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Baby steps, but still...

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Today my online order with all kinds of beauty products has arrived. I've painted my toe nails in a lilac colour. I was imagining them like that for weeks, and today I've finally made it happen. That alone would already be enough for a happy dance.


But I've also tried out my concealer and the effect is overwhelming. It's so great to see my face without a beard shadow (well, almost). The original idea was to get an idea if I should go for laser hair removal, because it is more or less permanent, so didn't want to do it without some impression what it looks like. Based on the impression I've got now, that's a clear yes. But now I'm wondering if I should try out some more make-up and who knows, maybe one day wear it in public.


Another thing is that during the last few days I wore a bralette under my t-shirt in my flat while the curtains were open. People can see inside my living room from the street, so I was always cautious about wearing anything "suspicious" during the day. I don't think anybody would actually notice the bralette at all, but it's not easy to deal with all the self-consciousness.

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You're right, the self-consciousness is the hardest part to get past.  But once you do, it's incredibly liberating.  When I was consistently worried about my appearance and how others might perceive me, I got quite a bit of side-eye from folks who saw me.  But once I was able to genuinely say I didn't care what other people thought, all that stopped.


And if you want a bit of makeup to fall in love with, may I suggest giving lipstick a try?  Even a tiny bit in a barely-noticeable color transforms the attitude quite nicely.  (Of course, me being me, I go for a very out-there dark purple, but I'm also the sort of person who would walk into an anti-trans convention and dare people to say something smart to me.)

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I have to temper my excitement a bit because what's right for me is not absolutely right for someone else BUT, having MY facial hair removed has been thee absolute best thing I've done throughout my transition!!!  I wish I'd done it before I even knew I'd transition one day.  I wish I'd done it in my early 20's when it would have been easier.  I've spent more out-of-pocket money on laser and electrolysis than any other transition related expense and if I had to choose just one thing to do, facial hair removal is what I'd choose.  It's SUCH a powerful gender cue.  I'm obviously biased but it seems to me like anyone who is AMAB but identifies as anything but male, would thoroughly LOVE not having facial hair.  I wish you the best as you discover and express yourSELF.  :)

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Timber Wolf

We hear so much about HRT and surgeries here, but the truth is facial hair removal is by far on the top of my list. If I can ever do one thing about myself physically, it would be that. 


Lots of love,

Timber Wolf🐾

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Guest Rachel Gia

I agree about facial hair removal and hair cues in general.

i started shaving arms, legs and torso years before ever doing my intake into a transition program.

things that kept me back at first was thinking people would notice and call me on it. 

No one did.

Laser was much later and again the same fears of being exiled.

No one did.

People didn't even notice the welts and temporary redness after electrolysis.

Eventually a few people started to notice in a positive way, complementing me on how happy and healthy I looked and at that time I started to come out.

I now it sounds strange but I always look forward to my electrolysis appointments as its a forward step each time.  The cost, not so much but there are murmors that it might be covered in the future but until then.....

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On 2/20/2018 at 5:55 PM, Dev said:

And if you want a bit of makeup to fall in love with, may I suggest giving lipstick a try?  Even a tiny bit in a barely-noticeable color transforms the attitude quite nicely. 

You're right, Dev. I've become a big fan of lipstick and have two favorites. The one I like best is red - nothing like red lips to make one feel like a woman :)


Terry, I'm doing my hair removal research and will start soon. Unfortunately I have few choices and may have to pay more than I had planned. And I sure can understand your self-consciousness issues!! I always wear skirts at home and fear my neighbors will see me through my windows, and I'm not even sure this is possible. (I live in a very conservative area.) I long for the day when I feel liberated to live as I choose, and I'm certain this will happen for us.



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This thread reminds me how powerful a forum like this can be!  My response seemed perfect but as I read the other responses, I find myself saying, "oh yeah, I wish I'd said that ALSO".  I LOVE the variety of responses here and in most other threads because each topic is thoroughly and thoughtfully responded to.


@Terry I completely understand your fears - I was there once upon a time.  I hope I encouraged you to do whatever is in your heart. :)

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jae bear

Hi terry,

 I total get it, I'm right there with you girl... Someday this beards gotta come off, but right now I hiding behind it (I'm a total coward)...

squishy hugs,


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jae bear

Hey again Terry,

 I almost forgot why I started to reply! I love Lilac too! You should take a peek at my terrible poem 'Bears and Bunnys' there's a lilac reference there that really gets to the core of me...

Big squishy hug,


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Hello Terry.  I got to say hair removal, while expensive and painful, is the single most best thing I've done to make me feel great when out in public.  That and finally coloring my silver hair!  Until you actually start its somewhat hard to see what you will look like without facial hair because it is hard to effectively cover beard shadow.  Once done, the look without makeup is astounding.  


Go with a clear or translucent nail polish to give a discrete look you can live with.  Personally I rarely use a bright lip gloss, preferring a softer natural tones.  I regularly wear a color called Cocoa Bean that goes great with my skin tone.   For you, go with what feels good.  That's the number one thing.    


As far as being concerned what others may think, don't fret.  People as so involved in their own lives that they barely have time to notice others.   Being androgynous you can mix and match styles as you wish.  Sure, you'll get a few looks but if you display confidence you'll be fine.  Own it!  



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Wow, so many interesting replies! Thanks all!


Dev, I wish I was even half as brave as you. But I guess you also worked hard to get there. I suppose if I try lipstick I'm more likely to start with a colour that perfectly matches the natural colour of my lips. Even that would already be a big step for me.


There seems to be a massive consensus that facial hair removal makes a big change. Personally I expect that what people would notice effectively would be that I look cleanly shaven - something impossible for me right now, because my hair is simply too dark. There is this permanent five o'clock shadow, so chances are I would actually be less noticeable afterwards. If that is the case, it would actually be a win-win situation - for me I take away the maleness I don't want, whereas for others I'll probably just make a tidier impression. They might also underestimate my age even more than they do already I guess?



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Update. Yesterday I was meeting friends, and I was in fairly busy public locations most of the day. There were only a few items of male clothing I was wearing. In particular I was wearing fairly feminine slim jeans. The knit tights would probably have tricked people, had they noticed, because it's not easy to tell the difference between them and socks. I was also wearing a soft bra. Jani, I followed your suggestion to apply clear nail polish.


The self-consciousness was there, and I also had the occasional impression that I was getting looks, but quite honestly it was not more than what I experience anyway.


The soft bra probably deserves a bit more attention. It's not that it has much supporting to do - at best it emphasises in the right way what little is there - but the psychological effect was enormous. My chest is probably a fairly average male chest, but I've always had the subjective impression that I have breasts. This has usually shown most when going to the beach - I've always had this feeling of unease, which I think could not be resolved with even a perfect male body shape, but rather with wearing a bikini top or similar. This is really confusing for me - is this a way in which dysphoria shows up?


Now the feeling I get from wearing soft bras or bralettes (which I bought because the elastic shape still works if there are practically no breasts) is one of enormous comfort. It just feels right to wear something there and I feel a bit more naked if I don't. And that was what I experienced in public as well. I'm starting to really like the idea of having proper breasts, which in turn means all effects of HRT would feel right for me. I've been living with the idea of people noticing my chest area for a long time, so that aspect wouldn't change if there was actually more to see. But for myself it would be more like how I see myself anyway.


There's one thing I wanted to comment before but forgot. Jea bear, you might not be aware of it, but I'm fairly sure you're the first one who's ever called me "girl". At first I jumped up a bit - the instincts developed in three to four decades of pretending to be male just don't fail - but then I really liked it.

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