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Story of Becoming Max: Confronting gender identity disorder

Have not had any Earth shattering news but will post an unusual business situation I’m got myself into that is unique to the 30-something years I’ve been in the Mannequin game but, found this and wanted to share a 15yrs old short story about just what I went through-not being able to hold feelings in any longer:

 

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/arizonaliving/articles/2012/05/05/20120505gender-identity-disorder-max.html

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Charles’s Detransition

Hi friends, I meant to post this some time back and it got “stuck” in the drafts folder,

I find this facinating and guess if I had been as financially blessed as charles here I would have had SRS as well-YIKES!!! Trying to get back that something you once had has to be expensive and tough-hard to replicate what God gave you as a male at birth….

I Admire Charles for telling his story candidly and being able to re-evaluate and move on with his life-not sure I agree with the term “Trans-Regret”, but there are those who don’t agree with the term “De transition”…so….Anyway read and be informed and fascinated about this brave guy and his journey-there and back:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1327554/Charles-Kane-sex-change–hated-Samantha-man-Now-hes-getting-married-So-fiancee-crazy.htmlDaily Mail Femail Charles Kane and fiancee Victoria 15/10/2010

Pics of me through the years

New PhilipOne poster wanted some historical pic documentation of my journey, here goes, enjoy!

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INLANDER “LAST WORD” article:

inlandHello Friends,

Been a while since my last post-a lot has happened but ordinary things that happen to all of us. I’ve moved and MUCH happier and at peace in new home with a great basement workshop that is full of mannequins for repairs, some mine, some belong to retailers, a couple are here for redo’s for collectors.

A reporter from the INLANDER(our weekly free paper)contacted our local LBGT Center about an interest in reporting on various people’s gender transitions.  Matt announced this on the Facebook page, I called left a message, about a week later I met the reporter and we talked and here is the result:

http://www.inlander.com/spokane/article-17570-life-in-transition.html

I was a bit taken back/suprized that several people expressed interest but did not have time to talk with the reporter-a couple were nice enough to cancel but a few left her sitting by herself in coffee shops for hours being no-show and no-call besides being rude, this left them scrambling at last minute to fill a full page that was going to be for a few stories-since I was the only one, I got the page to myself.

My story is out of the norm as few detransition back.  This is probably not what the general public things off when transition comes to mind so it will be interesting to see what people think.

Maybe The Suit Does Make The Man?

Hello friends and family,
Very long time between posts here as the de-transitoning process for me has been very smooth, easy and virtually for all things considered-seamless, WAY easier than begining to transition from living as male-to-female to start with-WHEW!!! Now that was WORK, not to mention, expensive!!! By the time you get into see a qualified therapist, see an endocrinologist, start hormones, pay for make-up, hair maintence a female wardrobe well…might as well get two jobs!!!

What was I saying? OH-Yeah!!! This is all about my de-transitioning! I need to get the name changed back legally to Philip Paul Porter as it is on my original Birth Certificate and the State of Washington’s process is relatively inexpensive and painless-filing fee though is $148.00 and I simply don’t have it right now. You pick up a very simple form filling in your name now, what you want your name to read and check boxes understanding if you are a registered sex offender you still have to register with your new name like you did with old one and check a box saying you are not changing your name to abscond from the authorities, sign, date, notorize and turn in with your filing fee and an small additional payment for extra court copies(they recomend three extra, a judge on a certain day of the week approves the changes and your in and out-

It has been an ok year financially but not near where someone my age needs to be fiscally-gonna bust m butt working on that this coming year and already have mannequin work lined up-I’m excited!!! I’m seeking employment and seems so far seeing Phoebe on the app and me being asked to be called “Philip” has not been an issue with anyone so far nor do I expect it to be. To make life easier for Clerks and Safeway, Rite-Aid, etc. anyplace you hold a “value-card”, I did go and apply for all new cards under “Philip” as they would visible see a man stading before them, hand me my receipt, look very bewildered as they said “Thank you….Miss???…..Philips??? So, with this done-it avoids their confusion. 

I never did use the transitioned  process nor am I de-transitioning to call attention to myself-so many I can tell you DO. Believe it or not-I’m just being me-always have-and yes, I have gotten attention as it is unusual and does appear a “train-wreck” to others lucky enough to have not had or know anyone close to them dealing with this processs. For the record I don’t consider it the “train-wreck” I mentioned-I’ve been blessed to deal with something unsusual and get the privileget to now educate people around me and there is no greater gift to be given.

Something that surprised me is that so far I’ve been running around in shorts, jeans, t-shirts, sweats, sneakers, hoodies, etc. and recently been invited to a couple Holiday Parties at Art Galleries that call for “smart” appearance since I’ll be meeting fellow artist, Gallery owners, etc., I dug in to my box of “stuff I hardly use nor rarely need” and found the pair of dress slacks from Nordstrom I had gotten some time back with white button down shirts, found a pair of black leather tassel loafers that my good friend Dale loaned me and I still have and I still need a tie and sweater, I had socks and briefs-and I actually had fun putting together a fairly dressy man’s outfit for myself!!! Having worked in Display I abhorred the men’s dept. as at the time I found Men’s fashions so BORING… Guess this along with so many of my mind-sets are changing-I do fascinate myself these days!!!

Attended my first SPOKANE TRANSPEOPLE meeting held at the Spokane LBGT Center this last Saturday-haven’t been to a group meeting in years and I have to say we have a great group of people here in Spokane all wanting to meet the same goals of taking the steps to be comfortable with who they want to be and we all want acceptance-it was mixed, male-to-female, female to male and one de-transition, that would be me-I was happy I could advise both men and women with my years of experience and look forward to seeing these new friends at the next one on the 31st. 

Wanted to add, I got to have dinner with my “Little Brother”, his parents who I call “Big Mama” and “Big Daddy”!!! They can’t get over how eccentric us Southerner’s are!!! “Little Brother” had grown about a foot seems like and BOY how times have changed, he’s eleven now and has a little boyfriend who was with them-great kids, and not afraid to be themselves, I’m glad they are learning this lesson early of course it is me who benefits from knowing these great people, I’ll keep y’all posted about my extended family here!!!

This is about all I can think to talk about today but there will be more-stay tuned dear friends and have a great Holiday and New Years!!!

XOXO,

Philip

Physical Changes So Far…

Hello friends, family and blog readers. It’s been a while between blog’s due to technical issues now addressed and behind me thanks to my dear friends Kathie, Marc and Simon for getting me over this “hump” I’ll be eternally grateful and with your help, I can now move forward!

I’m behind so I guess today I’ll address physical changes since we last talked a while back. Surprisingly my voice is deeper-seriously- I was told that I was talking one day it kept “cracking”. I thought I was coming down with something or slept with the fan on-but it had deepened. I have one of those voices that when I began living as a female 32 years ago I felt voice therapy was necessary to help me my voice have a more feminine tone-what I got was six months of strep-throat and laryngitis. I had to fine my own tone. Now that nature has taken back over-it’s taken over my voice as well feels like I have gravel really deep in my throat so it’s strange but feels very natural.

Body hair. Who knows? I spent decades fending off body and facial hair so since I’m letting it grow wild I can’t say if I have more or less but I did some research, I remember years before moving here when I noticed guys in East Texas were shaving their legs-it sort of freaked me out-I was playing softball on my store’s team and wondered…how high up do they shave and what “else” is getting shaved? I like male body hair-it’s virile and the men’s magazines advise when I asked suggest shaving body hair only if you are an professional athlete. I’m not, so it’s there but I do keep it trimmed or shorter. I suffer from what I call “old man’s arm hair” you know, where it’s unusually long and grows in every direction-i.e.;some of our teachers arm hair when we were in high school? I’m trying to avoid that look!

Facial hair. I did complete permanent electrolysis on my face to the jawline and below that-it was scarce so I’m surprised I have a some sideburns hair that has re-grown as well as chin hair and below-jaw-hair and more may come back-we’ll see but I can play a bit with the sideburns length and width and have some on my chin that I’m experimenting with but -these facial hairs are mostly, sadly grey and upkeep to keep them the color of my colored hair is constant but it’s fun having some facial hair after all these years so I’m making the effort and again experimenting.

Muscle mass. Well, I’m working out with some weights and unless I begin to take muscle building supplements I may be stuck with a what I had before as a guy and girl, a swimmer or runner’s build though I felt I might be able to develop more body mass now since I have more body mass but we’ll see. Would be happy to just firm some certain area’s up-will keep you posted as things progress. Keep in mind decades of inducing female hormones smoothed out muscle mass as expected so may take a while longer to see if there is truly any difference in physical appearance.

So far I’m passing completely as a man in public, no confusion in Men’s rooms or checkout counters except where I had a discount card where they look a bit puzzled when reading then saying out loud “Thank you MS Phillips?”. Yes, I had to get all new cards under my new/old name and I have to get my ID updated as I was almost turned away by the door guy at the “CUFF” a Gay bar in Seattle he looked at my I.D., then me, then leaned forward saying “Dude, we’ll let you in this time but you gotta get a new picture…”. Yes, I look THAT different with the shorter, darker hair. That is a good thing. I like being referred to as “Buddy”, “Guy”, “Sir”, “Dude”, “Mr.”, “Tiger” and other terms of male endearment and I like hanging with the guys-who would have thunk it???

This may to TMI for some but I’ve been asked and have to be brutally honest as I promised myself I had to be when I started this blog-I never underwent Sexual Reassignment Surgery so I still have my male reproductive organs and they function fine-nuff-said. Now the subject of my “chest” I did have some augmentation done to make my chest appear female and it was highly successful. I did not get implants I elected to over time have silicone injections done over several years to gradually augment the breast area and they are very believable to the eye and touch. I have to say here that Silicone itself does not kill nor mame. I’ve had Silicone in my face and breast for over 20 years. It has NOT shifted, moved, denigrated nor migrated. If Silicone was gonna kill us, we’d all be dead. It’s in our cosmetics, hair products, lotions, cookware, lubricants, everything we all handle everyday. I digress. In order to make my chest more male in appearance it would take a lot of evasive surgery requiring a lot of incisions and scrapping away leading possibly to disfigurement or nerve damage. I’m seeking a qualified plastic surgeon who has experience with such a surgery to undo what I’ve had done. Till then a good sports bra will do-no way I’m strapping down my chest with a tight ace bandage.

This is where I am today at present-I am still surprised at this drastic change at this late age but friends, I’m happier and I hate to say “at peace with myself” as it is SO cliché but. there it is-I’ve said it and it’s true and feels really, really good! More to come-and if there are any questions, please feel free to ask. I’m not so surprised to find that I’m not the only one making this journey-back for a number of reasons. Suppose we are never alone though at times it can feel that way.

Keeping Up Appearances #1 Hair

Living as a man after living as a very passable trans-woman for thirty two years required some effort to appear as masculine as I can on the outside to match how I feel on the inside much like effort had to go into making myself appear feminine previously when transitioning from male to female -only the Detransition seems natural and taking WAY less effort-

Hair is an example. My hair has been long for as long as I can remember being cut to shoulder length or just trimmed since the late 70’s- being a guy now I needed shorter locks and a “style” you know a “guy” style-  My long curly hair appearance wise always left a question of what gender I truly was lately since I wear minimal make-up  and  never in my life did anything for attention or especially to confuse people or make others uncomfortable-I just want people to be at ease around me and me be comfortable with myself. I have my Dad’s side of the family’s receding hairline not to mention sharp features and I used to hide that with bangs-accentuating the feminine while drawing attention away from the masculine-now striving to achieve just the opposite-accentuating the masculine features to appear more masculine. 

I had been driving friends nuts by collecting men’s hair styling magazines and trying to pick a style-it was all over the map as far as what people thought would look good on me and since In naturally curly my dear roommate and friend Simon suggested the style the lead singer of “Simply Red” had back in the 80’s , long on top and short sides and back-I found a pic of a model in “OUT” magazine who had such a cut-the few pics showed clearly from all angles what was going on and I decided this would work.

Me being for the most part a still settling starving-artist and new Spokanite coupled with I did not want to wait to get a new look that would have taken (A)more cash or (B)tracking on Craigslist a Cosmetology Student who needed a model in exchange for a service, I went to a discount chain, Fantastic Sam’s  and was fortunate to get a great stylist. I was SO comfortable with Kirsten-she listened intently to me during the consultation, studied my models cut and told me exactly what she would do and that it would work and assured me it would look great on me. I had no idea how I would react when the cutting began, I was SO ok with  losing all that hair but she Kirsten kept my mind off it by telling me about  her gay son who was now in San Diego and we discussed my detransition at  length- She was well plugged into the local Gay community.

My hair had been red for so long so after an initial “letting” of the length and shampoo I encouraged her to get as much red off as possible including the top-she obliged and I have to say I was very pleased with the final result-Kirsten was great, knowing how to “read” my head shape and accentuate the positive while nullifying by illusion the negative. Under the read, I was not as grey as I thought I was, I did purchase some temp /was out hair dye to try a dark brown, my hairs natural color sans of course the grey. I will apply this tomorrow and we shall see.

All in all, the cut is getting raves-I look at myself in the mirror from all angles and see a “guy” looking back-my stylist   Kirsten truly did good work and I will return for trims and follow ups.  Not bad for a $12.00 cut at all. Next, wardrobe and a workout plan to firm up a bit- Stay tuned! Before and after of the new style to follow!