Date: 29 September 2018
These past few weeks in the life of Gabrielle have been quite eventful, for one I am feeling much better now than I was a couple of weeks ago. I’ve healed nicely from my surgery and the only remnant left from that horrible experience mentioned on the 16th of September edition of Weekly Happenings is a tiny scar on my left trapezius-muscle area.
I went to see my speech therapist yesterday and we worked on a couple of exercises that were focused on control. A big part of learning to control what your vocal cords do is being able to tell what level they are on as you’re speaking. I won’t get into specifics about pitch and tone but it’s basically all about the numbers. We (my therapist and I) use an application that records my voice and measures the minimum and maximum values of its pitch, it then calculates the average of that amount and gives out a value. The average value for a feminine voice is roughly from 190 - 220hz. At the moment I can average out around 250 - 280hz, those are awesome numbers, I just need to learn to maintain those values for long periods of time. I basically have to learn how to speak like a woman for entire days and that is a massive challenge. It is a challenge that I am willing to take and I foresee that a year from now I will have full control of my vocal chords if I keep going the way that I’m going.
In other news I’ve been having a lot of fun with a project I call 1Hour Portraits, the concept is simple; I get a client to send me a photo of theirs, they can opt to have me add accessories or make up, big hair etc. to their image and I construct a caricature from all of that for them. These take me about an hour to construct and I’ve been charging around $10-$15 each. They’re a lot of fun to create and I’ve been getting really positive feedback from them. The idea is to continue making personalized content for clients, to go down that rabbit hole and see where it takes me. This coming week I will take sometime to write for Kito’s Story, I feel like page 02 of that web comic series has been long over due and I love creating content for Megatheria. It’s a passion project of mine and one that allows me to be as creative as possible within the fantasy / horror genre.
Finally I’m all set to have the orchiectomy procedure done in November. I really can’t wait to get it done and see the results that will come from that. Apparently my voice won’t be affected at all once I get it done but the rest of my body will be. Without testicles I will no longer produce testosterone and everything from the softness of my skin to the fat placement on my body and face will change. Feminization will be made easier and the plus side to that will be that I will no longer need to take testosterone blockers, which have been fucking up my insides. There have been positive things all around lately and I have very little to complain about, just things to look forward to. That is a great space to be in. Keep an eye out for Page 02 of Kito’s Story!
Please feel free to interact with me by sending me a DM on my Instagram. I love chatting about whatever; art, transition, life, monsters, cartoons, wrestling. . . Until next time kiddos!
Fecha: 16 Septiembre 2018
Estas últimas dos semanas en la vida de Gabrielle han sido bastante agitadas. La semana pasada encontré una bola masiva en mi hombro izquierdo y fui a ver al médico al respecto. Echó un vistazo a la cosa e inmediatamente me dio malas noticias de que esto podría haber sido causado por una de cuatro cosas; 1 - una infección viral que se me había pegado en alguna parte, 2 - Tuberculosis, 3 - VIH / SIDA y 4 - un tipo de cáncer. Como se puede imaginar, esta noticia no me gustó y francamente me sorprendió escucharla. Él promovió la conversación diciéndome que la única manera de averiguar con certeza de qué se trataba era retirar quirúrgicamente la pelota de mi hombro y enviarla a un laboratorio para una biopsia. Fui admitida en el hospital a la mañana siguiente y todo lo que podía pensar eran los números 3 y 4 (SIDA y Cáncer). Si tuviera alguna de esas cosas, eso significaría que mi vida estaba a punto de cambiar para peor y estaba aterrorizada
Seguí con la cirugía; la sensación que se tiene cuando se está en una mesa de operaciones, justo antes de que le inyecten la anestesia, justo antes de que le pongan la máscara de respiración sobre la boca, es algo que nunca olvidaré. He estado en esa situación muchas veces antes y esto me resulta familiar; Me sentí extrañamente en paz en ese momento en particular y no estoy realmente segura de por qué fue eso. Me desperté en una cama en una habitación privada en el hospital, supe que finalmente me la habían sacado y que había sido enviada a los laboratorios. Durante mi consulta con el médico, me dijo que el laboratorio se tardaría un par de días en descifrar la razón detrás de la pelota; Tuve que esperar tres días para descubrir cuán enferma estaba realmente. Durante tres días y tres noches me confinaron a una casa, me iban a mantener en cuarentena por si la enfermedad era tuberculosis. Tres días y tres noches de infierno fue lo que sufrí emocionalmente, sin saber como este asunto iba a impactar mi vida.
El viernes por la mañana finalmente llegaron los resultados y recibí la noticia de que lo que era era una horrible infección viral que se me había pegado durante mi viaje a Ciudad del Cabo la semana anterior. Todo lo que tenía que hacer para recuperarme de la infección era pasar por una semana de antibióticos. De repente sentí como si me hubieran quitado un peso masivo de los hombros, estaba en paz. Lo principal que aprendí de este episodio fue que la gran cantidad de medicación que estaba tomando como parte de mi transición ahora estaba arruinando mi sistema inmunológico y tenía que hacer algo al respecto. Con eso en mente, espero con ansias el día en que me haga una Orquidectomía y ya no tenga que tomar todo lo que estoy tomando diaria mente...
Date: 16 September 2018
These past two weeks in the life of Gabrielle have been quite eventful. Last week I found this massive lump on my left shoulder and I went to see the doctor about it. He had one look at the thing and immediately dropped bad news on me that this could have been caused by one of four things; 1 - a viral infection that I had picked up somewhere, 2 - Tuberculosis, 3 - HIV/AIDS and 4 - a type of Cancer. As you can imagine I was not pleased by this news and quite frankly I was shocked to hear it. He furthered the conversation by telling me that the only way to find out for sure what it was was to surgically remove the ball from my shoulder and send it to a lab for a Biopsy. I was admitted into hospital the very next morning and all I could think about was numbers 3 & 4 (AIDS & Cancer) - if I had either one of those things it would have meant that my life was about to change for the worst and I was terrified.
I went through with the surgery; the feeling you get when you’re on an operating table, just before they inject the anesthetic into you, just before they put the breathing mask over your mouth is one that you never forget. I’ve been in that situation many many times before and this just felt familiar; I felt strangely at peace in that particular moment and I’m not really sure why that was. I woke up on a bed in a private room at the hospital and knew that it was finally out of me and that it had been sent to the labs. During my consultation with the doctor he had told me that it took a couple of days for the lab to decipher the reason behind the ball; I had to wait three days in order to find out just how sick I really was. For three days and three nights I was confined to a house, I was to be held in quarantine just in case the disease was Tuberculosis. Three days and three nights of hell was what I went through emotionally, not knowing of my lifespan was about to be cut short.
Friday morning finally came and I got the news that all it was was a horrible viral infection that I had gotten during my trip to Cape Town the previous week. All that I needed to do in order to recover from it was go through a week’s worth of antibiotics. It suddenly felt as if a massive weight had been taken off my shoulders, I was at peace. The main thing that I learned from this episode was that the heavy amounts of medication that I was taking as part of my transition where now fucking up my immune system and something had to be done about that. With that in mind I now look forward to the day I get an orchiectomy and no longer have to take all of these meds...
Date: 05 September 2018
This past month in the life of Gabrielle has been quite eventful. I’m officially in a loving lesbian relationship now and couldn’t be happier. I’ve held off on talking about my online relationship turned real-thing for sometime now but I think it’s about time I let the cat out of the bag (I think that’s how the expression goes). About 4 months ago this Hispanic girl from Chile sent me a DM and we started talking. During the month of August she came to South Africa to meet me in person; the first time we saw each other for real was extremely nerve racking as you can imagine. She walked out through the giant airport gates and we hugged for the very first time, she didn’t take too long to let me know how hot she thought I was and we had our first kiss in the car at the parking lot.
I had never been with a lesbian before, throughout my life I have dated straight women and on the odd occasion I’ve slept with a handful of guys. I’ve never really felt that I could connect with guys strongly enough to form a relationship though. This was my first taste of being with a girl who wasn’t afraid to take charge, a girl who would slap me in the ass while I cooked her breakfast and would whisper in my ear “washita rica” which is a Chilean phrase that means something like “sexy girl”. At first I didn’t know how to respond to all of this; it was all very new coming from a woman, but it is safe to say that I loved every minute of it. I took sometime off work to be with her and we had a magical month together filled with ups and downs, crazy fights and amazing love making. For the first time in my life I was with someone who wasn’t afraid to hold my hand in public. Most of the time that we where out in public people would not stop staring at me / us, they would stare and whisper to their friends. This kind of attention has become somewhat of a normality in my life and it would at times bother her. She has mixed feelings about walking hand in hand with a trans woman in public, on the one hand she told me the attention made her feel important and on the other hand she would get really mad sometimes and the swearing wouldn’t stop.
The homophobia in this country (South Africa) is still really evident and this has been the root of some of our arguments but in the end we came to the conclusion that people will stare and they will make their comments, the world can be cruel and uneducated at times but we don’t care. That type of shit won’t make us stop loving each other, it won’t make us live in hiding; it can actually be kind of fun at times knowing that you have the power to capture the attention of strangers so easily. We went on a multitude of excursions to lion parks, mountain peaks, beaches and clubs. It was undoubtedly one of the best months of my life. The month ended and she went back to Chile; it was then that she told me that she didn’t feel attraction towards women with vaginas anymore. I’m not sure how to take that and feel that that is something that needs to be unpacked at some point. What I do know is that she loves me, that I love her and that the next step is for her to move in with me permanently and introduce me to her 1 year old baby girl who I’ve been dying to meet; that’s all for now folks.
Date: 29 July 2018
This week in the life of Gabrielle has been quite eventful. For the most part I’ve spent this entire weekend thinking about rendering and what exactly goes into that. Essentially I’ve boiled it down to understanding form and how light and shadow interact with surfaces. Through ArtStation’s Instagram page I stumbled on this really awesome tutorial by an artist called Anthony Jones which focuses on “painting like a sculptor”. I have been attempting to paint “photo-realistically” for a long time now, I’ve worked with multiple 3D programs and have even worked full time as a CG lighter for a hot minute. Besides doing countless master studies working with 3D Software like Maya and ZBrush gives you a new way of thinking and visualising form, one that is key for creating photoreal art. It is safe to say that I have fallen in love with lighting, the tutorial that I found unlocked something for me, all because of something that Anthony Jones said. He said “stay consistent with the direction of your shadows”. I tend to get caught up in all the craziness of a painting at times with the Ambient Occlusion, Ambient Light, Directional Light and all other insane factors that contribute to lighting in a piece looking “realistic”. His advice reminded me to go back and calm the fuck down, to take it one element at a time and the results have been amazing. The latest MWG that I did and the Warrior Princess painting where examples of that. I think I’ve levelled up and I like it! From now on Anthony Jones tutorials will definitely make their way into my Dropbox and I may even apply for one of his mentorship programs at some point.
In other news I’ve started with laser hair removal again. This is a big deal to me mainly because the last time I went for a session it hurt so bad that I balled out crying like a baby. In front of the doctor, his assistants and everyone at the clinic. I don’t know if it was a harsh jolt of Estrogen mixed in with the incredible pain of the laser piercing my flesh but that shit killed me! (Metaphorically speaking). I have been doing laser hair removal on my face and other parts of my body for about 3 years now and something like that had never happened before. I had a bit of PTSD going into the session this past week (I have to admit) but in the end I was able to grin and bear it like a champ. Just some of the things Girls Like Us have to deal with on a regular.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned on here that I regularly see a psychologist, I’ve been going to see her for about the same time that I’ve been getting hair lasered off of my body. She’s my “Oracle” like in The Matrix; she’s very wise and often gives me the best advice. I have to attribute a huge part of the person that I am today to her. This past week we spoke about something that has haunted me for years; my depression. It is something that I’ve struggled with since I was 8 years old and to this day has never left my side, it is soul crushing and punishing at times but if I hadn’t fought it off for as long as I have I would probably be dead. This “being” has been so evident in my life that I decided to give it a name... Jugganaut. Yes like the red helmet-wearing X-Men villain. My psychologist calls it the Red Jugganaut. It is immense - it is colosal and it makes me want to cry, it tells me that I should go with it and end the suffering... that I should take my own life. So far he has not succeeded but he is with me 4Life unfortunately. My psychologist made it clear to me that the Jugganaut was indeed real and a creation of my own imagination at the same time. For he was a thought pattern subconscious created by my brain when life altering things happened to me. She let me know that it was treatable and that with her help I could beat it. I’ll keep you posted on the developments of this story.
Date: 22 July 2018
This past week I had it in my mind that I wanted to tell the story of Kito. A Megatherian character that I stumbled on by accident. I began repurposing an old unfinished painting and a gold spewing android came out the other end. I decided to tell the story in a comic book format. The main Megatherian storyline focuses on Kanak “Of the Golden Eyes” and I wanted to keep the story of Kito separate from that; it will act like a type of prequel to a much greater story. I spent most of the week thinking about the Kito story, writing and pulling events from my mind to use on this. I think the final outcome will be really cool. The downside is that I’m not sure how frequent I’ll be able to post pages from the comic since I currently have a lot going on in my life. At one point the goal will be to just focus on RenzFilmProject.Com and work for myself but the time for that has not yet arrived. I still have many dues to pay.
In other news I found a plastic surgeon that can help me out with the big procedures that I have planned. Thing is I’m not sure what he’s comfortable doing; I really want my boobs done but I think he might put a stopper on that idea and suggest I do some fat transplant stuff first. The same thing with the medical aesthetic doctor that’s working on my cheek fillers; he might put a stopper on putting more collagen into my face. The thing they don’t show you on the plastic surgery shows is that not all aesthetic doctors are comfortable giving their patients an “over the top” look. The thing is that I don’t want that, I just want to look more feminine; at times I have to remind myself to be patient, to let the estrogen work it’s magic and decide on what I want done a couple years down the line. As you can imagine that’s harder said than done because when you want something really bad you become impatient and that leads to mistakes. I guess I just have to listen to my own advice and take it easy. So my girlfriend is flying down from Chile on the 2nd of August and I cannot wait, we’re so compatible it’s not even funny. Also she makes me feel like a woman. To me that means everything. She’s a very dominant lesbian and it’s definitely a first for me, I’ve never dated anyone like her before. When she tells me that I’m sexy or the things she wants to do to me it gives me butterflies in the pit of my stomach. It’s an awesome feeling and I can’t get enough of it. When she arrives over here we’re gonna spend two weeks together where I plan to make a short video just talking about how we met and the crazy circumstances that led to us finally being together. Stay tuned for that!
Date: 15 July 2018
This week in the life of Gabrielle has been quite eventful. I've been tinkering with the IGTV feature on my Instagram and it has given me a brand new platform to post videos that are longer than 60 second. I have so much cool content that I've created for Megatheria that will definitely go up there in future, as well as timelapse videos of my work and maybe even some videos of me. What I do know is that I want the content that goes up on my IGTV to have a very post-produced and polished feel to it so I will be taking my time posting content on there, but it will be worth the wait! I've decided to focus more heavily on Megatheria for the next month, it has always been a concept that I hold very near and dear to my heart. I started Megatheria back in College when I attended The Vancouver Film School, Canada, it was always supposed to be a metaphor for my own life. I'd like to give a more thorough explanation as to what each character represents for me and really dive deep into revealing what Megatheria is really all about. I've also revived my Deviant Art account this week, there is this massive stigma put on that platform that "real artists" don't use DA, they use ArtStation. The thing about that is that ArtStation is more geared towards people in the Digital Art industry and not really to fans of art, honestly speaking I could give two shits about industry people; I do my art for whoever likes cool shit and is looking for something that they can relate to so I'm glad to be back on there and will continue to interact with that community in future. In other news I've recently acquired an insane amount of money and will be getting some more work done in the coming months. I am super excited about that! I'm currently shopping around for a good plastic surgeon to do my boobs and I'm flirting with the idea of getting more cheek fillers done within the coming month.
Exciting stuff you guys!