Today during a walk on Mackworth Island I overtook a grandfatherly-looking man pushing a toddler in a stroller. They were walking the same direction I was but had stopped to look at something. The kid was probably two, just old enough to start narrating the world. I waved and smiled, and the kid said "That lady is walking." Then as I continued on they followed me and the kid kept talking about me, each time starting with "That lady..."
My goodness, don't we start young gendering each other. But on the other hand, how satisfying to be instantly and correctly gendered by such a guileless morsel of humanity.
Moments like this notwithstanding, last week I engaged seriously for the the first time with the possibility of facial feminization surgery. I don't mean that I've decided to do it, just that I've started deciding whether to do it. Specifically, I have hired a professional photographer to take six pictures of my face according to the exact specifications of a person in England who does virtual FFS with Photoshop. This person has taken great pains to learn exactly what is possible, so the pics I get back will give me a detailed and realistic idea of what I might be able to accomplish.
I haven't moved on the face before because I am afraid of how hard those pics might set me aching again, but with SRS successfully accomplished I guess I'm ready to take that chance. Sweet friends tell me I'm beautiful, and I'm passing passing passing, but I can still see man-face in the mirror, and I hate it. Regardless of what anyone else says or thinks, I have made myself a simple promise: after the long hard gender-road I've travelled, if I decide I really want this, I get to have it.
If I decide to move ahead it will mean surgeon-research, deciding what combination of procedures to have done, and wrestling with the money issue. Could be some years off still, or could happen quickly, depending on circumstances.
I'll post the pics when I get them - early June maybe. Until then that lady will be counting the days, trying not to check her e-mail too absurdly often, and bracing for the possibility of a further bout of severe dysphoria. Que sera sera.