Tag Archive | Blogging

New site

Hi everyone! I’m working on moving all my writing related content to a new site. Seeing as how I’m living more as Stefani, I think it’s time to start writing as such. All my book reviews, short stories will be transferred soon, and all new content will be posted here. I’m super excited and can’t wait to get started!

The blog is Stefani Writes, so please check it out and follow me. I would love your support!

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Updating my blog

20160723_220725I’m starting to make a few changes here on my blog. I bought my domain name for starters. Now it’s simply StefaniLara.com. I think it has a nice ring to it. I also updated my tagline to The Girl Within from A girl in Disguise. I never liked the latter much, and I think the new tagline captures my current experience.

Here’s what’s going on. I feel this transformation is starting to take over. I’m compelled to come out. I’ve grown tired of all this secrecy. I know that I’m the one keeping the secret, and it’s one that’s not easy to discard. I’ve lived this lie for almost all of my forty years. I’ve grown accustomed to the mask I wear on a daily basis. Sometimes I’ve forgotten which mask I’m wearing, my true face, or that of my daily persona, Joe.

That’s right, kids! My name is Joe. Legally it’s Jose, but Let’s not quibble over technicalities. It’s a moniker that I wear daily, one that fits because I’ve worn it since the day I was born. Stefani came about when I first revealed this part of me to my then girlfriend, now my best friend, back in college. She asked me what my girl name was. I didn’t have an answer. I thought about it, and the name Stefani came to mind because there was a Tejano singer named Stefani Montiel. I have no idea where my adopted surname came in.

Were I to undergo a transition, I may keep my surname, which I’ll continue to keep secret for the time being, and use Lara as a middle name. It also feels right to me. It fits because I have had it for nearly twenty years.

This isn’t my first attempt at an online presence, either. Long ago, way before social media was really a thing, a website call GeoCities existed, where one could create webpages for free, so I did. I had to actually write the HTML code for the webpage, and I had a blast doing it. I also had to create all the images such as the title banner, which was the very original Stefani Lara. I’m nothing if not inventive.

Which brings me to today. I’m sitting here, in my drab wear, wishing I could dress up and be free. My spending on clothes has gotten out of control. I bought a pair of boots on Saturday when I should have been buying Joe some shoes. I then spent nearly $50 on panties alone! It’s not like I really need them. I dress up maybe once a week, if I’m lucky.

And that leads me to this conclusion. I’m wanting to out myself. I’m slowly telling people, and I’m setting myself up to be discovered by others. I want to open that dialogue, but it’s not easy. I want to be true to myself, but Joe is a very real person to them. While those I have told have been great about it, a time will come when someone will reject me, and that’s okay.

The truth is not easy. I have spent years, decades, trying to deny it of myself. Acceptance of ones self is the hardest acceptance to earn. I struggled and fought against it for years, though I knew in my heart who and what I was. Only recently have I begun to work out that who I am is not the man in the mirror I wake up to every morning. It’s the woman I transform into when I have a chance.

I no longer consider myself a crossdresser. When I have the conversation, I tell them that I identify as transgender. I’m a woman pretending to be a man, not vice versa. I know the arguments of gender and biology, that biologically I was born a man, but in my mind I’m not. In heart I’m not. In my soul I’m not. I’m not in unity with myself, and that’s a hard thing to deal with for so long. I lost a lot of years being depressed, though not clinically, because I wouldn’t deal with the truth.

So I’m making changes with my online presence. It’s not much, but changes sometimes comes slowly, building until there’s a build up and then a sudden release. I know I’m building up to something. I pray that it’s a good thing, scared that it may be a bad experience, but ever hopeful that I will come out stronger and happier than I have ever been.

A tale of two blogs

20150913_163414I’m a blogger. Well, actually I’m a writer who blogs. It’s how I survive, how I take these kernels of thoughts and ideas and nurture them into something more. Sometimes they’re profound, sometimes they’re silly. I’ve bared my naked soul to the world.

It began simply as a way to cope with a break-up, and eventual divorce, from my wife. That marriage had been broken for a while, and I suspect it had never been whole to begin with. All the same, as much as I was glad to be rid of her, there’s some part lurking in everyone that misses that presence, no matter how toxic it may be. You become used to that proximity. Also, my ego had trouble accepting that she left for another man.

I worked through my pain, and then the pain of another failed relationship. I was broken and I typed my pain in a vain cry for help. No one heeded it. Sure I got the occasional sympathetic comment, how it would get better, that they were praying for me, but I needed more. The only blessing is that my writing prevented me from bottling everything up. It was my outlet. That blog was my saving grace.

That was over four years ago, and I still maintain it, though now its focused on my stalled writing career. I post short stories and book reviews. I talk about ideas and my fears, my hopes and my dreams. It’s still an oasis in the middle of a barren life, and still I have relatively few followers. I don’t get many hits

This blog is different. So far today, I’ve received more views than I had for the entire month of September of my other blog. People read me here, and people have shared my posts in forums that bring me traffic. My friends listen to me patiently as I gush about my stats. They listen sympathetically as I grouse that no one cares about that other blog, about that other, male me.

It’s a strange dichotomy that dwells within me, two distinct halves that vie for dominance, though I know neither would survive without the other. It irks me that I can’t find an audience there where here I have found a voice. Perhaps it’s not so loud as others may have, but I appreciate every receptive ear, every click on my stats. I appreciate every kind word I have received. I’m nothing if not grateful.

But male me would like to find that voice, too. He would be overjoyed to gain a wider audience. I won’t share a link, this isn’t what this is about. Instead, it’s a fascination with how one person with two separate identities can have widely different successes. Stefani and male me are one and the same, but we might as well be strangers. In a way, I suppose we are.