Thrift Shop Hopping and the Support of Friends

This week two very dear and precious friends came in from out of state for a visit. Along with a couple here locally who have been very supportive of me, they are probably the four people closest to me right now because of their acceptance of me. Wednesday after work, I went to meet them as myself rather than in male mode. This was a first for all four of them. I had talked to them Tuesday evening after they had arrived but they were tired from the long drive and I was in male dress at that time.

At the end of the evening one of the women said, “Do you know how much happier, outgoing, and different you are when  you let yourself be Liz instead of *****?” I was taken aback and asked “Is it that different? That obvious?” And all four resoundingly said interacting with me Wednesday evening was unlike any other time they’ve interacted with me in the past and that I was clearly happier and more at peace. I smiled, thanked them and headed home.

Now incidentally to all this, one of the out of state women is also a huge fan of thrift shops and she brought me 6 pairs of shoes, only one of which did not fit well. And one of those pairs are some really hot knee high boots!!

So the next day, Thursday, I showed up at my friends’ house where they are staying, again as myself, and we chatted a bit, then they said let’s do your makeup! So we did that and while I’m getting better I learned a few immediate lessons and learned that I can do an eyeliner with a dark eye shadow and a brush just as well as with an eyeliner pencil or liquid eyeliner. I also learned a little bit about “color theory” and realize now that I need a more yellow concealer stick for the dark under eye circles. That plus my foundation, covered them better than anything else I’d tried before! Once I was made up they decided we needed to go to lunch so we went to Whataburger since one of the women lives in a state where there are no Whataburgers and she wanted to try it. From there we went thrift shopping.

I came home with two bags of clothes and an entirely new wardrobe for $54. And more importantly, while shopping, the other women in the shop accepted me. I got one funny look from one man but two women who were trying on things in the adjacent dressing rooms had very flattering comments to me as I modeled various clothing items for my friends. We got back to the house around 7pm after a full day of shopping and being out and about and then spent a few more hours just talking together about everything from relatives to the current political races to work. Around 11pm we all broke up and I came home, floating on cloud nine. I’d spent an entire day as myself and largely been accepted.

My voice will remain a problem until I can do voice surgery because of that darned paralyzed vocal cord but I’ll get that changed eventually via surgery. And as HRT and electrolysis progresses, the physical aspects will continue to change in my favor.

My friends took some photos and as soon as I can get copies from them, I’ll see if they are good enough to add here.

The support of loving and accepting friends is an amazing thing, especially when your immediate family is rejecting the real you. Yesterday was a magnificent and important day for me in my transition. I’ve still got a long way to go but I know that I can do this if I keep myself focused. I hope that each of you can find friends who will be there for you, accept you, and love you when you need it.

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4 thoughts on “Thrift Shop Hopping and the Support of Friends

  1. Sounds like a difficult transition to go through! Have you got any transgender friends you can talk to? Friends are great, but sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone who’s been there and understands exactly what you’re going through. And society can be quite cruel at times. I wish you well on your journey 🙂

    • It’s not been as hard as some whom I’ve met have experienced. For that I am grateful. But the pains are there nonetheless, especially when it is your spouse and children rejecting you. I just keep focusing on the saying that “Friends are the family we choose for ourselves” and try to enjoy that as best I can.

    • Interestingly, the voice has resolved itself without formal voice training. My ENT has been supportive throughout my transition, and I see her every six months for monitoring a lump (so far benign) on my thyroid. Such lumps are apparently common but it’s always wise to monitor them. Anyway, as I’ve moved through transition and the longer I am on HRT, the more my voice has changed without me doing anything. She’s looked and said that she sees a definite thinning and tightening of the “good” vocal cord which is apparently the primary driver in my voice changes. I still have a voice in the lower female range. I check with Praat, a piece of software that evaluates pitch, etc., and I am pretty consistently now in the 160-200 Hz range. Given that male voices are 75-150 Hz and average female voices are in the 170-230 Hz range, I think I’m fine, and my friends all emphasize that my voice is completely acceptable. So my one worry from back then, that I may need voice surgery, hasn’t materialized, thankfully!

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