Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A to Z: Breasts

To start with I wrote this about breasts, however now it's more about body shape in general, with a heavy lean towards breasts.
There are many differences between men and women, both mentally and physically however one of the most obvious visual ones body shape, and a major element in feminine body shape are breasts.

Now, I am going to start this by saying that breasts cause some big issues for not trans women, including occasionally trying to kill their owners. They can be too big, too small, irregular, sagging or simply just not right for the woman in question as well as many other issues. I don't think I know many women who aren't that thrilled with the pair they were born with; and a few who have decided to seek a solution but with varying results.

All of these issues can have massive effects including mood, sexual identity, self confidence, and prejudice. I'm not going to go into great detail because as I mentioned before I'm not writing a feminist blog. But it's enough to say that women with larger breasts often get more male attention than they might want, and women with small breasts can often suffer from bigotry, being seen as somehow less female than their more endowed compatriots. There is a lot more to talk about on that topic but I'm not going to pretend that I have some deep insight into something that I don't.
What I'm trying to say is that there are a lot of different body shapes out there without staying into those between the genders. Having small (or no) breasts doesn't make you masculine; they are just one element in body shape. Body shape seems to have a greater effect how people perceive the genders compared to the abundance or lack of breasts. People often rely on breasts as a first pass test for gender; often to relatively success due to social norms breasts often equates to female. 

However, the rabbit hole goes deeper. The perception of gender is often binary since we are a biologically two distinct genders. There is a lot to go into about gender identity for the individual, but just from the viewers perspective it's a minefield of (often unconscious assessment and reassessment, and while societies are moving to remove prejudice I don't think that this subtle analysis of gender will disappear.

Effectively we are driven by our biological desire to procreate; knowing if something is either a potential mate, or is a potential competitor is kind of hard coded into us. There is no single element that makes a person appear either gender ... that said breast are often somewhat of a give away, but sometimes lead to misconceptions.  

Anyway; back to the breasts at hand, as it were.

Personally, breasts are an important part of the transition towards female. I have quite a male body shape; I'm effectively a rectangle with legs. Having breasts helps me see myself as female and thus makes me feel more feminine and therefore I tend to move and act so. However, looking back at photos they don't really seem to add to my form that much, obviously different outfits effect how they appear.
I've had 2 pairs of breast forms in my time (well technically 3 because of damage in transit). The first pair were approximately size C's with a sticky back, overall they were ok, over time the sticky backing became less sticky and kind of messy. They were also not a great size on me, being a touch small. The 2nd pair were a Christmas presents from Izzy, they are more like C to D and don't have a sticky backing; however they did come with some double sided tape, I am relatively happy with them but it's taking some time to get use to them and find the right bar size.

The other day at a party someone asked me if I was wearing them, then looked at my chest and went "oh! yes you are! I kind of forgot they were there since I'm so use to them being there" which was interesting because when I'm wearing them I find it very hard to get comfortable with them being there, both physically and mentally. I've never spent a lot of time wearing them in a normal environment so I've never really go use to them being there at all, they're also not the most comfortable things in the world.

Having fake breasts is really rather limiting in what I can wear, for example as much as I'd love to wear strapless dresses (even though they would make my shoulders look even bigger) I can't since fake breasts don't actually connect to the body and thus I wouldn't have anything to hold the dress in place. I also have the untidy join where the fake breasts meet my chest, which means I have to cover up that join. I have the same issue with corsets, however I can get away with it if I wear a top underneath, or have a halter-neck style corset. Cleavage however is right out of the question however.
With that said, high necklines and tops that cover my shoulders flatter my figure even though I'm not a massive fan of them. halter-necks are supposedly the worst thing to wear if you want to minimize your shoulders.

At the end of the day wearing breasts makes me feel and act move feminine, putting them on somewhat marks the transition from male to female for me, since they are really the only thing I have that reads as woman, rather than a man in a dress, at least that's how I feel about it. I should consider wearing them more casually to try and get use to them.

There are many questions regarding acquiring real breasts, for instance hormones and implants, but that's for later. What I will say now is that I really wish they would come up with some fake breasts you can feel though, partly so I can tell when people are having a feel me without me noticing ... which is somewhat strange but hey, I love my friends!

Also, have a gif because someone said they wanted to see animation.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

A to Z: Acceptance

To start of this alphabetical foray into madness I'm going with Acceptance.
I spent a while contemplating this topic. I tried starting it in several different ways, thinking about how there are two kinds of acceptance. The acceptance of other people, and personal acceptance. 

Acceptance is a hard thing from some people to give, tolerance is one thing but acceptance is something different. Luckily I don't think I've met someone who was unable to tolerate my crossdressing, or at least act like they didn't have a real problem with it. 

However there must be some people that know me who have no idea, similarly there are likely people who have gotten to know me before finding out. I question how much my crossdressing colours my general personality, and if it makes a difference to how people respond to me before and after they find out. For example I don't go up to people and introduce myself as a crossdresser, but I don't try and hide it. As much as it may or may not be a key driving part of who I am it is not defining.

A big issue for me however is that I strive for acceptance, I find it uncomfortable being in a social situation where some people are unaware. It feels like I can't really be myself, despite the fact that it doesn't naturally come up in conversation that much. Sometimes I find myself accidentally slipping in the odd comment relating to it without really thinking, then I worry that I'm being really obnoxious and pissing people off, which I obviously don't want to do.
It worries me that there are some people who override their dislike of my crossdressing because they wish to  remain friends with me. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that, on one level I don't want to think I've lost friends because of it. However I don't like the idea that some people don't like that part of me. It's likely just part of the human condition to ignore part of someone's personality that you dislike in order to remain friends. I myself and guilty of this, just not about trans issues.

I often consider what to expect from people, what level of understanding, tolerance and acceptance can you expect from people, or more importantly what level of intolerance and dismissal is justifiable from other people. It gets into the question of expressing your right to free speech via the medium of  intolerance, which is a minefield of civil liberties, and I'm not going that deep right now.

The other form of acceptance is personal. The short version is that I'm not sure I completely accept my own crossdressing, I'm almost ashamed of it in some ways. I find it quite hard to talk about in anything but a trivial manner, and I'm not sure why exactly, or what to do about it.
I suspect the issue comes from my initial urge to hide it from people and almost pretend that it didn't exist. My experience at uni opened me up a bit but recently I've somewhat gone back into my shell. I've gotten to the point where I'm not sure what I want to do with my crossdressing, I'm not sure what it means (if anything), and I'm not sure how much of a part of my life it should be, however I'll go into that in some later posts.

I feel like there should be more to this section but I'm not sure what else to say here so I guess I'll leave it here.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Hello World, It's been a while ...

So I'm now living in Ely and Izzy is working in Cambridge! We have a new house and we're (slowly) decorating it. Life isn't too bad, it mostly consists of sitting at home not doing very much.

Why did I stop posting?
Short answer, I don't remember. I think I just got out of the habit like I do with many things.

What's happened since February?
Related to the subject matter, an array of events occurred at which I dressed up, several of which were public. This included going to a restaurant for a leaving party, attending Liverpool pride, and going out to a local pub for a drink with friends. Which shows a great improvement on my habit of not dressing up, or going out. However since the move I let my beard grow and my clothes linger in suitcases. Also, my mood has really taken a dive. Being stuck inside all day with no one I know around and Izzy working all week the house has been a lonely place.

When I moved to Liverpool I had the structure of being a fresher which dampened the effect of the new environment, it didn't mater that I had no idea about the city because hey, no one else did. And now I've moved here, and I've not managed to get a job yet so I'm stuck in the house.

Oh, I also bought a few new things including some nice new heeled Dr Marten boots as well as a couple of new items of clothing.

What am I going to do?
Short answer, I don't really know. But I plan to post on here more, and in order to encourage me to make at least 26 posts I'm going to do an A to Z, addressing different areas. So far I've thought of A to M, hopefully the rest will fill in as I go.
Also hopefully this will help me work though more stuff and maybe try and fix some things.

The bright side is that I've met some nice people in Cambridge, namely the Cambridge University Treasure Trap society (or CUTT). They are very nice people and have been extremely welcoming.

Short post I know, but I hope to write more soon :)