There are a number of miscellaneous things that happened this month:
I had to work at a secure military site – we had to pack up and move about 6 tons of computer gear (our equipment). This was the first time I had been there as a woman, so passing the security check with my new name was ‘daunting’ to say the least – especially because I had to show the before and after paperwork plus the supporting documents. This resulted in the guards calling me ‘sir’ – but the next time I was in they got it right. Because this was a secure site, we were under constant guard We had an escort and we all had to stay together – even when we went to the restrooms! It was hard work and hot (even though it was in an air conditioned computer room). I had to take off my shirt (wore a tank top under it) and I caught the guards checking me out! Our ‘team’ included two other women and one guy. This was the first time I was in the woman’s restroom with others from my work. When my partner and I use the public restroom we talk etc. but this was the first time with others where we carried on conversations and stood around fixing our hair, etc. – it was quite refreshing actually!
Just before Christmas my partner and I went out dress shopping. I mostly wear jeans and tank tops (sometimes with shirts) both to work and around town, so I didn’t have very many dresses and I guess I wasn’t in any hurry to buy any. Well, given this sale and the resulting prices and the wonderful selection …. ya, bought seven dresses including one long red dress and also a red top and red skirt, both for dressing up for Christmas. A number of the other dresses are boho – and I’m starting to really love that style. While we were in southern California, I wore a number of these dresses. That seems to be a change for me: before I would only wear a dress if it was a special occasion. Now I’m starting to ‘want’ to wear a dress when going out, more often.
My partners’ brother is in the final phases of cancer. He came down with a bad infection so we flew over to southern California to be with him over Christmas. It was a time for me to be caring and nurturing both to her brother but especially to my partner. We celebrated Christmas in his bed room. He has recovered from the infection, so we are now back home. (Update: he died today Jan 12 – we will be going back soon – my partner is the estate executor).
It’s a little colder in southern California than it is in Maui (ya, we are spoiled). All I brought with were flippa’s – my feet were freezing! So I went out and bought my first pair of stylish above ankle boots. Nice and comfy and ‘warm’ (good thing my jeans are boot cut). But, as long as I was there … (giggles, you know where this is going): well, they had this awesome pair of 3″ heels (my size) on sale – yup, my first pair of 3″ heels! I needed something to go with my red Christmas dress. Before buying them, I walked all over the store, back and forth in front of mirrors – making sure I could do handle these. So far I’m doing ok – haven’t killed myself – not even a bruise yet. Only problem is I’m getting nose bleeds from this high altitude! Lisa wanted to take a walk – so I did – went about a block – up/down stairs, over curbs, uneven pavements, dashed out of the way of a truck ….. feet are a just a little sore but the heels (and me) are working out great ! After we got back home to Maui we went out to a fancy restaurant and I had another change to wear my heels.
Opening the ton of mail after we got back home I found a Christmas card from my ex. In it she wrote “how does it feel, your first Christmas as a woman?” Wow, that was very nice of her.
I’ve been noticing an interesting occurrence: a sweet type of smile from other women – store clerks, waitresses, in the mall or on the street or beach. I’ve first noticed this when I started coming out as a woman in public. But it happens a lot more now. This ‘never’ happened when I was a male. At first I thought nothing of it, they were just being friendly – and I’m always friendly. But the more it happens the more I realize it’s something else. Then I read this book where the transgender author also noticed this and called it “the secret smile”. So I had a discussion with my partner about it and yes – there is such a thing as a secret smile a woman gives to another women – a sort of acknowledgement of being in this together. I watch for it all the time now and make sure I return it. As I progress in my transition I am noticing the secret smile more and more.
Friendships are another area where woman are very different from men. There is an extra ‘level’ – what could be called the ‘3am friend’. This is a friend that you can call or they can call you at 3am and talk – just because. You can’t have very many of these – I count three in my life now and feel very grateful for them.
There was a huge surprise in the stack of mail when we returned home. A package! I couldn’t wait to open it and try it on – it was my special order wedding dress!! And – it fit perfectly! I’m so happy – now on to shoes, leis/haku/kupe’e, jewelry …… Less than four months away – wheeeee!!
I have noticed in comparing my face from before to now that it has changed to oval. This one ‘snuck’ up on me! My hair is growing out a lot more – I’ll be getting my third styling soon. I’m wearing earrings everyday now, but I still put my studs back in at night for sleeping. I have curves: 46-40-44 which also says I need to lose some serious weight. My breasts are still growing (still having pains). My partner told me she saw them ‘bouncing’ …
I am starting to have the feeling of being over the hump – the secret smiles, the 3am girlfriends, more comfortable in public, so much more at ease and feeling of not being afraid of letting the real me out. There was even a time when a waiter called me sir and I didn’t even care or get upset. I am me and I know who I am and it just does not matter if they see me differently. It’s not going to change how I feel. I’m more confident of myself and of being a woman. I’m getting so much affirmation – not just here in Hawaii (which is more open and accepting) but also on the mainland. There is still a long way to go, but I have a feeling of having accomplished so much and am therefore much more at ease.
Ke mana’olana nei au e hau’oli wale no ‘oe (wishing everyone happiness),