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My Week As The Bearded Lady

bearded lady

After much searching, I finally discovered something that is arguably more painful than facial hair removal, or any hair removal for that matter. I can’t remember feeling this level of distress since that craptacular 3 days of work between the time when everyone found out about me and I began coming to work dressed as myself. Yeah, that was pretty bad and all, but this is far, far worse. Curious? Prepare for a stunning lack of shock and awe, but stick around at least to find out why. I had an electrolysis appointment on a Monday where James attempted to work my neck. Not fun, but even less so was his recommendation that I come back on Friday. Unshaved. After letting the hair grow since Saturday. Not nice James, not nice.

If you haven’t had facial electrolysis yet, you are in for a real treat. It’s recommended that you put the razor aside for a couple days before coming in for an appointment. My deal has been to make appointments on Monday, and spending the weekend holed up in my house away from prying eyes. The growing, by the way, is to allow your intrepid zap-n-plucker a good view of the playing field with ample visible targets. As it turns out, the weekend was just not enough to make the hard to reach neck area easy enough to clear.

On the side I’ll admit that much of this probably has to do with my neck in particular. All the dark hairs were cleared by laser, and the forest of remaining grey ones are just a teensy bit harder to see. On top of that, my beard growth comes in all criss-cross and woogly. Seriously, had I been born a male in mind, my beard growth would have been downright Taliban worthy. “Yes, yes, good crazy beard. We make you general!” Don’t worry, I can antagonize them with impunity. My blog is flagged by their IT guys and members can be terminated with cause just for stopping by, so no need to sweep my driveway with for IEDs just yet.

The agony of this is that I have work in the interim. I try my best to look nice and ideally inconspicuous. Kind of hard to do when it looks like I’ve got a turtleneck made of polar bear fur on under my sweater. I’ve already mentioned that I’m still trying to overcome the perception here that I’m really just a guy in a dress, and that it’s already taking a little longer than I had hoped. Having a solid week of neck hair growth just sitting there between my chin and my breasts is in no way helping this cause whatsoever. The urge to keep stopping people in the hallway and buttonholing them with a needless explanation that I just look this way because it’s a loathsome step in the process is nearly overwhelming. Most people don’t want to know any of the details to begin with, and doing this sort of thing will kill my chances if they ever decide to implement popularity contests.

I decided to go with the tried and true means of hiding an unsightly neck. The good old scarf. Yes, a turtleneck, would probably work better, but none of mine fit well at the moment, and there is simply nothing so annoying as feeling several days of rough growth rubbing at the clingy fabric every time I turn my head a quarter of a degree. The scarf unfortunately is only a partial fix because wearing it as I would really need to, right up to my chin, would make me look like a total tool. My only hope is that it proves to be a colorful distraction away from the affected area instead of drawing more attention to it. Ugh. There is simply no winning this.

The big moral of the story is that starting female life is by no means the end of transition discomfort, unless of course you got all this done well ahead of time. It feels like it should be that grand moment of pure relief when the male identity is shed for good and you start living your life one hundred percent as the appropriate gender. Instead, it is only the beginning of a whole host of new challenges you never really gave much thought to, such as humiliating days spend as the bearded lady. All of a sudden electrolysis induced gorilla jaw and big red laser burns on your upper lip don’t seem like such a huge hairy deal any more. With my luck my SRS is going to leave me with swelling that makes it look like I’ve got a tortoise shell sized codpiece on under my pants. It’s all right, this too shall pass. Just have to make it to Friday.

About michellelianna

I'm a transgender woman now in the maintenance stages of transition having all the electrolysis and surgery one can reasonably be expected to undertake. While busy exploring my new world, I took to blogging about it with dubiously popular results. I don't have quite as much to say as I used to, but I'm not quite done yet either.

3 responses »

  1. I’ve been there too, though not at work. But it was bad enough walking into Walgreen’s with visible beardage; the two clerks on duty weren’t ones I recognized, and the closest one turned around to face her cow-orker and obviously made some kind of face. *Sigh*,


  3. Thank you for a great blog about one of our “rites of passage”. 🙂


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