Saturday, 29 June 2013

Whose Side Am I On?

I had an incident in work today that was awkward for me to deal with. As soon as one of the girls on my team thrust the open magazine in my face and said something along the lines of "do you think she is fit?", I knew this might be a little awkward. I recognised the girl on the page, she was someone I had already seen a story about a month previously on the internet, and the story was about her successful transition from boy to woman.

The girl on my team was trying to 'trip me up' in the same way she had just done to several others on my team into saying they fancied someone who 'is actually a man'. Now, I was suddenly faced with a dilemma. The topic is very close to one of my biggest secrets and im very conscious of what I say and do whenever it comes up because I dont want to give the game away, but I had mere seconds to come to a decision about what to say, and im not exactly proud of my response: "he". I could have played along, and just had a laugh at my expense for a few minutes but instead some twisted form of pride got in my way and regrettably on the spur of the moment I panicked and opted to save face.

I explained I had seen the story previously and wasnt going to fall foul of her game, but then of course the obvious happened and members of my team started chatting about a few people they know who crossdress. Regardless of my response, this would have happened anyway im sure. I didnt hear a lot of the comments, but I did hear the odd one: "Yeah, he wears womens underwear and everything", "thats just weird", (referring back to the magazine) "I cant believe thats a man, look you can still see his willy in his knickers", and so on.

I felt really uncomfortable, and it does seem to be happening on a semi-regular basis these days. If its not dealing with media portrayals of Transvestites (Just-Eat & Bet Victor adverts are the worst for me at the moment, I cant help but feel they are a reflection on me), its the topic being brought up by friends from time to time. Another example is about a month ago we had some friends stay at ours after going to see Eddie Izzard, soon after their arrival they started chatting about him being a Transvestite, and spent a good 30-45 mins speculating in a manner that gave the impression they thought it was a bit freaky. Of course, I didnt say very much and me and my partner gave knowing glances across the room from time to time.

I never know what to say or do in these circumstances. I read all these blogs online by people who take a stand for what they believe in whenever they are challenged, and I have a lot of respect for these people and feel obligated to do the same. To try and defend those who are like me and try to make those who are uninformed understand were not some sideshow freaks. Realistically though, ive got to look after number one. Its selfish but im not and do not intend to out myself to friends in the near future, if anything it could cost me my relationship with my girlfriend and that is far too important to me. I cant go down the route of defending and informing without giving away the fact that I know far more than I should, which means I cant do anything other than sit there and listen while my friends talk about people who are trans* in a frank manner, which im sure they wouldnt do if they knew they were talking about me too.

I would love to have been able to sit down with my team today to challenge their misinformed views and try to have made them a little more open minded. I wish I had not responded the way I did, it is extremely disrespectful and only served the purpose of reinforcing to the others in the group the fact that she was born a male, and not who she is now as a person. Instead, I just sat at my desk and just waited for the conversation to die out so the topic would change.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

2 Weeks To Go Till Sparkle

Ive been busy trying to figure out what I need to buy and prepare for before Sparkle. Ive bought a gaff from The Breasform Store which really does seem to help keep everything in check down there, but tucking is certainly uncomfortable. I cant cross my legs like this! Its definitely been easier as the day has gone on though. Ive also bought some sticky pads from there as well to stick my boobs down, but because of the material my boobs are made from (some kind of rubber, not silicone), im not sure ill be able to get the pads off again as the glue is meant to be quite strong.

I have also been practicing my makeup, the priority today was getting my foundation right and I think I have nailed it. The routine is as follows:

  • Shave as close as possible (foam with the grain, oil against the grain)
  • Toner
  • Wait 5-10 mins
  • Moisturiser
  • Wait 5-10 mins
  • Primer
  • Wait another 5-10 mins
  • Red lipstick for colour correction of beard shadow
  • Keromask camouflage cream dabbed over beard with sponge
  • Edges blended with finger
  • Keromask transparent powder over the cream
  • MAC gel foundation brushed on all over face and neck
  • Edges blended with finger again
  • Boots transparent powder brushed on top.

Its definitely the most natural ive managed to look so far, and looks far less caked on around my beard than usual. The only problem is when blending on the bottom of my neck it is paler than my face, so there is a noticeable mark where the foundation ends below my beard shadow.

I was going to get waxed in the week before going, but I still have red and sore razer bumps and/or ingrown hairs on my shoulders from the last time I shaved, I dont know if it would be a good idea to go in case it makes then worse. This then opens up the problem of how I am going to the hair from those areas before I go. Im desperately treating them every day with ingrown hair solution but they just arent going anywhere!

Im still deciding on outfits to wear as well, I think I might wear my blue leopard print dress on the Friday night, my white and blue spotty vest on the Saturday day with a skirt, and maybe a black slinky dress Saturday night, but im still undecided. I need to find out what the others are wearing to be honest. However depending on how my hair removal goes I may not be able to wear some of the things I want to.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Sparkle 2013

Well, ive just put my card details down and booked a hotel room in Manchester from July 12th to the 14th with the aim of going to Sparkle this year. Im actually feeling pretty calm about going, but for how long!

I can already picture what im going to be thinking over the next few weeks during the lead up to Sparkle. Im ok now but as the pressure mounts I can imagine something along the lines of:

Clothes - I need to decide on and/or buy 2 day and 2 night outfits for the weekend, plus I need to buy more shoes. Do I wear dresses in the day? Shorts? Tights or leggings? Heels or flats? How dressed up shall I be for the evenings? Shall I get my nails done properly? I need to get more accessories as well.

Paranoia - Will my outfits look ok? Will my makeup look terrible (this is one of my biggest worries!)? Will I be walking like a man in bad drag? Will I get mocked and laughed at by the general public? I dont want to be seen as a 'bad-tranny'!

Social Anxiety - Will I bump into people I know from online? Will I find common ground in conversation with them? Will I get on with them or bore them? Where will we be going? What will we be doing?

Ha, reading back the above does make me sound a little mental doesnt it, but I genuinely have minor issues with social anxiety. I had it really bad when I was struggling with depression last year and it is a lot better now than it was then, but I still have to fight it sometimes. Somehow I dont seem to have a problem with it in work where I manage a team and regularly have to deal with new people and situations, but when it comes to my personal life it seems more difficult to manage and I cant get a handle on why.

Anyway... Weve booked in at the Malmaison which is a little out the way and a little expensive too, but it looks like a really nice hotel. A lot of the offers available to Sparkle attendees and closer hotels were already taken when I looked into booking, I took too long making my mind up whether to go or not. There are some cheaper places that still have rooms available but to be honest it will be nice to stay in a nice hotel. They do have a spa there and im considering booking in to get my nails done while I am there, ive never had my nails done properly before and its something ive wanted to do for a long time! Im sure they wouldnt have a problem with this!

Something I need to look at beforehand as well is body hair removal. My chest and the tops of my arms are very sensitive to shaving, and come up in large and sore spots when I shave them. Since shaving them a few weeks back the spots are still there, although I am currently covering them with Sudocrem every day (yes its for babies but ive heard it helps because its antiseptic). I think since its a special occasion im going to have to fork out to get my body waxed a few days before going because if the weather is good I want to get my pins out! I just hope the waxing doesnt cause a similar reaction!

Friday, 14 June 2013

Mental White Noise

Im finding it difficult to find time to sit down and write on here lately. I really wanted to do this the other day when it happened and was still fresh in my memory, but just havent had the chance.

I think about my trans side almost continuously when my brain is idle. Clothes, plans, ideas, things to try, picturing myself in the photos I have taken, and so on. Usually it is not a problem because when I need to actually think about stuff it just easily dissapears into the background, but I am not joking when I say that most of my waking thought is spent thinking about this side of me.

Now, I was in work on Monday and as the day progressed I was finding it more and more difficult to concentrate, to the point where I couldnt actually work anymore. I had to stop and go take a break off the floor to try and clear my head but even then it didnt really go away for most of the day. Its difficult to describe but it was like I wasnt thinking about anything specific but I knew the general theme was about my trans side. The closest I can come to describing it is like a mental white noise, for hours I couldnt focus at all. Not only that but a sensation accompanied it that I can only describe as being uncomfortable in my own skin from head to toe.  Ive thought and felt similar things before but never together and never this intense.

Since then over the past few days I have been feeling pretty low for no apparant reason and today I nearly didnt even go into work at all. It would have probably been a good idea to stay off because I was very short tempered, to the point I nearly lost it in work and again had to take a break before I took it out on someone.

What is going on with me this week?

Friday, 7 June 2013

A Few Little Things

We didnt end up going to Bristol again the other night. Right at the last minute it all seemed to fall apart which is a shame. I was extremely nervous about going but it would have been an experience good or bad, and I would have at least like to have tried it. Its kind of my fault because I cant get changed at home and leave from here and I was relying on being able to change at other peoples homes, but that plan kind of fell through, and the backup plan too. These things happen! We are talking about trying again on the 22nd, and this time we will book a hotel room on the way there to use as a makeshift changing room. Hopefully this will avoid a repeat situation.

I didnt totally waste my time though. Since id shaved, pampered, plucked my eyebrows and even painted my nails, I spent the day yesterday wearing a skirt with my legs out. I dont think ive actually done that at all in my trans* career yet so far since I was always hiding hair or it was too cold, and it was really nice to do it. I look forward to more opportunities this summer! Hopefully this summer ill actually be able to get out and about in the sun with my legs out, rather than hiding at home!

I wanted to take advantage of the light and the effort id put into dressing up so I thought id take a few new portrait photos, and I figured out an easy way of getting decent shots since I usually take loads and often they look wrong (wrong face position, bad light, etc). It took me ages to figure this out and I dont know why I didnt think of it sooner, its so obvious. I just recorded a video and took screenshots of the moments I liked best. Genius! Im really happy with the way that these shots turned out too, they arent the highest resolution but for what I want them for im happy with that. Im also no longer watermarking my photos either, its a lot of hassle and I dont really see the point anymore. I used to really worry about my photos being misused but I think ive calmed down about that now.

And finally on the makeup side of things I have been using Keromask camouflage cream the past few times I have dressed up, its definitely a far better coverage on my beard shadow than anything else I have used so far, but it still doesnt look quite right. It says it is a foundation but I have been using it as a concealer and putting my normal foundation (MAC gel foundation) on top. The end result is a little greasy but it might be the way im layering it. I want to post my own little review of it but will wait until ive been able to experiment a little more and have had a chance to try a few different techniques, but if I can get it looking right then this might actually be the miracle beard cover I have been looking for.

Summers here and I hope this year Aimee gets to actually see some of it!!! 

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Going Out Attempt Number 2

So it looks like Bristol is back on the cards again, and we are planning on going on Tuesday! Thats the day after tomorrow! It was planned on very short notice and the whole group of 4 of us are free to go as well, plus we will be meeting someone there as well!

Im nervous. Really, really nervous. I know people in Bristol that live and work in the city centre (in fact very close to where we are going), what if I bump into them?

Ive been frantically practicing my eye makeup today in an effort to be at least half decent at it before Tuesday but I couldnt get anywhere with it. I was putting it on and taking it off so much the skin around my eyes are now raw from where I have been rubbing them with wipes. I dont know where im going wrong with it to be honest, ive followed a few tutorials, tried a combination of colours, brushes and techniques and every time I looked like id been punched in the face with a paint tray. Also because of the shape of my eyes, whenever I put eyeliner on my top eyelid it is pretty much all you can see when my eyes are open.

I think ill just put eyeliner on the bottom lid and mascara on my eyelashes on the top lid because I can do them fault free. As far as the shadow goes though, I dont know what to do to be honest.