23 November 2014

On having facebook "girl" and "boy" profiles

When I've posted about Facebook in the past, I've always been a bit worried about mentioning that I have boy and girl profiles, as I did in the post about auto-unfriending, because I'm aware that it is technically a breach of the Facebook terms and conditions to have more than one profile, and to have a profile that is not in your legal name.

Recently, in spite of what appear to be fairly poor efforts in regards to removing or preventing blatantly fake profiles and pages that have been quite obviously set up for phishing and spamming, Facebook has become quite active at disabling and even converting valid profiles into community pages, merely because the owner has used a name that is not their real name.

There was also quite a significant controversy a few weeks ago, when someone systematically reported hundreds of drag performer's accounts as fake, resulting in Facebook disabling their accounts. Around the same time, at least 2 of my non-LGBT friends were affected by similar disabling of accounts. One was able to get his account re-enabled by having the first name changed from the name that everybody knows him by, to his legal name that most people didn't even know. The other, in spite of providing proper legal ID, had his profile converted to a community page and lost hundreds of photos, private messages, etc..

In this context, I had always feared that Facebook would crack down and delete my girl profile.

When I changed the profile photo on my boy profile to a girl photo on Tuesday, I thought that I'd wimp out and change it back within hours, and probably delete or hide the photo. I haven't, and as a side effect I've come to the realisation that the artificial separation between my male and female personae is probably not really necessary any more. To be honest, in spite of having my nails long and painted all of the time, before Tuesday, I didn't expect to ever break that separation down to the extent that I have done now.

I'm actually giving real consideration to the possibility of deactivating my Facebook girl profile in the near future, and just having my boy profile, which is in my real legal name, and has hundreds of work clients and several of my nominal business competitors amongst my friends.

20 November 2014

Can't get much more out on Facebook...

If I thought that I was very out on Facebook before, I've now taken a quantum leap further out.

On Tuesday, I changed the profile photo of my boy profile on Facebook. It's now the photo on the right, but without the watermark linking to my blog. That means that anybody on Facebook can see this as my profile photo. Whether people will make assumptions such as it being my sister or my wife is entirely up to them. :-)

At this stage, I'm not going to add my male name here because it's a relatively rare name and that would cause google to link my male name to this blog, which I'd prefer not to do at this stage. If people know how, it's trivially easy to make the connection.

So far, there have been a lot of supportive and a lot of joking comments, but none have even been passive-aggressive let alone negative or judgemental. :-)

05 November 2014

Breaking the drought

Prior to today, my last outing en femme was in April. I'm happy to say that I managed to go out today, breaking what I think might be the longest outing drought I've had since about 2001.

Being so out of practice, I was surprised that I managed to get my hair done okay with enough time to do my makeup. I wasn't surprised, though, that the makeup took about 75 minutes, and I still wasn't entirely happy with many details.

I arrived at the salon with about 5 minutes to spare, but they were running behind time, so I was able to go to the Building Society before my appointment.

After being greeted and complimented by two staff members there, I returned to the salon, where I was complimented by the client before me, both staff members and a nail products sales rep who arrived just before the end of my appointment.

After my nail appointment, I drove to my optometrist, as planned. There were two female staff members at the front counter, and when they went to process my health insurance card to find out how much the fund would pay, they had so much trouble with their computer that they ended up having to get the optometrist (who is also female) out of a consultation to try to fix the problem.

I was a little surprised that all three of them treated me exactly as they would if I was in boy mode. After previous conversations that I've had there, I expected some sort of response.

With a little time up my sleeve, I drove to Miskonduct Klothing, had a browse and chatted with Steph, who I've known for many years.

02 November 2014

No Tinkerbell this year, either.

Like last year, I had vaguely hoped to repeat my 2012 effort of going to Halloween in Cardiff. Unfortunately, reality had other plans, and with October 31st being the dealine for tax returns in Australia, I had to try to get all of the paperwork for my business and our rental properties sorted out, complete and lodge the return before Friday night.

I got far too little sleep between Monday and Friday, and struggled to work around bugs in the e-tax software that the Australian Taxation Office supply for doing tax returns. One bug caused the software to crash on my Mac (the only supported platform that I have) every time I tried to start it on Thursday night, so I wasted several hours trying to work out how to get around the problem without making any progress on the actual return.

On Friday night, I found a clue in a web forum on how to side-step the problem ~ copy the saved file to another account (user profile) on the computer and use that account instead. The program then ran. When it got to the point where it had been crashing, I twigged as to what caused it to work on Wednesday but crash on Thursday... There was a box offering an introduction to the software for people who hadn't used it before, and contained Yes and No buttons, plus a don't show this again tick box. The last time I'd started it, I ticked that don't show this again box, and now it crashed when the software was told not to show that box! Changing to a different account bypassed the problem.

Other problems included a worksheet for low value immediate deductions that wouldn't calculate after the 7th row, and the fact that the roll-over process of copying information from a previous year adds (Rollover) in front of the name of a rental worksheet, meaning that after 4 years of rolling it over, the software had made the address (Rollover) (Rollover) (Rollover) (Rollover) address. This non-editable field was now deemed too long by the software and rejected, meaning that I had to create a new worksheet, enter all of the details again manually, then delete the old worksheet.

So, after working through a massive number of illogical and frustrating problems over several hours, I managed to lodge my return Friday night.

Looking at the time, I decided that I'd see how I felt in the morning. If I felt awake enough before 9am, I'd do the whole thing without any hair or makeup practice, without completing all the preparations that I normally do, and in spite of the fact that I am currently 5kg (11 pounds) heavier than I was when I last wore the costume and didn't like how much I bulged around the waist last time.

Saturday morning, I spent quite a bit of time trying to convince myself that I was up to it, while knowing that I wasn't.

I still had to go into Cardiff to go to the Building Society, but when I realised that it was about 37°C (99°F), I was glad that I hadn't decided to wear a costume that would have involved at least 2 body shapers, padding and 3 pairs of tights...
I chatted with several of the staff at the Building Society who were disappointed that I hadn't dressed up, but understood the tax return dramas.

Last night, I managed to do many of the preparations that I normally do before an outing, including epilating and trimming my brows, shaving my hairline, getting my wife to trim the hair on the back of my neck, and washing my hair.
If all goes well, I might manage to get to my nail appointment this week en femme, and get to my optometrist to pick up my contacts while I'm at it.