Author Topic: The Stephanie Chronicles  (Read 56917 times)

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Online Steph2.0

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The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #2020 on: September 15, 2018, 12:22:32 pm »
Vignettes

The guy called to tell me he was on his way to replace the windshield in the RocketSkate that had recently been damaged by a rock. After I hung up, the first thought that occurred to me was, "Wait, I'm going to be alone here with a strange guy working in my garage. What if he tries something? Can I defend myself?" The second thought I had was, "Wow, what a definitively female thing to think!" The fact that the thought occurred to me naturally really made me realize how much I've changed.

...

Everything was fine with the technician, except he didn't have all the right parts for my particular car. He pointed out that the windshield could actually be repaired instead of replaced. We had a long conversation about it and he didn't blink an eye at my presentation. He said, "I can call my boss and just tell him that she would rather fix it than replace it." It took me a millisecond to realize, wait, he’s talking about me! The squeee started in my head. When I agreed to get it repaired, he called his boss to set up a new appointment, and I literally lost count of the number of times I heard "she" and "her." "She would rather get it repaired." "We need to set up a new appointment for her." And on and on. The pressure was building. We shook on it and he left so I could go inside and do a happy dance.

...

We flew to breakfast again this morning. My neighbor B with the airliner-sized plane (that seats four) took neighbors M and her husband G, who had moved to the outside edge of the neighborhood a few years ago, but who I had never met. I have no idea whether they know my story, though B managed to misgender me then correct himself in front of them. I didn't react. And as we talked over breakfast, when M found out I build airplanes her eyes opened wide and she said, "You GO, girl!!" Later she said something about how cool it was that a woman builds planes.

...

A simple thing, but affirming. As I paid for breakfast, the cashier complimented me on my nail color.

...

All of that pretty much made up for the radio conversation on the way in. B mentioned to another plane that was approaching, "You've got another plane in the pattern (referring to me). He's on downwind now." To which the other plane replied, "Yes, I heard him on the radio." Sigh. I was really working the voice, too. I guess I need to go way over the top when on the phone or radio. I use the same voice in person and don't seem to have any problem.

But despite that, on balance it's been a pretty good day.

Stephanie
« Last Edit: Today at 07:08:57 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 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * Began FFS Consultations June/July 2018 * FFS Consultation with FacialTeam 8/30/2018

Offline Kendra

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #2021 on: September 15, 2018, 12:33:21 pm »
> Sigh. I was really working the voice, too. I guess I need to go way over the top when on the phone or radio. I use the same voice in person and don't seem to have any problem.

This is exactly the problem I have.  I resorted to vocal surgery, that takes up to to a year for everything to settle in and my voice is better than before but... I get misgendered on the phone.  I need to improve not just pitch but inflection, resonance and other pesky habits developed over a bunch of years.  I knew that before VFS but I need to work harder.  In person, people subconsciously identify gender by combining a bunch of details they see and hear.  When people can only hear and not see their awareness is totally different. 

In the 1970s the best piano tuner north of Seattle was a blind person.  He was in high demand as he could quickly tune a piano to perfection without the distraction of the visual world. 
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 Donica

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #2022 on: September 15, 2018, 01:06:18 pm »
Wonderful update Stephanie. I know, right! How cool is that! I finally started calling my self Donica in my thoughts. Yes, I mean talking to my self. Hay, they now say it's a sign of intelligence. In a thought about defending myself, I bought a can of pepper spray because if someone started something, I would not be able to defend myself.

I don't know what to say about being misgendered on the phone and radio. I still get misgendered even standing right in front of them in a dress? I do have my first voice therapy appointment next week. I was wondering how/what are you doing to practicing/work on your voice to help feminize?

Donica.
Rebirth June 9, 2017. Started HRT August 22, 2017. Came out June 16, 2018, Full time July 9, 2018.

Online Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #2023 on: September 15, 2018, 01:08:34 pm »
This is exactly the problem I have.  I resorted to vocal surgery, that takes up to to a year for everything to settle in and my voice is better than before but... I get misgendered on the phone.  I need to improve not just pitch but inflection, resonance and other pesky habits developed over a bunch of years.  I knew that before VFS but I need to work harder.  In person, people subconsciously identify gender by combining a bunch of details they see and hear.  When people can only hear and not see their awareness is totally different. 

In the 1970s the best piano tuner north of Seattle was a blind person.  He was in high demand as he could quickly tune a piano to perfection without the distraction of the visual world.

Well, that's it then. Nothing but video calls for me for now on.


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 * FFS Consultation with FacialTeam 8/30/2018

Online Jessica

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #2024 on: September 15, 2018, 02:32:42 pm »
[quote
@Michelle_P also wrote about this:

I, too, had used the line, “I’ll still be me,” and I did truly believe it. But it seems that, not the transitioning itself, but the strength and resolve that I was required to find within myself to carry it through successfully, has changed my perception of everything. And that has changed who I am and the way I interact with the world.

No longer am I willing to accept the status quo; to “go along to get along.” My horizons were so narrow, my life so confining, my entire being so compromised in service to comfort and safety. Without even truly realizing it, I had put my thirst for learning new things, for excitement, for adventure, for discovering things that awe, on the back burner to satisfy the expectations of others. I realize now that I had allowed myself to waste my young adulthood and early middle age living the retired rocking-chair lifestyle (albeit, with work thrown in). Here I am, arrived at the the time of life when many people are thinking about starting to live as I have for the last 30 years, and I have a craving to make up for lost time.

I fear that this will mean scary changes, small and large, in both short and long-term relationships. Those who have had little problem accepting my transition may have a harder time dealing with what they’re likely to perceive as a fundamental change in my personality as I embrace reawakened needs. There are already ominous rumblings over the horizon.

As for relationships with my old male friends, I do seem to see some distancing, though I acknowledge that it may be on my part as much as theirs. In the old days as I would walk Maggie around the neighborhood I’d stop at each man-cave, catch up on each guy’s projects, and talk about what I was working on. I had enough trouble mustering interest in the old days (puleeze don’t talk to me about your sports teams yet again, and no, I really don’t want a Bud Light, thanks). Now I find myself living in a halfway state, where I have an even harder time showing interest in their stereotypically male obsessions at the same time I’m wondering what the women are up to. The recent invitation to a game night is the very first time I’ve been involved with something exclusively for women, except for the time when I organized a ladies night out myself. Generally speaking, I’m feeling a little left out of social events in the neighborhood as the men decide I don’t fit in with their interests, and most of the women don’t seem to regard me as one of them yet. I find myself leaving the neighborhood in search of social interaction, which just increases the distance around home. There are neighborhood-wide events where I’m not excluded, but smaller impromptu sit-down-and-chat sessions with the women don’t include me.

I’m not particularly brought down by all this, and I’m hopeful that eventually things will evolve until I’m just another woman around here, and as Cassie talked about, maybe some day those friendships with Steve that have been strained by my new-found self-awareness, will end up as strong with Stephanie - assuming my personal evolution doesn’t dictate that I pull up stakes and surrender to a call of greener pastures elsewhere.

I’m just stating facts, I guess, and getting it out there that this kind of thing is probably an inevitable part of transitioning.


Stephanie
[/quote]

When I was out with Michelle, I told her when I look at men I think “ I do not want to be like them!”
I don’t like their social norms, I don’t like the swagger, I don’t like the typical misogyny.
I’ve long been avoiding neighborhood man caves.  And if it’s beer they offer, it better be “crafted”!

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... it's like running a car on ethanol when it's supposed to take gasoline... it'll work, but it's eventually gonna break down until you put it on the proper fuel.

Offline RandyL

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #2025 on: September 15, 2018, 03:53:34 pm »
When I was out with Michelle, I told her when I look at men I think “ I do not want to be like them!”
I don’t like their social norms, I don’t like the swagger, I don’t like the typical misogyny.
I’ve long been avoiding neighborhood man caves.  And if it’s beer they offer, it better be “crafted”!

Hugs and smiles from a California girl
Yeah, that's what I told our couples therapist the other day. I just don't want to be identified with all that "male" seems to bring to the table. I want to be on the female side...

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If so, then why not?

Offline Michelle_P

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #2026 on: September 15, 2018, 04:19:58 pm »
Back on the male/female voice thingy,I’ve noticed that transitioners focus too much IMHO on pitch and ignore prosody and feminine speech structure.

I know several gals who have had “feminizing” voice surgery, most successful, to raise pitch. They all sound like guys with a high pitched voice, having blown off the speech therapy assuming pitch was enough.

Prosody includes the speech rhythms, almost singing, the different use of pitch (no male flat effect), flat to up pitch on phrase ends rather than male downpitch, more sibliance, more pitch variation, less use of contractions,crisper consonants, and so on. These are ALL elements used unconsciously in speech gendering.

A speech therapist can provide simple exercises to help develop these new patterns of speech. I consider it vital to practice and use these new patterns daily, and constantly, until they become unconscious and automatically THE way we speak.

Using them only occasionally or “in public” and reverting in private means that our default will remain male, and the feminine speech requires conscious and deliberate effort. If we focus on the content of our conversation rather than on the speech we will very likely revert to the default male patterns, and  be misgendered by the listener.

There are women with “male” pitch but female prosody and structure, but they are very unlikely to be misgendered. See Lauren Bacall or Scarlett Johannsen.



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Online Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #2027 on: September 15, 2018, 04:50:14 pm »
Back on the male/female voice thingy,I’ve noticed that transitioners focus too much IMHO on pitch and ignore prosody and feminine speech structure.

I know several gals who have had “feminizing” voice surgery, most successful, to raise pitch. They all sound like guys with a high pitched voice, having blown off the speech therapy assuming pitch was enough.

Prosody includes the speech rhythms, almost singing, the different use of pitch (no male flat effect), flat to up pitch on phrase ends rather than male downpitch, more sibliance, more pitch variation, less use of contractions,crisper consonants, and so on. These are ALL elements used unconsciously in speech gendering.

A speech therapist can provide simple exercises to help develop these new patterns of speech. I consider it vital to practice and use these new patterns daily, and constantly, until they become unconscious and automatically THE way we speak.

Using them only occasionally or “in public” and reverting in private means that our default will remain male, and the feminine speech requires conscious and deliberate effort. If we focus on the content of our conversation rather than on the speech we will very likely revert to the default male patterns, and  be misgendered by the listener.

There are women with “male” pitch but female prosody and structure, but they are very unlikely to be misgendered. See Lauren Bacall or Scarlett Johannsen.

All excellent points, Michelle. I'm aware of most of them, and do try to practice them. The hardest by far, though, is never letting myself revert. I am still so painfully self-conscious using my "voice" in front of my wife. I keep telling myself that I need to just do it and she'll have to get used to it, but when at home I feel constantly embarrassed. She keeps telling me my old voice is just fine, and just doesn't get it, so I get no encouragement from that quarter. I need to find a way to keep my courage from failing me so I can move forward. Because you're correct, until it's something I do 100% of the time, it'll never develop into the default voice.

Still working on it...

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 * FFS Consultation with FacialTeam 8/30/2018

Offline LizK

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #2028 on: September 15, 2018, 06:13:22 pm »
Vignettes

The guy called to tell me he was on his way to replace the windshield in the RocketSkate that had recently been damaged by a rock. After I hung up, the first thought that occurred to me was, "Wait, I'm going to be alone here with a strange guy working in my garage. What if he tries something? Can I defend myself?" The second thought I had was, "Wow, what a definitively female thing to think!" The fact that the thought occurred to me naturally really made me realize how much I've changed.

..
Stephanie


It's weird when you notice this kind of thinking for the first time. I found /find myself doing it all the time....I went walking the other morning about 7 am and came upon what appeared at first glance in the gloom to be a really Rough looking guy, he seemed to be stopped in the middle of the path appearing in the gloom to be waiting...my first thought was...oh god am I safe...is there a way out....all the time knowing I can only defend myself in a very minor way with not even the option of running....as I approached with all my fight and flight senses ringing alarms...eventually I noticed he wasn't "waiting", in actual fact SHE was hunched slightly forward, headphones in, watching her screen intently and until I was upon her she never new I was there.....Danger 0 self-preservation response 10 paranoia 10!!!

I don't know when it changed but I think I knew on a subconscious level before it became a conscious thought,  when I had reached the stage where physical strength and size no longer were enough protect me. Such a weird feeling and still one I have to think about so I don't end up in crazy dangerous situations....comes under the heading you know your a girl when....

Take care

Liz
HRT since 17 May 2016, Fulltime from 8 March 2017, GCS Scheduled November 28 2018, Transition Begun 25 September 2015 

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I become what I might be – Lao Tzu

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Online Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #2029 on: Yesterday at 11:54:17 pm »
Yeah, that's what I told our couples therapist the other day. I just don't want to be identified with all that "male" seems to bring to the table. I want to be on the female side...

I’m struggling with this, too, Randy. I actually brought it up in therapy myself. Around the house I’m still expected to fill the male role: fix the cars, change the oil, mow the lawn, do anything technical or mechanical. Yes, women do those things, too, but I feel like the expectation is I should be acting as a “handyman.” I acknowledge that I have the skills, but it chafes that the role seems to be being forced on me.

Oh well. Someone has to do it.


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 * FFS Consultation with FacialTeam 8/30/2018

Offline Faith

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #2030 on: Today at 07:28:27 am »
I physically cannot work on the cars any more beyond routine maintenance (i.e fluid checks). Strange thing. Lori loves to mow the yard. Once I started to transition, her mowing time decreased, I do most of it. I find that when something needs done, I no longer vegetate on the couch and actually go do it. It horrible!!

Lori would do most of the mechanicing if someone showed her how (and strength, some of that crap is TIGHT). She was raised with 'girls don't do that'. She likes to do more 'that's man's work' stuff than I ever did.



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Offline Donica

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #2031 on: Today at 08:11:41 am »
I'm in the same boat as Faith except I'm no longer married and I live in an apartment. Before the divorce, I had to spend the extra money for mechanics and landscapers. I bruise pretty easy these days. 
Rebirth June 9, 2017. Started HRT August 22, 2017. Came out June 16, 2018, Full time July 9, 2018.

Offline KathyLauren

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #2032 on: Today at 08:15:24 am »
I acknowledge that I have the skills, but it chafes that the role seems to be being forced on me.
Any household has a division of labour.  My wife chafes at having to do the cooking and cleaning.  Not that I am unwilling, but she doesn't think I am any good at it. :P  So I do the mowing, snow clearing, critter removal, and all the other "guy" chores.  Yeah, it chafes a bit, but I really have nothing to complain about.  After all, she takes me clothes shopping, and that makes up for a lot.
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

Online sarah1972

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #2033 on: Today at 08:35:22 am »
I think this is one of the biggest struggles for MTF who started transitioning in a relationship. I am also facing the "male expectations". I am going back and forth about it. I do understand why these expectations are still there. For so many years I was the male in the house, did all of the renovations and took care of many things, including most of the lawn mowing. I still enjoy most of these things and I have to admit I missed it over the last two years where I was primarily focused on my transition.

There is the other side of things: Thinking about my wife. She still needs me to be a bit more manly. And we both need it to keep our family together. And this is fine with me. I need to get some more girly work clothes but that will come over time. I guess I have become contempt with this role for the moment.

Hugs,

Sarah

Yeah, that's what I told our couples therapist the other day. I just don't want to be identified with all that "male" seems to bring to the table. I want to be on the female side...

I’m struggling with this, too, Randy. I actually brought it up in therapy myself. Around the house I’m still expected to fill the male role: fix the cars, change the oil, mow the lawn, do anything technical or mechanical. Yes, women do those things, too, but I feel like the expectation is I should be acting as a “handyman.” I acknowledge that I have the skills, but it chafes that the role seems to be being forced on me.

Oh well. Someone has to do it.


Stephanie

Offline LizK

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #2034 on: Today at 07:57:30 pm »
I’m struggling with this, too, Randy. I actually brought it up in therapy myself. Around the house I’m still expected to fill the male role: fix the cars, change the oil, mow the lawn, do anything technical or mechanical. Yes, women do those things, too, but I feel like the expectation is I should be acting as a “handyman.” I acknowledge that I have the skills, but it chafes that the role seems to be being forced on me.

Oh well. Someone has to do it.


Stephanie

Hi Steph

It does chaffe...I don't know the solution as I struggle with it myself and I have almost resigned to that fact that it will not ever change completely. Some things have changed over time but the way it feels is that underlying it all is the expectation that because you "retain some maleness" or "were a male" so its still your role. I could be completely wrong here about the intent but I do know how it feels to me. Mowing the lawns was the one that always seemed to rankle me the most and for the same reason everyone lese is expressing.


Take care

Liz 
HRT since 17 May 2016, Fulltime from 8 March 2017, GCS Scheduled November 28 2018, Transition Begun 25 September 2015 

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

72D20H54M BWCA? ;D

 

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