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

Is this my Mid life crisis? 

Am I having my mid-life crisis? If I look at the timing of being desperate to get out and live the life of Loretta, I’d have to say yes. I mean if I don’t get out and live now, when will I? When I’m dead? 

I know there’s been times in my life when I’ve thought if I don’t do girl now then when will I? Of course none of those times resulted in anything like my current life. Back in those times it was still just play. Just dress up games really. Even if I did want to experience more, I never really did. 

There’s been times in recent years when I’ve been absolutely desperate to frock up. Anxiety kind of desperate. And while putting on a nice dress and heels helped, there was this nagging feeling that there was something else that was missing. Like it wasn’t real. I think I needed real and not pretend.  

And I think this is why I’m further along the transgender spectrum than being a crossdresser. I mean for most of my life that’s what I thought I was. Someone who liked to dress up as a girl sometimes. But now having lived the life of Loretta for nearly 8 months, I know that I’m a lot further along the spectrum and I currently think that I’m gender queer. 

To give you some idea of how I view the transgender spectrum I see it with crossdresser at one end and transexual at the other. In between these points you’ll find pangender, agender, gender queer and a whole bunch of of other genders. I might be bigender. Who knows? 

My girls at the Friday night social, who are almost all crossdressers, really drove home the point that I was different to them. Like I’ve said before when I go girl, I really go girl! For them its more like they go dress like girls but mostly don’t act like girls. So underneath all that feminine finery they’re still boys. Underneath all my feminine finery there’s this girl….

What’s underneath the boy clothes though? Am I boy or girl? I say it’s boy, but is that true? My wife says that I enjoy being a girl more than I enjoy being a boy. Is this true? I don’t know. I know I’m enjoying girl music at the moment. Katy Perry, Rihanna and of course Taylor Swift.

I’m loving the stories in her songs. And I get a bit emotional and teary over some of them. Love story and you belong to me to name a couple. And as I’ve gotten older I’ve become more emotional and teary. I don’t remember being like this when I was younger. Maybe I was suppressing it.

But Taylor makes me feel like, “dancing like I’m twenty two ooh ooh!”…. and then I remember. I remember when I was younger, watching music videos, wishing I could dance like those girls. I looked at them with envy, not the lust you would expect from a boy of that age. And now I know why. 

My fave TV show back then? Charlie’s Angel’s… Courageous, smart, fighting for good and oh my, so attractive! Kelly Garrett was my favourite. Did I have a crush on her? Oh I liked her a lot but I’m not sure that it was a crush or that I wanted to be like her, or Kris Munroe. Funnily enough I didn’t want to be like Jill or Sabrina. 

Ah the love boat. Only one reason to watch that and that reason was Julie. Everybody else was just there to fill in around her. Did I have a crush on her? Yes! Did I want to be her? No. 

Ah Hermione! No not Emma Watson but Kaz cooke’s cartoon character, was a part of my growing up. I loved her attitude, her sass. There was definitely something about her that I really identified with. So much so that one year I bought her diary to use for the year and I loved it. Sadly it was a once only edition so I didn’t get one the following year. But at least I was able to connect and engage my inner girl for a year. Not that I knew that’s what I was doing. It was just an extension of my liking girl’s clothes. 

So this girl thing? It’s been a part of me forever…well at least I remember it back to the age of 7 or 8. And it’s been part of me every since. Sure there were times when I didn’t touch girl things for a month. But that would have been the longest period. 

I know that lots of us have times when we’ve felt guilty and said that we’re not wearing girls clothes again and we’ve thrown everything out. Only to have to start from scratch again. But that’s not me. Sure I’ve had a lot of times when I’ve thrown out a lot of clothes. But that’s been more because I’ve been maturing. “These things are so skanky! I can’t believe that I wore them!” So I guess it’s been more a part of me growing up. 

My girl side came into being in my childhood but was only around every so often. Not the day in and day out of my boy side. As a result she didn’t experience life and mature as quickly as my boy side did. I actually think she’s a lot younger than my boy side. Probably 15 years younger…and at times she shows the maturity and skills of a teenager. But with more and more real life experience I’m maturing, and honing my skills. This is no crisis. I’m just growing up. ☺️

 Photo is Xperia stock

Honk honk!??? 

Sigh! Missed the bus again this morning. 15 seconds away again and it was 3 minutes early. Grrrr! So another 17 minutes standing around in the cold. 

Today however, I’m not as well prepared as usual as it was a late decision to bus it rather than ride. This meant back up clothes and wig and makeup instead of my usual things. It’s not that I look bad, just different to my usual look. 

Today I have my long straight wig with a fringe. She’s never been out in public so this is a first. My usual wig is just below shoulder length. But this one is another 10cm longer. I don’t have my winter coat as it’s at work. So instead I have my white quilted bomber jacket. Underneath I’m wearing my coral long sleeve ribbed top, with a singlet AND a bodysuit to keep me warm. A pair of blue high waisted jeans and my white runners complete the ensemble.

So whats a girl to do at stupid o’clock when there’s another 17 minutes until the bus arrives? Not much except stand around and listen to music. “…. It feels like one of those nights. We ditch the whole scene….” Of course there’s no one else silly enough to be up and waiting for a bus. It’s just me, a few joggers and cars and trucks going by. 

Honk! 3 cars go by. I guess one of them drifted in to the others lane. “….It feels like one of those nights. We won’t be sleeping!….” Did I mention that I’ve been listening to a lot of Taylor Swift? All of a sudden I’ve got her in my head all the time. And I’m just going with it. 22, you belong with me, shake it off, love story, mine. They’re all on repeat in my head…and this morning, on my phone too. 

Come on bus where are you? Now there’s only one car on the road. Honk! What th..? Oh! The cars are honking at me! Oh that’s just really weird. I’ve never been on this side of the fence before. Actually I’ve never been on the other side of the fence either. I guess I’ve been on the fence…..which makes perfect sense to me. 

So how do I feel about this? In one sense it’s oh good, I pass. But to be honked at? Maybe I went too far with my look. I just want to blend in. Wait! I didn’t ask to be honked at. Was I wearing a sign that says honk if you think I’m cute? And what were those drivers thinking? Oh I really don’t want to know. That just makes me feel dirty. Ew! 

I guess this sort of thing is what girls all over the world put up with all the time. It’s not right that we get objectified. But the world isn’t perfect. And while there’s a long way to go for transgender acceptance. I think this is something that may never be overcome. It seems to be too ingrained in society and across cultures for there to be a real and tangible solution. It’s not right at all but I’m going to have to leave this as….oh good, I pass. 

Photo by Jannik Selz 

Just another day

Missed the bus by 15 seconds this morning. It was 4 minutes early 😦 So I got to spend the next 18 minutes standing around in the cold. Luckily I had both my crane bomber and my new black winter coat. It’s only a lightweight coat but it certainly made a difference. A white top and navy pants completed my outfit. Except that it wasn’t complete. I had my white runners on because my brown ankle boots were at work. No matter I’ll switch later. 

It was only 6 degrees this morning and it certainly felt like it. Especially walking through the park to work in the dark. Good thing I brought my bike lights with me. Plenty of bikes whizzing past so it was good to have some lights so they could see me! 

So why am I up so early AND not riding my bike? Well I’ve got a meeting later today in the city which will mean I go straight home from there, so there’s no point in riding in. And there’s a bunch of stuff I need to get done before I go and I need to squeeze in a personal visit to the court too. And maybe a visit to that little Vietnamese restaurant for lunch 🙂 Busy! 

I’m finding that my girl side is opening up a side to me that I wasn’t expecting. You know me? Triple j listener? Like forever? I still listen to triple j but also find that I’m listening to more mainstream music too. Things I would never have listened to before. Katy Perry, Rihanna and oh my god, Taylor Swift. I just can’t shake it off. In fact I’m finding myself listening to all of her back catalogue. I never knew she was so country…and that I would like it! I only knew shake it up before but I’m really enjoying her storylines and her music. What’s happening to me? Sigh! I don’t know but I’m going to enjoy it 🙂

Today it’s also been really nice to be able to window shop without drawing undue attention to myself. Before it was a furtive glance at a window as I walked by. Now I can actually stop and check out the shoes or tops or dresses as I like. It’s just so nice to be able to do that. 

The downside today was getting a peanut crumb stuck on my lipstick. I couldn’t tell until I got to the ladies for a makeup check. Oh and then the wind down at barangaroo. Oh my goodness! Thankfully no skirt for me today. High chance of it blowing up around my head….well maybe not that bad. My skirts have survived me riding along at 30kmh so they’d probably would have been safe in the wind. My hair however, let’s just say that wind is not a great friend of wigs. I was in definite need of a brush by the time I got inside. 

Actually a brush has become one of my most needed cycling accessories. Park bike, helmet off, brush hair. Fortunately I found a travel brush that folds up and takes up minimal room in my handbag. And it has a mirror on the handle. It’s not as good as my wire brush but at least it makes me presentable, and I can carry it everywhere. 

I couldn’t believe I ordered a Brownie. I was just going to get a coffee, a long black, then all of a sudden someone wanted a Brownie to go with it. Is this my girl side wanting a chocolate fix? Or am I just compensating for the fact that I can’t have milk in my coffee. I’m not sure but it certainly was the girl with the initial L that ordered it! Oh and it was delicious. I was right to order it!  

I also got to do one of my favourite things from years ago. Catch a ferry home. I used to walk 2k everyday to get the boat because it was a great way to unwind after a long day. It’s still just as good! I love riding my bike home too but it takes a lot of concentration. Still a great way to unwind but you have to keep your wits about you. 

And seeing I was in the vacinity I dropped in on mum. Just a quick visit to update her on what’s going on and to see if she needed anything. As I was leaving she told me my clothes were pretty. Sigh! What more could a girl want from her mum? 🙂 Definitely gives a girl confidence. Yep just another day. 

Photo by Julia Caesar

Winter’s coming! 

So winter is almost here, cold days ahead! Probably not quite as bad as in this photo…have we ever had snow in Sydney? But what to wear to keep warm? Oh dear! I think I might be channelling my inner teenager. A nice coral long sleeve rib top, some knee high black boots and a…. flippy black miniskirt? Ok so how old am I? Doesn’t matter, mentally I think I’m exactly the right age for this outfit. Of course there’s some foundation wear to help keep me warm like a good warm singlet and some 120 denier black tights and some ankle socks too.

I seem to be branching out from my fit and flare look. Oh I still love it, but I guess it’s the same shape even if I’m wearing different tops and skirts. But a miniskirt? At my age? I couldn’t resist buying it. And at $6 I really couldn’t go wrong right? Well I think it works so I’m going to wear it.

I’ve even been wearing my jeans recently too. I added some high waist jeans to my wardrobe. I was worried that they wouldn’t fit because of my not quite so feminine shape. But you know what? They’re awesome! I actually wore them last Friday to the GQ meeting. And I think I nailed the look.

High waist blue Skinny jeans,. A navy and white thin horizontal stripey top. My red, orange and black statement dorsay Heels, which was a good match with my favourite red and orange handbag. My white and pink floral bomber to keep me warm. A silver and gold leaf necklace with my signature silver hoop earrings to finish things off. I really could have been just another girl out on a cold Friday night…and I was.

Actually I looked a lot like our facilitator AM. Except she was tall, blonde, short hair with blue eyes. Ok so maybe not looked like her, but our outfits were pretty similar. Blue jeans, stripey top and heels. Oh and she’s a lesbian too, just like me 🙂

And would you believe it? I’m even wearing sleeveless tops now! I’m putting my shy shoulders out there. Well sometimes anyway. And besides these longline peplum tops work really well with my jeans. Throw a longline black cardi on top and tada!

Apparently velvet is in this season, and I have succumbed. A black velvet A-line skirt and a black velvet short sleeve top. I’m never planning to wear them together but separately they’ve been working well. Adding another texture to my black and white outfits. Oh this is so much fun! Did I tell you that I’m enjoying being a girl?

OK next project is the business meeting look. Hmm this will be tricky. I don’t actually have any business clothing so I’ll have to make do with what I’ve got. I suspect that both the jeans and the miniskirt are both out though. Perhaps my navy pants? Or my black pencil skirt (it’s denim though but hard to tell). Or maybe the black tuxedo pants will get a run. My white box pleat skirt?

Actually it’s funny, most of the time I’ll start choosing an outfit by picking my bottoms first. I wonder if this is peculiar to me? How do others pick their outfits? Unless I’ve got a new top I’ll usually coordinate my tops with the bottoms. Having said that there’s a couple of tops that are demanding to be worn. Valleygirl long sleeve lace top in white. (possible pairing with navy pants, or maybe with the pencil, and it should be a killer with my blue jeans, but not the look I want for the budget meeting) plenty of time to figure it out though. The meeting isn’t until next Tuesday. Wait! I’ve only got 7 days to figure this out? Oh my goodness!

Photo by Heather Shelvin 

Trapdoor 

Ok so usually I only blog about things that happen in the life of Loretta. I figure that the boy side is OK with everything that goes on, so blogging the boy side is not a priority. However Trapdoor was so much fun that I had to blog it anyway!

The Vivid festival is on! We go every year to check out the light festival. And it’s always really good so we keep on coming back. The only problem is that the festival is so big that we can’t get around to everything. This year we didn’t make it to the rocks or darling harbour….and that’s despite having dinner at mamak! 

Ah mamak! It must be our favourite restaurant. Roti, kari ayam, Nasi lemak Mmmm. Perfect start to the night. Especially after indulging in a roti tisu as well. Actually I tried a veggie curry tonight with my Nasi lemak and it was very nice. Milder than the other curries but it was a nice change. I’d certainly order it again. 

So after an early dinner we hit the vivid trail at 6pm. First stop barangaroo. We haven’t been to this section before. It’s all new new new! And the reason we came was for the trapdoor exhibit. After walking under the mantarays and gawking at the deep sea divers we found ourselves in the queue…..and in for a half hour wait. 

So in trapdoor a group of people (6-10) get to stand in a ten metre square “stage” where they show scenes on the floor that you stand on. The first thing that happens is that they show the floor cracking with most of it falling away and you then tumble past the bones of dinosaurs. You then get to see pieces from barangaroo. It’s not real historical stuff, just things you can have fun with. 

Anyway after waiting only 20 minutes it was our turn. There’s a 10 second change over between groups so it all happens pretty fast. My wife was just going to watch and take photos, she’s not so good with moving things or pictures. Then the people behind us had a baby and a pram, and weren’t quick enough on the changeover. This meant that it was just the two of us, me and my son. (I know I know it’s bad English!) lucky us! 

So the floor cracked and fell away, showing us the dinosaur bones. And I fell too, sprawled on my back as we fell through the ages. I picked myself up and we found ourselves standing on logs, which were being sawn up so we jumped from one log to another so we didn’t get sawn up. 

Then we found ourselves on a tall ship at sea. Somehow I was on the main yard trying to keep my balance as I slowly walked to the end where I was knocked off it by the tentacle of a giant pink squid. We landed in what must have been an air conditioning plant underneath barangaroo. We jumped up and down on the compressor to keep it going while the nearby penguins shivered. 

Barangaroo must have its own waste composting because that’s where we found ourselves next. Just us, the compost and a giant green worm! Quick run away before he eats us! Run run run! There’s obviously fun places here too because we found ourselves on a dance floor with different coloured squares where we could strut our stuff…with the penguins! 

It was all over in 75 seconds, but it was sooooo much fun. And then something strange happened. We got a round of applause! I totally forgot that there were other people around. I was in the moment having fun. Just me and my son. I guess the other people had fun too just watching us have fun. Admittedly I was trying to have as much fun as possible with it and I guess it showed. 

Hey I thought I was an introvert. But then I have also been described as gregarious. I guess it all depends on the timing. 

Photo from destination nsw 

Meeting girls, boys and everyone in between. 

So at my meeting with my counsellor the other week. She let me know there was a meeting of gender queer people that I might like to attend. Gender queer? Essentially those of us who don’t conform to just boy or girl. Perhaps both, at the same time or separately. Perhaps neither. Perhaps??? 

Anyway I seem to fit, being a part time girl and part time boy. It’s a structured meeting rather than the relaxed gathering style of my girls. This might be a good thing for me, because the reason I wanted to meet my girls, was so I could learn more about me. And so far it’s been great meeting them all, but I’m not sure how much more I can learn about me there.  

Then there’s the clash of nights. Both meetings are same night but different times. So I could go to both but gee it makes a long day. I will do it this month though. Just so that I can see what the new meeting is like and because my meeting with the girls is actually the AGM. After that we’ll have to see.  

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Wow! So the GQ meeting was a diverse group of people. There were seven of us plus the facilitator.  All of us born male bar one. From nineteen year olds to sixty year olds and everywhere in between. We came from the Illawarra to Newtown to Campbelltown. 

Some of us came as girls, some of us came as boys. Not surprisingly I was the girliest of us all. There were two male to female transsexuals. One female to male who might transition. One female trapped in a male body who couldn’t transition for medical reasons. One probable female in a male body who was still exploring who they were. One male who identifies as male but looked, sounded like, and had the mannerisms of a female. And then there was me, fifty-fifty – phone a friend. 

We were all very unique in our own ways. And it was very interesting to hear everyone’s story. The story from the nineteen year old was difficult to listen to. They (that’s the pronoun that they’re comfortable with) got very heavily involved in drugs because of the gender identify confusion they were experiencing. And it sounds like they have a lot more to work through before they can find themselves. 

The two mtf transsexuals seemed to be very confident about who they were. And I think they thought that their experiences could provide answers for us. But we were all so different from each other that this was not really the case, as we all had to work pretty hard to understand where each other were coming from. Now given how tricky it was for us, it must be next to impossible for anyone else to come to terms with what it means to be gender queer, let alone transgender. 

The meeting was fairly organic, and didn’t follow what the facilitator had planned. But that was ok because the discussions were deep enough for that not to matter. One thing that came up was, what does it mean to transition? Can you transition without making any changes to your body, or the clothes you wear? So actually transition just mentally? 

I think it is possible. Although for me personally, it would not be enough. But body modification? Hormones? For me that is too much. And besides, wouldn’t that make me female rather than gender queer? I could just say that I am transgender and continue on as I was, but as I know now, that is not enough for me. I desire the clothes, the hair, the makeup so that I can show my feminine side. I love to be able to blend in with my gender, that is, whichever gender I’m presenting at the time. In my case, gender is actually black or white, it just depends on whether I’m showing the black side or the white side. Or should that be the pink or the blue side. 

Even though there were dominant older hands at this meeting, and that there were some difficult stories, I think it was a meeting worth going to. There was definitely something worth learning at the meeting. And I’m hopeful and pretty confident that there will be more to learn in the meetings to come. This was not a social meeting, it had direction and I think that’s what I need. So for the time being I think I’ll give up on my meetings with the girls, and just do this one instead. The day would just be too long if I did both. And I really need to choose the meeting that I think will help me the most. 

Of all of the people there I felt the most empathy for it was the male, who looked female, but is male. His world must be a very tricky one to navigate. It’s hard to imagine that anyone could guess his true gender no matter what he wore, or did to his hair. His voice, those mannerisms, they all scream girl. And he’s also asexual. To him none of this matters, he is who he is, but he doesn’t know how to tell people this. He is alone in this country having come here to study. Oh it must be so hard for him. I know that it’s hard for all of us. But his story grabbed me the most.

I did drop in on the girls afterwards. And I’m recognising a lot more faces now. The setup was auditorium style which made it a little more difficult to chat. I really didn’t miss anything even though I was half an hour late as the Agm hadn’t started yet. The agm was a bit disappointing to be honest. I had hoped that there would be some indication of what was to come in the year ahead. Sadly there was not. 

The only bright spark seemed to be when one of the Tamworth girls spoke of plans of a Tamworth group and sought advice on whether they should be part of us or separate. I voiced my support for them to be a part of us, because we are a state based organisation not a Sydney based one. The President seemed not so keen though. And that is so strange at a time when we need members. 

I don’t have high hopes for the girls in the coming year. It’s tricky, like so many groups we rely on volunteers to steer us. Now the volunteers might have the best of intentions but if they don’t have the right skills to guide us, then we are in trouble. 

As far as I can see, the girls really are just a social group. In order, the three most important things appear to be the ball, the Christmas party and the social meetings. For this group I would say that the committee are already at capacity. I don’t think they can do any more. To be honest I think they have gone too far away from the Objects of the group. Hopefully the financial management is strong enough so that they can survive until a new group of office bearers can be brought in. They really need some strategic planning before the group can move forward. 

Would I stick my hand up to help? Right now not on your Nelly! I’m way to busy. And I couldn’t do it alone. I’d need to find some other girls that wanted to steer the group back to their objectives. 

What would I change? The social meetings would be my first priority. It’s lovely to be able to come and meet the girls but I think we need more than that to keep new girls coming back. I’m pretty much over it after three meetings. The old girls are a bit cliquey and I would have thought there would be something educational at these meetings to help the new girls especially with tips and tricks.. Or to help them find resources for the mental challenges that they face. I think the old hands have been there and done that and have forgotten what it’s like to be new. 

Oh I would so change the website. The current webmistress has done a wonderful job with content but really I think the website is a mess. Two main things, it needs to be cleaner and it needs to be on a platform that anyone can use. I mean what would happen if we lost our webmistress? Could we update the current site? 

I could go on but I won’t. Two things are enough for me to complain about, seeing as I won’t be doing anything about them…for now anyway. So sadly I think I need to bid the girls farewell for the time being. Perhaps we will meet again in the future. 

Maybe…… 


So maybe I was wrong. Maybe I’m not a Revlon girl. I have to say that I’m pretty hooked on their green and blue eye-liners, as well as their nude lipliner and their lip balms. However I had thought that their foundation was my go to as well. 

Being the kind of girl that I am, all of the advice, that I had found, said I needed a full coverage foundation. The advice was to get professional coverage. Dermablend and kryolan were the suggestions. 

Now I know I’m not your average girl, but I also know that I’m not your average transgender girl either. By the grace of my lucky genes I’m not that…ahem…hairy. I don’t have too much facial hair, I could never grow a beard. And you can literally count my armpit hair on one hand. Ok two hands if you’re counting both armpits. 

So I figured that I should be able to get away with something a little bit lighter, but still full coverage. Revlon’s whipped creme in warm golden seemed to fit the bill here. Good coverage but not too heavy. Not that dermablend is heavy. It’s just that I struggle to see skin under there. 

However warm golden is just a touch too light for me. Whereas dermablend’s golden beige is a tad too dark for me. But both are workable, not perfect, but pretty good. One of the things that I was keen to find out about when I went to MAC, was what my colour match was. They matched me as NC35. But I thought that it was a touch light. And given the price, I’d go for both the dermablend (same price) and the revlon (67% price). 

Of course any girl who’s into makeup is going to try and find works best for them, preferably at the best price too. So reading through articles on “go to drug store” makeup as recommended by the pros, I found that my whipped creme was highly rated so I was happy about that (Yes! I’m on the right track!) But there was one other that kept on coming up as a recommendation….Fit me! by Maybelline. 

Maybelline foundation? Hey I can get that at the supermarket! I waited a few weeks and it went on half price sale. So I bought some foundation in sun beige and the matching powder. They didn’t have the matching concealer so I went with sand. It looked a little lighter but I didn’t realise until much later that it was two shades lighter. Anyway I still had plenty of whipped creme to get through so I put my new Maybelline aside…..until this morning. 

So Fit me! is a liquid foundation, that’s a novelty for me. I’m used to thick foundation that you warm up on the back of your hand, so you can apply it. This stuff is runny in comparison. Well duh! It is liquid. However once I got past this, I had an OMG moment. “Sun beige is my perfect match!” 

OK so the colour match is perfect but is it any good? After one day’s use I think so. Sadly I was too rushed at the end of the day to do a proper assessment before I took off my makeup. However, the coverage was good. And the problem I normally have with foundation and the tip of my nose, seemed to be not so bad. 

I set the foundation with the matching powder and it didn’t make me orange! I’ve tried setting whipped creme with a pressed powder but that gives me a distinct orange glow. Translucent powder has been my go to with both revlon and dermablend. Any pressed powder touch ups through the day have needed to be light to avoid that orange glow. So I’m hoping that this Maybelline foundation /powder combination is the one. 

So buying from the supermarket does have it’s issues though, like smaller range. Which meant that the concealer I got was two shades lighter. However, using this on my moustache area worked out better than I could have imagined. In fact I think it’s the best coverage I’ve found so far for my “trouble spot”. 

Throughout the day my foundation seemed to hold up and that includes me going for a ride to the post office and shops. I’ll know more in the next week or so but so far I like! It’s early days yet, but maybe I’m not a revlon girl anymore. Maybe I’m a Maybelline girl. And given that even at full price it’s a third of the price of Dermablend or MAC and half the price of Revlon, then if I am a Maybelline girl, my hip pocket is going to be as happy as my face. 

It’s not really a surprise that I may not be a complete revlon girl. With my background I’m better matched to a bit of this and a bit of that 🙂 And besides did I tell you that I’m a huge buffy fan? 

Photo is SMG wearing Maybelline