Being Loretta

In my last post I talked about ‘being a girl’ rather than just looking like one. And of course I had trouble explaining what that meant. I guess what I really meant was ‘being Loretta’ who is a girl.

Of course there are a myriad of things that I have embraced and/or practised on my journey of being Loretta. But even though I’ve learnt and practised all of these things, this question still exists, “Is ‘Loretta’ just an act?”

On the surface of it all I do a whole bunch of things that actors do. I do the wardrobe thing, the makeup thing, the wig thing. And I do vocal training and try and try to work on my deportment.

To an extent you could say that I’ve embraced method acting. I’m actually Loretta for huge chunks of the day. Although I guess method actors are being whomever for as long as the performance lasts.

The key difference, however, is the ‘being Loretta’. I’m actually not playing, or pretending to be someone else. It’s not an act. It’s just me being the girl me. I don’t have a made up background. I have my background. I have my wants and desires, not someone else’s, not pretend ones. They’re mine.

So for me, this is what makes me real. I’m not an act. When I’m Loretta I’m just being me. 😊

Photo by Carlos Dominguez

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Boy, girl or both?

It’s been a while since I’ve thought about this. And as I’ve discovered, nothing is set in stone, it’s a journey and I continually find and learn new things.

I think I’ve gotten past the clothes thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the clothes! Even if I’m a little cold right now. The hair, the makeup, the shoes. I love it all. But as I’ve found, this is just one part of the experience.

Sure all of these things help make me look and feel like a girl. But none of them help me be a girl. And this is how I differ so much from my sistren at the Friday night social. Only a small percentage of them are trying to be a girl rather than just look like one.

When I go girl, I completely go girl. The look, talk, walk, think and really just be a girl. I can’t explain it more than that. It really is just being.

The past two days I’ve been down at the city to surf expo. We’ve been trying to get people to sign our petition and to promote our event. Thousands and thousands of people have been going by. Some stopping to chat and others charging by as if C2s had already started. Oh my it’s tiring work. In fact for a lot of the day you feel like you’re just standing around. But by the time I got home I couldn’t wait to get to bed!

At C2s, despite there being so many people there, not one of them made mention of my being transgender. Either I’m that good, and I don’t believe that because I can still see the boy underneath, or people are more accepting? And that’s what I’d like to believe.

Being on my feet all day I decided not to go with heels which was sad. I went with “princess spirits” complete with orthotics. The orthotics did their job but the toe box was a bit cramped so my big toes were not as happy, but I got through.

The thing that should have been the number one clue that I wasn’t like other girls was my skirt. Every other exhibitor, and I do mean every, was wearing a corporate top with jeans or pants or rarely shorts. Me? Black work polo with white box pleat skirt and my white “princess spirits”.

The thing I was really happy about after these two days was my voice. Lots of talking to people so if my voice was going get strained, this would be the time. And my voice made it through perfectly, which means I must be speaking properly and not straining my vocal chords, which is a real danger for girls like me, who learn their voices via YouTube. Most of the instructional videos here can help you find a girl voice, but end up straining your voice because of too much tension in your vocal chords.

So yes, I absolutely get to be a girl. And incredibly I get accepted as a girl, no questions asked. And as a result I’ve experienced much more of the feminine world than I could ever possibly have dreamed.

Is there still boy in here? Yes there is. I dream in boy. I don’t dream in girl or about being a girl. I occasionally have transgender dreams but they are very rare.

My default is boy. I have to consciously flick on the girl switch to be Loretta. But once I flick girl switch on, it’s on until I flick it off again.

Being a boy comes naturally to me. To be honest I have normal boy communication skills, so not that much. And I love the father and son relationship that I have with my 9 year old. It’s a boy relationship as opposed to a girl boy relationship that my wife has with him. Somehow it’s a bit more physical? Not sporty physical but just the rough and tumble I guess. And then there’s the wavelength and we both seem to be on the same boy wavelength.

Like I said, it’s natural for me. I’ve grown up with it. I understand it, but there’s more to me, there’s other desires and things that I want to express that bring out the girl in me. It might not be what I’ve grown up with but it is becoming second nature to me.

It’s confusing and strange at times to say the least. But it’s becoming normal. And it seems to work. I’m not saying that it’s perfect, I mean whose life is? But my life works, our lives work.

So boy, girl or both. I still think it’s both.

Photo by Tony Ross

#117

Modelling revisited

On the weekend I got to see the results of our modelling work. The results were really good, but sadly only four of the twelve models came back to see the results. A bit tricky to coordinate us all again I guess, but lucky for me the timing was great..l

I got to meet Rose, Rachael and Daniel again, which was especially good because I didn’t get to chat too much with them at the shoot. The photos were great! There were some really good ones that the gender centre can use. And I think that all of us will have a photo used somewhere.

However some were more photogenic than others. Charlize and Daniel really had an affinity for the camera, and I think they will be featured quite heavily. Even I should make the cut, probably a shot with a bicycle of course πŸ™‚

Then there was the video. One minute long but a lovely piece of work. Rose probably had THE moment in it with her smile following a make over. Followed by Sabs and Daniel who had a ball clowning around. And finally Charlize, who obviously loves being in front of the camera. We all looked great and it was a wonderful video, which I got to take home.

It was a wonderful and rewarding experience and I really enjoyed it and would do it again in a heartbeat.

Photo by Robert Knapman photography

Living my life

Another month and another counselling session. It’s like my life revolves around getting to these checkpoints. I really, really appreciate these sessions at the gender centre which are provided to me for free. If I had to find the $ to pay for counselling each month privately it would be a struggle and another stress for me.

And I don’t want to take advantage of this gift. I know that in a lot of ways I’m having an easier time of it than so many other transgender people who also need counselling. But I do still need it. Maybe one day I will stop counselling, but not for a while yet.

Especially not after last month’s meltdown, where I was feeling a bit broken. I managed to pull myself back up by changing my perspective to one that’s a ‘glass half full’. And it’s definitely helped. I’ve so much positive going on, so why am I focusing on the negative?

Interestingly, Candy noted that I had taken a step back from where I was last time, and was actually looking at things from an objective point of view. And from there I could see what I could do to help myself. The last time I was there I was really ‘in my life’ swimming in it. Or more like trying not to drown in it.

It’s not like one perspective is better than the other. You actually need both, and it’s like a dance moving from one to the other and then back again. And this looking from an objective point of view is something that I’ve probably had a problem with for a long time.

Candy said that when you’re ‘in your life’ it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. And that’s exactly what my eldest sister said about me so many years ago. “You know, you don’t seem to be able to see the forest for the trees.” And it’s true, I know I like looking at trees. I just need to add a bit of balance by looking at the forest sometimes too.

So life goes on. And hopefully I can pick up some more skills along the way so that I can enjoy my life to the fullest. Thanks Candy, thanks gender centre. I really need you right now and I’m so glad that you are there for me.

Photo by Courtney Hedger

Obsession

I think I have a skirt obsession. I mean it’s winter right? I shouldn’t really be thinking skirt first right? I mean I do wear pants….well at least once a week. OK just once a week. And only because I think I should be changing my shapes up.

So it’s sale time right? And like so many of us girls I’ve weakened and succumbed to bargain hunting. I can’t pass up on a good bargain right?

Results:

Black mermaid skirt

White midi skirt

Red mini skirt

Burgundy velvet mini skirt

Black wrap mini skirt

Teal long sleeve jumper

Sigh! Yep obsessed with skirts! And it seems like I like the short ones….. But to be honest I’ve been keeping an eye out for some mini skirts. And I did want them with a bit of colour. And I was looking to replace my other white skirt. The one that went in to the wrong wash and looks a touch grey? And that black mermaid skirt looks absolutely killer.

And then there’s a black skirt with red flowers, which just needs a nice red top. Plus the cute red mini with horses and stars. Oh dear!

But wait! I did buy a pair of gold hoop earrings and a choker at the same time…..so I’m not really obsessed with skirts…….am I?

Pretty skirt from the iconic

Tick βœ…

So I had a manicure today πŸ™‚ Another rite of passage completed. It wasn’t a moment like getting my ears pierced. (Oh my God I did it!) but it was another piece of girldom ticked off.

Admittedly my nails don’t look that amazingly different. I mean I opted for clear polish, which is how I’ve been doing my nails. My plans for French tips changed as they wanted to do that with an acrylic nail, and I’m not ready for that yet.

However, my nails do look good. They appear to be looked after rather than just having nail polish. It’s because of the work she did cleaning up and trimming my cuticles. And fixing up my hangnails.

Whilst my hands will never be classified as girly. With my newly looked after nails, they could possibly be seen as girl’s hands. Well at least, not seen quite so obviously as boy’s hands.

And with this nice clean look, which is really pretty, maybe I don’t actually need French tips. That said I’m not going to write off going ‘all the way’. I’m sure there’s going to be a time when I want to be Uber-girly.

So the manicure was good. Would I do it again? Oh my! Yes! Yes! Yes! Definitely. I’m not sure how often I would do it but I will definitely have more manicures.

Photo by Kris Atomic

It must be Spring!

It must be Spring, everything is growing. My hair is growing longer, my fingernails are getting longer, my boobs are…….. just the same as they always are. They’re silicone, they don’t grow.

The girl in me is pushing my boundaries, and I’m not pushing back this time as I usually do. These aren’t ground-breaking boundaries but they all push me further into the world of girldom.

I’ve consciously made the decision to grow my hair. I’m past halfway down my ears now. And I’m keeping on going. It’s already longer on the sides than it’s ever been. I did have a sort of mullet a long time ago so it has been longer at the back, but I’m planning for it to be longer.

And I’m planning for a manicure this week. Complete with a nail shape and French tips. OMG! I really think I’m enjoying this. I really must be a girly girl.

I mean these are just some more steps on the journey that I’m on. Laser hair removal, eyebrow shape and tint are other regular steps on the way. And I’m loving it.

It’s going to be pretty impossible to hide my nails when I’m in boy mode but I have to do this. I’ve stopped myself from doing things like this so often, because it’s not what boys do. But I’m stepping up and owning my transgenderness. I can do this because it’s what I want to do. And I’m not letting society’s ‘values’ stop me this time.

I am me. And I need to be true to myself. And that means that I’m going to indulge my inner girl. I’m going to experience all of those girl things that I’ve wanted to try.

Photo by chuttersnap

I’m a model!

Well this was exciting! I received an invitation to the photo shoot at the gender centre. Not that I was too excited about having photos taken. But it was a good chance to meet the other ‘models’. All of us are going through similar issues, and it was a good chance to talk with them.

There’s something wonderful about being able to speak with people who really get you. Who really understand where you’re coming from. It’s quite liberating not having to explain the whole transgender spectrum and just be able to talk. I guess it’s like being in a profession with some technical jargon. Being able to talk with someone who understands the jargon is so good!

So there were about 18 of us. And I think probably 10 of us were ‘models’. And of course 8 of the 10 were girls! Where are all the transboys? I was probably the oldest of anyone there. Although I was told that I look a lot younger than that. Of course my girly ego lapped that up.

There was a fair bit of waiting around. But that was OK because it gave us all the chance to chat with each other. And the whole event became this hybrid photo shoot / group therapy session, which was simply wonderful.

Whilst most of us were girls, we were still quite a varied group. Some of us married with kids. Some of us still at uni and trying on makeup for the first time…red lips of course πŸ˜‰ Some of us glammed up. And some of us dressed down. There was plenty of real hair and a couple of wigs too. Some going for a drag look with big lashes and most of us just trying to blend in.

And no, we didn’t get a real photo studio. We got the backyard and alleyway of a hairdressing salon in Newtown called Glitterbox. They very kindly provided their place for the shoot and the hair and makeup services. And the people there were lovely. If I was local I’d probably go there. Alas it’s a bit too far to have them look after my hair….but you never know.

And then there were the photos. It ended up being quite fun. I started off posing with a bicycle which was perfect for me. It gave me something to do with my hands and a bicycle always makes me happy. I hope it showed through in the photos.

After that I was pretty relaxed and tried to have fun with the camera. Hopefully they got some good shots out of it. So after initially not being too fussed about the photos, I’m really looking forward to seeing the results.

But really the highlight of the day was just talking with the other boys and girls there. I haven’t been able to make it to any of the group sessions since last year. And I’ve really missed them.

Amazingly there were no discussions about toilets! This seems to be a favourite topic at group meetings. And it’s almost like an icebreaker, which usually takes up the first half of the meeting.

I guess we were all fairly mature in our transgenderness so we didn’t need to have the toilet discussion. I think all of us there had made the jump from dreaming about our transgender lives, to living them. That doesn’t mean that we’re all living our transgender lives 24/7. Sadly society’s prejudices have made that impossible in some of our cases. But it meant that this was a very mature group, despite some of our tender ages.

So I’m looking forward to seeing the results of the shoot. Even if it does mean that I become one of the faces for the gender centre. They’ve given me so much support over the past year or so that I felt that this would be a good way to give back to them. It was the least I could do.

And if there’s another shoot next year, I hope I get another invitation because it was not only fun, but a great group meeting as well ☺️

Photo by Alexander Dummer

#111

Bag lady

I’m tired! Sometimes it’s tricky being me. Boy me, girl me, biker girl me, corporate girl me…..

Every me seems to have a different bag. And my life seems to revolve around making sure I have the right stuff in the right bag at the right time. I don’t always succeed though because there’s so much to remember.

Seriously there are five key bags in my life. The first one is……. manbag. Long before I became the girl I am today, I carried a manbag. I always had so much stuff that I really needed it. So my trusty Crumpler ludicrous debacle is my go to. And given that I’m bigender, it still gets a serious workout.

It’s filled with things like handwipes, tissues, keys, first aid kit, small towel, wind jacket, straws, chopsticks, plastic cutlery, tomato sauce, lip balm, wallet and a bottle of water. Grab it and my phone and off I go to daddy adventures or out with family, or visiting the bigger family.

Bag number two is my work handbag. What? Just one handbag? Nooooo! But this is the one that lives at work that I grab anytime I have to rush out. It’s a cheap guess handbag, in that it was unloved by the masses so I got it for $30. It’s got lipstick, powder, compact mirror, perfume, tissues, pens, scrunchies, hair clips, Bobby pins, tissues, brush and work keys. I just slip my phone and purse in grab my bicycle and I’m off.

Bag number three is another guess bag, but this time it’s a tote. For the occasions when I’m on the bus rather than on my bicycle. It’s three bags in one. Reversible tote, with matching handbag inside. The content is almost a replica of my work handbag except I also have a rain poncho and handwipes too….just in case.

Bag number four is a musette. This is the bag that I pack everything I need for work the next day, clothes, purse, phone, laptop, tissues etc and bag number five.

Bag number five is probably the most important bag of them all. It’s another Crumpler, low flying aviator, and it has so many of my girly essentials in there. All of my day to day cosmetics, my necklaces, my earrings, brushes, wipes, hygiene products, Bobby pins, scrunchies, hair clips etc etc.

So there it is. I’m a bag lady. I don’t know how I would stay organised without them all. They all have their distinct purpose, and keeping them organised keeps me organised.

Photo by stil

#110

The glass is half full.

It’s been a tough month for me. And there’s a whole lot of things that I can’t change. But I can change the way I see things right?…..The glass is half full. I think I’ve been looking at things from a glass is half empty point of view. And that’s only seen me spiral downwards in an emotional train wreck.

I love a good espresso. And while an espresso never fills a glass it’s perfect just the way it is. You don’t want to fill the glass up because then you’ll have a long black, which I don’t want, or a really big espresso which is way too much.

So anyway I’m looking to see the glass as being half full. Perhaps I’ve been staring at the empty space in the glass and fretting over why that part of the glass is empty? And perhaps that’s just how it is, because the rest of my glass contains a damn fine espresso.

In any case I am feeling better, and I just feel much more positive. Which is a much nicer place to come from. My glass is half full and I’m going to enjoy it πŸ™‚

Photo by Ed an Cohen

Me and my girls

I think all of us girls understand how important our breasts are to us. Whilst they don’t define us, I think they are an important part of us. I’m not saying that not having breasts makes me any less of a girl, but they certainly do make me feel more feminine.

So apart from the breasts giving me a more feminine shape, how do breasts make me feel more feminine?

Well the other morning I was getting dressed. As I put my breast forms on and hooked my bra up, I was hit with a wave of vulnerability. Now this wasn’t a bad feeling, more like me getting in touch with my femininity…..and I liked it!

Now as a boy, I know fear, and being scared. And this wasn’t that feeling at all. I mean that feeling when some Neanderthal looks at my tiny Asian boy self that triggers that feeling of, ‘don’t make eye contact, don’t get caught alone with them, stay with other people.’ This wasn’t like that at all.

It probably would have scared the heck out of most boys, but then I’m not most boys. In fact to me it felt wonderful and exhilarating. I’m not at all sure that this feeling is what most girls have. But to me it feels like it’s a strong part of my femininity, and one which I am very happy to embrace.

I ride my bike to work each morning, and I wear cycling gear because I don’t want my work clothes to get all sweaty. Anyway there’s one cycling jersey that always asks me, “Where’s my boobs?” And now that the weather is cool she can have them. (I have sensitive skin so silicone and warm weather and exercise = bad rashes + open sores)

She’s cut a little differently to my other jerseys. And oh my! …. Yes she looks so much better when I have my breasts on. And knowing that I look good, I feel good too.

Breasts certainly make me feel more attractive. Not that I actually want to attract anyone. But knowing that I look attractive makes me feel good. Is that me just being vain? Maybe, but the thing is they make me feel good about myself and I love that feeling πŸ™‚

Photo by Annie Spratt

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