Tag Archive | M2F

The Year of Stefani

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February 2017

Is it time for the 2017 retrospective yet? We still have a ways to go, but in the closing month of the year, I can’t help but look back a bit. I started the year afraid of going out anywhere, and I ended up going to my company Christmas party last week.

I have come out to many people, everyone I work with, essentially, and a couple of family members. I came out to a friend I met in college, a priest, someone who promised to remain at my side, to support me. I began meeting with a spiritual advisor. I went to Georgia, and I’m going again next week, this time all week as Stef.

I went from being scared to becoming bold. I went from remaining in the shadows, to coming out into the sun. I went from wanting to remain anonymous to wanting to be known for who I am. This is what 2017 has meant for me.

Going back three years, in 2014, I started dressing up again after more than ten years pretending to be someone I wasn’t. More than ten miserable years lost in anger and confusion, wanting to be a normal man. That didn’t work out.

2011 lost my wife and lost another relationship. 2012, lost my job. 2013 went back to college, got my current job, graduated with my bachelor’s degree, but it wasn’t until December 2014 that things started to come around.

It took time to find my style. I bought clothes, makeup, wigs. I built up a wardrobe, and for the first time ever, I didn’t purge a single thing. I came out to a friend in 2016, someone who accepted me, along with her mother. 2016 began the phase of accepting myself, and 2017 was the next phase,  of accepting that I could come out, that people could accept me. They have.

2017 has been my year, the year of Stefani. I have let myself be seen by so many. I started volunteering as Stefani, something that only lasted a couple of months, and something I wish I hadn’t let go of like I did. I made a few mistakes, as you can see, but I had something to give to the community. Something uniquely mine, and not my male alter ego’s.

I began my YouTube Channel, and though it doesn’t have many viewers, it helps me develop my thoughts as to who I am. I continue writing this blog, mostly as a personal journal as to my own journey, a way to look back and remember where I was, where I am, and where I want to be.

I’m looking forward to 2018 with renewed vigor. Where can I go from here? I have no plans to return into the shadows, or to remain a part time person. I would like to emerge more fully, though fully transitioning is still in question. Do I or don’t I? Some days I feel it so strongly that I must. Other days, I’m a little less certain.

This is what I do know. I am not an alter ego. I am not a character. I may refer to my male and female personas as two separate and individual people, but I have come to realize that I have integrated them into myself. I am both for both make up my singular personality. I may act a certain way depending on how I’m presenting myself, but I am essentially me.

If anything, that’s my biggest take away from 2017. I can’t wait to see what this upcoming year has in store.

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From then until now

It was a year ago that I took my first roadtrip as Stefani. I drove to Oklahoma City, spent the entire time dressed up, did some sightseeing, and drove back, without once changing into my male alter ego. I didn’t even take him clothes. It was a scary and exhilarating experience, and one I will never make again.

Since then, I’ve grown bold in my femme persona. As I write this, I’m in a coffee shop in Amarillo, a few blocks from where I work, wearing a skirt and blouse. Being Stef is less of an issue. I’m still apprehensive about it, especially with all the negativity thrown our way via the politicos in Washington and Austin, but no one gives me a second glance. I’m invisible.

Part of it is growing more comfortable in my skin. My first forays were spent in a state of hyper anxiety, waiting to be called out. But the more I have gone out, the less anxious I have become, learning to relax and enjoy my time out. The more comfortable I’ve become, the less attention I draw to myself.

Since my trip to OKC, I’ve gone out several time to DFW, visited the Arboretum there. I’ve driven to Lubbock and spent the day. I’ve started going out during the day here in my city. I’ve let more and more people into my life, the fear of being discovered having less power over me.

Only last week, I drove to Dallas, spent the entire time as Stef, and even visited my old work place. No one bothered to pay me any attention. I spend almost all my free time as Stef, only going out as Joe when it’s necessary, or when I go to work. I’m not yet ready to introduce myself as Stef there, even if most people already know.

Where I am now is coming to the decision that it’s time to move on. I never meant to stay in Amarillo, and I think my time here is coming to an end. I think that by next spring I’ll be ready to make the move to DFW. I’ll transfer to another Home Depot around the McKinney area, or maybe I’ll consider looking for another job altogether.

I’ll admit that I want to go to work as Stef. I want to live as Stef. The act of transitioning is growing more on my mind. I feel no rush when I dress up any more. I do not feel the excitement as I once did just to step out the door. It feels natural, it feels right, I feel like me.

I’m supposed to call someone my friend has recommended I talk to. She’s out of town until this coming week, but I’ll meet with her as soon as possible. I need to know how to proceed with my life, and my spiritual life is just as important to me as my physical well being.

There’s a lot to look forward to, and I can’t wait to live my life. My only regret is that I waited this long to come to terms with who I am. I can’t change the past, but I can make the right decision going forward. Here’s to me.

Creepers

20151017_202814The one thing that still boggles my mind is the persistence and the abject perversity of the male gender, and as I live as a man most of the time, I find this repellent. I don’t know how women deal with it on a daily basis! If I’ve ever crossed that line from cordial to creepy, I apologize. I still struggle at times with how to deal with it. My male ego never has had to put up with this level of sliminess, and I know I’ve barely grazed the crazy.

I guess I should tell the story. I have a Flickr account where I post all my photos. Most are in good taste, but there are a few that cross the line a bit. I don’t post nudes or anything too risque, but I do try to look good and hopefully sexy, and by the comments I get, I do. Some of the comments are innocent enough, and some are a little distasteful. I can deal. I appreciate the validation and it’s a tremendous boost to the ego.

But there was one guy that seemed determined to push the envelope. He made it a practice to like most of my pictures, but it was his comments that began to creep me out. At first it was the innocent “beautiful” but that quickly devolved to sexual innuendos and blatant harassment. The final straw, at least for him, was when he started commenting what he wanted me to wear in bed with him.

I may have thanked him a couple of times in the beginning, but I never truly engaged him in actual conversation. Something about the way he commented prevented me from it. Sometimes people give off vibes, even from across the virtual wasteland of the internet. He definitely gave off creeper vibes. He felt stalkerish. I blocked him.

I know it’s to be expected, but I suppose I was ill-prepared for it. As a man, I’m invisible, I’m rarely bothered by anyone, and no one has ever complimented me on my looks, other than older, matronly types. Young single women can’t be bothered with a weirdo like me, and they don’t know about Stefani! Imagine the amount of rejection I’d get then!

But as Stefani I’m not ignored. I post a picture and it’s liked by dozens, if not hundreds of people, mostly on Facebook. I’m bombarded with friend requests, most that I delete if it’s from a man, and I get more than my fair share of messages. I sometimes respond, but again I ignore most if they come from men. I try to reply to other transgender and ciswomen, but I’m such a horrible conversationalist. I should try harder.

I know the ultimate solution is to delete everything and pretend I don’t exist. That’s not a viable option. I enjoy having an outlet where I can express my feminine side. I enjoy the attention, for the most part, and I deal with the negative aspects a best I can. I have to say that I do admire those who have transitioned are have begun to transition. I don’t know how you deal, but you have my respect. For you women who have dealt with it your whole life, I’ve grown to have a new found respect for you, too, and I haven’t even lived the worst of it, yet!

My return

I can’t believe I’ve been gone this long. I let too much time pass, but I won’t do so again. I’m here to stay.

I recently started getting into pinning on Pinterest. You can find me at Stefanilara16. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been able to indulge in my hobby. That has to be one of the saddest statements I’ve written in like ever. I shouldn’t have to indulge in being true to myself, nor being me should not be a hobby. Stefani may be another facet of my personality, but she’s as much me as my male side of me.

So I’m working on integrating my two halves so I can feel whole for the first time in over a decade. Between trying to repress my better self in order to find love, to get married, divorced, to lose my career and have my life fall apart, I’m tired of repressing. I want to be free.

But my freedom demands I move on. I’m currently living in an area that’s hostile to transgender people. I’m working on finding a job in an area that’s a little more understanding, a little more liberal. I want to be to express myself with less condemnation than I would get here in the Bible Belt.

Here’s to finding my freedom!