Labels

res_1501687789399_20181209084102206_20181211051110834
Oh dear… Labels!
Whether you like them or hate them, we all use them to describe the characteristics of people.
That being the case, I thought about myself and what label would best describe how I present.
💄👱‍♀️💋

Lipstick Lesbian –
A lipstick lesbian is slang for a lesbian who exhibits a greater amount of feminine gender attributes relative to other gender expressions, such as wearing make-up, wearing dresses or skirts and having other characteristics associated with feminine women. 

…If the shoe fits, wear it (with pride🤘)
Toni Grace🦋

Voice Feminization

Screenshot_20181203-073713

One of the things that doesn’t change when a trans woman begins hormone replacement therapy is our voices.

Trans men have an advantage over trans women in the area of developing a voice that is gender appropriate. When a trans man begins testosterone “T” therapy, his voice will deepen and usually there will be rapid and dramatic changes in pitch and tonality. I know trans men whose voices have deepened after only a few months on T.

Not so with trans women!”

I have been on estradiol for several years and I have substantial breast growth, almost no body hair and other fem body changes, but my voice was unaffected by taking E or by gender confirmation surgery.

I recently went though a voice feminization program at the State University and it was very helpful in feminizing my voice. It involves serious training, exercises, voice analysis and dedicated conscious effort for me to alter my voice. Its not easy. In fact I signed up to go through the entire 8 werk course again starting next week (A tough thing to do when you work during the day!)

I found a really cool app on Google Play that will analyze your voice for you at home and its free. Its called VOICE PITCH ANALYZER and it measures the frequency changes in your voice while you read a passage. It also gives you an analysis of how you sound AND it determines if your voice falls into the male, female or androgynous vocal ranges.

There aren’t many options open to trans women in the area of voice feminization other than voice training. There is a surgery that you can get but it costs a ton of money and you risk losing your voice COMPLETELY.
Your third option is to sound like a guy every time you open your mouth and for me that’s definitely not an option.

Give it a try and share your results with me … I’d love to hear!
Toni Grace👱‍♀️

 

Heading from G+ to MeWe

Screenshot_20181203-054438So, I want to start out on MeWe the right way. I’ve been around on g+ and WordPress for quite a long time sharing my thoughts and feelings on lots of different things but primarily on all things Transgender and what my journey as a trans woman has (and is) all about.

I refer to my life before my transition as “living the lie” because it was a time when I wasn’t being honest with myself or with everyone around me. I was a projection of how I thought I had to look, think and act.

Well, those days are over and my facade has been torn down…joyfully torn down by me.
Today, I have zero tolerance for hatred, lies and bullying. I’m a vocal feminist, a totally out lesbian and an anti misogynist.
I value honesty, openness and sincerity above all else…sprinkled with empathy and a good portion of kindness.

If you are trans, know a trans person or just want to know a little bit about one woman’s struggle…here it is.
Toni Grace 🕊

LINK TO JOIN…
https://mewe.com/join/gracefultransitions

#toni_grace #transgender #lgbtq #transition #MTF

TRANSGENDER AT WORK

BeautyPlus_20181201055538522_save
*Transgender at Work*

I know a few transgender people here on g+ and a few more in the real world who present openly as trans at work.

I have been “out” at my job for 3 months now and despite my initial nervousness I can only describe it in one way:
*I’m having a blast!👱‍♀️*

So I work in a large medical facility where our patient base is as diverse as the world itself. Our patients include everybody from newborns to geriatric people…wealthy to homeless…and every gender expression under the sun.

The really cool thing is that I get to meet them all! I help people schedule appointments, get their scripts, do follow ups, insurance issues…etc. Sort of a multipurpose patient representative.

Sometimes I get so involved in conversation with patients they almost miss their appointments!
(I have a reputation as a chatterbox at work…I just can’t shut up…ever!)👯🏼‍♀️
I never realized how marvelous it is to be able to be myself…to express myself as a woman in a career that brings me into face to face contact with so many cool people every day.

Before I came out, I worked as a police sergeant. I also dealt with people every day…face to face. While I realize that my job was totally different… *I was also different*

I presented as a male when I was a cop. I knew damn well I was trans because I was on HRT and in therapy for quite some time while I was in uniform. I even had a date set for my gender confirmation surgery!
👮🏼‍♂️+💉💊💓=👮🏼‍♀️

I used to worry about the other cops noticing my ever increasing breast size or my comments, opinions, mannerisms and just about everything else about me. I would even put my ballistic vest on at home before going to work just to avoid the locker room.

I was living full time as a woman in every aspect of my life with the exception of my job and I can’t begin to describe how that tore at my very soul.

*I was living a lie* I lived the lie, which kept me from just being truly happy, for most of my life so these days I feel like somebody let me out of prison.
No exaggeration…I’m serious…that’s how it feels.

I don’t hide the fact that I’m trans. The reality of my transition is that while I think I look pretty damn good now, I still have an imperfect voice and a few other traits that are throwbacks to my past.

For instance…I’m an alpha personality..I always was and always will be…I don’t take shit from *anyone…ever*. Also, lots of people knew me in the past and I still deal with them on a regular basis. So I guess there are some things about me I realized I like and I *don’t want to change.*

*Your transition doesn’t change the essence of who you are.* If you were a caring and loving person…you still are. If you were an inconsiderate shithead…then guess what…you still are.

I remember when I thought the most wonderful thing about finally transitioning would be the ability to “pass” or “blend” as a CIS female.

Nowadays, while I think I usually do blend quite well (On my good days I’m downright fucking hot, lol💃🏼) …I don’t worry about it. With the exception of issues surrounding my personal safety…I just don’t give a fuck!

I didn’t transition (Years of therapy, HRT, surgery, social and financial risk…..) to accommodate other people’s perception of me. In fact, I actually think that I prefer if the people I associate with know that I’m trans. I don’t introduce myself saying, “Hi I’m Toni and I’m trans”, but at the same time I don’t go out of my way to hide it. I have the trans symbol heavily tattooed on my right forearm so yes, I advertise for our cause.

I’d love to hear other trans people share their thoughts on the topic of coming out, living trans…etc. If you want to discuss it heres your chance…judgement free!

“Love yourself!”

Toni Grace🕊

 

Change, Momentum and Growth🕯

Transition means change, and all the steps we take as transgender women, to develop ourselves physically, emotionally and psychologically.
BeautyPlus_20181125204645046_save

Whether you decide to utilize HRT, surgery, therapy … a few of these or none of these…it still involves an evolution toward a state of being where you are able to express your female gender.

2018-11-25-23-15-38-179

One (of many) wonderful things about being trans is that you are so acutely aware of these changes. It really amounts to simply allowing yourself to grow in a direction that you absolutely know is right for you and doing what you can to guide that self actualization along the way.

IMG_20181125_203812

These photos were taken well into my transition, but before I had my GCS surgery. I knew where I was heading at this point in my journey and not a day went by where my dysphoria didn’t devour me. Its not like that for every trans woman…its very personal and individual so I can only speak for myself. Bottom surgery saved my sanity…no question about it…but again, that’s me.

IMG_20181125_205131

I’ve been on HRT now for about two and a half years and my surgery was 9 months ago. The process reminds me of an accelerated sort of puberty and whether you’re male or female, I’m sure you remember the craziness of hormonal changes and physical development…OMG… extreme highs and lows, experimentation, amazement, excitement…a roller coaster ride on jet fuel!

Its awesome for me to look back at my transition and what I was like before and during the process compared to how I am today.

IMG_20181125_205024

Savor every moment of your own transition… both the exhilarating and the painful…because those experiences comprise the mosaic of who you are today…as a woman.
Toni Grace 🎈

#transgender #toni grace

Social Dysphoria

2018-11-15-08-28-16-001

SOCIAL DYSPHORIA
Have you ever heard it said that women are “catty”? Catty refers to a woman being deliberately spiteful…usually to one another.
The reason women are perceived in that light is because of the way girls are socialized as they are growing up.

Most girls are taught to defer to men in conflicts, opinions and social situations. They are raised to believe that being assertive or visibly confident is not “lady like” . There is an expectation that they behave in a more demure and passive manner than the average male.

I see this almost every day at my job.
For example…If a male supervisor or manager directs his subordinates in a firm or “no bullshit” manner he is perceived as a good and decisive leader. If a woman displays those same qualities then she is a bitch.

Here’s where it applies to trans people….
I was raised as a boy. Male values and norms were impressed on me. I was taught how to stand up for myself and how to be self reliant. I learned to speak my piece when I had to and the result was that I excelled in my former male roles.

As a cop, I used to go toe to toe (literally) with men who could literally kick my ass. My thought was I’d rather risk getting hurt or killed than to show any weakness or to back down.

I still carry the remnants of those learned attitudes and behaviors with me today, but I’m perceived in a totally different light by those around me.
There is not a week that goes by where I don’t hear, “Toni, you’re something else”, “Toni, you’re too much” or even (rarely) “Toni, I wish I could be more like you” from the women I associate with.

Because of my assertiveness, some women feel that I’m a threat to their social standing and as a result, I fall prey to the “cattiness” I mentioned earlier.

If I was still a sociology student, observing someone else, I would find my situation “interesting”, but as a trans woman trying to live her life it becomes tiresome.
The reason I’m even talking about all this is because transition is so much more complicated than presenting as female physically. I’ve pretty much learned to deal with my physical gender dysphoria but now I’m learning to come to terms with a sort of social dysphoria.

Its all part of that journey we always refer to…the one with all the steep hills and curvy roads we learn to overcome.
Toni Grace🕊

#transgender #misogyny #transition #sociology #mtf