I need another bike. Owning n bikes is not enough when I clearly need n + 1 bikes. I mean, my new pink carbon road bike is fantastic, but it doesn’t take tires thicker than 25c. My steel Bianchi is more versatile, and can take 32c tires, but it’s still a race bike. My actual aero race bike? Forget about it! What am I going to ride to do grocery in the rain/snow?
The bottom line is that I need something sturdy, takes very wide tires, and cheap. Gravel/adventure bikes fit my needs, but they’re expensive, and after building up Pink, I couldn’t afford to splurge on another bike. So I had to get creative: converting hybrid bike into what I need.
Years ago, when I hung out with the crossdresser community, I’d often wear women’s dress pants to our Saturday gatherings. Expectedly, the other girls teased me mercilessly. Saturdays, they said, are for parties, not working in the office. I shrugged off the comments. After all, my outfits still screamed femininity, but my friends weren’t wrong either: after dining and some dancing, I’d go back to my lab to work the night away.
But over time though, I nevertheless find myself gradually wearing pants less frequently in favour of dresses. My rationale is that dresses are actually less hassle, and they’re naturally made to express my feminity. (There is also a part of my mind that fantasizes how convenient dresses are should I become intimate with a friend: I won’t even have to take my clothes off! But anyone who make decisions based on fantasies are idiots.)
So three years ago, my New Year resolution was to completely stop wearing pants and only wear dresses and skirts. (I still occasionally wear pajama pants and/or yoga pants at home, just not in front of people.) As it turns out, this was the only resolution that I kept. Since then, I have donated all my dress pants to charity. The only garment that came close to pants are the leggings that I wear in the winter, which I feel should be in a different category altogether. I was elated to wear dresses everywhere.
In the hot summer months I am definitely more comfortable, more feminine and cooler in a dress. The hemlines of my summer dresses have also gradually gotten shorter, to a point where I’m only marginally modest. Not that the students in my classes or the school have complained. And my legs are…not ugly.
In the fall and winter months though, my legs are mostly covered in pantyhose (my feelings towards them vary from moment to moment) or leggings, and the open-toe sandals replaced by boots of various lengths. Yes, most of my winter dresses have hemlines below my knees, but on the less chilly days, I sometimes wear my short dresses too!
Like today. What do you think? Is my polka dot dress too short? Or are my legs too long?
I have been into digital photography for years; I have even helped a few trans* girls do short indoor photo shoots. But in recent years I have not kept up with the latest DSLR technologies, because I just can’t afford to keep up financially. Last week, during my “shopping spree” of buying a single party dress that I ended up wearing to work, I also bought a camera from BestBuy.
(Actually, I’ve done a lot of dress shopping this year already.)
Last week, I decided that while I have bought a lot of dresses and skirts for work, I don’t really have anything fancy for dates or parties. At least, I don’t have anything that is recent. So on a whim, I drove out to Vaughan Mills—one of the most well-known outlet malls north of Toronto—to do some proper dress shopping. There, I walked the many stores for three hours. (Mind you, I usually don’t have the patience to walk anything for more than 30 minutes at a time.) There, I tried out dozens of dresses that are too expensive, and dresses that made me look fat. But generally, they just didn’t really fit me all that well.
And then I walked into M Boutique.
On the racks were some of the prettiest dresses that I’ve seen in awhile. And their prices were surprisingly reasonable. Most of them were cheaper than Le Chateau. I quickly grabbed a few that I liked and headed towards the change room. The staff were super helpful; one of them even brought me another dress that she thought I’d look good in. As expected, most dresses didn’t fit me well, and I was particularly disappointed that I couldn’t zip up the prettiest dress (it was already a size 12!!) That said, the second prettiest one fit me perfectly. So I bought it.
It’s not even summer yet, but the temperatures in Toronto have already soared above average. With that, the length of my dresses and skirts have shortened to a point where “mini” would be an apt description. Nevertheless, when I go out and don’t want to shave my legs (that’s like, almost every time), a longer dress may be more sensible, so I went to Yorkdale Mall last Thursday to find something that I can afford. Luckily, most dresses at H&M are within my budget. Continue reading “Dress Shopping”
Within the transgender community, there are regular discussions on whether someone like myself need to disclose his/her transgender status to prospective employers. In my recent job applications, I’ve been very upfront about my “trans”-ness. But I also expect other transwomen to have come to different conclusions, and for different reasons. So I posted this question in a Facebook discussion group:
So I’m in the process of changing jobs amidst my transition. I’ve been very upfront about being transgender in my cover letters, and, for the most part, I haven’t had any issues. (May be this is an advantage of living in Canada?) My question is: is it wise to disclose that I’m trans? Not necessary? Bad idea? What are your thoughts?
In the past few weeks, I’ve sent out another round of job applications. Although I had a very productive July and August teaching summer school, fall and winter months are far quieter. I’m down from 20 hours of teaching in the summer to just 9½. While that’s still a very respectable amount of hours, I need, well, more. Now I’m looking for an additional 20 hours of part-time employment each week. The question is, would anyone (other than my current employer) hire a transgender woman? I consider myself to be incredibly lucky to be hired for the teaching job back in January. That said, looking for jobs as a transgender woman is not without difficulties. The jobs that I’m applying to teaching or tutoring position, which is by far my strongest ability. So far I have sent out 8 applications, and I have received one phone interview, and two in-person interviews. My interviews have gone well enough that I’m confident that I could be hired for at least one of them. We’ll just find out how things actually turn out…
This post was meant to be posted at some point in April, a few days after getting my haircut. It was a very nice story that just somehow relegated to the “Drafts” folder and was never shown until now, when I’m trying to write about something else.
I had a few last-minute cancellations at the tutoring service. Since I’ve been pretty tired from work, I decided to take the night off to quietly walk around the Distillery District in the evening. I went past a church with a small sign saying “Flute Recital Tonight”, and thought, oh hell, why not? I grabbed a copy of the concert programme at the door, and lo and behold, it’s a flautist that I’ve known for years. Only she doesn’t know Kate.
Anyway, the recital went really well, and it was definitely a treat to hear the flute outside of its usual role in an orchestra. To say that my long-lost friend is a fantastic flautist would be an understatement. I sat in the back of the church, out of everyone’s way (sight?). At the end of the recital, I went downstairs to the reception in the church basement. My friend was already there, mingling with friends and relatives and guests. She looked towards my general direction…and stared directly at me. She frowned for a second, then her eyes lit up. She walked (ran?) towards me, grabbing my hands.
“Oh my god! I almost didn’t recognize you!” she exclaimed. Apparently she heard through the grapevine that I am now, well, a woman. “You’re so beautiful!” she added, stroking my hair. Knowing full well that I’m not at all “beautiful”, I was uncertain if she was just being polite. (You see, she’s the one who’s drop-dead gorgeous.) But judging from her enthusiasm, I felt that she genuinely meant it. In the back of my mind, I hoped that my new haircut made a difference.
We chatted a bit more before I left. I had a feeling that it wouldn’t take another 6 years before I speak to her again.
The term has finally wrapped up. My first real-life test as a high-school physics teacher, and I passed. It wasn’t without some incredible challenges that I had to overcome, but my probation period is over, and the school has decided to keep me on payroll.
On the same day that I applied for my teaching job, I also applied to a few tutoring services. Within days, two of these companies called me. One of them was a tutoring service near York University, which, you may imagine, caters to first-year students at York. I went to an interview, trying to look as much a professional as possible. (And yes, as pretty as possible too, because, well, I like being pretty dammit!) My supposedly 15 minute interview lasted close to an hour. I got along very well with the manager, which I think is why I was hired at the end. I also got the feeling that the manager found me attractive; I think it was when he unintentionally gasped when he saw me. (That may be a whole different story for another time. Sufficed to say, I don’t feel creeped out when working alongside him.) Since the beginning of this month, I’ve been working 6 to 10 hours there.