Thursday, December 12, 2013

Four Clocks

Thursday, December 5, 2013 was a cold day.  I decided to call off of my second job.  Why?

Well, I wanted to put on my face and be ready for the night.  You see, that night was group therapy, and it was our Holiday party.

Holiday because we have several faiths in the group, and we aren't assholes.

Of course, I can't discuss what went on during the meeting, but I can say that as a "secret Santa" gift, I received a book of Taoist readings that I had my eye on at the store.  Some people don't like Lao Tzu, but I say wisdom is wisdom.

After that, a bunch of us went to Ruby Tuesdays and hung out a bit.  It was a LOT of fun. 

Ready for the Night.

After that, I decided to go to Thursday Night T-Girls.  There I saw Kalina Isato and many others.  I had a mellow time, and was home before too late.  I wanted to get some sleep as I had a big day coming...


Friday December 6th was a rainy, miserable day here in southeast PA.  But that's ok.  I had plans that were all but weatherproof.

Retail during Christmas is very rough.  That's putting it mildly.

As a gift from my male self, I decided to have a full Sophie day.  I started with makeup at Amanda Richards place: True Colors.  I wanted to go to lunch while wearing my suit.

The Suit

I love this suit.  I bought it on eBay and had it tailored by Lorraine Anderson at Occasional Woman. It feels SO good and makes me feel feminine and confident.  Good thing too, as it was going to be an interesting day.

My first plan was to go into the city and have lunch with Kalina, but that had to change as I ran so late. (Sorry Kalina!)   So instead, I decided to have lunch at Seasons 52 in King of Prussia. I sat at the bar and had a glass of wine.  I smiled.  I looked as good as I could, and I felt so wonderfully feminine.

Makeup by Amanda Richards

Across the bar from me were two African American women, both of whom were beautiful and around my age.  I ordered a salad, and as I ate it, they finished their lunches.  I wasn't paying attention when one came behind me.

"Excuse me" she said.

I turned.

"I just wanted to say that I think you look so beautiful," she said, smiling warmly.  I thanked her and said she did as well.

But I knew... she'd figured out I was born male.  She'd "clocked" me (in TG jargon.)  BUT... she'd also given me a compliment!  So that balanced out.

From there, I went to the King of Prussia mall.  I wanted tights.  As I walked through the mall, head held high, shoulders back, I encountered a guy, maybe 18, pulling a cart with a couple of full trash cans on it.  He was a mall employee. 

He looked me up and down and said "You look like a f*ckin' faggot!"

I glared at him, eye to eye as I walked by, but said nothing. 

Clocked Twice.

The salesperson at Express was very helpful, and I soon stood in line with two pairs of black tights.  Maybe twenty feet away at one of the registers was a younger couple- twenty somethings. 

Due to an old injury when I was a paramedic, I have a little hearing loss.  As a consequence, I learned to read lips.  Those folks didn't know that.

Him:  "I think the next person in line is a guy in a skirt."
Her (turns to look):  I think you're right."
Him:  "Who does he think he's kidding?"
She answered but her back was to me, so I couldn't read her lips.  He nodded.

Clocked Thrice.

I paid for the tights and left, still smiling.

At the same place where I saw the trash can guy, I encountered a group of girls in their early teens.  One of them was a VERY overweight African American girl.  She looked at me and burst out laughing loudly.  She bent over laughing, pointing at me. 

The Bad part of me thought of several things I could've said to her that would scar her for life.  But I ignored her as well.

Clocked the Fourth.

(Did you know nothing follows "thrice?"  Sophie's Random Trivia for the day.)

I left the mall.  I admit I was a little rattled...

To answer that guy's question:  I'm not fooling anyone.  I am a Transgender woman.  I'm working with what I have.  This is the face I have to work with, for better or worse.  Someday, God willing, I'll get some work done (donations cheerfully accepted) but until then, this is it.

And I'm ok with that.  I AM a woman, despite those who would point and laugh.  And I will go through this world with my head held high.

So in the end, I really don't care if I'm clocked.  I assume I always am.

But the fact is:  I went into the mall DURING CHRISTMAS, alone, and didn't think twice.  I didn't care who I would see (in fact I saw a former co-worker, but she didn't recognize me nor did she acknowledge me.)

I remember a time when just walking into the mall caused me to almost hyperventilate. 

I went home.  I read a bit.  Adjusted my makeup to a little more night-time.  Changed.

And then I went out for dinner at the Black Powder Tavern.  I sat at the bar, and enjoyed a glass of wine, and ate, yes, another salad.

I'm trying to be a good girl.

Cheers!  Picture by Kristyn King

After a little while, my dear friend Kristyn arrived.  She is president of Renaissance.  We drank and talked about ways to improve outreach to closeted and new TGs.  We came up with a few ideas.

After dinner, I went over to McKenzies for a while.  Then I went home.  I'd had a full day, and I was exhausted.  But I was VERY happy.

I'd spent ALL of my paycheck for the week, but it was worth it.  This was my Christmas gift to me- a final gift from He to She.  A final farewell Kiss before dying.

Because he IS dying.

I decided that I will go Full Time as a woman in Late March.  When I leave work the night before I depart for the Keystone Conference, that will be the last time I wear Male clothes.  He will cease to exist; forever replaced by the Woman I truly am.

There are plans to be made; difficult conversations to be had.  There will be many, many tears.  It is always that way with Death.

But as with all Departures, there is also celebration.  Just as we celebrated Lisa's life after she passed, so shall I celebrate and remember my old life.  Then, I will turn my eyes forward.

He will always be a part of me, but Sophie is the Truth of my existence.  And SHE will live out her days in Peace.

Blessed Peace.

I can't wait.


  1. I have to admire your forbearance I would have laid into that girl in the all, "I may look masculine, but I can't help that you are fat and can help it" I think your way was better

  2. You know, I can really visualize the events you describe in your blog so much better now that I have been to many of the locations you frequent, since you showed me around. I don't need to visualize the places to relate to what you are going through though. You have a big moment coming up in your life and you have made a big decision. The best part is, you are not using any excuses in order to avoid making that move and being yourself full time. The fact that you don't let getting read deter you speaks volumes not just on your Need to be yourself, no matter what the adversity, but I believe it also indicates your readiness to move forward. I wish I could have gone with you this time to the King of Prussia Mall, Mackenzie's and Black Powder Tavern. This day was a real growth experience for you though, I believe. Maybe we can go to Amanda Richard's one day as I would love to get that level of professional makeover for the first time. March sounds like a great goal Sophie, but if the opportunity presents itself to go full time sooner, or you feel a need, go ahead and do it sooner. March will be here before you know it though and it's on with the rest of your life.....

  3. It is so nice to see that you are handling things so well. It seems that being out of the house and having the liberty to be Sophie on a more frequent basis has afforded you the ability to see past certain slurs and insults while being secure in the knowledge that you are endowed with certain unalienable rights including the right to pursue happiness. Bless you.

    It is also good for the community as a whole that more and more people in the general population have the opportunity to have encounters with TG folks. It matters that we are finding the freedom to be out and about and dealt with on our terms whether we perceive ourselves as a TG woman, a CD a TS, etc. We are moving more towards encounters such as the first of your clockings...perhaps an occasional pause at the third.
    The young mall worker and the young girl have attitudes that almost cannot get worse so my hope is that they get better.

    As you reach your peace you are growing and the rage that you have carried on your shoulders is starting to drip away like water off a duck's back. Those chips that rested on the broad male shoulders seem to find little room on the sleeker, smoother feminine shoulders that Sophie is sporting these days. I am proud of you. Keep on keeping on.


  4. Sophie,

    Bless you for your strength and courage! People -to especially teens - can be extremely cruel and thoughtless.

    Your photos in the story are beautiful and fully feminine.

    As the time approaches for your transition I hope your days are filled with joy and peace!