Friday, July 3, 2015

Laurel Amanda's Favorite Photos (of Laurel Amanda!)

Hello Stana,

Now to my life (mostly boring). I was born and live in New Zealand. I realized I was different by 10 and in my early teens decided to avoid social situations and to concentrate on my academic life. Two degrees later, I walked into a wonderful job at the local university that I held until retirement 39 years later. Outside work my two interests were world travel and astronomy (it is easy to 'pass' in the dark!)

As I reached my early sixties and watched my mother slide into dementia, the thought of dying without becoming my true self was intolerable. So I first lost 25 kg; second, I booked a week with a wonderful couple in Sydney, Australia that specialized In helping people like me realize their style, how to behave in public, shop, etc. They were so successful that by the last day I was able to dress, makeup, etc. and make my own way into Sydney, shop all day and return. That was the day Laurel was truly born!

Back in New Zealand, I told my family (not a success!), the Human Resources person and the Head of Department of my workplace. They were most supportive and said I could transition whenever I liked.

Within a month, every woman working in the department knew of Laurel and I was being invited to their social evenings.

Shortly before I retired, I emailed the whole department (about 100) announcing that Laurel would arrive on Monday to do my work. The response was spectacular; about 80 replies by the morning, some saying they knew something was happening, others expressing surprise, but all were supportive.

When I did retire, it was Laurel's dress-up retirement dinner!

The one thing that surprised me most is Laurel's personality. She is not a female version of the male original. As a long-term friend said, “You smile all the time, M****** never did.” She is a very social, outgoing woman with a financially fatal addiction to bright clothes, shoes, jewelry and handbags.

When I changed my birth certificate, I found that the New Zealand government made it easy. Similarly, all the other bureaucracies (passport, tax status, voting, banks, insurance, retirement fund, etc.) went out of their way to help.

However, I don't wish to pretend that New Zealand is a paradise for trans people. There are dark corners; it is just that I have never found one.

Since then I have followed the standard medical course for transition, RLE, HRT, etc., leading to now a hotel cottage in Bangkok 30 days after SRS, and 6 days after FFS. I hope that others in similar situations will take some encouragement from my story and pursue their dream.

Best Wishes,

Laurel Amanda

P.S. A few words about the last photo: a fun one with my best friend Rochelle. You can create quite a stir when you walk into the restaurant together wearing the same dress!

Got selfies? My open invitation to post your favorite photo along with the story behind it and the reason it is your favorite photo still stands, so don't be shy, send me your fave foto. ― Stana

Source: Boston Proper.
Wearing Boston Proper.

Kira Sadovaya
Kira Sadovaya, male model

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