Author Topic: The Stephanie Chronicles  (Read 51941 times)

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Offline Steph2.0

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The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1420 on: April 17, 2018, 11:27:54 pm »
Sun-N-Fun Stories...

In the bad old days I used to take exception to non-aviation exhibitors at fly-ins, including jewelry vendors. Well, things have changed.

Remember this brooch? I'd given it to many of my female supporters when I first came out.



Well, I found these at a jewelry vendor...



Yes, things have changed...

Stephanie


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 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * Began FFS Consultations June/July 2018

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1421 on: April 17, 2018, 11:34:36 pm »
How cool. What is a gyrocopter like to fly? I have always wanted to fly a helicopter but gyros seem like such odd contraptions!

Unfortunately, I was never given the opportunity to give it a try. It was a ride once around the pattern. However, when we talked it was apparent that the actual control inputs are almost identical to fixed wing, with the only differences involving pre-rotating the rotor for take-off, and the ability to auto-rotate to a very short landing. Vibration wasn't anywhere near what I'd expected. It was actually quite cool. Gyros have come a very long way from the old Bensen Gyrocopter days.

Stephanie


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 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * Began FFS Consultations June/July 2018

Online Jayne01

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1422 on: April 17, 2018, 11:49:14 pm »
Unfortunately, I was never given the opportunity to give it a try. It was a ride once around the pattern. However, when we talked it was apparent that the actual control inputs are almost identical to fixed wing, with the only differences involving pre-rotating the rotor for take-off, and the ability to auto-rotate to a very short landing. Vibration wasn't anywhere near what I'd expected. It was actually quite cool. Gyros have come a very long way from the old Bensen Gyrocopter days.

Stephanie
It sounds interesting. The first time I ever saw a gyrocopter was “Little Nellie” in the James Bond film, “You Only Live Twice”. I don’t think that I believed it was a real aircraft. I assumed it was movie magic.

If you ever get the chance to have a proper fly of a gyro, please give me a report.

Jayne

PS: You do realise that you are a bad influence on me. You keep reigniting my spark for the love of flying. One of the pilots at work which I know, just bought himself a Glastar and Lancair 360. It was a package deal for 2 unfinished projects. I turned a very bright shade of green with envy!



Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1423 on: April 18, 2018, 12:54:32 am »
Sun-N-Fun Stories...

On the night before the show starts, the volunteers in Paradise City (the lightplane area of Sun-N-Fun) have dinner together. New volunteers are introduced to the old timers. The volunteer director asked me if I wanted to be introduced as a new member, despite having volunteered as my old persona in previous years. I said, sure, why not?

So the Paradise City chairman called the meeting to order and, since I came first alphabetically, Stephanie Bensinger was introduced first. And I got a round of applause. Everyone else got a smattering, too, but it felt to me that mine was a little louder. Maybe just my imagination.

On Saturday night - the next to the last night of the show - we have a banquet in the Paradise City administration tent. We celebrate what we've accomplished, recognize each individual division (security, vendor support, administration, etc.) and hand out awards to individuals for multiple years of service. The Paradise City chairman runs the show, and ran through all the above. It looked like we were all done, and he paused.

Then he said, “I think you may all have noticed the new addition to Paradise City with our new media team.

Paul Czarnecki and Stephanie Bensinger...  Just...  Rocked!!"

And we got a huge round of applause. I smiled and fist bumped Paul. After all the anxiety and uncertainty, we pulled off a coup. More importantly, I was able to find the inspiration to face those fears. The amount of growth I experienced could have been gained in no other way than the total immersion I subjected myself to. Back at camp when I texted Cassie what the chairman had said, it finally hit me with full force, and I broke down in happy tears. It was truly another milestone, and the confidence and self-assurance boost I gained is immeasurable.

Stephanie


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 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * Began FFS Consultations June/July 2018

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1424 on: April 18, 2018, 12:58:32 am »
Sun-N-Fun Lessons...

I'm now back in the real world. The change in my outlook is startling. I took my dog for a walk this morning with just a regular shirt, no makeup, unshaven, with a baseball cap on my head. My presentation was minimal, but in my head, I'm still Stephanie. That's what matters. I called my dentist office and was gratified that I was gendered correctly. Shortly afterward I called my doctor's office, and I was immediately misgendered. It happened multiple times, and I let it go until it was time to set up an appointment, and I then corrected the lady on the phone. She apologized profusely, and I told her not to worry about it, it happens all the time. From that time on, she called me Miss Bensinger, and it was all fine.

I'm not saying that my presentation isn't still important to me. You saw that in my earlier post about going out tonight. But there's a certain calm that has descended, and what people think of me has lost some of its power, having been replaced by what I think instead. I'm getting a glimpse of what those who transitioned a while ago have been trying to make me understand, and what I wasn't ready to see: What really matters is what you think of yourself, and self-assurance carries its own power of persuasion to the outside world. I'm still learning, but I'm getting better at it. And I'm finding the happiness that comes from within, which isn't dependent on the fickle outside world. I will always appreciate being recognized and appreciated by others, but if that's sometimes lacking, I think I'll be able to get by under my own power.

Maybe others can draw a little wisdom from what I'm learning about myself. That would make it even better.

Stephanie


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 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * Began FFS Consultations June/July 2018

Online Jayne01

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1425 on: April 18, 2018, 01:22:56 am »
Sun-N-Fun Lessons...

I'm now back in the real world. The change in my outlook is startling. I took my dog for a walk this morning with just a regular shirt, no makeup, unshaven, with a baseball cap on my head. My presentation was minimal, but in my head, I'm still Stephanie. That's what matters. I called my dentist office and was gratified that I was gendered correctly. Shortly afterward I called my doctor's office, and I was immediately misgendered. It happened multiple times, and I let it go until it was time to set up an appointment, and I then corrected the lady on the phone. She apologized profusely, and I told her not to worry about it, it happens all the time. From that time on, she called me Miss Bensinger, and it was all fine.

I'm not saying that my presentation isn't still important to me. You saw that in my earlier post about going out tonight. But there's a certain calm that has descended, and what people think of me has lost some of it's power, having been replaced by what I think instead. I'm getting a glimpse of what those who transitioned a while ago have been trying to make me understand, and what I wasn't ready to see: What really matters is what you think of yourself, and self-assurance carries its own power of persuasion to the outside world. I'm still learning, but I'm getting better at it. And I'm finding the happiness that comes from within, which isn't dependent on the fickle outside world. I will always appreciate being recognized and appreciated by others, but if that's sometimes lacking, I think I'll be able to get by under my own power.

Maybe others can draw a little wisdom from what I'm learning about myself. That would make it even better.

Stephanie
YES!!!!!! You get it! I could not stop smiling as I was reading this post. This is one of the bests things I have seen you write so far. Congratulations Stephanie! This is a milestone worth celebrating.

Make a note of this post and direct me to it when I inevitably stumble further along my journey.

Jayne



Offline Dani

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1426 on: April 18, 2018, 05:35:23 am »
Sun-N-Fun Lessons...
 ...what people think of me has lost some of it's power, having been replaced by what I think instead.

 ...What really matters is what you think of yourself...

Maybe others can draw a little wisdom from what I'm learning about myself. That would make it even better.

Stephanie

You got it girl!  ;D

I have been saying this quite often, "we need to accept ourselves as we are" first, then only change what needs to be changed.

All the other changes involved in transition are secondary to self acceptance. When we accept ourselves, nobody can harm our self esteem.

Also, on a personal note: I was happy for you when you found those ear rings at one of the vendors at Sun-n-Fun.



Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1427 on: April 18, 2018, 08:13:46 am »
You do realise that you are a bad influence on me. You keep reigniting my spark for the love of flying.

Sorry! Not sorry!


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 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * Began FFS Consultations June/July 2018

Offline Faith

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1428 on: April 18, 2018, 08:33:06 am »
 :icon_wave:

Figured that I should let you know that I am keeping up with things, even though I haven't been commenting. Everyone else does a much better job of it.



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Offline SassyCassie

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1429 on: April 18, 2018, 08:36:38 am »
Steph, this represented a huge turning point in your life. I hesitate to use the term "make or break" just because if it became "break"...well that's something none of us who love you even wanted to contemplate.

Honestly, there wasn't much chance of things ending up that way but regardless, this is something you had to do.

Offline KathyLauren

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1430 on: April 18, 2018, 08:38:12 am »
Wow, what a treat to find your updates waiting for me this morning!  I enjoyed catching up on your activities and especially on your growing self-confidence.  You rock!!

In the meantime, I'm so happy to have the passport. @KathyLauren watch out!

Yays!!  Looking forward to it!
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly, beginning full-time; 2017-07-10 Legal name change

Offline Gertrude

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1431 on: April 18, 2018, 08:41:05 am »
I love that dress.


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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1432 on: April 18, 2018, 09:53:19 pm »
Steph,

Thanks for relating your Sun-n-Fun experience.  It is heartwarming hear such tales of acceptance and affirmation.

Just needed to let you know I enjoyed following along.

Stevi (short for Stephanie)

Offline Steph2.0

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The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1433 on: April 18, 2018, 10:53:57 pm »
Sun-N-Fun Vignettes...

Little memories that are popping up:

Standing in front of bleachers with between 60 and 100 people looking on while I take questions on the wireless microphone for Paul, who's on the runway demonstrating his powered paraglider. Being tapped on the shoulder with an, "Excuse me, ma'am" from a guy standing behind me who had a question. Engaging in long conversations with explanations of what's going on. Interviewing, then leading an eleven year old boy onto the runway so Paul can show him how the PPG works.



Helping a guy with directions who'd knocked on the Media booth door. Getting a smile and a, "thank you, hon" as he left.

Meeting the CEO of Sun-N-Fun in the food line as he greeted and thanked everyone. He read the inscription on my shirt, asked about the Media Team and what we did, and said, "thank you, Stephanie!"



Being in a position of experiencing any of these would have been unthinkably terrifying just four months ago.

Stephanie


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 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * Began FFS Consultations June/July 2018

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1434 on: April 18, 2018, 11:35:50 pm »
@Alaskan Danielle: Danielle, as your first "friend" here, and a bona fide fan of yours, it means a lot to hear your compliments. And don't worry about the wish fulfillment thing. I have seen the error of my ways, and apparently dreams do come true...

@Laurie, still seeking your wish? Whaaaat? Look at the enormity of what you've just accomplished! You're way ahead of me, girl. Well, except for avoiding the Florida rest area restrooms. Believe me, it's not a problem. I've been using them for months now, even with the guards around.

@Jayne01: Jayne my friend, thank you for the encouraging comments. You have permission to lead me back to the post, too, when I inevitably stumble.

@Dani, I was so impressed with your self-assurance when we hung out at the show. I still have a lot to learn, and you're a great example to emulate.

@Faith, please say something beyond "I've got nothing to say that someone else hasn't said better." I want to hear it from you. You have your own unique way of putting things that have special meaning to me.

@SassyCassie: Electric Diva, what can I say? Your faith in me has never wavered, and gives me the courage to move forward when I can't muster the strength to believe in myself. You're just the best.

@KathyLauren: Kathy, thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you're enjoying my ramblings. "You Rock" isn't the kind of thing I'm used to hearing, and I do like it! As for visiting... maybe not this summer, but some day for sure!

@Gertrude: Trudy, thanks for the nice critique on my dress. I was shocked at what it did for me. I never expected I could look like that.

@Stevi, thank for following along. I sometimes wonder whether I'm just writing for the same old core group of dear friends, while being ignored or avoided by the rest of Susan's. Welcome to my world, as weird as it is! And whether you're short for Stephanie... well, I'm 5' 5". Am I shorter than you for a Stephanie?

Thanks again, all!

Stephanie AKA Steph AKA Stephie AKA Galaxy Girl


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 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * Began FFS Consultations June/July 2018

Offline Faith

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1435 on: April 19, 2018, 10:13:51 am »
Quote
@Faith, please say something beyond "I've got nothing to say that someone else hasn't said better." I want to hear it from you. You have your own unique way of putting things that have special meaning to me.

you spelled eunuch wrong. That's OK, I'll probably never make it that far.



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Online Jayne01

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1436 on: April 19, 2018, 11:06:33 am »
Hi Steph,

It’s nearly 2am. I was driving home from work along the highway and right in front of me I see a very bright shooting star. It made me think of you and your earlier post about wishing upon a star. Needless to say, I made my very own wish and then my heart skipped a beat as I realised that my wish is already slowly coming true.

Jayne



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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1437 on: April 19, 2018, 11:50:15 am »
> And I saw a falling star.

I started making the same wish I'd made for fifty years, and it hit me: the need for that wish is gone, as it has come true. I never ever thought it could happen for me. I broke down in tears in the middle of the street.

I have to come up with something new to wish for. I have two special wishes, and they're very important to me, but none are as profound as the one that I've realized.

One is this: I wish for you all to experience the happiness and fulfillment that I'm finally feeling. The other I'm holding close to my heart.

Stephanie

PS: I don't really ascribe to wish fulfillment by any outside agency. It's up to all of us individually to make it happen. Believe in yourself.

I saw your Falling Star post when you made it but didn't reply at the time.  I almost did but stopped as I became emotional and your post caused me to think about many things.  I went for a walk later that evening and couldn't get it out of my mind.  First the wonderful achievements your post represents, and proof the mind is most important and is the foundation of transition.  I have seen people lament missing out on years of potential while attempting to cover up a mismatched existence before saying "enough" and tackling it head-on.  But then it dawned on me: I had stopped wishing for so many years, I forgot the dream I had abandoned.  For almost half a century I didn't wish for anything at all.  Instead of wishing, I aimed for goals within the comfort zone of what I believed was socially logical. 

I now understand why I had been sad and depressed for so many years and didn't know why. 

Before puberty I did have this wish.  And as a teenager I became convinced that was impossible, as absolute as the laws of physics and society.  I walked away in the 1970s convinced I would never change, fenced in by what I thought was an impossible boundary to cross.  It had become pointless to wish for or even remember what I desired. 

They say you should never stop learning, and I have learned a few things since then.

Stephanie, thank you for your post. 
Assigned male at birth 1963.  Decided I wanted to be a girl in 1971.  Laser 2014-16, electrolysis 2015-17, HRT 7/2017, GCS 1/2018, VFS 3/2018, FFS 5/2018, GCS-2 & BA 7/2018. 

Offline Michelle_P

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1438 on: April 19, 2018, 12:23:57 pm »
Before puberty I did have this wish.  And as a teenager I became convinced that was impossible, as absolute as the laws of physics and society.  I walked away in the 1970s convinced I would never change, fenced in by what I thought was an impossible boundary to cross.  It had become pointless to wish for or even remember what I desired. 

They say you should never stop learning, and I have learned a few things since then.

Stephanie, thank you for your post.

Yes!  These things that were impossible, that could never happen for so many of us, are now happening!

We transcend gender.  We transcend the impossible.   We, finally, fully exist.
Earth my body, water my blood, air my breath and fire my spirit.

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Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1439 on: April 19, 2018, 02:35:06 pm »
Jayne, I’m so happy that you’re feeling better and are having your wish come true, too.

Kendra, it’s so wonderful that you found my post valuable. It’s awesome that I was able to help you understand yourself better, when your friendship has been such a strong source of inspiration to me.

And Michelle, thank you so much for following my thread and for your comments. Watching you, as you let nothing get in your way, keeps you as a one of my guiding stars when I no longer have need of falling ones.


 - Stephanie


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 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * Began FFS Consultations June/July 2018

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