It’s been seven months since I published “My life as a chick.”
Here are five more ways my life as a female is profoundly different from my first fifty-seven years.
Wearing heals in public
One of the questions that I have gotten numerous times has been, “Do you wear high heels?” or it is put more bluntly, “You don’t wear high heels, do you?”
Um, yes, I do.
Three inches is the highest I go. Three inches provides what one wants from heels, the elongation of the leg, even if she doesn’t want to make herself taller. Yes, they make me 6′ 4″, but I don’t feel too tall, and Julie compensates by wearing four inch heels. You can bet that we debated my heel length in the days that I was contemplating transitioning!
I look nicer in heels than in flats. Frankly, flats make me look frumpy, while heels enhance my femininity very nicely. So, when I dress up, heels it is. Otherwise, in everyday dress, flats and comfort win out.
Reading your mind, no, I don’t have any trouble walking in them.
And your next query surely is what size I wear. 13.
Where do I find a size 13, you now wonder? Payless Shoes! Bless their hearts, they carry a wide selection in my size. I can order online and have a good fit with virtually every pair of shoes. Of the pairs pictured, I found the black ones in a store and got the other two online.
My new signature
I dare you to change your name, then proceed to easily sign your new name without your brain automatically going for your old one. And make it even harder on yourself by having the same initials, so that with both your first and middle names your brain is determined to keep going with the rest of the letters as it has for decades.
I am pleased to say that by about the tenth time I had reason to sign my new name—mostly signing checks to Barb the Impaler!—I could do so successfully. In fact, I have Gina Joy down pat so that my pen glides across the paper as smoothly and quickly as Gregory John had, which was so fluid that any doctor would be pleased to claim it.
Keeping my skirt at my knee
Oh, the things one never encounters as a guy!
My favorite skirt/dress length is at the middle of my knee cap. I have a number of skirts and a couple of dresses in this length, and a couple of both that fall a bit above my knee. (I also have several skirts of midi and maxi length. I prefer the shorter ones, especially because Julie says that I have nice legs and I look good!)
But, jeepers, especially when sitting down, it is a constant to look at my skirt and if it’s ridden up at all to pull it down and get it back to my knee. Perhaps, I am more conscience of this because I’m still pretty new at wearing a skirt or dress in public. Perhaps, I will notice it less in the future. Perhaps, um, it would be a good thing for me to continue noticing!
The effects of HRT
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) reversed the two main sex hormones in me so that my estrogen and testosterone are at levels appropriate to a female my age. The two most obvious effects of HRT are the calming of my brain and breast growth. But there is much more.
My skin is softer. It is remarkable how different the skin is of males and females. I recall when I first noticed the change on me. Was it ever wonderful! Softer skin is one of the many things which help everything match for me, getting my brain and body and life unified.
Less body hair is another. I went from having an average amount of chest hair to so little that you have to look closely to see the few areas where a bit grows. My arms also have less hair. I had been shaving them, but let the hair grow back in to see how heavy it would now be. It’s perhaps half as thick as before but still darker than I like, so I resumed shaving my arms.
But I only have to shave every two weeks, including my legs. I used to have to shave once a week. While the hair grows as quickly, because it is so much more sparse it doesn’t appear as soon, so I can get away with going two weeks between shaves.
Do I cut myself often, you ask? Hey, I’ve been doing this for a long time, kids. Rare is it that there is blood in the water to attract sharks.
There is one vividly negative effect of HRT. I cannot run as fast as I used to. This is commonly reported by trans women who are runners. Some report that they have lost upper body strength, but in that regard I feel as strong as I had. (Stuck pickle jar caps, shudder!) When it comes to running, however, while my stamina is just fine my per-mile average is way down—so low that as I recall when President Clinton was in office, and he was shown jogging and his per-mile time was announced, and mine now is what his was, and I had scoffed at how slow he was, that, yeah, I don’t desire your snickers.
Comfort level in public
Before I transitioned, I was thankful that I am not a self-conscious person, thinking that would help a lot as undertook going out in public as a female.
I go everywhere, dressed in whatever way is appropriate to the location, and feel comfortable. Most of the time, I’m in jeans and flats, with a simple top, yet I’m still clearly dressed as a female, always adorned in necklace, painted fingernails, chick glasses, and carrying my big, bright purse. When occasions allow, I love to step it up, mostly in dressier tops and skirts, either with or without hosiery, and in heels.
I know what I look like. When I inspect myself after dressing, our full length mirror reflects an honest image. My male shape cannot be completely hidden. I know that I do not blend in as a genetic female, that, surely, folks do a double-take at the sight of me.
Despite this self-awareness, it does not faze me, and I am sure I know why.
I feel right about who I am and how I am dressed.
While I never felt wrong out in public in guy’s clothes, the act of putting them on became awful. I dreaded dressing in the morning. Often, I sat on my bed, delaying the act. I merely put up with the shirts and pants, wearing a tie, and clunky dress shoes.
Now, I like deciding what I am going to wear. It’s a joy to put on each item, so proper to my self-image are these feminine items. Seeing myself completely dressed . . . truth be told, I smile. Wide. A lot.
So, even though I am no vision of feminine pulchritude, the matching of my inner sense with how I am dressed provides me with contentment, and with contentment comes confidence to have folks see me, and even if they “make” me not to cause me a moment’s concern.
Soon, when the hoarseness wears off from my vocal cord surgery, I will have a new voice, one which finally will match how I am dressed. I am very excited for this wonderful next step in my transition!