Homework? 

So at my last GQ meeting we got homework! It was an article to read about the Detransitioners. These people identified as transgender and transitioned. And then after a period of time they realised that they weren’t transgender and transitioned back again. 

Oh my! I can barely imagine what they went through. To go through all of the transition and get to the other side and find that it actually wasn’t your true identity and then transition back? Oh those poor people. What a journey that is! 

AM wanted us to read this so we could discuss at the next meeting (this coming week ☺️). I don’t see that it really applies to me really as I’m never going to transition. Being bigender going to “the other side” means I still have another gender identity to express. Just like I do now. 

But am I really transgender? Am I bigender as I think I am? Or am I caught up in a swirl of a perfect storm which has lead me to believe this? Well that’s a huge part of why I blog. To try and think about it and come up with some answers.  

Have I read so much about being transgender that I believe that I am? Have I brainwashed myself? To be honest I don’t really know for sure. But here’s what I do know. 

I love to dress in girls’ clothes. 

I get anxious when I don’t get to express my feminine side for a period of time. 

I have no desire nor do I need to physically transition.

I love and need my masculine side. 

I am not gender dysphoric. 

I think mentally, however, I have already transitioned to being bigender. Loretta is now half of my life, where before she was probably less than 10% of my life, and struggling to cope with having to hide. Being out and about as Loretta has been such a joy. To be able to express my feminine side so freely is something I never ever dreamed of. 

Do I need more than this undreamed dream? Do I need to physically transition? I must say that as Loretta I’d really like my own breasts. But really that’s so I could wear more clothes. Dresses in particular. Something with spaghetti straps or even strapless? Something that can show off a bit of cleavage? I certainly can’t do that with any degree of confidence right now. And if you’ve been reading my posts you’ll know that passing is quite important to me. 

Downstairs I can get away without any changes and to be totally honest, I don’t want to make any changes down there. I like being a boy….a lot! But would I want to get my own breasts? For real? I think that would only make sense to do that if I was a transgender girl, rather than being bigender. And given that I like being a boy as well as a girl I don’t think I qualify as a transgender girl. So I guess real breasts are out of the question then….sigh! 

I’m not someone who is going to physically transition. I’m not even someone that would take drugs to make myself more feminine. But I do go as far as laser hair removal and eyebrow waxing…does that count as physically transitioning? I guess not. 

I am who I am. I think I’m bigender. I may be wrong. Perhaps I’m just a boy who likes to wear girls’ clothes. But either way I won’t risk changing my body. That’s just not me. 

So the Detransitioners? Wow! The journey for them turned out to be twice as long as they were expecting. And the destination ended up being nowhere near where they were expecting and it sounds like the destination was quite close to home. 

In the end its always the journey which is the important part. The destination may not be what you were expecting, and sometimes the destination changes along the way, but there’s always the journey. And I’m certainly enjoying my journey. 

Photo by Aaron Burden

How to cure nausea

This story doesn’t actually occur in the life of Loretta but is another one that I wanted to write about anyway.

So the family drove up to the Hunter Valley on the weekend so we could go to snowtime in the garden. It’s much closer than the snowy mountains and at this stage my son only wants to play with snow rather than learn skiing. So it’s a much better option for us right now.

There were huge snowpits where you can build snowmen, snowcastles or snow whatever. And then there was a designated snow fight area where snowballs were flying everywhere. And then there were toboggan slides and a big ice skating rink too. To sum up lots of fun was had.

Anyway I’m not much of a driver anymore. For the past 10 years I think I’ve ridden my bike further than I drive each year. So long distance driving is a challenge for me. And even though the hunter isn’t really that far away, it is for me.

So on the way home we decided to detour to The Entrance for lunch and to see the pelican feeding. That took us off the motorway and onto smaller roads. Now the roads weren’t bad or too twisty, but for some reason it was making me nauseous. So I was very glad to get there and get out of the car.

We walked over to the main plaza area and found a pizza and pasta restaurant where we could have lunch. I still wasn’t feeling good but thought I should have some lunch anyway. Our waiter must have been trying to shock it out of me as he knocked over a water bottle straight on top of a glass and smashed it to smithereens. There was glass everywhere and we had to move tables. Good thing we hadn’t even ordered yet as any food would have been inedible. Sadly I was still feeling nauseous.

A nice mushroom pizza with olives, and some pepperoni pizza and some spaghetti later and I was full. However I was still no good. So we wandered over to where the pelican feeding was going to be and even though it was still another 45 minutes to go there were already people waiting.

I decided to join them so I could sit down and hopefully start to feel better. Besides these were the last front row seats.. Or rather rock steps, and right next to the water where we had a birds eye view of the pelicans jumping out of the water onto the feeding area. We were so close they were landing right next to us and splashing us in the process.

If we wanted to, we could reach out and touch them if they would let us. So we were there early to get a great view. And they were there early so they could have the best chance of getting a fish! In the end there must have been a hundred pelicans there…..and a hundred people too!

We waited and waited and got splashed and 💦 again. And we got to see them up close and personal. Maybe watching them poop was a little too close and personal…..ew! And finally the volunteers arrived with a tub of fish

Oh the pelicans were happy to see them! More and more pelicans hopped up onto the feeding area, splashing us in the process. And they were incredibly close, and they were hungry. They crowded around the box of fish waiting to be fed. Bob opened the lid and grabbed a fish. Three pelicans tried to stick their beaks in the box to get one for themselves. It was going to be a battle.

Bob tried to feed a nearby pelican who grabbed the fish….and Bob’s hand! Fortunately his hand was in a thick glove and after much shaking he got his hand back. He didn’t seem to be worse for wear but it looked like he may have felt a bit more than a tickle.

So Bob started throwing fish to save his hand. But each time he opened the box three beaks went in and the fight was on. And then there were so many pelicans up there that when he threw the fish, they all jumped. And when pelicans jump, they flap their wings. And because there’s so many pelicans and so many people watching them, when they flap they hit each other and anyone close enough. And there was no one closer than me.

It was like I was in a boxing match. Except it was everyone against me. I had my arms up, protecting my head against every flap. My cap came in very useful as by holding onto both sides of the peak of my cap I had good protection for the top and side of my face. I took many blows (flaps) to the arms and body but luckily avoided the knockout blow.

And then the fish were all eaten, we clapped our hands and the pelicans flew home. Bob still had both of his hands, and amazingly both his gloves and I was still in one piece. And for some strange reason I was no longer feeling nauseous.

So if you’re ever feeling 🤢 and you’re on the central coast, head for The Entrance and get some pelicans to beat you up and you’ll be fine in no time 😊

Is being transgender a blessing or is it a curse? 

For me, being transgender has the advantage of getting to experience both of the “binary sides” of gender. That’s great for me because I’m somewhere in the middle of the transgender spectrum. (And I am starting to suspect that I’m actually bigender.) But obviously horrible for some others who identify totally as the opposite gender. I really can only speak for myself here, so my views only relate to my experience and feelings.

My body is a boy’s. I grew up as a boy. And I did all kinds of boy things. And I liked it. Cricket, footy, fishing and lots of bike riding were a large part of my growing up, typical boy stuff. I don’t think I ever thought that I wasn’t a boy. Still I felt that I was different from the other boys. Being a different ethnicity to the other boys certainly added to that feeling.

And then I discovered girl’s clothing and I liked it. The attraction was that I could feel pretty and soft and vulnerable. Which was very much on the opposite side of the spectrum of what I was experiencing being a boy. And then there was the being someone else…. She didn’t have her name back then, but Loretta was born. But even then I didn’t think I was anything but a boy. And interestingly enough I still love feeling pretty and soft and vulnerable.

I’m never going to be the most masculine of males. I don’t have the build nor the mindset to be that. I’m never going to be the most feminine of females either. Again I don’t have the physique nor the mindset for that either. I am so in the middle of it all.

I’ve done lots of tests on the internet, like the COGIATI test, and tried to answer them as truthfully as possible. I know that really they don’t have anything to back them up as being accurate. However it is still interesting to note that they all say that I’m androgenous. Or in the middle ground of being male or female. No surprise to me….fencesitter. And that was even true for the two COGIATI tests that I did 15 years apart.

So stuck in the middle…transgender and for most of my life not really getting to express it. It wasn’t horrible. There was so much in my life to be happy about. And for most of my life I didn’t realise that I was transgender. Or that there was this girl inside me wanting to get out and live life.

Oh there were times she demanded to dress up. But I just put that down to me being a crossdresser. And I knew myself well enough that there were going to be times that I just needed to dress up. Even though I thought that it was just the clothes, I did wonder what my name would be if I was a girl. And I thought that if I was a girl then my name would be what my parents would have called me – Leanne.

I always felt funny about that name. Not because it was a girl’s name. But somehow I just wasn’t comfortable with it. It didn’t really matter too much anyway as it wasn’t like I was ever going to use that name. So I left it at that for most of my life…until a couple of years ago when I decided that I wasn’t comfortable with Leanne. And that if I was going to have a girl’s name for the times I dressed as a girl it may as well be one that I liked. So after lots of searching it finally came to me and Loretta had her name.

As I got older I felt like I needed more than just dressing up occasionally. So I did what a lot of crossdressers do. I started wearing girl’s underwear all the time. That way I could always be connected to my girl side. I started sleeping in nighties and chemises to fit in more girl time. And I started wearing bangles and rings and necklaces to try and express my girl side.

Then one day I found that I had an issue with my eyes and went to my doctor. After checking me over and after sending me to an ophthalmologist, who declared that I had 20/20 vision, she told me that the issue was stress. We discussed my work stress and other things and of course my dressing up. I went home happy that I did not have a physical issue to deal with. But I did have a lot of thinking to do.

I started to think about myself a bit more carefully. Yes there was work stress. Stress with elderly parents having health issues, and stress from not being able to dress up as much as I would like. My dressing up I realised was actually more than just dressing up. When I dressed up I actually thought of myself as a girl, I became a girl, I became Loretta. And I started to consider that I might actually be transgender.

Now I know that crossdressing is part of the transgender spectrum. So I really already was transgender. But to give up identifying myself as a crossdresser and to identify as transgender gave me the freedom to explore further who I might be.

I knew that I needed to express my girl side more freely. I’d been wearing girl’s things but stealthily, so rather than hide it, I thought I should embrace it. And that’s when I started to think that I should tell people that I was transgender. And I did, family and workmates were the first to know. But not a whole lot changed. As I told everyone “Don’t expect to see me in a dress, because I don’t think I’d be comfortable doing that”.

So for 5 months after my bold declaration things stayed the same. And then one day, Halloween of all days, I decided to go to work as a girl. It was going to be a quiet day with only 3 others in. So I asked them all if they would mind if I dressed up for the day. And they were all fine with it so I did. Amazingly the world didn’t end and I had a great day. At the end of it my friend Katie suggested that we frock up for Cup day…which was the next day. Two days in a row as a girl? Yes please!

So a one day experiment rolled into two. And I loved the second day as much as the first. So I started letting my workmates know that I would be coming to work dressed as a girl sometimes and that I hoped it was OK with them. Everyone was so supportive it was amazing. Two days rolled into three days, then a week, and now ever since.

And it’s not just that I come to work dressed as a girl that’s so good. I actually am that girl. I am Loretta. I get to live that life, her life, my life, with all the ups and downs that come with it. And it is so amazing to be able to do this and it’s also so empowering.

So now I get to express both of my sides and it’s fantastic. To be able to be the girl I found inside me on a regular basis is so wonderfully fulfilling. The added bonus is that I don’t have to give up my old self either. He’s still here, anchoring the family and providing stability along with doing all the boy things that need doing.

But wouldn’t it be easier if I wasn’t transgender and was just a boy? Well yes and no, I would be a totally different person. Half of what makes me me would be missing, and what would it be replaced by, more boy? To be honest that scares me a little. I don’t think I want to be a more testosterone driven male. And if I was all boy, would I have the family that I love so much today?

Or what if it was the other way and I was all girl? I’m pretty sure that my sexual attraction wouldn’t change given what I know from being transgender. So I would be a lesbian. And where would that leave me with family? Obviously I wouldn’t have the family I love so much today.

Being one of the binary genders is just hypothetical of course. Being transgender is not easy. But being either of the binary genders is not easy either. Everyone has their own issues. But only a few of us get to see the world from both sides of the fence. For me being transgender is no curse. It’s not easy. There’s a lot of work involved, both physically and mentally. And it makes relationships in a binary world more tricky. But it works for me and it suits me. It’s not for everyone but being transgender is my blessing.

Oh and one I’d the great gifts of being transgender, for me, is that it’s given me the opportunity to write. I like to write, but I need something to focus on otherwise I lose interest. This transgender journey is the perfect thing for me to write about. There’s always more for me to discover and write about. And it helps me so much in clarifying who I am and how I think about myself and my relationships.

Photo by Boram Kim 

I think I might be bigender 

I think most people think that being transgender means that you want to be the opposite sex. I get asked a fair bit if I’m going to transition. So I think it’s a fairly common misconception. It’s also probably a function of the way we’ve been brought up in a binary world where you’re either a boy or a girl. 

Understanding what transgender means is difficult enough for me. So it must be even more difficult for everyone who isn’t transgender. And it’s because transgender covers everything between female and male. So there’s a lot of ground to cover. And there’s quite a few elements involved here which include:

1 Sex

2 Gender Identity 

3 Gender Expression 

4 Attaction

So for me it looks like this:

1 biological sex – male

2 gender identity – bigender? 

3 gender expression – both feminine and masculine 

4 attraction – female

I can answer 1,3 & 4 automatically. 2 however is still something that I’m trying to find an answer for. At the moment I think that I’m bigender. But I’m still researching it. 

Bigender means that you have both a female and male gender identity. And that you switch between the two. I certainly have both a feminine and masculine gender expression. But that’s different to a gender identity. Do I have both a female and male gender identity? I think so. 

It seems that a lot of bigender move between their genders depending on situations or simply how they’re feeling. So their gender is quite fluid. I think I’m a bit different to that, and that I identify more closely with non-fluid bigender. We’ll change genders when we choose to, but we might suffer from a build up of anxiety or stress until we do. 

Now I know that I certainly have those symptoms. But strictly speaking I’ve only ever had those symptoms when I’ve needed to change into being a girl. Never the other way. So that old question comes back to me again. Am I a girl? I don’t think so. The thing is that I’ve never been girl long enough to see if I have any stress or anxiousness about being a boy again.

Anyway at this stage I think that I am non-fluid bigender. Not that I’ll ever tell anyone that. I think that for now I’ll just stick with telling people that I’m transgender, and that I love it. 

Am I a girl? 

I spend a lot of my time thinking about girl things and being a girl. So does that mean I am a girl? And only a girl? Am I a transgender girl and not gender queer? I know I say I’m part boy but to be honest I don’t spend any time working on my masculinity. But I do spend a lot of time working on my feminity. 

If I have spare time I’ll be looking at girls clothes or shoes or wigs. Or I’ll be writing this blog. Or I’ll be exploring the music that Loretta loves. Or I’ll be thinking about what outfit I’m going to wear to work tomorrow. Or thinking about makeup. Or thinking about my transgender meeting. Or dreaming about wedding dresses….sigh!

Do I think about boy things when I have spare time anymore? Hmm? Bike things, technology things, boy clothes…but only about five percent of the time I spend on girls clothes, probably less. Cooking, holidays, our next outing (today it’s minecraft at the opera house!) But a lot of these things aren’t boy specific. So I guess the answer is that I don’t spend much time thinking about boy things when I have spare time. 

But does that make me a girl? I don’t think it does. I think it’s because most of my life I’ve been a boy. So it comes naturally to me. I don’t need to work on it. But my girl side? She’s in me and she’s half of me, but she doesn’t come to me as naturally as the boy side does. So it takes a lot of work to catch up to where a girl my age should be at. And I guess that’s why I spend 90% of my spare time on the girl side. 

I love my boy side. Particularly being a husband and a father. I mean really aside from that, what is it that my girl side can’t do? Certainly I’m more comfortable being a girl if I make an effort to look good. I wouldn’t be comfortable being a girl if I only made the same effort as I do to be a boy. Being a boy I get away with looking scruffy or daggy. But that’s not Loretta. Ut-uh! No way. She’s not immaculate but always well presented. And she always makes sure that she has shape.

I mean my boy side can be ready to go in the morning in 15 minutes. But my girl side, well on Friday I was ready in 45 minutes. But that was winter clothes and doing makeup in low light. Not that I’m complaining. I love transforming myself into Loretta. I know it takes time but it’s so worthwhile. So I guess my girl side can’t be a slob. I like to look nice! 

Tonight my boy side got to go to minecraft at the opera house. Now I’m not sure how my girl side would have gone with that. Going to these things I end up being a bit of a packhorse. Not that Loretta is too precious to go. But it’s certainly easier for boy me to go. 

But is that just a cop out? I actually could go as Loretta. Sure it would be a little strange family wise. But it could be done. I think that’s the key though. Being a husband and a father is very important to me. And that’s something that Loretta can’t do. So no I don’t think that I’m only a transgender girl. I’m pretty sure I’m both boy and girl. 

Photo by Elena Ferrer

More yay! 

So when you work at the same place for a long time, the chances of running into old colleagues is quite high. This time a couple of colleagues from 10 years ago dropped by. They had been meeting with one of my current colleagues when my boy name came up in conversation. 

“So does ‘boy name’ still work with you?” A wicked smile appears on my colleague’s lips and she replies “something like that”. After filling them in on the details they definitely had to pop in to surprise me…and they did. 

I’m immediately engulfed in a couple of huge hugs. And we chat about old times and new. Apart from a “Look at you!” there’s not much more said about my change. We just chat about old times and new, and they try to convince me to get my son into racing. And that’s just so perfect. I cannot think of a more perfect reaction to my changes. And it is so typical of my experience so far.

I told my mum’s neighbour last week. I’ve known her for 25 years. And she was so happy for me…but absolutely gob-smacked and had no idea whatsoever. She kept on saying that I looked just like my sisters ☺️What more could a girl ask for? 

Work is amazing. We hired a new girl last week and she sits just across from me. So I told her about me not long after she walked in the door. And she was so cool about it. She’s the first one at work who didn’t know my boy side before, and I was so happy that it was a non-issue for her. She’s a lot younger than me and I really do think that the younger generations are more accepting. 

And the rest of work is almost perfect. Everyone accepts me as who I am. The only issue is the boss,who sometimes gets their pronouns wrong, but is starting to self correct their faux-pas. 

I really wish that my experiences were more typical of the transgender world. I had hoped that that the stories that I had heard of, and read, were just the bad ones, and that perhaps most transgender didn’t experience this. However given what I’ve heard in my two Gender Queer meetings, I really think that I’ve been so unbelievably lucky! And that’s thanks to you all, family, friends and colleagues, thank you so very much!  Love L

Photo by Brandi Redd

Last day of the year 

Well last day of the financial year at least. Given my work it’s a particularly busy day. Actually it’s been silly busy all week. Latest I’ve been up and getting ready for work was 5.18am. I’m ready for a lie in tomorrow that’s for sure.

It’s been a quiet month for posts. Partly a function of it being a busy time and also because I’ve blogged a lot of stuff that’s been on my mind for a long time. But now that’s off my chest I’m really only posting current stuff. So maybe my blog is going to be going through quieter times from now on.

Anyway today is another meeting with my GQ group. I must say that I have been looking forward to it for a few weeks now. Hopefully I can get there on time. It’s an early start and today being last day it should be a busy one. Hopefully R & O are there from last time. I’d like to know more of their stories. And if not then I’m interested to see how the facilitator leads us. All in all I think it should be a good night.

So it’s another adventure today. 5am makeup call. First time I’ve made it out the door at this hour with my makeup complete. With our bathroom being open and it being a small house with open bedroom doors I don’t turn on the main bathroom light. So it’s a little tricky to see everything. However I’ve gotten more confident over the months and thought I would give it a go. I think I did OK, I don’t think I look like a clown. And I didn’t poke myself in the eye with the eyeliner or mascara. Actually the hardest part was the lipliner!

I’ve gotten to a stage now where I’m confident with my basic makeup routine. Moisturiser, eyeliner, mascara, foundation, lipliner, lipstick. And that’s it. Perhaps I’m ready for highlighting, contouring, and blush and bronzer. I guess it’s back to clown school for a little while ☺️

Life as Loretta has been good over the past 8 months. Everyone has been so accepting. And given that I can blend in, I’ve had no troubles whatsoever. Which is so much better than what I had been expecting. Am I just lucky? Or is the world just more accepting than I thought it would be?

Oh and how I’ve been enjoying being a girl! To be able to express my girl side and be accepted is so liberating. And oh my goodness, who knew I would take on the stereotypical model of the shopaholic girl. My excuse is that I have to build a wardrobe from scratch.

So I’ve bought a lot of clothes and shoes. My latest purchase was a pair of black ankle boots with a rounded toe and gold zip and a 8cm stacked heel. On sale and the cheapest boots in my size, but you know what? They’re the most comfortable of all my boots. Boots? Oh yes 4 pairs now. Knee high black boots with a 8cm heel. Suede leopard print ankle boots with a stiletto heel. And a tan pair of ankle boots with a 3cm block heel.

To be honest I think I’ve reached a comfortable level in my wardrobe. There’s nothing left that I need to buy. Anything else now is really being indulgent. I have more shoes and boots than you can poke a stick at. OK so you probably could. I estimate 20 pair. Plenty of skirts, jeans, shorts, tops, and jackets. I’m lacking in dresses but I’ve found it very hard to find something to suit my shape and modesty needs, so I’m not too fussed.

The meeting was only half the size of last month. But it was still good, actually better than last month because the 2 strong transexual girls weren’t there, telling us how we’re supposed to be. Sadly R wasn’t there either but O and M came. And we met a new girl S. The sad news though is that the facilitator AM is moving away so next month is her last meeting. I like her, she’s so open minded and not judgey.

O & M come across as such strong people but fragile in their own way. They’re very much the opposite to me. Not afraid of confrontation and actually being empowered by the confrontation and not conforming to what people expect. They have chosen a tough road and I hope it’s rewarding for them and that the road doesn’t break them. You know my mantra by now….blend in!…blend in! And for me it works. No confrontation. No hassle. I just get to be the girl I am.

O made a big decision over the past month and now has a direction which is fantastic. Along with some really cool paint encrusted jeans. They’ve got white roller rings but they look so good they could be designer!

S actually introduced herself to me as P to begin with. But there’s a girl in there that’s scared to come out. Hopefully she can find a comfortable zone where she can express herself. She’s also interested in seeing what my girls at the Friday night social  have to offer. Perhaps I can take her along one night so she can see what it’s all about. Maybe it will be a safe zone for her to express herself. Apart from providing a safe zone for her I don’t think it will have too much more to offer her, but I have been known to be wrong.

S also commented that my life sounded confusing. And she’s right. I think everyone else thinks the same thing. But you know what? That’s just me. I’m a big question mark. But for the moment, this works. I get to express my girl side. And I still have my boy side. For me it’s not confusing…but it is a lot of work and it’s time consuming and requires a lot of organisation. But I get to be mes ☺️

It’s interesting to see that we come in both modes at this meeting. Some as birth gender and some as transgender. I guess that’s par for the course seeing as we’re gender queer. And we seem to be diverse in sexual orientation too. Bi, heterosexual, lesbian.

Having M there is awesome because without him we’re very much male to female. His viewpoint is a lovely counterpoint to what the rest of us are experiencing and really keeps our minds open about how diverse we are. I really missed having R there. He is so unique I wanted to know more about his story. Oh well maybe next month. Oh and I must not forget to do my homework. Yes we have homework this month!

I’m so looking forward to the meeting next month. These meetings are really so much better for me than the Friday night social. Here we get to explore and discuss our genders. Whereas the meeting with my girls is really about the clothes. And I’m so not into clothes…..well I am but I don’t need the social to provide a place for me and my clothes. That’s what work is for! ☺️

Photo by Alex Jones