Today I met with the founders of the local FTM support group here. It was awesome to be around other men like me - though they are both much further along in physical transition. I was worried for a minute that they wouldn't take me seriously. That they would think I was a fake. And it turns out those were valid concerns (seems they've had people in the past who turned out for the worst). But I passed.
Speaking of passing: I am passing more and more every day now. The outward physical changes I have made have been mostly small but in combination enough to change my overall appearance even more. Simple things like removing the earrings I wore for the longest time. Removing all jewelry period. Changing the style and cut of my already short hair. Minor alterations to my dress - men's button down shirts instead of just tshirts.
Greater and more serious changes include binding and packing. Though these are physical they are also hugely mental. To look in the mirror and see a flat chest is amazing. The first time I was able to do that I was so happy I wanted to point it out to everyone but was so nervous at the same time. So many questions were running through my head...can people see the binder? Is my chest flat enough? Do I look like I'm trying too hard? Thankfully having lost a bit of weight it is easier and easier to bind. I have only bound once in the presence of my family and some of their friends at a party. I was so scared one of them would call me out. But the comments I got were "wow you look great you've lost weight" and things of that nature. They noticed the difference but couldn't seem to put a finger on it.
To look down my flat chest and see the ever so slightly noticeable bulge under my shorts/pants is also totally amazing. The feel of a cock between my legs is fantastic. And the surprising confidence that comes with packing is definitely a plus. My first strap and packer came to me a few months ago (thank you to my benefactor for your support in this area and others...you are truly wonderful). I have the Goodfella by Vixen Creations and the Sedeux by Sportsheets. I recommend both products but the Goodfella isn't the best for daily wear and is rather expensive. It is better for pack and play situations. Because of that I recently purchased my first day packer: the Mr. Limpy by Fleshlight. Unfortunately, the company's marketing of this product is repulsive and awful - but that is another story for another post. The product itself is great and the price is under twenty bucks. It is totally comfortable and easy to wear. Also compatible with my harness. Not terribly high maintenance. And damn...the feeling of my partner grabbing my crotch with a pack between my legs is so hot and makes me feel even more masculine.
I guess all of this is to say that I am slowly going from confusing people to moving closer to the end of the spectrum where I truly belong. I still get the lack of pronoun usage from strangers on occasion, but more often than not I get the masculine ones I so need. And that makes me smile. And to be able to meet other people like me and spend time with them and be totally accepted is wonderful. I hope that by joining this group I can take my transition to new levels inside and out and continue to improve myself as the man I have always been.