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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

How to be an introvert pretending to be extrovert

I agree with the sentiment and would echo it to anyone, and yet tonight I sit pondering once again who I am, am I supposed to be that nice quiet guy sitting in the corner,  if I could be in this room with these people presenting female, would I? Could I still be me?

Here's a nice one, from Dee.  She's telling us about herself and her feelings, but I'm betting that many reading this will be nodding their heads saying to themselves....."that's me".

Sunday, January 27, 2019

A T-Central Guest Post

Laura Ann, from the local group I am a member of, the River City Gems, has submitted another great guest post.  Read on.

I was looking at a post on FaceBook today, a comment made by a transwoman friend of mine in Colorado. She was talking about how she became estranged from most of her male co-workers when she transitioned, which happened at about the same time I began my own transition, three years ago more or less. She lost some male friends at work, but her relationships with female co-workers blossomed! She wrapped up her comment with this line: "I wouldn't go back [to being a guy] for anything".

I say the same thing: I wouldn't go back for anything. But it's funny to think about what "going back" would actually mean. I've had three full years now to think about what my transition means. I changed my legal name and gender, and that was maybe the most momentous part of it. I went on HRT, and decided to have an orchiectomy last September, because I knew that my soul was

crying out to be female, and testosterone wasn't helping me be the kinder, gentler, more compassionate person I wanted to be. And I wear skirts instead of trousers now, and makeup sometimes.

But what really changed when I decided that I couldn't be Larry anymore, except that I became happier and more at peace with myself? I have a much better relationship with my daughter than I ever had before, and a much easier and more natural relationship with other women. I get to compliment women on their clothes, or hair color, or manicures now - a thing no "guy" can ever do, except maybe to his Mom, sister, wife, or girlfriend. And that feels so nice, to just be able to talk to women from a more natural place, without that "weirdness" that would make it creepy to try and have a conversation like this as a guy. I love it, to be able to talk to my women friends about women-stuff, like, "who did your nail art? It's amazing!", or, "how does someone choose between a one-piece and two-piece bathing suit, if price isn't a concern and you can get the size and color you like in either?". Or "why are there 50 million different types and styles of bras?" And that perennial favorite: "Did you see that Macy's has a sale on handbags this weekend?".

This last issue, any woman can relate to, whether she's cis or trans: the eternal search for the "perfect" handbag. We all know it exists out there in the universe someplace, and the more of your lady friends who know your preferences, the better are the chances that one of them will be shopping somewhere and spot it - OMG, there it is, the perfect purse! - and maybe it's the very  last one of that style in the store, maybe it's the only one ever made in that style, material, and color!, and thanks to the miracle of cell phone technology, your friend snaps a photo of it, sends it to you, and within a minute or two, you are running out the door to your car (maybe forgetting to comb your hair in your hurry), then racing hell-bent-for-leather to that store to buy that purse before someone else snatches it up. If you are lucky, the store with this purse is actually in the same time zone that you are, otherwise, better stop for gas before you get on the freeway.

I could never see or understand it before, but there is an enormous, invisible wall that socially separates men and women in this society, and now that I am living on the other side of that wall, I truly know there's no going back. Why that wall exists, I don't know, but I certainly have been aware of it since I was a teenager 50 years ago. When I'm not wearing a wig, which is almost all the time now, my face looks hardly any different than it always did when I was a "him". It's just a little older, there's a few more wrinkles, it's a little fatter and rounder, and my hair is longer and stragglier than it was. But on a level deeper in my mind, my perception is that this isn't the same face at all, because for 59 years, I hated, HATED, to look at that face in mirrors. and now, I see the face of someone else entirely. The face of a person who smiles much more tham her predecessor did. A face with eyes that twinkle, and look directly at people instead of shying away. And most of all, a face and a pair of eyes that look back at me out of that mirror with an easy grin that says "how you doin' Laura-Ann? I feel happy today, and you are lookin' good, girl!"

Nothing has changed, and yet everything has changed. So for sure, there is no going back, is there? Not if I want to hang on to this love, happiness, and sense of peace with myself and the world around me that my transition has brought about. I waited a long, long time to find happiness back in those lost days when I was a young man. And you know something, I actually looked kind of cute. Looking at photos of myself, age 17, I would date that kid if I was a girl his age. He's a bit chunky, but he's smart. He reads more than he watches TV. His hair is kind of shaggy and wavy, but he washes it and keeps it semi-under control. And he's not as aggressive as the other boys, the ones who act like they're thinking with their balls instead of their brains. But he's so shy! And he acts like he's autistic or something. He's never gone out with anyone in school, never dated, never kissed a girl.

I was terrified of people when I was a kid. I was hiding this awful secret. A secret buried so deep, I didn't even have a name for it. A secret that I knew must never be found out, by anyone. A secret that was like acid corroding me from the inside out. I wanted to be a girl. I wanted to wear nail polish, and carry a purse, and trade my blue jeans for a skirt. I didn't know why, and I didn't even have a vocabulary to describe, even to myself, what was happening to me. Transgender? That word wouldn't even come into common usage until I was in my late 40's, and by then, I had been married for nearly 20 years and had all but forgotten that I was once - in my innermost thoughts - a girl named Laura. And for at least 50 years, from about age 12 onward, I hated to look at myself in mirrors and I strongly disliked my name. It only sounded good to me when Lynn said it, and when she died, in November 2013, for a time I lost all hope that there would ever be any purpose or meaning to my continued existence. All through 2014 and 2015, as gender dysphoria re-mounted it's attack on me - a war I thought I had won in 1986 when I married Lynn ("Love will save me", as Jennifer Finney Boylan says in her auto-biography "She's Not There"), I grew ever more depressed, discouraged, and desperate, as my grief over Lynn's death mixed with my fear and anxiety over what would happen when I finally gout caught by my daughter or my brother with a closet full of women's clothes, and two full drawers of makeup and jewelry. In December 2015, I finally realized that I might have a nervous breakdown or kill myself if I didn't figure out what was happening to me - by then I wasn't even sure of my own identity any more - and so I joined the River City Gems, a transgender support group in my city. Finding the Gems took the pressure off, as I discovered through this group that I wasn't going crazy, at least, and I wasn't alone. Five months later, I had a "transition-or-die" epiphany, and in that moment, choosing to let go of my past and embrace Laura-Ann, I stopped being afraid of people, and I stopped hating myself; this is maybe the greatest gift I will ever give myself.

Be at peace, and be open to the possibilities.

 - Laura Ann Charlot

Do You Feel Trapped In The Wrong Body?

I have never completely accepted the "Trapped In The Wrong Body" narrative for myself.  I have been given this one body and mind and overall they have worked well together plus served me well; (the old knock-on-wood thing).

I've never liked this phrase.  Rhonda has a few thoughts on the subject.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Two years on testosterone

This past Saturday was my two year mark on T-injections, 40ml / week (this was just recently lowered, from 60 – my initial dose was 50).  I still very much look forward to every injection (not the act itself, but the being-on-T part), and I still regularly think about the ways hormones have improved my life; I don’t tend to take it for granted.

Here an update from one of out bloggers on T.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Ground Zero

I have a hard time visiting my in-laws because the state that they live in does not permit my wife to use the women’s bathroom because it does not correspond with the sex listed on her birth certificate. It is difficult for me to hold hands with my partner in public or to say the word “wife” constantly worrying what others will think. I am in fear.

For those who haven't read her blog, The Transgentle Wife's husband transitioned a few years ago.  She's so supportive and it just depresses me so much to see that - as if often the case - not only certain states and much of the public at large, but also some friends and family members shun both her and her former husband and now wife. She's strong and staying the course, with both feet planted on the "right" side.....Ground Zero.

You do not need dysphoria to be trans

hi! can you explain the whole "you don't need dysphoria to be trans" thing to me? i'm trans myself and i of course want to be accepting this idea, but i don't understand. i'd be super happy if you could help.

Our friend, Jack Molay pretty much sums it all up in this informative post.

Monday, January 21, 2019

They Can’t Do That!

D.C. restaurant fined $7,000 after asking transgender woman for ID before letting her use bathroom

Always out there watching how the laws support us, Diana reports how one law did just that.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Female or Transgender Female??

My question: why do we say "transgender woman" or "transgender man". Why not drop the "transgender" bit? If you want to be a woman, but were born male, why not be a woman....and vice versa. I understand what transgender means, but once one has made the change, isn't that it?

I love our bloggers, and Nadine is certainly one of them!  In this post, she writes a really nice answer to a question (above) from a reader (born female).  She also dishes another reader who said she had bad legs.  Seriously?  Look at those legs!  Gorgeous!  Nice wedges too, Nadine! 

Nadine has also been known to visit our rather large local trans group, although I have yet to meet her.  One more reason for joining a local group!  You never know who you might meet!

A Visit to Femme Makeovers!

The MN T-Girls have had a long and wonderful relationship with Corrie Dubay, the owner and artist of Femme Makeovers, an amazing gender transformation studio in Saint Paul.  The group has had makeup demonstrations and many of us have had individual makeup lessons with her as well.  I myself had one last year and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Many trans groups work closely with a local makeup artist.  Just another reason to join your local group.  Some are listed on the right side of the T-Central home page.  In Hannah's post, A Visit to Femme Makeovers!, she describes such a visit and includes plenty of pictures.

Friday, January 18, 2019

There is such a thing as a free lunch

I wore a "parker green" belted bell-sleeve sheath sweater dress from New York and Company with "Tomalah Ombre Pumps" from Nine West. I accessorized with earrings, necklace and watch from Avon and a black satchel handbag from Jessica Simpson. I also wore a new hairdo: Noriko Reese in a shade of red called "Cherrywood."

It's always nice to feature something from Stana's mega-blog, Femulate.  I love her confidence and strength, and she looks great too!  Yes, she did get a free dinner, and she even had fun!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Forwards... and backwards

The question then arising is this: why, in my twenties, when I’d lost some of my shyness and did have opportunities for intercourse, I didn’t take them. Something was ‘getting in the way’. Was it a trans persona breaking through to the surface, or was it that the habits of self-sufficiency developed early on had become second nature, leaving me permanently closed? The ‘otherness’ of other people – which I suspect for most folk lies at the heart of sexual attraction, even in same-sex relationships – for me was alienating.

We haven't heard from Dabrela in some time, but she makes up for it in this post.   Forwards... and backwards, the title of this post, nicely describes the thoughts that she is sharing with us.  It's an honest self assessment that many should relate to.  I'm sure she'd like to hear from readers, so feel free to say hi to Dabrela when you visit her blog by leaving a comment.


This post is linking to her final post, "Anniversary and end of an era ...", because, for some inexplicable reason, her blog won't accept comments anymore, and she richly deserves many. 

Two bloggers who have meant so much to me over the years have been Halle and Caroline.  In Halle's recent post, she links to a post, from Caroline, which may be her last.  From what Caroline has told me, she has lost most of the control over her blogger site and it no longer accepts comments.  Read more on Halle's post, and do comment.  If you have a fix for Caroline's blog, don't be shy! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

GRS – 3 Surgeries and One Beautiful Nightmare

I woke up groggy as all heck, keeping my eyes closed for a moment until I felt an intense pain and an awareness of beeping.  As soon as I opened my eyes, a kind consult came to me, explaining softly where I was, that everything had gone ok, and asked what my pain levels were.  I imagine I was slipping in and out of consciousness, perturbed only by the pain, moaning about how much it hurt and that the painkillers hadn’t taken effect yet

I love Amy's writing style.  While this post may not be all sugar and spice, it is a very good review of just what Amy has had to endure to become whole.  This is the second of a three part post.  If you missed her first post, she links to it in this one.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Biological Sex and Transgender People

So you still think that sex or gender is a clear binary thing? What do you intend to do with every person who does not fit within a certain median percent that matches all your criteria? You don’t know who they are, and quite often they do not know themselves. Are you right in the middle, having tested your chromosomes, checked your physiology and come to a researched conclusion? Or might you be like a deeply racist person who discovers from their DNA that they are 30 per cent what they hate? What would you do if you discovered that you have mosaic chromosomes, for example (where you have both XX and XY  combinations in different cells)?

Biological Sex and Transgender People is a well thought out post, fro Andie.  The basic theme: Discrimination against those who are transgender.

Saturday, January 12, 2019


"As much as we'd like to be considered part of the club, the amount of acceptance by other women will always vary. Beyond that, their motives are not necessarily the same, either.

Good reading, from Cyrsti, with comments from Connie.  This post is not only about transwoman acceptance from cis-women but also acceptance from other transwomen.  Regarding the latter, Connie described some very ugly examples.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Reply to an Anonymous Comment

How about if the whole Trans thing is bullshit? How about if you walked away from it your life and hope within it improves? Just sayin...cuz I think that totally rubs you wrong. Cuz you’re SO invested in this notion. But...what if you’re wrong?

The anonymous reader had some good questions.  Likewise, the bogger had some good, well thought answers.  It's good reading, from Sophie.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

I Am Too Old to Change!

Unless you have been there, it is hard to explain the imperative that drives those who transition. I had people tell me, when I tried to explain it to them, "You have lived this way all your life, so why can't you just do it a while longer? You don't have that much longer to live." That sort of response made it clear how impossible it was for them to grasp my situation. The fact is, the older I got the harder it became to suppress that drive. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to keep my life on hold for another year, never mind the rest of my life. 

What a fine blog post, from Halle.  She's telling us what we already know, but it doesn't hurt to hear it again from someone who's been there.

Another reason for reading this post, is Halle's comment, and link to, an article on living in fear of Dementia as a trans-person.  This is a topic I've never seen addressed.  Think about it.  Personally, having had a relative exit her life after a few years of this dreadful disease, I know that memories, especially the most recent, die long before the early memories of childhood.  The result could be that a transwoman, with Dementia, may at some point "forget" that she transitioned and what remains of her memories is her original life as a child or young adult growing up male.  Change the genders and the story could be the same for a transman.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Feminine Differential - The Agony of De'Feet

Let's talk about a problematic area of female presentation. Many venturing out feel their feet are large and see this as a negative to their overall presentation.

Rhonda discusses....well, let's just say "big feet".  You'd be surprised how many women have to deal with large shoes!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Catch 22

Once you have lived many decades in a role that aligns with your birth sex, making any kind of announcement can be akin to throwing a live hand grenade into a room. Your family members may have had no inkling of your true identity and this feels to them like a betrayal. No one is more likely to feel this way than the spouse who thinks she knew her husband.

Joanna says it all, in that paragraph.  For more, go to Catch 22.

Thursday, January 3, 2019


And I find myself buoyed going into 2019, determined that I will kick this years' ass so hard, as I have many others before it. But right now, as 2019 starts, I find myself waiting. Once again I am waiting. Transition involves a lot of waiting. It is not an undertaking for the impatient. The current thing I'm waiting on are my surgery dates. 

And.....the wait is so frustrating for Faith.  What is she waiting for?  What surgery?  Read Waiting, to find out.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

What? Hormones Were Life Changing?

The number one thing that changing my hormones did is it allowed me to accept who I am and go with it.  When I first decided to do this I had no intentions of going full time.  I never saw myself as actually being a woman.  I figured I would give hormones a shot and see if that would help with some concerns I had.  Now, after having been full time for about six months, and having been on estrogen since July 2017, I know I will never go back.  I can see now that hormones didn't make me want this, it allowed me to admit what has been there all along, I'm actually a woman.

In response to a question from Femulate's Stana, Nadine as written a wonderfully honest response.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

All In Good Measure — A New Year Special

The new year for me is more about freedom, enjoying me, enjoying the female side whether it be clothes or inner personality, the stronger side of being female with achievement and self belief that would have once been associated with being masculine. Building on what happiness I found this year and improving how I spend that time. Finding adventure from time to time and not letting life just slip by in a typical British way.

I have probably said this before, but I just love the way this girl writes.  You read Hannah's words and you just want to run or bike with her and share journeys with her.  Her writing makes it seem like she is a friend to all of us.  I featured last year's New Year post from Hannah (on the right of this page) and she's outdone herself with another winner this year.  Happy New Year, Hannah!

Genuine trans women II

Those seeking to inspire fear and hatred of trans women, or to justify their own, suggest we don’t have surgery, and that having a penis in some way makes us dangerous. Well, in a loo you don’t expose your crotch until you are safely in a cubicle, where no-one can see, so it hardly matters there. It only matters to us and to our sexual partners. But I’d thought I’d check. How likely is it that a trans woman has had surgery?

Clare comments on the subject, quoting some facts and figures in the UK.

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