Wondering if my sexuality is realigning with my inner gender… and a lovely evening out

For some time now I have found myself almost sexually inert, attracted to virtually nobody of either gender. I don’t know if this is partly to a failed marriage, but it has also been due to me becoming TS. But something happened the other day which makes me wonder if my sexuality may now be realigning itself with my inner, female gender.

I can be a bit of a dreamer, both at night but also during the day – I can have an isolated thought, close eyes, and my imagination runs wild and steers my thoughts outside of my control. On Monday I read the latest email from my ‘friend’ (as he terms himself, and on an email basis he is… for we have only met once) Ivan. Firstly, I still seem to be firmly a girl in his head, which is obviously a good feeling for me – I told him about all my weight loss last year, we were talking about scones and I said I watch that I don’t eat too many treats as I don’t want to turn into a big scone-shaped person again and he said “treats are ok in a controlled way, so do be open and transparent with me to ensure you are being a good girl”! In a previous email he also suggested we could go north to visit the Orkney or Shetland Islands – gulp! (I didn’t reply to him on that). And once again he has suggested meeting up one weekend for an extended chat….. and this got me day-dreaming. I closed my eyes…. and imagined myself at Hillsborough Lake (as per last weekend with Kirsty, and also dressed the same) with him, and halfway round, in a quiet spot, we kissed! I can’t remember who initiated it, but it was more than a peck on the cheek…. but less than a snog. And when the kiss happened I felt aroused down below, in the only way that I am able to feel it, with the apparatus I now loathe. And as I write, I feel it again! And I am not ashamed of it, to me it feels natural if it is merely aligning with who I am inside…. even if he would surely be repelled by what I am.

Last night I went out for dinner with my BGF Kirsty, and we had a lovely time. Took me ages to get ready, as usual, and just as I was about to set off in the car I noticed a ladder all the way up my tights and had to rush in and change! Quel nightmare! Before meeting up I went to Sprucefield. I returned a top at Next, where the checkout girl was nice – she asked if it was faulty and I said that it just didn’t suit me,  and then I elaborated and said it was to match a pair of shoes but the colour wasn’t strong enough, so we had a bit of a c’est la vie laugh about that. Then popped into Boots before trotting back to the car and driving to Hillsborough where I met Kirsty. We ate at the Parsons Nose, and had a great time – the food was delicious, the waitress was increasingly nice and chatty as the evening wore on, and when we left a nice woman said “Thanks Ladies”. Wow!! Walking back to the cars we felt great and I was walking on air!

Onto support group, as I didn’t want the evening to end, and had a good girly chat with Michelle about clothes! (She had been to BHS and bought a nice skirt and top, and the tailored skirt was very smart – will have to look out for one… or two). Had some useful supportive chat from her and Kirsty upon leaving about Ivan…. you see, I quite fancy meeting him somewhere neutral for a strictly non-date meet, but I just don’t know…..

What’s that burning smell? Oh, that’d be me!!

One of the problems with being a girl, when you weren’t born as such, is all the body and facial hair! So, a few months ago I decided to be proactive and try to do something about it, in advance of coming out, and last night was my latest laser hair removal treatment session at the Belfast Electrolysis Centre.

Now prior to yesterday, I had had only two full-face sessions, and so it is a bit much to expect much in the way of results already. Another problem is that because the hair on one’s face is much more dense that on other parts of the body, then it is not easy to get the setting as high – the first face session was at 10, and the last one was 12… whereas treatment on my chest was done at 22. But, alas, such is the nature and momentum of this journey that I was determined to have my latest facial setting up a notch or two, and to make the treatment more effective I had two days of stubble… which rather disheartened me being otherwise dressed and presenting as a woman.

I arrived at 7.00pm for the session and went in a few minutes later. As usual, I had a bit of chat with Lynda, who quickly sensed my discomfort with the hairy face. We agreed to increase the setting and after one or two blasts at 14, I said to increase it again… and so Lynda carried on. Each blast was really very sharp, but after the increase I could smell burning hair… and was so happy about this, because it (hopefully) means that it is working! All around the mouth the blasts were particularly sore, but I adopted a grin-and-bear it attitude and eventually my face was all done… at which point Lynda told me that she had done it on 18!!! Talk about economical with the data… but I completely appreciate why, and am so glad Lynda did this and I was soon giggling that I had sat through all those blasts at a much higher setting… even though it took a couple of hours for the extreme-sunburn-type soreness to die down, and only after a lot of aloe vera and cooler packs from the fridge. Then I had more of my chest done and, for the first time, all around my shoulders. Finally, after about 2 hours, I was done… at which point we started our end-of-day chat, something I always enjoy a lot – Lynda is a lovely and honest woman, so easy to relax with and have a great chat with about all kinds of things. I kept her there to long really, after a long day, but eventually I left after a goodbye to Lynda and her sweet dog Sophie.

But my face was still sore, and I could not shave it or apply make up, so I did not want to go to my support group appearing like that so instead went home. For a change I got up this morning, alas as male, but felt happier than usual… and maybe that was because, looking in the mirror, although the unpleasant male face was there at least it was not sore, there was no blistering, and most of the redness had gone.

Another great walk… and an appointment made

As some of you may know, I joined a walking group (as Andrea, and not as male) and so far it is going unbelievably well… and it just goes on!

Yesterday I went to the latest walk with the group, along a section of the Lagan river near Belfast. Alas I took ages to get ready again (this time all sorts of problems with jewellery not fastening – those fiddly necklace fasteners, for example) and had to moderately break the speed limit to get there on time… though I was not the last one there. Got out of the car and joined the group… and soon ended up talking to a new face, Denise, and we had some great chat and good laughs – even had a chat about hair appointments! Alan then joined us, and we had a bit of chat with him. After a short stop, we started up again, and I ended up talking to John, a BBC engineer – I had previously met him, and he was a bit quiet with me, and I wasn’t sure whether it was because he has sensed what I am about and was uncomfortable with me… but this time we had a really long chat, he is keen on photography and I tried to help him by pointing out one or two good spots. I bumped into Karen who had brought her lovely dog (amazing soft fur), who I had met at the annual group meal, and after we crossed a bridge, we settled into a lovely long chat, and then we started chatting to Jenny, a newbie who seems nice…. and, all too soon, the walk was over after only 75 minutes. I really didn’t want to go… and so I ended up staying until everyone left the car park! Chatted with quite a lot of people at the car park, including a guy who always says it is nice to see me at the walks but has never talked to me on a walk before! I had SUCH a good walk with them, I felt so confident and happy with them all. Popped to Sainsburys on the way home to go to the ladies and get cash out, and then was home just before 10pm… for some tea/supper!

Monday morning I rang my GP surgery and have made an appointment for 1st August with a female doctor in order to tell her about the real me, with the intention of getting her to refer me to the Belfast gender clinic, as per the recommendation from my lovely TG counsellor. Yes, it’s time to take that next big step. Am nervous already…

A wonderful girly weekend

This weekend has been such fun – not just because I have been the real me the whole time, but also because my girly friend Kirsty came to stay!

Saturday morning I woke up weary after a long week and it took me quite a while to transform back into Andrea but, at midday, off I went. I stopped at a nearby town and walked to a charity shop with a bag full of stuff for them… but they were closed!

So I headed onto a shopping centre. First I went into Boots and bought a few items, including a small packet of rollers, something I NEVER thought I would ever by for myself! Then popped to the ladies loo outside M&S – a few things always strike me when I go to the ladies loos, firstly how much easier I go in the ladies, secondly how natural it feels for me to be there, and thirdly how much fun it is to listen to the chat at times, especially with mum’s and children. Anyway, onto Next… where they had a sale that had started only that day!!! So I spent an AGE in there, and on the one hand I was good and put down a few things I had picked up… but still walked out with £96 of clothes… which, as it turns out, I am likely to keep all of them. Then onto Tesco supermarket for a large grocery shop in order to feed my friend, and had a bit of chat with the checkout girl. On the way home I had to stop at another supermarket as I had forgotten a key ingredient for something I was going to cook with my own bear hands! As a result, rather embarrassingly, my guest arrive a couple of minutes before I did!!

After a cup of tea and some catching up, we decided to do a bit of clothes shopping at our local outlet… and we had a FAB, albeit short, time out! One slight disappointment was that a pair of sandals I had my eye on for some time turned out to be far too big despite being only 7 / 41)… but Kirsty tried them on, and ended up buying them! We went into a few more shops, including Peacocks where I bought a size 8 top (which fits!!) and Next where I got a lovely denim skirt (in two sizes, happily the smaller size 8 fits), and then home again where I cooked dinner. We spend the whole evening chatting until after midnight, and it was just so enjoyable.??????????

Up the next morning, and after breakfast while Kirsty watched the Tour De France (ahem) I tried on my new clothes… and a jacket and trousers I bought the day before, teamed with a black top and shoes, went together really well, I was so pleased – see photo. Also, I have bought a perfect handbag for work – LOADS of compartments and pockets.

The weather was not great, so initial plans for a walk in a country park were curtailed and instead we walked around a lake near Hillsborough – had a lovely time, one family gave us a very pleasant hello. Then we had a late lunch in the M&S cafe –  on the way to the shop across the car park we passed an estate car (station wagon for our American viewers, I believe) and the guy looked at us and then penny obviously dropped with him and he looked rather horrified… until I gave him a smile and he hurriedly turned away!! 🙂 After lunch we went to Next where I returned the larger skirt I had bought the day before while Kirsty bought a jumper – sadly, one lady in the shop gave me a rather stern stare… and after we passed I turned around and I could see her mentioning me to her daughter… but maybe she was just jealous because she was dressed in a baggy, khaki, canvas sack while I was comparatively rather more prettily apparelled in my Next skirt, flowery camisole, and white cardy. While I was browsing, a young boy dropped his bottle out of his pram, and when I picked it up, the father gave me a really nice smile and a thank you. And then, alas, it was time for Kirsty and I to part and I was really rather sad to see her go… and also was nearly in tears when I realised that this is the last weekend until end-August that I will be able to dress the whole time as Andrea.

On my own again, I went to another shopping centre and went into several shops (though only came out with a pair of ballet pumps, but gorgeous though!), and then I got my eyebrows threaded before I headed home. Once again, I turned at the junction at the top of a hill that leads down to my driveway and there was my neighbour outside his house; I have no idea what he things he saw… but this has been a few times now, and I do wonder… but frankly I am almost past the stage of caring, I know I should care, but I am almost fed up of Andrea still being a secret.

So, all in all, a FAB weekend; I guess a small number of negative stares… but it’s a small percentage – I’m a realist, there always be someone who won’t be able to tolerate me… but maybe it’s the same for a lot of people in one way or another. Almost time to scrape Andrea away again as I head to bed… and I feel so disheartened just thinking about it.

Am I a bad parent?

I know, another post already! But two recent ‘events’ make me ask this question:

  1. I have just read Kirsty’s latest post, where her unselfish devotion to her family prevents her from inflicting the consequences of Kirsty on them any more than she already has done.
  2. A routine phonecall to my 12 year old daughter last night, where she is exhibiting what I have been told is typical behaviour at that age of having nothing to say to me…. albeit that she is also developing the characteristic of my ex- in criticising what I say, and do, too, which is worrying.  So, frankly I found the call soul-destroying.

For at least a couple of months I have reconciled myself to the fact that it will never be a good time to tell my daughter about Andrea, and so my plan is to just try and pick a time that will be least-impact for her (such as after exams, at the start of summer hols next year when she would at least have a couple of months to come to terms with it) and continue to update what I am too say to her as I near such a time. So as a result I am not worried about telling her… and after that phonecall I wonder if I have in any case now had the best years of life with her anyway, even if I know I will be sad should she want nothing more to do with me. A difference, compared to Kirsty, is that my marriage ended over 8 years ago (nothing to do with my GD) and so I only see my daughter every other weekend.

My ONLY worry about going full-time is work, because I need to change my job anyway (for many reasons, but including bigotted managers) so once I get in a new place I worry about how I will settle in and, if/once I do so, that I perform well enough, and THEN when I come out (if I can even wait that long) what will the consequences be. Will I lose my job…. due to some other, potentially manufactured reason? And then will I remain unemployed…. and lose my home and everything in it and even become homeless if everyone rejects me? All this is what worries me! And not my daughter. Just what kind of person am I? The only answer I can give is that I am one who loves my daughter but cannot stand the thought of an unfulfilled life as male, when the little masculinity left in me I loathe so much and I am constantly feeling that I am suppressing so much of the real me…

Email non-screw-up, another coffee…. and “my friend’ Ivan

Quick update… as must get to bed early for a change!

Well, further to my previous post, I needn’t have worried about the email screw-up! The National Trust customer services have been great, and emailed me back to say that in two weeks I should have a new card with the name shown exactly how I want!! So then I will be able to go into all of their properties as Andrea! Oh I am SO looking forward to that!

Had a good Wednesday… once I had sorted out my wardrobe! Had a disaster before I even started, ironing a mark into a top I have not even worn! Then I chose a summery look… and it started raining! But stuck with it, and the sun was out by the time I left. Drove to Lisburn for a supermarket shop. Firstly I returned a couple of clothes and over-priced mascara… and voice was a bit crappy. Then did my shop, bought a couple of bags of groceries, popped into the ladies look just before I paid; the woman at the checkout was lovely and I had a very good, weather-related chat with her, with improved voice. Then drove over to Costa and met up with Kirsty for a coffee, and had a great chat with her once my indecisiveness over food choice passed; Kirsty suggested a quiet table off to the side, but I felt that was FAR too safe so we ended up at a table right next to three young girls, and in the middle of other busy tables… and I think we got on just fine! Then off to support group, and had rather a better time there than last week with a good mixture of chat (thanks Michelle for steering the chat at times), including opinions of assorted clothes shops. Had a quiet and useful chat with Michelle before I left, and headed home feeling good about myself.

Oh, I opened up to my boss a bit more early this week. Just lately it has not taken much for me to spiral into a mood of depression over the fact that I am not yet able to live my life as the real me… and one morning my boss noticed I was in a real state and so we had a chat, and I told him that with the issue that I am having counselling for (GD – he doesn’t know this) then I am often already nearly at my stress limit by the time I get to work so have little capacity for more and I need him to be more understanding about that, and he said he did not realise the extent of my “issue”. So far this week he has been pretty good!

Ivan has started signing off all of his emails “Your friend Ivan”. He does seem to be a good listener, I don’t email him every day or as soon as he messages me, but maybe every 2-3 days. His last email was light enough and he said I should not worry at all if I want to pour out my worries to him as that is the sign of “a true friend”. Hmm, wonder if he will still be that if he finds out my history??? He is in Scotland now, with his wife attending the funeral of one of her friends; I wished them a good trip just before they left, he said it was really nice of me to do so though it seemed a natural thing to do. Quiet a number of support-group friends have expressed concern about any meet up with him and to take care… and it is ALL very good advice, but I do want to strike a balance with him and not push him totally away either because I think he is a nice person, it is interesting to email-chat with someone with big, common interests… and I have never felt so special before, having being called “fascinating” by him. Moi? Nobody has ever said anything like that to me before… but then again, I am a very different person from this time last year.

Email screw-up… and Ivan’s dinner explanation

Well, I suppose a number of you TS and TG girls out there have screwed up with your mixed-gender email identities. Well, I know a couple who have!! Well, it was my turn today… though I suppose at least it is not with someone I know.

As some of you have read previous blog posts will know, I am a bit of an outdoors girl! Because of this, I am a member of the National Trust in the UK. The problem is, I would love to start visiting their properties as Andrea but my membership card says “Mr [SURNAME]” and I obviously can’t go with that and so I thought I would email them to change it to change the ‘Mr’ to my first initial. So I started to drop them an email from work, then thought better of it, and decided to email on the way home on my tablet…. and maybe it was because I was tired, and also sitting on the floor of the train carriage for most of my journey, but I accidentally used my Andrea email! Doh! So goodness knows what someone at the receiving end will think.

The other day I had a reply from Ivan about the “long lingering dinner” which I indicated to him rather worried me. So, he replied saying this:

Do not worry about the long lingering dinner. Let me explain the way I see it. I like eating out with good company, not that I do it very often! I  think it would be lovely, maybe in the autumn or later, to find a nice quiet restaurant with atmosphere, have some nice food and maybe wine and chat. I say that because I know that you are an interesting and intelligent person and we both appear to have somethings in common. As well, my perception is that the friendship seems to have taken root, in that we keep answering each others emails!

But I don’t know, dinner with a male friend just seems all too datey. I fancied the concert idea, but that is unlikely with the limited dates on offer. Anyway, my close TS friends keep warning me to be careful, and it is nice of them to say this – perhaps I should wait until I am full-time before thinking about doing something like this… but it is a bit difficult to restrain myself when I love doing new things, and the likes of Ivan and Alan don’t seem to notice anything different about me.

I may not have any make up on… but I can still see the girl! Plus some wardrobe purging!

The title of this little post is where I am now at the end of my weekend.

Up until 7.00pm I had had my daughter with me, so could not be my true self… for most of the time. Yesterday I dropped her off in town to roam shopping centres with her BFF… and so I had less than 90 minutes (after a nap) at home to try and be Andrea. But it wasn’t fulfilling, I didn’t have time to have a shave so I just dressed, put the rug (and not even the normal one) and some make up on, and then got on with a few things around the house. And as it turns out today, I can see now that the facial hair was the crux of the problem… and from my own point-of-view I don’t know how Conchita Wurst is happy with her beard! Maybe the difference is that she is intersex whereas I am TS? The make up added some colour. and I arrived at a good lipstick look by accident… but the hair (on top and on face) was a real problem. I know, it sounds so obvious, but with limited time, that’s what I did… and it seemed slightly a backward step. BUT, I did some purging of my female wardrobe. Huh? As a TS, am I not supposed to be getting rid of male clothes? Well, from my pre-TS days (i.e. CD/TV) I had quite a number of silly stain blouses in my wardrobe, and so I tried a number of them on… and they are just totally wrong, and so 5-6 have ended up in the charity bag. I still have a small number of more classy numbers, but the awful red and green ones and the frilly, floppy ones are now all consigned to history.

Today I am very pleased with myself because I have given my home a HUGE tidy up and clean, and thrown loads of stuff away… including a huge pile of male underwear. Of course, I wonder why I didn’t get rid of them before, but with a daughter around the place now and again who at least used to like to help me choose my attire then a few pairs are still necessary (not that they have been worn in over four years) but they are now mostly in the bin! A couple of T-shirts are in the charity bag too. Now that my daughter is away, I have had a lovely relaxing bath and a close shave (not just face, but arms and legs too), and I am sitting here in just knickers & bra, an above-the-knee Dorothy Perkins dress, and my girly hair… and I feel like Andrea is back home. I have no make up on, but looking in the mirror the real me is there – she just looks a bit plain. But she is there, she smiled back at me…. and I love her being such a big part of me.

Admirer getting heavy again? Have I outgrown my support group? And a new world record for me.

As some readers will know, I have recently rather unexpectedly attracted a couple of admirers, including Ivan who is married! And I thought I had convinced them that friendship was all that was on the cards. So it was slightly worrying on Tuesday to then receive an email from Ivan where he says (to join some comments together from him) that I am “intelligent and fascinating” and “a lady worth exploring in some considerable depth over a long lingering dinner”! Uh, gulp! Am rather flattered though, especially with the lady tag again!

Yesterday I was looking forward to a quick dinner out with my best friend in NI & Ireland – Kirsty. But two things put paid to that – firstly, my train was 20 minutes late… and consequently Kirsty got too hungry to wait and had a sandwich. Grr. But I broke my world record for transforming back to full-Andrea, down to 70 minutes now.

Eventually I met with Kirsty at our usual coffee shop at 8.35pm and we had a nice long chat, with no bother apart from a curious teenage male when we first entered – maybe I should have given him a big smile or blown him a kiss… except I am not bold enough to do that. Kirsty wore a lovely summery skirt with matching navy tights, and thankfully not high heels. It felt good to be out with her… even if some resigning news from her saddened me just a little (see her blog, it’s a good read).

Later we went onto our support group where it was nice to then also see Michelle… but, for the first time, I felt rather out of place and wished I was having more of a girly time, whether it be out to dinner with Kirsty or at my walking group, able to truly express myself. The conversation got swamped by music and comedian chat, the former a topic I am largely unable to contribute as it is invariably about artists from before my time. But what really got to me was a conversation concerning songs about cross dressers and/or TVs… and I frankly felt uncomfortable from then on, because I am SO not there any longer, even if I appreciate those who either are or have restrictions that prevent them from journeying where they would ideally like to go. I longed for the evening to become a threesome with only Kirtsy, Michelle, and I to have more of a balanced chat with some girl talk… but it could not be. But my tiredness did not help… and so I announced rather earlier than normal that I would go and, outside, had a bit of a private chat with Kirsty and then Michelle about the evening, and had a nice big hug from Kirsty – she is good at hugs!

I longed for normal, balanced chat infused with some girly subject matter… but it was not to be – perhaps I should have steered it with some of my news about admirers and walking, but I had got too fed up and tired by then to bother and I sometimes feel I am gloating and I don’t like to sound big-headed. I will go back there… but whether with the same frequency I do not know. I could live with just having coffee and/or dinner out with Kirsty… but then I would miss Michelle which would be a shame.

I think I have bounced back… but who the hell is Elaine???

After my mixed shopping expedition on Sunday, I was slightly anxious about my latest walk on Monday 7th. However, I at least matched my transformation record of 75 minutes, but left the house late and had to break the speed limit a bit to get there on time – was pleased, because it started 15 minutes earlier than usual. As I neared the area, the weather ahead of me was poor and very grey, and I wondered whether to just go to my friend instead… but then I thought, NO, you have come to go out to this walk, and you are going to do it! Chance to wear my new girl raspberry-coloured rain coat for the first time, anyway! (Which served me rather well).

Upon arrival it was raining, so I put my hood carefully on, trying not to disrupt my carefully brushed hair, and walked up to the group… and there was my “friend” (?) Margaret, who is always pleased to see me, and next to her Ann from last week (who I didn’t recognise as she had her hood on), and as we set off in the rain I had much good chat with the two of them. Then I chatted to Deirdre who I had met just once before, and that was good, then later met Pauline for a quick chat, and then Alan took over and I had the most chat with him since I have met him… and after a while he introduced me to Jane (who I have not met before) and I was introduced as Elaine. Elaine??? And who would that be??? I think he was generally a wee bit muddled that evening, but it was a bit disappointing considering the emails I have had from him. Oh well. Anyway, I had good chat with Jane… and then the walk was finished after only 90 minutes. After more chat with Margaret, and one or two others, it was alas time to go.

As the night was young, and I hardly wanted to go home so early, with no invitations for coffee or anything this time I rang my friend nearby – she was just home, so I popped around for a cuppa and some nice chat, eventually got home at around 10.40pm… and, as usual, so pleased to see my reflection welcome me home… and so difficult to wipe it away.

So, I think I have bounced back… and the negative incidents from Sunday are starting to fade.