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MaeBe's Trail of Discovery


MaeBe

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1 hour ago, MaeBe said:

Also, I need to deal with my facial hair something fierce. I can't stand going out with even the hint of stubble, even though my beard shadow has to be super obvious. Both must go!

You might know this, but there are ways to conceal the stubble. For instance, if you have dark stubble, you can use orange color corrector beneath your foundation to cancel out the stubble color.

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53 minutes ago, Ashley0616 said:

Don't waste your money on an IPL or at least it didn't work for me.

I was going to check with my dermatologist if laser would work for me. I see them for my eczema, so was thinking I might be able to leverage insurance for treatment through them (probably not). Salons won't even try insurance. I was thinking laser might reduce things and then electrolysis for the grey and stubborn hairs. Home IPL has definitely reduced hair coverage, so maybe I have a decent skin/hair pigment combo?

 

As for not wearing much makeup, you get a lot of mileage out of so little. I have been using a tinted moisturizer, concealer, blush, and eye makeup. Oh, and a little brow penciling. I don't have bronzer or any contouring kit in my arsenal yet.

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2 minutes ago, emeraldmountain2 said:

You might know this, but there are ways to conceal the stubble. For instance, if you have dark stubble, you can use orange color corrector beneath your foundation to cancel out the stubble color.

I have played with the idea. I've seen the tutorials. I even went shopping for it and was told I could get by without. Either way, I would need a full face of makeup to hide it; matched concealer or color corrector and foundation. So right now I just minimize it a bit with what I have, so as to not be "too made up". If I zapped it off, I could almost get away with just moisturizer! I've always looked younger than my years, but that's probably fantasy. 😁

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If you go to a dermatologist, expect it to probably be way more expensive than at a medical aesthetics clinic. Important if you're paying out of pocket. Also, there are a lot of businesses out there offering laser and in my opinion extremely overcharging. Shop around. Some of them will also claim to be using laser, but they're actually using IPL which is nowhere near what you would need for your face. Also, don't try to do laser by yourself! Danger, danger!

 

My insurance adamantly refuses to cover any hair removal except for SRS. There are some insurances out there that will cover other areas of hair and I hope yours does.

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1 minute ago, emeraldmountain2 said:

There are some insurances out there that will cover other areas of hair and I hope yours does.

I looked at my policy and there are provisions for transgender care. It may still be seen as cosmetic; my estradiol, syringes, and needles are covered, so it's worth the conversation. Otherwise, any intervention without insurance coverage is going to cost a goodly sum, so I agree on shopping around. The problem is there is also the kit the aesthetician has, which types of laser (usually alexandrite for those of us of pasty complexion), their skill, and their session structure. So even the "less expensive" could be just as expensive in the end. What a racket, I just don't want to feel the way I feel when I have to go out without shaving and covering up!

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Yeah, fully body laser is costing me literally thousands of dollars out of pocket. Had I gone with another well-known laser provider from what I've heard they charge over $10k, maybe even as much or more than $15k. Definitely do your research.

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27 minutes ago, MaeBe said:

I was going to check with my dermatologist if laser would work for me. I see them for my eczema, so was thinking I might be able to leverage insurance for treatment through them (probably not). Salons won't even try insurance. I was thinking laser might reduce things and then electrolysis for the grey and stubborn hairs. Home IPL has definitely reduced hair coverage, so maybe I have a decent skin/hair pigment combo?

 

As for not wearing much makeup, you get a lot of mileage out of so little. I have been using a tinted moisturizer, concealer, blush, and eye makeup. Oh, and a little brow penciling. I don't have bronzer or any contouring kit in my arsenal yet.

Laser would be nice and then electrolysis in fact there were a few trans women who are on YouTube that went that way. 

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No one never said it was going to be cheap for all of the things. It would be nicer if it was like half of it. 

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22 minutes ago, Ashley0616 said:

No one never said it was going to be cheap for all of the things. It would be nicer if it was like half of it. 

You're right. It would also be nice if our insurances were required to cover hair removal other than for surgery prep. I think it's medically necessary and so does the research.

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1 minute ago, emeraldmountain2 said:

You're right. It would also be nice if our insurances were required to cover hair removal other than for surgery prep. I think it's medically necessary and so does the research.

I wished Mississippi Medicare covered SRS. I hope the VA finally approves it or I don’t know how I’m going to afford it without some grant or something. 

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  • Forum Moderator

Thank you @MaeBe for keeping this thread going, I loved reading it and the people who have responded so far. 
 

Hugs,

 

🌈🐛🏳️‍⚧️🦋

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On 2/5/2024 at 6:11 PM, Mmindy said:

Thank you @MaeBe for keeping this thread going, I loved reading it and the people who have responded so far. 
 

Hugs,

 

🌈🐛🏳️‍⚧️🦋

I missed your note, @Mmindy! Thank you for reading along!

 

So I think I should add, since my forum name is MaeBe and I've referenced addressing myself as Mae in public, what I'm thinking about my name.

 

My plan, so far, has been to keep my given name. It's a traditional masculine name, BUT there are some women that bear the name. So, I kind of feel heartened to keep it and own it. I am apprehensive, somewhat, if I decide to fully transition that it would just add to confusion. But that's where a nickname comes in...

 

I have thought about changing my middle name, but to the feminine form, which was my mother's name. My initials persist to be M.A. and I thought, I could go with Mae! I don't have an E in my name and, maebe 🤭, I might add another middle name to have MAE to make it official. Otherwise, I might just go as Mae as a nickname until I make a final decision.

 

So my handle on this forum sparked my baby trans nickname. I was trying to be cute, encapsulating my gender questioning, but it has manifested itself in the real world. Who'dathunk?

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On 2/4/2024 at 9:33 PM, MaeBe said:

. Home IPL has definitely reduced hair coverage, so maybe I have a decent skin/hair pigment combo?

 

As for not wearing much makeup, you get a lot of mileage out of so little. I have been using a tinted moisturizer, concealer, blush, and eye makeup. Oh, and a little brow penciling. I don't have bronzer or any contouring kit in my arsenal yet.

I also found that IPL reduced the rate and consistency of hair growth on my legs. I've experimented with using it just around my mouth since that's where I still have some greater amounts of dark hairs - turning gray has definitely made my beard less visually evident. It seems to also slow down the growth marginally. 

 

I do use the orange concealer around my mouth before putting on foundation. A little definitely goes a long way...as does all make-up I'm discovering as I perfect the application.

 

I just recently started using a touch of blush on my cheeks. Before that, I would use just a little touch of darker lip gloss on my cheeks and smooth it out with a make-up sponge. That worked pretty well but do prefer the rouge now that I'm better at applying it.

 

I love your thread here and can't wait to hear about your final name decision when you are ready to share.

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I think it's great. You should be happy with your name. Don't let anyone else try to persuade you do anything different. Just remember to take your time and really think about the full transition. I'm not telling you not to do it or do it but somethings are irreversible. I'm going to fully transition and have thought about it long and hard. I have even watched a lot of detransitioner's videos to make sure I'm fully informed on what decision to make. I do like your name and it's not as common or at least I haven't heard of it being used very much. 

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3 hours ago, MaeBe said:

My plan, so far, has been to keep my given name. It's a traditional masculine name, BUT there are some women that bear the name. So, I kind of feel heartened to keep it and own it. I am apprehensive, somewhat, if I decide to fully transition that it would just add to confusion. But that's where a nickname comes in...

Mae,

 

My given name is Michael, and I have always planned on keeping it. Actress Michael Learned from The Waltons who played Olivia Walton has always been one of my favorite actors. She also went on to play Nurse Mary Benjamin, her roles have always been strong women we could look up to. Your name has to have meaning to you, and if you're going to change it, make it yours.

 

Mindy🌈🐛🏳️‍⚧️🦋

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33 minutes ago, Mmindy said:

Actress Michael Learned from The Waltons who played Olivia Walton has always been one of my favorite actors.

The bassist for The Bangles changed her name to Michael Steele. I play bass and when I looked up "women named Michael" and saw her listed I teared up. I like to say I play the bass; I have one, but I am terrible at practicing. 🤫 So it was a moment.

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1 hour ago, MaeBe said:

The bassist for The Bangles changed her name to Michael Steele. I play bass and when I looked up "women named Michael" and saw her listed I teared up. I like to say I play the bass; I have one, but I am terrible at practicing. 🤫 So it was a moment.

That's fantastic! All musicians are terrible when they are practicing. That's why they call it practice. My son plays rhythm guitar and sings bluegrass. He's a better singer than he is a musician. He does a lot of open mics around town, and jams at bluegrass festivals. The key is to love what you're doing, practice, practice, practice. 

 

Don't give up, You'll make it.

 

Mindy🌈🐛🏳️‍⚧️🦋

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  • 2 weeks later...

The day I'd been dreading has come and gone.

 

I went out for lunch with my father and planned on bringing up my gender exploration and see where it went from there. Lunch started well with small talk and catching up on things; how's my addict brother doing out of town, how are plans coming for my dad and his girlfriend's upcoming trip, and other family news. We chatted for about 10 minutes and there seemed to be a decent segue to broach the subject of me as I sat there in my high-waist girl jeans, side-zip booties, painted nails, pierced ears, and hoodie that didn't do much to cover my breasts that were well-shaped by a Chantelle bra. I asked, "I'm guessing you're wondering about me" as I gestured my hand in a "all of this" kind of way.

 

He said, "yes, I've been praying for you" and I was momentarily shook. I blinked, struck dumb for a second and asked "prayed for me?", when I realized we had just been talking about my eldest who had given up on Catholicism like me. He was praying I'd return to the Church. Phew! I smiled and clarified about my feminine appearance, to which he asked "oh yes, how is your anxiety doing?" Again, taken aback, I said something about just work stress and then realized my sister-in-law had told him/some family when they'd asked her about my nails, etc. that she said that was how I was "dealing with anxiety". I have no idea where that came from, but it's probably some sort of crossed communication on Christmas when I made light of my appearance (nails, etc.).

 

I stated, "no this isn't dealing with anxiety" and went on to explain how I've been thinking about my life and connecting breadcrumbs and realized there was a part of me that was quite feminine. I explained my gynecomastia, some events over the past two and a half years, and that I'd been in therapy working to understand myself. I told him I wasn't asking for anything to change in our relationship, I wasn't asking to be addressed differently, and assured him I didn't want to cause him any anxiety (a thing he's struggled with for a few years now). He said "no, I don't feel any anxiety--maybe it's the medication" and "you're living how God made you".

 

Wow.

 

A little shocked again we changed subjects, but I'd remembered about his girlfriend. I then went on to say I'd spoken with my brother, who lives in the same house as he (his wife is the one who came up with the anxiety thing), and he'd inferred that dad's girlfriend has religious issues with LGBTQ+ people and I didn't want to cause any issues between them. My dad shook his head, "I don't have that impression. I haven't noticed anything like that."

 

OK!

 

Then he said, "well she's very religious and Trans people are changing how God made them and she...". I cut back quickly, "I see it as them living their life as God made them" and things got quiet for a second.

 

Ugh.

 

I did not say at any point, "Dad, I'm trans". I had been trying to build a narrative that spoke to my truth without labels, to avoid entanglements. Maybe I should have then. I didn't. It was clear he operates under auspices I'd assumed and, with my lunch window coming to an end, I had no time to wade into it and try to educate him. We wrapped up he noted that I'm doing all this (dressing like a girl) and [I'm] "still a man."

 

I smirked. "Well...I think the jury's out on that."

 

The lunch ended well, I guess. We hugged. I put on my coat, grabbed my purse, and we walked out together. He must have been checking my outfit out as we left, "how can you go without socks? It's so cold?"

 

"It's not THAT cold. Love you, Dad! Drive safe!"

 

He said, "I love you too" and we went our separate ways.

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I don't know why but it feels like the father is always the hard one. I know mine will never change. I'm sorry he was like that to you.

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Laser hair removal.

 

I went for a consult last week and the tech was surprised how much I knew about things: hair growth stages, types of lasers, efficacy of laser for colors of hair, etc. Essentially it came down to what their classification was for areas treated and their associated cost. I was quoted over the phone a level 3 service, but speaking with the tech she told me "it's no thing, we can do a full beard for you at a level 2". This would save me at least $600. Not wanting to have to repeatedly pay money for consultations to find out how much places would charge me I said, "we still have time in the consult window, can I start now?"

 

I paid, she prepped the room, I had my first treatment! The machine zapped and shot a numbing agent after each flash. It was uncomfortable, but not intolerable. In about 10 minute I was out of the chair and out the door. My face didn't feel too bad, just mildly sunburnt. The big issue was shaving the next day and since. My skin is pissed off at me and it's difficult to get a close shave. I used to shave both directions most days, but I can barely do a with-the-grain pass in some areas (mostly from my chin down my neck) without feeling like I've giving myself razor burn. I've taken to moisturizing religiously, so hopefully that helps.

 

Maybe I won't have to shave in a few months? I'm really excited about the prospect of looking at myself in the mirror with little to no beard shadow!

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That's wonderful news! Thanks for the update. I'm looking forward to going to my laser appointments. It's getting really old shaving everyday and sometimes twice. Are you getting laser or electrolysis? 

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2 minutes ago, Ashley0616 said:

That's wonderful news! Thanks for the update. I'm looking forward to going to my laser appointments. It's getting really old shaving everyday and sometimes twice. Are you getting laser or electrolysis? 

Laser first. If I need to go the next step I will. I know I have some salt in my facial hair, but hopefully this will get a lot of it. Luckily, I my beard isn't super thick and stops pretty much at my adam's apple; the tech said it was only worth a couple more zaps and she didn't need the next level (time) of treatment.

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We are a Nespresso house. My wife was gifted a machine years back and it's been our go-to for our morning caff. Yesterday, however, we were out of pods! When I had to get kids out the door, to daycare or whatnot, years ago I would swing by our local coffee shop and get my 20oz. YETI filled up for the cost of a small cup of coffee. It's a really lovely local haunt with the usual features of such a place: local artists' work on the walls for sale, mostly-reliable WiFi, baristas that have worked there for years, and cavalcade of regulars and usual faces. It's a really cool place to have nearby. Having gone there for years it's been kind of anxiety-inducing going back since going femme full time. I haven't really been a regular lately, so it's like suddenly showing up as a completely different person--but not being completely different. I've gotten coffee a couple times recently, but it's been in and out, and being out of coffee yesterday I definitely had to go up the street to get my caffeine! I resolved myself to drive up and get some brew. This time, however, I figured I'd spice it up and work from there too.

 

I showered, I shaved, I put on a face, and put on my tight black top with skinny jeans and walked out the door with my laptop and YETI. At first I was a bit nervous, but felt a little more at ease after I took off my gloves and the barista (one I've know for probably a decade) complimented me on my nails. I smiled and thanked her (dealing with compliments has been one area I've been trying to work on) got my coffee and hunkered down to work. I had to fight to get my headset to work, I haven't used it in like forever! Amazingly enough, it had 90% battery and I haven't plugged it in for months!

 

Sitting there I got a few double-takes, but no one made me feel uncomfortable. One guy sat next to me and then immediately switched to the other side of the table, this after an hour earlier when a guy sat down at that table and moved to somewhere else within a couple minutes. Both could have had nothing to do with me, but they were the only notable situations that COULD have been something. The ladies who sat next to me for an hour paid me no mind, so that was nice.

 

I have been out, dressed, many times but usually for errands or going over to friends' places. This was the first time I really inhabited a place for a while and it was a pleasant experience. I felt pretty and put together and I got stuff done. What a joy!

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  • Posts

    • Vidanjali
      What a great feeling. Happy for you you found a new product you like so much and which brings you joy :D
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      A lot of stuff. Exactly so: Accept. Learn. Move on. Create anew.
    • EasyE
      No better words to see written here... blessings to you!
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      Mostly, I've been in the same boat. Work called me Mike, that's over now. I still have some friends out there that I haven't socialized my chosen name and they do the same. That said, last night I went to a small party at a friend's house fully in myself and when asked if I go by a new name I said yes and gave it to them. No one batted an eye and referred to me as such the whole time. It was such a lovely evening being me.
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    • awkward-yet-sweet
      Hmmm.... maybe send her this one?      At least from what I've seen, it seems like the majority of women are somewhat "flexible" when it comes to relationships and sex, so "I'm not a lesbian" could be a convenient excuse rather than the whole truth. 
    • VickySGV
      The sharing of the offerings as actual food and sustenance for the immediate family and for all of the others impresses me and I feel admiration for the custom involved here.  To me the 2/3's for others concept shows a side of Islamic beliefs that we do not hear about often enough. 
    • Ashley0616
      Well so much to catch up on. I have met the woman I love a lot! We met at trans women that love transwomen n. We have been talking for almost 2 weeks and things have moved fast but I'm not scared. Last night we had a conversation on when she would be able to move in. We will be living together in September of this year. I just need to save up to start the official divorce process. The time has finally come to when I can apply. My girlfriend's name is Camilia. We have at times have talked three times a day. I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my life with her. We have hit off amazing. We have already been planning our life together. She is going to help me with the surgeries that I will get. I think about her all the time. She has accepted me for me and I have told her everything. Maybe she'll join us on the forum Well I'm not telling all the details but I wanted to talk about her.
    • Ashley0616
      Congrats! I know you feel amazing. I have just gotten used to being deadnamed. 
    • Lydia_R
      world sit tea zen   coffee doesn't grow on trees, but bananas do
    • MaeBe
      I hope it was a great time!   :HUGS:     It ended with a small non-holiday get together and started with me reffing and getting wicked tan lines. In between we were working toward our move and met with a realtor. It was a busy as heck Sunday. 
    • EasyE
      I know how much this hurts, missyjo ... and I am walking a similar tight-rope right now with my family (still keeping much a secret - how I dress, the fact I have started HRT) ... I am sitting here typing this on my back deck in a black skort, knowing that once my dad gets up and gets moving for the day, I'll trade out the skort for a pair of shorts (sigh ... This skort feels so comfortable and affirming!)   I am trying to look at things through their eyes, and trying to find as much positive as I can. Sometimes it is hard to find the positive, of course.   But this is a big shock to the system, even for well-grounded folks. Especially marriages. Our wives married who they thought were men. And now we are disclosing that there are deep feminine aspects about us. That is a big deal. Add the religious piece, and they likely feel a lot of shame. And the scorn of others, that maybe they failed in their roles...   And there is a sense, that while we are discovering and uncovering wonderful things about ourselves (many times things we didn't even know were there until, like, today!), folks around us are feeling betrayed. They feel we are purposefully misleading them and double-crossing them, maybe even taking delight in hurting them (though that is the last thing we are trying to do)...   With my wife, I misled her for a long time about a porn addiction I had. So to now tell her about this part of me, which I had never disclosed, feels like another betrayal in her eyes. This one seems to be the last straw for her (we have been separated for a year plus and she barely acknowledged me yesterday on Father's Day, which hurt a lot)...    As for parents, I imagine there is a sense of loss when we announce our transitions. For decades, they have taken pride in having a son or daughter. Now, we are switching things up on them. It likely feels like death to them (I am trying to see through their eyes -- maybe they picked out a special name, poured themselves into making us the best son/daughter we could be, and now we are rejecting that -- and, in their eyes, rejecting them! No wonder some have a hard time even facing us).   I have two daughters. I treasure that they are girls/women. If they were to transition to men, it would be tough, even for me, to be frank. Though for some reason I think it is easier if the transition was FTM than MTF. Society seems to value men more. Of course, I am delighted to be my daughters' dads. I am not their mom or sister or auntie. And no matter how things turn out for me, I am still their dad (who wears a black skort and loves it). So this is really weird on my end, lol...    All to say: Patience is required for all involved. Us with ourselves. Us with others. And by God's grace, others with us...If we can continue to love throughout the process and be lovable people towards others, never wavering in our commitment despite the negative/hurtful responses around us, time will heal many wounds. Probably not all. But hopefully many... 
    • Ivy
      There is a lot of stuff we learn to live with.  It's just our environment.
    • Mmindy
      Good morning everyone,    I had a lot of catching up to do here today. I’ve been away from social media for nearly a week camping at a Bluegrass Festival at Bill Monroe Campgrounds in Beanblossom, IN. Father’s Day gift from my son was that he and my grandson broke camp and readied the camper for departure. My daughter shipped me a tablet or phone holder and a supply of French Lavender Sachets for my drawers and bathroom. She is my biggest supporter and understands my situation in transition.    Hugs for y’all  Monday after vacation sucks.   Mindy🌈🐛🏳️‍⚧️🦋    
    • missyjo
      delcina..thank you. i keep naively thinking the road to tolerance n acceptance goes by way of sharing experiences together n realizing the gender issues become smalle4 n smalle4 each time..but that doesn't work if they don't wish to see us. shrugs. oh well..it happens I guess. thank you   .indy..good for you. thank you. I'm trying to learn that.    hugs to all 5hat want them
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