Monday, 7 June 2021

9 Years Blogging - Back Again For One Weekend Only

Hello you! It's been ages, how have you been? I hope you've been keeping yourself safe and well during this ongoing pandemic?

It's been about 9 years since I started this blog. How time flies! I feel like I should do some kind of retrospective or something, but life has pretty much stood still for the last 15 months or so, so there isn't really anything to reflect on apart from the amount of time I've spent at home and all of the junk food I've eaten (big thanks to Just Eat and Deliveroo!).

My partner went to visit her family last bank holiday weekend and I decided I was long overdue having some 'me' time. I took the opportunity to be honest with myself, be true to who I am and come out... as a size 16 woman! Eek! Where did size 14 go?!? I just seemed to skip past that!

So I used my weight gain as an excuse to buy some new clothes. It was time to accept the fact that the last few stretchy dresses I owned that I could still fit into were becoming a bit of a squeeze.

I spent ages trying to find clothes that might work for my body shape and size, but that would also cover parts of my body that needed covering and also look age appropriate while still looking a little fashionable. I'm fast approaching my forties and can't really get away with clothes that have bits missing or oversized sleeves. 

In the end I settled on a haul from Oasis, which I still find dependable for feminine, flattering (or forgiving?) but still pretty fashionable clothes (to me anyway). Most of this had to be returned as usual, but I kept two of the dresses because I thought they worked really well for me. One can be dressed up or down and was perfect for what I had planned to do that weekend, while the other is just beautiful and I can't wait to wear it on a night out.

After hearing some good things about Jecca Blac's makeup range from a few people I also decided to give some of their products a try since my make up collection was getting old and needed replacing.

I picked up their complete base bundle with their Blur and Matte Primer, a colour corrector and concealer palette and their contouring palette. I also picked up a limited time bundle with their Hydrate Primer, a pink lipstick in the shade U.R.U and two of their Play Pots in Iridescent and Red Touch. They say you can use these on your cheeks, lips or eyelids. I wouldn't have normally picked up the second bundle as it didn't appeal to me entirely but it gave me a chance to try the lipstick and Play Pots for a vastly reduced price.

So what did I think of them? Well, I don't have a huge amount of experience with primers but they seemed to go on well. My only complaint is that while the tubes look a reasonable size for the money, they only contain 20 ml of product. One of the tubes actually felt like it was half filled with air, which was very disappointing especially given their cost. 

I also found that the colour corrector and concealer for the beard area left that part of my face looking slightly yellow even after applying foundation and it seemed to really struggle with my 5 o'clock shadow. This seemed to be even more noticeable when I dressed up for the second day in a row, as my closest shave did not seem to be as effective as it was on the first day.

Previously I was using an orange-ish concealer from Bobbi Brown to cover my beard area and that seemed to work better for me. Maybe I need to experiment more with the Jecca Blac products or how I'm applying my foundation (NARS full coverage) to try and get the best out of them, I could be doing something wrong.

The lipstick was nice. It went on a bit dry at first (maybe because it was brand new?) but then the texture turned creamy while still looking pretty matte and it felt nice to wear. When drinking it transferred a lot onto cups but the colour seemed to be very persistent on my lips. I wasn't sure if I was going to like the shade of pink but I do. I also used the red Play Pot as a blush and it went on really strongly, but used sparingly and blended out a bit, I actually really like how it looks, especially compared to the powder blush I've been using up to now.

So my first day was spent trying on my Oasis haul, messing around with makeup and experimenting with various ways to style my wig in an up-do, hating how old I look now (there's so many creases!), and just having a fairly relaxing day taking loads of photos in various outfits including my new dresses, that were almost all deleted because the angle was wrong or my face was showing too many wrinkles or my smile looked weird. There isn't a filter in the world that can save this face unless the camera and pose is just so.

I've been lucky enough to work from home since the first lockdown started which really suits my lazy nature. Since I knew I wouldn't need to be on camera my first day back as I didn't have any meetings booked in, I took the opportunity to spend a second day dressed up in one of my pretty new dresses and looking as nice as possible while working.

I wanted to do this for a few reasons. I wanted to get a feel for a morning routine that included makeup and to see how well my makeup lasts over a long period. But most of all, I just wanted to use it as an excuse to get dressed up nice for a full day because left to my own devices, I often put it off until quite late on. This means I only usually stay dressed up for few hours at a time.

However, I wish a full day did not start at 6am. I did not enjoy getting up at that time just to start getting ready. At all. Not even a little. I haven't had to get up that early in over a year and a half and I almost gave up as soon as my alarm went off, but I eventually managed to will myself out of bed.

Even though my face felt smooth to the touch after shaving, my beard shadow just seemed to be more visible than the day before, meaning that my base already had its work cut out for it. Annoyingly, it was already quite visible through my makeup part way through the morning and I'm not sure what I can do about that. I also started getting a shiny face about half way through the day. I need to look into what I can do to control that as well.

Apart from the makeup issues, I really enjoyed having an excuse to stay dressed up nice for a whole day. It was comfortable and made the day a bit more fun for me, and made my job slightly more bearable. Slightly.

If I get the chance to, I'll definitely do that again.

As soon as I've got my second jab and when life starts to return to even a semblance of normality, I definitely want to start reconnecting with people again. Whether it's for a coffee, to go to some Trans friendly thing, or on a day trip or night out... I've really got the urge to get out of this bubble. After 15 months of this pandemic I'm so bored!

I only hope my social anxiety can take it.

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!