It’s Different for Girls

| Sep 2, 2019
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Different for Girls is a British movie (1996) about a transgender woman who transitions in stealth mode and winds up dating her best friend from high school, who winds up being a perfect fit. The song It’s Different for Girls by Joe Jackson is featured in the movie soundtrack. “Don’t you know that it’s different for girls?”

For the record, I made the switch for testosterone to estrogen back in 2017. Since my launch date, I have noticed a variety of physical and psychological effects. Most notably, my junk has shrunk and my sex drive has been re-routed off the expressway and onto the scenic route. Having spent most of my life unable to connect with my true self, I built up a lot of static emotional energy. Communicating my feminine desires to my ex did not go well. We were on the same page on most topics, but opening up about my true sexuality was a disaster. I tried, she tried, but we were never able to bridge the gap. Like many, I did my best to keep my marriage together. If you’re like me, you are constantly searching for song lyrics that apply to you. The songs of the ‘70s and ‘80s are permanently embedded in my memory banks. I ran across a song form a British pop band called Prefab Sprout the other day that really hit home. The song is When Love Breaks Down. Have you ever heard of Prefab Sprout? Me neither. Anyway, here is the lyric:

When love breaks down

The lies we tell

They only serve to fool ourselves

When love breaks down

The things you do

To keep the truth from hurting you.

The truth will set you free as they say. Or as RuPaul says, “If you don’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else?” While my contemporaries are welcoming grandkids into the world and plotting their retirement, I am starting over and reinventing myself. And loving every minute of it.

Lynda biking with a flamingo companion.

Our editor has charged me with talking about getting out on the town and other fun stuff and to be honest, this past August was pretty low key for me. The highlights include bike rides with and without companions, lounging poolside with and without companions, dinners and lunches with girlfriends, a tennis lesson from my friend Jone, an Eric Clapton tribute band concert, a visit to my daughter who is a rising college senior in Baltimore, I bought a new grill and last but not least I went to the Laptop Lounge to check in with friends and dance the night away.

For those of you who aren’t from the Philadelphia area, the Laptop Lounge is a long-standing monthly dance party hosted by Angela Gardner. This particular meetup along with another event called Thursday Night Tgirls (TNT for short), played a pivotal role in my transition.

Back in 2011, I was starting to get serious about my crossdressing and dressing up at home just wasn’t’ going to cut it. Despite being a hard-boiled detective novel aficionado, I had a hard time coming up with alibis to leave the nest and venture out. I’m an Eagle Scout and we are trustworthy and loyal. I hate lying. But every now and then the stars would align and I would get a chance to go out by piggybacking my time en femme with a real event.

I was living in Lancaster and my friend Mike was throwing a keg party to celebrate the finalization of his divorce. He was on a low budget but he was free. The usual pack of hounds would be in attendance for the party with the main theme of the party being beer drinking and assorted male bonding activities such as horseshoes and a drinking game called Liar’s Dice (this is the exception to the rule, and I am pretty good at Liar’s Dice). The party kicked off at about three and I had no intentions of being on time. Instead, I arrived unfashionably late around 10 after the beer drinking experts had already succeeded in kicking the keg. Perfect. I had a couple of beers to honor Mike’s freedom and endured the catcalls of ‘lightweight’ from my somewhat homophobic and very drunk friends who were on the way out the door

Hanging by the pool.

From Norristown, I headed over to the Laptop Lounge, which was being held at an Asian restaurant called Shangri-La (Shangri-La is a fictional land described in the 1933 novel Lost Heaven by James Hilton. Shangri-La has become synonymous with paradise on earth. A permanently happy land isolated from the world) (A very apropos name don’t you think, at the time the Laptop Lounge was in my mind a mythical place inhabited by goddesses). I was in guy mode. Getting changed in the parking lot would have taken valuable time off the clock. But I had arrived.

I forked over the $10 cover, surveyed the scene and grabbed a seat next to a very friendly blonde, the one and only Jennifer Bryant. She was the very first trans woman that I had talked to in person since 1997, when I had made a few outings in Albany, right before my twin daughters were born. Jen (or shall I say Jenn? . . .whatever) was in the formative stages of her own transition, a time when getting out and partying with transgender women was essential to her. She was casually dressed en femme, a look she could take anywhere, and seated next to her wing girl. The details of the conversation escape me, but the overall message from Jen to me was “You go girl! Come out, come out wherever you are.” We exchanged emails and though I was very keen to join her at one of the Raven parties over in New Hope, the stars never aligned.

I was walking to work one day in about 2014 and remember passing a very tall blonde in a trench coat. I did a double take and thought to myself, she looks like Jen Bryant. I wanted to chase her down, but that just would not have been cool. Turns out it probably was Jen. She and I were working about 6 blocks away from each other and she had gone full-time.

Fast forward to early 2017, I reconnected with Jen on Facebook. I was recently divorced and about to put my plans for transition into action. We met for lunch at Tir Na Nog, an Irish pub in Center City and I was thrilled to be seeing her again. When you are transitioning, you need all the big sisters you can find. After a few minutes of chit-chat, I told Jen that I was planning to go full-time. Her response was: “Oh this is going to be fun to watch.” That meant a lot to me. Since then we have been getting together for lunch every few months to catch up.

Lynda commuting.

Everybody’s transition journey is different. These days my essential support team includes a variety of cis and trans women. It takes a while to build up one’s confidence. In my case, it took about a day. I had just moved into a townhouse, and didn’t know anybody. That was perfect, and in early 2017, I started living full-time as Lynda. My first act as Lynda was a shopping trip to Home Depot, Walmart and Giant Supermarket. Later that month, I established the beach head at a local sports bar named Tony G’s and soon I was on a first name basis with the two main bartenders Rose and Liam, who split the week. After work, I would head home and change into some casual clothes and head over to Tony G’s for a Cosmo or Martini and some chicken wings. To be honest, I never met anybody at Tony G’s worth writing home about, but I was accepted and wound up talking to various colorful characters as Lynda and that was all that mattered.

Well, look, it’s Friday afternoon, I’ve got a Girl’s Night Out lined up with my wing girl, so I gotta primp. I was planning to make this blog about my recent experiences with the dating scene and my decision not to renew my OKCupid membership. Just one little problem. I haven’t had any official dates. Look, when it happens, you’ll be the first to know, it’s hard for me to keep secrets, estrogen is like truth serum. It truly is different for girls.

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul

Lynda Martini

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