Tuesday, January 31, 2012


My "big sis" sent me this article:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/fashion/its-not-me-its-you-how-to-end-a-friendship.html?_r=1&emc=eta1&pagewanted=all

This is a New York Times article about Friends.  Not the TV show from all that time ago, but friends who have fallen away, and the whole "why and how" of that.

Started me thinking: so many of us lose friends as time goes on, especially as we come out to them.  How does this happen?

I've heard that for the most part its "see you later" or the "slowly back away" type thing. 

I've been going out as a woman actively for over three years.  Have I lost friends?



Well, more "mislaid."

To make time and room for all the new friends I've made as Sophie, I've had to sacrifice time for my older friends.  But were they truly FRIENDS or more like aquaintences.

At the Raven last month

In an earlier blog, I talked about going to a party with some of my oldest friends.  Since the time I wrote that, one of them has died.  These, my oldest friends- have I seperated from them?  Yes.  I rarely see them.  We all have families and several live far away.  It's rare when we get together.  We do when possible, though. 

Friends from old jobs?  Aside from Facebook, I never hear from them.  Expected, as I am no longer "in their circles."  I don't matter.  I accept that even if I tried really hard, that time has passed.  How did I manage this?  Just never called, etc.  So I guess they were aquaintences.  Ok, there is ONE from an old job I keep in touch with, but haven't seen in years.

Old girlfriends?  Oh please. 

Current work friends?  This is where most of the time has been cut.  I rarely go out after work anymore (saving money for Sophie-time.)  Weekends?  If I have time/occasion, I'm in a skirt.  Would be rather hard at this stage of my development to explain that.  Maybe someday soon, but not today.  So are they really friends?  Ummmm I'd say two of them are.  The rest?  Ships passing in the night.  Acquaintences. 

At Keystone 2011

So.  All these people.  If I tell them about my feminine identity, how would they react?  I've been told by many that one can never guess.  Of my oldest friends, the one I felt most confident about accepting me as a woman is the one who is dead.  Past work friends?  Ummm... who cares?  Callous I know but as I don't affect them, nor do they affect me.  The one I keep in touch with will drop me instantly (hard core right wing Marine.)

Current work friends?  Aye, there's the rub.  They would have to work with me, unless I'm fired.  Would they still want me to hang out?  I have no idea. 

With Kimberly from Texas

So I've made all these new friends as Sophie.  And I have my "male" friends.  Should they meet?  Well, they have.  Sometimes my trans friends come into the store where I work.  Everyone at work knows I have trans friends.  But, conveniently, I have a lie in place as to "why."  Maybe they buy it, maybe they don't.  I won't know until they find out the truth. 

So- these new friends: friends or aquaintences.  Most are aquaintences, currently.  Some have become friends.  One thing's for sure, they won't abandon me for being Sophie, as that's all they know.  They are my safety net as I am theirs.

Neither Friend nor Aquaintence.  Just a person I met once

So how would I lose them if the time comes?  I don't plan that sort of thing.  I don't WANT to plan that.  I'll leave that to them. 

Hopefully, it won't happen.

Monday, January 23, 2012


So January isn't even over and I've been out twice! (Yes, the press have been alerted. Press conference at noon tomorrow.)

But it wasn't just the going out part that has made this month... different? Special?

Well first I'll say why I was out.

The first was a late "New Years Eve Party" at the Raven in New Hope. This was hosted by Jen Bryant and Victoria. They'd done these big parties there before, but I didn't attend. In fact, I'd never been to the Raven before. I hadn't planned on going, but suddenly I had the opportunity so I took it.

So that day I went up to Amanda Richards to get my makeup done. After all, they were expecting maybe a hundred gurls there so I wanted to look my best! I wore my favorite LBD and a little... help. ;) My friend Linda Lewis told me about a way to get the best cleavage from what I have: the Miraculous bra by Victoria Secrets. It would give me great cleave AND increase my size by 2 cups (making me an E cup). So that was my secret weapon going in.

LBD time!

I arrived after a 90 minute drive from Amanda's.  The bar was beautiful!  Carved wood and stained glass.  Several Tgirls were there already, and I fell into conversation. 

A friend, Jen Bryant and me.  You can see the difference the bra made in this pic! 
Photo courtesy Jen Bryant

The plan was dinner for maybe 40, then party time!  The menu was great and I sat with fun people, one of whom I'd never met (Lisa from Baltimore.)  I didn't drink much as my Sophie Sense (patent pending) was tingling.  The road home was one favored for drunk driving checkpoints and I don't think walking the straight line would've possible in heels, sober or not!  The service at dinner was impeccable and the food was great.

Lisa, Victoria, Me, at the table

There were so many camera flashed during dinner, it was like the red carpet at the Oscars- a veritable strobe light!

After dinner, the picture taking began in earnest.  People everywhere with cameras.  I flitted about, talking with people and had a good time.  And the bra was a hit.  I wasn't getting much eye contact.

A drunken lesbian hit on me.  She was cute, and very complimentary, but reeeeally drunk.  Maybe ten minutes later I saw two guys carrying her limp form toward the door.

Then the music started. 

I won't say it was loud, but my fillings rattled out of my teeth.  So I went into a side room.  20+ guys singing show tunes.  I'm not kidding.  Cliche city.  Here is where most of the "names" of the Philly trans scene were hanging out. 

I left around 11.  My cover story was I was at work, I needed to be cleaned up and home by 1:30ish.  As I left, I saw the great Lady Ellen, and we spoke briefly.

So I was thirsty.  Two doors down from the Raven is a Wawa (mini market chain around here).  I drove over and just walked in like it was nothing.  Mind you, I'm dressed to party, breasts hanging out, etc.  No one even blinked.

No one cared.

Wow.  I'd actually gone into a store with no issue.  Granted, it was in "friendly" New Hope, but it was still an achievement for me.  I'm still happy about that. 

Drove back to the hotel, cleaned up, and was home at 1:30 on the nose.


Ok, so last weekend was Laptop Lounge, my usual haunt.  I wore a new outfit and visited Amanda as usual. Aside from the three inches of snow, all was going well.  I went to the Renaissance Meeting as usual.  Good times there too.  Met some new people.

Oh, and did I mention the short skirt?

Ok, so I arrived at Laptop and go to the bar per usual.  At the bar, people were saying Joe Paterno is dead.  Now for those of you who don't know, Joe Paterno was coach of the Penn State football team for 40+ years.  He'd been in the hospital lately as he had lung cancer.  Oh, and if you didn't know, I am a Penn Stater.

So I felt my stomach drop out.  Then I saw on the bar TV that he was still alive.  Damage done though.  I was trembling. 

It's hard to explain what "Joepa" means to me as a Penn State grad.  Let's just say the news affected me more than when close family members died and leave it there, ok? 

So I was dressed all sexy, but I no longer felt sexy.  I was glad to see friends, but I felt sick.  My heart wasn't in it. 

So I hung around for a bit, talked to people, tried to enjoy myself and learn something, but the evening was ruined.

I left early (for me.) 

Joe Paterno died the next morning.

All that said, I felt perfectly natural being a woman that night.  I didn't feel a bit self conscious.  Perhaps that was due to the Wawa experience.  Perhaps because I loved the way I looked. 

That said, I was showing devastating cleavage and wore an incredibly short skirt.  Not very appropriate to anything but a bar.  And as I've mentioned, I have to get past that.  I intend to dress far more appropriately next month, and take a walk somewhere.  Like the mall.  Or a restaurant.  Or both.

Joe Paterno once said "Believe deep down in your heart that you're destined to do great things."  It's one of the things Penn State taught me, and that lesson has gotten me through some very dark times.  The path ahead will definitely hold dark times, as well as good times like the Raven experience.  If I continue further down the path as Sophie, then the darkest times may yet be ahead.  But I'll have those words, and the support of friends to help me toward my dream. 
Dreams can come true.  And one person can make a difference, even if that person isn't perfect. 
Sleep well, Coach.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Facebook Question: FFS

In an effort to spur my creativity and to have more to discuss, I asked my Facebook friends to pose questions to me that i would answer here in my Blog.

I received



But that one reply was a good one.  Tammyrae asked:

"After being fulltime for over a year and as funds are saved, the thought of FFS and bottom surgery run through the head, which is more important and why?"

I can answer this for myself alone.  I know that some transwomen view their penises as an invading monster or as something that needs to go NOW.  Some others, not so much.

In my case, I think FFS (Facial Feminization Surgery) is more important and should come first.


Well have you seen me?

In my case, having a more feminine face would add so much to my self confidence.  I've been told that confidence is the key to passing. 

Would I ever completely pass as a woman?  With my body type, doubtful.  But I want to be as feminine as I can be.  My face, people see.  My genitals, I can hide.  And for that matter, My breasts, I can fake.

How much does FFS matter to me?  I've done my research on who is considered the best in the field.  Funny how they're also the most expensive, isn't it?  But this is my FACE I'd be messing with.  I don't want a hack who doesn't know what they're doing.  So I save.  And Save.  At this rate I'll have the money by 2157.

As to bottom surgery- would that be important?  Well if I'm getting one, the other would follow.  In good time.  That said, my current insurance covers that.

In any case, all of these things are down the line a bit.  For now, I am still closeted and wishing.

Thanks for the Question, Tammyrae!  (I'm still taking questions, btw.)

Oh, one more thing.  My friend Ms. Lindsay performed FFS on a few pics of mine.  Here are 2 of them.

I may be stupid for thinking this, but I think the pics look quite good.  And If FFS is this effective... well I want it.  :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Plans for the year

It’s a new year.  While not a blank slate (let’s face it, time is a constant), it’s as good a time as any to reflect and change direction as any.
If you’ve been following this blog, you know the state of affairs currently.  I dress when I can, and my wife doesn’t know.  None of my friends know from my male side.  If my wife were to find out, she’d probably toss me out on my butt.  She’s not very tolerant of LGBT issues.  Nor is her mother, the hard core tea party right winger. 

So, I was at my therapist today and we discussed my future as Sophie.  My future looks rough.  Let’s face it- like many TG, I face ridicule, loneliness and poverty if discovered.  And there’s one bit we discussed that we really stayed away from before: my appearance. 

Since I usually am out one night a month, and that night is a TG night at a bar, I tend to dress up.  I show off my legs or breasts or both.  I get made up.  Sometimes, I look rather drag-ish.

Yeah, drag queen look.  For sure.

Occasionally, I dress down.  I don’t have many pics of that as I don’t carry my camera everywhere.  But let’s face it- if I ever intend to be a woman full time, I’ll have to blend in a bit.  Jeans and a top. 

Let’s review of the times I’ve been out and about and NOT been overdressed. 

On the way to Albany two years ago for the Empire Conference, I went shopping for the first time at an outlet.  I bought chocolate and a black top.  I was so scared I was visibly shaking, even with Jen along.  Jen actually masterminded this part of the trip. 

At the Outlet Mall

In Albany, I went to a drug store to get some Zantac.  The woman behind the counter didn’t want to ring me up.  I insisted.

 Shopping in Albany.  Yes, it's the same skirt.
At Keystone last year, I walked over to the Lane Bryant near the hotel alone.  In fact, I wore the black top I bought in Albany. I wrote about that here:

 If this isn't exactly the outfit, it's close.

Last spring (2010) I went for a walk through the very crowded King of Prussia mall on a busy Saturday night.  This is near where I live and I could’ve run into anyone I knew.  One short guy laughed at me.  I just threw my shoulders back, head held high and smiled.  I went to the MAC store and bought lipgloss.  When I went back to my car, I felt I was gonna have a heart attack. I wrote about that here: 

Look familiar?

Last summer- at the Trans-health Conference in downtown Philly I walked about the Reading Terminal Market.  But there were many of us around, so I don’t really count that one.

There's that skirt again!
Then at Rehoboth, I walked around a couple times alone during the day as a woman.  Once was in a skirt, and there are pics of that.  The next time was in jeans and a black sweater (did my own makeup) and there are no pics of that, but I did a photoshop composite of what I was wearing using other pics of me. I wrote about that here: 

On the Rehoboth boardwalk

I wore a different belt and necklace, but this is what I wore,
So, now it’s 2012.  If I’m going to be Sophie, I need more time AS Sophie, and not just dolled up at a bar. 

I need to be me in broad daylight.  As a woman.  Trying to blend in.

Here’s the difficulty- I’m 6’1” tall and I have shoulders like an aircraft carrier.  As I am, few will mistake me for anything but a TG.  The trick is not to care.  To discover if I am truly a woman, or if it’s just a part time thing.  “Put on women’s clothing and hang around in bars,” as the song says.

Is warming a barstool while wearing a skirt worth dissolving my marriage and career and old friendships? 

What about being a full time woman?

Tough questions, right?  Maybe, maybe not.

Ok, so what’s the ideal Sophie day out?

I’d wake up and prep.  Drive somewhere to do some window shopping.  Maybe a museum instead.  Go to a fun place for lunch and read a book.  Smile and enjoy a drink.  Walk about a little more.  Maybe then meet friends somewhere. 

What would I wear? Jeans or maybe a denim skirt.  Maybe that black top.  Sunglasses.  If it’s chilly, a sweater.  Nothing revealing.  Blend in.  Look like any other woman.

Ok, so when?

I work two jobs, so I’d need a day off both.  And a day when I could get home and cleaned up before anyone else returned.  That narrows it down to a “wait and see.” 

It will happen though.  It’s my next step as a woman. 

And I’ll tell you all about it when I do. 

Oh, speaking of dressing up at a bar, there’s a huge event this Saturday in New Hope, PA.  Close to a hundred t-girls are gathering for a “Late New year’s Eve.”  I wasn’t going to go, but I figured out how I could.  Tell you all about it soon.  As it’s a gala, I will be showing off a bit of leg and cleavage.  Drag queen Sophie.  Something like this probably.

 But not blonde.  And different shoes.

You know, same as I’ve always done.