Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Belated Honeymoon

My wife and I decided to Universal Studios in Orlando for our honeymoon which was two years overdue. Specifically, we went for both Harry Potter Parks, Hogsmeade and DiagonAlley. Both of us are geeks about different things, but Harry Potter is something we both love. We live in the mountains of North Carolina outside of Asheville, so we decided to rent a car and drive there, which is about 9 hours. She is nervous about flying and a 9 hour drive is nothing to us, since we have driven pretty much all of the USA.


The night before we left I packed my bags two or three times. I waffled on what to bring, a pair of jeans or a skirt, my wig or to leave it, my makeup or just leave it behind. I packed and then re-packed. I didn’t want to presume that my wife would be alright with me just being me during our honeymoon, also I was worried about the security check and the extreme heat and humidity of Florida during the summer. I ended up just packing my cotton nightgown she had bought me and a sexier nightgown for sexier times. I packed my breasts and a bra, though it was more an oversight as it was in my secondary bag and I had forgotten to take them out.


I made the decision that this time, my first time in this resort & theme park, I would go as my mask. Travel is always problematic, rests stops aren’t so bad, but if we stopped at a gas station or truck stop then my going to the bathroom would be problematic. Thanks to the interest in trans bathroom usage, now the public is looking closely at us and therefore me. Also I had no idea what to expect with the Cabana Bay resort or the Universal Theme Park itself. I hate that I have to still be behind my mask, but I am easily clocked especially if I talk, this damnable voice. So, this was for me, a scouting mission. 


We spent a lot of money on merchandise, or for us, collectibles. It was Harry Potter everything it seemed and we are still going through everything[TIP: If your rooms are with the Cabana Bay Resort, and you aren’t checking out the next day, you can have everything you buy from shops sent to the Cabana Bay Concierge, so you don’t have to walk around with your hands full.] The two best things I brought back were vastly different, my interactive wand which was Luna Lovegoods (2nd) wand, the handle looks like a closed flower. I'm Ravenclaw and feminine so it was fitting. The second best thing was a small necklace in the Jurassic park area that my wife had bought for me, the central bead had "Beth" printed on it. I almost cried.


There are things I observed behind my mask, which will allow me and hopefully others who go to Universal Studios as themselves relatively hassle-free.

Cabana Bay check-in: This was easily done and my wife ran in while I stayed with the car anyway. But the people were nice and I don’t think they would balk at a transgender person checking in.

Cabana Bay Environment: During the summer there are a LOT of families there and the place is chaotic. The bathrooms are men & women, but there are family restrooms. I found that no one watched the men or women’s bathrooms; I would have felt safe using the women’s. Also, I get the feeling that the people who work there have seen it all and won’t be thrown by a transgender person.

Cabana Bay Shuttle: The shuttle runs every ten minutes; rarely did we wait for more than two minutes. No need to speak, just walk in and sit down or stand and hold the braces. It can get crowded so if you find yourself across from someone or tightly packed against them, they may clock you. Overall though, I found that they were either too excited about getting to the park, dealing with their children, or too tired after the park to care about the person next to them. Still, very close space and made me uncomfortable despite being behind my mask.

Cabana Bay check-out: You can check out using the automated process via the television, so you never have to talk to anyone.

Universal Parks SecurityFor whatever reason, it had no occurred to me that we would go through security. Everyone hits a semi-circle of security terminals before you get to CityWalk (the free area that leads to all the different parks). They put out a plastic bin into which you and anyone with you places everything you have on you. This includes purses, wallets, keys, etc. which then goes through a scanner. You will go through a metal detector as well. Though most times I had no issues, a few times my belt caused me to be briefly scanned with a wand (muggle metal detector). They are efficient and quick, they don’t touch you and they don’t care who you are, just trying to get the next person through the line. 

Universal Parks Bathrooms: Men and Women’s bathrooms, they are large and built into the backgrounds so they are not obtrusive. I also saw no reason why any transgender person would have an issue.

Florida Environment: The real villain here is the heat/humidity. During the summer it easily hits 90 – 100 degrees Fahrenheit with the humidity approaching 100%. For those of us who use heavier foundations, this is a recipe for disaster. There were several cis women that had problems, their makeup flowing down their face in a parody of melting wax. It’s just brutal weather, so if you go I suggest that you go during the end of the year, from Sept into Feb. The weather is cooler even if the humidity doesn’t get better. If you have to go during the summer, then I suggest you do as we did, I call it shop-hopping. Most of the thousands of shops in universal sell the same things with small changes. The best part is that every shop is air conditioned and so very cooling. It’s a brilliant marketing strategy really. So just hop from shop to shop, keeping relatively cool until you hit those rare stretches of areas without shops.


Alright, so we had a great time, despite my being behind my mask. It would have been better had I been able to be me, but that will happen next year when we come back. Though next year we bring our daughter and just enjoy the Cabana Bay resort (and it’s many swimming pools) & CityWalk, which has plenty of fun without buying the park tickets. I suppose I have to start working now towards a swimsuit body.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Life, Love & Happiness

I was talking with my wife last night, we were discussing sexual attraction. My wife and I are bisexual so for us it’s a pretty open conversation. It started with us talking about the adult cartoon “Archer”, and Burt Reynolds who voiced himself on the show. I told my wife that Burt was the first adult male I had seen naked, in his Cosmo centerfold. My Mom had the magazine hidden away (which being a curious child, I had found immediately). My father had a playboy collection which was extensive and not so hidden away, just a closet full of them. I told her I remembered thinking, I am attracted to both magazines contents. 


When we watched the Great British Baking Show, something we loved very much, we had a joke that Paul Hollywood was picking the prettiest ones for his sex dungeon. We would choose those that we found prettiest, male or female, and those would be in the Hollywood sex dungeon after the season ended. Paul made out pretty well by season 7, his sex dungeon was quite fullMy wife and I found also that we have very similar tastes in men and women, not that difficult I guess, but still interesting. 


My sexual orientation made things awkward during boot camp, as you shower with everyone else in an open shower area. I had to mentally focus on other things, to not be attracted to anyone, because male anatomy gives a pretty clear indication of arousalLuckily boot camp wasn’t that long and I had my own room most of the time I was in the military. I’ve said before that I had an opportunity to have sex with a man when I was in the military (he was a civilian friend). The problem was that he was gay, and he wanted to have sex with me as another man. I know it may seem like semantics, but I didn’t want it to happen that way. I wanted to be treated like a woman, loved as a woman. So for me, he didn’t want to have sex with me for the right reasons. With most women I have been with, I can go into my head, feel their softness and be soft myself. In the moment, most women forget who they are with; I think that makes it easier for me. There are times I long for a man’s touch, for a man to be inside me, to kiss me and touch me. It’s a longing, not a compulsion. I’m monogamous and not looking for sex outside my marriage, as I love my wife. The longing is still thereI acknowledge it with toys and a good imagination.


Growing up, I had my issues with sex. Not knowing where to aim my attraction, as I was brought up that men loved women and women loved men. Every romantic comedy told me this, and I was brought up by romantic comedies. I honestly thought that it was the way it was supposed to be, which made my attraction to both boys and girls very upsetting. I was angry with myself for not just being normal, why must I complicate everything for myself. I fell in love with, at the time, my very straight best friend. I was in love with girls and guys at different times and sometimes at the same time. Confusion abounded as to what I was supposed to be, I had never heard of bisexual only the gay/straight dynamic. Being transgender on top of all this didn’t help. I was confused about my dual attraction and who I was, as a person all at the same time. 


Now that I am acknowledging who I am, as well as my sexual attractions, I find that I am able to talk about it without feeling ashamed or judged. Having a good partner and good friends allows me a lot of freedom to explore these feelings. Now I look at romantic comedies like I should, as movies and not as a tutorial.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

What Comes Around and Other Thoughts

My wife and I are going on a trip to Universal Studios in Florida. We are both geeks and we both love Harry Potter, so I’ve booked us for next month (belated Honeymoon/early Anniversary). We are extremely excited and looking forward to it. I will be going as my mask as I don’t want to put my wife through any issues and frankly I am not up for a long car ride and having to worry over which bathroom I can use without being called out in a truck stop. I look forward to the day I don’t have to do this, but I’m still taking my makeup kit and some clothes for when we are there.

We are planning on picking up my wife’s niece on the way back as her sister lives in Florida, so that she can spend time with our daughter and enjoy the summer with us. I told my wife that if this happens, which I am perfectly fine with, then it is entirely possible that her niece will find out about me. Our daughter might tell her, or she may find artifacts of my presentation, etc. I’m not going to hide who I am, so I told her that this may be an issue with her parents and sister if they find out. 


She said she is fine with them knowing, she just didn’t want our son blabbing about me because outing someone is not right. (in a previous post I explained that my son had gotten drunk and outed me to his aunt, who then told my wife’s parents) I am pretty happy with the fact that my wife is ok with her family knowing, as I have told almost everyone that is close to me but them. This is a big step and I am glad this is coming around. I am so tired of hiding this, so tired of being made to feel like I should be ashamed. I’m not happy with my body, I can’t help what it is, but I’m not going to be ashamed or hide that I am a woman from my family. So this works out very well for me.


Meanwhile… At work, I often go to one of the two bathrooms that are marked as unisex. There is only one person at a time in these and I am more comfortable. However, there are those times when either both of those bathrooms are occupied or some disgusting piece of filth has managed to pee on the seats or other fully worse things. In these cases I go to the mens room. Inevitably, when this happens I go to a stall and do what I need to do, but then three or four men come in just behind me. (bathroom has two stalls and one urinal) I am surrounded by belching, farting, groaning (pain) pissing men and I find it very hard to use the bathroom myself and not be sick. I don’t believe that I am overreacting.

When I was in the military, I was deep in my mask, but even then I had to mentally prepare myself to use the bathroom with men around me. I am not deeply hidden behind my mask anymore, I can’t just act like it doesn’t bother me when men are disgusting. I’m still looking for employment somewhere else more.. accepting for at least equal pay. This is just not going to happen I fear, so I have to see what I can do with less money but in a place that may be more for me.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Brothers and Sisters

I came out to my youngest brother last week. P was the youngest of three; we are each 3 years apart, with me being oldest. We were always very close, figuratively as well as literally. Brought up in a hostile household, with our father who worked nights and had an extremely short fuse, we stuck up for each other, even as we fought like cats and dogs. P was my tag-alonghe looks a bit like me and he followed me around like I was cool or something. 


Over time we grew very close and then very distant. Today we aren’t close, but we don’t avoid each other’s phone calls. So I think it was a shock for him when I told him that I was a woman. He did remember that I used to wear our stepmom’s clothes when I could get away with it. In my defense, they were Cato’s and pretty. He took things pretty well, though I don’t think he knew enough about transgender to understand the full ramifications of my confession. I believe he might be inclined to include it as a level of transvestite. I didn’t want to go into the full meaning and what it means for me in the phone call. He asked if I were getting surgery, and I said I was unsure at the moment. That is expensive and there are more factors than my happiness since I am a parent. 


He mentioned that he is the most open minded person in our family, which is probably right. It makes me apprehensive about telling my other brother, S, who is the middle child. He is much like our Dad was, this kind of “practical” attitude people adopt when they don’t know something but think it’s ridiculous. Like there being more than two genders and not knowing the differences between sex and gender. That will be the attitude I will have to deal with, I think. Who knows, perhaps I am not giving him a fair chance. I’ve always had this thing about not wanting to appear foolish, it stems from having to live in a male body and not coping well with it. I always felt foolish, until I had the house alone and could be me, those few times I didn’t feel foolish.


I have to tell S, then I can move on to my cousins. I’m not really sure at what point my responsibility to tell people who I am ends. I mean, do I really need to tell family I will likely never see? I have cousins I haven’t seen since I was a teenager, what is the likelihood I would need to tell them?


I have to say, when I told my friends, I was elated, happy that I was able to tell them. I felt a weight lift from my shoulders, and I was grateful that they accepted me with not one single hesitation. I didn’t feel that way telling my brother, I don’t know it was different, like I should be ashamed. He didn’t say anything to make me feel that way I don’t think. I wasn’t ashamed, I just felt like I should feel that way.

Afterwards, I was just kind of left with this anti-climactic end of the conversation. I’m not telling people to make myself feel good, it’s a result of getting a secret out, of being able to be myself around those people. So, I’m not sure what this feeling I was left with means.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Story Time

I have been sick since the weekend. Had an upper respiratory infection which is never fun and tends to linger. Of course I only got one day off for this, so I had to work during the worst of it. The fun of being the only IT person in the branch cannot be overstated. Since I am here at work and miserable, coughing and wanting to sleep, I am going tell you a story. This is about knowing who you are, but not what you are.


I moved from California to Memphis, TN about a year after I had left the military. I was still kind of trying to reconcile my civilian life and the different freedoms and constraints it afforded. My family lived in and around the Memphis area so it seemed like a good idea. I found a job or two; I was young and not looking for careers just paychecks. I made a few friends in the area and one of them, Don, was looking for a place and I needed a place. We got a pretty decent but cheap 2br townhouse in the Raleigh area, which at that time was a pretty nice areaThe mall was very close and at the time was still thriving; you could walk at night and not be afraid. We both worked as cooks in a local restaurant, so our hours were the same, no issues with sleeping and loud roommates. It was a pretty good arrangement, despite my secret.


About two months into living there, I got a call from an old military buddy, Tom. We worked in the same unit for a couple of years and I knew him pretty well, I thought. He was roaming and wanted to know if he could live with us to get his crap together. I was all for it and my roommate had no problems with it, he could get a job, chip in a bit of rent/food money and then when he got ready move into his own place. Of course it never works that way; he was there for months and never got a job more than a few days. During that time I was hiding my female-oriented clothing in the back of my closet and my panties weren’t hidden at all, just in a drawer of my dresser in my bedroom. I started noticing that my panty drawer was messy, I don’t fold them or anything, but like every woman I have ones I wear through the week and I have those for special nights and then I have those that are when it’s been a long time before I did laundry, granny panties. So, when I started seeing these mixed in the drawer I knew someone had been in there.


I knew Don hadn’t because he wasn’t curious and it had never happened before. So, I knew it was Tom who was going through my things. It took me a bit to realize that he was only really going through my panties. At first I didn’t say anything because nothing was missing and I didn’t want to actually come out to anyone, as I was still trying to figure out what I was coming out as, transgender? (didn’t really know about that), transvestite? (that seemed like the best definition at the time, but I had it wrong). A few days later, I started missing panties. That pissed me off! It took me long hours of courage to buy them in the store, claiming they were for my non-existent wife or gf. Or I had to order them and worry over how they would come in the mail and if Don would get to the mail before me. Every article of clothing was an endeavor, a chore and a worry. I couldn’t let this thievery stand, but I still didn’t want to come out. So, I did what every fraidy-cat does, I wrote a note and placed it atop my panties inside the drawer. It said simply, “please stop stealing my panties. If you need clothing, let me know and I can help you get them.” A day later, the note was gone, and my panties were back, cleanly laundered in a stack, but I put them in a bag and brought them downstairs.


Tom was sitting on the couch, and since Don wasn’t there at the time, I decided to acknowledge what was going on. I tossed him the bag and said something like, “keep them”, well that was probably exactly what I said. Then I sat down and he told me he was a transvestite. I told him I think I am too, but I didn’t know much about what that meant. He told me and I tried to explain to him why it was different for me. For him it was about feeling sexy, about experiencing sexual feelings while dressed in lingerie or woman’s clothing, but he was still “him” he didn’t use a different name and didn’t even want to use makeup. I told him that while I do feel sexy sometimes when I wear certain clothing, I always felt female. But we decided that “transvestite” was probably close for both of us, regardless of the differences, it was all we knew. That was my first coming out, fraught with mistakes and errors.


Tom didn’t stay much longer after that. He ended up stealing actual things, cameras, money, etc. So we couldn’t let him continue staying with us. I was also probably a lot uncomfortable with his sexuality aimed at my panty drawer.


There you go, short story done and I think I can leave work now and be sick in the comfort of home.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Gamer Girl

I am a gamer, video and tabletop, you name it I have probably played it. I’ve played every platform and every game genre, even cooking gamesMostly, I have always been a D&D player, in all its incarnations, starting with its direct ancestor , “Chainmail”. Being a girl, hidden behind the mask of a boy, I found the idea of role-playing an excellent way to be me without being judged. I didn’t always play females, which would have invited too much attention. But I was able to play them often enough to where it was my emotional outlet. Conversely, I found that my practice at role-playing helped me develop my mask, as the “guy”. I wish I had never perfected that aspect.


I was introduced to role-playing, specifically Chainmail by a friend. I had never heard of role-play and it captured my imagination. I had read fantasy books, I had been reading since I was 2 years old. It hadn’t taken me long to read all the books which held my interest in our little town library. Fantasy books were my favorite, and I was always begging my Mom to take me to the closest mall, which was over an hour away so we could go to WaldenBooks. There I would beg for books piled upon books. I didn’t just grab anything, I studied the forewords and the jackets, I knew how to pick a good book. My poor Mother and later my poor wallet always suffered from these trips. But role-playing was like being inside the book, like writing my own story. My friend asked me if I would like to join a campaign he was starting, based on the Dragonlance books. A few days later on the weekend, I played my first game and met a group of his friends who also had just started. My first character was Tanis Half-Elven, I was not happy about having a male character, but since we had a couple of girls in the group I couldn’t find a way to play the very few player characters that were female. We played every weekend without fail, rotating where we played each time, until we happened upon a house that had been for sale for a very long time. We basically squatted in that house to game, where others probably used it for drugs or to get laid, we used it as our place to game without being told to hold the noise level down. I know, we were weird, this isn’t lost on me.


My first female character was also my first player-made character, which is to say I rolled up the stats and came up with her background instead of a pre-generated character being supplied to me. Her name was Lisbetha Veretas, a play on my favorite name (Elizabeth), a human mage. I was never really interested in playing different races, though I did on occasion. I was more interested in playing a human female and a mage, my two recurrent themesFemale, for obvious reasons, I got to take the mask off for a few hours, well at least let the mask slip a bitMage, because I like the idea of magic, I like the thought that though there is a price, you can do almost anything with enough will and study. I played her for almost a year and I loved it. I even had a romance in the game with an NPC, who happened to be male. A few friends made fun of me for this until I explained that I take my “role-playing” very seriously. I was having a rough time in school, dealing with my sexuality as well as my gender issues. I was getting into fights trying to maintain my manly persona, and I didn’t fight well, mostly bluster hoping they would back out of the fight. Sometimes it was fighting a guy that I kept thinking if I were a normal girl he would be trying to have sex with me, not punch me in the face. This makes for a very confusing fight. Gaming made my life a little easier, gave me an outlet. 


Over the years, there would be dry periods where I could find no one who wanted to role-play. But those times didn’t last too long and suddenly I would be in a very tight group of people dedicated to playing every weekend. They are the best memories I have of my life, friends sitting around a table or on the floor in a living room, playing D&D or DC Heroes or Cyberpunk, etc. Some groups were better than others, and though eventually they all would fade over time I look upon them all fondly. Of the groups, my last group, was the absolute best, they became my best friends, so much so that I consider them family. They are such good friends that I felt I could tell them the deepest secret I possess. I told my brothers (they all happened to be male) that I was their sister. We are all separated by distance and life now, but I love these men dearly and miss gaming and just hanging out  with them so very much.


prefer role-playing, and I prefer it with a group of friends sitting around a table. But times change and having the ability to sit around a table became limited to non-existent. So, I moved towards MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game), like Dark Age of Camelot, WOW, and many, many others. For a while we had a group of people from work who all played. I mostly played female characters then as well. When asked why, I would say something male-driven like, “If I am going to look at this characters backside for hours, I want it to be a girl’s backside”. That would quash most questions. Even those male characters I started with, so as not to throw suspicion on myself, I had those changed to female if possible.


I still play MMO’s and stand-alone series like Fallout, Dragon Age or Mass Effect with female characters, I feel more comfortable and I am able to immerse myself in the storylines. I get to be bad-ass version of me in these games, like reading a book of a female protagonist that I identify with. In WOW, which I had gone back to, for lack of better MMO’s that actually RP (role-play). I have found that actual RP doesn’t really happen anymore. No one makes a character with a background or develops a persona. They just kill things and level, no more do they sit in a tavern or talk in the square about things going on in the game. They chat in trade chat about RL (real life) politics or religion, trolling each other. I tried to find a transgender guild but was unable to find anyone who could point me to one; rather I got a lot of messages about being a guy. So, the appeal of MMO’s faded and though I still play, I do it solo and don’t join guilds.


Gaming didn’t make me who I am; it helped me survive who I pretended to be until I could stop pretending. It helped me by always having a few friends to lean on, it helped me by bringing a group of the greatest friends a girl could ever have, together. I love my friends and miss them dearly. This is what gaming is really about.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Of Friends and Family

I have spoken of my friends, those that know about me are accepting and really didn’t display any surprise at all. I don’t know if there were any issues after the initial shock, but they haven’t spoken to me about it. I think that it probably helps that most of them are out of state, so they don’t see me dressed how I usually dress at home. I think that my presenting as female, might cause them some issues, perhaps not, no idea. I am horrible at reading people.

My usual mode at home is t-shirt and jeans, which my friends have seen many times. Of course now I am able to wear the t-shirts and jeans I prefer, which is a mix. T-shirts are to me just t-shirts, some men’s and some women’s are more comfortable so I wear what I like, I prefer women’s jeans so I wear them. The clothes don’t change who I am, they can only make me feel more or less comfortable. I will always be a woman no matter what I am wearing. The funny thing is, it’s more problematic now that they know I’m transgender, as they perhaps expect me to be dressed in, well skirts and heels, both of which I like, but that is not my normal clothing. Normally at home I don’t put on a wig or breast prosthetics; those are to make others feel more comfortable. I don’t mow the yard wearing a hot wing and C cup false breasts that shift and get in the way. I would prefer my own hair if I could grow it out and have it look nice, I would prefer my own breasts but I’m not on HRT until I lose some weight. Like most women, both of those things make me feel more feminine and more acceptable among others, but not more personally comfortable. In the presence of my friends, I’m not sure how comfortable they would be. I do have a couple of friends who live in the area, but I don’t see them often. They have not seen me in my “girl mode” with wig, breasts and obviously female clothing. As I continue to transition, these things will be more obvious and I want my friends to remain my friends. I would prefer to not lose the very few and close friends I have. I don’t make friends easily and I invest a lot of my heart in these people. They are for all intents and purposes, my family.

Speaking of family, I have two brothers and my stepfather. They will be told last, mostly because I don’t want to burden them so close to our mother’s death, and because I think they will have the hardest time with it. Though, for my brothers, they could look back and see that the game of “truth or dare” was kind of a setup for me to wear our stepmother’s clothes as a “dare”. What can I say, she wore Cato’s and I actually liked some of the Cato’s clothing. Then there is my wife’s family, her mother and stepfather and two sisters. Her mother and father, they were told by her youngest sister who was told by our son when they were hanging out with mutual friends, alcohol was involved. So, my wife went on damage control, telling them that our son was just drunk, but I am pretty sure they didn’t buy that at all. So my first inclination is to tell them, despite the fact that they are conservative, Trump supporters. I think they will be ok, I hope they will. I believe that my wife has issues with them knowing only because her and the middle sister don’t get along and somehow this would be something that her sister could use against her. I think it’s still embarrassing for Michelle, on some level she deals with it, but not in a public way. I plan on telling everyone that is family and friends. My plans were thrown off because of my Mothers cancer and then death, not because of her but because of me. I already deal with depression linked to just being who I am, then dealing with my mom being gone. It hasn’t been easy; it’s been hard. But I am trying to get out of this hole that seems to be surrounding me. My mom would want me to be happy, she would want me to go forward and not dwell. In the end, whether they are able to handle the information I give them or not, this is happening.