in threads. Just come on in. I doubt you'll have to fight for a seat.

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It does sound like you two little ol' ladies were out to have a bit of fun and did so in style. Isn't it nice to be out and shuck that fear and worry from your shoulders and just relax? When you can do that it marks a transition in your journey from wanting to be and being who you are. As you indicated  it is almost a tangible thing when it happens. You feel it inside. You can't grab it or hold it but you sure can feel the change. And it feels "Good" doesn't it?

I imagine it's like a pale shadow of what Moni is experiencing now, or what Kendra felt on stage this weekend. It's amazing to me that just 8 weeks ago I would have been terrified witless by just the thought of going out as my real self, and now I just want more More MORE!

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You know I don't think you have hardly talked about your better half. She must be a wonderful woman to put up with the likes of you for so long. Please tell her hello for me and give her a hug from me. I'm sure you have been umm a challenge for her over the years.

She is pretty awesome. A fascinating mix of geek, clueless tool user, deeply loving wife, emotionless Vulcan, fierce competitor, lazy bum, and always, best friend. I had a secret crush on her in high school, and fell head over heels in love with her when we met up again a few years out of school (long long ago in a land far far away). We've been together ever since, despite my insecurities, immaturity, and of course, my deeply buried dysphoria, though we didn't actually get married until 2003. It may be true what Dr. Ann Vitale wrote, that due to our gender identity we tend to fall in love with the woman we want to be. Though she drives me crazy sometimes, I still deeply admire her.

Our arrangement has always been unconventional, and the joke has been that she's the one who goes out hunting and gathering, and I stay home barefoot and pregnant. She's a lot smarter than I am, so she got the college degree and the high paying jobs. It took me about 15 years to catch up to and finally surpass the amount of money she brought in. It was a standing joke when we went out to eat, that when it came time to decide who was reaching for their credit card, I always said, "hey, you make more than I do."

She's not in any way a girly girl, and is bemused when it's suggested that she can help me learn to deal with makeup, pick out clothes, move and speak like a girl, etc. She's never worn makeup, gotten her ears pierced, or painted her nails. Any of that stuff that's in the house has come from my collection. I've always been the one to do the designing and decorating in the house. When it comes to clothes, she wishes there was an adult version of Garanimals. So while she's completely on my side during my transition, she's not going to be much help with it.

She just exists, and is comfortable with who she is. Isn't that what we all want? I've never known what that feels like, but I'm working on it.

So now you know. I'll give her a hug from you, and a bigger one from me.

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Try not to use too much fertilizer.

I'll leave that to youse guys in the pee-nut gallery.

Steph


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2017, 11:21:18 pm »
The Story Behind the New Avatar

First of all, I'll attempt to post the picture here, too, since I'm not likely to keep it as my avatar for long. I like the sign for its silliness, but I look terrible in the picture. It's the lighting... yeah, that's the ticket...



A little background: I've had dysphoria for almost all my life, but back in May I hit the wall hard. I came out to my wife, who is awesome about it all, and made an appointment with a gender therapist. I was really nervous about it all, and questioning whether I was doing the right thing (like everyone, I still do at times), but two auspicious events happened that made me think maybe I was on the right path.

Auspicious Event #1: We got to my first therapist appointment early, so we walked down the street to the 7-11 to get something to drink and use the restrooms. When we got there, the men's room was out of order. My wife asked at the counter where I could go, and was told, "Your husband can use the lady's room." Wow, I wasn't even presenting female yet, and I was already using the lady's room.

AE #2: At the session, my therapist told us about a social meetup of the local T Support Group that was coming up in five days. It would be at a private residence (which was unusual for the group), which would be great for my first time out. And it turned out the house was on "New Broad Street."

It looks like somebody was trying to tell me something. Those signs are hard to ignore. I've been going full steam ahead since then. I'll fill in more blanks with other posts, but to give you an idea how far I've come since May, we'll probably have to go bra shopping this weekend.  :o

Steph
« Last Edit: September 20, 2017, 11:27:20 am by Laurie »


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

Offline LizK

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2017, 03:51:14 am »
Try IMgur.com I use that for hosting of my pics...there may be better ones out there but they even give you the code to copy and paste into the post...

Great to hear the therapy session went well....will look forward to more adventures
HRT since 17 May 2016, Fulltime from 8 March 2017, Transition Begun 25 September 2015 

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be – Lao Tzu

Offline Laurie

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2017, 11:42:59 am »
Hi Steph(anie),

  I too liked your sign over the strange individual in the picture.

 To steal a post from Dena try...

You need to pick a server to host the pictures then capture the link. To place the link in the post, the text should look like the following.
[img]http://www.imagesite.xxx.picture.jpeg[/img]

  Laurie

Offline HappyMoni

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2017, 05:23:37 pm »
Hi Steph,
   Congrats on your transition progress. I see I got a mention on here. I look forward to seeing you celebrate the steps you take. It wasn't long ago I was where you are now. It is so hard to have patience being trans. I found talking about it helped with this requirement. I do have a street name that you might google. It is something like Weiner Cutoff Road. It is apparently a real place. I kind of took it as my sign that I was going in the right direction.  ;D Anyway, good luck on the thread. I hear if you hang garlic on the door of your thread it keeps the evil one away. Either that, or she'll have bad breath.
Moni
If I ever offend you, let me know. It's not what I am about.
"Never let the dark kill your light!"  (SailorMars)

HRT June 11, 2015. (new birthday) - FFS in late June 2016. (Dr. _____=Ugh!) - Full time June 18, 2016 (Yeah! finally) - GCS June 27, 2017. (McGinn=Yeah!) - Under Eye repair from FFS 8/17/17 - Nose surgery-November 20, 2017 (Dr. Papel=Yeah) - Hair Transplant on June 21, 2018 (Dr. Cooley-yeah) - Breast Augmentation on July 10, 2018 (Dr. Basner in Baltimore) - Removed bad scarring from FFS surgery near ears and hairline in August, 2018 (Dr. Papel) -Sept. 2018, starting a skin regiment on face with Retin A

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Offline Laurie

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2017, 08:28:13 pm »
Wow! I love garlic too. I just picked up another large elephant garlic bulb today when I went shopping for some ingredients for something I've decided to try making. The store didn't have poblano chilis and I forgot chicken stock but I have the heavy cream.

Hugs,
   Laurie

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2017, 10:16:26 pm »
It wasn't long ago I was where you are now.

That's why there's so much value in sticking around as we move past our personal milestones. While I feel like I'm so early in the process, I realized today that I've moved far enough in some aspects to help others who are where I was only a few months ago. Today I was able to give some advice that I hope helped a few people. If you had told me when I had my initial meltdown in May that by September I would have been out and about multiple times as my authentic self, and would be going shopping for bras, I would've said, "Aw g'wan witcha!" Or something like that.

When looking ahead through the fog of anxiety it looks impossible, but looking back, it didn't take all that long, and it wasn't all that hard. Letting other people have the benefit of that experience feels really good. We take strength from those ahead of us, and pass it on to those following. That's what makes Susan's so great.

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I do have a street name that you might google. It is something like Weiner Cutoff Road. It is apparently a real place. I kind of took it as my sign that I was going in the right direction. ;D

I said to myself, "self, there's no way that could be true". So I looked for it, and self was wrong. Yup, it's in Harrisburg, Arkansas. Amazing.

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I hear if you hang garlic on the door of your thread it keeps the evil one away. Either that, or she'll have bad breath.

Well, she likes it. So much for that idea.

Smell ya later,

Steph


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2017, 10:23:20 pm »
I came out to another friend and his wife tonight, and they were terrific. I have great friends.  ^-^

That covers about half of the people I care enough about to want to tell them personally, with no losses so far. Still waiting to get hit by the rejection freight train.

Planning for the worst and hoping for the best...

Steph


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

Offline Laurie

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2017, 10:29:30 pm »
I am hoping for the best for you too Steph(anie) Take if from Liz and I and many others rejection can really suck. Hope you never have to go there.

Hugs,
   Laurie

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2017, 11:39:25 pm »
Take if from Liz and I and many others rejection can really suck. Hope you never have to go there.

Thank you.

How do I say anything else without inducing more pain? I had typed much more, but the more I wrote, the more it made me understand the guilt Moni was talking about when she wrote about realizing her dreams. So I erased it all, and instead just send you, Liz, and everyone else my love and appreciation for your help and friendship.

Hugs,

Steph


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2017, 11:52:59 pm »
Try IMgur.com I use that for hosting of my pics...there may be better ones out there but they even give you the code to copy and paste into the post...

Great to hear the therapy session went well....will look forward to more adventures

Thanks Liz, it's nice to talk to you. You seem just as nice as Laurie said you would be.

I know Dropbox should work because the latest pictures Kendra posted are hosted there. Dropbox gives you the code to include, too, and when I compared the elements on the published pages of my posts and Kendra's, they're almost identical. Yet hers works and mine doesn't. I could set up an Imgur account, but that would feel like giving up. I'm stubborn like that, so i'm still investigating.

Steph


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2017, 11:56:53 pm »
I too liked your sign over the strange individual in the picture.

Strange indeed. I admit it.

As for the image code, it looks just like Dena's example. Hmmm...

Steph


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

Offline Laurie

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2017, 12:05:59 am »
Thanks Liz, it's nice to talk to you. You seem just as nice as Laurie said you would be.

I know Dropbox should work because the latest pictures Kendra posted are hosted there. Dropbox gives you the code to include, too, and when I compared the elements on the published pages of my posts and Kendra's, they're almost identical. Yet hers works and mine doesn't. I could set up an Imgur account, but that would feel like giving up. I'm stubborn like that, so i'm still investigating.

Steph

  You should know by now you cannot believe that dang Laurie..  errr wait  make that  Moanie.

  As far as my last post goes Just  take away my wishes for you to have only good coming outs. That's all. I should have just stopped at that but I had just read something that brought out the hurt for a bit again. Sorry my stuff caused you a bother Steph(anie)

 You have me curious with your dropbox dilemma I'd like to see what dropbox provides you for a string to post. Maybe you could send it in a PM or email. I believe you have my email.

 Hugs,
   Laurie

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2017, 10:39:15 am »
As far as my last post goes Just  take away my wishes for you to have only good coming outs. That's all. I should have just stopped at that but I had just read something that brought out the hurt for a bit again. Sorry my stuff caused you a bother Steph(anie)

I understand, and no worries. Though my successes can't compare to the fulfillment that Moni, Rachel, Tia, and all the others have achieved, in a small way I'm beginning to understand the narrow path we walk as we celebrate the good things, while we try to avoid hurting the others here that we care about. That's why I found it best to just smile, accept the congratulations, and move on.

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You have me curious with your dropbox dilemma I'd like to see what dropbox provides you for a string to post. Maybe you could send it in a PM or email. I believe you have my email.

I don't think I have your personal email, but I'll try a PM. I just realized that modifying posts is shut off after 24 hours, so the original with the non-working link is going to stay that way. I'll do some more experimenting using Preview on a new message, and let you know if I figure it out.

By the way, one test I used was copying and pasting the link to Kendra's Dropbox picture (of her on stage) and it worked just fine, but as beautiful as she is, I didn't think you'd want to see her picture in my post.

Scratching head...

Steph


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

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