Penny's Story

A cute little drummer living her dream.

Archive for October, 2009

Wow, that’s slippery…

So, this is totally one of those TMI topics that I talked about in my last post. I’ll try not to be overly graphic, but this is one of those things that I wish I had known more about before my surgery, so I think it’s important to share.


So, yea, fore warned and all that…

One of the things that I really had no idea about was how my vagina would respond during intimate relations. When I dilate I use lube; a pretty good helping of lube, actually. Dilating is sort of still a “medical chore” to my mind and body. Sex, on the other hand, is joyful recreation. I wondered whether I would need lube when I have sex.

I don’t.

To quote Darling Boyfriend from after the first time we fooled around: “I wondered if they’d be able to make a self-lubricating vagina… They can.”

I’m still amazed by the surgery that transformed my body. I guess on some levels I thought I was going to end up with an inside-out bag. I would have been happy with that, honestly. Hell, I would have been fairly happy just getting rid of the ~horrid stuff~ I used to have. I never dreamed how normal my body would be. I had no expectation that all that internal stuff could work so well. I hadn’t completely processed that my vagina was going to be so much like any other woman’s. Dr. Bowers is pretty much my hero. It’s mind-blowing. And awesome.


Escort Me to the Faire, My Love…

The Darling Boyfriend and I went to King Richard’s Faire on Sunday. It was a pretty spectacular day. I had been planning it for a while, and I hoped that I could get some friends to come with us, but as the day approached it became apparent that we would be on our own. That turned out to be just fine – young love finds a way of entertaining itself.  😉

Anyway, I decided to wear a nice corset top that I got from Torrid a couple years ago, a black velvet skirt, and these really cool boots I got from Payless (yay Payless!).  I was really happy with how I looked, though I worried that I might get cold as the sun went down (it’s been chilly here lately). Here’s a pic of my outfit:

We got there pretty early, and after hitting a couple shops, and after the Darling Boyfriend bought me a rose, I headed off to get my face painted. It was on my agenda as one of the things I wanted to do, and I knew I wanted to do it early. Here’s a pic of the amazing design (it was called “Scorpion King”):

After getting my face painted, the Darling Boyfriend and I did quite a bit of browsing in the amazing shops. We did see the end of one magic show on our way by. We went into one of the sword shops (you gotta love Ren Faires – “~one~ of the sword shops” – lol) and I ~so~ wanted to buy a wakizashi, but I was good – I didn’t. We moseyed further on, and the Darling Boyfriend bought me this really cool hair-braider thing; you spin your hair around it and then insert a long pin to hold your hair in place – it works great even on my thin and frizzy hair. After getting the hair-braider we stopped at a pewter store, where the Darling Boyfriend bought a mug. He was so tickled with his purchase that we needed to get him some beverage to put in it, so we headed off to the food court. He got a turkey leg (of course) and I got fish and chips. He got hard cider to fill his mug and he was a happy camper. 🙂

After lunch we headed off to see a sword fighting show, which was really this cute comedy act with kids from the audience. It was funny and super-cute. The “good guy” sword-fighter was training the kids to be his “deputies,” and he told them to say, “God save the king.” He then turned to the crowd for our response. None of us knew that we were supposed to say, “Long live the king,” so my boyfriend said, “Go Sox.” The Good Guy was bemused, and said it was the first time he had ever heard anyone yell that. I was cracking up, and the Good Guy said that the children were about to go into battle and were possibly minutes away from death. I was still laughing and the Good Guy turned to me and said, “Lady, it’s not funny.” I dunno, I thought it was pretty funny. The guys in this show were just awesome with the kids, and the kids were adorable, and it was just sweet fun.

We were right next to the cape store, so I decided to look at capes, because I’ve wanted one forever, and I was really starting to get cold. I told myself I would only buy one if they had a pink one. Of course, they had ~one~ pink one, so I had to get it. C’mon, it was pink! I absolutely loved it, I just had to. It was too expensive, but that’s why you don’t go to the Faire everyday.

At that point I had to pee wicked bad. Like, wicked bad. So we headed off to the “Privies.” I think this is one of the first times that I’ve had to stand in line for the ladies room while having to pee that bad. I’ve had to stand in line before, and I’ve had to pee bad before, but this was the first time for both at the same time. I was in so much pain standing there in line. And Darling Boyfriend went into the men’s room. And came out. And I hadn’t moved. Ugh. So Darling Boyfriend stood with me while the line for the lady’s room was outside. It just sucked. And then, when I finally got into a stall I overheard two women talking and one of them said that this was the only time she wished she had that certain “appendage” so she could just whip it out and be done with it. And I felt like saying, “It’s not worth it!” So, yay, sweet relief. I learned a valuable lesson about not waiting that long when I know there’ll be a line; I should have dragged us to the privies sooner. A lot sooner. Well, lesson learned, and no harm done.

After that we went and threw some weapons around. Darling Boyfriend shot some arrows at the archery range and then threw some throwing knives. We both threw the throwing axes and the throwing stars. The throwing stars were awesome! Darling Boyfriend also shot a little canon at a canvas ship. They had a swing-the-hammer/ring-the-bell thing, and I decided that I wanted to give it a try. I honestly thought I’d be able to do it. Oh.My.God. I am such a wimp nowadays. I did good to even get the hammer over my head, and I think all three times I got it to hit the right spot, but the little slider thing barely made it half-way up the rail. I’ve fully assimilated into the proper side of the gender-binary, as after my miserable turn, the guy running the hammer used my performance to try to goad a few men into trying it, saying, “Hey, she did better than you guys who are afraid to even try.” Wow. And then Darling Boyfriend tried it, and he didn’t ring the bell, but he got a heck of a lot closer than I did. I am weak.

We ambled and browsed in more shops. We stood and watched a glass blower for a little while. That was pretty impressive. At some point in there we got some mead to fill Darling Boyfriend’s mug – it was yummy.

As it was getting late, we decided to go by the “creepy gypsy lady” (my words), and get our fortunes told. Darling Boyfriend went first and he had his palm read. I was laughing at so many of the things the woman said because they seemed so dead-on target. She said that he would fall in love in his late thirties (hmmm…), and said some other very interesting things about his love life and career. After that I had a Tarot reading. I got four of the Major Arcana cards, including two Magus cards. The woman said that was highly unusual, and that it showed destiny and that I was entering a time of being very powerful, which I think is pretty accurate, honestly. She said that I’d be financially successful – it’d be lovely if that proved to be true. She also said that I would be in a relationship with great sexual compatibility (hmmm…). When we left her stand I was almost creeped out, because the stuff she said just seemed crazy accurate, and she didn’t do any “fishing” for info before the readings.

We grabbed a quick dessert, and took a look at tiaras. I saw a couple girls wearing these really cool circlets with jewels dangling on their foreheads and I really wanted one, but I didn’t find any that I thought were that nice.

As we were headed out the front gate we watched a guy juggle with batons lit on fire, and I had the Darling Boyfriend take my picture standing next to a guy in a giant wizard costume (I’m wearing the new pink cape).

All-in-all it was an amazing day. The Darling Boyfriend and I seem to just have one awesome adventure after another, and I seem to just fall deeper and deeper in love with him all the time.


Pondering Transproofed with Friends

Saturday night I hosted a group of friends to watch the short film “Transproofed.” It was the first meeting of what we hope will be a recurring and growing group. I say I hosted it, but I was hardly alone in making it happen – it’s just that it was at my house.

So, we watched the film, which deals with dating as a woman of transsexual history and stealth and all that fun stuff.

After the movie we had a great discussion, with some help from some recent facilitator training for one of our group. We talked about disclosure, I told the story of how I talked about my history with the Darling Boyfriend, other people shared their dating hopes and experiences. It seemed like we were all on the same page as far as honesty and disclosure and such.

It was super-neat having my friends over and hosting discussion. It was just very cool.

[spoiler alert]

The part that touched me in the film was when Andrea James is helping Calpernia Addams “trans proof” her apartment, getting rid of all evidence of her trans history. Andrea insists that Calpernia must rid her place of the pictures of her friends. Calpernia refuses, feeling that is too high a price to pay for acceptance. It was a really touching scene. I wouldn’t think such a short movie could make me cry quite so much. Wow. Good stuff! And the talk with the group was just all sorts of deep and insightful and educational and groovy. I love my friends!

Performing the Written Word

So, as you saw in my last post, I read some of my poems at an open mic night last week. It was pretty interesting. My how things have changed. I spent so long hiding in my room. I lost years of my life because I was afraid to even go outside, and here I am reading stuff that I wrote in front of people. Just, wow.

I read at this queer-inclusive night called Transcriptions. I’ve been there a few times before, and I thought it was about time for me to actually participate. I gotta say, I was a little nervous, but I was far less terrified than I had expected. I’m still surprised that I enjoy public speaking. I guess I really am becoming powerful. It was super-fun, and I will definitely do it again.

The weird part was that I don’t really write with the intention of having my words read aloud, so it was a very different way to look at my writing. I think reading my own words out loud was really helpful in terms of me understanding some things about how words flow. It was very informative.

Most of the poems I read I had written before. I read four haiku that were from last year or before, then one longer piece that I wrote late last year, and then three haiku that I wrote fairly recently. The last one I wrote the day of the reading. The three newer ones were all written about my Darling Boyfriend. It was kinda cool to read love poems to my boyfriend from the stage.  🙂

Anyway, here’s the newest one:

we feel the same way
hints with pajamas and ra-
dio i love you

[Yes, I’m aware that I broke all sorts of haiku rules with that whole split “ra-dio” thing, but I don’t care.]

My first public poetry reading…

The Crossing marches in NETU Pride

I can’t start to write this without mentioning how completely exhausted I am. I may be blurry, but I’d really like to write this before I go to sleep and lose my initial impressions.

So, today was the New England Trans United Pride Parade in Northampton. I marched in the parade. Not only did I march, I brought some folks from my church (including my amazing priest) to march as well. It was pretty awesome. It was raining, and cold, and a lot smaller than the Pride parade in Boston (d’uh), but it was lovely and powerful.

I had to get to up at OhMyGod O’clock this morning to see Darling Boyfriend (I need a new nickname for him) off to work. I tried to go back to sleep, but I was much too wired. Last night I made myself a shirt to wear in the parade; it says: “I’m a Transsexual and Jesus Loves Me.”

It was really nasty this morning when I got to the church to rendezvous with the group, but our spirits weren’t troubled. Heck, I was super-excited for today. So, once the four of us were assembled, we headed off on the two-hour trek to Northampton.

When we got into town we took a few minutes to stop off and water-proof our banners. I was a little stressing because we were pushing the time a little bit, but we managed to get our business taken care of and get to the start of the parade with a little bit of time to spare.

Marching in the parade was neat. Northampton is just such an awesome place; it’s one of the most welcoming and friendly cities I’ve ever visited. There weren’t tons of people along the parade route, probably due to the lousy weather, but the people that were there were super-supportive and positive. We carried separate banners that said “God” “is” “Love”. I carried the banner that said “Love.” I just had the biggest smile on my face for the whole parade while my priest was yelling “Blessings” to folks along the route. It was another in what seems to be a string of very powerful experiences for me. The world is a wondrous place, and people are warm and loving. Yay.

Darling Boyfriend expressed interest in coming, but he had to work. It was really sweet, because he said that it was the type of thing that he could see going one of two ways, and if it was a positive and fun time he wished he could share that with me, and if it turned ugly with haters he wanted to be there to support me. He is just totally out-of-this world awesome. ~*swoon*~

When we got to the end of the parade there was a rally planned. We stayed for a little bit and chatted. Rev Steph chatted with Gunner Scott, the head of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, where I’ve been volunteering lately. It was very cool to have the two of them connect. I also ran around and said hi to a few of my “Facebook friends,” which was really cool. It’s always great to attach an actual person to an online identity.

I’ve made a pretty conscious decision to be pretty actively supportive of Transgender civil rights. It’s true that I’m still struggling a little bit with seeing myself as part of the “Transgender Umbrella,” and I even have some problems with what I wrote on my own shirt (“I’m a Transsexual”), but that has nothing to do with whether I believe that civil rights for marginalized folks is important. If gender variance, in ~all~ its forms, was better understood and more tolerated in this world, I bet SRS would be covered by insurance companies, I bet young trans kids would be diagnosed a lot earlier in life, I bet fewer repressed trans folk would marry only to divorce due to transition. In short, I think society understanding trans folks (of every type) better would make the world a better place. I certainly think it would make things easier for those that come after me, and my hope is that fewer people have to go through the emotional turmoil I did.

After we left the rally, my church friends and I went to a Tibetan place for lunch, where I had yak stew (~yes~, I said YAK!). It was wicked yummy. There were also veggie dumplings that we shared. It was just a great meal.

After lunch we headed off to the mall. Rev Steph and another woman from church who came with today thought I could use some new clothes. I had tons of fun shopping with them – it was like being with my sisters. I bought more than I should have, but I found some really nice stuff so it’s hard to feel all that terrible.

Finally we headed home and I am now going to crawl into bed around 9:00 PM and hope that my Honey comes over soon to crawl into bed with me.

It truly was an awesome day.


Pass it on…

Foxwoods with The Darling Boyfriend

So, my mom had some more free nights at Foxwoods, so I asked her if I could have one for me and my Darling Boyfriend. She said yes, and he and I went on Wednesday and stayed over Wednesday night and came home Thursday morning.

We left around 11:00 AM and got there about 1:00 PM on Wednesday. We went upstairs and threw our stuff in the room and then went and had lunch at Fuddrucker’s. I’ve only eaten at a Fuddrucker’s once before. I had basically the same impression this time that I did the other time: it’s good, but I do not agree that it’s the “World’s Greatest Hamburger.” We had a great time talking over lunch, though, like it seems we almost always do.

After lunch we went to see the Bodies Revealed exhibit. I’ve been sort of interested in seeing the exhibit for a while, and seeing it with my boyfriend was just amazing. He’s a wicked anatomy geek, so seeing bodies in various states of dissection with him was pretty interesting; he was like a kid in a candy shop. It was a little disturbing for me at certain points (the pregnant woman was really hard to take), but in general I just found it fascinating. The section on blood vessels was amazing (there was one exhibit that was just the blood vessels from an arm – so the blood vessels formed the shape of an arm – amazing). I loved looking at the bones and muscles and ligaments and tendons on the hands and arms; that was very informative to me as a drummer/drum teacher.

In the reproductive section there was what seemed to be an innocuous little note next to the female reproductive organs: “A woman is born with all the eggs she’ll ever have.” That sort of touched a nerve in me, and I had to catch my breath for a second. My Darling Boyfriend was amazing, because he totally understood why I was upset and was just really caring in that moment.

After the Bodies Revealed exhibit we went back up to the room and had a pretty heavy talk about future and kids and plans and all of that (more in the general sense, not really talking about “us” having kids “together” yet – I think it’s a little soon for that discussion, honestly).

We got some rest, and then took some time and made our own, more intimate, version of revealed bodies. 🙂

After our private anatomy lesson, we got dressed and headed off to dinner. I wore this cute little mini-skirt (~very~ mini) and tube top with a sweater and really cool boots.

We went to David Burke Prime for dinner, and it was quite probably the best meal I’ve ever had. I went to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse earlier this year in Philadelphia, and that was fantastic, but this meal was a notch above that. We started with appetizers; Darling Boyfriend got calamari and I had a special that was two lollipop lamb chops with little pumpkin cakes. We shared the apps, and I couldn’t decide which was my favorite taste. I guess I’d have to go with the pumpkin cakes, but everything was out of this world. I was drinking a mixed drink with a few different alcohols (it was a fruity girlie drink) and Darling Boyfriend was drinking Guinness.

For our main course he got the twin filets with shrimp, and I got the 40-day aged ribeye. I also ordered a special side that was a cauliflower dish. My steak was most probably the best steak I’ve ever had. It was perfect. Simply perfect. Darling Boyfriend really enjoyed his dinner as well, and I gave him the bone from my steak to gnaw on. The cauliflower dish was very good, but possibly the only thing during the meal that wasn’t absolutely stupendous, only excellent.

We got two desserts to share: mini ice cream cones and peach donuts with dipping sauce. I also decided to get some Disarono on the rocks to top off the dessert course. The dessert was amazing; the little ice cram cones (with assorted flavors of ice cream) were awesome, and the peach donuts were one of the most incredible things I’ve ever had. The amaretto was, as I knew it would be, delicious.

Every bite of this meal seemed to just get better and better. I was overwhelmed by the joy and taste in every bite. I am given to hyperbole, I know that, but I really do think this was the best overall meal from beginning to end that I’ve ever had. I can not say enough positive things about the experience. I’m sure the fact that I had just enjoyed an experience of one type of physical exctasy before this gastronomic delight only added to the bliss, but I still think this meal will always stand out in my memory as truly special (having shared it with Darling Boyfriend certainly made it even that much more lovely).

Just. Wow. What an amazing meal.

After dinner we went for a stroll out by the outdoor pool. It was a lovely night, though it was starting to get a little chilly, so we didn’t last too long outside. But I really wanted to go for a walk outside, so I’m glad we did, even for just a little bit.

We went back up to the room and Darling Boyfriend gave me a massage. Oh my. What did I say earlier about bliss? Let me tell you, having a boyfriend that’s an anatomy geek sure makes the massages divine.

From the incredible sex, to the superb meal, to the divine massage, that was twelve of the most awesome hours I’ve ever had the joy of experiencing.

We woke up the next morning and went for brunch at the buffett. After brunch we explored the museum info center (someday I’ll actually get to the Pequot Museum) a little bit and then needed to head out. On our way we made a last stop in the “Tree House” (arcade). We played a bunch of air hockey and Darling Boyfriend got the better of me (I’m whipping him into shape to be able to beat his big sister this Christmas – long story, I’ll tell you sometime). We also played a trivia game, and a couple video games before heading back home.

It was amazing night away, and it feels like we crammed so much fun into those 24 hours.

Have I mentioned that I’m pretty smitten with this guy?


…I am.


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