Monday, October 10, 2011

October is here (lots of pics!)

It’s October. The leaves are changing and falling and Halloween is coming! This Halloween marks three years since my “re-awakening” as Sophie: my birthday if you will.

It’s been a hard month so far. A good friend of mine died a week or so ago, and really caused me to re-evaluate my life. He was younger than me, and his own body killed him. I discuss this in detail at my TG Forum column here:

So here I’m going to write about three years as Sophie. What they’ve meant to me, and where I may go from here. Why? Helps me clear my head and sort things out.

My first year back I was so scared. I was discovering what it meant to be TG and a woman. I started losing weight. I went to professionals to see what I’d look like as a woman.  I decided what my body would "look" like, and started assembling the needed pads, corset, etc.  As these bits are EXPENSIVE, it took time.

Femme Fever photoshoot, December 2008

Most importantly, I started meeting people who were friendly and accepting.  I made some dear friends who would help me over the rough spots, and with whom I would start attending conferences, notably the Keystone Conference.  There I met many people, including the amazing Lady Ellen.

First True Colors Photoshoot, 2009

In that year, I started cementing friendships and started learning a bit more about fashion.  I also starting to learn more about doing my own makeup.  I started going out more and gaining confidence.  The most important decision of that year was I changed therapists- from one who DIDN'T understand TG issues, to one of the top specialists in the country.  She helped me sort out the big mess in my head about all this.  Well, it's still ongoing, but you get the idea.

I also started shaving my chest, legs and underarms at least once a month.  Then, at Halloween, I had my eyebrows thinned completely.  And I got my ears pierced.

Yes, people noticed.  But it was for Halloween after all, and they grew back, but I made sure not as thick or wide as before.  And that has helped my look tremendously.  As had one more addition (or is that two?)...
Also, that Halloween, I went to a work party totally dressed.  I dubbed myself "Monique" and won the costume contest in a landslide.

Happy birthday Sophie!  I celebrated at the Henri David Ball in Philly in a costume made by the amazing Lorraine Anderson, who has become a close friend.  I dressed as a Superheroine, Mary Marvel.  Being in public like that was so scary, but so cathartic.

Mary Marvel, makeup by Amanda Richards of True Colors

The next year I spent figuring out who I am and what my feminine side meant to my life.  I also started writing some TG fiction

I arrived at some conclusions.  Sophie was here to stay, come hell or high water.  That conclusion scared the hell out of me.  I also decided that once a month wasn't enough- that I wanted more.  Perhaps even MUCH more.

That summer I went to the Empire Conference, and went shopping for the first time as a woman.  Once again, I was scared out of my mind.  At the conference, I met many new people and made new friends.  I was even recorded as I sang karoke.  Ick!

As my second year as a woman concluded, I started flirting with the previously unthinkable- transition.  Is that what had been troubling me all these years?  Depression?  Etc?  Could it have been my feminine side trying to escape?

That year, i attended Henri David again, in anothe Lorraine Anderson piece, a St. Pauli girl.

This time, the party ended on a sour note.  Anger was introduced to my feminine world.  I had to deal with negative emotions as Sophie for the first time.  I wrote about it too, and it's in this blog somewhere.  It was a bad experience, but in the end, it helped me become a more rounded woman.  As the year ended i was becoming much more confident in my makeup skills.

This past year I stopped thinking of myself as a "newbie."  I started thinking of myself as an experienced TG.  My wardrobe grew, as did my tools for looking better.  I connected with new people, and came under the wing of my "Big Sister" Mel.  She has taught me a lot, mostly that transitioning is very, very hard.  I've met some of the people who I saw saw as Heroines and found that they are really fun people.
I also decided to see if i could contribute to the community in some small way.  At the Keystone Conference, I presented a class on "Writing TG Fiction."  And at the Transhealth Conference, I assisted at the Renaissance table.
Both scared the hell out of me, but I overcame.  At Transhealth, I even went into the very busy Reading Terminal market and ordered lunch! 
I also started doing laser treatments on my face.  My first permanent move toward womanhood.
But easly the scariest time all year was walking in the King of Prussia mall, on a Saturday night, as Sophie.  I wore jeggings and showed off my assets.  I was terrified.  I went to the MAC store and bought lipgloss, and walked out.  One person laughed.  Others gawked.  But I did it!  I could've run into people from work, or family, but I didn't.  Not that they would've recognized me anyway with my boobs hanging out.  ;)
Photo courtesy Angela's Laptop Lounge.  Makeup by Amanda Richards
So as I approach the end of my third year, I am much more confident as a woman, yet much more scared.  I think that I will have some hard times ahead, and hard decisions.  I know where I want to go, and I simply can't do it right now as it costs a LOT- too much for a girl working retail and another job.
The next year?  Who knows?  I can't even dare think.  Perhaps i will be discovered by my wife (God knows she has enough clues) and thrown out.  Or worse.  Maybe I'll find better employment and begin my journey.
Sophie through the years.
In any case, I will do so with the help of dear friends. And you'll be able to read about it here.

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