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 risquรฉ!

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

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World Champion

It’s not every day that you get to watch a world champion dance live. Seeing as I have free entry to the Easter show and the dancer in question is my niece, I’m taking advantage of the opportunity to go see her.

This also provides an opportunity to catch up with my sister in law. Which will be interesting because she’s never met me. Oh she knows about me. We’ve talked about me, but we’ve never had the opportunity to meet….unlike my niece and I.

My niece and I met when one school holiday when she came over to our place. I was at work of course and so when I came home, I was Loretta. My niece was confused, disbelieving and amused. And she was fine with it all.

I rushed to make it to her performance as it was a work day and the performance was at 330pm. I took my bike but still after parking virtually outside the gate I still had quite a walk to get there. Good thing I was wearing “sensible footwear”. At least that’s what my doctor called them. I chose to ignore the irony she implied though. Peach coloured 4.5cm mules with a block heel… Pretty and practical, even if they do come with a speed limitation.

I made my way past the showbag halls, past the fashion exhibitors, found my way to the ferris wheel and then on to the amphitheatre. I made it on time. A quick scan showed no sign of my sister in law, so I knew that my niece wasn’t on in this half hour so I went back outside to find them as I knew they would be doing a last minute walk through of the routine.

And there they were, One practising, one talking with another dance mum. I waited in the shade for the other dance mum to leave, and when she did I took the opportunity to go and say hello.

“Hi Sis!”, She looked at me with a look on her face which said, “who the heck are you?” Then finally after a few seconds the recognition kicked in. “Oh my God! Look at you all dolled up!” she gushed. And I guess I was, full makeup, cute peach top, my smoking hot white skort, and my peach ruffle mules. My Elle wig, necklace earrings and bangles.

All I needed was some nail polish and I really would have been complete. Maybe I’ll have to try nail polish again. Hopefully my nails don’t chip like last time. I guess it has been 6 months since I last used nail polish so maybe my nails have recovered.

We chatted for a bit and then my niece finished her run through and my sister in law called her over, “Look who’s here?” she squinted at me because she really should be wearing glasses and after a few seconds she said, “Aunty Loretta!” with a smile on her face. It was great to see her again, she’s often asked about, or called me Aunty Loretta, when I’ve been boy. And it’s do nice that she wants to know more.

Anyway it was all about the dance, so pretty soon she was off to the green room, and we headed to the audience. Not surprisingly Sis knew a lot of the mums there and thought she should introduce me at least to her good friend, Nam.

However, she wasn’t too sure how she should introduce me. I said that I was comfortable with whatever she wanted to go with. But she still wasn’t sure, so I suggested that I could be, “an old family friend.” Eventually she introduced us saying, “This is my brother in law, he likes to play dress up.”

OK, that was not quite what I was expecting. But it’s OK, I can roll with that. Of course Nam misunderstood and assumed she meant sister in law. It took a fair bit of convincing for her to understand that she did indeed mean brother in law.

I guess the interesting part of all this is how my sister in law perceives me. While she’s accepting, I don’t think she really understands at all. “You look like a real woman!” was her comment. Hey, I am a real woman, this is not dress up, this is just me.

My niece danced a Vietnamese themed dance, complete with the cute baskets, with her troupe of 12. To be honest it wasn’t her best dance, but I think it’s a tricky thing to do when it wasn’t a compulsory attendance. You never know how many dancers you’re going to have. Nevertheless it was great to see her dance again.

Photo by Julia Caesar

Sixth sense

It’s funny how sixth sense works. Why is it that you can pick up….vibes, that things are or aren’t going to go well?

My spidey senses were tingling this morning. After seeing the doc on Friday I needed to do some blood tests so I thought I would get them done as soon as I could. I timed it so I was there 15 minutes before they opened so I had the best chance of getting to work at a reasonable time. Even then I was second in the queue.

When the door opened I picked up some immediate vibes from the receptionist which told me things weren’t going to go perfectly. I picked up queuing number 2 and took a seat.

To try and make things run a little smoother, I had stuck a post it note on my pathology form next to my name and not covering any other details. It said, “Hi there, I’m transgender. Please call me Loretta.”

After a little while she called my number and I gave her my form and my Medicare card. She looked at the form, took the post it note off and asked “Is this yours?” She hadn’t even read it! I guess the vibes I was picking up were not malicious vibes, just vibes that suggested they might not be able to adjust to out of the usual.

I replied, “That’s me.” Then she read it, and reattached it way down the bottom. We went through the usual pathology questions about fasting etc. Then she handed back my card and said, “Thanks ‘boyname’ please have a seat.” She wasn’t malicious and she wasn’t speaking very loudly so most people in the room probably didn’t notice. But it’s not that hard is it? Especially when I stuck a note on there?

The first patient is called and then I see the second nurse come out to collect, hopefully, me. I immediately have good vibes about her. It’s not that I’m actively assessing her it’s just the feeling I get. And then she asks for, “Loretta?”

She read my note ๐Ÿ™‚ and I’m happy. The blood taking is a breeze. And she’s very nice. She does ask me if I’m planning to change my name. There’s not enough time to explain so I tell her, “I’m not sure.” And I thank her for reading my note. She said that it’s actually quite common and not to worry about it.

I finished up earlier than expected. I have a chance to get the earlier bus, but I need to cross the road and walk 250 metres to the stop. The lights take forever, I get across and then spidey sense says run! I do.

Fortunately I can see someone at the stop. And I can see that they see the bus. I turn and see the bus, and I wave at the driver. I’m 70 metres away when the bus stops. The lady that’s at the stop takes her time getting on, making sure that I can get there before the driver closes the door. I make it, and I thank the driver but I can see he’s not happy. I suspect that without the other lady helping me out he would not have waited. I then thank her as well.

Sixth sense. Why do we have it? What triggers it? I don’t know but my antennae were certainly working well this morning.

Photo by Volker Schnรคbele

Next queer agenda meeting?

It’s been a long time since my last meeting. I think it was back in November. There was no meeting in December, I was on holiday in January. In February it was Chinese new year. And this month I’m sick, so I’m unlikely to go this Friday. Most likely I won’t get to go until April….a full 6 months since my last meeting.

I miss these meetings and hearing about how others are doing. I think I would miss counselling more but fortunately I haven’t missed any of those.

There’s something to be said about connecting with your peers. To know that there are people like you with similar struggles. To know that you’re not alone.

I’m different to most people. I know I am. Being bigender I’m also different to most people under the transgender umbrella too. But we face the same issues….even if the issues seem to begin with toilets.

I’ve given up on the women’s group meetings though. The timing is awful. And the only reason to go is the possibility of a voice coach coming in to give us some tips. However the facilitator has said that it’s still very difficult to get them to commit to a time ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I’ve also given up on the Friday night social too. They’re really not on the same page that I am. And it’s not like there’s any structured discussions to help us. It’s really just a place to get dressed up and socialise, which is not really what I’m interested in. So sadly I won’t be renewing membership with them this year.

Hopefully I’ll get to the April meeting. I really miss them!

Photo by Omar Lopez

Blush

Oh-oh! I’ve discovered blush. Just when I thought that I had finished my makeup routine I added another step….blush. It doesn’t take long at all to add blush, but where does it all end? Well I guess it hasn’t ended because now I’ve got the eyebrow brush out. Maybe that’s the stopping point?

Of course I’m only doing day makeup so there’s always the possibility that I could learn night makeup? But I can’t see that I would use it often or at all, and there’s very little time for practising too.

So what is my routine now? Moisturiser, teal or sapphire eye liner, waterproof mascara, tan liquid foundation, nude lip liner, coy lip balm, pink blush and a dark brown eyebrow liner. 15 minutes or thereabouts.

I don’t think I’ll get into the whole highlighting and contouring thing. I don’t think I have the confidence or the time to dedicate to that. Throw in a wig, breastforms and just getting dressed and it’s already takes 30 minutes to get Loretta to appear.

Hey I’m not complaining though. It takes a bit of time for me to bring Loretta out. The good news is that Loretta gets to be around a lot! And I think I’ve got the routine down…… I think?

Photo by Jazmin Quaynor

So who am I?

Am I Loretta? Or am I some boy? I seriously wonder sometimes if I have a split personality. I don’t think I do, I don’t think one personality actually knows the other exists in split personalities so that’s not me.

But when I’m boy I seem to be boy. Like I have been for most of my life. And when I’m Loretta, I’m Loretta. It’s just automatic there’s really no thinking about it anymore. It just happens.

I used to have to “prep” Loretta’s voice in the morning before it was ready to go. But now it just seems to work. Which is perfect, because sometimes I forget to do warm ups. Especially if I’m running to make a bus. And then I’ll get somewhere and rather than getting a squeak when I speak for the first time in the morning, I actually get Loretta ๐Ÿ™‚ I still do “prep” when I remember though, force of habit now I guess.

It’s so amazing how far my voice has come since I started coming to work as Loretta. When Loretta started work it was still with boy voice. And it took me a month or so to find a voice that I wanted to work with. I had heard that singing helps, so I did, and it did help. Still it took a few months for me get really comfortable with it.

But really the biggest help was actually being Loretta. I had to “find” my voice if I really wanted to be Loretta. And given that Loretta is half my waking life I just had to find it. I’ve seen quite a few videos, read quite a lot of stuff online about finding my voice. Some of it helpful, some of it not. But now that I have my voice, I subsequently found this video on YouTube and I think it breaks down what you need to do to get your girl voice, better than anything else I’ve watched or read. https://youtu.be/NE4DjgNhOMs

UPDATE: Oh no! It’s been taken down ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Let’s see if I can remember what he said:

1 Vocal posture – essentially make your mouth smaller by making your tongue touch your soft palate. Then close your pharyngeal wall in your throat. This should help you speak more with your mouth rather than bringing throat and chest into play.

2 accent – pick an accent to imitate. I guess here in Australia the accent isn’t too different across the country but the key is picking something that you’re familiar and comfortable with. And then he would key in on a couple of sounds in this particular case the “r” and the “s”

2b musicality – he gave this it’s own subpoint. It’s really about the rise and fall in the tone that girls speak in. Unlike the monotone that boys speak in.

3 pitch – don’t speak in falsetto, it sounds hollow and not like a girl at all, just pitch your voice as high as it will naturally go. For him it was the pitch that he speak at when he was excited.

It was quite amazing how he could break this down and then piece by piece following the above he would get his tongue and soft palate to meet, then close his pharyngeal wall, then add in an accent, and then add in the musicality. By this stage he already sounded like a girl. But the he keyed in on “r” and “s” and finally raised his pitch and the result was simply amazing.

I’m so sad this has been taken down. It was a video I wanted to watch and re-watch to improve my voice. I think my voice isn’t too bad but hopefully I remember enough of it to help myself now.

And it gives me things that I can still work on and improve. And better yet, I can actually understand what he means. Yes, he ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t think he’s trans, rather he’s someone that can do voices and can actually explain it well.

But it’s more than just the voice, I think and act like Loretta, when I’m dressed as her. And I think and act like boy me when I’m dressed as him. There may be some small crossover, but it’s quite a change whenever I get changed.

And the voice comes with the change. I have to concentrate on Loretta’s voice if I’m using it when I’m in boy mode. And using boy voice when I’m Loretta takes a lot of concentration too. Too much most of the time because I’ll slip back to Loretta’s voice almost every time.

So here I am, pretty much two lines of thinking but one body. Confusing or what? But somehow I need both of these sides to be who I am.

Photo by Jamison McAndie

My new skort

I bought a skort! From one of my fave shops – The Iconic. It was on sale, on sale, so I double dipped for a really good price. White and lined it seemed like a great deal. And besides I think they’re a great idea. Looks like a skirt with the practicality of shorts ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s part of my new plan to only get clothes that I can ride my bike in. Pencil skirts just don’t make the cut anymore. But this skort ticks all the boxes:

Can ride in it โœ…

It’s cute โœ…

Makes my legs look great โœ…

Matches almost everything โœ…

What’s not to love about it? Well it’s all good in theory but how did I go wearing it today? It was easy to coordinate with a top and shoes. It was very comfortable, and I could ride in it. All the girls at work thought it was cute. Not sure what the boys thought though.

So off I went to collect the mail, on my bike of course. Through the park, past the facilities where a few cyclists had stopped….and they then all stopped to watch me ride around the corner. Hmmmm I wonder what that was about?

Across the bridge up the street to head for the tunnel under the rail line, where another cyclist on a tandem, no stoker, asks me, “Are you lost?” huh? I’m just riding my bike, do I look lost? Or was that a line to start a conversation?

The tunnel under the rail line is skinny so I wait for the people coming the other way to come out before I ride in. They’re all from the furniture makers coming back from a cuppa. And to a man they all stare at my legs as they go past!

They’ve all seen me before as I’m often out collecting the mail when they’re out for a cuppa. Oh they’ve looked at me before……but not like this! I’m starting to get the feeling that this skort is a little bit more than just cute.

In the afternoon I had to ride over to the social club to pick up mail from them. There’s lots of cars around because the Easter show starts this Friday. By the time I get back I score two toots and one whistle.

So while the boys at work haven’t said anything about my skort. The boys outside have spoken loud and clear. My new skort is smoking HOT๐Ÿ”ฅ

To put this in perspective I have skirts tighter than this. Skirts shorter than this. I have daisy dukes that really show off ALL of my legs. But none of them come close to getting the reaction that this cute skort does!

Who would have thought that the hottest piece of clothing I would own would be an $18 plain white skort? ๐Ÿ™‚

Photo of Shona skort from The Iconic

Update: Friday 13th

It still works! Waiting for the bus wearing exactly the same outfit resulted in a toot and a wave. Maybe it’s the combination of my salmon top with white stripes and coral mules that makes this outfit tootable?

The missing month

So I’m back! Last month was a write off for my blog. I just could not finish any piece that I started. I’m still not sure why I was so stuck but I was. But it’s a new month and who knows what I’ll get up to.

The first thing I know is that this bus is cold! Early morning, quite nice outside but with the aircon on its a bit brrrr! Special trip to the city this morning. It’s Gear up Girl week and there’s much too much to do. My stationers have let me down and so it’s off to officeworks to pick up some small labels that we must have this morning.

So why am I cold? Black miniskirt, guess t-shirt and my black ankle boots. Good for a warm day but not for a cold bus. Good thing I have my wig to keep my head warm.

My wig! I haven’t told you about my new (well not as new anymore) wig. I found this one at Amazon. And it was cheap. And it was lace front, mono part – ready to wear. And it was off black! It absolutely ticked all the boxes!

To be honest it’s not going to last a long long time but none of the wigs I’ve had so far had great longevity. And they all cost about triple this one or more. And for the features this wig has, the only other wig I have like this, cost five times the price! So I’m happy, very happy. So happy I’ve already bought two more!

But what does it look like? Well my style up until now has been fairly straight, shoulder length or a little longer. This one is still shoulder length but has some wave and curl to it. It parts on the left and often covers my right eye, so that I have to flick it out of the way. Do I mind? No it’s quite cute and feminine. It almost has this fifties feel to it. And I really feel good wearing it.

Sadly this seems to be a “runout” wig so it’s not a permanent solution. But it’s good and cheap for now….. Being a girl is certainly not cheap! Thank goodness I love being a girl.

Photo from the wig outlet