Amorous Eyes

T-Girl Extraordinaire

The story so far..

EDIT: Apparently I inadvertently created a commotion and also some confusion regarding a few things I had written down here. This was not my intention so I have rewritten certain parts to clarify the actual meaning. Most notable edits are in the part about my last name. I realize some of my wording implied something completely different than what I really wanted to say. I shouldn’t always write so late at night. :P My apologies.

Since I started this website a little after my start of transitioning I thought it would be helpful to write out a brief timeline with what I’ve done so far.

Sunday, June 15th
It was in the late evening when I once again expressed my desire to be a girl to my wife. She told me that there are ways to make that happen. I passed out shortly after that comment, since I was exhausted, but when I woke up I saw that she had been looking for webpages about exactly that. Transitioning from one gender to another. It was at this point in time that I truly realized I had been living a lie for all my life.

Monday, June 16th
The decision was made in the night from sunday to monday to really go through with this. I knew then, crystal clear, that this was the path I had to take. It wasn’t a choice, it was my destiny.

I shaved my beard (if you could call it that) and got rid of my mustache for the first time since it started growing on me, about 20 years ago.

Many websites were googled and browsed during the following days, doing extensive research on all facets of transitioning; both the physical and the psychological. This was when I started to try and make decisions.. Do I want to try and go deep stealth? Do my transition and move elsewhere and hide it from everyone? Or do I want to be completely open about it all and share it with whoever needs or wants to know? While I was heavily leaning toward stealth, which was probably mostly due to being scared of possible repercussions, I eventually opted to go full disclosure.

Tuesday, July 1st
On this day I bought myself female clothes for the first time. We went to the nearest city and strolled around buying a few things I would need. I also got my first bra that day, a 70A (Europe size) to be exact. Another thing I thought of doing was getting both my ears pierced, since up til now all I had was a single pierced ear. I got that done over at Claire’s. I picked pink studs. The girl who did it was a little confused but whatever, right?

We also told our teenage daughter on this day and she seemed pretty ok with it all. Of course she’s pretty laid back in general so we didn’t really expect many problems there. We tried our best to make clear that this was not something to discuss anywhere with anyone, not until I was ready to be more in the public, as that could jeopardize my transitioning plans.

Wednesday, July 2nd
Had a very early 9am appointment with my huisarts (similar to a general practitioner) since I knew I was going to need a referral to see a gender therapist. I picked a Wednesday because that is the only day the female substitute is in. I don’t really like the main guy I have.

Afterward my wife and I went over to my mom’s and after a relatively long delay I finally told her my plans. I tried to explain it as best I could.. That it would take time, years.. And that I wanted to tell people early on so they had a chance to get used to the idea as well instead of just showing up one day, going “tadah”. She had some issues with it but seemed willing to try and deal with it and accept it. “Just don’t show up in a dress tomorrow”, while the information was in her head, she still had to deal with it.

Later that day we found out that our daughter thought it was a ‘fun fact’ to tell everyone in school: “My dad is going to be a girl”. She told this smack in the middle of the cafeteria during break, with all the kids ranging from age 12 to 18 present. Not a good thing..

That night was a very hard night on both my wife and I as we tried to come up with a solution.. an idea.. something.. Anything that would make sure that this would not happen again. Her school was over in a few weeks and she’d move to a new one afterward, so the damage done may not be as severe. There was no way of knowing for sure though. And there was still a report card meeting coming up. How could I dare show my face not knowing who knows what?

While this was obviously something that should not have happened, you have to realize that she did this without any malicious intent, as hard as it may be to understand that. She has issues.. problems.. that need to be addressed and resolved. So we decided that she simply has to go into therapy ASAP. Until then, we figured she could stay with my dad, her grandfather, so we’d also have some breathing room and time for ourselves.. time to think.

Thursday, July 3rd
So the next day I talked to my mom, arranged for dad to come over and pick up Lynda for a while. We knew she’d miss some school but her classes were pretty much over anyway, she already did all her tests and had her final grades. Of course I had little choice to tell my dad since there were bound to be questions about all this. He responded pretty much how I thought he would. “As long as you’re happy, I’m happy.” So not a big deal there.

Saturday, July 5th
Told Kiki, an online friend who I share two chatrooms with. She was very happy for me.

Sunday, July 6th
Took a few pictures in the morning, just before my dad would arrive for his weekly Sunday visit. Those were the first pictures of me in girl-mode. I didn’t even have good pants yet.

Starting around this point is when I started to dress in girl-mode more and more around the house.

Sunday, July 13th
At exactly midnight I changed my online nickname in IRC to AmorousEyes and activated several online accounts with that name, such as my MySpace and Gmail account. I told everyone in the main chatroom (of which I am the owner) my situation and it went over well. There was the odd one that didn’t believe me at first but he was never very bright to begin with.

Wednesday, July 16th
My first therapy session in Amsterdam. This was also my first day out in the public in girl-mode. It was scary at first, but felt great and liberating. My therapist seems like a nice guy and it was clear he had a lot of ‘pointers’ for me that would benefit me in the future diagnosis and treatment part. He was very pleased I came in girl-mode which he said would definitely score me points in the future diagnosis if I kept that up.

Tuesday, July 22nd
Set up a meeting with a few family members over at my mom’s place. This day I told four aunts and an uncle. While this was certainly not the news they were expecting (which ranged from having a baby to us moving back to the states) they too seemed accepting and understanding.

Of course from this point on the news started spreading (with my permission) throughout the family and friends, I received only positive responses so far.

Wednesday, July 23rd
Went to Amsterdam to get my ‘girly’ tattoo on my left arm. It’s a very colorful fairy of which I’ll post a picture later. Later that evening I invited over another uncle and his wife and told them as well. They already knew I would contact them about ‘something’ but they had no idea what. I was still in girl-mode from my trip to Amsterdam earlier so it wasn’t too hard for them to figure it out. I knew they could handle it though, as they are very progressive thinking people.

Friday, July 25th
Posted my first transition post over on my other blog which is read by a ton of people. Screw anonymity, screw going stealth. I had been writing this post for a while but I wanted to wait until I talked to a few more family members so they had a heads up on it.

Sunday, July 27th 
Dad came by again for his weekly visit and we all went to eat at McDonald’s as we do every time. However, the minute after my wife had left for work, he started mentioning that he really didn’t appreciate the fact that I want to change my name. He told me he felt like I “stabbed him in the back” and called what I had planned “treason”. He said he had zero problems with my transition, save for that part.

I had stated earlier that my name (first and last) will change and that I would really like it if other people would at least try to accept that and call me by my new name. And while I perfectly understand that may be difficult for some at first, and take time, especially for my parents, the name change is just another part of my transition. I would be most uncomfortable if someone would be calling me by my old name 10-20 years from now. You can misspeak of course, and with people I don’t see a whole lot to begin with I know this would take a lot longer to adjust to, I’m just asking that they’d at least try and not just flat out refuse.

So my dad and I argued for a bit (though we never raised our voice) and he asked if I would truly be willing to accept the consequences of him leaving for good if I kept my plans of changing my last name, so I countered it by asking him if he was truly willing to accept the consequences of leaving for good over something like this. I thought he was out of his mind to claim he was perfectly ok with everything except that single thing and putting it to an ultimatum like that. It felt like emotional blackmail. He went so far as to include my wife and kid; his (only) grandchild; in that. And though I told him they had nothing to do with this, and asked him if he really thought this through, he said he was awake for one whole night making this decision.

To me it felt very excessive, I told him that I knew he would have some problems or reservations with it but I didn’t expect a “If you change this none of you will ever see me again, ever, period”. My daughter was present for this too by the way, and not happy about it at all and very upset. I sent her outside so she didn’t have to witness all this. He told me in no uncertain terms that there was no way he would change his mind on this, so I had little choice to simply say “so be it”. He then said “but I’ll still drop by this Friday to drive your daughter to her therapy session”. I’m sorry? What? You just told me you want no part in our life whatsoever, but you’ll still drop by a few days from now?

That is what gave me the clue he never meant it all though. That he was simply testing me to see how steadfast I was in my decisions. My wife agrees and thinks I called his bluff and he never intended to leave (he stuck around for the longest time afterward) but whichever way it was, my intention remains the same and I simply cannot change any part of my transition for anyone. I can’t let other people tell me what to wear, how to look, what kind of colors to use for make-up, to cut my hair, etc.. That would be just silly.

While I again tried to explain what would happen with my name to my dad I finally found the real issue at hand. He (and apparently a bunch of people) thought I meant I want to completely change my last name while all I ever intended was to change my married name. This means I’ll gain one, not lose one. My old last name will simply be transformed into a maiden name. My new last name will only be made legal retroactively from my marriage onward. In other words, I take my wife’s name in marriage. So I would still have to use my current last name on legal documents where a maiden name is required and it would still be on my birth records as it is the name I was born with. This finally clarified it all to him and the issue was resolved.

For some reason I never thought that people would view it that way, whenever I said I wanted to change my last name I always meant to imply my married name and not my father’s name, but of course everyone else thought the latter. I apologize for any confusion but I have to stress again that that was never my intent.

During the next week I went full-time as I grew tired of hopping back ‘n forth into girl-mode and then guy-mode again. So now I do everything in full on girl-mode, grocery shopping, eating out, going to my daughter’s therapy sessions, the works.

Thursday, August 7th
The day of my second therapy session didn’t go without a hitch. We missed the bus by a hair, it drove off right on front of us, so I already knew I would be late, and when we finally arrived in Amsterdam we had to walk in the pouring rain trying to find the darn place again. When I finally got there I was extremely late and I cannot afford to let that happen again. I simply have to be on time next time. He gave me some ‘homework’ to do, people to call and files to request, as it would be needed in later sessions.

During these first few weeks of transition I ‘stole’ clothes from my daughter, got some through a cousin of mine (thank you!), bought (more) make-up and kept on learning and unlearning many things. One of the hard things is to stop responding to my old name and (politely) correcting people that call me by it. My daughter either calls me mommy or Julie, so she has two moms now.

There is still many, many things to do, practice, and learn, but I’m taking it one step at a time. Some things simply go faster than others. I thank everyone who has supported my decision and I hope I can continue to count on their support in the future.

Posted on August 13, 2008 Leave a comment

Allow myself to introduce… Myself!

For a long time I think that part of my family thought I was gay, not that it was ever openly mentioned but it was just a feeling that it was simply assumed because I didn’t have any relationship at all beyond the one single friend I had at the time. Then a few years ago I suddenly announced I was getting married, and yes it was a girl.. really! Of course the catch was that she happened to be 6000 miles away but I was dead serious and pursued it despite the immense adversities my now wife and I sometimes faced.

About a year ago she came here to stay and was accepted as one of the family pretty quick, the doubts of my relatives faded as they got to know her, as well as the new me. They had to revise their opinion of me as I think it was generally assumed I was just the slacking trouble-making black sheep of the family and I would be lucky to be alive at the age of 30. Now I am probably exaggerating these things a bit, but this is how it felt to me, despite being born into this family I never felt included and I never felt accepted. Some did try though, and I really did appreciate that but I myself was also to blame for this skewed perception of me, as I too shied away from any social contact beyond the absolutely necessary.

Now, they may need to revise their opinion of me again, for again I did something that was completely unexpected and probably not something they ever thought of anyone in their social circle doing, let alone a family member.

I could have tried to keep this secret, I could have just moved to another town and try to start over there, but I really wanted to see how I would fare here, to see if I would find general acceptance or if the ignorance and ridicule would be too much and force me to leave anyway. Luckily I found understanding with the ones I did tell early on and even gained support from most of them. I am very grateful for that and I hope I’ll continue to have this much luck in the future.

You see, this is something so big that in almost all cases it causes a severe and irreversible rift between friends and family, this is something so big that it causes marriages to end and for people to never see their children ever again. Luckily I have a very understanding wife and I happen to be the odd one out. Thank God for that. Even my parents seem to be willing to deal with this, which is more than I could have asked for.

I am sure that by now you are wondering what is so big that it could make me lose my wife, my kid, my family, and what little friends I have. Is this where I tell everyone I am a serial killer? A reformed terrorist? Starting my own suicide cult? No, nothing of the sorts. In fact, in my opinion this is something wonderful and beautiful, though I realize that sadly some people may view me as an abomination of nature. Regardless of what information I provide there is still a very hard set stereotype and stigma attached to it and that is precisely what makes it so difficult to tell people this.

Yet, here I go and tell the world that I am a woman.

No, I didn’t typo or misspoke, I truly meant to say that I am a woman, a transsexual, and always have been. I am sure that right now you are buzzing with questions and I will try to do my best to handle some of the issues you may have to hopefully clear up some misconceptions about me, transsexualism, and transgenders in general.

In more medical terms it is called Gender Identity Disorder (GID) which in simple terms means that my gender does not match my sex. Gender being the internal sex I associate with (in my case female) and sex being the physical body I am in (male). Or to put it pop-culture bluntly: I was born in the wrong body.

For almost as long as I can remember I have been suffering from depression, angst, social anxiety, high emotional responses, trying to ‘fit in’ and a whole host of other problems. I have honestly tried to be a man, for years I used to hang with them, but I was often bored stupid. I dislike sports, I don’t know anything about cars and don’t care either, and whenever my friends were doing ‘guy-things’ like howling, being drunk and loud or whatever I was embarrassed. Eventually I even started copying male mannerisms and behaviors. I deliberately taught myself to talk different (monotonously), walk different (still fail horribly), use different gestures, sit different, and yet I still failed to master any of those things. Now I have to unlearn all those things again.

I still got confused with being a girl, even with people staring me dead in the face at point blank range asking me if this was the “men’s room” while I clearly had a mustache and goatee at the time. This specific incident repeated itself twice in a row by the same guy in fact. That was not an uncommon thing either, I got confused a lot by my voice (when not paying attention and it slides up again) on the phone, or by my looks, almost every day it happened that someone honestly (and not jokingly) thought I was a girl.

Have I always known I was a girl? Yes and no. I was in complete and utter denial for a large part of my life and even when the signs did appear very clearly I just brushed them off and simply tried harder to be a guy.

So how did I finally have this ‘epiphany’ and admit I was a transsexual? For a long time I have been making statements like “I wish I was a girl” in reference to things only girls can do, sometimes silly things, sometimes not. Like wearing pretty clothes, guys just got jeans, t-shirt, and maybe a tux for a formal occasion, that’s it. Girls got all the cool stuff, the pretty stuff, I envied them. I also related more to the social activities of women, such as (window)shopping, or just blabbing about random stuff.

By the above you may be wondering if this isn’t just some women’s clothing fetish but I assure you it is not. I do not get an erection by wearing female clothes, it was merely an example of something I wanted desperately and could never have. Please do not confuse me with a drag-queen either. Let me stress this out a bit more:

I AM NOT A DRAG-QUEEN!

When you try to picture me, don’t try to picture some male construction worker with a mustache and a five o’clock shadow on his face, cigar in mouth, wearing a pink glittery flower pattern dress with a sparkling boa around the neck while sporting a platinum blond curly wig on his head. This is exactly what I am NOT!

Instead, please just try to think of a woman of my age and build in normal street-wear. That is what I am, that is how I look. There, that wasn’t so hard was it? I realize it may be hard for some people to view me as a woman instead of “the girl that used to be a guy” or “that transsexual” but I hope they realize it is degrading and demeaning. I’m sure you wouldn’t like being referred to your opposite gender either in every other conversation.

To continue, it was through the off-comment of my wife that it finally started to click. When I again told her one day that “I think I would honestly be happier as a girl” she told me that there are ways to make that happen now. At that specific time I was dead tired and fell asleep but when I woke up a few hours later my wife was behind the PC looking things up regarding this very subject. She started to show me people who have gone through this or are going through it.

I was stunned. It was at that very moment that my mental barrier broke down and saw the reality that was me. A transsexual. I never considered it a true possibility until that very moment. Suddenly my entire life made sense, everything fell into place, it all made perfect sense now.

We started doing a lot of research over the course of the next few days as well as talk to other people who were going through this. It became clear very soon that this would be a very intense and long-term transition. There is no short-cut or easy way to do this. In general it takes about 4 years from seeing a therapist until the final operation.

Of course that is only talking about the physical aspect of it. The mental part no surgeon can fix. I will have to see a therapist for a large part of my life to evaluate my progress as living as a woman. It takes time to essentially rewire your brain to (re)adjust the mental image you have of yourself, especially after trying so hard to be a man for three decades. From how you see yourself when dreaming to your reflex responses.

You may also be wondering what will happen to my marriage. Well let me tell you that when my wife first met me (online) she initially thought I was a girl. It is how I am and act, and without a face to go with my words and actions people tend to naturally assume I am a girl and I never really felt the need to correct them. It was the one world I could be myself in without fear of persecution. When I told her I was actually a guy she thought I was gay. I corrected her and assured her I was a straight male, but added “I’m a total girl” which has always kind of been my catch-phrase on the internet. She figured, “oh well, maybe he’s transsexual” though I was still very much in denial at the time.

Part of what attracted her in me was my very obvious feminine side, I was unlike any other guy she knew. I didn’t brag about how many beers I drank the night before or cursed like a sailor every time my favorite sports team lost a game. Not that I have a favorite sports team to begin with. My time was usually spent simply socializing and being way too emotional for a guy.

So yes, we will be staying together as she kinda always knew anyway, and even our kid is perfectly fine with it all. She even gave me clothes to wear! Again, I am very lucky to have found the one person, across the ocean no less, that would accept this of me. I am very grateful.

Does this mean I’ll be a girl from now on? That’s an odd question because I have always been a girl. See, I won’t be a guy pretending to be a girl, I’ll just be a girl. Additionally, I haven’t gone ‘full-time’ yet, so I’ll still be switching back ‘n forth between girl-mode and guy-mode. Guy-mode sucks though and I’m trying to be more and more in girl mode each day. At home I’m pretty much always in girl-mode. I still have much to learn (and unlearn) before I can go full-time so I’m taking this period to practice things like make-up and whatnot.

It’ll also be a lot easier once I start on hormones as my physique will change a bit, eventually I’ll be looking more like an actual girl as my face, hips and butt will gain some fat (fat is redistributed), as well as the obvious addition of breasts. (woot!)

You may have noticed I changed my online nickname on the website. In fact, I changed it all over the internet because as far as I am concerned DMET-XIX is dead. I considered changing it to DMET-XX (the pun being it would go from 19 to 20 and double X chromosomes) but it still felt way too male and I needed a complete change, not just a simple shift of letters. I picked Amorous Eyes after some thought and I really like it. People call me Ame (pronounced: aim) for short.

Yes, my real name changed too. While currently I still switch back ‘n forth between guy-mode and girl-mode I had to create a new identity for my female self. I could have simply feminized my old name but again I wanted a complete change. It had to be something that fit me. I didn’t want to go too extravagant and sounding like a porn star like some people do, I wanted a normal name that could blend in relatively well in every day socializing.

My name is Julie. Julie Ann Blansjaar. Pleased to meet you.

Posted on August 2, 2008 Leave a comment