Roll with it

I’ve often wondered if I’m too sensitive. Do I overthink things? I really don’t know. I mean I’m in the middle of things so it’s hard to recognise if I am overthinking things.

Anyway this being sensitive has led to a pretty dry month blog wise, as I’ve been on a roller-coaster of emotions. It’s been a very up and down month. And more down than up. And if you’re thinking, “Ah! I know exactly what’s going on!”, then you’re probably wrong. No, I’m not on hormones. Never will be. Thats just not me.

I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty of the ups and downs. It’s just way too personal. And I know if I write it, I’m just going to cry…….again! So suffice to say that I can’t sustain this level of emotional turmoil without a great cost to my health. So something needs to change.

It sounds counterintuitive but perhaps I need to think about not overthinking things. It is what it is. My only worry here is that by doing this I may shut off too much of myself…..I could get a little boring.

But I have to try. My current state of emotions is not sustainable. And I think I’m just going to have to roll with it.

Photo by Angelina Litvin

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epiphany

For a long time I’ve wondered why Loretta is around now, she’s been in the background for so long, but then all of a sudden she was desperate to start really living. I had thought that maybe it was my mid-life crisis, but I dismissed that pretty quickly. Then I thought it might have been a control thing….but it wasn’t.

No there’s another reason and I think this is really the reason why. Now please don’t misunderstand. I’m not blaming anyone, it’s just how I think it happened. And I wouldn’t change a thing anyway. It is what it is. I am who I am.

Loretta has been a part of me since my childhood. She may not have had her name back then, but she was a regular visitor. I don’t think there was a month that went by without her appearing.

And she continued to be part of my life through my school and university years. Then through my years of marriage and having a family, although she was very much hidden from most almost everyone.

So what happened? Life happened. I’m a giving sort of person. And that even shows through in my working life as I’ve spent much of my life working for a not for profit organisation. I’ve worked for large commercial organisations but I’ve found that I really needed to work for a place with a purpose so that I could not only work but also give back to the community.

I give myself to my little family and to my extended family too. And after giving myself to work, and to family I think I forgot to give to myself. Especially after my son came along.

So after years of forgetting to give to me, Loretta stepped in. I think she knew that I needed to look after myself too. And she knew that she was just the girl to make sure that I pampered myself and got to experience things that were on my bucket list….like piercing my ears!

By becoming Loretta I really had to give a lot of time to me. There’s so many things for me to learn and practice. And just becoming Loretta every morning takes me half an hour of just concentrating on myself. I guess that’s my me time.

To be Loretta I really have to indulge myself. I mean all that shopping for pretty clothes! And shoes! And makeup! And jewellery! And finding time to practise my new voice. It all takes time, so now I’m spending some time on me ☺️.

And then there’s this. My blog. My Life of Loretta. How more self-indulgent can I get than to write about my thoughts and feelings. Yes I’m spending a whole lot more time taking care of myself. It’s no wonder that I love being Loretta.

Photo by Léonard Cotte

Sexual identity

OH-KAY! So this isn’t something that I’ve really covered before. I’ve concentrated a lot on gender seeing as my blog is about being transgender. I’m not planning to get into anything explicit, but if this post sounds like it’s going to be TMI, then feel free to skip it.

You know I’m a girl…..except for when I’m being a boy. So does that mean my sexual orientation is bisexual? No it isn’t. In fact I’m only attracted to girls. It doesn’t matter if I’m boy me or girl me, I’m only attracted to girls.

I guess that means that when I’m a boy I’m heterosexual, but when I’m a girl I’m a lesbian. Confused? Welcome to my world! It only gets better. Anyway, so that’s my sexual orientation.

But is that also my sexual identity? You would think so, right?….. I have a strong girl side, you’ve read all about her in my blog. And she’s fully one half of my gender, but I think she’s almost all of my sexual side.

I identify as a girl when it comes to sex. That’s kind of incongruous given that I have boy bits. But there it is. I guess it’s like an extension of being Loretta. Except identifying as a girl, when it comes to sex, came a long time before Loretta got her name.

So given that I identify as a girl when it comes to sex, and that I’m exclusively attracted to girls, I think that my sexual identity is actually lesbian.

Photo by Jonathan Daniels

I’m articulate?

Last week I happened to spend some time with my sister. Usually we only spend minutes together. One of us leaving when the other arrives at mum’s place. But today was different. We were both there for a few hours at the same time. So my sister got to hang around with Loretta, which doesn’t usually happen.

The big difference this time was not how I was dressed, but more about how I spoke. I certainly sound different as a girl. The thing is that my sister said that I sounded more articulate, and not so Australian.

Hmmm, that’s interesting! I know that growing up trying to fit in with my Aussie peers I did learn to speak like them. And I know if I really want to, I can certainly turn on the ocker.

But as Loretta? She certainly doesn’t speak ocker. And she is a lot more careful with her words and pronunciation. But articulate? I had never thought my voice would be described as articulate. But I guess that’s who I am as Loretta. I try not to have rough edges and I try to be as feminine as I can without being saccharine sweet.

So which voice is the real me? I’m not concerned about the boy voice or the girl voice. But is it the more articulate voice or the more Aussie voice? I know it’s not the ocker voice.

There’s definitely a softer side to me, which Loretta has been showing. But this softer side also appears on the boy side sometimes too. So I guess my real voice is actually this more articulate voice. How crazy is that?

Photo by Bewakoof.com

Trouble at the bank

I know, I know. Who needs to go to a bank in this day and age? Am I that much of a dinosaur? Well no, but when it comes to technology I think my mum is.

And so it was that I had to go to the bank to sort out mum’s stuff. And when are the banks open? Business hours. And who am I during business hours? Loretta! This is one of the main reasons I went to get my photo card. I don’t look anything like the photo in my driver’s license. But I do look like the cute girl on my photo card 🙂

Anyway to the bank. I don’t worry about going to the bank anymore. I’m there regularly thanks to mum! And so most of the staff know me now. This time however there was a teller I didn’t recognise. And of course out of the three, she was the one to serve me.

Things were going very smoothly as I explained the transaction I wanted to make. Then I swiped my card and entered my PIN. My accounts must have come up on screen then and the teller had a frowny face.

“Whose card do you have?” she asks. I tell her it’s mine. “Because it’s coming up with different details.” I know the ‘different details’ are that she sees Loretta in front of her and not boyname whose name the account is in. Before she can ask I give her my photo card and smile. It’s a genuinely happy smile, because I know that there is no way that she can imagine that I’m a boy.

She looks at me, looks at my photo card, looks at her screen, looks at my photo card. And her frowny face changes to confused face as the evidence starts to mount in my favour. I’m sure she doesn’t know what to do next when her supervisor sitting in the next window says “Yes that’s her.” The confused face slowly goes away as she finally understands.

And then it’s just a normal banking transaction. Finally she no longer looks bewildered and she returns to her usual smiling customer service face, and the matching customer service.

This is another one of those times when things don’t run as smoothly as I’d like. But at the same time it makes me feel good about myself as it reinforces my femininity. I guess it’s like being told that ‘you look pretty.’ And my ego just laps it up!

Photo by Fabian Blank

My favourite café is busy!

I come to my fave café once a month. And this is exactly what my flat white looks like. They use Toby’s Espresso so it’s always a good cuppa. This is my breakfast stop before counselling. The staff are lovely and welcoming and I can always find a seat. However today I must be a little earlier as they’re busier than usual. Maybe there’s more people here because they’re not on their way to work yet? Luckily I’m wearing my favourite skort so picking a bar stool is no problem for me.

I’m a creature of habit, and the girls are getting to know me a bit, especially after last month’s credit card hidden in the hand stunt. It looked like I just waved my hand over the eftpos machine. But I had my tiny credit card in my palm….it had come unglued from my phone where it usually sits (note to self: stop putting phone in bra when you don’t have pockets or handbag!). And they were shocked and were wondering how I did it so I showed them. And now they really remember me.

It’s supposed to be another hot one today. 35 is the forecast….. and it’s April! How crazy is this? Mid autumn and it’s 35? Well we’ve already had one day this hot already this month so I guess we’re going to have to get used to it!

Counselling this morning was good again. Having a time and space to think about what’s going on in my life and what I need to work on is invaluable. How good would it be if everyone had a counsellor to speak with? Free counseling really is one of the best perks of being transgender.

This month my focus is on my son. He seems to be fine with my girl side. However his rediscovered friendship with the neighbours brings complications. With my current routine it would be a matter of when the neighbours found out about me, not if. Now in general that’s not a huge worry for me. But I think it could affect my son in terms of teasing and bullying. And I don’t want that to happen.

So for the time being I might need to change from being Loretta at work and come home as boy. That after school time is the time I’d be most likely to run into the neighbours so it’s probably a case of being safe rather than sorry. Easy enough to do when I’m riding to work……but if I’m on the bus……..it might be tricky!

Photo by Nathan Dumlao

What to do with my hair?

So I’ve been thinking about what I should do with my hair. You see I wear a wig to work all the time. And while that’s fairly easy to do, it gets quite expensive because wigs wear out quite quickly when you’re wearing them day to day. And they wear out even more quickly because I ride my bike with them and the wind really wrecks them 😦

So today I’ve started to grow my hair rather than cut it short like I usually do. The hairdresser suggested that I should grow it to bob length and then put in extensions. I’m not sure if I’ll go with extensions, but I’m going to try growing my hair longer. I guess if it doesn’t work I can just chop it off.

This has been something that’s been at the back of my mind for a while and I’ve been incredibly indecisive about it. I mean I’ve been getting short haircuts but have been keeping the hair in front of my ears longer. It looks pretty strange like that. But I have a feeling that if I continue to grow my hair, then there’s going to be quite a lot of time when it’s going to look a lot strange!

I guess when I’m in boy mode I’m just going to have to wear it in a ponytail. Or maybe I should do something androgynous with it, rather than grow it long. I don’t know for sure…the options, the options!

But it’s not that simple. You see being a boy I’m at that age where my hairline is receding. Will I look any good with long hair with a receding hairline? Or is that a whole new wig world?

Regardless it’s time to retire Elle. It’s very sad 😦 She’s been my favourite wig so far. But she’s gotten a bit loose and the ends are all frizzy and knotty. So today I’m wearing Isabelle, and she feels new and fresh. But I’m not used to the way she falls and she’s a lot like Angelique in how she keeps falling in my face.

Sadly Elle only made it to ten weeks, which at the price is great value 🙂 I just wish that wigs lasted longer! I really must get spotlight back into the rotation. No point having an expensive wig and not wearing her. She’s probably only had six wears and a wash so maybe she’s next on the list? She’s also a dark dark brown and while the colour is ok I prefer off black.

I actually have two more wigs to try as well. Hayley who is long and straight and off black. And Layla who is medium length and espresso. From the same company that did Elle, so cheap but not long lasting. I’m not as confident about them as Elle, or even Isabelle, but at the price I have to try 🙂

The silver lining is that I have two more Elles to wear as I snapped up the last two in stock 🙂 But with all these other wigs it might be 2019 before I do Elle again.

Photo by David Yanutama

One Hundred

Wow!

I always thought that I would get to a hundred posts. I mean if you haven’t noticed I do like to go on a bit. But even though I expected it, It still feels wonderful to have achieved it. It’s taken me 13 months to achieve this so that’s not bad going. That’s a post every 4 days or so, or more likely nothing for 3 weeks and then 7 in a row 🙂

So am I achieving my objectives? I think so. I’ve continued to explore my life as a transgender girl. I’ve had the revelation that I may actually be bigender. Which was followed up by the revelation that I might actually be a transgender girl that’s also a husband and father. So in my mind my gender is still fluid….I’m still exploring.

I’ve enjoyed writing about my experiences as a transgender girl in the real world. I pass quite well so I know things are easier for me than a lot of my sistren. The real world has been very kind and accepting of me. My experiences have been atypical of transgender people as far as I can tell from what I read, and from what I hear from the meetings I go to and from what my counsellor tells me. I so wish it was as easy for all of us, as it is for me.

I’ve found that I actually do suffer from gender dysphoria. It’s not crippling but can be debilitating at times. It seems to crop up in the lead up to holiday time when I know that I don’t get as much girl time, and of course during holiday time.

My transgender life continues to make things difficult at home. Or more specifically it’s caused difficulties between my wife and I that remain unresolved. It’s not like we’re breaking up, or that we fight. It’s just not the same anymore (duh!). And I don’t think that my wife is comfortable seeing Loretta around. So I’m Loretta as little as possible at home. Of course my relationship with my wife is the major thing that I need to resolve in my life.

I love being a girl! The freedom to wear what I like. The different way that people relate to me. The freedom to express my softer side. And I’m not ashamed to say it, but I love being able to make myself look pretty.

It seems like I have two distinct parts to me boy side and girl side. And most times these sides automatically happen depending on how I’m dressed. The times when it doesn’t happen automatically are when I’m suffering from gender dysphoria.

I’ve continued to have fun with my writing. I never wanted to write a dark and miserable blog, that would be no fun. But equally I didn’t want to blog about my life through rose coloured glasses. I think I’ve found a balance.

So what’s next? I’m going to continue to explore my life as a transgender girl. Hopefully I can continue to blog my experiences and bring happiness, sadness, light, dark and really just bring life to these pages.

Thank you everyone for being so wonderful to me. Especially thank you to my wife and son for trying to reinvent our lives with this huge change in our lives. There’s no one this affects more than you. Not even me.

Thank you to my mum, my sisters and all of my extended family who have been so accepting. Thank you to all of my work colleagues past and present who have witnessed my transformation first hand. And thank you to all of my friends who have also just accepted me for who I am.

Thank you to everyone I’ve come in contact with as Loretta. You’ve all been wonderful. Especially those of you who have needed to see my ID. JPs, bankers, doctors nurses, phone consultants, service NSW. You’ve all been so amazingly professional and friendly.

Thank you to my counsellor, I really don’t think I would have come as far as I have without your wisdom and support. And thank you to all at the GC, both the staff and the groups. I’m really going to miss going to group meetings and sharing our experiences.

And thank you S for your friendship. To have someone to talk with who gets what I’m going through just makes my journey just that little bit easier.

I don’t know if I’ve got another 100 posts in me but I’ll see what I can do. See you in the next hundred!

♥ Loretta

Photo by Alex Iby

Laser

Oh the things we girls do to look pretty! Makeup, pretty clothes, nice hair, sexy shoes, beauty salon, waxing…..and laser….ow!

Tomorrow is laser day. I’ve been going for about a year now, once a month. It’s quite effective although I did start from a not too hairy starting point. I’ve done knees – moderately successful; armpits – killer; upper lip and chin – not bad, it’s almost perfect.

Whilst most of the things I do add to my femininity, laser on my upper lip and chin subtract masculinity. And the effect that it’s had has been wonderful. It’s not the most comfortable thing to do. That ‘thump thump thump’ of the laser which feels like its punching you with its power is just something you would rather not have to do. But the results speak for themselves.

And there is nowhere that the results speak louder than upper lip and chin. At the moment I can only find one stray hair on my chin. Just one! Hopefully tomorrow’s treatment will take care of it, but it’s really no bother, but of course perfection would be nice 🙂

There are so many things that us transgender girls need to do to help us feel and look more feminine. And I’m sure that we all have different opinions on what’s the most important thing. But for me, this is it. The number one thing that makes me feel and look more feminine is laser…ow!

Ok so that’s feel and look combined. There is something that makes me feel more feminine though, and that’s perfume. If I smell girly, I feel girly. I’m a guess girl, and my scent is Dare.

You would think that wearing perfume all the time gets expensive. Surprisingly perfume has a lot of mileage. I’ve been wearing Dare for 17 months……and I’m still on my original bottle! $39 of perfume and I’ve probably got another 3 months before I get to the end. Great value, and my number one pick for making me feel girly.

While I’m at it I may as well throw in the number one thing that makes me look girly. Is it makeup? Is it boobs? Is it shoes? None of the above. It’s my wig! My wig always brings out the “Hi girl!” moment. Interestingly enough sniffing my perfume on me gives me the same reaction!

So there you have it…..My number ones!

Photo by Craig Lovelidge

Internet problems

Ugh! Everyone hates internet problems. And I’m one of that select group that hates it the most. “Loretta! The internet’s not working!” Great! do I look like I’m IT? Well I’m certainly not trained in IT, but being the kind of girl I am I’ll try and fix anything. And so as a result I’ve become IT even though I don’t know much about it.

And it’s the same at home, “Daddy! The internet’s not working.” and that could be either my son or my wife shouting! It’s just what you want to hear when you’ve been dealing with the same thing at work. But I digress.

Five down, one up…..at best! And that’s better than the 1.7 down, 0.7 up we were getting on ADSL. We’re using optus home wireless broadband but sometimes I’ve seen it give us 0.01 up! There’s something about how it has its speed capped that I’m sure is giving us grief.

Anyway it’s not good enough and we need to find something that works. I’ve seen optus mobile get 40 up at work do I’m sure there’s something better.

So it’s off to optus I go. There’s a 200gb Sim only, month to month that sounds like it might be worth trying as it’s only $70. Quite quickly someone comes to help me…..Unlike when I went to Telstra when there was only one person there. I thought they were a premium carrier. Well if you’ve got no customer service how can you be premium.

Anyway, the optus girl is helpful, although she doesn’t have all the answers, and she is trying to steer me into 2 year contracts which I don’t want. Eventually she swaps with her supervisor and she gets it, and has the answers I need, even if they’re not the answers I want.

We set up the account and she needs my ID, which I give to her. And….she doesn’t skip a beat. It’s like totally normal that my ID says boyname, male. We go on setting up the account, talking about bike riding, growing up in Japan, kids etc as we go. And then she freaks.

“I can’t believe you’re that old. You look so young!” I’m stunned and don’t know what to say except, “Thank you!” And she’s like “You must hear this all the time. Doesn’t everyone tell you this?”

I point out that, “um I don’t show most people my ID, so they have no idea. And then when I do show them my ID, it’s more like they can’t believe my gender. In any case I can’t believe they got my birth date wrong on my ID. I mean how could they get that wrong?”

We smile at each other and share a giggle.” It must be all that bike riding keeping you so fit and young.” I can’t argue with that so I don’t.

I’m not going to bore you with the rest of the internet story. Even if it did have a revelation for the geek girl in me. This experience was more about how being transgender was so easily accepted and normal. And that makes me happy. And of course, being told that the abnormal part was that I look a lot younger than I am makes me happy too. So that makes me double happy!

Photo by Michael Podger

How old am I?

The quick answer is….old! But the real answer is…..it varies. Why? OK so there’s chronological age. And yes I’m old. I’m no longer a Spring chicken. Summer has passed and I’m into Autumn.

But how old do I feel? Physically I feel like I’m an early Autumn. Certainly past my prime but still fitter than most my age and probably decades younger. I mean I do keep fit by riding to work almost every day.

In my head, as a boy, I feel my age, I’m married and I have a child and I’ve lived the things I’m supposed to have by now…..as a boy. But as a girl? As a girl there are so many holes in my life. And as a result my age as a girl varies……a lot.

In my head, as a girl, I’m a good 15 years younger. I think that it’s because there’s so much of being a girl that I missed out on. Again I’m no spring chicken but it’s definitely summer. My body is in reasonable shape and with a bit of ‘help’ I can be quite attractive.

But that’s in general. At many times I’m a Spring chicken because I’m still learning the skills of being a girl. So in lots and lots of ways I’m an ingenue….and I show it. However I do have the experience of life to help me fill in some of the missing parts. But there’s so much that can only be learned by practice.

And in my life there’s not much time for practice. There’s do, or do not. Hence most of the time summer me is around. But every now and again the spring chicken ingenue is around…no time to practise….just do.

It can be plain funny or quite embarrassing at times. Or at other times it turns out to be another step in my life as a girl. Take my outfit in my last post for example.

So today I’m a guess girl. Short flirty black shorts, my peach mules and a body hugging top that has 3/4 sleeves and a black mesh panel above my breasts. You can see my bra straps but there’s nothing I can do about that. Its a black top with a red rose pattern. The length of my shorts, the tightness of my top and the black mesh, the peach ruffle mules all scream girl. Not just any girl, but a sexy girl.

This was supposed to be an at work alone day. But as it turned out I was dressed quite overtly sexy, and had to deal with four tradesmen who, to be honest, had trouble keeping their eyes off me. So the plan was practise, but the reality was do.

Oh it was funny, in the ‘best laid plans’ type of funny. But I wasn’t embarrassed, in fact I was comfortable in the way I looked. Even if I felt like a Spring chicken trying to find her way. But it was another step in my life of being a girl.

So how old am I? It varies, but I’m working on filling in life holes so hopefully it will become a little more consistent. I doubt my girl age will ever catch up to my boy age though.

Photo by Audrey Fretz

#97

Working alone

Today everyone at work has the day off….except me. That’s OK we have an extra day off because we all worked one weekend. I postponed my day off so that I could spend it with family during the school holidays. So today I’m at work alone. As a result I thought I would wear something a little more daring. I mean no one else will be there to see…..right? And I’ve been wanting to try this outfit for a long time.

So today I’m a guess girl. Short flirty black shorts, my peach mules and a body hugging top that has 3/4 sleeves and a black mesh panel above my breasts. You can see my bra straps but there’s nothing I can do about that. Its a black top with a red rose pattern. The length of my shorts, the tightness of my top and the black mesh, the peach ruffle mules all scream girl. Not just any girl, but a sexy girl.

And that’s OK because it’s just me today so I’m not uncomfortable nor self-conscious. It’s actually good to be at work by myself…no distractions. And I can get a lot done. And I can wear something a little more risqué!

I’ve worked up a storm by mid-morning when I have visitors! Apparently we have a plumbing issue at the kitchen sink. That’s news to me, but in the back of my mind one of the girls did say something?

Anyway I have two plumbers working on the issue who are very keen to keep me informed about what’s going on. And to see if there is anything else that needs looking at. In fact they want to discuss any aspect of plumbing they can. I’m not sure if it’s because they don’t want to go back out into the heat…..or if they just want to keep talking to the pretty girl. They do seem to be smiling at me a lot.

Finally they leave and I can concentrate on work……until my phone rings. It’s Rocky from Telstra. He’s investigating our line fault and has finished checking outside….without success. So he needs to come visit the office. Great! So much for there being no one to see!

Also being from telstra, he had asked for me by my legal name, as the representative of my work. So I explain to him that I don’t actually sound like a boy, and I certainly don’t look like a boy so he’ll find some girl called Loretta here when he arrives. He says that’s perfectly fine and he’ll see me in 20.

And he and his colleague arrive in 20. A couple of really nice older guys. They take the time to listen and understand what’s going on and then go about trying to solve the problem. They try all kinds of things without success. But they narrow it down to a tree root problem between the pit and our office. This will require a major crew to come and recable our telephone connection!

We chatted about this and that while they were here. Including why I told him I was transgender. He asks why I hadn’t transitioned to being a transgender woman full time. I tell him I’m married and have a wife and child. He and his colleague look quite shocked about that. But before I can tell them about what it means to be bigender, my phone rings and it’s the boss, and they have to move on to their next job anyway.

Despite not being as alone as I thought I would be. And given that I was wearing something a little bit more…..adventurous, I was surprised at how comfortable I was with my outfit even though I wasn’t sure that I was ready to wear it in front of general public. In fact I was very comfortable. I guess I’m just comfortable being me?

Photo by Felipe Lulz