Comfort food is meant to make us feel happy, warm, safe, and of course comforted.  If I were to use a metaphor I AM NOT comfort food.  If I provide anything to my MTF makeover clients and online followers who reach out to me it would probably be TOUGH LOVE.

The number ONE type of conversation I have with gender-variant folks who reach out to me tends to be about overcoming their self-censorship, and the fear and shame that comes with wanting to transition from Male-to-Female.

Recently on my Instagram DMs I had a chat with one of my makeover clients.  I believe this conversation exemplifies what many Crossdressers go through at one point on their Gender Identity journey.  

WARNING:  you may feel triggered by the topics, thoughts, and opinions expressed and of course my blunt delivery. Again, I offer TOUGH LOVE to those I care about knowing very well that THEY are the ones who must take the necessary steps to bring positive change into their lives. 

*I have changed my client's name.  Here femme name is NOT Amy.


AMY: I decided I need to fully transition now. 
ME: Exciting times ahead.
AMY: It’s just something I have been fighting with myself for as long as I remember. I remember writing myself a note as a young child, to remind myself I was a girl. Since then it’s been constant.  I am a woman. 
ME:  A Transwoman to be exact?
AMY: I wouldn’t reject that as I feel proud. But to me I'm just a woman
ME: Yeah, for a Transwoman to reject the idea of being a Transwoman ends up being problematic and causes unhappiness in the end though.


AMY:  Just the scary process of doing it all now
ME:  You can’t do it all now because transitioning takes years. So you only do some things now
AMY:  Need to live for 12 months full time before being considered for SRS.  But can have FFS and breast surgery anytime 

(common CD thinking of getting SRS before even starting HRT)

ME:  Do you have a doctor that you get regular check ups?
AMY:  Not yet. That’s next step. I am beyond excited though to start my life
ME: You already started your life dear. This is just a continuation
AMY:  Hmm I felt a lot of it has been a lie really
ME: you will learn quite a bit about you and how the world treats people that are considered “other.” It’s not going to be all sunshine and rainbows
AMY: I’m sure I will, because I know it will get very very difficult to pass


ME:  Passing is a fallacy
AMY:  It is still something you can hope to strive for I think
ME:  It’s pointless to try to pass. I wrote a blog about it. And it can possibly cause you more harm emotionally than if you don’t try to pass.
AMY:  I mean, more I would like to walk down the street and “pass” not necessarily 24/7 Just not have constant stares
ME:  Trying to pass means in a way that you are denying the past that helped you come to be where you are today.  Sounds like you want to be invisible. If that’s the case don’t transition. Men are way more invisible than women
AMY:  But I have been out in the general public twice and just felt everyone’s eyes on me because I didn’t pass in anyway
ME: The second you present in a feminine way that’s when you will get men staring in your direction
AMY:  I would like to blend in a little bit more as a normal woman
ME:  You’re not a "normal" woman dear. Passing means there is a level of denial
AMY: I don’t mind people staring at me. Just not like, "look at that man in a dress" 
ME:  Own up to your existence and walk around like you are fabulous. You will always be a man in a dress to some people, you can’t change that
AMY:  I would like to walk into a shop and try on clothes without having to worry about grief. That sort of thing
ME: You’ll learn the reality once you get out there. You are not a cis woman and people will pick up on it. So live your life being YOU. A proud Transwoman. Fuck this thing of passing. People will play along with you but it doesn’t mean you are passing
AMY: You’ve met me. I just fear I’ll look stupid. That’s why I would like to pass even just a little
ME:  Transitioning is not all about appearance dear. You will always be a man in some people’s eyes. You have to come to terms with that. Otherwise you will spend a bunch of money and time looking as femme as possible and then fall apart the second some asshole on the street calls you a man
AMY:  I just think the more passable I feel in myself the more I will be confident
ME: You’ll learn the hard way then
AMY:  I would just like to look in the mirror and see more female than male, or at least in my perception
ME:  I hear ya, that’s a whole other thing from passing in public. That’s a personal slightly more personal choice about esthetics
AMY:  Fully aware I will never fully pass in public. But if I can be confident in myself
ME: That drives me nuts that “fully pass in public.” No one fully passes. It’s a fallacy
AMY:  But the first time I went out in public. It was just unbelievable. Presenting as me. Felt free
ME:  Funny how you had to put on so much (femme stuff) to feel free. You were dressed in femme right?
AMY:  And it felt like me
ME: Image being YOU without putting that (femme stuff) on. That is the real transition


AMY:  I guess I’m trying to hide me behind the male mask.  Fitting into the “norm”
ME:  And if you don’t work on the real you then you’ll be hiding behind the femme mask. You’ll just be switching from one mask to another. But that is unless you can be you out of femme. That’s the real test. 
AMY:  I guess I’m scared to be an effeminate male. I think because of how I’ve been brought up. Male must do this and act life this ....... 
ME: See there you go again. Worried about what others will say. You are imprisoning yourself mentally. No one has to say "don’t do that" because you keep saying that to yourself
AMY: I have tried so hard my whole life to fit into the “typical male model”
ME: And now you want to "pass" so that you fit into the "female model." Switching "prisons." So how do you think you will feel at night before bed when you wash off your makeup and look in the mirror? Who will you feel you are then? An effeminate male? How will you feel about yourself moments before you go to bed (after you transition)?
AMY: Right now I feel I’m a woman. But just haven’t accepted it. The biggest fear I have Is telling people, so not sure what that means


ME:  That whole idea of being “full-time” is also pretty ridiculous
AMY:  I feel I am actively working on it albeit slowly
ME:  "Full-time" just like "passing" is another fallacy
AMY: When I have thought about it. The concept of full-time for me would be the time when actual legal documents, titles etc were changed. I think a bit different than passing
ME: You can change sex markers on documents and get a name change without having to present as a woman now. That’s why the concept of “full-time is ridiculous. It’s just the traditional “transition narrative" rooted in a historic gender binary.  Personally, I have been on hormones since 2018 and I have a unisex name but are we to believe that I’m not “full-time” because I’ve not changed my sex marker? See how ridiculous that sounds?
AMY:  I suppose for me it would be the day I came into work presenting female.  And started living that way.  I mean I don’t think there is anything against me coming into work in a skirt and blouse now, but it would raise a number of questions.
ME: It’s going to raise a number of questions for the rest of your life soon as you tell anyone or show anyone your “gender identity” regardless of whether you are “full-time” or not.  “Coming out” is constant once you come out.  It will never end. It’s the nature of being a marginalized gender-variant individual
AMY: Yes I can see where you’re coming from. I guess for someone like me, who has presented completely heterosexual “normal” male my whole life, the shock of doing that to everyone who knows me would be like a full-time thing


ME:  There is really minimal shock if you actually “transition.” That’s why it’s called transition. It’s gradual. People slowly start to see your hair getting longer they start to see your facial hair disappear, they start to get used to your appearance over months. It’s not like you wake up one morning and you go into the office in a wig and a dress. That would be not only weird but foolish.  It also seems to me that if these things are still in your head then you’ve not actually sat down to put a realistic plan on paper.
AMY: I get what you mean. In my head I would like to be living “full time” (whatever that may mean) but presenting female in my daily life by this time next year

ME:  That’s not a realistic goal since a smooth transition usually takes about (at least) 2 years. But I’ve seen impatience take over and the drama that comes with it. Ultimately you’ll be making the decisions that will affect not only your life but also the life of the people that know and love you.  Some girls end up choosing drama over a smooth transition  They say they want to blend and pass and then do the exact opposite presenting in full femme too soon. Then they feel discouraged and victimized. I’ve seen it so many times. They jump the gun

Here is some realistic hair expectations for growth. Unless you are planing to wear a wig which as we mentioned might throw off some people in your life. That’s why I mentioned a two year mark at the very least to be realistic in transitioning. And that’s not even counting whether you will be any where near done with electrolysis.  And you haven’t even started hormones right?  It takes months for them to kick in and give you any sort of physical changes.  And if you’re planning on getting facial feminization surgery (FFS) or a boob job that’s even more time especially since you will have to factor in recovery time.  Weeks and weeks of recovery and pain. 
AMY: No I’ve not started yet. And will 100 percent be getting FFS and boob job
ME: In that case I would say realistically speaking give yourself a good 2-4 year timeline for all of it to come to fruition. When you think this way then there really is no rush to be presenting in full femme in one year.


ME: Oh and as far as picking outfits to wear out and “passing” here are some examples of how some men will address you as female even when you are not wearing skirts. So again, "passing" is in the eye of the beholder. And many times it’s clear to them that you don’t “pass” but they choose to call you Miss anyway.  And if you are planning on dating cis women then expect to have to tell them that you prefer female pronouns because cis woman can spot a man from a mile away even in femme. And whether you want to be with men or not that will not stop men from coming up to you.  So get ready for unwanted male attention. 
AMY: Yeah I have been out a few times to trans specific bars and had that already 
ME: Well that’s a given but when it happens to you in a non LGBT+ designated space you’ll experience a whole new set of emotions.  I got hit on by a guy in the park when I was wearing just a T-shirt and jeans.  And then this summer I got hit on by a guy while I was alone at the beach and I was wearing shorts and a tank top.  So yeah, sometimes it doesn’t even matter how femme your clothes are. 


ME: The less you rush the more you get to settle in and take in all the sights and sounds. Trust me, life is going to be throwing you a lot of information that you will need to process. If you sit down with a calendar and start planning the next four years of medical procedures and body changes you can anticipate also when to have certain talks with loved ones.  As your body changes they will start to notice and become curious.

I remember the talks I started having at my office job once my coworkers picked up on the fact that I was letting my hair grow and also when my face looked like I was assaulted after every brutal electrolysis treatment. The thing you will start to notice as you transition is how to communicate your reality to others. You probably don’t have much experience in that arena at work.

AMY: I’m just terrified.  To the outside world I’m the perfect guy

ME: Yeah the sooner you get over the fear the better you will be at communicating.   It’s always been easy for me because I have a problem with authority, so I just jump right in and no-one better tell me NO. 

I didn’t tell anyone at work that I was transitioning. I just started and figured they’d catch up.  And they did. No big deal.  And btw I am a part of an all male team at work and when I start to get emotional and tell them how much I love them they all mirror my emotions because you know what, they are all men but they are human and I give them license to tap into their softer side and not have to pretend to be macho. The best times I have at the office job is when we talk about life, their kids, their wives, my boyfriend, etc. Those human moments that are nor male or female. And I can say I am able to have those moments because I am open, free, and not holding back any part of who I am.  HECK, so many coworkers have complemented my hair. And I’ve been working with some of them for over 10 years so they’ve seen me in many stages of development. 


AMY: I just need to find the courage to be me
ME:  You think you need courage but that’s not really the top priority.  You know what ought to be your top priority?

To stop your self-censorship. 

Your self-censorship is what’s keeping you from feeling free. 

You and only you are imprisoning yourself mentally and emotionally.

AMY: But I’m ashamed of being me
ME: Once you get out of your own way then life starts to feel great. You ought to consider maybe not judging yourself like you do. Maybe try being your own best friend. And most importantly believe in your heart that you deserve to be happy. 
AMY: What will others think?
ME: They will think, they will say, and they will judge that’s a given. So what?
AMY: The "so what" is what I can’t get over
ME: You KNOW what you need to do. The road map is there. It just might take you getting fully tired of your internal critic for real change to happen in your life.  I have a client who started transitioning in her 70s because she denied herself becoming who she wanted to become all her life 
AMY: I think (without being big headed) I make such a good guy, it’s more difficult to tell people
ME: Yeah you might not be ready to change yet. You’re still stuck on the superficial stuff. Some folks rather a great image on the outside than happiness on the inside. And then they start to fall apart as they age.

“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”  -- Joseph Campbell


ME:  One of two things will happen. You either get tired of yourself and make a change or you keep living in a neurotic unhappy loop. Time will tell. That’s what time does best
AMY: But just drinking a lot of alcohol to get me through now
ME:  Substance abuse is common in the T community because it postpones the inevitable which is facing and owning ones feelings.
You know what I also believe might be holding you back?  
I think you may have a very narrow view of the gender binary. So because you have a penis you’ve placed yourself in a very very small gender box
AMY: If I could skip into the life of many women I know I would
ME: That’s ridiculous because it’s a fantasy. That can’t be done. It’s not based in reality.  It’s pointless and worthless to even think it. It’s not empowering and it shows you that you have a very narrow view of gender. You are in and endless loop of fantasy, desire, self-censorship, and ultimately regret (if you don't make a change)

Your energy is better placed in planning for change and success.  

Creating an action plan that will propel you forward to achieve your personal goals

AMY: I disagree hun, I have been very successful as male, achieved a lot, and all the time I was thinking I need to be a woman
ME: Nope. We are talking about two different kinds of success. You have not yet been successful in your personal relationship with yourself
You have failed yourself repeatedly. Because your priority is measuring success by superficial means at the expense of true deep happiness. And you don’t know how to get out of that loop.  

The sooner you allow yourself to drop your walls with the closest people in your life the sooner little by little you will reach personal success. 

And don’t get me wrong, that has NOTHING to do with presenting as a woman. 

It has to do with beginning to feel comfortable being vulnerable with the people that know you. 

Fear goes away the second you stop fighting yourself. 

Then all you have to do is just be present, just the way you are

AMY:  I have been presenting as the perfect male for 30 years
ME: News flash, you ain’t that perfect, man. No male is perfect.


To continue living an unhappy life, or make positive changes that will bring a greater sense of self and satisfaction.  The choice is yours.  


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