The Woman Within

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  • #346432


    The Woman Withind maybe some earrings pretty much insured that I would be taken as woman. I found however that I had to patronize two sets of shops and stores- one male mode, one female.
    “So when are you going to do it” my friend Kay asked. Kay was my age and lived in the same apartment building. I first met her when she knocked at my door to return some misdirected mail. I absentmindedly opened the door wearing only a T shirt and no binder underneath. Her eyes instantly riveted on my perfectly obvious bosom. She knew now.
    Kay and I were to become close friends as we would see other nearly every day. I’d often carry her groceries in which would lead to a coffee klatch in her kitchen. It was during one such coffee that she looked at me in her direct manner and said “Are you going to tell me about them”? “Them”? I stupidly replied. She cupped her breasts in answer. My first thought was to dismiss the question entirely. But wait! Here was a woman interested in me. I desperately wanted female companionship since my mother passed. I’d take the chance and I told her my whole story. Mother grooming me, my father’s rejection and my crossdressing as an adult. This was cathartic and I felt much relieved after telling her. Again she looked me directly in the eye and whispered “Can I see”? I unbuttoned my oversize shirt, and unzipped the tight binder vest underneath letting my breasts free. After a long moment she said “I can see why your mother was proud”.
    Kay insisted we go out clubbing together on Saturday nights. I was at first hesistated but once she got me in a slinkly black dress and strappy spike heels and black hose, I agreed that I looked pretty good. These girl’s night outs were much fun and I really felt like a complete woman. Inevitable we would attract men, and when she gave me the eye, I knew I was to take a cab home alone. The situation was more complicated when it was me who caught someone’s eye. I loved the attention of men, and contrary to the feelings of most natural women, I loved it when they talked to my cleavage. I felt like a temptress, and I recalled the incident with the young man in the movie theater. Kay explained this was the natural order of things- women tempted men.

    “Do what”? I asked.
    “You know, transgender. How long can you keep up this charade of changing your gender to fit the occasion? And that breast binding of yours is positively medieval.”
    “Well it’s kept me from sagging,” I responded. “Every woman your age is entitled to sag a little.” She replied.
    She was right. By age 50, I had grown impatient with this lifestyle. I was aware that life was passing me by without ever releasing the inner woman that lurked within my skin. I decided I would transgender. We found a clinic in Cleveland that specialized in such matters. After 3 days of tests and interviews with a half dozen specialists, it was determined that I was a good candidate and could expect optimal results.
    Although the clinic required that I live full time for a year in my desired sex, I was not entirely convinced I’d have the ultimate procedure. They did adjust my hormone treatment and very soon after I noticed further softening of my skin and my hair grew more luxuriantly. I also experienced an inner contentment that was never there before. I was convinced I was on the right track.
    That same year my trachea was shaved to eliminate the Adam’s apple and I began professional voice instruction to help me develop the pitch, lilt and expression of a female voice. My experience was that I could pass as a female in person, but on the telephone I’d be ‘sired’.
    My figure needed a bit more work. I still had the straight boy hips I was born with. Had I been younger, the hormones might have corrected this, but for me there was no option but surgery. Fortunately there was a procedure that implanted silicon sacks over each hip bone and buttock, which could then be filled with injected saline. This was offered by a luxurious spa-hospital in India. Ultimately Kay and I booked a flight to India.
    The hospital was indeed luxurious and we were soon installed in side by side rooms. The doctor I was assigned, filled me with confidence and it was decided that 500 ml of saline would be injected into each hip and buttock. That would add about 2 inches to my contours, bringing my lower body into proportion with my upper.
    The procedure went smoothly. And after a few days of pampered luxury, we were ready to fly home. I was shocked however to find that I couldn’t get my pants over my hips. I had foolishly forgotten that little detail. Kay had to make an emergency pants-buying spree downtown before we could fly home. It was an uncomfortable flight home for me, and I discovered that I was now a 16 dress size.
    These changes were now impossible to hide and I undertook to tell my friends and relatives. The clinic had warned me that most such patients can expect to loose some friends and even family. It was indeed so- my father never spoke to me again.
    I was greatly vexed at how to tell the dozen or so people at the graphic design center where I worked. I decided I’d introduce my new self slowly, a little at a time to get them used to the changes. Of course, now that I had to wear women’s pants. I couldn’t very well hide that. I did however add clear polish on my nails.
    Not many noticed when I went back to work on Monday. “Packing on a little extras weight Ron?” my obnoxious co-worker Walter asked. But the four women in the office said nothing. After a week of so, I added earrings, very small but perfectly visible. Next I took to wearing women’s shoes- flats of course, and boyish ones at that. Still no one noticed. A little color on my lips brought no reaction.
    Finally I had only one card left to play. I would wear an every day bra and forgo the binding. To lessen the impact, I chose to wear a big bulky sweater. I had to walk through the outer office past the three secretaries, then down an office-lined passage to my own office. I had hardly closed the door when Alice, the office spinster, and Megan the office tart, pushed their way in and closed the door.
    “What’s going on with you?” hissed Alice. Before I could answer, Megan piped up,
    “You’ve got boobs! Did you get implants?”
    “No, I got them the same way you got yours. I’ve just been keeping them under wraps,” I said. “Could we see?” asked Megan. I raised my sweater to reveal my bosom in a crisp pink bra. “ohhhh, they are real!” squealed Megan and she reached out to cup them. Alice was a bit more restrained. “Are you changing your sex Ron?” She asked. “Yes girls, after a lifetime I’m finally being honest with myself and adjusting my body to fit the inner soul. So please, from now on call me Rhonda.”
    “We knew something was going on when we noticed you were wearing nail polish” said Megan. Oh fine- I walk into the office with 42 inch hips in women’s pants, and they notice I’m wearing clear nail polish I thought to myself.
    The cat was out of the bag now. I had to assume that everyone in the office knew. That afternoon, one of the guys passing me in the hall murmured “Still got your balls Ron?” Another asked “Care if I cop a feel Ron?”

    Later in the afternoon, Mary Alice and Grace came into my office asking for a peek. The girls were genuinely curious and I suppose if I was to be one of them, I could reveal a little of myself. “How did you manage to hide those from us?” Mary Alice asked. I let them in on my secret binding ritual.
    I hoped that day would be the hard part. Next Monday and from now on, I’m going to walk in as 100%woman. That weekend I had my hair cut into the layered bob I wear today. I had my nails done and I even made a stop at the spa for exfoliation.
    Monday morning I selected a calf-length plaid wool skirt, a black turtleneck sweater, belted at the waist, black leather high heeled boots and gold hoop earrings completed the outfit. I swept into the office with as much drama as I could muster, I did a little pirouette
    for the girls before they surrounded me saying,
    “Rhonda you look marvelous”, and” I love your style,” and “where did you find that lovely skirt?” It was like welcoming a long lost traveler.
    But, it was the reaction from the boys that surprised me the most. They immediately offered me the deference they accorded to other females in the office. They held doors, they brought coffee, there was the occasional flirtatious glance, and best of all, they called me Rhonda.

  • #654174


    Could you double-space between paragraphs? It makes it easier to read. 🙂

  • #654175



    The forum software can mess up formatting if you cut and paste. Add a double CR between paragraphs betweem grafs to make them separate when shown here and a lot easier to read than one long block of test.

    Running spell check and proofing to make sure what you post is what you really want us to see is appreciated.

    Telling what sort of feedback you are looking for would also be helpful.

  • #654176


    Rhonda: The process of transitioning to a life true to one’s true self is an intensely personal experience. I get very nervous critiquing memoirs and personal tales because I understand that this is intimate and so, so personal. I want you to understand that I’m speaking as a reader of a story. Not as someone judging you.

    OK, that said…

    I can’t really do a line-by-line with this broken forum. So I’m going to give an overall idea of what I see, and pick and choose a couple of examples.

    First, a question: How long do you intend to make this? A magazine article? A series of articles? A book?

    I’m presuming the latter, simply because I have a small knowledge of how this affects your entire life.

    So why do I feel like I’m being kept at arm’s length?

    I don’t feel invested in your story. I don’t feel a reason to root for you. To care that you reach a kind of victory with this.

    There’s a whole realm of emotion and expression in your trip to India, for example. You’re going to another country to get surgery. The one point of emotion that I saw in that was your consternation that your pants no longer fit.

    You didn’t have trouble sleeping the night before? You didn’t vomit from pure nerves on the 16-hour flight to India? You didn’t “tease” the implants to see how they felt?

    And you’ve been hiding your breasts from your coworkers all this time. Now the women ask you, and you simply show them? No initial refusal? No fear over the intimate and personal secret?

    I feel the need to apologize again, because I recognize how what I’m saying digs right into you, not just into your story. I don’t judge you as a person. What I’m wanting is a story that compels me to keep reading. And that requires something incredibly hard when we talk about memoirs. You can’t hide from the reader. If you do hide, you’ll lose the reader. If you want the reader to understand you and what this means to you, then you can’t do this halfway. You have to let me, the reader, all the way in.

    Much respect to you for opening up about this. I think you have a story worth telling. I hope you’ll find the courage to let the reader see the whole thing. I think letting the read all the way in could be just as good for you as for the reader.

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