Really short post, this cold weather and snow is giving me plenty of time to sit at this computer.
I've just uploaded my first attempt at my very own website.
I'd really appreciate any feedback that I can get as to its look and contents. If anyone feels like being a guinnea pig then please pop along to Jenny's Transgendered World and let me know what you think by posting a comment here as I've still got to work my geekiness and figure out how to get a guestbook working properly.
Last Thursday I had an appointment with a speech therapist for a voice assessment. To say it was fun doesn't do it justice.
Initially the therapist went through the usual form taking a case history. She asked all the usual personal and health questions. Eventually with all of the paperwork out of the way we go down to some actual tests.
Each of the tests is designed to determine the frequencies that your voice operates at and from there to work out how far up in frequency the voice needs to be shifted in order to be more feminine.
The first test was simply counting from 1 to 10 and gave one range of frequencies. The second test was reading an extract from a magazine. Again this gave a second range of frequencies. The final test was to simply talk about what I would be doing over the weekend. One last set of frequencies.
I work with computers so a lot of this was actually good fun and very geeky. For each test I had to simply speak while wearing a head-mic and a wonderful piece of hardware and computer software recorded what I was saying working out the frequency ranges and even told me what musical range I was hitting.
With the results in the therapist showed me the frequency I would be aiming for, 185Hz for the record. The top end of my speaking range was 150Hz so I just have to shift the top end of my speaking range up a bit which the therapist thinks will be easy enough to do.
As I'm not currently formally full time she didn't want to start regular sessions with me. The reason being that I would have to switch back to my male voice for every day use and so my new found female voice would end up being a bolt-on. Both the therapist and I agreed that we didn't want my voice to be a bolt-on but to replace my normal voice.
When I'm ready to go full time I can refer myself back to her and we can start sessions properly. In the meantime I simply need to practise humming and getting used to hitting that magical frequency of 185Hz.
To help me do that I've downloaded some software. A tone generator and a sound editor to check the frequencies I'm hitting.
I know that someone out in blog land was using something like computer oscilloscope software application to help with improving their voice. I've just got to find who it was! If anyone knows and can help save me searching through lots of blog posts in order to find who it was then pllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssseeee leave a comment letting me know who it was.
I've finally had my second visit to Sugar and Spiced in Portsmouth and what fun it was. The trip didn't exactly go to plan as I'd intended to travel down to Portsmouth on the Wednesday so that I could go out for a meal at La Tasca in Gun Wharf, my first time out en femme. In the end things didn't pan out and so I changed things. On the Thursday morning of my trip I drove to my hairdressers as I'd rearrange my appointment to get my hair done. I'd made the decision that I didn't want to end up wearing a wig after I'd been made over by Jo. Lou did wonders with my hair, as usual, the highlights left me looking a lot blonder than last time. By the time she'd finished styling it I had a lovely feminine style. I couldn't wait to see what I'd look like with make-up and and outfit on. The trip to Portsmouth was pretty uneventful. I did have to make a stop at a services on the way in order to top up the screen wash in the car and also to pay a visit to the little girls room. Before I'd left Mere I'd put on a coat of red nail polish so that my nails would be ready for when I arrived at Jo's. Going into the men's rest room was interesting. I'd worn a pair of gloves so that my nails weren't visible. The place was empty but I still nipped into a cubicle. While I was in there I heard a lot of noise as a group of boisterous guys came in. It sounded like a stag party had come in to use the facilities. I was not looking forward to leaving but couldn't delay any longer. With gloves hiding my lovely red finger nails I emerged and found myself having to walk past a couple of soldiers. Safely back at the car I topped up the screen wash and set off again. Arriving at Jo's I found that the lovely parking space that I'd been able to avail my self of in the summer wasn't available. In the end I had to drive several hundred yards down the road and park the car. My plan had been to drive back home en femme and to either return to the house in that way or to get changed and remove my make-up at some point on the journey. With the car this far away and a large bag with all my stuff to get from Jo's to the car I wasn't looking forward to it. In the end it wasn't to be a problem and the few people that I passed didn't take much notice of the loan female putting her bag into the car. When I arrived at Jo's she was pleased to see me. We moved through to the room that she worked her magic with make-up and clothes. Jo had already picked out a few things for me to wear but as I already had my own outfits with me we went straight to me slipping into the outfit that I'd planned to wear to La Tasca the previous evening.
Once I was dressed, and with the help of my gorgeous black corset to provide a bit more shape to my figure, Jo made up my face. With no need for a wig we were soon ready for some pictures. We went through to the lounge and wow! Last time things were really simple, a camera and me. This time I felt like I'd walked into a photoshoot in a big studio. Everything was high-tech, which for a girl like me was ever so slightly distracting. I posed and pouted as best I could for Jo. I really did feel like a model, even to the point that I said that perhaps there was a career change possible for me. My purple dress was followed by a leather buckle dress and jacket, very biker or rock chick. The jacket was something I'd seen someone wearing in a picture with a leather dress and thought that looks fabulous. When I originally bought it I found it was a size too small and on taking it back the store had sold out. The other week I happened to be back in there looking for some stockings and something to wear during the morning before going to Jo's and I found the jacket in the size I wanted. Fate was smiling kindly on me that day. More pictures followed some with we wearing the jacket
and some with me just wearing the dress.
With both of my outfits out of the way Jo and I went for a bit of fun and got me into a Mrs Claus outfit which was so much fun to pose in. I loved posing in it so much that I'm considering getting pictures taken at Easter of me in a bunny girl costume. Hmm, who knows maybe I'll try and get some themed pictures at Valentines and Halloween too. Now that would be an interesting project for next year.
After having a bit of fun with that outfit we went for the last change of outfit but one. This time we went for a glamorous look and I slipped into a gorgeous blue evening dress. Oh boy, it clung to every single curve of my body. With my own little black jacket finishing it off I would have been proud to go to any black tie event wearing it.
More pictures followed until there was just enough time for one more change of outfit. This time I slipped into the outfit that I was planning on wearing to travel back home. Unfortunately there aren't any pictures of this outfit but it consisted of a pair of brown corduroy trousers, a beige tunic top and brown wrap cardigan, a pair of calf length boots and I was all set. I looked at Jo and asked if we could go for a walk. She was more than happy. By now thought it was too dark for a walk in the cemetery so we simply went for a walk around some of the streets in Southsea. It was so good to be out and about again. Even though it was dark there were quite a few people around. A few people glanced at me but Jo reassured me that it was, in the case of the guys, that they might find me attractive. Most people didn't give me a second glance, or if they did it was behind my back and I certainly wasn't going to look behind me to see if anyone was looking at me. During the entire trip there were only two women who I thought might have read me. They were standing at a bus stop which we passed just as the bus was arriving. Both of them glanced at me and I thought the looks that they gave me said that they had read me. I might be wrong about it, I'll never know. When we arrived back at Jo's I asked her to refresh my make-up and then I gather my things together and having said my goodbyes walked back to the car wheeling my bag behind me. Nobody paid me any attention, not even the young woman who was stood outside a house about 10 yards from where I was putting my bag into my car and changing my shoes for something that I could drive in. The trip back was uneventful. I stopped and saw Lou so she could see the end result of her handiwork, then made my way back towards home. At the last possible moment I stopped, removed my make-up and changed my top for a more masculine shirt. My shoes I changed for a pair of trainers but I did leave on the cords. Just like in the summer the day was absolutely fantastic and takes me one step closer to going out during daylight somewhere more public. Shopping, eating out somewhere. The possibilities are endless and I think my confidence is so high now that it will just be a matter of time before it happens. When it does I'll be telling all about it here.
When I saw Doctor Brooks for my second appointment in Taunton and discussed what I could do while waiting to go forward with transitioning I mentioned electrolysis and voice therapy. From recent experiences I'm able to pass as female when out and about. The thing that is going to let me down is my voice. If I can work on that so I sound like a woman then my confidence levels will be so high it will be unbelievable. When the gender identity clinic got back to me and told me that they didn't recommend people for electrolysis or voice therapy until they have started to transition I was disappointed. However, Doctor Brooks told me that there was a speech and language therapist at my local hospital who I would most likely be referred to and that she might be willing to do a voice assessment. I asked the her if she could see if that would be possible, even though it seemed unlikely. Well, this week I received a letter informing me that I have an appointment tomorrow morning at the Speech and Language Therapy Department for a voice assessment. Even if she only gives me a few pointers on how to sound more feminine when I speak then it will be worth it. With plans to go out more next year to clubs, shopping and for meals and the odd drink while en femme then being able to present as completely as female as possible will be a big boost to my confidence. I'll be posting later to tell how things went.
Last weekend we paid a visit to my in-laws in the Cotswolds. The trip had been postponed by a week due to the bad weather that had descended on the UK.
My mother-in-law had gone to visit her brother for a week so we only had the pleasure of my sister-in-law and her family.
On Friday evening my brother-in-law slipped over to the village pub. What an experience that was. There was a party of about 10 guys in the back of the pub for a Christmas meal. In the main part of the pub there was my brother-in-law and me.
We had a couple of drinks and sauntered back to the house.
The girls were asleep in the lounge so we sat in the kitchen with a glass of whisky each.
While we were chatting and my brother-in-law was starting to tell me something about my nephew which was a bit disturbing, my wife came in. We tried to get her to go back into the other room so that we could finish the conversation but she wouldn't go.
We started talking about other things and things actually got a bit heated between her and myself as she was descending into self pity as she usually does when she has had a glass of wine to many to drink and its the early hours of the morning.
Eventually nature and one too many drinks called and I had to visit the little girls room. While I was in there I could hear my wife saying to my brother-in-law "you need to ask my sister what she found out about him when we first got together". She was oblivious to the fact that I was only about 10 feet away from her and could overhear what she was saying.
When I returned both of them acted as if nothing had happened.
We carried on talking for a while until again I decided I needed a visit to the little girls room. This time I didn't fully shut the door and again overheard my wife telling brother-in-law to talk to her sister and ask about me.
When I returned my wife decided it was time for bed and left us to it.
As soon as she had gone I told my brother-in-law that I had overheard what he'd been told to do and that it was fine by me if he wanted to go ahead and ask. He responded by telling me that he wasn't going to ask.
Although I didn't tell him any details I told him that it was something quite important and that he'd know what it was next year anyway. I also told him that I didn't want to lose either his or my wife's stepdad's friendship over any of this. I know though that things will change, for starters I'm not going to be going to the pub with them after I've gone full-time. I'll be lucky to be in the village at all.
Anyway, if my wife is telling my brother-in-law to ask his wife about me then it will be only a matter of time before she tells her stepdad to ask her mother about me. I'm hoping that he will react in a similar way. As far as I know the only time that he has seen me breakdown in tears with only him around he's never mentioned it to anyone.
I know that when if I become persona non grata with the family then they will side with their wives but I do hope that they will still be able to be friendly even if they can't be open about it.
My only decision know is do I contact my sister-in-law to let her know what her sister did as I'm sure that she wont appreciate being put in a position like that.
I'm also wondering just when my wife is going to mention to me what she did. She has to know that it could make things difficult if my brother-in-law reacted badly. Its almost like she is trying to force some discussion of things by her family without having to start the discussion herself. She'd already decided that she didn't need to tell her mum about my plans to transition but then goes and tries to stir things up by getting her sister to reveal what she knows about my femme side to her husband.
One thing is for sure, whether or not I decide to contact my sister-in-law, and that is that if I had any qualms about deciding to ask for a referral to the gender clinic when I see the doctor next year those doubts are gone now.
I know that this is a bit of a long post but so much happened and I'm so enthusiastic about this its hard for me to find ways to shorten it.
I've had my second burlesque lesson.
It was a bit frustrating getting to this lesson.
The day before my lesson I still hadn't heard where it was going to be so I rang the dance school but only got the answer phone. I emailed Poppy at the school email address but still didn't get a response. Finally I sent a text message to the mobile phone number that they provide on the answer phone message. Within 15 minutes I got a reply from Poppy telling me that we were at her friends place again.
I was more than happy with that as the room we practice in is really nice as is her friend. Besides I know where it is and the parking is free.
The trip to Bristol was pretty uneventful. It was dark when I set off but by the time I was halfway into my journey the sky was brightening up.
We've had a lot of snow in the UK recently but where I live in the South West its lasted until the first waves of rain arrived last weekend and melted it all. During my journey to Bristol I passed through Shepton Mallet and found myself entering a Winter Wonderland. All of the trees and fields are still frosted with snow. Everything for miles is white. I only wish I could have stopped in order to dig out my camera and take some pictures but parking areas are few and far between on that road.
Before I set of I had decided that I was going to wear my costume to practice in so slipped into my corset, stockings, bra and panties. Over the top I slipped a red top and a pair of jeans. With a red fleece jumper on I was able to hide what I was wearing and left the house with nobody any the wiser.
The journey to Bristol should have seen me arriving at Poppy's friends by 8:20am. My lesson was at 10am. About 20 minutes into the journey I pulled into a lay-by and sat in the car for about 15 minutes before setting off again. Driving steadily I reached Bristol at a reasonable time and slotted into the rush hour traffic which slowed me down even further and pushed my arrival even closer to lesson time. Eventually though no matter how slowly I drove or how much traffic I ran into I arrived at my destination with about 40 minutes to spare. There was no way that I could go and knock on the door that early so I sat in the car.
While I was waiting I sent some messages to a friend, wrote a bit in my journal, flicked through a hair magazine and then rang the friend I'd sent the messages to on their mobile phone. We chatted for a while by which time it was a much more reasonable time to be ringing a doorbell.
When I did ring the bell there was no answer. Nothing. Even some of the curtains were closed. I was worried now. I walked away from the house and waited a few minutes. Still no sign of Poppy. I went back to the house and rang the bell again. Still no reply.
By now it was gone 10am and I was beginning to think that I'd made the journey for nothing. I decided to ring the dance school and when I got no reply rang their mobile number but got no response.
At this point I was getting really worried. Had I made a trip to Bristol for no reason? I rang the dance school once more and this time left a message. Halfway through leaving the message a figure appeared pulling a bag along behind them The figure waved at me and I realised that it was Poppy. I finished up my message with a “oh she's arrived, never mind”.
Poppy's friend was away but her children were likely to be home. There was all possibility that her husband would be home too.
Poppy let us into the house and shouted to see if there was any response. Nobody replied so we assumed that everyone was out.
We made our way upstairs and into the practice room. Poppy put on some music for me to warm up to and then left to make us each a coffee.
I finished putting on my costume which basically amounted to sticking my breast forms to my chest and slipping on my heels. To avoid getting a chill I slipped in to a black cardigan I'd brought with me.
Finally properly dressed I began to warm up with a number of stretches.
I'd just finished warming up and was standing with my cardigan wrapped around me when I heard the sound of someone outside the door. Assuming that it was Poppy I wasn't too worried, she'd just come back with our coffees.
The door open and Poppy wasn't standing there. Instead Poppy's friend's husband stood there. “Sorry, I was wondering what was going on” he said.
“Dance lesson” I burst out in reply.
As he disappeared and closed the door I found myself wondering what he though of what he'd seen in the room. I'm not sure who was the most shocked. I think it was him, after all its to often that you see a scantily clad pre-op TS in your house.
A few minutes later Poppy returned with our coffees.
In order to continue with the lesson I needed to decide whether I wanted to learn the techniques and then when I'd mastered them fit them to a routine or start learning the routine and work on the techniques for the parts that I use in the routine.
When I learn things I like to be able to apply them in some way as it helps me to fix them in memory. I do this as part of my day job. Although I love to learn things just for learning sake if I need to know something then I have to apply it.
It was an easy decision therefore to go for learning a routine and picking up the techniques I need that way.
Poppy and I sat down and listened to the track that I'm planning to perform to. Its Clare Teal's Stone Soul Picnic. Its got a nice steady beat to it and its quite slow and sensuous. Ideal for a demure girl like Jenna von Risque.
We decided that the first thing I should practice was how to remove gloves. I'd picked up a pair on eBay and so off we went. The technique isn't too difficult and once you've got the hang of it then you can have immense fun with it.
After Poppy had demonstrated it I had a go. After she'd watched me do it once Poppy made me do it a second time, this time without looking at the gloves.
With a new technique to use we began to put together the start of a routine. With Clare Teal sensuously filling the room I began to bump my hips and then strut around the room. Removing my gloves, playing with a feather boa and twirling both around my head before discarding them.
Poppy kept getting distracted as I practised as instead of watching to see what I was doing she kept finding herself just enjoying the show.
After half an hour of practising we stopped so that I could learn a couple of new moves. Poppy and I lay on the floor and we worked on different ways to use the feet. Nothing difficult but very much girlish. Next time she might even show me how to get up off the floor in a graceful way. Personally I think I might need a way to get down to the floor gracefully as well.
The lesson was all too short. I could have carried on for hours as I'm enjoying this oh so much.
Towards the end of the lesson Poppy said that she was starting up an intermediate class in the New Year. She asked if I wanted to come along to the classes. I had two thoughts about that, one then and the other a bit later. My immediate thought was would the rest of the class be Ok with me being there. I asked if the class was all women and when Poppy said it was, suggested that she might like to ask the rest of the class if they have any problems with me joining in. She's going to do that but doesn't think it should be a problem. My second thought was that its an intermediate class that she wants me to join. Does that mean that after two classes she thinks that I'm more than a beginner? Wow! I'm impressed if she does.
This week is going to be a very special one for me, weather permitting. The last few days have seen the UK hit by a cold spell and snow across most of the country. I'm hoping that by Wednesday morning the weather will have improved because I've got quite a bit of driving to do over Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday morning I have to drive all the way to Bristol, about an hours drive in normal conditions, for my second burlesque dance lesson. I've been practising everything that P, my instructor taught me. In fact last weekend I even managed to spend a bit of time on the Sunday morning practising in the costume that I plan to wear when I eventually perform. I've actually been invited to perform at a venue in front of people by someone I know, more about that if and when it happens. Practising in costume was absolutely wonderful, I felt so sexy. Wednesday morning I'm going to try and get dressed in as much of the costume as I can so that I can do the lesson while wearing it. After the lesson I have to drive all the way from Bristol back to my hairdressers as I have another appointment with her. We're going for more highlights, which maybe a little lighter than last time, and also styling my hair in such a way that I don't need to wear a wig when I go out Wednesday night. Whatever Lou comes up with has to be easily repairable the following day. After Lou has worked her magic on my hair I'll be travelling to Portmouth where I'm staying overnight with a friend. For the first time in my life I will be going out en femme to a restaurant. In fact from the moment I arrive at the hotel room in Portmouth I will be doing everything as Jen. This will be a real first for me. Although I've spent a couple of days as away as Jen its always been in a completely safe environment. This time though I'll be out in public and at the mercy of the attitudes of the people around me. I so want to be able to get through this without people noticing me or commenting. If I can get through having a meal in a restaurant then I know I'll have the confidence to do anything in the future. Go shopping, go for a drink, eat out again, I'll find these things so much easier to do. Thursday I'll be spending at Sugar and Spiced where I went in the summer. A certain young lady has an appointment, or at least she should have if she has booked it, there in the morning for a makeover and photoshoot so I'll be hanging around. I've got a new outfit to wear when we go out to take pictures as I'm sure we will. In the afternoon I've got my session planned and I am so very much looking forward to it. I'm putting a lot of trust in Jo in the afternoon but know that I'll be completely safe. The entire trip is going to be one big photo opportunity so you can expect to see at least some of the pictures appearing in posts once I'm back.
This week is going to be a real turning point in my life and I am so looking forward to each and every moment of it.
The last week has been interesting. On Wednesday evening after going to see the new Harry Potter film, an ok film but I do hope that the second part is better. The scenery was lovely and I even recognised at least one place that they filmed as I've driven past it a few times. On our way home I told my son that I had the pictures of me from the summer and asked if he wanted to see them. He said yes so I showed him a couple of the pictures of me that Jo had taken at the cemetary. His only comment was that it didn't look like me. I didn't mention my plans to transition but told him it was something I'd always done and filled in a few details. He seems fine with it. His biggest worry though came out as we drove home. "When are you going to be getting your hair cut?" he asked. "I'm not" I replied. "Its going to look a bit girly" he said. I explained to him that there are several people that I work with that have hair far longer than mine. One of them is into martial arts so if its ok for them then its not a problem with me having it longer. That seemed to satisfy him. The following night I was in the kitchen cooking dinner and watching White Christmas. At one point he came in and both of us were dancing along to one of the songs. It was a bit of a giggle. As he was walking out I did the Showgirl pose that P had taught me. He laughed and went into the other room where his mum was and said "Dad's a girl". I have no idea what her response was but I'm sure she wasn't impressed. It made me smile though.
Thursday saw another visit to Zee at the salon. The bodywaxing is still a little bit painful but I'm getting used to it. Having my eyebrows plucked I don't think I will ever get used to. It certainly made my eyes water. As promised though Zee got an early Christmas present. I'd agreed to it so she applied a blue black tint to my eye lashes. I now look like I'm wearing mascara. So far nobody seems to have noticed, if they have they've not said anything. When it came to having my eyebrows waxed I threw aside all caution and let her wax and pluck them much thinner than we've dared to go before. Again nobody has said anything. I like my eye the way they are now. My first thought when I saw myself in the mirror was that even without makeup the top half of my face is looking more feminine. My eyes are much more open as well. I am one very happy girl.
The weather here has not be very pleasant recently. On Friday I decided to walk to work, a journey of about a mile. With multiple layers of clothing, gloves, scarf and hat, off I trudged. When I arrived at work I started shedding layers. I had just removed my hat when I walked past one of the women I occasionally sit with at lunch. She saw me and said "very fetching hair". I wondered what she meant and then realised that my hair must look a right mess, grabbing a comb I disappeared to find a mirror and repair the damage. Back at my desk we traded a couple of emails about my hair, the last of which informed her that if she thought my hair looked fetching now then she should wait until I have it coloured. Funnily I didn't get a response to that one.
The week has been interesting and has had lots of fun moments and I've met a few new people and made some friends. Tuesday night I went out and met some people at a local pub. We chatted over a drink until I had to leave to walk home. It would have been even better if a certain young lady I know hadn't been so tied up at work and as a result very tired could have made it too. I know she reads my blog so I'm going to forgive her for working far too hard and make sure that she slows down and relaxes a little bit more real soon. When I got back home though things were decidedly frosty. I have no idea why my other half was upset. I expect it had something to do with me going out for a drink. I could understand her being upset with me if I'd come back in drunk, I'd only had one drink, or if I was leaving her at home and going out drinking on a regular basis. I don't though. Tuesday was the first time this year that I have gone out for a drink in an evening. The only other times I go out for a drink is when we are staying with my other half's sister. The only other times I tend to go out are to our cell group, which she also goes to, or to other events organised through our church. My other half on the other hand goes out for meals and girls nights with her friends. To me it seemed as if by going out I'd done something really wrong. Coming home to that slightly spoilt was an otherwise lovely evening. Still the rest of the week more than made up for it.