10 things to do before Transition

Gen_Transition

Every day I encounter things that I formerly never concerned myself with. Often I take them in stride or am very happy that thy are a new part of my life. Others are just part of the new territory. Not exactly “chores” but I wouldn’t always call them enjoyable either. Most of them were “optional” before transition, but now are advisable or necessary. Sitting at the nail salon today for 40 minutes getting my nails done I wondered how many Trans Women have considered what it takes to be a woman 365 days a year 24 hours a day.

  1. Nails- Let’s start here since I’ve already mentioned it. Your hands, feet and nails. Manicures and pedicures. Most women take good care of their feet. Usually far better than their male counterparts. Men are quite alright with ugly discolored claws growing from their cuticles. Dead skin, skin fungus or peeling it’s all good. They’re men after all! Only “Metro” guys go in to manage their hands and feet. How many men do you know that get a regular manicure? Some? Pedicure? Probably less. Realistically there are no real penalties for men with beat up hands and feet. That is all perfectly acceptable. While some women won’t do these at a salon they will at least do it themselves. After all, men prefer a maintained woman and most women do too. Women usually couldn’t tolerate the level of self-neglect men are comfortable with. If you are maintaining your nails at a salon you will need to visit at least once a month. Plan on spending a minimum of $50 for mani-pedi (and that’s cheap). If you get gel or acrylic nails the cost goes up significantly. Good information to know for the guys who like the “high-maintenance” gals. Press-on nails don’t work for daily wear either. These are fine for a single club outing, but if you plan on using those hands for something other than lifting a martini glass, you are going to have to get the real-deal. This is only the beginning ladies so get your credit cards out!
  2. Hair- Of course, this one is probably obvious. Everyone knows that women will be going to a hair salon regularly to maintain that most important crowning glory. Younger girls (under 40) can possibly get away with a cut every few months. For simply being a woman and walking into a hair salon, your fee is doubled or tripled compared to what a man will pay. It doesn’t matter if it’s long or short. You are not paying per square inch, but for not having a “Y” chromosome. Most simple cuts start around $80. If you are getting a regular cut and color, as most more mature women do, the cost and frequency will go up. While young women aren’t turning gray yet they may have a preference in being blonder than their natural God given dishwater or dull mousey brown. Color usually lasts about 6 weeks. Most women will stretch that out until their roots are really showing so call it every 8 weeks. This will add another $70-$80 to your price tag as well as a longer time commitment. Plan on setting aside another hour and a half to two hours for this one. Wigs you wear out on the weekend aren’t the same for my Trans-sisters. Get in the habit of a regular cut and color and see where you are at with it. Now remember this is just the long term part of mane maintenance. You will need to invest in hair products to protect your investment. These will have to be applied daily. While people differ on what works for them, most women will have some sort of hair product and require some styling time every day.  Brushing it out at night and keeping it clean are a given. Checking it regularly throughout the day is standard. If this is too much, consider staying part-time.
  3. Teeth- Now here’s a sneaky one. One could argue that both genders need to maintain their teeth, right? Well, hopefully. I would have to argue that women are asked to have “better” teeth than men. Women are expected to have a bright healthy smile with all teeth present and accounted for. Healthy pink gums and definitely NO food lingering after a meal. Girls will give each other the smile check after a lunch especially with any meal containing something pesky and green like parsley or spinach. Men can rock up missing a tooth in the back or side and call it a battle-scar like an old pirate, but a woman looks homeless if she does the same. Whitening either with whitening strips or at your dentist is mandatory. Crest whitening strips run about $60 and this pack will last about 6-8 weeks. Whitening at the dentist is about $300. A good place to start for aspiring Trans Women is taking care of your dental work. Get that out of the way first and then move past “Go.” Getting a boob job while you still have a couple of missing teeth is putting the “Ox before the Cart” if you will. If you can’t maintain your smile, you aren’t going to get very far in this game.
  4. Body/Facial Hair – alright, the secret is out, women DO have these! After having extensive laser hair removal and electrolysis there are still those annoying little gray whiskers on my chin or random strays on my chest that will pop up. What a relief to find out that other genetic women suffer the same plight. Who knew?? Women, especially as they mature will often get more hair growth in areas they formerly never concerned themselves with.  While comforting to know I’m not alone, it doesn’t mean it’s ok to let them stay. No, they must be eradicated with severe malice. Plucking them is fine and will do the trick temporarily, but if you really want them gone, it’s going to require a bit more intensity. Electrolysis is the only guaranteed method for permanent removal of gray hair. If you’ve ever accidentally been shocked by a 110v outlet you will have some idea of what electrolysis feels like. Imagine a torture in which someone inserts a needle like electrode into your hair follicle and then explodes it by administering a painful shock. Now imagine doing that over and over about every 3 seconds for an hour. Imagine doing that once a week for months or years.  This is what most Trans women will need to tolerate in order to deal with the hair they don’t want. Genetic women may just go ahead and pluck theirs but for those that want a permanent solution electrolysis at least 3 sessions for each unwanted hair is it. Once again, it ain’t cheap. Usually about $75 an hour. Trans woman if not naturally hairless can shave close and that will last long enough for your Saturday night date, but if you don’t want 5 o’clock shadow as part of your look, it will have to be dealt with. Then their are the brows. While the unibrow may be OK in the Cro-Magnon world, Homo-Sapien women are expected to have a far more groomed creature over their eyes. For my Trans sisters, start off by shaping them. If you are still living as a man, get in the habit of shaping them anyway. You don’t have to get the full Goth-girl arch going but keep them neat and definitely pluck the ones that are closer to your hairline than your eye socket. If you can handle this, you have some hope of joining the sisterhood.
  5. Legs- Obvious some say again, but perhaps not for my Trans sisters. Do you shave daily girls? Every other day? Every third maybe? Some can get away with waiting longer but most women will need to shave at least twice a week. I rarely go 2 days myself. I love the feeling and still enjoy it but if you aren’t doing this yet girlfriend, you need to get in the habit. I would once again call this a minimum requirement. The cost on this one is negligible. If you can’ afford to start with the more expensive entry requirements (above) at least do this. Make sure you get it all though. No one wants to see a strip of hair running up the back of your thigh honey. Attention to detail and a full length mirror are your friends.
  6. Chatting- Now why would I say this? Genetic women may not get it, but I am here to let you know you girls love you some talking. I was chatty before and considered myself quite the small talk pro, but that was before I transitioned. Now I have been properly put in my place by many of you GG’s (Genetic Girls). Trans sisters, if you can’t spend some chat time with your GG sisters you are going to have a rough time connecting. A woman’s world is about slowing down the action and spending more time discussing life. Oh, don’t expect men to care about what you have to say either. You are there to smile and be impressed with their exploits. I don’t care if you are an astronaut and landed on the moon, you will have to feign interest in some computer nerd’s thrill with his RC helicopter. Make sure and boost his ego or he will move on and talk with someone who can. If you hate chatting, you may want to consider lip-synching as a drag performer only.
  7. Make-up – Mandatory? Well, I do know many GG’s who wear little or none. My sister is one of those. I would call these women rare. There are a few very naturally attractive girls who can pull this off. I happen to know a whole family of women like this, but once again, they aren’t your average woman. If you are like me and don’t have or aren’t confident with going make-up free, then applying it daily will be part of your life. Getting your little kit started with the foundation, eye-shadow, mascara, lip-sticks or glosses, blush or toner and then all the expensive brushes to apply it will set you back at least $200. Even women that don’t wear make-up regularly like to have it handy for special occasions. For my Trans-sisters the upside of getting your facial hair removed will be you will need less make-up when going out. Lots of Trans girls have to wear a thick foundation or cover stick to hide their beards. While GG’s don’t have this concern, they often do some regimen for their skin daily. For my Trans sisters, include a little time with very light toner and lip care as part of your morning routine. This will be a small intro to doing your full make up daily and help you get your timing down. Don’t think you’re done here though. Make sure to bring a compact mirror with you in your purse or bag. You will want to check your make-up around lunch and then again around 5pm. A girl needs to make sure her mascara hasn’t become a black smudge or that her lips don’t look like she has Beri-beri or some other exotic disease.
  8. Clothes/Shoes – Now this may be unique to my Trans sisters but you will have to invest in a “real” wardrobe. Just fyi, GG’s don’t wear sequin mini-skirts, tube tops and platform heels every day. You’re going to want to tone all that down a bit and attempt to blend more. Consider in a real way (as all women do) what your strengths and weaknesses are. Be honest. If you have a 44 inch chest and beer-belly, don’t buy yourself a lot of skinny jeans. Think about wearing skirts and dresses that accentuate a “shape.” Every GG has to do this and so will you. We all wish we looked like Marilyn Monroe and had a J-Lo booty, but unfortunately no matter what that guy at the bar said, it just ain’t reality for most of us. Now if you are over 6 feet without heels (as I am) consider buying lots of flats or lower heels. Some of my GG friends will disagree, but there aren’t as many women over six feet as their are men. Even if you are stone-cold gorgeous as a woman, you will still want some flats. My daughter AND my new daughter in law are both gorgeous and over six feet. They are stunning in heels because their legs go on forever. While that is fun and will turn every man’s head, most of the time they don’t want that. The majority of life is spent taking care of mundane things and getting that sort of attention just gets in the way. Heels are fun, but unless you are a smaller girl they should be worn for special occasions rather than as your only option. If you simply have to wear pumps 24/7, you may have a foot or shoe fetish. If that is all that interests you, just get a Frederick’s catalog and go to town.
  9. Diet/Eating – Now here’s one that all girls have to deal with and one many of my Trans sisters may have not entirely considered. Women generally eat less guys. I’m sorry, but it’s true. (Especially in public). Some of my GG friends may find this offensive, but macking down the chili cheese fries when you’re out to lunch along with your dude friends just ain’t going to be real attractive. Eating with your mouth open or talking with your mouth full are pretty much unacceptable. While men are celebrated for putting it away, women are condemned for it. You will have to slow it all down and take smaller bites. Chew bites and swallow before speaking. Please check that you don’t have a piece of cheese on your chin if you have the least doubt. Sit up straight and practice your best table manners. Knowing how to hold a fork and knife are a plus. Your fork is not a shovel and there ARE other utensils that have a purpose while dining. I’m sorry if this sounds snobby, but coming from the other side of the gender tracks it helps to do more than you think is necessary to pass rather than less. Having a trim figure, improved digestion and elegant comportment are the rewards for these efforts and from my perspective well worth it.
  10. Walking/Movement – Now I know plenty of GG’s that move like linebackers, but they are GG’s and they can get away with it. Walking bow legged down the street may be alright as a part time girl but my Trans Sisters will want to work on this. Have a look at how a woman moves and walks.Women naturally have more hip movement because of their anatomy. Trans women can approximate this by placing your foot steps more towards your center line. Imagine you are taking a drunk test and need to walk along a chalk line. This will cause your hips to move and give you more of a runway model look. No one will object to that comparison. Sit with legs together wether wearing a skirt or not. Hands in your lap, elbows off the table. Scratching yourself, grabbing your junk and spitting are verboten. Remember to bring a tissue in your purse for a runny nose and check for unwanted nasal objects regularly. Try and slow your movements down and be more aware of your appendages. Are you swinging them wildly or are you considering other’s space? Getting up from a table and knocking over another table’s drinks just seems less common among women because they are generally more aware of their own physical body. Being the drunk and sloppy girl is pretty much not attractive and quite dangerous. The unfortunate reality is that there are more male predators out there for women than men. That one has been hard to wrap my mind around because I used to feel quite able to defend myself. Even if you are men might not perceive you that way and you will have to consider that. Don’t go out at night alone and walk with confidence if you have to. Women rarely go into bars alone for this very reason. Men see you as available and vulnerable. Be advised girls, going out alone will be seen as an invitation by many guys.                                                                                   While there are probably more things I could list, I’d say these are the 10 biggies. I sometimes wonder what I would have thought had someone given me this list before transitioning. I did have some guidance beforehand. I remember the first therapist I shared with challenged me with some of these. She noticed all the ways I was not prepared and challenged me to come up to speed BEFORE I made some of the larger changes. I believe transitioning can be done more smoothly if it is done somewhat strategically. Start with the easier ones. See if you are able and or interested in doing them before tackling the bigger more expensive steps. Keep your goal in mind but try and be realistic. I hope this list helps someone out there to understand what they are up against. I hope it will serve as informative but not discouraging. Like any really important move in life knowing what you are getting into ahead of time usually helps.

5 thoughts on “10 things to do before Transition

  1. Great advice. Very detailed and informative.
    I have to say. You are rocking it girl. You are totally realistic with yourself and a beautiful woman to boot.
    I am just starting my journey into femininity and I had a question. Are your ears pierced? If so, when/how did you get them pierced?
    Silly question, I know, but it is important to me. I want to get my ears pierced like any girl would. It seams like a right of passage to me, but maybe it isn’t a big deal. I feels like a big deal to me, though. I’ve always thought of pierced ears and earrings as a feminine thing, despite social trends.
    Any thoughts from an expert like you would help…

    Like

    1. Michelle- any tattoo store can do it. They have men piercing their ears all the time. In addition, they are less judgmental about someone expressing themselves. Great place to start. I think that was my very first move too! The other option is a jewelry store. They will very likely have done men before as well. They may have a prettier selection of studs to get you started.

      Like

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