November 2016 update

And the FIRSTS continue!
Talking to a professional
So, my first talk with a professional was with the Base physiologist back in July. Though quite nervous of what may lay ahead, I really wanted to get started. Her first question was “why are you here?” To which I eventually got out “gender issues”. Her next question was “do you feel like you are a woman?”. The initial answer is NO…and then there is the BUT. I then explain everything I know about myself. I also mention I’m looking for a referral to see a couples councilor in order that I can communicate better with my wife. She agreed that that was a good idea but first she wanted me to talk to another physiologist on another Base in the area who’s specialty was gender issues.
After waiting a number of weeks with no news of an appointment, I happened to be chatting with Friend on Face book  who has seen this person in the past and pass me the contact information I needed.
It was a few days later before I found some time to give the next physiologist a call. For 45 mins she listened to my story and asked a number of questions. In the end she stated “I’m not really sure there is much I can do for you at this point. You seem to know a lot about the subject and about yourself”. She stated that I wasn’t the only one in the Forces either. She summed up by saying “you’ve got your shit together”. I got the feeling that her gender issues field deals more with those with gender dysphoria or looking to transition, than with cross dressers. She did recommend the couples counselling and not to hesitate to contact her if I needed someone to talk to.
Due to a change in my work contract, I will now have to wait until at least December before I can pursue the couples counselling.

Body hair
Fortunately I have never been a hairy individual, but it’s now over a year that I have body hair free! The longest time between leg shaves is between 7 and 10 days. I wore shorts/swim trunks with no don’t saying anything!

July
One beautiful day in July I was able to enjoy swimming in a bikini and lounging on the deck in a short sun dress. What a thrill. If I had more chances to do this I might, but there are always other priorities in my life.

Something Different
Different yes, but still relevant. With just a few weeks before the start of school, we were asked if we could host an International student from Turkey as his host family had backed out at the last minute. As we had a spare bedroom, my wife had very quickly said yes. My suspicious mind immediately thought she had done this to restrict my dressing opportunities. Hopefully I’m just being paranoid.

October: Community coffee, a talk and dressing time
At the beginning of September my wife had mentioned that her dad had got four tickets  to the Toronto at Ottawa NHL seasoned opener. She and the two oldest kids would be heading to the nations capital for a few days…(mind working, ideas aplenty).
All would depart on Tuesday, game Wednesday night, kids return on Thursday and my wife in Saturday after spending some time with her dad and step mom. Wednesday was also my last day of my current contract (actually worked Tuesday night/Wednesday morning). This would work out nicely for a couple days of dressing.
“Wait a minute. What about that international student?”

Well, as soon as I know of the conflict between my dressing plans and acquiring an IS, and the fact our high school gets out at 2pm, which would severely cut into my time, I know the only option was to tell him about my Michelle side. I spent the weeks leading up to the event gauging his attitude, likes, dislikes, etc, etc; he is a smart and knowledgeable, open minded, non-religious…overall someone I believed I could trust telling.

The Saturday before the gang left for Ottawa, I had to take our IS to the city to meet-up with one of his countrymen who was staying in another town some distance away. I also had to pick-up #1 and bring her home. On the hour and a half drive into the city, we had a good chat on a variety of topics…and then I brought up the subject. In the end he said “that is weird, but very interesting. Can you teach me more about the differences in men and women? I can use them for improv” (he is big into music, acting and improvisation). Again, an unexpected response, but positive is always good!

Community Coffee.  I dropped the IS off at a mall with his friend and by luck, the timings worked out well, that I was able to drop in on the local trans* support groups pre-meeting community coffee time. The group alternates between transmen, transwomen, trans all, trans all plus. This was a transmen week but I was still able to meet a number of folks at the coffee time, probably spoke too much as I never did drink a coffee during that hour…oops, sorry. Even though I was in drab…still another first.

Ok, back to the action. As I had way too much stuff to do on Wednesday, I used any free time to prepare. The master plan was to do as much as possible enfemme for the next couple of days: Thursday pickup IS from drama practice, drop him at home, head to airport to get #1 and 2, drop 1 at apartment and then return home. Friday, take #4 to ballet practice after school, hang around town for a number of hours (go for a walk in a park, grab some groceries), then home.

As I wanted to look my best until later in the day, I didn’t shave my face until around noon both days. Thursday went to plan, skirt suit and heals was the choice of clothing as I hadn’t worn a skirt outside the house in years. The IS was waiting for me in the school parking lot, I drove up to him, he looked at me and started to walk away…It wasn’t until I call to him he clued in, “Oh, I didn’t recognize you…wow”. I didn’t get a chase to get out of the car at the airport as both 1 & 2 where waiting for me, but I did get out and give #1 a hug when I dropped her at her apartment. By the time I got home, including the almost 4 hour round trip to the airport/city, and the pre-travel dressing I’d done, I realized why my right foot was starting to hurt…I’d been wearing these heals for over 8 hours! (you guessed, another first!). However, after removing both shoes, wiggling my toes to get the circulation back, I was still able to slit them back on and walk again. They really are a comfortable pair of heals.

Friday…did not go as planned. #4 didn’t feel well after school and despite my best efforts to convince her otherwise, she was not going to attempt ballet. There I was, all dressed up (or dressed down in a casual look) and no please to go, well at least to kill the  hours I was supposed to be waiting around for. My daughter knew I was disappointed and said “you know you can still go out”…but where? I had no real reason to drive the 30 minutes to that town, but I eventually drove 15 minutes in the opposite direction to smaller community and enjoyed a late day walk around the sports field track and a riverside park. At the track there was one elderly gentleman walking his dog away from me, but half way around, looking into the slowly setting sun, I could see someone else walking towards me. Turned out to be another woman, walking her dog. She greeted me with a big smile and very friendly “hello”. I returned the greeting and continued my walk. Although it wasn’t the grandiose outing I had hoped for, it was still none the less, a fantastically liberating feeling to be out and no one caring or noticing who or what I was.

Friday evening I changed outfits a couple of times, once the IS asked if I was going out somewhere. Unfortunately no other local friends where available…oh well. Towards the end of the evening, the IS and I engaged in quit the discussion on ideas as to what goes on in peoples brains, those of gays, trans*, fetal development, being some of the topics. It lasted well over an hour and a half. About half way through the discussion, the IS suddenly said “your voice has changed”. I had started off using my femme voice to maintain the total image I wanted to portray, but had had let it drop some, but not all the way back to male, while I focused on the conversation. It had landed somewhere in between, but was very comfortable and easily maintained but wasn’t my regular voice. I also noted that I had been standing in a feminine manor for the whole time and using my hands more while I talked. There would be “an echo” of this posture the next morning.

Back to drab on Saturday…standing in the hallway outside the dance studio my daughter was teaching at (teaches younger kids in the recreational program, I also happen to be the President of the Board of Directors…but that’s another story), talking to a number of parents, almost exclusively mothers, I caught myself standing with my weight on my right leg/hip and my left leg relaxed and bent inwards at the knee…I was also talking a lot with my hands…eeks (lol). Did anyone notice? I slowly backed up and sat on the table that happened to be behind me. Don’t think anyone cared.

These opportunities, though currently quite infrequent, are always enjoyable (despite any setbacks that may be encountered along the way). I do so hope I can get out socially more often in the future (I’ve probably said that many times before), but it will be a new year soon, and who knows what the future will hold. In the mean, time enjoy dressing when you can!

M

 

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1 Comment

  1. Well Michelle I think you’d put 2016 down as a mixed bag. The way you describe it there was a mix of opportunities to dress, roadblocks to dressing and some professional input to boot.
    This need to dress is strange. You either get it (if you also need to dress) or you just don’t understand.
    Hopefully 2017 will bring new opportunities and a generosity of spirit in all of us and our spouses and families so that if not understanding, then at least acceptance because of love, prevails.
    2016 has shocked a lot of people around the globe so it will be a much broader church than just we trans folk who will be watching what unfolds.
    Thanks for your posts. May Christmas be a joy to you and all of yours.
    Geraldine

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