Saturday, July 03, 2010

Impressions: A Week With New Presentation

Well, I have just finished a week with my new work look, and it's been pretty interesting.  For those who have missed previous posts, the new work look consists of basically whatever hair styling I feel like, whether it be tousled, a high pony tail or voluminous curliness,  accompanied by some fairly subtle and androgynous combination of men's and women's clothing, and a makeup look hinged on full mineral powder coverage, subtle color and mascara, and of all things, a hint of coral lip gloss with a glittery sort of effect.

You may find yourself asking "Why would anyone trans or otherwise do something like that?" Its a valid question.  And it keeps occurring to me, but I have no answer.  Conventional wisdom seems to be that its best to avoid androgyny at all costs, because its a bit confusing to some people, and tends to put people off.But for some reason, I just keep feel like publicly pushing my look a little bit more all the time.  I guess really its me trying to make a statement about who I am, without having to say it directly.

So, the response!  People have been pretty cool.  A few curious looks as mentioned earlier.  I've worked in very close proximity to my boss and he has seemed mostly comfortable and has not asked a single question.  One of the girls I work with definitely noticed, and at one point mentioned needing a screen cover for her phone because of makeup residue.  It felt like an invitation to open up, but I decided for now to keep quiet just a little longer.  I met the state's new consultants assigned to our high school for the first time Friday.  Its a moment I've feared, because if they turned out to be the kind of people put off by my appearance it could make the year very interesting.  But they were all very cordial.  Even warm really.  I was wondering about how they would read my gender, but I never got a chance to find out.  One of them asked upon hearing my last name if I was kin to Dad.  Someone who already knew me then introduced me as Dad's son at that point, breaking my little experiment. :P

First time Mom saw me, I think she actually smiled.  I say I think so, because its still a little hard to believe, considering her response to lots of earlier changes.  Her opinion means a lot to me and I hate seeing her upset over things I do, so it was a pretty major moment.  I just hope I'm not reading too much into it.

As for me, this has been very positive.  I am closer to the way I want to look on the average day than I have ever been, and still being accepted by those around me.  It has done wonders for my self esteem.  The insecurities that have plagued me are starting to lift.  I can talk to almost anyone now without that terrifying sense of inferiority making me want to run away.  :P

  My practice has been pretty limited in the past, and this has stretched my abilities Doing this every morning for a week has done wonders for my speed, as things are starting to become habit.  Also  I've never felt the need for this level of subtlety before.  So making sure shadows, and blushes blend evenly against the base color has become a priority, and I am now able to apply subtle, non clumpy mascara in moments.

Wednesday, I was out in a neighboring town doing freelance computer work.   Afterward I shed my over shirt, leaving me completely in gender appropriate clothing except my chunky Doc shoes and dropped by Wal-Mart.  I walked right past lots of teenage cliques chatting in the parking lot and in the store, but no one seemed to notice me.  No laughs, no long stares, no whispers.  I dropped by electronics for a moment, and looked at PSP games.  A kid in my section looked up as I walked past.  "Hey, do I know you?"

At first, I really doubted it.  I couldn't remember his face.  "Hmm, I... don't think so?"

"Do you work at Blah Blah Middle School?"

"Sometimes, yes."

"I do know you!"  he said with a smile.  

He seemed really cool about it.  Friendly and chatty.  

Now I'm off from work for a couple of weeks.  Two weeks with my parents in Bar Harbor Maine.  What will I do when I get back?  Kinda depends on how well laser holds up.  It will have been over 6 weeks between sessions after this.  If the facial hair is still light enough, I'll just keep up this presentation.  Going full time by december still feels within reach. :)


Suzi said...

I'm really happy that things seem to be falling in place for you. I like the way you push the envelope at work. It's an old method called desensitization. They may be a little shocked at first, but over time, what shocked them becomes normal and acceptable.

If you're going to work looking like these pictures you posted, I think people are just waiting for you to open up and let them know what's going on. You're so pretty there can be little doubt where you are headed. :)Suzi

Melissa said...

Androgyny? I don't see any androgyny at all. All I see is a girl, and a very adorable girl at that! Shandy, I think you are precious!

Melissa XX

Leslie Ann said...

What Suzi said. Pushing a little at a time is perfect. No shocking changes, and they know exactly where you're going.

Your mother? I imagine she's greatly relieved that you don't present as the drag queens she sees on TV, but as a lovely young daughter that won't embarrass the family. perhaps she's picturing you in her wedding dress!

Jenny said...


I'm so pleased that things are working out for you.
I've just skimmed back over some of your other posts and looking at the pictures that you've posted and the ones in this post, all I can see is a nice looking young woman.


Common Teri said...

Experimenting with androgynous looks was something I went through too. I think you're right it's a good way to acclimate folks to the female you. Continued good luck there.

Rachel said...


You are an inspiration to me and I am sure to many other girls who read your posts. I only wish that I was as adapt with eye make-up to produce such a subtle look. Oh well, perhaps some day my own pushing outward will reach that far.

I hope all goes well for you and look forward to reading about it.

Rachel X

Joni said...


Is this the same girl that was so impatient to start? Actually saying full time in 6 months, when appearance-wise you are ready now?

Best of luck to you girl. Will you be hitting the beach in Maine?


Caroline said...

My change has been glacial for years and went so far I could not believe that everyone had not figured it all out but they hadn't! On the plus side many said not much change then when I did tell them, people hey!

At this rate you will be a Miss America contestant by December!

Caroline xxx

lisalisa said...

I bet your confidence is growing and I can see why people accept you!

chrissie said...

It works well, pet... Real well. Looks like I imagine you to be.

As always, the question is "How do YOU feel about it?"