Wednesday, 9 September 2020

I Saw Myself Again

This weekend I did it. After several years or more of not having the time or the space or the privacy or the patience, energy, enthusiasm or the right mood, an opportunity presented itself and I was able to push myself through my hang ups about my body and appearance to take advantage of this. I saw myself again and it felt good. I felt good.

As far as she lets on, my partner is accepting of me to the point where recently and out of the blue she commented/reminded me that even though we've been working from home for the last 6 months or so and our house lacks any privacy, I could be myself at home and she would be OK with this. However over the last few years I've put on weight and my confidence has all but disappeared. I didn't want to run the risk of doing this then having a bit of a crisis with her around.

But this weekend she went away, so I had the house to myself. Perfect. I didn't have the entire weekend free to do as I wanted but I could make some preparations and then have all of Sunday to myself, so I decided I had to just get over myself and try to get come of my confidence back. Even a little bit would do.

I stumbled on the Friday. The old train of thought crept in. So I didn't start the arduous task of removing my body hair until Saturday evening instead and again, I almost gave up before I even started but I forced myself to get up and into that bathroom.

After a quick once over with my beard trimmer (my body hair one went missing), I slathered myself with Nair hair removal cream. I hadn't used Nair before and I wanted to see if it was more effective than previous attempts at de-fuzzing. 

It wasn't great. It left a fair amount of shortened hair and patches of longer hair all over the place. This could have been because of the trimming I'd done beforehand, but I didn't go over my body again in case I caused a reaction on my skin so I had to leave it as it was.

On the Sunday I once again had confidence problems and put off doing anything until about mid afternoon when I finally decided I'd have to at least finish removing the patchy hair on my body. I'd managed to find my body hair trimmer in the mean time so I used this before turning to my trusty Mach 5. 

I have to say, this is probably the smoothest I've ever been. I think using the Nair first had softened or damaged or got rid of enough of the hair so the trimmer followed by the razor made short work of what was left. This lifted my spirits, so I slipped on my satin robe and broke out the warpaint! It'd been several years since I last wore makeup though, so where to start?

I felt so pretty!

I'd remembered some things and turned to the internet for others. I had no idea if I was applying too much or too little foundation, or if I was using my brushes correctly. Due to my hooded eyes I had to apply eyeliner on the waterline and that tickled on the bottom eyelid, and I kept jabbing my eyeball at the top. My eye shadow was also awful but again due to the hooded eyes, I tried to keep it very simple and I have no idea if I used or blended enough. Basically, it was a bit of a disaster.

Due to the weight I've put on, I didn't even bother trying on most of my clothes since I knew they wouldn't fit anymore and just turned to a lovely dress from Oasis that's a flattering shape but also made from mesh, so it has plenty of stretch. It was still tight though. I had to pop my boobs out to get the zipper up, before slipping them back in. But I got it on, followed by some grey heeled ankle boots.

I quickly brushed my wig and slipped it on my head, then went straight to the mirror and there she was. I'd missed you/me!

Coming soon to a nail bar near you.

I was so happy with what I saw. My eyebrows were like caterpillars since I haven't been able to get them done since before lock down and my eye makeup wasn't the best, but it didn't matter. The rest of it was working enough that I just looked and felt right. The clothes looked cute and felt so nice to wear. I felt pretty. So, so pretty. Why can't I feel like this all the time?

I painted my nails and while waiting for them to dry I decided to turn on the PlayStation to pass the time. Pro tip: it turns out that a PlayStation controller is an excellent way to keep your fingers apart and busy while waiting for nail polish to dry!

After they'd dried and I'd taken in how I was feeling, the obligatory selfie session followed and after I'd ran out of poses and angles to take photos from, I remembered I'd bought a fan a while ago with a slogan on it that I thought was pretty funny. I'd love to go clubbing as myself one day. As in actual clubbing, not BNO or some overpriced cheesy club, but one that plays decent Dance Music. So I got changed into a dress I'd also bought with that in mind that was also stretchy but nowhere near as flattering, and took more photos in that too. Mainly because I wanted a photo of the fan.

Yes. Yes I am.

I was sad to take it all off and put it all away at the end. But I think it has given me some confidence back, made me feel a little (only a little) better about myself and also given me a bit of drive to actually work towards living as me again.

It's also made me realise how unfit I am. I'd like to (well, I think I have to) start doing some Pilates and proper exercise. I also want to work on my voice and my feminine mannerisms (although I have no idea where to start learning how to act feminine). And why are poses so hard to do? I might as well add that to the list as well. I want to start taking this all a little more seriously.

Finally I have to stop being cheap with buying clothes and jewellery. The Oasis dress was a one off but usually I buy cheap sale items which greatly reduces the amount of outfits that might fit or flatter my body shape. I think it's important to get a few nice things that work well for me. And maybe in the near future I'd want to get my ears pierced as well. I'm not sure what my partner would think about this and I'm sure at my age I'll get some ribbing about having a mid life crisis, but lets just see how it goes. I think I'm getting carried away here... Maybe this is a sign of how well it went?

The question is now then, will this persist? Will I be able to keep this momentum going and actually put things in place to make me a happier, better, more girly person? I have no idea, but I hope so. I really do.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

It's Been A Long Time

Hello.

It's been a long time hasn't it. I thought I'd check in and let anyone interested know that I'm still here, still alive, and give an update on what's been going on with my life.

I hadn't realised until now that it's been nearly three years since I last checked in here. More importantly, I hadn't realised that it's also been longer than that since I've done anything meaningful with my trans-life.

So back when I started this blog as My Gender Catharsis, I basically used it as a sounding board to try and help me to make sense of the confusing and conflicting thoughts I was feeling towards my gender. As time went on and I started being 'myself' more and getting out and about a bit, I started to feel a bit more positive about my life (not totally, but a bit). I actually had experiences to write about and it seemed like I was going to be able to get out there more and more. I hoped that this would continue, but it didn't last.

Real life took over. It 's slapped me around and has kept me far too busy. And because of this, I had to put myself back into the closet and have felt trapped in here ever since. I also realised that anytime I tried to post something on here, that I was just re-covering old ground. It wasn't fun to write about, I'm sure it wasn't fun to read, and it was depressing me more reading it back. So in the end I just stopped.

So where am I now? I'm still employed, I'm a recent first time homeowner of an absolute project of a house (which was not all planned for), and I'm still producing music to varying degrees of success (I've had music signed but don't think it's going to go anywhere). I'm no longer the svelte young lady I used to be either and lack the self discipline to lose the weight again (stupid chocolate), and I'm still plagued by anxieties that are holding back my social and work life. But with time comes acceptance, so I'm told.

With regards to 'me', I haven't had the time or energy to be myself in all this time. The endless internal monologue continues to plague me, but I'm trying not to let it get to me with varying degrees of success. It has been better over the last few months and when I do eventually get some free space and time, I may even get myself a new outfit (since my old ones probably don't fit anymore) and try and have some 'me' time again. I have no idea how or when I'm going to fit it in but I don't want to bore you with the details.

Anyway, I hope you're all doing well and are staying safe in these unusual times. I'm sure I'll be back again when I have something worth sharing.

x

Monday, 10 July 2017

I'm Not Myself

I've been calling myself Genderfluid for just over a year now, at the time it seemed to describe the ever changing nature of how I felt about myself and my gender. However, i've recently come to the realisation that while how I feel about my gender changes on a regular basis, I don't think Genderfluid is the right way to describe it.

I've come to realise it's not necessarily that I feel more male some days and more female others, it's more like it's how much I don't like my current gender that changes from day to day. It's how bad I feel about myself that is 'fluid', and I don't really think that is what Genderfluid is meant to mean.

My internal monologue is always tuned to trans. As soon i'm not having to do anything or concentrate on anything, i'm thinking about the life I could be living if I was female. And even if I am busy doing something, it tries to muscle its way in and distract me as much as possible. As well as this I also can't get away from triggers that make me feel negatively about my gender, mainly women who are looking, behaving, doing things, living their lives in a way that I could picture myself if I was a woman. And these women are everywhere, there is no escape.

I don't see myself as a woman, don't feel like a woman, yet I aspire to be one. Being a male is also depressing, but this is how I see myself. 

Where does this leave me?

I thought I had reached a point where I was getting to be happy with being somewhere in the middle, but the way i've been feeling these last few months, that's clearly not the case.

Sigh.

I just don't know what to do with myself anymore.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Struggling

Im struggling at the moment. I feel like I need to vent, but this is the only place I feel like I can do it openly.

The GD is just kicking me really hard at the moment, really fucking hard, and it has been for weeks now if not longer. I hate it so much. It just feels like everything triggers it now, and I cant get away from it. I dont have an outlet for it that works, I dont know what I can do to calm it down. And the brave face ive been putting on cracks sometimes and I say things out loud that I dont mean to when im reacting to it.

When I get those moments where my mind is taken off it, its like it doesnt even exist. But I seem to be on a hair trigger with it now, and those clear moments dont last long before something triggers it and im back feeling miserable about it.

I want rid of this feeling. Im fed up of carrying on like this.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

When the gf is away, the girl comes out to play!

I can count on one hand the amount of times I have dressed up this year, but since my other half has gone to her parents and I treated myself the other night, I put the effort in and had a bit of a dress up today. I do love the top and the slippers are so comfy and warm as the fur goes all the way through the inside too!!!


Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Shopping

Last night after work I thought I would pop around some clothes shops to see if I could treat myself to something nice and girly this xmas. I was after some pyjamas mainly as I have no girly sleepwear at all but came home empty handed in that regard. I did however find a cute top in H&M and some (fake) fur slipper boots from Accessorize which were both in a sale. I would have been happy to buy more things but im really trying to be ruthless with what I buy. Ive bought a lot of clothes in the past which ive barely or never worn, and its a waste. Having a wardrobe full of stunning party dresses is great if you have parties to go to!

Ive been shopping in ladies shops before while dressed as a guy, and a lot of the time I just try and be confident and push through it, and on a few occasions even outing myself to the staff at a makeup counter. I didnt even need to one occasion but I was feeling brave! Sometimes though there is a niggling feeling or paranoia, and I get very self conscious of being the only guy in the shop, occasionally to the point where I have to turn around and leave.

Last night though I was absolutely fine, I had no issues walking around doing my thing, perhaps the cover of xmas helped. After a while of weaving through aisles of clothes I came to realise that other ladies in the shop were not paying any attention to me at all, they were just going about their business looking for something nice to wear. I also noticed I was not the only guy shopping solo in the ladies sections either, not only that but there were also groups of guys in there browsing and picking things out, presumably as presents for partners or family, but you never know! :)

Looking back I cant think of any time where ive been shopping where staff or other people have given me any impression that they knew who I was buying for (me!), apart from that one occasion last time I was in London where I was trying some ballet flats on and someone working there was watching what I was up to. But I was being pretty obvious then!

I guess the point of this post is to say not to worry too much if you decide to go shopping on your own. Guys buy clothes for the girls in their lives all the time, as long as you arent holding the dress up to yourself, im sure you will be fine. If you are worried, walk around with a list in your hand, have a pre-prepared excuse if you need to (xmas, birthday, etc), but other shoppers and staff wont bother you unless you give them an excuse to. And even if they do figure it out, does it really matter? The staff just want a sale, you might be the subject of their gossip for a bit but thats about it, and as for the other shoppers, who cares! If you are shopping locally though, obviously consider the chances of bumping into someone you know.

I usually shop online and its great if you are worried about being seen in ladies shops, but sometimes its nice to go out and actually see the clothes for real. I was in Topshop and saw a green one shoulder dress I had seen online which looked very pretty, but looked absolutely stunning seeing it for real. I wanted to buy it even though I would never be able to wear such a thing, and its on sale too. Damn it. I wish my hips were just a little bit bigger!


Saturday, 18 June 2016

Makeup Lessons @ JECCA

Yesterday I finally got an appointment to see a local makeup artist Jessica at JECCA for some makeup lessons, and found the day incredibly useful. JECCA is specifically for trans people to go for makeup lessons, makeovers, and beauty treatments. Its not a 'dressing service' as such, but she is happy for people to take clothes with them and wigs, etc to see the full effect.

Jessica herself was really friendly, lovely to speak to, very patient with me even if I was rambling a bit (I tend to when a little nervous), and was just nice to be around. She operates JECCA from her family home, im not sure if this is normal a lot of the time but there was at least one other member off her family there, but we never crossed paths. As the changing room was separate to the makeover room, I wasnt sure what I would have said if id bumped into them dressed but with no wig or anything!

All the makeup ive been doing up to now has been based on what I was taught at Sophies about 4 or 5 years ago, which was great. Juliette who runs Sophies is fantastic and if you are around Bath its great to spend a day with her, but I hoped I would be able to pick up some new tips from Jessica as she is a properly trained makeup artist, who does weddings but can also do theatre makeup which is useful for those of us who have to cover things other girls dont. And I was right, this girl clearly knows her stuff.

I went for 2 makeup lessons which takes about 4 hours. I was given the option of how to spend this time, and I wanted to try and learn a daytime and evening look. She wanted to know if I had any looks in mind, maybe that id seen in photos or anything, but due to me not coming prepared and my lack of real makeup skill, we decided to keep the looks simple. We decided that she would apply the daytime look so I could watch and learn the basics, then with the evening we would do half and half.

As she went through, she was explaining the colours she was using and what brands, how much product to use, the brushes she was using and why, the technique and so on. She was also happy to listen to any questions I had as we went along, although it was a lot to take in. I was surprised that she does the eyes first, it was always one of the last things I did, but doing it that way makes sense as its easy to tidy up if you make mistakes. She also said that I dont really need to draw anything on my eyebrows as they are dark already, apart from maybe a little on the ends to define them a bit. I then learned a newer technique to cover my beard shadow which is a lot less heavy than the camouflage cream ive been using up to now (and I just bought a new tube!), how to use green colour correct to cover the red patches across my nose, and how much product to apply and what colours to use, as well as contouring which I had never done before. I also learned new ways to use blush, and do my eyebrows, eyeliner and eye shadow. I always found eye shadow difficult due to my hooded eyebrows, but she did a nice job!

I popped the wig on and then Jessica offered to take some photos of me. And, well, im not great at posing without seeing myself in the mirror, and I have only one or two specific angles of my face that work for me so the photos she tried to take were in my opinion not that great. Not because of her, but because im a terrible model. But, I was very happy with the look, it was very natural. In the end she left me for a few minutes while I took a load of selfies, I always feel awkward taking selfies, but its the only way I can see what my face is doing!

We then moved onto the evening makeup. Jessica touched up one half so it was more evening appropriate, then after taking off half my face, I was then faced with the task of reapplying it. The beard shadow was easy enough to cover, but I did find the eyes a little more difficult. I did botch the darker colour a little bit but with my hooded eyes it wasnt easy to see what I was doing. This is definitely something I need to practice. After this I took some more selfies while Jessica starting writing up some guides on what colours she used on each part of my face, along with a few tips and pointers. She was also happy to write up about what brushes she used that I didnt have that might be needed.

It turned out there was still an hour left, we had finished really early. So as earlier on we had talked about how I tried smokey eyes once and I felt I looked like id just been punched, she suggested for her to have a go and get one more look in before we finish. So once again I was back in the chair while she dabbed at my face, and at the end I was very impressed with how my eyes turned out. I dont think its a look im going to be able to replicate myself anytime soon, but maybe once ive mastered the other techniques I was taught, I might have to go back for a refresher on how to do them.

So after a few more selfies while Jessica was finishing writing up the things I would need from the first two looks, it was time to get changed and go. I had to make one last run across to the changing room without getting spotted (although I was assured that whoever was in the house would be staying out of the way) before packing my stuff. It seemed a shame and a waste after putting all that effort in to take it all off again. I wish I had somewhere to go after to put it to good use. Ah well, maybe another time.

So to summarise, if you are a Cardiff girl or in the vicinity, and you are looking for a makeover, makeup lessons or beauty treatments, I would definitely recommend making an appointment and popping in. I learned a lot while I was there, and I really enjoyed Jessicas company. I need an excuse to go again! Services on offer and prices are available on her website here: http://www.jecca.co/