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Transgender Single parent really needing advice ?

(32 Posts)
Krissy1980 Fri 05-Dec-14 16:52:27

Hi Everyone

Its been a couple of weeks since i came out and begun living as a woman. Its been very hard and im struggling with life as a woman, just finding my fashion image, doing a daily routine of make up, even knowing how to be around my daughter is very hard.

I have spent the past 3 years over self medicating with female hormones but in all that time i have hidden my changes and dressed as a man the best i could. I came to a stage where i had to come out and be the woman i had slowly turned in to and want to be so i started by showing my female self to my daughter, she has accepted me really well but its me thats finding it hard to be a woman around her, i still feel a little ashamed and guilty which i know are my issues to deal with. I told my work and my daughters school and anyone that i felt needed to know. Its been a mixed bag of acceptance and ignorance.

However as i have spent the past 3 years hiding my changes and not dressing as a woman i now find myself really struggling with my look and image and just being a woman. I have no female friends to talk to or help me with things and i really need help. I feel uncomfortable around my daughter, even though we are closer than ever really but i struggle with me body and feel i still need to hide everything form my daughter but then i think i doont need to anymore, its so hard to explain. For example the other morning she walked in on me getting dressed, i was topless and the minute she walked in a covered up and told her to get out ? then i thought maybe i dont have to do that ? does it matter that she sees me like that ? its all so confusing and its making me feel awkward around her.

I struggle with what clothes i wear, is a tight top ok ?, is showing a little cleavage ok ? is wearing tight jeans ok ? i just feel really out of my depth. How much make up should i wear ? why cant i get my eye make up to look very good ? its so difficult at the moment and i feel alone sad

I guess this is a cry for help in a away and if anyone is willing to offer me a little advice i would be so grateful.

Krissy x

Middleagedmotheroftwo Fri 05-Dec-14 17:05:56

Hi Krissy

I'm not transgender, nor a single parent so ignore me if you want.

IMO, transgender men (is who have become women) usually "over feminise" themselves, particularly as regards the clothes they wear.

If I were you I'd look round friends or other mums and see who's dress sense you like and copy them.

Are you a dressy kind of person, or do you like hanging out in jeans and a hoodie?

Do you like wearing make up, or is it something you feel you have to wear to look more feminine? It might be worth going to a make up counter somewhere like Debenhams where they will do your make up for you and discussing with the assistant what look you're going for and what would suit you. Theyll be able to suggest a basic make up kit/look.

Some families are fairly open about nudity, some not. I wouldn't mind my 3yo seeing me naked, but whatever you're comfortable with is OK.

Are there any groups for transgender people you could join? I bet most people would have the same dilemmas and questions as you do! If not, why don't you start one? wink
Creating this post on MN is a good start though. Other transgender folk may pop by and give better advice, from experience.

Aethelfleda Fri 05-Dec-14 17:19:53

I'm not transgender but have much sympathy: what you are describing reminds me of a transgender friend of mine once said, it took her years to get to know who she really was, as so much of her identity pre-transition had been bound up in hiding who she was, that when she became a she, it was almost a case of starting over to think about what she actually wanted/liked, and how she wanted to project herself.

When cis girls are teenagers we go through all this finding-our-woman stuff, I am a very non-girly type so was totally bemused by makeup. And then after three years of my schoolmates turning up to school with hideous eyeliner and over the top foundation, they all got practiced at it and looked great. Whereas I still couldn't apply eyeliner straight. I decided I couldn't be arsed with makeup! I'm just as much a woman as them. But it's up to you. Personally I think understated makeup works better than over the top, but whatever you do go for will get better with practice!

So, like middle says, some of it is you getting to know yourself in your gender role, which will come with time and experience. It will get easier! The MN community is generally (though not always!) fairly kind so do post in other thread areas too if you need advice/support.

Krissy1980 Fri 05-Dec-14 17:42:48

Thanks both your support is very appreciated. I am finding it so difficult at the minute. I dress in mainly jeans and t shirt tops around the house and trousers and smart tops for work, i am very well endowed in the chest department which i am thankful for, i know a lot of trans women have to resort to implants and so on. One reason i came out as a woman now was because i could not hide my figure, but now i no longer need to hide i still feel very self conscious, even at home in front of my daughter. She discovered i had breasts a long time ago when i was living as a man and i have always hidden myself from her, now i feel im still doing it. Here is a picture of what im wearing today, this is what i went work in. Even wearing some thing like this makes me paranoid, i walk around all day with my arms crossed and i just look awkward and stupid. Even though i think its perfectly fine and along the same lines as what all the other women in the office wear. I just feel guilt all the time yet im happy im becoming the woman i have always been inside.

Thanks again both
Krissy x

MrsPepperMintonCandyCane Fri 05-Dec-14 17:51:52

Hi Krissy

First thing is to make sure your bra is the right size. So many women wear the wrong one. I love bravissimo and am blessed in the chest department. That will make all your outfits fit better and give you support and confidence.

I would look at peoples styles you admiare. You can wear anything that you are comfy in. Tight or otherwise. Makeup wise there are great YouTube tutorials. I'm actually going to see my friend who is a beautician because I've not worn make up for a long time and want her to show me what will suit me. That might be an option, to visit a salon for advice.

Krissy1980 Fri 05-Dec-14 17:59:08

Thank you for your advice. I find bra sizing and and buying bras very difficult, i normally order online and get a few sizes and see what fits best, i have no idea what my actual size is to be honest, i normally wear a 38DD, up until 6 or 7 months ago i was only a B cup, then i changed my hormone dose and had a massive growth spurt, which has also left me covered in stretch marks on my breasts. I use you tube a lot to learn make up and so on, but they make it look so easy lol i really struggle and it takes so long in the morning and never lasts, my face needs it to cover up my masculine features and i enjoy doing it when it looks good at the end, but more often than not i look like a drag queen with over the top make up sad

Krissy x

TheCowThatLaughs Fri 05-Dec-14 18:07:39

If I were you, I would look on YouTube there are loads of makeup tutorials ( Lisa Eldridge is good imo)
Aethelfleda, no need to use the term "cis" just woman is fine smile

Aethelfleda Fri 05-Dec-14 18:54:07

Sorry thecow, vocabulary creep, it wasn't intentional! I blame reading the excellent "Rooster Tails" graphic novel blog (google it krissy if you've not seen it, it's well worth looking at).

If you can pluck up the courage, it's worth going to an M&S, the larger branches offer a bra measuring service and specialise in ladies who've got changing size needs: pregnancy, BFing, surgery and hormone treatment. Don't know where in the country you are but certainly most of the London branches will have seen trans ladies before... They will measure you (no one size, cos it's style dependant for most bras) and advise on best fit.
Or of course there's Bravissimo as someone said above. Also good is Hotmilk (online) : it's a nursing bra specialist but they are good for larger sizes and very nice bras!

TheCowThatLaughs Fri 05-Dec-14 19:04:01

Hope you didn't think I was being rude Aethelfleda, it just really gets my goat!

MrsPepperMintonCandyCane Fri 05-Dec-14 19:11:43

www.bravissimo.com/m/#perfectfit/

A very good bra sizing guide

Aethelfleda Fri 05-Dec-14 19:15:25

Oh and just remembered the online retailer I got me Hotmilk bras from is called Figleaves.com. They have lots of other brands too. Not cheap but good quality and mail order.

Aethelfleda Fri 05-Dec-14 19:19:08

Oh and no problem thecow. Some of my LBGT friends are very pro the use of "cis" and "trans" descriptors, and others dislike the terms. I tend to mirror what someone is saying...

Aethelfleda Fri 05-Dec-14 19:20:38

Oh and krissy, you'll be pleased to know most stretchmarks fade to a silvery colour after a year or two... Til then I'm afraid it's a mark of womanhood!

Krissy1980 Fri 05-Dec-14 19:36:39

Thanks everyone, all your advice is appreciated. I'm feeling pretty low at the minute, being a woman is hard, its good to hear my stretch marks will fade, I'm covered in them, the ones on my boobs are very red and deep. I dont know if I have the guts to go and get measured, but I feel it would help. Hopefully my breasts have stopped growing now.

Krissy x

Krissy1980 Fri 05-Dec-14 23:07:03

Umm just thinking how I can gain confidence and I'm considering taking my daughter swimming for the first time tomorrow, I have a swimming costume and its something I've wanted to do for along time, but as I've been living as a man while being on hormones I've not been able to do it, hopefully it will do me good and help me get use to being seen as a woman and feeling comfortable with my daughter ? Maybe ?

Krissy x

Middleagedmotheroftwo Fri 05-Dec-14 23:10:55

I think lots if us have to pluck up courage to get measured for a bra, esoecially those of us with less than perfect figures!

To be a woman is to have hang ups about your body. I don't think many men have the same issues.

Krissy1980 Fri 05-Dec-14 23:15:57

Yes I know what you mean hun, I never had any hang ups as a man, except for wanting to be a woman lol I just never realised how much of a huge difference it is having a female body, its not quite how I imagined to be honest.

Krissy x

Parsley1234 Fri 05-Dec-14 23:22:38

Hello Krissy I replied to your other thread. My friend whose going for the full op soon had similar issues to you I got her aload of clothes from a pre owned designer shop and we tried them on some were great some not so much. I'm a beauty therapist so did his eyebrows made a big difference then I did some makeup I used bare minerals which works brilliantly where are you ? Pm me if you prefer I'm in London leeds and glos xxxxx

AwesomeSuperTasty Sat 06-Dec-14 15:13:24

Don't worry Krissy, most people take ages to perfect make up techniques. Which make up are you using? If you find it doesn't last, you can try using a primer under foundation. Changing to a different brand can also help. I've found that for foundation, blush and powder, it's best to go with the more expensive brands like Bobbi Brown and Mac as they are better pigmented and last longer. For eyeshadow, mascara and eyeliners, cheaper brands are just as good as the big brands, and you get excellent results with Bourjois (eyeshadow and eyeliner) and Maybelline (mascara). In Superdrug, there is a brand called Sleek which is top notch, as is the B brand which does high quality shimmer strips.

What also really helps is booking a makeover at the Bobbi Brown or Mac counters as they really know their stuff and know how to do the right make up for your face. Bobbi Brown do a free makeover on your birthday smile I think you have to pay at Mac but purchases are redeemable against the cost. If you just turn up at the counter for a foundation, they do foundation matching and a mini makeover for free.

I don't know how old your daughter is, but you can do a makeover type thing together perhaps?

Also, yes to eyebrows as the previous poster said.

Also Sali hughes's beauty column in The Guardian has excellent beauty advice and tips.

Krissy1980 Sat 06-Dec-14 19:20:55

Thanks awesome, I would love a make over, I've got my work Xmas party next weekend and I'm very worried lol just don't know what to do or what to wear. I do have some Bobbi brown and mac make up, and just got an urban decay set for my eyes, id love to do a Smokey eye. I'm going out for the first time in a dress and I'm scared lol thank you so much for all the advice.

Krissy x

whattheseithakasmean Sat 06-Dec-14 19:27:26

If you are not confident about make up, less is definitely more. I would be cautious of a smokey eye, it seems ambitious for a beginner & could go a bit drag queeny. Heavy make-up can be very aging, too. I would stick to light and natural - it is hard to wrong with soft taupe for the eyes & brown mascara.

Littlefish Sat 06-Dec-14 19:34:58

Hi Krissy. I'm so pleased to hear that you're going to take your little girl swimming. I replied on your thread about it a few weeks ago and am delighted that you've moved forward.

I am a larger breasted woman and would definitely recommend going to a Bravissimo shop if there is one near you. A well fitting bra will make all the difference to your shape, and will guide the sort of clothes you feel comfortable in. My friends and I generally follow the "breasts or legs" rule. Ie. If you are wearing a lower cut top, then keep legs more covered.

I agree with the previous poster who suggested paying close attention to the women you see around you and try and see if there is a particular style you like. There is an excellent style and beauty area here on Mumsnet which could also be a useful sounding board. Do you feel brave enough to post pictures of yourself wearing various outfits (with your identity hidden) so that people could help you judge how you look?

MAC makeup is gorgeous (but a bit pricey). However, they do makeovers in their stores or concession counters. They sometimes charge for this, but refund the amount against any purchases.

Re. Your daughter seeing you naked. My gut feel is that you have to do what you are comfortable with. However, if she used to see you naked but now you've stopped her, then you need to be honest with her about this and explain why in simple terms.

What does your daughter now call you/refer to you as?

Krissy1980 Sat 06-Dec-14 21:29:28

Hi littlefish, thank you for all your help smile I have posted a pic on this thread showing my normal work wear, I wouldn't have an issue putting photos on.

When I was a guy before I started hormones I would wear no top and just boxers to bed, even during the day I would wear no top and shorts at home in the summer, after 6 months on hormones I started to feel conscious about my chest and started wearing tshirts all the time, even in bed. As time went on I hid my chest with compression vests and bandages, about a year ago my daughter walked in on me in the shower, and seen my breasts, I had to have a little talk with her to explain. Since then I've grown by 3 cup sizes but always covered up and tried to hide them. So now I dont have to really but I still feel self conscious, even wearing my pjs or onesie or anything lol makes me feel strange around my DD, I guess ive spent so long hiding my chest its become a big deal to me not having to any more ? I dont know if I just need time to adjust.

Krissy x

Krissy1980 Sat 06-Dec-14 21:31:34

Oh sorry I forgot to say my daughter calls me dee ? All the time now, dad still slips out sometimes though when we are out, but I don't care to be honest x

Littlefish Sat 06-Dec-14 22:32:26

Are you able to say roughly what sort of work you do? In many work environments I would say that the top you're wearing in the photo is a bit low cut. What do other people wear at your work?

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