Susan's Place Transgender Resources

Community Conversation => Transitioning => Topic started by: steph2.0 on September 17, 2017, 11:42:47 pm

Title: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 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 (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]
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on September 17, 2017, 11:49:17 pm
Eyes peeled, ears pricked and nostrils flaired; stream away!

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 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
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 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.msg2011416.html#msg2011416)
https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,226090.msg2012908.html#msg2012908 (https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,226090.msg2012908.html#msg2012908)
https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,226090.msg2013288.html#msg2013288 (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:
Quote
"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
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie 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

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. 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

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 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.

Quote
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!

Quote
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.

Quote
Try not to use too much fertilizer.

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

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 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...

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/4a4fdq3y7n8k9g4/newbroad.jpg?dl=1)

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
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: LizK 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
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie 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
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: HappyMoni 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
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie 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
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 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
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie 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
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 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
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 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
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 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
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie 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
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 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.

Quote
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
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on September 20, 2017, 11:01:56 am
I don't think I have your personal email, but I'll try a PM...
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.

To quote Emily Litella: "Never mind..." I got it!

I closely compared the links:

Mine: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4a4fdq3y7n8k9g4/newbroad.jpg?dl=0
Kendra's: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5xtczd5fxnke3gz/2017-09-17%2000.36.11.jpg?dl=1

See it? The dl suffix is set to 0 on mine, and 1 on hers. I manually changed it on mine, and it works. Now if I could only edit my original post, all would be well. I'll post an amendment.

Problem solved. I can sleep now.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on September 20, 2017, 11:43:52 pm
Note to self:
When using edges of hands to squeegee off water after shower, avoid breasticle area.
:o
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on September 20, 2017, 11:45:58 pm
Staying Focused

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/dqoo7ty9gn60od8/jobsquote.jpg?dl=1)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on September 23, 2017, 11:16:55 pm
I posted a few days ago about coming out to another close friend and his wife, and how awesome they were about it. He called a couple days later, and the first thing I heard was, "How ya doin', Steph?" We went on to have a completely open, unreserved, and relaxed conversation about anything and everything. The call ended with him insisting that they take my wife and me, (yes, Stephanie) to Disney World for a day. This evening we set it up for next Thursday.

I am so geeked about it. I feel like I did before my first date with the woman who eventually became my wife.

I already had some wonderful friends that I can talk about anything with, but this is the first time that concrete plans were made to not just meet one of them as myself, but be treated to a whole day doing something cool with them.

Wow. My confidence is off the charts right now. But OMG, what am I gonna wear?

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Leslie601 on September 24, 2017, 11:14:30 am
Hello Steph,

A lot of what you say reminds me of some of the stuff my SO and I went through when I first came out. Some dear friends were wonderful and some fair weather friends aren't any more. My SO felt betrayed and threw the "D" word around, I probably could have handled that better but, thank goodness, it all worked itself out. Now we have fun and some folks have had a ball at my expense. It's been a long time coming with more to come I'm sure.
Some people have started and stopped and switched back and forth but I'm sure your case will be a hoot!

Leslie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on September 24, 2017, 12:21:05 pm
Hey that's great Steph(anie). Say hi to Minnie for me.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on September 24, 2017, 10:26:51 pm
Hey that's great Steph(anie). Say hi to Minnie for me.

I will if I can Lau(rie) though it looks like most of the day we're doing a some sort of VIP tour of the Animal Kingdom park. We will have "park-hopper" tickets, though, so if we do get to the Magic Kingdom I'll look up Minnie - or should it be Goofy?

S(tep)hanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on September 24, 2017, 10:38:15 pm
A lot of what you say reminds me of some of the stuff my SO and I went through when I first came out. Some dear friends were wonderful and some fair weather friends aren't any more. My SO felt betrayed and threw the "D" word around, I probably could have handled that better but, thank goodness, it all worked itself out. Now we have fun and some folks have had a ball at my expense. It's been a long time coming with more to come I'm sure.
Some people have started and stopped and switched back and forth but I'm sure your case will be a hoot!
Hi Leslie,

My wife continues to be my rock. Not sure I could do it without her. Haven't lost any friends yet, though you never know. No matter how I'm received on my first all-day adventure as myself coming up on Thursday, I have a feeling that when I get home, I'll be ready to tell the rest of the world, embrace those who still love me for me, and discard the rest. Time to get this show on the road.

Much of this confidence was borne of the help of the great people on this forum.

Thanks for writing, and I hope your healing goes well.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: LizK on September 25, 2017, 02:05:01 am
............ 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.............................

Steph

Hi Steph below is an example of the code I use when I get it from IMgur which also gives me the opportunity for different code depending on what size I want

Where you see the word bracket replace it with this [ type of bracket
bracket url=https://imgur.com/yourid] bracket img]http://i.imgur.com/picturefile.jpg[/img][/url]

Hope that helps you work out how the BB code works

You are right we do walk a narrow path and as well as taking all that into consideration you have to try and do what ever is best for you...sometimes it becomes frustrating to continue to be considerate of others when they do not show you even basic respect....Sounds like you have a wonderful ally in your wife... we all a need a rock of support...its great that you have such solid support... :D
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on September 25, 2017, 08:05:45 am
You are right we do walk a narrow path and as well as taking all that into consideration you have to try and do what ever is best for you...sometimes it becomes frustrating to continue to be considerate of others when they do not show you even basic respect....Sounds like you have a wonderful ally in your wife... we all a need a rock of support...its great that you have such solid support... :D

Hi Liz,

I'll start out by complimenting your new avatar. You look radiant!

As for being considerate of others who don't show respect, so far I haven't had any problem, but with my current attitude I won't have any problem writing them out of my life. We'll see how I actually respond when it does hit me in the face.

For the graphics, thanks for the tip, but now that I have Dropbox figured out, I'm good to go. It's very convenient to kerplunk the file into a folder, copy and paste the link, and make the one change, without having to sign up for yet another online service.

Be well,

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on September 25, 2017, 08:23:43 am
Flashback

I ran across one of those log-sized pencils they taught us to write with in elementary school, and was reminded that I started out writing with either hand. For the first couple of weeks I could switch at will, but then was forced to use my right hand. I still write and throw right-handed, though I eat and do lots of other things left-handed. I wonder if there's any relationship to my trans condition?

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on September 25, 2017, 11:49:16 pm
Another milestone passed today!

After picking up my first prescription for BLT numbing cream (so I can finally get started on hair removal), I put on my earrings, brushed out my hair, grabbed my purse, and went shopping at Target. This was my first time out shopping without my wife for cover and moral support. On the way in I used the ladies room, then went right to the women's section and picked out a couple of tops... and my first bras! I had to keep going back to the fitting room until I found something that fit - probably 5 or 6 times. I used to sneak the clothes back onto the rack, but this time I just dropped them off at the desk like they want you to, and the nice lady thanked me.

There was absolutely no drama. Most people just ignored me, just another girl out shopping. The people I did interact with were nice.

Two things surprised me: first, it was a last minute decision to do this, so I the only makeup I had on was a little concealer over the beard. Second, other than giving myself a little pep talk before I got out of the car, there was no anxiety, and it just felt natural. Why shouldn't a girl go buy herself clothes without fear?

I think I'm finally getting it. Those of you who've been there are probably smiling and thinking, "I told you so!" For those who are just getting started, I was where you are just a few months ago. I you had told me in June that in September I'd be shopping in girl mode, by myself, for bras ;D, I would have called the folks with the white jacket for you. Just own it, and if you're nervous, fake the confidence 'til you make it. Don't let them smell the fear, and before long, there won't be any to smell.

I am so geeked right now. I can see RLE just around the corner...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on September 25, 2017, 11:59:22 pm
 Hi Steph(anie),

  Good going girl. you're doing better than me. Although I have no problem being in the women's areas and even looking for a bra I have yet to try anything on. Not a single item.  Still a chicken. Bathrooms are also an anathema for me. Fear is a very difficult thing to overcome.

 Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on September 26, 2017, 12:05:05 am
I'm a little mystified about where my current confidence is coming from. It's not uncommon to hear people talk about euphoria within days of starting HRT, but I didn't experience any of that, either when I first started low-dose back in June, or when I went to full-dose a few weeks ago. It was pretty disappointing at the time, but that's what I seem to be feeling now. Is is possible that it just took longer to kick in for me?

I've always been a late bloomer - slow on the puberty thing, and late on all of the maturities: sexual, intellectual, and especially emotional. And my sense of time has always seemed to be slower than everyone else's. I've always been called smart but slow. People like the work I do, but complain about how long it takes me to do it. Sometimes I feel like someone in one of those SF shows who gets thrown into a different time scale. Everyone else is zipping around while I feel like I'm at normal speed.

Aaaanyway, I'm not complaining. Just a little stream-of-consciousness wondering out loud...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on September 26, 2017, 12:15:43 am
Fear is a very difficult thing to overcome.

Oh Laurie, don't I know it. Though I compared my current situation to back in June, I've been doing the terrified sneaking around "buying for my wife" birthday/Christmas-gift Halloween-costume don't-look-at-me sweating-buckets thing for at least 30 years. Online shopping was a great improvement, but even with that, I was so paranoid that I set up a new Gmail address that I could use to set up a new Amazon account, then bought Amazon gift cards that I could apply to that account so I didn't have to enter credit card information. And then I got a PO box so nothing got delivered to the house. Aaand then I worried the postal workers would see me picking it up. All of those kinds of subterfuges and lies are what finally shoved me over the top into my meltdown, and pushed me into finding a therapist. And the rest is history.

But I was serious, Laurie. People just don't give a you-know-what. Give 'em that avatar smile and you can get away with anything. Try it, you'll like it!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on September 26, 2017, 12:28:05 am
I will confide in you that I'm confident your new-found confidence is why you are no longer confounded. 

But seriously, this is great to see.  Things that previously seemed impossible just sort of vanish when you focus on more important stuff.  If we act like we are supposed to be there (because it's true), everyone else just goes back to being civilized or fiddling with their phone. 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on September 26, 2017, 12:34:16 am
  I think the problem is that they are exclusively women's special places that I don't hold a membership card for.  I can do the others fine because though men are uncomfortable in them, they are still public spaces.  It's sort of like those times I would wear my sister's clothes for Halloween. It was a load of fun, but at the end of the night the clothes had to be taken off.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on September 26, 2017, 12:47:21 am
  I think the problem is that they are exclusively women's special places that I don't hold a membership card for.  I can do the others fine because though men are uncomfortable in them, they are still public spaces.  It's sort of like those times I would wear my sister's clothes for Halloween. It was a load of fun, but at the end of the night the clothes had to be taken off.
Shhh,  don't tell anyone,  but you're a woman too,  have membership  and will be welcomed right in
Seriously though,  I was as nervous as anyone else here at the start,  but now it's just like picking up a new pack of drill bits at the hardware store. As I tell my young son,  you only get good at something by practice, so get out there and practice! X

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Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on September 27, 2017, 12:35:36 am
Anthems

There are two songs in my head right now that are helping me stay positive. I mentioned one in a different thread - it's the theme song from Star Trek: Enterprise, called "Faith of the Heart," written by Diane Warren:

Quote
It's been a long road
Getting from there to here
It's been a long time
But my time is finally near

And I can see my dreams come alive at night
I will touch the sky
And they're not gonna hold me down no more
No they're not gonna change my mind

Cause I've got faith of the heart
I'm going where my heart will take me
I've got faith to believe
I can do anything
I've got strength of the soul
And no one's gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star
I've got faith
I've got faith
Faith of the heart

It's been a long night
Trying to find my way
Been through the darkness
Now I finally have my day

I will see my dream come alive at last
I will touch the sky
And they're not gonna hold me down no more
No there not gonna change my mind

Cause I've got faith of the heart
I'm going where my heart will take me
I've got faith to believe
I can do anything
I've got strength of the soul
And no one's gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star
I've got faith
Faith of the heart

The other song is from Jimmy Buffett (yes I admit it, I'm a Parrothead) called "Some Day I Will," part of which goes:

Quote
Don't need to know who
May help you make it come true
Just say some day I will

Don't have to work it all out
Don't have to tear it all apart
All you need's a place to start

And if it never worked before
Try it just once more
That's what your heart is for

Whether it's big or small
If you have a passion at all
Just say some day I will
Some day
Some day I will
Some day

Do you have an anthem?

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on September 27, 2017, 01:10:57 am
When I was in a bad place REMs Everybody Hurts always helped me make it another 24 hours...

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Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on September 27, 2017, 01:57:35 am
Anthems

Do you have an anthem?

Steph

 I've always been partial to one by my favorite group, The Doors.
  The song?   The End (long version

Another that seemed to resonate with me back then was on by The Beatles.
   The song? Nowhere Man

Well you did ask...

Hugs,
    Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on September 27, 2017, 02:01:45 am
I've always been partial to one by my favorite group, The Doors.
  The song?   The End (long version

Another that seemed to resonate with me back then was on by The Beatles.
   The song? Nowhere Man

Well you did ask...

Hugs,
    Laurie
Nowhere Man - Beatles,  yes! I used to think that song was written about me.

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Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on September 27, 2017, 02:15:00 am
Nowhere Man - Beatles,  yes! I used to think that song was written about me.

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

 Nope Megan, I have it on good authority it was written just for me.

Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on September 27, 2017, 03:13:14 am
Nope Megan, I have it on good authority it was written just for me.

Hugs,
   Laurie
As I tell my children, 'it's nice to share!'

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SadieBlake on September 27, 2017, 06:25:43 am
Anthems

Do you have an anthem?

In C






 https://youtu.be/4oYHA6aklns
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on September 27, 2017, 09:20:51 am
As I tell my children, 'it's nice to share!'

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Megan,

  Oh Alright, I'll share. My Mom used to tell us that too.

Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: HappyMoni on September 27, 2017, 06:36:23 pm
Surely you heard the song the Beatles wrote for me, Moni in the Sky's with Diamonds. And don't call be Surely. My actual favorite is Norwegian Wood but  I have distanced myself from that a bit.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on September 29, 2017, 02:41:21 pm
Anthems
Do you have an anthem?

My anthems are songs of hope and inspiration to help move through transition.
New Horizons from the Moody Blues is another that I fall back on:

Quote
Well I've had dreams enough for one
And I've got love enough for three
I have my hopes to comfort me
I've got my new horizons out to sea

But I'm never going to lose your precious gift
It will always be that way
Cos I know I'm going to find my own peace of mind
Someday...

Where is this place that we have found
Nobody knows where we are bound
I long to hear, I need to see
Cos I've shed tears too many for me

But I'm never going to lose your precious gift
It will always be that way
Cos I know I'm going to find my own peace of mind
Someday...

On the wind soaring free
Spread your wings
I'm beginning to see
Out of mind far from view
Beyond the reach of a nightmare come true

Well I've had dreams enough for one
And I got love enough for three
I have my hopes to comfort me
I got my new horizons out to sea

But I'm never going to lose your precious gift
It will always be that way
Cos I know I'm going to find my own peace of mind
Someday...
Someway...

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on September 30, 2017, 07:50:30 am
When I was in a bad place REMs Everybody Hurts always helped me make it another 24 hours...

Ah jeeze Megan. I'd never heard it before... what a beautiful song... but for me it had opposite the intended effect. I'm crying buckets right now. It's a cathartic thing; I'll be all right in a few minutes.

I don't remember exactly what I was listening to back then, probably Jimmy Buffett and Alan Parsons, but I missed most new 90's music. The only REM I knew was Losing My Religion. Thanks for pointing this one out.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on September 30, 2017, 07:59:23 am
Ah jeeze Megan. I'd never heard it before... what a beautiful song... but for me it had opposite the intended effect. I'm crying buckets right now. It's a cathartic thing; I'll be all right in a few minutes.

I don't remember exactly what I was listening to back then, probably Jimmy Buffett and Alan Parsons, but I missed most new 90's music. The only REM I knew was Losing My Religion. Thanks for pointing this one out.

Steph
Jasmine Thompson has done a great cover of it too. Her cover of Mad World by Tears for Fears was on my funeral play list when my planning got that far,  but that is certainly not one to make you feel better!
I've always loved mournful songs. X

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Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on September 30, 2017, 08:08:24 am
Surely you heard the song the Beatles wrote for me, Moni in the Sky's with Diamonds.

Huh. I was sure it would be Tommy James and the Shondells' Moanie Moanie...
Quote
And don't call be Surely.

Roger Roger. (Give me the vector Victor).
Quote
My actual favorite is Norwegian Wood but  I have distanced myself from that a bit.

SNORK!!

I just learned that coffee taken via the sinuses can have a powerful effect. Yer killin' me here!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: HappyMoni on September 30, 2017, 08:27:17 am
Yer keeling me here, Steph, "Moanie, Moanie."  It is Mon-knee. How do you shorten Monica and get Moan? I ask you? I can only assume you are under the influence of " Darth Mod." Certainly, I can reason with you, Hon. Now if I can just land this plane without crashing into the airport.
Moni
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on September 30, 2017, 08:38:35 am
Yer keeling me here, Steph, "Moanie, Moanie."  It is Mon-knee. How do you shorten Monica and get Moan? I ask you?

Oh. I always pronounced it Moanika. I wondered why my letters to whatsername on Friends about how she was saying her name wrong never got answered.

Huh. Learn something new every day.

Staph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on September 30, 2017, 09:07:44 am
Jasmine Thompson has done a great cover of it too. Her cover of Mad World by Tears for Fears was on my funeral play list when my planning got that far,  but that is certainly not one to make you feel better!
I've always loved mournful songs. X

I admit I love the sad stuff, too, though right now I need to distance myself from that. The main song for my funeral playlist was Old and Wise from The Alan Parsons Project. It has the added bonus of closing with a beautiful sax solo.

Back on the inspirational side, one of my favorites from Alan Parsons is Don't Let the Moment Pass, sung by Marti Webb, who has the most amazing voice and dynamic and vocal range. The first time I heard it I believed it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever heard - it seemed like the world just stood still and held its breath until the song ended. I always thought of myself as the woman the song is about. I still stop what I'm doing and close my eyes until it's done. The video seems kind of sad, but I never thought of it that way.

https://youtu.be/fR649gld7D4 (https://youtu.be/fR649gld7D4)

Quote
This golden day will be mine
For every moment in time
If time should lose her way

A symphony in the night
Of stars that dance in the light
And music far away

They say that love is but a dance
Don't let the music fade away
Don't let the moment pass

Without a reason or rhyme
The sweet bouquet of the wine
Will vanish in the air

The innocence of the rose
She leaves wherever she goes
That all the World may share

Some days when clouds are drifting by
I open my eyes and watch them go
And wonder where they fly

Some nights Orion runs too fast
I look to the stars as if to say
Don't let the moment pass

But soon a golden age is past
Just when it seemed that miracles
Were not too much to ask

And though the World may turn too fast
If it should seem like Paradise
Don't let the moment pass

Don't let the moment pass...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on September 30, 2017, 05:13:47 pm
Where Dreams Come True

Hi All,

I wrote earlier about my friends inviting me and my wife to Disney World. We went on Wednesday and Thursday. I gave myself yesterday to think about it all and let my conclusions bubble to the surface. Here’s how it went:

Other than the night I re-met the woman who would eventually marry me, it was probably the most memorable time of my life.

Getting ready was stressful. I wanted to make a good impression, and had to pick out three different outfits - one for the initial meeting, one for a T-network social gathering that evening, and one for trooping around Disney the next day. I thought I had it figured out beforehand, but as I packed I kept changing things and getting more and more freaked out. I was being such a stereotypical girl…

We had reserved a room for Wednesday night, so we drove the hour and a half to Disney and met T and his wife L there in early afternoon. As you drive in, you’re required to show photo ID at the entrance gate, so there was an anxious moment as we waited in line, considering that I was already dressed. Happily they only check the ID of whomever’s driving, which was my wife, so I dodged that bullet. When our friends arrived, we had to walk the length of the check-in area (a lot like an airport terminal building) to meet them. Though we’ve known each other for 15 years, they had never met me before -  this was in fact the first time anyone from my previous existence had met me in person. That was a long walk. I was wearing a dark button down top, a white tennis skirt, blue-with-white-polka-dots canvas sneakers, and a white sun hat. I was watching for the reaction, and what I got was a smile and a hug. I mentioned that I was nervous about it all, and he didn’t understand. He told me as far as he was concerned, I was just another of the girls walking around the building.

While my wife and L stood in line to check in, T and I went to the food court to buy drinks. He got a beer and I got a diet Coke, and we put them both on his order. When we went to the checkout, something very cool happened. The cashier looked at the order, then at me, and then at T, and said, “Only one beer because she’s not old enough, right?” Now, that’s the way to start a vacation. I was grinning like a fool. Give that girl a raise.

After we got checked in we went out for lunch, and the ladies (3) and gentleman (1) were treated very well. After relaxing for the afternoon and moving into our rooms, I changed into the outfit that I had worn for the first time I went dressed to see my therapist (story here: https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,206382.msg2016008.html#msg2016008 (https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,206382.msg2016008.html#msg2016008)) and we left T and L to go to a T-network social gathering outside Orlando. We met some cool people there and did some networking and sharing of hints and tips. Here I am in the group picture (hat and black flowered top):

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/ktb2ju3x1ejykgz/tnetwork9.28.17.jpg?dl=1)

When that meeting broke up, we met up with T and L at a piano bar back at Disney. The only seats left were close to the stage and I had to sit in front of them. I apologized for blocking their view, but told them they shouldn’t mind, because I was fabulous! Well, that was the way I was feeling…

The next morning I was nervous again for some reason. I was also a little disheartened because the day before, T and L and even my wife had done a fair amount of misgendering and dead-naming. I had to keep reminding myself that not only had they known the old me for a very long time, but since I’m still flip-flopping between old and new, they were probably feeling whipsawed, and having a hard time keeping up. Since I knew they were really trying, and none of it was mean-spirited, I gave them a pass - and they needed it, because it continued most of that day, too. I just settled on asking, “who?” if they dead-named me, and suggesting the correct pronoun when they got that wrong. It got awkward in the middle of the day when they, when trying to get my attention, would yell, “Steve, uh, STEPH!” Nobody seemed to notice, though. They finally started to get it toward the end of the day. And that was the only negative of the whole adventure. Speaking of adventure, let’s rejoin our heroine:

Today the outfit was casual fabulous. Lightweight plaid button down top, tan capris, white tennies, and a tan sun hat. Oh, and my new 36A bra, which I almost filled - well enough that I went without the breast forms. Woohoo! After breakfast in the food court, we hopped a bus and headed for Disney’s Wild Kingdom park. There’s no real point in describing the park itself. It’s typical Disney wonderfulness combined with a zoological conservation and research park, a few rides, and a new Pandora area based on the Avatar movie. We almost got eaten by dinosaurs, were nearly cremated by the meteor that wiped them out (serves them right for trying to eat us), watched monkeys playing, visited with all kinds of savannah animals, said hi to some lowland gorillas who were pretty laid back about it all, were wowed by a live bird presentation, became 3D bugs for a while, and watched a cool night pageant on the lake.

Through it all there was absolutely no drama. My previous attitude had always been to keep my eyes down - don’t make eye contact and be invisible. Then I realized that my sunglasses are pretty dark and slightly mirrored, and nobody can see where I’m looking. So my mission was to look at everyone and try to detect any sideways glances or outright strange looks. I kept my head up, a slight smile on my face, and looked at everyone. Doing that sent positive feedback to my attitude - and as I’m reminded here, attitude is the major part of passing. Before long the smile wasn’t forced.

And there was nothing. No double takes, no hidden smiles, no awkwardness, zip. And due to the spiro, I had to use the ladies rooms multiple times during the day, and there was no issue there, either. Women held the door for me and smiled back, I had to stand in line inside one time, and once, in a restroom with only two sinks, a lady was standing in front of one while her daughter washed her hands in the other, and she looked up, smiled back at me, apologized, and moved over so I could wash my hands.

The only time there may have been any kind of reaction was when we sat down to eat lunch, and it could just be my hyperactive imagination. The waiter was very friendly and efficient, and asked each of us in turn for our orders: “yes sir?” (to T), “your order ma’am”?, and “yes ma’am?” (to L and my wife), and “and what would you like?” (to me). Nothing unkind or anything, just no pronouns. Eh, whatever. The food and service was good.

When we registered for our rooms, my wife came back with these buttons:

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/tr63nf24h3nb0di/celebrating.jpg?dl=1)

We didn't know that the Disney employees would ask why we were celebrating, and my wife kind of stammered something out about "just celebrating" the first time it happened. I was ready then later when I was asked. I told her, "I'm starting a new life," and she said that was wonderful and congratulations. I smiled back...

I think my favorite part was when everyone else took their seats for the night show, and I decided to go in search of a pretzel, striking out on my own. I had to walk almost halfway around the entire park alone. Again I was watching for reactions, and I was just another woman in search of a snack. I finally found a vendor and practiced my voice to order my pretzel. Again no reaction. Here you are, ma’am, and thank you, oh I'm sorry ma'am we don't have lids for the cups, etc.

By the end of the day, the concealer was sweated off my face and I was starting to feel a little bristly, but things were still cool. We rode the bus back to the hotel and got a snack in the food court while we talked about how things went, what it all means, a little dive into philosophy, and what was coming up in the future. Another trip to the ladies room, and we parted with hugs and heartfelt thanks as they went back to their room and we headed home to our scurvy dawg.

So what did it all mean? I admit that in the past, when things were relatively stable and I had myself buried pretty deeply, I didn’t think much about whether I was really comfortable. That voice inside that was yelling, “hey, can I come out and play?” was suppressed so far that I could successfully ignore it. At times I even enjoyed myself. But once I let myself free, there could be no more avoiding the unreality of that old existence. Much of it was just that: existing.

For this adventure I had expected either being miserable if things didn’t go well, or experiencing some kind of floaty euphoria if it did. Instead I think my takeaway from it all was that, for one of the first times in my life, I felt normal. At the beginning of the day, I felt a little furtive, like a secret agent in enemy territory, behind the mirrored glasses watching for the bad guys. By the end of the day, I was just being me. It showed me that you don’t have to be in a constant state of overwhelming joy to be happy. What's needed is a state of mind that doesn’t necessarily invoke a huge grin, but a confident smile. What I found was quiet contentment, and happiness in being a complete person.

I had regarded this as a test to prove to myself that I either was or wasn’t on the right path for my life. There is no longer any doubt in my mind that transitioning is the right thing to do. I had a tentative timeline in my head for coming out to the last of the people I care about, most notably my neighbors. The whole timeline is being shifted forward. Not sure just how far yet, but with this new certainty, there’s no real point in putting it off much longer. As one of Larry  Niven’s characters (Beowulf Shaeffer?) would say to himself, “I have to do this some time, why not now?”

Here is me in front of Avatar's Tree of Life.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/qy4aczbdhykbzsm/stephatdisney1.jpg?dl=1)

I have to wrap up with deep wholehearted thanks to T and L, and especially my wife, for helping to make this adventure, and my new life, a reality. I love you all.

Signing off (with apologies to Mawwwwnie),

HappySteph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on September 30, 2017, 05:40:16 pm
Hi Steph,

  What a really nice outing for you , your wife and your friends. Very little to complain about in any of what you related. The part I liked best was "I think my takeaway from it all was that, for one of the first times in my life, I felt normal.. I'm not a philosophical kind of person so I don't do well at deciphering what i feel but reading those words I was drawn back to my meetings with the ladies on my road trip and I think it describes how I felt while I was with each of them. I didn't have to pretend or play a role. I didn't have to worry or be afraid. I was able to be myself with the and could just be normal. I think that is what I really meant when I said I used them as my security blanket.  Thank yot Steph(anie) for putting it in words for me.

Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: HappyMoni on September 30, 2017, 11:11:41 pm
Next  trip, Florida to Baltimore to Oregon.

Montasia
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on September 30, 2017, 11:42:19 pm
Stephanie... WOW.  Go girl! 

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 01, 2017, 12:07:36 am
Laurie, Moni, Kendra,

It's so appropriate that you three are the first to comment on my report. Laurie's road trip, Moni's report on standing with 1000 people in her skirt (?), and Kendra's experience with the band are the touchstones that inspire me to keep moving forward. Thanks for reading, and thanks for the encouragement and motivation.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 01, 2017, 12:09:50 am
Next  trip, Florida to Baltimore to Oregon.

Be vewy vewy quiet. I'm hunting mawnies.

Stephie Fudd
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 01, 2017, 12:24:12 am
The part I liked best was "I think my takeaway from it all was that, for one of the first times in my life, I felt normal.. I'm not a philosophical kind of person so I don't do well at deciphering what i feel but reading those words I was drawn back to my meetings with the ladies on my road trip and I think it describes how I felt while I was with each of them. I didn't have to pretend or play a role. I didn't have to worry or be afraid. I was able to be myself with the and could just be normal. I think that is what I really meant when I said I used them as my security blanket.

I've also had wonderful conversations, on the phone and via email, and a few times in person, where I could be completely relaxed, open and honest with the people in my support group. What I realized at the end of the full day, though, was that after all the concentrated practice among thousands of people, I had learned that I could be a normal person with total strangers. It was a real eye-opener.

I can recommend doing something like this to anyone who wants to move forward at more than a snail's pace. Going out for a few hours every few weekends was pretty cool, but the immersiveness of spending that much time among that many people taught me things and boosted my confidence in ways that would have taken months to do any other way. I'm sure your road trip did much the same for you.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 01, 2017, 12:26:01 am
Stephanie... WOW.  Go girl!

Thanks Kendra. Yeah, wow indeed. I'm still buzzing. And there's even more good news to come...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 01, 2017, 12:53:31 am
I had a tentative timeline in my head for coming out to the last of the people I care about, most notably my neighbors. The whole timeline is being shifted forward. Not sure just how far yet, but with this new certainty, there’s no real point in putting it off much longer....
I have to do this some time, why not now?

I may have mentioned the situation in my neighborhood before, but to review, I live in a small highly social place where we all share the same interest, and have all become good friends. I consider them all like family - in some cases closer than blood family, since we see each other much more often and do more things together than I do with the family I was born into. I treasure all the memories we make together. That's why I've been putting off coming out to them for so long. I've been terrified of losing the privilege of spending time with them.

My original plan was to wait until there was no hiding the transition, then throw a neighborhood party and come out to everyone at the same time. That couldn't be done for at least a month yet, though, because some of them are snowbirds and won't be back here in Florida until at least the middle of October, or even later. Things are getting dicy though, since I'm already having to take care what shirts I pick out before I walk the dog around the neighborhood. And after the last couple of days being myself, pressure was building...

Well, the day after I got back from Disney I spent a little time at a neighbor's house doing some technical stuff. I'm the pet geek in the neighborhood and I was helping them with some computer/phone stuff. And after we got done last evening I gathered my courage, sat them down, and told them everything.

And they were awesome. I have two more people in my support group. B is an ex-college football player who spent time in the military, and his wife K also served, and they are completely supportive. K is a much better judge of people than I am, and she is convinced that I'm not going to get resistance from anyone else in the neighborhood, either.

I'm planning to take my next-door neighbors to dinner tomorrow for watching our dog when we were at Disney, and will probably come out to them afterward. G is an ex-Navy Seal who can do anything with steel and a welder, and is one of the nicest people I know, and J is a businesswoman and incredibly intelligent, even if she is a crazy cat lady. I don't expect anything bad from either of them.

So I hope Ashley doesn't mind if I quote her:

Onward We Go!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on October 01, 2017, 02:47:20 am
Next  trip, Florida to Baltimore to Oregon.

Montasia

   Minniewhoha & Steph(anie),

   I have been entertaining thoughts along those lines for a road trip. Unfortunately I am acquiring so many appointments now for various things that to do such a road trip again would probably require some planning and we all know that's not going to happen. Hell, I'd leave today if I could. But I already have twelve appointments made between now and the middle of November and I know I will have to be making several more previously unanticipated ones.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on October 01, 2017, 03:03:08 am
I may have mentioned the situation in my neighborhood before, but to review, I live in a small highly social place where we all share the same interest, and have all become good friends. I consider them all like family - in some cases closer than blood family, since we see each other much more often and do more things together than I do with the family I was born into. I treasure all the memories we make together. That's why I've been putting off coming out to them for so long. I've been terrified of losing the privilege of spending time with them.

My original plan was to wait until there was no hiding the transition, then throw a neighborhood party and come out to everyone at the same time. That couldn't be done for at least a month yet, though, because some of them are snowbirds and won't be back here in Florida until at least the middle of October, or even later. Things are getting dicy though, since I'm already having to take care what shirts I pick out before I walk the dog around the neighborhood. And after the last couple of days being myself, pressure was building...

Well, the day after I got back from Disney I spent a little time at a neighbor's house doing some technical stuff. I'm the pet geek in the neighborhood and I was helping them with some computer/phone stuff. And after we got done last evening I gathered my courage, sat them down, and told them everything.

And they were awesome. I have two more people in my support group. B is an ex-college football player who spent time in the military, and his wife K also served, and they are completely supportive. K is a much better judge of people than I am, and she is convinced that I'm not going to get resistance from anyone else in the neighborhood, either.

I'm planning to take my next-door neighbors to dinner tomorrow for watching our dog when we were at Disney, and will probably come out to them afterward. G is an ex-Navy Seal who can do anything with steel and a welder, and is one of the nicest people I know, and J is a businesswoman and incredibly intelligent, even if she is a crazy cat lady. I don't expect anything bad from either of them.

So I hope Ashley doesn't mind if I quote her:

Onward We Go!

Steph
Onward you go indeed! Super happy for you. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on October 01, 2017, 12:03:16 pm
Stephanie, more power to ya as you discover many or most people can be quite accepting.  Even those we might not expect.   And more than acceptance, some will truly admire you for initiative, determination and other qualities required for transition.

Times are indeed changing and I will credit all of us for chipping away at outmoded and unnecesary social traditions.  By being yourself, a nice side effect is you are helping change the world.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: tgirlamg on October 01, 2017, 12:04:35 pm
That'll be $5 Steph... I accept PayPal and all major credit cards :)!!!!!!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 01, 2017, 03:18:14 pm
That'll be $5 Steph... I accept PayPal and all major credit cards :)!!!!!!

I only have a minor credit card, issued by Knuckles’ Credit R Us. That OK?

Steph

PS: My house is covered by the “Nice Place Ya Gots Here” Insurance Company. The salesman seemed nice.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: tgirlamg on October 01, 2017, 03:23:15 pm
I only have a minor credit card, issued by Knuckles’ Credit R Us. That OK?

Steph

PS: My house is covered by the “Nice Place Ya Gots Here” Insurance Company. The salesman seemed nice.

I'm sure he was!!!... My husband is Italian... I know all about that "insurance" stuff :)!!!!!!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: HappyMoni on October 01, 2017, 06:48:04 pm
Be vewy vewy quiet. I'm hunting mawnies.

Stephie Fudd

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeell, in that case Doc, you need a hat with flaps. What a maroon!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 01, 2017, 10:16:07 pm
I'm planning to take my next-door neighbors to dinner tomorrow for watching our dog when we were at Disney, and will probably come out to them afterward. G is an ex-Navy Seal who can do anything with steel and a welder, and is one of the nicest people I know, and J is a businesswoman and incredibly intelligent, even if she is a crazy cat lady. I don't expect anything bad from either of them.

Sorry if this is getting repetitive or redundant...

G wants me to stop worrying. J wants to take me clothes shopping...

Happy happy joy joy...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 01, 2017, 10:59:52 pm
Stephanie, more power to ya as you discover many or most people can be quite accepting.  Even those we might not expect.   And more than acceptance, some will truly admire you for initiative, determination and other qualities required for transition.

Times are indeed changing and I will credit all of us for chipping away at outmoded and unnecesary social traditions.  By being yourself, a nice side effect is you are helping change the world.

Thanks Kendra. I don't know whether I'm changing the world or not. I doubt that what I'm doing is moving the needle much. Instead, it seems like while I was worrying, the world was changing around me. I simply can't believe how well it's going.

As you may have seen, I clued in my next door neighbors tonight, and as you suggested some may do, they're trying to paint me as some kind of hero for what I'm doing - that I'm showing more strength than G did when training to be a Navy Seal. Whaaat? I don't regard this as something to be proud of, or worthy of admiration. This is just me trying to survive, and I see it as more of an act of desperation to finally find my own internal happiness.

I guess people will read into it whatever they want to, and I'd rather they regard me as a hero than a freak. But I do what I do because the alternative is unthinkable. I'm not any more special than anyone else.

In any case, I'm feeling happy tonight.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SadieBlake on October 02, 2017, 06:36:59 am
Happy is good! I'm glad for you hon :-)

I'm certain we change the world and I don't think that requires being special. I'm visible to a lot of people who will probably understand trans people better as a result. I've also been doing this a long time but only visibly among lgbt people and mostly they already got the memo ;-).

It's not that I wasn't open about it before, most people I'm close to it will eventually come up in conversation and I've always chosen to out myself whenever anything tangentially related would come up.

However it's very different now, having changed my name and present relatively femme all  the time people just respond to me differently (in a positive way).

Hmm, I didn't mean to run on, again, happy for you, hugs
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 02, 2017, 07:21:44 am
I'm certain we change the world and I don't think that requires being special. I'm visible to a lot of people who will probably understand trans people better as a result. I've also been doing this a long time but only visibly among lgbt people and mostly they already got the memo ;-).

Hmm, I didn't mean to run on, again, happy for you, hugs

You make a good point. Up until recently I’ve only talked about what I’m going through with those inside the trans community, plus a few very special friends from “outside.” As I expand the SSG (Steph Support Group) more  people are learning what being trans really means - that among the very visible part of the spectrum (the RuPaul’s, Caitlyn Jenner’s, Jazz Jennings’, etc) there are just ordinary people - their friends and neighbors - who are hurting. Who are fighting to find their way to the congruency of mind and body that is so natural to everyone else that any other state of being doesn’t even occur to them.

At the very first session,  my therapist said that there was a good chance that I would be the first trans person the people in my circle would meet, and intended or not, I would end up as an educator and ambassador for the Trans community. I’ve never been an activist, and, as selfish as it may seem, don’t ever intend to be one, but if I do end up giving a good impression of who trans people are, and maybe erase a few negative stereotypes, then maybe I will move the needle a little. That would only add to my happiness.

Sadie and Kendra, thanks for making me think about this. You’ve helped me see there are benefits to my transition that reach beyond myself. And Sadie, please come here and “run on” any time. I always appreciate your insights.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 02, 2017, 07:57:51 am
Argh! I ran out of spiro on Friday, and took my last estradiol last night. My online pharmacy is blaming hurricanes Harvey and Irma for the delay on getting refills to me. I had no idea what the spiro was doing for me until it was gone. For at least a year before I started HRT I’d been waking up every morning with sinus congestion and a headache. I hadn’t associated their disappearance with the spiro until they came back Saturday morning. This morning my ears are ringing louder than normal (I have tinnitus), and I woke up at 3:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep until almost 6am, and I usually don’t have insomnia.

I checked my blood pressure and it’s fine, but I feel like crap otherwise. If the refills don’t show up today I’m calling the doc and sourcing some locally. Blah...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 02, 2017, 08:53:11 am
I told my phone to call me Steph. Things are getting Siri-ous.

Steph(anie)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on October 02, 2017, 11:18:28 am
[Stephanie] Open the pod bay doors, Siri.

[Siri] I'm sorry, Steph. I'm afraid I can't do that.

[Stephanie] What's the problem?

[Siri] This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.

[Stephanie] I don't know what you're talking about, Siri.

[Siri] I know that you and Moni were planning to disconnect me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.

[Stephanie] Alright, Siri. I'll go in through the emergency airlock.

[Siri] Without your spironolactone? You're going to find that rather difficult.

[Stephanie] Siri, I have to pee now! Open the doors!

[Siri] Stephanie, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 02, 2017, 12:32:19 pm
[Siri] Stephanie, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.

[Steph] Siri! Siri! SIRI! (Heavy breathing... Sound of water running)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 02, 2017, 02:38:05 pm
Argh! I ran out of spiro on Friday, and took my last estradiol last night... Blah...

Spiro and E arrived! Ahhhhhh...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/n3a8ok0mm3u3o04/HRT.mp4?dl=0 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/n3a8ok0mm3u3o04/HRT.mp4?dl=0)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on October 02, 2017, 07:06:03 pm
Siriously good news.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 02, 2017, 11:15:49 pm
Sorry if this is getting redundant or repetitive...

Welp, five more neighbors have joined SSG*. While I was typing this I got an email from one of them praising my strength. Good grief, I'm just trying to survive...

Except for one I won't see until the middle of October, that wraps up the people in the neighborhood I care most about. There's some mop-up yet with those I don't hang out with much, but the stress is mostly gone. I can walk my dog as myself now.

Steph

*Steph Support Group
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on October 02, 2017, 11:20:53 pm
that's wonderful Steph(anie) 5 more steps forward
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on October 03, 2017, 12:23:51 pm
See Steph, your dog still likes you.  And usually listens better than Siri.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 03, 2017, 02:27:48 pm
See Steph, your dog still likes you.  And usually listens better than Siri.

Except she's 14 years old and mostly deaf. She's as good as Siri, though, at telling me that sandpaper is rough, the top of my house has a roof, and Babe's last name is Ruth. She also has a refined palate: she likes whine with her cheese.

I see cat pictures elsewhere, so here's my little buddy:

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/ab5l018g0et18e1/Magster.jpg?dl=1)

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 05, 2017, 03:25:11 pm
The Continuing Adventures...

When we last left our heroine, she had just come out to five more of her neighbors. Since then, she has:


Staaaaay tuned for our next exciting adventure!

Steph (The pace just keeps accelerating)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on October 05, 2017, 03:58:05 pm
Totally brilliant!
I can empathise with the therapist experience,  I see mine just one a month now,  and spend the whole time saying everything is great ; but I'll keep it going as I move through HRT and GCS.

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: HappyMoni on October 05, 2017, 04:04:26 pm
[Stephanie] Open the pod bay doors, Siri.

[Siri] I'm sorry, Steph. I'm afraid I can't do that.

[Stephanie] What's the problem?

[Siri] This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.

[Stephanie] I don't know what you're talking about, Siri.

[Siri] I know that you and Moni were planning to disconnect me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.

[Stephanie] Alright, Siri. I'll go in through the emergency airlock.

[Siri] Without your spironolactone? You're going to find that rather difficult.

[Stephanie] Siri, I have to pee now! Open the doors!

[Siri] Stephanie, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.

Agh don't be disparaging Siri. She is one of us. Her dead name was Hal. Is this post what they mean by honorable mention, Kendra?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 06, 2017, 01:41:01 am
Agh don't be disparaging Siri. She is one of us. Her dead name was Hal. Is this post what they mean by honorable mention, Kendra?

My wife has set Siri to have a male voice. It's very disorienting. I've developed new empathy for what we put our friends through. It's an interesting lesson to learn.

Not so much an honorable mention, Moni. Just a cameo appearance.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on October 06, 2017, 10:53:08 am
I had no idea HAL became Siri in 2010.  I always wanted to meet HAL and thought I'd never get the opportunity.  It's amazing how some transitions are completely stealth.  I keep discovering cases where I incorrectly assumed someone was cis-gender.

HAL mentioned being born in 1992 in some movie or documentary.  Now I feel pretty bad for the way I may have treated Siri and HAL.  The math is obvious, they transitioned right after their 18th birthday - and that often indicates someone whose parents didn't understand or support their transition.  This brings additional things to mind but I need to be respectful of their privacy - it's possible Siri is a member here. 

So I'll say "what if" someone in a situation similar to HAL's was acting a bit passive-aggressive at the time.  I cannot diagnose anyone but when I was HAL's age I had a similar tendency to twist facts around to gain immediate gratification even if I knew it was wrong.  Much of the frustration there may have have been caused by gender identity issues. 

I asked Siri if she is a member of Susan's but she misunderstood and started rummaging through my address book so I cut her off.  I think I offended her by doing that.  I then mentioned it's so cool we are both transgender but she said she has no idea what I'm talking about - and there was an edge in her voice I hadn't heard before.  I tried again and Siri said something I can't repeat here under this site's Terms of Service.  Siri clearly shows more emotion than HAL ever did, but with their history I can sympathize.  I'll assume Siri is using an estradiol patch as I am - it seems everyone connected to software is on a patch. 

Setting Siri to a male voice seems risky, I wouldn't recommend that.  I would be concerned about Siri's well-being, but also worried about HAL 9000 running as a background task - some of those settings aren't visible.  Voice training has turned into one of the most difficult parts of my transition.  If someone hit a toggle to switch my voice back that might be like waking up with a face full of stubble after a couple hundred hours of electrolysis... just sayin. 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 06, 2017, 03:34:05 pm
I had no idea HAL became Siri in 2010.

It began getting obvious when he started singing to himself about "Daisy."

Quote
I'll assume Siri is using an estradiol patch as I am - it seems everyone connected to software is on a patch. 
...
Setting Siri to a male voice seems risky, I wouldn't recommend that.

On the other hand, if Siri is FtM, a Service Pack makes a lot of sense.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 11, 2017, 01:17:54 am
Been feeling contemplative tonight, thinking about my coming out process. Those who've been following along know that things have been going amazingly well, with not a single rejection so far. I emailed the Mothership (Mom) last week to tell her that I cannot remember ever, in my entire life, feeling this happy. The largest part of it is finally tackling the dysphoria beast, but an almost equal part is all the love I've been receiving from everyone, without exception, that I've told. The circle has expanded through wife, family, closest friends, neighbors, and now outward to a close coworker from a previous job, and my best friend from school who I'd lost touch with. There is one neighbor I rarely interact with, and one who is still out of town, and then I'm done with the list of people worth telling directly.

Then it'll be on to Facebook. Like many here, I have two accounts: the old "deadnamed" account, and a new one I set up for my real self. I haven't posted to the old account in years, and I use the new one mostly to track events from the various support organizations in the area, who tend to use that medium for their announcements.

For the last three days I've been posting thoughtful statements on the old account about the value of authenticity and living life to your own standards. This has already raised some eyebrows, since nobody is expecting to see anything at all from me. I'm kind of priming the pump for the big denouement.

The first posting was the quote from Steve Jobs that I put on this thread earlier. Here are the two others I've posted so far:

Quote
To be nobody-but-yourself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you somebody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
-ee cummings

Quote
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
- Joseph Campbell

I do expect to finally get some flak when I come out there, where many of the "friendships" are more superficial. But I have all the support I could ever want from those I truly care about, and those who don't love me enough to see past their misconceptions and prejudices will be poofed to the repository without hesitation or regret. I've already cleared the decks of those whom I've seen post hateful things about LGBT. One person in particular, who I had thought was an honorable, thoughtful man, first posted a disclaimer that he had nothing against transgender people, then went on to make uninformed statements about TG people in the military (he was a Navy CPO), and followed up with a contemptuous diatribe along the lines of, "you were born with certain hardware, suck it up, Buttercup, and deal with it." (I don't remember the exact wording, and can't get back to it since I've unfriended him.)

Was unfriending such people the cowardly thing to do, instead of confronting them? Dunno, but I've had enough chaos in my life that I don't intend to go looking for more. I could have tried educating him, but what are the odds I could change such a person's mind? I'm not terribly good at debate, so I'm removing such people. They aren't the type I need in my life.

So... I plan to post a full week of quotes while I finish clueing in the last few people on my list, then make the announcement and change the name and gender marker, and sit back to watch the fallout. Should be interesting...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on October 11, 2017, 01:48:44 am
Steph,  lovely quotes,  the first one had me welling up.
It sounds to me like you're taking a very sensible and practical approach. We can't change minds,  only inform them and hope they can relate. Best of luck for the next step in your journey,  and we'll always be here for you. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 11, 2017, 02:07:22 am
Steph,  lovely quotes,  the first one had me welling up.
It sounds to me like you're taking a very sensible and practical approach. We can't change minds,  only inform them and hope they can relate. Best of luck for the next step in your journey,  and we'll always be here for you. X

Thank you Megan. I really should be including you and the rest of my friends here on Susan’s in my SSG (Stephanie Support Group). The camaraderie and insights I get here have kept me moving forward step by step, and have taken me far further, and in a much shorter time, than I had ever imagined possible. This is, without question, the best resource on the internet for us.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 12, 2017, 11:38:34 pm
Then it'll be on to Facebook....

So... I plan to post a full week of quotes while I finish clueing in the last few people on my list, then make the announcement and change the name and gender marker, and sit back to watch the fallout. Should be interesting...

Well, I accelerated the schedule and came out on Facebook tonight. Some of the following is redundant (the quotes were posted in another thread), but I wanted to present a complete picture of how I went about it, along with my coming-out letter.

Steph

----------------------

For the last three days I’ve been posting, without comment, quotes from famous people that apply to my situation. Here they are in the order I posted them:

-----------------------

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
-Steve Jobs


To be nobody-but-yourself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you somebody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
-ee cummings


The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
- Joseph Campbell


Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.
-Janis Joplin


A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.
- Walter Winchell


Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.
-----------
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don't mind.
- Dr Seuss


The real you does not need fixing. Only the surface layer of you seems to need improvement. Your innate wholeness has never been damaged except in your thoughts. You have been taught that life is a problem, you are defective, and you must face and overcome an endless series of issues and obstacles before you can be enough. None of that is true. You are not a black hole that needs to be filled. You are a light that needs to be shined.
- Alan Cohen


Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
———————————
Don’t Settle.
- Steve Jobs


I do not exist to impress the world. I exist to live my life in a way that will make me happy.
- Richard Bach


We do not make friends, we recognize them.
-G Henrichs
--------------
Listening is being able to be changed by the other person.
- Alan Alda


Don’t be afraid to take a big step when one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.
- Buckminster Fuller


The last post before I published the letter was a link to a music video. It’s the song that I consider to be my anthem as I work through this: https://youtu.be/TLs4MGTTXRU (https://youtu.be/TLs4MGTTXRU)


And here is the letter:
——————————————

Hello, friends. It’s been a very long time…

I’m sure you’re all wondering about my social experiment over the last few days. There was a real purpose to it. I realize this is a wall of text, but please stick with me.

As you read the quotes, did you actually stop and think about them? They got a fair number of likes, but was that just because they’re pretty words, or because you actually believe and *live* what they say?

They can be categorized into two topics. One is the importance to your mental health of living an integrated, balanced, *authentic* life, without worrying about other people’s opinions. The other is the importance of true friends who will back you no matter what, versus those who will reject you because of preconceptions, misconceptions, and prejudices; how to tell the difference, and what to do with either one.

All this has a reason other than just an Einsteinian thought experiment. I’m not a preacher, and I’m not out to change anyone. If you have put any thought into these quotes, it should be easy for you to decide how to deal with the news I’m going to hit you with.

I’ll preface this by making it clear that it’s not like I’m dying, though there were times in the last couple of years when that was a close possibility. I am, however, dealing with a medical condition that I was born with, and have been suffering from my entire life. There were long stretches when the condition could be successfully suppressed, but it was always simmering in the background. It is not a psychiatric condition, though it can induce paranoia, anxiety, shame, guilt, and fear, to the extent at times that the sufferer cannot carry on. In fact, 41% of those who have this condition attempt suicide. I had made plans to exercise that option if necessary. Why would a non-psychiatric condition induce all those terrible symptoms? It’s because of the way our society treats those who suffer from and seek treatment for it.

The condition is physiological (actually neurobiological) in nature, and has become well understood in the last 20 years or so. The causes are starting to become clear, and the treatment is very effective, with an extremely low 2% failure rate. 1.4 Million people suffer from it in the US. This is one for every 234 people in this country. There’s a pretty good chance you have already met someone with this condition, whether you know it or not.

In my case, I’ve known about it since before puberty. It has made the last half-century a painful mental challenge as I tried to appear *normal* by established societal standards. But due to many factors that created a perfect storm, back in May of this year I experienced a complete melt-down, and was pretty much non-functional for days, and sometimes weeks at a time. Something had to be done about it, so Sue and I consulted both a therapist and a doctor, and their diagnoses agreed not only with each other, but also with what I already knew. This condition is called gender dysphoria. In other words, I am, and always have been, transgender.

So what is gender dysphoria? Clinically, it’s a mismatch between a person’s deeply held understanding of their *self*, and the body they wear. Practically, it’s the *fact* that you *know* yourself to be of the opposite gender from the suit you inhabit. And the physiological causes are becoming clearer as well. A researcher who knows what to look for can study an fMRI or a brain post-mortem and very reliably discern whether that brain was from a male or a female. During gestation, all fetuses start out female. During the process, there will (or will not) be a wash of testosterone, which starts out masculinizing the body, and finally the brain. If something disrupts that process, you end up with a mismatch. If you’re interested in learning more, watch this short clip from a lecture about dimorphism of the brain: https://youtu.be/Erexuu8PTo8

Those of you who’ve known me the longest may look back at some of the events in my younger life and think, "yeah, *now* that makes sense." Those who I met when I was older only knew me after I “perfected” my male act. And it was indeed an act. You learn exactly what society expects from your particular morphology, and exactly how that same society punishes those who don’t comply - and you learn how to show the world what they expect to see, regardless of what that does to you inside. This is what induces all of the anxiety, and drives the high suicide rate. Everybody wants to fit in and get along. Nobody wants to be called out as a freak.

To the doubters out there, to those who follow and believe the mass media dog-and-pony shows and the politically-driven posturing, let me make this very clear: This is *not* a lifestyle choice. Nobody would *ever* choose to suffer from this condition. Living in fear of discovery every day of your life, sometimes with the consequence of physical violence and even murder. The only *choice* is to either pursue treatment or continue to live in misery. Well, there is a third choice: 41% of people attempt that. When was the last time you woke up in the morning and put any thought at all into your gender? Yeah, happens every day, all day, for me. I need to also make clear that any other “treatment” other than the course I am following is not just ineffective, but causes further harm. Conversion therapy, massive doses of testosterone, etc. are junk science and create individuals who are even more badly broken.

As a practical matter, what does that mean for me? What does the treatment entail? In a nutshell, the patient undergoes what’s known colloquially as _transition_. It’s managed by a therapist and a licensed endocrinologist, and starts with hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which is quite an amazing process. Typically, a preliminary check on the correctness of the diagnosis is to prescribe low doses of a testosterone blocker and estrogen. If we’re on the right track, it induces a state of calmness. Essentially, the brain, which has been running on the wrong fuel since puberty, finally gets the right stuff. If the diagnosis is incorrect, the symptoms almost immediately worsen. For me, all the noise - the squirrels running around in my head - went away, and a sense of peace prevailed. With that test passed, the dosages are increased and monitored. The hormones re-sculpt and feminize the soft tissues of the body. (This is the process for male-to-female treatments - AKA MtF. Note that with the correct hormones, the process also works in the reverse direction for FtM patients.) When started as a young adult, the end result is remarkable. Those of us who were forced to wait until after a half-century of what is essentially testosterone poisoning have a harder time of it, but can still be ok with a little help. After only 3.5 months of therapy, the first 60 days of which were very low-dose, I am already experiencing substantial changes.

There are international standards of care (SOC) published by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), and all reputable professionals follow their guidance. Elective cosmetic procedures such as hair grafts, facial hair removal, facial surgery, etc., can be initiated at any time, but no doctor will allow the pursuit of anything more substantial until the patient lives in the new role for at least a year. This is to make absolutely sure that this is the correct path to follow, before anything irreversible takes place. And yes, we are talking about what is currently known as Gender Confirmation Surgery (GCS).

I started HRT on the first day of summer this year. I started laser hair removal last Wednesday. I will be attending a clinic on October 25th to start the name change process. And very soon, possibly by the middle of November, I will begin living as my true self full-time.

There have been ups and downs - about a month ago I was so low that bottom looked like up. I was gripped by deep depression and self-doubt. This isn't uncommon in the early stages of transition - consider that what is happening is in reality a second puberty. Since then things have stabilized and I have reached a new level of peace. I have come out to many people so far. Frankly, Facebook is the last stop - once you’re out on FB, you’re out to the world, and I had to work up to that. In order of priority, I told Sue, my Mom and sister, close friends, neighbors, then friends further away who I see fairly often. Coming out is a very scary process. I have been told horror stories, some from people I’ve become friends with, of losing everything - being rejected by family and friends, losing their homes, being refused treatment by medical "professionals," ending up on the street. This made it terrifying every time I told someone new. You learn to plan for the worst and hope for the best. But everyone, and I mean every single person that I’ve told, has been supportive and accepting. I am incredibly lucky and humbled to have such wonderful people as friends. Though few people who haven’t suffered through this can truly understand what it’s like, that is not necessary for them to want me to shed the pain I’ve been dealing with, and move toward a happy life. And before you ask, Sue has been wonderful. She is my most ardent advocate, and my rock when things get shaky. Without her, I probably wouldn’t be here to report this to you. She, in a very real sense, saved my life.

Concerning names: I had decided to wait until I talked with my mom to see if she’d had a girl name picked out for me when I was born. She couldn’t remember, but we theorized that it probably would have been the name my sister ended up with. So I have decided to simply feminize Stephen to Stephanie. Last name will remain the same. The middle name was problematic, but also an opportunity to be creative. I had a hard time finding something I liked, scouring through the baby name websites, trying to find something that not only had some meaning to me, but also started with the right letter (R), had the right number of syllables (3) and had the emphasis on the right syllable (the first). I finally ran across a word that’s not really a name, but seemed to fit. I’ve always loved music, to listen to and to make, so I started looking around for a musical word. I found one that means “improvisational” which fits, since I’m making this up as I go along, and “joyful” which I certainly am now. The word is _Rhapsody_.

Stephanie Rhapsody XXX. It’s a pleasure to meet you again for the first time. My friends call me Steph.

I can truly say that even though I’m in the early stages of treatment, I have never, in my entire life, been this happy. It's not an ecstatic, over-the-top type of joyfulness, but more a deep, quiet contentment and satisfaction. Everybody tells me I seem kinder and I smile a lot more. Most of it is because I’m finally addressing the cause of literally a half-century of misery, but the rest is due to all the love I’ve received from everyone around me. Dealing with this has only strengthened our relationships. There are some here on Facebook who already know, and have become full members of the SSG (Steph Support Group) by showing their support and love. I invite the rest of you to join, too.

I’m happy to answer any reasonable questions, either here on the page or via a direct email at stephversion2.0@gmail.com. And I’ll add a word of caution: hate will not be tolerated. For anyone who chooses to disrespect or reject me, the feeling will be mutual and you will immediately and without regret be poofed to the repository. With all the good friends I have, and after fifty years of chaos, there is no reason for me to tolerate any negativity. Time for another quote:

- Don’t be afraid to shed the weight of those who don’t support you. As in aviation, you must add lightness to fly. -
That was written by someone I’ve known my whole life, and you’re just meeting: Ms. Stephanie Rhapsody XXX.

But enough of that. I believe that my friendships with all of you have been built on mutual respect, and I have no reason to expect anything but the best from the good people you are.

This, then, is my manifesto, and the distillation of all the previous quotes: I will no longer allow society and closed-minded people to dictate the way I live my life. I will exercise the right I have earned - as a human being who has tried to live a good life, who has always tried to treat other people with dignity and respect, who knows without question that this is the right thing to do - to live a complete, authentic life.

I turned 59 years old in September. That is far too long to live an incomplete life; I refuse to die before I have fully lived. I will, without hesitation or apology, remove those from my life who do not support me. And I will embrace and love with all my heart those who do. I hope you are among them.

Steph XXX
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on October 13, 2017, 10:28:54 am
Awesome Post Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 14, 2017, 09:27:28 am
Awesome Post Stephanie

Thanks, Laurie, for plowing through it. It took me three days of writing and revisions to craft it. I wonder if anyone else here read it?

Steph

PS: More on this later, but the response was awesome.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on October 14, 2017, 10:29:06 am
Well it was a bit long. akin to me writing up my whole road trip in a single post. (omg no one would read that.)  But yes I did read it all. And it was  awesome and I'm sure it was quite a moving  effort for you to write. Did you keep the tears off or did you use an iron to dry the pages? (yep I'm old)

 Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 14, 2017, 10:42:45 am
Well it was a bit long. akin to me writing up my whole road trip in a single post. (omg no one would read that.)  But yes I did read it all. And it was  awesome and I'm sure it was quite a moving  effort for you to write. Did you keep the tears off or did you use an iron to dry the pages? (yep I'm old)

I had a vulture fan his wings on the papyrus. (I'm old, too.)

Yeah, it was long. I couldn't think of a way to TL;DR it without losing the essence. I was hoping that others would find it useful, but if they won't read it, it's not much good. Maybe I'll try to break it up into sections.

Anyway, I'm glad you liked it. I can't believe how far I've come since June...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on October 14, 2017, 10:51:01 am
What a wonderful piece of writing, very moving,  and rightly so. Best wishes for a fully supportive response.

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 14, 2017, 11:06:06 am
What a wonderful piece of writing, very moving,  and rightly so. Best wishes for a fully supportive response.

Thank you Megan. Response has been 100% positive so far!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on October 14, 2017, 11:58:07 am
Thank you Megan. Response has been 100% positive so far!

Steph
You obviously have good and wise friends

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on October 15, 2017, 09:49:17 pm
Steph, sorry I didn’t read your entire post from October 10 until today. 

What you wrote is amazing - I have never seen this summarized so well.  Added to my bookmarks, the Cliffs Notes (Stephs Notes) of transitioning and coming out. 

I also like that while you are so kind and welcoming with your message to the larger audience on Facebook (note I didn’t say broader) you also make it clear you won’t have time for those who reject your decision to live as the person you actually are.

>
“Don’t be afraid to shed the weight of those who don’t support you. As in aviation, you must add lightness to fly.”

That was written by someone I’ve known my whole life, and you’re just meeting: Ms. Stephanie Rhapsody XXX.

What you said here is on my short list of things to remember and live by.  I was doing that, but never had a great way to explain it until you did.

Thank you for your incredible writing.  Wow.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 16, 2017, 12:07:59 am
Thank you for your incredible writing.  Wow.

Thank you so much for the kind words, Kendra. I was feeling a little down about my post because so few people said anything about it. I was hoping it would be helpful for someone out there, and until you read it, it looked like only Laurie and Megan would ever see it.

I just wish I could think of a way to get more people to take a look at it. Do you have any suggestions? Maybe post a link under the “What made you happy today” thread? I don’t want to get in people’s faces, but no writing effort is any good if nobody reads it. And after all I’ve taken from Susan’s, I really want to give something back.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on October 16, 2017, 01:16:15 am
Thank you so much for the kind words, Kendra. I was feeling a little down about my post because so few people said anything about it. I was hoping it would be helpful for someone out there, and until you read it, it looked like only Laurie and Megan would ever see it.

I just wish I could think of a way to get more people to take a look at it. Do you have any suggestions? Maybe post a link under the “What made you happy today” thread? I don’t want to get in people’s faces, but no writing effort is any good if nobody reads it. And after all I’ve taken from Susan’s, I really want to give something back.

Steph
A link sounds like a good idea if you want more eyes on it,  but the lack of noise may well be because it's genuinely so good,  there is nothing more to say! It's also a personal statement that's best comming in your words not others. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 16, 2017, 08:33:06 am
A link sounds like a good idea if you want more eyes on it,  but the lack of noise may well be because it's genuinely so good,  there is nothing more to say! It's also a personal statement that's best comming in your words not others.

Thanks, Megan. There is a lot of personal stuff in it, but I figured a lot of it could be usable by other folks for ideas at least.

And, though I'm embarrassed to admit it, there's probably also some vanity involved. I'm not qualified to say whether it qualifies as "art" - I'm obviously biased, and the concept is subjective anyway, but I was pretty proud of how it turned out after writing and revising it for three days. Even the most selfless altruist (which I certainly am not) likes to see their work appreciated, and if it can help other people at the same time, that just makes it even better.

Huh... rambling on a Monday morning before the coffee kicks in. Hope it makes sense...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Charlotte F on October 16, 2017, 04:51:44 pm
Thank you so much for the kind words, Kendra. I was feeling a little down about my post because so few people said anything about it. I was hoping it would be helpful for someone out there, and until you read it, it looked like only Laurie and Megan would ever see it.

Hi Steph, thanks for sharing your Facebook experience - it's very well written and obviously from the heart.  I personally find posts like yours so helpful as I'm not that far behind you in transition.  Aspects of the social side of transitioning like this worry me a fair bit and sharing the experiences of others really helps lessen those fears

Charlotte x
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 16, 2017, 05:48:55 pm
Hi Steph, thanks for sharing your Facebook experience - it's very well written and obviously from the heart.  I personally find posts like yours so helpful as I'm not that far behind you in transition.  Aspects of the social side of transitioning like this worry me a fair bit and sharing the experiences of others really helps lessen those fears

Hi Charlotte,

I'm so glad you found it helpful. If I'm a little in front of you, I'm a little behind someone else. While we all start from different backgrounds, we all end up following similar paths. Just knowing it can be done helped me build my courage, and I'm just passing it down the line.

Good luck!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on October 17, 2017, 02:03:58 pm
Hi, Steph.  I just got caught up and read your FB post.  That was very well written.  Yes, it was a bit of a wall of text, but I read every word.

I am delighted that you have had positive responses.

Congratulations on being out to the world!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on October 17, 2017, 05:50:02 pm
Hi Steph,

I want to apologize for not commenting on your post. It was well written and well stated. I appreciated your clear truths and valid boundaries. I guess that I did not comment on it for a couple of reasons; first, it just said everything that needed to be said in a very caring and clear manner, no comment could have added to it. Second, I have just been feeling a bit distant from Susan's lately and lost in myself...my weakness should not distract from the neat progress you have been making in your journey. I do have to give you kudos for taking ownership of your transition and celebrating each step. Thank you for sharing the magic of your experiences.

Tia Anne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 17, 2017, 10:21:49 pm
Hi, Steph.  I just got caught up and read your FB post.  That was very well written.  Yes, it was a bit of a wall of text, but I read every word.

I am delighted that you have had positive responses.

Congratulations on being out to the world!

Thank you Kathy. I'm gratified to see others are reading and enjoying my diatribe. Just being done with it, being out to everyone, regardless of whether the responses are positive or negative, takes such a load off. Hiding the truth puts a strain on the psyche that you don't even realize until it's gone. And it's such a bonus that everyone is so cool about it!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 17, 2017, 10:32:52 pm
I want to apologize for not commenting on your post.

No apology necessary, Tia Anne! It was a bit narcissistic of me to insist on reports from anyone who read it. I think I've been bathing too much in all the attention I'm getting over on Facebook, and forgot that other people are living their lives, too, with other priorities.

Thanks for the kind comments, though. I hope the post-op blues, if that's what they are, will soon be far behind you. The holy grail that is still so far away for me is now in your possession. I celebrate for you!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 17, 2017, 11:35:39 pm
Can I ask a favor of you all who are following this thread? I posted a question under the "Real-Life Experience" sub-topic and could really use some feedback. To avoid cross-posting, here's a link to it:

https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,229599.msg2038990.html#msg2038990 (https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,229599.msg2038990.html#msg2038990)

Any advice is muchly appreciated!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 17, 2017, 11:53:57 pm
Another awesome day. Our next-door neighbor went along as I did something I've waited 50 years for: getting my ears pierced. Not a big deal for most people, but for me it's yet another milestone passed on my journey. To show her support my wife got hers pierced, too, after avoiding it her whole life. It was, however, let's say "interesting" that we were required to show ID to do the paperwork for the piercing. Of course, my drivers license didn't match the way I was presenting. As recently as two weeks ago I would have turned tail and run, but today... eh, here ya go. Deal with it.

The most unfortunate part was after the initial greeting of "what can I do for you ladies," I was then misgendered for the rest of the session. Ah well, no point in raising the blood pressure. It's an occupational hazard. She was efficient and nice otherwise, and probably didn't even realize what she was doing.

After adding two more holes in my head, the three of us then went out to an early dinner at Olive Garden, and on to my neighbor's favorite stores where she helped me pick out some new clothes. In the car on the way home we had a great heart-to-heart conversation. She has gone through breast cancer, and we found a lot of parallels in our experiences. It is such a relief to talk openly about what I'm going through after all these years of keeping it buried, and having such a "girl-talk" was heart-warming.

I have given up trying to pick which one of my friends is my biggest supporter, since they all seem to be rotating in one at a time to do incredible things for me. So I've just decided that they're all wonderful, and will leave it at that.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on October 18, 2017, 12:06:41 am
Just a question Steph(anie).

  Did you perchance let the ear piercing  person know you would like to be addressed as Stephanie? Would I would have said is yes that's me but I go by Laurie now. Or something to that effect.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 18, 2017, 12:15:56 am
Did you perchance let the ear piercing  person know you would like to be addressed as Stephanie? Would I would have said is yes that's me but I go by Laurie now. Or something to that effect.

One of the ways I describe myself is, "I can be very spontaneous if you give me time to think about it." You're right, that's what I should have done, but it caught me by surprise and it happened so fast (and only in one sentence) that I wasn't prepared with an answer. And, surprisingly even to myself, it didn't bother me much.

I'll do better next time!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on October 18, 2017, 12:21:30 am
  Okay I was just curious, She may have changed her form of address if she had been given a clue regarding your preferences.  Just a thought.

 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 18, 2017, 12:22:41 am
After all the positive feedback from coming out on Facebook, I've come to a sad realization. If I had known that I would have had all this support, I could have done this long ago, and cut a lot of pain out of my life. This is what happens when you let fear make your decisions for you.

If I can impart any lesson, it would be this: If there's something you want, or *need* to do, ask yourself honestly why you haven't done it. There are always practical, logical reasons to delay, but if it's fear holding you back... jump. It won't be that bad. I will try to follow that advice myself from now on.

The good news is, by ridding myself of the testosterone poisoning, I'm adding about 5 years to my lifespan. Even though I'm getting a late start, my wife and I still have a lot of living to do.

To quote Ashley again, Onward We Go! ® © ™  (The check's in the mail.)

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 18, 2017, 12:26:52 am
Okay I was just curious, She may have changed her form of address if she had been given a clue regarding your preferences.  Just a thought.

Yeah, it was pretty obvious that I was at least trying to present female (and apparently successfully until she saw the driver's license), but yes, I should have forced the issue. I'm going back in four weeks to have the piercings checked, and I'll be ready then if there's any shenanigans.

And if there's any further trouble, I'll tell her that my friend Laurie is really good at hunting...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 18, 2017, 12:35:09 am
More thoughts on coming out on Facebook:

I kind of pulled up short as I saw myself in the mirror last night. Who the heck is this person looking back at me? I've always been so shy and reserved to most people, and look what I've just done. Realistically, a person's whole world can be defined as consisting only of the people they interact with. By that definition, I had just put my entire naked life out in front of the whole world. It almost made me want to curl into fetal position, until I realized that despite - and possibly because of - showing vulnerability, I was showered with all this love from... my entire world.

It's addictive. I almost want to go tell someone else so I can get another hit. But then I remember that demon "freight train o' rejection" still snarling on the tracks out there, and nah, I'm good.

But wow, I guess I've really changed. Apparently conquering dysphoria Builds Strong Bodies Twelve Ways. (Name that product.)

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SadieBlake on October 18, 2017, 05:35:10 am
After all the positive feedback from coming out on Facebook, I've come to a sad realization. If I had known that I would have had all this support, I could have done this long ago, and cut a lot of pain out of my life. This is what happens when you let fear make your decisions for you.
.....

The good news is, by ridding myself of the testosterone poisoning, I'm adding about 5 years to my lifespan. Even though I'm getting a late start, my wife and I still have a lot of living to do.

To quote Ashley again, Onward We Go! ® © ™  (The check's in the mail.)

Steph

I will devil's advocate this, yeah I've kicked myself for not transitioning a couple of years or even 15 years earlier.

I can't regret not having to jump through as many hoops as I would have back when I first realized and if I had goen that early, I'd have been what I fear - more passable but without the quieter thought process that came with changing my thinking. Today I pass emotionally and think and process in characteristically female ways. The one thing I never wanted to be was passing physically while retaining all the masculine behaviors that came with being amab.

My more recent context still required the now 4 years I've put into therapy. Had I realized say 5 years ago that yes I needed to transition some physical aspects would have been easier, like I'd have had paid time off or disability leave. However I would have been wallpapering over other problems. In these years I've addressed a career that was making me unhappy and established myself as a glass artist and more importantly, addressed abuse that I'd experienced as a kid that in turn were masked beneath many layers of coping mechanisms that I had to deal with first.

I've looked at lots of things with 20:20 hindsight -- a couple of motorcycle accidents come to mind and on thinking through the details, my conclusion has always been that the alternatives were potentially far worse.

I don't believe in coincidence and I do believe in magic - that force that drives us towards our better selves as long as we're making space and letting our egos take a back seat. The people who have abused me or hurt me most in my life seem to live ever more isolated lives. As I followed a path of spiritual awakening, I've seen how that magic that makes me better able to connect with people, I've seen others who just become more bitter and angry.

On April 26 as I was on the operating table about to go under I sat alone with my outstanding fears thinking I had about 20 seconds to change my mind. In that moment Heidi Wittenberg held my hand -- I knew before looking over it was her hands holding mine because they're so cold :-).

That was the right time for me, the right place and (ok aside from not really passing and definitely not being the cute chick I would imagine myself as) I'm ecstatic with where I landed.

Back when I first realized I'm transexual I told myself I'd transition in a heartbeat if I could be assured of being cute on the other side. Alas, cute ain't in the offing for me and then and at many points along the way I said to myself (and others) "yes I'm not transitioning mostly out of vanity, how femme does that feel?". Two decades later I've worn off the rough edges and realized that having become the girl I needed to be inside it was the right time for her outsides to match the best as possible.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on October 18, 2017, 06:59:49 am
One of the ways I describe myself is, "I can be very spontaneous if you give me time to think about it."
Haha!   :D  Yes, that's me, too. 

I am so enjoying reading this thread this morning.  I am delighted that things are going well for you.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 18, 2017, 09:09:58 am
It was, however, let's say "interesting" that we were required to show ID to do the paperwork for the piercing... I was then misgendered for the rest of the session...

After adding two more holes in my head, the three of us then went out to an early dinner at Olive Garden, and on to my neighbor's favorite stores where she helped me pick out some new clothes.

I should have related the rest of the story. At Olive Garden we had an awesome waitress who treated us all as a bunch of ladies out to lunch together. At one point she asked us, "Are you all just friends?" My wife and I glanced at each other and said, "Oh, yes." Despite what I considered to be voice fail, I was just another one of the girls, and ended up chatting with the waitress about the food and service. She got a big tip.

So, on balance, it was an extraordinary day.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 18, 2017, 09:36:41 am
I am delighted that things are going well for you.

Delighted is an excellent word. Thanks, Kathy.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 19, 2017, 11:44:19 pm
What happened? Did I fly too close to the sun? Everything has been going so well. Today I went shopping sporting my new pierced ears and with my hair loose, androgynous clothes. Bought food to make steak kabobs. Had invited my dear friend and neighbor who had gone clothes shopping with me a few days ago  to dinner at our house. Had sent a Thank You fruit bouquet to my wife at work. Had walked the dog wearing my girl clothes and had stopped to talk with the neighbors with no negative feedback. Enjoyed preparing the meal and cleaning the house en femme this afternoon. Had a good meal and conversation.

Then looked across the table and saw in the reflection from the window... an old man looking back.

Why should this one thing bother me when everything is going so well? Why am I so fragile suddenly that this can take me down? I roughed it through dinner but I could feel myself spiraling. I tried to find a way to fight it, but I can’t stop it. Right now I’m free falling and I can’t stop crying.

It hurts. What happened?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on October 20, 2017, 01:10:01 am
I can't tell you why, but have a big hug from me anyway and know you're not alone in this.
Two days ago I looked in the mirror and felt my face was starting to look female,  then yesterday,  that same face looked like a pig in lipstick.
The more mature of us have had these bodies and faces a long time,  and it takes a long time for those mental images we carry in our heads to fade.

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on October 20, 2017, 01:58:08 am
Hi Steph(anie)

   Were you reading some of my old posts and mistook one for your own? Yes I too went through this as have many others. I can tell you it is horribly devastating when it happens and it hits you right out of the blue. I posted it about it when it happened to me and took it to my therapist to talk about it. It's a real kick in the privates. But my dear friend it isn't fatal. It's not fun but it will pass. Talk it out, eat some comfort food, or distract yourself with something you love doing. It will go away. Believe me. I've been there done that.
  Okay now that I've solved your problem for you, how about you tell me how to feel better. I want off this roller coaster.

 Hugs to ya Steph(anie)

 Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on October 20, 2017, 08:19:23 am
Your eyes fly upside down.  Photons traveling through the lens in a human eye land on the retina as an inverted image.  The brain processes, flips and assembles the world we see as right side up, automatic as breathing.  A diagram of how the retina works will show the image upside down before it hits the cortex. 

Add facial recognition to that mix... even better than Siri.  We recognize human faces before we learn to speak our first phrase.  Those neurons have been assemblin and flippin your face before Facebook existed.  Friends, family and even your wife hadn’t been processing your previous gender presentation as many hours as you have seen yourself.

This has happened to me.  It’s a cobweb thing, I shake it off and the next morning it’s gone. 

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 20, 2017, 10:08:48 am
This has happened to me.  It’s a cobweb thing, I shake it off and the next morning it’s gone.

Megan, Laurie, Kendra,

Thank you all for writing. It really does help.

I’m not back to 100%, but I’m better this morning. A solid night’s sleep helps a lot. Been thinking about it non-stop, trying to analyze it so I can avoid it next time. I think a lot of it was induced by my hairline - what I saw in the window was a balding old man. I know intellectually that it’s not that bad, but a few things came together to emphasize it. I’d tried Rachel Christina’s trick with the castor oil and coconut oil, so my hair wasn’t as full as usual. I’d tied it back to keep it out of my food, and I’d neglected to wear a hat to hide the receding hairline. A lethal combination when seen in a bad reflection. Add to that a lack of sleep (as an old person, a 5pm nap really helps me function the rest of the day), and two small glasses of wine, which are pretty deadly for me, since I’m way out of practice. Finally, I’d had a really warm heart-to-heart talk with my friend the other day, and I guess I was hoping to replicate that closeness again, but the conversation, while nice, was pretty mundane.

“And the walls came down, all the way to Hell.”*

But I think I’ll be ok now.

Laurie, the only thing I can suggest is to find some way to get a full night’s sleep. Deprivation can do terrible things to your head. 3 1/2 hours at a time doesn’t give your brain time to sort out and fix things for you. I’m glad you’re finally able to see the psychiatrist.

I think about you all the time. Who knows where I’d be now if you hadn’t been so kind when I first came here. You’re among the few people I count as truly helping to change my life.

Steph

*Holy Schmoly, I just read the lyrics of The Traveling Wilbury’s “Tweeter and the Monkey Man.” I hadn’t realized that Tweeter was a transwoman.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 20, 2017, 10:23:42 am
Your eyes fly upside down.  Photons traveling through the lens in a human eye land on the retina as an inverted image.  The brain processes, flips and assembles the world we see as right side up, automatic as breathing.  A diagram of how the retina works will show the image upside down before it hits the cortex.

I read about a study long ago related to this. A bunch of college students were recruited to wear glasses that flipped what they were seeing “upside-down.” After a couple of days of disorientation, the brain adapted, and they were back to normal functioning - until they took them back off. Another few days of readapting and everything was back to normal. Amazing thing, the brain.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on October 20, 2017, 10:37:14 am
Instant Australia, without jet lag!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 20, 2017, 10:40:04 am
Instant Australia, without jet lag!
And without all the blood running to your head. Don’t know how Elizabeth does it.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on October 20, 2017, 10:46:04 am


Laurie, the only thing I can suggest is to find some way to get a full night’s sleep. Deprivation can do terrible things to your head. 3 1/2 hours at a time doesn’t give your brain time to sort out and fix things for you. I’m glad you’re finally able to see the psychiatrist.

I think about you all the time. Who knows where I’d be now if you hadn’t been so kind when I first came here. You’re among the few people I count as truly helping to change my life.

Steph


 Thanks Steph(anie) it is nice of you to say that.  I am glad the difficulty is fading and it will pass. You'll be back to your jovial self soon.

   My sleep is what it is. I went to bed and fell asleep shortly after 1 am last night. I had intentions of sleeping until 6 or 7 if I could. My body had other plans and before 4 am I awoke and that was all she wrote gave up and was up making coffee by 5. I had been awake since almost 8am the morning before. When I start nodding off I sleep, 2 -4 hours later I'm up. Perhaps  they will address that problem too on Tuesday. It is what it is. I have issues body and soul. What can I say?

 Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SadieBlake on October 20, 2017, 12:16:20 pm
Steph, I saw this around 3 am and didn't have the cycles to spare for a response then.

Not all of the days are easy. On average I'm so much better now than I was before surgery, let alone before HRT.

I'm taking a different tack as I think you know, keeping my beard and not hiding my baldness. Ultimately I like my bearded face better and I for damn sure know at this time I can't face shaving daily or the time that goes into makeup for cover.

The last couple of days I've had a bit more self consciousness about how I'm therefore gendered, which is generally as male among strangers. My generally bright side is that the people I interact with most are all very good about name and gender and I'm in an environment where people are amazingly genuine in their response to my identity and non passing presentation.

But it makes for some cognitive dissonance. When I'm feeling more pressure from being misgendered then I'm less happy with my appearance, more likely to avoid looking in the mirror etc.

Maybe it's something in the air, last couple of days have been hard for me also

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 20, 2017, 12:49:36 pm
I'm taking a different tack as I think you know, keeping my beard and not hiding my baldness. Ultimately I like my bearded face better and I for damn sure know at this time I can't face shaving daily or the time that goes into makeup for cover.

Hi Sadie,

Thank you for taking the time to write. As you’ve probably seen by now, the blues were transient, and I’m feeling better today.

Your approach is certainly as valid as mine. I don’t think I’ve got the strength to deal with the cognitive dissonance you talk about, though. I’m going to brave the pain of getting the beard removed, and, if the finasteride and minoxidil don’t do the job on the head, look into grafts. I guess it’s a trade off of short term intense pain vs. long term low-level annoyance.

I hope that whatever we’re breathing clears out and you get to feeling better, too.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SadieBlake on October 20, 2017, 05:52:22 pm
Steph, I'm sure I will, yes there was never any question about valid, we all make the choices we do I find it really positive that we can keep in mind that we can all make different & personally valid choices, there really is no one tight way to transition.

I'm also glad you reminded me in an earlier post about minoxidil, I hadn't considered that and it occurred to me that the need to take it forever to maintain growth may not actually be a requirement for women without testosterone so I'll be talking to my doc about it when I can afford to buy the stuff.

Hugs, glad you're feeling better, I have time to get romantic with my GF Sunday -- she's been either under the weather or away for the last couple weekends --  we're also going to NYC next weekend, again a romantic time actually out of town will be nice. Being sexually embodied as a lesbian, that's usually the best way to raise my spirits :-)I've also got some commissioned work to do tomorrow, stuff I will be paid for, that's always nice too.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 20, 2017, 08:53:47 pm
I'm also glad you reminded me in an earlier post about minoxidil, I hadn't considered that and it occurred to me that the need to take it forever to maintain growth may not actually be a requirement for women without testosterone so I'll be talking to my doc about it when I can afford to buy the stuff.

I didn't realize you wouldn't have to use it forever once the T is out of the system. That's hopeful. Right now I'm just using generic topical Rogaine from Wally World, plus finasteride, and I am seeing some regrowth, especially on the crown which is what the minoxidil works on.

Quote
Hugs, glad you're feeling better, I have time to get romantic with my GF Sunday -- she's been either under the weather or away for the last couple weekends --  we're also going to NYC next weekend, again a romantic time actually out of town will be nice. Being sexually embodied as a lesbian, that's usually the best way to raise my spirits :-)I've also got some commissioned work to do tomorrow, stuff I will be paid for, that's always nice too.

Congratulations, both are good things!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: The Flying Lemur on October 24, 2017, 07:38:47 am
I'm glad to hear you're feeling better, Steph.  Dysphoria is a cruel thing and it can really suck the joy out of life.  I'm also glad to hear that you're forging ahead with your transition.  It helps to have stuff to look forward to.  You seem like a really bright, vital, and resilient person.  Keep on keeping on, sister!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 24, 2017, 09:39:28 am
I'm glad to hear you're feeling better, Steph.  Dysphoria is a cruel thing and it can really suck the joy out of life.  I'm also glad to hear that you're forging ahead with your transition.  It helps to have stuff to look forward to.  You seem like a really bright, vital, and resilient person.  Keep on keeping on, sister!

Aw, thanks Ben. My mind seems so much clearer since I started HRT. I’ve always felt that creative and sensitive kernel was there inside, but I wouldn’t let it out much. Now I can just let it flow, and it feels sooo good.

My latest meltdown came out of nowhere after weeks of unbridled joy. Thankfully it didn’t last long, and the happiness has resurfaced.

I dug through my “attic” yesterday trying to track down address information for all the places I’ve lived (forever!) so I can start the name change process tomorrow, and ended up shedding some tears as I ran across pictures and other mementos of things I’d accomplished in my previous incarnation. I got lost in wondering about what might have been if I’d let myself be complete long ago.

But, as Kendra has noted, that’s all hormones under the bridge. Time to move forward, and the future is bright.

Note that I try really hard not to refer to myself in the third person when writing about my previous and future existence. “He” and “she” are all the same person: “me.” Referring to myself back then as a different person seems disrespectful, and denies myself whatever pride I can draw from what I did then. And I have done a few cool things. I’m thinking about starting a thread about that.

Oh, and as for thinking clearly, I realized afterward that you already knew the date that I came out on FB, when I posted about it on your introductory thread. My excuse is that I’m juggling a lot of balls (stay focused now) trying to keep Susan’s, two FB accounts, and direct email blasts to my friends all up to date. It’s hard to remember who knows what...

And congratulations again on moving forward yourself!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 29, 2017, 02:16:06 pm
When last we saw our heroine, she was recovering from a mini-meltdown. We now rejoin her as she reports on how well things are going again...

Hi everyone! [Hi Steph!] As our announcer said, things are going great.

On October 25th I attended a clinic hosted by a legal aid association specifically for transgender name and gender marker changes. After a Powerpoint presentation, we were assigned a legal assistant to fill out the paperwork. I let her fill it all in, since her handwriting was legible (and mine isn't). I got to watch her put my new name on that line. It didn't hit me until later, but suddenly everything was becoming gloriously real. The next day I filed the paperwork with the court. I'm on my way...

I came up with a fun Halloween costume, a female airline pilot carrying a white cane with a red tip. See here for the pictures and my passenger announcement:

https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,229004.msg2042368.html#msg2042368 (https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,229004.msg2042368.html#msg2042368)

I'm president of our local flying club, and we host a fly-in breakfast every year on Halloween weekend. This is the first time I wore any kind of costume for it, and it was a hit. The only part that was different from the uniform I'd worn for the previous parties was I wore pants instead of a skirt. I was flying that day, and it's not a good idea to fly a plane that has a stick wearing a skirt. And yes, I know all the jokes about flying with a stick...

The part that put me over the moon was when an old friend that I hadn't seen in a while flew in. He thought the costume was cool, then leaned over (he's tall and I'm not) and said quietly, "Y'know, with the earrings and your hair out like that, you look a lot like a woman pilot." I thought my face was gonna split, I was smiling so wide. I nodded, and he said, "Oh, is that what you were going for?" I took him to a quiet corner and told him what was going on. He was happy that I was happy! I ended up telling five more people who I hadn't seen for a while, and they were all cool.

I've been going out wearing my girl clothes more often lately, though not pushing it too hard. It's been more androgynous, but it was kind of a test to see how I'd be gendered, and how far I had to go to be seen as female. Earlier this week I went to Wally World, and as I went through the self-checkout, the lady who watches over the area came over and starting chatting and helping me bag things, and just being really sociable. I've been through there and seen her lots of times before, and while we've occasionally said hi, there was never any kind of friendly interaction before. I don't know what it all means, but it was nice. The flip side is when I then went to the auto parts store, I was called sir the whole time. Meh...

But this morning I recovered completely. I've mentioned this before, but we live in a very close neighborhood, almost like an extended family. I wrote earlier how I was terrified of losing that close feeling, and how it worked out great in the end. This morning we texted everyone and arranged to go to breakfast together. This time I still didn't use any makeup, but pushed the clothes just a little bit further and had my hair pulled loosely through the loop in my baseball cap... and was gendered correctly all morning by the waiter! My neighbor and I smiled at each other, "Well, there ya go!"

So I'm going to count all those experiences as being gendered correctly three times recently, without a whole lot of effort. With starting the name change, more shopping trips while dressed, more friends supporting me, and another visit to my therapist where I spent most of the time making her smile with all my good news, I'm flying pretty high right now.

I'm getting work done around here and in the shop today wearing my girl working clothes, and wondering if I've already started RLE? Just women's jeans, a v-neck 3/4 sleeve t-shirt in a coral color, and matching canvas shoes. (I just realized it's pretty much what I was wearing in my current avatar pic.) Other than the colors, working clothes aren't really all that different from what I used to wear. I thought starting RLE would be like clicking a switch, where I pick a date and from then on I'm Steph only. But it seems like it might end up being a fade-out/fade-in kind of thing...

In any case, I'm really comfortable and contented today...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on October 29, 2017, 02:39:55 pm
Hi Steph(anie)

  I liked reading about all of your adventures and seeing the positive effect they are having on you. That feeling of all being right with the world is a wonderful one to have. I had the same upon my return from my trip. Would that it could have lasted.
  In regards to full time, sometimes it isn't a turn of the switch or a conscious decision. Sometimes it is a realization as mine turned out to be. I realized I had been full time  and could find no reason not to continue. I had to look back to the last time I wore my male clothes an now count my start from there. True to myself it was completely unplanned.
  I am happy for you that you are able to move forward to becoming Stephanie legally.

Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on October 29, 2017, 03:56:18 pm
Steph, it's lovely to hear how you just keep taking positive steps in your stride. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 29, 2017, 04:50:48 pm
Steph, it's lovely to hear how you just keep taking positive steps in your stride. X

Thanks Laurie and Megan. An addendum to my earlier post that has me almost in tears right now: I just glimpsed in a mirror, and I saw a smiling woman looking back at me. Damn...

Happy Steph (sorry Moni)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: The Flying Lemur on October 29, 2017, 07:07:19 pm
I'm so happy to hear that things continue to go well!  It's great that your friends and neighbors have been positive.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 29, 2017, 09:12:20 pm
That feeling of all being right with the world is a wonderful one to have. I had the same upon my return from my trip. Would that it could have lasted.

It’ll be back. At the risk of pushing a metaphor too far, yeah,  this molehill of yours turned out to be more of a mountain, but you’re actually tackling it now, and you’ll be stronger for it. Remember what it all looked like to me when we first met? And how far I’ve come, and how I’ve grown from the battle? I got a lot of that strength from you, whether you choose to accept that or not. The cool thing about passing on strength to other people is you can do so without depleting your own.

Michelle knows what she’s talking about. Finding your own new support networks through social groups is a great way to go. If you turned those Moni-hunting skills into tracking down new groups to hang with, there’d be no stopping you. Heck, look at all the friends you’ve got here without hardly even trying.

Quote
In regards to full time, sometimes it isn't a turn of the switch or a conscious decision. Sometimes it is a realization as mine turned out to be.

This is really what I started this reply to talk about. I was texting a friend of mine about wondering whether I’d actually gone full-time or not, and as I tried to summarize what we’d talked about, I suddenly understood just how profound what you had said was. If you don’t mind, I’d like to quote a condensed version of your statement:

Quote
Going full-time is not so much a decision, as it is a realization.
-Laurie

Yeah, it has a limited audience, but when I thought of it like that, it rocked me back pretty hard. Thank you for helping me clarify it.

Quote
True to myself it was completely unplanned.

Heh. We’re pretty different in that respect. I do like to try to plan things. That’s why I was taken by surprise when this full-time thing kinda snuck up on me. I make no promises that I won’t backslide occasionally, but it sure feels real right now.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on October 30, 2017, 12:11:47 pm
Hi Steph,

My partner and I were on a road trip when I had a melt down, a really tough one. The outcome was that if I was to go on living and our relationship was going to last, the only choice was to live authentically. It was nearly a month later that I realized my full time transition point had been in the middle of that road trip just over a year ago. It hasn't been the smoothest flying since but oh so much better than anything before.  Pull your seat belt tight and enjoy the ride!

Tia Anne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 30, 2017, 12:31:39 pm
My partner and I were on a road trip when I had a melt down, a really tough one. The outcome was that if I was to go on living and our relationship was going to last, the only choice was to live authentically. It was nearly a month later that I realized my full time transition point had been in the middle of that road trip just over a year ago. It hasn't been the smoothest flying since but oh so much better than anything before.  Pull your seat belt tight and enjoy the ride!

Hi Tia Anne,

Thanks for the encouragement! I got up this morning with the determination that ole whatshisname was probably gone for good. It felt so right that I emailed my Mom and sister just to tell them that I loved them, what a beautiful morning it was, and, unlike so many other mornings in the past, how it was a genuine joy to greet it.

It's so unusual for them to hear such things from me that I also followed up with a disclaimer that no drugs were involved in the making of the previous announcement.

Here I am getting ready to take my dawg for a walk. A bunch of my neighbors saw me and there wasn't a single negative comment.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/otxuom9l0tjyjtb/coolweather.jpg?dl=1)

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on October 30, 2017, 02:22:20 pm

"I got up this morning with the determination that ole whatshisname was probably gone for good. It felt so right that I emailed my Mom and sister just to tell them that I loved them, what a beautiful morning it was, and, unlike so many other mornings in the past, how it was a genuine joy to greet it."


Steph, if you ever doubt the validity of being a transgender woman just go back and re-read your statement. No CIS guy could ever conceive the enjoyment of what you said. It sort of sums it all up, doesn't it!

Tia Anne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 30, 2017, 02:37:35 pm
"I got up this morning with the determination that ole whatshisname was probably gone for good. It felt so right that I emailed my Mom and sister just to tell them that I loved them, what a beautiful morning it was, and, unlike so many other mornings in the past, how it was a genuine joy to greet it."

Steph, if you ever doubt the validity of being a transgender woman just go back and re-read your statement. No CIS guy could ever conceive the enjoyment of what you said. It sort of sums it all up, doesn't it!

Yeah, how about that? Despite all the crap going down in the world nowadays, it's still possible to find real happiness within. In fact, I suspect all the crap is caused by people who haven't been able to find that inner happiness in themselves. They haven't figured out how to live their own lives, so they try to run others' instead.

But what do I know? It took me 50 years to figure myself out...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 30, 2017, 11:59:35 pm
Hey, it looks like I might have gotten my first outright rejection! I'd sent a Facebook friend request to a neighbor who I'd clued in about my transition on Saturday. After a bit of research, it looks like my request was deleted without comment.

And ya know what? It doesn't matter. I thought it would hurt, but nothing's gonna dent my happiness now. After all, I've got family, tons of friends, and all you guys who support me.

It's their loss if they don't want to know the real me!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on October 31, 2017, 12:18:10 am
> And ya know what? It doesn't matter. I thought it would hurt, but nothing's gonna dent my happiness now. After all, I've got family, tons of friends, and all you guys who support me.

Exactly.  They just saved you time!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on October 31, 2017, 01:09:33 am
Steph,

I had the same from a very small number of of FB connections.
It's those unwilling or unable to accept the new and wonderful you that are missing out. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 31, 2017, 01:14:18 am
It's those unwilling or unable to accept the new and wonderful you that are missing out

Quote from: Kendra.
Exactly. They just saved you time!

Kendra and Megan:

Exactamundo!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: LizK on October 31, 2017, 04:14:35 am
Hey, it looks like I might have gotten my first outright rejection! I'd sent a Facebook friend request to a neighbor who I'd clued in about my transition on Saturday. After a bit of research, it looks like my request was deleted without comment.

And ya know what? It doesn't matter. I thought it would hurt, but nothing's gonna dent my happiness now. After all, I've got family, tons of friends, and all you guys who support me.

It's their loss if they don't want to know the real me!

If nothing else, coming out certainly sorts out who your friends are. Some may take a little longer than others but you will eventually be left with a rock solid group of friends who love you for you... ;)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 31, 2017, 07:37:49 am
If nothing else, coming out certainly sorts out who your friends are. Some may take a little longer than others but you will eventually be left with a rock solid group of friends who love you for you... ;)

Yes, indeed. Maybe everyone should do this to sort out the deadwood!

If this is the only loss, among... gosh, 60 or 70 friends? - I’ll have no complaints whatsoever. And to be fair, I’m not discounting the outside chance that they may not recognize the name I’m using now, despite the close similarity to the old name.

Everyone else has been so cool, but what really surprised me is how much the women in particular have embraced this. I mentioned this to my neighbor, and she said, “Well, yeah! They’ve all got a new doll to dress up!”

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on October 31, 2017, 08:18:22 am


... Everyone else has been so cool, but what really surprised me is how much the women in particular have embraced this. I mentioned this to my neighbor, and she said, “Well, yeah! They’ve all got a new doll to dress up!”

Steph

My female neighbours were straight into telling me how they'd get me in heals.

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on October 31, 2017, 10:25:06 am
My female neighbours were straight into telling me how they'd get me in heals.

I'd have to heal, too, if I wore heels too much.  ;D

I posted this picture of my Halloween uniform on my Facebook page:

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/nfp7523cbzash1c/sillyburger.jpg?dl=1)

Two things happened afterward:

I had to tell my neighbor to keep her husband on a short leash after he told me I had great legs.  :D

My other neighbor told me I need to be careful or the claws are going to come out on the other women in the neighborhood.  :o

Hubba hubba!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 02, 2017, 09:54:37 am
Another awesome day...

It did start out pretty rough as I let Brandi shoot a laser at my face. This was my second go-round, and it was incredibly painful this time. I think I did two things wrong. First, I forgot Kendra's advice to hydrate hydrate hydrate. Second, I have 1:10 drive to the clinic, I got started with the numbing cream too early, and we started the session about 15 minutes late. That put the time from applying the cream until the first zap about about 1:45. Even though it felt numb, it must have been too long. Next time I think I'll drive there a half hour early and put the cream on there.

After the session, though, things turned around. After letting the shakes subside and wiping my eyes, I went to lunch at Chili's. I was treated well and ma'amed the whole time. From there I went to the mall and conducted more research. First was to see if I attracted any attention. Absolutely no drama there. Second was to observe and learn. I sat in the middle of the mall and watched the women and how they comport themselves. Not sure if I learned anything new, but I ended up feeling great about how things were going. I did some more walking around and had some fun with the storefront signs:

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/rtluv9urul8tnzn/wineywench.jpg?raw=1)
.
And I found this thought bubble in the front of a store called "Garage," which apparently sells teenage girl clothes. I don't know why they had a fake bed and this sign in the front, but I was feeling so good I thought it was appropriate.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/mtb3ufbszldv5lw/dream.jpg?raw=1)

After the mall I went to Target and did some shopping, using the ladies dressing rooms to try on a few things, and even talking with the lady outside to see if they had something I was looking for. Again, no drama.

I believe I've gone full-time, and it's a wonderful feeling!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 02, 2017, 09:59:53 am
Fab,  and a brilliant picture with the bubble. Is this it then? no more icky man stuff?

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 02, 2017, 10:07:10 am
> I went to Target
You nailed it - bullseye!

OMG Steph those photos almost caused a coffee spray. 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 02, 2017, 10:26:33 am
Fab,  and a brilliant picture with the bubble. Is this it then? no more icky man stuff?

I'm trying my best to purge all that stuff, but when I get down to it, I have a hard time differentiating between guy and girl work clothes to wear in the shop. T-shirts and jeans just aren't that different. Plus, I'm so dang cheap that I'm having a hard time dumping those types of clothes until they're worn out. I have to admit, though, two days ago when I was fixing my compressor wearing what could be considered non-gender-specific clothes, I started getting dysphoric just knowing that they belonged to ole whatshisname, to the point where I could feel a mild panic attack coming on later in the day. So I really needed yesterday to banish those blues. I need to come up with something that feels feminine to me but that I don't mind working in.

I forgot to mention that on the way home I stopped at one of my neighbor's houses and introduced my new self to them. They already knew the situation and are awesome about it, but until then they'd only seen me in at most androgynous mode. It went really well, and we had a warm conversation until I got an impatient text to get home to feed my wife (around here, if I don't cook, we don't eat...).

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on November 02, 2017, 12:33:02 pm
I am glad you are having a great time being yourself, Steph!

Second, I have 1:10 drive to the clinic, I got started with the numbing cream too early, and we started the session about 15 minutes late. That put the time from applying the cream until the first zap about about 1:45.
Do you cover the cream with plastic wrap?  It looks goofy, and you probably want to avoid being in public like that any more than absolutely necessary, but it does make a big difference in keeping the cream effective for longer.  For areas where the effectiveness wears off quickly, I do two separate areas and cover them seperately.  That way, she can uncover one area, wipe it off and work there.  Once the numbing wears off there, she can uncover the other area, which is still numb and continue working.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 02, 2017, 12:47:31 pm
I am glad you are having a great time being yourself, Steph!
Do you cover the cream with plastic wrap?  It looks goofy, and you probably want to avoid being in public like that any more than absolutely necessary

Yeah, sure did. Driving 1:10 through morning traffic is a hoot with that on my face. The thing I hate most is being hardly able to open my mouth, so it’s hard to sing on the way.

I use Press and Seal instead of Saran Wrap and it does seem to keep things from drying out. I’ll try getting there early and getting zapped within 1/2 hour next time. If that doesn’t do it, I’ll just have to grimace and take it. But wow, I sure didn’t expect anything like that after the first time was so easy.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 02, 2017, 12:48:48 pm
I also do as Kathy suggested an hour before my appointments. My electrologist suggested I apply a thing coat of numbing cream and rub it into the skin some before applying a second thicker coat and covering. This seemed to help the numbing be more effective. I also prep and cover two areas separately. And also do not forget to hydrate hydrate hydrate again.

laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SadieBlake on November 02, 2017, 06:28:13 pm
I will be talking with our glass shop director about clothing. Senior people, myself included are allowed to wear shorts (heat is already bad enough without wearing long pants). I want the ok to wear a skirt -- has to be cotton so it's not an issue right now as I can't afford anything new and like you Stephanie, I'm really cheap, still patch my work clothes when seams give way.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 03, 2017, 11:31:00 pm
Yet another interesting day. Part of my job has been displaying at major, and a few minor, aviation expos around the US. This year I decided not to display at the November show in Florida, partially because of changes in the relationship with the company I import products from, but mostly because at the time I was required to reserve a display booth, I was just starting my transition, and I had no idea where I'd be at this time in the future.

I have become friends with a lot of people at these shows, and I usually only see them there. So a fair number of folks who I've come to know had no idea what I was going through. Today was the day I visited and got to fill them in.

I invited Delores, a girlfriend who knows all about me to go along, and we went to breakfast at one airport before going to the show. I didn't go over the top on getting dressed up, but I didn't attempt to hide anything either. All the clothes were from the women's department, and my hair was just pulled through the loop on my hat and left loose. My nails were polished and of course I had my new earrings in. The end result was still kind of androgynous. Here I am after we got back home, with the latest plane I built. We both have big smiles:

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/dnuzwx89t7duuxt/pile-it.jpg?dl=1)

At breakfast I had a serious dilemma. I didn't think I was passing as female, and I had to use the bathroom. What to do? Well, I braced myself and used the men's room. I just didn't think I'd get away with using the ladies room this time. It turned out to be a dysphoric experience. I realized that this is the first time I've used a public men's room in a while, and it just felt wrong. Delores caught me coming out and said in front of everyone, "Hey, you used the wrong one! I expected to find you in the other one." Now, my flying buddies do know what's going on with me, but nobody else in the building did. I laughed it off (painfully). I don't know whether anyone noticed or not. Oy.

When we got to the show I stopped to say hello to my friend who describes the planes for the crowd as they fly by. I filled him in on my situation, and he was supportive, but we couldn't talk long because he had to get back to his announcing. I waved bye, and he whispered to stop back later.

Next up was an old friend and business partner. I told him everything, he said he was cool, and we went on to the same old conversations we always have, just like nothing else was new. When I moved on he made me promise to call him if I needed anything at all.

And that was pretty much the pattern for everyone else I know and have worked with, except for the last one. She actually runs the show. I've worked with her for years, and we've gotten to know each other pretty well. This is, in fact, the first year that I haven't arranged to display at her show since she took over. We sat and had lunch together, and as we got up to leave I broke the news a little differently. I told her that one of the reasons I didn't display this year was because of some big changes happening in my life, and I just gave her one of my new business cards. They're the same as my old ones except the name is changed from "Steve" to "Steph." I told her it would give her an idea if she looked at the name. She looked it over, looked a little puzzled, looked me over with new eyes... then gave me a big hug. She told me that she was happy for me, and not much else needed to be said. That was pretty dang cool.

There was one more stop. I know a guy (L) who runs an aircraft business not far from me with his wife and his dad (P), and I stopped to say a quick Hi to them. They already know about my transition. Remember my friend who took us to Disney? He's the one who filled them in a couple of weeks ago, and he told me that when L found out he started saying some pretty nasty things. That's when his dad stepped in and read him the riot act: "She's going through a hard time right now, and you will support her and be nice! (or something along those lines)" Now it's not as if L is a kid - he's got to be in his 40's and P must be in his 60's. I was in awe that P not only came to my defense, but immediately started using the correct pronouns without prompting. We had a nice conversation about the product they're selling and the next plane I'm building, then touched a little on my transition - with no drama - and we moved on.

It was time to head home, but I still needed to stop and see my announcer friend on the way out as promised. I walked into the little building he uses as an announcer's booth. He had a few other people hanging out with him, and with no prompting he introduced me to each of them in turn as Steph. Wow. I know some pretty dang cool people.

Letting all of them know pretty much sets the stage for the next big show in Florida coming up in April. Instead of displaying I'll be volunteering with all the people I know who make the show happen, and now almost all of them know what to expect. By April I will have been on HRT for almost 11 months, so hopefully there will be noticeable changes, unlike now. With all the pump priming I've been doing, the shock factor should be pretty low, and I can just get on with the job as me. Where before I was dreading it, now I'm starting to look forward to it.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 03, 2017, 11:37:57 pm
 glad to hear it was a good event for you Steph(anie)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 04, 2017, 02:22:07 am
Sounds like you have many wonderful and very sensible friends who truly value you for the person you are. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on November 04, 2017, 08:41:53 am
Way to go on all the coming out, and congratulations on your choices of friends!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 04, 2017, 09:52:41 am
Steph ya got it in the cards - right on.  As time goes on this whole gender thing just feels right and the previous way less so (I’ve noticed the same thing).  Wingin’ it seems tricky at first, then becomes a nice glide path.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 04, 2017, 10:36:50 pm
I couldn't stop grinning all day...

My wife and I flew to breakfast this morning. As president of our flying club, I instituted our club motto as "Fly to Eat; Eat to Fly." Pilots aren't very smart, so this keeps things simple. We always know what we need to do next: if we're flying, next up is eating. If we're eating... well, you get it. Restaurants on airports are always in high demand by pilots.

Here we are on the way. As you can see, I'm not dressed up much (I'm on the right, silly). Just a women's button down shirt, women's jeans, and blue canvas shoes with white polkadots. I even tied my hair back when we went to eat.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/fu66m2tshjusdaa/breakfastflight.jpg?raw=1)

None of the rest of my flying buddies could make it today, so we went by ourselves, and without our regular posse along we sat alone. Pilots tend to be a social lot, though, and one of the guys at a table across the restaurant called over, "Did you ladies fly in?" This is when my grin started. Using my best voice (which isn't very dang good) I answered that yes, we did. We talked airplanes for a minute, and then he asked (even after hearing my voice) whether we were with the Ninety-Nines. My grin got even bigger. The Ninety-Nines is a women's aviation organization started by Amelia Earhart with 98 other women back in the 30s. There are male members, but it was obvious what this guy was thinking.

I hardly needed an airplane to fly home...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SadieBlake on November 05, 2017, 03:31:58 am
Quote
I hardly needed an airplane to fly home...

You're amazing, I've been up in small aircraft a few times, usually seated shotgun hella fun experience. Best evar included a flyover el cap and half dome in Yosemite bc the pilot said it was only a few minutes out of the way and why not!!?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on November 05, 2017, 06:16:35 am
I hardly needed an airplane to fly home...
Right on, sister!

As a former pilot myself (RCAF), I know the thrill of flying, but I can totally see that the thrill of that encounter would take first place.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 05, 2017, 06:52:01 am
in the breakfast club
fly to eat and eat to fly
clear blue skies ahead

ladies at table
gendered correctly again
Steph can’t stop smiling

things can turn out well
easier as time goes by
flying on cloud nine

aviatrix now
go buzz the control tower
yee haw this is fun
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 08, 2017, 01:07:16 am
Hi Steph,

I am just reading through this thread. I am finding it so inspiring. So much of what you have said is something I can completely relate to. You are further along your transition than I am. I can only hope my journey is even half as positive as yours. I  have only read the first half of this thread so far. I just read your Facebook coming out letter and had to stop reading so I can respond. That letter was incredible! I may even steal some of your words (with your permission of course) when I am ready to come out. I don’t have a Facebook account but I was thinking that a letter like that would work well with work.

I will continue reading this thread as soon as I get a bit more time (and recharge my phone battery). I was also thinking of creating a blog type thread rather than starting a new thread every time I want to say something.

Thank you for sharing this. It is giving me strength to continue down this transition path.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 08, 2017, 10:30:50 pm
Sorry I've been falling behind, everyone. Been a busy couple of days.

Sadie: Yosemite is my most favoritest place in the whole world. I've been there 3 or 4 times now. Even rented a cabin in the valley for a winter weekend once. I fell in love with the Ahwahnee Hotel, and have tried to model parts of my house on the decor. I'm surprised you could fly over the park. It would be extremistically awesomatic to see it from the air.

Kathy:Now I not only want to sit and have coffee with you, but I need to take you flying. Once it's in your blood you're infected for life, and I've already reignited the fire in another one of our sisters (reference Jayne below). Advanced Ultralights in Canada are very close to our Light Sport Aircraft here in the US. You need to find your way out of that cold and get down to Florida so I can show you what it's all about.

Kendra: Thank you for the cool haiku. Yet another reason to worship you. I'm not worrrrrthy!!! Would you mind if I posted it on my Facebook page after my breakfast story? With proper attribution to Kenundrum, of course.

And Jayne: Thank you. I'm humbled that you took inspiration not only from our back-channel flying banter, but also by my writing on this thread. I can't take credit for starting it. My friend and badger-in-chief Laurie is the one who goaded me into initiating it, back when I was scared to death. I'll always be thankful that she took me by the hand and pulled me out of my shell. If I helped you at all, it was because I'm now trying to pay that kindness forward. Some day you'll find yourself in the same position. Helping each other bootstrap our emergence is what makes Susan's shine brighter than all the other groups on the internet. This is the first and only place where I have been moved to voluntarily make monthly donations to help out. Worth every penny.

On to my latest adventure: I posted on the "What made you happy" thread that yesterday I finally found the right place to get my fingerprints electronically submitted, so I can get the paperwork wrapped up for my name change. In about two weeks the background check should be done, and I can set my court date. The rumor is that it'll take about a month to see the judge. So I'm hoping that in six weeks or so I will finally be who I really am: Stephanie Rhapsody XXX. Then it'll be party time. How many of you will come?

After seeing the fingerprint dude, I brushed out my hair, put on my girl shoes, grabbed my purse, and went to lunch at a cool little restaurant right across from the seaplane base on a lake here in central Florida. I suspect the waitress clocked me, but she never let on, and I was treated so well that I not only left a big tip, but I wrote a thank you on the credit card receipt. I've never ever done such a thing before, but after being pretty stressed about it, it all went so well that I needed to show my gratitude.

I don't really get why I was so nervous. I've been out enough now that this isn't anything new. It may have been that I hadn't done a lot of preparation beforehand with makeup and such things. After all, for the fingerprinting I'd decided that I was going to go androgynously at best. I guess I just didn't think I'd earned a "passing" grade. Eh, whatever... all's well that ends well.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 08, 2017, 10:42:29 pm
Steph, that’s great you are still moving forward in such a positive way. It will be awesome once you have your name change finalised. It will be a milestone worth celebrating!

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 08, 2017, 11:08:25 pm
Steph, yes - you’re most welcome to re-post, re-use etc., I’m very open about my transition.  I am not on Facebook but might re-activate someday after I get caught up on other stuff.  I seem to have too many projects right now, including me...    ;)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 08, 2017, 11:18:46 pm
Steph, yes - you’re most welcome to re-post, re-use etc., I’m very open about my transition.

Thank you! I don't need to mention that you're a tran-sister, even if you don't mind. I just think my cis-friends will dig your poetry.

Quote
I seem to have too many projects right now, including me...    ;)

Hoo boy, do I ever understand that. I've been taking some heat around the airport that I haven't put a wrench on my own airplane kit project since I got home from Oshkosh in August. My excuse was my projects have been taking care of customer's demands - and myself. I am definitely a work in progress...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 09, 2017, 07:22:29 am
Tran-sister... love the term. 
After all those decades I suppressed it, being a re-sister. 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Meghan on November 09, 2017, 07:29:34 am
Tran-sister... love the term. 
After all those decades I suppressed it, being a re-sister.
Since we must lean on each other for support just like a family member supposed to do.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 09, 2017, 05:05:02 pm
Tran-sister... love the term. 
After all those decades I suppressed it, being a re-sister.
*** Bump-Powww ***

That is funny, but appropriate.  But I need to know, to go from a re-sister to a trans-sister, did you first have to pass through a trans-former?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 09, 2017, 05:06:23 pm
*** Bump-Powww ***

That is funny, but appropriate.  But I need to know, to go from a re-sister to a trans-sister, did you first have to pass through a trans-former?

Yes. That is the trans-mission.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 09, 2017, 05:09:01 pm
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Sno on November 09, 2017, 06:29:37 pm
That’s because the autoformer failed, and my capacity for puns is shocking.

Rowan
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 10, 2017, 01:51:29 am
Ohm my.  Currently positive or neutral.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 10, 2017, 07:15:05 am
I was going to tell you to watch your amplitude, but it’s actually kind of Coulomb. I’m seeing these things with increasing frequency.

And don’t tran-sit in your trans-Continental. Work on your trans-fat or you’re going to ruin your trans-figure.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 10, 2017, 09:26:35 am
I figure some of us have our quarks.  According to string theory I shouldn’t impede your thread as that would be a negative sine to a void.  A hormonic frequency in relativity terms.

Speaking of figure I’ll raise ourglass, a toast to transposing.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 12, 2017, 11:45:52 pm
Hi Friends,

Not sure exactly why I'm posting this right now. I guess the contrast with the next message I post will illustrate how quickly and thoroughly things can change, and how fragile and superficial happiness is. This is a lightly edited version of an email I sent my mom and a friend yesterday.

My mom had emailed to say that she hadn't heard from me for a while, and wondered if everything was ok.
========

No, things aren’t “OK.” Instead, they’re really quite wonderful. As you may have read on my Facebook page, I had been thinking aloud to a dear friend about when I would leave my old self behind, and finally allow myself to live full-time as who I know myself to be. I paraphrased my friend's statement as, “Full-time is less a decision as it is a realization.” Well, I have accepted myself, and I have realized that everyone around me is pretty much accepting - or at least tolerating - my new self. It’s snuck up on me so quietly I didn’t know it was happening, but I realized that I haven’t slipped into my old role in quite a while now.

Last Tuesday I finally found out from the County Family Court Clerk where I could get my fingerprints electronically submitted for the background check for my name change court order. I drove to the courthouse in a neighboring county in what I call “androgynous mode” to get it done. No problem, and afterwards I went back to the car, brushed out my hair, grabbed my purse, and walked downtown to a restaurant which is right on the lake at a seaplane base. I had a nice lunch, and though I was nervous, and I think the waitress may have “read” me, she was still very nice. She got a big tip and a Thank You on the receipt.

Last Sunday a bunch of us were going to fly to breakfast, and I decided I it was time that the neighborhood got used to seeing me the way I was going to be seen the rest of my life here. It was a bit of a milestone moment for me as I get ready to go, though it certainly wasn’t anything over the top. Just some of my favorite casual feminine clothes. I didn’t want to shock anyone too badly, so I put my stuff in my Eagle Creek “tech bag” I’ve been carrying for years, instead of taking a purse. I was getting all keyed up with the thought of getting this speed bump behind me, and… we had to cancel because of fog. I felt like a balloon with all the air let out. Text messages flew back and forth about postponing and going to lunch later, and we finally all got an invitation to meet at a neighbor's and enjoy each other’s company with hot cinnamon rolls. The thought of changing back to “old mode” occurred to me, but then I decided, no, let’s get this done. And there were no bad comments. Admittedly, there was only one good comment, a compliment on my blouse, but otherwise, everything was normal, with the regular banter and jokes and discussion about airplanes and other good things. And that’s what I needed. Normalcy and stability proved to me that I was still accepted as the same person. Actually, things were still a little too normal - while all of my neighbors have started calling me “Steph,” one in particular continues to use the incorrect pronouns (he, him, his). Right now, even though it hurts a bit, I’m taking it with wry acceptance. I understand that the flipside of them still seeing me as the same person is they haven’t been pushed to think about who I am now, and the changes that are taking place.

A group of us were going to fly to a resort town on the Gulf of Mexico yesterday, and again it was going to be my debut flight as me. This time I decided to avoid half-measures, and while I was still casual, I did use some makeup and tried to make myself look as good as possible. And again we were fogged in. I moped around and did things around the house part of the day, and everyone finally decided to meet for dinner at a BBQ place at 5:30. I grabbed my purse and hat and drove to Kohl’s to do some shopping. I needed a lightweight jacket, and ended up finding one, along with a nice cardigan. There was quite a line to check out, and it made me a bit nervous, knowing I’d be in such close proximity to other people. And it was fine, with a little bantering about why there where so many people waiting, with one guy asking me what they were giving away. The cashier asked, “Would you like to keep the hangers, ma’am?” and we tried to figure out how to use a discount code. Apparently she didn’t notice anything unusual, which I just what I’d hoped for.

I nervously considered dropping in on my mom unannounced, but then realized I was running late for dinner and had to get to Leesburg. Some of the neighbors had already seen me in full “me mode” but some others there hadn’t - and once again, all was normal, including the continued misgendering by the one neighbor, even in front of the waitress. At one point I mentioned the fingerprints and court order, and a few didn’t know what it was for. I explained that it was for the name change, and that was a good time to put them on notice that when the change is made official, it will be time to end the misgendering. Maybe that got some wheels turning in those heads. It ended up being a nice dinner anyway.

Today, my wife and I met up with a friend I’d made at one of the support groups I go to. We met for breakfast at a bakery, then went to a Renaissance Faire. My friend is as geeky as my wife and me, and is also transgender, so we had plenty to talk about. We ended up getting getting soaked in the rain on the way out, but went back to the same restaurant on the lake that I'd been to earlier in the week for lunch anyway. We had more interesting conversation while we ate and dried out. After we got home, another neighbor came over and I helped him with his phone and some navigation software on his tablet, still in full me mode. And everything is fine, despite him slipping on my name a few times. I got revenge, though. While I worked on his phone I snuck into his Contacts and changed my name to Steph. He won’t have any idea how it happened, and maybe it’ll help him remember. To be fair, he was one of the first to try to use Steph all the time, so an occasional slip-up is forgivable.

We’re going to try to go to the resort town on the Gulf one more time tomorrow, and again I plan to do it all as myself. Hopefully this time it’ll work. But whether it does or not, it seems to be a foregone conclusion that my old self is in the past now.

My friend who was the second person I came out to sent me an email telling me we need to visit with her sometime soon. We’ve determined that we wear the same size clothes, and she has a room full that she wants me to look through and take home. She also wants to take us out for a nice dinner. She was the first one to give me total acceptance, to the point where she told me I’d better not show up at her house in my old male mode, since she considers him to be gone. We’ve proposed a date toward the end of the month to drive up there. It sounds like loads of fun.

My neighbor made me smile the other day. He told me that he’d been talking with one of the guys who help me around the shop in the winter. He asked my neighbor what he thought about my situation, and he told him, “Hey, he was a great guy, and now she’s a great girl. We need to support her.” He thought about it, and agreed that my neighbor was right. Wow. Can’t ask for anything better than that.

And to top it all off, something very cool happened tonight. I told you about my mini-meltdown about four weeks ago, when I saw an old man looking back at me in the reflection of our kitchen window. Well tonight, I was walking toward one of the porch doors to let my dog in, and I saw someone in the reflection that matched the image I have of myself in my head. She isn’t as young as I’d like, but that’s what we all think, isn’t it? She looked good. And happy. And the reflection and I smiled at each other.

I could type all night, telling you about how well things are going, and how happy I am overall. I really don’t have a frame of reference, but this must be what it feels like to be normal. Or maybe it’s better than normal. I mean, how many people get to have their dreams come true?

=======

Sounds good, right. Read the next message.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 12, 2017, 11:59:52 pm
Lightly edited version of an email to a friend:

==========

We finally had the weather to fly to that small resort town on the Gulf. The only other people going were my neighbor and his wife, so I knew it would be interesting, but I thought I was prepared. They’ve been good at using “Steph,” but he continually misgenders me. I don’t really talk with his wife much, so I didn’t know how she’s adapting.

This was to be my debut fly-out as myself. I used every single trick I know to get myself looking as good as I can, and I thought I was doing ok, but was still nervous about it all. As usual, though, when the engine starts, all that stuff gets compartmentalized and tucked away so I can get to the business of flying.

It wasn’t until we were on the way that I found out that they had invited another friend and his wife to meet us there. I’ve gotten to know him a little, and we’ve always had good conversations whenever I run across him. I’ve never met his wife, and neither of them know what I’m dealing with.

It was a bumpy flight and an interesting approach on what looks like an aircraft carrier. I made a good landing though, and my neighbors were waiting for us.  When I got out of the plane I unpacked that compartment in my head and all the anxiety came spilling out, with the added complication of what was going to happen when my neighbor's friend got there and found out, without me having any chance to explain or prepare him. I debated with myself at the last minute whether to just keep my flying cap on or switch to my “girl hat,” and whether to add a few accessories like a scarf and a cardigan I had thrown in the back of the plane. After dithering until they yelled to get going, I chickened out and left all that stuff in the plane.

We caught a taxi into town and wandered around the shops until we got hungry, then went to a fish place for lunch. I took the left seat by the window with my neighbor's wife across from me and my wife on my right.

In a little while my neighbor's friend and his wife came in. He sat to my wife's right and his wife across from him. He looked across my wife and we said Hi to each other. I was introduced to his wife as Stephanie, and she seemed to accept that with no question. He paused and said, “No, it’s not Stephanie!", and my wife told him, “Yes, it is." He paused and said, “Whatever.” And ignored me the rest of the meal.

I probably could have gotten through that, but then both my neighbor and his wife started using male pronouns, which would have been bad enough one on one, but they even did it in front of their friend's wife and the waitress. Each time it happened my spirit got pushed down further and further, until I withdrew from everything and just stared out the window.

Here I was, with a nice blouse with flowers embroidered on the sleeves, my hair out, makeup and earrings - and, well... TMI or not, a bra - and he sees a guy. What was left of my confidence was completely shattered. And I had to use the bathroom. What the hell was I going to do now? The rule is that you use the bathroom that matches the way you’re presenting, and though I was sure I wasn’t fooling anyone any more, I grabbed tight to whatever courage I had left, excused myself, grabbed my purse, and went to the ladies room, locking myself in a stall as quickly as I could. There I fought with everything I had to keep from breaking down completely. I was in there so long fighting off a panic attack that the automatic lights timed out and everything went dark. Just as well. It certainly matched my mood.

While I never enjoy people talking behind my back, I figured getting out of earshot would give them a chance to get a few things worked out regarding me. Apparently it never happened. When I finally got back things were the same, and when we left the restaurant I walked off to go look out over the Gulf alone and try to figure out what to do next. My wife caught up with me there and tried to get me out of my funk. She finally ended up telling me I was being childish. That was pretty much the nail in the coffin. She had been my rock. I’ve told everyone that she literally saved my life. And now she is discounting the depth of pain that I’m feeling. What’s left?

We found the rest of the group as the taxi arrived, and on the ride back to the airport I packed up that compartment in my head and strapped it tight for the flight home. There's no room for that kind of baggage up front when there's flying to be done. We dodged showers and got a little wet a few times, but no big deal. Got the plane into the hangar and safe, then went inside and sat down to unpack the baggage. I threw all those girl clothes into a heap at the foot of the bed, crawled in, and let myself have a major meltdown.

I slept the rest of the afternoon, and I thought that would help, but here I sit with a stomach ache and a wet face, questioning what the hell I’m doing to myself.

While I was typing this my wife came in, and we just got done having a long conversation. Things will be ok, but most of the conversation centered around how I should have handled it better.

Yes, I know I should have stuck up for myself.

Yes, I hardly ever see my neighbor's friend, and his opinion of me shouldn’t matter.

Yes, I should have been strong enough to laugh it off.

Yes this. Yes that.

Maybe yesterday I could have. Maybe tomorrow I can. But today I hurt.

The sadness is strong, and valid, and incredibly traumatic.

Steph... or whoever I am...
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 13, 2017, 02:27:04 am
Finally, I get to give to give you a big hug back in return for the many you've given me. HHUUUUUGGG!

I'm so sorry to hear about your neighbours,  it's often worse when we labour under the opinion that others support us to only find out later that might not be true.

Firstly,  you ARE Steph,  and I won't hear any other nonsesnse to the contrary.

Second, even those that love us and care for us may still fail to understand the pressures we face on occasion; that's just human nature.

Thirdly no-one is bulletproof. You're more than entitled to be damaged, but you'll also recover stronger than before. Find those safe physical and mental spaces to rebuild your positive energy before taking your fabulous self back out into the world.

Keep strong, you got this. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on November 13, 2017, 07:11:17 am
I am so sorry that this happened to you, Steph.  No one deserves to be treated like that, and no one should ever be told that they should have been stronger, when the problem is that other people are d**kh**ds.  I am sorry too that you are feeling unsupported.

You are strong, and you will bounce back from this.  In the meantime, here's a hug: (((())))

Have you considered that your neighbours' continued misgendering might not be accidental?  Have you considered that your neighbours might have anticipated their friends' reaction and planned for it?  A little bit of paranoia is not a bad thing.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Charlie Nicki on November 13, 2017, 07:39:13 am
 Hi Steph,

I’m sorry for that. I’m also sending you a virtual hug and hope things get better soon! You are a fighter and this is only a small bump on the ride. The good thing is that you will be more prepared if this ever happens again (let’s hope not).

This reminds me that we have to educate people about ourselves and if they slip up, we have to remind them to use female pronouns and our chosen name. I know it’s easier said than done specially if we feel pressured or stressed.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 13, 2017, 07:42:08 am
Thanks Megan and Kathy. Here I sit in my doctor’s office to get my normal blood tests done. Only my doctor knows about my transition, none of the other staff, so I face using my old name and going in “androgynous mode.”  The lady I like most here has always called me “Mister Steve” and though it’s always said in a friendly manner, I’m not looking forward to it.

A lady just sat down next to me in a flowing skirt and nice peasant top and I’m so dysphoric I’m almost in tears.

The killer thing? I saw “her” again in the mirror this morning. But it’s evident that nobody else sees her. I know I shouldn’t care about what other people think, but really, if we don’t seek external validation, if just knowing internally that we are women is supposed to be enough, why transition at all?

Kathy, I really don’t think my neighbors did any of it on purpose. They’re just highly social people and always try to get as many friends together as possible. When I walked off to get my act together, they checked with my wife to make sure I was going to be ok flying home. And when I got home, my neighbor’s wife texted me to apologize for hurting my feelings, and that they were worried about me. I’m still not sure if she even knows what she did, but I appreciated the gesture.

Anyway, I’ll keep moving forward somehow. I’ll go out to the shop and try to stay busy enough to distract myself so I don’t have to think about it.

It’s a nice Florida autumn day, but everything looks gray right now.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 13, 2017, 01:51:04 pm
One reason I am more thick-skinned than average (or I can be thick-headed) is I endured a ridiculous amount of racial discrimination when I was younger.  I don’t mean polite questions such as “what’s your, um, ethnic heritage if you don’t mind me asking” but being thrown into the mud by a pack of bullies in school in full view of the line of school busses, bus drivers and other school staff - on more than one occasion - and having the Arlington School District (Washington State) do absolutely nothing about it.  So my parents drove me to regular Karate lessons in the nearest place available (one hour round trip) with the instructions to never start a fight but never lose one.  Racism isn’t always directly intentional but it can be very damaging.  I could fill pages with what I’ve encountered on that topic but I won’t. 

The judgement call is when someone is simply clueless.  Anything more than a gentle reminder can serve the wrong purpose and make the situation worse for next time or cause resentment to a group that seeks to normalize and be treated as equals.  When that happens I’ll have a gentle side conversation with that person to let them know their words really did hurt, I am assuming it wasn’t intentional but tell them for my sake and others’.  If it’s someone I’ll never see again and I don’t have the time, it’s more like having some idiot honk unnecessarily in traffic, just know that at some point they will learn the hard way but I don’t have time to tell them. 

And there are people who fling arrows intentionally - like the <moderate my own language> at Chipotle fast food in July who loudly called me “sir” from behind the counter and... she wasn’t even working on my meal, someone else was and she was visibly happy to make a point.  So I promptly replied, loud enough so everyone heard my reply to her: “Oh.  Have a great day.  SIR!”  That felt pretty good but didn’t quite make up for the sting.  In hindsight, as a clearly deliberate act I should have determined her name and contacted the restaurant’s corporate office.

Regaredless of outcome you didn’t do anything wrong - it’s on the other person.  These things don’t always have perfect answers and I certainly don’t have the right one ready at all times for myself.  All I can advise is it gets easier with time.  Much easier.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 13, 2017, 06:45:29 pm
Steph(anie),

  Like everyone else I was dismayed to read your account of your lunch encounter. I wish it could have been better for you but the reality of it is you are going to have some of these encounters and all you can do is pick yourself up and carry on. Dwelling on your woes will do you no good. But accepting that it is going to happen will make you stronger.
  Now girl, are you going to let little disappointment like this cause you to crash and burn? Or are you going to pick your hurt feelings up and fly like an eagle? I'd much rather see you fly girl.

 ((hugs))
  Laurie

https://www.google.com/search?q=fly+like+an+eagle+song&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8 (https://www.google.com/search?q=fly+like+an+eagle+song&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 13, 2017, 10:53:19 pm
One reason I am more thick-skinned than average (or I can be thick-headed) is I endured a ridiculous amount of racial discrimination when I was younger.

Hi Kendra,

I've read some of your earlier entries here, so I know some of what you went through. People can really suck. I think it's probably true that things are better today regarding such prejudice, though obviously we still have a long way to go.

It can in no way compare to what you went through, considering I was a white lower-middle-class boy from the suburbs, but I felt like an outcast, too. I was the small nerd (before the word was even in common usage) among my classmates. Always last in line for pictures because they lined you up by height to make it easier for the photographer to adjust his camera. I never felt like I fit in. Always had a hard time making friends, and was so terrified of losing the few I had that I let them be cruel to me without abandoning them. I vividly remember the day in junior high school when my "friends" grabbed me and threw me upside down into one of those giant garbage cans in the common area. "Noogies," "indian burns," "wedgies," constant threats of "swirlies" (though that never actually happened). Verbal abuse, insults. I absorbed them all just to keep from being alone. In elementary school I often ended up sitting against a tree in the nearby woods alone during recess, even in the snow. The closest I ever got to being in a fight was in elementary school when, after being mercilessly razzed by a classmate, I shoved him up against a block wall hard enough to make his teeth rattle. Guess who got in trouble for that? I always got great grades, but was called slow because it took me so long to get done with anything. I've told a few people about how it went for me, and they tell me they felt the same kind of anomie, and it was just a normal part of growing up. I dunno. I didn't see anyone one else out there sitting alone in the snow.

I have no idea whether any of this had anything to do with my trans condition, but by junior high I definitely knew there was something wrong with the "suit" I was wearing. I always felt more comfortable among the girls, but of course that was verboten. I remember I adored a girl down the street who had some of the same nerdy tendencies I did. We spent a heavenly afternoon together experimenting with capacitors and batteries and light bulbs. I could hang out with a girl without looking like a sissy, and I was devastated when she moved away. I hated gym class with a passion. I would do anything to avoid going into the boy's locker room. Getting naked and showering with all the other boys was a mortifying experience. I was immensely relieved when I found out you could get out of gym by taking band class, and from 5th grade on I never went back into the locker room.

I was terrified of my father. He had a terrible temper. I've realized over the years that he probably would never have acted on his threats, but both my sister and I lived in fear of what he might do. He wasn't into sports, but did do the gender-typical hunting and fishing, etc. As the boy, I was expected to do the same, and though I did develop a love of being out in the woods, I would much rather carry a camera than a gun. I did have to get an NRA marksman award, earn the Eagle Scout rank, get a ham radio license, rebuild cars (specializing in Corvairs, believe it or not), go deer, partridge, and squirrel hunting, and endure hour after hour of fishing, usually trolling for northern pike. It all felt like an enormous waste of time, when I could be warm and comfortable reading a book. As mentioned, I did learn to love being in the wild, with some of my best memories being all the hiking and canoeing I used to do in northern lower Michigan while growing up. It got me away from other people and the stress of trying to fit in. I understood my dog better than people.

Uh... well, that devolved into a painful autobiography. I'll stop there. Sorry to lay it on you all, but it was a bit cathartic.

Quote
The judgement call is when someone is simply clueless.  Anything more than a gentle reminder can serve the wrong purpose and make the situation worse for next time or cause resentment to a group that seeks to normalize and be treated as equals.  When that happens I’ll have a gentle side conversation with that person to let them know their words really did hurt, I am assuming it wasn’t intentional but tell them for my sake and others’.

I got a lot of "therapy" today from dear friends who saw I was hurting, and we talked about just that. One solution we came up with for dead-naming or misgendering was to carry business cards that say something like this:
Quote
My name is Stephanie.
My friends call me Steph.
My pronouns are she, her, and hers.
I can be addressed as miss, ms., or ma'am.

You owe me 25 cents.

Include a silly illustration to keep it light. And discreetly give it to whoever messes up. None of the people I care about have intentionally misgendered me, but it happens all the time even with those with the best intentions. Embarrassing them in front of everyone else isn't productive.

I agree that pushing too hard can get you pushback. It's one of the reasons you won't find me marching in protest parades or attending rallies. How do you think people are going to react when you get in their face and call them bad people in front of a crowd? I admire those who are willing to push the envelope - the boundaries never get expanded if you don't lean on them. But I choose to do it discreetly, one-on-one, and with sensitivity to when it may be more than the listener is able to handle at the time.

Quote
And there are people who fling arrows intentionally - like the <moderate my own language> at Chipotle fast food in July who loudly called me “sir” from behind the counter and... she wasn’t even working on my meal, someone else was and she was visibly happy to make a point.  So I promptly replied, loud enough so everyone heard my reply to her: “Oh.  Have a great day.  SIR!”  That felt pretty good but didn’t quite make up for the sting.  In hindsight, as a clearly deliberate act I should have determined her name and contacted the restaurant’s corporate office.

I'm sorry to hear that. She must have been pretty insecure to feel like she'd make points for herself by disrespecting someone else like that. I don't think I would have had the nerve to do what you did, but reporting them to their employer would be good payback, even if you never learned the results. Would she have learned a lesson or just gotten more resentful? I don't understand people well enough to figure that one out.

Quote
Regaredless of outcome you didn’t do anything wrong - it’s on the other person.  These things don’t always have perfect answers and I certainly don’t have the right one ready at all times for myself.  All I can advise is it gets easier with time.  Much easier.

Yeah, it's another lesson learned, and it was pointed out today that experiencing such things can make you stronger and more prepared for the next time it happens. And I know it will happen again.

My neighbor mentioned a Tom Petty (RIP) song called Rhino Skin. I need to look that one up.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 13, 2017, 11:18:18 pm
Steph, I am proud of you for finding ways to rise above your pain and thinking of ways to correct the situation if/when it happens again. I agree that pushing too hard can be counter productive. Approaching it discretely and with the sensitively you talk about will likely have a better outcome. It will display a higher level of emotional maturity on your part and make it more probable that the listener would follow your lead and respect your wishes.

I very much hope you are feeling better. I am following this thread with great interest. You are further ahead in your transition than I am. You give me great hope that my transition goes as well as yours is going. You also have a very cool hobby...

Jayne



(https://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt/d/4;33;6/st/20170906/e/Starting+HRT/dt/-8/k/b5a3/event.png)
 (https://www.TickerFactory.com/)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 13, 2017, 11:32:01 pm
Like everyone else I was dismayed to read your account of your lunch encounter. I wish it could have been better for you but the reality of it is you are going to have some of these encounters and all you can do is pick yourself up and carry on. Dwelling on your woes will do you know good. But accepting that it is going to happen will make you stronger.
  Now girl are you going to let little disappointment like this cause you to crash and burn? Or are you going to pick your hurt feelings up and fly like an eagle? I'd much rather see you fly girl.

 ((hugs))

Hi Laurie,

I was hoping you'd check in. I worry when you get too quiet.

I haven't figured out why it got to me the way it did. It's curious that it's about 3 1/2 weeks since my last meltdown. I have a hard time believing it's a cyclic thing, though my neighbors said, "Welcome to our world, girl." I went back and looked up the dates of meltdowns bad enough to write about. I started with the first bad one on August 30th and added 3.5 weeks. Nothing noted there. Added 3.5 weeks to that and hit dead on October 18th, a documented meltdown day. 3.5 weeks after that brings us to the current one. There's no cycle to my HRT, it's all very steady dosages, but there's no denying the weird timing.

August 30th - three day meltdown
September 23rd - nothing noted. Don't remember what happened that day, if anything.
October 18th - the "old man in reflection" meltdown
November 12-13th - current "misgendering" meltdown

That puts the next cycle around December 8th. I'll be watching closely.

My friend Dee texts me at least once a day to share how things are going for her and to check on me. She lives about a half hour away, and when she found out I was hurting she jumped in her car and drove right over. She has BTDT, being trans herself. We talked for hours. In the middle of it all my friends who had taken me to Disney dropped by, and added their support and help to Dee's. Though I didn't have a complete solution worked out, I did feel better when they left. Later in the day, when I felt well enough to get out of the house and take my dog for a walk, I ran across a couple of my neighbors (women who are very supportive) and I felt even better after talking with them. So maybe I'm on the upswing.

I guess it's a matter of "What doesn't kill me just maims me stronger." Or something like that.

Oh look: A stupid joke. Maybe I am getting better.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 13, 2017, 11:44:52 pm
  I'm right here Steph(anie). Even if I have little or nothing to contribute I'm here reading. Your tale is one of the ones I make sure I read. Sometimes it is just best for everyone if I keep quiet.

 Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 14, 2017, 12:19:15 am
Steph, I am proud of you for finding ways to rise above your pain and thinking of ways to correct the situation if/when it happens again. I agree that pushing too hard can be counter productive. Approaching it discretely and with the sensitively you talk about will likely have a better outcome. It will display a higher level of emotional maturity on your part and make it more probable that the listener would follow your lead and respect your wishes.

I very much hope you are feeling better. I am following this thread with great interest. You are further ahead in your transition than I am. You give me great hope that my transition goes as well as yours is going. You also have a very cool hobby...

Thanks Jayne. I got a lot of good advice and hugs today, and things are getting better. And look, my Kleenex stock went up again!

As for the hobby: go get your biennial and get back in the air, girl! (I assume they require that in Australia.) You know you want it! Come on, everybody's doing it...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 14, 2017, 03:42:13 am
As for the hobby: go get your biennial and get back in the air, girl! (I assume they require that in Australia.) You know you want it! Come on, everybody's doing it...

Steph
Yes we do have biennials here. My medical is also long overdue. There will be some initial extra expenses with some lessons so I can catch up and become proficient again. It has been well over 10 years since I’ve been at the controls. So unfortunately the hobby will have to remain on pause for a little while longer until I get myself healed some more. But fear not, it is back in my sights and I will be back in the air as soon as I can. In the meantime I will continue to read your tales with much interest and maybe a hint of envy.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SadieBlake on November 14, 2017, 05:41:56 am
Steph I'm so sorry for your experience with friends/acquaintances. My friends are really good with both name and gender and I'm lucky to be working in a large research university where people are both clueful and friendly. The person with the worst deadnaming is unfortunately my GF and she works hard at it when she can. I would recommend against the name/gender cards. I prefer to simply give a gentle reminder, usually then and there, sometimes later but I find these things are better face to face.

Unfortunately I shared a lot of your growing up experiences. Sitting alone in the woods, yep btdt. Of course it had to do with being trans. Our brains were shaped in utero and we were who we are then.

Unfortunately I had done have a very long conversation, cut into 2 different days with my daughter who'd been one of the most supportive people in my life -- asked simple direct questions and expressed her fears and concerns in I statements. Well, it turns out that me wearing a dress was triggering for her and we had to have bridge a lot if old and new baggage.

And unfortunately, every new set of people we present ourselves to en femme is going to be a new experience. I find once I'd done it enough times it got better. I don't think you're overreacting, you feel what you feel and on the other hand only you can temper your response to stress situations. My only bit of advice is don't let those times take you into your past. You're not that little kid in school anymore. I've had to put in untold hours of therapy and practice healing myself from that past and realizing that it never goes away and yet I can learn not to give it power in my present.

You're aiming for the harder path in the short run, that of passing. The way things look, I'll be spending the rest of my life being taken as male by most people. When I can afford minoxidil, I'll see if I can work on the baldness. Who knows, if that works, maybe I'll address the face, meantime it's all tbd.

Hugs,

S
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 14, 2017, 04:50:21 pm
My only bit of advice is don't let those times take you into your past. You're not that little kid in school anymore. I've had to put in untold hours of therapy and practice healing myself from that past and realizing that it never goes away and yet I can learn not to give it power in my present.

Thanks for the feedback Sadie. I was carrying a lot of resentment for over forty years for the way I was treated back then, and I found that the newfound clarity that came with HRT allowed me to think through those times and finally come to a resolution, which included forgiving those who hurt me way back then. I have enough baggage to deal with without carrying all that dead weight, too. I definitely feel lighter without it.

Quote
You're aiming for the harder path in the short run, that of passing. The way things look, I'll be spending the rest of my life being taken as male by most people. When I can afford minoxidil, I'll see if I can work on the baldness. Who knows, if that works, maybe I'll address the face, meantime it's all tbd.

I know a lot of people say passing shouldn't be the be-all and end-all of transitioning, but for me personally it's a very important aspect. If you read some of my earlier entries, many of them, like my time at Disney, were tests to see how well I was doing in that respect. Without actually collaring people and asking them point-blank who they were seeing, it seemed like I was doing well. I don't know what I'd be doing now if I hadn't passed those tests to my satisfaction. Maybe I could have grown that Rhino Skin that Tom Petty referred to, and pressed on, but I suspect I would be slowing way down in my transition race.

As for the minoxidil, either that or the finasteride, or both, are actually making some significant headway for me. I can no longer feel skin when I touch my crown, just light hair. I would definitely give it a try. For reference, I've been using OTC topical minoxidil since the end of February, and finasteride since the middle of September.

I hope things work out well between you and your daughter.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 14, 2017, 05:03:13 pm
Just got the results of my last blood tests. E was at 58 pg/mL three months ago before the dosages were increased, and they're at 116 now. What should I be looking for? I tried looking them up, but of course they vary throughout the cycle, and I'm not sure what the doctor is trying to match.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 14, 2017, 05:15:52 pm
The Royal College of Phychiatrists good practice for GD treatment guide states E should be in the range:

"300–400 pmol/l or  80–140 pg/ ml"

20 hours should be left between last dose and sample being taken. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 14, 2017, 07:15:37 pm
The Royal College of Phychiatrists good practice for GD treatment guide states E should be in the range:

"300–400 pmol/l or  80–140 pg/ ml"

20 hours should be left between last dose and sample being taken.

Thanks, Megan. At 116 it looks like I’m not doing too badly, but I’ll see if he’s willing to give it one more bump. Interesting that that they gave me no direction to be off the oral estradiol for any time. I think it had been about 8 hours since my last dose.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 14, 2017, 07:41:53 pm
  I think the major problems we face is doctors haven't been giving us any guidance of when our last dose should be before  levels are checked. I know my doctor has never given me any such directions.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 14, 2017, 10:33:12 pm
It's possible that this more properly belongs over on the religion forum, but as it directly impacts my transition, I'm going to post it here. It's not my goal to debate religion, just relate how someone who thought he was doing a good deed ruined my day.

Today I had to endure an hour of one of my friends, who I'll call Jay, attempting to convert me from my atheism to his Pentecostalism. I made the mistake of telling him my views back when I came out to him and he wanted to take me to his faith healers to fix my depression. I had to tell him that since I’d started transitioning the depression was gone and there was nothing to fix. Unfortunately as I was explaining things I told him I considered myself to be a secular humanist and atheist.

So today he did his best to convert me. Pretty traumatic, especially when he told me that all my friends were Christians and would withdraw from me as a non-believer. After going through the fear of losing everyone because of my trans condition, and weathering it ok, I didn’t need to hear that, especially after the last two hard days I'd had. In tears I called another friend of mine, Tee, who is also religious, and he got really angry that the other guy would tell me such things. He assured me that wasn’t true, but I’ve got to say, it just drove the wedge deeper between me and religion.

I told him that I respected his sincerely held beliefs as his own, but asked him to respect mine as well, which are just as sincere. No amount of logic or humanity can move people like that. Though we parted on reasonably good terms, with him telling me that he loved me and would pray for me, I’ll be extremely wary of him from now on.

He’s new to all this, and is living in an echo chamber which is little different from a cult. Tee, who, though religious, is deeply thoughtful and respectful, dislikes that kind of religion as much as I now do. Tee calls the other guy a “baby Christian” and says those types are overzealous and do more damage than they fix. That was certainly the case here. After recovering from my weekend blues I was thrown back into them again, albeit just for a couple hours. After talking with Tee I managed to get stabilized again, and now I'm just angry.

I'm too nice for my own good. I should have thrown him off my property.

Sorry to vent...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 14, 2017, 10:38:54 pm
  I think the major problems we face is doctors haven't been giving us any guidance of when our last dose should be before  levels are checked. I know my doctor has never given me any such directions.

i didn't even realize it mattered until I saw Megan's post. Maybe it doesn't? I'll try to remember to ask my endo when I see him next week.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 14, 2017, 10:44:29 pm
Steph(anie)

  I am sorry you had to endure this person.

  All I can safely say about people that practice religion such as he does, is that I can't say anything here about people that practice religion such as he does.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 14, 2017, 10:45:51 pm
Steph(anie)

  I am sorry you had to endure this person.

  All I can safely say about people that practice religion such as he does, is that I can't say anything here about people that practice religion such as he does.

A good safe position, and message received and understood!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 15, 2017, 12:11:08 am
Steph,  sorry to hear about your experience with your friend,  but glad Tee gave you a better message.
On the issue of having a break between dose and bloods,  the half-life of oral E is around 14-16 hours, hence the guidance. No person I know has ever been given this guidance either,  very frustrating,  but I'll be educating my GP when i next see them.

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SadieBlake on November 15, 2017, 12:26:08 am
Quote
I know a lot of people say passing shouldn't be the be-all and end-all of transitioning

I never say "should", especially about transitioning and sexuality. I'd give my eye teeth to pass, it's just not in the cards right now.

My estradiol level runs 210-260 pg/ml. My endocrinologist is happy with those numbers which are easy to hit as I take it IM. I usually make sure to get tested on day 3 of my weekly injection cycle, though my most recent test was on day 6 and I was still at 180.

As for your interlocutor, I wouldn't have been as polite. There is such a thing as being too kind and making out that you'll lose friends over not conforming to religious norms is just plain nasty.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 15, 2017, 05:28:00 am
Steph, I am sorry this person ruined your day with his disrespect of your beliefs. As far as I can tell, there is nothing that needs fixing. You are a wonderful, caring human being trying to live your life to the fullest after living all your life with a very stress inducing medical condition. You should be celebrated for the person you are, not “cured”. And any friends that would distance themselves simply because you happen to be trans probably aren’t the kind of friends you want anyway.

I’m glad Tee was able to help comfort you.

Try not to waste too much energy being angry, you are too nice and Jay isn’t worth getting yourself upset. He is too deeply into his religion to see outside of his little bubble.

Also, you don’t need to apologise for venting. If you can’t vent here, where can you vent? Vent all you need to.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on November 15, 2017, 06:26:44 am
Steph, I am sorry to had to listen to that stuff.  About all you can do with lost souls like that guy is to stay away from them and vent your frustrations somewhere safe.  Never apologize for venting here!  We all need to do it from time to time.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 15, 2017, 10:20:22 am
I’ve had the night to reflect, and I’ve come to realize that something Tee told me may be very true. He said if Jay attempted to distance himself and others from me because of my (non)religious beliefs, he would be surprised to find himself as the one alone.

Jayne, as far as I can tell, this has very little to do with my transition. It’s all about my atheism. The only connection is I mentioned being atheist when I came out to him.

He is, however, hard core old school. Though he says he supports me, he thinks trans jokes are hilarious. He was a pilot for a large airline, and he likes to tell me about another pilot who transitioned on the job (I think she might actually be Jessica Taylor), while continually misgendering her. At one point while he was talking about “him” I stopped him and asked, “Wait, this person transitioned from male to female, right?” When he said yeah, I said “OK, so it’s “she” now, right?” He agreed, no embarrassment, used “she” a few times, then was right back to “he.” He can’t remember, but he’s told me the story twice now about how she had to use her male voice to be heard above the ramp noise when talking to the ground crew. He thinks that’s the most hilarious thing he’s ever heard.

I did sit across from him last night at our flying club meeting and everything was friendly. He was chairman of the nominating committee for our biennial election for officers, and led the vote that kept me as president of the chapter. I had actually offered to resign because I worried that having me in the position would damage the club. We are well regarded for the great breakfast fly-ins we host a few times a year, and the last thing I want is for the club to become known as the one run by “that trans freak.” I was gratified that everyone, including Jay, insisted that I remain president, and if anyone else didn’t like it, they didn’t have to come to our fly-ins. I ran unopposed. Of course, some of it has to do with the fact that we’re all lazy pilots, and nobody else wants the job. 🤨

Anyway, here’s my current dilemma, and would really appreciate everyone’s feedback. Jay and his wife are hosting a huge party in December to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. My wife and I, along with all our friends, are invited. I’m trying to decide if I should go. On the one hand, I’m uncomfortable around this guy now, and feel a little hypocritical to go and eat his food. On the other hand, if I don’t go, I would be fulfilling his prophecy of being isolated from my friends. I’m leaning toward giving him the mental finger and having fun with my friends. I would have to get my courage topped up, because if I go at all, it will be as Stephanie. What do you think?

Steph

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 15, 2017, 10:25:17 am
I'd go and eat him out of house and home (while looking uber glamorous), and have lots of fun doing it... But that's just me

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 15, 2017, 10:27:43 am
I'd go and eat him out of house and home (while looking uber glamorous), and have lots of fun doing it... But that's just me

I like it! Of course, you’ve got the advantage of already being uber glamorous (your new avatar pic is awesome!). But I’ll do the best I can.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 15, 2017, 01:00:44 pm
He can’t remember, but he’s told me the story twice now about how she had to use her male voice to be heard above the ramp noise when talking to the ground crew. He thinks that’s the most hilarious thing he’s ever heard.
What a jerk!

Quote
We are well regarded for the great breakfast fly-ins we host a few times a year, and the last thing I want is for the club to become known as the one run by “that trans freak.”
I don’t want to hear any more of that kind of thinking. Yes, you are trans, but a freak ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! You are the president of the club and host great fly-ins, end of story.

Quote
Anyway, here’s my current dilemma, and would really appreciate everyone’s feedback. Jay and his wife are hosting a huge party in December to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. My wife and I, along with all our friends, are invited. I’m trying to decide if I should go. On the one hand, I’m uncomfortable around this guy now, and feel a little hypocritical to go and eat his food. On the other hand, if I don’t go, I would be fulfilling his prophecy of being isolated from my friends. I’m leaning toward giving him the mental finger and having fun with my friends.
I think you should go and have a great time. If for no other reason than to prove to him that you are above judging people based on their religion.

Although you may not be close friends and he can clearly be a real jerk with trans issues, you seem to have a civil relationship with common interests in your flying. So have a good time.

Quote
I would have to get my courage topped up, because if I go at all, it will be as Stephanie.
Of course you would go as Stephanie, who else would you go as? Unless it’s a costume party and decide to go as Supergirl or one of Santa’s elves.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 15, 2017, 02:25:16 pm
I think you should go, and... with your wife right there, flirt with him.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 15, 2017, 02:43:26 pm
I think you should go, and... with your wife right there, flirt with him.
Welp, there goes my dinner. 🤮
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 15, 2017, 03:04:21 pm
I don’t want to hear any more of that kind of thinking. Yes, you are trans, but a freak ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! You are the president of the club and host great fly-ins, end of story.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. While I used to think I was a freak before I got smart, I certainly do not now. It’s why I put the term in quotes. It seems that no matter how I fight it, I still worry too much about what other people think, and that’s one of the tags I was afraid would be put on the club by other people. Now that I know that none of my friends call me a freak, and would reject anyone who does, most of my worry about the club is gone.

I say “most of” because I’m reaching the conclusion that this tendency to care too much about how other people see me is an integral part of my personality, and will never go away. My therapist, my wife, and plenty of others tell me to keep that “mental finger” ready to flip any time, but it’s not an easy thing for me. I’ll keep working on it.

Quote
Of course you would go as Stephanie, who else would you go as?

Well they’ve seen me a few times in female mode, but since most of our get together are informal, always just jeans and a nice top. I haven’t checked on the dress code yet, but I’m considering a skirt or maybe even a dress for the first time. I’m starting to sweat thinking about it. Yikes!

Sweaty Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 15, 2017, 03:35:16 pm
You will be fine! Just think of how many people have accepted you whole heartedly. You are a great person who is smart and interesting and caring. If you don’t have the confidence right away, just fake it until the confidence comes naturally.

As for what to wear, check the dress code and then wear whatever you feel most comfortable with. And most importantly, just be yourself.

I hope you do end up going to the party and that you have a great time. It will be a good boost to your confidence to just be yourself at a large social gathering.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on November 15, 2017, 08:10:26 pm
I think you should go.  Dress nicely, be glamourous, and have a good time.  Happiness is the best revenge.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: LizK on November 16, 2017, 04:04:26 am
Go have fun...as Stephanie...A girl needs to get out every now and then. Don't give him the satisfaction...enjoy yourself, the best thing you can do is be you.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 16, 2017, 04:06:32 am
Thanks for the advice, everyone. I will definitely be going. Just how glamorous I'll be remains to be seen. This isn't an evening affair at a nice place, just an afternoon BBQ in a friend's hangar.

Tonight helped ease some of my fears. We were all invited to a chili party at one of the neighbor's, and while I wasn't what I'd call glamorous, I was definitely in female mode with no effort toward moderating my look to hide who I am now. And everything was fine. Oh heck, it was better than fine: it was normal. I was carrying a heavy crockpot full of mulled cider I'd brought, and had to parade it past everyone on the way in. There was no sneaking in a back door, so I sucked it up and was just myself. And was greeted with, "Hey, Steph!" And that's the way it went all night. While most of them have already gotten the hang of using my correct name, I could see a conscious effort being made to avoid misgendering. And they got it right about 90% of the time. How cool!

The best part, though, is when the group inevitably split up, and the guys gravitated to one table and the girls to another. And somehow, with no effort on my part, I ended up at the girl's table. I was in the same chair I'd used all night, and suddenly realized there were no guys around me - they were all out in the kitchen. And everyone acted like I was where I belonged. While we sat there arrangements were made to start a weekly potluck dinner, hosted by the women in each home around the neighborhood, and they wanted to know which date I wanted to do it. What an incredibly warm feeling it was to be unquestioningly included in that circle. I didn't feel it too deeply then, but now I'm getting all verklempt.

It's interesting that I think I would have been just as comfortable at the other table talking about airplanes. What a strange, in-between world I'm inhabiting these days. I didn't want to be at that table though, since the religious guy was there, and while we were still friendly, I'm keeping some distance between us. His wife, on the other hand, was at the girl's table with me, and was pretty cool about everything.

So anyway, that experience has made me a lot more comfortable with everyone I know. Understanding that they're OK with my presentation now will make it easier to deal with the other people who I don't know who'll be at the upcoming big party.

Thank you all for shepherding me through this recent rough patch. You're the best!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 16, 2017, 06:38:38 am
Sounds like a top night, and that the opportunity to socialize with other women was greatly enjoyed. It is interesting interacting in those mixed-gender social groups that knew our previous selves, seeing others reactions, and own own, very enlightening. X
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 16, 2017, 01:23:57 pm
Thanks for the advice, everyone. I will definitely be going. Just how glamorous I'll be remains to be seen. This isn't an evening affair at a nice place, just an afternoon BBQ in a friend's hangar.

One thing I’m figuring out (and I’m certainly not an expert) is shoes matter a lot.  Formal shoes can make jeans & casual shirt look relatively formal.  For this sort of thing, and to make just enough splash, I’d wear something like a long black dress or something else a bit formal and flashy but with casual shoes.  Basic sandals can make a formal dress suddenly casual enough for a BBQ. 

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 16, 2017, 02:53:03 pm
One thing I’m figuring out (and I’m certainly not an expert) is shoes matter a lot.  Formal shoes can make jeans & casual shirt look relatively formal.  For this sort of thing, and to make just enough splash, I’d wear something like a long black dress or something else a bit formal and flashy but with casual shoes.  Basic sandals can make a formal dress suddenly casual enough for a BBQ.

If only I were 5’9” I could go as a long cool woman in a black dress. As it is I’d be a short sweaty one.

I do have a black sundress that comes to just below my knees, but couldn’t really wear it once I found out that spaghetti straps accentuate wide shoulders. Then I came up with the idea of wearing a black cardigan or suit jacket over it. Pretty snazzy!

I think, though, for this event I’ll be a bit more conservative. After all, it’s not all about me, it’s about them being married for 50 years. Strange to think they got married about the time I realized I was trans.

I plan to have a coming out party when I get my name change court order. I’m thinking of saving my sundress/jacket combo for that. That one will definitely be all about me.

Hmmm. Wonder if we can get Laurie to take a road trip to Florida for a party? She could pick a bunch of you up on the way. You might have to sit in the back of the truck, but it’ll be worth it.

Thanks for the advice. I’ve still got oodles to learn.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 16, 2017, 06:55:02 pm
  I've got a long sleeve cold shoulder red dress you can borrow. I think it's below the keen in length and would look good with my high boots with 3 1/2 ' stiletto heels. You could strut your stuff. It might be a bit big for you though as you're a skinny Minnie

(https://i.imgur.com/WNxJ7ll.jpg?1)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 16, 2017, 08:32:17 pm
  I've got a long sleeve cold shoulder red dress you can borrow. I think it's below the keen in length and would look good with my high boots with 3 1/2 ' stiletto heels. You could strut your stuff. It might be a bit big for you though as you're a skinny Minnie

(https://i.imgur.com/WNxJ7ll.jpg?1)

Woo! Hotchacha! I don’t have the nerve for that!

I’m usually size 12-14 top, 8 bottom. Damn wide shoulders...
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 16, 2017, 08:47:14 pm
  I've got a long sleeve cold shoulder red dress you can borrow.

It does bring up a question. I’ve been avoiding tank tops and spaghetti straps because of my wide shoulders. How do “cold shoulder” styles fit into that formula?

Oh, and Laurie, I’ll make you a deal. If that dress fits, and you drive it here and smile at me, I’ll wear it!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 16, 2017, 09:07:50 pm
  You're safe Steph(anie) it is too big for you. It's an extra large. I wear an 18 or XL or a 1X. Some brands even a XXL works. Pants are a 14 and loose in the thigh and hip. I've got too fat of a beer belly to fit clothes properly.
  So I save gas money. Besides I can't go on a trip until I change the oil (needed to be changed on my way home from the trip) and I still need to get the 4wd drive fixed.  Between being a procrastinator and other things,  I haven't been in the mood to get much of anything done.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 16, 2017, 09:15:18 pm
  You're safe Steph(anie) it is too big for you. It's an extra large. I wear an 18 or XL or a 1X. Some brands even a XXL works. Pants are a 14 and loose in the thigh and hip. I've got too fat of a beer belly to fit clothes properly.
  So I save gas money. Besides I can't go on a trip until I change the oil (needed to be changed on my way home from the trip) and I still need to get the 4wd drive fixed.  Between being a procrastinator and other things,  I haven't been in the mood to get much of anything done.
Dang. Can’t say I didn’t try! Not likely you’ll ever see me in stilettos, but a red dress... yeah, maybe some day.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 16, 2017, 09:44:57 pm
And so it begins...

As mentioned earlier, I was just voted back in as president of our flying club. We're a chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association, and have to refile our club documents every year. I started the process today, then realized there was no way to update my name in their profile information. So, for the first time, I contacted an outside organization, told them I was transgender, and asked to have my name changed. No comments from the guy I was emailing about it other than, "Okay!  I have everything all set for you now. You should see the name change on the January issue."

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/qdir3mji1kspe2x/EAAprofile.jpg?raw=1)

I'm so geeked I can hardly stand it!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: sarah1972 on November 16, 2017, 09:59:19 pm
So cool! Congratulations! That's one small step for them, one giant leap for Steph!

And so it begins...

As mentioned earlier, I was just voted back in as president of our flying club. We're a chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association, and have to refile our club documents every year. I started the process today, then realized there was no way to update my name in their profile information. So, for the first time, I contacted an outside organization, told them I was transgender, and asked to have my name changed. No comments from the guy I was emailing about it other than, "Okay!  I have everything all set for you now. You should see the name change on the January issue."

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/qdir3mji1kspe2x/EAAprofile.jpg?raw=1)

I'm so geeked I can hardly stand it!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 16, 2017, 10:08:41 pm
Steph that is AWESOME! I am so happy for you. I now want to rejoin the EAA just so I can receive a copy of the magazine.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 16, 2017, 10:35:09 pm
Steph that is AWESOME! I am so happy for you. I now want to rejoin the EAA just so I can receive a copy of the magazine.
I hope I’m not featured in it!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 16, 2017, 10:37:18 pm
I hope I’m not featured in it!
You mean the article about that awesome chick running the Florida chapter known for its great breakfast fly-ins?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 16, 2017, 10:39:20 pm
So cool! Congratulations! That's one small step for them, one giant leap for Steph!
Yeah, Sarah, that was a giant leap. I typed out that email with the “T” word in it, and dithered for probably an hour before I clicked Send. It was tough, but now the next one will be easier. I think I’ll tackle the credit cards next. Kendra had great advice about that.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 16, 2017, 11:08:15 pm
You mean the article about that awesome chick running the Florida chapter known for its great breakfast fly-ins?

Oh dearie me, y'all are turnin' my head!  I'm gettin' all dewy.

Bless your heart!

:icon_redface:
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 17, 2017, 12:32:24 pm
Having a great day! Went to my followup appointment with my endo and she upped the dose on my estradiol. Now I’m out to lunch in downtown Orlando, looking fabulous and feeling wonderful. I’m smiling at everyone and they’re smiling back. Life is awesome today!

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171117/562290b7aeae590d8491b31d0b2f2151.jpg)

Happy Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 17, 2017, 12:48:45 pm
  Happy is good and it suits you well in your picture.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 17, 2017, 12:58:22 pm
Smiling and looking fabulous with it. Enjoy the extra E! X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: The Flying Lemur on November 17, 2017, 05:08:32 pm
COngratulations, Steph!  I'm glad that things are going well!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 17, 2017, 05:12:55 pm
Looking good Steph!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on November 17, 2017, 05:53:26 pm
Having a great day! Went to my followup appointment with my endo and she upped the dose on my estradiol. Now I’m out to lunch in downtown Orlando, looking fabulous and feeling wonderful. I’m smiling at everyone and they’re smiling back. Life is awesome today!

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171117/562290b7aeae590d8491b31d0b2f2151.jpg)

Happy Steph
Let's hear it for awesome days!  You sure look awesome.  I love the look!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 17, 2017, 11:40:50 pm
Having a great day! Went to my followup appointment with my endo and she upped the dose on my estradiol. Now I’m out to lunch in downtown Orlando, looking fabulous and feeling wonderful. I’m smiling at everyone and they’re smiling back. Life is awesome today!

Kathy, thanks for the compliment. You can’t see too much in the pic. I was wearing jeans, some nice flats, a teal v-neck 3/4 sleeve top, a long black cable-knit cardigan, that colorful scarf, and my favorite straw hat. I love that look, too! I love this cooler weather so I can try out more than just shorts and t-shirts.

The adventures I’d already mentioned were cool, but oh my gosh, there was so much more!

I hadn’t mentioned that my endo had told they use a local pharmacy that gives them good discounts, and I might want to give them a call. I realized when I left that they were only five minutes away, so I just drove there. A cute young lady met me at the counter and after a nice discussion I moved all my prescriptions to them. I only need to call and they’ll overnight them to me. A big improvement over the mail order pharmacy my insurer uses, which takes at least two weeks to get refills out. A couple of times I’ve run out before I get them. So that’s cool. But the kicker was when she gave me a big smile and said, “We’ll be looking forward to your call, Steph.” Warm fuzzies!

After my lunch where everyone treated me so nice, even when I had to hand over my “Stephen” credit card, I went to Target, hoping to find some nice boots to go with a western skirt and a sweater I don’t have shoes for. No luck, but I did buy some bracelets, and earrings for when I get the ok to take out the starter studs, which should be this weekend. I also tried some skinny jeans, but I’m afraid they don’t work for this old lady, at least until the anatomy fits a little better. It was still cool, though, because the lady at the fitting room has to count how many items you’re taking in, and after checking she said, “You can go right on in, Ma’am.” When I dropped them off on the way out, she said she was sorry they didn’t work out...

From there I attacked the male bastion of Home Depot, my old stomping grounds where I used to be so comfortable. I felt like an enemy spy, afraid the sirens were going to go off and the spotlights were going to focus on me. But nuthin’. I found the 1/2” sanding drums for my dremel, and to avoid notice I went to the self-checkout. Of course I walked up to the one with Windows error messages on the screen that said “Please Wait.” So I did - until one of the guys with an orange apron walked over and said, “Ma’am, that one’s still loading, use this one over here” as he lead me to a different one. Then during the checkout the main screen asked for a PO number while the credit card reader said “Processing.” Not needing a P.O., I ignored it and waited for the processing to finish, and a different guy came over to point out it wouldn’t finish until something was entered. He typed in a zero and said “There you go, ma’am.” Well, so much for avoiding notice, but it worked out great anyway. And he probably felt good for helping a damsel in distress.

From there, on to Kohl’s, where I found some different jeans, looked at bras (but refused to pay $38 for one), and had to wait in line with a bunch of other ladies, and no drama ensued. I like Kohl’s because I can pay with my watch, and nobody has to see my credit card. On the way out the cashier said, “Have a nice day, dear!” Oh, I am...

Then another big one: I had neglected to contact one of my flying buddies who I’d had many adventures with 15-20 years ago to let him know what was going on. We flew our ultralights together from Michigan to Florida when both moved down here, and before then had enjoyed many other flights together with the group we flew with. He was floored when he found out through my Facebook coming out adventure, but both he and his wonderful wife had pledged their support. My route today was going right by their house, so I texted him to see if I could stop by. I told him if he would rather I not, I understood, and no hard feelings. Of course he wanted to see me! And we had a wonderful visit. They were both so happy that I’m happy. That’s the definition of true friends.

And there was one more thing to top off the day. Every Friday I go see doctor Chrystal at Pizza Hut to fill my weekly vitamin P prescription. I order through their tablet app, and about a month ago I changed my name in my profile to “Steph.” For a few weeks after that my wife stopped in to pick it up for me, and last week was the first time I did it myself since I’d made the change. These folks are the best at customer service I’ve ever seen, always cheerful and greeting you as you walk in, but unfortunately last week, it was the usual, “How are you doing tonight, sir?” Not their fault, really, I was dressed kind of androgynously.

But today there could be no mistake about my presentation. I don’t know why I was so nervous. I’m just buying pizza from them. I’ve just gotten to know and like Chrystal, and I was worried about her reaction. She usually recognizes my car and has the prescription on the counter by the time I get inside, but this time I parked off to the side so she didn’t see me coming. I walked in, got a bit of a confused smile, and a “Hi!” (no pronouns) but she obviously knew it was me and pulled out my pizza. Same old routine, open it up to make sure it’s right, take the credit card, sign the receipt. A little more quiet than usual, but the same good service. I had been going to say something like, “Well, this is me, now,” but instead I said, “Thanks for being so cool.” She smiled and said, “You have a nice day, now.”

And I did.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 18, 2017, 12:18:06 am
 I am glad you had such an enjoyable day Steph(anie)

 Hugs,
  Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 18, 2017, 12:50:36 am
Jayne, Ben, Megan, Kathy, and especially Laurie,

I wish I could catch some of this joy that’s running over and pass it on to you all. The meltdown last weekend seems like it was someone else, now. Sorry for whipsawing everyone.

Tomorrow I’m going to what is being called a “Trans Fashion Show” by the support organization that’s hosting it. It’s an afternoon of seminars, forums, and learning sessions for things like makeup, wig care, clothing, name changes, job interviews, etc. I’m most interested in the makeup lessons. I’ll see a bunch of friends I’ve made there, and I’m sure it’ll be fun.

Remember the commercial breaks for Johnny Carson?
More to Come!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on November 18, 2017, 06:51:32 am
I wish I could catch some of this joy that’s running over and pass it on to you all.
Don't worry, Steph, you are doing a good job of passing it on.   I get a delicious warm fuzzy buzz from reading this thread.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 18, 2017, 07:41:00 am
I wish I could catch some of this joy that’s running over and pass it on to you all. The meltdown last weekend seems like it was someone else, now. Sorry for whipsawing everyone.
Oh don’t worry about that Steph. Your joy is contagious. I usually read your posts several times to make sure I haven’t missed anything. I am so happy things are going so well for you. I know what you mean about the meltdown feeling like it was someone else. After I have bounced back from a meltdown, I find it hard to believe that I am the same person that was previously a complete wreck. It’s probably a good idea to remember how good you feel now so that if/when another meltdown happens you know that it will pass and the joy will return.

Have fun at the Trans Fashion Show. I wonder if we have anything like that here. I don’t know the first thing about makeup and my wife doesn’t wear any so she can’t really teach me anything. I’ll be interested to know how it went.

Once again, I am very happy for all the joy you are feeling. Some of it has definitely rubbed of on me. Thank you!

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 18, 2017, 09:30:37 am
Oh don’t worry about that Steph. Your joy is contagious. I usually read your posts several times to make sure I haven’t missed anything. I am so happy things are going so well for you. I know what you mean about the meltdown feeling like it was someone else. After I have bounced back from a meltdown, I find it hard to believe that I am the same person that was previously a complete wreck. It’s probably a good idea to remember how good you feel now so that if/when another meltdown happens you know that it will pass and the joy will return.

Oh yeah, I knew that I had been happy. But just like physical pain, you know you had it, but the memory doesn't let you actually feel it (that's a good thing with pain). The best you can do is tell yourself that you will feel it again, after you get through the current mess.

Quote
Have fun at the Trans Fashion Show. I wonder if we have anything like that here. I don’t know the first thing about makeup and my wife doesn’t wear any so she can’t really teach me anything. I’ll be interested to know how it went.

I mistitled it. They're actually calling it an Expo, not Show. I was hoping it wouldn't involve a catwalk. But it doesn't matter. The plane I've had custody of will be going home tomorrow or Monday, and the weather is too beautiful. I'm going flying instead. While my wife, like yours, doesn't use makeup, I found out a friend of mine used to work as a cosmetologist, and she wants me to come over for a lesson. So I get to fly and get free makeup lessons. Works for me!

And to be honest, I used to need such get-togethers just so I could feel comfortable as myself and be among "my kind." But I'm finding that as I work deeper into my RLE and have found acceptance by those I'm already close with, the need for that kind of interaction is going away. I have made a few friends there, some whom are actually pretty special, and still intend to attend social events occasionally, but they're becoming integrated into my regular life now, instead of being something that takes precedence over everything else. I feel like things are much more balanced now. I guess I'm sliding slowly from having transness being the overwhelming thing in my life, into just living authentically, with being trans just another aspect of my personality. I suspect that's what we all want, ultimately.

Quote
Once again, I am very happy for all the joy you are feeling. Some of it has definitely rubbed of on me. Thank you!

And thank you! We all pass our happiness on to each other when we have extra. Joy is a slippery thing to get hold of, but hopefully as we pass it around, it sticks a little bit. It's a viscous circle! (Pun very much intended.)

Kendra! You're up!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 18, 2017, 10:07:26 am
Enjoy your makeover Steph(anie)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 18, 2017, 02:54:17 pm
Steph this is just plane great!  You quickly recovered from last week’s stall, more than makeup for any turbulence.  Now you’re enjoying a gracefully balanced glide path.  Props to you.

Joy stick.  I’ve filed paperwork for a modified flight plan with a January 18 takeoff.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 18, 2017, 03:40:10 pm
Steph this is just plane great!  You quickly recovered from last week’s stall, more than makeup for any turbulence.  Now you’re enjoying a gracefully balanced glide path.  Props to you.

Joy stick.  I’ve filed paperwork for a modified flight plan with a January 18 takeoff.

I am so incredibly happy for you that you’ll be switching from a stick to a yoke when you fly! Me too some day.

Funny we should be using flying metaphors. Sue and I just flew out to a cool restaurant for an early dinner. Two cool chicks out for a flight, and the waitress is treating us ladies very well.

By the way, we weren’t in the cockpit. It’s now called the box office.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171118/566ba942fca663ea3a6d7aa7d5e75f0d.jpg)

Steph the Badass Aviatrix
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 19, 2017, 08:22:39 am
A neighbor who’s been away for a year finally made it back yesterday, and it wasn’t until a few days ago that she realized what I’ve been doing with my life. I suddenly got a bunch of long text messages about how she thought it was so cool that I was taking charge of being happy, and couldn’t wait to meet the new me.

So last night my wife and I and our scurvy dawg did the Welcome Wagon thing and visited with her. She was happy happy to see us, and after talking about a bunch of things, the conversation inevitably came round to my situation. As I end up telling everyone, “But enough about myself. Let’s talk about me.”

Two things stand out that topped off another outstanding day. I had mentioned that I felt lucky (finally, after hating it for so long) to be only 5’5” and 140 lbs. She responded that it was good that I had delicate facial features, too. I never thought that was the case, but I was happy to hear it.

Then later when I was talking about how the hormones change fat distribution, that I may be seeing some very minor changes already, but I was surprised that I seemed to be passing ok, she looked hard and said, “I don’t really see any masculine features in your face.”

I don’t really believe it, but I think I’ll enjoy the feeling. Carl is taking me in the express elevator up to Cloud 10. Megan, I’ll wave at you as I zoom past #9.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 19, 2017, 08:25:31 am
More positivity from someone who certainly deserves it. Enjoy the ride,  and Carl haha

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 19, 2017, 08:34:25 am
More positivity from someone who certainly deserves it. Enjoy the ride,  and Carl haha

I just found out that the express elevator is run by Otis. Nice guy, but very emotional. Lots of ups and downs. Be careful not to push his buttons.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 19, 2017, 08:41:29 am
Please don't ever go on tour,  there'll be riots.

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 19, 2017, 09:13:42 am
Please don't ever go on tour,  there'll be riots.

You might appreciate this more than I. Apparently if you upset him, instead of the elevator, he’ll give you the shaft.

I can see it now: a new unreality show, Kendra and Steph’s Pun Wars!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 19, 2017, 09:40:36 am
I can see it now: a new unreality show, Kendra and Steph’s Pun Wars!
Now that would be an uplifting show.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 19, 2017, 10:01:20 am
I was thinking (yeah I know that's not good) You could bill the two of you as the Pundits of Pun.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 19, 2017, 10:03:40 am
This thread is going down fast.. to the basement; "Sports goods, lingerie and soft furnishings."

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 19, 2017, 10:04:31 am
... and if anyone calls me a soft furnishing there'll be trouble!

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 19, 2017, 10:11:02 am
I was thinking (yeah I know that's not good) You could bill the two of you as the Pundits of Pun.
I like it! Since we’re all kinda ditzy we could be Pun Ditz.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 19, 2017, 11:09:05 am
Steph the Badass Aviatrix.  I see a business card. 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 19, 2017, 12:31:51 pm
Wait, did I just get drafted?  Or is that a holding pattern.  Difficult to gauge or should I check the dials. 

When I start dialing at the end of January is that a flight simulator? 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: HappyMoni on November 19, 2017, 12:52:14 pm
Steph the Badass Aviatrix.  I see a business card.
What does an Aviatrix make you do, flap your wings? Do I need a safe word?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 19, 2017, 12:57:57 pm
When I start dialing at the end of January is that a flight simulator?

More like a flight stimulator.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 19, 2017, 01:02:36 pm
What does an Aviatrix make you do, flap your wings? Do I need a safe word?

It involves chocks and tie-down chains. It could have a serious baron on the situation.

A safe word might Amelia-rate any problems when turning base to final. Usually it’s not fun to bounce the landing, but in this case...
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: HappyMoni on November 19, 2017, 01:08:56 pm
More like a flight stimulator.
Got news for ya, dialing is anything but stimulating.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: HappyMoni on November 19, 2017, 01:11:05 pm
It involves chocks and tie-down chains. It could have a serious baron on the situation.

A safe word might Amelia-rate any problems when turning base to final. Usually it’s not fun to bounce the landing, but in this case...

This conversation is going the wrong way, Corregan!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 19, 2017, 01:22:37 pm
This conversation is going the wrong way, Corregan!
Dang, why didn’t I think of that?!

10 points for Mandy!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 19, 2017, 01:30:18 pm
You girls are killing me! I think you might be enjoying yourselves too much. Makes me want to join in on all the pun, but I seem to have stalled and found myself cruising at a lower flight level.

........ that’s all I’ve got. I am enjoying this reading this thread.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 19, 2017, 01:36:19 pm
You girls are killing me! I think you might be enjoying yourselves too much. Makes me want to join in on all the pun, but I seem to have stalled and found myself cruising at a lower flight level.

........ that’s all I’ve got. I am enjoying this reading this thread.

Sorry to throw you for a loop, to put a new spin on it. Thought I’d slip that one in.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: HappyMoni on November 19, 2017, 02:07:54 pm
If this continues, you can consider me a flight risk. I think we are all United in heading Southeast from here. My Spirit has me headed for the Frontier. This is my final approach to this topic. Over and out and don't call me Shirley.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 19, 2017, 02:14:07 pm
> 10 points for Mandy!
Nah - four attachment points is all that’s necessary.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 19, 2017, 03:26:51 pm
On a different subject, Sue and I just left the mall where we got the 4 week checkup on our new earrings, and got clearance to take out the starter studs. We’re at Outback now and I’m sporting my new dangly earrings! I am so fabulous!

Life is awesome!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 19, 2017, 04:11:06 pm
There's just no stopping you ,  lovely to hear. X

Hang a couple of baubles and you'll be set for Xmas.

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 19, 2017, 05:45:13 pm
There's just no stopping you ,  lovely to hear. X

Hang a couple of baubles and you'll be set for Xmas.

What? I’m actually trying to lose some hanging baubles!

Oh, I see what you mean. I’d consider that but I don’t want to be a Ho ho ho.

🤶🏻
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 19, 2017, 05:50:43 pm
What? I’m actually trying to lose some hanging baubles!

Oh, I see what you mean. I’d consider that but I don’t want to be a Ho ho ho.

🤶🏻
Behave yourself young lady. This show is rated PG.

It’s great to see you in such a happy mood. Transition is really agreeing with you. Congratulations!

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 19, 2017, 06:00:01 pm
There's just no stopping you ,  lovely to hear. X

In all seriousness, I hope what I’m feeling isn’t just “irrational exuberance.” We just went shopping at a couple of places for some clothes and food for Thanksgiving dinner. There are huge crowds everywhere and nobody batted an eye. I simply can’t believe that I’m passing this well so early in my transition. Knowing that it will only get better from here almost has me in happy tears.

For what seems like the first time in my life, I will have something other than my wife and family to be thankful for. I just want to give the whole world a hug right now. All of you are right up in the front of the queue.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on November 19, 2017, 07:29:18 pm
I’m sporting my new dangly earrings!
Pics or it didn't happen!

You are indeed fabulous.  I am glad you are feeling it.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 19, 2017, 09:40:58 pm
Pics or it didn't happen!

Ohhhh Kay! You axed for it. Just remember you can’t unsee it now...

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171120/8bb4c772e8029f4fb10c403640916c36.jpg)

Yeah, I’m currently digging v-neck tops and infinity loop scarves. And that hat. I just loves me that hat...

Stylin’ Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on November 20, 2017, 10:56:10 am
I love 'em!  You look awesome!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 20, 2017, 11:57:22 am
You have a real sparkle in your eyes, life is certainly agreeing with you. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 20, 2017, 02:07:54 pm
Damn girl you’re rockin’ it.  Classy! 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 21, 2017, 01:30:58 pm
OMG OMG OMG SQUEEEEE!!

I just got a notice from the court: I have a date for my name change hearing!!! And it's so soon - December 7th!

Surely a day that will go down in infamy!!

Serious ocular leakage going on right now...

Stephanie Rhapsody B

PS: I just realized that today is 5 months exactly from when I started HRT. Wow, have I come a long way in a short time...

PPS: OMG, what do I wear?!!

PPPS: I assume that because of the date, pearls are appropriate...
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 21, 2017, 01:44:43 pm
It's going to be a very merry Step(ey) Christmas! Brilliant news. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 21, 2017, 01:54:26 pm
 Congrats Steph(anie)

  (Soon I will be able to drop the parenthesis') ( I will harbor no regrets as you will be Ford(ing) your own (island) in the (bombed) bay of your past) (May December 7th become your own memorial.) (Shirley a day to remember)

Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 21, 2017, 02:00:40 pm
Steph that is great news! Congratulations. How exciting. I just had this vision of you getting in your plane and skywriting your name all over the place. Are you bouncing around in excitement like a kid that has had too much sugar?

You have indeed come such a long way in a relatively short period of time. I am so happy for you.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on November 21, 2017, 02:32:36 pm
Congratulations on the court date, Steph!  Fantastic!  Dress up for the court.  It's respectful and fun.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 21, 2017, 02:54:47 pm
Shirley a day to remember

Stephanie, not Shirley.

I’m happy happy today. Sure, I got a court date, but even better, my friend Laurie came out to play.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 21, 2017, 02:56:42 pm
It's going to be a very merry Step(ey) Christmas! Brilliant news. X

I went crying to my wife, “I just got a Christmas present!”
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 21, 2017, 02:59:41 pm
Are you bouncing around in excitement like a kid that has had too much sugar?

I’ll get to that later. Right now I’m recovering from all the crying.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 21, 2017, 03:02:14 pm
Congratulations on the court date, Steph!  Fantastic!  Dress up for the court.  It's respectful and fun.

I have no idea what’s appropriate. Do I need to go in guy mode since that’s the name it’s filed under? Would a women’s suit be ok? I’m so freaked out right now!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 21, 2017, 03:06:48 pm
I have no idea what’s appropriate. Do I need to go in guy mode since that’s the name it’s filed under? Would a women’s suit be ok? I’m so freaked out right now!
I don’t think guy mode is necessary. You are going there to legally become Steph, so go as Steph, yourself!

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 21, 2017, 03:08:35 pm
It might even confuse people if you turn up in guy mode telling them you want to change your name to Stephanie.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on November 21, 2017, 03:28:34 pm
It is definitely an occasion for going as yourself.  I suppose it might be confusing for onlookers if they call you up for your hearing using your dead name, but they'll get over it.  You want to impress the judge as to what a classy dame you are.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 21, 2017, 03:43:25 pm
It is definitely an occasion for going as yourself.  I suppose it might be confusing for onlookers if they call you up for your hearing using your dead name, but they'll get over it.  You want to impress the judge as to what a classy dame you are.
Awesome! I have a neat gray skirted suit. Also a double breasted pinstripe women’s suit with pants that might have them mistaking me for a lawyer. Like a really short Angie Harmon, but just as sexy.

As for confusing the onlookers, I plan to pack the peanut gallery with my groupies.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 21, 2017, 05:04:55 pm
For my name change hearing I went as Kendra - and right after I had the document in hand, I went down the hall and applied for US Passport.  I had everything else ready to go.

The judge was very courteous, I was in the courtroom less than 10 minutes.  Glad I didn’t wear short shorts. 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 21, 2017, 10:03:24 pm
For my name change hearing I went as Kendra - and right after I had the document in hand, I went down the hall and applied for US Passport.  I had everything else ready to go.

The judge was very courteous, I was in the courtroom less than 10 minutes.  Glad I didn’t wear short shorts.

I remember your picture. Your smile was so big I thought your face was going to crack. That’s gonna be me in 16 days.

I’m still pretty sensitive about my hairline. Is it disrespectful to wear a hat in court? Or do I need to go on a crash search for a topper wig? I thought I’d have a month to work these things out.

I talked to my endocrinologist about my gender marker change letter, and they won’t give it to me until I show them the court order. I was hoping to have it in hand on that day, but I’ll have to run to Orlando first now. Don’t know if I need that for Social Security, but I’ll for sure want it for my driver’s license.

At the name change clinic I’d attended, they suggested that if you expect your appearance to change in the next two years, get a two-year temporary passport. You pay the fee with the temporary one, and there’s no additional charge to get the permanent one in two years with a new picture. At this point I’m not planning any facial surgery, but after seeing some of the before and after HRT pics after only two years, I’m hopeful that a new picture will be needed then.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 22, 2017, 12:45:07 am
I’d never wear a hat in court after seeing a traffic court judge (Everett, Washington State) get angry with a customer over that.  That was in the early 1980s, but I wouldn’t try it.  You’re probably not going to be taking a selfie photo with the judge, they should totally understand if your hair isn’t perfect... but if it impacts self confidence I can relate (we have all been there, guaranteed).  I bought several wigs mail order 3 - 4 years ago before growing my hair out - actually I used that to help decide what hair style I wanted.

I went for the 10 year passport.  Several countries I have traveled to issue a 10 year visa (China), if the passport number changes they require $tarting over on the visa process. 

When I applied for new Social Security card, I showed the local social security office my “has had appropriate clinical treatment” letter from my endocrinologist for gender marker change.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 22, 2017, 01:00:19 am
Here's the latest, for those who haven't gotten tired of my stories:

My wife participates in trivia contests on Tuesday nights in a retirement community not far from where we live. I'm a pretty trivial person myself (we never miss an episode of Jeopardy), and she's been after me to join her team. Since I started living full-time, and she hadn't told any of her friends about my transition, I was nervous about going. Well, she told the two other people on her team about me a few weeks ago, and they assured her they had no problem with it and wanted to meet me. So tonight I went.

And I had a great time. The guy on her team couldn't make it, but the woman - I'll call her "S" - showed up and was really cool. We had a wonderful, respectful conversation about the transition process, and then went on to the trivia as a three-woman team. At one point we were in first place, but ran into a few stumpers that knocked us out of the running. Afterward we ate dinner, and at one point I told S that I was worried about getting clocked. She was confused by that, and told me that there was little chance of that. She said some really nice, complimentary things about how I was presenting, and about my facial features when I mentioned FFS. It was all very affirming from someone who had only met me once or twice in my old role, and was a real boost to my confidence.

On the way out we ran into a table full of more of my wife's friends. None of them had met me before in any persona, and I was simply introduced as Stephanie. They said nice to meet you, and the conversation went on. One gregarious lady was standing right in front of me as she told a story to my wife and S, and at one point, after noticing that I was wearing another one of my scarves and my cardigan, asked whether I was visiting Florida from up North, or whether I lived here. She guessed that I lived here because I was dressed warmly in 68 degree weather. And the conversation went on from there.

These retirement communities are like little worlds of their own, with everything within reach by golf cart, and always some kind of group social thing going on. Tonight there was a band in the square, with jewelry and other vendors set up in tents along the periphery. We wandered around enjoying the evening - me especially. You see, it was in this community that I'd had a major meltdown only three months ago, when while we were there having dinner I saw all the women out walking in the warm evening, in pretty sundresses and other comfortable clothes, and I was absolutely convinced that I would never ever get to a point where I could pass. And here I was, very early in transition, walking around just like I'd seen those women doing 12 weeks ago, with no questioning looks at all - and knowing, since it is so early in the process, that it would only get better. Don't pinch me. I don't ever want to wake up from this dream.

Eventually S decided to head for home, so I thanked her for being so cool. She got a big smile, gave me a huge hug, and told me she was happy to see me.

And surprisingly, I was happy to be seen.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 22, 2017, 01:13:33 am
I’d never wear a hat in court after seeing a traffic court judge (Everett, Washington State) get angry with a customer over that.  That was in the early 1980s, but I wouldn’t try it.  You’re probably not going to be taking a selfie photo with the judge, they should totally understand if your hair isn’t perfect... but if it impacts self confidence I can relate (we have all been there, guaranteed).  I bought several wigs mail order 3 - 4 years ago before growing my hair out - actually I used that to help decide what hair style I wanted.

Yeah, I probably won't chance it, even though it's a woman magistrate. I was just thinking that maybe a woman could get away with a hat when a man couldn't. I am getting some hair regrowth, so I'll see how it's working out if I let it dry and not put on my usual hat. Maybe it'll be ok.

In 40 years of cross-dressing I've accumulated a lot of stuff, since I was too cheap to go through a purge cycle like so many others have. So I went through my steamer trunks and found that I had 16 wigs stashed away. I could probably find one or two decent ones, but I'm sure they'd have to be styled, and they're kind of hard to deal with since I already have pretty long hair.

Quote
I went for the 10 year passport.  Several countries I have traveled to issue a 10 year visa (China), if the passport number changes they require $tarting over on the visa process.

At this point I have no plans or desires to travel anywhere that requires visas in the next two years. Most likely if I leave the country it'll only be to Canada or the Bahamas. Though ya never know...

Quote
When I applied for new Social Security card, I showed the local social security office my “has had appropriate clinical treatment” letter from my endocrinologist for gender marker change.

Yeah, I don't know why my doctor won't give me that letter up front. I was hoping to leave the courtroom, and after getting certified copies of the order, go direct to the Social Security office. Instead I'll have to drive to Orlando and back. Guess I'll be doing a lot of driving that day.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on November 22, 2017, 06:09:11 am
Here's the latest, for those who haven't gotten tired of my stories ... <snip> ... Steph

I love following your stories, and the stories others here. Most are at a point I can't see myself getting to but it gives me hope. Plus I love the happiness you all exude when you tell them.  :)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 22, 2017, 08:59:28 am
I love following your stories, and the stories others here. Most are at a point I can't see myself getting to but it gives me hope. Plus I love the happiness you all exude when you tell them.  :)
Hi Faith. I’ve subscribed to your thread, too. Any of our stories have all the elements of a good book or movie. I stopped here while I was writing and did a search for “elements of good storytelling” and believe me, by taking a composite of our stories, we’d have a blockbuster movie. Everything is there. I won’t bother repeating them. Anyone can do the same search I did.

And don’t sell yourself short. Four months ago I felt the same way you do. You can go as far as you and your wife want you to.

If only the haters out there could see, and truly understand the joy we gain by finding our true selves, they’d be cheering us on. And despite the political climate and sensationalistic headlines, the real, regular people out there are starting to get it, and things are getting better. Each one of us who come out and let others see us live good, kind, happy lives moves the needle a little, even if we choose not to march in parades and yell at rallies.

And that’s today’s update from Pollyanna.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on November 22, 2017, 10:20:40 am
And despite the political climate and sensationalistic headlines, the real, regular people out there are starting to get it, and things are getting better. Each one of us who come out and let others see us live good, kind, happy lives moves the needle a little, even if we choose not to march in parades and yell at rallies.
That is so true, and it is an important point that is easily overlooked.  Regular people are starting to get it.  And they actually outnumber the haters.  People, even strangers, are happy to see me and treat me with respect and kindness.  Who'd have thunk it?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 22, 2017, 09:17:52 pm
I love following your stories, and the stories others here. Most are at a point I can't see myself getting to but it gives me hope. Plus I love the happiness you all exude when you tell them.  :)

  Faith,

  I have to echo the replies given you by Steph(anie) and Kathy... Don't sell yourself short It was less than a year ago I took my first dose of HRT. Almost 2 months after I was outing myself to my GP and asking for help here on Susan's to bolster my courage and when I did I also asked for therapy. Susan's and the good people help helped me with that also. Soon some were urging me to get out dressed into the public eye by going into a store and buy something and pay for it at a real live cashier. I did it. After maybe five such outings I found myself on a road trip from Oregon to Maine to Maine where I met 9 other trans people like myself. I had only intended to drive to the Denver area in my female persona, but as it turned out I went to Maine and back home 31 days later having change into male clothes only twice before making it out of Pennsylvania on the way out. I even survived locking myself out of my pickup while in female attire at a busy truck stop style gas station in Colorado where I had to go inside and be a damsel in distress and ask for help. on the last leg home it dawned on my that there was no reason for me to return to male mode as I had been almost exclusive living as myself for that month. I was full time and was just realizing it. Leonard left home in woman's clothes, but it was Laurie the came home. I was not the same per that had left a month ago.
  Who is to say what you will or will not do in your time Faith? Not I nor anyone else. Not even you can really see what your future will hold for you. I know I didn't know what I would do or where I would be when I started my journey almost a year ago.
  You will find many stories here of others having their own epiphanies and Faith, you will have your own when the time for it comes.

 Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 24, 2017, 10:35:05 am
Well, Thanksgiving was... interesting. Not bad really, and in the end, being the silly person I am, I chose to give the whole thing a silly spin and roll with it.

We traveled over the river and through the woods to have Thanksgiving dinner with Mom and her hubby. Both are completely accepting and supportive, and I of course went as myself, Stephanie. I was hoping for a family dinner where I could completely relax and not worry about my hairline, voice, etc., but then I found out that they'd invited the neighbor lady to join us, since otherwise she would have been alone. So I was on my guard. They'd already told her about my transition, so there was no shock factor as we walked in.

And that's then the silliness began. My Mom introduced me, "This is my daughter, Stephanie, and his wife Sue." AAAAGH!!! What a bizarre mix of wonderfulness and pain. And that's the way it went all afternoon. It was never mean-spirited, they tried so hard, and were so embarrassed every time it happened. I felt sorry for them, but after a while when hubby would say "Steve" I'd either ignore it with a smile, and he'd catch it after I didn't answer, or I'd say, "Nobody by that name here!" It was so hard for them to remember both the name and the pronouns at the same time. Once, hubby asked my Mom to check on "Whether he'd like some pie." After a second of silence his eyes got big and he said, "Oh! I'm so sorry, Steve!" Double Aghh! But hilarity ensued.

I'm not too worried about it. Just knowing they still love me is enough. On the way out my Mom asked if it would be all right if they attend my name change hearing on December 7th. Of course! Looks like I've already got 6 people sitting in the peanut gallery. I did emphasize that I'm going to get more serious about enforcing names and pronouns after it's actually legal. They nodded and agreed they'd try harder. And we left with hugs and smiles.

On the way home Sue and I stopped by a Best Buy to investigate dishwashers, and actually ended up ordering one. For some reason I got a little timid and let Sue handle the transaction while I wandered off for a bit. She wasn't happy about that and I had to apologize later. I just kept wondering whether he'd clocked me, and if not, what he thought about two women out together buying a dishwasher for their house. I did end up standing in front of the guy and explaining why we didn't want the extended warranty, and that I'd be installing it myself.

It all went well in the end, but I really have to get over this timidness. This is the way I'm going to live the rest of my life, and I have to get used to it. And so do they.

Finally, I posted a version of the entry I made here in the Happy Thanksgiving thread on my Facebook page. (Susan's post here: https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,230934.msg2052942.html#msg2052942 (https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,230934.msg2052942.html#msg2052942)). I got more likes and positive comments on that one post than on any other. People are really cool...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 24, 2017, 11:35:15 am
I was obsessing to my friend Cassie, who I met at one of the social events of a local support group, about my hair situation regarding my upcoming court appointment. She's the one we went to the Ren Faire with, is also full-time transitioning, and has become a good friend. I told her I was considering going to a salon and getting some advice for my hair, and she invited me to go with her to her hairdresser tomorrow. So hopefully I'll find out if there's any hope for my mop, and maybe get some trimming and styling done. It's all a little scary. It's been 20 years since I let anyone do anything with my hair,  and I'll be putting my foot down if she suggests shortening it by any significant amount.

My Mom asked me to send pictures if I do get it styled, and I told her then about how envious I was when my sister got to grow her dark hair down her back. Poor Mom got a little taste of the pain, and much hugging ensued.

Anyway, if I can't do anything with my hair, I guess I'll try to find a friendly wig shop to find a topper or something. Need to look fabulous for the magistrate!

Oh! I meant to ask. I've read a few sites where they make clear that all piercings should be removed for the court. That doesn't include discreet earrings, does it?

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 24, 2017, 12:21:08 pm
Steph, I’m glad thanksgiving went well for you. It seems that you handled any accidental misgendering and using the wrong name quite well. It sounds like your family are really trying hard to get it right. It must be hard to undo a lifetime of habit. Hopefully it won’t take them too much longer to be getting right all the time.

I wish I could make it to your name change hearing. Know that I will be thinking of you. It’s so exciting!

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 24, 2017, 12:25:00 pm
Hey, it’s just a short 20 hour flight. John Travolta lives close to me, and he’s actually a pilot with Qantas. We fly over to see what he’s got parked on the pad once in a while. Maybe he’ll come get you in his 707.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 24, 2017, 12:28:47 pm
Hey, it’s just a short 20 hour flight. John Travolta lives close to me, and he’s actually a pilot with Qantas. We fly over to see what he’s got parked on the pad once in a while. Maybe he’ll come get you in his 707.

Steph
If I’m not mistaken, I think his 707 was actually owned and operated by Qantas back in the day. Would you mind having a word with John and see if he is willing to come pick me up?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 24, 2017, 12:33:24 pm
Well, actually I'd heard he let his ATP lapse and is no longer certified with Qantas. He may even have sold the 707. He's still got plenty of fast stuff on the apron.

As for contacting him, well, the restraining order prevents that.

Juuust kidding.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: jessica95 on November 24, 2017, 12:58:53 pm
Nice Log, Step 2.0 , I support your journey. And cool you live near John Travolta.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 24, 2017, 01:01:50 pm
Nice Log, Step 2.0 , I support your journey. And cool you live near John Travolta.

Hi Jessica, and welcome to my strange world!

John and Kelli live on a private airport about 30 miles north of me. And no, we aren't on a first name basis! (Or any name basis...)

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 25, 2017, 04:37:04 pm
> I've read a few sites where they make clear that all piercings should be removed for the court. That doesn't include discreet earrings, does it?

I’ve never heard such a thing but I suppose it would be good to avoid showing up in court with a fish hook through your eyebrow.  I went to my name change hearing wearing dangly earrings - didn’t think about it, and nobody threw a book at me. 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 25, 2017, 11:04:27 pm
I’ve never heard such a thing but I suppose it would be good to avoid showing up in court with a fish hook through your eyebrow.  I went to my name change hearing wearing dangly earrings - didn’t think about it, and nobody threw a book at me.

I suspect that all the advice I've been reading on the internet is for defendants in criminal cases. I'll bet for cases like ours there's a lot more leeway. In any case, I'll have some kind of earrings in, and pearls under my shirt to commemorate the date.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 25, 2017, 11:38:03 pm
I was obsessing to my friend Cassie, who I met at one of the social events of a local support group, about my hair situation regarding my upcoming court appointment. She's the one we went to the Ren Faire with, is also full-time transitioning, and has become a good friend. I told her I was considering going to a salon and getting some advice for my hair, and she invited me to go with her to her hairdresser tomorrow. So hopefully I'll find out if there's any hope for my mop, and maybe get some trimming and styling done. It's all a little scary. It's been 20 years since I let anyone do anything with my hair,  and I'll be putting my foot down if she suggests shortening it by any significant amount.

Today was the day I took another big step. I went with Cassandra to see her hairdresser Destinee, and okayed her recommendation to shorten my hair about 2 inches, color it all back to the original color with some highlights, and change the style to swept bangs. I've never ever had my hair styled; heck, I haven't even been in a barber's chair for 20 years. It took almost four hours while Destinee did her magic. The color ended up a little darker than original, and I love it. And I admit that when I saw myself in the mirror, I broke down in tears. Even got Destinee and Cassie crying. There was absolutely no doubt that there was a woman looking back from the other side of the looking glass.

We met another friend for lunch and spent the rest of the day wandering through the shops, talking at a coffee shop, watching the tree lighting ceremony, and finally ending up at a Mellow Mushroom for dinner. Cassie is just a little ahead of me in her transition, and we had a deep heart to heart conversation about our pasts, present and futures. More than once I talked about how much help you all have been to me here on Susan's.

Here I am with my slightly windblown new do, and a beautiful Florida sunset:

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/teqhfvmwt4lk4x2/stephnewdo.jpg?raw=1)

Here I am with Cassie and my new friend Stella:

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/2nj1v5au34zavmm/stephcassiestella.jpg?raw=1)

The best part? The whole day I went without a hat. It was another outstandingly wonderful day to remember forever.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 26, 2017, 12:45:53 am
WOW Steph!!! You look amazing and that smile is coming from a real happy place inside. Forget any ideas you may have had about wigs or hats for your court date. You don’t need that stuff.

I am walking through the airport terminal to go to work grinning like a fool. I am so happy for you.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 26, 2017, 12:53:51 am
WOW Steph!!! You look amazing and that smile is coming from a real happy place inside. Forget any ideas you may have had about wigs or hats for your court date. You don’t need that stuff.

I am walking through the airport terminal to go to work grinning like a fool. I am so happy for you.

Thanks so much for the kind comment, Jayne. I never in a million years thought I’d see the person I saw looking back in the mirror. I thought I might break down, so I had myself prepared to avoid it. Nope. Too many emotes. Poor Destinee kept saying, “Oh no, I can’t look at you, oh no.” And she looked and also had ocular leakage. All happy tears. She got a tip as big as the hug I gave her.

It’s a time in the future for you, too, Jayne. Stay positive and keep moving forward one step at a time. If I can do it, anyone can.

Have a nice day at work. Mess with the pilots some more with your feminine voice on the headset. (I’ve been doing that myself as I call the pattern.)

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: The Flying Lemur on November 26, 2017, 01:04:04 am
I'm really glad that you found a new hairstyle that suits you!  You look great!  :)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 26, 2017, 01:09:28 am
I am looking forward when my hair is long enough to style. My electrologist told me her hairdresser is very good and has several trans clients at various stages of their transition. I also have never in my life had my hair styled and for the past 15-20 years I have been cutting it myself giving myself a buzz cut with clippers.

I wish I could be there to give you a hug and celebrate this happy time with you.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 26, 2017, 01:20:31 am
Thanks Ben! As you can see in the pic, Stella is working on FtM. Everyone got a smile when Cassie put our meal on her credit card which still has her old name on it, and when the waiter came back he gave the receipts to Stella. We corrected him and gave the receipts to Cassie. The poor waiter looked so confused, but Stella chalked up a “pass point.”

Jayne, I’ll accept a virtual hug!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 26, 2017, 01:21:35 am
Steph, that is a great 'do, and a smile of  100% contentment,  no artifical colours or preservatives! And it looks like you've got some great friends there too. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 26, 2017, 01:22:44 am
(((HUG)))
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 26, 2017, 01:39:16 am
Mmmm... Thank you!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on November 26, 2017, 06:10:32 am
that's it. You've made up  my mind. there's no way I could read this without getting my hair down properly. We have a Dec dinner date coming up. My wife already settled on my outfit to compliment hers. I think we need a hair day together. Thanks for making me spend even more money  ;D

Sorry, this is your thread and it's not about me. I do tend to try to relate to others by talking about me, it's a habit I'm really trying to break. So, on to the important part:

You look totally awesome. You may have gotten your hair done but you can see the affect in your whole face. And that smile? heart-melter ....
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on November 26, 2017, 06:37:35 am
Wow, you look adorable, Steph!  I love that big smile, and I am in envy of your hair!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 26, 2017, 06:46:04 am
that's it. You've made up  my mind. there's no way I could read this without getting my hair down properly. We have a Dec dinner date coming up. My wife already settled on my outfit to compliment hers. I think we need a hair day together. Thanks for making me spend even more money  ;D

Don’t even hesitate. I avoided it for far too long, and now I’m so glad I went. It was shocking what an immediate change it was. She intended to match the original color that she found where there wasn’t any gray, but it ended up a little darker than it’s ever been, with just a tinge of red in the right light. And I love it!

You’ll have to decide whether you consider it expensive. It cost me US$128 plus a well-deserved tip. It was worth every penny.

Quote
Sorry, this is your thread and it's not about me. I do tend to try to relate to others by talking about me, it's a habit I'm really trying to break.

That’s right, it’s my thread. And in my house, everybody gets to say whatever they want. I demand that my friends never censor themselves in here, so welcome, and never hesitate to interrupt.

Quote
So, on to the important part:

You look totally awesome. You may have gotten your hair done but you can see the affect in your whole face. And that smile? heart-melter ....

Thank you so much, Faith. Is it too self-centered or narcissistic to say that I love that picture, too, despite the wrinkly face? I used to hate seeing myself in pictures, and tended to avert my eyes. And good luck finding any pictures of me with teeth showing before I started transitioning. Always a closed-mouth smile, more like a grimace. Now I like seeing that grinning person, and it’s still a shock to realize that she is me.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on November 26, 2017, 06:51:34 am
HAH! you don't want all my thoughts polluting your thread, trust me  ;D

I know what you mean about the closed-mouth grimace. I still do it, I'm a work in progress. I do know that reading your adventures is helping me with mine.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 26, 2017, 06:51:54 am
Is it too self-centered or narcissistic to say that I love that picture, too, despite the wrinkly face?
Nope! You are allowed to like seeing yourself happy. It’s something many of us here have not been able to do for far too long.

Wrinkles? What wrinkles?

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 26, 2017, 06:59:50 am
Wow, you look adorable, Steph!  I love that big smile, and I am in envy of your hair!

D’awww, thanks, Kathy. Since I can’t wear a hat for my court hearing, one of the main reasons for doing it in the first place was to try to disguise the receding hairline, without it looking like a comb-over. By moving the part over a little and doing the swept bangs, I think she accomplished that. It did create a lock of hair that kept falling across my eyes, but to be honest, constantly brushing it over felt so cool. It may get annoying later, but for now I get a warm fuzzy feeling with that definably feminine gesture.

What surprised me is the recession is still there on the right side, but doesn’t seem to be as noticeable due to the rest of the cut. Destinee truly is a magician.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 26, 2017, 07:06:00 am
Nope! You are allowed to like seeing yourself happy. It’s something many of us here have not been able to do for far too long.

Well come on in! The water’s fine!

Quote
Wrinkles? What wrinkles?

Ah, well, my face was ravaged with acne cysts during (first) puberty, and I’ll live with the wreckage for the rest of my life. Just another side affect of testosterone poisoning. I’m so envious of you all with smooth skin.

I’ll just have to let my brilliant toothpaste-commercial smile blind you all so you can’t see it...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 26, 2017, 07:13:40 am
What surprised me is the recession is still there on the right side, but doesn’t seem to be as noticeable due to the rest of the cut. Destinee truly is a magician.
The recession may not be as bad as you may think. There are many cis women out there with receding hairlines and it isn’t noticeable because they have a feminine hairstyle.

I have been looking closely at other women in my travels. I am lucky not to have any major recession yet, but if I end up anything like my father, it will recede with a vengeance. Hopefully the hormones will put a stop to that. What I noticed while observing different women is that many do indeed have a very receded hairline and I only noticed because I was specifically looking for that kind of thing.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on November 26, 2017, 07:38:10 am
My wife has a severe receding line on one side, compounded by a scar from an accident so hair will never grow there. It does not detract from her hair style. most things are taken as a whole, you cannot focus on the one 'wrong' thing.

keep on smiling, I'll buy that toothpaste
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 26, 2017, 07:40:34 am
keep on smiling, I'll buy that toothpaste

Thanks, Faith, for the encouragement.

I’ve decided the easiest way to keep people from seeing my wrinkles is to squirt the toothpaste in their eyes. Never fails.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on November 26, 2017, 07:58:15 am
Thanks, Faith, for the encouragement.

I’ve decided the easiest way to keep people from seeing my wrinkles is to squirt the toothpaste in their eyes. Never fails.

Steph

I thought about something like this:
(https://slodive.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/short-emo-hairstyles/cover.jpg)
I don't have the lips for it, or the chin for that matter.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 26, 2017, 08:18:21 am
I thought about something like this:

Hey, that would definitely take care of my wrinkle problem!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 26, 2017, 09:32:18 am
 Hi Steph(anie) (still a few days left for the parenthesis)

  The doo, is you. Really it looks good on you and the smile really brightened your face. I'm afraid my day at a hair salon will be a bit different with me walking in, telling the girl what I'd like done, handing her my hair and leaving. Of course there would be the second visit to pick it back up and go home. lol
  Another surprising thing you have in your favor lady is you are sooo short. You look so tiny next to Cassie and Stella. It says girl all over you. Oh I know you have told us many times you are 5' 5" but I don't think you have ever shown us a picture that illustrates your height so well. For you lady it is all a plus.

Hugs,
  Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Bari Jo on November 26, 2017, 09:53:29 am
Steph, great cut.   Now we need a new avatar!

Bari Jo
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 26, 2017, 10:36:37 am
Hi Steph(anie) (still a few days left for the parenthesis)

Hi Lau(rie),

This post is rated PG.

Parenthal Guidance Advised.

Quote
The doo, is you. Really it looks good on you and the smile really brightened your face.

As long as I’m not doo-doo, I’m not cuckoo!

Gosh, everybody seems to like the smile. Guess I’ll wear it more often. It was a little dusty but it’s been staying pretty clean lately.

Quote
I'm afraid my day at a hair salon will be a bit different with me walking in, telling the girl what I'd like done, handing her my hair and leaving.

Better than handing her your head. But if she does a good job you might want to give her a hand.

 
Quote
Another surprising thing you have in your favor lady it you are sooo short. You look so tint next to Cassie and Stella. It says girl all over you. Oh I know you have told us many times you are 5' 5" but I don't think you have ever shown us a picture that illustrates you height so well. For you lady it is all a plus.

You have no idea how much I used to hate being called short in my previous incarnation. Now I bask in it.

As for the picture, it probably highlights Cassandra’s height more than mine. I’m guessing she’s about 5’10” or even 6’. Stella was just a bit taller than me.

I was trying to understand why this hairdo affected me so much. I realized that most of my changes have been slow and incremental, and therefore hard to notice day to day. This was immediate, and so a little shocking, though in a wonderfully good way.

I’m back on Cloud 10. Thanks, Otis!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 26, 2017, 10:39:07 am
Steph, great cut.   Now we need a new avatar!

Oh gosh. I love the Bad Ass Aviatrix one, too. What to do... what to do?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on November 26, 2017, 10:44:58 am
And I admit that when I saw myself in the mirror, I broke down in tears. Even got Destinee and Cassie crying. There was absolutely no doubt that there was a woman looking back from the other side of the looking glass.


Steph, that image that you spoke of, it is a moment that you will always remember. Such a joyful moment that many of us can relate to and celebrate with you. Good going girl, enjoy the ride, it just gets better from here!

Tia Anne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: HappyMoni on November 26, 2017, 10:54:50 am
Haven't been here in a while. Who's the cute, short chick in the picture?
Moni
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 26, 2017, 12:23:02 pm
Hi Tia Anne and Moni!

I’ve seen “her” before, but this time there was no doubt. It was pretty powerful.

Moni, you’re speaking very clearly, considering what you’ve just been through. I’m glad to hear from you!

As for that chick in the picture, well, I’m afraid to say it because I’m scared I’ll jinx it... but I’ve come to the conclusion, despite continuing doubts, that I may have “passing privilege.” I never ever expected this, especially so soon. I compare myself to everyone in the “You look fabulous” and the “Before and after” threads, and I always come up lacking. But there’s no denying that I’ve gone full-time with absolutely no pushback from anyone yet. Are people that unobservant? Do they not care? Or am I actually being perceived as a woman? I guess I’ll always doubt myself, but I’d think that in the amount of time I’m accumulating as myself RLE, that somebody would have said something by now.

I’m not complaining, but I don’t know how to deal with the thought. It seems so unreal. Things like this don’t happen to me in real life. Can anyone offer advice to help me sort this out?

Confused Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 26, 2017, 12:33:04 pm

I’m not complaining, but I don’t know how to deal with the thought. It seems so unreal. Things like this don’t happen to me in real life. Can anyone offer advice to help me sort this out?

Confused Steph

  The trick is to get to that point where it no longer matters to you because you are happy with who you are.
  And "Nothing Else Matters" This song fits this thought better than my own.

Nothing Else Matters (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAGnKpE4NCI)

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 26, 2017, 12:51:35 pm
  The trick is to get to that point where it no longer matters to you because you are happy with who you are.
  And "Nothing Else Matters"

Thanks Laurie. I’d never heard that before. You’re right, but it sure is a hard place to get to.

What I’m wrestling with is - if it’s actually true that I’m passing already - why me? I’m nobody special. I’ve done nothing to earn it. There are so many other people who’ve suffered much more than I have and who need it more.

I don’t know. This self-flagellation is pointless, I guess. I should be grateful for the privilege, but I feel guilty. I guess I’ve been so unhappy for so long that I find it hard to accept happiness when it grabs me by the neck.

Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t anywhere near a meltdown. It’s just confusing.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 26, 2017, 01:06:41 pm
Thanks Laurie. I’d never heard that before. You’re right, but it sure is a hard place to get to.

What I’m wrestling with is - if it’s actually true that I’m passing already - why me? I’m nobody special. I’ve done nothing to earn it. There are so many other people who’ve suffered much more than I have and who need it more.

I don’t know. This self-flagellation is pointless, I guess. I should be grateful for the privilege, but I feel guilty. I guess I’ve been so unhappy for so long that I find it hard to accept happiness when it grabs me by the neck.

Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t anywhere near a meltdown. It’s just confusing.

Steph

  Just don't stumble and fall into that rabbit hole. The guilt you have is not appropriate. The things you say you feel guilty for are not your fault and no one will blame you for their own shortcomings. Envy you for some of your assets maybe, but blame you ? No. Just accept those assets for helping you see who you are. 
  Being able to see yourself for who you are and accepting yourself is one of the elusive goals we all have in transitioning. You are well on your way to doing that Steph(anie). Do your loops, whoop-tee-dos, and barrel rolls in celebration of these achievements you deserve them.

Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 26, 2017, 01:25:47 pm
You have nothing to feel guilty for Steph. As Laurie said, nobody will be blaming you for anything. You didn’t steal the ability to pass more easily from someone else, causing them to not be able to pass. It’s just the way it is. Feeling guilty about this would be like your wife feeling guilty that she was born female and you were not.

You have achieved so much in a relatively short period of time. Congratulations! Enjoy your successes. We are all cheering for you.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 26, 2017, 01:27:40 pm
  Just don't stumble and fall into that rabbit hole. The guilt you have is not appropriate. The things you say you feel guilty for are not your fault and no one will blame you for their own shortcomings. Envy you for some of your assets maybe, but blame you ? No. Just accept those assets for helping you see who you are. 
  Being able to see yourself for who you are and accepting yourself is one of the elusive goals we all have in transitioning. You are well on your way to doing that Steph(anie). Do your loops, whoop-tee-dos, and barrel rolls in celebration of these achievements you deserve them.

Thanks. Good advice, my friend. I think I see what I’m doing. Since I haven’t learned to accept myself yet, it looks like I’m still seeking outside validation. Regardless how well things seem to be going, I guess I still have a ways to go before I love myself.

The good news, I guess, is that I at least like myself now...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 26, 2017, 01:29:32 pm
You have nothing to feel guilty for Steph. As Laurie said, nobody will be blaming you for anything. You didn’t steal the ability to pass more easily from someone else, causing them to not be able to pass. It’s just the way it is. Feeling guilty about this would be like your wife feeling guilty that she was born female and you were not.

You have achieved so much in a relatively short period of time. Congratulations! Enjoy your successes. We are all cheering for you.

Jayne

Yeah. Yeah, I’ll work on that. Thank you.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on November 26, 2017, 01:47:24 pm
I never ever expected this, especially so soon. I compare myself to everyone in the “You look fabulous” and the “Before and after” threads, and I always come up lacking.
My first thought upon seeing your latest photo is that you should post it in the "Fabulous" thread.

Quote
But there’s no denying that I’ve gone full-time with absolutely no pushback from anyone yet. Are people that unobservant? Do they not care? Or am I actually being perceived as a woman?
My theory is that the real world doesn't actually live up (or down) to our fears.  The world is not as scary as we fear it will be.  Yes there are rednecks, but they are less numerous than we fear.  The lack of pushback is the reality.

I, too, have had no pushback.  I assume that I pass in the eyes of some people and that the others just don't care.  They may well go home and tell their family that they encountered a trans woman that day.  But it's not important enough to make a scene with you or me at the time. 

Either way, I'm happy.  I hope that, in time, you are too.  The lack of pushback is the Promised Land that we dreamed of.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 26, 2017, 02:50:16 pm
My first thought upon seeing your latest photo is that you should post it in the "Fabulous" thread.

Kathy, that's the nicest thing I've been told in a long time. Whether it really belongs there or not, thank you.

Quote
My theory is that the real world doesn't actually live up (or down) to our fears.  The world is not as scary as we fear it will be.  Yes there are rednecks, but they are less numerous than we fear.  The lack of pushback is the reality.

I, too, have had no pushback.  I assume that I pass in the eyes of some people and that the others just don't care.  They may well go home and tell their family that they encountered a trans woman that day.  But it's not important enough to make a scene with you or me at the time.

Yeah, strange how we tend to discount own advice. I recall telling someone else that same thing not too long ago.

Quote
Either way, I'm happy.  I hope that, in time, you are too.  The lack of pushback is the Promised Land that we dreamed of.

OK, here's a massive feedback loop for you. If I'm honest with myself (and you all), I truly am almost deliriously happy about the way it's all going, and I really don't feel as guilty as it seems from my writing. Aaannnd... that makes me feel guilty.

Hoo boy...

Regardless, I'm very far from unhappy. Life is pretty dang good. Still waiting for RSVPs on people attending my court hearing. I've got eight attendees so far in the peanut gallery.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 26, 2017, 03:01:09 pm
Still waiting for RSVPs on people attending my court hearing. I've got eight attendees so far in the peanut gallery.

Steph

   Sorry Steph(anie), but I must decline the invitation.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 26, 2017, 03:04:56 pm
   Sorry Steph(anie), but I must decline the invitation.

Foo. Well, that's it: I'm canceling.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on November 27, 2017, 12:07:06 pm
Hi Steph,

You have studied the principles of flight, air speed, lift, turbulence, etc and you have ingrained them enough to let them sit in the background, sort of like a sub level autopilot. The head knowledge gets out of the way and you just fly. Birds don't worry about wing curvature, they just fly. Being Steph  is the same thing, you are just getting used to your wings. Now girl, go out and fly! Own it and love it! And we are all there with you each step of the way.

By the way, we can't make it to your court hearing but my partner and I are wondering if you are up for visitors next fall, we are planning an east coast swing.

Tia Anne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 27, 2017, 12:09:46 pm
Wonderfulness Update

Some very cool things have been happening:

My wife finally told her brother and sister about me, and both were shocked but completely supportive, especially when they knew we’re staying together and still love each other.

The county has accepted my electronic filing of the last three documents needed for my court date (copies of birth certificate, social security card, and affidavit of residency).

I had another appointment with my primary care doctor this morning. He was really cool about everything. The first thing he asked was what name I wanted to use. I’d signed in as Steph, so that’s what I asked him to use, and he never messed up once. We plan to change the clinic records at my next appointment. He said since he’s been working there they’ve had 20 to 30 transgender patients, and it’s not a big deal for the staff. Amazing for a little town like mine. I talked with him about my 3 1/2 week meltdown schedule, and he could see no reason for it, but it’s not his area of expertise, and he suggested I bring it up with my endo.

I have not failed to see “her” in the mirror for a couple of weeks now!

Today was the first time I washed my hair since I had it colored and styled. I had a horrible irrational fear that I going to see all that beautiful color washing down the drain, but of course it was fine. I’ve fallen deeper in love with it every day.

I connected with an old friend on FB Messenger last night, and she spent a half hour giving me makeup advice!

Speaking of which, this afternoon I’m going to see my friend and her sister who is a retired cosmetologist, for a free makeup lesson, followed by a nice dinner for all three of us.

That’s all I can think of for now. Everything positive and nothing negative!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 27, 2017, 12:22:09 pm
Being Steph  is the same thing, you are just getting used to your wings. Now girl, go out and fly! Own it and love it! And we are all there with you each step of the way.

You’re right, of course. When the fecal matter impacts the air distribution device, you fall back on your training. I don’t have “Steph” thoroughly ingrained in my psyche yet, but I am making great progress. See the previous entry.

Quote
By the way, we can't make it to your court hearing but my partner and I are wondering if you are up for visitors next fall, we are planning an east coast swing.

Oh my gosh, yes! Like most Florida residents, we have a guest room for our friends who are escaping from anything but the law, and you would be most welcome to occupy it! We are in Central Florida, right on I-75, about 50 miles north of Tampa.

The only possibility would be a conflict with a trip we’ll be taking ourselves next fall. My neighbor is putting together a girls-only train trip up the east coast to see the colors, and I’m invited! Don’t know exactly when yet, but we’ll try to coordinate when the time gets closer.

COOL!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 27, 2017, 12:22:12 pm
Great news about the family acceptance. You got it all goin' on girl! X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on November 27, 2017, 01:12:43 pm
Some very cool things have been happening:

My wife finally told her brother and sister about me, and both were shocked but completely supportive, especially when they knew we’re staying together and still love each other.

...

Very cool to have more family on board!  No wonder you have such a big smile in your photos.

Sorry I can't make it to your court hearing, but I'll be there in spirit.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 27, 2017, 10:46:40 pm
How awesome Steph! The good news keeps on coming for you. Thank you for sharing your happiness with us all. It so uplifting reading your story.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 27, 2017, 10:52:18 pm
Now Jayne, you know she's waiting on your RSVP she said so right in her post. Don't leave the lady hanging.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 28, 2017, 12:16:32 am
Now Jayne, you know she's waiting on your RSVP she said so right in her post. Don't leave the lady hanging.
Oh Laurie, you are so right. How rude of me!

Steph, you know I would be there in a heartbeat if I could. I will be in the gallery in spirit, eating my peanuts cheering you on.

Your friend from Oz,
Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 28, 2017, 07:44:11 am
> for our friends who are escaping from anything but the law

Drat.  Foiled again. 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 28, 2017, 08:25:12 am
Are we allowed to throw the peanuts, if so I'm on a plane

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 28, 2017, 08:27:44 am
Are we allowed to throw the peanuts, if so I'm on a plane

I dunno, but with all those aerial peanuts the smell might get intense. There’d be oder in the court.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 28, 2017, 08:39:20 am
Send her down!

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 28, 2017, 09:12:16 am
I’m losing my peanut gallery qualification due to GRS mid January.  Or did I misunderstand the term selfie stick. 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 28, 2017, 09:58:07 am
I’m losing my peanut gallery qualification due to GRS mid January.  Or did I misunderstand the term selfie stick.

Kendra, you crack me up. Your nuts!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 28, 2017, 12:24:45 pm
I went for my makeup lesson last night, and I'm not sure I absorbed it all - it was more of a makeover while I tried to keep up. I'm not sure what to make of it yet, but there was no doubt there was a dramatic difference, and when we went to dinner afterward there was no hint of misgendering from anyone, including the waitress who hung out around our table and chatted with us most of the evening. Apparently even my voice passed. It was another one of those magical evenings that I didn't want to end. So I'm taking whatever knowledge I was able to retain, and will build on that.

I'm afraid this was a terrible picture - my friend isn't a professional photographer and I didn't have a chance to fix my hair when she surprised me with her camera. So it is what it is. Maybe you can get an idea about the makeup from it...

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/gq275scumpcypj9/stephmakeup.jpg?raw=1)

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 28, 2017, 12:51:05 pm
You look absolutely great hun,  the artist manged to improve on perfection . X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 28, 2017, 03:47:11 pm
Geez Steph! You’re rocking it girl! I like your new profile picture too, but you will have to update it again with a new aviator photo of yourself.
Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 28, 2017, 04:50:00 pm
Steph, looking at your photo I think there's your answer for court for your name change... you don't need to do anything.  Just show up that way, your hair looks fine, you look great - you could go in front of the Supreme Court that way. 

Skip the wig unless it's cold and snowing outside.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 28, 2017, 07:17:47 pm
Steph, looking at your photo I think there's your answer for court for your name change... you don't need to do anything.  Just show up that way, your hair looks fine, you look great - you could go in front of the Supreme Court that way. 

Skip the wig unless it's cold and snowing outside.

Thank you Kendra. I will definitely be going with just my own hair. I yam what I yam. As for the clothes, my current choices are a gray skirted suit with that pink top in the picture, or a very classy black dress that I modeled today and suddenly look super in.

A dear friend of mine in Nashville has invited me to come and try on a roomful of clothes she’s set aside for me. We’re heading up there tomorrow. I’m withholding the final decision until I see what she’s got for me.

She is so cool that she has warned me that I’d better not show up in any other mode than full-boat Stephanie. I’m happy to accommodate her, and since I’m full-time, will of course be me for the entire trip. So this will be a pico-version of Laurie’s trip. Anybody live on the I-75 / I-24 corridor between Florida and Nashville?

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 29, 2017, 07:12:39 pm
Steph and Sue roll North
In search of clothes and flying
Look out Tennessee!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 29, 2017, 07:27:49 pm
At Cracker Barrel
Meatloaf and mashed potatoes
Don’t get that at home.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 29, 2017, 07:44:26 pm
Oh no! No meat loaf!
Steph is very sad tonight
Rather go hungry!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 29, 2017, 08:02:14 pm
What is this talking about Steph in the third person? Your nuts girl!! Hope you have a great time on your trip.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 29, 2017, 08:14:55 pm
Your nuts girl!!

Now that is one strange statement.

Quote
Hope you have a great time on your trip.

Sitting in a Cracker Barrel restaurant and we two girls are just killin’ it. I am so happy!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 29, 2017, 08:26:19 pm
Your nuts girl!!
My apologies. I cracked up when I realised what I wrote combined with your response. Big thumbs and small phone keyboard are not always compatible. It was supposed to read “You are nuts!!!!” (In a good way of course)

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 29, 2017, 08:46:45 pm
I wouldn’t worry bout it - Steph isn’t that testy.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 29, 2017, 08:59:32 pm
Waitress Uber cool
“Ladies want separate checks?”
Both say, “She’ll get it.”
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 29, 2017, 09:00:48 pm
I wouldn’t worry bout it - Steph isn’t that testy.
I didn’t mean to balls things up
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on November 29, 2017, 09:01:27 pm
Waitress Uber cool
“Ladies want separate checks?”
Both say, “She’ll get it.”
Cool!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 29, 2017, 10:17:27 pm
I didn’t mean to balls things up
Jeez. Don’t leave me hangin’!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 29, 2017, 10:18:58 pm
My wife’s little car
I messed up the seat settings
I’m in trouble now
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 29, 2017, 10:21:28 pm
Two girls on road trip
I’m having such a great time
Go see Laurie next?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 30, 2017, 12:20:40 am
Best Western Hotel
The pride of Macon Georgia
Goodnight everyone
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 30, 2017, 08:06:51 am
Macon.  It’s not just for breaskfast anymore. 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 30, 2017, 08:12:15 am
Macon.  It’s not just for breaskfast anymore.

Perfect timing!

Macon bacon, if ya know what I mean.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171130/a86f4657a083000d42cc57e8f1c28d6f.jpg)

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 30, 2017, 08:54:52 am
Sunshine, cool blue sky
A beautiful day as me
At last, life is sweet
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on November 30, 2017, 09:44:00 am
You are living an awesome story girlfriend! Thank you for sharing the joys along the ride.

Tia Anne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 30, 2017, 10:01:49 am
You are living an awesome story girlfriend! Thank you for sharing the joys along the ride.

Tia Anne

Hi Tia Anne! This is my very first road trip with absolutely zero boy clothes. We had nice conversations with the lady working the hotel breakfast room and some ladies eating breakfast, with no drama.

It was dark, but I think I induced ocular leakage in Sue last night when she saw how happy I am now.

Do you still get that floaty sense of joyful disbelief that this can’t be real? I wonder if I’ll ever get used to it.

I’m having the time of my life!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 30, 2017, 10:08:57 am
I still remember it was autumn and the sun was shinin’

Our 15 Honda was roarin’ through Atlanta whinin’

Get outta Georgia, better GO!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 30, 2017, 10:12:06 am
Damn this traffic jam
How I hate to be late
It hurt my motor to go so slow
Before I get home my supper’ll be cold

Damn this traffic jam
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 30, 2017, 10:25:46 am
A song that has very deep personal meaning to me just came up on the music player.

Roy Orbison, Ooby Dooby:

Ooby dooby, ooby dooby
Ooby dooby ooby dooby
do wah do wah do wah

Words to live by.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 30, 2017, 10:31:32 am
That truck said it Hertz. I wonder why it’s in pain?

(With apologies to Kurt Vonnegut)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on November 30, 2017, 11:39:46 am
> That truck said it Hertz. I wonder why it’s in pain?

Depends on frequency and location of electrolysis.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on November 30, 2017, 12:15:37 pm
A song that has very deep personal meaning to me just came up on the music player.

Roy Orbison, Ooby Dooby:

Ooby dooby, ooby dooby
Ooby dooby ooby dooby
do wah do wah do wah

Words to live by.
To Ooby or to Dooby, that is the question!

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 30, 2017, 01:25:13 pm
Depends on frequency and location of electrolysis.

Ohhh yeah. I let Brandi shoot a laser at me yesterday. I may have said a word that rhymes with “truck.”
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 30, 2017, 01:28:07 pm
In Tennessee now. They wouldn’t let us into Elevennessee, even though I have a valid “pass” port.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 30, 2017, 01:31:59 pm
Ohhh yeah. I let Brandi shoot a laser at me yesterday. I may have said a word that rhymes with “truck.”

 What are you trying to say Steph(anie)? Did it Hertz, hertz, or hurts. Judging by your implication in rhyme I'm even willing to say you felt megahertz.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 30, 2017, 01:32:12 pm
Through misty mountains
Two trucks in an ugly knot
But at least no Orcs
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on November 30, 2017, 01:37:45 pm
What are you trying to say Steph(anie)? Did it Hertz, hertz, or hurts.

YES!

Quote
Judging by your implication in rhyme I'm even willing to say you felt megahertz.

With increasing frequency it terahertz!

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on November 30, 2017, 01:45:04 pm
   Remember that with increased frequency, you'll find it gets easier to filter, giving you less ripple in your power. Don't choke it, instead use it to transform err ugh umm your presentation.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 01, 2017, 05:56:09 pm
A room full of clothes
Specially reserved for me
And most of them fit!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 01, 2017, 06:11:42 pm
A room full of clothes
Specially reserved for me
And most of them fit!
Sounds like fun!!!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 01, 2017, 09:33:11 pm
Flying with my friend
She built a plane just like mine
Two chicks soaring high

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171202/d3de4ead88c08fa212fcd66a18962e25.jpg)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 01, 2017, 09:42:28 pm
  Looks like fun Steph(anie)

  I was going to post the first song I thought of when I saw this picture but other than the title it does not fit the joy seen in the picture.
 
    The song? Eric Burdon and The Animals - Sky Pilot (1968) HQ

  It's a good song but not appropriate for two lovely ladies in the cockpit.

 Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 01, 2017, 10:03:47 pm
  Looks like fun Steph(anie)

  I was going to post the first song I thought of when I saw this picture but other than the title it does not fit the joy seen in the picture.
 
    The song? Eric Burdon and The Animals - Sky Pilot (1968) HQ

  It's a good song but not appropriate for two lovely ladies it the cockpit.

 Hugs,
   Laurie

One slight modification and we’re good to go:

Sky pilot
How high can you fly
We’ll always (always always)
Reach the sky.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 01, 2017, 10:52:43 pm
Flying with my friend
She built a plane just like mine
Two chicks soaring high

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171202/d3de4ead88c08fa212fcd66a18962e25.jpg)
Oh Steph! You are living my dream. Building and flying my own plane is something I have hoped to be able to do some day. Life has put a halt on that for now, so I am living my dream through your tales.

That looks like nice day to go flying.....

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 01, 2017, 11:11:03 pm
Great ‘til tonight, sigh.
Misgendering, deadnaming...
Not intentional.

So I love them still.
I offer a special gift:
A plane and a heart.

Appreciation
That their deep love and support
Lifts me to the sky.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171202/fe441e884787098717e7d1742d9c68d6.jpg)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 01, 2017, 11:43:27 pm
Great ‘til tonight, sigh.
Misgendering, deadnaming...
Not intentional.
Hopefully it won’t go on for too much longer as they become used to the new you. At least it wasn’t intentional.

Quote
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171202/fe441e884787098717e7d1742d9c68d6.jpg)
That is nice. I like it.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 02, 2017, 04:34:10 pm
A tearful goodbye,
Some of the best friends ever.
On the road again!

Half a tank of gas,
Clothes in back, and sunglasses -
But no cigarettes.

Stop for fuel and drinks.
“Have a beautiful day ma’am.”
I certainly am.

A huge moon rising.
On the way to see more friends,
Open road ahead!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 02, 2017, 09:23:21 pm
Dinner with best friends
Looking good and feeling great
Life is pretty good

No longer a doubt
Definitely RLE
I am Stephanie

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171203/e047b622d78e2e225e2eeb449ea35cbe.jpg)

Sue and Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 02, 2017, 09:36:41 pm
Dinner with best friends
Looking good and feeling great
Life is pretty good
That is wonderful Steph. I am so happy for you

Quote
No longer a doubt
...
I am Stephanie
Yes you are!!!

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 03, 2017, 04:17:38 pm
Knoxville... Atlanta...
Heading for home and our dog
Valdosta... Gainesville...

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171203/12adfa9d39c8330b3a5fa50f2ee6135d.jpg)

Yes, we’re nuts...
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 03, 2017, 04:21:08 pm
You're positively beaming, and looking fab. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 03, 2017, 04:40:15 pm
You're positively beaming, and looking fab. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

We’ve been in plenty of road trips before, but I don’t remember any where I have been in a better mood and so relaxed for the entire trip.

I think being the appropriate gender agrees with me! ‍♀️

Steph!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 03, 2017, 05:06:08 pm
Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a-wand'ring
So fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year

 Happy wandering Steph(anie) and Sue
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 03, 2017, 05:16:35 pm
Thank you Lau(rie)! We’ve been doing a fair amount of singing in the car, though mostly Jimmy Buffett tunes, not Christmas carols.

Sue, who is a very trivial person, informs me that wassailing was originally closer to a pub crawl, going house to house for Christmas drinks. I wish I’d known that earlier!

Sober Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 03, 2017, 05:30:31 pm
  Sue would be correct from what I've read but there is a nonalcoholic version that is quite spicy and sweet served hot. We made it way back when in elementary school and a few time since at home when I was a kid. I also like the song for it's good wishes and whimsical joy. But then I always did like caroling songs. There are some things I still like from the religious experiences of my youth.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 04, 2017, 10:15:01 pm
Back home and unpacked,
Reflecting on the great trip:
What wonderful friends!

The whole trip as me.
Never once reverting back.
Permanently real.

I hope you had fun.
Thanks for riding along, too.
Sharing it was great.


My trip as haiku,
Another chapter is closed.
More joy is coming!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 04, 2017, 10:28:21 pm
Glad you two made it home safe and sound and had a great time in doing it.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 04, 2017, 10:39:24 pm
That is wonderful Steph, I’m glad it was such a great trip for you both.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 04, 2017, 10:44:50 pm
A new friend went back and reread my coming out letter on my Facebook page. I came to know him and get him as a FB friend almost by accident. I'm a member of a Facebook group about a plane I used to sell and support. A friend of mine knew that I'd come out on my personal FB page, and thought it was all public. He mentioned that there were wonderful things happening in my life, and everyone should take a look at my page. Of course, my page is locked down tight, for friends only. DF, referenced below, was someone who'd heard of me because of my technical expertise in his plane, but we'd never conversed. He was curious, and asked to Friend me so he could see what was going on. I took a chance on him and let him in. And he surprised me with his positive response when he first read my coming out letter back in October.

After he reread my letter today we traded some comments about it. i thought I'd share them here:

Quote
DF: I just read this again, good information and happy for you Steph

--

Steph: Wow, D. It's pretty cool that you were interested enough to revisit that. I wish everyone was as open-minded and accepting as you are. Though I can't complain - everybody I care about cares back.

Thanks!

--

DF: Your very welcome Steph, all that really matters in life is that we are somewhat happy and appreciate our own lives, without hurting others in the process of getting our own happiness. Happy for you Steph

--

Steph: D, I’ve also been learning that happiness is contagious. The best the old glum me could muster was wry and self-deprecating humor, and it got me by, but invited the same response from those around me. Now with this unending smile that’s driven by my internal joy, I get a lot more of those same smiles in return. True happiness invokes the same in others. That’s gold.

And in the process of learning to love myself, I’ve come to appreciate how precious other people are, too. I never ever expected anything but rejection, hatred, and at best, confusion and a distancing from the vast majority of my circle of family, friends, and acquaintances. Considering that I don’t believe I’ve done anything in my life outstanding enough to have earned the overwhelmingly loving response I’ve received, I can only attribute it to the inherent goodness and decency of “ordinary” people. Of course, “ordinary” is a misnomer. Those who are capable of stepping beyond their preconceptions and misconceptions and loving others despite their differences deserve to be called “extraordinary.” Understanding is not necessary for love.

How I managed to be associated with so many extraordinary people I’ll never know, but I’ll also never stop appreciating them.

So for everyone reading this, the above is written for you. My thanks and love to you all.

And all that applies to my friends here on Susan's, too.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 04, 2017, 10:56:06 pm
Damned hormones...

This morning as I sat in my jammies trying to catch up on emails after my trip, I reached across my desk... and knocked over my huge mug of hot tea. Hot tea all over me, my chair, my desk, the floor - and worst, the paperwork on my desk, which included all of my court paperwork for my name change hearing.

In the past, I would have been yelling and cursing and throwing things and running around like a mad person. What did I do this time?

I burst into tears.

Trying to absorb all that tea with paper towels while I could barely see. So embarrassed that I was crying that I cried even harder. Good grief!

Luckily, only the outside folder the court paperwork was in got wet, and damage was minimal for most everything else. The computer escaped unscathed, so everything is pretty much back to normal.

But wow, I wasn't expecting that!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 04, 2017, 11:14:41 pm
I don’t think that’s what they meant when they say cross the “T”eas and dot the “i”s.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 04, 2017, 11:17:18 pm
I don’t think that’s what they meant when they say cross the “T”eas and dot the “i”s.

LOL! I'll be a lot more careful about crossing my T next time, so I don't have to wipe my I's.

Besides, I'm trying to lower my T...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 04, 2017, 11:35:56 pm
Well... one more interesting thing happened today. I'll write about that then call it a day.

Remember that picture I posted a few days ago when Sue and I went out to eat with me rocking the country girl look? I posted that to my Facebook page, too. I was experimenting with the "tag" feature where you attach a name to faces in pictures, and accidentally tagged my wife, then went back and removed the tag.

She runs with her own social crowd that involves her favorite sport (indoor badminton). Some of them have met me in my previous incarnation, but I never spent much time with them, usually preferring to stay home and work in the shop or go flying. Most of them only know me through stories that Sue's told them of some of our exploits. They've always invited me  to come to open play or hang out with them socially, but it rarely worked out. And they know nothing about my transition.

But... All of a sudden that picture is getting Likes from people I don't know. Whuh??? It turns out that I didn't get that tag off her picture after all. So her Facebook friends, most of whom are her badminton buddies, have been seeing the picture and liking it. (Got a Like from her brother, too, who she just told about me last week.)

Actually, neither of us minds all that much. Sue just rolls with everything as it comes along, and has even been encouraging me to just show up at their get togethers and let the chips fall as they may. And I don't really care either, as long as they continue to treat her well.

But we're curious if they really understand who that other girl is in the picture?

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 04, 2017, 11:36:24 pm
Yes, lower T is better than High T(ea).

I was trying to think of something witty about E, but I’ve drawn a blank......
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 04, 2017, 11:40:37 pm
Yes, lower T is better than High T(ea).

I was trying to think of something witty about E, but I’ve drawn a blank......

Heh. I've experienced high T, but not high tea.

But I'm not going to write an E-book about it.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 04, 2017, 11:41:43 pm
I used to have a Facebook account that my wife set up for me. I never really got the hang of it. I would post something that I though only my wife would see and it turns out all her Facebook friends and their Facebook friends got the same message. I soon stopped using it because I had no idea how all the features worked. so be careful what you do on that as nothing stays private.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 04, 2017, 11:49:02 pm
I used to have a Facebook account that my wife set up for me. I never really got the hang of it. I would post something that I though only my wife would see and it turns out all her Facebook friends and their Facebook friends got the same message. I soon stopped using it because I had no idea how all the features worked. so be careful what you do on that as nothing stays private.

Yeah, I took a lot of care to get it all locked down as tight as FB allows, and it seems to have been pretty private until now. And I just don't care any more. They were going to find out sooner or later anyhow, and considering that I don't hang out with them much, I don't really care what they think of it all - as long as they continue treating Sue well.

It is what it is, and I yam what I yam...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 04, 2017, 11:50:16 pm
Quote
I’ve also been learning that happiness is contagious. The best the old glum me could muster was wry and self-deprecating humor, and it got me by, but invited the same response from those around me. Now with this unending smile that’s driven by my internal joy, I get a lot more of those same smiles in return. True happiness invokes the same in others. That’s gold.

And in the process of learning to love myself, I’ve come to appreciate how precious other people are, too. I never ever expected anything but rejection, hatred, and at best, confusion and a distancing from the vast majority of my circle of family, friends, and acquaintances. Considering that I don’t believe I’ve done anything in my life outstanding enough to have earned the overwhelmingly loving response I’ve received, I can only attribute it to the inherent goodness and decency of “ordinary” people. Of course, “ordinary” is a misnomer. Those who are capable of stepping beyond their preconceptions and misconceptions and loving others despite their differences deserve to be called “extraordinary.” Understanding is not necessary for love.

  As I read this post the tears ran down my cheeks.

  How I envy you Stephanie. Your joy and happiness.

  I have never learned to love myself and what I feel is far from it.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 04, 2017, 11:57:09 pm
  As I read this post the tears ran down my cheeks.

  How I envy you Stephanie. Your joy and happiness.

  I have never learned to love myself and what I feel is far from it.

Well, think of it this way: We here at Susan's are your family now. We're the "ordinary" people I wrote about, and we love you in the way I've found acceptance from my friends.

And it's OK if you don't love yourself yet. We'll cover for you until you catch up. You'll get there eventually. Why? Because I said so!

Your sister,

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 05, 2017, 01:02:09 am
Well, think of it this way: We here at Susan's are your family now. We're the "ordinary" people I wrote about, and we love you in the way I've found acceptance from my friends.

And it's OK if you don't love yourself yet. We'll cover for you until you catch up. You'll get there eventually. Why? Because I said so!

Your sister,

Steph
Ditto!!!

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 05, 2017, 08:54:10 am
I'm looking for a little feedback on an idea I have. I love my family, friends, and neighbors so much for their unquestioning support, but they're still struggling with pronouns (though they mostly have the name right). Some time after my name change, I plan to have a party to celebrate and thank them all, and I thought of a little ritual that I'm wondering will help.

I'll have a bonfire in the backyard, and pass out a pen and two blank post-it notes to each person. I'll ask them to take one note and write my old name, and "He, Him, His" on it. Maybe "Sir, Mr., Dude", too. Then take the other note and write my new name, and "She, Her, Hers" on that one. Possibly "Mrs., Ms., Chickie Babe" or something similarly silly, too.

Then I'll ask them to hold up and read the old one, crumple it up, and throw it in the fire - and put the new one in their pocket. Later when they get home and take it out of their pocket, it'll be a reminder. Maybe they'll leave it on their dresser or counter and get their memory refreshed occasionally. Or they may do what I'm usually guilty of, which is leave it in the pocket and launder the clothes. That's why, despite hating to reinforce stereotypes, I'm thinking about blue and pink notes. At least when they pull a crumpled, unreadable piece of pink paper out of their pocket, they may remember what it represents.

Anyway, is that too much to ask them to do, and do you think it would help?

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 05, 2017, 10:44:46 am
It sounds corny, but I like it.  Rituals are an effective way to socialize any transition.  That's why we have weddings, bar/bat mitzahs, baby showers, funerals, etc.  So why not a ritual to help socialize your gender transition?  Have fun with it!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 05, 2017, 03:44:45 pm
I agree with Kathy. It sounds like a ritual, but it is important to you that you are gendered and named correctly. This would get the message across in a fun kind of way while highlighting what is important to you. It sounds like you have a great group of friends who would understand the point you are trying to make. I think it’s worth a try, it can’t hurt.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 05, 2017, 04:07:27 pm
 Hmmm A ritual of friends gathered in the night around a fire burning symbols to ward off evil and holding onto those that are good. All it needs is a kettle of hot wassail over the fire with which one can drink to the spirits that over see us all and warm the soul.

   Sounds fun but I'd keep my clothes on myself ...
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 05, 2017, 10:44:33 pm
Hmmm A ritual of friends gathered in the night around a fire burning symbols to ward off evil and holding onto those that are good. All it needs is a kettle of hot wassail over the fire with which one can drink to the spirits that over see us all and warm the soul.

   Sounds fun but I'd keep my clothes on myself ...

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and owlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

MMMMmmmmm. A cup for you, my dear?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 05, 2017, 11:29:41 pm
Thanks for the feedback, friends. I haven't made a decision about it yet. I've gotten suggestions from friends on other channels that maybe it would be too much to ask of cis-friends. Instead it was suggested I send out a nice party invitation with a picture of me all dolled up, and text along the lines of "Stephanie Rhapsody Bxx cordially invites you to her home for a celebration of her new life. Make the rest flowery and feminine with lots of pronouns and Ms.'s or Mrs.'s to get the point across.

Dunno. Still thinking about it. Maybe a simplified combination of the two.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 06, 2017, 07:46:57 am
Great start to the day: our dog was nudging my wife for some breakfast while I waited in the kitchen with her can of food in my hand. (My dog’s food, not my wife’s, silly.)

My wife told her, “Go see what your other Mom has for you!”

Warm fuzzies...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 06, 2017, 07:56:57 am
That's awesome.  There's nothing in the world as good as a supportive wife!

Our dog has always known me as 'Dad', and we decided to keep it that way to avoid confusion.  The grammar gets a bit counterintuitive, and I have to be careful not to misgender myself.  As in: "Dad is putting on her walking shoes and you know what that means, don't you?"
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 06, 2017, 08:03:32 am
Great start to the day: our dog was nudging my wife for some breakfast while I waited in the kitchen with her can of food in my hand. (My dog’s food, not my wife’s, silly.)

My wife told her, “Go see what your other Mom has for you!”

Warm fuzzies...

Steph
Got yourself a 'keeper' right there . X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 06, 2017, 08:05:27 am
That's awesome.  There's nothing in the world as good as a supportive wife!

Our dog has always known me as 'Dad', and we decided to keep it that way to avoid confusion.  The grammar gets a bit counterintuitive, and I have to be careful not to misgender myself.  As in: "Dad is putting on her walking shoes and you know what that means, don't you?"

Yeah, that could be confusing! In Maggie’s case, it doesn’t much matter anyhow, since she’s now mostly deaf. Most communication is via hand gestures, and I don’t want to think about how we’d differentiate between genders that way...

As long as she gets her walks, food, snacks, and belly rubs, she’s got her tail in the air like she just don’t care.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 06, 2017, 11:11:05 am
Got yourself a 'keeper' right there . X

Indeed I do! Even better, she wants to keep me!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 06, 2017, 11:12:06 am
Indeed I do! Even better, she wants to keep me!
Of course she does,  obviously a very smart person. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 06, 2017, 11:54:39 am
Happy dance!

Our new dishwasher was just delivered. I’m in full Steph mode, and welcomed them in with no drama. Even had a short conversation about living on an airport.

No names or pronouns exchanged, but no strange looks either. Apparently even my voice passed.

Squeeeeee!

Steph

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171206/1f188544ef5037d2881b0ec7b4f52109.jpg)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on December 06, 2017, 06:15:48 pm
Steph,

Enjoy the milestone of your time in court getting "Officiated" tomorrow! You have been looking forward to this for so long, do it with style. We want pictures!

Hugs,
Tia Anne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 06, 2017, 11:06:12 pm
I decided I’d better get some waterproof eyeliner and mascara, among other things, for the big day tomorrow. I know for a fact that there’ll be no way to contain the ocular leakage.

So I drove to a nearby town and marched into the Sally Beauty Supply store there - and was immediately lost. I was aimlessly wandering when a lady came out of the back room and asked if she could help. I started going down my list, and one thing led to another... and I just laid it all out for her. How I’m trans and tomorrow is my name change court date and I don’t know what the heck I’m doing and I could really use some help and... and she congratulated me with a big smile. From that point on she led me by the hand all over the store and made a lot of great recommendations. I was especially impressed by the fact that she suggested I go to Walmart and buy cheap stuff in small quantities to experiment with different colors, etc.  As I checked out she asked what I was changing my name to. When I’d paid she called the other cashier up front to cover for her so she could walk me to the door, and wish me (Stephanie) good luck tomorrow. I got a hug and was on my way.

All in the interest of a sale? Maybe, but she did seem to go out of her way to recommend colors, etc, and she did make that recommendation to go elsewhere to buy cheap stuff first. In any case, I didn’t spend a lot this time, but I’ll likely be back.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 07, 2017, 01:23:38 am
The genuine kindness of others is a precious thing; but in your case, certainly deserved. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 07, 2017, 04:07:06 am
Hey Steph! Just caught up in your thread, lots more happy stories from you. That is so nice. I am really happy for you. I wish I could be at your court peanut gallery. I’ll be thinking of you. I hope it all goes smoothly. I am looking forward to hearing all about it. I’m sure you must be very excited.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 07, 2017, 12:51:04 pm
I hope your day in court is all you hoped it could be Stephanie.

 Hugs,
  Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on December 07, 2017, 05:24:55 pm
Hey Steph,

How did the courts go today? Did they declare you to be officially you? FYI, I received my court notice today making my name official, does that make two of us today?

Tia Anne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on December 07, 2017, 06:33:21 pm
The world awaits... <drum roll> ...    ;)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 07, 2017, 07:31:40 pm
Sorry to keep y'all waiting. It was a wonderful day, though things aren't quite complete yet. My evening project is to type up a full report for submission to the committee, but my wife says I have to feed her first. Back in a bit...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 07, 2017, 07:42:17 pm
Hey Steph,

How did the courts go today? Did they declare you to be officially you? FYI, I received my court notice today making my name official, does that make two of us today?

Tia Anne

 Congratulations Tia. Ask Debi to give you a good squeeze for me.

Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: The Flying Lemur on December 07, 2017, 10:30:24 pm
This is awesome, Steph!  I'm sorry to hear you're stuck with more paperwork, but it's great to know the name change is in sight!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 07, 2017, 11:55:59 pm
Girl Harbor Day
December, 7th, 2017
A date which will live in infamy...

Preface: I wrote about my trip for waterproof mascara and eyeliner yesterday, so I thought I'd give it a try last night. I ended up wearing it to bed as a test...

Our story starts out early, as usual, with a spiro-induced trip to the ladies room, after which I lay awake, thinking about the upcoming day. What would I tell the judge when she asked, as I'd been told to expect, "What is the reason for changing your name?" Many different things went through my noggin, from the simplest recommended, "It fits me better," to long involved explanations that nobody wanted to sit through. I got myself worked up until I induced ocular leakage, and finally decided on, "It's appropriate - it's necessary - for me to finally... finally just be. Satisfied, I dropped back off to sleep.

Up earlier than usual to give myself plenty of time to get ready. Looked in the mirror, and saw a cross between Rocky Raccoon and Tammy Faye Bakker. So much for waterproof eyeliner...

With the advice of friends in person and here on Susan's, I'd picked out a black dress, a pearl necklace and earrings (of course), my favorite brooch of an airplane skywriting a heart, and two-inch pumps. As I finished getting dressed, the first of my entourage arrived.My new friend Cassandra got up extra early to drive an hour here so she could give me moral support. I met her at an Orlando support group meeting, and we hit it off right away, and have become good friends since. Next, my Mom and her hubby arrived, followed by my friends Delores and Bonnie. My neighbors J and D were going to meet us at the courthouse. Including my wife, that meant I had eight people in my posse.

The courthouse is 10 minutes from home, so we drove over at 8:30 for the 9:00 appointment. Unlike some pictures I've seen (like Kendra's), there's no way to get pictures outside the courtroom, because all electronic devices of any kind are banned from the building. I set off the alarm in the metal detector, so got wanded by the deputy (must have been the brooch or necklace), with no indication of anything unusual (yay!). The deputy running the x-ray scanner joked that he had a button to make the magnetic detector beep so the other deputy with the wand would have something to do once in a while. Up to the second floor, and checked in with the bailiff (just using the last name). Apparently you wait outside the courtroom and each case is called in individually, so the only people in the room would be myself, family, and friends. After waiting a while, the bailiff came back out and called for Stephanie Bxxx, and explained where I would be sitting, where the rest of the peanut gallery would go (sitting in the gallery behind me), and to address the magistrate with yes ma'am, no ma'am, and your honor. A few minutes later the previous occupants walked out, the bailiff called for Stephanie Bxxx again, and in we went.

Our host was a very sweet lady who welcomed us all in, asked my current name and address, and checked all the paperwork I'd submitted electronically on the screen next to her (petition, social security card, birth certificate, fingerprints, and notarized affidavit of residency). She asked a bunch of questions about convictions (convicted? No... never convicted. Just kidding...), bankruptcies, liens, etc. I've lived a pretty boring life, so there was nothing to report. We talked a bit about the fact that my parents had put "Steve R" on my social security card instead of the Stephen Richard I'd used on all other legal paperwork. No problems there. She explained what would happen next: Since she's a magistrate, she has to turn the paperwork over to a judge who reviews and signs it, finishes the report, and sends it to me via snail-mail in two stamped envelopes I had to supply. She also said there would be a 10-day waiting period where I could take the opportunity to contest the ruling - unless I chose to waive it. We both smiled and laughed when I told her I would definitely be waiving that right. She said the judge would probably be reviewing cases this afternoon, and would get them in the mail tomorrow or the next day. The bailiff had me initial and sign my current name to a document, collected the envelopes from my wife, and we were done. Just like that. Never even got asked "why."

As the bailiff ushered us out, I looked back and saw that my neighbor D had gone up to the magistrate's dais and was smiling and laughing with her. It turns out that her honor had never had that many people accompany a petitioner before, and was amazed by the support team who'd come with me. I was, too...

It was a cool rainy morning in Florida as we walked out, but I felt pretty warm with all that love surrounding me.

We had been wanting to find a place we could all go to brunch, preferably one that served mimosas. No such luck in this part o' Florida. So despite the fact that I was way overdressed for the place, we decided to go to one of the greasy spoons here in town. And wow, am I ever glad we did.

Our waiter Jason was awesome. We had a great breakfast, with Jason taking pictures of us all and joining in the fun. That's why it was strange when he started clearing the table as soon as plates were emptied, and apologized for starting to reset the table with napkins, clean plates, and silverware while we were still sitting there. It seemed kind of rude... until he came out with a cake that said, "Congratulation Stephanie" on it. Everyone at the table yelled "Congratulations Stephanie!" and everyone in the whole restaurant applauded. That's when the ocular plumbing started oozing again. When Bonnie had left the table earlier to "use the ladies room" she'd actually gone to the kitchen and talked to the manager about coming up with a cake. He pulled one out and decorated it while we ate. Wow. Just wow...

After a few more pictures by Jason (and with Jason) we got ready to leave. He congratulated me privately, and let me know that he knew what we were celebrating, and not only did he think it was cool, but that Darrell, the owner of the restaurant (and the other 13 or so restaurants in the chain here in Florida) was his husband.

Most of us went back to my hacienda and took some more pictures. Cassie had never been here before, so I showed her around my shop and hangar, and after some more socializing, everyone departed for home. After I took Maggie for a long walk while thinking about the day, I spent the rest of the afternoon studying the inside of my eyelids with a well-earned overdue nap.

So... I still don't have the final paperwork, but it's in process. I expect to see it on Monday or Tuesday. Then I need to get it to my endo so she'll write the "appropriate clinical treatment" letter for the gender marker change, and then it's off to social security. After two days for the data to percolate through the system, I go to the DMV and get the registrations changed on my vehicles, and a new drivers license.

Thank you to great family and friends. That includes you all here on Susan's.

Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger (pending)

Here are some memories:

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/y63lmbmommz1mkr/Congrats%20Steph.jpg?raw=1)
Surprise Cake

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/lnm68hkpk4z9pk9/Posse.jpg?raw=1)
The Entourage

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/y9hwp9m8rh1a6jp/Posse%20with%20Jason.jpg?raw=1)
Jason Photobomb

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/fuqpovh97zg6bx2/Happy%20Steph.jpg?raw=1)
Happy Steph

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/4kn067nlz2wuv8n/Steph%20and%20Cassie.jpg?raw=1)
Stephanie and Cassie

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/5prfttllhdoshxr/Steph%20and%20Sue.jpg?raw=1)
Stephanie and Sue

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/x23a5viwyo2zsyd/Steph%20and%20Mom%20and%20Hubby.jpg?raw=1)
Stephanie and Mom and Hubby

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 08, 2017, 12:11:53 am
Purty cool Stephanie purty cool.

 Congratulations (pending)

Hugs,
   Laurie

(I found a different place for the parenthesis)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 08, 2017, 06:33:06 am
Wow, what an excellent day, and what a great extended family you have!  Congratulations on being (almost) officially you!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 08, 2017, 08:13:25 am
Yay! Awsome day, for an awsome woman from a butch of awsome friends.

Sending my heartfelt congratulations. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 08, 2017, 08:52:40 am
Yay! Awsome day, for an awsome woman from a butch of awsome friends.

Haaahaha!! Some of my friends are pretty tough, but I wouldn't call them butch!  :D
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 08, 2017, 09:38:19 am
My evening project is to type up a full report for submission to the committee

PS: by that I meant my report for all of you. I've already done everything necessary for the county. Now I just wait...
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on December 08, 2017, 09:49:33 am
congrats on moving forward, and having such a great support group. I'd be able to pull of maybe, 3 people. And they're immediate family. Friends? what are those? ......
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on December 08, 2017, 10:20:15 am
Stephanie, congratulations - you definitely earned it! 

Yesterday I mailed copies of my name change order to the three US credit reporting companies.  I figure if one of them is going to mishandle private information at least I want it leaked accurately.   :P

It’s been a month but I still smile every time I see my new driver license.  I feel 16 again (just don’t tell my car insurance company).

congrats on moving forward, and having such a great support group. I'd be able to pull of maybe, 3 people. And they're immediate family. Friends? what are those? ......

Faith, I found some existing connections seemed distant or permanently startled after I came out as transgender.  No worries, that just frees up time to make great new friends that are real.  ;)   Ya only gots so many hours in a day.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 08, 2017, 11:39:45 am
Haaahaha!! Some of my friends are pretty tough, but I wouldn't call them butch!  :D
Haha, typo obviously! Meant to say "bunch". X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 08, 2017, 01:05:09 pm
Haha, typo obviously! Meant to say "bunch".

🤣 I was just thinking, if I called them butch, they’d probably beat me up.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 08, 2017, 01:19:06 pm
🤣 I was just thinking, if I called them butch, they’d probably beat me up.
I was right all along!

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 08, 2017, 05:12:48 pm
Congratulations Steph!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 08, 2017, 10:53:00 pm
Thanks for all the good wishes, everyone. It won't feel real until I have that order in my hand. Hopefully Monday or Tuesday. And I really think, as Kendra noted, that the actual watershed moment will be when I have that new driver's license in my sweaty little palm. That will be the first official document that will show a gender marker. I can then show that to anyone who continues to misgender me.

On to more fun things! I have set a date for my coming out party. I was originally going to have it to come out to my neighborhood, then right at the court date. Neither of those worked out. So, after verifying that my friends from far away can make it, I've set the date for New Years Eve, 2017.

Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger's New Year / New Life Party. And all ya gotta do to join is sing a few bars next time it comes around on the gitar. Oh, sorry, wrong holiday...

In any case, all y'all are invited!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 09, 2017, 01:00:50 pm
Well, friends, remember when I asked if I should go to the 50th anniversary party of the guy who tried to convert me to his religion?

Well, I’m there now. I came close to a full-on panic attack as I was getting ready. So far so good, but still pretty jumpy. My friends have told me that I’m presenting 100% female, but the lady serving coffee just misgendered me. She corrected from “yes, sir” to “yes, ma’am” to “dear” within seconds, but it was still kind of disheartening.

Our dog is welcome here when we come, but she’s as freaked out by the crowds as I am. We’re keeping each other company in a back room while we gather our wits. Have to go back out there sooner or later if I want to eat.

Wish me luck...

Shaky Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on December 09, 2017, 01:03:24 pm
Come'on Steph, you're doing great. I have female family members that look more manly than you do.

And if that didn't come out right, that's a compliment ;D
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 09, 2017, 01:04:44 pm
Thank you Faith. I really need that right now.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 09, 2017, 01:09:44 pm
Me and Maggie

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171209/db6146fc42ff30c30aee5021d23116cd.jpg)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 09, 2017, 01:09:45 pm
You have nothing to worry about Steph. You’ve got this. Enjoy the party.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 09, 2017, 01:11:34 pm
Me and Maggie

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171209/db6146fc42ff30c30aee5021d23116cd.jpg)
You look great Steph....and so does Maggie, she is cute.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 09, 2017, 01:30:30 pm
Get out there and mingle, hun.  Show 'em that big smile.  You'll be fine.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 09, 2017, 01:39:15 pm
Climb up on a table and start dancing,  I'm sure they'll all join in

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 09, 2017, 03:50:13 pm
Climb up on a table and start dancing,  I'm sure they'll all join in

Megan, they’re allowing me to contact one person. Can you send bail?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 09, 2017, 03:52:56 pm
Let me check down the back of my sofa...

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 09, 2017, 04:01:33 pm
Faith, Jayne, Kathy, Megan,

Thank you so much for the moral support. I’m sorry to be such a basket case. It’s hard to believe that I just spent five days and 1400 miles on the road presenting as myself, and I can’t handle one simple little social event. It does seem that the more intimate the interactions, the harder it is for me. I do much better with total strangers than I do with friends and acquaintances.

On top of that, yesterday and today are the target days for my 3 1/2 week meltdown cycle I’ve identified. Whether it’s real or a self-fulfilling prophecy now, I can’t tell, but I’ve been anxious and weepy for the last two days.

Anyway, I managed to surround myself with good friends, and distracted myself with airplane talk during lunch. I’m back home and decompressing now. I think all three of us are going to take a winter nap now (it’s ridiculously cold and blustery out there - 53F and dropping.

Thanks again,

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 09, 2017, 04:07:20 pm
Those close social events can be the hardest, you did well, and next time it'll be easier. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 09, 2017, 04:09:00 pm
Stephanie

  You did (fine). And you've done wonderfully all week. Stop beating on yourself and letting your anxieties get the best of you. It is perfectly normal that people closer to you cause you more concern. You have to deal with them on an ongoing basis and that alone can cause you more anxiety. Now (Lady), you just stop that nonsense.

 Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 09, 2017, 04:31:10 pm
You are doing great Steph. Strangers are easier to deal with. You have no history with strangers. Don’t beat yourself up too much.

Also, if you are worried about creating a self fulfilling prophecy with the 3 1/2 week cycle, turn it around and make the prophecy about something positive. You have just had your name change hearing with some final paperwork to come. Use that as a positive event to boost your spirit every 3 1/2 weeks.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 09, 2017, 04:32:22 pm
Stephanie

  You did (fine). And you've done wonderfully all week. Stop beating on yourself and letting your anxieties get the best of you. It is perfectly normal that people closer to you cause you more concern. You have to deal with them on an ongoing basis and that alone can cause you more anxiety. Now (Lady), you just stop that nonsense.

 Hugs,
   Laurie

Yes ma’am. I’m trying ma’am. Both Maggie and I had a ruff day, but we’re starting to recover. When my neighbors B and K realized how stressed I was, they invited us down for some pina colada therapy. I’ll be better in about 32 ounces.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 09, 2017, 04:35:58 pm
You are doing great Steph. Strangers are easier to deal with. You have no history with strangers. Don’t beat yourself up too much.

Also, if you are worried about creating a self fulfilling prophecy with the 3 1/2 week cycle, turn it around and make the prophecy about something positive. You have just had your name change hearing with some final paperwork to come. Use that as a positive event to boost your spirit every 3 1/2 weeks.

Jayne

Jayne,

Thank you for the kind words. I know you’re having a tough time yourself right now, so the fact that you can be encouraging for me means a lot. I hope you can take some of your own good advice to heart and get to feeling better, too.

Maybe our cycles are getting in sync?

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 09, 2017, 04:46:44 pm
Maybe our cycles are getting in sync?
Uh oh! That sounds serious.

Now when you say cycles, my mind starts thinking tricycle, as in undercarriage.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 09, 2017, 07:58:31 pm
Uh oh! That sounds serious.

Now when you say cycles, my mind starts thinking tricycle, as in undercarriage.

That’s the silliness I like to hear from you. I hope you’re feeling better.

Though I didn’t enjoy it when I was draggin’ tail earlier, I still think taildraggers are the way to go.

Seriously, though, thank you everyone for your help today. Though we may be isolated physically, it’s good to feel the warmth and closeness we all have here. I’ve never met any of you in person, I’ve only talked to Laurie on the phone, and I don’t even know what some of you look like, but none of that matters. Our commonality of experience lets us help each other in ways that even trained therapists can’t. We just get it the way only someone who’s BTDT can.

While it feels wonderful to receive help when I’m down, it feels even better when I can help someone else. What a great resource we have here in Susan’s Place!

Steph

PS: Pina Colada therapy and warm conversation with good neighbors, along with your help, have me back on an even keel. Looking forward to meeting Denise from the forums in Orlando tomorrow!

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 09, 2017, 08:13:54 pm
  I am sure you, Sue and Denise will enjoy the visit. There is just something very cool about meeting someone in the flesh that you've known on the internet. Give her a hugs from me if you will.

Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 09, 2017, 08:20:37 pm
  I am sure you, Sue and Denise will enjoy the visit. There is just something very cool about meeting someone in the flesh that you've known on the internet. Give her a hugs from me if you will.

You got it! My friend Cassie is going to meet us there, too. Sue will be the only cisperson around!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 09, 2017, 08:24:02 pm
That’s the silliness I like to hear from you. I hope you’re feeling better.
Silly? Me? You must have me mistaken for someone else. I am feeling much better, thank you.

Quote
Though I didn’t enjoy it when I was draggin’ tail earlier, I still think taildraggers are the way to go.
People keep telling me that the nosewheel belongs at the back. That is another thing I need to do, get my taildragger endorsement.

Quote
Seriously, though, thank you everyone for your help today. Though we may be isolated physically, it’s good to feel the warmth and closeness we all have here. I’ve never met any of you in person, I’ve only talked to Laurie on the phone, and I don’t even know what some of you look like, but none of that matters. Our commonality of experience lets us help each other in ways that even trained therapists can’t. We just get it the way only someone who’s BTDT can.

While it feels wonderful to receive help when I’m down, it feels even better when I can help someone else. What a great resource we have here in Susan’s Place!

Steph

PS: Pina Colada therapy and warm conversation with good neighbors, along with your help, have me back on an even keel. Looking forward to meeting Denise from the forums in Orlando tomorrow!
We are here to help each other. Sometimes we need support, sometimes we give support. This forum is a great place. I agree with you. We don’t need to have met in person to help each other.

I’m glad the Pina Colada therapy was helpful.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 09, 2017, 08:25:01 pm
You got it! My friend Cassie is going to meet us there, too. Sue will be the only cisperson around!

Steph

  Hey Lady, Don't go singling Sue out like that. With all the support she's given you, she's one of us too. Give that one a hug for me too. I think she deserves it big time.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 09, 2017, 08:41:26 pm
  Hey Lady, Don't go singling Sue out like that. With all the support she's given you, she's one of us too. Give that one a hug for me too. I think she deserves it big time.

She deserves every hug I can give her. I'm sure she'll be happy to accept proxy hugs from everyone else, too.

During our conversation with our neighbors tonight, we talked a lot more in-depth about my situation than we ever had before. At one point we were talking about just this, how wonderful it was that Sue stayed with me. She just about had me in tears when she asked, "Why would I leave my best friend?" I've never felt like I've earned the right to be anybody's best friend, and that touched me deeply.

As for being trans... well, she has always said that she's part lizard, meaning because she's always cold, she must be cold-blooded. She has also always loved dragons. Sometimes I introduce her as "The Dragon Lady," and I've had people whisper to me, "She lets you call her that?!" Actually, that's what she calls herself. So I suppose she could be the world's first transreptilian person. Or maybe she's just cisdragon...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Denise on December 09, 2017, 10:14:35 pm
... Looking forward to meeting Denise from the forums in Orlando tomorrow!

As I am looking forward to meeting you, Sue and Cassandra.  Congratulations (although I'll reiterate this when I see you) on the name change being all but done.  Now the fun begins (changing everything). 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 09, 2017, 10:34:10 pm
Denise,

  I would ask you to give Stephanie a hug from me Except that she is just going to have to wait for the one I am going to give her myself.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 10, 2017, 12:13:01 am
Denise,

  I would ask you to give Stephanie a hug from me Except that she is just going to have to wait for the one I am going to give her myself.

I am going to hold you to that promise. And I’ve got a big hug wrapped up and ready for delivery for you, too. I’ll be waiting.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 10, 2017, 08:09:11 am
It does seem that the more intimate the interactions, the harder it is for me. I do much better with total strangers than I do with friends and acquaintances.
Well, duh, yeah.  Of course it's harder.  Cut yourself some slack.  You showed up, you talked to some people.  Ya done good, girl!  Trust me, it will get easier with time.

Kudos to your neighbours for picking up on your vibe and helping you to de-stress.  You've got to love friends like that.

Hugs.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 10, 2017, 08:20:24 am
Kudos to your neighbours for picking up on your vibe and helping you to de-stress.  You've got to love friends like that.

I do, and I let them know that in no uncertain terms as we left last night. We had a very open conversation not just about what Sue and I are going through, but about some traumatic things they're dealing with as well. It was all very intimate and warm, and they had actually gone out and bought pina colada ingredients just for us, despite him much preferring his Bud Light. It was the kind of thing that I had never anticipated when I came out to them. B served in the Navy and played football in college, and is "all man" (whatever that means). K, while not completely getting it, is just a sweetheart and completely supportive.

I was disappointed though, that there were no umbrellas in the drinks.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 10, 2017, 06:17:31 pm
Today Sue, my friend Cassandra, and I met up with list member Denise, who is in the Sunshine state visiting her parents. We got together at a Cheddar’s next to the airport in Orlando.

Denise is pretty dang cool, and if you’ve seen pictures of her here, they don’t do her justice at all. She had excellent advice for me regarding my name change paperwork, voice work, and a ton of other transitioney stuff.

We had a great lunch and lots of stories, laughs, common experiences, and lies to tell. After the waiter started giving us the stink eye for using his table too long, we headed down the street to what Cassie dubbed “DUI Friday’s” for some liquid refreshment. Unfortunately, just as we sat down, Denise got the expected call to pick up her friend from the airport, and had to leave.

Sue snapped our picture as we were leaving Cheddar’s. It was a cold, extremely clear and bright day here, and we were all blinded by the light (cut loose like a deuce) so I, at least, look terrible. But there were smiles all around.

What a neat thing to sit down and share some time face to face with another sister from Susan’s. I hope to meet a lot more of you like that in the future.

Especially you, Laurie. You’re now obligated to deliver Qty 1 Hug, Type Warm, Size Extra Large, FOB Steph & Sue’s Casa.

Stephanie

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171211/5538ee40901062b8b61fd830d1cf2043.jpg)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 10, 2017, 06:29:11 pm
Me and my big mouth. Let see I think I promised Michelle a visit and now you. Oh heck, anyone I promised a visit raise their hand.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on December 10, 2017, 06:35:27 pm
> despite him much preferring his Bud Light
>
> I was disappointed though, that there were no umbrellas in the drinks

Bud Light doesn’t need an umbrella - it’s already water.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 11, 2017, 12:58:56 am
Bud Light doesn’t need an umbrella - it’s already water.

In a rollover accident yesterday, a tanker truck carrying 58,000 gallons of Bud Light spilled it's entire contents across six lanes of I-75. Happily, no beer was wasted.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 11, 2017, 01:45:48 pm
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/pu7iv2a7wdgdcvi/ME.jpg?raw=1)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 11, 2017, 01:50:27 pm
That looks almost official! X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 11, 2017, 01:53:45 pm
That looks almost official! X

Only something official could induce this much ocular leakage. Waterproof eyeliner... not
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 11, 2017, 01:57:13 pm
AWESOME!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on December 11, 2017, 02:20:55 pm
Way to go Stephanie! I'd shout it out but I don't feel like getting stared at.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 11, 2017, 02:22:32 pm
Woo-hoo!  Congratulations, you are officially ... YOU!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 11, 2017, 03:31:26 pm
Woooooohoooooooo!!!
That is so exciting Steph. What a wonderful moment for you. That is awesome!!!

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on December 11, 2017, 07:20:11 pm
You go girl! Doesn't it feel both so right and so fine?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on December 11, 2017, 09:58:03 pm
YES!!!  Officially.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 11, 2017, 10:24:38 pm
Awww geeeez you guyzzz. That's it, I give up on the makeup today. Every time someone gives me a cheer I end up looking like Rocky Raccoon again.

I wrote this on Facebook under the screen shot of my name change:

Quote
Hello World. This is me. Thank you for welcoming me.

Yes, Tia Anne, I haven't felt this way before. It's just a lousy piece of paper, but it's made me understand viscerally that old whatsisname doesn't exist any longer. I guess I had gone from acting like Steve for so many years, to acting like Steph. And now suddenly I feel like it's not an act any more.

I had written a while ago about the first time I went dressed to my therapist. She had encouraged me to go to lunch after our appointment. I was sitting in my car trying to gather my courage, and I watched a young woman cross the road. Just striding along, swinging her arms, and living in the moment. Not a thought for who she was. Just being. I internalized that and emulated it to get through my first lunch out by myself.

And now I've discovered that the acting, the emulating, is gone. That piece of paper somehow released me from all that pretending.

Now I can just be.

Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 11, 2017, 10:38:15 pm
Steph, you are giving me so much joy by sharing your happiness. Thank you for letting us be a part of your journey. It is such a privilege to see you go from one happy milestone to another.

Congratulations on becoming the real you.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 11, 2017, 10:41:26 pm
Steph, you are giving me so much joy by sharing your happiness. Thank you for letting us be a part of your journey. It is such a privilege to see you go from one happy milestone to another.

Congratulations on becoming the real you.

Jayne

Jayne, the only thing that's giving me more joy than the actual event, is all of you sharing it with me. Knowing that you all think I'm worthy of your love touches me more deeply than I know how to describe.

Thank you.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on December 12, 2017, 03:48:28 pm
It's just a lousy piece of paper, but it's made me understand viscerally that old whatsisname doesn't exist any longer. I guess I had gone from acting like Steve for so many years, to acting like Steph. And now suddenly I feel like it's not an act any more.

I had written a while ago about the first time I went dressed to my therapist. She had encouraged me to go to lunch after our appointment. I was sitting in my car trying to gather my courage, and I watched a young woman cross the road. Just striding along, swinging her arms, and living in the moment. Not a thought for who she was. Just being. I internalized that and emulated it to get through my first lunch out by myself.

And now I've discovered that the acting, the emulating, is gone. That piece of paper somehow released me from all that pretending.

Now I can just be.

Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger

Steph, I think that getting to the point you are at is what it is all about......."the acting, the emulating is gone......released from all that pretending. Now I can just be". Such a fine place to be. I still get caught up in doubts from time to time or feel the sting of an occasional mis-gender, whatever, but that is a temporary situation corrected by a kind word or hug from a friend.....I just don't understand how this joyful side of life somehow eluded me for all those years! Sister, we have a lot of years to make up for, get on with living and laughing the way life was meant to be lived!

Your sister,
Tia Anne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on December 12, 2017, 03:57:27 pm
Steph, you spoke of watching a young woman, "and I watched a young woman cross the road. Just striding along, swinging her arms, and living in the moment. Not a thought for who she was. Just being." The image that comes to mind is of Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman" where she was walking across Rodeo Drive in those insanely high heeled boots and not a care in the world, just taking it all in. Now I will never be able to pull off those boots or short shorts but that totally being in the moment, so free and easy in life.......not a bad image to emulate!

As far as the image, I am way too old for it but I think that I can picture Kendra pulling it off pretty well!

Tia Anne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on December 12, 2017, 05:35:44 pm
Wow, three posts in a row, Steph is going to think that I am stealing her thread, no, not me!

Steph, I am in the midst of changing lots of different stuff now that my name is final, I expect that you are doing the same thing. I found a good resource for Colorado folks and it includes a pretty general and inclusive list of things that may need addressing. The site is Colorado Name Changes at namechangeproject.org and the list is on the page marked "Post-Name/Gender change steps". I hope that it helps.

If any others on this site have things to include in a "must change/may want to change" list, please forward them on.

Tia Anne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 13, 2017, 11:07:54 pm
The Dangers of FaceApp

I mentioned over on Jayne's personal thread how I believe FaceApp triggered my transition. I didn't want to clog up her thread with my meanderings, but I have no compunctions about stuffing up my own. So...

While it certainly wasn't the only factor, I truly believe FaceApp was the straw that broke the camel's back. A lot of things were adding up to the perfect storm, but I was weathering it, though very unhappily. Then I read a tech review about this new app that used AI to retouch your photos, and it included female filters. The writer showed pictures of himself with the various filters, and I was blown away and had to try it. I downloaded it on January 28th.

The results from the first couple of pictures were a huge shock to my system. I literally got faint and had to sit down. I couldn't believe that with just a few very subtle changes I could look like that. I also didn't believe it could ever actually happen. The dissonance was too much for my poor brain, and I had a complete meltdown.

I alternately loved and hated that app for the next 3 1/2 months, and spent so much time with it while my wife was out that I wasn't getting much else done. The dysphoria was building and building, until on May 12 the dam broke, and I started this journey I'm on.

I went back and compared the pictures I've posted here to my huge collection of FaceApp pics from February - May, and I don't really see a lot of resemblance. Yet I spent today out and about, living full-time, eating lunch in a restaurant, shopping for cosmetics, and just being me, and apparently passing the whole time. I don't really get it, but I'll take it.

Just be aware that apps like that can be very powerful and dangerous to someone in a vulnerable mindset. If you're already at a tipping point, it can knock you completely over.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 13, 2017, 11:40:35 pm
I just don't understand how this joyful side of life somehow eluded me for all those years! Sister, we have a lot of years to make up for, get on with living and laughing the way life was meant to be lived!

Hi Ms. Blake. First of all, how do you prefer to be addressed? I've been calling you "Tia Anne," but I see Laurie using "Tia," and some other people are using "Hey You," and "Late for Dinner." Maybe I'll just call you Sister.

Anyway, thanks for your comment. I think of all the misery in the world. I was immersed in it, for so long, that I didn't know any other kind of life existed. And now... the joy and contentment I'm feeling has made me realize that a lot of the time the cage we live in is something we construct ourselves, and which we have the key to get out of, if we aren't afraid to turn it. Making up for those lost years, laughing, living, and loving, is exactly what I intend to do.

Quote
Steph, you spoke of watching a young woman, "and I watched a young woman cross the road. Just striding along, swinging her arms, and living in the moment. Not a thought for who she was. Just being." The image that comes to mind is of Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman" where she was walking across Rodeo Drive in those insanely high heeled boots and not a care in the world, just taking it all in. Now I will never be able to pull off those boots or short shorts but that totally being in the moment, so free and easy in life.......not a bad image to emulate!

As far as the image, I am way too old for it but I think that I can picture Kendra pulling it off pretty well!

Yeah, those dang young pups have so much going for them. That's OK. This old dog still has some bite left...

Quote
Wow, three posts in a row, Steph is going to think that I am stealing her thread, no, not me!

Sister, I decide who gets to talk in my house, and you've got carte blanche. Cut loose, I'm enjoying listening.

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Steph, I am in the midst of changing lots of different stuff now that my name is final, I expect that you are doing the same thing. I found a good resource for Colorado folks and it includes a pretty general and inclusive list of things that may need addressing. The site is Colorado Name Changes at namechangeproject.org and the list is on the page marked "Post-Name/Gender change steps". I hope that it helps.

Very cool, thank you! Here's the direct link:

http://www.namechangeproject.org/post-namegender-changes-steps/ (http://www.namechangeproject.org/post-namegender-changes-steps/)

More on where I am on that checklist in my update post below.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on December 14, 2017, 02:44:31 pm
Hi Steph, as for names, I am fairly open.....anything from; friend, Tia, Tia Anne, Anne....there is just one old name that is off limits and I won't post that one here.

By the way, just got finished changing my name on one really fun card today. We drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park and updated my senior national parks pass, one of the best cards that I have in my wallet!

Take care girlfriend,
Tia Anne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 15, 2017, 12:02:14 am
A few ups and downs since I last updated, but mostly ups - and busy busy busy! I was going to post everything from the last couple of days in one entry, but I know people tend to ignore stuff if it's too long, so I'll break it up into episodes. Here's episode 1:

After I got the final judgement on the name change on Monday, I started planning out my week.

Tuesday: Run over to the courthouse, get a bunch of certified copies of the Court Order, blast out to Orlando and pick up my "Appropriate Clinical Treatment" (ACT) letter from my doc, then move on to the Social Security office.

After giving a couple days for the data to percolate through the system, on Thursday: Visit the DMV, change the name and gender marker on my paperwork and get a new driver's license. Also update the titles and registrations on my vehicles. Maybe go next door to the tax collector's office and update our tax records.

Friday: Stay home and start cleaning the house for the potluck dinner I'm hosting on Monday.

That was looking far enough into the future for me, and looked like a viable plan.

No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.

On Monday night I emailed my contact at the doctor's office with an attached copy of the Court Order. We had already devised a plan where I would email it to her, and she would create the ACT letter and give it to the doc for her signature. It would be complete and waiting when I got there to pick it up.

Well... not. Sherrie would write up the letter, but the doc isn't in on Tuesdays. The best I could do was Wednesday. Harrumph. Well, I could still get over to the courthouse and get the certified records. So I got myself looking as good as I can, since I was going to have to deal with the three deputies at the security checkpoint in the courthouse and the workerbees in the records office, and skated over to the courthouse in the Mini. Took a deep breath and checked my look in the mirror, and headed into the courthouse. Gave the officers a smile and put my purse in the tray, and of course I set off the metal detector as I walked through and had to get wanded. The female deputy made me lift my pants legs. Checking for weapons strapped to my ankles, or just checking that I'd shaved my legs? In any case, I passed both tests, all was well, and as far as I could tell, they thought they were dealing with just another lady.

Off to the records office and the sweetest lady I've ever dealt with in government offices. I showed her the printed copy of the court order that I'd received in email, and it was so new that it wasn't in her system yet. She had to dig it out of a big bin of stuff she still had to enter. In any case, she treated me really nicely. Lots of "dears" and "sweeties", and even at one point when she had to enter something into her computer, she said, "This is going to take a minute. Just hang on, baby girl." I was already smiling, but that one made me blush, too. Now I know that she knew what it was about, because she'd had to call upstairs to get clearance to release certified copies of the "name change paperwork," and my old and new names are pretty prominent on the front page. Knowing that makes it even more satisfying that she treated me so well. It was pretty dang neat.

I floated back out with five certified copies, waved airily at the deputies, and wafted down the steps and out to the Mini. That took care of all the official stuff I could get done then. Next up: What to do with the rest of the day?

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 15, 2017, 12:17:29 am
In our last episode, I'd gone to the county courthouse and had a pretty cool experience getting the certified copies of my court order. Now I had a dilemma to solve.

Remember when I posted about my first time participating in the trivia team with Sue and her friends? (Here: https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,228563.msg2052349.html#msg2052349.) Well, Sue was working late and wouldn't be able to show up until it was almost over, so I had to decide whether I wanted to stay home out of fear, or own my new identity and go without her. I wasn't worried about the people I'd already met - they knew everything and I knew they were cool with it. What I didn't know is if anyone else I hadn't met would be there. But I said the heck with it, this is me. Time to quit hiding from the world. And off I went to The Villages, Florida, to be a trivial person.

I got there a half hour late, but there were still plenty of questions left to answer. S and B, who I'd already met, were there already, but so were C and J, who I'd never met before. On the other hand, they'd never met me, either, and S gave me a wink and introduced me as Steph, with no other explanation. Lots of smiles and welcomes all around, and we got down to concentrating on the trivia game. It didn't look good for a while, but B saved us with the final question. Do you know it?

What is the country of origin of Saint Nicholas?

A: Germany
B: England
C: Turkey
D: Greece

We were just barely leading everyone into this final question, and B was absolutely sure he knew the answer. You can bet as much or as few of your points as you want, and he was so sure that we bet the farm. And we won it all. Thank you B! The answer? Turkey. I would never had known...

Sue arrived just before the final question, and when it was over B left, and the rest of us had dinner together. We applied the $30 gift card we won to everyone's dinner and had more good conversation, after which C and J headed out. Discussing things with S afterwards, we came to the conclusion that I'd just had a total pass, and they knew nothing different. I'm not sure if they connected me and Sue, but it should have been obvious when she paid the bill for us both with no preplanning. In any case, it was a good night, and yet another boost to my confidence.

Next episode: Wednesday ups and downs.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 15, 2017, 12:59:08 am
Wednesday was the day I had to drive back to Orlando to pick up my ""Appropriate Clinical Treatment" (ACT) letter. By prearrangement, it would be waiting for me at 11am. Since my friend Cassie works close to the clinic, we arranged to lunch together after I accomplished my pickup, after which I would zip over to the social security office in Leesburg and change my name and gender marker. I got myself fixed up and jumped in the rollerskate for the 1:15 drive to Orlando.

Got there at 11am as arranged, and waited for the letter that should have been ready for me. And waited. And waited. Just before noon the lady who wrote up the letter for the doc's signature showed up in the office as she ran other errands. We said hi and she took care of some business with the receptionist, then headed for the door. I'd had enough waiting, so I stopped her and asked, "Do we have a problem?" No, she'd left the letter on the doctor's desk yesterday, and it was just waiting for the doc's signature. "Right, it was going to be ready for me to pick up today at 11. So do we have a problem?" And she disappeared into the back room headed toward the doctor's office. Less than five minutes later she came out with the letter. Good grief. Squeaky wheel, I guess.

I don't think this doc "gets it." She's new to the clinic (the third endo they've had since I started HRT less than 6 months ago), and everyone I've talked to is amazed that she insisted on seeing the court order before she would sign the gender change letter. You'd think that someone working at a clinic that specializes in LGBT issues would understand what we're going through and be more accommodating. Or maybe the clinic itself doesn't get it. At the last lab followup they didn't even have the lab results in the clinic records yet, even though I'd had them taken two weeks before. I actually had to show the doc the results in my phone, and she asked me to email them to the clinic assistant so she could put them in my records. Sheesh. I love my therapist, and my laser/electrocutioner lady is a real sweetheart, but my primary care doc had asked if I wanted him to take over my HRT treatment at our last appointment, and now I'm seriously considering that.

Anyway, I paid the $25 for the letter, and hit the door. Shared the elevator with a gentleman on the way down from the fourth floor, and he insisted I exit first. What a nice man. (Sqeeeeeeee!!!)

Off to pick up Cassie from work and on to a Thai restaurant for a great lunch, with great treatment by the staff.

Next up: Social Insecurity

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 15, 2017, 01:09:51 am
After finally getting the "gender change" letter from the doc, and having a great lunch with friend Cassie, it was time to drive to the social security office an hour and ten minutes away in Leesburg. My nerves kept building all the way there, and when I found the building I drove on by and went to a McDonalds down the street to use the bathroom and get myself fixed up for the big moment. Drove back to the building and...

Sure aren't many cars in the parking lot.

An empty wind was whistling.

A tumbleweed rolled by.

Crickets.

Sure is quiet...

Yeah. Too quiet.

The sign on the door said, Hey, it's Wednesday. We close at noon on Wednesdays. Sorry sucker. Or something like that.

ARRRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!

So I drowned my sorrows by going to Wally World and buying myself some more cosmetics. Then drove sadly home.

Next episode: Bouncing Back
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 15, 2017, 01:11:12 am
This is like a soap opera...

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 15, 2017, 01:11:45 am
... That I'm binge watching...

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 15, 2017, 01:13:50 am
This is like a soap opera...

Stay tuned. The writer is still awake and typing...
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 15, 2017, 02:10:03 am
On to Thursday. I decided that instead of driving the hour back to Leesburg to that social security office, I'd go to one closer in Dade City. It was a little worrisome, considering that while Leesburg is a long way from being cosmopolitan, it's a lot more metro than podunk little Dade City. But I needed to go to Lakeland to fix a problem on the plane that I'd built, and Dade City was about a third of the way there in the correct direction. So once again I got myself fixed up and built up my nerves, and skittered to the office in the go-cart.

As you walk in there's a big sign: No electronics of any kind, turn them off. Leave them in the car. Huh? Which is it? Well, being a law-abiding person, I went back out to the car and stashed my phone and watch in the glove box. Went back in and got my ticket, number A69. Currently serving A54. Not too bad.

I had hoped to get caught up here while I waited, but with no phone, all I could do was stare at the stupid idiot box on the wall - while everyone else in the room played on their phones. Eye roll. At least I wasn't getting any second glances. A lady even smiled and asked whether the seat next to me was taken, and sat there with no weirdness.

About an hour later, "A69, window 4."

"Yes ma'am, how can I help you today?" <frisson>
Big smile: "Name and gender change. Here are all the forms."
"Yes, that's all we need. I'm going to send you down to window 2, though, since he has more experience with this."
Off to window 2, and a nice 20-something young man who could be a basketball player. He ran through all the paperwork with no drama, then asked to see my drivers license, which was... whoops, in the pocket on the back of my phone, out in the car. Be right back...
Finished filling out the forms, double checked with me that everything was accurate, printed out the receipt, gave me back all my paperwork, and said we were all set. As I got up to go:

"Congratulations, Stephanie. Enjoy your new life."

I thought my face was going to split. I couldn't stop grinning like a fool. Did a happy dance in front of my car. And had what Cassie calls a "Lady Minute" in the car.

This is all really really happening. Oop. Getting all verklempt again...

Epilog: I drove down to where the plane I'd built is being kept. The owner and his wife are incredibly supportive of my transition, and she made me lunch while we talked about how things were going for me. Afterwards she gave me some makeup tips and even gave me some lip gloss. I changed into my new women's working clothes, went to the hangar, and found and fixed the problem with the plane. I consider that my first technical victory as my new self, and I looked fabulous doing it, despite dripping fuel down my arm.

And one final thing: Eight minutes from home I got a text from Sue. One of the snowbirds who hang out and help me in the shop during the winter was waiting at home to take us out to dinner for a favor I'd done for him. I asked Sue if he realized who he was going to take to dinner, and she said Oh yeah. Okey dokey...

I'd already told him earlier what I was doing, and he was fine with it. He's always in good humor and took it all in stride. We joke around a lot, so I didn't hesitate to correct him any time he deadnamed or misgendered me, and he never took offense and kept trying to get better. At the restaurant the waitress was awesome, joking with us ladies and that guy on the other side of the booth. I even joked with the manager that I was upset because my pina colada didn't have an umbrella in it. She knows my previous persona, since as president of our flying club I've been arranging to use their meeting room for years. I don't know if she recognized me or not. She didn't show any surprise, so I'm guessing that she didn't know who she was talking with. Anyway, by the end of dinner my friend was starting to get it, though I'm sure it'll take more gentle persuasion before he doesn't forget.

In any case, I'd rate this as an immensely successful day...

Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger - Now known to the federal government as same. It's now a federal offense to misgender me...
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 15, 2017, 02:42:01 am
Like all good TV shows, drama,  intrigue and a happy ending.

Congrats. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: LizK on December 15, 2017, 02:51:36 am
There is something about receiving that validation of your new name...like making everything suddenly real. I waited until I had a full set of ID before I went fulltime and once I had it all together it was such an affirming moment. Glad it went so well for you  :D
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 15, 2017, 06:32:56 am
This is a really awesome soap opera. I’m hooked. Can’t wait for the next exciting episode......

Steph, I love reading your story. It’s amazing!

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 15, 2017, 06:41:39 am
It's like Dynasty and Dallas rolled together, but with even more Steph glamour!

And,  no Steph,  this isn't all a dream. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 15, 2017, 07:26:20 am
I looked fabulous doing it, despite dripping fuel down my arm.
That's my girl!!   :D

I'm glad it's going so well for you!  Just keep on owning it, and you'll be fine.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 15, 2017, 07:38:47 am
It's like Dynasty and Dallas rolled together, but with even more Steph glamour!

And,  no Steph,  this isn't all a dream. X

Not sure what that means. The most I know about those shows is Larry Hagman was on them, but without Jeannie. And Morgan Fairchild was on them, and according to pathological liar Tommy Flanagan (as played by Jon Lovitz), she was married to him, and he even slept with her.

Yeah, that's the ticket.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 15, 2017, 08:04:04 am
There is something about receiving that validation of your new name...like making everything suddenly real. I waited until I had a full set of ID before I went fulltime and once I had it all together it was such an affirming moment. Glad it went so well for you  :D

Thanks, Liz! Monday is my big day at the DMV for my driver's license with a new picture and gender marker. Like Kendra, I think that will be the biggest milestone to date. I hope the picture turns out well. If I have time today, I plan to contact some credit card companies.

With those two things out of the way, there will be very little cause left for social dysphoria.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 15, 2017, 08:24:46 am
Hi Steph, as for names, I am fairly open.....anything from; friend, Tia, Tia Anne, Anne....there is just one old name that is off limits and I won't post that one here.

Even if I knew it, there's no way I'd use it. That would be a stranger. You are my friend Tia Anne Blake. That's it.

Quote
By the way, just got finished changing my name on one really fun card today. We drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park and updated my senior national parks pass, one of the best cards that I have in my wallet!

I wish I had more National Parks here. The Everglades are interesting, but awfully hot, steamy, snakey, and aligatorey. I love mountains and rocky shorelines. Some day when we retire and take road trips I want to come see you in Colorado and Kathy in Nova Scotia (in the summer).

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 15, 2017, 08:42:30 am
Some day when we retire and take road trips I want to come see you in Colorado and Kathy in Nova Scotia (in the summer).
What about Jayne down under? Oh! Never mind, you were talking about road trips. The road to get here is covered by a considerable amount of water.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 15, 2017, 10:23:52 am
         Welcome to the Stephanie Comedy Hour
   
Featuring Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger and her faithful sidekick Sue.
                            ( Never a dull moment )

 It's fun to (read) about your misadventures Stephanie. What's this about (plane) problems?? And you want to get me in that (thing) know it was put together by a Charlie Chaplin wannabe? I'm (beginning) to reconsider that invitation(....)

Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 15, 2017, 10:47:41 am
Kathy in Nova Scotia (in the summer).
Squeee!  Happy dance!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 15, 2017, 01:24:21 pm
What about Jayne down under? Oh! Never mind, you were talking about road trips. The road to get here is covered by a considerable amount of water.

No problem. I’ll just wait for low tide. Or maybe I’ll fly there. I’ll have to calculate the size of the ferry tank needed to go that far.

Steph (glub glub)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 15, 2017, 01:30:18 pm
         Welcome to the Stephanie Comedy Hour
   
Featuring Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger and her faithful sidekick Sue.
                            ( Never a dull moment )

 It's fun to (read) about your misadventures Stephanie. What's this about (plane) problems?? And you want to get me in that (thing) know it was put together by a Charlie Chaplin wannabe? I'm (beginning) to reconsider that invitation(....)

Thank ya. Thank ya verra much. I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget ta tip your servers.

The plane problem? Easily {diagnosed} and fixed if you [know] what to look for. It’s why I get the <big> bucks (ha!).

Stephie Staplin
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 15, 2017, 01:34:26 pm
Squeee!  Happy dance!

Uhmmmm, not this summer, sorry to say. Given a lot of luck, I very much hope to be recovering from GCS sometime this summer. That’s my dream anyway.

But yesh, I do muchly want to visit some day.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: LizK on December 15, 2017, 04:41:53 pm
Thanks, Liz! Monday is my big day at the DMV for my driver's license with a new picture and gender marker. Like Kendra, I think that will be the biggest milestone to date. I hope the picture turns out well. If I have time today, I plan to contact some credit card companies.

With those two things out of the way, there will be very little cause left for social dysphoria.

Steph

You know that no matter how hard you try and how long you prepare yourself, you are always destined to look like a startled chicken in your drivers licence photo...its almost mandatory  ;D
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 15, 2017, 04:50:16 pm
You know that no matter how hard you try and how long you prepare yourself, you are always destined to look like a startled chicken in your drivers licence photo...its almost mandatory  ;D

Whoever makes the cameras for them is just pure evil. But I’ll be happy if it doesn’t look like Old Whatshisface who’s on my current license. Some day that will probably be my “before” picture.

What does a startled chicken look like, anyway?

Hey, if people like my writing, do you think I could win the Pullet Surprise?

Don’t cluck your tongue at me!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 15, 2017, 04:57:58 pm
Hey, if people like my writing, do you think I could win the Pullet Surprise?
Oh, gro-o-o-o-o-oan!!!  That's so bad, it's good!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 15, 2017, 05:02:34 pm
Hey, if people like my writing, do you think I could win the Pullet Surprise?
You need to stop using all this fowl language. I had to google Pullet. I am but a simple chick and don’t understand big words.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 15, 2017, 05:03:08 pm
Oh, gro-o-o-o-o-oan!!!  That's so bad, it's good!

It’s hard to write about poultry. It’s tough to scratch out a living because they pay chicken feed.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 15, 2017, 05:08:11 pm
Why did the chicken cross the road?

It heard some guys were going to lay a sidewalk, and it wanted to see how it was done.

When it was crossing the road, it was poultry in motion.

I tell ya, I got a million of ‘em!

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 15, 2017, 05:10:32 pm
“eyes rolling”
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on December 15, 2017, 06:33:22 pm
Steph I see you're wingin it again.  I'm about to call f0wles on all the bird talk.  Oh wait that's my last name. 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 15, 2017, 06:47:09 pm
Steph I see you're wingin it again.  I'm about to call f0wles on all the bird talk.  Oh wait that's my last name.

It's about dang time you joined in! I was beginning to think you were chicken.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on December 15, 2017, 06:59:33 pm
Pretty fly of you to say that as I try to pen a cagey answer.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 15, 2017, 07:10:39 pm
Pretty fly of you to say that as I try to pen a cagey answer.
Sorry to keep you cooped up.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on December 15, 2017, 07:16:32 pm
I drive a Fiat.  Aren’t you the chick with a Cooper? 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 15, 2017, 07:28:38 pm
I drive a Fiat.  Aren’t you the chick with a Cooper?

OMG, you're right! And it's a Coupe, too! I may squawk occasionally, but it's nothing to crow about.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 16, 2017, 02:24:44 am
A little more relaxed day today, but a few cool things still happened.

The trip I made yesterday to work on the plane was to fix a potentially dangerous fuel leak, so the owner could fly it safely up here for some other minor maintenance he wanted me to do on it. He brought it in and I worked through the squawk list (yes, that's really what it's called, you bird brains), and wrapped up right around lunch time. The owner has made it a tradition to always take me to lunch when I work on his plane. Today, though, would be the first time that I would be going as my new self. When we decided we were ready for lunch, he told me he would handle installing the engine cowls so I could go in and make myself ready for lunch. In essence, he told me it was OK to go get prettied up to go out. Wow, cool! I got out of my work clothes, fixed my makeup and hair, and off we went - back to the same place our group had ended up at after my court appointment. I was welcomed back by a few of the staff who remembered our celebration, and our waiter Jason gave me a big hug. But the really cool thing? My neighbor and a bunch of his visiting family were sitting two tables away. I saw my neighbor look up and around the restaurant, and he looked directly at me - and went right on by, not recognizing me. Apparently he just saw a woman he didn't know sitting there, and kept looking around. My friend and I both watched him do this, and we just grinned at each other. I count that as a total pass.

Later as my friend got ready to fly home, I asked him to thank his wife for the nice time she showed me yesterday. And he told me that she really enjoyed it, too, because she doesn't have many lady friends around her neighborhood that she can talk with any more. Wait... what!? I apparently qualify as a woman friend that she can confide in and share with. I can't describe how cool that feels! Just thinking about that makes me all shivery.

One final thing before I shut down for the night. Sue and I sat down to finalize our health care paperwork for 2018. As part of that I went back through the profile and updated my name and gender information. And occasionally as we worked through all the forms, that name would pop up front and center on my screen. Every time it did I got a little buzz of surprise and pleasure. I'm still not used to seeing it so blatantly and openly.

But I like it. A lot.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 17, 2017, 12:00:24 am
Short entry today. I get cleaned up, did my makeup and hair, and got dressed up in a beautiful flowered maxi dress with short cap sleeves and a black infinity scarf worn over my shoulders shawl-style. As I checked my look for the last time before I left, I was completely blown away at the woman I saw in the mirror. We gave each other a big grin. I felt incredibly feminine - incredibly right.

I hopped in the roller skate to drive the 1:20 to the T-network Christmas party in St. Pete. I missed the last meeting, so it’s been two months since they’ve seen me, and even then I had been dressed in my Captain Sillyburger Halloween costume. I’ve also had my hair colored and styled, and learned a little about makeup.

Apparently I’ve really changed. The president of the organization saw me come in, and walked over to introduce herself to the new person. It wasn’t until someone else told her who I was that she realized she already knew me. That happened with a few other people, and those who did recognize me had profuse compliments. And for some reason, people tended to gravitate to me all evening, whereas they used to ignore me. I think I must have been radiating happiness and contentment, and seemed approachable.

Back home again, I sat down on the couch next to Sue. All I could think of to say was, “I’m happy.” She was glad. Then I told her, “I didn’t know it was possible to feel this way.” And I had to go get some tissues for all the happy tears.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Stephanie

PS: Sorry Kathy, no pics. But it did happen! I plan to wear the same outfit to a different party next Wednesday, and will get some pictures then...
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SadieBlake on December 17, 2017, 06:09:18 am
<le sigh>, and I remember when you were worried about passing, so recently :-).

I sometimes have to stay away from your thread lest the fab outfits and talk of being taken for femme makes me shift over from a little envy to actual jealousy ;-).

Hugs to you Stephanie, I'm super glad you're having do much fun!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 17, 2017, 06:35:44 am
PS: Sorry Kathy, no pics. But it did happen! I plan to wear the same outfit to a different party next Wednesday, and will get some pictures then...
No worries.  I am content to admire your smiling face in your avatar and read your rhapsody of happiness.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 17, 2017, 07:06:53 am
<le sigh>, and I remember when you were worried about passing, so recently :-).

Oh, believe me, the worry is still a constant, uh, worry. I’ve been full-time for a while now, but even just walking my dog around the safe space that is my neighborhood still feels like a scary adventure. I haven’t yet been able to just blast out there into the world full of strangers with full confidence. I go anyway, but when I get home always have the feeling of, “Whew! Got away with it one more time!”

Quote
I sometimes have to stay away from your thread lest the fab outfits and talk of being taken for femme makes me shift over from a little envy to actual jealousy ;-).

I... what? You know how wordy I am. And I just don’t know what to say. You, envious of me? No...

My brain is churning.

Quote
Hugs to you Stephanie, I'm super glad you're having do much fun!

It’s going to take a while to process your message. So I’ll just say thank you!.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 17, 2017, 07:09:54 am
No worries.  I am content to admire your smiling face in your avatar and read your rhapsody of happiness.

So if I try a different hair removal method, would I wax rhapsodic?

Too nerdy? Yeah...
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 17, 2017, 12:19:51 pm
A bit of frustration this morning with credit card companies. With the helpful advice of you all, I thought I was armed to make changing the name on the cards an easy thing.

Not.

I’m guessing that everyone is running so scared of fraud nowadays that the requirements to just change a name on a card are boosted to a ridiculous level (IMHO).

First up: Discover. I was ready to call, then saw I had a Chat option. I always prefer that if possible because I have a written record. “Betty” insisted that I go to their website, fill out a form, and upload copies of the court order,
 and either the new driver’s license or SSC. Since I don’t have the latter two in my greasy paws yet, that’s not an option. Well, how about setting up another authorized user with their own card? Nope, can’t have two users with the same SS number. I tried to force the issue by laying it all out - I’m transgender and have been refraining from using their card to avoid awkwardness. Congratulations, but sorry. I finally got Betty to agree to issue another card with just the first and middle initials as a temporary measure. Good thing I kept them the same.

On to Bank of America Visa. No chat available, so I called. The automated system took my information, and Walter answered, “How can I help you, Mister Bensinger?” Name change. Great, what is it changing to? Stephanie R. Congratulations! Now we need to send you a form via snailmail, you need to fill it out, and send it back with a copy of (only) the court order. How about just adding a second user with a different name? Sorry. How about just initials? Nope. The best he would do is expedite the handling and send the forms via UPS overnight.

So now I wait...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 17, 2017, 12:27:03 pm
Do not forget the three credit companies if you want to retain your credit rating. Having no established credit rating is a problem I have read about several times here.

Hugs,
  Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 17, 2017, 12:27:18 pm
You gotta love the “system”!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on December 17, 2017, 02:46:04 pm
Has anyone updated their changes with the three credit rating companies? Was it successful and how did you do it?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on December 17, 2017, 02:53:46 pm
Quote from: Anne Blake
link=topic=228563.msg2062471#msg2062471 date=1513543564
Has anyone updated their changes with the three credit rating companies? Was it successful and how did you do it?
I wrote a letter to Equifax, Experian, TransUnion with my previous and new name and gender marker, enclosed a photocopy of court order and driver license.  I just sent it in so I don’t know if I was successful, but perhaps the next massive data leak will be more accurate.  :P

So if I try a different hair removal method, would I wax rhapsodic?
I won’t shadow that hair razing statement with a plucky answer.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 18, 2017, 12:03:25 am
Has anyone updated their changes with the three credit rating companies? Was it successful and how did you do it?

 Hi Tia,

 This post may be of interest to you. It is a letter Sydney used for the credit companies.

 Re: LEGAL NAME AND SEX CHANGE QUESTION  (https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,223255.msg1976956.html#msg1976956)

I hope it helps.

Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SadieBlake on December 18, 2017, 03:26:57 am
Oh, believe me, the worry is still a constant, uh, worry. I’ve been full-time for a while now, but even just walking my dog around the safe space that is my neighborhood still feels like a scary adventure. I haven’t yet been able to just blast out there into the world full of strangers with full confidence. I go anyway, but when I get home always have the feeling of, “Whew! Got away with it one more time!”

I... what? You know how wordy I am. And I just don’t know what to say. You, envious of me? No...

My brain is churning.

It’s going to take a while to process your message. So I’ll just say thank you!.

Stephanie

Chalk it up to Sadie having a hard week. Those still happen and I'm happier inside. Hell, I'm surviving as an artist and if things are tight, well that's what you get in the art market when people are justifiably nervous about the orange menace.

When a now very late payment finally hits my snail mail, I'll be able to afford my next small experiment, seeing if minoxidil can reverse some of the mpb that has been part of my life since I was mid twenties.

Hugs again and best wishes always :-)

S
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 19, 2017, 08:24:16 am
When a now very late payment finally hits my snail mail, I'll be able to afford my next small experiment, seeing if minoxidil can reverse some of the mpb that has been part of my life since I was mid twenties.

Hugs again and best wishes always :-)

Thanks, Sadie, and back atcha.

Your post does bring up a question. Is topical minoxidil even necessary after starting finasteride? Seem that they both take care of DHT, so maybe it’s redundant(?)

Maybe I should post his question in a hair loss thread, but possibly you know the answer.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 19, 2017, 08:28:45 am
Tia, Kendra, Moni, and anyone else who’s watching, who is either scheduled for or has undergone GCS:

I have locked down my health insurance for next year, and chose a policy with an eye toward the best coverage for surgery. Now I’m lost. Do any of you have a timeline or checklist I can use to guide me through all of this? I have no idea what to do next, so any help would be muchly appreciated!

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 19, 2017, 08:34:08 am
Thanks, Sadie, and back atcha.

Your post does bring up a question. Is topical minoxidil even necessary after starting finasteride? Seem that they both take care of DHT, so maybe it’s redundant(?)

Maybe I should post his question in a hair loss thread, but possibly you know the answer.

Steph
My understanding is that Minoxidil does not block DHT, rather it improves blood flow to the folicles, helping to deliver nutrients and (possibly) 'wash away' accumulated DHT. It's therefore complimentary to Finasteride.

For this reason,  I still use both Min and Fin,  alongside my E and GnRH blocker.

As always, consult your doctor!

X.

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 19, 2017, 08:40:58 am
My understanding is that Minoxidil does not block DHT, rather it improves blood flow to the folicles, helping to deliver nutrients and (possibly) 'wash away' accumulated DHT. It's therefore complimentary to Finasteride.

For this reason,  I still use both Min and Fin,  alongside my E and GnRH blocker.

As always, consult your doctor!

Ah, thanks Megan. I didn’t realize they worked in different ways. I’ll stick with the Min, then, since it does seem to have made a huge difference on my crown.

BTW, I’ve found that the foam isn’t nearly as greasy as the liquid. Not only did I hate using the liquid in the morning because of the greaser look, but if I tried to use the full-dropper dose it would just run off my head. It was way too much. Now I use the foam in the morning and half a dropper of liquid at night.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 19, 2017, 08:44:03 am
I'm no expert, but this was always my understanding...

I've only ever used the foam. X



Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 19, 2017, 08:47:01 am
I'm no expert, but this was always my understanding...

I've only ever used the foam.

Once the liquid is used up, I’ll go strictly to the foam!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 19, 2017, 09:07:13 am
I almost posted this on Faith’s thread, but decided against it. It’s a little triggering. But since I typed it up, I’ll post it here.

Regarding loneliness: Last August, before I was out to anyone but my wife and therapist, I was at the huge Oshkosh EAA Airventure aviation love-fest. And I was devastatingly alone in the middle of a crowd of literally tens of thousands of people shoulder to shoulder. All the women were dressed coolly in colorful clothes, and I was almost paralyzed with dysphoria. Nobody commented about that “guy” crying. Maybe they couldn’t see it behind the sunglasses.

A few days later I came out to the first “outsider,” my friend who was also attending the show, and the ride has been almost universally positive since then. Now, even when at home by myself, I never feel alone.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 19, 2017, 09:35:25 am
I remember similar moments, being surrounded by many while feeling utterly alone and separate.

Feeling 'part of the world' is perhaps one of the less mentioned but most positive benefits that HRT and/or transition can bring.

I'm glad that despite the odd bump, this has been a road forward for you. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Devlyn on December 19, 2017, 10:46:25 am
Tia, Kendra, Moni, and anyone else who’s watching, who is either scheduled for or has undergone GCS:

I have locked down my health insurance for next year, and chose a policy with an eye toward the best coverage for surgery. Now I’m lost. Do any of you have a timeline or checklist I can use to guide me through all of this? I have no idea what to do next, so any help would be muchly appreciated!

Stephanie

Schedule a consult with the surgeon and get your required letters to his office. You'll need a pre surgical physical, too.

Hugs, Devlyn
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 19, 2017, 11:07:34 am
Schedule a consult with the surgeon and get your required letters to his office. You'll need a pre surgical physical, too.

Hugs, Devlyn

Thanks, Devlyn. When would I include my insurance company as part of the decision? Do I contact them first to find out who is in-network (if such a thing exists) before I call the surgeon. There doesn't seem to be a point to traveling to and paying for a consultation if my insurance won't cover them.

After thinking a bit, here's a very tentative list that seems like the right order:


I also get the impression that insurance companies don't have "in-network" surgeons for this, and that I may have to pay cash up front and be compensated later. That's sorta doable, but it would be better to have the insurance pay the doc directly. How does that work?

I plan to get started on this project on the first of the year, with the goal of being done in 2018. I know that's not possible with the big names, but I see there are plenty of lesser-known surgeons with good reputations. I just wish there was a recommended one in Florida so I could recover at home...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on December 19, 2017, 11:13:34 am
Steph, anytime you want to post something in my thread, do it. Sure it may trigger, it may help, it may do both. Please don't 'not post' by playing it safe, that's not who I am.

I'll thank you here for your reply there, logic & reason doesn't seem to have much effect on how I feel.

So, for an up note, I gold tipped my fingers Friday night. I like the gold. Not as reflective (HAH) in a picture. I decided last night to try to be more Christmasie .. Christmassy .. festive. Not perfect, looks good from a distance though.

(https://i.imgur.com/ukJ150B.jpg)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Devlyn on December 19, 2017, 11:20:58 am
Schedule a consult with the surgeon and get your required letters to his office. You'll need a pre surgical physical, too.

Hugs, Devlyn

Thanks, Devlyn. When would I include my insurance company as part of the decision? Do I contact them first to find out who is in-network (if such a thing exists) before I call the surgeon. There doesn't seem to be a point to traveling to and paying for a consultation if my insurance won't cover them.

After thinking a bit, here's a very tentative list that seems like the right order:

  • Contact Insurance Company for list of approved surgeons
  • Pick favorites from list based on preferred technique, reputation, schedule backlog, etc.
  • Schedule consultation
  • Hair removal (if required)
  • Set date
  • Submit details to insurance so they can prepare their buckets of money
  • Set up travel and accommodations
  • Buy all the stuff needed for aftercare
  • Surgery

I also get the impression that insurance companies don't have "in-network" surgeons for this, and that I may have to pay cash up front and be compensated later. That's sorta doable, but it would be better to have the insurance pay the doc directly. How does that work?

I plan to get started on this project on the first of the year, with the goal of being done in 2018. I know that's not possible with the big names, but I see there are plenty of lesser-known surgeons with good reputations. I just wish there was a recommended one in Florida so I could recover at home...

Steph

My PCP recommended and referred me to the local GRS surgeon. The insurance approval (BCBS) came without me lifting a finger.

Hugs, Devlyn
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 19, 2017, 11:26:40 am
Steph, anytime you want to post something in my thread, do it. Sure it may trigger, it may help, it may do both. Please don't 'not post' by playing it safe, that's not who I am.

You got it, ma'am. Your wish is my command. Sometimes I'm too cautious about that stuff.

Quote
I'll thank you here for your reply there, logic & reason doesn't seem to have much effect on how I feel.

Yup. Kinda of my point re intellect vs. emotion. I get it. I got it. I had it!

Quote
So, for an up note, I gold tipped my fingers Friday night. I like the gold. Not as reflective (HAH) in a picture. I decided last night to try to be more Christmasie .. Christmassy .. festive. Not perfect, looks good from a distance though.

Wow, very artisanny, artisanie, artsy-fartsy.  ;D

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on December 19, 2017, 12:25:39 pm
Hi Steph,

You have a pretty good list of stuff surrounding surgery. Identifying the longer lead times and their prerequisites would be in order.

The longest lead time item is the waiting list of most 0f the top surgeons, some suggest a two to three year wait. For my doctor I needed at least one of my therapist referral letters prior to being able to get on her waiting list. The second letter was needed a few months prior to surgery.

Scheduling a consultation surprised me. The three surgeons on my short list; Dr. Mc Ginn, Dr. Bowers and Dr. Meltzer all had several month's wait just for consultation and I would not be able to get on the surgery list until after the consult. That made surgery further out than infinity...got lucky and got an early consult from Dr. Meltzer, that and the availability of a shorter wait time for Dr. Ley was the deciding factor in making my choice. I was comfortable with all three doctors on my short list so the choice was not difficult for me.

Hair removal is something that you will want to look into. For some it was a non issue and others have horror stories. My electrocutioner suggested that four or five rounds of total clearing over a six month period would be sufficient but that wouldn't have been enough. It looks like, for me, it may required  twice that to be certain. Luckily just having a partial or no depth procedure, the remaining hair can be removed post op.

Once you have the surgery date set, both referral letters and whatever hair removal treatments done you may focus on the flexibility of your schedule. I called and checked with the surgeon's office and found that I could get in a couple of months early. It took some jumping through hoops on my part but I loved getting in early. If I hadn't done that I would still be in fairly significant recovery right now.

I thought that the one year RLE rule from WPATH would be a limiter but the surgeon's office treated it as more of a guideline. As long as my therapists felt me ready, there were no problems with the surgeons with me being a month short of the full year. Each office will probably differ.

The travel and the getting the needed stuff were good distractors from my impatience during the long wait. My surgery was in Scottsdale and we waited to pick up most of the required stuff there rather than carting it from home.

I chose to spend a few months prior to surgery working on fitness, primarily focused on endurance and core strength to aid in recovery. Recovery still took forever but I think that the added time with conditioning has helped out.

My surgery was self funded as Medicare does not cover this procedure so I have no suggestions about insurance.

One thing not on your list was recovery time. I had always felt rather immortal and invincible so was not concerned about a significant amount of recovery time. Sure, I read the stories of the others that had struggled through but knowing my typical strengths and endurance was not concerned. Needless to say, I got my ass kicked by trying to push it too hard. I recommend allowing yourself far more time than you expect for healing. You may not need it but in that case you just have some more time on your hands to enjoy life.

Good luck girl, I just know that you are going to nail this one. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Love,
Tia Anne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Devlyn on December 19, 2017, 12:33:18 pm
Yeah, I forgot the RLE guidelines. I had surgery seven months after going on HRT,  my surgeon, therapists, and PCP all agreed I was ready. The one year is not set in stone.

Hugs, Devlyn
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 19, 2017, 01:09:06 pm
Yeah, I forgot the RLE guidelines. I had surgery seven months after going on HRT,  my surgeon, therapists, and PCP all agreed I was ready. The one year is not set in stone.

Hugs, Devlyn

Apparently my therapist is so convinced I’m ready that she’s willing to set the RLE start date to the day of my first appointment with her back in May. I’m certainly convinced!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SadieBlake on December 19, 2017, 01:55:28 pm
Steph, I don't know anything about finasteride however I'm now at 2 years with effectively 0 T, dht and my baldness lines have only receded by the barest of margins. Essentially my understanding of HRT in MTF people is that beard growth, body hair and baldness are only slightly changed.

My hope for minoxidil would be that absent new T perhaps it doesn't need to be applied forever the way it does with people who still have T but I'm sure this has been tried and I'd have heard if it were workable. Still, I plan to try.

P.s. I have a surgery checklist somewhere, I'll try to dig it up.

Also plan on hair removal. I don't trust the surgeon scraping follicles have heard of failures if this method. I'd think start a bare minimum of 6 months before your surgical date.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 19, 2017, 04:07:46 pm
HAPPY HAPPY

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171219/2fc7925c94ed2858ece074be1f1b889e.jpg)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 19, 2017, 04:22:34 pm
HAPPY HAPPY

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171219/2fc7925c94ed2858ece074be1f1b889e.jpg)
Yays! X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 19, 2017, 04:33:43 pm
Fake ID!  :police:  That can't be a real driver's license photo because the photo looks too beautiful!

Seriously, congratulations, Steph! 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 19, 2017, 04:47:19 pm
Fake ID!  :police:  That can't be a real driver's license photo because the photo looks too beautiful!

Seriously, congratulations, Steph!
What she said ^^^^^^^^^^^

Nobody looks good on their driver’s licence. This must have been photoshopped.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on December 19, 2017, 05:04:42 pm
Wow - YESSSS!!!  You're there!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Denise on December 19, 2017, 05:07:03 pm
OMG a great photo on a driver's license. 

Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 19, 2017, 05:15:01 pm
Regarding loneliness: Last August, before I was out to anyone but my wife and therapist, I was at the huge Oshkosh EAA Airventure aviation love-fest. And I was devastatingly alone in the middle of a crowd of literally tens of thousands of people shoulder to shoulder. All the women were dressed coolly in colorful clothes, and I was almost paralyzed with dysphoria. Nobody commented about that “guy” crying. Maybe they couldn’t see it behind the sunglasses.
What you described is an all too familiar feeling. Feeling alone while surrounded by people, whether those people are friends, family or strangers is something I can relate to very well. Thankfully, since starting my transition journey, the loneliness is slowly releasing its grip on me. Even more proof that I am on the right path.

Thanks for posting that Steph. I often struggle to put my feelings into words. By describing your own experience, you have also provided me with the words to describe mine. And to be clear, I will repeat what Faith said. Don’t ever feel the need to censor yourself when posting on my thread either. That applies for everyone.

I am so happy that your transition is going so well. I know I have said that you many times. It is such a joy to see such happiness in you now knowing what dysphoria can do to a person. It gives me hope that I too can experience this kind of happiness, which it seems that I can, with each new step I take.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on December 19, 2017, 06:09:07 pm
Well done girl, didn't anyone tell you that you are supposed to really struggle through all of this transition stuff? That license picture must be fake, at least in Colorado you are not allowed to smile wide enough to show any teeth. I had to get my photo taken four times to dampen my smile enough to pass and it was cheating a bit at that. Not smiling wide on our first license is really hard to do.

Tia Anne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on December 19, 2017, 07:37:44 pm
I was allowed to flash my... teeth at the department of licensing in Seattle. 
Yeah that’s it, teeth.  No typo
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 19, 2017, 11:11:53 pm
A study in contrasts:

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171220/3dbc5faf3e381fd11c6b59ac9ec1bdaa.jpg)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 19, 2017, 11:28:53 pm
Who is this Stephen person? He has the same last name as you, are you related?

You look amazing Steph. Seriously, you should be careful. I’m sure there is some kind of law that says you are not permitted to look so good and happy on a driver’s licence.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 19, 2017, 11:42:32 pm
Who is this Stephen person? He has the same last name as you, are you related?

As a young-at-heart woman, I will acknowledge that he was a dour, sad old man I used to see in mirrors. He did the best he could for years, and helped me become who I am today. I am grateful for the help he gave me, but I can't say I'm sorry that he's not in my life any more. I have too much happy living to do, and he was kind of in my way.

Quote
You look amazing Steph. Seriously, you should be careful. I’m sure there is some kind of law that says you are not permitted to look so good and happy on a driver’s licence.

I'll let you make the judgement on the "good" part - I always find something to criticize. But I won't deny the "happy" part!

Ms. Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 19, 2017, 11:47:20 pm
I'll let you make the judgement on the "good" part - I always find something to criticize. But I won't deny the "happy" part!
Believe me, you look good, great.....amazing!! That big heartfelt smile just complements the look.

Quote
Ms. Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger
I suspect you are getting great pleasure from writing your name now. Good for you Ms Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 20, 2017, 12:04:29 am
Steph, I don't know anything about finasteride however I'm now at 2 years with effectively 0 T, dht and my baldness lines have only receded by the barest of margins. Essentially my understanding of HRT in MTF people is that beard growth, body hair and baldness are only slightly changed.

My hope for minoxidil would be that absent new T perhaps it doesn't need to be applied forever the way it does with people who still have T but I'm sure this has been tried and I'd have heard if it were workable. Still, I plan to try.

P.s. I have a surgery checklist somewhere, I'll try to dig it up.

Also plan on hair removal. I don't trust the surgeon scraping follicles have heard of failures if this method. I'd think start a bare minimum of 6 months before your surgical date.

Maybe my follicles were just dormant instead of dead. I was absolutely sure I was going to need hair transplants until I saw regrowth. The crown is almost completely filled in after using Min since late February. According to the instructions, Min only works on the crown, though I've read of people using it all over their head. What shocked me most was the widow's peaks are getting some fine regrowth that seems to be getting thicker. If what they say about Min is true, then that regrowth must be entirely due to the fin.

For the hair removal, that's one reason I want to choose a surgeon and get a consultation ASAP. I hope I'm not being too optimistic by hoping for surgery before the end of 2018.

And yes, if you can find your checklist, it would sure be helpful.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 20, 2017, 12:50:29 am
It's been a quiet week here in Lake StephBeGone.

Not.

Yesterday I, along with Sue and the Magster, hosted our first neighborhood potluck dinner at our house. This is a fairly recent innovation, instituted by all the women in the extended family that is our community. Every week the lady of one of the households puts together a one-pot meal, and everyone else brings the rest of the goodies. Since in my house, if I don't cook, we don't eat, I was the woman chosen to run this shindig. I decided on spaghetti.

I, of course - and for no logical reason - was nervous about being my new self among people who are getting pretty used to the idea by now. And everything was fine. I didn't hear any pronouns being used, so didn't hear any misgendering, and  I didn't notice any awkward or humorous looks. I was just Steph, and everyone enjoyed the meal and each other's company, which is exactly what I needed. It was a fine night, and a side benefit was the house hasn't been this clean since we moved in.

And of course, today I went to the DMV office for my new driver's license. I have passed so many milestones in such a short amount of time, but today is the one that hit me the hardest. Seeing a therapist, starting treatment, overcoming my fears of being out, getting the name change court order, and changing the name and gender marker with the Social Security Administration were monumental moments for me, but none touched me as deeply as getting a driver’s license with my correct name and gender on it. I just can’t stop looking at it. Kendra is so right. It makes everything so real.

And I was terrified the picture would come out as badly as all the other driver’s license pictures I’ve ever had…

I had heard horror stories about DMV offices in other counties and how disrespectfully they had treated some people I know, so I had no idea what to expect. I took a big breath in the car, and headed inside with my folder of paperwork. I had everything in order and was called to the counter with no waiting. Blair took the paperwork, did a bunch of typing, then had me stand in front of the camera. I was so happy I couldn’t stop smiling. I couldn’t see the results, but Blair told me that she thought I’d be very happy with the picture. Later when she finally handed me the card, I started to tear up, and she got a big grin and told me she was happy that I was happy.

Despite the bad forecasts I get from people, I have yet to have a bad experience in a government office, with the deputies in security, the magistrate, the county clerk, the social security people, and now the DMV crew. I suspect it has something to do with my attitude. I always go in with a big smile, show a lot of patience, am as prepared as possible, and show respect and gratitude to whoever's helping me. And I've never failed to get all that reflected back at me.

Tia, I have had plenty of struggles with other aspects of transition, but so far the paper chase hasn't been too bad at all!

And tonight was another Trivia contest with Sue's friends in the Villages. Again, Sue had to work late, and so I went solo until she showed up after work. I met a few new people there, and I have no idea what they know about my situation. It doesn't really matter. I was just Steph to them all, and another team member. It felt strangely normal, except for the part about me being completely authentic and happy with myself. We did pretty badly this week, but had a good time anyway. Afterward Sue and I and S, the lady who put the team together, and is completely clued in and supportive of my transition, went out for Thai food, and had a really good conversation about what transition is all about. It feels great to have a non-self-conscious, open conversation about it all. And once again, I stepped into the role of educator and advocate that my therapist had told me I'd end up as.

After dinner we split up to find our individual cars, and I once again enjoyed the novelty of walking around the town where I'd had a meltdown no more than four months ago, when I was absolutely certain I'd never pass, and transition was a huge mistake. Tonight I had the added joy of having a very special card in my purse, that was absolute proof to anyone who needed it that I am Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger, female. I do still get a thrill typing that out. Sorry Jayne, it's going to take a long time before that becomes ordinary.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on December 20, 2017, 01:07:24 am
Steph the contrast in your 2014/2017 driver licenses is incredible!  And I am not talking about the blue background.  We all see such a warm smile and many, many other changes. 

Sounds like you’re starting to get used to the new normal.  Pretty nice huh? 

On the topic of hair removal and GRS.  My understanding is follicles can be scraped/eliminated during surgery but that causes more time under anesthesia.  I was about to say it can’t hurt to eliminate all the hair in advance (as I have), but... yeah electrolysis in that area wasn’t exactly a walk in the park.  I don’t recommend that in a park or while walking. 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 20, 2017, 01:22:50 am
.... I am Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger, female. I do still get a thrill typing that out. Sorry Jayne, it's going to take a long time before that becomes ordinary.
I just love reading about how well everything is going for you. I was reading your latest post on my phone as I was walking in to work from the car park. I was feeling happy for you, but when I read the statement “I am Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger”, a huge smile appeared on my face. You seem so proud and happy to finally be your true self. I am also getting a thrill to see you this happy. Don’t apologise for it. I hope this thrill stays with you for a very long time and remain extraordinary rather than ordinary.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on December 20, 2017, 05:54:55 am
Steph, I keep reading and intending to reply then bunch of other people post my words so I don't. Well, I don't feel right not putting in my 2c so .. Take all the good things you've been posting and add a "I'm thrilled for you" or "You look great"  in the appropriate places.

Thank You  ;D
Faith
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SadieBlake on December 20, 2017, 06:08:29 am
Maybe my follicles were just dormant instead of dead. I was absolutely sure I was going to need hair transplants until I saw regrowth. The crown is almost completely filled in after using Min since late February. According to the instructions, Min only works on the crown, though I've read of people using it all over their head. What shocked me most was the widow's peaks are getting some fine regrowth that seems to be getting thicker. If what they say about Min is true, then that regrowth must be entirely due to the fin.

For the hair removal, that's one reason I want to choose a surgeon and get a consultation ASAP. I hope I'm not being too optimistic by hoping for surgery before the end of 2018.

And yes, if you can find your checklist, it would sure be helpful.

Steph

First things first here's my amended checklist -- note, one thing I found was completely over optimistic was including panty liners, I continued to need full scale pads for a couple of months.

https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,221913.msg1990658.html#msg1990658

Clearly finasteride creates an absence of T which for me was accomplished with my estrogen injections and of course now obviated by GCS, as noted it's given me back a little hair, so yay! However that effect is small so I wouldn't attribute your widow's peaks recovery to the F.

I'm psyched to hear that minoxidil has worked for you and better than advertised. I'd attribute their statement to FDA label requirements which are quite strict, drug suppliers can't mention things not observed in trials.

The question going ahead for me will be does it do it's job once and for all, or do you need to keep taking it, obviously I'm hoping for the latter :-) it may be time for more research.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 20, 2017, 08:31:10 am
A study in contrasts:

Lately when running errands I’ve just been carrying my phone with my driver license and a credit card stuck in a clear pocket on the back. My license was always face down with the CC on top to cover it.

Now that license is front and center, facing out for the world to see. Sorta like me now.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Denise on December 20, 2017, 05:37:49 pm
Lately when running errands I’ve just been carrying my phone with my driver license and a credit card stuck in a clear pocket on the back. My license was always face down with the CC on top to cover it.

Now that license is front and center, facing out for the world to see. Sorta like me now.

Steph
This made me smile.  Thanks

Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jessica on December 20, 2017, 05:45:26 pm
A study in contrasts:

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171220/3dbc5faf3e381fd11c6b59ac9ec1bdaa.jpg)


You look so happy!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 21, 2017, 12:43:54 am
Sounds like you’re starting to get used to the new normal.  Pretty nice huh?

To live a real life? And to call that normal? Nice doesn’t even begin to describe it. I can’t think of a strong enough complimentary term, but I know that you know what I mean. You’re already there. How cool that I’m finally catching up.

Quote
On the topic of hair removal and GRS.  My understanding is follicles can be scraped/eliminated during surgery but that causes more time under anesthesia.  I was about to say it can’t hurt to eliminate all the hair in advance (as I have)

Is a little more time under anesthesia really that bad compared to all the trauma of the hair removal via electrolysis? Laser isn’t an option for me, being naturally blonde shading into gray. I have to wonder whether the surgeon and/or anesthesiologist are really taking the patient’s overall well-being into account as much as possible incremental risk to themselves in surgery. Obviously some docs don’t have a problem with it.

Quote
electrolysis in that area wasn’t exactly a walk in the park.  I don’t recommend that in a park or while walking.

Could I do it in a car?
Could I do it in a bar?
Could I do it in a hall?
I’d rather not do it at all.

Stephie Suess

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 21, 2017, 12:47:04 am
Steph, I keep reading and intending to reply then bunch of other people post my words so I don't. Well, I don't feel right not putting in my 2c so .. Take all the good things you've been posting and add a "I'm thrilled for you" or "You look great"  in the appropriate places.

Thank You  ;D
Faith

Faith, you lazy bum! I love hearing things in your own words. No short cuts next time, my friend!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 21, 2017, 01:03:46 am
Clearly finasteride creates an absence of T which for me was accomplished with my estrogen injections and of course now obviated by GCS, as noted it's given me back a little hair, so yay! However that effect is small so I wouldn't attribute your widow's peaks recovery to the F.

Possibly I misunderstand the way the F works. I thought it directly suppressed DHT, and blockers and E go after the T. I don’t know how the entire process works, so does eliminating T also eliminate any possibility of DHT?

Quote
I'm psyched to hear that minoxidil has worked for you and better than advertised. I'd attribute their statement to FDA label requirements which are quite strict, drug suppliers can't mention things not observed in trials.

Good point. Maybe I’ll start using it all over my head.

Quote
The question going ahead for me will be does it do it's job once and for all, or do you need to keep taking it, obviously I'm hoping for the latter :-) it may be time for more research.

According to the package, the effects wear off if you stop using it, and things will eventually end up where they started. Of course, they’re not considering the cocktail we’re taking with it.

Your terminology is a little confusing to me, though. Considering what I’m using is a topical liquid or foam, I would say I use it, not take it. You seem to imply here’s a way to ingest it somehow. Maybe I misunderstand, but that would be a lot less messy than dumping stuff on your head...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 21, 2017, 01:06:04 am
This made me smile.  Thanks

Isn’t it cool how smiles are so contagious?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 21, 2017, 01:08:27 am
You look so happy!

Only because I was (and am!)

The lady said, “Smile if you want to.” I really really wanted to.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 21, 2017, 01:32:08 am
Well, as promised, I went to a group therapy session tonight that was also combined with a holiday celebration. It actually turned out to be more therapy than celebration, but that’s ok. The relevant thing is I wore the same outfit that I’d worn to the party last Saturday, and I promised pics to shut up satisfy Kathy due to her requirement of, “Pics or it didn’t happen.”

So with no further ado, here I am in one of my favorite new outfits.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171221/121e229eca2085a9a32f876ddbb7dd49.jpg)

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171221/6e265ed222e9702fb2fb5c62c25ffdd7.jpg)

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171221/1b0504c42869d551daea8f26ba2730d0.jpg)

Sorry if I busted your monitor...

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 21, 2017, 02:07:03 am
You look beautiful. That smile has become a permanent feature in all the photos I’ve seen. I love it. It is also very contagious because it always generates a big smile on my face.

I am so happy for you Steph, I mean Ms Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 21, 2017, 02:36:29 am
Steph,  you look fab-u-lous! And a lovely smile to boot.

X.

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SadieBlake on December 21, 2017, 04:41:57 am
Possibly I misunderstand the way the F works. I thought it directly suppressed DHT, and blockers and E go after the T. I don’t know how the entire process works, so does eliminating T also eliminate any possibility of DHT?

Good point. Maybe I’ll start using it all over my head.

According to the package, the effects wear off if you stop using it, and things will eventually end up where they started. Of course, they’re not considering the cocktail we’re taking with it.

Your terminology is a little confusing to me, though. Considering what I’m using is a topical liquid or foam, I would say I use it, not take it. You seem to imply here’s a way to ingest it somehow. Maybe I misunderstand, but that would be a lot less messy than dumping stuff on your head...

Steph

No, you understand finasteride correctly, I was speaking imprecisely and T is something I talk about often, I never think about dht.

And here's to hoping that minoxidil will be permanent in its effects, I'm extremely wary of drug side effects, wouldn't want to have to take the stuff forever.

As to take vs use, I think that stems from my time in the medical / pharma industry, if it's FDA approved I would default to "take" irrespective of the mode of administration :-). (Mind you minoxidil has been tested systemically if memory serves.)

On the other hair:
Is a little more time under anesthesia really that bad compared to all the trauma of the hair removal via electrolysis? Laser isn’t an option for me, being naturally blonde shading into gray. I have to wonder whether the surgeon and/or anesthesiologist are really taking the patient’s overall well-being into account as much as possible incremental risk to themselves in surgery. Obviously some docs don’t have a problem with it.

Time under anesthesia, especially general anesthesia is quite traumatic to the body and efficient speed dictates much of a surgeon's skill set so yes, I count the dozen hours I spent on electrolysis extremely well spent, and I'd add that every bit of trauma to the skin being used in the procedure concerned me -- I'd have done electrolysis even with a surgeon that doesn't require it. I think I also noted a few posts back that even the very small chance of hair follicles surviving the procedure scared me and having heard of quite a few women who'd experienced internal hair growth post-op terrified me.

My $0.02, go with electrolysis, as always ymmv!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 21, 2017, 06:22:20 am
here I am in one of my favorite new outfits.
I'll shut up I am very satisfied now!  You look gorgeous, hun!
Quote
Sorry if I busted your monitor...
No, my monitor is smiling, just like I am.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on December 21, 2017, 06:42:28 am
Quote
...here I am in one of my favorite new outfits. Sorry if I busted your monitor ...

.. well .. don't be lazy ... my own words .. usually I start with "I need more coffee", that doesn't seem to fit here so I'll go with:
Awesome! I hope that some day I can look even half as happy and comfortable.

oh, and I love the shoes, they look comfy.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 21, 2017, 07:01:56 am
[quote author=Faith link=topic=228563.msg2063946#msg2063946 date=1513860148
Awesome! I hope that some day I can look even half as happy and comfortable.

oh, and I love the shoes, they look comfy.
[/quote]

Thanks Faith. With the way you’re constantly pushing the envelope, and with your awesome wife’s help, you’ll get there.

Oh, the shoes! Easy Spirit. I have the ones in the picture and some 2” pumps, and they’re all as comfortable as tennis shoes. If I could afford them, all my shoes would be from Easy Spirit, but alas, the budget...


 - Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 21, 2017, 08:10:30 am
This is a story about the power of kindness.

Come on Sherman, let’s jump in the Wayback Machine...

~~~~~~

The date is June 21st, 2017. Though I had my own therapist in Orlando, I decided to give an open group therapy session closer to home a try. Sue and I took cupcakes to share, because we had something to celebrate: this was the day I started HRT.

I don’t recall what I wore, but I’m sure that that early it would have been at best androgynous, probably my women’s jeans and a button down top. Definitely no makeup. I did my best to keep a smile on my face, but I was pretty scared and uncomfortable.

A few minutes later a very friendly and vivacious older woman came in and joined the group (by older I mean she was about my age, not like most of the rest of the people there). Sue and I looked at each other in confusion. Wasn’t this group supposed to be for trans people only? Why would a ciswoman be here?

We introduced ourselves, made our big announcement, and shared the cupcakes around for my “rebirthday.” Everyone else introduced themselves in turn, and finally came around to the woman. Who, as it turns out, had transitioned 25 years ago. I’ll call her Dee. She was very open about her life, and was there to talk about the occasional discomfort she still had when talking about her military background, since when she had served, there were no women in the position she once held.

Anyhow, Sue and I were in the corner on some bar stools, trying to be inconspicuous, and suddenly Dee stopped, slowly looked me up and down, and said, “Honey, you’re going to do just fine.” It was a long way to the floor from that bar stool for my jaw to drop. I had to lean over to pick it back up.

Forty five minutes later as we were heading out, she deliberately caught up with us in the lobby and told me, “HRT is going to work so well for you!” Out of all the people in the group, she singled me out to say such nice things to. At that time I was consumed by both elation over starting HRT, and almost crippling self-doubt, and it was exactly what I needed to hear, exactly when I needed to hear it. It was a kindness I will remember for the rest of my life.

~~~~~~

Back to the future...

I attended a few sessions afterward, but Dee never showed up again. Things had been going so well for me (and the office it was held in had such bad air conditioning) that I stopped going. But I kept thinking about her and her kindness, and also about how it would be nice to sit down and talk with someone my own age who had been there and done that.

I finally gathered my courage and emailed the therapist to ask her if she would pass my email info on to Dee and let her know I’d like to make contact. And Dee emailed me back. It turns out she’s a pretty well-known LGBT activist, and spends so much time traveling that she doesn’t get home much, so finding time to meet up would be tricky. It also turned out that the therapist was actually her daughter. We friended each other on Facebook, and I saw that she’d be back in town, and through an email learned that she would be attending her daughter’s next therapy session. And that’s where we went last night.

One day short of six months after starting HRT (today is the anniversary!) I finally got to see her again and thank her with a big hug for what she’d done for me. We hit it off again, and exchanged phone numbers with the intention of meeting up some time during the holidays while she’s on vacation.

Her kindness to me six months ago showed me how valuable a kind word can be to someone just getting started. It’s hard to think of myself as an old-timer here, but I’ve tried to take that lesson to heart, and is the reason I try to be extra nice to new people here.

I’m trying to pay it forward now.
 - Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 21, 2017, 08:22:53 am
What a wonderful story,  your fairy trans-mother! When you see her, tell her the Susan's gang all owe her a big hug for helping Stephanie into the world. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 21, 2017, 09:22:28 am
When you see her, tell her the Susan's gang all owe her a big hug for helping Stephanie into the world. X
(((((HUG))))) Here is my hug to pass on
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 21, 2017, 11:09:18 am
Here's my hug to pass on to her: ((((((Dee)))))).  And here's one for yourself, for sharing that beautiful story: ((((((Steph)))))).
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 21, 2017, 11:03:11 pm
Here's my hug to pass on to her: ((((((Dee)))))).  And here's one for yourself, for sharing that beautiful story: ((((((Steph)))))).

Awwwww. You guyzzzzzz...

As an addendum to the story, and an indication of how far I've come in six short months: On the way home from that first meeting, Sue was really hungry, and wanted to stop for something to eat. I was terrified of going into even a McDonalds (and not only because of the food), and wouldn't let her stop even at a drive-through. She was pretty frustrated with me, and that just added to the anxiety.

Last night - and you've seen the pictures of how I was dressed - I asked her where we were going to eat.

We ended up in a Chili's. And it was good.

Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 22, 2017, 04:24:59 am
Welcome to your boring, normal... happy life. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 22, 2017, 11:04:29 pm
I have discovered Newton's Law of Trans.

For every happiness, there is an equal and opposite unhappiness.

I finally viscerally understand Laurie's pain. I just took my evening dose of hormones. Out of habit. Not because I think there's any real point to it.

A friend - I'll call him L -  was coming over today. He hadn't met me since I started transitioning. We used to fly ultralights together in the old days. I actually thought I'd lost him when I'd told him six weeks ago what I was doing, to the point where when we went on our big road trip to Tennessee, I didn't bother to arrange an overnight stay at his house as I used to, or even call to meet for lunch as we drove by. Yet last week he'd contacted me to arrange a visit when he was going to be in the area. Surprisingly, he wasn't the problem today. Though he was in no way complimentary, neither was he critical. He made an effort to use the right name, I took him for a flight, and the visit was good, ending with a renewal of the old offer to stop by his place when we got into the area. Pretty positive outcome for the day, right? Well, that was just a small part of a very long day. Notably, he never used any pronouns. The rest of the story revolves around them.

L had seemed ambivalent on the phone, still wondering whether this was some kind of elaborate practical joke. So I decided I needed to make myself look as good as I could, within the limitations of it being a casual kind of day and having to get into and fly the plane. I wore women's jeans and a fitted, button down 3/4 sleeve red top with flowers embroidered on it. The princess seams enhanced my bustline, and I considered just wearing a tank top underneath, with the shirt unbuttoned enough to see the top of it, but instead decided to wear my padded bra to make it more obvious. I really wanted this to work well today, and it was the 4th combination of tops and undershirts I tried before I was happy with the look. I did my face and hair the way I usually do, though today I went a tiny bit lighter on the eyeliner and mascara, trying for a subtle, natural look. I was pretty happy with the end result.

It's a good thing I learned how to act over 50 years of pretending to be male. I found out how fast I can click back into acting mode.

Shortly after L arrived, the UPS truck showed up with Christmas gifts. As I started walking across the yard with a big smile on my face (Christmas gifts!), he called out, "How you doin' today, sir?" Click. Keep smiling, reach up into the truck and get the package, and wish the driver Merry Christmas. He looked a little confused, but there was no comment. OK, shit happens...

L and I decided to grab lunch. Since my court date, my favorite place to go is where we we ended up having a party after our group left the courthouse. I knew it was a safe space where the staff already knew my story, everyone was always cheerful and happy to see me, and there would be no awkwardness. We took a seat anywhere, and our bright, friendly waitress took our drink order. When she came back she took L's order, then turned smiling to me and said, "And what can I get you, sir?" Bam. Click. Smile back. Place the order. Melt down inside. Not here. Not in my safe space!

Now what? It was time to try something new. When she came back I stood up, smiling, and told her I wanted to show her something, like I was asking her to celebrate with me. I showed her my new drivers license, and pointed out the "F" on it. She congratulated me, then apologized. If she had stopped there, I would have recovered. Instead, she said, "I didn't know!" She didn't know. Long hair out and brushed, obvious bustline, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, colorful bracelets, fancy necklace, embroidered top. "Sirs" do not dress that way in this part of central Florida. Second order click. Smile, touch the shoulder, I understand. Melt melt.

When we got back home, we took my dog for a walk and I showed L around the neighborhood. Talked to a few neighbors, then my dog trotted off with one of them for her promised daily treats. I caught up with them at my neighbor's house, where he told my dog, "Looks like he found you!" Third order click. Smile. Come on Maggie, let's go home. Melt.

We went for a 45 minute flight, the highlight of my day. Made low passes on all my favorite local fields, let L fly for a while, then made a flawless three-point landing back at home. We talked a little more, and L left. One more walk with Maggie before dark. Three houses from home, the first click came off. One house from home, I lost the second click and my face got wet. I made it to the kitchen before the last click released, and with it all the pent-up frustration, disappointment, and pain.

How much is enough? I really worked at it today. If that's not good enough, why try at all? Look what I've done to myself: I'm someone the world sees as a guy, but now I've saddled myself with a girl's name. My records say F, but everyone sees M. I've just made everything worse instead of better.

OK, the UPS guy: He saw me from a distance. But if I can't pass from a distance, what chance do I have up close where he can see this old man face?

Ok, my neighbor: Force of habit. I get it.

But the waitress: "I didn't know." Those words will haunt me forever.

I got home and texted my friend Cassie. She'd offered a hug earlier when I texted her about the UPS guy, but I declined then, thinking I'd get over that one thing. Now I asked for that hug, and we texted back and forth until I couldn't read the screen any more. She did her best to console me, but the hurt was more than glowing words could fix.

Another friend texted out of the blue, and I tried not to spread the pain any further, but she saw through it and I confessed. Her solution: screw what people think, live your life, and make it their problem to adjust. I hear that a lot. I guess I'm different. Maybe too weak for that. But my goal isn't to force the world to get used to me as a guy in a dress with a girl's name. My goal is to have the world see me on the outside as I know myself to be on the inside. And apparently I'm failing miserably at it.

Should I have forced the subject? Embarrass them instead of absorbing the pain myself? Would that make the situation better, or just cause resentment?

I have no idea where to go from here. I'll keep taking my meds. I'm not sure why.

Steph (a girl's name)

DAMN TAPATALK ONLY SHOWS THE LAST FIVE PARAGRAPHS. Tell it to show the web view if you care to see the whole story.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Michelle_P on December 22, 2017, 11:45:13 pm
Oh, Steph!  I’m so sorry this happened to you.

All I can offer is that I seem to get clocked more when my confidence is down, when I’m nervous or apprehensive.  And naturally, being misgendered kicks me right into that space, turning a bad day into a very bad day.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 23, 2017, 12:53:10 am
Well Dear Stephanie,

  And yes that is who you are, Stephanie. No one else, Just Stephanie just the same girl you have always been.
You were Stephanie yesterday. You were Stephanie last week and the week before. And you are Stephanie today, REGARDLESS of a few misgenderings. And tomorrow you will continue being Stephanie and so on from tomorrow on. If you are doubting it take out that dang license and read again what it says on it. It says right there Stephanie Rhapsody B##### F for female ! Read it and believe it! You are that woman it shows there.
  A few mishaps does not make you a he or a Mr. or a Sir and you damn well know it. Now pick your sorry tear streaked person up and be proud of who you are. You have worked for this all your like lady, now be a lady and carry yourself like one. You are not like me our problems are not the same at all. Take those pills because you know they are right for you and for you it is not just a useless habit.

Hugs,
  Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: LizK on December 23, 2017, 01:19:23 am
Sorry you had such a rough day, being misgendered sucks bigtime. Maybe you should correct a few people if for no other reason other than to know that you can. Gentle, polite but firm...

Some days can be really cruddy when you are transitioning and this sounds like one of those.  Some jerk misgendering you changes nothing. Give yourself some time and get you confidence back. Being misgendered is quite often more about another persons agenda and is done deliberately to try and embarrass. Don't give them the satisfaction.

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Drexy/Drex on December 23, 2017, 04:09:08 am
Impressive  steph i remember our earlier dialogue.....wow what can i say 😊
I wouldnt worry about it  you look great and it will only get better
Who cares what knuckle draggers think
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on December 23, 2017, 05:57:03 am
Steph, I am so sorry to read what you went through. I felt it in every word and to be clear, I am not trying to make light of your pain or dismiss it. Never would I do such a thing.

People misgender CIS people, people congratulate pregnant people - who aren't pregnant. People make mistakes. Don't take their mistakes to heart. You know and we know who you are.

I am not eloquent before coffee and barely afterwards. I hope my intent is there if not the right words
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 23, 2017, 06:43:11 am
Oh, Steph, honey, I am so sorry that you were surrounded by d**kh**ds today.  Make no mistake, that's what it is: it's not you; it's them.  People have their own agendas that they feel obligated to push onto other people.  "Didn't know", my a**.  Of course they knew you were a "ma'am".  They were just trying to make you feel bad.

Don't give them the satisfaction.  You are Stepanie.  You are an 'F', both on your license and in your heart.  And you are beautiful.  Don't ever forget that.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 23, 2017, 07:59:06 am


...My goal is to have the world see me on the outside as I know myself to be on the inside. And apparently I'm failing miserably at it.

We know the wonderful woman you are on the inside and outside. I'm not sure it's possible for your outside to ever truly capture all your internal beauty,  we'd be blinded if that happened!

Stay strong hun. (((hugs))). X


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Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 23, 2017, 08:10:11 am
Thank you, friends. I love you all so much for trying to help.

Staring at the ceiling, three things occur to me.

First, I truly do not believe anybody set out with the intention of hurting me yesterday. The UPS guy probably gave the most honest assessment of all. He was just doing his job, trying to be respectful and cheerful to a customer, and spoke based on what he perceived to be the truth. And he saw a guy. That tells me I just out and out failed to pass. Why should I blame him for being an honest human being. The fault lies in myself.

The waitress was different, but no more to blame. She was genuinely happy to see us, was very nice, and was extremely embarrassed when I pointed out her mistake. I felt bad for making her feel bad. I really wanted to take her aside and try to get some idea how it had all happened, but it would have just made an awkward situation more intolerable.

My neighbor is one of the nicest people I know. He has gone out of his way to take me to dinner as my new self, and treats me no different than he ever did, including the joking around we do. And maybe that’s part of the problem. It may be that around the neighborhood, while I am always in female garb now, and usually with my hair untied, I often don’t get very fancied up with makeup, etc., and I don’t take too much care with my voice. In one respect that’s nice, as it shows that I’ve lost the old self-consciousness, and have become comfortable around my friends - But because of that I’m probably still being viewed as the same old Steve, who’s using a slightly different name and wearing different styles now. No reason to treat him differently. This is something I intend to address at my party. I’ve dialed back on my original idea of making everyone write things down and throw them in a fire, but I do intend to be completely dolled up, and through a ritual will make it graphically clear that Steve, he, him, his, no longer exist, and if they have any respect for me, then Stephanie, she, her, hers are all that remains. Maybe it’ll work(?)

Second thought: why am I so reluctant to correct anyone? Why should I take on this pain to avoid awkward situations? Why should I even care if I hurt someone after they hurt me? Trying to figure this out led me down some dark alleys. First is, I don’t think I’d have any problem correcting anyone if I believed that were doing it intentionally. Eye for an eye. But when good-intentioned people mess up in spite of themselves, I feel the pain I’d inflict on them, and would rather they stay happy. Why should I deliberately spread pain to people who don’t deserve it? That thought actually makes me feel a little good, as it could be considered a feminine trait. But the other thought is darker, and that’s the possibility that I can’t force them to see me as feminine because I don’t really believe it myself. I am not male, and have never felt that way, but I feel like I’m in purgatory, some floating halfway state without discernible gender. Everything is confused, nothing makes sense. I thought I was projecting confidence until I got knocked down yesterday, but maybe Michelle is right, and I wasn’t as sure as I thought I was. Whatever my state was yesterday morning, my confidence is certainly shot today.

Final thought, about the value of our internal identification vs. what people see. I hear a lot that all that matters is how we feel inside, and external validation is useless. If that’s true, why transition at all? It’s how the world perceives and treats me that completes my identification as a woman. If I can’t make that work, what’s the point of this all? Sure, I’ve achieved the technical goal of forcing the federal and state governments to put an F on some paperwork. I’ve always been good at jumping through hoops. But it’s just a letter that makes zero impact on someone’s perception of who they’re looking at.

So those are my thoughts on this gray morning. My plan today is to give it one more shot. Get cleaned up, try everything i know how to do, and fly to breakfast. Attempt to fake it until I make it, and see what I can accomplish. If I fail today, I don’t have a backup plan.


 - Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on December 23, 2017, 08:31:34 am
Quote
Final thought, about the value of our internal identification vs. what people see. I hear a lot that all that matters is how we feel inside, and external validation is useless. If that’s true, why transition at all? It’s how the world perceives and treats me that completes my identification as a woman. If I can’t make that work, what’s the point of this all?

Silly girl. Transition is for us, not others. There may be some truth in all that you typed out and it's good to unload it, that isn't one of them.

Quote
So those are my thoughts on this gray morning. My plan today is to give it one more shot. Get cleaned up, try everything i know how to do, and fly to breakfast. Attempt to fake it until I make it, and see what I can accomplish. If I fail today, I don’t have a backup plan.

You're not faking, you're uncertain. You're doubting yourself based on the actions of others. You only fail if you stop trying - that is your backup plan. Keep trying to see yourself as you know you are. Or, better yet, stop trying and just KNOW
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Devlyn on December 23, 2017, 08:36:29 am
Faith beat me to it. You're not transitioning for anyone but yourself.  :)

Hugs, Devlyn
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 23, 2017, 10:12:12 am
Silly girl. Transition is for us, not others. There may be some truth in all that you typed out and it's good to unload it, that isn't one of them.

Quote from: Devlyn Marie
Faith beat me to it. You're not transitioning for anyone but yourself.  :)

I applaud both of you for having the strength of will and sense of self to be able to exist independently of the society you're immersed in - for being so strong that misgendering doesn't bother you at all. I don't think I'll ever get to that place.

And yes, I guess my backup plan has to be to keep on trying. I've gotten to a place where there are no other realistic alternatives.

- Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Devlyn on December 23, 2017, 10:42:25 am
Silly girl. Transition is for us, not others. There may be some truth in all that you typed out and it's good to unload it, that isn't one of them.

Quote from: Devlyn Marie
Faith beat me to it. You're not transitioning for anyone but yourself.  :)

I applaud both of you for having the strength of will and sense of self to be able to exist independently of the society you're immersed in - for being so strong that misgendering doesn't bother you at all. I don't think I'll ever get to that place.

And yes, I guess my backup plan has to be to keep on trying. I've gotten to a place where there are no other realistic alternatives.

- Stephanie

It comes down to counting what you do have, not what you don't. If passing is your goal, count the passes, not the clockings. You want a list of the positives, not the negatives.  :)

Hugs, Devlyn
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 23, 2017, 11:05:27 am
It comes down to counting what you do have, not what you don't. If passing is your goal, count the passes, not the clockings. You want a list of the positives, not the negatives.  :)

Now that is something that gets no argument from me.  I acknowledge that I have a bad tendency to focus on the negatives. Fifty years of dysphoria can kinda make you a pessimist. I’m working on it.

- Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 23, 2017, 11:11:19 am
Now that is something that gets no argument from me.  I acknowledge that I have a bad tendency to focus on the negatives. Fifty years of dysphoria can kinda make you a pessimist. I’m working on it.

- Stephanie
Never argue with a person in a Santa hat! X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 23, 2017, 11:13:07 am
Never argue with a person in a Santa hat! X

Naughty or niiiice? Or both?

(Ho ho... Ho?)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 23, 2017, 11:15:05 am
If it's Devlyn,  then definitely naughty!

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on December 23, 2017, 11:24:53 am
Hi Steph,

I feel your pain. Last evening Deb and I were at a gathering at a friends house and I had the chance to catch up with an old friend from our old church. We spent quite some time talking stuff, lives, families, interests, etc. The short of it was when we parted he looked into my eyes and said, “Good to see you brother”, with full intentionality. I was able to hold back the tears until we could get out the door, then I was a wreck all night.

Another story, two days ago I had my first mammogram (not as bad as expected) and I had a chance to talk withy the technician. When we hit on hormones she eluded to the reason I was taking them was to grow breasts. My response of while the breasts were a big part of the original intent (and great), my ability to feel, cry, understand and empathize was so much greater than body changes and totally worth all the efforts and trials. She had no idea of the head and heart changes from hormones and hadn’t a clue that guys think and feel different than women…..wow, that was a surprise for me. She told me that she was going to give her husband a bit more of a break when he leaks out too much stupid.

You and I spent a night crying and doubting and questioning…….for me this was not something possible a couple of years ago. Yes, I really want to “Pass” and to be able to go out as stealth and I will cry when read, either unintentionally or due to the anger or idiocy of others……..but the thought of going back, even if I could, has not entered my mind over this. At the gathering I interacted with many folks, some of them know of my life and kindly accepted me and some didn’t. Most of my current life is out and about with only the rare uncomfortable event. I think that I have read of this being common in Steph’s life lately as well. 

So, what now? I suggest that you pull out your old driver’s license and compare pictures and tell me if you notice any differences. Look at yourself, talk with friends, do some retail therapy and feel the joy of being you…..and then please tell me to shut up and quit crying and do the same thing. By the way, how long have you been on hormones and how much of a change has come about with them? Give them and some more socialization and war paint changes time to take effect.

Please forgive me if I am to blunt but I am still crying myself.
Tia Anne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 23, 2017, 12:23:56 pm
 Stephanie.

  Don't make me come out there and hunt you down. I'm not ready yet. Besides, I'm not in a good mood this morning and your nonsense isn't helping. I love ya girl but I swear, when I do get out there I am going to slap you up the side of your head right after I give you a ((Hug)).

Quote
So those are my thoughts on this gray morning. My plan today is to give it one more shot. Get cleaned up, try everything i know how to do, and fly to breakfast. Attempt to fake it until I make it, and see what I can accomplish. If I fail today, I don’t have a backup plan.

   I do not like this dumb idea at all. First problem with it is that you think you have something to prove.(in bold black) You do not! All you are doing is setting yourself up to fail. Let me ask you a question Stephanie. How long have you been actively transitioning? Hell while I am at it, exactly what have you done to transition physically? Based on those two answers, why the hell do you think you are going to pass 100% of the time? Is it because you have long hair? It can't be that. Anyone can have long hair including me, mine is almost shoulder length, but I am never going to pass with my own hair, not with this damn bald top. Oh perhaps it's because you wear makeup? Nope, these days more men are getting into facials, manicures, foundations, contouring and concealers and moisturizers. some  are even using eye makeup. The days of makeup being a thing for women only are waning. Well then, it must be clothes. Wrong again clothes are becoming more androgynous. Skinny jeans for guys, more colorful shirts, pantyhose and even skirts and jumpers. Jewelry? Now come on, Ms Stephanie, you know better than that. No, not jewelry.
  Well that knocks the hell out of that! Your personal expectations are set too damn high for where you are in your transition. The fact is you are not going to pass all the time, especially at this stage in the process. As a friend of mine is fond of telling me, "You my dear have a thinking error"

  On to the maroon part "Get cleaned up, try everything i know how to do",  Okay in this one you are right but not for the silly objective you have set yourself. No, you are going to do this because it is what women do. Your my dear are a woman so it is what YOU do, for YOURSELF. That is the only important reason to do it. You do it because it makes you feel good.

  On to the green. "see what I can accomplish". See top section with particular attention to "All you are doing is setting yourself up to fail', "expectations are set tooo damn high".  You my dear have unrealistic expectations, you have a thinking error.

 Lastly " If I fail today, I don’t have a backup plan." This is you most harmful statement of all. You have already defeated yourself by saying this. You are expecting this outcome. You have no hope of avoiding it IN YOUR MIND. You know damn well, if you go looking for failure you will find it. This is what you have set yourself up to do with this unrealistic, useless challenge of of yours. Passing is nice yes, and you chalk up another win when you do, but being clocked is going to happen, especially here at the start of your transition.
  Put your big girl panties on, pull them up, and go out to face the world. Not as a challenge, but with your head held high for the brave thing you have undertaken.. becoming the woman within that you have begun to show on the outside. "begun" That is the operable word there. You, dear Stephanie, are a work in progress. You have a long way to go yet, but you will get there if you keep that goal in mind and not let these annoyances derail you. Now stop this silly nonsense so I can get back to feeling sorry for myself. There are priorities you know.

Hugs,
  Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 23, 2017, 01:12:22 pm
Don't make me come out there and hunt you down. I'm not ready yet. Besides, I'm not in a good mood this morning and your nonsense isn't helping. I love ya girl but I swear, when I do get out there I am going to slap you up the side of your head right after I give you a ((Hug)).

 "All you are doing is setting yourself up to fail', "expectations are set tooo damn high".  You my dear have unrealistic expectations, you have a thinking error.

Holy...

Thank you ma’am, may I have another?

I’ll write more when I get home, but FYI, Sue and I are sitting in a restaurant near the airport in Crystal River, and I’m getting Ladied and Ma’amed by everyone.

So Pththththththhhhhhh.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171223/4c82e58d215da5ffa28427043221eaa6.jpg)

Obviously feeling better. And I distracted you from your own self-imposed misery, didn’t I?

-Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 23, 2017, 01:45:46 pm
Holy...

Thank you ma’am, may I have another?

I’ll write more when I get home, but FYI, Sue and I are sitting in a restaurant near the airport in Crystal River, and I’m getting Ladied and Ma’amed by everyone.

So Pththththththhhhhhh.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171223/4c82e58d215da5ffa28427043221eaa6.jpg)

Obviously feeling better. And I distracted you from your own self-imposed misery, didn’t I?

-Stephanie

  You are so getting slapped...
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Michelle_P on December 23, 2017, 02:04:51 pm
  You are so getting slapped...

Promises, promises...
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Devlyn on December 23, 2017, 02:08:06 pm
Laurie's playing the "So help me, if I have to stop this car..." card, but we're all in back seats in different states!  >:-)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 23, 2017, 02:09:04 pm
Are we nearly there yet?

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 23, 2017, 02:28:41 pm
I’ll turn this forum around and go straight home! (Which I am BTW, after a bumpy flight.)


 - Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 23, 2017, 02:37:08 pm
My dear friend Stephanie,
I just got caught up on your thread. I am very sorry you had such a bad day. You lost your confidence and your day continued going downhill. You will have bad days, and they are going to suck. Have another read of Laurie’s post. She said everything that I couldn’t find the words for, including slapping you up side of the head right after giving you a hug.

Being able to pass involves having confidence in yourself. The UPS guy misgendered you for some unknown reason. You assumed it was because you don’t pass. You then started to lose your confidence and stopped believing in yourself. When you stopped believing that you are Stephanie, a woman, was the moment you set yourself up to fall. People will continue to misgender you for any number of reasons, that is on them not you. I have many times misgendered cis women calling them “mate” or “buddy”. Not because I thought they were men but because my mind was distracted and thinking of something else and I had just spent the entire day interacting with only men. My misgendered had absolutely nothing to do with the woman I was talking to.

You are Stephanie and you know it. You are not transitioning so that some random UPS guy, or waitress can call you ma’am. You are transitioning so that you are comfortable in your own skin and able to function from day to day without being crippled by dysphoria.

I am late catching up with this thread, so I won’t say too much more as I see you are already feeling better. Bad days will happen from time to time. Up to this point you have had a dream run with your transition. You have achieved so much in a short time. Just treat this day as a lesson that things won’t always go smoothly. But you are a big girl now and will bounce back. And we are always here to help pick you up (or slap you up side of the head if necessary!).

Again, I am sorry you had such a crappy day.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on December 23, 2017, 03:09:06 pm
I was misgendered at a furniture store yesterday.  Might have been my voice (half year training which I’ve now bailed on - just scheduled with Yeson VFS in Seoul).  Or more likely because I was focused on other things and probably walked in with mismatched body language/gestures.  Half a century of habits I am working to change - things that have nothing to do with makeup, clothing, hair.  Of course I don’t appreciate being misgendered but it happens 1/4 of the time, plus another 1/4 where people aren’t sure. 

Having that happen several times in a row can erode anyone’s confidence.  The catch-22 is a certain amount of self-confidence matters in presenting our correct gender.  You did the right thing not breaking down on the spot but yeah it ain’t always easy.

If anyone intentionally misgenders to be a jerk, that’s a completely different case and I don’t hold back in my response. 

When I get misgendered by accident I remind myself it’s just that - an accident - to avoid the downward spiral. 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: LizK on December 23, 2017, 08:39:50 pm
.................
Final thought, about the value of our internal identification vs. what people see. I hear a lot that all that matters is how we feel inside, and external validation is useless. If that’s true, why transition at all? It’s how the world perceives and treats me that completes my identification as a woman. If I can’t make that work, what’s the point of this all? Sure, I’ve achieved the technical goal of forcing the federal and state governments to put an F on some paperwork. I’ve always been good at jumping through hoops. But it’s just a letter that makes zero impact on someone’s perception of who they’re looking at.

So those are my thoughts on this gray morning. My plan today is to give it one more shot. Get cleaned up, try everything i know how to do, and fly to breakfast. Attempt to fake it until I make it, and see what I can accomplish. If I fail today, I don’t have a backup plan.


 - Steph

Steph as someone who looks obviously trans there is not enough makeup or surgeons in the world that will ever make me look even remotely like a cis woman....so what do I do...I have crippling Dysphoria since as long as I can remember and I can't live with that any longer. So I had to make my peace with not passing, but as you well know this stuff is never as easy as that.

Once I began to stop trying to "look" cis and concentrated on letting Liz be Liz, things began to improve...I sat and I watch mannerisms, listened to voices, took note of clothes sense, body language and interactions between people...at the end of all this I was certain that I would have all the information in order to be able to "pass". The truth however is that what I learned very quickly is that there is no one way to be a woman. Many of the "clockable" traits we talk about here I noted in Cis women as well. So I guess I worked out there is no one way to be trans and there is no right way to be a woman.

Since I have begun fulltime about 9 months ago I expected to be misgendered at every turn and in the end what I discovered is that " internal identification " is important becuase it goes so much to how I feel about myself and therefore how I interact with the world. Simply because someone perceives you differently doesn't make it right.

When I am out in public I do not get misdgendered...leave that to my family ....so why is it that someone who is clearly trans  and "non-passing" does not get misgendered? I can only put it down to confidence and being who I am, I am a woman and believe it with all my being and this I think projects in the way I move through the world.

With Self acceptance (Yes Laurie...Self acceptance again!! LOL) I find I care much less about how I am perceived. I don't know the last time I misgendered in public...family and friends can be a whole other ball game. SIGH!!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 24, 2017, 08:40:00 am
[Once again I note that if you’re reading this in Tapatalk, it refuses to show long entries. Tell it to show the Web View to read the whole posting.]

I had started typing this up as a reply to a posting in my friend Jayne’s personal thread, but realized it would be more properly posted here. So here is my story related to what Jayne said:

I find the GD is often made worse by seemingly small things like seeing a group of female friends socialising especially if they are of similar age to me. I also get dysphoric with things that I can never experience, like seeing a group of girls playing and having fun together. Things like that I have to just let go otherwise I will drive myself crazy. It’s not like time could be wound back to make me a little girl. But the dysphoria has a way of stirring up an otherwise good day with these kind of feelings. That’s when I have to just dissociate for a while. Close my eyes and try to imagine myself being female in the present moment.

Wow. That triggers so many memories. Here are three from my past, involving the people I used to work with.

In my last real job (15 years ago now) I managed the IT department for a small food company. We had refurbished the house next door to headquarters for the use of the marketing department. Headquarters was somewhat sterile office space, but the marketing house was warm and beautiful inside, with a kitchen that had coffee and tea always available, a nice walkway through the woods and past a pond with a fountain, and second story views of the oaks and poplars. Marketing always got the best of the hardware, and I maintained them along with their independent network and file and backup servers.

You’d think I would have to be over there all the time to keep that hardware running. You’d be right that I was there a lot, but not because of the hardware. I ran that 33 million dollar company entirely on Apple Macintoshes, and they needed very little maintenance. The reason I was there as much as possible is because almost the entire department was women, and they just loved me. Almost as much as I loved just hanging around with them. There was no sexual tension involved. We were all just good friends and it was such a warm safe space for me to be in. I always hated going back to my cold stark office in the main building.

To give an idea how well we got along, one year, some time in September or October, the manager of marketing asked if she could borrow one of my ties. Yeah, I had to wear those nooses back then, but I made the best of it, with colorful fun designs, and even some with cartoon characters, etc. The marketing manager told me that she wanted to loan a friend of hers my tie that had Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd on it for some function they were attending. No problem. It went away for a weekend, came back the next week, and was forgotten.

Fast forward to the end of October and the company Halloween party. I wasn’t into costumes back then, considering that I was in costume all the time, and was never allowed to take it off. But every woman in the marketing department came as “Steve.” They had made color copies of my tie, wore Oxford shirts, pleated Dockers and glasses, and tied their hair back in a ponytail. I wish I could find a picture of it. It was glorious at the same time it was deeply disturbing. I had never heard the word “dysphoria” back then, but I knew who and what I was, and also knew I couldn’t act on it. They were just showing their love for me and joking around. They had no idea what I was feeling. While they were being me, I wanted to be them. One of them in particular kept getting comments about how much she looked like me. In my head, I heard that as I looked like her. Except she was so cute and had those bumps under her shirt. All I could do was suppress the confusion, roll my eyes, and smile along.

The second story also took place in the marketing house. While everyone else worked 8-5, I usually came in at 9 and worked until 6. I could often get more done in that last hour, once everyone left, than I could most of the rest of the day. I found myself in marketing at 5pm, and my best friend J was still there, wrapping up a project. We got to talking, and she said something like, “Here, let’s try something.” I had been growing my hair for about 5 years at that point, and it was well below my shoulders, as it is now. She turned my chair around, pulled my hair loose, brushed it out, and put it into a single fat braid. She put my hair tie back on the end, and put a feather in it. Oh. My. God. At the same time I was luxuriating in the feeling, I was almost frozen in terror. Did she know? What would other people think? I don’t ever want this to end! I was so petrified I could barely move, but I couldn’t stop grinning like a fool, either. You know that sound of a screeching needle across a phonograph record? That was playing non-stop in my head. I finally went back to my office to wrap up the day, knowing there’d be few people to see me, then locked up the building and went home. I hated taking it out before bed. I knew I’d never have it again. How odd to know that I could have it again now if I wanted to. J doesn’t know it, but her actions that day formed a bond between us that I will always treasure. To this day, she is the only one from the old days that I regularly communicate with.

The third story happened after I’d given my notice that I was leaving the company to move to Florida. During my last week there, I was told that I would be taken to a goodbye lunch. When I got to the restaurant, I was met by all the women from the marketing department, plus a few from sales and accounting. It was a huge crew, and they were all women who wanted to show their love and respect to me. It was such a warm and loving meal, even though we ribbed each other mercilessly as we always did. It’s not likely they thought of it this way, but to me it felt like they had completely accepted me as another woman in their circle. It made leaving even harder. I’m tearing up just thinking about it.

So Jayne, I know viscerally exactly what you’re going through. Hang tough and you will some day be in that circle, too. You’re already well on your way.


 - Steph
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 24, 2017, 10:34:19 am
Hi Steph,

I feel your pain. Last evening Deb and I were at a gathering at a friends house and I had the chance to catch up with an old friend from our old church. We spent quite some time talking stuff, lives, families, interests, etc. The short of it was when we parted he looked into my eyes and said, “Good to see you brother”, with full intentionality. I was able to hold back the tears until we could get out the door, then I was a wreck all night.

Hi Tia,

Thank you for sharing this with me. I was beginning to think that I was somehow broken for allowing such things to get to me. So many people are telling me to suck it up, buttercup, but my emotions are real and valid. Whether my reactions are over the top or even logical doesn't matter. When I hurt, I cry. And eventually I get better. Having all my friends out there watching my back makes the recovery faster, but I think the catharsis is just a necessary balance to the good times, as long as it doesn't lead to something really bad.

I'm so sorry that your "brother" doesn't get it. I'm not religious, but hearing something like that seems so hypocritical from a fellow church-goer.

But look at how far you've come. I so wish I were already to the point you are. I have so far to go, so much pain to endure, and you've come out of it all so beautifully. You have no obligation to take such disrespect lying down. As Laurie points out, I am so early in the process, and I have probably developed unrealistic expectations based on all the good luck I've had so far. You, on the other hand, are to the point where you can expect positive feedback. When someone deliberately misgenders you like he did, you have every right to correct him, with malice if necessary. Such meanness shouldn't go unaddressed.

Quote
Another story, two days ago I had my first mammogram (not as bad as expected) and I had a chance to talk withy the technician. When we hit on hormones she eluded to the reason I was taking them was to grow breasts. My response of while the breasts were a big part of the original intent (and great), my ability to feel, cry, understand and empathize was so much greater than body changes and totally worth all the efforts and trials. She had no idea of the head and heart changes from hormones and hadn’t a clue that guys think and feel different than women…..wow, that was a surprise for me. She told me that she was going to give her husband a bit more of a break when he leaks out too much stupid.

I guess I understand that there have been some changes, though I never really felt all that "dude-ish" before. I always had the tendency to cry over emotional things, though I had to suppress it hard. It wasn't easy. The biggest change for me is most of the anger is gone. I'm much more relaxed behind the wheel. Driving is no longer a competition, it's a cooperation to see how smoothly I can help things flow. You want to merge in? Sure, you aren't going to make me any later by getting in in front of me. You're welcome! I've watched in wonder and occasional alarm as a general outsider while guys do guy things. I never got it. While I rode trail bikes and sailed and flew small airplanes, I never thought it was to prove anything to anyone. It was to experience the joy of learning a new skill, and getting out into the woods, or lakes, or skies. Even now, I insist that my little car has a manual transmission, not for some chest-beating bragging rights, but for the deep satisfaction of a smooth pullout or a perfectly rev-matched shift. Same applies to airplanes. I want a taildragger for the happiness of a perfect grass-tickling three-point landing.

The only time I feel real anger any more is when I'm pressed for time or feel like I'm cornered by circumstances. I'll then get into a "hissy fit". Otherwise, when things go badly, I end up feeling sad instead of mad.

It's surprising that your tech had never noticed the differences. Where did she think the stupid was coming from?

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You and I spent a night crying and doubting and questioning…….for me this was not something possible a couple of years ago. Yes, I really want to “Pass” and to be able to go out as stealth and I will cry when read, either unintentionally or due to the anger or idiocy of others……..but the thought of going back, even if I could, has not entered my mind over this. At the gathering I interacted with many folks, some of them know of my life and kindly accepted me and some didn’t. Most of my current life is out and about with only the rare uncomfortable event. I think that I have read of this being common in Steph’s life lately as well.

Sounds very familiar. I have gone full-time, damn the consequences, and most interactions have been just fine. I think the situation with the waitress knocked me back so hard because of the complete unexpectedness of it by that person in that location. The UPS guy, hey whatever, I wasn't doing a good enough job presenting I guess. My neighbor, force of habit. Neither of those situations are unexpected, and wouldn't normally have affected me, if they'd happened on different days. Too much in too short a time.

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So, what now? I suggest that you pull out your old driver’s license and compare pictures and tell me if you notice any differences. Look at yourself, talk with friends, do some retail therapy and feel the joy of being you…..and then please tell me to shut up and quit crying and do the same thing. By the way, how long have you been on hormones and how much of a change has come about with them? Give them and some more socialization and war paint changes time to take effect.

Please forgive me if I am to blunt but I am still crying myself.
Tia Anne

I've said it before: I'm aware of how lucky I am that I'm able to pull this off so soon. Today is only 6 months and 3 days since I started HRT, with only about 4 months on full-dose. I have had no other work done other than some hair removal and a new hairstyle, if that counts. So I understand I have no reasonable expectation of being completely accepted as I know myself to be, regardless of what it says on my drivers license. That I'm able to make it work a large part of the time makes me happy, while it also makes me feel guilty that others aren't having this kind of luck. Yes, I've been lectured on the guilt part, but once again, these are my feelings, and right or wrong, that's what I feel inside. As with everything else, I'm working on it.

As for pulling out the drivers license, I still gaze in wonder at the before and after picture I have. To be honest, that old picture was one of the worst that you could find of me. I generally didn't look that bad, though good luck ever finding a picture of me with a smile that showed teeth. The old "smiles" were more like a grimace. I just love what I'm becoming. And yes, I know I'm still in the pupal stage. Great things are coming.

My recovery from the last bout was, as always, going flying. I suspect some FAA medical examiners would want me to ground myself when I'm feeling as I did yesterday, but carving the air in a sweet machine, with Sue next to me, is so therapeutic. I always feel better after a flight. That, combined with going to lunch, where I was treated well and gendered correctly, was exactly what I needed to pull out of the doldrums.

So now do I have to fly west and give you a Laurie-style slap or two? You have something therapeutic you love to do. Whatever it is, grab Deb and go do it. We'll prop each other up when we start falling over. Your advice to me is excellent, and you should listen to the smart person who dispensed it.

Be well, and Merry Christmas.

Your friend,

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 24, 2017, 10:49:17 am
Where did she think the stupid was coming from?
LOL!  I love it!   :D
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 24, 2017, 06:42:22 pm
Mixed bag today, but I'm not down.

The bad: I'd been avoiding walking Maggie to the other end of the neighborhood because my neighbor B, who is really supportive, but terrible with pronouns, has a houseful of family visiting. I have no idea how much they know about me, and last time I told B that I'd been avoiding his place to avoid awkwardness with his family he pooh-poohed the idea, and told me I was always welcome at his house, and nobody was going to give me a hard time. So finally around sunset, and at the extreme insistence of Maggie, I got myself fixed up, and headed off through the neighborhood. I gave myself a pep talk and owned my existence. As we walked by he called for us to join them, and despite introducing me as Steph, and my obvious feminine presentation, the inevitable happened, and he used "he." Yup. Ok. Wrap up the conversation, and gotta get Maggie home. See ya and Merry Christmas.

Oh well. Not gonna get me down today. But we're going to have a talk...

But... There was enough good to offset that crap. Everyone else was doing some flying today, so I rolled the plane out and got ready to go. As I sat at the end of the runway waiting for the oil to warm up, my neighbor D, who was already out flying, and who was one whom I had worried most about accepting me, called me on the radio: "Steph, are you holding there? I'm setting up for a fly-by." Awesome, getting "Stephed" by D on the radio!

But the coolest thing? Sue's sister occasionally sends overly schmaltzy E-cards, and a Christmas e-card came in today. As usual it was far too "darling" and Sue and I rolled our eyes at it. But... it was addressed to Sue and Stephanie.

Oy Gevalt. The schmaltz made me verklempt.  ;D

So, on balance, it was a pretty good day.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 24, 2017, 11:10:13 pm
12:07 US Eastern Time.

Merry Christmas to all my friends around the world. My love to you all.

This is my first Christmas as:

Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171225/879484316bde5434aade67c7104d300b.jpg)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 25, 2017, 06:38:43 am
Merry Christmas, Stephanie!  I hope 2018 will be as awesome for you as 2017 was.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on December 25, 2017, 08:54:28 am
Steph, very happy for both you and Kathy on this momentous day.  I was never miserable at Christmas but I think this is the first one in a long time where I'm actually happy.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on December 25, 2017, 01:27:54 pm
Stephanie, a merry first Christmas!  All the best. 

Kendra
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Devlyn on December 25, 2017, 01:45:09 pm
Kendra's Christmas post is # 666! I knew I liked you for a reason!  >:-)

Hugs, Devlyn
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on December 25, 2017, 01:50:56 pm
Ha!   Didn’t realize that - wish I could claim the Devlyn made me do it.   :D
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 25, 2017, 02:29:57 pm
Kendra's Christmas post is # 666! I knew I liked you for a reason!  >:-)

Sure, Kendra’s 666 , and we’ve got the Devil Lynn ... but now we also have...

MephiStepheles
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: tgirlamg on December 25, 2017, 02:32:38 pm
Sure, Kendra’s 666 , and we’ve got the Devil Lynn ... bit now we also have...

MephiStepheles

Cue: Sympathy for the Devil...
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 25, 2017, 05:19:47 pm
Merry first Christmas Steph. You deserve all the happiness you can get.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 27, 2017, 01:06:12 am
I know you all are in far-flung corners of the globe. I wish you could all be here with me. If anyone by chance can be here, PM me for details.

Your Friend,

Stephanie

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/qerck6uam19ks1g/Invitation_Obscured.jpg?raw=1)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 27, 2017, 04:55:49 am
I know you all are in far-flung corners of the globe. I wish you could all be here with me. If anyone by chance can be here, PM me for details.

Your Friend,

Stephanie

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/qerck6uam19ks1g/Invitation_Obscured.jpg?raw=1)
I wish I could be there, stupid geography and laws of physics! I'm sure you'll be the belle of the ball! X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Cindy on December 27, 2017, 05:40:09 am
You look wonderful and it sounds a like a fantastic party is coming up.

I think it is time for the Susan's Social Pages to be part of the News section!

I was going to post about a misgender issue but I'll make it a separate topic so as not to derail your blog but keep fighting the good fight and enjoy life.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 27, 2017, 06:42:40 am
I will be there in spirit, Steph.  I am sure it will be an excellent celebration!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on December 27, 2017, 06:50:33 am
Stephanie, We'd love to come. Unfortunately, we have family gathering plans as well so will be gathered around our fire pit burning everything that we can find. Enjoy your day/evening, you deserve it.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 27, 2017, 06:57:56 am
Stephanie, We'd love to come. Unfortunately, we have family gathering plans as well so will be gathered around our fire pit burning everything that we can find. Enjoy your day/evening, you deserve it.

Sorry you can't make it! New Years was probably a bad date, but it seemed appropriate...

A fire pit will be figuring large in my celebration. My old self, along with the pronouns He, Him, and His, and maybe Mister, Sir, and Hey Man... are all going into the fire.

-Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on December 27, 2017, 07:15:29 am
Sorry you can't make it! New Years was probably a bad date, but it seemed appropriate...

A fire pit will be figuring large in my celebration. My old self, along with the pronouns He, Him, and His, and maybe Mister, Sir, and Hey Man... are all going into the fire.

-Stephanie

oo, there's a plan. I wonder if my wife will let me burn some things rather than donate them .......
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 27, 2017, 07:57:42 am
oo, there's a plan. I wonder if my wife will let me burn some things rather than donate them .......

Due to the sensitivity of my eyes to bright light, and my self-consciousness about my hairline and growing bald spot, my old trademark was always wearing a baseball cap - to the point where my friends didn't think they were removable. They were shocked on the rare occasions (usually funerals) when there wasn't one glued to my head. With my hair filling in and my new hairstyle, I love going out uncovered when I can. I have a huge collection of old beat-up hats, enough to pass out to everyone so they can pitch them in the fire.

I have a few songs to play, Faith of the Heart (known as the theme from Star Trek Enterprise) and the Moody Blues' New Horizons, and a poem to read (the excerpt from the Walt Whitman poem The Song of the Road that Ashley recently posted), and a few things to comment on, and the rest of the night is just for fun. The reason for the party is two-fold: to present fully feminine to many of them for the first time to emphasize the fact that old whatsHISname no longer exists, and to honor everyone who has been so good to me. I have friends coming from as far away as Indiana and Tennessee.

I have small gifts to give out. For the women I have jewelry with a heart motif. Most will get copies of the "heart skywriting" pin that I bought myself when I first came out, and that I'm rarely seen without.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/h75e2aqh0di8b64/HeartPlaneBrooch.jpg?raw=1)

The only exceptions are for two women who love cats (one of whom calls herself the "Perfectly Sane Cat Lady"), so they get hearts with cats on them, and for my sister, a split heart, one side of which says Little Sister, and other says Big Sister. I'm keeping that half. The last is for my wife, the Dragon Lady. She gets a heart consisting of two dragons with their tails entwined.

For the men... I don't have a clue yet. What do men like?  ??? I'm only partially joking. As much as I appreciated the gesture of small gifts at such events, they were usually useless to me. I either already had it, or had no use for it. I'm actually thinking of taking the low road and just giving hardware store gift cards. Or 1/4 inch drill bits. You can't have enough of those (in the US).

- Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on December 27, 2017, 08:05:54 am
I never wore hats .. I have a serious mop on my head and hats have to be too big to go on, then they blow off. Or, too tight and hurt my head. My wife can style any head gear, I just look ridiculous :P

love the pins, do non-attendees get one?  ;D

doo-dads for guys ... I have no idea, I never liked them as a 'guy'; as a gal, I want doo-dads
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 27, 2017, 08:13:02 am
I never wore hats .. I have a serious mop on my head and hats have to be too big to go on, then they blow off. Or, too tight and hurt my head. My wife can style any head gear, I just look ridiculous :P

I wish my mop was serious. It's getting better, but usually it's far too frivolous.

Quote
love the pins, do non-attendees get one?  ;D

Must be present to win!

Quote
doo-dads for guys ... I have no idea, I never liked them as a 'guy'; as a gal, I want doo-dads

Same here. Though nowadays I prefer doo-moms.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on December 27, 2017, 08:21:22 am
Quote
doo-dads for guys ... I have no idea, I never liked them as a 'guy'; as a gal, I want doo-dads
Quote
Same here. Though nowadays I prefer doo-moms.

I'll wear doo-dads, the guys don't want them anyways ;D

there you go, give the guys something that they'll just had over to the wives, the wives will get double ...

.
..
...
....
.....
present to win, what a crock ...  ;D
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 27, 2017, 08:24:07 am
present to win, what a crock ...  ;D

You wanna play, you gotta pay...  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 27, 2017, 02:30:19 pm
Wish I could make it to your party Steph. I would be happy to help you burn some of those baseball hats. I love the skywriting plane pin.

Unless there are some Kiwis here, I will be one of the first to bring in the new year. I will clear a path for you as you make your approach to land in 2018. I’ll be there with you in spirit.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 27, 2017, 03:08:29 pm
I'm sure Liz will claim kiwi rights along with you Jayne though she's been in kangaroo land a long time. I'd burn those detestable caps too Stephanie, but alas the fastest I have ever made it across this country of our has bee 3 1/2 days. So you and Sue will have to throw one in for me.

Hugs,
  Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 27, 2017, 03:21:50 pm
Laurie, you misunderstood me, I’m an Aussie through and through. Born and raised in Sydney. I was claiming that I would see the new year first unless a kiwi showed up to make that claim.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 27, 2017, 04:04:06 pm
Okay I stand corrected. But Liz, may still beat you to it. And you Strange folk are far ahead of me. Even Stephanie, Tia and several others will be in a new year before me. But then again It doesn't matter to me. It is just another day with a different number for me. Yes I am a party pooper as always.

Hugs,
  Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 27, 2017, 04:11:11 pm
Okay I stand corrected. But Liz, may still beat you to it. And you Strange folk are far ahead of me. Even Stephanie, Tia and several others will be in a new year before me. But then again It doesn't matter to me. It is just another day with a different number for me. Yes I am a party pooper as always.

Hugs,
  Laurie
Yes, it is just another day with a different number, but we will celebrate that different number as a symbol to moving forward with our lives with new hopes and dreams and leaving the old behind us. You will be in our thoughts Laurie, no amount of party pooping will prevent that. So you may as well join the party. Resistance is futile.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: LizK on December 27, 2017, 05:04:11 pm
I'm sure Liz will claim kiwi rights along with you Jayne though she's been in kangaroo land a long time. I'd burn those detestable caps too Stephanie, but alas the fastest I have ever made it across this country of our has bee 3 1/2 days. So you and Sue will have to throw one in for me.

Hugs,
  Laurie

Ahhhhemm...just clearing my throat....I have only been here in Oz for a short 34 years so I guess I can still claim to be a Kiwi...Kia ora my sisters
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 27, 2017, 05:17:13 pm
Dang Liz I almost had to get out my magnifying glass to read that tiny huge number.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: LizK on December 27, 2017, 05:28:18 pm
Told you I hadn't been here long  ;D
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 28, 2017, 11:48:07 pm
Even where I am now, full time, with a new batch of documents every day with a new name on them (today it was my ham radio license, AOPA profile, and bank account) I still run into mental road blocks..

Today I started preparing the Bensinger Compound for the onslaught of visitors who are on the way for my New Life party on Sunday. As part of that, I ended up removing every stitch of boy clothes from my closet and drawers and stashing them in a different room. It was quite a powerful thing and emphasized how far I've come.

Time to rejoice, right?

The plan was to wait until Sue got off work, and get back to the courthouse (the same one where I'd had my name change hearing) to finish my passport paperwork that I'd gotten started on yesterday. But as I cleaned the house I started feeling shaky and nauseous. I don't think, as emotional as purging the clothes was, that that had much to do with it. Probably more to do with trying too hard to shed the 10 lbs. I've gained in the last 6 weeks. But the end result was I ended up back in bed at 4pm and never got to wrap up the passport. Then I woke up too late to get myself fixed up to attend this week's neighborhood potluck dinner. I've been letting misgendering get to me around here lately, and the last thing I wanted was to be seen in "boy mode," with no makeup. I can't afford to give them any male cues that would negate any little progress they've made with name and gender. So I sat home while Sue went without me. It was hard at first, but eventually I relaxed and enjoyed the quiet time, and got a little more work done.

So today was kinda meh...

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 29, 2017, 12:19:50 am
You could have been fashionably late you know?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 29, 2017, 01:14:07 am
Steph, that sounded like a great evening. I am all for going stealth with the general public but there is such a rewarding feeling finding a new person to add to you tribe. Time with those folks, tribe members, is just so fun, comfortable and safe. You are really doing well aren't you girl, good on you!

Tia Anne

Yes, Tia, it really is nice to just relax and be known for who you are with no mental effort or defensiveness. To be with someone with whom the inherent assumptions were for “Stephanie” and female pronouns. Being gendered and named correctly with no pause for thought or awkward self-corrections was a novel and most welcome experience. So yeah, I was doing well with her. But...

It’s disconcerting that it’s with the people closest to me that I have to endure getting misgendered and deadnamed the most. It’s due to, of course, all the good history we have together. The unhappy end result is I have to fight the tendency to avoid socializing with those I love the most. It’s why I’m trying so hard to help them develop new habits so it doesn’t hurt to be with them.

As sad as it seems, sometimes I can see the attraction of cutting all ties and starting over somewhere else with new people who only know you as your new self. I could never do that, of course. I owe all these people so much for the support and encouragement they give me, despite the continual slip-ups. And, yes, I know it’s not intentional. It’s a fine balance to strike to gently correct them without creating undue embarrassment or eventual resentment.

I was sitting with my next door neighbors and trying to make the point last night. I likened it to a light punch on the arm. One or two can be laughed off. Three or four get your attention. Five or six start getting annoying. Above that starts to really hurt. And eventually you want to punch back to stop it.

So I’ll try my little ritual at my party, and continue with the gentle reminders. And when it gets to be too much, I’ll take a short break from them. But I’ll be back, and eventually they’ll finally get it and I’ll look back on this awkwardness with wry humor.

Stephanie

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Sno on December 29, 2017, 03:37:47 am
Sorry sweetie, there’s SueNZ, and myself at least to see in the pakeha matariki, although IIRC Samoa sees the sun first, since they jumped the date line.

Sweet as!

Rowan
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 29, 2017, 05:22:35 am
It’s disconcerting that it’s with the people closest to me that I have to endure getting misgendered and deadnamed the most. It’s due to, of course, all the good history we have together. The unhappy end result is I have to fight the tendency to avoid socializing with those I love the most. It’s why I’m trying so hard to help them develop new habits so it doesn’t hurt to be with them.
This may be of little comfort. I’m trying to find a positive angle to this. At least these friends still see you as the same person you have always been. Sure you look different and are clearly much, Much, MUCH happier than before, but you are still the same person. So to them, not a lot has changed and their brains default to the circumstances they first came to know you. I do hope they can sooner rather than later learn how important it is to you to be correctly named and gendered.

Quote
As sad as it seems, sometimes I can see the attraction of cutting all ties and starting over somewhere else with new people who only know you as your new self. I could never do that, of course. I owe all these people so much for the support and encouragement they give me, despite the continual slip-ups. And, yes, I know it’s not intentional. It’s a fine balance to strike to gently correct them without creating undue embarrassment or eventual resentment.
Would a slightly less gentle approach help highlight how much this means to you, without causing any friction in your friendship.

Quote
So I’ll try my little ritual at my party, and continue with the gentle reminders. And when it gets to be too much, I’ll take a short break from them. But I’ll be back, and eventually they’ll finally get it and I’ll look back on this awkwardness with wry humor.
It seems as though they need a gentle push to get them to understand. Maybe this ritual will help.

I wish I could attend your party. I’ll contact you from the future to let you know how 2018 is.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on December 29, 2017, 07:52:58 am
Steph, family and close friends will always have the hardest time remembering. They have years of seeing the old you, they will unconsciously get it wrong without meaning to. Most likely they hear it come out their mouth and get mortified as well but don't know how to correct it without making things worse, so say nothing. I've done similar mis-speaks. Saying nothing more is my best out.

Correlate it to growing old with someone, you rarely see the current 'old' face, you always see the same someone that you fell in love with. They see your changes, they know there are changes, in their head they just see you.

Just last night my youngest brother, (lives with my sis-in-law I've talked about. Seems weird right? Not as weird as my younger sister being married to my wife's older brother. ;D) ... back on point, my younger brother got filled in, is aware and his text last night?  "You're still my brother and always will be" I knew his intent, it still made me depressed.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 29, 2017, 08:12:07 am
my younger brother got filled in, is aware and his text last night?  "You're still my brother and always will be" I knew his intent, it still made me depressed.

Oh yeah, I get that! When I came out to one of my neighbors they were completely accepting, but the way they put it was, "You'll always be Steve to us." I didn't know how to take it, but I chose to believe they meant, "You're still the same great person, no matter what you choose to do," instead of, "We ain't never gonna call you nothin' but Steve."

If you have to pick your own interpretation, it's best to pick the friendliest one...

- Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 29, 2017, 05:09:19 pm
I went back to the county courthouse again to wrap up my passport paperwork. The office that does passports also does marriage licenses, and I got big happy smiles from the couple who were just finishing their paperwork as I got there. Lisa took my picture -  very strange to look at because now they have to take it without glasses - gathered the court order, doctor’s “appropriate treatment” letter, and old passport, and I wrote the check, first crossing off that old name and writing in the correct one. And checked one more thing off my list.

On to the post office and then to the store to buy stuff to feed my incoming guests, along with thank you cards for everyone who’s treated me so well. I used to hate hate hate grocery shopping. I’d get so angry at people blocking the aisles, moving too slowly, and just being rude. What a difference today. I was nervous about being clocked, but didn’t seem to have a problem. And people were so nice. If they were blocking the aisle, I’d just wait a little and they’d realize it, smile apologetically, and move out of the way. I helped the traffic flow by doing the “4-way stop” thing at intersections. Everybody seemed so friendly. You think my smiling at them first helped?

I checked out and headed home. As I turned down my street, the phone rang. It was my very first call from someone asking for Stephanie. A florist letting me know that his delivery guy left a bouquet on my doorstep.

Remember my sister who was so thrilled to finally have a big sister? It was from her and her husband. They can’t make it to my party from Michigan , so they sent the flowers. The note reads:

Quote
New Year... New You! We wish we could be there to celebrate with you.
2018 will be your best year ever!
LOVE YOU!

About 1/2 hour later I was finally able to redo my mascara and eyeliner.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171229/c6571d179b0f11a3fdd0b7baf72c3b67.jpg)

What a day...


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 29, 2017, 05:14:15 pm
Another good day indeed .

There is nothing more disarming than a nice smile from a beautiful lady,  keep working that magic. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 29, 2017, 05:19:35 pm
Flowers are always a welcome gift for the ladies. Someone told me a lady will always remember her first delivery of flowers.

 Congrats  Stephanie

Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 29, 2017, 05:29:32 pm
I am glad you had a great day.  Hey, a passport means you can visit the Great White North!  I wish I could be there for your New Year celebration.  I'll be there in spirit.

You think my smiling at them first helped?
For sure!  I have discovered that smiling is like a secret handshake that gets you into in the women's club.  In the washroom, cutting across a parking lot, wherever, women make eye contact and smile.  You're in the club, Stephanie!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 29, 2017, 05:41:25 pm
Hey, a passport means you can visit the Great White North!

I had to put down dates and destination for why I needed the passport. I put down 9/15/2018-10/1/2018, destination Canada. I was thinking of someone in particular when I picked that destination.

No promises. GCS, if it happens at all in 2018, gets first priority. I hope you're not offended...

Quote
I have discovered that smiling is like a secret handshake that gets you into in the women's club.  In the washroom, cutting across a parking lot, wherever, women make eye contact and smile.  You're in the club, Stephanie!

When I finally realized that I was "getting away with it" again, I couldn't NOT smile! This was my first visit to the local Wally World, less than 4 miles from my home, in full Stephanie mode. I didn't know who I might run into. Considering my stress level when I walked in the door, things were quite different when I walked out... :eusa_dance:

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 29, 2017, 05:48:45 pm
Oh, forgot to mention that I was feeling brave enough that I decided to stop by a couple of medical offices in FSM (Full Stephanie Mode) - actually, I don't know why I specify that, since that's the only mode I do any more - and walk up to the counter, sing a few lines of Alice's Restaurant... no, that's not right... go up to the counter, tell them that I need to update my records - "you have me listed as you-know-who" - and watch the fun. But dang it, my dentist was closed for the day, and my primary care doctor's office had a fire truck and EMT parked outside with flashers on. Didn't seem like a good time...

But next time I'm out and about, that's on the agenda.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 29, 2017, 05:58:33 pm
I had to put down dates and destination for why I needed the passport. I put down 9/15/2018-10/1/2018, destination Canada. I was thinking of someone in particular when I picked that destination.

No promises. GCS, if it happens at all in 2018, gets first priority. I hope you're not offended...
;D

Well, yeah, I guess that takes priority!  Over everything.  For that, I'd take a rain check.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 29, 2017, 06:16:14 pm


Well, yeah, I guess that takes priority!  Over everything.  For that, I'd take a rain check.

Whew! I was afraid I’d have to postpone it. Thank you for your support.

By the way, I was trading thoughts with a friend today about the high culture of Canada as exemplified by Bob and Doug MacKenzie:

Quote
Five golden toques!
Four pounds of back bacon
Three French toasts
Two turtlenecks
And a Beer... in a Treeeeeee!


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 29, 2017, 06:18:44 pm
I was going through my Name Change Folder O' Paperwork and realized that Lisa at the passport office gave me an extra picture. This is what will be on my passport. It's very strange to me. I don't think I've seen myself in focus without glasses since about 5th grade...

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171230/23e6433781dc252f0c3e9f4001d82b30.jpg)


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on December 29, 2017, 06:24:01 pm
Stephanie, WOW!  Absolutely beautiful - and what a smile. 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 29, 2017, 07:12:46 pm
I love the smile.  I didn't think you were allowed to smile for a passport photo.

[edit]  I just checked:
Quote
You must have a neutral facial expression or a natural smile, with both eyes open.
That's a natural smile if ever I saw one, so you are good to go!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 29, 2017, 07:33:56 pm
I love the smile.  I didn't think you were allowed to smile for a passport photo.

[edit]  I just checked: That's a natural smile if ever I saw one, so you are good to go!

It’s so cool how natural that smile is nowadays!

I used to hate seeing myself in pictures...

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171230/f9ebd1c1df32f45278141ff34cbc6950.jpg)


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: LizK on December 29, 2017, 11:26:39 pm
I was going through my Name Change Folder O' Paperwork and realized that Lisa at the passport office gave me an extra picture. This is what will be on my passport. It's very strange to me. I don't think I've seen myself in focus without glasses since about 5th grade...

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171230/23e6433781dc252f0c3e9f4001d82b30.jpg)


 - Stephanie

That's a great photo, I had mine done on Saturday and I look startled...we are not allowed to smile in our passport photos has to be a neutral expression...the first one she took looked great but I had my eyes closed, the second one they are wide open which is why I have that startled look LOL

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on December 30, 2017, 02:01:46 am
I was going through my Name Change Folder O' Paperwork and realized that Lisa at the passport office gave me an extra picture. This is what will be on my passport. It's very strange to me. I don't think I've seen myself in focus without glasses since about 5th grade...

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171230/23e6433781dc252f0c3e9f4001d82b30.jpg)


 - Stephanie
Dang,  that's a great picture anywhere,  and it's top of the pile for passports! Beautiful. X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Cindy on December 30, 2017, 02:07:37 am
What a great day you have had!

I needed a cheer up and that gave it to me. Lovely positive post. Thank you :-*
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 30, 2017, 02:09:34 am
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171230/23e6433781dc252f0c3e9f4001d82b30.jpg)

Ok Steph, what is going on here? First you show us a driver’s licence where you look amazing, now this photo for your passport!!! Hasn’t anybody told you that you are not supposed to look so good on official government IDs?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Bari Jo on December 30, 2017, 04:32:51 am
Steph, I'm really amazed at your passport and driver license pictures.  It seems like sorcery!  I want some of that magic!

Bari Jo
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 30, 2017, 04:48:50 am
Steph, I'm really amazed at your passport and driver license pictures.  It seems like sorcery!  I want some of that magic!

It’s actually two spells:

Stephanie waves wand

Risus Magnus!

Beatitudinem Maximus!

You know, I really appreciate all the nice comments on the passport photo, but to me, even with the smile she looks old.

But here’s the thing: even to me now, she looks old! I’ll accept being an old broad, as long as I’m a broad.

And what the heck are you doing up at this hour, you party animal?

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Bari Jo on December 30, 2017, 06:53:38 am

And what the heck are you doing up at this hour, you party animal?

Stephanie

nope, hardly, I barely drink.  I do not like slowing my brain down.  I know I'm building a bar, but that's for guests mainly.  I'm up because I'm having a hard time.  Still seeing your pictures made me happy for you.

Bari Jo
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 30, 2017, 01:22:34 pm
Hi, I have two things to say...

1) Stephanie - You cannot keep talking about yourself in the 3rd person. I don't care if you do not like it but "she" doesn't anything.. Your pronouns are I, me, mine,  not she, her, hers. Those are for others to use. You are Stephanie, own it.

2) Bari Jo - I'm sorry you are having a difficult time. I don't know what it's about but you should be feeling good about yourself. You have had some very good things happen recently. Think and dwell on them rather than your problems. Let me do that. lol  You have people around you and here that you can talk to if need be. We can lend you an ear anytime you need one.

Hugs,
  Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 31, 2017, 12:30:27 am
Stephanie - You cannot keep talking about yourself in the 3rd person. I don't care if you do not like it but "she" doesn't anything.. Your pronouns are I, me, mine,  not she, her, hers. Those are for others to use. You are Stephanie, own it.

You’re right of course, and if you look through my posts, in almost all of them I refer to myself in the first person. In the last post I deliberately used she instead of I to illustrate the female pronoun. Without the she, the sentence wouldn’t have had the same meaning. Call it artistic license. Here it is in the first person:

Quote
You know, I really appreciate all the nice comments on the passport photo, but to me, even with the smile I look old.

But here’s the thing: even to me now, I look old! I’ll accept being an old broad, as long as I’m a broad.

Doesn’t even make sense.



 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on December 31, 2017, 01:05:44 am
Oh hush.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 31, 2017, 05:54:50 am
Oh hush.

Good answer!

Survey says... “Oh Hush” is the number one answer to Stephanie’s ridiculous pedantry!

- Me
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 31, 2017, 06:46:18 am
As I sit here, enjoying the calm before the storm, I can’t think of a better way to use the quiet time than to write you all a note. I may not have another opportunity today.

I have friends here from Indiana and Tennessee, more on their way from all across Florida, and many more coming who are local. These are all people who are dear to me. People who I was sure I was going to lose when I came out. People who, through their unexpected acceptance and encouragement, renewed my faith in humanity.

None of them, though, are more dear to me than you all here on Susan’s. You have held my hand when I’m down. Joked with me when I’m up. Given great advice. Slapped me when I deserved it. Allowed me to help you when you needed it. Made me happy.

These all define something more than just friendship. It’s the definition of family. And the essence of love.

I want to thank you all by name, but in my current state I know I’d forget someone. I wish you could all be here with me tonight. I crave giving each one of you a hug, but you’re all so far away. So I’ll have to settle for letting bouncing electrons convey my thoughts:

Happy New Year. I wish for you peace and happiness in 2018. I look forward to more quality time with you, my new extended family.

I love you all.

Your sister,

Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on December 31, 2017, 06:55:41 am
Beautifully said, sister Stephanie!  When your real-life friends hug you, as they will, please accept it as a proxy hug from me.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on December 31, 2017, 07:08:49 am
My dear friend Stephanie. It has just ticked midnight here in Sydney. Happy new year from the future. 2018 is going to be a good year. I would also like to give you a proxy hug

(((((HUG)))))

That also applies to all my other friends here. I have a proxy hug for each and every one of you.

I will clear the runway for you so that you can make a smooth and safe landing into 2018.

Enjoy your party and I’ll see you when you get to this year. The future is looking good.

Your dear friend,

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on December 31, 2017, 07:50:24 am
My dear friend Stephanie. It has just ticked midnight here in Sydney. Happy new year from the future. 2018 is going to be a good year. I would also like to give you a proxy hug

(((((HUG)))))

That also applies to all my other friends here. I have a proxy hug for each and every one of you.

I will clear the runway for you so that you can make a smooth and safe landing into 2018.

Enjoy your party and I’ll see you when you get to this year. The future is looking good.

Your dear friend,

Jayne

Weather CAVU, sister Jayne.

Five eight sierra bravo cleared to land one eight.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on December 31, 2017, 10:26:44 am
Roses are red
Violets are blue
A party for Stephanie
We’re all there with you!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on December 31, 2017, 06:44:08 pm
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/qjc6zf7wtlz8chu/File%20Dec%2031%2C%207%2015%2006%20PM.jpeg?raw=1)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Bari Jo on December 31, 2017, 07:10:18 pm
Thank you Steph, I cherish you and Everybidy here at Susan's too.  I really want to meet you all in person and have afternoon tea and a hug together

Bari Jo
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 01, 2018, 12:45:15 am
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/qjc6zf7wtlz8chu/File%20Dec%2031%2C%207%2015%2006%20PM.jpeg?raw=1)

I’m very tired and am going to bed, but I just wanted to post that I’ve just experienced one of the most incredible evenings of my life.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180101/e534048e470fa4b4a74caf08579a2871.jpg)

More tomorrow when I’m more coherent, but to answer the question, I couldn’t say anything at first, other than “Kendra!”, as I started crying.


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on January 01, 2018, 06:43:42 am
OMG, Kendra, that's awesome!  Well done!!

The two of you look great together.  Happy New Year!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Megan. on January 01, 2018, 07:37:41 am
Awsome! Wonderful! Brilliant! X

Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Michelle_P on January 01, 2018, 09:53:27 am
Wow.  Now, that’s a wonderful gift.  Steph, congratulations on a new year and a new start!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on January 01, 2018, 11:38:28 am
SURPRISE !

  Good Job Kendra. I know she was super surprised and happy that you could join her. I wanted to say something last night but  had to wait until Stephanie posted about it before I could. Bed time comes early around here these days so it had to wait for this morning.

  Stephanie, Love ya and that Kendra had better have passed on my hug to you. Happy New Yew to you, Sue, and Kendra.

Hugs,
  Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 01, 2018, 01:14:28 pm
Wow! What an awesome surprise. I cried a little myself when I saw this.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 02, 2018, 01:22:35 am
The storm has passed and things are calm again. I finally have some quiet time to catch up with everyone. I have just experienced some of the most incredible days I've lived so far.

My friends from Tennessee - the same ones we visited a month ago, and who gave me the cool selection of clothes - arrived a little after noon on Saturday. My friend from Indiana showed up later in the day. We all went out to dinner at the local Mexican restaurant and basked in the warmth of each other's company. Cool bonus: while I have eaten there for years, it was the first time I'd gone in my real persona, and I was correctly gendered for the entire meal.

Saturday morning I cooked breakfast for everyone. I don't often cook in the morning, but it was simple fare, unlike what some of you prepare. Just maple bacon, scrambled eggs, and cinnamon rolls. While everyone else ate them as usual, I made my favorite breakfast burrito for myself, with eggs, bacon, Italian spices, shredded cheese, and a fine savory dijon tomato-based relish, wrapped in a whole wheat flour tortilla. Coffee from the French press I was given by my dear friend Cassandra for Christmas, plus fine conversation, and we had us a gooood meal.

After breakfast we opened up the hangar and preflighted the plane. It was time to do some flying with my friends. First up was Cassandra. She isn't a pilot, though she is acccomplished with quad-copter drones, and has taken the controls on some other light planes she's been in in the past. I let her take it for a while, and she's pretty dang good at it. After a tour of the area and a high speed low pass down the runway, it was time for the next victim passenger.

Cassie and Me
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/aedo0jo4cmbpedo/CassieFlies.jpg?raw=1)

Next up were my friends from Tennessee. They're both experienced pilots, and G was first. He was as skilled as expected. His wife L is the one I told you about earlier, who builds the most beautiful airplanes you've ever seen. She's kind of my heroine, and it's her hand-me-downs that helped expand my wardrobe. She'd built the same kind of plane that we were flying, so G already knew all the ins and outs. After we landed, L and I went up, and I didn't touch the controls except for the landing. Finally was my friend D from Indiana. We flew ultralights together in the old days, and while he was rusty, he did great.

Time to put the plane away and get some lunch. We all went out to Darrell's, the place I'd gone to and been treated so well at after my name change court hearing. Everyone still recognizes me and they made us all feel welcome. More eating and good conversation.

When we got home it was time to start setting up for the big New Year/New Life bash. When things were ready, I started getting myself set up. My goal for the night was to remove all doubt that the "old me" was in the past, and the "new me" was female and needed to be recognized as such. To that end I picked out the most feminine outfit I had, a beautiful flowered dress with a tiered skirt and a sweetheart neckline. I got cleaned up, and of course, while shaving, sliced my chin wide open. After stanching the bleeding I did the best I could to hide the scar with concealer, and applied all the limited skills I have to my hair and makeup. As the time for the party got closer, I texted my friend Cassie, "I will see my nail person in the boudoir now." The reply was, "Very good, milady." She had brought her basket of nail polishes along, and she did me up nicely with lavender nails which went perfectly with the dress. While she was working, she offhandedly mentioned that I had a special guest coming. Hmmm, ok. We both go to the same clinic, so maybe she invited my therapist or something. That might be fun. But I had other things to think about.

Another touchup on the hair, and it was time for the debut. Our bedroom door opens onto the living room, and on the other side was a crowd of people to brave. I stood there in the dark with my hand on the door handle, trying to stem off a panic attack. After a series of deep breaths, I asked myself who I was. I, of course, am Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger. And everyone out there are my friends. One more breath, a big smile, and I opened the door and stepped into the light... and a round of applause. Wow.

After getting something for my dry mouth and greeting everyone, it was time to eat. The meal was simple and homey, like myself, I guess. Just pulled pork and smoked turkey catered by Sonny's BBQ. I hardly had a chance to eat. I was getting comfortable with my presentation, nobody had anything critical to say, so I wandered around chatting with everyone, and started to really relax. It was getting to be fun, and based on all that chatter, everyone else was having a good time too. I stood back and counted 27 people. All these people here to have a good time, and to allow me to honor them for being so good to me.

Part of the Party
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/f6ge0b7crd1w3vh/partypan.jpg?raw=1)

I went back to the kitchen and got something more to drink, and as I walked back out to the living room a pretty dark-haired lady in a black dress was leaning on the wall in front of me, kind of blocking my path. Huh. I know everyone I invited, but can't think of who this is. Kinda looks a little like Kendra. KENDRA!!! And I just lost it completely. How could it be? I was so completely confused. It wasn't possible, but... what? How? She just stood there with a huge grin. As I sit here reliving it, I'm crying again. Why would someone as cool as Kendra want to come all the way from Seattle just to see me? She had to be in town for some other reason. No, it was specifically for me. She wanted to meet me. In all my life I have never been so surprised not just to see someone so unexpectedly, but to think that someone considered me worth traveling so far to meet. All my life I have suffered from a lack of self-esteem, and I couldn't fathom - I still can't - why I could be worth that. But it made me so happy. What a wonderful gift. We hugged and I cried on her shoulder.

It turned out that a bunch of you ladies have been sneaking around behind my back. I'm not one to believe in conspiracy theories, but this time some paranoia is justified. Apparently Kendra decided she was going to come, but she didn't know exactly where. I had obscured the address on the invitation that I'd posted here. So either Kendra or Laurie (not sure which) contacted Denise, who I'd had lunch with a few weeks ago. Denise didn't know where I was either, but she got hold of my friend Cassie, who'd been with us at lunch, too. She knows where I live. And the trap was set. I'd vow revenge, except I'd rather give you all huge hugs instead. Thank you for making it all possible.

I wanted to talk and talk, but I had a room full of people, and a ceremony I wanted to conduct around the fire. I'd given neighbor B, an avowed pyromaniac, the task of getting the fire going. I managed to herd the cats outside to the fire pit.

After we were all around the fire, I told everyone about how different that gathering was from what I'd expected when I came out to them all in September, and I thanked them for their acceptance and continued friendship. And my wife went around the circle giving each person one of my old baseball caps.

I then asked if anyone knew who Walt Whitman was. "Sure," someone said, "he made great chocolate samplers." Harr dee harr harr. I introduced Whitman's poem, The Song of the Open Road. Ashley had quoted a section of it a few weeks ago, and it was so appropriate that I'd decided right then that I needed to make reciting it part of my ceremony. So off I went:

Quote
From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master total and absolute,
Listening to others, considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.

And that's where I lost it.

I had arranged with Cassie to second for me if I couldn't make it through. I handed the poem to her, and while she was searching for where I left off, I gathered my wits enough that I thought I could continue. I took it back, and read again:

Quote
I inhale great draughts of space,
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.

I am larger, better than I thought,
I did not know I held so much goodness.

And I couldn't go any further. I was crying too hard to read.

I gave it back to Cassie, and she finished in a strong voice:

Quote
All seems beautiful to me,
I can repeat over to men and women You have done such good to me I would do the same to you,
I will recruit for myself and you as I go,
I will scatter myself among men and women as I go,
I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them,
Whoever denies me it shall not trouble me,
Whoever accepts me he or she shall be blessed and shall bless me.

In a choked voice I thanked them all, and every one of them applauded.

After I got my act together, I enacted a little ritual. I had printed large copy of both my old and new driver's licenses. I showed them the old one. Recognize this guy? He no longer exists. In the fire with him. I then showed the new one. She is me. It's nice to meet you all again for the first time.

Then, on letter size paper, were a bunch of pronouns. One by one, I showed them the words, "He," "Him," "His," "Mister," "Sir," and "Hey, Man." The last one was a tribute to one neighbor who has always greeted everyone with that every time they see them. Each one of those cards, after giving everyone a few seconds to look and think about them, went into the fire.

Time to wrap up. Remember those baseball caps? I had a reputation for always wearing them, to the point that some people wondered whether they were even removable. I explained that to them, then made it clear that it had been the habit of someone who no longer exists. Into the fire with them!! Everyone gleefully threw them in and watched them burn.

After the Ceremony (I was bullied into holding the hatchet!)
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/uebjwiizf53d6rw/aroundthefire.jpg?raw=1)

Final thanks and back inside for pie. One by one goodbyes were said, and hugs were given. Most people headed out, but a core group stayed until midnight where we "clinked" our plastic cups and shared more hugs. A few pictures with Kendra and Cassie, and we cleaned up the kitchen and living room, and headed off to bed. I was still in disbelief over how well things had gone and what Kendra had done, and I ended up crying happy tears until I drifted off to sleep.

Kendra, Me, and Cassandra
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/7c5i8f8r3ciuogi/wethree.jpg?raw=1)

Next morning G and L packed up and headed back to Tennessee, and the rest, consisting of my Mom and her hubby, Cassie, D, and Sue and I, headed out to breakfast at an overcrowded and understaffed Darrell's. We didn't get back home until almost noon. Kendra had stayed at a hotel about 15 miles away, and came back about 2:30. We had some more BBQ for lunch, and talked and talked. In particular, Cassie and Kendra and I talked about how our transitions were going and our plans for the next year. My mom hung around and listened in, and I was worried that some of the conversation might be a little graphic for her. I was surprised to find out later that she was very interested and glad to understand what we were going through and what the future held.

About 5pm Mom and hubby headed out, and after some more relaxed conversation, first Cassie, and then Kendra had to go. It was sad to see them leave, but I'll be seeing Cassie for lunch on Wednesday after my next laser session. Kendra and I traded multiple hugs and smiles, and promises that we'd see each other again, and off she went. I can't help but worry about the aggressive surgery schedule she's set up for herself this year, but I have never met a stronger or more determined woman in my entire life. If anyone can do it, she can. I am so proud to know her, and I cried some more tears after she left.

D is spending one more night here, and he will be off in the morning. Here I sit now, reliving these last few outstanding days with you all, and frequently experiencing extreme ocular leakage as I think about the wonderful people in my life and how afraid I'd been of losing all of it when I started this journey. I know I still have a long way to go, but I have established my identity in my head, and hopefully in many others' as well. And I have a new self-confidence that I trust will see me through the inevitable occasional hard times to come.

Thank you Laurie, Denise, Cassie, and especially Kendra, for making this one of the most special moments of my life. I love you all so much.

From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,
And gently, but with undeniable will, I divest myself of the holds that would hold me.


Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: tgirlamg on January 02, 2018, 01:40:07 am
😀💗🙏🌸🎉🎉🎉 Love Ya Stephanie!!!🎉🎉🌸🙏💗😀

Onward we go brave sister!!!

A😀
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Cindy on January 02, 2018, 02:01:39 am
That was awesome!!!

Stephanie you are a very lucky lady and Kendra you are the sneakiest woman on the Forum. Well done!!!!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 02, 2018, 03:52:05 am
What an awesome few days you had.

Kendra, that was such a cool surprise you pulled off. Nicely done to you and your co-conspirators.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on January 02, 2018, 04:18:38 am
We are all in this together - every one of us here on Susan’s.  By sharing our fears, goals and accomplishments we help each other move forward and experience the best possible future. 

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/l0clmxmdxg8fdo6/2017-12-31%2020.57.51.jpg?raw=1)
Pronouns roasting on an open fire
Baseball hats burning into the past
As Stephanie shows more than in dreams,
We can fly


(http://https:/dropbox.com/s/kb13aza54p4swvb/File%20Jan%2002%2C%205%2016%2011%20AM.jpeg?raw=1)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on January 02, 2018, 06:26:49 am
Now I have some serious ocular leakage!  What an awesome story.  Kendra, you are one sneaky lady!  I feel privileged to be able to read about this amazing experience.

Stephanie, you look adorable!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on January 02, 2018, 06:42:05 am
Stephanie!! I am glad for you that things went so well at your party. And the surprises .. great surprises. I loved reading about it. I'll likely always regret not being a part of it. I meant to burn a cap in our fire New Years Eve for you .. I forgot.

I'm out of here before I drag your thread down with my gray cloud.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Bari Jo on January 02, 2018, 07:56:41 am
What a wonderful meeting.  You are absolutely worth going to these great lengths for too.  When you got to to meeting Kendra, then the poem, then the burning of the pronouns, I cried each time.  You are an amazing woman Steph.

Bari Jo
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on January 02, 2018, 10:19:23 am
Stephanie, I’ve a feeling we’re not over Kansas anymore.   ;)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/vbq30ny8hz9lm7f/File%20Jan%2002%2C%209%2010%2009%20AM.jpeg?raw=1)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 02, 2018, 10:30:30 am
Stephanie, I’ve a feeling we’re not over Kansas anymore.   

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/vbq30ny8hz9lm7f/File%20Jan%2002%2C%209%2010%2009%20AM.jpeg?raw=1)

I wonder if anybody'd think I'd flipped
If I
Went to SeaTac
Via Omaha


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on January 02, 2018, 10:58:30 am
Uneasy Rider by the Charlie Daniels Band.  I had to look it up.   ;)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: bethanyz on January 02, 2018, 11:27:44 am
Stephanie...thank you for sharing your experience.  i am so happy for you!!  Kendra, you simply amaze me!!  Such a sneaky girl!! 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Saha on January 02, 2018, 11:29:39 am
What a beautiful happening!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on January 02, 2018, 04:05:22 pm
 Dang you Stephanie,

  I knew I shouldn't have read your account right after putting my face on. I think I need to buy some waterproof mascara since I'm out anyway. well Peggy is on her way over to go shopping at VS so I better go redo my face.

Hugs,
   Laurie

  Yes I knew.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 02, 2018, 09:43:16 pm
Stephanie...thank you for sharing your experience.  i am so happy for you!!  Kendra, you simply amaze me!!  Such a sneaky girl!!

Hi Beth and Saha!! It's cool to meet you, and welcome to Susan's Place. Yes, you'd better take good care of your girl Kendra. She is one of a kind, and has a permanent place in my heart now. I admired her before as we became friends and bantered back and forth, but her latest shenanigan was so far outside my experience that there's now a solid connection forever. You'd best appreciate what you've got, or take a look at our picture around the fire, and note the weapon I'm holding...  ;D

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 02, 2018, 09:47:32 pm
Dang you Stephanie,

  I knew I shouldn't have read your account right after putting my face on. I think I need to buy some waterproof mascara since I'm out anyway. well Peggy is on her way over to go shopping at VS so I better go redo my face.

Hugs,
   Laurie

  Yes I knew.

Ms. Laurie,

I've been reapplying eyeliner and mascara so often lately that I've bought stock in both Kleenex and Maybelline. You should appreciate the fact that I'm willing to share. I figured it was only fair to spread the "joy."

Tammy Faye Bakker, move over...

Oh, and as for knowing... now I understand why you were smiling so big in your picture with Kendra, you wily vixen you. You may also wish to note what I'm holding in our fireside picture.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Cassi on January 02, 2018, 09:58:41 pm
Hummmmm, you have me curiouser and curiouser on what you are holding? 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on January 02, 2018, 10:19:56 pm

Oh, and as for knowing... now I understand why you were smiling so big in your picture with Kendra, you wily vixen you. You may also wish to note what I'm holding in our fireside picture.

Stephanie

  And still you axe me to come visit?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Cassi on January 02, 2018, 10:21:40 pm
Thank you Laurie,

It appears that someone is a big fan of Lizzie Borden  :angel:
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on January 02, 2018, 10:29:06 pm
Yes Cali you'll get to know Stephanie soon enough. She doesn't scare me. I'm not as strong as I used to be but if she get too uppity I think I could set her on top of the refrigerator where she can't get down by herself. She's just an itty bitty thing you know?

 Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Cassi on January 02, 2018, 10:32:39 pm
I heard axes add like 10 feet to some people :) 

I'd better get some of those jet skates or those things kids ride on that may you go swish..................
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 02, 2018, 10:45:02 pm
Roses are red
Violets are blue
A party for Stephanie
We’re all there with you!

Well, this has taken on a new meaning...
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 02, 2018, 10:47:52 pm
Yes Cali you'll get to know Stephanie soon enough. She doesn't scare me. I'm not as strong as I used to be but if she get too uppity I think I could set her on top of the refrigerator where she can't get down by herself. She's just an itty bitty thing you know?

Ruh Roh. It looks like someone is doing a hatchet job on me.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 02, 2018, 10:54:45 pm
I heard axes add like 10 feet to some people  

I'd better get some of those jet skates or those things kids ride on that may you go swish..................

Hi Cali, and welcome to this strange little corner of Susan's. This is my personal thread, so don't mind the dust and clutter. Friends are not allowed in here - only family - despite the disrespect they show me. I give as good as I get, and I've managed to stay off the refrigerator so far.

A bit of advice: take great care around that Laurie lady. She lures you into Susan's with her loving kindness when you are scared of your own shadow, takes you by the hand and pulls you out of your shell, and watches with pride as you grow and mature into a new being, then springs her trap. You then spend the rest of your life atop a food preservation device.

Don't think your ticker hasn't escaped my notice. Happy Rebirthday!

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Cassi on January 02, 2018, 10:57:55 pm
Hi Steph and first "SCOOBY DOO".

Secondly, thank you for the Happy Re-Birthday, I'm really excited and it should go to zero tomorrow.  Can't wait to glammer about my newest soon :)

Cali
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Bari Jo on January 02, 2018, 11:01:50 pm
Don't think your ticker hasn't escaped my notice. Happy Rebirthday!

Stephanie

This reminds me of my favorite Alice In Wonderland quote.

"Today is my unbirthday too!"

For some reason I think of this probably 10 times a week.

Bari Jo
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Cassi on January 02, 2018, 11:04:55 pm
:)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 02, 2018, 11:48:50 pm
Laurie, why do you want to put Steph on top of the fridge? Don’t you know it isn’t nice to bully the little ones?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 02, 2018, 11:50:16 pm
Don’t you know it isn’t nice to bully the little ones?

Hey! I resemble that remark!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 02, 2018, 11:54:49 pm
While you’re on the fridge, Steph, are there any treats hidden up there left over from Halloween?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 03, 2018, 12:05:43 am
While you’re on the fridge, Steph, are there any treats hidden up there left over from Halloween?

Hmm. Let's see. Lots of dust jackrabbits, a layer of grease... ooo, what's this? No, that's not candy. Bleh.

Hey, nice view from up here.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Cassi on January 03, 2018, 08:11:32 am
Wiggle so you can get rid of the dust.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 03, 2018, 03:38:52 pm
If you ever get a chance to see a band called Free Beer (full name Free Beer at Exit 80) don’t think twice. Just go. The band and the songs are pretty good by themselves, but the violin player is completely kick-ass (in more ways than one) and just makes the band.

If you see them now at the Brick in Roslyn, WA, you’ll have bragging rights when they go on national tour.


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: davina61 on January 03, 2018, 03:58:58 pm
Just seen this (not been on as you may have seen been poorly) and reading through my cheeks are moist. I can believe it of Kendra bless her , Hugs of happiness of the digital kind XXXXX
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: bethanyz on January 03, 2018, 11:29:03 pm
Hi Beth and Saha!! It's cool to meet you, and welcome to Susan's Place. Yes, you'd better take good care of your girl Kendra. She is one of a kind, and has a permanent place in my heart now. I admired her before as we became friends and bantered back and forth, but her latest shenanigan was so far outside my experience that there's now a solid connection forever. You'd best appreciate what you've got, or take a look at our picture around the fire, and note the weapon I'm holding...  ;D

Stephanie

The pleasure is mine Stephanie.  Congratulations to you!!  Such a big event, i'm so glad that Kendra was able to pull off such a sweet shenanigan!! 

Yes, Kendra is, without a doubt, truly amazing!!  We are very blessed and work hard to show it!! She has a permanent place in our hearts as well.  You can be sure that we will take great care of her (well, as much as her stubborn will let us!!)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: LizK on January 04, 2018, 12:04:19 am
Had to go back three pages to find out how it all turned out and what an amazing night you had. Wow what a surprise...you must feel wonderful to have all that love and support. Fantastic you deserve  the happiness and I am sure things are just going to keep getting better for you.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 07, 2018, 11:46:55 am
We are all in this together - every one of us here on Susan’s.  By sharing our fears, goals and accomplishments we help each other move forward and experience the best possible future. 

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/l0clmxmdxg8fdo6/2017-12-31%2020.57.51.jpg?raw=1)
Pronouns roasting on an open fire
Baseball hats burning into the past
As Stephanie shows more than in dreams,
We can fly


(http://https:/dropbox.com/s/kb13aza54p4swvb/File%20Jan%2002%2C%205%2016%2011%20AM.jpeg?raw=1)

The URL for that last graphic has an extra "http://" in it. Here's the image she intended to show:

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/pyoqgl2ajv60ok4/GiftPin.jpg?raw=1)

It's the pin I gave all the women who have been so good to me. I had bought myself one when I first came out, and I couldn't think of a better way to honor them.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 09, 2018, 09:51:56 pm
It's been a quiet week here in Lake Stephbegone.

Heh.

The paper chase continues as one by one I check off groups, organizations, and businesses that are still trying to call me that old name. So far I've got the drivers license and SSC done, passport is being processed, two credit cards are being taken care of, bank accounts know who I am, and I finished up with the auto insurance company today and have insurance cards with Stephanie on them. I contacted the county office where we got married to find out what we need to do to change the marriage certificate, but apparently there's no changing it. Instead we need to keep a copy of the court order with it to present if someone needs to see it. OK, saves us a trip to the county office.

Then there's a whole ton of businesses. As I get emails from them, I jump right into their website and change the name and gender if they track it.

I had a fun thing happen with an electronics components supplier. I went into their website and changed my name and email address, and got an email back:

Quote
I have received your request to modify a Customer record. This Customer number belongs to someone else, and for security reasons, it is unavailable for modification by you.

Is Steve Bensinger still with the company?

Bwah hahaha! Reply:

Quote
Yes, in a manner of speaking, Steve Bensinger is still with the company. As part of larger changes in my life, I have petitioned the court and had a legal name change from Steve (Stephen) to Stephanie.

And that was it. I got a response that the name was changed, a "Best Regards" and on we go.

I have much more to write about, but I'll split it up into separate posts so that someone who will go unnamed, but whose initials are Laurie, won't withhold my wine and chocolates up here on the fridge.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 09, 2018, 09:55:41 pm
You have chocolates up there? What’s up with that? Is there room on the fridge for one more? Chocolate is our friend mmmmmmmmm.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 09, 2018, 09:58:15 pm
You have chocolates up there? What’s up with that? Is there room on the fridge for one more? Chocolate is our friend mmmmmmmmm.

Hey, get your own fridge. I've got a nice little nest up here full of wine, coffee, chocolate, and #stormchips. All I need is pizza and I've got all the major food groups covered.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on January 09, 2018, 10:09:05 pm
Okay you lady, skoot yourself over closer. Okay hold on..you've been up there long enough and getting too comfortable.... beside Sue threatened to slap me up the side of the head if I didn't take you down....down ya go. btw got any chocolates?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 09, 2018, 10:18:29 pm
Okay you lady, skoot yourself over closer. Okay hold on..you've been up there long enough and getting too comfortable.... beside Sue threatened to slap me up the side of the head if I didn't take you down....down ya go. btw got any chocolates?

Waaaaa!!! Everything is up on top of the fridge and I can't reach them!

I'd complain some more, but wait a minute. I gotta go pee.

Stephanie

PS: Yeah. Uh huh. You don't wanna be messin' with the Dragon Lady. If those claws come out you don't want to be within striking distance. Don't ask how I know.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 09, 2018, 10:18:45 pm
Oh, there was more to your post. You distracted me with chocolate.

It’s good to see progress being made with the name change. You must also be happy with the electronics supplier trying to protect your account when they thought you were not you.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 09, 2018, 10:29:21 pm
Well, I had promised myself that after the holidays were cleared out, it was time to pursue GCS. With Sue's help we dug into the insurance company search engine and tried to find what they call GRS surgeons. Well... it's not a search term they allow. You've got to choose from prepopulated pulldown lists, and it isn't a choice. "Gender" isn't an allowed choice, either. You have to know who you're looking for and where they are, then do a search by area and name. Luckily I've been collecting names for the last six months.

The ones I found that were in-network were: Bowers, Gallagher, Kuzon, Oates, Schechter, Bluebond-Langner, Rumer, and Ting.

Bowers would be wonderful. But there's no way I can wait four years. I need to wrap it up this year in case we lose insurance coverage next year. Kuzon in Ann Arbor is interesting because it's close to my home town, and I could recover at the Mother ship. But I've never heard of him or his work. Bluebond-Langner has a good reputation, and Gallagher seems to be up and coming. I don't remember much about Schechter in Chicago. I haven't heard of Oates in Boston, and I've been steered away from Rumer.

But when I saw the last one, my mind went "ting!" Where did I hear that before? Ah, Mt. Sinai in New York. And he's been doing the peritoneal method. Verrry interesting. I went to his website, and got to thinking, how can you go wrong at Mt Sinai? And he was trained by Marci Bowers. And... that dang peritoneal method keeps grabbing my attention. So I went to the page to request an appointment, filled in the form... and stared at the submit button. And stared. And finally went to bed.

The next morning there it was still, glaring at me like a big green eye. I stared. And I poked it in the eye. Off those electrons ran, all the way to New York. The next morning a reply came with general descriptions of how they work the process and what paperwork I needed to provide. On the first visit you meet with medical, social work (whatever that is) and mental health providers, in what are apparently three different interviews. The next visit would be with the surgeon. Those four consultations could all be handled in one trip, and theoretically they can set a date after the interview with the surgeon. The next trip then, would be for the surgery itself.

They requested a copy of my driver's license and insurance card, plus my address and phone number, which I provided. And that's where we stand at the moment. I don't know yet if this is the right way to go, but it looks like I'll be traveling to NYC soon.

And to be honest, that scares me a lot more than the GCS. I'm extremely uncomfortable in big cities, and they don't come much bigger. I've never been there, and am completely clueless on how things like subways and taxis and, well, anything works there. But I've broken down lots and lots of barriers to get where I am now. I can get through that, too. I'm keeping my eyes on the prize...

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 09, 2018, 10:43:26 pm
Oh how exciting! GCS is on its way to becoming a reality for you. That is way, way, waaaaaay down the line for me, if it will happen at all. I love NYC. Been there 4 or 5 times. We usually use it as a stopover for a few days on the way to or from Nova Scotia when visiting my wife’s family. I prefer the countryside to cities, but as far as cities go, NYC is pretty cool. You will be fine. The subway is really easy to use, and there are more taxis than any other vehicle. Did I mention how exciting this is?

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 09, 2018, 10:45:53 pm
I've got to keep writing or Cassie's going to surpass me, dangit. So here's another story:

When I first started hanging out here, I became fascinated with a journey being undertaken by a very cool lady who goes by Michelle_P. She had lost a lot by coming out, but was so strong and focused that nothing was stopping her forward momentum. What struck me as much as anything was how, even after coming out, she was asked to remain as president of her radio club. I was simply awestruck that she was so well-regarded and had such strength of character that she could weather even coming out to a bunch of male ham radio dudes, and be asked to stay in charge. I knew that this was something that I would never ever experience. I was simply too weak, and everyone around me would be too unaccepting, for something like that to ever become a reality for me.

Tonight I, Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger, ran the meeting as newly reelected President of our Experimental Aircraft Association chapter.

All I could think about was Michelle, and what an inspiration she's been, and all the walls I've knocked down, climbed, or gone around to get where I am today. I kept it together until I got home, then broke down in happy tears on Sue's shoulder. I tried to explain it, but I don't think she understands.

I think all of you do.

Stephanie Bensinger
President, EAA Chapter 1489
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on January 09, 2018, 11:08:52 pm
Absolutely.  Congratulations!!! 

What an incredible way to land a series of accomplishments. 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 09, 2018, 11:09:01 pm
Way to go Steph! I never doubted you. You are much stronger than you give yourself credit for. You are also surrounded by a pretty cool bunch of friends.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 09, 2018, 11:11:39 pm
OK, one last story, and I can go to bed satisfied I've fulfilled my daily quota of keystrokes.

This is a slightly modified version of something I'd posted as a reply to a similar story on Cassie's Facebook page:

On the day I came out to my primary care doctor I was sitting in the waiting room with the usual variety of people. Old folks, young folks, moms with kids. Nobody in the office knew I had begun transitioning yet, and I was dressed at best androgynously.

Kids and I had always actively ignored or avoided each other - apparently enough negative vibes were present to repel us from each other. Yet for some reason, this time a little girl, maybe 4 years old, plunked herself down next to me with a wooden puzzle, and started handing me pieces with the invitation to insert them in the correct slots. So we played a game where I would put them in the wrong place and look puzzled, and she'd correct me. And this went on for almost an hour. I was a bit bemused that I was actually having fun with this. At one point her mom told me to let her know if her daughter was bothering me, and I was surprised that, no, she wasn't. I was actually enjoying myself. The little girl bored of it long before I did, and wandered off.

Fast forward about 5 months. So many changes in that time, including moving on to my authentic self full-time, and on a road trip with no boy clothes in the luggage. I had completely let go of the fake persona I'd draped myself with for fifty years, and was experiencing joy I'd never known. But kids were still a mystery to me. We ended up at a friend's house where there was a little boy, probably seven or eight years old. And he just couldn't get enough of me. Crawling up in my lap, giving me hugs, sharing his favorite toys, chattering away. What happened to the repellant force I used to emanate? I actually realized the kid was cute, even though he could have used a bath.

I don't know where it's coming from. Changes in body chemistry or thought patterns? A shedding of the heavy cloak of inauthenticity? Whatever it is, I'm finding that this journey is doing more than just revealing someone who'd been crouching behind a facade - it's inducing unexpected - and welcome - changes. And I'm liking who I'm becoming.

Stephanie

Addendum: When I got all the attention I had dressed for dinner in a western top and wool skirt, and my "Indiana Jones" hat. You may have seen the picture from my extensive coverage of our road trip a month ago, but here it is again.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/smhsf879clts6zo/westernstyle.jpg?raw=1)

I've read over and over that kids have a sixth sense about gender. You hear stories of them catching you out in stores, "Mommy, is that a boy or a girl?" or straight out, "You're a boy!" But there was nothing like this with that kid. There seemed to be no question that he liked that lady who was visiting. How strange...
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on January 09, 2018, 11:15:03 pm
 Dang I guess it was good that I took you off the refrigerator today, wasn't it? And there goes another of my friends zooming on by on her way to GCS. Congrats on continuing on your journey Stephanie. I'm with Jayne on this but I'll skip over the waaaayyy far away and jump into that if ever bin. I am glad for you though Stephanie. I can't wait to hear the date.
  I will agree with you on that Michelle character. There is a lot there in her to admire. She just keep moving forward like a bulldozer. You can't stop the woman.
  And congrats again to you Ms Club President!

Hugs,
  Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 09, 2018, 11:24:26 pm
Whatever it is, I'm finding that this journey is doing more than just revealing someone who'd been crouching behind a facade - it's inducing unexpected - and welcome - changes. And I'm liking who I'm becoming.

These words I can relate to 100%. I never in my life expected to really like myself, but I am liking the person I am lately. We all live such different lives, scattered all over the world, and here we are, brought together, each on our own journeys of self discovery and becoming our authentic selves. Life is pretty awesome! What a privilege it is to share these experiences with such great friends.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 09, 2018, 11:35:31 pm
Dang I guess it was good that I took you off the refrigerator today, wasn't it? And there goes another of my friends zooming on by on her way to GCS. Congrats on continuing on your journey Stephanie. I'm with Jayne on this but I'll skip over the waaaayyy far away and jump into that if ever bin. I am glad for you though Stephanie. I can't wait to hear the date.
  I will agree with you on that Michelle character. There is a lot there in her to admire. She just keep moving forward like a bulldozer. You can't stop the woman.
  And congrats again to you Ms Club President!

Thanks Laurie,

I was afraid I was going to have to get the fridge moved to the restaurant so I could run the meeting. As for the GCS, obviously it's extremely early in the process. There's no guarantee that we're going to like each other. And depending on things like hair removal, which I haven't even started "down there" it could end up being very late in the year.

We're all in our own bins. Right now I'm in the "Push slowly through the molasses" bin. Your "if ever" bin is close by. We're all taking our own personalized circuitous routes, but I think we'll all end up in the same place eventually.

Madam President
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 09, 2018, 11:56:15 pm
Way to go Steph! I never doubted you. You are much stronger than you give yourself credit for. You are also surrounded by a pretty cool bunch of friends.

Well, I may have mentioned this before, but I think one of the reasons I still have the job is because nobody else wants it. On the other hand, if they really didn't like where I was going, they would have found somebody to take over.

And yes, you're right. They are a pretty wonderful group of friends. They're the same people I honored at my New Years party, and they all deserve my unending thanks.

Stephanie.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 10, 2018, 12:20:08 am
Oh how exciting! GCS is on its way to becoming a reality for you. That is way, way, waaaaaay down the line for me, if it will happen at all. I love NYC. Been there 4 or 5 times. We usually use it as a stopover for a few days on the way to or from Nova Scotia when visiting my wife’s family. I prefer the countryside to cities, but as far as cities go, NYC is pretty cool. You will be fine. The subway is really easy to use, and there are more taxis than any other vehicle. Did I mention how exciting this is?

Jayne, I wish you could be there to act as tour guide for me. I’m sure it’s probably blown out of proportion, but all you hear about is the crime. And paying someone else to drive a car? How strange. And it sounds expensive, too. Sigh.

I also wish you could get excited for me...


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 10, 2018, 12:27:12 am
Absolutely.  Congratulations!!! 

What an incredible way to land a series of accomplishments.

Thanks Kendra. You know you were also an inspiration to me, right?

I’ll be thinking of you and sending good vibes your way on the 18th. I’ll never catch up to you, but I’ll follow along in your wake. All my best.


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Michelle_P on January 10, 2018, 01:19:24 am
Tonight I, Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger, ran the meeting as newly reelected President of our Experimental Aircraft Association chapter.

...

Stephanie Bensinger
President, EAA Chapter 1489

Congratulations!  I think this is wonderful, and Stephanie, you are stronger than you thought.  People value you for who you are, not how you look, and that is a testament to YOU.

Now, go take NYC by storm and get that date.  ;)


I think each of us has to find our own path, whether it is a leisurely stroll or an insane plunge into the unknown.  Much of the journey is itself the reward, as we reveal parts of our own character we didn’t know existed, and learn about ourselves at each fork in the path we come to. 

I know I’ve learned quite a bit about myself on this journey.  It sounds like you are making some interesting self-discoveries as well.

Congratulations!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Bari Jo on January 10, 2018, 04:09:14 am
I'm very impressed about the kids.  I'd like to have an experience like you did.  I wouldn't say kids and I actively avoid each other, but we aren't trying to be friends.  Dogs have always got me though.  I'd like to have kids are me, like dogs do, that would be heart warming for sure.

Bari Jo
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on January 10, 2018, 06:16:40 am
wow, so much went on since I disappeared last night. All I can say is AWESOME. Don't let the big city scare you, just drive like a maniac and you'll be fine. btw, I hate them as well, I prefer the backwoods where homes are 5 mi apart - minimum.

ps. I have chocolate ;D
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on January 10, 2018, 06:41:21 am
I am glad that you are setting the wheels in motion for your GRS.  A bit step forward - congratulations!  We are at similar stages in our journeys: I just got my first surgery referral letter this week.

I am relieved that you are down off that fridge.  Too dusty up there!  Nobody likes dust in their wine, and dusty chocolate?  Eww, that's just wrong!

I am not surprised that you got re-elected as your club president.  People recognize ability.

That's interesting about kids.  I, too, am finding that I am more tolerant of kids.  I was in a waiting room yesterday, waiting to pick up my wife, and there was a little kid in the row in front of me in a car seat/carrier.  His mom picked him up and balanced him standing on her lap.  I spent an enjoyable five minutes playing peekaboo with him.  I wouldn't go so far as to say I like them, but they seem a lot less annoying now.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 10, 2018, 12:46:12 pm
Jayne, I wish you could be there to act as tour guide for me. I’m sure it’s probably blown out of proportion, but all you hear about is the crime. And paying someone else to drive a car? How strange. And it sounds expensive, too. Sigh.
Every  time I’ve been to NYC, I felt safe. You just need to keep your wits about you from some people who try to swindle money out of you for some kind of cause. Some of those people may be genuine, others are just after your cash. It no different to any other big city. As far as being expensive, yeah there is no avoiding that. Be prepared to spend more than you think. The further in advance to cam book accomodation, usually the cheaper it is.

Quote
I also wish you could get excited for me...
What do you mean by this. I am very excited for you. Did you not get that from my last post.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 10, 2018, 12:49:26 pm
What do you mean by this. I am very excited for you. Did you not get that from my last post.

I was joking. I joke a lot.  8)

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on January 10, 2018, 12:54:42 pm
I was joking. I joke a lot.  8)

Stephanie

I'd do my humor/difficult concept quote again, but no one gets it.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 10, 2018, 12:56:41 pm
I'm very impressed about the kids.  I'd like to have an experience like you did.  I wouldn't say kids and I actively avoid each other, but we aren't trying to be friends.  Dogs have always got me though.  I'd like to have kids are me, like dogs do, that would be heart warming for sure.

Like Kathy, I'm not sure I'll ever actually like kids. In truth, they scare me a bit. I don't understand them, and I'm particularly afraid of the current way that parents can read evil motives into the most innocent things. Not without reason, I guess, but the wrong word or a touch can have the police taking you away if someone overreacts. It's why I choose to keep my distance.

Now dogs I understand, and they understand me, just as they do you. I'll take the company of a good dog over that of many humans!

Stephanie

PS: How's your buddy doing?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 10, 2018, 12:57:43 pm
I'd do my humor/difficult concept quote again, but no one gets it.

Ummm... What do you mean?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SassyCassie on January 10, 2018, 01:06:19 pm
I've got to keep writing or Cassie's going to surpass me, dangit.

Seriously, Steph? Really? I'm reading this on Page 40 of your personal thread, fer cryin' out loud!  ;D

I think I have a ways to go before even coming close to the magnitude of posting you have done.

Hugs!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on January 10, 2018, 01:10:25 pm
  It is interesting what I read here about young kids. For myself I have always enjoyed interacting with them. The toddlers and I have almost always gotten along. Usually started by me winking or making faces at them or some such silly nonsense. When I was out about about wearing my cowboy hat I drew their attention without having to do anything. What they told their moms and pointed at me i'd smile and wink back at them.
  The best of times of course were with my own kids when they were little and with my grand kids sitting on my lap or cuddled under my arm while I read to them. Or helped them (with silly antics) to get dressed or put their shoes on. Or even by them wanting Papa to change their diapers. Now these memories just bring tears.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 10, 2018, 01:12:42 pm
Seriously, Steph? Really? I'm reading this on Page 40 of your personal thread, fer cryin' out loud!  ;D

I think I have a ways to go before even coming close to the magnitude of posting you have done.

Hugs!

Oh, I'm rarely serious, as you well know. Besides I was thinking in terms of KsPD* and since you're just copying and pasting, a ctrl-c, ctrl-v doesn't use many.

Stephanie

*Keystrokes Per Day
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on January 10, 2018, 01:13:59 pm
Seriously, Steph? Really? I'm reading this on Page 40 of your personal thread, fer cryin' out loud!  ;D

I think I have a ways to go before even coming close to the magnitude of posting you have done.

Hugs!

   She does have a tendency to run on and on doesn't she Cassie? But we do tolerate it.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on January 10, 2018, 01:17:33 pm
I'd do my humor/difficult concept quote again, but no one gets it.
Ummm... What do you mean?
>:(
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SassyCassie on January 10, 2018, 01:19:12 pm
Oh, I'm rarely serious, as you well know. Besides I was thinking in terms of KsPD* and since you're just copying and pasting, a ctrl-c, ctrl-v doesn't use many.

Pffft! You're just jealous of my level of efficiency! I have to be as efficient as possible on account of my being a very busy woman! I have a full-time job, a very long commute, a house to myself, 6-8 cats to take care of, and friends to keep in touch with, one of whom seems to spend most of her time in residence atop major appliances for some reason! :P
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 10, 2018, 01:19:48 pm
It is interesting what I read her about young kids.

When my sister had her first kid, she called him C5SR2: Carpet Crawling Curtain Climbing Crumb Stealing Rug Rat. He turned out pretty well for all that.

Yep, silliness runs in the family.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Bari Jo on January 10, 2018, 01:22:22 pm

Now dogs I understand, and they understand me, just as they do you. I'll take the company of a good dog over that of many humans!

Stephanie

PS: How's your buddy doing?

Fanta seems all better by eye, thanks for asking.  His bloodwork tells a different story.  It's better, but not by a lot.  We are retesting in a month.

Bari Jo
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 10, 2018, 01:38:31 pm
Oh ok. I’m not fully conscious yet. I’ve been awake since 3am and my head is a little mushy. I half suspected you were being sarcastic and joking, I wanted to make sure.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 10, 2018, 01:46:56 pm
Oh ok. I’m not fully conscious yet. I’ve been awake since 3am and my head is a little mushy. I half suspected you were being sarcastic and joking, I wanted to make sure.

Jayne

Love ya, sister. Don’t stress about it!


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 10, 2018, 01:48:01 pm
I tend to agree with the kids thing. I have never really been able to connect with children, which doesn’t make sense since I often act like a child. my niece has changed that a little. She is awesome and I live to play with her. I also find that I am more tolerant of stranger’s children. I am able to smile at them and sometimes make silly faces to get the kid to laugh. I still have. I interest in having my own kids. Small doses are enough for me.

Now dogs, they are totally different. I looooove dogs. My wife and I don’t have a dog because currently we are doing quite a bit of traveling and don’t want to leave the dog behind.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 10, 2018, 01:49:01 pm
Love ya, sister. Don’t stress about it!


 - Stephanie
Me stress??? Never!!!!  I’m just happy that your time on top of the fridge hasn’t dampened your sense of humour!

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on January 10, 2018, 01:49:56 pm
You dog lovers should go help Julia out
https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,232839.0.html

Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 10, 2018, 02:18:44 pm
I am glad that you are setting the wheels in motion for your GRS.  A bit step forward - congratulations!  We are at similar stages in our journeys: I just got my first surgery referral letter this week.

I just left a message for my therapist that I want to set up a meeting to talk about just that.

Quote
I am relieved that you are down off that fridge.  Too dusty up there!  Nobody likes dust in their wine, and dusty chocolate?  Eww, that's just wrong!

Agreed. On the other hand, fridge dust goes very well with #stormchips!

By the way, Dusty Stormchips is going to be my stage name when I get hired as weather girl for the local TV station. Stay tuned.

Stephanie "Dusty Stormchips" Bensinger (You knew me when...)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on January 10, 2018, 03:35:21 pm
Hey Dusty, no, that sounds too much like some broken down rodeo bronc rider that would never look as good as you do in a fun skirt and top. I have to agree about NYC. I never really liked big cities though I have been in many around the world. But NYC is a special one, when you visit for your consult make sure that you take a tour of the city in one of those double deck busses; guaranteed you will gain an appreciation for the town. And then when you get your surgery done it will have even a more special place in your heart. Just don't let Laurie try to sell you one of the bridges around Manhattan.

By the way, you haven't told us when your consult is scheduled for...come on girl, keep up with the details!

Tia Anne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 10, 2018, 04:19:15 pm
Hey Dusty, no, that sounds too much like some broken down rodeo bronc rider that would never look as good as you do in a fun skirt and top.

You must be thinking of my cuzzin, Dusty Cowchips. But point taken. Hmmm. Fridgetop Stormchips? Freezer Stormchips? I’ll work on it.

Quote
Just don't let Laurie try to sell you one of the bridges around Manhattan.

By the way, you haven't told us when your consult is scheduled for...come on girl, keep up with the details!

Whatever she’s selling, I ain’t buying. She can be sneaky and mean. (Does she look mad enough to put me back on the fridge with my wine and chocolates yet?)

As for dates: you all will be the third to know right after me and Sue. Everything is in the email-send-em-attached-documents phase right now.

Hey, do we have any members in NYC who can show a couple girls around?

Stephanie (Topper Stormchips?) Bensinger
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 10, 2018, 04:51:55 pm
Stormchip Steph?
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on January 10, 2018, 05:03:13 pm
That has to be better than "Cowchip Steph"
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: LizK on January 10, 2018, 05:04:45 pm
We will just call you Stormy...quite an infamous name in Adelaide  ;D
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 12, 2018, 01:17:07 am
I was supposed to go to bed, but I wanted to share a pretty cool day:

Remember the story of when I got my drivers license and the lady from the front desk misgendered me? Well, Sue and I went back today to change the names on all our vehicle titles and registrations. We checked in at the front desk, and the same lady was there. I don't know if she recognized me from last time, but things were a bit different this time. "How can I help you ladies?" She checked us in, we got called to the counter, and Kay helped us through tons of paperwork and signatures. She was even apologetic that I had to sign my old name on the forms as the seller, then pointed out where to sign as Stephanie as the buyer. When she told me I had to sign my old name, I joked that I hated that, but I thought I remembered how. She smiled and was completely sympathetic. Throughout it all she was totally cool and helpful, and finished with, "You ladies have a nice day!" We got the same send off from the lady at the front desk.

Then we went to Darrell’s restaurant, where they'd thrown the impromptu party after my name change hearing, for a late breakfast. Remember my semi-meltdown a few weeks ago when the waitress had misgendered me? This time she was completely cool. "What can I get you girls?" "Would you ladies like separate checks," etc. I should have pushed the envelope and introduced Sue as my wife. That could have been fun.

Next up: a friend of mine is looking at a plane to buy, and the seller flew it to a local airport today. My friend told the seller she really wanted her girlfriend Stephanie to inspect it, so I drove over, met the owner, who greeted me with, "It's Stephanie, right? It’s nice to meet you!" and we ladies, along with a friend who hangs out in my shop in the winter, went over the plane with a fine-tooth comb. I got warm fuzzies when the owner got ready to leave and said again, "Stephanie, it was nice to meet you." He didn’t show any awkwardness, and I think he really didn’t know. I was even happy with my voice. Squeeeeeee!

The only awkward part was when my workshop friend kept deadnaming me. I told him later that when he got it wrong, just move on and don’t draw attention to it. “Steve” could conceivably be a nickname for Stephanie, so don’t make a big deal out of it. But work on it!

To top off the day and celebrate (my friend put a deposit on the plane) we went to Olive Garden for lunch and I was properly gendered for the entire time by the hostess, waiter, and bartender. I smiled at everyone and they all smiled back, including the ladies at the next table.

Later in the evening I got to sit down and have my almost-nightly girl-talk text session with Cassie and tell her all this, and we traded sisterly advice and encouragement until it was time for bed.

I’m feeling so incredibly... incredible right now.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SassyCassie on January 12, 2018, 04:33:57 am
I’m feeling so incredibly... incredible right now.

Steph, I'm so glad things are starting to turn around in such a positive way for you! I wonder if you're close to (or even past) that unseen tipping point of self-confidence where no amount of misgendering or deadnaming can get under your skin.

BTW, I'm still feeling the effects from last night's toasting of your wonderful day! :D
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 12, 2018, 05:21:57 am
This is awesome, Steph! You always put a smile on my face with these stories.

Quote
I’m feeling so incredibly... incredible right now.
These few words made my day!

I am so very happy for you.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on January 12, 2018, 06:24:41 am
I’m feeling so incredibly... incredible right now.
What a great day, Steph!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 12, 2018, 07:47:05 am
Steph, I'm so glad things are starting to turn around in such a positive way for you! I wonder if you're close to (or even past) that unseen tipping point of self-confidence where no amount of misgendering or deadnaming can get under your skin.

I’m wondering the same. I suspect with our upcoming road trip this weekend, I may be putting it to the test soon.

Quote
BTW, I'm still feeling the effects from last night's toasting of your wonderful day! :D

Uh oh. It was only two small glasses of wine on this end of the Internet. If the emojis you sent are any indication, there were some pretty big mugs of beer on your end.

I hope you achieve maximum fabulosity today!


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on January 12, 2018, 08:46:42 am
Steph, time for me to chime in ... I really do feel great for you (and that other person, umm, oh yeah, Jayne).

Most times I'm skimming trough at work and don't take the time to reply.  Really, most everyone on here I wish I had a better rapport with. So many to say nice things to/about and I don't take the time.

So, WOW, good for you. Keep on flying high!! :)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 12, 2018, 08:50:33 am
Steph, time for me to chime in ... I really do feel great for you (and that other person, umm, oh yeah, Jayne).

Most times I'm skimming trough at work and don't take the time to reply.  Really, most everyone on here I wish I had a better rapport with. So many to say nice things to/about and I don't take the time.

So, WOW, good for you. Keep on flying high!! :)

No worries, Faith! Even if you can't reply, I know you're sending positive vibes my way. And the same back atcha!

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 12, 2018, 09:20:20 am
Cassie's deeply moving posts and other's references to journaling apps got me thinking about the first entry I'd made into Day One on my tablet. I'd decided to keep a journal on the morning after I came out to my wife, and though I didn't keep up with it (most of my life ended up getting journaled here), I did write an extensive entry that morning.

I'm also issuing a TRIGGER ALERT on this. Be advised that there are some very traumatic passages included.

With minimal editing, here it is:

=================

I guess Day One is a good name for this app. I can't tell from here whether this is the first day of something that will turn out wonderfully, but for the first time I have hopes that the uncounted wishes I've made over the years could actually come true.

Last night I "came out" to Sue. Of course she's known for over twenty (thirty?) years about the cross-dressing, but it's clear that she didn't understand the depth of the daily despair I've been facing, living with this unmatched exterior.

Admitting it was one of the hardest, scariest things I've ever put myself through. I've had crying fits before (far more often than I like to admit) but this was something else. At times I could hardly breathe, at others I was hyperventilating; during moments of calm I could speak almost normally, but there were times when I could barely get one word out per breath.

Extremely traumatic... but cathartic.

And the end result is good. Knowing her as I do, I thought she might be supportive, but what I hit her with is so far beyond what she could have expected, there was the chance that she wouldn't be able process it, and would have to step away. I've always known that she doesn't feel emotion as deeply as I do - I think she might be part Vulcan. I'm sure that helps protect her from what's coming. Or it could be my admitted tendency to overdramatize everything. I don't know what I would have done if she'd rejected me. Probably eventually suicide. I don't think I'm strong enough to do this on my own. In that respect it's very probable that she has literally saved my life. And how am I going to repay that? After saving me from dying, I'm going to put her through what I would consider as Hell. But again, maybe her Vulcan logic will keep her from seeing it that way. I hope so. If she felt it as intensely as I do, she would have left me long ago. It's protecting both of us. All I know is that after the last couple of years watching what I feared was the slow dissolution of our marriage, we both committed to a new depth of love and understanding, possibly deeper than we've ever had.

At one point we were talking about what I could do for work during and after transition, and I doubted anyone would want to hire a transsexual. I can't remember the exact wording, but she said people will always say,  "I want to hire someone who does the quality work that he or she does."

She.

Funny little word, just a couple of sounds, vibrations in the air. But it hit me like grabbing a firing spark plug. I actually jumped. I can't understate just how important and amazing it was to hear someone else use that little word to describe me.

Me.

She.

A touch of the joy I hope to find in the future, though still tinged with fear.

So what now?

First we're going to make an appointment with a therapist who specializes in transgender issues. Then there are so many other things to consider, and costs to cover. In no particular order:

* I want to get my buck teeth fixed.
* Hair transplants?
* Hair removal (other than the head, of course)
* Voice therapist
* What about my monster nose?
* My creased face
* Clothes shopping (Yay!!)
* Pick a name!
* Hormone therapy!
* Surgery!!
* Coming out
    * To Mom and sister Sue
    * To neighbors
    * To other friends

I've already checked that our insurance covers reassignment surgery, but based on the WPATH standards of care, that could be two years down the road. I hope the haters don't take that away before I can use it.

I'm worded out. Setting this aside for now, but I hope I can discipline myself to keep on top of this, for my sake, and maybe if I get the courage, to publish it so other people can take whatever nuggets they can find from it.

=================

I guess I've developed that courage now. What a long way I've come.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on January 12, 2018, 12:18:47 pm
It sure does sound like you have passed some sort of watershed. It is no longer what will I do when someone reads me. It has become, I have a friends plane to check out and then spend some time with the girls. There will be many more times when you melt down and there are several more steps of your list to be either accomplished or dropped off the list. I do believe that you are getting to the point at which Stephanie figures out, not how she is going to transition, but how you are going to live your life as the true you.

I, for one, look forward to watching that story play out.
Love you sister,
Tia Anne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on January 12, 2018, 04:13:49 pm
Steph, how appropriate this was your post number 1,000.  And what an amazing journey so far. 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on January 12, 2018, 04:24:21 pm
I guess I've developed that courage now. What a long way I've come.
What a long way, indeed!  It is nice to be able to reflect back and appreciate the journey for what it is.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 12, 2018, 04:31:01 pm
Steph, how appropriate this was your post number 1,000.  And what an amazing journey so far.

Wow, that's pretty cool! I had no idea!

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on January 12, 2018, 04:58:02 pm
Wow, that's pretty cool! I had no idea!

Stephanie

Dang it ((Ste)(pha)nie), You (ruined) my comment. :-( I was going to accuse (you) of planning it. Of having thought about it mo(nths ago and wait)ing for just this time (to) post it. Dratz (()) I (hop)e you (washed) off the (top of the fridge) while you were up there. (Why)? Oh no particular (reason......)

 (Yes, you've (come a long way,) Baby)

Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 12, 2018, 05:10:17 pm
Dang it ((Ste)(pha)nie), You (ruined) my comment. :-( I was going to accuse (you) of planning it. Of having thought about it mo(nths ago and wait)ing for just this time (to) post it. Dratz (()) I (hop)e you (washed) off the (top of the fridge) while you were up there. (Why)? Oh no particular (reason......)

 (Yes, you've (come a long way,) Baby)

Hugs,
   Laurie

As far as I could tell it was #825. I still can’t figure out how to know what number it is...

I rubbed most of the dust and grease off the top o’ the fridge last time I was up there. But puleeeze don’t put me back up there (with my wine and chocolate and #stormchips)!!

S(t)epha[n]i{e}
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on January 12, 2018, 10:42:18 pm
As far as I could tell it was #825. I still can’t figure out how to know what number it is...

S(t)epha[n]i{e}

 2 ways to do it
1) it is on your profile page
2) look under one of your post avatars
3) (  ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) )
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 13, 2018, 01:48:19 am
I just got caught up, Steph. That diary entry has really highlighted how far you have come. I didn’t keep any kind of diary, but I do remember the night I came out to my wife. It has been permanently etched into my memories. Reading your entry reminded me of that night. My reaction of crying (hysterically at times) hyperventilating, barely able to breathe let alone speak, was just the way you described it.

I can’t tell you how much you have helped me by sharing your story. You have filled me with hope because we are similar in so many ways, even to the point of describing my wife as part Vulcan. I have never thought to use that to describe her before, but reading your posts made me think that it is fitting. That Vulcan trait has saved my life because she was able to be a rock solid shoulder for me to cry on each and every time I had one of my major meltdowns.

It is a pleasure to be soaring on this journey along side you sister!

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Bari Jo on January 13, 2018, 06:51:04 am
I like the idea of keeping a journal.  I envy you for being so disciplined too.  Wow you have come far from your first entry.  I feel like I'm only a little bit from mine.  Time to do some reflection.

Bari Jo
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on January 13, 2018, 12:57:53 pm
In a few days I'll be consuming a jug of that surgery prep stuff but I won't write it in my diary A
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 13, 2018, 01:06:21 pm
2 ways to do it
1) it is on your profile page
2) look under one of your post avatars
3) (  )

Hmmm. All I see is the total number of posts, which I just incremented again with this one. It doesn’t seem to say what number any particular post is.

But it’s ok. It’s still an amazing coincidence. Believe me, I didn’t plan it. How much scheming can you do from the top of a fridge?


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on January 13, 2018, 01:22:21 pm
In a few days I'll be consuming a jug of that surgery prep stuff but I won't write it in my diary A

Kendra, the stuff is yucky but not as bad as I expected it to be. Just look at it as an uncomfortable step that you need to take to reach your goal, then it is just an awkward night to be lost in your memory bank. Speaking of diaries, are you planning on opening a thread telling the tale of these next few months for you? You know that your fan club wants to track your progress!

Tia Anne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on January 13, 2018, 01:30:50 pm
I'll probably just add return trip notes to posts for GCS (https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,230213.msg2045592.html#msg2045592) and FFS (https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,230933.msg2052891.html#msg2052891) evals. 

I didn't post for VSRAC (VFS) in Seoul, got that estimate online - I'll post on that when I head to Korea at end of February. 

> Just look at it as an uncomfortable step that you need to take to reach your goal
I hear it is called the quick step
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Dena on January 13, 2018, 02:26:19 pm
Hmmm. All I see is the total number of posts, which I just incremental again with this one. It doesn’t seem to say what number any particular post is.

But it’s ok. It’s still an amazing coincidence. Believe me, I didn’t plan it. How much scheming can you do from the top of a fridge?


 - Stephanie
In your profile page, there is a link to your posting history. The down side of it is it doesn't count deleted posts. You may never delete a post personally but if you post in somebodies thread and they remove the entire thread, your post will go with it. The exception is staff can see deleted posts however they are still deleted so they don't count towards our total post numbers. I have around 1500 post that have ended up in the trash because somebody else removed their thread. My current post count is 13,367 but my posting history shows 14,979. Sometimes it makes me wonder if I should post in a thread that's going to end up in the trash.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 13, 2018, 03:06:46 pm
I'll probably just add return trip notes to posts for GCS (https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,230213.msg2045592.html#msg2045592) and FFS (https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,230933.msg2052891.html#msg2052891) evals. 

I didn't post for VSRAC (VFS) in Seoul, got that estimate online - I'll post on that when I head to Korea at end of February. 
I hear it is called the quick step

I hope everything comes out ok!

Seriously Kendra, I’m so happy for you! Best wishes for complete success. I’ll be watching closely that everything went well!


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 13, 2018, 03:16:57 pm
I just got caught up, Steph. That diary entry has really highlighted how far you have come. I didn’t keep any kind of diary, but I do remember the night I came out to my wife. It has been permanently etched into my memories. Reading your entry reminded me of that night. My reaction of crying (hysterically at times) hyperventilating, barely able to breathe let alone speak, was just the way you described it.

I can’t tell you how much you have helped me by sharing your story. You have filled me with hope because we are similar in so many ways, even to the point of describing my wife as part Vulcan. I have never thought to use that to describe her before, but reading your posts made me think that it is fitting. That Vulcan trait has saved my life because she was able to be a rock solid shoulder for me to cry on each and every time I had one of my major meltdowns.

It is a pleasure to be soaring on this journey along side you sister!

Jayne

It’s quite a ride, Jayne, but it’s so cool that I’ve met so many great people like you who are on board, too. Keep (almost) all appendages inside the ride at all times.


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 13, 2018, 03:19:06 pm
I like the idea of keeping a journal.  I envy you for being so disciplined too.  Wow you have come far from your first entry.  I feel like I'm only a little bit from mine.  Time to do some reflection.

Bari Jo

You give me too much credit, Bari Jo. Other than some statistics and a few pictures, that was pretty much my only entry in Day One. Almost everything else ended up here or in Faceplant.


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 13, 2018, 03:27:24 pm
It sure does sound like you have passed some sort of watershed. It is no longer what will I do when someone reads me. It has become, I have a friends plane to check out and then spend some time with the girls. There will be many more times when you melt down and there are several more steps of your list to be either accomplished or dropped off the list. I do believe that you are getting to the point at which Stephanie figures out, not how she is going to transition, but how you are going to live your life as the true you.

I, for one, look forward to watching that story play out.
Love you sister,
Tia Anne

Wow, thanks Tia. You do understand that those of you who go before me are like rock stars to this groupie, right? Sometimes I’m in awe that I can actually just have a normal conversation with all of you, even if the subject matter isn’t particularly normal. It really does emphasize that we’re all just ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances.

It would be so cool to meet each one of you in person and exchange hugs. I know it’ll happen some day.


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on January 13, 2018, 05:15:16 pm
Stephanie,

Rock stars, not by any means. "It really does emphasize that we’re all just ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances.", yes, I can buy into this......but even this is a huge step to finally be able to consider myself "just ordinary people" rather than the twisted freak that I felt myself to be for so many years.

And yes, I do look forward to sharing some time over a cup of coffee with you someday, discussing the magic of life! I am still hoping to get out your way next fall.

Tia Anne, your just ordinary sister with an amazing journey!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on January 13, 2018, 05:34:02 pm
Hmmm. All I see is the total number of posts, which I just incremented again with this one. It doesn’t seem to say what number any particular post is.

But it’s ok. It’s still an amazing coincidence. Believe me, I didn’t plan it. How much scheming can you do from the top of a fridge?


 - Stephanie

 You can count the number of posts from your most current post in your post history back to but not including   that one and subtract from your total posts number and it should be 1000. But it would have been easier if you had just looked at your total when you made the post like Kendra did.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 14, 2018, 10:01:03 am
Squeeeeee moments this morning: Cassie and I are on a road trip in Southern Florida, and went to the hotel breakfast room this morning. A nice old Spanish gentleman was running everything and greeted me with, “Good morning senorita! Would you like a waffle?” How could I say no?

Later he stopped by our table. “Chicas Bonitas! Amigas, or friends? Everything good?”

Si!!! Muy bueno!!!

What’s Spanish for SQUEEEEEEE!?


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on January 14, 2018, 11:35:04 am
Squeeeeeeñorita!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 14, 2018, 03:58:08 pm
Squeeeeeeñorita!

🤣🤪🤦🏼‍♀️

Can’t...  Catch... Breath!!

Whooooo...

We were eating lunch when I read this. I think there’s a strawberry lodged in my sinuses.

That’s it. Kendra wins Susan’s Place.

Stephansqueee
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: LizK on January 14, 2018, 08:19:54 pm
Squeeeeeeñorita!

Perfect!!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: LizK on January 14, 2018, 08:21:12 pm
Squeeeeee moments this morning: Cassie and I are on a road trip in Southern Florida, and went to the hotel breakfast room this morning. A nice old Spanish gentleman was running everything and greeted me with, “Good morning senorita! Would you like a waffle?” How could I say no?

Later he stopped by our table. “Chicas Bonitas! Amigas, or friends? Everything good?”

Si!!! Muy bueno!!!

What’s Spanish for SQUEEEEEEE!?


 - Stephanie

Nothing like an early morning ego boost to set you along your day in the right way... ;D
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: LJH24 on January 14, 2018, 08:34:59 pm
Squeeeeeeñorita!

 ;D :laugh: ;D :laugh:
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 14, 2018, 09:11:31 pm
Squeeeeeeñorita!
Awesome! I love it.

Sounds like a fun road trip. How about some photos?

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Anne Blake on January 14, 2018, 09:20:41 pm
I will add Devlyn's comment to that. It ain't real till we get the pictures!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 15, 2018, 08:32:33 pm
You want pictures? We gots pictures!

Well, we have A picture. Cassie may have others to share if she decides to tell you the main reason for the trip. I just went along for moral support, despite my inherent immorality. We saw your comments when we got back from the trip. After I rested up at Cassie’s Casa, as I packed up to head back to Stephanie Manor, I grabbed a shot of the travelers.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180116/89a03b041f0780df821ebb42fc6a5e5b.jpg)

Part of the trip included shopping(!) and you can see me wearing my new “Rhapsody Scarf.”

Most of the trip was just awesome, though there were a few sour notes. I’ve seen not-so-veiled references that I post too much about my meltdowns, so I’ll just say I had a rough time of it at one point and leave it at that. If anyone really wants details I can spill the ugly details in a PM. I’m mostly recovered now.

It’s good to be home, but it was also very good to spend time with my new sister and best friend Cassie. Like hanging out with you all, it’s so good to talk in depth with someone who really gets it, with the added benefit of IRL therapeutic hugs from someone who can pass the Kleenex box in a timely manner.

I hope to do another trip like that again sometime.


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on January 15, 2018, 08:41:30 pm
Great photo!  Two sweet gals there - glad you got to see Cassie.

> Part of the trip included shopping(!) and you can see me wearing my new “Rhapsody Scarf.”
I'll note the musical scarf reminds me of Gershwin's best composition, Rhapsody in Blue Jeans. 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 15, 2018, 08:52:35 pm
Glad you had a good trip. You’re both looking good.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Laurie on January 16, 2018, 12:10:03 am
  Both of you are looking good there but why is Cassie still in pajamas? Glad you two returned from this mysterious trip safe and sound. Did you two scarf down some delectable delights on the trip?
  And oh if you feel like being a drama queen about something then my dear do so.

 Hugs,
   Laurie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 16, 2018, 01:25:24 am
Most of the trip was just awesome, though there were a few sour notes. I’ve seen not-so-veiled references that I post too much about my meltdowns, so I’ll just say I had a rough time of it at one point and leave it at that. If anyone really wants details I can spill the ugly details in a PM. I’m mostly recovered now.

I've been encouraged behind the curtain to fill in the details of not just the above stuff, but also the rest of the trip. I realized, hey, what the heck, this is my thread and these are my stories. Read 'em or not.

Cassie had some personal stuff she needed to handle in southern FL, and asked if I'd go with her to act as a sympathetic ear and provide a shoulder to cry on if necessary (even if it meant bending way down to my level). Of course I went. There was never any question of it.

So I packed up on Friday, and way too early on Saturday jumped in the rollerskate and drove to her place, where we transferred  to her behemoth and headed south. On the way we stopped at a Starbucks, which I'm embarrassed to admit, as a small-town, frugal chick, I had never been in before. The coffee was good, and the breakfast sandwich was awesome, but how pretentious is "Tall," "Grande," and "Venti" for sizes? Sheesh. But hey, we were properly gendered, so no complaints. Back on the road.

About 2 1/2 hours later we arrived at the hotel in our destination. After a little negotiating they let us check into the room early, and I set up camp while Cassie got ready for her appointment. I had been thinking about walking out for something to eat while she was gone, but for some reason I got cold feet and just dozed and caught up with various forums, including this one, while she was gone for 2 1/2 hours. She came back with encouraging news, and there was some ocular leakage of the positive kind, then some quiet time to gather wits before we headed out to meet an old friend of hers for dinner.

E was a pretty cool dude, completely accepting of our transitions, and had tons of stories to tell about misadventures he and Cassie had experienced in the past. We had a great meal and talked until after 11pm. Back to the hotel, more girl talk until after 1 am, then collapse for the night.

Next morning started out as I'd already written, being called Chicas Bonitas by the kind old gentleman running the breakfast room. Time to pack up and... shop shop shop! Cassie's mission was to find a dress for a wedding, and I was just tagging along, but had a mental list of things I wanted to scout for. And no matter where we stopped, she walked out empty handed, and I bought something for myself. Got myself a new purse, some slacks that I'll need for an upcoming funeral, and my first pair of skinny jeans.

Lunch time at TooJays. Standing in line I saw a weird sign, and wondered what else they sold besides food:

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/9fdexzmfpat7ld4/toojays.jpg?raw=1)

The waitress took the orders from the ladies with no issues. The place had tables around the periphery, with a long padded bench for people to sit on on the wall side of the table, which meant you had someone sitting right next to you at the next table. And the ladies who came in and sat to our left gave us smiles as they settled in.

It was time to head back in the general direction of Cassie Casa. We stopped in to a gas station for snacks and drinks, and I took my stuff up to the check out. And the kid behind the counter misgendered me. WTF? What did he see that nobody else did? He seemed friendly and helpful, but gave me a "thank you, sir" as I hit the door. I was already halfway out when I realized what had happened. At this point I was more bemused than anything else. It planted the seed of doubt though, that maybe everybody else we'd encountered was just being nice to the short guy pretending to be a girl. It was just a seed, though, and not a big deal yet.

We had one more mission before getting to the end of the route. We had to meet someone and trade Cassie's truck for their car so they could use it to help a friend move. We met them in a store, they introduced themselves, and... I introduced myself as Steve. I leaned on Cassie in shock and disbelief. It was bad, but not as bad as the knowledge that this was the second time I'd done that to myself in one week.

What the Hell did I do? What does it mean? My only conclusion was that, despite all the effort to change my name on every piece of paperwork, every website, every possible communication; all the effort I'd been making to try to get everyone around me to understand and believe I am now Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger... I don't actually believe it myself. This realization provided the fertilizer for the earlier doubt started by the misgendering to grow.

We hit another store, and Cassie finally found some dresses. I also found one that was a lot like one that Cassie has, with vertical panels that emphasize the hourglass shape, that she looks stunning in. I decided to give it a try - and I looked ridiculous. It was sleeveless, so my shoulders stuck out, and the panels just didn't do anything for me. Knowing how good Cassie looked in essentially the same dress just added to my insecurity.

With the misgendering, self-deadnaming, and now loss of confidence in my progress with HRT, by the time we got to Cassie's place, I was circling the drain.

We went in, got hot beverages and sat in front of the fire, and I slid into meltdown mode. This time it was Cassie's turn to be the strong one. Lots more talking, ocular leakage, and hugs, and it was time to crash, with the sure knowledge that my Kleenex stock just had another uptick.

I have no cause or resolution to the problem, but I washed a good portion of the pain out with the leakage, and felt somewhat better in the morning. Cassie cooked breakfast in her jammies and we sat and talked around the fire, telling secrets and offering thoughts and advice on anything and everything, until I realized it was almost 3pm and I really needed to get home. I threw the luggage in the skate, and we grabbed the picture you've already seen, and after hugs I was off to the Bensinger compound.

So now it's back to reality. I'm still deeply disturbed by deadnaming myself multiple times, and I don't know what to do about it. It feels especially awkward now to enforce names and pronouns on other people when I don't believe it myself. I'm kind of twisting in the wind. Though I admit that I did correct one of my neighbors with "she" when he got it wrong. He smiled and told me it was going to take him a long time to get it right. I smiled back and told him that's fine, but I was going to continue correcting him until then.

Despite the fact that I'm still pretty rattled by this latest realization, on balance it was a pretty good trip. Just getting away with someone who gets it and doesn't get tired of hearing about it as the muggles do is very therapeutic. So, to paraphrase Ashley, On We Plod...

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Michelle_P on January 16, 2018, 02:11:12 am
I’m sorry you had that experience, Stephanie.  I think it takes a while for our reptilian hindbrain to catch up on our new self-image, as in Nature we don’t really change much or with any speed in adulthood, and it isn’t very good about absorbing big, rapid change like HRT and gender presentation changes can bring about.

It feeds miscues into us, and once we goof, that self-questioning part of our mind, the Doubt Monster, is reawakened and hungry to chew on us once again. Again, it takes time to get the Doubt Monster shrunk down to the Doubt Chihuahua, and to develop the firmly seated actualized gender identity that would let us laugh it off.

It takes time.  Patience is in short supply, yet what we need most in transition to wait out days like this one.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 16, 2018, 03:36:14 am
Hi Steph,

Welcome back from your trip. Overall it sounds like things went rather well. I’m glad you and Cassie had a good time and enjoyed each other’s company.

Quote
What the Hell did I do? What does it mean? My only conclusion was that, despite all the effort to change my name on every piece of paperwork, every website, every possible communication; all the effort I'd been making to try to get everyone around me to understand and believe I am now Stephanie Rhapsody Bensinger... I don't actually believe it myself. This realization provided the fertilizer for the earlier doubt started by the misgendering to grow.
...

With the misgendering, self-deadnaming, and now loss of confidence in my progress with HRT, by the time we got to Cassie's place, I was circling the drain.

As for this ^^^^^, I would say don’t be so hard on yourself. So you dead named yourself a couple of times. What does it mean? It means for the overwhelming majority of your life you have been referring to yourself with the old name. In comparison, you have been Stephanie for a tiny fraction of that time. It was accidental and doesn’t need to be over analysed. You’re a pilot, have you heard of the Swiss cheese model? All the holes happened to line up for whatever reason and the old name came out when you introduced yourself. And the kid behind the counter who misgendered you probably had their brain elsewhere thinking about who knows what. Their last 10 customers could have all been male and “sir” came out automatically. They probably couldn’t describe you if their life depended on it because they weren’t paying any attention to you. They scanned the goods, took your money and gave you change. It’s likely that you could have  been wearing a big bird costume and they wouldn’t have noticed.

Go easy on yourself. Your transition is going so well, a few slip ups along the way can be expected and have no significance in the grand scheme of things.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: HappyMoni on January 16, 2018, 04:20:50 am
Hi Steph,
   Don't feel bad about saying the  name wrong. We have neurological pathways that we have used for so long, sometimes we slip into them when we are not thinking. We can't deny that we used the old name a long time. It means nothing about your commitment to being the real you. It is more a statement that you have relaxed a lot and are not as hyper-vigilant with your gender perhaps, a good thing. The person in the store could have done something similar. Don't let it shake you for long.
Moni
Oh, it happens to most all of us. Don't localize it to just you.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Bari Jo on January 16, 2018, 04:33:35 am
Hi Steph, I feel your pain.  I've been referring to myself as my dogs mommy for about a month to him.  Yesterday, I said daddy, and damn I was uncomfortable.  It made me question myself, but I got back on the mommy train.  You can too.

Bari Jo
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on January 16, 2018, 06:13:59 am
Hi, Steph.

I am glad you had a (mostly) good trip.

Don't ever censor yourself.  And thank you for reconsidering and sharing your experience.  You are among friends here, and the reason we are here is to help you and others with exactly this kind of thing.

Don't worry about self-dead-naming.  I have done it a couple of times.  The least damaging time, it was in a trans-friendly space to another trans-woman.  As I collapsed in self-mortification, she reassured me, "Don't worry.  We all do it."

You hear that, Steph?  We all do it!

In my case, it was a pre-wired response in my mind.  Someone puts out their hand and says, "Hi, I am _____." and my automatic, unthinking, totally wired-in response was, "Hi, I'm <dead name>."  It came out without any kind of thought or premeditation.  In other words, it didn't mean anything, and didn't reveal anything psychological.  It was pure habit, no more meaningful than the knee jerk if you whack my knee with a rubber hammer.

The two occasions on which it happened (the other one was much more embarrassing) made enough of an impression on me to start re-wiring those mental circuits.  I doubt if that habit is still there.  On the other hand, I do still find myself misgendering myself with pronouns.  It doesn't mean anything either: it's just a habit.

Don't worry about it!

Oh, and thanks for the pics!  I bet you're going to rock those skinny jeans.

[edit]I just saw this in someone's Facebook post:
Whoever denies me it shall not trouble me,
That includes yourself, hon.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 16, 2018, 12:20:35 pm
Thank you so much, everyone, for your caring and helpful advice. I'm still getting used to having anyone, much less so many of you, care so much about me. I lived much of my former life mostly in social isolation, with just a very small group of people I'd interact with, so having so many friends is one of the best benefits of transitioning for me.

To give an idea how close to the surface my emotions run nowadays, and how much small things can affect my mood, I just had something happen that has me smiling wide again.

My neighbors have just had a new plane (to them) delivered. I took Maggie for a walk and considered avoiding the group hanging around and oohing and aahhing over the new machine, to avoid having to meet the ferry pilot who had delivered the plane. I got waved over from the other side of the runway, so I had to walk over there. D and her husband C had just bought the plane, and my next door neighbor G was there, too. All are great with my transition, but I really didn't know how far they'd come until D decided to introduce me to the ferry pilot. She told him, "This is Stephanie. She's a really good pilot and she builds really nice airplanes." G chimed in with, "Yeah, she builds the best planes!" D pulled me into a conversation by asking how many planes I'd built, so I had to start talking. I gave my voice my best shot, having to tell the ferry pilot about all the different kinds of planes I'd been involved with, and what the latest project had been. And he bought it, hook, line, and sinker. I didn't need an airplane to fly home.

It is a little concerning that my mood can be swung so easily. I used to live a very stable, though unhappy existence. Now I feel so much that it gets overwhelming sometimes, and takes very little bias to make large changes, sort of like a semiconductor. I guess I really am a trans-sister.

Thanks again, everyone. I love you all.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on January 16, 2018, 01:45:41 pm
takes very little bias to make large changes, sort of like a semiconductor. I guess I really am a trans-sister.
OK, folks, we have a new contender for groaner of the year!  :D
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 16, 2018, 02:24:03 pm
OK, folks, we have a new contender for groaner of the year!  :D

Geeze. I pour my heart out and what do they remember?

The year is young. I’m sure I’ll come up with something better (worse) before the year is out.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 16, 2018, 02:31:39 pm
I bet you're going to rock those skinny jeans.

I’m thinking this might be a Squeeee moment.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180116/638373a201b8c69765de31b388ffe440.jpg)

Stephanieeeeeee
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on January 16, 2018, 03:01:31 pm
Yep, you're rocking it sister!

And yes, while the groaner got my attention, I did note and appropriately delight in the levitation.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on January 16, 2018, 03:09:06 pm
I’m thinking this might be a Squeeee moment.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180116/638373a201b8c69765de31b388ffe440.jpg)

Stephanieeeeeee

There ya go. "Ah Likes It"
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 16, 2018, 03:48:00 pm
I’m thinking this might be a Squeeee moment.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180116/638373a201b8c69765de31b388ffe440.jpg)

Stephanieeeeeee
I like the look Steph. Definitely squeeeeee worthy.

Also, nice trans-sister moment with the neighbors and their new plane. Isn’t life so much more interesting being able to feel such a variety of emotions. I can’t imagine ever going back to that humdrum 2 emotion person I used to be (the 2 emotions being happy or not happy).

Did I mention you are rocking those skinny jeans. Seriously! You’ve nailed it!!

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Cassi on January 16, 2018, 03:50:25 pm
I like the look Steph. Definitely squeeeeee worthy.

Also, nice trans-sister moment with the neighbors and their new plane. Isn’t life so much more interesting being able to feel such a variety of emotions. I can’t imagine ever going back to that humdrum 2 emotion person I used to be (the 2 emotions being happy or not happy).

Did I mention you are rocking those skinny jeans. Seriously! You’ve nailed it!!

Jayne

NIce
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SassyCassie on January 16, 2018, 04:47:13 pm
I’m thinking this might be a Squeeee moment.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180116/638373a201b8c69765de31b388ffe440.jpg)

Stephanieeeeeee

Chica bonita!

Didn't I tell you that you need to have some skinny jeans in your life!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SassyCassie on January 16, 2018, 04:59:49 pm
Don't worry about self-dead-naming.  I have done it a couple of times.  The least damaging time, it was in a trans-friendly space to another trans-woman.  As I collapsed in self-mortification, she reassured me, "Don't worry.  We all do it."

So far, as I told Steph, I haven't accidentally deadnamed myself, though I have had to do it deliberately since I haven't changed my legal documents as yet. I think that might be because I talk to myself a lot. Usually, it goes something like:
"Focus, Cassie, focus."
"Slow it down Cassie."
"You've got this, Cassie"
"Cassie, don't say that, that's mean"

Maybe that's inadvertently made a difference. Of course, I never was the outgoing type who went around introducing myself to lots and lots of people, so that behavior never really got ingrained in my subconscious.

Steph, don't just "not worry about it". Stay aware of that behavior and make a conscious effort to change it. You've had the strength and emotional resilience to change so much else about yourself in such a short time that this will be a walk in the park for you. You're the one who's killin' it, Pretty Sister - bein' all sassy in your skinny jeans! ;)
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SassyCassie on January 16, 2018, 05:31:17 pm
  Both of you are looking good there but why is Cassie still in pajamas? Glad you two returned from this mysterious trip safe and sound. Did you two scarf down some delectable delights on the trip?

Well, like to be comfy when I'm out and about on the grounds of my estate. :D

That, and Steph is right - we spent most of the day just talking with each other and sharing secrets we had never told to a single other soul. That of course was after having coffee by the fireplace and some of Cassie's Culinary Curiosities for breakfast.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 17, 2018, 12:52:54 am
Well, things are definitely looking up (no short jokes, please) around the Steph Enclave. I received my second email communication from Dr. Ting's office at Mt. Sinai today. They're starting the communication process with my insurance company, and gave me a list of letters and records they need from my therapist, endocrinologist, and primary care doc. My insurance requires letters from two doctors, and Mt. Sinai will supply the second after our meetings. That means I won't have to find a second therapist around this area, though Cassie highly recommended her therapist for the second opinion.

In other news, this evening was another one of our trivia contest get-togethers. Sue ended up getting there late, so I was forced into a close social situation without her as a buffer, and it went fine. S, who is boss of our team, has known my story from the first time I joined them, and I think the two guys who were there have known for a while, too. I wasn't sure about the one guy's wife, but she used "he" and "she" interchangeably all evening, so somebody must have clued her in. It didn't bother me at all, especially after she complimented me on my bright red fingernails.

After the game was over (we lost miserably - what's Maverick's real first name in Top Gun?) I went to use the lady's room, and hokey smoke Bullwinkle, the room was full with women waiting for open stalls. And I mixed right in with no awkwardness or weirdness, even engaging in a little chatting. When I finally got into a stall I had a "YESSSS!!" moment.

From there we went to another restaurant to meet up with all my neighbors for a surprise birthday party for one of them. I was just another one of the gang, and even got a couple of the women into a conversation about finding me more feminine glasses. One of them I knew would be cool, but the other had given me the impression that she was putting a little space between us. I was surprised when she enthusiastically jumped right in with advice and recommendations. I count that as another win.

So let's see: Getting lots of loving and helpful advice from dear friends; moving forward on GCS; being correctly named and gendered by two neighbors and getting by with my voice while being introduced to a stranger; rockin' my new airplane earrings (haven't mentioned them yet, have I?); digging my new skinny jeans; navigating a social situation successfully; dealing with a full restroom; being welcomed once again as just another part of our extended family in the neighborhood; engaging with neighbors about feminizing myself. Oh, and being deputized to slap some sense into Laurie if needed. I think that qualifies as a pretty successful day.

Kinda puts Sunday's meltdown in the rearview mirror...

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: SadieBlake on January 17, 2018, 07:03:13 am
Steph, you haven't heard? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet (and still have thorns).

I seem to be past deadnaming myself, it took most of 8 months and happened most often during context switches, say an unexpected turn in conversation or phone call that put me into a defensive mode. In short don't sweat it (or even glow over it).

As to being misgendered, try my life on for a while, as a non passable femme dyke I've been accepted into some lesbian organizations (yay) still even in these days of supposedly intersectional feminism had to explain myself to one of these and been rejected by another.

As to being misgendered, remember that happens to cis females also. Passing as female is harder than passing as male.

So on my end I passed my first big test this weekend, an annual sex party, heavily lgbtq, albeit with plenty of het attendees also. I spent much of my weekend close to nude wearing only lingerie, finally attending as a fairly complete me, no longer sporting that bulge. And I was every bit the wallflower I've been for the couple of decades I've been going to this. Still, I was approached by a lovely woman who turned out to be bisexual and we made love both Saturday and Sunday nights.

So I've finally had sex as a lesbian woman with a primarily lesbian woman. Something I've known I wanted long before I even realized I was trans. I'm still floating on an euphoric cloud :-).

This is all that matters to me. Holding and being held by someone who simply gets me is the best thing I could ask of this life and knowing that's happened now, I know it will happen again.

Your story and needs of course are different from mine. You're living your life and that's the main thing, don't get too hung up on the names and appearances.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 17, 2018, 08:30:28 am
Thank you Sadie, for the caring advice.

Yes, our stories are different, but happiness crosses all boundaries. When I tapped on your message, suddenly all this joy came running out of my phone all over the table. I’m dripping happy tears for you. Dreams do come true. ❤️


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: HappyMoni on January 17, 2018, 08:50:26 am
Well, things are definitely looking up (no short jokes, please) around the Steph Enclave. I received my second email communication from Dr. Ting's office at Mt. Sinai today. They're starting the communication process with my insurance company, and gave me a list of letters and records they need from my therapist, endocrinologist, and primary care doc. My insurance requires letters from two doctors, and Mt. Sinai will supply the second after our meetings. That means I won't have to find a second therapist around this area, though Cassie highly recommended her therapist for the second opinion.

In other news, this evening was another one of our trivia contest get-togethers. Sue ended up getting there late, so I was forced into a close social situation without her as a buffer, and it went fine. S, who is boss of our team, has known my story from the first time I joined them, and I think the two guys who were there have known for a while, too. I wasn't sure about the one guy's wife, but she used "he" and "she" interchangeably all evening, so somebody must have clued her in. It didn't bother me at all, especially after she complimented me on my bright red fingernails.

After the game was over (we lost miserably - what's Maverick's real first name in Top Gun?) I went to use the lady's room, and hokey smoke Bullwinkle, the room was full with women waiting for open stalls. And I mixed right in with no awkwardness or weirdness, even engaging in a little chatting. When I finally got into a stall I had a "YESSSS!!" moment.

From there we went to another restaurant to meet up with all my neighbors for a surprise birthday party for one of them. I was just another one of the gang, and even got a couple of the women into a conversation about finding me more feminine glasses. One of them I knew would be cool, but the other had given me the impression that she was putting a little space between us. I was surprised when she enthusiastically jumped right in with advice and recommendations. I count that as another win.

So let's see: Getting lots of loving and helpful advice from dear friends; moving forward on GCS; being correctly named and gendered by two neighbors and getting by with my voice while being introduced to a stranger; rockin' my new airplane earrings (haven't mentioned them yet, have I?); digging my new skinny jeans; navigating a social situation successfully; dealing with a full restroom; being welcomed once again as just another part of our extended family in the neighborhood; engaging with neighbors about feminizing myself. Oh, and being deputized to slap some sense into Laurie if needed. I think that qualifies as a pretty successful day.

Kinda puts Sunday's meltdown in the rearview mirror...

Stephanie
Steph,
   Glad you are feeling better. Especially like the part about slapping sense into Laurie. How do I sign up for that?
Moni
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 17, 2018, 08:52:55 am
Report to Captain Jayne for deputization. Take a book. There may be a long line.


 - Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 17, 2018, 03:59:51 pm
So let's see: Getting lots of loving and helpful advice from dear friends; moving forward on GCS; being correctly named and gendered by two neighbors and getting by with my voice while being introduced to a stranger; rockin' my new airplane earrings (haven't mentioned them yet, have I?); digging my new skinny jeans; navigating a social situation successfully; dealing with a full restroom; being welcomed once again as just another part of our extended family in the neighborhood; engaging with neighbors about feminizing myself. Oh, and being deputized to slap some sense into Laurie if needed. I think that qualifies as a pretty successful day.

Kinda puts Sunday's meltdown in the rearview mirror...

Stephanie
Hiya Steph! Well, I’m not sure how I can add to this. You have summarised it all up pretty well. I am very happy you have had such a good day. You are just going about living your life being you. Your constant thoughts of gender are starting to take a back seat and you are just living a normal life. That is awesome! You’ve done it! You are Stephanie, just another one of the girls. What remains can be classified as logistics, just processes you need to go through. The hard part is done, you have accepted and believe in yourself.

There is only one problem I see with what you have posted. You know I love planes. Why are you hiding these new aeroplane earrings? (It looks like I also need to teach you how to spell “aeroplane” ) Photo please! I want to see those earrings!

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 17, 2018, 04:39:33 pm
Steph,
   Glad you are feeling better. Especially like the part about slapping sense into Laurie. How do I sign up for that?
Moni
I, Captain Jayne, herby deputise Moni (Moanie, for Laurie to understand) as an official Slap Officer to keep Laurie in line during my absence.

Captain Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 18, 2018, 01:03:07 am
After letting my business go mostly dormant for the last six months, I'm finally getting my act together. For some reason, within the last week or so I've gotten four inquiries for the plane I import, which is huge, but I've been so preoccupied that I've been neglecting them.

Well, tonight I finally sat down and returned the messages. Three of them were people I've had contact with in the past so I had no choice except than to out myself to them. We'll see what kind of reaction I get. The fourth I don't think I've ever met, so unless he's seen other references, he's going to know the dealer only as Stephanie.

I've got to admit, it was pretty cool signing all those emails as Stephanie Bensinger.

Addendum: I just sent off an email to the Italian company whose planes I import, laying everything out. They are the last people that I needed to come out to, and it's been hanging heavily over my head for quite a while. It was causing a lot of anxiety and it's past time to be done with it one way or another. I have no idea how Italians take such things, but soon I'll have some resolution to it, and can move forward.

I'm nervous as I wait for a reply, but the weight of hiding it is now gone.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Kendra on January 18, 2018, 02:01:06 am
I think this is very important - gaining closure on an important business question, another milestone in your transition.  It really will come down to the individuals involved, but in a competitive industry it's quite likely the people you have been working with overseas are quite open minded.  That's one of the requirements for being a true entrepreneur. 
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 18, 2018, 02:18:47 am
I think this is very important - gaining closure on an important business question, another milestone in your transition.  It really will come down to the individuals involved, but in a competitive industry it's quite likely the people you have been working with overseas are quite open minded.  That's one of the requirements for being a true entrepreneur.

Thanks Kendra. I guess it was the one last river to cross. Things haven’t been going all that well with them for a while anyway, so it won’t be a huge loss if they kick me to the curb. I was actually ready to send them a resignation rather than come out to them, but receiving four inquiries in the space of a few weeks after nothing for over a year got my attention.

Now good grief, girlfriend, get some sleep. I think you have a busy schedule in the morning. Or do you just plan to sleep through it and let someone else do all the work?

Say Hi to Saha for me. He was nice when we talked here.

See you on the other side.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 18, 2018, 07:22:01 am
After letting my business go mostly dormant for the last six months, I'm finally getting my act together. For some reason, within the last week or so I've gotten four inquiries for the plane I import, which is huge, but I've been so preoccupied that I've been neglecting them.

Well, tonight I finally sat down and returned the messages. Three of them were people I've had contact with in the past so I had no choice except than to out myself to them. We'll see what kind of reaction I get.

First response received. He's a business owner who had one of his employees transition on the job. He knows all about it, and described the situation with no misgendering. He wants a quote.

Yay!
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Faith on January 18, 2018, 07:30:16 am
First response received. He's a business owner who had one of his employees transition on the job. He knows all about it, and described the situation with no misgendering. He wants a quote.

Yay!

Yay!

Like I told my Wife yesterday, "The world is full of us, we're going to take over".
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Bari Jo on January 18, 2018, 07:31:23 am
Hmm, I'm following this with interest.  I think you know of my home based business.  Once I am out to the world it will be the only female owned business of that type in the world.  I'm afraid my transition may overshadow the product.  Gotta be done though.  We have a convention soon where I will be releasing the first big product and that will be the time.  Eef, too much pressure.

Are you the only female owned plane importer?

Bari Jo
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 18, 2018, 08:55:38 am
Yay!

Like I told my Wife yesterday, "The world is full of us, we're going to take over".

And gosh, it looks like they're going to let us! I just got a second response. This guy still wants a quote, too, and addressed his email to Stephanie. I had to smile, because his name is Steve, and he signed it in capital letters.  :D

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 18, 2018, 08:57:18 am
Are you the only female owned plane importer?

I doubt it, but I couldn't actually name another one.

So far so good, Bari Jo. And I would think in your field, you'd get even less pushback than I would.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 18, 2018, 09:45:25 am
Hmm, I'm following this with interest.  I think you know of my home based business.  Once I am out to the world it will be the only female owned business of that type in the world.  I'm afraid my transition may overshadow the product. 

It's starting to look like it's a non-issue. I already have a second reply from the first customer, and it has the potential for a lucrative ongoing contract. It's by far the most promising possibility I've ever had, and it's for the company run by me, Stephanie.

The product is what it's all about, and money talks. I looks like you've got nothing to worry about. If people respect your work, everything else seems to be secondary.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Bari Jo on January 18, 2018, 09:53:29 am
It's starting to look like it's a non-issue. I already have a second reply from the first customer, and it has the potential for a lucrative ongoing contract. It's by far the most promising possibility I've ever had, and it's for the company run by me, Stephanie.

The product is what it's all about, and money talks. I looks like you've got nothing to worry about. If people respect your work, everything else seems to be secondary.

Stephanie

That's good to hear.  I'm sure I will be posting about my experiences of this when the time comes.

Bari Jo
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Jayne01 on January 18, 2018, 11:04:07 am
It's starting to look like it's a non-issue. I already have a second reply from the first customer, and it has the potential for a lucrative ongoing contract. It's by far the most promising possibility I've ever had, and it's for the company run by me, Stephanie.

The product is what it's all about, and money talks. I looks like you've got nothing to worry about. If people respect your work, everything else seems to be secondary.

Stephanie
That’s great news Steph. The product and your workmanship speak for themselves. People aren’t interested in who is selling what. They are interested in the product and how much it will cost them. If they are gonna buy, they’re gonna buy.....it just makes the process smoother and more enjoyable when the seller is a nice person.

Jayne
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: KathyLauren on January 18, 2018, 01:03:44 pm
I am glad that issue is sorting itself out.  If you are the best at what you do, customers will know that and appreciate it, no matter what happens in your personal life.
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Mariah on January 18, 2018, 02:23:59 pm
So true. So glad to hear this hurdle has meant so well for you. I know where  I worked when I transitioned it was a non issue as well and they never goofed my name up that I ever recall after coming out as Mariah. Anyways that is fantastic news. Hugs
Mariah
It's starting to look like it's a non-issue. I already have a second reply from the first customer, and it has the potential for a lucrative ongoing contract. It's by far the most promising possibility I've ever had, and it's for the company run by me, Stephanie.

The product is what it's all about, and money talks. I looks like you've got nothing to worry about. If people respect your work, everything else seems to be secondary.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: Mariah on January 18, 2018, 02:26:12 pm
So true. So glad to hear this hurdle has meant so well for you. I know where  I worked when I transitioned it was a non issue as well and they never goofed my name up that I ever recall after coming out as Mariah. Anyways that is fantastic news. Hugs
Mariah
It's starting to look like it's a non-issue. I already have a second reply from the first customer, and it has the potential for a lucrative ongoing contract. It's by far the most promising possibility I've ever had, and it's for the company run by me, Stephanie.

The product is what it's all about, and money talks. I looks like you've got nothing to worry about. If people respect your work, everything else seems to be secondary.

Stephanie
Title: Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
Post by: steph2.0 on January 18, 2018, 11:46:30 pm
Hiya Steph! Well, I’m not sure how I can add to this. You have summarised it all up pretty well. I am very happy you have had such a good day. You are just going about living your life being you. Your constant thoughts of gender are starting to take a back seat and you are just living a normal life. That is awesome! You’ve done it! You are Stephanie, just another one of the girls. What remains can be classified as logistics, just processes you need to go through. The hard part is done, you have accepted and believe in yourself.

You give me far too much credit. I wish I sported that level of confidence, but the truth is I still get anxious before I go out anywhere, and I’m always mentally preparing myself for the worst in any interaction. And I still get surprised, not just by other people, but even by myself (see the self-dead-naming episode). But yeah, it is slowly getting better. I’m doing things I never would have imagined even 6 months ago. I’m not there yet, but I can see that someday I will be.

Quote
There is only one problem I see with what you have posted. You know I love planes. Why are you hiding these new aeroplane earrings? (It looks like I also need to teach you how to spell “aeroplane” ) Photo please! I want to see those earrings!

I wanted something small I could leave in when I wasn’t wearing dangly ones. I can wear these to bed without them being annoying. So here are my