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  • 24 Jul 2016
    Wow... So looking back at my two previous posts I see I have come a long way (in most regards) since I first found this site (and abandoned it) a year ago. I have gained a lot of maturity and wisdom toward my transition. I've also gotten much better with my make up haha... That picture on my second post though...ugh... I don't know which is worst, the title of the blog post or the picture.   Anyway, I'm back (hopefully for good this time) and excited to try and help everyone breath life into this community. It has so much potential!   P.S. I dropped the name Laurel weeks after posting here the first two times. I decided on Kira in December of last year. So...   Love you guys!-Kira
    409 Posted by Kira B
  • By Kira B
    Wow... So looking back at my two previous posts I see I have come a long way (in most regards) since I first found this site (and abandoned it) a year ago. I have gained a lot of maturity and wisdom toward my transition. I've also gotten much better with my make up haha... That picture on my second post though...ugh... I don't know which is worst, the title of the blog post or the picture.   Anyway, I'm back (hopefully for good this time) and excited to try and help everyone breath life into this community. It has so much potential!   P.S. I dropped the name Laurel weeks after posting here the first two times. I decided on Kira in December of last year. So...   Love you guys!-Kira
    Jul 24, 2016 409
  • 19 Jul 2016
    Hello Ladies - Another entry in the ongoing jounral of Briana Q - ( I actually do this as a sort of diary I suppose ). It has been some time since the last entry - much seems the same, yet there are new things afoot. I find time and again how many threads of my past were always interwoven with being myself ( a transgender woman ) and how I ran from it and even outright denied it. Today and for the last several years since ( as I call it ) the bubble burst - I have come to see my true image and self as the woman I am.  A classic example comes from fiction writing I did many years ago from childhood on as a hobby. Two of the key characters turn out to be transgender mtf's hiding in plain sight ( even before I knew that there were transgender people or a term for it ). In writing about them I personally could feel the release, though I kept my personal feelings out of discussion with others who might look at my work. Intentially I even made one female cisgender character my doppleganger - height, weight, hair, eye color, et al - and I have always seen myself as her, but never would tell a soul. Even in the work on the chacters in reflection I realize I always embodied and looked through the eyes of the female characters and strongly identified with them and saw the males as those guys over there.  That whole identiy and identifying thing has been another one of those threads I realized I kept hidden from all others, and tried often to not think about. I have even found myself making face and hand gestures of tv anchorwomen for example, almost unconsciously. I recall being quite yound and watching Barbera Streisand in What's Up Doc with my grandmother - we had a blast - laughing all the time with it. The whole time, I kept wishing I were her ( hope she never reads such a comment - would not want to offend anyone ). Being that young - feelings like that disturbed me a bit. Though I have to admit when it comes to my grandma what was cool was the fact I was the only grandchild with a nickname and it was Heidi - after the Shirley Temple character of the same movie name - that was another great time. - Other things are : Who wouldn't want to be Samantha ( Elizabeth Montgomery ) on Bewitched? - This list is enormous and comes to the present as well - I love the movie Emilie - the moment I saw it, I quickly identified with her and saw myself as her - Audrey Tautoo ( probably misspelled ) as the title character - she is fun, light-hearted, smart, fresh, intelligent, and pretty.  These identy threads were quite common - there was the show Facts of Life about 4 girls at a boarding school and operating a store - I always wanted to be one of them - but I had better ideas than they had for the characters - they had no science/math girl - I wanted to be the geek girl of the group. -- I could go on and on with this ( one day I might ) but sufficient to say I had and have an active mental landscape.  The thread theme is definitely one of the mental images of myself, much akin to a tapestry ( an early and still onging view of myself is as an Irish lass in a gorgeous multi-shade of green dress ). Threads are time too and are both external and internal. It was clear early on to me I knew how I felt but could find no cause-and-effect reason why - that is, seeing myself as a girl. Now all this time later I realize that the external threads all carry the wavelength of my being in my life, my view of myself, as a girl which have been internal all along. Still we are a combination of mostly internal threads and some external ones as well that shape the tapestry of who we are.  As noted in prior blogs I am still on course, still very much balanced - very much in tune with myself and like myself a lot. I do have my dumpy days - envying every cisgender woman on earth - feeling way too fat - don't get me started on my looks ( face , nose, hands, freckles, fat, chin, the never ending list ), having no friends ( tehnically two only and neither can know as they both hate transgender people ) - having no job ( lost after losing a 5 year battle in both the state and federal courts where a corrupt set of people where I worked deliberately destroyed not only my job but my entire career and all prospects to ever work in that area again ) and a very bizarre life that is rather boxed in for many reasons - such as too many chronic illness issues that are a perpetual battle - etc. This along with always being the least pretty girl in the room, falling back two steps with each attempted step forward, etc - amazing I find a reason to smile each day - but there are reasons : 1) alive with reasonable health that I have the ability and rational to deal with, 2) some friends ( despite having no roads to communication or freedom to be me ), 3) finally finding, acknowledging, and accepting myself as a girl after decades of creating every imaginable barrier to those thoughts and feelings. Plus 4) I am a very good person at heart, who is creative and carring , and intelligent. Even with all of that I still stick to my motto of : Resolve, Solve, Evolve - along with being a optimistic realist by nature.  Beyond balance there is an interesting fact - never in my life have I been able to laugh at myself as well as never being balanced - despite being a reasonably positive person to be around. Now not only am I more positive as a whole since fully finding myself, as well as being balanced in myself as noted, but also being able to laugh at myself. I recall the first time more than 10 years ago being on ebay when looking for slide rules and inadvertantly typing in slide and hitting enter. Up came a number of entries, children's backyard slides and a host of 35 mm slides among them. But there it was women's shoes slides - I grinned from ear to ear, my heart beat fast, I felt I had opened a secret treasure chest. I quickly looked about, of course, the normal guilt and fear then crept in - which I always projected onto all others. Now today I can look back and smile, even laugh at my insecure and struggling self - and be okay with me. It is not only transgender moments but my whole self - knowing what I really know and being able to know what I do not know, fully like myself and laugh at myself when circumstances call for it.  I have published 4 books in one year on science and math activities and seem to occupy a special niche in reading since few experiment books give substantitive depth on detail, formulae, and the like whereas I do. Most are geared for the 'wow' science of observation whereas I have crafted work where measurement and analysis of measurement are the goals of the science quest. - Unfortunately I have to use my birth name in publishing ( though I think about a great photo on back with me in a great outfit someday ) but I consider it my nom de plume. - Also there are activities where some of me comes out ( and this is on the web site of the books too ) for example pictures of a pair of my cute tennis shoes, wedges, and heels ( red no less ) are in the book and I declare they are mine. On the web site there is one essay about my favorite slide rule, the pickett B1 in my real name Briana P*** even. As for going out - the frequency is low to me, but that is because I like to and am comfortable with it. The barriers in my life are all external, which is good. In 2016 I have been to the mall a couple of times, walking all about, visiting stores, stopping for a coffee and the lke - this was in the week of St Patricks Day in March. All outings have been quite good and I felt like myself and had a great deal of confidence and energy. Thus far in July I have been to several stores and even the bank making a deposit and looking smashing I might add. The teller on July 19th even asked me - which this is a first for me - what do I prefer in being called and referred to - I noted that the account has a name already ( one I am born with ) - she said that don't matter - so I told her 'Briana' - which she called me. I almost burst into tears ( I seem to have a problem with that from time to time with sensitive movies and the like ). Still a great day to hold near and dear to me. It was like the first time ( the Henry Ford museum trip ) when I asked someone to take my photo and the museum host, a woman at the Fuller house, did this and was quite nice - not to mention a gentleman opened the exit gate for me on leaving - I was startled but walked through and said thanks.  Today - 7/28 - Another great day out - went to the mall on a warm day in one of my favorite skirts - I call it 'my fiesta' - was complimented, spoken to often and I stopped and helped to other ladies setting a sign at a store. The manager says 'you people are so kind' - I took it very positively and recognize I not only represent me but all of us TG gals when out and it makes a difference - always be the best you are! hugs, Briana : ) On 8/I don't recall - A day at Meijer where I went in my white crinkle fabric with leaves and floral pattern skirt with a cute green top and bought some nail polish and lipstick - a fun vanity day out. : ) Another day on on 8/23 - a grand tour of the local mall. Wearing a great outift and the weather was perfect. A lot of window shopping and strolling through the indoor mall - a favorite of mine sinece childhood. Stopped for coffee at my regular coffee shop and had some homemade cookies with me too.  ( I have been to this mall repeatedly, in fact as noted above as an example ). Looked in a few stores at great items ( don't we all wish to be wealthy ) - even bought a couple of maxi skirts at jcpenny that I have been admiring on line for some time and were now on clearance ( hurray ). Sales associates were helpful and overall a super time and experience. BTW the skirts look great! : )  On 8/30 decided to wear one of the new skirts to the mall, do some window shopping, stop for coffee and have some of my homemade cookies. It is the purple one - also decided to wear my white wedge sandals with it - looking pretty and it was a very nice time. En route to the mall did some grocery shopping and stocked up on necessities ( shaving cream, nail polish romover, et al ) as well. All in all a great day! : ) Another new adventure on 9/23 - All in yellow - skirt and top - out to a major store ( Meijer ) and combed it all - needed some cosmetics, cat treats, and silk yogurt among my items so I was everywhere. Prices are aweful and one has to be the savy shopper. Also - I've definitely put on weight over the time and some of my clothes are a bit too tight ( ouch ) - yesterday wrestled my way into and out of several dresses that were good a couple years back, but that's not so good now - even today I put on 3 outfits to settle on the yellow sun look and still am disappointed in myself as fat. Need to work on that one. Overall a very good time, however despite personal criticism ( trust me that list is way too long ). Always with a smile, good thoughts, and a happy heart. : ) Another outing today : 10/26 - went to the grocery store and the bank. I wore a burgundy top with a long black skirt and black hose and basic black heels. I needed my black jacket as it is a bit cold, cloudy, and starting a light rain today. At the bank the teller I had some time back who asked me what I wanted to be called was walking by and said 'Hello Briana' - I quickly turned my head ( interesting to note is that I know who I am, I just never realized I know it so well ! ( wow )). This was a great highlight today. Out once again on 11/15 and in a new skirt recently purchased. A red and black plaid with a cute red top. Went to my usual place - the mall - several good walk arounds and store visits with a stop for a coffee and some brought along cookies. Being the time of year it is, Santa is now there and even waved and shouted 'hello' - makes a girl smile.  Updates from 2017 : Times out and about :  1/18 - Went to the mall in a nice red - scottish pattern skirt and did a walk about, had coffee and window shopped 2/17 - Went grocery shopping in the same red skirt noted prior ( it is great for colder weather ) - had booties on with hose 2/24 - Though a bit brisk, it seemed to be nearing Spring, so I decided to go to the grocery store in a green dress ( my oldest piece and the one I wore to the museum a few years back ) 3/1 - Went to the bank and a majore big store in a red skirt 3/14 - Grocery shopping in a cute pair of jeans, sweet booties, nice feminine top ( bra and all ) with a wonderful scarf 3/29 - Much more like Spring, so I went with  my new floral skirt, red top and red flats - went to the big store ( Meijer ) and the grocery store. I was even complimented by a passerby on the skirt. Shopping was for all sorts of items so I was all over the store in each case.    Makes me reflect on childhood and the fact I never liked guy references, such as boy / man / prince / handsome - yet always liked and wished to be referred to as a girl - woman - cute - pretty - and princess. Finally makes sense.  More to follow on this one - many new ideas and adventures as myself await.  Take Care Hugs, Briana : )  
    536 Posted by Briana Purcell
  • Hello Ladies - Another entry in the ongoing jounral of Briana Q - ( I actually do this as a sort of diary I suppose ). It has been some time since the last entry - much seems the same, yet there are new things afoot. I find time and again how many threads of my past were always interwoven with being myself ( a transgender woman ) and how I ran from it and even outright denied it. Today and for the last several years since ( as I call it ) the bubble burst - I have come to see my true image and self as the woman I am.  A classic example comes from fiction writing I did many years ago from childhood on as a hobby. Two of the key characters turn out to be transgender mtf's hiding in plain sight ( even before I knew that there were transgender people or a term for it ). In writing about them I personally could feel the release, though I kept my personal feelings out of discussion with others who might look at my work. Intentially I even made one female cisgender character my doppleganger - height, weight, hair, eye color, et al - and I have always seen myself as her, but never would tell a soul. Even in the work on the chacters in reflection I realize I always embodied and looked through the eyes of the female characters and strongly identified with them and saw the males as those guys over there.  That whole identiy and identifying thing has been another one of those threads I realized I kept hidden from all others, and tried often to not think about. I have even found myself making face and hand gestures of tv anchorwomen for example, almost unconsciously. I recall being quite yound and watching Barbera Streisand in What's Up Doc with my grandmother - we had a blast - laughing all the time with it. The whole time, I kept wishing I were her ( hope she never reads such a comment - would not want to offend anyone ). Being that young - feelings like that disturbed me a bit. Though I have to admit when it comes to my grandma what was cool was the fact I was the only grandchild with a nickname and it was Heidi - after the Shirley Temple character of the same movie name - that was another great time. - Other things are : Who wouldn't want to be Samantha ( Elizabeth Montgomery ) on Bewitched? - This list is enormous and comes to the present as well - I love the movie Emilie - the moment I saw it, I quickly identified with her and saw myself as her - Audrey Tautoo ( probably misspelled ) as the title character - she is fun, light-hearted, smart, fresh, intelligent, and pretty.  These identy threads were quite common - there was the show Facts of Life about 4 girls at a boarding school and operating a store - I always wanted to be one of them - but I had better ideas than they had for the characters - they had no science/math girl - I wanted to be the geek girl of the group. -- I could go on and on with this ( one day I might ) but sufficient to say I had and have an active mental landscape.  The thread theme is definitely one of the mental images of myself, much akin to a tapestry ( an early and still onging view of myself is as an Irish lass in a gorgeous multi-shade of green dress ). Threads are time too and are both external and internal. It was clear early on to me I knew how I felt but could find no cause-and-effect reason why - that is, seeing myself as a girl. Now all this time later I realize that the external threads all carry the wavelength of my being in my life, my view of myself, as a girl which have been internal all along. Still we are a combination of mostly internal threads and some external ones as well that shape the tapestry of who we are.  As noted in prior blogs I am still on course, still very much balanced - very much in tune with myself and like myself a lot. I do have my dumpy days - envying every cisgender woman on earth - feeling way too fat - don't get me started on my looks ( face , nose, hands, freckles, fat, chin, the never ending list ), having no friends ( tehnically two only and neither can know as they both hate transgender people ) - having no job ( lost after losing a 5 year battle in both the state and federal courts where a corrupt set of people where I worked deliberately destroyed not only my job but my entire career and all prospects to ever work in that area again ) and a very bizarre life that is rather boxed in for many reasons - such as too many chronic illness issues that are a perpetual battle - etc. This along with always being the least pretty girl in the room, falling back two steps with each attempted step forward, etc - amazing I find a reason to smile each day - but there are reasons : 1) alive with reasonable health that I have the ability and rational to deal with, 2) some friends ( despite having no roads to communication or freedom to be me ), 3) finally finding, acknowledging, and accepting myself as a girl after decades of creating every imaginable barrier to those thoughts and feelings. Plus 4) I am a very good person at heart, who is creative and carring , and intelligent. Even with all of that I still stick to my motto of : Resolve, Solve, Evolve - along with being a optimistic realist by nature.  Beyond balance there is an interesting fact - never in my life have I been able to laugh at myself as well as never being balanced - despite being a reasonably positive person to be around. Now not only am I more positive as a whole since fully finding myself, as well as being balanced in myself as noted, but also being able to laugh at myself. I recall the first time more than 10 years ago being on ebay when looking for slide rules and inadvertantly typing in slide and hitting enter. Up came a number of entries, children's backyard slides and a host of 35 mm slides among them. But there it was women's shoes slides - I grinned from ear to ear, my heart beat fast, I felt I had opened a secret treasure chest. I quickly looked about, of course, the normal guilt and fear then crept in - which I always projected onto all others. Now today I can look back and smile, even laugh at my insecure and struggling self - and be okay with me. It is not only transgender moments but my whole self - knowing what I really know and being able to know what I do not know, fully like myself and laugh at myself when circumstances call for it.  I have published 4 books in one year on science and math activities and seem to occupy a special niche in reading since few experiment books give substantitive depth on detail, formulae, and the like whereas I do. Most are geared for the 'wow' science of observation whereas I have crafted work where measurement and analysis of measurement are the goals of the science quest. - Unfortunately I have to use my birth name in publishing ( though I think about a great photo on back with me in a great outfit someday ) but I consider it my nom de plume. - Also there are activities where some of me comes out ( and this is on the web site of the books too ) for example pictures of a pair of my cute tennis shoes, wedges, and heels ( red no less ) are in the book and I declare they are mine. On the web site there is one essay about my favorite slide rule, the pickett B1 in my real name Briana P*** even. As for going out - the frequency is low to me, but that is because I like to and am comfortable with it. The barriers in my life are all external, which is good. In 2016 I have been to the mall a couple of times, walking all about, visiting stores, stopping for a coffee and the lke - this was in the week of St Patricks Day in March. All outings have been quite good and I felt like myself and had a great deal of confidence and energy. Thus far in July I have been to several stores and even the bank making a deposit and looking smashing I might add. The teller on July 19th even asked me - which this is a first for me - what do I prefer in being called and referred to - I noted that the account has a name already ( one I am born with ) - she said that don't matter - so I told her 'Briana' - which she called me. I almost burst into tears ( I seem to have a problem with that from time to time with sensitive movies and the like ). Still a great day to hold near and dear to me. It was like the first time ( the Henry Ford museum trip ) when I asked someone to take my photo and the museum host, a woman at the Fuller house, did this and was quite nice - not to mention a gentleman opened the exit gate for me on leaving - I was startled but walked through and said thanks.  Today - 7/28 - Another great day out - went to the mall on a warm day in one of my favorite skirts - I call it 'my fiesta' - was complimented, spoken to often and I stopped and helped to other ladies setting a sign at a store. The manager says 'you people are so kind' - I took it very positively and recognize I not only represent me but all of us TG gals when out and it makes a difference - always be the best you are! hugs, Briana : ) On 8/I don't recall - A day at Meijer where I went in my white crinkle fabric with leaves and floral pattern skirt with a cute green top and bought some nail polish and lipstick - a fun vanity day out. : ) Another day on on 8/23 - a grand tour of the local mall. Wearing a great outift and the weather was perfect. A lot of window shopping and strolling through the indoor mall - a favorite of mine sinece childhood. Stopped for coffee at my regular coffee shop and had some homemade cookies with me too.  ( I have been to this mall repeatedly, in fact as noted above as an example ). Looked in a few stores at great items ( don't we all wish to be wealthy ) - even bought a couple of maxi skirts at jcpenny that I have been admiring on line for some time and were now on clearance ( hurray ). Sales associates were helpful and overall a super time and experience. BTW the skirts look great! : )  On 8/30 decided to wear one of the new skirts to the mall, do some window shopping, stop for coffee and have some of my homemade cookies. It is the purple one - also decided to wear my white wedge sandals with it - looking pretty and it was a very nice time. En route to the mall did some grocery shopping and stocked up on necessities ( shaving cream, nail polish romover, et al ) as well. All in all a great day! : ) Another new adventure on 9/23 - All in yellow - skirt and top - out to a major store ( Meijer ) and combed it all - needed some cosmetics, cat treats, and silk yogurt among my items so I was everywhere. Prices are aweful and one has to be the savy shopper. Also - I've definitely put on weight over the time and some of my clothes are a bit too tight ( ouch ) - yesterday wrestled my way into and out of several dresses that were good a couple years back, but that's not so good now - even today I put on 3 outfits to settle on the yellow sun look and still am disappointed in myself as fat. Need to work on that one. Overall a very good time, however despite personal criticism ( trust me that list is way too long ). Always with a smile, good thoughts, and a happy heart. : ) Another outing today : 10/26 - went to the grocery store and the bank. I wore a burgundy top with a long black skirt and black hose and basic black heels. I needed my black jacket as it is a bit cold, cloudy, and starting a light rain today. At the bank the teller I had some time back who asked me what I wanted to be called was walking by and said 'Hello Briana' - I quickly turned my head ( interesting to note is that I know who I am, I just never realized I know it so well ! ( wow )). This was a great highlight today. Out once again on 11/15 and in a new skirt recently purchased. A red and black plaid with a cute red top. Went to my usual place - the mall - several good walk arounds and store visits with a stop for a coffee and some brought along cookies. Being the time of year it is, Santa is now there and even waved and shouted 'hello' - makes a girl smile.  Updates from 2017 : Times out and about :  1/18 - Went to the mall in a nice red - scottish pattern skirt and did a walk about, had coffee and window shopped 2/17 - Went grocery shopping in the same red skirt noted prior ( it is great for colder weather ) - had booties on with hose 2/24 - Though a bit brisk, it seemed to be nearing Spring, so I decided to go to the grocery store in a green dress ( my oldest piece and the one I wore to the museum a few years back ) 3/1 - Went to the bank and a majore big store in a red skirt 3/14 - Grocery shopping in a cute pair of jeans, sweet booties, nice feminine top ( bra and all ) with a wonderful scarf 3/29 - Much more like Spring, so I went with  my new floral skirt, red top and red flats - went to the big store ( Meijer ) and the grocery store. I was even complimented by a passerby on the skirt. Shopping was for all sorts of items so I was all over the store in each case.    Makes me reflect on childhood and the fact I never liked guy references, such as boy / man / prince / handsome - yet always liked and wished to be referred to as a girl - woman - cute - pretty - and princess. Finally makes sense.  More to follow on this one - many new ideas and adventures as myself await.  Take Care Hugs, Briana : )  
    Jul 19, 2016 536
  • 12 Jul 2016
    I was pleased to Chair this section of this year's 'best ever' Sparkle, held in conjunction with the numerous wurkshops available in the LGBT Centre on Richmond Street.   I will endeavour to expand this document to embrace the most useful and salient points for Transgender individuals on our pathway; these points arising from the excellent and first-class Presentations. I would like to thank, on behalf of the 'Sparkle' committee, all the guest speakers who contributed and both made this afternoon successful and engaged in lively, constrctive and positive debate in 'question time'.   From Laser Hair Removal, through Psychiatric considerations, to Surgical intervention including final Gender Reassignment Surgery 'Mermaids to Gyres', our modern pathway, continued review and the way forwards.   Hannah Grosvenor, MD BSc ChB LRCP MRCS FCOphth FRCS MRCP FRCOphth FRCSEd Professor of Ophthalmic-Facial, Reconstructive and Orbital Surgery
  • I was pleased to Chair this section of this year's 'best ever' Sparkle, held in conjunction with the numerous wurkshops available in the LGBT Centre on Richmond Street.   I will endeavour to expand this document to embrace the most useful and salient points for Transgender individuals on our pathway; these points arising from the excellent and first-class Presentations. I would like to thank, on behalf of the 'Sparkle' committee, all the guest speakers who contributed and both made this afternoon successful and engaged in lively, constrctive and positive debate in 'question time'.   From Laser Hair Removal, through Psychiatric considerations, to Surgical intervention including final Gender Reassignment Surgery 'Mermaids to Gyres', our modern pathway, continued review and the way forwards.   Hannah Grosvenor, MD BSc ChB LRCP MRCS FCOphth FRCS MRCP FRCOphth FRCSEd Professor of Ophthalmic-Facial, Reconstructive and Orbital Surgery
    Jul 12, 2016 610
  • 05 Jul 2016
    This weekend , I am proud to represent the UK Trans Community as Chair of the Medical Conference at the National Transgender Event, 'Sparkle".   As a Professor of Ophthalmic-Facial , Reconstructive and Orbital Surgery, I am often asked at our Trans Group meetings (Manchester, Llandudno, Scarborough and Harrogate) questions regarding Facial Feminisation Surgery. Not infrequently, the potential patient already has a surgeon's name, acquired from a 'besotted' (frequently) previous patient. I was asked to check out a certain surgeon by one Lady who has become a close friend: the surgeon in question had worked in a District General (no problem there), prior to retirement (problem there). He/she listed on their website every Plastic proceedure I could quickly think of; and hardly mentioned, or did not mention at all the Facial Feminisation ang Gender Re-assignment Surgery they regularily undertook. Such a declaration might lead to being labelled a 'jobbing' surgeon, a 'jack of all trades, master/mistress of none'.   FFS is not available on the NHS: thus surgery in the UK is inevitably funded by the patient themselves; and, patients frequently chose to travel outwith the UK in order to be submitted to Surgery.   How can you be sure that the Surgeon is 'safe' and up to date? Here are a few tips, identifying important indicators, potentially assuring a top quality service and an essential high level of Patient Safety.   1) Does the Surgeon (in the UK) a) hold a Specialist Registration with the General Medical Council (GMC)? It is a simple matter to look up the practitioner's name on the GMC web-site, b) hold a higher surgical qualification: i.e. Fellow of a Surgical Royal College, or equivalent.   2) Are they in employment as an NHS Consultant, or an University equivalent with an Honorary NHS appointment?  If not, you are wise to avoid, unless you are seeking and requesting merely a private opinion. A retired Specialist gives a balanced opinion, but cannot or choses not to keep 'up to date'. What stimulates you to achieve continued personal excellence is a) constant questions from, and teaching, your trainees b) the requirements of regular formal peer review - approved by your employer, and required by the GMC. Appraisal in a solely private setting inevitably introduces financial considerations; which may blur over, or turn a 'blind eye' to, inadequacies and/or defects in performance and quality of care.   3) The quality and experience of the Anaesthetist: no problem if they are employed in the NHS or University. Avoid otherwise, unless they have recently retired from such an appropriate post. Remember no surgeon or Anaesthetist cannot obtain Medical Negligence Insurance after a certain age in the UK (it was, until recently, a 70 years of age limit).   4) What Facial Plastic, peer-reviewed, publications and Conference presentations has your Surgeon of choice accumulated? They should state these publications clearly on their web-site.   5) At initial consultation, do they a) explain in detail the potential risks of intervention, as laid down, with annual revision, by the Royal Colleges? b) undertake pre-operative photography, for comparative purposes? What clinical and financial arrangements are in place for resolving and treating the inevitable complications which occasionally arise. Most important is what measures are in place to assure additional treatment in the case of a major health problem, arising post opersstivley.   5a) INDSURANCRE FOR Complications Are measures in place for majot untoward events. Intensive care is expensive, and `High Dependancy' is priced in excess of a suite at the Ritz hotel.   6) Are they one of the (currently seven) FFS specialists approved by the Cender Identity Clinic at Charing Cross? The three on 'the tip of the tongues' of the Transgender population are not actually mentioned or included!   7) What accomodation and post-operative care is there in the immediate recovery period for the patient, and also for an accompanying companion or relative (more important the further you travel)?   8) If the proposed surgery is to be undertaken abroad, it would be foolish (in my opinion) to simply attend a hospital in a strange country for assesment and surgery in one visit, purely on recommendation from a previous patient and without previous clinical assessment. Personally, I would only consider surgery with a named group, rather than an individual (solo) practitioner, from abroad; which group undertake regular initial assessments and quotations in the UK. I do not propose to name the European Group I would personally chose here on social media. However, now we are leaving the EU, I am happy to state that I would certainly avoid Brussells/Belgium and its environs without the slightest hesitation. 
  • This weekend , I am proud to represent the UK Trans Community as Chair of the Medical Conference at the National Transgender Event, 'Sparkle".   As a Professor of Ophthalmic-Facial , Reconstructive and Orbital Surgery, I am often asked at our Trans Group meetings (Manchester, Llandudno, Scarborough and Harrogate) questions regarding Facial Feminisation Surgery. Not infrequently, the potential patient already has a surgeon's name, acquired from a 'besotted' (frequently) previous patient. I was asked to check out a certain surgeon by one Lady who has become a close friend: the surgeon in question had worked in a District General (no problem there), prior to retirement (problem there). He/she listed on their website every Plastic proceedure I could quickly think of; and hardly mentioned, or did not mention at all the Facial Feminisation ang Gender Re-assignment Surgery they regularily undertook. Such a declaration might lead to being labelled a 'jobbing' surgeon, a 'jack of all trades, master/mistress of none'.   FFS is not available on the NHS: thus surgery in the UK is inevitably funded by the patient themselves; and, patients frequently chose to travel outwith the UK in order to be submitted to Surgery.   How can you be sure that the Surgeon is 'safe' and up to date? Here are a few tips, identifying important indicators, potentially assuring a top quality service and an essential high level of Patient Safety.   1) Does the Surgeon (in the UK) a) hold a Specialist Registration with the General Medical Council (GMC)? It is a simple matter to look up the practitioner's name on the GMC web-site, b) hold a higher surgical qualification: i.e. Fellow of a Surgical Royal College, or equivalent.   2) Are they in employment as an NHS Consultant, or an University equivalent with an Honorary NHS appointment?  If not, you are wise to avoid, unless you are seeking and requesting merely a private opinion. A retired Specialist gives a balanced opinion, but cannot or choses not to keep 'up to date'. What stimulates you to achieve continued personal excellence is a) constant questions from, and teaching, your trainees b) the requirements of regular formal peer review - approved by your employer, and required by the GMC. Appraisal in a solely private setting inevitably introduces financial considerations; which may blur over, or turn a 'blind eye' to, inadequacies and/or defects in performance and quality of care.   3) The quality and experience of the Anaesthetist: no problem if they are employed in the NHS or University. Avoid otherwise, unless they have recently retired from such an appropriate post. Remember no surgeon or Anaesthetist cannot obtain Medical Negligence Insurance after a certain age in the UK (it was, until recently, a 70 years of age limit).   4) What Facial Plastic, peer-reviewed, publications and Conference presentations has your Surgeon of choice accumulated? They should state these publications clearly on their web-site.   5) At initial consultation, do they a) explain in detail the potential risks of intervention, as laid down, with annual revision, by the Royal Colleges? b) undertake pre-operative photography, for comparative purposes? What clinical and financial arrangements are in place for resolving and treating the inevitable complications which occasionally arise. Most important is what measures are in place to assure additional treatment in the case of a major health problem, arising post opersstivley.   5a) INDSURANCRE FOR Complications Are measures in place for majot untoward events. Intensive care is expensive, and `High Dependancy' is priced in excess of a suite at the Ritz hotel.   6) Are they one of the (currently seven) FFS specialists approved by the Cender Identity Clinic at Charing Cross? The three on 'the tip of the tongues' of the Transgender population are not actually mentioned or included!   7) What accomodation and post-operative care is there in the immediate recovery period for the patient, and also for an accompanying companion or relative (more important the further you travel)?   8) If the proposed surgery is to be undertaken abroad, it would be foolish (in my opinion) to simply attend a hospital in a strange country for assesment and surgery in one visit, purely on recommendation from a previous patient and without previous clinical assessment. Personally, I would only consider surgery with a named group, rather than an individual (solo) practitioner, from abroad; which group undertake regular initial assessments and quotations in the UK. I do not propose to name the European Group I would personally chose here on social media. However, now we are leaving the EU, I am happy to state that I would certainly avoid Brussells/Belgium and its environs without the slightest hesitation. 
    Jul 05, 2016 670
  • 03 Jul 2016
    Had a nasty scare this week.  It seemed like I was having another stroke.  Spent a day in ER/A&E being checked out.  Tests confirmed no NEW brain damage, but apparently it is not that uncommon to have a return of problems even months later.  Last week I walked a mile and a half one day.  This weekend it was hard to walk much shorter distances.  They reassured me that I would be ok and approved an increase in exercise immediately.  So, flats for the near future. Good news is that Sundance has greatly improved mentally.  Can tell me all about 1066 and current events.  Looking to get her out of hospital and maybe share an apartment when she is better physically. I picked a rotten time to go weak. Our relationship may be the best it ever has been.  I do not know if she remembers Wendy and am almost afraid to ask.   Nobody should ever have to come Out TWICE!  At least I remember Wendy and am even more comfortable with the girl from up in the loft.   I am getting to shop for clothes/shoes for Sundance now, which is fun...when the shoes fit. It is nice that I started this blog so long ago as I have a place to retrieve important memories.   Blogs were a great idea, Katie, thank you so much.  HUGS. Had to get ears re-pierced.  Fun the second time, too. Thanks to all my well-wishers this year.   
    530 Posted by wendy larsen
  • Had a nasty scare this week.  It seemed like I was having another stroke.  Spent a day in ER/A&E being checked out.  Tests confirmed no NEW brain damage, but apparently it is not that uncommon to have a return of problems even months later.  Last week I walked a mile and a half one day.  This weekend it was hard to walk much shorter distances.  They reassured me that I would be ok and approved an increase in exercise immediately.  So, flats for the near future. Good news is that Sundance has greatly improved mentally.  Can tell me all about 1066 and current events.  Looking to get her out of hospital and maybe share an apartment when she is better physically. I picked a rotten time to go weak. Our relationship may be the best it ever has been.  I do not know if she remembers Wendy and am almost afraid to ask.   Nobody should ever have to come Out TWICE!  At least I remember Wendy and am even more comfortable with the girl from up in the loft.   I am getting to shop for clothes/shoes for Sundance now, which is fun...when the shoes fit. It is nice that I started this blog so long ago as I have a place to retrieve important memories.   Blogs were a great idea, Katie, thank you so much.  HUGS. Had to get ears re-pierced.  Fun the second time, too. Thanks to all my well-wishers this year.   
    Jul 03, 2016 530
  • 27 Jun 2016
    Didn't think I'd be blogging again already, but I need to vent about something. It may be TMI though so fair warning. I just got back from the gynecologist and had a bit of a struggle with something I found out I had recently. It's called Vaginismus. For those who do not know, it's basically sexual dysfunction for girls. The reason I'm bringing it up here is because I feel like I gave this to myself by telling myself over the years that I am really a man in a woman's body and should NOT be penetrated. After researching, I learned that girls who are not trans have this condition, but I still can't help feeling like I did this to myself because ultimately this is a mental thing that manifested into a physical condition... A lot of the time people with vaginismus have been sexually abused, but I have not... I really don't feel like I should be seeing a gynecologist in the first place since I feel like a man anyway. I'm sorry if this is tmi, but I just had to vent. Getting tired of these gyno visits gone wrong. 
    588 Posted by Kris McKinley
  • Didn't think I'd be blogging again already, but I need to vent about something. It may be TMI though so fair warning. I just got back from the gynecologist and had a bit of a struggle with something I found out I had recently. It's called Vaginismus. For those who do not know, it's basically sexual dysfunction for girls. The reason I'm bringing it up here is because I feel like I gave this to myself by telling myself over the years that I am really a man in a woman's body and should NOT be penetrated. After researching, I learned that girls who are not trans have this condition, but I still can't help feeling like I did this to myself because ultimately this is a mental thing that manifested into a physical condition... A lot of the time people with vaginismus have been sexually abused, but I have not... I really don't feel like I should be seeing a gynecologist in the first place since I feel like a man anyway. I'm sorry if this is tmi, but I just had to vent. Getting tired of these gyno visits gone wrong. 
    Jun 27, 2016 588
  • 14 Jun 2016
    I've mentioned a few times that I come from a christian family and they are having trouble fully accepting me. In fact, from a christian POV or what my family tells me as much as I feel like I want to go FtM and get the surgery, that'd be the final nail in the coffin and would "send me to hell". In other words, if I "give in" and have sex with girls once in awhile I may be forgiven, but if I go through with the lifestyle and get the sex change, there's no way I'll be going to heaven.. So to be 100% honest I'm a bit scared to go through with this at times to say the least. Are there any christian members out there with advice? (Anyone can comment though of course). I probably should've asked this sooner, but I was nervous to be honest. I don't want to offend anyone or be seen as a coward for not living the lifestyle, but I also don't want my family to hate me. I don't believe my mom will hate or disown me, but my dad might... That's why I'm worried. 
    728 Posted by Kris McKinley
  • I've mentioned a few times that I come from a christian family and they are having trouble fully accepting me. In fact, from a christian POV or what my family tells me as much as I feel like I want to go FtM and get the surgery, that'd be the final nail in the coffin and would "send me to hell". In other words, if I "give in" and have sex with girls once in awhile I may be forgiven, but if I go through with the lifestyle and get the sex change, there's no way I'll be going to heaven.. So to be 100% honest I'm a bit scared to go through with this at times to say the least. Are there any christian members out there with advice? (Anyone can comment though of course). I probably should've asked this sooner, but I was nervous to be honest. I don't want to offend anyone or be seen as a coward for not living the lifestyle, but I also don't want my family to hate me. I don't believe my mom will hate or disown me, but my dad might... That's why I'm worried. 
    Jun 14, 2016 728
  • 25 May 2016
    I wanted to make this a poll, but the question was too long lol. Basically, I am going to be writing a book in the future about an experience I had with an old friend of mine. It will be an LGBT book and I'm a little concerned that one of the villains might be a bit too offensive.. The villain is a transsexual FtM who was brought up by a christian family. He ended up feeling so repressed and angry at God for making him the "wrong gender" and ends up selling his soul to the devil to become the "correct gender". The message is only supposed to be that it can be really difficult dealing with religion while being trans, but I fear people will think I'm saying trans people are evil. (Which of course I'm not since I am one). Should I just make a good trans character too? Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
    603 Posted by Kris McKinley
  • I wanted to make this a poll, but the question was too long lol. Basically, I am going to be writing a book in the future about an experience I had with an old friend of mine. It will be an LGBT book and I'm a little concerned that one of the villains might be a bit too offensive.. The villain is a transsexual FtM who was brought up by a christian family. He ended up feeling so repressed and angry at God for making him the "wrong gender" and ends up selling his soul to the devil to become the "correct gender". The message is only supposed to be that it can be really difficult dealing with religion while being trans, but I fear people will think I'm saying trans people are evil. (Which of course I'm not since I am one). Should I just make a good trans character too? Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
    May 25, 2016 603
  • 21 May 2016
    It's been awhile since I've last visited this site. How's everyone doing? I finally got the balls to get my hair cut lol. This was a big deal for me because I come from a religious family and my father is always looking at girls with short hair saying remarks like "Dyke on a bike" and "Carpet Muncher" so I thought if I got my hair cut he'd get mad and say that to me. I was worried over nothing though because my family actually likes my hair. My dad did seem shocked, but didn't turn out too bad. It feels so much better having hair like this and I feel one step closer to being myself. :)
    680 Posted by Kris McKinley
  • It's been awhile since I've last visited this site. How's everyone doing? I finally got the balls to get my hair cut lol. This was a big deal for me because I come from a religious family and my father is always looking at girls with short hair saying remarks like "Dyke on a bike" and "Carpet Muncher" so I thought if I got my hair cut he'd get mad and say that to me. I was worried over nothing though because my family actually likes my hair. My dad did seem shocked, but didn't turn out too bad. It feels so much better having hair like this and I feel one step closer to being myself. :)
    May 21, 2016 680
  • 07 May 2016
    Hi A few months ago I think I discretely referred to a new colleague that had joined my workplace. What was evident to me (no doubt to others too as I'm no Sherlock Holmes) was that this person was Transgendered. I was delighted to receive correspondence from my employer that confirmed that this new colleague was indeed Transgendered and that She was from the following Monday asking to be referred to with her correct female pronoun. I sent a supportive email to this person and was momentarily concerned that it may identify me as more that an supportive colleague. This is because I am probably best described as a self-centred egotistical bitch, but I'm happy with that description because it concludes with the word 'bitch'.. Anyhow, I am letting the Cabernet Sauvignon to my right inform too much of what I am indeed writing, so I'll continue. I am very sorry to say that my colleague - to whom I did not come out but I who hope I offered courtesy, familiarity and a little friendship has now left the office. I am told that her departure is entirely upon professional grounds but I am not of course clear of the concerns raised by our employer or of the grounds that led to my colleagues departure. I hope she recovers from this set-back and flourishes elsewhere. Why do I raise this here? Well, I am ashamed that I did not take the valuable opportunity to engage with her whilst we were colleagues. I suspect that she would have welcomed the support during a very difficult time. I didn't of course because I'm that self-centred egotist that I have referred to previously, but also because I am too scared to come out. I also raise it here to salute her (salute seems a very masculine term, so perhaps embrace is better) as she probably undertook one of the bravest things I have ever witnessed. But I raise it here because I feel that I watched a woman desperate to proclaim her feminity and watched an almost teenage lack of self-awareness with respect to the clothes that she choose to wear at work. Transitioning amongest new work colleagues is tricky enough, but challenges wardrobe choices that scream emphatically 'I'm a woman' might have just tipped our employer over the edge.  My recommendation (I have no professional standing here and no experience to draw from so dismiss the following immediately) is that it might be better to surpress the desire to flaunt your feminity within your workspace until at least six months into your transition or until all colleagues have forgotten who you are and are judging you by what you do. Yes sisters, this is as far from a feminist statement as you are likely to read, and of course who should define what we wear or how we communicate ourselves, but sadly even the most tolerant and accommodating employer might become alarmed by overt expressionism. I hope, I'm sorry for her as I type this, that there was a real professional reason why she moved on, and that her transition was absolutely irrelevant. I hope this because I work for a great company and look up to the standards they set. I fear that the reality here is that acceptable boundaries were pushed by short skirts and exhuberant feminity and that ultimately my employer couldn't sustain the support.  Returning to me - because as a self-centred egotistical bitch I am honoured to do so, I wish I had given her a hug and talked to her as both a colleague and a friend. I suspect that I may have found a confidant and someone who understands. Rachel 
    492 Posted by Rachel de Blanc
  • Hi A few months ago I think I discretely referred to a new colleague that had joined my workplace. What was evident to me (no doubt to others too as I'm no Sherlock Holmes) was that this person was Transgendered. I was delighted to receive correspondence from my employer that confirmed that this new colleague was indeed Transgendered and that She was from the following Monday asking to be referred to with her correct female pronoun. I sent a supportive email to this person and was momentarily concerned that it may identify me as more that an supportive colleague. This is because I am probably best described as a self-centred egotistical bitch, but I'm happy with that description because it concludes with the word 'bitch'.. Anyhow, I am letting the Cabernet Sauvignon to my right inform too much of what I am indeed writing, so I'll continue. I am very sorry to say that my colleague - to whom I did not come out but I who hope I offered courtesy, familiarity and a little friendship has now left the office. I am told that her departure is entirely upon professional grounds but I am not of course clear of the concerns raised by our employer or of the grounds that led to my colleagues departure. I hope she recovers from this set-back and flourishes elsewhere. Why do I raise this here? Well, I am ashamed that I did not take the valuable opportunity to engage with her whilst we were colleagues. I suspect that she would have welcomed the support during a very difficult time. I didn't of course because I'm that self-centred egotist that I have referred to previously, but also because I am too scared to come out. I also raise it here to salute her (salute seems a very masculine term, so perhaps embrace is better) as she probably undertook one of the bravest things I have ever witnessed. But I raise it here because I feel that I watched a woman desperate to proclaim her feminity and watched an almost teenage lack of self-awareness with respect to the clothes that she choose to wear at work. Transitioning amongest new work colleagues is tricky enough, but challenges wardrobe choices that scream emphatically 'I'm a woman' might have just tipped our employer over the edge.  My recommendation (I have no professional standing here and no experience to draw from so dismiss the following immediately) is that it might be better to surpress the desire to flaunt your feminity within your workspace until at least six months into your transition or until all colleagues have forgotten who you are and are judging you by what you do. Yes sisters, this is as far from a feminist statement as you are likely to read, and of course who should define what we wear or how we communicate ourselves, but sadly even the most tolerant and accommodating employer might become alarmed by overt expressionism. I hope, I'm sorry for her as I type this, that there was a real professional reason why she moved on, and that her transition was absolutely irrelevant. I hope this because I work for a great company and look up to the standards they set. I fear that the reality here is that acceptable boundaries were pushed by short skirts and exhuberant feminity and that ultimately my employer couldn't sustain the support.  Returning to me - because as a self-centred egotistical bitch I am honoured to do so, I wish I had given her a hug and talked to her as both a colleague and a friend. I suspect that I may have found a confidant and someone who understands. Rachel 
    May 07, 2016 492