Friday, June 30, 2017

My Best Friend & Ally

I received a call yesterday afternoon from my best friend, Joe. He is a stay at home Dad for two rugrats and two older daughters, living far too far away in Memphis, TN. I know, I know, I am starting to give specifics. Coming out is often not a surge, but a slow reveal. Frankly, I have started caring less and less about anyone finding out what my masks identity is. It’s just a mask, inanimate and discard able. Anyway, Joe called and wanted to talk. He had some cool things to share about the world of geek that we live in (custom gaming tables for role-players, etc) and to ask some questions he had about me, about Beth.


A lot of the questions he asked were about things I have already posted on my blog, but I was happy to answer anything he was not sure about. Things like sexual preferences and surgeries; they are the typical kind of questions I expect. I want him to understand me, the real me, that the person he knew is still there, loves him, is still his friend. The mask was there to distort others perceptions of me, distorted my gender, my sexual preference (I presented as male & heterosexual), not completely obliterate my identity. So there are naturally questions about the parts of me that had until now remained hidden. 


It’s not easy for me anymore than it is for the people I tell. They endure the shock, but I have to deal with the mask that lingers. It’s not easy to cast away something that has kept you hidden and safe, and yes given you a privilege that otherwise I would not have enjoyed. The moment I step out from behind the mask, it calls back to me like when you yell at a movie screen when the murderer is in the room. “Run! Hide! What are you doing?! So Stupid!” My insecurities brought about from being in a body that isn’t the right gender, or from those around me while I was in my mask, how they acted toward transgender. It’s not easy, but with Joe, he made it seem like the most natural thing in the world. That was the gift he gave to me, it was an accolade, a prize gained. He builds me up when I feel down, tells me I’m pretty and makes me feel so feminine when I start to feel all man-ish. He has a photo of me (a selfie of when I did a particularly good job with makeup) on his phone. He says his children see this and ask him who the pretty lady is. It makes me feel so great that all is not lost,being in this T ravaged, hairy, penis-y body.


I had a few dreams about Joe when we roomed together. They were I think based on a desire to be seen as the woman I was on the inside. I was a girl in these dreams, full on biologically complete. One of my favorites was me standing in the kitchen of our apartment with only an oversized button-down dress shirt and panties. I was cooking breakfast when he comes in. He comes up behind me and puts his arms around me and nuzzles my ear, his beard tickling my neck. That was as far as the dream went, but it was nice, being loved, held as a woman. Don’t get me wrong he is an attractive man, but I don’t believe it was about wanting, specifically Joe to do this, but he was in my life a lot and I think he held that place in the dream for that reason. Not sure I am saying this right, dreams are fickle things. My point was that because of these dreams, when he says I am pretty, it makes an impact with me. That was the point I was trying to get to.


All my friends are supportive and great. They didn’t flinch, just accepted. I’m never going to not acknowledge that single great thing that they did for me. [Geek Warning] It was like when Buffy received her tiny umbrella, as the Class Protector. It was a magnanimous moment and it touched her to tears. That is how my friends made me feel, make me feel still. Without Joe, I would not have had the nerve to tell the rest of my friends. Yes, I know how lucky I am. No, I don’t take it for granted, not one little bit.

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.