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AsTheCrow

As the crow flies

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AsTheCrow

Maybe it's time for a thread of my own, yes? Things keep happening and I can't keep making a new thread or hijacking someone else's every time I have something to talk about. I'm too tired to do a whole recap of my story so I'm just going to start with today.

 

I had my second appointment with my therapist today (for depression/anxiety/adhd stuff) and managed to work up the nerve to tell her I'm trans. She says she doesn't have much experience in that field but she does have a colleague she can refer me to if/when I decide to talk to a pro about it. We didn't talk about it much because it was near the end of our session, but even bringing it up feels like a big step.

 

This coming Sunday I have the trans makeup class at Sephora. I am nervous AF. I have been purchasing clothes and shoes to have a complete outfit to wear. I still have a top and shoes coming to me. I desperately need the shoes to work for me, the only other women's shoes I have are high stilettos I got years ago for Rocky Horror, and are not really my style. The lil ankle boots with small heels are much more my speed. If they don't fit I guess I'll just wear my black leather flats.

 

I have been feeling a lil dysphoric about my facial hair and the hair on my chest and back/neck. I bought a depillatory cream for the latter which seems to work well, but I did end up with a bit of a chemical burn from using it twice in one day. I guess I was in a hurry. I also ordered a beginner's kit with safety razor, blades, shaving soap, and brush, because some lovely people on this forum were talking about safety razors and made me curious.

 

I just. I want to feel pretty, and having all this hair everywhere is not cutting it for me. I know I will never be a traditionally beautiful woman by western standards, and I'm honestly fine with that. I just want to be perceived as who and what I am. And I'm feeling impatient.

 

I gotta slow my roll. Gotta take it easy and be patient and feel good about my progress, instead of wanting everything and wanting it now. Gotta try to start liking myself as I am instead of obsessing over what I wish I could be.

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Jani

Thanks for the update Jay.  I know you'll enjoy the make up class.   Dress casual and be relaxed.  The black flats may be more comfortable walking in the mall.  I'm tall so I stick to flats for the most part or no more that 2" heals when I want to get dressy.

 

Please be careful of the depilatory cream!  I would certainly not use it on your face, if you're considered it.  You might look into laser treatments for body hair.  

 

I hear the impatience in your writing but as you admit, got to take it slow and easy.  Enjoy every minute.  

 

Jani

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Charlize

Jay i was glad to read that you spoke to your therapist!  If you are like me simply sharing my issues with anyone was filled with fear and shame.  At the same time the honesty somehow made me almost euphoric once i worked through the fear.

As Jani mentioned give yourself time.  I know that's hard.  Once we see the possibility and experience openness it's hard to sit back.  Take a deep breath and relax.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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AsTheCrow
10 hours ago, Jani said:

Please be careful of the depilatory cream!  I would certainly not use it on your face, if you're considered it.  You might look into laser treatments for body hair.

 

I bought the cream a couple of weeks ago for my face, but I did a test patch as recommended on the instructions, and it was not effective at all, so I abandoned the idea.

 

Then a couple of days ago I decided that the cream might be effective on my chest because the hair is much finer, so I gave it a shot. It was pretty effective but still left just a bit of hair so I reapplied. That was a mistake.

 

I should have waited a day or two, because after I removed the cream the skin there was very red and irritated. A couple of days and a few aloe applications later, and it's just fine. I would use it again on my body hair, I'd just be careful not to use it too soon after a previous use.

 

I'm far too poor for something like laser hair removal, but it's a nice dream. :)

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AsTheCrow
3 hours ago, Charlize said:

Jay i was glad to read that you spoke to your therapist!  If you are like me simply sharing my issues with anyone was filled with fear and shame.  At the same time the honesty somehow made me almost euphoric once i worked through the fear.

As Jani mentioned give yourself time.  I know that's hard.  Once we see the possibility and experience openness it's hard to sit back.  Take a deep breath and relax.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

 

Bringing it up with her was VERY HARD, but I managed to get it out. I viewed it as the first step to maybe getting on hormones some day.

 

It's funny, until very recently my gender progress has been very very slow, but all of a sudden I'M READY TO GO. I think signing up for that trans makeup class was the catalyst. I signed up because I didn't know if they'd ever do another one in my area, and I didn't want Future Jay to regret not attending the class.

 

As soon as I committed to going, I started looking for something to wear, and trying on women's clothes made me start seeing myself differently, which made me want to get rid of all this unwanted hair, etc etc etc. It's like a trans domino effect, and it's fun, and it's exciting, but it's suddenly seeming very REAL and scary.

 

I think I'll be able to relax a little after this class passes, and figure out where I am and how to proceed.

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AsTheCrow

My first shave with the safety razor went great, by the way! My face has never been smoother! There is still room for improvement, but because it was my first time, I just gave it two with-the-grain passes to get the knack of it. When I feel I've got a good handle on it I'll go cross-grain on the second pass for a closer shave.

 

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jae bear

 That is awesome news !  I’m glad you didn’t go crazy like I did and get too aggressive, I was so happy it worked well and was so smooth I was crossgrain shaving way too much !  I’ve also found that you might need a new blade nearly every shave, but the blades are very cheap so I guess it’s not an issue. 

  Hugs, 

Jackie

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Jani
23 hours ago, AsTheCrow said:

It's funny, until very recently my gender progress has been very very slow, but all of a sudden I'M READY TO GO

Thats how many things seem to go.  We just idle along as we consider our options then its full throttle!  You'll do fine at the make up class.  Enjoy yourself.

 

Jani

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AsTheCrow
4 hours ago, jae bear said:

 That is awesome news !  I’m glad you didn’t go crazy like I did and get too aggressive, I was so happy it worked well and was so smooth I was crossgrain shaving way too much !  I’ve also found that you might need a new blade nearly every shave, but the blades are very cheap so I guess it’s not an issue. 

  Hugs, 

Jackie

Of course, I have plenty of learning and testing to do, but I expect I'll probably replace the blade every other shave. As you say, they are cheap enough that there's no reason to be precious with them -- which is the exact opposite of how I have treated cartridge razors, using the hell out of them because they're as costly as gold!

 

I know a lot of safety razor users do a with-grain, a cross-grain, and an against-grain pass, but I am super prone to ingrown (naturally curly hair is a blessing and a curse), so I doubt I'll ever be a regular against-grain shaver.

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AsTheCrow
59 minutes ago, Jani said:

Thats how many things seem to go.  We just idle along as we consider our options then its full throttle!

 

Exactly! And yet the idea of coming out to my blood family seems so distant and impossible that I don't know if I can ever really fully transition.

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jae bear
3 hours ago, AsTheCrow said:

coming out to my blood family seems so distant and impossible that I don't know if I can ever really fully transition.

 Believe me when I tell you this will come faster than you can possibly imagine, once you tell one person you want to tell another and it starts snowballing, I have said exactly what you just said here in this quote and I look back at it and think how fast it all unraveled, and I wasn’t upset about it one little bit, and there are negative things about it and there are positive things about it but moving forward always feels good. 

  Hugs, 

Jackie

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AsTheCrow

Okay, I had my Sephora makeup class for trans folks a couple days ago; if they haven't already, interested parties may read more about it in this thread.

 

I was discussing it with my dear friend and roommate R yesterday, and expressed something to her I hadn't shared with anyone who knows me IRL. I told her I was thinking of moving to she/her pronouns and exploring the possibility I might be mtf instead of genderqueer/nonbinary. I really don't know where I stand yet, but so far, every step I have taken in that direction has felt right.

 

Seeing myself with that face of makeup has rattled my cage a little. I caught a glimpse of who I could be, and I liked it.

 

Right now the biggest problem I have with the notion of being a full-time woman is the idea of coming out to my blood family. I came out as gay in the late 90s, it was awful, and we haven't discussed my sexuality since. It's that kind of family. The notion of going through that nightmare again, and possibly losing contact with my beloved nephews and niece, is terrifying. Maybe stay-in-the-closet-forever levels of terrifying.

 

As usual, there is exploration and introspection to be done. I plan to keep y'all posted in this thread. I'm grateful I have this platform.

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Kirsten

All I can say is don’t think too far ahead. Take a step and see how it feels. Maybe the next step is the last step. Maybe there will be more. But whenever you find that spot where you feel good with yourself, that’s where you belong. Unfortunately that can mean a lot of other things as well, but step 1 is to be happy and proud of who you are no matter what that means. 

Kirsten 

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AsTheCrow

I can't find it again right now, but I just saw someone post elsewhere in the forums that he was taking it one step at a time, first dressing more masculinely, then going to a short haircut, etc etc, and that as soon as he takes a step that makes him uncomfortable, he would stop and take stock. To me it sounded very wise and sensible.

 

So, as you suggest, I'm going to try to take a step at a time. I think for me, the next step is incorporating more feminine garments into my everyday wardrobe. Since I already present fairly androgynously, I don't think it will seem like a very dramatic change. I'm not exactly going from lumberjack to cheerleader here. :)

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AsTheCrow

Found it. It was ChickenLittle, posting here.

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Jani
4 hours ago, AsTheCrow said:

I came out as gay in the late 90s, it was awful

Jay, that was a long time ago.  Things have changed, maybe not so much with your family but with society in general.  Maybe some of your family has come along as well.  At any rate, this isn't about them.  Its about you.  Don't stress. We never want to lose contact with those that we love, but what if they truly don't love you?  Sometimes the family we love is not related by blood but by common experiences, goals and desires.  My family has been supportive, and I have a few very close friends that I consider (I know they do as well) as my family.  I would do anything for them.  

 

4 hours ago, Kirsten said:

All I can say is don’t think too far ahead. Take a step and see how it feels. Maybe the next step is the last step. Maybe there will be more.

Excellent advice from Kirsten.  There are no rules concerning how far and fast you need or should go.  You make the rule.  

 

3 hours ago, AsTheCrow said:

I'm not exactly going from lumberjack to cheerleader here. :)

Whoa!  That would be a sight to see!!!  

 

Jani    

 

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AsTheCrow
1 hour ago, Jani said:

 Sometimes the family we love is not related by blood but by common experiences, goals and desires.  My family has been supportive, and I have a few very close friends that I consider (I know they do as well) as my family.  I would do anything for them.

 

Amen! That's why I refer to my 'blood family'. I have a chosen family of dear friends who are a totally different matter. Them I trust to love and support me no matter what. 

 

Anyway, I'm still a long way off from deciding whether to come out or not. I gotta figure it out myself first! :)

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Jani
14 hours ago, AsTheCrow said:

I gotta figure it out myself first! :)

This is good news to hear.  Its important to understand who we are!

Jani

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AsTheCrow

Remember those shoes I bought that never arrived? And that meant I couldn't wear the outfit I wanted to the trans makeup class? Well they still haven't arrived, so I called the store and they said the shoes were delivered on Friday the 17th, two days before my class!

 

I live in a fairly nice apartment building, but ever since our new neighbors moved into the apartment next door, packages have been going mysteriously missing. Typically, whatever my roommate or I ordered isn't to the thieves' liking, so it shows up opened at our door in the middle of the night.

 

But that didn't happen this time, which means apparently they found a use for my size 13 Christian Siriano ankle boots. The store is shipping me another pair. Hopefully I actually receive this pair.

 

 

Okay, that's all. Just venting a bit.

 

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Jani

I'm sorry to hear this.  You might ask them about watching for your shipments "as some have gone missing."  This would put them on notice you are paying attention.  

 

BTW:  I have a pair of Siriano flats that are very nice.  I hope you get them back!

Jani  

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Jani

Another thought would be to have them held for pick up at UPS or Fedex.  I think the USPS would do so as well.  

 

Jani

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AsTheCrow

Wokay. I finally got a chance over the weekend to go to Ulta to pick up what I need for a full face of makeup. Between what I already owned and the freebies from the makeup class, it wasn't very much.

 

I had intended to ask an Ulta employee for help choosing colors for foundation and concealer, but there was only one person on the floor when I got there and she was busy, so I did my best on my own. I bought foundation, concealer, primer/setting spray, a few brushes, a beauty blender, and a highlighter. An Ulta gift card I had paid for most of it; I spent just under $10 out of pocket.

 

Later in the day I tried to apply what I learned in the class at home. The thing I was most worried about was getting the right colors for my complexion. I think I did pretty well on the foundation, but the concealer was too dark and yellow, I think.

 

But mostly, I feel pretty good with how I did. The biggest problem is applying the blush well. It looks very bright, no matter how little product and how much blending I do. I have some plans to try to solve that problem.

 

Also, it turns out the perfume I liked? The one I got a sample of along with my other gifts from Sephora? It's way too expensive for me to get a bottle of. Dang. Guess I'll just use that sample for special occasions and make it last.

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Jani
33 minutes ago, AsTheCrow said:

Later in the day I tried to apply what I learned in the class at home. The thing I was most worried about was getting the right colors for my complexion. I think I did pretty well on the foundation, but the concealer was too dark and yellow, I think.

Practice makes perfect!  Just remember "less is more" when applying makeup.  I brush on a tiny bit of blush under and around my cheekbones.  You can lessen the effect by dabbing with the sponge from your powder set, dry not loaded.  

 

I was told that your forearm skin color is approximately the same as your facial complexion.  For me it was a good match.  I like to use Neutrogena products.  

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AsTheCrow

Finally got the shoes! I’m shocked at how comfy and well-fitting they are!

 

They were very inexpensive so it’s no surprise the quality isn’t great, but unless someone is reeeaalllly checking them out they look fine. 

 

I wore them all evening yesterday, cooked dinner in them, did laundry in them. Very pleased. 

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AsTheCrow

This is going to go into depth to the point that I'm sure no one will want to read all of it. But writing helps me process my feelings. Please just skip all of this if you want.

 

Anyway. Something that's been on my mind lately is my name. A complicated thing for most trans folks, I think. There's no rush here, of course, but I find myself obsessing about it. I'm gonna do my best to describe my name situation without giving away personal info, so all the names that follow are fake (except Jay, which is really my preferred name).

 

I wrote several paragraphs detailing every little nuance of my names, but I decided that wasn't doing anyone any favors, so here's the short version. I was born John Martin Jackson, which for various reasons is full of a ton of rich family history going back to the 16th century.

 

When I was super young I started going by Jack instead of John. Everyone called me Jack for like 25 years. Eventually my friends were calling me Mr J, and over time I just started wanting to be Jay instead of Jack. Now, my friends and coworkers know me as Jay, and my family knows me as Jack. Jack is super masculine and I never want to hear it again.

 

That's the back story. Where I stand now is this. I have two names that I love for very different reasons. My full birth name is rich in history and is just a beautiful name and I love it. Jay is just me. It's what I want to be called, it's how I introduce myself. It's the name I earned, as opposed to the name I was given.

 

My driver's license, my bank accounts, my official work stuff? It has neither my lovely given name nor my perfect earned name. It all says Jack. Gross.

 

I think my ideal scenario would be to keep my given name on my birth certificate and social security card, but have my DL, bank accounts, and work stuff say Jay. Or maybe even J. I could live with just the letter. Maybe I could have that official stuff say J. Martin Jackson.

 

I don't know. I'm all mixed up. It's going to take a long time to figure out, but someday I'd like to at least get to the point where I never have to see or hear Jack again.

 

Okay that's all for now thanks for letting me abuse this space.

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