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  • 05 Oct 2014
       Now that I can and do spend most days dressed to satisfy my female persona, both in and out of the house, I decided I needed some new wigs to replace the rather old ones I had been using for years. I fancied two shoulder-length ones the same colour and style for day to day use so I can still be the usual ‘me’ when one is drying out after washing and perhaps one slightly longer more ‘glamorous’ (Me? Glamorous?) for those special occasions.     The considerations I took into account are:-   Type of wig:- Fun/Outrageous types of wigs all have their place, and I have a few, but my needs now are for realism. Whilst I cannot hope to pass due to my height and my ever-growing large conk, a natural looking as possible style that suits me is paramount.   Wig quality:- A top quality wig will cost many hundreds of pounds. I’ve always avoided human hair ones as I don’t like the thought of wearing bits of dead parts from other people’s bodies or the extra care such wigs require. There’s a huge choice of perfectly acceptable man-made fibre wigs costing well below £50. Some of these cheaper ones now can even take heat and be substantially re-styled to suit better. The cost of many mono-filament and lace-front wigs has come down substantially too. Why pay more when you don’t have to?   Size:- Most wigs come in ‘standard’ size (ie standard for females) and are frequently too small for ‘girls’ like us. Whilst wig caps usually stretch to fit our larger heads this ‘thins out’ the hair on the top (see ‘Fullness’ below). ‘Large Cap’ wigs are the answer but hardly any UK wig retailers stock them and if they do there is very little choice. For many of us the hair on a standard wig will also be too short and will seriously interfere with how the style fits around our face. My old blonde wig for instance (see picture below) should ‘feather’ nicely around my lower face and curl in under the chin. I have to try and keep the sides straight as otherwise the curls are too high up and stick into my nostrils and mouth! More of my lower face is then revealed showing too much of my ugly nose, square chin and, later on in the day, making my five-o’clock shadow more noticeable.   Fullness:- I look for wigs that have more hair and/or thicker fibres to the square inch. This gives a greater depth to the hair on top of the head and down the sides of the face. This is important for two reasons. First, the greater amount of hair around the head makes the face look a little bit smaller and thus less manly. Secondly, it makes the overall size of the head look a little bit bigger so that, from a distance at least, it makes a tall person appear to be a slightly less tall (a well-known optical illusion).   Length:- Long and extra-long wigs are supposed to be ideal for tall girls as the length visually ‘pulls down’ your height and you appear less tall. If the style fans out across the tops of your shoulders it brings them visually together too. But beware; most of us have much broader and deeper upper torsos than women including the depth of our backs around the shoulder blades. A long wig, especially in a dark shade, curving away from the neck and out and down around the blades can, from the side view, make you look massively barrel-chested, especially if you’re a bit round-shouldered. Most unfeminine! Colour:- With realism in mind, choice of colour is so important. What you think looks good on others may not suit you at all – even if you think it does. If you are young (I’m talking physical age here – not mental!) then most colours will probably suit. If like me your years are advancing considerably then, also like me, your complexion and skin quality is beginning to crumble and crack and you have lines and creases everywhere. Some colours and styles are just too young for the older face and will look odd. For this reason dark brunettes, blacks & reds to my mind do not suit an old face. They are too ‘contrasty’ and highlight your face’s many imperfections (see the pic below of me in a long dark wig). I feel the much lighter brunettes and the darker shades of blonde, especially if multi-toned, are far more natural looking for the older tgirl.   Hair-style:- What you will choose will be governed by your temperament and character and/or the style of your wardrobe but do take advice from others as well if you are going for the best possible natural look. A good, trannie-friendly wig retailer should give you decent, unbiased advice. For reasons outlined above I look for a full, generously mid-length style (ie reaching to or on the shoulders) that, also, will not get blown all over the place when I’m out and about.                                                                                                    So, with all these thoughts going through my mind, I looked at various websites to see who was offering what and at what prices although I had no intention of buying on-line. I have always found I need to go to the wig retailer in person, fully dressed and made up, so I can try on many styles and see their full effect and suitability before I buy. I have never understood those girls who buy though the Internet. So, ignoring the on-line only operators, I concentrated on those who offered wig fitting facilities and, being immediately struck by the comparatively low prices being asked by Hair By Misstresses, I decided to make them my first port of call.     I also recalled that our venerated site owner, Beckie, reported going there well over a year ago to be fitted out with a long wine-red wig and very striking she looked in it too!     An appointment having been made I duly arrived at their extremely secluded premises with on-site parking facilities just outside the village of Tetsworth, Oxfordshire, a few minutes from either junctions 6 or 8A of the M40. Not that it mattered to me but their location is ideal for those tgirls who might be a bit nervous walking about in public fully dressed in the daytime.     After a welcoming cup of coffee and a chat we got down to business. I was attended to by both the delightful Billie and the just as delightful John. No-one could have been more friendly, helpful and Patient – capital P intended! I presented them with quite a long list of wigs I wished to try which I had previously selected from the website and after trying them on these went into three piles:- probable, possible, and most definitely not! Unsurprisingly for me, quite a few I thought might be nice looked absolutely dreadful on and others which initially looked ok proved to be rejects after I was able to compare them with others. So these went straight into the ‘definitely not’ pile which just underlines the importance of trying before buying. Billie & John helpfully suggested a few other styles they thought might suit me.       Then we went through the probables and possibles again and after a re-sort went through them yet AGAIN, discussing the pros and cons of each one and how they might be slightly restyled to make them even more to my liking. I avoided the dark brunette, black or bright blonde colours and looked only at the ‘mid shade’ multi-toned or ‘ash’ blonde wigs of which they had many.     I also asked why their prices appeared to be much cheaper than wigs of similar styles from many of the other retailers; did this reflect in any way on their quality? Their reply was most of their wigs are designed in-house by them and commissioned direct from the manufacturers thus completely cutting out the supply chain of wholesalers and distributors whose charges add substantially to the price at the till.     Finally, after about an hour and a half, I was down to a shortlist of three and I just could not decide which one to jettison or which one I would have two of, so I ended up buying all three! One was lace-fronted which I have not had before and was amazed at how life-like the hairline looks. I’ve had several weeks now to get used to them and experimenting a little with different arrangements and whilst I like them all I think my favourite is the ‘Sable’ which I have now worn out and about many times. It satifies my criteria on fullness, thickness and length. I haven’t got up the courage yet to trim back the lace on the lace-front wig but I wear it regularly indoors getting used to it and allowing the lace to ‘get used’ to my forehead and temples before I cut it back.     Misstresses are happy to do after-sales service too; I found the fringe of the ‘Sable’ insisted on poking right into my eyes and as I wear contact lenses this had to be cured. They readily agreed I could call in to see if they could suitably trim and/or restyle it but this wasn’t necessary as, following their suggestion, I solved the problem with a bit of stiff brushing, a touch of back-combing and an occasional very brief squirt of lacquer.     So, all in all, Billie and John at Hair by Misstresses gave me a very enjoyable experience and I came away with wigs I’m happy with – not only the styles but also the quality and the very reasonable prices.           If you are considering buying a wig or two I recommend you put Hair by Misstresses on your shopping list. If it means a long journey then why not do as I did, and make a ‘girly’ day out of it? I spent a pleasant afternoon afterwards walking around nearby Oxford as one of their tourist sights!     Their website (an excellent one fully illustrating from many viewpoints each wig in every available shade - no completely unhelpful colour swatches here) is at www.celebwigs.com   These are the wigs I ended up buying:-                        I’ve mentioned people’s perception of their self being completely different from how they may be viewed by others. If you’ve managed to get this far down this article I would be really interested to learn which of the three wigs I’ve just bought you think suits my poor old face the best. Perhaps you could kindly leave a comment?   Hugs & kisses   Trines x x  
    961 Posted by Trines x x
  • 07 Nov 2014
    "Walk tall, walk straight, and look the world right in the eye!" My views on style and deportment for trannies     It should be mandatory for ALL trannies to undergo and successfully pass a style and deportment course before being allowed out in public and the first line of Val Doonican's song should be the earworm for all of us!   I've been driven to write this blog after the sight the other day in Milton Keynes of a group of five trannies who came creeping into New Look. Between them they displayed every bad practice possible, presented themselves very poorly as would-be women and absolutely shrieked "TRANNIE" to anyone just briefly glancing their way. This isn't new of course, but in these days of the internet where all manner of good advice is available and when cheap, stylish clothes are available everywhere, there's no reason whatsoever for not making a better job of it.   There are no excuses for being unfashionably or dowdily dressed paired with clashing accessories, badly applied make-up of inappropriate or out of fashion colours, poor posture and bearing, or walking along like a coalman bearing a hundredweight sack of nutty slack across his back.   When meeting other trannies in social groups or at night clubs like Pink Punters then anything goes but when going out in public in the daytime I consider it actually rude and offensive to everyone else not to make the best possible job of presenting ourselves as women. Except for the purely exhibitionist amongst us (hopefully few) who enjoy unsettling people, surely the aim is to fit in as unnoticeably as possible? Yes, most of us will still be read if looked at carefully but Manners Always Makyth the (Wo)man!   So here are a few of my tips which I'm sure some will find fault with but if this piece starts a debate then this can only be for the good.   Bearing & Deportment.   To my mind this is the most important aspect. Good posture, realistic body movement and walk, and good eye contact always paired with a smile, all will substantially hide deficiencies in the other departments. Many trannies fall down badly in this area. Recently I saw a really attractive young Tgirl in long, high-heeled boots , mini-skirt (she had great legs), nice top, and good make-up and wig. She was a picture and eminently passable – until she moved! She walked and moved her arms just like a bloke which completely destroyed the whole illusion.   Paragraphs 4 & 5 are critical but do read the earlier ones first.   1. Straighten your back! Don't stoop to make yourself appear less tall; it puts years on you and makes you look as if you have severe curvature of the spine. There are plenty of tall real girls about these days and most of them don’t stoop. Be proud of who you are, otherwise why go out at all?   2. Square your shoulders! Apart from giving a better posture, this helps make your expensively filled bust slightly more prominent without puffing your chest out, which you should never do. But don’t raise your shoulders, keep them low.   3. Hold your head up! This helps making the greater depth of your shoulders less apparent and also helps a long wig to fall better down your back without curving out and around your shoulder blades which can make you look barrel-chested.   4. Walk like a woman! This is clearly not easy for many. The biggest factor in the difference between the way a man and a woman walks is the construction of the hips and the way they ‘work’. When a man walks both his hips either stay the same level when his legs go forward or, more usually, the hip above the leg that is going forward actually drops a bit so that it is slightly lower than the other one. The rest of his body reacts to this giving overall his ‘manly’ walk.   Because of her wider hips and the way her femurs are jointed, a woman’s hip above the leg that is going forward actually rises ever so slightly and the other hip therefore drops just a little as a result. So the rest of her body reacts completely differently than in a man: her body sways in the characteristically feminine way and her bottom automatically wiggles nicely!   If you want to walk more like a woman then you must practice this technique until you can do it without thinking. It’s not easy! Rehearse lots at home. You may find it easier to exaggerate the hip rise at first but when you do it for real it must only be slight otherwise you’ll just look stupid. I’ve been walking like this for years and it is now entirely natural, so much so I catch myself doing it when out in man-drag – so be careful! Remember to keep the legs fairly straight, don’t high-step like a show pony. Don’t cross your leading leg over in front of the trailing leg unless you want to stumble or trip. You can bring it in just a little though, perhaps to the centre line of your body but no further.   If you’re tall and wear flattish shoes feel free to use long strides, tall women do. Obviously you’ll need to shorten them if you are on high heels but take the longest pace you comfortably can; don’t totter along like a Chinese woman with broken and bound feet.   5. Stay loose! Keeping the rest of your body relatively limp (although straight remember?) and your arms hanging loose down by your sides will, if you are using your hips properly as just described, result in your upper body swaying slightly and realistically and your arms swinging slightly in opposition to your legs. Don’t intentionally swing your arms, which most men do, just let the swing occur naturally. If they don’t swing, don’t worry.   6. Look happy! Have a happy countenance at all times and if someone looks at you, don’t ignore them, give them a big smile; more often than not you’ll get a nice smile back.   MAKE-UP   Most women when out and about during the day wear little or no make-up. Perhaps a very light foundation such as a BB cream, a wipe of mascara and a touch of lippy but sometimes not even that. We on the other hand have to be more heavy handed to cover our beard shadow and awful complexions but it is important to end up looking as if we’ve only a little make-up on. It is possible but not easy.   1 Foundation   If you’re not sure what foundation colour suits you best go to Boots, whether you’re dressed or not, and ask one of the girls for a skin/foundation test. They’ll be more than happy to do so and give you the shades of foundation and lipstick that will suit you best. The other week I was in Boots en femme and a girl came up and asked if she could do me. When I asked why, was I that bad she said “ No. It’s because I’ve never done someone like you before”! As it happens my make-up was spot on!   I use a BB cream as a moisturiser. After a few minutes the skin has absorbed the cream leaving my skin slightly coloured. This means I need less foundation to complete the job. I use L’Oreal’s mineral powder foundation which goes on beautifully leaving a quite flawless finish (doesn’t remove my wrinkles though!). You can also put it on quite thickly over the beard area without it looking thick.   2. Eyes.   Keep these very restrained. If you have bushy eyebrows do try and tweeze them just a little to give a bit of shape but always on the underside, never the top. Use mid or light brown or grey pencil, never black or very dark brown.   Avoid vivid eye shadows, especially greens and blues; consider using the more neutral shades of light browns & beiges. This is for day time remember. For eyeliner I prefer to use mid brown or grey pencil or a dark eye shadow powder with a thin brush. Liquid eyeliners are too stark for me at my age.   False lashes are good but get the thinner, shorter ‘natural’ ones not the road-sweeping brushes. Brown is best but there’s not many about.   3. Lipsticks. Avoid vivid, bright colours. I think the more restrained and rather more natural looking reddy-browns or dark, dusky pinks are much better in the day. Stay within your lip lines and don’t do the corners of your mouth, otherwise you can end up looking like a panto dame or the Joker. If you are particularly thin lipped use a lip plumper and perhaps just go the tiniest bit over the lip line, but infinitesimally so. I use a lip liner pencil to get a symmetrical outline. I also find this helps stop lipstick bleeding into the surrounding wrinkles. Keep the amount of lipstick used to a minimum, just enough to colour the lips; a good lip brush is better than using the stick direct. Leave thick lippy and gloss for night-time.   4. Facial contouring. This is quite a skilful art used to try to alter the architecture of the face eg making a square jaw look less so, a fat face slimmer, a broad nose narrower etc. If you want to explore this surf the web for some tutorials. I’ll just mention blushers here. A little touch of blush on the cheekbone and spreading back towards the temple is quite in order but use it very sparingly indeed and blend in the edges well. All you need is the barest hint of colour. I avoid the strong pinks as I don’t want to look like a china doll; instead I go for the darker rosy beiges.   To illustrate that I practise what I preach here are two photographs taken a couple of weeks ago. They were taken at 11pm after I had been out all day since 8am. I was going to be out and about all day in public so I tried to make it as understated and naturalistic as possible. The only touch up was to my lipstick after a meal. My beard sprouts furiously when under make up and after some 16 hours it’s growing through so my chin looks rather rough.       CLOTHES   Don’t join the tranny granny brigade!   Please don’t wear clothes that look as if they were donated to Oxfam after the death of a 95 year old. Study women of your age in the street: what are they wearing, what are they mixing and matching, how are they accessorising, how are they walking. You will buy clothes that reflect your personality but do remember you are aiming to blend in. And remember, you don’t have to wear a dress or skirt to be feminine; you can look and feel stunning in jeggings & super-skinnies.   Be fashionable and BE YOUNG! Older women nowadays are not frightened of wearing ‘young’ clothes and neither should you be, as long as you’re not too extreme. Mini skirts are out! Some weeks ago I very tentatively went out wearing absolutely skin-tight leather-look fronted jegging with zips everywhere, tight-waisted fuscia top over my corseted 32” waist, a long-tailed shrug (the one in the photos above) tightly knotted under my 46” tits and 4 ¾” heeled strappy sandals. It may be pertinent for you to know I am 6’ 3” and only a year and a bit away from 70! God, I felt good but was worried people would regard me as a dead sheep dressed as lamb. Do you know, I got far less looks than I would normally expect wearing an ‘older’ outfit ! Indeed I was complimented by a shop assistant and by my corsetiere (that sounds posh) who wanted to know where the jeggings came from as she wanted them. My daughter also thought I looked really good and she wouldn’t lie.   So the moral seems to be wear what you want but with panache and you’ll succeed.   Most men have wider shoulders and deeper chests than women and thus look top heavy (one of the ‘give aways’). One trick that helps overcome this is always to have darker tops & coats than your trousers and skirts. By optical illusion this helps to minimise the size of your upper body.   WIGS   A reasonably natural looking wig is so important; you see so many with ill-fitting wrong-coloured mop heads which is a dead give-away. Avoid plain, bright blonde, black or dark, one colour brunette; they are not natural and never suit an older face. Go for mid-tone blends.   Get a wig with a fair amount of depth of hair to it around the crown and face; this helps to make your face look smaller and, overall, your head look bigger which helps to make you look a little shorter in height.   And put it on properly! Too often I see a tranny whose hairline seems to be only half way up her forehead making her look very strange indeed. If, like me, you haven’t seen your hairline for years and have forgotten where it was, a handy tip someone gave me recently is that the wig hairline should start about four fingers above the bridge of your nose.   For more hints on wigs see my blog https://www.transtastic.com/se4/blogs/7816/1090/bewigged-bothered-bewildered .   So that’s it! I had other things to mention but this has taken me far longer than I thought and I’m getting bored with it!   But always remember:-     Walk tall !  Walk well !  Walk loose!     Be proud of who and what you are.     And Smile !  
    833 Posted by Trines x x
  • 28 Aug 2014
    I'm blogging this announcement as my intial post on the main feed will soon disappear into the past and not be seen by many. I have just been approached by a TV programme researcher who feels I might be a suitable subject for a programme about 'unusual' pensioners! (I had added 'pensioner' as a tag to my Flickr account!). Unfortunately I have had to turn her down as I am not fully 'out' and I wouldn't want to be publicly exposed in this way. Perhaps some of you who are fully out, or don't mind being outed in this way, are in receipt of a pension and get out and about in public, would like to volunteer themselves as possible subjects? If so let me know and I'll pass your details on to her. Come on now, don't be shy! Hugs, Trines x x The following is an extract from her email:- I am working for an independent production company and we are in theearly stages of a development project exploring the lives and publicantics of the more extroverted British senior citizen.We are looking for seniors who refuse to reach for the cocoa and slippers, but instead are determined to live life to the full and focus on themselves.I came across your pictures on Flickr and I would be very keen to speak to you about the project in more detail.
    823 Posted by Trines x x
  • 02 Jan 2016
    Saw ‘The Danish Girl’ today on the first day of its local release and thought I’d blog my initial thoughts.  A very disappointing audience of 15 for the midday screening (which admittedly might have been a bit early for all those seeing in the New Year!).  I hope attendances improve as the film is worth seeing, even for those without our special interest.    The story is about the transgender Danish artist Einar Wegener who some 6 years after transitioning as Lili Elbe underwent, in the early 1930’s, the world’s first sex reassignment surgery from which she ultimately died. The film play is described as ‘highly fictional’ (it had to be because of the absence of detailed biographical details) but between the screen play and Hooper’s 2000 novel of the same name, the writers have played extremely fast and loose with the known historical facts which is a shame as the truth is just as riveting.    For example, Lili underwent 4 operations over a period of time – orchidectomy, a single ovary transplantation, penectomy and then finally a vaginoplasty and uterus transplantation. She died 3 months after the final surgery of a heart condition caused by uterus problems. Her marriage to Gerda Gottlieb, also an artist, had been annulled some years previously and Gerda had been living with her new husband in Africa for some time. Yet the film gave Lili only two operations (penectomy & vaginoplasty) and had her dying in hospital the day after her second op, in the arms of her wife.  Lili painted by Gerda Wegener c. late 1920's  The writers make Lili repeatedly say she was two distinctly separate people, the male Einar and the female Lili.  I found this rather troubling as this is not the case with the tgirls I know or with me and I transitioned publicly six months ago. I am and always have been the one predominantly female person who has had to present herself as a man for most of her life until just recently but even though I am now Trines 24/7 I am still the same person inside I have always been.  I can’t help fearing that cisgender people will come away from this film thinking all transgenders are hopeless and potentially dangerous schizophrenics! I also was one of the many in the transgender communty upset  the film producers wanted a known box office attractive actor in the lead role instead of a transgender actress who would surely give a much more realistic performance?  However, I have to say I’ve changed my mind as Eddie Redmayne is quite superb and brings intelligence and understanding to an outstanding performance. He has a real gift of acting with his eyes; there were numerous silent passages with him in close-up where his pupils were windows into his mind where you could hear/feel all his many emotions. Impressive. He is destined to be nominated for many awards but it must be admitted it is a peach of a part in which any half-decent actor with the right build and looks would excel.    Alicia Vikander as Gerda Just as good, in my opinion, was Alicia Vikander playing Lili’s wife, Gerda. Possibly a more difficult role and in danger of being unfairly overshadowed by the built-in extra theatricality of Lili’s character, she too can act well with her eyes and was particularly good at realistically conveying her confusion, fear and deep despair when realising she was losing her husband for good.. A very satisfying performance indeed.                                  Einar Wegener, Lili Elbe & Gerda Wegener c. 1926   The supporting actors were all nicely cast, the period feel of the 20’s/30’s came through convincingly and the drama of the piece, despite its many factual liberties, moved along commanding one’s attention, so much so I did not notice one note of the film score (I can only assume there was one!).    I had several tissues at the ready throughout the screening but didn’t need them until after the film had ended; it was when the credits started with a dedication to Lili, praising her brave pioneering spirit and how she has acted as the touchstone for the transgender community ever since.  I lost it.   Do see it.   Please.  
    457 Posted by Trines x x
1,059 views Jul 26, 2015
Transition D-Day and its Aftermath

Preparing for “D-Day”

(“D” for “Disclosure”)

 

Stratford on Avon  May 2015 

After Christmas I decided I was going to live out the rest of my life as a woman on a 24/7 basis.  I’m 70 next year and it was ‘now or never’.  For nearly 9 months I had been living as a woman at home and when out and about in the nearby towns but had not ‘come out’ to my friends and acquaintances in the village where I live.

 

I went dressed as a man when I disclosed my transgenderism to my (lady) doctor but took some photos with me, some dating back more than 50 years, so I could satisfy her this wasn’t just a recent phenomenon and that I hadn’t gone doolally because of my wife’s death early last year.   She was bowled over by the photos and asked me if I would give her make-up lessons so she could look 20 years younger too! 

 

She immediately acceded to my request for a referral to the gender identity clinic (GIC) but then she had no option really, as there are strict NHS protocols and guidelines concerning transgender matters. As luck would have it, my local GIC was immediately next door in the ‘cottage’ hospital on the same campus as my doctor’s surgery; wasn’t I a lucky girl?  This hasn’t quickened up in the slightest the inordinately slow GIC process though.

 

She also changed my male name on the NHS records to that of my unofficially adopted female name and the NHS now only knows me as a female named Ms Trines Ward. All correspondence comes in that name. Any male doctor wishing to examine me must wheel in a female chaperone for my protection!  Recently I had an emergency operation and the hospital kept insisting I had to be put in a female ward; I only just managed to avoid this as I felt ill women and their visitors would not want to see me in the next bed without wig or make-up! In the male ward I wore androgynous pink and blue short pyjamas but the board above my bed clearly stated ‘Ms Trines Ward—female” as did the labels around my arm and ankle, and the staff punctiliously referred to me amongst staff and patients, as ‘she’ or ‘her’.

 

Back at the GIC, they informed me it was run by two psychiatrists and I would need a separate assessment consultation with each one before any treatment would be considered. There was a four months’ wait for each session which meant nothing could even begin to happen until October/November!  I thought this was completely out of order and I thoroughly read the two main published guidelines (both are on the net):

 

1. “Good practice guidelines for the assessment and treatment of adults with gender dysphoria” ref CR181 published by Royal College of Pyschiatrists Oct 2013

 

2) “Gender dysphoria services: a guide for General

Practitioners and other healthcare staff” published by NHS.

 

These showed me my GIC’s timescales did not comply and some polite but firm letters and phone calls from me got the waits reduced to two months each; still lengthy but within the guidelines.  I can understand caution when dealing with tyros in their late teens/early twenties who might not even have ventured out dressed in public but not when dealing with very long in the tooth, fully experienced trans like me who know precisely where and how far they wish to go.

 

Both psychiatrists concluded I am fully transsexual and were happy to ‘take me all the way’. I’m not so sure. I’m not body dysphoric as far as my meat and two veg are concerned, in view of my age and recent bereavement I’m not seeking another partner, and neither am I gay so as Trines you might say I’m lesbian, so why would I want to lose my ‘wobbly bits’? I think I will be content to present myself as best I can as a woman even if I continue to have things in my knickers that other girls don’t have!  Provided I tuck no-one else will know whether I’ve had full reassignment or not.  What I want more than anything is feminising hormones so I can have effective facial and body hair removal and benefit from their desirable side-effects although at my age I cannot, unfortunately, expect oestrogen to give me any breast tissue

 

Meanwhile, I had to tell my three children and their families and then plan going fully public.

 

Whilst my wife ‘knew’ about me before we married, we agreed to keep it a secret from everyone for the protection both of our children and my wife from the substantial public opprobrium and ridicule they would have suffered, certainly back in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s. Indeed, on leaving home in the early 70’s I tried living full-time as a woman but had to give it up after 6 months because of the immense public hostility I suffered and the impossibility of getting a worthwhile job.

 

I now needed to inform my children of my condition and of my wish to ‘go public’. This would not be easy—and it wasn’t!  I paid for them to have quite expensive sessions with a counsellor experienced in transgender issues and this most definitely helped. All three of them are now fully supportive although my son, in particular, is still having trouble fully coming to terms with the ‘new’ me.  Fortunately there is a huge amount of love in my family and we will get there.

 

In 'Butch Biker Bitch' mode (Transtastic  photoshoot Feb 2015)

 

I have grandchildren by two of them and because they were all terribly upset by the death early last year of their granny, and they still are, my children do not want them to go through another bereavement because of the ‘loss’ of their granddad and neither do they want to risk them suffering cyber bullying so, for the time being at least, I have to be ‘granddad’ whenever I see them. I can do this wearing women’s shoes, trousers and tops so it is not too uncomfortable for me. It is a price I will pay if I have to.

 

With the children informed and ‘on board’ I was now, at long, long last  free to ‘go public’!  I had been planning this for several months as I wanted to try and ensure I would have the best possible result in terms of tolerance and acceptance by my local community.

 

I have lived in my fairly large village, population just over 2,000, for 15 years, 14 of those with my wife.  I have actively joined in with the local community, trying always to be nice to everyone, performing and directing with the drama society, secretary of the Twinning Association for many years, socialising in the four pubs, playing and umpiring for the cricket team, helping to organise village fetes etc.  In addition, I’ve always had a part-time job as deputy manager of the village’s very busy canal marina, selling boats and organising their big boat rallies and festivals. In addition, as a qualified Boat Master and passenger boat skipper, I give boat handling instruction throughout the inland waterways on my own account.

 

So I am very well known and, I like to think, well regarded  not only in the village but also through the large and widespread canal community. Coming out to all these many hundreds of people seemed to be a fearsome step to take, something I wasn’t sure I could manage.

 

I could of course always ‘cut and run’ by selling up, moving to a nice little house in a pleasant town somewhere, presenting myself immediately as Trines.  This way, I would not suffer any ridicule or shunning by people I knew. True. But the whole purpose of my fully transitioning was to be able to lead a full, entertaining and social life as Trines and to be accepted by and join in with my local community. If I moved away, I would not be known and, as an obvious transwoman, I would not make many new friends at all,.  I would be facing a rather lonely remainder of my life.

 

I didn’t struggle with this decision for very long, I bit the bullet and decided to openly disclose to my village; if it all went disastrously wrong then moving away would be my ‘Plan B’.

 

Family unity is so important to me I discussed every proposed step with my children and took on board all their suggestions. The doctor already knew, was professionally bound to secrecy and had got the NHS fully on side.

 

My next step was the vicar. I do have faith but for reasons I will not go into here had never attended the local church except for the occasional wedding and funeral. I knew her well through secular dealings and she had been fantastic over my wife’s funeral. I met her in male mode, told her I would like to start attending church services, that I wouldn’t mind singing in the choir (I knew they were desperately short and had no male voices at all) but there was just one tiny thing, I would be coming as a woman!  She was of course amazed by the news (my male persona is exceptionally masculine), bowled over by my photo’s and couldn’t wait to meet the real me which she did a few days later.

 

She was all for Trines being an active member of her congregation, brought her wardens confidentially on board for briefing on transgender matters so they could counsel any stroppy church members and got her bishop’s backing she could tell anyone who couldn’t freely accept me to clear off and find a different religion!  A target date of the first week in June was set and until then I would attend church and sing in the choir as a man and she would subliminally prepare everyone by seeding suitable comments about accepting and loving everyone regardless of their differences in the texts of her sermons, bidding prayers and in the Village News!

 

This now left me free to concentrate on my information leaflet. I had decided I would, the week before my transition, go round in drab to see every one of my friends and important acquaintances and tell them what I was proposing to do, show them some current and very historic photos if they wanted to see them, hope I could rely on their acceptance and continued friendship and leave them with an informative and illustrated leaflet which they could pass on to others if they wished.  This leaflet went through 6 or 7 draft stages and I was careful to include  things my children wanted said. I had 250 of these professionally printed on top quality, thick, glossy bi-folded A4  paper so they could easily withstand being passed around:- (if the type is too small to read, zoom in by pressing 'Ctrl' & '+' together):-

 

So the last week in May, the week before ‘D-Day’, arrived!

 

I went round telling all my friends and left them with a leaflet. I saw each pub licensee, leaving  half a dozen copies behind the bar as I was bound to be the village scandal for a few days and also got their promises that if any Neanderthals objected to my presence it would be them asked to leave the pub and not me. I had also booked a personal conference that week with my marina owner and his general manager. They had been on tenterhooks for weeks, fearful I was retiring or moving away. They seemed almost relieved when I told them Tony was becoming Trines, it was almost “Is that all? Thank God for that!” Subject to a private preview of the new me they were, as friends as well as equal opportunity employers, happy for me to continue in the role for them, dealing with the public. I’ve had to have new female uniforms bespoken as nothing off the peg was long enough and I made sure everything hugs my breast, waist and hips shapewear tightly. The office girls are green with envy as I look rather voluptuous and sexy—they have already demanded the same made to measure facility!

 

That Sunday I was not in church as I was managing the marina. The vicar took the opportunity of telling the congregation about me, how from the following week I would always be Trines,  and apparently spoke so beautifully and movingly on transgenderism  and why I should be embraced by them all,  there were quite a few damp eyes in the house. The wardens distributed my leaflets afterwards.

 

 D - Day !

and its Aftermath

 

The following Monday, 1st June, Trines made her first public appearance in the village and Tony has never been seen since (except of course a couple of times down in London with the grandchildren).

 

Against all my fears and trepidation my public disclosure and transition has been an absolutely unbelievable success, beyond my wildest dreams.  I had told myself that if I could retain the goodwill of perhaps a third of my friends then that would be a good and acceptable result, making staying in the village worthwhile.  30%?  It’s greater than 100% as I now have more friends than before because of my transition!

 

People I’ve not seen before but who have read my leaflet or heard about me have been coming up in the street or pub to shake my hand, commend my bravery and to wish me luck!  I’ve had a rather nasty and emergency operation recently and news of this spread with the result that people, many of them my ’new’ friends, were falling over themselves, offering to drive me to and from hospital or to meet family at Rugby station and take them to visit me—a round trip of about 50 miles!

 

All my neighbours and friends are still very friendly, I can’t accept all the invites round for coffee etc, there are too many of them. I’m really welcome at church and am possibly the only lady bass in a church choir in the country! The church has put me on their fete committee and wants me to be the PA announcer and dog show commentator at the next one. I continue to work at the marina with no adverse feedback whatsoever from the public. I’ve recently been in charge of safety at the big annual historic boat rally, we get thousands of visitors each day, and had to go round telling loads of boat skippers and others what to do  (it’s like herding cats with them) - they all know me from previous years but if anything they were all nicer, friendlier and more compliant than they’ve ever been!  My boat training business has not dropped off in the slightest, no-one gives my transition a second thought when I inform them. The Twinning Association has asked me to prepare and present their next fund-raising quiz (a big annual event in the village). I’m cast in the next Players’ production, rehearsals start in September.  I’m very welcome in all four pubs and am never short of someone to chat to. I’ve been elected a member of a small, rather exclusive group of ladies who meet every few weeks to cattily swap the latest gossip and scandal whilst getting hammered on G&T!  I have even been asked if I would like to help out at the community-owned tea shop, serving coffee, cakes and conversation to villagers and passing boaters - which I will do after my current convalescence.

 

If anything my social life as Trines is better than it was for that person I used to be (what was his name?) and it wasn’t bad for him, so much so I think I am losing the need to meet up with my other trans friends as much as I used to. After all, there is nothing so satisfying as being accepted and socialised by ’normal’ people for the girl you are. I shall of course still get to Pink Punters occasionally as I will to Outskirts in Birmingham and come Hell or High Water I am definitely getting to Sparkle next year after it was so cruelly snatched from me this year by a cancerous tumour.

 

Those of you who’ve managed not to nod off but are still reading this and possibly thinking of transitioning yourselves at some time in the future, might like to have my views on why I think my public disclosure has been so successful.

 

1. I decided to brazen it out in the locality where I lived and was known, rather than move to a new location. Had it been necessary to move first then I might have delayed my local transition for a year or two so that I could get to know a fair number of people as a man. That would not, of course, have stopped me cross-dressing at home or from going out further afield in female mode.

 

2. I was well established and well-known in the locality, joined in community activities and, always trying to be a nice guy, I think I was generally well liked. Whilst having to come to terms with a friend’s transgenderism must be more difficult the better someone has known the person as a man, I think there may be that little more pressure to do so because they are a friend; if they were not or hardly known then, to avoid embarrassment or other difficulties I think people might be tempted to more or less ignore the trans, giving perhaps just a smile if meeting in the street.

 

3. I took my time and planned well!  I had been dressing almost every day since May 2014 at home and when out sight-seeing, shopping or socialising with other trans in towns near and far. I only presented as a man locally when I had to eg for a social function in my village or when I was working in the marina. By the end of the year the urge to go 24/7 was stronger than ever and I realised I had no option but to go for it and disclosed to my GP to get the GIC on my case. I then gave myself 6 months to prepare for ‘D-Day’ (‘Disclosure Day’).

 

Most reputable websites advise taking disclosure very slowly, telling only a few now, a few more in a couple of weeks and so on. This would not have suited my circumstances. It would have been highly confusing for villagers - and for me - to see me switching between Trines and Tony on a daily basis; it would have to be all, and this would be on 1st June. I brought the vicar on board for genuine reasons but she also was a sounding-board; if she and her wardens had been decidedly ‘iffy’ about it all I probably would have sounded out again with a friend on whom I could rely for discretion or possibly have decided to switch to Plan B (ie ‘cut & run’).

 

4. I prepared and distributed an information leaflet.   I had tremendously complimentary feedback; many thought this had been a master-stroke. Even a lot of my better educated friends confessed to knowing little or nothing about transgenderism despite the number of high profile cases reported in the press over recent months. They said they thought they would have been much less sympathetic over my situation and proposed actions had they not been able to read and think about it. Some said they would have simply put me down as a ’perv’!  My history dating back to age 4 was genuinely eye-opening to them and made them really want to help me through my transition. It also worked on people who did not know me.  I distributed just under 250 but I know a lot were passed around and perhaps some 500 villagers or more have seen and been quite affected by it. I strongly recommend anyone thinking of transitioning to prepare a similar leaflet.

 

5. Once I publicly transitioned I really ‘put myself about’.  I realised I would need to socialise as much as I could to reinforce my presence as Trines in the village and to get villagers talking to me. I made sure I visited each pub each week at a peak time. I attended village do’s, some of which I would never have gone to previously, just to make sure I was seen and for the chance to chat to others. I went on more walks around the village, canal and marina in order to meet lots of others. I invited many to my place for a coffee and chat which they either agreed to or invited me to theirs instead.  I will take this up again as soon as my convalescence permits me and rather nicely, I’ve had quite a few offers to mow my lawns and do other heavy household chores.

 

The inhabitants of my village have really come up trumps; their generosity of spirit has been truly humbling particularly when you consider that at 6ft 3in without heels (and I always wear heels!) a large, wide frame and a profoundly deep voice, I cannot easily 'pass'.

 

Whether, in view of my cancer, I will ever be allowed feminising hormones or will ever be offered re-assignment surgery has now paled into insignificance for me now that I am living and being widely accepted as the person I am.

 

I sincerely hope all other girls who publicly transition have family, friends and neighbours as lovely as mine to deal with.

 

All my love

  x x

 



Your Comments

23 comments
  • Trines    x x
    Trines x x Great sentiments Liz. I hope your comments are noted by all those girls for whom transition is appropriate. Thanks. x x
    July 28, 2015
  • rita clark
    rita clark A lovely story hon. I have 3.5 years till 70 so there is hope for me yet. I seem to keep coming out more in spite of myself.
    Its good to see someone with the support their family and community. That can make all the difference. I was rejected by...  more
    July 28, 2015 - 2 like this
  • Devon Johnson
    Devon Johnson Thank you Trines for your Blog. It is as Pauline says, articulate, incisive and well written. I don't know where my "journey" is going to take me over the next few years but I have learnt a lot of things from your experiences which will...  more
    August 6, 2015 - 3 like this
  • tammy darling
    tammy darling Hunnie thankyou for your wonderful story, I truly admirer you I am so glad your family,friends & village have accepted you. P.s you look sexy & stunning. Hugs &Kisses Tammy xx
    September 30, 2015