My thanks for putting up with some fairly heavy posts the last few weeks – that’s just how life goes sometimes. I appreciate so much the kind comments and support from all of you.

I thought I’d share some things that are likely relatable, especially to my Trans* sisters who are on a similar path whether further along the road or just beginning your journey. For others – feel free to chuckle at my expense – I sure am.

One of the first things I “did” when I began to transition was something I “didn’t” do – I stopped cutting my hair. Well at least for length anyway. It’s been trimmed a few times and evened up, but I’ve been growing it out from a near buzz cut in July of 2012 to where it is now.

I love the feel of it on my neck and back. It’s a subtle reminder that things are different now. But as any woman knows, hair can be a challenge in a lot of ways. Here are a few: 

  • The awkward stage. There are actually several of these as hair grows out. There are times when no matter what you do, it looks like crap. I bought a bunch of ponytail holders early on. They still come in handy from time to time. Then, there are always baseball caps.
  • The wind can destroy what I’ve spent an hour trying to get just right. In the time I can walk from my garage to my car on the driveway – FUBAR. Unless I want to empty a can of Aqua Net on it.
  • Hair care in general is crazy expensive…did y’all know that? Nobody told me. I was used to my wife cutting it or going to Supercuts for $12. Putting color on it and trimming it costs more than groceries. Then there are the products you have to have!
  • It is becoming part of the outdoor dining experience. I went to Chipotle last week and sat on the patio. I was careful to sit with the wind in my face…even though the occasional gust from another direction blew my hair into my mouth. It’s a new experience taking wind direction and velocity into account when dining al fresco.
  • It’s in my eyes. Almost all the time. I’m growing my bangs out and when styled kind of sweep across my giant forehead. But they aren’t long enough to tuck behind an ear yet. It’s just long enough to extend to my upper lip…plenty long enough to obscure my vision most of the time. Trying to cook outdoors is a real battle – the wind and smoke combining to make the task of cooking meat one of feel and not so much of sight. Probably a good time for the aforementioned ponytail holders or hair clips. Or better yet, find a guy to do it!


  • Hair management is nearly a full-time job! There is always something that needs trimming. Guys get a haircut every four weeks and then there is the daily (for most) ritual of shaving the face. That’s it. Well, for those of us making the transition, there is the experience at the salon, then add that until we undergo what seems like endless rounds of electrolysis, we have to shave the face too, every day, but closer than most understand. Make-up looks like crap over stubble. Even eyebrows need near constant attention lest we look like the late Andy Rooney. Then as we work our way down, the chest (I’m blessed to have almost no hair there) armpits, (Don’t want to look like we have Buckwheat in a headlock – do we?) arms, knuckles, “down there”, legs and feet. Some need to have hair removed from the back – I am blessed to be hairless there too! It’s still a lot like the old “painting the Golden Gate Bridge” project. Something always needs attention.

The fun doesn’t end with hair care – there is the secret society of scarf-tying. I love scarves but nobody went over how to tie them. Learning has been fun.

Learning to walk in high-heels continues to be a challenge. But if you want to be in contention for the gold medal – the level of difficulty has to come up – that means learning to walk in high-heels – drunk.

Fortunately, I am already one of the tallest girls in the room, so heels are rarely needed. Except when they are.

I’m fretting because there are SO many options! Guys worry about the color of the tie.

Just for tonight:

Which dress? (LBD)

Which bra? (Black one) Matching undies? (Kinda)

Camisole (Black Lace)

Nylons or no? If so, what color/texture? (I went with black)

Which shoes? (Black patent leather pumps 4” heels)  (Bring back-ups for when feet hurt. Figure 10 minutes in)

Belt or no belt? Which belt? (Wide cincher belt)

Necklace? (Heart)

Bracelets?  (Freshwater pearls)

Which earrings? (Dangly gold layered hoops)

Scarf? (I found one that matches the earrings)

Change over to little black purse

Oh yeah – then there is hair and make-up.

I’ll probably spend more time getting ready than we will at the fundraiser tonight. (I’m volunteering)



(Finished product – as good as it gets)

Unexpectedly cool thing: My room mate and I getting undressed after the party – she comes in and says “Unzip me?” (Her dress) I say “Sure, you do me?” I unzip her – she unzips me and heads off – not another word.

Little things. Life is good.

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3 Responses to THE LIGHTER SIDE

  1. Barbara says:

    Leslie you are one of the most AWESOME individuals I have ever met in 63 years. Your sense of humor, wit and overall outlook on life is like no other. Although I’m not a Trans* sister, guess I’m “other”, I think your articles are amazing. And I really enjoy them. And I think you are gutsy to have done what you feel in your heart. Life can be cruel to Trans or other. You are a beautiful woman and I am so fortunate to have met you. And about the hair, I had the same problem with my hair until my hairdresser told me about BOUNCY CREME by ISO. Put it in you hair after you dry it. AMAZING. Yea yet another product to buy, but I think you will like it. I wish you nothing but the best in life because you certainly deserve.

  2. chrissyholm says:

    Love the story Leslie. I decided to cut my bangs the other day-rather have my partner do it for me. She also colors my hair and does a pro job.

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