Sunday, February 10, 2019

Flashy Lashes!

One may have thought that on a morning like this I would wake with a smile on my face and a spring in my step.  Today was after all going to be the day that I got my lash extensions done.  However, I did not wake all happy and exited.  I woke nervous and scared.   In fact I woke with my neck bugging me.  I used to think that meant that I slept on it wrong.  These days I understand myself a bit better, and I knew that I was concerned about my upcoming appointment.

A dear friend offered to do my lashes for me.  She is super into makeup and beauty products and such and she has taught herself to do lash extensions.  I am trying to be a bit more outgoing and adventurous in regards to doing things, so while in the past I would have declined, this time I accepted.  We setup the date and time, and that came around this morning.

I was surprised at how nervous I was about doing it though.  I wasn't concerned about the person who offered to do them.  I had confidence in her.  I wasn't nervous about hanging out with her either, she's a total doll and fun to be around.  I was nervous about two things really 1 - could I actually sit and allow someone to do this to me?  And 2 - how would it look.

The first thing was pretty minor.  But I do remember my first time or two of having someone else putting mascara on me as going fairly poorly.  In general I also really suck at using mascara.  I can generally use it but I frequently lament to my wife that I smacked myself again with the mascara stick!  Having done so many hours of facial electrolysis at this point made sitting for this lash work easy peasy!

The second issue is kind of a big deal.  I mean it is a big deal to lots of people, but to trans people it is a really big issue.  Most of us are quite insecure about our looks, as many people are, but when trans people's looks are not on, it can affect how people gender us.  And that really sucks.  What often sucks more is that it can affect how well people will perceive us as being able to do the gender we are wanting to.  I know trans men who worry their look is not male enough, and many trans women that worry their look is not female enough, and non-binary humans who worry that their look is not "in-between" enough.  It really sucks when someone judges you to fail at being your gender because you somehow don't match up to their expectations.

Hmmmph!  So yeah, I was quite worried about what the outcome of the installation of my very first set of lash extensions would prove to be.  In the end?  As with most things, my worry was for nothing, I LOVE my new lashes!  I think they are a great way to help feminize my features and they will be there regardless of makeup.  In the photo, all I have on is my sparkly pink lipstick.  And that rocks!

Alrighty.  I hope you all are well.  Thanks for visiting.

Love you!

Love yourselves!

Love long luscious lashes!

Ooooohhhh----- I just realized, you can get a good before-after shot with the photos I posted with my last post.  Fun!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

My Awesome Electrologist


The photo on the left is from one year ago.  The photo on the right is from today.  This is to show what 7 months of facial electrolysis has done for me.  I don't have makeup on in either photo, well except for my obvious pink lipstick on the right. 

Why am I appearing so bare??  This is an advertisement for Dana Elise Solutions in Beverly Hills.  Well, it is for sure going to come off like a commercial, however, it isn't really a commercial because I'm not getting any sort of compensation for this endorsement.  Which for an honest assessment that is probably a good thing huh?  Probably.  At least there is a hope of honesty. Hmm.....

Anywho..... point at hand - Dana's electrolysis services are amaze balls.  I somewhat reluctantly agreed to go for facial electrolysis back in July.  Which makes it about seven months now since I have been going in.

The nitty gritty:

- I have worked with Dana, Karen, and Gladys.  All three of them do great work.  Though my personal fave is when I get to work with Dana and Karen together.

- The rates are very in line with everyone else.

- Expect for the hairs to be flying when working with them.  They are super concerned with speed, accuracy, and being thorough.  I happily shake off the stray hairs every time I get up. 

- The basic policy about what hair they can remove is pretty simple - if they can see it and get to it, they can zap it.  So they will do hairlines, faces, arms, legs, backs, chests, genitals, inside noses, ears, you name it, they've probably zapped it!

- They have a nurse on-site who can administer lidocaine injections - a mandatory thing in my never to be humble opinion.

- The office is super clean, with a highly sanitary work environment.

- Parking is super easy even with it being in Beverly Hills - it is right across a small street.  You park, go down an elevator, hop across the street, go up 1 flight of stairs and boom you're there.  I frequently pass nobody, and at most it may be four or five people.

- Scheduling is a challenge, because they are SO good at what they do.  Currently I am scheduled until June!  So, they are worth the effort and wait!!  Obviously, because they are so busy right?  Well duh!  Anybody who is going to fit you in tomorrow when you call today is probably not someone you want to go to.

- They will do marathon appointments, with two electrologists.  Which is great for out of town folk.  My longest appointments have been 6 hours with two people, which equals 12 hours of work!!

- With the photo on the right, from today, I just had my last treatment last weekend.  The swelling took about 4 days to go down.  This was the 4th time my face was fully cleared.  In about two weeks or so, I will have some of the hairs return for another round of zapping.

Okay.  So, I think that is the basic lowdown.  Other than that, the ladies working there are super friendly.  They make a tough day a very enjoyable one.  I am super appreciative of the hard work that they do and the high quality of work I have had.  How many issues have I had with scabs and scarring, ummmm, NONE!!!!  None at all, not one issue.  And they are using some super zapping equipment as well.  I have no idea what it is, but apparently their machines are the bomb!

What else can I say????  How about some personal tips???

- Don't expect to go in, have your hair zapped off, and then to go out on the ton later that night, or even the next few days.  I have been going now for eight months, the last time was a full face zapping, my swelling lasted for about 4 days.

- Find a licensed electrologist.  Do not skimp on quality.  Especially if they are working on your face.  You want the best!  Some states do not require electrologists to be licensed, anyone can do it.  Ummm.... yikes!  That is scary.

- Be willing to pay for and wait for experience.  You want someone who knows what they are doing.

- Treat your electrologist well!  I know it hurts, but they are doing you a favor!  It is hard work that they are doing, and you being an emotional basket case makes the experience worse for everyone involved.

- Be prepared for the long haul.  This is not a quick road to travel.  Electrolysis is the only proven method of permanently removing unwanted hair.  But it will take you about one to two years to get it all done.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Female or Transgender Female??


Recently I received a comment from a  dear reader that I think deserves to have it's own post.

Hello again. I hope my compliment didn't take away from the gravity of your post. The story you shared is an important one. As a mother and as a teacher, I want all of my children/students to feel safe at school. And you have set such an amazing example - I bet you have no idea how many kids you've touched just by being authentically you. On a personal level, I have not met any transgendered people. That I'm aware of. So I appreciate your blog as a way to learn and understand. I don't ever want to say something or do something that would hurt or belittle any person, therefore what I've learned from you is so valuable to me. Now I have a question that is not meant to offend or upset anyone, I'm genuinely asking because I don't know the answer. If it's the wrong question to ask, please let me know, as I have stated, I certainly don't intend to offend. My question: why do we say "transgender woman" or "transgender man". Why not drop the "transgender" bit? If you want to be a woman, but were born male, why not be a woman....and vice versa. I understand what transgender means, but once one has made the change, isn't that it?

First off, let me start by saying, do you know that you are awesome?  Well, you are!  Seriously.  You are finding my blog to be educational?  So cool.  Cool for me, but really cool for you for being willing to be educated.  I'm impressed.  They do say that teachers are life long learners, don't they?  Well, we say it around my parts.  But the truth is that not everyone cares right?  So, again, good for you for caring. 

Next...... your compliment (if you didn't see it, check it out here) didn't take away anything from my post.  I love reader comments and often view them as an add on to any post that anyone writes.  They often add depth.  Your initial comment was sweet and much appreciated.  The post I wrote stands on it's own as an attempt to capture a bit of a touching moment.  Really, there has only been 2 comments submitted by readers that I didn't like and chose not to publish.  Of course, it was hate mail, and besides, she said I had bad legs.  I mean really, bad legs?  Have you seen my legs?  I have glorious legs!  So yeah, 10 years of blogging, lots of comments, and only 2 that bugged me! 

Okay..... now onto the meat of your comment - why call oneself a transgender woman or man?  Why not simply drop the transgender portion?  Well, honestly, in real life, I do.  I go to a local support group for transgender people, and when I say local, it is 1 hour away!  Ha, yeah, real local right?  Okay, whatevs, so we say our name, our pronouns, and how we identify as we introduce ourselves.  I've taken to simply saying that I am female.  Nobody else that is trans does that, just me.  It also deserves to be said that in real life I never introduce myself as a transgender female.  How often does one need to actually state their gender anyway?  Ummm...... never!

What does my license say?  How about my birth certificate?  The SSA?  Just about everything right now except for my passport and Ancestry.com!!!!  They all say female.  Not transgender female, just female.  So yeah, I see where you are coming from, and many other people also agree with that and just go with the gender they identify with and drop the trans part.  In fact, for many (dare I say most??) transgender people, all we want is to be totally, and only, perceived as the gender we identify with.  It holds a special word in the trans community - stealth.  That means nobody knows you were not born as the gender you are presenting as.  Sadly being able to be stealth is often a matter of genetic luck, or lots of money, or an early transition.  Actually, this is part of the concern for trans children.  Most children are not given hormones early on.  Through much struggle and often unfortunate begging, they can go on hormone blockers, and then eventually, years later, begin hormones.  Those fortunate, but growing, few will generally never be detectable as being trans.   

Alas, many trans people will never achieve this elusive state of being.  For many of us, the resultant effects from our initial hormones are very hard to overcome.  Some things are easy, some are not even possible.  If you are male but born with a female body and you develop very wide hips, that is an item that you will never be rid of, the same goes for those who develop super wide shoulders on females born with a male body.   Some people will not ever be rid of the public looking at them and seeing a transgender individual. 

But that still doesn't really answer the question of why call oneself a transgender female/male now does it?  It says how we may be viewed, but not how we choose to self describe.  Yet, in a way, it does describe how some of us inevitably view ourselves - we will never be able to be what we truly wish we were.  We will only ever be stuck somewhere in the middle of gender-no-man's-land! (Albeit non-binary and non-conforming people embrace that space.)  While I can mostly come to grips with the fact that I am a woman, it is undeniable that I was born with a male body.  Sucks for me!  Hahahahaha, hur!   

So.... maybe?  Possibly?  Maybe.

How about this thought - I should be proud that I am transgender!  Hmm.... maybe?  Well, I know for sure that I should not be ashamed of being transgender.  Recently, I have been encouraged to get out there and start talking to people as a member of the transgender community.  I have yet to make mention of it here on my blog, but I made an appointment for my first personal presentation at a college - UC Merced!!  Woohoo!!!!!  Anywho..... I will go speak as a transgender woman.  Why that and not just a woman?  Well because I want to be a proud member of the transgender community, and I want to help people to be better informed on what transgender peoples lives are like, that you know we are just regular people. 

So..... hmmmm...... let's try and recap this succinctly.  I never introduce myself as a transgender woman in real life, and if ever asked, I simply state that I am female.  I use the word transgender to help people to better understand me.  I think of myself as a transgender woman as I see a distinct difference between me and those who were born with a female brain and a female body.  I will refer to myself on occasion as a transgender female to help educate the public on my transgender story. 

Okay, hopefully that helped explain MY thoughts on the matter.  I've heard similar from my therapist when I have asked her about this very thing, however, I have not personally asked any other transgender human why they do or don't use the label.  I do know some who hate it and some who embrace it.  Hmm.... humans, go figure! 

In no way was I the least bit offended by your question, but I'm pretty hard to offend.  The leg comment from the hate mail mentioned earlier was offensive, but really it is hard to offend me.  Somehow I have survived 20+ years of middle school and you really can't do that if you're easily offended.  I will mention that there is some debate about the proper use of the word transgender.  Commonly it is accepted that transgender is an adjective.  So according to my wife, the English teacher in the house, one cannot be "transgendered."  You can't have "transgenders." Nor can one be "transgendering."  Hahaha - I don't think I've ever actually seen that one.

Lastly, I want you to know that it really touches me that you read my blog and cared enough to take the time to write to me.  Thank you.  You really are cool. 

Love you!

Love yourselves!!

You're cool too!!!!!


Sunday, January 13, 2019

Outfit - Grey Dress

Dress - White House Black Market - Similar @ WHBM @ Amazon
Leggings - WHBM - Similar @ WHBM @ Amazon
Sweater - 89th and Madison - Similar @ WHBM @ Amazon
Shoes - Unisa - Similar
Scarf - ?? - Similar

I like this outfit.  It is pretty simple, but super comfy and casually cute.  Do you know what I get the most compliments on?  The scarf.  By far and wide it is the scarf.  And the bummer?  I have no idea where I got it.  I do know that I adore it.  It is soft, warm, purple, ombre, and sparkly!  What's not to love?  I have had the pleasure of wearing it for quite some time now.  I used to wear it all the time last year with my more plain and boring work outfits.  Now it gets to come out and play only when I think it goes well with the outfit. 

The most amazing thing happened on the day I chose to wear this.  I'm pretty sure it was either last Monday or Tuesday.  Probably Monday, my first day back after winter break at work.  One of the administrators at my school has asked for all teachers to go over the district's sexual harassment policy with our students at least once per quarter.  I've decided to also include a brief discussion on what it means to bully and harass people in general.  This particular time I included a brief discussion of LGBTQ+ issues.  Things like the high rate of suicide, that most people will not say anything due to deep seated fears, and how we probably have 1 to 2 students in our own class who identify that way and have yet to let anybody know even though they know.

It was a fairly usual speech for me.  Nothing all that out of the ordinary.  However this time I did have a few new students in my classes.  A student that I have only had for a month or two waited around after class while everyone else left.  She came up to me and said something along the lines of "Mrs. Denithorne, I just wanted to say thank you for having that talk with us today.  Especially the part about the LGBT community.  So thank you very much because now I feel a little safer at this school.  Can I give you a hug?"  To which I said yes while choking back the tears. 

Oh my god!  Really??  Some part of me thought that just by seeing me, students would get the message that they can be safe, but that is not really true now is it?  It needs to be explicitly explained to them before they really understand the issue.  For both sides.  The kids who are being harassed don't think anyone will care.  And often the kids harassing really do not understand what they are doing. 

So, I thanked her for speaking to me, and wished her a good day.  She smiled and went about her school day.  I took several deep breaths, savored the moment, and went outside with a huge grin and tears in my eyes to welcome in my next class and repeat the whole speech. 

Damn teaching middle schoolers can really blow your socks off sometimes.




Love you!!

Love yourselves!!