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6-month Vaginiversary

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6-month Vaginiversary

Today August 2nd marks 6 months since the date the amazing Dr. Chettawut gave his wonderful gift of GCS – gender confirmation surgery*. Not a gift as in free, but as in the next very important step to progress of feeling comfortable in my gender.

GCS is important to my happiness and is not a confirmation for others that my transness is real.

When I came back to work at the end of Feb, I had some interesting reactions from colleagues. I told a few people in confidence, but before I left, there was an argument about my medical leave, so I think the word got out much easier about why I was gone for a month. I had no overtly negative reactions from colleagues. In fact, one colleague who used to continually asked me about my genitals, now has left me alone. Another colleague said, “you are now completely a woman!” While it would be easy to thank her and move on, I took this moment to advocate for others who have not had or do not want medical treatment.

You shouldn’t put medical limits on someone’s identity.

There are people who have too thin of blood and cannot have any surgery because their blood will not clot. There are people with too thick of blood, which means their risk of thrombosis is high and if not corrected cannot have estrogen. I usually try to explain the blood issues to cis people to illustrate that drugs and procedures should not gatekeep anyone’s identity. This would be like saying to a trans person, “You have you suffered because of your body and that same body won’t allow you to get closer to your identity.”

I believe that people are born trans.

The term intersex has been used primarily for visually ambiguous genitalia and was often until recently “corrected” at birth. If you are against female circumcision (which you should be), you should be against altering a baby who could not possibly give you consent or communicate their identity. Chromosome abnormalities are also considered to be under the intersex umbrella. I believe that once we have more conclusive tests for trans people, we will be able to medically test for possible transness. While this won’t help every trans person, I personally know a few people that could’ve saved years of heartache had they known from a child they were XXY. Actually, if their parents had known that there was even a slight chance they could’ve been trans, maybe the response would have been kinder than to “MAN UP!”

I didn’t write this until recently because of the sensitive nature.

When I first came out there was all sorts of speculation about how coming out would affect my career. There was surely also some after my FFS – Facial Feminization Surgery. The nice thing about GCS is that no one had to know. My FFS and my coming out was very visible and there was nothing I could do about that. My recent GCS is literally not visible while I am clothed. I wanted to make sure that there was no effect on my singing, but luckily, I have had no issues (so far *knocks wood*). I was singing in my hotel room before I ever left Thailand. This was good because I hate taking time off and never called in sick in my 5 years at Karlsruhe. This was despite having 2 major operations under general anesthetic and a huge adjustment in my hormones.

I walked into the operating room and out and there was no change in my daily life.

I had prepared myself with a mantra that nothing would change after this in my daily life. I really could not afford to have post surgery depression if everything wasn’t magical rainbows following the procedure. With FFS, it was magic and everything was instantly better. I never had any depression after because it was so drastically life changing. Without building up expectations for  GCS, the benefits were slowly realized and everything else was just an extra bonus.

How my life is different:

I have to change often in a space usually with 1-3 other girls for my work and this is much better now. I am now very much at ease in changing spaces and recently showered at the gym for the first time. Germany is more open with bodies, but in the US, you can often go through most of your life without having to show your bits to anyone. Recently I had a naked photoshoot. It probably will not be used for artistic reasons, but it was freeing to put my naked self out there and have no body shame. This is new for me. I also just got back from a high fashion shoot (I will announce when it launches) in London where I was in various stages of undress. Although I would like to lose a little more weight and my body isn’t completely done reacting from the hormones, I am finally at peace with my body.

There are lots of interesting things to talk about surrounding this surgery, but for now this is a good place to start. I may or may not write a follow up. I also may or may not write a piece on surgical tourism. If any of these interest you feel free to send me an email. I will also reply if you want to use a throwaway account.

All you need to know is that I am very happy and am moving on to the next chapter of my life. The last year has been a whirlwind and I will probably write a piece soon detailing what’s next.

Always feel free to contact me.

lucialucas.de@gmail.com

Xoxo.
-Lucia

Recent Media Exposure

Press from Fall 2015

November:

Here is a documentary by Hannah Friedrich. This documentary was part of Kulturzeit a weekly program on the arts in Germany. This is primarily about me and takes place on the day of a performance of Falstaff where I play Ford.

http://www.3sat.de/mediathek/?mode=play&obj=55530

Here is the complete Ford aria from that evening:

http://www.3sat.de/mediathek/?mode=play&obj=55525

October:

Here is a documentary by Ingolf Bauer auf Deutsche featuring me and my beautiful wife Ariana Lucas. This explores what gender is and explores some other subjects like intersex.

http://www.3sat.de/mediathek/index.php?mode=play&obj=54931

Press from Summer 2015

http://slippedisc.com/2015/06/exclusive-my-life-as-a-transgender-opera-singer/

http://m-maenner.de/2015/08/15216/

http://www.welt.de/print/wams/kultur/article145266491/Der-Mann-ist-eine-Frau.html

Press directly after Samson et Dalilah in Darmstadt

http://www.echo-online.de/freizeit/kunst-und-kultur/theater/musiktheater/machos-machen-mir-richtig-spass_15439997.htm

Future Media

I am in the process of filming some exciting projects which will hopefully be linked here in the future.

Øp3r4: Efficiently learning a role

This article is aimed at students learning to prepare roles as well as professionals who find themselves too busy, but must learn a role in an allotted time. Through 15 years of opera study including 6 seasons of full-time fest work in Germany, I have engineered a way of learning roles that is streamlined. Techniques have been borrowed from mentors and colleagues and are noted when specific ideas are mentioned. This article will eventually have links articles breaking down the parts, but this overview is aimed at about 1000 words.

 

Get the score

Ask the company what score/ version they will be using. In cases of Tannhäuser or Boris Godunov, you can’t be sure which version will be used without asking. If a school or company is using a critical edition, it is important to know. It is also important to know if there will be custom dialogue in the case of Operetta. For school productions, check to make sure you are doing it in the original language. As a general rule: if there is a Bärenreiter, this will most often be the choice for professional companies. For Verdi and Puccini you are best off with a burgundy Ricordi Hardback. These are usually cheap and often only have Italian, leaving room for score prep notations. Although the Schott scores for Wagner are nice new plates, they have not been adopted generally by opera houses and most will use Peters versions.

 

Prepare the score

Especially for role debuts, it’s important to immediately get a scope of the amount of work involved. Highlight the role using a bright neon highlighter. In the US, I suggest sharpie liquid pens. The have the brightest ink and last for years with their original intensity. In Europe, the best I have found is Stabilo neon. Read through the part while you highlight. Don’t simply draw a line across the page. Observe breath markings of a quarter note or longer so that your brain has an extra notation of phrasing. If it is a language you are not as familiar with, just get the highlighting done and you will prepare the language shortly.

 

I suggest tabbing each individual entrance. You can add more later if the section you are preparing seems to big to manage The five color tabs work the best, as you can separate sections by contents and see without opening the book, where your arias and finales are. My initial system came with Mozart preparation because they are number operas and can be easily broken into sections.

 

Key for Mozart tabs

YELLOW: Aria

PINK: Duet

Orange: Small ensemble

Green: Finale

Blue: Recit

 

When these are poking out of the top of your 500 page score, its easy to turn to your aria from a closed book.

 

I am going to skip language prep for this article, but in this step you would write notes to yourself of things you commonly must be reminded to do in that language. For example: I like to note double consonants and rolled Rs when preparing italian scores even before bringing the role to a coach. If you don’t know the language well, this would be a good time to write the IPA. Translation is a concurrent step in this process. If you don’t know what you are singing, go home.

 

TLM (Translated, Learned, Memorized)

The system that has most often saved me when running out of time before a production starts is TLM. On these tabs you will use TLM as your todo list. Once you have translated a section, you will mark that section with a T. This means if you have 3 Operas you are currently preparing (which I currently do), its easy to see what work you have done on which piece without keeping that info in your head.

 

L would mean that this section is learned. You could sing it on book at tempo confidently with good diction. In the fest system, when the week or two before staging comes, your entire role must be at least to the TL stage in prep for musical rehearsals. If you are running out of time and some sections are memorized but some aren’t learned, focus on getting all the sections tagged with an L. If you are a guest it is almost always in your contract that your role will be 100% prepared before you get there. You can be dismissed for breach of contract if you are not prepared.

 

M would mean that your role is memorized and ready to stage. having completed the proper prep work, you should be well on your way to having your role memorized. Some roles automatically memorize themselves. In the case of Monterone, the role is no more than 10 pages, so the time involved in memorizing not too much. In the case of a World Premiere or a tone row opera, the amount of time learning the piece is so great that it may stick with you without separate memorization time. When I am talking about memorization, that primarily applies to the words, because if you can’t remember the tones or rhythms, it’s not really learned.

 

A good coach

Whether you are in school or fest at an opera house, you should theoretically have “free” coaching available to you. If a school or opera house does not give you enough coaching, it is still only you on stage. No matter what stage of your career, I suggest finding 3 coaches in your area that can work with you privately. Multiple coaches are nice because each will have their own strengths to help you. I have certain coaches that are better for certain rep and ones that I trust for vocal technique.

 

My work day is usually blocked out from 10-2 and 6-10 every weekday and 10-2 on saturdays. I often do private sessions in my midday break when an important project is approaching. A young coach may be more willing to work on holidays and sundays and are often a little bit cheaper than established coaches.

 

The rule of 25s

David Holloway told all of the Santa fe apprentices how to learn and memorize a role the first day the summer internship program. I am guessing most of us were prepared and memorized already, but he still had good tips to give. He has been a great mentor and this talk has stuck more than any other trick in preparing a role.

 

While muscle memory is achieved with 3,000-5,000 repetitions, meaningful learning begins at 75 repetitions. After a role has been translated part of the “L” learning should include 3 step of 25 repetitions.

 

Use your tabs or smaller breakdowns for your repetitions. Going through cover to cover will be exhausting and you won’t set up your muscle memory. Break your arias and ensembles into verses or smaller parts.

 

Say the text 25 times

Slowly talk through the text, noting your difficulties with pronunciation. Pay attention to words not common to your normal singing vocabulary. The more roles you learn, the less words you have to translate. The more repetitions you do, the more your brain and muscles will come up with the next sequence of words automatically. This is a good time to note consonants to sing through, elisions, and accents of each word. This is a good time to make sure your Italian patter is words and not spitting consonants or to make sure your German consonants do not disappear. Mark where a phrase should start and end purely based on the text. 25 times is quite a few if you are diligently reading aloud. Use tick marks in your score to note how many reps you have done, because in the moment your brain will need to concentrate purely on the text.

 

Speak the text 25 times in rhythm

After simply speaking the words at your own pace 25 times, you should be at ease with the text. You will now speak the text in rhythm. If you are doing a new piece which is very rhythmically difficult, you can first clap the rhythm without the words, but don’t count it towards your 25 times. Once 25 repetitions of text in rhythm is completed, the melody should be very simple to place on top of all your work.

 

Sing it with music 25 times

You should begin singing it “on-book”, but you will find after about 10 times you probably will have no impulse to look at the score anymore. For most roles after 25 times with music and all the other prep, you should be ready for staging. Doing this work always makes me extremely confident at the beginning of a six week rehearsal period.

 

There are many other tricks to preparing a role, but I wanted to give a starting point for those who don’t know where to start or are simply looking for a systematic way to get started when overwhelmed with another project.
Please leave suggestions or requests for future score prep articles. I will use this article as a table of contents to build a more comprehensive reference tool for students and professionals.

Leelah’s Law

I live my life openly as a transgender woman. I do this for the education of people young and old. I welcome any questions from anyone about almost anything.

Recently Leelah Alcorn committed suicide. She left a very candid note explaining what she was doing and why. Her story mirrors mine very closely and I want people to know there are other options. She felt she was a girl from the age of four. At the age of fourteen, thanks to the internet she found a word for what she was feeling. She came out at 14 as a transgender girl to her parents and was told it was a phase, she was wrong and that the church could change her. There is a petition Leelah’s Law that is currently being presented on petitions.whitehouse.gov to ban Transgender Conversion Therapy. If you are eligible to sign the petition, please consider doing so.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/…/enact-leelahs-l…/7FfNrkdS

Leelah

It was the mid 80s when I had these same feelings and early 90s when they almost became too much for me. Jr high school and high school (ages 12-17) is a rough place. The arts helped me find an accepting group of people. The only thing that stopped me from committing suicide was a curiosity of the future and a hope that someday I could live my life. Through all of my performing, I have become a much more open person and feel comfortable talking about these issues openly. I hope I can raise awareness to the transgender lived experience and bring hope to questioning people.

If you are a parent and are unsure if your child is going through a phase, please trust in the American Medical Association and not your church for a diagnosis. If you live in another country, seek out medical attention and not church services. There is an option to delay puberty until 18 and let them make the choice when they become an adult. The years between puberty and 18 for a transgender child is very difficult because they can see their body and face going farther and farther away from how they feel. Please consider a licensed professional for your diagnosis.

If you a questioning child know that you are not alone. Even if you make it to 18 without any medical intervention, you can live a happy life and have a successful transition. In Leelah’s note she mentioned not having a successful transition. I wish I could have told her that she could grow up to be a beautiful successful young woman even with no medical intervention. The longer one waits, the more difficult it is, but certainly not impossible and not a reason to not see what happens.

I began transitioning at 33. I still have a way to go for all the things I want to accomplish in my transition, but I am extremely hopeful for my life. At 33, testosterone had seriously effected my body, but hrt, ffs and other treatments are very effective. Please know that hitting 18 without medical intervention is not a death sentence.

If anyone has any questions, please email, txt, or reply here. There is a lack of information on this subject in the general public and there must be more awareness. I am not an expert, but I hope I can help or direct someone to the correct place for answers.

Xoxo

-Lucia

PS. my next post will hopefully be about opera.

sie oder du: Pronouns

sie oder du: Pronouns

For people who have never met me, I am just some tall girl unless one of my friends decides to out me. This has happened at least 5 times since September. Before FFS, I would’ve been annoyed, but I pass much better now, which I guess makes it more annoying. I had Facial Feminization Sugery in September and since, I can even go in public with little or no makeup and be read as female. I am grateful for this and I wish everyone could have the same passing privilege. Please understand that by outing a trans person, you are putting them in danger. Even if you are accepting of trans people and think it’s no big deal, you could be exposing your friend to a person who could be dangerous, who may have not have read your friend as a trans person.

German grammar nerd jokes

Er is the German pronoun for he. Sie is you formal (bosses and elders) and du is you informal. sie is she and is my preferred pronoun. For a while I thought it was cute to say sie oder du 🙂 after someone referred to me as er. This is a play on You formal. It actually means She… or you informal. It was meant to gently remind people when they miss-gender me by saying he. Recently these corrections have proved not to be as effective as I had hoped. A start of my latest opera project has prompted me to address pronouns in my blog.

Preferred Pronouns

Preferred pronouns would be simply explained as the way you would like to be addressed. I prefer she, her, hers, as do most trans women and cis-gender women. Most cis-gender males and most trans men would use he, him, and his. The third most common pronoun would be they, them, theirs. They would be the most often preferred pronoun for a person who prefers not to have their gender identified by their pronoun. They can be used as a singular pronoun. If you want to argue over grammar with a friend about why you don’t want to use singular they and will stick with he or she, you are invalidating their identity and not a friend. Intentionally miss-gendering someone should be a quick way to lose them as a friend.

Here are a couple of my favorite articles on miss-gendering and pronouns, please check them out after:

http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/10/ignore-preferred-gender-pronouns/

http://www.entirelyamelia.com/2014/01/02/misgendering-okay-justifiable-yes-big-deal/

Out at work stealth in public

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I am proud of my gender as well as my trans* status. This does not mean that you can out me. Yes, I have a blog where I talk about transition and a website with my name that openly states that I am a trans woman. Yes, I will happily spend hours after work talking to curious members of our theater public. The theater and the webspace is somewhat controlled. I don’t hand out business cards to people questioning my gender, so the people who generally see my website are theater goers or industry personnel. If I am at the theater talking to the public it is most likely after a show. I generally feel safe in the theater and it’s my home turf. People on the street don’t need to know. People on the street don’t have time to talk and neither do I. Let them continue their belief that I’m some nameless girl working some job somewhere.

But you look like a Man

I know it may be blow your mind, but that cashier actually read me as a woman. It was only your slip of a pronoun that made her start to look me up and down like an experiment at the science fair. It doesn’t matter if you think your friend doesn’t pass or your friend doesn’t think they pass.

Most trans women have a point early in their transition where they are working on their makeup, their voice, their personality, and all the other things that cis women have their entire childhoods to gradually learn. If you want to be a friend, it is extremely important during this time to let them find their way and not out them to people. My makeup skills get better everyday as well as my femme voice and fashion sense. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’d rather just be thought of as a over-painted raspy fashion clueless woman than a man. It’s not your right to out me.

Your personal game show

If you call me sir despite my dress makeup and cleavage, you have not figured out some final round of a quiz show. No one is going to jump out and give you a million dollars. You have not won a prize. No man accidentally falls into heels a dress and makeup and wants to be addressed as a man. Even if its Halloween, give them the courtesy of ma’am. If you see a man before you in a dress, say ma’am you will make her smile. She is probably having a more difficult day than you. Actually, the next person that sirs me may get a giant fanfare resulting in far more embarrassment to them than they could ever give me. “Oh my god you’re the grand prize winner on guess the trans woman! You won a spectacular Gay cruise courtesy of Al and Chuck travel!” I promise to do it in my loudest announcer voice possible. Friends and family not eligible for prizes.

But your character is a Man

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It is true that I play men on stage about 99% of the time. I try to step into my character every rehearsal and performance and would not want a person to think a woman was playing this character unless they looked down at their program book. Kothner is a man. Figaro is a man. So is Leporello, Marcello, Varlaam and all the other characters I play on a regular basis.

If you want to use he when talking about my character, which I do encourage, please also use the character name. “So at this point he glances at the letter before pretending like he never has seen it.” say the director. “Wait, who do you mean?” says my concerned colleague. The correct response would be Figaro. The incorrect response would be Lucia. If we have developed a line of speaking which conforms to the genders of the characters, Figaro is he, Cherubino is he, Susanna is she etc. You definitely would not say she…. Figaro, so don’t say he….. Lucia, because that would be deliberately miss-gendering me. Especially in the case of Figaro, if you keep calling the girl playing Cherubino she, afford me the same courtesy if that is indeed your chosen line of speech.

The most realistic way to treat a gun on stage is to believe it is real and loaded. It is also most realistic to believe the genders of the characters while working. To stay in the world of the characters, personality, and gender during rehearsal are to create the most believable world. Is this all about not miss-gendering me? It’s definitely why it came up, but I believe it to be relevant for any pants role or skirt role. When women are playing boys, their fellow actors shouldn’t treat them like a lady. Hopefully for performance she would have a binder (an elastic vest to squish down boobs to pecs), but her colleagues must not be awkward around her chest area. I have seen too often an actress be awkward around a Cherubino’s chest. In performance I’ve seen a look like, “Oh sorry, didn’t mean to grab your boob…” The audience saw it too. Cherubino dosen’t have boobs. Cherubino has a chest and it’s not part of his swimsuit area.

Birthnames

I have personally sort of sidestepped this issue on purpose. My given first name of Lucas became my last name. Their are many reasons why I did this, but the most practical is that when someone says “Lucas,” I can say “Why so formal? Just call me Lucia.” It is not ok ever to insist on using someones birth name. If you use Lucas on me, I will use your last name on you. Please understand by using someones birthname you are miss-gendering them and not acknowledging their identity.

When in doubt, ask what pronouns a person prefers.

There are people who you may not be able to feel comfortable assigning he or she pronouns with. You can always ask what their preferred pronoun is. It is somewhat of a saying that says “I respect you and your ability to identify yourself.” Don’t ever say “are you a dude or a chick?” For those who have not been asked this in public by an incredibly loud drunk person in the middle of the main town square, it ruins your evening…..it just does.

How can I help?

If you’ve reached this point of the blog you may be curious as to how you can help. Miss-gendering someone you have known for a long time as the other gender can happen even if you are trying really hard. Even after I have spent lots of time and money revealing my true self to people and look femme, people will accidentally miss-gender me. It happened this morning without them even realizing it. First I would say that it matters to me and it should matter to you. If you do miss-gender someone and realize it, the best response is simply “sorry, she” or “sorry, he”. The conversation shouldn’t stop it shouldn’t get awkward and you will miss-gender less and less. It’s not supposed to be a big deal. Transition is hard, but the eventual outcome is a life where gender is not a big deal. I just want to be recognized as my target gender. Please don’t out me by saying he.

Again, Here are a couple of my favorite articles on miss-gendering and pronouns:

http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/10/ignore-preferred-gender-pronouns/

http://www.entirelyamelia.com/2014/01/02/misgendering-okay-justifiable-yes-big-deal/

 

FFS Owners Manual: Preface

FFS Owners Manual: Preface

Whether you identify as a man, a woman, or prefer not to play into our bi-gendered society, you still remain a product of your hormones.

Without medical intervention, female assigned at birth (faab) people will grow breasts, grow fuller hips etc.

Male assigned at birth (maab) people will grow more coarse body hair as well as facial hair. Their voices will also drop and their hairlines will eventually recede.

There are many other properties, but this article is only making the basis for an understanding of FFS.

If you are a trans person, you are probably aware that hormones can help to adjust these differences and will function stronger the younger you are. Faab person can take testosterone and many of the male characteristics experienced during puberty will happen. Faab people taking testosterone (trans men) will develop a lower voice and begin growing facial hair. They will experience rougher skin and an ability to gain muscle. The aim of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is to bring your hormones in line with your target gender.

Trans women (maab) on HRT will take Estrogen, and an anti-Androgen, to nullify the production of Testosterone. Breasts, a reduction in body hair, and softer skin are a few of the benefits of HRT. Unfortunately, maab puberty and aging is rough on a trans woman’s face. The older a trans woman is after puberty, the less hormones will show their effects.

Breasts tend to grow to one size smaller than your closest relative, but have better results the earlier you start. Receding hairlines are also very much a product of genetics, but the older you are, the less hair you may have. Bone structure is genetic, but the longer testosterone is active, the more masculine a face will become. Puberty causes the first obvious change to the bone structure. Basically, puberty is the beginning of a man or woman face from a less gendered child face.

FFS – Facial Feminization Surgery

A masculine face has a strong angular jaw line, a protruding orbital/browbone, an Adam’s Apple, a downward-turned nose, a M hairline, and usually no Cupid’s Bow on the upper lip. While many plastic surgery techniques can address these issues individually, some bone structure procedures do not fall into the repertoire of many surgeons. FFS is a combination of plastic surgery and maxillofacial surgery that aims to bring the dimensions and appearance of the face into the female range. FFS is not the term for the surgery, but a combination of surgeries that will help the specific individual.

Anyone considering FFS whether in Europe or elsewhere should visit Dr Bart van de Ven’s excellent site. From my consultation, I was sure I wanted him as my surgeon. He is very professional and treats the facial proportions as a science. His website includes many before and after photos and details which procedures were performed.

http://facialfeminization.eu/

See below for a comparison from early November 2013 (when I decided I would transition) and photos taken from the same angle today, 5 weeks since my FFS in Antwerp, Belgium.

My personal procedures were: forehead recontouring, hairline lowering, brow lift, lip lift, jaw angle reduction, genioplasty and mid facelift. It is normal for after pictures to be taken 3 months post surgery and I am at less than half that recovery time. I will post updates when I reach 3 months of healing time.

The two last things to take into consideration are my weight loss since living full-time in May (15 kilos) and that I have been on estrogen and anti-Androgens since July. Both have had an effect on my face, but nothing compared to FFS.

ffs-spread
November 7, 2013 and October 17, 2014

Dr van de Ven noted, in my consultation, that my nose was upturned and that I lacked an Adam’s Apple. I would, therefore, not need surgery to alter these. I was happy to hear this, as both could have interfered with my singing.

The forehead recountouring can be best seen in the profile shots as well as the front-facing shot. One function of this is to give a round silhouette from nose to hairline and make the profile of the browbone less aggressive. The second aim is reduce the shadows cast on the eyes. The eyebrows tend to sit on or above, rather than below, the browbone. This procedure really opens up the entire face and makes it softer. In my opinion, this should be one of the first procedures considered when looking into FFS. The older you are, the more this surgery, along with a brow lift, will revitalize and feminize your face.

Here is a great explanation of forehead recontouring: http://facialfeminization.eu/procedures/forehead-recontouring/

Hairline lowering is taking the M and turning it into an upside down U. In my case, though my hairline does not appear lower, it suits the shape of my face and features much better. This procedure takes away the skin from the temples and lowers the hairline to produce a more pleasing, feminine shape. This is done together with a brow lift to lay the eyebrows in a good position on the orbital bone. In the November photos, my forehead has two very distinct lines due to me over-opening my eyes on a regular basis to see better. This is a condition called ptosis, which is a drooping of the upper eyelid. Some elderly patients have this and have a correctional operation, but not typically people under 60. My lines had some filler injected and seem to be healing nicely. They are almost completely invisible now. The feeling of my stretched scalp feels weird on the top of my head, but it feels great on my forehead and on my eye area and I don’t have to raise my eyebrows anymore to see the world 🙂 !

The lip lift takes the length of the upper lip and makes it that of a natal female. Best seen in the front facing picture, my top lip is now about 4mm shorter. This upturns the lip and exposes the Cupid’s Bow. This also tends to make the mouth stay open more. This has been the most difficult thing to get used to. I have to rehydrate more often and always have to keep some lip balm or lipstick in my purse to keep my lips from chapping. It is very feminizing and I don’t mind dealing with those small negatives.

I would still get every one of these procedure done now knowing how it looks and feels.

The genioplasty (chin surgery) is more visible now than the jaw angle reduction, but both will be more visible after the 6-12 month recovery time. It takes a long time for skin and bone to realign and settle together. This is also true of heavy dental surgeries. My chin was reduced 5mm in height and sits slightly back now. This is best seen in the profile shots, but the distance between my nose and chin is clearly smaller in today’s spread. I am very happy with it, but I am waiting for the skin to adjust to the jawline which should be about 6 months. This can temporarily be made less visible with chin contour shading, but is not featured in this spread.

The mid-face lift can best be seen in the photo which I am looking down. The surgery performed gave me rounder more feminine cheeks. My cheeks, eyes, forehead, and lips are what make me read as female.

When walking in the street my 100 kilo, 180cm frame is still looked at because I’m no small girl, but when people look to my face they get their female confirmation and go about their day instead of giving me questioning or disapproving looks. I am almost exclusively read as female in public after this surgery, whereas before I was not.

I cannot say that this will be as effective for everyone, as your own results may vary, but I am very happy with mine and enjoy watching it heal everyday.

For more info check out: http://facialfeminization.eu/

Xoxo

-Lucia

PS. let me know any questions and I would be happy to answer them.