Saturday, 10 July 2010

Stacy Steps Out

Well the travelogue is going to have to wait...  I thought that I would go with the visit to my therapist this week...

I decided to go as Stace.  This is the first time I have left the house as Stace.  My therapist offered a room to get ready there instead of driving there fully dressed but I just couldn’t do that.  Everybody who knows has told me that having GID is nothing to be ashamed of.  That has taken some working into my head.  To then run around in man mode before changing is not something that fits with that, and would just enforce the whole thing that it is something to be embarrassed and feel guilty about.  I run the risk of running into my neighbours of course, but that is something that Mrs Stace is more concerned about that I am.  I do feel guilty about it for her...

I started to get ready thinking I was going to be late, and ended up being far too early worrying that my make up was going to run before I even left the house. I managed to do my nails before the shakes started (thankfully) but did poke myself in the eye with the mascara brush again once they did.

The first 10 minutes after leaving the house were the worst.  I had to fight the urge to check the street from upstairs and *run* to the car so I could hide behind the steering wheel.  Managed it, got in changed into shoes more suitable for driving and got going.  I was shaking that much that I had to pull up around the corner and breath for a few seconds before continuing, and struggled with the clutch for a while (a T5 clutch, in unfamiliar shoes, and shaking uncontrollably is not the easiest...)  Getting stuck in traffic in town was not fun, and I began to wonder if I had done the right thing – I wanted blacked out windows whilst standing t red lights...

Got to the motorway and started to relax.  By the time I was halfway there it was just wonderful to finally be out in the world as me.  Until the airco decided to shut down again (it’s been playing up since Leicester) and I was worried about getting out of the car soaked...

Parked up with no issues and went looking for a parking machine to buy a ticket.  That was the only real test of the day.  There was a crowd of burly teenagers around one machine and I thought better of using that one and walked a little further in order to avoid them.  I have to say that walking 1/2km in heels is different than walking around the house – but I coped :)

On the way back to the car I got a look from a woman going into a house just a couple of doors down from my therapists.  Was it a *LOOK* or merely a glance that I misinterpreted as I was feeling a little venerable.  (My therapist thinks it’s more likely to be the latter).

The session went well; we spent the time discussing my family and their reactions over the vacation time in the UK.  He complimented me on the outfit and said if I walk with confidence I don’t stand out. I must admit that walking past a shop window I thought I looked good until my neck, then it all goes awry – he (and my mum later on the phone) disagreed.  Maybe I just need a little confidence to see it, I don’t know...

He was surprised by my parents, and joked that they are in danger of destroying his image of the uptight Brits not being able to cope with these things...

Going home went well (apart from no air still!) and I managed to get back into the house without my neighbours also being out and about in their front gardens as I parked (I don’t mind too much if they see me, but it’s not something I am relishing).  I spoke about that with my therapist – he asked what I was going to say, and told me to just keep it simple.  Be normal, don’t try to hide, and don’t go into big explanations straight away – just say hi if that’s what you normally do, it’s enough of a big thing in their head without adding to it with heavy explainations.  He pointed out that it’s not something ‘wrong’ or ‘illegal’ and that I wasn’t wearing some ‘out there’ outfit with a red feather boa, but a smart casual skirt and top that wouldn’t be out of place in an office.  Good advice – wonder if I can keep to it?

So first major step as Stace taken...  But I am so glad that I did not have to interact with anyone outside of my therapist – I guess I have to do that at some point, but I am not looking forward to that!


  1. Congratulations ... this is almost exactly as I did a couple of weeks ago although you were very brave to wear heels. I feel the same about my neighbours, particularity the ones with children. One did see me but I just waved and smiled and she waved back.

    Rachel X

  2. Well done!

    There's that moment while driving that you realise people just don't look in to other cars.

    I have to admit I'm some way behind you on this one, Mrs. J still isn't happy with my being seen as girl anywhere remotely close to home.

  3. How exciting! Like Jenny, I'm never to leave the house as myself, so I know what a big deal this was.

    I think the best part is that you made a decision to go as Stace, and just did it. That's very healthy. After 2 1/2 years, my therapist still hasn't seen me in full Leslie mode. It's sad, really. Ah, well...

    Anyway, that was a huge step in your growth and acceptance. I'm delighted for you!

  4. Good girl! You faced your demon, and it didn't devour you! Jenny is right. When people are driving, they tend to keep their eyes on the road. Even if they did glance over at you while stopped at a light, all they would see is a woman in the car next to them. It will get easier each time you go out. Congratulations!

    Melissa XX

  5. Good for you, Stace! Wow, this reminds me so much of when I first starting going out as me. I guess we all go through similar feelings.

    I was already thinking the same thing as your therapist said before I got to that part: confidence is key. It's not easy at first, but you'll get it. When you're confident, you look like you belong. It's amazing how far it will get you!

    Hope you can keep working all this out with Mrs. Stace.

  6. I will say it again, Good for you Girl. Reading this chapter for you brings back so many memories of my first time out, same feelings of fear and recoil.

    It will get easier on your nerves the more you go out, and you will gain such confidence in your abilities to be yourself.

    The first people I talked with were the sales girls of the smaller clothing and shoe stores. Took quite a few months to get enough courage to walk past men. They just frightened me, not knowing if they could tell. It does get easier with each step outside as Stace.

  7. Rachel: I guess that's what I have to do when I get spotted then...

    I'm not too bad on heels, I was just surprised at the difference of how they walk even over a small distance... I don't think that I would want to do a day on them just yet though...

    Jenny: Mrs Stace isn't totally happy with it - she is worried about how the neighbours will take it. She's just not totally against it...

    Leslie: You know, except for the first few miles what struk me most is how 'normal' it was. Except for the add moment of panic I wasn't walking down the street thinking 'Wow, I'm out as Stacy'. Except maybe when I saw my reflection, it was more... natural. but don't get me wrong, it was great!

    As for just making the decision... If I decide to do something and then do it I'm fine, if I had decided to and then put if off I don't know when I would have done it...

    Melissa: Driving down the road was fine - then I would assume people would concentrate on the road. When stopped I hope that's what people saw - but I think that is the confidence I have to work on...

    Vernonica: I can imagine that the same fears are there for everybody... I don't know if it's confidence or not, but at times I was just walking and felt great, and at times I was 'thinking' about walking which brought back some nerves. But it was a good foundation for the future I think.

    Sarah: I thought I was going to have to speak to someone... I was almost too early, and in the heat I would have had to buy a bottle of water. I'm quite pleased that eventuality didn't happen just yet! I don't think I am ready for close up scrutiny just yet!


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  9. Dear Stace,
    when you say:
    But I am so glad that I did not have to interact with anyone outside of my therapist – I guess I have to do that at some point, but I am not looking forward to that!
    like to say: to interact with anyone (someone, everyone, people, animals, all living things) is what life is all about.
    Step out and be known, loved, seen, admired, respected....
    You can do it,


  10. A big step, Stace. Congratulations!

    Calie xxx

  11. Well done Stace.
    That is a big step and you should be proud.
    It does get easier each time you do it.
    I remember my first time driving I got a heel stuck under the pedal and thought I was going to crash!

  12. Congrats indeed for taking those brave steps out. Scary stuff indeed.

    if I walk with confidence I don’t stand out

    Auntie Gok is right: it is all in the confidence. Most people are too caught up in their own little world to study folk who pass them in the streets.

  13. Corinna: I guess I have to interact at some point, but I think that is for the future :)

    Calie: Thanks :)

    Lisa: Cripes, I don't think I could have driven in the heels - I took along a pair of Mrs Stace's flats for driving :)

    Lynn: Thanks, whilst it was scary at first the thing that hit me most was how 'normal' it actually felt then they started to drop away... I guess that's all about practice... I did my best, and managed to walk past a few people without too much fear.

    Roll on the next trip :)


  14. Stace, it's actually not that safe to drive in heels, although I've done it. It's good to have a pair of flats to switch to for driving. As well, I find that driving in really nice shoes can be bad for the part that's resting on the floor mat.

    It does take practice to get good at walking in them. I started with wedges. Moved on to stilettos when ready.

  15. Wow Stace congratulations!!! That first time is both nerve racking and scary. Yet you did it and that is what is important.

    It all gets easier overtime as long as you carry yourself with confidence and dignity most people will hardly notice you. Unless you are attractive too when the boys will swivel their heads a bit, but then they are boys and prone to do that.

    Just relax and be yourself. You might find out things about yourself you never knew before.

    As for driving in heels. I am surprised but then of course walking in them was never hard for me anyway. I naturally do everything with the ball of my foot so driving in them was never a big deal for me.

    Again congratulation!!! We can only transition one step at a time and that girl was a rather important one.

  16. Veronica: I have some experience of driving in smaller heels as I wear real cowboy boots on man mode and I can't drive in them either :) And yes it does ruin the backs of the heels - I always make sure that I have some driving shoes handy when I go out in them...

    Keli: Thanks! As I said if I can get over the small panics I'm sure I'll be fine. Eventually :) Walking isn't too bad, just harder than I was expecting over a longer distance - I'm reasonable sure I didn't embarres myself stunbling down the street :)

    As for attractive... I don't think so :)


  17. Stace you shouldn't sell yourself so short.

    And remember we always are our own worst critic.

  18. Kelli, good point well made :)

    How to translate that into life is the interesting bit...