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Friday, November 28, 2014

Last Word

I am as lucid and happy as I have ever been after going through some very challenging times, I have come out on the other side far stronger than I ever imagined was possible and wish the very same for the rest of you.

It wasn't always like that.

In July, 2012, Joanna began her blog with a post, simply titled Day One. In that post, she wrote:

Life will get better again. I know that from experience but I hate feel stuck in the middle like this. I am a man but I am not normal. I am a man who dresses up as a woman and I feel its advancing. Some days I wish it would just go away and let me be. But I know it won't.

She had just broken up with her significant other, and turned to the world of blogging as a way to heal.

She did, and now she's written her Last Word.

I'm going to miss Joanna's writing.  Coming from a scientific background, she has been on a quest to better understand why she is the way she is.  She has written many interesting posts.  I have certainly benefited from Joanna's writing.  Take some time, if you haven't already, and browse through her writings.  By sharing her thoughts, Joanna may help you to learn a bit more about yourself.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Matt Kailey's Thanksgiving Coming Out Poem

For the past few days, I've been thinking about featuring another blog post with a Thanksgiving theme.  Thanksgiving, however, is not a world-wide holiday.  Indeed, many in the USA are not even aware that the 4th Thursday in November is exclusively an American holiday.  Even fewer, sadly, are aware that our neighbors to the north celebrate a similar Thanksgiving holiday on the second Monday in October.  

I guess what I'm trying to say is that a Thanksgiving post, might only apply to the American readers of T-Central and the last thing I want to do is to alienate our readers in other parts of the world or my co-TC administrators, Halle, in Canada, and Jenny, in England.

So, I looked around for just the right post.

And then it hit me.

Some of you may remember Matt Kailey's Tranifesto blog.  Matt transitioned from female-to-male, in 2007. It was a sad day in the LBGT world, when Matt died in his sleep, last May, at far too young an age.  His blog is still listed on T-Central.  His last post, Tranifesto Celebrates Five Years, was on March 31, 2014.

Every Thanksgiving, Matt posted his Thanksgiving poem.  It's funny, yet it is so true and, really, can apply to any holiday where family gather together.

With that said, I think it is quite appropriate that we honor Matt, by re-posting his Annual Thanksgiving Coming Out Poem.

A Thanksgiving Coming Out
By Matt Kailey
There’s a holiday coming on which we give thanks
For the wonderful things in our lives.
Not cell phones or new cars or what’s in the bank,
But our partners or husbands or wives.

We think of our loved ones as we plan our trips.
To see them will be a real treat.
And we know that the question on everyone’s lips
Will be, “When the heck do we eat?”

Now I’ve been through many a Thanksgiving feast
And lived to tell the story.
I can’t really rank them from most fun to least —
They all seemed a little bit gory.

There was one at my grandmother’s house, when she said,
“Let us each say what we’re thankful for.”
But before we could answer, my drunk Uncle Ted
Was sprawled out like a dog on the floor.

Another time everyone came to my place
With their offers to get in the way.
They crowded the kitchen and took up the space,
But at clean-up, they just couldn’t stay.

Then my sis tried her hand at the family feast,
With enough food to feed twenty-one.
But her poor old dog, Rover, that ungrateful beast,
Got there first and left us with none.

So, what’s really going on here? Are you excited? I mean —

Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends
Is supposed to be something quite dear.
But whatever your means and whatever the end —
Admit it. You’re quaking with fear.

There’s nothing exactly like gathering in thanks,
After wading through mountains of snow
With sweet Aunt Matilda and that slob Uncle Frank
And their passel of children in tow.

Then your psychotic brother
Arrives with his wife,
And you wish that he’d put down
That sharp carving knife.

And your parents announce
A Thanksgiving Day bet
That has something to do with
Why you’re not married yet.

And your nephew, who’s one,
Starts to laugh at his toes
And squirts mashed potatoes
From out of his nose.

And your cousin,
Who’s eighteen going on thirty-three,
Reaches under the table
And fondles your knee.

But the worst thing is going to somebody’s house
Who you’ve never laid eyes on before,
And eating strange food prepared by their spouse
And choking out, “Sure, I’ll have more.”

We all have our stories of Thanksgiving pain,
Of the sacrifice we’ve had to make.
Of the friends that we’ve lost and the weight that we’ve gained
And the turkeys that just wouldn’t bake.

Of the vegetables we couldn’t identify
And the rolls that were hard as a rock.
And the off-color jokes that we just let slip by
While our grandparents went into shock.

Even so, on Thanksgiving, there’s fun to be had.
You just have to know how to do it.
While you’re dealing with relatives, mother and dad,
You can do more than simply get through it.

Have some fun. I did. Here’s how.

One year, my grandmother confessed to me,
“I miss the old songs of my day.”
She sat at the piano, hands over the keys,
And she said, “Will you sing if I play?”

She started a melody, one that I know,
A song that began with a bang.
And I stood up and readied myself for the show,
Then I opened my mouth and I sang (to the tune of “Has Anybody Seen My Gal”):

Six foot two, eyes of blue,
Works on a construction crew.
Has anybody seen my guy?

Studly nose, knows the pose,
Has a million other beaus
Has anybody seen my guy?

If you see a fine dandy,
Handsome and slim
Diamond rings and all those things
You can bet your life it isn’t him

But could he love, could he woo
If you find him, you can, too,
Has anybody seen my guy?
(I really miss him)
Has anybody seen my guy?
(Come back to me, baby)
Has anybody seen my guy?

Well, my father jumped up and he started to scream.
My mother said, “Oh, no, oh, no.”
My aunts and my uncles turned six shades of green.
And my brother said, “I told you so.”

The house was in chaos, the family was crazed,
And nobody knew what to say.
Then my grandma said, “What’s wrong?” She seemed quite amazed
When my mom blurted out, “Oh, he’s gay.”

So my grandmother looked at me, up and then down,
And, at first, didn’t utter a thing.
Then she turned to my mother and said with a frown,
“He’s not gay. He can’t even sing.”

“And look at that hair! And those clothes!”

Though my Thanksgiving coming out could have been better,
There are some things we cannot foresee.
But I’m grateful my cousin, even though I would let her,
Has never again touched my knee.

And as for you —

If you feel like you’re getting the Thanksgiving blues
And fun things start feeling like chores,
And you’re dreading the sound of your relatives’ shoes
As they head up the walk to your door —

Just think of my story as you make your way
Through whatever the holidays bring.
And be glad that you didn’t find out, on Thanksgiving Day,
That your son, or your daughter …

can’t sing.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Virtues of Brittle Nails and Split Ends

It amazes me when some would say ‘why on earth would you want to be a woman’, usually pointing out medical problems or the battle in the work place for fair pay and letching that some men still persist in. Despite the virtues of brittle nails and split ends nothing changes the innate inner feelings which when examined come to the same conclusion that I want to be; despite the upkeep.

Hannah is always thinking and putting her thoughts into writing.  The excerpt, above, is from our featured post, The Virtues of Brittle Nails and Split Ends.  It's a fun, well written post, and you'll want to read it from start to finish.

I've mentioned many times, here on T-Central, how much I value good writing.  Hannah is one of the best.  The trans reader just can't help but relate to what she writes.  This, for example, is from a post titled, Not As Me:

I’ve grown into my gender dysphoria. It’s slid sideways into my real life slowly changing who I am. Of course it’s not actually the gender dysphoria that is taking over me but self discovery of who I am as an adult moulding me into the person I actually want to be. In fact that person is different to what I expected. She is a place that is nicer to be than the one who wanted to outwardly impress by beauty or youth. She is the person who is finding the intellect that she didn’t realize she had. The person with the artistic expression she found in her thirties. She is me. Maybe this is what becoming a woman is all about.

And this, from her post, Hollywood Red and Gloss:

When gender clashed with my life it was an exciting double life full of vibrant thrills and new people that were completely separate from the daily trudge of work, commuting, bills and commitments; it was like a holiday. One day I came to a screaming realization that the thought I had in my teens that this was a reality, it suddenly became very much at odds with everyday existence. Much like the path of a drug addiction the stick of Maybelline Hollywood Red was no longer a treat but a daily dependency just to feel normal. As shallow as it might sound even dull nails that are lacking at least one thin clear coat can be a little depressing.

I could go on and on about this blog.  I recently discovered it, and I'm hooked.   You will be too.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Are You an Apple Trapped Inside a Cranberry?

Jamie Ray lives in the United States.   The American Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.  The following Friday, for many, is a day off from work and a popular shopping day.  

Thanksgiving is a family holiday, where families gather, eat a feast, and give thanks.

Because of the American Thanksgiving's close proximity to the Christmas and New Year holidays, the entire period is considered the Holiday Season in this country.

It can be a fun time of the year but, for the lonely or those who have been abandoned by family, it can be a very depressing time of the year.

In her words, Jamie Ray lives "....on the border between trans and butch"......a border her mother refused to cross.  It all came to a head on Thanksgiving many years ago.  For many, it would have resulted in a depressing period.  For Jamie Ray and her partner, it mean improvising and celebrating the holiday with friends.  The two of them have been together ever since, but there is an ongoing disagreement between these two, centered around Thanksgiving.  

Read, Are You an Apple Trapped Inside a Cranberry?, to find just what this dispute is all about and the "recipe" for compromise.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Opening Up and Writing Stuff Down

Sometimes when I look back through my blog I can't help feel that it's all a bit wishy washy.  There's no real substance to it, just photos that probably bore the pants off others, mundane ramblings, posts about purchases and the odd outfit idea/fashion inspiration along the way.  At times I feel like its the work of a youngster, someone trying to be a blogger without any real content to blog about. It makes me want to call it a day but then I tell myself that it's all part of documenting who I am and what makes me tick

I saw that statement in one of Lotte's latest posts and it made me want to read on.

I'm glad I did.
Whenever I see a blog where the author really has a lot to say, that many others can relate to, I'll drop everything to feature that blog.  In this case, Lotte, in an effort to add some substance to her blog posts, discusses some topics that all of us can relate to:

Suffering in silence



It's a really thoughtful post from Lotte.  

Opening Up and Writing Stuff Down Part Three

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ruby's Remembance Day

I know that there is now a special Trans remembrance day but I , in my quiet corner of the universe, cannot help being stirred to remember "our" losses and the battles we have fought with ourselves, our families, the aggressive, hostile, bigoted media and especially the medical services which have dragged their feet for three generations in their willingness to help those with our condition.

Ruby has an interesting look at her own Remembrance Day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thoughts and Reflections - A Part Time Girl

If you've been following her blog for a while, you may know her by Aimee.  She's decided to change her name, however.  I believe she has it down to two different names and has yet to make a decision.

We may or may not ever know the name she has decided to take on as her own, so for now we'll refer to her as Part Time Girl.

A Part Time Girl is the name of the nice looking blog she has been doing since 2011.  I really relate to her story, and you may too.  Our girl has honored us with a guest post, so please read on.

Im Just a Part Time Girl....

A Little About Me

Im relatively new to accepting myself as trans. Even though I have had the thoughts, inclinations and urges to express myself as a female for most of my life, I tried to suppress it for around two decades with varying degrees of success. I am now in my early thirties and it was only 3 years ago that I finally realised I needed to 'let the girl out', or risk losing my sanity due to not realising something that has been with me for almost as long as I can remember. When I started I wasnt sure where it was going to lead and I wanted to take it one small step at a time, but I couldnt live with hiding it any longer.

Im currently calling myself trans because im not too sure where I sit on the spectrum at the moment. Its been a bit of a mental rollercoaster over the last few years, on some occasions ive been so depressed ive had to seek medical advice, ive beaten myself up mentally over the body im stuck with (among other things), and I have seriously considered going full time. But then other times ive been quite happy to be a part time girl, I have looked for ways to try and be comfortable in between, or even been comfortable just staying male for periods at a time even though the thoughts are always there simmering in the background, which is how I am feeling right now. At the moment there is no discomfort so I am ok with that.

Since I am only a few years old I dont consider myself particularly experienced, nor qualified enough to comment on subjects that carry any real weight to our community. My blog is more a diary of what I am thinking, feeling, or what I have been getting up to, and I specifically avoid blogging about anything topical or something that might cause controversy. So the following post is going to be along this vein, its going to be about my journey so far, and some thoughts on the back of this. And it is not representative of other part time girls like me.

A Brief History

Some trans people seem to have a defining moment when they realised something was different about them. For me, I cant remember exactly when this happened. Growing up I was a typical boy who loved comics, action figures and playing football, but at some point (probably around my early teens) I started being secretly envious of the girls I was growing up with. These thoughts could be strong and obsessive, and on occasion caused me quite a lot of angst and frustration. I would often go to sleep at night and hope I would be a girl in my dreams, and wish that when I woke up I would have changed into a girl even though I knew that was not physically possible. I wanted to be a girl so badly, but didnt do anything about it. I was planning to go and speak to a doctor, but was scared since she was a family GP and I didnt want my family to know. And if I had a sister, well, im sure she would have been running out of birth control pills quicker than she should have been.

In my early 20's I moved across the country, tried to suppress my trans side through partying, met a girl and tried to get on with life. The thoughts and urges never really left me, but I was able to put them to the back of my mind for a very long time. It wasnt until about 3-4 years ago that I started to have massive regrets, I started feeling like I was wasting my life and I was missing out on something that was a massive part of who I am. I sneaked around behind my girlfriends back for a year (which im not exactly proud of), testing the water to make sure that this was as big a deal as I thought it was, when I was a little surer of my position I then came out to her.

Since then I have been trying to learn. For me, being a part time girl is not as simple as just putting on clothes for an afternoon with no care in the world (although I wish it was sometimes). There are a lot of social and mental hurdles to jump through to try and accept this part of myself, to accept and get past the limitations of my situation, and to try and find my place in the world (something which still eludes me). And I think starting late has produced some challenges that would not be there if I had accepted this about myself as a child.

My Partner

One place I was not expecting to gain acceptance from was my girlfriend. When I came out to her it was a year after I started 'letting the girl out', and we were nearly 10 years into our relationship. Coming out to her was the hardest thing I have ever done, but we have survived and we are still together. I certainly was not expecting anything more than reluctant tolerance from her, but she has been amazing. There is the occasional friction from time to time, and some compromises have been made, but that is to be expected. Her acceptance has certainly helped me through some low moments, and the odd in-joke ("...even I can walk in heels better than she can!") certainly brings smiles to both of our faces.

If I had come to accept this about myself when I was younger, I would not have kept such a secret from her and would have been honest with her from near the start, even though this would probably have meant our relationship would have died before it even started. I cant help but still feel guilty at the fact that the amount of time she had already invested into our relationship was probably a large factor into her decision to stay with me.

Self Acceptance

Over the last few years I have been gradually learning to accept the fact that while I am trans and I am not in the place I really want to be, where I am isnt going to change and I have limitations I have to work with. This has caused varying degrees of depression, caused by the fact that I have wanted to be a woman for almost as long as I can remember, and trying to get over the crushing realisation that this is never going to happen. Or the fact that I know I will never look convincing, that it doesnt matter how flattering the clothes or how heavy or well done the makeup I will never look as good as the model in the advert I am looking at, or the girl I am passing in the street. Or the fact that everytime I buy new clothes it almost always frustratingly gets sent back because it just doesnt look right on my male frame. Or the fact that as my male body ages, it becomes harder and harder to look the way I want to as my body shape changes, and hair continues to grow and disappear in the wrong places.

Everytime I look in the mirror to put on makeup I have to try and fight past the man staring right back at me, some days this is easy, some days not so much. On occasion I have even been mid transformation and I had to stop because I felt like a lost cause and I just couldnt face myself in the mirror any longer. To be honest, id be happy not to have to put on much makeup at all since even though I do like being glammed up for a night out, my everyday clothing of choice for either gender is comfy, comfy and comfy. Having to trowel on makeup kind of detracts from that, but there is so much male to hide I dont have much choice other than to lay it on thick. But even after this I still have to accept that I will always look like a man in womans clothing, and not the woman I aspire to be.

Trying to get used to this has been incredibly difficult, but it has been easier lately. I still get frustrated occasionally but ive had to learn to accept that there is nothing here within my control, so its pointless getting depressed over it. I love expressing my female side, it should be a positive experience and it is once I can push myself past these barriers. I do wonder though if I would be thinking the same way if I had been honest with myself way sooner in life.

Its Not Just Clothes

I dont just dress up to look the part. I cant explain why but I just feel more comfortable, relaxed and sometimes even a little happier when I am able to express my female side. In real life ive never really been 'one of the boys', and get uncomfortable in particularly macho conversations and situations. I wouldnt say im one of the girls though either, ive missed out on 30 years of female social development so I dont have the natural skills, behaviours or even way of communicating that most women share. So I just sit in the middle really, feeling like a bit of an outcast and not really belonging to either side. But when I get an opportunity to choose what gender to present myself as, I am decidedly more comfortable being female, even with the really hot wig and uncomfortable breastforms.

When I started going out I really wanted the social feedback that matched my appearance, I wanted to be treated as a woman hoping this would help me feel more like a woman, but unsurprisingly this didnt happen. From my limited experiences of being out and about (especially away from the relative safety of gay clubs), judging from the glances and stares (and occasional comment behind me) I was viewed as a curiosity, or an oddity. In some ways I really didnt mind people being curious (and kind of expected it to a degree), but it took away from what it was I wanted to achieve, which was to blend in and to be accepted at face value as the gender I was presenting as. I suppose my hopes were aimed unrealistically high but I kind of anticipated that this might happen.

It took me a bit of time to get over this, it was kind of like the final realisation that what I truly wanted was unattainable and just made me feel like a fake, so what was the point. Now though, im still looking for social feedback and to be accepted by others, but ive had to accept that this will always be as a part time girl, rather than as a woman. There will be curiosity, some people will be nice, some people will be rude. I have to accept that this is not going to change no matter what I do. I genuinely think that for part time girls, 'passing' is a myth. People will notice you, but mostly they will be too polite to be obvious about it.

In some ways, this comes into line with when I think about what it would be like if I was in a position where I was out to everyone in my personal life as a part time girl. These people will have known me for a large part of my adult life, and if I was to have a 'Ta-Dah!' moment where I first met them as a woman and I was sashaying around the room, air kissing everyone and calling them 'hun', it would seem like an act, and you know, it probably would be. Ive been an institutionalised male for over 30 years, and as much as I still have that dream that ive had since being a child of being a woman, I need to reconcile that with the reality of who I am now. A middle age man who for the most part has been happy living as such, and doesnt want to turn his back on that side of his life. Never mind the fact that he has no idea how to sashay....

This is a relatively new concept to me and is definitely a work in progress, and even as I am typing (and editing, and re-editing) this post I am still trying to define my authenticity, from how I think about myself to how I dress to how I walk and talk, and more. If I had grown up accepting my trans-ness then maybe this would have evolved as part of my identity over the years. Im still pretty fluid in what im trying to get out of this though and how it makes me feel as I discover more about myself, but the need to express some femininity in one form or another is pretty constant.

So yeah, thats it I think. I hope I didnt drone on for too long for you. If you have anything you want to ask then please comment and I will reply where and when I can.

A part time girl x

Monday, November 10, 2014


Lucy has a few things to say about trans-activism.  It's written so well that Lucy could certainly be a trans-activist if she wanted to.

Take a look at Lucy's excellent post, Trans-Activism.

And, while you're at it, go back to 2009 and read Lucy's Transsexual Manifesto.

It really is a pleasure to read something that is so well written.  This girl can write!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Thoughts and Reflections - Lynn Jones

So this is it eh? Welcome to the blogosphere. The giant swirling hive mind of the Internet. Pushing memes and new paradims through the datasea... Or, just a load of old tosh that's randomly updated by people who should know better. :)Well, the jury is out on that one I'm sure.

So, welcome to my little spot of the t'interweb - soon to be filled with occasional guff and nonsense. I'll be straight with you (heh - straight*) I'm curious as to how long I can keep this blog thing going. Will it disappear by the end of the year or take longer than that? Hmmm... we'll see.

That was Lynn Jones' first post. didn't disappear at the end of the year.

The date of that first post?

October 22, 2005.

Oh my, my, my.  I do believe that Lynn may just have the oldest, continuously running blog on T-Central.  Even Stana's Femulate blog didn't start until 2007, I believe.

I've been following Lynn's Yet Another T-Girl Blog from the beginning.  There  were many blogs that I just loved to read back 8 to 10 years ago, and almost all of them were authored by English T-Girls.  I guess I loved that English sense of humor.  As far as I can tell, Lynn's blog is the only one that is still active.  I would love to stand corrected, however, so if anyone knows of an older, continuously running blog out there, let us know. 

Enough of my babble, however.  Lynn has agreed to do a Thoughts and Reflections guest post for T-Central so, Lynn, it's all yours.....

Hi there,
The other day, Calie emailed asking if I'd like to do a piece for T-Central. Well, why not eh? I mean, as an unprofessional waffler, how hard could it be to rattle off a handful of paragraphs?

Hmmm.... Well, harder than I first thought. I did start off the usual Who Am I route, but in all honesty, that felt a little bit too much like I'm blowing my own trumpet (don't be filthy :-) ) when there's a chance to say something else.

So, here's my soap box moment, a chance to say you're awesome. Keep pushing at those gender boundaries and don't let up. Keep going until you find peace and are comfortable with who you are. Sure, it'll be difficult at times, but all the good things worth fighting for are. Relationships don't happen without effort and opportunities are what you make of them, So to, I think, it is with our lives - and I won't use the word 'lifestyle', because I don't think we chose it. I think it might choose us, and we do the best with how we land in the world. 

Being trans can be tough and if there was some fictional pre-world, where those getting on at this stop, all queue up and pick a door to go through, I think I'd be the first to stand by that and ask: Are you sure? It'll be great once you get your head around it, but it may take a while. Not everybody makes it. Some give up, some disappear and some can't live like this..... but many more flourish. More and more of us are just out there, living our own lives and just not worrying.

Be bold. Be brave. Be yourself.

Hell, if I can do it, anyone can. That's the reason I got into blogging: to connect with people and hoping in some small way, that if just one person who read YATGB and felt a little better, or even that they could just get out there, that's cool in my book.

I've tried to share a little about about the 'how to' although I'm no expert. Tips on making your own hip padding, making the best cleavage, how to shop (hello Frock Magazine) and even tips on make-up. I certainly won't be opening a salon any time soon, but again, if someone finds it helpful, that's all good.

I've shared posts about being outed, about going to a trans group (really, I think that's one of the best things I ever did), going out socially and then the darker times, when I was laid low by depression. With the latter, I got over it eventually and the friends I met at Chameleons really helped. They were there when I was low and didn't give up. A few people were kind enough to share their stories with me and I no longer felt so isolated. 

At the group we've welcomed new people, we've celebrated, we've been strong when we lost one of number and we've done all the cliches: themed parties, wig sales, make-overs, and photo shoots. We've also done more serious things, such as hosting a stall at pride events, given talks to the police, universities and mental health charities. Each little thing we do - just like you do when you go out - we put trans people on society's radar and maybe one day, we'll be fully accepted for who we

Now, I try to play it forward and I do what I can to help those new to the group. Someone once said that there's little better in life, than helping other people. At the time, I didn't get it, but I do now.

So, here I am. The other side of 40 with a lovely wife and two great kids. I get out to a trans group twice a month and blogs/social media let me keep in touch with friends. If I could send a letter to my teenage self, I'd tell myself that everything was going to work out. Maybe not overnight, but it will all be okay: just hang on.

Look after yourselves and stay gorgeous,

The People - Personal Thoughts

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